Rabiu must craft his way to Nations Cup

Rabiu Ibrahim will have to train hard to get selected in the Nigeria final Afcon squad

Posted: 22 December 2012 Time: 08:06 pm

Midfielder Rabiu Ibrahim will have to play blinders in training and test games to earn a place in the 23-man squad for the African Nations Cup.

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi named the 21-year-old in his provisional 32-man squad for the tournament, but told KickOffNigeria.com that the inclusion was for the purpose of assessment at close quarters.

The former youth international has struggled from Portugal to Scotland, but Keshi says he has a potentially match-defining craft. If he can show it.

"I just want to look at him. I saw him play one or two matches and I think he he's a very crafty player. The type we don't have in the national team at the moment.

"If he is as sound as what I saw, we'll take him, If he's not, he goes home."

Article by: Colin Udoh

Previous comments on this story...

Game147
posted: 08:46 pm
Kai Rabiu Ibrahim, akwoi skills yan yawa .
kimo
posted: 10:40 pm
@Game147,, lol... you remember this guy was tipped to relace our Jay-jay back in 2007 after the under 17.. now we are in 2012, 5 yrs after the dude is stil struggling to make the bench is his club.. honestly i expected so much from Rabiu, i still dont know what went wrong
Game147
posted: 10:46 pm
@kimo, Me too. I don't care if he has one leg or not. I don't even mind dropping those unpatroitic pensioniers for him , lol.
luise-hero
posted: 01:38 am
rabiu ,haruna ,mikel and joel obi it break my heart to see non of them has be able to step into jay jay okocha shoes we still like that crafty player a PlayStation player with a dynamic skills accurate pass
and a great dribbler
Mikel be dey try but too slow and rigid,, Aluko wonder boy na another option but time go tell
Anonymous
posted: 02:24 am
Crazy coach Keshi. If you need someone that we don't have at the moment, it is Aluko not Rabiu. Both were in Scotland playing for Celtic and Rangers respectively. Aluko won hands down and scored many goals and killed off Celtic defense on his own while Rabiu was not even on the bench. Aluko has moved to Hull and he is doing same thing scoring free kicks and named Player of the Month of November and yet he was not called up. the guy is just out for 2 weeks and will be ready by the time camp opens so people shld not give an excuse that he is injured. KEshi never wanted him simply because he can't make money out of him. He can sell Rabiu, Raheem, Onazi, Uzoenyi, Gabriel etc but these other players don't need to be sold Aluko and Lukman HAruna yet he overlooked them. KEshi only wants to make profit from player sales. I hope it does not backfire at the expense of the whole Nation getting knocked out in round 1
Anonymous
posted: 02:24 am
From Elder
Crazy coach Keshi. If you need someone that we don't have at the moment, it is Aluko not Rabiu. Both were in Scotland playing for Celtic and Rangers respectively. Aluko won hands down and scored many goals and killed off Celtic defense on his own while Rabiu was not even on the bench. Aluko has moved to Hull and he is doing same thing scoring free kicks and named Player of the Month of November and yet he was not called up. the guy is just out for 2 weeks and will be ready by the time camp opens so people shld not give an excuse that he is injured. KEshi never wanted him simply because he can't make money out of him. He can sell Rabiu, Raheem, Onazi, Uzoenyi, Gabriel etc but these other players don't need to be sold Aluko and Lukman HAruna yet he overlooked them. KEshi only wants to make profit from player sales. I hope it does not backfire at the expense of the whole Nation getting knocked out in round 1

Elder
stanslinks
posted: 06:25 am
My Opinion remains concrete....Shitu's inclusion is ok, Rabiu Ibrahim? Am not trilled by his inclusion. Osazee exclusion is ok (even though he is on top of his game, his attitude might be a distractionton, and his exclusion will also put the fear of God on every player in camp). Martins' exclusion is o.k. because his great form at club level doesn't translate into the super eagles camp/matches. He is a good player though. Taiwo's exclusion is crazy. We needed him in this squard, I respect Echiejile and think they should both have made the team.

If there is no sensible reason, Sone Aluko's none invitation to any trial and his subsequent exclusion is not just troubling, not only suspicious, but criminal. Keshi MUST answer football loving Nigerian's questions about this.
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
Futbol-Aficionado
posted: 11:47 am
People will be surprised to see Rabiu Ibrahim making it to the AFCON. When the championship gets tougher and tighter, you need those players that possess the extra craft to split very tight defense lines; those who can create and push through half chances and those who have the sublime skills to perform the unimaginable. Thats where folks such as JayJay, Rabiu, Zidane, Gascoigne, Rudd Gullit, Hristo Stoikov, Etim Esin, Diego Maradona, etc belongs.

