How do you rate Everton’s start to the season?
Out of 10, would give it a seven or eight. We started off brilliantly but lately the results have dropped off which is disappointing because our performances have been very good. We have also dropped so many points when we were in very commanding positions in those games. But all in all we’re in the top six, so I can’t complain especially with our history of starting the season very slowly.
Are you looking towards a place in the European spots come the end of the season?
The manager and the players have made it very clear that Europe should be the minimum, fingers crossed for that 4th place and Champions League footy at Goodison next season.
Ex-Hammer Thomas Hitzlsperger has joined you a short term basis. How do you think rate ‘Der Hammer’?
Considering he joined us with the season under way and he had to build up his fitness, he has been a valuable squad player. He had to start a game or two this season due to the injuries we have had and didn’t look out of place in the side. All in all, as I said, a very good squad player and gives us another option.
You’ve one or two young players come through to the first team over the last few years. Who impresses you at the moment?
To be honest, we haven’t really had any young players coming through this season due to our form, but we do have promising youngsters coming through. Ross Barkley is one lad I would keep an eye out in the future. He has a big future in this game and if you ask Evertonians right now, they would say he should be featuring in the side.
Leon Osman recently made his England debut. Do you this was deserved and can you see him cementing his place in the national squad?
I think it was well deserved, in the past season or two he has really become a consistent performer for us -something he had lacked for us since he came through the academy, plus seeing some of the other players that have earn call ups, Osman’s was thoroughly deserved. I don’t see him cementing his place though with the World Cup in 2014 coming up. I think the timing is bad for him as he’s 31 so it is hard to see him really nail down a place for the long term though.
Do you think David Moyes will strengthen the squad in January?
I have a sneaky feeling that he will add a couple bodies to the squad in January. He has a little in the kitty left from the sale of Rodwell in the summer, and I can see one or two fringe players being sold to generate more funds. Given our position and the fact that we are well in contention for 4th, it would be silly not to try and build on this squad and try and push for that 4th place.
Talking of David Moyes, he’s now been in post for over 10 years. Can you see a change in management in the near future?
Too hard to tell really, he hasn’t signed a new contract, but it isn’t unusual for Moyes to do this. Do you remember last time he ran down his contract then signed a five year contract? I think Moyes wants to see what happens this season, whether he gets the backing from the board, whether we finish in the top four and then he will decide. Personally, unless a big job opens up, I see him staying at Everton. He may not get the big transfer budget like some managers, but people neglect he is paid very well compared to other managers. He has a terrific relationship with the owner and he has total control over the football side of things, something I am sure many managers would want.
Who should West Ham fans be wary of in the Everton when the club’s meet?
It has to be the big Belgian Marouane Fellaini, if he is playing. He’s been in sparkling form this season, I think he has scored eight goals already and provided a couple assists as well. Since moving to that attacking midfield role he has really taken his game to the next level. He has the ability to utterly dominate a game, like the United game, and very few players can do that at this level.
What’s been your opinion of West Ham this season?
Considering West Ham were promoted last season, I think you are doing a decent job and have had some really good wins under your belt and have been extremely tough to beat. Big Sam may not play the most attractive football, but personally, when you are a promoted side, results are all that matter. And so far West Ham are getting the results and sitting nicely in the top half of the table. Hard to see your lot being involved in a relegation battle this season, and for a promoted side that is impressive.
Which West Ham players would you have in your squad?
I had my fingers crossed in the summer that Everton would go after Diame. Unfortunately he went to your lot, and from what I have seen, he has been one of your best players. Would definitely have him in the Everton squad, I think he is the type of player that this Everton side lack. Thankfully from an Everton point of view, it looks like he is going to miss our match with that injury he sustained against Liverpool.
What’s your prediction for both clubs this season?
I think both clubs will do alright, for Everton I am going to be slightly optimistic and say 4th or 5th. For West Ham, I reckon mid table, could be anywhere from 8th-12th.