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01
2014
EXCLUSIVE - Interview With Leon Osman
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Blue Kipper Interviewed Leon Osman at Finch Farm as part of the build up to his testimonial game when Everton take on Porto on Sunday.

The G MAN asked questions for Blue Kipper. We were together with other Everton fan sites, When Skies Are Grey, NSNO, Toffeeweb, Followtonians and SOS1878 

Blue Kipper: Do you think £20 is a bit excessive for your testimonial?

Leon Osman: (Laughs) I'd have said £70 but they knocked me down!

BK: I've got a couple of questions for you, as we all have.

LO: A couple...am I gonna spend ages on this!

BK: You broke into the team relatively late, did you ever worry that it might not happen?

LO: Honestly no, I always believed that I was gonna play for Everton. I think even as a kid, I mean, I've asked a couple of people this, I reckon everyone thinks they're gonna be a footballer when they're older, but I really did! I really believed it was gonna be for Everton and I had some tough times where it didn't look like it was gonna be and I got sent out on loan a couple of times, but it was always with the goal to come back to Everton. So when it finally came about I was made up and delighted as you are, but I was also like, "ppfff...it's about bloody time!" You know?

BK: Do you think that experience of having those loans helped?

LO: Yeah it probably did because I've had to fight hard for what I've got in football, in footballing terms really. I really did, people always thought I was too small and I had to overcome that. Not quick enough, not tall enough, all this and then the injuries. So I've really had to fight hard for what I've got. It makes me appreciate it more now. It probably makes me tougher, with regards to everything else as well.  

BK: When you signed your terms, back in 2000, it was the same summer that we signed Gazza, Tommy Gravesen and Big Dunc returned...

LO: All the big hitters was it, all the big hitters that year?!

BK: Just how mad was Bellefield back in them days?

LO: It was crazy, absolutely crazy! Gazza and Dunc together, David Ginola...was he still there then? He was a cracker as well. Tommy Gravesen, jesus! We've had some characters over my time. It was great at Bellefield because everyone was right on top of each other. If you were given a lunchtime like this, you couldn't help but all be on top of each other and you know what lads are like when they're all together. Here's a little bit different, you can be more spread out and you can go in a room and relax for an hour and not see anyone.  So I've got to say, I've got some great memories of Bellefield.  

BK: What's your best Gazza memory, cos everyone's got one, haven't they?

LO: Best Gazza memory? I'm saving that for my book! (Laughs) In all good book shops in about a year.

BK: The press last year were just fumin' over all our loan deals and how good they turned out. How important were your loan deals, going to Derby and Carlisle?

LO: Very important for me and for the manager at the time, David Moyes, because I believed I was ready for the first team, but you know, I had to prove that to him and it was a stepping stone, for both of us. It opened my eyes to what League 2 football is like and you get to see the other side of football, the non-glamorous side. The next step at Derby County, they were both stepping-stones for me to prove to the manager, 'Look I can do this, I'm better than this and I'm ready to play in the first team!' And once I'd done that, he put me in. 

BK: The majority of your time at the club was spent under David Moyes, how much of an impact has Roberto had on your game, do you think?

LO: A lot, having spent so much time under Davie Moyes, I wouldn't say I'd got in the style of one way of playing football but having played under a man for so long I think I'd learnt everything I could off Davie Moyes. So to now have Mr Martinez, we'll call him, to learn from now, its another perspective and I'm really pleased it's not just another coach, it's a top coach that I'm playing under now! And learning new things off, it's been an eye opener to different ways of playing football. 

BK: What do you think your proudest moment has been in an Everton shirt?

LO: Probably the first time I was captain at Goodison Park, leading the team out at Goodison Park. That was amazing! I couldn't have been prouder and every time I've done it since, they're such good moments. If it weren't for Jags, I'd bloody try and do it more! (laughs)

BK: With your testimonial coming up, who's the best player you've played alongside and is he in your select XI for the team?

LO: I always say Hibbo, but he doesn't name me back any more! (laughs) Defensively, yeah, I think Hibbo was top class, no fullback beat him. Skill-wise would have to be Pienaar to be honest, but Aiden McGeady's got some quick feet now, you know? So I'll have to say Pienaar, and goal scoring-wise I'd have to say The Yak, to be honest. I mean, I've played with some strikers but he just didn't even have to hit the ball hard and it was in the back of the net. You know that season before he did his achilles, he scored them goals, what a season he had then! We've had some good strikers and I hope I'm not disrespecting any by not mentioning them, but for that season the Yak couldn't miss! 

