Gernot Rohr is set to announce his 23 men shortlist for the Sierra-Leone game in the coming days. One of the most crucial parts of his team is the striking position and there’re some conundrums the Franco-German tactician must solve going forward into the game against Nigeria’s neighbors.
Victor Osimhen has undoubtedly been amazing since the beginning of 2020 having scored 4 times in 10 matches for Lille in 2020, thus making him the first choice attacker for Super Eagles. But with the uncertainty surrounding the injury he sustained in the game against Angers SCO on Friday, one of many headaches for Gernot Rohr will be how to fill the void left by the 21-year-old.
In this article, we consider some top Nigerian strikers the Super Eagle’s head coach should consider giving a chance.
Cyriel is a Belgian – Nigerian striker who plays for Heracles Almelo. The 24-year-old was born to a Nigerian father and a Belgian mother. He currently tops the Dutch Eredivisie scorers chart with 14 goals and 5 assists to his name. He was rated as the Best Player in Dutch Eredivise in November 2018 after a staggering goalscoring feat for the highflying Heraclieden side.
He professed his love to play for the Super Eagles last December. He said in a statement “After a series of discussions with the NFF President Amaju Pinnick, I have decided to fully commit myself to Nigeria and the Super Eagles and I’m going to work to be part of the team and fight for more success for the country,”
Although he apparently hasn’t played for any of the countries he is connected to, but his love and patriotism for his fatherland cannot be underestimated; which is why Gernot Rohr should give him a call up to the National Team when there’s still the chance.
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This is not a new name in Nigerian football. The 23-year-old missed out on the AFCON last year after failing to impress Leicester’s former manager (Claude Puel).
It will be recalled that the last time Iheanacho featured for Nigeria was on the 14th of November 2017 in a friendly against Argentina. In May 2018 he was named in Nigeria’s preliminary 30 man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and incidentally the last game in which he showed classy performance. Scoring two goals in Nigeria’s four goals on the night. Albeit making the bench in some of the Friendlies right after the African Cup Of Nations.
There seems to have been a turn-around for Iheanacho under Brendan Rodgers at Leicester. He has enjoyed some blistering moments under the Scottish manager at Leicester, scoring 8 in 13 appearances. No doubt, some lessons have been learned by the Super Eagles forward and a fresh window to prove his worth again.
This 30-year-old has only 1 cap for Nigeria which came in 2017 but one critical reason why he should be invited to the national team is that so far in 2020, he is the only Nigerian attacker with most goals; scoring 5 and 1 assist.
After making his debut in 2017 for the Super Eagles against Algeria, he further stated in 2019 that he deserves subsequent call-ups to the National team but sadly he hasn’t commanded the attractions of the Gernot Rohr and also the quality of the league in which he plays (then) was nothing to write about. He made a switch to a Turkish side Trabzonspor in 2018 and has gone to register 18 goals in 45 appearances for the Karadeniz Fırtınası. Maybe not a bad statistics for a striker trying to revive his international career, but his call up might juggle up competition upfront with other attackers.
FIFA Congress To Decide Future Host Of FIFA Women’s World Cup™
Council assigns FIFA Women’s World Cup™ hosting decision to the football governing body’s Congress; also approves financial statements for 2020 and budget for 2022.
Meeting by video conference, the Council conferred to the Congress the decision to award Women’s World Cup™ hosting rights.
Until now, the decision has been taken by the FIFA Council, most recently in June 2020 when the hosting rights for the 2023 edition were awarded to Australia and New Zealand.
As the football governing body seeks to raise the profile of the women’s game, this represents a significant step to bring the Women’s World Cup in line with the flagship men’s competition.
The proposal will be put forward for a final decision by the 71st FIFA Congress, which will meet virtually (for the second time) on 21 May.
International match calendar and release of players.
The FIFA Council received a report on the international football situation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Bureau of the Council had extended to April 2021 the temporary amendments to the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players regarding the release of players for international duty, and FIFA, the confederations, and its member associations remain in dialogue with national authorities about exemptions from quarantine rules for national team players.
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The FIFA Council recognized that the highest priority in football is the health of the players, and therefore the discussion around the release of players for international duty must maintain this perspective, especially as the public health situation develops around the world.