Yes, I agree that his sitting on the bench of a Champions league team gives him an edge and explains his quality. Sometimes, in Europe, and elsewhere, making a team by a player, is a matter of a coach's perspective. Havier Henandez was rejected in the US MLS. But, Sir Ferguson found in him a rough diamond. And, Hernandez proves so week in week out as we all see.

So, lets give Rabiu a chance. He may well emerge the revelation of AFCON.


"Knowledge is like onyx. One digs deep to have it."
alhajibolaji554
posted: 07:28 pm
We need a midfielder that can calm things down in the game....Rabiu is that guy.
Vineyard
posted: 11:05 am
This is a case of sheer calling a dog a bad name in order to hang it. How and when did he propose himself to be the captain. To whom did he speak with to express his intention to lead the eagles. Why is it just coming out now?
Hear Keshi talking '“He told them that he wants to be captain as he considers himself one of the most senior players in the current squad,” an official revealed.

“But how he has behaved in the national team over the years has really run counter to his ambition to be the leader of this team. You can only lead by example.” I have question for you Keshi... How did you be have even when you were made to captain the Eagles? Did you lead by example? Did you not cause division in the camp when you formed and led the mafia group in the eagles? Were you not pitting the team against the NFA to fight for bonus thereby causing distraction in camp and holding the whole nation to ransom? Can you tell the Nation how you led by example? In spite of your bad leadership in your playing days as a captain, the coaches still accommodated and tolerated your antics. They managed you and your fellow mafioso very well and successfully too, so where is your man management skills? Please speak, Keshi...

Osaza is absolutely one of our bests but we know he is a hot head. This caliber of player requires skills to manage them in camp and to get the best out of them. But Keshi, you have failed woefully in this area. Where is that man management skills that you brandished to get the job? Where is that skill that separates you from Samson Siasia. Where is that skill you proclaimed to bring to the table to get that job without being interviewed even when there were other better coaches who were hungry for the job. We have not forgotten the Emmanuel Adebayo saga in Togo.....You have only shown us that you are good and skilled in playing politics, negative politics for that matter typical of Nigerian politicians. At least it payed off. You succeeded in pushing out your friend, your colleague, your team mate Bro, you are in a wrong profession. You do not play politics and at the same time play sports. One will have to give way for the other. Someone just told me you are a card carrying member of PDP, I give up hope of good performance under your leadership as a coach.
alhajibolaji554
posted: 04:56 pm
^ Chief, calm down. I know you're mad about Osaze not being there. But you have forgotten that he had problems with coaches in the past....from Lagerback to Siasia. So you must be saying that Siasia is a mafioso right? Wait, but Siasia was a better coach because he invited Odemwingie, right? WRONG!!! You can see all the chances he missed in the game vs. Guinea and that got Siasia fired.. We don't want that to happen at AFCON right?

Please Odemwingie is a great player, but if he's just going to start problems with Keshi, then he shouldn't go. Plus Keshi said he's going to use him later. We have strikers like IK, Musa, Moses, Emenike, and Ideye, so we won't misss him that much.
stanslinks
posted: 10:31 pm
Reacting to this in a telephone chat with Tribunesport on Monday, Akpoborie said bringing the likes of Odemwingie, Martins and Taiye Taiwo into the team at this moment is like taking the country three years backwards, because they have no business in the team.

“Osaze is not bigger than any Super Eagles player or the country, if you look at the statistics of the matches he has played for the country, he is not one of the best players in the country in terms of performance, if you calculate it, he is not, and his outburst is out of order shouting at everybody.”

Akpoborie added: “Why is he shouting, he will be two years older than his age when we play the World Cup in 2014, so what has he got to offer, we need to encourage the younger players and expose them, he has nothing to offer and more so, the country has better players playing the same position as Osaze and they are even more committed than he is, so I think, he should learn how to accept the situation he is in. “He does not have to shout or insult everybody. As a professional footballer, a professional doesn’t behave the way he does, why did he wait till now before shouting? He should have done this long before now, he should respect his coach because no responsible player insults his coach.”

