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Rohr: Eagles Won’t Miss Ndidi Vs Bafana Bafana

Rohr: Eagles Won’t Miss Ndidi Vs Bafana Bafana

By Johnny Edward:
Leicester City midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi will not be hugely missed when Nigeria take on South Africa in the next match against Bafana Bafana of South Africa in the the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Johannesburg, according to Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr, reports Completesportsnigeria.com.

Ndidi got his second yellow card of the campaign Tuesday night in Sfax, where the Eagles defeated Libya 3-2 to go top of the Group E log, and that automatically disqualifies him for the next game against South Africa.

Rohr however remains confident that either John Ogu or Ogenyi Onazi can fill the void created the disqualification of the 21 year old midfield star.

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“My team will cope without Ndidi. We have others like Ogu John who can play there and then Onazi too who can also play there. We will cope without him,” Rohr told a section of the media in Sfax.

Ndidi has played in all four games for Nigeria during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

The Super Eagles lost 2-0 to Bafana Bafana in their first leg matcj in Uyo and will be aiming to avenge their home defeat in the November 17 reverse fixture.

Goals from Tokelo Rantie and Percy Tau handed Rohr his first home defeat as Super Eagles boss.

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  • Well played super eagles

  • soccer 5 years ago

    This write up is unfortunate, spirit dampening and unbecoming ! It’s absolutely wrong for Rohr not to sympathize with Ndidi before showing his indifferent attitude against a devoted mercurial and hard working midfielder. 
    The truth remains that Ndidi did not deserve that yellow card despite the provocation meted out on in at the dying minutes for that matter. 
    Let’s learn to empathize ! 

    • Why unbecoming?

    • Ndidi lashed out insted of walking away from provocation. That is a bonafide yellow card all day everyday anywhere in the world. As a seasoned professional it was a stupid reaction from him. 

      He let the team down win a rash reaction. I agree with Rohr, John Ogu is a very able replacement as he showed against Libya in the last 15 minutes and against Liberia.

      Let’s not be sentimental. I watched the incident twice and if you look at it again I’m sure you’ll agree that he was unprofessional in his reaction. The Libyan got the reaction that he wanted.

  • Greenturf 5 years ago

    This is a good omen.
    However,other players needs playing time as well.Who knows we may discover a better talent.
    Apparently,things happen for a reason.He may have erred that’s the human in him who doesn’t?that may happen to give someone else the platform to exhibit his wares.
    Rightly,Ndidi should use this opportunity to rest in the next fifa windows.Who knows he may have done that on purpose to get resting time or attend to pressing family problems in the next internationals.
    God bless the super eagles,God bless Nigeria!

  • _ Is Ndidi Indispensable? _

    I guess what the Gaffer was saying is that there is no cause for alarm.

    Rohr is acutely aware of the mammoth significance of that match against South Africa in November and has moved quickly to allay whatever fears the absence of Ndidi may cause.

    I too don’t expect Ndidi to be massively missed. Any of Mikel Obi, John Ogu, Onazi, Semi Ajayi or Mikel Agu – all current internationals – will fill the void – and fill it well – my humble opinion.

    I really hope people don’t hate me for this but I think that the emergence of an all round box-to-box midfielder who can destroy and create both in equal measure could threaten Ndidi’s automatic slot in the team.

    The Leicester city man is not indispensable.

    • Yep at least 4 current squad members can fill in John Ogu, Mikel Obi, Ajayi or even Awaziem (sometimes plays as a defensive midfielder).

      I’ve not added Onazi as he’s struggling with an Achilles injury at the moment and it’s to be seen if he will be fit for the clash. Ogu looks best place to seize the position. He’s been on the bench almost 3 years and was a twist of fortune that he showed what he can do in the last 15 minutes.

      It just remains to bring in one or two to provide cover on the bench. Given that Rohr doesn’t like to go back to players he’s tried, I don’t know if he will call up Agu. But Igbekeme and Alhassan Ibrahim look good for the bench

      • Ayphillydegreat 5 years ago

        Alhasan Ibrahim (Muazam) should be good for the team. Igbekemi is good, but I’m not sure about him since he plays in the Segunda. For me I don’t even it’s necessary to alter the current squad. With the exception of captain Mikel the current squad will stand up to any team in Africa.

        • Ayphilly “I don’t think its necessary to alter the squad”.

          A positive statement, however, we do need to continuously improve the squad if its to stand up to the better teams in Africa like Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia or Senegal. So far its adequate for the likes of Libya and the Seychelles, but South Africa may even be a step up from that level.

