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Gary Lineker... love him or hate him?

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I'm a regular on another forum and have an Avatar of Gary Lineker on my profile. A member on that forum (who may well be on here) can't stand him and, to qoute him, he's: "probably one of the most unpopular and self-centred ex-Everton players I can think of. Mr 'lost me lucky boots' erased EFC from his cv a long time ago ..."

He also feels tha Lineker "played for himself and himself only. Unbalanced the team and certainly didn't fit in socially. And cost us the league title at Oxford with his shithouse excuses. Won the league again as soon as we unloaded him."

Do others feel same? I personally think he did well for us, 40 goals is a hell of a return for how much we paid, though going to Barcelona after a season put a dampener on things.
Trevor Thompson, Croydon     Posted 03/08/2010 at 22:34:41

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Kirk McArdle
1   Posted 04/08/2010 at 04:50:23

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Always seems to favour his time at Spurs and Leicester over the time he was with us.

Don't particularly care really. Isn't in the all time X1 (nor anywhere near the subs) and with our 1 up front wouldn't get in today's side either.

Fits in well with Alan "Liverpool are the best" Hansen and Mark "Liverpool were robbed" Lawrensen. Just another part of the anti Everton psyche that is the BBC "Let's stick EFC last" Match of the Day crowd.
Matt Traynor
2   Posted 04/08/2010 at 05:38:29

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This has been raked over so many times.

He doesn't deny he played for Everton - he said that no-one ever asks him about it.

He didn't want to leave, but the board decided to cash in and treble their money. He would happily have stayed at Everton which he thought had one of the best sides he ever played in.

He only had 1 season FFS, when he was sold on by the club. Hardly enough time to develop an affinity for the place is it?
Derek Thomas
3   Posted 04/08/2010 at 06:05:11

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As a player he had one good season with us, after all 40 goals is 40 goals even if you are a bit of a tosser. Don't forget ,Managers will forgive anything so long as you do the biz on the pitch.

Kirk, don't be daft man, the 85-86 Lineker could walk into any team in the prem.

A lot of our trouble was being Champions we had 2nd season syndrome, not helped by the fact that Kendall struggled for 10 games trying to find, for various reasons, a gelled, settled starting team to play with him.

So he's was a bit of a tosser then and even more now, big deal, who cares, everybody hates us anyway.

As ever it's the bottom line...

Keith Edmunds
4   Posted 04/08/2010 at 06:29:22

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Kirk, he scored 40 GOALs. He would be the first name on the teamsheet in todays squad.. Only saw him for a year so would put Bob Latchford above him.
Martin Mason
5   Posted 04/08/2010 at 06:38:01

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Trevor, keep your avatar and tell the bloke that he talks through his dung trumpet. Lineker was the best striker that I've seen at Everton in 50 years and his leaving was nothing to do with him. He would be the first name on the team sheet in the current Everton set up too. After a nervous start he has become a very good presenter too. He was a genuine thoroughbred against the many donkeys that that do play up front. If Yakubu is worth the 11 million that we paid for him then Lineker would be priceless on the same scale.
Mike McLean
6   Posted 04/08/2010 at 07:37:56

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Whoa there. Selective memory strikes again.

Gary Lineker (a GREAT player) gave a TV interview during which he was asked about Barc's interest & his contract. He made it perfectly plain that he would go where he wanted to go, and that would be to Spain. It was just at the end of the World Cup where he won the Golden Boot.

Our Board are shite, but that one has nothing to do with them, and everything to do with his ambition.
Anthony Hughes
7   Posted 04/08/2010 at 07:41:03

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"Don't particularly care really. Isn't in the all time X1 (nor anywhere near the subs) and with our 1 up front wouldn't get in today's side either"

Is that some of a wind up? Lineker, 40 goals, v Sicknote Saha, 13 goals???
Mike McLean
8   Posted 04/08/2010 at 08:46:11

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Oh, and another thing. The reason we won fuck all in '86 was that a superior Liverpool were around. Hate to say it, but that's the truth. Or you could blame Heysel, the First war, the second War or the Board.
Ray Robinson
9   Posted 04/08/2010 at 09:20:13

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Lineker would have been the first player on my team sheet but really, his goal scoring exploits aside, he was a very limited footballer, like my hero, Bob Latchford. The difference with Lineker, as opposed to most other strikers, was that he never lost confidence even after missing an absolute sitter - a characteristic that all truly great strikers possess. However, in a pure footballing sense, he was extremely mediocre.

