CAPTAIN'S BAND: Does Joseph Yobo Deserve A Pat On The Back?

Nearly everyone has observed it. Joseph Yobo is in the habit of patting the back or rubbing the back head of his team mates – when anyone of them did something well or even made a mistake during a match – and I usually wonder why he does that. Is it to show that he’s “the big brother” and he needs to encourage the younger players to do well or is it an ego thing?

Definitely, it’s not because he’s now the captain of the Super eagles. No! he has been exhibiting such traits long before he was appointed the captain of the team. Maybe, it’s because of his experience.

Well, I don’t know how fans may see it. Since, it couldn’t be said that Yobo is such a reliable defender commanding such leadership clout as Stephen Keshi “the boss” or the charismatic Austin “JJ” Okocha or the lucky one, Nwankwo Kanu – all former captains of Super Eagles. It’s not unlikely that fans would feel that Yobo’s appointment as the captain is questionable, since other players may not look up to his playing skills as a motivating factor. They may want to know the rationale behind his appointment. Is it that the longest serving Super Eagles player automatically assumes the position of the captain or doesn’t it really matter who becomes the captain of the national team?
Well, captainship is not entirely new to Yobo. Before his appointment as Super Eagles’ captain, he had at several times worn the captain’s band of Everton FC in England. Coach David Moyle must have seen the same traits before he handed over the captain’s band to him. Moyle did that in spite of the several mistakes he made while playing in the team. Perhaps, he possesses some leadership qualities or what do you think?

The captain of a team is so vital to the team. The team manager knows this and doesn’t just hand over the captain’s band to just any player. The captain is the leader of the team and plays a pivotal role in the team’s emotional stability, performance and success. Therefore, the team manager should consider certain criteria before choosing a captain for the team.

Three Criteria for Choosing a Quality Team Captain
1)      An Inspiring Player: The captain’s playing skills and attitude should be inspiring to other members of the team. He may not be the best player, but he should be good enough to command regular shirt in the team. He’s the field commander, so he should be in “the battle ground” most of the time.

It’s not advisable to have a non-playing captain and have only a proxy on the pitch. But in some cases, a team manager may appoint a non-playing captain when he has found out that the player has an overwhelming influence over other members of the team.

2)      A Motivator: The captain should be a person who sees things from a positive angle and who has the disposition of influencing others and carry them along even in very difficult situations.

He should be a die hard player that gives his all and doesn’t easily give in to pressures. He influences his fellow team mates by example. The captain should understand the team vision and has the capacity to pursue it to the letter.

3)      A Mediator / Negotiator: The captain should be able to stabilize the social-emotional well-being of the team. He’s a person that strongly upholds the value of “team Spirit.”

The captain should always stand as “the big bother” to settle conflicts among team players and as well as liaison between players and team management, referees, and even coaching crew. He’s a person with strong inter-personal skills and has a good rapport with all stakeholders.

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