I am not a messiah, says Oliseh
• Gets N15m salary advance
New Super Eagles Chief Coach, Sunday Ogochukwu Oliseh, has warned Nigerian football fans against seeing him as the messiah that would single-handedly resuscitate the country’s football. This, he said, is because the Super Eagles, as currently constituted, does not boast any individual playmaker, who can singularly win matches for the country.
Speaking after signing a three-year contract to coach the national team, Oliseh, however, assured that he would be over 100 per cent committed to his job, adding that he had already started compiling a list of Nigerian players that have the potential to make his team.
The former Super Eagles’ captain said only players at the first cadre on the Nigerian league and those playing at renowned championships in the world would make his team. He also took time to explain his choice of assistants, saying he would
ensure his team has a cordial relationship with the NFF technical department and executive committee.
“Personally it is a great honour to be a coach of this great nation. My acceptance by the federation and Nigerians touches the heart and we are more than motivated to give our best for Nigeria. First of all, I am not coming as a messiah, or the man who knows it all. I cannot singularly turn Nigeria into Germany. But I am coming as a man who has come to serve his country and I will give a 150 per cent to it.
“I think I owe it to you to explain why my assistants are carefully chosen by me. When we had to bring in an expatriate to serve in Nigerian football, I told the NFF president that I would not be party to the bringing in an expatriate who will come with a better than thou attitude here.
“We need an expatriate who will be ready to work and who is hungry for victory. We need one who knows Africa and does not need time to acclimatize. That was how we arrived at Jean Francoise Luiscuito.
“For Salisu, we needed him very seriously because he knows in and out of the league. Alloy Agu we also need because when you are talking of calmness and giving tactical advises to the coaches and goalkeepers, he fits in very well. That is why we are what we are as a team. It is obvious that the days are gone when we have individual players that can win matches for us out of their own individual efforts. That was what stood my own generation of Nigerian
“The way it goes is that if you don’t have great individual players, you need a great coaching crew to compensate for what you don’t have. But we have potential to be the best in the world. That is what the coaching crew honestly believes. They were meticulously chosen for this job.”
He explained that the coaching crew has “set up certain criterion for those who will play in our new Super Eagles from now on. One of them is that if you are not playing in the first division of the Nigerian league or any credible league in the world, you will not play for the Super Eagles.”
There is an exception, he said, for those being promoted from the age grade teams.
He added: “We need players who are only hungry and motivated. No player is doing Nigeria a favour by playing for the national team, just like I am not doing Nigeria a favour by coaching the Super Eagles. It is an honour to play for or coach Nigeria.”
Meanwhile, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick, has described Oliseh as the Guardiola of African football.
Explaining why the NFF chose Oliseh as Super Eagles’ coach, Amaju said he consulted both FIFA and CAF on the quality of the coach that could revive Nigerian football.
He said: “We are very excited because we know as a federation that Mr. Sunday Oliseh will deliver. The federation has been working as a team; it was not until 5.00 p.m. this morning (yesterday) that we arrived at an agreement hence the unveiling that took place today.
“After meeting with Oliseh, it became obvious that both the members of the technical committee and the NFF executive board agreed that we did not have any choice but to unveil him before the world. CAF and FIFA have always told us that if we needed glory in our football, we did not need to go somewhere else. That we have it at the back of our house in the person of Sunday Oliseh. And we have seen it him in so many ways. He is technologically advanced; he has a degree in Economics, he is so very vast when it comes to the game both on the field and other areas where I think we are yet to get a replacement for him since he left the national team over 13 years ago.
“As a member of the highly revered FIFA technical study group, Oliseh has continued to impact knowledge to coaches all over the world. He has promised us that he wants to redefine his playing pattern through teamwork. In Oliseh, I can assure you that we are going to have one of the best coaches in the history of Nigeria.”
He announced that the NFF has begun to prove that it was ready to accommodate the new coach and his technical crew by paying into his account, three months of his salary in advance.