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Mourinho: Mikel A Good No.6, Bad No.10 For Super Eagles

Mourinho: Mikel A Good No.6, Bad No.10 For Super Eagles

By Nurudeen Obalola:

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has joined the Mikel Obi debate.

Mega Millions Naija

Mikel has often played an advanced role for the Super Eagles while he played a much deeper role for Chelsea successfully for close to 11 years.

The Nigeria captain, now 31, appeared out of sorts on Saturday playing behind lone striker Odion in the 2-0 defeat to Croatia in their Russia 2018 World Cup opening clash.

Mourinho, who signed a young Mikel for Chelsea in 2006 and converted him from an attacking midfielder to a defensive midfield, has agreed with those calling for the Tianjin TEDA star to be deployed in a deeper role.

On the Russian TV station RT, where he is working as a World Cup pundit, Mourinho said, referring to Mikel: “Nigeria lost a good No.6 to get a bad No.10.”

The Super Eagles, who have failed to advance the two previous times they lost their opening games, face Iceland on Friday needing a win to keep hope alive.

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  • Dr. Drey 5 years ago

    You are right Special one. Our national team Coach is overated. He has players but doesnt know how to use them. He really doesn’t deserve any salary for the month of May and June IMHO, bcos i dont see anything reasonable he has added to the SE in the last 2 months. The team has gone from good to bad to worse. The same mistakes they displayed in the match against Serbia have repeated itself till this moment. and this makes me to wonder….what do these guys really do in training…??? I wish we could just adopt performance based remunerations for all these our national team coaches.

    • Finally! One of the world’s best coaches speaks up and says what we have all been saying [at least I have] for a while. Mikel has chosen to be a number 10 ad the NFF + Rohr are pandering to his demands. Tell him to play at 6 or BENCH HIM!!!

      Against Iceland, play Mikel + Ndidi as defensive mids… [If playing 3-5-2, place Etebo and Ndidi either side of Mikel]. Drop IGHALO – 1 good season at Watford and a failure ever since!!! In a 3-5-2, play Alex Iwobi and Musa as the 2 up front… movement and pace from people who are ACTUAL FORWARDS!!! Please play Tyrone Ebuehi – a full/wing back who gets forward and offers us a different option. Shehu sits on his 18 yard line… Get rid of Brian Idowu and play anyone you like there… Echejile. If goinfg 3-5-2 then please do not play Ogu as a defender, play Omeruo with Balogun and Ekong….

      • Nice one Yomi!!! This is exactly the case. Mikel and Moses choose the positions they want to play and not the coach. Some of our previous coaches – Keshi and Oliseh – put determine where these guys play, but Siasia and Rohr allow them to decide the position they want.

        I’m not a fan of Etebo playing in the midfield, I think he is better as a support striker or wing forward.

      • Dr. Drey 5 years ago

        Great one Yomi. Ori e pe baje baje. These things are basic, they are fundamental, u really dont need to be a guardiola to know these things. Gernot Rohr is seriously de-repping himself at his first showing on the biggest football stage on earth with these tactical blunders

      • Isaac 5 years ago

        Good one, but I will play Iheanacho in place of Musa and Moses in place of Idowu as LWB. Musa shoud come in as a sub to use his pace against tired defenders. Iheanacho is more clinical that every striker in the team now.

        • Good shout Isaac… Ebuehi at RWB and Moses at LWB could work quite well…

      • This is exactly what I’ve been saying.
        I wish our coach would listen.
        The right tools for the job are there!

      • Not a good formation at all, Idowu is not a bad player. He has been scared of going forward because Super Eagles have not being in full control of their last 3 to 4 games. He is far better than Echiejile defensively and doing forward. 4-1-2-3 or 4-2-1-3 is a formation I believe will work well against a attacking and better defensive Iceland. 4 (Tyrone, Idowu, Balogun, Troost-Ekong), 1/2 (Mikel/Etebo with Etebo going forward and Mikel distributing passes from behind), 1(Iwobi), 3(Musa, Iheanacho/Simmy, Moses). I will bench Ndidi, I am sorry. Etebo can do his job and Mikel will support. Etebo is a player that goes forward and comes back easily. He will also support the attack.

