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No Room For Indiscipline, Fenerbahce New Coach Warns Emenike

Oladipo Okubanjo

Apparently unhappy with Emmanuel Emenike’s conduct during Thursday’s training, the new coach of Fenerbahce Vitor Pereira has warned the striker that it would no longer be business as usual. Reportedly, Fenerbahce on Thursday morning continued their build-up to the new season with a training session at the Turkish club’s Heel Plateau practice ground, but Emenike chose to stay away from training complaining of pain in his lower back. On discovering the absence of the Nigeria international, coach Pereira, according to a Turkish publication Radikal, summoned Emenike demanding to know why he was not on the pitch and the latter replied: “I can not go to training because of pain.”

Pereira, who only last month took over from the departed Ismail Kartal, consequently upbraided Emenike wondering why the player did not notify him prior to yesterday’s training. “Whatever the excuses, you cannot wait until training time to tell me, you’re gonna come up before training,” said Pereira. The 46-year-old Portuguese coach immediately had a head to head talk with all the players on the training ground warning them that will not compromise on work discipline, after which Emenike left the field to apply a special training program.

Emenike, who suffered a serious dip-in-form at Fenerbahce last season, was also involved in some skirmishes, which culminated in a decision by him to request for transfer. In April, a shouting match between the striker and captain of his club, Volkan Demirel, almost degenerated into fisticuffs but for the intervention of teammates. Fenerbahce players were reportedly at the club’s training ground when suddenly, Demirel, saddened that the team had lost their lead when the Turkish Super Lig was entering the critical weeks, felt disturbed by Emenike’s behavior. Emenike was said to be cheerful and putting up ‘frivolous attitude’ on training ground, which drew the ire of Demirel.

“Let’s get serious a little,” the goalkeeper screamed at Emenike, who in response raised the decibel of his voice asking, “You say those words to me?” Demirel retorted: “Yes you, and I am telling everyone here.” Their teammates were however forced to intervene when the verbal barbs between the two players getting worse. Emenike, according to a Turkish publication Milliyet, was involved in a similar incident with former Fenerbahce captain, Emre Belozoglu during the first half of the league.

Then, an attempt by Belozoglu to end the tension with Emenike also drew further reaction of the striker. Also, Emenike, it will be recalled, was before theMarch international break booed by Fenerbahce fans after missing an open goal against Besiktas, and he reacted by attempting to walk away from the pitch accusing the fans of racial taunts.

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