Schneiderlin: I'm Mor Than A Tackler

Morgan Schneiderlin insists he is keen to show more of his ability after making a promising start to his Everton career.

Following cameo appearances in the 4-0 victory over Manchester City and 1-0 win at Crystal Palace, the 27-year-old midfielder has been named in Ronald Koeman’s starting line-up for each of the past two games.

Signed from Manchester United for an initial £20million fee rising to £24million last month, Schneiderlin came to Goodison Park with an impressive record of making more tackles and interceptions combined (772) than any other Premier League player since August 2012.


But his influence is already proving evident in other departments, with the France international playing a key role in the Blues’ vital fourth goal of the 6-3 win against Bournemouth, providing five of the 21 passes that led to Romelu Lukaku’s hat-trick strike.

“I was never a tackler [as a younger player], of course sometimes I made tackles but not too many - only when I thought I could,” he explained. “I try to nick the ball when I can, think about what the opposition is going to do with the ball and try to make interceptions.

“People in the past have said I’m a good tackler and they just focus on this point. But, since I was very young, my first quality was with the ball at my feet and my range of passing. Coaches used to tell me I needed to improve my tackling but never my passing ability. That has always been the case for me.

“Now I feel confident, I feel in tune with the ball and that’s the most important thing. I’ve always been calm, I always try to find a good solution with a pass and never get too excited when I’m on the ball.”


While Schneiderlin admits he has always been laid back by nature, the Strasbourg academy graduate says he quickly realised the physicality of English football when, on his League One debut for Southampton against Cardiff City, he was given a somewhat agricultural welcome!

“People told me I was too calm!” he added. “My first game in England was against Cardiff - in their old stadium - and when I received the ball and took a big tackle on my ankle. I thought, “Wow! What a welcome to England.”

“It was a wake up call for me to say I cannot be too calm. In League One and Championship you have less time but, obviously, the players are better.”

As a player who has quickly endeared himself to Evertonians, Schneiderlin revealed the footballers he idolised growing up in France.

“My local club was Strasbourg and when I wanted to go to the game my cousin, or my dad or my uncle took me to the game but, personally, I never had a season ticket, even my family didn't, it was quite expensive.

"My dream was always to watch Zidane and people like that live but in Strasbourg we used to have a very good team and, I don't know if you know him in England, but there was this one guy called Aleksandr Mostovoi, he was a Russian player, a No10, he was amazing,” he said.

"He was the kind of player who was entertaining, he was doing good things and one of my friends says that you always need an architect and a mason in a team.

"You are paying for the mason but the architect is important as well.

"(Jean-Pierre Papin) was a great football player, he was amazing, and then he was the guy who gave me my first game in professional football.

"I had one training session with him on the Wednesday, I was 15, I had only joined in because one guy was injured and then he told me: 'You come with the group now forever'.

"Coming from a guy like him it was amazing. He was a good manager who trusted his players and we had a very close relationship, but unfortunately results didn't go too well for him after Strasbourg."

Having arrived in England in 2008 from Strasbourg when he signed for Southampton, Schneiderlin says he found it easy to adjust to the lifestyle across the Channel - even if he does find a particular food taste difficult to understand.

"I still don't know how you can eat beans in the morning!” he joked.

"I like your culture, I like the humour of the English people, I like to live in England.

"I understand most things and, to be honest, I feel a little bit English sometimes."



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