Head Coach of the Super Eagles, Sunday Oliseh, has said he was shocked when he heard of the sudden retirement of Emmanuel Emenike from the Nigerian national team.
He, however, added that nobody except the entity Nigeria itself is irreplaceable. Emenike on Monday night, through Instagram, announced that he was putting a full stop to his career with the Super Eagles in order to avoid insults and also to allow peace in the national team.
However, coach Oliseh in his first public reaction to the development, said he was personally shocked with Emenike’s action .
“It was a big shocker for us and a big shocker for me personally… personally, I still don’t accept that he has retired because officially I have not heard anything from him and I don’t think the Federation has also heard from him, only what we know is what was posted on social media,” Oliseh told Sports Radio Brila FM on Wednesday.
Oliseh explained how he has made Emenike part of his rebuilding process and accorded him more playing time than any striker so far under his reign.
“I have made him (Emenike) part of our rebuilding process, in fact he has had more playing time than any striker we have had, so I am very very surprised that he has decided to retire” the Nigeria coach stated.
Oliseh revealed that he has already tried calling Emenike twice to actually hear from the horses’ mouth as it were but with no success yet.
“He has not reached me but I have called him twice because immediately I heard this, first I thought it was all these lies on social media so I called him twice yesterday (Tuesday), I am expecting a return call from him, it is when I hear from him that I would fully accept that he is retiring,” Oliseh said.
Going forward, while Oliseh said he is keen to hear from Emenike and possibly see the striker rescind on his decision, he was quick to state that he would not force the 28-year old to have a change of heart as he is mature enough to know what he wants.
“He is a man. If a man chooses to retire, it should be his decision; if you force him back it could be counterproductive…If truly he retires then it is a shame because we have him pretty much in our rebuilding plan. Be that as it may, I have always said only one thing is irreplaceable and that is Nigeria itself we are all replaceable and that is it,” Oliseh said.
He said with the possible final exit of Emenike from the Eagles, he might be forced to bring in other players that could fit in well into his plan.
Many expect that Obafemi Martins or Brown Ideye, who are both enjoying a good run of form at their respective clubs, might replace Emenike in the coming days.
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