Joseph Yobo spent eight seasons at Everton after initially arriving at Goodison Park on loan in the summer of 2002 before joining permanently a year later.
The central defender played in an era where there were a numbr of world-class strikers who graced the Premier League.
The former Nigerian international came up against the likes of Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry, Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler, Fernando Torres, Didier Drogba and Wayne Rooney to name a few.
Needless to say, being asked to name his toughest opponent would not be the easiest question for the former Everton man to answer.
Predictably, he mentioned two stellar names from the aforementioned list as his toughest opponents in Henry and Drogba.
However, the former Toffees star admitted that one former Spurs man was harder to face than even the Arsenal and Chelsea legends.
Yobo picked former Spurs forward Robbie Keane, as his toughest opponent due to the Irishman’s movement in the final third.
“I used to look up to the duels with him [Henry]. He was so quick, talented and skilful. You have to be fit to face Henry because he will embarrass you and score a hat-trick, but that never happened with me.
“Keane plays in a position that was very difficult – off the main striker. So when he drops off the striker, it’s difficult to mark him.
“Keane was one of the cleverest I played against in the EPL. His movement was very difficult because we were of different sizes.
“I always love playing against Drogba, who I can feel, and [Samuel] Eto’o, who I can pin down. But when he drops you’re with a choice of going all out and leaving behind the space or staying back in my position.”
Spurs Web Opinion
I have always believed that Keane had the best movement of any striker I have seen play for Spurs. While he certainly didn’t have the athleticism or the ball-striking ability of the likes of Defoe or Kane, he was extremely intelligent in reading the game and always seemed to be at the right place at the right time.
He was also a master at taking a step or two back to pull the defender out of position before spinning in behind. It is nice to see the Irishman getting the credit he deserves.
Have something to tell us about this article?