Wednesday, May 1, 2024


By Biodun Alabi 

I am not excited.

The appointment of Finidi George, as the new Super Eagles manager, is just, for me, a routine we have been used to that may not signify a new order in our national team.

I wish to be proved wrong, in months away, that Finidi George would not be facing a dark alley on the job.....the biggest in his career, so far.

Regardless of the challenges this decision may have faced, before it was announced, Finidi deserves the role, first, having worked with Jose Peseiro for 20 months, and two, for being one of the very few Nigerian coaches that are qualified for the job.

This NFF decision however comes with some dynamics.

One of them is if it's not experimental to satisfy the call for a local manager for the team and later go for a foreigner when the tide begins to change.

Another is, will he be allowed to choose his assistants?

While we wait to confirm these and presume the NFF would do what is right, I wish Finidi the very best of luck on the job, and equally hope he has out-of-the books solutions to the complexities of managing the Super Eagles. 

Two things that must underpin his choice of assistants and his own performance ( if the NFF grants him the right) are 1. Technical and tactical savvy 2. Ego management qualities.

The first is very imperative because it was the Albatross of the team at the last AFCON, the second is no less important.

With the team from the last AFCON still intact, and with more players itching and qualified to get a chance to come in, the Eagles squad has some of the brightest players in contemporary African football. 

This could make Finidi's job easy, and at the same time difficult.  He's condemned to balancing tactical nous with personality management.

However, having come from the background of the class of 1994 Eagles, Finidi knows he has a class reputation to keep.

But foremost, the NFF must walk their talk of "giving him adequate support"  to succeed and to "swim and sink" with him.

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