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Strong indications emerged from Nigeria’s 0-2 loss to Croatia at the World Cup Group D opener on Saturday that Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Mr. Gernot Rhor is still playing friendly games at the tournament.
Many Nigerian sports analysts’ who spoke to Business Hilights on Sunday, said the German tactician seems to be trying players by way of testing players’ creativities in different wings that are alien to them during the World Cup games.
While agreeing in unison that Super Eagles lost the Croatian game from the bench, they pointed out blunders committed by Rhor on players’ placements and assignments.
First to speak was former Super Eagles midfield maestro, Austin Jay Jay Okocha who linked the loss to lack of creativity caused by wrong placements.
Okocha, who was a guest on Super Sports TV, said the team lost because the players played in wrong positions which didn’t bring out the best in them.
According to him, “We didn’t have a creative midfielder today. Mikel Obi has been a great servant but I think his best position is sitting in front of the back four. We saw him play as a defensive midfielder in Chelsea and he did so well,” he said.
The veteran player also added that Alex Iwobi was the most creative midfielder in the national team at the moment but playing him as a winger “was taking his strength from him”.
“Iwobi can play from the wings in Arsenal because there is a Mesut Ozil who brings creativity.
“I think the only reason why we lost this game is because our players played in the wrong positions and we didn’t get the best out of them,” he added.
Another sports administration, in telephone interview averred that “Rhor has a lot of questions to answer, but we need to ask ourselves how he won the bid to become Super Eagles technical Adviser and which year did he handled a strong team last?
“To me, I have been saying it even before the clumsy qualification campaign; that Rhor lacks self confidence in forming a national team for Nigeria. I said this because since he came, he has never played a particular 11 players in more than one match and that means that he has no team in the first instance.
“If you check, you will recall there is no 11 players that played any two of the World Cup friendlies. He has continued the same players testing even in his first World Cup game and we lost it.
“Watch out in the second match, he will use another set of 11 players and may continue assigning players to positions far from what they play in their clubs before they were invited.
“I think the summary of the entire outing so far is that Rhor’s Super Eagles are still playing friendlies even during the real World Cup games.
“That is why I said we lost the game from the bench and it may happen again if NFF fails to rescue the situation even by selecting players themselves if Nigeria what to go far in remaining two matches.
The sports administrator further recalled that he was among Nigerians that called for Rhor’s resignation or sack when he intentionally fielded a player, Abdullahi Shehu on two yellow cards in one of our qualifiers with Algeria which FIFA sanctioned us. NFF kept quiet and I know that the same NFF will still keep quiet and retain him when we crash out on 26th of this month.
Continuing, he noted that “For Nigeria to qualify for second round, Super Eagles must win their remaining two matches”.
Business Hilights recalls that the two matches comes up with Iceland on Friday, June 22 and last Group D game against Argentina on June 26.