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Is Stephen Keshi Right On Obafemi Martins, Iheanacho?

Is Stephen Keshi Right On Obafemi Martins, Iheanacho?

Super Eagles stopgap coach, Stephen Keshi insists that he will not invite the duo of Obafemi Martins and Kelechi Iheanacho to the national team for different reasons as long as he remains the coach of the Nigerian national team.

The Eagles will play Sudan in their two legged 2015 African Cup of Nations qualifiers on October 11 and 15.


Keshi insists that Martins, who plays for the Seattle Sounders in the MLS is now ‘too old’ to play for the Eagles and should give the younger strikers in the team the chance to blossom.

The former Nigeria player also insists that the Most Valueable Player of the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup in UAE which Nigeria won, Kelechi Iheanacho is not ripe to play for the Super Eagles because he has not played regular football for Manchester City.


Martins is in the form of his life and is unarguably one of the best players in the MLS while Iheanacho shone in City’s pre-season friendlies.

Iheanacho is yet to get into the Manchester City’ first team because he has not turned 18-years-old. On the other hand, there are examples of players who are considered to be in the twilight of their careers yet are key players for their teams, a good reference being Germany’s Miroslav Klose, a FIFA World Cup winner with Germany this summer in Brazil.

Do you think Keshi is helping the team by refusing to call up some of Nigeria’s best players on current form?

How would this affect the commitment of Nigerian players especially Kelechi Iheanacho? Do you think Iheanacho should play for the Flying Eagles first before earning his place in the Super Eagles?

Send in your views and opinions on this topic using the “Leave a Reply” field at the lower part of this page.

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  • The bulk falls on keshi’s table. If he succeed, he gets the. Credit and if he fails, Nigeria will call for his head. He has a. Good reason for not inviting the above mentioned players. We all should allow Keshi make. The choice of players that can qualify Nigeria for the nations cup without undue interference from any quaters. This is my candid opinion

  • prince 7 years ago

    keshi may be right,but players like ike uche must earn a place in the team.

  • SoccerInNigeria 7 years ago

    I can understand where Keshi is coming from with Obafemi Martins. But Keshi reasoning for not inviting Iheanacho is not logical. Uche Nwofor and Ruben Gabriel played little or no football in 2013 and 2014 yet Keshi took them to the world cup. Ruben Gabriel is a mediocre player that cost Nigeria the game vs France

    I can assure Mr. Keshi that his decision not to Invite Iheanacho will eventually lead to his downfall and terminate his stay as Eagles coach. Nigerians will not accept anything but 6 points vs Sudan is October. There will be no place for Keshi to hide and Nigerians will not accept any cheap excuses in October.

    Iheanacho is already better than most of the attacking and creative players Keshi is parading in the current eagles team.

    COMPLETE SPORTS NIGERIA – Please ask Keshi or other relevant authorities about Chuks Aneke he is playing all the games in the Belgian Top division. He is also a potential solution to the lack of creativity and technical skill lacking in Nigeria’s Midfield.

  • Hassan Oluwadare 7 years ago

    Hmmm,Coach Keshi keeps on confusing things. Martins is too old and Ihenacho is too unripe;Germany won the world cup with a 36-37yrs old Miroslav Klose,their ONLY out and out striker at the tournament. If Martins still wants to pkay for the country,call him. And Ihenacho and has shown what he can do,give him a chance…

  • to be franked,keshi is somehow killing nigeria football base on inviting wrong players while living competent one’s. This is high time dat NFF should officially involve on players invitation to d national team. Bcs if we leave keshi to continue with all dis sentiment issue,nigeria football will end up in where we r nt expecting.

  • EMYGOD 7 years ago

    The most important thing in football is to get a good result after every game. The way you do it, the players you use does not Matter to me. All I want is good result, even the the game is bad or not we want good result…..Winning and getting three points is the major thing.

