Gold Cup tournament: Have we made a mistake already? 

Good morning All,

Yesterday on the blog, we announced that the team has left Aba enroute Ijebu Ode for the Gold Cup Tournament involving some the League’s heavyweights. Kano Pillars, Wikki Tourists, MFM, Lobi Stars and Sunshine Stars are some of the teams that will be a part of the ten day tournament and make no mistakes about it, Grade A friendly matches in this terrain don’t come milder than these. 

From the official email threads, it appears there are indeed ten teams in the competition. They include Enyimba, Kano Pillars, Lobi Stars, FC Ebedei, Remo Stars, MFM, Crown FC, Sunshine Stars, Wikki Tourists and Niger Tornadoes. All ten teams have been grouped into two parts with Pillars atop Group A and Enyimba Group B. I’ve not seen the schedules but there’s no doubt it would be keenly contested.  

I do have my concerns and indeed reservations about us honoring this event. I guess this is one of those blog posts where I voice a disagreement with a path the new gaffer has chosen. I do hope this is the only time we would disagree on an issue, although everything within me tells me that’s a big deceit I’m dishing myself. 

My sources say the club hierarchy would have wanted a private pre-season camping in say Calabar and friendlies arranged. However the gaffer wanted differently. He felt going for this Gold Cup tournament would get his team the competitiveness it needs. It would also help him make up his mind on the players he wants to prosecute the season with. It’s surprising because only a few days ago he said in an interview with Tony Ademodi that no decision was made as yet. Perhaps he slept over the options and made his decision. 

Now here are my concerns as far as honoring this pre-season tournament is concerned. Everyone knows where Enyimba currently is. We had a terrible season last year and one of the many things some of us in the media has been up against is the negative air currently around the club. Last season was disappointing. Not many could see any good in that year: everyone just wanted us to be over and done with it. 

Now we’ve got a new gaffer, new players on board with the older ones gone, you can say of a truth, there has been changes at the club but have we eliminated the bad air around the club? By that I mean, will fans treat any failure with the club as a once off or will they continue with the curses and insults from last year? Fans are itching for some fresh air, some good feeling about the club, the restoration of the club’s lost past glory and good results and performances. 

Ogunbote will get us playing well no doubt. He will turn us into world beaters again. We’ve got decent new players but this may not be instant or overnight. I believe it is going to be a gradual rebuilding. So why hurry to go for a tournament where fans would only be eager to know what the scores of our games were?Imagine this new team failing to win this tournament or performing below par, everyone will go – “I told you, Enyimba is finished”. 

This team has barely worked together. It’s a new team, players rarely know each other and players have yet to strike any form of understanding within themselves. And here you are, out there in a tournament against teams who have not only been together for sometime, would relish the chance to brag to their fans that they also beat Enyimba. I don’t think the pressure that will come on the manager if this team doesn’t do well here, could not have been unavoided. 

Beyond all that, there’s also the psychological impact a bad tournament will have on the players. A bad outing will dampen the morale of this side and we know how important confidence is in football. I think a closed door camp would have offered something different. You need the team to believe in itself and not get into the new season judged by performances of last season and the results of a pre-season tournament where absolutely nothing was at stake. 

Those in the club’s PR and media department can as well start sharpening their excuses and damage control tools cos it doesn’t feel like a tasty result will come of this tournament. 

Prove me wrong, I’ll gladly eat the humble pie. 

Back tomorrow. 

‘EnyimbaEnyi 

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13 thoughts on “Gold Cup tournament: Have we made a mistake already? 

Add yours

  1. U make alot of sense big Sam… a close camping would have been better… where u ll take time to build gradually and know those players more….. I don’t want to talk abt d gaffer but I ve reservation for his technical details to take Enyimba up there….

  2. Haven read your write up and understood it clearly, I ask, is it for the positive or negative of Enyimba?
    For a club like Enyimba, it needs all the avenue to get it right this time around on like last season. 
    How do you explain not retaining a coach after winning your 7th NPL tilte? Rather you chose to go for young and a former deputy coach whose score sheet with his 1st and last club Warri Wolves was top 4.
    The Aba Elephants to me took a step further immediately after their season failure, getting it done and dusted with the signing of Gbenga Ogunbote, a coach who took years to build his rich resume in the Nigeria Premier League from Gateway FC.
    Regarding the Gold Cup pre-season it has embarked upon, is never a bad idea.
    Enyimba needs a new football and winning philosophy, I mean after watching the Aba Elephants Fed Cup game against Nasarawa Utd in Ibadan, then a concluded that the Economics Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility or Return has set into the team.
    No senior player could make the difference for a team whose title hopes, was win and meet Ifeanyi Ubah in the finals. Then I ask, why did the team put much effort against Rivers Utd.
    So some players leaving without been told was certain going by what I saw after the game in Ibadan, where I saw some Enyimba players FLEXING in the night while their fans cry back home in Aba.
    If Ogunbote opts for a pre-season tour as against close door camping, the choice is his call. No team or coach can be judged with a good or bad pre-season rather it’s the results that counts once the MARATHON starts.
    If the pre-season tour was in let’s say Ghana, would the Ghanian teams prove better opposition against Enyimba?
    Sam, let Kadiri Ikhana’s Pillars or Koko Uwa’s Lobi Stars expose Enyimba, then we’ll know if the players recruited are good or not.
    Let’s also wait to see the form of the clubs that choose the path of close door camping to pre-season tour.
    We also forget one key factor here, no team wins the title playing away from home. 
    Only Bayelsa Utd did it. It went well for them as they were not in contention for a double unlike Enyimba who season after season, they are either in the race for a treble or double.
    So you mind I ask, will Enyimba begin the new season at the Aba International Stadium?
    Do also have it in mind that there will be a lot of damaged control to be made once the tension starts, do have a nice stay in Ijebu-Ode.

