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Keshi: I can't beg Osaze to play for Nigeria •I have nothing against Aiyegbeni
WEST BROM striker, Osaze Odemwingie is not in Super Eagles' plan for the 2013 Nations Cup and 2014 World Cup qualifiers until the striker shows a change of attitude.
Stephen Keshi, head of the Super Eagles technical crew told sportswriters yesterday in Abuja that he was not ready to bend backward to accommodate Odemwingie whose body language, Keshi noted, did not show a player ready to serve.
He also said that Mikel Obi's team, Chelsea's medical crew had warned the player of the consequences of pl;aying on artificial turf, hence the midfielder is not called up for the game.
On Odemwingie, Keshi said: ''The last time we spoke I congratulated him on his birthday and he promised to reach me back as soon as he makes up his mind, but in the last three weeks he has not called,'' said Keshi.
He added that what he got from the attitude of the player is that he is not that keen on national call.
''You can see that I' m not in a position to beg any player to play for this country,'' the coach said.
Tribunesports recalls that Odemwingie ran a battle with former Super Eagles' chief coach, Samson Siasia during the qualifiers for the 2012 Africa Nations Cup, resulting in the player missing key games.He left the Eagles' camp without the consent of Siasia as the Eagles grouped for a friendly match.
On his return to the Eagles, Odemwingie posted a disappointing performance as Guinea's Syli Nationale held Nigeria to a 2-2 draw in October 2011 and aborted Eagles' dream of a 2012 Nations Cup appearance.
Keshi however regretted that he would have invited Mikel if the earlier information he got from Liberia had shown that the September 8 game would be played on natural grass.
Meanwhile, NIGERIAN players playing in less glamorous league like China and the rest have been assured that what matters is the ability to deliver when they are invited to the national team, so says coach, Stephen Keshi.
Keshi made this known while responding to a question on why the likes of Yakubu Aiyegbeni have not enjoyed a look-in in the Eagles despite their exploits.
''For Yakubu Aiyegbeni, I know him and what he can do. For now you can say I don't need him now though he is banging in goals. Moreover, that is not to say I look down on the Chinese league.
''I don't have problem with the country you play, be it China or whatever; what matters is that you deliver when I need you in the Eagles. Like right now, the likes of Peter Utaka will have to come and show me what they can do, afterall he plays in the Chinese league.''
He said if he could invite players from Russia and Ukraine, because they are regulars, there is no reason he will shut out some from other leagues.
''My concern is that Super Eagles players should not be bench- warmers so that they are ready to deliver when called upon.''
Asked the state of injury in the current build-up to the Liberia match, he revealed that Gabriel Reuben and Papa Idris are his two concern and has asked that they be rested until Monday when their knocks would have healed reasonably.
On the eventual make up of the team that will prosecute the crucial match in Monrovia, he said.''When the invited foreign pros hit camp next week, then we will begin to have idea of how we want to play and those who will man which position''.Share
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