Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Keshi vs Yobo: Peacemakers, Please

I WILL not pass any comment on the on-going Stephen Keshi/Joseph Yobo saga “Because I’m Involved,” apologies to former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo who wrote a book with that title on the Nigerian Civil War.

All I will say, for now, is that the fears that I expressed in this column after the Super Eagles won  the 2013 Nations Cup in South Africa just about two months ago are coming to pass, unfortunately. I was concerned about our ability to manage the sudden AFCON success so that it wouldn’t cost us a qualifying ticket to the 2014 World Cup. We are failing so far.

Three weeks ago, we failed the first post-AFCON test when the Eagles could only snatch a late, late draw with Kenya in a World Cup qualifier in Calabar. Last week, team captain Joseph Yobo who was not called up for the Kenya game decided to publicly confront his coach Stephen Keshi via the media which doesn’t augur well for team unity. The signs are ominous for the Super Eagles.

Rather than join the debate on who is right or wrong between Keshi and Yobo, I have decided to be a peace-maker, and that is why I got involved. Consequently, I’ve temporarily given up my journalistic right to fair comment on the matter. But if the need arises to comment publicly later, I will certainly do so.

In the meantime, I have chosen to run an article by Pius Ayinor, sports editor of The Punch newspapers, on the matter. I do not necessarily agree with everything that Pius has to say, but his is one of the most balanced perspectives I have read so far on the subject.

I will be on the look-out for suggestions from Soccertalk readers on how to restore total peace to the Super Eagles so that our 2014 World Cup aspirations are not derailed . Meanwhile, let’s read Pius...



Yobo got it wrong with Keshi

By Pius Ayinor

lOn Tuesday (2nd April, 2013) I was shocked by captain Joseph Yobo’s outburst against national team coach Stephen Keshi. As a journalist on the sports beat it was gladdening to get that kind of outburst from a key  member of the national team because it made work very easy for me.

 The story was thus an easy pick and made my day. But beyond  that selfish reasoning, I was really disappointed by the two fellows involved in the disagreement. And after a careful review of the situation and how both of them handled the matter. I have awarded 60 per cent of the blame to Yobo himself and the balance to Keshi.

First to Keshi and the unhealthy statistics piling up with his players over communication issues. It started from Emmanuel Adebayor in Togo to Osaze Odemwingie, Emmanuel Emenike and then Yobo following so quickly. All turned out to be celebrated cases. With one or two players complaining, it is easy to wave it off with just one hand but when it turns to Nollywood part 1, part 2, 3 and 4, it leaves so much to think and talk about.

When Osaze kept his fingers busy tweeting, we said it was his character to attack his coaches, as he had done so with virtually all the coaches that had managed him at the national team. But I took a second look at Keshi’s relationship with his players when  the excuse he gave over lack of check on Emmanuel was that he (Emenike) changed his phone number. I found it quite amusing because the world has been made a unit by lots of different ways to communicating such that telephone alone can no longer count. If Emenike was holding Keshi’s Eagles employment letter and the contract details, would he have given up on reaching Emenike just because he changed his number? If we dial somebody we really want to reach on his regular number and can’t get through for sometime, do we just sit back and say it is over in 2013? In 1945, that would be easy to say but with facebook, twitter, e-mail, club contacts and all that is available, couldn’t Keshi have reached him?

Keshi needs to see himself as manager and not just a coach. At that level, you are a manager anyway. You are to look out on them concerning their careers, welfare and, above all, help manage and massage their egos if need be. A player will surely be glad to get a call from his national coach after a club game with remarks from him. A national coach should be able to ask after his player when he gets injured playing for his club let alone the national team. In case Keshi has forgotten, the big pay he gets is to enable him to do all that with ease. Just imagine how Ahmed Musa would feel if he heard that Keshi or his assistant visited his family in Nigeria over the player’s new baby. We all know that players can frustrate one coach and play for another with their blood. So Keshi, get on the line and manage your players properly.

And to Yobo, I really wonder if memories go stale so fast. Was it not Yobo that told Osaze that he was not the Lionel Messi of Nigeria? He asked the West Brom striker to keep his mouth shut when he was complaining over his own case just before the Nations Cup. Just few months after, Yobo is now screaming more than the guy he told to shut up. Is Yobo now the Cristiano Ronaldo of Nigeria?

