A blind fool in a mental ward could tell you that is not productive. We could at least show some feeling and respect towards the players and each other despite having deeply opposing polarised views.
Anyway, I wanted to turn my attention away from the frustration of which youth team players would make the forthcoming first team and elevate my thinking to the best players I have seen in my lifetime and the best players I would loved to have seen.
I first started watching the Blues as an 8-year-old with my Dad, Granddad and Uncle stood on the Goodison Road terraces from the start of the 60s.
My "Five best players I have ever seen" would be:
1. George Best ? He could dribble, score goals, tackle and pass long and short with almost total accuracy. In short, he was the complete player and was very unlucky not to have graced the World Cup.
2. Pele ? arguably the most technically gifted player ever, he scored goals for fun reaching three World Cup Finals.
3. Eusebio ? nicknamed "the black pearl" for his silky movement and goalscoring ability. Unfortunately overshadowed by Pele at the time.
4. Ronaldo (Portuguese version) ? not one of my favourite people but a great player nonetheless. Would stand out in any team for his technical and goalscoring ability.
5. Bobby Charlton ? the finest striker of a ball I have ever seen. Would regularly score goals from 30 or 40 yards out at all levels.
Five players I would love to have seen:
1. The great Dixie Dean ? who scored 84 goals in one season (60 in the league) at a time when there were not as many games played. The man is rightly a legend.
2. Tommy Lawton ? another legend. To follow Dixie and be spoken about in equal terms shows how great a player he must have been.
3. Ferenç Puskas ? part of the Hungarian team that put 6 (I think) past England in the 50s.
4. Di Stefano ? a team mate of Puskas who formed part of the deadly duo that headed the "total football" shown by the Hungarians of the 50s.
5. T G Jones ? according to my dad, one of the greatest players to don an Everton shirt so I have to take his word for it.
Up for debate, boys: Who are your top five? And the top five you would have liked to have seen?
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1 Posted 27/03/2011 at 21:05:06
Everton players I didn't see in the flesh:
Dean - a given - only seen footage
The Holy Trinity - only seen footage
Young - only seen footage
Non Everton players
Agree with Pele and Eusebio
2 Posted 27/03/2011 at 21:24:35
Wayne Rooney (sadly)
Best I wish I had seen:
3 Posted 27/03/2011 at 21:25:56
Also given the choice between Zidane and Ronaldo (Portuguese), I would go for the Frenchman every single time.
4 Posted 27/03/2011 at 21:37:19
5 Posted 27/03/2011 at 21:48:35
Maybe it's romantic nostalgia but George Best was the best player I ever saw ? something that even my grandad and dad both agreed with.
6 Posted 27/03/2011 at 21:49:58
7 Posted 27/03/2011 at 22:22:04
Where do I start?
Young (first game in 69 so just missed him)
That's providing live telly doesn't count, only if you've seen them in the flesh. .
8 Posted 27/03/2011 at 22:21:52
Players I've seen:
Young, my all-time favourite, didn't run just glided across the pitch, with an exceptional ability to leap for a high ball.
and any one from Charlton, Ferenc Bene, Florian Albert, Best, Jim Baxter, Garrincha, Jairzinho.
Dean, my Dad never tired of telling me about his 60th goal and I never tired of hearing it.
and I can't argue with T G, who my Dad really rated, Di Stefano, Puskas, Edwards, Rivelinho .
In years to come today's youth will be telling their kids about Henry, Dalglish, Bergkamp, Ronaldo(spit), Zidane etc.....
9 Posted 27/03/2011 at 22:02:31
I cannot quibble about the choice of any of them yet surely there must be a place for two knights of English football, the Wizard of Dribble, Stanley Matthews or Tom Finney.
If I was forced under threat of death to choose my best of all it would have to be Maradonna. He was an irritating, arrogant little frigger who I have well and truly cursed yet at the same time he has left me gasping at the sublime level that our game is capable of. There was no doubt he had it all and was not slow in letting opponents and the world know it.
Other than that, I cannot bring myself to dislodge a single player from any of the above selections. All of them are worthy contenders.
10 Posted 27/03/2011 at 22:37:30
Finally, I must mention Neville Southall. Holland thrashed Wales, 5-0, I think. The Dutch players applauded Neville, honestly, without him it would have been 20.
11 Posted 27/03/2011 at 22:45:46
Do you remember seeing Matthews towards the end of his career playing for Stoke at Goodison? I saw him just the once, my old feller would always say that Stoke or Blackpool, whichever team he was with at the time, would always say that he'd be in the team to play because he'd put thousands on the gate.
12 Posted 27/03/2011 at 22:40:06
I believe you can't truly be a great player and cheat with the "Hand of God".
