For all the noise generated by the Super Eagles’ disappointing World Cup miss, one would think the Nigeria Football Federation will come with a clear footing on where to go.
Not many seemed disappointed by the names shown when coaches were announced for the various national teams. Seeing expectations happen from the NFF has become fortuitous adventure in recent time.
What has Ladan Bosso achieved with and for Nigerian football?
In 2007, he led a group of players to the World Youth Championship in Canada and many won’t forget how that team conceded four extra time goals in a whiff. The Flying Eagles had held Chile for 90 minutes but lost all gas and got extinguished in the half hour of extra time.
He stayed on the job for another two years and wasn’t sacked until another disappointing outing in the 2009 AYC.
It took Bosso eleven years to return to national team duties and his appointment in 2020 was greeted with criticisms from those who know how the story once ended. In eleven years, Nigeria failed to find a coach good enough to manage the U-20 beyond a WYC quarterfinals.
To see the former Wikki Tourists coach again in charge was befuddling. Then hell was let loose when the Flying Eagles failed to even qualify for the African Youth Championship.
In appointments announced on Thursday, Bosso got his job back, despite his last failure. What the NFF may need to explain is what its strategy is.
Bosso’s appointment was the highlight of a list that shows Nigeria has thrown any idea of football development out the window. Many of his assistants when they failed two years ago also retained their jobs. Is the NFF encouraging the masterminds of a failed project or taking responsibility for that failure?
Nigeria has coaches abound, some of whom are working in teams with clear identities and strategies. The choice of coaches in the NFF is indicative of the soundness or a lack of it, of the technical sub-committee.
While Nduka Ugbade’s appointment is seen as a welcome development by many, as he’s experienced with cadet teams, the choice of his assistants prove that the NFF hasn’t dug deep enough or is light years away from coaches making impressive marks in developmental football in the country.
Salisu Yusuf is back and in truth, he never left, as he’s now in charge of the CHAN team/U-23. His name is unpopular, not least for the reasons of integrity but his coaching is still considered the most decent enough in the history of the home-based national team. What is baffling, however, remains that innate desire shown by the NFF to always recycle names.
Nigeria has no clear developmental strategy. Nations of the world truly interested in football are building clear football ideologies, with the same structure and quality seen across their national teams (male and female).
The NFF clearly has nothing in mind but simply filling places and not falling short of the recent demands of the Ministry. There’s no resonant thinking in the quality of the appointed coaches or their style of management.
As seen in the past, there may be yet another round of struggles on the horizon for Nigerian football development, especially with the coaches appointed.
Assistants of Who? – Is the NFF repeating old mistakes?
The NFF has listed Yusuf, Finidi George and Usman Abdallah as assistant coaches of the yet-to-be-named foreign Super Eagles head coach.
As seen with previous coaches, they come with their team of assistants and establish a decision-making system that may make locals outcasts along the line.
The appointment of assistants and those he wants is often the prerogative of the coach (depending on the terms of his contract and track record).
Whoever the NFF will appoint may choose to be less involved with the assistants appointed by the NFF and this creates a problem with the team even before the job is starting.
It’s important to know the identity and style of the man coming on board before making such decisions. It’s hoped that the NFF are not jumping the gun and getting knocked off again.