Sports

Adebayo: Waldrum failed Falcons, By Emeka Obasi

While many continue to idolise Randy Waldrum, one lone voice, Kola Adebayo, believes Super Falcons were good enough for, at least, a semifinal spot at the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup.

 

Adebayo who applied for the Super Eagles Manager’s job in 2016, alongside Paul Le Guen, Tom Sainfiet, Miodrag Jesic and Sylvanus Okpala, gave the American low marks in the second round loss to the Three Lionesses of England.

 

He said, “There was no coaching in that team. The girls played their hearts out but that was not good enough. Falcons would have made it to the semifinals if they had a good coach. I score Waldrum 45 out of 100.”

 

Adebayo spent time educating me on tactical football and I must confess that the man sounds like a professor of the round leather game. He is so pained that there may not be a solid squad like the current bunch in the next decade.

 

“Nobody was taking care of the team. Individually, the girls are good. Chiamaka Nnadozie did a good job, she is very calm, good organiser. A good keeper must be able to organise the defence. She did a fantastic job there.

 

“This team was good enough to go beyond the Round of 16. I am afraid we may not get another class like this in the next decade because most of them are climaxing. I am not condemning the coaches, I’m just expressing my observations,” he explained.

 

As coach, Adebayo has gone round. From Stationery Stores to Sharks and Mobil Pegasus, he joined Tofa of Benin Republic before progressing to South Africa’s Bloemfontein Celtic. Tactics took him beyond Africa to Fujirah in the United Arab Emirates.

 

Adebayo argued that one does not have to be a good player to transform to a sound coach, using the examples of Adegboye Onigbinde and Liadi Tella. He was part of the coaching staff of Tella who won the FIFA Under 17 Championships in 2007 with the Golden Eaglets.

 

On the 4-2 penalty loss suffered by the Falcons, the former Gothia Cup winner said the coach should have prepared for penalty kicks the moment the girls qualified for the knockout stage.

 

“Training is different from coaching. They played well before the penalty kicks. Remember, Falcons lost to Morocco by penalties in the 2022 African Women’s Cup. Lessons should have been learnt from there. It is what you get from training that you transform to coaching.”

 

In Morocco, Falcons had their best two players Rasheedat Ajibade and Halimat Ayinde sent off in the semifinals, in a match that the referee was bent on favouring the hosts. The Atlas Lionesses scored all five of their kicks while Ifeoma Onumonu lost hers.

 

The quartet of Rita Chikwelu, Ashley Plumptre, Regina Otu and Gift Monday scored. It ended 5-4 against the Falcons. In Brisbane against England, a new set of players took the kicks. Desire Oparanozie and Michelle Alozie lost theirs.

 

Adebayo is not at sea when you talk womens’ soccer. He was coach of Jegede Babes, first winners of the women’s Challenge Cup in Nigeria. Some of the players who passed through him include Anne Chiejine, Mercy Akide and Maureen Madu.

 

He recalled a game against Kakanfo Babes when Jegede Babes were afraid of their opponents based on past results. “I promised Princess Bola Jegede that the opponent must fall. Kakanfo Queens had national team players like Rachel Yamala and Louisa Akpagu. I cut off their engine room, Yamala, and we won 1-0.”

 

Falcons will need to fight again to improve on their quarter finals record at USA 1999 where they were eliminated by Brazil through Golden Goal rule after literally coming back from the dead. From 3-0 deficit in 35 minutes, Ismaila Mabo propelled them to a 3-3 draw in regulation time.

 

The Americans came to Australia/ New Zealand as defending champions but got back home before Nigeria. Falcons will need to build from the experience of Brisbane. Many think Waldrum did a good job and should be engaged once again as Manager.

 

Falcons played against English speaking teams all through – Canada, Australia, Ireland and England. Against England, there were remarkable names like Lauren Hemp, Bethany England and Lucy Bronze. Australia came with Eli Carpenter but Nigeria hammered the Matildas 3-2.

 

Against Ireland, Toni Payne found her namesake, Heather Payne. As the Christian Falcons saw Bethany starring for England, someone reminded them that elsewhere, Portugal paraded Francisco Nazareth.

 

Two Nigerians represented other countries. Simi Awujo was in the Canadian Under 20 team that lost 3-1 to the Falconets at the Costa Rica 2022 Championships. In Brisbane, she was on the bench. Eseosa Aigbogun wore Swiss colours.

 

Falcons saw Nigerian sounding names too. Japan came with goalkeeper Chika Hirao and captain Saki Kumagal. Spain brought Ona Battle. There is Bia Zanaratto who played for Brazil.

 

 

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One Comment

  1. THE FALCON GIRLS SUFFERING THE EFFECTS OF CORRUPT UNPATRIOTIC NFF. THEY FORGOT CULTURE PLAYS ALOT IN HUMAN DEVELOPMENT. CAN YOUR U IMAGING A MANAGER WHO IN HIS CULTURE YOU CAN’T EVEN CORRECT A WOMAN? BUT CORRUPT NFF BROUGHTHIM PAYING HIM BIG FAT WAGES TO SIT DOWN THROUGH OUT FALCON MATCHES WITHOUT TALKING TO THE FALCON GIRLS.CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW MANY RETIRED NIGERIAN INTERNATIONAL PLAYERA WITH EXPERIENCE YET NFF DONT GIVE THEM COACHING JOB? TINUBU DOESN’T LIKE SPORT BUT HE SHOULD PROBE NFF BODY. MANY CRIMINALS UNPATRIOTIC OFFICIALS NOT TO FO TO JAIL

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