I very much feel the anguish of Yobo at being dropped without even a text message from his coach. As a captain and given the number of years he has served I agree with him that Keshi ought to have shown him some honour by informing him of his decision to move on without him. But is it Yobo’s right to be called first before a list is released? I don’t think so; it is a privilege. Or do they brief Yobo in Europe before his club team list is drawn? But for proper management of a team, a manager owes his captain that honour if not the entire team. His captain is practically an assistant coach to him and so needs to be carried along at all times.  And it is for such reason that Fabio Capello stood by his captain John Terry and quit his job instead of allowing the English FA to sack his captain without consulting him.

But beyond the captain/coach relationship, Yobo should have lived by example just as he demanded from Osaze. Yobo could have handled the matter in a better fashion by calling up Keshi and challenging him for dropping him like a dirty sack after the African Cup success without saying goodbye if he was no longer needed.

Yobo could not have forgotten so quickly that Keshi called him up even while he was injured and had to endure the criticisms from Nigerians. The same Keshi also used him in South Africa even when Nigerians doubted his fitness as he counted more caps for himself. Keshi ran a risk fielding him. And so if Keshi had bent backward for his sake it is not fair to turn around so quickly and blast his coach via the media. If Keshi did not call him, would it have been wrong if he called Keshi himself? How would he fit in now after all he has said about Keshi and his assistant?

A coach/captain public spat is not healthy for the national team especially while still under the euphoria of being champions.

27 comments:

  1. Because am involved was written by Chief Ojukwu and NOT Chief Obasanjo

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  2. MY CONVERSATION WITH A TOP NIGERIAN JOURNALIST
    Me: Yobo erred no though but that is human, to forgive is divine. However, If Keshi is sincere and doesn’t have a hidden agenda (of not wanting Yobo to become the first Nigerian to hit 100 caps), It will NOT do the team any harm to have Yobo around for cameo 10-15 minutes appearances in friendlies and games at the Confederations cup. Notwithstanding the near perfect partnership between Obiobona & Omeruo, who says Yobo (who played the Europa League yesterday) is not good enough to play in the current Super Eagles?

    Journalist: What's this craze u are pushng for Yobos century. The guy has had his day in the sun. He had it all in the Nations Cup. He can't have a better ending. If u ask me the captain of the Eagles now should be Mikel Obi. No sentiment intended. We should go past emotional 100 caps. Yobo has made his mark. We need new marks from aspirational players and they need to be inspired. How often does Hudgson speak with who again is the England captain. Osaze told us the truth and we are struggling to ingest it. Take care my brother. I write u out of respect.
    Me: Thanks. I agree am being emotional about this but remember Rigobert Song, Hossam Hassan, etc. Their countries encouraged them to hit the centurion. Besides, me thinks this is one of the ways we can motivate the upcoming players rather than our 'use and dump', 'tired legs', etc. because the same Yobo that is being phased out now (rather than being encouraged to reach this milestone for our collective glory), the same way we will clamour for these upcoming players to be phased out. As a proverb says, "The cane you use to beat the senior wife is kept in the roof for the junior". I rest my case!

    Journalist: How painful is the cane used. A simple flog may be a sign of love. Anyway still trailing your emotional line I also think yobo can be used by the coach majorly for friendlies to help inspire young ones in the team. Maybe we could get to your wish. Have a nice day.

    Me: Now you are talking!!! Playing him in friendlies and a little 5-10 minutes cameo will NOT do the team any harm. It will be for the good of the team and for our collective glory as a nation.

    And I think you guys (journalists) have a BIG role to play in this matter by prevailing on the big boss to forgive & forgive his captain's outbursts as "a sign of love". To err is human but to forgive is divine! After all, "If you discipline a child with one hand, you draw him to your self with the other hand". Stay blessed.

