The 31-year-old has berated the performances for the Nigeria squad that suffered defeat against the Desert Foxes
Super Eagles international Chibuzor Okonkwo has urged national team coach Gernot Rohr to stop excessively experimenting with players following Nigeria’s 1-0 defeat against Algeria in Friday’s international friendly.
Ramy Bensebaini’s sixth-minute strike was enough to hand the African champions victory over the Super Eagles in Austria, and the full-back believes that the German tactician must take a portion of the blame for the display.
“Rohr must stop experimenting with players, even if there will be changes it should be few, probably two or three,” Okonkwo said. “If Algeria can play their full squad, why can’t we present our best. [Riyad] Mahrez was there!
“All the Super Eagles players were foreign-based,” he added. “They are playing week in, week out for their teams, so there should not be an excuse.
“The fact that [Victor] Osimhen and [Wilfred] Ndidi were not in the squad is not an excuse for failure.”
The West Africans were without some of their key players for the encounter due to injury, club inactivity and Covid-19 restrictions among other issues.
Leicester City’s Ndidi, Rangers’ Joe Aribo, Galatasaray’s Oghenekaro Etebo and Napoli’s Osimhen were not involved in the game.
The Super Eagles’ regular goalkeepers Daniel Akpeyi, Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Francis Uzoho were also left out of the match.
Rohr handed Kevin Akpoguma, Sanusi Zaidu, Samson Tijani and Frank Onyeka their first international caps in the bout, although the fresh blood wasn’t able to produce a dynamic display.
“The players did not play well,” Okonkwo continued. “If you are called upon for a national-team assignment, you have to give your best.
“If for any reason you won’t be able to perform, then stay away from the team. People are not happy with the Super Eagles performances at all.””
Next up for Nigeria, they meet Tunisia in an international friendly on Tuesday.
“Against Tunisia I want us to be more focused,” Okonkwo concluded, “and I know we will do better than the Algeria game.”
Nigeria’s friendlies are part of their preparation for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Sierra Leone in November.
Okonkwo has nine caps for the Super Eagles since he made his international debut against the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2010.