Two Super Eagles big guns dropped from the AFCON qualifier against South Africa and the international friendly with Uganda, John Obi Mikel and Ogenyi Onazi have literally labeled Nigeria manager, Gernot Rohr a ‘liar’ for reasons given for excluding them in the latest roll call of players for the national team.
While Rohr hinted that Mikel asked to be excused for certain reason the German failed to disclosed, the Super Eagles captain has however maintained that he remain committed to the team.
Rohr had, while defending his latest call ups, said Mikel has taken a sabbatical from international football but the Tianjin Teda of China midfielder not only downplayed speculation over his future in the Super Eagles, he equally said he’s still fully committed to the national team.
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The German football tactician was forced to admit that his captain does not want to represent the Super Eagles for now.
“Mikel told me that he would tell me when he will be ready to come back. He didn’t tell me yet. So I wait,” said Rohr to Kwese ESPN. “I hope that we can go with him to AFCON and win it for him.”
However, Mikel, while speaking with Footballlive.com, though admitted facing some fitness issues but insists he has not retired from Nigeria’s team.
“My commitment to the national team remains 100%; I still remain a part of the team and will always support the lads.
“The Nations Cup remains our ultimate goal for now and we are just one point away from reaching that target,” Mikel said.
On Onazi, Rohr claimed that Trabzonspor midfielder was omitted from the roster for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa plus the friendly with Uganda because of concerns about his fitness.
”Onazi had a problem with injury. He left Uyo before the match against Libya,” Rohr told Kwese ESPN.
“I have to be aware of the health of our players. We didn’t want to do injections on Achilles tendons before the games.”
But Onazi was on another level in his team’s 1-1 draw against Antalyaspor in the Turkish Super Lig on Saturday, earning rave reviews for his performance at the Antalya Stadyumu.
Of the 28 players in action, the Nigeria international touched the ball the most, 111 times in total, placing first ahead of Argentinian teammate José Sosa who had 100 touches.
Out of the 92 passes Onazi attempted, he completed 72 and ended the game with a passing accuracy of 82.6 percent.
But the most eye-catching stats is that he was the joint top dribbler, along with Antalyaspor’s Dogukan Sinik with four take-ons.
And in an obvious dig aimed at Rohr, Onazi criticized the German for not handing him playing time at this summer’s World Cup.
”I’ll show my quality and talents to those who didn’t give me the chance to play in the World Cup,” Onazi told the Turkish press