Former Nigeria defender Taribo West is optimistic that Super Eagles will cause a major upset at the Brazil 2014 World Cup under Stephen Keshi. RICHARD JIDEAKA reports Taribo thinks that the inclusion of Joseph Yobo and Osaze Odemwingie will give the team the experience that is lacking now.
EAGLES CHANCES in BRAZIL
Taribo: I will say the Eagles will stun the world in Brazil. It is not like you have the players that can make the difference in a game or in any crucial tournament. What the Eagles boast is that of a team with togetherness, love and good team spirit. And when you take these to a tournament you cannot predict what they can do. I think that is a major force behind this team and I think they can surprise the world.
WORLD CUP FEARS
Taribo: I don’t have any fear about the Eagles but I pray that injury should not hit any of the lads. We read and watch them every week play for their respective clubs and they are doing well. I hope they will have the strong legs to go into preparations and be ready for the World Cup.
MIKEL AND MOSES BENCH ROLES
Taribo: They are key players in the team. If they are not playing regularly for their clubs, it is not going to be much of a problem. When they come together in camp and they get pushed a little, they will rise to meet the standard and play well at the same level with their colleagues in Brazil.
IS THE EAGLES DEFENCE GOOD FOR THE WORLD CUP?
I think Yobo should be included in the team. His experience would help the back four. I have seen the team in their last few games and I think they need experience. With Yobo joining young lads like Kenneth Omeruo and Godfrey Oboabona, I think the defence should be okay to face the rigours of the World Cup.
CAN EAGLES DO WITHOUT OSAZE AND IKE UCHE?
The inclusion of Osaze and Ike Uche should not be a controversial point. During the Nations Cup, Keshi did not go with Osaze, and Uche did not do well but we won the cup. Although we need the experience of Osaze in the team, in as much the man (Keshi) has made a choice that he wants to play with certain players, I think we should respect his stand.
There are players that are good at their clubs but are not so good in their national team. Uche is doing very well in Spain but Keshi has said he does not need him, so be it.
People should understand and this should not be a controversial issue. We will pray for Keshi to make the best selection for the national team. I believe we would all be happy at the end of the World Cup.
HOW DO YOU RATE THE EAGLES TECHNICAL CREW?
Oh, wonderful, wonderful. They have done very well in such a short time with the rebuilding of the team and successes achieved.
ANY NEED FOR A TECHNICAL ASSISTANT?
I am satisfied with the technical crew of the Super Eagles and if at all there should be any assistance for Keshi it should be from the home front and not a foreign assistant. The time has come for us to celebrate our own and Keshi is doing well. Everybody should be behind him and pray for him and the team as well support him and the Eagles all the way.
I am confident that the Eagles would cause a major surprise at world cup this year.
ANY TARGET FOR THE EAGLES?
They should try and scale the first round and take it from there. Argentina, Bosnia are beatable and Eagles can surprise them.