Good morning fam,
It’s more of a prophecy – the greeting above, because it does feel anything but a goodly morning. Our CAF Confederations Cup campaign took a tumble as we fell 2-0 to a very organized and well tutored Ivorian side yesterday. All hopes that this is where we would find our “missing” away joy was all puffs as a goal in each half sealed our fate.
Here are my three things.
1. We were NOT the better of the two sides: That’s pretty obvious isn’t it? Well, someone did point out that we just didn’t take our chances and we played better than they. That’s very untrue. Someone counted 16 shots from us and only one was on target.
We didn’t look like scoring all game, whereas for the hosts, they just let us have the ball for long periods and when they felt tired, they just went down the other end and scored. They had chances to make this a cricket score line – they were just in a merciful mood. They clearly were more purposeful and clinical.
2. Are our players worth as much as they are paid? After the game I tweeted; “A lot of these NPFL players are not worth half of what they’re being paid”. I stand by that. Look at what we pay in salaries and measure the corresponding output and you realize we are almost being scammed. How would any professional footballer head out of that pitch yesterday and be satisfied with his contribution?
We have players on almost a million Naira every month yet there’s no ounce of quality that distinguishes them. We can’t pass the football well, we can’t find the target, we can’t make purposeful tackles nor can we defend. On the basis of yesterday’s show, you can find 11 players from Etche Road field who will perform better.
3. Strange Group; we need a miracle to go through. Everyone wishes we make it out of this Group, yours truly too but are we honestly good enough for the next round? I don’t think so. We have trained ourselves to be fairly ok at home and totally useless away. This is why despite teams of similar mentality being in this Group, we can’t prove to be any different.
In fact, the only difference is that for a team we beat 1-0, they’re beating us 2-0 at their place. By yesterday morning, we were in first place, today we are in third and with two match days to go, we have genuine reasons to be worried.
Coach Usman does have his hands full with what needs to be done. Maybe a better playing surface will help give us a definite playing pattern but truth is we do have a lot of work to do to save our season.