Only the best will do 

​Good morning all.

Pretty eventful and for all intents, productive weekend for us in the footballing world, what with our Super Eagles getting a priceless win away from home to kickstart World Cup qualifying. Have to say, with group favourites Algeria then proceeding to draw at home against Cameroon, things could not have gotten off to a better start. 

Recent reports seem to suggest that Algeria coach Milovan Rajevac could pay a heavy price for that result. There are rumours they may be looking to relieve him of the job, and it is all a bit unclear at the moment. It’s a tough job, coaching. One bad result and the pressure shoots through the roof. Kind of like coaching Enyimba, innit?

Anyway, some have instead chosen to criticise the Algerian FA’s all-French philosophy, which has often been implemented to the disadvantage of the local league. The Fennecs are full of players born in diaspora, who have been wooed to follow their ancestral roots in declaring for the Northern African nation. It raises the debate whether they have what it takes to withstand the terrain of African football.

In a way, that same philosophical debate is replicated here in Nigeria too. Do players in the local league deserve preferential treatment over those born and/or raised abroad? Does not seem to me a hard choice to make, seeing as our young lad Alex Iwobi opened his Super Eagles account in the bumpy yam heaps of Ndola. Competence should always come first.

Much as we love the NPFL and want to see it grow, it is not the national team’s job to make that happen or to champions the rights of NPFL players. The local league exists in order to make up the national team, the way a king demands tribute. To make any other argument is to fail to acknowledge just how big a deal the national team is.

If a player is good enough, where he plays will not matter to the coach. Knowing the pressures of the job, no coach will handicap himself by leaving out a player who is tearing it up in training simply because he is based in the local league. The players called up from NPFL are all very good, and were rewarded for solid campaigns with their clubs. Their call-up in itself is the reward.

Anyway, enough about that. Though, now that I think about it, isn’t it sad how not one of our Enyimba players even appear close to consideration? At the very least, we always used to be able to rely on Chima Akas getting a call-up. Sigh. One of those things that spring to mind whenever anyone tries to downplay how poorly we performed this season. Ah well, this is not one of those sad, moody posts.

Have a splendid day!



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