While opinions remain divided on the choice of Jose Peseiro as the next substantive coach for the Super Eagles, the Nigeria Football Federation President, Amaju Pinnick, has expressed a great deal of confidence in the Portuguese manager.
The NFF, just before the end of 2021, announced Peseiro as the man to take over from Gernot Rohr, though it was clearly stated that the 61-year old will only be an observer at the AFCON tournament in Cameroon, where coach Augustin Eguavoen, will be in charge.
Mr Pinnick, in a recent interview, explained why Peseiro was settled for as the right choice for the Eagles and how the former FC Porto coach has endeared himself even before fully taking over.
According to the NFF boss, Peseiro has demonstrated a high-level knowledge of Nigerian football history and Nigerian players at large.
He said: “If you look at Peseiro, when I was talking to him, he was talking as if he has been coaching the Super Eagles for a long time.
“He said to me, ‘listen, Nigeria, you played against Croatia (at 2018 World Cup) in your World Cup opening match, they did not over dominate you. It was 45 per cent/55 per cent ball possession. And he said ‘Croatia eventually played in the final of the World Cup, it could have been Nigeria.
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“I got impressed. He brought the Wyscout, a software to analyse the strength of our players. He gave me the analysis of every one of our players scientifically. I was taken aback. When he spoke with the technical group, I was just an observer, we are all impressed,” Mr Pinnick added.
Peseiro, whose first major task will be qualifying Nigeria for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, would need to show there is more to him than his scorecard at his last job with Venezuela.
In his 18 months stint with the Latin American country, Peseiro won just one match out of the 10 he managed.