By Albert Akota
Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr has revealed some previously unknown information about recent mixed-fortunes affecting four of his key players Victor Moses, Eddy Ogenyi Onazi, Leon Aderemi Balogun and Ahmed Musa.
Rohr admitted at the weekend that only Musa is enjoying a good run of fortunes among the quartet in the Eagles at the moment, and put it down to personal hard work by the attacker.
The Franco-German gaffer, however, admitted that even Musa, who was stand-in captain for the past four Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers also battled with a downturn of fortunes before regaining his form at the World Cup.
Rohr disclosed that he checked on Musa during the attacker’s loan spell from Leicester City of England to CSKA Moscow of Russia, and was impressed to see the star going through a chain of personal training efforts in the snow.
On the other hand, the Eagles’ coach said he is surprised to see that Balogun is no longer playing regularly with Brighton & Hove Albion, but recounted that it was a similar issue with the defender at SV Mainz 05 of Germany before the World Cup.
Though he did not make any affirmative statement on Balogun’s fate in the Eagles, Rohr hinted that being unable to get regular playing time at Brighton will affect the stopper’s game and could end up losing his pot in the national team due to poor form.
He pointed out that a similar scenario occasioned the decision by Moses to retire from the Super Eagles, as he wanted to concentrate on playing for Chelsea, in order to seal his spot with The Blues under their new gaffer, Maurizio Sarri.
However, Rohr said during the programme on Saturday that it was actually the agent of Moses that advised and pressured the winger to opt out of national team duties, which he said could change if the former Crystal Palace lad wants to be part of AFCON 2019.
Rohr concluded by saying the issue of Onazi appears to be the most complicated of all, as he disclosed that the Trabzonspor of Turkey midfielder is nursing a tendon injury in the shin and has been playing with pain killing injections, which the Eagles’ coaches are against.
“We cannot give anyone injections to play for us,” Rohr stressed, “because it is dangerous and not a good image for the national team.
“Onazi is injured, but his club give him injections to play for them, and he can play form them that way, but here he cannot.
“If he sorts himself out and recovers fully, then we can still use him for our friendly matches in March, and maybe for the Nations Cup.
“We need players who are playing regularly for their clubs, not sitting on the bench. We need those who are working hard and can give their best in the national team.
“That’s one thing I have found in Musa. He is hard working and ready to listen. He is back, because when I visited him in CSKA Moscow, I saw him training in the snow.
“He was ready to work extra hard to get himself back, and now we can see the result. Moses too would have been with us, but his agent told him to retire and face his club career.”