|Scott Gemmill - Central Midfielder|
Scott Gemmill was within minutes of missing out on the chance to resurrect his career with Everton when a motorway traffic jam meant that he signed his contract just minutes before the transfer deadline expired at 5pm on 25 March, 1999.
Everton are Scott's second club, the Scottish international having played his entire career prior to joining the Blues for Nottingham Forest. The son of Forest and Scotland favourite Archie Gemmill, Scott came through the youth ranks and signed full terms with Forest in 1990.
He arguably peaked for the Midlanders in the 1997-98 promotion campaign from the First Division back to the Premiership. Missing just two games that season as Forest's midfield catch-and-carry man, who links defence and attack, he continued to show himself to be a good all-rounder with plenty of stamina and vision, at his best when playing one-twos around the opponents' penalty box. There was no doubting his importance as an integral part of the team that went back to the Premiership at the first time of asking.
Walter Smith snapping him for a cut-price £200,000 raised a few eyebrows, not because of the fee but because Gemmill's star definitely seemed to be fading prematurely. However, his early performances were impressive and he proved to be a valuable squad player.
Everton's almost constant catalogue of injuries since then meant that Gemmill was often relied upon as the main playmaker in the midfield, a task at which he has proven to be adept on many occasions, but woefully unsuited on others. When he is on song, his creative and quick-thinking football brain have been able to turn matches, but his confidence has always seemed to be tied too much to that of the team in general, hence spells of underachievement and erraticism.
Scott does have an eye for goal that has seen him score a couple of beauties in a Blue shirt; a 25-yard pile-driver for his first in a 3-1 win at Coventry in 1999-2000 and a stunning volley against Middlesbrough in a 2-0 victory the following season that sent Everton to the top of the Premiership, albeit briefly.
With Everton's midfield in a constant state of flux, opportunities for Gemmill to make a central midfield berth his own are always there, but on balance he has proven to be a valuable squad player rather than a permanent solution to Smith's troubles in the 'engine room'.
With the departure of Walter Smith, Gemmill's life became a lot harder under the more demanding eye of David Moyes. Gemmill only got 10 league starts in 2002-03, and failed to score, spending some time in the reserves.
The next season was even worse for Gemmill, who suffered an injury and then found it impossible to get anywhere near the first-team squad. He went off on loan to Preston NE in December 2003 and then returned to Everton only to be released in the Moyes May clear-out. Was he really with Everton for six years!?!
There were rumours he would join Derby County but they came to nothing. He spent 2004-05 at Leicester City but failed to do enough in his short stint at the Walkers Stadium to earn a new deal and was without a club after he was dumped by Leicester in May 2005. He accepted a deal as player-coach with Oxford United in League Two club but left after just one match when he received an improved offer from New Zealand Knights.
Updated by Michael
Kenrick, April 2006