Leighton Baines is set to start for England today against Moldova, as the Three Lions kick off their qualifying campaign for the 2014 World Cup.
Ugh, no football this weekend. And no, the NFL doesn't count. Sure, there are a boatload of international matches, but qualifiers just don't do it for me unless it's down to the wire or a big upset is in the cards. Of course, that doesn't mean we won't all be watching our countries in action (unless of course you are one of the millions of Americans like me who won't be able to see the U.S. play Jamaica later tonight), but it doesn't mean we have to like it!
The good news is that there are lots of good Everton related quotes this week to pass the time, from Baines to Heitinga to Stracqualursi and more. Lets' jump right in...
Leighton Baines, Everton defender
* from The Guardian and The Independent
(on being second choice to Ashley Cole) "I guess it could be (frustrating) but it helps that I have the release of playing for my club every week, your bread and butter, what you're doing week in week out. If I had been doing it since I was 20 and eight years down the line I'd got only eight caps, then maybe the frustration would build a bit more. But I came into it later, I'm still keen to get involved and get games. Along the way you pick up caps and that keeps you going."
(on his relationship with Cole) "I get on really well with Ash, got to know him really well, just being in his company I end up chatting with him quite a lot. I can't get too frustrated when the guy in front of me is such a good player. I have so much respect for him and what he's doing. That's what you just have to bide your time. Which is what I'm doing."
(on transfer rumors leading up to the deadline) "I pretty much ignored it but it was getting to the point where people were asking me and yet I didn't know anything. It was getting mentioned so often I was getting puzzled by it. As far as I know, there was not a great deal in it, so there was no point worrying about it.
"I've never been one to rock the boat, I appreciate the position I'm in in life and I love what I do. At the same time you do need to have that ambition because your career doesn't last long and, before you know it, it will be over. The ambition for Everton is to finish as high as we can and, if we can build on what we've done so far, we have a chance of getting European football. We know it's not beyond us and, if we can do that, it would strengthen my chances at international level."
David Moyes, Everton manager
* from evertonfc.com
(on the West Brom result) "I didn't think we deserved to lose like that but in the end we did because we got caught by a counter attack and the set piece we conceded was terrible. Maybe when it was 0-0 I should have settled for a draw but I wanted a bit more than that."
(on the defending) "We’re really disappointed to lose, the way it ended up, I am looking for them to be stronger. The boys at the back, there is no need for them to concede a goal. But we did concede a goal and we had to go chasing and we left ourselves a bit open. People need to do their jobs better than they did today."
John Heitinga, Everton defender
* from Setanta Sports
(on how he has handled coming off the bench) "I've felt better reporting for international duty. The Everton boss' decisions feel bad. It's a bullet I must bite every year. I was also left out for most of our early games in the two previous seasons. But I was soon in the side. I don't expect to wait long to get into the starting line-up."
Matthew Kennedy, Everton midfielder
* from the Liverpool Echo
(on joining Everton) "It feels brilliant to be an Everton player because it’s a massive, massive team. I can't wait to move down and get started now."
(on joining Steven Naismith) "Obviously I’ve followed in Naismith’s footsteps. He started at Kilmarnock as well so it’s good for myself to follow in his footsteps. I’ve watched him since I was a young boy, since I was about 10. I’ve always watched him and I think he’s brilliant."
(on Everton's potential loan signing Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe) "Everton fans might not even know it but their club has done an incredible bit of business. Vadis Odjidja is a top player, mark my words."
Bryan Oviedo, Everton defender
* from the Daily Mirror and the Liverpool Echo
(on joining Everton) "I am so very happy. This is a very good opportunity for me. The last two or three days have been very stressful and tiring but I am so happy now. I know a lot about Everton. I watch Everton games and Premier League games on the TV and it is a very good league."
(on leaving Copenhagen) "It’s really hard for me to leave FC Copenhagen because the club has meant so much to me and aided my development. I certainly could have seen myself at Copenhagen for a long time, but a switch to a historic club in the Premier League is a dream now fulfilled. I owe the club, my teammates and the fans of FCK so much and I will miss them all."
(on his best position) "I am a player who likes to attack. I can help in attack but also in defence as well. I can play both positions. I played many years as a left-back, now (more recently) I have been playing further forward."
Denis Stracqualursi, former Everton forward
* from evertonfc.com
(on his time at Everton) "The year at Everton was the best year of my career and I will never forget those amazing fans. Playing in that stadium was like a beautiful dream and something which I will never forget. I will be grateful all my life for the kindness with which I was treated. Some of the nicest things that happened in my life happened there."
(on his most memorable moments with Everton) "Scoring that goal (to beat Chelsea 2-0) was the sweetest thing that happened and I felt a huge rush of emotion as a result of all the effort I had put in to reach that moment. Reaching the semi-final of the FA Cup was fantastic as well and again highly emotional when you consider all the work the squad had put in to get there."
(on if he would consider a return) "It was disappointing (not to stay at Everton) because I had given my all and I would have liked to have stayed there for many years. I would love to come back to England and even more so to come back to Everton. My family absolutely loved living in Liverpool. We enjoyed being at the ground and all the people there – it was a great life experience for all of us. I really love Everton and will always have a soft spot for the place. I send all my best wishes to the Club and its supporters for the new season."
Royal Blue Mersey Twitter/Facebook Comment of the Week
@rbmersey Gibson's influence should not be underestimated. Clarke did his homework on Fellaini...Everton couldn't respond #baddayattheoffice