Bolton Wanderers. What a team they were, and what a shame it is to see them in their current state.
The Reebok Stadium, currently known as the far less catchy University of Bolton Stadium, played host to some of the finest midlevel talents we have had the pleasure of laying our eyes upon. Jussi Jaaskelainen was one of these cult heroes. A true Bolton Wanderers servant, who dedicated most of his career to serving the club.
As neutrals, we can all appreciate the man that was. How could you not? The former Finland stopper recorded 1,107 saves in his time in the Premier League, just shy of top dog Petr Cech with, 1,136. And he came at a snippet, costing just £135k from Finland minnows Vaasan Palloseura.
If ever there was an acrobatic shot-stopper, it was Jaaskelainen. The man was responsible for some truly sensational saves during his time with the Trotters.
Indeed, when we talk about ‘keepers literally saving clubs inordinate amounts of points, we usually praise the likes of David De Gea, but we very rarely look to the past and give Jaaskelainen the credit he deserves.
His efforts almost certainly saved Sam Allardyce during the mid-2000s, which were Bolton’s best years. Is it any surprise that they dropped in 2012 when Adam Bogdan was awarded the starting spot?
Let us just look at “that” save against Aston Villa in 2006 and appreciate…
Jaaskelainen made 527 appearances in 15 years at Bolton before leaving to West Ham in 2012, which stands as the most for a Wanderers player in the modern era. These kind of numbers are enough to earn anyone a place in the hall of fame, but when you add his immense quality into the equation then it makes for a true legend.
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