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23 Years and Counting...

By Gareth Humphreys :  20/04/2010 :  Comments (46) :
As it is time to renew my season ticket at Goodison Park, I got thinking just how good this current Everton side is compared to other sides and players I have seen since I first got my season ticket in 1987-88.

I based it on what they had done from 87-88 onwards and, as such, the likes of Peter Reid, Kevin Ratcliffe and Graham Sharp I did not feel warrant a place in the team.... Anyway, here goes:

In goal – Neville Southall. In my opinion, the greatest ever Everton player. No-one was better in their position than he was in his.

Right Back – Ian Snodin. Absolutely top drawer once he reverted to RB until he knackered his hamstring sprinting in the sun towards the Glawdys Street End.

Centre Back – Dave Watson. Unbelievably consistent and never got rattled.

Centre Back – Martin Keown. A huge loss when he went to Arsenal. His career there shows what we missed.

Left Back – Leighton Baines. The first of the current crop to get in – can’t think of anyone better.

Right Midfield – Andrei Kanchelskis. An absolute phenomenon. 16 goals in 32 games in his one full season. One performance at Hillsborough was simply breathtaking.

Centre Midfield – Mikel Arteta. Slowish start but simply majestic after his first season.

Centre Midfield – Marouane Fellaini. Nobody has bossed our midfield like he does since Peter Reid.

Left Midfield – ???????????? Past his best from 87-88 but I can’t think of anyone better than him for left mid. Still never seen a left peg like it.

Centre Forward – Peter Beardsley. like a diamond in a sea of shite when he was with us.

Centre Forward – Wayne Rooney. What if……………

Nigel Martyn – Still feel he is the only top keeper we have had since the big man.

Joleon Lescott – Faultless apart from his titty lip at the end.

Phil Jagielka – top top pro.

Thomas Gravesen – A bit like Marmite this one but Real Madrid didn’t sign him for no reason.

Olivier Dacourt – One wonderful season... devastated when he left.

Duncan Ferguson – Sometimes unplayable and sometimes very average. Always awkward.

Ayegbeni Yakubu – The most natural finisher I have seen.

I’d Love to know what everyone else thinks – especially those who have been attending for roughly the same amount of time.

Reader Comments

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Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
1   Posted 20/04/2010 at 17:03:51

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A name missing there, Gareth. I should probably know who it is but I can't think right now.
Thor Sørensen
2   Posted 20/04/2010 at 17:06:37

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I'd swap Baines with Andy Hinchcliffe. Don't think I've ever seen a better crosser of the ball.
Ian Kearney
3   Posted 20/04/2010 at 17:13:51

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Mr ?????????? was undoubtably past his best, but he always asked questions of opposing full backs.
Ian Kearney
4   Posted 20/04/2010 at 17:16:31

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On another note, at 38 I could not believe just how good a CB Richard Gough was.
Gareth Humphreys
5   Posted 20/04/2010 at 17:27:59

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Not quite sure what happened to the Left Midfield berth.

Anyway, it was Kevin Sheedy.
Andy Crooks
6   Posted 20/04/2010 at 17:38:38

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Gareth, your centre-backs are too slow.
David Holroyd
7   Posted 21/04/2010 at 01:49:30

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Southall, Stevens, Hinchcliffe, Lescott, Ratcliffe, Kanchelskis Arteta, Reid, Bracewell, Sheedy, Lineker brilliant finisher. Plenty of pace in key positions...
Fran Mitchell
8   Posted 20/04/2010 at 17:43:39

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Would also swap Baines with Hinchcliffe.

On the bench i'd swap Lescott with Stubbs, Dacourt with Speed and Gravesen with Hutchison
Graham Saunders
9   Posted 20/04/2010 at 17:42:30

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Others could include Whiteside, McCall, Hinchcliffe, Limpar, Parkinson, Stuart, Hutchison, Speed, Ball, Gough, Bilic, Campbell, Weir...
Bjørn F. Morkestrand
10   Posted 20/04/2010 at 18:10:33

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Your team is looking good. I still would have had Kevin Ratcliffe in there even though he never rocovered from that injury he got in the latter half of 1987-88 season. Another defender I will give a mention is Richard Gough. Have to agree with Baines as I think he is a technically better player than Hinchcliffe and Van den Hauwe and a better player going forward. Probably our player of the season this year. Peter Beardsley should definitaly be in the team.
Mike Allison
11   Posted 20/04/2010 at 18:12:50

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Baines is quite a lot better than Hinchliffe was, not massively, but noticeably.

