Former Super Eagles defender Taribo West believes that Kelechi Iheanacho is the key for Nigeria as they prepare for the vital world cup qualifiers vs Cameroon. “I hear he might be leaving Man City to join Leicester City, that will be very good for him especially in the playing time he will get” West spoke exclusively to www.aclsports.com in the Mixed Zone of the Star Sixes tournament at London’s O2 Arena. “They (Leicester City) might not be one of the biggest names in the league or in Europe but what is very important is that he starts to play his football and regain his confidence. Watching the Eagles you will see the team is built around him and his play so we need him playing regularly”
West was part of the Nigerian team that won the gold medal at the Football event of the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. He went on to play at the France ’98 and Japan/Korea ’02 FIFA World Cups. “The task of qualifying for the World Cup is not particularly daunting if the players play as well as they have played in most of their other matches. We should be able to overcome Cameroon and maintain our leadership of the group”.
Following the defeat to South Africa at home during the AFCON qualifier it was reported that the Nigeria Football Federation are going to start vetting the list of players coach Gernot Rohr invites in the future. “This list vetting has been a complexity in our football for a long time. In our time we had quality players all over Europe, so very competitive and you have to be outstanding to get into squads. In that kind of openness there is no way you can manipulate the list” West says. “Now though we are struggling to get quality players, they are hardly playing at some of the clubs they are registered with. This situation is what has given rise to this needless call for vetting of list. Maybe it is also because there are businesses some people try to do with the list of those to be invited. They need to leave the coach to call on those he wants to work with so that we don’t get derailed”.
West was pleased to have been a part of the Star Sixes tournament. “It gave me the chance to see some of my former team mates that I have not seen for years” the former Auxerre and Inter Milan defender said. “We will be better prepared next time I am sure because this time we were not but it was a good work out for all of us”.