Football: Keshi architect of his fall, say pundits

Football: Keshi architect of his fall, say pundits

Thursday, October 16, 2014 1:16 pm

Several football stakeholders in Nigeria were unanimous today that Coach Stephen Keshi deserved the boot from the Nigerian Football Federation and also blamed him for being the architect of his fate.

Keshi, who led the Super Eagles to the 2013 Nations Cup victory, was appointed in 2011.

 Steven Keshi: sacked

Steven Keshi: sacked

A sport administrator, Tayo Balogun said that coach Stephen Keshi personalised trivial issues concerning the team and also undermined many players.

“Keshi is the architect of his own failure; he had more players that should have made the teams but he didn’t invite them.

“Most goals we conceded were defensive errors, he was a defender in his days and he couldn’t organise a good defence,’’ he said.

Folorunsho Okenla, a football analyst said he believed the decision was in the best interest of the country.

“It’s obvious that the Eagles in recent outings didn’t perform well, especially the ongoing Nations Cup qualifiers. I think it is a good development that will help to correct Keshi’s mistake,’’ he stressed.

Ndubuisi Nduka, a former Head Coach of Heartland FC of Owerri, said that the sack Keshi, had been long overdue going by his disposition lately.

Nduka said that hiring and firing was synonymous with coaching.

He said Keshi’s attitude to the job of late had changed to something unworthy of a good coach.

“He had been in constant fight with some players whom he tagged disloyal.

“Great players all over the world are known to be pompous, so, it is the duty of the coach to bend such character to his own advantage,” Nduka said.

According to him, Keshi failed to separate his personal interest from national interest.

He said that it was because of his personal interest as against national interest that made him not to invite better players to the team.

He reminded the sacked coach that a national team of the status of the Super Eagles was not meant to be run like a chiefdom.

Former Green Eagles goalkeeper, Emmanuel Okala, also supported the decision of the NFF to sack Keshi.

Okala said he supported Keshi during his early days in the team because he gave his best, but that his performance lately had not been good enough.

“Keshi is talking about sabotage, he should be able to tell us where the sabotage started because we want to know and support whoever is going to be there to be doing the good job he wants to do.

“We don’t want our team to be sabotaged in any form.

“Keshi did his best, the only thing he did wrong before their Sudan match was his comments on Uche.

“He said nobody should mention Uche anymore to him because maybe he called Uche and couldn’t get him and felt Uche slighted him.

“He (Keshi) is a father; he should come out and take care of his children because in a family all the children won’t be the same.

“Some will be misbehaving and doing all sorts of nonsense but you who know the quality of that particular son or daughter should come around and start taking good care of your child,’’ he said.

The ace goalkeeper urged the new interim coaching crew to take a cue from the mistakes of Keshi and understand their roles as father-figures and see the players as their children

However, Joseph Dosu, a former Super Eagles player, said that NFF took everyone unaware with the decision to terminate Keshi’s appointment.

Dosu, however, wished the makeshift coaches well and hoped they would qualify for the 2015 African Cup of Nations.

“I think the news of Keshi’s sack took everyone unawares; I also thought he would be left alone after yesterday’s match but the committee know what’s best for Nigerian football.

“I wish the new coaches well and they must ensure they qualify for the nations cup,’’ Dosu said.

Also, Ibrahim Galadinma, a former chairman of the NFF, said the board had made a decision they felt was best and should be treated as such.

“I cannot say whether it was a good or bad decision, but I believe they are working for the greater good of Nigerian football,’’ he said.

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