It was with a pensive voice that Super Eagles Head Coach, Stephen Keshi, announced on Friday morning that national team skipper, Joseph Yobo, has officially been ruled out of Jumbo June qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup and 2013 Nations Cup by his club medics at Fernabahce, Turkey.
Medics of his club, Fernabahce confirmed to Keshi that the player who had a splendid season will be out for over a month, which effectively rules him out of next month’s qualifiers.
The Big Boss, who himself skippered the national team for over a decade, emerging the longest serving national team captain, was however quick to pick himself up and declared that he felt pains missing his captain but there is no cause for alarm, as there are capable replacements.
He went ahead to list the replacements.
“Gege Soriola, was splendid for Free State Stars in the South African league. Geofrey Oboabona plays that role regularly for Sunshine Stars, but we use him here as a full back and he can easily revert to that, then we have Kano Pillars’ Papa Idris, who has been in excellent form for club and country, so we must not fret, we have the players to hold down the position until Yobo returns,” he said, smiling.
Team Psychologist, Robinson Okosun, who was around when Keshi was making his declaration, said he was personally overwhelmed by the swift way that Keshi was able to list possible replacement for Yobo.
“Some other coaches will still be scratching their heads, but because we have a man who knows his onions he has moved swiftly to douse tension in football circles”.