I'd have Materazzi in any team, even though Smith stopped picking him, I fucking loved the guy. His defending was good enough, but on the ball he was like no Everton defender I've ever seen, before or since. I can still remember one 40 yard piledriver towards the Gwladys street that I can't quite believe. He ended up winning a World Cup Final too. He cried when he got sent off once too.
Ste Traverse
12   Posted 20/04/2010 at 18:20:26

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I started following the Blues a couple of years before 87-88 so here goes:

1. Southall 2. Stevens 3. Van den Hauwe 4. Ratcliffe 5. Watson 6. Reid 7. Steven 8. Lineker 9. Sharp 10. Bracewell 11. Sheedy

Subs Keown, Snodin, Kanchelskis, Whiteside, Gray, Heath, Martyn.
Brian Wilson
13   Posted 20/04/2010 at 18:13:45

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I'd have thought Trevor Steven deserves a look in.
Thor Sørensen
14   Posted 20/04/2010 at 21:10:52

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Hinchcliffe v Baines: Baines may well be better going forward, but only just. He's better than Hinchcliffe was at linking up with the midfield, playing neat one-twoes and running with the ball. However, whereas Hinchcliffe's crossing nine times out of ten was inch-perfect, Baines's crosses is very hit and miss. Also, defensively Hinchcliffe was at least twice the player Baines is. Hinchcliffe was a very solid defender, while Baines couldn't stop a cross if his life depended on it.

I'm a fan of Baines, but for me it's Hinchcliffe every time.

Thor Sørensen
15   Posted 20/04/2010 at 21:22:55

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Also, Hinchcliffe earned 7 full England caps AND won a trophy with Everton. Baines hasn't quite got there yet.
Fran Mitchell
16   Posted 20/04/2010 at 21:46:40

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Mike Allison:

'Baines is quite a lot better than Hinchliffe was, not massively, but noticeably'

I don't wanna be a pedant or anything, but maybe you wanna re phrase that.

I would say Hinchcliffe was better. His crossing as Thor say's was far more reliable. He also played in a much less talented team. He was in my opinion under-rated and should have been in the England team above the over-rated Stuart 'Physco' Pearce.

Baines link-up play is very good, but his crossing is frustrating and he is a little small/weak making him defensively lightweight.
Nick Entwistle
17   Posted 20/04/2010 at 22:28:56

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Can I ask a question? Norman Whiteside is being mentioned quite a lot. I thought he was washed up by the time he made his way here. Just how good was he for us?
Andy Crooks
18   Posted 20/04/2010 at 23:02:19

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Nick, you're absolutely right. Norman was finished when he got here and, frankly, even in his prime, I wouldn't have him in the team. He was strong and aggressive with some skill but dead slow.
Paul McGinty
19   Posted 20/04/2010 at 23:11:11

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After Whiteside's 1985 goal, which ruined my trip to Wembley, and I am sure others too, surely he is off the list anyway. To be fair to him, breaking Pele's record as youngest player to play in a World Cup is no small achievement.
Andy Crooks
20   Posted 21/04/2010 at 00:46:04

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Stevens Watson Ratcliffe Hinchcliffe
Reid Parkinson Sheedy
Ferguson Lineker
Ste Traverse
21   Posted 21/04/2010 at 01:03:11

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You say Big Norm was finished when he got here but his 14 goals in 37 games from midfield in 89/90 wasn't exactly bad return for someone who was supposidly 'finished'.
Conor Ryan
22   Posted 21/04/2010 at 02:38:30

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And the " Not so much "(Think Borat)

Wright ,O'Kane ,Short ,Ablett ,Naysmyth
Ebrell ,Gemmil ,Nyarko ,Tal ,
Angel ,Madar

Conor Ryan
23   Posted 21/04/2010 at 02:38:30

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And the " Not so much "(Think Borat)

Wright ,O'Kane ,Short ,Ablett ,Naysmyth
Ebrell ,Gemmil ,Nyarko ,Tal ,
Angel ,Madar

Baz Daly
24   Posted 21/04/2010 at 03:34:07

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with a couple of changes...

