Football

Everton Vs Stoke City, Sat 30 Oct 2010

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Everton manager David Moyes will make a late decision on Mikel Arteta's availability for the Barclays Premier League match with Stoke at Goodison Park.

Midfielder Arteta, who missed last week's 1-1 draw at Tottenham with a slight hamstring strain, will undergo a fitness test.

Moyes concedes the game comes "too soon" for Jack Rodwell who is closing in on a return after two months out with an ankle injury, meaning he remains on the sidelines alongside Leon Osman (ankle), Marouane Fellaini (hamstring), Ross Barkley (broken leg) and Victor Anichebe (knee).

Ahead of the game, Moyes has revealed he believes nice guy Phil Neville has it within himself to become "nasty and horrible" when he eventually decides to move into football management.

Toffees skipper Neville recently expressed his desire to become a manager, claiming it is "the obvious step" for him after 16 years as a professional player.

With 59 England caps to his name, and after working primarily under Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson and Moyes, Neville feels he has the grounding that will allow him to make the transition.

But whether Neville has the character is another matter as the 33-year-old is viewed as one of the game's more mild-mannered players.

Moyes, for one, is convinced Neville would bare his teeth should the need ever arise.

"Phil will find it when it comes to it," said Moyes.

"When you have to get results for the team you soon become nasty and horrible. I'm sure Phil can do that.

"But he has all the other credentials - he's a great leader, a good motivator, and he loves the game.

"It is really important you actually like football, that you want to be involved and are willing to put in the hours.

"There are an awful lot of people who think 'yeah, I'll have a go at that,' but actually don't want to put in the hours and the time.

"I've got to say, when you go into football management, it's an all-consuming job."

Convinced Neville has all the qualities required, Moyes is also certainly willing to give Neville a hand where he can along the way.

"I'll advise him, and I have done so by telling him to take his coaching courses," added Moyes.

"He knows that at any time, if he wanted any help or wanted time working with the younger players, we would give it to him."

Stoke boss Tony Pulis hopes Kenwyne Jones and Jermaine Pennant will have recovered from a virus in time to lead the line.

Winger Pennant and striker Jones both played in the midweek Carling Cup tie at West Ham despite suffering from flu-like symptoms and were given Thursday off in a bid to speed their recovery.

Striker Mamady Sidibe is Stoke's only long-term absentee, although Matt Etherington, Ricardo Fuller and Danny Collins missed the Upton Park match.

Ahead of the game, Pulis has claimed Matthew Etherington deserves rave reviews - but stopped short of urging Fabio Capello to hand him an England call.

The winger joined from West Ham in January 2009 and admitted months later that he had accrued gambling debts of around #1.5million.

But Etherington has been steered away from problems off the field and his performances have been telling, with Stoke seeing the one-time teenage sensation fulfil the potential he was always reckoned to have.

The player's own family have been a major factor behind the upturn in fortunes, but Pulis also believes Stoke's owners, headed by chairman Peter Coates, deserve credit for bringing the best out of the 29-year-old former Tottenham and Peterborough man.

"He's been a quality player and very, very good for us," Pulis said.

"He's got his life sorted out off the pitch, and you've got to give the Coates family great, great credit for getting involved with that and as a football club giving him the help he needed.

"I think Matty will always appreciate what this football club has done for him off the field.

"We've cleared everything out of the way so he can see clearly in respect of his life.

"Matty's a professional footballer and we've allowed him to concentrate on that which has born fruit for us as a team and as a football club.

"I think if Matty was playing now for, say, Tottenham or one of the top teams in the country then he would definitely get recognition."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Stoke City
Football
Premier League
Everton

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