Although I was fortunate to do a lot of business in Naples at the time he played for them and adopted Napoli as my second team.
The Italians absolutely worshipped him even though it was well known he was heavily into drugs.
Gav #1 ? I didn't know you hadn't seen Young and Vernon nor the Holy Trinity and I guess big Joe. It's a great shame.
They were all up with football's greats and then was when football wasn't played in carpet slippers.
My fondest memory of Alex Young was when we beat Sheffield Wednesday 5-1 and he got the ball just over the halfway line just by the players, entrance shimmied his hips, sent about 3 Wednesday defenders all over the place and hit an incredible shot into the far roof of the net.
I'm sure the 2 Rays and Dick will remember that one.
13 Posted 27/03/2011 at 23:10:39
Di Stefano, who's stil alive and honorary President of Real Madrid will be amazed to hear he formed part of the Magical Magyars. And here's me thinking he was an Argentinian who took Spanish nationality and played for Real Madrid and Sapin.
14 Posted 27/03/2011 at 23:14:09
15 Posted 27/03/2011 at 22:15:49
Best ever seen:
Maradona, Messi, Ronaldo (greasy version), Henry and of course Big Nev. (Just edges out Zidane and Big Dunc ? just )
Everton legends wish I'd seen: Dixie, The Holy Trinity and for some reason Tony Kay.
16 Posted 27/03/2011 at 23:29:05
The rest is noise.
17 Posted 27/03/2011 at 23:34:40
Shame on you.
18 Posted 27/03/2011 at 23:45:24
19 Posted 27/03/2011 at 23:52:06
For me from who I have seen in my era... Messi, Henry, Ronaldinho, Iniesta, Zidane and Bergkamp
People who I wish I had seen... The Holy Trinity, Dean, Platini, Baggio, the trio of Socrates, Falcao and Zico... and maybe Paolo Rossi.
20 Posted 28/03/2011 at 01:56:39
It must be old timers setting in. I was mixing Real Madrid and Hungary.
My only excuse is that I wasnt around to see yhem play.
I'm not sure there has ever been a Hungarian called Di Stefano.
21 Posted 28/03/2011 at 01:48:54
22 Posted 28/03/2011 at 02:27:23
This goal is just a classic. The big, bearded centre half looks like he doesn't know what the hell's just happened:
23 Posted 28/03/2011 at 02:36:27
In 50 years time, those of us still around will tell our grand kids about the little Argentine.
24 Posted 28/03/2011 at 03:24:17
25 Posted 28/03/2011 at 08:37:13
You must all still be in short pants FFS!
26 Posted 28/03/2011 at 09:12:01
After that, I sadly echo Art Jones (2), a very young Wayne Rooney.
Of my lifetime the one that got away for me has to be Zidane. Pure class.
27 Posted 28/03/2011 at 10:14:20
The best five of all must be Pele, Maradonna, Best, Cruyf and Messi... but I respect Pele for having a full career and not abusing himself. Unfortunately both Best and Maradonna were troubled and Best gave Matt Busby a hard time by not turning up for training etc when he was on binges... Messi seems to be sensible and will have a great career if he stays injury-free.
Players I have loved watching in EFC shirts include... Vernon, Collins, Young, Kay, McKenzie, Ball, Harvey, Southall etc ... I'm afraid that none of the present team has given me half as much pleasure and Big Dunc was never a favourite of mine.
Premier League players for other clubs include Henry, Zola, De Canio (who could forget him catching the ball instead of scoring when a player was injured at Goodison?), Giggs, Scholes, Ginola in his prime, Bergcamp etc. All great entertainers and worth the admission on their day.
28 Posted 28/03/2011 at 11:45:44
Love to have seen live:
29 Posted 28/03/2011 at 12:20:32
30 Posted 28/03/2011 at 12:35:10
31 Posted 28/03/2011 at 12:29:54
Ruud Gullit. Saw him play a friendly at Torquay. From 35 yards out he skied the ball ? but the way he did it, it was poetry.
32 Posted 28/03/2011 at 13:02:02
Five I'd like to have seen - 1) Dixie. 2) Pele. 3) Eusebio. 4) Tom Finney. 5) Robin Friday.
33 Posted 28/03/2011 at 13:05:33
34 Posted 28/03/2011 at 12:57:59
Dixie ? just to say I had
Fred Pickering ? to see if he was as good as Joe cos his scoring record would say he was
Tony Kay ? impression given is that we could have been some force with him around longer, just to test the theory
Alex Young ? ditto Dixie
San Chedgzoy ? cos then I would have seen history made
Best EFC players seen:
The Rat ? made it easy for everyone by being able to defend with such a high line, always knowing he would get back to put a block or tackle in. Meant for a period in time, that you never worried about conceding. Oh to have that type of feeling again.
