To have a successful time as an employee in any organisation, one must have a good relationship with the heads or authorities.
Gernot Rohr’s contract with the Super Eagles expires in June, but there have been talks about a new deal-although not without conditions.
It is not the first time the German tactician will be extending his contract having done so in 2018. The 66-year-old was appointed in 2016 on a two-year contract that was renewed again after the 2018 World Cup.
However, in 2016, it was a mutual agreement between the two parties. The same cannot be said should Rohr sign an extension this June.
Since he arrived, Rohr has created a team that has made Nigerian’s take an interest in the Super Eagles again. Nigeria currently has one of the youngest and talented squads in international football right now.
The German tactician has also been able to convince the likes of Semi Ajayi, Joe Aribo and Cyriel Dessers to switch allegiances to Nigeria.
Not only that, but he has also brought stability to the national team, while results on the pitch have also been impressive.
In 38 matches he has managed so far, Rohr has won 21, drawn seven and lost just 10. He qualified for two major tournaments with a game to spare.
Also, he has been able to manage the players, and he is not afraid to make bold decisions like dropping Kelechi Iheanacho from the 2019 AFCON squad and taking out John Mikel Obi from the line-up at the tournament.
The German tactician has done an excellent job no matter what the critics of his style think. Former Wolves star Seyi Olofinjana echoed this, and even NFF’s President, Amaju Pinnick had previously praised the impact of Rohr.
The former Gabon manager has done enough to earn a new contract, and he wants one. However, while it’s a good thing Rohr intends to continue, it’s probably in his best interest that he does not sign given the way the NFF has acted in the last few months.
Just last week, the President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, went on air to outline the conditions Rohr will have to accept if he wants a new deal.
He must live in Nigeria, must earn in the country’s currency and then must develop the local league players.
Although Rohr has hinted he does not have a problem with working in any of these conditions, it’s clear the NFF are trying hard to see Rohr go.
It’s not the first time Pinnick said Rohr’s would need to start placing more focus on the NPFL players. But for the umpteenth time, it’s not the German’s job to develop local league players.
A national team should benefit from its local league and not the other way round. Some believe Pinnick is making a case for local league players, but that’s not the truth.
If Pinnick truly cares about the NPFL players, then the welfare of these footballers should be his first concern. It’s clear that he only introduced this condition not because he cares, but because it’ll be difficult for Rohr.
How does he expect Rohr to focus more on the NPFL when the Super Eagles best legs play in Europe? I once wrote a piece on how it is hypocritical of Pinnick to ask for more NPFL representation in the Super Eagles, but then go abroad to convince QPR’s Ebere Eze to play for Nigeria.
It’s clear that Pinnick wants Rohr gone, but he wants that decision to come from the German. And to achieve that he introduced the ridiculous local players’ clause knowing there are so many advocates for the NPFL, and that puts more pressure on Rohr.
Rohr’s relationship with Pinnick started on a good note, but it’s evident that’s not the case right now. It probably began when the German complained of unpaid salaries.
That may have been sorted, but signing a new contract when the relationship between the two parties is strained could be a wrong decision.
The 66-year-old has enough experience in Africa, so he has probably dealt with situations like this. From hearings, he also knows how to play the politics game Pinnick is playing.
Rohr likely wants a new contract because Nigeria is arguably the best team he has managed, and he feels he is building something great.
However, experiences have shown there’s only one winner when a manager has a complicated relationship with his owner.
Even if he signs the new deal, his relationship with Pinnick could see the NFF try to sabotage his work, and that’s not what Nigeria needs right now.
Precedents have shown that if the NFF wants someone gone, it’s something they’ll do not minding the cost.
Rohr’s predecessor is a prime example, although he also had his issues. The fallout of Oliseh’s dismissal saw the Super Eagles missed out on qualification for 2017 AFCON.
The Super Eagles have a good thing going for them, but all could fall apart if Rohr continues to play the politics game with the NFF.