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Rohr To Test Iheanacho In Mikel Role Vs Poland As Eagles Change Formation

Rohr To Test Iheanacho In Mikel Role Vs Poland As Eagles Change Formation

By Johnny Edward:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr will hand Leicester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho the No.10 role, usually played by Mikel Obi, in the Super Eagles starting line-up when they face Poland in an international friendly on Friday, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.

Mikel will miss the encounter billed for the Municipal Stadium in Wroclaw as he is battling to renew his work permit in China, where he featured for Tianjin Teda, but he is expected to join up with the squad in London for the game against Serbia on Tuesday.

According to a camp source, Iheanacho has been playing off centre forward Odion Ighalo in a 4-2-3-1 formation in training and he the Leicester star is expected to keep his place for the World Cup friendly.

“Iheanacho will play Mikel’s position against Poland barring any last minute tactical switch,” the source, a member of the squad, told CSN.

“That’s his preferred role and I think he will do well there. He is solid and quick in his decision making.”

The 21-year-old Iheanacho is expected the most advanced midfield ahead of the deeper central midfielders Wilfred Ndidi and Ogenyi Onazi for the game.

In the Super Eagles last game against Argentina, Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi were paired in attack as Gernot Rohr deployed a 3-5-2 formation.

The former Manchester City forward curled in a brilliant free-kick as Nigeria came from a goal down to beat Argentina 4-2 at the Krasnodar Stadium in Russia last November.

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  • phadah 3 years ago

    finally .nice one coach ,I have been waiting to c him play as a number 10 cos that was d poition he plays in during d u17 wc

    • Domwi 3 years ago

      That’s not true….chidiebere nwakali played that role.

  • Victor 3 years ago

    Iwobi would have been better in that position

  • irabor kingsley 3 years ago

    Gernot Rohr is a master tactician, this is a brilliant experiment, Iheanacho will excel in that position, is good to have a sound coach, soar SE

  • Great 3 years ago

    Which Iwobi? Is it the arsenal Iwobi I know or a different Iwobi, abeg let he keep iheanacho dere b4 we play 10 man again 11

  • Paschal 3 years ago

    I think Iwobi would be better and quicker in that position. If that doesnt work, then Iheanacho. If Iheanacho doesnt work let him try Mikel Agu, Ndidi or Joel in that position. Etebo would have also done well in that role if he were to be in the team.

    • Are we talking of defensive midfield options here or creative options.whats with solid but non-creative players you have been mentioning. Ndidi,etebo,you for even call balogun or ezenwa. Joel obi might work,as he has the final ball in him.same with iwobi so will Iheanacho.so lets allow the coach to work

    • I think Iheanacho would be a good experiment in that position than Iwobi. Ndidi is needed at the defensive midfield, get the ball, and push it forward. Iwobi will be better pairing with an attacker.

  • He can play that role because he has the final ball in him. However, I think Iwobi would be better to play the 10 because he’s more comfortable on the ball, and he’s a better passer than Kelechi. I just hope bunghole Mikel would get his shit together. If you want to be captain, then you must lead by example. You must respect the team, respect the coaching staff and respect your country. Work permit is the dumbest excuse a professional player can come up with in a high profile world cup prep friendly. I think the coach should punish him for this nonsense.As much as I like him as a player, his arrogance and display of unprofessionalism offends me.

    • Arize Obuzor 3 years ago

      U don’t know the gravity of his situation dnt be too early to raise the hammer. The coach is not a fool, he knows what he is doing.

      • @ Arize. There is no gravity in this situation ( whatever gravity has to do with anything). I work in immigrations in the US, and I’ve worked in Europe as well with immigration. You get many notifications about your work permit before it expires. It’s irresponsible to give stupid excuses like that. Mikel is arrogant. And he’s not even the best player in the squad. The coach should punish him for this nonsense. Ighalo plays in China as well, how come he doesn’t have work permit issues. Stop making excuses for this guy, he picks and chooses when and where he wants to play. This is the astro turf nonsense all over again.

        • @Ola is like you are having a personal beef against our dear mikel, how has he display arrogance in this case, if the coach is not worried about his absence why are you crying over it, is good that he will not be presence so that we can discover other talent in that position, what if he picks up an injury won’t the coach have a substitute? So calm your nerves down!

