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Second chance for Okonkwo

Chibuzor Okonkwo is back in the Super Eagles squad

Posted: 21 December 2012 Time: 1:37 pm

Defender Chibuzor Okonkwo is back in the Super Eagles squad, but coach Stephen Keshi says the right back will have to prove himself all over again.

Okonkwo, a regular fixture in the side under former coach Samson Siasia, was blacklisted by Keshi when he left camp a few days into training under the new coach for an unsuccessful trial in England.

This was after Keshi had decreed that home based players must be ready to stay at least six months with the national team before attempting to travel abroad.

With the Nations Cup approaching, and options limited at right back, Keshi has now recalled the experienced defender saying every person deserves to be given a second chance in life no matter what, but the player must now justify his call-up.

"But he has to prove that he’s a better player in terms of discipline and action on the pitch," he said.

Okonkwo played the second half in the 1-1 draw against Nasarawa United on Thursday and showed flashes of his old self.

Article by: Colin Udoh

Previous comments on this story...

Game147
posted: 02:14 pm
Did any of us see the Afoty yesterday ?? One inconsequencial magician from south America predicted that Nigeria and Ghana will play finals and Ghana will win. All these juju-men sef , God power big pass una. Kiev the stupid psychic chiken also predicted that Italy will beat Spain in Euro final......what happened finally ?? Mek una tell that south American juju-man say if i catch am , i go put beta cameroun peper for him nyash. Otele-magician, lol.
denonso1
posted: 02:24 pm
Nigeria does NOT stand a chance of getting out of the preliminaries of ANC or qualifying for Brasil 2014 under STEPHEN KESHI. What type of coach continues to use the word "rebuilding\\" to hide his incompetency & lack of tactics for the game. Why is he opting to chose Bright Dike, Onazi, & Ameobi over the likes of Martins, Odemwingie, K.Uche, & Haruna? The worst of all Oboabona & Lawal over WHO? Apam & ????. Nigeria national team will not improve under the leadership of KESHI; Nigeria will be hiring a new coach after ANC. This frog "KESHI\\" do not have the best interest of our nation at heart. I will not be surprise he was among those bribing Westerhoff to favor them in team selection during the 90s Eagles. KESHI is very corrupt, and this is the BIG difference between him & Siasia. As much as many people would hate to hear Siasia's name being brought up. The reality is, unlike KESHI, Siasia would have had a reliable team profile for ANC by now. KESHI is not right for NIgeria because we are going to South Africa to continue experimenting. I am utterly embarrassed with KESHI's notion of "rebuilding\\". Only a flat-out clueless nation would allow this guy to continue after this ANC. I am a realist, KESHI is not football-intelligent & fair-minded enough to lead Super Eagles, I would have preferred an inexperience Oliseh to have gotten the job because he is PASSIONATE & PATRIOTIC (as Siasia) about resurrecting our team. Nigeria do NOT need experience foreign or domestic coach to succeed because they have the talents, and any dedicated coach who chose fairly will always raise a good team. Finally, I do not believe in KESHI anymore because he has shown me completely why he was a failure as the coach of MALI & TOGO's national team. KESHI wanted to do business with Togo worldcup selection, and he got himself sacked, in the same token, he chose MALI team based on bribery and he met the same faith. KESHI is about to do the same thing to his national team with regard to his proposed foreign-based team selection, where is the sense of PATRIOTISM & DIGNITY in that?

Bright Dike??? Hmmm, he is based in U.S. (Portland Timbers, Colorado) & KESHI's family is based in Fremont, California, U.S. Connect the dot, it is obvious they are buddies. Dike is not a Flying Eagle or Dream Team Eagle material, and billions of miles away from ever making Super Eagle's team. If KESHI chose this guy, he needs to be fired before ANC starts and replaced by a competent and PATRIOTIC NIgerian. Not Amokachi, Not Okpala, Not Chukwu, Not Amodu, Not Adepoju, & Not any of the other band of corrupt ex-footballers.

Shola Ameobi? Deserves to prove himself to justify his inclusion. His inability to score goals leaves me with BIG ? mark about his ability to contribute in Super Eagles. Is he a hard worker, yes. Ameobi puts pressure on defenders.

Onazi is far from ready for Super Eagles. I have tried to watch this guy play, & most of the time he is warming the bench. And when he plays, they are only using him against weak teams. You cannot compare this toddler in football with Lukman Haruna who plays almost every week as a starter for Dynamo Kiev.

Oboabona is a not refined enough to martial Super Eagles defense. His inaccurate passes from defense can lead to multiple counter-attacks on our defense. He lacks confidence and this was evident in the game against Egypt and Venezuela. He is not good enough.
luise-hero
posted: 02:48 pm
n
Anonymous
posted: 02:55 pm
Netherlands legend and Catalonia National Team coach Johan Cruyff has unveiled his list of nominated players for the eagerly anticipated exhibition match against the Super Eagles of Nigeria on January 2.

