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Rohr: Super Eagles Unlucky Vs Argentina; I Shouldn’t Have Started Iheanacho

Rohr: Super Eagles Unlucky Vs Argentina; I Shouldn’t Have Started Iheanacho

By Nnamdi Ezekute in St Petersburg:

Super Eagles manager Rohr Gernot insists his side were unlucky to have bowed out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, reports Completesportsnigeria.com.


Lionel Messi scored a superb first-half opener in the 14th minute which was cancelled out by a penalty by Victor Moses six minutes into the second half.

Marcos Rojo scored an 86th-minute winner to send Rohr’s men packing from the competition.

Zenith Ziva

“It was a little bit down to luck and we didn’t have it today,” Rohr said in his post-match interview.

“We did so well. We had the problem of having one day less than Argentina to prepare. Perhaps, at the end of the match, that was dangerous.”

He also admitted that he erred in starting an unfit Kelechi Iheanacho.

“Everybody did well. The goal was coming. When I see what happened in the first half, perhaps I wouldn’t start with the same team because Iheanacho wasn’t fit,” Rohr explained.

On the appeal for a second penalty for his team when Marcos Rojo handled the ball, Rohr claimed that it was handball.

“I believe it was a hand. I didn’t see the video. It’s difficult for the referee to make a good interpretation of the video.”

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  • Abdulrazak 3 years ago

    Mr Gernot Rohr, you are insipid to have made such comments. What did you do when Argentina made three substitutions? NOTHING. You conspired with Argentina to make us lose the match. I have no more respect for you as a coach.

  • Eagles bow out as results of wrong fixtures. You don’t only play matches but watching and reading your opponent. A good footballer target is 18 box, that is where all talents and skills should be expressed with confidence, because any contact or tackles attract punishment. Nigeria did not have some of us the opportunity to make Nigerians happy; only Ahmed Musa had the characters of a great footballer.

  • Our coach just confirmed he is incompetent. Just dis simply change; musa out after we scored, move moses to operate from left side of attack where musa was n bring in Ebuehi to take moses position. And finally, get Iwobi to replace Etebo after 70mins could hv easily won that game for us.

  • Royalty 3 years ago

    all those clamoring for the coach to be sacked, do not mean well for Nigeria. For countries like Morocco and Tunisia and even Egypt, you would find out that they won’t sack their coach, inspite of them leaving with no points. the idea is for continuity. Nigeria has a crop of exciting young players, that I think has the potentials to win the African Nations Cup and do well in future World Cups (2022,2026), this was an experience they needed to have, so pls in my opinion the coach, Rohr shouldn’t be sacked, but allowed to lead the team to the nation’s cup.

  • Bomboy 3 years ago

    Our coach cannot even admit the ref was wrong in denying us a penalty. He is being conservative with his words even after losing! This man is without passion for the game. He is a sissy!

  • Bomboy 3 years ago

    Thank u Mr. Rohr for the job u have done, but it is time to go!

    We need a more passionate coach with some self belief, not one that keeps complaining that he has a young team that will be ready to take on the world in 2022.

    As for u Pinnick, u hav to look out for a new coach if you want to keep your job. The vultures will be calling for your head now, so do the right thing!

  • It is easier said than done. He brought on Ighalo and he missed a lots of scoring chances yet he is being blame. Supposing he make d substitute and we lost like this they will still say why does he av to change/make such changes. Nigerians and their ways. You sat down comfortably in your house watching a match and at the end u started blabbing saying the person facing the heat should av done this and that like it is easy. They gave their best were unlucky and lost period. I hope that man continue with his work cos continuity is d key.

    • He should not have brought ighalo on. he shd have brought simy on instead of ighalo.

      Why did he take simy when he did not trust him?

      We all know ighalo is a waste pipe

  • Godspower 3 years ago

    tayo god bless u.for this statement.in this country every average nigerian is a coach.

