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Disgruntled Distin breaks his silence

by | 08/05/2015  Comments (90)  jump

(Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Sylvain Distin has stirred further intrigue into his disappearance from the Everton first team with a post on social media today and an interview with L'Equipe in which he says he hasn't spoken with Roberto Martinez since transfer deadline day.

The 37 year-old posted a tweet today in response to David Prentice's column in the Liverpool Echo that suggests all is not well between he and manager Roberto Martinez, a fact backed up by comments made to the French publication.

Distin played 37 times for the Blues last season but has appeared on just 12 occasions this term and has been absent entirely from the first-team squad since being named among the substitutes for the match against Crystal Palace in February.

With no guarantees that Evertonians will get to see the Frenchman one last time before, as seems certain, he leaves the club as a free agent this summer, Prentice opined that a player with more Premier League games for Everton under his belt than any of Duncan Ferguson, Mikel Arteta and Kevin Campbell should not just be "ushered quietly out of the back door" at the end of the month.

That prompted Distin to take to Twitter — where he used to regularly engage good-naturedly with Everton supporters and showed adeptness at swatting down trolls from across the Park — for the first time in months to say:

Apart from turning out as an over-age player for the Under-21s side, Distin has not seen action for four months now and unless he is given a run out as a substitute against Spurs, it's likely Blues fans have seen the last of a player who has played almost 170 times for Everton since arriving for 5m five and a half years ago.

The defender's quip on social media suggests, however, that they won't have heard the last from him and his comments in L'Equipe shed more light on the situation from the player's point of view..

Distin's relationship with Martinez has been the subject of much conjecture ever since the awful League Cup defeat at Swansea after which the former Portsmouth, Manchester City and Newcastle defender, is believed to have had a serious falling out with the manager, something he denies in the interview.

Rumours swirled that Distin was either rebuked for questioning Martinez's methods or was singled out for particular criticism by his boss for his performance in the game and he was given 10 days off to return to his native France for a period of reflection.

"There was no clash [with the manager]," he said. "I just had a forced rest week but I was not dropped."

He returned to the side in October but lost his place again after picking up a groin injury in the FA Cup tie against West Ham in early January. He was then the subject of speculation linking him with the Hammers on transfer deadline day, a move that reportedly collapsed over a disagreement over the length of the contract offered by the East London side.

"On 2 February, I went to see the coach to discuss the proposal from West Ham who had offered me a transfer until the end of the season," he said.

"The next day, at a press conference, [Martinez] said he was counting on me and that I was part of the team. But since that day, I have not been called up once."

Distin explained that he feels fit and has no intention of hanging up his boots but is at a loss to why he has been absent from the side.

"I have no idea. Ask him (the manager). We haven't spoken. There are many things that get lost in football and you hope that there is still a modicum of respect. But hey, I've played at the top level for 20 years so I take time on the weekends with my family. I keep my spirits up.

"I do not think [it is because of my age]. If [Everton] tell me they want to prepare for the future, no problem. This is something that can be understood if it's explained ... I was told nothing. If one day I was told that I'm slow, we could put all the central defenders on a line and we'll see ... There is no problem.

"If you saw the weeks of training I do to compensate for my lack of playing time, you would see that I did not want to [retire]! If I can find a club where I feel good, I have no limit.

"It's a shame as I would have liked to finish my career at Everton. But in football, we do not always do what we want."  


Reader Comments (90)

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Patrick Murphy
1 Posted 08/05/2015 at 19:16:34
One of the things that Everton FC are known for and are proud of is their treatment of current and former players. There have of course been exceptions – some treated unfairly; some not.

In recent times, there have been few if any players who have left Goodison with anything other than best wishes on both sides – it would be a real shame if Distin is unable to say his goodbyes in the usual way and a real shame if he is to reveal something that might embarrass the club or its employees.

There are of course two sides to every story and, not being privy to the truth, we have to give the benefit of the doubt to both parties, but as Distin has said the Â’truth will outÂ’ as it usually does.

Ross Edwards
2 Posted 08/05/2015 at 19:22:53
Definitely a falling out with Martinez. The excuse for his absence by RM, Â’heÂ’s been training too hardÂ’ was pathetic.

I wonder if he confronted him and criticised him for his tactical naivety, and RM dropped him as a result?

Martinez has taken the Moyes structure and organisation that was in place last season and turned it into a shambles in the space of a year. Distin is the senior figure in the dressing room. If anyone in that squad has the bottle to confront the manager about tactics or whatever, itÂ’s him.

Craig Mills
3 Posted 08/05/2015 at 19:28:22
Too vocal in the camp speaking out against the Martinez way is what I heard from within. They had a huge bust up because Distin wasnÂ’t comfortable carrying the ball out from defence so Martinez banished him from the 1st team squad.
Brian Harrison
4 Posted 08/05/2015 at 19:49:48
Looks like Distin will not feature in any of our remaining games. It would have been nice if he could have 5 minutes in our final game at home. I am sure the supporters would like to have given him a warm farewell but, given the animosity between him and RM, then it seems unlikely.
Conor Skelly
5 Posted 08/05/2015 at 19:56:10
Craig #3 just as I suspected. Sly was never exactly comfortable in possession.
Dave Abrahams
6 Posted 08/05/2015 at 20:04:34
Brian (4)

Yes, I agree Distin deserves the chance to be applauded and thanked for his time at Everton. It wouldnÂ’t hurt Martinez or Everton if he was given a few minutes against Spurs, and Martinez would gain from it to, showing he was man enough to forget any ill feelings, if indeed there were any.

