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Troost-Ekong: Criticism By Oliseh Helped Me Improve; England’s Kane Was Good To Me

Troost-Ekong: Criticism By Oliseh Helped Me Improve; England’s Kane Was Good To Me

Nigeria defender William Troost-Ekong says that criticisms from former Super Eagles coach, Sunday Oliseh shaped his questk to excel at the international level.

Troost-Ekong, 25, who scored his first international goal for Nigeria in Monday’s pre-World friendly against Democratic Republic of Congo gained recognition after impressing with the country’s U-23 team that won bronze in the football event of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The centre-back and his central defence partner, Leon Balogun were impressive for the Super Eagles in the qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Now a key member of the Super Eagles team, the Bursaspor of Turkey defender’s journey to international stardom has however not been a rosy one.

“My partner at centre-back (new Brighton signing Leon Balogun) is half-German, half-Nigerian, so he is the same as me,” Troost-Ekong stated in an interview with Telegraph.co.uk.

“After a game, he (Sunday Oliseh) said we were too soft to play against African players. That upset me, because one of my traits as a player is that I am someone who does not back away from anyone. I am not the most skilful, but I know what I am good at.

“I think that’s part of being from different countries, different cultures. It’s not nice when people try to use that against you. I identify myself as being Nigerian as well, and I feel at home in the team.

“Not once have I ever looked around and thought ‘this is not for me’. But it spurred me on. I have played against African strikers since then and no one has bullied me. I have proven my point.”

Troost-Ekong played for the Netherlands at junior levels but made his debut for the Super Eagles in 2015 after an impressive season on loan at Dutch side FC Dordrecht.

The duo of Victor Moses and Alex Iwobi could have played for England, but they chose to represent Nigeria instead and the rugged defender reckons that it is important for players to go where they are appreciated.

“You have to go where you are loved, where you are appreciated,” he insisted.

“It is more appealing for younger players. It is opening doors for foreign-born Nigerians, and I think there are going to be more to follow. Nigeria is a giant of African football.”

The Super Eagles will come up against England in a friendly game at the Wembley Stadium on Saturday which provides an opportunity for a reunion with Harry Kane, his former teammate at Tottenham Hotspur who once helped him fill out his registration form when he was a fresh-faced scholar at the club.

“He was one of the first guys that sat me down and helped me,” Troost-Ekong said of Kane.

“It’s amazing to see how well he has done.”

He recalls how left Tottenham Hotspur for Dutch club in 2013 following the appointment of Tim Sherwood as manager

“Me and Tim did not have the best rapport,” he stated.

“He did not really believe in me as a player.”

Troost-Ekong believes he has an unfinished business in the English Premier League and hopes to be back someday.

“I’ve taken a different route,” he added

“But if I can get to the Premier League, I will feel like I have achieved a lot.”

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 14
  • Abdul andah 6 months ago

    Oliseh no know wetin em dey talk!
    You are stronger than some of African black defenders.

  • Gideon S 6 months ago

    I can’t wait to watch this soldiers fight to defend ther color!!

  • Gideon S 6 months ago

    I can’t wait to watch this soldier fight to defend his color!!

    Sunday Olis, provoked His anger to bring out the good in him, that’s what I think

  • steven okocha 6 months ago

    instead of concentrating on your game,you are trying 2 make oliseh look as a bad person in the eyes of nigerians.kanu nwankwo was dropped by westernhoff clemens few days 2 the world cup,saying kanu was 2 fragile 2 be a striker.kanu did not hold grudges against him.he made it 2 the olympics 2 years later and he shocked the world.lately, i just observed that the present eagles are being boastful,which is not part of our style of football.sorry if my opinion offends anyone,eagles are likely 2 crash out of the world cup in the first round.Again, Troost-ekong should know that oliseh is the most patriotic player ever in nigeria.watch the way he wept like a baby when cameroun defeated nigeria in the final of a nations cup

  • Obruthe ufuoma 6 months ago

    @ steven okocha abeg keep your mouth for one conner. No one send your opinion. @ super eagles, great effort, you guys have done enough qualifying ,,,,, God bless you efforts as you prepare to do more

    • One thing I appreciate about this forum is that people do not insult each other. Please let’s keep things that way.

    • steven okocha 6 months ago

      @ obruthe ufuoma,i really dont like arguing with stupid people because they would succeed in dragging u 2 their level and they would use experience of being stupid 2 defeat you.i have lived all my life with the urhobos and i hardly see a stupid urhobo man.i have pardoned your ignorance.thank you.

  • I do not really understand the point Ekong is trying to make, whether he is appreciating Oliseh for the criticism or attacking him. Oliseh is not my favorite person but I see ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong in what he said. If that offended you then you are being childish because such criticisms come with your profession. I am certain he did not say that to pull you down, he only said the truth for you to step up particularly with African Strikers.

  • it is good for people to criticise you, then you proved yourself to people that they were wrong.

  • please what time is the match

  • Edoman 6 months ago

    l am positive that our Oyinbo guy is not talking down on Oliseh as such just saying that the former Couch helped to bring out his inner soul to face the challenges that eventually shape his character going forward. Trust-Ekong added that ” l never fear any African Stricker “after that, If that is not appreciation of his former National Couch, l don’t know what it is. Every body who watch this strong Nigerian in Brazil knew he has a great potential then. Now , l am positive that after the World cup, the Premier League Clubs will be waiting for you. May your dream come true. Nigerians LOVES you. Even Buhari sought you out during his short visit to Turkey

  • anietie 6 months ago

    @debo you have said it all…[email protected] okocha go back and read the write up very well eKong is appreciating oliseh for his fair criticism which has brought out the best and also improve him in understanding African style of play