Case for Amunike to take charge of Super Eagles as NFF shortlists three coaches

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Case for Amunike to take charge of Super Eagles as NFF shortlists three coaches
Case for Amunike to take charge of Super Eagles as NFF shortlists three coaches

Africa-Press – Nigeria. It is believed the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, have a final shortlist of three coaches, from which they will pick the next head coach of the Super Eagles.

They are: Emmanuel Amunike, Domenec Torrent and Antonio Conceicao.

“I think that, in the first place, it must have been a quite underwhelming set of applicants that these are the three best candidates,” Solace Chukwu, Site coordinator, AfrikFoot NG tells DAILY POST.

“Conceicao has the strongest merit but Amuneke has not managed anywhere in a few years and Torrent has extremely limited success and/or experience as either a head coach or in international football.”

Amunike is the only local coach on the shortlist. He excelled as coach of Nigeria’s U17 team, leading them to glory at the FIFA U17 World Cup.

He also led Tanzania to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations – their first in nearly 40 years.

However, Amunike’s record with Egypt’s Misr Lel Makkasa and Zambia’s Zanaco left much to be desired.

The 53-year-old coach also failed to help the Nigeria U20 team qualify for the AFCON in 2017.

Conceicao, 62, is no stranger to African football, having previously managed Cameroon.

He led the Indomitable Lions to a third-place finish at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations on home soil.

Since leaving the Cameroon position in 2022, Conceicao has been without a job.

Torrent is a former assistant to Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola,

The 61-year-old has worked closely with Guardiola throughout his coaching career, including stints at Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Manchester City.

Torrent has since transitioned into a head coach role himself. Apart from coaching Girona, he has managed in Major League Soccer (MLS) with New York City FC.

The Spaniard has also coached Brazilian Serie A club, Flamengo, and most recently led Turkish Super Lig side, Galatasaray.

It is believed that Torrent is a big favourite among NFF board members.

So, do those in the football house have an obsession with foreign coaches?

“That does seem to be the case. While some might attribute that to thinly veiled internalized prejudice against our own indigenous coaches, I think we also have to consider the fact that our indigenous coaches seldom do enough to test and prove themselves worthy.

“That, I feel, is the bigger issue. If a Nigerian coach went to, say, Morocco, South Africa or Egypt, and won league titles there, on what basis would anyone question their viability?

“Keshi qualified Togo for a World Cup and took charge of Mali as well. When he was appointed, even those who had a problem with his personality could not say he was unqualified for the role,” Chukwu explains.

So, why should the NFF go ahead and appoint Amunike instead of a foreigner?

“Well, it depends on who the foreign person is, really,” Chukwu notes.

“I’m personally not persuaded any foreigner is better than Amunike (or any indigenous coach for that matter).

“However, speaking objectively, there is no Nigerian candidate who applied that combines international experience, (a measure of) success, and (if ongoing/recent employment can be considered a proxy for that) currency of ideas.”

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