Oliseh fears for Nigerian football
JOHANNESBURG — Former Nigeria captain Sunday Oliseh believes the glory days of the country’s national team will not return unless they “get their house in order”.
Nigeria have been on a downward spiral in the past year and failed to qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.
Oliseh told BBC Sport: “We have got technical problems and administrative problems — it is too much for one nation, even if you are Nigeria.
“At the moment it is bleak. We need to face up to the job and get organised.”
Oliseh knows what it takes to achieve success, having been part of the Nigeria squad that won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1994 and the Olympic gold medal two years later.
He also played at the World Cup in 1994 and 1998, helping the Super Eagles to the last-16 at both tournaments and in the latter he scored a memorable winner as Nigeria shocked Spain 3-2 in a group match.
Those teams were filled with players referred to as the “golden generation” of Nigerian football; among them were Jay-jay Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu and Finidi George.
But Oliseh cannot see where the next generation is going to come from.
“During the 1990s a lot of the players were products of the Nigerian league. Those who were playing in Europe had only left two or three years before. “Myself, I had moved to Europe only four years before the 1994 World Cup. “It was not as if it w was Europe that made us — the Nigerian leaguele produced us; it was so competitive th then, it was viable and credible.
“The national te team does not create players — you sel select your best players from your clubs t to play in the national team.
“But now our attention is more focused on the nation national team and we have neglected the domestic l league; that is the major problem in Nigerian football.
“If we cannot get the league in order, we will never haveve have another golden generation. generation.”
The formerr Ajax and Juventus midfielder, who played 63 times for his country, is also concerned aboutout issues off the field.
Nigeria’s Football Federation is in disarray because of in-fighting n-fighting over the presidency — ongoing battles les that have led Fifa to ban the team for governmentalvernmental interference in football matters. In decline And there has been instability in management, withth coach Stephen Keshi removed from his position only to be re-appointed following intervention by Presidentesident Goodluck Jonathan before being released again in after his side were eliminated ed from Nationss Cup qualifying.
It was only in 2013 that Keshi led Nigeria to o the Nations Cup title in South Africa ica and he also steered the team to the last-16 6 at this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.
Nigeria’s fall since then has been rapid. And Oliseh believes there needs to be consistency as well as clear boundaries over roles.
“To fix it we have to get our house in order,” he said. “And it is not too far-fetched, the solution to this.
“For example, if we have a Football Federation president who is doing well, let’s leave him in the job.
“It is great that Nigerian are passionate about football, that they have opinions like a coach.
“But in reality, everybody thinks they know football — not because they play football but because they know football. It doesn’t work like that.
“We need to let people who are technicians do the technical work.
“If you are going to talk about tactics or physical, let that be somebody who has that expertise.” — BBC LONDON — Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has said he does not regret releasing Frank Lampard (pictured) despite the midfielder’s impressive form for Manchester City, in comments published by several British newspapers on Monday.
Lampard, 36, left Chelsea in June after a glittering 11-year spell in which he became the club’s all-time leading scorer and after initially signing for New York City, he was loaned to their sister club, Manchester City.
The former England star has scored six goals this season, including the winner at Leicester City on Saturday, but Mourinho says it would have hindered the development of Chelsea’s young players if Lampard had stayed.
“My view is that when you want to look forward, look to the future and have people like (Cesc) Fabregas and (Nemanja) Matic and Jeremie Boga (Chelsea under-21s midfielder), which are the next 10 years of the club, the project is to prepare for the next 10 years, not for the next year. We made the right decision,” said Mourinho.
“You can argue, ‘ You have John Terry and Didier Drogba.’ Different. Drogba is a striker that is coming to help and support the team. John Terry is the best central defender in English football and it doesn’t matter how old he is.
Lampard’s loan spell at City is due to end next month, but their manager Manuel Pellegrini has revealed that he would like to keep him at the club for longer.
“Frank wants to stay, we want to keep him,” Pellegrini said after City’s 1-0 win at Leicester. — AFP
Former Nigeria captain Sunday oliseh
The Super eagles