Cyril C. NwokejiMonday, February 22, 2016




he latest 'blupper' or rather blunder committed by Coach Sunday Oliseh, through the video tirade, came very hard on the Nigerian soccer community, particularly on the NFF, who have been put in a straight jacket of sorts by Coach Oliseh, and according to the NFF Chairman, would require a lot of fence-mending by the NFF. The blunder or rather " video blunder," committed by Coach Oliseh, could have been avoided if Coach Oliseh had reflected deeply and not taken some of the criticisms no matter how disparaging, personally. This further re-enforces my thinking that Coach Oliseh needs help, when it comes to managing his image affairs as Super Eagles coach. We shall discuss this later on.

That Coach Sunday Oliseh has a temper, is well known; that he is some what arrogant, is apparently true; that he is some what stubborn, is also apparently true; and that he is very intolerant to criticisms, is apparently true. The truth of the matter is that as a man of flesh and blood, he is not and cannot be perfect. But as coach of the Super Eagles of Nigeria, there are certain standards of behaviour, expected of him, from the Nigerian and International public. He is not only supposed to embody technical and tactical perfection, but also mental and emotional sophistication. Even if he is not perfect as a consequence of his being human, the public he serves expect some sort of perfection, in his ways of going about his duties. Like as yours sincerely, wrote in an earlier article, Coach Oliseh, needs to learn to canalise his primitive, negative, impulses, in a way that doesn't harm his interests ! As coach of the Super Eagles of Nigeria, unarguably, the biggest coaching assignment in Africa, what with a public of about one hundred and eighty million people, watching and ready to interfere through comments and criticisms at any moment, Coach Sunday Oliseh, is without a shred of doubt, under intense pressure. Pressure which can be sometimes unbearable for any human being, talkless of a young man under fifty years of age. Coach Oliseh, no doubt, has a problem balancing the huge expectations of Nigerians: that the Super Eagles win every match, and the reality: that the Super Eagles cannot win all matches. Notwithstanding this predicament of Coach Oliseh's, one of the keys to his success, as Super Eagles coach, remains his ability to balance effectively, the huge expectations of Nigerians, with reality and communicate same unambiguously and effectively to Nigerians ! This is where yours sincerely thinks Coach Oliseh needs help. He needs help from a professional who will help him articulate clearly and correctly this reality to Nigerians. In other words, he needs help from a public relations officer! Considering his princely salary, by Nigerian standards, he can easily afford the services of a locally based public relations officer, who will help him in the discharge of his duties. An added advantage of hiring a publicist, is that he will concentrate more on the technical aspects of his job, which will further increase his chances of success. Yours sincerely gave him this piece of advice at the inception of his responsibility as Super Eagles coach, but this was apparently, discarded. If Coach Oliseh, doesn't heed this advice this time around and continues to run a "one-man- show ," all by himself, in the discharge of his duties as Super Eagles coach, he would almost certainly put himself in trouble again. Given the pressures associated with his job and his natural frailities, one doesn't need a sooth sayer to see this scenario becoming a reality sooner than later. Given the present mood of the NFF, it wouldn't take a bigger mistake than the present one to be forced out of his job. Yours sincerely doesn't wish him this fate. I love Coach Oliseh and want him to succeed as Super Eagles coach. I believe notwithstanding his relative inexperience, he has quite a lot to offer the Super Eagles of Nigeria. But to realise this potential, he needs to create for himself, a better working environment !

Another motivation to hold tightly to his job, is to realise he has a plum job that is the dream of many a foreign and indigenous coach, who would certainly jump at the opportunity to replace him. A member of the Super Eagles team to the 1994 World cup tournament in the United States of America, told yours sincerely, some years ago, that many foreign coaches were falling over themselves, and I still believe, still falling over them selves, trying to coach Nigeria's Super Eagles. This is because, Nigeria, is richly blessed in talent!

To those doomsday critcasters, some of whom are exploiting the failure of the Super Eagles at the CHAN tournament, to not only disparagingly criticise, but to also cast aspersions at the person of Coach Oliseh, one says wait a minute, and refelect for a minute, before going further with your unpatriotic activities. Nigeria is at the midst of preparations for a very important double header against Egypt, what Nigerians need to do now is to rally round the NFF, Coach Oliseh and Super Eagles, in the course of these preparations, to ensure an adequate and favourable environment for success. At the end of this double header, the NFF and indeed all Nigerians would re-evaluate Coach Oliseh. This is thus not the time to try to pull down Coach Oliseh and by implication the Super Eagles of Nigeria. A distracted coach cannot focus properly on his job. Those criticasters who are taking advantage of this scenario, to seek the job of Coach Oliseh, should be patient until Coach Oliseh loses his job; hopefully that wouldn't be any time soon !

In conclusion, one advises Coach Oliseh, not to take those disparaging criticisms personally; he should cast them off his person and concentrate effectively on his job. By the time Nigeria posts at least four points out of a maximum of six against Egypt, and takes over leadership of their Nations cup qualifying group, and consequently in pole position to finish tops in the group and with a concomitant 2017 Nations cup ticket in tow, those criticasters, would be forced to leave Coach Oliseh alone for now. Yours sincerely, sincerely wishes Coach Oliseh and indeed all of us this scenario.

Iseeeeeeeh !!!!!