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Guangzhou R&F

Yakubu on Guangzhou R&F, Sven Goran-Eriksson and the Super Eagles

Former EPL star Yakubu Aiyegbeni is enjoying some of the form of his career at Guangzhou R&F after being reunited with his old Leicester boss, ex-England manager Sven Goran-Eriksson, with the “Yak” scoring 15 goals in 29 games this year to propel his side to a respectable sixth in the Chinese Super League.

Yakubu also hit 9 goals in 14 games last season to give a scoring ratio of 1.8 goals a game since he came to China, but the former Maccabi Haifa, Portsmouth, Everton, Blackburn Rovers and Middlesbrough forward admits that football in China is not as easy as it seems in this interview with Wild East Football’s Peter Davis.

As you close up a second Chinese Super League season, what are your thoughts on the league right now?

The Chinese Super League is getting harder every season, this season is definitely more difficult than the last one. The CSL has more good players and the league as a whole is improving, the league keeps getting better every season.

What is the 2014 target for R&F? Can you chase Evergrande?

Evergrande are one of the best teams in the Chinese League but our main focus is to finish in the top three of the CSL and qualify for the Asian Champions League, that’s our main target for the next season.

What’s been the impact of Sven on the team?

Sven brings confidence to the team and he brings a European standard of coaching, we are training like we are in England and the clubs training is much better than before, the team loves the training sessions with him.

Which Chinese players have impressed you this season?

At Guangzhou R&F, the young number 20 Tang Miao would fit in really well in Europe.

How did the signing of Eddy Bosnar changed the R&F side?

Eddy is a very good player. He came in and made the team solid, brought confidence to the team and now there is no more conceding silly goals, the defense is now very solid.

You are fourth top scorer with 15 goals, would you say your 2013 season has been successful?

I think the season was successful but I can do better and I should be scoring more goals next season. I’m still getting used to the CSL but I’m settled, which is very good. The club and fans can expect more goals from me next season.

What is your impression of the Nigeria national team now under Stephen Keshi, how well do you think they will do at the World Cup?

Stephen Keshi is doing very well with the national team, wining the African Nations Cup. Nigeria will get to at least the second round in Brazil.

Beijing-based Peter Davis has followed Chinese football since 2008 and is a regular contributor to Wild East Football. He can be found on Twitter and Weibo at @peteydavis

Pete is from Sheffield, England and came to China in 2008 initially living in Shenyang where he witnessed his first CSL game, Liaoning Whowin v Chengdu Blades. Pete is a fanatic Sheffield Wednesday fan but has picked up football allegiances from various trips, Galatasary in Turkey, Piacenza in Italy and Muangthong United in Thailand. In early 2009 he moved to Beijing and after a brief time started attending Guoan games regularly.

Pete graduated in Journalism in the UK and has written for several educational publications on Chinese education for his day job as well as Chinese football for WEF which he wishes was more developed but avidly follows the Imperial Guards on their quest for CSL supremacy regardless.

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