Jay Jay Okocha - So Good They Named Him Twice


Jan 25, 2013
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The Fall From Grace

The 2011/12 season began as the previous one had ended For Bolton wnaderers with just one win and six defeats, their worst start since the 1902–03 season when they were relegated. The end began when A tired looking Bolton only managed to progress to the 4th round of the league cup before they were knocked out by an under strength Arsenal side on the 25th of October. On the 27th of March Bolton were knocked out of the FA cup in a rearranged 6th round tie against Tottenham, the tie was overshadowed by the horrifying scenes that surrounded Fabrice Muamba, but even this couldnt cloud the boards discontent at another season without any silverware. On 13 May 2012, Bolton Wanderers were relegated to the Championship by one point on the last day of the season after drawing 2–2 with Stoke City. As well as being relegated from Englands Premier division, Bolton wanderers also recorded record losses during the year of 2011 culminating in them posting an overall amount of £136.5 million in loan debt. Even though the possibility of administration is not one that looms over Bolton as it recently did for Rangers or Portsmouth the club and their manager Owen Coyle differed on ways in which to take Bolton forward, both on and off the pitch. On the 9th July Wanderers announced that Coyle had been relieved of his duties as manager of the football club as a direct result of the teams recent relegation, the board stated that parting company was in the best interest of both the club and the manager, and that they would be looking to take the club forward with a fresh, new approach...... Nobody could have imagined what would come next!!
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Could you make the writing a bit bigger, it's a bit difficult to read!!

good start tho!!
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The Saviour Cometh

Just 5 days after Owen Coyle was released from his post as the Bolton wanderers manager, club chairman Phil Gartside has unveiled club legend Jay Jay Okocha as the new first team manager. The appointment may come as somewhat of a shock to some Wanderers supporters as Okocha has been vocal in his criticism of the way in which the club has recently been run, but nevertheless the Nigerian dubbed 'So Good They Named Him Twice' by Bolton supporters signed a 1 year deal at the club.

The Man

Okocha was born in Enugu, Enugu State. His parents were from Ogwashi-Uku, Delta State, Nigeria. The name Jay-Jay was actually passed down from his older brother James, who started playing football first. His immediate older brother Emmanuel was also called Emma Jay-jay, but the name stuck with Okocha. He began playing football on the street just like many other football stars, usually with a makeshift ball.

The Player

Okocha joined Eintracht Frankfurt in 1992, where he linked up with many well-known players including Ghanaian international striker Tony Yeboah and later Thomas Doll. He continued to shine for the German side, one highlight being a goal he scored against Karlsruhe, dribbling in the penalty box and slotting the ball past Oliver Kahn even going past some players twice. The goal was voted Goal of the Season by many soccer magazines. In 1995, Okocha, Yeboah and Maurizio Gaudino were all involved in a feud with manager Jupp Heynckes, which led to their departure from the club. Yeboah and Gaudino later left for England, while Okocha stayed until the end of the season when Frankfurt were relegated to the Second division, before signing for Istanbul club Fenerbahçe. Okocha joined Turkish club Fenerbahçe following Eintracht Frankfurt's relegation to Bundesliga 2. In his two seasons with the team he amassed thirty goals in sixty appearances, many of them coming from direct free kicks which had become something of a trademark for him at the club. He was also part of the side that historically defeated Manchester United 1–0 at Old Trafford in the 1996–97 UEFA Champions League group stage. In 1998, French side PSG splashed around $24 million on Okocha, making him the most expensive African player at the time. During his four-year stint with PSG, he played 84 matches and scored 12 goals.

The Legend

Okocha joined Bolton Wanderers on a free transfer after leaving PSG in the summer of 2002 after the FIFA World Cup. His debut season, despite being hampered by injury, made him a favourite with the Bolton fans, with the team printing shirts with the inscription "Jay-Jay – so good they named him twice". He steered the team away from relegation with seven goals, including the team Goal of the Season in the vital league win against West Ham. This was voted Bolton's best Premier League goal in a fans vote in 2008. The next season saw Okocha receive more responsibility as he was given the captain's armband following Guðni Bergsson's retirement. As captain he led Bolton to their first cup final in nine years where they finished runners-up in the 2004 Football League Cup. In 2006, he was stripped of the captaincy – something he said he had seen coming, as there had been a change in attitude from some staff members. This had probably been due to his proposed move to the Middle East, which had been growing in speculation. At the end of the season, he refused a one-year extension in order to move to Qatar.

