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Chukwu: Oliseh And Enyeama Have Embarrassed Nigeria!

Complete Sports' radio show, Sports Planet anchorman, TUNDE KOIKI speaks to Christian Chukwu, the first man to both captain and coach the Super Eagles of Nigeria  about the feud between current coach Sunday Oliseh and captain Vincent Enyeama, who he both coached at some point and how the row can be easily resolved.

Sports Planet: Chairman Christian Chukwu, thank you for joining us on Sports Planet.

Christian Chukwu: You’re welcome, Tunde.

S.P: Chairman I’m sure that you have heard everything that went down in the Super Eagles camp on Tuesday, what are your impressions of this situation?

I think that they are embarrassing the country. I think, to me, Oliseh should show more maturity than Vincent because he is the one that will 

make use of the defence and achieve his goal and upgrade his coaching career record and so on. If everything you told me is true, I think what should have 

happened when Enyeama reported to the camp complaining that Oliseh did not come for the mother’s burial and so on, should have been simple diplomacy. Oh, I’m sorry my goalkeeper, my captain. I was so engaged in so, so and so. I hope everything went on well? We will still talk. You know it is a simple thing to resolve and not to start raising their voices and so on. The captain is important to Oliseh because he has been a long time captain and most of the players may be on his side, and if he starts having problems with his captain then it is likely he will start having problems with the whole team. I think the essence of him 

being a manager is to make sure he gathers his players together and ensure that there is peace and that they love one another and that they give him results. 

What Oliseh should be after are results. Vincent is equally wrong to be talking to his coach like that. As a captain he should control himself and know that 

this is my coach and approach him properly and peacefully, so that our football keeps moving on well. So I don’t see any serious thing that will make 

them have conflict if what you have told me is the problem.

S.P: But we also hear that another issue causing friction between both men is Oliseh’s desire to install Ahmed Musa as his new captain, an issue that Enyeama reportedly found insulting because of the way and manner it was being done.

 In the first place, if he invites Enyeama and invites Musa, I don’t think it is proper to dethrone Enyeama in the presence of the team and 

make Musa the captain. If I am in his situation, what I will do is not to invite Enyeama, then you can make Musa or whoever you want to be captain. But once Enyeama is there, my brother, Enyeama has been the captain and is still the captain, even Musa in his right sense will not accept the captaincy if Enyeama is there because he knows Enyeama has been his captain. So that is what I am saying.  Oliseh should take it calmly with them. Oliseh played at the highest level, he knows what I am saying. He has been a captain and anything that they will do to you and you will get angry, don’t do it to another person. I don’t think it is proper. When we were handling the Super Eagles, it is not proper to say when Keshi is there and you tell him, he is no longer captain, this person will be captain. It is never done, except the captain is injured then another person is made captain. Even when Keshi was injured in Tunisia 94’, at the end of the final match, after we won the cup, Keshi went to the podium to collect the cup. That is how it should be. The manager is supposed to make peace among his players so that he can get the best out of them and not pit them against one another or be cruel to them.

S.P: Well Chairman, you are the first man to both captain and coach the Super Eagles, so you understand this situation better than anyone. Just how important is the relationship between a coach and his captain?

Yeah, the relationship between a coach and his captain should be very, very cordial. The coach uses his captain to get to his players, he is a middle man. At times when we are playing they will pay us allowances and everything and my colleagues will be agitating and threatening strike and so on, then the coach will go and call me his captain and say ‘’You know my job is at stake. Go and talk to your colleagues.” So, you can see the relationship and when the captain goes back to tell his colleagues that we are playing this match let us do this and leave this. The colleagues will believe him than the coach. So the relationship between the captain and the coach must be very, very cordial. In fact there are times when team selection for a crucial match may be a little bit difficult. The coach will call the captain and ask about his opinion and everything. So, if the relationship is not cordial, I don’t think they will achieve their aim, both the players and the coach.

 

S.P: Well, coach Chukwu from everything you have said, it seems that man management or personnel management is probably the most important skill a successful manager must possess ,probably even more than tactical or coaching ability.

