Distin Puts Saha Friendship Aside

by Matthew Gamble

Sylvain Distin is relishing the opportunity to give a close personal friend a 'kick' at Goodison on Saturday.
Louis Saha has been more than just a teammate of Distin's in the last three years. The French pairing forged a strong friendship during their time together at Goodison.
A little over a month after Saha's deadline day switch to Tottenham and the duo will be taking to the Goodison turf together once again - but on opposite sides.
Distin admits that, much like competitive siblings, he will be doing everything in his power to make sure that when the friends meet up after the game, he will be the one with the bragging rights.
He told evertontv: "He's a great guy, a really good friend. I'm quite close to him and I know his family really well, but it's football so for 90 minutes, I'm going to have to kick him!
"Louis is a strong guy and I'm sure he feels the same. For me, it's a pleasure to play against players that I already know, that I'm friends with or close to. That doesn't change much for me. It's a game - we know that for 90 minutes we have to put all the friendships on the side and it will all be okay."

Everton Spurs
Having trained together on a daily basis for so long, Distin has an acute understanding of Saha's game. But he is quick to point out that such close proximity has also provided him with an awareness of the scale of the challenge he faces.
He continues: "If he was an average player, I would say yes, that would help me. But Louis is far from an average player. I've been training against him most days for the past three years. That doesn't mean it's going to be easy for me to stop him. He's got really good qualities - he is powerful, strong, he is really good with both feet and his finishing is great as well.
"If people believe that training and working with him every day for three years means that I know him that well that I can anticipate all of his moves, they are really wrong and it would be really unprofessional for me as well to believe that because it's not the case. It's going to be a tough game."
Indeed, Distin's appreciation of Saha's qualities means he has not been surprised by his countryman's good start to life in North London.
He continued: "For the few people that thought he would fail, he proved them wrong. He has the quality as I say - maybe he doesn't score during the games, but as a player who saw him every day, we can see that he has the quality. He's just doing what he's been doing for Everton for so long, but when you have a little gap of not scoring goals, people tend to forget the past three or four years when you've been scoring goals for fun."
Saha's last Premier League goal at Goodison came on March 19 last year. Distin's mission is to ensure that wait is extended beyond this season and that Saha's good start to life with Spurs is halted - for this weekend at least.

Tickets for Saturday's game are still available - call 0871 663 1878, visit the box office or click here .

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