DerbyMad: What was the thinking behind leaving a Premiership club in Wigan to come on loan to Derby?
Emerson Thome: I am always looking to play football. At any club it is always difficult as you have more than 11 players. There are usually between 22 to 25 players and you can’t keep everyone happy. Unfortunately that is what is going on with me at the moment.
I am a good pro. I look after myself and work hard. It is not nice when you reach that stage of your career and you know that people are looking to take you and you are not allowed to go. The good thing is that the club (Wigan) accepted the situation and looked at the best way to deal with it. Then the manager came to me and explained it to me and then left the decision as to whether I wanted to come here or not to me.
He said that he was more than happy to have me around. He said that he knew what I was capable of and if things needed changing he would bring me into the side. But he also knew that at this stage of my career it is better to be playing regular football at a very good level. The football at this level is very good with some very high quality players and it is better than playing Premiership reserve team football. And I appreciate that and given the chance hopefully things are going to work well.
DM: Phil Brown has said ever since he arrived that he wanted to bring a Premiership mentality to the club, which means bringing in players, even if only on loan, with that experience. In you Derby have that but also someone who knows what the playoffs are about from last season.
ET: Unfortunately I didn’t play as many games as I would have liked last season because of injury. I was involved in 25 games I think. To be fair I had expected to be involved in more. But when injuries come along there is nothing that you can do about it. You just have to make sure that you can get back fit and strong, then when you are called upon you do. I know how hard that is. I don’t think Wigan dropped below third spot last season. And in the long run we finished up second.
It would have been hard to go through the playoffs after 46 hard games. I think Sunderland deserved to go up as well. They went up as champions but deep in my heart I thought we were the best team last season. We were more experienced with more quality players. Just to confirm that you can see how well the club is doing at the moment.
Phil Brown is a very talented young manager. I have worked with him before. He has got all this knowledge about using videos, and asking questions of the players. If they did not have the answers then he gave them answers to make sure things were going in the right way. He pays a lot of attention to nutrition and I think that is the way forwards in football and if he already has that in his mind and I think that is very progressive for the club.
DM: You are from Brazil and yet you have stayed in this country a long while. What is it about English football that you like?
ET: I love the county. I fell in love with the English people – and the English weather (laughs) I love the English attitude to things. I appreciate when people slap you on the back because you are doing the right job, and I appreciate it when they complain that you have done the wrong thing but say it to your face. I’m that kind of person. I like that and I think the British people have that kind of identity and I identify myself with that. I love it when |I walk out in front of 20,000 people and they shout your name because you are playing well or complaining because you don’t play well. It’s all part of the game. If you make a good tackle or good clearance the people appreciate it and you don’t have that much around the world. That is why I think the football in England is so beautiful as is the quality of life. I have played in Portugal and travelled around Europe in the UEFA Cup. I think the way I am treated in this country is great. The people look after you if you are honest and decent and I have in my career so far. I’m not a young puppy any more I’m 33. As far as keeping fit looking strong and doing your best people appreciate that it doesn’t matter how old you are.