SHAME…La Liga tour indicates local league players aren’t marketable

SHAME…La Liga tour indicates local league players aren’t marketable

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Recently, the League Management Company selected some local players and took them out on a tour of La Liga in Spain for exposure. But after playing some friendly matches as members of the All Stars squad, none of the players attracted the attention of the clubs in that country.
About 22 out of 32 local players were shortlisted to make up the League All Stars squad last month.
The Nigerian team played in a pre-season tour against Valencia CF and also in the Carranza La Liga World Club Tournament in Malaga. But to the surprise of football pundits, no local Nigerian player received transfer offer throughout the tour. Speaking on the tour and the display of the players, ex-international and Super Eagles coordinator, Patrick Pascal said it was a big shame to Nigerian football.
In an interview with The Point, Pascal said he could not fathom what happened to the team, made up of the best players in Nigeria.
“If all those players could fail, that means our players are halfbaked and they are not good enough to play in the La Liga. It is a big slap on our league.
“About 20 coaches selected these players under strict condition but they failed to impress in Spain. So tell me, how would these players fit into the national team?” Pascal said the that new Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, has a target to qualify Nigeria for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and he is expected to use the best resources available to achieve his aim.
And the best materials are the professionals he paraded recently against Tanzania in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Uyo, Akwa Ibom.
“With the calibre of players Rohr featured in Uyo and they could only score one goal, how is he going to cope if it was the local All Stars team he played against Tanzania. That means Nigeria has not got a team yet,” he said.
Pascal, however, pleaded with Nigerians to give Rohr enough time to prove himself. They should not turn the German to a miracle worker.
It is only in Nigeria that you employ a coach and expect him to deliver instantly. The players he featured in Uyo, he just saw them play for the first time. So, he needs to see them more often for him to conclude on their individual strengths,” he said.
Drawing comparison between former Eagles Technical Adviser, Clemens Westerhof and Rohr, he said the Dutch met a good football league on ground in Nigeria when he was hired, adding that it was the reason he picked good local players to support his Nations Cup and World Cup plans.
Westerhof was able to get quality players because he loved to move around the country in search of players and he spent five years building a good team which won the Nations Cup and also qualified Nigeria for the 1994 World Cup in USA.
“But I doubt if Nigeria can wait for five years for Rohr to develop our football. Nigeria cannot do without going to the World Cup. The Amaju Pinnick-led board will be in trouble if the Eagles fail to qualify for the World Cup, so they need a magician. They need someone who will deliver instantly. And that has been our major problem in Nigeria. In two years, I have served under five different coaches – from the late Stephen Keshi, Sunday Oliseh, Samson Siasia, Salisu Yusuf and Gernot Rohr.
“Nigerians are always in a hurry to get result. We need to plan for us not to fail. We need to support the new coach to succeed. We need determined and committed players to make the dream come true,” Pascal added.

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