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2022 WCQ: Rohr Must Search For A Creative Player Before Playoff -Akpoborie

2022 WCQ: Rohr Must Search For A Creative Player Before Playoff -Akpoborie

Former Nigerian striker, Jonathan Akpoborie has attributed the Super Eagles’ 1-1 draw against Cape Verde to the team’s lack of creativity in the midfield.

Recall that Nigeria has qualified for the final knockout stages of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers after topping Group C on13 points while Cape Verde finished second on 11 points.

Reacting to the team’s display, Akpoborie in a chat with Completesports.com said that Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr needs a creative midfielder before the playoff begins in March.

“I am delighted that the Super Eagles have qualified for playoff of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. However, I was not too impressed with our midfield. It was too difficult for them to set up the duo of Odion Ighalo and Victor Osimhen in the attack.

” If we must scale through our opponent in the playoff, then Rohr must begin the search for a true creative midfielder.”



By Augustine Akhilomen


AFCON 2022 Zabira

Photo: By Ganiyu Yusuf

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  • Diran 2 months ago

    Yes, the Super Eagles lack a truly creative midfielder in the mould of Jay-Jay Okocha or Cameroun’s Anguissa who plays for Napoli and this was very glaring in the Cape Verde game in Lagos. Coach Rohr should please give a chance to Kelechi Nwakali of Huesca in Spain or James Igbekeme of Real Zaragoza also in Spain. These two guys are creative midfielders who will ensure the supply of passes to both Ighalo and Osimhen upfront. The Africa world cup playoffs in March are not going to be a tea party and only teams that can convert their goal-scoring chances will scrape through. Super Eagles need a strong midfield which is currently lacking.

  • Michel 2 months ago

    Why don’t this man look inwards,we don’t have anybody anywhere in Europe playing in that midfield role apart from Eze and olise who made it known that are not interested in playing for us,we need to look inwards since for some reason ,he doesn’t seem to like nwakali .the answer might be back home.

    • Na don come again with back home and local players abi. Mexico’s lesson was not enough. Kontinue

      • Canice 2 months ago

        Thank you for reminding him. Back homers

      • Okey Anyanwu 2 months ago

        They don’t even have an idea that back home, in the Nigerian league, players bribe their way to get to play for Nigerian Clubs. The real talents are on the streets and have no funds to bribe anyone

      • Presh 2 months ago

        Thank You my man.

  • John-I 2 months ago

    The real truth. Super Eagles need a talented creative midfielder like Chidera Eze or Chidiebere Nwakali. Iwobi has never impressed me with his twerking-football. Does he watch tapes of his uncle?

    If Super Eagles continue with Ekong and Balogun in the playoffs, they’ll get a proper rudeawakening.
    Kudos to Osimhen, he’s a real fighter

    • Footballfanatic 2 months ago

      Do you even know that chidera Eze is currently clueless which kind of stupid suggestion is this? It’s obvious some people that comment here are not in touch with current football news….. How can someone say Chidera Ezeh???? Are you serious???? And Chidiebere who plays in the Saudi Second division that hasn’t even cut it……. You must be out of your mind….lol

      • Footballfanatic 2 months ago

        Chidera is clubless***

      • John-I 2 months ago

        Eberechi Eze, my bad. CSN and their editing issues. The fact remains that Super Eagles are in urgent need of a creative midfielder. Anyone denying this fact is clueless

  • Rohr is APC’s next level, a disaster.
    What a disaster!
    Even with 11 Okocha, Rhor will play defensive.

  • Canice 2 months ago

    Ekong was not at his best throughout this stage of qualifying series. Though I like his motivations. Hope he does well in Afcon.

    • JimmyBall 2 months ago

      @Canice… if you know your football you will know Ekong is by miles the worst central defender we ever had in Super Eagles… he is enjoying unmeritted favour… he does not come close to Awaziem and Umeruo… it was the solidity of those two that helped survived in Mindelo away to Cape Verde… have you forgotten Ekong commited an own goal in AFCON 2019 versus Algeria because he was scared shitless having to face Mahrez… again he could not mark clean in RUSSIA 2018 and gave a cheap penalty to Croatia wrestling Mandzukic to the ground during
      a corner cake when the game just started not long… that guy has no talent, he is lucky to be born abroad otherwise he will never make the cut anywhere in a real team… Super Eagles helped his career because in ten lifetimes he will never have made the cut with Netherlands… he begged to play for Nigeria using our U-23… despite Oliseh refused to invite and use him that he was not good… he held that grudge for long against Oliseh even when he was no longer coach… William Troost – Ekong is a dead weight always clumsily marking and playing out from defence with the worst sense of positioning a central defender could ever have the bad fortune of having… enough said about deadbeats in SE!

      • John-I 2 months ago

        How someone here claimed that Ekong is better than Omeruo was beyond comprehension. Omeruo and Oboabona (a local boy then) formed a solid partnership that won Nigeria a third Afcon. They faced better opposition in Drogba, Yaya Toure, Kalou, Jonathan Pitropa e.t.c than Ekong is currently facing. Omeruo faced Uruguayan big stars at confed Cup and played like a trojan. Yes, he has made few mistakes here and there for Eagles but still light-years ahead of Ekong. Ekong commits blunders almost every match, he’s just lucky that most of his errors goes unpunished.

        Chidozie Awaziem has far better defensive-composure than Ekong. Nigeria should search for a competent centerback before the playoffs. Westerhoff took Chidi Nwanu to World Cup ’94 (to everyone’s surprise), he played like a world class defender.

        Four months is still enough time to sought out the defensive issues before the playoffs. The time is now!

