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Some welcome relief

By Jay Harris :  27/03/2011 :  Comments (69) :
I havent posted much on Toffeeweb recently for a number of reasons ? the main one being my frustration with the current board and our inability to unite as supporters and make our feelings known in strength. Instead, we have had supporters coming on with hatred and vitriol towards players and each other.

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?

Reader Comments

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Gavin Ramejkis
1   Posted 27/03/2011 at 21:05:06

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Great piece Jay, where to start??

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
Cruyff
Beckenbauer
Gerd Muller
Gordon Banks
George Best
Art Jones
2   Posted 27/03/2011 at 21:24:35

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Five best I've seen:

Alan Ball
George Best
Neville Southall
Gary Lineker
Wayne Rooney (sadly)

Best I wish I had seen:

Dixie Dean
Alex Young
Pele
Cruyff
Gerd Muller
Denis Richardson
3   Posted 27/03/2011 at 21:25:56

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Interesting piece and cannot argue with most of the picks. However, not sure if its deliberate but you left out a certain little Argentinean who won two Scudettos with a 'lesser team' and the World Cup practically by himself, in the mid to late 80s.

Also given the choice between Zidane and Ronaldo (Portuguese), I would go for the Frenchman every single time.
Daniel J Johnson
4   Posted 27/03/2011 at 21:37:19

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Agree with your sentiments about vitriol and moaning.

My five:

Zidane
Ronaldo (Brazilian)
Bergkamp
Henry
Rivaldo
Ray Robinson
5   Posted 27/03/2011 at 21:48:35

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Do you know, Jay, I couldn't disagree with your top 5, having started watching Everton in 1961. My dad always use to rave about Duncan Edwards, so I guess that I'd swap him for T G Jones in the stars that I never saw.

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.
Chris Bannantyne
6   Posted 27/03/2011 at 21:49:58

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Is it wrong that I get less excited by these Ronaldo types with the fancy footwork, than the Cahill types that play hard and astound you every time they outleap some giant to score a header?
Dave Lynch
7   Posted 27/03/2011 at 22:22:04

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Phew!
Where do I start?

Everton players:

Dean
Lawton
Young (first game in 69 so just missed him)
Hickson
Mercer

Non-Everton:

Puskas
Garrincha
Beckenbauer
Maradonna
Van Basten.

That's providing live telly doesn't count, only if you've seen them in the flesh. .

Ray Roche
8   Posted 27/03/2011 at 22:21:52

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Jay, always good to reminisce about great players from the past, I reckon we've been going a similar length of time, me from 59-60 season.

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.
Pele.
Eusebio,
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.
Lawton.
Mercer,
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.....

Dick Fearon
9   Posted 27/03/2011 at 22:02:31

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Jay, I count myself lucky because with the exception of the great Dixie and Lawton who I had the pleasure of meeting in their retirement, I have actually seen every player mentioned by yourself and everyone above.

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.

Andy Crooks
10   Posted 27/03/2011 at 22:37:30

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Jay, a very welcome diversion. George Best is the best player I have ever seen. Dixie, for his record, it really defies belief, must be the greatest Evertonian. However, I would also mention two players who had the shit kicked out of them but always responded like truly real men, I would add Bobby Charlton and Gary Lineker.

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.

Ray Roche
11   Posted 27/03/2011 at 22:45:46

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Dick, Interesting that you should mention Finney; Bill Shankly, who we must agree had a decent knowledge of the game, when asked who was the better between Best and Finney said "Well, it has got to be Best. Tom must be nearly 60 by now". He regarded Finney as the better player of the two.

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.

Jay Harris
12   Posted 27/03/2011 at 22:40:06

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Denis #2 you're right it was deliberate.

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.
Mick Quirke
13   Posted 27/03/2011 at 23:10:39

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'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.'

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.
Ray Roche
14   Posted 27/03/2011 at 23:14:09

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Jay, I certainly do!
Mike Rourke
15   Posted 27/03/2011 at 22:15:49

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Di Stefano managed to represent Spain, Argentina and Colombia on the international stage but i'm pretty sure even he drew the line at playing for Hungary! - I guess you meant Real Madrid of the 50s... a team supposedly as good as Everton '85.

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.
Michael Coffey
16   Posted 27/03/2011 at 23:29:05

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Southall

The rest is noise.
Andrew James
17   Posted 27/03/2011 at 23:34:40

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These players are all great and that but you are all forgetting Kevin Kilbane.

