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KESHI: PEOPLE WANTED ME TO FAIL!

KESHI: PEOPLE WANTED ME TO FAIL!

–Sacked Super Eagles boss opens up over shock dismissal

Super Eagles chief coach, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi was controversially relieved of his job Thursday morning despite leading the Nigerian team to secure their first victory in the AFCON 2015 qualifier against Sudan in Abuja.

The Big Boss in this interview revealed for the very first time why the African Champions have become a shadow of themselves and how people in the Federation practically plotted his failure…

Sir, a journey that began three years ago ended on Thursday. I know you will have a story to tell on your experience with the senior national team.

It has been a great experience for me, having to serve my country at the highest level. I really want to thank the FA for the opportunity to serve at that capacity as a coach. I have no hard feelings over my dismissal. I thought  it came when we are beginning to get it right in the qualifiers but that is in the past. I am happy we won our first game in the qualifiers and was looking forward to winning  the next two games when the news came in, I have no problem with that.

The handwriting was clearly written on the wall that you might not be allowed to tinker the Eagles against Congo and South Africa. Did you see it coming?

Firstly, I was not really surprised  because I was not on contract, I have been working on pay as you win basis. With that alone, I did not see myself as Super Eagles Manager because there was no contract in place. Besides, with the new board coming in, anything is possible, so I had my mind prepared for any unexpected. Nigeria’s national team job is not meant for Stephen Keshi alone, Nigeria is bigger than anybody so if they think another man can do better, all well and good.

The players must be stunned to hear the news that you won’t be barking out orders to them anymore in their subsequent games.

(Smiles) They were shocked beyond description. They have all left for their various club sides and I wish them all the best in their careers. Some of them came to me and wept when the news of my dismissal came to them. I just calmed them down and urged  them to move on, I will always cherish the moments  we spent together.

Are you saying the likes of Onazi and some of the younger players wept?

No, I won’t mention any names here for fear of  them being frozen out of the team. I will be endangering the careers  of such players if I dare mention  their names. Let us leave them out of this please.

Some of your sins had to do with the selection methods, which according to  many affected Nigeria’s performance at the World Cup and AFCON 2015 qualifiers.

The buck  stops  on my table in terms  of players’ selection and there is no selection I made without the consent of the coaching crew. We did our best at the World Cup and don’t forget nobody raised any eyebrow when we won the AFCON in South Africa. When I got the job in November 2011, my project was to build a national team made up of local players here. I told the FA no country would do well with the entire team coming from different leagues in Europe.

We began and it was yielding positive results ,until a  group of people in the past FA board said they don’t want a national team made up of home based players. They told me Nigeria’s best players are based in Europe and I was told to reduce the slots for home based players, that was when we started having problems  with results. You saw the way South Africa and Congo played; this is what most African countries do now; building from home and injecting few foreign pros, but Nigeria  football eggheads said they don’t want that. I had to try some of our players abroad since they no longer have confidence in the local players. Why are people complaining about  those foreign pros?

Many were shocked over players  being  invited from China. Soccer pundits feel Super Eagles was becoming a dumping ground for every Tom,  Dick and Harry.

Well, the same people who complained over a player from the Chinese league praised the player when he scored against Sudan. All I want to achieve is the result and it does not really matter whether the player I invite is white or black. My intention is to build from home and have few professionals around the team but the FA disrupted the programme.

Are you surprised  to see your close friend Amodu Shuaibu, taking over from you?

Amodu is a great friend of mine and I see nothing wrong with that. Super Eagles job does not belong to anyone, besides the FA has the right to appoint whosoever they want. He (Amodu) called me on Wednesday,  assuring me to keep doing my work, but today is in charge. There are no hard feelings, he is a good friend of mine and I wish Nigeria all the best.

How would you describe your experience with Super Eagles?

Honestly, I had a great time working with the players . We worked  together as one happy family and we’re willing to help one another on and off the pitch. When I came in, I told them how we needed to play and to my surprise,  they adapted quickly and that explained why we got those results  then. I am happy for some of the younger ones that came; we had a programme but it’s unfortunate that I can’t continue now. It’s painful I did not get enough time to say goodbye to those players who gave me their all on the field of play.

Where  next from here?

I just want to move on.

To where?

(Smiles) Nigeria’s job is over now and I thank everybody for their support  and criticisms. This is my country and I am always ready to serve, but I am moving on. I will always cherish my  time here as coach.

