Unraveling the mysteries behind Sunday Oliseh’s resignation

first_imgTo many who didn’t know him, Sunday Ogorchukwu Oliseh was seen as an unknown saviour to the county’s football woes. Nigeria was dropping down the FIFA rankings, Stephen Keshi was calling “unworthy” players to the Senior National team and there seemed to be bad blood between the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the coach.Oliseh’s appointment was supposed to be a breath of fresh air to the country. He came in with a UEFA Continental Pro licence (the highest football coaching licence), a 5 year plan on how he was going to turn things around for Nigeria and a promise to return Nigeria to the top.Knowing Nigerians would want his head if there were no immediate results, he asked for patience. On the 5th of November 2015, Oliseh took charge of his first game with the Super Eagles and that ended in a disappointing 0-0 draw against Tanzania.As expected excuses were made and Nigerians were made to swallow their pride while accepting that success did not come overnight.This did get better for the Super Eagles with a loss to DR Congo and an uninspiring 3-0 win over 9 man Cameroon side.In the next month, Oliseh continued his poor away form by drawing 0-0 against Swaziland in the first leg of the World Cup Qualifier but he won over some hearts by winning 2-0 in the return leg. However, drama is never far away from Oliseh. Before the friendlies against DR Congo and Cameroon, Nigeria’s most capped player and 2014 World Cup hero, Vincent Enyeama, was stripped of his captaincy.The issue started from Enyeama being granted a few extra days to bury his late mother but still arrived in camp late. As if that was not enough, Enyeama (according to Oliseh) disrespected the coach by trying to speak while he was addressing the players.Apparently, the Super Eagles’ goalkeeper was upset about being stripped of his captaincy without being informed prior to the incident. Enyeama also complained about being thrown out of camp and that his late mother was insulted by Oliseh. This seemed to be enough reason for Enyeama to call time on his stint as an international player as he announced his retirement.Oliseh was able to prove that he did not need Enyeama by keeping 3 cleansheets in 4 games and it seemed to be like things were going well for the Super Eagles coach until the CHAN tournament in Rwanda. Nigeria started very well with a 4-1 win over Niger Republic. They went on to draw 1-1 with group favourites Tunisia and then lost to eventual finalists, Guinea. The performance was seen as below par by the NFF and gave him what seemed to be his final warning based on the performance and his “unwarranted statements made in both social and regular media.”The NFF also went on to demand that Oliseh submits his list of players before they are called up for any match and he was also mandated to defend his training programme before the Federation.This seemed to be the straw that broke the camel’s back because on the 26th of February 2016, Sunday Oliseh announced his resignation on the Social Media platform Twitter.After considering the circumstances surrounding Oliseh’s resignation, I can only agree that he did the right thing. Not because he is a good man but he is a brave coward. Oliseh has always looked like a man that was running away from shadows. The man went to rant on social media about how people wanted him sacked and called his critics insane instead of sitting down to analyse the failure that was the CHAN tournament.Fine, he lost to a team that got to the final but in the end, but one does not go out and say that journalists have asked him to bribe them in order to write good things about him and have to apologise weeks later without giving at least a list of names.Even if Oliseh’s accusations were true, it shows how low he has fallen only 7 months into his job. Not only that, he seemed to be unsettled with his role as the Super Eagles’ coach.He was always chopping and changing his team, there was no style of play being implemented, the players never looked confident and he couldn’t even get the best out of arguably our best striker this season, Odion Ighalo. I applaud Oliseh for resigning because that was the best decision for the team and it also shows us that there could be some shady business going on in the Glass House.However I will criticise the timing of his resignation and call it cowardly. The least he could have done was resign after the second game against Egypt but I guess he didn’t believe that he could do it and so he ran away with his tail between his legs.I hope that Nigeria has learnt from this episode of high quality drama. It’s not the armchair coaches with the certificates and big mouths that can definitely carry out the job. Our supposed “African Pep Guardiola” ended up being our “African David Moyes”.Before we appoint our next coach, it is important to make sure that whoever comes in has a lot of experience and actually knows what he is doing. God helps those who help themselves. We need to pray less and act more to achieve results. God bless Nigeria.  –Follow Biola on Twitter: @OgbeniBiola. 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