From my estate, where my mum still lives now, from my bedroom you could see Wembley. I go back a lot, my brothers are still there and she does a lot of cooking for me. To try to get a coach doesn’t make sense, Willesden to Wembley. You can’t do that really.
I’ve seen other people grow up and not have respect for human beings. But even though I play football, I’m still able to talk to everyone on the estate. Whenever I go, I can literally talk to anyone that I meet and everyone I have known from my past.
I go to play for Congo now and it’s a reality check. You see how it is for some people and you don’t take things for granted. A lot of the people in Congo, to get the opportunity that I have had, I don’t know what they’d do.
I’ve always just wanted to play football.
I want to score goals. Everyone says that’s the only part of my game that’s missing. Before I was a pro I used to score goals for fun. I want to bring that back into my game.
I believe I can bring a lot because I am totally different to a lot of people in the Premier League. That is the way I have seen it and I will continue to keep plugging away and working hard.
My dad – Gaby Yala – played for the Congo national team as well, at Under-21 level. When I see him playing, even today, I could see he’s got something about him.
There are a lot of distractions in London, which is the downside to things, for a lot of young footballers as well, and my aim is to beat that. I don’t want to get distracted by anything, my aim is to concentrate on football and do the best I can.
I started realising I’m bigger and stronger than a lot of the full-backs. I was expecting everyone in the Prem to be so strong.
Darren Campbell has helped me out a lot with my sprinting mechanics. These are things I’ve always wanted to do, but neglected as I am already fast and strong.
When I am out on the pitch, I think you have got to play every game like it is your last.
Taking on defenders is what gives me a buzz.
I’ve played as a winger all of my professional life and I’m looking forward to doing that now in front of the Everton fans.
I’m not going to try to live like Eden Hazard, for example. That’s a totally different lifestyle. He’s gonna have a bigger house, a bigger this… You can get attracted too much to that side. And then you forget what you do best. Football.
Ian Holloway played wingers higher up and then wanted us to come back and receive the ball; Dougie Freedman didn’t want us to come back too much because he wanted us to attack; Tony Pulis made the team sit back so it was literally you against the full-back.
The first priority would have been England, but you have to look at the circumstances, England have got a lot of good, young talent coming through so I thought I’d go and play for my mum and dad’s country.
Obviously, no-one’s going to watch Belgian football. Nobody is going to watch Portuguese football. But I’ve played with some players who right now are killing it in the Premier League.