Atlanta 96 Olympic gold medallist Emmanuel Babayaro says the clamour for a very good goalkeeper for Nigeria at the World Cup in Russia is one issue that has been over emphasised.
Speaking to Owngoalnigeria.com in an exclusive interview, the former West Ham United trialist said Nigeria should be looking at strengthening other areas of the team and not necessarily the goalkeeping department.
The duo of Francis Odinaka Uzoho of Deportivo La Coruna and Ikechukwu Ezenwa of Enyimba are in the running to man the post for Nigeria, no thanks to the ailment suffered by first choice goalkeeper Carl Ikeme.
Babayaro down played the need for a fantastic goalkeeper at the World Cup, insisting that if other areas of the team is properly stocked, an average goalkeeper can do the job for the Eagles.
” The reason why Nigerians are clamouring for a very good goalkeeper is because of the amount of goal scoring opportunities we give opponents during games. Which is directly a fault of the defenders and not the goalkeeper “, he told Owngoalnigeria.com.
” Vincent Enyeama has done well for us in the last two World Cups, and the best his display has given us is to reduce the score line as other departments didn’t do what was expected of them.
” As a country we presently can’t boast of a goalkeeper of Enyeama’s quality but it’s not a necessity as being mentioned by many. For instance with all due respect to Dosu Joseph, the reason behind our triumph at the Olympics wasn’t because he was a fantastic goalkeeper.
” We won gold at the 1996 Olympics because other departments of the team made up for our short comings elsewhere. First of all we need a very good defence set up to provide cover for whoever is picked to man the post by coach Gernot Rohr. That should be our priority now”, he concluded.