Shame on you.
Dennis Stevens
18   Posted 27/03/2011 at 23:45:24

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For me there's one name above all others : "The Greatest Footballer You Never Saw" - Robin Friday!
Kris Boner
19   Posted 27/03/2011 at 23:52:06

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I find this who idea of naming players from beyond my time incredibly informative, but it doesn't help but make me feel like a child, as I'm only 18...

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.
Jay Harris
20   Posted 28/03/2011 at 01:56:39

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Mick and Mike I stand corrected.

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.
John Daley
21   Posted 28/03/2011 at 01:48:54

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Diego Maradona. By a country mile. Won the World Cup singlehanded. Would probably have done the same thing again four years later if he wasn't fat as fuck and coked up to his tits. Why couldn't he just stick to peddling erectile dysfunction drugs like that nice Mr Pele?
John Daley
22   Posted 28/03/2011 at 02:27:23

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A player I always admired when I was a kid was Emiliano Butragueno, the Spain and Real Madrid striker. I can remember him grabbing four goals against Denmark in the 86 World Cup back when Spain were perennial also rans. I was also suitably impressed by his nickname of 'the vulture', which was just so much better than the shitty English versions of the time like 'Shilts', 'Butch' and 'Pop'.

This goal is just a classic. The big, bearded centre half looks like he doesn't know what the hell's just happened:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PVLEeL00Cc&feature=youtube_gdata_player
Roman Sidey
23   Posted 28/03/2011 at 02:36:27

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Being quite young in football terms (25), I only know of most of these players through post football media. For that exact reason, I try to pay as much attention to Lionel Messi as I can at the moment. He's hands down the best player in the world now, and, I believe, by the time he's finished up, he might be the greatest there has been - hopefully he'll be duly decorated by then too with a World Cup title to his name.

In 50 years time, those of us still around will tell our grand kids about the little Argentine.
Martin Mason
24   Posted 28/03/2011 at 03:24:17

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I also rate our own Alan Ball as one of the greats and not far off Best. Between 1966 and 1970 he was One of the best players on the planet with his wonderful pass and run game plus 15 goals a season. He was a great credit to the club
Eric Myles
25   Posted 28/03/2011 at 08:37:13

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Stop it, you lot are making me feel old saying you've never seen Cruyff, Beckenbauer, Ball or Best.

You must all still be in short pants FFS!
Mike Green
26   Posted 28/03/2011 at 09:12:01

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The best player I've seen in the flesh has to be Maldini.

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.
Trevor Lynes
27   Posted 28/03/2011 at 10:14:20

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To limit things to five is very difficult as I have seen all except Dean. Lawton tore us apart in his twilight years playing for Notts County at Goodison...

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.

Phil Bellis
28   Posted 28/03/2011 at 11:45:44

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Best ever seen live at Goodison:

George Best
Alan Ball
Tony Kay
Florian Albert
Eusebio

Love to have seen live:

Dean
Puskas
Lawton
Mercer
Jim Baxter
Gavin Ramejkis
29   Posted 28/03/2011 at 12:20:32

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Eric #25, I only saw them on TV (Beckenbauer, Cruyff and Best - Ball on footage), missed seeing them in the flesh which is very different.
Brian Waring
30   Posted 28/03/2011 at 12:35:10

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Best players:

1 Pele
2 Maradonna
3 Cruyff
4 Platini
5 Zico
Nick Entwistle
31   Posted 28/03/2011 at 12:29:54

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Best I've seen??

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.
Eugene Ruane
32   Posted 28/03/2011 at 13:02:02

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Best five I've seen - 1) Best. 2) Cruyff. 3) Socrates. 4) Ball. 5) Zico.

Five I'd like to have seen - 1) Dixie. 2) Pele. 3) Eusebio. 4) Tom Finney. 5) Robin Friday.
Mark Murphy
33   Posted 28/03/2011 at 13:05:33

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Five in the flesh:

George Best
Alan Ball
Wayne Rooney
Thierry Henry
Ian Wright

Five Everton:

Alan Ball
Wayne Rooney
Neville Southall
Duncan MacKenzie
Colin Harvey

Five best Shite:

Dalglish
Rush
Hansen
Heighway
Torres
Steve Green
34   Posted 28/03/2011 at 12:57:59

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EFC players I wish I had seen:

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:
Platini
Muller
Gullitt
Messi
Eusebio

Steve Green
35   Posted 28/03/2011 at 13:31:40

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Mark @ #33 ? Who the fuck wastes time thinking about 5 players from that lot of shite. That's 3 minutes of your life you'll never get back! For God's Sake Man, pull yourself together!
Adam Cunliffe
36   Posted 28/03/2011 at 13:33:54

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For Everton:

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.

