Enugu Rangers were feted to heaven and beyond after ending 32 years of hurt in the league last season and so much praise was lavished on the coach who led them to that triumph, Imama Amakapabo. But four months into a new campaign, Amakapabo has been sacked, gone with the night.
The 2-2 result against Zesco United, after they led 2-0, was the final straw that broke the camel’s back. So just like Claudio Ranieri, who led Leicester City to win the EPL last season and was sacked when it seemed the defending champions were heading to certain relegation, Amakapabo was relieved of his job, with Rangers 20th on the NPFL table, a measly 13 points from 14 matches.
The coach does not feel angered by his sack; he feels his task was completed.
“Purpose God sent me here completed. I thank you lord for your grace, enablement to accomplish your work. Next assignment loading. #Godleads,” he wrote on Twitter. He also announced the termination of his contract on the social blogging network – “It’s official received a termination of my contract with Rangers international football Club by email by 5:35pm.”
So just as heavily as the accolades came, the blame game has come in torrents as the defending champions found themselves at the very foot of the Nigeria Professional Football League after 18 weeks of action.
Amakapabo, who doubles as Super Eagles assistant coach is normally an avuncular fellow, never short of words. But a dire 2017 season has seemingly bowed the 47-year-old though he says it has not bent him.
When I met him a day before they lifted last season’s league title in Enugu, he said his major strength is his ability to read his opponents and come to needed solutions.
After 14 matches, he has seemingly misread his opponents, could not find a solution to the bad results and his management staff have finally wielded the big stick though his name and work would not be forgotten in a hurry in Enugu.
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