Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Non playing mikel and Moses will affect Nigeria at World Cup

By Shemmy Sholabomi

Former Nigeria
defender Waheed
Akanni has
concern at the
lack of playing
time for some of the country's key
players at their clubs as the World
Cup approaches.

Chelsea's John Obi Mikel and
Liverpool's Victor Moses are
expected to lead the Super Eagles'
challenge in Brazil less than two
months from now, but they have
been relegated to non-starting
roles at their clubs.

While national team coach
Stephen Keshi has expressed
worry at this fact but said that the
players are capable of great
performances when playing ,
former defender Akanni feels this
could impact on the team's chance
to make good progress in South

"To be honest with you, Nigeria
will do her best [at the World Cup]
but I am not sure we will get to
where a lot of people think we will
get to in Brazil," Akanni told Goal.
"The reason is that a lot of our
star players are not playing first
team football right now and that
is a big concern for even Stephen
Keshi himself. So we have to be
very careful," he said.
In addition, the former Howard
University star said that if the
Super Eagles reach beyond the
second round, it would be a great
achievement for the team.

"I think if we can get to the
quarter-finals of this year's World
Cup we would have achieved a lot
and I would be very happy with
that. We have played in the second
round before so the next should
be at least the quarter finals
stage," he said.
"But like I said earlier, a lot of our
players are not playing first team
football so getting to the quarter
finals will be a big achievement.

It's a big concern to a lot of
football followers and
stakeholders that our star players
have not been playing regularly
for their clubs abroad.
"I can also tell you that the
[scheduled] three international
friendly matches may not be
enough for the players because
there is no way you can substitute
playing regular football and
playing friendly games.

"It is a different situation and
different environment. Playing
games week in, week out, of
course, matters a lot and that is
the honest truth about football,"
Akanni concluded.

Reference: Goal

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