The Super Eagles will play against Mexico in a few days, but the coach of the team, Gernot Rohr will not be the one leading the team out.
The team will be led out by the Nigeria Football Federation’s Technical Director, Augustine Eguavoen, but one question that has hardly been asked, is, “Why is this?”
The team, for the first time since Rohr became coach will not have the likes of Maduka Okoye, Wilfred Ndidi, Joe Aribo or Victor Osimhen. It will not have any player based outside Nigeria. This may be the reason why Gernot Rohr has decided to stay away from the team, but why?
This may be far-fetched, but it seems Gernot Rohr does not want to make any effort in coaching. He always wants things as easy as possible.
He reminds me of a lot of Nigerian League coaches, who rather than sign a youngster with prospects, would rather go for what they call “readymade players” because they feel those ones have experience (whatever that means).
The bottom line is that, just like our league coaches do not want to work as they search for what they call readymade material, this is the same with Gernot Rohr. Why spend a few extra hours under the sun when you can just call up players scattered all over the globe and let them do the playing for you.
He would rather pick and coach players born and raised abroad than those in Nigeria, but this is a debate for another day.
The CHAN Eagles and fear of failure
The last two Super Eagles coaches before Rohr were in charge of the Home Based Eagles to the Championship for African Nations, CHAN.
While Stephen Keshi coached the Super Eagles to qualify for and win the AFCON in 2013, as well as qualify for the World Cup of 2014, he also coached the CHAN team to the tournament in 2014.
The same applied to Sunday Oliseh who coached the CHAN team to the tournament in 2016. However, in Rohr’s era, he first let Salisu Yusuf coach the CHAN team in 2018, and then Imama Amapakabo in 2019. Salisu Yusuf’s team got to the final, while Imama’s team did not even qualify for the tournament. Why is Gernot Rohr scared of coaching the Home Based Super Eagles?
The shame of the Mexico friendly match
A lot of followers of the Nigerian League were happy to hear that it would be a fully home-based side, but they were shocked to see later that Rohr would not be in charge of the team, but Augustine Eguavoen, who is the Technical Director of the Federation.
Now, I am worried. The Technical Director will coach the National Team, not because there is an emergency situation, but the head coach probably just does not want to do it.
If he was indisposed, then we would not see him sitting on the terraces observing training sessions as though he is supervising the work of Eguavoen, who should be his boss, sort of, if we check the definition and job description of a Technical Director.
Technical Director; The primary purpose of the position is to provide grading, coach education/support, and to monitor and mentor coaches to conduct appropriate quality football sessions within the club playing philosophy that will improve the technical ability of all players so they can fulfil their potential.
And this means that for the Federation, his job is to provide grading, coaching education/ support, and to monitor and mentor National Team coaches, evolve a playing philosophy etc. Yet, Rohr is supervising the work of a person who should be supervising his work.
Is it that Austin Eguavoen does not know he should not be coaching the Super Eagles but should be supervising the coaching of Gernot Rohr? Is it that he does not know or, what could it be?
But the bigger question is, “Why is Gernot Rohr scared to coach?” He would have had the home-based players for two weeks and should have been able to knock something out of them before the friendly game against Mexico, so what is the problem?
Will Rohr travel with the team? Will he sit on the bench? Will he watch in the VIP seating with NFF Executive Committee members?
We are being played on a daily.