Emmanuel Amunike: Why I Can Never Be Gernot Rohr’s Assistant


The former Barcelona winger, one of Nigeria’s most celebrated coaches, is currently unattached, but there is one job he won’t take no matter the cost

Former Nigeria international Emmanuel Amunike says there is no chance of him accepting the offer of being an assistant to Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr as it would project more harm than good for the team.

As one of Nigeria’s most successful coaches, former Tanzania head coach Amunike is often linked to the Super Eagles’ top job as Rohr’s replacement.

But Rohr only agreed to another two-year deal early in the year and a new assistant appointed for him in former Everton defender Joseph Yobo.

Amunike led the Golden Eaglets to the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile and guided Tanzania to the 2019 Afcon after a lengthy absence.

However, amid growing calls for Amuneke to join Rohr’s coaching staff, the 1994 African Player of the Year has rejected the idea insisting his presence could add unnecessary pressure on the German tactician.

When asked if he would consider being Rohr’s assistant, Amunike told the Punch: “No! Why? I have my principles. We are ready to serve our nation. But as individuals, we have our reputation to protect.

“If I come on board, I am a threat to Rohr. If I am here as an assistant, he will lose more concentration. He will think I am there to take his job. We have decided to give him the job, but let us support him.

“If Nigerians decide that Amunike, we need your service, I will be there. But it is not possible (to be Rohr’s assistant). What will I be saying? He has his own philosophy, I have mine.

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“Nobody has ever told me to come and be an assistant coach, and if it’ll be, it is not possible, it will never be.”

Amunike, who is still searching for coaching opportunities in Spain, enjoyed a brilliant playing career lifting the Afcon with the Super Eagles in 1994 and winning the Olympics gold medal with Nigeria’s Dream Team two years later.

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