Gernot Rohr has been around for about three years or more as Super Eagles manager or coach. Yes, many will say he needs more time like Clemens Westerhof to achieve the feat the self-styled dutchgerian recorded while he was in charge….but I dare say, things have changed between 1989 and now.
In modern day football, a coach doesn’t have to spend 10 years on the job before he shows his stuff or build a world class team. You cannot give what you don’t have. Rohr has proven that his best at the world stage, talking about the FIFA World Cup is first round of group stage exit….and at the continental level (AFCON), his best is a semi-final…or at most third place finish…
These are not acceptable when you fairly look at what our football has achieved over the years….coupled with the resources invested therein. Whoever says demanding the AFCON trophy from a coach who has led and managed a team at the World Cup with the same crop of players he picked without much of interference is asking for too much….is an enemy of Nigeria and her football.
Rohr has to do the needful by throwing in the towel now. Staying or hanging on to the job will only protect his interest but surely not for the good of Nigeria or her football. We need to move forward.
Rohr cannot say Nigeria has been unfair to him….rather he has been unfair to us. He once cried out of interference from his bosses in the NFF …..and the entire Nigerian football community threw it’s weight behind him. There was outrage. In the end, he won the battle. He got his own scouts and players assessors.
He picked his team during the World Cup qualifiers. He also picked his World Cup squad that ended the race in the group stage.
Rohr was part of the negotiating team during talks between the NFF leadership and the senior players on financial incentives for the mundial. There was no friction before, during and after the bargain. Yet what Nigeria got from Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup was bags of apologies from players who underperformed. ..and even from Rohr himself.
Rohr is not the poorest of national team coaches in the world despite the fact that Nigeria has roundly been labeled as the world capital of poverty. For a coach who allegedly receives about $47,000 (N16.7million) monthly, Rohr should be grateful to us given that his CV doesn’t even attract such earning but that is not the issue at hand since we had already employed him. Rohr nonetheless is not the least earning national team coach in the world. The record is there for all to see.
Perhaps, we or NFF failed or refused to read meaning to his continuous excuse of not having a Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo in his squad. This derogatory excuse he has always put forward before, during and after every tournament. Rohr has continued to belittle players from Arsenal like Alex Iwobi, Samuel Chukwueze of Villareal and Wilfred Ndidi of Leicester City as not being world class. I dare ask, how many world class players are in Algeria or Madagascar that defeated Rohr’s team in Egypt? A good coach makes world class players. They don’t drop from the skies. Just discover a talent and mould him to your choice. Short and simple.
Going to Egypt for the 2019 AFCON, Rohr and his team had all they requested for plus more from the Federal Government, well meaning Nigerians, state governors and captains of industries. Never in the history of the Super Eagles has the team been so motivated financially….yet they ended in the semis.
Recall that the 2013 AFCON victorious squad led by Late Stephen Okechukwu Keshi was not even motivated enough yet the team excelled with six home-based players unlike Egypt 2019 squad which had just Ikechukwu Ezenwa as home based player. The Algerian team that defeated Super Eagles had close to 50% of the squad members as local players.
Indeed, it is time for Rohr to go. In moving forward, I recommend a consortium of local coaches.
Samson Siasia, Emmanuel Amuneke, Finidi George, Mutiu Adepoju and Imama Amakapabo should be immediately drafted in to takeover the Super Eagles and begin to tinker a new pattern and order in the rebuilding process.
By Desmond Ekwueme