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KNOW YOUR WORLD CUP SUPER EAGLES: Profiles Of Rohr’s Final 23 To Russia

KNOW YOUR WORLD CUP SUPER EAGLES: Profiles Of Rohr’s Final 23 To Russia

Ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Completesportsnigeria.com’s JOHNNY EDWARD presents the scorecards of the Super Eagles’ final 23-man squad listed by Gernot Rohr…
GOALKEEPERS:
Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna, Spain): 
Francis Uzoho has been outstanding for Deportivo La Coruna’s Team B, Deportivo Fabril, who missed out on promotion from the Spanish third tier.The Nigeria international kept 15 clean sheets for RC Deportivo Fabril this outgoing season in 25 games. The 19-year-old shot-stopper conceded 17 goals last term.
Date of Birth/age: October 28, 1998/19
International Caps:
Apprearance: 5
Goals conceded: 5
Clean sheets: 1
2017/2018 stats:
Total games played at club level: 25
Goals conceded: 17
Clean sheets: 15.
Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa)
Could have been Nigeria’s first choice at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia due to his experience but his poor form and inconsistency cost him the place. His last game against Argentina saw him concede two cheeky goals and that was his last game for Nigeria.
Date of Birth/age: Aug 3, 1986/31
International Caps:
Apprearance: 6
Goals conceded: 8
Clean sheets: Nil
2017/18 stats:
Total games played last season at club level: 25
Goals conceded: 18
Clean sheets: 11
Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba FC)
Ikechukwu Ezenwa’s recent injury worries, loss of form and experience at the big stage probably cost him the No.1 spot after his impressive performances in the qualifiers.
Date of Birth/ Age: October 16, 1988 (29).
International Caps:
Apprearance: 4
Goals conceded: 4
Clean sheets: 1.
2017/18 stats:
Total games played last season at club level:5
Goals conceded: 6
Clean sheets: 1
DEFENDERS:
Abdullahi Shehu (Anthorsis Famagusta/ Bursaspor FC, Turkey):
Shehu Abdullahi’s recent shoddy performance against England may give Gernot Rohr a reason to have a rethink at right-back considering the impressive display of Tyronne Ebuehi in the second half against the Three Lions. Abdullahi was an ever present in the qualifying campaign.
Date of Birth/ Age: March 12, 1993/25
International Caps:
Apprearance: 22
Goals: None
Assists: None
2017/18 stats:
Total games played at club level: 33
Assists: 2
Goals scored: 1
Tyronne Ebuehi (Benfica, Portugal)
Tyronne Ebuehi’s form has improved lately but he must show more than zeal and vigour in to make the starting lineup in Russia having made the final squad.
Date of Birth/ Age:December 16/ 1995/ 22
International Caps:
Apprearance: 4
Goals: Nil
Assists: Nil
2017/18 stats:
Total games played at club level: 28
Assists: 2
Goals scored: None
Elderson Echiejile (Cercle Brugge KSV, Belgium)
Elderson Echiejile is in Nigeria’s World Cup squad as the second choice having lost his place to Bryan Idowu.
It remains to be seen if Echiejile still has enough in him to battle Idowu for the left-back position.
Date of Birth/ Age: January 20, 1988/30
International Caps:
Apprearance: 60
Goals: 3
Assists: 4
2017/18 stats:
Total games played: 12
Assists: 1
Goals scored: None.
Bryan Idowu (Amkar Perm, Russia)
Bryan Idowu made the final cut for the 2018 World Cup in Russia after posting a decent shift for the Super Eagles in their last three friendlies against Poland, Serbia and England.
International Caps:
Apprearance: 4
Goals: 1
Assists:1
Date of Birth/ Age:
2017/18 stats:
Total games played at club level: 30
Assist: Nil
Goals scored: 1
Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes FC, France)
Chidozie Awaziem struggled in his last game for Super Eagles in their 2-0 defeat to Serbia. His  inclusion in the team is just as a back-up to the duo of William Troost-Ekong  and Leon Balogun
Date of Birth/ Age:January 1, 1997/21
International Caps:
Apprearance: 3
Goals: None
Assists: Nil
2017/18 stats:
Total games played: 23
Assist: None
Goals scored: 1
William Troost-Ekong (Bursaspor FC, Turkey)
William Troost-Ekong is one of Nigeria’s best defenders going to the World Cup. The Bursaspor centre-back has formed a formidable partnership with Leon Balogun in the heart of the Super Eagles defence. He has been consistent for club and country for the past ten months.
International Caps:
Apprearance: 18
Goals: 1
Assists: None
Date of Birth/ Age: September 1, 1993/24
2017/18 stats:
Total games played at club level: 31
Assists: None
Goals scored: 2
Leon Balogun (Brighton, England)
Leon Balogun brings a lot of quality and stability to the team when he is fit. His only problem is just staying fully fit. The medical team must be at their best to ensure the 29-year-old regains full fitness before the team’s opening game following  his minor head knock injury.
Date of Birth/ Age: June 28, 1988/29
International Caps:
Apprearance: 16
Goals: None
Assists: None
2017/18 stats:
Total games played: 15
Assist: None
Goals scored: None
Kenneth Omeruo (Chelsea, England):
Kenneth Omeruo has played himself back into reckoning in the Super Eagles, but he is now the third choice centre-back.The Chelsea loanee has been consistent for his Turkish club Kasimpasa which earned him a place in the final squad.
2017/18 stat:
Date of Birth/ Age: October 3,1993/24
International Caps
Apprearance: 37
Goals: None
Assists: None
Total games played at club level: 28
Assist: None
Goals scored: 1
MIDFIELDERS
Mikel Obi (Tianjin Teda, China)
