Kevin Lisbie talks to Football FanCast
Firstly Kevin, could you tell me about your involvement with EA Sports today?
EA Sports are a partner of the club and one of our shirt sponsors. Today we’re promoting FIFA Ultimate team which allows you to build your ultimate squad, auction for new players and compete with your Ultimate team online. All the lads in the dressing room are building some pretty impressive teams. I play up front with Lionel Messi in my Ultimate O’s team.
Leyton Orient have been in good form recently, and you have a couple of games in hand. How do you rate the club’s chances of promotion this season?
Why not? When we started the season we just thought we’d get to forty-odd points and see where we’d go, and we still think that we can get the forty five points that kept us up last season, and then we go from there and if that takes us into the play-offs then so be it. But why not at this point this season with two games in hand.
It’s a lot like the Championship where anyone can beat anyone on their day isn’t it?
I’m not a betting man but I wouldn’t put a tenner on any team beating any other team this season. Hartlepool went to Sheffield United the other day and beat them so I think it’s whoever wants it on the day in this division like in the Championship.
You’ve played in the Premiership, Championship and League One. How do the big crowds and stadiums of the top flight differ to this division? Does it affect you differently or change the way you play?
I can’t remember playing in the Premiership, I couldn’t answer for that – it was a long time ago. But I think the lower you get the more you’ve got focus and concentrate on playing football and appreciate the game more than the fans and everything around you. I just think if you’re a footballer and you’re in the starting eleven and the manager picks you it’s a privilege to play and you’ve got to get yourself up for every single game. It’s easy to get yourself up for the Premier League games but I think you’ve got to be more dedicated in how you approach games in the Championship and League One which I’m capable of doing.
You’ve represented a lot of clubs in the South East, in and around London. But which one holds the fondest memories for you and why?
I had good times at Colchester, I met a good lot of friends there and got my best goal record there as well so I’ve a bit of a connection with Colchester – how long I stayed there and how well I did there and I always had the crowd with me – but I’ve got a good relationship with Leyton Orient, I’ve been here a year and a half and getting a bit of a bond with them.
Do you find the relationship with fans is more intimate at the smaller clubs?
I’m from a big family, so I appreciate clubs like this more than when you get big Premier League clubs and big Championship clubs. You sort of get lost in the mix of winning and you don’t get to appreciate and associate with the fans in that same way. At Leyton Orient after the games we chat with the fans which I don’t mind.
If you could go back and relive one moment in your career what would it be? Your hat-trick against Liverpool comes to mind.
I feel like I’ve talked about it to death but you don’t appreciate what you’ve done and how big what you’ve done is at the time. After the game I went and chilled with my family and that and I probably didn’t realise until a few years after how big that moment was in my footballing career or my life. I’d like to go back and appreciate it a little bit more that day.
Now you’re 34 years old, how long are you planning on staying in the game for?
I feel like I’m a youngster still. I didn’t really play that much at Charlton; I didn’t start that many games in the eight years I was there. So I’m hoping that will leave me a bit longer in my career. I feel good now, I feel sharper and I’m scoring goals so hopefully at least another three years.
Do you see yourself as a coach or manager once you hang up your boots?
No, absolutely no chance. I’ll probably more than likely come out the game and start a scouting agency and try and help young kids get into football but I wouldn’t like to stay in football itself.
Do you consider yourself a wise head nowadays or are you still one of the lads?
Very much one of the lads. I’ve got five kids and they keep me young, they keep me running around. I like to think I’m a young 34 year old but when it’s the time to be serious on the pitch or on the training ground I can be serious but other than that I consider myself one of the lads still.
Are you handing out advice to some of your younger team-mates?
All the time, whether they listen to it or not is a different thing but I think it’s your duty as a senior player to pass on stuff to the younger players and hopefully they can get that experience quicker than you could. We’ve got a few young boys here [at Orient] who are quite good and they listen as well.
Who would you say is the best footballer you’ve ever played with, and also against?
I’d say against would be Sol Campbell at Arsenal – he was unbelievable – or Rio Ferdinand or John Terry. I’ve played against Nemanja Vidic as well so I couldn’t name one, but if I picked one it would probably be Sol Campbell.
The best player I’ve played with – at the time I think Scotty Parker when he was at Charlton. There was a period where he was literally unplayable. He carried the team throughout the whole year I think, he was unbelievable.
I’ve heard Dean Kiely was a bit of a joker. Is he the funniest footballer you’ve ever played with? Do you have any stories for us?
Deano is a good lad, when it was the time to be serious he was very serious but he was young at heart. When we used to go out he was very funny, Mark Fish too and Hermann Hreiðarsson - those three lads were all in one bracket, they were good lads and they made me laugh very much so. I can’t tell you any stories though.
As a former Jamaica international, do you think they have what it takes to make it to the World Cup in 2014?
I’m hoping so, it’s been two World Cups since they’ve made it. It would be good for the country and the Jamaican people especially after the Olympics. Hopefully they’ll make it, and I’ll be there cheering them on.
What problems face national teams such as Jamaica in reaching the next level in World football and compete with the European and South American teams?
They’re not big enough. They’ve not got the facilities we’ve got, they’ve not got the scouting agencies that we’ve got. It’s just a different world. I think talent-wise there’s a lot of talent out there but whether they take it serious enough or get the opportunities to take it seriously is the major issue.
Finally, what’s your pundit’s opinion on the Premier League? Who do you rate and what team will lift the trophy come the end of the season?
Manchester United probably. I’m an Arsenal supporter but I think United will win it this year. The best player right now has got to be Robin van Persie, being an Arsenal supporter it burns to say that, but I think he’s unbelievable – any time he’s in front of goal. He was like that at Arsenal as well; I think he’s probably the one of best strikers in the world right now.
Kevin Lisbie was talking at an EA SPORTS FIFA 13 Ultimate Team event. Build your ultimate squad, auction for new players and compete with your Ultimate Team online. You can buy EA SPORTS FIFA 13 Ultimate Team points NOW via Xbox Live or Playstation Network. For more information, visit ea.com/uk/football.