Revealed: Oliseh’s possible first Eagles XI

By Aiyeku Timothy July 31, 2015 16:52

Revealed: Oliseh’s possible first Eagles XI

Not long after Sunday Oliseh was unveiled as the new Super Eagles coach at the media centre of The National Stadium in Abuja he laid down the law over who was eligible to be on his team sheets.

Oliseh clearly affirmed that “No player outside of the first division in Nigeria or elsewhere will play for the Super Eagles”, makes Eagles spots open to only 1st division players globally.

The Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, President, Amaju Pinnick however disclosed that Oliseh had a list of 70 Nigerian players who were unknown and uncapped.

It is already being speculated that the former Dortmund midfielder’s first team sheet will be one that will surprise a few but how many shockers can there be judging by his comments clarifying his statements?

We’ve already taken the liberty of coming up with a likely First XI based on the very best of the talent available taking into account the new Eagles gaffer is a fan of the 4-3-3 formation.

Goalkeeper

Enyeama-trainsNo doubt, Vincent Enyeama, of Lille, remains the best option between the sticks Nigeria has for now. His experience in the national team, exposure in Europe and the Champion’s League place him as perhaps Nigeria’s most equipped player currently. The 32 years old stopper is quick, reads the game and has ability to control, organize and stabilize the defence.

The confirmation of his place as the number one was sealed after Oliseh recently disclosed that the former Enyimba goalie will remain the Captain of the Eagles.

Defenders

Leon Balogun, FSV Mainz 05, German Bundesliga, 27: The German-born Nigerian has the height, strength, good passes and discipline as an advantage, his strength, good pass as an advantage. His strong tackling and ability to link from defence to the midfield him qualify for the Eagles. Balogun has settled well with the Nigerian team despite being new, meaning he is a good team player and knows how to read the game.

Football - The Football League Sky Bet Championship - Sheffield Wednesday v Middlesbrough - Saturday 1st March 2014 - Hillsborough - SheffieldKenneth Omeruo, Kasımpaşa, Turkish Süper Lig, 21: The on loan Chelsea youngster is a tough tackling defender, who is good aerially and always gives good cover to the keeper. He is known to cover ground quickly too making him hard to beat as an attacker and has been compared to Real Madrid’s Raphaël Varane. He had a decent season at Middlesbrough in the English Championship last season.

Godfrey Oboabona, Rizespor, Turkish Süper Lig, 24: the burly defender plying his trade in Turkey is known for his typically strong displays. He received rave reviews for his performance which kept Italy’s Mario Balotelli out of the game when they both met. Not only is he good aerially, his number of completed tackles-per-match is quite impressive.

The tall defender’s work rate at the Nigerian defence has been a heartwarming experience with his exceptional ability to read the game and ball passing ability.

Elderson Echejiele, AS Monaco, French Ligue 1, 27: The former Braga fullback has been in and out of the side but is fast becoming a dependable member of the Eagles side.

His solidity and ability to support attacks up front makes him a solid option for Oliseh as long as he can beat off the challenge from the young Kingsley Madu who had an impressive outing against Chad in Kaduna.

Midfielders

Mikel Obi, Chelsea, English Premiership, 28: A controversial player for a myriad of reasons, Mikel does have one skill albeit typical of a one trick pony. The ability to hold on to the ball better than any other Eagles player sets him apart despite his infuriating sluggishness sometimes.

Considering Oliseh tends towards a possession based style Mikel might still be an asset despite his tragically unfulfilled potential.

onazi-eaglesOgenyi Onazi, Lazio, Italian Serie A, 22: The Nigerian prodigy is one of the most consistent shooters in the Nigeria team, add that to his boundless energy and you have a midfield dynamo of epic proportions.

Onazi breaks up play, retains possession and is not scared to attempt to attack the opposition box every now and there, the hallmarks of the modern defensive midfielder. Being a former defensive midfielder himself, Oliseh would by all means be grateful to have such a battleaxe at his disposal.

Peter Odemwingie, Stoke City, English Premiership, 34: The experienced forward, winger and playmaker has had his fair share of controversy (just like the current Eagles boss) but he still remains a player with guile and some experience the Eagles could use right now.

He still has a few goals left in him and his link up play when he’s fit is a joy to behold. His ability to create chances and play versatile roles is no doubt an asset to the Eagles.

Forwards

Victor Moses, Chelsea, English Premiership, 24: Oliseh has stated clearly that any striker without pace cannot feature for the Eagles. Outside Moses there are very few Nigerians who are faster. The Chelsea forward can be explosive enough to stun various backlines and he packs a bulky frame which is always a defender’s nightmare. Oliseh will find his ability to terrorise defences and his pace useful.

Odion Ighalo after the match

Odion Ighalo after the match

Odion Ighalo, Watford, English Premiership, 26: Ighalo is known for helping to lift teams to better levels than they were previously with his goal scoring prowess. He is adept at taking up positions in the box that enable him thrive on the service from midfield.

Proven to be a spectacular goal scorer, he is a strong and tactical finisher and definitely ready to work with Oliseh to build a new Eagles.

Ahmed Musa, CSKA Moscow, Russian Premier League, 22: The former Kano Pillars forward is known for his pace, dribbling, composure, versatility and defensive effort. He has been compared to Jesus Navas and Arjen Robben for his ability to cut inside from the wings and cause havoc; he is a good creator as well as a corner specialist.

Musa is bound to be an interesting sight to watch under Oliseh.