Why Joe Aribo Can’t Help Nigeria Fans Forget Mikel John Obi

While Friday’s capitulation may not have been the best announcement for the talented Rangers man, it also represents a tactical headache for Gernot Rohr.

In order to constructively criticize or analyze Joe Aribo’s performances since his debut for Nigeria last year, it is necessary to consider the appropriate context.

On the one hand, he’s completely different from Mikel John Obi, so perhaps finding similarities between the retired African Cup of Nations winner and the 24-year-old does no one any good. These discussions are exhausting to have as they tend to put undue pressure on the player in question.

Consider Alex Iwobi, Jay-Jay Okocha’s nephew, who has struggled to shake off expectations of being as exemplary as his uncle on the national team. Even Mikel was designated as Nigeria’s answer to an extended search to find the maverick’s replacement for the Super Eagles. This continued deep into the former Chelsea midfielder’s career in which despite his career, it made him one of the game’s best presenters, even though he oddly divided opinion in West London, illogically most of At times, there was a tendency for the West African nation’s coaches to use him in a No. 10 role.

In fact, this was strange as the 2012 Champions League winner’s strengths had shifted away from the sensation that emerged at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship. He wore the number 10 jersey until his retirement and played largely. behind the striker in a rebirth under Gernot Rohr, but Mikel’s strengths were the antithesis of a playmaker.

Going back to Aribo, whose use in the Nigerian setup under Rohr since that debut against Ukraine in 2019 has been an interesting observation.

While little was known about the midfielder at the time of his international reverence, events since then and his deployment with Steven Gerrard on the Rangers suggest that he has played out of position with the Super Eagles.

In his Dnipro debut, Aribo was used as a pivot in midfield alongside Oghenekaro Etebo, who joined him in Friday’s 4-4 draw with Sierra Leone. Against the European nation, Rohr’s team also took the lead, 2-0 on that occasion, but then gave up the lead at the end with conceding two goals in two minutes to tie it 2-2.

However, Friday’s was even worse, with the three-time African giants leading 4-0 and appeared to be sailing towards one of the most comfortable victories under the German manager before the late capitulation occurred.

The midfield couple? Etebo and Aribo.

Make no mistake, this is not a disdain for the couple, who are good players in their own right. Rather, it is a criticism of Rohr, who not only played with two attack-minded players in the middle of the park, but strangely had no replacements on the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium bench – the bench was made up of four attackers, six defenders and two goalkeepers.

On Aribo’s part, using it effectively on the current side would be tricky, especially without the immaculate presence of Wilfred Ndidi. Given his natural tendency to move forward and be present in the area to finish movements, playing him in partnership with Etebo would always be uncomfortable.

With Rohr opting for a 4-4-2 – the German coach, until recently, had approached the games with a 4-2-3-1 – the burden already on the midfielders was going to be exhausting, as regret of the opponent.

So it was infuriating that there was no midfield corps on the bench, a scenario envisioned after the 67-year-old’s team announcement revealed some imbalance.

In fact, when the Leone Stars rallied in the second half with Aribo and Etebo clearly in need of help, there was absolutely no one to call from the bench to change form or replace any midfielder.

The Rangers man’s profile offers possible solutions to West Africans, but it also raises several questions. Clearly he’s not best utilized in a two-man midfield, particularly without Ndidi and evidently not alongside Etebo, and he’s not someone to be placed as an absolute playmaker.

Theoretically, the former Charlton Athletic player works effectively in a three-man midfield, but that potential change would mean that the African giants would change their form in the future.

This would have ramifications for most players in central midfield and attack, with someone like Iwobi most likely drifting to the left. It should be noted that the Everton attacking midfielder scored twice on Friday playing in this position, where he got in mainly to allow Zaidu Sanusi to advance effectively.

Still, it remains to be seen whether Rohr sticks to the recently used 4-4-2, reverts to 4-2-3-1, or switches completely to 4-3-3 to get the best out of Aribo, who is also capable of moonlighting. as a broad attacker.

These questions faced by the coach must be answered. Is the former Bayern Munich player capable or willing to modify his system to bring out the best in players like Rangers or will he continue to play with square pegs in round holes?

The current uncertainties mean that we are a long way from the Aribo debate effectively replacing Mikel, an argument that shouldn’t be had in the first place due to the couple’s different profiles.

source: – target