Mikel Obi remains the brain box of the team; his influence and wealth of experience playing at the highest level with Chelsea before his move to China over a year ago will be looked upon for inspiration when the going gets tough in Russia.
Date of Birth/ Age:April 22, 1987/31
International level
Apprearance: 83
Goals: 6
Assists: 9
2017/18 stats:
Total games played: 10
Assist: 2
Goals scored: 1
Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor FC, Turkey)
Fit again Ogenyi Onazi was a flop in the team’s last defeat to England. His starting place is under serious threat with the emergence of Oghenekaro Etebo. Despite lacking good passing skills, the tireless midfielder is one of Gernot Rohr’s trusted men in midfield.
Date of Birth/ Age:December 25,1992/ 25
International Caps:
Apprearance: 50
Goals: 1
Assists:3
2017/18 stats:
Total games played: 23
Assists: 2
Goals scored: 3
Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England)
Wilfred Ndidi was one of the most consistent players for club and country in the last one year. But his hamstring injury could mea the 21 year old may not be at his very best. The medical team of the Super Eagles have assured that the Leicester City midfielder will be ‘super fit’ for the World Cup but the biggest question is if he will be in form for the Super Eagles when he anchors in midfield.
Date of Birth/ Age: December 16, 1996/21
International Caps:
Apprearance: 10
Goals: None
Assists: None.
2017/18 stats:
Total games played: 38
Assists: 4
Goals scored: 1
Oghenekaro Etebo (Feriense/Las Palmas, Spain)
Oghenekaro Etebo showed he could be relied upon when he is needed. The CD Feriense  star came on at half time against England to stabilise the Super Eagles midfield with his crisp passing and timely runs.. The midfielder was immense for loan club Las Palmas who suffered relegation at the end of the season.
Date of Birth/ Age:November 9, 1995/22
International Caps:
Apprearance: 12
Goals: 1
Assists:1
2017/18 stats:
Total games played: 29
Assists:  3
Goals scored: 4
John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel)
The 30-year-old John Ogu will be brimming in confidence after he was named in the final squad for Russia.
Ogu is the only player in squad to have won a league title this season. Having missed out on the provisional squad to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Ogu will be keen to start in Russia.
Date of Birth/ Age:April 20, 1988 (age 30 years)
International Caps:
Apprearance: 18
Goals: 2
2017/18 stats:
Total games played: 31
Assists: None
Goals scored:  2
Joel Obi (Torino FC, Italy)
Joel Obi nicked a spot on the plane to Russia despite his poor display against England. He will need to buckle up to reclaim his place in the starting line-up.
Date of Birth/ Age: May 22,1991/27
International Caps:
Apprearance: 15
Goals: 0
Assists:1
2017/18 stats:
Total games played: 25
Assists: 2
Goals scored: 6
FORWARDS
Ahmed Musa (Leicester City/CSKA Moscow, Russia)
Ahmed Musa rediscovered his goal scoring form playing regularly for CSKA Moscow whom he joined on a six-month loan deal from Leicester City. With his confidence back, Musa earned himself another World Cup appearance in Russia.
Date of Birth/ Age: October  14, 1992/25
International Caps:
Apprearance: 69
Goals: 13
Assists:6
2017/18 stats:
Total games played: 23
Assists: 6
Goals scored: 9
Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England)
Iheanacho gained momentum with Leicester City towards the end of the English Premier League season scoring two goals in his last two games he started as a striker. Ihenacho remains Nigeria’s national team most prolific player in the past one year, scoring four goals in nine games for the Super Eagles. Though he was a shadow of himself playing against DR Congo..
Date of Birth/ Age:October 3,1991/21
International Caps:
Apprearance: 15
Goals: 8
Assists:3
2017/18 stats:
Total games played at club level: 30
Assists:  4
Goals scored: 9
Victor Moses (Chelsea FC, England)
Victor Moses is one of the biggest names in Gernot Rohr’s squad. He has been impressive playing as a wing-back for Chelsea for the past two seasons. Moses played crucial roles as Nigeria qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup without losing a game. He remains a catalyst in the Eagles attack in Russia.
Date of Birth/ Age:December 12, 1990/27
International Caps:
Apprearance: 32
Goals: 11
Assists:5
2017/18 stats:
Total games played: 36
Assists: 4
Goals scored: 4
Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai, China)
Apart from Odion Ighalo, the Super Eagles do not have a prolific forward that could get goals out of nothing. Despite firing blanks in his last game with Changchun Yatai, the former Watford striker has scored seven goals in ten league appearances in the Chinese Super League.
2017/18 stats
Date of Birth/ Age: June  16, 1989/ 28
International Caps:
Apprearance: 17
Goals: 4
Assists:2
2017/18 stats:
Total games played: 10
Assists: None
Goals scored: 7
Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England)
Iwobi remains a great hope for Nigeria if he rediscovers the form that shot him to prominence. The 22 year old was Nigeria’s top star at Wembley against England.
He could be Nigeria’s joker in Russia.
Date of Birth/ Age: May 3, 1996/22
International Caps:
Apprearance: 16
Goals: 4
Assists:1
2017/18 stats:
Total games played: 39
Assists: 7
Goals scored: 3
Simeon Nwankwo (Crotone FC, Italy)
Date of Birth/ Age:7 May 1992, /26
International Level:
Apprearance: 1
Goals: 0
Assists:0
2017/18 stats:
Total games played at club level: 23
Assists: 1
Goals scored: 7

