Good morning all.
So, funniest thing happened as I was prepping to write this. I pulled up the league table on my computer and, sat right there at the top, there was Enyimba. I stared at it for a second or two, and savoured the feeling. For that brief interval, I felt a sense of superiority. You remember what that feels like, don’t you?
It was only after that fleeting moment that it occurred to me I was looking at last season’s table. Oh dear.
Anyway, we aren’t top of the pile anymore, and that is a reality we all have to get used to. At the point of the season where one would expect Enyimba to be involved in deciders, it is our visitors today who have all to play for.
MFM came into the NPFL with the wind in their sails and a wave driving them along. To see them fighting to stave off relegation now, you would not believe it’s the same team that was earning plaudits in the first few weeks of the season for some truly superb attacking play.
Well, the truth is that experience will always come into play in any top division. I think that, ultimately, that is what has cost them so dearly this season. They didn’t have it in them to keep up that early burst, and so they fizzled out quite pitifully. The NPFL has plenty of challenges and peculiarities, amidst its many successes so far. It takes know-how and a calm head not to get disillusioned sometimes, and that is where some of the more traditional teams have an edge. Ability – and there can be no doubt that MFM have plenty of it – simply will not do. Only last season, we were chased by Wolves all the way, and even though they were racking up goals and playing great football, we simply wore them out with our consistency–grinding out result after result.
So, we welcome MFM to Port Harcourt today, and you can be quite sure they will not lie down and take whatever we mete. For one thing, they did not witness our title win last year, and so have no impression of Enyimba besides that which we have portrayed this season: largely tepid and pedestrian. Of all the things we have lost this season, it has been most painful to see us lose our fear factor.
Our visitors are not in the best form though. Their win over Lobi Stars was their first in eight games, and in that stretch they’ve only kept one clean sheet. Encouraging stats, I hear you say? Well, desperation can be a great motivating factor, so expect some blowback. They’ve actually outscored us this season, interestingly enough, and our last clean sheet was five games ago. Ahem.
I think we will continue to see Musa Najare upfront, as his impact upon return has been phenomenal. Ikeh ThankGod and Emmanuel Anyanwu were thoroughly examined by the Ikorodu United backline, and may be broken up, though it is unclear whether the captain is in the right physical position to take over at the helm. Maybe just keep that keg of powder dry for the Federation Cup? Fair enough.
Ah well, in no time, the guessing will be moot and we will know the lineup. Do follow the club’s Twitter: @EnyimbaFC for live updates at 4.
May tomorrow bring glad tidings.