Can Samson Siasia Make the Difference as Super Eagles Head Skipper?
Published December 25, 2010
On November 4, 2010 Samson Siasia was appointed the head coach of the national football team of Nigeria, the "Super Eagles" by the Nigerian Football Federation. Siasia who is well known and liked by some Nigerian soccer fans as a former national team player and coach of both the Olympics (Under 23) and Flying Eagles (Under 20) teams, Nigerian national junior teams. Despite Samson Siasia popularity, critics who oppose the new Super Eagles head coach, say that Siasia is not capable of taking the national team to new heights.
Samson Siasia won the 1994 African Nations Cup, as a player and was a member of the 1994 Nigerian world cup team. As the head coach for the 2005 Flying Eagles, Siasia won the 2005 African Youth Championship and finished second place with his squad at the 2005 FIFA Under 20 World Cup, losing to Argentina led by Lionel Messi. In 2008, coach Siasia led the Olympics Eagles to the finals only to be beaten again by Lionel Messi and the bulk of the 2005 Argentina under 20 World Cup team.
As a head coach Samson Siasia, brings discipline missed on the Super Eagles. Samson Siasia is also familiar and knowledgeable with the domestic league players in the Nigerian Premier League. Siasia's last coaching stint prior till his new appointment was with Heartland Football Club in the Nigerian Premier League.
The pressure to coach the Super Eagles of Nigeria is high because the fans, supporters and Nigerian football administration all have high expectations. The Super Eagles last won the African Nations Cup in 1994 and had two good World Cup appearances in 1994 and 1998. The last two World Cups in 2002 and 2010 have been disappointed.
For the Super Eagles to succeed the team, has to be balanced with the best foreign and local players. The Nigerian Football Federation also needs to stop interfering with coaching and player selection. This will allow Siasia to perform the job with no pressure from the NFF and avoid players he never scouted or selected from being on the team.
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