Match starts 4:00 p.m
Former international, Friday Elaho, yesterday said he expects Super Eagles’ coach Gernot Rohr to feature all the invited home-based players in today’s game against Cameroun.
Rohr invited the duo of Enyimba’s goalkeeper, John Noble and striker, Anayo Iwuala for the two-leg friendly against Cameroun. Aside from Iwuala, who usually comes in the second half of every game he plays for the Eagles, Noble has never been featured. However, the third home-based player, Ahmed Musa, who is the team’s captain, has always been part of the team.
Speaking to The Guardian yesterday, Elaho said Rohr has not justified himself as a coach, adding that his more than five years sojourn in the country has not moved the country’s football forward.
“The first game we played against Cameroun was part of FIFA’s window break for international friendlies, which I think will bring us down in the next FIFA’s ranking. But tomorrow’s second game is just a practice match because it is not recognised by FIFA. I think he should start all the home-based players; there is no need using 11 foreign-based players for the duel.
“Whether we win or not, it does not count at all; what matters is for the home-based players to also be given a chance to establish themselves through exposure to such friendlies. Even in the first match, I expected Rohr to feature all the invited Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) players instead of using 11 Europe-based players,” he said.
Elaho questioned the terms of Rohr’s contract with the NFF, saying, “as a manager, he is supposed to have access to all the venues where local league games are played. But he is not even looking at the home-based. If not for the pressure put on him by fans, the man would not have invited the home-based players.
Going back memory lane, Elaho said: “When Coach Clemence Westerhof was here, we executed the Algiers 90 Nations Cup with the home-based players and we got to the final. So, why is this man afraid? Right from the beginning, I have always been his critic because I do not think he is the coach that will take the Eagles to the ‘Promised Land’.
“Rohr’s technical ability is suspect; we have talented players everywhere and we need a sound coach to bring these players together, harness them and make a good team out of them. If it were a local coach that handled Eagles in the Nations Cup qualifier against Sierra Leone in Benin, the NFF would have sacked him. But in the case of Rohr, the NFF didn’t do anything.”