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Finidi George And The Elephants That Failed To Roar

Nzogbu Nzogbu Enyimba Enyi” – Trample all, the People’s Elephants – a famous chant belonging to one of Nigeria’s best football club which serves as a prerequisite for crushing all that lay in their paths couldn’t inspire the former CAF Champions League winners in the just concluded 2021/2022 NPFL season.

A bizarre season it was for the People’s Elephants, under the tutelage of the new manager that was appointed in September 2021 ahead of the new season.

The Aba side appointed Nigerian Legend, Finidi George as a replacement for Fatai Osho, but things didn’t go as expected result wise, in what proved to be a disappointing season for their fans.

Before picking up the Enyimba Job, His previous coaching roles was being a director of international football at former club Real Betis and also managing the youth team of his erstwhile Spanish side, Real Mallorca in 2013.

How worse could a season have been for Enyimba? Losing more games than they won defines how dreadful it was for them.

Enyimba ended the season placed seventh, with 52 points garnered from 38 games, ( 15 wins, 16 losses, 7 draws).

Finidi George 1

When predictions for the season were made, it would have been insane to find any stakeholder of the League predict such a gloomy one for them, considering how strongly they ended the season in recent years.

Many of the club’s supporters during the season called for Coach Finidi George to be sacked, being unhappy about how things were unfolding. Perhaps things could have changed if Enyimba parted ways with Coach Finidi??? No one knows, but with what the result says, those fans weren’t wrong afterall to have asked for a change, and their sadness in the end justified.

On being unhappy, the Enyimba supporters don’t seem unhappy as Coach Finidi George himself. Speaking to, he said:

” I am even more angry than the fans, because I came with that mindset of achieving greatly, but it fell short. The aim was to secure a continental spot, but 3 games to the

season’s halt, when players saw it was not possible, it was quite difficult to convince players to go for what’s not achievable anymore. ”

Conversations like “having to rescind a little to trace wrongs & restrategise”, frequently comes up amongst people, and Finidi on the Enyimba angle felt so too, and also assured the fans the club would be having a good return.

Eyinmba FC Team

” I can understand the fans’ anger, but atimes there comes the necessity to take a few steps backwards to see where things went wrong. Enyimba will definitely bounce back and come back stronger, that I can promise the fans.”

The tactical side of this game, football, is beautiful, but what’s tactics when there’s no good player-coach relationship? Absolutely nothing. A weak player-coach relationship obviously crumbles the team faster, and for Finidi George who was coming into the league fresh, also with a team as big as Enyimba, having a team that’s happy and a dressing room in accord was necessary.

He told us how it was for him coming into the NPFL and how he successfully managed his players.

” A very big thanks to Enyimba for the good opportunity. I must say, it was a great experience for me in the League”

” My relationship with the players was second to none. It is not easy when you have a very big group, but it was handled well during the season.”

“I had only one incident whereby a player felt he was a starter but didn’t play much in the beginning, and got angry, but that was resolved in no time. That incident didn’t affect us.” Finidi said.

Excuses wouldn’t be accepted when the next season starts and for Enyimba, they’d expect to be in a better position when the next season ends. For Coach Finidi, his aim is to have the team

get a top 3 finish, and he hopes to achieve this with additions to the team and also ensure his team play a style that would bring that.

” The aim for every season doesn’t change. It’s either a continental chase, or it’s failure. Player addition is key too, and I trust the club is working effortlessly to fortify the team in areas we think should be fortified.”

” Football is only not about patterns, but the willingness and readiness of players to get the job done. My philosophy is simple, you attack when you have the ball and try to win back the ball when you lose it.”

” Of Course, I have to guide the players on how to go about it. ”

Eyinmba Players

Finidi is one who had always wanted to be in the mix of national team coaches, and having been appointed as Jose Peseiro’s assistant in May, he expressed what it means to him and how working with the Coach has been.

” Being a part of the Super Eagles team is a great one for me. I appreciate this opportunity and will work to see Nigeria back in the world scene again. I will do my part to help José Peseiro to succeed.

” I think Peseiro is working really hard to see how the team can blend really well, play good football and qualify for the next AFCON at the same time”

“As much as we want to qualify, we think about team building which is key for every major tournament like the AFCON.

“We are working to build a formidable team.”

Focus is on the new season for the People’s Elephants, can Finidi Turn things around?

Timothy Dehinbo

Timothy Mopelola Dehinbo is a Student, Sports Journalist and a Community Development Enthusiast. The ‘Interviewer’ as he fondly calls himself, proves to a fault as he has rightly built his portfolio through drive and passion for the Nigerian football Society. Starting his Journalism career at the prime age of 16, His vast array of works includes Sports writing, blogging, radio analysis and everything Sports Media. He has had the opportunity to work with Media houses like CompleteSports, NaijaFootballPlus, SoocernetNG, live radio stations across Lagos and Akure to mention a few. Many of his Interviews with Players and Coaches in the Nigerian Professional Football League, NPFL, as well as Other African Football Stars centers around the Nigerian & African growth in sports. The likes of Emmanuel Amuneke, Pitso Mosimane, Kalusha Bwalya, Sebastian Desabre and many more. TImothy is extremely addicted to the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL. A student of Mathematics in the Federal University of Technology, Akure, when you do not find Timothy dissecting the intricacies of a Football Game, he is knee deep in Community Development Programs and activities performing his duties and responsibilities as the Co-Founder of King Homes Charity where the development of Children living in Underserved Communities through Quality Education are his Top priorities.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Abraham

    well i just hope finidi finds his footing in the NPFL i just want him to be a succes in the league so as to show other exinternational that he can do it…

  2. Mathias Jacob

    If every team in the NPFL can turn their fortunes around that team or club is Enyimba of Aba. I’m wishing them best of luck next season.
    Keep your good works of writing and a well researched work up. Tump up to you Timothy Dehinbo

  3. Ashiru Ibrahim

    Another brilliant piece by Timothy.

  4. Big Myroh

    Hopefully, Enyimba would return to be the giants they once were

  5. Joseph

    The seventh-placed finish is not good enough.

    Only the league title next season will make Enyimba fans happy again.

    Huge Pressure on the coach next season.

  6. Sodiq Suara

    Disastrous season the people elephant had due to their standard and pedigree in the league, but I hope the coach will turn things around going into next season

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