Bally ? no words necessary ? God.
Nev ? saves defied belief, commanding, and half the players through on goal shit themselves at the thought of facing him and blew up when they got there (apart from Rushy!) ? Cascarinno anyone, just for starters?
Reidy ? pulled the team up by their bootstraps when it was needed on many an occasion. Dug it out and kept us invincible.
The Latch ? kept me going by actually giving me something to shout about and celebrate (30 goals etc) through some barren days.
Best non EFC players:
35 Posted 28/03/2011 at 13:31:40
36 Posted 28/03/2011 at 13:33:54
1) Wayne Rooney
2) Big Dunc
3) Tommy Gravesen
4) Tim Cahill
5) Nicky Barmby
It really depresses me to see all the names mentioned above, yet that's my top 5... guess I was born at the wrong time.
For other teams:
1) Denis Bergkamp
2) Gianfranco Zola
3) Thiery Henry
4) Steven Gerrard (Kills me to say it)
5) Wayne Rooney
My Grandad always insts the statue outside the Park End should have been Alex Young. Despite Dixie Dean scoring all those goals, he always says that Alex Young was the most graceful player he'd ever seen wear the royal blue. Him, Alan Ball and Brian Labone are his all-time top 3 players for Everton.
And my Dad loved Big Bob Latchford, still tells stories of his 30-goal season. To think that my top 5 has Nicky Barmby in when other people have the likes of the Holy Trinity in their selection just shows how far we've fallen as a club. Still who knows what the future holds.
37 Posted 28/03/2011 at 12:19:08
Bergkamp and Hibbert.
Wish I'd seen:
Eveton's entire 1985-86 squad
38 Posted 28/03/2011 at 13:55:36
3 Van Basten
4 George Weah
5 Zinedine Zidane
Five I wish I had seen:
1 Alan Ball
2 Dixie Dean
3 Ferenc Puskás
4 George Best
5 Paul Gascoigne (without self destruction)
39 Posted 28/03/2011 at 14:01:53
Although we keep telling ourselves the bubble has to burst I still believe we've moved too far away from the people's sport when players were your heroes because of their ability not what car they drive or which club they play for.
40 Posted 28/03/2011 at 15:46:43
I was quite enjoying this thread...
41 Posted 28/03/2011 at 16:25:37
Best five players I've actually seen play are:
3) Big Nev
Players I'd have loved to have seen:
4) Alan Ball
Best five Everton Players I've seen:
4) Peter Reid
Although my father in law, who's in his 80s now, insists Lawton was better than Dixie and T G Jones was better than the both of them, I'd still have loved to see Dixie in his pomp.
42 Posted 28/03/2011 at 17:01:25
43 Posted 28/03/2011 at 17:24:15
My Dad, who is now 85, says exactly the same about Lawton and T G Jones but, as he was born in 192,6 would not really have seen Dixie in his heyday.
I guess like today's kids, we're just going to have to accept how great all three were and only wish we had seen them.
44 Posted 28/03/2011 at 18:08:26
Finest not seen in flesh:
I suspect if Messi carries on as he is now for next, say, 7 years he might even eclipse Pele and Maradona.
45 Posted 28/03/2011 at 18:06:02
Kempes and Luque (won the world cup with Argentina - ardilles vintage), Rivellino - Brazil.
Jimmy Johnstone, Celtic
I actually went to Anfield to watch Hoddle (Spurs), Tony Currie (Sheff Utd), Trevor Francis (B'ham). oops
46 Posted 28/03/2011 at 19:46:19
Five I would have love to have seen:
T G Jones
Five top players of all time for me:
47 Posted 28/03/2011 at 20:08:02
Florian Albert - Hungary centre forward, the greatest all round performance I've ever seen from any player, anytime. Goodison Park 1966 World Cup - Hungary v Brazil. Hungary beat Brazil 3-1 and Albert was sensational, The Gwladys Street end, full of Scousers, was chanting his name in absolute tribute by the end, like he was one of their own.
Like to have seen in the flesh :-
Dixie is a given so I'm claiming one more
48 Posted 28/03/2011 at 20:59:53
According to my dear old departed dad too. In fact, 'the' greatest'. He rated Joe Mercer, too.
49 Posted 28/03/2011 at 20:58:12
50 Posted 28/03/2011 at 21:19:52
1) Big Nev ? the greatest keeper I have ever seen which includes Banksy.
2) Alan Ball ? no further comment needed
3) Trevor Steven ? I think he had everything and does not get the credit he deserves
4) Sheeds ? The best left footer I've physically seen
5) Gary Lineker ? I wish he was with us longer
The top 5 all time is too difficult.