  • Whenever he(Ihenacho) plays @FA CUP, he
    plays the role well for leceister and he performs
    well. So for me he’s good to go. I think
    Nigerians are now seeing how valuable this our
    Captain Mikel means to Super Eagles, I just pray
    he does not announce his retirement after the
    world cup because it like am perceiving
    something like that. I would want him to be
    part of the AFCON 2019 Winning team. I see no
    team stopping us Come 2019 as far as we
    qualify not even Egypt

  • were is Joel obi playing?

    • @ Mike. Joel Obi CANNOT play the 10. He is an hybrid midfielder. He plays in the central midfield position as a box to box midfielder. Your number 10 is your playmaker; someone who can deliver that final pass.

  • Hope Odianosen 3 years ago

    Iheanacho may have played well @ the NO.10 role during his formative years with the U/17 team, and this time out, alot of transformations have taken place in his career becos of the styles of different teams he has played with and he is no longer that player he used to be,, in the absence of Mikel, i think Iwobi shuld get the nod ahead of Iheanacho in that midfield becos he has played that role severally wit Arsenal or better still, Rohr can deploy Joel Obi if fully fit.

    • Eliakim 3 years ago

      Yep,he’s been affected by the demands of various coaches since the U-17,but that’s why it’s a friendly,nothing is cast on stone. Recently,the boy is beginning to find some form and game time at club level,so why not try him there.Iwobi doesn’t boast of the power-shot in Kelechi’s leg either.I don’t think Iwobi is better at free-kicks too.Would you be getting the best out of Joel if he plays there?
      There’s a whole lot,coaches consider for these things. Let’s be grateful,we have a sound coach and relax,nothing is cast one stone.

  • Gideon. S 3 years ago

    I think I buy the idea of our coach on that role given to iheanacho: He’s more perfect in that role as a kid. I watched him play back in the days in Owerri, IMO state

  • Hey the nigeria ever best coach that,we love this, 2019 not even egypt can stop us,poland we re sorry for this

  • Adebambo 3 years ago

    Joel obi is a natural baller, dribbler and passer.He has not been used at all so far with this team so i think he should be given a chance to marshall the midfield he has a lot to offer,he is to me the most fit for mikel replacement in that role

  • Tipsyboy 3 years ago

    Mikel’s work permit issue is a ploy between him and the coach,Rorh wanted to see how the team can cope without Mikel in it, some of you here just make comment without reading between lines.

  • Gideon. S 3 years ago

    Iheanacho, Can score more goal too from that position as a goal getter then Iwobi.
    Well, let give the coach credit because, Iwobi is also very good and have everything going well for him in SE, as a son of the soil.
    In all, 9ja is bless with more quality at the moment.. we just have to back-up!

  • Vitalis 3 years ago

    Why is it that some people talk what they don’t know? some people are saying that Alex iwobi would have been better than Iheanacho in that position, forgetting that before a coach assign a role to any player he(coach ) must have watched him play in the training matches that is where he selects and assign roles to the players.I wish super eagles all the best!

  • Allow this veteran tries what he’s seen nd done research on. if he uses iheanacho in the no 10 role, allow what he saw at the moment! if victor moses plays on the wings its his tactics!! allow him, he is the one in charge, he is so sure of what he saw nd done research on. if u want to succeed u nid to believe. we saw him against argentina, allow him, he can pass well allow him, can make assist nd even score goals!!! Oh Nigerians Stop Criticism. Allow Gernot Rohr, Allow Iheanacho Nd Allow Super Eagles!!! Shalom

  • Bekee 3 years ago

    The coach’s decision is wise because Iwobi can still play conveniently as a winger.

    • Eliakim 3 years ago

      Great comment.How we often forget the big picture.Iwobi is certainly more adaptable than Kelechi as a winger.
      You the coach works with a squad,not just 11 players,but many times we are just don’t see it that way and we over-zealously complain.
      Erm nice new-kit by the way- even the training kit is all new and bears some similarities with new jersey.
      Hey World-cup “we dey come”

  • Eliakim 3 years ago

    Great comment.How we often forget the big picture.Iwobi is certainly more adaptable than Kelechi as a winger.
    You see the coach works with a squad,not just 11 players,but many times we just don’t see it that way and we over-zealously complain.
    Erm nice new-kit by the way- even the training kit is all new and bears some similarities with new jersey.
    Hey World-cup “we dey come”

  • Tanco 3 years ago

    This os definitely not the first time iheanacho will playing in that creative role for the super eagles, he played in that role in the first match SE played under coach Rohr and that was the last Afcon 2017 qualifiers game we played against Tanzania in UYO sometimes around August 2017 and he scored a wonderful wining goal , iheanacho also played in the same position in our first WCQ game against Zambia and he also got a goal in that game Mikel played behind him as second defensive mifielder in both games, Iheanacho is a very good and creative player whom can excel in any given role in forward.

