'He Was The Ronaldinho Of Bolton Wanderers' - Nolan Picks Okocha In Best XI Played WithPublished: December 12, 2018
Former Bolton Wanderers, Newcastle United and West Ham United midfielder Kevin Nolan on Wednesday picked former Super Eagles captain Austin Jay Jay Okocha as one of the most outstanding players he has played with.
Nolan was guest on Premier League Today where he had the onerous task of picking the group of players he considered the best he played with, and those against.
Featuring in a diamond midfield formation where he was positioned on top of it, Nolan who made 401 Premier League appearances and scored 69 league goals eulogized the onetime PSG and Nigeria midfield maestro.
"I don't think in the past six to eight years that we've witnessed what this fellow did at Bolton when he scored that famous goal against West Ham United (after arriving from PSG in the summer of 2002). He kept us up.
"Jay Jay was brilliant week in, week out. He was just unbelievable not just on the things he did on Saturdays (or Sundays) but in trainings. He made us better, you know he was going to do something special whenever he got the ball. He had people on the edge of their seats.
"You could see why he played for top clubs and he could easily have continued. I think he liked life in Bolton, being the hero. In trainings he went past players. You will ask 'where is he', the next thing Jay Jay was gone.
Nolan seemed to agree with former Bolton manager Sam Allardyce who once said there was no player in the EPL better than Okocha even referenced to Cristiano Ronaldo as not being a better footballer.
"All the players Allardyce bought, none was like Jay Jay Okocha. He could do all the things Ronaldinho did at Barcelona. He was the Ronaldinho of Bolton. He could do whatever he wanted with the ball. - drag backs, step over, he could make the ball sleep," Nolan went on effusively.
Okocha spent four seasons at the Reebok with 127 Premier League appearances and 14 goals to his credit. In June 2018, the club's fans voted him as the greatest ever Bolton player.
Nolan's Best XI Played With : Jussi Jaaskelainen; Fernando Hierro, Bruno N' Gotty, Ricardo Gardner; Cheick Tiote, Joey Barton, Gary Speed, Jay Jay Okocha, Youri Djorkaeff, Dimitri Payet; Nicolas Anelka.
Nolan's Best XI Played Against : Peter Schmeichel; Gary Neville, John Terry, Rio Ferdinand; Patrick Vieira, Roy Keane, Steven Gerrard, Paul Scholes; Cristiano Ronaldo, Thierry Henry, Alan Shearer.
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