Enyimba FC battled to a 1-0 victory over Premier League new boys Crown FC on Wednesday evening in Aba.
It was by no means a spectacular game but then what matters is the three points isn’t it?
1. Consistency is vital:
Like a number of big sides in the league, Enyimba are very strong at home. They dominate teams and snuff out potential threats before they trouble them. However on the road, they are a different side. They rarely bite and in a league such as ours, it simply is not good enough because that will not win you the title. Aside being beaten last weekend by Heartland in Owerri, they’ve lost to Taraba FC and drew with Sunshine Stars, two games you had expected them to win.
Can they play with such mentality on their travels as they do at home even if it is against the smaller teams at least? I still think they need to erase that mindset of automatically writing themselves off when they travel. Can you aim for a win on the road? If you fail to get all three, at least you can get one point.
2. Baraje needs to sort out his attack and fast too:
The displeasure among the fans regarding Enyimba’s attack in the game against Crown FC was difficult to hide. Mfon Udoh, Ifeanyi Ede, Abdulrahman Bashir and substitute Chimezie Amanfor were all guilty of fluffing chances when it appeared a lot easier to score. At one point in the second half, Ede was clear on goal but rather than lob the keeper or choose a perfect corner to place the ball, he tried to round the keeper and failed. What he earned was a loud groan from the fans expressing their disappointment.
Zachary Baraje dropped Sibi Gwar and has refused to play the striker in back-to-back games but his current choice of strike force have themselves failed to score in open play in two games. Fans are difficult to please moreso in a club like Enyimba where their patience wears thin. Baraje must sort out his strike force in order to win the fans back on his side again.
3. Crown FC must create more chances:
They drew at the weekend to new boys Nembe FC, lost to El Kanemi and now Enyimba, Crown’s form has been very poor of late and their coach Lawrence Akpokona did not mince words in saying that. He did not also hesitate in pointing out that they did not create enough chances especially in Aba. They played without two of their target men; Onyekachi Okafor and Bode Daniel (who was ill) but in Ike Chukwujekwu and Obiorah Christopher, he has two traditional centre forwards, big, intelligent who can keep centre-backs on their toes all game. The problem however was that they barely got the ball. There was not enough creativity so much that both strikers could not even muster a shot on target all game.
Francis Sylvester and Folorunsho Saad are both tricky and pacy on the flanks but Markson Ojobo and Ezekiel Bassey proved to be equal match for them. Femi Ajayi is good on his day but Crown was constantly outnumbered in the middle of the park. Perhaps one of the two strikers could have dropped in the midfield to help get the ball up field and that could have helped them trouble Enyimba’s defence a bit more.