Former Nigeria great calls young Chelsea defender 'amateur'

Former Milan and Derby County defender Taribo West has publicly criticised Middlesbrough's on-loan Chelsea defender Kenneth Omeruo.

Eccentric ex-Nigerian international Taribo West has raged at the Nigerian defence duo of Kenneth Omeruo and Godfrey Oboabona for defending like 'amateurs' in the 2015 African Cup of Nations qualifiers. 

The former Derby County defender, once considered world class by his peers, clearly has a low opinion on the Eagles' current back line after pushing the national team's caretaker coach Shaibu Amodu to look for replacements for both centre-back and left-back positions. 

Nigeria beat Sudan comfortably on Wednesday night, reigniting their hopes of qualifying for the finals in Morocco. The Eagles currently sit in third position in Group A but know any dropped points now could see them miss out on qualification. 

West, who won a gold medal in the 96' Olympic Games, claimed Nigeria had themselves to blame for their disappointing position and Omerou and Oboabona should take the majority of the blame.

''The Eagles impressed me [during their 3-1 win over Sudan] but our defence was suspect and Omeruo and [Godfrey] Oboabona played like amateur defenders,'' said the ex-Inter and AC Milan centre-back.

''They are good defenders but they were too relaxed and made the same mistakes over and over again. We have conceded goals in the same way in the qualifiers. 

''Sudan's goal [in Nigeria's 3-1 win] was similar to the one against us in the first leg in Kartoum.

''They only did well against South Africa, though they made some mistakes. South Africa had the opportunity to execute one-on-one moves and score goals but Vincent Enyeama saved us. The two defenders didn't play like champions or professionals in other games.

''I think they need competition. We need to scout for new central defenders. I would have suggested that they should be dropped but we don't have better replacements for them now. But we should work on improving their weaknesses.'' 

The stinging comments fly in the face of what supporters saw in the 2014 World Cup finals, with many pundits suggesting Omerou was one of the better young players. However, outside of the media spotlight, it seems the Chelsea defender is struggling to live up to the billing. 

Taribo West, who constantly faced rumours of indiscretions over his age, carved out a wonderful career and played at the very top of the sport; particularly during his years with Inter Milan. 

If possible, and willing, Omeruo could learn a lot from the wise and talented Taribo West; both players look to be cut from the same cloth and if given the right direction then the Chelsea defender could look to emulate the Nigerian great.

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