Tension mounts as Rohr prepares World Cup list

a�?Coach, Backroom Staff Sweat Over 30
a�?NFF Wants Exercise Out Of Media Attention
a�?As Eagles Call, Seek To Know Their Fate

Sources close to Gernot Rohr has disclosed to this reporter that there is great anxiety as tension mounts around the NFF bigwigs, backroom staff of Gernot Rohr, Super Eagles players and the coach himself as the later starts pencilling down names of the 30-man provisional list of the Super Eagles for the World Cup in Russia.

“The NFF had agreed with Rohr to keep the exercise in low key to avoid unnecessary concerns as was the case in the past but I can tell you that it has not been that easy keeping such exercise low”, begins my source.

“The whole idea is to keep the exercise out of media knowledge to avoid undue speculations and reports which could generate pressure on the coaching staff. It is a known fact that players representatives, agents or managers could be on the neck of the coach at times like this.

“As I speak, Rohr has asked his staff for inputs as he has stopped the search for attackers to beef up the squad. He gave up on the search when it became obvious that no player so far met his requirements. The last player he considered was Junior Lokosa the guy leading the top scorers chat in the NPFL.

“Now the deadline for the provisional list is fast approaching so he has no time left hence he stopped the search and decided to make do with what he has, talking about the players available for selection. He plans to draw a pool of 50 first with contributions from all around him before pruning the number down to 30. This has not been any easy exercise for him as players have been calling too to find out if they will make the cuts.
“We are all concerned about this because it is generating immense pressure now. Though, half of the squad members we all know, as an average fan or follower of the team can pick or select based on the players regularity and performance during the qualifiers and few friendlies played. But the rest is of great concern. Rohr is bent on accomodating more of the players who prosecuted the 4-2 defeat of Argentina in the friendly played in Russia. From his body language there may not be any new player or strange names in the coming list”.

Rohr wss reported as being disappointed in his last target in search of players to fortify his squad following the decision of Jordan Torunarigha, the 20-year-old Hertha Berlin defender to pledge his future to Germany.

Rohr was quoted as saying to BBC Sport, “It’s disappointing because he was presented with a great chance to play in the World Cup if only he was interested,
“I’ve followed his progress, I believe he would have made positive contributions to the team. But we must really respect this young boy’s decision now and wish him well.”

Meanwhile, English FA says Gareth Southgate will release the list of Three Lion players for the World Cup in Russia on May 16. Recall that Brazil coach, Tite named15 of his 23-man squad on February 16. They include Alisson (Roma), Dani Alves (PSG), Thiago Silva (PSG), Marquinhos (PSG), Miranda (Inter), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Casemiro (Real Madrid), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan), Paulinho (Barcelona), Willian (Chelsea), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Neymar (PSG).

By Desmond Ekwueme

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