  • TruthisBitter 7 years ago

    We dont need Obagoal but we definitely need Iheanacho

  • Samson Oyeyinka 7 years ago

    I have no objection to Keshi’s decision. He is incharge. He should be allowed to have total control of his team. However, Keshi should remember, that if he fails, everyone will be against him. It is true that Martins is doing well in his club. Also, Ihenacho is doing pretty well. But they do not seem to be in keshi’s plan.

    My advice to Keshi. Put sentiment away. Invite the best legs and more importantly, those who are ready to give their best. We need more options in virtaully every section of the team. For instance Ayodele Adeleye is needed at the defence. IK UCHe should be given one more chance in the attack. Lukman Haruna in the midfield. Lukman is a creative mid fielder. He can play alongside Onazi.

    Finally, Keshi should understand the chemistry of using attackers and supporting strikers. We need 2 people playing 9 permanently, e.g Emenike and IK Uche. I will give an example of a good team as I think. Let Keshi try this out. It will work.

    I will dwell more in the midfield and attack; Start Onazi, Lukman, Joel Obi in the midfield, Emenike, Uche Musa and Moses in the front. Moses will play from 11, Musa from 7 Emenike 9 and Uche as 8. Team 2: Mikel, Nosa and Ramon Azeez in the mid field while Uche Nwofor, Uzoenyi and Gbolahan Salami, Oduamadi should play in the front.
    I hope he tries this combination we will be fine Honestly

  • calistus chinedu 7 years ago


  • sheriff adebisi 7 years ago

    big boss! how can you tell Nigerians that kelechi is unripe for the national team.is it when he turns 31 like s ameobi.why can’t you learn.look at raheem s,he is apparently the best English player in the EPL.how old his he?pls give us a better excuse and do the needful.

  • oluwole 7 years ago

    Let Keshi stopped his mathematical arithmetic.we need goals.Yes Obagoal is old but he is an energetic player.The ball is in ur cort.

  • Adedokun segun 7 years ago

    nija should allow coach keshi to decide on player to invite bcos his in position to do that,let allow him to do his work.thks

  • Oluseyi Odunlami 7 years ago

    Allow Keshi to rule please! He knows what he is doing to help our football and not the other way round! There is so much arrogance in some of the players who are just average players in their club sides. They don’t show that desired fighting spirits, discipline and professionalism. All the players should know that this is their country which they should be ready to make greater through their own talents!

  • to my own poin of view i think there’s some thing behind this and think NFF need to talk to my keshi b’cos if we are talk about nigeria player that inform now i think matins is number one and again is ike too old to play for the country mr.keshi i think you need stop this ur politic you are so tha our football in this country we move forward

  • Lucky 7 years ago

    I have been a fanatical fan of coach Stephen Keshi, due to his philosophy of ‘the team is bigger than any individual player’ , the reverse which was the case during the regime of the previous coaches. However, my problem with Keshi now, is over-dependent on Mikel. Mikel has turned out to be the weakest link in Nigerian team. He is easily predictable . Mikel is known to always turn back any time he has ball, so 2 or 3 players charges at him, disposses him of the ball, and the pressure is back on our defence, effectively cuttting off the attack. am surprise, Keshi has not noted and found antidote to this weakness of Mikel. France, Congo, South-Africa all took advantage of this Mikel style expoited it to the fullest.
    Keshi should equally lower his ego and stubborness and bring back IK Uche, Haruna and Moses into the team. Keshi’s insistence on discipline and commitment has achieve the desire result, and I am sure the players are now sober, even if they don’t say it out. I think they have learnt their lessons.
    Please, Keshi, listen to the people, the voice of people is the voice of God.

  • wagbara austin ichela 7 years ago

    keshi is abut setting a record as the worst nigerian coach ever,super eagles need iheanachor,ike uche,brown ideye,v.aniechebe,john ogu,joel obi.isaac success,awoniyi n alampasu.

