The Finidi effect is in full flight with two wins and two clean sheets for Enyimba Fc of Aba.
When Finidi George signed as coach of Enyimba, the stars seem to have aligned for the Ex-International with fans and media tagging it the Finidi effect.
Unlike many of his generation, starting in the national team is the gold standard, but Finidi took a different turn.
His arrival was heralded by first the la Liga(Africa) on Twitter and later the governor of Abia State.
The governor revealed that he was an admirer of the former Ajax player, and there is no doubt that he will attain the same level of success in his coaching career.
On behalf of the people of Abia State, I say welcome. Abia State is the home of football in Nigeria and Enyimba is more than a club; it is a religion for our people. Having an iconic coach for such a big team is a good match, and I know we will make an impact in Africa under you.”
“As far as football is concerned, you (Finidi) are a brand. You may not know it, but I was your greatest fan in your playing days. I was always in love with your crosses and your speed on the wings. You were one of my favourite players in that set of Super Eagles team.”
Governor Ikpeazu on Finid George..via Enyimba media.
The presentation also had in attendance his son Kelvin, a move that shows Finidi is at home in Aba.
Finidi Effect Takes Flight On A Low Key
While his arrival hugged the headlines, settling down to work was a direct opposite.
After a few days of training in Aba, Finidi took the team to close camping in Omoku, Rivers state.
Enyimba under him played three friendlies giving little away on what his team will look like;
Growing up under the famous Dutch philosophy Enyimba, fans were waiting to see how he sets up his team for the CAF confederations cup game against Diambars of Senegal.
The first leg was more practical as the team showed discipline to contain their adventurous host.
The discipline and patience paid off as Enyimba earned a penalty.
A foul on Gabriel Orok resulted in a penalty kick as Olisema converted the penalty for a 1-0 win before running off to celebrate.
His celebration was a replica of what the coach did after scoring against Greece at the 1994 FIFA world cup.
FT: Diambars (Senegal) 0-1 Enyimba (Nigeria)
Cyril Olisema’s late penalty hands Finidi George a win in his first game in charge of Enyimba.
— Fisayo Dairo (@FisayoDairo) October 16, 2021
Finidi And The Home Coming.
After the first victory, it was time for homecoming as the fans turned out to see the Finidi effect live.
Sports journalist Bethel Kalu described the atmosphere and feeling at the stadium for the homecoming.
“The team scored early, so the fans cheered them on throughout the game. The supporters club were busy all through, and they joined them in their songs.
The fans want to see an Enyimba game with less tension and with high expectations. They applauded the team when they tried to keep the ball and string passes, and some said that was the Enyimba they knew.
They want the coach to win at least all home games.”
The Numbers and Stats
The 4-0 win means Enyimba FC kept clean sheets in 2+ consecutive continental matches for the first time since September 2019.
They also kept clean sheets in a continental tie (Home&Away) for the first time since the 2015 CAFCL preliminary round.
Furthermore, one of the biggest problems for the team was the winning margin as they labour in front of goals.
Enyimba’s top scorer from last season, Tosin Omoyele, scored seven goals, followed by Victor Mbaoma on six.
Also, the club failed to score enough goals in a game last season.
Already, the top scorers are clicking as Omoyele and Mbaoma scored in the same game for the first time.
Identity OF The Finidi Effect
One of the main pillars of the effect is the playing pattern, and Finidi is sure people will see when it all comes together.
“We’ve come up with our playing style, and when you see us play, you will know that this is Enyimba playing.”
Finidi George on Enyimba’s playing identity going forward.
It’s still early days for the coach, but the fans have a taste of what life can be like during the Finidi Effect years.