      • Great one bro. God bless you for that change of guard. I love that line up

        • Kingsley 5 years ago

          Lmao everyone is a good coach until you’re actually given the job. If it were so simple I’m sure we all be coaches earning mega bucks

          • Thank you jare…
            All these people think football matches are PS4 games

      • jamie 5 years ago

        Wilfred indidi(mere [email protected])hasn’t been deliver for SE while Etebo(hungry for fame)giving his best, why not droping onyinye then and pick either Ogu or someone else?cos what is needed is result this time or …..

      • junaidu musa 5 years ago

        this is the bets way but they will not take it as serious matter till they put our face down to the grown and one on resonable tinz is that i dnt know why our players ar verry slow in active pls i sugest that if they can invite orthopedic medical doctor to check their bones in oder to obtain somthing that can make them to move their body against iceland。 god less nigeria i wish u the best super eggles·

  • Concept 5 years ago

    Siasia knows how to use these boys better than Rohr. We all saw what Nigeria played at the Olympics. They got to the Semis

    • kenny 5 years ago

      Siasia could not qualify us for ordinary nations cup with the same boys, but Rohr qaulified us easily for world cup in a group that has Algeria with their star players and Cameroon, the Africa champion. We all praise him then, now Siasia is better than him and we should now go back to struglling for nations cup qualifing.

      • Awoyele olatunde 5 years ago

        On both occasion siasia was called to coach Nigeria for nations cup he didn’t start the qualification process. So we can’t blame him. Look at every project he started he actually made mark in those assignments.

  • Our adamant coach rohr work is to give players false position.

    U being having a goal problem against the european teams, stil yet u are using a lone striker.
    who will say gernot rohr is not a villain.

    use 3 5 2 or 4 4 2 formation.

    Formation to use
    Two_kelechi iwobi

    Four_moses etebo ndidi musa

    Four_idowu balogun ebuehi and ekong de wrestler.

    Sub_omerue echiejile awaziem onazi simy and must play mikel 2half_mikel

    • Kelly 5 years ago

      Just to contribute; I’ll suggest 2- Ighalo and Iwobi
      4- Moses, Mikel,Ndidi and Etebo
      4- Ebuehi, Balogun, Ekong and Idowu

      Sub: Iheanacho for Ighalo; Musa for Mikel so Etebo can get into the midfield proper…and Simy for Iwobi.
      4-3-3 doesn’t work fr the team coz the striker will always end up alone.

    • Martins 5 years ago

      I concur with you oluwa, Your team with the 442 formation is really very strong, strong, potent players that’s exactly what we need against the Ice men…

  • Daniel 5 years ago

    The nigerian team need many things like stastitics sef comfidence and agility it only one player who poses that charactaristics that is etebo the nigeria team should switch formation too 3 5 2 that will see blogun, ekong, shehu 3 while you will see moses etebo ndidi tyroon ewobi 5 ighalo ihenacho 2

  • This coach gernot rohr is a mistake to super eagle. He is overrated add nothing to SE.

    Actually he dont know how to use players. This clueless coach maybe only good in playing africa teams bcos of our blessed and not bcoz of is tactice.

    He should be even arrested if he fail to beat iceland.

  • Usman mukhtar 5 years ago

    Rohr u our midfield should be ndidi,etebo and Alex iwobi obi should be out of the squad, our also toward should be musa,iheanacho, and moses

  • How can you guys listen to this Mourinho is he not the same player that ruined Mikel’s career at Chelsea????

