By Austin Isaac
It
is more than one week since Super Eagles manager, Gernot Rohr and the Nigeria
Football Federation made public a list of thirty players, twenty three of whom
would prosecute the World Cup.
While
as usual, there would be public debates on who should have been in or out, the
issue of three, or maybe four players continues to be at the center of
discussions.
“Brown
Ideye, Efe Ambrose and Junior Ajayi, should have made the list,” they scream and
Junior Lokosa should not have been there.
Hmm!
Junior
Lokosa is the leading scorer in the Nigeria Professional Football League with
eighteen goals from twenty two games; Brown Ideye, on loan at Spanish side
Malaga from Chinese Super League club Tianjin Teda did not make the cut while
Crotone’s Simeon Nwankow got a look in.
Some
pundits within and outside the country have made cases for Hibernian FC
defender, Efe Ambrose as well as Junior Ajayi who is with Egypt’s Al Ahly.
Ufuoma
Egbamuno is a Port Harcourt based sportscaster with the Nigeria Info FM family
and he believes the inclusion of Brown Ideye would have brought stability to
the team.
“There
are notable absentees who I honestly think should have been part of the list, but
for the fact that he’s been part of the set up and has experience as well as a
bit of physicality that I’m not sure we have in any of our strikers, then I am
thinking Brown Ideye should have been in that list,” Egbamuno told
NigerianFootballer.com.
“Junior
Ajayi has had a very good outing at Al Ahly in Egypt,” Egbamuno continued.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         “And I’ve been talking with colleagues in
Egypt and they’ve been telling me positive things about him.
“Unfortunately
he wasn’t given enough time in the friendly he was called for so we haven’t seen
much of him and maybe that was why Gernot Rohr didn’t add him to the list.
“That
being said I think the list is 95% ok. For those calling for Ambrose Efe, Come
on! Let’s call a spade a spade. Efe has gone past his sell by date and it’s the
simple truth.  Where is he now? Hibernian
or somewhere in Scotland, what has been his track record? Trust me he has done
his best for the country and this is not time to start calling for him,”
Egbamuno said.
Fisayo
Dairo is the Chief Football Writer at online sports publication,
www.aclsports.com  and he insists that though he would have
loved to see Brown Ideye in the team, Gernot Rohr’s decision to exclude the
Malaga player is fair.
“For
Brown Ideye, he has not been part of the team for close to 18 months now and I
think that counted against him.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      “There is also the fact that when he joined Malaga in January he was only able
to score 1 goal and eventually the team got relegated so if we look at it
logically I think the coach has a point by excluding him,” Fisayo Dairo told
NigerianFootballer.com.
“It’s
very unfortunate that the team need a lot of experienced players and when you
talk of this option, Brown Ideye readily brings that into play,” Dairo stated.
He
however added that the inclusion of Simeon Nwankwo and Kano Pillars’ sensation,
Junior Lokosa is timely.
“In
the last few months we saw Simeon Nwankwo score 6 goals in the last 7 matches
and Junior Lokosa of Kano Pillars who has 18 goals, phenomenal record in the
Nigerian League.”
According
to Carl Orakwe, who writes for www.NaijaFootballPlus.com,
the Super Eagles team will lack the services of Brown Ideye who would have been
of help or a backup for Odion Ighalo
“The
list of forwards released by the coach will still lack a ‘standing 9’ incase
Odion Ighalo fails to fire at the World Cup.                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                    “My
thinking was that we would have had a player like Brown Ideye to fill in that
position but he unfortunately couldn’t play for his club in China after the
signing of a Ghanaian player due to their quota system.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              “He moved to Malaga where
the club eventually didn’t have a good season but we know how reliable Ideye
could have been as he started the qualifiers with the Eagles and did well in
those few games.                                                                    
“Now
if you’re not going to take Brown Ideye, then maybe take the least experienced
Junior Ajayi that is also a powerful forward, someone who can score,” Orakwe
said.
Queen
John also writes for www.aclsports.com and
completely agrees with Gernot Rohr’s list.                                                                                                                              
“For
me I think the list is ok. The list would have been 35 but he made it 30, and
that is to say he would not have so much stress cutting it down so it’s quite
easy that way.
“But
a lot of people have called and questioned why the likes of Junior Ajayi, Efe
Ambrose and Brown Ideye are not on the list.
“I
would have said maybe a Brown Ideye should have been given a nod but he has
been out of the national team for a while now and once you are not in the
national team for that long, it’s difficult for you to be called up,” Queen
explained.
Gernot
Rohr released a 30 man provisional list on Monday
THE FULL LIST
GoalKeepers: Ikechukwu
Ezenwa, Daniel Akpeyi, Francis Uzoho, Dele Ajiboye
Defenders: William Troost-
Ekong, Leon Balogun, Kenneth Omeruo, Elderson Echiejile, Stephen Eze, Ola Aina,
Tyronne Ebuehi, Brian Idowu, Chidozie Awaziem, Abdullahi Shehu
Midfielders: Mikel Obi,
Ogenyi Onazi, Wilfred Ndidi, Joel Obi, Uche Agbo, John Agu, Mikel Agu, Etebo
Oghenekaro
Forward: Odion Ighalo,
Ahmed Musa, Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho,  Simon Moses, Junior Lokosa, Simeon Nwankwo

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