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This week we speak to Everton’s Steven Pienaar about singing badly and working in a bank...
Who is your sporting hero?
As a kid, I always looked up to Michael Jordan. In football, it was Edgar Davids.
What would you be if you weren’t a sportsman?
An accountant. I was quite good with numbers at school. My cousin worked in a bank so it was something I thought about when I was younger.
Which other sportsman would you like to be?
Floyd Mayweather Jnr. I like the way he is, his personality. He’s a real champion. He says a lot and he’s got a big mouth, but he backs it up with the way he fights.
When I signed my first professional contract at Ajax Cape Town aged 16. It was an opportunity for me to tell my mum not to work any more because I could look after the family.
And the worst moment?
Losing to Arsenal 6-1 when I was at Everton (in August 2009). It was a sad day. Injuries are always a bad time as well, but my brother supports Arsenal and he was on the phone to me all the time after that one.
If your house was burning down, what one possession would you save?
Nothing. As long as my two daughters were with me, I would be happy.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Just be yourself. My mum, Denise, always said that to me.
Favourite karaoke song?
The first time I sang was when I joined Everton. I sang a South African song, but it was really bad — thankfully, the guys didn’t understand a word of it!
Three most-listened-to songs on your ipod?
Revolution by Kirk Franklin, No Woman, No Cry by Bob Marley and Jay-Z’s Bonnie and Clyde.
Last film you saw?
An African film about a guy who went back to Senegal and robbed a bank. It was in French. I like cultural films but I don’t understand French, so hopefully I can learn the language that way.
Last book you read?
In The Secret Place with God. You read and you stop, and I’m still on with it.
Favourite pre-match meal?
A plate of pasta with olive oil.
Can you cook? Best dish?
I’m quite a good cook. I make a lot of curries. I’ve lived by myself since I was 15 so I’m good in the kitchen.
Your favourite holiday destination?
It will sound weird, but it’s Amsterdam. After South Africa, the Netherlands became my second home (with Ajax).
In a film of your life, who would YOU like to play you?
I don’t look like any actors, so I’ll say Denzel Washington.
What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?
A car. The latest one I bought — an Aston Martin DBS.
Tell us a secret...
I’m scared of spiders. They are the only thing I’m really afraid of.
LUKE GARBUTT has already made one Cup appearance for Everton this season – making his Blues debut in the Capital One Cup romp over Leyton Orient.
But he will be denied a Cup double at a Whaddon Road ground he knows inside out by injury.
That hasn’t stopped the promising youngster still trying to influence Everton’s progress, though!
Garbutt enjoyed a successful loan spell with Cheltenham last season, making 36 appearances in which he helped guide The Robins to a League Two Play-Off final at Wembley.
And he learned enough to be able to tip off David Moyes and his staff about any potential threat that Cheltenham, who are mounting another promotion charge this season, may pose.
“I’ve been asked about Cheltenham’s threats and I’ve told the analysis people at Everton about the wide men Kaid Mohamed and Jermaine McGlashan, who are quick and direct,” he explained.
“I have also told them about Marlon Pack, who is the ball player and Russ Penn, who likes to rat around and get in among teams.
“But the gaffer has most teams nailed on anyway and he is very thorough, showing us clips and that sort of thing. He’ll expect Everton to be able to deal with Cheltenham.”
If there is to be any upset – and the ESPN TV cameras will be present on Monday night hoping for the kind of shock Everton endured at Shrewsbury Town in David Moyes’ first full season – Garbutt believes the key will be the opening 20 minutes.
“With Cheltenham at home they need to take the game to Everton early on and press high up the pitch,” he said.
“Everton won’t sit back, but I think it could be a tight one and the result will probably depend on the team we put out.
“If the gaffer brings in a couple of young lads like Ross Barkley and Shane Duffy we should still have too much, but you never know in the FA Cup. It would be great for Cheltenham if they could get a replay, but on the day I think it will be 2-1 or 3-1 to Everton.”
Given a clean bill of health, Garbutt may well have been included in the squad for Monday’s Cup tie.
Leighton Baines was rested when Everton faced non-League Tamworth in last season’s third round (although came off the bench to convert a late penalty) and earlier this season Garbutt was the player called upon to give Baines a break with Everton leading their Capital One Cup tie with Leyton Orient 4-0 down at half-time.
