The appointment of German tactician, Gernot Rohr by the Nigeria
Football Federation (NFF) to tinker the affairs of the Super Eagles
could be considered as a good omen, if only both hands can work together
towards qualifying the team for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
After the signing ceremony, Rohr who has been given a target to
qualify Nigeria for the World Cup, told Thenff.com that with the right
atmosphere, the Eagles will not only qualify for the mundial but get to
the latter stages of the competition.
“I am enthusiastic to get to work. This is a big challenge because
Nigeria has big players everywhere and has the ability to do well
internationally,” Rohr said.
“I have a German heart – the heart of a winner. I have confidence
that with the right atmosphere and the right support, the Super Eagles
have the capacity not only to qualify for the FIFA World Cup, but get to
the latter stages of the competition,” he added.
Having failed in their attempt to capture Paul Le Guen last month due
to inability to meet with his terms of a contract agreement, the NFF in
a swift move decided to engage Rohr, who has accepted the job and
obligation to live and work in Nigeria, with the aim of unearthing new
talent from the grassroots that will be useful for the senior national
team in the future.
The former Bayern Munich defender had his coaching stint with French
sides Nantes, Nice, Ajjaccio, Bordeaux and Swiss side, Young Boys before
managing Gabon to the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations that was co-hosted by
Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, leading them to the quarter final stages.
His biggest achievement was helping Girondins Bordeaux to the UEFA Cup
final, where they lost to Bayern Munich over two legs, 0–2 away and 1–3
at home in 1996.
In contrast, his not too impressive record with countries like Niger
and Burkina Faso meant he was relieved of his job for some period before
being picked up by the NFF, a question the leaves many scratching their
heads about the football house selecting the German coach.
Giving reasons why they (NFF) went for the German tactician, Amaju
Pinnick, president of the NFF told Thenff.com: “The factors we
considered are his experience and pedigree, the fact that he understands
the African terrain and speaks good English. Communication won’t be a
problem and he is a very knowledgeable coach.”
Rohr’s first task will be a match against Tanzania in Uyo on
September 3, in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier and an impressive
result will kick-start a good reign in his coaching career for the
Super Eagles. The result may be inconsequential considering the fact
that the Pharaohs of Egypt have already qualified as the group winner.
On Friday, he named a 23-man squad that will confront Tanzania in one of
many decisions that would decide the technical and tactical efficiency
of him towards reshaping the Super Eagles.
However, if success with the national team is used as a yardstick to
determine the appointment of a foreign coach, then Rohr simply doesn’t
merit the managerial role, regardless of his experience as coach. NFF
president, Amaju Pinnick who has been a fan favorite of a foreign coach
since taking over the position in 2014, had hinted that Nigeria’s poor
performance at the international level could be transformed with the
right expatriate at the helm of affairs, but I am not sure if Rohr was
the based choice based on his previous posts.
Perhaps, Pinnick and Rohr must show soccer loving Nigerians the need
for them to support their quest to changing the declining state of the
Super Eagles, by coming tops in their group considering the fact that,
the team’s failure to qualify for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations still
remains fresh in their hearts.
Again, the football house should be prepared not to interfere in the
decision making of the German tactician, as they did with previous coach
Stephen Oliseh, in terms of players selection if Nigeria must qualify
for the mundial. It’s quite obvious that pock-nosing in the affairs of
any given manager Nigeria appoints has always been the mark of the NFF,
something which must change.
With adequate preparation before the Super Eagles confront Zambia in
Lusaka in October, it’s believed that the new manager could pull
surprises in the group if he selects the right players for the