Last month, we reported that Distin had not attended training for more than ten days, and a week or so later, manager Roberto Martinez confirmed that he had allowed the French defender to take leave in order to return to his former, excellent, self.
The 36 year old did make an appearance for the Blues after his break – in the away Europa League game against Lille in his native France – but was excluded from the squad that faced Swansea at Goodison Park on Saturday.
Had he been on the bench at least, he would have been able to replace the injured Antolin Alcaraz who injured his shoulder and was replaced in the heart of the Everton defence by Gareth Barry. Instead, he watched on from the Main Stand wondering – like the rest of us – if he’d play for Everton again.
When Distin signed for the Blues in 2009, his arrival was greeted with a mixed response, and with early mistakes against Manchester United it looked as though the doubters could have been right. However, his awful backpass at Wembley in the FA Cup semi final in 2012 aside, Distin has gone on to prove himself a great servant to Everton Football Club.
He has his moments with the supporters – notably against Crystal Palace where he questioned the away following’s commitment after an unspectacular 0-0 draw – but he has grown into a firm crowd favourite over his 5 years at the club.
Fast approaching 37, Distin’s pace hasn’t left him, and his desire to win is clear to see whenever he’s on the pitch, so now is the time to put aside any disagreements behind the scenes and let him prove he is still an Everton player.
Lille visit on Thursday, and with the choices of centre back limited, Distin must surely be in with a shout to start his first game at Goodison in over a month.