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Appeasing Nigerian Fans Will Take More Than Qualifying for the 2021 African Nations Cup

Appeasing Nigerian Fans Will Take More Than Qualifying for the 2021 African Nations Cup

The Super Eagles failed to make good on their promise to go all out and win the return leg of their fixture with Sierra Leone in Freetown as the two teams played out a goalless draw. The result leaves the Super Eagles on the top of group L table with 8 points.

It was difficult to bet on the Super Eagles coming out victorious in the encounter giving the dismal display by the team in Benin last Friday where they raced into a 4 – 0 lead in the first leg of the game only to surrender the staggering lead and end the game in a 4 – 4 draw. That result got fans upset for different reasons.

Firstly, for those fans who are in the betting community, an outright win was the preferred prediction for the game but with the result ending in a draw, a lot of this fans were furious with the Super Eagles for putting up a shambolic display that caused them a lot of money.

A lot of them did not regard Sierra Leone as a threat whatsoever giving that the team was ranked as No 120 in the FIFA World Ranking while the Super Eagles where ranked as No 32. However, the shocker started from the 72nd minute of the game when the visitors scored a second goal after going into the break down by 4 goals to 1. By the 86th minute, the 4th and final goal of the game had been scored by the visitors leaving a bitter taste in the mouth of millions of Nigerians.

Secondly, the head coach of the Super Eagles, Gernot Rohr has been accused of experimenting with the team as evident by the changes he made in the game. Many Fans concluded that he is introducing foreign based players who are not familiar with how Africans play football and so this leaves the team at a disadvantage when facing even underdogs on the continent. The players and coaching staff had gone on to beg Nigerians for forgiveness and promised that they would go to Freetown and beat the Sierra Leoneans silly.

However, unlike the easy ride in the first half of the game in Benin, the Super Eagles found their Sierra Leonean counterparts a very hard nut to crack this time around as the first half of the game ended in a stalemate. If the fans expressed disappointment for allowing a 4 goal lead to slip in the first leg of the match, their disappointment with the Super Eagles this time around would be in the lackluster performance of the team and their inability to score a single goal against a lowly rated team like Sierra Leone as they were unable to find the back of the net in all of the 90 minutes of regulation time and even the added time.

Although some fans have pointed out on twitter that the horrible pitch in Freetown was a major factor in the Super Eagles posting this result, others believe there is no excuse that can be tendered for this unacceptable performance. Whatever the reasons may be for this performance, it is clear that qualifying for the 2021 African Nations cup will not be enough to appease the anger of Nigerian fans.

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  • pompei 8 months ago

    Should Rohr remain, or should he go?
    How can we, in good conscience, fire Rohr, considering that he has not been given the ideal environment to do his job? Look at the poor pitch the team had to play on in Benin! Not to mention the unbelievable distractions from Pinnick and Dare.
    I saw highlights from quite a few of the Afcon qualifiers played across the continent. The stadium that hosted the SA vs Sao Tome game was so pristine, so nice. I couldn’t help but wonder. If we had “rented” that stadium from SA, and played S/L there, I have no doubt in my mind that we would have massacred them. Our boys are used to good pitches, and would have felt more “at home” on that SA pitch. Playing the match in that poor pitch in Benin did not help them at all. As far as our boys are concerned, they just played 2 “away” games. Ogbe stadium was definitely not home!
    I’m not even going to talk about the Siaka Stevens stadium in S/L. That’s not a football stadium.
    If these results had occurred on a good pitch, then the calls for Rohr’s removal would have been more justified. But as it is, as annoyed and frustrated as I am with Rohr, I don’t think we have the moral right to sack him. If we must sack him, we shouldn’t stop with just him. A lot of people would have to go with him. The people that chose Ogbe stadium to host such an important encounter, these must go as well! The administrators that fail to pay match bonuses and coaches’ salaries on time, these must go too! The people who are responsible for the proper functioning of our football, and other sports, should also be shown the door, because nothing is working!
    So, if we want to sack Rohr, we have to also sack a whole lot of people. And out of all these people that are due for sacking, Rohr is the only one with a valid excuse.
    By failing to provide Rohr with a good pitch to play his games, I see that as a fundamental breach of his contract. It is the NFF that owes damages to Rohr in this circumstance, not the other way around. So, if Rohr must go, the NFF must also pay him every penny of his severance, per his contract.
    While I would love his replacement to be someone of substance, like Rijkaard, good coaches do not come cheap. Can the NFF fulfil their obligations to this new coach in a timely manner?
    Furthermore, they are not stupid. They do their due diligence, and when they see what Rohr has endured at the hands of the NFF, do you think they will agree to come and be part of our mess?
    As it stands, although we are disappointed, especially with how Rohr and the team contrived to waste away a 4 goal lead, it stands to reason that our situation is likely to get worse if we get rid of Rohr without having a proper replacement asap.
    And a proper replacement will be reluctant to come, if they see that like Rohr, they will not be provided with an enabling environment to do their job. Then we will have to go back to mediocrity, and our football will go back to the dark ages.
    I would rather stick it out with Rohr till he genuinely fails, or after the 2022 world cup. Indeed, half bread with Rohr is better than none!

