Lazio midfielder Ogenyi Onazi has been faulted as part of the reason Nigeria failed to qualify for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea.
A Super Eagles player told SL10. on the condition of anonymity, that the Lazio man ignored instructions to shield the defence in search of personal glory.
“A lot have been said about why we failed to qualify, but most are far from the truth. For instance why was it that we struggle less when Hope Akpan plays in front of the defence?” said the source.
“It’s ironic that Mikel Obi best games of the qualifiers were games that Akpan played in as he sits and allow Obi roam upfront without leaving any space behind unlike Onazi.
“Nigerians should also ask him why he missed training the eve of the game and tried to lie. What family issue kept him out?”
The player pointed out that Onazi ignored the coach’s instruction as he felt slighted that Mikel took all the glory after the Nigeria Afcon 2013 triumph.
“His relationship with Mikel is zero, Keshi noticed it during preparations for the World cup, he now wants to score goals as opposed to his primary role,” added the anonymous player.
“He felt Mikel got a lot of plaudits while he was ignored despite playing a role in his success at the Afcpn 2013, he cost us the game against South Africa.”
Both players had a public fallout in front of the camera on the pitch in the Eagles 2-0 away win against Congo in Pointe Noire, a situation our source said snowballed into the South Africa game.
“Mikel is a senior player in the team and highly experienced and for Onazi to openly challenge him shows you how bad it is between them,” continued the source.
“Onazi is playing under instructions to cover for Obi who is short of pace on the counter, but look at both South Africa goals, where was he?
“These days he plays for himself more than the team, you can see how he hits shots waywardly even when a pass is a better option, he has to grow up.”