Fixtures pileup and Udoji’s Cup finals

Good morning All.

Apologies for the no show yesterday, it’s always difficult blogging when I have an early morning trip to make. Usually I blog the night before then share on social media as I travel the next day but yesterday’s I had gone to bed pretty early the previous night and i just couldn’t write the next day. But I know I’m forgiven by you, as always.

Well, I need to ask again, why Enyimba players can’t stay out of my dreams? Within the past seven days I’ve seen Udoji and Uwadiegwu and last night, Mfon Udoh in my dreams. Not like there’s something significant in the dreams but they just keep appearing. And I’m just observing as I type that they all have their surnames starting with U. So maybe next would be Uche John…that one, I owe him a punch. So I’m waiting.

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This morning though, we want to look again at our title push for this season. Two months ago, I would not have imagined that we were even in the mix. I mean Rangers and Pillars were flying away with the title and we were unable to get any sort of points away from home. But look where we are, we are just a few points off the pace with three outstanding matches.

So invariably, with steady and consistent performance we could see ourselves get to summit of the League. It of course means we are favorites for the title but who else should be our greatest challengers this season? And what could be the biggest hurdle to our title defence?

We have already with our recent history and pedigree created that worry for our opponents that we are in for the title again this season but our Champions League engagements mean that we have our hands full with games and fixtures, but while our Champions League games mean we have delayed fixtures, it further reduces the margin for error. I’ve waited to hear the skipper say ‘Every game is like a cup final to us’ but even if he doesn’t say that, that obvious fact stares us in the face. Every game from now onwards is a cup final for us.

Our Champions League dream means we are under pressure to perform well in every fixture. Three home games must mean three home wins, a couple of decent results on the road mean we are into the semis. And back home in the Championship, as the matches and fixtures come, consolidating our place and staying in touch with the leaders becomes inevitable. We have trained ourselves to live with this sort of pressure and we can rely on this training and the mentality of the team to pull thru the pressures.

Unlike what things looked like at the start of the year, there isn’t really any team hellbent on mounting a serious title challenge. This is not to rule out any team at this stage (that would be criminal),  my point is, there isn’t any team whose form should be cause for sleepless nights for us right now. I know I wrote this but I still insist that we should have the quality to defend our title successfully.

Let me explain further. Imagine that Rangers and Pillars had continued in their early season form ranking up points from left right and center, we know we would need to present a flawless team to stay in touch with them. But their recent stumbling has given us room to catch up. You would believe that with all of us in the same bracket, our early season struggle is forgotten and the ball is in our court.

The dress rehearsal for us is over and so are the permutations. The players who have emerged indispensable in the past few weeks must step up their game to stay in the team as those outside would keep knocking hard for a place. It is silly to imagine that we would prosecute the rest of this season with the same crop of players week in, week out. Everyone must be ready to take their chance when it comes.

So the three outstanding fixtures that completes our 19 must be taken with the same passion and it starts with Warri Wolves tomorrow.
In other news, the much talked about Yobo Testimonial happened yesterday and it felt good seeing the players who graced the occasion. David Moyes did look really nice in his cute suit, (I dislike coaches who wear tracksuits) and maybe someone at the NFF could consider him for the Eagles job and not Harry Redknapp. JayJay impressed as always, those passes were just phenomenal. Just went to prove how much quality we lack in the current Eagles set up. Yes I wrote that.

Done for today, back tomorrow with a match preview.

Enjoy your Saturday.

‘EnyimbaEnyi

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