[A special independence Post].
#We made it! Nigeria Gets Better @ 55!
A goodwill massage to all citizens of Nigeria across the world - GreenHunters Sports International,
Happy Independence Day October 1st. Believe in your country!!
Nigeria national team Super Eagles is probably the most recognized brand in Africa and should be treated as such. It shouldn't be a place for experimenting with players, where every Tom, Dick and Harry are invited for try outs.
I guess not many of our football administrators and coaches understand that the senior national team isn't a place for discovering new players. This is the reason I find the term of reference given to our national team coach as ridiculous.
The job of the national team coach shouldn't be to junket about searching for new players from the local league or any other league across the world. Perhaps, that should be the armpit of the Dream team, Flying Eagles and the Eaglets coaches. The senior national team is meant for proven players, who are at the top of their game.
I admit there are exceptional cases where a prodigious player is discovered and taken straight to the national team. But looking at the template, top notch senior national team like the Super Eagles should only go for players currently playing top flight football.
This is one major mistake most Super Eagles coaches make. They waste a lot of time inviting all sought of players, hoping to discover some new super stars.
They misuse FIFA free windows and friendly matches by fielding players they know would probably not make the squad after all. Instead of utilizing those friendly games to blend their key players and build a formidable team.
I find it funny when Stephen Keshi, former Super Eagles coach, kept on experimenting with new players into major tournaments like Confederations cup and the World cup. Keshi couldn't build a United team all through his tenure as Super Eagles head coach.
The way to build a national team is to list a pool of about 30 to 40 players and create a program to build the players in a formidable team. It takes more than just tossing the ball around a pitch.
It isn't a rocket science to put together a team. We all know Nigerian players doing well both home and abroad, info-tech has made it easy. If Sunday Oliseh doesn't know, then we can help with that. We can recommend a pool of 35 players for the national team. I guess most Nigerian football fans could do that also. So let's do the roll call together:
Goalkeepers: 1. Vincent Enyeama, 2. Austin Ejide, 3. Carl Ikeme, 4. Chigozie Agbim
Defenders: 5. Efe Ambrose, 6. Elderson Echiejile, 7. Kenneth Omerue, 8. Godfrey Obobona, 9. Ndidi, 10. Ekwerike, 11. Kwambe,
Midfielders: 12. John Mikel Obi, 13. Onazi Ogeniyi, 14. Joel Obi, 15. Kelechi Iheanacho, 16. John Ogu, 17. Victor Moses, 18. Christian Obiozor, 19. Obiora Nwankwo, 20. Ahmed Haruna, 21. Sokari
Attackers: 22. Simon Moses, 23. Ahmed Musa, 24. Emmanuel Emenike, 25. Brown Ideye, 27. Obafemi Martins, 28. Odion Ighalo, 29. Taiwo Awoniyi, 30. Ikechukwu Uche, 31. Mfon Udoh, 32. Gbolahan Salami.
Wild Card: 33. Christian Nwakali, 34. Edouk Emem, 35. Alex Iwobi, 36. Isaac Success.
Due to the nature of the national team, it isn't possible to have these players stay together for a longer time. So the coach must plan ahead with the NFF to utilize the FIFA free Windows to achieve team norming and team cohesion. It means planning ahead to play some quality international friendlies and create other events where players can mingle together, to achieve team spirit..
The Coaching crew should aim at playing one or two friendly games before any qualifiers. In those friendly the coach must begin to find the best possible blends between players at the different positions in the pitch.
It's usually awful for players playing together for the first time in a major qualifiers, they just can't understand themselves and we wonder why the national team isn't playing well with players we know are in form and doing well for their clubs.