Super Eagles job: Let’s give Sunday Oliseh a chance, Waidi Akanni begs Nigerians

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Ex-international, Waidi Akanni, has urged Nigerians to rally round former Super Eagles skipper, Sunday Ogorchukwu Oliseh, as the new national team coach. Akanni said since Nigeria Football Federation,(NFF), had narrowed its choice to Oliseh, Nigerians should have no other alternative than to support him to succeed.
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The former midfielder said although, he was not excited about the way and manner former Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi, was kicked out, but he is confident that Oliseh could also try his best to transform the fortunes of Nigerian football.

“Oliseh is not a stranger to Nigerian football and I think as ex-skipper of the team, he would know how to manage the team. He has the experience because he had worked under many coaches. To me, that’s enough experience, so people should rally round and support him. Now that NFF had made up their minds on who they wanted, we need to support them,” he said.

He argued that if ex-players like Michel Platini, Franz Beckenbauer, Berti Vogts, Rudi Voller, Jurgen Klinsmann, Dunga could succeed as coaches after retiring from playing, Oliseh won’t be an exception.

Oliseh is acknowledged as one of the most cerebral players Nigeria has produced, a trait that is largely responsible for sparking the current wave of optimism. In previous years, the process of hiring a new coach took the form of a badly-choreographed circus show, stretching on for weeks. Sometimes months.

Applications were invited, candidates were shortlisted, high-profile coaching names were dropped with indiscriminate abandon, committees were set up to gallivant around Europe in ‘search’ of a coach before settling on some underwhelming appointment. None of that happened this time.

The announcement of Oliseh was greeted with generally positive views from across the country’s football-following population. Not least because he is a member of Nigeria’s revered Super Eagles 1994 set. Principled, eloquent, strong-willed and passionate are all attributes that Oliseh has come to be known for.

In addition, a keen analytical mind has also shone through in his appearances as a TV pundit for African pay TV channel Supersport.

More importantly, Oliseh has acquired UEFA’s Pro License, one of the highest and most respected coaching qualifications worldwide. Toss in his membership in FIFA’s Technical Study Group over the past two years, and there is plenty of room for optimism. But considering no African has managed a top-flight European team despite many acquiring badges, that is an achievement in its own.

He is expected to arrive with Jean Francois Losciuto, a Belgian who also holds a UEFA license and was assistant to Oliseh during his time coaching RCS Verviers before he became a director of the youth academy at Belgian club RFC Liege. Losciuto went on to coach Rwandan club Rayon Sport and Burkina Faso champions ASFA Yennenga.

“Nigeria has a lot to gain from this and it could be a new dawn for the national team. We just pray for him to succeed with the team that is most important aspect of it”, he said.

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