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VfL Wolfsburg (A) Thu 27 Nov 2014, 18:00, Europa League
by Matthew Gamble
30 August 2013 14:38
Sylvain Distin says Ross Barkley's emergence is the best evidence that foreign players are not hindering the development of the English game.Barkley, 19, had been Everton's standout player in their three games this term and is the newest member of Roy Hodgson's senior England squad.In recent years the performances of the Three Lions at major tournaments has led to all manner of inquests into supposed underachievement – with many observers suggesting the influx of overseas players into Premier League squads has blocked the path for homegrown talent. But Distin's message is simple. If you are good enough - you will play. "Exactly," he said when quizzed on the topic. "It's about how good you are. Ross is the perfect example. Ross deserves to play. "He was training with us last season, he has great quality and a bright future if he keeps working hard and doing what he's doing."Distin first arrived on English shores in 2001 and had played for Newcastle, Manchester City and Portsmouth before arriving at Goodison.And despite racking up over 400 Premier League games, the Frenchman is certain he is not responsible in any way for hindering the progress of promising English defenders.He insisted: "It's something maybe people talk about because of the results of the English national team. But I don't think that's because of players like me. I don't see how I can change the result of the national team."Of more concern to the Frenchman is helping the Blues overcome Cardiff on Saturday afternoon.The Welsh outfit are on the crest of a wave after dispatching Man City last weekend in their first home game since returning to the top flight.Distin continued: "That is the beauty of the Premier League; you never know what is going to happen, who is going to win or who is going to lose. I definitely wasn't expecting an easy game against Cardiff or any other team."I don't really try to focus on the opposition though, I try to focus on our strengths - as long as you respect your opponents."
U21s gain Goodison experience, plus Kone and McAleny comebacks please coach.
Distin, Kone and Donovan in Wednesday's media.
Kone travels but Naismith remains on Merseyside.
Graeme Sharp and Graham Stuart look ahead to Thursday's game.
Hull, QPR and Stoke all on general sale.
PAPERS: Boss and Osman defend Barkley, while Martinez hails return of Kone evertonfc.com/news/2014/11/2…
Three years ago today, the football world lost a true great. RIP Gary Speed, gone but never forgotten. http://t.co/xDaQhiAbkn
BLUES ON TOUR: Don’t forget the Volkswagen Arena is a cashless stadium so get your pre-paid card sorted before you go in.
BLUES ON TOUR: There are only a small number of turnstiles in the away section, searching will take place so supporters should arrive early.