  • Rohr, in the first place, should not have listed Kelechi Iheanacho for the world cup. He is a bench warmer in his club which regardless pays him handsome wages. Vardy was a regular in Leicester and still being benched in the English team. This shows that there are guys better than Vardy. There are footballers who are far better than Kelechi Iheanacho, the bastard Ighalo and some of the second hand players on the reserve list. it is time for the NFF to wake from stupor, get a technical savvy coach like the Moroccan coach. Nigeria as a country has pool of talents, but we need a sincere and loyal coach to manage them.

  • So the Morrocan coach is technical savvy and they couldn’t qualify out of their group. Yeye we better face the facts and accept what happened in good faith. I still maintain d Eagles are better with this man or else bring another man then, we will start from d scratch again and ended up again in this way then u and d likes will still be here to rant as usual.

  • Lucky Ukhun 3 years ago

    I still wonder why Iwobi who terrorized the Argentines with amazing goals in our friendly with them last year wasn’t started for the game. The Argentines would have panicked at his sight. Also, I am very unhappy with the way some of our players, as well as the coach were all admiring and worshipping Messi before the game. How could they be so full of admiration for Messi and still hoped to perform well against him? Sone of the players were just content to be on the same pitch with Messi, irrespective of whether they lost the match or not. As for the coach, he was just content to be counted as one of the coaches at the world cup. Performance was secondary to him.

    • Lucky Ukhun 3 years ago


      • Boyerh 3 years ago

        Ever since Okocha criticised his approach against Croatia, he has decided to put him on the bench to spite him. Why would he start an unfit player when Iwobi&co are fit to start?

    • It is because of the typical egoistic stupidity of the Nigerian technical team that they didn’t play Iwobi since when Okocha his uncle carpeted the coach and the entire technical team… I ask myself the same question you just did…How come Iwobi that terrorized the Argentines in our friendly and had shown great form both against the big name teams(Argentina and England) in our friendlies…wasn’t started or subbed in early?
      Before this match I boasted to my wife…if Iwobi is not on that lineup either in an 11 position or in a 10 position, Nigeria would lose this match.
      The problem with Nigerians is that we cannot take constructive criticism…

      Also, something is wrong with the underlayer of the team and I am sure that if we dig deeper, we will find out that the NFF in their bid to save costs and use pressure to motivate the boys…and maximize profits must have cut a lot of corners…..we need to dig deeper because I do not trust this Amaju Pinnick led NFF one bit…..One of my major areas of concern is why the Nigerian team has consistently since the start of our World cup campaign always taken goals and only recover from the second half… I am sure that if we peel the layer back we will find the maggots of the NFF role in areas like employing scouts to ready and understudy our opponents BEFORE OUR MATCHES…because it seems that the match reading is only done at half time… which means our boys were always going into battle blind…
      With time the truth will reveal itself because I think there is more to this. It is either the NFF have beef with Okocha and they made the coach sit Iwobi out or if he insisted then they must have forced him to play Iwobi out of position like in our match against Croatia.
      We need to dig deeper, there is more to this than meets the eye. Teams like Croatia, Argentina and Iceland must have had spies following our eagles everywhere to study them but did Nigeria deploy same against our opponents? cos I am sure that if we had done so, we would not have lost to Croatia and then there wouldn’t be so much pressure in the last minute against Argentina.

  • Adeyemi Temitope 3 years ago

    What I see about this man called Coach Rohr.

    1: He is too old to be called a foreign coach.

    2: He has never handle a big country with the statue of Nigeria before.

    If I am right this our coach did not use up to 16 players at this world cup, what is the reason behind going with the un-used substitute. Akpeyi and others why going to world cup.

    I found that this our coach like keeping substitute very very very very late. Sometimes 89mins before using one WHY!!! Old mentality that players might get injured. Hmmm

    My resolution to retaining Coach Rohr.

    If NFF want to retain him, I don’t like him though but if they want to give him chance it has to come with conditions because this coach is an old school. The conditions are as follows:

    He will be a foreign coach.

    He will be assisted by three Nigerian coach namely; Austin Okocha, Samson Siasia, Sunday Oliseh or Finidi George.

    Their assignment are to find players about three as the position we know them with, teach them modern way of managing and control pressure of the game.

    The NFF, should give them twelve 12 years contract and a pay of about #1million per month.

