Nantes winger Moses Simon has launched a veiled attack on erstwhile Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr, who was sacked in December despite leading the Super Eagles to Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup playoff qualifications.
The former Niger manager’s reign as Nigeria boss was brought to an end following a series of unimpressive performances by the Super Eagles during the AFCON and World Cup qualifying campaigns.
After parting company with the 68-year-old, the Nigeria Football Federation named Austin Eguavoen as the German’s replacement, though on an interim basis.
Eguavoen’s first major task was to lead the three-time AFCON winners against Egypt at the ongoing 2021 AFCON.
Against the Egyptians, bookmakers favoured the north Africans to beat Nigeria. However, Eguavoen’s side won the tie through Kelechi Iheanacho’s sumptuous first-half strike.
At the end of the game, the Leicester City forward took the man-of-the-match award but back in Nigeria, a lot of fans and pundits felt Simon — who proved wasa handful for Carlos Quieroz’ side — was the best player on the pitch in the Group D fixture.
Nigeria’s all-round performance against the seven-time winners attracted praises and sparked a debate about why the team played better in comparison to how they did in the months leading up to the ongoing AFCON.
And now, Simon — one of the players quite often singled out for criticism during Nigeria’s uninspiring AFCON and World Cup qualifying campaigns — has offered an insight into Nigeria’s poor showing in the months prior to the AFCON.
The 26-year-old suggests the Super Eagles’ struggles were down to how Rohr set up his team to play.
Speaking to the media ahead of Saturday’s tie against Sudan at the Roumde Adjia Stadium, Simon, said: “It’s one of my best games over the past two years and you know we changed the coach and we changed tactics.”
“Every coach has his own mentality and how he impacts the players. Under the previous one (Rohr), I played strictly to his instructions.
“With the current coach [Eguavoen], he’s given me the freedom and allowed us to bring our style of play at club side. That has really helped me a lot.”
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