The Nigeria Football Federation are livid with the performance of the U-23 team that lost their second game in the qualifiers here in Tangiers, Morocco against Senegal. They have labeled coach Austin Eguavoen a ‘disaster’.
“Eguavoen is simply a disaster|”, high Chief Emeka Inyama exploded moments after Senegal scored two goals before Daniel Uchechi pulled one back.
“There is nothing that he asked for that he did not get. We knew that FIFA does not release players for the qualifiers he insisted on travelling to Europe to persuade the boys and their coaches to be part of the game. We granted him. He got everything and has no reason for failing”, Inyama still pained by woeful outing of the team cried.
“I don’t know if he has any reason to give but candidly, he does not have what it takes to knit the team to victory. He has no self-confidence. That even makes it worst. Honestly, em, em, em”. Inyama stammered, shook his head and left.
The reality of their disgraceful outing dawned on them as they strolled like displaced refugees into their Hotel Andonisia here in Tangiers, Morocco. Senegal compounded their woes with a 2-1 defeat leaving the so-called Dream Team in nightmare with only Sheffield Wednesday player, Daniel Uchechi shedding tears. Unfortunately, Nigerians needed victory and not tears and the young lad was shedding them in torrents at the end of the whistle. The team have successfully lost their two matches to Morocco and Senegal in flying colours. The third one is mandatory against Algeria not to attract sanctions from Confederation of African football. But very few optimists and analysts are still calculating their chances with ifs… if Morocco beat Senegal and Nigeria beat Algeria. But will Nigeria beat Algeria? Do they have the will-power? The chances are slim but fire-spitting NFF member, Chief Emeka Inyama said that there is no chance. “What chance? They have blown it. Other teams have won their matches and you are talking of miracle for a team that have lost two matches”, a distraught Inyama said.
Once at the hotel, the team went their separate ways with the genuine ones refusing to eat dinner(they may have ordered room service).
A common thing noticed is the fact that the players are not united. A source staying in the hotel confirmed. “They are always on phone or with their ipads and can chat and talk all night. Nobody directs or stops them. It has been like this since we came here”, the worried source said. And truly, the players were strolling to and from their rooms with their tools in their hands. “It shows the weakness of the coach. The coach should instill fear and discipline to the players. But he does not”, Inyama said.
With their imaginary tails in-between their legs, the players leave for Merreketch, the most beautiful city in Morocco to keep a date with Algeria and to perhaps admire the scenery and record them in their ipads for history sake. That once upon a time, the U-23 team of Nigeria, christened Dream Team and coached by one Austin Eguavoen failed to qualify and play in the London 2012 Olympics. The same Olympics – Atlanta 96, where Nigeria won the Olympic gold playing the best and most attractive football to make Nigerians walk with their noses in front. That was then.