Rohr goofed with unnecessary Musa humiliation
By Colin Udoh
West African Editor | @ColinUdohhttp://www.kwesesports.com/football/international/nigeria/rohr-goofed-with-musa-humiliation/
Gernot Rohr’s decision to not name Ahmed Musa as captain for Nigeria’s game against Senegal was as farcical as it was unnecessary.
There. That needed to be said.
While it is a coach’s prerogative to name who captains his team, it is also worth taking into consideration the circumstances and possible consequences.
Musa is, or was, assistant captain to John Obi Mikel and rightfully should have been named match-day captain in the absence of the former Chelsea man.
The reason is that not doing so raises more issues than it solves. To start with, when Vincent Enyeama retired prematurely from the national team in the wake of his highly-publicised spat with Sunday Oliseh, most of the senior players declined the opportunity to step into the breach. Musa was the only one who agreed to do so.
But within one match of Samson Siasia taking over as Super Eagles coach, and with the dust sufficiently cleared, Musa was deposed.
As a committed, non-confrontational person, Musa accepted the decision in the interest of team unity, and agreed to serve as vice-captain, along with Ogenyi Onazi.
With Mikel excused, Musa acted out the role of captain when the team reported for camp, until Rohr informed him that Onazi would lead the team out for the first game, and Elderson Echiejile would do the honors in the second game [which has since been called off].
Rohr’s explanation, according to a very credible team official, was that he wanted to team to be led out by a player who plays regularly.
Bollocks! Absolute bollocks!
First, if that was his sole reason, why chose to do it on a day in which he started the Leicester forward when he didn’t have to? There were alternatives. Oghenekaro Etebo could have played in midfield with Alex Iwobi starting in his usual wide left position and Moses Simon wide right.
Second, Nigeria have a long history of non-playing captains, going back to Christian Chukwu, Stephen Keshi and, more recently, Nwankwo Kanu and Joseph Yobo.
Keshi, in particular, was a non-playing captain for most of the 1994 Nations Cup and still lifted the trophy, and certainly nobody expected him to play any part of significance at the World Cup months later.
In any case, Musa is not the substitute captain, so he could have led the team out, especially sine Rohr chose to start him. This was humiliation for Musa and it need not have happened. Period.Sources close to Musa said he considered retiring from the national team after the armband was handed over to Mikel, but was talked out of it.With this latest humiliation, he has decided to save himself from further embarrassment by giving up the entire thing.
It is the wrongest possible way to treat a player who has always put the team first. And, for once, I am not with Rohr. Musa should have been treated better. He has earned the right to be treated better.