Okocha warns Onuoha over England

12 May 2010 06:02
Jay Jay Okocha has warned Nedum Onuoha against pledging his international future to England rather than Nigeria.Ex-England Under-21 defender Onuoha was turned down a World Cup invite from the Super Eagles. [LNB]Okocha, who won 75 caps for Nigeria, feels the 23-year-old Manchester City defender could regret his decision. [LNB]"Playing for Nigeria would have afforded him the chance of [featuring] at the World Cup which attracts better offers for him," Okocha said. [LNB]"I just hope he won't live to regret that action for the rest of his life," added the former Bolton midfielder. [LNB]"If I were him, I would grab the chance of playing for Nigeria rather than beg for an England shirt." [LNB]Onuoha was a key player for the England Under-21s two years ago. [LNB]But he can still switch allegiance as he is yet to play for the England senior side. [LNB]The defender was not fully committed on a decision on his international future when he spoke to Nigeria manager Lars Lagerback last month forcing the Swede to leave him out his provisional World Cup squad. [LNB]But the versatile Onuoha has since been overlooked by Fabio Capello as England prepare for their World Cup campaign in South Africa. [LNB]Meanwhile, Lagerback has dismissed claims that his provisional squad of 30-players for the World Cup was influenced by hierarchy of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). [LNB]Lagerback insisted that he took several things into consideration before cutting down his squad without the opportunity of meeting all forty-four players in his original squad. [LNB]"What I have done with my coaches is to watch matches involving our players; we have seen some of the players in video and live," the coach stated. [LNB]"What we looked at is what the players have done for the country in 2009 and 2010, we also see what they did in their various clubs in these years. [LNB]"When you pick a player, it is based on individual skills, but you would also look at the fitness level and the number of matches they have played. [LNB]"I can say that I am satisfied with the players I picked, and say that the list I release purely belonged to me."

Source: BBC_Sport