Super Eagles Coach Sunday Oliseh has revealed why Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel was not on the list of invited players for the match against Tanzania on September 5, Oliseh’s first as head of Nigeria’s national side.
Many fans had queried the new coach for omitting Mikel from his 18-man foreign pro list for the Tanzania game, but the Eagles gaffer made a shocking revelation on Thursday, saying Mikel refused to have a word with him despite all the channel of communication he opened with the midfielder.
Oliseh revealed that aside the several phone calls and SMS messages to Mikel, the player also failed to show up at a planned meeting in London, which his club teammate Victor Moses gladly attended.
“Till now I have not spoken with Mikel,” Oliseh began in his interview with the NFF’s official website.
He continued: “I have contacted him on several occasions with no reply; sent him an SMS with no reply, went to London where he plays in the same club with Victor Moses, Moses came to the meeting we spoke but he (Mikel) didn’t come, I eventually told Moses to say hello to him.
Though Oliseh has made efforts to get across to Mikel he was quick to state that no player is indispensable and thus would not go around trying to cajole any player.
“No player is special, every player is the same, every other player we contacted and spoke with have been invited them…” Oliseh stated.
The Super Eagles Coach said he would not hastily pass judgement on Mikel even though there have been outrage in several quarters over Mikel’s perceived lackadaisical attitude to national team matters in recent years.
“I cannot really pass judgement on a player I have not spoken with, so that is it for now,“ Oliseh concluded.
Mikel has not played for Nigeria since the Super Eagles missed out of qualification for the 2015 Africa Cup Nations hosted by Equatorial Guinea.
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