I’ve listened and watched how some of my colleagues and Nigeria football lovers has called for Gernot Rohr’s head after Super Eagles‘defeat to Algeria in the semi-final of the ongoing African Cup of Nations in Egypt.
Some even said he should be sacked and replaced with indigenous Coach, before tagging his time with the Super Eagles as a totalfailure.
I think these opinions are too harsh and far from the truth , I’m not defending the Franco-German tactician , but to set the record straight, Rohr has achieved with team since he came on board andthe defeat to Madagascar and Algeria is not enough to erase that.
Nigerians shouldn’t forget that Rohr came in after the Super Eagles missed two consecutive African Cup of Nations and at the time our so called ‘African Pep Guadiola‘ Sunday Oliseh had turned the national team to a war zone .
Oliseh‘s bad relationship with players forced then captain Vincent Enyeama into untimely retirement from international football, before another important goalkeeper Carl Ikeme was also forced to retire from the game completely due to health challenges.
Any Super Eagles manager would suffer in the absence of these two great goalkeepers , but Rohr qualified the team for the 2018 WorldCup from the group of Cameroon, Algeria and Zambia.
I can remember vividly that most Nigerian didn’t give the team any chance of picking the sole ticket in that group after the draw was made, because the team was coming from a bad period of failing to qualify for tournaments.
Against all odds, the three time African champions who struggled to qualify for African Cup of Nations picked World Cup ticket with a game in hand , before the team was forced to forfeit three points for feeding ineligible player against Algeria in Algiers.
Fast forward to 2019, Rohr led the team back to the continent biggest football tournament once again after missing last twoeditions, this time, without two influential players in Victor Moses and Captain John Mikel Obi.
Moses announced his retirement from the national team immediately after the World cup first round elimination, this was a huge set back for Rohr who has built his attack around the Chelsea man.
Some how , Rohr managed to overcome these blows , by drafting in Samuel Kalu as Moses‘s replacement and it was a great success, asthe Bordeaux winger played a prominent role in the team’s qualifications for Egypt, also with a game to spare .
The performance in Egypt was not shambolic as many claimed, the team showed character and right attitude coming back from behind to win games and to finish among the last four of the twenty four teams that competed in Egypt is commendable.
Some raised concern over his $50,000 monthly salary, but the question is how regular is this money ?, reports in various media outlets has it that the underfired coach has not been paid for the pastfour months.
Critics said Rohr’s tacticts are predictable and questionable , but we saw him played with 3-5-2 and 3-4-3 system at the World cup which wasn’t Super Eagles traditional set up and got the desired resultagainst Iceland.
In Conclusion, I’ll implore the NFF to evaluate Rohr’s performancesin the last three years and design a better way forward for Nigerian football , no team can achieve sustainable success with how the Nigeria Football Federation is running the game presently .
Qatar 2022 is fast approaching and I think Rohr deserves to continuewith the young team he has built over the years .
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