By Tony Ubani
THE calls came in torrents! Not even when the Eagles were leading did Nigerians have faith that they would maintain the lead. At a stage, Onochie Anibeze, our Group Sports Editor told me to put off my cell phone to allow them concentrate on the match. But Nigerians did not give me a breather.

A fan sent me an sms when the ‘rejected stone’, Chinedu Ogbuike Obasi fired Nigeria into the lead. “Tony, we have touched the Tiger’s tail. The Egyptians are going to swallow us”. anised their game and piled pressure on the “Dollard Eagles”. It was a counter-attack, like Onochie Anibeze predicted in his write-up on ‘How the Eagles will play’ that exposed the weakness of the Eagles.

Editorial Board Chairman of Vanguard, Ikeddy Isiguzo, a guru in sports warned that we should not be carried away by the early lead of the Eagles. “Hassan Shehata, coach of Egypt will come up with a better strategy based on his reading of the match”.

And true to prediction, the heavily moustached Egyptian stood up and gave instructions to his Pharaoh’s Army. Saturday Vanguard Editor, Eze Anaba known for his love of relegated Newcastle called and said; “Get rid of Amodu now”. He was so livid and said that Nigeria had no business of losing to Egypt. “We have the players but it’s crystal clear that Amodu does not have what it takes to lead the Eagles”.

Barrister Dudu Orumen was sarcastic when he spoke. “If we don’t cross the group stage, Nigerians will wake up from their slumber. They labeled us unpatriotic when we said that Amodu does not have what it takes to coach the Eagles. If Mozambique beat us, everybody will rest”.

Ex-international, Charles Bassey(MON) called and disagreed with Amodu for substituting Mikel Obi who many believed was anonymous in the match. He said “the Eagles are not organised”. When my phone buzzed again, it was Sunday Editor, Dapo Olufade, an encyclopedia of Nigerian football.

“Amodu is the best thing to happen to Nigerian football. I’m ashamed. It is better to enjoy my Guinness stout than to worry about the Eagles”, he said reaching for the bottle for solace. Nkem Osu was angry when he called. “Let Amodu go from Angola.

Let Stephen Keshi be brought back to take the Eagles to South Africa for the World Cup. The NFF President, Sani Lulu and Scribe Ojo-Oba should also join Amodu in exile. Let them bring Sani Toro to sanitize Nigerian football”, Osu a veteran Journalist said. “Sack Amodu, save Nigeria.

Super Eagles are a fallen idol. Benin Republic will help to bury Nigeria.Amodu is a disaster if he cannot manage those skillful players”, one of the fans wrote in an sms from his 08066300409. The Eagles stand out as the only team that offered to pay their players $30,000 dollars as winning bonus(courtesy of NFF and PTF).

Malawi team that caused a major upset by beating Algeria 3-0 did not get $500 as bonus for their feat. The Burkina Faso team that held almighty Ivorian team to a goalless draw did not get any bonus as the players said that they were fired up by patrotism to give their best. How do we know if the Nigeria football federation did not pay the Eagles their winning bonus ahead of the match? It is a matter of too much money!.

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The truth is that what is wrong with Nigeria is hard to diagnose correctly. Poor match bonus is never the issue (and it may even be a serious issue if we have a fat bonus, all forms of funny old names begin to reappear). We don't seem to be patriotic: we are complacent in loss and lackadaisical in victory. I have never seen such a thing any where in the whole world. After 1994 Eagles, we hardly had any Super Eagles that did not need a 'mad' Shrink; I often think we need a very mad psychologist to enter the team, but all we get are bad qualities whose salaries are shared 30/70 in favor of the big boss in the G-house. How can we move forward when all the rumors are about coaches whose salaries are shared disproportionately to please the G-house overlords. Are we sure Amodu has received June 2009 salary? Christian Chukwu is still owed for his exertions in 2006 (unless of course they paid last week). I think the most fruitful adjustment should start from the Glass House.
So help us God!
Kennedy Afurobi said:
The truth is that what is wrong with Nigeria is hard to diagnose correctly. Poor match bonus is never the issue (and it may even be a serious issue if we have a fat bonus, all forms of funny old names begin to reappear). We don't seem to be patriotic: we are complacent in loss and lackadaisical in victory. I have never seen such a thing any where in the whole world. After 1994 Eagles, we hardly had any Super Eagles that did not need a 'mad' Shrink; I often think we need a very mad psychologist to enter the team, but all we get are witch doctors whose salaries are shared 30/70 in favor of the big boss in the G-house. How can we move forward when all the rumors are about coaches whose salaries are shared disproportionately to please the G-house overlords. Are we sure Amodu has received his June 2009 salary? Christian Chukwu is still owed for his exertions in 2006 (unless of course they paid last week). I think the most fruitful adjustment should start from the Glass House.
So help us God!
As for me, am bnot surprised at all, the eagle of today are dollarrsed eagle, Amodu is on the pay roll of some of the regular he uses,so he cannot dictate to them rather the team will dictate to him. This is a known fact, Amoduhas nothing to offer us when it comes to the super eagle, let someone else take us to the world cup or else we should prepare for more heart attack as a result of eagle poor performance. We should expect more defeat from our opponets.
Even if we talk for years nigerians attitute remain the same; when the househood is corrupt what do you expect from the lads?I ALWAYS believed there will be a better nigeria soon or later.
Fellow Nigeria, How do you expect Amodu to perform well when the NFF, the Commissionals, the ministers, the Federal Executive council have loss their sense of patrioticim, discipline and commitment to the nation.
What do you expect from a country that the leader is sick and the Sinators and Ministers are happy dat the president is nt around thus, give them opportunity to perform their evil machinations. If this is not true, Y must Ojo Madueke said he need not the presence of the president for 2months to function well as Foreign affairs Minister. Where does he get his directive? "May be this is another form of RE-BRANDING NIGERIA AS A NATION"
My brothers, don't lose sleep over the eagles. It is better not to hope at all than have it dashed on the rocks. Until Nigeria as a nation begins to function like one, the status quo remains. When the head of the fish is rotten, what do you do with the body? What is happening in our sports ministry is a reflection of what is happening generally in the country. The glass house is in Nigeria and NIGERIANS work there. Why should we expect something different? I beg.
When some of us talk people see us as unpatrotic citizens. I have said it before & I will keep saying it that, I was praying for Nigeria NOT to qualify for the world cup in South Africa; my reason was becasue it was going to be a waste. Mind you, it is dollars that will be spent there not worthless naira. We are likely to go with 23 players, 10 officials & about another 10 govt officials who will represent the government. Is that not wastage of our money? Because I know they will not go beyond first round.

