After weeks of rumours, Phil Neville has announced that he is to leave Everton at the end of the season. The 36 year old has influenced Everton considerably since arriving from Manchester United, embedding a professionalism throughout the club and ensuring all players recognise the importance of wearing the Royal Blue shirt.
Not immediately popular because of his links with Manchester United, Phil Neville won over the Evertonians with his committed displays and determination to make Everton a top club again. However, the writing has been on the wall for a while and following a disastrous first half display against Wigan, he has been conspicuous in his absence from the Everton starting lineup.
Neville is incredibly well liked in the dressing room and is still affectionately known as Skipper by many ex Blues. He will leave at the end of the season with a place secure in the history of the club, even though he has failed to add to his array of medals picked up during his time with Manchester United. With over 300 club appearances and 6 seasons as Captain of the club, Phil Neville will always be welcome back at Goodison Park and with a coaching career set to begin in the summer with the England U21 team, he could well be back as Manager in the not too distant future.
I for one would like to say “Thanks for the memories Phil, I have thoroughly enjoyed watching Everton during the last 7 to 8 years and like Arteta and Cahill, will always remember you fondly in an Everton shirt”.
Speaking to the Official site, Phil Neville has reflected on his time with Everton and is looking forward to the next stage of his career.
“It’s been an honour to play for and captain Everton Football Club. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time on Merseyside and will leave with immense pride.“I would like to thank the Manager, Chairman, all of the staff and the players at Everton for their continued support during my time at the club. I’d also like to pay a special thanks to the fans, who have been amazing over the past eight years and Everton will always have a place in my heart. I want to continue to play at the top level as long as I physically can, and will be weighing up my options before making a decision on my next move. I’ll now be doing everything I can to help Everton finish as high up the league table as possible.”