Super Eagles’ Head Coach, Stephen Keshi, has expressed surprise at Joseph Yobo’s comment following his exclusion from last month’s FIFA World Cup qualifier against Kenya in Calabar. Keshi disclosed that he held talks with Yobo in South Africa during the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations on first-team places.
“I like the hunger Joseph is showing with regards to playing for the team at every given time. But I believe that we cannot play all of our players in every game. For instance, this year, we have quite a number of games and Joseph still remains the team’s captain. We talked about this in South Africa during the Nations Cup and I explained to him that he’s still very much in my team as the captain in spite of playing from the bench.
“The truth is that the two boys (Kenneth Omeruo and Godfrey Oboabona) playing in the central defence have been doing well. So, calling Yobo for a game like that of Kenya and then dropping him to the bench or out of the team would be demeaning to him. “But it is a matter I will iron out with him because he is a fantastic professional.
He showed it while in South Africa and we still need his experience for some of the big games we will be playing in the World Cup qualification as well as the (FIFA) Confederations Cup in Brazil. So, he’s very much the team captain,” said the Nigerian manager yesterday. Yobo had expressed unhappiness during an interview with Brila FM yesterday at being snubbed for the Kenya game without notice.
“We spoke just right after winning the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and since then, we have not spoken and no one has got in touch with me since then, and I feel that as the captain of the national team, I should have been informed (of being dropped for the Kenya match).
“I am disappointed and feel disrespected because the coach should have called me considering my status in the team,” he said. Yobo is Nigeria’s most capped player and is just five games to landmark 100 appearance.