  • The bottom line is that u can’t continuously arrange a team two or three days to a game and expect good result all the time. To check if eagles are ready to play a good game let them play a friendly game against local team like eyimba rangers sunshine stars 2 days before a competitive game. The result could be a disaster as seen in 4 : 4 with Sierra leone . Example eyimba could hold eagle to a barren draw. This will be a wake up call for the real game because error noticed must have been corrected.

    • The logistic do not allow it. Players are released from their clubs on a Sunday after the weekend matches, they arrive Monday-Tuesday, then have a couple of training days before the match on Thursday or Friday.

      What then happens if a player in injured in the test match two days before the match?

      Next thing Enyimba/Rangers/Sunshine players injure the players so they can take their spot in the national team. Lol

    • Tunnietunes 8 months ago

      Gernot Rohr should be relieved of his job with immediate effect.

  • pompei 8 months ago

    If a good pitch can’t be found in Nigeria, then the NFF need to look for a good pitch wherever it can be found, else they will be in breach of contract with Rohr.
    I suggest that going forward, we should “rent” a good pitch from South Africa, and play all our home games there. The huge Nigerian population in SA will make the place feel like home. More importantly, Rohr himself and our players will feel much more at home on a good pitch, and their performance level will be much, much better. Then, we will see the Super Eagles that were good enough to play 1-1 with Brazil.
    Even if Rohr’s squad spanked Brazil 10 nil, they would still be impotent on a bad pitch. Football giants like France, Brazil, Germany, Belgium, etc would struggle to beat S/L on that useless Siaka Stevens stadium pitch! Will they fare better at the Ogbe stadium pitch? I have my doubts! How can we then say we want to fire Rohr for failure to perform on a poor pitch? Can you fire a cook for poorly baked food, when the oven in the kitchen is not working properly?
    Let’s take our home games to South Africa, and we can expect a much better performance from Rohr and our boys going forward!

    • But then again Republic of Benin beat Sierra Leone and Lesotho drew 1-1 on that same pitch.

      The other point isthis: If the state governments cannot be trusted to ensure their pitches are good enough for the Super eagles, then why can the NFF/Sports ministry not ensure that the National Stadia in Lagos and Abuja are befitting?

      • pompei 8 months ago

        Can you really judge the performance of a team on a poor pitch? Especially a pitch as bad as the Siaka Stevens pitch? Is it a crime, or a weakness, for our boys to be used to playing on good pitches? If failure to provide an employee with a suitable work environment constitutes a breach, then how is a poor pitch different for a football team? Unless results don’t matter. If the results don’t matter, we can go ahead and do whatever. But if coaches and players are evaluated based on results, then they must be provided with what they need, within reason, to do their jobs. If that means renting a stadium in another country, so be it!

        • Kenneth 8 months ago

          What kind of TV do you have, don’t know how you were able to see that the pitch was very bad, same must be said for ogbe stadium, they are in the same category. If they can score 4 goals in that pathetic stadium, don’t see why they couldn’t score here. Lets stop all this excuses, if Fifa and Caf can certify the stadium has playable, then we have nothing else to say. We are not stadium experts

          • pompei 8 months ago

            Lol! Stadium experts ko, Stadium architects and engineers ni! So I need an advanced degree in architecture or civil engineering to know what a good pitch is?
            Fifa certified the stadium as playable. Is the stadium in the same condition that Fifa saw it when it was certified ok? I get am before na property?

      • Dr Drey 8 months ago

        Benin beat S/L at home in Porto novo and not on that millet farm. Any team that can beat S/L on that millet farm will get to the semi-finals of AFCON…..trust me. As lowly ranked as they are, they remain unbeaten on that patch for over half a decade now. I checked the results of their matches in all qualifying series since 2015 and even they struggle to score more than 1 goal in their home matches, talk more of opponents who only have 1 training session on it…. most times, its either a 1-0 win or a 1-1 draw. Lets cut the Eagles some slack pls. I am very sure that pitch is a contributing factor to their 120th ranking because i wonder how many wins per dozen they themselves can get on it.
        One of their players did leg over in the first half and started looking for the ball afterwards. Apparently the ball had bounced off to throw-in behind him while he was still leg-over-ing

  • Kenneth 8 months ago

    Excuses Excuses Excuses, all of a sudden the pitch is to blame for the team not winning or a convincing display, whats the difference between this pitch and that of ogbe stadium. I rmembered vividly well when the national stadium in surulere was just sand, yet the super eagles were beating teams like kilode. The match in question was not even televised in HD, and the recording was poor. So please let us just accept the team was average. At least they didn’t lose.