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  3. Keshi in the euphoria of AFCON success, without discussing or notifying the NFF staff (his employer) right with him in South Africa and fully aware of the announcement that the team would be hosted by Mr. President on return, went on radio in the same country and announced his resignation. The result - the fans and media turned on the NFF staff, cut short their celebration and mercilessly crucified them.
    Keshi became the star of the moment, NFF the villain and the players side actors. Most saw nothing wrong but praised Keshi for delivering a solid soccer punch to the NFF. Most failed to see the vindictive motive behind Keshi's move or consider the possible effect on the NFF and players. There and then to me, the usual self-destructive seed of post-Super Eagles' triumph was sown.
    Now and Emenike and Yobo took a cue from Keshi's playbook and everyone shouted blue murder! This to me is double standard at its best.
    I won't absolve Yobo of blame but for a player that is not known for this kind of outburst over his many years of service to the SE, I would give him a benefit of doubt.
    Some fans have started calling Yobo a finished material who is not needed again just because Omeruah and Obabonah (not sure of the spelling) are playing well. Aside the fact that you do not unceremoniously dump a player who have played his role well over the years, Yobo is also the team captain and deserve even more respect! He might have had issues at AFCON but he's still playing well enough at his club. What happens when the new boys get injured or have a bad day, any experience backup comes to mind? If we continue to dump players the way a foolish husband dumps his old wife for new ones, do we think even the present crop of young SE players would look forward with assurance to the twilight of their career with the team?
    We remember Keshi's past history as a player and now as a coach and I dare say Keshi has his own ego issues that need to be well managed for him reach his potential. He needs to stay humbled and not allow the fans' hero-worship to derail him. We do him great disservice if we fail to tell him the truth. Without his players working well as a united team, he would find it hard to replicate AFCON success. We truly need to mend the cracks growing in the team before it tears apart our WC dream

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  4. @Ayekooto

    I need to comment on your posting. You write out of a combination of "emotion" and "ignorance".Let us start at the beginning to situate the present. How did the problem of Keshi and Yobo start? It started when Keshi refused to bench Kenneth Omeruah after Yobo recovered from his injuries at the Nations cup. Yobo kept agitating to be among the first 11 and started a cold war with Keshi. Yobo cannot dictate to the coach who to start. When Equavoen, Siasia and Amodu were sacked as Super Eagles coaches, Yobo was the captain. Was Yobo sacked along with these coaches as captain? The reason why Yobo has been rational in the past is because no coach has ever had the liver to drop him. He always played whether he was fit or not because he is the captain. Yobo was not physically fit and well conditioned for the last Nations cup. He tried to pull the wool over Keshi's eyes and almost got away with it. When all the players were in Faro camp, the captain was in Lagos visiting orphanages and distributing gifts all because he wanted to avoid the Catalonia friendly match. Then he surfaced for the Cape Verde match thinking it was going to be a walk in the park. Only a football novice would not have noticed that the guy was not fit. The chickens came home to roost in our first game against Burkina Faso. Yobo is officially 32 years old aiming to go to the World cup if we qualifer at 33 years of age as a defender. We all know that his real age is somewhere between 34 to 37 years. He should retire gracefully and honourably. You want to know who would replace the fantastic pair of the "young blood" we are using now - Oboboana and Omeruo. That is not hard to work out since Yobo has dropped down the pecking order. Efe Ambrose plays central defence at his club and would fit in nicely. While Yobo was hiding here in Lagos, the back 4 and the goalkeeper were all local lads and played well against Catalonia. The central pair can fit in. Yobo moved from the tough league in England - Everton to be precise to softer ground in Turkey. Why did he not move to Man U, Man City, Chelsea or even Spain? Yobo has made it clear he won't be a non-playing captain and since there is no vacancy in the first 11 and possibly the 3 substitute positions what do you want Keshi to do? Yobo is not ready to play the role which Kanu Nwankwo played towards the twilight of his career of which Yobo was the chief beneficiary.Yobo is not wise at all. He ought to have stopped at complaining about being dropped. So much venom was pouring from his mouth against Keshi and an assistant coach. It is impossible to include him in the team list now. I have put myself in Keshi's position. Will I invite a player that would likely sabotage me? Siasia's episode is still fresh in my memory. If a player is crying round town that I want to retire him prematurely when he still has several years of service to render(abeg Ayekooto smile here!!!), will he not retire me as a coach first? You must strike before your enemy strikes. Will I take a player that has informed me that he is going to put together a documentary detailing all the bad things that happened at the Faro Camp and in South Africa to the Germany Camp and Brazil? Will the player be concentrating on footballing matters or gathering more materials for his documentary? Will I invite a player that thinks I am jealous of him? Will I invite a player that thinks my main assignment is to prevent him from attaining 100 caps? Questions and more questions. My opinion is that for now he has no role to play. The coach is the only one accountable for the results of matches as he selects the players. If he fails he gets the boot. Therefore we should allow him do his job. Time heals wounds, Yobo may yet be back someday to actualize his dream of 100 caps. But not now. We have serious business at hand now.