Okocha made his official debut for Nigeria in their 2–1 1994 FIFA World Cup Qualifier away loss against Ivory Coast in May 1993.It was not until his second cap and home debut that he became a favourite with the Nigerian supporters. With Nigeria trailing 1–0 against Algeria, in a match they needed to win, he scored from a direct free kick to equalise, before helping the team to a 4–1 win, eventually securing qualification to their first World Cup. In 1994, he was a member of both the victorious 1994 African Cup of Nations squad and the World Cup squad who made it to the second round before they lost in a dramatic match against eventual runners-up Italy.

The Stats

Borussia Neunkirchen
Eintracht Frankfurt
Paris Saint-Germain
Bolton Wanderers
Qatar SC
( 6 )
Hull City

A press conference is booked for tomorrow at 12pm where Jay Jay will be presented to the world as the new manager of Bolton Wanderers

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Reporters flocked from all sides of the country to catch the first glimpse of JJ Okocha's return to Bolton Wanderers, the press conference was scheduled for just 15 minutes but lasted just short of half an hour as JJ had plenty to say about the upcoming seson.

Phil Gartside - Id like to welcome the new manager of Bolton wanderers Football club, Mr Jay Jay Okocha

JJ - Thank you for the tremendous welcome and its an honour to be able to return to a club that has helped me so much throughout my footballing journey, firstly id like to address the elephant in the room, the recent criticism i leveled at Coyle, Gartside and the club itself. I stand by my allegations that the club hasnt moved forward since i left just over 6 years ago, at that time we were a well established Premier League team, challenging for European places and fielding players of the calibre of Ivan Campo, Fernando Hierro and of course myself. Since then the club has been in a gradual state of decay and for that i will not hold my words. The situation both on and off the pitch is not acceptable at the moment and i am here to change that. Now id like to open the floor to questions, Yes?

Sarah Parker, Bolton Evening News- JJ you say that you will be changing things both on and off the pitch, how do you intend to address the off pitch, financial problems?

JJ - Thank you Sarah, this is a point i was looking to address. The club is not in as deep a financial hole as many people make out, but it could of course be better. The reigns will have to be tight at first with regards to the signings i will be making, and the teams return to the Premier league within two years is imperetive in order to help stabilise us financially.

Fancois Gascont, Marseille Dauly- So were to believe you wont be dipping your toes in the transfer market too heavily?

JJ - Well as is tradition at the club there is a large emphasis put onto the youth squad and i will be looking to utilise this whenever possible, but of course dependant on the budgets i agree with Mr Gartside and the board we will be bringing in a few new faces to keep some of the more established players on their toes.

Mick France, 442- JJ, your well known for your extroverted footballing style, will that be transfered onto some of the football your team will play?

JJ - Well that goes without saying that as a player it was important that i entertained people with my ability and if possible that will be reflected in my team, but as a manager i am different. Its important to get results, as a player if i played well and the team lost then i still had a feeing of self worth, but as a manager its no use playing the most attractive football in the world and losing every week. We need to strike a careful balance between flair and results.

Phil Gartside - Thats all we have time for today ladies and gentlmen, thank you for attending the first press conference of the JJ tenure and we all hope that the club and Mr Okocha will have a happy and successful relationship for years to come.

Have your say on whether the appointment of JJ Okocha at Bolton was a wise move......... Will JJ bring back the glory days to the trotters?

Going for a much more detailed story this time round, gonna update on a monthly basis. Just putting the team together now and going through pre season.

Any constructive criticism or advice is more than welcome, let me know what you think guys.
So far, so good... I loved Okocha when he was a player, so i will follow this little story of yours. Good luck.
So far, so good... I loved Okocha when he was a player, so i will follow this little story of yours. Good luck.

