Football World Cup 2010
Nigeria plan major changes for World Cup

By Samm Audu

BENGUELA, Angola, Jan 30, 2010 (AFP) - Nigerian football officials have threatened to wield the axe ahead of the World Cup after the team's failure to reach the Africa Cup of Nations final.

"We will take a critical look and make changes to the technical team and the players," said the chairman of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) technical committee, Taiwo Ogunjobi.

"The NFF Executive Committee has already directed the technical committee to submit a comprehensive report of the team's performance here, in a matter of days.

Ogunjobi added: "There is also the need to inject fresh legs into the team in order to engender keen competition for places. Our goal is to make necessary changes that will lead us to a creditable performance at the World Cup finals in South Africa."The official statement comes at a time of public outcry over the team's performance in Angola where the Super Eagles were beaten in the semi-finals.
There is also speculation that coach Shuaibu Amodu may not be the man in charge for the World Cup in South Africa despite having led them to the finals of the global showpiece.

Amodu confirmed this week that there was a government order that he be sacked during the Cup of Nations after the Eagles got off to an indifferent start. Despite meeting the NFF target of reaching the semi-finals in Angola, there are pressures for a foreign coach to be brought in for the World Cup, where Nigeria have been drawn against Argentina, South Korea and Greece in the first round.

Amodu insisted that his team had enjoyed a successful run in Angola and that the experience will come in useful at the World Cup.

"This tournament was to determine whether or not we have a team that could compete at the World Cup," he said.

"If we cannot win the cup, we should at least reach an enviable position and having reached the last four, I believe we have had a successful competition, which will help us in South Africa."

The future of the coach came under more scrutiny following post-match comments by Locomotiv Moscow striker Osaze Odemwingie that the team need to vary their tactics.

"We played as individuals, not as a team and I think we need more tactical flexibility than to play 4-3-3 all the time," said Odemwingie, captain on the day against Ghana in Thursday's semi-final loss.

"We need to play more attacking football. We played with one striker and it didn't help us and we didn't get a lot of chances. We could have played much better."

He added: "We knew Ghana were going to play with one striker and sit back all day, but we also played with one striker."


Taiwo Ogunjobi.

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