Monday, January 18, 2010

Amodu is not the problem. Seriously...

It is tragic that, yet again, Nigerian football finds itself between the proverbial devil and the deep blue sea before the World Cup finals.

If Shaibu Amodu (with his current attitude) is kept on as the Super Chickens (sorry, Eagles) manager, they are damned and if Nigeria sack Amodu, they are also damned...

Sacking a coach with less than five months (and only one FIFA friendly match day) before the World Cup is suicide!

Nigeria's poor performance at the ongoing Nations Cup in Angola has, justifiably, infuriated those who expect and have the right to demand that the team plays a lot better.

Their 3-1 loss to Egypt (not necessarily the defeat in itself but the manner in which they lost) and the 1-0 penalty kick win over Benin have done nothing to assuage the frayed nerves of fans, after the emotionally rocky path to qualifying for South Africa 2010.

But Nigeria has been down this "dismissal and replacement" road twice - before France '98 and Korea/Japan 2002 and nothing good came out of this.

Having first hand knowledge of the intrigues surrounding the appointment of coaches before both tournaments, I can guarantee that, barring a miracle, nothing good will come out of doing the same now.

But keeping on a coach that lacks the requisite tools to change the work rate and attitude of the players (since he has, so far, refused to get a first-rate assistant with tactical acumen) is not acceptable either!

It is, well and truly, a royal mess which is entirely of the making of the clowns that run Nigerian football.

What the country is going through is the appropriate price to be paid for not appointing the right coach from the get-go in 2008, after the Nations Cup debacle of that year.

There were two windows, over the last year, within which to fire Amodu - after he had completed the first stage of WC qualifiers (before we started the final round of group matches) and, as brutal as it sounds, after the team had qualified for the World Cup.

The second window would have allowed the new coach to use the Nations Cup to have a proper feel of the team and devise a World Cup strategy.

The NFF refused to take either option and now they want to do, in conjunction with the Presidential Task Force, another "Bora" or "Onigbinde" on us all.

When will the passionate - but often unknowing - fans and watchers of Nigerian football learn that that the problems of the national team and the game in general go way beyond who is appointed as the Super Eagles manager and is really about the calibre of people that are in charge at NFF HQ?

Visionless NFF officials cannot make visionary coaching appointments or devise visionary strategies for the development of Nigerian football.

They appointed Herr Berti Vogts and subsequently appointed Amodu, even though NFF vice-president, Amanze Uchegbulam  (pictured above), publicly confessed that Amodu was not, by their own interview parameters, the best candidate for the job.

As the old Latin saying goes, "Nemo dat quod non habet"...

I wait for more developments in the comedic diary that is Nigerian football.


  1. This is a problem for our Nigeria not just in football but in leadership of the whole country these days with, as you put it 'clowns' running the show and making a complete mess of things. Football is just a reflection of that.

    So off Amodu goes and in comes Lagerback - I wonder what your take is on that appointment?


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