BK: Leon, you mentioned Big Dunc there, when you were playing with him, did you ever think he'd end up coaching you?

LO: No! (laughs) Not a chance! I used to ask him as well, 'are you gonna be a coach?' And he was like, 'No chance lad, no chance!' (mimics his Scottish accent)  Never thought he was, he went away for a few years but, he's got football ingrained in him and after a while he's obviously missed it, come back and I've got to say he's surprised a lot of people, he's a really good coach. It's showed by him getting moved up with the first team, after only 6 months or something and he's now doing a good job with the first team. I think at some point in his career he'll be a manager, I'm sure of it. I've got to say he looks after me a bit though, to be honest (laughs). Having played him, I think he looks after me and Hibbo, as a coach.  Don't tell too many people that cos he might stop it. 

BK: What does he tend to focus on? Does he work just with the strikers or is he like any other coach, what is his role within the first team? 

LO: You'd probably have to ask the manager his exact role of what he contributes to them. Obviously he takes the strikers for individual training at times, he does a lot of work with the group in general, on passing drills and what not. He'll take anyone they want for individual training, which is what all good coaches do. 

BK: You joined twitter this week, your mate Jags got into some trouble on twitter during the World Cup for tweeting a selfie on the bench with Steven Gerrard during the Ecuador game. There was a bit of uproar. I didn't like it myself, not because the game was going on, because he took a selfie with a redshite! Would you ever take a selfie with a redshite?

LO: To be honest, up until about two days ago I didn't even know what a selfie was! (Laughs) So I can't see it no, because as I say I'm still only just learning all this stuff now. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever taken a selfie!

BK: I think I seen one of you with that nice big shiner after the City game.

LO: You're right, you're right! Is that what one of them is?

BK: Porto, fantastic opposition for your testimonial, but do you wish you were having one of the old fashioned testimonials, where you can get all your mates in and play a bit of a mad game, get some celebrities in there?

LO: It was talked about; I did mention it and want to try and do that at first. But the logistics of it and because a lot of people now need competitive games to build up to the season, there is no point in the middle of pre-season me having a 'mickey mouse' game and getting all the lads in, its got to be building up for the season. So that was one aspect, but the other one was it's quite difficult with the changing rooms at Goodison Park, I wanted to try and have a legends game beforehand, but there is nowhere for anyone to get changed or showered and all things like that. It's mad all the things that come into it, I was trying to get a porter cabin on Goodison Road and stuff! (Laughs) I did want all of that, to be honest, but it's not possible.

BK: Because it's your testimonial year, is there no scope to have one of those games within that year? To have a legends game, because I'm sure people would still turn up.  

LO: If there is a lot of clamour for it and there would have to be enough fans interested in coming to watch it....and the tickets will be like £100 each! (laughs) We could sort that out no problem.

BK: Going back to twitter, what convinced you to finally come on twitter? Because I spoke to you last year and you said there was 'no chance I'm ever going on twitter'. 

LO: It's funny, I've been getting hammered and because my friends have been convincing me to go on there for ages, I had my own little one that was private. I had that for about 6 weeks to try and learn how to use twitter, because I didn't wanna go on and not know how to use it. So it's been a few weeks now, but I decided I'd go on to just practice and now I felt I was ready. I didn't wanna embarrass myself.  I'm ready now!

BK: Do you feel your career at Everton, if we didn't win a trophy in the next few years, would be incomplete?

LO: Yeah, I would say yes. To have been here for a long time and the club, no disrespect, hadn't won anything for a while before I got in the first team. But the goal is to win stuff and to be bringing silverware back. We've obviously got close and there has been a couple of times where we probably could of under different circumstances so I think that is definitely my goal and has been for a good few years now! My goal is to win some silverware and when I eventually retire, which isn'tfor another seven years (laughs), I'll be satisfied. 

Thanks To Ossie and Everton for the Interview.

Tickets are still available and can be purchased online at evertonfc.com or in person by visiting the Park End box office, Everton Two, Liverpool One or the TicketQuarter, located in Queen Square. 

Adult tickets are £20 (purchased in advance) or £25 (on matchday). Tickets for over 65's and under 16's are £10.

 

 

Email Bluekipper at enquiries@bluekipper.com

Comments about EXCLUSIVE - Interview With Leon Osman
 
1
Good luck to Leon for his testimonial. He's been a committed Evertonian at all times.
Spectator, Crosby, 7:13 PM 1/08/2014
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