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Why Rabiu Ibrahim is a must for Super Eagles midfield

The Super Eagles of Nigeria by all
standard might look shaky with some level of imbalance from the goal post to
the striking force but there is no denying that the strength of the team yesteryears
lies in the midfield area occupied by the creative talent of Austin Okocha,
Wilson Oruma and Mutiu Adepoju (the Headmaster), but in recent years that area
had become its weakness a fact as a result of certain personal changes. 
We
emphasize with a clue on how the Eagles midfield that dominated strong teams
over the years (for instance Nigeria vs. Cameroon in 2000 Nations Cup final in
Surulere, Lagos) can recapture its flair and spark to the delight of Nigerian
football. 
On this note we evaluate why Rabiu Ibrahim is a reality check for the
Super Eagles midfield.
TO COMPLEMENT
IHEANACHO
Several players of different talent
have been deployed in Eagles midfield with more than average falling in that
role notably Odemwimgie against Greece who could not inspire from the midfield
area to set the ball in play.
 Also productivity have been low as regards to
some who were acceptable in that position but the emergence of dynamic talent
like Kelechi Iheanacho 19+ years have restored hope in that regards as the
young lad is capable of linking the midfield to the attacking third (central
striker) but that can be efficient under a quality and dynamic personnel in the
deep zone .Rabiu can fit into that regard and with Kelechi maturing by the day,
the duo are surely a good complement for each other.
 Rabiu the older can offer
sheer experience and guile from which Iheanacho can tap from and mesmerize the
opposing defence with wonderful run and impeccable finishing. That left foot of
the duo are capable of caring out the margin of space to left the Eagles from
their recent met midfield status.
LIFT CREATIVE
BURDEN ON MIKEL
John Obi Mikel has taken center
stage in Eagles midfield long time ago and so with that regards the creativity
mantle always fall on him especially with his high profile status for playing
for the one of the most elite club side in Europe in Chelsea FC. The truth here
is that there is need for reinvention in the Nigerian midfield as this young
man have carried the weight of the attacking midfield position and certainly is
time for a division of labour in the midfield department of the Super Eagles. 
Even after his conversion to a defensive midfield role at club side Chelsea the
onus for creativity have been channeled to him and thereby leading to
restriction of other attacking talent. Many have failed to understand that
Mikel under performance in that position is as a result of increase burden and
lack of responsibility from his midfield teammate in a three-man midfield mix. Imagine
the combo of Mikel, Etuhu and Kaita against Mozambique at the AFCON in 2010,
surely we are gonna heap the attacking responsibilities on Mikel only for Osaze
Odemwimgie to respond with two individual (goals)effort to save the face of the
team. 
Also the Mikel, Onazi and Azeez combination was not been the best as the
three are defensive and coredimited throwing in transition but a more dynamic
player in Rabiu Ibrahim is needed to aid creativity and dexterity in the final
third thereby exonerating the one man Mikel and enhancing his productivity and
input as well in the Nigerian midfield mix. 
Rabiu needs to be integrated
firmly and consistently to the creative midfield role as he has more than
enough in contribution and the earlier this is done the search for goals may
still be inefficient following Eagles slender 1-0 win over Tanzania at the
weekend.
PROMOTE
COMPETITION IN MIDFIELD
 
The Nigerian midfield may possess an
array of talent notably Ogenyi Onazi, Wilfred Ndidi and Etebo Oghenekaro but
that is not enough in terms of quality and depth for the Super Eagles by all
standard. 
There is need for more quality players to be integrated with
different ideas and playing schemes which will improve the quality and
competition within the mix. With Mikel already a strong contender there is also
a need to strengthen competition in the Eagles midfield to awake desire and
passion to keep places in the National Team. This competition among decent crop
of player can only be productive for Nigeria as the best talent are in
contention to make it to the starting eleven.
 Rabiu Ibrahim in particular John
Ogu and Anderson Esiti should not be forgotten due to the emergence of Iwobi
and Iheanacho but should be incorporated in the mix to promote healthy
competition and strife to retain place in Eagles midfield and to avoid lack of
depth when one player is done injured in the treatment room just like Joel Obi
who is still finding his feet at the rejuvenated Torino side.
RECALL THE
MEMORIES OF JAY-JAY
Austin Okocha at the Joseph Yobo Testimonial in Port Harcourt in May.

Rabiu Ibrahim ,the talented midfield player who can recapture the deft touches of  Jay-Jay for the Eagles

Austin Jay-Jay Okocha have left massive
impression in the National Team with flair and eye catching displays. In the
recent Joseph Yobo testimonial the talismanic player (Jay-Jay) took center
stage even with the pronouncement of the match commentator that the game is
looking like Jay-Jay Okocha exhibitions. Many people were  tempted to forget who has the order of the day
(YOBO) as Okocha showed why he is loved and will be missed until a capable
replacement is given its rightly deserve place(Rabiu Ibrahim). Jay-Jay who was
so good that they named him twice set up Emenike on both occasion prompting
legendary Cameron forward Samuel Eto’o who is on the opposing side to Okocha in
the testimonial to signal the substitution of Jay-Jay with fun and delight of
the Nigerians fans.
 Okocha might have achieve both positive and negative, on
the positive he has succeed in showcasing these silky touches of his that the
younger generation may not know much about and likewise remind Nigerians
(negatively) what they are going to be missing in the Eagles in years to come
but the remedy is that Rabiu Ibrahim who is the closest to replacing Okocha has
the ability and class to replicate those tiny dribble and nimble footwork which
Okocha showcased during his days in the National Team.
With that wonderful performance against Niger in a friendly
were Rabiu captured our mind with decent display, there is a real need to get
him back into the mix to recall the sweet memories left behind by the Veteran
Jay-Jay who is a class of his own.

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