Former Eagles goalkeeper, Ike Shorunmu has warned against recalling Vincent Enyeama for the double header 2018 World Cup qualifying games against Cameroon next month.
Nigeria host the reigning African champions in the first weekend of September before travelling for the return leg four days later in two games that will potentially decide which of either side pick the sole ticket to play in Russia 2018.
Though Eagles top the table with six points, four more than the Indomitable Lions, Shorunmu said Nigeria must be wary of the threat posed by their next opponents, who he warned would play the game of their lives in Uyo.
He said the plan of Coach Gernot Rohr to invite Enyeama for the game in Uyo may backfire given the player’s stance on not playing for Eagles.
‘’In all honesty, I also called for Vincent’s return following Ikeme’s recent setback. We need our best players against Cameroon so you can understand why Nigerians are calling for his return. But the truth must be told; if Enyeama said he is done with the national team then there is no point trying to force his return.
‘’It happened to me in the build-up to the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia. Coach Christian Chukwu had called for my return after I retired from the national team, but I stood my ground that I was not coming back to the Eagles. Enyeama stepped up and Nigeria did well at the tournament. If Enyeama says he is not coming there is no point begging him to return’’, added Shorunmu.
‘Cameroon won’t be easy meat by all standards. Like you rightly pointed out the Lions are the reigning African champions and that alone should earn them some respect. But as a Nigerian, I want us to win that game to brighten our World Cup chances.
‘’Wining in Uyo is far more important to me than picking three points in Yaounde. Honestly, our players must put their heads down and take this match seriously. The loss to South Africa shocked everyone, but we just have to watch our backs and make sure Cameroon are beaten here in Nigeria. Let us cross that bridge first, then we can begin to fancy our chances in Yaounde.
‘’I played against Cameroon at the Africa Cup of Nations in 2000 in Lagos where we lost on penalties. The memory still lingers but this must not happen again. I am happy we will be having the bulk of our stars around this time. I mean we stand a good chance of beating Cameroon here once Victor Moses, Mikel Obi are fit. They are our most experienced players and Cameroon will have some fears in them with this duo on the pitch”, added Shorunmu.