Gone are the days when Nigerians look forward to Super Eagles matches, even while losing, the players would continue to play with passion, however, these days, even victory doesn’t give the fans such joy again. Why?
It is the generation and you and I can’t help out to solve the situation.
It is not just about Nigeria, it is global.
They just need to keep doing the best they can do, and keep collecting the huge money that we are seeing now in football, and we that watch them should keep enjoying what they are playing.
What do you think of the lack of home-based players in the team at the moment apart from goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa?
It has to do with the administrators because they are the ones that give the coaches coming to the country instructions on what to do, and conditions to work with.
I was blessed to work with the late Amodu Shuaibu, Austin Eguavoen and late Stephen Keshi, and I know their enthusiasm when it comes to the home-based players because they all came through the ranks.
That’s the difference between them and those coming from outside. Most people coming from outside are not Nigerians, they are not passionate about the players playing at home, they are just here to do their job and get paid, not like our own who are passionate on developing the players back home.
They know the talents that Nigerians possess, especially if you go deep; we have the quality that can help.
In 2013, we practically won the AFCON with home-based players. They qualified us for the championship and won it for us.
Four or five players from the Nigerian league were starting games and that says a lot about the coach.
But everyone knows how these foreign coaches go about their job and you can’t blame them.
We just keep hoping that the coaches will consider the players, especially the young ones coming from the home front, and let them get a chance in the team.
I was blessed to work with the late Amodu Shuaibu, Austin Eguavoen and late Stephen Keshi, and I know their enthusiasm when it comes to the home-based players because they all came through the ranks
Super Eagles got to the semi-finals of the last AFCON and won a bronze medal; are you impressed with their performance in Egypt?
We got to the third place because of the character and determination of Nigerians not because of the quality of football that we played, and that’s just the truth of it.
I don’t know how true it is, but the coach said that he was given a semi-final target, for me as an ex-international and a Nigerian, that’s a big joke.
For a country that already won the title three times, played in the final several times and also won the bronze for many times, I think it’s a joke that we are giving a coach a semi-final target, it shouldn’t be, but that’s the situation in which we found ourselves.
We just have to keep hoping and praying to get the best; that’s what we are known for in Nigeria.
Would you say coach Gernot Rohr has done well with the team?
I don’t have anything to say about the coach. I only talk about the quality of football which tells a lot.
What will you say about Nigerian players playing in the English Premier League that started a week ago?
The EPL is the most watched league in the world. The bookies are still giving it to Manchester City and Liverpool.
There is no difference in the two teams, as everything is still going for them.
Tottenham Hotspur is a team that you can always put your money on and think okay, as long as they don’t have a rough patch along the line.
But I don’t think we are going to have any surprises, because the two the teams (Manchester City and Liverpool) will continue battling with it. For now they are the best in the EPL.
How do you feel seeing your children toeing the same line as their father?
I feel very great! I was blessed to have twin boys in 1996, they are 21 and are doing fine, hopefully, and we are waiting for the breakthrough by his special grace.