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Goodbye and thanks for everything, Lee

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Lee Carsley is leaving Everton. The official site has just announced that Lee will be living and working closer to his family in the midlands. It may be that the Birmingham rumours circulating were true.

I would like to thanks Lee for his attitude, application and professionalism. He has been admired and critisised over the past few years, yet has shown great consistency and has been fundamental to the success of the blues when playing 4-5-1.

He has played his role protecting the back 4, breaking up play and winning back possession very well. Not a glamourous task, but one well performed. The influence on our defensive record is clear to see.

I would have liked him in the squad next year without needing him to play 40+ games, but I think he still has a lot to offer. Age may be catching up on him, but I don't think his performances this year have been any less energetic or important to last year, when he was one of the players of the season.

He will be missed, and there is now an even biiger hole to fill in our midfield, with 3 players who can improve our first team now required.

Thanks Lee and all the best
Michael Jones, Manchester     Posted 19/05/2008 at 11:18:40

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Andy Callaghan
1   Posted 19/05/2008 at 11:05:35

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So it looks like Cars has decided to opt out of a contract extension and will be leaving the club. I think it is a shame, but to be fair I couldn't see him lasting another 40+ games next season. But he has been absolutely vital to our recent climb up the table and will be remembered fondly by Evertonians.
Andy Lea
2   Posted 19/05/2008 at 11:09:44

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He has been a good servant to the club and so if this proves to be true then I think he can leave with his head held high knowing he contributed to a good season.

Some will say we should have retained his services as a squad player but in fairness to Lee that isnt what he needs at this stage of his career. It can also be seen as a positive as he said himself if Moyes was looking to bring 3 or 4 midfielders then Lee would have to consider his options.

Good luck Lee and thank you!! Altogether now "who put the ball in the red shites net......"

Bobby McDermott
3   Posted 19/05/2008 at 11:22:28

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I'd just like to say I'm sad to see him go, I know he's had his critics on here but he really has been the unsung hero of the last few seasons. I don?t think we would be in the position we are today if it wasn?t for him. Moyes now needs to find a top class replacement to fill his boots.

All the best for the future Lee and thank you for the years of service.

Paul Olsen
4   Posted 19/05/2008 at 11:40:32

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Thanks for some great memories, but we all knew it was time to move on.

And truly a fine season to depart for him, leaving us with the memories of a true Everton dog-of-war

Iain McWilliam
5   Posted 19/05/2008 at 11:45:19

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Just thought I'd wish Carsley luck in whatever he does next (trying to save Paul Jewell's nightmare season in the Championship occuring probably). Without him, Moyes would have found it much harder making 4-5-1 work as well as it has. He was as important to the formation as Cahill is whether you like the formation or not. Again, like Cahill, not the most naturally gifted of footballers but he knew what he could and couldn't do. He kept his play simple and usually made sure he did it well... oh and he scored a winner in a derby!
Roberto Birquet
6   Posted 19/05/2008 at 11:49:37

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A big thanks and well done to Lee Carsley. We would often look to Arteta, Pienaar or once upon a time to Gravesen for exciting incisive play, but what a player Lee Carsley was for us.

How many times did he get us possession; how many oppostion attacks did he thwart? I guess he will not be revered like a Peter Reid or Trevor Steven, but we are gonna miss you Cars.

And for that goal against the other lot. I saw it in a central London pub surrounded by bloody Reds. What a moment and again against the Reds, making Reina look like a right dope. Icing on the cake. I was in main stand for that one and what a laugh when I met up with me red brother at the Halfway House afterwards.

Thanks a lot!

Gary Tan
7   Posted 19/05/2008 at 11:53:49

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This is a shocker! Lee Carlsey has apparently decided to leave and for some reason, DM has allowed it to happen. This leaves us with a midfield (on loan player not counted) of Osman, Pienaar, Cahill and Arteta... It is a decent starting 4 but just in terms of numbers, we need at least 4 more!!

