Exclusive: Why New Players Struggle In The Super Eagles – Rohr

Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr has said getting a grip of the competition in the Nigerian national team prevents many new players from impressing when they join the team.

In an interview with News Central TV’s Tolu Shotade, the Franco-German spoke on a number of issues, ranging from his snub of the players in the NPFL to the chances of an African team winning the World Cup.

On why he hardly gives players opportunities when he invites them, Rohr said the players meet a group on the ground and many of these old players know one another and have formed a good bond.

He said this makes it more difficult for newbies to make an entrance into the team. He however cited some new players that have been given a chance in the Super Eagles, like TSG Hoffenheim German-born Super Eagles defender, Kevin Akpoguma.

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On local league players, he said there are many factors plaguing their growth, remarking that the standard of the league is not as high as what’s obtainable in Europe.

“The stadiums in Europe are better and many African teams, especially West African teams don’t have this kind of pitches. Although, North African countries like Morocco have good stadiums, ” he said.

He said it will take a miracle for an African nation to win the World Cup because African players are not playing in big European teams. He cited the example of France having four players in Bayern Munich as a sign of what it takes to win the World Cup.

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Rohr said there may be new faces in the Super Eagles as he mentioned Union Berlin attacker, Taiwo and Awoniyi Almeria’s Sadiq Umar as likely call ups to the team as Nigeria prepares for its two final qualifiers.

He said the team will do its best to make it to the next Africa Cup of Nations as he admitted that anything short of a final place finish will mean regression.

Rohr posited that Nigeria has a lot of strikers including Awoniyi, Umar, Onuachu, but said the former has struggled to find his feet in the Super Eagles.

Rohr, in the interview also weighed in on the protection of his players as he cited Victor Osimhen’s case with Napoli as one of such situations he needs to stand behind the player and make them feel better.


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