Pressure means nothing to me - Earnshaw
Sep 5 2004
By Graham Hill, Sunday Mercury
Rob Earnshaw insists pressure will not be on the agenda when he
finally makes the step up to the Premiership - and has made it clear he is
scared of NOTHING the top flight has to offer.
In fact, Albion's new record signing reckons he is so pleased to have
been given his chance that it will be hard to wipe the smile off his face as
he intends to have fun no matter what.
Earnshaw moved to The Hawthorns from Cardiff City last week in a £3
million move as part of Gary Megson's summer spending spree.
And, after seven years of being a big fish in a relatively small pond
at Cardiff, the time has now come for him to prove himself at the highest
Earnshaw has heard it all before though. He knows that he is still an
unproven quality but the Wales striker is ready to thrive on the attention
as this is the chance promised to him for so long.
It is not as if Earnshaw will be surprised at the level of attention
he gets from Baggies fans on his debut against Liverpool next week. His
former manager, Lennie Lawrence, likened the speculation surrounding the
player's future in Wales to that of Wayne Rooney.
"I've never been scared of anyone or anything in football and I'm not
about to start now," said Earnshaw, who has been in Azerbaijan with the
Wales squad this week.
"Nothing in the game holds fear for me and I honestly cannot see the
Premiership being any different.
"If I stick to what I normally do and just look to have fun everything
else should fall into place. Hopefully I'll be smiling loads this season and
beyond. It's going to be exciting.
"Speak to any footballer not playing in the Premier League and he
wants to be there. I'm exactly the same.
"Everything else goes out of the window. I don't care about the
outside world when I get out there on the pitch. Me and pressure just don't
get along. For me pressure is nothing."
And Earnshaw insists that he does not feel as though he has to live up
to the tag of being the club's record signing. All that matters to him is
that he has been bought to play alongside Kanu up front.
"I don't care about prices and money and all that rubbish. I just love
added the Zambia-born Earnshaw. "Hopefully I can do well for West Brom
but I don't see any point in thinking about price tags."
Earnshaw was one of three players to arrive in the space of three days
last week with Junichi Inamoto and Cosmin Contra signing before the window
But there will be no shortage of familiar faces when he arrives at
Albion next week.
Wales team-mates Jason Koumas and Andy Johnson will be well known to
him, along with Megson's No.2 Frank Burrows.
Earnshaw knows Burrows from his time as a Cardiff boss. It was Burrows
who loaned him out to Scottish side Morton four years ago in a move that
helped him make progress as a striker.
"I wouldn't say I became a different player in Scotland but I did get
a few games under my belt and proved to everyone just what I could do," said
"It turned things round for me but I only did what I knew I could
anyway, even though I wasn't getting many games at Cardiff at the time.
"Frank is a good man and because I was young he tried to look after me
and that was his way of doing it.
"He's just happy that I've done well in my career and it will be good
to team back up with him."
But Earnshaw's move to Albion nearly did not happen. While Baggies
officials were guardedly confident that they would get their man, Earnshaw
had some doubts on the Saturday night and one national newspaper declared
that the transfer was off.
It all came together on the Sunday, though, to give Megson the extra
firepower he needs with the transfer window now shut for three months.
"We just couldn't agree terms and I almost didn't sign but thankfully
we got it all sorted in the end," said Earnshaw. "It was tough for a time
but we finally managed to get it done and dusted.
"I loved every game I played for Cardiff but I think it was the right
time for the club to sell me. People are not too happy with the club at the
moment because they know Cardiff are under-achieving and can do more. I
think they will given time.
"I would rather have left when the club were doing well and the fans
were enjoying going down to Ninian Park. Hopefully they will again."