Knowing Moyes, he has his targets and plan in place. Also knowing Moyes, we will end up signing a couple of players after pre-season have started and in a last desperate attempt, we will sign another on-loan, one week before the start of next season. Leaving us a player short as usual.

Hoping to be proven wrong....

Mark Hill
8   Posted 19/05/2008 at 12:16:51

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Does this mean we are to get some replacements in centre midfield? At present the holding role, given Carsley's departure would probably fall to Nev. I can't see Jag or anybody else going in there. Fernandes has he gone back to Spain now???

I think he is off to Birmingham where there are reports of him being offered a bumper pay deal to help them back in the Prem.

Sad to see Carsley go, but in the interest of progress, I would be happy with this so long as someone comes in to replace him, that player being at least equal but hopefully better.

David Moore
9   Posted 19/05/2008 at 12:22:04

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I think it is appropriate that we a tleast post one blog that dedicates Cars for his loyal service and nearly 200 games for the club. I for one think that he was one of the real cornerstones to our success in recent years and will be a great loss.

However, with his departure it is sure to me that we are going to buy a quality or even 2 quality defensive midfielders because we could not last a season with Pip in that position. I think that Fernandes is an absolute formality now and maybe even Bradley to follow.

But well done to Cars and good luck with your future career.

Peter Laing
10   Posted 19/05/2008 at 12:27:15

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A fond farewell to super Lee on his departure from the Club he has served so well during the past 6 years. Walter Smith's final and what seemed ill-fated signing widely castigated in many blue quarters becoming a legend in the Moyes era. Although I am sorry to see Lee go it is also a statement of intent on the part of David Moyes on moving Everton on to the next level. Super Lee will be hard to replace, a character amongst the ranks and who can forget that sweet derby winner.
Trevor Thompson
11   Posted 19/05/2008 at 12:34:28

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Just a quick one to say thanks Lee Carsley for the commitment and effort you showed while at your time at Everton. You were definitely an unsung hero and probably didn't get as much praise as you deserved. We all have to agree that you did play to his best ability and gave 100% everytime. All the best for the future. Cheers!
Adam Carey
12   Posted 19/05/2008 at 13:33:35

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I wanted to say a big thank you to a very good team player, who has done his job for us over the last few years when we have have moved back up the rankings. Cheers Lee, all the best!
James Marshall
13   Posted 19/05/2008 at 15:23:52

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Much as I love him like the rest of you, this does hopefully mean we’ll sign someone decent to replace him, surely?

Manny may well end up back with us, though can he do the same job? No.

What we need now is someone with experience to fill the hole in midfield.......I wonder what Mr A Van Der Meyde is up to next season?!
Anton Holmes
14   Posted 19/05/2008 at 13:27:05

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So Carsley has decided that this is the year to go. I would like to thank him very much for what he has done for the cause of EFC, from being bottom 5 contingents to to top 5 finishers, a player who made the most of his limited abilities, and to as I believe be maybe more appreciated after he has departed.

So now there is no more "will he sign for one more year", he is gone so something has to happen in midfield, ever more important. I think his leaving will be more pivotal to our squad/team progression than anything else this off-season, because he gave 100% and made the most of his career with us, unlike many many other players either here or at any other clubs. Let's see what happens now...

Declan Burke
15   Posted 19/05/2008 at 15:10:59

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All good things must come to an end, but I am sad to see Lee Cearsley leave our club. While Lee took time to settle after his move from Coventry, he has been one of our most consistant players over the last few years. I hope that wherever he goes he enjoys the rest of his career. Thanks Cars and good luck.
Adam Cunliffe
16   Posted 19/05/2008 at 15:26:03

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Would of liked to of seen him stay another year because he would of been an excelent squad player but no-one can begrudge him a move back to his home town. Well done Lee and thanks for some gret memories.
Steve Ferns
17   Posted 19/05/2008 at 15:16:56

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There’s no getting away from it, Carsley has been emmense at Everton. He performed key duties when we got 7th, 4th, 6th last year and 5th again this year. It was no suprise that when he had long periods of the sidelines we finished 17th and 11th (only recovering when carsley returned from injury).

