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Why Is Phill Neville Captain?

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A question I find hard to answer. Maybe it's his proffessionalism that Moyes famously seems to like; maybe it's because he's not scared of a bone-crunching challenge... or maybe it's because Moyes thinks that he has as much influence on the field as off it.

I used to think that the captain was the most important player on the field ? forget about first team player, this is one of the first (if not the first) people who should be on the teamsheet, so why is our captain ? a player who should not be first choice in any of the positions he can play?

I would have Coleman at right back and from recent displays I would also put Hibbert in front of Neville, even though there is not much between them. Baines has left back nailed down dispite his average performances lately... and central defence is covered ? not that well admittedly, with Distin being constantly picked ? but what chance of Neville playing there if Moyes won't play Jags and Heitinga partly because of their height.

This only leaves defending midfielder and somewhere in the middle of midfield which, to be honest, makes me a little anxious as Neville regularly is aggressive and clumsy in that position (if I ever see another delicately needed five yard pass completely anhilihated).

As you can guess, I'm not Neville's biggest fan. It's not that I don't like him as a person, in fact, he seems quite decent, and I do believe he has genuine affection for our great club, but this does not hide the fact that he is in my opinion an average footballer who can stiffle his own team's gameplay with terrible passes and movement (especially in midfield).

At best, Neville is a squad player... yet the captain needs to be a regular first choice player, so, for this reason and others, I would hand it over permanently to Arteta. I know he has taken the captain's armband recently and maybe for all I know he is already the new permanent captain of our team.

Yet, looking at websites today, I read that Neville is fit and ready for the Newcastle game. It's strange that an announcement of the fitness and availability of our club captain can piss me off!
Richard  Reeves, coventry west midlands     Posted 17/09/2010 at 01:01:58

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Eric Myles
1   Posted 17/09/2010 at 05:17:37

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Presumably if he's not getting regular games he'll go the same way as Davie Weir and become Club Captain as opposed to captain on the field.
But I bet when fit he IS first name on Moyes team list.
Max Fine
2   Posted 17/09/2010 at 05:46:27

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I believe that while Neville still has the legs for it, he'll be one of the first names on the team-sheet. Technically gifted he isn't, but he brings something to the team and statistically our results are usually better with him in the starting 11 as oppose to not. Despite his limitations, maybe he is a better organiser / talker / motivator than anyone else on the pitch - I have no idea - but I'm sure Moyes does.

The best 11 players don't necessarily make the best team, so if he's in a blue shirt on Saturday, I'll be cheering him on regardless.
Gary Hegarty
3   Posted 17/09/2010 at 07:41:33

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Some of the games greatest captains have not been the games greatest players.
Is the role of a captain to be an individual genius? At times - Maradonna and Cryuff would fit that bill.
Or is the role of captain about leading by example, understanding the game and cajoling those in the team around you - more so making some noise and talking.
At the club presently I think there is only Jags that is a talker other than Neville. Mikel doesn't come across as a leader of men - fantastic player that he is! Cahill would be one obvious choice but seems to lose something from his own game when captain.
For me I agree that Neville should not be automatic first choice - nor should any player - but we have to have a leader on the pitch. Maybe DM sees that in Arteta - but you can see it clearly in Neville. Long term I think Jags will be captain - maybe even Heitinga - someone with a voice that team mates look up to. That's a captain....not just someone who can do little flicks and pick passes - otherwise Portugal would be world champions in the captain field.
Dick Anderson
4   Posted 17/09/2010 at 08:23:51

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Everton always seem to win more with Phil Neville as Captain.

Remember the awful start last season. No Phil Neville.

Remember how the season started to pick up in November just as Phil Neville returned to the team.

Remember how Neville played in every game after Christmas and Everton enjoyed Champions League form.

This season Phil Neville has been missing and once again Everton are off to a slow start.

Its not just coincedence. Neville is a winner. It was bred into him by Sir Alex at Man Utd.
Rob Prince
5   Posted 17/09/2010 at 08:24:42

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Richard you already answered your own rhetorical question in the first paragraph mate.
professionalism........bone-crunching challenges.. on and off field influence...
John Maxwell
6   Posted 17/09/2010 at 08:42:46

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Theres a chance he could be our manager one day.... Moyes thinks he has managerial credentials and is probably learning from the man himself..

Neville is definitely a leader with great experience in the game and at the highest level...

