‘Nigeria needs distinct football philosophy to compete successfully’
Nigeria will continue to flounder in international football until the national teams get a distinct playing philosophy, former Super Falcons’ coach, Godwin Izilien has said.
Izilien opined that the country has not been able to develop a style of play that suits the modern trend because past and present Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) boards sacked coaches any time they failed to deliver in championships.
He argued that the Super Eagles’ failure at the just concluded Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup and the Falconet’s woeful performance at the ongoing U-20 World Cup in France were results of lack of a workable national football philosophy.
He also kicked against the NFF’s penchant to spend money camping national teams outside the country without first working with coaches to create unique programmes and styles for the national teams, which would also be replicated in the domestic league.
He advocated total revolution in the administration of football if things must go right, adding that efforts should be made to provide modern training facilities to help home-based players stay abreast of the latest developments in the game.
“Lack of continuity in the coaching department is hampering the growth of the national teams. In many instances coaches are employed to satisfy certain interests and not because of what they can bring to the teams.
“If the government did not support Gernot Rohr to remain as Super Eagles coach, he would have been sacked immediately after the World Cup. How can we develop a football philosophy with this attitude?
“The English and Spanish domestic leagues and national teams are doing well because they have good football philosophies. In England, the players do the running, why in Spain the ball does the running. These are ingredients that have made the countries popular in world football.
“Nigeria must discover its own style and build on it in the national teams and at club level. We have to develop our own style of football at home with our domestic coaches before thinking of getting a foreign-based coach if there is the need,” he said.
Izilien urged the NFF Technical Department to start grassroots development programmes that would teach budding footballers the rudiments of the game, as well as inculcate in the youths a distinct playing pattern that would form the Nigerian style of football.
“The NFF technical department needs to be made more active. They should not concentrate only on competitions, but also look at the developmental aspect of the game,” he added.
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