Experts have urged Nigerian Coach, Gernot Rohr to adopt the 4-4-2 formation insisting that his change of tactics is responsible for Super Eagles’ poor outing.
Among experts who bared their minds were former Super Eagles captain, Austin Jay Jay Okocha. He faulted the tactics employed by coach of the Super Eagles, Gernot Rohr as the reason why Nigeria lost 2-0 to Croatia in their 2018 FIFA World Cup’s opener on Saturday.
He said key players that would make Eagles direct the match were played out of position. But the Eagles coach insisted his team’s loss in their opening game was due to ‘many mistakes’.
The Nigerian legend, who made his opinion known while analyzing the match as one of the guest analysts on SuperSport, blamed the Franco-German for playing his nephew (Alex Iwobi) on the flanks instead of giving him the play-maker role handed to captain John Obi Mikel.
He said the decision to play Mikel as the number ten of the team was largely responsible for the poor display of both Iwobi and Victor Moses during the game as both players didn’t get enough quality balls to prove their worth.
“We didn’t have a creative player today,” Okocha observed.
“Mikel has been a good servant to the national team. His best position is playing in front of the defence. We saw what he did playing for Chelsea where he had a glorious career.
“The most creative player in that team was Alex Iwobi but he was played on the flanks. Playing Mikel in that position didn’t help Moses and Iwobi on the flanks.”
According to him, Iwobi plays from the flanks at Arsenal due to the presence of Mesut Ozil , who is a better playmaker but that is not the case with the national team of Nigeria.
“The most creative player in that team is Alex Iwobi but he was played on the flanks. He (Iwobi) can play on the flanks at Arsenal because they had better players in that role like Mesut Ozil.”
However, Rohr, while speaking at the post-match conference, said he and his players were aware they made some important mistakes during the game.
“We know we made some mistakes, too many important mistakes, and it is clear that we need to get better in order to move on,’’ the coach said.
He said the entire team was disappointed at the result, adding that they needed to work on being professional with the set pieces.
“Our organisation was good, that is clear just as the tactics were not wrong, but we need to be more professional in the way we take the set-pieces. We need to be better before our next game,’’ he added.
Rohr, who admitted that the loss had made their task more herculean, said team captain Mikel Obi’s performance in the game was satisfactory just as he equally praised the defenders.
The Super Eagles will hope to bounce back against Iceland in their next fixture on Friday, June 22.