Enyimba stadium makes history and somebody will win our 5K this week

Good morning Brethren,

The countdown is on as we ready to return home. It’s happening folks, it is so happening and today I’ll like to throw in some recent discovery that came to me a couple of days ago.

So we were in our Enyimba Whatsapp Group when the contractor handling the Enyimba stadium told us our Aba Stadium was the largest playing surface that FIFA had ever approved. It didn’t make a lot of sense to me and I’ve asked someone who did to explain it to us.

Before he does, I’ll like to give the question for our ThatEnyimbaFan giveaway this Friday. Remember your correct answer qualifies you for the finals on Twitter this Friday. Please submit your correct answer to thatenyimbafan@gmail.com. It’s important to heed the instruction. Any other answers anywhere else is disqualified.

Which of the following Nigerian greats never coached at Enyimba?

a. Daniel Amokachi

b. Augustine Eguavoen

c. Stephen Keshi

d. Amodu Shaibu

All the best.

So it’s 1.10am, I decided to check my tweeter page before I shut down for the morning as it were, unfortunately I got into this explanation about Enyimba’s Pitch Size and that was how i was hooked.

Earlier on Monday, there was this issue about the pitch size of my darling club Enyimba and how it holds the record of “the biggest playing surface” approved by FIFA/CAF.

In all honesty I wasn’t concerned and of course I waved it off as sham, but done with the days job, I wanted to be busy so I dug  into the earlier discussion.

Maybe, just maybe it could be true. You ask how I came about this? Relax, so you can digest this.

The first question that comes to mind is…where is the biggest playing surface in the world located? Now remember I am not talking the biggest stadium (in terms of capacity) in the world, that would be Rungrado May Day Stadium, Pyongyang, North Korea.

I am talking pitch size, playing surface, however you understand it…..so in Spain, the biggest stadium in my findings is the Martínez Valero stadium (Elche) with a pitch size measuring 108m x 70m, and In England the biggest is The City Ground (Nottingham Forest) 105m x71m and Hillsborough (Sheffield Wednesday) 106m x 69m, while in Italy my findings showed it is San Siro 105m × 68m and on and on.

But you ask what is Enyimba’s pitch size really? the contractor in the person Mr Egbi Egbe AKA Moni-Michelle says the pitch size is 110m x 74m making it the biggest I have seen so far in my short research…may be I will need to do more.

So is it safe to say Enyimba has the biggest pitch size approved by FIFA? Till I see another dimension bigger than that of Enyimba, may be we just have to make do with what we have.

Will that translate to Enyimba “flogging” some teams silly?  I sure do hope so. But in the meantime, can the people’s Elephant just come back to their fortress?

‘EnyimbaEnyi

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Emerging clues on when Enyimba will return home.

Good morning All!

When I write this, it does feel like I’m writing to a congregation of Enyimba fans and well wishers. Yet it’s just one person at a time who reads this. One person at a time. So maybe I shouldn’t be saying “Good morning All”, it should be “Good morning my guy”!

It’s Monday morning and I’ll try to keep this simple and straight. In the past few weeks, pictures have emerged of our brand new stadium. The reaction has been immense on social media especially on twitter where retweets, likes and such conversations have continued.

The relief is almost tangible, after what has seemed an eternity, from November 2015 after we has just won the League, going back home is very much within sights. It’s been long coming; the work had dragged and stuttered and the Aba faithful had been weaned of their team for nearly 3 years.

And while this has been a very difficult and disappointing wait, the images that have surfaced of the current state of the pitch are somewhat soothing. Then the next barrage of questions is the when? When do we return home? When can we have the team playing infront of their fans again?

Well, a couple of days ago, some news article emerged where a Commissioner for Information was quoted that the pitch will be ready for use by September and no longer in July. It was a little disappointing to hear especially seeing that the club would go to the Adokiye Stadium to play Williamsville.

Few days later, another post surfaced, this time by the contractor handling the job. He says to disregard the earlier post and that the CAF Confederations Cup against CARA will be played at the new stadium on August 29th. August sounds closer to July than September but look again, 29th August is 3 days away from September the 1st.

