Opinion

Numofagha Roland: Second Coming Of Stephen Keshi

As the recent football crisis which has plagued the NFF over who controls the affairs of Nigerian football has been put to rest by warring factions and the emergence of Amaju Pinnick as the top boss of NFF, Nigerian football community of loyal fans can once again breath a very huge sigh of relief. In the race to qualify for AFCON Cup of Nations next year, the super Eagles of Nigeria hasn’t lived up to the billing as powerhouse of African Football since their second round ouster from the 2014 FIFA world Cup in Brazil over four months ago.

The performance of the super Eagles has been below par and as such this led to the sack of Stephen Keshi in October 16. Despite a well fought 3-1 victory against Sudan on a raining Boisterous pitch in Abuja but that didn’t stop the hammer from his employers.

Many Fans saw this action as timely and urgent, others thought otherwise saying the oil was spilt already and he should finish what he started. due to previous poor outings including a lost against lowly Congo and Sudan and a 1-1 draw against South Africa in the AFCON qualifiers. But while Keshi took chunk of the blame, Few observers echoed sentiments like’ The boys let their manager down and didn’t show enough patriotism and the will to win.

While Nigerians loves exquisite and sagacious style of football which Eagles are known for wasn’t forth coming, they felt its time for the Big boss to be dumped. Not forgeting about the high profile fracas with Ike Uche who is perhaps the most informed Nigerian foward in Europe for a year now And Keshi did not mince words when he excluded the player from his team to the 2014 World Cup.

He said, “Ike Uche was with me at the Nations Cup. People would make a lot of comments, people would say a lot of things but I don’t need him, period. The most important thing for me is the Super Eagles and if you are against the Super Eagles, you are against Stephen Keshi and I will fight you,” Keshi said at a TomTom Roundtable session with journalists in Lagos, in March.

Only last week after series of meeting from his employers Keshi was returned back to the fold as Eagles boss, his reappointment raise a few dusts off the ground, the intervention of Nigeria’s president in Person of Dr Goodluck Jonathan was the catalyst for Keshi’s second coming in matter of few weeks EXPECTATIONS The howls from every Nigeria footballer Fan is for Keshi to succeed in qualifying the men National team to the African cup of nations next year, and also to return Nigeria to the pinnacle of African football which is synonymous with the Super Eagles. it is also Expected of Keshi to also improve and eke the style of play from his Lieutenants.

The big boss Keshi is Faced with perhaps the most daunting task in his managerial career which includes a must win against Congo with a two goal margin at their own backyard and also record another win against Bafana Bafana of South Africa who are the table toppers in Uyo’s magnificent edifice to have any chance of automatic qualification. It will be too early to say we will win the Nations cup but we have to live by the day I also expect him to play the fatherly role and ends every form of public spat with his stars. And I end with this quote: Eighteenth century English poet Alexander Pope once said ; Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.

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Roland is a passionate fan of Super Eagles follow him on twitter @comr_roland

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