Saturday 23 March 2019

Richard Dunne: 'Doherty on the rise but Coleman has the quality to get back to top form'

Seamus Coleman. Photo: Sportsfile
Seamus Coleman. Photo: Sportsfile
Richard Dunne

Richard Dunne

Seamus Coleman is not used to being dropped, for club or country, so the fact that he was left out of the Everton side for their last game will hurt.

But Seamus won’t panic and he won’t throw a strop looking for a move. He will do what he has always done and work hard to get back to where he was.

It’s tough for Seamus as when a team are going through a bad spell, such as Everton are at the moment; the manager does not want the spotlight to be on him so he makes changes to the team.

The boss will usually look for a response, maybe find a lucky starting XI from the changes he’s made to get him that result he needs to ease the pressure.

Seamus has been around long enough to understand all of this and that it’s part of the professional game. He was out of the side for the last game away to Leicester but he could well be back in for their FA cup tie at home to Lincoln City tomorrow. He has to stay patient.

He has faced competition and challenges before when he came back from serious injury and this is just another test for him.

He won’t have it easy as Seamus will have a serious fight on his hands for his international place this year, with Matt Doherty in such good form for Wolves. But because Seamus is such a good player, he will use this to spur him on and inspire him to get back to top form.

It’s not easy to come back and play when you have been out for as long as Seamus was after his leg break against Wales in October 2017.

If you miss a year’s football, you find that football has moved on and the game won’t stand still for you.

You are a year older when you get back and maybe a little bit of the edge has gone from your game and you’re not as strong as you were.

I can feel for Seamus as I was out for a year at one stage. Just after the Euros in 2012 my groin went two games into pre-season and I missed a whole season.

I had four or five operations. That meant I missed the last year of my contract with Aston Villa so it was a challenge for me then. I had drop down to the Championship to try and get playing again after that.

I played 70-odd games in two seasons so, in terms of appearances I had fully recovered, but I was still getting niggly injuries.

Small things would cause me to miss four or five days of training as the rest of my body was trying to compensate for that one injury and that usually means you pick up more injuries. It is hard.

I don’t know if Seamus feels he’s at 100pc now in terms of where he was before the injury but neither does Everton manager Marco Silva.

When it comes to a scenario like this when the team are struggling and Seamus is not standing out in terms of being in top form, it’s an easy excuse.

Seamus has to just bide his time and I’d be surprised if he’s not back in the side very soon. There are so many games over Christmas and the New Year period that changes are inevitable.

He’s older now, turning 31 in October and he will see younger players coming through to challenge for his place. It’s how you deal with that challenge that sums you up.

Seamus has been brilliant and, given his ten years of service at

Everton, he is due a bit of leeway.

Once the team gets playing well again and they settle – they have changed it around at the back – the Donegal man will be back in and even if Everton decide they don’t want him (and I can’t see that happening) he won’t be short of offers. But he will be back.

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