Cyril C. NwokejiThursday, December 28, 2017
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Continued from Part 5


he way a team plays reflects the thinking of the coach, who is the head of the technical crew. The coach gets the job of coaching the team and organises the technical crew with which he or she works. In other words, the coach takes responsibility for a team's performance on the field of play. This means the appointment of a competent coach for a team, is one of the major factors required for success, in modern soccer. In other words, the appointment of an incompetent coach, weakens a team even before the game kicks off!

In the first part of these series of articles, yours sincerely gave a resume of some previous coaches of the Super Eagles and their performances for the team when they were in charge. From that analysis, one saw that while some of the coaches were competent, the others were less than competent or outrightly unqualified for the Super Eagles' job. Some of the incompetent coaches somewhat got away with fairly decent results for the Super Eagles, mainly because of the individual talents of the players and also because of the relatively lower soccer standards of African soccer.

Nowadays, African soccer standards have risen and also there has been an increase in the number of talented African soccer players, over the years. A proof of an increasing number of talented African soccer players, is the fact that no Nigerian player has won the "CAF" African footballer of the year since 1999!

The combined consequences of a continually increasing number of talented soccer players in Africa and a continually rising soccer standards, is that the days of appointment of incompetent coaches for Nigeria's Super Eagles, should be gone for ever! Any coach be it local or foreign, appointed for the Super Eagles, should merit the job; he or she should be competent! Sentiments should and must not play a role in the appointment of Super Eagles' coaches anymore! Nigeria's soccer authority, the NFF, made this silly mistake, a number of times in the past, and must henceforth refrain from making this mistake!

The appointment of a so called competent coach is no guarantee for success, but at least gives a team a fighting chance of success in modern soccer. If that coach does not perform, he or she should be shown the door, without delay! Sentiments should not play a role in Nigeria's soccer affairs any more. At this time and age of soccer development, is either Nigeria has competent soccer administrators who are ready to administer Nigerian soccer affairs well, or we should forget it! The days of achieving success through some accidental happenstance are almost over. Is either we do it correctly or we forget it!!!!!

Luckily, Nigeria now has a competent soccer coach, who certainly knows his onions. Coach Rohr, has certainly proved himself; the doubting Thomases have all gone silent. Nobody criticizes Coach Rohr's handling of the Super Eagles of Nigeria. Nobody even questions his salary; which is one of the reasons the 'soccer nationalists' oppose the appointment of a foreign coach in the first place. Coach Rohr has so far performed, and the criticasters have all gone silent. What this means is that since Nigerians love their Super Eagles dearly, they would be ready to compromise on all the other discomforts associated with the appointment of a coach, if that coach performs! This is the reason Coach Rohr has now been accepted by all and sundry!

What is it about Coach Rohr, that tickles the fancy of yours sincerely?

From my experience of having observed soccer closely for the past fourty-one years, one is impressed with way he handles the Super Eagles:

Firstly, he is not given to talking too much to the press. He apparently knows the press very well and doesn't play into their hands;

Secondly, he has brought about the maintenance of discipline in the team, in a very diplomatic way, without bringing about controversy;

Thirdly, he has brought about a "father's" figure to bear on the team, and, thus, has succeeded in making the players see themselves as members of one united family, and, thus, work hard for each other;

Fourthly, the third reason for Coach Rohr's success so far, contributes significantly, to making the Super Eagles play as a team under his watch ;

Fifthly, he has so far scouted far and wide, for the best Nigerian players; and has in most cases convinced them to play for Nigeria;

On a sixth note, he understands the African mentality, and knows the way things are sometimes done in Africa. At times of discomforts, for example, non-payment of his salary, he remains calm and even refuses to fall into the 'trap' of journalists who try to 'extract' his reaction at those difficult times;

On a seventh note, he is a good players' manager, who knows how to manage the egos of his players;

On an eight note, he has organised and manages a sound technical crew. All the technical crew members are united under his leadership;

Finally, he is a tactician of great stature; certainly one of the best that has ever managed the Super Eagles of Nigeria! He has brought superb technical and tactical attributes to bear in his management of the Super Eagles thus far. One of the factors that makes Coach Rohr's Super Eagles difficult to confront, is the team's unpredictability in their pattern of play! Coach Rohr, is tactically very flexible! One of his merits, is his ability to play in different tactical formations: 4-2-4, 4-4-2, 4-2-3-1, 4-3-3 and of course the 5-3-2, with which he used to 'decimate' the Argentinians, on the 14th of November. He is a good coach, Nigeria should count herself lucky to have Coach Gernot Rohr at this time!


* To my readers, a rather belated merry Xmas and a fantastic 2018 in advance!

Continued from Part 5