Kunal Desai
7 Posted 08/05/2015 at 20:14:53
I would rather see Martinez out than Distin. I think there will be further fallouts will players under this manager. What happens if itÂ’s with players who are integral to the side? Who goes?
Gaute Lie
8 Posted 08/05/2015 at 20:16:09
I believe Distin has been our best defender for years, but his age finally took a grip on him last season. It would be sad and a disgrace if he were to leave this way, like a ghost just disappearing.

I hope Distin gets one more game to say farewell and get his deserved recognition from the fans.

Conor McCourt
9 Posted 08/05/2015 at 20:10:26
Ross, your comments donÂ’t reflect reality at all. In his first year Roberto improved us defensively and in the 1st half of the season this year Distin was the main culprit for the defensive shambles that made us have the worst defensive record in the Prem. Since he has been removed from the team our goals against tally has more than halved and our record has been similar to RobertoÂ’s first season.

I donÂ’t blame the manager one bit for removing Sylvan as unfortunately the playerÂ’s demise was clear and was nothing to do with his ability to carry the ball out. It was sad to see a great servant like Distin playing that way.

I too was hoping Sylvan would get the heroÂ’s welcome he deserves against Spurs but these comments will not aid his cause if there is animosity between the two. IÂ’m sure even SylvanÂ’s biggest supporters can see RobertoÂ’s actions were just on this occasion.

Ross Edwards
10 Posted 08/05/2015 at 20:35:09
Martinez inherited the organisation and structure of the Moyes era when he came in Conor. That was already in place.

And most of our defensive issues at the beginning of this season originated with MartinezÂ’s obsession with endless passing at the back, with players like Distin who clearly arenÂ’t comfortable with that part of the game. We were easy to play against and any sloppy pass would be punished on the counter leaving us totally exposed.

John Daley
11 Posted 08/05/2015 at 20:26:29
"Too vocal in the camp speaking out against the Martinez way is what I heard from within. They had a huge bust up because Distin wasnÂ’t comfortable carrying the ball out from defence so Martinez banished him from the 1st team squad."

The thing about that though is why would he have bought into it last season and kept his discomfort at that sort of defensive play quiet for 18 months?

The story I heard at the time was that Distin kicked off (and then stormed off) after the manager laid into him for another defensive howler. If that was the case, then IÂ’ve got to take the managers side on this and only wish heÂ’d done the same with a few others.

Rob Esteva
12 Posted 08/05/2015 at 20:43:30
One of the best of MoyesÂ’s Â’valueÂ’ transactions for me. Essentially Distin + 㾻m for Lescott was key for me in the development of the club/squad.
Gavin Johnson
13 Posted 08/05/2015 at 20:29:04
It wouldnÂ’t be a huge surprise if Distin was banished from the squad for being a gobshite and undermining Martinez, Judging on how he likes to opine on Twitter.

What surprises me is why anyone would question this. I seem to remember Fergie doing the same thing at OT with the likes of McGrath and Whiteside.

ItÂ’s not even as though Distin has warranted a place in the side this season. Whenever he played, he looked like heÂ’d lost a yard of pace which was one of best attributes. Yes, the defence was a shambles at the start of the season. But Distin always looked the weakest link to me, even though Jags wasnÂ’t far behind, and the leaking of goals for fun largely stopped once Stones had replaced him.

Ray Said
14 Posted 08/05/2015 at 20:49:12
To me Distin always came over as a trier, a man who always had time to listen to the fans-a number of times he would go and speak to the supporters at the end of games when all the other players were off the pitch and in the baths.

He always seemed committed to the cause and if he told Martinez that he wasnÂ’t comfortable bringing the ball out then praise to him for being honest and recognising his limitations especially when he had been caught out a few times doing exactly that.

In a nutshell I always felt like he found a home here and deserves a chance to say his goodbyes.

Ian McDowell
15 Posted 08/05/2015 at 21:06:54
Would have been interesting to see how we fared v Kiev away with Distin at CB instead of Alcaraz. Fuming that Roberto failed to play him when we needed him.
Jim Bennings
16 Posted 08/05/2015 at 21:12:41
It is clear that it all kicked off when Distin said "fuck that" to a January move to West Ham.

Martinez clearly holds a grudge.

Scott Goin
17 Posted 08/05/2015 at 21:16:33
We canÂ’t know for sure what happened. Even if Distin speaks out in a month, it may not be the whole story. What can be clear is that Distin is not the same player he once was so itÂ’s hard to complain about his benching.

For years I thought he was the best center back on the club but I guess age finally caught up to him. HeÂ’s been a fantastic servant to the club and I hope he gets some playing time against Spurs so we can give him the love and respect he deserves.

Colin O'Keeffe
19 Posted 08/05/2015 at 22:32:09
Like the guy, seems genuine and has been a dedicated servant. He was a very good defender over the years overall, however he always had a rick in him and unfortunately he cost us dearly in some big games - semi-final versus Liverpool and 1st leg of Europa league versus Sporting Lisbon pop into my mind.

A bit harsh maybe, but the best defenders donÂ’t do that in the games that really matter.

Trevor Lynes
20 Posted 08/05/2015 at 22:36:14
Distin and Jags and even Distin with Stones was as good a centre back pairing as any in the league.

He is much better than Alcaraz and that particular player has made many more cock ups in the short time he has been with us than Distin ever has.

He has been frozen out and that has happened to numerous players throughout the league.

IMO he has been a tremendous player for us and that is all that fans should take into consideration.

Everything else is unknown so should not be commented on. Our defence which included him absolutely carried us for season after season.

I just hope he leaves without a big fuss and keeps his dignity. His legacy as a player is excellent.

This guy has played more top level football in the English league than any other foreign player and that is a fantastic feat.

