Charlton Athletic

Charlton Athletic slideshow

Charlton 'boys become men' as win at Shrewsbury boosts play-off hopes
Charlton 'boys become men' as win at Shrewsbury boosts play-off hopes
Charlton 'boys become men' as win at Shrewsbury boosts play-off hopes
Charlton 'boys become men' as win at Shrewsbury boosts play-off hopes
Charlton 'boys become men' as win at Shrewsbury boosts play-off hopes
Charlton 'boys become men' as win at Shrewsbury boosts play-off hopes
Lee Bowyer to ring changes at Shrewsbury as Charlton push for promotion
Lee Bowyer to ring changes at Shrewsbury as Charlton push for promotion
Lee Bowyer to ring changes at Shrewsbury as Charlton push for promotion
Lee Bowyer to ring changes at Shrewsbury as Charlton push for promotion
Lee Bowyer to ring changes at Shrewsbury as Charlton push for promotion
Lee Bowyer to ring changes at Shrewsbury as Charlton push for promotion
Lee Bowyer to ring changes at Shrewsbury as Charlton push for promotion
Lee Bowyer to ring changes at Shrewsbury as Charlton push for promotion
Lee Bowyer to ring changes at Shrewsbury as Charlton push for promotion
AFC Wimbledon put the squeeze on play-off pushing Charlton in battle against the drop
AFC Wimbledon put the squeeze on play-off pushing Charlton in battle against the drop
AFC Wimbledon put the squeeze on play-off pushing Charlton in battle against the drop
AFC Wimbledon put the squeeze on play-off pushing Charlton in battle against the drop
AFC Wimbledon put the squeeze on play-off pushing Charlton in battle against the drop
AFC Wimbledon put the squeeze on play-off pushing Charlton in battle against the drop
AFC Wimbledon put the squeeze on play-off pushing Charlton in battle against the drop
AFC Wimbledon put the squeeze on play-off pushing Charlton in battle against the drop
AFC Wimbledon put the squeeze on play-off pushing Charlton in battle against the drop
Ann Baker writes I have received a “Notice of Payment” in the post saying that a fine of €54.70 (£47.92) has been imposed for a violation of the Italian Highway Code on Aug 26 2016. My husband and I were in Milan at that time and had hired a rental car from Hertz. In October 2016 we were charged a fee by Hertz for providing our details to the Italian authorities so the letter has come as no surprise. However, I read somewhere that there is a time limit for the notification of such fines. We have 60 days to pay though there’s a reduction if we pay in full within five days. Can you advise? Gill Charlton replies It always astonishes me how long it takes the Italian authorities to issue traffic fines. In your case, it was 16 months after the offence. According to the Italian Traffic Code, the police have only 360 days after receiving identification of the driver of the vehicle (that is, the date that Hertz handed over your UK address) within which to notify foreign drivers of the fine. This information is provided on the website of European Municipality Outsourcing (EMO), an independent agency linked to Florence-based debt collection agency Nivi Credit, which many Italian police forces have tasked with collecting the fines. Do you have to pay the fine? In my view you don’t because the Milan police failed to send you the paperwork in time. I wonder why they bothered as they are very well aware of the law on this. Perhaps a batch got “lost” and they are taking a punt that people will panic and pay, worried about the debt being pursued or the risk of a black mark on their credit rating. I tried to contact both EMO and Nivi Credit by telephone and email to confirm the 360-day cut-off but neither agency responded. Revealed: The tricks and scams that earn car hire agents £30,000 in bonuses Mrs Baker’s fine was for driving 8kph over the speed limit on the ring-road around Milan. A small infringement, you might think, but enough to trigger one of the city’s many roadside speed cameras. The only upside is that, unlike the UK, speeding fines are not accompanied by penalty points on your licence. Authorities in Florence rake in €100,000 a day from drivers who enter Limited Traffic Zones Credit: SCALIGER But the biggest source of revenue from motorists are fines of up to €100 a time for driving into Limited Traffic Zones (ZTLs). In Florence it’s estimated that more than 1,000 fines a day are issued for this violation – a nice little earner for the city coffers. Ask the experts Send your questions to asktheexperts@telegraph.co.uk. Please provide your name and nearest town and, if your query is about a dispute with a travel company, your full address, daytime telephone number and any booking reference. We regret that we cannot answer all the emails we receive.
It took Italian authorities 16 months to issue my speeding fine – do I still have to pay?
Ann Baker writes I have received a “Notice of Payment” in the post saying that a fine of €54.70 (£47.92) has been imposed for a violation of the Italian Highway Code on Aug 26 2016. My husband and I were in Milan at that time and had hired a rental car from Hertz. In October 2016 we were charged a fee by Hertz for providing our details to the Italian authorities so the letter has come as no surprise. However, I read somewhere that there is a time limit for the notification of such fines. We have 60 days to pay though there’s a reduction if we pay in full within five days. Can you advise? Gill Charlton replies It always astonishes me how long it takes the Italian authorities to issue traffic fines. In your case, it was 16 months after the offence. According to the Italian Traffic Code, the police have only 360 days after receiving identification of the driver of the vehicle (that is, the date that Hertz handed over your UK address) within which to notify foreign drivers of the fine. This information is provided on the website of European Municipality Outsourcing (EMO), an independent agency linked to Florence-based debt collection agency Nivi Credit, which many Italian police forces have tasked with collecting the fines. Do you have to pay the fine? In my view you don’t because the Milan police failed to send you the paperwork in time. I wonder why they bothered as they are very well aware of the law on this. Perhaps a batch got “lost” and they are taking a punt that people will panic and pay, worried about the debt being pursued or the risk of a black mark on their credit rating. I tried to contact both EMO and Nivi Credit by telephone and email to confirm the 360-day cut-off but neither agency responded. Revealed: The tricks and scams that earn car hire agents £30,000 in bonuses Mrs Baker’s fine was for driving 8kph over the speed limit on the ring-road around Milan. A small infringement, you might think, but enough to trigger one of the city’s many roadside speed cameras. The only upside is that, unlike the UK, speeding fines are not accompanied by penalty points on your licence. Authorities in Florence rake in €100,000 a day from drivers who enter Limited Traffic Zones Credit: SCALIGER But the biggest source of revenue from motorists are fines of up to €100 a time for driving into Limited Traffic Zones (ZTLs). In Florence it’s estimated that more than 1,000 fines a day are issued for this violation – a nice little earner for the city coffers. Ask the experts Send your questions to asktheexperts@telegraph.co.uk. Please provide your name and nearest town and, if your query is about a dispute with a travel company, your full address, daytime telephone number and any booking reference. We regret that we cannot answer all the emails we receive.
Ann Baker writes I have received a “Notice of Payment” in the post saying that a fine of €54.70 (£47.92) has been imposed for a violation of the Italian Highway Code on Aug 26 2016. My husband and I were in Milan at that time and had hired a rental car from Hertz. In October 2016 we were charged a fee by Hertz for providing our details to the Italian authorities so the letter has come as no surprise. However, I read somewhere that there is a time limit for the notification of such fines. We have 60 days to pay though there’s a reduction if we pay in full within five days. Can you advise? Gill Charlton replies It always astonishes me how long it takes the Italian authorities to issue traffic fines. In your case, it was 16 months after the offence. According to the Italian Traffic Code, the police have only 360 days after receiving identification of the driver of the vehicle (that is, the date that Hertz handed over your UK address) within which to notify foreign drivers of the fine. This information is provided on the website of European Municipality Outsourcing (EMO), an independent agency linked to Florence-based debt collection agency Nivi Credit, which many Italian police forces have tasked with collecting the fines. Do you have to pay the fine? In my view you don’t because the Milan police failed to send you the paperwork in time. I wonder why they bothered as they are very well aware of the law on this. Perhaps a batch got “lost” and they are taking a punt that people will panic and pay, worried about the debt being pursued or the risk of a black mark on their credit rating. I tried to contact both EMO and Nivi Credit by telephone and email to confirm the 360-day cut-off but neither agency responded. Revealed: The tricks and scams that earn car hire agents £30,000 in bonuses Mrs Baker’s fine was for driving 8kph over the speed limit on the ring-road around Milan. A small infringement, you might think, but enough to trigger one of the city’s many roadside speed cameras. The only upside is that, unlike the UK, speeding fines are not accompanied by penalty points on your licence. Authorities in Florence rake in €100,000 a day from drivers who enter Limited Traffic Zones Credit: SCALIGER But the biggest source of revenue from motorists are fines of up to €100 a time for driving into Limited Traffic Zones (ZTLs). In Florence it’s estimated that more than 1,000 fines a day are issued for this violation – a nice little earner for the city coffers. Ask the experts Send your questions to asktheexperts@telegraph.co.uk. Please provide your name and nearest town and, if your query is about a dispute with a travel company, your full address, daytime telephone number and any booking reference. We regret that we cannot answer all the emails we receive.
It took Italian authorities 16 months to issue my speeding fine – do I still have to pay?
Ann Baker writes I have received a “Notice of Payment” in the post saying that a fine of €54.70 (£47.92) has been imposed for a violation of the Italian Highway Code on Aug 26 2016. My husband and I were in Milan at that time and had hired a rental car from Hertz. In October 2016 we were charged a fee by Hertz for providing our details to the Italian authorities so the letter has come as no surprise. However, I read somewhere that there is a time limit for the notification of such fines. We have 60 days to pay though there’s a reduction if we pay in full within five days. Can you advise? Gill Charlton replies It always astonishes me how long it takes the Italian authorities to issue traffic fines. In your case, it was 16 months after the offence. According to the Italian Traffic Code, the police have only 360 days after receiving identification of the driver of the vehicle (that is, the date that Hertz handed over your UK address) within which to notify foreign drivers of the fine. This information is provided on the website of European Municipality Outsourcing (EMO), an independent agency linked to Florence-based debt collection agency Nivi Credit, which many Italian police forces have tasked with collecting the fines. Do you have to pay the fine? In my view you don’t because the Milan police failed to send you the paperwork in time. I wonder why they bothered as they are very well aware of the law on this. Perhaps a batch got “lost” and they are taking a punt that people will panic and pay, worried about the debt being pursued or the risk of a black mark on their credit rating. I tried to contact both EMO and Nivi Credit by telephone and email to confirm the 360-day cut-off but neither agency responded. Revealed: The tricks and scams that earn car hire agents £30,000 in bonuses Mrs Baker’s fine was for driving 8kph over the speed limit on the ring-road around Milan. A small infringement, you might think, but enough to trigger one of the city’s many roadside speed cameras. The only upside is that, unlike the UK, speeding fines are not accompanied by penalty points on your licence. Authorities in Florence rake in €100,000 a day from drivers who enter Limited Traffic Zones Credit: SCALIGER But the biggest source of revenue from motorists are fines of up to €100 a time for driving into Limited Traffic Zones (ZTLs). In Florence it’s estimated that more than 1,000 fines a day are issued for this violation – a nice little earner for the city coffers. Ask the experts Send your questions to asktheexperts@telegraph.co.uk. Please provide your name and nearest town and, if your query is about a dispute with a travel company, your full address, daytime telephone number and any booking reference. We regret that we cannot answer all the emails we receive.
St Mirren's Jack Ross emerges as Charlton managerial candidate
St Mirren's Jack Ross emerges as Charlton managerial candidate
St Mirren's Jack Ross emerges as Charlton managerial candidate
St Mirren's Jack Ross emerges as Charlton managerial candidate
St Mirren's Jack Ross emerges as Charlton managerial candidate
St Mirren's Jack Ross emerges as Charlton managerial candidate
Alan Pardew has left West Brom by mutual consent, and with half a million quid in his bin. There will be few tears shed by Baggies fans. But it might yet be that the departure of the man they call Chunky points to the end of an era. Pardew was a prominent member of that British group of proper football men that always seem to be there or thereabouts when a Premier League job (outside the top six) comes up. Other core members include Sam Allardyce, David Moyes, Mark Hughes, Steve Bruce, Tony Pulis, Roy Hodgson and Chris Hughton. Gary Megson and Paul Lambert are on the fringes; Harry Redknapp has allowed his membership to lapse. Those 11 British managers have had 51 Premier League jobs between them. FIFTY ONE! Snow joke: Sam Allardyce has had SEVEN Premier League jobs Credit: CameraSport via Getty Images Allardyce has had seven, Redknapp six, Hughes six, Hogdson five, Hughton five, Pardew five, Bruce four, Moyes four, Pulis three, Lambert three, Megson three. Some of them have done fine work at some of them: Allardyce at Bolton back in the day, Pulis at Stoke, Hughton at Brighton if they stay up. But there have been more hits than misses for this group. Is there any other job than British Football Manager where failure is such a small barrier to continued (very gainful) employment? Sheet results: Newcastle fans in September 2014 Credit: Action Images It pains me to speak ill of a fellow Alan, but Pardew, for instance, left Charlton with chants of "we want Pardew out" ringing in his ears, left Southampton after staff unrest, had an excellent 2011-2012 season at Newcastle but was never welcomed by the North East fans (to say the least, if you check out that link ). An encouraging start at Crystal Palace ended in disappointment. And yet there he was, appointed at West Brom. Good old Alan. Every time a Premier League club gets rid of the manager, a case is made for one or other of this gilded group of British fifty-somethings, and a useful idiot like a Paul Merson will stress that it is vital for *Insert Struggling Club* to appoint a British manager who "knows the league" rather than a foreign coach. But why? And is this gravy train finally running out of steam? See you pal: David Moyes address a football Credit: Getty Images With the exception of the top six (and arguably Everton and Leicester) the only goal for Premier League owners is staying up. The fit and proper men from the Middle East, the former Soviet bloc and Thailand care not for the fact that the gaffer is pals with the bloke at the Daily Mirror and is decent value on the golf course. They see only the one result that matters: are we going to stay in the league? They might look at the example of Watford, say, bringing in a talented, young (or young in football manager terms, anyway) coach who can do enough to finish above three other modest outfits. Get rid of him once the lustre wears off. Rinse and repeat. 36 of the 92 English league clubs have had a new manager in the last six months: the days of building a team, let alone a club, seem to be in decline. Hello Mr Roy: Crystal Palace's English manager Roy Hodgson Credit: AFP The clubs in the bottom eight (Brighton in 13th and downwards) are managed by Hughton, Moyes, Carlos Carvalhal, David Wagner, Hodgson, Hughes and Lambert, plus the Pardew-free WBA. So that's six of the eight strugglers who are the same old faces. 28 Premier League jobs between them they have had, and yet they are presiding over poor teams playing poor football, week after week, year after year. Are these British managers actually any good at it? You would imagine that relegation would spell certain P45 for Lambert, Hughes, Hodgson and Moyes. Probably not for Wagner, possibly not for Carvahal and Hughton. Even if they stay up, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Moyes leave West Ham. Why are the same people getting the same jobs over and over again? And will owners finally decide that it might be at least worth trying a manage who isn't British/Irish and in his fifties? This season may yet prove to be the last march of the dinosaurs. Perhaps it is time we all moved on. Can everyone please stop tweeting us about Alan Pardew Alan Pardew is NOT a #WBA (World Bollard Association) member We have not agreed to part company with him by mutual consent We don't even know him Thank you #WorldBollardAssociation#WestBollardAlbion@wba— World Bollard Association (@WorldBollard) April 2, 2018
Does Alan Pardew's West Brom departure suggest English managers are an endangered species?
