Super Eagles urgently need a psychologist — Owolabi
Former international, Felix Owolabi, has said that the Super Eagles urgently need a psychologist to resolve issues that may have caused the team’s abysmal performance against the Wild Beasts in the 0-1 defeat at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Nigeria eventually redeemed her image by beating the Central African Republic (CAR) 2-0 in the return leg in Douala, Cameroon.
Speaking to The Guardian during the week, Owolabi said it was depressing to see the Eagles playing without any plan in the loss against CAR and especially in the last five years the current coach has been in charge of Eagles.
He added that complacency could also be responsible for the players’ attitude towards the country’s matches, especially when the same players are doing well for their clubs.
“It is quite sad and disheartening to see the Eagles played the way they did against the Central Republic in Lagos. I keep saying that in the last five years, I haven’t seen anything our coach has imparted into the team.
“In my days in the Eagles, we used to have the ‘possibles’ and the ‘probables’. And it is from these pools of the ‘probables’ that when there is a problem, the ‘possibles’ will fix it through substitutions by elimination.
“When plan A fails, plan B has to be deployed. But the Eagles under the current coach hasn’t done that. He has been adopting a ‘zombie’ style as sang by the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti, a straight way formation with no alternative plan for any match.
“There is no doubt, a team must have its challenges and when they come, as a leader (coach), he should be able to face it and find a possible solution to solving it,” he said.
Owolabi, who holds a doctorate degree in Physical Education, added: “One is not saying that the team should always win matches. I am not saying that the coach should know everything, but that there must be a sense of direction, discipline.
“The coach should know the players that are working and those improving in every game. But in the case you see some players doing well today and performing badly tomorrow, means it is not every fault that a coach is blamed.
“It means also that the players too need to stand firm and justify their invitation into the team. I think complacency is beginning to set into the team and that is why the players need a psychologist to put things right for the coaching crew by discussing with them what he saw for our football to move forward.
“This is not about family matters, but the dignity of the country. The players should not play on the intelligence of the people. That they are putting on the jersey of this great country is not enough for them to be lackadaisical in their approach of any of our games. The fact that they are playing well for their clubs and badly for the country means there is something wrong with the team,” he said.