          The squad is in progress and until we have two players for every position who are on a level at par with each other or bring a different dimension to the game, then we are back to the same old “remove one player and it falls flat”. As we stand, a suspension to Iwobi, or Collins or Aina, or an injury will have us scraping for options. Already our defensive midfield positions are injury prone, with Mikel and Onazi struggling, add Moses Simon and Isaac Success to the “not 100% fit brigade (they have both only been able to play the last 20 minutes of matches for their clubs and country) and you can see why we need to keep improving the squad.

          Also we still need to find a world class goal keeper and a prolific striker. it remains to be seen if the partnership between Musa and Ighalo (7 goals and 5 assists between them) can continue providing against South Africa.

          With regard segunda, he would not be the only player to play for a second division team, Etebo and Collins are doing very well in the SE first team and the Spanish Segunda rates as highly as the Bundesliga 2 and English championship and higher than the Chinese, Israeli, Saudi, South African and Nigerian premier leagues where we have first team and squad players. Real Zaragoza is no small team either and could be in la Liga next season. it doesn’t hurt to invite him to the squad and have a closer look at him to see if he will fit in, even if only to train with the squad or if good enough for a place on the bench.

          People have been calling for Nwakali who plays in the Portuguese second division as well, although I think he should concentrate on becoming a regular for his team first and work his way through the under 23s first.

          Just my 2 kobos worth

  • #Soccer, u didn’t watch that match or u are Ndidi posing as Soccer. Lets assume that you are not Ndidi, the real Ndidi maybe reading this column without reading any meaning to Mr Rohr’s statement but your “not sympathize with Ndidi” comment might in-plant some negative thoughts into Ndidi head there by creating bad blood between him and the coach. A mature man thinks about the likely effect of his comments before publishing. We want peace in the Eagles camp at this crucial stage of the caf qualifier

  • Austin 5 years ago

    I think that rohr was only calming the nerves by simply stating that ndidi won’t be missed in South Africa. Of course everyone knows that ndidi is important in the super eagles anytime and any day. However I expect a Return Of Mikel obi. This is because anytime he is in the field of play, the plays seem to be on all firing cylinders for 90 mins and again, rohr should invite kelechi nwakali. This young lad has a lot to offer the team.

  • Ndidi won’t be missed?! What sort of drug are you guys on? Just name a single player that can match his work- rate in that team. For your information, Ndidi is in the same league as N’golo Kanté and Casemiro. Concerning Rohr’s comment, I believe language difficulty was responsible as he won’t dare downplay the importance of his team’s live-wire.

    • John Ogu can do the job

      • Ayphillydegreat 5 years ago

        If Onazi is fit Ogu will be on the bench and if captain Mikel is also fit he may not see any game time. I will even prefer a fit Joel Obi since he’s been part of the squad. Ogu gave the ball away needlessly when he came on. He’s only good in tackles if stays in front of the back four. He Lacks pace that’s why he’s mostly used as an emergency center back. No body can match Ndidi’s importance to the SuperEagles midfield. But one of Mikel, Onazi or Obi will cover effectively if they’re fit. I wouldn’t mind Ogu been given a chance to see how he can cope with pacy SA wingers though.

        • My friend, put this Joel Obi matter to rest. His best days appear to be effectively behind him as shown in his recent outings for the Super Eagles. Like Ighalo, he may find a rich vein of form and prove me wrong. But for now, let the guy take a back seat while fit players like Ogu, Agu or Igbekeme are given a runout.

        • Joel is history and as Ashy mentions he has not done his time with the SE justice. There are far better options even in the squad.

          Yes, Rohr prefers Onazi to Ogu, however, Onazi too is not the same player he was in 2014 at the world cup where he was a super destroyer and had to be taken out by Matuidi before France could get past us. He is adequate today, but I’ll stick my neck out and say Ogu deserves the chance having warmed the bench for 3 years before getting his opportunity this year. Ogu has been used both as an emergency centre back as well as in midfield (come on for Etebo) and looking at his performance both in the 15 minutes as well as for his club Be’er Sheva in Israel, I have faith in him.

