Super Eagles, NFF looks ahead as Peseiro departs

Super Eagles

It always felt as if Jose Peseiro’s days in charge of the Super Eagles were numbered.

Ahead of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, gave the Portuguese an ultimatum to reach the semi-final.

By a combination of sheer will, emergency tactics, and luck, the three-time African champions played the final, where they lost 2-1 to hosts Cote d’Ivoire.

After the game, the opinions were split over if Peseiro should stay on or leave.

However, after his contract officially elapsed on February 29, Peseiro took to his Twitter account to announce his departure.

“It was a pride and honor to coach the Super Eagles.

“It has been 22 months of immense dedication, sacrifice, emotion, and enormous enthusiasm. We feel a sense of fulfillment,” he wrote.

Clinton McDubus, a top football analyst and podcaster, feels the parting of ways is best for everyone involved.

“I think it’s a good thing for all involved,” McDubus said.

“There’s a feeling that Peseiro has taken the team as far as he can, and he bows out on a high.

“For Nigeria, it’s a chance to take the lessons and move in a better direction, with next year’s AFCON in mind, as well as World Cup qualifiers.”

With the World Cup qualifiers on the horizon, there are speculations already over who replaces Peseiro.

Again, there are fresh calls for a Nigerian tactician to handle the Super Eagles.

In McDubus’ opinion, while we have coaches that are up to task, sentiments must be put aside.

He said: “I think we have reached a stage where it’s clear we have capable Nigerian hands who can coach this team.

“But we should never hire Nigerian coaches just to say we hired our own. It has to be based on track records, merit and a thorough evaluation of the person’s work and credentials.

“The only worry has always been interference, how much more likely it is for Nigerian coaches handling the national team to do their work without interference.

“If the next coach can be empowered to fully take decisions without interference, then a suitable Nigerian candidate works.

“If not, we can look to coaches who have done wonders on the continent, someone like Tom Saintfiet for instance — a brilliant coach who has always expressed interest in the job.”

If another foreigner is coming, McDubus pointedly warned the NFF over not just recruitment, but also remuneration, as the ugly issue of owed wages became a theme of Peseiro’s stint.

“The reality is that there’s a lot that needs to change administratively. Because no matter who we hire, those issues will continue to limit our potential.

“Things have to be done better, and we cannot continue to have the same problems year after year,” McDubus adds.

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