Those that knock Yakubu, should remember that single-mindedness in a striker is not always a bad thing, although it has to be said that his best days may be behind him because of age / injury.

Lineker also had intelligence in abundance, allied to great speed.. I don't think that he developed a great affinity with Everton because he wasn't there that long - also, in a way, he was far too professional to let matters of the heart dictate. He was a clinical, calculating sort of professional, who probably distanced himself from some of the post match drinking socialising that no doubt took place.

Bottom line is that you can't knock someone who scored that many goals in a season and won the golden boot at the World Cup.

Tony Waring
10   Posted 04/08/2010 at 09:56:17

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Mike (post #8) got it right in one. We won nowt after 85 because of Heysell. It was the ruination of Everton - and we know who to blame ! Lineker was a terrific goalscorer and would certainly get into any PL team .
Liam Reilly
11   Posted 04/08/2010 at 09:57:08

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As stated above, one year isn't nearly enough to gain an affinity with the club, but 40 goals was a massive return. It wasn't his fault we won nothing that year.

Re MOTD, I doubt its up to Lineker in what order the Everton game features on the show, the fact is they will show the games that the producer perceives to warrant the largest audience - no brainer. Also, I might be in a minority of 1, but I think Hansen presents a very unbiased view of Everton. I reckon his comments are mostly fair.
Dave Roberts
12   Posted 04/08/2010 at 10:17:24

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Tony Waring (#8)

Didn't we win the league in 1987.....or did I dream it!
David Thomas
13   Posted 04/08/2010 at 10:19:46

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I like your loyalty to our current strikeforce, but you can't honestly think Gary Lineker in his prime would not have got a game ahead of Beckford, Saha, Yak, Anichebe and Vaughan.
Trevor Thompson
14   Posted 04/08/2010 at 10:14:37

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Liam #11 "I think Hansen presents a very unbiased view of Everton. I reckon his comments are mostly fair." I agree with you there. I think for a kopite, he's very unbiased. Mark Lawerenson on the other hand is a smarmy gobshite.

Lineker, at Everton and for England is one of my favourite players of all-time just because you can rely on him to score goals. He might not have been a player that would take on the whole oppos defence or score 40 yarders but he did what was required of a player in his position. If we can find some one half as good as him then I'd be pleased.
Kevin Gillen
15   Posted 04/08/2010 at 10:37:15

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Scored some brilliant goals for us and was part of a superb team. True, we did hoof it a bit more over the top when he played because he was bloody quick and fit when he was with us. We would kill to have someone as good as him in the current line up. He certainly knew where the goal was. He took some stick off opposing defenders too but was never a sick note. I couldn't believe it when we sold him but we made a massive profit so we can't complain. Good luck to the man - he never called Everton and often talks of fond memories at the club.
Peter Laing
16   Posted 04/08/2010 at 10:49:02

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How many clubs sell a player at the pinnacle of his game, 40 goals in his debut season, golden boot award at the World Cup in Mexico 86 - exactly Everton. The fact that we lost out on the double was more to do with the horrific injury sustained by big Nev and the subsequent inexperience of Bobby Mimms. Philip Carter should have been run out of the Club following the sale of Lineker, we may have won the league in 1987 but have never seen such a clinical centre forward at the club since. I hate to draw comparrisons but the nearest to Lineker's style is that of the ladyboy Torres.
David Thomas
17   Posted 04/08/2010 at 10:57:06

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Peter Laing,

Manchester United - Ronaldo
Barcelona - Brazilian Ronaldo
Liverpool - Rush
Juventus - Zidane

It happens more than you think. I don't think you could single out everton as the only club who does it.
Danny Burke
18   Posted 04/08/2010 at 10:42:50

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Landon played what 10 weeks at Goodison? He has an affinity for the place. Lineker also does even if it was "just a year". He played for Spurs and Leicester for longer so he doubtless feels more for them. Id like to think he likes us more than Grampus 8 though! He doesn't ram it down everyones throat on MOTD but he always has a wry smile or subtle comment when Liverpool lose and especially when we beat them.

