Daniel Akpeyi’s agent has leapt to the defence of his client and slammed ex-PSL players like Junior Khanye for ganging up against the Nigerian goalkeeper.
The September and October player of the month came in for heavy criticism from fans and other ex-professional players after his blunder during the league match against Maritzburg United a few weeks ago.
However, the Nigerian international came back to silence his critics to win man of the match and help Amakhosi secure a 1-0 victory over Orlando Pirates in the Soweto Derby on Saturday.
Former Amakhosi midfielder Junior Khanye recently called on coach Ernst Middendorp to reinstate Itumeleng Khune as the number one goalkeeper at Naturena, which offended Lawal.
“I have seen many goalkeeping blunders that cost a lot of clubs points and trophies but this is a bit harsh on a player that has been in goals the whole season,” Akpeyi’s agent Mohammed Lawal tells KickOff.
“He made crucial saves that won points for the team and about five man-of-the-match awards, and a player of the month. For just one mistake, people forget.
“What really gets to me was the criticism coming from ex-professional footballers who have played and understand everything about football as a player.
“No one is immune to mistakes. Fans are supposed to be educated by these ex-professionals but instead they are misleading them.
“I am sorry to mention names but when is [Junior] Khanye now an expert in goalkeeping matters? Why doesn’t he apply as a goalkeeper coach so that he can improve keepers like Akpeyi?
“Just a little bit of a reminder, Akpeyi at 17 years played in the Under-17 World Cup and won gold at the Under-20 World Cup. He won silver and has been to the Olympics twice. He has been twice to AFCON and once in the FIFA World Cup with the senior national team in Nigeria.
“Now he is number one at one of the best teams in South Africa and Africa. Now all these ex-professional goalkeepers who kept criticising Akpeyi, please show us what you did when you were under-17 until you retire.
“Most of those talking never played outside South Africa. How will you know what it takes to play in another country and having a number one keeper of the country sitting on the bench?
“That alone is a huge task having Khune on the bench for any goalkeeper in the PSL. We all know Khune is an icon in South Africa and a great professional who has been nothing but supportive to Khune.”