By George Aluo
Former board member of the nation’s soccer governing body, NFF, Fan Ndubuoke, has declared without mincing words that Super Eagles manager, Gernot Rohr, does not have what it takes to make Nigeria Africa’s number one in the round leather game.
As far as Ndubuoke is concerned, Rohr should have been shown the exit door immediately after the recently concluded Egypt 2019 AFCON irrespective of what it would cost the soccer federation in doing so.
The veteran sports journalist, who led Heartland FC of Owerri to win the nation’s most prestigious soccer trophy, the Federation Cup back to back as Club Chairman, noted that given the atmosphere under which Rohr has operated, the Franco-German tactician has under performed.
He said: “Since Rohr came on board as Eagles manager, he has gotten virtually all he needed to go for a kill in terms of results. Under Rohr, the Eagles have gotten the best of preparations ahead of any match and major tournaments. Under him, the players welfare has been given top priority. His own welfare has equally received quality attention. The soccer federation got a corporate body that is paying his salaries, even at some point he got his salaries upfront. There is no competition we went to under Rohr that we would say the atmosphere in camp has the usual Nigerian face of allowances not being paid or checkered travel plans and all that. So, if a coach has everything going for him, why must he be presenting a team that would give us hypertension, as we saw in Egypt. He (Rohr) has been experimenting with players and he experiments even in the midst of a competition. Given, the kind of talents Nigeria has, we have no business struggling at AFCON if we have a quality manager that has been in charge for over two years.
“Look at the area of goalkeeping, we have very good goalkeepers in Nigeria that can do better than those Rohr took to Russia and Egypt. The only problem is that the man doesn’t want to look inward. Akpeyi who is today his first choice was only a reserve keeper in Heartland. He wasn’t first choice in Heartland, but in Super Eagles he is Rohr’s first choice.
For me, we are not getting value for the money we are paying Rohr. He doesn’t have the capacity to make us number one in Africa. A good manager should have given us a better team and the results should by now be showing. Everyday, the man keeps talking about his young team, using that as a plank to cover up his inadequacies.”
Ndubuoke stressed that he is not one of those celebrating Nigeria’s AFCON 2019 bronze insisting that we must tell our selves the truth…which is the fact that we didn’t go to Egypt with a solid team.
“We were just lucky to have reached the semi final. Come to look at it, if we had met Egypt in the round of 16, we didn’t have a team that would have beaten Egypt the way South Africa did. Against Algeria in the semi final, the Algerians were tactically and technically better and we all saw how the Algerian coach kept organizing his team from the bench unlike Rohr who was not making an input even in the crucial dying moments of the game.”