3rd March, 2011
Captain of Nigeriaâ€™ Super Eagles, Joseph Yobo, says it has not been easy leading the countryâ€™s senior national team since erstwhile skipper, Kanu Nwankwo, left the team.
Yobo was made the captain of the Eagles by former coach, Swede Lars Lagerback, and he led the team to the 2010 FIFA World Cup. When Lagerback left in the wake of the poor performance of Nigeria at the World Cup, ex-international Austin Eguavoen was made the interim coach of the Eagles and he retained Yobo as skipper.
The new coach, Samson Siasia also saw the leadership qualities in the former Everton of England defender and retained him as the captain.
Yobo in an interview with MTNFootball.com said carrying the Eagles on his shoulder as the captain has made him stronger. He said: â€œAs a captain you call the final shots when it comes to the players. As an assistant to Kanu, we shared ideas but he had to call the final shot.
â€œAs Eaglesâ€™ skipper you just have to stand up to things. You just have to be strong. You need to have the character and the personality. There are certain things that are going to be changed and certain decisions that will be taken and as captain you have to be responsible for these.â€
Yobo said he shares the vision of Coach Siasia to lead the national team to the Promised Land. â€œSiasia is a good coach. The only thing is that time is short for everybody to actually see what he can do and the changes he wants to make. That is why people have to be patient for results to come. I spoke with him when he came to see me in Turkey, to share his views and philosophy,â€ he said.
â€œTime will tell about everything because right now there is no time to actually implement all his ideas and everything he wants to do. Hopefully, in the future we would see more of the things that he wants us to do and how he wants us to play and how to take the team forward.
â€œI like the idea of seeing some players coming in. It is always good and I am a big fan of giving others the opportunity as well as actually integrating them slowly. But it is not that easy changing everything. It is a gradual process before we get there.â€
He praised the performance of the new players in the team in the match against Sierra Leone last month in Lagos.
â€œThe boys actually did well. Players like Ahmed Musa, Joel Obi and Emmanuel Emenike showed they have got talent and with time they will gradually blend with the team. The home-based players too have the talents to be in the team, but they need more time to actually integrate into the team. Letâ€™s be patient and we will get there.â€