Friday, April 11, 2008

Can Amodu Steer Nigeria to the Top?

This is a pretty interesting story, so I'm going with it: More fallout from Nigeria's re-hiring of Shaibu Amodu as national team coach.

Today, former Nigeria captain Sunday Oliseh expressed his doubts about whether the appointment of Shaibu Amodu can bring success back to the Super Eagles.

"Amodu coached when I was captain, he has a good heart, but he'll need help because the organization is in a very bad way," Oliseh told BBC Sport.

Oliseh said the Nigerian Football Association (NFA) were 'amateur' in the way they organized the national side.

"Even Jose Mourinho would have a tough job on his hands," Oliseh added.

(MY POV: Didn't former coach Bertie Vogts say the same thing a while back?)

Oliseh, a former Juventus midfielder, had been one of the favorites to take over the job following the end of Berti Vogts' tenure.

But the 33-year-old said he could not have worked with the current situation.

"Both myself and Keshi were asking to have control over team selection, training location, friendly organization, but it was obvious this would not have been possible. I told the NFA what needed to change but sometimes it is better to stay away when things are so bad."

"To apply for the job we had to complete a written test - I just had to laugh. Our players are professional but the NFA have a long way to go even to be considered amateur," Oliseh added.

(MY POV: Harsh Statements indeed. You wonder why Amodu would have come back if the situation is truly like this.)

Oliseh also hit out at how long it took the NFA to decide who would be the new coach.

"The coach should have been appointed two months ago so he could prepare for the World Cup qualifiers. Amodu has good tactical knowledge but he has to qualify for the 2010 World Cup - if Nigeria are not there it will be a disaster, the beginning of the end," Oliseh added.

(MY POV: I think Amodu has enough time to steer this team into the 2010 finals. The base is already there ...)

"The other point to bear in mind is that Amodu has no connections in Europe - and all of our big players are based there, so it will be an uphill task." (MY POV: That's an unfair criticism in my opinion. He has a connection - the current Nigerian players!)

Oliseh is not the only former player to hit out at the appointment of Amodu as former Wimbeldon striker Efan Ekoku also criticized the move.

"Finances are always going to play a part and when there are not even the right things provided for the players it will make it difficult to hire the right person. Whether Amodu is the right person to take Nigeria forward, I doubt that very much," Ekoku said.

Let's give the guy some time, eh? How about some support for your fellow Nigerian??


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