When erstwhile Super Eagles coach, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi came on board as the man to lead the senior national football team to greater heights, the feeling was all positive and that was not an anomaly. He had rightly earned his place in history as the first man to qualify Togo to the world cup in 2006, a competition he never lead them to as a result of some internal wrangles within the camp. Keshi was shown the exit door in Togo and Mali came calling. He led Mali to an uneventful African Cup of Nations in 2010 and he later left that post a few months after the tournament.
Keshi’s C.V was very rich, he had previously worked as an assistant coach with the Super Eagles under Amodu Shuaibu in his second coming as the coach of the Nigerian national team. He had a very great level of experience to cope with the Nigerian pressure when he came on board after Siasia’s failure. He won us an elusive nations cup in 2013, becoming the first indigenous coach who did that and became the first indigenous coach to lead us to a second round showing at the world cup in 2014.
Keshi was widely celebrated and his records were very respected till his Nigerian spirit was reincarnated. Defiance on progression and unnecessary rumblings with the N.F.F soon became his shticks, players anarchy and an unpatriotic zeal towards national assignments culminated into his dismissal. Keshi is by every means a very fantastic coach, his understanding of African football is arguably the best on the continent but a man whose arrogance couldn’t make him look beyond his nose.
Oliseh is now on board and Nigerians, as usual are all geared up for better times but they hold a caution key. Oliseh has shown good knowledge of football on t.v but the Super Eagles is no child’s play and not a job anyone not courageous enough can handle. Nigerians are very so obsessed with their football and their national team is treated with so much love, a fact Oliseh is no alien to being an ex-Super Eagle himself. Every Super Eagles coach has the objective of putting smiles on Nigerians’ faces and if Oliseh will be successful with this very cumbersome assignment, he must be meticulous and cautiously patient.
Just a few months into the Super Eagles job, he’s had a quarrel with now former captain and 100-club legend, Vincent Enyeama, a move not bad for the future but one which was not appropriately carried out. Ahmed Musa is a very diligent and patriotic footballer who has proven his mettle over the years and leading the team won’t be too big a problem for him, at least for now.
Sunday Oliseh had to be reminded of Kelechi Iheanacho’s quality once more when he showed a fantastic performance against Crystal Palace, a quality he never hid from the world till now but one which Oliseh has always had a blind sight to. Now, he’s convinced the young man has a world of quality to offer by extending him an invitation and he should realise many are around in different parts of the world who have a lot to contribute too.
For Oliseh to be as successful as Keshi or even more than him, he must stop being arrogant to quality and start giving every deserving Nigerian an opportunity to serve their fatherland. He must start being very cautious of his dealings with senior members of the team and must take this opportunity very close to heart. This may just be the last chance of an ex-international to lead the Super Eagles and one that must be taken with both hands.
Christian Chukwu has lead the team previously, Austin Eguavoen has, Samson Siasia has, Stephen Keshi has and now it’s Sunday Oliseh, the question Oliseh should ask himself must be, if he messes up with this chance, who else can replace him from the pool of ex-internationals? As at my last check, nobody! None for now. It’s the last Nigerian chance!