What Stephen Keshi needs to understand,Urgently!
Stephen Keshi is a good coach. But one quality that successful and long lasting coaches have, is that they have always had a nose to differentiate constructive criticisms from destructive ones and act on them even if they do not agree in public!
Ever since our nation triumphed at the 2013 African Cup Of Nations (AFCON) our super eagles have been struggling,relatively, and has failed to consolidate on this landmark success due to the fact that we do not have continuity and there has been this obsession to experiment and overpopulate the team with more Home grown players. Analysts all had problems naming incoming players at the Confederations cup for example.
Ever since I expressed my personal disagreement at the huge number of Local based players that represented Nigeria at the just concluded Confederations cup, on Supersport, thousands have clearly stated their understanding and agreement of the point of view just as some, our super Eagles Nations cup winning coach, Stephen Keshi included, have disagreed and made some regrettable comments. this I feel is quite unfortunate and personal.
The basis behind my comments (which were shared by every other consultant at the Supersport panel) were to help and bring attention to the fact that we needed to urgently improve our local league to maintain our new status and gradually add new home based in the mix in other not to burn the ends.
As we speak, I have discussed with Mr Nduka Irabor (Chairman of the N. Pro League) on how I can help them through my position and know how to improve our league standard so it can be productive again. Who knows we might just get it back on track after all.
What Is So Special About Foreign Based Players?
If you are a Foreign based pro. it is not because these foreign clubs want to do you a favour, it is because you are one of the best from your country, simple. By gradually trying to wage a war against these players who ply their trade week in week out at the highest level leagues in the world we are turning our back to our best and waging a war against ourselves, they are Nigerians too I must remind !
They should not be cast away just because our technical crew lack the skills to manage them at the detriment of Nigeria.
Ever asked why The out flux of Nigerian home based to Europe has reduced drastically in recent years? It is because the Europeans for example after several scouting visits to our local league games find the tempo and standard quite low, not credible and with the crisis in the world have little time to wait for years work to upgrade these players, otherwise Sunday Mba, who I find quite solid & talented should have been bought immediately after the AFCON!
The unbalanced flooding of home based is a strategy that can work at the AFCON level etc but at the world stage, we will play well but lose, like we used to do in the 80’s & 90’s prior to 1994 and now did at the Confederations cup!
Unless this trend is done for other personal reasons outside that of the direct interest of the nation which we are not aware of!
My belief is not that we should not use home based players, far from it, if Sunday Mba was not at the Nations cup in 2013 for Nigeria I do not think we might have won it, at least like we did. He however was well surrounded by Victor Moses, Emmanuel Emeneke etc and made his contributions productive and easier. We saw how this poor boy struggled at the Confed. cup just 4 months after doing us proud in South Africa! Oboabona is one of my favourites and with some more polishing would go places internationally!
The Speed Of World Level Soccer,Today
The Confederations cup was of a higher level than the AFCON: high level tactics, Advanced Coaching, speed of execution and result orientation was on display and the world cup next year will be even at a faster pace. That am sorry is why I feel a gradual introduction of home based players, shouldered and protected by experience should have been the case, cause the scenarios for them to play at this level are absent at the moment!
I believe you noticed how at ease Obi Mikel was Vs Spain or Uruguay, the man is used to these kind of players and their level, simple !
Players are not Made at The National teams but by the clubs and leagues so improving our league standard should be the priority!
Why National Coaches are called Managers, Technical Advisers & not a full coach .
National team coaches are called Managers because they are not supposed to form players due to the short time they have to work with them, but they are supposed to be good at selecting like or complementary players, mix them up to produce results.
When mighty France of 1998 won the World cup and the Euros 2000 they had few players from the then solid French league but mainly from the then better Italian league that was at its best.
Our priority should be improving our league and the use of the CAF Home based Nations cup to get experience for the home based will be wise!
Stephen Keshi’s Job Is The Last Thing I Want!
I can understand that Keshi feels threatened by the possibility of a sack and back stabbing, but my comments should not be seen as coming from a possible successor unless one is desperate, which I thank God I am not!
His job is the last thing that I or my family need. I know the custom lately amongst some of the coaching crew in our dear country has been attacking the incumbent to take his place, but I believe I have proven over and over again that my consultancy company and my life that I have spent 23 years to build in Europe which I cherish dearly is more precious to me than the day to day stress that comes with Being the Super Eagles coach!
I wonder how I will continue to run my 6 year old consultancy business that has now gone global, coach my youth team, fulfil my new but cherished introduction into FIFA with the Super Eagles Coaching job 6000 kilometres away from my family!
I have said this uncountable times, although I love my country it is not in my wildest dreams to manage the super eagles otherwise I would have accepted the NFF Technical director job and eventually the super Eagles.
If he can accept our support and praise, he should accept our constructive critics in the interest of the country and making enemies left and right is not the way to go, obviously some of us do not learn from the past! The interest of Nigeria comes first than that of Sunday Oliseh or Stephen Keshi !
How should it have been?
As we saw with Brazil at the Confed. Cup, continuity makes a team grow. Ever since we won the Nations cup in February our team line-up has been unpredictable and full of constant changes. In a year leading to the world cup that should not be the case.
True we had injuries to key players but they had people on the bench for them at the Afcon who should have taken over the baton and continue with the spirit of the AFCON and new players invited to understudy.
Nigeria is bigger than anyone and for the records sake in answer to Keshi’s erroneous declaration, I was 3 years as a pro in Belgium and a regular player in liege by 1993 when I got my first call up to the super Eagles and in those days our national league was ‘fire’, well organised, competitive, balanced and one of the best in Africa. That’s how Clemence Westerhoff and Bonfrere Jo succeeded!
It is unfortunate that Keshi sees enemies everywhere and maybe it is understandable but the interest of Nigeria’s progress is what we all should be seeking now and I believe making attacks like he is doing is not the right way to go about it, we are way too matured for that, at least I know I am!
Long Live Nigeria!
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