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Everton Past Player Profile
Goalkeeper, 1997-2001

Thomas Myhre  FACTS
Born Sarpsborg (Norway), 16 October 1973
Height 6' - 2" (188 cm)
Joined Everton from Viking FK Stavanger in November 1997 (800k*)
Signed by Howard Kendall
Debut v Leeds United (a), 6 December 1997
Nicknames Tommy, Norway's Number One
Left Everton to join Beshiktas in November 2001 (300k)
Final v Middlesbrough (h), 31 January 2001
Honours Norway U-21; Norway International (13 caps)


 Seasons  Club  Apps  Gls
1990-1993 Moss (Norway) ?
1993-1997 Viking FK Stavanger (Norway) 94 + 31
1999-2000 Glasgow Rangers (on loan) 3 + 3
1999-2000 Birmingham City (on loan) 7 + 2
2000-2001 Tranmere Rovers (on loan) 3 + 1
2000-2001 FC Copenhagen (on loan) ?

* Transfer deal includes incentives based on appearances

  • Strong, commanding keeper
  • Great shot-stopper
  • Good reach for crosses and high balls
  • Communicates well with defenders
  • Excellent rapport with the fans
  • May be suspect on lobs?
  • Needs to throw the ball out more
  • (Shades of Peter Schmeichel???)
  • Suspect at the near post
  • Fails to fully command his area
Thomas Myhre is variously rated as one of the top Norwegian goalkeepers.  He established a solid reputation during his time at Viking Stavanger, and built on that in his first two seasons at Everton.  In the beginning he was very poor at goal kicks and back-passes, where he would often make poor clearances.  But through diligent work on such weaknesses he is now very good at these important parts of a keeper's game.

His abilities in the penalty area have also improved with time.  Thomas Myhre sets himself high personal standards: if he makes a mistake, he admits it at once (although he seems to have developed some reticence about his failures that dumped Everton out of the FA Cup in February 2000).  He has a very good personality and usually plays at his best in the most important and difficult games.

Myhre made an excellent debut in his first game for Everton, keeping a clean sheet against a rampant Leeds United side on the back of 4 straight wins.  Leeds manager George Graham had this to say: "I thought their goalkeeper was excellent considering he's only been there a week. He was arguably their best player."

He also struck up an instant rapport with Everton's stalwart away fans, who happily chanted "Norway, Norway's Number One, Thomas Myhre".  Tommy has endeared himself to all those at the game who witness his brilliant off-camera antics, from goal celebrations to bemoaning Mickey Madar's manic misses.  Could Thomas Myhre be the replacement who finally draws a veil over the illustrious top-flight career of the greatest Everton goalkeeper of all time, Neville Southall?

Although Tommy quickly won over the fans, he started to suffer from the tremendous pressure of Everton's fight against relegation in the 1997-98 season, and the errors started creeping in.  But Tommy did enough to get himself in the Norway squad for France and World Cup '98, which is admirable.  However, Frode Grodas kept him out of the World Cup limelight.

At the start of the 1998-99 season, Tommy Myhre's position was in some doubt as Walter Smith sought and eventually found a potential replacement.  But the arrival of Steve Simonsen came as an inspiration for Tommy, who went on to have one of the best clean-sheet records in the Premiership.  

As the 1998-99 season progressed, Tommy consolidated his position as Everton's and Norway's Number One. And its makes his old club, Viking Stavanger, happy every time he plays. The Norwegians, it's believed, get 200,000 every time Myhre reaches a landmark of 20, 40, 60 or 80 matches for Everton.

So they were perhaps more distressed than everyone except Tommy Myhre himself when he broke an ankle while training with Norway in June 1999.  Then, as if that wasn't bad enough, he slipped in the bath and broke a bone in the other ankle!

The long, long road to recovery reached the end with run-outs for the reserves in the Liverpool Senior Cup against Tranmere, followed by Ally Mitchell's testimonial against Kilmarnock. Then followed a surprising move to Rangers on loan, as Walter Smith helped his old club through a goalkeeper crisis.

