Song wrong to have dropped Onana, says Udeze

Andre Onana

Former Nigeria international, Ifeanyi Udeze, has weighed in on the face off between Indomitable Lions head coach Rigobert Song and first choice goalkeeper André Onana before the Group G match between Cameroon and Serbia.

Before the game that ended 3-3, news breaking from the camp of the Lions indicated that Inter Milan goalie Onana had been dropped for Monday’s game over his disagreement with his coach Song over team tactics.

“I believe there must have been issue between Onana and the coach. Rigobert Song,” Udeze who was part of Nigeria’s 2002 FIFA World Cup squad said on Brila FM.

“Song should have managed the situation. After the tournament, you may wish not to invite the player as the coach if you remain there or even as the FA President but not during the tournament.

“When Jay-Jay Okocha was playing for the Super Eagles, if the coach felt he showboated a lot, he will be replaced but will still start the next game or be part of the game from the bench,” Udeze revealed.

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“Cameroon had the chance to score but they gave away this game. You can’t throw your best players out. The worse case scenario, you substitute the player. This is a tournament proper.

“When Aliou Cissé’s Senegal lost to the Netherlands and he defended his keeper, Mendy, he knew what he was doing.

“Cisse knows how to manage players. He’s a good man manager. His keeper made a mistake but he defended him. And even Kalidou Koulibaly against the Netherlands. And the next game, they won.

“Unless the behavior of the player is so bad, you have to know your man management.

Udeze also heaped praise on the duo of Vincent Aboubakar and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting for their contributions in the comeback against the Serbians.

“I’m happy they came back into the game and earned a draw. I thought they had lost it.

“Vincent Aboubakar thought he was offside but VAR confirmed it was not offside. He’s very happy. At least he’s scored at the World Cup.

“Choupo-Moting is an experienced player who knows how to position himself. If a player doesn’t have fitness, he must be intelligent enough to know when attack the ball.”

Cameroon face Brazil in their final group game at the Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail on Friday.