5 things we noticed from Gernot Rohr’s list
Super Eagles handler, Gernot Rohr on Wednesday, March 7 invited 28 players for the upcoming friendly matches against Poland and Serbia, here a five things we noticed from his list.
The oyinbo wall of Leon Balogun and William Trost-Ekong have established themselves as regulars under the German coach due to their understanding in the defence department.
Reward for playing consistently
Gernot Rohr has taken into consideration game time at their various clubs in selecting the squad.
Joel Obi has been recalled to the national team for the first time since 2015 as his form for Torino this season has been very impressive.
Oghenakaro Etebo moved to Las Palmas on loan in the January transfer window, and his call up is very well justified.
The 22-year-old has blossomed since his move to the Spanish La Liga, and should put provide competition for John Ogu and Ogenyi Onazi.
Gernot Rohr stated that he was going to keep an eye on the African Nations Championship (CHAN) held in Morocco early this year.
Even though the Super Eagles lost 4 – 0 to Morocc in the final Rohr has fulfilled his promise as he called up newly unveiled Lokomotiv Plovdiv defender Stephen Eze, as well as forward Gabriel Okechukwu who plays for NPFL side Akwa United.
All is set for Al Ahly’s Junior Ajayi to make his first appearance for the Super Eagles.
Ajayi was instrumental for Al Ahly as they progressed to the final of the CAF Champions League only to fall at the last hurdle to eventual champions Wydad Casablanca.
The 22-year-old has been in good form for the Egyptian side and was included in the CAF eleven of the year 2017.
He is expected to challenge Strikers Ighalo, Ihenacho and Okechukwu for a place at the World Cup.
Non merit call-ups
As much as the 28 man list by Gernot Rohr is applaudable, there are still some players who shouldn’t have made the cut.
After a horrendous performance against Argentina Daniel Akpeyi still made it to the team, which is surprising, especially after Dele Ajiboye‘s impressive showing at the CHAN.
Akpeyi has exhausted every possible opportunity given to him, and did not deserve a call up at the expense of other keepers doing well in the the Nigerian Professional Football League.
Uche Agbo has been invited to the Super Eagles team a couple of times, and has failed to cement a spot in the side. The question is simple, is Uche Agbo a defender or midfielder? as the Super Eagles are well stocked in the midfield department, especially with the recall of Joel Obi.
Moses Simon is a key member of the team, as he showed in the qualification matches, however after recently recovering from an injury maybe it was too soon to hand him a call up.
Elderson Echiejiele has been the Super Eagles left back for quite a while but in recent years, his position has proven to be area of weakness in the team.
He was influential for the Eagles in the qualification series, but since his move to Sivasspor, Elderson has not been the reliable left back of yesteryears and could easily not have been included in the team.
While the likes of Brown Ideye, Dele Ajiboye, Azubike Okechukwu and Obafemi Martins have been impressive for their club sides
Rohr already has his players
Gernot Rohr has invited 28 players for the friendly matches, but the feeling is that he already has 15 – 19 names already on his final list, as the upcoming friendly matches are just an avenue for rohr to make up his mind on 8 -4 players.
The German tactician already has the core of his team and is keen to maintain the squad understanding and harmony.
The Super Eagles full list for the Poland, Serbia friendlies
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna, Spain); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba FC); Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa)
Defenders: Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Tyronne Ebuehi (Ado Den Haag, The Netherlands); Olaoluwa Aina (Hull City, England); Elderson Echiejile (Cercle Brugge KSV, Belgium); Brian Idowu (Amkar Perm, Russia); Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes FC, France); William Ekong (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa FC, Turkey); Stephen Eze (Lokomotiv Plovdiv, Bulgaria)
Midfielders: Mikel John Obi (Tianjin Teda, China); Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor FC, Turkey); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Las Palmas, Spain); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Uche Agbo (Standard Liege, Belgium); Joel Obi (Torino FC, Italy)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Victor Moses (Chelsea FC, England); Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai, China); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Junior Ajayi (Al Ahly, Egypt); Gabriel Okechukwu (Akwa United)
Venue for the Super Eagles friendlies
The invited players are expected to arrive camp for the friendlies on Monday, March 19.
The Super Eagles will take on Poland on Friday, March 23 at the Wroclaw stadium, which has a capacity of 43,000.
Gernot Rohr’s men will then take on their Serbian counterparts on Tuesday, March 27 at the The Hive stadium in London.
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