Super Eagles technical adviser Gernot Rohr has been adored by many as the best coach for Nigeria, following their performances at qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2019 African Cup of Nations, but some still believe he has not done anything yet. Here we take a look at the local coaches who have done equal or better than the German gaffer.
Nigeria’s local coaches have always been heavily criticized for not performing well with the national team, with some calling them “not good enough to handle the national team”, but some of them have achieved more than the 68-year-old German gaffer.
A quick look at Gernot Rohr’s success with the Super Eagles. He qualified Nigeria to the World Cup in Russia with one game to spare and also qualified the country to the 2019 AFCON, also with a game to spare. He led the team to win the bronze medal at the African tournament, but some local coaches have done equal or more than the German’s achievement.
Augustine Owen Eguavoen | The NFF technical director only coached the Super Eagles for two years, going to just one major event, the 2006 African Cup of Nations in Egypt, and losing narrowly to Didier Drogba’s goal for Ivory Coast in the semifinal, before defeating Senegal in the third place.
Christian Chukwu Okoro | The former defender is the first Nigerian captain to lift the African Cup of Nations after Nigeria won their first title in 1980. The CAF Legend award winner was coach of the Super Eagles at the 2004 AFCON, winning the bronze medal, after losing to eventual winners Tunisia on penalties. He is on par with Rohr’s biggest achievement, a third-place finish.
Shuaibu Amodu | Talking about underrated, Shuaibu Amodu tops the list. He was the first indigenous coach to qualify Nigeria to the World Cup, and he did on two different occasions, in 2002 and 2010, but he never led the team to the main event, as he was sacked before the tournament started on both occasions. The late coach also won a bronze medal for the country at the AFCON on two different occasions, at Mali 2002 and Angola 2010. He was one of those that kept Nigeria’s clean slate at the third-place match intact.
Samson Siasia | The Lagos-born coach is underrated for his achievements, and he is well known for turning young talented players into superstars. He coached the Flying Eagles to victory at the U-20 African Youth Championship in 2005, and also got to the final of the U-20 World Cup in the same year. In 2008, the U-23 team won the inaugural Intercontinental Cup in Malaysia, before guiding the team to winning the silver medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, after a slim loss to Argentina in the final. He also led the team to finish with a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics in 2014. These achievements are bigger than what Gernot Rohr has done so far.
Stephen Okechukwu Keshi | Late Stephen Okechukwu Keshi is arguably Nigeria’s greatest sportsman and the most successful coach. Despite all that, he is very much underrated for his success with the country. He was captain of the Green Eagles that won the 1994 AFCON, and he also coached Nigeria to win the African tournament 19 years later, in 2013. He also guided the country to the second round of the 2014 FIFA world cup in Brazil, losing to France in the round of 16, after injury to key man Ogenyi Onazi, our best round at the Mundial. He also has a record as the second man to win both the African Nations Cup as a player and as a coach.
Gernot Rohr has guided Nigeria to two different tournaments, the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and the 2019 African Cup of Nations in Egypt. At the World Cup, the Super Eagles were eliminated in the group stages, after Argentina’s defender Marcos Rojo scored a late goal to crush the heart of Nigerians. A similar situation also occurred at the AFCON, as a late strike from Riyad Mahrez condemned the West Africans to a third-place match.
The German’s biggest achievement with Nigeria is coaching the Super Eagles to win a bronze medal, after defeating Tunisia in the third-place match, with an Odion Ighalo strike. That is equal to Christian Chukwu and Augustine Eguavoen’s achievement with the national team.
Gernot Rohr has not been bad for the national team so far but saying he is the best thing to happen to the Nigeria football community is an insult to the achievements of these great patriots.
The only thing you will hear people say about the 68-year-old German is that he qualifies the team “with a game to spare”. The question now is, qualifying with a game to spare or doing well at the tournament, which is better?