Sensing discomfiture in ties between the GlassHouse and Eagles’ coach Stephen Keshi over the appointment of an expatriate
Technical Director,Former Abia state governor Dr.Orji Uzor Kalu Wednesday pleaded with the Football Federation to give the Nigerian a breather.
Kalu advised that perhaps Keshi should adopt Dutchman Clemens Westerhof’s survival
strategy to realise the objective of rebuilding the senior national team.
He said,”The NFF may appear to mean well,but you cannot have two captains on a ship.If we really want to re-enact the Westerhof Golden Years of Nigerian soccer ,then Keshi must be given a free hand to run this show.Westerhof succeeded because he was not a ‘primus inter pares’[First among equals],he was de facto Manager.”
On the country’s free fall in FIFA Rankings,the former governor explained that such classification was just for record purposes arguing that the best on the World list could lose to rank outsiders in a World Cup match.
“It is too early to start judging performance.Yes ,Eagles have fallen to No.60.That is not the end.What was Cameroun’s position when with nine men,the Lions devoured defending champions Diego Maradona’s Argentina at Italia ’90?Senegal did the same to France in 2002.It is more honourable to fumble in friendlies and win in competitions.It takes time to rebuild,football is highly technical,”,he added.
Kalu would later punch a joker when he implied that Keshi could as well read Westerhof’s Green Book that made him a die hard strategist in the murky pool of officialdom.
“I remember the story of the Netherlander finding his way to Adm.Augustus Aikhomu’s office while some top sports officials waited at the reception.I know President Goodluck Jonathan has officially descended on God fatherism,but when it comes to the round leather game, Nigerians may gladly sing Niccolo Machiavelli’s dictum ‘the end justifies the means’.Fans do not need any more heartbreak”,Kalu summed up.