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History book: Day Osaze Odemwingie criticized Amodu sack for Lars Lagerback

Osaze Odemwingie turns 42 today [ July 15, 2023 ]. To mark the day, this edition of History Book brings back memories of the day the foward criticized the sack of Late compatriot Shuaibu Amodu and appointment of Swedish Coach Lars Lagerback.

WHAT HAPPENED: Late Coach Amodu guided Nigeria to qualification for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

During this time, Osaze Odemwinge then on the books of Russian club Locomotive Moscow was a key player in the Super Eagles team.

After a not too impressive outing at the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Angola, the NFF decided to axe Coach Amodu and then appoint Swedish manager Lars Lagerback to lead the Eagles to the first World Cup on African soil.

Nigeria was drawn in group B alongside Argentina, Greece and South Korea, but finished bottom to exit the tournament in the group stage.

Immediately after the disappointing World Cup appearance, Osaze Odemwingie who was always vocal and passionate about national team duties publicly criticized the coaching swap before the World Cup.

“They [NFF] should not have fired Amodu. I think that was a mistake,” Odemwingie told the press.

“To be honest, we don’t have the team that can win the World Cup. If you go down to the roots, most of us, including myself, in our clubs we are not doing great.

“We are not like the big team we used to be, having players in the big clubs and coming here with the ambition to win the Cup. But definitely we could have done better.

On Coach Lars Lagerback, Osaze Odemwingie stated the Coach made numerous mistakes which caused the teams poor performance.

Gabriel Heinze diving header to seal a 1-0 win for Argentina over Nigeria at the 2010 FIFA World Cup

Lars Lagerback at the 2010 FIFA World Cup
Lars Lagerback

“I think the World Cup experience and being with us has given him some advantage over the next candidate, ” he continued.

“People learn from mistakes. If he takes the positives from this one and he feels good with working with Nigerian boys then yes, I think he should stay.”

“Three games, no win. I think a few things he did were big mistakes.

“Like telling two strikers not to participate in defending.

“I think that is a big mistake with Nigerian football when we have one defensive midfielder and one creative in front of him. All our middle was open and that was the problem we had against Greece.

“Today the instruction was that three people did not have to participate in defence. I think that also was a big mistake.”

On a reported dressing room bust-up after the 2-1 loss to Greece, Odemwingie explained his involvement and reason.

“Yeah I said to him that there are some key players in this team that he didn’t give enough playing time. And I was one of them. I said to him we have been here for a few years and we have qualified this team for the World Cup and he was putting us aside and it’s not fair.

“Some of us like myself and Martins are leaders in this team and we have been making the difference for the country and we needed to get more playing time and more chances to play.”

“It is possible that that’s why he didn’t play me today [ Vs South Korea in the last group game ] , ” Odemwingie famously said.


After a glittering career that started at Bendel Insurance FC, Osaze Odemwingie announced his retirement from active football on April 3, 2019.


The 65-cap former Nigeria forward is now a professional golfer.

After announcing his retirement from active football in April 2019, Osaze took to social media to announce his membership into the Professional Golfers Association (PGA).

From being an amateur, his status was upgraded to a PGA assistant professional.

The 42-yearold last year completed level two of his professional golf exams.

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