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Football fans express divergent views on Rohr’s future

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Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr before the match REUTERS/Toru Hanai


Some football enthusiasts in Awka, Anambra on Thursday expressed mixed reactions on the future of Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr with the team.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Rohr had led the team to a third-place finish at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.

The Eagles had won the bronze medals on Wednesday after beating Tunisia by a lone goal scored by Odion Ighalo in the third minute of the game.

The football enthusiasts told NAN the team would have made it to the final if the coaching crew had made a better selection and had better tactical approach.

Emeka Okeke, a sports presenter, said Rohr lacked the technical know-how and made bad selection of players.

Okeke said that most of the players he took to Egypt were less than average and were not doing well in their various clubs.

He said Rohr experimented with the players from the day he took charge of the team, adding that he should be shown the way out.

“We cannot be playing games at competitions with our hearts in our mouths, no confidence in both the players, the technical crew and the bench,” Okeke said.

Ikem Asika, a sports analyst, said Rohr showed he was not in firm control of his team and expressed worries that the domestic league has not attracted him since he was an employee.

Asika alleged that most players fielded by Rohr were foisted on him by “jobbers in the Glass House”, adding that no coach would do well under such condition.

“Any coach that knows his onions must insist on his players and game plan and not be pushed around on who should play or not,” he said.

Asia added that it was not proper for Daniel Akpeyi to play ahead of Francis Uzoho or Okechukwu Ezenwa if not by “special selection”.

Jude Atupulazi, a journalist, said while the team might not have met the expectations of their teeming fans, the players still deserve some accolade.

Atupulazi said Rohr should be given more time as there were chances he would do better with the team in the future.

“The team tried, coming third out of 24 nations. It isn’t easy. So, we may have to manage Rohr in order to sustain the progress being made.

“Look at the average age of our players. They are very young, and it means the future is bright. So, instead of starting afresh with a new gaffer let Rhor continue,” he said.

Victor Nwangwu, a veteran football administrator, said Rohr has met and surpassed the target set for him by his employers in line with the contract.

Nwangwu said the performance of the Super Eagles in Egypt was not bad as teams that had better chances to win the cup exited much earlier in the competition

“He qualified Nigeria for the World Cup, qualified Nigeria for AFCON, got the third position in the competition proper, a step more than his contractual target, and this is with the youngest Super Eagles team ever assembled by a coach.

“Ghana, Cameroon and Egypt hold superior AFCON records than Nigeria, yet they got eliminated much earlier than we were.

“What else can we say of Rohr, other than he did not win the cup? He deserves to be appreciated and of course respected,” he said.

Anthony Udennaka, a retired football referee, warned against incessant sacking and hiring of coaches to ensure sustainable progress.

Udennaka said the Super Eagles under Rohr did well but lost due to ill-luck, noting that football was an open game which any side playing could win.

“I am of the opinion that the man should be allowed to continue with his good job. Hiring and firing of coaches has never done us any good.“Many world class coaches lose matches. So, Nigeria’s case should not be an exception,” he said.


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