Vincent Enyeama has been mooted for a return to the Super Eagles for the World Cup, but Gernot Rohr has said the veteran shot-stopper would not make the squad to Russia due to his lack of game time

Enyeama retired abruptly from the national team in 2015 but discourse on him returning to the team has been on the table for months, but Rohr has adduced that the Lille goalkeeper lack of game time at his club meant he was out of the team for Russia.

The 101 capped Nigerian international last featured for the first team of Lille in the game against Rennes last April.

And speaking to reporters at Aiteo/Nigeria Football Federation Awards, Rohr as quoted by Vanguard said Enyeama would not be part of his team for the World Cup.

“He {Enyeama} is not playing anywhere, so we cannot take players who are not playing,” Rohr said.

“We are working hard to have the best of our legs taken to Russia and we don’t have the best luxury of naming a player that has not been playing in recent time.

“Each time we have a problem, there is always a good answer and I hope it will be the same for the World Cup.

“We currently have so many players in camp and we want to continue monitoring them. The most important thing is for them to be in best shape for the Mundial.”

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With Rohr ruling Enyeama out of the World Cup, The Franco-German would be left to pick three amongst Francis Uzuoho, Daniel Akpeyi, Dele Ajiboye, Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Dele Ajiboye that would represent the country at the World Cup.

All the available options for Rohr are deemed inexperienced at the highest level.

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The Super Eagles of Nigeria has given “football fans unforgettable memories” at the World Cup, says Federation of International Football Association ( FIFA ).

The three-time African Champions will be making their sixth appearance at the World Cup later this year in Russia and FIFA has paid tribute to Nigeria and some of her ex players who had lit up the World Cup in the past.

In a text to back some of the video clips of the Super Eagles at the World Cup shared on the FIFA website, the World governing body of football wrote: “The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ will mark Nigeria’s sixth appearance at the global finals. The African side made their debut at USA 1994, winning over supporters across the world with their exciting brand of football as they bowed out at the Round of 16 against eventual finalists Italy.

“…From Daniel Amokachi to Emmanuel Amunike, Sunday Oliseh to Jay-Jay Okocha, the high-flying Super Eagles have given football fans some unforgettable memories. We pay tribute to some of the Nigeria icons who have made their mark on the World Cup.”

The Super Eagles were the first side to qualify from the African continent and have been drawn in Group D against Croatia, Iceland and Argentina.

Meanwhile, Super Eagles forward Ahmed Musa has revealed that the team was prepared to make it pass the group stage as they’ve set a quarter final or semi-final agenda.

The Technical Adviser of the side, Gernot Rohr has also backed Musa stance – saying quarter final was the minimum the Super Eagles wanted to reach at the World Cup.

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Gernot Rohr has revealed that the quartet of Vincent Enyeama, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Dele Ajiboye and Daniel Akpeyi were in contention to make the team to the World Cup.

The Technical Adviser of the Super Eagles in recent times had to shuffle his pack in the goalkeeping department after Carl Ikeme, the then first choice of the team was diagnosed with acute leukemia.

Vincent Enyeama, who retired abruptly from the national team in 2015 has been mooted for a possible return to the team while the duo of Ezenwa and Ajiboye starred for the CHAN Eagles that lost to Morocco in the Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) final.

Akpeyi, on the other hand, has been asked to be dropped by some sections of Nigerian fans aftermath his appalling display in the Eagles 4-2 defeat of Argentina in a friendly match last November but Rohr disclosed that the Chippa United goalkeeper alongside Enyeama, Ezenwa and Ajiboye stood a chance of representing Nigeria at the World Cup.

The Franco-German, who according to completesports disclosed that the Eagles would camp in Austria said he wanted three players each for the outfield positions, while four or five goalkeepers would do battle for the available three slots.

“The idea is to have three players for every position in camp from where I would probably pick the best two each and three of the five goalkeepers for the World Cup in Russia,” Rohr told completesports.

“Akpeyi and Enyeama are still in contention for World Cup places if they are in good health, fitness and good form. But Ezenwa and Dele {Ajiboye} have been good, and if they continue to improve, we will love that because World Cup is a big stage.

Spotkick reported that Eagles’ forward Ahmed Musa said the Super Eagles had set the bar of reaching either the quarter final or semis of the Russia 2018 World Cup, Rohr also re-echoed similar stance – saying that the Eagles had set a target of reaching at least the quarter final.

He submitted that with the kind of programs that had been mapped for the Super Eagles, the team would fare well in Russia.

“We have set a target to reach the quarter final of the World Cup …. We have a good program going to Russia with series of friendly games that will put us in shape for the World Cup,” Rohr added.

 

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The former Kano Pillars winger has revealed that the Eagles harbour no fear over their World Cup group stage meeting with Argentina.

Nigeria were drawn in Group D alongside Croatia, Iceland and Argentina and ahead of the meeting with the latter billed for June 26 at the Saint Petersburg Stadium, Ahmed Musa in an exclusive interview with FIFA.com said the Eagles are not petrified by the quality of the Albiceleste of Argentina and that of other countries that will be at the World Cup.

