Sam Allardyce has picked former Nigeria captain Austin Jay Jay Okocha as one of the best players he has managed in his long coaching career.
Allardyce revealed to premierleague.com his best XI of players whom he managed in 437 matches in the Barclays Premier League and Okocha is deployed in the left of midfield.
Each of the four clubs managed by Allardyce – Bolton Wanderers, Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers and most recently West Ham United – are represented.
However, his team is dominated by players from Bolton, including all three midfielders, where during his six-year spell in the top flight, he led the Lancashire side to four successive top-eight finishes and European qualification.
Allardyce gives a brief description of each of his XI and he is gushing in his praise for the “outstanding” Okocha.
Big Sam says of Okocha: “The best entertainer in the Premier League at the time. He is so good they named him twice! He was an outstanding entertainer, an outstanding captain. He could speak four languages. He took on board what the manager wanted, in terms of the tactics, to try to win a game and imposing himself. He commanded a huge amount of respect from every player that played with him.”
Other high-profile players in Allardyce’s all time best XI include goalkeeper Jussi Jaskelainen, striker Nicolas Anelka, winger Stewart Downing, forward Youri Djorkaeff and Spain legend Fernando Hierro.
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