Seyi Olofinjana: Super Eagles Icon Explains Why Jose Peseiro Should Be Sacked Despite AFCON Success

Seyi Olofinjana: Super Eagles Icon Explains Why Jose Peseiro Should Be Sacked Despite AFCON Success

Ero Samson
updated at February 26, 2024 at 10:02 AM
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S. Olofinjana
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Elijah Adebayo logo
E. Adebayo
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International
  • Jose Peseiro recently led Nigeria to the final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations
  • Talk regarding the potential of offering him a contract extension has circulated
  • A Super Eagles icon has called for the sacking of the Portuguese national coach

The immediate future of Super Eagles coach, Jose Peseiro, has remained a topic of heated debate within Nigeria's football circles.

The Portuguese coach, whose contract was extended just before the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Ivory Coast, seems to have won over some of his critics, after leading the heavily criticised Super Eagles team to the final of the showpiece.

AFCON, Nigeria, Super Eagles, CAF, Jose Peseiro, Olofinjana
Jose Peseiro reacts on the touchline during the Africa Cup of Nations final between Ivory Coast and Nigeria. Image: Daniel Beloumou.
Source: Getty Images

Having exceeded the semi-final target set by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), the 63-year-old is poised to be rewarded with a new contract, which could potentially see him guide the AFCON finalists to the 2026 FIFA World Cup - should they secure qualification.

However, amid swirling reports of Peseiro's potential contract extension, former Nigerian midfielder, Seyi Olofinjana, has called for the coach's dismissal, stressing a few tenable reasons that critics of the Portuguese tactician have continued to emphasise.

Olofinjana calls for Peseiro’s sacking

In an interview with media outlet, OwnGoalNigeria, the 43-year-old expressed his frustration with the manager, emphasising that letting him go would be the right move for Nigerian football.

"I wasn't expecting much from them at the AFCON because I knew they lacked many things to be considered a cohesive team. However, they surprised me with how they adapted to the coach's challenging defensive tactics throughout the tournament, and, of course, they got results."

However, the former Wolverhampton Wanderers combative midfielder was critical of Peseiro attempting to employ a style not suited to the Super Eagles.

"I was a member of the national team from U17 to the Super Eagles, and I can tell you that the team wouldn't adapt to that style of play, and that's not what our country needs.
"Personally, I'm not privy to the terms of the contract he was offered, but if I were, I'd say he did his best and exceeded the set target at the AFCON. However, his style of play doesn't align with ours, and we need to move on. You know what that means."

Olofinjana's sentiments echo those of some stakeholders in Nigerian football who are not swayed by the team's sudden success at the AFCON.

Some continue to emphasise the former Real Madrid assistant coach lacks what it takes to lead Nigeria to the heights its football reached in the mid-90s.

Nigeria-eligible players for Argentina clash

Sports Brief also highlighted a list of players Peseiro could potentially invite for Nigeria's clash against Argentina.

The list of players who could be called up included several Premier League stars, like Luton Town's Elijah Adebayo.

Authors
Ero Samson photo
Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).