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Current Nigeria: A Soccer Team Metaphor


9ja Futball Addict

Some years ago, Our school sport team coach was doing really bad. The team was coming out bottom in all their soccer games and outdoor activities. The Students were enduring a terrible spell.

Some courageous staff approached the coach to change his approach to the games and possibly tweak the players he was fielding. The coach was adamant, citing his years of experience and past achievements.

For some reason, the coach was never sacked, queried or summoned even with the poor run of form.

The team had just come out of a competition where they had lost in all games they participated and came home with no medal. The kids were demoralized and unwilling to do sports anymore.

Ola stood up with tears in his eyes and said Coacheee! Please can you allow Uncle Edet to train us for just a year let’s see if we can be any better?

Uncle Edet was a Youth Cooper who was posted to the school, young, zealous with some medals 🏅 to his name during his Secondary school and University days.

Coachee looked at Ola with disdain and chided him to be quiet and grateful that he has a place in his team. He told him how the poor performance of the team was due to the entire children been unserious and refusing to follow instructions.

Chude raised his hands up in the midst of the fiasco, waiting to be nudged to speak. When Coachee had finished his verbal spanking, Chude had one hand supporting the other to stay up. What is it? Coachee asked!

Sir, we are tired of loosing, we put in our best and we follow all your instructions which are very little actually. In soccer the only thing you say is shoot. Even when we are at our goal post you keep screaming shoot.

In athletics we barely know what needs to be done. Sir all we are saying is let’s allow someone else coach us for at least one year.

At this point some of the teachers who had come to cheer the team had trickled in. One of them also encouraged Coachee to see it as a break to rest and refresh. Long story short, Coachee reluctantly agreed to step aside for a few months allowing uncle Edet to handle the team. He however insisted that his allowance still stands and the team funds remains with him.

Uncle Edet took charge of the team with Aunty Chinma and Uncle Segun (Shege). First day of rehearsal was more of an orientation. We were all told to come with pen and paper. We were taught updated rules of the game. We knew the difference between a direct and indirect kick. Knew the names of different positions and their roles. I was moved from Defence to Attack for my speed and shot power, Seun was asked to play Center back because he had the statue of a giant. We trained harder than we used to, played the ball with more cohesion and direction rather than just shoot!

We had our next tournament a couple of months later, we won three out of a possible 5. Lost our last game on penalties. We won the 400m relay race.

The little win was celebrated so much by everyone like we had won the World Cup. It was our first success in a long time.

End of Story!

I was just trying to say, It won’t kill these guys in ASO rock to take a break and let someone with competence fix Nigeria.🇳🇬



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