    Let Federal government finance their salary perhaps any state that want to host eagles can take up the responsibility.

    Coach Rohr, has to be given responsibility to manage eagles for the next four years assisted by this able ex players mentioned above. Their contract has to start now. Coach Rohr should not do anything without this ex players saying yes. I listen to Jay jay Okocha analysis on Supersport and I was marvelled how brilliant he was than Samson siasia contributions. Let the FA act on this before any match is played. If you do not do so now this believe in loyalty over performance and he will keep Ighalo, Mikel,akpeyi for 2022 world cup.

  • Edoman of New Jersey, USA 3 years ago

    Rohr must be fired immediately.

    There is a rumor going around in USA that if Rohr is retained, there will be a price on his head.

    There are speculations that Rohr deliberately conspired to make sure Nigeria Super Eagle get embarrassed in this World Cup.

    Take a deep look at all his couching activities, tell Nigerians what make sense to any one of what ever decisions he made?. He just admitted that he knew Iheanacho wasn’t fit and not in shape, and yet, this couch started him against World Class Team like Argentina. Ask this foreign couch what happened to our Iwobi or Simy

    One thing is certain, not every Nigerian is a fool. No one can fool everybody all the time. We are referring to NFF here, People are discovering that this couch is not even educated at all judging him by his words and actions.

    NFF should set up a Committee of reputable soccer Legends to look at what transpired with the couch’s decision making process and make recommendation that will satisfy the yarning of Nigerians both at Home and abroad .

  • Bestsports. 3 years ago

    The heartache, the talking points, the bitter disappointment that our Eagles are out of the World Cup after so much hope that this is the set that will top the other sets.

    If there’s anything we can take from this World Cup disappointment, it’s that we need to start planning for the future and that future and planning has to start now, has to start with the current U15s, U17s and U20s.

    This article isn’t just aimed at Nigeria, it’s aimed at our continent, as I write only Senegal have a hope of going to the next round as the remaining four African countries are already out.

    This is a reference for us to look into the mirror and ask ourselves why we never succeed at major tournaments over the age of 17.

    Why our continent and country keeps doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result.

    What truly do Europeans, South Americans and Asians do differently from us that makes them successful at World Cups?

    They build from the ground up, don’t take shortcuts at youth levels and they definitely don’t cheat with over aged players we’ve always done because they understand that building a successful football program isn’t about winning the U17s at all, it’s about developing player from the U13s and up, making sure those players are training at clubs that emphasizes technique, getting playing time at clubs in Europe.

    No disrespect to Turkey or China but we need players playing at leagues where technique will be developed.

    Not many graduates of our U17s get to play in Europe and most that do never have old, long careers in Europe and that’s not their fault- often, bad agents pushing them towards big clubs for big fees and forgetting that these players don’t have the foundation that European layers have.

    They don’t have coaches teaching them and engraining in their DNA the fundamentals of modern world football, after these players make a splash at the U17 World Cups, they get loaned out indefinitely until they fizzle out and end up in Turkey, Cyprus, Greece or stop all together.

    These are facts, pull up the roster of our last five U17 squads with a simple google search and Wikipedia.

    How many of those players are currently playing first team football in top leagues in Europe? How many have had sustained careers in Europe since their move ?

    There lies our issue, it starts from the ground, what are our kids being taught vs what are European kids being taught.

    Who is doing the teaching and what do they know from training and experience about the fundamentals of football and there would lie the answer.

    At the NFF, we actually have a true lover of grassroots football in Barrister Akinwunmi who by all accounts is working hard to change our football culture – we can already see with what he did with the U15s in friendlies in Morocco- win, lose or draw- played with young players- that’s vision, that’s looking at the long term because experiences like that for truly young players (real U15s) is a down payment on the future.

    Then this same visionary espoused view of reading a synergy from U13s all the way up to the senior National team with the NFF/Zenith Bank Future Eagles Championship.

    That is the foundation to future World Cup successes, not using over aged player to get short term gains and suffer for it in the future.

    Then this same visionary in barrister Akinwunmi also captured one of the most exciting players young players in Lateef Omidiji Jr, a player already in a position in Europe hat many senior players dream of, a player already touted by many scouts and club directors in Europe as one of the future of football.

