Super Eagles Head Coach Impasse: Eguaveon or Peresie, NFF, Sports Minister In Dilemma

By Daily Sports on January 31, 2022

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Dear esteemed readers,
This is to announce that in few Months to come your widely sort soar away favourite sports newspaper should add political and other news items into its stories as the publication would henceforth be transformed into full blown newspaper where other interests would harmoniously be accommodated without hassle. It would finally be implemented via your public and long time demand that we should.
The board, management and editorial team have weighed the options and the discussion is ongoing to finally yield to your popular demand for the transformation of Daily Sports to include other sections of a newspaper hence this first announcement.
The reasons our dear readers as enumerated are genuine and enduring too and we will work so hard to come to terms to implement it wholesale, judging the logistics and sundry. We are working hard dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s to ensure smooth transition so as to serve you even better TIMELINESS,HOT, FRESH, AUTHORITATIVE, INDEPENDENTLY too, as has been our tradition in Daily Sports these odd years.
There will continue to be updates on this and the date we will go into the labour room i.e. as when the baby will be due. Stay with us. It will be sooner than later!!
I’m not going to discuss the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations, its strengths or otherwise than that we have seen more of those countries being referred to as minnows of African football springing surprises making bold statements that the tide is fast changing.
I watched Mali versus Equatorial Guinea quarter-final game from start to finish and the eventual penalties that ensued.  The Equatorial Guineans triumphed over Mali that even bookmakers tipped to over ran their opponents. Football truly is no mathematics.
African’s most prestigious football summit no doubt improves each event duly largely to the fact that countries now look inwards grabbing foreign players of their countries of origin to play for them in this kind of high level tournaments; and it has over these years helped to up the biannual game in the continent.
This article would concern itself on way forward for the Super Eagles team that were sent out of the competition at the round of 16 stage, honestly beyond their expectations. Since that ouster by half strength, Tunisian Carthage Eagles many questions have been asked and suggestions given too.
Truth is that, in the kind of stage Nigerian football is today, all stakeholders must be very careful to handle the situation. We have serious matter right on our hand presently, whether NFF and her allies agree or not.
The low spirit prevailing amongst the younger players in the team especially, is worrisome. We saw how the players pointed accusing fingers on some of their teammates being the reason for the ouster of the Eagles which also spilled over to fans, to the extent of an alleged death threat being extended to the goal Keeper, Maduka Okoye.
This and others must thoroughly be investigated and strong worded statement pushed to the public that would be so assuring in deeds and bonds in every material particular, so as to avert the Columbian incident after the 1994 World Cup festival back home.
The above from NFF would assuage and smoothen all rough areas between the players themselves and then to the fans which will bring back the smooth relationship as it were. These are germane to Super Eagles road to recovery.
Without any pretense, all is not well within the team’s rank and file. There is currently discordant tunes even among the senior players who questioned Okoye‘s performance, especially allowing the winning goal beat him hallow.
All these must be amended perfectly so that confidence, team spirit and cohesion which currently deserted the team would be restored fully to get back to its feet and face squarely the tasks before them in future. The players should be reminded that football is a team sport and so any mistake from any player from the team must be seen as collective not an individual thing. In my own opinion Super Eagles loss to half strength Carthage Eagles of Tunisia came off many factors not the mistake from Okoye. I also saw that the goalkeeper was badly positioned which the Tunisian bench sported then instructed that such be exploited and it paid off.
Again, Eguaveon led technical bench was not active that day and Nigeria paid dearly for it.  Nigeria lost the round of 16 games from the bench. Eguaveon was bereft of superior technical ideas in that particular but all-important game. It was a poor outing that long sent the Super Eagles home.
There are lots of issues to trash out if the team must be seen standing on strong footing again. The team without any prejudice is currently in disarray and so lots of work must be done. The engagement of psychologists for the team must not be ruled out totally if we want to move forward from this lowest ebb prevailing amongst the players now. There must be holistic approach to these numerous assignments at hand. 
There is serious crisis looming in the national team as the issue of technical adviser or head coach hangs on the balance as at the time of filing in this column. The Portuguese that has been introduced as one to take up the team after the Africa Cup of Nations football summit is likely not going to be considered.
The Vitor Jose Peresie is said to have turned down coming to Cameroon to see the tournament as agreed, citing not signing his contract papers as the head coach of the Eagles. Therefore, he has no business coming to Cameroon to watch proceedings. That logjam is trending as NFF seems no longer keen on the Portuguese. Talks are now tilting towards retaining or elevating Austin Eguaveon as the head coach of the Eagles especially as it affects the upcoming 2022 World Cup qualification game against Ghana.
The qualifier is too crucial as any country that survives the play-off would qualify for the next World Cup in United Arab Emirate (UAE). Now NFF is still in dilemma of where to start from. Time definitely is ticking. Ghana is preparing for that make or mar game against Nigeria come March.
It is instructive to note that NFF meeting with Sports Minister on this issue is yet to be concluded to come out concretely with what would fast-track who would guide the Super Eagles in March World Cup play-off World Cup game. The question on the lips of many is where is Nigeria going from here, Now, is it Eguaveon or the Portuguese Vitor Jose Peresie?
My take here right from the day NFF drafted Eguaveon as an interim coach; I did express my reservations on his technical ability to handle the caliber of Super Eagles. The fears came to the fore when he played against half strength Tunisian team that even did not have the services of her head coach in that game which Eguaveon could not turn around.
The ex-international don’t have the technical and tactical ability to thinker for the high flying team like the Eagles. He mixed up issues in that round 16 game against Tunisia which he failed to win in the first half but allowed the opponents to come into the second half with full confident and did the damage. He did not show deep clout as a coach. He did not show enough technical and tactical knowhow as a coach that kept clean slate during group stage of the championship. How Tunisia bundled the supposedly high flying Eagles out just like that, left soured taste in the mouth. That reduced him to a mere coach without depth thinking and acumen.
Therefore, giving him the node to continue against Ghana would likely be yet another ouster waiting to happen.  Eguaveon does not possess that capacity to handle the Super Eagles presently. That is the truth on ground but it is bitter. Now that there seems to be deadlock on the Portuguese technical hand, what next?  Whether the NFF leadership agrees with this columnist or not, there is big crisis in the coaching crew of the Super Eagles. The apex football governing body is in deep dilemma right now. One fact remains that if NFF fails to treat or handle the Portuguese issue with civility, it will cause bad blood between Nigeria and foreign coaches who may not be keen working in Nigeria. They will see the country as unserious and dishonest.
The situation is dicey. If the foreign coach has been introduced or presently touted as the awaiting Super Eagles technical, what is holding the NFF from signing the dot line thus far remains a moot point to keen observers and even the insiders?
Unless something urgent is proffered forthwith, the fire brigade way of planning and execution which has been the way of NFF, in fact the whole Nigerian polity would rear its ugly head if the current imbroglio is not quickly resolved and substantive coach appointed for the Super Eagles without further delay.  It is unheard of that the current impasse surrounding who heads the Super Eagles and leads it to the crucial World Cup play-off against crack Black Stars of Ghana in March is still lingering in Nigeria.  Sadly, Nigeria is still nursing her unexpected ouster at the AFCON 2021 in Cameroon. Yet to start planning strongly for the uphill football task ahead.
No doubt there is trouble in Nigeria’s football House over who leads the Super Eagles in the March World Cup play-off against Ghana.
Daily Sports will as usual be on top of the game and update our valuable readers on the subject matter under review. Keep faith and join us in our social media handles as this is trending red hot.

Keep shooting hard till next week. The struggle continues!!

Source Daily Sports

Posted January 31, 2022


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