Eagles coach Stephen Keshi
Eagles coach Stephen Keshi has dropped a bombshell by revealing that Osaze Odemwingie has proposed himself as team skipper.
Keshi told a stunned Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), technical committee that the West Bromwich Albion striker has put himself forward to be the Eagles skipper.
“He told them that he wants to be captain as he considers himself one of the most senior players in the current squad,” an official revealed.
“But how he has behaved in the national team over the years has really run counter to his ambition to be the leader of this team. You can only lead by example.”
The 31-year-old Osaze made his Eagles debut in 2002, but it was not until the 2004 Nations Cup that he established himself in the national team.
Goalkeepers Vincent Enyeama and Austin Ejide as well as defender and present skipper Joseph Yobo are more senior players than Osaze in the Eagles.
However, he has rowed with national team bosses, from Austin Eguavoen to Lars Lagerback, and his clash with Samson Siasia was widely regarded as one of the problems that caused Nigeria to sensationally fail to qualify for the 2012 Nations Cup.
It is such poor attitude that has now denied him a fifth Nations Cup appearance.
In the meantime, the Eagles coach has said he wishes to run the rule over shock invitee Rabiu Ibrahim who has failed to establish himself at Celtic.
Ibrahim has only managed a handful of games in his second season at Celtic Park and has yet to be capped by Nigeria at full international.
“Keshi said he has watched Rabiu in a couple of cup games and will want to have a closer look at the midfielder in Faro, Portugal,” a top official told MTNFootball.com.
The gifted Ibrahim has held out a lot of promise since he featured for the U-17s in 2007, but he has yet to establish himself in Europe ever since.
This will be his second Eagles call-up as he was also considered for the 2010 Nations Cup, but opted out as he had just undergone a groin operation. Some top officials also took an exception to the continued invitation of Italy-based midfielder Obiora Nwankwo, saying he is sluggish and brings very little to the team.
However, Keshi stood by his decision, insisting that the Olympic team skipper is tactically disciplined.