Good morning all.
So, perhaps it would be best to take a few huge gulps of oxygen before beginning this match report. Deep breath… in and out, in and out. There… the sky isn’t falling.
After a defeat like yesterday, with your emotions all over the place, you want so badly to vent your frustrations and vilify any and everyone. “Off with their heads!” as the Queen of Hearts shrieked in ‘Alice in Wonderland’. To lose, and in such supine fashion, in a game of such high stakes, is simply inexcusable. Any attempt to rationalise it would be futile.
As soon as the lineups came out, you just knew there was trouble brewing. Immediately, i wondered if the coach really intended to win the game. When your bench looks so much closer to a first eleven than those trotting onto the pitch, your ambitions is questionable.
Ocheje (!), George, Akas, Aliyu, Anyanwu, Udoji, Kamal (!!), Oladapo, Pyagbara (!!!), Brown, Frimpong (!!!!) – what a lineup! A veritable who’s who of players you most likely had forgotten were still even at the club. I mean, Eric Frimpong? Pretty sure he has yet to make more than five appearances since signing at the start of the season!
Quite clearly, the coaching crew just cobbled together whoever was available and sent them onto the pitch to have a kickabout. This leads to two possible theories, by way of explanation. First, and this is one we have broached before on the blog, is that this league season is already considered a write-off, and coach Aigbogun is trying to keep his powder dry for the Federation Cup.
After all, we have dropped altogether out of contention for the title. However, there is the little fact that we still had a shot at 3rd place, and potentially the continent via league finish. Keeping back the first team for the semi-final against Nassarawa United seems overly risky to me.
Second theory revolves around evaluating which players will remain and which will be sold before next season. Y’know, giving the fringe one last chance to prove their usefulness and abilities, and decide their own futures. That may very well be the thinking behind Aigbogun’s selection.
Still neither of these theories, as concerns, should have come before posting a good result against Abia Warriors. It is the derby, for crying out loud. If there was a game for such experimentation, it wasn’t this one. Ultimately, they needed the result more than we did, in order to escape relegation, and it showed abundantly. The one shred of pride we had left has been torn away, and the Emperor has no clothes.
I should probably stop now, as my emotions are starting to run amok. Back tomorrow.