By Kenny Ogunmiloro
It’s no more news that our darling Super Eagles were handed their biggest defeat this year when they lost by 4 nil to the world cup bound former European champions Portugal in front of 15000 spectators at the stadium last night, while some of us were not surprised Nigeria lost, it was a big concern for many of us after the Super Eagles once again played like a disjointed team.
With due respect to the 3-time African champion, I knew it would be a tall order to go to Lisbon and best Portugal when you consider the way the Nigerian team played in recent matches and not too impressive results in friendly games in the last few years. However, one would have expected a solid display, especially at this time that we have some of our players playing well at their different club sides.
Truth is that I am baffled, the same way most Nigerians were disappointed in the way the Super Eagles played once again. How come in a country of more than a 200million people and a good number of players playing outside the country we still can not find 23 quality players that would lose games “honorably” even if they have to lose matches?
Here is what I think, Until we improve our football from “home” and have a national team with at least 70% of our product, this SUPER EAGLES can NEVER fly
The more we keep relying on the players born, trained, and became professionals overseas to form the fulcrum of our national team, the more messy our football would be
These guys will continue to flourish at their clubs and be lost when they wear out jersey, Osimhen is arguably our best player at the club and national team level, he’s the only player in this current super Eagles that replicate his club performance with the national team – Osimhen is a product of “our system”. Moses Simon comes close, he’s also a product of “our system”, Ndidi is another example, he’s also a product of “our system” and it’s not a fluke that the last dependable long-term goalkeeper we had in the national team Vincent Enyeama was a product of “our system”
Our most capped player Ahmed Musa is a product of “our system”, our greatest No. 9 late Rashidi Yekini was a product of “our process”, our greatest No. 10 Jay Jay Okocha, our greatest No.7 Segun Odegbami and Finidi George were products of “our system”, I can continue to mention more names
Meanwhile, when I say “our process”, it doesn’t translate to just our NPFL. It’s an embodiment of playing in the league and playing for our different age-grade teams at some point.
A player that is a product of our system would not be reminded of what it means to play for that national team, he would know the pains a defeat would mean to Nigerians, and he would know the prestige of playing well for the national team would have on his family name back home in Nigeria
We can not reap from where we did not sow, we cannot continue to look for a shortcut to success.
A long term success is a PROCESS, if you are not patient to build the process, you will keep failing
Our football is DEAD, most especially the men’s football 😣