Nigerias’ Super Eagles suffered their 1st loss under Gernot Rohr losing in embarrassing fashion to South Africa at home in Uyo.
Despite all the hype and positivity going into the match the Super Eagles came up short when it mattered most.
What really went wrong with this once very promising Super Eagles team?
We ask ourselves some very direct questions
1)Did we err by dropping Omeruo for Chidozie
Many a pundit raised an eyebrow when the young Porto CB was selected ahead of Omeruo in the absence of Leon Balogun. Against the south Africans Chidozie Awaziems inexperience seemed to come to the fore. Was his starting an obvious goof from Rohr?
2)Did we miss Mikel
One evidently un-composed and ineffective area of the Super Eagles was the midfield. There were no long passes, everthing was hurried and lacked precision, no calming effect like we have become accustomed to, no strings were being pulled in the middle. No one was controlling the game for Nigeria. All these are synonymous with the ex Chelsea star Mikel Obi. Did we miss him, his unique abilities and his leadership quality ?
3)Should we begin to worry about Rohr
Rohr has for long been the toast of Nigerian fans and deservedly too as he hadn’t lost since taking charge of the team. Moreso he semed to understand the terrain, the politics and have all the answers. We also appreciated his drive to bring in fresh young talent to the Eagles. But against South Africa he appeared to have been out maneuvered by Staurt Baxter and had no ready response. It’s still early days yet but should we begin to worry about just how good our coach really is?
4)Have we got it wrong playing Iheanacho as a 9
The debate on Iheanachos best position has been endless, both for club and country and while he has delivered the goods leading the line by himself on many occasions for the Eagles, against South Africa he stuck out like a sore thumb. While it could be down to the support he received we need to be sure and decide once and for all where and how to get the best out of this immensely talented footballer
5)Is it time to swallow our pride and recall Vincent Enyeama
Let’s not mince words. Akpeyi had a very poor game against South Africa. Rohr had been skeptical and long toyed with the idea of bringing the self exiled Enyeama back. Ikeme is a very capable hand but when he is injured with most times is very often we do not have a capable replacement. Time to pull out the stops and get Enyeama back?
6)Were we too hasty dropping the China based strikers
Gernot Rohr initially considered inviting one of the China based strikers in Odion Ighalo or Brown Ideye to the team but opted out last minute and settled for youth. That decision might have back fired as it seemed like we lacked a real physical presence up front. The young strikers might be fast and exciting but do they have the presence the older ones have?
7)Where best to place Etebo & Iwobi?
Oghenekaro Etebo is an immensely talented footballer but an enigma of sorts. His versatility while a blessing can also be hindrance if not used appropriately
Siasia seems to be the only man to have gotten the best out of Etebo playing him as he did at the Olympics as a wide forward. His 4 goals in one game are a testimony to that
Now he seems to be deployed in the centre while Iwobi who might have thrived in the middle is played wide.
Are we getting the mix right in the middle? Is Etebo the right man to pull the strings from the Centre? Are we really clear on how best to use him?