And the " Not so much "(Think Borat)

O'Kane, Short, Ablett, Cleland
Gemmil, Thomsen, Williamson, Hughes
Angell, Ferguson
Alex Carew
25   Posted 21/04/2010 at 03:31:39

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I think Gareth is requesting a team of Everton players since the 87-88 season so why some are including Lineker is a mystery?

Its hard to choose a perfect 11 from that period till now due to the amount of rubbish we have had to watch in that period.

For me its:

Stevens, Ratcliffe, Watson, Hinchcliffe,
Kanchelskis, Reid, Arteta, Sheedy,
Beardsley, Rooney.

Yes, there are a few close ones for sure. I personally loved Steven and think Campbell was a great finisher, Ferguson was a hero too but my choices are on what I saw the best of in this period.

Oh and by the way Gareth, based on 87-88 being your first season ticket......I think you are a jinx!!!!
Conor Ryan
26   Posted 21/04/2010 at 04:04:25

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Ironicly I would appoint Howard Kendall for team "not so much" (Think Borat) as manager with Mike Walker as assistant.

Subs would include such rubbish as :Farrelly

Not forgetting the 2 flops that were 'Back of the echo'(Bakayoko) and Amokachi.
Ste Traverse
27   Posted 21/04/2010 at 05:00:45

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My "not so much".

1. Richard 'teflon' Wright 2. Paul Holmes 3. Gary 'I can kick the ball longer than anyone' Ablett 4. Earl Barrett . 5. Craig Short 6. Claus Thomsen 7. Mitch Ward 8. Stuart Barlow 9. Brett Angell 10. Simon 'scapegoat' Davies (captain) 11. Gareth 'truely inept' Farrelly.
Gareth Humphreys
28   Posted 21/04/2010 at 10:05:49

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Post 6 - Andy Crooks - Martin Keown was very very quick.

Post 27 - Alex Carew - I have thought about me being the jinx, perhaps I should give it up next season and see what happens.
Alex Houghton
29   Posted 21/04/2010 at 09:27:34

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I think it's always difficult to compare players from different eras but I've had a go anyway. I got my first season ticket in the 88-89 season so I've based my teams on what I've seen since then:
Top Team
1. Southall
2. Snodin
3. Hinchcliffe
4. Keown
5. Watson
6. Arteta
7. Kanchelskis
8. Parkinson
9. Beardsley
10. Johnson
11. Sheedy
I found it a real struggle to pick my 2 strikers and I'm not convinced by my final choice. I think every striker we've had since I've been watching has never been a player with that little bit extra....Rooney has gone on to show it and Saha may be at that level if he can stay fit. I was never convinced by Dunc, inspirational at times but insipid and lazy at others.

Turd Team
1. Richard Wright
2. Paul Holmes
3. Alec Cleland
4. Carl Tiler
5. Claus Thomsen
6. Mike Milligan
7. Simon Davies
8. Stephen Hughes
9.Stuart Barlow
10. Marcus Bent
11. Kevin Kilbane
There were others that came pretty close to getting in this team - Hottiger, Tal, Angell, Williamson among them.
Alex Houghton
30   Posted 21/04/2010 at 10:16:18

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I forgot my 7 subs for my Top Team:
Martyn, Carsley, Cahill, Jagielka, Campbell, Saha, McCall
Danny Burke
31   Posted 21/04/2010 at 10:35:27

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My team based on players I have seen,

Snodin, Watson (C), Jags, Hichcliffe
Kanchelskis Arteta Limpar
Beardsley Rooney

Martyn, Materazzi, Pienaar, Dacourt, Yakubu, Gravesen, Ferguson

And my team of shite,
O'Kane, Tiler, Kroldrup Cleland
Ward Thomsen Gemmill Farrelly
Angell Spencer