Simeon Nwankwo is a surprise addition to the Super Eagles squad to the 2018 FIFA World Cup. He was impressive on his debut for Nigeria against DR Congo which ended 1-1.

He was on remarkable form in the final months of the Serie A season, scoring seven goals, six of them in the last eight games.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 23
  • I have always said it; I said it in my pre-England friendly match review and I will say it again now.

    The best formation to support, implement and drive any winning strategy or tactics for this present group of players is 5-3-2 whilst defending and 3-5-2 in transitioning defence-to-attack.

    Idowu and Ebuehi are blessed with blistering pace and eloquent positionings when attacking and defending.

    The most effective way to get the best out of Ighalo or Simmy is to complement them with support strikers or attacking midfielders close to the 18 yard box.

    Once Joel Obi settles down and settles in, midfield creativity, pace and panache will be expected of him to complement established players.

    The defensive midfield needs no introduction, once Onazi regains his form, and Ndidi gets well, that department – considering all the centre/defensive midfielders we have – will be too solid for even the best attacking midfield in the tournament to try to penetrate – I mean that.

    The defence is standard. Although it might not seem so, Omeruo is a very mobile defender and a fantastic addition to the squad.

    In goal, the future of that department appears to be in safe hands with Uzoho’s remarkable improvement game-by-game.

    Still, our opponents will see that as perhaps our most weakest department and will try to exploit this by beating the young man with tame, deceptive and outrageous efforts like Bale and Benzema did in the champions league final and like Harry Kane did against him.

