AFCON 2019: How Rohr Has Utilized 23-Man Super Eagles Squad So Far

AFCON 2019: How Rohr Has Utilized 23-Man Super Eagles Squad So Far

Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr used 18 players to prosecute Nigeria’s Group B matches at the ongoing AFCON 2019 in Egypt, Completesports.com reports.

From the 23 players at Rohr’s disposal for the competition, only four are yet to taste any action, while the coach has used different squads for each of the AFCON 2019 matches played by the Eagles so far.

Nigeria, surprisingly, ended in second spot in Grpup B with six points, behind AFCON finals newcomers Madagascar who finished with seven points, while Guinea finished with four points, with another debutants Burundi having no point at all.

Related: Rohr: We’ll Work On Super Eagles’ Scoring Problem

Having won their first two games by the one goal each against Burundi and Guinea, the Eagles, against all expectations, lost 2-0 to Madagascar.

Against Guinea, the Eagles’ gaffer made five changes to the starting lineup from the squad that played and beat Burundi in the first game.

Also in the last group game against Madagascar, Rohr made another five changes to his starting lineup from the squad that played and won against Guinea in the second game.

The four players yet to feature in any game are former first choice goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho, defender Jamilu Collins and forwards; Victor Osimhen and Henry Onyekuru.

Meanwhile, seven players have featured in all the three Eagles’ AFCON 2019 Group B games. They are Ola Aina, Chidozie Awaziem, Wilfred Ndidi, Oghenekaro Etebo, Alex Iwobi, Ahmed Musa and Odion Ighalo.

However, only the two players – Aina and Etebo, have played the full 90 minutes in all the three group games totalling 270 minutes.

Players Yet To Play

Francis UZOHO

Players Who Played In All Three Group Games

Chidozie AWAZIEM
Wilfred NDIDI
Oghenekaro Etebo
Ahmed Musa

Players Who Played Full-Time In The Three AFCON 2019 Group B Games

Oghenekaro ETEBO

By Sulaiman Alao

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  • Footballfanatic 5 years ago

    So basically only Osimhen and Onyekuru have not tasted action? Collins doesn’t count cuz he is injured so as for the goalkeeping department cuz we really have no first choice goalkeeper lol. Coach wetin these 2nguys do u. You have used 18 players…wow.

  • PapaFem 5 years ago

    I’m a staunch supporter of the coach. But I’m absolutely gutted by his attitude towards the match against Madagascar. Knowing we had qualified for the next round, he took things so easy that he thought any player could just walk up the field and get the job the done.

    No 1, he so much underrated the islanders that he picked the trio of Ogu,Mikel and Etebo like they were going for a practise match. These three players are defensive midfielders save Etebo who possesses few skills and agility to advance upfield. This makes transition from midfield to attack somehow laborious, reason Ighalo struggled all through to deal the our opponents’ tight defence.

    Rohr thought any combination of players could fetch him the needed points, and he didn’t motivate the players enough to go for broke. The drive was poor and it didn’t appear like they really wanted to win the game.

    From Balogun’s error, it appeared he grossly underated the on-rushing striker. If it were Mane or Salah, he would have done more than just wanting to shield him from the ball. He would have rushed towards the ball and kick it to safety, and not waiting for the ball to come n meet him. So disheartening.

    We only woke up when the first goal went in, and while pushing for an equalizer, Ndidi deflected another into his net! It wasn’t just our day but we didn’t really deserve to win because the hunger wasn’t just there.

    We have put ourselves in such a position where we have to work extra hard to make the 1/4 final. We could easily have avoided this because a simpler opponent was there for our taking.

    I still believe we can win the next match but Rohr should start taking each match like the final.

    • Bomboy 5 years ago

      @ Papafem, I salute you for being one of the few objective fans of Coach Rohr. The others think loyalty means their idol can never be wrong.

      • PapaFem 5 years ago

        True loyalty comes from critical analysis of your idol’s failure or success to make him better. He must have realized his mistakes now. And surely, he would correct them in the next match.

      • Destiny 5 years ago

        Leave them bomboy make them dey loyal give their idol make dem nor tel am he fault and he wrong rohr

        But me I will call a spade a spade gernot rorh is a clueless and empty head coach

    • Jonathan Olajide JP 5 years ago


      But there is something in the tactical deployment of the trio of defensive minded midfielders most of us failed to spot.

      John Ogu as a left footer was wrongly stationed at the right base of the defensive midfield line while Etebo operated from the right. Mikel ofcousre operated in front of them.

      A Coach worth his onus would’ve played Ogu on the left hand side, Mikel in the right and Etebo further up considering he has the oace, tenacity and drive for quick transition from midfuy to attack which Mikel doesn’t possess.

      Also one would’ve expected him to play Omerou at right back (better suited there than a static and oftimes ponderous Awaziem.