An analysis of the roster released by Cruyff revealed that 10 Barcelona players were called up for the tie at the at Cornella-El Prat Stadium, the home ground of Espanyol.

7 players are from La Liga side Espanyol while Rayo Vallecano contributed 2 players. Red Bull Salzburg, Getafe and AC Milan have one player each in the team which was unveiled on Thursday in a ceremony attended by the President of the Catalonia Federation, Andreu Subies.

The friendly against the Super Eagles is Cruyff's last game in charge of Catalonia, and he said that the best players have been chosen, leaving out players from the second division, because it is an important game and the opponents are preparing for the African Cup of Nations.

''For me it was a personal obligation. 40 years ago I was well received and have been here as a player and coach. I have fulfilled my obligations that I targeted,'' the former Ajax player told mundodeportivo.com.

Catalonia Squad to face Nigeria
Goalkeepers : Victor Valdes (Barcelona) and  Kiko Casilla (Espanyol)

Defenders:  Martin Montoya, Gerard Pique, Carles Puyol, Marc Bartra, Jordi Alba (all Barcelona), Raul Rodriguez, Joan Capdevila (Espanyol) and Jordi Amat (Rayo Vallecano)

Midfielders: Sergio Busquets, Xavi Hernandez, Sergi Roberto,  and Cristian Tello (all Barcelona), Victor Sanchez, Joan Verdú and Sergio Tejera (Espanyol)

Strikers: Alvaro Vazquez (Getafe), Jonathan Soriano (Red Bull Salzburg), Piti (Rayo Vallecano), Sergio Garcia(Espanyol) and Bojan Krkic (Milan).-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Guys this is the team Nigeria is planning to face with home based again! It is obvious we have men in the NFF who leave their brain at home before they go to work. How can this match even be competitive with so many World and European champions on one side and Keshi parading a squad from a dis functional league. Most of our players are out of shape from the league being in a perpetual state of recess. Slyman
luise-hero
posted: 03:04 pm
@denonso1,,i think is high time we stop criticizing this guy .
rather pray for him to succeed
i respect your opinion everyone has right to say what he/her feels
that why is a football site to be precise
every coach want to be successful he can invite whom-ever he feel is good for is plan
but the bottom line is he must not fail us no excuse

games147 i hail ooh
Anonymous
posted: 03:20 pm
@ Denonso1

I beg to disagree. Keshi is gradually assembling players that are talented, coach-able and can play as a team. The bright side of the so called home players is that for the first time in a long time, the oversea professionals are coming back to the team not sure if they would make the cut. That, in itself, is a success worth mentioning. Lets stop this gutter criticism.
Anonymous
posted: 03:20 pm
@ Denonso1

I beg to disagree. Keshi is gradually assembling players that are talented, coach-able and can play as a team. The bright side of the so called home players is that for the first time in a long time, the oversea professionals are coming back to the team not sure if they would make the cut. That, in itself, is a success worth mentioning. Lets stop this gutter criticism. SUYA
kimo
posted: 05:21 pm
@denonso1,, nawaaa,, i have been following your comments. you hardly say anything good about Keshi..
Game147
posted: 05:40 pm
This is Keshi's time. All these 'William shakespare school of thought' is not necessary. Nigeria is for all us and let's get behind our team. @Luis-Hero, I hail you broda, u too much.
blackpanther187
posted: 08:31 pm
I dont know if any of you remember this guys: OLARENWAJU KAYODE

I was really impressed by him!!

Exclusive: OLARENWAJU KAYODE Trialing With Charlton Athletic

Colombia 2011 Fifa Under 20 World Cup star Olarenwaju Kayode is currently undergoing trials with English Championship side Charlton Athletic. After impressing in test games, the 19 - year - old forward is set to be offered a contract by The Red Robins.

The deal was brokered by Jairo Pachon, who is the official match agent of the Nigeria Federation, and influential sports lawyer Akinyemi Olubusola.

''So far, Kayode has impressed in the test games played and scored a hat- trick for the Charlton Reserves in one of the trial games.The coach Chris Powell is amazed with the qualities he has shown in training. We are hopeful he will be offered a contract as he is loved by the coaches, players and the supporters. The only impediment we are likely to face is for the player to be issued a work permit by the Home Office,'' says Akinyemi Olubusola to allnigeriasoccer.com.

