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Mikel To Croatia Coach: Play Your Best 11 Against Iceland

Mikel To Croatia Coach: Play Your Best 11 Against Iceland

By Nnamdi Ezekute in Russia:

Super Eagles captain Mikel Obi has called on Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic to be professional and not rest players against Iceland in their final Group D game at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, reports Completesportsnigeria.com.


The Croats are already through to the knockout stages after winning their opening two games against Iceland Argentina.

The Super Eagles bounced back from the defeat against Croatia by edging out Iceland 2-0 on Friday and a win or draw against Argentina in their final group game will be enough for them to move into the second round depending on the outcome of the game between Croatia and Iceland.

Dalic hinted after the 3-0 win against Argentina on Thursday that he will rest some of his top stars for the game against Iceland next Tuesday, a decision Mikel is not happy with.

“I think it’s not the right decision in this situation. This is a giant race and you can not rest men. You do not have to give other teams a better chance to move on,” Mikel told reporters after his team’s win against Iceland

“They should showcase professionalism and play their best team. This is too big a stage to be resting players.”

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  • Good talk skipo,but if he want let him his second eleven that is not our problem,draw or win our next match against Argentina. Pronto

  • Let him played his second eleven

  • Chima E Samuels 5 years ago

    Misplaced priority most of our players are uneducated including our skipper who has forgotten that a draw will be enough for us to qualify regardless of Iceland result against Croatia. I can’t forget the recent media appearance by Uzoho. Hmmm it was nothing to writing home about poor English construction including improper response to questions leveled against him to address. We need football education in our camp apart from kwara sports academy. Education will do more good to our sports men and women in their respective careers

    • Naija Man 5 years ago

      I understand your point but keep in mind most of these guys probably did not finish primary 6 let alone graduating from high school. Some of them grew up rough on the streets. Can’t you see that in the way they do their hairs and tatoo their bodies?

      • Chima E Samuels 5 years ago

        Hahaha including the NFF themselves because at some previous female world cup kikelomo was complaining that NFF fed the players garri soaking before a major match and still expected them to be fit enough to win. Who does this if not a complete and heartless uneducated body. A Lot of us outside Nigeria knows how proper organisation is done. So far Pinnick has done a great job but more is desired let our coaches Salisu and co plus the players get a a good education. And the funny thing is that whoever is educated and speaks his or mind will be kicked out of the team I hope we learn to get this proper and stop the 419 lifestyles in our dear country

    • Lucky Ukhun 5 years ago

      Dear Chima E Samuels, a draw might not be good enough for us against Argentina if Iceland defeats Croatia by a high goal margin. In that case, Nigeria and Iceland will both be on four points and Iceland could go through on a superior goals aggregate. So the best bet for us to qualify irrespective of the “arrangee” result between Croatia and Iceland is to try and defeat Argentina.

      • Chima E Samuels 5 years ago

        Head to head rule bro we are ahead! Check fifa world cup guideline for qualification

        • Lucky Ukhun 5 years ago

          Goals difference takes precedence to head to head rule.

  • Victor Onyeanum 5 years ago

    Dear Mikel, if you and your colleagues play a good game and defeat Argentina, we will not have to depend on the result of the Iceland/Croatia match. From all indications, Argentina can be defeated. You should draw your inspiration and courage from the results of the matches already played in the group, except that of Croatia/Nigeria. There is a possibility that Croatia would like to favour their European brothers, Iceland but that will come to nothing if we defeat Argentina. God bless Nigeria.

    • Chima E Samuels 5 years ago

      A draw against Argentina will also do us good as a result of our superior head to head against Iceland regardless of their result against Croatia but I wish we play to win because defending against a team of Messi will be a disaster. Those of us who watch barca matches can tell how he breaks defence if you sit back

      • Jason Burroni 5 years ago

        Chima Samuels, Lucky is very correct. Goal difference is the 2nd tie breaker after greatest no of points accumulated. Head to head rule is not even considered in fifa world cup rules. Go do a proper research man.

  • I want to thank all my fellow nigeria fans, i mean the good ones among nigerian, the ones with compatriotism that come from a good back ground family of truth, which join me to struggle against G ROHR for not been a villain and barrier to super eagle. for him to use the real formation. and we saw the different between 3 5 2 and 4 3 3. and to use the rightful players, this is by our effort and i thank okocha so much. because GR is someone who wil never learn from past mistakes. GOD bless u all

  • Janebrix 5 years ago

    @chima Samuel Who English language  help for football? The most important thing is they understand the best language in that pitch which is to win. He is making his cool and legit money without speaking good English. He even makes more than some lots who speak the so called good English. Ride on son, you are doing good. To be an inexperienced keeper at the World Cup is not easy. 

