Super Eagles assistant coach Joseph Yobo believes the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) have players good enough to feature for the senior national team but reckons it is the ‘decision of the bosses’ to bring them into the team.
Yobo’s assertion remarkably differs from his boss Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr who has often pointed to a lack of quality in the NPFL as the reason he overlooks domestic players in his squads.
Rohr will likely be forced to change his position on domestic players after he assented to a new contract which mandates him to monitor the domestic league and nurture home-based players.
Yobo, a former Super Eagles captain, however, stated that though the home-based players are “good enough” for the national team, a lack of television coverage makes it very difficult for fans and national team selectors to see and assess them.
“I think the league (NPFL) is good enough, but do we have enough visibility?,” the 39-year-old asked rhetorically in an interview with Lagos-based radio station Lagos Talks.
“When I first came back to Nigeria, I was watching this league from the TV, and at that point, I knew a couple of players. I knew a couple of players already just by watching. So, that’s one angle.
“(The) league is good enough and we have good players, we have very good players. Look at my era as well, how many players came into the national team (from the league). But it is all the decision of the bosses.
“But to say do we have good players? Absolute yes. Do we have players that can come true and fit into the national team? Yes.”
For the NPFL players who would subsequently be invited to the Super Eagles, the former Everton and Marseille defender charged them to give it their best shot without feeling intimidated.
“These players that are good should come with a different mentality when they are invited to the national team – to the Super Eagles, because it is different,” he said.
“That thing that you have that made them invite you, don’t be shy. Don’t come to the national team and be timid. Of course, you have to respect the older players and the experienced players that are there.
“But on that field is where you have to show your quality and your character. Football has no border on the field. On the field, do your work that you merited because it is by merit that you got to the national team.
“So, I am of the opinion that there are good players in the league, there are players that deserve to be in the national team, but this has to be an understanding between the head coach and the federation on how to pick players and get them integrated slowly.”