World Cup: Taribo not sure of Eagles
Former Nigeria defender Taribo West has bared his mind on Gernot Rohr’s 30-man provisional list for the 2018 World Cup, saying he’s not expecting the final 23 players from the list to perform magic in Russia.
There are no notable exclusions from the list but Kano Pillars striker Junior Lokosa, who tops the scorers chart with 18 goals in the domestic league, and Crotone forward Simy Nwankwo, were included by the German manager.
Taribo said he was not expecting any spectacular performances from the team, who are in Group D alongside two-time winners Argentina, Croatia and Iceland, but argued that any team who write off the Super Eagles might have themselves to blame.
“The list looks good but it’s not like when we had players playing for top clubs in competitive leagues; not many of them now are playing for top clubs. I hope Leon Balogun is fully fit for the World Cup because Chidozie Awaziem wasn’t impressive in their last friendly game,” the Atlanta ’96 Olympics gold medallist said.
“Honestly, I’m not expecting magic but I’m also expecting surprises because Nigerian teams are known for that. I know the coach will prepare the team well for the World Cup; I wish them the best.”
Former BCC Lions captain Bolaji Douglas expressed concern over the goalkeeping area of the team which has youngster Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna), Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba), Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United) and Dele Ajiboye (Plateau United).
“The goalkeeping department is a cause for worry, but I love surprises and I will like these boys to surprise me in a pleasant way. I think he (Rohr) will go with Uzoho as first choice, he has all it takes from German-European criteria for goalies – his height,” he said.
The 1990 CAF Cup Winners Cup winner added, “There are no major surprises. The only surprise is Vincent Enyeama not coming out of retirement for his last tournament with the team.
“To be honest, the team easily picks itself. There are a couple of new names in the attack Junior Lokosa and Simeon Nwankwo, who suddenly found his scoring boots, but I doubt if he would do enough to dislodge the big players in the team.”
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