Alan Pardew has left West Brom by mutual consent, and with half a million quid in his bin. There will be few tears shed by Baggies fans. But it might yet be that the departure of the man they call Chunky points to the end of an era. Pardew was a prominent member of that British group of proper football men that always seem to be there or thereabouts when a Premier League job (outside the top six) comes up. Other core members include Sam Allardyce, David Moyes, Mark Hughes, Steve Bruce, Tony Pulis, Roy Hodgson and Chris Hughton. Gary Megson and Paul Lambert are on the fringes; Harry Redknapp has allowed his membership to lapse. Those 11 British managers have had 51 Premier League jobs between them. FIFTY ONE! Snow joke: Sam Allardyce has had SEVEN Premier League jobs Credit: CameraSport via Getty Images Allardyce has had seven, Redknapp six, Hughes six, Hogdson five, Hughton five, Pardew five, Bruce four, Moyes four, Pulis three, Lambert three, Megson three. Some of them have done fine work at some of them: Allardyce at Bolton back in the day, Pulis at Stoke, Hughton at Brighton if they stay up. But there have been more hits than misses for this group. Is there any other job than British Football Manager where failure is such a small barrier to continued (very gainful) employment? Sheet results: Newcastle fans in September 2014 Credit: Action Images It pains me to speak ill of a fellow Alan, but Pardew, for instance, left Charlton with chants of "we want Pardew out" ringing in his ears, left Southampton after staff unrest, had an excellent 2011-2012 season at Newcastle but was never welcomed by the North East fans (to say the least, if you check out that link ). An encouraging start at Crystal Palace ended in disappointment. And yet there he was, appointed at West Brom. Good old Alan. Every time a Premier League club gets rid of the manager, a case is made for one or other of this gilded group of British fifty-somethings, and a useful idiot like a Paul Merson will stress that it is vital for *Insert Struggling Club* to appoint a British manager who "knows the league" rather than a foreign coach. But why? And is this gravy train finally running out of steam? See you pal: David Moyes address a football Credit: Getty Images With the exception of the top six (and arguably Everton and Leicester) the only goal for Premier League owners is staying up. The fit and proper men from the Middle East, the former Soviet bloc and Thailand care not for the fact that the gaffer is pals with the bloke at the Daily Mirror and is decent value on the golf course. They see only the one result that matters: are we going to stay in the league? They might look at the example of Watford, say, bringing in a talented, young (or young in football manager terms, anyway) coach who can do enough to finish above three other modest outfits. Get rid of him once the lustre wears off. Rinse and repeat. 36 of the 92 English league clubs have had a new manager in the last six months: the days of building a team, let alone a club, seem to be in decline. Hello Mr Roy: Crystal Palace's English manager Roy Hodgson Credit: AFP The clubs in the bottom eight (Brighton in 13th and downwards) are managed by Hughton, Moyes, Carlos Carvalhal, David Wagner, Hodgson, Hughes and Lambert, plus the Pardew-free WBA. So that's six of the eight strugglers who are the same old faces. 28 Premier League jobs between them they have had, and yet they are presiding over poor teams playing poor football, week after week, year after year. Are these British managers actually any good at it? You would imagine that relegation would spell certain P45 for Lambert, Hughes, Hodgson and Moyes. Probably not for Wagner, possibly not for Carvahal and Hughton. Even if they stay up, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Moyes leave West Ham. Why are the same people getting the same jobs over and over again? And will owners finally decide that it might be at least worth trying a manage who isn't British/Irish and in his fifties? This season may yet prove to be the last march of the dinosaurs. Perhaps it is time we all moved on. Can everyone please stop tweeting us about Alan Pardew Alan Pardew is NOT a #WBA (World Bollard Association) member We have not agreed to part company with him by mutual consent We don't even know him Thank you #WorldBollardAssociation#WestBollardAlbion@wba— World Bollard Association (@WorldBollard) April 2, 2018
Alan Pardew has left West Brom by mutual consent, and with half a million quid in his bin. There will be few tears shed by Baggies fans. But it might yet be that the departure of the man they call Chunky points to the end of an era. Pardew was a prominent member of that British group of proper football men that always seem to be there or thereabouts when a Premier League job (outside the top six) comes up. Other core members include Sam Allardyce, David Moyes, Mark Hughes, Steve Bruce, Tony Pulis, Roy Hodgson and Chris Hughton. Gary Megson and Paul Lambert are on the fringes; Harry Redknapp has allowed his membership to lapse. Those 11 British managers have had 51 Premier League jobs between them. FIFTY ONE! Snow joke: Sam Allardyce has had SEVEN Premier League jobs Credit: CameraSport via Getty Images Allardyce has had seven, Redknapp six, Hughes six, Hogdson five, Hughton five, Pardew five, Bruce four, Moyes four, Pulis three, Lambert three, Megson three. Some of them have done fine work at some of them: Allardyce at Bolton back in the day, Pulis at Stoke, Hughton at Brighton if they stay up. But there have been more hits than misses for this group. Is there any other job than British Football Manager where failure is such a small barrier to continued (very gainful) employment? Sheet results: Newcastle fans in September 2014 Credit: Action Images It pains me to speak ill of a fellow Alan, but Pardew, for instance, left Charlton with chants of "we want Pardew out" ringing in his ears, left Southampton after staff unrest, had an excellent 2011-2012 season at Newcastle but was never welcomed by the North East fans (to say the least, if you check out that link ). An encouraging start at Crystal Palace ended in disappointment. And yet there he was, appointed at West Brom. Good old Alan. Every time a Premier League club gets rid of the manager, a case is made for one or other of this gilded group of British fifty-somethings, and a useful idiot like a Paul Merson will stress that it is vital for *Insert Struggling Club* to appoint a British manager who "knows the league" rather than a foreign coach. But why? And is this gravy train finally running out of steam? See you pal: David Moyes address a football Credit: Getty Images With the exception of the top six (and arguably Everton and Leicester) the only goal for Premier League owners is staying up. The fit and proper men from the Middle East, the former Soviet bloc and Thailand care not for the fact that the gaffer is pals with the bloke at the Daily Mirror and is decent value on the golf course. They see only the one result that matters: are we going to stay in the league? They might look at the example of Watford, say, bringing in a talented, young (or young in football manager terms, anyway) coach who can do enough to finish above three other modest outfits. Get rid of him once the lustre wears off. Rinse and repeat. 36 of the 92 English league clubs have had a new manager in the last six months: the days of building a team, let alone a club, seem to be in decline. Hello Mr Roy: Crystal Palace's English manager Roy Hodgson Credit: AFP The clubs in the bottom eight (Brighton in 13th and downwards) are managed by Hughton, Moyes, Carlos Carvalhal, David Wagner, Hodgson, Hughes and Lambert, plus the Pardew-free WBA. So that's six of the eight strugglers who are the same old faces. 28 Premier League jobs between them they have had, and yet they are presiding over poor teams playing poor football, week after week, year after year. Are these British managers actually any good at it? You would imagine that relegation would spell certain P45 for Lambert, Hughes, Hodgson and Moyes. Probably not for Wagner, possibly not for Carvahal and Hughton. Even if they stay up, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Moyes leave West Ham. Why are the same people getting the same jobs over and over again? And will owners finally decide that it might be at least worth trying a manage who isn't British/Irish and in his fifties? This season may yet prove to be the last march of the dinosaurs. Perhaps it is time we all moved on. Can everyone please stop tweeting us about Alan Pardew Alan Pardew is NOT a #WBA (World Bollard Association) member We have not agreed to part company with him by mutual consent We don't even know him Thank you #WorldBollardAssociation#WestBollardAlbion@wba— World Bollard Association (@WorldBollard) April 2, 2018
Does Alan Pardew's West Brom departure suggest English managers are an endangered species?
Alan Pardew has left West Brom by mutual consent, and with half a million quid in his bin. There will be few tears shed by Baggies fans. But it might yet be that the departure of the man they call Chunky points to the end of an era. Pardew was a prominent member of that British group of proper football men that always seem to be there or thereabouts when a Premier League job (outside the top six) comes up. Other core members include Sam Allardyce, David Moyes, Mark Hughes, Steve Bruce, Tony Pulis, Roy Hodgson and Chris Hughton. Gary Megson and Paul Lambert are on the fringes; Harry Redknapp has allowed his membership to lapse. Those 11 British managers have had 51 Premier League jobs between them. FIFTY ONE! Snow joke: Sam Allardyce has had SEVEN Premier League jobs Credit: CameraSport via Getty Images Allardyce has had seven, Redknapp six, Hughes six, Hogdson five, Hughton five, Pardew five, Bruce four, Moyes four, Pulis three, Lambert three, Megson three. Some of them have done fine work at some of them: Allardyce at Bolton back in the day, Pulis at Stoke, Hughton at Brighton if they stay up. But there have been more hits than misses for this group. Is there any other job than British Football Manager where failure is such a small barrier to continued (very gainful) employment? Sheet results: Newcastle fans in September 2014 Credit: Action Images It pains me to speak ill of a fellow Alan, but Pardew, for instance, left Charlton with chants of "we want Pardew out" ringing in his ears, left Southampton after staff unrest, had an excellent 2011-2012 season at Newcastle but was never welcomed by the North East fans (to say the least, if you check out that link ). An encouraging start at Crystal Palace ended in disappointment. And yet there he was, appointed at West Brom. Good old Alan. Every time a Premier League club gets rid of the manager, a case is made for one or other of this gilded group of British fifty-somethings, and a useful idiot like a Paul Merson will stress that it is vital for *Insert Struggling Club* to appoint a British manager who "knows the league" rather than a foreign coach. But why? And is this gravy train finally running out of steam? See you pal: David Moyes address a football Credit: Getty Images With the exception of the top six (and arguably Everton and Leicester) the only goal for Premier League owners is staying up. The fit and proper men from the Middle East, the former Soviet bloc and Thailand care not for the fact that the gaffer is pals with the bloke at the Daily Mirror and is decent value on the golf course. They see only the one result that matters: are we going to stay in the league? They might look at the example of Watford, say, bringing in a talented, young (or young in football manager terms, anyway) coach who can do enough to finish above three other modest outfits. Get rid of him once the lustre wears off. Rinse and repeat. 36 of the 92 English league clubs have had a new manager in the last six months: the days of building a team, let alone a club, seem to be in decline. Hello Mr Roy: Crystal Palace's English manager Roy Hodgson Credit: AFP The clubs in the bottom eight (Brighton in 13th and downwards) are managed by Hughton, Moyes, Carlos Carvalhal, David Wagner, Hodgson, Hughes and Lambert, plus the Pardew-free WBA. So that's six of the eight strugglers who are the same old faces. 28 Premier League jobs between them they have had, and yet they are presiding over poor teams playing poor football, week after week, year after year. Are these British managers actually any good at it? You would imagine that relegation would spell certain P45 for Lambert, Hughes, Hodgson and Moyes. Probably not for Wagner, possibly not for Carvahal and Hughton. Even if they stay up, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Moyes leave West Ham. Why are the same people getting the same jobs over and over again? And will owners finally decide that it might be at least worth trying a manage who isn't British/Irish and in his fifties? This season may yet prove to be the last march of the dinosaurs. Perhaps it is time we all moved on. Can everyone please stop tweeting us about Alan Pardew Alan Pardew is NOT a #WBA (World Bollard Association) member We have not agreed to part company with him by mutual consent We don't even know him Thank you #WorldBollardAssociation#WestBollardAlbion@wba— World Bollard Association (@WorldBollard) April 2, 2018
Alan Pardew has left West Brom by mutual consent, and with half a million quid in his bin. There will be few tears shed by Baggies fans. But it might yet be that the departure of the man they call Chunky points to the end of an era. Pardew was a prominent member of that British group of proper football men that always seem to be there or thereabouts when a Premier League job (outside the top six) comes up. Other core members include Sam Allardyce, David Moyes, Mark Hughes, Steve Bruce, Tony Pulis, Roy Hodgson and Chris Hughton. Gary Megson and Paul Lambert are on the fringes; Harry Redknapp has allowed his membership to lapse. Those 11 British managers have had 51 Premier League jobs between them. FIFTY ONE! Snow joke: Sam Allardyce has had SEVEN Premier League jobs Credit: CameraSport via Getty Images Allardyce has had seven, Redknapp six, Hughes six, Hogdson five, Hughton five, Pardew five, Bruce four, Moyes four, Pulis three, Lambert three, Megson three. Some of them have done fine work at some of them: Allardyce at Bolton back in the day, Pulis at Stoke, Hughton at Brighton if they stay up. But there have been more hits than misses for this group. Is there any other job than British Football Manager where failure is such a small barrier to continued (very gainful) employment? Sheet results: Newcastle fans in September 2014 Credit: Action Images It pains me to speak ill of a fellow Alan, but Pardew, for instance, left Charlton with chants of "we want Pardew out" ringing in his ears, left Southampton after staff unrest, had an excellent 2011-2012 season at Newcastle but was never welcomed by the North East fans (to say the least, if you check out that link ). An encouraging start at Crystal Palace ended in disappointment. And yet there he was, appointed at West Brom. Good old Alan. Every time a Premier League club gets rid of the manager, a case is made for one or other of this gilded group of British fifty-somethings, and a useful idiot like a Paul Merson will stress that it is vital for *Insert Struggling Club* to appoint a British manager who "knows the league" rather than a foreign coach. But why? And is this gravy train finally running out of steam? See you pal: David Moyes address a football Credit: Getty Images With the exception of the top six (and arguably Everton and Leicester) the only goal for Premier League owners is staying up. The fit and proper men from the Middle East, the former Soviet bloc and Thailand care not for the fact that the gaffer is pals with the bloke at the Daily Mirror and is decent value on the golf course. They see only the one result that matters: are we going to stay in the league? They might look at the example of Watford, say, bringing in a talented, young (or young in football manager terms, anyway) coach who can do enough to finish above three other modest outfits. Get rid of him once the lustre wears off. Rinse and repeat. 36 of the 92 English league clubs have had a new manager in the last six months: the days of building a team, let alone a club, seem to be in decline. Hello Mr Roy: Crystal Palace's English manager Roy Hodgson Credit: AFP The clubs in the bottom eight (Brighton in 13th and downwards) are managed by Hughton, Moyes, Carlos Carvalhal, David Wagner, Hodgson, Hughes and Lambert, plus the Pardew-free WBA. So that's six of the eight strugglers who are the same old faces. 28 Premier League jobs between them they have had, and yet they are presiding over poor teams playing poor football, week after week, year after year. Are these British managers actually any good at it? You would imagine that relegation would spell certain P45 for Lambert, Hughes, Hodgson and Moyes. Probably not for Wagner, possibly not for Carvahal and Hughton. Even if they stay up, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Moyes leave West Ham. Why are the same people getting the same jobs over and over again? And will owners finally decide that it might be at least worth trying a manage who isn't British/Irish and in his fifties? This season may yet prove to be the last march of the dinosaurs. Perhaps it is time we all moved on. Can everyone please stop tweeting us about Alan Pardew Alan Pardew is NOT a #WBA (World Bollard Association) member We have not agreed to part company with him by mutual consent We don't even know him Thank you #WorldBollardAssociation#WestBollardAlbion@wba— World Bollard Association (@WorldBollard) April 2, 2018
Does Alan Pardew's West Brom departure suggest English managers are an endangered species?
Alan Pardew has left West Brom by mutual consent, and with half a million quid in his bin. There will be few tears shed by Baggies fans. But it might yet be that the departure of the man they call Chunky points to the end of an era. Pardew was a prominent member of that British group of proper football men that always seem to be there or thereabouts when a Premier League job (outside the top six) comes up. Other core members include Sam Allardyce, David Moyes, Mark Hughes, Steve Bruce, Tony Pulis, Roy Hodgson and Chris Hughton. Gary Megson and Paul Lambert are on the fringes; Harry Redknapp has allowed his membership to lapse. Those 11 British managers have had 51 Premier League jobs between them. FIFTY ONE! Snow joke: Sam Allardyce has had SEVEN Premier League jobs Credit: CameraSport via Getty Images Allardyce has had seven, Redknapp six, Hughes six, Hogdson five, Hughton five, Pardew five, Bruce four, Moyes four, Pulis three, Lambert three, Megson three. Some of them have done fine work at some of them: Allardyce at Bolton back in the day, Pulis at Stoke, Hughton at Brighton if they stay up. But there have been more hits than misses for this group. Is there any other job than British Football Manager where failure is such a small barrier to continued (very gainful) employment? Sheet results: Newcastle fans in September 2014 Credit: Action Images It pains me to speak ill of a fellow Alan, but Pardew, for instance, left Charlton with chants of "we want Pardew out" ringing in his ears, left Southampton after staff unrest, had an excellent 2011-2012 season at Newcastle but was never welcomed by the North East fans (to say the least, if you check out that link ). An encouraging start at Crystal Palace ended in disappointment. And yet there he was, appointed at West Brom. Good old Alan. Every time a Premier League club gets rid of the manager, a case is made for one or other of this gilded group of British fifty-somethings, and a useful idiot like a Paul Merson will stress that it is vital for *Insert Struggling Club* to appoint a British manager who "knows the league" rather than a foreign coach. But why? And is this gravy train finally running out of steam? See you pal: David Moyes address a football Credit: Getty Images With the exception of the top six (and arguably Everton and Leicester) the only goal for Premier League owners is staying up. The fit and proper men from the Middle East, the former Soviet bloc and Thailand care not for the fact that the gaffer is pals with the bloke at the Daily Mirror and is decent value on the golf course. They see only the one result that matters: are we going to stay in the league? They might look at the example of Watford, say, bringing in a talented, young (or young in football manager terms, anyway) coach who can do enough to finish above three other modest outfits. Get rid of him once the lustre wears off. Rinse and repeat. 36 of the 92 English league clubs have had a new manager in the last six months: the days of building a team, let alone a club, seem to be in decline. Hello Mr Roy: Crystal Palace's English manager Roy Hodgson Credit: AFP The clubs in the bottom eight (Brighton in 13th and downwards) are managed by Hughton, Moyes, Carlos Carvalhal, David Wagner, Hodgson, Hughes and Lambert, plus the Pardew-free WBA. So that's six of the eight strugglers who are the same old faces. 28 Premier League jobs between them they have had, and yet they are presiding over poor teams playing poor football, week after week, year after year. Are these British managers actually any good at it? You would imagine that relegation would spell certain P45 for Lambert, Hughes, Hodgson and Moyes. Probably not for Wagner, possibly not for Carvahal and Hughton. Even if they stay up, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Moyes leave West Ham. Why are the same people getting the same jobs over and over again? And will owners finally decide that it might be at least worth trying a manage who isn't British/Irish and in his fifties? This season may yet prove to be the last march of the dinosaurs. Perhaps it is time we all moved on. Can everyone please stop tweeting us about Alan Pardew Alan Pardew is NOT a #WBA (World Bollard Association) member We have not agreed to part company with him by mutual consent We don't even know him Thank you #WorldBollardAssociation#WestBollardAlbion@wba— World Bollard Association (@WorldBollard) April 2, 2018
Alan Pardew has left West Brom by mutual consent, and with half a million quid in his bin. There will be few tears shed by Baggies fans. But it might yet be that the departure of the man they call Chunky points to the end of an era. Pardew was a prominent member of that British group of proper football men that always seem to be there or thereabouts when a Premier League job (outside the top six) comes up. Other core members include Sam Allardyce, David Moyes, Mark Hughes, Steve Bruce, Tony Pulis, Roy Hodgson and Chris Hughton. Gary Megson and Paul Lambert are on the fringes; Harry Redknapp has allowed his membership to lapse. Those 11 British managers have had 51 Premier League jobs between them. FIFTY ONE! Snow joke: Sam Allardyce has had SEVEN Premier League jobs Credit: CameraSport via Getty Images Allardyce has had seven, Redknapp six, Hughes six, Hogdson five, Hughton five, Pardew five, Bruce four, Moyes four, Pulis three, Lambert three, Megson three. Some of them have done fine work at some of them: Allardyce at Bolton back in the day, Pulis at Stoke, Hughton at Brighton if they stay up. But there have been more hits than misses for this group. Is there any other job than British Football Manager where failure is such a small barrier to continued (very gainful) employment? Sheet results: Newcastle fans in September 2014 Credit: Action Images It pains me to speak ill of a fellow Alan, but Pardew, for instance, left Charlton with chants of "we want Pardew out" ringing in his ears, left Southampton after staff unrest, had an excellent 2011-2012 season at Newcastle but was never welcomed by the North East fans (to say the least, if you check out that link ). An encouraging start at Crystal Palace ended in disappointment. And yet there he was, appointed at West Brom. Good old Alan. Every time a Premier League club gets rid of the manager, a case is made for one or other of this gilded group of British fifty-somethings, and a useful idiot like a Paul Merson will stress that it is vital for *Insert Struggling Club* to appoint a British manager who "knows the league" rather than a foreign coach. But why? And is this gravy train finally running out of steam? See you pal: David Moyes address a football Credit: Getty Images With the exception of the top six (and arguably Everton and Leicester) the only goal for Premier League owners is staying up. The fit and proper men from the Middle East, the former Soviet bloc and Thailand care not for the fact that the gaffer is pals with the bloke at the Daily Mirror and is decent value on the golf course. They see only the one result that matters: are we going to stay in the league? They might look at the example of Watford, say, bringing in a talented, young (or young in football manager terms, anyway) coach who can do enough to finish above three other modest outfits. Get rid of him once the lustre wears off. Rinse and repeat. 36 of the 92 English league clubs have had a new manager in the last six months: the days of building a team, let alone a club, seem to be in decline. Hello Mr Roy: Crystal Palace's English manager Roy Hodgson Credit: AFP The clubs in the bottom eight (Brighton in 13th and downwards) are managed by Hughton, Moyes, Carlos Carvalhal, David Wagner, Hodgson, Hughes and Lambert, plus the Pardew-free WBA. So that's six of the eight strugglers who are the same old faces. 28 Premier League jobs between them they have had, and yet they are presiding over poor teams playing poor football, week after week, year after year. Are these British managers actually any good at it? You would imagine that relegation would spell certain P45 for Lambert, Hughes, Hodgson and Moyes. Probably not for Wagner, possibly not for Carvahal and Hughton. Even if they stay up, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Moyes leave West Ham. Why are the same people getting the same jobs over and over again? And will owners finally decide that it might be at least worth trying a manage who isn't British/Irish and in his fifties? This season may yet prove to be the last march of the dinosaurs. Perhaps it is time we all moved on. Can everyone please stop tweeting us about Alan Pardew Alan Pardew is NOT a #WBA (World Bollard Association) member We have not agreed to part company with him by mutual consent We don't even know him Thank you #WorldBollardAssociation#WestBollardAlbion@wba— World Bollard Association (@WorldBollard) April 2, 2018
Does Alan Pardew's West Brom departure suggest English managers are an endangered species?
