After the dismal performances from Ogenyi Onazi and Joel Obi against England last Saturday, feelers from the Eagles in Austria indicates Gernot Rohr has decided to start John Ogu against the Czech Republic on Wednesday.
Ogu will be making just his sixth Eagles start in a midfield trio of himself, the returning Wilfred Ndidi, and captain Mikel Obi. A quality statistic that stands out for the midfielder is the fact that the Super Eagles have not been beaten whenever he has started and played 90 minutes.
The 29-year-old Hapoel Be’er Sheva midfielder made his debut for the national team in 2013 against Kenya as a substitute – sent on to replace Victor Moses on 51 minutes. Ogu has since become more of a squad member in the national team than being a starter.
Against England, he was again sent on as a second half substitute, which saw him make a big impression on fans and the technical crew with his reading of the game, positioning, and tackling.
|June 1, 2013||Mexico 2-2 Nigeria||69 – Scored in the 40th minute|
|June 21, 2013||Uruguay 2-1 Nigeria||66 – Replaced by Sunday Mba|
|August 14, 2013||South Africa 0-2 Nigeria||90|
|November 10, 2017||Algeria 1-1 Nigeria||90 - Scored in the 62nd minute|
|November 14, 2017||Argentina 2-4 Nigeria||90|
In his 19 caps, Ogu has started five times and made 14 substitute appearances, scoring two long-range beauties – against Mexico and last year against Algeria in a World Cup qualifying match.
Ogu has led his Israeli club to three consecutive league championships and will be hoping a good showing in Russia would lead to another test in one of the bigger European leagues.