Football Sports

Should Nigeria stick with Gernot Rohr?

Super Eagles manager, Gernot Rohr has come under sharp scrutiny in recent days following Nigeria’s below par performances in the international friendly matches against Cameroon.

The Eagles were lackluster in their double header against Cameroon in Austria, losing the first match 1-0 and playing out a drab 0-0 draw against the Indomitable Lions in the second fixture.

Unsurprisingly, football fans around the country were unimpressed with the team’s outing, with many calling for the sacking of coach Rohr.

Beyond the result, many observers were particularly irritated by the performances. There was no discernable pattern of play, while the team struggled to create chances.

Rohr attributed the team’s lack of potency to the absence of key players like Victor Osimhen, but not many fans are buying that.

Despite the missing players, Rohr still had the luxury of sending out the likes of Kelechi Iheanacho, Alex Iwobi, Moses Simon, Paul Onuachi and Ahmed Musa in the attacking areas.

With those players, the Eagles should be doing better.

Another criticism that has been thrown at Rohr is his reluctance to give new players a chance.

The matches against Cameroon seemed like a great opportunity for the coach to experiment with new players, but Rohr opted to go with the established names. His unwillingness to integrate more home-based players into the Eagles’ mix has also not gone down well with Nigerian fans.

Rohr’s tactical acumen has also been questioned. He seems stuck in his rigid 4-3-3 system, even if the players at his disposal are better suited to another formation.

So as the Eagles go into a very important phase, should the Nigeria Football Federation stick with Rohr? Or should they be seeking an alternative?

Nigeria will resume her quest to qualify for the next world Cup in September. The Eagles should have no problems navigating a group that has Liberia, Central African Republic and Cape Verde, with bookmakers like bet9ja having Nigeria as firm favourites to win the group.

However, the main challenge will be the final phase of the qualifiers in March 2022, when the Eagles potentially go up against one of the continental superpowers.

In between the qualifiers, there is the African Cup of Nations in Cameroon at the start of the year; and of course, the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, should the Eagles qualifier, comes up in November.

With so much happening within the next year and a half, the Super Eagles have got to be in their best form. There is no room for complacency and mediocrity.

The general feeling amongst fans appears to be that Rohr should go, but that is very unlikely to happen.

With the World Cup qualifiers resuming in about three months, changing the manager may not be the smartest thing to do.

Rohr’s Eagles may be unspectacular, but they have been steady under the German tactician.

The most likely scenario is that Rohr will be given up until the Nations Cup to take the Eagles to the next level.

If Nigeria struggles through the next phase of the World Cup qualifiers, and performs poorly at the Nations Cup, then the NFF will have to seriously consider pulling the plug on the manager.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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