The Nigeria Football Federation finally got rid of Stephen Keshi after several months of unending drama, media wars and bad blood. The sack of keshi was inevitable. It was clear alot of power brokers in charge of administrating football in the country did not want him. Stephen Keshi banked too much on the links and goodwill that followed his AFCON 2013 victory. He became almost uncontrollable and was always at loggerheads with his ‘bosses’.
Nigerians endured months of war of words in the media, resigning, re-appointing, sacking and rehiring – all which culminated into bad results for the super Eagles. There was no way the Super Eagles would thrive under such atmosphere or condition given that there is a friction in the marriage of the two major components that contributes to the success of the team.
Essentially, there are three components – the administrators, manager and players. A seamless or good marriage of the three will yield good results and similarly, a friction can only yield bad results.
The failure of the Super Eagles to qualify for the 2015 AFCON despite entering the qualifiers as defending champions only affirms this.
More than anything, there is a need for our football to move on!, a need for a fresh air and from clear indications, it won’t happen with Stephen Keshi as manager of the Super Eagles. Hence, his sacking and possible (almost sealed) hiring of Sunday Oliseh will provide the much needed fresh air.
Sunday Oliseh – great analytical mind, principled, assertive and hugely certified might be the unifying factor of the three components. The news of his appointment have been met with great reception and optimism. Nigerians seem to be gradually moving on from the whole Keshi imbroglio and are anticipating a bright future under one of the most cerebral players the Super Eagles ever had.
Though, there might be some reservations over his poor managerial experience given that his only stint was with a third tier Belgian side. There are, however, examples of players who switched from active playing to managing and recorded huge success.
Stephen Keshi was not a bad coach and in fact would go down in history as one of the best coaches Nigeria ever had given his immense achievements, however, the environment and atmosphere around him wasn’t ideal anymore for progress. There was a need for a breath of fresh air – the kind that Sunday Oliseh symbolises.