In a moment of tedium at work I've tried to compile my own combination XI from the two sets of players.
GK: Much as Howard has been near faultless for us, there is only one Neville Southall
RB: tougher than it looks, but Stevens had so much of an all round game that he has to squeeze Neville and Hibbert out.
CB: The rat has to be in, but who is his partner? Mountfield complemented him so well and chipped in with a lot of goals, but was he in the same class really as Jags, Lescott and (for that matter) Yobo? I think not, so on current form I'm going to go with the Jag alongside captain Kev.
LB: Another tough call. Baines has the potential to be the best left back we've had in a long, long time, but in my eyes is still way short of reaching his best. Psycho Pat was a club legend, but really he was quite a limited player and (being right footed) struggled to offer too much going forward. I'm going to switch Lescott over to LB for this team.
RM: We've got loads of potential right side midifelders in the current squad, with Victor, Ossie, AVDM and Gosling all playing there recently. But, with Stevens behind him, I think Tricky Trev has to get the nod, not least for his goals, especially in the ECWC.
CM: Bracewell was a class act and Fellaini, Rodwell, Neville et al are all proving their worth this season, but what a combination Reid and Arteta would have been. Any arguments there? Maybe Arteta in a wide role to accommodate Brace?
LM: Got to be honest, but Sheeds is well ahead of Pienaar, Gosling, AVDM and Osman in my eyes.
FW: Now here's a tough one. Inchy? Gray? Sharp? Yakubu? And what about Tiny Tim?! For me Heath was a player who was always one notch below the top level. Much as it pains me to say it he was never an international class footballer, although before his injury he was a quality player for us.
Gray? Cult hero for a time, but his goals to game ratio just wasn't good enough for us, depsite his fantastic contribution. For me, I think Cahill HAS to be in there, as a second striker. And now, I'm going to be really controversial and pick the Yak up front with him.
Sharp was and still is an Everton hero. But pace was never his strongest suit and whilst he offered much more all round play than the Yak I'm going to have to go with the goals and the sharpness of Yakubu. Sorry Sharpy! I know many of you will think I've gone nuts, but I honestly think Yakubu could have scored 35 in the 84-85 season, plus the Cahill / Yak combination last season was so good.
First XI (4-4-1-1):
Southall; Stevens, Jagielka, Ratcliffe*, Lescott; Steven, Reid, Arteta, Sheedy; Cahill; Yakubu.
Subs: Howard, Yobo, Neville, Bracewell, Fellaini, Gray, Sharp.
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1 Posted 17/02/2009 at 16:54:08
I know fans like doing this sort of stuff, but I?ve never got it. If you saw the show on Sky last night, Jeff asked Howard Kendall to compare his 85 side with the 70 side that he played in. Obviously bored with the question, he responded by saying it was impossible, they were the best for the era they played in. Simple as...
Point is you can't compare players from different eras, never mind teams.
2 Posted 17/02/2009 at 17:21:21
3 Posted 17/02/2009 at 18:01:00
Back to JL?s reference to Sky?s ?Time of Our Lives? last night. HK said that the '85 side had no weaknesses.
If our current squad wins anything in the next few years, then maybe an 85-year-old Jeff Stelling will be interviewing a 60-year-old Tim Cahill about which side was better ? the 2010 side or the 1985 side. Until then, no contest: 1985 for me ? man for man.
4 Posted 17/02/2009 at 19:12:38
Man for man, 85 team everytime!
5 Posted 17/02/2009 at 19:49:33
JL, but when Royle was asked, he said the 70 side was the best in his opinion.
6 Posted 17/02/2009 at 21:54:08
7 Posted 17/02/2009 at 22:03:47
8 Posted 17/02/2009 at 22:38:36
9 Posted 17/02/2009 at 22:43:34
However, the 80?s side had a mental strength akin to the modern day Man Utd and totally believed that they could beat anybody. I know of no-one in our team that, as yet could compete with that.
10 Posted 17/02/2009 at 22:43:34
However, the 80s side had a mental strength akin to the modern day Man Utd and totally believed that they could beat anybody. I know of no-one in our team that, as yet could compete with that.
11 Posted 17/02/2009 at 22:56:45
12 Posted 17/02/2009 at 23:29:48
13 Posted 18/02/2009 at 02:35:08
14 Posted 18/02/2009 at 00:40:40
Someone wrote how the 84-85 side came together through luck, starting the season before with the cup runs. Brock?s backpass was certainly the most famous. There were obviously more moments when good fortune shined on us. I remember a young Cascarino playing for Gillingham in the first Fourth Round replay, beating the offside trap deep in the 2nd half of extra time, going clear with only Nev to beat, who collected the ball off his feet. The chance had gone, we won the 2nd replay by half-time and with the cup runs gaining momentum, that most elusive of any team's chemistry, CONFIDENCE grew in abundance.
This is where I see the present team similarities. The confidence from our run in the last three months is showing throughout the side. With the breakthrough of the young bucks, competition for places can only make us think better days are ahead. Still back to the Yak, his injury apart, he blows hot and cold for me, leaving me frustrated and pissed off with his contribution on the pitch.