  • How can you guys listen to this Mourinho is he not the same player that ruined Mikel’s career at Chelsea??? Mikel was a born CAM the stupid Mourinho changed him top a Defensive player

    • Mikel played well as CAM at U-20 level [2nd best player to Messi at the tournament etc etc]. Coming to Europe, Mourinho saw immediately that he would not cut it at the highest level as a CAM. He MADE Mikel’s career – Mikel won titles as a Defensive Mid including the Champions League!
      See who he is up against as CAMs in today’s world… Sergio Aguero, Lionel Messi, Christian Eriksen, Neymar, Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Isco, …Mikel has never been in this class EVER. Let’s be REAL, please….

      • I beg to disagree, when did aguero become CAM? Maurinho ruin mikels career, n i dnt agree with the fact he succeed with Chelsea, as we all know more than 80% of his playing career at chelsea was as a sub.

  • Ayphillydegreat 5 years ago

    Mikel can only play as a number 10 against African teams. In a WorldCup environment and against top European oppositions his best position is playing in front of the back four as a deeplying playmaker. It’s just unfortunate that if Mikel play as DM one of Ndidi and Etebo will have to make way because Iwobi is the actual number 10.

    We need the pace of Musa, Moses and Iheanacho upfront. Ebuehi should be the right back, oh my goodness! How in the world did Rohr not realize that Shehu is not the right choice for that position at this level???? I’m still not comfortable with Idowu as the left back. I sincerely don’t know how we can make it out of this group. Although no team with the exception of spain, Portugal and Mexico have been really exceptional at the Mundial so far. It’s been an evenly balanced WorldCup in my opinion. Every group is wide open therefore, anything is possible. VAMOS ARRIBA SUPEREAGLES!!!

    • Do u guys even observe the fact we dnt play any left footed players against croatia? My first time of seeing a team set up without n out n out left footed player,joe obi, echiejine, iheanacho, john ogu, one of this guys must start, at least .

      • Walking 5 years ago

        U r spot on sir…

      • Teams play a lineup without left footers from time to time. It’s not ideal but it’s nothing new either, neither is having a left footer a criteria for winning

  • PEACE 5 years ago

    Complete sport should please advice Rohr to start
    Moses Musa
    Mikel Ndidi
    Idowu Balogun Ekong Ebuehi
    as the first 11 eleven. Almost every one knows that Super Eagles will win and score goals in multiples as they did worn against Argentina 4-2 by using this set of players as the first eleven and in this formation.
    Complete sport should help NIGERIA PLEASE!!!!! Thank you

  • Prince 5 years ago

    Dear Rohr

    Nigeria vs Iceland 

    Pls play this players according !!!

    3-5-2 (team formation & diamond attacking)
    Ebuehi – Ekong – Balogun
    Musa – Mikel – Etobo- Ndidi – Moses
    Kelechi – Iwobi

    4-3-3 (when attacking or defending the midfield)

    Ebuehi – Ekong – Balogun-Ndidi
    Musa- Mikel- Etobo
    Kelechi – Iwobo – Moses

    3-3-2-2 (sole attack / and defending & attacking opponent area)
    Ebuehi – Ekong – Balogun 
    Mikel – Etobo – Ndidi
    Musa – Moses 
    Kelechi – Iwobi

    Possible player in / out
    (attack choice)
    Ogu for Mikel 
    Oghalo for Musa 
    Simy for Kelechi 

    (Defence choice)
    Ogu for Mikel
    Onazi or Joel for Musa 
    Oghalo for Musa 
    Omeuro for Balogun 

    God bless NIGERIA !!!
    Let’s go SUPER EAGLES !!!

    • Chris 5 years ago

      I love your formations. U are really “sporty”. With all due respect to Rohr, there are guys on this platform that can coach the SE very well. The only difference is just the license and paper.

