Dropping Lescott is a gamble admits Moyes

David Moyes admits he is gambling with Everton's European future by axing England defender Joleon Lescott from tonight's clash with Sigma Olomouc at Goodison Park.

The Everton chief has dropped Lescott for his "bad attitude" as the transfer saga with Manchester City rumbles on.

But that decision leaves Moyes seriously short of central defenders, with Phil Jagielka still out injured.

Moyes will have to play captain Phil Neville or youngster Jack Rodwell - both midfielders - alongside Joseph Yobo in the heart of defence for the Europa League play-off first leg.

Moyes said: "Yes, this is a gamble. And it will be one of those two, Neville or Rodwell, who will play in defence."

But Moyes believes he had no choice to axe Lescott, believing he could risk further damage to squad morale following Saturday's 6-1 mauling by Arsenal.

Moyes said: "Joleon's attitude has not been right these past days, he has disappointed me and he has disappointed his team-mates. He is not in the right frame of mind."

But Moyes insisted he still does not want to sell the player, saying: "I hope this will all be sorted out, after the deadline."

This latest desperate move by Moyes could, many will think, pave the way for the England defender to join the Eastlands galaxy of superstars.

But Moyes is still defiant.

He said: "People can read what they like into this. But I have said all along I don't want to sell him. But it is a bit like Cristiano Ronaldo leaving Manchester United, there is always a price.

"At this moment no club has made us an offer for the player that we want to accept."

The Lescott situation has come to a head in the wake of Everton's shattering defeat by Arsenal, when Moyes was critical of defensive lapses, although he did not point the finger at Lescott.

But it is clear that the atmosphere at the Finch Farm training complex has worsened since then.

Moyes said: "I made a decision today and due to Joleon's attitude, I felt it would be better if he wasn't included in the squad. He does not seem to be in the right frame of mind.

"He wasn't(right) before Saturday's game and he told me that. But I took the risk and chose to play him. But now the time is right to leave him alone until things are sorted, and hopefully that will be after the deadline.

"I find Joleon a really good boy to work with, a pleasure in fact. I couldn't say enough good things about him.

"But the boy has changed. It is not just me (who has noticed) but the players who are working with him have noticed it as well.

"But the door is open for Joleon. We don't want him to go, I have said that all along, unless we get an offer that I think is right.

"But at the present time he is not in the squad and it is best that we get on without him."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence