The Super Eagles Tactician Gernot Rohr on Friday released the List of 24 Invited Eagles to execute the AFCON qualifiers against Seychelles on September 7th when both teams lock horns during the African Cup Of Nations Qualifiers with almost a total omission of any home-based Eagles included in the list except that of the 2nd choice goalkeeper of Enyimba FC Ikechukwu Ezenwa.
The announcement of Coach Gernot Rohr in the year 2016 as the Technical Adviser of Nigerian Super Eagles was welcomed by all and sundry with most sports loving Nigerians expecting the Franco-German tactician to bring the European touch to the Nigerian Super Eagles, particularly at the World stage. Still rhythming in the mindset that Nigeria is trailing Cameroon, Senegal and Ghana, the expectations were extremely high to change the tide for the populace.
The Super Eagles coach shying is eyes away on some of the Home-based players (Super Eagles B) who have made their various clubs proud and also represented the country one way or the other bringing hope back to the citizenry of Nigeria with the hope that our League can produce superstars in the nearest future.
These players in their capacities have represented their clubs at the highest level of playing Professional Football without being on the clubs bench like some of the invited foreign players to the Eagles camp, Such players are:
a. JUNIOR LOKOSSA a prolific striker who has scored many goals for his club Kano Pillars and also had a cap for the Super Eagles in the build-up to Russia 2018 World Cup where he showed us all his ability to play from different angle upfront and a hope of having a Yekini back in the squad.
b. GABRIEL OKECHUKWU who represented Nigeria well with his hope restoring goals that led Nigeria to the final of the CHAN competition, He plight his Professional Football with Akwa United Fc in the 2017-2018 league season who currently is with Wydad Casablanca and also represented the country in various categories from the Under 23 national team to the CHAN Eagles with several goals coming from his boots.
c. OLADELE AJIBOYE a prolific Short Stopper who played a key role in Plateau United becoming Champion of the Nigerian Professional Football League, The Plateau United stopper has represented Nigeria in a various category and bringing laurels to our dear nation such as in 2007 Nigeria U-17, 2009 Nigeria U-20, 2011 Nigeria U-23 and the Super Eagles CHAN team in 2018.
d. KALU ORJI OKOGBUE a reliable central defender who formerly plays for Enugu Rangers before joining Kano Pillars and now plight his professional trade outside the shores of Nigeria in Morocco Mouloudia Oujda after representing his national team Super Eagles B in the last CHAN competition in Morocco,
e. IFEANYI IFEANYI a prolific midfield star who has been likened to John Mikel Obi. The former MFM Fc of Lagos Midfielder and now playing for Akwa United star who has represented the country in the Underaged competition and brought the Cup home some years back, Ifeanyi who represented Nigeria at the 2017 WAFU Cup in Ghana and part of the Super Eagles Team B squad 2018 CHAN. the ex-Flying Eagles player who rejected deals from foreign clubs so he will be able to play for his country in the CHAN 2018 competition.
f. SUNDAY FALEYE Former Shooting Stars of Ibadan prolific striker who currently plight his Professional Football career with Akwa United gave a good account of himself at the CHAN Mundial in Morocco. The 19 years old striker who also has a promising future up front had just 4 caps for Nigeria and was a good discovery at the 2018 CHAN Competition played in Morocco.
Sincerely, Rohr had a good jolly ride en route Russia 2018 with an unbeaten record in the qualifying group that had Cameroon, Algeria and Zambia even though the results were achieved within two to three days assemblage of mostly foreign players.
Kudos should be given to the NFF who made every provision available for a successful camping for the team in Austria. But, disappointingly, the build-up matches to the Mundial against Congo, England, Czech Republic and Serbia after a month camping could not justify the money-spinning camping. It’s no longer a news that the friendly matches were too horrible for the blind to see. You could imagine the Eagles under Rohr lacked cohesion, transition, understanding and no clear pattern from one match to another which obviously translated into the real terrible showing at the global stage.
I think Coach Gernot Rohr should have a rethink on his over-dependence on foreign-based players. The poor football display couple with the below par result we had in Russia under his tutelage has caused many people to lose confidence in his style of coaching than the indigenous coaches. In a record, Nigeria has never made any impact depending on foreign-based players in any competition.
Let’s go down the memory lane, Coach Westerhof looked inward in 1989 and built our home-based players along with their foreign counterparts to stardom in Tunisia and USA ’94. In fact, we all enjoyed great football artistry in this era under Westerhof.
Not only that, Coach Stephen Keshi of blessed memory used home-based players to fight for Jerseys with the over-hyped foreign-based players in 2013 and won Nation’s Cup in South Africa With the discovery of Sunday Mba who helped Nigeria win against one of the greatest hurdles in the Mundial Cote d’Ivoire. We didn’t only win AFCON but we also entered second round in Brazil 2014 World Cup losing narrowly on a disallowed goal against France. (we all knew the goal was clean and would have qualified us to the quarter finals).
Frankly speaking, any coach who cannot go down to NPFL venues to genuinely pick three to four players and nurture them to stardom would be regarded as lazy and does not have any business in Nigeria not even in Africa as a whole.
Coach, I think if after two years, you cannot lay hands on two to three home-based players you discovered and build to the World stage, you would be a disservice to the nation. (even Coach Onigbinde discovered Vincent Enyeama within three months, Haba)
Results are there in Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Senegal national teams with their home-based players shocking the world.
Presently, our leagues are on break and I think you still have enough time to do the needful when the League resumes on September 2nd for genuine scouting.
If I may ask, in your assessment, do you want us to tell Mallam Shehu Dikko to scrap NPFL and NNL if you think our league does not worth celebrating for national team call-up?
N15M monthly salary is enough to bring smiles to the faces of over 180 million Nigerians and until you