Hero turned villain Joseph Yobo yesterday got the backing of Pillar of Sports, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, who advised Eaglesâ€™ coach Shaibu Amodu to turn the defender to a wing half.
Yobo, one of Evertonâ€™s dependable defenders has also consistently been on the wrong side of match reports and dubbed â€œCalamity Yoboâ€ following some sloppy showing in the English Premiership.
â€œI think I have followed Yobo for a long time, and I believe he is a wonderful right back. The central defence is not really his place.
At the 2002 Korea/Japan World Cup, it was Yoboâ€™s move that gave the Eagles their only goal of the tourney against Sweden in Kobe. He was moved to the right by Adegboye Onigbinde and his thrust to Pius Ikedia eventually found Julius Aghohowa who nodded in the ballâ€, Kalu said.
â€œLet us not condemn him. Yobo is one of our bestâ€, Kalu continued. â€œI would like Amodu to take risks. The Eaglets duo of Kenneth Omeruo and Fortune Chukwudi impressed me at the just concluded Nigeria 2009 Championships. With Obinna Nwaneri, Danny Shittu, Onyekachi Apam and Sam Sodje, I guess we have enough central defenders. Yobo can give us goals from the right.
The Pillar of Sports stressed that Omeruo and Chukwudi could fit into the senior national team irrespective of their inexperience.
â€œHenry Nwosu played for the Eagles as a teenager. We have also had schoolboy and undergraduate internationals like Johnny Egbuonu, Sam Garba Okoye, Patrick Ekeji and Adokiye Amiesimakaâ€, he explained.
The former Abia State Governor prayed for a more scientific input from the Amodu-led technical crew.
â€œWe need something different. Father Tiko converted Segun Odegbami to a winger so that he could play Thompson Usiyen as well. Otto Gloria moved Okey Isima from defensive mid-field to left back, and still got more goals. Ekeji could play right back and left in the same game. Even in 1983, Best Ogedegbe played for Nigeria as a striker. Amodu should feel free to dare,â€ Kalu summed up.