Odemwingie expected Nigeria omission

West Brom's Peter Odemwingie is resigned to his international career with Nigeria being over after his omission from the provisional squad for the African Nations Cup.

 Peter Odemwingie, West Bromwich Albion

Odemwingie has had a fractious relationship with Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi stretching back to last February when he was substituted in a friendly against Rwanda.

His exclusion from the initial 32-man party for the African Nations Cup is the final straw for Albion's top scorer in the past two seasons.

Odemwingie said: "It is clear now that my days with the Super Eagles are over. I expected it (to be left out of the ANC squad) because we have had a few issues before.

"I played a very good 10 years from 2002 to 2012. I don't want to be with a coach who doesn't want me.

"I still love my country and care about the football but I already wasn't feeling the way I would have liked to feel.

"The coach wants to present it in a way that has nothing to do with football, that I confronted him and said he couldn't substitute me early (against Rwanda).

"But we just had a nice conversation and I said to him: 'Coach, if you don't see me in your team, don't try to find stories, just tell me. It's very easy'.

"I just had to wait for his decision, because no matter what happened, if he called me on Wednesday I would go and play.

"But I had to wait for his decision, so people know it wasn't my decision not to play again."

Odemwingie added: "Last month I spoke with him (Keshi) because I didn't play in a few games with the national team and he said my body language didn't show that I wanted to play for the team.

"But body language for the Nigerian coach is that you have to be calling him all the time and greeting him, but for me football is an official thing.

"You invite a player and he comes. I don't have to be like his son, calling you every day and saying: 'How are you, sir?'

"I'm not that type of person. They take it as arrogance, but my mentality is different."

Odemwingie will now channel his energies into helping Albion sustain their top-six push in the Barclays Premier League and he is also expecting his first son next month.

He said: "Albion are on a mission. We have just started so nice this season and maybe we can experience a very great season.

"If I stay here for the extra four games (in January), it could mean a lot.

"If I'm in good form and score goals and bring points to the team, I'll be very happy at the end of the season.

"It is also a plus I can continue to be here for what could be a very special season for us.

"Even if it doesn't end up being so, we are going to give it our best shot and also my son will be born around January 11 which is something to look forward to."



comments powered by Disqus

Most Popular News

News & Update