      Chukwueze, Onyekuru and Osimhem should’ve all started the game rather than the trio who started.

      Foe me, the case of Rohr is like that of David Moyes and Unai Emery. Some coaches can’t manage big ego dressing rooms where you have super stars. They are only cut out foe small teams.

      Nigeria’s talent pool is way too big for GR to manage

      Even if he ends up winning the AFCON (my prayers) it will be down to the efforts of his team and not any tactical imput from him.

      Imagine a team trailing against a robust defensive minded team and all he could do was bring in Iwobi and two defensive minded players in Simon and Ndidi. What coach does that??

      I remembered Nigeria trailing Brazil in Atlanta 96 and Bonfrere withdrew Mobi Oparaku (a right back) for Teslim Fatusi. He reported same trick with same player at France 98 (where he replaced him with an attacking midfielder Mutiu Adepoju) against Spain. On both occasions we won.

      Why not bring in Osimhen, Onyekuru and Iwobi/Chukwueze for Kalu, Ogu and Ighalo or leave Osimhen on the bench for the others???

      Good evening forumites.

      IAM FatherJP old as the portal, only read you guys and hardly comment.

      Great job you guys are doing here I must say.

      One love!

      • FatherJP 5 years ago

        **sorry** Etebo was stationed at the left side i wanted to say

      • I have said it time and time that This coach is technically deficient , I have tried to read his game plans,but often his choices of actions always brings more questions than answer. Apart from the team playing comically,his lack of technical understanding of the gave was so obvious .Musa, Mikel, Balogun, Igalo, Ogu were the players that were not in the game , if you look at his game management, who did he bring in and who did he take out. What was the reason for the change and what was he expecting from his substitute. This is game management and understanding of the game.
        We have played three game with five changes per game as if he is not sure of his team, you do not rotate a team like that in a tournament, you must have a starting team and subs, but he is too technically bereaved to know what he is doing.

      • PapaFem 5 years ago

        Thank you, Sir @ Jonathan. Your tactical angle to the discourse made a lot of sense, but even if the coach deployed all these, those players went into the match with a wrong mentality. That is what worries me most. We have this attitude of being overly laid when we play supposed smaller teams. And Rohr has done nothing to address this. Look at the match against South Africa in the qualifiers in Nigeria,from the blast of the whistle, it was obvious we didn’t come to fight because we believe this was South Africa; we always have a way of beating them. We were stunned right there in our backyard. But when Cameroon and Algeria came into the picture in the World Cup qualifiers, eagles played like a team of possessed musketeers. Why can’t we have that as a permanent feature of the national team? I know they will come up good in the next match because their ego is hurt already. But there’s nothing wrong if we win the cup without losing a match. Are they even ready to win the cup? Well , time will tell.

  • Steve 5 years ago

    The coach is probably trying to rotate the squad to give every player a taste of action and also to rest some key players ahead of the knock out stages. However, it backfired.

  • Ololo 5 years ago

    Madagascar vs dr Congo / Kenya/Senegal
    Nigeria vs Cameroon/ Ghana / Benin
    Which is the better option.
    For me I see Nigeria playing Cameroon which is not a bad option

    • Bomboy 5 years ago

      If Madagascar plays Senegal and we meet with Cameroon, Ghana or Benin, then that loss was definitely a blessing in disguise.

      I would do anything to avoid Senegal.

  • How have our players performed thus far in this afcon?

    Below are my observations with ratings:


    Ikechukwu Ezenwa : Could not have picked the worst possible time to have been picked to man the post after picking the ball from the back of the net twice against Madagascar.

    His abilities to sense danger early and readjust to deflected efforts were severely tested but it would be hard to blame him too much for the goal. 5/10

    Daniel Akpeyi: Never has keeping 2 clean sheets en route securing qualification to the next round of afcon meant little to many as Akpeyi’s shakey demeanour and occasional howlers leaves many unconvinced about the South African based shot-stopper. 6/10


    Chidozie Awaziem : The makeshift right back has offered next to nothing going forward but he did put in decent shifts regarding his defensive duties. 5/10

    Ola Aina : The sublime pass for Ighalo’s goal and his all round play in that first match against Burundi is a height the Torino man has failed to attain in subsequent games. 6/10

    Leon Balogun: The horror show he performed against Madagascar to gift them the first goal is perhaps the most noteworthy contribution of the Brighton bench-warmer in the tournament thus far. 3/10.

    William Troost Ekong : Has hardly put a foot wrong but hasn’t always bossed the game from the back as expected. 6/10.

    Kenneth Omeruo: The standout performer from the back for the Super Eagles with a goal as the icing on a delicious cake in the match against Guinea.