He was a great striker who while had a limited all round game, scored for fun, 40 times! Id love someone to get even 30 for us these days.
Matthew Lovekin
19   Posted 04/08/2010 at 11:31:36

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Who was the last Everton striker to score 40 goals in one season other than Lineker? You have to go back a long way.

Everton also sold Lineker for three and a half times more than we paid for him in one year so the Club didn't do too badly out of it either.

As mentioned, today's equal would be Torres. Any Everton fan would want Torres in our side now (putting aside his RS connections).
Norman Merrill
20   Posted 04/08/2010 at 11:47:49

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When I am asked by people outside merseyside, especially abroad, when on holiday, How did you rate Linaker.
My answer has always been the same.
"Played for us one season, scored two in his debut against the shite at Analfield in a players testimonal.
And went on to score 40 goals for the season.
Not bad on your CV, even if you did not want to be here, as some suggest.?
And its part of our History for ever.
Chris Briddon
21   Posted 04/08/2010 at 11:53:04

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Can people please get over this MotD bias thing ? it has been explained any number of times. One of the reasons we are frequently late on MotD is (particularly last season) we don't feeature in either high scoring or high profile matches very often.

The games are generally structured in most entertaining / important downwards, so if you spend all season in mid-table winning 1-0 you won't be on first very much!

Eric Hardman
22   Posted 04/08/2010 at 13:22:05

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Chris Biddon
If you spend all season winning 1-0 you won't be in mid table but I know what you mean.
Roger Trenwith
23   Posted 04/08/2010 at 13:43:29

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Lineker was awesome in his one season for us, and you can't blame him for his ambition, or the board for selling him. There was after all the small matter of Heysel. Had that not happened Lineker would have been playing in the European Cup, and in all probability would not have wanted to move on (if that was the case) nor would the board have been inclined to sell him at the end of his first season.

With a lenghty European ban just starting to be served by English clubs, the board cashed in, and I for one can't blame them.

We all know who is really to blame for the whole sorry mess that was the 1985 European Cup final, the aftermath and it's lasting impact on our club.

Trevor Lynes
24   Posted 04/08/2010 at 15:16:02

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Lineker and Sharp were the best goalscoring combination EFC have had since Young/Vernon back in the 60s... Lineker had fantastic pace and Sharp was the perfect foil for him.

His short distance pace was blistering and he scored goals in bucketfuls at the top level consistently... Unfortunately Liverpool had a terrific side at that time and just shaded us...but the derby games were fantastic!!

When people say he was not an all rounder they are probably correct but I cannot seeing ANY striker who was all round (whatever that may be) as they need others to supply them with the ammunition....

He is streets ahead of any striker we have had since his one season with us and I do not know why he left.

No-one has ever explained the reason fully..either him or the EFC board... BUT we tend to 'cash in' on any decent players we have ever had and we have never kept a succesful squad together following a league title.

I hate to admit it, but Shankley/Paisley and co kept their players at Anfield and had a strangle hold on the league title for donkeys years...this has only been followed by Man Utd under Ferguson.

Also in those days we did not have lots of foreign players and the playing field was much more equal.

Roberto Birquet
25   Posted 04/08/2010 at 15:23:11

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Mike no 8

Oh, and another thing. The reason we won fuck all in '86 was that a superior Liverpool were around. Hate to say it, but that's the truth.
Either you weren't around or didn't go to the games. The only thing Liverpool had to keep them in the race was Ian Rush. Wiithout him, they would have finished 5th or 6th. We were far superior to Liverpool.

