CHRISANTUS: I WANT TO WIN 2012 NATIONS CUP WITH SIASIA
: Jan 18, 2011
Former Golden Eaglets top scorer, Macauley Chrisantus tips Super Eagles coach Samson Siasia to rule Africa in 2012 in this interview with JOHNNY EDWARD
What’s has been happening to you Macauley lately?
Well, a lot has been happening but the most important thing on my mind for now is to play myself back into reckoning with the national team. That’s why I’ve been trying my possible best to keep scoring for my club and I hope to actualize my dreams this year.
Talking about goals, you’ve only scored four goals in 13 appearances for Karlsruher SC in the Bundesliga 2 so far in the on-going season. Don’t you think such feat hasn’t matched your potential?
Well, to a large extent, you might be right but you should understand that injury has not been fair to me also. But aside from scoring goals for my team, I have also provided a couple of assists for my teammates. I can assure Nigerias that it would be different in the new year.
Having been snubbed by successive handlers of the Super Eagles, don’t you think you stand a good chance in the U-23 team where Austin Eguavoen has been recently installed as coach?
That’s would be good news though I’ve not met him before, but I have heard a lot about him and would love to play under him. I stand a good chance to continue from where I stopped at the national U-20 level and I hope to progress further to the U-23 but you know quite well that I cannot invite myself to the team. The coach has the sole right to do that.
Okay, coach Eguavoen is seriously thinking of revamping the U-23 national team by building a young formidable squad that would replace some ageing players in the Super Eagles possibly before the World Cup in 2014, don’t you feel you have a stake in such a plan?
Absolutely yes, I think that is the hallmark of a good coach. When you bring in young and talented players to compete with the established star,. that is something positive as it will create healthy competition for places in the team and allow all the players to give their best.The national team is not meant for an individual. There were players playing for the senior national team before, people like us should be part of the squad and it will continue to be so. I believe that I'd be part of the plan but like I said earlier, I cannot invite myself to any national team, but it’s a good idea for the coach to have that long term plan for the country so that there could be a chain of progression in our national team. I feel that’s one thing we have missed in the past.
Also, I think I merit a place but if I am not invited, I still have to keep working hard and see what happens in the future. I also want to believe that probably, the coach has not seen me play before but like I said, I will wait for my time and when it comes, I will definitely give it my best shot.
How did you feel when Samson Siasia dropped you from the Junior World Cup squad to Egypt in 2009?
Well, it was disappointing but I’ve since moved on from that even if I felt that I deserved a place in the team. I bear no grudges against him because he did what was best for the team at that time.
That team did not get past the quarter-final stage of the competition, what would you say the squad lacked then?
I can't say categorically what they lacked because there were definitely lots of talents in that squad, but to win a major championship, you have to push yourself to the zenith and beyond. We’ll have to see whether the next set of U-20 team has the character to do what we failed to do in the past but they must be at their very best to succeed at that level and that's the big challenge for them now.
This current U-20 team has been grouped alongside Ghana who stopped your set from getting to the final of the last edition of the competition in Rwanda, Cameroun and Gambia. Do you think John Obuh’s team can progress to the next round or possibly win the tournament?
Why not? They can win the championship and even surpass the feat the U-20 team achieved in 2005 if the right attitude and programmes are followed. You see, it goes beyond just talking, it’s a new year and we must act if we must achieve any measure of success this time around. Square pegs must be placed in square holes. But if the team that played to the final of U-17 are still in good shape, they would be the team to beat in Libya.
I’ve played at the at level and I know the kind of pressure they might be in. If you would recall, when we won the U-17championship in Korea, there were lots of expectation from the qualifiers up to the championship in Rwanda. We did our best and I must admit that it was tough but we did our best by winning a bronze medal in the process but I pray this team wins the championship from that tight group.
Ghana has always been a bitter rival to us and we can handle them at any level, it’s just unfortunate that they have had the better of us in recent times and so psychologically, they have an advantage but the Eaglets that won silver at the U-17 World Cup in 2009 can overcome them this time around.
With Siasia’s impressive credentials, especially coaching at youth level, how best do you think Super Eagles can fare at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations?
Super Eagles can win the 2012 Nations Cup. After our performance at the last edition, I think it’s a right target for the team. As I said earlier, we’ll have to wait and see just how well the key players in the team are prepared to push themselves further and carry the team along also. But they must know that nothing will happen without the right attitude in the team. l wish one could be a part of that team.
What are the goals and target you set for yourself in 2011?
I have lots of plans and I pray they all work out fine. Firstly, like I said, I want to play myself back into reckoning in the national team and score more goals to ensure my team get promoted back to the Bundesliga.
I want to work really hard to make sure that it happens. Already, I have scored four goals and I believe I can score more before the season ends.
Do you see yourself emerging as one of the best players in the Bundesliga 2?
Well, I can not say but as a professional footballer, I just want to continue to do my best so that we can regain promotion to the Bundesliga. Now, we are 16th and we hope to get out of the relegation zone when the league resumes .
Tell us about your experience so far in the Bundesliga 2 ?
I have had good experience in the league and I am happy with what I am doing presently for my club. I have good relationships with both the players and the officials which makes the job easier for me. There is an improvement now compared to past years and I hope it gets better.
Talking about the Bundesliga, you are currently on loan at Karlsruher SC in the Bundesliga 2; when are you going back to your parent club?
That’s left for them to decide but I'd love to join any team where I'd not be denied regular playing time because at this stage of my career, I need that to achieve my aims...
...Of playing elsewhere in Europe I guess?
Nothing is impossible.
How are other Nigerians faring in the Bundesliga 2?
Well, they are doing absolutely well for their respective clubs, like Moses Lamidi of RW Oberhausen who has scored six goals so far in nine games and others also.
Finally, your last word.
Well, I would just like to enjoin Nigerians to continue praying for the Super Eagles to improve on our previous outings and I can assure them of my intention to contribute my quota to the team’s progress in years ahead.
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