Sunday Oliseh, a former Super Eagles captain, has stated why many of his teammates found it difficult to play alongside Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha during his stint with the squad.
He maintains, however, that anytime he spoke with Okocha, he was listened to.
Oliseh claimed Okocha was gifted, but his excesses were tough for defensive players to manage with, and they lost it many times on Athlete’s Podcast, Special Delivery with Emmanuel Babayaro and Matthew Edafe.
“With Jayjay, most people would say he was a difficult player to play with, as teammates, as defensive players. But I personally had a way, an understanding with Jayjay that made it easy for me to play with him.”
There was one particular game, I’ll share a story with you. We were playing and Jayjay was doing his normal thing and Nigerian fans were going crazy. In our team, as much as we disagreed, every player was a king in their position. We had match winners – most of the players could win games but if someone did something bad in the group, the defenders always tell me, ‘Sunday tell am o’.
“They knew I was the only one who could say to Jayjay that ‘my man, release the ball and Jayjay would release. There was one particular game, he was doing it and we lost the ball. And the ball was coming and Taribo was going crazy about him. And he lost the ball one more time, and I told him ‘hey my man, I’m tired of running. And the next time he went on dribbling and lost the ball. I left the man. I let the opponent pass and they almost scored. Taribo went crazy, he crossed ahead of me and I had to grab him. Don’t joke with Taribo. He wants to win. He’s fanatical about winning,”
Sunday Oliseh played alongside Jay Jay Okocha at the Tunisia 1994 Africa Cup of Nations, Atlanta 1996 Olympics, France 1998 World Cup and the year 2000 Africa Cup of Nations in Mali.