Ray Roche
21 Posted 08/05/2015 at 22:43:16
Colin, you mention two high profile howlers, I would imagine thatÂ’s possibly less than most of the rest of the team. Distin has been a hugely influential member of the first team squad since he arrived and deserves better treatment than this from this buffoon of a manager.
John Daley
22 Posted 08/05/2015 at 23:10:53
"If one day I was told that IÂ’m slow, we could put all the central defenders on a line and weÂ’ll see ... There is no problem."

i donÂ’t know where the idea comes from that Distin canÂ’t take criticism.

Ray,

Distin made many a costly error during his time here. However, he usually redeemed himself in the games that followed and, on the whole, did a decent job for us. At the start of this season though, he was all over the shop game after game and never looked like putting a lid on it like Jagielka (who was equally bad early doors) did.

This season he also offered out an Everton fan in the crowd at an away game (canÂ’t remember which one), openly criticised the fans as a whole and proceeded to partake in arguments with them on Twitter. He also allegedly went AWOL from training and was ready to move to West Ham mid season if they offered him a longer deal. HeÂ’s not some wronged club hero here.

Chris Butler
23 Posted 08/05/2015 at 23:27:08
IÂ’ve always liked Distin he wore his heart on his sleeve throughout his time, look at his celebrations against United away last season. I remember he was the only player to square up the Gerard after he elbowed Barry in the face. Every player makes mistakes heÂ’s been a good servant and we should remember his contributions.
Tony Hill
24 Posted 08/05/2015 at 23:22:30
We canÂ’t have it all ways. I have, like many others, criticised the manager for his endless, vacuous waffle about how wonderful all the players are, even when we can see the obvious untruth of that. I have also blamed him for being in thrall to the senior men.

So if RM has been strong enough to drop Distin for what were, in my view, weak and unsettling performances earlier this season then he is to be applauded. He might not have managed matters internally with the player as well as he should have done, but we just donÂ’t know about that.

I would not mind in the slightest if Distin were allowed to say a proper farewell before the season ends because he has indeed done well for us, but he has not deserved selection and it is time for him to go.

Ernie Baywood
25 Posted 08/05/2015 at 23:41:07
No problem at all with him being dropped based on performance.

In my experience there are people who are simply not going to come along with you for the journey, and you canÂ’t wait for them forever. How you handle that says something about you as a leader... and I donÂ’t think RM looks good in this regard.

Jay Harris
26 Posted 08/05/2015 at 23:42:07
LetÂ’s be honest here... the whole fucking defense has been shambolic since the "Martinez way" took effect. It is no coincidence that Wigan were relegated with a record number of goals against and this season we have shipped more than any other season in recent history.

Given Distin has hardly played, there appears to be only one person to blame.

With the disgraceful preseason and players revelations that he has changed all of MoyesÂ’s training routines, including defending corners and free kicks, is it any surprise the defense is falling apart?

Jim Bennings
27 Posted 09/05/2015 at 00:05:27
Surely undisputed king of the howlers at Everton has to be Seamus Coleman??

I love the guy but as far as high profile howlers, own goals or conceded penalties go, IÂ’m sorry but Seamie well beats big Distin.

John Daley
28 Posted 09/05/2015 at 00:21:07
"Surely undisputed king of the howlers at Everton has to be Seamus Coleman??"

Really? There was me thinking cock-ups became known as Â’howlersÂ’ in honour of Tim Howard.

Eric Myles
29 Posted 09/05/2015 at 00:28:37
Gavin (#13), "ItÂ’s not even as though Distin has warranted a place in the side this season. Whenever he played, he looked like heÂ’d lost a yard of pace."

"If one day I was told that IÂ’m slow, we could put all the central defenders on a line and weÂ’ll see."

Sounds like heÂ’s up for proving thatÂ’s BS.

Harold Matthews
30 Posted 09/05/2015 at 00:30:50
They obviously didnÂ’t see eye to eye. It happens. Baines has never been the same without him and Pienaar and finding similar replacements will not be easy.
Andy Crooks
31 Posted 09/05/2015 at 01:04:12
Nothing here is "clear to me", but the coach falling out with a player is well, not that big a deal. Now, IÂ’m not averse to finding fault with Roberto but I canÂ’t see much here to work with.

If I had to, based only on conjecture, I would guess that signing EtoÂ’o played a bit in this poor season.

Alex Parr
32 Posted 08/05/2015 at 22:14:09
@11
"If that was the case, then I’ve got to take the managers side on this and only wish he’d done the same with a few others." – others have performed far worse mate and made more errors, but haven’t been treated this way.

@13
"But Distin always looked the weakest link to me, even though Jags wasnÂ’t far behind, and the leaking of goals for fun largely stopped once Stones had replaced him." I disagree. Alcaraz looked okay at first but has clearly been exposed as a shocking player, in Europe and at home. I firmly believe that if Sylvain had played against Kyiv we would have WON. John Stones (who I like by the way), makes many errors every game and these are overlooked as he is young (and dare I say English).

Sylvain has been a great player for EFC and I hope he gets a good send off either against Sunderland or Spurs. He deserves that – and it will be another negative mark against the manager if through his spite he disallows it. The ONLY way I would forgive it is if he dropped his favourites and played Galloway or Browning and Garbutt (we should try and keep this boy if he will stay – give him a game), which would at least justify excluded Sylvain and hopefully give optimism for the future.

Gavin Johnson
33 Posted 09/05/2015 at 01:04:55
Eric, I donÂ’t mind Distin trying to prove that he can move like Lindford Christie.. just as long as itÂ’s not in an Everton shirt.

