BY BOLAJI OKUNOLA.
As Nigeria prepares for the destiny-shaping tie with Cameroon in the countdown to the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup, former two-time Nigeria’s manager, Adegboye Onigbinde believes that the quick recovery of the injured duo of Mikel Obi and Victor Moses and the rediscovery of form by Ahmed Musa will be of great benefit to the Super Eagles.
The three ‘M’s will certainly form a potent strike force against Nigeria’s next competitive opponent, Cameroon in two month’s time.
Musa’s form has dipped in recent time as he had to play as substitute in the Super Eagles while not getting considerable match time in his Premiership club, Leicester.
Mikel and Moses last featured for Nigeria in the 3-1 defeat of Algeria last November in the World Cup qualifier. Incidentally, all goals for Nigeria were scored by the duo, with Chelsea’s Moses scoring twice.
Sports Village Square recalls that injury has been a major concern in the Super Eagles of late. First choice goalkeeper, Carl Ikeme was last in action for the team last October and had missed five matches in a row on account of recurring injury.
No reliable back up had been found for him. Victor Moses had been on and off in the Super Eagles for the same reason. Even though he featured prominently for Chelsea in the season just ended, he is reported to have been playing with injured toe and had to take strong analgesic injections to be able to play.
He therefore opted for an operation ahead of the coming English football season. Nigerians will only hope he recovers before the back-to-back World Cup encounters with African champions, Cameroon.
Reliable central defender, Leon Balogun missed the last Super Eagles’ fixture with South Africa also owing to injury, just like the captain of the squad, Mikel Obi who had to be operated on in London last April.
Chief Onigbinde told the Sports Village Square that Nigeria’s home loss to South Africa in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers was largely due to the absence of key players. He singled out that of Mikel Obi and Victor Moses.
Hear the chief: “Nigeria’s loss to South Africa was due to the absence of Mikel and Moses. I am not saying other players are not good enough to play for the national team, but the experience, the inspiration and leadership qualities of Mikel and Moses would have made the great difference.
“I noticed we lost due to lack of experienced players who can create chances with ease. I believe both Mikel and Moses can save Rohr’s job if they are available in the next match.
“I am confident that the Super Eagles will beat Cameroon, at least in the first fixture.”
A win in the match will give Nigeria a nine-point head start before going into the reverse fixtures of the World Cup qualifying draw.
“Rohr will certainly get more pressure should he lose his next game against Cameroon. I only pray he snubs inexperienced players who claim to ply their trade in Europe. He needs the hungry and adventurous players who can take on any opposition, especially a team that is very physical like Cameroon”, Onigbinde told Sports Village Square.