McCarthy a Blues captain in the making
You would have been forgiven for thinking that Everton played with twelve men in last night’s Europa League victory over LOSC Lille, such was the tireless Man of the Match performance from James McCarthy.
The energetic, tenacious midfielder raised eyebrows when he signed from Wigan Athletic in the summer of 2013, even more so when the transfer fee of £13m was bandied about, but the Republic of Ireland international has not put a foot wrong since making his debut for the Toffees in the 1-0 win over Chelsea, and has become a firm fans’ favourite ever since.
Despite his still relatively young age (he is still only 23 years old after all), McCarthy possesses a maturity and experience that belies a player of his youth, with Toffees boss Roberto Martinez consistently praising the midfielder, who he originally signed for Wigan from Hamilton Academicals whilst manager of the Latics before bringing the Irish man with him to Goodison Park, for his industrious 90 minute displays.
And, after amassing 294 first team appearances across his spells in Scotland and England (including 52 appearances for the Blues), as well as accruing 24 caps for his country since first starting for the Republic of Ireland in 2010, it is clear to see why McCarthy is already one of the most experienced young footballers in Europe, let alone the Premier League.
Couple that footballing knowledge and tactical nous with his steadfast performances in the centre of the park for club and country (McCarthy has won 69% of his duels and tackles so far this season, and possesses a distribution average of 89% when the Blues are in possession of the ball), and the 23 year old would be an excellent choice to consider as a future captain for Everton Football Club.
Naturally, there would be other choices to consider for the role when the time comes for current incumbent Phil Jagielka to hang his boots, including fellow youngsters John Stones and Ross Barkley, and at 30 years old Jagielka is in no hurry to give up either football or the armband just yet but, in the future, and under the tutelage and guidance of Martinez and his coaching staff, McCarthy has all the hallmarks of becoming a future Everton captain.
Everton Half Season Christmas Ticket advert shows off players’ personality
It has become somewhat of a cliche in recent years that footballers are less engaging than they used to be, or that what they make up for in talent they lack in personality.
So it was refreshing to see Samuel Eto’o and Steven Pienaar star in Everton’s Half Season Ticket advertisement this morning.
It has always been something of a proud tradition that Everton’s players and staff show off their personable sides, especially around the Christmas holiday period, and to see a world class star in Eto’o really buy into the ethic of the football club, both on and off the pitch, further enhances the notion that the team spirit and humour within the current Everton squad is second to none.