Not satisfied with defending Steve McClaren to the hilt and claiming how sad he was to see him go, Everton Captain Phil Neville has now moved to shield fledgling star Joleon Lescott from the boo-boys vitriol according to the Liverpool Echo. But the Everton captain seemed to damn Lesott with faint praise, claiming that he wasn’t the worst player out there playing for England; Neville said:
“Joleon’s a young player and we’re not blessed with too much talent coming through in this country. He’s one of those players, so let’s encourage him and support him rather than knock him. When he played in Russia it was a massive test for him. It was a hostile atmosphere and he’d probably not played in a game of that magnitude before. After that game, even though we lost, I told him he proved he had the temperament to play at that kind of level. At Wembley, I don’t think he was the worst one of our players. I thought he did okay. Joleon can hold his head up high.”
Focusing on his form for Everton though, Neville said:
“He’s been outstanding, he wants to play centre-back and he’s gone and proved he’s good enough to play there.We have a lot of good central defenders at our club but he’s probably the one who is growing in stature every game.”
Lescott’s recent club form has been outrageously good, even earning him a hug and a whisper in the ear from Drogba in the Toffees’ 1-1 away draw at Chelsea – but can Lescott step out of the England mediocrity and shine at international level?