Romanus Ugwu, St. Petersburg, Russia
Angry Nigerians Nigerians in Russia have descended on the Super Eagles’ Coach, Gernot Rohr and his captain, John Obi Mikel over the loss to Croatia in the opening encounter of the ongoing FIFA World Cup.
Both fans resident in Russia and the visiting contingent agreed that the technical manager’s substitutions and his formations and lack of fighting spirit cost Nigeria the match.
The fans expressed disappointment that the loss had put the Eagles in a struggling position in the group, lamenting that the team had subjected Nigerians to emergency mathematicians.
The officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), equally blamed both the coach and players for their inability to keep the team composed, flawing Rohr’s tactics and refusal to change some players.
For the federation’s board members, Mikel failed to inspire the team as the captain and most experienced players, just as his Croatian counterpart, Modric did.
A board member, who spoke off record warned that should the coach continue with the current playing pattern, the team will face worse situation in the subsequent group games against Iceland and Argentina.
He further suggested that the best approach for the remaining matches would be a 5-2-2 formation, to enable them choke-up the opponents’ midfield to achieve the desired result.
“The technical crew lost it completely in the match. Rohr’s refusal to change struggling Odion Ighalo on time was a bad technical decision to the game. Also, the team captain, John Obi Mikel failed to liven up to expectation needed in a game like that, especially in inspiring his teammates.
“I thought he has changed that his one man attack during final preparation for this tournament only to come out and see him with the formation against Croatia. This result was not the best for us. I think we must wake up in the remaining two games, but the coach must play two-man attack. I believe that we are not out completely,” he argued.