By Kate Obodo
As global attention shifts to South Africa for theÂ 2010 FIFA World Cup, Nigerians are worried about the Super Eagles seeming poor preparation for the competition.
While other countries have been busy building and fine-tuning their teams with quality friendly matches, the Super Eagles only played their first friendly on Tuesday against lowly rated Saudi Arabia.
Former Super Eagles captain and coach, Christian Chukwu is one of those who are worried about this development and has expressed fear over the teamâ€™s ability to blend properly for the event. According to the ex Harambee Stars of Kenya coach, the Eagles build up to the World Cup is shaky and dose not evoke any form of confidence, especially when considered that they will be
taking on Argentina in their opening game on June 12.â€œI am afraid for our team. It is obvious they are not doing anything serious in terms of serious preparation for the World Cup. Saudi Arabia and Columbia are not teams we should use for build-up matches ahead of a great competitionÂ like the World Cup.
It is really sad. Preparation is poor with the limited time we have. It will not be sufficient for the team to execute the World Cup properlyâ€, he said.
Speaking from his base in Enugu, theÂ coach told Saturday Vanguard Sports thatÂ with the way things are going, we will need luck to leave South Africa without blemish and consequently called on Nigerians to support the coach and theÂ team.
â€œMy greatest fearÂ is that of the preparation which I thinkÂ is not okay especially with the fact that we have less than two weeks to go. At this point we can not turn our backs on Lagerback, so we have to give Lagerback full support andÂ keep our fingers crossed,â€ Chukwu said.
After taking on Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, Largerback will again take on Columbia tomorrow before Super Eagles June 6 appointment with Korea.
Chukwu, while describing the performance of the Eagles in the friendly match against Saudi Arabia as â€œpoor considering that Saudi Arabia are outsiders in footballâ€, said Nigerians should not write off the team yet.
â€œItâ€™s their first match (under Lars Lagerback) and perhaps Lagerback wanted to know what the players can do. The game itself looked more like a training than an international friendly. The pitch was bad and the absence of spectators made things worse,â€ he said after the Tuesday match.