|Image credit: BBC|
Emmanuel Emenike has decided to call it quits with the Super Eagles. The news may be sudden and shocking but to some, it is not unexpected judging by the ‘closeness’ of the Al Ain attacker with estranged ex-skipper Enyeama.
The Super Eagles coach’s decision to dramatically replace Enyeama as captain of the national side was always going to create multiple ripples and this is another one he has to deal with.
Now, Sunday Oliseh has to find another capable forward to wear the Number 9 jersey for the senior national team.
It was a bold move that caused a few rancour. Oliseh may not have handled the situation too well but he stood by his decision and masterminded an impressive victory over Cameroun.
Another decision currently begs to be made: who leads the attack for the ex-Olympic gold medalist’s team?
During his stay thus far, Oliseh has preferred striker Emmanuel Emenike despite the goal-shy frontman’s continued goal drought. But with Emenike’s sudden retirement comes the chance for others to step into the shoes left behind.
Obafemi Martins has rolled back the hands of time and his banging in the goals in the MLS like a refreshed 20 year old.
But his days with the Eagles are long gone and Oliseh doesn’t appear like one who would desire to reverse that.
Bart Ogbeche suffers the same fate. His resurgence in Holland has been nothing short of a miracle. But his fate with the national side is sealed.
He is easily the country’s most ranked striker in Europe’s biggest club competition.
Yet he doesn’t score enough and that may shift Sunday Oliseh’s focus from him to another who a couple of years ago was not even on a shortlist of Nigeria’s top 50.
He has not stopped scoring since and five goals in just eight EPL games indicate that he can also mix it with the big boys.
It was a big statement, one even Oliseh can’t ignore.
Nigeria’s next game is against Swaziland in a qualifier and whosoever the coach fields in that encounter may just be the next striker that the coach places his trust in and it will be a surprise if it is not one of these three.