Last Wednesday, Nigeria
gave Sunday Oliseh a chance to put in practice all his talk as the new coach of the Super Eagles.
Reactions have been varied over Oliseh’s appointment but in general, they have been favourable.
The former Eagles skipper is widely regarded as a very knowledgeable and tactically sound coach going by his work as a TV pundit and with the FIFA Technical Study Group.
He is also known as someone who does not compromise his high standards as we all saw when he took on the country’s sports officialdom at the 2002 AFCON in Mali.
But again there are those who have questioned his very limited experience as a coach and also if he could go past the many pitfalls that go with holding down one of the toughest jobs in African football.
Quacks today parade themselves as coaches in Nigeria. They are not willing to develop and empower themselves, they are unprofessional and neck-deep in the rot that is Nigerian football now.
That explains why national team coaches are forced to train their call-ups from the domestic league on the basics – from how to kick the ball, passing and positional play.
There are also the numerous sentiments that have affected their judgment and decisions – from what they will be paid for playing a particular player to the pressures the high and mighty exert on them to pick players from them.
A person like Segun ‘Mathematical’ Odegbami is therefore living in the past to have said he would have led a protest march were a Nigerian not hired to replace Keshi.
The former Eagles skipper must have been overcome by patriotic fervour to have contemplated such.
This is because Odegbami ought to know more than most that besides the excess baggage the Nigerian coach comes with, he lacks the tactical acumen at a time when matches are now won on the bench than the pitch.
These coaches do not study their opponents and so they do not have clear and well-thought-out tactics to beat the other team.
Nigeria stars are not playing in the top leagues or some of the top clubs in Europe and some do not even get to play regularly for their foreign clubs.
But it still remains a very lame excuse for how badly the Eagles have played for many, many years now.
A good friend, the Slovenian coach Ivo Sajh, who led Kano Pillars to reach the last four of the 2009 CAF Champions League, told me has applied for the Eagles top post because “Nigeria have not had a coach for the past 10 years!”
The NFF has now displayed the will that they wish to change things for the better.
They must now support Oliseh all the way because he probably remains one of a handful of Nigerians who could get the Eagles flying again.
He in turn has to instill discipline and commitment in his team as well as groom younger players, who are hungry to make a name for themselves.
Were the Oliseh gamble to fail, we would all have to put aside national pride and seek help overseas.
That is why Oliseh cannot afford to bungle the chance a whole nation has now presented him.
.Audu writes for Africanfootball. Com.
CAF Mulls Super League Idea
The Confederation of African Football [CAF] is discussing the idea of introducing an African Super League, a continental competition which would likely replace the current CAF Champions League and hopefully boost revenue for the organising body.
The revelation was made as CAF President Patrice Motsepe issued a statement outlining the changes and reforms the new leadership is making to ensure African football is globally competitive and self-sustaining.
The idea has taken shape even despite the disastrous European Super League [ESL] proposal earlier this year, which caused major controversy before being banned after most founding member clubs bowed to fan pressure and pulled out.
“ExCo [the CAF executive committee] may have to discuss and consider new CAF competitions which may generate additional funding or income for CAF, its member associations and bodies and also contribute to African football becoming globally competitive and self-sustaining,” Motsepe was quoted as saying by Tidesports source.
“In this regard, we are assessing and [are] in preliminary discussions to start an inclusive and broadly supported and beneficial CAF African Super League. We have been following the attempts by some top European clubs to form a Euro Super League and will learn from their experience and pitfalls.”
CAF is looking to boost income after recent forensic auditing revealed that the organisation has been beset by financial irregularities.
NPFL: Rivers United’s Coach Praises Players
The Chief Coach of Rivers United FC of Port Harcourt, Ndubuisi Nduka, has praised his players after a 1-0 win over Katsina United FC in the match day 28 of the Nigeria Professional Football League ( NPFL) in Port Harcourt.
He stated that his boys (players) gave all their best to ensure they secured the maximum three points for the team, and described the encounter as very tough.
Nduka, said this on Sunday, during a post match interview with sports journalists, after the Pride of Rivers, defeated their opponents 1-0, at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt.
According to him, what made the match more difficult for his players was that they failed to utilise goal opportunities they created in the first half of the game.
The only goal of the game came in the 77th minute by home boy, Malachi Ohawume, who made his goals four for this league season.
“It was a tough game; I think our boys gave it all.
What made it more difficult for us was the chances we lost especially in the first half, “ Nduka said.
He explained that the second round of the league is always difficult because every team is fighting to be at top and some are fighting not to be relegated.
“At this point and time of the league, the second round, we are stretching to the finishing point.
“It is always difficult and if you remember the position of Katsina United, they are not safe so they are looking for where to pick points, so I gave kudos to my boys as they secured three points for us, “ he stated.
Rivers United is now 4th on the log after 28 matches with 48 points.
By: Kiadum Edookor
Hockey Championship: Team Rivers’ Performance Excites Coach
The Head coach of Team Rivers State, (female) hockey, Comfort Nya, has commended her players after they defeated team Edo, 3-1 in the ongoing, 2021 Mabisel National Hockey Championship (MNHC) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
She, described the match as one of the toughest games they have played, saying that the calibre of players she saw in the team Edo lineup was intimidating.
Nya said this on Monday in her post match interview with sports journalists, after their first victory in the championship, at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Sports in Port Harcourt.
According to her, their first game in the championship was difficult because of the heavy downpour, adding that they could not play well but today they are awesome.
“It was a tough one, honestly speaking I would not tell lies, and the players I saw in team Edo lineup are old and good players and my girls are just upcoming.
“I was thinking of draw or let them just play but with this result I am so happy with their performance, “Nya said.
The coach further explained that their next outing will be against team Kaduna, they are going to do more better.
“Our first game was disturbed by heavy rainfall, they could not play well but today they have performed well.
“In our next game against team Kaduna, we are going to do better,” She stated..
By: Kiadum Edookor
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