COYB!!!

Tim Spring
37   Posted 28/03/2011 at 12:19:08

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Best I've ever seen:

Kaka
Henry
Ronaldo (Brasilian)
Ronaldo (Portuguese)
Bergkamp and Hibbert.

Wish I'd seen:

Zidane
Hagi
Pele
Maradona
Eveton's entire 1985-86 squad
Magaye Gueye
Andrew Laird
38   Posted 28/03/2011 at 13:55:36

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Five best I have seen in the flesh:

1 Maradona
2 Messi
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)
Jay Harris
39   Posted 28/03/2011 at 14:01:53

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It saddens me to think of all the young lads who have to watch the current batch of overpaid, overprivileged, arrogant bunch of shite with so little media coverage available of earlier talent for them to see.

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.
Michael Kenrick
40   Posted 28/03/2011 at 15:46:43

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Mark Murphy... WTF?

I was quite enjoying this thread...
Kevin Jones
41   Posted 28/03/2011 at 16:25:37

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My God that's hard, been thinking for ages. Our 84-85 team where fantastic, but, as individuals, these five... just:

Best five players I've actually seen play are:

1) Henry
2) Berkamp
3) Big Nev
4) Cantona
5) Hoddle

Players I'd have loved to have seen:

1) Maradona
2) Best
3) Pele
4) Alan Ball
5) Dixie

Best five Everton Players I've seen:

1) Nev
2) Rooney
3) Sharpy
4) Peter Reid
5) Sheedy

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.
David Holroyd
42   Posted 28/03/2011 at 17:01:25

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BEST EVER:?

Best
Maradona
Pele
Messi
Cruyff

Jay Harris
43   Posted 28/03/2011 at 17:24:15

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Kevin (#39):

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.
Bob McEvoy
44   Posted 28/03/2011 at 18:08:26

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Finest seen in flesh:

Pele
Cruyff
Eusebio
Best
Beckenbauer

Finest not seen in flesh:

Maradona
Zidane
Ronaldo (Brazilian)
Messi
Puskas

I suspect if Messi carries on as he is now for next, say, 7 years he might even eclipse Pele and Maradona.

Trevor Mackie
45   Posted 28/03/2011 at 18:06:02

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Seen these on telly but would have loved to see them live Romario ? Barcelona and Brazil, couldn't stop laughing when he and Barca destroyed Man Utd at the Nou Camp, poor Gary Pallister he must awake in a cold sweat even now.

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
Gareth Humphreys
46   Posted 28/03/2011 at 19:46:19

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Five best I have seen in the flesh ? in order:

Southall
Lothar Mattheus
Beardsley
Kanchelskis
Rooney

Five I would have love to have seen:
Dean
Maradonna
T G Jones
Ball
Cruyff

Five top players of all time for me:

Southall
Maradonna
Pele
Jarzinho
Zidane

Howard Don
47   Posted 28/03/2011 at 20:08:02

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Five best I've seen in the flesh:-

Pele
Beckenbauer
Best
Eusebio
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
Di Stefano
Puskas
Duncan Edwards
Maradonna
Cruyff
Guy Hastings
48   Posted 28/03/2011 at 20:59:53

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Jay 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.

According to my dear old departed dad too. In fact, 'the' greatest'. He rated Joe Mercer, too.

Bob McEvoy
49   Posted 28/03/2011 at 20:58:12

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Howard... I went to the Brazil-Hungary game. Pouring rain, Friday night. Park end. The Farkas volley one of the best I've ever seen and indeed Albert was amazing!! ? and all this and no Pele.
Tim O'Connell
50   Posted 28/03/2011 at 21:19:52

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In my 50 years the top 5 Blues are:

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.
Mark Murphy
51   Posted 28/03/2011 at 21:58:49

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I'm sorry, I don't know what come over me!

