Sunday Oliseh Reflects on His Tenure as Nigeria’s Super Eagles Coach

by Hashim
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Former Super Eagles coach Sunday Oliseh recently shared his experiences and challenges during his brief tenure as Nigeria’s national team manager, MySportDab Reports.

Appointed in July 2015 and stepping down in February 2016, Oliseh’s stint was marked by high-profile player interactions and significant personal and professional challenges.

Oliseh named Emmanuel Emenike as the standout player he had the privilege to manage. Despite the short duration of his tenure, Oliseh cherished his time with the striker, who had been a crucial part of Nigeria’s attack.

Reflecting on Emenike’s impact, Oliseh expressed his deep regret over the player’s premature retirement from international football.

“Working with Emmanuel Emenike was the best thing I had as Super Eagles coach,” Oliseh revealed in an interview on Elegbete TV. “He was a great and nice guy, completely contrary to what the NFF had told me about him. My biggest regret was when he called to say, ‘I am retiring as a national team player.’”

However, Oliseh’s time with the Super Eagles was not without its difficulties, particularly with senior players. He recounted strained relations with John Obi Mikel, then a star midfielder for Chelsea.

Oliseh described how Mikel ignored his calls and failed to attend a crucial meeting in London, despite the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) advising him against inviting Mikel.

“I sent messages to John Obi Mikel, but he never answered. He never called me back. He played the big ego,” Oliseh said. “I even traveled to London to meet him and Victor Moses. Moses showed up; Mikel didn’t.”

Oliseh’s resignation in February 2016 came amidst numerous challenges, including unpaid wages and lack of support from the NFF, players, and media. He detailed his struggles during his brief tenure, emphasizing the personal toll it took on him, including dealing with health issues without support.

“I resigned because I didn’t get the support I needed,” Oliseh explained. “After being unpaid for four months, my assistants for six months, and falling ill without any assistance, I decided to leave. Despite the circumstances, Nigeria was still on track to qualify for the 2017 Nations Cup when I left.”

Oliseh’s departure left a bittersweet legacy, with the Super Eagles eventually failing to qualify for the tournament. His reflections highlight the complexities and pressures faced by national team coaches, especially in challenging administrative environments.

As Nigeria continues its journey in international football, Oliseh’s tenure serves as a reminder of the importance of support, communication, and unity within the team and its administration. His candid revelations offer valuable insights into the behind-the-scenes dynamics of managing a top football team under challenging circumstances.

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