Everton Captain Neville Joins The 600 Club

The plaudits of the previous week left him squirming with embarrassment, but there was still no sparing Phil Neville’s blushes after he registered his 600th appearance at club level. Effusive praise was hardly a feature of his Manchester United and England career, but it seems he would have it no other way, judging by a bashful response to all the sudden recognition for his captaincy qualities at Everton.

Rival bosses Harry Redknapp and David Moyes led the acclaim for a masterly containing job on in-form Gareth Bale at Tottenham but were scarcely thanked for their troubles. "I was cringing with the coverage last Sunday. I was totally embarrassed by it, so I stopped reading the papers and turned the television off," admitted the 33-year old. Moyes was not about to make  the same mistake again, prudently selecting ‘steady’ as his description of choice for Neville’s milestone performance against Stoke and adding, "I’d better not say too much, because he’s getting annoyed about it. He’s getting too much praise and is not used to it."

Tim Howard had no such reservations, though, as he risked the wrath of his one-time United team-mate with a glowing appraisal of the influence exerted on Everton’s recent upturn in fortunes. "There’s a big trust factor between Phil and the rest of the guys. He does what he always says he’s going to do. Every time you look up, he’s there, doing the right things, saying the right things and putting the work in," said the Everton keeper.

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