Angry Super Eagles coach blasts ‘ungrateful’ Nigerians
• To speak on future today after match against Tunisia
Super Eagles’ Coach, Gernot Rohr is unhappy with some Nigerians following calls for his head after the team’s 1-2 defeat by Algeria in one of the semifinals of the on-going Egypt 2019 African Cup of Nations.
Though Rohr is disappointed that the team could not make it to the final billed for July 19, he is said to be sad over the tag of ‘failure’ being placed around his neck by some Nigerians.
At a pre-match conference yesterday, Rohr disclosed that he would address the media after today’s third place match against Tunisia to speak on his future, whether or not to remain with the Super Eagles.
But a team official told The Guardian at their Le Meridian hotel that the Franco/German was angry that he is being tagged a failure despite taking the Super Eagles to the semifinal of the African Nations Cup.
“Rohr is very sad that he is being tagged a failure by many Nigerians,” the official said. “And I agree with him because the man has not really failed to go by his performance since he took over the job in 2017.
“Nigerians are always in a hurry to castigate a coach whenever things do not go the way of the Super Eagles at major competitions, and that is not the way to go. Nigerians seem to have forgotten so soon that before Rohr took over in 2017, the Super Eagles were at a low level. A team that won the AFCON title in 2013 could not defend it in 2015 and also failed to qualify for the 2017 edition.
“The man (Rohr) came and turned things around. He qualified Nigeria for the World Cup in Russia even with a game to go. Don’t also forget that FIFA deducted three points from Nigeria for that mistake in fielding ineligible Abdullahi Shehu in the last match against Algeria.
“Nigeria won the first leg 3-0 and drew 1-1 in Algiers. Despite the deduction of three points, Nigeria still topped the group in the race to Russia. Things couldn’t work out fine in Russia, but the Super Eagles were not disgraced,” he stated.
Continuing, the official said: “Rohr qualified the Super Eagles to Egypt 2019 AFCON with a match to go. The team also got into the round of 16 with a match in hand. After the defeat to Madagascar, Rohr felt bad and he quickly re-adjusted the squad. And against all expectations, the team defeated the Lions of Cameroun, who were the defending champions to reach the quarterfinal, and went on to beat a very stubborn Bafana Bafana of South Africa to hit the semifinal. That was actually the target given to him by the NFF.
“If Nigerians could react to the defeat to Algeria in this manner, what do they expect Egyptians to do after failing in the round of 16? What about the defending champions, Cameroun and Morocco, who also crashed out so early?
“It is not every time we should react negatively at the end of competition, after all, in football you win some and lose some. That is the spirit, and Rohr wants Nigerians to see things from that angle. To be frank, our Super Eagles do not have the same quality of players paraded by Algerians at the moment. I am not using that as an excuse, but Nigerians who watch the English Premier League will agree that we don’t have a player like Riyadh Mahrez in the Super Eagles right now. I am sure that with time, some of these young players will grow,” the official stated.
Meanwhile, Rohr says he is looking at the positives as Nigeria face Tunisia in today’s battle for bronze medal at Al Salam Stadium. He is optimistic the Eagles will return home with a medal.
No comments yet