As reactions continue to trail the 30-man Super Eagles provisional list for next month’s World Cup, former international goalkeeper Emmanuel Babayaro has spoken of his reservations about the team picked by Coach Stephen Keshi.
The Atlanta ’96 gold medalist said the list was a good one but expressed his dissatisfaction on the kicking out of in-form Villareal forward Ikechukwu Uche.
“To be honest, there is no surprise for me in terms of inclusion but that of exclusion which is that of Ike Uche.” Babayaro said.
“I had hoped he would get an invitation and at the end of the day if you don’t want him, you won’t take him to the World Cup but by virtue of how wonderful and how well he has played for his club, I think he should have gotten a chance in terms of invitation.
“You don’t judge him on the old character because he probably might have improved on that from that moment and now,” he added.
“For me if there is anyone that should have made the squad that should be him. In general, I don’t have any problems with the 30-man list.”
In his own assessment of the goalkeeping department where he thrived during his playing days, the former Plateau United player stated that the technical crew committed a blunder inviting Gombe United’s Chigozie Agbim.
“You can’t shy away from the truth and I have always maintained that we have just one goal keeper and that is Vincent Enyeama. I will always go on my knees and pray for him that God gives him strength. If he is out then we are in trouble.
“I love these players and they respect me but in this case we are talking Nigeria and I must speak the truth. Agbim in my own opinion ought not to be in the national team,” he continued.
The 29-year old Agbim conceded nine goals in six matches while on duty at the 2014 African Nations Championship where the Super Eagles finished third.
“It’s not about his poor performances in South Africa, it’s about his weight and height and all these are big minuses.
“Having such a goalkeeper at this point in time in world football does not speak well about the goalkeeping prowess of Nigeria.
“In a country with many talents, picking a goalkeeper with these defects does not speak well of us. No matter how good he is, he shouldn’t have been invited,” he concluded.