Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi has expressed utter disappointment in captain Joseph Yobo’s recent outburst over his exclusion from the squad that forced the Harambee Stars of Kenya to a 1-1 draw in Calabar a fortnight ago in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier.
The former Olympique Marseille star said in an interview he granted a local radio station Brila FM on Tuesday morning that he deserves some measure of respect from the one-time Togo national team coach, but a visibly shocked Keshi told Complete Sports after being informed of his skipper’s rantings that he is still an integral part of the team despite the emergence of the duo of Kenneth Omeruo and Godfrey Oboabona in the team’s central defence.
“I’m disappointed with such reaction from Yobo on his exclusion from the team that played Kenya,” began the ex- Mali boss.
“Would he have preferred me bringing him down to put him on the bench for the game and disrupt the chemistry the duo of Kenneth and Godfrey have been forming in recent times? How do you think Nigerians would react if I alter such solid partnership?, ” he queried rhetorically.
“Though I didn’t call him before the game but he is the captain of the team and I expect more from him.He should know better and learn to respect the decision of the coach at all times even if I didn’t call him before I took that decision. But it is a matter I will iron out with Joseph because he is a fantastic professional.
He showed that 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 series as well as the (FIFA) Confederations Cup in Brazil. So he’s still very much the team captain,” the Big Boss explained.
The former national team captain also took some time off to debunk Yobo’s claim that one of the assistant coaches is envious of his achievements with the national team, adding that the coaches on the bench have also won an AFCON medal at one time or the other.
“None of the technical crew is envious or witch-hunting Yobo; after all, the coaches on the bench have also won the Nations Cup and there’s no point for him thinking that way,” he stressed.
Yobo is Nigeria’s most capped player with 95 caps- five games short of reaching a century of appearances for the three-time AFCON winners.