Do me a favour and edit that lot out before someone who knows me sees it!
Coll Heske
52   Posted 28/03/2011 at 22:01:34

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Where do we Start?

Best
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!
David Thomas
53   Posted 28/03/2011 at 22:52:17

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Fibe best non-Everton players I have seen live:-

Pele
Eusebio
Messi
Zidane
Cruyff

Five best Everton players I have seen live:-

Bobby Collins
Alex Young
Alan Ball
Neville Southall
Ray Wilson
Roman Sidey
54   Posted 28/03/2011 at 22:57:07

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Tim Spring, absolute genius.
Eugene Ruane
55   Posted 28/03/2011 at 23:21:52

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Tim Spring - laughed out loud (wish there was a shorter way to say that).
Keith Young
56   Posted 29/03/2011 at 00:01:18

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Everton greats I've seen:

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

Visitors:

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

Greg Anderson
57   Posted 29/03/2011 at 06:14:19

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Best seen:

1. Best
2. Pele
3. Maradona
4. Socrates
5. Cruyff

Wish I had seen:

1953 Hungarians (all of them)
Len Shackleton
Mr. Dean
A young Jimmy Greaves
Jackie Milburn

Best teams seen:
1982 Brazil
1970 Brazil
1974 Holland
1982 Italy
1988 Holland

Dave Wilson
58   Posted 29/03/2011 at 07:58:42

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Best seen:

Best
Plattini
Messi
Maradona
Van Basten

Wish I`d seen:

Duncan Edwards
Bobby Collins
Tom Finney
Tommy Ring (me dad never shut up about him)
Tommy Lawton
Derek Thomas
59   Posted 29/03/2011 at 08:36:00

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Wish I'd seen:

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.
Denis Byrne
60   Posted 29/03/2011 at 12:06:21

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Oh for a time machine .... I lay in bed reading me Everton books and fall happily asleep dreaming of Warney Cresswell, Chedzgoy, Jack Sharp, little Dunne, and the wet dreams arrive for Warney Cresswell and Dean and of course T G Jones, who Stanley Mathews (bless him) called the greatest ever.

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......

Norman Merrill
61   Posted 29/03/2011 at 14:03:49

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Best international players seen live at Goodison Park:

Pele
Eusebio
Lev Yashin
Beckenbauer
Florian Albert

Best players seen live:

Puskas
Di Stefano
Cruyff
Jim Baxter
Jimmy Johnston

Best players against Everton:

Len Shackleton
Tom Finney
Duncan Edwards
Roger Byrne
John Charles

Denis Byrne
62   Posted 29/03/2011 at 17:06:35

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Norman, you lucky old bugger! I saw John Charles at Dublin airport (does this count?)and wanted to go and shake his hand but he was with Johny Giles, Peter Lorimer and Paul Madeley and I was frozen in awe!

What was Duncan Edwards like, how would you describe him?
Norman Merrill
63   Posted 29/03/2011 at 17:23:57

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Denis (#63): A Colossus with brilliant ability. In my opinion, never to be equalled.
Stephen Sullivan
64   Posted 29/03/2011 at 18:00:14

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My top five:

Pele
Terry Darracott
Jim Pearson
Rod Belfitt
Eusebio
David Israel
65   Posted 30/03/2011 at 00:52:04

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Five best I have seen:

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;-)
Jamie Tulacz
66   Posted 30/03/2011 at 14:06:21

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How about the worst players to grace the hallowed turf?

I'll start you off with Anichebe, Krøldrup, Angell, Nyarko and Richard Wright...
Ray Said
67   Posted 30/03/2011 at 17:53:46

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My "Five best players I have ever seen" (not on TV but in the flesh) would be:

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.
Eugene Ruane
68   Posted 31/03/2011 at 11:36:59

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Jamie Tulacz - Kroldrup!? (er..with a little thingy through the o).

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'.
Stephen Leary
69   Posted 05/04/2011 at 04:46:57

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With all the talk around Moyes and whether he will be off in the summer, I was wondering what fellow blues would say was his best eleven players in a team from any of his years with us? For me, I would say, Martyn, Neville, Lescott, Jagielka, Baines, Arteta, Gravesen, Carsley, Cahill, Pienaar, Johnson. Subs would be, Howard, Yobo, Stubbs, Fernandes, Yakubu, Osman, Saha.

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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