By Izuchukwu Okosi:
Former Super Eagles assistant coach Simon Kalika wishes Inter Milan midfielder Joel Obi gets more playing time in the Super Eagles’ midfield.
Out-of-contract coach Stephen Keshi is poised to name his squad for the double 2015 African Cup of Nations qualifier against Sudan by next week for the games which will be played on October 11 and 15 respectively, and Kalika while speaking with Completesportsnigeria.com, believes that Obi could play a huge part in the team’s dynamics in midfield.
Obi was an unused substitute in the team’s first two games against Congo and South Africa. Eagles lost at home in Calabar to the Congolese team, and got a draw in Cape Town against the Bafana Bafana.
“Joel Obi is such an intelligent midfielder. The Eagles have incredibly good attackers but the midfield have not really been providing them the balls adequately,” Kalika states.
“Our strikers still fall back to do defensive jobs, win the ball and then launch attacks. The strikers need to concentrate on their duties upfield and that is where I feel Joel (Obi) will be great for the team.
Kalika who is based in Armsterdam further speaks on the other midfield players who could work together with the left-footed midfield ace.
“There are more good midfield players in the team. Sone Aluko is also a midfielder with intelligence and should get more invitations and playing time. Nosa Igiebor is very good but his link-up play with the strikers and goal-scoring should improve. I also wonder why (Sunday) Mba has not been playing for the team after the 2013 African Cup of Nations triumph.
Kalika stressed that there is no player like former mercurial midfield wizard, Austin Jay Jay Okocha, but adds that the Eagles could get the best out of their midfield players.
“If the midfield players work together, they can thrive as the likes of Okocha, Kanu, Oliseh. I believe they can play together in the same starting XI,” Kalika concludes.