    1. After read your write up and understood it clearly, I ask, is it for the positive or negative of Enyimba?
      For a club like Enyimba, it needs all the avenue to get it right this time around on like last season. 
      How do you explain not retaining a coach after winning your 7th NPL tilte? Rather you chose to go for young and a former deputy coach whose score sheet with his 1st and last club Warri Wolves was top 4.
      The Aba Elephants to me took a step further immediately after their season failure, getting it done and dusted with the signing of Gbenga Ogunbote, a coach who took years to build his rich resume in the Nigeria Premier League from Gateway FC.
      Regarding the Gold Cup pre-season it has embarked upon, is never a bad idea.
      Enyimba needs a new football and winning philosophy, I mean after watching the Aba Elephants Fed Cup game against Nasarawa Utd in Ibadan, then a concluded that the Economics Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility or Return has set into the team.
      No senior player could make the difference for a team whose title hopes, was win and meet Ifeanyi Ubah in the finals. Then I ask, why did the team put much effort against Rivers Utd.
      So some players leaving without been told was certain going by what I saw after the game in Ibadan, where I saw some Enyimba players FLEXING in the night while their fans cry back home in Aba.
      If Ogunbote opts for a pre-season tour as against close door camping, the choice is his call. No team or coach can be judged with a good or bad pre-season rather it’s the results that counts once the MARATHON starts.
      If the pre-season tour was in let’s say Ghana, would the Ghanian teams prove better opposition against Enyimba?
      Sam, let Kadiri Ikhana’s Pillars or Koko Uwa’s Lobi Stars expose Enyimba, then we’ll know if the players recruited are good or not.
      We also forget one key factor here, no team wins the title playing away from home. 
      Only Bayelsa Utd did it. It went well for them as they were not in contention for a double unlike Enyimba who season after season, they are either in the race for a treble or double.
      So you mind I ask, will Enyimba begin the new season at the Aba International Stadium?
      Do also have it in mind that there will be a lot of damaged control to be made once the tension starts, do have a nice stay in Ijebu-Ode.

  3. After reading your write up and understood it clearly, I asked myself, is it for the positive or negative of Enyimba?
    For a club like Enyimba, it needs all the avenue to get it right this time around on like last season. 
    How do you explain not retaining a coach after winning your 7th NPL tilte? Rather you chose to go for young and a former deputy coach whose score sheet with his 1st and last club Warri Wolves was top 4.
    The Aba Elephants to me took a step further immediately after their season failure, getting it done and dusted with the signing of Gbenga Ogunbote, a coach who took years to build his rich resume in the Nigeria Premier League from Gateway FC.
    Regarding the Gold Cup pre-season it has embarked upon, is never a bad idea.
    Enyimba needs a new football and winning philosophy, I mean after watching the Aba Elephants Fed Cup game against Nasarawa Utd in Ibadan, then a concluded that the Economics Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility or Return has set into the team.
    No senior player could make the difference for a team whose title hopes, was win and meet Ifeanyi Ubah in the finals. Then I ask, why did the team put much effort against Rivers Utd.
    So some players leaving without been told was certain going by what I saw after the game in Ibadan, where I saw some Enyimba players FLEXING in the night while their fans cry back home in Aba.
    If Ogunbote opts for a pre-season tour as against close door camping, the choice is his call. No team or coach can be judged with a good or bad pre-season rather it’s the results that counts once the MARATHON starts.
    If the pre-season tour was in let’s say Ghana, would the Ghanian teams prove better opposition against Enyimba?
    Sam, let Kadiri Ikhana’s Pillars or Koko Uwa’s Lobi Stars expose Enyimba, then we’ll know if the players recruited are good or not.
    We also forget one key factor here, no team wins the title playing away from home. 
    Only Bayelsa Utd did it. It went well for them as they were not in contention for a double unlike Enyimba who season after season, they are either in the race for a treble or double.
    So you mind I ask, will Enyimba begin the new season at the Aba International Stadium?
    Do also have it in mind that there will be a lot of damaged control to be made once the tension starts, do have a nice stay in Ijebu-Ode.

    1. Thanks for your input Rasaq. I’m bothered greatly by the reaction of our fans. A bad tournament isn’t a big deal but how much will it solve the problem of the negative atmosphere around the club right now. He also has a point is deciding it is OK to go for the tournament as it will expose his team’s flaws. I am bothered by this atmosphere. Do we need to increase it or just turn attention away from it

  4. Ships are safe in the harbour but are they built for the harbour?
    The team have to psychological understand that the Gold Cup is a mere pre-season tourney. It doesn’t tell how the season will go/end. Akwa United won the Super Four last season. They couldn’t go past their first continental hurdle and finished in the second half of the table.
    I rather we go for the tourney and expose our limitations and work on them before season kick-off than coward away in the beautiful serenity of Calabar and feel all is well with low grade friendlies. Winning the Gold Cup means nothing. Losing it means nothing either. Right now it shouldn’t be about winning but an opportunity for the new gaffer to take out the excesses and get a proper team for the season.

    It is a pre-season Sam, take 1 dose of Chilaxtamol 500mg. You can only be proved wrong or right by this time next year.

    1. Maybe I’m being pragmatic. Maybe I’m just bothered for the soul of our club. Feedback from Social media alone was just too heavy for my young heart. I hope fans will take this for what it is- a mere pre-season and absolutely nothing is at stake. There’s also the psychological effect on the players.

      1. Young heart? Fallacy of the market place. Popular opinion on social media doesn’t necessarily mean the right opinion. There will always be opinion. Psychological effect on players? We don’t need chicken-heart Elephants. If they cannot differentiate pre-season from NPFL then they can leave Enyimba. Enyimba is not for the weak.

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