Nigerians are disappointed with the Super Eagles showing in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers after a return of two points from a possible six against lowly-rated Lesotho and Zimbabwe, Sportivationng.com reports.
Have a nice read!
Yes, collectively or unanimously, football or sports stakeholders and fans have come to agree that something is fundamentally wrong with the Super Eagles. This writer, in this piece attempts to look at the problems directly bedeviling the team and presenting possible solutions to arrest the situation. Happy reading….
1. THE SPORTING MEDIA
This is my constituency and we must always tell ourselves the truth.
The sporting media is the number one trouble of the Super Eagles. Half of the local “media boys” report for those in charge of Nigerian football while the other half report for the public and for the good of the country’s football. When or once the media compromise like we presently have in Nigeria, you don’t expect the best and truthful reports which should knock the authorities into shape.
Some “media boys” claim and even boast to be friends to the players. They exonerate their “friends” when the perform badly thus, looking or scape goats among the players who aren’t their “friends.” Some of these “media boys” are even on a regular stipends from these friends of theirs who come home with club jerseys, wristwatches, phones and jewelries for them. These “friends” of the “media boys” never do anything wrong….and if they do, the reports and reporters sweep them under the carpet.
Some “media boys” always jostle for trips once Nigeria qualifies for any tournament. They rely on sponsorship from the NFF, so what do you expect from them? What would their reports be? Watery of course, always massaging the egos of the failures in authority, singing their praises and doing their biddings through shameful reports that smells maggi, tomatoes, butter on bread and beverages.
As you read this, yours sincerely expects stones from this group of so called media practitioners covering sports and their editors who are on the payroll of those destroying what is left of our collective joy as a people and nation.
•SOLUTION : The sporting media should wake up to it’s watchdog role and responsibilities to save the Super Eagles by reporting facts. You must not be enemy or friend to those in authority to write the truth that will enhance national development. Report the truth as your service to mankind and humanity. Don’t sell the nation or destroy just because you want to be on every trip to cover Super Eagles or on the payroll of those killing football for their selfish interest.
2. EXCLUSION OF HOME BASED PLAYERS
Over the years, Super Eagles have been built around local or domestic players. The domestic league has always been the recruitment ground for Super Eagles with a spice, flavour and coloration of foreign based players.
However, when a large pool of foreign based players featuring for top clubs was noticed, there was a mix of both but never were home based players shunned from the team.
But since the recruitment ground has now moved overseas from where all manner of players are brought to play for the team at the expense of local players who understand better what it means to wear national colours and what it equally means if you fail or excel in the team, Super Eagles have become a dumping ground for any player playing abroad.
No one Nigerian is more important than others but we must not make the Super Eagles a dumping ground for players struggling with their clubs and careers all under the name of being Nigerians.
•SOLUTION : Give home based players a chance. Let the home based players have at least 30% of invitations for or into the Super Eagles.
3. NO REAL COMPETITION FOR SHIRTS
The players are assured of picking a shirt on arrival because the coach is too lazy and lacks tactics to drill them and sift the wheat from the chaff. More so, the godfathers, super agents and scouts close to the corridors of power have their players who must feature in any and every game, it makes it a free pick of shirt for some players thus, crippling the strength of the team.
•SOLUTION : Make the team competitive by inviting quality players and ensuring all invited players get equal and fair opportunities to showcase their talents
4. AVERAGE PLAYERS EVERYWHERE
The results so far churned out by the team is an indication of the quality of players in the team. 95% of the present players in Super Eagles are just average players who are only good enough for Flying Eagles B Team of the past.
•SOLUTION : Replace average players with quality and hungry or thirsty players who are eager to win laurels.
5. MODELS & FASHIONISTAS
The crop of players in the team are more interested in their outward appearances and looks tied around fashion and modeling. Real footballers are businessmen who are keen on how to get or grind out results by rolling up their sleeves to perform than sitting glued to the mirror attending to their faces and bodies. No one says you must look like a masquerade because you’re playing for Nigeria but, kindly compliment your good looks out of the pitch with good football on the pitch.
