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After Oliseh’s departure, Siasia recounts her experience coaching the Super Eagles

Apr 24, 2024 | International | 0 comments

Former Nigerian footballer and coach Samson Siasia recently discussed his experience as the head coach of the Super Eagles, taking over from Sunday Oliseh in 2016.

On Saturday, during a podcast with former international Emmanuel Babayaro and journalist Matthew Edafe, Siasia discussed the circumstances surrounding his appointment and the challenges he faced during his brief tenure.

“Oliseh ran away. He’s been a runner since… Like Ben Johnson, what do you call him? Yes, here I was coaching the Olympic team. Oliseh said he no do again, saying he don move. Why? We don’t know,” Siasia said, referring to Oliseh’s sudden resignation as the Super Eagles coach.

Initially reluctant to take over the national team, Siasia said, “They said, coach, you go take over. I said take over what? They said Super Eagles, I said no, I don’t want to. I said I didn’t want to because that’s not my team. I cannot get control of that team in two weeks. In two weeks, you are playing against Egypt.”

However, he was persuaded by Shuaibu Amodu, who cited health issues. Siasia decided to take on the role. “I said, you? What are you? You are a coach. Go and coach the team. He (Amodu) said, no. I have a heart problem. I said, you want to make me get one too? He was like, no, we don’t have another person but only you.”

Discussing the challenges of leading the team on such short notice, Siasia said: “I now said okay, Because we don’t have another person, let me go do a rescue mission. We tried though, at the last minute, they (Egypt) came and scored us.”

Reflecting on his tenure, Siasia mentioned that he introduced players like Alex Iwobi, saying, “It was the first time (Alex) Iwobi played for us. So we wanted to tie him down, instead of allowing him to go and play for England.”

When asked if he would have performed better if given more time, Siasia responded, “They never give Nigerian people 4 years. You lose one match and they fire you, but that’s the truth.”

“The white people will come, you give them, you pay them more money. They don’t send us anywhere (to learn coaching courses), and they want us to be better.”

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