On Sunday, Cote d’Ivoire emerged champions of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations after defeating the Super Eagles of Nigeria 2-1 in the final.
The 2023 AFCON was Jose Peseiro’s first competition as Super Eagles boss, and he performed very well.
Prior to the AFCON, Nigeria was quite poor, winning just one of the previous five games. They struggled against African minos like Mozambique, Lesotho, and Zimbabwe. And in their preparatory game for the AFCON, they lost 2-0 to Guinea.
However, the team performed better than what many fans expected, reaching the final of the competition but narrowly losing to Cote d’Ivoire. Now that the AFCON is done, all the countries involved can go back to the drawing board and restrategize ahead of the next edition next year and the World Cup qualifiers.
For Nigeria, the issue on the front burner is the coaching position. Before the AFCON, Peseiro’s job was in the balance because of poor results. Last July, when Peseiro’s contract expired, the NFF were skeptical about handing him another deal. But eventually, they gave him a contract that would keep him until February.
Ordinarily, Peseiro’s deal with the Super Eagles is expected to end this month, but with his recent performance, they could extend his deal.
Although he made some tactical mistakes at the AFCON, he has showed that he can take the Super Eagles to the next level with time. On the other hand, one could look at it as a flash in the pan. Moreover, it was just seven games.
Currently, hiring another foreign coach may be too expensive for the NFF. Besides, no one is sure that Peseiro is not being owed his wages. So, bringing in another coach could be a bad idea for the Super Eagles.
Also, bringing in another coach may prove counter-productive, as the World Cup qualifiers are on, and the next AFCON is just next year. If a new coach is brought in, the players would have to adapt to a new philosophy, and with the little time left, there is a high possibility of failure.
The NFF is yet to state their next line of action, but one thing is sure, if Peseiro is let go, other African teams would try to get his services. Nevertheless, in the next few days, we will know what next for the Super Eagles and Peseiro.