I think there's a lot of substance in Southgate?s comments when he left Boro. With the addition of Jo and If Vic can string more performances like Sunday?s then we could start having serious competition for the places upfront that have always been missing in Moyes's sides.
The confidence is growing, belief is growing, a little bit of long overdue luck and this side could go farther than most of us dare dream. COYB
15 Posted 18/02/2009 at 08:01:48
16 Posted 18/02/2009 at 09:07:54
17 Posted 18/02/2009 at 09:06:09
Bracewell is better than Arteta ? his long range distribution was probably better and his ball winning ability far superior. Arteta has the deal ball delivery edge ? but in the ?85 side this role was handled by Sheedy, who shades Arteta in this department.
18 Posted 18/02/2009 at 09:37:14
19 Posted 18/02/2009 at 10:50:29
20 Posted 18/02/2009 at 10:46:11
Many of the games that season (like this) were won on sheer hard work. Like this year, we had a lot of injuries and changes in 87, yet those who came in as replacements did so with exactly the right attitude. Unfashionable players like Harper and Power were magnificent that year. (Mathew Le Tissier was a great ?footballer?, but he won fuck all coz he basically played for himself and for the fun of it).
Once players understand it?s the team, NOT them who wins stuff, they have a chance. That might sound like stating the bleeding obvious (to say ?football is a team game?) but the actions of loads of players and supporters (although agreeing) indicate they don?t really get it.
Example: Duncan Ferguson was a great blue etc blah.
The truth is he was a talented footballer but many couldn?t (and still can?t) see how little he ACTUALLY put in. Was his heavy boozing, smoking, getting sent off etc good for the team? Was his contribution ACTUALLY more than say Lee Carsley?s? Not in my opinion, but it?s Duncan who is the Everton Legend.
Managers usually know the game is all about 11 performing as one, but it?s only when they can actually get this into the heads of their players, that trophies are won. Moyes, if not there, looks very close to achieving this with the present side.
21 Posted 18/02/2009 at 11:23:16
Nev, lower league
VdH, bought from Brums, but not too expensive
Rat, own product
Monty, bought cheaply from Tranmere
Trev, bought from Burnley £300,000 expensive
Bracewell, bought £220,000 not cheap
Reid, bought from Bolton £60,000 a real gamble concidering his history of injuries.
Sheedy, bought £1000,000 rs reserve. Bargin
Sharp, own product? (ask C Harvey) bought cheap
Heath, record sighning
Richardson, own product
Harper rs reserve cheap
This team is made of of a selection of bargins, gambles, development of own youth players with the odd large purchase. But how could they play. Similarities anyone?
22 Posted 18/02/2009 at 12:29:18
But it sort of further proves my point that its nearly impossible to compare players & teams of different era?s.
23 Posted 18/02/2009 at 12:39:57
When I go to Goodison wondering not if we will win or lose but by how many we will win by, I?ll know we are back at the 85 team's level.
24 Posted 18/02/2009 at 12:31:17
I?m actually worried if Lescott or Jagielka get injured and Yobo comes back in because he just seems to make too many mistakes. If we had one more centre-back, another defensive midfielder (as first choice or cover), a winger or two with pace and ability, and less injury-prone forwards I think we would be somewhere near the potential of the ?85 team.
25 Posted 18/02/2009 at 12:54:42
Likewise in 69-70 we started the season with 15 wins, 2 draws and 1 defeat and we finished the season with 8 straight wins and drew the last game against Sunderland when the League was already won. I can?t see today's team being as strong and consistent as that, even though we have had some decent runs.
26 Posted 18/02/2009 at 20:35:04
Are you just looking for a reaction or are you just off ya head? Where you there in the 80s? Did you see Trevor Steven play? Do you remember his nickname from the terraces? GOD! The lad had everything, he could tackle, he could score, defend, attack with brilliance, show people his arse as they slipped in his wake. Today he would be one of the most sought after midfielders in Europe. Think ya need to start takin the tablets again mate.
These teams cannot be compared. This period was a most glorious time in our history and I am just fortunate enough to have been able to witness it. My son is now starting to experience something of the same thing. He has heard me bang on about this great period, 5-0 against Man Utd, Sharp's goal at Anfield, Bayern Munich, seeing us win the league against QPR ? goes on and on. He is now getting his memories from this year and seeing Everton give him some pride.
But this is the beauty of the game that we all have our opinions... Steve Simonsen for goalie anyone?? :)
27 Posted 18/02/2009 at 22:17:06
28 Posted 19/02/2009 at 21:25:06
29 Posted 20/02/2009 at 00:40:35
None today fit to shine the boots of the 85 team. Though a fair share of them could buy the company that makes the boots of which they are not fit to shine.
(O, and thanks Guy, I was eating when I read the bit about your dad. Nice one!)
30 Posted 20/02/2009 at 12:08:41
31 Posted 22/02/2009 at 06:00:08
32 Posted 22/02/2009 at 12:58:45