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Rohr’s tactics is ‘killing’ Super Eagles, says Adelabu

By Gowon Akpodonor
21 September 2019   |   4:21 am
Former Green Eagles winger, Adegoke Adelabu says the tactics by Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr is not working well for the team.

Rohr and his technical crew

Former Green Eagles winger, Adegoke Adelabu says the tactics by Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr is not working well for the team.

“At the Russia 2018 World Cup, we lost to Argentina in the dying minute of the game, which the Argentines dominated tactically. And at Egypt 2019 AFCON, another dying minute goal to Algeria in the game the Algerians dominated well. The last friendly match against Ukraine was also manifestation of the tactical ineptitude of the Coach,” Adelabu told The Guardian in Lagos yesterday.

Adelabu, who played for the then IICC Shooting Stars of Ibadan in his active days attributed the failure recorded by the Super Eagles at major championships since Rohr took over to lack of game plans.

“The problem with this set up is that we don’t have a game plan. I have said it several times that if you do not have a game plan, you will continue to run with the ball, which our players do in most of our matches,” Adelabu stated. “But if you have a game plan, you allow the ball to do the running. Our players need to learn to communicate with their passes, set pieces and runs.” Speaking further, Adelabu, a sports scientist said: “Taking a cursory look at the performances of the Eagles, and the tactical aroma of our games, it seems to me that coach Gernot Rohr need a better understanding of the players as well as the tactical demands of the games. In other words, he needs to be able to synchronize his depth of understanding of the abilities of the players to the situational demands of the game before he makes changes.

“It is unprofessional for a team to be two goals ahead in a game for the coach to make changes that would cancel the goals. The purpose of making a change in a match is either to consolidate the goals you have scored or increase it because you have seen the weakness of the opponent. I don’t know how a coach can be satisfied with the performance of a team that brings no victory. It is time for Mr Rohr to stop such antics.”

Adelabu, a former manager of Eko United FC of Lagos, said that Nigeria’s only saving grace is that we a blessed with natural strikers who can be dangerous at any point in time.

He, however, added that the strikers are under utilized.

“Take for instance Ahmed Musa is the most underutilized fast winger in the history of Nigeria football. He needs special training to be able to run down a particular side of the opponent’s defense, push the defense back to their area when we are under pressure, and also to force his way into the penalty box for spot kick. Consequently, his movement on the pitch will determine the kind of passes he wants and what he intends to do.

“I don’t know how anybody will think Gernot Rohr will develop our football when he does not know what is happening in our league. We cannot continue to hide under international competitions and forget the need to develop our home-based leagues and players. The issue is not about looking for professional players all over the world who are Nigerians to come and play for us.

When are we going to have our own Nigerian made football that foreign players will struggle to fit into because of our philosophy? Players are brought into the national team in such a way that proved that we don’t have standard and no programme for development of the national team.”

Adelabu further said: “There are a lot of scientific parameters that we ignore when we are inviting players to the national team or the scout is trying to market them. This abnormal selections process may be one of the reasons we concede goals in the dying minutes of our games or failed to be in control of the games tactically in most of our matches.

“In as much as I appreciate all the effort of the Chief Coach, Gernot Rohr, it is absolutely difficult to explain how Eagles win matches because of lack of clarity in their tactical display. The question is whether the players have a comprehensive understanding of the demands of their positions and how well do they understand each other’s abilities. We have the population of players who can demonstrate all these qualities, hence the coach has to double his effort to bring out these qualities in the players that he has. We are aware of German, Italian and Brazilian football; hence, let us have Nigerian football, but can Gernot Rohr deliver?,” Adelabu querried.