The Super Eagles fumbled and wobbled at the 2018 FIFA World Cup when their fans expected more from them.
Who should be held responsible for the debacle in Russia? The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), the coaching crew, or the players?
On the part of the NFF, they did their best in taking care of logistics and ensured that the players were well motivated in order to avoid unnecessary distractions. The players were even given their entitlements before their campaign got underway against Croatia in Kaliningrad.
The foreign coach had the necessary support he desired before and during a competition and he still failed woefully.
When things go wrong in tournaments there are usually scapegoats to single out for the failure. Who then should shoulder the blame? The fingers should be pointed at Super Eagles manager, Gernot Rohr.
He had the time to pick a team capable of navigating past a group comprising Argentina, Iceland, and Croatia. But he thought he had the ‘Midas Touch’ to get to the Promised Land.
The Super Eagles team to Russia lacked a creative player to unlock the meanest of defense. Mikel Obi, John Ogu, Ogenyi Onazi, Joel Obi, Oghenekaro Etebo are like for like in terms of the way they orchestrate play. The warning bells rang before the tournament began but the coach refused to listen and took his trusted soldiers to Russia. Why overlook Kelechi Nwakali?
A certain Ola Aina should have been included in the party to Russia due to his versatility. We lacked a natural left-footer to play at the left back position. It was a problematic area to fill at the Mundial.
His substitutions and match reading abilities call for concern. When the game against Argentina stood at 1-1 and with the Eagles home and dry, the coach decided to attack more than close shop with the introduction of John Ogu or Ogenyi Onazi. At the end of the day, the Eagles lost 2-1.
Many will claim it was a learning process. For how long do we continue to learn and return to the drawing board?
Is Rohr good enough to continue as Super Eagles coach? That’s not a question I think I can answer for now. The football body has a lot on the table with the election around the corner. Time will tell on Rohr’s future.