11th October, 2011
Legendary African footballer and Ghanaian star, Abedi Pele has declared that no one should blame coach Samson Siasia for failing to qualify the Super Eagles for the Africa Cup of Nations.
Pele said that handling a team like the Eagles of Nigeria with a good football pedigree requires so much coaching experience that Siasia does not possess as at the time he was called to handle the star-studded team.
Samson Siasiaâ€™s Eagles were held to a 2-2 draw by their Guinean counterparts in Abuja at the weekend, a result that ruled them out of next yearâ€™s Nations Cup in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
Speaking on BCC ahead of the Nigeria versus Ghana exhibition match slated for Watfordâ€™s Vicarage Road stadium, London tonight, Pele said: â€œIt did not come as a surprise to many of us because we had seen the handwriting on the wall right from the moment Siasia was appointed as the chief coach of the Eagles. Siasia lacks the acumen to handle a footballing nation like Nigeria. He is still a green horn when it comes to coaching a national team.
â€œI am not saying Siasia is not a good coach, but he still needs some time to understudy and become a world class coach that can coach a country like Nigeria that has star players all over top leagues in the world.â€
Pele added that Nigeria will be seeking to appease their fans with a win over the Black Stars in London after they failed to qualify for the Cup of Nations on Saturday.
He said it is so disappointing that the Super Eagles will not be showcasing their beautiful football at the biennial championship.