FOOTBALL, has its form of electricity, during crucial matches. When a goal is scored, the stadium gets electrified. Fans sing and dance endlessly. The scorer of a goal jumps up, punches the air, greets the spectators. Makes the sign of the cross, raises his head to the heaven or nod his head on the ground – depending on his faith. His team mates hug or fall on him and ruffles his hair, while celebrating the goal.
Gernot Rohr in charge of Nigeria’s Supper Eagles, five years on; consistently, has had cream of Nigeria’s foreign based professionals. Yet, the country and fans, have no national team to celebrate. It has been flip-flopping assembled team, and flip-flopping performance. No glittering, skillful and scintillating performance from Gernot Rohr’s Super Eagles, which the Super Eagles were known in decades.
Nigerians want Gernot Rohr and the Nigerian Football Federation, NFF, to defend themselves, why he should remain Super Eagles’ manager. The situation was made worse when the Super Eagles fell [0-1] on Thursday, in a lackluster performance against Central Africa Republic, in the 2022 World Cup qualifier played at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.
SUPER EAGLES PLAYERS had their faces down, in humiliation, after the shocking defeat by CAR, without recording one shot on target against CAR; while the visitors were elated and celebrated their victory. FIFA, in its latest world ranking, ranked the Super Eagles 34th, CAR 124th. Yet, CAR payers produced better chances and got the desired result in such a crucial match against the Super Eagles.
Nigerian fans, in frustration, chanted and booed the Super Eagles, and cheered the CAR players for their bravery in taking on the Super Eagles. The result has thrown open Group C table; because the same Thursday, Cape Verde defeated Liberia [2—1].
The seeming deficiency of Gernot Rohr, as manager of the Super Eagles manifested, in the team’s losing to the lowly rated CAR. Bad workman, they say, always, quarrel with his tools. It was not surprising when Gernot Rohr told Goals: “We missed the creativity of Iwobi; we also missed Ndidi so much. It was not easy for Frank Onyeka and a first-timer Taiwo Awoniyi to come in this team”. The two players were not in the team due to injuries.
Rohr said: “The players are still disappointed in the dressing room and still not understanding why we could lose this match. When we analysed it, we dominated possession of the ball, we had several opportunities to score, but we did not score and very often in football, there was a counter, and our opponents scored”.
Raoul Savoy, Coach of Central African Republic was elated in victory over the Super Eagles. He said his team played better than the Nigerian side, that had foreign based professional. He said he won against the Super Eagles because his strategy worked.
Ahead of the second leg in Douala, Cameroon, on Sunday, October 10, Savoy said the expectation from his team will be slightly higher. He has players that did not play against Nigeria in Lagos, due to visa problem, that will likely play in Cameroon.
Nigerians expectation from Gernot Rohr, in the return leg in Cameroon, nothing less than a clear win; and a return to the winning ways in style.