He however advised Keshi and NFF not to engage him in any argument or explanation, saying replying him will give him a swollen head and make him think he is a super star.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Well said Jonathan Akpoborie. Osazee is very very hot headed. Let’s for a minute look away from his arrogance towards all Super Eagles Couches since he started playing. Let’s pretend to agree with some that he is only a very outspoken person and we need the likes of him that has 27 balls under their legs. Let’s for a minute forget about what his attitude would have been if substituted. Let’s again forget the diversion and division his argumentative or seemingly fearlessness would have brought to the team. Have we even considered his unprofessional conduct on the field of play, like hitting back on an opponent when he is fouled? With a player that doesn't have any regard for his couches, his captains, fellow players, journalists and Nigerians but himself; his being sent off the pitch for childish mistakes like that would have definitely cost us a lot. Let him ask Couch Lagerback whether or not he regretted the inclusion of Sani Kieta in the 2010 world cup squad? We appreciate his past commitments, but times have changed. "Character is like pregnancy that cannot be hidden". We wish his wife a peaceful and safe delivery. Period.
denonso1
posted: 09:40 pm
Nigeria will NOT win ANC because of lack of depth by team selection & lack of cohesiveness. KESHI has sank the hope of our national team doing well in ANC with the list of foreign-based players he invited for the tournament. Which competent coach invites Bright Dike, Onazi, Uche Kalu, & Rabiu to the "Super" Eagles camp at this phase of ANC preparation? Obafemi Martins, Kalu Uche, Ezekiel Imoh, & Kayode Olarenwaju is by million-miles better players than Dike & U.Kalu. Players like this should have been given a chance to stake their claim in the team. In addition, Lukman Haruna is better midfielder than Onazi, & Rabiu should NOT have been considered for the team even if it is a list of 62 players. Rabiu has not even made Celtic bench and has not proven self in any European team. The true name for Nigeria soccer team under KESHI until the moron is sacked should be "Fragile & Chaotic Eagles". KESHI will continue to make a big mockery of our team, and this will show when we are disgraced in ANC & half-way into Worldcup qualifers. The stupidity that rules Nigeria football will have them ranked above 150 before they realize that they have incompetent administration, as well as some moronic coaches like KESHI "the Frog". Which professional coach makes these comments to the press:

1. "OH!, we will not miss Martins & Kalu Uche"

2. I have concerns ensuring the release of Shola Ameobi, as if he does not know that FIFA rules superior to any clause in any player's contract. Newcastle United should be defending theirselves for what is definitely racism and disregard for other countries aspirations.

3. Which coach releases some of the names of the players on his list before it is made public. "I am impressed by Dike's performance "bribe".

All these indicates is that disunity & corruption has already started developing in Fragile Eagles' camp, and this development will not have a good outcome for our national team. Which player will respect KESHI for some of the weird omissions in our ANC team? I will bet you when this horrible experiment starts crumbling, another player will speak up, & KESHI will exile him, but the good news will be his forever saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaCK!!!
denonso1
posted: 09:45 pm
Nigeria will NOT win ANC because of lack of depth by team selection & lack of cohesiveness. KESHI has sank the hope of our national team doing well in ANC with the list of foreign-based players he invited for the tournament. Which competent coach invites Bright Dike, Onazi, Uche Kalu, & Rabiu to the "Super\" Eagles camp at this phase of ANC preparation? Obafemi Martins, Kalu Uche, Ezekiel Imoh, & Kayode Olarenwaju is by million-miles better players than Dike & U.Kalu. Players like this should have been given a chance to stake their claim in the team. In addition, Lukman Haruna is better midfielder than Onazi, & Rabiu should NOT have been considered for the team even if it is a list of 62 players. Rabiu has not even made Celtic bench and has not proven self in any European team. The true name for Nigeria soccer team under KESHI until the moron is sacked should be "Fragile & Chaotic Eagles\". KESHI will continue to make a big mockery of our team, and this will show when we are disgraced in ANC & half-way into Worldcup qualifers. The stupidity that rules Nigeria football will have them ranked above 150 before they realize that they have incompetent administration, as well as some moronic coaches like KESHI "the Frog\". Which professional coach makes these comments to the press:

1. "OH!, we will not miss Obafemi Martins, Onyekachi Apam, & Kalu Uche\". Do you guys think these players would really want to play under KESHI anymore? BIG NO.

2. I have concerns ensuring the release of Shola Ameobi. As if he does not know that FIFA rules is superior to any clause in any player's contract. Newcastle United should be defending theirselves for what is definitely racism and disregard for other countries aspirations.

3. Which coach releases some of the names of the players on his list before it is made public. "I am impressed by Dike's performance "bribe\".

All these indicates is that disunity & corruption has already started developing in Fragile Eagles' camp, and this development will not have a good outcome for our national team. Which player will respect KESHI for some of the weird omissions in our ANC team? I will bet you when this horrible experiment starts crumbling, another player will speak up, & KESHI will exile him, but the good news will be his forever saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaCK!!!
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