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Valverde? Cocu? Blanc? Super Eagles 'shortlist' gets fans talking

5:58 PM GMT+4 13/04/2022
Messi Valverde Blanc Cocu
Nigeria supporters have given their early opinions on some of the names tipped to replace Augustine Eguavoen

by Joel Omotto

As rumours swirl as to the identity of the next Super Eagles head coach, Nigerian football fans have weighed in heavily on some of the names tipped for the top job.

Augustine Eguavoen was relieved of his duties in the aftermath of the West African giants’ World Cup playoff defeat by Ghana, and speculation is mounting as to who the NFF will name as his replacement.

The likes of Ernesto Valverde, Philip Cocu and Laurent Blanc have all been mooted as potential Eguavoen successors, and the high-profile foreign names have prompted disagreement and objection among Nigeria fans.

“Now, we are going for foreigners. We are here waiting to see the magic they will do with these average footballers,” said @IgebinaA on Twitter.

“What of that Cameron coach at Afcon. That guy is good, the Portuguese,” replied @olayodeoladime2 who has appealed to the Nigeria Football Federation to hire immediate former Indomitable Lions coach Toni Conceicao.

@Mo_Abdul14 is wondering if the NFF even has the financial muscle to attract the foreign coaches. “Where will we get money to pay all these big names mentioned?” he posed.

“Wow! Ernesto Valverde would be a great choice,” shared @KingofDM_ who would like the NFF to appoint the former Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao coach.

His sentiments are shared by @ankaraempire99, who would want Valverde or former PSG tactician Blanc.

“Wow! If this is true, then this list is impressive. Laurent Blanc or Valverde for me,” he said.

“If true, then Cocu and Blanc look likely for me. Cocu seems more affordable,” @JackSommy made his choices known, suggesting that the ex-Derby County boss could be a more realistic hire for the Eagles.

“Just employ [Jose] Peseiro,” demanded @Jihday, who wants the NFF to go back in for the Portuguese coach.

Peseiro was close to getting the job after Gernot Rohr was sacked ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations, but could he really be tempted back into the fold?

@Dinokayasman wants Nigeria to steer clear of former Derby and Fenerbahce coach Cocu,

“Philip Cocu is never a successful coach, please go for Laurent Blanc or Valverde,” he said.

Beyond the foreign names, some local coaches have also been named as potential Eguavoen successors.

Speculation has been rife that former Nigeria coach Sunday Oliseh had expressed interest in taking over from Eguavoen for example.

Oliseh, who was coach of Nigeria between 2015 and 2016, is reportedly the favourite of Nigeria Minister for Sports for Youth and Sports Development Sunday Dare.

Oliseh’s record as national team coach is encouraging, having lost only twice in 14 games with 19 goals scored and six conceded over that period.

The names of other Super Eagles legends Emmanuel Amuneke and Daniel Amokachi have also been mentioned.