Interview With Steve Nicol, New England Revolution Coach

Steve Nicol, Liverpool legend and manager of MLS’s New England Revolution, was the most versatile footballer of the 1980s. In his time at Liverpool, the Scotland international played 343 times and scored 36 of his career 38 goals at the Anfield outfit. Nicol spent 14 years in Merseyside, winning five First Division titles, 3 FA Cups, and the 1984 European Cup. The defender represented his country 27 times, most notably at the 1986 World Cup. MLS Talk had the opportunity to ask Nicol about the development of MLS, his view on end line officials, and his emotions after the 1989 FA Cup Final.

Alexander Fairchild (AF): As a coach of the New England Revolution since 1999, what developments have you noticed in Major League Soccer over the past decade?

Steve Nicol (SN): The biggest development is the interest in MLS around the world. When I started here 11 years ago, basically outside the United States, no one knew anything about MLS. Now everywhere in the world, everyone knows about MLS, and obviously our big-name players. And now teams are sending scouts here to look at younger American players.

AF: What is your favorite memory as a Liverpool player?

SN: Too many to pick just one, but when you’re on a team that’s winning and playing good football, it’s hard to explain how enjoyable it is, not only on the field, but off the field, as well.

AF: Do you believe that MLS can one day reach the quality of the top flight leagues in Europe?

SN: I think it’s too early to say that’s what would happen. Certainly with the interest from the rest of the world and interest from players around the world, it’s possible one day given a change in the wage structure. But that’s many years away. But yes, it could happen.

AF: What are your opinions on the following topics: Goal-Line Technology

SN: We absolutely should have it.

AF: End-Line Officials

SN: I believe it would be a waste of money and time.

AF: After playing for Kenny Dalglish in your time at Liverpool, what is your fondest memory of King Kenny?

SN: Too many to mention, but when you walk through the door of a new club – or you walk through the door of the European champions – and a player of his caliber is the first person to meet you and look after you, that says a lot about the person.

AF: How did you feel after defeating Everton 3-2 in the 1989 FA Cup Final? Describe the emotions of yourself and the team?

SN: It was more one of relief, because we felt that if we didn’t win it, we’d be letting people down.

AF: As a child, who inspired you to become a professional footballer?

SN: I wouldn’t say any particular person inspired me. I just loved the game. From as long as I can remember, I always just loved the game.

AF: Which competition is the most challenging to play in? The First Division, European Cup, FA Cup, or FIFA World Cup.

SN: The World Cup.

AF: How does winning a cup as a manager compare to winning one as a player?

SN: To be honest, one’s as satisfying as the other. You just won a cup. Player, coach, whatever it is – it’s just as satisfying.

5 thoughts on “Interview With Steve Nicol, New England Revolution Coach”

  1. You asked a guy who has finished second so many times it would be
    hard to count……a question of winning a cup as a coach ?
    Brutal………………………. I guess he won the US Open
    Cup………………..I love questions or whether/when MLS reaches
    the top flight Euro leagues. First of all who cares ? Second of
    all, which league ? The one Barcelona and Man U are in, or the one
    that the also rans, who pretent to be in the same league, are in ?

  2. It is a little disappointing to not see one Rev-specific question
    in the interview. There are plenty of hard questions floating
    around here in RevLand, and we’re not getting many answers. Will
    Nicol be back after two straight years missing the playoffs (and
    currently coaching the worst team in the league)? This will be the
    end of his current contract. Why do the Revs seem to be so poor at
    pre-season signings? The Domi and Dabo experiment clearly failed,
    and the only way we’ve been able to get decent players in here has
    been either the SuperDraft (Soares) or pure luck (Feilhaber,
    Fagundez). There have been rumblings of Rev practice consisting of
    mostly small-sided games and not focused training to prepare for an
    opponent or strategy. While this may have worked with Dempsey,
    Parkhurst and Twellmann in the squad, it certainly doesn’t seem to
    be cutting it with this group. What can be done to improve this?
    What is the status of Shalrie Joseph in New England? He had been
    quoted earlier in the year as saying that this was his last year
    with the Revs, but has since backtracked and said he wants to come
    back for another year. Why the change of heart? These are just a
    few of the questions I’d rather see Nicol answer than questions
    about Europe or his childhood. Cheers, Dools

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