Rohr Explains Super Eagles Chances Of Beating Zambia

Gernot-Rohr-Super-Eagles-CoachThe Super Eagles Coach, Mr Gernot Rohr, has assured Nigerians that the team is more than ready for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification encounter against the Chipolopolo of Zambia on Sunday.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja on Friday, the Coach said the Zambians were a good side with aging players while the Super Eagles had a lot of young players who knew the importance of playing in a World Cup.

On the chances of the Super eagles winning the qualifier match, He said: ” I think this game will be a focus and an important game against the good team.

“They want to win. They missed AFCON. The same motivation with our motivation but our motivation can be bigger because I feel that the team wants absolutely to win the game.” coach Rohr stated.

We Must Be Careful

 

He believes that the target of the team is to be at the World Cup in Zambia and is confident that the poor nature of the pitch in Zambia will not be ‎a hindrance to achieving this dream.

The coach, however, stressed the need for players to avoid costly mistakes that could give Zambia an upper hand.

“We must be careful. When you want to win the game away. Sometimes you forget to defend well.

“We must be careful and don’t make this mistake,” he emphasised.

The Super Eagles are due to travel to Zambia on Saturday ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Chipolopolo‎.

Super-Eagles-Press-Conference
Coach Gernot Rohr and some Super Eagles team members

Also at the press conference was the captain of the team, Mikel Obi.

He says the team is ready for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against the Chipolopolo of Zambia in Ndola.

But stressed the need for the team to play with one heart.

Nigeria has won six of 16 previous matches with Zambia at international level, drawing five and losing five.

Mikel-Obi

And captain of the side, Mikel says they are committed to improving Nigeria’s superior record against Zambia at senior international level.

Nigeria play Zambia away on Sunday and host Algeria on November 12 before four more games in 2017.

Meanwhile, Zambia are leaving nothing to chance to record their first win over Nigeria since 1985 after they appointed experienced David Kabwe as consultant to coach Wedson Nyirenda.

NFF Names Paul Le Guen As New Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser

Paul Le Guen, NFF, Super Eagles, Technical AdviserThe Technical and Development Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation on Monday named Frenchman Paul Le Guen, as the new Technical Adviser of the Senior National Team, Super Eagles.

He will be assisted by Nigerian Salisu Yusuf, who takes the role of Chief Coach.

The appointments are subject to agreement of contract terms with the NFF Executive Committee.

Spokesman of the Committee, Paul Bassey, told thenff.com after the meeting at the NFF secretariat on Monday that Enugu Rangers gaffer Imama Amapakabo and former Super Eagles’ goalkeeper and skipper Alloy Agu, who served as assistant coach and goalkeeper trainer for the games against Mali and Luxembourg in May, retain their places in the technical crew.

The new crew’s immediate challenge is a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Tanzania in the first week of September – a dead rubber, but which would serve as ample preparation for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match away to Zambia on October 3.

The 52-year-old new Eagles’ boss steered the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon to the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals.

He played for Brest, Nantes and Paris Saint Germain and won 17 caps for France, before coaching Rennes, Lyon, PSG (in France) and Glasgow Rangers (in Scotland). He also coached Oman.

Yusuf, capped at U20 level by Nigeria, called the shots in interim capacity for two international friendly matches in Europe at the end of May, which the Eagles won.

The Committee has also recommended to the NFF Board, the appointment of one–time Super Eagles’ assistant coach Bitrus Bewarang as the new NFF Technical Director. Bewarang, who is president of the Nigeria Football Coaches Association, will replace the late Coach Shaibu Amodu.

There is also a recommendation that former Super Eagles’ defender Nduka Ugbade be restored to the U17 National Team as assistant to Coach Manu Garba.

FIFA Releases Special Ranking For World Cup Draw

World Cup Draw, FifaThe world football governing body FIFA has released the special ranking for African teams ahead of the draws for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

According to the new rankings, the Super Eagles of Nigeria are likely to be in pot three that includes Congo, Morocco, Mali and South Africa.

Algeria, Cote d ‘ Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal and Egypt are the top seeded teams for the continent and are drawn in pot one.

Tunisia, Cape Verde Islands, Congo Democratic Republic, Guinea and Cameroon are drawn in pot three.

Draws for the third and final round of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers will hold in Cairo, Egypt on Friday June 24.

