By ONYEWUCHI NWACHUKWU:
Dominic Iorfa, one of the men who run football in the country, has inadvertently made a tacit expose on the myriad of problems, which coaches go through while preparing the current generation of Super Eagles for crucial matches.
The Tiv-born board member of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), who is also the vice chairman of the Technical Committee of the federation, argued that these challenges form part of the hurdles the Swedish foreign manager, Lars Lagerback, must overcome if he hopes to go far in his new job.
The pacy striker in his playing days with BCC Lions of Gboko, told the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) in Bauchi last weekend, where his team, Lobi Stars, lost 1–0 to Wikki Tourists in a Globacom Premier League encounter that the unprofessional conduct of most Super Eagles’ players was so mind bugging that sometimes coaches grow premature grey hairs while trying to nip their excesses in the bud.
Among the issues he raised in the interview, the Lobi Stars’ vice chairman was particularly irked by the laissez-faire attitude of the national team players during major championship.
“The approach of the current set of Eagles to national team assignments is so appalling,” the former Eagles’ gangling forward began in the interview televised live at half time during the Premier League encounter in Bauchi.
“We, the administrators and the coaches have to talk and talk before the players will do anything at all. Even as professionals, some of them do not know what to do at the appropriate time. Some of them usually eat about two hours before a match, so how do you expect such players to perform up to their optimal capacities when they would be battling with indigestion while in the match.
“Some of them do not know when to go to bed and when to wake up. These are some of the problems coaches battle with to ensure that the team remains in shape for games.”
Iorfa revealed that lawlessness in the Super Eagles took its turn for the worst in the past few years.
“The situation was not like this some few years ago. We never had such problems because of the right attitude to work and professionalism on the part of players like Austin Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu and John Utaka. But today, it is a different ballgame, things have taken the worst dimension.”
In the light of all these, Iorfa believes that the task before Lagerback is quite onerous, but he was quick to express delight that the Swede had already shown early signs of a man, who is ready to face the challenges headlong.
“From the statements he made the day he was unveiled, Lagerback has already demonstrated that he’s a man who would want his work to speak for him, and we at the NFF are ready to give him the necessary backing for him to succeed,” Iorfa said.
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