is yet to be confirmed by all parties, discussion is already moving to
the question of who will replace him at the helm.
It is a decision that carries a great deal of weight for
the NFF. The ‘Big Boss’ has set the groundwork in place for a sustained
era of success for Nigeria.
Keshi has cultivated a talented young squad, afforded them the
confidence that comes from winning the Cup of Nations and securing World
Cup qualification and, with the right man in charge, the good times can
However, get the decision wrong and things could unravel for the Super Eagles…it’s happened before!
In this feature, KickOffNigeria’s Ed Dove runs down five preeminent options for the Nigeria job.
is one of the frontrunners for the Nigeria job and would continue the
West Africans’ recent tradition of employing former players in key
Oliseh played alongside Keshi for the Super Eagles, while the likes
of Daniel Amokachi and Samson Siasia have also been heavily involved in
the administration of the national side.
The former defensive midfielder has limited managerial experience –
nothing beyond short, forgettable stints in the Belgian lower leagues –
but accrued 63 caps for Nigeria during his celebrated playing career.
His time at Ajax, Juventus and Borussia Dortmund should ensure that he
has the respect of the current generation.
Oliseh was, in fact, close to taking the Eagles job six years ago,
but was overlooked due to his lack of coaching experience. Not much has
changed in the intervening period, but if the noises coming out of the
NFF are anything to go by, the 39-year-old remains the favourite for the
the appointment of Oliseh would largely be greeted with excitement by
Nigeria fans, the other frontrunner for the position, Amodu, is a much
less inspiring option.
The 56-year-old has already had four separate stints as Nigeria
manager, first taking the job in 1994 and, most recently, being sacked
in 2010 ahead of the World Cup.
Amodu oversaw two third-placed finishes at the Cup of Nations and also qualified Nigeria for two World Cups.
While the veteran coach knows Nigerian football inside out, and also
has a valuable understanding of the grassroots game, he has previously
been criticised for his tactical knowledge, his in-game approach and his
He is unlikely to help Nigeria overcome the various gripes that affected Keshi’s reign.
first glace, Renard seems like an ideal compromise between an ‘impact
manager’, i.e. someone who will come in and oversee an immediate
improvement in results, and a long-term planner.
During his first spell at Zambia (between 2008 and 2010) he laid the groundwork for the Chipolopolo’s
unforgettable 2012 Cup of Nations victory. Renard focused on a small,
talented collective of players, gave responsibility to young and hungry
characters and built a commendable team spirit.
The Super Eagles currently possess a number of talented youngsters
who have already achieved a great deal and could be set to guide Nigeria
into an era of unprecedented success. Renard already has a track record
for developing this profile of player.
He also has extensive experience of African football; beyond Zambia
he has also managed Angola and assisted Claude le Roy with the Ghana
There is, however, a concern that Renard may not want to re-immerse
himself within the African game as he seeks to establish a reputation in
Europe. He was unable to prevent Sochaux’s relegation, however, and
West Bromwich Albion overlooked him for their vacant post, so the
Nigeria job might carry the kind of prestige that the Frenchman is
from guiding Algeria to the World Cup last 16 for the first time in
their history, Halilhodzic’s stock couldn’t be higher. Could the Bosnian
manager now be set to bring his magic touch to Calabar?
Having stepped down from his post following Les Fennecs’ elimination, the former Paris Saint-Germain coach is now a free agent and might be a tempting proposition for the NFF.
Halilhodzic, like Renard, has experience of West African football,
having overseen the Golden Generation of the Cote d’Ivoire between 2008
He has also proved himself to be tactically astute. Few expected too
much from Algeria in Brazil, but thanks to Halilhodzic’s strategic
intuition, his ability to rotate and implement different approaches, and
the side’s marvellous team spirit, the North Africans became one of the
tournament’s success stories.
fans have recent first-hand experience of Queiroz’s qualities, having
encountered Iran in their opening World Cup contest. What they came up
against was a well-organised, resilient bunch; very much typical of the
qualities the Portuguese manager can offer to a team.
Iran also demonstrated excellent defensive organisation against
Argentina, much like Queiroz’s Portugal side in 2010 who bowed out
having conceded only one goal in the tournament (against Spain).
Beyond experience of managing across the world (as well as a two-year
stint with South Africa in 2000-02), Queiroz has taken the helm at Real
Madrid and worked under Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.
Could his myriad qualities be exactly what the Super Eagles are looking for?