I have to agree with John Daley, that DistinÂ’s certainly no wronged hero. IÂ’d forgotten about him offering that fan out. The idea of him spitting his dummy out because he was criticised for being unable or unwilling to follow instruction becomes even more believable.

Brian Porter
34 Posted 09/05/2015 at 01:53:01
Whatever the rights and wrongs of the matter, Sylvain Distin has been a great servant of the club and his good performances far outweigh the bad. If he did fall out with RM because of RMÂ’s insistence on the tippy-tappy way of playing the ball out of defence, then good for him for standing up to a manager he could clearly see was taking the club down the wrong road.

As a senior squad member he hd the right to do that and Martinez has handled the situation very badly. Drop him for a month for insubordination, fine then be mature and real man-manager and give him the chance to redeem himself, instead of blanking him and picking that clown Alcaraz who proceeded to help us lose game after game. I for one would rather keep Distin than Martinez, who is bringing our club to its knees.

He obviously lacks true Â’people skillsÂ’, hence his ridiculous statements over penalty taking and refusal to back Baines from day one as our # 1 penalty taker, his falling out with EtoÂ’o and constant refusal to talk about our poor performances realistically as he doesnÂ’t know how to criticise players without totally alienating them, thus heÂ’s only one small step away from open rebellion in the squad.

I have a feeling Martinez has privately becone aware of his own limitations, but is not man enough to admit them, and in time I believe we will see more fall-ours with experienced players, disgruntled and unhappy with the Martinez way of doing (or undoing) things. Would be nice to say a proper goodbye to Distin, but donÂ’t hold your breath with our clown of a manager who I suspect to be a spiteful little man, in charge.

Phil Sammon
35 Posted 09/05/2015 at 01:58:05
Offering to fight supporters probably isnÂ’t the way to endear yourself to the masses... but to be honest, itÂ’s nice to see a bit of passion that has been sorely lacking this season.

Distin probably did deserve dropping, but so did Barry and so did Howard. Two of the three received unwavering support from Martinez, even in the wake of able deputies. Distin, meanwhile, was hung out to dry. The decision the use Alcaraz ahead of him certainly suggests a personal problem. No way could anyone see the Paraguayan as the better defender but he got the nod a few times.

Something we can be sure of is that this is one more saga that could have been handled much better by the manager.

Dave Hall
36 Posted 09/05/2015 at 02:26:05
Enough gents, what has he done for us lately. He was dropped for a superior John Stones in central defense after a shambolic 1st half to the season. 4 mostly excellent seasons, but this one was sadly shit.

Plain and simple, doesnÂ’t erase history, but doesnÂ’t qualify him for the present either and there isnÂ’t a single Evertonian who is complaining that Distin isnÂ’t lacing them up over Stones every week.

Tahir Abdullah
37 Posted 09/05/2015 at 02:31:15
Infuriating... confirms the widely held view that Martinez Is not fit to manage this great club of ours.
Darryl Ritchie
38 Posted 09/05/2015 at 05:24:41
Time catches up to everyone. Distin is not a young man; IÂ’m upset that heÂ’s not getting any game time. HeÂ’s a player way past his prime. The difference between the Distin of last season and this, is night and day.

IÂ’ve no idea what happened on deadline day, but he hasnÂ’t played since. Martinez turned to other options at the back. That one of those options was Alcaraz, shows how little he thinks of Distin.

Ernie Baywood
39 Posted 09/05/2015 at 06:23:56
I kind of like Distin. Seems quite relaxed about the situation. Enjoying spending time with his family on a good wage and says he would have liked to have finished with us.

CanÂ’t really argue with that. RMÂ’s choice if Distin works weekends.

Obviously it wonÂ’t end well if he comes out and slams the club in the summer, but by then he wonÂ’t be an Everton player and I wonÂ’t care.

Paul Traill
40 Posted 09/05/2015 at 06:29:05
I think itÂ’s a real shame Distin has been entirely overlooked. I agree that Stones should be playing instead, but Distin should definitely be on the bench, having Alcaraz there instead is crazy. Alex @32 I agree, we could have won in Kiev had he have played. He can at least head a ball, and is quicker than Alcaraz...I think IÂ’m quicker than Alcaraz. Playing Atsu that game was another stunner when we had Osman available also.

Anyway, Distin leaves with nothing but my best wishes and probably that of the players and most of the personnel at Everton. Along with Baines heÂ’s the best trainer at the club, and other than now, we havenÂ’t heard a bad word said about the guy during his time with us...and letÂ’s be fair, Moyes never suffered a fool. I fancy him to make a point next season elsewhere.

Good pro, good servant. Good luck Sylvin.

Darren Hind
41 Posted 09/05/2015 at 05:55:09
The claim that it was Martinez who coached these defenders into conceding just 39 league goals last season is, IMO, The most deluded of all the claims made by his acolytes. In the three seasons before he got here, these defenders had conceded 46, 40 & 40.

He, on the other hand, had overseen a defence that had conceded nearly 200 Premier League goals in the same three seasons! If that doesnÂ’t make you smell the coffee, you may want to ask why every single one of our defenders has had possibly the worst season of his career.

Despite going out of both domestic cups early, there is every chance that we may concede going on 70 goals in all competitions by the time the final whistle goes against Spurs... Stats which although totally alien to our defenders, have ALWAYS been par for the course for the manager.

Baines, Coleman and Jagielka have been publicly embarrassed trying to adapt to this guyÂ’s idiotic attempts to complicate what is still a beautiful and simple game. Distin (and everyone else) could see that this much-admired unit was being dragged down to the SpaniardÂ’s level.

John Stones is a find, a proper find, but if he is to reach the levels we all expect him to get to, he either has to distance himself from this clown by moving on, or The Fool has to go... I know which IÂ’d prefer.

