Former Super Eagles captain John Mikel Obi reportedly make an attempt to get Everton winger Alex Iwobi get dropped from the starting line-up during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
Mikel and Iwobi started Nigeria’s first group game against Burundi in the competition but the former complained about his teamamate “cramping in his playing space and style on the pitch and wanted him dropped,” according to popular journalist Osasu Obayiuwana on Twitter.
Head coach of the team, Gernot Rohr however rejected the idea and instead persisted with Iwobi and Mikel who later picked up an injury reduced to a bit part role.
“After (Mikel’s) top-grade performance with (Middlesbrough) in the championship, it was thought that he would exhibit the same form during the (AFCON 2019),” Obayiuwana narrated in a thread on he wrote on Wednesday.
“But despite engaging a personal trainer after the season, Mikel’s physical conditioning dropped.
“This was quite evident in Asaba, during the one-week I spent with the (Super Eagles) before they left for Egypt.
“But he was always going to be a part of the squad because Gernot sees him as integral to it, even when he’s not 100 per cent fit.
“The drop in (Mikel’s) physical conditioning – as seen from the group (AFCON 2019) games he played – forced Rohr and the staff to make the decision that he wouldn’t have more than a bit-part role during the tournament.
Th Super Eagles came third in Egypt 2019, while Mikel announced his retirement from international football at the end of the competition.