      • Prince 5 years ago

        Respect bro

        I’m currently on my grade B licence (Canada)
        Then I will go for the Pro EU course next year in Spain

        Hopefully someday, I will be a good soccer coach 

        I discussed that for team formation with my current coach / mentor in a league club here in Tornoto and after watching the friendlies with Congo, Serbia and England …as well as the qualifiers away to Zambia and the home match with Cameroun …. We arrive at that diamond – attack line / web defence line formation 

        God bless 

  • Reading all this comment about Mikel being played as no 10, Modric plays much forward at Real Madrid but was played much deeper against Nigeria.that is tactical masterstroke. Rohr needs to change his tactics

  • Ikakke Ekaiko 5 years ago

    Nigeria is a great team….
    I value what Gernor roer is doing to get eagles down to Russia….

    We played well againt the Crots but the formation of 4-3-2-1 was not good for eagles i think we will play a better game against the iceland team for me i think nigeria should play a 3-5-2 formation….

    Go for it super eagles make nigerians proud?

  • Guys, don’t you see Simmy Nwanko very relevant as our main striker? I see his height and deft movements very relevant in converting our corners and free-kicks which we don’t always utilize if given the opportunity. 

  • Omaskels 5 years ago

    We are all coaches in Nigeria..Pls Rohr play Mikel as a DM ..Mourihno knws him very well more than u..so pls listen to advice..Iwobi is a better 10 than [email protected] drey n others weldone..Let’s dnt give up on SE..we will bounce bk positively..Up eagles !

  • Walking 5 years ago

    U r a genius… Never displace the effective power of a left footer in your team… They see the game from a different perspective…. Although, we don’t have an exceptional left footer in the team but, iheanacho can pair with ighalo or simmy upfront. Iwobi playing a free role, Moses and ebuehi as LWB and RWB respectively, Mike ADM, and Ndidi DM,then Ekong Leon and omeruo plays defense.. Chikena

  • Louis 5 years ago

    All same same! We have been saying this thing since Rohr announced his formation. We lost against Croatia. Let us see how Iceland will turn out to be. 
    He might not even play 3-5-2 at all. 

  • Abdul andah 5 years ago

    I begged GR not to play that useless ighalo and he did.
    I begged him not to play Shehu ahead of ebuehi and he did too.
    I begged him to deploy 3:5:2 formation and he didn’t do it.
    I pleaded him to play kelechi because that boy has big heart for a massive occasion like the world cup match and he didn’t listen.
    I asked him to play iwobi from 10 and he didn’t listen to me.
    Rohr went ahead and lost the match and later gave us useless and avoidable excuses..
    What he said aftermath of the match made me understand him better he has nothing to offer Nigeria in this world cup… Imagine a coach who’s determined to win matches and qualify from such a difficult group telling us that he shouldn’t be blamed because his team didn’t concede from an open play but has forgotten his didn’t score through the means his opponent scored.
    Even mourinho was very much annoyed and disappointed with the tactics Rohr deployed in that match…
    He was of the opinion that Mikel shouldn’t had played in the no. 10 role. He said Mikel dictate the tempo of the game from defensive role.
    To me iwobi would have done a better and clean job from that role.
    Larry izamoje also said that Rohr deployed a tactic which was in the favour of the Croatian team. I don’t know why didn’t see what is conspicuous to even the blind man who knows what football is all about.
    Nigeria has played much better when deployed in 352 formation why Rohr didn’t give it a try vs Croatia?
    To me, with Rohr still at the helms of affairs in the camp nothing to expect from the subsequent Nigeria remaining matches.
    It’s so unfortunate that we common football affectionado can see Rohr is claiming not to have seen it.
    Had Rohr deployed the best tactics Nigeria would have won that match and move on from there.
    I knew he was a confused man since the starting of the camp because I was unable to finally settle for one particular formation prior to the start of the world cup.
    Garret Southgate from the onset knew what he wanted to do. He stick by one particular formation in the mode of man City. We all saw what they did yesterday….
    I don’t expect any miracle from GR because he made us understand that he was right with his tactics after the match which means he’s likely to continue with it…

  • He is the coach and he will decide the formation that is good for d team. As for those abusing and condemning the man it is part of the game after all almighty Wenger even Mourinho are being criticized too. May be people have forgotten that no Nigeria national coach as ever deployed Mikel and Mosses as defensive midfield and Wing back before but in the same position they are currently playing but whenever we fail to win then people started bringing different options as to this player’s should be use at this position and that. Remember this Iwobi was sometimes used as number 10 when Mikel was not in the team and he couldn’t do anything.