Olarenwaju Kayode is regarded by many in Nigeria as one of the country's top talents. He played six games for the Golden Eaglets at the Fifa Under 17's held in Nigeria three years ago.
denonso1
posted: 09:24 pm
@ Game147 & Luis-hero. My criticism of KESHI is based on facts, not on sentiments. This guy is about to do sink the hope of our national team doing well in ANC with his proposed list of foreign-based players to invite for the tournament. Who in their right mind invites Bright Dike & Onazi to the Super Eagles camp at this phase of ANC preparation. Kayode Olarenwaju is by million-miles a better player than Dike. Players like this should have been given a chance to stake their claim in the team, same applies to Kalu Uche, Ezekiel Imoh, Leon Balogun, & Lukman Haruna. If KESHI had invited these guys, competition for positions would have intensified. These will insure that KESHI had explored the talents available to the our team. At this moment, an ideal team for Nigeria or possible candidates are:

Updated list:
Abundance of talent is one thing, but having a team is whole different case. Nigeria will ONLY have a formidable team if Keshi chose his team based on merit. Idea team:

Goalkeepers:
1.V. Enyeama, 12. A. Ejide, 23. C. Agbim (D.Adenugha--very in-form for his Israel-based team---Yehuda)

Defenders:
20.K. Solomon (S. Okonkwo if he fails to live-up to expectation), 16.K Omeruo, 3.T. Taiwo, 19.U. Echiejile, 2.J. Yobo, 5.O. Apam (S.Okonkwo if not completely fit since Omeruo can play center), 6.E. Ambrose, 13. A. Egwueke (S. Okonkwo if he fails to proof himself)

Midfielders(Attacking/Defensive):
7.A. Musa, 11.V. Moses, 21.P. Odemwingie, 12.L. Haruna (can deputize Igiebor or play ahead of him; also provides outside threat due to his shooting power--see his goal against Colombia), 10.O. Mikel (he is going to be selected as a sure bet, but we better have a good cover if his defensive lapses surfaces--this is where Haruna will be important too), 14.E.Igiebor, 4.G,Reuben, 22.O.Nwankwo (or F.Ogude),

Strikers:
8.B. Ideye, 9.E. Emenike, 15.I. Uche, 17.O. Martins, 18.S. Ameobi (K.Uche preferably since he is in-form)

Standby:
F.Ogude (good player & a hard working midfielder)
G. Reuben (good & hard working player)
S. Okonkwo (good & strong defender, might be a better option in the R. full-back since he is experienced)
E.Imoh (Fast rising star, & deserves to be given a chance)
O.Nsofor (good player, but needs to be evaluated under the new Super Eagles system to determine his fit)
K.Uche (good player, but plays as a striker in his club. It will not be wise to pick him as a central midfielder, but can be a good option as an attacking midfielder)
Kayode Olarenwaju (very promising talent that warrants an immediate look-in, SEs can boost this guy confidence & bring out his potential)
D.Adejo (good defender, but needs to gain international experience at national team level)
C.Ogbuke (Experienced player, could snick into the last list)
Sa.Ameobi (Very promising talent, but needs time to mature into a great talent. CAP him immediately after ANC bcos he is target for England, but with his brother on our side, we have the upper hand to CAP him)
J.Chibuike (promising talent, could be a surprise inclusion)
G.Oboabona (Very questionable player, gives wrong passes that results counterattacks on our defense)
S.Aluko (good player, but he is down the pecking order in his position)
L.Balogun (would be a great pick-up, available without need for FIFA clearance)
O.Onazi (Need more experience & not a regular in Lazio)
S.Sam (Not yet cleared by FIFA & has injury)?

Based on these available players, can someone tell me why "Keshi\" in his right state of mind will opt to invite only 17 foreign-based players. If he goes along with this plan, he will be sacked at the end of a fruitless ANC. I have always had doubt about Keshi's fairness in players selection, and this guy seems like he is bound to put the integrity of Nigeria in football under a risk of hefty embarrassment.

Onazi is not ready for SEs team yet. I tried to watch this guy play big games for Lazio, but all I see him selected to play are weak oppositions. Most of Lazio's big game, Onazi has been a bench warmer in all of them. I am very skeptical about KESHI mentioning this guy for SEs. I hope he is not considered over Haruna who has been in scintillating form for Dynamo Kiev. In addition, Haruna's chemistry with Ideye cannot be overlooked, period. HARUNA is a far better player than ONAZI, I can whole heartedly attest to this claim because I watch all these players' team every week from my U.S. base.

