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To Sack Jose Peseiro, Or Not!  –Odegbami

To Sack Jose Peseiro, Or Not!  –Odegbami

A friend, a foremost sports journalist, called me up last week from Abuja to inform me that he was racing to the office of the Minister of Sports to inform him of his decision to lead a national campaign to sack Jose Peseiro, the Portuguese coach of the Super Eagles. He wanted my urgent opinion.

Of course, I do not take decisions in a hurry, nor in a panic mode.  I also do not swim with the tide of opinion based on emotional or sentimental outbursts, or be part of a mob action baying for the blood of a foreign or local coach, when everything around is skewed against any form of success.

I politely told him I had no opinion yet on the matter and would make it public when I do. That’s what I am doing now.

I have traversed a similar path in the past and got burnt by the power of narrower interests and personalities that have run and ruined Nigerian football for many years.

Also Read: Between The Posts – Eagles’ Weakest Link! Between Best Ogedegbe, Francis Uzoho And Amas Obasogie!  –Odegbami!

The core of the matter is that the Super Eagles are not winning their matches. Even easy ones. As far as the people are concerned, these last two drawn matches are ‘failures’ and someone must pay for them.

That person is Jose Peseiro.I won’t completely fall for such sentiments now.

The Super Eagles should win AFCON 2023. They should also qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Let’s look at some of the issues that can truncate these goals.

Domestic Nigerian football.

There is no depth to the country’s domestic football. They were neglected for too long by successive football federation boards. The boards concentrated on the more personally ‘lucrative’ Super Eagles.  They feasted on the fruits without properly feeding the roots. The tree eventually and inevitably weakened and withered, having been deprived of nutrients essential for the development of players for a career in the domestic leagues – good nurseries, organisation, integrity, infrastructure, capacity-building programs,  adequate funding, great welfare packages, and so on. The only available ingredient has been the endless sea of young uncut diamonds in Nigerian players. Ironically, these players are doing everything to flee the country for greener pastures and better opportunities in other parts of the world, and not to strengthen the domestic leagues.

This uncontrolled migration has made nonsense of any attempt to build a serious national team of local players.  The failure of the big clubs in the country to win any continental laurels confirms this. That is why all the recent foreign coaches employed don’t take the route of the domestic leagues to seek players for the national teams. The calibre of players is just not there.

So, Peseiro, like the others before him, concentrates on observing Nigerian players in the various leagues in Europe. He assembles the best of them that he finds to form the country’s Super Eagles. He also only has two days before most matches to work with the players before matches, making it impossible to build a team with any level of organised play, pattern and understanding. You do not build solid teams that way. They must have some time to train together, understand each other, be infused with a planned style and philosophy, and be made to play several matches. That’s the only way a good team can emerge.

Under the present circumstances, the Super Eagles do not have such luxury. Coaches have been on this impossible mission for well over a decade.

AFCON and the World Cup are the only championships that provide a little time for the team to train together, play some friendlies, and become a unit. The team uses the earlier group matches of the championship to get better.

Also Read: Lee Evans Again – The Dream Will Not Die!  –Odegbami

That’s what happened during the transition between Gernot Rohr and Austin Eguavoen.  A good team started to evolve during the group matches of AFCON 2021, only for the process to be disrupted by a difficult match and a costly error that saw the Eagles exit rather uncharacteristically ‘prematurely’. The baby and the bath water were thereafter thrown into the gully of history. The result is to begin again.

jose-peseiro-super-eagles-dr-segun-odegbami-afcon-2023-2026-fifa-world-cup

That’s how Jose Peseiro came in to inherit an impossible and unchangeable situation. For as long as the present system is not changed, no coach in the world can change the fortunes of the Super Eagles. The best he can do is what Gernot Rohr and, now, Jose Peseiro have been doing –  not wasting time on the local players from the domestic league (they are not good enough for the national team without additional exposure and training in Europe), scanning Europe for players of Nigerian descent, assembling the best of them for the short periods before matches that can NEVER make them a good team with organizational depth, and then going on their knees to pray for undeserved victories. They win some and lose most!