Lee really made the role his own and was a throw back to a bye gone age of hard footballers who would put their foot in were it hurts, never shirk a challenge and never ever roll around on the floor after being caught. He was a man’s man, a player’s player, and deserves his status as an Everton Cult Hero.

He’s one of a few select bunch of players who have properly had the majority of fans on his back, who have made top 5 lists of players to axe, and still got on with it and won every single last one of them over. I have nothing but respect for the man.

The injury he suffered in 2005 should have been the end of him. You don’t suffer carerer threatening injuries like that at 30+ and recover, but Lee did. I was amazed that he still threw himself in were it hurts and still never thought twice.

Lee would be the first to admit he was no Zidane, but to say he was of little skill is a diservice to the great man. He knew his limitations and he knew there were more technically gifted players on the team and he played to his own strengths.

Without Carsley, Arteta would not have shined, Gravesen would never have been bought by Madrid and Pienaar and Osman would not have had the freedom to play the exciting football we all crave.

I am glad Carsley is going now. I don’t quite think that the cracks were starting to show in his game just yet. I don’t think that the legs have startedto go, but there have been a couple of glimpses and I for one want to remember Lee in his pomp, not turning to my mate and commenting that perhaps its time. Lee was too great a servant for that.

I hope Lee gets the last payday he deserves. I hope he signs for West Brom, just so he can get that final reception at Goodison.

As for us, we move on, we need to find a new younger model. Moyes has lost the last player who was here before him. The fact that he stayed so long shows just how vital a player he was. Goodbye Lee and goodluck
Mark Cassin
18   Posted 19/05/2008 at 15:43:35

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Good player who has his limitations--I know he’s an old codger and wants games but it’s a shame that he couldn’t be back up for our next defensive midfielder.

I am very much hoping that we sign Lorik Cana and certainly not Diarra who we have been linked with today. He is a Bouba Diop type.
Sean Joyce
19   Posted 19/05/2008 at 15:49:05

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A sad day indeed for Everton FC. Lee Carsley has proven to be an excellent buy for us, not always appreciated for his footballing ability but his effort and commitment could never be faulted. Who can forget his Man Of The Match performance in the 3 - 0 rout of the Shite, and his performance in marking Steve G out of that game. His goal in the derby win will always be remembered. Thank you again Lee, you will be missed, and good luck for the future for you and your family.
Sur Jo
20   Posted 19/05/2008 at 15:55:51

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Thanks Lee Carsley. The club has progressed tremendously while you were here. You played a big part in it. Recently, you have been the consistent protective midfielder in the Premier League. I have no doubt that you still have two good years of football left. Good luck and wish you all the best. Thanks once again.
Danny Mullally
21   Posted 19/05/2008 at 15:49:20

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He was without a doubt one of the most influential players in our team.

His proffessionalism, attitude, workrate and most of all his ability to break up opposing attacks was fantastic at times.

His performances were often overshadowed by the flair of Arteta or the goal scorers like Lescott, Yak, and Ossie.

His importance to the team was underlined for me when other players like Jags and Neville tried and ultimately failed to fulfill his role. No-one understood the role better than Lee.

His passing was never the best, but his commitment was always 110% and for that I will miss him most. I just hope it isn?t like the Alan Stubbs transfer Mk 1 and we lose not only his contribution on the pitch but his leadership in the dressing room.

Whoever comes in to fill his boots will have to be some player. I just hope we bring in somebody who will prove to be a leader, and a good team player, with excellent ability to read the game.

Good Luck At Birmingham Lee.
Connor Rohrer
22   Posted 19/05/2008 at 16:00:01

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Mark Cassin, don’t we need a Papa Bouba Diop type player? I think we do. Diarra is better than Diop and fits the bill in my opinion.

As much as I like Cana we will not sign him. If he leaves he’s looking at moving to a bigger club in the Champions League.
Chris Dawson
23   Posted 19/05/2008 at 15:50:19

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5 words sum it all up....