It has been his only taste of senior action to date – but an ankle injury means he won’t get the opportunity to add to that on Monday.
“My rehabilitation is going well, but I am still two weeks away from being back, so I won’t make the game unfortunately,” he added.
“I was really pleased for the Cheltenham lads when the draw was made because they deserve it for doing so well over the past couple of seasons.
“My loan spell there was massive for my development, playing regularly in the Football League with points at stake and it’s definitely helped me to become a better player.”
The 19-year-old left-back’s ultimate aim is to impress David Moyes sufficiently to earn further first team exposure – but such is David Moyes’ burning ambition to progress in the FA Cup that the further the Blues go, the less chance of a key figure like Baines being rested.
“The gaffer likes to go as far as he can in the FA Cup so he’ll definitely put out a strong team,” Garbutt said.
EVERTON’S annual losses almost doubled in 2011/12 – partly because TV bosses decided the Blues weren’t as big a draw as other clubs.
Hopefully whichever highly-paid TV executive made that decision has had his plug pulled.
Because the decision makes about as much sense as Hollyoaks – and is not as easy on the eye.
Compared to TV darlings Arsenal, Newcastle, Tottenham and West Ham, Everton have the highest average live audience figures – 1.7m per televised game.
Yet despite a first half of the season when Everton’s football has been more thrilling than at any time for 20 years, the Blues’ TV picks remain lower than that of Newcastle and West Ham!
Attractive Everton have been screened six times, long ball West Ham and less than catchy Toon have 10 selections each.
Despite having 40 per cent less televised games, Everton’s cumulative audience is still on a par with West Ham’s (10.08 million v 10.91 million).
If you can work out why Everton have featured so infrequently, answers on a postcard to the satellite broadcasters please.
DAVID MOYES is urging Nikica Jelavic to rediscover his goal touch, even though last seasons top scorer proved he can be just as deadly as a goal provider on Wednesday night.
The Croatian hit man scored 11 goals in just 13 starts after hitting the ground running with a goal on his full debut in March.
But this season he has seen Marouane Fellaini steal his scoring thunder, the Belgian leading the Blues goal charts with eight to Jelavics six so far.
In midweek Jelavic played a pivotal role in an outstanding away win at Newcastle by setting up the matchwinner for Victor Anichebe.
But Moyes still wants goals from his main striker.
Weve said to him come on, were playing you, were putting you in, were keeping you going so we need him to come up with the goals, said Moyes.
If youre going to be a top team you need your centre-forward to score you a decent amount of goals.
But in fairness to Jela the opportunities didnt fall to him at Newcastle. They fell to Fellaini, Naismith, Steven Pienaar and Victor in the end.
On Sunday, against Chelsea, they did fall to him and he was a bit unlucky not to score with his efforts which hit the post and the bar.
There has been some suggestion that Fellainis formidable presence in the Blues forward line this season has reduced the number of chances Jelavic has received.
But Moyes was delighted by the way Fellaini slotted back in after suspension on Wednesday.
I thought he played really well. I thought in the first half his chest control and the way he got people into the game was exceptional and gave us an alternative when we were passing it, added Moyes.
We could hit Felli if we needed it. Id have liked him to have got the goal in the first half, though!
Fellaini is likely to be involved at Cheltenham in Mondays FA Cup third round tie, although Leighton Baines could be in line for a rest as Bryan Oviedo may be given a run out, while midfielders Thomas Hitzlsperger and Ross Barkley may also come into contention for a start.
Kevin Mirallas, Seamus Coleman (both hamstring) are still sidelined, as are Tony Hibbert (calf) and Darron Gibson (thigh).
Former Everton youth goalkeeper Connor Roberts is expected to be on the bench for Cheltenham.
WITH Evertons allocation at Cheltenham Town sold out, the next chance Blues fans have to watch the team live is at Goodison Park next Saturday for the Premier League clash with Swansea City.
Tickets are still available for the 3pm kick-off and prices start from £31 for adults, £15.50 for juniors and £20.25 for over 65s. Call the Goodison Park Box Office on 0871 663 1878, visit evertonfc.com/eticketing, or drop into the Liverpool city centre ticket outlets at Everton Two or the TicketQuarter in Queens Square.