Pressure mounts on Waldrum after Falcons fifth loss


Johnny Edward
Super Falcon coach, Randy Waldrum, has come under pressure following his side recent 2-0 defeat away to Japan in Nadeshiko on Thursday.
Mina Tanaka scored twice within a four-minute second half span when the Falcons lost all discipline to hand the 2011 world champions victory. It could have been more, with goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie earning her place with multiple saves.
The defeat was his side’s fifth in a row and the nine time Women’s Africa Cup of Nations champions have let in 10 goals scoring two goals.
Despite guiding the Falcons to a fourth place finish at the recent Women’s Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Morocco, Waldrum, 66, is increasingly under pressure to keep his job ahead of the 2023 World Cup.
Angered by the team’s poor run of results – their worst ever, fans of the team also took to social media to ask the American to quit his role or get axed.
Nurudeen Obalola wrote, “The Super Falcons have now lost five straight matches since their WAFCON win over Cameroon in July. Shouldn’t we be very worried? What is Waldrum doing?
@ojobabatundeiso also tasked the Nigerian Football Federation to replace the American with an indigenous coach.
“So the Falcons lost to Japan in the friendly 2-0. Randy Waldrum is not a good coach. The NFF should just retrace their step and bring back indigenous coaches. These white coaches are killing our football.”
Chidi Ezeani on his part made a passionate appeal to the new NFF president, Ibrahim Gusau to replace Waldrum.
“To the NFF new Boss Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau, one of the most important points of call is to relieve Waldrum of his position as Head coach of the Super Falcons. Waldrum has turned our best-performing national team into a disjointed group of talents lacking any direction.
“We have watched the Falcons retrogress drastically under his tutelage. We have too much talent to be just counted as participants at the next World Cup.”
@jiiresjewel also added some old guards be dropped from the squad, “The Falcons still have a long way to go at the World stage. These friendly games are good for the team but I feel some players should be let go from the squad.”
However, Waldrum insists that the defeat is proof of progress.
“Our games with Canada and the USA, (and Japan) have proven that we can play with the very best in the world. It is just getting the players to buy in and believe,” the American told ESPN.
He was also quick to point to mitigating circumstances prior to the defeat.
“We had to adjust the line up due to the fact that so many players came in late.
“I don’t put a lot of weight by what everybody outside says or the results of some games where we know half of those games we have not had our full team together,” he told ESPN.
“We are coaching the players that we have and I am proud of their development and I think the fans will be proud of their performance at the World Cup.”
“People talk about the team qualifying with ease for the World Cup in previous years.
“Women’s football was in a different place then. What you are seeing now in the last two World Cup cycles is that the game has grown and developed in Africa like it has in the rest of the world.
“You are seeing countries like South Africa and Morocco putting a lot of resources into women’s football and we have to be careful as a country not to expect to qualify and win the Cup of Nations just because we are Nigeria.
“Even in the last tournament, you advanced to the final and the championship by two games on penalty kicks. It’s not like it was a dominant performance in 2018.”