Nigeria: Kwara United filled with average players, says Sanni

After spending more than a month as the caretaker coach of Kwara United, Tunde Sanni has come out to label his wards as a set of inexperienced and untalented players.

The coach who was installed as the head of the technical crew on a temporary basis after the suspension of Tunde Abdulrahman by the Alhaji Haruna Maigidansanma led Kwara United management made this declaration in an interview with popular Kwara radio station Royal FM on Friday.

Kwara United shouldn’t have been in the current position they have found themselves if the proper mercenaries was put in place to consolidate on the success of promotion to the elite league under the watchful eyes of Coach Samson Unuanel whose contract wasn’t renewed after his mandate of promoting the team to where it belongs was achieved.

Tunde Sanni criticized the calibre of players that suspended head coach Tunde Abdrahmam inherited.  He also berated his boss for recruiting inexperienced and average players, as that caused the slide of the team.

In the 2013/14 Nigeria National League season, Kwara United had the best strike force with the likes of Adeshina Gata, Adegbenro Samuel, Segun Alebiosu, John Chukwudi and a few I couldn’t mention. The likes of Lateef Adigun. Halilu Obadeki, Dare Ojo were pivotal in the promotion success. I mustn’t forget the impact of Abubakar Yusuf, Shagari Ismaila, Isiaka Oladuntoye, and Suraj Ayeleso and so on.

Adegbenro made a move to Viking. Others players that helped the team gain promotion to the NPFL were all retained and they have suddenly become “average players” according to coach Sanni.

“We know the usual standard of the team. People complained about the calibre of players in the team saying that they are not good enough. What they said then became a reality and it backfired. It has become a reality,” coach Sanni told Royal FM.

“The way the team plays depends on the head, he has the final say on how the team plays. He is the head and calls the shot. The players that Coach Tunde Abdulrahman brought on board are those he knows well.”

“When the team is not doing well, the assistant comes in. It’s not new that it happened here with us. There are some of the things you can’t change especially the quality of players.”

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“At this level experience counts a lot. Most of the team that we play with are not tactically better than us but they have the experience against us. Experience doesn’t mean age, it’s the experience to cope with pressure that matters most. That is what most of our players lacks. It’s like most of them are playing at this level for the first time. Another problem is that there is no exceptional talent in the team.”

His philosophy and style of play: “There are two styles, direct or possessive play. My philosophy is possessive style and that was I introduced when I was saddled with the responsibility of leading the team. Some of the players are not used to it. A lot of the players are used to”kick and follow style”, Tunde Sanni added.

Before a season starts the technical crew usually have time to recruit players which the suspended coach did. Coach Tunde Abdulrahman inherited a good team if we are to be realistic with ourselves. He also made signings that he felt will improve the fortunes of the team. At the initial stage, he did well with the team grinding results at Heartland and Wikki Tourists.

Do I need someone to remind me that Wikki Tourists didn’t really tinker with side that gained promotion to the NPFL, no wonder they are riding high on the table. Coach Abdulrahman later started having it rough with results coupled with talks of sabotage from some elements in the team saw the management led by Alhaji Haruna Maigidansama suspending him indefinitely.

His assistant Tunde Sanni came on board. After two games of six points, Sanni boosted that he was the Messiah sent to the team. Did coach Sanni complained of the calibre of players then? The answer is No. The passionate and soccer loving fans of Kwara State thought the team was back to winning ways. Everyone thought the brand of attacking football that the team played in the NNL had returned.

My advice to coach Sanni is to concentrate on the hectic tasks that lies ahead of his team and prove his mettle rather than castigating his fellow coaches and his players. He should also stop trading jibes in the media.


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