A US-based football expert Kingsley Chukwuemeka has questioned whether the country’s home-based players were not used as “sacrificial lambs” to be slaughtered by Mexico in Los Angeles at the weekend.
Chukwuemeka asked, “How can you send the home-based players to Los Angeles with few days’ preparation to face a highly talented, well-organised Mexico?”
“To make matters worse for the home lads, the Mexicans have been in training camp for some time
in preparation for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.”
He went on the question the entire arrangement behind the friendly.
“Does it mean the players were set up to fail so that they can say we told you before now, this is the reason we don’t use the home-based players for the Super Eagles.
“This is not fair to these players. Before the game, the national team coach Gernot Rohr said he wasn’t involved in the game. If this was not Rohr’s idea, then whose idea was it and why?
“First, whoever picked the team did not pick the right players. It’s only in Nigeria where the three current leading goal scorers in the league will not be called up for a game claimed to be used to prepare for the future.
“If they really want to give them their fair share and have the interest and development of the players in all of this, why not camp them for some time and organise friendly matches with clubs in Nigerian premier league, African national teams like Togo, Ghana, Niger and so on by doing so the players will get to know each other well.
“The players will actually develop partnerships and build confidence before facing a formidable team like Mexico.”
He added: “Putting those home lads with little preparation to face Mexico is a joke because if the best results star studded Super Eagles can get against Mexico was a draw, are we therefore surprised that the highly talented Mexicans scored four past the poorly selected, poorly organised Nigerian home based Super Eagles?
“We should be thankful that they did not score more!
“The officials should be ashamed of themselves.
“What they did is to kill these players’ careers and not to develop them. You can’t develop from the highest level game, but get confidence by playing not so highly-rated teams.”