Coach opens door for Obafemi Martins, Akpoguma
Former Super Eagles star, Etim Esin has advised Gernot Rohr against tinkering too much with the team that qualified Nigeria for the Russia 2018 World Cup, saying changes should only be done where absolutely necessary.
Speaking against the backdrop of the report that many players of Nigerian descend have been angling to be part of the squad to the World Cup, Esin said it would be counter-productive for the coach change the team now that Nigeria has qualified for Russia 2018 and advised Rohr to avoid anything that could cause disunity in his squad.
He advised the Eagles’ technical crew to only change players where necessary, noting that most of the players in the World Cup qualifying series are good enough to battle any team at the World Cup.
Esin added that keeping the present squad that qualified Nigeria for Russia 2018 would help Rohr to get a solid team for the World Cup.Drawing from the past failures of Nigerian coaches in selecting players for the past editions of the World Cup, Esin said shortchanging players that struggled to qualify for the World Cup for new ones has over the years created bad blood among players and at the end scuttled the progress of the team at the World Cup.
Esin also applauded the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for organising a quality friendly game against Argentina for the Eagles, saying the tie would help the coaches discover and correct more lapses in the team.
“The coach should pick new players for important positions that need urgent replacement. He should avoid using sentiments in selecting players for the World Cup. Dumping some players, who played in the qualifiers the for the World Cup have brought bad blood in the team over the years.
“For me the players in the current Eagles team are good. Rohr needs to only fix new players in one or two positions. Eagles need to be united to excel at the Russia 2018 World Cup,” he said.
The Super Eagles’ camp will open in Algeria on November 6 ahead of Nigeria’s last game against the North Africans in the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying series.
Meanwhile, Rohr has revealed that Obafemi Martins and other Nigerians doing well in their clubs still have the chance to be part of Nigeria’s squad to the Russia 2018 World Cup, reports Africanfootball.com.
Matins, who plays for Shanghai Greenland Shenhua is the most likely to gatecrash the Super Eagles’ squad to the 2018 FIFA World Cup.Speaking in a radio interview, Rohr said, “We will call the best men, for now everybody wants to come because we are in the World Cup. The players who brought us to the World Cup, I don’t forget them. It’s very important.
“There are other players we are also looking at calling to beef up the team, but for now we are looking at getting good games for better preparations for the World Cup.”
Martins was part of the Nigerian team to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. It was the only global tournament the 33-year-old has played in his career.Rohr is still combing Europe for players, who can provide options for his team ahead of the World Cup in Russia.
Rohr, who has successfully convinced former England youth international, Ola Aina to switch allegiance from England to Nigeria as cover for the left full back spot, is also keen on German youth international defender, Kevin Akpoguma.Akpoguma captained Germany to a 1-0 win over Nigeria at the 2015 World Youth Championship in New Zealand.