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Mike Hughes
1 Posted 06/03/2015 at 22:09:49
I thought he was a cracking player. Knew where the net was – and could we do with him right now.

I had the impression that he didnÂ’t always get on with his team mates. I could be wrong on this. DonÂ’t know where it came from but did he and Sharpy have an issue?

Bobby Thomas
2 Posted 06/03/2015 at 22:23:33
Box player. ThatÂ’s it.

Gazza and Beardsley cost the same and we got him.

And for such a supposedly great finisher he was abysmal one-on-one and an awful penalty taker as well. I couldnÂ’t stand him to be honest.

Andy Meighan
3 Posted 06/03/2015 at 22:18:10
Like he said, right club, wrong time. But it was no secret that he and Sharp never got on. When he and the Harvey signings came, Sharp played the playground bully.

Still, we finished 4th under Harvey. Imagine that now. He’d be lauded. Poor Colin was vilified. Yes, kids – for finishing 4th. Sad times.

Si Mar
4 Posted 06/03/2015 at 22:37:34
Overrated... although his debut hat-trick I enjoyed!

Never forgave him for his totally biased views and show of disappointment on Sky when we beat West Ham in the Carling Cup in 2007 and were due to play them on the Saturday and and said he Â’hopedÂ’ West Ham would win!!!

James Stewart
5 Posted 06/03/2015 at 22:29:20
Interesting section on Mike Walker era. Sounds like he could quite easily be talking about Martinez.

IÂ’m too young to remember Cottee but a fascinating read.

Ernie Baywood
6 Posted 06/03/2015 at 22:33:38
I was a Cottee fan but, regardless of what you thought of him, youÂ’d have to admit thatÂ’s a really interesting insight into his time with us. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
Ernie Baywood
7 Posted 06/03/2015 at 22:48:18
Si #4. HeÂ’s a West Ham supporter. ThatÂ’s fair enough for me.
Lyndon Lloyd
8 Posted 06/03/2015 at 22:51:10
His penalty against Chelsea in the FA Cup aside (he admits he hated taking pens), I always liked him.

LukakuÂ’s situation is very reminiscent of CotteeÂ’s experience. Top goalscorer who scored a hatful before we signed him struggles in a worsening team and ends up being criticised for not being the complete all-round striker capable of creating his own goals.

Bill Gall
9 Posted 06/03/2015 at 22:38:39
On one of my trips back to Liverpool, I remember the game: 30 October 1988 against Man Utd and Cottee scored. I had a pass for the Players Lounge after the game and he came over and I had a talk with him.

I just looked through my memorabilia and I still have the pass, and ticket for the Lower Bullens stand. Strange, some of the stuff you hang on to...

Patrick Murphy
10 Posted 06/03/2015 at 22:53:22
There are a few similarities between CotteeÂ’s time at Goodison and the present day: a squad that has plenty of old heads who have tasted relative success and a few players who have only been in the team for a couple of seasons.

It would seem that the "we’re all in it together" spirit that typified David Moyes’s time has been removed and there appears to be a few camps within the whole squad, which is a great shame because that has been traditionally where the core strength of the team has come from. It’s a very difficult thing to build and a very easy thing to destroy – even if it’s not intentional.

Paul Hewitt
11 Posted 06/03/2015 at 22:54:53
Right player, wrong time.
Dave Abrahams
12 Posted 06/03/2015 at 22:54:45
I could take him or leave him. Interesting he mentions Pat Nevin. Now he got a really bad deal off Kendall, who never gave him a real chance. I remember watching him play for the reserves one Saturday afternoon versus Notts Forest and thought, "What the fuck have they got you doing running up and down the wing in a reserve match for?"

Pat just got on with it and did his level best. I think he went to Tranmere Rovers later on.

Si Mar
13 Posted 06/03/2015 at 23:13:38
True Ernie, just my opinion; it was more the disdain in his voice though, his beloved West Ham had just been beaten by a team you wouldÂ’ve thought he had no time at all for!

Pretty petty on my part, I admit!! But we beat West Ham on the Saturday too so fuck him!

Peter Bell
14 Posted 06/03/2015 at 23:18:24
Wrong player, wrong time. Never once proved to be a big game player. When did he ever score the winner in a big important game? As long as he scored, he had done his job.

Most of his goals were when he scored the only goal in a 3-1 defeat. Dont mention Â’sweatÂ’ and Â’CotteeÂ’ in the same sentence...

Patrick Murphy
15 Posted 06/03/2015 at 23:29:36
Peter, that goal he mentions at West Ham in 1994 was probably his most important Everton goal as that was only one of two wins during the last 10 games of the season; the other was obviously Wimbledon – eight points from 30 in those final matches... I hope we can do better than that this season!
Brian Denton
16 Posted 06/03/2015 at 23:30:23
Yes, Peter, I think youÂ’ve pretty much nailed it there.
Gavin McGarvey
17 Posted 06/03/2015 at 22:15:43
There seemed to have been a lot of factional infighting after HK Mark One. A real pity looking back that we couldnÂ’t build on the success of the 80s. Particularly sad was when Howard Kendall left the second time. WeÂ’d started the season well, and I just couldnÂ’t see why the board wouldnÂ’t back him.