What Liverpool had was experience. As they started catching up with us (they were about ten points adrift with ten to play, after being thahed by us at Anfield), we kakked ourselves and starting playing very nervous football and dropped points;

Everyone remembers Oxford; FFS sake had we beaten "who are they?" Oxford we'd have won the League three years in a row. But I remember sqeaking past Ipswich late in the season because of ridiculous nerves; and allowing Leicester to beat us early in the season, c'cos we thought ourselves so superior to them - we were, but after taking the lead, we fell into a slumber; the whole crowd did, and they caught us with two route-one goals; and a million chanes later we did not score again - amazing! I came away thinking: IF we lose the League by fewer than three points, I'll never forget this.

I've never forgotten it!

Were u at the Anfield Derby? We could have won by 7 or 8! We won 2-0, and at Goodison battered them after going 2-0 down in first ten mins (we lost 3-2). Among the many chances was Lineker hitting the crossbar with a shot from four yards out; Inchy strolling thru the entire defence to go one on one with Grobelaar - did the hard bit, then shot straight into the keeper's chest.

The League was lost on the final game of the season to the worst Liverpool side since the early 60s; that loss was sandwiched between two championships won by 15 and 9 pts respectively, if memory serves.
We were bloody awesome! And you do not deserve our name!
Ray Roche
26   Posted 04/08/2010 at 16:12:44

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Let's have a bit of fair play here, Lineker has said on several occasions that the Everton side he played in was the finest team he played in. If Everton weren't the Selling Club we all know them to be, he might have stated a bit longer. He'd've walked into any Prem side. And Lawrenson said as recently as the World Cup programmes that his team are, and always have been, Preston North End.
Ste Traverse
27   Posted 04/08/2010 at 17:04:50

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Kirk,are you having a laugh lad? Gary Lineker at his peak would walk into any Everton side that has graced Goodison since he was sold.

He's without question the best goalscorer i've ever seen in a blue shirt and had his partnership with Graeme Sharp been allowed to develop further they would have become one of the best forward combinations of all time. 64 goals between them in 85/86 was an awesome return.

Lineker has stated loads of times we were the best side he'd played in and still keeps an eye on whats going on at Goodison but is first and foremost a Leicester man as thats were he's from and his boyhood club.

His sale was ridiculous and I still can't get my head round it to this day.
Tony Hughes
28   Posted 04/08/2010 at 17:42:10

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How anybody can critise a man who scored 40 goals is fucking beyond me!!!!
Richard Parker
29   Posted 04/08/2010 at 17:49:31

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I was at the exact right age for Lineker to be my hero before he arrived at Everton, so when he signed it was like christmas, birthday and easter had all come at once.

He was asked in an interview, which was the best team he ever played in, and he responded that it was Everton... if you Google it, you can see the results, but I can't get any pages to open up.

He was here a year, bagged more than most strikers have got in their Everton career and left. Of course he has more affinity for his boyhood club, or a club where he played for several years. He still said that our team was the best. That's not very anti-Everton.
David Hallwood
30   Posted 04/08/2010 at 18:51:27

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Great goal scorer; that was his strength but it was also a weakness. There?s no doubt that we changed the way we played the previous season where we killed teams with our Rolls Royce midfield, to playing the ball over the top for Lineker to run on to, so there was less movement and variation from the whole team. But it was an awesome side with or without jug ears.
Roberto Birquet
31   Posted 04/08/2010 at 18:58:24

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Hey Richard
Considering we had just won the League, our first European trophy and were a balmy-day tired one game-too-far away from a treble; that is a Helluva claim to say his arrival was all those things. I remember feeling quite sad as Gray left straight after.

How could we split up that team. Kendall was what a successful manager had to be: ruthless.
David Gallant
32   Posted 04/08/2010 at 20:01:05

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Gary Lineker provided me with one of my most enduring childhood memories at Italia 90 when he equalized against ze Germans in the (epic) semi.

