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Oliseh Divides Football Stakeholders


Laloko: Oliseh Lacks Experience for Eagles’ Job

Former Nigeria Football Federation Technical Director Kashimawo Laloko has insisted that Sunday Oliseh have not got the experience to handle the Super Eagles.

The Nigeria Football Federation confirmed it is in talks with former Super Eagles’ captain with regards to the vacant position of the team’s Head Coach having terminated the appointment of another former captain, Stephen Keshi, over breaches of core terms of his contract.

According to Laloko, the former Borussia Dortmund whose only managerial experience was at Belgian third division side Verviétois in 2008 is not ripe enough to handle the senior national team.

“I don’t think he has the necessary experience to be Super Eagles coach. He is educated and very organised as a player, but his success will depend on how organised he is as a coach,” Laloko told Punch.

“Managing a national team is very different from coaching a club. Besides, being a good footballer and analyst does not automatically make you a fantastic coach.

“But one thing I can be sure of is that he will introduce a new structure in the team; Keshi never had any structure, and that was what affected the team last year.

“Oliseh might have the Uefa pro licence but it is required that he has a Caf licence, that is what we have on ground as the rule,” he concluded.

The seasoned tactician who also doubles as the Director of Pepsi Football Academy also expressed his dissatisfaction with the idea of having a Dutch coach as Oliseh’s assistant, insisting that more experienced local coaches are available for the position.

“What is the experience of the Dutch coach and who is bringing him? The NFF should be the one to appoint his assistants, not the other way round,” he continued.

“Many of these foreign coaches know nothing about African football. Besides, this is not the time to spend our little resources on foreign coaches. We can call on coaches like Bitrus Bewarang, who also have Uefa licences and necessary experience,” he concluded.

NFF: He is Good for the Job

Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) chiefs insist Sunday Oliseh is the right man to steer the ship of the senior national team, the Super Eagles.

Oliseh is widely expected to be confirmed as Super Eagles trainer next week following the sacking of former coach Stephen Keshi.

NFF Vice President, Seyi Akinwumi says it’s important to maintain “a sustainable football culture in the country” adding that Oliseh “fits the bill”.

“The plan is to win the next match we play all the time but it also goes beyond that,

“The NFF intends to follow its set objective of maintaining a sustainable football culture in the country.

“Our thinking was getting a man like Oliseh who understands the football culture, who could accomplish both plans simultaneously.

“We decided on Oliseh because we know he fits the bill,” Akinwumi said on Naija Made on SuperSport.

Confirming on Wednesday that talks with Oliseh are ongoing, the NFF confirmed through its official website that the former Juventus midfielder would be “expected to come up with a five-year developmental plan to fashion a unique playing and coaching philosophy for all the national teams, and will for this purpose, interface regularly with coaches of those teams”.

Akinwumi however explained that Oliseh would not be offered a five-year-contract by the NFF.

“No (he won’t be offered a five-year deal). Oliseh will present (the five-year plan) to us at the NFF and we will look at it.

“It does not mean that the person who starts the plan will finish it.

“It does not also mean that he (Oliseh) will not finish the plan. That plan will have to go through the technical director of the NFF (Amodu Shuaibu).

“One of the most important things we would be looking to achieve is achieving a harmonious working relationship with everyone involved in this latest phase (of our project),” he said.

Oliseh will also be mandated with the responsibility of “periodically organising clinics and seminars for coaches of Clubs in the Nigeria Professional Football League, probably once in a month, so as to strengthen the playing philosophy across board,” and Akinwumi says the plan is in order.

“Oliseh is a coach who goes all over the world coaching coaches so how can we employ such a man here and not have him help our coaches (in the domestic league)?

“This aspect will also go through the technical directorate and there will be an agreement on how it will work,” he said.

Oliseh, 40, is presently a Fifa instructor, and runs a consultancy that trains and assesses coaches worldwide. He is also member of Fifa Technical Study Group.

He was in the Nigeria squad that won the Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia in 1994, and played in the 1994 and 1998 Fifa World Cup final competitions, with the Super Eagles reaching the Round of 16 in both. He was also in the Nigeria under-23 side that won Africa’s first Olympic football gold in Atlanta 19 years ago.

Oliseh played for Reggiana, FC Cologne, Ajax Amsterdam, Juventus, Borussia Dortmund, VFL Bochum and RC Genk in a magnificent professional career, during which he played under some of the best coaches in the universe.

He won 63 caps for Nigeria between 1993 and 2002, picking up Africa Cup of Nations gold, silver and bronze medals.

Oliseh holds a Uefa Pro License, and coached Belgian lower division club, Vervietois between 2008 and 2009.

Enter Loscuito, Oliseh’s Technical Man

As Nigerians wait en masse for the much anticipated announcement from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) naming Sunday Oliseh as their new coach, little is known in the football crazy country of his assistant.

Yet he is no stranger to Africa.

His name is Jean Francois Losciuto, a Belgian who also holds a UEFA license and was assistant to Oliseh during his time coaching RCS Verviers before he became a director of the youth academy at Belgian club RFC Liege.

The Belgian first coached Anges de Notsè FC of Togo assisting them to become one of the best clubs on the continent before continuing at Wegnez, Halthier club and RFC Liege as pointed out above.

In Africa he then moved on to Coach the Nyanza-based Rayon Sport in Rwanda before finally settling at Burkina Faso’s ASFA Yennenga where they promptly became champions.

In addition to hopefully kick starting the of recent not so Super Eagles, Oliseh is being tasked with setting up a proper feeder system within Nigeria and Jean Francois Losciuto with his keen eye will be in charge of that effort.

Those who know him are quick to compare him to Claude LeRoy the fabled white witch doctor and current coach of the Congo.

Considering that LeRoy has always been a thorn in their side of Nigerians most recently ending their 54 year unbeaten streak in Calabar, Nigerian fans will be praying that the comparison, even if ever so slightly holds true.

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