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  5. @Dotty.
    You got me wrong. I certainly do not want Yobo fielded on sentiment but he has done his bit for the team, whether he was the best or not is not the matter. The main thing is that He has always been there. Yobo didn't get all his caps by sentiment. Sure his game has his own weak part but which player do not. He's worked under several coach and he held his own. You did what many people have done so far, singled out Yobo for the blame and more or less pat the coach on the back, ignoring all the warning signal being put out. A pilot that ignores signals on his cockpit dashboard repeatedly will soon go down with the plane.
    I would have been contented if Nigerians have blamed Yobo for breaking protocool and attacking his coach through the media, nonetheless following his coach poor example set after AFCON (I have no doubt that some NFF staff would be feeling Karma is calling), but to start condemning him and downplaying all his effort and achievement is not good.
    When Emenike went to media, people forgot his contribution at AFCON and absolved Keshi or any blame. Some even called him names. Yobo followed suit and he is the only one being condemned heavily too. Keshi is human and can make mistakes. If he does, he should be told in clear time.
    Enough of this one-sided treatment when everybody else takes the beating and Keshi takes little or none at all. The rest of the players (Mikel, Moses, etc) are watching and you can be sure their future actions would be influenced by how this plays out.
    Lastly, if u feel Yobo should have called it quit because his form has dipped, then you should agree with me that Keshi had no business in both Tunisia and USA 94. Why did Westerhof take him along? It took lot of pressure for even Chidi Nwanu (on hot form for Anderletch) to join the team for the World Cup. People says he was not involved in the qualifier and bla bla bla but whose fault was that? And certainly, it shows that it wasn't Keshi's form that put him on that team on both occasion - it was because he was what Yobo is now - the Captain and a veteran in the team.
    I don't mind people calling it emotion, but we can't continue to take side with Keshi and treat the players and administrators as afterthought - the house will crumble.

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  6. Let me also add, that Keshi's involvement in AFCON and WC 94 was also done to maintain the team spirit and chemistry. Even then, there were tension in the camp and allusions made to emergence of different interest groups in the team. Westehof had to depend on his managerial skills to keep the unit together for that period.
    I think beyond others comment, Keshi and Yobo needs to sit down and discuss when and how Yobo will retire from the team. I'm sure Keshi probably had this kind of talk with Westerhof for him to make it to those 2 events with which he drew the final curtain on his illustrious years of service to the team and nation.

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  7. Our penchant to "Nigerianize" everything under the sun maybe gratifying.
    Hell, we even Nigerianized English to Pidgin.
    But it gets irritating when the envelope is pushed beyond the mundane.
    The present furore over the Keshi-Yobo drama is, well, so much storm in a tea cup.
    So Yobo cries at not being informed that he has been dropped, and suddenly Nigeria's football is in crisis? Pleeasssee!!!
    At all times, at all climes, for as long as soccer retains its allure, coaches clash with dropped marquee players.
    It happens everywhere else. Why not in Nigeria?
    The latest case in point is Mourinho's recent treatment of Casillas at Real Madrid. There was talk of a Madrid disunity, with some theory that the case was a suicidal ploy by Mourinho to engineer his exit. Well, the last time I checked Real Madrid are playing their best football in months.
    Ferguson dropped Rooney against Real Madrid and the press and public went to town about a discontent at United. How dare Ferguson!
    Point is, coaches live and die by their decisions, and treatment of players remains their inalienable right.
    Any perceived disunity in Keshi's team is in the imagination of the Nigerian public.
    However, continually beating the drum of this so-called disunity will ultimately infect the players.
    If there is a KESHI METHOD, then I expect Keshi to deal with any discontent within his team in his own unique manner. That's the way of successful coaches.
    The public, including the media, should remain mere observers. Not counsellors.

