Former handler of Shooting Stars Football Club of Ibadan, Godfrey Esu believes the brouhaha between? the Nigeria Football Federation and Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi is aimed to frustrate the coach’s effort. He said the NFF by withdrawing his back room staff are only out to frustrate the coach and make him fail.
Esu in an exclusive interview with LEADERSHIP WEEKEND SPORTS in Lagos stated that withdrawing Keshi’s assistant coaches attributing it to cash crunch was flimsy excuses adding that NFF’s ambition was to employ a foreign technical adviser.
“After the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa, the NFF officials are not happy because I met some of the board directors they were all complaining that all the glory has been given to Keshi and the players nobody thinks about them.
“Can you imagine people who are supposed to be happy that their coach won the tournament are jealous of the players and the coaches, that is to tell you their level and if we don’t qualify for the World Cup it will be a big disaster to us.??
“There is an hidden agenda between the NFF and Keshi and it is something they can sort out between themselves. How can they sack his assistants without informing him (Keshi). I know they are not fighting his assistants they are fighting Keshi indirectly because when he first tendered his resignation letter, Senate president, President Jonathan intervened? and Nigerians reacted. The NFF were afraid to confront him that is why they are facing him through his assistants”.
Esu therefore advised Keshi to learn how to tolerate his players no matter their attitude and as well learn how to manage the crisis in the team in order not to allow the matter get out of hand.
“Keshi should take it easy with the players; does he has anything personal with the captain? This is a captain that just won the Nations Cup for you and why can’t you call him and find out from him about the problem? instead of exposing yourselves.? It took a while to settle the Osaze issue but the matter is not settled yet. I thought Keshi has gotten to the level of knowing how to manage his players, Yobo and Osaze are heroes, people come and go.
“I keep saying when we have stubborn players like Tarila Okorowanta, Etim Esien, even Samson Siasia , Coach Hamilton and co were able to manage them, just one player, Siasia could not manage. Now the Keshi and Yobo saga is exposing Nigerian coaches and maybe they are thinking we are not capable if given responsibility. The whiteman will not do that. Look at the issue of David Bekcham, you see the way they handled it tactically.
So, I will talk to Keshi because he is our coach for now and we must support him wether we like it or not. What I am asking now is for the NFF to support Keshi becuase if the NFF gives Stephen Keshi the kind of support they gave Westerhof, he will build a better team. I praise him for his courage because he is the first indigenous coach who was bold enough to pick players from our league.
“For that reason even the players from the local leagues are praying for Keshi because he was bold enough. When Amodu Shuaibu was there he never had the courage and it was Nigerian league players that made Amodu when he was with BCC Lions of Gboko but he did not have courage to use local players. They all depended on foreign players but Keshi came out,? stood his ground and got his results. Keshi is a level headed person; we will keep talking to him and I know that he will listen since nobody is too big for advise. Even the president of this nation listens to advice”.Esu claimed.