One of Nigeria’s greatest ever player, Segun Odegbami, has expressed his willingness to forgive the Super Eagles’ head coach for losing to lowly Madagascar earlier in the group stage of the Africa Cup of Nations.
The unexpected defeat to a team making its debut at the competition sparked widespread criticisms with some analysts – including 1980 Afcon winner Mr. Odegbami – calling for the sack of the German-born gaffer.
Gernot Rohr has since guided the team to the semifinals of the competition, brushing past defending champions Cameroon and 1996 Afcon winner South Africa along the way.
The Super Eagles’ recent victories have restored smiles to the mouths of their fans, with ‘Mathematical’ Odegbami ready to pardon all of Rohr’s errors.
“Last Wednesday night, the Super Eagles put up their best performance so far in AFCON 2019,” the former Green Eagles forward wrote in his column for Complete Sports.
He continued, “A lot of the credit for the team that was assembled, how the team played, and how they won must naturally go to the man whose responsibility it was to put it all together – Gernot Rohr.
“So, for Gernot Rohr, all is forgiven.”
He believed Rohr had changed from the man who made “careless decisions” against the Malagasy that “created untold and immeasurable temporary pain and agony” to the team’s fans to one without ‘sentiments’ who has got his team to play with ‘confidence and calmness.”
“So he deserves to be given the opportunity to serve out his term,” Mr. Odegbami wrote.
The top-scorer at the 1980 Africa Cup of Nations however is still not convinced that Gernot Rohr is competent enough to handle the Super Eagles in the long term.
“Going forward, however, looking towards a bigger goal, going to the 2022 World Cup and going far in accordance to Nigeria’s potentials seen long ago by global experts, but still hovering in the periphery of greatness only, the country needs a new coach, one that will imbibe and use the inherent strengths in the Nigeria DNA to drive the country’s football and footballers to become the best in the world.”