Monday ramblings: Preparing for Djoliba

Good morning All!

So we didn’t blog yesterday; I got knocked out. It appears that certain responsibilities married people have, do have strong effects on them. Pause those dirty thoughts, I’m talking of loosing braids. Have you ever loosened a lady’s braids? Oh bro, It is by far, the most difficult task on earth. No jokes.

Anyway, I survived but then the cruel reminder that until the kids start coming, it’s gonna be part of my chores whenever Madam goes “a-braiding”. My wisdom will be to ensure that we explore lighter and easier hair styles for the time being. Amen.

Well guys, we ready for Match Day 5 in our Continental sojourn this season. We play Mali’s Djoliba in 13 Days in what is a make or break fixture for us. We sit in third position on the log, two points above the Malians whose qualification looks most unlikely of the quartet. To be honest, any two can still progress from our Group but someone needs an away win to help their cause.

This is why our August 19th fixture is beyond crucial. Hopefully we should be able to win our final game of the Group at home to CARA Brazzaville- it’s our first home game at the Aba Stadium and our fans should be in good voice on the day. But our forthcoming clash against Djoliba in Bamako, has everything resting on it.

The team has yet to play any more friendlies since the defeat away at Abidjan. And you would hope the management has plans of getting that sorted out in the near future because with the League in an indefinite break, Match fitness becomes a big concern. It does remind one of the gaffer’s post match conference views after that infamous game in Abidjan.

It was difficult for the players to maintain the same level of consistency throughout the game because of fitness issues,” Abdallah told the media.

“The long World Cup break is having its adverse effect on my players. We tried as must as possible to train and be ready for the game but we can’t compare that with having test games that will keep us ready and charged up.

We started the game very well and had a few opportunities to score but we were unable to convert them. We couldn’t cope for a long period because of fitness issues”.

If ever there were Grade A friendlies, now is the time to bring them on. You would think friendly games against the likes of Akwa United and Enugu Rangers could come in handy at this time. Hopefully the club can get this sorted. Staying fit for Djoliba is not debatable.

That’s all I’ve got strength for today.

Back tomorrow

‘EnyimbaEnyi

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Enyimba 1-0 Williamsville

Good morning All,

Our CAF Confederations Cup campaign remains on track after we saw off the challenge of Ivorian side Williamsville in Port Harcourt yesterday. Our favorite Enyimba striker Ibrahim Mustapha got the only goal of the game just after 7 minutes, it proved enough.

The game itself was hardly a stellar show with lots of hoofing and puffing. Injuries followed the tackles (Ibenegbu was victim of one of those trampings couldn’t make it till halftime) but despite a threatening show by the visitors late in the first half, they never really did take advantage.

Was there really much we learnt from the performance? I’d say hardly. We did look unfit and on the look of it, unsurprisingly. I saw a video of the boys warming up few days to the game – it looked anything but appealing. They looked heavy, it almost looked like a group of pensioners trying to keep fit. Change my glasses for me if you think I’m being insincere.

But let’s be honest, it’s quite difficult keeping fitness levels high especially with the surrounding premises. The League had been on a halt for over a month and well, for the foreseeable future now it seems. Then it also emerged that the players haven’t been paid their salaries. That piece of information emerged after the game.

It’s two way for me. Look, I’m not a party to owing people salaries, but you can’t take that as an excuse to lower your performance in a game of this significance and magnitude. If we had lost this game, it would have been near impossible making it out of this group. The salaries will be paid nonetheless, but if your poor performance cost you qualifying from the group, you only played yourself.

The sorry state of the pitch played a part too. It’s shocking that our sports ministries at every level in the country cannot manage our facilities. Imagine how much money was spent on building that Adokiye Amiesimaka complex yet we can’t spend one hundredth of that amount to maintain it. We are not serious yet and we should be ashamed of ourselves.

Hopefully, this is the last time we get to play away from home. I hear the new Aba Stadium isn’t ready and fit to meet CAF standards with the current work ongoing there. Let’s hope it is ready for subsequent fixtures. Gotta confess though, what we have seen so far of ongoing works there is nothing short of spectacular.

But guys we won a game today and we are top to the CAF Confederations Cup Group C with six points. Williamsville and Djoliba both have four and Cara is bottom of the pile with three. We just need to go away from home and get us any kind of point. It’s a funny group and you can see from the standings, these teams would lose away and win at home. We just need some away Joy. But again we won yesterday and that’s some cheerful news.

You can see highlights of the game here.

That’s your lot today.

Back tomorrow,

‘EnyimbaEnyi

New Beginnings: Enyimba vs Williamsville

Good morning Guys,

With the small matter of the World Cup out of the way, some local Continental football resume back here at home. The third MatchDay of the CAF Competitions is upon us.

We welcome Group leaders, Williamsville of Ivory Coast as we seek some form of redemption following our 0-3 implosion last time out. I know, I know, it was that bad an experience that no one wants to even remember it but it was as bad a performance as we have conjured up in the recent past.

To be honest, there’s a lot going on with our club at this time and hopefully we would take them along in the days ahead. It’s just that I feel it was improper, continually blogging with so much pain and tragedy going on around in our country. That was a reason I stopped!

But today we have a big game that will decide our destiny in the Group. The Calabar stadium that hosted our last home game in the Continent was deemed unfit for action by CAF while our brand new Aba Stadium (more of that in days ahead), is unready. I believe you’re up to date with latest pictures.

Today’s mission is as clear and simple as it gets – only a win will do. The mystery surrounding our gaffer Paul Aigbogun should form basis of talk in days ahead but it will be interesting to see how the man in the reins right now sets up his team and subsequently executes the mission. He’s not an unfamiliar voice with the players – having been around with Aigbogun 2.0 era.

The choice of the frontmen will be quite interesting. There are whispers of fresh faces in the Enyimba camp- I doubt we would see any of them in action today but it would be interesting to see what we look like today and indeed going forward especially in attack.

The game is expected to be on Terrestrial TV – and if I find any online streams, I’ll share on my twitter handle.

Finally for today, you can see we have changed our blog URL. Yes we are now at http://www.thatenyimbafan.blog – Let’s say maybe we are ready to push out more from here – hopefully. Meanwhile we should have live updates via twitter!

Enjoy the game wherever you watch from and Goodluck to the boys.

Back tomorrow,

‘EnyimbaEnyi