  • Keshi is getting things wrong. And I am sensing the fact that he is becoming more uncontrollable and arrogant. This concern more than 150 million soccer loving Nigerians. Every point he made concerning those players are totally baseless and questionable. Please the NFF should let Keshi go before it get to a point of no return

  • Okwute Joe 7 years ago

    Coach Stephen Keshi in my opinion is doing the right thing in the national team by instilling discipline. In every facet of human life, discipline can not be substituted for anything. For instance, Osaze thought he was bigger than the country and without him, the eagles will be nothing but Keshi stood his ground and proved him wrong by winning the Nations Cup. That was one of Osaze’s greatest undoing. He regretted it and appologised but it was too late because it could have been a plus to his credentials; the Nation’s Cup gold medal. In the case of Ikechukwu Uche, he is a nice player no doubt but u can’t be bigger than your country. He should learn from the Osaze episode, swallow his pride and apologise to the coach and play according to instructions as a team. On Iheanacho, my opinion is that, he’s not yet ripe for the Eagles QED. He needs to be playing regular football to have experience before considering calling him to the senior national team. Some People argue that Raheem Sterling is one of the best players in England now. I quite agree with that and that is because, he plays week in week out for his club Liverpool FC. Experience wise, he is way above Iheanacho who hasn’t played a competitive football for his club, Manchester City FC. Keshi may be right in championing for space for young and budding talents to replace the aging Obafemi Martins. To me, that is very commendable but he should devise a means to use Obagol to achieve his results if he feels that he has something to offer the Nation. Having said all of these, Stephen Keshi should be given the liberty to choose his players, assert his authority and instill discipline on them. They will then know that if they mess up, they will be kicked out of the team and replace by others. By so doing, there will be no more room for indiscipline and complacency.

  • ALABAMA 7 years ago

    I need somebody from the nff that are real. What i mean by the word real is, that love my country Naija football, not for the money, or for tribes sake, to plz ask mr keshi some questions.
    1. Like, calling players to camp for them to show what they got, is a crime? And when they get the calls to the camp, did some of the top formal football players that knows the game around to over see the truth on players selections when they in camp. Of coz, the coach has the final say. Bt a good reasons for good legs to be left behind should also be known too.
    2. If he keshi in another country, doing same job, how would he select the players. Telling them what to do about the ages, disrespect (coach should know how to deal with the kind of players like that, if really u the head of the house).
    To make things simple, his the coach, I would think that he knows the job. Bt again, not when the best legs were not called for the job.
    And for me to say some players are not good…NO NO. Plz try them in other positions to see what they can bring to the table. then, if nothing, end it.

  • Lagun Osa 7 years ago

    My fellow nigerians, Pls remember martins had once helped nigeria in the past qualifying us to world cup n nations cup. experience is there. the problem lies with keshi. there is nothing bad in calling our superb boy in mancity. but germany use klose despite of old age. at least we all seen the fact martin himself had learn his mistakes. give both the guys the chance. but to we all know martin had the experience more than iheanacho. but give both the chance.

  • olumighty 7 years ago

    If keshi is truely making his sellections base on current form then I see no reason why matins should not be sellected considering is experience on the game and what he can do on the pitch kelechi is still young I agree with that but we still need martins since the younger lards that he sellected can’t do the job

  • bobby ogie 7 years ago

    Unfortunately Keshi is a coach and not a Manager..that’s why he is so sentimental and brash when dealing players…he isn’t a world class coach anyway and if NFF feels they need to take Nigeria to d next level,well they can keep him..but for player selection,his arrogance and pride were exposed with the games against Congo and S/A..was he not too old in ’94..? Didn’t westerhof honour him wit AFCON appearance? Is obafemi older than Pirlo and Klose..? Maybe we don’t realise that Super Eagles belong to us all and not Keshi’s birthright alone..He has done his best..he should take a bow when d ovation is loudest…let us acquire a Football Manager who knows how to administer the present Best Practices in football..our recent slump indicates we need to accept CHANGE and TRANSFORMATION

  • l wish Keshi to continue to play his usual game of ego trip. I like his refusal to call up Martins, Iheanachor, & some other better players to the Supper EAGLES because this will hasten his failure & the much- expected sack. His reasons are not scientifically proven; it is just a case of ‘give the dog a bad name in order to hang it.’