    My faith lies in our goalkeeper trainers and already, I can see the fruits of their training labour on the ever improving Uzoho.

    God bless the Super Eagles, God bless the fans, and God bless Nigeria.

    • Saliu Rabiu 6 months ago

      Nice comments Sir

    • Joeboy 6 months ago

      Deo 
      Your football depth analysis is heaven on earth order !!
      I jcome purposely bcos of u and few others to this forum to acquire more knowledge!!
      Thank you for being a blessing to me and all lover of this game soccer.

  • Victor 6 months ago

    Deo, i agree with your propose formation and personnel for the team with the exception of eddy onazi who should be replaced by john ogu, ogu is one of our best passer’s of the ball in our team, he is strong and also more calculative in his tackles than onazi, iwobi or iheanacho should be our support strikers because the thrive in that role, iheanacho is never an out and out striker

    • Thanks Victor; I can’t seem to put my finger on any factor that could have led to or contributed to the dramatic loss of form that we are all witnessing in Onazi’s game.

      Composure, timing, aggressiveness, positioning, interceptions, passing accuracy all gone!

      How?

      If Onazi can re-capture anything close to his form of 4-5 years ago, then our opponents are in trouble!

      • @deo, I may be wrong. But I think it is not everyone that can manage well the “good life” that comes with marriage. They lose fitness and sharpness and become lazy and overweight. I think it was soon after the guy got hitched, he became less mobile, blown up all over from cheek to body to legs.

  • Abdulrazak 6 months ago

    The 3-5-2 formation is good but if our central defender of either Ekong or Balogun(depending on who is preferred) in the formation should lose his positioning or is not mobile then it becomes tragic. Also, if Gernot Rohr decides on this formation then i will prefer Ogu in left back, Idowu as wing back and Etebo as a defensive midfielder.

  • Victor 6 months ago

    @deo i hope he recovers his form of those good days before 16th june because he looks lethargic, clueless, heavy and out of shape (onazi looks fat).

  • Chidi 6 months ago

    Brothers the problem with onazi is this he is not tactically discipline ,in life u can’t give what u don’t ve,he all he need do is  tokeep it simple as d enforcer n we will see d real onazi GR kept calm becos he doesn’t want to b distracted n onazi is d deputy captain but after d worldcup ekong will take over from him

  • Dr. Drey 6 months ago

    I quite agree with @ DEO on sticking to the 352 formation going into this world cup. We have used it for 4 halves in 3 different friendlies (Argentina-2nd half, Poland- full game & England-2nd half) and we have won the 4 halves,scoring 5 goals and conceding none. These 3 countries are in the top 10 of fifa rankings while we are 47th, so, On the balance of this statistics, it seems the formation is the way to go. Moreover it gives us plenty of defensive solidity while defending and plenty of steel and width wen attacking. However as regards the personnel to implement this formation, it think we should leverage on the comparative advantage we have in terms of the individual abilities of our players.
    Going into this world cup, i will like the super eagles to have plenty of physical presence on the pitch. That’s the comparative advantage of African football, and considering the fact that we will be playing the likes of Iceland and Croatia who are also relatively physical, using European metrics, then we need to cancel them out in that regards. I would prefer a cautious but dangerously counter attacking super eagles; a defensively solid team that can seize control of the midfield at will, while employing width and quick movements in the attacking third. If we can make our defence difficult to crack, either from open play or from set peices, then we have a chance of reaching the quarter finals IMHO. These are my prefered starting personel heading into the world cup;

    —————-Uzoho—————-
    —–Omeruo — Balogun — Troost—–

    Mikel — Ndidi
    Moses Idowu
    –Iwobi–

    Iheanacho
    Simy

    • Dr. Drey 6 months ago

      ————-Uzoho————

      —––Omeruo — Balogun — Troost—–

      Moses—— Ndidi ——-Idowu

      ———Mikel — Iwobi——-

      ——–Iheanacho————-
      —————–Simy———

      • Dr. Drey 6 months ago

        Gk—— Uzoho
        RCB—– Omeruo
        CB—— Balogun
        LCB—– Troost-Ekong
        RWB—– V. Moses/Ebuehi
        LWB—– Idowu
        CDM—– Ndidi/Ogu
        CDM/CM– Mikel/Etebo
        CM/CAM– Iwobi/Mikel
        SS—— Iheanacho
        CF—— Simy/Ighalo

    • We didn’t use it against Poland. We use it for the full game against Argentina. The formation is the best for us at the moment but I don’t think Moses will be best utilized as a wing back. I think he’ll slot in perfectly as a supporting striker

      • Thanks Dr Drey.