    For all our criticisms of the NFF, the players, the coach, my people, we need to look at ourselves. This article might offend some, might bother some but if that is the price for starting a real conversation that could save us heartaches in the future then so be it.

    We are all Africans, it’s time to have a frank conversation with ourselves for the befit of our future, for the benefit of our children, for the benefit of a sport that we all love, for the benefit of our continents inhabitants.

    Football is more than a sport here on our continent, football is a religion here, it’s a release from all the pressures of living here, it’s an escape from our failed governments, it’s a stress reliever and dare I say- football is a part of our identity.

    We can talk about the poor officiating and bias and those are valid conversations but if we don’t get our house in order, we will continue the same cycle of failure, disappointment and talking points which his hire a coach, go to the Nations Cup, lose, get rid of hosts of players who came through our U17s overaged and were never taught basic foundation and principles and to be honest are not up to there with the best in the world technically or tactically.

    We fire a coach, hire another for the World Cup, qualify and do it all over again. Such has been our cycle as far back as I can remember.

    The money we’ve spent on this gallant set of super Eagles, imagine investing some in our youth football just 5% of it, the return will be immense.

    It means more international friendlies (even if it’s African countries and some European tournaments) for our U13s, U15s and U17s, it means potentially unearthing true aged players now that can be wildcards and intriguing possibilities for the World Cup in Qatar 2022.

    It means having a National U16 squad to be a synergy to our U17s so the pressure to be older, bigger, stronger and faster as criteria for the U17s is no longer there, it means hiring a coach for our U13s, U15s and U17s that is qualified, teach players technique, tactics and laying a foundation for the future.

    Investing 5% of the money we just spent on the Eagles on our youth means developing a playing style and template early and implanting it in players early so that when we get to the senior levels, there will be no arguments about formation or style, the world will see, identify and know Nigerian Football.

    It means buying a bone scan machine for our youth program and not just relying on ‘birth certificates and passports or in some cases size and what they look like so that we can truly cleanse our youth programs and start from the ground up.

    I know it isn’t an easy task in a country where we want results right away, where we need to win because we believe we are Brazil, well newsflash we are not, we are Nigeria with a lot of talent at home and abroad but a lot of cracks in or foundation.

    Brazilian kids, name any Brazilian star in Europe, all come through real academies in Brazil and nurtured through real academies and real coaches who know their stuff,.

    The coaches are in tune with world football, know what to teach, how to teach and who to teach by identifying true talent, not the coaches we have parading themselves around who cannot technically and tactically outwit European coaches.

    Let’s identify good coaches at grassroots, stop the north, south politics, find coaches that are passionate about coaching, accept that they are limited in knowledge, accept responsibility that it’s not their fault its ours, it’s the system we’ve created and accepted, send those coaches on training courses abroad, assign them to our U13s.

    Invest in them and send them overseas to train, earn UEFA licenses, have them be a part of our U13s, U15s and U17s who should now regularly be playing African, European, American, South American and Asian friendlies and tournaments (all these countries would love to play teams from Nigeria because of our dominance at youth levels) and eventually these coaches would be the future handlers of our youth and senior teams because of the training investment and international experience they’ll have.

    In doing so, it requires patience from the public, understanding that those countries we see succeeding on the global stage have a foundation, have a method, have a system and they don’t win U17 tournaments because that’s all a learning experience to prepare players for the future.

    Let us accept that we will lose games now but be setup to succeed in the future. Let’s dead the noise about having the youngest team in the World Cup so that we can truly start planning. We know, we don’t, Europeans know it too, so let’s stop deceiving ourselves because no one outside of Africa believes it either.

    Let’s look in the mirror because the fact is it’s not just Nigeria that use overaged players because that seems to be what you have to do to compete within Africa but when we get to the World Cup, it’s a different ball game.

    It is time my people to look inward, have a frank conversation about our youth, our passion, our future, our children, our football, let’s destroy and rebuild, we will never get anywhere in world football until that is done.

    Qatar 2022 is right around the corner, let’s get to work now!