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AFCON: Having A Foreign-Based Coach For Super Eagles Doesn’t Work, Says Ojugbana

Nigerian Sports Journalist, Charles Ojugbana has said that having a foreign-based coach for Nigeria’s super eagles is a strategy that does not work.

Ojugbana said this in an interview with ARISE NEWS on Monday while reviewing the performance of the super eagles in the African Cup of Nations final match against Cote D’Ivoire on Sunday night.

“I personally do not believe in the syndrome of a foreign based national coach for the super eagles. It just does not work. Sports is a conveyor belt. AFCON 2023 has come and gone. What is next? What are you looking at? There has to be clear intentional competition given to them so that we bring out the best in them and also give them the opportunity to those who want to come and make a mark and die for the country on the field of football. In terms of the conveyor belt, I am an advocate of the fact that the home-grown players in Nigeria today, have no future.

“We have taken away their motivation to be better players. We also need to go back to the basics. What happened to the grassroot football for a better tomorrow. We need to go back because that is where the talents are. As it is in Nigeria today, where no matter your talent in football, it is going to rot and remain in Nigeria.

“You are most likely only going to break into the super eagles if you have a scout who smuggles you out to play in Belgium or anywhere, that is the only time you are noticed and that is wrong. We need to change that perception. I do not know why the Nigerian football federation would engage a coach and not hold his feet to the fire. There is a lot that needs to be done.”

He also stated that the Super eagles did not bring their best game, saying that “team that played last night was flat footed”. He also

“The boys did very well, but any day, if you ask me to choose between silver and gold, I will go for gold because in sports, only the gold medalist can have his anthem played, only the gold medalist that has his national flag raised and only him has all the paparazzi and media attention. Before the game yesterday (Sunday), there was a consensus by everyone in the sporting world that that trophy was Nigeria’s for the taking. But a lot of things happened.

“I personally think that the team that played last night was flat footed. There is a point where luck cannot carry you beyond. If you really do an analytical study of the way the super eagles played from the group games, round of 16, quarter-finals and semi-finals, you will see that something didn’t quite click with the team. The team was not flowing, we were like we were playing with our hand brakes on and a lot of things were responsible for that. First, the midfield of the Nigerian super eagles in this tournament was simply not there.

“A player like Alex Iwobi, with the pedigree, the experience he has had from paying for teams like Arsenal and all that, he didn’t do anything to justify the amount of confidence he had. He was giving away wayward passes, he was supposed to be the cohesive glue for the team, the one whose one pass would equal three quarters of a goal but they were simply not there. The Ivorians were not just prepared, but had the advantage of what we call the twelfth player. The entire 60,000 capacity stadium was rooting for only one team and that was a quadrium of pressure for the super eagles. So, I think it was a missed opportunity. I think they did well but my pain which I shared with a lot of Nigerians is that it could have been a lot better.”

He further urged the team to go back to the drawing board as ‘there is an extent to which luck can only carry us’

“The loss is not as important as the way forward. I think it’s the post mortem that would determine where we go. In Fact, that it why in most cases, for those that watch the premiership, you see that after a game has been played, the celebrations come and go but the players never leave the stadium until they go back to the field and do what is called a warm down. The essence is to prevent injuries and to refocus you immediately, right there in the field.

“The post mortem is more important. Luck has carried us thus far but we have a lot of issues with our sports and football administration and I think that is where we should focus our attention.”

Chioma Kalu

The post AFCON: Having A Foreign-Based Coach For Super Eagles Doesn’t Work, Says Ojugbana appeared first on Arise News.



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