Sunday Oliseh, the new national team coach of Nigeria, seems to have already incurred the wrath of fans with his first squad selection.
Mikel Obi, Victor Moses and Odion Ighalo were missing from the invited players for next month’s African Cup of Nations qualifier against Tanzania.
Many Nigerian fans would not have been too bothered with Obi’s omission after his lacklustre showing at last year’s World Cup in Brazil. But Moses is a fan’s favourite and Ighalo scored a great goal for Watford against Everton on the opening day of the English Premier League season. He is probably Nigeria’s most prolific striker with 18 goals in 29 games for Watford.
Oliseh explained that he called Obi four times when he was in London and also sent a text message, but Obi didn’t respond. Oliseh said he rang Moses and spoke to him. Moses also visited the coach in his hotel. Oliseh told him to concentrate on his game and explained that he was trying to rebuild the team and everyone would get a chance. Oliseh also said that Ighalo’s time will come with the next matches.
Oliseh then said he finally saw a missed call from Obi when he had returned to Nigeria.
To be fair to the coach, Moses and Obi have not played for Chelsea this season. So do not deserve to be selected for the national team. The Ighalo omission is a bit of a head-scratcher.
The real problems would start for Oliseh if Nigeria does not get a result in Dar es Salaam.
Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Lille OSC, France); Carl Ikeme (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England)
Defenders: Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); Kingsley Madu (AS Trencin, Slovakia); Godfrey Oboabona (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey); William Troost Ekong (FK Haugesund, Norway); Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa SK, Turkey)
Midfielders: Joel Obi (Torina FC, Italy); Izunna Ernest Uzochukwu (FC Amkar Perm, Russia); Obiora Nwankwo (Coimbra FC, Portugal); Lukman Haruna (Anzhi Machatsjkala, Russia); Rabiu Ibrahim (AS Trencin, Slovakia)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Emem Eduok (Esperance ST, Tunisia); Emmanuel Emenike (Al Ain, UAE); Anthony Ujah (Werder Bremen, Germany); Sylvester Igboun (FC UFA, Russia); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium)