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Winners & losers from Gernot Rohr’s Nigeria sacking

10:53 PM GMT+8 13/12/2021
Ighalo, Rohr
GOAL takes a look at some of the potential beneficiaries of the German’s dismissal, as well as those possibly put in a disadvantaged position

  • Gernot Rohr

    Nigeria dismiss Gernot Rohr

    After five years in charge of the Super Eagles, the Franco-German was shown the exit door on Sunday with the Africa Cup of Nations weeks away.

    In this feature, we consider individuals who could benefit from the decision and vice-versa.

  • Taiwo Awoniyi Union Berlin

    Winner — Taiwo Awoniyi

    Having had a strong showing to life since his permanent switch to Union Berlin in the summer, Awoniyi was mostly overlooked by Rohr.

    The former Liverpool forward was invited for October’s internationals against the Central African Republic and got his debut in the 1-0 defeat.

    However, the German’s decision to ignore the Union man in November was met with fierce criticism with the 68-year-old favouring experience over youth.

  • Odion Ighalo - Nigeria

    Loser — Odion Ighalo

    The lightning rod for last month’s censure was the odd decision to bring Ighalo back from international retirement, despite the rise of several centre-forwards across Europe.

    It remains to be seen what happens to the ex-Watford striker, but the favourite of Rohr may not have a certain spot in the squad for much longer.

  • Emmanuel Dennis of Nigeria and Watford.

    Winner — Emmanuel Dennis

    Like Awoniyi, Dennis has had a storming start to the season with Watford, scoring seven times despite the Hornets’ broader struggles in 2021/22.

    Capable of playing out wide and down the middle, Rohr strangely ignored the former Club Brugge forward who remains in red-hot form in his debut Premier League season.

  • Ahmed Musa

    Loser — Ahmed Musa

    It remains a concern among fans of the Super Eagles that Musa continues to be involved at the expense of more suitable options.

    Awoniyi and Dennis are the obvious cases in point, with the former Leicester City attacker invited by Rohr at their expense.

    Will Musa’s Nigeria career suffer following the 68-year-old’s dismissal?

  • Joe Aribo, CAR

    Winner — Joe Aribo

    Rohr never seemed capable of utilising the Rangers man who many argue suffered from the German’s inclination to deploy him in a midfield pivot.

    Steven Gerrard tended to utilise the 25-year-old in a three-man midfield or a playmaking role on the right side of an attacking trident, roles Rohr did not try Aribo in.

    It will be interesting to see how Augustine Eguavoen and the new permanent boss deploys the Rangers midfielder.

  • Moses Simon, Abu Razard, Nigeria vs Liberia

    Loser — Moses Simon

    Indeed, Simon’s case poses interesting questions.

    He offers creativity from wide areas and set-pieces for Nantes but often frustrates in a Nigeria shirt.

    Many observers will feel the wide attacker may be disadvantaged after Rohr’s sacking, although having him replicate his Ligue 1 form for the West African nation will be the ideal situation.

  • Anthony Nwakaeme Trabzonspor 912018

    Winner — Anthony Nwakaeme

    The Trabzonspor man was ignored for four years by Rohr after making his debut in 2017.

    Nwakaeme has been one of the leading forwards in Turkey in that time, and he retains ambitions to play for Nigeria, but the former Super Eagles trainer would not budge.

    Perhaps, the 68-year-old’s departure opens the door for a national team return for the burly attacker.