Africa Cup of Nations

Six areas Rohr has let Super Eagles down

5:00 PM GMT 10/12/2021
Gernot Rohr
Despite boasting an array of talent at his disposal, the German manager has failed to deliver any form of silverware since he took charge in 2016

A breeze of mediocrity has blown through Gernot Rohr's five-year tenure in charge of the Super Eagles and it is perhaps ironic that he has now become the country’s longest-serving manager.

Despite seemingly getting much-needed results, fans have expressed disappointment with the 68-year-old as Super Eagles boss and we take a look at six areas he has failed to address and do justice to.

  • Afcon trophy.

    Lack of trophies

    The most obvious reason why Rohr’s tenure cannot be termed a success despite all the ‘progress’ attributed to him. The Super Eagles head coach role is a very demanding one which demands silverware at the very least.

    Admittedly, securing qualification for continental tournaments as well as the World Cup has become a constant under the 68-year-old. However, Nigeria’s best tournament finish under the German remains a third-place finish at the 2019 Afcon. For a country such as Nigeria, five years without a trophy is too long.

  • Iwobi, Iheanacho

    Team selections

    Perhaps the most evident of his struggles, Rohr has never seemed to get his selections right. Most of the time, his formations always come under scrutiny, with the manager looking like he assembles a super squad, rather than build a team.

    A good example remains the fact that Ahmed Musa continues to get game-time with the Super Eagles, when he is evidently past his best. On paper, Alex Iwobi might be the team’s chief creator, but he hasn’t lived up to expectations. Regardless, both players are almost guaranteed a start, provided they are available.

  • Simy Nwankwo Nigeria training Russia World Cup 2018

    Neglect of certain players

    It seems like players are picked because of their pedigree rather than their form and what they exactly have to offer to the squad. It is on this note that the recent recall of Odion Ighalo saw much backlash, despite a host of Nigerian forwards who are doing well with their respective clubs in Europe.

    Taiwo Awoniyi is in fine form at the moment and it remains hard to believe that record-breaking Simy Nwankwo has only three competitive minutes of action for the Super Eagles to date.

  • Gernot Rohr

    Lack of an identity

    Great sides in global football are well-known for a style attributed to them that has brought so much success. In recent times, the Super Eagles had an entertaining style of football, characterized with a deadly attack that always made their games fun to watch for fans and neutrals alike.

    Under Rohr, Nigeria cannot be tagged with a particular style of play and their most recent 1-1 draw to Cape Verde in November seemed to sum it all up. The German manager himself has detailed he looks forward to results more than anything else, hinting that he is not bothered about shaking things up on this front.

    It remains to be seen how much longer Rohr will remain the Super Eagles manager but it is more than evident there remains a lot of work to be done as the 2021 Afcon approaches.

  • Marcos Rojo Nigeria Argentina 26062018

    Poor in-game management

    The hallmark of a good manager is the ability to read games as they happen and make necessary tactical tweaks to keep the odds in their team's favour.

    It is not enough to know what style to adopt against a team or to select the best players for that team. Game situations can change and a coach has to be smart enough to know how to manage it - the reason why the coaching role in football evolved to a managerial role.

    Against Argentina in the 2018 World Cup, there were instances where a substitution from Rohr could have turned the game on its head, as a draw would have been just enough to secure qualification to the next round for the Super Eagles.

    Argentina is just one of many stories since the 68-year-old took over, and it is not a good look on the German that he's failed to make the in-game difference when Nigeria needed it most.

  • Odion Ighalo - Nigeria

    A panicky need to recall old players

    A key happening under Rohr has been the recall of quite a few players who have run their course with the Super Eagles.

    Most recently, it happened with Ighalo and there are rumours of a return for Victor Moses as well.

    Regardless of current form, this precedent is not a good one to set for fans who already think the team is not managed properly, and for players who are on the periphery of the team but miss out due to the recall of a very senior player who should only be giving advice to the squad and not partaking actively in it.