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Foreign coach: Nigeria goes for another goose chase

Tony Ubani
AS the rest of the world map out strategies for the World Cup after going through the tough qualifiers, Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, are still groping over the choice of Coach that would lead the Eagles to Mandela’s Rainbow nation after they scraped through the skin of the teeth. Coach Amodu Shuaibu who guided the Eagles to their second world cup qualification was said to have divided the NFF over his continued stay .

A very reliable source in the NFF said that it appeared that some members have been compromised as those who were at the vanguard of ‘Amodu must go’ are the ones singing different tunes. “We all know how we qualified for the World Cup.

Guus and Robert
Guus and Robert

Besides the extra efforts, our hearts were in our mouths throughout the qualifying series. And we finally made through the grace of God. It is surprising that those who were championing that Amodu must go are the ones championing that he must stay.

They are advancing reasons that he did not lose any match and we cannot change a winning coach. It is heartbreaking. Indeed Amodu did not lose matches but he gave us heart attacks. The Eagles were ridiculed and we qualified by the fact that Mozambique beat Tunisia and…”, the member stammered as he voiced out his anger. Sports Vanguard learnt that the heavyweights of NFF have given their green lights for Amodu thereby making it difficult for the lesser members to have their say knowing that it would not have any effects.

Before the tacit approval to let Amodu carry the cross of the Eagles to Luanda for the African Cup of Nations, names of heavyweight coaches have been dropped as likely candidates to tinker the Eagles to South Africa.

Roberto Mancini, Guus Hiddink, Mart Nooij, Stephen Keshi, Samson Siasia and Clemens Westerhof. Very good coaches by all standards but in reality, do we have the wherewithal to hire the coaches?

Just as rumours are linking Roberto Mancini to the Eagles, the Italian is also being linked with Russian job as well as a plethora of other high-flying clubs like Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Manchester City. The former Inter coach has expressed that Russia would be an apple choice as well as going back to Nerazzurri . But no mention was made about Nigeria.

Guus Hiddink like Bora Militinovich  has had a cocktail of national teams in the World Cup and once Russia failed to qualify, the searchlight of serious contenders has been on him. Argentina for one have made a move which the Dutch said was not a bad one to work with the volatile Diego Maradona. Hiddink who also had a successful spell at the Stamford Bridge with Chelsea is also being tempted to re-join the Blues. But the problem  is that his contract with Russia would still be on during the World Cup.

The man who enjoyed success with Holland, South Korea and Australia at the last three World Cups, however, did not mention the name of Nigeria as one his possible suitors.

The 63-year-old said: “I love my job and I like working at the highest level. But right now I don’t feel too good. The knockout from the World Cup has affected me. At a moment like this I wonder if I actually want to carry on coaching.
“I have the energy for it, but age and experience play a part in all this.

I want to take my time and I won’t make a decision before the end of January.” Mart Nooij, the man who helped Nigeria beat Tunisia to make their world cup dream a reality is also touted to be in the race for the Eagles. Clemens Westerhof, Samson Siasia and Mali Coach, Stephen Keshi have all been   mentioned.  But at the end, it would turn out to be motion without movement.


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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.