Kevin Nolan has revealed that he would jokingly remind ex-Bolton teammate El Hadji Diouf that he was the "worst number nine" that Liverpool ever had.
Nolan, who is the manager behind Notts County's second-placed standing in the League Two table at present, talked to the Liverpool Echo about his boyhood club Liverpool, as well as his playing career in the Premier League.
It is his comments about Diouf, much maligned among Reds fans for disciplinary issues and criticism of club legends Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, that will be of interest to Liverpool supporters though.
Diouf was brought to Anfield by Gerard Houllier but failed to show his abilities whilst on Merseyside, and Nolan explained why the former Senegal international is often misunderstood due to his public spats.
He said: “Listen, I know there's a lot of bad stuff about him, and he does let himself down sometimes with what he says, and the disrespect he shows to Stevie and Carra. I'd like to give him a little clip round the earhole sometimes to be honest!
“But do you know what? He's a lovely lad and he's got a heart of gold. The trouble is, he wants to be on the telly, and he knows if he speaks about those two he will be.
“He was a top player, it just didn't work for him at Liverpool for whatever reason. And I used to LOVE telling him that he was the only No.9 who never scored for Liverpool in a whole season!
“Every time he got a bit big for his boots, I would tell him; 'You were the worst No.9 I've ever seen at Liverpool!' He couldn't come back at that, so I always had one over him on that!”
Nolan himself used to be on the books of his boyhood club, but joined Bolton after being let go by Liverpool at the age of 14.
Haha I knew I loved Kev Nolan for a reason!— Esther Lois (@littlemiss_lane) October 25, 2017
Speaking about facing his former side for the first time as the 19-year-old captain of Bolton, Nolan admitted that he had been expecting a hostile reaction in a pub after bagging the equaliser in a 1-1 draw against the Reds on New Year's Day in 2002, but stated that the good natured humour of Scousers saw him head home unscathed!
He added: “All my family were in there. I walked in and it was obviously full of Liverpudlians but do you know what, each and every one of them came up to me, shook my hand and said congratulations, well done, delighted for you. I'll never forget that.
“That to me is why Liverpool fans, and Scousers, are the best in the world. Where else would that happen? No matter where I go in football, I'll always be proud to come from Liverpool.”