  • I think I prefer a so called uneducated bloke like uzoho that can keep a clean sheet in d world cup to a professor of english that cant keep a clean sheet to save his life. What we basically need is somebody that can keep our opponents frm scoring not an english prof period. Let me seize this moment to thank uzoho for d wonderfull save he made in just a few minutes into d 1st half, it would have distabilized rohrs game plan had nigeria conceeded such an early goal from that free kick. Uzoho ride on I am with u all d way

  • English is just a language and not necessarily a measure of intelligence. I listened to the interview of some of the foreign footballers and they spoke the language they understood. Pls stop criticizing Uzoho he might not have had the opportunity u had.

  • Chima as regards to 9ja automatically qualifying with only a draw with Argentina regardless of the outcome with Croatia is not really accurate. As it stands right now
    Pts GF GA GD
    Croatia 6 5 0 5
    9ja 3 2 2 0
    Iceland 1 1 3 -2
    Argentina 1 1 4 -3

    Iceland has a chance in qualifying if they beat Croatia by 3 goals or more without the Croats scoring and Nigeria draws with Argentina as they will have a better GD than us. They will have a +1 or better while we will be stock at 0. Though very unlikely but definitely possible. 9ja to avoid having to require help from Croatia needs to go for a win but also understand that a draw MIGHT still be enough as the likelihood of Iceland defeating Croatia by a 3 or more goal margin without conceding any is very slim. SE must avoid defeat at all cost. As many have already mention, Argentina will be gunning for a win so they will come out guns blazing, SE need to be smart and not concede needless free kicks and penalties in this match. We should defend resolutely, not dwell on the ball like Omeruo did in our box when he had the opportunity to play it to the byline, we could have been easily punished for that. That was Omeruo’ s only mistake in that game, he was a BEAST in our defense. That being said, the best way to deal with a bully is to PUNCH he/she in the face 1st, if 9ja can knick an early goal it will surely demoralize them as their confidence is at an all time low, let’s not give them the slightest reason to build up their confidence. Knock tgem down and don’t relent until u knock them out. A wounded lion is nothing to you with as the SE showed yesterday.

    One more thing, we as fans are too quick to criticize our players. Constructive criticism and providing alternate solutions to improve the team or the player is great and not some of the doom and gloom predictions and destructive languages we use on our own AMBASSADORS. Just imagine if some of these players are your siblings, I know I won’t be happy reading some of the things said here about my siblings. I am pretty sure if we lose against Argentina or play poorly some people now singing the SE prayers will attack them vociferously. Let’s keep supporting these guys, the future is extremely bright for 9ja football, we have the likes of chukwueze, kelechi nwakali, orji and kingsley, kalu, osimhmen, onyekuru and lots more youngster to look forward to seeing in the near future.

    Vamos SE.


  • Djeniko 5 years ago

    @Chima Samuel, it is you and your likes that are really uneducated. In the first place for bluntly and brazenly calling another person uneducated means that you are morally uneducated. A larger part of the world do not speak English but they can communicate in their language, meaning they are educated. According to your definition of education, you are uneducated and you just showed it. You cannot communicate. You just could not calculate a simple football arithmetic that a mere draw may not qualify Nigeria from that group as it depends on our not allowing Argentina to defeat us and Iceland not defeating Croatia. Again there may be a conspiracy between Iceland and Croatia. So to be sure of qualifying from the group, we will prefer to beat Argentina. Is it too difficult to understand? Only uneducated ones will not understand this!!!! Mikel speaks Queens English. He is married to a Russian with 2 kids or so. He takes good care of his immediate and extended family. Basic education is primary 6. All Super Eagles players have attained the basic or more. Without any respect, you have this rotten attitude and effrontery to call Mikel uneducated. What substance did you take today? If you have any decency as a human, apologize to Mikel in particular but to all footballers in general. Aluku is a PHD holder and plays for England. She is a Nigerian. Many Nigerian players attained high degrees in various fields. You see now that you need to be educated in how to show respect to others, how to speak in public, and how to calculate simple football matters. Be educated.