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Keshi: Early exit or long joyous ride?

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As a player, Stephen Keshi earned his reputation as a tough defender. He was also a great organiser of teammates off and on the pitch.

He played in five editions of the Nations Cup and won in 1994. With 64 appearances for Nigeria and nine goals to his credit Keshi no doubt deserves all the respect.

But he has not been able to translate all that personal appeal to his coaching career even as he carved a niche for himself as the first-ever African coach to qualify Togo for the world cup.

His coaching stints at the Nations Cup are nothing to write home about having failed with Togo at the 2006 edition and was denied the opportunity of leading the Hawks to the World Cup in Germany that year.

Two years later he was back again at the continental soccer show piece with Mali, it also ended in a first round exit and he was shoved over the cliff by the Malians
South Africa 2013, is his third adventure and most Nigerians are cautiously optimistic about his chances.

Keshi needs to do well in South Africa as a good outing, will only cement the good work he did with Eagles, when he took over from Samson Siasia.  Keshi earlier in the month criticised the role of foreign coaches in Africa.

In SA 2013 he has to prove his point by at least placing third in the tournament.

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