Good morning Guys, it’s our first guest blog post of the Season. My bossom friend and statistician Ayobami Animasahun of @NPFLstats pens his thoughts. Enjoy.
Enyimba Int’l have certainly made a near-complete overhaul of the team that won the league title some 13 months ago with the acquisition of a number of top quality players. Yes, it is usual practice for a NPFL club to sign as much as an entire matchday squad going into a new season, but most of Enyimba’s businesses ahead of this season became expedient with the failures of last season and the mass exodus of some of the club’s biggest stars.
The signing of Black stars of Ghana goalkeeper, Fatau Dauda reverberated within the League football circles but more urgency was required in adding quality reinforcements at the other end of the pitch. Aba born Stanley Dimgba teamed up with the Elephants as did striker Ibrahim Mustapha and ex-teammate Chinedu Ohanachom. Snapped from El-Kanemi Warriors, Gbenga Ogunbote’s attack now has the Warriors’ top goalscorer and top assist provider last season respectively.
Enyimba Int’l might well feel they have acquired a guarantee of goals in Mustapha. For context, nobody from the camp of People’s Elephants scored more than 5 league goals last season – a tally doubled by Mustapha at El-Kanemi Warriors and o, he has opened his Enyimba account already with that brilliant solo goal against Sunshine Stars last weekend. In the same vein, Ohanachom offers exceptional creativity – his 14 assists since the start of the 2014/15 NPFL season is one more than that of any other player during the time.
However, the concern must be that this statistic does not necessarily reflect the quality of Enyimba’s forwards, but rather the tinkering of the squad that greatly affected the flow and fluency of the team. The Aba based side ranked first in the NPFL for number of goalscorers last season with 22 players.
On the contrary, Mustapha and Ohanachom enjoyed a frequent starting berth with the Borno Armies last term and that eventually proved effective for the club. Both players were responsible for 41% of El-kanemi Warriors total league goals scored during the course of the season and ensured the team finished in the top half of the log for the first time since 2012/13 season.
The duo featured in the 3-1 defeat at Plateau United on Wednesday and earned decent ratings. While Mustapha was expressly close to his lethal best, Ohanachom needed less than 20 minutes after his introduction to the game to work out a free kick that earned Enyimba a solitary goal in the encounter.
Enyimba is obviously going through a rebuilding process and the key to constructing a title challenging team will make use of an expert finisher and ceaseless provider. Make no mistake, the team’s transformation depends on others too. But in Mustapha and Ohanachom, Ogunbote could virtually eliminate the possibility of failure on the grounds of lacking a top-class finisher and a selfless attacker.
How often will they get featured in games only remains to be seen, but the gaffer has got dependable arrows in his quiver.
I agree! Back tomorrow with the Enyimba vs Gombe Match Preview.