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Owoblow: Super Eagles Need Five-Year Programme To Succeed

Owoblow: Super Eagles Need Five-Year Programme To Succeed

By Hamidat Kewulere:

Former Nigeria star, Felix ‘Owoblow’ Owolabi, believes it will take a number of years to get the Super Eagles competing at a good level on the global stage.

He however feels the team did their best at the 2018 World Cup in Russia where they failed to progress beyond the group stage.

“We have an average team and I was not expecting much from them in Russia because Gernot Rohr just got them together within two years,” Owolabi, who was one of the standout stars as Nigeria won their first Africa Cup of Nations title in 1980, told Complete Sports.
“Before you can get to the peak stage of The World Cup, the team must have to stay together for at least five years. It’s a global fiesta that every  team must be fully prepared for. Your local league must also be efficient, going well and have a solid structure.
“Unfortunately In Nigeria, we don’t have all this things; we always believe that within a short period, when you organize and bring a few players together they must give you good results, which is not so. Everything is a gradual process.”
Owolabi, who is still one of the best left-sided players in Nigeria’s history, rued how the Super Eagles blew their big chance to make progress in Russia. A draw would have seen the team into the round of 16 but the defeat meant Argentina advanced instead.
  “I think they gave Argentina team too much respect, and Argentina capitalized on that. Our players fell into their hands and that was how Messi got the first goal,” the Shooting Stars Sports Club legend added.
   “We had two advantages: if we won the match we would qualify and if we drew we would still qualify, but we contrived to throw it away. Anyway, I still feel they gave a good fight.”
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  • I still remember my earliest entries on this forum many months before the World Cup when I referred to the Super Eagles as “an average team”, I almost got roasted alive from the screen of my laptop.

    Now, after the phenomenal failure of Rohr’s Super Eagles in Russia, the term “average team/players” and “the Super Eagles” are no longer mutually exclusive in almost all quarters. I should now fear no insult when I refer to our boys as average players which is what they all are at present.

    To call some of them like Joel Obi or Ighalo average players at the moment might even be a complement.

    I concur with Felix Owolabi in the article above when he said : “We have an average team and I was not expecting much from them in Russia”.

    Having said that, although I wasn’t expecting much from them as well , I still expected them to at least reach the round of 16 and, my goodness, they came so close; 3 minutes plus time added on in fact.

    Yes Mr Owolabi, when you see how resolute, focused, efficient and steadfast France were today in protecting their slim and fragile 1:0 lead against Belgium , it is hard to argue with you when you said : “I think they gave Argentina team too much respect, and Argentina capitalized on that.

    We had two advantages: if we won the match we would qualify and if we drew we would still qualify, but we contrived to throw it away.”

    And throw it away they did, in a manner you would only associate with average players.

    • Haymaker 3 years ago

      Gbam! In addition to that and worse still we had an average coach who chose allegiance to some now average players who were decent during the qualifiers instead of putting together a crack side that could get us results no matter whose ox was gored.

      What’s more?He spread the disease called average to his entire team sentencing them to defeat before the tournament even started in the guise of parading a young team. Young team my foot! With that kain bear bear wey them carry? Even with average players, a confident, daring and competent coach can push his team to heights unimagined. Think Otto Rehagle and Greece in 2004, Ranieri and Leicester, Renard and Zambia.

      I see no reason why Rohr should remain as coach. He has insulted our pride as a nation, belittling us to our faces while we watched on like charmed souls. As far as I can recollect, no coach has ever thought so low of the Eagles right from the days of Manfred Hoener. That’s why Nigerians have been accused of being unrealistic about our chances. Rightly so! We’ve been accustomed to believing that anytime the Eagles step onto the pitch, possibilities are endless. But Rohr changed all that. He rewrote the script, diluted our brand, committed the abominable sin! For this, he simply cannot stay on. He has to go!

      Anyone that wants to blame the players and spare the coach is deranged. I suspect that’s what a few are trying to communicate here.

      • I won’t clamour for the removal of Rohr just yet but if I wake up to the news of his sack, I will shed no tears.

  • Everybody cannot win the world cup at the same time.problem in Africa we want results but we don’t like the process.the coach and the boys and all the technical crew all gave a very good account of themselves including Amaju pinnick.
    At least now we can say we have a future team.Germany the defending champion crashed out of the group stage but they still retain their coach to build for the future.that is why w africans barely perform at such level.must we win all the tounaments?in football you win some and you lose some.
    For me the coach should allow to continue.give this guys next 3to4years the will be a force to reckon with

  • Omo9ja 3 years ago

    We have been having an average team for so long sorry, this is not a news to us anymore.

    Late Keshi managed the same team called Super Eagles average to win us Afcon Trophy in South Africa.

    Same late Keshi went back to South Africa again to win Mandela Cup for Nigeria with the same average players.

    Out of the average players, coach Siasia formed his own under 23 team that represented Nigeria in Olympic games that won the Bronze Medal.

    Can’t you seeing what I’m seeing ni Nigerians? We have an average coach who doesn’t believed in our average players. We have an average team that can go far in any tournament with great mentality.

    We need to tell ourselves the bitter truth because, the Eagles coach failed at this year world cup.

    Even, on this forum, 95% of people wants NFF to sacked coach Rohr because he doesn’t know what he’s doing while the remaining 5% wanted coach Rohr to stayed.

    For this reason, 5% of this people still believed coach Rohr still have something special to offer Nigeria.

    95% of people here that wants Mr. Rohr to go believes that this coach was given everything he needed to be successful such as grade A friendly matches and their entitlements still, the coach scored F9.

    Imagine the coach that believes in Ighalo as his top 9 over other strikers in his team hmm, he has to go. He must go. Meanwhile, 100% – 5% people remains 95% of people. Meaning, 95% of this people has three things that Nigeria would benefits from.
    One, good indigenous coach
    Two, good players must be selected
    Three, NFF must treat indigenous coach like foforeigner coach.

    While 5% of the people here says Mr. Rohr will rule the Africa continent again and he’s going to get the team ready for the next world cup because coach Rohr said his team is for the future.

    For me omo9ja, I will say we should leave the future for God and let’s give our indigenous coaches a chance to build a sound and fearless team that will rules Africa and the whole world. The truth is bitter but if we wants a better Super Eagles team, we have to do something new this time around before it’s too late. God bless Nigeria!!!

  • I still don’t understand why yusuf.

    Why was amunike and Sia 1 not engaged to see with rhor the prosecution of the world cup.

    Rhor would not have had the previlege of RUNNING DOWN OUR PLAYERS EGO at every opportunity. There was virtually no one to stop him or advice him.He was such an island of knowledge even when it was glaring thathe lacks focus and the technical depth to take the super eagle to the next level.

    I suggest we retain him but must be given sia 1 and amunike to support and also advice him.