World Cup qualifiers: Elaho warns Eagles against difficult CAR

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Raises the alarm over Rohr’s tactics

Uba Group

BY OBA ADEDARASIMI

Ex-international, Friday Elaho, has warned the Super Eagles against complacency as they face the Central African Republic in a double-header World Cup qualifiers slated to take place on October 7 and 10 in Lagos and Doula respectively.

The Eagles will book their place in the last round of the World Cup qualifying series if they beat their next opponents in those two games following victories over Liberia and Cape Verde in the opening rounds and Elaho warned that it would be tough for the Nigerian side if they don’t show respect to their opponents.

The former winger, who was part of the silver-winning side at the 1990 African Cup of Nations in Algeria, told The Point in an interview that African football is now difficult and the Eagles can’t afford to disrespect their opponents by losing concentration at any time during the two encounters.

“It is good that they have started the qualifying series with two wins; that is commendable but I am sure they will not feel the job will be less difficult now. We can see how Sierra Leone came back from four-goal down to draw here during a Nations Cup qualifier in Benin City; it means that football on the continent has become more difficult.

“Complacency affected the Eagles in that game against Sierra Leone and if they take things with levity, they could be shocked by their next opponents,” he said.

Despite defeating Liberia 2-0 in the opening match of the campaign in Lagos and the Eagles coming back from a goal down to beat Cape Verde 2-1 in Mindero in their second tie, many pundits were largely unconvinced by the general performance of the team and one of such critics is Elaho who insisted the team has been lacklustre under coach Gernot Rohr.

Elaho believes the coach’s team usually wobbles to qualification for major tournaments but falter badly on the big stage because of his acute technical deficiency.

He believes the German does not have what it takes to lead the Eagles to a height they once attained.

“I have always said that the problem of this team is the coach; he doesn’t have what it takes to manage such talented players and that is why the side hasn’t achieved anything since he has been in charge in more than five years. How many years did it take (Clemence) Westerhof to give a team that won the Nations Cup and took the world by the storm at the US 1994 World Cup but this man keeps telling us he is building, I wonder how long it is going to take him to produce a team we will all be proud of.

“It bothers me that up till now, the Eagles does not have a clear-cut pattern of play; you cannot say this is the formation we are using but we have seen the team changing from one formation to the other, no identity,” he said.