Former Assistant coach of the Super Eagles, Joseph Erico, has stated that the choice of players Coach Salisu Yusuf will feature at the fifth African Nations Championship (CHAN) is his prerogative.
The CHAN Eagles travelled yesterday for the tournament slated to hold between January 13 and February 4 in Morocco. His choice of players is, however, shrouded in controversies, as Coach Yusuf did not consider players from some clubs, including Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM FC) good enough in his final list of 23-man team. MFM FC finished second behind last season’s Nigeria Professional Football League eventual champion, Plateau United.
Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, Erico said what the coach did was in order.“The fact that a player’s club did very well in the league does not guarantee him a position in the national team. It does not matter whether your team won the league. The coach’s assessment might be that you are not good enough for the national team. Other teams might have produced better quality players and it is left for him to decide,” he said.
The former coach of the defunct Julius Berger FC, however, doubts the preparation of the team before their departure to Morocco.“What I am not sure of is their level of preparation, which has always been the bane of our teams. You do not take a team that has not prepared well to a tournament.
“I know that other countries do prepare very well. When we prepare, it has to be a total thing. The players have to be mentally, physically and psychologically fit, so also their welfare must be addressed.
“We have the players but I cannot speak on their preparation. Preparation is not camping players for months. It is about packaging them to make them focused on their mission. I wish them best of luck,” Erico stated.