Bursaspor of Turkey defender, William Troost-Ekong has come under fire from former Super Eagles defender, Pastor Taribo West and ex-Holland international, Rafael van der Vaart, following the childish manner in which he gave away a penalty against Croatia.
Though Taribo admitted Troost-Ekong had shown great promise in the Eagles’ back-four before Saturday’s match in Kaliningrad, Russia, the ex-stopper said he was disappointed with what happened against Croatia, while Van der Vaart opined that the defender would have developed better in Holland.
Troost-Ekong was particularly guilty for the second goal by Croatia via the spot taken by Luka Modric, no thanks to his grabbing of Mario Mandzukic in the box in his bid to stop the tall target man from reaching a corner kick against Nigeria.
Troost-Ekong lost his man Andreij Kramaric who headed the first goal that deflected off Oghenekaro Etebo for an own goal before giving away a penalty in the second half after grabbing Mandzukic in the box.
Taribo said: “I’m surprised most people are not blaming him for the defeat rather they are blaming the coach.
“Such high profile errors have no place in a stage like the World Cup where every mistake is easily punished.
“You don’t grab a striker by the shirt; you don’t push or put your hands around as well. Best thing to do is to use your shoulder, sometimes you just want to make them feel your presence.
“A coach won’t tell you not to do some certain things. As a defender you should know these things. You don’t defend that way in the World Cup. He should have done better.”
On his part, van der Vaart, a former Tottenham Hotspur ace, who played an advisory role in the career of Troost-Ekong, said he was disappointed in what he saw from the lad against Croatia.
The pair met at Spurs during the formative years of the Eagles’ Dutch-born centre back before his transfer to the Netherlands, where his performance caught the eyes of Nigeria.
Now at Bursaspor, van Der Vaart said he had a chat with Troost-Ekong after he trained with the first team and advised him to return to Holland for better development.
”Troost-Ekong trained with the first team when I was at Spurs. He told me he was from the Netherlands.
“I advised him to go back to the Netherlands. It was good for his development. Now he’s at the World Cup,” Van der Vaart recounted.