After Le Guen, What Next For Super Eagles? | Independent Newspapers Limited
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After Le Guen, What Next For Super Eagles?

Le Guen
Posted: Jul 23, 2016 at 3:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Chibuike Chukwu

Lagos – Frenchman Paul Le Guen shocked Nigerians on Tuesday with his refusal to accept the Super Eagles coaching job thrown at him by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
French journalist, Herve Penot, who writes for L’Equipe, broke the news via his twitter handle, saying: “Paul Le Guen will not go to Nigeria. Conditions not met to be coach. Nothing to do with the selection today (on Monday when NFF Technical Committee selected him).”
The two points of disagreement were that, Le Guen wanted to operate from France, while the NFF wants him to reside in Nigeria. He would also not accept the mandate to qualify the team for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
But Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande, Chairman of the NFF Media and Publicity Committee, in his attempt at dousing the anger dismissed the insinuation that Le Guen rejected the Eagles job, saying that he was not offered in the first place.
“In truth, the Technical and Development Committee perused the profiles of all the coaches who submitted applications and find Mr. Paul Le Guen suitable for the post. But during final negotiations, he objected to being given a target and also did not wish to live in Nigeria, which was a sore point with the Board.”
Following Le Guen’s rejection of the job, what becomes of the national team given that this is coming barely three months before the 2018 World Cup qualifying tournament kicks off?
Amaju Pinnick, the NFF President, responding to the issue on Tuesday, promised to get Nigerians a new coach as soon as possible.
“We only gave Le Guen an offer which he turned down,” said Pinnick, adding, “We will get a new coach. We have somebody in mind.”
The board of the NFF, which met on Wednesday, mandated the technical committee to within seven days recommend another coach to the board, after they must have concluded all agreements.
Chris Eseka, a FIFA accredited players’ agent, said that the development was a blessing in disguise, saying that the coach would have failed because he does not know anything about the mentality of Nigerian players.
Eseka further said that a coach needs a minimum of 18 months to study players he wants to manage.
“Why employ a coach, who doesn’t know the mentality of your players. He will need a minimum of 18 months to study your players and understand their mentality. Whatever pattern you have in your head as a coach, you need to know the players that will fit into your pattern.
“The mentality of Nigerian players is different from European players, even other African players, so for a new coach to come, he will need about two years to study them and how to relate with them.”
He, consequently, recommended for the engagement of Clemence Westerhof, Bonfrere Jo or Samson Siasia for the job.
“I will recommend Westerhof who has showed interest in coaching the team, Bonfere Jo, who have equally showed interest. However, if they don’t want to go for these coaches, I think Siasia is their best option in this circumstance.”
Adegboye Onigbinde and Henry Nwosu, former coach and player of the team respectively, advised the NFF to intensify effort in finding a substantive coach for the national team, warning that their actions were inimical to Nigeria’s World Cup qualification and also ridicule the nation before her opponents.
“The problem is that they (NFF) are toying with Nigeria’s World Cup qualification with this delay in naming a coach for the national team. I have been in the system and I know how it works; let nobody deceive you that we have the luxury of time (before World Cup qualifiesr),” Onigbinde said.
On his own, Nwosu, said: this is not a good thing to happen to the national team. We are just being ridiculed through this and I will only advise the NFF to quickly name a coach otherwise we may just dream the next World Cup.”