Chops and Cuts, End of an Era 

Good morning all.

First off, some news. As we all know, we will face off against Nassarawa United next weekend in a bid for a Federation Cup final place. Apparently, the team should travel this weekend and begin camping early for the big game. The entire evaluation of our season rests on this competition, to be honest, so this is arguably our biggest game of the year.

FC Ifeanyi Ubah await, and though the reports of their semi-final win over Crown are unsavoury, it is never a good idea to have fans invade the pitch and interrupt the game, whatever the grievance. Hopefully, the whole situation is squared away soon enough.

Also, yesterday the club announced the departure of striker Ifeanyi Onuigbo following the expiration of his contract. His spell at the club was quite – ahem – remarkable, and while there were no goals, there certainly was a lot of perspiration for the sake of the team. We are grateful for his input.

It has always annoyed me though to hear people go on about a football player for ‘working hard’. I believe that, for a professional in any field, let alone an athlete, a healthy work ethic is non-negotiable. It is, after all, a matter of will: you decide to work hard and then you do it. Football is a sport, it is not unskilled labour.

No matter how hard you work, there are footballing qualities without which you cannot be great. A defender that has no sense of danger or lacks the ability to anticipate what the opposition attacker is about to do, will of necessity be a poor one, no matter how much bustle he has. Hard work simply is to place you in the optimum position and time to impact the game with your footballing qualities.

I say this because, for a player like Onuigbo, there was little by way of actual footballing ability on show. It seems amazing to me that the club saw fit to bring in a striker of such questionable output, especially as it seemed to be with an eye on the CAF Champions League. I believe he featured in pretty much every group game. His presence coincided with the goals drying up, which is damning for a striker.

This is not to criticise the player unduly (though God knows he deserves it) but one cannot help but wonder what the rationale was. Within a certain system and team, one has to assume he would be useful to an extent. Just not at Enyimba.

One also wonders which of those with us now will still be at the club for the start of next season. Some have no doubt made themselves indispensable straight away, while some have underwhelmed. You do not have to be a genius to figure out those that fall in each category. Patience is often at a premium at big clubs, so if you’re not pulling your weight, there can be no hesitation.

That’s it for today, will be back tomorrow.



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