Sunday evening saw the final of the Sony Playstation Fifa Interactive World Cup UK qualifiers in London. The competition, which has over 850,000 competitors, saw the final 18 UK contestants battle it out for a place in the Grand Final in the US. The winner, Ty Walters, will now compete amongst the winners from the other national qualifiers for a top prize of $20,000. Jay Bothroyd attended the event on Oxford Street in central London and took time out to speak to FootballFanCast.
With the sacking of Neil Warnock in January Bothroyd saw the manager that signed him on a free transfer in the summer replaced by manager Mark Hughes. He could be forgiven for feeling uneasy about losing the man who had shown faith in him by bringing him to west London but the former Cardiff man had a philosophical view on the matter: “You know that’s football, when you don’t get the results, when you don’t get enough points on the board there’s always going to be that danger of losing your job. That’s the ruthless industry we’re in. I wish him all the best, I’m sure he’ll do a terrific job at Leeds and I just want to thank him for bringing me to QPR.”
Bothroyd, who scored 45 goals for his former club and took them to the brink of promotion, is now part of a squad that contains more strikers than any other in the league. The signings of Federico Macheda, Bobby Zamora and Djibril Cisse in January means that competition for places is higher than ever for the 29 year old but he remains unfazed by the prospect of such a challenge. “I’m always confident in my own ability. Obviously I’ve had a bit of a topsy turvy time since I’ve come to QPR but people don’t seem to understand how hard it is to move from club to club and settle in straight away, especially having to play in a different way to what I’m used to. But Mark Hughes has come in along with Mark Bowen and it’s a breath of fresh air. They train us really hard; training’s really enjoyable but obviously it’s very serious at the same time and I’m hoping that I can rediscover the form I had last year in the up and coming games this season.”
Bothroyd’s fellow summer signing, and current club captain, Joey Barton is a man who has barely left the spotlight for the last 18 months, dividing opinion amongst fans from all clubs, English or other. His task of leading a QPR team consisting of new faces and big egos is hardly enviable, but Bothroyd believes he is up to the job.
“Joey’s a top man. I get on with him well. Obviously he’s opinionated and that’s his character but we’ve all got individual traits and that’s his. He’s a good captain, he’s a good lad and he works really hard and leads by example which is a good captain’s quality.”
Bothroyd is one of the few English players to have plied his trade abroad and, despite his time with then Serie A side Perugia being short lived, the Islington born striker insists he has no regrets about moving abroad. “I did really enjoy it [my time in Italy]. In the beginning it was really hard because I didn’t speak the language and at Perugia I didn’t have any team mates that spoke English so yeah it was difficult. I think we’ll see more players in the future going abroad to Spain and Italy, especially with the tax being what it is now. I wanted to go and experience it, Beckham’s obviously done it, Jermaine Pennant did it so there are a few players who have gone over there and I don’t see why more shouldn’t follow in the future.”
Queen’s Park Rangers have perhaps underperformed since their utter domination of last year’s Championship but new owner Tony Fernandes has shown great ambition since he took over. Could next season be the year that QPR fans finally see some of the success they anticipated since Formula One owner Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore bought the west London club in 2007? “We’re not really thinking about next year to be honest, we’re thinking about this year. We want to keep our Premiership status and that’s what we’re working hard for. We’ve got thirteen games left and we need to get five or six wins from that, that’s our aim. Hopefully we can do that, we all believe we can, but the premiership is very difficult. Anyone can beat anyone in this league and that’s why it’s the best league in the world. Once we’ve consolidated our status in the Premiership then we can look to next season. To be honest the sky’s the limit, we have the financial means to buy players and there has been talk of a new training ground and even a new stadium so we’ll see.”
Dickson Etuhu and Jay Bothroyd attended the UK final of the FIFA Interactive World Cup on EA SPORTS’ FIFA 12, which was won by Ty Walton. Players can still compete online through their PLAYSTATION 3. For more information, visit www.fifa.com/fiwc