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Monday, November 29, 2021

Overhaul Super Eagles now!


IT would be a great disservice to one’s fatherland to play the ostrich with the geometrical decline in the Nigerian Football, especially the prominent men’s senior national team. The one time number one football national team in Africa and seventh in the word have dropped to the fifth in Africa and 35th in the world due to poor management. Without being sentimental and to prevent further embarrassment, total overhauling of the team is the way to go for the Eagles to fly again.

WITHOUT much ado, the current National teams and their technical crews lack tactics and creativity on the field of play. We cannot categorically point to any pattern of play adopted by the current team unlike in the past when the team played with purpose and creativity.In view of the deformities in the team, many Nigerians and football professionals in the country have called for the sack of Head coach, Gernot Rohr and The Hope supports this notion.

ONE of the shortcomings of the German is his failure to give Nigerians his first team players almost six years in charge. The Super Eagles were exposed during the 2019 Nations Cup hosted by Egypt, when they lost 2-0 to the low-rated Madagascar under the Franco German and his crew but proceeded to the round of 16 in the competition before they were eliminated by Algeria in the semi-final.The situation got worse as they threw away a four-goal lead against Sierra Leone in November, 2020, lost to Central Africa Republic and drew against Cape Verde on home soil in the 2022 World Cup Qualifier games, putting Nigeria’s qualification for the World Cup in doubt.
THE lacklustre display of the team and the indecisiveness of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to sack Rohr have culminated into scepticism for the National team among Nigerians, who would rather watch their favourite European teams play than to watching the Super Eagles.
AMONG African teams, only Nigeria seems to parade all foreign-players team for the on-going 2022 World Cup Qualifiers, barricading some of the brilliant players in the home league. Recall, among the team that won the 2013 African Cup of Nations for Nigeria were six home-based players – Godfrey Oboabana, Sunday Mba, Ejike Uzoenyi, Chigozie Agbim, Reuben Gabriel and Azubuike Egwuekwe.
LATE Stephen Keshi’s trust in local players made him to feature Sunday Mba in the final of the competition. The Enugu Rangers players did not only perform well but also scored the winning goal for the Super Eagles.
EVER since Rohr became the Nigerian team handler, we cannot point at any home-based player he groomed into the team.
DESPITE having it in his contract that he would stay in Nigeria in order to help groom local players, Rohr seldom stays in the country with excuse that the players in the national team are all foreign-based. We advise the Nigerian Football Federation to look in the direction of the local coaches as replacement for the head coaches of the Super Eagles and other national teams.
ON several occasions, issues relating to players indiscipline, non-payment of allowances, imposition of players on the coach, denial or delay of visa at the embassies, invitation of unworthy players and prejudiced team selection among others were reported from the Eagles camp.
THE team management seems to have no laid down guidelines and criteria to invite players for national assignment and team selection for matches.
GODFATHERISM has been another debilitating factor that needs to be addressed in the Eagles camp. Some players in the national team are only favoured to be in the team, blocking those that are really passionate and are worthy to be selected. The ripple effect is that no single creative midfielder is in the current team.
IF the overhaul will start today, it should begin with the demagogues parading themselves as sports administrators in the Nigerian Football Federation. It is necessary to review the law establishing the football governing body and allow only experienced and credible individuals with knowledge of modern day football to be in charge.
THE sojourn of the Super Eagles to the glorious days may take some time but starting the journey now is better than waiting for a miracle to happen because none will.


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