There were as many questions as solutions for the German technical advisor as he oversaw his first international break
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Kelechi Iheanacho ’s late winner ensured that Gernot Rohr’s first game as Nigeria coach didn’t end in disappointment and Super Eagles fans will surely be relieved that the national side ended their miserable Nations Cup qualifying campaign with a win.
This is the beginning of Nigeria’s new era, although it hardly started with a bang, as the German technical advisor was made aware of the work they have ahead of them.
Iheanacho’s strike brought joy to the terraces of the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo, but this is a big job!

Rohr’s first team line-up was rather reminiscent of the teams that Samson Siasia used to put out, with an ultra-attacking selection including four strikers and one whose early days were spent playing just behind them.
Elsewhere, there were as many questions as there were solutions.
At right-back, Musa Mohammed is beginning to help fans forget Chidi Odiah, for whom a viable long-term successor has been so hard to find, by giving a good account of the talent that once saw him compared to Brazil’s Dani Alves.
However, as with the current Juventus full-back, the positives come alongside the negatives, and a lack of positional discipline comes hand in hand with a lethal turn of pace.

There was also an issue with Mohammed occupying the same space that Ahmed Musa—Leicester City’s record signing—is meant to fill.
The latter was typically left on the fringes of the game, and while there were a few lightning exchanges between the pair, the Foxes forward doesn’t have the close control and intelligence to drift infield and make himself useful when the occasion calls for it.
Similarly frustrating on the left was the relationship—or lack thereof—between a resurgent Victor Moses and the increasingly cautious Elderson Echiejile, whose offensive contributions were limited to one or two isolated forays forward.
Encouragingly, Leon Balogun was a dominant presence alongside Olympic hero William Troost-Ekong—raising questions about the futures of Kenneth Omeruo and Godfrey Oboabona—and ensured that Carl Ikeme was barely tested.

Perhaps the only concern for the Wolverhampton Wanderers stopper is whether Vincent Enyeama decides to return to the fold!
In midfield, Ogenyi Onazi didn’t transfer his fine form in Turkey to the international arena, and was outshined by John Obi Mikel, while Kelechi Iheanacho constantly came deep in search of the ball—a role that isn’t to the liking of club boss Pep Guardiola.
Perhaps we can explain away Iheanacho’s brief as pragmatism on the part of Rohr, although there is an expectation in some corners of the fanbase that the showing against Tanzania was the template for the German’s time in the hotseat.

In attack, by contrast, Rohr will have perhaps learned little—although he’ll surely hope Nigeria don’t find themselves up against the Taifa Stars’ 20-year-old goalkeeping starlet Aishi Manula too often.
A major failing for the Super Eagles during their ill-fated Afcon qualifying campaign was the inability of a series of misfiring strikers to find the net, and Odion Ighalo—the chief culprit—still looks a shadow of the striker that terrorised defences up and down England during 2015.
There’s still hope that an Iheanacho-Ighalo pairing can work, but how long can Rohr persist with the duo without seeing any kind of tangible reward?
Bear in mind that the upcoming World Cup qualification challenges—Algeria, Cameroon and Zambia—may not present as many opportunities as Tanzania did, the Super Eagles must finally find a consistent offensive solution…and

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