Rohr notes ‘many mistakes’ in Nigeria’s loss
Nigeria boss Gernot Rohr spoke out in the wake of Nigeria’s World Cup defeat at the hands of Croatia, as the Super Eagles attempt to recover in time for their next game against Iceland. Rohr’s team haven’t been themselves throughout the course of the game and failed to showcase the kind of tenacity or skill that many had come to expect of them over the last years.
While there were flashes of brilliance to be found every now and then across the 90 minutes, in the end, they fell to a far superior Croatia side who look set to challenge Argentina for top spot in Group D. Regarding Rohr’s comments, it was clear to see that he wanted to move on from the game as quickly as possible, noting that the team made many important mistakes, while still managing to praise the organisation of his squad. It almost felt like he was intent on putting the blame on the players as opposed to himself, claiming that the tactics weren’t actually the issue at all. Rohr has been heavily criticised in the past and even in the weeks prior to the tournament, especially after Nigeria failed to impress during their World Cup warm-up matches.
Mikel’s performance was also praised by Rohr who defended his captain, despite many believing that he should’ve been positioned further back in order to give other players a chance to run the show through the middle of the park. It’s clear to see from anyone’s perspective that Nigeria have some of the most talented players in their group and in all of Africa, but whether or not they can overcome this setback in time for their final two group games has yet to be determined. Rohr went on to protect and praise Iwobi who received a lukewarm reaction to his performance courtesy of both his enthusiasm and his lack of an end product. You could definitely make the argument that Rohr was trying to limit the damage caused by the defeat, keeping the big names within his squad happy while simultaneously not accepting any major form of the blame himself. The 64-year-old certainly isn’t lacking in confidence which could key in a group as unpredictable as this one, but whether or not he’s the right man for the job is another question altogether. The quality is there but you often need a little bit of luck in this tournament, and that was nowhere to be found after Croatia went ahead at the weekend.