2020 financials and 2022 budget
The Council also approved the organization’s Annual Report, which contains the financial statements for 2020 and the budget for 2022.
The FIFA Annual Report 2020 focuses on the role played by world football’s governing body in the fight against COVID-19, primarily through the unprecedented COVID-19 Relief Plan, which has made available USD 1.5 billion to support FIFA’s 211 member associations and the confederations through times of financial uncertainty.
The FIFA Annual Report 2020 is available on the official site.
FIFA Arab Cup 2021™
The Council approved the competition regulations for the FIFA Arab Cup 2021, confirming the match schedule and draw procedure for the competition taking place in Qatar from 1 to 18 December this year.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Fédération Internationale de Football Association.
Paul Onuachu: A Victim Of Tactical Deficiency
Ever wondered why Genk forward Paul Onuachu has always been a prolific figure for his club and find it hard to replicate that form with the Super Eagles when invited?
The Nigeria international has been in awesome form for the Blue-White, scoring 26 goals in the Jupiler League this season for Genk, while his scoring prowess at his club has been a contrast to his form with the national team under Gernot Rohr scoring just once in 9 games despite being a top performer at club level.
Ahead of the AFCON qualifier doubleheader against Lesotho and the Benin Republic, Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr named his 23 man list with the inform former Midtjylland forward listed as one of the standby players.
Onuachu’s struggles with the Super Eagles in previous games he featured is quite baffling, considering the excitement that greeted his first appearance with the national team plus the impressive form he’s currently in.
The job of every manager is to find a suitable position or fashion out tactics that would be suitable for their players in other to blend with the team approaches to every match. In Onuachu’s case, he hasn’t been fortunate enough to blend in with Rohr’s tactics. While at club level, Midtjylland plays to his strength.
However, due to Napoli’s players been restricted from traveling, the Genk forward made it through the backdoor to replace Gernot Rohr’s number one forward Victor Osimhen who hasn’t really hit the ground running with the ‘Partenopei‘, but when with the Eagles, he never fails to deliver.
It’s no doubt that the lanky striker has failed to deliver in his previous games, disappointing the ever-demanding Nigerian football enthusiasts with unforgiving backlashes from the fans. However, his prolific prowess with his club suggests otherwise and consistently makes a case for him to be integrated into the team with a different tactical approach that suits his style.
The era of a target man may have been long gone in football due to the advent of new tactics that have brought about a series of changes in the game. With managers preferring to go with a fast, skillful, or makeshift winger- kind of striker, instead of a target man.
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Looking at how Paul Onuachu plays with Genk upfront shows he’s one of the best target men in football, despite been perceived by many as a slow and old-fashioned kind of forward. However, John van den Bromm has been able to carve out a tactic that suits him which has been evident with his prolific form irrespective of his style of play.
Onuachu’s Super Eagle future might be on the knife-edge with Gernot Rohr not finding the right tactics that suit the Genk forward, especially with him not been consider as the go-to man despite his blistering runs of form in Belgium.
In recent times Rohr’s philosophy of vibrant attacking football with an emphasis on passing in the final third which requires the expertise of brilliant players to implement such tactics hasn’t really favored him.
Having a player in the mold of Onuachu gives Rohr another tactical option and an alternative style of play should the initial approach fails to work as expected, but the German tactician hasn’t really taken advantage of what the man could offer with a different opponent.
Onuachu’s presence in the Super Eagles team should be an added advantage in terms of variety when the normal approach of the manager fails. With an in-form striker on the bench, it could prove valuable, but in the former Midtjylland’s case, Gernot Rohr doesn’t seem to see him as a player that has a future with the national team.
Players in the mold of the Nigerian are quite physically imposing as the point man, though they may not offer the team excellent off-the-ball movement in some cases. However, they often find a way to provide an opportunity which the team could utilize when attacking or defending.
Onuachu’s inability to show a good turn of pace and smart footwork may have been one of the deficiencies that are affecting his chances of blending perfectly into the team.
However, the job of a manager is to help players blend in perfectly, and that’s exactly what Gernot Rohr should be doing. Not only for Onuachu but for every other player who are always finding it hard to replicate club form with the National Team.