Super Eagles Palaver: Domestic Coach Agenda or Obvious Truth

Super Eagles Palaver: Domestic Coach Agenda or Obvious Truth

The Super Eagles head coach role is a unique job on the continent, such that whoever takes up such a role would be saddled with the herculean task of reviving a footballing nation which has seen its glory days descend into mere shadows and memories.

Such a coach, would not just be saddled with the responsibility of bringing back good times that eluded the Super Eagles, and to bring back the joy of millions of football fans who are now fed up with the shenanigans of the administrators in power.

 

Such a head coach has to be the kind of coach who will make Nigerians believe again.

Taking a glance at the names of the coaches who are supposedly the leading candidates to take over the job, one would be forced to ask, in all honesty, quite bluntly too, are we really about to progress? Are we really trying to regress instead?

We will take a look at three of the biggest names on the list and try to assess them based on their unique profiles, as opposed to two other rumored coaches who have been linked with the job of the Super Eagles.

First on the list has to be the current interim coach of the Super Eagles, who is also with Enyimba, where he won the Nigerian Premier Football League title last season, Finidi George.

Finidi George is one of the former players of the team to have applied for the job, and as of the time of writing this article, he has managed ninety-one (91) games as the man in charge of the team.

Before his move to Enyimba in 2021, Finidi George was with PEC Zwolle as an assistant manager from 2013 to 2015 when he was moved to the Under-19s of the same team, still as an assistant manager up until 2021 when he came back home to manage the affairs of Enyimba of Aba, one of the biggest clubs in the country.

The story tells itself now for Finidi George, although it could be said that he had a good run in only the first half of the Super Eagles 2-1 victory in a friendly against Ghana, but that was as far as it went as the Super Eagles did not offer much in the second half against a 10-man Ghana who could have argued that they deserved to draw the game but for the absence of VAR in that game.

Finidi George also oversaw the loss to Mali in the second game of the last Friendly window.

Finidi George, with an average of 1.56 points per match for Enyimba, a winning rate of 45%, and a loss rate of 34%, surely would be a cause for concern for lovers of the Super Eagles.

Bear in mind that Jose Peseiro had 1.68 points per game while he was the head coach of the Super Eagles.

Emmanuel Amuneke is the next in line, although in no particular order. He is about the fans’ favourite for the job as many pundits and even former players of the team have mentioned his name as a replacement for Jose Peseiro. Is he better than the rest though? We will find out.

Amuneke’s CV is probably the best of the domestic coaches who have been lined up for the job, as he won the FIFA Under-17 World Cup with the Golden Eaglets and also guided Tanzania to a historic first Africa Cup of Nations appearance.

He also has a few club management stints that were not as successful as his career as a national team coach.

In Tanzania, he oversaw nine (9) games, won twice, drew once, and lost six times, averaging 1.92 points per game.

Antonio Conceicao might not be the biggest name out there in African football or as far as football in general, but he helped Cameroon to a third-place finish at the 2021 edition of the AFCON hosted by the same country, just before the appointment of legend Rigobert Song.

The Portuguese, in his time as the coach of Cameroon, managed 23 games and averaged 2.09 points per game, significantly better than his co-candidates for the Super Eagles job.

He has managed several teams around Europe, including Braga, CFR Cluj, and Moreirense, where he had as many as 2.22 points per game, however, in only nine games.

Conceicao had his longest stint as a coach with CF Estrela, where he worked for two years and oversaw 43 games, gathering a point average of 1.56 per game.

The pedigree of the Super Eagles, as a matter of sentiment, is bigger than what these coaches have to offer, especially when coaches like Herve Renard, who is a proven winner at national level, on the continent where he became the very first coach to win two AFCON trophies with two different countries —Zambia and Ivory Coast— has revealed his 2026 World Cup ambitions

There is hardly any coach who knows the terrain of African football better than Herve Renard as far as national team football is concerned.

He was the assistant to Claude Le Roy in Ghana as far back as 2007. He went on to become the coach of Zambia in 2008, and in two years they would reach the quarterfinals of the AFCON, their highest in fourteen years.

Two years later, they would win the 2012 after he had left the role briefly.

He got poached by Ivory Coast and went on to win the AFCON in 2015. He helped Morocco to their first-ever World Cup in 2018, his last work on the continent where he also claimed the coach of the year thrice, 2012, 2015 and 2018.

Then he went on to guide Saudi Arabia to their first-ever World Cup in 2022 and claimed a famous win over eventual champions Argentina.

Another coach who has gained prominence is Pitso Mosimane, probably the flagship of indigenous African coaches at the moment, for his sustained success, although at the club level, with a rich CV which includes consecutive African Champions League wins and a tantalizing way of playing the ball to go with the wins.

This writer personally feels Herve Renard is exactly THAT man for the Super Eagles. Bringing in Herve Renard would be an investment, especially as he is reported to want a salary in the region of 100,000 USD, but if the NFF is serious about changing the fortunes of the country and getting the fans happy again, he has to be that investment with a guaranteed profit going by his CV and the quality of players in the Super Eagles.

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