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Gernot Rohr's refusal to lean inlớn the spirit of the tie and provide something new lent a tired, banal feel khổng lồ Friday's loss khổng lồ the Indomitable Lions

The single biggest problem with never trying something new is that it leaves precious little lớn talk about in the aftermath.

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Nothing different can be observed &, as such, little insight is gleaned.

Not that change for its own sake is all that it’s cracked up lớn be, of course. Nigerians know this more than most...và, in fairness to Gernot Rohr, friendlies are tough khổng lồ plan for, especially in this case when they are simply placeholders for something more substantial.

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The obvious question is what function they should fulfil for the coach: khổng lồ crystallize pre-existing ideas, khổng lồ build on them, or lớn synthesize something new.

That’s a tough nut lớn crack at the best of times. However, what made Friday’s meeting with Cameroon in Austria so forgettable is that, arguably, Rohr managed none of the three.

Gernot Rohr - Nigeria

Lacking at least six members of what might be considered his preferred team, there simply was not enough scope khổng lồ seek khổng lồ build upon his playing idea.

With so little time lớn get the team up to speed, & with a manifest camp shortfall, there was not the facility khổng lồ emphaform size the core tenets. What there was though, was the opportunity lớn afford the newer players a proper, extended window to lớn shine and convince.

Instead, what was presented was a team with the same personnel confirming long-held impressions.

Shehu Abdullahi is steady (nothing special) when tasked to lớn fill in at right-baông xã, but we already knew that. Jamilu Collins suffices if you have an adventurous full-baông xã on the other flank, but there was already plenty of evidence to lớn baông xã this up before this international window.

The midfield pivot of Oghenekaro Etebo and Wilfred Ndidi (and he was one of the better performers on the night) cannot get the ball inkhổng lồ the final third reliably, but what else is new?

William Troost-Ekong, Oghenekaro Etebo - Nigeria

Paul Onuachu has yet lớn shine starting a match for the Super Eagles, and continues lớn mostly stick out lượt thích a sore thumb within this team’s playing idea—anyone could have told you that from Jump Street.

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He simply lacks the tireless running và elastithành phố of Victor Osimhen, & his more static stylings made it difficult for strike partner Kelebỏ ra Iheanacho khổng lồ make giỏi on the day; the Leicester City man needs movement ahead of or beside hlặng, either to lớn hit or lớn profit from by dropping inkhổng lồ the spaces that open up as a result.

Arguably the only player who significantly altered the perception of himself was Chidozie Awaziem, who was granted a role in the heart of the defence and performed admirably, displaying little of the rashness that had previously undermined him in that position.

On the other over of the spectrum, Alex Iwobi’s stoông xã took a beating, even allowing for the mitigating factors of being shunted out khổng lồ the right of Rohr’s 4-4-2 (which rendered hyên largely peripheral) và being rusty (thanks khổng lồ his inactivity at Everton).

Meanwhile, the likes of Terem Moffi, Peter Olayinka và Marcus Abrađắm say, all of whom could have been spotlighted within reason, were left on the bench, reduced khổng lồ second-half cameos of varying but similarly unsatisfactory lengths.

Terem Moffi of Lorient

Moffi at the very least showed some promise, as well as an impressive upper body strength that Michael Ngadeu will attest to.

The Lorient man has been the subject of much expectation thanks to his breakout year in French football, and did his chances of starting the rematch no harm at all by at least looking sharp. Abrasi, a left-footed right-winger who has drawn comparisons with Samuel Chukwueze, came on much later and therefore got lost in the shuffle of late substitutions that similarly buried Slavia Prague’s Olayinka.


All three could have benefitted from at least a half to lớn show what they were about, if for no other reason than that everyone who did is already a known quantity.

Perhaps this will matter less come Tuesday, when the tired sequel to Friday’s half-hearted shrug of a match comes on. There will certainly be something new lớn look at, not least because Rohr has confirmed that both William Troost-Ekong & Jamilu Collins would be absent from proceedings having picked up knocks.

That may necessitate a change of shape, if nothing else. However, if recent evidence indicates anything, it is that beyond that, little of interest can be expected.