Jay Bothroyd: Talentspotter

Queens Park Rangers and England striker Jay Bothroyd speaks with FourFourTwo about cars, dressing room jokers and Beyonce's thighs, while at Coventry City in 2002.

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Islington, 07/05/82


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I like running with the ball, shooting and holding up the ball. I hold the ball up like Heskey, but I’d like to score a few more goals than him.

I think every player has weaknesses. My right foot and my heading are not as good as I’d like them to be.

Pele and Diego Maradona and today Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Vieira and Ronaldo.

Who Do You Play Like?
I wouldn’t really like to say I play like him, because he’s one of the greats, but I suppose I play in the Bergkamp role – not an out-and-out striker, but somebody who drops off. A link man who creates goals and scores his fair share too.

Career Highlights
Making my debut for the Under 21s when we beat Mexico 3-0, and scoring. Scoring some important goals for Coventry too.

Career Lowlights
Leaving Arsenal in the way I did.

Best Advice Given
Keep working hard and don’t compliment yourself, let other people compliment you. Neil Banfield, Don Howe, Gary McAllister and Gordon Strachan all gave me good advice.

Best compliment
I don’t like to pay attention to compliments or criticism; I just do my own thing.

Most embarrassing moment
Throwing my shirt at the Arsenal bench when I got subbed against West Ham. I really regret that.

Toughest opponent
Rio Ferdinand.

Favourite opponent
Man United. I played against Roy Keane, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, David Beckham and Ryan Giggs, so that was great as well.

Pre-match rituals
I put my left boot on first – it’s my favourite foot.

Favourite match so far
This year against Reading, when I scored the winning goal and last season when we beat Man City 4-3 at home.

Best friend in football
Probably David Noble, who I came through the youth ranks with at Arsenal.

Biggest joker you know
David Thompson, who I used to play with at Coventry, made me laugh. Rio and Ashley Cole make me laugh, as well. Thankfully, I’ve never been stitched up on the wrong end of a practical joke.

I like shopping and playing pool, I like all sports really. I just like socialising – going to restaurants and going out with my girlfriend.

R&B, hip-hop, house and garage. I haven’t got a favourite artist or album.

Peugeot 306 convertible.

Wenger or Strachan?

Britney or Kylie?

Ashanti or Beyonce?
Beyonce, although she’s got some seriously big thighs.

The Premiership or MOTD?
Match Of The Day.

Favourite reality television show
I like Popstars and all that. I find it funny more than anything else.

Who would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?
Guess I’d have to say my girlfriend.

In five years time' I’ll be...
Playing for my country and in the Premiership. I wouldn’t mind playing for any big team. I could even come back to Highbury.

And another thing...
I like cooking. I cook all sorts. My girlfriend buys the recipe book and we take it in turns to cook. I have to say Jamie Oliver’s is pretty good.

From the December 2002 issue of FourFourTwo.