Newly appointed England coach and former Bolton Wanderers’ manager, Sam Allardyce, has described former Super Eagles and Bolton Wanderers’ captain, Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha, as the best captain he ever had as a club manager.
Allardyce was speaking after the announcement of his first squad, when he was asked to name his new captain and his best ever captain.
The former Sunderland boss, who retained Manchester United captain, Wayne Rooney as the national team captain, said Okocha was the best of the lot.
As a club manager, the ‘big Sam’ encountered captains like Okocha at Bolton, Mark Noble and Kevin Nolan at West Ham and John O’Shea at Sunderland.
He told reporters, “Jay Jay Okocha. On and off the field he was the captain you looked for.”
“In a multi-national side from all over the world he could speak four different languages, communicate very well with some of the players who couldn’t speak quite as good English.
“He sorted the odd scuffle out in the dressing room, talked to the players about how we had to go out and win. He’d take the manager’s instructions and apply them in the right way.
“Then there was outstanding ability on the field, leading by example and showing everybody he wasn’t a mercenary which was suggested in the beginning, that he’d only come for the money. He became an iconic figure at Bolton Wanderers.”
Okocha moved from Paris Saint Germain in France to Bolton in 2002 and played for about four seasons at the club that has since been relegated in the Championship.
He is seen as one of the best players to ever play in the club and the Premier League.