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Rohr: Friendly Win Over Argentina Will Count For Nothing At World Cup

Rohr: Friendly Win Over Argentina Will Count For Nothing At World Cup

Super Eagles manager Gernot Rohr has played down the significance of last November’s 4-2 international friendly win over Argentiona, claiming the result of that game will not matter when both countries lock horns in a 2018 FIFA World Cup Group D game in St. Petersburg, Russia on June 26.

In an interview with South Africa-based Soccer Laduma, the German-born tactician reckons the game does not confer any advantage on the Super Eagles going into the World Cup.

He said: “Remember, [Lionel] Messi didn’t play that game. So we are very cautious and have to analyse this great result in context. Argentina had played another friendly against Russia in Russia before facing us. Perhaps they were a bit tired – they also left Russia soon after our game. I think no one should overrate the result. I definitely won’t overrate it. It was definitely not to our advantage because Argentina will take us more seriously now.”

Nigeria had engaged Argentina in a friendly international on November 14, 2017 at the Stadion FK in Krasnodar, Russia and the Albiceleste raced into a two-nil first half lead through Ever Banega and Sergio Aguero but Kelechi Iheanacho halved the deficit with a free-kick before the interval. Further goals from debutant Brian Idowu and a brace from Alex Iwobi sealed a remarkable comeback victory for the Super Eagles.

Zenith Ziva

Two weeks after, both countries were drawn into the same preliminary World Cup group at the FIFA World Cup draws last December for a fifth time in Nigeria’s six appearances at the competition.

Rorh is however assuring that the Super Eagles would get the best possible preparation for Argentina and the other group opponents Croatia and Iceland even though Nigeria is the least-ranked team in the group.

“Of course, I would have wanted an easier group. But it is what it is. Now we have this strong group. If you look at our FIFA ranking, we are only in 52nd position – the others are far ahead of us. I think they sit in position 14, eight and four. That means we are the underdogs. We were only in pot four in the draw, we mustn’t forget that. But we are an underdog with ambition and we want to get into the knockout stages, even though it will be very difficult. That’s our target,” he said.

Nigeria is expected to play friendly games against Poland and Serbia later this month as preparations for the World Cup intensify.

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  • Just try and get out of the group and we shall take it from there. The group is tough no doubt,but we can make it, Croatia is beatable likewise d rest. all we need do is go to d W CUP.with good midfielders and not d likes if Mikel ago, so that with compact midfield, we can frustrate any team and counter attack them since we have pacy wingers, my worry also is Orion ighalo who is not a good finisher and in his mid or late 30’s,can we bank in him? He scored just once all through d WCQ. Junior ajayi is not d answer. Invite taiwo awoniyi NOW

    • @Mykel, Do you just say we should go to the world cup without the likes of MIKEL????? Or i don’t get you

      • Abiola 4 years ago

        Well I want to guess that he was going to mention Mikel Agu, not Mikel Obi.

  • An humble coach who knows his left from his right.

  • Kingmaker 4 years ago

    In Brazil, home of five time winners of football, it is common to run into a University Professor of football. Football is a discipline where degrees are now awarded. Universities offering football as a degree programme is not limited to Brazil alone. Technical knowledge is key in all fields of human endeavours bcos it provides ample opportunity to carry out research, and engage in practical studies for verifiable results.
    Here, in this clime, our case is totally different. Everybody is a technical adviser, even amongst Nigerians who can’t properly spell their names. We suffer from incurable ‘mega-ignoramus syndrome’. Everybody can’t be guilty of this, though.
    However, it is very glaring when you read what some people have to offer in public discuss. To some statistical evaluation count for nothing, but some ways to confuse and manipulate others. Yet ‘stats’ are big-money making methods for efficient forecasting, market value pegging & negotiations at transfer markets.
    We must learn, as in all disciplines.
    We may not all have to attend a college to pick up a degree or diploma in coaching, or study football, but when one appreciates and acknowledges advanced reason on a subject, it is a first noble step to learning how things are correctly done.
    Football is serious business globally. Whenever I hear Coach Gernot Rohr speak, you can learn one or two things from him.
    This is a well bred and respected soccer psychologist. He is simply using mind games again.
    Mind game is an act that helps you convey information intended to secure certain responses from your opponents. It is so useful in modern football as we know it today.
    Rohr is a master in the act. We shall see more mind-games playing out in the days ahead.
    Argentina is a big fish in world football. Argentina deserve respect for what they have achieved in Fifa organized global events. Besides they have, perhaps an alien, Lionel Messi adjudged, arguably the best man ever to have played the beautiful game in world history.
    Whipping Argentina in Krasnoda, Russia felt good for Nigeria, but in WC proper they would come after Nigeria like a wounded LION.
    Pride in place, and throwing everything into It, claws, tooth & nail in a bloody battle of wits, skill & determination. It would be mother-of-all-battles. Nigeria intend to win again, but must show respect in an attempt to do so.
    Rohr has the details; he is equally a good tactician with belief that given the right preparation & psychological build up, his team can bury the sword deeper in the heart of its wounded victim.
    Bonfere Jo, ex- Super Eagles handler in an interview on Nigeria’s chances at Russia 2018, said, with good tactics & solid preparations, Nigeria should qualify from group D, if not as first but second position.
    The Super Eagles brim over with young talents who are ambitious & hungry to make their mark in world football and improve their stocks.
    We join all good wishers, fans of SE to wish the Coaching crew & NFF leadership our support & goodwill in their build up to the WC using next weekend match with Poland to scale up its preparation.
    Good luck!

  • Now that’s the truth Rohr is a good manager. And Sampo like is clever as hell. Sevilla under Sampaoli beat Real Madrid, Barca and to add more he lost against weak teams but, got the 4th in LA Liga.Group D the most competitive

  • Ebukah 4 years ago

    Well spoken, @Kingmaker.