A shaky outing by outgoing FC Ifeanyiubah of Nnewi goalkeeper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa against Algeria on Friday has led to renewed calls among Nigerian soccer fans for the return of former Super Eagles captain, Vincent Enyeama to the squad.
With Ezenwa left stranded on several occasions during Friday’s match in Constantine, especially with the keeper glaringly vulnerable to high balls and crosses, soccer observes are of a view that the time for Enyeama’s return is now more poignant than ever.
The calls for goalkeeper Enyeama to return to the Super Eagles in time for next year’s World Cup have returned with full force after Ezenwa did not exactly cover himself in glory with a less-than-reassuring display against Algeria in Constantine.
Ezenwa fumbled a corner in the 61st minute only for Algeria’s Aissa Mandi to head wide when it would have been much easier to score, such that the clamour for Enyeama’s return for Russia 2018 is very much back on.
Ezenwa was inspired and at his best in his first Eagles start against Cameroon in Uyo in September and he was one of the reasons Nigeria posted a massive 4-0 home win on the day.
However, the same goalkeeper got millions of Nigerians worried again after he bundled down an opponent inside the box for a penalty, which Vincent Aboubakar converted for the Indomitable Lions to hold the Eagles to a 1-1 draw in Yaoundé.
Enyeama, on the other hand, is close to returning to action after a long-term knee injury, but he is not only Nigeria’s most successful goalkeeping export, he is also the country’s most capped international.
A cross-section of respondents on social media have now stated categorically that, should Enyeama be half as good as he was before the injury, he must be the man in goal for Nigeria in Russia next year.
The clamour for Enyeama’s return also notes that, besides current form, the experience of playing at three previous editions of the World Cup must count for something.
“Ezenwa has just penned Enyeama’s invitation letter with his error-laden performance. #bringbackenyeama,” Olajide Israel tweeted. “Ezenwa will cost us at the World Cup against deadlier strikers,” warned Lagos football fan Segun Alimi.
“We need to get Enyeama back in time for the World Cup,” added another fan, Abubakar Suleman, who was far from impressed with the performance Ezenwa delivered in Algeria.