 

That is why he is called a manager.  He is there to manage people. In Europe, especially in England, coaches are called managers. There is nothing you are going to teach them technically. What you are after is that my boys are fit, they master your strategy and the tactics and they go and deliver for you. You are not coaching them. You are not telling them how to trap a ball or head a ball. That kind of coaching is at the grassroots level. That is where you see the real coaches, but when it comes to national team, it is management, it is how you manage the players and they give you result. You know all these players are  not small boys, so we don’t look at them or treat them like kids. You give them their respect and they give you yours. What is most important is for them to give you results. Even if I catch my player going to club and I find out that this player went to club, he is still better than this man, this is his problem. You make use of his problem and make him give you result and then forget about the bad aspect of it. I repeat, what you want are results.

 

S.P: Finally Chairman, how does the NFA resolve this feud because this is capable of imploding the team and with World Cup and Nations Cup qualifiers coming up, this is the last thing we need.

 

That is what I have been telling you. What the NFA needs to do is to call two of them together on the same table and resolve it and there will be peace. If they resolve it without calling the two of them together and they speak to them individually, it won’t work. Call the two of them together and say that they have to work together and I think it will be resolved and everybody will know his responsibility. Managers need the players more because the success, his reputation and his career depends on the players. If the players are not performing the manager’s job is at stake. When the manager is sacked, the players are not sacked. Another manager comes and he makes use of the same players. So the manager should find a way of making use of his players, those that will give him results and leave the bad aspect of them. What he wants is result and that is all. And that is what Nigerians are looking for. Nigerians are not ready to listen to why we did not win. They don’t care if the manager is quarreling with the captain. They want results.

 

S.P: Chairman Christian Chukwu, it’s been a pleasure speaking to you

 

Chukwu: You are very welcome Tunde

 

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11 Comments

  1. Reply Post By Chigbo

    I am almost sure that oliseh's mum is alive ,so he does not understand what it means to lose one. Enyeama has done more for Nigeria football and is well respected by his colleagues so Oliseh should watch it because his failure has started.

  2. Reply Post By AFOLABI DAVID

    WELL SAID, BUT DON`T CONDOLE INDISCIPLINE, A PLAYERS SHOULD NOT GO TO CLUB WHEN U HAVE A CRUCIAL MATCH AND EXPECT HIM TO PLAY BCOS THEIR IS NOT WAY HE CAN BE FIT FOR THAT MATCH SO HE SHOULD BE ON BENCH PERIOD CALL A PADE A SPADE EVEN IF HE IS MESSI OR RONALDO

  3. MUCH AS I AGREE WITH  CHAIRMAN CHUKWU, I BELIEVE OUR PLAYERS EGO,IS THE BANE OF THEIR MEDIORITY AT THE WORLD LEVEL.I THINK OLISEH MIGHT HAVE SENT A MESSAGE TO THE SO CALLED BIG BOYS,WHO THIINK THEY CAN TAKE  NIGERIANS` PASSION  FOR FOOTBALL FOR A RIDE,THAT A NEW ERA OF CHANGE OF ATTITUDE IS THE ONLY WAY TO BE A NATIONAL PLAYER.WE MUST SUPPORT OLISEH IN THIS CRUSADE,IT IS BY THIS, RESPECT WILL BE ACCORDED THE COACHING PROFESSION IN NIGERIA.I LOVE ENYEAMA BUT U WILL AGREE WITH ME HE IS NO LONGER THE HUMBLE VINCENT WE USED TO KNOW,ASK HIM WHEN HE GETS TO FRANCE WILL HE ASK HIS CLUB COACH WHILE HE DID NOT COME FOR HIS MOTHER`S BURIAL.I WILL LIKE TO ADVICE THE NFF TO ALLOW OLISEH TO INSTILL DISCIPINE IN THE CAMP,THEY SHOULD STOP INTERFERING IN HIS EFFORT TO ESTABLISH HIS AUTHORITY AND PHILOSOPHY IN THE TEAM.CHAIRMAN SIR,ONE THING I KNOW IS THAT,OLISEH WILL NOT BECAUSE OF EATING "KANDA" CALL A COW BROS.

