Q&A Special With Robbie Elliott - Part 2

  • May 29, 2014 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/0d574

In the second part of our exclusive two-part interview with Robbie Elliott, the former Bolton defender tells us about life after football.

Elliott spent four years with Wanderers, between 1997 and 2001, before leaving for a second spell at his hometown club - Newcastle United. Yesterday, Elliott told us about the ups and downs of his time with the Trotters.

Today, in our latest edition of Q&A, Elliott spoke to us about playing alongside young prospects such as Jussi Jaaskelainen, Eidur Gudjohnsen and Kevin Nolan, as well as his move to Sunderland and his life in the United States.

Q: You played alongside young players such as Jussi Jaaskelainen, Eidur Gudjohnsen and Kevin Nolan during your time with the Trotters. Was it obvious that they would all go on to establish themselves as stars of the modern game and who would you say was the best player you played with during your time at the club?

A: You've obviously named a few players there who have gone on to be top players and there are definitely more who we could mention. I think the best thing we had was a group of good players that all played their own part in making a very good side.

I don't think we had that 'stand-out' player during my time at the club - I'd say Jay-Jay Okocha was that player after I'd left - but Sam (Allardyce) had established a very good team with everyone playing their role in the team's success.

Q: A lot of water has passed under the bridge in the 13 years since you left the Reebok. Do you still look out for our results - what are your thoughts on our current predicament and how do you rate our chances of winning promotion back to the top-flight of English football?

A: Yes, of course I do. Every year, I also go to at least one game with my boys. It was such a fantastic group of people who worked there.

I think the league looks to be getting harder to get out of nowadays. Most clubs have Premier League experience and it's a very fine line between investing the right amount to get promotion or going bust.

Q: Moving on to the latter stages of your career - did you find it difficult to settle in at Sunderland, given your past and obvious roots to Newcastle United?

A: No, not really. They were very good to me and Niall Quinn is one of the nicest people you would ever meet - it was a pleasure to play for him.

It was a family move, in that my children were settled at school and we didn't have to move house.

I suppose the fact Sunderland and Newcastle were in different leagues helped!

Q: Since hanging up your boots, you have become involved with the future of football in the United States. Was it easy to adapt to your new lifestyle and how do you rate the standard of MLS, in comparison to the big European leagues - such as the Premier League, La Liga and Bundesliga?

A: Moving over here has been the best thing to happen for myself and my family. I work with Nike and I am a performance coach for US Soccer, working with the youth national teams.

The standard of MLS keeps rising, but is still way off the standard of the big European leagues. The thing I love over here is the team salary cap. This means there are no Manchester City's, Chelsea's or Real Madrid's who can buy any player they want. It is down to the manager or coach to get the best out of their squad.

Literally any team can win any game, and the league is wide open.

Burnden Aces would like to thank Robbie for taking the time to answer our questions. You can read more of his views by following him on Twitter - @robbieelliott3.

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Pos Team Pld Pts
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15 Cambridge United 21 26
16 Bolton Wanderers 21 26
17 AFC Wimbledon 19 24
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