Young Africans (Yanga SC) have once again called on their fans to stop castigating players especially their striker Gnamien Yikpe.
The Ivorian striker, who joined the Jangwani Street-based giants from Kenyan champions Gor Mahia, has been a target of heavy criticism from Yanga fans since the Mainland Premier League resumed on June 13.
Yikpe has only managed to score one goal since he joined the club and after their 0-0 draw against Azam FC at National Stadium at the weekend, the agitated fans stormed the team’s dressing room calling for his sacking and even further demanded to know who signed him for the club.
Addressing the media ahead of their league match against Namungo FC on Wednesday, Yanga information officer Hassan Bumbuli appealed to the fans to stop criticising the players, giving the example of Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku, who had a difficult time at Manchester United but is now shining at Inter Milan.
“My appeal to our fans is they should avoid attacking players whenever the result doesn’t come our away,” Bumbuli told reporters.
“I can give an example of Lukaku, he was on-form when he signed for Man United but he failed terribly but look at him now, he is the best striker for Inter Milan and without him, they will not win a match.
“Yikpe was a very good player when we signed him from Gor Mahia but, who knows, he will get his form back, but the problem now is that our fans are not giving players time to settle, they are demanding for an instant result which is okay but should try and avoid using abusive language against the players.”
On Tuesday, Yanga SC coach Luc Eymael admitted exclusively to Goal that he has run out of ideas on how to help the under-fire striker.
“Now about Yikpe, it is a terrible problem, he is so good in training sessions but he is not repeating this good style in-game time, then is a big problem and I give him so many times a chance and now the fans are there, they are on his neck, and it will be worse and it is for sure for now it will be difficult to give him playing time,” Eymael told Goal on Tuesday.
“But fans have to know, I am not the one who signed Yikpe, fans should know we don’t have the real solution for a striker, if we had one top striker, one of the strikers that I recommended to the club, we should have scored more than 15 or 20 goals by now, fans should know that I have recommended top strikers but until now the situation is the same.
“But until now we are just waiting for the decision from the stakeholders who are taking decision for signing new players, the coach can only recommend and the work of management is to sign, the only player I recommended for the club is Bernard [Morrison] and you can see the job he is doing for the club.
“It will be very difficult for Yikpe, it will be very difficult for him, even going into training on Monday the fans were still on his neck again on the road [going to training and back] and to recover will be difficult for the player.”
Yikpe is likely to be benched when Yanga takes on Namungo, seeking to bounce back from the 0-0 draw against Azam.