For me, this is a massive disappointment. The Number 9 shirt has always been something of a symbol for Everton fans, especially me. It is a symbol that epitomises the very meaning of Nil Satis Nisi Optimum and above all else (most recently), it has been a symbol of hope for many.
It has been worn by some of Everton’s giants: Dixie Dean, Dave Hickson, Alex Young, Joe Royle, Bob Latchford, Graeme Sharp, Duncan Ferguson, to name but a few...
Even those that have donned the jersey without the prolific goalscoring edge have offered us something that has justified their wearing of our most honoured shirt. Duncan Ferguson, as an example, was far from the goalscoring machines that we have had in the past. But in my eyes he earned the jersey because of his commitment to the club and the game.
Okay, he had a bad reputation but the fact that he would fight for the Everton cause gave us all hope when things were at their very worst. Knowing ‘Big Dunc’ was on the team sheet gave us a boost that was lacking when he wasn’t available.
The Number 9 shirt has to be earned. It has to be earned so that the player privileged enough to wear it does so with pride. A pride that makes them give their all every game — a pride that honours the tradition of the shirt and honours the greats that have played for Everton.
The shirt has a fantastic history that includes unbroken goalscoring record achieved by Dixie Dean. It continued along its journey, being worn by only those who could handle the pressure of being the Everton Hero, target man, headline grabber and on some occasions, the villain.
Not every player can handle that kind of pressure and expectation. An expectation that you are going to be lively, stand out from the crowd and inspire when it may seem that all hopes are dashed. (I am sure that many Everton strikers have not opted to take this number due to this and there’s no shame in that, the pressure can be too heavy to bear.)
I am aware that some have not lived up to the status of the shirt (ahem... Beattie), but I am still upset that it has been given so easily to Landon Donovan — an unproven forward coming from a league that is not comparable to the Premier League. He probably has not heard of us or Dixie Dean and he certainly hasn’t got me excited yet... which further disappoints me when I know that he is going to wear this shirt. I sincerely hope that he is not the first player in the club’s history to wear the shirt and NOT score.
If that occurs, it would be an all-time low for me and my relationship with Everton FC — which, after the DK and Lescott saga’s of 2009, is already very damaged.
I will obviously support Landon when he steps onto Goodison park and I will give him the same encouragement that I give every Everton player... but I want him to understand that the shirt he has on his back is not something he should take lightly or for granted. It’s an honour to play for Everton and it’s a bigger honour to be given that shirt.
Landon, please wear it with pride and do it justice. Prove me wrong...
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1 Posted 08/01/2010 at 03:32:38
I know where you're coming from regarding the Number 9 but it is only for a short period and as long as he helps us win, I don’t care what number he wears.
2 Posted 08/01/2010 at 03:49:56
I really think Moyes has done this to maximise Donovan's abilities, inspire him, show faith in him and maximise his abilities during the loan period.
Also, if he turns out to be a great loan signing (which I think he will as I've always thought he stands out like a sore thumb for USA like Pienaar for S Africa), then it will also give him more reason to sign for us permanently as he knows we think highly of him.
3 Posted 08/01/2010 at 03:59:39
Because he plays in the US, many consider him a second-rate player (which he clearly isn’t) and that by default there are better centre-forwards in the Championship (Who?).
We have an international player who wants to play for us to improve his game prior to the World Cup. Seems perfectly reasonable to me, especially if we end up picking up points whilst he does so.
It's a good deal for both parties and who knows where it will lead too? As with all new transfers, they have to prove their worth.
I look forward to watching him and seeing how quickly he can adapt his game to the UK winter and the relative hardness of the Premier League.
4 Posted 08/01/2010 at 07:46:22
5 Posted 08/01/2010 at 08:34:40
Don’t rate him myself but he’s with us now, Good Luck to the yank.
6 Posted 08/01/2010 at 10:14:27
7 Posted 08/01/2010 at 10:20:17
But, if he shows the commitment and effort of most of his compatriots that have come to our league, then I think he’ll do a job for us in the short time he’s got.
8 Posted 08/01/2010 at 10:32:39
9 Posted 08/01/2010 at 11:06:18
"I am aware of the history of the number nine here in the Premier League and also the history of it at Everton," he declared.
"I am proud that Everton would give it to me and I intend to do the jersey proud as well. It did come as a shock when I was told I would be number nine.
"At the end of the day you get on the field and play but it is an honour to wear a special number, especially here."
Can we give him a chance now rather than write him off before he plays?
10 Posted 08/01/2010 at 11:07:24
I have watched this guy regularly (admittedly on ESPN) this season and anyone who thinks he will be the answer to our problem will sadly be very disappointed... 27 years old (some would say in his prime) and still in the MLS (just signed a long-term extention), failed TWICE already in Europe... enough said.