    Shehu Abdullahi: Got injured in the first match but in truth, did he actually merit a place in the squad? 4/10


    John Ogu: May have played himself out of contention for future starts in the team with a tepid performance against Madagascar that saw him hurled off in half time. 4/10

    Oghenekaro Etebo : The Stoke City star has been combative in midfield and won several tackles. Still, he lacks.finesse in his all-round play 6.5/10.

    Mikel Obi : Two games, two very poor outings. You get the sense that his best days in Nigeria colours may be behind him.4/10.

    Wilfred Ndidi: Doing what he does best with crisp tackles and timely interceptions. He even instigates attacking initiatives. 7.5/10


    Samuel Kalu : played without presence of mind of the occasions or the teammates around him. He looks lost to me. 4/10.

    Ahmed Musa:Perhaps he will come alive in the later parts of the tournament. For now, the less said the better. 5/10.

    Odion Ighalo : By now, you will think Rohr would have realised that Ighalo plays better with a support striker close by.

    The former Watford man has never looked like repeating his heroics against Burundi in subsequent matches. 6/10


    Alex Iwobi : His international careers has continued much the same way as his club career with hot-and-cold performances.

    The Arsenal man does try to lift the team but his end products aren’t always what the doctor ordered.5/10.

    Moses Simon : Value has to placed.on the support he offers defensively. But offensively, what he is producing is falling short of the standard expected of a Super Eagles winger.5/10.

    Paul Onuachu: Lost his place to Ighalo after a performance in the first match that fell way short of a high calibre striker.

    The jury is still out on the tall striker. 4/10

    The whole team: The Super Eagles have, by and large, played without adequate verve or cohesion.

    Coach Rohr: It continues to be hard to pinpoint Rohr’s overriding strategic approach to matches in this tournament as his boys appear to rely on individual brilliance which were anticipated and well curtailed Madagascar in our last match.

    • Two corrections:

      1) Omeruo ratings :8/10

      2) Coach Rohr: It continues to be hard to pinpoint Rohr’s overriding strategic approach to matches in this tournament as his boys appear to rely on individual brilliance which were anticipated and well curtailed by Madagascar in our last match.

  • Ayphillydegreat 5 years ago

    John Ogu, Mikel Obi, Odion Ighalo should be eased out of the SuperEagles after AFCON. Ogu should never be called up again not to talk of starting a game in a SuperEagles shirt. The guy is good on social media. Very woeful pass to gift a goal. The good side is that we have a lot of U23 players in the squad and this tournament should be very valuable to their future development. Osimhen, Onyekuru, Kalu, Chukwueze, Uzoho, Awaziem are all members of the DreamTeam. Ndidi, Etebo, Iwobi, Simon are established members of the team and still quite young. Balogun should also be eased out gradually, Ekong, Omeruo, Musa should be the leaders after the AFCON while we continue to discover good strikers. Onuachu is still a suspect for me until he proves himself in this AFCON. It’s a good development that they made it out of the group after we failed to qualify for two consecutive AFCON. It’s up to the next stage and we live to fight another day. VAMOS ARRIBA SUPEREAGLES!!!!!!!

  • If you want to win next match don’t play Mikel,Ogu ,Akpeiyi please gernot Rohr stat with Ighalo ,chukwueze, onyekuru, Indidi , musa , etobo and others these are the best player you have now can’t you know good player or what? Don’t lose your next match if you do go to your country from there

  • Unique 5 years ago

    Algeria make 9 changes and won the game while rohr is afraid to use players other countries wish to have. Na wa o

  • Lord AMO 5 years ago

    For me this Afcon is already a lost cause because what have we really achieved? We don’t look like a team capable of winning it if we are honest with ourselves. We haven’t established or honed a pattern of play. We also haven’t introduced or discovered any new players that we can confidently say is our next star.

    For me the biggest question moving forward is, who is our attacking midfielder? Its certainly not etebo with his gra gra style and Iwobi hasn’t convinced. Are there any U-23. U-20 or homebased players that anyone can identify as that guy?

  • Sunnyb 5 years ago

    Yeah bro,Denis Bonaventure not a bad baller and James igbekeme, these two ballers are coming to the party after Afcon 

  • Destiny 5 years ago

    Gernot rohr is a madman why did has he has not use Henry since,

    Up till now he is still confused and don’t even know what to do


  • The difference at times is when the job is done well off the ball. If the Madagascar striker making that run off the ball and chasing after what looked like a lost chance at first was the difference. The two sides are not so special and we know it and taking a holiday while off the ball doesn’t make it any easier. In fact it makes things harder for the passer if no one sees space in between the gaps and worst of all cannot shoot from tight corners by bending the ball slightly instead of power. No opponent is too stupid these days.

  • Samson Oyeyinka 5 years ago

    Guys don’t be too quick to criticize and if you do, be constructive with it. Whether, we win or loose a match, the players know what that means to them and to us as the fans, so we should be calm with our comments. Don’t come here and say someone is mad. A mad man can recognise another so please let us be professional and courteous with our comments.

