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Breakfast with Frost Sunday, 9 June, 2002, 13:17 GMT 14:17 UK
Interview with Bobby Robson, ex-England manager
Bobby Robson, ex-England manager
Bobby Robson, ex-England manager

Please note "BBC Breakfast with Frost" must be credited if any part of this transcript is used

DAVID FROST: And here the greatest English manager of them all Bobby Robson's here. Bobby what happened do you think, what was the magic that happened between Sweden and Friday?

BOBBY ROBSON: Better attitude of course, bigger resolve, I think the players realised they'd been panned by some of the press and the public, they knew they had to do better, we, I think what pleased me was that Sven was loyal, Sven Goran Eriksson was loyal to much of the team, many of the players and the players responded to that by their loyalty to him and we got a very much improved performance, better quality on the ball, better selection of pass, better option, pass the ball through, in sequence through the midfield up to the front players rather than hit the early, the longer ball which meant we lost possession far too easily against Sweden...

DAVID FROST: And when...

BOBBY ROBSON: As a result we looked a very good football team.

DAVID FROST: And indeed in the performance there Michael Owen was back on form and admittedly missed one in the second half but he got through very well and there's papers have said that Sven needed to talk him, talk him back to full confidence again, is that possible?

BOBBY ROBSON: Yeah it's possible, yes I mean he needs service, he's, he's not a player who will make things and manufacture things himself, he will when he's on the ball but he has to have that service into the box and what happened against Argentina was that our choice of pass to him was much better, it was on the ground, against Sweden there was a lot of long high balls in the air, he's 5 foot 7 or whatever and he's not that sort of a player, he needs the ball down, along the side and you know on the left or right side of him. He's got fantastic pace, he frightened the life out of them, they hate him, they don't like him, they certainly respect him and he just put the fear of God in him.

DAVID FROST: The fear of God rather than the hand of God?

BOBBY ROBSON: Rather than the hand of God.

DAVID FROST: The...which was in your days wasn't it, the hand of God. But in terms of the next match, would you be, would you be tempted for instance to consider putting Teddy Sheringham who came on and did so well on it from the beginning?

BOBBY ROBSON: I think Teddy Sheringham's value is what happened the other night to come on late on the game where you might need him. I think Sven will be very loyal to change the side, if he changed the side and he comes unstuck he'll hit problems.


BOBBY ROBSON: So he won't do that, he won't take that risk, he won't take that gamble, he'll play the same team I'm sure, Heskey and Owen is a formidable combination, they do it for Liverpool most Saturdays so he knows he's got that and I think he'll keep the same team more or less, the fact that Hargreaves went out unfortunately might have been a blessing for us in some ways because Scholes went into his original position, did magnificently.

DAVID FROST: And Sinclair did well coming on?

BOBBY ROBSON: Sinclair did very well coming on, he's that type of a player, worked very hard, has a lot of skill, bit of pace, lot of tenacity in his game and I like the Beckham, Butt, Scholes combination, the thing that we have at Manchester every Saturday afternoon. Solid and work well with each other, understand each other's play, good, good telepathy with the players.

DAVID FROST: And the papers are full of today, we're starting after the joy of the match in yesterday's papers, today we're starting with all the stuff about we can win this, we can win this cup, we can win this cup - could we?

BOBBY ROBSON: Fatal to think like that I think at this stage, I don't think you should look too far ahead of yourself. We're not through yet, we haven't qualified yet, you can't talk about winning the cup when we haven't qualified. Step-by-step, it's a stepping stone situation, that's my opinion. All we need is a point, get the point and then look for the next match. We are one of eight teams who were favourites to win it, we, we can win it, we're one of eight who can. Now that might be diminishing every, every time now, we've got this marvellous situation, haven't we? Where the two top favourites, Argentina and France may not, may not even qualify.

DAVID FROST: May not even qualify.

BOBBY ROBSON: You know but we haven't qualified either so I think Sven is a very calm, very composed person, he'll be saying to players listen, one game at a time, don't get excited.

DAVID FROST: Absolutely, it's a bit early to say we're going to win the cup or indeed to start awarding the knighthoods to Sven and everybody else, it's a bit early we've only played two games so far haven't we?

BOBBY ROBSON: I think so.

DAVID FROST: And the, and then you've got to be looking ahead of course to next season after that, what are you, what's your target going to be for Newcastle next season?

BOBBY ROBSON: Well we finished fourth as you know behind Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal, although not in that sequence of course, Arsenal were top - they are where we want to be, we are not there yet, not quite so we need to invest a little bit of money into, into the squad, we need to bring in two really top good players, we're looking, we're searching, we know who, who they are, we'd like to try and get them and if we do that then we will improve our chances.

DAVID FROST: And of the three other teams you mentioned there, which one do you think will be strongest next season, Manchester United, Liverpool or Arsenal?

BOBBY ROBSON: Who knows, they'll all will invest, they will all improve their squads, Arsenal had a most magnificent season. Again I think they might be the team to beat but Alex now will be very keen to knock them off their perch, it will be interesting to see what Manchester United do this summer in terms of acquisition of players so who knows.

DAVID FROST: Very well put Bobby, a joy as ever to, always a delight to have Bobby Robson with us.


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