The long season is over and how we are going to cope with no League football action between now and when the new season starts, I don’t know. In the mean time, we will look at the various departments of the team as they performed all season and do some kind of grading. So let’s get started.
Chijioke Ejiogu, Paul Godwin and Femi Thomas were the men inbetween the sticks for us this season with Thomas having the lion share of appearances even more than the other two combined. There is also another goalkeeper who we all barely heard of, Danlami Umar who was unused this season. We conceded a total of 27 goals this season 6 of which were at home. When you think of the fact that the season before, we did not concede at home at all then you know shipping in 6 is a high. (Rangers -1, Abia Warriors -1, Sharks -2, Nasarawa -1, Kano Pillars -1)
The only game we lost at home this term, the 1-0 loss to Abia Warriors courtesy of Cletus Itodo’s strike was one of those where you fault the goalkeeper’s positioning. Before that however, you want to know how in the world the striker was able to make that run without being closed down by the defensive department.
I know we can’t fully judge the goalkeepers ignoring the defenders. We had a number of own goals, one of which was in the second game of the season in the league- Against Rangers. We were already leading 2-0 when there was a miscommunication between The captain and the goalkeeper. The ball just trickled in. That proud record of being airtight at the back the previous season ending in our first home game of the season.
On a praiseworthy note though, there were games where the goalkeeper kept us in them for as long as possible. Notable and more recent is the Federations Cup finals where Femi Thomas put in a man of the match performance. Imagine if two of those three first half saves had gone in, it would have been game over. Against Heartland in Owerri, Godwin kept the Owerri side till the 88th minute when we conceded.
It is also worth noting though, how many goals we conceded this season from spot kicks. The 2-1 loss to Gombe were both spot kicks as was the loss in Katsina-Ala. While we will not fault the keepers for not preventing penalty takers from scoring, one might have to ask for better communication between goalkeepers and their Center backs.
In general, our goalkeepers had an impressive season and even though none of them got an Super
Eagles invitation, they did well enough to get a B rating from me.
Our goalkeepers 2013/2014 season
Danlami Umar. (Unused)
Report Card Grade- B