By Eddie Akalonu
Super Eagles new handler Lars Lagerback, may have earned the backing of two prominent players of the team,Â Emmanuel Amuneke and Henry Nwosu, (MON), both of whom said they have very high expectations of the Swede, hoping that he would usher in a fresh chapter to Nigeriaâ€™sÂ football.
Amuneke, a member ofÂ the 1994 Cup of Nations winning team who also contributed toÂ Nigeriaâ€™s first two World Cup appearances in 1994 and 1998, said on telephone that, â€œnow he is here, I do hope Lagerback would begin work to see that we have a good outing at the FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
Secondly, I also hope he would put into practice what I have always called for, that we should inject new blood into the team to move it away from the current state because that is the only way to bring about a result oriented national team that we all aspire for and which will set the tone to having a more functional team we used to have.â€
The former African Footballer of the Year advised the Swede to look beyond the World Cup whileÂ doing the job because, â€œNigeriaâ€™s football needs a lot of changes and if he would take things easy and inject ideas that could raise the level, then he would have taken the right path of coaching in Nigeria.â€
On his part Nwosu, who
spoke in Lagos said â€œthe Swede is welcome to our country, and from what I have read about him, he has the experience, having been at a previous World Cups, and he is somebody that is wellÂ respectable to me. Itâ€™s my sincere hope he settles down to the job soon, because the task at hand is quite enormous.
HeÂ re-echoed Amunekeâ€™s call that an enabling environment be provided for Lagerback to work so that free flow of ideas may thrive for football but veered away from setting an agenda, saying rather that what Lagerback needed to do has been provided in the contract he signed with the authorities.
The Swede had already given indication about his plans to raise a good squad for the World Cup, which is Nigeriaâ€™s immediate task.
â€œEvery coach of the Nigeria team must work very hard to get results. I am already working on a plan. I promise that I will do this job with my whole heart and with total commitment,â€ Lagerback was quoted to have said in Abuja moments after his appointment.