Don’t rely on home – Eagles, Nieketien urges Keshi
On January 28, 2012
By KATE OBODO
Former Flying Eagles star, Peter Nieketien has urged Super Eagles handler, Stephen Keshi to ensure he gets the best players for next month’s Nations Cup qualifier against Rwanda in Kigali.
Nieketien, who expressed sadness over Nigeria’s absence at the on-going Nations Cup, advised Keshi to learn from his predecessor Samson Siasia so as not to repeat the same mistakes he made.
He stressed the need for Keshi to select players who are at their best rather than banking mainly on the local-players who he has been working on for a few weeks now.
According to Nieketien, “The reality for us not to be at the on-going Nation Cup is for us to prepare very well ahead of the 2013 edition in South Africa. I know Keshi has been doing a lot in the building process with the local players which is good, but then, he should also know that these players are not yet strong to be exposed in big matches like the qualifiers. He should not count his chicks before the eggs are hatched.”
He continued thus: “He should also know that our local players need time to improve. We can not rely solely on them to beat Rwanda when they couldn’t beat Angola. He should not leave the foreign-based players for local players especially in a competition like the Nations Cup qualifiers. Our foreign players are still relevant no matter what.
Most of them are doing well in their clubs, for instance, Yakubu Aiyengbeni. If he could be doing well for his team, why won’t he score in the national team. Of course, I know why it is still difficult to call him back to the national team. Even at that, it does not portray him as a bad player.
If Mikel Obi, Osaze Odemwingie and others could be invited to the national team when they are not scoring or doing that well in their various clubs, why won’t Aiyengbeni be recalled to play for his country. I still believe that Aiyegbeni has a lot to contribute to the national team,” Nieketien stressed.aaa