CRUCIFY THE MESSIAH: NFF Has Finally Nailed Samson Siasia on the Cross For Our Lost Football Glory

 What a sad story. Just 32 seconds to the end of the crucial game changed a man’s fortune. Samson Siasia once taunted to be Nigeria football ‘Messiah’ watched in disbelieves as Guinean national team scored that equalizer at the final seconds of the Africa cup of Nations qualifying game in Abuja National Stadium. And the fair weather changed. Friends suddenly became foes. Fans that hailed him began to boo. I mean openly  boo him in the media. It was like last laugh for players like Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Obafemi Martins, Dickson Etuhu…those who were left out in the new  team. Today, NFF have sacked Samson Siasia and had once again truncated the rebuilding process. We’ve gone back to the drawing board again and ready to engage another coach who’ll start all over again.

Wait a minute, for what reason did the media call for the sack of Siasia as Chief Coach of the Super Eagles? Is it for his good work or what? No, it’s for his failure to qualify Nigeria for 2012 Africa cup of Nations. The media said that he must respect the mandate of his contract, which is to take Super Eagles to at least the semi finals of the African tournament.  Well, he didn’t even qualify!! Perhaps, out of anger the fans and media began to call for his head “Crucify him! Crucify him! By the same people who just a minute before the match still called Siasia our football messiah. So he did fail on one of his mandate and NFF is justified to sack him, right? wrong! It’s a big mistake!

It’s ironical that NFF board members that do not know how to evaluate themselves should be left to assess Siasia performance. Like Jesus Christ said in the bible…anyone of them that had ever met his target in the football administrations, let him cast the first stone!

If Siasia had failed, it’s more logical to say, in the NFF board failure to hire the right coach, they should all be sacked with him. Or what is the assurance that they wouldn’t make the same mistake in hiring a new coach. They hired Shaibu Amodu and he was not good enough; then, they hired Legerback and he wasn’t good either; Eguaveon was not good too. Now, they’ve suddenly found that Siasia may not be the messiah after all. Then, there is something definitely wrong with capacity of the board members that hired these coaches in the first place.

Well, that’s not the topic for this post. My question is,  should NFF sack Samson Siasia just because he did not qualify Nigeria for the nation’s cup as written in his contract or should they rather look at his over all performance. If they understand that the real mandate is to “Rebuild the Super Eagles team and restore the glory of our football.” Then, they should also understand that during the rebuilding process we should expect flops like this. I’m not making excuses for Siasia, but it’s true. The team is not yet ripe. It’s work in process.

You see, Samson Siasia is not the cause of the decay and the downfall of Nigeria football. He came to save it. Let us not make him victim of the circumstance. For instance, do we have the players to build such top team we desire? Where are they? He needs time to discover them and to put together an unbeatable team. It took Clemence Westerhof four good years to win the nation’s cup in 1994. In his first nation’s cup attempt in Algers 90, Nigeria team were beaten black and blue by Algerian team  in the opening game; we lost by 5 – 1. Siasia is less than a year in the Job and NFF have sacked him. It’s too bad. We never learn!

It’s clear to any follower of Nigeria football that Siasia is re-building the team. For a longtime, Nigeria is now playing like a team once again. Siasia is right on track and we should let him continue the good work he began.
1.      Building  a New Team for the Future: Samson Siasia was not only building a team that will win today, he had the world cup 2014 on his mind. He was already introducing young players like Joel Obi, Ahmed Musa, Peter Utaka, Emmanuel Emenike, Brown Ideye… Players that will get matured with their game in the next three to four years time.

2.      Improving Our Local Players / League:  Siasia didn’t only scan abroad for players, he also scanned our local league and gave some of the local boys like Chibuzor Okonkwo, Ehisun Edison, Orok Akparanta… opportunity to play along side the foreign based professional.

Siasia is one coach that featured any good player irrespective of his local or foreign base.

3.      Working to Instil Discipline in the team: Siasia brought some level of discipline into the super Eagles team. He was no respecter of persons. He climbed down on any player that does not adhere to team spirit.

He started with the “big boys” such as Osaze Odemwingie, who tweeted adversely against  the team on the twitter blog; Then, Vincent Enyeama, who worked out on the team in Madagascar and Mikel Obi; who arrived camp late.

4.      Building Team Play and Character in The Super Eagles: For a long time now, the Super Eagles had been known to lack team play and only win matches based on individual brilliance, but Siasia with his typical attacking pattern has started to change all that. Super Eagles are playing more like a team now.

Although, he had not yet finished with the flushing out of the bad eggs and replacing them with team players that are more hungry for honors.

5.      Improving the Rating of Local Coaches: Siasia professionalism forced NFF to look into the remuneration and welfare package of the local coaches in their employment.

Siasia was the first local coach to earn NGN5 million Naira per month. He insisted that he signed a contract and be treated with the same standard like the foreign technical advisers.

* Samson Siasia did not loose any competitive match during his tenure as Super Eagles coach. Though, he couldn’t save the African Cup of Nation situation that had already gone bad before he came on. I don’t why he is being judged by it.
There is nothing wrong in sacking him and re-stating him again based on a new four years contract – this is my candid opinion!

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