The #20QuestionsWith series continues as we catch up with Paul Anderson to find out more about our midfielder...
1) What’s your first footballing memory, either playing or watching?
“In terms of watching, I grew up as a Hull City fan as my family are from there. My Dad used to take me to Boothferry Park and we’d get a pie and a Bovril, I actually remember that part more than the football! I was probably allowed a packet of fruit pastilles or something like that, too.
2) Who’s had the biggest influence on your career?
“My Dad, he’s been the common denominator throughout my life. He always gave me the decisions or the opportunities, but it was for me to make the choices, he never forced me to do anything I didn’t want to do. He probably guided me down what he thought was the right path at times but that’s natural for a parent.
“There were times where we didn’t always agree on what I should and shouldn’t be doing but at the end of the day he just wanted the best for me, and I’m in that situation now as I’m a parent, too. You do whatever you think is best for your child and he always believed in me from day one. He’s travelled around the world to see me on pre-season tours, travelled up and down the country to watch all of the games, he’s been to pretty much every football club!”
3) Which player(s) inspired you the most whilst growing up?
“David Beckham was the one, there was just something about him that I loved. I thought he was one of the most underrated players and I don’t think people always appreciated what he brought to the team. He handled criticism really well, I could see the hard-work he put in both on and off the pitch and I really appreciated him as a player.”
4) If you could re-invent yourself as a player in a different position, where would you play?
“I know I’ve played there most of this season, but I’d have loved to have spent my career playing as a number 10. You can get on the ball and be that creative player. I wouldn’t even necessarily want to score all the goals, as I get just as much enjoyment out of assisting them. Playing in that role gives you the best of both worlds, you create for others as well as give yourself the chance to get some goals and help the team. I think that role sounds a lot more enjoyable than running up and down the wing!”
5) Who’s the best player you’ve played with or against?
“I didn’t play with them in a competitive game, but I’m going to name two that I trained with and played in pre-season games with. From a technical point of view and a player with so much class, I’ll say Xabi Alonso. In terms of a player that can run the whole pitch, his ability and probably the best leader I’ve ever seen is Steven Gerrard.
“When I was at Liverpool, Gerrard was great with me. I remember when I was training with the first-team at 17 years old he pulled me to the side and gave me a lot of confidence, he told me not to be intimidated by what’s around you as you’re here for a reason so back yourself and go out and do what you do. I have no negative words to say about him as a person and as a player.
“In terms of playing against, I always used to hate coming up against Stephen Warnock, he was over me like a rash! He’s a nice guy as we were at Liverpool together and we get on well together away from football, but he did always used to kick me! The biggest name I’ve played against is Vincent Kompany, although he’d only just signed for Manchester City at the time and we beat them 3-0, he’s achieved some amazing things since.”
6) Do you have any pre-match superstitions/routines?
“I have a strange one, and I don’t know why, but I always like to use the same urinal. It’s a strange one though because if there’s someone else in it, I’ll just go to a different one, so it’s not really that much of a superstition, I guess! I used to put all of my left things on first, such as my left sock and left boot, but after a while it was just too much effort.”
7) Away from football, are you interested in any other sports?
“I love sport, and I love competition. I’m one of those annoying people that used to be quite good at sport. I love table tennis, pool, snooker, golf, normal tennis. I love anything that’s an individual sport as you’ve got to do it for yourself. I think I’m so used to playing within a team that it’s nice to go out and do something where I’ve only got myself to blame!”
8) At school, what was your favourite and least favourite subject?
“P.E is the obvious one, I loved that and enjoyed playing all of the sports. I enjoyed art, and still love it now – I just don’t have the time. I think it’s because there wasn’t much pressure on it, you could just spend an hour drawing and painting. I wasn’t a massive fan of religious education, I’m not really from a religious background so it never interested me to be honest.”
9) If you could travel to a place you’ve never visited before, where would you go?
“I’d love to go backpacking around Asia, I’ve never really been out that way. I’ve been lucky enough to go to a lot of places so far, but going to Asia and doing something like that really interests me.”
10) If you were stuck in a lift with a current Northampton team-mate, who would you like it to be?
“I think I’d be stuck with Matt Warburton. I get on really well with him and he’s switched on as well, so he’d help us get out. We won the team quiz together, too! In terms of avoiding, just anyone who snores!”
11) Who has the worst banter in the squad?
“I’d say the little group of Charlie, Jordan and Sam. That’s not to say they’re not funny though, because they do make me laugh. They have the best but worst banter if that makes sense. I don’t have a clue what they’re on about some of the time, but they find it hilarious and they are really funny.”
12) What’s your speciality in the kitchen?
“I really like my cooking to be fair, I’m not bad. For my third date with my now wife, I cooked a herb crusted rack of lamb. That was a good one. I’ve liked cooking and I appreciate nice food, and because I’ve lived on my own in the past you have to start cooking for yourself.
“When I was at Ipswich I became quite good friends with the chef, and he’d go round to players’ houses and cook them food or show them how to make certain dishes. Don’t get me wrong I’m not brilliant, but I’d be able to make something nice.”
13) Do you have any hobbies outside of football?
“I don’t have too much spare time to be honest, obviously football takes up a lot of the time and I’m studying for my coaching badges. I like doing a bit with properties, too. I love War Hammer, more from the art side of it such as putting the models together and painting them, so if I had a bit more time I’d get properly involved. I’m not really into my Sci-Fi but I’m fascinated by the models.”
14) What’s your favourite film?
“I saw the manager’s 20 questions yesterday, so I’m not going to say the same answer as him! So, I’ll go for Step Brothers, it’s hilarious. You could watch it over and over again and still find it funny.”
15) If you weren’t a professional footballer, which route would you have gone down?
“The focus and vision was always on becoming a professional footballer. But when I was at school, I also wanted to create computer games, but I wouldn’t have had a clue where to start to be honest. It was probably just a teenage thing. Realistically I would’ve probably gone to university and studied something within sport, maybe becoming a Mr Warburton and going down the teaching route.”
16) Which Netflix/TV series would you recommend watching?
“My top three, in reverse order would be After Life, Suits and Sons of Anarchy.”
17) It’s your turn on the karaoke, which song do you choose?
“Hey Baby, the upbeat version by DJ Otzi.”
18) You’re stuck on a desert island, which three items do you take with you?
“My wife, my kids and a mirror! Not because I’m vain, the mirror would just help to reflect the sun away and help us be seen by anyone passing by.”
19) Do you have any pets, and if so which ones?
“We’ve got a little dog, it’s a golden doodle – a small fluffy dog like a cockapoo. She’s called Rolo.”
20) If you could pass on some advice to a younger player, what would it be?
“The obvious one is always work hard, but I think one of my regrets is not enjoying it as much as I could’ve, especially in the earlier days. Enjoy every day, appreciate the little things, live in and appreciate the moment.”