Vindication for Rohr: Nigeria's NPFL players not good enough for Super Eagles - Olatunji-Okuku
Nigeria’s 4-0 defeat to Mexico has justified Gernot Rohr’s assertion that players from the Nigeria Professional Football League are not good enough for the Super Eagles, according to Samuel Olatunji-Okuku.
Fielding largely local-based stars, the West Africans were outclassed by El Tri in Sunday’s international friendly staged in Los Angeles.
While some has praised Rohr’s men for putting up a daring fight against Gerardo Martino’s men, the respected football administrator claims the result has further exposed the deteriorating state of the country’s league.
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Thus, he claims the German tactician was not out of place by relying on foreign-based professionals for their international engagements.
“Honestly, I wasn’t expecting anything better than this from these guys judging by the standard of our league in recent years and even our performance in Caf tournaments,” Olatunji-Okuku told Goal.
“It’s vindication for Rohr, who has always said the standard of the players in the Nigerian league isn’t good for the Super Eagles. This is what has been exposed against the Mexicans.
“As a club owner, I can categorically state that Nigeria’s problem isn’t about lack of talents but the way we develop these talents.
“Our boys were exposed in that game. They don’t know when they should apply a zonal marking or man to man marking especially in the box. This is due to lack of quality training at that level.”
Most of Mexico’s goals were a question of clumsy defending and the well-travelled administrator has questioned the kind of drills NPFL defenders are being taught at their respective teams.
“Against Mexico, you can see a player chasing the ball to two different passers when he should have stayed in his position,” he continued.
“On several occasions too, the defenders failed to act, and their reaction was rather too late. And at this level, no one needs to remind you that as a defender being reactive will most definitely be too late.
“I don’t know the criteria they used in selecting these boys, I don’t know if they’re the best in the league.
“I hope we tell ourselves the truth now and we go back to back to the developmental stage – grassroots - teach these boys properly. If we fail to do this, another heavy defeat awaits us in future.
“This isn’t the time to tell ourselves nice things to make ourselves feel better, let’s go back to improving the quality of our coaching - a standard should be set.”