Nigeria coach Keshi has Ethiopia game to save his Job

Nigeria coach Keshi has Ethiopia game to save his
Stephen Keshi is on the brink as the fallout from
NigeriaÔÇÖs faltering start at the 2013 Africa Cup of
Nations continues.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) made it clear
on Monday that it does not expect anything less
than an outright win when the Super Eagles
confront Ethiopia in their final Group C match.
Apparently the federation hierarchy are already
panicking about an early exit.
Two draws in as many matches have now rendered
Tuesday’s encounter a must-win for Nigeria, and
the NFF said there is no excuse for the players and
technical crew to fail.
Top official Emeka Inyama, said: “This team has
received tremendous support from the
government, the football federation and the good
and great people of our country.
“There is nothing the players or the head coach and
his crew have requested for that we have failed to
“After qualifying for this championship, the team
has played a number of friendly matches and
everything that is needed to spur players and
officials on have been provided for them.
“All that is left now is for the team to go all out and
show high level of commitment and patriotic
fervour in getting the job done.
“Before the kick-off of the championship and
despite limited financial muscle, the NFF ensured
payment of the salaries of all members of the
technical crew till the end of January.”
NFF board member Chris Green admitted that
there is no excuse for the team not to beat Ethiopia
“There is no reason whatsoever for the team to fail.
The NFF has done its own part, done virtually
everything required of the Federation to prepare a
team for a competition and motivate that team.
“The draws against Burkina Faso and Zambia were
uncalled for, but those matches are behind us and
we have a huge opportunity to put things right
against the Ethiopians,” he said.
This game and tournament look set to decide
whether the NFF bring the axe down on Keshi or
keep faith for a little longer.
A fresh player fall-out, this time with captain
Joseph Yobo following the captain’s revelation that
he was fit for the Zambia game.
And another run-in with Brown Ideye, Nosa Igiebor
and Victor Moses’ quest to play in attack won’t help
Keshi and will cause more concern that he is losing
his grip on things in the dressing room.
Interestingly, Keshi was quick to play down all
these speculations. “We are not distracted but
ready for this big game against Ethiopia.” he said.
The former Nigeria captain is understood to have
been told to focus on team selection and tactics
and leave the speculations over his future to the
NFF board.
While there are concerns among some officials that
Yobo is unhappy with reports he has not fully
recovered from an ankle injury, the NFF expect the
captain to start against Ethiopia.
However, Keshi has bigger and more immediate
problems. A source said: “The truth is Yobo is fit
and was ready before the Zambia game. The coach
left it late to explain he won’t be facing Zambia.
“The captain was happy that the young players
were given a chance but unhappy with contrary
report over his fitness. There are fears he might
quit the tournament and return to Turkey.
“Another headache is that Ahmed Musa, Brown
Ideye and Victor Moses all want to play in attack.
“Forget what they tell you, Emenike is also
frustrated upfront alone, to think no one is even
saying anything about Ike Uche who has been very
quiet but frustrated.
“They must beat Ethiopia otherwise the coach has
nothing more to do with the Super Eagles.”
What Nigeria will do if they decide to pull the
trigger is unclear.
African World Cup qualifying resumes in March
with troubled Super Eagles at home to Kenya. This
is like d├®j├á vu all over again.
While many experts blame the NFF’s poor
management practices for the revolving door of
coaches, others point to lack of talents and
dedicated players.
The high turnover of national team coaches means
the Super Eagles lack the managerial stability
needed to effect a long-term plan for success.
Nigeria’s revolving door of coaches
Jo Bonfrere (1999ÔÇô2001)
Shaibu Amodu (2001ÔÇô2002)
Festus Onigbinde (2002)
Christian Chukwu (2002ÔÇô2005)
Augustine Eguavoen (2005ÔÇô2007)
Berti Vogts (2007ÔÇô2008)
James Peters (2008)
Shaibu Amodu (2008ÔÇô2010)
Lars Lagerbäck (2010)
Augustine Eguavoen (2010)
Samson Siasia (2010ÔÇô2011)
Stephen Keshi (2011ÔÇô)