Monica Rimmer recalls the 2010 World Cup and asks if leaving Everton for pastures new has dashed any hope of those players making the plane to Rio.
While Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka and Ross Barkley seem nailed-on to make the plane to Brazil. The emergence of John Stones and the superbly consistent form of Gareth Barry, means it is not beyond the realms of possibility Everton could have five players flying in to Rio with the England squad this summer.
At the time of posting it is 63 days to the World Cup 2014 in Rio. I for one am really looking forward to it!
I have some great memories of the last world cup in 2010, I had just finished high school and was on holiday with my family in Portugal. I can remember going to lots of the ‘English bars’ and watching a lot of the games as well as singing along very loudly to Shakria’s official World Cup song, ‘Waka Waka.’
I distinctly remember the sad moment Heitinga was sent off for Netherlands and missed the rest of the game, but it was brilliant not just to watch England but to see the whole array of teams playing and get caught up in footy fever that always takes over the country!
So ahead of this exciting time, I got thinking about who would ‘make the plane’ ? And has leaving Everton harmed any English players chances at making the plane to Rio?
Let’s take Joleon Lescott as example uno; he joined us in the 2006-07 season. In his first start of the season away to Tottenham, he was named man of the match, so an instant hit among blue fans I think it’s fair to say. As well as being voted as player of the season in the same season by his team mates.
The problems began when Man City started sniffing around, they attempted to sign Lescott at the end of 2009, but we rejected two offers. However in August, Lescott submitted a formal transfer request, which Moyes rejected. He then refused to omit him from the side on the first game of the season (the 6-1 defeat to Arsenal – yeah still hurts me too).
Moyes then took him out of the squad for a mid week Europa game claiming he had ‘bad attitude’ and that ‘his head had been turned’ – didn’t we all know it!!
Lescott was then eventually signed to City for a cushy £24 million. From then on he has received abuse from fans. I can remember that was the first proper time I was really annoyed and upset with a player for leaving. In my mind, all players loved Everton as much as I do, so how could they contemplate leaving?! But karma’s a babe! And he has paid his comeuppance!
Next I’ll move on to Jack Rodwell, remember him? He was with Everton from the age of seven and made his way through the ranks.
He made his senior debut when he was just 16, coming on as a sub in the Europa league in 2008. In 2009 he signed a 5 year deal with us and became a regular feature in the side. Then in August 2012, Rodwell had his head turned once more by the money of the Mancs. Since signing for City in 2012, he has made just 14 appearances.
Was it really worth it Rodders?
Do you remember when Steven Pienaar left us for Tottenham? Once again a player has been lured away to the bright lights of a big club with European football, they are only human, but once again it didn’t quite go according to plan.
In the January transfer window of 2011, Chelsea and Tottenham had their eye on Pienaar, but it was Tottenham who signed Peanuts on a four year contract. His time at Tottenham was plagued with injury, he rarely featured in the team, making just 10 appearances. Only a year later, Pienaar returned to us on loan, (having seen the error of his ways!) before signing again that summer.
At least at Everton you play week in week out, and can attract the attention of international managers, whereas playing on the odd occasion when squads rotate as much as they do in the bigger clubs, isn’t really enough. Most of the time the players end up just sat watching on from the subs bench.
I think it isn’t too late for Jack Rodwell, he is young enough to turn it around and make his name in international football, but Lescott has had his day now.
Look at Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka and Ross Barkley, all players that have (so far) stayed loyal to Everton, and have reaped the rewards in playing for England. They get to play regular Premier League football and get to showcase their talent to Roy!
Then of course there is John Stones whose recent outstanding performances for the Toffees have had many a pundit clamouring for his inclusion in the England squad.
Even Gareth Barry has had mentions of playing for England again and that is only since joining Everton. Previous to this, he would never have dreamed of having talks of a resurrected international career while sitting on the Manchester City bench.
The conclusion? Just stick with Everton or you’ll be sat warming the bench in Rio.
Until next time Blues…