Alan Pardew has left West Brom by mutual consent, and with half a million quid in his bin. There will be few tears shed by Baggies fans. But it might yet be that the departure of the man they call Chunky points to the end of an era. Pardew was a prominent member of that British group of proper football men that always seem to be there or thereabouts when a Premier League job (outside the top six) comes up. Other core members include Sam Allardyce, David Moyes, Mark Hughes, Steve Bruce, Tony Pulis, Roy Hodgson and Chris Hughton. Gary Megson and Paul Lambert are on the fringes; Harry Redknapp has allowed his membership to lapse. Those 11 British managers have had 51 Premier League jobs between them. FIFTY ONE! Snow joke: Sam Allardyce has had SEVEN Premier League jobs Credit: CameraSport via Getty Images Allardyce has had seven, Redknapp six, Hughes six, Hogdson five, Hughton five, Pardew five, Bruce four, Moyes four, Pulis three, Lambert three, Megson three. Some of them have done fine work at some of them: Allardyce at Bolton back in the day, Pulis at Stoke, Hughton at Brighton if they stay up. But there have been more hits than misses for this group. Is there any other job than British Football Manager where failure is such a small barrier to continued (very gainful) employment? Sheet results: Newcastle fans in September 2014 Credit: Action Images It pains me to speak ill of a fellow Alan, but Pardew, for instance, left Charlton with chants of "we want Pardew out" ringing in his ears, left Southampton after staff unrest, had an excellent 2011-2012 season at Newcastle but was never welcomed by the North East fans (to say the least, if you check out that link ). An encouraging start at Crystal Palace ended in disappointment. And yet there he was, appointed at West Brom. Good old Alan. Every time a Premier League club gets rid of the manager, a case is made for one or other of this gilded group of British fifty-somethings, and a useful idiot like a Paul Merson will stress that it is vital for *Insert Struggling Club* to appoint a British manager who "knows the league" rather than a foreign coach. But why? And is this gravy train finally running out of steam? See you pal: David Moyes address a football Credit: Getty Images With the exception of the top six (and arguably Everton and Leicester) the only goal for Premier League owners is staying up. The fit and proper men from the Middle East, the former Soviet bloc and Thailand care not for the fact that the gaffer is pals with the bloke at the Daily Mirror and is decent value on the golf course. They see only the one result that matters: are we going to stay in the league? They might look at the example of Watford, say, bringing in a talented, young (or young in football manager terms, anyway) coach who can do enough to finish above three other modest outfits. Get rid of him once the lustre wears off. Rinse and repeat. 36 of the 92 English league clubs have had a new manager in the last six months: the days of building a team, let alone a club, seem to be in decline. Hello Mr Roy: Crystal Palace's English manager Roy Hodgson Credit: AFP The clubs in the bottom eight (Brighton in 13th and downwards) are managed by Hughton, Moyes, Carlos Carvalhal, David Wagner, Hodgson, Hughes and Lambert, plus the Pardew-free WBA. So that's six of the eight strugglers who are the same old faces. 28 Premier League jobs between them they have had, and yet they are presiding over poor teams playing poor football, week after week, year after year. Are these British managers actually any good at it? You would imagine that relegation would spell certain P45 for Lambert, Hughes, Hodgson and Moyes. Probably not for Wagner, possibly not for Carvahal and Hughton. Even if they stay up, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Moyes leave West Ham. Why are the same people getting the same jobs over and over again? And will owners finally decide that it might be at least worth trying a manage who isn't British/Irish and in his fifties? This season may yet prove to be the last march of the dinosaurs. Perhaps it is time we all moved on. Can everyone please stop tweeting us about Alan Pardew Alan Pardew is NOT a #WBA (World Bollard Association) member We have not agreed to part company with him by mutual consent We don't even know him Thank you #WorldBollardAssociation#WestBollardAlbion@wba— World Bollard Association (@WorldBollard) April 2, 2018
As England line up against Italy on Tuesday night, there will - as usual - be no representative from outside the Premier League. Players who move abroad tend to be viewed with suspicion, as exiles who could not quite cut it. Take Jay Bothroyd. The stripped-down view is of a striker whose England career was over before it began and who failed to live up to his early potential. The more rounded version involves a rich and varied career that has taken in training-pitch scuffles at Arsenal, partying with Colonel Gaddafi’s son in Monte Carlo, becoming a cult hero in Japan and a totem for epilepsy sufferers in sport. No wonder Bothroyd, now 35, holds little truck with his detractors. “These people on the internet calling me a 'one-cap wonder' and saying I didn’t deserve it, at end of the day they’re the failures," he says. "I achieved all my goals and am still achieving new ones." Bothroyd's latest stopping point is J-League side Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo where he has scored 12 goals in 18 matches since joining from Jubilo Iwata last July. He has captained the side, who regularly draw crowds of over 30,000, but for Bothroyd the move has been about a cultural, as well as footballing, education. Bothroyd in action for his 13th club, Consadole Sapporo Credit: JAPAN FOOTBALL Not that the transition has been entirely straightforward. Bothroyd must still communicate via a translator, and is 5,500 miles from his wife, Stella, an Italian he met while playing with Perugia and who gave birth to their son, Zar, last August. He admits to being baffled by Japan's adherence to rules - “In England if you’re short a penny for something the guy will say ‘whatever’ - in Japan, you won’t be allowed to buy it” - although there is no shortage of assistance from the locals. “You can get food from vending machines on the street here,” explains Bothroyd, a long-standing Vegan whose pre-match meals are more likely to revolve around tofu and mushrooms than the one-time British staple of chicken and chips. “I once said that I really liked vending machine corn soup so from then on when people come to the training ground they bring me some. I’ve got loads of them stacked up in my cupboard!” Bothroyd is evangelical in his enthusiasm for the J-League - "Ignorant people just say he’s in a s--- league in Japan, but that’s really not the case" - but it is still a far cry from his days growing up as a teenager in Archway. Took the youngsters out for dinner Tonight, good lads!! It’s always good to spend time with the next generation, if I can pass any knowledge or any of my life lessons down to help them rise to the top it’s my duty and of course I’m more than willing. #teammates#team#friends#experience#youngsters#advice#knowledge#striveforgreatness#consadole#japan#jleague#future#blessed A post shared by Jay Bothroyd (@jay7582) on Feb 25, 2018 at 4:32am PST Many of his friends at Holloway Boys School were involved in drugs and crime, but Bothroyd found a way out at his local club Arsenal. With Arsene Wenger’s reign only just beginning, he established himself as the star striker of an all-conquering youth team alongside players such as Ashley Cole, Jermaine Pennant and Steve Sidwell. “We won the FA Youth Cup in 2000 and all my team-mates then are still my friends now," Bothroyd says. "We have a WhatsApp group and meet up every year. We were very fortunate to play total football under Arsene Wenger. We are all technical footballers - I’m 6ft 3in but I didn’t learn how to head the ball until I left Arsenal. “But there was an edge as well. We had fights every day - arguments, fisticuffs. The first team players as well - Tony Adams, Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry. They were having physical confrontations every day. You wanted to win and then people start taking the piss, doing nutmegs, so you get upset. "That's why it makes me sad for me to see Wenger in this current situation and people aggressively insulting him. Players get into comfort zone and I think that’s what’s happened unfortunately." Bothroyd never made it into the Arsenal first team despite winning the FA Youth Cup in 2000 Credit: GETTY IMAGES During the 1999-2000 campaign when Bothroyd inspired Arsenal to the FA Youth Cup, Wenger told the 17-year-old he was planning on promoting him to the first team the following season. It never happened: after being substituted in the Premier League’s academy play-off final, Bothroyd threw his shirt towards youth team coach Don Howe. He was swiftly sold to Coventry. Bothroyd admits that was a "mistake" but it did not stop him developing an unwanted reputation for being, in one manager's words, "high maintenance". It took an apparently unlikely move to Serie A club Perugia in 2003 to instil some much-needed discipline. “Before, I always thought you’d muck about in training but in Italy, it was like a religion”, Bothroyd recalls. "Initially I found it really difficult to cope. I didn’t speak Italian, and I remember my first month’s phone bill was €7,000 [£6,119) because I was calling home the entire time. But my loved ones told me I needed to stick it out, and once I made some friends, I started enjoying it. It was the best thing I did." One of those friends was Al-Saadi Gaddafi, an attacking midfielder and the son of Libya’s notorious dictator who was signed by Perugia's eccentric owner Luciano Gaucci. Al-Saadi has since been extradited to Libya on murder charges during his country's bloody civil war, but back then he was viewed as a harmless playboy, rich enough to pay for Bothroyd's honeymoon to Los Angeles and Hawaii. Al-Saadi Gaddafi was signed by Perugia in 2003, but has since been extradited back to Libya on murder charges “I just didn’t see that in him," he says. "I didn’t see any violence, didn’t see him disrespect his staff or speak down to anyone. He was softly spoken, generous - maybe too generous. “One time during an international break he took the whole team on private jets to Monte Carlo, rented the top two floors of the Hermitage Hotel [where rooms can cost more than £500] and paid for every single player to have their own room. “I haven’t spoken to Saadi for about six years and never met his dad, but he would always have armed guards with him at training. It’s very sad that people have been killed and injured by his family. I’m sorry for that, I was shocked when I read about it.” Bothroyd’s year in Italy was soured by being subjected to horrendous racist abuse by Inter Milan supporters, but it was ultimately a transformative experience. He returned to England and had productive spells at clubs including Charlton, Wolves and Cardiff, where his form earned him a call-up to the national side in 2010 and a reunion with Wenger, with England training at Arsenal’s London Colney base. Bothroyd’s voice trembles a little at the memory. “When I saw him he put his arm around me and said ‘I’m so happy for you, you’ve really done well, you’ve turned things around. I'm proud of you.' That really meant a lot. “He always said ‘never be afraid to make mistakes’. Even when you didn’t play well, he always pointed out the good things you did." Bothroyd acquitted himself well in his one England appearance - a 2-1 home defeat by France - but he was never recalled. He moved abroad again four years later, this time to Thailand and then to Japan after being disappointed at the standard of Thai football. Bothroyd moved to Japan with Jubilo Iwata in 2015 Credit: GETTY IMAGES He is now as happy and settled as he has ever been, with Japan becoming a home from home. The point was underlined when Bothroyd - who has suffered from epilepsy since he was 17 - suffered a seizure during a training session last November. "I was amazed by how much people contacted me about it. Lots of people have been sending me messages and saying ‘your story’s great’ and even offering me ambassadorial roles at foundations. So I’m glad I can be a positive role model for people that have this condition." It is another twist in Bothroyd's peripatetic career, but what is striking, listening to him speak, is how content he sounds. So are there any regrets? “For my ability, I have underachieved," he says. “There were Premier League forwards half as good as me. I could have played regularly for Arsenal and won more England caps if I hadn't wasted time not being focused on football like I should have been. “But I've played in the Premier League, Serie A, for England, earned a lot of money. Could I have had a better career? Yeah of course I could. But a more varied career? I don't know about that."
Exclusive interview: Jay Bothroyd on being a cult hero in Japan, the 'one-cap wonder' tag and jet-setting with Gaddafi's son
As England line up against Italy on Tuesday night, there will - as usual - be no representative from outside the Premier League. Players who move abroad tend to be viewed with suspicion, as exiles who could not quite cut it. Take Jay Bothroyd. The stripped-down view is of a striker whose England career was over before it began and who failed to live up to his early potential. The more rounded version involves a rich and varied career that has taken in training-pitch scuffles at Arsenal, partying with Colonel Gaddafi’s son in Monte Carlo, becoming a cult hero in Japan and a totem for epilepsy sufferers in sport. No wonder Bothroyd, now 35, holds little truck with his detractors. “These people on the internet calling me a 'one-cap wonder' and saying I didn’t deserve it, at end of the day they’re the failures," he says. "I achieved all my goals and am still achieving new ones." Bothroyd's latest stopping point is J-League side Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo where he has scored 12 goals in 18 matches since joining from Jubilo Iwata last July. He has captained the side, who regularly draw crowds of over 30,000, but for Bothroyd the move has been about a cultural, as well as footballing, education. Bothroyd in action for his 13th club, Consadole Sapporo Credit: JAPAN FOOTBALL Not that the transition has been entirely straightforward. Bothroyd must still communicate via a translator, and is 5,500 miles from his wife, Stella, an Italian he met while playing with Perugia and who gave birth to their son, Zar, last August. He admits to being baffled by Japan's adherence to rules - “In England if you’re short a penny for something the guy will say ‘whatever’ - in Japan, you won’t be allowed to buy it” - although there is no shortage of assistance from the locals. “You can get food from vending machines on the street here,” explains Bothroyd, a long-standing Vegan whose pre-match meals are more likely to revolve around tofu and mushrooms than the one-time British staple of chicken and chips. “I once said that I really liked vending machine corn soup so from then on when people come to the training ground they bring me some. I’ve got loads of them stacked up in my cupboard!” Bothroyd is evangelical in his enthusiasm for the J-League - "Ignorant people just say he’s in a s--- league in Japan, but that’s really not the case" - but it is still a far cry from his days growing up as a teenager in Archway. Took the youngsters out for dinner Tonight, good lads!! It’s always good to spend time with the next generation, if I can pass any knowledge or any of my life lessons down to help them rise to the top it’s my duty and of course I’m more than willing. #teammates#team#friends#experience#youngsters#advice#knowledge#striveforgreatness#consadole#japan#jleague#future#blessed A post shared by Jay Bothroyd (@jay7582) on Feb 25, 2018 at 4:32am PST Many of his friends at Holloway Boys School were involved in drugs and crime, but Bothroyd found a way out at his local club Arsenal. With Arsene Wenger’s reign only just beginning, he established himself as the star striker of an all-conquering youth team alongside players such as Ashley Cole, Jermaine Pennant and Steve Sidwell. “We won the FA Youth Cup in 2000 and all my team-mates then are still my friends now," Bothroyd says. "We have a WhatsApp group and meet up every year. We were very fortunate to play total football under Arsene Wenger. We are all technical footballers - I’m 6ft 3in but I didn’t learn how to head the ball until I left Arsenal. “But there was an edge as well. We had fights every day - arguments, fisticuffs. The first team players as well - Tony Adams, Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry. They were having physical confrontations every day. You wanted to win and then people start taking the piss, doing nutmegs, so you get upset. "That's why it makes me sad for me to see Wenger in this current situation and people aggressively insulting him. Players get into comfort zone and I think that’s what’s happened unfortunately." Bothroyd never made it into the Arsenal first team despite winning the FA Youth Cup in 2000 Credit: GETTY IMAGES During the 1999-2000 campaign when Bothroyd inspired Arsenal to the FA Youth Cup, Wenger told the 17-year-old he was planning on promoting him to the first team the following season. It never happened: after being substituted in the Premier League’s academy play-off final, Bothroyd threw his shirt towards youth team coach Don Howe. He was swiftly sold to Coventry. Bothroyd admits that was a "mistake" but it did not stop him developing an unwanted reputation for being, in one manager's words, "high maintenance". It took an apparently unlikely move to Serie A club Perugia in 2003 to instil some much-needed discipline. “Before, I always thought you’d muck about in training but in Italy, it was like a religion”, Bothroyd recalls. "Initially I found it really difficult to cope. I didn’t speak Italian, and I remember my first month’s phone bill was €7,000 [£6,119) because I was calling home the entire time. But my loved ones told me I needed to stick it out, and once I made some friends, I started enjoying it. It was the best thing I did." One of those friends was Al-Saadi Gaddafi, an attacking midfielder and the son of Libya’s notorious dictator who was signed by Perugia's eccentric owner Luciano Gaucci. Al-Saadi has since been extradited to Libya on murder charges during his country's bloody civil war, but back then he was viewed as a harmless playboy, rich enough to pay for Bothroyd's honeymoon to Los Angeles and Hawaii. Al-Saadi Gaddafi was signed by Perugia in 2003, but has since been extradited back to Libya on murder charges “I just didn’t see that in him," he says. "I didn’t see any violence, didn’t see him disrespect his staff or speak down to anyone. He was softly spoken, generous - maybe too generous. “One time during an international break he took the whole team on private jets to Monte Carlo, rented the top two floors of the Hermitage Hotel [where rooms can cost more than £500] and paid for every single player to have their own room. “I haven’t spoken to Saadi for about six years and never met his dad, but he would always have armed guards with him at training. It’s very sad that people have been killed and injured by his family. I’m sorry for that, I was shocked when I read about it.” Bothroyd’s year in Italy was soured by being subjected to horrendous racist abuse by Inter Milan supporters, but it was ultimately a transformative experience. He returned to England and had productive spells at clubs including Charlton, Wolves and Cardiff, where his form earned him a call-up to the national side in 2010 and a reunion with Wenger, with England training at Arsenal’s London Colney base. Bothroyd’s voice trembles a little at the memory. “When I saw him he put his arm around me and said ‘I’m so happy for you, you’ve really done well, you’ve turned things around. I'm proud of you.' That really meant a lot. “He always said ‘never be afraid to make mistakes’. Even when you didn’t play well, he always pointed out the good things you did." Bothroyd acquitted himself well in his one England appearance - a 2-1 home defeat by France - but he was never recalled. He moved abroad again four years later, this time to Thailand and then to Japan after being disappointed at the standard of Thai football. Bothroyd moved to Japan with Jubilo Iwata in 2015 Credit: GETTY IMAGES He is now as happy and settled as he has ever been, with Japan becoming a home from home. The point was underlined when Bothroyd - who has suffered from epilepsy since he was 17 - suffered a seizure during a training session last November. "I was amazed by how much people contacted me about it. Lots of people have been sending me messages and saying ‘your story’s great’ and even offering me ambassadorial roles at foundations. So I’m glad I can be a positive role model for people that have this condition." It is another twist in Bothroyd's peripatetic career, but what is striking, listening to him speak, is how content he sounds. So are there any regrets? “For my ability, I have underachieved," he says. “There were Premier League forwards half as good as me. I could have played regularly for Arsenal and won more England caps if I hadn't wasted time not being focused on football like I should have been. “But I've played in the Premier League, Serie A, for England, earned a lot of money. Could I have had a better career? Yeah of course I could. But a more varied career? I don't know about that."