Do you still see Nigeria qualifying for Morocco 2015 AFCON?

Of course they can! The team seems to have rediscovered that winning formula. The problem started in the qualifiers when NFF started having internal issues and it really affected the team so much against Congo in Calabar. Besides, some people just want the team to fail simply because they don’t like Keshi. This  is not about Keshi but Nigeria. It was clear from the first game that a group of people don’t want Nigeria to qualify for Morocco 2015.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 20
  • Stanslink 4 years ago

    Arios Big Boss, we wish you success in your future endeavor, while hoping you will capitalize on the NFF’s magnanimity to develop yourself on the technicalities of the game.

    Thank you for your past outstanding records.

    • What technicalities? You guy talk like parrots without a mind. Somebody raises a tune and Nigerians jump on it that’s the game always. Your “technicalities” coach can now apply so we can see this technical game the likes of you have been ramming our throats from Kickoff that is now defunct. You’re happy now that Keshi is gone, abi? I’m waiting to see all those your so called “world class” coaches you’ve been gloating about. They must be above Keshi O otherwise we shall give them hell.

  • omo9ja 4 years ago

    Thanks for your efforts Oga Keshi, God blessed. To face it, you don’t deserve to be retained based on your selection, arrogance attitude and ego. God just destined Nigeria to win the Afcon 2013. You turned national team to Keshi’s business center. If the NFF ask you to continue I bet you can’t qualify Eagles to Morocco 2015. Your work will put you to where you belong to. We should all learn from Keshi and Siasia issues. A word is enough for the wise. God bless Nigeria!

  • chukwuma 4 years ago

    @ omo9ja,GOd destined Nigeria to win the Afcon 2013? For the last 19 years, God was just waiting for coach Steven Okechukwu .How many coaches before him? His name is Okechukwu, look for the meaning my friend.

  • Michael Omotor 4 years ago

    Thanks for your services to Nigeria .some players were coach killers and bcame uncoperative to your coaching concept. Anyway goodluck in your coaching career our champion .

  • Steve 4 years ago

    @omo9ja is a fool who articulates like a kid – so God destined Nigeria to win 2014 cup abi? and all these while for the past 19 years God was against Nigeria abi?.Is your like who does not want the success of our national team.Keshi have done his best and his best was the best of Nigeria in football for decades, let see who will surpass him .Meanwhile your hatred for Keshi right from defunct kickoffnigeria will follow you in all your endeavors, you will be sacked like he was sacked , you will not be appreciated in what ever you do despite your efforts , you will be a scorn in your source of income!

  • omo9ja 4 years ago

    @chukwuma, please my brother, don’t get me wrong. Keshi tried during the Afcon. After the Afcon, Keshi failed woefully. People should stop making mistakes based on Afcon 2013 that Keshi won in South Africa. He sold our nation for his own personal interest during the Confederations, World Cup, Chan tourney and 2015 qualifies. To back up my points, check on africanfootball.com for more details. Kudos to NFF, they did a great job. Keshi can’t give us a total football. Manu Garba and Olishe are the right men for the job. Manu Garba should be d head coach while Olishe will be his assistant coach. The era of kick and follow football is gone. Keshi have nothing else to offer but fighting with Emanuel Adebayor, Taiwo Taiwo, Osaze, Yobo, Aruna Lukman, Mba, Emenike and co. I’m still shaking my head for you all. God bless Nigeria!

  • elewure 4 years ago

    At this juncture,it is crystal clear that the best thing to happen to the country’s senior team is to change to coaching crew,if after 3 years of engaging keshi,the team cannot boast of a play pattern,all they play play is irritating police ball,shoddy defending,non-availability of healthy competition for shirts,fighting with better players, row on bonuses…. ….? I wish keshi the best in his future endeavour. football is a biased-result oriented game,no hard feelings.

