West Ham boss compares Joe Cole to ex-Bolton star Jay-Jay Okocha

08:30 05 January 2013

Joe Cole. Photo: Barrington Coombs/PA

Joe Cole. Photo: Barrington Coombs/PA

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Sam Allardyce is confident he can get the best out of new West Ham signing Joe Cole, as he did with Jay-Jay Okocha during his time at Bolton Wanderers.

Cole put pen to paper on an 18-month contract at his boyhood club West Ham yesterday, and is expected to make his second debut for the club against Manchester United this afternoon.

The 31-year-old’s career stagnated following his 2010 switch to Liverpool but Allardyce believes his track record for reviving veteran stars at Bolton can do the trick once again with Cole.

Quizzed on the subject, Allardyce joked: “Did you see Jay Jay Okocha?

“Well there you go then,” he added. “He was that good they named him twice.”

Skilful Nigerian midfielder Okocha, once the most expensive African footballer of all time, became a hero at Bolton during a four-year stint under Allardyce starting in 2002.

And Allardyce believes there are similarities between him and Cole.

“Yes, there are [similarities],” he said. “They’re creative players and I think that creative players like him [bring] entertainment [with] them.

“You’ve got to use them to their major strengths,” he added.

“It’s about us giving him as much of the ball, particularly in the opposition’s half, as we can.”

Explaining how he goes about turning things around for underachieving players, Allardyce said: “The first thing is, do they want to [improve]?

“When you speak to a player and you look them in the eye when you talk to them, then you find out whether they want to.

“And if they don’t then you don’t sign them.

He continued: “Feeling wanted and feeling important as a footballer is a key part to how you’re going to perform.

“The way you approach each game mentally is going to determine whether you can reproduce your motor skills and the skills that you’ve got.

“If you’re not psychologically right you cant produce the skills that you have.

“If you feel comfortable, you feel confident and you like the environment that you’re working in, then those skills will come out in abundance.

“So that’s what we’ve got to try and do.”

Related articles

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Submit your West Ham player ratings

Latest West Ham news

Wednesday, April 1, 2015
File photo dated 13-01-2015 of West Ham United goalkeeper Adrian celebrates scoring the winning penalty during the shootout during the FA Cup Third Round replay match at Upton Park, London.

The battle for the Hammer of the Year looks like the most wide open in years

Wednesday, April 1, 2015
West Ham United's Winston Reid (Picture: PA Wire)

West Ham have confirmed that defender Winston Reid is fit for Saturday’s clash with Leicester City, while Enner Valencia could also return to action.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Palermo's Paulo Dybala has been linked with Arsenal and Chelsea (Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images)

Today’s transfer news and gossip round-up features Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, West Ham and QPR.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Morgan Amalfitano of West Ham United (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Hammers star Morgan Amalfitano is loving life in London and at West Ham

Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Pedro   (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

The latest transfer gossip from around the web.

Breaking News

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Most of the London School of Economics has been evacuated after it experienced a massive powercut, believed to be caused by an underground fire nearby on Kingsway.

Read more

What is this?

Near You Now

Competitions

Munch on a tasy three course dinner at The Refinery!

“Where to go for a drink near Great Portland Street?” was previously met with blank expressions and shrugs for those local to the area, not anymore, thanks to the opening of The Refinery at Regent’s Place, the eighth bar and restaurant from hugely-successful group Drake & Morgan.

Read more

Don't Miss...

West Ham Transfer News

Palermo's Paulo Dybala has been linked with Arsenal and Chelsea (Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images)

Today’s transfer news and gossip round-up features Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, West Ham and QPR.

Read more
Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez in action for Real Madrid (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Reported Tottenham and West Ham transfer target Javier Hernandez has voiced his disappointment over a lack of playing time at Real Madrid.

Read more
West Ham's Alex Song in action against Crystal Palace (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Read our round-up of the latest transfer news and gossip on the London clubs from around the web.

Read more