As England line up against Italy on Tuesday night, there will - as usual - be no representative from outside the Premier League. Players who move abroad tend to be viewed with suspicion, as exiles who could not quite cut it. Take Jay Bothroyd. The stripped-down view is of a striker whose England career was over before it began and who failed to live up to his early potential. The more rounded version involves a rich and varied career that has taken in training-pitch scuffles at Arsenal, partying with Colonel Gaddafi’s son in Monte Carlo, becoming a cult hero in Japan and a totem for epilepsy sufferers in sport. No wonder Bothroyd, now 35, holds little truck with his detractors. “These people on the internet calling me a 'one-cap wonder' and saying I didn’t deserve it, at end of the day they’re the failures," he says. "I achieved all my goals and am still achieving new ones." Bothroyd's latest stopping point is J-League side Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo where he has scored 12 goals in 18 matches since joining from Jubilo Iwata last July. He has captained the side, who regularly draw crowds of over 30,000, but for Bothroyd the move has been about a cultural, as well as footballing, education. Bothroyd in action for his 13th club, Consadole Sapporo Credit: JAPAN FOOTBALL Not that the transition has been entirely straightforward. Bothroyd must still communicate via a translator, and is 5,500 miles from his wife, Stella, an Italian he met while playing with Perugia and who gave birth to their son, Zar, last August. He admits to being baffled by Japan's adherence to rules - “In England if you’re short a penny for something the guy will say ‘whatever’ - in Japan, you won’t be allowed to buy it” - although there is no shortage of assistance from the locals. “You can get food from vending machines on the street here,” explains Bothroyd, a long-standing Vegan whose pre-match meals are more likely to revolve around tofu and mushrooms than the one-time British staple of chicken and chips. “I once said that I really liked vending machine corn soup so from then on when people come to the training ground they bring me some. I’ve got loads of them stacked up in my cupboard!” Bothroyd is evangelical in his enthusiasm for the J-League - "Ignorant people just say he’s in a s--- league in Japan, but that’s really not the case" - but it is still a far cry from his days growing up as a teenager in Archway. Took the youngsters out for dinner Tonight, good lads!! It’s always good to spend time with the next generation, if I can pass any knowledge or any of my life lessons down to help them rise to the top it’s my duty and of course I’m more than willing. #teammates#team#friends#experience#youngsters#advice#knowledge#striveforgreatness#consadole#japan#jleague#future#blessed A post shared by Jay Bothroyd (@jay7582) on Feb 25, 2018 at 4:32am PST Many of his friends at Holloway Boys School were involved in drugs and crime, but Bothroyd found a way out at his local club Arsenal. With Arsene Wenger’s reign only just beginning, he established himself as the star striker of an all-conquering youth team alongside players such as Ashley Cole, Jermaine Pennant and Steve Sidwell. “We won the FA Youth Cup in 2000 and all my team-mates then are still my friends now," Bothroyd says. "We have a WhatsApp group and meet up every year. We were very fortunate to play total football under Arsene Wenger. We are all technical footballers - I’m 6ft 3in but I didn’t learn how to head the ball until I left Arsenal. “But there was an edge as well. We had fights every day - arguments, fisticuffs. The first team players as well - Tony Adams, Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry. They were having physical confrontations every day. You wanted to win and then people start taking the piss, doing nutmegs, so you get upset. "That's why it makes me sad for me to see Wenger in this current situation and people aggressively insulting him. Players get into comfort zone and I think that’s what’s happened unfortunately." Bothroyd never made it into the Arsenal first team despite winning the FA Youth Cup in 2000 Credit: GETTY IMAGES During the 1999-2000 campaign when Bothroyd inspired Arsenal to the FA Youth Cup, Wenger told the 17-year-old he was planning on promoting him to the first team the following season. It never happened: after being substituted in the Premier League’s academy play-off final, Bothroyd threw his shirt towards youth team coach Don Howe. He was swiftly sold to Coventry. Bothroyd admits that was a "mistake" but it did not stop him developing an unwanted reputation for being, in one manager's words, "high maintenance". It took an apparently unlikely move to Serie A club Perugia in 2003 to instil some much-needed discipline. “Before, I always thought you’d muck about in training but in Italy, it was like a religion”, Bothroyd recalls. "Initially I found it really difficult to cope. I didn’t speak Italian, and I remember my first month’s phone bill was €7,000 [£6,119) because I was calling home the entire time. But my loved ones told me I needed to stick it out, and once I made some friends, I started enjoying it. It was the best thing I did." One of those friends was Al-Saadi Gaddafi, an attacking midfielder and the son of Libya’s notorious dictator who was signed by Perugia's eccentric owner Luciano Gaucci. Al-Saadi has since been extradited to Libya on murder charges during his country's bloody civil war, but back then he was viewed as a harmless playboy, rich enough to pay for Bothroyd's honeymoon to Los Angeles and Hawaii. Al-Saadi Gaddafi was signed by Perugia in 2003, but has since been extradited back to Libya on murder charges “I just didn’t see that in him," he says. "I didn’t see any violence, didn’t see him disrespect his staff or speak down to anyone. He was softly spoken, generous - maybe too generous. “One time during an international break he took the whole team on private jets to Monte Carlo, rented the top two floors of the Hermitage Hotel [where rooms can cost more than £500] and paid for every single player to have their own room. “I haven’t spoken to Saadi for about six years and never met his dad, but he would always have armed guards with him at training. It’s very sad that people have been killed and injured by his family. I’m sorry for that, I was shocked when I read about it.” Bothroyd’s year in Italy was soured by being subjected to horrendous racist abuse by Inter Milan supporters, but it was ultimately a transformative experience. He returned to England and had productive spells at clubs including Charlton, Wolves and Cardiff, where his form earned him a call-up to the national side in 2010 and a reunion with Wenger, with England training at Arsenal’s London Colney base. Bothroyd’s voice trembles a little at the memory. “When I saw him he put his arm around me and said ‘I’m so happy for you, you’ve really done well, you’ve turned things around. I'm proud of you.' That really meant a lot. “He always said ‘never be afraid to make mistakes’. Even when you didn’t play well, he always pointed out the good things you did." Bothroyd acquitted himself well in his one England appearance - a 2-1 home defeat by France - but he was never recalled. He moved abroad again four years later, this time to Thailand and then to Japan after being disappointed at the standard of Thai football. Bothroyd moved to Japan with Jubilo Iwata in 2015 Credit: GETTY IMAGES He is now as happy and settled as he has ever been, with Japan becoming a home from home. The point was underlined when Bothroyd - who has suffered from epilepsy since he was 17 - suffered a seizure during a training session last November. "I was amazed by how much people contacted me about it. Lots of people have been sending me messages and saying ‘your story’s great’ and even offering me ambassadorial roles at foundations. So I’m glad I can be a positive role model for people that have this condition." It is another twist in Bothroyd's peripatetic career, but what is striking, listening to him speak, is how content he sounds. So are there any regrets? “For my ability, I have underachieved," he says. “There were Premier League forwards half as good as me. I could have played regularly for Arsenal and won more England caps if I hadn't wasted time not being focused on football like I should have been. “But I've played in the Premier League, Serie A, for England, earned a lot of money. Could I have had a better career? Yeah of course I could. But a more varied career? I don't know about that."
Exclusive interview: Jay Bothroyd on being a cult hero in Japan, the 'one-cap wonder' tag and jet-setting with Gaddafi's son
As England line up against Italy on Tuesday night, there will - as usual - be no representative from outside the Premier League. Players who move abroad tend to be viewed with suspicion, as exiles who could not quite cut it. Take Jay Bothroyd. The stripped-down view is of a striker whose England career was over before it began and who failed to live up to his early potential. The more rounded version involves a rich and varied career that has taken in training-pitch scuffles at Arsenal, partying with Colonel Gaddafi’s son in Monte Carlo, becoming a cult hero in Japan and a totem for epilepsy sufferers in sport. No wonder Bothroyd, now 35, holds little truck with his detractors. “These people on the internet calling me a 'one-cap wonder' and saying I didn’t deserve it, at end of the day they’re the failures," he says. "I achieved all my goals and am still achieving new ones." Bothroyd's latest stopping point is J-League side Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo where he has scored 12 goals in 18 matches since joining from Jubilo Iwata last July. He has captained the side, who regularly draw crowds of over 30,000, but for Bothroyd the move has been about a cultural, as well as footballing, education. Bothroyd in action for his 13th club, Consadole Sapporo Credit: JAPAN FOOTBALL Not that the transition has been entirely straightforward. Bothroyd must still communicate via a translator, and is 5,500 miles from his wife, Stella, an Italian he met while playing with Perugia and who gave birth to their son, Zar, last August. He admits to being baffled by Japan's adherence to rules - “In England if you’re short a penny for something the guy will say ‘whatever’ - in Japan, you won’t be allowed to buy it” - although there is no shortage of assistance from the locals. “You can get food from vending machines on the street here,” explains Bothroyd, a long-standing Vegan whose pre-match meals are more likely to revolve around tofu and mushrooms than the one-time British staple of chicken and chips. “I once said that I really liked vending machine corn soup so from then on when people come to the training ground they bring me some. I’ve got loads of them stacked up in my cupboard!” Bothroyd is evangelical in his enthusiasm for the J-League - "Ignorant people just say he’s in a s--- league in Japan, but that’s really not the case" - but it is still a far cry from his days growing up as a teenager in Archway. Took the youngsters out for dinner Tonight, good lads!! It’s always good to spend time with the next generation, if I can pass any knowledge or any of my life lessons down to help them rise to the top it’s my duty and of course I’m more than willing. #teammates#team#friends#experience#youngsters#advice#knowledge#striveforgreatness#consadole#japan#jleague#future#blessed A post shared by Jay Bothroyd (@jay7582) on Feb 25, 2018 at 4:32am PST Many of his friends at Holloway Boys School were involved in drugs and crime, but Bothroyd found a way out at his local club Arsenal. With Arsene Wenger’s reign only just beginning, he established himself as the star striker of an all-conquering youth team alongside players such as Ashley Cole, Jermaine Pennant and Steve Sidwell. “We won the FA Youth Cup in 2000 and all my team-mates then are still my friends now," Bothroyd says. "We have a WhatsApp group and meet up every year. We were very fortunate to play total football under Arsene Wenger. We are all technical footballers - I’m 6ft 3in but I didn’t learn how to head the ball until I left Arsenal. “But there was an edge as well. We had fights every day - arguments, fisticuffs. The first team players as well - Tony Adams, Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry. They were having physical confrontations every day. You wanted to win and then people start taking the piss, doing nutmegs, so you get upset. "That's why it makes me sad for me to see Wenger in this current situation and people aggressively insulting him. Players get into comfort zone and I think that’s what’s happened unfortunately." Bothroyd never made it into the Arsenal first team despite winning the FA Youth Cup in 2000 Credit: GETTY IMAGES During the 1999-2000 campaign when Bothroyd inspired Arsenal to the FA Youth Cup, Wenger told the 17-year-old he was planning on promoting him to the first team the following season. It never happened: after being substituted in the Premier League’s academy play-off final, Bothroyd threw his shirt towards youth team coach Don Howe. He was swiftly sold to Coventry. Bothroyd admits that was a "mistake" but it did not stop him developing an unwanted reputation for being, in one manager's words, "high maintenance". It took an apparently unlikely move to Serie A club Perugia in 2003 to instil some much-needed discipline. “Before, I always thought you’d muck about in training but in Italy, it was like a religion”, Bothroyd recalls. "Initially I found it really difficult to cope. I didn’t speak Italian, and I remember my first month’s phone bill was €7,000 [£6,119) because I was calling home the entire time. But my loved ones told me I needed to stick it out, and once I made some friends, I started enjoying it. It was the best thing I did." One of those friends was Al-Saadi Gaddafi, an attacking midfielder and the son of Libya’s notorious dictator who was signed by Perugia's eccentric owner Luciano Gaucci. Al-Saadi has since been extradited to Libya on murder charges during his country's bloody civil war, but back then he was viewed as a harmless playboy, rich enough to pay for Bothroyd's honeymoon to Los Angeles and Hawaii. Al-Saadi Gaddafi was signed by Perugia in 2003, but has since been extradited back to Libya on murder charges “I just didn’t see that in him," he says. "I didn’t see any violence, didn’t see him disrespect his staff or speak down to anyone. He was softly spoken, generous - maybe too generous. “One time during an international break he took the whole team on private jets to Monte Carlo, rented the top two floors of the Hermitage Hotel [where rooms can cost more than £500] and paid for every single player to have their own room. “I haven’t spoken to Saadi for about six years and never met his dad, but he would always have armed guards with him at training. It’s very sad that people have been killed and injured by his family. I’m sorry for that, I was shocked when I read about it.” Bothroyd’s year in Italy was soured by being subjected to horrendous racist abuse by Inter Milan supporters, but it was ultimately a transformative experience. He returned to England and had productive spells at clubs including Charlton, Wolves and Cardiff, where his form earned him a call-up to the national side in 2010 and a reunion with Wenger, with England training at Arsenal’s London Colney base. Bothroyd’s voice trembles a little at the memory. “When I saw him he put his arm around me and said ‘I’m so happy for you, you’ve really done well, you’ve turned things around. I'm proud of you.' That really meant a lot. “He always said ‘never be afraid to make mistakes’. Even when you didn’t play well, he always pointed out the good things you did." Bothroyd acquitted himself well in his one England appearance - a 2-1 home defeat by France - but he was never recalled. He moved abroad again four years later, this time to Thailand and then to Japan after being disappointed at the standard of Thai football. Bothroyd moved to Japan with Jubilo Iwata in 2015 Credit: GETTY IMAGES He is now as happy and settled as he has ever been, with Japan becoming a home from home. The point was underlined when Bothroyd - who has suffered from epilepsy since he was 17 - suffered a seizure during a training session last November. "I was amazed by how much people contacted me about it. Lots of people have been sending me messages and saying ‘your story’s great’ and even offering me ambassadorial roles at foundations. So I’m glad I can be a positive role model for people that have this condition." It is another twist in Bothroyd's peripatetic career, but what is striking, listening to him speak, is how content he sounds. So are there any regrets? “For my ability, I have underachieved," he says. “There were Premier League forwards half as good as me. I could have played regularly for Arsenal and won more England caps if I hadn't wasted time not being focused on football like I should have been. “But I've played in the Premier League, Serie A, for England, earned a lot of money. Could I have had a better career? Yeah of course I could. But a more varied career? I don't know about that."