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  8. Oh my dear people!!
    We as a people are very inteligent. Munini Alao's article "Keshi Vs Yobo: Peacemakers. Please", has brought this inteligence to play. First, the write up of Pius Ayinor, Second the reponse of Ayekooto and thirly Dotty's reply to Ayekooto's response. Why i make reference to these names is because Mumini said he "will not pass any comment on the on-going Stephen Keshi/Joseph Yobo saga'Because I'm Involved'", quoting from Obansanjo though corected by Chuddy, i don't know who is correct out of the two. My point is this; Alao deos not want to tell us how involved he is but want those who are interested in the fight to continue fighting. My friend Mumini, don't you think it is better to conclude what you are involved in than increasing the tempo of the fight. A saying that an elderly person will not allow the goat to bear its young ones under tie will help in solving this saga. So i will encourage you to say something. Anyways, of the three persons I mentioned earlier, i tend to go with Dotty for two reasons: 1. "Yobo is not ready to play the role which Kanu Nwankwo played toward the twilight of his career of which Yobo was the chief beneficiary." This is a statement of fact. 2. "Yobo has been rational in the past because no coach has had the liver (or guts) to drop him. These two pints amangst other help to reach the conclusion that Yobo should keep quiet and lick his wound and accept defeat as a good sportsman. His days are over with age. He has forgotten how his mistakes cause us heartache in some crcial matches. We don't need such mistakes now. He should take the example of Drogba. Keshi is the coach and not Yobo. He Yobo has the respect of Nigerians. He should retire honorably without noise.

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  9. Quiet unfortunate that out of the whole points menyioned, you could only pick out 2 . And pitifully, the 2 are to blame our veteran joseph Yobo. As Ayekotoo rightly opined, Keshi is feeling he is there aleready and a very big blunder which has started showing against Kenya. Keshi as we knw right from his days in NNB( i knw u have not started primary school then Dotty and pius) has always been at loggerheards with the authorities. what happene to him in Abdijan as a player enroute to belgium. What about all his antics to get Chidi Nwanu out of the AFCON and US94 team. It is obvious that yobo is more usueful to the team now than what keshi was in 93 and 94 Eagles. He was honoured to attend world cup and even played a match against Greece honourably at the age of 43yrs. We know his history in Togo and Mali. we know about his resignation thru the wrong media in South Africa. who has cut off his neck for not doing the right thing. If he was allowed to go, would he have gotten another job? was our success in South Africa basically due to Keshi's competenec as a coach? how long has he stayed out of job since he left Mali? Is there anything wrong in we allowing and propelling our ouw yobo to attain the 100caps? this is the same way we Keshi connived with Westerhof to deny Nduka Ugbade the opportunity of being the first player ever to play in all categories of FIFA world cups(under 17, 21 and the world cup). instead, he influence Westerhof either by aura or charm to choose Efan Ekoku-who was not even used in the world cup. So yobo is right or knows what he is sayong when he talks about ''jealousy''.Yobo has never had any issiue with any coach in the national team and club since his 12 years of football. All the caps he gannered are all merited.Dotty, am shock that you dont have data before you go public. Yobo left everton not out of form but due to Moyes worry that he commites much to national team. remmember Afcon 2008. that was when it all started.
    And if i may ask you, is everton doing better than Fenarbache?
    Your so call coach was playing in an unknown club in US or quatar when he made the AFCON and USA 94 team.
    Blame keshi where he is wrong and dont take side with wrong steps. keshi lacks man mgt skills largely due to his arrogance andpompous nature.

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  10. Gentlemen,
    I believe the issue here is to propose the pathway to peace and I have said my bit. @ Ada Orile, club football is a bit different from national team. These guys see and work with themselves everyday. It is much easier to mend fences and maintain team performance because all actors are first and foremost professional workers employed to do their jobs. Why do you think some of the most successful club coaches have had problems coaching national teams and vice-versa?
    Brother, national team is a different ball game.
    And my conclusion is that Keshi should learn from his own story. If Westerhof, the fans and media had pushed him into forced retirement from the SE before Nigeria first ever World Cup in USA 94, the team would have gone to the World Cup divided and our first outing might have been a disaster. History they say, has a funny way of repeating itself, especially when we fail to learn from it. Keshi should sit with Yobo and work out something that would benefit everyone. That is what a true leader and manager will. I rest my case - finally **lol**