Chris Feeley
42 Posted 09/05/2015 at 07:32:51
Nobody can say that there werenÂ’t signs early in the season that Father Time hadnÂ’t seemingly caught up with Distin. His straight-line speed was still decent, but going backwards and on the turn he was being done constantly. Also, his reactions off the mark were slowing sufficiently so that his sprinting speed was struggling to get him out of trouble as it had done for the majority of his career.

As such, there was no way he could remain as a starter ahead of either the classy Stones or experienced Jagielka. However, even on his worst day he was, and is, a more competent and reliable backup option than Alcaraz on his best day.

This to me is another worrying sign that Martinez is incapable of managing strong personalities, or at the very least players who will question his methods. If he canÂ’t convince an experienced professional that what he is trying to do defensively has valuable long term potential, whilst accepting the identification of short term problems and their consequences, then he is obviously not as flexible as he likes to proclaim.

It is easy to manage yes-men. It is easy to manage players who are grateful to be taken along for the ride at a club that they realistically shouldn’t be at as they don’t have the required level of talent. It is easy to manage naïve kids who don’t know any better. It is scandalous though that a decent club servant, regardless of a possible 5 minute run out against Spurs, has been disregarded unceremoniously this season; not because he wasn’t a viable option but because he wasn’t onboard enough with the manager’s philosophy.

IÂ’m sure that Distin wasnÂ’t / isnÂ’t the only dissenting voice in the dressing room, but he was obviously the most expendable. I appreciate that as a manager you canÂ’t please all of the people all of the time. However, if the rumours of Alcaraz getting a contract extension are proved to be true, the manager will have serious and relevant questions to ask regarding his ability to judge talent and which direction he is leading the club towards? IÂ’m sure that everything will be Â’phenomenalÂ’.....

Mark Andersson
43 Posted 09/05/2015 at 07:06:48
Loved the passion in Darren HindÂ’s last post. The facts are scary, and no matter what your view is of Distin, this manager is clueless.

Good luck to the big man, he is a proÂ’s pro. At 37, even if he has lost a yard, he is a credit to himself and can walk away head held high.

Martinez Out!

Steve Guy
44 Posted 09/05/2015 at 08:26:24
Distin was great 9 times out of 10, but the other 1 time out of 10 usually led to a goal... the Suarez goal in the semi-final springs to mind as a "classic".

Good player but all this Twitter nonsense is just demeaning. Anyone who pretends to be a milkman to play away strikes me as not the full shilling and twittering in this way confirms it.

Jim Bennings
45 Posted 09/05/2015 at 08:31:41
John Daley

IÂ’ve long gone past regarding Howard as anything other than a circus act, you nowadays EXPECT him to balls up... but Seamus has made some high profile fuck-ups himself over the last few years: own-goals, ridiculous penalties he gives away at times.

I recall one at Reading a few years ago when we got beat 2-1, then he made that brainless reckless foul against the Shite in the 2012 semi-final in a dangerous area which led to their late winner.

As I say, I love his attacking play, but sometimes he does mad things himself.

Aidy Dews
46 Posted 09/05/2015 at 08:22:47
Distin has been a great servant and along the way has had his mishaps during games, which we all know about, but he is 37-38 and even if he hadnÂ’t have had a fall out with Martinez, this wouldÂ’ve been his last season with us anyway.

I heard like a few others that Distin was being singled out for bad performances and didnÂ’t take too kindly to it but when it comes to an argument between player and manager, thereÂ’s only one winner as Distin has found out.

I must admit though, Martinez not allowing him to move and saying he relied on him and then has not involved him hardly since is rather shithouse stuff. I just hope he does the right thing and involves him against Spurs and hopefully gives him some minutes so the fans can show him our appreciation of his efforts he as put in the past 6-7 years!

Paul Gladwell
47 Posted 09/05/2015 at 09:13:52
Let’s be a little fair to Martinez on this: he’s been destroyed on here for not dropping out-of-form players – well, it’s a good job he dropped Distin as we’d be fighting relegation if he hadn’t.

All this started after that Swansea defeat in the cup, remember that? I’ve never seen such a poor defensive showing in years and Distin was the main culprit. He was also costing us goals each game around this time and rumours he’d been bollocked after that game... then good – isn’t that what we’ve moaned about with Martinez, with him being too nice?

I donÂ’t agree with him being thrown in the wilderness but, if he was part of the Xmas shenanigans rumoured behind closed doors because he got told off, then he should grow a pair.

Denis Richardson
48 Posted 09/05/2015 at 09:18:35
Sad way for his time with us to end, he was always a trier and was one of MoyesÂ’s decent signings. I questioned the move back then, paying ٣M for a 31-year-old CB but he gave us many years of decent service. It would be great if RM could let things go and give him a send-off at GP.

I’d love to know what happened between Eto’o, Distin and RM – the bust-ups coincide with the start of our slump around November. Hopefully we’ll hear at least one side of what happened in the summer.

Dominic Tonge
49 Posted 09/05/2015 at 09:20:29
If Distin has lost a yard of pace , he is still five yards quicker than Barry and two quicker than Jags. I honestly think if Distin was available to play when Alcaraz was in the side we’d’ve done better, Kiev nightmare especially – we have had five great years out of him, and I wish the guy well.

As for him being responsible for more mistakes than anyone, Alcaraz made more mistakes in the Kiev game than Distin has in 5½ years. It’s a disgrace that he is ahead of Distin selection-wise. Instead of Alcaraz, I would honestly prefer we held a raffle for fans to play CB.

