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Mikel Undecided On Eagles Future

Mikel Undecided On Eagles Future

Captain of Nigeria’s Super Eagles John Obi Mikel is yet to make up his mind on whether to call time on his international career after the team’s exit from the 2018 FIFA World Cup or not.

Mikel, 31, has spent 12 years in the team and is willing to give others a chance to lead the team but admitted he’s going to miss playing with his international teammates should he decided to retire from the national team.

“This is a fantastic team of good boys. I have enjoyed my time with the national team but all my years I’ve never been in a team like this before.  This bunch of players are amazing, funny and always nice to be around with them. They are also a group of boys that listens and are always willing to improve. This is very important for Nigerian football. Like I have said, I want to take every year as it comes and see what happens,” he told a press conference after the team was knocked out by Argentina on Tuesday night in St. Petersburg.

The midfielder, who plays for Tianjin TEDA in the Chinese Super League was one of Nigeria’s best performers in Russia and even played the final game against Argentina with his left hand in a cast.

Mikel first represented the Super Eagles at the 2006 African Cup of Nations where the team won bronze. He was also at the next two editions before helping the team to conquer Africa in 2013 and then led the U-23 team to a bronze medal finish at the 2016 Olympics.

He’s played 85 times for the Super Eagles and scored six times.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 6
  • Dr. Drey 5 months ago

    Cmon Mikel. You have tried. 12years and still counting. But pls dont leave yet. At this stage of your career, we need more of your brains than your legs. The team always look like a sheep without shepherd whenever you are’nt on the pitch. Whenever you play well, the team plays well. As a matter of fact, I would like to see what a midfield quartet of Mikel (deep lying playmaker), Ndidi (Anchorman), K.Nwakali (Box-to-box midfielder) and Alex Iwobi (Advanced playmaker) will look like. I bet it will be as good as the “l’equarie magic” (magic square) of the french team of the late 80’s – Fernandez, Tigana, Giresse and Platini. We still need your leadership and calmng presence on the pitch of play, we need you to carry the team for a little longer like you did at Rio, while the likes of the nwakali brothers, ndidi and iwobi learn with and from you. We need you for a few more years. A shot at the next world cup wouldn’t be a bad prospect bro.

    • Kenny 5 months ago

      Create space for etebo in that midfield.

      • Dr. Drey 5 months ago

        Etebo is fast becoming a utility player. And the problem with utility players is that they never attain their true potential as they end up become jacks of all trades and master of none, even though they are very valuable to any team. Etebo at warri wolves was a support striker or a second striker as some will call it, scoring about 18 goals in his first season in the NPFL. At the U23 AFCON, etebo score 5 goals playing that same role. We all saw him at Rio too. Playing etebo in midfield for me is an aberation. Etebo is our new Dan ‘da bull’ Amokachi. Strong, quick, powerful and very direct. Never afraid to take anyone on. Its these qualities that made him european teams dump him in the midfield, and the young man duely obliged, for the sake of his footballing career. But Etebo is a bulldozer who should be playing higher up the pitch than in the midfield

        • Dr. Drey 5 months ago

          In a 4-5-1 formation, I think an Etebo and Iwobi behind a Simy/Sadiq Umar/Taiwo Awoniyi will not be a bad idea.

  • Kenny 5 months ago

    I agree with you, I wish Mikel will not retire now, the team hardly get their bearing on the pitch without him. I think Afcon will be next year and qualifying matches will start soon, we need to ensure continuity change one of two players and look for a good striker.

    • Dr. Drey 5 months ago

      Good one Sir Kenny. I agree with you 100%.
      I dont think we need wholesome changes in the team going forward, be it in the technical crew or the playing personnel. We should also simply retain our 3-5-2 system and perfect it. IMHO we just need 2 more solid central defenders, 2 left backs/left wing backs, 2 natural wingers – i mean guys with fantastic footwork who can unlock any defense from the wings and 2 traditional center forwards. Some of the cheerleaders (like Daniel Akpeyi, Joel Obi, Echiejile and Onazi) on our bench at the world cup should be given a proper send-forth and dismissed. Just as you’ve said, the AFCON qualifiers commence in September (we’ve already lost 1 out of 6 matches to South Africa) and the main competition is just a year away. SO continuity is key. Its time to move forward…!