LEIGHTON BAINES deserves to be given the chance to prove himself as England left-back, according to Everton team-mate Sylvain Distin.
Baines played in England’s 5-0 defeat of San Marino on Friday night in his fourth consecutive start for the national side.
But with regular first choice Ashley Cole now back in the squad, Baines’ position is under threat ahead of tomorrow night’s World Cup qualifier in Poland but Distin believes his fellow Blue should be able to keep his place.
And Distin says Baines is deserving of a position in the team, not because of Cole’s discrepancies off the field, but because he consistently proves himself to be a top class defender.
“No matter what happened on or off the pitch I believe Bainesy deserves his chance,” said Distin.
“I’ve been here for four years and I’ve been impressed by him for four years.
“I can remember last season when it was time to vote for player of the year and I think some of us were saying I’m not going to vote for Bainsey again because it’s the same all the time. He’s the first choice, obvious’.
“The guy can do everything; head the ball, score, take a free-kick, pass and his crosses are amazing. The ball leaves his foot for a cross and he’s already back in the back line defending.
“Every single game he’s the same. He’s training every day. He’s in the gym every day - plus he’s a great guy as well. I’m not saying this because he’s my team-mate – he deserves it.”
Distin says he would never judge Cole, who recently found himself in hot water with the Football Association over a strongly worded message on Twitter.
“Every single player is different,” he said.
“At the end of the day it’s what you do on the pitch. For me it’s important to remember that footballers didn’t ask to be role models. Most of the time they come from average if not bad backgrounds, and they’re ordinary people with a lot of passion. I guarantee you some time when you finish a game if you don’t try and calm down before people come and ask you a question, you’re going to give the wrong answer. I’m not going to judge Ashley. Sometimes what the papers say is very different from what you say.”
As one of the original founder members of the Football League, Everton are a club steeped in history and tradition and have played more seasons in the top flight of English football than any other club. Their association with the greatest cup competition in the world has thus conjured some wonderful moments, and this offering from Sport Media celebrates a century of memories since their first FA Cup success in 1906. Celebrate a century of memories with 'Everton's FA Cup 100'. Read