NFF Is Focused On Russia 2018 Ticket – Pinnick

Pinnick, Russia 2018, NFFThe President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick and his team are focused on giving the Super Eagles the maximum support to qualify for the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup finals.

Pinnick said this on Monday while addressing the media in his office at the Glass House in Abuja.

He was with NFF Executive Committee members Chris Green, Ibrahim Musa Gusau, Sharif Rabiu Inuwa, Sunday Dele-Ajayi, Babagana Kalli and Ahmed Yusuf Fresh.

While acknowledging that failure to qualify for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations for the second time in succession was quite painful, Pinnick said that the objective of reaching Russia 2018 was not negotiable.

“We cannot afford any distractions, not from anywhere. We have an objective of qualifying for Russia 2018 and that is not what we can negotiate. That is one of the reasons I am in the office today.

“The Board has to look at various areas of the preparation as we countenance the draw for the group phase of the series that is coming up on 24th June.”

The NFF President, in company with his Board members and the General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, later held a meeting with the Staff of the Federation.

House To Summon Sports Minister Over NFF Crisis

2016 budget-HouseThe House of Representatives has mandated the House Committee on Sports to invite the Minister of Sports, Mr Solomon Dalung and other stakeholders in a bid to resolve the lingering crisis in the Nigerian Football Federation.

In a motion sponsored by Rep. Prestige Ossy, the House observed that the crisis may affect Nigeria’s chances of qualifying for the next FIFA World Cup if it is not resolved.

The Committee is to report back to the House in two weeks.

NFF To Appoint Super Eagles Coach In June

Super EaglesMeanwhile, the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) have confirmed that a permanent head coach for the Super Eagles would be in place for the final round of qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The Eagles have been without a substantive coach since Sunday Oliseh resigned in February with the likes of Samson Siasia and Salisu Yusuf managing the team on temporary basis at different points.

According to the NFF Technical Committee, a technical crew led by either a local or foreign coach would be appointed after the upcoming friendlies against Mali and Luxembourg in June.

Meanwhile, Salisu Yusuf is the man to lead the Super Eagles of Nigeria in the upcoming friendlies against Mali and Luxembourg.

The former Kano Pillars boss will be assisted by Enugu Rangers Coach, Imama Amapakabor, Kennedy Boboye of Abia Warriors while Alloy Agu would serve as goalkeeper trainer.

Nigeria plays Mali on May 27, before going on to face Luxembourg on June 1.

Both matches will serve as tune ups for the final round of qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Buhari Congratulates Golden Eaglets, Hails Indomitable Nigerian Spirit

EagletsPresident Muhammadu Buhari had congratulated the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria on their victory over Mali in the final match of the 2015 Under-17 FIFA World Cup tournament in Chile.

In a statement by Mr Femi Adesina, who is his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, President Buhari, on behalf of Nigerians and the Federal Government, applauded the “exemplary zeal, determination, commitment, hard work, patriotism and soccer artistry” which the youthful Golden Eaglets put on display throughout the tournament  to win the championship for a record fifth time.

The President also noted with delight that the Golden Eaglets not only won the coveted Under-17 FIFA World Cup, but they are also bringing home highly-valued individual awards such as the Golden Boot won by Victor Osimhen for being the tournament’s highest goal scorer and the Golden Ball, won by the team captain, Kelechi Nwakali for being the best player.

President Buhari believes that by their triumph in Chile, the Golden Eaglets have shown the world that the indomitable Nigerian spirit is alive and waxing stronger.

For the President, the Golden Eaglets’ latest victory on the global stage is an affirmation of the significant progress Nigeria is now making towards positively redefining and rediscovering its potential for greatness in the comity of nations.

President Buhari trusts that if all other Nigerians could imbibe and exhibit the doggedness, determination and patriotism displayed by their youthful compatriots in Chile, Nigeria would make faster progress towards becoming the strong, united, peaceful, secure and prosperous nation envisioned by its people.

The President awaits the Golden Eaglets’ triumphant return to a heroes’ welcome from a joyous and grateful nation.

Debuchy Undergoes Surgery To Left Ankle

DebuchyArsène Wenger has confirmed that Mathieu Debuchy has had surgery on his left ankle and will be out for approximately three months.

The France international sustained the injury after falling awkwardly during Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Manchester City at Emirates Stadium.

Once the injury had an initial period to settle, an assessment with a specialist on Friday confirmed the need for an operation and the 29-year-old was treated straight away.

