Nigeria’s Ex-International, and member of the All-Conquering 1980 African Cup of Nations, Felix Owolabi, has said that the Super Eagles Coach, Gernot Rohr should take the responsibility for the team’s 0-2 loss to Croatia.
Owolabi, made the submission in his reaction to the Eagles first game loss at the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lagos.
The Ex Green Eagles winger, popularly called “Owo Blow’’ said the coach made some tactical blunders in his substitutions which affected the performance of the team.
“I think the greatest mistake is from the coach. I don’t see any reason for the removal of Alex Iwobi because as soon as he removed him, the whole team was disorganised.
“For me, removing Iwobi is a step in wrong direction because the team after that lacked cutting edge, the coach should have seen the problem.
“Another error from the coach is fielding Shehu Abdullahi. The guy is not doing enough in that position, he should have asked Victor Moses to stay as the right back.
“Using Moses as a wing back would have necessitated more options, while he assists in the attack because there was no true connection between the midfield and attack,” he said.
Owolabi, who spent 15 years playing for IICC Shooting Stars and during his playing days won the 1992 CAF Cup, also said that the Eagles defence lacked cohesion.
“The defence lack cohesion and also the changes were not helpful. At the time he substituted Mikel Obi, he should have brought in another strong person to control the midfield.
“For me, it is not the fault of the players, because some of them played out of their normal positions. The players are willing, but the style is not helpful.
“However, we may not conclude yet, maybe the coach could have recognised the mistakes and correct them before the next match.
“The coach should understand the character of each player and don’t use them out of their normal position because it will be a silly mistake,” he said.
NAN reports that the Eagles lost their opening match to an own goal by Oghenekaro Etebo and a penalty from Luka Modric.
Eagles are now rooted in the last place of the Group D with no point.
Croatia tops the group with three points followed by Iceland and Argentina with a point each.
Nigeria will play the next match against Iceland on Friday, June 22.