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Make Cahill Captain

By Andrew James :  12/08/2008 :  Comments (21) :
After a Summer of the doomsayers coming out like heroin addicts on Cold Turkey due to Everton?s hierarchy seeming as if Christopher Biggins should be donning his dress and wig about six months ahead of schedule, I would like to suggest something that many Everton fans have previously talked about.

Our Captain Phil Neville is many things. A great professional, experienced, reliable? but he?s not inspirational nor does he lead by example. I don?t like to jump on the bandwagon that loves attacking Gary?s younger brother but Philip Neville is not good enough to be our Captain. He joined the club three years ago and I suspect he did so because he was promised he?d be Skipper. He joined in the Stubbs loophole period and before Cahill could establish himself long term.

Captains need to lead by example. Dave Watson was not a classy defender but he led by example. He got stuck in, scored goals and got his hands dirty. Brian Labone was a solid rock on which the Holy Trinity felt they could build their attack. You need a Captain to send a message to the rest of the team. Opening the point to other teams, look at Stuart Pearce at Forest, Shearer at Newcastle and Gerrard at our charming neighbours Liverpool. They excelled or excel in what they do and drag the team up into believing they can do the same. Grabbing them by the scruff of the neck and saying,?if I can do it, so can you!?

Neville doesn?t do this. In fact he starts doing the reverse. I?ve seen at least two key games in the last eighteen months where his shortcomings as a player turn on us and we implode. At home against Man Utd in Spring 2007 we were in control but his own goal led to our capitulation. What sort of message does that send out to the troops?

In Italy against Fiorentina we were just getting away with it but his constantly awful tackling and passing from defence brought wave after wave onto Lescott, Yobo and Jagielka. Soon enough they cracked as their Captain had been busy giving the mediocre Italian side a pick axe with which to chip away at the wall for an hour. Admittedly Carsley was not impressive on the night but he wasn?t the one getting double in a week what I get in a year and wearing the armband.

But these are just two vivid examples. I also recall many other times (often when we got away with it) when his loose cannon approach to tackling in front of the back four and woeful distribution has led to long periods when I am scratching my head as to why he wears the armband. He?s a good right back. But that?s where his talent ends.

So why Tim Cahill? I know many have raised questions over his ability. I agree, Cahill is a weird but brilliant player. He can?t pass particularly well, he can?t dribble, his tackling has the subtlety of Vinnie Jones and he doesn?t take set pieces. But that boy makes things happen. His aerial ability is exceptional given his height. His timing is brilliant and his belief is top notch.

Over the last four seasons Cahill has usually been in the top three scorers. He also scores important goals that inspire the team. I remember in 2004 when we started the campaign off well but were labouring against Portsmouth away. Guess who bagged the important goal which really made us start believing we were there to stay? Who scored goals against Liverpool in 2005 and Man Utd in 2007 as a way of trying to kick start revivals? These didn?t happen but he gave us a glimmer of hope both times. Who scored the overhead kick against Chelsea which made us and the team start believing they were bulletproof last season? Who scored the first goal against Larissa to settle down our nerves?

His ability to score in big games is proven. While Yakubu sometimes go missing he doesn?t know when he?s beaten. Cahill leads by example. I love it when he punches the goal flag because that often means we?re bagging the three points.

The perception is that he?s very good on the PR front, this isn?t because he has been injured so much recently but because he knows his role. He came from Millwall and hasn?t always been a highly paid guy living in a bubble. He?s made sacrifices and is extremely realistic about matters. Cahill recently said he wouldn?t rush back from injury as he wanted to get it absolutely right knowing that he only has four seasons at this level. That long term vision was extremely wise as he wants to give his absolute best for the second half of his top flight career.

So I suggest we give him our absolute best in the remainder of his top flight career. Rather than giving the best armband to a player who talks the talk but never walks the walk.

Reader Comments

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Chris Kelly
1   Posted 12/08/2008 at 06:17:34

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Couldn?t agree more! Love the kid to bits. My favorite player by a mile. And our MOST important (well, tied with Lescott). He bleeds Everton as well.


