Nigeria’s New Manager Ready to Take Over for African World Cup Playoffs

Nigeria’s new manager is ready to lead the team to the upcoming CAF World Cup Qualifier playoffs.

Following their unexpected exit from AFCON 2021, the Super Eagles will have to quickly prepare for the next crucial fixtures, the final stage of CAF qualifiers. Nigeria will face Ghana, who was eliminated in the current regional tournament earlier than them. The game will be held in two legs. They will have to travel to Accra first for the first match on March, 24 before hosting The Black Stars five days later.

Under the caretaker Augustine Eguavoen, Nigeria’s early campaign at the AFCON group stage was actually quite impressive. They even rose to become one of the title favorites after winning all three games in the group stage, including a 1-0 victory over Egypt in the opener. Unfortunately, a 1-0 loss to Tunisia in the round of 16 ruined everything. Eguavoen, who had been considered for the permanent position, eventually stepped down, allowing former Sporting Lisbon manager Jose Peseiro to take charge of Winfred Ndidi and company for the playoffs. Eguavoen himself takes on the role of technical director.

Nigeria’s New Manager is Set to Take Over the Team for CAF World Cup Playoffs

Jose Mourinho’s Recommendation

The appointment of Jose Peseiro has not been warmly welcomed by the fans. It is not without a reason. The fact was Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) originally approaching Jose Mourinho in late December 2021. The current AS Roma boss is surely not available since he has just taken charge of the Italian capital side. Instead, Mourinho recommended his fellow, Jose Peseiro to NFF President, Amaju Pinnick.

Mourinho’s suggestion was eventually approved by the NFF, and Peseiro was officially appointed just a few days before the Africa Cup of Nations began. However, he did not lead Nigeria in the tournament, instead serving as an observer.

Jose Peseiro’s Unconvincing CV

Doubts about Peseiro are understandable given his resume, which isn’t exactly convincing. His experience as a manager of both national teams and clubs has mostly resulted in a combination of resignation and dismissal.

Peseiro’s only notable accolades are being the runner-up of UEFA Europa League 2005 while being at the helm of Sporting Lisbon, winning Taca de Liga (Portuguese League Cup) with Sporting Braga in 2012 and guiding Al-Ahly of Egypt for their domestic league title in 2016.

Meanwhile, his managerial career in the national team has never been satisfactory. His spell in Saudi Arabia between 2009 to 2011 was not exactly memorable apart from an away win over Iran. Peseiro failed to bring Saudis to qualify to World Cup 2010. He was sacked shortly after the first game of AFC Asian Cup 2011. His last stint in Venezuela within 2020-2021 ended in resignation after their failure in Copa America 2021 since the country falls into economic crisis.

Carlos Queiroz’s assistant during the Portuguese’s reign in Real Madrid has now been given a chance to prove his quality again, by helping The Super Eagles secure one berth in Qatar 2022. It is a task which should not be too challenging, considering the pool of talents they have in the squad.

Main Image Credit Embed from Getty Images

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