Liam Trotter looks up to Eric Cantona and Ivan Campo
LIAM Trotter has rubbed shoulders with Wanderers royalty and once looked up to The King – now he’s targeting goals to help him ascend the Reebok throne.
For all the fuss over departing strikers and defensive targets that have since slipped the net, it has been easy to overlook the midfielder’s arrival from Millwall on transfer deadline day.
Indifferent results have not helped either, but Trotter is hoping for an opportunity in this weekend’s derby to really put his name on the map.
“It’s not been the best of starts results-wise, but I feel like I’ve settled in quite well regardless of that,” he said. “I just wanted to hit the ground running and hopefully help the team get results.
“I’ve managed a decent scoring record, particularly with Millwall. Part of my game is getting in the box and trying to score goals, which is something I’m really keen to do during my time with Bolton.”
Should Trotter join the list of players to have made a decisive contribution to a win over Blackburn Rovers, he will surely soon find his stock has risen.
One such name is Ivan Campo, the bouffant Reebok legend who played alongside Trotter at Ipswich before he hung up his boots.
The Spaniard scored the decisive goal at Ewood Park in 2006 – an occasion better remembered for Jussi Jaaskelainen’s amazing double penalty save late in a match played out with 10 men after Kevin Nolan’s dismissal.
Trotter recalls Campo’s influence in his early days at Portman Road.
“Ivan was coming to the end of his career when he came to Ipswich,” he explained. “But he was such an incredibly talented player with experience that none of us could match.
“He’d played for great clubs like Real Madrid and, of course, Bolton, but he was unbelievable and a lovely guy to work with as well.”
Another influential figure Trotter idolised in his fledgling career was Manchester United icon Eric Cantona.
“I’d not really attached myself to any team in particular,” he said, reflecting on his early days in the game.
“I just enjoyed watching football whenever it was on.
“The team I probably watched most was Manchester United because they were always on television – I was a big Eric Cantona fan. I had a lot of players that I looked up to, but he was probably the main one.
“I just loved everything about him – from his collar being up to the aura about him and he was really my first footballing hero.
“Of course, you find more people that you admire as you progress through your career, but he was definitely the biggest.”
Trotter’s loan move to the Reebok in late January came as a surprise to many Whites fans, but the midfielder had been on Dougie Freedman’s radar for some time before his deadline day arrival. He is the second player to arrive from The Den this season, the first being Liam Feeney, who enjoyed a short but sweet spell in the North West late last year.
And Feeney’s glowing recommendations about life at the club helped make up Trotter’s mind to leave London for good – with all signs pointing towards a permanent deal being signed in the summer.
“Feens was my room-mate back at Millwall – we had a flat together and we’re very close friends,” he said.
“I kept in touch with him while he was at Bolton and he was always saying nothing but great things about the place and how much he enjoyed his time here.
“He was so complimentary about the place, so he definitely helped to sell the club to me too.
“Even if he hadn’t said what he did though, I would have still signed for the club regardless.”