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  11. The problem is the egomaniac called Keshi. He does not respect the NFF, the Nigerian government, and now his players. If Yobo is not good, what about Emenike who unuarguably helped to deliver the Nations Cup. Yobo is not asking to be fielded but just a respect for servicing his country for 13 years and team captain. In coach the world over will call his regular players and inform them he will not be calling them for any assignment. When the England coach wanted to drop Ferdinand, he placed a call to him. Now Keshi has left for the U.S. despite being asked by the NFF not to go and to come for a meeting. He did this as a player and was flouting coach's orders. This guy will destroy the Super Eagles and has no discipline for Eagles. He did not win the Nations Cup by himself. He needs to go before it is too late. Any decent coach with Moses, Emenike, Mikel, Ambrose and Elderson can win the Nations Cup. They are the best in Africa at the moment. This is the reason why he was fired in Togo and Mali.

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  12. Guys, while it is nice to say our opinion, please do let's remember the title of this piece says "Keshi Vs Yobo: Peacemakers. Please". It will be greatly appreciated if we can get more strategic peace making suggestions rather than more blames on who is right or wrong.

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  13. @Ayekooto that there is a difference between managing club football and international football is one of those myths that fails to explain the failure of coaches to transmute success between both levels of the game.
    It is a myth because it fails to explain the many coaches who have succeeded at both the international game and the club game. Sir Alf Ramsey. Helmut Schoen. Luis Menotti. Franz Beckenbauer.
    The unnecessary fuss over the Yobo affair has little bearing on the level of the game, as "Keshi's Crime" regularly occurs at both the club and the international level respectively.
    Cue: W/Cup 78 - Argentina Coach Luis Menotti rejected Maradona "against the sentiments of the nation" and endured public outcry in the process. He won that World Cup.
    Cue: Euro 96 - France Coach Aime Jacquet snubbed Eric Cantona and David Ginola "against all known logic" and rode the public criticism as France failed woefully. He won the World Cup two years later.
    My point? Coaches are paid to manage teams. Their management style is solely their business.
    The public may shout all they want, but good coaches must stick to their modus operandi.
    Show me a coach who responds to public sentiments and I will show how unsuccessful that coach is.
    The jury is still out as to whether Siasia's downfall can be traced to his response to public sentiments.
    The fuss about the Yobo snub is what it is: so much hot air.
    Keshi must be allowed to get on with his job. And if he should fail, he can then look at himself in the mirror with a straight face.

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  14. You guys and particularly the Press should leave Keshi alone.He lives or dies with his decisions.NFF bad belle people want to sabotage our efforts to qualifer for the world cup,they should be giving their coach 100% support and not be seen to be fighting the guy.Na wa for Nigeria.Aminu Maigari should call Emeka Iyama and co to order.Keshi is the boss today and he decides the plyers he needs.Yobo is not bigger than Nigeria.Who is he to say he cannot be a non playing captain.Has he achieved 1/4 of Kanu's achievements?I beg 2nd base!

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  15. @ "Anonymous 1", Chuddy is right. 'Because I'm Involved' was written by the late Odumegwu Ojukwu. Olusegun Obasanjo's book on the war was titled "My Command." Sorry guys, for the mix-up and thank you, Chuddy, for the correction.

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  16. I don't think we need to be telling Keshi what to do. I have never seen where a guy comes last in class and be advising who came first on how to pass his exams. Yobo should be reminded that other coaches before Keshi respected him as captain but never achieved anything or qualified for CAN. If Keshi's style is bringing result who is he to querry the coach management style in public. All this players needs to know that Keshi's coaching style is about performance. If you think you are Maradona and perform less. You will surely be benched. Yobo should ask Adebayor when Keshi was coach in togo.

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  17. @AYODELE OLOYEDE

    The reason I did not focus on Peace-Making Strategies is because I can't see the war. You discuss peace when there is a war. Yobo is not ready for the role Keshi carved out for him in the team. This is a role Keshi and Kanu Nwankwo have played very well in the past and has robbed off well on the team. Yobo wants to start games and there is no vacancy for him. So he takes on his coach at the slightest opportunity. If you insist on peace-making strategies, here they are:
    (1) Yobo should accept that it is only a coach that chooses his players.
    (2) He should accept the deciion of the coach that he is not needed for now. He is surplus to requirements.
    (3) He should apologise to the coach. A coach decides his managerial style and he rises or falls by his decisions.
    (4) Yobo should give time for the wounds caused by his utterances to heal. The coach needs time to ascertain Yobo's loyalty and to ensure he would not sabotage him.
    (5) The coach should then start by inviting him for friendly matches after we have qualified for the World cup in September by the Grace of God. By this time he will no longer be the captain. I expect Mikel Obi to have taken over.
    (6) After attaining his 100 caps through friendly matches, he should retire honourably