As England line up against Italy on Tuesday night, there will - as usual - be no representative from outside the Premier League. Players who move abroad tend to be viewed with suspicion, as exiles who could not quite cut it. Take Jay Bothroyd. The stripped-down view is of a striker whose England career was over before it began and who failed to live up to his early potential. The more rounded version involves a rich and varied career that has taken in training-pitch scuffles at Arsenal, partying with Colonel Gaddafi’s son in Monte Carlo, becoming a cult hero in Japan and a totem for epilepsy sufferers in sport. No wonder Bothroyd, now 35, holds little truck with his detractors. “These people on the internet calling me a 'one-cap wonder' and saying I didn’t deserve it, at end of the day they’re the failures," he says. "I achieved all my goals and am still achieving new ones." Bothroyd's latest stopping point is J-League side Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo where he has scored 12 goals in 18 matches since joining from Jubilo Iwata last July. He has captained the side, who regularly draw crowds of over 30,000, but for Bothroyd the move has been about a cultural, as well as footballing, education. Bothroyd in action for his 13th club, Consadole Sapporo Credit: JAPAN FOOTBALL Not that the transition has been entirely straightforward. Bothroyd must still communicate via a translator, and is 5,500 miles from his wife, Stella, an Italian he met while playing with Perugia and who gave birth to their son, Zar, last August. He admits to being baffled by Japan's adherence to rules - “In England if you’re short a penny for something the guy will say ‘whatever’ - in Japan, you won’t be allowed to buy it” - although there is no shortage of assistance from the locals. “You can get food from vending machines on the street here,” explains Bothroyd, a long-standing Vegan whose pre-match meals are more likely to revolve around tofu and mushrooms than the one-time British staple of chicken and chips. “I once said that I really liked vending machine corn soup so from then on when people come to the training ground they bring me some. I’ve got loads of them stacked up in my cupboard!” Bothroyd is evangelical in his enthusiasm for the J-League - "Ignorant people just say he’s in a s--- league in Japan, but that’s really not the case" - but it is still a far cry from his days growing up as a teenager in Archway. Took the youngsters out for dinner Tonight, good lads!! It’s always good to spend time with the next generation, if I can pass any knowledge or any of my life lessons down to help them rise to the top it’s my duty and of course I’m more than willing. #teammates#team#friends#experience#youngsters#advice#knowledge#striveforgreatness#consadole#japan#jleague#future#blessed A post shared by Jay Bothroyd (@jay7582) on Feb 25, 2018 at 4:32am PST Many of his friends at Holloway Boys School were involved in drugs and crime, but Bothroyd found a way out at his local club Arsenal. With Arsene Wenger’s reign only just beginning, he established himself as the star striker of an all-conquering youth team alongside players such as Ashley Cole, Jermaine Pennant and Steve Sidwell. “We won the FA Youth Cup in 2000 and all my team-mates then are still my friends now," Bothroyd says. "We have a WhatsApp group and meet up every year. We were very fortunate to play total football under Arsene Wenger. We are all technical footballers - I’m 6ft 3in but I didn’t learn how to head the ball until I left Arsenal. “But there was an edge as well. We had fights every day - arguments, fisticuffs. The first team players as well - Tony Adams, Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry. They were having physical confrontations every day. You wanted to win and then people start taking the piss, doing nutmegs, so you get upset. "That's why it makes me sad for me to see Wenger in this current situation and people aggressively insulting him. Players get into comfort zone and I think that’s what’s happened unfortunately." Bothroyd never made it into the Arsenal first team despite winning the FA Youth Cup in 2000 Credit: GETTY IMAGES During the 1999-2000 campaign when Bothroyd inspired Arsenal to the FA Youth Cup, Wenger told the 17-year-old he was planning on promoting him to the first team the following season. It never happened: after being substituted in the Premier League’s academy play-off final, Bothroyd threw his shirt towards youth team coach Don Howe. He was swiftly sold to Coventry. Bothroyd admits that was a "mistake" but it did not stop him developing an unwanted reputation for being, in one manager's words, "high maintenance". It took an apparently unlikely move to Serie A club Perugia in 2003 to instil some much-needed discipline. “Before, I always thought you’d muck about in training but in Italy, it was like a religion”, Bothroyd recalls. "Initially I found it really difficult to cope. I didn’t speak Italian, and I remember my first month’s phone bill was €7,000 [£6,119) because I was calling home the entire time. But my loved ones told me I needed to stick it out, and once I made some friends, I started enjoying it. It was the best thing I did." One of those friends was Al-Saadi Gaddafi, an attacking midfielder and the son of Libya’s notorious dictator who was signed by Perugia's eccentric owner Luciano Gaucci. Al-Saadi has since been extradited to Libya on murder charges during his country's bloody civil war, but back then he was viewed as a harmless playboy, rich enough to pay for Bothroyd's honeymoon to Los Angeles and Hawaii. Al-Saadi Gaddafi was signed by Perugia in 2003, but has since been extradited back to Libya on murder charges “I just didn’t see that in him," he says. "I didn’t see any violence, didn’t see him disrespect his staff or speak down to anyone. He was softly spoken, generous - maybe too generous. “One time during an international break he took the whole team on private jets to Monte Carlo, rented the top two floors of the Hermitage Hotel [where rooms can cost more than £500] and paid for every single player to have their own room. “I haven’t spoken to Saadi for about six years and never met his dad, but he would always have armed guards with him at training. It’s very sad that people have been killed and injured by his family. I’m sorry for that, I was shocked when I read about it.” Bothroyd’s year in Italy was soured by being subjected to horrendous racist abuse by Inter Milan supporters, but it was ultimately a transformative experience. He returned to England and had productive spells at clubs including Charlton, Wolves and Cardiff, where his form earned him a call-up to the national side in 2010 and a reunion with Wenger, with England training at Arsenal’s London Colney base. Bothroyd’s voice trembles a little at the memory. “When I saw him he put his arm around me and said ‘I’m so happy for you, you’ve really done well, you’ve turned things around. I'm proud of you.' That really meant a lot. “He always said ‘never be afraid to make mistakes’. Even when you didn’t play well, he always pointed out the good things you did." Bothroyd acquitted himself well in his one England appearance - a 2-1 home defeat by France - but he was never recalled. He moved abroad again four years later, this time to Thailand and then to Japan after being disappointed at the standard of Thai football. Bothroyd moved to Japan with Jubilo Iwata in 2015 Credit: GETTY IMAGES He is now as happy and settled as he has ever been, with Japan becoming a home from home. The point was underlined when Bothroyd - who has suffered from epilepsy since he was 17 - suffered a seizure during a training session last November. "I was amazed by how much people contacted me about it. Lots of people have been sending me messages and saying ‘your story’s great’ and even offering me ambassadorial roles at foundations. So I’m glad I can be a positive role model for people that have this condition." It is another twist in Bothroyd's peripatetic career, but what is striking, listening to him speak, is how content he sounds. So are there any regrets? “For my ability, I have underachieved," he says. “There were Premier League forwards half as good as me. I could have played regularly for Arsenal and won more England caps if I hadn't wasted time not being focused on football like I should have been. “But I've played in the Premier League, Serie A, for England, earned a lot of money. Could I have had a better career? Yeah of course I could. But a more varied career? I don't know about that."
Exclusive interview: Jay Bothroyd on being a cult hero in Japan, the 'one-cap wonder' tag and jet-setting with Gaddafi's son
As England line up against Italy on Tuesday night, there will - as usual - be no representative from outside the Premier League. Players who move abroad tend to be viewed with suspicion, as exiles who could not quite cut it. Take Jay Bothroyd. The stripped-down view is of a striker whose England career was over before it began and who failed to live up to his early potential. The more rounded version involves a rich and varied career that has taken in training-pitch scuffles at Arsenal, partying with Colonel Gaddafi’s son in Monte Carlo, becoming a cult hero in Japan and a totem for epilepsy sufferers in sport. No wonder Bothroyd, now 35, holds little truck with his detractors. “These people on the internet calling me a 'one-cap wonder' and saying I didn’t deserve it, at end of the day they’re the failures," he says. "I achieved all my goals and am still achieving new ones." Bothroyd's latest stopping point is J-League side Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo where he has scored 12 goals in 18 matches since joining from Jubilo Iwata last July. He has captained the side, who regularly draw crowds of over 30,000, but for Bothroyd the move has been about a cultural, as well as footballing, education. Bothroyd in action for his 13th club, Consadole Sapporo Credit: JAPAN FOOTBALL Not that the transition has been entirely straightforward. Bothroyd must still communicate via a translator, and is 5,500 miles from his wife, Stella, an Italian he met while playing with Perugia and who gave birth to their son, Zar, last August. He admits to being baffled by Japan's adherence to rules - “In England if you’re short a penny for something the guy will say ‘whatever’ - in Japan, you won’t be allowed to buy it” - although there is no shortage of assistance from the locals. “You can get food from vending machines on the street here,” explains Bothroyd, a long-standing Vegan whose pre-match meals are more likely to revolve around tofu and mushrooms than the one-time British staple of chicken and chips. “I once said that I really liked vending machine corn soup so from then on when people come to the training ground they bring me some. I’ve got loads of them stacked up in my cupboard!” Bothroyd is evangelical in his enthusiasm for the J-League - "Ignorant people just say he’s in a s--- league in Japan, but that’s really not the case" - but it is still a far cry from his days growing up as a teenager in Archway. Took the youngsters out for dinner Tonight, good lads!! It’s always good to spend time with the next generation, if I can pass any knowledge or any of my life lessons down to help them rise to the top it’s my duty and of course I’m more than willing. #teammates#team#friends#experience#youngsters#advice#knowledge#striveforgreatness#consadole#japan#jleague#future#blessed A post shared by Jay Bothroyd (@jay7582) on Feb 25, 2018 at 4:32am PST Many of his friends at Holloway Boys School were involved in drugs and crime, but Bothroyd found a way out at his local club Arsenal. With Arsene Wenger’s reign only just beginning, he established himself as the star striker of an all-conquering youth team alongside players such as Ashley Cole, Jermaine Pennant and Steve Sidwell. “We won the FA Youth Cup in 2000 and all my team-mates then are still my friends now," Bothroyd says. "We have a WhatsApp group and meet up every year. We were very fortunate to play total football under Arsene Wenger. We are all technical footballers - I’m 6ft 3in but I didn’t learn how to head the ball until I left Arsenal. “But there was an edge as well. We had fights every day - arguments, fisticuffs. The first team players as well - Tony Adams, Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry. They were having physical confrontations every day. You wanted to win and then people start taking the piss, doing nutmegs, so you get upset. "That's why it makes me sad for me to see Wenger in this current situation and people aggressively insulting him. Players get into comfort zone and I think that’s what’s happened unfortunately." Bothroyd never made it into the Arsenal first team despite winning the FA Youth Cup in 2000 Credit: GETTY IMAGES During the 1999-2000 campaign when Bothroyd inspired Arsenal to the FA Youth Cup, Wenger told the 17-year-old he was planning on promoting him to the first team the following season. It never happened: after being substituted in the Premier League’s academy play-off final, Bothroyd threw his shirt towards youth team coach Don Howe. He was swiftly sold to Coventry. Bothroyd admits that was a "mistake" but it did not stop him developing an unwanted reputation for being, in one manager's words, "high maintenance". It took an apparently unlikely move to Serie A club Perugia in 2003 to instil some much-needed discipline. “Before, I always thought you’d muck about in training but in Italy, it was like a religion”, Bothroyd recalls. "Initially I found it really difficult to cope. I didn’t speak Italian, and I remember my first month’s phone bill was €7,000 [£6,119) because I was calling home the entire time. But my loved ones told me I needed to stick it out, and once I made some friends, I started enjoying it. It was the best thing I did." One of those friends was Al-Saadi Gaddafi, an attacking midfielder and the son of Libya’s notorious dictator who was signed by Perugia's eccentric owner Luciano Gaucci. Al-Saadi has since been extradited to Libya on murder charges during his country's bloody civil war, but back then he was viewed as a harmless playboy, rich enough to pay for Bothroyd's honeymoon to Los Angeles and Hawaii. Al-Saadi Gaddafi was signed by Perugia in 2003, but has since been extradited back to Libya on murder charges “I just didn’t see that in him," he says. "I didn’t see any violence, didn’t see him disrespect his staff or speak down to anyone. He was softly spoken, generous - maybe too generous. “One time during an international break he took the whole team on private jets to Monte Carlo, rented the top two floors of the Hermitage Hotel [where rooms can cost more than £500] and paid for every single player to have their own room. “I haven’t spoken to Saadi for about six years and never met his dad, but he would always have armed guards with him at training. It’s very sad that people have been killed and injured by his family. I’m sorry for that, I was shocked when I read about it.” Bothroyd’s year in Italy was soured by being subjected to horrendous racist abuse by Inter Milan supporters, but it was ultimately a transformative experience. He returned to England and had productive spells at clubs including Charlton, Wolves and Cardiff, where his form earned him a call-up to the national side in 2010 and a reunion with Wenger, with England training at Arsenal’s London Colney base. Bothroyd’s voice trembles a little at the memory. “When I saw him he put his arm around me and said ‘I’m so happy for you, you’ve really done well, you’ve turned things around. I'm proud of you.' That really meant a lot. “He always said ‘never be afraid to make mistakes’. Even when you didn’t play well, he always pointed out the good things you did." Bothroyd acquitted himself well in his one England appearance - a 2-1 home defeat by France - but he was never recalled. He moved abroad again four years later, this time to Thailand and then to Japan after being disappointed at the standard of Thai football. Bothroyd moved to Japan with Jubilo Iwata in 2015 Credit: GETTY IMAGES He is now as happy and settled as he has ever been, with Japan becoming a home from home. The point was underlined when Bothroyd - who has suffered from epilepsy since he was 17 - suffered a seizure during a training session last November. "I was amazed by how much people contacted me about it. Lots of people have been sending me messages and saying ‘your story’s great’ and even offering me ambassadorial roles at foundations. So I’m glad I can be a positive role model for people that have this condition." It is another twist in Bothroyd's peripatetic career, but what is striking, listening to him speak, is how content he sounds. So are there any regrets? “For my ability, I have underachieved," he says. “There were Premier League forwards half as good as me. I could have played regularly for Arsenal and won more England caps if I hadn't wasted time not being focused on football like I should have been. “But I've played in the Premier League, Serie A, for England, earned a lot of money. Could I have had a better career? Yeah of course I could. But a more varied career? I don't know about that."
