Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Odemwingie urged to 'calm down'

West Brom's Peter Odemwingie has been urged to calm down
West Brom's Peter Odemwingie has been urged to calm down

West Brom striker Peter Odemwingie has been labelled "a loose cannon" and urged to grow up if he is to get his career back on track.

The verdict comes from former Nigeria coach Samson Siasia, who has previously worked with Odemwingie at international level. Odemwingie has endured a turbulent few months in which he fell out with current Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi, resulting in him missing out on the Super Eagles' triumph in this year's African Nations Cup.

With Albion, the 31-year-old has slowly worked his way back into the plans of manager Steve Clarke after failing with a bid to engineer himself a move to QPR on transfer deadline day.

Siasia, who coached the Nigeria Under-23s to a silver medal in the 2008 Olympics where Odemwingie was the overage player, still has his doubts about the striker.

"Would I invite Odemwingie to the national team if I was the head coach at the moment? No I wouldn't," said Siasia, who was in charge of the senior Nigeria team from 2010 to 2011.

"We need players that will steer the upcoming ones in the right path and act as role models. If he does not do that, he will only end up destroying the team."

Speaking to supersport.com, Siasia added: "He confuses me to be honest.

"On the pitch he's a great player that every coach would want in his team, but off it he's a loose cannon.

"He needs to calm down and understand he now has a wife and a kid who look up to him as an example.

"I pray he matures quickly because Nigerians will want to see him back in the national team."

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