|When the journey started for Oliseh as Super Eagles Head Coach
Nigeria’s teeming football fans woke up on Friday morning to the shocking news that the Head Coach of the Super Eagles had tendered his resignation letter.
Barely 24 hours earlier, the former Juventus midfielder was speaking live via Skype at the Social Media Week Lagos, joining ace sports-caster Colin Udoh and ex-international Emmanuel Amuneke to discuss how he was managing the Super Eagles in the Social Media Age. Characteristically bare and blunt as he revealed his plans for the two-legged AFCON-header against Egypt, Oliseh never gave away the slightest hint that he was about to quit.
But has Oliseh caught us all unaware? Truth is, many predicted this outcome, most won’t be surprised by it and amazingly, some even wanted it.
The relationship between coach Oliseh and the Nigeria Football Federation admittedly cannot be described as great even from the very beginning however it’s a shame that our football is thrown into this mess only a couple of weeks to the crucial game against Egypt.
Shame on the NFF
Amaju Pinnick obviously was the one who wanted Sunday Oliseh but virtually everyone else in the Glass House, from the cleaner to the members of the technical department wanted the ex-Ajax star to fail.
It didn’t matter if the national side had shown some improvement under the former Super Eagles’ captain, the nation’s football governing body still courted other foreign coaches, starved the players of their benefits and denied the coach and his assistants their wages.
|Oliseh and his boss, Amanju Pinnick
The NFF’s job may have been made harder by the personality and temperament of the man they had to deal with but they shouldn’t have appointed Oliseh if they were not ready to support him.
Shame on Oliseh
It goes without saying that Sunday Oliseh desired to take the Super Eagles to a higher level and with time he would have done just that because he is smart, ambitious and not as timid as most local coaches.
Nevertheless, it has been one week one trouble for the former Borussia Dortmund midfielder since he took over from Stephen Keshi has coach of the national side.
From preferring Ahmed Musa as team skipper thus stripping Vincent Enyeama of the armband unceremoniously, to forcing Emmanuel Emenike into premature retirement, to washing the dirty linen of his employers on social media, to blaming his bosses for his team’s lackluster performance at the CHAN, Sunday Oliseh was never out of the front pages for long.
Oliseh, who had no previous coaching experience, always had his Mourinho-sized ego and well-fed pride as his major enemies. Yet he pointed accusing fingers at some of his ex-teammates, and the media claiming that they were sabotaging his efforts. Oliseh conveniently chose to forget that he used to be one of erstwhile coach Stephen Keshi’s biggest critics.
A combination of all these factors coupled with his recent rant on YouTube did much to further damage his sickly relationship with his bosses.
After that video drama, the NFF and Oliseh should have parted ways as both didn’t look like they could stand each other anymore. But Oliseh apologized and it seemed he was ready to swallow his robust pride for the good of the national side.
Once again, he has proven his critics right.
He simply could not develop the thick skin needed by a Super Eagles coach. While his technical capabilities have been praised, he’s obviously not man enough for the job. He’s chickened out when courageous men would have stood their ground and he would now probably go back to the safe pigeonhole of football punditry.
Shame on Sunday Oliseh for leaving the Super Eagles’ ship rudder-less with less than a month to Nigeria’s game against Egypt in a key qualifier for the 2017 African Nations Cup finals.
Sunday Oliseh has resigned from a job he was never qualified for. The NFF should get the stick also for appointing a rookie to do the job of a seasoned veteran. And if the Super Eagles do not make it to Gabon 2017, both the NFF and Oliseh should be ashamed of themselves.