As England line up against Italy on Tuesday night, there will - as usual - be no representative from outside the Premier League. Players who move abroad tend to be viewed with suspicion, as exiles who could not quite cut it. Take Jay Bothroyd. The stripped-down view is of a striker whose England career was over before it began and who failed to live up to his early potential. The more rounded version involves a rich and varied career that has taken in training-pitch scuffles at Arsenal, partying with Colonel Gaddafi’s son in Monte Carlo, becoming a cult hero in Japan and a totem for epilepsy sufferers in sport. No wonder Bothroyd, now 35, holds little truck with his detractors. “These people on the internet calling me a 'one-cap wonder' and saying I didn’t deserve it, at end of the day they’re the failures," he says. "I achieved all my goals and am still achieving new ones." Bothroyd's latest stopping point is J-League side Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo where he has scored 12 goals in 18 matches since joining from Jubilo Iwata last July. He has captained the side, who regularly draw crowds of over 30,000, but for Bothroyd the move has been about a cultural, as well as footballing, education. Bothroyd in action for his 13th club, Consadole Sapporo Credit: JAPAN FOOTBALL Not that the transition has been entirely straightforward. Bothroyd must still communicate via a translator, and is 5,500 miles from his wife, Stella, an Italian he met while playing with Perugia and who gave birth to their son, Zar, last August. He admits to being baffled by Japan's adherence to rules - “In England if you’re short a penny for something the guy will say ‘whatever’ - in Japan, you won’t be allowed to buy it” - although there is no shortage of assistance from the locals. “You can get food from vending machines on the street here,” explains Bothroyd, a long-standing Vegan whose pre-match meals are more likely to revolve around tofu and mushrooms than the one-time British staple of chicken and chips. “I once said that I really liked vending machine corn soup so from then on when people come to the training ground they bring me some. I’ve got loads of them stacked up in my cupboard!” Bothroyd is evangelical in his enthusiasm for the J-League - "Ignorant people just say he’s in a s--- league in Japan, but that’s really not the case" - but it is still a far cry from his days growing up as a teenager in Archway. Took the youngsters out for dinner Tonight, good lads!! It’s always good to spend time with the next generation, if I can pass any knowledge or any of my life lessons down to help them rise to the top it’s my duty and of course I’m more than willing. #teammates#team#friends#experience#youngsters#advice#knowledge#striveforgreatness#consadole#japan#jleague#future#blessed A post shared by Jay Bothroyd (@jay7582) on Feb 25, 2018 at 4:32am PST Many of his friends at Holloway Boys School were involved in drugs and crime, but Bothroyd found a way out at his local club Arsenal. With Arsene Wenger’s reign only just beginning, he established himself as the star striker of an all-conquering youth team alongside players such as Ashley Cole, Jermaine Pennant and Steve Sidwell. “We won the FA Youth Cup in 2000 and all my team-mates then are still my friends now," Bothroyd says. "We have a WhatsApp group and meet up every year. We were very fortunate to play total football under Arsene Wenger. We are all technical footballers - I’m 6ft 3in but I didn’t learn how to head the ball until I left Arsenal. “But there was an edge as well. We had fights every day - arguments, fisticuffs. The first team players as well - Tony Adams, Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry. They were having physical confrontations every day. You wanted to win and then people start taking the piss, doing nutmegs, so you get upset. "That's why it makes me sad for me to see Wenger in this current situation and people aggressively insulting him. Players get into comfort zone and I think that’s what’s happened unfortunately." Bothroyd never made it into the Arsenal first team despite winning the FA Youth Cup in 2000 Credit: GETTY IMAGES During the 1999-2000 campaign when Bothroyd inspired Arsenal to the FA Youth Cup, Wenger told the 17-year-old he was planning on promoting him to the first team the following season. It never happened: after being substituted in the Premier League’s academy play-off final, Bothroyd threw his shirt towards youth team coach Don Howe. He was swiftly sold to Coventry. Bothroyd admits that was a "mistake" but it did not stop him developing an unwanted reputation for being, in one manager's words, "high maintenance". It took an apparently unlikely move to Serie A club Perugia in 2003 to instil some much-needed discipline. “Before, I always thought you’d muck about in training but in Italy, it was like a religion”, Bothroyd recalls. "Initially I found it really difficult to cope. I didn’t speak Italian, and I remember my first month’s phone bill was €7,000 [£6,119) because I was calling home the entire time. But my loved ones told me I needed to stick it out, and once I made some friends, I started enjoying it. It was the best thing I did." One of those friends was Al-Saadi Gaddafi, an attacking midfielder and the son of Libya’s notorious dictator who was signed by Perugia's eccentric owner Luciano Gaucci. Al-Saadi has since been extradited to Libya on murder charges during his country's bloody civil war, but back then he was viewed as a harmless playboy, rich enough to pay for Bothroyd's honeymoon to Los Angeles and Hawaii. Al-Saadi Gaddafi was signed by Perugia in 2003, but has since been extradited back to Libya on murder charges “I just didn’t see that in him," he says. "I didn’t see any violence, didn’t see him disrespect his staff or speak down to anyone. He was softly spoken, generous - maybe too generous. “One time during an international break he took the whole team on private jets to Monte Carlo, rented the top two floors of the Hermitage Hotel [where rooms can cost more than £500] and paid for every single player to have their own room. “I haven’t spoken to Saadi for about six years and never met his dad, but he would always have armed guards with him at training. It’s very sad that people have been killed and injured by his family. I’m sorry for that, I was shocked when I read about it.” Bothroyd’s year in Italy was soured by being subjected to horrendous racist abuse by Inter Milan supporters, but it was ultimately a transformative experience. He returned to England and had productive spells at clubs including Charlton, Wolves and Cardiff, where his form earned him a call-up to the national side in 2010 and a reunion with Wenger, with England training at Arsenal’s London Colney base. Bothroyd’s voice trembles a little at the memory. “When I saw him he put his arm around me and said ‘I’m so happy for you, you’ve really done well, you’ve turned things around. I'm proud of you.' That really meant a lot. “He always said ‘never be afraid to make mistakes’. Even when you didn’t play well, he always pointed out the good things you did." Bothroyd acquitted himself well in his one England appearance - a 2-1 home defeat by France - but he was never recalled. He moved abroad again four years later, this time to Thailand and then to Japan after being disappointed at the standard of Thai football. Bothroyd moved to Japan with Jubilo Iwata in 2015 Credit: GETTY IMAGES He is now as happy and settled as he has ever been, with Japan becoming a home from home. The point was underlined when Bothroyd - who has suffered from epilepsy since he was 17 - suffered a seizure during a training session last November. "I was amazed by how much people contacted me about it. Lots of people have been sending me messages and saying ‘your story’s great’ and even offering me ambassadorial roles at foundations. So I’m glad I can be a positive role model for people that have this condition." It is another twist in Bothroyd's peripatetic career, but what is striking, listening to him speak, is how content he sounds. So are there any regrets? “For my ability, I have underachieved," he says. “There were Premier League forwards half as good as me. I could have played regularly for Arsenal and won more England caps if I hadn't wasted time not being focused on football like I should have been. “But I've played in the Premier League, Serie A, for England, earned a lot of money. Could I have had a better career? Yeah of course I could. But a more varied career? I don't know about that."
Exclusive interview: Jay Bothroyd on being a cult hero in Japan, the 'one-cap wonder' tag and jet-setting with Gaddafi's son
As England line up against Italy on Tuesday night, there will - as usual - be no representative from outside the Premier League. Players who move abroad tend to be viewed with suspicion, as exiles who could not quite cut it. Take Jay Bothroyd. The stripped-down view is of a striker whose England career was over before it began and who failed to live up to his early potential. The more rounded version involves a rich and varied career that has taken in training-pitch scuffles at Arsenal, partying with Colonel Gaddafi’s son in Monte Carlo, becoming a cult hero in Japan and a totem for epilepsy sufferers in sport. No wonder Bothroyd, now 35, holds little truck with his detractors. “These people on the internet calling me a 'one-cap wonder' and saying I didn’t deserve it, at end of the day they’re the failures," he says. "I achieved all my goals and am still achieving new ones." Bothroyd's latest stopping point is J-League side Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo where he has scored 12 goals in 18 matches since joining from Jubilo Iwata last July. He has captained the side, who regularly draw crowds of over 30,000, but for Bothroyd the move has been about a cultural, as well as footballing, education. Bothroyd in action for his 13th club, Consadole Sapporo Credit: JAPAN FOOTBALL Not that the transition has been entirely straightforward. Bothroyd must still communicate via a translator, and is 5,500 miles from his wife, Stella, an Italian he met while playing with Perugia and who gave birth to their son, Zar, last August. He admits to being baffled by Japan's adherence to rules - “In England if you’re short a penny for something the guy will say ‘whatever’ - in Japan, you won’t be allowed to buy it” - although there is no shortage of assistance from the locals. “You can get food from vending machines on the street here,” explains Bothroyd, a long-standing Vegan whose pre-match meals are more likely to revolve around tofu and mushrooms than the one-time British staple of chicken and chips. “I once said that I really liked vending machine corn soup so from then on when people come to the training ground they bring me some. I’ve got loads of them stacked up in my cupboard!” Bothroyd is evangelical in his enthusiasm for the J-League - "Ignorant people just say he’s in a s--- league in Japan, but that’s really not the case" - but it is still a far cry from his days growing up as a teenager in Archway. Took the youngsters out for dinner Tonight, good lads!! It’s always good to spend time with the next generation, if I can pass any knowledge or any of my life lessons down to help them rise to the top it’s my duty and of course I’m more than willing. #teammates#team#friends#experience#youngsters#advice#knowledge#striveforgreatness#consadole#japan#jleague#future#blessed A post shared by Jay Bothroyd (@jay7582) on Feb 25, 2018 at 4:32am PST Many of his friends at Holloway Boys School were involved in drugs and crime, but Bothroyd found a way out at his local club Arsenal. With Arsene Wenger’s reign only just beginning, he established himself as the star striker of an all-conquering youth team alongside players such as Ashley Cole, Jermaine Pennant and Steve Sidwell. “We won the FA Youth Cup in 2000 and all my team-mates then are still my friends now," Bothroyd says. "We have a WhatsApp group and meet up every year. We were very fortunate to play total football under Arsene Wenger. We are all technical footballers - I’m 6ft 3in but I didn’t learn how to head the ball until I left Arsenal. “But there was an edge as well. We had fights every day - arguments, fisticuffs. The first team players as well - Tony Adams, Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry. They were having physical confrontations every day. You wanted to win and then people start taking the piss, doing nutmegs, so you get upset. "That's why it makes me sad for me to see Wenger in this current situation and people aggressively insulting him. Players get into comfort zone and I think that’s what’s happened unfortunately." Bothroyd never made it into the Arsenal first team despite winning the FA Youth Cup in 2000 Credit: GETTY IMAGES During the 1999-2000 campaign when Bothroyd inspired Arsenal to the FA Youth Cup, Wenger told the 17-year-old he was planning on promoting him to the first team the following season. It never happened: after being substituted in the Premier League’s academy play-off final, Bothroyd threw his shirt towards youth team coach Don Howe. He was swiftly sold to Coventry. Bothroyd admits that was a "mistake" but it did not stop him developing an unwanted reputation for being, in one manager's words, "high maintenance". It took an apparently unlikely move to Serie A club Perugia in 2003 to instil some much-needed discipline. “Before, I always thought you’d muck about in training but in Italy, it was like a religion”, Bothroyd recalls. "Initially I found it really difficult to cope. I didn’t speak Italian, and I remember my first month’s phone bill was €7,000 [£6,119) because I was calling home the entire time. But my loved ones told me I needed to stick it out, and once I made some friends, I started enjoying it. It was the best thing I did." One of those friends was Al-Saadi Gaddafi, an attacking midfielder and the son of Libya’s notorious dictator who was signed by Perugia's eccentric owner Luciano Gaucci. Al-Saadi has since been extradited to Libya on murder charges during his country's bloody civil war, but back then he was viewed as a harmless playboy, rich enough to pay for Bothroyd's honeymoon to Los Angeles and Hawaii. Al-Saadi Gaddafi was signed by Perugia in 2003, but has since been extradited back to Libya on murder charges “I just didn’t see that in him," he says. "I didn’t see any violence, didn’t see him disrespect his staff or speak down to anyone. He was softly spoken, generous - maybe too generous. “One time during an international break he took the whole team on private jets to Monte Carlo, rented the top two floors of the Hermitage Hotel [where rooms can cost more than £500] and paid for every single player to have their own room. “I haven’t spoken to Saadi for about six years and never met his dad, but he would always have armed guards with him at training. It’s very sad that people have been killed and injured by his family. I’m sorry for that, I was shocked when I read about it.” Bothroyd’s year in Italy was soured by being subjected to horrendous racist abuse by Inter Milan supporters, but it was ultimately a transformative experience. He returned to England and had productive spells at clubs including Charlton, Wolves and Cardiff, where his form earned him a call-up to the national side in 2010 and a reunion with Wenger, with England training at Arsenal’s London Colney base. Bothroyd’s voice trembles a little at the memory. “When I saw him he put his arm around me and said ‘I’m so happy for you, you’ve really done well, you’ve turned things around. I'm proud of you.' That really meant a lot. “He always said ‘never be afraid to make mistakes’. Even when you didn’t play well, he always pointed out the good things you did." Bothroyd acquitted himself well in his one England appearance - a 2-1 home defeat by France - but he was never recalled. He moved abroad again four years later, this time to Thailand and then to Japan after being disappointed at the standard of Thai football. Bothroyd moved to Japan with Jubilo Iwata in 2015 Credit: GETTY IMAGES He is now as happy and settled as he has ever been, with Japan becoming a home from home. The point was underlined when Bothroyd - who has suffered from epilepsy since he was 17 - suffered a seizure during a training session last November. "I was amazed by how much people contacted me about it. Lots of people have been sending me messages and saying ‘your story’s great’ and even offering me ambassadorial roles at foundations. So I’m glad I can be a positive role model for people that have this condition." It is another twist in Bothroyd's peripatetic career, but what is striking, listening to him speak, is how content he sounds. So are there any regrets? “For my ability, I have underachieved," he says. “There were Premier League forwards half as good as me. I could have played regularly for Arsenal and won more England caps if I hadn't wasted time not being focused on football like I should have been. “But I've played in the Premier League, Serie A, for England, earned a lot of money. Could I have had a better career? Yeah of course I could. But a more varied career? I don't know about that."
As England line up against Italy on Tuesday night, there will - as usual - be no representative from outside the Premier League. Players who move abroad tend to be viewed with suspicion, as exiles who could not quite cut it. Take Jay Bothroyd. The stripped-down view is of a striker whose England career was over before it began and who failed to live up to his early potential. The more rounded version involves a rich and varied career that has taken in training-pitch scuffles at Arsenal, partying with Colonel Gaddafi’s son in Monte Carlo, becoming a cult hero in Japan and a totem for epilepsy sufferers in sport. No wonder Bothroyd, now 35, holds little truck with his detractors. “These people on the internet calling me a 'one-cap wonder' and saying I didn’t deserve it, at end of the day they’re the failures," he says. "I achieved all my goals and am still achieving new ones." Bothroyd's latest stopping point is J-League side Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo where he has scored 12 goals in 18 matches since joining from Jubilo Iwata last July. He has captained the side, who regularly draw crowds of over 30,000, but for Bothroyd the move has been about a cultural, as well as footballing, education. Bothroyd in action for his 13th club, Consadole Sapporo Credit: JAPAN FOOTBALL Not that the transition has been entirely straightforward. Bothroyd must still communicate via a translator, and is 5,500 miles from his wife, Stella, an Italian he met while playing with Perugia and who gave birth to their son, Zar, last August. He admits to being baffled by Japan's adherence to rules - “In England if you’re short a penny for something the guy will say ‘whatever’ - in Japan, you won’t be allowed to buy it” - although there is no shortage of assistance from the locals. “You can get food from vending machines on the street here,” explains Bothroyd, a long-standing Vegan whose pre-match meals are more likely to revolve around tofu and mushrooms than the one-time British staple of chicken and chips. “I once said that I really liked vending machine corn soup so from then on when people come to the training ground they bring me some. I’ve got loads of them stacked up in my cupboard!” Bothroyd is evangelical in his enthusiasm for the J-League - "Ignorant people just say he’s in a s--- league in Japan, but that’s really not the case" - but it is still a far cry from his days growing up as a teenager in Archway. Took the youngsters out for dinner Tonight, good lads!! It’s always good to spend time with the next generation, if I can pass any knowledge or any of my life lessons down to help them rise to the top it’s my duty and of course I’m more than willing. #teammates#team#friends#experience#youngsters#advice#knowledge#striveforgreatness#consadole#japan#jleague#future#blessed A post shared by Jay Bothroyd (@jay7582) on Feb 25, 2018 at 4:32am PST Many of his friends at Holloway Boys School were involved in drugs and crime, but Bothroyd found a way out at his local club Arsenal. With Arsene Wenger’s reign only just beginning, he established himself as the star striker of an all-conquering youth team alongside players such as Ashley Cole, Jermaine Pennant and Steve Sidwell. “We won the FA Youth Cup in 2000 and all my team-mates then are still my friends now," Bothroyd says. "We have a WhatsApp group and meet up every year. We were very fortunate to play total football under Arsene Wenger. We are all technical footballers - I’m 6ft 3in but I didn’t learn how to head the ball until I left Arsenal. “But there was an edge as well. We had fights every day - arguments, fisticuffs. The first team players as well - Tony Adams, Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry. They were having physical confrontations every day. You wanted to win and then people start taking the piss, doing nutmegs, so you get upset. "That's why it makes me sad for me to see Wenger in this current situation and people aggressively insulting him. Players get into comfort zone and I think that’s what’s happened unfortunately." Bothroyd never made it into the Arsenal first team despite winning the FA Youth Cup in 2000 Credit: GETTY IMAGES During the 1999-2000 campaign when Bothroyd inspired Arsenal to the FA Youth Cup, Wenger told the 17-year-old he was planning on promoting him to the first team the following season. It never happened: after being substituted in the Premier League’s academy play-off final, Bothroyd threw his shirt towards youth team coach Don Howe. He was swiftly sold to Coventry. Bothroyd admits that was a "mistake" but it did not stop him developing an unwanted reputation for being, in one manager's words, "high maintenance". It took an apparently unlikely move to Serie A club Perugia in 2003 to instil some much-needed discipline. “Before, I always thought you’d muck about in training but in Italy, it was like a religion”, Bothroyd recalls. "Initially I found it really difficult to cope. I didn’t speak Italian, and I remember my first month’s phone bill was €7,000 [£6,119) because I was calling home the entire time. But my loved ones told me I needed to stick it out, and once I made some friends, I started enjoying it. It was the best thing I did." One of those friends was Al-Saadi Gaddafi, an attacking midfielder and the son of Libya’s notorious dictator who was signed by Perugia's eccentric owner Luciano Gaucci. Al-Saadi has since been extradited to Libya on murder charges during his country's bloody civil war, but back then he was viewed as a harmless playboy, rich enough to pay for Bothroyd's honeymoon to Los Angeles and Hawaii. Al-Saadi Gaddafi was signed by Perugia in 2003, but has since been extradited back to Libya on murder charges “I just didn’t see that in him," he says. "I didn’t see any violence, didn’t see him disrespect his staff or speak down to anyone. He was softly spoken, generous - maybe too generous. “One time during an international break he took the whole team on private jets to Monte Carlo, rented the top two floors of the Hermitage Hotel [where rooms can cost more than £500] and paid for every single player to have their own room. “I haven’t spoken to Saadi for about six years and never met his dad, but he would always have armed guards with him at training. It’s very sad that people have been killed and injured by his family. I’m sorry for that, I was shocked when I read about it.” Bothroyd’s year in Italy was soured by being subjected to horrendous racist abuse by Inter Milan supporters, but it was ultimately a transformative experience. He returned to England and had productive spells at clubs including Charlton, Wolves and Cardiff, where his form earned him a call-up to the national side in 2010 and a reunion with Wenger, with England training at Arsenal’s London Colney base. Bothroyd’s voice trembles a little at the memory. “When I saw him he put his arm around me and said ‘I’m so happy for you, you’ve really done well, you’ve turned things around. I'm proud of you.' That really meant a lot. “He always said ‘never be afraid to make mistakes’. Even when you didn’t play well, he always pointed out the good things you did." Bothroyd acquitted himself well in his one England appearance - a 2-1 home defeat by France - but he was never recalled. He moved abroad again four years later, this time to Thailand and then to Japan after being disappointed at the standard of Thai football. Bothroyd moved to Japan with Jubilo Iwata in 2015 Credit: GETTY IMAGES He is now as happy and settled as he has ever been, with Japan becoming a home from home. The point was underlined when Bothroyd - who has suffered from epilepsy since he was 17 - suffered a seizure during a training session last November. "I was amazed by how much people contacted me about it. Lots of people have been sending me messages and saying ‘your story’s great’ and even offering me ambassadorial roles at foundations. So I’m glad I can be a positive role model for people that have this condition." It is another twist in Bothroyd's peripatetic career, but what is striking, listening to him speak, is how content he sounds. So are there any regrets? “For my ability, I have underachieved," he says. “There were Premier League forwards half as good as me. I could have played regularly for Arsenal and won more England caps if I hadn't wasted time not being focused on football like I should have been. “But I've played in the Premier League, Serie A, for England, earned a lot of money. Could I have had a better career? Yeah of course I could. But a more varied career? I don't know about that."
