Good morning all.
Hope you all enjoyed having the previous blog admin back on yesterday. No, scratch that. I’m sure you all did. However, as he promised, it’s me back again this fine morning. Think of me as the stern and brusque nanny, and him as the doting but frequently absent mother.
So, I was thinking about how things have been pretty glum, and it struck me. The realization of how easy it is to be negative, and reactionary. It takes a lot more maturity to step back and try to see the big picture.
Here’s the truth: we have not had a great season. That said, we are not in the relegation zone. Up until the final few weeks of the season, we were in with a shot at continental qualification via league finish. This means that, even if we didn’t hit any heights, it wasn’t a complete dumpster fire. There must have been some saving grace, a little something to indicate it wasn’t a write-off. A small cloud the size of a man’s hand.
Interestingly, even in a season this wretched, one of the more heartwarming themes was individual player performances. Sure, there were those who underwhelmed and/or failed to push on. Cough. That said, we saw some displays to warm the heart. Two of our standouts this season were new signings, in fact. Kelly Kester was a mammoth influence at the base of midfield, breaking up play efficiently and distributing quite well. I have to admit, when he was signed, I was one of those who didn’t see the point. My words taste really good with eggs.
The other was, of course, Dare Ojo. He of the terrifying shots. It is one thing to have a player come into new surroundings. To then have him play a different position than he is accustomed to is a real curveball. However, Dare Ojo handled it with consummate ease and a professional touch, and for most of the season he was our starting right-back.
Theophilus Afelokhai was another I wasn’t certain was needed, but who can forget that night in Sousse? His penalty saves provided us with the one crumb of comfort – a place in the Champions League group stage – to nibble on.
It wasn’t just the newbies of course. Also heartwarming to see was the coming on of Nzube Anaezemba. The pocket rocket is a midfielder of immense ability, but before this season, he had struggled for consistency. That changed this year. He added goals to his game too, and finished the season as our top scorer in the league.
So you see, it wasn’t all doom and gloom. If you look closely enough, and try to see the trees, you are bound to find some gems – that little bit of consolation to make it all bearable.
On a final note, our opponents in the Federation Cup final are now known: FC IfeanyiUbah. I am shocked (not) that they made it past Crown FC. Of course, we have to do the business in our own semifinal against Nassarawa United. Manage that, and we will have one more Oriental derby.