x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Distin has plenty left in the tank

Distin, 31, is expected to make his debut today against Wigan at Goodison Park after arriving from Portsmouth.

New Everton defender Sylvain Distin says he still feels as fit as a 25-year-old. Distin, 31, is expected to make his debut today against Wigan at Goodison Park after arriving from Portsmouth. The Frenchman replaces Joleon Lescott, who has moved to Manchester City, and says people should not be concerned about his age.

"When I completed the medical I found out that in seven years I have missed 14 games. Last season I played every single minute of every single match," he said. "With age, you get experience - and with experience, you can take care of yourself a bit more. I feel as fit today as I was when I was 25. It's not about age - it is about keeping fit." Manager David Moyes is looking for Distin to galvanise the side in the way Alan Stubbs and David Weir did in previous seasons. Moyes said: "With Joleon leaving, we needed a left-sided player - and I wanted someone who knew the Premier League. Sylvain fitted the bill. If he does as well as the experienced players in the past, like David Weir and Alan Stubbs, then he will do well for us." Everton v Wigan, KO 6pm, Showsports 4

Roy Hodgson thinks Martin O'Neill has become an unfortunate victim of the increasing demand for success within modern football. O'Neill criticised sections of the Villa Park crowd after his side were booed off following their opening day home defeat to Wigan.

Hodgson says barracking by the crowd is something that has become part of the game. "When you get a couple of defeats then all of a sudden you find yourself in a silly crisis situation now," said Hodgson, whose side travel to Villa today. "There was a time when that never used to happen but it does now. It's unfair but that's the world we live in. We have seen Premier League football almost take over the football interest of the whole of the world. There's more money involved, there's more pressure because no-one wants to move away from the money and results become even more important.

"I remember vaguely from my childhood at Crystal Palace in the third division south when the team was applauded off the pitch having been beaten soundly. As much as I'd like to see that happen again, I don't think it's going to." Villa v Fulham, KO 7pm, Showsports 1 & 2