Don’t Expect Miracles From Eagles – Taribo

Don’t Expect Miracles From Eagles – Taribo

Former Super Eagles players have expressed different opinions on the national team’s 23-man list released by coach Stephen Keshi on Wednesday for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations scheduled to begin on January 19.

Don’t Expect Miracles From Eagles – Taribo

Nigeria-Ghana 2000 Eagles defender, Taribo West, believes Keshi picked the best players at his disposal but has his reservation on the inclusion of Italy-based midfielder, Obiora Nwankwo.

 “It’s not a bad list; I believe Keshi picked the best for the Nations Cup,” the former AC Milan centre-back said.

“But I am not expecting miracles or signs and wonders from the team in South Africa. We have a good team for the future, which means in the next few years, they can become the best. The Nations Cup should be used to prepare for the 2014 World Cup.

“The defence is made up of young boys who are ready to play for their country. Though the defenders weren’t coordinated on Wednesday against Cape Verde, I believe captain (Joseph) Yobo will bring his experience to bear in that department.

“But a player like Obiora (Nwankwo) has not been fantastic; he is an average player. I don’t think he is better than Dickson Etuhu, who wasn’t called up at all.”

However, 1980 Nations Cup winner, Henry Nwosu (MON), hailed the technical crew for giving the home-based players chances in the team, saying the team would improve despite a poor outing against Cape Verde, in a friendly game in Portugal on Wednesday.

“The coaches did a very good job by picking boys from the domestic league, which means there was no favouritism in selection. In friendly games, you don’t go for an outright win. It is meant for you to assess the team. The team will get better,” the former Nigeria captain said.

Nwosu’s teammate in 1980, Emmanuel Okala, is also gladdened with the inclusion of home-based players in the Eagles AFCON squad.

“I am particularly happy with the list, especially the inclusion of home-based players; it shows that players do not need to play abroad before getting attention.

“`The team is based on the current form of the players; there is no sentiment and I believe they will go far in the tournament,” Okala told the News Agency of Nigeria.

Former Eagles midfielder, Etim Esin, on the other hand, is concerned with the defence and midfield of the team.

He said, “I’m not comfortable with the back four; the midfielders were throwing away balls against Cape Verde. If the Cape Verdeans were clever, they would have used it against us.

“I don’t know the role of Mikel (Obi) and the other midfielders in the team. Since players like Osaze, Martins have been excluded in the team; Mikel should take on the responsibility of helping the younger players.”

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