…By Obiweluozo Martins…
The Super Eagles of Nigeria may have enjoyed some memorable moment in the history of football as we witnessed some years ago.
It has been mostly on the African stage in the ’80s and the early 90’s where the Eagle shocked the World with their amazing style of play.
Kanu was quoted in a TV program saying that the 1994-1996 set was the era the world knew there was a Nation in Africa (Nigeria) who have got the quality and immense one for that matter to stand among the best in the world, while also sustaining the technical intelligence to dominate World football if all things being equal on the Nigerian scene.
With the new lease of form and confidence brewing among Nigerian players abroad, we evaluate some of the real reasons the Glory Days is farfetched from the Super Eagles, from our football archives.
The poor Nigerian Mindset
This is beginning from the local mentality of people saying if you miss the ball, don’t miss the leg as we do back home in Nigeria.
This is very unprofessional as it has also resulted to poor performances against opposing sides with some Nigerians thinking the white referees are always partial against the Super Eagles team.
It may be true to some extent. But a Nation like Nigeria should not wander in this illusion as they are bigger than those (football) excuses in defeat while also cultivating a superior mindset that the team is well able to beat any opposition despite the odds (even with some traces of referees manipulation) that could be evident on the pitch.
Until we approach the World Cup with the mindset of winning it with adequate planning we will not fulfil our undeniable (clear) and immense potential.
I call it the mindset of victory and (total) constructive approach of which can see Nigeria stand above every side (National team) in the round leather game.
Poor Allies With Foreign Club Side
When an administration does not know or understand his function to the desired level then, a nation’s success would crumble as in the case of Nigerian football.
The inability of the Nigeria football authorities to ensure that the National teams have a friendly relationship with foreign club sides where Nigerian players ply their trade has stopped the team from making do of some of their best legs in some tournaments as the case may be.
It has seen Nigeria lose the chances to represent Africa at the 2020 Olympic games despite the nations abundant talent.
It also limited the success of the Super Eagles in past AFCON while the U-23 sect of 2016 called the Dream Team VI could not have the likes of Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Moses Simon, Wilfred Ndidi to name but a few as part of the 2016 Rio Olympic adventure.
Imagine the impact the quartet would have made to the Samson Siasia led U-23 team. It was a big case when we lost Oghenekaro Etebo in attack due to injury while Azubuike Okechukwu was unavailable due to a booking going into a crucial semi-final clash with Germany.
Brazil did otherwise, securing Neymar, Thiago Silva and co for the Olympic and they went on to win it as the young Selecao’s side maximized the good rapport they both had with PSG and Spanish side, FC Barcelona.