Ahmed Musa’s National team invitation for the AFCON qualifiers later this month has snowballed into a controversy and former Super Eagles winger George Finidi believes the Manager, Gernot Rohr has undermined his position by it.
Musa, who is a free agent and without a club for 5 months, but the Super Eagles captain earned a spot in the 24-man list Rohr presented through the NFF, Tuesday.
— The NFF 🇳🇬 (@thenff) March 9, 2021
The inclusion of the 27 year-old drew criticisms from the media and among ex Super Eagles players.
‘We know that Musa has done a lot for Nigeria and on his day he is a good player, but at the moment he doesn’t have a club. What criteria was considered before he was invited?,’ said Finidi in an interview with footballlive.
‘I can still play football but I couldn’t compete against fit players. He’s (Musa) a good player, when he is in top form. But at the moment he has not played for 5 months and you can’t put him out there against fitter players in competitive situations.
‘We’re in a crucial time, if he had a club, he would be back because he is still the captain and perhaps still has age on his side. We have to speak the truth about this situation.’
Gernot Rohr has since clarified his captain will be a non-playing selection for the Benin Republic and Lesotho games, the backlash could hurt Nigeria’s preparation for the crucial final games of the qualifiers.
But, Finidi slammed the Manager for sneaking the list in before its announcement without proper scrutiny by the media.
‘In Europe you have to defend the selection of every player. In Spain, Luis Enrique will do the same, we should have Gernot Rohr defend his list,’ he said.
‘I feel we’ve come to a point where the technical adviser has to defend his list in a press conference. Nigeria has come a long way in football and I believe the Coach should come before Journalists and field questions on his selection.’
Finidi was an exceptional right-wing player and highly rated globally. He earned 62 caps with the Super Eagles and won the 1994 AFCON title.
He also won the UEFA Champions League with Ajax before moving to Spain, where he played for La Liga sides Real Betis and Mallorca.
Rohr earned a contract renewal in last year after guiding the Eagles to a third place finish at the AFCON in 2019.
The German has since been handed an ultimatum to win the competition next year when Cameroon hosts.
But Finidi doesn’t see Rohr pulling it off in the light of his game strategy and player selection because it limits players and wrongly applies their qualities.
‘I have a problem with his list, selecting Center backs as Midfielders and Right backs in the Midfield.
‘In the case of Paul Onuachu, who was snubbed, if you want a player to perform, you set up your formation in a way to make him comfortable. He has struggled largely because of poor Coaching.’
‘This is Rohr. The Coach you expect to take us to the World Cup and win the AFCON. If he was a Nigerian that has made these decisions we would critique him, but here’s a Coach who is supposedly very experienced, the choices are questionable.’