By Philips Adefioye
The Nigeria FootballÂ Federation, NFF, has been urged to consider former Super Eagles captain and present chief coach of Mali, Stephen Keshi to tinker the team to the 2010 World Cup while Shaibu Amodu should be stepped up as the Team Manager instead of hiring a foreign coach.
Former Gombe State Football Association chairman, Alhaji Shuaibu Ahmed Gara-Gombe who made the call in an interview with Saturday Vanguard sports said that the time has come for Nigerian coaches to be given serious considerations in such matters.
â€œI believe this is the time our coaches should be considered. Amodu has qualified us for the World Cup twice, he should not be sacked but the best thing is for him to be promoted as the Eagles’ team manager while Stephen Keshi should be appointed as the chief coach.
It will be a welcome development, they have worked together before and they have mutual respect for themselves.
â€œThey (NFF) should allow Fatai Amoo and Daniel Amokachi to continue as assistant coaches. If that can be done, a new spirit will take over the players. The problem with our national team coachesÂ is that they donâ€™t like watching our local league, they prefer using the professionals in foreign leagues. What the coaches should do now is to divide themselves to watch our local league matches.
If our coaches have been watching Heartland of Owerri, finalist of the CAF Champions League, Kano Pillars, semi finalist in the same competition, Bayelsa United Football Club of Yenegoa, also semi finalist of the CAF Confederations Cup and even Enyimba of Aba well, they would haveÂ discovered players that will make the Europe-based players to sit up.
Gombe said friendly matches against South Africa and Algeria whichwere being planned for the Super Eagles would be used to assess them for the Nations Cup.
He hinted that playing the Black Mambas ofÂ Mozambique again in the same group at the Nations Cup will not be an easy task, as he opined that Benin Republic would like to revenge the 2008 defeat in Ghana while Egypt would like to confirm their supremacy over Nigeria.
â€œIâ€™m not saying that Nigeria will win the Nations Cup but will struggle to get to the semi final stage. Mozambique will not respect the Super Eagles again due to the slim margin victory in Abuja
We should try to inject some new players into the Eagles, like some of the Flying Eagles players to Egypt. Even some of the U-17 World Cup players; they are at their peak right now and need to be invited to the senior team before it is too late.
Look at Ghana that featured nine of their U-20 team players against Mali during the last World Cup qualifier, this is how to build young players to take over from the ageing ones.
The Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, and the technical crewÂ should start working together to build young players to take over from the ageing ones.