    • Abi o. Dont mind those mediocre-thinking, Rorh agents. We managed 3 points in our last 4 games. That indicates there’s something wrong with our technical crew.
      To hell with all those excuses: bad pitch, 3 days to prepare, etc. Bottom line is NFF needs to review the technical strenght of the coaches. Or else we should just accept we are not that super.

      • Chris 8 months ago

        Yobo joined the team and the team is yet to get it’s first win. NFF needs to let us see what we are missing by the yobo mix.

        Quote me “before SE can get any likely win, Yobo needs to be cleansed”. Save this here!

  • A disappointing display at home and abroad by the Super Eagles now Super Chickens. See, the NFF is corrupt like Nigeria itself. If we wànt to progress in this country as a football Nation,disband the Current NFF officials and appoint people who know the tricks in how the leather game is played,forget about foreign coaches. I know some made us proud in 1994 and 1996. This time Nigeria was ranked No.1 in Africa and No.5 in the world. Good.The foreign coaches then were hunting for local talents; Now, the foreign coaches we are employing are looking for foreign players who don’t understand how football is played in Africa. See, African Football is different from EPL, LALIGA, BUNDISLIGA Silia A and the rest. What am I saying? Forget about foreign coaches, give the indigenous coaches a chance to perform wonders. Appoint Jay Okocha and Kanu Nwankwo to coach the Super Eagles, they will NEVER be Super Chikens again.

  • Collins id 8 months ago

    I tire for some irrelevant excuses for a man a dull technical crew. there is nothing wrong with ogbe stadium. The grass was filled up and u can hardly found any pot hole. I remember Nigeria bit cameroun 4 1 in LG cup final in Lagos pot hole field and it was even raining on that day, aiyegbeni scored hatrick with sweaming pool right in front of the both goalkeeper yards stopping some balls from entering the net. how can u guys be talking shit about a pitch that was fully covered. even Rohr didn’t blame that pitch for any reasons. The sierraloene commentators even commended that pitch yesterday when we where playing in their home. how can you blame a pitch where both teams scored 8 goals combined? I cant believe this, your team created records of 4 goals in 35 minutes and then slept off. and the other team thought them some lessons then all of a sudden the field is the problem, pinnick and dare is the problem, yobo is the problem. some body even blamed austra field for Tunisia draw another person blamed covid 19 mask for Algeria lost. if you want to joke let us joke, its allowed, but if u are serious then be straight forward. rohr was beaten 2 0 in uyo by Southafrica and went to Southafrica to draw 1 1, the pitch was also the cos? rohr was leading 2 0 in Ukraine and in less than 10 minutes an historical winning turned 2 2 draw it was poor pitch? rohr was leading in lybia 2 0 and the lybians equalised 2 2 it took ighalo magic for us to win 3 2, it was the big monsque behind the stadium that almost cost us our victory abi? Madagascar na pitch cos 2 0 for Egypt? if you are an expert analyst you will connect all this tactical failures to thesame technician and you should be able to arrive at a particular junction abi 1+1×2-4 nor get answer again. I think we should stop the excuses gernot Rohr should be sacked, at first he was hired as a technical director to support sanusi all of a sudden the guy don turned President in a sit he deosnt deserves. they should bring in egbo and amunike to replace this old man. The guy did well 4 years ago when blood was well flowing in and out of his brain but you can’t undermine an additional 4 years to an old man’s age science can explain better that there is a big gap. we need young guys with new ideas, psychologically children respect papa or senior brother pass grandpa bcos grand pa nor dey fit shout. we need a young man, even if nor be Nigerian we can go for even North Africans. one thing I love about northafricans (arabo as popularly called) they have a hot spirit(yalla yalla) and they are not afraid of anything or person, they will always inspire their players to be aggressive and will not exitate to call you Zebe(dick) if u deserves to be called Zebe even if u are Mikel obi they don’t respect names. this may not be the best of attitudes but I can bet for sure that it is the kind of attitudes that works for us if we must win afcon and reach wcup quarters. as for Rohr and is akpoguma right back for 3 sound right back to couple with okoye was is best player in Sierra Leone it shows that sanusi is better than this man

  • Ako Amadi 8 months ago

    Nigeria dhould quietly be on the lookout for Gernot Rohr’s successor rather than start quarrelling now