  4. Reply Post By Yusuf Ango

    The question is: is the Captain of a Team not appointed by the Coach, or a governing authority? Is the choice of Captain a done deal, fixed matter that cannot be altered?
    May be the manner Olisey made the announcement of his choice Captain without first notifying Enyeama privately, may have been faulty, but I see no problem in the Coach choosing his Captain. After all, Enyeama appeared not to have trained, nor played any game for the Eagles with Olisey as Coach. He even reported late in this particular instance, to their Belgium Camp. As Captain, this shouldn’t have been the case. I think the problem between Olisey and Enyeama is not today’s matter. It is only just boiling to the surface now. It appears young Coaches tend to have EGO problems with star players. Ditto to Stephen Keshia at Togo with Emmanuel Adebayor, and in Nigeria with Odewinge etc. The discovery of that new goalkeeper, Ikeme, has not helped matters between the 2. It was Olisey that brought in the new goalkeeper as you may know.

  5. Mr Chukwu have said it all. But if I must say anything, oliseh lack managerial skills and i don’t see him as a better coach compare to keshi. Why he was suspended from eagles during his playing days? So, every players deserves respect like coach also. So, love ur players. Humble urself to get result. Keshi won AFCON 2013. Let see what you will win for Nigeria.

  6. Well in my opinion, you Oliseh was 110% wrong for talking to somebody who just buried his mother in that manner just because he arrived late to camp. I mean where was his conscience? Oliseh that I know would, based on how stubborn he is would not take that from anybody if he were in Enyeama's shoes. Let's be honest. That guy was still fighting to bear the loss of his beloved mother only for Oliseh to insult him the way he did? c'mmon guys! 

  7. Well, Let's hope this do not affect our game 2day.and the one we have with Cameroun on Sunday.

  8. To be frank, I have never fancied this Chukwu chap. He looks weak. Especially as a coach. From this interview he just doesn’t like Oliseh. Maybe he has a grudge against Oliseh during his coaching him. How can a fellow coach come publicly to support a player against his coach? If Enyeama felt he was still the captain, why did he not come to camp on Monday? When he came to camp on Tuesday he was aloof gisting with one member of staff instead of joining the others in training. Big boyyy. This is pure disrespect to Oliseh and the players. No manager will tolerate it, maybe only Chris Chukwu. Remember Enyeama has not played under Oliseh and Musa Ahmed has been the captain and Oliseh is satisfied with him. That is the main reason Enyeama should have come to the camp and start organising things. To catch up. Comon sense. But he felt too big. Age, education, world position, money, Oliseh is better off than this Enyeama boy. Oliseh is the coach for crying out loud. What is going on here? Chukwu is not following the case as he does not read. I am supporting Oliseh as far as Oliseh vs Enyeama is concern. Enyeama has retired from Eagle. A case of knowing when to walk away realising you can’t win. Image has been tarnished because of pride. I remember he was invited by NFF but he refuse to attend. That is it.

  9. Reply Post By Ini Asuquo

    Mr Oliseh shouldn’t have invited Enyeama. Because he (Oliseh) knew very well that Enyeama had just buried his late mum at the weekend. That there is no how Enyeama would have reported early in the camp. So, I think both parties had a problem before. And their actions was very bad to the continent and Nigeria at large. NFF has to react immediately and investigate the matter.

  10. Reply Post By Abimbola Nathaniel

    All said and done for peace to reign both must sacrifice for it. Oliseh as leader must say sorry to Nigerian all that happened in the camp. Eyema already done that. Blessed Nigeria. Peace with all men necessar for good leaders.

  11. Reply Post By uche okafor

    who is this Musa. Oliseh should tell us why he is conspiring with Musa to destabilise our team. If Musa has respect at all he should not accept captainship where we have Mikel, Enyeama and other senior players. This Musa is not a captain material because he is already dividing the camp. Nff should look for a humble coach who will understand his players at all times and situations.

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