- SOLUTION : Models and fashionistas should be shown the exit door by introducing a code of conduct particularly in the area of dressing while in camp The team should be for serious-minded players.
6. STOP HIRING FOREIGN COACHES
The day the NFF stop employing foreign coaches will be the day Nigerian football will know peace. Bringing backyard coaches from Europe to handle Super Eagles just for the selfish interests of those who initiated their coming to get the job is a major bane of Nigeria football. It is grossly and adversely affecting the Super Eagles.
The quality of a coach determines how far his team would go. A sound coach who knows his onus will always prepare his team as if it’s playing the World Cup final in any and every game. Two hours of intensive training with a group of players is enough for a sound coach to know the state of mind of the players and their fitness level. After spending three to four days with your players, you come up with the excuse of no time. How much time did it take your opponents to train together to get a better result from same game you played?
•SOLUTION : Get a world class manager. We have them among our indigenous coaches
In short, get indigenous coaches. There’s Emmanuel Amunike, Samson Siasia, Sunday Oliseh, George Finidi and Monday Odigie among others.
7. POOR MANAGEMENT OF THE DOMESTIC LEAGUE
The domestic league is poorly organized and badly managed. A league that has been on “ad hoc arrangement” and or abridged format for years cannot attract good sponsorship. Such league cannot get top quality home based players to compete with their foreign based counterparts. A player playing an abridged league of 5 or 6 cannot be fitter than a player in Europe engaged all year long with fixtures across major competitions.
This is why Nigerian clubs crash out of continental engagements in the preliminary stages. This has been happening since 2005.
•SOLUTION : There’s an urgent need to improve in all areas of the league. For instance quality of coaching and coaches, quality of players recruited/ recruitment, standard of play, standard of officiating, attraction of fans and supporters through security and low gate fees. These will make the league attractive…but most importantly welfare of players must be looked into. Some clubs owe players salaries for more than 10 months. What do you expect from such players?
8. NO TEAM LEADER
Super Eagles at the moment is a team without a leader(s). We’re always in a hurry to retire the players we tag “OLD.” This doesn’t or isn’t suggesting that every or all old or senior players are leaders. These players exit without quality replacements and the team becomes literally empty. No player to give instructions or shout out orders to others when things go wrong. They all appear as mates. Yes, a team may have a captain but he isn’t the leader. Great teams have more than two or even three leaders who the rest of the team rely on to do the extra for results.
•SOLUTION :. Get replacements for top quality retiring players…and look beyond talents when scouting, recruiting or inviting players. Get leaders.
9. POORLY HANDLED YOUTH TEAMS
Since U-23 Eagles, Flying Eagles and Golden Eaglets are underperforming, players from these teams do not or cannot graduate into the senior team. This is affecting the chain of supply of players from the youth teams to Super Eagles.
Again, there’s this very wrong notion by the authorities of discarding an entire youth team after a tournament if they fail to win a tournament. There’s this mentality of if they don’t or didn’t win the tournament then, they’re not good enough for the senior team. There may be 3 or 4 quality players who could be drafted into the senior team even if the youth team failed to win the tournament.
•SOLUTION : Stop discarding an entire youth team for failing to win a tournament. Pick talented players with prospects among them and draft them to senior team.
10. ABANDONING THE GRASSROOTS
There’s this feeling that a player must play in Europe or become highest goal scorer in the domestic league before, he is invited into the Super Eagles.
There are talents in the grassroots who coaches in the local league refuse to sign just because they don’t have godfathers whose complimentary cards they can bring along to the screening ground. Some of these players are excellent but they have no voice and no one cares about them.
•SOLUTION : Super Eagles coaches should adopt the old styles of combing local football pitches across the length and breadth of the country to discover and nurture talents to stardom. Independent observers and grassroots experts could be hired for this exercise.