It all started in 1994 when we produced one of the best team every assembled. From that team we had those we called utility destroyers and you had those who were technically gifted that you could say really understand the dynamics of football.
Their relationship with the ball was clear in their match reading and they could change things on the field of play. They were co-coaches on the field. In that set there was Keshi, Oliseh, Siasia, Okocha and Amokachi.
Then you had those who made it not because they were exceptionally gifted but because they were footballers.
The first question is ‘What technical stuff did you remember Eguavoen for in that set?
These set retired and some became coaches and I think the best tactically sound as a coach among them were SiaSia and Keshi. Siasa was the only one in my opinion whose coaching ideology was clear and you knew how his team would play.
If you have been a student of our football history it would interest you to know that since Bonfere Jo our glass house had become a bargaining house or how on earth did Lars Lagerback get the job ahead of Bruno Metsu?
Anyway back to the present The NFF had never defined our footballing philosophy which would have defined the kind of coaches we would have hired. Brazil would never hire Jose while Cameroon would never hire a Pep. Every nation identified their footballing philosophy and hired coaches based on that but we did not do that so we simply hired who was available that we could dictate to.
Rohr came in and typical of German coaches it was all about organizations and results. Rohr did not qualify with permutation s because Germans begin with the end in mind such that by the time it was the final match they would have qualified. It was less about the type of football; it was more about getting the job done.
Rohr built a team of Giants because he knew situations could happen that you needed height and that was why he kept the tall striker in Genk in his team(that was one player we missed in Abuja)
As usual Rohr struggled since his bronze winning team but qualifiers was easy because he ensured his team took care of things in away games and even the game he lost was because of the TBS Lagos. We did not like his way of winning and we clamoured for sexy football.
Among all our coaches there is no single one who could deliver sexy football outside of Siasia but Keshi could get the job done without delivering sexy football.
The first question you must ask is how did coach Eguavoen become the technical director? Anyway if Coach james Peters could lead the technical team why not Eguavoen.
Just like United Nigeria is becoming a victim of the entitled 1994 set who believed successful career translates to successful coaching.
Ghana went to call on a coach with Dortmund where did we call our own from?
If you watched Eguavoen at the AFCON the only thing that changed was his dressing and that was clear from the first match. If you listened to his interviews he emphasied wing play and if you understand football there is no modern coach that talks like that.
The moment i saw the Afcon team I knew we were in trouble because there was no plan B and expectedly he lost out which was our worst performance in our recent history. We had always made Semi finals.
Leadership had enough time to get the right coach after that tournament but as usual we found another 94 set who in my opinion was more qualified and tactically better than his boss.
With the array of talents at our disposal the first leg should have been a win but the coach was predictable as usual. Coach Eguavoen was not a bad man he just couldn’t do more than he was capable of. Did you hear the players talk after matches? ‘The coach told us to just freely express ourselves’ What elite coach gives that sort of instructions?
Anyway when the team for this last tragedy was released I started asking for that tall striker because i knew we would need him if we needed to win ugly. Alas he did not make the team despite outperforming Sadiq and co.
But he did invite a joker that was not used. That joker was the rawest and the most hungry among the lot. His name is Amoo. That was the joker that ghana never prepared for and who the defenders had never seen but alas after the noise of the first leg the coach panicked and any fan could have picked that first 11.
The two players that would have made the difference in the situation we found ourselves were Paul Onuachu and Amoo. With Paul we would have gone the route of high balls even though Moses couldn’t ping a simple cross and with Amoo he would have forced shots and the defenders would never have figured him out.
Anyway i am glad we can start afresh that is if there is anything like that but we lost the match a long time ago and this was long coming.
Next time give Nigeria a coach that could pick players without thinking of quota system and with a clear football philosophy.
I will not lose sleep over this and will enjoy the world cup. I hope we pick the lessons because Rohr would have easily qualified in Kumasi.
PF writes from Irving Tx