|pic courtesy 9jafooty|
Dear Stephen Keshi,
Compliments of the season, I hope this letter will meet you in good condition, as you go about tinkering the players preparatory to the Chan Championship due to take place in South Africa.
I really appreciate your effort at this particular point in time.
While I am home tearing into chicken wings and downing bottles of wine and soft drinks, you're under the sun going about your business. I'm sure your family misses you at this period. I doff my hats to you.
Coachi...errr...this letter is not about the Christmas season oh! I just wanted to put across somethings that have bothered me for bout three weeks now, and I feel as a big fan of yours, I should write you an open letter and ask that you please digest it's contents and see if i make any sense or not.
A couple of weeks ago, a list of invited players was made public and when i perused the list, I was a bit shocked certain names were missing from it. I tried to tell many self that it was all good because you are the coach and you know best, but my mind kept going back to the list.
I must admit i was happy a lot of players i expected were on the list, by those i mean the usual suspects like Sunday Mba, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Solomon Kwambe, Gambo Mohammed et al.
|Pic courtesy soccerpress.net|
Before I go any further big boss, can I just say I'm a huge fan? Yes, I'm since you made that bold move from NNB to Stella Abidjan and then the transition to Belgium and subsequent sojourn to Strasbourg in France. I loved the way you controlled your back line and for a defender, you were very comfortable with the ball.
Again permit me to add here that I've been called all sorts of names because of the support I've shown to you since you took the job. Someone even cited on social media that i paid you some money to get a player into the Super Eagles set........yes..I hope you remember when I told you same in Calabar and you told me: "Don't bother, there is nothing I haven't heard on this job, just keep doing your best."
|pic courtesy ShengolPix|
Those words were like a soothing balm...errr...back to my letter. Your list made me begin to ask certain questions sir. I felt Solomon Kwambe, Benjamin Francis, Chigozie Agbim and Sunday Mba were already used to your methods and have been part of the set up for a while and that was why they are still in the squad despite their relative inactivity at their club sides.
|pic courtesy Andrew Randa|
I felt certain players who would have given you quality were missing...YES I will mention names. Theophilus Afelokhai and Femi Thomas would have provided you with more options in the goalkeeping area. I say this because they have been consistent over the years and also have bags of experience to boot. Agbim and Akpeyi are good sir, Dele Alampasu is on the rise, but If you are looking for the best in the land..do a poll....you'll definitely see where I am coming from.
I understand you also invited Ibrahim Pius to camp after dropping Danladi Isah who got injured, Pius was fourth choice at Rangers last season, even though he just moved to FC Taraba. He was also a former Golden Eaglets invitee, who despite his talents somehow failed to make the grade at that level.I'm still doing the maths.......
|pic courtesy Bakare Idowu|
I'm trying to wrap my head round how Pius is in the squad really, I hope he proves me wrong. I really do. I was over the moon when Enyimba's Bright Esieme made the training camp but was equally shocked Uwa Uwadiegwu missed the cut. Then again, I also thought of a certain Mutiu Adegoke at Shooting Stars of Ibadan.
The duo were the most exciting wing backs in the country last season ( that's my opinion sha). Pace, tricks and free kicks are part of their retinue and I thought they would have brought something extra to the squad.
Big Boss, did I mention Chinedu Udoji and Markson Ojobo? Ehen, before I forget, Ike ThankGod ( who by the way has 7 caps to his credit) is also one of the most consistent and reliable centre backs, that didn't get anywhere near your team.
I know you have what you want, but I dare say you should give them a chance, If they don't measure up, then don't grant me an more interviews.
|pic courtesy 50degreeswest.com|
Can I also chip in that uninhibited mind played tricks on me and suggested that Lordson Ichull would have been a good support cast for Ugonna Uzochkwu, whom you have entrusted as your holding midfielder? Ichull is the highest goal scoring defensive midfielder in Nigeria today ( I hope I got my stat right) and maybe, just maybe he might have given you another selection headache.
Let me also add that Ikechukwu 'Mosquito' Igbenegbu is now fit, and so is Heartland skipper Chinedu 'Chicago' Effugh. This two guys come with bags of experience might help the youngsters in the squad gel better.
I'm happy Oghenekaro Etebo and Christian Obiozor are in the squad, it shows you've the attack spot on...
I presume Victor Namo didn't impress you last time out when you were preparing to play Jordan and so you dropped him. Fair enough, he had his chance ( I hope Namo doesn't read this, or else...). I hope Mfon Udoh whom you invited will fare better.
|pic courtesy Andrew Randa|
Coachi, Please take a closer look Christian Pyagbara, and help hi achieve his potential. That boy is good and can develop into a fine player. I hope he doesn't disappoint me.
It's a season of letters, but let keep mine short unlike Baba Iyabo, who wrote and 18 page letter to Jona. I don't want my letter to be too long least you get bored. I have a lot to say oh, but this is just a little from my mind. I know you will excel, I pray you do.
I hope I don't sound like a coach, I have no coaching certificate, you are the boss here and you call the shots sir, but I've followed the league for maybe 27 years and have also played here, so I believe that qualifies me to drop my 20 kobo I think....or not?
Have a wonderful Christmas and a Prosperous New Year