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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:32 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 5:56 pm
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In the early 1990s, a certain Westerhoff was fighting to hold on to his Job as coach. He was hired by the then NFA in 1989 and in 1990 failed to qualify for the WC by failing to get at least a draw away to Cameroon on the last day of qualifying. We know the story, he went on to stay for 5 years. What worked in Westerhoff's favour for those that remembered was his connection to the Vice President. Westerhoff stayed on, inspite of the "Westerhoff must go campaign" at the NFA (reactionary campaign now with benefit of hind sight). The reward we got in our 94 best era was in the stability and seeds sown in the years prior. In summary, the dog years with disappointments from 89 – 93 yielded.

1 ) Best ever ranking by an African team and Nigeria - 5th overall

2) First WC Qualification

3) 2nd Nations Cup Win

4) Best WC showing .

The years of investment (5 years of westerhoff) in my view spilled over to the 1996 Gold Medal (Westerhoff's assistant - Bonfere Jo took us to Atlanta).

This is what patience and sticking with it got us. The Nigerian identity we talk about now became evident in 1993 - 1996. I call 1993 - 1996 our reaping stage. The sowing stage was 1989 - 1993 (4 years). These 4 years almost did not happen. Let’s pause and ponder this for a bit..what if ???


Winning teams have stability. There is still the legitimate question of if Rohr is the right man to partner with in our investment/sowing phase? I think he is..

Rohr's influence and intervention on Puel at Leicester got Nacho some playing time. Not sure we have a Nigerian coach that can call up an EPL coach to pressure him to give Nigerian players playing time. He worked with Musa, made sure he figured a way with CSK to get playing time as a requirement to be on the WC team. We saw the benefits. It benefited Musa and Nigeria and with Musa being 24…?? You can guess what I’m thinking especially if he then gets a better club or gets more playing time

These kinds of tinkering and intentional building of the puzzles are what will help us, overtime, to have a talented team. These are the things Rohr brings and I can state a few more. Rohr also has connections in Europe and he is deemed credible that if he sees a good young Nigerian player that can plug a deficiency in his team, he will do his part to get the person in a position to get a suitable club.

His decision on Uzouho is an example. I didn't agree with it initially, but I later saw what and how he was thinking...

We had 3 GKs, two in their 30s or a very close, one a teenager. The teenager is as good or just marginally less good than the default number Ezenwa - 30+ years. The best long-term decision for Nigeria was to invest in the 19-year-old, give him exposure, train him and hopefully increase his chances of getting a better club or a club that will give him more playing time. Westerhoff had time to build his team this kind of stuff happened overtime too, Westerhoff was coordinating with European clubs to get some of his talent like Amokachi etc. to Belgium. He recognized that an Amokachi type player was a missing puzzle and he worked to put him in the best space to hone his talent. Now Westerhoff may not have done this cleanly (not sure about this ) but I see the same backstage building and tinkering with Rohr. His decision on our GK also aligns with the vision he communicated for 2022. I think Rohr knows where he is going. I think the worst decision we can make today is to fire Rohr. I also believe the best decision we can make for our future is to retain Rohr (and then attach a longer-term understudy to him).


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