THAT GOAL AGAINST THE SHITE

Thankyou Lee and good luck
Dan Adams
24   Posted 19/05/2008 at 16:13:02

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Lee is one of them few players that can actually sit back and think he has made the most of his tallent. Never the most graceful but always gave it his all and I loved him for it! Thanks for the years lee, just a shame its not for one more.
Adam Hunter
25   Posted 19/05/2008 at 16:14:09

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He?ll always have a special place in my Everton heart, as he scored the winner in my first ever merseyside derby. Totally committed, disciplined and dedicated to the cause, we really missed him when he was out. You only have to look at our one poor season out of the last 4, Carsley was injured for all of it.

As I'm sure Moyes is aware, we now need serious midfield reinforcements, hopefully 2 quality central midfield players and maybe another on loan.
Andy Ellams
26   Posted 19/05/2008 at 16:16:57

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Immense with the heart of a lion. But in a way I am glad he has left now on the back of a good season and not when he has gone downhill with the crowd on his back. Surely a replacement is in the pipeline.
Keith Glazzard
27   Posted 19/05/2008 at 16:08:54

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Many thanks to Lee Carsley and the very best wishes for the future to him and his family.

I’ve just heard, and I was mildly surprised by the news - I thought Moyes might like to keep him as insurance. But that’s it now. So many people have said in these posts that this is where the strengening is needed and DM must have a very good idea of how he wants to do it. Cars is perhaps the best example of of the way Moyes can develop a player. The next step can’t be to start all over again.

Significant signings must be announced in the next few days - mustn’t they?

Terry Beeken
28   Posted 19/05/2008 at 16:47:56

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Agree with everything thats been said; thanks Lee and good luck.

Just one to throw out there as theres no football to debate: Who would you have in your team ? Lee Carsley or Joe Parkinson?
Tom Freestone
29   Posted 19/05/2008 at 16:38:14

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Agree with pretty much everything on this thread - well played Lee.

More than a few people have mentioned Carsley being an integral part of the team and the 4-5-1 system in particular. In fact, he was so important for us I reckon his name must have been ’first on the team sheet’, to use a cliche, after Howard. So it must have been really tempting for Moyes to keep him if only to have this option open to him for a bit longer.

But we should see it as a positive move I think, despite the fact that we’ve lost a good player (i don’t care about his ’technical limitations’ - it takes skill do do what he does). Even after a great season, i think a lot of us noticed that the last couple of months had started to catch up with him and Moyes had to make the move at some point so why not now when player can still get a decent move for himself and Moyes has the time and (dare I say it? probably not) the money to replace him properly.

We’ll notice his value once he goes. We just need to find a new Cars...
Michael Brien
30   Posted 19/05/2008 at 17:34:01

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I believe the main reason for Lee deciding not to take up the offer of a new contract at Everton was a family one - he has a young lad who has Down?s Syndrome - and so therefore Lee wanted to be closer to his family in the Midlands.

Personally I am sorry to see him leave - he is a player who whilst he had his limitations - and every player does - even Ronaldo- he has certainly showed his value to Everton over these last 6 years. He is a lot more skilfull than many give him credit for - check out the 2004-05 season DVD - and not just for THAT goal - he had a couple of other moments from free kicks that if other players had scored them comentators would be drooling with superlatives. I hope DM makes a replacement a top priority - we certainly missed him when he was injured in 2005-06.

It?s probably not stretching a point to say that Lee was one of those players we didn?t really go overboard in noticing when he was in team - but one who we certainly missed when he was injured/out of the team.

Good luck to him for the future.
Tim Lowe
31   Posted 19/05/2008 at 18:03:58

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Just got in from work to find this news and must say I’m really disappointed.

What a great servant this guy has been to us, definitely undervalued in my opinion. To add to that, by all accounts he’s a top bloke. Always thought he’d be a good bloke to go for a pint with.

