After series of postponement, the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF last week finallyÂ named ex-international, Samson Siasia as coach of the Super Eagles, coming toÂ succeed coach Lars Lagerback.
Swede soccer tactician, Lagerback didnâ€™t return to the country after leading theÂ Eagles to South Africa 2010 World Cup, prompting the NFF to settle for the formerÂ Nantes F.C of France forward.
Other things being equal the former Flying Eagles coach would sign the dotted linesÂ today but above that, he has a big task ahead if he must take the senior nationalÂ team to their rightful position in international football.
The task may be insurmountable but with the full support of the Glass House, soundÂ technical team, a conducive environment and the right approach he could achieveÂ something substantial.
The Beijing 2008 silver winning coach would be an observer when the Eagles take onÂ Iran in an international friendly match in Tehran next Wednesday. After the tie,Â Siasia is expected to work out the modalities to fortify the team ahead ofÂ subsequent matches.
With the Eaglesâ€™ second position behind Guinea on the 2012 African Cup of NationsÂ qualifying table, Siasia is expected to turn the table against their opponents toÂ ensure that Nigeriaâ€™s flag is hoisted at the competition.
For Nigeria to qualify for the Nations Cup, Siasia should take some risk, probablyÂ by doing away with some spent forces, who had hitherto dominated the team for tooÂ long.
The soccer loving Nigerians, who yearned for him to be named as coach of the teamÂ wants him to ring some changes in the team but they opined that, before he showsÂ them the way-out he must provide replacements for them.
Among those, who reacted on the issue is Siasiaâ€™s teammate in the national team,Â Peter Rufai, popularly known as â€˜Dodo Mayena.â€™ He said the Heartland F.C of OwerriÂ soccer tactician should not see his appointment as a personal thing but a call toÂ national service.
According to him; â€œthis is a big challenge to all of us to rally round him andÂ ensure he succeeds. Local coaches must prove that they have come of age. It is aÂ collective thing and we must support him, Siasia should not see his appointment asÂ his own making, he must reach-out to other indigenous coaches, ex-internationals andÂ elders in the profession to advise him.â€
Victor Ikpeba, another ofÂ teammate of Siasia in the Eagles and a member of theÂ Technical Committee, that screened Siasia and Stephen Keshi, wished the new coachÂ well in his endeavors. But Ikpeba advocated for a vibrant Technical Department thatÂ can go out to scout for talented Nigerian footballers.
Ikpeba, nicknamed; â€˜Prince Of Monacoâ€™Â during his active days is of the opinion thatÂ Siasia cannot be everywhere at the same time, hence the need for vibrant scoutingÂ team to discover good Nigerian players wherever they are.
â€œSiasia was named as coach of the Eagles because of his track records, but the jobÂ is not his alone. Everyone must work with him, the technical department must be upÂ and doing because he canâ€™t be able to spot good footballers alone, so we must workÂ with him.â€
Meanwhile, Siasiaâ€™s long term friend and assistant, Simon Kalika says the crew haveÂ their eyes set on the semi-final at the Brazil 2014 World Cup.
In his words â€œSiasia has a great plan, in his mind, the Eagles must surpass whatÂ they have achieved so far.
â€œNigeria must play in the final of the 2012 African Cup of Nations and must play inÂ the semi-final of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, thatâ€™s the target that we areÂ looking at.â€