Former national team coach, James Peters has said that calls for the inclusion of Peter Osaze Odemwingie and Ikechukwu Uche in the 2014 World Cup squad could backfire on coach Stephen Keshi.
Peters, a veteran coach, stated that it will be a gamble if Keshi bows to fansâ€™ pressure and include players that are not suitable to his plans and tactics at the tournament. He argued that Keshi had kept faith with certain group of players in his campaign and they have come to understand his team tactics, stressing that introducing new players will be inimical to the teamâ€™s progress.
â€œThere are some kind of players a coach may want, maybe he wants speed, maybe he wants a player who is a hard marker, maybe he wants a player who does not lose his opponent when he is told to do so. There are some players you give directives and instruction they will not carry them out, they will play their own and sometimes coaches donâ€™t like that. So, it depends on what the coach likes, that will inform who he invites to his team for him to get the result.
â€œWe must respect Keshiâ€™s choice and not force him to pick players that he has no plans for. If he takes players that cannot conform to his tactics and he loses, he should not come around and say people asked him to include these players,â€ said Peters in Abuja.
There has been a popular clamour for the recall of Odemwingie and Uche who are enjoying a run of form in their respective clubs. This is against the background of Keshi relying on Emmanuel Emenike in his campaigns.
â€œIt is difficult to see the way the coaches see a player, but if you have a player that you think is very good and he can play to your strategy or tactics, why not? But if he cannot, you do not have to because you will lose and when you lose everybody will blame you.
â€œThe buck stops on Keshiâ€™s table. So, if he sticks to his plans and he succeeds, he will feel fine for himself and he would have done what he wanted to do,â€ added Peters, who had coaching stints with various Nigerian club sides.