Westerhof worse than Rohr, but German coach not good enough for Eagles – Laloko
Former Technical Director of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Kashimawo Laloko, has expressed disappointment at the thought of Clemens Westerhof coming back to coach the Super Eagles 26 years after he left the team.
Westerhof’s desire to coach the Eagles again was made known to The Guardian recently by a top official of NFF. The official revealed that the Dutch had indicated interest to return as Eagles’ technical adviser with a young coach.
This decision has, however, not gone down well with many, who still feel bad that the coach refused to return home with the team after Nigeria’s ouster at the 1994 World Cup held in United States of America. Westerhof had helped the team to qualify for its maiden appearance at the World Cup in USA and also won her second Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Tunisia.
Speaking to The Guardian yesterday, Laloko stated that he never saw Westerhof as a coach, but rather as an organiser. He said that the Dutch only succeeded because he had direct access to the former military Vice President, Augustus Aikhomu, and that almost all his wishes as regards funding were met.
“As far as I am concerned, Westerhof is not a coach but an organiser. He was lucky that during his time as the coach of the Super Eagles he had direct contact with the late Aikhomu, and things worked out well for him. He cannot get same treatment now.
“These days, we don’t have people with the kind of interest in football shown by Aikhomu back then and that is the truth. Westerhof and his former assistant, Bonfere Jo, are birds of a feather and they are not good enough. Westerhof is even worse than Gernot Rohr,” he said, adding that he wondered why Rohr would say there are no good players in the country’s local league.
“The problem I have with Rohr is how many league matches does he watch that will make him to condemn them? During my days as the technical director of NFF, I insisted that the Eagles should be made up of 25 per cent home-based players and the board agreed. And we had so many of them who later played for the country.
“So, how can you now be telling me there are no good players in our league again? In the countries he has coached what and what did he win there? I do not know why people cannot do things the right way.
“We are not doing the right thing, that is just the truth. But we keep on messing up ourselves unnecessarily. Again, the fact that Westerhof succeeded as a coach doesn’t mean he is good. It is because he had people like the late Aikhomu, Amos Adamu, Bolaji Ojo-Oba who helped him out. Now, he cannot find such people again,” he stated.