After all those plaudits, I would have to go with Lescott as being our next captain. He?s the rock and if he wants to go onto becoming the next England Centre-half, then he?s going to need to do it with us first. It?s time for him to push on and anchor us back to Europe.
Chris Kelly
2   Posted 12/08/2008 at 06:28:41

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Also, doesn?t it feel that after the Summer we?ve had, a nice change of captain (to someone who is one of our better players) could give us a galvanizing jolt???

Why does it feel like that would never happen?
Jason Lam
3   Posted 12/08/2008 at 08:00:03

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A new captain would be like signing a new player!

Seriously though I agree with the poster regarding our dear Pip. I would hand the captaincy to Lescott as Cahill is spending more time in the treatment table than on the pitch.. worrying. A captain that’s 6ft+ leading our boys out the pitch will win us half the match already. It really does!
James Cadwaladr
4   Posted 12/08/2008 at 08:06:18

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Kevin Pieterson for me!

Seriously, I think Cahill would be a brilliant captain, I love the guy more than anyone else in the everton squad, however he is made of glass and Neville would likely captain half of the games in his absence.
Christopher Kennedy
5   Posted 12/08/2008 at 08:14:58

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Love Cahill but it would have to be Lescott. I believe the captain should be in the back four. I do feel sorry for Pip. He is an genuine honest hard working journyman who loves the club and having met the guy once, he realy is a nice guy. The problem is, he just isnt good enough. Not if we have aspirations to go forward into the CL. Its a shame but its true. Cahill would make a great captain because he leads by example, but what if the Mutinio deal goes through?
Dutch Schaffaer
6   Posted 12/08/2008 at 09:03:10

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Yeah make Cahill Captain for the 5 games or so he’s available. Wouldn’t it be better to have a Captain who wasn’t always injured and could play in most of the games?
Steve Templeton
7   Posted 12/08/2008 at 09:17:50

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I disagree with your view that Neville does not lead by example and I would refer you to the home defeat to Blackburn in the FA Cup last season.

Throughout the whole of the second half, with the fans screaming blue murder, Neville continually asked for the ball and drove forward from right back non-stop.

That, in my view is an example of leading by example.

I appreciate that he is not everyones cup of tea but I do feel that he gets an unfair press at times. If you actually watch him when he plays right back you will notice that he very rarely gets beaten by his man and more importantly he is one of the most positive players in the team and links up well with Arteta when he is playing in front of him.

By all means give him stick when he deserves it but let’s also give the guy some credit when he deserves that also.
Peter Laing
8   Posted 12/08/2008 at 09:36:56

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Get your head outa your arse Dutch you seem to have a personal vendetta against Cahill based upon his misfortune with injuries. The reason Cahill has had the problem with his metatarsal if you remember is that Jags jumped on his foot ! Since then he has returned from rehab too soon due to his commitment to Everton and the need to get him involved due to a lack of bodies. The guy is a natural born leader, he bleeds for Everton, never shirks or hides, scores goals, mixes it up and the opposition absolutely hate him, particularly the redshite might I add. I have been talking Cahill up for a number of years as the natural Captain at Everton but unfortunately I believe Neville is a ’yes-man’ and would never question Moyes authority.
Steve Carter
9   Posted 12/08/2008 at 10:54:45

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Completely agree, Andrew. Cahill has the Australian Steve Waugh-type winning is everything mentality/drive. Pip is and, I fear, Joleon would be, too hail fellow well met: i.e. English cricket team captain material only.
Dan Adams
10   Posted 12/08/2008 at 12:06:30

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I think should be either captain Lescott or Yobo. Both these guys are from what I can see the real leaders on the pitch. Yobo has grown from a liability to our rock at the back and I feel he would really step up again to the mark. I doubt that Moyes will change the captain in the next 3 years though.
Helge Amble
11   Posted 12/08/2008 at 11:46:12

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I think Neville is a good captain, 110 % professional, and hard-working. But if we select a new captain I belive Yobo will be a better one, he plays day in- day out and leads the back-four extremly well!
Dutch Schaffaer
12   Posted 12/08/2008 at 12:24:09

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I like Cahill, I think he’s a good player and a top bloke but where is he going to be this weekend? INJURED. What a surprise.

I’m sorry but Cahill has far too many niggling injuries to be Captain.

