Former Nigeria international Etim Esin has urged the country’s top football officials to look towards one of the finest indigenous coaches in the land as a replacement for the German tactician.
The one-time Inwanyanwu Nationale’s attacking midfielder tipped former Barcelona and Sporting Lisbon winger Emmanuel Amuneke as the perfect fit for the role of the Super Eagles coach.
The current handler of Nigeria’s senior national football team, Gernot Rohr, has been involved in a long drawn contractual battle with the Nigeria Football Federation. And with his current deal expiring in less than six months, Rohr is still not certain if the NFF would offer him a new contract.
The football body had previously hinted that it would only offer the former Bordeaux manager new terms if he agrees to fresh conditions, one of which includes living in the country. It is not yet clear if Rohr would accede to such demands.
Esin, though, is not pleased that new terms are even on the table for Rohr when an experienced Nigerian hero is fully qualified.
Echoing the words of another former international, Chief Segun Odegbami, Esin is praying that Nigeria give Amuneke the chance to handle the Super Eagles just as Pep Guardiola was encouraged at Barcelona.
“I am 100% in support of what he (Chief Odegbami) is saying,” Esin told the Vanguard News.
“Look at someone like Emmanuel Amuneke. Was Guardiola not his teammate at Barcelona? Just give him the platform and don’t limit his ability, don’t try to cage him and give him a free hand.
However, the former Green Eagles star is certain that the controlling nature of the country’s football administrators won’t let them appoint someone like Amuneke.
“If Amuneke comes out, with his wealth of experience and knowledge of the game, he would not want anybody to dictate for him.
“Would you give him a free hand like you are giving Rohr? Will they want to select the team for him? No way! It should not be. You are the NFF chairman and I am the coach, you gave me a job, I select my team. If I don’t deliver, I quit. You shouldn’t have any business with my team.
“Until that aspect is corrected, we are still very far because of interests from interest groups.”
Amuneke, 49, guided the Golden Eaglets to glory at the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile and led Tanzania to the 2018 AFCON finals, the country’s first appearance at the continental showpiece in almost 40 years.