Is Sadiq Umar vs Finidi in Super Eagles top player-coach clashes?

Finidi George is only two games into his tenure as the Super Eagles interim coach and is already stirring the Hornets’ nest with his management style.

The former Ajax winger holds the forte as Super Eagles Manager following the departure of Jose Peseiro, but it seems he is already having player problems after only two games.

The Super Eagles have two World Cup qualifiers in June against South Africa and Rwanda and should have used the friendlies to find out his best 11.

It seems Finidi saw the friendlies as a test to pick up the Super Eagles job permanently and failed to use some of the invited players. The decision by the Enyimba gaffer has not gone down well with Sadiq Umar, who allegedly snubbed Finidi after the Mali game.

According to recent reports, Umar felt Finidi should have given all the players minutes on the pitch. According to Umar, why did he invite players to the friendlies and leave them on the bench?

With this developing spat, here are some of the most iconic coach-player spats in the Super Eagles.

Top Super Eagles coach-player clashes

Clemence Westerhof v Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha

Super Eagles: Okocha v Westerhof

Photo by Icon Sport

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The issue between Okocha and Westerhof was not between the player and the manager.

There was an ideological difference between the Dutchman and the former PSG midfielder, which was blown sky-high by the fans who adored Okocha.

Okocha was the darling of the fans, but Westerhof was not impressed by his theatrics and usually left him on the bench, to the chagrin of the fans who always wanted to see him play.

Westehof resorted to starting Okocha in the Super Eagles home games but relegated him to the bench in away matches.

Clemens Westerhof v Chidi Nwanu

Super Eagles: Chidi Nwanu v Westerhof
Credit @TonyBekederemo X

Chidi Nwanu was one of the top-rated defenders for the Super Eagles, and he had issues with the Dutchman.

During that time, Nwanu was a super regular for Belgian side Anderlecht and was invited to the Super Eagles to help shore up the defence.

However, the decision did not go down well with several players as it meant he would replace an iconic player in the team – Stephen Keshi.

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According to reports, Westerhof bowed to pressure to keep Nwanu on the bench, and the defender eventually confronted Westerhof.

Nwanu believed, as a regular for his European club, he deserved a place in the team ahead of players who were benchwarmers.

Eventually, Nwanu made the starting XI, but his Super Eagles career fizzled out after the World Cup.

Jose Peseiro v Kelechi Iheanacho

Super Eagles: Peseiro v Iheanacho
Photo by Icon Sport

Not many know this, but the recent AFCON tournament, where the Super Eagles finished as a losing finalist, had its share of player-coach clashes.

The captain of the side, Ahmed Musa, did a fantastic job keeping a lid on things and motivating the squad.

Kelechi Iheanacho had issues with Peseiro that saw him refuse to attend the press conference before the Africa Cup of Nations semi-final against South Africa.

Iheanacho had worked his socks off to be fit for the tournament, only to be relegated to the bench.

He was irked by the fact that ahead of the semi-final against South Africa, Victor Osimhen had a discomfort in the abdomen and still played ahead of him.

Sunday Oliseh v Mikel Obi

Super Eagles: Oliseh v Mikel
Photo by Icon Sport

Sunday Oliseh was an enfant terrible during his days as a player for the Super Eagles.

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The former captain of the side reportedly attacked a journalist and was attributed with having a temper.

When named coach of the Super Eagles, he had issues with several players. One of them was Mikel Obi.

He dropped the former Chelsea midfielder, claiming he did not fit into his style of play.

Mikel later described him as one of the most terrible coaches he had worked with.

Sunday Oliseh v Vincent Enyeama

Super Eagles: Oliseh v Enyeama
Photo by Icon Sport

Perhaps the most iconic spat between player and coach in the Super Eagles is between Oliseh and Vincent Enyeama.

According to reports from witnesses, Oliseh came into the Super Eagles with a preconceived notion of a mafia in the team and intended to break it.

Oliseh saw Mikel and Enyeama as the group leaders and moved to eliminate them from the squad.

Oliseh made an open accusation at Enyeama, who could not stomach it and left the team. Unfortunately, the NFF did not mediate, proving to be his last act for the Super Eagles.

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