Musa scored a brace when the two sides (Nigeria and Argentina) in Brazil but a Lionel Messi’s brace and a goal from Marcus Rojo ensured the Albiceleste maintained their winning records over Nigeria – making it four wins in four meetings at the Mundial.


Musa celebrating his second goal against Argentina at the 2014 World Cup (Getty Image)

According to him, Eagles’ failure to book a place at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations motivated the Eagles during the qualifying series and the team is well prepared to face any team at the World Cup.

“When we realised we weren’t going to make it to the Africa Cup of Nations (last year), we decided that we were going to fight for the people of Nigeria.

“It doesn’t matter who we come up against; we’ll be giving it our best shot at the World Cup.

“We’ll be trying our hardest in every match, no matter the opposition.”

He added, “We need to set our sights high. Nigeria want to do more than just get pass the group phase.

“We want to make the quarter-finals and even the semis. Why not.”

The winger who has been warned by Gernot Rohr to look for a new club to be in a good position to make the World Cup squad has been reported to have agreed a temporary deal to leave Leicester City to join former club CSKA Moscow till the end of the season.

Musa spent four seasons with CSKA Moscow – scoring 53 goals in 169 appearances for the Russian based club.


(Getty image)

He expressed hopes of making his second appearance at the World Cup – describing the World as a very important event.

“I hope I get selected. The World Cup is a vey important event for any player,” he concluded.

 

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NFF confirms Super Eagles, England friendly

Wednesday, 10 January 2018 18:54

Eagles to face England at Wembley on June 2

The Nigeria Football Federation ( NFF ) has confirmed that the Super Eagles will lock horns with the Three Lions of England at the Wembley Stadium on June 2 of this year.

The match will be the last of the four friendly matches the NFF had set aside to prepare the team for the World Cup.

The two sides have met three times in the past - with a win a piece and a draw for the two sides.

NFF 1st Vice President on the NFF official website confirmed the meeting between the two sides (Nigeria and England).

Akinwunmi told thenff.com: “Now, we are happy to say that it is all sealed. Certainly, it is going to be a big match, between two countries of remarkable historical affinity and similarities.

“We have other matches and programs for the team, and we will soon roll out the entire plan for matches, camping sites and training camps.”

Akinwunmi added that the choice of England was as a result of the NFF trying to be strategic to get the best preparation for the three-time African Champions.

“We decided to be strategic in our choice of opponents for the Super Eagles leading to the World Cup, and in total agreement with the preferences of the Technical Adviser.That is why we opted for England. We played Argentina (in November 2017) without even knowing we were going to be in the same group at the Finals,” He added.

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Meanwhile, The Technical Adviser of the team, Gernot Rohr has revealed that England would give the Eagles a good test.

The Franco-German said the game would be a good conduit to test the Eagles for the World Cup.

“This is good news for myself and the entire team,” Rohr said.

“England is a very strong team presently and I believe they will give us a very good match. We will be able to test our readiness for the World Cup when we meet the Three Lions at Wembley.”

The Super Eagles will also face Poland on the 23rd of March

Also 27th of March and 27th of May had been slated for friendly matches with countries, whose identities had not been disclosed by the NFF.

 

 

 

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Oshola is an honour to Nigeria - Rohr

Tuesday, 09 January 2018 17:41

Super Eagles Technical Adviser has described the 2017 African Women Footballer of the Year, Asisat Oshoala as an honour to Nigeria.

Oshoala, last week, ousted the duo of Cameroon ’s Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene and South Africa ’s Chrestina Kgatlana to emerge as the best female footballer on the Africa continent.

Though still saddened by Moses’s failure to make the CAF top three best, Rohr said Oshoala had made Nigeria proud.

The Franco-German noted that the three-time African best was an example for female footballers.

On the CAF award, Rohr told Supersports, “I was a little bit disappointed for Victor Moses because he ideally ought to be a nominee but he was not nominated when people were voting in November, he was injured.

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“But Asisat (Oshoala) was the honour of the country for winning the Africa women award.

“I was very happy for her. She’s an example of female football and beautiful girl like her can play good football.”

Rohr, himself missed out of winning the CAF Coach of the Year – as Hector Cooper, edged the 64-year-old and Hugo Broos to lift the gong.

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Super Eagles technical director, Gernot Rohr has fired warning to the duo of Ahmed Musa and Kelechi Iheanacho to dump Leicester City for club where they would find regular playing time.

Musa and Iheanacho have been out of favour at the King Power Stadium, the former appearing in just a game in all competition and the latter in just 12 games in all competitions.

And in less than six months to go before the World Cup, the Franco-German has warned that fringe players in their respective club sides must found game time to bolster their chances of making the team that would represent Nigeria in Russia.

“My plan is to execute the World Cup with the players who are regularly with their respective clubs,” Rohr told SuperSports

“How do you expect a coach to jet out to Russia with average players who lack playing time?

“… I’m sad the likes of Kelechi Iheanacho and Ahmed Musa lack playing time at Leicester City.

