Taiwo better than Echiejile – Okpala
BY EPHRAIM NWOSU
Monday, December 21, 2009
Olympic Marseille strongman, Taye Taiwo, is a better player than Rennes defender, Elderson Echiejile. This is the verdict of the former Nigerian captain, Sylvanus Okpala (MON).
“So long as I am concern, Taye Taiwo and Echiejile are incomparable,” began the erstwhile Enyimba and Rangers International Chief Coach.
“When it comes to the left wing back, Taiwo is the best player to man the position. The Olympic Marseille boy is better than the youngman playing there at the moment. That is my personal opinion.”
Echiejile stole the heart of Super Eagles coach, Shaibu Amodu, after posting a five-star performance in the international friendlygame between Nigeria and France which Taiwo failed to honour. Ever since then, the rising youngster is now ahead of Taiwo in the national team pecking order and football pundits believe he has what it takes to pocket the shirt ahead of his more experienced rival for a long time to come but Okpala who helped Nigeria to win the 1980 African Cup of Nations insisted: “Taiwo defends better, make use of the ball better. He also overlap better.
In football he has a lot of characteristics that can earn him goals. For instance, he crosses the ball well, he is a free kick and penalty specialist and above all his legs are loaded with bullets. Such a player should be the dream defender of any coach in the world and it beats my imagination why Amodu is keeping him on the bench. I’ve watched the other guy play so many times and there is no doubt he is a good player. He is a great defender in the making, but for now, Taiwo is far better than him.”