Im the same mate, loved his style of football and hopefully transfer that into a management style
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Kit Launch

Just days after taking over as the new manager of the Bolton wanderers Football club JJ Okocha was part of the team that released the new kits for the unpcoming season. The trotters have ended their long association with Reebok and have siged a new deal with Adidas that will see the famous three stripe logo on the front of their shirts.

The Home kit will don the famous white and blue associated with Bolton Wanderers, while the away kit will be two shades of blue with white shorts and blue socks. Bolton have also released an alternate kit for the upcoming season, a grey, red and white coloured kit that will be used for away League cup ties or if needed due to colour clashes.

The were a number of players present at the kit launch including long serving club legend Kevin Davies who had the following to say about his new manager;

Kevin Davies - Its a delight to be here today to welcome back a former hero of the club as our new manager, JJ was a brilliant player and leader during his time at the club and i feel that his appointment can only be a step forward for the club.

Next Up for Mr Okocha is the first of 7 pre season friendlies that will see the trotters stay on home soil and host teams from both Germany and Argentina, how do you think JJ will do in his first outing as a manager?

Updates on Pre-season and the squad i will be using to come later.

Is there any suggestions on anything else people want to see?

Feel free to ask no matter how random it is....

Successful Pre Season For Bolton

Bolton Wanderers and JJ Okocha began their partnership in a positive manner with some very strong performances during their seven pre season friendlies. During the course of pre season the trotters played host to Boca Juniors of Argentina and Schalke of Germany, they managed 4 wins and 3 draws scoring 12 times and conceding just the 4. Okocha was able to integrate a few new faces into the squad during the pre season period as well as establishing the core of his team that will challenge for promotion this season. Okocha was upbeat about his teams preperations in a recent press conference;

Okocha - 'This pre season was brilliant for me, we got some great results, i was able to take a closer look at my entire squad and evaluate who does and doesnt figure in my plans. The new players have had chance to gel with the lads and the team cohesion at the moment is brilliant. The real hard work starts now though, we need to be sure before the 1st of September that we are happy with the squad and that we have the best chance of promotion so we will be working hard to ensure this'

Bolton Wanderers 3 - Bolton Wanderers Reserves 2
Star Man - Kevin Davies

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The first game of Pre season saw Bolton play host to an internal behind close doors game between the first team and reserve team. The game saw debuts for Sordell and Spearing who had joined the club before Okocha had taken over, but it was club legend Kevin Davies who stole the show with a hat-trick that will definately have given his manager something to think about.

Queen Of The South 0 - Bolton Wanderers 2
Star Man - Tim Ream

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Bolton continued their preperation for the new season with a straight forward win away to Scottish third division side Queen Of The South. Two goals inside half an hour would have given the trotters fans encouragement that they would run out comfortable winners, but the hosts dug deep and ensured that the scoreline stayed the same. New Bolton Skipper Tim Ream put in a virtuoso performance at the back showing how much of a rock he can be.

Tranmere Rovers 1 - Bolton Wanderers 1
Star Man - Jay Spearing

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Tranmere rovers proved to be far more a stern test than Bolton may have thought. Marvin Sordell gave the trotters an early lead but Bolton were never quite able to fully control the game. When the equaliser did come 4 minutes before time it was as much as the hosts deserved. Young Loanee Jay Spearing showed great maturity in running the midfield for Bolton which saw him pick up a man of the match award.

Bolton Wanderers 1 - Boca Juniors 1

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Bolton played host to well known Argentinian outfit Boca Juniors in a friendly that was sure to test Okocha's new look Bolton side. Bolton were outplayed for the majority of the game and this showed when Boca took the lead on the stroke of half time. It was down once again to Boltons most consistent player of the last few years Kevin Davies to level things for Wanderers on the 55 minute mark and thats how it ended.

Harrogate 0 - Bolton Wanderers 3
Star Man - Jeffery Sarpong

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There were no shocks on Boltons 5th outing of Pre season, with the team now beggining to gel nicely they put on a display of both attractive yet efficient football. Young, Ream and N'Gog troubled the scoresheets whilst new signing Jeffery Sarpong put in his most complete performance sice joining as a free agent earlier in the month.

