Rivers United players must share blame for side’s slump

Sunday Rotimi urges Emeka Ogbuh to get up
By Ekine Moseph

Despite playing so well against Plateau United, Rivers United failed to find the back of the net for only the second time at home this season.

As has become the norm in the Nigeria Professional Football League when home teams fails to secure all three points at home, supporters wasted no time in showing their displeasure at the team's failings with technical manager of the side, Stanley Eguma the chief target.

At the final blast of the referee's whistle supporters hauled expletive-laden words on the longest serving NPFL coach with the manager acknowledging fans displeasure in his post-match comments:

"I don't blame the fans. They're not happy because we didn't get good results today, but by the time we start getting good results they'll be happy.

"We are sorry they're not happy. It is our duty to work harder and ensure they're happy,” Eguma said.

As seen in the post-match interview, the team's failings wasn't lost on the manager but how about the players? Don't they get to share some of the blames too?

Why the players must take some blame

Having played 13 games, Rivers United have scored the least number of goals in the NPFL (eight) so where have the goals gone?

Star players such as Bernard Ovoke have failed to repeat the form of last season which saw the team finish top of the Home rankings table last season.

In fact, Ovoke's lacklustre performances has seen him subbed in all the games he has started this season, little wonder he wasn't even involved in the match day squad against Plateau United last Wednesday despite declaring himself fit to play.

It is noteworthy that amongst the strikers plying their trade for the side, only Ivorian striker Guy Kuemian has scored more than a goal in the league this season
New signings such as Bolaji Sakin, Emeka Ogbugh, Lukman Mohammed, Gabriel Wassa and Aliassou Sanou have failed to improve the side.

Whereas former Nassarawa United midfielder, Esosa Igbinoba who joined the side this season has somewhat saved his best performances for the CAF Champions League where he scored four-goals before they were eliminated by Al Merriekh.

It is the coach's job to motivate the side amongst other things but what more can a coach do when players become profligate in front of goal?

In previous home matches Eguma has decried the inability of his players to create chances let alone take them but against Plateau United, the players did create the chances but lacked the necessary composure in front of goal.

Managers are easy targets when results go wrong but in this case, players of Rivers United must shoulder the blames too.

The farce surrounding the manager's suspension will rumble on but for once Eguma won't be in the dugout when they travel to Gombe this weekend.

It is up to the players to put out a statement of a performance worthy of the shirt they're wearing.

They can't hide under the manager anymore but show the supporters why they should keep the faith.
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