—Super Eagles Coach Eager To Prove Doubters Wrong
Super Eagles coach Sunday Oliseh has advised Nigerian players at big clubs to seek loan moves instead of being bench warmers.
He is also keen to prove his doubters wrong, especially those that insist he lacks the wealth of experience to lead the Super Eagles back to the top.
Oliseh who starts his team’s preparations for next month’s AFCON qualifiers against Tanzania mentioned the lack of opportunities for ex-African players to coach top division sides in Europe.
The former Borussia Dortmund and Juventus midfielder had in the past applied for jobs with Ajax and Borussia Dortmund but was not considered.
But he is hopeful such barriers for Africans will be broken someday.
“People are saying say I’ve never coached at this level before,” Oliseh told BBC World Service.
“The only answer I can give is, can they name to me one African former player that has been able to coach any first division team in Europe?
“It’s not a question of lack of effort, I got my coaching badge from the English Football Association more than five years ago, I’ve been working with the FIFA technical study group so it’s not through lack of trying.
“It’s a question of the fact that at this moment there doesn’t seem to be opening for African coaches in Europe.
“Eventually we will get there, I am very optimistic. We will break the barriers someday.”
Oliseh also added that it was worrisome for him that Nigerian players like Mikel Obi and Victor Moses no longer command regular places in their respective teams.
“The football in our nation has never been so low,” he added.
“The only philosophy I think I can have now is to try to get the players to get results as a team and not individuals.
“Players not playing regularly at their clubs is a huge problem because they might struggle with the rhythm.
“I’ve spoken to the majority of the players that may come into the reckoning to play, to be in the first pool of players that we are building. But they have to do something about it.
“They are still young they need to think about playing now and it might not be bad for them to go out on loan and play and maybe get to a level where Chelsea will have them back to play and not just sit and watch.
“The player will decide his fate, it’s not for the national team to impose but I would advise them to play as much as possible.
“They will have to try and play as much as possible.”
Oliseh affirmed plans to offer players of
Nigerian heritage a chance to wear the Green and White jersey.
The trio of Chuba Akpom, Alex Iwobi and Jordan Ibe tops the list of Nigerian born players been considered for invitation to the senior national team.
“You can bet your money that I’m looking at players with Nigerian heritage who have been born or brought up in other countries, I have no choice.
“Most of these players, let’s be honest, very few of them get to play in other nations for a long time, whereas with Nigeria, these players have the chance of regularly, if they are good, to play in the World Cup.
“It’s definitely something we are looking at and we’ve started making moves.
“They are welcome with open arms and we’ll do all we can to put them in the best situation if they decide to play for Nigeria because Nigeria needs them and they also need Nigeria to become top, world class players