While Gernot Rohr perceives squad rotation and dying-minute call up as a panacea to the loss suffered at the hands of Cameroon on Friday night, his action portrays among other things; the level of his tactical acumen and more importantly, the extent of the Super Eagles readiness for the mammoth task ahead.
The brain behind a friendly contest is to showcase to all and sundry what a team have in stock to offer when it comes to a competitive environment and Super Eagles game against the Indomitable Lions did nothing but to unveil how prepared the team are against subsequent onerous fixtures. Disjointed midfield, toothless attack all characterized Super Eagles performance in the game where Frank-Andre Sambo Anguissa’s only goal was enough for Cameroon to ride their luck in Austria.
Gernot Rohr inviting the Hungry-based Vincent Onovo to the squad lately coupled with his willingness to employ squad-rotation mechanism in the return leg against Cameroon on Tuesday by handling match start to unused Galatasary’s defender Valentine Ozornwafor, Omonia Nicosia’s shotstopper Francis Uzoho and Kano Pillars Ahmed Musa among others are pontifications to the fact that the Super Eagles may not yet be equipped with the wherewithal to face the tasks that precedes them.
The German tactician hanging his actions under the umbrella of testing the players so as to aid selection of the best leg tends to raise the question that how will a team with a trajectory goal still be characterized with muddleness and indecisiveness at the moment?.
“The matches are made to test some players who have not played so much and also to have new organization…”, Rohr said emphasizing on the need to test new players in games. In further conversation with the press, he added that the priority lies on what the fresh bloods have to offer and not on the outcome of the game. ” The most important thing is not the result, the most important is to progress, to learn to work.”
Albeit quite understandable that key players such as Victor Osimehen, Samuel Chukueze, Leon Balogun are absent from the squad in Austria due to injury. But with the wealth of material resources (players) available at Gernot Rohr’s disposal, it well suffices for the Super Eagles to perform tremendously with the above named players in absential and as such, Friday night’s encounter with Cameroon left no positive impression in the mind of Nigerians particularly having in mind that the National team have gone winless in 3 friendly games played in Austria.
Perhaps in a dissenting opinion, some may posit that it is quite early to give an assessment of the team ahead of upcoming outings, it is pertinent however to emphasize that an early evaluation of the Super Eagles is a practical means of monitoring their progress and also gives an insight as to what to expect in the more competitive fixtures that is on the way.
Nigeria will lock horns with Mexico in an international friendly early in July. A Mexican team that continues to retain dominance in the North American region winning the most CONCACAF titles (8), though narrowly missing out on the last edition of the tournament to USA. The World Cup qualifiers is gradually knocking on the door. With the Nigerian team tied alongside Cape Verde who never tasted defeat en route to the African Cup of Nations 2021, it connotes that earning the World Cup ticket won’t be a walk in the park.
While the AFCON 2021 draw remain yet to be decided, Nigeria stand to be drawn alongside any country participating in the tournament. Thus, the summative effect of all these asseveration is a reminder that the Super Eagles have a big challenge ahead. If concerted effort is not put to remedy the mishap ingrained in the National team and transmogrify the Super Eagles into a match-winning team right from the onset, it poses a grave peril towards the attainment of a successful stint in the coming outings.