Godfrey Oboabona used to be part of the CHAN team

As
Nigeria’s home based Super Eagles team, continue their preparations for the
African Nations Championship, CHAN, things may not be as rosy as Stephen Keshi,
coach of the side would want it.
Thirty
players reported to camp on Monday to start sweating it out, but one thing the
gaffer knows is that he does not have a winning team yet.
In
fact he may not get the winning team.
80% gone
The
Super Eagles coaches said during the week that more than 80% of the home based
Super Eagles that started the journey have left and it would have to be a fresh
start for the team.
This
statement came under severe criticism from pundits, fans and critics alike as
they felt Stephen Keshi had no right to say that or even complain about a few
players leaving the team.
The
African Nations Championship, CHAN is for only football based in the home
league of the country and the moment a player signs a deal with a foreign club,
he becomes ineligible to play.
Amongst
the first set of home based players Stephen Keshi started with when he became
coach of the Eagles, how many have really left?
Did
Keshi lie when he said 80% had left?
The
likes of Chibuzor Okonkwo, Juwon Oshaniwa, Papa Idris, Godfrey Oboabona, Gabriel
Rueben, Henry Uche, Uche Kalu, Tony Okpotu and Izu Azuka were all founding
members of the team but are no longer based in Nigeria so are ineligible to
play the CHAN.
So
maybe Keshi was right when he said he had lost more than half of the team.
But
Keshi also in that interview said he was happy with his players, especially
those who moved to Europe as they are making progress in their football careers.
What does Keshi
do now?
As
long as we do not knock our heads on the wall and start crying, Keshi will
continue to prepare for the Championship.
Thirty
players are in camp who seem the best from the Nigerian league and they must
know that Nigerians are a “blood thirsty” group who will demand the trophy no
matter the circumstances.
The
Likes of Benjamin Francis and Solomon Kwambe seem adequate cover for Juwon
Oshaniwa and Chibuzor Okonkwo. There is also Bright Esieme who did well in
right back for Enyimba last season.
Umar
Zango may just be about enough to fill the void left by Godfrey Oboabona.
Ogheneharo
Etebu may prove to be adequate replacement for Uche Kalu and of course with
players like Azubuike Egwuekwe, Chigozie Agbim and Sunday Mba still around, and
the return of Ejike Uzoenyi who had a failed stint in France, Nigeria’s home
based Eagles may just pull off a shock in South Africa.
Then
there’s the mercurial Christian Pyagbara who is at Sharks, Kano Pillars
Charismatic play maker, Rabiu Ali as well as the Golden Eaglets’ trio of Dele
Alampasu, Kelechi Iheanacho and Taiwo Awoniyi.
However,
with these talents at their disposal, it remains to be seen if the coaches will
have enough time to turn what they have into a winning side.
The folly of the
CHAN
But
despite the optimism, Keshi still has his troubles ahead of the Championship
that kicks off on January 10, 2014.
Players
like Azubuike Egwuekwe, Sunday Mba and Chigozie Agbim may be Europe bound in January.
That
automatically rules them out of the tournament.
The
rumour mills say Kelechi Iheancho and Dele Alampasu may be signing up with European
clubs in January too and that rules them out.
With
the European transfer window opening in January, a quarter of the thirty
players Keshi has in camp may be ineligible by January 10 when the tournament
begins, so what actually is the point of CHAN?
Despite
all these, Nigerians expect Keshi to win the tournament in South Africa.
Keshi
should be careful not to drop any players from his list of thirty until the
tournament proper starts.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I think that there should also be room to accomodate players who aren't opportuned to belong to any known domestic club. The truth is dat lots of talents abound in this Nation. Those 30 might not be the best afterall

  2. But Obum, the national team selectors anywhere where in the World will pick mostly players in top clubs. How often do you see Championship or League One players in England national team? How often do you see Serie B players in Italy's national team?

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here