When previewing the Thursday encounter against the Central African Republic, this reporter wrote, “Post-match should not be about injured and missing players.

This reporter also added, “Rohr cannot afford to allow his post-match conference to be about how the Eagles missed the three injured starters. Chidera Ejuke, Joe Aribo, Frank Onyeka, etc. can fill the void.”

But unfortunately, the 68-year-old German decided that was his only tenable excuse for losing to the 124th-ranked Wild Beasts of the CAR.

“We missed the creativity of Iwobi; we also missed Ndidi so much. It was not easy for [Frank] Onyeka and a first-timer [Taiwo] Awoniyi to come in this team,” the Franco-German manager told Goal.

“The players are still disappointed in the dressing room and still not understanding why we could lose this match.

“When we analysed it, we dominated possession of the ball, we had several opportunities to score, but we did not score and very often in football, there was a counter, and our opponents scored.”

For a football manager, who has worked in management for 31 years, that is a very stale excuse to give. He could have said ‘our plans and tactics backfired’, or ‘we were just unlucky because, on another day, we could have scored at least two goals’.

Rohr’s new contract supposedly stipulates he guides the Eagles to the 2021 Nations Cup, which he has achieved and qualify the team to the 2022 Fifa World Cup, which looks dicey at the moment.

After five years in Nigeria and with a reasonable crop of players, Rohr cannot be giving the excuse of two players missing from his starting 11 as the reason for losing to CAR for the first time ever in Nigeria’s football history.

He should be better advised to tell Nigerians why his team did not record one shot on target against the CAR on Thursday.

That would be a better excuse.


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