Havant & Waterlooville 0 - Bolton Wanderers 2
Star Man - Chris Eagles

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As expected Bolton ran out winners against Havant and Waterlooville, but it took over 80 minutes for them to finally break the deadlock. This was somewhat attributed to the early dismissal of Left Back Marcos Alonso who was sent off for violent conduct, but Bolton rallied and lead by half time substitute Chris Eagles they were able to stay strong and secure a 2 nil win, their fourth win of pre season.

Bolton Wanderers 0 - Schalke 0
Star Man - Matt Mills

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Bolton and JJ Okocha knew from the moment the pre season fixtures were announced that the finale against Champions League contenders Schalke would most definately be the hardest of all the challenges. Even though Bolton werent able to secure the win they did not by any means look out of place against the German giants, this was in no small part down to the centre half pairing of Ream and Mills who were solid from first to last minute. Some would even consider stating that Bolton 'Dominated' the game as shown in the match stats.

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Whats Next?

Now that Pre-season is over and Okocha has a better idea of the team who will challenge for promotion they will be looking forward to hosting fellow relegated Wolves on the first day of the season.

How do you feel pre season went for JJ in his new job? Let us know....
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Okocha Talks About Squad

Just days before the start of the 2012/13 Championship begins Bolton Wanderers manager JJ Okokcha has spoken openly about the squad he feels will have a real push for promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

MR Okocha- 'I think its fair enough to say that we are not the outright favourites for automatic promotion this season but with the squad we were given and the players we have added i feel we may surprise a few people. We have depth all over the park and a nice combination of experience and freshness. The players we brought in were never intended to be listed amongst the teamsheet from the outset but each player has the ability required to keep the first team players on their toes, Sarpong and Svensson in particular have great ability at such young ages and will no doubt feature a lot this season'


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Boltons only stand out goalkeeper comes in the shape of Hungarian international Adam Bogdan, the 24 year old took the gloves from club legend Jaskelainen who left for west hame in the summer and will be hoping to lay claim to the spot with youngster Lainton in the shadows.


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Bolton will be confident that their defence will hold their own in the championship with players of the calibrre of Alonso, Ream and Matt Mills sure to be backed up by young full back Joe Riley. Bolton have also brought in Adam webster from cash strapped Portsmouth with the 17 year old centre back very much one for the future at the Reebok


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JJ will boast great depth in midfield, along with experienced players like Eagles, Davies, Yong and Medo they also have the services of loanee Spearing and new free signings Sarpong, Clifford and Svensson. Its no surprise that svensson and Sarpong were signed as they are very much players who try and transmit the style of play their new manager was well known for.


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Up front again isnt a place where Bolton Wanderers lack options with four strikers available to them and two promising players away on loan. Kevin Davies and Linz provide the experience up front while N'Gog and Sordell will bring a certain amount of youthful exuburance.


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JJ was keen to utilise the youth system at the club from the moment he joined up and this is showed by the faith in which he showed in Riley and wylde during pre season. His desire to bring in a more youthful look to the team led to the signings of ex chelsea man Conor Clifford on a free transfer, Rosenborgs 19 year old midfielder Jonas Svensson and Portsmouths 17 year old centre back Webster. The five of them will be sure to add pressure to the more established players during the season.


Bolton definately have the squad to mount a challenge for promotion this seson but it remains to be seen whether Mr Okocha has the ability as a manager to ensure they challenge to their potential. With players like Yong, Sordell and Ream in the squad they will definately boast a squad full of internationals as well as ensuring that the future of the club is well looked after.

Predicted league position - 3rd
Trotters Draw Stevenage

Bolton wanderers were given a favourable draw in the 2nd round of the Capital One Cup, they will play host to League One Side Stevenage. The tie of the round will come in the form of premier League outfit Everton hosting Championship contenders Nottingham Forrest whilst Gillingham and Burton will be flying the flag for League 2.

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The two other ties are Watford Vs Sheff United and Wigan Vs Colchester