Neville is a superb leader, a natural born winner, maybe even future Everton manager, but I agree he is a limited player and doesn’t always warrant his place in the side.

So the main two candiates Neville (great leader but average player) and Cahill (great player but always injured) have good and bad parts about them.

If we want a Captain whose a good player and available for most oft he games then you have to look towards Lescott, Yobo or maybe even Jagielka.
Chris Brown
13   Posted 12/08/2008 at 14:13:29

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I love Cahill. He is by far my favorite player for all of the reasons that so many of us think that he would be a great captain.

I have great respect and appreciation for Pip. He has served well as captain. I applaud the fact that he has willingly played wherever Moyes has asked him to. I hate seeing him in the midfield, but if that is what he has been asked to do, that is what he does, to the best of his ability.

While I would love to see Cahill (or Lescott) gain the captaincy, I think it is a politically VERY difficult thing to do while we have such a thin squad.

If we had signed the 5-6 new players (3 to 4 starters) like Moyes requested, then Pip may have even been pushed out of the starting lineup due to quality on the pitch. If Pip has been pushed off the pitch because he didn’t belong in the top 11, then Moyes would be able to freely choose a new skipper without having to worry about the politics of it.

For him to "strip" the captaincy from Pip at this point we be an insult to someone who has honorably served the club (even if Cahill and Lescott could be "better" captains).

Yet another reason that we just need to build up the squad so there is legit competition (and cover) at every position.
John Lloyd
14   Posted 12/08/2008 at 14:54:53

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I agree 100% with this shout
Martin Cutler
15   Posted 12/08/2008 at 15:06:19

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I agree 100% !!!!!!!!!!

And I?d make Lescott the back-up captain to Cahill in case he gets injured which hopefully he won?t... a full season with Cahill available would be nice!
glen strachan
16   Posted 12/08/2008 at 15:10:06

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Moyes picks the team and he has just extended Neville’s contract.

I do not like Neville as a player but he is fairly clearly set to be our captain for at least another couple of seasons.

It would be as unfair as it would be silly to add the captaincy to Tim Cahill’s present difficulties.

Sure , fit and well , he would make a great leader.

He is an Aussie with all the fighting qualities that introduces.

Obviously it would be better not to have an English captain at Everton.

But check the last two seasons of injury woe for Tim C and you will see a player who is now just about one more break down away from being finished at the highest levels of football.

I will settle for Tim completing his recovery and getting back in the side before the end of this year but if we try to rush this process I fear that he might be gone for ever.

Good luck Tim !
Adam Doyle
17   Posted 12/08/2008 at 17:26:13

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Everytime Cahill scores you feel as if it?s a cup-winning goal in the last minute. I?ve always seen Cahill as an inspiration to the rest of the team, a hard-working lad who loves the club (and he does), and his performances are always magnificent. And if that?s not what a captain is, then why bother with one?
Robbie Carew
18   Posted 12/08/2008 at 18:15:48

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Why not have both. Sounds daft but think of it. We could call Pip our captain but have Cahill as someone who rallies the attack.

Joao Montinho is the captain at Sporting, we could offer him the captaincy here to make Everton more desireable.
Connor Rohrer
19   Posted 12/08/2008 at 19:33:59

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Joleon Lescott for me, he’s the one that drives us forward, he’s ultra consistent and he’s our best player. He leads by example and he’s a great proffessional.

Cahill I wouldn’t mind seeing as Vice captain. He’s always injured so he’s not very reliable and one formation change (4-4-2) and his place is in jepordy. When he is playing his attitude is excellent, he has something about him that would make him a very good candidate.

Captain: Lescott
Vice Captain: Cahill
Philip Jones
20   Posted 12/08/2008 at 21:32:37

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Seeing as its silly season, why not have Tim (Howard) as captain. Tell you one thing, if he shouted at me I’d jump up and take note!
Greg Black
21   Posted 13/08/2008 at 11:52:38

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My Uncle went to a game last season as part of a corporate party. After the game they are allowed to request one or two players to come and chat qbout the game. They requested our captain, he walked into the room, the first words out of his mouth were "How did United get on?" why we let Carsley go with no replacement lined up and gave this man a four year contract, only Moyes knows.

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