Westerveld, Bakayoko, Tal, Nyarko, Ginola, Burrows, Hottiger
Danny Burke
32   Posted 21/04/2010 at 10:55:51

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I forgot Cahill doh! Him in for Mad Dog Tommy G on the bench, of the good team obviously.
Andrew Ellams
33   Posted 21/04/2010 at 11:02:44

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I know Smith bought some dross, but I had forgotten just how much shite he brought into our back four until I read this.
Steve Higham
34   Posted 21/04/2010 at 16:31:44

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Talking of Andy Hinchcliffe virtually every game I tell my son how good his dead ball delivery was. I think we are usually quite poor at this and it amazes that the they dont get him in to Finch Farm to do a bit of coaching in this respect.
Gareth Humphreys
35   Posted 21/04/2010 at 16:57:47

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I think the thing with Andy Hinchcliffe was that he wasn't always guaranteed a place in the side.

Also he wasn't always played left back as he did have spells at left mid.


Never seen corners like it though - If I remember correctly Ferguson got a hat trick against Bolton all from Hinchcliffe corners.

Thor Sørensen
36   Posted 21/04/2010 at 16:59:05

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I see Mitch Ward and Tery Phelan are mentioned in quite a few "turd"-teams.

Not sure I agree with that to be honest. In my opinion Ward was an average player, but always put in a shift and his crossing was better than that of Hibbert and Neville put together.

When he first broke into the team Terry Phelan had a stunning half-a-season where he excelled as an attacking left back. I think he was even voted our player of the month on two or three occations. In the end, he probably wasn't up to our standards, but I still feel he was treated a bit unfairly and was never given a decent chance.
Liam Reilly
37   Posted 21/04/2010 at 17:19:39

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I see Marcus Bent in some of the shitpiles above. Can agree with that, Sure, he was never a top player, but he'd bust a gut for the team and played in most of the games when we finished fourth.

How can he be in there when we had, the Angel, Madar, Spencer and fuckin Ginola, i do not know.
Liam Reilly
38   Posted 21/04/2010 at 17:36:28

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Errr, that's CAN'T agree.
Karl Masters
39   Posted 21/04/2010 at 18:41:04

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Since 87-88:


Stevens, Jagielka, Ratcliffe, Hinchcliffe;

Arteta, Reid, Pienaar


Rooney, Beardsley

subs from:

Martyn, Sheedy, Ferguson, Baines, Sharp, Watson, Dacourt , Keown Hutchison, Rideout, Campbell
Karl Masters
40   Posted 21/04/2010 at 18:57:18

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ps Got to add Kanchelskis to that squad!!
Karl Masters
41   Posted 21/04/2010 at 18:58:31

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pps Even though us Evertonians have had some dross to watch over those years at times, when you see the absolute quality of the above you actually stop and realise we have been more fortunate than many!
Conor Ryan
42   Posted 21/04/2010 at 19:10:05

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Not sure I agree with Ginola getting in team crap .....did he not hit the bar against Arsenal ?
Graham Saunders
43   Posted 21/04/2010 at 19:48:46

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Holmes, Hottiger, Barrett, Sansom,

Rehn, Milligan, Thompson, Farrelly

Barlow, Angel

subs: Westerveld, Mitch Ward, Spencer, Burrows, Tony Thomas, Branch, AVDM
Graham Saunders
44   Posted 21/04/2010 at 20:09:13

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Ian Wilson? Neil McDonald? I forgot about them. They would make my bench ahead of Branch and AVDM. Then we would have no attacking players as sub so truly the worse line up!
Paul Oakes
45   Posted 21/04/2010 at 22:29:25

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Thomas Gravesen – A bit like Marmite this one but Real Madrid didn’t sign him for no reason.

Clearly they did sign him for nothing because he spent most of his time on the bench and when he did play he wasnt good enough for them. Within 2 years he was back at goodison and I believe at the end of the season he retired from football. He ended up getting some serious injuries.
Gareth Humphreys
46   Posted 22/04/2010 at 07:29:46

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Paul, Gravesen played 35 games over 2 years.

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