Desperately hope he proves me wrong, but ....
11 Posted 08/01/2010 at 11:17:35
12 Posted 08/01/2010 at 11:50:30
13 Posted 08/01/2010 at 12:42:23
14 Posted 08/01/2010 at 12:59:25
Fair play to Landon though, for doing his homework and knowing his history!
15 Posted 08/01/2010 at 13:04:53
16 Posted 08/01/2010 at 14:38:38
Pienaar & Arteta are two examples for you of players that were deemed never good enough at their previous clubs and I expect you and many other fans said the same when they signed.
Hang on... oh yes... Pienaar is Osman with Cornrows! That was it... how that philosophy has changed!
17 Posted 08/01/2010 at 15:37:07
As per Charlie Percival, I feel giving him the prestigious Number 9 shirt is Moyes's way of making him feel welcomed, important & inspired straight away which will hopefully help get him off to a flyer.
I do get a good feeling about him to be honest, and his attitude from what he’s said so far and his pace together with Everton's and Moyes's work ethic, could be a good fit and he could be a real asset to us over the next 2 months. Here’s hoping….
18 Posted 08/01/2010 at 16:14:51
Anyway good luck Landon.
19 Posted 08/01/2010 at 20:34:43
They’ve been doing fantastically and Donovan is their focal point going forward. I’m looking forward to having a new body in a blue shirt, no matter what number.
Americans tend to be bullish about such things as "jerseys" (Howard, 24, is an obvious example) and giving him the number 9 will no doubt spur him on to perform.
Good luck to him.
20 Posted 08/01/2010 at 21:32:39
None of these honours should be awarded to any loan-players or players on short-term contracts, in their first season at the club, under the age of 25 or not regular starters.
The Number 9 and 5 shirts represent a proud tradition of outstanding strikers and centre-halves respectively, and MUST be earned through serving our great club with pride, dignity and commitment for several years.
I AM EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED IN DAVID MOYES FOR DISHONOURING THIS TRADITON! — Handing out the Number 9 shirt to a complete Everton rookie, coming here on a short-term loan to make his debut in English football altogether, is nothing short of scandalous!
21 Posted 08/01/2010 at 22:11:44
In all seriousness, anybody expecting bunches of goals from Donovan will be disappointed... he’s a decent finisher in the open field, but not a goal poacher in the box. What we should expect (if field conditions permit) is that he will electrify our midfield with his speed and passing ability. And he will give maximum commitment every minute, because I’ve never seen him give anything less.
22 Posted 08/01/2010 at 22:22:06
23 Posted 09/01/2010 at 06:17:56
The Man ( performance wise ) maketh the shirt;
The Shirt maketh not the man.
24 Posted 09/01/2010 at 13:23:00
(1) The Goalkeeper
(2) The Right sided full back
(3) The Left sided fullback
(4) The Right half back
(5) The Centre half
(6) The left half
(7) Outside right
(8) Inside right
(9) Centre forward
(10) Inside Left
(11) Outside Left.
In those halycon days of yesteryear, there were NO substitutions. If a player was sufficiently badly hurt that he had to leave the field, he was not substituted. The team carried on with 10 players.
Strangely, I can’t remember it happening that often. Players are substituted today for tactical reasons very often, its sort of spoiled the game for me.
It so happens that players in the Centre forward position in the ’old days’ were very often the top scorers e.g. Dixie, Tommy Lawton, Dave Hickson et al. Mind you, we also had some horrors!
Today, because teams rarely play a settled team, players are given a number, it has no signicance any more. Otherwise Saha would definitely be wearing the No. 9 shirt.
25 Posted 09/01/2010 at 17:48:28
As it happens, we’ve got two top class ’number 9s’ in Saha and Yakubu, but neither wants to wear it, so be it. Saha even changed from it in the summer because he’s always wanted to wear number 8.
Tim Lloyd, being brought up in the 80s, the numbers still corresponded to the positions, particularly in the Everton team, 1-GK, 2-RB, 3-LB, 4-CB, 5-CB, 6-CM, 7-RM, 8-CM, 9-CF, 10-CF, 11-LM. Squad numbers have obviously changed all this and frankly, it just aint that big a deal.
I think Derek Thomas sums it up nicely.
26 Posted 10/01/2010 at 14:32:37
27 Posted 11/01/2010 at 10:44:31
Without doing research, I was under the impression that had Duncan Ferguson not scored the penalty on last day of the season (against West Brom, when he left), he would have been the first Everton player to have NEVER scored in a full season while wearing the No. 9 shirt. Given that he scored that penalty meant that he was not the first!
28 Posted 11/01/2010 at 23:20:54
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