So, it was Italian winger Annibale Frossi who put forward the rather interesting theory that the perfect result of a football game ought to be 0-0. That way, it was clear that a perfect equilibrium had been achieved between the attacks and defences of both sides.
That an interesting point of view if you consider football as a purely academic exercise, but for fans of a club that is expected to win more games than it loses or draws, it is a disappointing scoreline. Especially at home. Especially against a team in the lower depths of the league’s bottom half.
Not to be disrespectful to MFM, of course, who are a very good side. Certainly better than their position of the log would suggest. We covered this on the blog yesterday, I believe. Consider this a contribution, on our part, to their safety. The Elephant has a big heart.
We named a very positive, front-foot lineup, with George and Akas at full-back, Nzube and Kester in midfield, and a front four of Mfon, Etor, Chukwude and Najare. Captain of the side Udoji returned to the lineup, following injury to Emmanuel Anyanwu. The bench was interesting to see: four other forwards just waiting in the wings to be unleashed. Not a defender in sight.
It led to much supplication against injuries before kick-off, and when the captain got booked inside the first 20 minutes, thousands of sphincters around the country clenched. Not to worry, he showed all of his experience to avoid a second caution.
We started well, too. There’s a skill we need to pick up: scoring when you’re on top. A football match between two competent teams is a bit like watching a wave at the beach: it comes rushing to shore, and then sweeps back again. It is impractical to dominate a game for 90 minutes, so you have to make sure you put away your opportunities during your period of dominance. Your opponents might not be as charitable.
It is one area where Rangers, who are many’s pick for the title this year, have really come on, and kudos to them. You wonder how much different the game would have been had Chukwude’s delicate chip found the back of the net. Totally different storyline then. At this point, we’re averaging less than a goal a game in the league. It’s not like you need them to win football games…
We created some good openings, but it was often the final ball and/or finishing that let us down. Nearly has never killed a bird or skinned a rabbit (I recently learnt people eat these adorable creatures; why?), so suffice to say we didn’t do enough. There was no frantic hammering on the door, no backs-to-the-wall defending, nothing. Just emptiness after 90’.Typical of this season, really, that we failed to beat MFM either at home or in Lagos. I was just tempted to compare to last season, but no satan, get behind me. What good would that do?
Like I said some days ago, there is a sense of drift around the club, and you just feel the Federation Cup semi-final is at the front of everyone’s mind at the moment. Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket. When we started drifting, the option of continental football via league position was open still. Just imagine if we fail to scale Nassarawa United. I shudder.
No disastrous thoughts. No. A new week brings possibility.