Former Super Eagles captain John Obi Mikel wanted Alex Iwobi dropped from the starting line-up during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, it has been revealed.
It was thought that Mikel would exhibit the top-grade performances with Middlesbrough during the tournament in Egypt but was lacking good physical conditioning despite engaging a personal trainer at the end of last season, BBC reporter Osasu Obayiuwana narrated on Twitter.
The Chelsea legend complained to manager Gernot Rohr that Iwobi was cramping his playing space and style but the German sided with the Arsenal product and handed playmaking duties to him after the opening group match against Burundi.
Rohr has admitted that he had an issue with Mikel at the 2019 AFCON but praised the midfielder nonetheless for his great service to the Super Eagles.
The former Bayern Munich defender stated : ”He served the Super Eagles very well, for many years. It was very important that he finished his career with Nigeria in a good way. I have nothing for respect for him and how we worked together.
”Yes, there were some difficult moments with Mikel during the tournament.
”But it’s normal for players and coaches to have these things. That’s why I’m the manager. I have to manage.”
Mikel announced his retirement from international football following Nigeria’s third-place finish at the Africa Cup of Nations.