Corner-kick: what really happened with Paul Aigbogun?

At this time, it is no longer news that Paul Aigbogun has left his position as Coach of Enyimba. Therefore, we will not flog a dead horse; the confirmation of the state of affairs by the club chairman may have only come in the aftermath of the slim victory over AC Williamsville, but the former Warri Wolves gaffer last took charge of the People’s Elephant in a 2-1 loss at the end of May. It is by no means a recent occurrence.

It does raise a very interesting question though: why exactly did he quit? Of course, no one at the club will volunteer any information so we will have to piece together some clues, put two and two together, and rely on the grapevine.

In the first place, it is safe to surmise that he did not quit because of the under-20 job which he holds. Aigbogun actively pursued that, even while employed by the club, so he obviously had faith in his own abilities to handle the pressures of both. My impression from the start was that it was a mistake, both on his part and on the part of the club, especially with continental commitments to grapple with.

In truth, it was always going to be a tall order for him. His personality just does not lend itself to the sort of strain that comes with juggling two jobs, and it was always going to be Enyimba that suffered.

There is reason to believe that, as at the time he actually left the club, his resignation had not been handed in. How have I reached this conclusion? Well, the official line from the club was that he had only left the country due to his travel documentation expiring. Could they have been economical with the truth? Possibly. But I think it is a little too elaborate to be a lie; my theory is that Aigbogun simply used that legitimate excuse as a means to depart quietly.

So, what happened between when he accepted the position of under-20 coach and when he left the position? Results were not terrible; far from it, in fact. So we know it wasn’t that he suddenly found out he would be unable to cope.

The most logical possibility is that there must have been a falling out between him and club. The Chairman has refused to be drawn on this, which is not surprising. However, it is the most likely cause. As to just how the falling out came about, one can only guess.

One or two whispers from those within the club hinted at a flouting of camp rules, which is remarkable if so. The story goes that the club reacted a little too angrily to what they perceived to be an infraction, causing Aigbogun to become disillusioned.

Is this true? Your guess is as good as mine. We certainly would not be pleased to hear that a manager comported himself with any less responsibility than is expected of the players. At the same time, there is such a thing as diplomacy in this handling matters such as these.

Whatever the case, Enyimba has to face the rest of the season with Coach Usman Abd’allah at the helm. Oh, and in case you hadn’t heard, only the winners of the league and Federation Cup gets into the continent next season.

No pressure then, Coach Usman.

Back next week.

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