Super Eagles coach, Sunday Oliseh, says he received the news of the sudden retirement of star striker, Emmanuel Emenike from the national team with shock.
Emenike had on Monday night announced via Instagram, a social media platform, that he was ending his international career to avoid insults and also to allow peace in the national team.
However, Oliseh in his first public reaction to the development, said: “It was a big shocker for us and a big shocker for me personally… personally, I still don’t accept that he has retired because officially I have not heard anything from him and I don’t think the Federation has also heard from him, only what we know is what was posted on social media,” Oliseh told Sports Radio Brila FM on Wednesday.
The Super Eagles coach also explained how he has made Emenike part of his rebuilding process and accorded him more playing time than any striker so far under his reign. “I have made him (Emenike) part of our rebuilding process, in fact he has had more playing time than any striker we have had, so I am very very surprised that he has decided to retire,” he said.
Oliseh revealed that he has already tried to reach Emenike twice to actually hear from him but with no success yet. “He has not reached me but I have called him twice because immediately I heard this, first I thought it was all these lies on social media so I called him twice yesterday (Tuesday), I am expecting a return call from him, it is when I hear from him that I would fully accept that he is retiring,” he stressed.
Although the gaffer said he is keen to talk with the 28-year-old striker and possibly get him rescind the decision, he was quick to declare that nobody is irreplaceable in the national team. His words: “If a man chooses to retire, it should be his decision; if you force him back it could be counterproductive…If truly he retires then it is a shame because we have him pretty much in our rebuilding plan. Be that as it may, I have always said only one thing is irreplaceable and that is Nigeria itself we are all replaceable and that is it.”
By Olisemeka Obeche