HomeSportI've scored more than 100 Premier League goals, worked in four countries...

I’ve scored more than 100 Premier League goals, worked in four countries as manager – now I’m part of Saudi revolution with another Liverpool legend


With one of the most unexpectedly well travelled playing careers, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Robbie Fowler is just the same in management.

The Liverpool legend looked destined to end his career at Anfield after breaking through at the club he loved in 1993, earning the nickname ‘God’ as an unstoppable striker and Manchester United-killer.

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Fowler is a legend of English football, scoring 163 Premier League goalsCredit: Getty

However, the emergence of strikers Michael Owen and Emile Heskey saw Fowler leave Merseyside for Leeds in 2001, but as an all-time club legend with 183 goals in 369 games across two spells.

But despite having to say goodbye to the team he loved, Fowler went on to achieve success at Leeds and Manchester City, ending up eighth on the all-time Premier League goalscoring charts with 163.

Then, with his career winding down, stints in Australia and Thailand followed, with the kind of jet-setting that has continued into Fowler’s management career.

Now coaching in the Saudi Arabian second tier with Al-Qadsiah, Fowler has his sights set on what could be the most lucrative promotion in football, to the Saudi Pro League where spending is seemingly unlimited.

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Speaking to talkSPORT’s Ben Jacobs, Fowler began: “I’ve managed in four countries now so I am probably the most inexperienced experienced manager. I’ve been in India, Australia, Thailand and now Saudi Arabia.

“What people think about me I don’t know, but what they don’t know is that I’ve been involved in football and that I’ve wanted to be a manager for a long time and this is a real good opportunity for me.

“I’ve been a pro licence manager for years, I’ve just done an LMA diploma.

“Where I started [at Al-Qadsiah] was on a consultancy role, to try and help get the club to the modern era, if you like. The facilities were probably not great and I’m a big believer in the grassroots level and the training facilities because that’s more important that the players are training in an environment that’s right for them.”

Fowler is hoping to make his mark in his fourth management job

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Fowler is hoping to make his mark in his fourth management job

There have been challenges for Fowler, though, including the language barrier, but he’s started the season with two wins from two.

And in his previous jobs at Muangthong United and East Bengal, things were no different.

“It is tough, and being a Scouser it’s probably tough enough at the best of times,” Fowler laughed. 

“But we accept that, we’ve got to adapt to that. If you want to manage overseas, if you can’t speak the language, you’re relying on other people to help you and the club has helped me with a translator.”

Thankfully for Fowler, he has a good friend and former teammate joining him nearby, with fellow Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard rocking up at Al Ettifaq.

“I haven’t spoken to him yet,” the 48-year-old said. “Obviously we’ve exchanged a few texts, but we know how difficult it has been being out of the country doing pre-season. 

Fowler and Gerrard are Liverpool icons and former teammates who were treble winners in 2001

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Fowler and Gerrard are Liverpool icons and former teammates who were treble winners in 2001Credit: getty

“But yes, we’ll obviously catch up. Steven’s a real big mate of mine so we’ll have a good chinwag when we catch up.”

So far this summer Saudi Pro League sides have spent more than half a billion pounds, with Al Hilal the second biggest spenders in world football after Chelsea.

Fowler is desperate to get a bite of the cherry with promotion this season, and is confident the league’s revolution is here to stay.

“We’ve probably seen something like this happen in China where the teams were spending a little bit of money on players,” he said. 

“But I don’t know if it was sustainable over there whereas here it is, and the plans are huge, and there’s no reason why it can’t go on a bit more.”

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