Hassan Abd’Allah, a former Nigerian international has revealed that he taught Taribo West basic football skills. Hassan Abd’Allah who is now the assistant coach of the Flying Eagles, who spoke to Trust Sports on how the U-20 national team is preparing for the World Championship in Poland, said he taught Taribo West basic football skills as he never knew how to kick a football.
On what is responsible for the near absence of northerners in the Super Eagles, he said;
In a nutshell, let me tell you something. People from the north, we are predominately Muslims, right?. Sometimes we need to know that when you come to play football, it is not religion. When you go for training in the morning, you may be asked run round the field for like 20 times. Tomorrow they will say go the gym. Next tomorrow, they give you serious physical training for you to be physically fit. Then the next thing, you will see the northerner say ai wannan ba addini bane (this one is not religious). I beg let me go home. They don’t want to endure.
We are very very talented but we don’t want to endure. So it is part of the problem. The reason a lot of people from the South East and South West are going far in football is because they persevere. They have perseverance. They struggle a lot, even if they don’t know how to play. They struggle until they will know how to play.
Let me give you an example of Taribo West. I played for Sharks of Port-Harcourt together with him. He didn’t know how to kick the ball. I mean the techniques. He was only physical and could mark very well. He didn’t have the basic skills. I was the one who built him. Every day, he would call me and say senior, how do you kick the ball?. How do you pass the ball?. Taribo West liked training a lot. He didn’t give up and in the end, he went very far. Players in the north are naturally talented but we don’t like training. There are other factors but I am just giving you the highlights.