Pure class. Simple as. One of his great strengths was his intelligence and his economy of movement. He always gambled even when the odds were against him getting on the end of something and that, allied to his instinctive ability to time his runs to perfection, made him a worthy winner of WCGolden Boots and the like.

To suggest he wouldn't get into todays Everton lineup (strong as it is) is simply madness.

Whatever his opinions and or affinities toward Everton, one thing you should never question is the man's class and stature within the game. As goalscorers go, one of the very best.

Now if only King Louis could bag us 20 this season . . .
Andy Crooks
33   Posted 04/08/2010 at 20:16:10

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Lineker and Dean. The two best strikers ever to play for Everton. The goals say it all.
Trevor Lynes
34   Posted 05/08/2010 at 00:20:00

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Mr Crooks... please add Vernon to your duo!!
John Smith
35   Posted 05/08/2010 at 00:17:37

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It's a subject that's been touched on and raised quite a few times with Everton fans and Lineker himself, in various interviews.

I disagree with the opinion that Lineker doesn't hold any affection or remembers his time with Everton as well as any of his other clubs.

Lineker has actually stated in an online interview with both The Guardian and an Everton fans' website that the Everton team of 85-86 was and quoted "the best I've ever played in"

He said that himself, a quick search on Google should bring either one of the interviews up, he said he loved it at Everton and didn't want to leave the club - however Everton's board, being the board they are and always have been saw the dollar signs and cashed in - especially with no European football during that period.

He was at Everton when we were arguably the finest club side in Europe, he scored 40-goals and we narrowly missed out on winning the 'Double'

Also this myth about Hansen and the BBC being "biased" towards us is just that, a myth, the BBC are obviously going to put; Arsenal, Chelsea, United and Liverpool before us, and I can't ever recall when Hansen has ever said anything negative about us on-air.

Lineker is always associated with Tottenham more, because he was at Spurs for a longer period of time, and he also won the FA Cup there aswel - it would be a different story had Everton not sold him, and he went on to win the League with us in 1987.
Trevor Thompson
36   Posted 05/08/2010 at 02:31:59

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Is Heysel just an excuse?

Ok. I realise this may well court some controversy but seriously I would like to get a balanced view on the matter. A lot of people feel that what happened there was part of the reason why Everton never reached the apex of the clubs history and to be challeging for more honours.

I fully understand that it was our chance to go on and show the world that Everton were a major force by winning the European Cup, but can we blame the event for stopping us from winning more league titles and becoming as strong as the likes of Man United? It didn't affect them lot across the park. Five years later, they won the league.

I think that we made some poor signings after the 1987 Championship winning side and lost our way for some time after that and I don't think colin Harvey was that good a manager. If we had kept challeging for the title surely we would have got our chance again in the European Cup/Champions League.

Maybe I'm getting the wrong impression and that some people aren't solely blaming what happened back then but are thinking of a number of factors that left us slightly behind (though I feel we're catching up).

I'd just like some educated views so I can form a balanced opinion.

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
37   Posted 05/08/2010 at 02:33:49

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Heysel has been discussed on a number of recent threads, including this one for starters. There was an earlier one too that specifically addressed this question.
Kirk McArdle
38   Posted 05/08/2010 at 02:44:50

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Sorry about the late reply but, what I meant was:

Yes Linekers 40 goals would serve us very well indeed but he scored most of them in the 6 yard box. He never back tracked or chased the ball down as is required from our 1 up front formation. I am saying that he would not fit into Moyes's preferred formation not that he wouldn't be good for the team.

And when we talk about a greatest XI Sharp and Dean fill the front two and I would rather Latchford or Young on the subs bench than Lineker.

Any disagree??

P.S. Clive Allen scored 49 goals in 86-87. Would anyone have him??
Ste Traverse
39   Posted 05/08/2010 at 19:17:44

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Kirk,difference with Clive Allen was he never close to that amount again and was unproven at international level-unlike Lineker.

And frankly who cares if a lot of his goals were inside the 6 yard box? Its about being in the right place at the right time and Lineker usually was.

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