Wish him all the best for the future, just a shame he had to go to the other Blues. Sure he’ll do a great job in the championship next season
Karl Masters
32   Posted 19/05/2008 at 18:30:33

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Can there have been a player to leave Everton in the last years with as many good wishes from us all as Lee Carsley?

It says a lot about him that he has moved to help his wife with their disabled child rather than selfishly do what was only best for him.

GOOD LUCK, LEE. You were a star for us and I wish you all the best.
Stefan Tosev
33   Posted 19/05/2008 at 18:48:07

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All the best Cars
Declan McCarthy
34   Posted 19/05/2008 at 19:06:44

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Just a quick note, I met Lee some years ago at a function in the Spa Hotel, Lucan, a great bloke and a really nice fellow, does some fantastic charity work as well, a great ambassador for the club and a model professional. I just want to wish Lee all the best for the future and to thank him for being a great Evertonian.
Phil Jones
35   Posted 19/05/2008 at 19:17:43

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Thanx for everything Lee. Best of luck to you in Birmingham.
Ric Wallace
36   Posted 19/05/2008 at 19:49:37

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I think everyone on this site knows the important role Lee has had for us over the past years.

I really hopes that he and Birmingham win some silverware next season, like the Championship, so he can go out in the style that he deserves.
Matt Geraghty
37   Posted 19/05/2008 at 19:51:04

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Amen to all the above. Good luck Lee, you?ve been a great servant to EFC.
Jay Harris
38   Posted 19/05/2008 at 20:22:35

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Lee Carsley,
A model professional to the end. You knew exactly when to move on. You will be sorely missed by us all but good luck with the family and thanks for years of great service.
Dave Wilson
39   Posted 19/05/2008 at 20:27:26

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Yep
wonderful service, I?ll never forget the way Goodison exploded against the shite, brilliant brilliant memories Cars lad, be happy!
Ray Robinson
40   Posted 19/05/2008 at 20:43:55

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Carsley - never met the bloke, like some of you, but he commands my total respect and I wish him all the best.

Sentimentality aside, I do think that it is mutually beneficial for both parties that he does move on - but having said that, I’m sad to see him go.

If he really is moving on for family reasons as has been stated, it just empahsises what a top bloke he really is.

With Gravesen gone as well, there’s only Johnson left of the old baldy brigade.
Mike Whittaker
41   Posted 19/05/2008 at 20:46:44

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Good Luck Lee. A player who never gave less than total commitment.
Birmingham City have got a talented footballer and a top man.
Eddie O'Neill
42   Posted 19/05/2008 at 20:37:14

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I?ll tell you guys it?s gonna be hard to replace this guy.... just wait and see!! He was great! Hope all his knockers are now happy.... and have any of you got a replacement in mind????... naw didn?t think so.

Lee, thanks for everything you did for my team. You helped me hold my head up many a Sunday morning. Best of luck to you lad.... I?ll have a pint for ya!!! Cheers!

Micky Norman
43   Posted 19/05/2008 at 20:59:02

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Top man. Thank you Lee. I still believe the Real Madrid scouts thought they were buying you!!!
Carl Rimmer
44   Posted 19/05/2008 at 21:26:16

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Stating the plain and simple: Lee Carsley played 200 + games for EFC on around £20k a week for 6 years. Compare that to someone like Lee Bowyer/Kieron Dyer on about £60k+ a week playing about 10 games a season, if that, for West Ham. Says it all.
Mick O'Connell
45   Posted 19/05/2008 at 22:57:29

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Good luck, Lee, and all the best for the future. It?s been a pleasure to watch someone with so much commitment and determination play for the blues.

The goal in the derby (and subsequent pile-up celebration) plus the brilliant free kick against Newcastle at St James?s are two great moments to remember.
Jason Broome
46   Posted 19/05/2008 at 23:39:33

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Lee, you left all on the field mate. You will always be welcomed at Goodison.

Thank You.
Jamie Yates
47   Posted 19/05/2008 at 12:52:14

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For a player whose signing from fellow strugglers Coventry was greeted with apathy by the majority of us, 'Harry Hill' departs having deservedly earned cult hero status for his graft at the heart of David Moyes's revival of Everton Football Club.

