Everton midfielder Phil Neville expressed anger yesterday at the way former Toffees team-mate Dan Gosling's summer transfer to Newcastle unravelled, and went on to back calls for the Premier League to introduce a winter break.
Gosling turned down an improved contract at Goodison Park at the end of last season, allowing newly promoted Newcastle to sign the midfielder, 20, on a four-year deal.
Speaking on Radio Five's Sportsweek, the Everton captain said: "I was disappointed because Dan was a great kid. The manager had given him a platform to progress as a footballer. I'll always like Dan but I don't like the situation that occurred. It's dissappointing that he cannot fulfil his potential and that he felt he needed to go elsewhere."
Gosling made 18 appearances in two and half years with the club, scoring six times – including winners against Manchester United and Liverpool. "Heads get turned," Neville continued, "they get influenced by other people."
Neville also suggested that a winter break would be of benefit to the England manager Fabio Capello's side. England's premature World Cup exit in South Africa this summer led to renewed calls for a winter break in the Premier League. "It's 1966 since we last had success – that's too long," said the midfielder, who won 59 caps for England.
"We need a break, where for two or three weeks there is a complete shutdown, when players can refresh, recharge. It's great playing at Christmas, but come May, when you need to be peaking for your country in the biggest [tournament] of your life, you're dead on your feet."
"We all want to play. I love playing on Boxing Day, New Year's Eve or New Year's Day – it's part of the tradition of English football – but then you come to a major tournament and accept that the players aren't in the best shape. You can't have it both ways. Maybe you can have a mid-winter break after New Year's Day."
"We have to take something away from the Premier League to give something back to our national side."