England’s new manager, Sam Allardyce, has picked former Super Eagles captain, Austin Jay Jay Okocha, as the best captain he ever had in his over 20 years as club manager.
Allardyce was in charge at Bolton Wanderers from 1999 to 2007 and brought Okocha to the club in 2002 and made him captain a year later.
Speaking with reporters on the eve of his first match as manager of the Three Lions, Allardyce said, “Jay Jay Okocha. On and off the field he was the captain you looked for”.
Okocha had 124 appearances for Bolton from 2002 – 2006, during which the club stabilised in the English Premier League.
Allardyce continued: “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.
While picking Okocha as his best, Allardyce has also worked with other captains including the likes of Mark Noble and Kevin Nolan at West Ham and John O’Shea at Sunderland.