By Toyin Akiode
Reports from newspapers and online sources verified the heated argument between Victor Moses and Super Eagles handler, Gernot Rohr over the former’s notice that he won’t be available to play in the friendly matches coming up for the national team. The reason given was the knock he received in Chelsea’s quarter final match in the Emirates FA Cup against Manchester United.
According to statements sourced online, Nigeria’s German coach was of the opinion that Moses should play for the Super Eagles since he managed a pivotal 70 minutes league appearance against Stoke City this past weekend. However, Moses indicated that his appearance at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in London was a sign of respect for the team and his managers emphasizing the need for him to be excused from the friendly against Senegal.
Reading through some of the comments and sentiments of fans of the Super Eagles necessitated my desire to pen this piece and thereby address the issue from a neutral angle.
That Victor Moses is an important player for the Super Eagles is not in question. In similar vein, no one at Stamford Bridge will deny the significance of the tireless Nigerian in the Chelsea team. From all indications; Moses is a constant in the first eleven of Antonio Conte – An important cog in his wheel of progress if one may say.
At the national level, his importance has grown in leaps and bounds aptly demonstrated by his brace against Algeria in Uyo in the last African FIFA World Cup qualifiers. His dreamlike contributions and tactical improvement for Chelsea this season has made many to dub him the ‘new Messiah’ of the Super Eagles.
It is the weight of this sentiments that is driving arguments from both sides of the divide on whether Moses is actually injured or just preserving himself for Chelsea. It is both a difficult and good position to be in for a player that was almost getting to the shores of football irrelevance at club and national levels.
While Moses should always honour national calls; Gernot Rohr and his team should accept that there is wisdom in giving consideration for the young man bearing his current status at his club and the need for him to remain fit for the rest of the season. This is also a friendly match. It should be used productively to identify new players that will give the established ones a run for their money when the time comes.
Finally, Rohr and Conte should both work hand in hand to ensure that Nigeria as well as Chelsea get the best from this prized jewel. It is the only way to go!
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