He's not the greatest player but his presence on and off the pitch must contribute to the club.
Mike Oates
7   Posted 17/09/2010 at 08:57:27

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He at the moment is the only true leader on the pitch. He's the only one capable of delivering a real bollocking to others and them actually accepting it. Arteta can only do it by his performance level and Tim becomes a mad dog.

Jagielka is the closest thing to Neville and I'm suprised Moyes didn't appoint him as Neville's understudy.
Tony J Williams
8   Posted 17/09/2010 at 09:12:35

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Amen Dick.
Tony J Williams
9   Posted 17/09/2010 at 09:16:27

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However as Richards, states, if I see another Rhinoesque floaty ball from him when a short pass will do I will lose what little sanity I have left.
Brian Donnelly
10   Posted 17/09/2010 at 09:13:56

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As far as I am concerned, Phil Neville is one of our best captains ever. Arteta should not be captain ? he needs someone to tell him that he doesn?t have to take every single corner kick (18 against Villa). So as long as Neville is good enough to be in the squad, he should stay captain.

For the future, it?ll be between Jags and Heitinga.

Kevin Tully
11   Posted 17/09/2010 at 09:29:08

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Find a scapegoat who hasn't even played recently.

Perfect credentials really, ex Manu. Ugly fucker, Gary Nevilles brother.

Unbelievable !!!!
Michael Evans
12   Posted 17/09/2010 at 09:34:49

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Brian @10 - "Phil Neville is one of our best captains ever"

Are you basing that on his ability to organise etc ? I agree that he has certain qualities in that area.

Or are you basing it on a wider criteria ie. As a footballer and a captain ? If so, I can't agree with the footballer element. IMO Neville is a competent player and no more. There have historically been much better players who have captained Everton.

Jamie Rowland
13   Posted 17/09/2010 at 09:42:57

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Why would you have coleman at Right back...what is this infactuation with players who are clearly not yet ready...

Gosling scored against Liverpool and everyone was posting that we should be playing him down the right...

Duffy...etc.etc Coleman cant defend yet. He's similar to Glen Johnson and thats not good enough for us yet. When he plays like Ashley Cole, i'll entertain the idea of him playing regularly - at the moment, I'm with Moyes...he's not yet ready.
Lee Kidd
14   Posted 17/09/2010 at 10:17:43

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I don't dislike Neville because he's a Mancunian. I don't dislike Neville because he played for Manchester United. I don't even particularly dislike Neville due to his ridiculous and constantly idiotic quotes to the media.

No, the reason I dislike Neville is because he's a mediocre footballer and has been for about five years, combined with the fact he sums up everything wrong with Moyes' managerial style in that he can do no wrong when, in fact, he does plenty wrong.

The man is a liability on the pitch. I'm not a man who believes the captain has to be the best player on the pitch (I always respected the job Pembridge, Carsley etc. did in the blue shirt - so I'm not just a "fancy Dan" supporter). I simply believe that the captain should be a player who provides something beneficial to the team other than shouting his cock off and pointing at stuff.

Given the captain of any club is usually the first name on the teamsheet, can anyone really put their hand on heart and say Neville deserves that role based on footballing merit?

It always makes me laugh when Neville supporters start with "he's not the best footballer but..." - but? He's a footballer for Gods sake! There is no "but"!
Dave Street
15   Posted 17/09/2010 at 10:22:26

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I agree with a lot of the postings on here.

I woud be interested to know what the actual statistics are for our results with and without Phil Neville? Does anyone have access to this?

I have the feeling that our results are considerably better with Neville playing although I do agree with Richard that Coleman has to play now. He has simply had far too many good performances not to play and he always makes something happen.
Danny Burke
16   Posted 17/09/2010 at 10:05:27

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Phil Neville for all his limitations as a footballer, is a brilliant captain, ambassador and role model for the club. Imagine someone as skilled as Rooney or Gazza with Pips professionalism and work ethic. Maybe he shouldn't start every week but it seems our results with him on the pitch are better than without him.

I like Coleman, I really do have high hopes for him, but he is not quite ready to start every week, he is getting experience now though and Moyes IS playing him. He seems to have become some kind of mythical hero though to some fans who expect him to come in and be Cafu. He almost, as Joe Royle once said, has become a legend before he became a player. Hopefully he will go on in the long term and live up to the vast expectations laid at his young tricky fearless feet.
Andrew Fair
17   Posted 17/09/2010 at 10:29:41

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All you have to do is look at what the other players say and think about Neville and you have your answer. The other day on the OS, Arteta (our most technically gifted player) was raving about how important Neville is as Captain.

