The Gaffer debate; not so fast with Paul

Good morning everyone. 

Yesterday’s post got quite some interesting feedback and it is nice to hear what fans had to say to the Ikhana vs Aigbogun debate. For many it was a question of the lack of continuity that broke up a League winning team. To others it was the training methods and a different manmanagement style. 

The school of thought that I completely disgree with is that Aigbogun is utter rubbish and shouldn’t even be handed the reins at the club. Line up your argument from here to Nnewi, I am never going to buy your crap. If nothing, I saw his Warri Wolves side terrorize teams seasons ago and we can’t hand the team any plaudits and leave out the manager. 

In comparison though and from what I can see from outside the team as I currently am, I think Kadiri Ikhana probably had a much more disciplined and organized structure and beyond that, he had a fatherly relationship with the players. I remember this post from last season. It was a post that touched me as a person where the gaffer then shared some off the pitch issues with the players. 

Basically thats a post of a meeting the gaffer had with the players and it wasnt the everyday tactical or match preformance analysis, it was the gaffer sharing some words from his heart. A lot of it bothered around players staying focused on their careers and ensuring that the monies they are paid right now doesn’t just end in hotels and on the laps of women. 

With such conversations, you could understand how that the players felt the gaffer was a father to them and when he leads them to away grounds, he can be rest assured these his ‘sons’ were gonna fight for him. That in my opinion helped Enyimba a lot in their title chase last season. That also affected a lot of the bunch that excelled last season with the club. 

That relationship differs greatly of course with what currently exists and that is because the new gaffer is only new here and his methods have not married with these players. Again, the disgrunt with the players may also not be far away from the fact that a fatherly figure has left the scene and a new guy is now living with them in the house. 

This is why despite the weirdness of it, I think Paul Aigbogun deserves more time at the club. In my opinion, I don’t think Mr Ikhana has a lot of years in top flight coaching moreover, the manner of his divorce with the club last season means that it is unlikely that he may be coming back into the side. Let’s be honest. 

But we all miss him and his ways. Journalists enjoyed talking with him because he had a joke for every performance. I remember him calling me after the incident in Ibadan where he was reportedly pushed down by a fan. He just called and said, “How are you Sam? You heard what they did to me today? We have a long way to go in Nigerian football. Which game were you in today? OK Good night”. 

Probably not a lot to make of that but the fact that someone like that would call often, ping you on IMO and WhatsApp, he was keen on relationships. The new gaffer is probably different and the new style of not talking with journos may be out of frustration of dropped points but he’s hardly creating the comeliness required in this profession. 

In all, we trust for better relationships between Mr Aigbogun with players and journos next season. Right feels more like he’s a stepfather you’re doing your best not to annoy and piss off. Thing is because he’s the gaffer now, we all have to stand by and with him but interpersonal relationships needs to be improved. 

But even its not in him to wine and dine with us, we wont mind as long as the results are good and symbolic of the Enyimba tradition.

Back tomorrow



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