Rohr: Mikel Not Ready For Super Eagles Return

Rohr: Mikel Not Ready For Super Eagles Return

Super Eagles captain Mikel Obi is not yet ready for a return to the national team despite playing regularly for his English Championship side, Middlesbrough coach Gernot Rohr has revealed, Completesports.com reports.

Mikel is yet to feature for the Super Eagles since the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia fueling speculations he may have called time on his career at the international level.


Rohr assures that the former Chelsea and Tianjin TEDA star is still carrying a little injury on his knee and will only return when he is fully fit and well motivated to lead the team.

“Obi Mikel is playing well at Middlesbrough and he is doing well now, but there is still a little problem with his knee and it is not the moment for him to come back to the team in these conditions,” Rohr said during his pre-match conference ahead of the 2019 AFCON qualifier against Seychelles in Asaba.

Zenith Ziva

“There are so many games for him to play for Middlesbrough. They are fighting for a promotional playoff spot. And he told me it’s not the right time to return. But if Obi Mikel is very fit and has the motivation, if he shows that he is better than the other people we have, the door is open

“I’m not like Joachim Low (the German coach) who announced that three players are out of the German national team because you never know what might happen. There could be injury or loss of form.

“We are watching what is happening and we hope he (Mikel) can come back one day because we need experience. We now have more young players than the last list.”

On the Super Eagles’ chances of winning the 2019 Africa Cup Of Nations in Egypt, Rohr says his side will remain humble as there are other teams who are top contenders for the title.

“I know my friend Herve Renard is a diplomat. His team are favorite to win the tournament because they are number one in Africa so he’s the natural favorite, but he tries to put other countries ahead. This is a tactic already so I say, Morocco is number 1 in Africa and they are favorites,” Rohr stated.

“Egypt with one of the biggest players in the world are favourites as well. They are also playing at home. Senegal and Tunisia and second and third. We (Nigeria) are No.4 and we have a chance though, but please let them speak while we stay humble.

“To declare that we will win the AFCON is stupid. We have to work, we have young players.”

By Johnny Edward.

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  • Eagle eyes 3 years ago

    Where are those criticizing this coach for playing down the idea that Nigeria is a favourite? I think it’s high time that people just learn to be professional and mature in the way talk and respond to issue they have little or idea of what is going on in the background

    • Eagle eyes 3 years ago

      ***…mature in the way they talk…
      ***…they have little or no idea of…

  • Bomboy 3 years ago

    My sincere apologies to Coach Rohr.

    I had the impression he was going to the AFCON with a defeatist mentality but I see clearly that he is merely trying to take the pressure off the SE.

    (But I am still uncomfortable with his ‘young team’ rhetorics though).

    Good luck to Mr. Rohr and the Super Eagles.

    • Dr. Drey 3 years ago

      Boss…. U be man….not like all those “faworaja’s” whose own pride still chokes them on the throat now that they are being forced to swallow it, albeit with eggs on their faces.

      • Olushesan 3 years ago

        You always talking like a stupid man and disrespecting other forumites I think you deserve to be ban charity begins at home you lack proper upbringing. Because of you the interest of reading comments have drastically dropped and you are back with your confusion again. Can’t you speak without trying to insult yourself. Ogbeni get brain no be only you dey smoke wee Abi na tramadol de worry your head!

  • Omo9ja 3 years ago

    I won’t be deceived by you coach. Mikel is not fully fit but he is playing at is club side.

    There is something happening between both of them I think. The match against Argentina might be the course of this problem.

    However, those two matches in Asaba is nothing to write home about.
    I will not blame Eagles if they perform below our expectations.

    The pitch is not good. NFF president is going to be responsible for this. I will blame him but not Rohr. The system is very corrupt. Chai, it is well. Our NFF board members know nothing about football that is why Eagles is playing both matches in Asaba. God bless Nigeria!!!

    • I watched the full interview and he said Mikel told he wasn’t ready to return. If you want to blame anybody blame Mikel.

    • Chima E Samuels 3 years ago

      Delta is the home town of pinnick so this will tell you that nonsense yardstick was used to determine the match venue. I wonder when Lagos or Abuja will be renovated for the real sport fans to enjoy Lagos especially.

      • the same nonsense yardstick that made u23 coach put Adamu on Nigeria goal post few days ago.

  • The match is being held in Asaba because the state govt is sponsoring the match (hotel for players, transport and match venue), its a cost cutting measure. Whomever is willing to cough up money can host Super Eagles matches.

    I think also that Mikel is “semi retired” from the Super Eagles. The question is will he be recalled for AFCON? The SE don’t need him as we have able bodies in midfield, but will doing away with his experience cost us dearly at the tournament or will he be recalled for a romantic last tournament?

    My final thought is Mikel with all his years of service should come out and clear the air, and be honest and say “I have finished, I am finishing or I’ll be back at such and such a time”.

  • So Mikel’s reported knee problem does not prevent him from featuring for Middlesbrough week in, week out; but it stops hin from playing for Nigeria once in a while? Haba! Rohr, Mikel, abeg tell us another story.

    So is this how Mikel retires from the SE? No formal announcement like Moses? Who is he having a grudge with? It seems the spat he had with Onazi pre-Russia 2018 (with each having his own clique) never really got buried. Now, all the seniors are gradually phased out – Onazi, Echiejile, Mikel, Moses etc. Something tells me Musa was the only neutral senior in the rift and so Rohr preferred him to lead his new “young team,” post-World Cup.

    @BigD, I think if Okowa and his govt can bankroll the cost of logistics for the 2 SE matches, they should complete the charity by simply making sure the pitch is standard and camera coverage is 360 degrees for those who’ll be watching on TV. I mean how much would it have cost the Delta State government to make these important upgrades? Pinnick will be roasted online if the state of the stadium and camera installation remains the same thing as the last time.

    Just as @Edoman of New Jersey mentioned also, if the return leg of the U-23 Vs Libya on Monday is taken to Asaba without a great pitch, they may not score 3 unreplied goals. In that case, Pinnick and Delta State would be accused of sabotage, just like Galadima and Kano State (Sani Abacha stadium) were made responsible for the 1-1 draw with Angola in 2005, which eventually cost Nigeria 2006 World Cup ticket in Germany. Uyo remains the best for now. Someone should appeal to Emma Udom.