          No doubt if fit (and a big IF) Rohr will go for Mikel or Onazi

    • The sort of drug called ‘divergent opinion’. Mate, don’t get me wrong, Ndidi is massive for the Super Eagles because his style of play suits Nigeria and Leicester city. He is one of the best destructive defensive midfielder in world football at the moment, nobody can take that from him . But I am sure that there are a lot of midfielders who can bring a different styles to bear in that position. Ndidi will be missed but like @Greenturf said it may be an opportunity to discover a defensive midfielder who can play long balls, provide the sort of cut backs that Onazi provided for Iheanacho to head and more measured in possession rather than lash the sort of hopeless shots that Ndidi lashed against Argentina when holding the ball to deliver a killer pass would have been a more sensible option.

  • Greenturf 5 years ago

    If Onazi is fit he will definitely start.He is quick and covers a lot of ground.Mikel if fit would partner Onazi.Etebo would play as the attacking midfielder.
    I think we line up this way,

    Gk. Uzoho

    Df. Shehu/Aina,Collins/Amuzie,Ekong,Balogun.



    • U r even including Amuzie who Salah used to dance shoki during last Afcon qualifying season. If we want to win SA Iwobi needs to continue in the #10 role to be splitting their defence.

  • I share in Greenturf’s suspicion that Ndidi could have collected the yellow card on purpose. I mean, he lashed out needlessly at the tail end of the match and as a professional, he’d be very aware of the consequence. Maybe he wanted to rest and attend to some personal or family issues in mid November. Or maybe Ogu or Onazi begged him. Lol.

    That said, please let’s give it up for Rohr. That guy is very intelligent and knows every of his player’s ability/potential inside out. There’s a reason he was patient with Ighalo. There’s a reason he dumped Ezenwa for Uzoho, replaced Idowu with Collins, rarely uses Ogu and installed Musa as vice captain. And all the changes are working for him.

    Talking about Ogu, his strength lies in thunder shots and clear outs, which unfortunately go wrong 60% of the time and cause problems at the back (we saw some bits of that in the last match).

    However, when they go well (40% of the time), those shots and clear outs are a beauty to behold (like the goal against Algeria). In contrast and fairness to Ogu, Ndidi balloons all his balls away in the opponent’s 18.

    But no direspect to Ogu. he doesn’t have the guile and quick thinking of Mikel or the midfield control and coordination skills of Onazi or the workaholic, speed and hard tackling runs of Etebo or the general midfield play competence and eagle eyes of Ndidi or the versatility, striker’s killer instinct and defence splitting passes of Iwobi.

    He’s last in the pecking order in that midfield, just as Awaziem in the right wing especially after his howlers against SA at home. Players like these and Akpeyi are likely to play the Seychelles match (after we must have qualified) to test how much on-field improvement they have made.

    That said, we still don’t have a finished product of a midfield general in the mould of Okocha or Oliseh of yore. #My honest opinions. Don’t “murder” me in your minds o or in the comments/reply. Lol.

    • Balanced opinion; thanks Kel. 🙂

      • Ayphillydegreat 5 years ago

        Well said @kel. I will prefer Semi Ajayi in Ndidi’s role if Mikel, Onazi or Obi are not fit for selection. The only midfielder I can clamor for to be integrated to the team will be Ovie Ejaria of Rangers.

  • no problem rohr is correct oo, ogu or onazi is there. de only problem i’m havin now is kalu dat guy need to come in as sub, success or simon need to start from dat right wing. de right wing is not functionin well, kalu is de reason we never go far in possession. he dont even blend up wit de team. even iheanacho dat has no pace could have done better on dat wing.

  • It’s still a mystery to me why Rohr is not strating Simon Moses. He didn’t even make the coach’s bench in both Libyan games. Is he still nursing injury? Cos as far as I’m concerned, Simon Moses rates higher than a good number of the starting 11. I think the front pair should be Musa-Ighalo-Simon Moses, with Kalu subbing Moses at about the 75th minute of play. Onyekuru for Musa and Isaac for Ighalo (if necessary).

    • Simon is only coming on as a sub for his club. Playing 17 or 20 minutes to the end of the matches. He is not fully match fit. Starting him will be a risk as if he breaks down that’s one sub gone. 

      Left to me the front three behind Ighalo would be Musa, Iwobi and Onyekuru. Henry blends better with the attackers than Kalu as we have seen with his second half appearances. Musa has a very good understanding with Ighalo (7 goals 5 assists) in the last 3 matches.

      Kalu can come on in the last 30 to 20 minutes to scare the daylights out of tired defenses

  • Ayphillydegreat 5 years ago

    The good thing is that the gaffer has open up a competitive environment in the team. Everyone is now watching his back as any below par performance will see you become history. IMHO I’m still not fully sold on Ighalo. He combined well with Musa against Seychelles and Libya. Teams ranked 100th and 189th respectively.