51 Posted 28/03/2011 at 21:58:49
Do me a favour and edit that lot out before someone who knows me sees it!
52 Posted 28/03/2011 at 22:01:34
1. Brett Angel
2. Alessandro Pistone (1st Time)
3. Alex Nyarko
4. Victor Anichebe
5. Per Krøldrup
And the worst, some shite here lads,
1. Big Nev
2. M van Basten
3. Lothar Matiaus
4. Z Zidane
5. Rudd Gullit (the one with the Bob Marley Hair do)
This medication's the dogs bollocks!
53 Posted 28/03/2011 at 22:52:17
Five best Everton players I have seen live:-
54 Posted 28/03/2011 at 22:57:07
55 Posted 28/03/2011 at 23:21:52
56 Posted 29/03/2011 at 00:01:18
1) Dave Hickson... blood flowing hero
2) Alex Young... angel in the air, named my daughter after him
3) Roy Vernon... so elegant
4) Bobby Collins... So dynamic
5) Brian Labone... A gentleman
Tom Finney... the greatest!!
Stanley Matthews... Amazing
John Charles... up there in the sky and nodding in with aplomb
Joe Mercer... sorry he left but always welcomed him home
Frank Swift... the best goalie ever
57 Posted 29/03/2011 at 06:14:19
Wish I had seen:
1953 Hungarians (all of them)
A young Jimmy Greaves
Best teams seen:
58 Posted 29/03/2011 at 07:58:42
Wish I`d seen:
Tommy Ring (me dad never shut up about him)
59 Posted 29/03/2011 at 08:36:00
All those I'd heard about but never did, now that's a proper reason for a tardis, nevermind all this saving the universe bollocks.
Wish I could see: all those I did see again and again and again.
Wish I'd never seen: Jeff Astle, Ian Rush, Norman Whiteside, Dave MacKay at Derby, That Greek bloke who scored for Parathanikos and knocked us out on away goals, Clive Thomas, Victor Anichebe.
60 Posted 29/03/2011 at 12:06:21
We were in a lock in a pub outside Villa Park after the League Cup semi-final (83?) with a bunch of old fellas and had one of the best nights of football talk I've ever experienced in my 55 years. I'll never forget Brum and Villa supporters in their 70s and 80s with tears in their eyes talking about Duncan Edwards.
I would have dearly loved to see the great Torino side who reinvented passing football, and tragically lost in an air crash. AAAhhhhhh......
61 Posted 29/03/2011 at 14:03:49
Best players seen live:
Best players against Everton:
62 Posted 29/03/2011 at 17:06:35
What was Duncan Edwards like, how would you describe him?
63 Posted 29/03/2011 at 17:23:57
64 Posted 29/03/2011 at 18:00:14
65 Posted 30/03/2011 at 00:52:04
1. George Best (have to concede: I've never seen anyone with such balance and close ball control skills)
2. Pele (no words needed)
3. Johan Cruyff (a maestro)
4. The Lousy Cheat from Argentina (no further words needed, either)
5. Eusebio (I had the privilege of watching the Brazil v Portugal match at Goodison in '66. He was awesome and scored twice, Portugal winning 3-1. I know he scored four a few days later against North Korea, but this was Brazil, the reigning world champions).
As for the ones I'd like to have watched:
Ferenc Puskas, Alfredo Di Stefano, Tommy Lawton, Dixie Dean and Nat Lofthouse (my grandfather was from Bolton;-)
66 Posted 30/03/2011 at 14:06:21
I'll start you off with Anichebe, Krøldrup, Angell, Nyarko and Richard Wright...
67 Posted 30/03/2011 at 17:53:46
1. The 'Real Ronaldo' of Brazil ? at his peak he was unstoppable
2. Platini ? so elegant he should have worn a tuxedo when he played
3. Gunter Netzer ? the best long passer I have seen
4. Rodney Marsh ? the most skillful English player I have ever seen. There is a story that he got picked for England by Alf Ramsey and Ramsey, in the pre-match team talk, says 'Marsh, I am pulling you off at half time' and Marsh says 'That's great, Boss, all we get at City is an orange'. First and last cap for Marsh!
5. Alan Ball ? no more to say.
68 Posted 31/03/2011 at 11:36:59
He went to Fiorentina, became a regular there and they gave him a new contract when the old one was up.
Hardly a puddin'.
Don't get me wrong, I'd be happy to see his name in the category 'Biggest and most mysterious Moyes fuck-up'.
69 Posted 05/04/2011 at 04:46:57
I think AJ was a superb workhorse and perfect player for the lone striker who I feel we should never of sold; I didn't add Rooney, for me he was best in 02-03 when coming off the bench, but was poor the following year when we finished 17th. COYB!!!
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