Plateau United boss Abdu Maikaba could become the first Nigeria Professional Football League coaching casualty of the season following his side’s embarrassing home defeat to Kwara United on Sunday.
The 55-year-old gaffer went into Sunday’s game with Kwara United in Jos under mounting pressure, having seen his team dumped out of the African Champions League by Tanzanian club Simba.
And now, many want him out of the club after his side were humiliated 2-0 by the Ilorin Warriors.
Last season, Plateau United looked on course to claim the league title before the season was abruptly ended due to coronavirus outbreak.
But for staying top of the table as of the time the league was cut short, the Jos side were rewarded with a Champions League spot.
They could not make it past the first round, though, after losing at home to Simba and forcing the Tanzanian team to a goalless draw in the reverse fixture.
Despite the poor showing against Simba, Maikaba’s side were expected to crush Kwara United on the opening-day of the NPFL season, but in the end they were humiliated by the visitors — with goals from Jide Fatokun and Michael Ohanu giving Biffo Abdullahi’s side a 2-0 victory.
The Jos club’s poor run — which has seen them fail to score in three competitive matches — has baffled many.
However, Kaduna-based journalist Andrew Randa suggests that the former league champions’ dismal run is down to a dressing-room crisis — and claims the poor run could cost Maikaba his job.
The crisis, according to Randa, is as a result of Maikaba’s favouritism towards some first-team players.
Randa revealed that a number of the club’s senior team players were not available for Sunday’s defeat, having been granted permission to travel by Maikaba without the knowledge of the team’s General Manager.
“Abdu Maikaba’s job is on the line as the crisis at Plateau United deepens,” Randa wrote on Twitter, adding, “Certain players were given a week off prior to Christmas according to inside sources without the knowledge of the GM. About seven regulars were missing yesterday v Kwara.”
Abdu Maikaba's job is on the line as the crisis at Plateau United deepens.
Certain players were given a week off prior to Christmas according to inside sources without the knowledge of the GM. About seven regulars were missing yesterday v Kwara.
— Andrew Randa (@RandaAndrew) December 28, 2020
A follower, who commented under Randa’s tweet, also accused Maikaba of giving some players preferential treatment.
He tweeted: “I have always said it that Maikaba’s favouratism is d bane of Plateau United’s failure & disintegration. If he’s not shown d way out,relegation stares us in d face.Selection of punishing players who committed the same offences.”
I have always said it that Maikaba's favouratism is d bane of Plateau United's failure & disintegration. If he's not shown d way out,relegation stares us in d face.Selection of punishing players who committed the same offences.
— Nathaniel Mobolade (@Nmobolade) December 28, 2020
Attempts to contact club sources for a response to Randa’s claims failed, but two Jos-based journalists, who spoke to 234football, said Maikaba would be given at least a few weeks to turn things around.
Next Sunday, the former Nigeria U20 coach will lead United to face neighbors Wikki Tourists.
That game will be followed by a home tie against Heartland, before a trip to Kano Pillars.