Rodwell keeps Cahill on his toes
Published 27/08/2010 | 16:56
Everton manager David Moyes has warned team linchpin Tim Cahill that rising star Jack Rodwell is gunning for his place.
Midfielder Rodwell, 19, is regarded as one of the hottest young properties in the English game and is tipped to win a call-up to the senior England team in the near future.
Such is the strength of Everton's midfield that Rodwell often has to settle for a place on the substitutes' bench but Moyes feels he has the potential to take on the mantle of the talismanic Cahill.
Moyes said: "I see Jack, in a way, pushing Tim Cahill at the moment.
"I think Jack is looking as if he is better, at this present time in his career, at getting forward.
"He can score with his feet, he can score with his head.
"He is one that will maybe put a bit of pressure on Tim Cahill in coming from deeper in midfield and scoring."
Moyes, however, stresses he will not risk overburdening Rodwell, who signed a new five-year contract in the summer, by playing him too often too soon.
The Scot believes the youngster has a big future but is bemused by post-World Cup talk that he should be ushered into the England side.
"It's strange," Moyes said.
"He played regularly last season and no one was calling for him then.
"It was as if the England team was set. Suddenly they are now calling for him.
"But young boys take their chance when they get it - Jack Rodwell certainly took his chance and continually improved. He is doing that again this year.
"Jack is a really good player, he is going to be an excellent player.
"We have done well with young players over the years and we will bring them through at the right time and in the right way.
"Jack will play lots of games for Everton and go on to become a good player, but it will be in our time."
Rodwell impressed in his first start of the season by scoring and creating another goal as Everton thrashed Huddersfield 5-1 in the Carling Cup in midweek.
With 21-year-old winger Seamus Coleman also shining at right-back, Moyes has a selection headache for Sunday's Barclays Premier League trip to Aston Villa.
Moyes said: "I thought some of the performances were good. I don't know if it has made my decision any harder because it was a pretty tough shout before.
"Age doesn't matter to me - I put them in if they are good enough, I put them in if they play well enough.
"I thought Jack played very well the other night.
"I thought Seamus Coleman in the first half was very poor - he gave away the goal and nearly another goal - but his performance in the second half improved.
"He showed what he could do and what he should have been doing. He made sure he made the winger defend rather than him having to defend.
"Jack played 25 games for us last season and is a regular. He is always there or thereabouts."
Everton are still looking for their first league win of the season after defeat at Blackburn and a Goodison Park draw with Wolves.
Moyes is not concerned at results so far but admits his team may still be lacking up front despite the summer signings of Magaye Gueye and Jermaine Beckford.
He said: "We improved against Wolves but weren't good enough to finish the job off and a bad mistake cost us the goal.
"Apart from after their goal, when Wolves got a bit better, we didn't look under that much pressure.
"But we look a little bit short in goal attempts and opportunities we get.
"We were OK against Huddersfield but it is something I need to think about, if we have got enough at the top end of the pitch."
Yet despite those shortcomings, Moyes is not expecting to make any moves in the transfer market before the summer window closes on Tuesday.
"I'll be surprised if we do," he said.
"We don't have any funds to do that just now."