Jamilu Collins and Bundesliga minnows Paderborn refuse to give up

Nobody ever said life would be easy for SC Paderborn 07 in the Bundesliga, following an excellent run that led them to


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Jamilu Collins and Bundesliga minnows Paderborn refuse to give up

Nobody ever said life would be easy for SC Paderborn 07 in the Bundesliga, following an excellent run that led them to promotion from the second-tier last season. That said, this is only the second time in the entire history of the club that this modest outfit from the North Rhine-Westphalia region have ever competed among the German elite.

                                                                                                

Nevertheless, for Nigerian left-back Jamilu Collins, it has been a welcome opportunity to prove his credentials at the very highest level, having helped his club work their way up from the third tier of German football. Since he joined Paderborn in September of 2017, when they were still in the 3 Liga, the club has achieved back to back promotions over the two previous seasons.

 

25-year-old Collins and his teammates have more than earned their chance in the big-time. Unfortunately, such is the quality of rivals each weekend in the Bundesliga, it’s fair to say that Paderborn have found it tough to compete against such strong opposition. Having managed to achieve just one victory from their opening 13 games of the 2019-20 season, Paderborn are outright 1.071 Bundesliga betting favorites for relegation.

 

 

While that in itself is hardly surprising given their position in the table, the results themselves don’t paint the full picture of a side which has battled proudly, often pushing some of the very best Bundesliga outfits to their very limits. Back at the end of August, Collins scored his first-ever goal for Paderborn as they battled with Bundesliga title favorites Bayern Munich, losing 2-3 in the end but having provided a serious test for the Bavarian giants.

 

After failing to win any of their opening eight games of the campaign, the efforts of Paderborn were finally rewarded with a richly deserved 2-0 win against Fortuna Dusseldorf, in which Collins produced a flawless performance on the left side of the defence. Despite being unable to follow that victory with another in recent weeks, the side managed by Steffen Baumhart has continued to prove they are no pushovers.

Paderborn almost gained a shock regional derby victory away at Borussia Dortmund on Friday 22nd November, racing into an impressive 0-3 lead at the Signal Iduna Park. After Streli Mamba had struck a brace of goals, Gerrit Holtmann scored the third with a fine assist from Collins, leaving the home side completely stunned. However, after Jadon Sancho pulled one back and Axel Witsel narrowed the deficit, Marco Reus scored a stoppage-time equalizer to level the game, denying the visitors a memorable victory.

 

 

At home against then Bundesliga leaders RasenBallsport Leipzig, the visiting side raced into an early 0-3 lead within the opening 26 minutes, although having struggled in the first half, Paderborn and Collins refused to give the game up as a lost cause. They pulled back two goals and were desperately unlucky not to get the draw, urged on by their fans at the Benteler-Arena. In the end, the final result didn’t fully reward the courage and never-say-die attitude demonstrated by Collins and his teammates.

 

While it seems unlikely that Paderborn will manage to avoid relegation from the Bundesliga, their determination and enthusiasm against far superior opponents have earned plenty of praise, with Collins one of the best and most consistent performers in the team, ranking as their second-best player according to Whoscored.com match ratings.

 

Such continued good form will surely have attracted attention elsewhere, meaning that if the expected relegation does happen for Paderborn, there’s always the strong possibility that Collins may have earned himself a move elsewhere. Having already shown he’s capable of competing in the Bundesliga, other clubs will have already taken note of his abilities, just as Nigerian national team coach Gernot Rohr did back in 2018, handing Collins his international debut and regularly choosing the talented left-back ever since.




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