This week sees both the Under 21 and Senior England sides take on Serbia and Mon
This week sees both the Under 21 and Senior England sides take on Serbia and Montenegro in important matches which will act as crucial preperation for the Euro qualifiers against Slovakia next week. TheFA.com took time out to chat to Jermaine Jenas, who is in Sven's squad tomorrow night, but was with David Platt's Under 21s for their last game against Turkey.
How do you look back at your time with Nottingham Forest?
Paul Hart took me under his wing and he helped me, giving me the encouragement to begin a career in the game. The Forest Youth sides I played in were very talented teams and I was fortunate enough to captain the first-team on one occasion, against Watford. Paul Hart is a great man and he looks after the players' needs and he felt I was ready to make the step up.
How did it feel to sign for Newcastle last year?
I was really impressed with what I saw at Newcastle. It's not just the football though. I needed to feel comfortable in a new environment and Newcastle gave me that feeling too. Playing in front of 52,000 passionate Geordies screaming their heroes on is an incredible experience. It's a great place to be and you just can't beat it.
What influence has Sir Bobby Robson had on your career?
I owe everything to Sir Bobby. He took a massive gamble when he made me the most expensive teenage signing in the country. I have the utmost respect for him and everything I have got now is down to him. You could say that things have moved quickly for me ever since I made my Forest debut, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I wanted to play in the Premiership and the Champions League as soon as I could.
Were you surprised to win the PFA Young Player of the Year award this season?
It would be fair to say I was slightly surprised but I feel as though I have had a good season and I thought I would be in the running at least. I believe in my own ability and I was hoping I would be in the frame, but it is still a great surprise and nice to win it. I have now become another name on a great list and that is an honour in itself. It would be even better to aspire to be as successful as some of the previous winners, including Michael Owen and David Beckham.
It has all happened so quickly for you...
It is definitely happening quickly but I haven't been rushed. I have to take things in my stride, but this is what I have always wanted to do. Just because it has happened a bit quicker and at a young age, doesn't mean you're not capable of doing it. Just because I'm 19 doesn't make any difference if you are sitting on the bench or playing. You can't put a limit on what people expect and I want to achieve as much as I can.
What do you remember about your England debut in February?
There's no better feeling than the one you get from playing for your country. The Australia result was disappointing, but it was just so exciting to be involved. It came at the right time. My form was good and I had enough Premiership experience under my belt. I was ready for it...
You have been compared a lot with your team-mate Kieron Dyer...
Hopefully, success in the Champions' League and full England caps will be the way for both of us. Kieron and I can definitely work together. I have learned a lot from him since I joined Newcastle. He makes clever runs and gets in good positions and I have tried to add that to my game. We have become good mates and I am grateful because he helped me settle in straight away.
Which players in the Premiership do you enjoy playing against?
Every experience of playing against Patrick Vieira is a good one and there's no doubt I learn things from him every time. Whenever I was in possession he made me work and it was a great contest - one of the best a midfielder can have in the Premiership. I have watched Patrick since I was a kid. I try to take some bits of his game and add them to my own. He's one of the best midfielders in the world, so who better to learn from? But I'm not saying I will try to become Patrick Vieira. I'm Jermaine Jenas and I'm trying to be my own man.
Place of Birth: Nottingham, England
Date of Birth: 18 February 1983
Weight: 11 04
Height: 5' 8''
Club: Newcastle United
England v Serbia and Montenegro: Match Centre