By Jacob Ajom
Two months to the 2010 World Cup, former Nigeria international and Atlanta â€˜96 gold medalist, Garba Lawal, has questioned the degree of patriotism and sense of commitment in the present crop of players in the national team and prayed that the new coach could reinvent that spirit in Eagles’ camp.
Speaking with Sports Vanguard in Kaduna, Lawal believes the present crop of Eagles are â€˜spoilt boysâ€™. â€œI do not know what they want to be remembered for. These days when people talk to me they always say in your days. I do not know whether this set of players want to be referred to like that.
Continuing, Lawal said â€œin our days you used to hear about unpaid bonuses and return tickets. Yet when we go in we always play to win matches. We were committed and more patriotic. We achieved results. But today, the case is different. Right now, the Nigeria Football Association even announces match bonuses before matches are played. We even heard of a match that bonuses were paid before a ball was kicked yet results come far and in between. Now the NFA can hold them to ransome because money is no longer the problem.
Speaking on Lagerback, Lawal said the Swede had an uphill task before him but agreed that the coach was condemned to succeed. â€œHe has a very short time to work before the World Cup but the players are there for him to pick from.
It will be difficult for him to build a new team. May be he will introduce a few new faces but it cannot be the entire team. Talking of semi- final ticket?Â let him go and do the magicâ€.