Why Phil Neville is the Most Underrated Player in the English Premier League

Varun MathureContributor IJanuary 9, 2010

Phil Neville proved once again that he is probably the most underrated players in the Premier League as his Everton side drew with Arsenal.

The cold and the snow in London did not hamper 60,000 fans from travelling to the Emirates stadium as they witnessed a highly exciting game.

A deflected Thomas Rosicky effort two minutes into injury time denied Everton what would have been a hard fought but deserving victory.

A star for me in Everton’s determined performance was their captain Phil Neville who was instrumental in keeping Arsenal at bay for long periods.

Neville single-handedly was responsible for clearing half of Arsenal’s attacks. He followed the ball in his area like a bloodhound protecting his kennel.

There was no remorse shown and tackle after tackle, clearance upon clearance showed just what a pivotal role the captain plays in this growing Everton side.

However despite all his heroics for the Toffees Neville surprisingly never draws any interest from the big clubs nor does he seem to appeal to England manager Fabio Capello .

Neville The Devil

Neville who is known for his fiery character has a workman like attitude about him. He goes about doing his job on the pitch with precision and diligence.

Ever since he moved from Manchester United to Everton in 2005, Neville has been allowed to express himself much more on the field.

He may not be the most offensive full back but he surely is one of the more efficient ones as he routinely is the cause for the termination of any opposition attack.

His uncompromising nature makes it even harder for players to get by him as he will bring all his grit and determination to thwart a player from getting by him.

This however is the same attitude which has landed Neville into trouble on many occasions and he is notoriously famous for the number of bookings he picks up.

In fact in his first season at the club he accumulated 10 yellow cards and two red cards. However, since then his mauling nature has greatly reduced and he had an excellent campaign last season.


Throughout his career Phil has played in various positions on the park. In fact he may as well have been playing on another type of pitch had he not chosen football over cricket at age 15.

At Man United he used to occupy the left back position whilst his brother Gary would patrol down the right. At Everton he has been used at left back, right back and central midfield.

It is in the midfield that Neville has excelled at Everton but today’s performance at right-back displayed that he is very well capable of assuming that role.

And this is the role I feel he will fit into perfectly in the England squad. Capello has struggled to find a right back whilst he has been at the helm with the elder Neville now well past it.

Glen Johnson is the obvious choice for this role but Neville would not be a bad backup by any means. He has yet to make an appearance at the World Cup and it is unlikely he will do so now.

But I for one would love to see him once again in the England squad and I feel quite certain that he is worthy of such an opportunity.


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