By the way, you can only be patrotic to a system that recognises you. Americans can be said to be patrotic today because their govt stands by them any day any time. Our players are not patrotic & so we try to buy them using match bonus which is wrong.

There is so much to say. Let us leave it at that. GOD HELP NAIJA!
But even the bookmakers failed in their prediction as they put victory for Nigeria at 2.45, draw at 2.85 and an eventual Pharoah's win at 2.65. And Amodu boys were able to prove them wrong when they showcased their ill-patterned football. However, the issue is that this group cannot do much in high level of international football. An Italian seasoned coach is all Nigeria needs to build a strong team with mediocre players. Yes, our current super eagle's player are all mediocres and no one is a star. Amodu may work for the rest of his life but cannot excel with this group outside the shores of Nigeria.
I really think the problem with Nigeria is that we have too much money. It should be a blessing, but I am inclined to think otherwise.

Amana Innocent Frank said:
When some of us talk people see us as unpatrotic citizens. I have said it before & I will keep saying it that, I was praying for Nigeria NOT to qualify for the world cup in South Africa; my reason was becasue it was going to be a waste. Mind you, it is dollars that will be spent there not worthless naira. We are likely to go with 23 players, 10 officials & about another 10 govt officials who will represent the government. Is that not wastage of our money? Because I know they will not go beyond first round.

By the way, you can only be patrotic to a system that recognises you. Americans can be said to be patrotic today because their govt stands by them any day any time. Our players are not patrotic & so we try to buy them using match bonus which is wrong.

There is so much to say. Let us leave it at that. GOD HELP NAIJA!
And you think American players play free for their country? 3 world cup appearances will boost morales and ego of over 150 million nigerians. THANK GOD NIGERIA QUALIFIED. The so- called savings at the expense of a world cup ticket will not go to the poor nigerians but the poor masses will be part of the soccer jamboree now that the flag of nigeria will be hoisted come June 2010 in South Africa. WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Iheanyichukwu Ezengwa said:
I really think the problem with Nigeria is that we have too much money. It should be a blessing, but I am inclined to think otherwise.

Amana Innocent Frank said:
When some of us talk people see us as unpatrotic citizens. I have said it before & I will keep saying it that, I was praying for Nigeria NOT to qualify for the world cup in South Africa; my reason was becasue it was going to be a waste. Mind you, it is dollars that will be spent there not worthless naira. We are likely to go with 23 players, 10 officials & about another 10 govt officials who will represent the government. Is that not wastage of our money? Because I know they will not go beyond first round.

By the way, you can only be patrotic to a system that recognises you. Americans can be said to be patrotic today because their govt stands by them any day any time. Our players are not patrotic & so we try to buy them using match bonus which is wrong.

There is so much to say. Let us leave it at that. GOD HELP NAIJA!
If anyone thinks of us as unpatriotic, it's better than for us to be really unpatriotic. It's only those that sound that way that finally build the nation, not these 'o yes' hideous mercenaries that lobby every council boss for dubious contracts. I have no desire to pursue any contract under an unholy, sinful govt official.
Buying our citizens with match bonus to come and play is itself evil, we might as well go to Malawi and Cameroon to select serious minded players to represent us, and even pay them less.
Let's solve the problem from the root. THE ROOT IS CORRUPTION IN HIGHEST PLACES.

Amana Innocent Frank said:
When some of us talk people see us as unpatrotic citizens. I have said it before & I will keep saying it that, I was praying for Nigeria NOT to qualify for the world cup in South Africa; my reason was becasue it was going to be a waste. Mind you, it is dollars that will be spent there not worthless naira. We are likely to go with 23 players, 10 officials & about another 10 govt officials who will represent the government. Is that not wastage of our money? Because I know they will not go beyond first round.

By the way, you can only be patrotic to a system that recognises you. Americans can be said to be patrotic today because their govt stands by them any day any time. Our players are not patrotic & so we try to buy them using match bonus which is wrong.

There is so much to say. Let us leave it at that. GOD HELP NAIJA!
I refuse to understand why many Nigerians complain whenever our eagles refuse ''to fly'' when expected. The problem is not only with Amodu but all members of NFF who approved the selection of ''over aged'' and ''over pampered'' players. Gone were the days of patrotic players. What they are interested in is how to share from thge national cake.
This confirms the serious malaise in our country where everything refuses to work: sacking Amodu will not solve the problem unless we have attitudinal change towards everthing Nigerians.
Meanwhile i believe Nigeria will still get to the final.

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