Shortly after Nigeria elimination from 2018 World Cup, one of Nigeria legends said Nigeria shouldn’t bother to participate in the next four editions of the World Cup.
Yesterday, Nigerians witnessed their country failing to qualify for World Cup for the first time since 2006, and obviously they reacted in a terrible manner. I’ll like to discuss some areas NFF need to work and improve on.
- Manager dilemma
- Players selection
- Players development
- Security concern
Recently after German tactician, Gernot Rohr, was sacked, Augustine Owen Eguavoen was appointed to many dismay. Rohr was sacked before the AFCON tournament started. After Nigeria elimination at the tournament – AFCON, Nigerians believed Eguavoen did a great work in short period of time but after Nigeria failed to qualify for World Cup, many will change their mind.
NFF will have to sort this managerial issue as there are news that the body intends to appoint Portuguese Jose Peseiro to lead the team at the World Cup.
Many will question Eguavoen tactical prowess and experience to lead this team in future tournaments.
Many were baffled when Odion Ighalo was called up for the qualifying matches as he recently announced his retirement from international football. The likes of Ighalo and Ahmed Musa were not totally accepted by Nigerians as they believe they’re old enough and young players should be given opportunity.
As Nigerians find it difficult to understand why some players were called back to the National team, some players were also believed to have been called up due to political advantage rather than sporting or performances.
For Nigeria to move forward, political interference must be taken away and the manager must have the complete control of who deserves to be invited and who shouldn’t.
The bedrock of any successful team be it national team or club team i.e Arsenal, Barcelona, Manchester United etc is the ability to develop young players.
Teams like Ajax FC, Chelsea FC, FC Barcelona are known for their academy that produces top talent. This can also be used in National football.
Take Spain, France and England for example, those nations have abundant young players in their nation first team squad most especially England. When the likes of Xavi, Intesa retired from national football, Spain were able to call on the likes of Pedri, Gavi and co and given this opportunity, the lads are performing greatly.
Nigeria national team is totally different. Players that ought to not to play for the country again are the one leading the team.
NFF should improve on scouting of young players to combat this issue.
Generally, when an individual feel protected he/she will virtually have nothing to worry about and such individual productivity will be high, maybe very high.
We all witnessed what Nigerians did to the National stadium after the final whistle. It’s a total disgrace.
Apart from the financial and reputational damage, the players will always have phobia when called upon to represent the country especially when the match will be played in Nigeria. Also, other companies who might be interested to invest in Nigeria will have a second thought before doing so.
NFF need to provide adequate security for the players and officials.
How the fans were able to have access to the field should be questioned. It shows how poor the security situation is.