The former coach of the senior national team of Nigeria Sunday Oliseh says Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Nididi is a better defensive midfielder than ex Super Eagles captain John Obi Mikel.
Oliseh famously dropped the then captain of the senior national team of Nigeria preferring to play a local lad in Paul Onobi ahead of the then Chelsea midfield lynchpin. Even when Vincent Enyeama quit the team making vacant his role as captain, Oliseh snubbed Mikel and went for Ahmed Musa as captain.
That decision was later reversed by Samson Siaisia and Mikel was made captain, Oliseh however had no regrets over how he handled Mikel during their time in the team and went a step further to explain why Ndidi is a better option in the role of defensive midfield.
“He’s a player who’s done some good with Chelsea. But when you talk about playing as an offensive midfielder, he’s not an offensive midfielder. My man here knows I’m blunt to say certain things. Offensive midfielders have certain qualities and he doesn’t have any of them”, he said in an interview with the Athlst Podcast,
“As regards as a defensive midfielder, I think he’s useful but I won’t play him. I’ll play Ndidi because a defensive midfielder’s work is you have to win balls without making fouls, you have to be very good in aerial balls. You have to have some control by helping others. “I’ll prefer to play Ndidi,” he stated.
He further explained how he was seen as controversial by the Nigerian press for benching Mikel insisting it was down to Mikel’s reluctance to play.
“When I coached the Super Eagles, I invited the man. There were lots of controversies. When you’re someone that’s principled, instead of saying that’s your decision, they try to link it to controversies. I invited the man to play with the Super Eagles. He didn’t want to play. I was like, okay, we’ll find another option”, he explained.