Monday, April 12, 2010
Nedum Onuoha: Lars LAGERBACK'S Master Stroke?
Nigerian football has lost several talented Nigerians to other countries and it is not as if this is a new trend. The likes of Osadebe, Emmanuel Adebayor, Omotosho, and many others to mention just a few. In those days, we did not really care as a nation, the rate at which we were losing players to even fellow African Countries because, in those good old days Nigeria could afford to present two Super teams for any competition. In fact i remember once, Nigeria was said to have the highest number of professional footballers after Brazil.
But things have really gone bad since then and we now go scrapping for players in Europe's amateur division and our players now play in some of the most ridiculous leagues in the world. For Pete's sack why should Nigeria's national team goalie play his football in Isreal?
We now have players in Sudan, Tunisia, Yemen, Oman, and won't be too shocked to hear Nigerians also play in Afghanistan.
When you consider the dearth of quality players for the national team, you find it very hard to take fwhen players like Gabriel Agbonlahor, Nedum Onuoha, Victor Moses which are some of the finest footballers in the Premier League today prefer to play for England Instead. Don't get me wrong, i am not saying there is anything wrong with playing for whatever country one chooses, but it is just hard to take when you are a die hard fan of the Super Eagles and know very well what difference these players could make in the team.
This is probably one of the reasons why foreign coaches will always be preferred. Gabby is all but gone, there is nothing we can do about it. But if we can nick it, and have Nedum and Victor Moses declare for Nigeria, it will be a very big achievement for the new Super Eagles Gaffer.
The Super Eagles defence is yearning for fresh legs and more competition and the introduction of one or two very good players may just be the master stroke.
Victor Moses was like the most sort after youngster in the premiership in January when the likes of Barcelona, Madrid, Manchester City and Chelsea were all rumour to be after him. However, he ended up in Wigan FC. Though i have not really watched him play, but if these teams were truly interested, i believe the lad can be a welcome addition to the Super Eagles array of near-stars.
LagerBack is said to have gone after these players and many others.'Nigerian players who should be in the national team are not there.' He had said when he first took over the job. We are told he's going arround locally and internationally looking for more players. We know these players are there. All we need is a coach who knows his job and willing to build his own team without fear of failure. A radical departure from the past is exactly what the team needs.
Most especially, if he can get Onuoha who is currently in a very good form and playing in a team with ambition to achieve things.
When a player plays for a team with ambition, it reflects in everything else. Such players refuse to accept defeat. The current situation where 80-90% of our players play for mediocre teams in Europe, Lagerback will have a big work of instilling the winning mentality.