Following the announcement that former Bolton keeper Jussi Jasskelainen has left his role as Wrexham goalkeeping coach, we ask what we wouldn’t give to have the big Finn back between the sticks at Bolton?
Bolton’s current crop of shot-stoppers are fairly good goalkeepers all things considered. However, they’ll never be able to top Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Jussi’s Bolton career
Jaaskelainen made 530 appearances in 15 years at Bolton, the most for a Wanderers player in the modern era.
He became a mainstay in the Bolton goal under Sam Allardyce. He remained Wanderer’s first choice keeper until the 2011/12 season, when Adam Bogdan usurped the position. Unsurprisingly, Bolton were relegated the same season.
Jaaskelainen was responsible for some outrages saves during his time at the Reebok.
His goalkeeping efforts almost certainly earned Big Sam’s team a substantial amount of points in the mid-2000s. Not least for a certain save against Aston Villa in December 2006. You know the one, where Jaaskelainen tipped a goal-bound shot, courtesy of Gary Cahill, over the bar. You can watch said save below.
In the 2006/07 Bolton season review, Stelios Giannakopoulos said that ‘Jaaskelainen was among the top three goalkeepers in the Premier League, alongside Chelsea’s Petr Cech and Manchester United’s Edwin Van Der Sar.’ High praise indeed.
Jussi’s career after Bolton
After life at Wanderers came to an end, Jaaskelainen reunited with his former Bolton boss, Big Sam, at West Ham, along with several former Bolton teammates in Kevin Nolan, Joey O’Brien and Ricardo Vaz Te.
His playing days in England came to an end at Wigan, where he helped the Latics win promotion from League One before leaving in 2017.
Jussi hung up the gloves permanently in January 2018 after a brief spell at Indian side ATK (Atletico de Kolkata).
Currently, Jaaskelainen is the goalkeeping coach at National League side Wrexham, which up until recently, was managed by another former Bolton player, Sam Ricketts.
It wasn’t quite the trophy-filled career that Petr Cech had, but Jussi Jaaskelainen’s time at Bolton was certainly memorable.
A goalkeeper of extraordinary talent that I’m sure any Bolton fan admires. With the club in dire circumstances right now, what Bolton wouldn’t give to have the Finn’s safe pair of hands in goal for the Trotters once again.