  • The storm is slowly settling, the match against Croatia has deflated morale amongst us fans but are things really that bad?

    Are there any positives to be drawn from the 2:0
    loss against Croatia? Let me try.

    Before I proceed, let me confess that, in the heat of the moment, I sharply criticised the team immediately after the match.


    1) Super Eagles remain a resolute side: the fact that the 2 goals conceded came out of set-pieces only mean that the Eagles are still hard to break down in open play.
    2) Players still have potentials: Mikel and Ighalo a still good players but their bests will only come out in played to their strengths in their positions.
    The group is still wide open: A win or draw for Nigeria on Friday following a draw between Croatia and Argentina means all will be decided on the last round of games.
    3) Improving players: Uzoho, Iheanacho, Musa, and Etebo have improved a lot! Use them in their right positions and you will get results.
    4) No injury worries: presently (to the best of my knowledge) there are no injury worries in the camp after the Croatia match.
    5) We are not alone: fans of Germany, Brazil and even Argentina are as unhappy as us at this time.

    My prognosis : I am still not happy but one thing I know for sure, this Eagles will not go out without a fight!

  • kenny 5 years ago

    We have several coaches in this forum, it still amazes me that the same coach that we sang his praises few months ago has now become cluesless. We cruised in a group that has Algeria, Cameroon and Zambia, many people here believed that we would never qualified from such a tough group when the draw was made, yet Rohr made us to qualify easily from that tough group. Some of the Croatia players played in the last 8 of champions league last season and some of them won the league with their clubs. It was only John Ogu that won Isralie league and non of our players played in champions league quaterfinals last season. It will be an upset for us to be them. Lets stop blaming the coach, we dont have enough talent at this time, almost half of our team play in Turkey and 2 of our key players play in China. I dont expect much from them, we are not world standard yet and we should accept that for now

  • Amaju pinnick white messiah coach LoL” where is Channels TV sports Crew lead by Tony Ibetoye who apparently is the Super Eagle spokesman today? so far we don’t value own we will continue to run in circle.look at where hatred has brought us in football,Rohr hasn’t started playing our head yet atleast his contract has been extended already without asking questions for another two years, too bad for Nigeria Football, Our talented players is being wasted away in Russia so sad.
    I can’t forget how they in connivance with this Current NFF Administration led by Pinnick hunted The Big Boss, frustrated him by not paying him and his Coaching crew all in the name of getting a foreign Coach which is not better than our own Coaches with the same motivation.

  • Omesiete Blessing 5 years ago

    Thanks uncle mourinho, Mikel not a good 10 accepted, but what is the 6 you are talking about. Some1 please help me

    • Joseph ojo 5 years ago

      6 is what we call 4 in Nigeria. it’s actually 6. 4 is central defence

  • Bayode obasa 5 years ago

    People don’t know the weaknesses of the super Eagles. Nobody knows how to head the ball.Out of 10 balls we loose 9 man to man.That is why if you want to score Nigeria,cross the balls and head to score,or play the ball from corner or free kick and head in.Since the days of Mutiu Adepoju/Igali no Nigerian player has been good with the head

  • Aside, people when dey se Uzoho too young to play for 9ja, him just celebrate him pikin 17 yrs bday ooo lol

    • Joseph ojo 5 years ago

      Tell them o. Dunno why everyone is saying Uzoho is young. Are we not Nigerians. Taiwo Awoniyi just got married and he said he is 20. Please leave Bros Uzoho alone

  • Edoman of New Jersey, USA. 5 years ago

    In the situation Pinnick/Rohr heaped on us, list you can do is, listen to Jose and learn from him who is the anointed. The anointed knows Mikel Obi more then Mikel knows himself. Look folks, the Benin/Edo Oracles has spoken again last night o, the prediction is not good for Nigeria o . Nigeria will loose again to Iceland on Thursday all because of Ighalo inclusion. For your good health, adjust your expectation. better believe the Edo Oracles who predicted the match with Croatia that Nigeria will loose that match. The rest is history.