So, Nigerians are disappointed and angry, and bay for the blood of successive coaches.

Yet, deep down, the issues have roots in other issues.
A proper study by proper experts is necessary.

Arm-chair critics masquerading as experts whose noise-making rises above the din of common sense and more careful interrogations blur proper and more meaningful conversations.

Meanwhile, the present Super Eagles are not strong in two major areas of the field – the midfield and goalkeeping.

There is little that can be done about the team’s strength without the influence of a few players with exceptional skills and abilities in certain areas of the team. Presently, there is a dearth of creative and attacking midfield players who can hold and distribute the balls well.

Goalkeeping has become a problem only because Peseiro refuses to see the difference between an efficient goalkeeper and one whose only qualification is his physical frame.

The last goal against Zimbabwe, scored directly from a free kick 30 metres from his goal clearly exposed Uzoho’s weakness. It is an elementary goalkeeping error.

Finally, Nigeria should not panic and make decisions that will not impact anything,  will not change the Super Eagles and will not provide guaranteed outcomes.

This is the time to be cool, calm and calculated.

Nigeria is blessed with a lot of good players presently. With a little bit of luck, more patience and the time shortly before AFCON 2023 used properly to build a stronger team, plus the return of one of the deadliest strikers on the planet, Victor Osimhen,  in the team, Nigeria shall improve steadily into AFCON 2023.

In  January, the team will use the group matches of the championship to get better, and possibly go on to win AFCON 2023. They will then gain the essential confidence to play more consistently and (at the end of AFCON) establish a stronger team that shall be able to go into the World Cup qualifying matches with more strength and purpose and qualify for the World Cup as true champions of African football.

 


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COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 21
  • Samuel 5 months ago

    Respect Daddy Odegbami.You are one in a million.

    Samuel
    Portharcourt

  • With Peserio, winning the AFCON in January is not possible. What if Osimhen is unfit again? Any replacements? No. Any creative spark in the midfield yet? No. Do you think he’ll blood new midfield dynamos before AFCON unless the current crop is missing out? No. Are we guaranteed that clubs will release any of our players in time to “acclimatize” with Peserios non existent philosophy?

    Better put,

    Attention turn to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, which begins on 13 January. 13 days into the new year. Unless in leagues that take yuletide break, players will have no time to be mentally prepared before being thrust into the campaign proper.

    Besides, the coach has been uninspiring. Since taking charge in 2022, Peseiro has won six and lost six of his 15 matches in the dugout.

    His side have scored 31 times – with 10 coming in one game against Sao Tome e Principe, and 6 in the reverse fixture making it half of his coaching goals were only against 1 team – and conceded 21 goals.

    Uzoho, his trusted keeper has conceded 7 goals in his last 7 matches. How can the coach dream of pulling any surprise then? Not a chance.

    The best we can do is dream again for AFCON 2025 which hopefully would hold in the summer of 2025 so there is no time for second chances.

    Eagles better shape in or ship out. Multiple qualification matches are coming up in 2024. Thankfully, afcon failure will sink Peserio quicker so maybe we might have sense to not have principalities in eagles squad again since world cup failure mentality is in the present team that takes passion for granted.

    Many of the players in the current squad missed the last world cup and perhaps they lost nothing so they’re pulling the same cards again and they are even undroppable sef.

    A bad tree will not produce good fruit.

  • With Peserio, winning the AFCON in January is not possible. What if Osimhen is unfit again? Any replacements? No. Any creative spark in the midfield yet? No. Do you think he’ll blood new midfield dynamos before AFCON unless the current crop is missing out? No. Are we guaranteed that clubs will release any of our players in time to “acclimatize” with Peserios non existent philosophy?

    Better put,

    Attention turn to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, which begins on 13 January. 13 days into the new year. Unless in leagues that take yuletide break, players will have no time to be mentally prepared before being thrust into the campaign proper.

