…..SUPER EAGLES COACHING JOB
African football specialist ‘Tunde Adelakun has sounded a note of warning to the leadership of Nigerian football on the issue of the vacant coaching job for the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
In a release, Adelakun, Director of the CAF African Football Hall of Fame, said Nigeria should "beware of the curse of big names”. He said that many big names are being touted as being interested in the job, or on the radar of NFF bigwigs to be sounded out for the top job.
“This job is not a job for big names. Ruud Gullit, Lothar Mattaus, Jose Pinto, Toppmoler, Jens Keller, Jean Tigana are all exciting names that we would want to see on the Super Eagles bench, but which one of these guys can actually deliver what we want?, he pondered.
Adelakun, also an international relations consultant of the NFF said that history has proved that not a single one of the big names that have come into Africa have actually made a mark so far.
“I have watched Africa over the years - been on the circuit of African football for close to 20 years and I have not seen ONE so-called big name who had come to Africa and done well. Not a single one’ Adelakun emphasised.
The Publisher of New African Soccer went further to give names “Sven Eriksson was employed by Ivory Coast, Carlos Alberto Perreira by South Africa, we had tried our hands with Berti Vogts and Lars Lagerback, Tunisia with Roger Lemerre, Morocco and Ivory Coast tried Henri Michel; the list is endless. But what did they all do?” he asked.
“What Nigeria needs right now is someone who knows Africa; someone who can identify with the thoughts and mentality of African players. Not a coach who will come in and still ask people about who the best players are and how to contact them. I have seen it happen before and it was not good.
“The new Super Eagles coach must be prepared to build his own team, like Mourinho built his team at Chelsea and is getting results; like Westerhoff built his team and won the AFCON for Nigeria in 1994. Even to a large extent, like Keshi built a team in 2012/2013 before it all fell apart”.
Adelakun spoke about his belief in the leadership of the NFF in making the right decision.
“They are wise young men who have travelled far and wide. I am sure that they will do what is best for the nation. Whoever is employed, we have to support him, but we really need to build Nigeria for the long term, and only a coach that would be proactive in doing that; who will live in Nigeria and fearlessly travel all over the country to discover talent in our leagues can achieve that”, he concluded.