  • Kemiannis 5 years ago

    Thanks Mourinho Mikel is not a good 10 at all

  • AYO Mob 5 years ago

    Unfortunately out of desperation to win Nig will be given a red card and the whites that I know will capitalize and finish us up. Then they will come and say we are building for the future just as they said at the last wc 2014 and only 3players of the whole bunch made this team. Corrupt NIG media never aire there view ABT this neither did the old back room staffs make any complain abt this . Corruption ,corruption and corruption . Uzoho product of corruption , Brian product of corruption, in short almost 90% of the make up of the team are all production of corruption . Before we qualify for the Worldcup we always do the needful atleast 50% and that as made us to qualify many times but wen the WC proper is to start all will try to sponsor there own interest as the best for the wc . Just wait till after Friday’s game against Iceland for me don’t want to waste my time suggesting any kind of wat they shld do  as am sure GR will open up wen his sure that he as returned successfully to his country then u will hear things according to wat have said here today. Do u know something am more interested in the sensation of revelations that will come out after our ouster whch am sorry to say here is sealed and settled on the table of corruption cum mediocrity. Am sorry if I deflate your optimism but as u will discover after Friday 22nd of June 2018. Do u know that the only source of joy for every average citizen in the developing countries is wen there countries do well in sports that they love wch football stand for in NIG but instead of pursuing the unity and joy of every Nigerian irrespective of tribe or religion they will rather murder that same source of joy through there selfish gains and of course players selfish interest by not ready to leave the team for more productive players to be able to gain opportunity of showcasing there productive skills .but rather cementing there place in the team tru systemic bribery (I have a lot to say about this but will be for another time) eg Apeyi ,Echeijle,idowu,onazi,etc.

  • Ayomobee 5 years ago

    Corruption is written all around the team just lik 2014 wc too. So no need to put once mind up for nothing as am sure come Friday 22nd June 2018 SUper corruption ridden Eagles will crash out then stories will start filtering in of wat and wat happen just as it always filter out after every misadventure at the senior WC. Let me reserve my observations till after Friday game.  God deliver my country my great country.

  • paulenge 5 years ago

    Nawa, all of Una Na coach abi? Why uba nefar coach any team all this while. Na mouth Una get like fish. Make Una lif rohn boo make he do wetin he train for.

  • I think what we should do right now is to capitalise on our strength instead of adjusting our weaknesses, let’s look at how we won argentina in second half of the friendly and how we defected poland, guess what?… We capitalise heavily on physicallity, pace and randomness!! Having a very young team that is desperate to win at all costs offers great positivism, sadly I didn’t see any address of such system that played, I’m surprised, maybe we’re being too careful, fearful and probably respectful to our opponent (tactical issues may measure too).
    We are africans and need to play empathizing on our advantage, I think it would be best if we play kinda of a ‘scattered’ (random) or should I say ‘disorganised’ football which we are very good at (this affects ‘organised’ teams… Especially because of our aggressiveness), we should make it in a very structured way whereby players could link up much easier [more of a perfection to the game against the Polish]! We have given them everything, surprising we’ve got support from diaspora, other african nations, clubs and films (lol FC Roma didn’t even hide their declaration), jersey purchases, celebs and further more (don’t forget a well promised pay!). This is the one of the best or should I even say the most organised build up and support the team has ever had to a world cup (we shouldn’t let the slogan ‘The wings of africa pride’ all be in vain), didn’t expect us to replay a ‘Serbia-game-play-Organised’ kind (Which we lost by two-to-nil) match against the crots, but it’s past, let’s learn and focus on the two remaining, thanks.