In continuation of our interviews with Legends of the Nigeria National team the Super Eagles following the team’s elimination from the World cup in Brazil, SL10 sat down with the Super Eagles first ever media officer, Peterside Idah, who also had 2 caps for the National team aside a prosperous career that came to an end in South Africa where he now works as a media practitioner.
Idah Peterside bares his mind in this interview where he advised current coach of the Super Eagles Stephen Keshi to resist any attempt to make him stay on as coach and go in search of greener pastures.
SL10: What do you think went wrong with Nigeria at the World Cup?
IDAH: Well nothing really went wrong per se but the point is that, the things we were supposed to do we did not do, when you start growing international football you begin to close some loopholes which we did not do, we lost shape, we lost our formation and we did not have a plan B even though we have a plan B or the coach has plan B, we did not have personnel to carry out the plan B, that was part of our undoing.
SL10: The row over bonus, how big a distraction was it prior to our knockout game against France?
IDAH: It’s always been there it wasn’t a distraction, what you are use to can’t be a distraction to you, we are use to squabbles for bonus and again it wasn’t really an issue, it was just that the money they were supposed to be given wasn’t there when it was suppose to be there and finally the money came, so it wasn’t an issue to be worried about.
SL10: Looking at the Nigeria team, will you say any player covered himself in glory?
IDAH: When they talk about individual players at the World cup I really don’t like it because as you go into the tournament they say Team Nigeria, Team Germany, Team England and so on, so you will want to look them collectively as a team and if we look at Nigeria collectively as a team we did not really do well because doing well means getting to the quarterfinals, the semi-finals the final and to an extent winning the cup,that’s my own but if I you insist I pick an individual then my number one pick will be our goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama and have always said it, every team that the goalkeeper is the star of the team has a problem,because goalkeepers only receive, they only take in they don’t give out but what wins you games is your ability to receive and to give.
Every great team that has won tournament will always have personnel that can give, and when I mean giving, you are able to torment your opponents, put the pressure on them, that’s how u get results but we have a great goalkeeper that was able to just hold us but there was no other person to give and again when you look at Argentina they have a Messi that will give, when you look at Holland they have an Arjen Robben that can give and that’s the biggest problem with African team,we need to have a complete team people that can take in, people that can distribute and people that can give, the defence should be able to hold tight, the midfield should be able to recover and distribute and the attackers should be able to finish and we didn’t have such in our team that was our biggest undoing.
SL10: How far do you think Keshi has taken this team?
IDAH: Keshi is a legend, he has done well I remember from when I was a part of the team in 2010 and we were in shambles, Nigeria Football was in shambles, we are almost hopeless, any game we play there was always nothing to write home about but Keshi transformed the team, credit must go to him, I'm telling you this because he brought in new players and change the team I think we hold him a lot of gratitude for how far he has taken us.
SL10: If you are in a position to advise Keshi,will you advise him to stay or leave?
IDAH: My advice to Keshi is to move on, he should leave, with Nigeria he has done well, I think he needs new challenges in his career and we all know how Nigeria is, if we don’t do well the next three to four years we will look for him he shouldn’t stay here for people to sack him I think he should go in search of greener
SL10: What do you think is next for Nigeria Football after the World Cup?
IDAH: We have to recoup, we are African Champions still we have the title to defend, we have qualifiers to come, I just think they should have continuity and I'm not for any foreign coach, I think Amokachi is there, Ike Shorunmu and the rest are all there they have paid the price, they have performed well as assistants and if we don’t deem them fit enough, Sunday Oliseh is there, we should sick with what we are doing, trust our local coaches to take us to the next level.
SL10: We’ve seen lots of goals in this World cup, what do you think is responsible for the high number of goals been scored?
IDAH: It’s a good thing that goals are being scored but it’s because the ball is faster, the ball is lighter and players are becoming deadlier, accuracy in shooting is high and it’s good for the game we are all excited, we’ve seen 152 good goals with more matches to go, it’s great for the tournament