• Several of your Everton team mates are at the World Cup – are you envious about missing out on the World Cup in Brazil?
Yeah, a little envious, but I told most of them to pack very light as their WC14 journey will be short!
• Who are you favourites for the World Cup and why?
Holland as they have a score to settle after coming so close in 2010 and in other finals before, this could be their turn.
Germany as they have the most efficient and balanced team on paper, let’s hope they can translate that into good performances in this World Cup.
• Which African team do you expect to be the best performer in Brazil and why?
Ivory Coast as they are the strongest African representative and most of the team are playing their last major tournament, they have to end in a respectable position.
Nigeria as They have improved a lot, won the Nations cup and did fairly well in the Confederations Cup. The Confederations Cup also gave them insight into conditions they would be facing in the World Cup.
• Where you shocked when Manchester United ended the contract with David Moyes – why do you think the team did not perform and do you think he was given a fair chance?
Yes, very surprised, he needed more time to implement his ideas. It’s the nature of the game these days, there is little time for managers at football teams now, they have to hit the ground running.
• Tell us a bit about Roberto Martinez and his strengths as a coach?
He’s the player’s manager in every sense of the word; never in my football career have I worked with a manager that is so concerned with his players well-being before. He honestly loves his players.
His football ideas are refreshing, exciting and have gone down well in the dressing room.
• How has Martinez impacted on your performances in the team – does he expect you to play a slightly different role, more attack minded?
No, he plays me in the same position I played under Moyes, he expects me to lead the team more though as there are many younger players coming through at the team that need our guidance.
• What are your plans for the 2014/15 EPL season – will you be staying at Everton and what are your goals for the year?
Yes, definitely staying. My goals are to stay fit and feature in as many games as possible.
• Do you intend to return to South Africa for the final years of your active playing career?
To be honest it’s not something that I have really thought about, so I will see what the future holds.
• Your trip back to SA coincides with your annual Steven Pienaar Community Tournament, which is supported by your sponsor’s PUMA. What inspires you to continue to host the event?
It’s mainly for the kids, when I see the smile we put on their faces I get motivated to keep the tournament going as long as I possibly can.
• What are your thoughts on the status of football development in South Africa and what do you feel needs to be done to make the national team more competitive on a global level?
Youth coaching needs to be improved greatly, countries like Spain and Germany have an endless supply of coaches, the results can be seen in their youth national teams’ performances and subsequently in their senior national teams.