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What The Papers Say - 13 March

by Daniel Alston @efc_danalston

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The views on this page are taken from the local and national media and do not necessarily reflect the views of Everton.

The Echo

SYLVAIN DISTIN insists defeat hurts more at Everton – because it is the most passionate dressing room of his lengthy career.
 
The experienced French defender has played for eight clubs during a 16-year spell in football, but said the commitment and desire to succeed among the current Goodison squad is unparalleled.

That’s why Distin admits Everton’s players are hurting so badly after their woeful FA Cup quarter final defeat by Wigan Athletic on Saturday, but he warns they must not wallow too long with the visit of his former club Manchester City looming quickly on the horizon.
 
He said: “This must be the most passionate dressing room I’ve been part of since I’ve been in football. When you’re that passionate and you lose it really hurts.
 
“We’re not happy but we know City will be tough and we need to focus on it.”
 
The former Paris St German, Newcastle and Portsmouth defensive linchpin believes the second half of last Saturday’s cup exit was among the most frustrating of his career, as Everton vainly searched for a foot-hold in a tie which saw them fall 3-0 behind in under four first-half minutes.
 
“It was one of the most frustrating times for me,” said the 35-year-old. “I don’t think 3-0 reflected the first half really either. We had a lot of the ball and were on top quite a bit. Then for three minutes we made some mistakes and conceded those goals.
 
“It hurt everybody but we’ve got to recover from that and we’ve got to do it pretty soon. We don’t have time to wallow. I don’t want people to think we don’t care. It’s not that but the games come up so quickly that you have to be ready. We have to be focused on that City game.
 
“We’ve looked at the Wigan game again, spoken about it and now we need to move on.”

The Echo

IT IS usually a place of mirth and banter, smiles and camaraderie - but Everton’s Finch Farm training ground has been very different this week.
 
The pain of Saturday’s disastrous FA Cup quarter final defeat by Wigan at Goodison is still very raw, and none of David Moyes’ squad is in the mood to click back into the upbeat routine of Everton life just yet.
 
Sylvain Distin is certainly not about to insist that sense of devastation is misplaced, but the 35-year-old perhaps has a greater sense of perspective on life than many professional footballers.

Released by Paris St Germain and cast into the cold hard world at the age of 18, he learned a lot about the realities of life.
 
Distin may have gone on to become an established Premier League performer eventually, but he ascended from the lowest rung.
 
Attempting to pick up the pieces after his teenage dreams of glory appeared dashed, he began to play for semi-professional outfit Joue-les-Tours – where the frugal pay meant he required a full-time job to make ends meet.
 
It was then, working as a teaching assistant on a scheme for disadvantaged kids, that he gained the insight which has helped him to cope with the highs and lows of professional football.
 
“Some fans sometimes say to me ‘you don’t know what it’s like to work,’ but I do. It was part of my past,” says the 35-year-old after enthusiastically participating in a training session arranged by Everton In The Community for youngsters with Down syndrome.
 
“I was playing for Joue-les-Tours and they created a special programme for kids who had just come out of school and didn’t have a lot of experience or excellent diplomas. At the time I was doing a bit of everything; secretarial work for the club, teaching the kids...The club was linked to the town so I was doing general admin stuff too.
 
“It wasn’t a fully professional club, we were four tiers below the top division. I was playing with guys who were 45. We had maybe two or three training sessions a week, always at night because everyone had a job. We got a little wage from the club but it was really not much at all so we all worked.
 
“It’s why I still enjoy initiatives with helping kids now. Kids are innocent. Whether you won the last game 5-0 or lost it they have exactly the same attitude. For me it’s always been good to work with them. It refreshes your mind.

Released by Paris St Germain and cast into the cold hard world at the age of 18, he learned a lot about the realities of life.
 
Distin may have gone on to become an established Premier League performer eventually, but he ascended from the lowest rung.
 
Attempting to pick up the pieces after his teenage dreams of glory appeared dashed, he began to play for semi-professional outfit Joue-les-Tours – where the frugal pay meant he required a full-time job to make ends meet.
 
It was then, working as a teaching assistant on a scheme for disadvantaged kids, that he gained the insight which has helped him to cope with the highs and lows of professional football.
 
“Some fans sometimes say to me ‘you don’t know what it’s like to work,’ but I do. It was part of my past,” says the 35-year-old after enthusiastically participating in a training session arranged by Everton In The Community for youngsters with Down syndrome.
 
“I was playing for Joue-les-Tours and they created a special programme for kids who had just come out of school and didn’t have a lot of experience or excellent diplomas. At the time I was doing a bit of everything; secretarial work for the club, teaching the kids...The club was linked to the town so I was doing general admin stuff too.
 
“It wasn’t a fully professional club, we were four tiers below the top division. I was playing with guys who were 45. We had maybe two or three training sessions a week, always at night because everyone had a job. We got a little wage from the club but it was really not much at all so we all worked.
 
“It’s why I still enjoy initiatives with helping kids now. Kids are innocent. Whether you won the last game 5-0 or lost it they have exactly the same attitude. For me it’s always been good to work with them. It refreshes your mind.

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