Mike Allison
50 Posted 09/05/2015 at 09:30:30
IÂ’ve ended up skipping a lot of the comments so apologies if this has already been said, but one of the many things Martinez has been criticised for this season is failing to challenge, drop or criticise his Â’favouritesÂ’ or senior players. Well, hereÂ’s an example where heÂ’s done it, and taken a risk doing so, but it seems we still want to criticise him anyway.

This has become the problem with the anti-Martinez sentiment, what started as a perfectly reasonable position based on poor performances and results has become a case of letÂ’s just blame him for anything and everything, no-one else could possibly have done anything wrong. ItÂ’s getting to the stage where if he gets out of the boat and walks on water several regulars will come on here and slag him off for not being able to swim.

Mike Allison
51 Posted 09/05/2015 at 09:35:42
Okay Paul (47) IÂ’ve just scrolled back up and seen youÂ’ve said a similar thing. You canÂ’t criticise a manager for doing something and also criticise him for not doing the same thing.
John Gee
52 Posted 09/05/2015 at 09:05:37
Steve Guy, 44, "anyone who pretends to be a milkman" ...? It sounds like a funny story, care to explain?

I wonder if itÂ’s a managerial tactic, take on the biggest, strongest, loudest long-serving player to stamp your authority on the squad.

John Daley, I think it was Swansea away in the cup.

John Crawley
53 Posted 09/05/2015 at 09:54:15
Mike, thatÂ’s really not what has happened here, though, is it? Distin hasnÂ’t been dropped and banished from the squad for not playing well, has he? HeÂ’s been punished for some sort of personal spat by Martinez. So much so that someone like Prentice has actually written an article criticising Martinez over it. In other words, your argument is based on a false premise.

Martinez has shown himself to be petulant, not just over Distin but bombing Baines out of the team after the Hull game and Garbutt after the Newcastle match. Distin is just the worst example of this.

Ray Roche
54 Posted 09/05/2015 at 09:30:39
John Daley@22

John, as you say, early in the season Distin WAS "all over the place", so were Jags, Stones, Coleman, Baines, and that was all down to the manager. Lack of fitness and a system that was alien to them resulted in as poor a team defensively as weÂ’ve seen for a long time. John "Gaff A Game" Stones is an excellent prospect but he still has it in him to cock up spectacularly once in every game just as much as Distin.

Jags HAS tuned his season around, and so might Distin if heÂ’d been playing. Distin has been an excellent defender for Everton and now, admittedly, his star has begun to fall, but he is still streets ahead of Alcaraz.

Tell me, who would you have sooner had in the team away to Kiev, Alcaraz or Distin? We would have been better off if weÂ’d dug up dear old Brian Labone and put his remains on the pitch. HeÂ’d still be more mobile than Alcaraz.

Darren Hind @41 with his post nails it to a tee with the defensive record of a Martinez team. For that reason alone, we should be saying Adios to Martinez. All great teams start with a great defence. Martinez wouldnÂ’t recognise a great defence if it bit him on the arse.

Paul Ellam
55 Posted 09/05/2015 at 10:08:20
A sad end but it isnÂ’t like he is 22 years old and weÂ’re losing a world beater. He was probably going to go this summer anyway.
Just a bit lame the way he seems to have been treated after giving us great service.
Joe Foster
57 Posted 09/05/2015 at 10:19:09
I donÂ’t think he banished Distin for the betterment of the club. RM is like a child. Martinez Out!
Harold Matthews
58 Posted 09/05/2015 at 09:52:48
Anyone who watched the Official Site pre-season Distin interview will know that all this started well before the big kick-off.

Using every trick in the book, the Everton interviewer tried to get the big Frenchman to say something positive about the manager and his system but to no avail. The questions were met with silence and a knowing look.

After confessing that the pre-season work was tougher than normal for him, he went on to say he was old enough to be the dad of most of the new squad but the spirit within the dressing room was very high. "With Ossie, Hibbo and Bainsey around it couldnÂ’t be anything else".

I was left with the impression that it was a farewell speech and it seems to have turned out that way. Right or wrong, the Martinez way was not his way and with both men refusing to budge, a move to another club would seem to be the sensible course of action.

Jamie Barlow
59 Posted 09/05/2015 at 10:46:25
How can dropping Distin not be for the betterment of the club? He was atrocious at the start of the season.

I canÂ’t see what Martinez has done wrong here. Maybe when Distin tells us what happened IÂ’ll change my mind but at the moment itÂ’s a non-story.

Player out of form and looking like Bambi on ice every time he gets put under a bit of pressure is dropped. WhatÂ’s the problem?

Trevor Lynes
60 Posted 09/05/2015 at 10:39:24
I can remember many of our managers (some supposedly great) falling out with fans favourites and either dropping them or transferring them out. Catterick notably fell out with Collins and got rid far too early as Bobby was Leeds UtdÂ’s best ever signing according to Don Revie. But the Catt was notoriously inflexible and gradually dumped virtually all the side he inherited in some cases too soon.

The comments regarding taking sides with either player or manager are foolish as no-one really knows what happened. The manager must keep control of any situation and so far the club have not commented. Distin has been a great servant of the squad and is still better than some others particularly in respect of pace and heading ability. He should have been on the bench ahead of Alcaraz and I am sure he would be a far better deputy at centre back but he is leaving at the end of this season anyway.

If Bournemouth want him then good luck for his future as he is better than a few other centre backs in the league.I will not criticize Martinez for his decision as he is the manager of the club and I want him to succeed. Neither will I criticize Distin as I do not know the reason for the fall out.

Ian Hollingworth
62 Posted 09/05/2015 at 11:11:40
Jamie (59),

There would be no problem with it if that was the Martinez way but we have seen too many examples of bad form not resulting in being dropped... Barry, Howard and Alcaraz for instance?

