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Oliseh: Super Eagles fans want to aim higher

8:07 am AEST 7/4/22
Sunday Oliseh, Fortuna Sittard, 01192018
A sub-section of the Nigeria supporters aren’t convinced that the ex-midfielder should be handed a recall

by Joel Omotto

News that former Nigeria star and coach Sunday Oliseh is the favourite to replace Augustine Eguavoen in the Super Eagles dugout has not gone down well with a section of the fanbase.

The Super Eagles have endured a torrid three months in which they crashed out of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in the second round before missing out on the World Cup after losing to bitter local rivals Ghana.

47-year-old Oliseh is being touted as the man to deliver them to the promised land, even though he didn’t impress everyone when previously in the hotseat.

Indeed, fans seem not to have forgotten Oliseh’s previous nine-month tenure as Nigeria coach (2015-2016) which ended in chaotic fashion after he fell out with a number of senior players, notably captain Vincent Enyeama as well as the Nigeria Football Federation, amidst accusations of unpaid salaries.

“How can we even be talking about Oliseh at this time?” asked Ezekiel Nduka Imahia on Facebook. “The Super Eagles need tested hands that can deliver. The NFF should stop gambling with such a crucial assignment.”

For Joshua Kwana, Oliseh’s previous stint with the Super Eagles works against him: “Oliseh is a rebel to the Super Eagles. He's the one that made Vincent [Enyeama] retire from the national team.

“Some years back, he exchanged blows with [Samson] Siasia and because of him, the Super Eagles had a go slow because of bonuses,” added Kwana. “He wants to return because of the money, we don't want him back because he has nothing to offer.”

Omubo Whyte agreed with Kwana, saying: “Another mistake again. This Oliseh who abandoned the Super Eagles job some time ago. He is now being considered for the same job he criticised and abandoned. This is why Nigerian football is not developing.”

“Oliseh is the worst of them all,” added Don Lary Young, who would prefer that Emmanuel Amuneke be given another opportunity. “He should never be given an opportunity to coach the Eagles again.

“Amuneke remains the answer because he has proved himself home and abroad and has worked with some of these players in their formative years.”

Oladoyinbo-adeboye Gbenga would also rather have Amuneke than Oliseh.

“Oliseh always has a problem with his temper. I remember when he was a player, he confronted the then-Minister for Sports, and as a coach, he could not manage Vincent Enyeama and that led to us not qualifying for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations,” he wrote. “Amunike is the best candidate.”

Another name has also been put forward by Eagles fans.

“Siasia is better than all these technically. Oliseh doesn't know how to manage players as he forced Enyeama into early retirement,” said Mojeed Shola Adejemi, who appears unfazed by Siasia’s current suspension for match-fixing.

“He had issues with key players in the national team. We should not fall into another mistake of Eguavoen round two.”

For others, Nigeria are better off without a local coach.

“The time is not ok for Nigerian coaches. They are not qualified for the job. The best is to assist a good European coach,” commented Goodman Okoje, who would rather see Eguavoen’s predecessor Gernot Rohr return or Portuguese coach Jose Peseiro, who was close to getting the job, before the NFF changed their mind.

“Not Sunday Oliseh again. No to local coaches now. If the NFF will be humble, they should give the job back to Gernot Rohr or fetch this Jose Peseiro to coach the Eagles.”

His sentiments are shared by Bello Bambass, who added: “NFF president don't be ashamed, give Mr. Rohr back his job.

“He was the one who assembled these players all over the world, he knows their strengths and their weaknesses. Mr. Rohr will come strong with dedication and determination.”

Is Oliseh the man for the job, should the Eagles turn back to Rohr, or should Nigeria hire a foreign coach? Share your thoughts.