Former Nigeria coach, Adegboye Onigbinde, insists Sunday Oliseh’s lack of managerial experience as Super Eagles coach resulted in the face off the manager had with erstwhile team captain Vincent Enyeama on Tuesday in Belgium.
Oliseh had replaced the Lille goalkeeper with Ahmed Musa as captain on Tuesday following Enyeama’s late arrival for camping in Belgium ahead of the friendlies against DR Congo and Cameroon.
Enyeama had missed the Monday’s deadline after attending his mother’s funeral on Saturday in his home town.
Onigbinde commended Oliseh for his decision but warned that his poor managerial skill could tear the team apart.
“I commend Sunday Oliseh for the step he has taken. Such acts of indiscipline did not just start in the team. A recent example was Enyeama’s comments on the choice of Kaduna for the Super Eagles match against Chad. It was not his duty to decide which venue the team should play, that’s for the Nigeria Football Federation,” the former CAF instructor said.
“By that time, I condemned Enyeama’s position. We cannot allow one or two players to hold the country to ransom. If Enyeama was my son, I would have spanked him seriously for the many wrongs he has done. They’ve pampered him too much.”
Onigbinde said Oliseh’s decision to embarrass Enyeama before his teammates might breed intimidation and fear in the team.
“Oliseh lacked experience in managing the situation. When he was going to be employed by the NFF, I called people’s attention to his lack of experience. His handling of the situation shows he lacks the experience to manage the players,” Onigbinde said.
“He has done the right thing, but in a wrong way; he will get a wrong result. If I was Oliseh, I would have overlooked Enyeama’s behaviour at the moment and go on to execute my plans for the coming games. But after the games, I would simply not invite him for subsequent games. Oliseh doesn’t need to quarrel with players.
“Football is a team game; Enyeama might have his loyalists in the team and they might be sympathetic with their captain. Oliseh is not certain to get the best out of all the players following his manner of handling the matter. The matter is capable of breaking the team into two.
“It is not enough for you to know what to say, it is vital you know where to say it, why to say it, when to say it, how to say it and to whom you say it.
“An indication of Oliseh’s inexperience happened when he was preparing the team for the Tanzania game. Three days before the game, it was reported that some of the players were complaining of the strenuous training he gave them. You don’t give strenuous workout to players hours before a game; it will cause fatigue. I guess he was trying to impress his employers but that contributed to the poor performance of the players.
“I did not support the NFF’s choice of Oliseh because of his lack of experience, but once he has been employed, I have to accept it and pray that he succeeds.”
Super Eagles coach Sunday Oliseh on Wednesday explained why he opted for a new captain for the team – a decision that ignited a serious quarrel between the coach and his goalkeeper on Tuesday in Belgium where the Nigerian team are camping.
Oliseh who spoke in n exclusive interview said he chose Ahmed Musa as the new captain because he wanted a player that was not set to retire.
He said, “A lot is built around the captain and the way he carries on with the job means a lot to the team. A captain (Vincent Enyeama) who has said many times that he was retiring. From the onset he told me that and he has continued to say that. Now we are rebuilding a team to last over a long period of time.
“In his absence Musa stepped in and he did the job perfectly. Vincent has done his bit and I felt we could start a transition period but instead he tried to make it his right to remain as the captain. But it is not his prerogative to decide who leads the team. It does not happen anywhere.”
The coach said that everything said in the course of argument was basically on the team and football. He said he was alarmed when other stories were added to it.
“It was simply an attempt to whip up emotions that created other matters; issues were introduced unfairly into the matter,” he said.
Enyeama, who also spoke with our correspondent, maintains that he holds no grudges after another player was named captain of the national team, but insists that Oliseh should have explained the reasons behind the decision.
The Eagles gaffer on Tuesday stripped Enyeama and named CSKA Moscow forward, Musa, who led the team in the absence of Enyeama against Tanzania and Niger, as new captain of the Eagles.
The Lille keeper arrived in camp on Tuesday – after the burial of his mother – a day after the Monday deadline to report to camp.
But he was stunned when Oliseh in the presence of other players and officials, named his new captain.
Oliseh allegedly told the keeper to shut up, when the argument got quite hot. Enyeama didn’t comply, prompting Oliseh to order the hotel’s security personnel to kick the ex-Enyimba man out of the venue.
It took the intervention of Chelsea midfielder Mikel Obi, Ogenyi Onazi and Nigeria Football Federation officials to restore peace at the meeting.
In an exclusiveve interview on Wednesday, Enyeama, who took over the captain’s armband after Joseph Yobo’s retirement, confirmed that the issue had been resolved, adding that he was not against Oliseh naming somebody else as captain of the squad.
He said,”Everything is okay now, there are no problems. I’m not against anybody being captain of the team but I deserve an explanation.
“Even in your house, when your father suddenly says, ‘go and sleep,’ you will want to know why the sudden decision was taken. I always want to give my best to my country but in situations like these, I deserve an explanation. I don’t want to say much because I will talk at the appropriate time.”
Enyeama made his Nigeria debut against England at the 2002 World Cup and he became the country’s most capped player with 101 games, when the Eagles played Chad in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Kaduna in June.