I have fond memories of Cottee. Obviously he wasnÂ’t worth the money but then nobody is. When I saw him, he always seemed to do his job, hanging off the last defender and looking to score the goals. His comments regarding money are enlightening, especially given our recent financial straits. I know a lot of fans feel we should be able to succeed despite our finances but a bit of money wouldnÂ’t hurt.

I know the years he played with us can be looked upon as a disappointment, but I prefer to remember the good times. WhatÂ’s more the pity is that history seems to be repeating itself with us sliding back towards the bad old days rather than pushing on.

John Daley
18 Posted 06/03/2015 at 23:07:51
"...the ball was going straight to Sharpy every single time and I was nowhere near him..." — In proximity nor ability.

I never really took to Cottee during his time here. If I had to sum him up: Bit of a flat track bully who sported some of the worst Everton kits ever created and looked like a shaved Ewok. TC was always more Benny the Ball than Top Cat to me.

Still, this was a great piece though and youÂ’ve got to love the way Cottee canÂ’t help but contradict himself:

"My attitude as a goal- scorer was, "I donÂ’t want to work for the rest of the team"

Followed by....

"I tried my best in every game for Everton".

" I felt that I had let [Colin] down as he had paid a lot of money for me, and put faith in me, but I had not delivered for him..."

Followed by...

"I got the hump because [Jimmy Gabriel] basically said that the players had let Colin down – then he picked the team for the next match and I was the only one left out. It made it look like he was disappointed with me which, I thought, was a bit unfair."

No wonder he thought Pat Nevin existed on a different mental plane.

James Flynn
20 Posted 07/03/2015 at 00:21:19
"John Lyall had all the training sessions created so as to give us the chances to score goals – it was wonderful what John did and we ended up with 54 goals between us in the one season."

Hmmm, is Lyall still around? All these decades later, his training session ideas are probably considered antique, but worth a go, no?

"I got into the England squad after the 1986 World Cup and I met players from Everton, Liverpool, and Manchester United who were talking about winning trophies. It was becoming a plod at West Ham and that talk was whetting my appetite. Also, having come through the ranks at West Ham I didnÂ’t think as being fairly rewarded financially. I didnÂ’t want to leave West Ham but I knew I had to, from a professional point of view, in order to win trophies and get justly rewarded."

These me-first, disloyal, selfish pricks today; Fellaini, Lukaku, Mirallas. Rooney too. Why, back in my day...

Timothy Blanshard
21 Posted 06/03/2015 at 23:38:44
I remember TC catching one on the volley once in a match against Norwich I think, he really caught it well smashed into the back of the net and made a big echoey type sound all around Goodison. At the time, I thought Mike Newell had much better feet than him, but when I heard Newell loved the RS, oh did I go off him quick – and thankfully, not long after, he fucked off to Blackburn.

From all accounts, there were two cliques back then with mainly Rats and Sharpy leading the "WeÂ’ve won stuff, you havenÂ’t, so weÂ’re better" clan. It couldnÂ’t have helped the team at all with that kind of atmosphere. From what I know, Colin Harvey is a very nice bloke, maybe too nice to manage, but when asked to do it he said "To get a chance to follow the great man himself, how could I say no?" That’s from the History of Everton video, I havenÂ’t even got a VCR anymore but most of it is committed to memory.

I also remember TC in the local paper talking about Howard asking him to do more and, to be honest, I thought he could have too. ItÂ’s an old one, Tony son, but there is still no ’I’ in ’team’.

Gavin Johnson
22 Posted 07/03/2015 at 00:48:29
A good article, a bit of light reading from the last few days.

Cottee wasnÂ’t a bad signing, I think it was unfortunate for him the fee was more than GazzaÂ’s transfer. I know IÂ’ve thought we signed the wrong big summer signing over the years.

I found the stuff about there being different camps under Harvey and HK 2 interesting. I wonder if weÂ’ll be reading stories about cliques next season about our current set-up?

Mark Andersson
23 Posted 07/03/2015 at 00:57:11
Interesting read, it doesnÂ’t surprise me fans are split about Cottee.

The only thing I remember is the penalty miss against Chelsea, I knew he would miss because his body language was wrong.

Ernie Baywood
24 Posted 07/03/2015 at 01:52:21
Yes, I think inside opinions about what exactly went wrong between last season and this season will be very interesting.

Hope it doesnÂ’t take 20 years to find out...

Ian Black
25 Posted 07/03/2015 at 01:37:58
I was made up when Cottee signed. Sadly he never lived up to his billing.

The over-riding memory I have of him on a matchday though, is before a ball was ever kicked. As a teenager who would be standing in the Lower Gwladys, right in the middle, where a crush was on about an hour before kick-off, you would be jostling for position at the bar, for the best vantage point, whilst looking to evade the inevitable domino-ing that would bruise your ribs for weeks afterwards. There, you felt you were right at the heart, the blue core of things.