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  18. Let openly express my gratitude and appreciation to oloyede(moderator par excellence),chuddy(for good knowledge of history), ayekooto( parrot in Yoruba and translated literally means the world would always reject d truth)for saying it d way it is and not for forgeting dotty whom to me seems to know so much about what transpired between keshi and yobo speaks about it with all gusto and without fear or sentiment my take is that U are either a journalist or some one very close the camp of SE. Worthy of note and commendation is also the contribution of so many anonymouses and finally ADA ORILE always my favourite any time any day(even if I don't agree with her all d time)articulate,good diction all round knowledge of d game. You are all worthy journalist in ur own right. Back to the arguement at hand,am if the opinion that keshi is a coach and not a manager. There is no reason overflogging the issue. Yobo deserve no pity or respect with the way he handle the issue but put 90%of the blame on keshi's door step. Two wrongs doesn't make a right.

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  19. The coach is the boss of the team at anytime. If Keshi feels Yobo is no longer relevant in the national team, so be it. no sentiment. The press should PLEASE stop feasting on the Keshi brand for what attention it draws to their stands. The super Eagles should be supreme in our thoughts. We need the WC 2014 ticket more than anything and certainly, this unnecessary distraction that the NFF is now using to disrupt Keshis backroom staff strength is both callous and shameless. Keshi is the boss today, the buck stops on his table. A little bit of respect please.

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  20. @Anonymous April 12th 9.33 PM

    Sorry to disappoint you. I am neither a journalist or close to the camp of the Super Eagles. I am a woman that is very passionate about football and has been watching and analysing football at a young age. I have been at it since the playing days of Christian Chukwu, Segun Odegbami and Co. Since the days when it was very exciting to watch the local league. So you can estimate my age. I am a researcher by profession and take my time to listen to all sides, read the sports papers, watch football talk shows and browse the internet. My analyses are not based on whether I like Keshi or not, ditto Yobo. Most sports journalists base their analyses on which side of the divide they are and/or whether they want favours from NFF,sports ministry, players or not.

    I listened to Mumini Alao comments on Brila FM two Saturdays ago concerning the Keshi/Yobo issue and he spoke well. Rather than be a peacemaker or want us to be peacemakers, he should advise Yobo to respect constituted authority. Keshi was given a target. He must qualify the country for the World Cup. He must therefore have the freedom to chose the players that can do this for him. Mumini should advise his fellow sports journalists both in the print and electronic media to stop crying wolf where there is none. The two players that might want to sabotage Keshi out of the 30 man list are Enyeama and Emenike. But for Ejide's injury prior to the commencement of the Nations cup he would have displaced Enyeama. I am not expecting Emenike to play any significant role as he is still not fully fit. The journalists should stop creating the impression that Super Eagles would collapse if Yobo is dropped.

    Yobo should be recalled but not now. He needs to allow time for wounds to heal.Drogba the captain of Cote d' Voire was dropped for the last world cup qualifers and there is peace in Cote d' Voire. Is Yobo in Drogba's class? Mumini should kindly paste another topic for us to discuss o jare.

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  21. Please can someone there help inform my brother Joe(Yobo) that the Coach is the Boss in the game of football. He appoints and have the power to change the players, alter game plan, remove and re-appoint captain, discuss with management(of which he is a part of) on the welfare of the team. And if there is a need to hear the view of the team members, the team captain or someone chosen collectively by the players will come and make representation to the Management. Yobo, we have a coach in the person of Stephen Okechuckwu Keshi currently, please you can not be a part of the team and speak as if if you are the team sponsor. If the coach has failed in calling you, courtesy demands that both of you meet or chat on the phone than for you to send messages to your coach through the pages of newspapers, one day it will be your turn. Remember it is easy to criticize when you are not the one on the hot seat, when it is your turn, you will no better. Please I love and respect you, do not become a renegade or an irresponsible leader. Thank you so much. God bless Yobo and all who read this.

