Martin Kelly in Small Talk
Martin Kelly today became the latest Premier League star to take The Guardian's 'Small Talk' interview. Here is what he had to say in full.
Hello Martin, how are you? I'm good thanks, Small Talk.
It's been a mixed start to the season at Liverpool, but there seems to be a lot of positive energy about the place. Is this an exciting time to be there? Yeah, I think it is. With the new style of play that the manager's brought in, everyone's enjoying it at the minute and you can tell that by the way that we played against Manchester City, I think.
What is life like under Brendan Rodgers? He seems a great manager, but he's also a person who comes and gets involved with all the lads as well, so he's really easy to approach. That's good for players, especially young ones like myself and a few others, who are still learning the game. For a manager to come in and try and help you as much as possible is fantastic for us, as well as learning off the senior pros.
You've seen a fair old bit of change at Liverpool since you arrived as a seven-year-old. In football there's always changes, most seasons, but I think everyone's excited this time. We were all excited in pre-season with the way that we were training, everyone loves training, and we were working well in some of the pre-season games. We've got to put that into the games that we've got coming up now.
But isn't it all about Manchester again this season? That's what the papers say. If you're a Liverpool fan and you turn up on a Saturday or Sunday to watch your team, at Anfield or away, you're expecting Liverpool to win. That's the type of club we're at here, that's what we aim for. We take each game as it comes, but as a Liverpool player in the starting XI, you look to win every game.
What's the first fixture you look for at the start of a new season? I think it has to be Liverpool versus Manchester United. The first time I played in one of those was at Old Trafford, and it was the best game I've ever been involved in, in terms of what you live for as a kid growing up. You've been brought up in the Liverpool ranks; for a young academy player to come in and play in one of them games was a fantastic achievement and I really enjoyed it. You've got no time to be nervous. I gave 110 per cent.
There's talk of Stewart Downing moving to left-back. Small Talk read somewhere that you'd scored a hat-trick way back when; any chance you'll be starting further up the pitch? When I was younger I got tried at centre midfield, but at the minute it's just about where the manager wants me to play. I'm enjoying my football at right-back and maybe in the future I'll try centre-half if I've got the build for that. But the good thing is that I've got time on my side and I'm looking at learning off the best players at a club like Liverpool. I'm enjoying the training and getting some good game time.
[Consulting the Big Book of Stupid Questions, and not for the first time] Bet you're looking forward to a full season free of injury, aren't you? I've played three games in eight days recently; for me that's a fantastic achievement, because in the past I've struggled and been unlucky with injuries. I feel like I've settled in to my body now. I'm feeling good and raring to push on. Last season I didn't have any serious issues, I think there was just a little ankle one towards the end of the season, but I was made up with the medical staff, who coped with me well. This season I feel even more fit, you know, going to the Euros and coming straight back in to it. I felt really fit pre-season so it's been a good start and I just need to push on from here.
If you move in to the middle you'll be even closer to Pepe Reina. On a scale of 1-10, how scary is it when he starts shouting? Pepe's a leader, and most of the time what he shouts is encouraging. I've never heard him proper lose it, but I think he'd be scary if he did.
What do you get up to when you're not training? I like to play golf, but I only seem to play when it's nice weather, so I've not been playing at the minute. After football training you've got to recover well and look after your body. With the games coming up, you're playing twice a week, so you've got to take the time to relax at home and then the next day you're up and training again. It's quite hard physically so you've got to look after your body.
Taking a wild guess, that means gaming or boxsets, presumably? I'm a boxset kind of guy, I wouldn't go home and go on the PlayStation.
And which series is your favourite? Entourage. That's up there with the best I've watched, and I've watched quite a few. I watched Homeland recently, that's a bit more serious, but Entourage is the one that a guy watches and after it you're thinking: 'That lifestyle's fantastic.' I've watched it through twice and there's talk of a film coming out, so I can't wait for that.
What kind of films are you in to? I've just been to see the new Batman. It was a long film, like, but I really enjoyed it. I was a big fan of the Bourne films that were out years ago and there's a new one of them so I might have to go and watch that. But I'm gutted that Matt Damon's not in it. It's going to be a bit different. I don't know if I'll get to terms with that, because I love him as an actor.
Tell us the Good Will Hunting soundtrack wasn't the last CD you bought ... I don't use the discs anymore, I just get them on iTunes and they go straight on the iPod. I think the last disc that I bought was Drake's album.
CD-loving Small Talk is obviously not down and hip with the kids. [Sticking the boot in] I think there's a load of sales on at HMV at the minute, they're trying to get rid of them all.
Wise guy, eh? Come on then, tell us a joke. I won't be telling a joke. [Laughing] I can tell a joke that's José Enrique's dress sense, but I ain't got no jokes to tell.
What would you put in to Room 101? Spiders, rats and mice and stuff, I get scared of them. I've been moved in on my own for the past year or something, but I live in a converted barn and a mouse must have got in the other week. It ran under my legs when I was on the sofa. I've never been so scared in my life - it was only tiny, but...it felt like when an elephant sees one, I was straight on top of the sofa ringing up my mates to come round and get rid of it.
How much is a pint of milk? £1.53, is it?
Sounds a bit steep for a pint. Oh, I thought you said litre, sorry. A pint of milk is about 70p.
And what are your favourite crisps? [Deliberating at length] Squares. Salt and vinegar Squares. They're fantastic; I think everyone likes them.
Cheese or chocolate? Cheese, I think. I'm not really a chocolate person, I'd rather have a pic 'n' mix than chocolate. I have one bar of chocolate, I get a headache, so probably cheese.
Any particular cheese that takes your fancy? I'm not so keen on the mature cheddar - the strong tasting cheese. I'd rather have the softer cheese. Mozzarella cheese, I like.
Finally, who would win a fight between a lion and a tiger? The lion. Lion's king of the jungle, isn't it? I think a lion would. It'd kill the tiger.
Unless it's the Essex lion. Yeah! I don't know what I'd do if I really spotted a lion, because you wouldn't be able to outrun it, would you? And you couldn't climb up a tree because it can climb quite high. If I'd seen a lion, I literally think I would do one of two things: I'd turn and sprint as fast as I could, probably pull my hamstring because I wouldn't be warmed up, or I'd stay there and just freeze, hold my breath for 30 seconds. Hopefully it'd come up and just lick my hand or something and then go away. I wouldn't smell nice so it wouldn't want to eat me.
[Making notes for our forthcoming survival manual] Thanks for your time, Martin, best of luck for the rest of the season. Thank you. Bye Small Talk.
This article has been reproduced from The Guardian website