Today is 23rd July. In 9 days, it will be 1st of August. And toward the end of August, we should be “home and dry” according to this new information. It could get into September and while it’s disappointing, it still isn’t beyond what we can handle.

The thing is, redemption is getting closer and closer by the day. We can literally see the end of looking for where to rent.

Meanwhile, I think it’s about time we started to pray and fast and protest the no show of the league. Some unscrupulous humans want to hold the football community in Nigeria to ransom. May everyone reap a harvest of their evil- everyone at their level. Amen.

That’s your lot,

Back tomorrow

‘EnyimbaEnyi

When Elephants tussle.

Good morning Guys,

Finally, the game is upon us. The much discussed, much debated game is right here before us. Table topping Giwa FC face their biggest task of the season so far- an evening date with the Original Elephants.

The fact they are called Elephants does not in any way suggest that they are any way close to us in quality, achievements and pedigree. If you name your child Bill Clinton, does that mean he automatically is the 42nd President of the United States of America?

What we however cannot deny is that they have had an enviable start to the season, pushing that first loss of the season right behind them and have surprised everyone else.

They come into Aba in high spirits, full of confidence and broadly grinning to tag of title contenders. Of course they also have revenge on their minds. To taint the record of the manager who abandoned them last season.

For us, this might not be the best time to play them courtesy of the recent goings-on within our camp. But on the other hand, what more emphatic way to prove your seriousness than to beat the ‘best performing team so far’ blue and black?image

However way you view this fixture, whatever results gotten from it will have a corresponding interpretation. By the end of ninety minutes, either team would have shown how good they are for this season’s race.

In terms of selections, we could see massive changes. Bright Esieme and Idris Aloma should return to the full back positions while Uche John should partner Udoji in defence.

Razak Aliyu should be in the DM role with Kamal out injured while Emmanuel Egesi could make his home debut.

Striker Mfon Udoh will sit out this one and Ifeanyi Anaemena would also be missing courtesy of the LMC’s provisional clearance directive.

We could see
Moses Ocheje, Idris Aloma, Chinedu Udoji, Uche John, Bright Esieme, Razak Aliyu, Nzube Anaezemba, Emmanuel Egesi, Peter Onyekachi, Chinonso Okonkwo, Daniel Etor.

Probably the best we can lay our hands on at the moment but they are god enough to get the job done.

For some of your far away from the Stadium, we will have a live blog for you on the site. Teams will be in from 3:30. Just click on the LIVE menu on the top of the page and lets push away this fake elephant out of the way.

This is not the center where we will see another away win, No it wont.

Here’s to a happy three points.

‘EnyimbaEnyi

We down Wolves; Warriors are next.

7 points out of 9 and we are within touching distance of league leaders Pillars. Much was said of the visit of Warri Wolves, a side that picked all three points from Abia Warriors in Umuahia and had 4 ex Enyimba players in the line up. The gaffer in the opposite dugout was also a familiar one, our former TA, Paul Aigbogun. We were ate for a tough one and from the stands where we sat, I feared the worst.

I remember watching our boys run around for 90 minutes against Giwa in Aba. It was a draw but it felt like a defeat. So with the number of ex Enyimba now with the opponents, I was not feeling confident. But then the Giwa result was from another time and an entirely different Enyimba. This is a new Enyimba ably conducted by Kadiri Ikhana.

Our boys started the game and brightly too. A dipping volley in the 2nd minute looked headed in but it went over by a few inches. Then Mfon got a chance from a tight angle which he blew over. Chinonso caught Our former defender Monday Osagie off the ball. He saw Nzube sprinting towards goal and set it up. The latter took it in a hurry, it went horribly wide. We were tightening the screws but we were not yet there.

Our breakthrough came 5 minutes later and the goal will rank among the best we have seen at the Stadium this season. Nzube lifted the ball into the path of Mfon and our number 10 did the rest. 1-0.

We were not done. Uwadiegwu was having fun down the left. Bursting forward at will and putting in those crosses. The pace and movement of our attack since Ihkana took over is simply frightening and will trouble teams for the rest of the season. Rasheed and Nzube dominated the midfield with Bright joining the attack from the right flank as Ugwu was doing at the opposite end.