Wigan fans would not have him back even in there position and we are stuck with the incompetent fool and that says it all for me.

James Marshall
63 Posted 09/05/2015 at 11:28:12
Dropping a player for pretty much the entire season for whatever childish reason, is pathetic management. RM can be a massive tool at times.

Distin has served this club with dignity and heart since he came to us, and IÂ’ll be sad to see him shuffled out the back door.

I just read that Bournemouth are interested in his services, so good luck to him. Martinez lacks class and acts like a kid in a playground at times.

James Hughes
64 Posted 09/05/2015 at 12:20:07
Alcaraz against Kiev was a disgrace and hasnÂ’t really been much better in any other game really. Yet Distin never seemed an option which was strange.

I look forward to his end-of-season comments and maybe he will clarify his comments about Osman after his 500th game, when Distin refuted suggestions that Osman was an excellent professional.

Allan Board
65 Posted 09/05/2015 at 11:49:24
Distin is 10 times the player Alcaraz is but Alcaraz is MartinezÂ’s mate so that explains that. Alcaraz is MartinezÂ’s idea of a CB so go figure his defensive acumen.

Mr Martinez is a fella who will relegate Everton because of his goals-conceded record; forget Wigan, he knows NOTHING about setting a defensive unit up and doesnÂ’t want to learn either. Distin has behaved with great dignity and a touch of class and will be playing in the Premier League next season, just not for us, but it will be our loss ultimately.

I also agree that BainesÂ’s game has suffered since as he had the comfort of knowing Distin is quick and got him out of many a hole.

My best wishes to Sylvain Distin, a classy fella.

Dan Parker
67 Posted 09/05/2015 at 14:48:58
The fact that a Premier League manager doesnÂ’t speak to certain senior players is and will always be beyond reason.
Geoff Evans
68 Posted 09/05/2015 at 15:25:19
How a player like Sylvan Distin is treated on leaving will say more about the manager than posts on here. I for one am interested to see.
Andy Meighan
69 Posted 09/05/2015 at 15:14:53
For ٣ million – what a signing! Yes, age has caught up with him... but heÂ’s been treated like a pariah. I just hope we get the chance to say our goodbyes at the Spurs game... but know it wonÂ’t happen.

Anyone who chooses Alcaraz over Distin needs their fucking marbles looked at. Unfortunately this is what weÂ’re dealing with, with this clown of a manager.

All the best, Big Sylv, and thanks for the service.

Joe Edwards
71 Posted 09/05/2015 at 17:47:28
The fallout between Distin and the useless Spanish shoe salesman has cost our form this season and Martinez has proven that his ego is bigger than the needs of the club by playing the completely inept Alcaraz before Distin. This and the decision to sell Duffy evidences Martinez total lack of competence.

I am writing this following the complete abortion of a game against Sunderland. Watching the chosen useless one stand in those fucking annoying orange shoes with his hand on his chin watching our team disintegrate, then groaning with abject misery as his reply to a spirited Sunderland display was to throw on McGeady only makes me hope and pray that the useless twat slings his hook after the final whistle of the final game blows.

Murdo Laing
72 Posted 09/05/2015 at 17:39:56
With Distin and EtoÂ’o being both French speakers (or their mother language), I do wonder if they struck up a rapport and this somehow led to SD maybe being ostracized for his part in the EtoÂ’o disenchantment and (alleged) open criticism of RMÂ’s coaching and tactics?

It certainly befuzzled me that our manager attempted to convert EtoÂ’o, one of EuropeÂ’s most decorated strikers, into an advanced midfield player and ultimately it never worked, did it?

As for Sylvain Distin, I regard him as one of our very best signings under Moyes, and I would have liked to think his renowned professionalism would have led to him joining out backroom staff; but no, I fear we are stuck with the substandard backroom setup until RM is eventually sacked.

If the big man does have his swansong for the Cherries, I sincerely wish him/them well, and feel a little ashamed at his treatment by our manager. As another contributor said earlier, it is most unlike our club to part with long-serving players on bad terms.

Patrick Murphy
73 Posted 09/05/2015 at 18:26:32
Murdo — There has been a lot of French spoken at Goodison this season; well, that’s the polite term for it anyway.
Murdo Laing
74 Posted 09/05/2015 at 18:31:35
Ha ha, I expect youÂ’re right Patrick! Anyway, on a more positive note ....Alllez Les Bleus!
Des Farren
75 Posted 09/05/2015 at 19:14:41
"Twenty years at the top level"... yep but still canÂ’t kick, tackle, pass or control the ball with his right foot.

A shame but true nevertheless.

Dick Fearon
80 Posted 09/05/2015 at 20:24:51
Strange indeed that a manager whoÂ’s eyes light up at the sight of a microphone and can talk the back legs off a herd of donkeys cannot bring himself to speak with one of his most experienced players for months.
James Flynn
93 Posted 09/05/2015 at 21:20:48
Well, given the last two days comments from Distin and Martinez, I anticipate Roberto sending Sylvain out for his last game in Royal Blue against Spurs.

Harold Matthews
96 Posted 10/05/2015 at 03:11:20
Des. Galloway, DistinÂ’s academy understudy, is also all left foot.
Peter Mills
97 Posted 10/05/2015 at 08:57:45
IÂ’m just a spectator, have never played at a high level. But if I wanted to talk footie, find out how it is really played, and could only chat to two of EtoÂ’o, Distin and Martinez, IÂ’d be saying "Thanks but cheerio Roberto". Even if the conversation was in French.
Des Farren
98 Posted 10/05/2015 at 12:44:33
True, Harold but 20 years as a professional footballer usually means 20 years on practice ground honing your skills.

