Former Super Eagles goalkeeper, Idah Peterside, believes it is high time Nigeria’s head coach, Gernot Rohr, is sacked so as to inject new spirit into the team.
He made the submission while speaking by phone on TV programme aired on Monday after Nigeria’s 1-2 loss to Algeria in the semi-final of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations.
“I think the best thing now is to let the coach [Rohr] go. We need a new spirit in the team. We have tried for this man [Rohr] going to the World Cup and now the AFCON.
“I saw what happended at the last World Cup in Russia, some qualities are not in our coach. If you played under the late Stephen Keshi, you will understand my point. Keshi can make a player jump into fire even when you know that the fire can kill.
“I played under Clemens Westerhof and I know certain qualities he possessed. He [Westerhof] will address the players before a game in a manner that will fire up everybody. He will meet Uche Okechukwu, Uche Okafor [the late] and say ‘my big Igbo men, show them that you can do it, show them you are elephants’.
“When we won the 2013 AFCON here in South Africa, our team started poorly but we showed the stuff we were made of from the last group match [against Ethiopia]. When we got to the final against Burkina Faso, it was obvious that we were good enough to win the tournament which we did,” Peterside, a former goalkeeper of South Africa’s Temba Classic and Moroka Swallows said.
He however, noted that the Rohr-team did fairly well by getting to the semi-final of Egypt 2019.
“As far I’m concerned, we have had a good tournament in Egypt but we are not good enough to win the trophy. We lost to a better side. We lost to a tactically-disciplined team, Algeria are the best team in this tournament.
“Yes, we were able to match the Algerians but at some point, skill prevailed over strength. They were focused, they knew they were better than us and they kept the pressure until they got their goal.
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“The record of Algeria in this tournament is convincing enough, scoring 12 goals and conceding just two, it shows that it is a team with a character. Our players were largely motivated by the Nigerian spirit of ‘we can do it’, I mean the willingness to do it and that took us this far in this tournament,” said Peterside, a former BCC Lions goalkeeper.