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The West Brom forward has signified his intention to play for the country again at the Afcon in South Africa. With his performance against Chelsea on Saturday, he deserves it

By Babajide Alaka | Deputy Editor

It would have been easy to do away with Peter Odemwingie if the side had another player in his mould, maybe younger but that is not the case as the Super Eagles class of 2012 is currently formatted. looks at five reasons why the striker is still relevant to Nigeria especially at the forth coming Africa Cup of Nations Cup in South Africa next January.


At 31, the West Brom man is at the peak of his powers and having joined the team in 2002, he has enough cognitive experience to help the team with loads of match experience in both league football and national team set-up.

Though some will say that he has not always impressed with his goals return ratio, one thing that no one can take away from the Uzbekistan-born forward is the fact that he always gives a 100% whenever he has been asked to play for his country.

At the 2010 World Cup, Odemwingie was about the only other player apart from Danny Shittu, who played with passion whenever he was fielded. For the Eagles to triumph in South Africa next year, the team needs someone in his mould.

Odemwingie can start as a top No.9, he can play from both wings and he can also function as the team’s playmaker in the hole behind the front striker. These make him the tournament player – he can fill in and very well in any role that may be problematic for the coach and is a very intelligent player who is able to interpret his roles correctly as spelt out by the coach.

At West Brom, he has played alone upfront, from the wings and in the hole behind Shane Long on occasions. Definitely he is unlike forwards like Brown Ideye, Emmanuel Emenike and Obafemi Martins, who can only perform to their optimum best when they are the focal point of the attack. He also represents that kind of player, who will do something out of the ordinary in the match.


One of the few players in the world who has two strong feet who is able to pass, shoot and mark with either feet – he has scored as many goals with his right foot as with his left in the Premiership.

Statistics show that he just slightly favours the left foot over the right foot in shooting at goal which makes him like the only one, probably with Ike Uche who will go for goal with his left foot. That creates a little balance in the team with almost all the players at the disposal of Coach Keshi right now with the proclivity to use their right foot.


Odemwingie has not won anything significant with the national team and will be extra motivated to make the trip to South Africa a better one than the one the team undertook in 2010 – a World Cup tournament to forget for the player and for the Super Eagles.

Now after sorting out those ‘issues’ with Stephen Keshi, he will want to prove, most of all to himself, that he is as good as any of the Nigerian players that have won the Nations Cup.


He started the season on the bench, then got injured and then he had to serve a three-match suspension because of a red card he got against Fulham – which means that he has only played 534 minutes of the 2012/13 season – that is nine games for which he has come on as a substitute in three and been substituted twice.

He is at the right age, at the peak of his powers and he is not been over-used in the Premiership by West Brom. And most of all, he still wants to prove to himself that he can play with the best in the world, certainly, he must start on the African stage.

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