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Abdulazeez Adeshina
National Open University of Nigeria
Bsc. Economics
200Level, Nigeria.
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Coaches Duke Udi and Godfrey Esu believe Super Eagles captain Mikel Obi is still relevant to the team despite not featuring for the national team in recent games .

Mikel has yet to play for the Eagles since the 2018 World Cup – missing the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Seychelles and the double -header against Libya. The 31-year- old was also excluded from the 23-man list for the crucial 2019 AFCON qualifier against South Africa in Johannesburg on November 17 and the friendly against Uganda in Asaba three days later .

His absence from the squad has generated reviews in the social media, with some calling for the midfielder ’ s retirement from the national team .

After disclosing that Mikel missed the Libya matches due to injuries , Eagles coach Gernot Rohr said the former Chelsea star also wanted to be excused from the team for personal reasons, hence his exclusion from the South Africa and Uganda games .

“ 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. I hope that we can go with him to AFCON and win it for him , ” KweseESPN quoted the German as saying .

But Mikel said he was still committed to the national team. He told Football Live , “ My commitment to the national team is 100 per cent. I still remain a part of the team and will always support the lads . The Nations Cup remains our ultimate goal and we are just one point away from reaching that target . ”

Osun United coach Udi and former Enyimba coach Esu said Mikel should not be forced out of the national team, adding that the former Lyn Oslo player remained a motivation to the younger players in the team.

Udi said , “ As coaches , we want younger and faster players to ensure we achieve the results we set out. But there is no ruling out the place of experience in a team.

Mikel is still an integral part of the Eagles and he should be allowed to be.

“ He is a big source of motivation to players such as ( Alex ) Iwobi and the others . The coach may have gotten results with the younger players when Mikel was absent, but he cannot rule out the fact that Mikel’ s experience was missed in those games .

“ Mikel is one of the players who need to be celebrated anytime he says he is quitting the team. Until he does that, he should be called up for games he can play in . The truth is that at his age , he won ’ t be available for every game and he won ’ t play every match . But whenever he comes into the team, his leadership will always be needed . ”

Esu said , “ Mikel has paid his dues to the national team. He has put in over 12 years across different national teams and he has sacrificed a lot for the teams. The fact that he has missed these games doesn ’ t mean that he should be forced to retire from the team.

“ He remains the most experienced player we have in the team currently and even in his absence, the younger players can draw inspiration from knowing that he is always with them .

“ As coaches , we want to win games and we achieve that through a blend of youth and experience. In the Eagles , Mikel is closer to most of the younger players than the coaches . He has helped to lead the team through a lot of situations and his absence from some games doesn ’ t mean he is no more relevant to the team. If he wants to retire , he should be allowed to make that decision himself and not that he would be forced out . ”

Source:- punchng.com/mikel-shouldnt-be-forced-out-of-eagles-coaches/

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