Tommy Myhre returned to Goodison just after Christmas 1999 to the prospect of an uncertain future: Could he displace Paul Gerard???  The answer came as fortuitously as it had for Paul Gerrard, who in turn was injured at Southampton, and Tommy was suddenly back between the sticks.

But the accolades remained somewhat muted, turning to abject anger as Myhre shouldered a large part of the blame for Everton's untimely and hugely disappointing exit from the FA Cup to Aston Villa.  The calls even started for Everton to cash in Myhre, and were reinforced by the keeper himself when he was replaced by Paul Gerrard for the game at Chelsea.  But Everton really need good cover in the goalie's position, and letting Myhre go cheaply could prove foolhardy.  Rumours were also rife that his dropping was related to imminent appearance-related payments that would fall due to Viking Stavanger... 

A compromise was found in April 2000, when Norway's Number One went on emergency loan with Birmingham City, and helped them get to the 1st Division playoffs.  But they crashed at home to Barnsley when Myhre let in four goals, and the Blues went out after only winning the 2nd leg 2-1 on 18 May.  That terminated the loan agreement, and Myhre returned to an uncertain future with Everton, although he continued to cling tenaciously to Norway's Number One position, playing in goal for Norway's Euro2000 effort, and only letting in one goal.

His case was not helped when he again injured himself in training at the start of the 2000-01 season, and required an operation that kept him out for two months putting on hold any possible move to sunnier climes.  

When fit again, he was shipped across the Mersey to Tranmere Rovers on loan before Paul Gerrard twisted his knee in a game against West Ham.  Tommy answered the SOS and came back for several games but his performances where less than impressive.  Gerrard was recalled as soon as he was fit and Tommy was shipped off to FC Copenhagen for a 3-month loan in March 2001.  

Myhre may think he is Norway's Number One, and fans may be mystified that he is not even given any consideration now.  But his recent record with Everton included:

  • Injuring himself twice in mysterious "falling down" incidents;  
  • Whingeing and moaning constantly rather than quietly going about his business like Gerrard when he couldn't get a game; 
  • Chucking in goals in big games when he was picked; 
  • Not being very popular with his team mates (no doubt because of the above and his very high opinion of himself). 

It speaks volumes that Everton were never able to get shut of him and nobody ever bought him after loan spells, despite saying he's done well it could be the fee, it could be wages, or it could just be him off the field.  Another factor that kept him in the background was Everton's reported desire to avoid an appearance-related payment of 300k to Viking FK Stavanger if he passed the 80-game mark... Hmm... So how come he played 82 games for Everton?

Eventually, after the best part of a year in the Goodison wilderness, Myhre secured a move to Beshiktas in November 2001, ending what must have become a very unhappy time for him at Everton, frozen out by Walter Smith, as one report said.  Indeed, Myhre would later confirm this, with an outburst in which he claimed that Smith's arrival as manager at Goodison Park a year after Myhre's transfer started a downward spiral. "I felt that I wasn't treated right by Smith. You could say that our relationship was full of conflict and very turbulent.  This wasn't about money.  This was about personal things.  There was bad chemistry between us."

Walter Smith calmly downplayed this nonsense, saying, "I know Thomas very well.  Every time he came in, he did an excellent job and is a very good goalkeeper.  I always like to think we had a decent relationship with all the players.  I had a slightly awkward time at Everton where I had to transfer a lot of players because of the financial difficulties, but our relationship was good.  I don't know anything about what he's been saying and I always felt we had reasonable relationship.  Maybe I didn't pick him as much as I'd have liked, but he was injured a fair bit."

Season Squad
1997-98 31 22 (0) 0 1 (0) 0 23 (0) 0
1998-99 1 38 (0) 0 7 (0) 0 45 (0) 0
1999-2k 1 4 (0) 0 2 (0) 0 6 (0) 0
2000-01 35 6 (0) 0 2 (0) 0 8 (0) 0
2001-02 26 0 (0) 0 0 (0) 0 0 (0) 0

Totals: 70 (0) 0 12 (0) 0 82 (0) 0

Last updated: 01 December 2008


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