Former Everton defender Joseph Yobo was named as assistant coach to Super Eagles’ Gernot Rohr in February, but his appointment attracted several criticisms, in particular, for the lack of any coaching qualification to merit the post
Former Nigeria international Felix Owolabi has lashed back at critics of Yobo’s coaching credentials, saying the retired Super Eagles defender, though young and inexperienced, can draw inspiration from Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer and lead the three-time African champions to glory.
Two-time European Footballer of the Year, Beckenbauer appeared 103 times for West Germany and played in three FIFA World Cups, winning the 1974 edition hosted by West Germany.
In 1983, Der Kaiser drew the curtain on a successful club career that saw him feature for Bayern Munich, Hamburg, and New York Cosmos.
The following year, the retired defender was appointed manager of the West German national team.
Beckenbauer impressed yet again at his new role, taking the team to the final of the 1986 World Cup, where they lost to a Diego Maradona-inspired Argentina.
West Germany kept faith with their manager, and four years later, they were world champions for the third time in history, beating Maradona’s Argentina at Italia ’90.
And just like Beckenbauer, 1980 AFCON winner Owolabi believes Yobo – who is Nigeria’s joint-most capped player with 101 appearances – is already well equipped to excel as Super Eagles coach.
“Yes, I agree (Yobo’s a young coach), but he has a wealth of playing experience,” Owolabi told the Vanguard.
“Remember Frank Beckenbauer, he never coached anywhere before, when the German Chancellor called on him to lead the national team. He took Germany to win the World Cup.
“Let Yobo be there. But they would need more coaches for different roles.”