It says a lot about the man when other top players come out in admiration of him. Yes, he is not the most technical player but the passion and effort he puts in, added to his leadership, leave him as one of the most important players in our squad.

Paul Olsen
18   Posted 17/09/2010 at 11:35:03

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So, let me get this straight

Both Coleman as #1 and Hibbert as #2 is better at right back. Ok, i guess..

But, with Baines it's apparently a pretty close race?

Baines is leaps and bounds better than both Coleman and Hibbo. Average? Get serious!

As much as i like seeing Coleman play, i do rate him. I feel the majority of writers on this site excaggerate his ability.

I mean, he's good and still getting better but he's honestly not yet a world beater in any way.
John Nelson
19   Posted 17/09/2010 at 12:56:29

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I wouldn't replace Hibbert with Neville or Coleman... but I would replace Osman with Coleman, as for the PAST 4 FUCKING YEARS NOW it is blatantly obvious Osman is not a right midfielder.

I wouldn't drop Hibbert because I think he has been decent so far, and anyway, is better than Neville. With Coleman in front of him (for those who suggest he is not a good defender), we would potentially have a great partnership.

Come on Moyes, give it a go tomorrow. Even if Coleman does spectacularly fail then simply sub him - not rocket science is it.

John Nelson
20   Posted 17/09/2010 at 13:01:13

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Also, speaking of Neville's "professionalism", surely touting our manager as sucessor to Fergie's throne has got to be the opposite?

Say what you want about media interpretations / asking daft questions, but that he done it for me with Neville. He simply could have refused to answer or state "no comment".

Ben Jones
21   Posted 17/09/2010 at 13:47:01

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He's captain because he has fantastic captain attributes - simple as. He's not captain for his ability, he's captain because of his leadership. We have missed it in the games he has missed.
Gavin Ramejkis
22   Posted 17/09/2010 at 14:41:59

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John Nelson, I think Hibbert has been unfortunate in having to play with Osman in front of him for years, he's the best right back we have on the books, a better defender than Neville but a traditional defender in that he shouldn't go past the half way line as his crossing is poor. Coleman is the only right sided wing back or attacking right back option we have but he isn't as solid in defending, counter balance that with neither is Baines tracking back either but has age and more experience.

Neville seems to be better at screaming at the players but a leader needs to lead by walking the walk not just talking the talk, his poor tackles and sideways passing pisses me off no end. Jags or Heitinga could scream and shout just as loud and more importantly walk the walk too.
John Nelson
23   Posted 17/09/2010 at 15:14:56

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Well said Gavin, totally agree with you. Jags or Heitinga are definately of captain ilk, so Moyes should pass the armband to either and finally realise that Neville's time is up - as captain and as first team regular.
Richard Dodd
24   Posted 17/09/2010 at 17:09:11

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I don`t think we shall have to wait long to see Captain Pip restored to his rightful place in midfield. All his best performances have been in that role although, as Davey has often said, he is a true inspiration wherever he plays. One of our all-time Premier greats, methinks!
Gavin Ramejkis
25   Posted 17/09/2010 at 17:49:12

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Doddy, you really need to get out more if you think Chuckle Brother is key to our midfield. A limited defender way out of his depth in midfield who can't find a blue shirt.
Ian Kearney
26   Posted 17/09/2010 at 18:57:50

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Spot on Gavin, in both posts.
Gerry Western
27   Posted 17/09/2010 at 19:00:54

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Richard, your post above is about as accurate as your as your predictions on the Lescott transfer saga, hilarious.
Charles King
28   Posted 17/09/2010 at 19:30:39

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He's Everton's captain because although limited in ability he's uncompromising and strong.

If he was Scottish it would be too spooky.

Brian Donnelly
29   Posted 18/09/2010 at 05:07:10

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Michael @ 12
I said Neville was one of the best captains ever because of his leadership qualities.That tackle against Man U, a couple of years ago, galvanised our season. I doubt if any other player making that tackle would have had the same effect.

He is about the only person in the team to demand that others raise their game ? he would do this whether he was captain or not, but by being captain he automatically carries more authority.

Maybe the word ever was a bit strong, but he is an excellent captain.

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