The second goal took a long time to come and before it did, Wolves had a chance to pull level. Anubi had two chances, one he skewed wide and the other forced Femi Thomas to go down and make a good save.

Nzube got our second and that is thanks to Esieme’s industry down the right. His ball in caused panic in the visitor’s defense. They couldn’t clear and the ball fell to Anaezemba. A clever dummy got a defender out of the way and he poked into the far bottom corner. His celebrations too showed he clearly enjoyed the goal, his recent performances have been nothing short of phenomenal.

There were other chances and there were tackles and yellows too. Mfon got kicked out of the game and we had a chance to see our new boy Meshack Chukwubuikem. His footwork and drive looks exciting.

It’s a great time to be an Enyimba supporter, the players are playing with real fire in their belly and it was not surprising to hear the applause and cheers at the end of the game. Our next stop is Abia Warriors on Sunday who we have already overtaken on the table. It’s time to doll out some revenge. They say it is best served cold right? Let’s do it.

Three things; Enyimba vs Giwa FC

Giwa FC did what few sides will do this season- getting a point in Aba against Enyimba FC. Here are three things from the game.

Winning the crucial 90 minutes:

For the second time this season, Enyimba failed to pick all three points at home and one can say that the People’s Elephants underrated the ‘Elephants’ from Jos. Prior to the game, the Enyimba Secretary said to the visitors; “Give us a good game today”, had he known what was coming, he might have said something different. The underdogs gave the home team a good game and you had the feeling that evenDSC_0265 if the game had gone on for the next three hours, Enyimba still wouldn’t have scored.

Enyimba had chances but in truth, none was really clear cut as had been seen in the past. They were uncharacteristically lethargic, second to loose balls in the midfield and strikers Mfon Udoh and Bashri Abdulrahman needed to drop into the midfield often to get balls. Left Back Uwadiegwu Ugwu abandoned his defensive duties often during the game in a bid to get the balls into the vital area up front and none of Nnoke Daniel’s team mates spotted him unmarked in the first period else it could have been different story for Enyimba.

To say that they felt they had won on paper first before the referee’s whistle could not be truer. The urgency was missing and the visitors would admit that they expected a better game from Enyimba. Regardless of the opposition, your focus and commitment must be exerted fully else you are in danger of dropping points. This shocker should serve as a warning note to Enyimba for future games and some encouragement to future visitors; pedigree aside, within the 90 minutes, anything is possible.

A Tale of two coaches

Kadiri Ihkana was the brains behind Enyimba’s slip and it is not really much of a surprise because in the 2003/2004 season, he was lifting the CAF Champions League title with Enyimba. In other words, he knows the Aba side and the terrain very well. No doubt, his Giwa side faced none of the players he coached during his stay but Enyimba is not just a group of players, Enyimba is a tradition, a spirit that DSC_0233has through the years stood in the forefront of football in the Nigerian Premier League. His success with Enyimba gave him a cast iron place in the club’s history.

On the opposite dugout is a manager trying to convince his employers that he is good enough for the job. Zachary Baraje has not had a smooth ride as Enyimba’s handler. He was suspended early in the season for poor performances and one wonders how much time he will be given to turn things around. After the game, there was a shortage of kind words for him and a lot of fans were very vocal with their call for his head. Managing one of the biggest clubs in Africa is no small feat but Baraje can look at his opposite number and be inspired to know that what lies ahead of him should he succeed.

Anaemeka stands tall for Giwa:

Ifeanyi Anaemeka put in a man of the match performance ensuring his side kept a clean sheet against Enyimba International in Aba. Very few teams come to Aba and repel the Enyimba attacks but it was a different story with the giant Center half. He stuck on Sibi Gwar all game; denying him any freedom to express himself. When Gwar swapped places with Mfon Udoh, a happy Anaemeka was grateful for a lesser built opponent and made sure his imposing figure stood in the way for any Enyimba attacks coming from the former Akwa United striker.

All the balls into the area were his and when a chance fell to Raphael Boumsong late in the game, the striker nodded over under pressure from Anaemeka. After the game Ojo Olorunleke embraced his number 15 Jersey for a job well done. It was a collective effort no doubt but Anaemeka Ifeanyi led the very heroic display.