Etherington deserves credit - Pulis

29 October 2010 01:13
Stoke boss Tony Pulis says Matthew Etherington deserves rave reviews - but stopped short of urging Fabio Capello to hand him an England call.[LNB] The winger joined from West Ham in January 2009 and admitted months later that he had accrued gambling debts of around £1.5million.[LNB]But Etherington has been steered away from problems off the field and his performances have been telling, with Stoke seeing the one-time teenage sensation fulfil the potential he was always reckoned to have.[LNB]The player's own family have been a major factor behind the upturn in fortunes, but Pulis also believes Stoke's owners, headed by chairman Peter Coates, deserve credit for bringing the best out of the 29-year-old former Tottenham and Peterborough man.[LNB]"He's been a quality player and very, very good for us," Pulis said.[LNB]"He's got his life sorted out off the pitch, and you've got to give the Coates family great, great credit for getting involved with that and as a football club giving him the help he needed.[LNB]"I think Matty will always appreciate what this football club has done for him off the field.[LNB]"We've cleared everything out of the way so he can see clearly in respect of his life.[LNB]"Matty's a professional footballer and we've allowed him to concentrate on that which has born fruit for us as a team and as a football club.[LNB]"I think if Matty was playing now for, say, Tottenham or one of the top teams in the country then he would definitely get recognition."[LNB]But Pulis will not be pressing England boss Capello to summon the Potters wideman for next month's Wembley friendly against France, or the rest of the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign.[LNB]The Italian could already have had his head turned by Etherington, but a call-up at this stage of his career may be a long shot, particularly given England have Stewart Downing and Adam Johnson as left-footed wing options.[LNB]Pulis said: "I'm not picking Capello's team. He's a great manager with a great career and I'm sure he'll qualify for the European Nations Cup with or without Matty."[LNB]Etherington is expected to be fit after a back problem, which forced him to miss the Carling Cup defeat at West Ham, to line up tomorrow for Stoke at Everton.[LNB]Like Stoke, the Premier League table shows Everton are in mid-table, but just one point separates both teams from third-bottom Liverpool, so tight is the division in its early stages.[LNB]Pulis sees Everton as the epitome of what any club looking to establish themselves in the Premier League should aim for.[LNB]"Really they're a model for so-called smaller clubs to follow," Pulis said.[LNB]"What the chairman has done there and what David (Moyes) has done there is something to look at really seriously and say, well that's the way to build a football club.[LNB]"They've been very, very successful over the years, they've had loads of stability. It's built on a very solid foundation.[LNB]"David seems very very happy there, very contented. It seems to be a football club in the respect that everyone pulls together.[LNB]"I think it's something Peter Coates and family at this football club aspire to in lots of respects.[LNB]"All the basics that we talk about really represents the way Everton football club is run.[LNB]"It's a stable ship and they've improved every year. They've got a good squad and they'll end up being in the top six or seven by the time the season finishes, I have absolutely no doubt about that."[LNB]Stoke are coming off three straight defeats - two in the Premier League against Bolton and Manchester United, and the midweek cup setback at Upton Park.[LNB]Stoke have had a foothold in each match, only to concede costly late goals, and Pulis wants his team to sharpen up.[LNB]"Football-wise and the way the team's shaping up I think we're a better team than we were last year," he said.[LNB]"We're coming close in games and then for whatever reason we're getting punished.[LNB]"The Premier League is such a tough league to play in, you're playing against top players coached by top people, and if you don't concentrate for 94 minutes, 93 minutes or whatever, you get punished."[LNB]

Source: Team_Talk