Exclusive interview: Jay Bothroyd on being a cult hero in Japan, the 'one-cap wonder' tag and jet-setting with Gaddafi's son
As England line up against Italy on Tuesday night, there will - as usual - be no representative from outside the Premier League. Players who move abroad tend to be viewed with suspicion, as exiles who could not quite cut it. Take Jay Bothroyd. The stripped-down view is of a striker whose England career was over before it began and who failed to live up to his early potential. The more rounded version involves a rich and varied career that has taken in training-pitch scuffles at Arsenal, partying with Colonel Gaddafi’s son in Monte Carlo, becoming a cult hero in Japan and a totem for epilepsy sufferers in sport. No wonder Bothroyd, now 35, holds little truck with his detractors. “These people on the internet calling me a 'one-cap wonder' and saying I didn’t deserve it, at end of the day they’re the failures," he says. "I achieved all my goals and am still achieving new ones." Bothroyd's latest stopping point is J-League side Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo where he has scored 12 goals in 18 matches since joining from Jubilo Iwata last July. He has captained the side, who regularly draw crowds of over 30,000, but for Bothroyd the move has been about a cultural, as well as footballing, education. Bothroyd in action for his 13th club, Consadole Sapporo Credit: JAPAN FOOTBALL Not that the transition has been entirely straightforward. Bothroyd must still communicate via a translator, and is 5,500 miles from his wife, Stella, an Italian he met while playing with Perugia and who gave birth to their son, Zar, last August. He admits to being baffled by Japan's adherence to rules - “In England if you’re short a penny for something the guy will say ‘whatever’ - in Japan, you won’t be allowed to buy it” - although there is no shortage of assistance from the locals. “You can get food from vending machines on the street here,” explains Bothroyd, a long-standing Vegan whose pre-match meals are more likely to revolve around tofu and mushrooms than the one-time British staple of chicken and chips. “I once said that I really liked vending machine corn soup so from then on when people come to the training ground they bring me some. I’ve got loads of them stacked up in my cupboard!” Bothroyd is evangelical in his enthusiasm for the J-League - "Ignorant people just say he’s in a s--- league in Japan, but that’s really not the case" - but it is still a far cry from his days growing up as a teenager in Archway. Took the youngsters out for dinner Tonight, good lads!! It’s always good to spend time with the next generation, if I can pass any knowledge or any of my life lessons down to help them rise to the top it’s my duty and of course I’m more than willing. #teammates#team#friends#experience#youngsters#advice#knowledge#striveforgreatness#consadole#japan#jleague#future#blessed A post shared by Jay Bothroyd (@jay7582) on Feb 25, 2018 at 4:32am PST Many of his friends at Holloway Boys School were involved in drugs and crime, but Bothroyd found a way out at his local club Arsenal. With Arsene Wenger’s reign only just beginning, he established himself as the star striker of an all-conquering youth team alongside players such as Ashley Cole, Jermaine Pennant and Steve Sidwell. “We won the FA Youth Cup in 2000 and all my team-mates then are still my friends now," Bothroyd says. "We have a WhatsApp group and meet up every year. We were very fortunate to play total football under Arsene Wenger. We are all technical footballers - I’m 6ft 3in but I didn’t learn how to head the ball until I left Arsenal. “But there was an edge as well. We had fights every day - arguments, fisticuffs. The first team players as well - Tony Adams, Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry. They were having physical confrontations every day. You wanted to win and then people start taking the piss, doing nutmegs, so you get upset. "That's why it makes me sad for me to see Wenger in this current situation and people aggressively insulting him. Players get into comfort zone and I think that’s what’s happened unfortunately." Bothroyd never made it into the Arsenal first team despite winning the FA Youth Cup in 2000 Credit: GETTY IMAGES During the 1999-2000 campaign when Bothroyd inspired Arsenal to the FA Youth Cup, Wenger told the 17-year-old he was planning on promoting him to the first team the following season. It never happened: after being substituted in the Premier League’s academy play-off final, Bothroyd threw his shirt towards youth team coach Don Howe. He was swiftly sold to Coventry. Bothroyd admits that was a "mistake" but it did not stop him developing an unwanted reputation for being, in one manager's words, "high maintenance". It took an apparently unlikely move to Serie A club Perugia in 2003 to instil some much-needed discipline. “Before, I always thought you’d muck about in training but in Italy, it was like a religion”, Bothroyd recalls. "Initially I found it really difficult to cope. I didn’t speak Italian, and I remember my first month’s phone bill was €7,000 [£6,119) because I was calling home the entire time. But my loved ones told me I needed to stick it out, and once I made some friends, I started enjoying it. It was the best thing I did." One of those friends was Al-Saadi Gaddafi, an attacking midfielder and the son of Libya’s notorious dictator who was signed by Perugia's eccentric owner Luciano Gaucci. Al-Saadi has since been extradited to Libya on murder charges during his country's bloody civil war, but back then he was viewed as a harmless playboy, rich enough to pay for Bothroyd's honeymoon to Los Angeles and Hawaii. Al-Saadi Gaddafi was signed by Perugia in 2003, but has since been extradited back to Libya on murder charges “I just didn’t see that in him," he says. "I didn’t see any violence, didn’t see him disrespect his staff or speak down to anyone. He was softly spoken, generous - maybe too generous. “One time during an international break he took the whole team on private jets to Monte Carlo, rented the top two floors of the Hermitage Hotel [where rooms can cost more than £500] and paid for every single player to have their own room. “I haven’t spoken to Saadi for about six years and never met his dad, but he would always have armed guards with him at training. It’s very sad that people have been killed and injured by his family. I’m sorry for that, I was shocked when I read about it.” Bothroyd’s year in Italy was soured by being subjected to horrendous racist abuse by Inter Milan supporters, but it was ultimately a transformative experience. He returned to England and had productive spells at clubs including Charlton, Wolves and Cardiff, where his form earned him a call-up to the national side in 2010 and a reunion with Wenger, with England training at Arsenal’s London Colney base. Bothroyd’s voice trembles a little at the memory. “When I saw him he put his arm around me and said ‘I’m so happy for you, you’ve really done well, you’ve turned things around. I'm proud of you.' That really meant a lot. “He always said ‘never be afraid to make mistakes’. Even when you didn’t play well, he always pointed out the good things you did." Bothroyd acquitted himself well in his one England appearance - a 2-1 home defeat by France - but he was never recalled. He moved abroad again four years later, this time to Thailand and then to Japan after being disappointed at the standard of Thai football. Bothroyd moved to Japan with Jubilo Iwata in 2015 Credit: GETTY IMAGES He is now as happy and settled as he has ever been, with Japan becoming a home from home. The point was underlined when Bothroyd - who has suffered from epilepsy since he was 17 - suffered a seizure during a training session last November. "I was amazed by how much people contacted me about it. Lots of people have been sending me messages and saying ‘your story’s great’ and even offering me ambassadorial roles at foundations. So I’m glad I can be a positive role model for people that have this condition." It is another twist in Bothroyd's peripatetic career, but what is striking, listening to him speak, is how content he sounds. So are there any regrets? “For my ability, I have underachieved," he says. “There were Premier League forwards half as good as me. I could have played regularly for Arsenal and won more England caps if I hadn't wasted time not being focused on football like I should have been. “But I've played in the Premier League, Serie A, for England, earned a lot of money. Could I have had a better career? Yeah of course I could. But a more varied career? I don't know about that."
Charlton feel hope again as Roland Duchatelet’s ruinous reign nears its end
Charlton feel hope again as Roland Duchatelet’s ruinous reign nears its end
Charlton feel hope again as Roland Duchatelet’s ruinous reign nears its end
Charlton feel hope again as Roland Duchatelet’s ruinous reign nears its end
Charlton feel hope again as Roland Duchatelet’s ruinous reign nears its end
Charlton feel hope again as Roland Duchatelet’s ruinous reign nears its end
Charlton feel hope again as Roland Duchatelet’s ruinous reign nears its end
Charlton feel hope again as Roland Duchatelet’s ruinous reign nears its end
Charlton feel hope again as Roland Duchatelet’s ruinous reign nears its end
Charlton feel hope again as Roland Duchatelet’s ruinous reign nears its end
Charlton feel hope again as Roland Duchatelet’s ruinous reign nears its end
Charlton feel hope again as Roland Duchatelet’s ruinous reign nears its end
Football League: Lee Bowyer starts Charlton reign with win over Plymouth
Football League: Lee Bowyer starts Charlton reign with win over Plymouth
Football League: Lee Bowyer starts Charlton reign with win over Plymouth
Football League: Lee Bowyer starts Charlton reign with win over Plymouth
Football League: Lee Bowyer starts Charlton reign with win over Plymouth
Football League: Lee Bowyer starts Charlton reign with win over Plymouth
Charlton Athletic’s Lewis Page scores the first goal of Lee Bowyer’s tenure at The Valley.
Football League: Lee Bowyer starts Charlton reign with win over Plymouth
Charlton Athletic’s Lewis Page scores the first goal of Lee Bowyer’s tenure at The Valley.
Football League: Lee Bowyer starts Charlton reign with win over Plymouth
Football League: Lee Bowyer starts Charlton reign with win over Plymouth
Football League: Lee Bowyer starts Charlton reign with win over Plymouth
Lee Bowyer admits 'it’s crazy' but is loving the challenge ahead after being named caretaker manager at Charlton
Lee Bowyer admits 'it’s crazy' but is loving the challenge ahead after being named caretaker manager at Charlton
Lee Bowyer admits 'it’s crazy' but is loving the challenge ahead after being named caretaker manager at Charlton
Lee Bowyer admits 'it’s crazy' but is loving the challenge ahead after being named caretaker manager at Charlton
Lee Bowyer admits 'it’s crazy' but is loving the challenge ahead after being named caretaker manager at Charlton
Lee Bowyer admits 'it’s crazy' but is loving the challenge ahead after being named caretaker manager at Charlton
A year ago, Lee Bowyer was perfectly happy running a carp fishing lake in eastern France, putting 18 years of professional football behind him. Thoughts of entering the managerial world had barely entered his head, which is why he as much as anyone was surprised to find himself facing the media on Friday having been appointed caretaker at Charlton until the end of the season. He is trying to pick up the pieces after Karl Robinson – the man who persuaded him to come back to his first club as a part-time coach– resigned to take over at Oxford, a decision which shows just how far Charlton have fallen in recent years. Bowyer is a managerial novice and, having after walking away from the carp business some might say he is – excuse the pun – a fish out of water. But Bowyer is adamant that despite his interest in management being relatively recent his knowledge of the game will stand him in good stead. “It’s crazy the way I’m sitting here now, I literally came in at the end of last season two days a week just to help out the midfielders,” he says. “I had no intention of becoming a manager. I had no intention of being a coach. When I was finished playing football I had five years out, and I enjoyed that time. Then I went with Harry [Kewell] to Watford just for six weeks to help him out with his under-21 side, and that gave me the taste of that winning feeling and being in and around football again. “I know what it’s about. I’ve been in dressing rooms for 20 years, and being here with Karl I’ve learnt a lot. I don’t need anybody to tell me. “As long as I’m here I’ll continue to keep passing on my knowledge and try to direct the team, not just from me as a player but from players that I played with or against. So if there’s something that I couldn’t cope with as a player which one of our midfielders can bring into their game that’s going to make them a better player, then I’m going to pass on that knowledge.” Karl Robinson left the south London club for Oxford, leaving Bowyer to takeover Credit: John Nguyen If Bowyer can use that knowledge wisely then Charlton might just mount the unlikeliest of promotion pushes, one that takes place against a backdrop of chronic instability and fan unrest. Bowyer is the ninth manager appointed since Roland Duchatalet bought the club in 2014, with relegation to League One and a boycott of the Valley by the club’s supporters meaning the 41-year-old is taking over at a hugely uncertain time. There is speculation that Duchatelet’s tenure could soon come to an end, with an Australian consortium headed by businessman Andrew Muir linked with a takeover. That uncertainty – which Bowyer says is no excuse for the club’s form – contributed to Robinson’s departure for a team seven points and as many places below Charlton in the table. “Of course I’m surprised, but I can’t control what Karl does in his career, these things happen,” said Bowyer, whose side host Plymouth on Saturday, when asked whether he was shocked at Robinson’s decision. “It’s a challenge, but my whole career I’ve loved challenges, and I love to win. So in the time I’m here I’ll be putting all my concentration and knowledge into doing so. I’m excited for the challenge.” “I am looking to win tomorrow. I’ll be setting out that team to win, and I guarantee you everyone on that pitch whether they start or come on will be giving 100 per cent because I won’t take nothing less than that.” And Bowyer is not thinking long-term at a club where short-termism has taken priority in recent years. “Ask me at the end of the season,” says Bowyer when asked if he wants the job full-time. "I know I can do it, it’s just whether I want to do it.”
Lee Bowyer admits 'it’s crazy' but is loving the challenge ahead after being named caretaker manager at Charlton
A year ago, Lee Bowyer was perfectly happy running a carp fishing lake in eastern France, putting 18 years of professional football behind him. Thoughts of entering the managerial world had barely entered his head, which is why he as much as anyone was surprised to find himself facing the media on Friday having been appointed caretaker at Charlton until the end of the season. He is trying to pick up the pieces after Karl Robinson – the man who persuaded him to come back to his first club as a part-time coach– resigned to take over at Oxford, a decision which shows just how far Charlton have fallen in recent years. Bowyer is a managerial novice and, having after walking away from the carp business some might say he is – excuse the pun – a fish out of water. But Bowyer is adamant that despite his interest in management being relatively recent his knowledge of the game will stand him in good stead. “It’s crazy the way I’m sitting here now, I literally came in at the end of last season two days a week just to help out the midfielders,” he says. “I had no intention of becoming a manager. I had no intention of being a coach. When I was finished playing football I had five years out, and I enjoyed that time. Then I went with Harry [Kewell] to Watford just for six weeks to help him out with his under-21 side, and that gave me the taste of that winning feeling and being in and around football again. “I know what it’s about. I’ve been in dressing rooms for 20 years, and being here with Karl I’ve learnt a lot. I don’t need anybody to tell me. “As long as I’m here I’ll continue to keep passing on my knowledge and try to direct the team, not just from me as a player but from players that I played with or against. So if there’s something that I couldn’t cope with as a player which one of our midfielders can bring into their game that’s going to make them a better player, then I’m going to pass on that knowledge.” Karl Robinson left the south London club for Oxford, leaving Bowyer to takeover Credit: John Nguyen If Bowyer can use that knowledge wisely then Charlton might just mount the unlikeliest of promotion pushes, one that takes place against a backdrop of chronic instability and fan unrest. Bowyer is the ninth manager appointed since Roland Duchatalet bought the club in 2014, with relegation to League One and a boycott of the Valley by the club’s supporters meaning the 41-year-old is taking over at a hugely uncertain time. There is speculation that Duchatelet’s tenure could soon come to an end, with an Australian consortium headed by businessman Andrew Muir linked with a takeover. That uncertainty – which Bowyer says is no excuse for the club’s form – contributed to Robinson’s departure for a team seven points and as many places below Charlton in the table. “Of course I’m surprised, but I can’t control what Karl does in his career, these things happen,” said Bowyer, whose side host Plymouth on Saturday, when asked whether he was shocked at Robinson’s decision. “It’s a challenge, but my whole career I’ve loved challenges, and I love to win. So in the time I’m here I’ll be putting all my concentration and knowledge into doing so. I’m excited for the challenge.” “I am looking to win tomorrow. I’ll be setting out that team to win, and I guarantee you everyone on that pitch whether they start or come on will be giving 100 per cent because I won’t take nothing less than that.” And Bowyer is not thinking long-term at a club where short-termism has taken priority in recent years. “Ask me at the end of the season,” says Bowyer when asked if he wants the job full-time. "I know I can do it, it’s just whether I want to do it.”
