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The return of Keshi - Daily Independent

By The Citizen
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The recent reappointment of Stephen Okechukwu Keshi as the Super Eagles coach on a two-year contract after ten months of uncertainty over his future in the National team throws up more questions than answers as to what the development portends for the future of Nigerian football.

Recall that the former captain of the Super Eagles led the team to the 2013 Cup of Nations and returned with the trophy as he garnered unprecedented accolades from different football loving Nigerians and groups even as the feat upped his pedigree and reputation in the international football coaching world.

But against widespread expectations after the failure of the Super Eagles to qualify for the 2015 Cup of Nations, Keshi has been offered a two-year contract, to run till 2017  subject to success or otherwise of the team in the Africa Cup of Nations' qualifiers and the attendant tournament in Gabon.

It is instructive to note, however, that before keshi was appointed head coach of the national team, Nigerian football fortunes had been at its lowest ebb, particularly over the past four or five years. Sadly enough, there seem to be an insidious trend in Nigerian football which hasalways experienced, somewhat, a downward slide immediately after winning a major title in any international tournament. This was exactly what played out after the 2013 Cup of Nations victory. The team could not qualify for the 2015 edition of the event, not to talk of defending the title. Indeed, this is unacceptable.

Ideally, after winning a major tournament, it becomes a challenge to other countries to prove a point to the world by buckling their belts for the next event. This is why it would have been of upmost importance for the coach and, as it were, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to have stepped up the their game and formulated plans that will  keep up the tempo like we were use to years back.

Beyond this, the NFF recently has been marred by news of internal wrangling and scuffles, which has not helped the progress and development of the Nigerian football in any way.

As Keshi retains the coaching job of the national team, we believe it is vital that he learns from his mistakes so as to get it right this time around. We urge the NFF to give him all the necessary support even as it is important for the football federation to avoid unnecessary interferences in core technical decisions that would be made by the coach. More so, it is crucial for Keshi to ensure that the formation of the national team is based purely on merit.  Henceforth, the team, must prepare adequately for every single match, as attempt to be complacent and underrate any team no matter how small, could be disastrous. Certainly, if Keshi and the NFF put all the square and round pegs in their appropriate holes, Nigerian football will be better for it.