Gernot Rohr insists he has ‘no regrets’ about leaving the likes of Kelechi Nwakali out of his World Cup squad, despite the 19-year-old’s impressive performance against Atletico Madrid.
Nwakali made his international debut at senior level earlier this week, in that Atletico friendly. He scored an impressive goal to give his country the lead, although they did go on to lose in the end.
Regardless, Nwakali did enough to earn plenty of calls for him to join squad travelling to Russia. Then, when it became clear it was too late to include him, many supporters asked why he wasn’t considered in the first place. Rohr says fans shouldn’t read too much into the friendly.
“There are no regrets because Atletico played their second team and it was a holiday game for them,” he argued. “The list of 30 is a good one with very interesting players.
“They did so well to qualify us for the World Cup from a very difficult group. And it would not be normal to have players from the B team (going to the World Cup).”
To me, that response sounds a little defensive. There should always be room for B team players to get opportunities when they earn them. Nwakali is playing very well at the moment, and that should be taken into account.
On the other hand, Rohr’s right that the current squad have done well to qualify in the first place. You don’t want to mess with a winning combination too much. We’ll see if the coach lives to regret his decisions or not in Russia this summer.