FIFA World Cup Russia 2018.
Former Super Eagles’ Assistant Coach, Joseph Erico, has expressed optimism that goalkeepers in Coach Gernot Rohr-led Super Eagles would get better with more friendlies before the World Cup in June.
Of the keepers used by Rohr during the World Cup qualifiers and in the friendly games against Argentina, Poland and Serbia, none appear convincing in goal, as the Mundial beckons.
Speaking to The Guardian yesterday, Erico said the three goalkeepers already paraded are good enough, considering the time limit the team has before the start of the world football fiesta in Russia.
“We have three fantastic goalkeepers for now, considering the situation that we are. And if not, where do you want to get other goalkeepers now? You make do with what they presented to us as the best for now.
“People talk about goalkeepers getting jittery in goal in games, but as a former national goalkeeper, do you know what happened to me when I first played for my country? From my experience, I think it is natural for them to experience it at this early stage,” he said.
On what happened to former goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama, who was understudied by Israeli club Hapoel Hadera’s goalkeeper, Austin Ejide and Hapoel Ashkelon of Israel’s Dele Aiyenugba, before Carl Ikeme came on board, Erico said the question should be put to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
“That is a question the coach and the NFF should answer and not I. As a former coach I have my own plan and I take my time to do things if found in that situation. My assessment has been on the goalkeepers given to us because I can only talk about what I see.
“If Ejide and Aiyenugba are still keeping for their respective clubs, it is the choice of Rohr not to call them. if I was the one, I would have known those to invite base on my record .
“This is the area where you need to call on the ex-internationals, who have seen it all, to stay around the coaches to see what is happening so that there will be solution to those grey areas, especially the goalkeepers where people are complaining about.
But we don’t do that here; go to England, the veterans have a club and they are always around their national team. That is when the English FA seeks their advice.
In Nigeria, we do not have a say because the administrators don’t regard us because of our skin.
“Let’s take what we see and wish them good luck because that is what we prepare for and we have to take it. I will be angry if the team loses anyhow at the World Cup,” he stated.