    Besides, the coach has been uninspiring. Since taking charge in 2022, Peseiro has won six and lost six of his 15 matches in the dugout.

    His side have scored 31 times – with 10 coming in one game against Sao Tome e Principe, and 6 in the reverse fixture making it half of his coaching goals were only against 1 team – and conceded 21 goals.

    Uzoho, his trusted keeper has conceded 7 goals in his last 7 matches. How can the coach dream of pulling any surprise then? Not a chance.

    The best we can do is dream again for AFCON 2025 which hopefully would hold in the summer of 2025 so there is no time for second chances.

    Eagles better shape in or ship out. Multiple qualification matches are coming up in 2024. Thankfully, afcon failure will sink Peserio quicker so maybe we might have sense to not have principalities in eagles squad again since world cup failure mentality is in the present team that takes passion for granted.

    Many of the players in the current squad missed the last world cup and perhaps they lost nothing so they’re pulling the same cards again and they are even undroppable sef.

    A bad tree will not produce good fruit. Eagles right now are unseriously patriotic

  • “The last goal against Zimbabwe, scored directly from a free kick 30 metres from his goal clearly exposed Uzoho’s weakness. It is an elementary goalkeeping error.”

    GBAM.

    It wasn’t about the quality of the freekick. It was the lack of quality of the goalkeeper and CBs. No goalkeeper. No CB. No effective DMs and AMs.

  • Coache 5 months ago

    Sir Odegbami with due respect the boys cannot do anything because they are sure of starting every game. The rule of thumb in Nigeria is to assemble the very best home based eagles, camp them a week before the Pros will come.WHen they come and see how good the boys in CAMP are, they up their ante and know no one is guaranteed a Shirt.

    It’s a psychological problem that the Nigerian pros have. The formula is known to work and give us good results. Why change it?

  • Glory 5 months ago

    Top marks for this write mathematical 7. You remain a legend. I don’t attack person but opinion hence I thumbs up quality opinion and attack/thumbs down opinions that fail to look at things as function of so many. Eeeeehhh wait o, but but e surprise me say na now you wake up oooooh. Na dis thing wey you reason here, we don dey reason since d time of Rohr ooo. We know say Rohr nor be d best comparatively to many but he was d best for nijja situation. With little support from your most respected self, you can only imagine where we for dey by now. ANYWAY A BIG BIG RESPECT TO YOU SIR FOR THIS DEEP INSIGHT INTO OUR SE PREDICAMENT. I ONLY HOPE THOSE FANS WHO ARE EVER SO QUICK TO CALL FOR A SACK AS WELL AS HOME BASED PLAYERS INCLUSION WILL READ THIS AND SHUT UP EXCEPT ALL THEIR FAKE CRIES ARE ALL FOR SELFISH REASONS

    • Lollipops 5 months ago

      @ Mr Odegbami, the Peseiro you and your cronies recommended as a coach to the Nigeria People after your ganged-up against coach Rohr is not a good coach. You can see it from his game play and his decisions making. 

      Peseiro cannot give what he doesn’t have. For this reason he should be sacked.  

      I  understood in Nigeria, we have this DNA of creating rooms for incompetency and as well as struggle to do the right things or make the right decisions. However, Peseiro should  go to create a room for a better coach. 

  • Ikalamo Ivan Bingha 5 months ago

    You have made your points. Some valid but I can’t agree with all you have said. You talked about the limited time the coach has to train before games as one of the reasons, and I would say that is not enough reason for not beating minors such as Saudi Arabia, Mozambique,Lesotho,and Zimbabwe. Infact it is a big failure on the part of the coaches.
    I understand teams in the local league has not won continental championship in a while but again that doesn’t mean there are no quality players to infuse into the super eagles. We use to have home based eagles what happened to that? If only we can build super eagles team B without sentiment that will do us a whole lot of good. Thirdly, why pay a foreign coach that much only to take us backwards. Think about what I have said. Peseiro should be sacked immediately otherwise he would cost us another group stage exit at the AFCON and absence at the next world cup which will prove too costly to bear. And mind you the NFF must appoint a local coach without personal interest to salvage what is left of our football glory

  • Ayphillydegreat 5 months ago

    “Arm-chair critics masquerading as experts whose noise-making rises above the din of common sense and more careful interrogations blur proper and more meaningful conversations”. Leeemao!!! Baba don realize that it doesn’t make any sense sacking a coach at the eve of a major tournament. 

