Peseiro Right Man For The Job
In 2011, the Super Eagles failed to qualify for the following year's Africa Cup of Nations tournament in a group that had Ethiopia and Madagascar. In fact Nigeria's flag would fail to flutter the 2015 and 2017 Afcons following failed qualification campaigns in groups having Congo and Tanzania.
So, for securing the ticket for next year's continental showpiece in Ivory Coast with a game of spare (a trend that former gaffer Gernot Rohr championed) , I personally think Peseiro has just about done enough to retain his job as Super Eagles Shepherd .
We Super Eagles fans can be quite inscrutable and rather ungrateful at times.
In Gernot Rohr, we had a coach who was candid and moderate in his expectations.
But fans slammed him saying he had low esteem, he diminished the capabilities of our players and he was a defeatist. He said things that fans didn't want to hear.
Cometh Jose Peseiro who says things that fans (would) want to hear. He believes Nigeria will win the Afcon and he sets his "world class group of players up"to go toe-to-toe with opponents. But guess what, fans don't like him. He is accused of being boastful, tactically bereft and someone that cannot put positive results where his mouth is.
The truth is, under the horrific working conditions that the NFF formentls, even Sir Alex Ferguson will struggle to churn out impressive performances if he were Nigeria Coach.
Peseiro is a politician. He has done everything that the NFF ask of him: to travel the length and breadth of Nigeria to watch NPFL games in dubious venues; to incorporate homebased players in his squads; to limit the number of foreign based players in his teams; to motivate a set of players who are owed a backlog of bonuses; to play high profile matches in substandard home pitches ; to spend many months based in Nigeria; and to work for months on end without being paid.
Yet the Super Eagles have not been humiliated under the Portuguese Gaffer bar the unfortunate 4:0 friendly loss Portugal last year. Other results have largely been consistent of the Super Eagles performances under previous coaches with slim losses.
In a recent article, Superstar striker Victor Osimhen waxed lyricals about Peseiro's coaching credentials.
“The coach (Peseiro) is tactically sound and he is in control of the Super Eagles squad, which is very, very important,” Osimhen told Wazobia FM Radio Lagos.
Other Super Eagles players have been united in their support for the retention of the Portuguese tactician.
For me, Peseiro qualified Nigeria for the Afcon in an atmosphere of debilitating distractions. Yet he achieved his objectives with flying colours. I think he believes he can perform even better in a tournament situation where those sort of distractions will be behind him.
I am solidly behind clamour of a minute group of fans to hand Peseiro a fresh mandate. If you ask me, I think he is delusional in claiming that Nigeria can win next year's Afcon. Nothing on ground suggests that that will happen.
But I think his style of play will really crystalize next year and I also think that a tournament environment without certain distractions can bring out the best in him.
Nigeria can go far in the Afcon under this man, but he just wants to tell us what we want to hear by continually banging the drum of lifting the trophy. I am not convinced we will reach that particular summit.
But I am convinced that tossing him overboard with less than 1 year for any new coach to raise a team is a potential recipe for disaster as was the case with Eguavoen.
For goodness sake, let someone finish what they started for once !
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