Former Super Eagles strikerÂ Emmanuel Amuneke has advised theÂ Super Eagles not to expect an easy ride during the 2010 World Cup billed for South Africa.
The former Barcelona FC striker said being in the same group with Argentina in the for the third time, (USA â€˜94, Korea/Japan 2002 andÂ South Africa 2010), the Eagles are bound for a tough fight. He said for any country to have struggled hard to be in Mandelaâ€™s country signifies that such country is strong.
â€œIt is a tough group no doubt, it is not going to be easy. Our experience with Argentina and Greece shows that they are good sides. The Koreans are equally a good side.
At least all these teams are battle ready. Saying it would be easy for the team is like asking for the impossible,â€ heÂ said.
â€œWe have to get ourselves ready for the games ahead. Indulging in one activity or the other in order to ensure that the players are in good shape for both competitions,Â especially for the Nationâ€™s Cup billed for Angola next January is key.
It’sÂ an avenue, an opportunity where we need to put things in its proper form .
â€œIf need be bring young players who are capable and hungry for honour, especially players who will be able to assist both in the midfied and in the attack. One thing is certain, after all the competitions what will become of the team without the fresh legs? There should be continuity in the game.
When asked if coach Shiabu Amodu should stillÂ lead the team to the Mundial, Amuneke said the he should be allowed to lead the team especially after qualifying the country for the second time .
He said it would beÂ unfair to kick him out, stressed that rather than putting himÂ behind, the NFF should attachÂ an assistant to him.
â€œI believe he has done very well to have qualified the country for the second time. Asking him to leave will not be fair. Bringing a foreign coach is not bad but going to the extreme will not be accepted. They should allow him to continue from where he stopped,â€ he concluded.
Concentrate on Nationâ€™s Cup, Toro tells NFF
Former scribe of theÂ Nigeria Football Association, Alhaji Sanni Ahmed Toro has urged the football house to concentrate more onÂ the forthcoming Nationâ€™s Cup billed forÂ Angola next year.
Toro believes rather than focussing on the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the NFF should focus more onÂ building aÂ team that can hold their heads high against any opponent.
He saidÂ maximum concentration on the Nationâ€™s Cup will go a long way toÂ prepare the teamÂ for the big matches at the World Cup.
â€œNow that we have known our group, I think the best thing to doÂ is to see how the team will do well in theÂ Â Nationâ€™s Cup in Angola. This is why the NFF shouldÂ make sure preparation for this competition should be given priority.
â€œFailing to plan is planning to fail. All hands need to be on deck.We should rather concentrate on the Nationâ€™s Cup as this will determine how well we will do at the World Cup. Once we do that, I assure you we will be successful at the end,â€ Toro said
Reacting to the World Cup draws held at the Cape Town International Conference Centre last Friday, he said though the group mightÂ lookÂ fair, there are no longer minnows in football.
â€œNo team should be underrated if weÂ want to succeed. Now that we will be meeting
Argentina for the third time,Â there is need for us to sit tight so that what happened in USA 94′ wonâ€™t repeat itself. That is why we need to focus more on the Nationâ€™s Cup.â€ he said.
It would be called in USA â€˜94, Nigeria was grouped with Argentina, Bulgaria, and Greece. The Super Eagles lost 1-2 to Argentina in theirÂ group game , but qualified for the second group after defeating Greeece 2-0.
Again in 2002 Korea/Japan, Nigeria was in Group F with Sweden, Argentina and England. Nigeria lost to Argentina 1-0, through aÂ strike from Gabriel Bastistuta .