I believe my analysis is worth reading with an open-mind because it is based on facts since I watch these players week-in n week-out play for their respective clubs.
stanslinks
posted: 01:42 am
Welcome back Chibuzo Okonkwo. Congratulations to you.
stanslinks
posted: 01:45 am
Even if I pretend to understand his reasons for not giving the likes of Taye Taiwo a chance, yet in his words (another political statement) "everyone will be given a chance to proof himself"; what is the reason for not calling Aluko given a player like Aluko a chance? Please someboday tell me.
Anonymous
posted: 07:18 am
@denonso1 you are a stupid idiot for insulting our National coach!!, what is wrong with you ? are you on crack!!!.If you are that good at picking players , why cant you form your own national team..ass hole!!.Keshi came because sia sia failed us and should not be compared with any other coach in Nigeria.He is the first Nigerian that qualified an unknown national team to fifa world cup , can you beat that.This guy is doing enough to bring our dear super eagles back to the glory state and instead of your sorry ass supporting him you are venting your wicked and devilish anger for not picking your presumed kind of players.You should show respect to our National coach otherwise i will do it for you ..idiot!!.For your information, keshi will succeed and Nigeria will lift Afcon , he will also take us to the world cup.By the way what do you do for a living? i believe your kind of person must be the worst employee from your garbage life!!
stanslinks
posted: 05:32 am
If Keshi is getting on this site to read our comments at this crucial period of preparation, then he is more unseriouse than many think. The man has no time for our opinion here, and that is understandable.
Anyone is free to criticize anyone. President Goodluck Jonathan is not above the peoples criticism (constructive or non constructive). Some people are ok with Keshi's selection while some are not, period. If everyone heaps praises at you, then you are as good as dead. Lets not forget that criticism is not only meant to tear down, but also to challange one into success. Imagine coming to this site and all you read is one sided opinion. Diversified opinions is the beauty of what makes this forum interesting. Finally, if you are a Nigerian working in Nigeria, you must expect to work under not just pressure, but intense pressure. Let everyone bear their mind or forever remain silent. May God Bless the Super Eagles.
Anonymous
posted: 10:34 am
Some of you are funny
Anonymous
posted: 11:07 am
Petres Sanchez!

Let me give you guys my Honest and expert view of the team list:
I would only point out inclusions and exclusions that have raised eyebrows on Social media...
1. Rabiu Ibrahim:
This guy was included because,
a. He is the only player in Nigeria that is "Crafty" Yes I said so. "Crafty" No other player can give you what he will
b. You said he has only played one substitute appearance for Celtic? Yes, But Celtic is a Champions League team and if you bring our Valerenga guy@Ogude here, he wouldn't make Celtic bench
c. Have you read about a certain "Dos Santos" of Mexico who made no appearance for Tottenham but was one of the best performers at the FIFA World Cup
d. Finally Rabiu has a big heart like "Moses" a xteics many of our players lack, I remember him stating that he would only be playing for a club if there are title champions or UCL participants:e.g PSV,
SPORTING, CELTIC

2. Taiwo
I agree with all those calling for his head, this guy wouldn't bring anything new to the table

3. Shittu
His inclusion is "Madness" This guy was once rejected by all clubs even Enyimba, He's too heavy and slow

4.Bright Dike
I have said it before now, He's below average, Skill-less and heavy

5. Ameobi
12 Games before a goal....@Newcastle says it all we have only 6games @afcon so I would use guys that are use to goals not those that can hold ball because in Africa you don't hold ball except you wanna be hacked

Lets see the exclusions

Osaze:
He's useful but!!! we can't bench him and we can't start him,..not better than Musa and Victor on the wings and Brown + Emenike attack ..and if we bench him, it becomes a social problem..what will you do?

Obafemi:
This is the biggest mistake Nigeria made! You rate martins with venezuela match infact he needs no testing, one of the top 5greatest goal scorers in our country..Men we failed there @Dike and the rest homebased know they are far from martins quality. Check this out we only have Emenike and Martins as the strikers that can play alone upfront in the whole country! what if emenike goes bad?or tired?or injured?
Can bright, kalu and co play alone?

Aluko:
In African football there would always be set-pieces infact when we meet CIV the decider may be a set-piece from Drog. Why leave the only Player that can do that. Crazy eh?

Haruna:
Mad People always call for Mad people. He's a defensive midfielder so compare his inclusions with those playing same positions(Mikel, Reuben and Nosa) don't compare his inclusion with R.Ibrahim(attacking)

Kalu Uche: LOOOLLL
I wonder how many strikers you want to take
When you want to rate strikers use this formula its gonna help you
Number of Goals/Class of Defenders
Am sure your maths worked well, then you realize Brown Ideye and Emenike are the Biggest

Obasi/Nsofor/Kayode
People that are calling for these players esp. Obasi, don't have satelite TVs in their houses
Obasi Last started for S-04 7Months Ago
Nsofor just recovered, never played 90minutes in 7months

Generally I would say that the exclusions of Martins and Aluko are not justifiable but I see tactical knowledge in the initial inclusion of Rabiu (he might not pass so don't be bothered) But we all should support the coach
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