Good morning all.
The blog seems to have lapsed into a rhythm of alternating days. Rest assured, this is neither deliberate nor ideal, and it won’t be long till the situation is redressed. In some ways, it helps that not a lot is going on per se at the moment, what with the league season over, and only the Confederation Cup to be decided.
Transfer season will be upon us soon though, and we were reminded of that by a rather curious Press Release from the club yesterday. In case you missed it somehow, it reads thus:
The attention of Enyimba Football Club has been drawn to the recent media reports of the club being in touch with new coaches and players. With claims that these coaches and players are in talks with the club and a move will be finalized soon. The club distances itself from these false and fabricated reports
We acknowledge that it is common practice that a player or coach who wants to boost his image will claim he has been contacted by Enyimba. The Club is in no such discussions and should such need arise, knows whichever coach or player it needs and will hire such a person professionally not on the pages of newspapers.
At the moment, we are fully focused on the upcoming Federation Cup semi-final and are not happy with these false reports. Journalists should do a proper job of inquiring from the club if a claim is true before posting such stories.
First thing I will say about this is that it all seems a little bit unnecessary. The club is in no position to police the conduct of the press and the stories they choose to run. This could change if, in any of their stories, the media outlet(s) has quoted a member of the club falsely or inaccurately.
Speculation is a very real part of the football discourse these days, especially where it concerns movement of personnel between clubs. We see how much of a big deal the Premier League and other European leagues make out of transfer deadline day.
So why even dignify whatever it is that has been printed with a response? The very first sentence of the second paragraph of this Press statement makes the entire release an irrelevance: agents will be agents, let them do their job and don’t wade in the muck too.
If anything, it raises further questions. Interestingly, there is no overt backing for the present coach, merely a statement that the club is not connected to the reports and is focused on the Federation Cup. Reads almost like face-saving to me.
Anyway, away from the curious and quickly onto the hilarious. Apparently, Rivers United – yeah, me neither – are feeling confident about their chances in the CAF Champions League. According to defender Hope Sameed, the club could well go on to emulate Enyimba by winning the whole thing. Don’t laugh. Read what he says:
“No one has heard about Rivers United on the continent but a few years ago, that was the case with (two-time African champions) Enyimba.
“With hard work, focus and early determination, we can achieve what Enyimba did some years ago in the Caf Champions League.
“A lot of people felt we would be relegated when the season started but we knew what we were about and kept our eyes on the prize.”
Ok, really if you want to laugh now, I won’t hold it against you. Hindsight is a wonderful thing – suddenly now, having finished second on the table, it turns out that was the plan all along. You know what they say about history: it’s the winners who write it. Let them enjoy their moment.
Someone might want to whisper in their ear though that, when we became the first (and only) Nigerian club to win the CAF Champions League in 2003, we had already been league champions twice in a row domestically, and that in the same year, we also made it three on the bounce. Just saying; if you’re going to have delusions of grandeur, at least back it up at home first, yes?