IF I WERE: SUNDAY OLISEH – A DISTRESSED COACHING BRAND
By Krazy Mary
The sun blazed forth with glory for me on July 14, 2015. After an illustrious career as an international footballer, many years of punditry on football I Sunday Ogorchukwu Oliseh am officially announced as the coach of the Super Eagles (Yes, Super Eagles, not under 16, under 20, not even the Olympic team). Wow, Nigeria is a wonderful country or where else will this have been possible if not for our own Naija that a man without deep club or age-grade coaching history can simply be elevated to the coveted position of coach of the senior national team. God, I thank you o! Oga Amaju Pinnick, I will love you forever for giving me this opportunity, I scream.
Not long after, as expected, bad belle people begin to do ‘wailing wailers’ on my head. From some of my former Super Eagles team-mates to sports critics who never see anything good in Nigerians. They predict that I will be a disaster. That I am too temperamental to be a coach that I am too inexperienced to handle Nigeria’s national team. Imagine them! A whole me, a FIFA licensed coach. what do they know about coaching? What do they know about football? Have they not heard Amaju Pinnick say that I am the Guardiola of Africa. I will put all of them to shame, yeye people.
I waste no time to stamp my authority on the team, Vincent Enyeama, Nigeria’s most capped player is made to realise who is boss when I send him packing from the camp for daring to come late. I am not moved by explanations that the delay came about because he had to bury his sweet mother. When I say ‘come to camp, I mean come to camp within the deadline’. I must teach these guys some discipline.
That he (Enyeama) resigns from international football because of my actions is his own cup of tea. There are many talented goal-keepers in Nigeria who can even do a better job.
Next, I disrupt the team with my selection of Ahmed Musa as Super Eagle captain. Who cares if Mikel Obi is much older and the most capped player in the team with the exit of Enyeama. I am a digital coach. I know what time it is in football. What Amaju Pinnick does not know is that I would rather be Africa’s Jose Mourinho than to be Guardiola. My boys must play for me. I should be the only excitement in the team. I am bigger than all the players o jare. But after failing to win vital qualifiers for the 2017 AFCON and the home based Eagles are sent packing before the quarter finals in the 2016 CHAN, the heat begins to rise. Too many calls for my sack pervades the air. Enemies are doing over-time on me. Anyway, thank God for Amaju Pinnick, I remain Super Eagles coach.
However, only a few months into the job I realise that the Super Eagles coaching job is like driving a car with an empty fuel tank. The players are not motivated as allowances and welfare does not come as and when due and even my own salary, na war to see am collect! How do these guys at NFF expect me to perform magic when I have no support? As a respected pundit and experienced analyst, I realise that the ovation may continue dying on me, so before they stone me out of this job, let me just resign. So I get my twitter handle and do just that. As a digital coach I have to make the announcement digitally.
Wow! If I were Sunday Oliseh, I will take life easy like Sunday morning like the Commodores sang in their 70s’ hit. I will realise that for me to be able to manage and hone a team to become champions I need to breed respect and love not fear and hate. If I were Oliseh, I would also have honed my own coaching skills by having relevant years of experience coaching some club-sides like my comrades, Samson Siasia and Emmanuel Amunike did. I will have known that nobody will avoid first and second year in the university and jump to final year to sit for final graduation exams. If I were Sunday Oliseh I would have known that punditry, no matter how excellent I am at it cannot automatically translate into great coaching skills and just like every other thing in life practice could eventually make one perfect.
If I were Sunday Oliseh, I would have realised that all these years that Westerhof, Bonfrere Jo, Amodu Shuaibu, Stephen Keshi and Siasia have been complaining about lack of support from NFF and delay in the release of salaries, allowances and bonuses, they were not imagining things. I should have gone into the job prepared knowing that the NFF will not suddenly change their ways overnight because an ‘African Guardiolla’ had been hired as Super Eagles coach.
If I were Sunday Oliseh, I would apologise to Nigerians for allowing Amaju Pinnick and the NFF to use me to set the Super Eagles back several years.