  • lancelote 4 years ago

    i wish every body in this country double of he or she wishes to keshi when he was our national term coach, goodluck keshi, who is in u is greater than ur enermies, destiny can be delayed but it can never be deniald,

  • merlin 4 years ago

    @lancelote am saying big AMEN

  • omo9ja 4 years ago

    @Steve, I wish you the same and back to sender as soon as possible. Is it more than football? Ah ah, I didn’t want Keshi’s down fall and I hope nobody does too but Nigerians always hated the truth. Keshi have passed his boundary and NFF have bn patient all these while. We all know that. Enough of incompetent players while we have many great players out there that can make thedifferent while Keshi’s Eagles are struggling these days. Can’t you see nii?Therefore, think before you talk and don’t let Afcon 2013 trophy to covered your face. You will see the different in few days to come. My dear Steve, learn how to talk because I wasn’t the NFF that fired Oga Keshi and I shall never know sorrow but happiness including you, Keshi and everyone of us. No hard feelings, my maturity always counts. You know on kickoff.com. Anyways, enough is a word for the wise. God bless Nigeria!

  • omo9ja 4 years ago

    @Steve, I wish you the same and back to sender as soon as possible. Is it more than football? Ah ah, I didn’t want Keshi’s down fall and I hope nobody does too but Nigerians always hated the truth. Keshi have passed his boundary and NFF have bn patient all these while. We all know that. Enough of incompetent players while we have many great players out there that can make thedifferent while Keshi’s Eagles are struggling these days. Can’t you see nii?Therefore, think before you talk and don’t let Afcon 2013 trophy to covered your face. You will see the different in few days to come. My dear Steve, learn how to talk because I wasn’t the NFF that fired Oga Keshi and I shall never know sorrow but happiness including you, Keshi and everyone of us. No hard feelings, my maturity always counts. You know me on kickoff.com. Anyways, enough is a word for the wise. God bless Nigeria!

  • mallam illiya's passport 4 years ago

    From KON, Omo9ja still hasn’t grown. I guess God destined him to have the brain of a toddler for the rest of his life.

  • Martins is too old. Iheanacho is too young. I was using home based players. How many of them did you play at the AFCON? only MBA and who came in when Nosa did not click and Oboaboana others were perpetual bench warmers.

    I beg make i hear word. You wanted players you could sell. just that agbim and egwuekwe were just bad markets.

  • AMAJU has told us why Keshi was relieved of the Eagle’s job- to save Keshi’s life but KESHI is telling us some people like Green and that failed journalist Paul Bassey and co just wanted him yo fail. One thing I know is that the past NFF would have allowed him to prosecute the entire campaign. I also know that Keshi would not survive Amaju’s hammer. AMAJU has not forgiven Keshi for the negative role he played in the Sunday Mbah saga. It was just unfortunate that AMAJU PINNICK came in at this stage of Eagles’ poor performance. AMAJU is just hiding behind the poor performance but I tell you even if KESHI has won all their matches AMAJU would have still relieved him. I cannot be deceived.

  • sodiq 4 years ago

    Truth is bitter, what we are saying is that for the past 3 years Nigeria should have a great and world class team, even if it’s home base. No good coach on Earth will change a winning team. Tell us after nations cup a vomidable team we have paraded?

  • Nzekwe Asugha 4 years ago

    Keshi sabotaged himself. Let him try other Nations and see the difference.

  • nahsoh 4 years ago

    Let’s look towards the future guys, Keshi is the past. Blessed be Nigeria!!!!!

  • Chosen Victor 4 years ago

    The adage says a tree cannot make a forest. What does the proverb mean? No matter your achievement in life you will surely need someone to assist you along. I expected Keshi to have listened to the suggestions as regards the good selection of talented players but he refused, and what happened during the concluded world cup, conferation cup and the qualifying Africa cups of nations. We can all see the below performances of super Eagles because of the lackadaisical attitude of Keshi who behave like tortoise by saying he is the only animal that is wise, and no more. I have respect for him but at the same time he should listen to others opinion. He would have retained his job assuming he is doing well but the reverse is the case with the matches against Congo, Sudan , and south Africa. When you are champion you ensure you maintain it not sleeping or boasting in the past glory or achievement.

  • sultanb 4 years ago

    keshi is a good coach no doubt about that and we all saw his best,winning the nations cup which was destined to happen,but after then….he has not done any good by inviting incompetent players and most of all that ego thing and personal issues with his pro players,for him to have ignored ike uche for any reason and invited shola ameobi was a clear sentiment and we Nigerians don’t really care what your differences are cos we need goals but seems he forgot that Nigeria job is not is birth right,,,he decided to make us the fans weep and sad for the kind of squad he has been trying to grow,we can not boost of a competent first 11..haba..!
    i believe change has come and the best is ahead..1 love naija