Are some of the latest criticisms of Rohr's list justified?
The NFF released the list of 24 Super Eagles players shortlisted to prosecute November Afcon double header qualifiers against Sierra Leone. The likes of Daniel Akpeyi, Peter Etebo and Joe Aribo return to the team after missing October friendlies whilst others like Cyriel Dessers and Paul Onuachu lose their places. However, the list has predictably generated praises and criticisms from Super Eagles fans across various social media platforms and online media discussion boards. It is fast becoming difficult to distinguish fact from fiction when it comes to the perception of Rohr’s handling of the Super Eagles as some of the latest criticisms will be hard to substantiate. Afrofooty takes a look at some of these below: Too many defenders: the latest list released contains 9 defenders but is this too many? Not exactly. Traditionally, Super Eagles squads to major competitions usually contain 6 to 8 defenders so having 1 extra is not such a wide variation from the norm (more so when you consider that Semi Ajayi can moonlight as a defensive midfielder). Unsettled squad: no less than 13 of the players invited have been part of the squad before the 2018 World Cup. The bulk of the rest of the players have been in and around the squad in the past 2 years. This is a stable squad with few new (largely deserving) faces here and there. Questionable additions: international football squad selections can be inexplicable at times. This is by no means a monopoly to Nigeria. Squad selections will always raise a few eyebrows here and there. Ahmed Musa justified his call up for October friendlies by assisting 1 goal and causing an infraction for a Nigeria penalty. Regardless of his current club status, national team coaches believe in his abilities at this time and that is all that matters. Questionable omissions : it is hard to see any player whose omission from the 23 man list can be seen as jaw dropping. Having said that, someone like goalkeeper Matthew Yakubu can feel aggrieved for, at least, not making it onto the standby list. However, the end will always justify the means. Moreover, Paul Onuachu who was not named in the standby list for October friendlies leapfrogged those on it to make it to the main list and in fact saw meaningful game time. In all, I think we have to get used to quite a lot of quality players not making Super Eagles squads simply because of the sheer number of options opening up to coaches on a regular basis. This group of players have massive potentials, it is up to Gernot Rohr to unlock these and unleash them to the world. The Full Squad Goalkeepers: Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa); Sebastian Osigwe (FC Lugano, Switzerland); Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands) Defenders: Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Chidozie Awaziem (FC Boavista, Portugal); William Ekong (Watford FC, England); Olaoluwa Aina (Fulham FC, England); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal); Kevin Akpoguma (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, Germany) Midfielders: Oghenekaro Etebo (Galatasaray, Turkey); Tyronne Ebuehi (FC Twente, Netherlands); Frank Onyeka (FC Midtjylland, Denmark); Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland) Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Unattached); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Emmanuel Dennis Bonaventure (Club Brugge, Belgium); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Victor Osimhen (Napoli FC, Italy); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow, Russia) Standby: Francis Uzoho (APOEL Nicosia, Cyprus); Samson Tijani (TSV Hartberg, Austria); Abdullahi Shehu (Omonia Nicosia, Cyprus); Ramon Azeez (Granada CF, Spain); Kelechi Nwakali (SD Huesca, Spain); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Heartland FC); Paul Onuachu (KRC Genk, Belgium) Copyright Notice © : unauthorised use of this material is strictly prohibited.