“I and my scouts took time to pay their coach a visit but we realised their case are getting worse.

“I hope they keep fighting for shirts to get a playing time or quit the club for a better team willing to give them playing time to showcase their talent.”

The former Niger man also added that Super Eagles stood a very good chance of making it pass the group stage in Russia.

Nigeria was drawn in Group D alongside Argentina, Croatia and Iceland but Rohr believes with good preparation and no injury, his side will advance to the Round 16.

“We have the chance to move out of the groups to the Round of 16.

“For the basics I know that with good preparation and no injury to players we will advance,” Rohr added.

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CAF scraps award for home-based players

Thursday, 04 January 2018 18:33

 

The hope of African footballers who ply their trades within the continent has been dashed as the Confederation of African Football ( CAF ) has announced that award for their categories has been scrapped.

The new development came just hours before the commencement of the 26th edition of the award.

Giving the reasons for the scrapping of the category, CAF president, Ahmad Ahmad said that there could not be any other best or “two levels of football in Africa.”

 “There are no two levels of football in Africa. Best is best, not best for the bad or best for the best. That’s the reason,” the President, as quoted by The Nationonlineng

He noted, “It’s very simple – we want to promote African football.”

Nigeria’s Junior Ajayi, who plies his trade for Al Ahly was in the run to win the gong but the latest development meant he would be denied the opportunity of winning any award.

Meanwhile, the duo of Gernot Rohr and Asisat Oshoala will be flagging Nigeria’s flag in Ghana, as both made the final shortlist for Coach of the Year and Women’s player of the year respectively.

Also, the trio of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Gabon, Mohamed Salah (Egypt) and Sadio Mane (Senegal), will do battle to usurp Mahrez as the best male footballer on the continent.

The CAF Award for footballer of the year comes up in Accra, Ghana on Thursday.

 

 

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Julius Agali, the newly appointed scout of the Super Eagles has hinted that the duo of Obafemi Martins and Joel Obi might earn a recall to the national team as their performance as caught the eye of Gernot Rohr.

Martins, a 41 capped international last appeared for Nigeria in the AFCON qualifier against Swaziland in 2015 has been in stellar form for Chinese club, Shanghai Shenhua – scoring a cracker in the FA Cup final win against Shanghai SIPG last weekend.

Joel Obi on the other hand last represented the Super Eagles in 2014 but has also been in good form for his club as he has recorded two goals and an assist for Torino this season.

Read also: Nwakaeme, Iheanacho, and Shaky Goalies: Talking Points from Nigeria’s Latest Internationals

According to Agali, Gernot Rohr, who is hunting for new legs ahead of next year’s World Cup might recall the veteran Martins and 26-year-old Joel Obi to the national team.

“Don’t be surprised to see the likes of in-form Obafemi Martins, Joel Obi and others returning to the team," Agali, as quoted by owngoalnigeria.

“I myself won’t hesitate to scout for more legs that will help maintain the good form.

“All players who are currently performing to expectation in their respective club sides have equal chance.

”The coach {Rohr] is a disciplinarian who welcomes players based on merit”

The recall of Joel Obi will offer Rohr an alternative as Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi has been the only player he has entrusted with the Defensive midfield position since he took over.

While Martins, who represented Nigeria at 2010 World Cup in South Africa will offer experience in the dressing room as the Nigeria team is said to be the youngest ahead of next year’s.

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Javier Mascherano has revealed that Argentina 4-2 lost to Nigeria yesterday at the Krasnodar stadium was as a result of the Albiceleste inability to curtail the Super Eagles’ physical strength.

Two first goals from Ever Banega and Sergio Aguero put the Sampaoli’s men ahead but a wonderful free-kick by Kelechi Iheanacho on the stroke of half-time reduced the deficit for a Nigerian side that later ran riot on the Argentines in the second half.

A brace from Alex Iwobi, and a goal from debutant, Brian Idowu in the second ensured the Eagles recorded their second victory against the Albiceleste.

 

With many attributing the reason for the Argentine’s lost yesterday to the absence of captain, Lionel Messi who was excused for the match, stand-in captain, Mascherano on his side, believes they paid dearly for undermining the strength of the Gernot Rohr boys.

Mascherano said: “playing against a team of such physical strength you pay the price. They walked all over us, and we tried to get back but we couldn’t.

Meanwhile, Gernot Rohr has dismissed talks that Super Eagles should be counted amongst favorites for next year’s World Cup in Russia.

 

Read also: Nwakaeme, Iheanacho, and Shaky Goalies: Talking Points from Nigeria’s Latest Internationals

The Franco-German said the team will remain as they still have more wore works to do.

“It’s a good victory for us but it doesn’t mean we’ve become favorites to win the World Cup, Rohr said.

“We stay humble and realize we have more work to do. We prepared well for this game because playing Argentina is big for us, maybe it is different for them.”

The game against Argentina yesterday was Rohr’s 12th game in charge of the Super Eagles. The former Burkina Faso manager has seven wins, four draws and one loss to his name since he took over the 2013 African Champions' job 

 

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