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Ian Snodin: Mikel Arteta will always be the first name on the teamsheet for Everton FC
Published : 16 Nov 2010 02:00:00
IN my eyes Mikel Arteta is Everton's best player, bar none. He hasn't shown that in recent games, and certainly not on Sunday, but that's absolutely no reason to start worrying. A few fans were having a go during the match and a few eyebrows were raised when he was substituted with 25 minutes still remaining, but that's only because it happens so infrequently. I know from my own experience that Mikel won't have read anything into the manager's decision. During my playing career there were times when you'd be having a nightmare - not as often as Graeme Sharp will have you believe by the way! - and you'd see the substitutes warming up and think to yourself 'Come on boss, you might as well take me off. I'm not helping the team so it might as well be me.' I'm not saying Mikel was having a nightmare on Sunday, nothing like it, but equally he will accept he wasn't performing anything like at his best and it might have been better for the team to give someone else a run. But the old saying about form being temporary and class being permanent certainly rings true with Mikel and he'd be the first name on my teamsheet for the trip to Sunderland next week.