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Earnshaw: the players that inspired me

12 May 2020

EFL legend Robbie Earnshaw's name is synonymous with goals. But which players had an influence on his development as a player?

The former striker famously scored a hat-trick in the Premier League, all three EFL divisions, the FA cup, League Cup and at international level, playing for West Bromwich Albion, Nottingham Forest and Cardiff City, among others.

Speaking during a special episode of the Official EFL Podcast, Earnshaw discussed the childhool idols which had a particular impact on his career.

"I never really wanted to be like anybody but I did get influenced," he said. "The first moments I remember of other players was when I got to the UK and started watching football on TV, because it’s obviously such a big thing, it’s people’s lives.

"I started to watch in ’92 to ’94, around that time, and remember watching players like Mark Hughes, Ryan Giggs and Ian Rush. I think you’re always drawn to the players you enjoy watching the most and, for me, I remember watching Barcelona and watching Romario, Stoichkov and Guardiola.

"They were the dream team, and it was like a different type of football, so I started watching them. Romario was my favourite player and was the best in the world at the World Cup, so he’s one of my biggest influences."

While Earnshaw loved watching players in England, he tried to take in as much as possible from all over Europe - and not just from attacking players, either.

"I used to watch everything from La Liga, to the Bundesliga and Italian football too," he added. "I went to search for it, because otherwise I wouldn’t have found it, and I loved it. I also loved players like Eric Cantona and Giggs, they inspired me, but especially Romario. He did things and I couldn’t figure out how he did them – I just wanted to do those things too.

"I got influenced from so many different angles, and that’s not something people have heard a lot from me, but my inspiration came from all areas. It wasn’t just strikers, it was defenders too – I used to watch Ruud Gullit at AC Milan and wanted to be like him too.

"The level these guys got to inspired me, and I enjoyed the different styles of play and everything, I was curious about all of it. It was a constant enjoyment of all angles of football."

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