After the miraculous accomplishment of the Super Eagles in gaining entry to their 16th African Nations Cup, being held in Angola, and a fourth World Cup, in South Africa, the giant of Africa is rising once again...Nigerians should be feeling much better, especially since all hopes, at one stage, seemed dashed. Shaibu Amodu must be on top of the world after shaming his critics, given the harsh Nigerian Football Federation administrative environment within which he operated. 12 matches; nine wins, three draws, and five goals conceded, those statistics seen by anyone would give the man with nine lives a thumbs up.
I believe in the saying that 'a labourer is worthy of his wages' and Nigerians should allow this labourer named Amodu Shaibu, hired by the Nigerian Football Federation to take his team to Angola 2010 in peace.
But with all sincerity; does Shaibu really want to take this present crop of Super Eagles to the competitions ahead? The problems during qualifying were simple; the attitude and tactics. Technical input and the behaviour of the staff and players showed during the qualifying series was a frustration for Nigerian football lovers.
The Super Eagles have a large group of well-known players based at clubs throughout Europe, from Russia in the east to Spain in the west. Competition for places in the squad is meant to be stiff but clearly during friendly matches Amodu continually played with the same names, same tactics and it hurts to see Nigerian players play without any flow.
The Super Eagles team has been a special team since the existence of NFA, now known as NFF, and with the wonderful performance of the 1994 World Cup squad, the bar was raised too high, and the Super Eagles coach, Amodu should know by now that Nigerians don’t just want an ordinary coach - be it a Nigerian or a foreigner.
Nigerians saw Amodu struggle and fumble between 1998 and 2001, and he was later sacked after the Super Eagles lost to Senegal in the Cup of Nations semi final in Mali. Another Nations Cup is here.
By now Amodu should understand how Nigerians want their darling Super Eagles to play. Teams outplaying the Super Eagles in all sectors of the field makes it uneasy for the passionate Nigerian supporters to keep faith thus leaving them realising that their coach has a poor knowledge of the game. Everybody is entitled to his or her opinion.
And I believe Amodu has his discretion on the formula he follows. I for one was shocked on August 12 2009,when Amodu announced their was no friendly match for the Super Eagles. A team that has not got a grip of the their playing style, it was obvious during this period that the defence was porous, midfield was coarse and the attack was virtually not existent.
Amodu has been offered another chance to prove to Nigerians that he is capable of turning our players into a Super Team who will instil fear in the minds of opponents. Amodu should go out of his way to pick a technical team capable of understanding his system, with players who are ready to die for their land on the football pitch.
I fear that if Amodu does not do well in Angola, the exit door will be too wide to accept his continuance with the side and that simply means he will not be the man to lead Nigeria to the World Cup, where I believe the Super Eagles can fight with Argentina, make knots out of Korea Republic, and gracefully send Greece packing.
Sincerely, I’d love to see Amodu do well, But whether he chooses to use the opportunity is left for the football lovers to see. All Nigeria are pleading for Amodu to take the Super Eagles of Nigeria to the form they used to be capable of. Up Super Eagles, Up Nigeria!
Chris Obukwelu, Goal.com