A year ago, Lee Bowyer was perfectly happy running a carp fishing lake in eastern France, putting 18 years of professional football behind him. Thoughts of entering the managerial world had barely entered his head, which is why he as much as anyone was surprised to find himself facing the media on Friday having been appointed caretaker at Charlton until the end of the season. He is trying to pick up the pieces after Karl Robinson – the man who persuaded him to come back to his first club as a part-time coach– resigned to take over at Oxford, a decision which shows just how far Charlton have fallen in recent years. Bowyer is a managerial novice and, having after walking away from the carp business some might say he is – excuse the pun – a fish out of water. But Bowyer is adamant that despite his interest in management being relatively recent his knowledge of the game will stand him in good stead. “It’s crazy the way I’m sitting here now, I literally came in at the end of last season two days a week just to help out the midfielders,” he says. “I had no intention of becoming a manager. I had no intention of being a coach. When I was finished playing football I had five years out, and I enjoyed that time. Then I went with Harry [Kewell] to Watford just for six weeks to help him out with his under-21 side, and that gave me the taste of that winning feeling and being in and around football again. “I know what it’s about. I’ve been in dressing rooms for 20 years, and being here with Karl I’ve learnt a lot. I don’t need anybody to tell me. “As long as I’m here I’ll continue to keep passing on my knowledge and try to direct the team, not just from me as a player but from players that I played with or against. So if there’s something that I couldn’t cope with as a player which one of our midfielders can bring into their game that’s going to make them a better player, then I’m going to pass on that knowledge.” Karl Robinson left the south London club for Oxford, leaving Bowyer to takeover Credit: John Nguyen If Bowyer can use that knowledge wisely then Charlton might just mount the unlikeliest of promotion pushes, one that takes place against a backdrop of chronic instability and fan unrest. Bowyer is the ninth manager appointed since Roland Duchatalet bought the club in 2014, with relegation to League One and a boycott of the Valley by the club’s supporters meaning the 41-year-old is taking over at a hugely uncertain time. There is speculation that Duchatelet’s tenure could soon come to an end, with an Australian consortium headed by businessman Andrew Muir linked with a takeover. That uncertainty – which Bowyer says is no excuse for the club’s form – contributed to Robinson’s departure for a team seven points and as many places below Charlton in the table. “Of course I’m surprised, but I can’t control what Karl does in his career, these things happen,” said Bowyer, whose side host Plymouth on Saturday, when asked whether he was shocked at Robinson’s decision. “It’s a challenge, but my whole career I’ve loved challenges, and I love to win. So in the time I’m here I’ll be putting all my concentration and knowledge into doing so. I’m excited for the challenge.” “I am looking to win tomorrow. I’ll be setting out that team to win, and I guarantee you everyone on that pitch whether they start or come on will be giving 100 per cent because I won’t take nothing less than that.” And Bowyer is not thinking long-term at a club where short-termism has taken priority in recent years. “Ask me at the end of the season,” says Bowyer when asked if he wants the job full-time. "I know I can do it, it’s just whether I want to do it.”
Lee Bowyer admits 'it’s crazy' but is loving the challenge ahead after being named caretaker manager at Charlton
A year ago, Lee Bowyer was perfectly happy running a carp fishing lake in eastern France, putting 18 years of professional football behind him. Thoughts of entering the managerial world had barely entered his head, which is why he as much as anyone was surprised to find himself facing the media on Friday having been appointed caretaker at Charlton until the end of the season. He is trying to pick up the pieces after Karl Robinson – the man who persuaded him to come back to his first club as a part-time coach– resigned to take over at Oxford, a decision which shows just how far Charlton have fallen in recent years. Bowyer is a managerial novice and, having after walking away from the carp business some might say he is – excuse the pun – a fish out of water. But Bowyer is adamant that despite his interest in management being relatively recent his knowledge of the game will stand him in good stead. “It’s crazy the way I’m sitting here now, I literally came in at the end of last season two days a week just to help out the midfielders,” he says. “I had no intention of becoming a manager. I had no intention of being a coach. When I was finished playing football I had five years out, and I enjoyed that time. Then I went with Harry [Kewell] to Watford just for six weeks to help him out with his under-21 side, and that gave me the taste of that winning feeling and being in and around football again. “I know what it’s about. I’ve been in dressing rooms for 20 years, and being here with Karl I’ve learnt a lot. I don’t need anybody to tell me. “As long as I’m here I’ll continue to keep passing on my knowledge and try to direct the team, not just from me as a player but from players that I played with or against. So if there’s something that I couldn’t cope with as a player which one of our midfielders can bring into their game that’s going to make them a better player, then I’m going to pass on that knowledge.” Karl Robinson left the south London club for Oxford, leaving Bowyer to takeover Credit: John Nguyen If Bowyer can use that knowledge wisely then Charlton might just mount the unlikeliest of promotion pushes, one that takes place against a backdrop of chronic instability and fan unrest. Bowyer is the ninth manager appointed since Roland Duchatalet bought the club in 2014, with relegation to League One and a boycott of the Valley by the club’s supporters meaning the 41-year-old is taking over at a hugely uncertain time. There is speculation that Duchatelet’s tenure could soon come to an end, with an Australian consortium headed by businessman Andrew Muir linked with a takeover. That uncertainty – which Bowyer says is no excuse for the club’s form – contributed to Robinson’s departure for a team seven points and as many places below Charlton in the table. “Of course I’m surprised, but I can’t control what Karl does in his career, these things happen,” said Bowyer, whose side host Plymouth on Saturday, when asked whether he was shocked at Robinson’s decision. “It’s a challenge, but my whole career I’ve loved challenges, and I love to win. So in the time I’m here I’ll be putting all my concentration and knowledge into doing so. I’m excited for the challenge.” “I am looking to win tomorrow. I’ll be setting out that team to win, and I guarantee you everyone on that pitch whether they start or come on will be giving 100 per cent because I won’t take nothing less than that.” And Bowyer is not thinking long-term at a club where short-termism has taken priority in recent years. “Ask me at the end of the season,” says Bowyer when asked if he wants the job full-time. "I know I can do it, it’s just whether I want to do it.”
Charlton to offer PSA blood tests to fans ahead of Plymouth home game
Charlton to offer PSA blood tests to fans ahead of Plymouth home game
Charlton to offer PSA blood tests to fans ahead of Plymouth home game
Charlton to offer PSA blood tests to fans ahead of Plymouth home game
Charlton to offer PSA blood tests to fans ahead of Plymouth home game
Charlton to offer PSA blood tests to fans ahead of Plymouth home game
Charlton caretaker Lee Bowyer in the dark over Harry Kewell link
Charlton caretaker Lee Bowyer in the dark over Harry Kewell link
Charlton caretaker Lee Bowyer in the dark over Harry Kewell link
Charlton caretaker Lee Bowyer in the dark over Harry Kewell link
Charlton caretaker Lee Bowyer in the dark over Harry Kewell link
Charlton caretaker Lee Bowyer in the dark over Harry Kewell link
Karl Robinson appointed Oxford United manager hours after Charlton departure
Karl Robinson appointed Oxford United manager hours after Charlton departure
Karl Robinson appointed Oxford United manager hours after Charlton departure
Karl Robinson appointed Oxford United manager hours after Charlton departure
Karl Robinson appointed Oxford United manager hours after Charlton departure
Karl Robinson appointed Oxford United manager hours after Charlton departure
Less than five months ago, England's brave under-17s cemented the view that the senior team's problems go far deeper than mere issues with their mentality. They came from two goals down against a highly-rated Spain side to become world champions and, in doing so, became the third English youth team to win a tournament in 2017. As they celebrated with their shirts turned back-to-front to show off their names to the watching world, there was a real feeling of optimism about England's footballing future. It concluded a successful six months for England, following the under-20s' World Cup win in June and the under-19s winning the European Championship in July. Once the fanfare had died down, though, much of the narrative surrounding these victories focused on the fact that these players needed game time, and it was the responsibility of their clubs to ensure their progress was not in any way hindered by a lack of it. That was a minimum requirement - and one that many thought was perfectly reasonable, too. England's under-17s celebrate their World Cup triumph Credit: Reuters In reality, the amount of football afforded to the likes of Timothy Eyoma at Tottenham or Dujon Sterling at Chelsea was always going to be limited, particularly while their clubs harbour hopes of challenging for the Premier League title and have the riches to improve their first team at the click of a finger. But that said, every player across the three squads proved that they did deserve a chance, and while there is plenty of negative feeling regarding the quality of Gareth Southgate's latest squad, there is reason for optimism about the future, right? Five months on from the third time football came home in 2017, has there been any palpable sign that England's youth are going to make inroads at a higher level? The success stories Plenty of England's under-20s are now playing at least semi-regularly in the Premier League, most notably Jonjoe Kenny and Dominic Calvert-Lewin at Everton, Lewis Cook at Bournemouth, Dominic Solanke at Liverpool and Ainsley Maitland-Niles at Arsenal. Cook has even made it into the senior England squad. From the under-17s, Rhian Brewster has shone for Steven Gerrard's impressive Liverpool youth team, gaining deserved attention for his ability when so much of the coverage on him has focused on the allegations he made of racist language being used towards him by a Spartak Moscow player. Top flight minutes played in 2017/18 | England's trophy winners The recent news that golden boot-winning Brewster had impressed Jurgen Klopp sufficiently to earn a place in the first team squad next season will provide some positive feeling that Liverpool-based players have a chance of breaking through, even if he is still yet to play for senior side. Similarly, Lukas Nmecha has been given the chance to train with the first team at Manchester City. Pep Guardiola has done a fair amount for England's chances at the World Cup this summer, with Raheem Sterling now a far greater force than a year ago, and many more fans will have been delighted to see Phil Foden afforded intermittent opportunities with the first team. He is training regularly with some of the best players on the planet under the watchful eye of one of the best coaches around, and has started twice in the Champions League. However, one of those games was effectively a dead rubber and the other was actually a dead rubber. His Premier League minutes stack up to 18 in total, each time coming on late in games already won. Foden has made three appearances in the Champions League this season Credit: Reuters Pep has the luxury of being able to give promising players like Foden minutes in games like these, but this is experience nonetheless, and it will certainly benefit him. The question remains, however, whether his path to the first team will be blocked by yet more inevitable big-money signings. Jadon Sancho saw his path blocked at City so went to Borussia Dortmund in search of first team football in the summer. He has racked up 303 minutes in the Bundesliga, completing 90 minutes on three occasions, and will be confident he made the right choice in going abroad. Injury has disrupted his progress, but he is making impressive strides in Germany. Five of the under-19s have played a significant amount of football this season, but nobody in the top flight and only two, in Ryan Brereton and Ryan Sessegnon have played more than a couple of matches at their parent clubs (Nottingham Forest and Fulham, respectively), rather than out on loan. Ryan Sessognon is one of the hottest prospects in English football Credit: PA Sessegnon has had a rapid rise, and is now reportedly being chased by Tottenham and Manchester United. His exposure to first team football has seen the biggest rise in profile and ability. Brereton, meanwhile, looked like he could cut it in the Premier League when Forest knocked Arsenal out of the FA Cup. More to be done The under-17s' Morgan Gibbs-White has made six appearances for Championship leaders Wolves, and at 18 years of age he would hope that his game time increases next season. However, with Wolves on the verge of the Premier League, reinforcements will be made, and Gibbs-White will do well to avoid being sent back to the Championship for more experience. From the under-19s, Jay DaSilva has made 32 league appearances on loan at Charlton from Chelsea; Mason Mount has played 22 times for Vitesse, also on loan from Chelsea; Bournemouth's Aaron Ramsdale has played 10 times on loan at Chesterfield. Mins played 2017/18 outside top flight | England's trophy winners Andre Dozzell tore his cruciate in the opening game of Ipswich's season, and will surely be straight back in the first team next season, while Spurs fans are still waiting for Marcus Edwards' career to take. He is yet to play a minute on loan at Norwich. There has been far more action in the under-20s, where Dean Henderson, Callum Connolly, Ezri Konsa, Josh Onomah, Kieran Dowell and Sheyi Ojo have all been given a significant amount of game time at a decent level. Adam Armstrong has been in fine goal-scoring form on loan at Blackburn. It's gone far too quiet First team football has eluded the remaining players in every squad. There is, of course, plenty to be said for the quality of coaching Josh Dasilva receives at Arsenal and the advice Mauricio Pochettino can give Kyle Walker-Peters at Spurs, but neither look at all likely to get a chance in the first team any time soon, and surely a stint out on loan would benefit them. Zero first team minutes played in 2017/18 | England's trophy winners The fact of the matter is, though, that the majority of the players who have yet to taste first team action are still extremely young. Sancho's decision to go abroad was a brave one, but really, few actually break through at his age anyway. Plenty of the under-19s and under-20s have been given a fair amount of game time this season, and it really does seem as though some will make it to the top. Cook and Solanke, though, are the only players who have managed to make the step up to the senior England squad.
Whatever happened to England's world-conquering young stars?
Less than five months ago, England's brave under-17s cemented the view that the senior team's problems go far deeper than mere issues with their mentality. They came from two goals down against a highly-rated Spain side to become world champions and, in doing so, became the third English youth team to win a tournament in 2017. As they celebrated with their shirts turned back-to-front to show off their names to the watching world, there was a real feeling of optimism about England's footballing future. It concluded a successful six months for England, following the under-20s' World Cup win in June and the under-19s winning the European Championship in July. Once the fanfare had died down, though, much of the narrative surrounding these victories focused on the fact that these players needed game time, and it was the responsibility of their clubs to ensure their progress was not in any way hindered by a lack of it. That was a minimum requirement - and one that many thought was perfectly reasonable, too. England's under-17s celebrate their World Cup triumph Credit: Reuters In reality, the amount of football afforded to the likes of Timothy Eyoma at Tottenham or Dujon Sterling at Chelsea was always going to be limited, particularly while their clubs harbour hopes of challenging for the Premier League title and have the riches to improve their first team at the click of a finger. But that said, every player across the three squads proved that they did deserve a chance, and while there is plenty of negative feeling regarding the quality of Gareth Southgate's latest squad, there is reason for optimism about the future, right? Five months on from the third time football came home in 2017, has there been any palpable sign that England's youth are going to make inroads at a higher level? The success stories Plenty of England's under-20s are now playing at least semi-regularly in the Premier League, most notably Jonjoe Kenny and Dominic Calvert-Lewin at Everton, Lewis Cook at Bournemouth, Dominic Solanke at Liverpool and Ainsley Maitland-Niles at Arsenal. Cook has even made it into the senior England squad. From the under-17s, Rhian Brewster has shone for Steven Gerrard's impressive Liverpool youth team, gaining deserved attention for his ability when so much of the coverage on him has focused on the allegations he made of racist language being used towards him by a Spartak Moscow player. Top flight minutes played in 2017/18 | England's trophy winners The recent news that golden boot-winning Brewster had impressed Jurgen Klopp sufficiently to earn a place in the first team squad next season will provide some positive feeling that Liverpool-based players have a chance of breaking through, even if he is still yet to play for senior side. Similarly, Lukas Nmecha has been given the chance to train with the first team at Manchester City. Pep Guardiola has done a fair amount for England's chances at the World Cup this summer, with Raheem Sterling now a far greater force than a year ago, and many more fans will have been delighted to see Phil Foden afforded intermittent opportunities with the first team. He is training regularly with some of the best players on the planet under the watchful eye of one of the best coaches around, and has started twice in the Champions League. However, one of those games was effectively a dead rubber and the other was actually a dead rubber. His Premier League minutes stack up to 18 in total, each time coming on late in games already won. Foden has made three appearances in the Champions League this season Credit: Reuters Pep has the luxury of being able to give promising players like Foden minutes in games like these, but this is experience nonetheless, and it will certainly benefit him. The question remains, however, whether his path to the first team will be blocked by yet more inevitable big-money signings. Jadon Sancho saw his path blocked at City so went to Borussia Dortmund in search of first team football in the summer. He has racked up 303 minutes in the Bundesliga, completing 90 minutes on three occasions, and will be confident he made the right choice in going abroad. Injury has disrupted his progress, but he is making impressive strides in Germany. Five of the under-19s have played a significant amount of football this season, but nobody in the top flight and only two, in Ryan Brereton and Ryan Sessegnon have played more than a couple of matches at their parent clubs (Nottingham Forest and Fulham, respectively), rather than out on loan. Ryan Sessognon is one of the hottest prospects in English football Credit: PA Sessegnon has had a rapid rise, and is now reportedly being chased by Tottenham and Manchester United. His exposure to first team football has seen the biggest rise in profile and ability. Brereton, meanwhile, looked like he could cut it in the Premier League when Forest knocked Arsenal out of the FA Cup. More to be done The under-17s' Morgan Gibbs-White has made six appearances for Championship leaders Wolves, and at 18 years of age he would hope that his game time increases next season. However, with Wolves on the verge of the Premier League, reinforcements will be made, and Gibbs-White will do well to avoid being sent back to the Championship for more experience. From the under-19s, Jay DaSilva has made 32 league appearances on loan at Charlton from Chelsea; Mason Mount has played 22 times for Vitesse, also on loan from Chelsea; Bournemouth's Aaron Ramsdale has played 10 times on loan at Chesterfield. Mins played 2017/18 outside top flight | England's trophy winners Andre Dozzell tore his cruciate in the opening game of Ipswich's season, and will surely be straight back in the first team next season, while Spurs fans are still waiting for Marcus Edwards' career to take. He is yet to play a minute on loan at Norwich. There has been far more action in the under-20s, where Dean Henderson, Callum Connolly, Ezri Konsa, Josh Onomah, Kieran Dowell and Sheyi Ojo have all been given a significant amount of game time at a decent level. Adam Armstrong has been in fine goal-scoring form on loan at Blackburn. It's gone far too quiet First team football has eluded the remaining players in every squad. There is, of course, plenty to be said for the quality of coaching Josh Dasilva receives at Arsenal and the advice Mauricio Pochettino can give Kyle Walker-Peters at Spurs, but neither look at all likely to get a chance in the first team any time soon, and surely a stint out on loan would benefit them. Zero first team minutes played in 2017/18 | England's trophy winners The fact of the matter is, though, that the majority of the players who have yet to taste first team action are still extremely young. Sancho's decision to go abroad was a brave one, but really, few actually break through at his age anyway. Plenty of the under-19s and under-20s have been given a fair amount of game time this season, and it really does seem as though some will make it to the top. Cook and Solanke, though, are the only players who have managed to make the step up to the senior England squad.

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