  • Footballfanatic 2 months ago

    That defence is just a ticking time bomb and the next time I see Ekong in the line uo for the Play off…… I’m just going to shut the T.V off. Rohr is obviously a coach that indulges in favoritism. Bringing in Shehu was a weird substitution when you needed a right wing back……. and then he never has the guys to bench that oyinbo wall….That wall will be his greatest undoing if he is not careful.

    • Footballfanatic 2 months ago

      The guts*** If the last game in a group that we should have sealed was so tense. I wonder what the play offs will bring…..Hypertension???

    • Coache 2 months ago

      If Shehu did not come in, our defence would have been over run by the Verdians. Their coach made some offensive late minute subs to wreck the Eagles and they know Ekong is the weakest link. That was the best sub of the night.

      • Ayphillydegreat 2 months ago

        Thank you Coache. A lot of fans are just being emotionally sentimental. If Aina was brought in for Simon he will up at the oppositions area trying to dribble before crossing. The goal by CAR was Aina’s fault because he wasn’t back tracking his marker. Shehu was very decent defensively and offensively when he came on. Most fans are just not happy because their favorite players are not selected. Chukwueze is just coming from injury and I don’t think he’s fully hence the need to bench him in such a high tempo game. I’m sure if he’s fully Rohr can not leave him on the bench. Ejuke still need to learn how to be a team player. His dribbles are predictable particularly against African oppositions. The most tactical change that most people don’t see was Onyeka coming in for Aribo at such a crucial stage. He calmed the midfield and help the defense in the closing stages. We got the desired results that what matters. Now the preparation of the AFCON begins. I’m absolutely certain that SuperEagles will play in the Semifinals at least in Cameroon and will surely qualify for the WorldCup. Anyone who want to write the team off can do so at their own peril.

        • Papafem 2 months ago

          @Aphillythegreat, you’re a decent writer with a good footballing sense. I’ve seen this a lot of times here. But on this one, let me chip in this. No matter how you look at it, Rohr hasn’t got it right for the Super Eagles of late even with the number of years he has spent with us and the caliber at his disposal. Five years is enough to build a good team. Westerhof didn’t stay this long before he gave us a world class team and then, he didn’t even have the luxury of the exposed talents we are having now. He had to discover them, take them to Europe and mould them to a world class team that everybody feared in the 90s. Within 5 years, the team had gotten a defined pattern of play and a known formation (4-4-2). We were covered in all positions and if not for inexperience, we would probably reached the WC final in 1994. All these happened within 5 years or so.

          Make no mistake; Westerhoff faced the same administrative problems Rohr is facing now. NFA, as they were known then, owed him salary too. They owed players as well. But this guy was determined to give us a team that was ready to fly. If after 5 years in the saddle, Nigeria is still playing like this, struggling to beat the likes of CAR, CV, Madagascar and the rest, then something is definitely wrong. No one should be happy with things as they are now. At a point on Saturday, nothing was happening in our midfield. It didn’t appear like any of our players was there. CV took over completely and that was a match we needed to win badly. When we were in similar position in 1993, we hammered Algeria by an emphatic 4-1 scoreline. Ivory Coast wasn’t spared too. Even when things were going wrong in Algeria in that crucial final qualifyknb match, Finidi came to the rescue and helped us secure a draw.

          Take a look at the match on Saturday and the one we played against Cameroon in 2017. You’ll see a very big difference. In the latter, we ran Paul Biya’s men aground with a mesmerising display and secured that 4-0 win that handed us the ticket to 2018 WC. We are expecting this man to build on that. It’s been three years now since we played that match. What progress has the team made?

          Rohr needs to review a lot of things if he will wants to go far with the team.

          • Papafem

            God bless you

            You took everything you said right out of my mouth word for word

            I have nothing more to add

            I am.happy that we still have brilliant analyst like you who understand the game


  • Okey Anyanwu 2 months ago

    The sad truth is that at this moment even if you give Gernot Rohr an Okocha, He will bench him

  • Sunnyb 2 months ago

    Super Eagles is a reflection of Nigeria leadership, clueless, corruption and nepotism,Nigeria brainwashed is citizens to accept mediocrity as a norm. Digging out old bones to play a decisive game, just like the way old dead body Buhari was dig out to rule Nigeria. Rohr and his band of jesters should continue playoff will expose everybody. I willing to bet anyone $200 Nigeria will not qualify if rohr continue with this lineup.

  • The SE does not stand a chance of qualifying for Qatar, if the coach does not get two quality number 10 players immediately. Akinkunmi Amaoo and Tosin Kehinde will fit in that position perfectly. He needs to stop inviting players like iwobi and Ekong. Those two players have no business in the national team any more.

    • Paul…iwobi ke. We need iwobi oo. We only bneed to ship out ekong. And bench Moses. Moses can’t do good crosses.

      How can you play 352 when you have wing backs that can’t cross very well. You even benched the ones that can cross well. You did not invite that is even I Italy and can be useful as a wing back – ebuehi. Rohr is a joker. He has become one. He was not lime this. Something has gone wrong. He knows his time up so he is using every opportunity to make side money with a company he has a tie with.

      Thr reason for favoritism..

      Ighalo missing seaters. Ekong making mistakes every time. Moses not been able to cross the ball. Yet he keeps using them. He woukr have benched oshimen for ighalo but he knows Nigerians would kill him.

    • Dr Banks 2 months ago

      I read it too and am so glad NFF took the right decision for once this time. I have been a Rohr supporter hoping he will tinker the team in the right direction but after the last 2 matches played recently I knew and agreed he has nothing more to offer, his tactical acumen has retrogressed greatly and nothing can improve it.
      After listening to his post match interview I knew that surely now he seems to be suffering from senile dementia.

      I just hope NFF will do the needful and give us a sound World class coach that will infuse great tactical awareness in our players