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Only Amodu Going…

By Ikeddy Isiguzo|
IT was inevitable that they had to sack Shuaibu Amodu. After the performance of the Eagles in Angola, the Nigeria Football Association, NFA, had to be seen as having done something to show its displeasure with the result.

There was nothing that could have had more impact, the NFA thought, than sacking Amodu, seen mostly as the cause of the problems of Nigerian football.

We would not easily forget that the same NFA employed Amodu with fanfare, and has spent the better part of the past year defending its choice. All those who expressed their disappointment at the choice of Amodu were told they were not patriotic.

There were headlines like the NFA swimming and sinking with Amodu, and that there were no vacancies for the position that Amodu held. All the controversies that trailed the appointment of Amodu met the stiffest defences from all sides.

So what went wrong? Was the result from Angola worse than the expectation? Critics of the bronze in Angola are not being sincere with themselves. Most of them had expected Amodu would repeat the 2010 Berti Vogt debacle.

I had thought that since things had got to sacking Amodu those who proudly appointed him, and glowingly spoke of the support they were giving him to work, would have gladly queued behind him to be sacked. They have all disappeared.

There was the story that the football association would be glad if Amodu got a semi-final ticket in Angola, in other words, he would have performed to the expectation of those who appointed that. In a way he exceeded that mark  a bronze medal is slightly higher than a semi-final slot.

Amodu had to go to save some people’s faces, especially with the intense battle for the next board of the NFA. Amodu also had to go to create room for the lucrative droppings from signing a foreign coach (more like another coach) which professionals would handle. I heard Amodu was sacked because there is a general agreement that his technical know how unbuckled in Angola.

Some have said he was good for the World Cup qualifiers, but not the main event. Someone had to go. I mentioned it last week that had Amodu won the Nations Cup, we would have still found good reasons for not allowing him to lead the World Cup charge in South Africa.

I have heard some rate Amodu poorly for not getting off the bench enough to talk to players. When it is not your space there is little you can do to keep it.

Consortium Of Coaches
WE have a good problem in our hands. The experts have opened their files and the names are popping up again. It is an occasional ritual associated with the hiring of coaches. The love for short cuts is showing again. We are hiring coaches based on their results, without adequate knowledge of the one we are hiring, and if he can work in Nigeria.

The Egyptian Hassan Shehata, probably the best African coach ever, sounds great. He has done an incredible job with the Pharaohs. He is taciturn, but effective. He did not win a World Cup ticket, but his tactics remains the most troublesome for most African teams that encounter Egypt.

His name thrown into the list would ordinarily suggest seriousness, but does it? How is he supposed to work with our players? Does our team have the discipline and youth of the Egyptian team? Can our players still be motivated? Would they respect an African coach?

If we tackle the issues with coaching without dealing with surrounding factors like the character (quality) of players, deficiencies of the NFA board and secretariat not even a consortium of the best coaches would save our faces at the World Cup.

Shehata would be he extention of the experiment on the future of the Eagles. He has already indicated that it would be a short contract to enable him return to Egypt where he has a long commitment to his national team.

Your Mail
AMODU is a bad coach, but he is the luckiest coach Nigeria has ever had. Did you notice how we topped our group during the World Cup qualifiers? The team struggles against minnows like Sierra Leone and then luckily scores a goal and wins. This was typical all through.

Our Nations Cup match against Zambia was also a lucky one. But against Ghana the luck aspect did not work. A Ghana team without Essien, Sully Muntari and Appia beat Nigeria. We lost to Ghana’s second team, the under 21 team.

Amodu should have been sacked after that. The shame heaped on us. Even if Nigeria won the Nations Cup in Angola, Amodu should not take the team to South Africa.

In the World Cup you need much more than luck. You need to have good players, skills, good selection, good tactics, stamina and determination all at once to win matches and progress.
Emmanuel Ilozulu emmaclosman@yahoo.com

We do not seem to understand that other countries are moving ahead. Amodu is gone, what would that improve? After the World Cup, what would happen to our football? We have chosen again to go for the short-term and the implications are vast.

Please email comments, condemnations, or commendations to ikeddyisiguzo@hotmail.com


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