Ex-international, Uche Okechukwu, has lamented the continuous building process of the Super Eagles by coach Gernot Rohr, as he called on the Nigeria Football Federation to try and ask questions from the coach. The rock solid defender in his playing days told our correspondent in a chance meeting in Aba, Abia State, that the federation only lament when results not going the way of the team and forget immediately the coach recorded few good results.
Okechukwu was reacting to the recent performance of the Super Eagles in recent games where they failed to get a win against Sierra Leone over two legs in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers played in Benin City, Nigeria and Freetown, Sierra Leone respectively.
The Eagles surrendered a 4-0 lead in the first game played at home as the match ended 4-4 to the disappointment of Nigerians who expected noting less that total victory in the game. The disappointment continued when the team could only play out a goalless draw in the second leg, making the team to wait again for qualification. The defender popularly called Gentle Giant during his playing days said some people were comparing Rohr quest for building every time with the era of Coach Clemens Westerhoff, a generation that Nigerians continued to use as talking point, something he said was not the same.
“Nobody returned to ask questions after few good results about what had happened in the past, which has been the problem,” he said. “When your team failed to get the needed result, you ask questions and try to sort the problem, but here we don’t ask questions and that has been the problem. “A lot of people seems to forget that our team that they are using as a yardstick today, the 1994 team, that team started in 1989.
“We played together as a team at the 1989 ECOWAS Game in Bauchi, the next competition was AFCON 1990, then the 1990 AFCON in Algeria, the same team went to Senegal in 1992 before the 1994 tournament that we won.
“The same team also qualified for the World Cup in 1994 and bulk of that team went to the Olympics in 1996. Look at how many years, but we were not changing line up every match day, for a new player to break into that team, you have to have done something extra-ordinary as an individual. “People said Westerhof was building, he wasn’t building, it was a continuous process and that was why we were getting results.”