It is now widely known that Maduka Okoye is likely to be relegated to the bench against CAR by coach Gernot Rohr for reporting late to camp.
“Maduka arrived in the night, he missed his flight. I’m not happy about it because it’s not professional and I’m not sure he will start the game,” Rohr said.
Hopefully Okoye will learn from whatever mistakes he made and will turn up to camp on time next time. Being Number One for a huge footballing nation like Nigeria is big deal. He has done very well for himself to get his national career to where it Is, Okoye should be weary of not pouring sand into his own Garri.
The goalkeeping department of the Super Eagles is the least competitive at the moment, which is such a shame.
There is paucity of available known-quality-options.
Even Israel based Adebayo Adeleye whom I have so much faith in, he is still relatively young in age and he is yet to rack up valuable hours of top flight football. He does look nimble at first glance but he has much to learn.
Everywhere you look, either we don’t have goalkeepers in leagues or they are languishing in benches.
Matthew Yakubu, Sebastian Osigwe and David Nwokolor are others who can be called upon. But their club fortunes will have to change first before they can be taken seriously.
Dele Alampasu’s career seems to be on a freefall as the former Golden Eaglet is not even deemed good enough for Latvian league.
Daniel Akpeyi – who has never been a fan favourite – is aging and also sits on the bench as often as keeps for Kaizer Chiefs. Francis Uzoho is not the goalkeeper he once was though he there is the potential for him to work his way back to optimum mental and physical state.
Which leaves the field wide (wide) open for Okoye to consolidate his position as Nigeria’s number one, only for him to ‘drop the ball’ due to indiscipline, carelessness or mindless mistake.
Not all Super Eagles fans are sold on Okoye – I have my doubts about his abilities. But the more he keeps, the more he builds his own confidence, hone his skills and improve on areas of weaknesses.
Rohr has a decision to make and it seems like the German has erred on the side of reprimand.
The good news for Okoye is that if the other available goalkeepers continue to experience glovelessness in club football, Okoye will be expected to be reinstalled to his place in future.
Rohr is a forgiving coach: he forgave Akpeyi’s error against Argentina in 2017 and he forgave Iheanacho’s indiscretion in 2019. So Okoye has hope.
Let’s hope the 22 year old Ibo man Düsseldorf will learn his lesson!