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  22. d question l want 2 ask is dis: when yobo was in everton and he was benched by moyes did he ever complain.the answer is a big NO.IF IT WERE A FOREIGN COACH, WOULD HE HAVE THE GUTS TO SAY THE THINGS HE IS SAYING.AGAIN THE ANSWER IS A BIG NO.Keshi as the coach took a risk on him, took him 2 d nations cup & he won d nations cup even without any meaningful contribution.wat else does he want.on current form is he better than omeruo or obaobona d answer again is a BIG NO.so lets leave keshi alone plsss so dat he can qualify us 4 Brazil 2014.God bless NIGERIA.

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  23. Hello my friend Mumini, you gave one bone to two dogs to share and watch with keen interes how the sharing goes. I believe since your article Keshi/Yobo-Peacemakers..., a lot of comments, suggestions and the way forward have been said. I am the anonymous 1 (Enas). I Thank you for responding to the mix-up correction.

    Lady Dotty and Oloyede have made pratical suggestions, particularly Dotty on the way forward and i agree with them and other usefull contributions. You too have to come up with the way forward other than to sit and watch two dogs figthing for one bone. I will conclude by saying that Keshi as the "father" of these boys should temper justice with mercy as they say and recall Yobo for friendlies but not for crucial qualifying matches so he can attain the mile stone of the hundred caps. He should remember that if Yobo does not achieve that, someone, one day will and the record that it was his coaching era will be lost. It will mean that, that feather that will be added to his cap will be lost as well. So gentlemen and our lady Dotty,i think it is our friend Mumini's turn to ready his verdict and post another topice. We dey wait o jare. Abi you dey vex, Mumini? Na me Enas.

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  24. I am really disappointed at the level this argument is falling to. Nigerians I have always believed are intelligent people. But the logic I see here will make most of the people supporting Keshi fail out of school.

    The question in this debate is simple. Does a captain deserve to be notified before being dropped from the team for a World Cup qualifier? If you are not sure of the answer, put yourself in the captain's shoes. For those claiming Drogba was dropped in Ivory Coast and there is peace do not know how much respect the Drog commands. I am willing to bet $500 that Lamouchi called Drogba before he made that list public.

    All I am asking for here, is that we should respect constituted authority. Keshi had no business resigning in a South African radio station because the South Africans never hired him in the first place. So he should not feel disrespected that his players are talking to the press about him. He should MANAGE BY EXAMPLE.
    Solution:
    Keshi should respect the NFF and the players should respect Keshi and his choices. We should remember nobody is more important than the other. A king that fails to respect his subjects will rule over only himself. Syvlester Tudeme

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  25. THE BUCK WILL ALWAYS STOP AT KESHIS DESK. IT IS HIM AND HIS ASSISTANT COACHES THAT SELECT THE PLAYERS THEY WANT TO PROSECUTE A CAMPAIGN. kESHI WAS EMPLOYED BY THE NFF. WHO THE HELL EMPLOYED YOBO AS A CAPTAIN. KESHI WAS AT LIBERTY TO APPOINT A NEW CAPTAIN IMMEDIATELY HE WAS APPOINTED. ALLOWING YOBO TO REMAIN CAPTAIN WAS AT THE DISCRETION OF KESHI. yOBOS OUTBURST WAS NOTHING BUT PURE RUDENESS. HE PLAYED DISMALLY DURING THE AFCON YET SOME PEOPLE WANT TO RAM IT DOWN THE THROAT OF KESHI THAT YOBO WILL CREATE A RECORD BY ATTAINING 100 CAPS FOR THE SUPER EAGLES. WE WANT TO WIN MATCHES AND NOT MUNDANE ISSUES LIKE RECORDS.

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  26. Why are we fighting over this issue? If anybody could remember Keshi was in the same situation with Westerholf, and i don,t think he did anything wrong to Yobo. For every extra cap Yobo adds a young player is denied a cap, so if that player is your son, brother or friend , how would you feel?

    Nigerians will not forget the situation with Adebayor, but does that mean Emenike that changed his phone number without telling anybody is right? Keshi said he called Osaze several times , but he did not return his calls , and when he saw that the team has taken shape and qualified for Afcon now he wants to play.

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  27. Nigerian team has proved that they are best in African continent - http://www.ngr24.com/

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