Phil Neville has praised Seamus Coleman’s ‘street football’ mentality, and compared the Irish defender to Luis Suarez.
Neville made the comparison in an interview with Graham Hunter on the latter’s ‘Big Interview’ podcast., and he has plenty of admiration for the Everton right back.
Hunter asked Neville what qualities were needed to make it at the top, and the former Toffee’s captain chose Coleman as an example of a player who has worked extremely hard to reach the Premier League and international stage;
“Because there are not that many, you can actually pick out those ones that you think, ‘Those are street footballers. They’ve come up the hard way. They’ve actually done it.’ And I use the example at Everton of Seamus Coleman.”
“Seamus Coleman played for a team in Ireland (Sligo Rovers), £60,000 bought, didn’t go through the academy system. Scruffy tracksuit, say – not matching. No flashy trainers. Came in, he had hunger. He would run through that brick wall.”
The Irish captain has been an important player for the Toffee’s since his move in 2009, and he was on the scoresheet this evening as Everton beat Middlesborough 3-1 at Goodison Park.
Neville also reserved further praise for the 27 year old;
“And did he have the best ability at the start? No. But he had more determination.
“Now? Probably one of the best full-backs in the Premier League. Now captaining Republic of Ireland in the European Championships.
He had the hunger. And Suarez has it. Sanchez at Arsenal.”
High praise from the Everton legend, and the characteristics Neville attributed to Coleman certainly suggest that Martin O’Neill was right to make the Killybegs native his captain.