"We must understand the NFF mission for Lagerback is to save the image of the brand ‘Super Eagles of Nigeria’ in the eyes of the world. It is not to develop football in Nigeria neither, is it to build a great team for the Super Eagles and to think of Nigeria winning World Cup 2010 is far too much a wishful thinking” -Benson Chukwueke
Lars Lagerback the Swedish football tactician came to rescue Nigeria football image. It did not take him much time to thrill the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) interview board that he is the messiah Nigeria football fans have been yearning for.
With over180 million Naira set aside for him in his five months contract as Nigeria Super Eagles Coach; it will not be unreasonable for Nigerians to expect too much from him.
Truly, there is a great expectation, but there are three things Lagerback would not achieve in Nigeria.
1. Lagerback would not be able to build the kind of team Nigerians are yearning for. He may not be able to build a team at all for the Super Eagles in less than five months. If he does, that would be the ninth wonder of the world.
2. He would not be able to develop Nigeria football in any way because he would not have the time with the World Cup 2010 assignment at hand. He would not be able to contribute by any measure to the local league or the grassroots football in Nigeria.
3. He would not be able to renew his contract because; he would not achieve the semi final target he set for himself. Secondly, NFF may not have the kind of money to keep him for another four years.
The trend analysis shows that he would be sacked or he would not even return to Nigeria after the World Cup. It happened so with Manfred Hoener, Bora Minthunovic, Bert Vogts etc. It will happen again.
So then, why on earth did Lagerback come to Nigeria? What can he achieve for Nigerian football?
The mission of Lagerback is to save the football image of Nigeria from the looming disgrace foreseen of the Shaibu Amodu tutored Super Eagles.
Super Eagles since 1994, has built a world pedigree as the phenomenal team capable of upsetting big teams and title contenders. So, a little upset of Argentina or Greece will be the high point. But a gallantry display with slim margin defeats before their ouster at the first round – will do.
A second round qualification will just be a miracle. But to think of semi final or winning the world cup is just wishing too much.
The Super Eagles brand is so dear to football fans and they are so eager to savor the flavor in South Africa 2010. The emotional value attached to Super Eagles is fanatical. Someone might just die if the Nigerian team is disgraced out of the world cup.
Therefore, NFF is willing to break the bank for a messiah. The one who will save Nigeria from the looming disgrace and the many heart attacks. Lagerback is the messiah NFF could get.
What Lagerback would achieve is: he would be able to discipline Super Eagles players to work and to be competitive ready for the world cup; then, he would make so much money than he has ever made in his entire life. What a JACKPOT!