  • chike abamara 7 years ago

    Plz keshi invite iheanachor to d national team and introduce hm gradually.dat is d practice evrywhere.borjan kirkic,Sergio Roberto,moratta are young players in d mould of iheanachor by dry ar playng in dia national teams.how can iheanschor get d experience if U dnt give hm a chance.u can introduce hm graduallty.let hm play for few minutes.dats d practice.if martins is playing well,he shld be recalled.my ideal sips eagles team for now is ik uche leadng d attack , either emenike brown ideye or uche nwofor supporting.chinedu obasi or musa on 7,Vic moses or uzoenyi on 11,either mikel or Lukman haruna on 10,either bright dike,Joel obi,onazi on 4,but I prefer brght.then gbenga arokoyo,keneth omeruo,oboabona,echiejile,Ambrose,odunlami,okwuosa,and SC Henreeven centre back,keneth Otigba shld be tried

  • Nzekwe Asugha 7 years ago

    This is Keshi for you. He is always bringing players down, after he will deny ever making such a statement. Obafemi is far better than Uche Nwofor and Salami. Age is just a number, it depends on your physical discipline . Obafemi is playing week in week out, you can not compare him with Nwofor that has no club, yet he is making our team. Keshi is really blind and biased, bereft of ideas as a coach.

  • Dele Akinyosoye 7 years ago

    Hausa proverb say a lost dog will never hear d witsle of hunter. In d days of westerhof,bonfere even siasiau.u can predit playr dat wil be comin to camp.at lest u must be scoring in ur clubs in urope .not benchwarmer.maybe bigboss can hear dis trumpet.

  • keshi has alot of short comings.we need competent inform playyers like dele adeleye and gbenga arokoyo in defence.we need raheem lawal and fegor ogude in midfield.

  • Emmanuel Weriabofa 7 years ago

    someone who scores 5 goals in EPL, La Liga and Serie a is better than someone who scores 10 goals in MLS.. Martins is not in form… MLS is an inferior league…… For kelechi, let him grow gradually.. let him play for under 21 first.

  • anselem 7 years ago

    what of Sunday MBA? u keshi ummmm

  • festy omoregie 7 years ago

    Mr keshi is a big fool, for not calling obafemi, I hate him with me life

  • Mr Keshi will be a hero and will enter the records as a coach who introduced one of the brightest football star to the the world if he can be brave enough to invite Nacho to the national team. I watched him play for Man City on youtube and was amazed at his maturity in the field of play amongst big stars, i remember he was the only one who scored his penalty against Liver pool.He is so mature and composed,his passes can only be compared to the ones seen in Nou camp and in Brazil.What a wonderful addition he can be to the national team.Mr Keshi pls call him and use him in friendly games and see how he fares.
    As for Martins,i still see him as a great weapon to help us,he has the experience and strength, he is so strong and with a lot of pace and power in his boot, that is exactly what we lack in the national team at the moment,one that can take the bull by the horn when the chips are down

  • Emmanuel Lawrence 6 years ago

    No no. While neymar was playing for Santos Barcelona paid world record fee for him.
    While messi was 13 Barcelona took is medical issues upon themselves and did not let that potential cankerworm take the advantage, martial is 19 yet man u say he can win baloon d or someday, how hold is james rodriguez when monaco said hes worth 45million pounds, how old was alexis sanchez when pozzo family said nothing less than 35million will buy him out, isaac success not yet i super eagles but represent money focussed granada against real madrid and barcelona, ighalo was disposed to raise watford to premier league but the club owners thought success is an ideal replacement for him, talent is not experience 16 year old garcial or so called in mancity is in the first team, potential should b our focus if 15 year old boys can do it better give them chance! Alaba the higest goal scoring fullback(in goals per game) wanted to play for nigeria under17 they said no way he now reps Austria senior team and is their best player in defence and attack . Play kelechi who is actually twenty two years instead of obafemi who is actually forty three year old heroin addict