First thoughts on Emenike's retirement

Monday 19 October 2015

/ by Colin Udoh
Emenike's last time in Nigeria shirt? Lining up to face Tanzania in Dar es Salaam

Just this morning, ran an analysis of Sunday Oliseh's preference for Emmanuel Emenike.

Less than 18 hours later, the Al Ain forward announced his international retirement. Just like his captain Vincent Enyeama, he took to Instagram to do so.

Part of the immediate reactions from Nigerians, especially on social media, have been to speculate about what simmering undercurrents of dissent are going on in Oliseh's dressing room which has erupted in two senior figures calling time on their international careers.

My first thoughts are that if at all there is a thread that connects both, it must be of the thinnest variety.

Here's why. In the heat of the Oliseh/Enyeama face off, Emenike was one of the four players who intervened. First, dousing the tension by escorting Enyeama out of the scene, then following up by playing peace-keeping diplomats in going back and forth between the rooms of coach and captain.

Second, a couple of hours before Emenike's Instagram post, I was on the phone with Oliseh. The first thing he asked, after we exchanged pleasantries, was "Why are some of your colleagues like this? Why would somebody write that article about Emenike?"

I suggested that perhaps his list for the November game had been leaked? "I haven't even sent a list to the NFF," he said. "We are still focused on CHAN, so how can anybody say I dropped Emenike?

"You people should try to support our players."

These quotes are practically verbatim. So it is hard to see any previous issue between player and coach. I stand to be corrected. Hopefully, the next few days will provide further enlightenment.

Based on information available so far, it is hard to see this as anything more than a decision to preempt a supposed humiliation based on what happened a few weeks ago.

While that assumption may be false, it speaks to how that incident could have been better handled.

For now, we await clarity.
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  1. Wow. I did see the Vanguard article speculating he would be dropped this morning. Like you said, it probably is to preempt that move. I hope he will reconsider his decision as he is still young and has a lot to still offer to the Eagles despite his drought.

  2. Emenike said he was threatened and that he's leaving for the sake of National peace, hmm something must be wrong here, the so called senior players are not comfortable with the coach, well nobody is indispensible, but these issues should be looked into, Mikel Obi will be the next to retire...


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