PESEIRO: Another lacklustre coach on a hit or miss journey with Super Eagles (ICYMI)
Welcome to another season of hit or miss with an average coach.
One of the reasons why Nigeria is not a global leader in football, despite our huge potentials, is the employment of mediocre handlers. NFF President Amaju Pinnick continues the tradition with the employment of Jose Peseiro Olukayode Thomas reports
If you are 61 years old, an age when security is utmost; was owed 14 months salary by your last employer and was at home for five months without a job, chances are that when a new employer with a long history of owing staff knocks on your door, you will slam the door against him.
The above will be the reaction of potential employees worth their weight in gold. Unless, of course, you are Jose Peseiro, the coach employed by the NFF for the Super Eagles last week.
Just when football buffs were positing that NFF President Amaju Pinnick has learned a lesson or two from his failed adventure with Gernot Rohr, he proved the doubting Thomases right by making a like-for-like change, replacing Rohr with Peseiro.
But it’s not just Pinnick. Nigeria has been a dumping ground for mediocre coaches from time immemorial.
The list starts from Gottlieb Göller to Manfred Höner, Clemens Westerhof, Philippe Troussier, Bora Milutinović, Thijs Libregts, Jo Bonfrere, Berti Vogts, Lars Lagerbäck, Rohr and the new kid on the block Peseiro.
Sometimes these journeymen, thanks to the quality of our players, or when the god of football smiles on us, these coaches occasionally win trophies.
Like Westerhof did in Tunisia, winning the 1994 African Nations Cup trophy and Bonfrere winning the Atlanta ’96 Olympic Games football gold medal.
However, in most cases, it always ends in tears and disappointment with Nigerians lamenting another wasted opportunity and the NFF promising to return to the drawing board.
Peseiro has suffered more losses than wins
Peseiro is not different from Rohr or most of the average coaches we hired in the past.
The Portuguese had some stability with minnow clubs; but with big clubs, he has been fired consistently.
When he joined Carlos Quiroz as an assistant coach at Real Madrid, the duo were fired before the ink they used to write their employment letters ran dry because of poor results.
He was also sacked at Panathinaikos and Rapid Bucharest for the same reason.
In Saudi Arabia, Peseiro was not just sacked because of poor results; but for losing to Syria, the poorest team in the region, with a Saudi Arabia team that was considered to be one of the strongest - if not the strongest - in the region.
He had to leave Braga by mutual consent. At Al-Ahly of Egypt, he was sacked within days because the fans could not tolerate his poor performances.
At the Portuguese elite club Porto, Peseiro lasted only a few months. When he went back to Braga, he was sacked as soon as he was re-employed; while his sojourn with Sporting CP - another Portuguese club - lasted only 123 days. Pesaro’s last place of work was Venezuela.
In his 18 months stint with the Latin American country, he won just one match out of the ten played.
Though he was owed his salary for many months, he resigned from his employment when it would be most painful.
Venezuela have three very vital Qatar 2022 world cup matches against Argentina, Peru and Paraguay in early September, he resigned in August a few days before the matches.
Smuggled in like a thief in the night
Peseiro’s poor record could probably account for why he was smuggled in like a thief in the night to avoid scrutiny. NFF also had to use Jose Mourinho’s name to sell him to Nigeria. We were told he was recommended by the successful Portuguese tactician loved by Nigerians.
NFF’s claim that its technical committee recommended Peseiro for employment has been denied by at least three members of the NFF Technical Committee.
Mutiu Adepoju, a member of the technical committee and a former international, denied the committee’s endorsement of Peseiro appointment
“We have not met in recent times. Our meetings have not been more than two in over three years and the appointment of the new coach was never tabled for the committee. It is funny to hear that we recommended the new coach but it is important to say many of us are in the dark.” Adepoju was quoted as saying by The Sun
Former Africa Footballer of the year, Victor Ikpeba, another member of the committee, distanced himself from the coach while also speaking with the Sun.
“We were never told about the new coach. Maybe they carried the head of the committee along, but others are in the dark.
“The federation should learn to respect people. Many of us are not aware of the shortlist and the eventual decision to hire the new coach, but to come out and tell the public that we endorsed the Portuguese is bad. It is fraudulent. They have the right to make a decision but that should not be hung on the technical committee.”
Aminu Kurfi ‘Balele,’ another member of the committee, felt betrayed by the NFF statement that the technical committee recommended the coach for employment.
Why the hurry, why drop Mourinho’s name?
The NFF said Peseiro will not be in charge at AFCON and that the Federation’s Technical Director, Augustine Eguavoen will be in charge. So technically, he might not be in charge of the Super Eagles till April 2022 or after.
So, why the rush and the hurry to appoint and keep him for four months, which you will have to pay him for doing nothing. Yet, you complain that you have funding problems.
Is this a ploy to distract Eguavoen and ensure he fails?
To sell their average coach to Nigerians, they claimed he was recommended by Mourinho and that Mourinho will be in Nigeria for his unveiling.
Peseiro and Mourinho were classmates in the training school, but will Mourinho recommend him to coach Portugal?
In a world where football business is done in the open, why was Peseiro not unveiled in a proper press conference so that the media can ask questions? Why are the details of his contract - especially his salaries and allowance - not in public like it’s done globally in football?
If Pinnick had grown Nigeria league in the last 7 years that he has been NFF President, won’t we have world-class Nigerian coaches or foreign coaches in our league who we can assess based on their performances in the league every day?
Pinnick, like NFF presidents before him, prefer mediocre coaches like Peseiro who don’t have choice or opportunities elsewhere. This class of coaches will work under less ideal conditions like late payment of salaries, no provision of basic facilities and equipment, imposition of players and assistants on them, and travelling under less than ideal conditions.
Welcome to another season of hit or miss with an average coach. He could end up being a Bonfrere or Rohr, but the chances that he will be another Rohr is very high.
PULL QUOTE: But it’s not just Pinnick, Nigeria has been a dumping ground for mediocre coaches from time immemorial.
PULL QUOTE: Welcome to another season of hit or miss with an average coach. He could end up being a Bonfrere or Rohr but the chances that he will be another Rohr is very high.