Nigeria’s desire for a good outing here at the 20th FIFA World Cup in Brazil is been threatened by a spate of injuries that is causing rancour in the Super Eagles
First it was Monaco left back, Elderson Echiejile whose Brazil 2014 dream got truncated by a hamstring he suffered in the tune-up game with Greece that caused the recall of CHAN 2014 star, Ejike Uzoenyi who was one of the seven players dropped.
Reuben Gabriel, Ahmed Musa and Kenneth Omeruo are similarly down with various degrees of injuries that may see them not having playing time here.
All through the weekend, Eagles medics were battling to ensure the fitness Omeruo for yesterday’s Nigeria first Group F match against Iran.
Despite promises from Eagles handlers that the Chelsea player on loan with Middlesborough will be okay, there were palpable fears in the Nigerian circles here that the team’s defence appears depleted and may have issues when it takes on Bosnia-Herzegovina in the next game on Saturday.
The fears are been narrowed down to the fact that it may not be able to curtail the rampaging Bosnian attack after the Eastern Europeans lost a gain they were capable of splitting points with Argentina last Sunday.
“From what we saw Bosnia played against Argentina, the absence of Echiejile and may be Omeruo may prove very dangerous to Eagles ambition here. Edin Dzeko and his colleagues were just unlucky not to have been able to pick a point from that match,”
reasoned former Super Eagles coach, Samson Siasia who is here in Brazil following proceedings of this edition.
Calculations that Efe Ambrose who is capable of playing anywhere in the back-four appears hollow as he may not be able to fit perfectly into the role of Echiejile.
“I don’t know why we are deceiving ourselves that the injuries suffered by Echiejile and Omeruo may not affect the team. For me, that is a big blow,” stressed another ex international who would not want to be
named in his chat with THISDAY before Eagles clash with Iran last night.
Eagles camp sources told THISDAY earlier in the week that some of the big players in the team are not happy over the spate of injuries because Gabriel in particular should not have been listed for Brazil because he did not recover fully during the pre-tournament in USA.
“Reuben (Gabriel) should have been left out of the final squad. He did not fully recover before we left USA for the tournament. Now we have Omeruo to battle with. This is not good at all,” observed the senior player before Eagles left Campina for Curitiba.
Added to the injury woes is the ego problem
between John Mikel Obi and Emmanuel Emenike. While on the surface, the matter appears resolved, insiders insisted that Coach Stephen Keshi’s preferential treatment for the Chelsea stalwart is partly responsible for the why the issue will continue to fester.
“Coach (Keshi) has soft-spot for Mikel. If anyone of us does something that is similar to what Mikel has done, the way he will react is different from how he will treat Mikel. It is this preferential treatment that is annoying Emenike and the other big boys,” revealed