Former international player Taiwo Oloyede has urged Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro to explore the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) to address the national team’s goalkeeping issues.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Oloyede, a former captain of Stationary Stores, shared his thoughts on the Super Eagles’ recent friendly matches.
In the most recent friendly, the Super Eagles played to a 2-2 draw with the Green Falcons of Saudi Arabia in Portugal, with a goalkeeping mistake by Francis Uzoho resulting in the Falcons’ first goal, leading to criticism from pundits.
Oloyede, who represented the Super Eagles from 1994 to 1996, expressed concern about the national team’s winless streak and the persistence of players past their prime. He particularly criticised the selection of the two goalkeepers in the Super Eagles’ camp.
“The goalkeeping errors and instability are a bad omen for Nigeria. I don’t know why the coach insisted on calling those goalkeepers. I think he should forget about them. Peseiro should forget about Maduka Okoye and Francis Uzoho because we have better goalkeepers in the NPFL,” Oloyede remarked.
He pointed out that Nigeria has a history of discovering excellent goalkeepers from the domestic league and questioned the coach’s decisions. Oloyede also criticised the selection of Francis Uzoho, who is often a benchwarmer for his club, when a 35-year-old goalkeeper is a regular starter for the same club.
Oloyede, who began his career with IBWA and played for several top Nigerian clubs, argued that Peseiro missed an opportunity to introduce new players during the friendly matches.
He recommended, “The Super Eagles coach should invite new players or blend the newly called-up players with the old ones. I am sure we have better players around who can fill in the gap when the regulars are absent. If Osimhen is not fit or Iheanacho is not available, we should have replacements for them. We should be able to build a formidable team from the friendly matches.”
The Super Eagles are scheduled to play another friendly match against Mozambique in Portugal on Monday.