Chris Winterburn meets Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka
Earlier this season I caught up with a two of Everton and England’s defensive line at Adidas’ World Cup launch event in Salford. Here is what the pair had to say to me with regards to the new Adidas Predator boots, life at Everton under Roberto Martinez, the Toffee’s hopes for the season and of course this summer’s World Cup out in Brazil.
Phil Jagielka Interview:
CW: Chris here from FootballBoots.co.uk, I noticed the new Pink Adidas Predators you had on, I had a feel of them earlier and they are really light. Does that impact your game in any way?
PJ: Well yeah obviously. Same again, you’re not getting than many pairs of leather boots these days, so it’s like synthetic leather that probably makes the boot that little bit lighter. If you look at the mould, especially there is no metal inside there either not that the studs are particularly much heavier but I like a light boot, obviously there is actually lighter ones out there as well obviously the F50 is that little bit lighter again but I think that is the way football is going now, the amount of speed and all sorts involved in the game the last thing you want is the feeling of running around in a pair of wellies so like you said these Predators themselves are getting lighter, more comfortable and for me that ticks two massive boxes.
CW: This summer you were made Everton’s club captain after Phil Neville retired, has that changed your attitude to the game at all? How you approach matches and will it affect you going into the World Cup?
PJ: It hasn’t affected the way I go into games or matches towards anything. I think obviously there is more responsibility off the pitch, I think that’s probably the biggest thing and obviously it has been made that little bit bigger by having a new management staff because obviously the coaching staff and the manager I knew obviously a lot about left so it was all about me bridging the gap between the new manager, the new coaching staff and the players which was more difficult than maybe it would have been it things would have stayed the same but it hasn’t been, it’s not been majorly difficult it’s just something new to me being sort of a stepping stone between the players and the management staff.
CW: In your career so far you have played under Neil Warnock at Sheffield United and David Moyes at Everton but with Roy Hodgson and England is it any different because you can only work together in such a short space of time?
PJ: It is different because as much as you try and make it a club atmosphere and all sorts because you’re trying to make it as relaxed and like it is when you go back to your normal clubs because everyone does play for different clubs and are used to different styles of training and styles of coaching so I think it is a bit of a different job for Roy when he is taking the England team. As I say if he had us for six months at a time it would be a lot easier for him whereas obviously he only gets us for four or six days at a time so putting his methods and views across in such a short space of time becomes a lot harder, but I think he has done a great job with the squad he has put together and the way he has handled himself because it is difficult being the England manager not only on the pitch but obviously off the pitch as well so he has got a slightly different role to the previous managers I have had in my career.
Phil Jagielka on the new World Cup Ball (Brazuca): I have had a feel of it and a bit of a kick around with it and all sorts, fantastic as usual, a great ball from Adidas. I remember the days when I used to go out and buy myself an Adidas Tango, the ball has slightly changed from then to this one but yeah great colours, the ‘Brazuca’ as I have heard it’s been called so it’s just nice and hopefully it will be a memorable ball and hopefully I will get to use it in the summer first and foremost. Hopefully I will have a few decent memories of playing with it.
Leighton Baines Interview:
CW: Earlier I had a pair of the new Adidas Predators you have on and I notice they were very light will this impact your free-kicks at all?
LB: No because I think the thing with them is and the thing I like about them is the balance, I mean there are certain boots you pick up and there is no weight in them whatsoever so no real feeling in them, no real protection in them so the new Predators are really light but have still got some substance to them which is better. As I say with regards to striking a ball they have got that grip again which some boots don’t have, I’ve worn, tried a couple of other pairs of boots which just haven’t had the same feel so as I say the all round package for me is spot on.
CW: With Roberto Martinez your new manager, do you think any of his new coaching methods will help you to adapt your game in a World Cup year where you will be coming up against the World’s best players?
LB: Yeah, well what we’re doing now obviously is, the manager’s style is different so straight away it asks more questions of you sort of he is asking us to try different things to what we have been used to so that hopefully only adds another string to your bow if you like and makes you a more complete player and that’s the thing were doing now, were a lot further down the line than we were in pre-season in terms of implementing the manager’s methods and his ideas but it’s certainly been interesting to work with him.
CW: With a lot of teams being busy in the transfer market this past summer the competition is really strong for those European places, with this in mind what would you consider a good season for Everton this year?
LB: Well I think what we always have looked to do is find ways to improve on what we have done before so I think that’s the goal really, to try and get back in amongst those European spots you know, the Europa League and as you said there, there has been a lot of activity and a lot of teams have strengthened really well so it looked like it was going to be as tough as ever but then we sort of had a good final day of the window, bringing in some good additions so they seem to have helped us, we have had some good results, a good couple of wins so we feel confident. We haven’t lost in the League yet and its clear we are capable of doing it [Qualifying for Europe], it’s just the competition is as strong as it’s ever been so we are going to have to be at our best.
These interviews were conducted on behalf of FootballBoots.co.uk
You can follow Chris on Twitter @Chriswin4