I would like you to give a critical assessment of the list submitted by acting coach Daniel Amokachi for the friendly matches coming up this week
Well, I feel the coaches would have taken time to look at the performance of the players at their respective club sides before drafting the list. For instance, while I was in England and was opportune to see Brown Ideye play, I think his invitation was justified because he has been fantastic. Aside from this, they know what they want.
This list produced 10 domestic-based stars, what does this mean to the Nigeria Professonal Football League?
During my playing days, we had more home-based than foreign-based professionals unlike what we are witnessing today. Inviting over 10 home-based talents is a sign of good things to come. For instance, countries like Algeria and Egypt have more home-based players in their senior national teams. The advantage of this is that it makes the team stronger but not everyone understands this. This is also a testimony to the fact that our local league is growing because you will be amazed at the way the Nigeria Premier League is being monitored.
Since the commencement of the Nigerian topflight this season, away wins and draws have been recorded. How will this help the growth of our league?
This is what we want and a sign of good things to come for the nation. While I was playing, you can win at any venue not minding who is at home or away. If you refuse to play well at home, you are rest assured that you will lose. Recording away wins at the beginning of the season will only help in making the league very strong and competitive and it will enable one to identify the good players and good coaches. In European leagues, you see cases where [visiting] teams go to silence their hosts. That should be the standard here too.
With Nigerian teams’ recent performance in Caf club competitions over the weekend, one is tempted to ask why our football outfits have lost their invincibility on the continent
I will attribute this to managerial problems. Take for instance Dolphins who were sent crashing after failing to turn up for a Caf Confederation Cup game, how do we explain that? Every member of a particular club must work together towards achieving a common goal, and I feel this is missing in our club sides and that is why they have not been able to do well on the continent. Another issue is the delay in payment of players’ salaries in government-owned teams, this affects the morale of players and tell me how you want them to do very well. This is not the same in Europe and we must learn to do things right here.
Coming to the Super Eagles, the back line is one of the weakest link in the team, why was this different in your time when you played as a defender