What Siasia’s Super Eagles selection shows

By Aiyeku Timothy March 4, 2016 12:29

What Siasia’s Super Eagles selection shows

The turmoil facing the Nigerian football must now take the back seat as we prepare for the crucial double header against Egypt later this month as a 42-man list has been unveiled by interim Coach, Samson Siasia to face “The Pharaohs” later this month with the hope of qualifying for the 2017 African Nations Cup in Gabon.

Siasia unveiled 22 home-based players including: Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Olufemi Thomas, Emmanuel Daniel, Kalu Orji, Chibuzor Okonkwo, Mathew Etim, Austin Oboroakpo, Sincere Seth, Segun Oduduwa, Chima Akas, Chris Madaki and Oke Ogogate, Ifeanyi Mathew, Usman Mohammed, Etebo Oghenekaro, Yau Hassan, Stanley Dimgba, Ezekiel Bassey, Prince Aggrey, Bright Onyedikachi, Chisom Chikatara and Godwin Obaje.

While the foreign based include, Carl Ikeme, Daniel Akpeyi, Efe Ambrose, Abdullahi Shehu, Elderson Echiejile, Stanley Amuzie, Godfrey Oboabona, Kenneth Omeruo, Ogenyi Onazi, Mikel Obi, Kelechi Iheanacho and Azubuike Okechukwu, Ahmed Musa, Moses Simon, Victor Moses, Aminu Umar, Odion Ighalo, Aaron Samuel, Alex Iwobi and Fanendo Adi.

As Nigerians look forward to squash the Egyptians, the decision for a massive 42 man list by the interim Coach and the Nigerian Football Federation has raised questions on the hope for qualification and the hope for a renewed Eagles.

Repeat of 2011 insight?

The fact that Siasia is not new in this situation, brings in the fear of having a repeat of the 2011 saga, where the same coach was sacked for failing to qualify for the same tournament. Can we afford not to qualify for another Nations Cup?

However, not minding his failure to qualify Nigeria for the 2012 Nations Cup, Siasia, has described himself as the “new sheriff in town” boasting that, “We will do everything humanly possible to make sure that we emerge victorious in both legs,”

It is however worrisome to note that Siasia is not under any pressure, He still has the U-23 job to go back to if he fails to qualify again, so where is the challenge? Where is the fight? Have we forgotten that the same situation that handed him the job of the Eagles manager, is still the same we have now?

How handy are the home-based players?

A total of 22 local players are expected to resume camp on March 6, with only few expected to make the final 23-man list at the end of the day, raising questions on the effect these few players would have on the game.

The fact that home based players may not feature for both games with much expected to be spent on them for accommodation, feeding and other miscellaneous expenses within the 2-3 weeks camp, makes it a concern.

The NFF has continued to claim they are broke. Can they afford to go all the way for players who may warm the bench for the foreign pros?

Choices of players still the same?

While the crop of players invited have been applauded, a major challenge of winning games has been the kind of players being selected and the method of selection employed which remains unknown to everyone, but the NFF Technical Committee and the Coach himself.

Siasia was compelled to meet with Shaibu Amodu and later the Technical Committee, before making the list open. We hope there was no influence on the selection as we have experienced in the past?

Issues surrounding match venue?

Now we know that Controversial former Coach, Sunday Oliseh was not the only one criticizing openly the choice of Kaduna as the match venue, after stating that, it is “like playing away on home soil.”

Siasa has expressed concern over the contrast weather condition in Kaduna, stressing that the players are used to cool weather conditions, but will be forced to play under a harsh condition.

Meanwhile, the bulk of the list consists of players who have played under Siasia at the junior level which puts him in a better stand to know how to understand and use the players well than ever before.

It is worthy to note that the Egyptians will be coming for a win and will employ tactics to score first in order to frustrate the Eagles to a draw at least. With their speed, skill and intelligence, it would be useful to make use of experience and intelligent players who can only match the Pharaohs.

Prediction of the first XI: Carl Ikeme, Efe Ambrose, Kenneth Omeruo, Godfrey Oboabona, Elderson Echiejile, Mikel Obi, Ogenyi Onazi, Ahmed Musa, Moses Simon, Victor Moses, Odion Ighalo