By Kazeem Busari:
A former Super Eagles defender, Ben Iroha, has called on coach Lars Lagerback to be cautious about taking decisions on the futures of old players in the national team ahead of the World Cup in South Africa.
There have been calls from some Nigerian football followers for Nwankwo Kanu, Joseph Yobo, Seyi Olofinjana and others in the squad to call it quits with international football to enable younger and fitter players to take their places in the World Cup team.
However, Iroha said the players who were no longer relevant to the Eagles would be exposed by their performances during friendly matches, adding that Lagerback should use the opportunity to exclude them from his World Cup plans.
He said, “I will not call for any player to retire from the Eagles because no one can force a man to abandon his career. However, his workrate on the field will judge him and provide the coach with reasons to exclude him from the team.
“There is urgent need to replace these players and I will advise Lagerback to take time to assess the home-based players.
“I was a home-based player when I played at the 1990 Nations Cup in Algeria, just like some of my colleagues in the team. Lagerback can still do the same but the problem is the short time.
“I’ve been in the league for nearly two years and I‘ve seen some players that have the quality to be in the Eagles. These players can compete very well with the foreign-based players for roles in the team.
“There might be problems for the team at the World Cup if the coach decides to use only foreign-based players. Many of them no longer have the hunger for international success unlike the home-based players.
“Coach Shaibu Amodu had his reasons for leaving the home-players out of his team but I know Lagerback won’t do that.”
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