Firstly, let’s thank God that the impasse at the Nigerian Football Federation has finally been nipped in the bud and the instigators crushed. Surely, the vacuum created by whatever distractions that have been the bane of its overall performances in recent times, can now be filled.
For quite some time now, our representations at local, continental and world levels have been nothing to write home about. Take a count; the Falcons, Flying Eagles and CHAN Eagles were disgraced out, and now the Eaglets at the ongoing Under 17 World Cup in Brazil.
A school of thought holds that if all has been well at the Glass House, issues bordering on team selections and interferences by powerful forces outside, coaches, etc, would not arise. There is no way the NFF would sit and watch as things degenerate for sure.
The disgraced Eaglets exposed a lot of rots in the system. Power tussle, politics and ethnicity seem to reign supreme there. We paraded the worst pack of players and it is very unfortunate. For a country that has won the tournament five consecutive times previously, it would have been better to back out than to select that crop of boys – and a coach that has visibly not gone on a refresher course for long.
Although there have been allegations and complaints of ‘forced players’ from some ogas at the top, but these boys exposed their inadequacies in Brazil. Mind you, kicking the ball no longer counts but doing with intelligence as modern football demands.
In their match against Australia for instance, they had more than 35 shots on goal but there was none on target. Ditto the rest encounters including the two they won.
We now live in a country where we want results without working for it. I don’t know where the boys were picked from, but at 17, most of them should still be in secondary school or football academy. That’s where their opponents from the other countries emerged from for sure.
Now, did you notice that intelligence – tact – was lacking in all boy’s displays. Their opponents did not just kick the ball but did it purposefully. But our boys just kicked and kicked albeit they were lucky to score at times. What we tagged ‘police football’ back in the days!
In fact, no modern coach would lead a team of that pack to any tournament and hope to achieve success. For Manu Garuba to do that, means that he has been stagnant too and lacks modern techniques. I mean, watch any football game today and you will notice that goals are scored through proper planning. Garuba went to the Brazil tournament with football kickers, not players.
These days, with stiff competitions everywhere, one doesn’t wait for one’s employers to develop one. Luckily, most educative materials abound on the internet these days. Suffice it to say that one can avail one’s self of such an opportunity and excel. If he had won, the sky would have remained his limit. Success has many feathers of course.
But how true is the talk about the imposition of players. So, and all of a sudden, it is no longer the team that won or will but the names of the players. And it must reflect federal character? See why we have been losing. Can you imagine!
The NFF and other concerned authorities must check the monster. You can see that U.23 team is currently suffering the same ugly situation, struggling in Egypt.