AFTER BREAKING CLUB JINX, YOBO EYES GLORY WITH EAGLES
Having just won his first ever club silverware with Fenerbahce, Super Eagles captain, Joseph Yobo, has turned his focus on winning laurels with the national team.
Speaking from his Turkey base, Yobo revealed a burning desire to excel in the green and white colours.
'It has taken me this long to win something at the club level. Now I have spent 10 years in the national team, yet I have not won anything big at international level. I don't want to end my international career without winning the Nations Cup. I have played in five Nations Cups as a regular and I have not won more than bronze. As the captain now, I need the gold. I need to get my hands on that trophy,' he said.
Yobo believes the current generation of Eagles can take Nigeria to greater heights. His words: 'There is a new spirit in the team under the new Chief Coach, Samson Siasia. We are building a new team and there is this 'yes, we can' disposition. I am there to provide the guidance and support to the younger ones. Gradually and steadily we will get there.'
In a season which saw him play 30 out of 34 matches for Fenerbachce, being on the pitch in 2623 minutes of the possible 2700 minutes of those 30 matches, Yobo marshaled a Fenerbahce defence that set a new European record, going 853 minutes without conceding a goal. He crowned the sterling season scoring the last goal in the 4-2 defeat of Sivasspor on last day.
Now, he intends to take his rich vein of form to the national team.
'I have had arguably my best season ever in Europe. I feel as fit as a fiddle and I hope to carry this form over to the national team this summer. We have two important matches against Argentina and Ethiopia and I will do my best to ensure we win both matches,' he concluded. Meanwhile, Yobo has made a passionate appeal to Coach Siasia to tamper justice with mercy and withdraw the two-match ban slammed on West Bromwich Albion striker, Osaze Odemwingie.
The name of the erstwhile Insurance FC of Benin starlet was not included on Siasia's 23-man list that would tackle Argentina at the Abuja National Stadium on June 1 and Ethiopia in a crucial Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on June 4, and Yobo believed that the exclusion of the red-hot striker would be a big blow to the Super Eagles' 2012 Nations Cup qualifying campaign.
'Osaze is one of the leaders of the team because of his experience. It's true that I am the captain of the team, but I cannot carry the responsibility on my shoulders alone. The job is made easier when the responsibility is shared with the senior players,' the Fenerbahce defender told Daily Sunsports on phone from Turkey.
'Considering our position in our group table, the match against Ethiopia is a must-win for us and the only way we can get a good result is by parading all our best players who are doing well at the moment. I want to go to the Nations Cup and win something this time around, so I don't want anything that will be a stumbling block to our qualification for the tournament.' Yobo advised Siasia to reduce Odemwingie's two match ban and make him pay a fine of one match bonus.
'My suggestion is that the coach should fine him. This is like a small problem in the family which we should have settled amicably. We should let the sleeping dog lie.