Paul Le Guen Appointed As New Super Eagles Coach
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have confirmed French manager, Paul Le Guen as the new Technical Adviser of the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria have been without a permanent coach since Sunday Oliseh resigned in February, 2016.
NFF since then made it clear that they were looking for only foreign coaches for the Super Eagles and have now appointed Le Guen to lead the Super Eagles with Salisu Yusuf-who has been managing the team on a temporary basis.
We learnt that 20 coaches filed applications to express their interest for the Super Eagles job from which the NFF on Friday, July 8 drew up a final three-man short-list for the job.
Le Guen alongside Yusuf and Belgian Tom Sainfiet made the final short-list.
After interviewing the candidates, the NFF Technical committee recommended the Frenchman to be the new Technical Adviser of the Super Eagles with Yusuf be Chief Coach (assistant).
Hours after the recommendation was made public by the NFF, the football body announced that they have appointed the Frenchman.
Le Guen however has been the first choice of NFF President, Amaju Pinnick.
Glass House sources revealed that Pinnick chose the former Lyon coach but still followed the procedure of receiving applications from 20 interested coaches, cutting them down to the final short-list, interviewing of the candidates by members of the NFF Technical Committee who finally recommended the former Cameroon coach.
According to sources, the former Lyon manager has agreed a deal worth N16.2M (€44,000) per month deal with the NFF.
It is however unclear how the NFF would finance this deal as all efforts by the body to secure sponsorship have not been successful.
The 52-year-old’s main target would be to qualify Nigeria for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The qualifiers kick off with an away match away to Zambia on Monday October 3.
For the qualification series, Nigeria has been placed in the same group as Cameroun, Algeria and Zambia.
Le Guen qualified Cameroon for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, where they crashed out in the first round.
The manager’s last job was with the Oman national team from which he was relieved in November 2015.
He had a successful managerial career in France, most notably leading Olympique Lyonnais to three consecutive Ligue 1 titles. He has also managed Stade Rennais, Paris Saint-Germain, Glasgow Rangers.
Yusuf in his new role as Chief Coach of the Super Eagles will only serve as an assistant to Le Guen.
The 54-year-old was capped by Nigeria at U20 level, won FA Cup titles with El-Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri as a player and coached top clubs Kano Pillars, El-Kanemi Warriors and Enyimba FC.
He assisted former Super Eagles coaches Samson Siasia and Stephen Keshi, and was caretaker coach for two friendlies that the Eagles won against Mali and Luxembourg in Europe at the end of May.
Although Yusuf has been chosen as his assistant, Le Guen is reportedly bringing his long-time friend, Yves Colleu with him.
Colleu is a former French footballer who has been assistant manager to Le Guen since 1998 and was with him during his stint at Rennes, Lyon, Rangers, Paris Saint-Germain, Cameroon and most recently with Oman.
Le Guen’s first game will the dead rubber 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Tanzania in the first week of September.
Spokesperson of the NFF Technical Committee, Paul Bassey told us that Imama Amapakabo and former Super Eagles goalkeeper and skipper Alloy Agu, who served as assistant coach and goalkeeper trainer for the games against Mali and Luxembourg in May would retain their places in the technical crew.