Though the issue may seem over flogged, Gernot Rohr would be doing himself a lot of good in his second stint with the Super Eagles if he adopts some changes in his modus operandi with the Nigeria national team.
Clemence Westerhof, Phillip Trousseir and late Stephen Keshi all have one thing in common; it is their ability to look inward and make use of local talents rather than depend fully on foreign-based players.
While Rohr and his disciples continually harp on the fact that the best of Nigerian players ply their trade abroad, it all smacks laziness to blanketly declare there are no good players at all in the Nigeria Professional Football League.
Moves abroad are not brokered based on talent solely and that explains why some good players are still grappling with life in the NPFL
On the reverse, some players have been lucky to secure moves abroad not because they possess the best of talents but to their advantage, they had the required human and financial backing to do so.
I remember years back, Malawian fans were looking forward to seeing Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel when Eagles landed in Chileka International Airport, Lilongwe in 2012, but Keshi paraded a bunch of rookies made up of Oboabona, Egwueke, Oshaniwa and Gabriel Rueben in the qualifiers. These home-based players fought like Trojan and the host we’re lucky to snatch a late draw.
Rohr’ caused an uproar when he once again declared that the Nigerian league cannot produce talents he needs to get results. He was simply saying nothing good can come from the league.
Being a national team coach is not the same as being a club coach. Many are of the view that it’s a job for someone who doesn’t like working much. Now that Rohr’ will be mandated to reside in Nigeria, it’s time to change his erroneous thought that the league cannot produce good players.
Just like the Trousseir “The White Witch Doctor did in Nigeria and Burkina Fasso, Rohr’ must keep his assistant busy and task them to fish out good players in the league. He should be bold enough to weild the big stick and request for a new local assistant if necessary.
With the global football calendar already halted by Covid-19 pandemic, lots of European clubs will be cautious to release players for AFCON qualifiers. For a manager who solely depends on foreign-based pros like Rohr, it’s like putting all your eggs in one basket.
More importantly, Rohr’ should not bother himself solely on making Super Eagles great, rather, he should help develop the league. His presence during league matches will help players go beyond the limit to impress him.