Portuguese Manager Jose Paseiro began his reign as Super Eagles manager with a 2-1 loss to Mexico on Sunday morning in the US. The team for the friendly matches (plus the game vs Ecuador on June 2nd) were released on 10th May 2022 before his appointment as Eagles Manager.
It will therefore be odd for anyone to judge Paseiro with the results of the games vs Mexico and Ecuador. So I will look past this friendly games to 3 things Jose Paseiro can do to get the Super Eagles flying again with the AFCON Qualifiers a fortnight away .
1. AVOID ALL FORMS OF INTERFERENCE
From the first day at work, Jose Paseiro will be a toast of football Stakeholders in the country. Whereas they are positives to this friendship advances , but he must never allow it impact on his choices as Eagles Manager.
If Paseiro can keep the emotions and loyalty that comes with many friends off his duty post then chances are high he will be his own man . The Super Eagles will be better off with a manager who is not moved by ties with Mr A to invite his player to the Super Eagles Team.
This was Genot Rohr’s greatest undoing. The German manager at some point was helpless as to critical decisions involving the Super Eagles .
For example, in demonstration of ” See Finish ” , the glass house used to ignore Genot Rohr’s call for a Change of Venue for the Super Eagles home matches. He Preferred the Godswill Akpabio international stadium in Uyo but the masters had different views .
Sentiments aside , Qualification for tournaments wasn’t a problem under Rohr but immediately this happens his friends will come up with possible players for the Competition proper. They knew him too well to respect his choices.
Stories of his private affairs with women was at various times flaunted against him. This leaks was only possible through his supposed friends whenever he decides to say NO !.
Let me not dig into this but pray Jose Paseiro doesn’t make the same mistake especially with reports quoting he will spend most of his time in Nigeria .
2. QUALITY, COMMITMENT ABOVE QUOTA SYSTEM.
Jose Paseiro should refuse the temptation of selecting players based on any ethnic, religious or location based quota system.
With our Multi ethnic, religious diversity and Home based/Foreign based interests , he will definitely be offered more than 100 players per time for call ups. What the Super Eagles need to fly again are quality and committed players .
Players who are willing and ready to represent the country. Not those invited to please any section of the population. For example, if a player in the NPFL is deserving of a place in the Super Eagles team, such should get the nod ahead of any foreign based counterpart .
Names , club played , ethnic background or religious belief doesn’t play football. Paseiro will help the Super Eagles and himself by ensuring only the best legs are invited to camp for games. After all, same Nigerians who urge him to select players based on the quota system will ask for his head when the results are not favourable.
3. SOLVE THE GOALKEEPING CRISIS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
The Goalkeeping department embarrassed Nigerians and the Austin Eguaveon led Super Eagles coaching crew at the 2021 AFCON and the World cup qualification playoffs.
That is in the past. Jose Paseiro must move quickly to find a solution to this problem zone else it becomes a problem to him. This solution may not be away from the existing options . Well that is his choice to make.
Both Goalkeepers Maduka Okoye and Francis Uzoho have had good moments where Nigerians applauded and hailed them as the ” Answer ” to the search for a worthy replacement for Vincent Enyeama.
What I think is lacking is the psychological effects of a coach giving one of them the confidence to come out of the bad period. Goalkeepers grow better with age and experience so they could turn the page for good. That is if a better option is not found by the Ike Shorunmu led Goalkeeping department.
Maybe one of Akwa United’s Adewale Adeyinka and Enyimba’s Ojo Olorunleke should be given a chance to start against Ecuador on June 2nd. It’s only a friendly game so Nigerians will be happier to unearth a gem like Coach Onigbinde achieved when he gave Vincent Enyeama the starting berth for the game against England at the 2002 World Cup.
If Paseiro fails to get the solution to the Goalkeeping challenge , he may end up playing the best brand of football and still lose important games like it happened vs Tunisia at the 2021 AFCON.
We wish Jose Paseiro well In his new assignment but I know for one that he needs to immediately get the Super Eagles flying again. Only Victories will guarantee this beginning with the AFCON Qualifiers in June 2022.
Majority of Nigerians are not particularly excited about his appointment but I Know with two wins in June , Nigerians will be forced to celebrate and hail him as ” The Special gift ” from the ” Special One ” to Us . In reference to reports As Roma manager Jose Mourinho recommended him for the Job.
What do you think Jose Paseiro can do to get the Super Eagles Flying again ?