Sincerely speaking i have being holding back from lending my voice or opinion with respect to the ongoing impasse between the Captain of the current African Champions, the Super Eagles and the Manager of the same Super Eagles. I must mention that i am quite disappointed at the way the matter has been handled particularly by the media; some are friends of mine and i have let them know in not very few words how I think they have blown things out of proportion. However, some Pundits have as usual covered themselves in glory with having an objective and periscopic view to the issues at hand; these pundits know themselves and there is no need to mention names; they remain icons on the Nigerian Footballing landscape.
We really do have a communication problem here in Nigeria, always forgetting that everyone is entitled to his opinion. Like I am entitled to my opinion in this matter so are the other sports journalist i critized; this I understand. My stand is our Journalist never take the position of neutrality, but always come out confrontational and prejudicial. Yes, Joseph Yobo is captain no doubt; but his he God that he can not be told to take a back sit. I think we tend to forget certain things when we let our emotions get the better of our judgement; from a policy and tactical stand point one of the reasons for winning AFCON13 was Keshi’s decision to drop Yobo after the draw against Burkina Faso; now imagine if that piece of tactical brilliance had back fired would we be here today having this conversation? NO!
Now, this would not be the first time a captain would be dropped for whatever reason; i believe the understanding and togetherness showed at AFCON by Ogbagona and Omeruo should be nutured and given time to grow; this will only happen with games and I want to believe this is Keshi’s aim. Currently, Iker Casillas; one of the most successful Captains of the World game cannot make it back into the Real Madrid team; why? Jose Mourinho dropped him whether or not for footballing reasons; it really does not matter, the buck stops at the manager’s table. He is the chief policy maker of the team hence he is ready to sink with the ship or ride high with it.
Nigerian footballers need to grow up and stop acting like babies or wanting to be treated as one; gone are the years when as a nation we spoon feed our players and this almost gave them god like status. I am not saying Stephen Keshi is blameless;he needs to work on his communication skills no doubt. However, is this not also what happened to Keshi after the 1994 heroics; Nigeria does not do testimonials. When you are done, you are done. Some people are even making it a case of Jealousy that due to Yobo’s desire to make 100 caps and become Nigeria’s first centurion that Keshi is displeased by this. Can we be real?
All the fuss about he’s the captain and should be given special treatment is absolute crap I must say. Keshi has said over and over he is building a team, Yobo may not be in his plans going forward; we can go on and on mentioning players that have fallen out of favour or considered surplus to requirement and had to be let go or shown the way out. Some Nigerian Journalist have pointed out the comments of Emmanuel Emenike as another showing Keshi’s lack of ability in man management. I remember saying on a popular football show one Radio; that our players need to deflate their over inflated egos and come right back to earth; really must the captain play or be invited to play all games.
In truth, no one is right or wrong in this issue; it all boils down to how the issue has been handled by all concerned and the medium used. I am sure Keshi sees a lot of himself in Yobo and this matter is like going back full circle to 1994 as Keshi was supposedly eased out. I think it is high time Nigerian football fans and the media alike learn to be less encouraging of the antics of the so called superstar Nigerian Footballer. We need to build on the current achievements of this crop of Eagles and move away from distractions like this; throwing words around like respect, jealousy etc does not help matters. I still maintain that Sports men and women need Publicist and PR Managers; it would take care of all these unguarded utterances.
Lets Move on.