Super Eagles need total support to excel at Russia 2018 World Cup
June 5, 2018
Now that Coach Gernot Rohr has unveiled the final 23 man squad, for the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Russia, it behooves on Nigerians to throw their weight behind the team.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Rohr released his list on June 3, shortly before the team departed to its training camp in Austria.
Those that made the World Cup team list are Goalkeepers, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Daniel Akpeyi and Francis Uzoho.
Others are William Ekong, Leon Balogun, Elderson Echiejile, Kenneth Omeruo, Brian Idowu, Shehu Abdullahi, Tyronne Ebuehi, Chidozie Awaziem in the defence.
In the midfield are John Mikel-Obi, Ogenyi Onazi, John Ogu, Oghenekaro Etebo, Wilfred Ndidi and Joel Obi.
In the attacking position Odion Ighalo, Simeon Nwankwo, Kelechi Iheanacho, Victor Moses, Ahmed Musa and Alex Iwobi will take charge.
While Mikel Agu and Ola Aina were kept on standby; in case of injury befalling any of the selected players before the kick-off of the World Cup on June 14.
In spite of the misgivings expressed by those who were not happy with Rohr’s final team selection for the Coupe de Mundial, it is now mandatory for them to support the team as they fine-tune their preparations.
Without mincing words, the World Cup is arguably the flagship football tournament which parades the best 32 football playing nations in the world; where some Superpowers like host Russia and the U.S. are minnows.
“Being at the World Cup is an awesome experience, especially when you hear the sound of the national anthem from the loudspeakers.
“If you are not emotionally strong; you will burst out in tears because of the intimidating nature of the atmosphere,’’ says Ben Duamlong, who was an assistant coach to the Super Eagles at the Korea-Japan 2002 World Cup.
Duamlong urged those who had one form of grievance or the other over the manner the team selection was arrived at to sheathe their sword and close ranks with other Nigerians.
“We must strive to ensure that the team goes beyond the usual step of the second round.
“Every football loving Nigerian is duty-bound to support the Super Eagles at the World Cup in Russia,’’ added Duamlong who was also a former Green Eagles goalkeeper.
Every team that participates in the World Cup is ranked as a leading football playing nation in the world, considering the number of teams that usually participates in the qualifiers over a period of two years.
Rohr must be commended for the job done so far, since after taking over the mantle from Sunday Oliseh, who abandoned his role unceremoniously in 2016.
Not only has the German tactician, who is more of an unknown quantity before getting the job to coach the Super Eagles enhanced the profile of the team, he also qualified the Super Eagles from a seemingly difficult group.
In terms of quality, the current crop of Super Eagles players are brilliant and are players that he knows intimately; in a manner of speaking.
The current crop of players happen to be the youngest set Nigeria has ever raised to represent the country at a major international competition, and the players and others at the fringes will likely get better in subsequent international competitions.
According to Godwin Dudu-Orumen, the renowned Executive Producer of “Best of Football’’, a TV sports magazine: “This is a team that will come to fruition in 2022 in terms of achievement.
“We, as football fans must learn from now to manage our expectations and hope for the best.
“In terms of capacity, what the team lacks in skill and experience they make it up with their athleticism and youthful enthusiasm.
“The admirable thing about this team is that they are united, and the team is the super star.
“This squad of Super Eagles will play well, but their best will definitely come in the 2022 World Cup,’’ said Dudu-Orumen.
With the kick-off to the Russia 2018 World Cup just nine days away, it behooves on Rohr to instil his game-plan for the football fiesta into the 23 players he has selected to represent the country.
For Mikel-Obi, who will most likely feature in his last World Cup before he calls it a day from the sport that brought him so much fame and riches, the 2018 edition is another opportunity to leave his indelible mark on the sands of time.