11 January 2013

Nigeria: Warri Wolves Chairman Warns Keshi Over 'Big Names'

Warri Wolves Chairman, Godwin Abigor, has warned Super Eagles Head Coach, Stephen Keshi, about paying too much attention to big names in his Africa Cup of Nations squad.

"We cannot celebrate your final selection for the Nations Cup until you begin to win matches in South Africa. And for you to win matches you must respect the ability and performance of each player in team play and not big names," observed the Warri Wolves boss Thursday night.

Abigor was not impressed by the performance of the Eagles in their draw with Cape Verde Wednesday night but said that since it was a friendly match Nigerians should not rush into crucifying Keshi yet.

"Nigerians should not jump into conclusion and write the team off," he noted.

He insisted that what was of paramount importance now is how Keshi could find the best set of players who can strike good understanding in each department.

"Pairing matters a lot in football. Who are the best pair in the attack, in the central defence and even in the midfield? These are the questions now since the team has already been chosen. We must get the best pairs in the departments and Keshi must not field players because they play for big clubs.

"I hope he saw what happened against Cape Verde. If Victor Moses is still struggling to fit into African football then he can come from the bench. If Mikel Obi would want shine only when he has the ball and would not be committed in marking then Gabriel Rueben or any fighter could be given a chance," he further warned.

Abigor said he will continue to drum into coaches hearing that African football was different from what we see in Europe.

"If one compared Eagles against Venezuela or Catalonia and what they did against Cape Verde you would appreciate the points that I'm making. Keshi started well with good combination of local players and foreign-based ones but along the line I think he cracked to pressure and that's not good enough," he counselled.

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