  • Good one,great things is coming our way good luck Super eagle

  • Thomos 3 years ago

    @ Tanco I love your view I think that is convincing enough. It provides answer to some of these cluster critics.

  • ako amadi 3 years ago

    Rohr is paid to bring the best out of the Super Eagles and he must know what he’s doing. But that said, Iheanacho cannot win balls or pass like Mikel. He has no vision like Mikel. But we shall see.

  • Josleck 3 years ago

    It is a great idea deploying iheanacho to that no 10 role. Just as some opined that iwobi should be a better option, I equally agree with you. But any sound coach always make his tactics based on the materials (players) he has at its disposal. Picking iheanacho ahead iwobi is tactically wise because iwobi can be more utilized as a winger more than iheanacho. Aside this two Joel obi can equally play the role

  • Austin 3 years ago

    In as much as kelechi iheanacho is to marshal out the no. 10 role, it’s also important we allow Joel obi to have a bite in that game maybe in the second half. He should be allowed to read the game from the bench and bring in his experience later on in the game probably to replace kelechi or come in as a defensive midfielder.Good decision from rohr

  • henacho wey ball deh run komot for him leg all the time which number 10 him wan play which presure him go fit help the team wit, this is world cup not under 17 i pity nigerian team. henacho game now is supose to be a killer in the box. that was why guadoila sold him becos he gives the ball away all the time. rohr you are warn ooh

  • I don’t know why people holding a brief for Mikel.Why will you assume something you are not 100% sure about that its a ploy between Rhor and Mikel.All we know is that Mikel said he his sorting out his work permit.

    1.He knows we are playing poland like four month ago.
    2.Not as if he was just signed to chinese club.
    3.Just for him to renew or extend his work permit
    4.He is a proffessional he have seen it all at the global stage

    For me, he is just selecting match to play!Just like victor moses too who dosent really mingle with the team.Their attitude can cause division in the team which need to be checked.

    • Tunde 3 years ago

      Some comments are so laughable. People need exposure to understand how things work in developed countries. You cannot renew your visa not to talk of work permit when it is still valid. Mikel has a UK Passport but needs a work permit to work and play football in China. If he travels out of China to play these matches without renewing the work permit then how will he be able to return back to work in China after the matches. The alleged plot between GR and Mikel to deliberately avoid the Polish match is this most silly and profound allegation anybody could ever think of.
      These boys are well exposed and are very ready to give their best to Nigeria and even now. Up SUPER EAGLES

      • Tipsyboy 3 years ago

        Sometimes common sense is all you need to achieved your goals, assuming there is a problem with mikel during world cup in Russia how would the player react to such situation. This game has been proposed months ago and Mikel is very much aware of it, and he will be in london for the game against sebia on tuesday. As someone who understand the system of work permit on immiration matter and in some cases you are not required at the Immigration office and his club would have apply for the permit according to his contract duration Mr Rohr is simply planing ahead.So Mikel issue is a tactical ploy in my observation.

  • Akinola Olajuwon 3 years ago

    Answer: 6 times
    Poland 0 Nigeria 2

  • danjuma 3 years ago

    its ok…. lets see. but i would rather have moses simon pairing victor moses on the wing than iwobi for this one. secondly when the NFF going to be done with the issue of jordan Ibe, i think nigeria needs his qualities…. which is currently lacking – the drive, power, takeon, shot, eye for goal and his strength. typically made for african football…. soar SE

  • danjuma 3 years ago

    the highest poland can get is a draw. mark my word

  • JITETECLER 3 years ago


  • I swear, we ar going hard in this game thumbs up to rohr……. Soar high Super Eagles

  • SoniBuri 3 years ago

    I believe Mikel is not arrogant, but however, he must have been notified of the expiration of his work permit in as far as his club management also monitor the same work permit