I don’t think I’ve ever been more gutted about a player’s injury, and never angrier about the circumstances that it came in. Everton are no stranger to long-term injures, indeed it’s unlikely that Yannick Bolasie will play in 2017 after his injury in December.
In the FA Cup final of 2009, Everton had four players out with serious long-term injuries. Phil Jagielka, Mikel Artera, Yakubu and Victor Anichebe were ruled out. The reason that came to mind it because one of them, Anichebe, was the last time that a challenge on an Everton player left me incensed. In the end Everton received compensation for Kevin Nolan’s spiteful challenge, they might be looking for the same from the Welsh FA. The cliché “not that type of player” is incredibly irritating, and insulting. What does it matter? Neil Taylor charged in, studs over the ball, straight into the side of Coleman’s leg. I doubt anyone is the type of player who wants to inflict a horrific leg break on another, but Taylor deserves a very long ban regardless.
I prefer to follow the line of another cliché, “It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy”, but whereas that cliché is often used sarcastically, in this case it really is true. Coleman is one of the nicest men in football, only the other day Everton released a video of Coleman taking part of a training session with children suffering with Down Syndrome and he is Everton’s disability ambassador. The stories of his charity work are countless and large donations have been made to charitable causes without prompt on numerous occasions.
As an Everton fan, I’m gutted for the club, naturally, we’ve lost one of our best players, but I’m genuinely more concerned for the player. In the time he is out injured he’ll have earned more than most people will in a lifetime, and some people use that as a means to feel no sympathy, but in these circumstances it’s hard not to. Coleman has got to that status and wealth through sheer hard work and a drive to make the most of his talents, he is a wonderful example for any aspiring footballer.
Everyone who has associated with him speaks of one of the most humble, likeable and hard-working players they’ve ever met. He is a very popular member of both the Irish and Everton dressing rooms and it’s clear to see why, he’s a great professional and the epitome of what Everton fans love to see in a player.
The road back will be a long one, but at still only 28 he has more than enough time to get back to his top level. For his own personal sake I hope that Ireland qualify, and he is fit enough to lead the team out at the 2018 World Cup. If he was denied that then it’s an extra cruel blow and one which he doesn’t deserve.
Not only is Coleman liked by the Irish and Everton fans, but from the well wishes it is clear that he is popular among general football fans too. He plays the game in the right way and in the right spirit, with a passion that is unbeaten for club and country.
The surgery was reportedly successful, which is great to hear, and you know that he’ll be working as hard as anyone to get back out on a football pitch. Let’s just hope that recovery is as quick as humanly possible.