Young Africans (Yanga SC) coach Luc Eymael has revealed why Gnamien Yikpe was missing in action when they played Namungo FC in a Mainland Premier League match on Wednesday.
The Ivorian striker has come under heavy criticism from Yanga fans since he signed for the club from Kenyan champions Gor Mahia.
After last week's 0-0 draw against Azam FC, agitated Yanga fans stormed the team’s dressing room at National Stadium in Dar es Salaam chanting “we don’t want Yikpe, fire Yikpe” and went ahead to blame the officials involved in signing the player for the problems the club is undergoing.
A day later, Eymael told Goal the player had suffered the same chants as the team headed to training ahead of the Namungo match, and further admitted it will take time for the burly striker to recover from the attack.
Eymael has now told Goal he decided against fielding the player in the 2-2 draw against Namungo because of “fans pressure.”
“The pressure for Yikpe was growing each and every day and I felt to help the player recover is to rest him,” Eymael told Goal on Friday.
“The player is really going through tough times, and I think I will have to give him some time off, but what puzzles me is that [Yikpe] is a very good striker, if you watch him in training he is the best striker for the club.
“But I have never understood why he never turns his good show in training to league action, he never plays as he does in training and that becomes difficult to understand the player, I don’t know why he scores many goals in training but he cannot score goals in proper matches.
“But I have told the management I did not sign the player so they can try and see how to help him, either end his contract or see what they can do.”
The Jangwani Street-based giants have struggled to win matches since the top-flight resumed on June 13.
Yanga only managed to beat Mwadui FC 1-0 and since then, they have registered three draws – 1-1 against JKT Tanzania, 0-0 against Azam, and 2-2 against Namungo.