    If they can continue with that understanding against South Africa then I will be happy that we’ve found a potent attacking combo since Yekini/Siasia and Yekini/Amokachi or Kanu/Amokachi.

    Kalu seems to be ahead of Simon at the moment unless if Simon can prove his quality whenever he gets another chance to impress. Even Onyekuru might be ahead of him. However, I will prefer Isaac Success to start against SA in place of Kalu. Success, Iwobi and Musa behind Ighalo is mouthwatering while Kalu can come in later likewise Iheanacho and Onyekuru.

    A SuperEagles team with Isaac Success, Moses Simon, Henry Onyekuru and Kelechi Iheanacho on the bench seems too good to be true. That is how far this team has progressed over the last two years Rohr has been in charge.

    • Just to pick up on one of the points from AY.

      I think keeping Moses Simon on the bench is actually good for him at the moment.

      He is becoming injury-prone and you really don’t want to rush him back only to suffer a relapse – and start crying for missing out on a major tournament 🙁

      His qualities are undeniably but for now, I suggest he doesn’t even get invited for the next match so we can try other players whilst he rest.

      I am such a fan of the guy!

      • @deo absolutely. Simon and success need to build up their match fitness and prove they are able to play 90 minutes if necessary. Alas Onyekuru has reported back to Galatasaray with a hamstring injury and will most likely not be available for South Africa either.

        When we look at the squad we are still short of cover with Shehu, Onazi, Mikel, Simon, Success all injury prone or not fully match fit. Add Onyekuru now to the sick list sand you can see the need for ready reinforcements 

  • i dont understand which of de success is not fully fit to go 90minutes? is it de one dat started 2 carabao cup games and end it?

    • Isaac Success matches:
      Brighton 16 minutes
      Burnley 1 minute
      Crystal Palace 1
      Spurs 20
      Man U 2
      Fulham 10
      Arsenal 18
      Bournemouth 35
      Every game in the EPL this season

      Yes he played 90 minutes once in September and once in October in the cup, but how much recovery time did he require? There is a reason he only plays for between 1 and 15 minutes a game in the league.

      Sorry, but a man who plays an average of 16 minutes a match all season in the league cannot be called match fit.

      Match fit, does not mean he cannot run for 90 minutes, it means is able to compete regularly in a competitive game.

  • Most comments on this site makes me laugh! I really enjoy reading them ’cause laughter is actually good for the heart. I personally categorize comments here into two groups :- (1) The newspaper- stand analysts and (2) The behind the keyboard analysts. Imagine throwing in ” John Ogu against South Africa to see how he will cope against their pacy wingers”. Don’t know Ogu is now a full back! Someone doesn’t even know why Moses Simon didn’t leave the bench cause he should have played full matches of both games against Libya. And there’s the issue of diverse opinion as if football matter has turned politics where a graduate of history is appointed the finance minister.
    Make I siddon, balance and continue reading my comic section jare!

    • You are a clown who is not even funny.

    • @sam, you should have simply kept shut and continued to read comments on the sideline just like a kid you sounded as. You just belittled yourself and exposed your shallowness. So if comments here, according to you, can be classified into 2 different “ignorant” opinions of newspaper analysts and keyboard analysts, where is your own “informed” analysis. Empty ITK of the highest order!

      As diverse as opinions are here, I enjoy reading all of them — from deo to BigD to Ashy to AYphilly to EdoMan to Dr.Drey to Greenturf to Amadi to Omo9ja and the rest. Not met them, but I can tell how deeply passionate and knowledgeable they are about football. I suspect one or two of them are even football coaches! We are the real fans and I’m sure Rohr, Pinnick, NFF bigwigs, and some SE players come here and apply some of the criticism for better results!

      Shove down your silly, childish and senseless opinion down your throat @sam. No one needs it!

      • Ayphillydegreat 5 years ago

        LMAO!!! I guess he was trying to get some attention. That was a terrific reply

  • well,I think Ndidi is master class on his own,the young lad is same with Chelsea Kante,he knows how to win tackles and ball distribution but my fear is,am yet to get a balance player to fill in that position.

    Ogu,Onazi,Simmy,will only try but cant be like Him
    when Onazi was Onazi,he can do the job but not now.Ndidi is Mastered Class Midfielder