    “Nigeria should not panic and make decisions that will not impact anything,  will not change the Super Eagles and will not provide guaranteed outcomes”. Lemaooo!! Whatever happened to heaven will not fall if the coach is sacked?? 

    So you’re now saying make una leave Peseiro alone Abi?? I thought any coach can win the AFCON with the caliber of players we have within two weeks Leemaooo!! Awọn hypocrites dede. 

    • Kenneth 5 months ago

      And what are you, a bootleg critic coming here to say nonsense as usual. Just like omo naija stated, why hasn’t the almighty Rohr you have all being canvassing for can’t even muster one win so far, so has uncle sege not been vindicated that all this coaches are journey men who just want to help their resume.

  • Omo9ja 5 months ago

    I know many of Oga Rohr fans are still pained that Nigerians asked NFF to sack the coach.

    Simple question. If Oga Rohr is that good, why is he struggling to win a single match with Benin?

    He was hiding under our players, and he tried his luck, and he wins games.

    That is what Oga Paseiro is also doing. NFF still believe anything black is not good enough this is why they are hiring low self determination coaches from abroad but are we that poor that none of our our ex players now coaches can no do more than what Oga Paseiro and Oga Rohr could not do nie?

    I still believe that any good coach can camp the Super Eagles for two weeks and win the Afcon trophy. No disrespect to Oga Rohr and Oga Paseiro that failed in that regard.

    Keshi proved that to NFF with not that sexy displayed of his team, and it is better to waste the Afcon ticket while we have Amunike, Egbo, and Manu Garba in charge than Oga Paseiro, who does know his players well.

    Since we have refused to learn from the past mistakes NFF and the coaching have made, to get it right might be easy for NFF and the coaching crew.

    Having Uzoho to manned the post while we have other alternatives says a lot of the gaffer and his employer. They are very confused people. I am not expecting anything from the coach and NFF shikena. Ire o. God bless Nigeria!!!

  • Ako Amadi 5 months ago

    Watch these Nigerian experts who criticise every coach while bootlicking for contracts at the Sports Ministry when their tribesman is in charge Sadly, they have not explained what happened money for renovation of the Abuja Stadium a few years ago.

  • Ako Amadi 5 months ago

    Nigerians see, but don’t admit that the more successful African sides over decades have the best national leagues, and best football pitches.

  • Ako Amadi 5 months ago

    Sacking Peseìro or not is a foolish subject of debate because Nigeria has no money to pay him off as per his contract. Besides, given the country’s Mafia reputation of cheating and not paying national team managers, you wonder the quality of anybody who will agree to succeed Peseiro

