Not too much wrong with Oliseh's calculated outburst


There's  been a huge reaction to Sunday Oliseh's furious broadside at his critics on YouTube. The Nigera coach launched a fusilade that compares well with those from the likes of Kevin Keegan, Rafa Benitez and Giovanni Trappatoni.

It's been suggested by his critics who want him gone that the YouTube video should call his future int question. Oliseh is going nowhere and here's why.

First the Nigeria Football Federation can't afford to sack him barely seven months into a three year contract.. It wouldn't just be Oliseh who would leave as a new coach would want to bring in his own technical crew.

The current depths to which the oil price has sunk also means the Federal Government have greater priorities for their dwindling oil dependent income than indulging the whims of an organisation bankrupt in every way possible.

NFF president Amaju Pinnick has also very firmly staked his colours to Oliseh's mast and will defend his appointment until  or of it threatens his own position.

It was certainly brave of Oliseh to go on the offensive, given the availability of two French candidates for his job in Claud LeRoy and Herve Renard. They also happen to be two of the biggest names in the African coaching fraternity. Veritable superstars with experience and winning ways.

Were Oliseh's comments that bad? He said his critics are insane. Are they? Is he wrong about CHAN? When you scratch beneath the surface of paranoia there are huge swathes of truth to digest and Nigerian foofball is not so good at looking in the mirror.

“Now it’s the time to attack,” an infuriated Oliseh said on YouTube.

“The usual critics have brought out their fangs again.

“I’m addressing this constant insanity, this is madness that has befallen some of our critics. You must be insane to ask questions on the future of the Super Eagles because we lost CHAN.

“With all due respect, CHAN is the least important tournament organised by CAF, and it is a tournament which weighs on the strength of the various leagues and you can see how far DR Congo and TP Mazembe have done.

“What then should be done to the coaches of Ghana, South Africa and Egypt, who did not qualify for this tournament?

“This insanity each time the Super Eagles lose, these critics go on air and start seeking the future of the coach. This is madness!

“They did the same thing when we lost to DR Congo, which was a friendly game. They were asking questions if this was the right person to lead the Super Eagles.

“We lost to Guinea, and this comes after a 10-game unbeaten run, and they start this hullabaloo over the future of the coach of the Super Eagles.”

Oliseh is so right about CHAN. Before reaching the final with Keshi two years ago, Nigeria had failed to qualify for the tournament. The country simply doesn't have the domestic based players to compete with the rich clubs or leagues on the continent. As soon as they can the best players want to leave the Nigeria Premier League and play abroad. The country pulls up no trees anymore in the African Champions League. Why then is Oliseh expected to perform miracles?

Despite the criticism, Oliseh maintained he was on course to qualifying the country for both AFCON 2017 and the 2018 World Cup.

“We’re on track to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations and we have qualified into the pool stage for the World Cup,” he said.

“This is the 14th game I have been in charge as coach and we have lost only two and only one official game.

“So, where is this failure that some people are trying to sell to Nigerians?

“Unless for coach Sunday Oliseh and his crew to be successful, they have to win all their matches. Jesus Christ! Even the world champions Germany are not doing that.

“Talk less of us who are a brand-new team we are building for some months now –the team to CHAN have seven players who are certainly leaving our shores to play abroad, two have already signed.

“I’m proud of what we have achieved with the Super Eagles of Nigeria. Nigerians are happy, there is so much team spirit, it is now interesting to watch the Super Eagles.”

There has been much talk of an Oliseh apology. I actually think there was nothing to apologise for. I don't think this was a rant but a calculated outburst in the main by a calculating individual who wanted to let people know what is what.

Now the “Pep Guardiola of Africa faces Egypt in a double header next month as they continue their bid to qualify for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.

It's this battleground that will decide whether Nigeria remain amongst the continent's also-rans or are climbing back up to the summit where they feel entitled.

Tunde Coker

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