A great pro and a great character, Carsley has contributed so much more to the cause than anyone who rated him no more than the latest addition to the Walter Smith Home for Ageing Journeymen (aka EFC) could ever have expected when he arrived. Didn?t he sign up alongside that most exciting of foreign prospects Toby Linderoth? Funny to think that, if I remember right, back in spring 2002 I was pretty thrilled to imagine our mysterious new Swedish import developing into a top Premiership performer in the coming years. Where is Toby now? where was he back then more like?!! Stefan Rehn anyone?

Aside from the importance of his performances on the park, interviews with players and backroom staff in recent years indicate that Lee was among the most popular members of the dressing room and it is to be hoped that this aspect of his impact on the team?s success will not be too sorely missed as well. Carsley?s departure leaves a gaping void in our winning system which will not be easy to fill. It speaks volumes about how important the lad has become to our team that we?ll all be monitoring transfer developments with an added degree of concern this summer to see who Moyes brings in to replace him.

The man deserves immense respect and gratitude from us all for the spirit, consistency, determination and ability to pop up with a crucial goal or two along the way - who could forget THAT derby strike! ? that he has shown in the Royal Blue these past six years and here?s hoping the next chapter in his career is a successful one.

Thanks again, Cars.

Santosh Benjamin
48   Posted 20/05/2008 at 00:14:20

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When I heard the news that Cars was not re-signing, I felt a real surge of sadness inside me. He never claimed to be the most skillful of players and was content with doing the dirty work of protecting the back 4. Yes, he was getting older but his spirit was still strong. He enabled players like Gravesen, Arteta, Pienaar and Ossie to be their creative selves.

He seemed to be a great motivator in the dressing room and was just an all round good guy. His charity work and discipline off the field were things to be admired too.

Finally, I'd like to applaud him for making the decision based on the need to sepnd more time with his family... especially his son who has Downs... reminds us all that life has more dimensions to it than just the game.

There isn't another Evertonian that I'd want to meet more than Cars... As he continues on his journey, I'd like to say... THANK YOU, LEE FOR ALL YOU HAVE GIVEN US.. AND ALL THE VERY BEST TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY FOR THE FUTURE!

P.S: Can still feel the eruption of joy as he scored against Liverpool in the Derby win!!!!

Jason Lam
49   Posted 20/05/2008 at 03:09:31

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Thanks Super Lee, you’ll always have a special place in our hearts. I was so happy for you to score that goal against the shite. A model professional that made the most of his abilities. All the best for you and your family.
Mike Coates
50   Posted 20/05/2008 at 07:14:47

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Miss Ya Cars :(
Lee Molton
51   Posted 20/05/2008 at 12:41:01

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Everton are losing a gem, Carsley is our heartbeat and will be so hard to replace!

Thanks for your loyal service Lee and also the goal in the Derby, what a magical moment!

Good luck to you and all your family and hope to see you back in the Premier League in 12 months time!
Brian Baker
52   Posted 20/05/2008 at 12:10:49

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Lee Carsley was the last remaining player at EFC that David Moyes never signed, but was signed by Walter Smith at the same time he signed David Ginola.

Not that you can put Carsley in the same mould as David Ginola, athough at the time of his signing he was classified as a mediocre midfielder in the twighlight of his career at best.

I wonder what Smith and most Everton fans would have said if you told them that Carsley would stay for another 6 years and be one one the most influential midfielders at the club for some time. They all probably would ask you for some of what you had been snorting.

Is this really the end of an era and beginning of a new one? Everyone in the squad is now a player of Moyes own choosing. You really can say now that this is David Moyes own team.

Will we now start winning some silverware and really start a new era?

David Foster
53   Posted 24/05/2008 at 01:45:37

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Lee Carsley, true Everton Legend, you wore that Blue shirt with pride in every game and gave everything for the cause. Thanks for everything, Cars!

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