  • pompei 5 months ago

    Yes, adequate camping can make a positive difference. However, our problem is not the inadequate camping time.
    It’s the tactics.
    The players we invite to camp are professionals.
    A modern professional player should be proficient at interpreting a coach’s tactical instructions. That is part of what makes him or her a professional.
    What the players need from the coach is tactical instructions, and they will execute on the pitch. Even if the time for camping is very short.
    If the coach is not tactically savvy enough, the players will obviously struggle, especially against quality opponents. Also, if the coach is not communicating effectively, it’s a problem. This appears to be the case with Peseiro, as some SE players have anonymously mentioned that they struggle to understand him when he speaks.
    If length of camping time is a sine qua non for good team performance, then why are other strong countries getting decent results? Is it not the same time we all have to prepare?
    When Rohr was with us, he also did not have adequate camping time. But he got decent results, largely due to his tactical flexibility. Under him, the football was not necessarily exciting or sexy, but it was effective. We got results, and qualified for tournaments with no need for calculators.
    A good coach will look at a player and see how he or she fits into his tactics. If that is done, not much time is needed for so called “gelling”. It’s a jigsaw puzzle. Just deploy the players in the right positions, and communicate tactics effectively. The players will do the rest.
    For any coach to be successful nowadays, including Peseiro, they need to be tactically flexible.
    Peseiro has not shown tactical flexibility yet, and he has played a bunch of matches already. With Peseiro, it’s appears to be a ONE SIZE FITS ALL approach to problem solving. 4-4-2 is the answer to all problems facing him. We know for sure that this will not work against quality opponents. If Peseiro has more up his sleeve tactically, he needs to start bringing that to the table. That for me is the crux of the matter.
    DOES HE IN FACT HAVE MORE TO BRING TO THE TABLE? If he doesn’t have it, he can’t be expected to give what he doesn’t have. And the situation will not magically change at the Afcon. We should have seen evidence of his tactical flexibility by now, and so far, it’s just not there.
    With good tactics, we can go far at the upcoming Afcon. We are capable of even winning the whole thing. But sans good tactics, hmmmm. It will be a long, ardous Afcon for us.

    • pompei 5 months ago

      Kindly replace LONG with SHORT.
      If it’s a long Afcon, that’s actually a good thing. That means we are still competing in the later stages.

    • Tristan 5 months ago

      Very good response!

      • Ayphillydegreat 5 months ago

        I don’t think Peseiro is tactically flexible. The only thing I see that can give him a good look on his preferred team is the 10 days or 2 weeks camping before the AFCON. Like the hypocritical Odegbami is insinuating they know the world will see them as unserious people if they sack another coach just weeks before another major tournament.

        Deep down inside them they know they goofed before the last AFCON and the WorldCup playoffs that bundle them out of qualifying for the Mundiial and the taking our AFCON pedigree back to 1982.

        For me I will prefer Amokachi assisted by Finidi take over the team after the AFCON irrespective of whatever happens in Ivory Coast. I hope Peseiro can prove me wrong, but I don’t think he’s the kind of gaffer to take our football to a greater heights. Nigeria can never afford a top class coach anywhere. They’re still even owing him gazillions of backlog salaries as we speak. 

    • @pomoei. The presence of Mikel, victor Moses helped the little success of rohr. We also had some nasty results during rohr time. I think the foreign quacks should just leave our football.

  • Mr Hush 5 months ago

    Watched Lookman yesterday with Atalanta and Moffi today with Nice; both played fantastically well interpreting the tactical aspect in articulate fashion.
    Now questions arise; why don’t they apply similar energy with Pesiero’s Eagles? It’s glaring they have the quality, atleast to control African oppositions (respectfully speaking) but why do they fall short?
    I have always challenged the lack of strong mentality and character of most of our boys but I believe such could be adressed and lifted by external motivation . It’s evident the quality is there,if not in all,but for most.

    Notwithstanding the usual NFF’s shenanigans, such external motivation could be mostly derived from the coach. Give them something to believe in and a reason to keep being motivated even if things are going South.

    Questions arise, apart from the normal NFF’s known brouhaha, are the boys demotivated by Peseiro’s tactical acumen? Do the boys really believe in Peseiro? Are they motivated by him?

    Whatever the answers are, Peseiro hasn’t motivated me as a fan ,but I am always a grounded optimist, not for the Portuguese sake but for Nigeria. For that reason, I want him to prove me wrong and clear my doubt. If it means Nigeria succeeds.

    Since we aren’t letting go of him, I can only wish he learns and make amends. He simply has to find a way to get this boys believing and motivated . It is daunting task but it can be done and needs to be done.
    Humbly speaking, winning the Afcon is doable. Qualifying for the World Cup is possible. It is just doing the little things right and hope luck rides with you.

  • Ayphillydegreat 5 months ago

    Wow! Sadiq Umar just scored a worldy today against Seville. What a goallllll!!! 

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