To end his career with a right foot only fit for standing on strikes me as wasteful and more than a little self indulgènt.

Jim Hardin
99 Posted 10/05/2015 at 22:18:18
To those claiming Distin was letting in goals, I disagree but let us assume you are correct. You then say this is the reason for banishing him in place of a "superior" Stones. However, I will wager that Stones has been to blame for more goals than Distin this season. He had two in the last two weeks that were his fault and maybe 3 by way of example. I am not looking back at every game but his defending is woeful on set pieces. Stones is young so we live with it and idiots blame Howard for the goals. Fine, but if you are saying Distin no longer has it, how the hell do you know?

RM dropped him before the supposed Jags and Stones partnership finding its form. When has Distin been give a chance to show that he and Jags would have continued their 41 goals conceded average? If RM wanted to go with Stones because he was younger than say so. If it was to punish a player than say so. Distin deserves better from a relegated manager who won't be here for nearly as many games as Distin started for Everton.

Peter Howard
100 Posted 11/05/2015 at 21:42:42
"......we could put all the central defenderÂ’s in a line and then weÂ’ll see..."

Yes, we would provided they had to face backwards and then turn and sprint. You know, like you have to do in a match rather than the DadÂ’s sprint race on your kidÂ’s sports day!

Chris Regan
101 Posted 12/05/2015 at 08:46:47
Without knowing whatÂ’s going on in the club, Distin's treatment seems unfair. But, if he goes and Alcaraz even gets a sniff of a new contract, IÂ’ll go ape shit. Alcaraz is the worst defender and possibly the worst player I have ever seen in a blue shirt, only out done by Brett Angell. To be honest, he looks like a Walter Smith signing.
James Stewart
102 Posted 12/05/2015 at 13:21:11
@101 Toss up between Alcaraz and Senderos for me.
Kevin Elliott
103 Posted 12/05/2015 at 13:39:15
There just wonÂ’t be the same old "BUZZ" about the place when heÂ’s gone.
Trevor Lynes
104 Posted 12/05/2015 at 14:25:04
Distin is still a great deputy for either Stones or Jags. He is tall, strong and still quite fast. Alcaraz is not as quick and not as strong in the air. This season without Distin we have been out muscled on occasion by the likes of Benteke. Alcaraz is a liability in almost the same way as Heitinga when faced with bustling big guys.

Distin is a model professional and even though he had to give way to Stones he has been Â’frozenÂ’ out of the squad because of a personality problem between himself and Roberto. He should definitely have been on the bench ahead of Alcaraz if it was due to a pure football issue. Bringing Distin on to protect a lead would have been a far better option than bringing on Alcaraz and that cannot be disputed. He is in his last season at Goodison and I rate him as one of our best buys in recent years.

If he does join another Premier League club, I would like to see him welcomed back by the fans if and when he plays at Goodison.

Chris Regan
105 Posted 12/05/2015 at 20:31:42
James 102, Alcaraz isnÂ’t in Senderos's league. Believe it or not Alcaraz is playing out of his skin for Everton, putting heart, soul and mind into it and still performing badly. Like I said, Brett Angell is the worst followed by Claus Thompsen and Alcaraz.
Andy Crooks
106 Posted 12/05/2015 at 20:38:20
Anyone who earns a living playing professional football should be able to kick the ball equally with both feet. If you canÂ’t do that you are a lazy, unambitious, self-satisfied, useless, overpaid sack of shite.
Patrick Murphy
107 Posted 12/05/2015 at 20:42:44
How many two-footed players have we currently got in our squad, Andy, in fact, for that matter,how many two-footed players are there in the whole of the Premier League?
Dean Adams
108 Posted 12/05/2015 at 21:06:28
Andy Crooks — That is priceless!

Looks like Messi is in a class of his own then!!

Andy Crooks
109 Posted 12/05/2015 at 21:09:57
Dean, Messi is more brilliant with one foot than the other. Are you suggesting that one leg is for standing on? Me saying "equally" was of course nonsense. What I mean is that any player should be utterly competent with either foot and never be forced on to the wrong one.
Dean Adams
110 Posted 12/05/2015 at 21:26:46
Andy, more brilliant. Lol. It is the biggest joke in modern football that the players can't use both feet effectively. They should be training constantly to be proficient with both, then at least we would look at them in awe, rather than dumbstruck at the ineptitude so many show.
Patrick Murphy
111 Posted 12/05/2015 at 21:31:19
Let’s be honest, guys – most players in the top-flight haven’t got one good foot never mind two. Most of the players are chosen to play because they are physically strong or because they can run about a lot.
Brian Wilkinson
112 Posted 13/05/2015 at 01:41:12
We slated Moyes over Drethne and Van the Man Shandy; only after the truth come out did we see his reasoning.

It sounds like Bobbie talked him out of a move to West Ham and the way I see it, Distin had the balls to stand up and question his tippy tappy football, hence being dropped.

Howard and Alcaraz have played time and again after making howlers so dropping Distin for so long and not speaking to the player smacks of his plan a or no way.

If this is the case, is he going to ban 30,000 from Goodison for saying the same thing about tippy tappy playing out from the back?

Trevor Lynes
113 Posted 13/05/2015 at 16:27:31
Maradona and Puskas were both very left-footed and both were absolutely fantastic players. At EFC we have had loads of very one-footed players including Sheedy who played in one of our best ever teams. What about Robben? Another one-footed player and every defender knows it but they still cannot stop him scoring with it.

In essence it is much better if a player has two equally good feet but many of those players are of mediocre natural ability. Just imagine Maradona and Messi with two great feet! It would frighten the life out of every opposition teamÂ’s players and fans for that matter.


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