It's getting hot in the NPFL, and a few coaches are already feeling the hit, with Heartland FC coach topping the list of troubled managers.
The season is still young, with the league four weeks in, but an African saying goes thus – from the morning, one can tell what the evening will be like.
The sights for several clubs are not pretty, and they're already judging the evening from what is on the ground so far. Some have started being proactive to avoid having to deal with relegation.
The season of ultimatum has begun.
Christian Obi of Heartland FC gets two-match ultimatum and GM Promise Nwachukwu.
— Precious Oham (@Greatman50) October 24, 2023
Heartland FC coach Christian Obi has received an ultimate to steer the club to calmer waters or be kicked off the boat.
With Heartland FC hovering over the relegation spot, the heat is on.
Heartland FC gives Christian Obi an ultimatum.
After four games this season, only two teams are yet to win any game. They are Akwa United and Heartland FC.
The management of Heartland FC is not faffling around and has made their intentions known to the coach in clear terms.
According to recent reports, Christian Obi has received a two-game ultimatum to start producing results or get the boot.
The Naze Millionaires failed to hold on to their 1-0 lead against Katsina United in their last game and drew the game 1-1.
A poor record for the Naze millionaires
Perhaps it is too early to judge a team. The season is just four weeks in, with plenty of ground to cover, but Heartland FC, who were just promoted to the NPFL this season, don't think so.
In their first game of the season, they came from two goals down to salvage a point at home to Lobi Stars.
They followed that with a 1-0 loss to Plateau United the following week.
It seemed Christian Obi was getting the act of steering the boat well after a well-deserved 1-1 draw away to Sunshine Stars before the fiasco against Katsina United.
Heartland FC next travels to Umuahia for an eastern derby against Abia Warriors.
Abia Warriors are current occupants of the tenth place on the log with six points from four games.
Another Relegation looming for Heartland if you guys continue like this this season.. Where is the winning mentality or is there a spiritual cleansing you people will need? Enough of this draws especially at home. You guys should buckle up.
— GODSWILL. (@godon2000) October 23, 2023
Heartland FC Fans call for Obi's head.
There were angry scenes at the Dan Anyiam Stadium Owerri following the 1-1 draw between Heartland FC and Katsina United.
Angry fans, who had hoped to witness a spectacle against the Changi Boys, were disappointed with the result and made their voices heard afterwards.
The fans immediately requested that Obi be relieved of his position as team coach.
At the final whistle, the fans filled the stadium with shouts of Obi must go, with the supporters club championing the cause to see the manager who helped them gain promotion leave.
They believe that Obi does not have the tactical nous to lead the club to the promised land despite investments in the team.
Obi claims they can still challenge for the title.
Obi seems unperturbed about the current situation at the club. Despite the threat of his job, he remains confident that he is the man who can lead them back to their glory days.
According to Obi, the team is loaded with winners and could challenge for titles. He said he was building on the team and encouraged the fans and management to believe in the process.
Obi pinpointed his defence as a vital area to work on to move the team forward.
According to the gaffer, his team conceded unnecessary goals, and he needed to find a way to check the trend if they were to challenge for the league title.
Other coaches swimming in dangerous waters
Christian Obi is not the only coach swimming in dangerous waters. The difference is that the others have not yet received the riot act.
Akwa United are at the bottom of the log with two draws and two losses. Their position is despite the outlay the club made during the offseason break.
If this continues, Fatai Osho will have plenty of questions to answer.
Bayelsa United is another club struggling in the league. Despite their fantastic opening day 5-3 win over Akwa United, the club has slipped in their performance.
They have lost their last three games, including a 1-2 home loss to Remo Stars. Diepreye Teibowei has a massive task to return the club to winning ways.
Notable mention in this group is Finidi George of Enyimba. Though the People's Elephants have played only two league games this term, their continental exertions leave question marks over the former international.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago