Former Super Eagles’ Attacker, Etim Esin has suggested that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) should invite Chelsea’s technical director, Mike Emenalo to contribute his quota to the development of the game in the country.
The former Lokeren of Belgium star believes that Emenalo has acquired the knowledge and respect that would compel Super Eagles’ players to listen to him, if he was invited to talk to them. He added that Nigeria needs all its best hands to develop its football.
The English Football Association recently announced on its official webpage that Emenalo, a 1994 World Cup star, was among the 25 candidates that recently graduated from the 18-month long course, which earned them the UEFA Pro Licence, the highest coaching certification in Europe.
“We’ve had lots of different success stories over the course of the 18 months including Gary, Neil and Michael Emenalo (Chelsea’s technical director) but also many others that haven’t finished with silverware,” Jamie Robinson, The FA’s head of professional game coach said.
Esin said it was wrong for Nigeria to neglect somebody of Emenalo’s qualities, adding that the fact that he is the technical director of a European club as big as Chelsea means there must be something fantastic about him.
“We cannot have such talents outside the country and still remain in the dark. I believe working with the NFF will not affect his job at Chelsea,” Esin said.
Esin blamed the Super Eagles’ 0-2 home loss to South Africa last week on players’ lack of commitment to national cause.He said the “Super Eagles can only be more committed if former internationals are given the right treatment. Some People might say that they have been winning matches before now, but the fact still remains that these players see what happened to the retired players and unconsciously do not want to die on the pitch for the country.
“This problem of commitment of players is one of the factors that contributed to the Eagles not qualifying for the last two editions of the AFCON. The NFF should understand that these players relate with their counterparts in other countries and hear the way they are taken care of. You cannot expect the players to give their best when they see former players being neglected by the NFF.”
To build a strong team, Esin advised Coach Gernot Rohr to emulate Super Eagles’ former manager, Clemens Westerhof, who laid the foundation of his team’s successes in the 1990s with mostly home-based players. He said because Westerhof’s unknown players wanted to make names for themselves they fought hard and made the national team very competitive.