And I wonder whether this extra dimension to a player?s personality - i.e. a conscience - is what Moyes means when he always asserts that he?s looking for more than just football talent when signing a player.
They must also be the ?right type? of bloke to fit into Moyes? EFC mould, it seems, and it?s clear that there are now quite a few of them at Goodison.
Cars, we know, is a massively down-to-earth bloke who is unstinting in his charitable efforts - and I gather we don?t know the half of it. Phil Neville is another player in the same mould (him and Paul Scholes have always been doing ?things on the side? in the right way since they were kids together at Man Utd).
Cahill, who knows his roots are as modest as they come, is another who ?puts something back?, albeit chiefly for projects back in Oz, the homeland which he says he is committed to and has stressed will be where he returns to after he?s punched his last corner flag.
McFadden, too, is another current Toffee with an added dimension to his personality and I don?t just mean pointing to a black armband in memory of his late team-mate Phil O?Donnell.
And now clearly, in the shape of AJ and Baines, there?s another couple of grounded lads.
I must say I?m not that surprised about AJ because I always put a lot of store by Simon Jordan?s words when the transfer took place between us and Palace. He seemed very keen to stress AJ?s ?honour? in all things; which is in direct contrast to Jordan?s - love him or loathe him - unforked tongue when asked about those he isn?t too keen on.
I always suspected, then, that AJ was an all-round good guy but I have to say that the Baines involvement in A-Star is a very welcome sign (good job that he left the goal celebrations to AJ, though!).
The Fat Kid?s departure pretty much eroded what faith I had in modern footballers and for the last four years I?ve been as cynical and jaundiced as they come about the prima-donnas we see before us.
However, whilst I?ll never return to the days when they were all heroes and icons adorning a Pannini stickers album page, a degree of warmth towards them is slowly (very) creeping back into my ice-cold veins.
I suppose that when Moyes talks about team-building and blend he?s not just talking about on-field formations and I?m glad we have a gaffer who likes to sound out his charges beyond checking the Opta stats.
In that respect, then, I wonder what we are to make of the Fernandes saga (a player reputed to have had a surly gob even before he came) and Moyes?s total silence on the subject since the summer pantomime.
Anyway, that?s a negative. Only plus marks today. So, hats off to AJ and Baines... the more off-field ?do gooders? we have at EFC the better in my opinion.
ps: See Joey Barton?s before the beak today, eh?
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1 Posted 03/01/2008 at 16:55:29
2 Posted 03/01/2008 at 17:00:21
3 Posted 03/01/2008 at 17:28:49
I’m not too sure about this being their Christian duty - who was the top player in the 60’s who said he couldn’t be a Christian and a footballer (Knowles?) and went out on the knocker instead. I’m all for what’s called the protestant work ethic.
Without wanting to know anything about about DM’s upbringing, I’ll bet he believes that you get nothing in this life if you don’t work for it. And this does dovetail nicely with his preferred choice of player - plus what he does with them. I’ll bet that there are shedloads of ’experts’ out there who didn’t know that Yakubu could work as hard as he is doing now. Praise be.
4 Posted 03/01/2008 at 17:50:14
I was terrified we would sign Barton during the summer.
5 Posted 03/01/2008 at 19:37:00
I never sent off to get any missing stickers that was cheating..........
6 Posted 03/01/2008 at 20:04:29
I wonder how many other Premiership teams have such fantastic characters in their ranks?
7 Posted 03/01/2008 at 21:51:32
8 Posted 03/01/2008 at 22:17:22
I seem to remember rooney being fronted up at Alder Hey by his minders soon after the grab a granny fiasco for a bit of damage limitation.
We were well rid.
’ The worst kind of heart problem is to have no charity in it’ ...Bob Hope
9 Posted 03/01/2008 at 22:28:39
10 Posted 03/01/2008 at 22:39:31
11 Posted 03/01/2008 at 23:20:09
12 Posted 03/01/2008 at 23:22:39
Maybe Barton is beyond help but I’m sure Manny isn’t.
13 Posted 04/01/2008 at 00:40:43
14 Posted 04/01/2008 at 00:51:06
15 Posted 04/01/2008 at 03:20:57
I have always felt that players need to use their resources and connections to help the less fortunate and this seems to be the case with many of our lads.We are more than just a football team..we are part of an amazing group of human beings at Everton..and nothing makes me happier.
Lets hope that the lads keep up the good work and do even more in the new year.
16 Posted 04/01/2008 at 05:32:47
17 Posted 04/01/2008 at 13:15:42
Although I just wish Peanuts had remembered his final quote from that Telegraph article in the 88th minute at OT with Giggs bearing down on him...
"I just hope we can get one in Manchester. As long as we don’t give anything away, we know we will have a good game."
18 Posted 04/01/2008 at 13:21:33
I have to say one of the things which has made me most proud of the blues over the last few years has been the football in the community program which is recognised as one of the best business (not just football) in the community schemes in the UK.
I think one of the things that stands out with our squad at the moment is the inteligence and maturity of the players (even the very young). Not lables that can be easily attached to most permiership footballers.
I don’t think this is an accedent, and I don’t think it is a coincidence that such personalities play well as a team and work as a squad.
19 Posted 04/01/2008 at 16:28:12
It is pleasing that we don’t seem to have any particularly bad apples in the Everton squad at the moment. I’m going to be kind and say that Andy Van Der Meyde is more misguided than unsavoury. What’s more, he doesn’t appear to have any influence on the squad, let alone a bad one.
It’s probably noteworthy when mentioning Carsley and Kilbane and their involvement at Alder Hey that they both have children with learning difficulties (they’re down-syndrome I think).
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