    My view about the loss is simple. The players underrated the Madagascar team and paid dearly for it. Our loss was panful, but to me it was good. It shows that we aren’t there yet. Coach must go back to drawing board to give hungry players playing time.

    Now that we are going for knockout, no excuse will be tolerated.

    I would prefer to rest Ighalo and onachu for the next round. We need to play attacking football. Let him use this for Saturday and am sure we will not only win, the goals will be much

    Keeper Akpeyi
    Defenders Ola Aina,Troost Ekong, Omuero and Collins
    Mid field: Ndidi,Etebo and Iwobi
    Strikers: Chukwueze,Henry and Osihemen. Let them play for 45 mins if we dont get goals bring in Ighalo and musa and am sure we can win.

  • joelspets 5 years ago

    @ Samson Oyeyinka Musa and ighalo will play as usual. Rohr that i know will never try your formation.
    God bless Nigeria.

  • I think iwobi+chukweze+etebo +ndidi will solve the problem of increativity in the midfield.Onyekuru+osimhen the front 2

  • Charles 5 years ago

    Oyekuru is better thank Musa, it seems these coach like some players

  • pls.if they can sack the coach before the Saturday’s match let them do,because that man will still field Moses simon or Samuel kalu ahead of Samuel Chukwueze.who wants to bet with me

  • Mr. Cole 5 years ago

    Oga Rohr once said publicly but indirectly that he is got no confidence in Nigerian league, and i believe that is the reason behind our goalkeeping department crisis. If i could recall, all our legend goalkeepers were discovered in the Nigerian league even when it was still nothing to what it is now.
    To the point of the topic: Henry (Onyekuru) and Victor (Osimehn) are the only 2 players who haven’t taste action so far, imagine? some of European finest if not some of the best in their various leagues. Confusion on rampage. Oga Rohr sha

  • Edoman 5 years ago

    Rohr is a stupid and a MADMAN. If ever l get to near him, I would spite on his f..king face. I believe that he takes bribe from some of these average players to enhance their chance in their Clubs. Where is Henry Onyekuru, where is Victor Osimhem,
    where is the young and up-coming Chukwueze in Rohr’s line up. Look folks, this Rohr’s bunch of average players will surely go back home after the next game. I already bet 10,000 USD on any of the established powerhouse team to defeat and disgrace this Rohr’s team. It is not too early for the NFF to start shopping for the most competent coach in the market now if they want to start preparing for the World cup African qualifying Matches. If you believe in Rohr to win this Afcon cup, l have Ovia bridge to sell to you. l can even sell you the River Niger Bridge self.

  • For me, Ilove the way he used Mikel, Kalu, Simon and Ogu and for Balogun, he’s just not lucky.
    Even though The likes of Chukwueze, Onyekuru and Osimhen can never fumble like Ogu and others but if he didn’t use those players, there will be some matches that we fans will still want them to play. So..by now, Rohr himself should know that just like Echiejile and Joel obi after the world cup, Ogu, Mikel and possibly Ighalo have tried we appreciate them.
    @ Aphilly…80% Nigerians including me hated Ighalo during world cup qualifiers and during the world cup why…Mikel was the player behind him.
    He became the highest goal scorer during the nation’s cup qualifiers why, Iwobi took over.
    Paul Onuachu’s Only Goal was scored when Iwobi played behind him so I wasn’t surprised when he became rootless against Burundi with Mikel.. remember, Iwobi has already taken over the Mid-field when Ighalo eventually scored.
    The same Ighalo went back to is usual self against Madagascar because…..u know the answer.
    So for me I will wait and see the team list and result during the knockout stage but from my own opinion, Akpeyi, Ogu, Mikel should be out of the team after the tournament. Balogun, Musa, Ighalo should be there temporarily.
    And Simon is not better than Okereke and Dennis. And remember, Ebuehi is coming back… Shehu should beware.
    For Ogu and Mikel, May be Ajayi,Ejaria, Ikechukwu, Nwakali(depending on his form) can come in..then with iwobi’s ups and down, we need back ups… Dennis played the role during champion’s league, Eze then Keanan Bennetts(it’s funny but I was once oppotuned to watch in that role for monchenglabach.
    For Rohr…it’s not over yet.
    My mind tells me that we still have match(es) to celebrate together before he leaves.

  • Dennis will give Iwobi good competition
    okereke will outwit kalu
    Amuneke my fav. Candidate for the job

  • Whatever happened to the diamond 4-4-2 otherwise known as the 4-1-2-1-2 formation we played b/w 1998 & 2006?
    If I’m to coach this SEs team I’ll implement the above formation cos we have the playing personnel. Team list below:






    Ighalo(striker) Osimhen/Onuachu(Cf)

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