Wednesday, December 15, 2021


By Our Correspondent

Only recently, a breath of fresh air blew across the Nigeria football landscape with the sacking of the ex Super Eagles Gaffer Gernot Rohr by the Nigeria football federation (NFF) which was long overdue.

Never in our football history have we had a coach like Gernot Rohr who for the over five years that he was in the saddle of managing our senior football team, displayed crass incompetence in team tactics, strategy and players selection that left one wondering what was the criteria adopted in assessing this misfit as qualified to be appointed as the Super Eagles gaffer in the first place?

Since his appointment as the senior national team manager in 2016, Gernot Rohr never impressed anyone except save for his employers and maybe those who engineered his appointment as the Super Eagles coach, because under his leadership, the national team became a dumping ground for unfit and misfit players.

To make matters worse despite all the support and encouragement he got from the football ruling house for the five years that he was in the saddle, Mr. Gernot Rohr continuously picked players without pedigree and didn’t have a defining style of play of beautiful football and win matches even against less ranked national teams.

Under ex coach Gernot Rohr, our senior national team the Super Eagles became like in the words of ex chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. Gen. Salisu Ibrahim at his pulling out parade in 1994 on retirement from the Army, “One of anything goes”. As a football devotee, his period was the worst in our football history with mediocre display which made a lot of football enthusiasts to lose interest and confidence in our senior national football team unlike what obtained in the past when football was a religion in most homes in the country and a uniting factor. The Super Eagles became a team that any team can defeat, to our national shame.

If he is not picking the wrong players, he would be calling up old and disused tired legs to the national team, when there are over a thousand and one players both from the local league and diaspora leagues to play the different positions on the field. Even the “established” players called up by Rohr without exception always churn out mediocre display which was characteristic of the team style of Rohr and at the end of the day, such unserious and disappointing players are always recalled for further matches just like that and one is left to wonder if there are other yardstick adopted for players call up and team selection other than merit and performance?

The incalculable damage done to our football by the tenure of ex Coach Gernot Rohr cannot be captured in a single write up like this and might take years to overcome, in view of the trauma that the man subjected our football to while his inglorious reign lasted.

But be that as it may, the appointment of Augustine Eguavoen in temporary capacity following Rohr exit is a poor decision given his low capacity and capability which has been exposed on two previous occasions that he was in charge of the Super Eagles.

It saddens one that every time, in our national life, we take decisions on critical national issues that exposes us as a people who seems to have learnt nothing despite our age and experience, we behave more like the Galatians in the Holy Bible and the million naira question is, why are we like this?

As one joins millions of countrymen and women to celebrate the sack of Gernot Rohr and remove this scourge of his reign in our football, which was long overdue, one can only add his voice in calling on our football federation to quickly do the needful in appointing a technically sound and competent manager for the super Eagles for the tasks ahead rather than this low capacity and capability temporary manager of theirs who will only compound our football woes and infuriate public anger by his managership of the Super Eagles.


Nelson Ekujumi, a public commentator, writes from Lagos.

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