Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Interpreting the Move to Hire Oliseh and the issue of a Foreign Coach. . . .

The story below is directly from Nigerian Football Federation's (NFF) website and, thus, must be considered accurate. You can find the story by clicking on NFF. Reading the story leads me to the following interpretations:

1.     Sunday Oliseh’s job is far more reaching than had been the case with previous national team coaches. He will not only coach the A squad but will oversee Nigeria’s football by beginning the process of codifying it and outlining its culture. Essentially, he takes over a task that was supposedly Shuaibu Amodu’s.

2.     Pinnick did get his wish for a foreign technical imprint on Nigeria’s football.  In fact, not only did Pinnick get what many thought he was focused on but he got more! The designated Foreign Assistant is only such by name. In essence, that Assistant will have (by all intents and purposes) far reaching influence. He will oversee the entire youth development. My sense is that because those youth teams will still have local coaches and Oliseh will have his hands full with the A squad, it is this Foreign Assistant who will be charged directly to develop the football plans that I mentioned in #1 above.

3.     Shuaibu Amodu’s job is effectively swallowed up by #1 and #2 above. He is walking dead. As some have already stated, it is now just a matter of time for Amodu.

4.     It is clear that a strategy that I referred to back when Eucharia Uche was assigned a Foreign Physical Trainer is not just confirmed but is in full effect. Note that the same strategy had been applied by assigning a foreign assistant to John Obuh, just a few years ago. The strategy is a reaction to resistance from Nigerian public to the hiring of foreign coaches. To checkmate this, my thinking is that the NFF decided (Starting under Maigari) to appoint FCs  without the large media attention that often follow such appointments i.e. just appoint them under the radar. Designations such as Physical Trainer or Assistant Coach will do the trick whereas their actual duties will surpass the usual duties under those nomenclatures.


5.     The changes taking place now is revolutionary and only rivaled by the late Isaac Akioye’s move that eventually brought "Father" Tiko and three other East European coaches to Nigerian football in the early 1970s. That move by Akioye led to Nigeria becoming an African football power, a position that was then reserved only for the likes of the Congo, Egypt, and Ghana. Time will tell whether or not Pinnick will achieve the same as Akioye did but make no mistake he is forcing his way to achieve his dreams. Never underestimate that.