He has had surgery and will be out for three months,” Wenger told Arsenal.com. “A reasonable delay is three months.

It all went well, but it can be a week or two earlier or a week or two later, but it will be around three months.

It is a blow of course, how big it will be we will only know afterwards because it will be down to how well we replace him. We bought [Calum] Chambers for that.”

Debuchy is often deployed in the right back position, but began his career playing as a midfielder usually acting as a deep-lying playmaker.

He spent nine-and-a-half seasons at Lille, including a Ligue 1 and Coupe de France double in 2010–11. He joined Newcastle United in January 2013, and was signed by Arsenal in July 2014.

Debuchy made his debut for the France national football team in 2011 and has since earned over 25 caps, playing at UEFA Euro 2012 and the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Tactical Indiscipline Hunting African Football – Obanya

Nnamdi ObanyaAs Super Eagle face the La-Albicelestes of Argentina, tension is rising as two African teams have crashed out of the World Cup while the other three have little chances of going to the next round.

Speaking on the challenges facing the African teams, Nnamdi Obanya, a sport Journalist told Channels Television on Wednesday that tactical indiscipline by African teams had led to the inability of the teams to cross the group stage of the World Cup.

He attributed Cote d’Ivoire’s defeat by Greece to tactical indiscipline in football, stressing that the blunder committed by the team in the last few minutes of the match led to their exit.

”Cote d’Ivoire started their matches slowly hardly scoring a goal after the 64th minute of any match. Even when Greece got the lead, they were quite easy to contain because they never used counter attacks, they don’t rush their opponents, they are not fast, they depend on long room and short head pieces and they were not sharp, which the Ivorian would have used against them,” he stressed.

According to him, the Ivorians had the chance of winning the match, but went back especially when they knew what they needed was a draw. “The last goal they conceded was due to the defence’s  carelessness, again, indiscipline, totally losing the ball to Samaras to pounce on it”.

He also stated that the tactical indiscipline on the part of the Algerians nearly made them to lose to the Korean team in their last game. “In the first half, Algerians scored 3-0 but the Koreans made a come-back and scored 2 goals in the second half. If the Algerians didn’t score the 4th goal, they would have been under pressure.

The sport journalist further said that the hitch the African team had was that they do not practice set-pieces and the fact that they do not watch their opponents’ matches.

Asked if the coaches or the players are to blame, he said that the coaches were not to blame in many of the occasions. He said that the coach of Cote d’Ivoire, Sabri Lamouchi, made the right choice and changes when due, making the stronger team mates hold the ball against their opponent.

On Cameroon’s exit from the World Cup, he blamed some players for not following instructions. “The Cameroun coach couldn’t do anything seeing his player, Benoit Assou-Ekotto ‘head butt’ his team mate and the other player Alex Song elbowing his team mate. This is just indiscipline in the African football.

“Most African players do not go through structured academy where they are expected to imbibe discipline. Most of what they learn, they learnt in Foreign countries and things they can’t do in the club they do it in their National team,” he stated.

Ahead of the Nigeria and Argentina match that would be played on Wednesday, he predicted a draw, hinging his prediction on the fact that Argentina are through but would want to top the group in other not to meet France in the next stage.

Pointing out the weakness of Nigeria, he stated that if the Super Eagles use the 5-3-2 formation, against the Argentines, it could give the National team problems.

“Nigeria doesn’t know how to play the eleven men behind the ball kind of game. Nigeria needs to attack and make the Argentines defend as much as possible.

Nigeria only needs a draw to qualify for the next round of the tournament. This will be the fourth time Nigeria will be meeting the Argentines in the World cup, but Argentina have won the three games they have played so far.

Keshi Should Have Stuck With Nations Cup Team – Amaju Pinnick

sports commissionerThe Executive Chairman, Delta State Sports Commission, Amaju Pinnick has said that Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi should have stuck with the team that played for the African Nations Cup in 2013.

He stated that the team Nigeria will be playing with Bosnia is not a team one can trample on neither can Argentina be easy for the Super Eagles.

“If Nigeria has the best team it would be possible for Nigeria to win the world cup, what I thought Keshi would have done is to stick with the Nations Cup team because they bring luck” he noted.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, the Sports Commissioner highlighted  the last match with Nigeria and Iran, stating that there was no connection between the goalkeeper and the defense, no connection between the defenders and the midfielders, likewise the midfielders and attackers.

