Rohr comments on late changes
While Nigerians around the globe are proud of their team’s efforts against Argentina in their final World Cup game, there are still questions that have been raised in the wake of the Super Eagles’ exit from the tournament. Of course, not everyone is still hung up on the fact that they went out, but given how much the nation invested in wanting to see their team succeed, you can hardly blame them for wanting some answers. While many are choosing to focus on the impact that VAR had in the game’s second half, others want to know why manager Gernot Rohr took so long to make his final two remaining substitutions.
Rohr, who turns 65 today, brought Odion Ighalo on after the first 45 minutes but didn’t bring on his second or third subs until injury time. A lot of people were confused by this, and while some were trying to justify it by stating that he would’ve wanted to see whether or not Argentina could find a second goal, it did still feel a little bit odd. Rohr stated that Ahmed Musa wasn’t interested in being taken off whatsoever, which does make you wonder just how much say the players have on a day to day basis. Rohr was also somewhat defiant in stating that there was one substitution made at half-time, so there’s no need to pick up on the two later changes. He brought up the fact that Argentina had played a day prior to them and therefore had more time to recover, which again, felt like he was veering off topic.
The German manager has been in charge of the Super Eagles since 2016, with this being his first World Cup finals campaign as a gaffer. He’s certainly been around the block in the management game over the last two decades, with his longest spell at any given team being a three-year stint with Nice from 2002 to 2005. Beyond that, he bounced around several African nations before settling with Nigeria, with Gabon, Niger and Burkina Faso being his three prior international jobs around the continent. Gernot has a habit of making the headlines with some of his comments, but now, the real query is whether or not he’ll carry on as boss.
Nigeria certainly didn’t make fools of themselves during their time in Russia, bouncing back from their defeat to Croatia with an emphatic performance against Iceland. If they’d have managed to hold on for five or ten minutes longer then they’d currently be preparing for a Round of 16 tie against one of the favourites France, but instead, they’ll turn their attention back towards the 2019 African Cup of Nations.