Andy Wilkinson always rated Stoke City team-mate Matty Etherington – and now he’s revealed just how much.
Asked by the football club to select his best-ever six-a-side team, Wilko not only found a place for Etherington, but added this glowing tribute…
“I wanted to get Matthew Etherington into the team. He was a top player whose work rate was immense.
“If he played in front of me I knew there was always the option to give him the ball or he was going to track back and do the dirty side of the game.
Chris Brunt is the latest high-profile name to be linked with Stoke City this summer.
The connections are obvious after serving City boss Michael O’Neill so royally with Northern Ireland.
And it is barely four months since O’Neill tried to prise him out of West Bromwich Albion at the end of the January transfer window.
O’Neill clearly remains a big fan and Brunt would be free as he is running out of contract at West Brom.
But at 35, there will be those raising an eyebrow at his signing, even on a relatively short-term deal.
How Chris Brunt reacted to Stoke deal falling through – READ
Stoke favourites to sign West Brom man – READ
“It’s a toss-up between him and one of the best players I’ve played against – Eden Hazard. He had such a good change of direction and work ethic, and wherever he got the ball into his feet he would touch it away so you couldn’t get it.
“He was a top class player. Between those two it’s really difficult, but I’m going to go with Matty.”
For the record, the rest of his six-a-side team was: Asmir Begovic, Robert Huth, Glenn Whelan, Jon Walters, Ricardo Fuller and… Andy Wilkinson.
On Huth, Wilko confides: “As a fan, he was probably my favourite player.”