Many Nigerians were not expecting Torino midfielder Joel Obi to make the Super Eagles squad for the World Cup 2018 in Russia base on his poor performance against England, a day before the list was released.
Obi had a very poor first half which led to his substitution before the start of the second half and Nigeria also appeared more balanced following his exit even though they eventually lost the tie 1-2.
His name was among the midfielders picked for the World Cup by coach Gernot Rohr and it sparked concerns as many believed he shouldn’t have made the the list ahead of a player like Mikel Agu, who didn’t do badly against Congo DR in the Eagles 1-1 friendly draw before the England game.
Owngoalnigeria.com can however report that the Rohr has already drawn up his World Cup list before the game against England and Obi’s poor performance wasn’t enough to force the coach to have a change of mind.
The Torino man made the list specifically because he is left footed and the Eagles currently lack enough in their ranks to bring balance to the squad, and having a left footed midfielder will no doubt address the issue of team balance.
Experience also worked in his favour as he has been around for a while and in the Serie A particularly last season he was a revelation for Torino and Rohr closely monitored his performance which he capped with five goals from his deep lying role in the midfield.