I know Jay Jay, the real Jay Jay – Banky W
Yep, the real Jay Jay, my thirty something year old egbon with phenomenal skills, astonishing foot work and excellent stepovers (even CR7 go bow). A patriotic player and Naija’s most successful footballer (debateable).
I woke up the other day to the news that Brett Favre will definitely be coming back for his 20th NFL season at the age of 40 and the first thing that came to my mind was Jay Jay Okocha (Turkish Name: Muhammet Yavuz). Won’t it have been wonderful, if Jay Jay Okocha, Nigeria’s beloved son had come out of retirement and captained the National team to the just concluded FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
You guys will agree with me that it would have been nice to have seen Naija’s Maradona dribble 10 opposing players at once, miss a penalty, score a spectacular free kick (I doubt if any player in the Super Eagles team has scored a free kick ever since the days of Okocha, no offence to Taiye Taiwo) and celebrate by showing off an inner t-shirt that read I LOVE NKECHI or THANK YOU JESUS written with BIC biro.
I respect Lars Lagerback, but would have loved to see Jay Jay play the role of a team manager/player. You will agree with me that Jay Jay’s spectacle on a bad day is far better than stomaching Yakubu’s miss, Kieta’s Chinese kick, Yobo’s clueless defence and Osaze’s lack of form. I can’t help but remember the finals of the 2000 African Cup of Nations, where Okocha single-handedly battled Cameroon when all the other players went to sleep, even though he converted his penalty kick during the shootout, Nigeria went on to lose to Cameroon. O ma se o.
Brett Favre is a confirmed Grand papa (grandson, Parker Brett was born on April 2, 2010) yet America want to see him play at least one more season. Not only did he help young players like Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin last season, he threw a record 4,202 yards, and earned 33 touchdowns and 7 interceptions as the Quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings.
Okocha’s presence alone at the World Cup might have made the difference, who knows. Maradona added 36 year old Martin Palermo to his squad and YES he scored against Greece, leaving him as the oldest Argentine footballer to score a goal in World Cup play, an honour previously held by Maradona. Well the World Cup is gone and many people feel adequate preparation and a fighting spirit from our players might have the difference. We hope for a better performance next time.
In conclusion, when I look back and remember all the great things Okocha did in clubs like Eintracht Frankfurt, Fenerbache, PSG and Bolton Wanderers, I can’t help but imagine the magical wonders he would have showcased as a young chap during his days at Enugu Rangers. Jay Jay Okocha we love you. Salute.