What do you make of Everton’s season thus far?
A win over Chelsea is always going to be appreciated but so early in the season with a new manager adds something. I think after having a manager for so long there is always a worry that the transition period is going to prove difficult. Hopefully that won’t be the case.
You said last season that you wouldn’t begrudge David Moyes going to Man United. Is that still the case?
Being Man United manager is a huge job in football and I still don’t begrudge him leaving. I think it was the right decision for everyone. We needed a new direction and new way of thinking. Hopefully with Martinez will give us that. I think Moyes might be caught out at Man United though — he’s a good manager but it’s a totally different club to us. There is a lot of pressure on him to get results week in week out, they need a good cup run and need to be in the top two. Hopefully he can deal with this pressure.
What have you made of Roberto Martinez so far?
I wasn’t overly impressed with the appointment; I think we should’ve gone for Laudrup or a foreign manager. Martinez’s record at Wigan wasn’t great and I hope that he can step up. Everton and Wigan are very different so I’ll reserve my judgement for the time being.
Everton were busy in the transfer window particularly on deadline day. What are your views on your signings?
I’m not a fan of Kone — it seems a little bit short sighted after one decent season. He’s not getting any younger and the transfer fee wasn’t small. Our loan signings have been good — both Barry and Lukaku have impressed me. Alcaraz has been injured but definitely bolsters the defence. McCarthy is a good player but the transfer fee was too big and he has big boots (and hair) to fill in Fellaini. The only downside was that Anichebe left on deadline day though.
Leighton Baines was linked with a move to Manchester United. Do you think he’ll move from Goodison in January?
I think they tried to sign him again on transfer deadline day as well. Moyes has said that the deal is dead hopefully that is the case but I think he may leave next summer. He’s approaching 30 and I think he may want a big money move before he retires.
Fellaini left at the eleventh hour on the transfer window day. What did you make of the deal?
He’s a good player and I think we got a good deal for him. I wish him the best but I’m not sure where he fits in at Man United. The main thing for us was that we managed him to find replacements for him on deadline day. We needed the money and I think it worked out well for everyone involved.
Ross Barkley earned his first England call this season. Do you think it was deserved?
Of course. I’ve said for a long while that he’s a great player with a great future. His vision and passing is amazing for a player so young. If we can nurture his talent and make sure he gets the games this season then I think he could go all the way and become an England regular in the next few years.
Who should West Ham fans be wary of in the Everton squad when the club’s meet?
McCarthy and Lukaku could both be dangerous for the club this season. There is a weight of expectation on McCarthy now but is up to him to respond. I think Lukaku could be our top goal scorer come the end of the season. Kone really needs to start scoring.
What’s been your opinion of West Ham over the past few seasons?
Last year you over performed and quite rightly did better than the other promoted teams. I think you might suffer from second season syndrome this year as clubs have sussed you out. The problem with Allardyce is that I think it’s all a bit one dimensional.
Which West Ham players would you have in your squad?
I think Razvan Rat has one of the best names in football but in terms of footballing ability I think Jarvis, Downing and Carroll are all very good players. You just need to get them all on the same pitch at the same time.
Last season you were nearly spot on with your prediction of Everton coming 6th and West Ham coming 11th? What’s your prediction for this year?
I think it’s going to be a bit more difficult for both clubs so I’ll go with Everton 7th and West Ham 13th.