Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lagerback doubts Kanu for World Cup squad

Lars Lagerback, the Eagles Technical Adviser, has cast doubt over the inclusion of the team's captain, Nwankwo Kanu, in the World Cup squad as he said that playing time at club level and not the number of caps would determine his selection of players.

Lagerback, who watched the Eagles' Team B training session yesterday, said that he was going to focus on assessing the Team A players through their performances at their respective clubs.

In the company of his Swede assistant, Roland Andersson, Lagerback said he was not going to rely on anyone's advice or records in his assessment of the players.

"I will assess the players on my own. It's not going to be on the basis of what you have done in the past, but what you are doing

currently. So, even if you have 70 caps, you have to be playing regularly," he maintained yesterday.

The former Swedish national team Coach said one advantage towards ensuring success in this regard is that he would establish a good rapport with most of the clubs the Nigerian players are playing for.

"I'll have to have a good rapport with all the players' clubs, and I will regularly be in touch with them and their physical fitness trainers to ascertain their level of fitness. I will not want to take half_fit player to South Africa for the World Cup," he said.

Lagerback explained that the likes of Obinna Nwaneri, Danny Shittu and Nwankwo Kanu would need to seek more club football playing time if they were going to be part of the team to the June 11 to July 11 World Cup finals.

"For now Nwaneri has to get a better club, because he is playing for a club in the United Arab Emirates in a league that is third_rate, while Shittu is not playing regular football at his club for now.

"The same thing goes for Kanu, and he and the other two are not in the right shape to play 90 minutes football.

"They can only play about 20 minutes of football, and we all know that we don't need that at the World Cup, but players who can play for 90 minutes," The Swede dropped.

He said what he needed to instill in his team to excel at the World Cup were good tactics and not the game's techniques at this point in time.


Related stories: Nwankwo Kanu to release biopic and book after World Cup

Nwankwo Kanu to retire from international football after World Cup

Video - World Cup comes to Nigeria

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