Football FanCast columnist Joe Jennings reflects on Everton's season and wonders if it's time to accept that Neville and Carsley are not good enough.
We have persisted with the "celestial duo" for far too long, it has become tiresome to say the least. The time has arrived for David Moyes to reluctantly accept that club captain Philip Neville and midfield veteran Lee Carsley are simply not good enough.
There is no doubting the commitment and professionalism of both workhorses, however, as Everton continually try to gatecrash the top four, we must be on the look out for combative, creative midfielders. Unfortunately neither Carsley, nor Neville fit the bill.
One thing that can be said about Neville is that he refuses to hide, often despite the jeers of the Goodison faithful. Last night proved this, he put in tackles, rallied his team mates but his technical ability still leaves a lot to be desired.
With regards to Carsley, it appears to me that his legs have gone and he seems to be "passing" responsibility to his teammates. Is this the norm for a professional of 15 years? Would Neville and Carsley play together in centre midfield for Portsmouth, Aston Villa, or any other European contenders? Thought not.
Lee Carsley and Phil Neville have now proved, beyond any doubt, that they do not have the required ability in terms of quality on the ball or in terms of decision making and composure to ever take this club to the next level.
There is no doubting that both play with their heart on their sleeve but as they continue to age, with the pace of the Premier League and games in Europe I think it's time to find replacements for the old "warhorse" legs.
Moyes must surely know by now, that both players are incapable of taking Everton to the heights we want to reach. He faces a summer dilemma, as club captain Neville does offer something the majority don't, inspiration and leadership. However, we simply cannot drive ourselves into a corner, feeling the need to play Neville is unthinkable.
If we really want to continually progress as a club, we must be ruthless in the summer; there is simply no room for sentiment and dead wood. Honest professionals they may be, but they can only take you so far, and it is not to the dizzy heights we so desperately crave.