Here’s why Geoff Shreeves picked Okocha over Salah, Mane and Drogba

Here’s why Geoff Shreeves picked Okocha over Salah, Mane and Drogba
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Renowned Sky Sports correspondent and tunnel reporter Geoff Shreeves has left Sky Sports.

His departure ends a 30-year partnership with the Sky Sports team and will not be a part of the broadcaster's coverage of the 2023/2024 season. 

Football fans who have watched Premier League football via Sky Sports’ coverage at any point during the last three decades will recognise the voice that interviews players and coaches after matches. 

In a heartfelt statement, he said: “There’s an old saying that you always have to know the best time to leave even the greatest party.

“And that’s what my 32 years at Sky have been – the most fantastic party I could ever imagined attending. From the first kick of a ball in the live coverage of the Premier League to Manchester City’s title celebrations last season – with plenty in between.

“I have been fortunate to work for a ground-breaking company who have helped revolutionise football. But the time is right to move on.

“Sky have been incredibly generous in recognition of my service and I can’t speak more highly of so many people I’ve worked with there over three decades. I now have the opportunity for new experiences which I’m looking forward to announcing in the very near future.”

During his 30-year career, Shreeves has seen his fair share of great African players come and go in English football.

In that time, the likes of Yaya Toure, Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto’o, John Obi Mikel, Emmanuel Adebayor, Sadio Mane and many more have played in the English top flight.

However, there is one African player he rates above all the rest.

Geoff Shreeves named Okocha as his best African player – No arguments about that

In an interview that caused a stir, Shreeves revealed that the former Bolton Wanderers attacker was his favourite African player to watch. He described the former Super Eagles player as a ”showman” and a player who had more substance to him than just his fantastic skill.

He also expressed his surprise at the fact that the former Paris Saint Germain player moved to Bolton, who were relegation strugglers before his arrival.

“We’ve had so much amazing talent come to the Premier League, players from the African continent,” he said.

“I would say Jay Jay Okocha when he first arrived. I mean, how Sam [Allardyce] persuaded him to sign for Bolton, I have no idea, but what we were talking about just now is that he wasn’t afraid, off the cuff, of the trickery during games.

“He wasn’t a show-off. He was a showman, yeah, and there’s a distinct difference exactly, so I’ll probably say he [Okocha] was a fantastic footballer, physically straight, and more than just a show party.”

It would be difficult to dispute this as Okocha is still one of the most talked about players in Premier League history years later.

Remembering when Geoff Shreeves was mobbed by Mikel

Another great Premier League talent and former Super Eagles star, John Obi Mikel, had a famous moment with Shreeves.

After Chelsea won the UEFA Champions League in 2012, the tunnel reporter was interviewing players on the pitch when Mikel decided to take his mic and show his skills as a correspondent himself.

Shreeves might be one of the best tunnel reporters ever but Mikel indeed brought his A-game as well while doing that interview.

Some fans, at least, believe so.

This article was most recently revised and updated 1 year ago

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