Oliseh fears for Nige­rian foot­ball

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

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

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