(1) Unlike many Eagles fans, I am not actually surprised our boys surrendered a four goal lead yesterday against Sierra Leone. Recent draws against Ukraine, Brazil and Tunisia have shown that this team is incapable of game management
(2) It is standard convention that when you are in the lead and in control of a match, you take the sting out of the game. You reduce the tempo, keep hold of the ball, knock it around and turn the match into a borefest
(3) Gernot Rohr appears not to understand this basic tactic. In none of these matches mentioned above did he solidify his midfield to frustrate the opposition and prevent them getting hold of the ball when his team was defending a lead
(4) If you look at all Rohr’s substitutions yesterday, they were all like-for-like. Not one of them was tactical or game-changing. Sheer ignorance of the modern game of you ask me
(5) When your team is on the back foot and defending a slender lead, when the likes of Osimhen, Chukwueze and Musa come off, they should be replaced by ball-holding midfielders who can keep the ball and stifle the play
(6) My biggest beef with Rohr is his attachment to certain players irrespective of form. This meant that he had to play the likes of Ahmed Musa, Paul Onuachu and Kelechi Iheanacho despite having better alternatives available to him
(7) More criminally, he wasted his substitutions yesterday with decisions that just dumbfound me. If the team is playing Kevin Akpoguma out of position at rightback, when Leon Balogun went off, why not move Kevin into the centre and bring on a natural rightback like Ebuehi or Aina to shore up that flank?
(8) Because Rohr had to inexplicably start the clubless and match-rusty Ahmed Musa, he needlessly wasted a substitution replacing him. Is Rohr really trying to tell us that Musa performed better than Chidera Ejuke in training to merit selection ahead of him?
(9) Other examples of Rohr’s total loss of capacity for the job are his lack of understanding of what midfielders he needs. Players like Kelechi Nwakali and Ramon Azeez who know how to keep the ball were not even in camp. Instead, Rohr invited the below-par Shehu Abdullahi who he knew he would never use. Our last two friendlies against Algeria and Tunisia should have been used to cement the places of Nwakali and Azeez in the team. Just imagine how they would have stifled the midfield yesterday had they come on at half time
(10) We play the return leg in Freetown on Tuesday. If we lose that match as Jo Bonfere did on 2001, I believe the only honourable course of action left for Gernot Rohr is to resign. He actually reminds me of Father Tiko who was a great coach but after his 0-1 loss to Algeria in the 1977 All African Games final, it became clear he was past his sell-by date