“That is the football that was played over 20 years ago but in modern day football, if a team is going to score you will see it from the defense, the calculation, movement and technicality” he explained.

He further stated that the Iran coach  Carlos Queiroz trained his team for such an outcome because he had worked as an assistant coach with Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United) and has coached some of the big teams in the world, “He is a coach that is very seasoned and Nigeria cannot win the World Cup” he stated.

The Commissioner also commended Stephen Keshi on his job so far on the Super Eagles, but advised that he should look inwards and take advise from people.

If We Don’t Win Today, We Should Come Back Tomorrow – Peterside

vlcsnap-2014-06-16-10h46m59s81A former Super Eagles goalkeeper, Idah Peterside, on Monday predicted a win for the Keshi-led side in their opening FIFA World Cup game against Iran in Brazil and bury the ghosts of past World Cups by winning their first game at the football showpiece event for the first time since France 1998.

He, however, noted that “if we don’t win today, we should come back home tomorrow”, wondering how we will cope with Argentina and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Peterside said: “Patriotism apart, we should win because I think we have grown over the years and we are African champions” insisting that we should win, not for Super Eagles per se but for Africa”.

He added that it was good to put the players under pressure or else they “won’t do well”, maintaining that that he has a problem with the team following the performance of the players during the build up to the competition.

He, however, noted that “Keshi has proved us wrong” citing the victorious outing at the African Nations Cup in South Africa. He made a lot of changes and “pundits started analysing his team; but he proved us wrong,” he said.

He also queried the overhauling of the players in the Super eagles stating that in a “normal society, you bring in 6 to 7 new players” within a period of four years, but “he has brought in 20 players and that means that it is after the first game that we will begin to assess our team”.

With 26 goals scored so far in the competition, the former media officer of the Super Eagles described the tournament so far as “great”, adding that top class goals by players like (Lionel) Messi and (Robin) Van Persie are the kind of things that make you happy”.

He further talked about the pressure players go through at World Cup and went down memory lane to state Argentina’s Diego Maradona’s reason for taking cocaine during his playing days as stated by the legend himself. According to him, Maradona had said that he needed something to calm him down.

Peterside insisted that the field has become level and no team should be underestimated. “If we don’t win today, we should come back home tomorrow.

“If we don’t beat Iran, what are we doing in Brazil”, he asked.

Coach Stephen Keshi will be looking to make history as the first Nigerian to captain and coach a Nigerian team to the World Cup finals by nicking a first win in six attempts as the Super Eagles look to lay a marker in Group F of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Nigeria is placed in Group F alongside Iran, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Argentina.

Ronaldo Supports Brazil’s ‘Genuine’ World Cup Protesters

Ronaldo De LimaOne of Brazil’s all time legends of the World Cup, Ronaldo – having led his country to glory in 1994 as a youngster and again in 2002 – has admitted that there have been errors made in Brazil’s preparations for hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

While backing the validity of protests against the country’s hosting of the World Cup, he frowned at the violent approach adopted by some of the protesters.

Speaking with ESPN, he said: “I think we must separate the fake protesters who cause damage from the genuine demonstrators. In my opinion, yes, the Police must act violently against them and they must be wiped off the streets.

“But I support the peaceful protests, they should happen peacefully. Brazilians are tired of hearing that Brazil is the country of the future.

“That we can one day be a developed country is exactly what the country wants and needs now; this is the future we desire for our country. We want to feel all of this great progress.”

While the political problems linked to the tournament remain difficult to ignore, Ronaldo de Lima was happy to also speak about Brazil’s chances of winning the tournament.

“I think that today Brazil is entering the World Cup with much more confidence than we had when we entered the World Cup in 2002. I believe that the squad we have for 2014 is really strong, we have a balanced team full of talents.

“Neymar is a fantastic kid, so talented. He’s our great hope for the future.

“Another thing is that we are playing at home, this really makes me wish I were a few years younger and 45 pounds lighter. This is a one in a life time opportunity, playing at home in front of our fans.

“We saw the atmosphere during the Confederations Cup, it was so beautiful. However, we know that Brazilian fans are so demanding, they supported the Selecao because all the players played well.

“If Brazil do not deliver, they can start the booing. It will start very quickly especially in the big cities.

However, in my opinion I think the team is in a good form and have a great chance of being World Champion again.”

It is believed that success on the pitch for the Brazilian team might switch attention away from the problems within the country.