BY MIKE NDIDI, ABUJA
Former England boss, Glenn Hoddle says he is willing and very much available to not only tinker the Super Eagles to this summer’s FIFA World Cup in South Africa but also beyond.
Hoddle,touted as one of the most successful English-born coaches that has ever tutored the Three Lions flew into England at the weekend from the South of Spain where he now runs an academy designed to give young players who have been released by clubs in England a new chance to make a career in the professional game to meet officials of both the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) led by its president,Sani Lulu and Director General of the National Sports Commission,Patrick Ekeji.
Complete Sports gathered from a top NFF board member who is a former Eagles star present at the meeting that Hoddle crept into the picture after the NFF and NSC officials had finished their discussions with the trio of Sweden’s Lars Lagerback,Ratomir Dujkovic and former Senegal coach,Bruno Metsu.
‘Hoddle came into the picture after we have finished our discussions with three of the shortlisted coaches who came for the pre-interview chat in London.Former Bayer Leverkussen boss,Klaus Toppmoeller was also in England but we didn’t really interview him.We only told him to stay on standby since we didn’t shortlist him’,revealed the former Nigeria star.
Complete Sports further gathered that Hoddle came into the picture by happenstance but our source bluntly refused to reveal how the former England coach came into the picture.
‘I won’t tell you that.All I can say is that he came into the picture after we had talked to the three men we invited.He (Hoddle) was promptly contacted from his base in Spain and he flew into England to have discussions with us.He sounded very interested in the job and even told us he was ready to go beyond the 2010 World Cup if we want him.He even offered to come to Abuja for the interview on Thursday and from the look of things looks the best candidate for the job especially now that Egypt have told us a BIG NO for Hassan Shehata’,he further said.
Our impeccable source denied any knowledge of former Italy Boss,Arrigo Sacchi coming into the fray.
‘I am not aware of this.His name was never mentioned at the meeting.You know a lot of people have been dropping names.I read in your paper that former Cameroun boss,Winfried Schafer said he has been contacted by NFF officials.That is not true.I as amember of the NFF board would have known this’,he said.
Hoddle took the England to the finals in France in 1998, when they went out in the dramatic penalty shoot-out against Argentina in a match made famous by David Beckham’s red card and Michael Owen’s sensational solo goal.
England lost only five of the 28 matches played under his command.
But he was forced to quit in January 1999 when he made his now infamous comments about the disabled. He returned to club management with Southampton and then Tottenham.
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