By Abiodun Mohammed
After spending over three years at the helms as Super Eagles technical adviser, Gernot Rohr is hanging to his job by the thread as his team despite having talented crop of players has hardly fulfilled their potentials.
The German tactician who has flattered some with his infusion of fair-skinned players across Europe in his squad is considered by many pundits as a failure and that has led to them asking the question, “how did the Franco-German get the Eagles job despite not winning a title with the sides he previously managed on the continent? A retrospective look at events that led to Rohr’s appointment reveals that Herve Renard, a coach who won AFCON titles with Zambia and Cote d’Ivoire also made himself available for the highly coveted job but officials of the Nigeria Football Federation turned their swivel chair in a different direction.
The former Gabon National team coach whose managerial winning percentage is 42 percent , has not won any title for the Super Eagles ever since he took charge of the team in August 2016, instead he has made himself relevant in friendly games with a 4-2 victory over the Albiceleste of Argentina and a 2 all draw with the Selecao of Brazil appearing like his major achievements aside winning Bronze at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
While it is harsh to describe Rohr as one of the worst coaches ever to have handled the Super Eagles, it is clear that the former Bordeaux player is miles away from the achievements of Super Eagles most successful coaches. The likes of Late Stephen Keshi, Late Amodu Shuaibu, Clemence Westerhoff and host of others are examples of Super Eagles tacticians Rohr might never match in terms of success.
Although is ability to qualify Super Eagles for major tournaments has been described by his fans as legendary, Rohr’s cluelessness and indecision in major competitions like the 2018 World Cup in Russia and 2019 AFCON in Egypt are unpardonable. From the lack of tactical acumen against Croatia and Argentina at the World Cup to the disappointment against Algeria at 2019 AFCON in Egypt despite having one of the best crop of players on the continent at his disposal, one would be correct to claim “Rohr is a master of qualifiers while being a slave of competitions.”
In addition, the 66-year-old’s preference for misfiring foreign based players even when the country had better Nigeria Professional Football League players in the same position is stifling the growth of the Super Eagles. For example, Simeon Nwankwo and Kelechi Iheanacho’s form books were not perfect spectacles before the World Cup but Rohr opted for them at the expense of a Junior Lokosa who was scoring week in-week out for Kano Pillars. Another example is Paul Onuachu, a man who always appears like a toothless stray dog on the pitch.
At this juncture, even the blind and the deaf can clearly see and hear the irrelevance of Rohr as Super Eagles tactician. In this modern era, achievements of football managers are measured by titles won and not the number of friendly games won or tournaments qualified for.
Therefore, NFF decision makers need to thoroughly review the performance of the former Bayern Munich defender before determining whether the Nigerian Super Eagles will be choosing a future of mediocrity over excellence.