        Onwajunior, It will indeed be a brave call for the coach of Nigeria to play Victor Moses (one of our star players) as a wingback.

        Not that it can’t happen (anything can happen) but it will come as a great shock to me.

      • Dr. Drey 6 months ago

        @ Onwajunior and Deo, I salute una….and i understand ur positions. But for me, Moses has played as a wingback for 2 straight seasons at chelsea and even natural wingbacks find it difficult to bench him. So currently he is like a 2-edged sword. A defender and an attacker. Although he is always cautious wen in Chelsea colours, more because he’s trying to keep his starters’ shirt and not because he lacks the ability to be adventurous. But giving him freedom in the national team, even as a wingback will in my own opinion be akin to maximizing the potentials he brings to the team. Defensively, he’s definitely better than Ebuehi, as an attacker, he is better still. I believe He can still retain his status as our start player even as a wingback. A line-up containing mikel, iwobi, moses, iheanacho is one which will not lack ceativity….the more we can accomodate these 4 in one line-up the merrier. The 3-5-2 provides an opportunity to have that luxury…as well as a point man to make the creativity worthwhile

        • Dr Drey, what you are saying makes a lot of sense.

          However, I can bet my car on it that, even for Chelsea, (if he had a choice) Victor Moses would rather play as a winger, attacking right forward or attacking midfielder (similar to how Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain plays for Liverpool).

          However as those roles are saturated, conversation to the right-wingback position was the next logical option for Moses moreso as it fits perfectly into Antonio Conte’s preferred formation of 3-5-2.

          I stand to be corrected but I don’t think that Victor Moses will be happy if he asked to play as a wing-back for Nigeria.

          I know quite a lot of people/fans/observers/pundits put Victor Moses in the same bracket as players like Ashley Young (England/Man Utd) and Antonio Valencia (Ecuador /Man Utd) -i.e. wingers/forwards who should rightly be playing as wing-backs/defenders/full-backs, I think Victor Moses sees himself like Gareth Bale i.e. A right fullback/wing-back who should rightly be playing as forward/winger or attacking midfielder (like he plays for Nigeria).

          Like I said, I stand to be corrected.

          • ***Remember Gareth Bale started out as a right fullback before his now established attacking midfielder/forward position.***

          • ***Sorry, I meant to say Gareth Bale started out as left full-back***

    • Joeboy 6 months ago

      Dr Dre
      You are genius with this selection and formation 

  • Sureseye 6 months ago

    @Dr. Drey.

    I love your analysis and point of view. I have been thinking about this formation all day. This is the best formation we can produce right now. Very solid.

    @Onwajunior
    Moses was played as a 8 for a while against England but didn’t perform. The truth is Moses is not as skillfull as Hazard and we can’t use him as a false 10 cum 8. He should just be used to play what he’s been effective at in Chelsea.

    Question is won’t he feel too big to play 2?

  • Thank God some of you are not the coach,your disaster will have been worst than Lagerback,one thing u shud understand is that Africa Players lie with there age,look at the players that silver in Holland 2005,how many are still existing apart from Mikel,of which u cant compare Mikel level with messi or Van persie.Onazi is a good player anyday,anytime,the problem with him is psychological,check Ndidi at Leicester city,he was their heart,he is solid,I think Onazi has to stepped up and benched him

    • Dr. Drey 6 months ago

      Sorry, but Your argument about age of African players is misplaced. Pls kindly tell us which of the Argentine players that won that 2005 U20 world cup, apart from messi and aguero, is still playing at the top level today..? same for the Brazilian team that one bronze and the Moroccan team that took 4th place.2005 is 13yrs ago. A 20year old in 2005 would be 33 by now. How many 33yr olds play at the top level…?