Pius Ayinor, St Petersburg, Russia
Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr has strongly responded to the criticism put out by Manchester United coach, Jose Mourinho on his deployment of Mikel Obi in their first match against Croatia which Nigeria lost 2-0, Extrasportsnigeria.com reports.
Rohr has hinted that his captain, Mikel will continue the role he played in that game as an attacking midfielder. Mourinho had slammed Rohr for not deploying Mikel as a defensive number 6 player which he played though his 13 years with English club, Chelsea. But in spite of Mikel’s role in Chelsea the midfielder now with Tianjin Teda in the Chinese league has mostly played as a number ten for the Nigerian team, starting from his days with the Golden Eaglets (U17 side), U20, Olympic squad and the Super Eagles.
Rohr said, ”What does he mean by sacrifice? Etebo played as a number six he is doing very well, Ndidi also played number six, he did very well, perhaps he wants us to play three number six (s).
”Mikel in this offensive position gives incisive passes, remember against Cameroon we won 4-0, it was exactly the same organization (formation). I am sure that if he had played as number 6 and we lost, you people would have asked me why take away Mikel from the position that you had always used him? And if we had won the game nobody would noted which position he played. When things happen like this we always look for what to blame.”
Nigeria will play their next match against Iceland in Volgograd on Friday.