Success like failure can be predicted. Those were the wise words of my friend who I had a long but insightful conversation with two days ago. The theme of course was the CHAN and the fact that even ahead of the game, we knew it was going to take a miracle to beat Morocco. It wasn’t as much about the fans as is was the technical levels of both teams. Comprenez vous?
We are a very religious people in Nigeria but God doesn’t always have the say in football matches. Sometimes he just sits in heaven and enjoys the game although he knows who would win before game is even scheduled. Nigeria has abundant football talent. But it does appear that our footballing talent as a country is like our oil. We have an insane amount of it, but we just can’t harness it to our advantage.
In terms of talent, we can stand toe to toe with any footballing nation on earth. The trouble however is, sometimes, talent isn’t enough. How many of our Top flight clubs have functional academies? It’s sad to say that even my dear Enyimba doesn’t have. What we do have is a bunch of overaged players who I heard some pay their coaches to feature them in matches.
Development of talent is expedient. This is why is not ok that for every player we use, we must buy them. A club like ours, (and indeed for every club good enough to be in the top flight) should have quality coaches from the academies up to the top flight. But rather we have teams who win home games mostly from penalties. So what happens is, when we get to the big stage where no one would give us penalties, you find us wanting.
Clubs parade half baked players in the name of readymade players who in the long run aren’t even theirs. (No insult intended but we all are a work in progress, aren’t we?). Then a lot of clubs have players who are only on loan with them. So when/if a move to Europe materializes, the academy that owns them suddenly appears. Clubs can grow their own players- have quality coaches grooming these youngsters from the cradle. We have the potential to produce the world’s best footballers. So why aren’t we producing them? Nobody is thinking about that.
A lot of us watch the European leagues and we do enjoy it. We have seen and we do admire Pep’s Manchester City and Kloop’s Liverpool. And we can sit down and enjoy from the comfort of our homes a football classic when some of these teams play. Coaching is expedient and that is how Akwa United is top of the League now. Quality coaching.
But even a coach who knows little can improve himself thanks to the Internet. With the help of the Internet, a coach can learn how to improve his coaching knowledge and drills. There are tonnes of materials, free and paid study materials to help any coach build a better team. Someone once told me that why players of a particular club (named withheld) were dropping like flies due to injuries week in week out.
“If they are training too much, why isn’t it showing in their games”
“LOL. Sorry, it’s excessive running”
Then he added. “And the result is, we produce good runners not good footballers”
Football is leaving some of us behind. And guess what? We won’t forever keep crying and hoping that these things change with our football. At some point, we would stop whining and complaining about these issues and some of us would figure out a different route to getting these things to happen. Comprenez vous?