Reports in local Nigerian media indicate that part of the reasons why Gernot Rohr's contract was renewed by the NFF was because of the vote of confidence issued by Super Eagles players.
As part of the process to renew the 66 year old's contract, the Nigeria Football Federation approached Super Eagles players for this impression on Rohr. The feedback was said to have been overwhelmingly glowing and positive.
Hence, the German's contract was renewed for another two and a half years with the targets of winning the, 2021 Afcon and guiding Nigeria to quarter-finals in the 2022 Fifa World Cup.
For me, I can only hope that the players continue to play for their coach. Rohr has the full backing and support of his boys – something I find very reassuring.
His boys know him, he knows them and they have built an understanding which continues to grow with the Super Eagles thriving as a result.
These are exciting times for Nigerian football. Yes we aren’t a team of super star players however we are building up to being a very technically endowed outfit across the park.
It is a stuff of dreams that Rohr was about to bring home victories against Brazil and Ukraine in high profile friendlies. Yet, he always seems agonisingly one step away from confounding his critics.
It has been an interesting 4 year journey with Gernot Rohr as Super Eagles manager. In that period, we have experienced some high profile ‘nearlies’.
- Nearly reached the world cup second round.
- Nearly reached the Afcon final.
- Nearly defeated FIFA ratings high fliers Brazil and Ukraine.
However, those are not the only weights in the Super Eagles scale.
On the other side of the spectrum are eye-catching achievements which include progress in FIFA rankings and qualifications for world cup and afcon.
But, it is the ‘nearlies’ that Rohr’s rabid critics want him to address. Well, his ardent fans as well will be grateful if he addresses these ‘so close yet so fars’.
Now, the German is assembling a group of experienced players right across the park.
In an interview with award winning journalist Collin Udoh recently, the former Gabon gaffer said:”We have to progress mentally, we have to progress tactically.
The game is all the time changing. We have to find more complexities; we want to see our full-backs more offensively, and we want to have stability in the goalkeeper position.
Also in the central defence, which is very important.” He said.
So I see a coach who is constantly trying to address deficiencies in his team in order to convert those “nearlies” to “surelies”.
Everyone (friend and foes alike) will be looking intently to see whether or not the camaraderie that exist between Rohr and his players translate to success when international football resumes.
In crunching encounters critics and fans alike will be looking at him to earn his wages.
Interest times are ahead.