About an hour before kick-off, the players would appear from the BullensRoad / Park End corner, no doubt parking their top-of-the-range orange Ladas behind the Park End and trundling into the ground one-by-one to rapturous applause, diagonalling over the pitch to the dug-out in the Main Stand. I must admit I really enjoyed that; it had a gladiatorial feel about it, like the big guns had just arrived and this was going to get serious. We had big guns then, no mistake.

Sadly though, the last man in the ground was usually our record signing. The man who cost more than anyone else in the league. He would waltz in with boots over his shoulders in a smart suit, flash as you like, soaking up tentative applause and then scuttling down to the dressing rooms, fair play – applauding the applause, but was down the tunnel usually seconds before an already sweaty Neville Southall would be out and guarding his warm-up goal like his life depended on it.

I always liked Cottee, I thought he tried his best despite his late entrances, but he was never a ٠million striker. IÂ’d probably go as far as to say he was Colin HarveyÂ’s biggest gamble that never paid off. Hopefully in a few years he wonÂ’t be seen as comparable to Lukaku....

Timothy Blanshard
27 Posted 07/03/2015 at 04:37:10
I also remember of Tony Cottee: every single goal he scored went into a scrapbook with press cutting when available and his notes – when, where etc etc. Not Everton’s in general... just his.
Matt Traynor
28 Posted 07/03/2015 at 04:51:31
Ian #25, although a hero to many for some reason, Duncan Ferguson was usually the first down the tunnel at the final whistle, whilst the rest of the players would at least acknowledge the crowd, particularly away from home.

Cottee frustrated the shit out of me. It was around the time I’d started going to away games regularly. Other commenters are correct – one-on-ones he was terrible. His finishing when he didn’t have time to think about it was often sublime though. I remember all of the games referenced vividly.

At the time, I was made up he turned down Arsenal for us. Finding out two-and-a-half decades later that it was for the money is disappointing, as well as making me feel old.

DJ Staunton
29 Posted 07/03/2015 at 06:12:18
I was in the upper Bullens when TC did the biz against Geordies. WasnÂ’t convinced about the team. Crap theme, this.
Rob Dolby
30 Posted 07/03/2015 at 08:20:48
He was a decent enough player in the box but offered little outside of it.

Does anyone see a similarity here with our current star striker? We never played to Cottee’s strengths and tried to turn him into something that he wasn’t.

Lukaku will never be any good with his back to goal, no matter how young he is. We have to get him on the shoulder of the defender running at the goal.

Stephen Brown
31 Posted 07/03/2015 at 08:47:52
My first game at GP, that Newcastle match, so I will always have good memories of TC!

Interesting how he refers to days before Sky, Twitter etc — I think I’d like those days back?!

٠.05M in 1988 must be about 㿈M now... Imagine having 㿈M to spend on a striker!! (Oh, hang on!!!!)

Gavin Ramejkis
32 Posted 07/03/2015 at 09:45:05
Two memories of Tony Cottee:

First one a bit hazy but I remember him as very hot and cold, heÂ’d be absolutely gash one week then the next bang in a hat-trick when it looked like he should be dropped.

My second one a lot clearer: I was shopping in Liverpool with my then girlfriend in Dorothy Perkins and ended up in a chap-to-chap chat with him about shopping as his Mrs was bringing back a few purchases to be exchanged. He was a nice guy who was bored rigid being dragged around the shops. I was amazed he was about the same size as me and IÂ’m no giant!

Karl Parsons
33 Posted 07/03/2015 at 10:09:14
Massive soft spot for TC.
Andrew James
34 Posted 07/03/2015 at 13:51:56
I always liked Cottee but he did play for us in a difficult era so he never really went from being a really good striker (which he had been at West Ham) to a great striker.

Of our front line, I always felt he was the one capable of getting 20 a season in the league but he was just never consistent enough.

He was a symbol of that period unfortunately. Personally, I think Kendall should have started building for the future in 1985-86; instead, we mostly brought in journeymen who patched the squad over for a year or two.

By 1988, Harvey had an ageing squad mostly lacking in quality with a small group of top players (Ratcliffe, Reid, Sharp, Southall) who were being divisive. If Kendall had brought some quality in earlier, then the transition would have been more gradual. Instead, by 1988, we had four new faces expected to come straight in and gel immediately.

Stephen Brown
35 Posted 07/03/2015 at 15:30:12
Andrew James – very true and with benefit of hindsight and more strategic planning we should/could have been more competitive for much longer. To think 7 years after winning the title we should/could have been relegated! Very poor management from the top down!
Patrick Murphy
36 Posted 07/03/2015 at 15:34:54
Kendall couldnÂ’t start building for the future as the European ban meant that our top players were beginning to eye pastures new and he himself said that he wanted to prove himself on the European stage. Winning the title in 1987 probably masked over the issues that needed fixing and the hierarchy at the club were once again short-sighted in promoting Colin Harvey... although I canÂ’t think of who the club could have brought in that would have been able to lift the club once the decline set in as Ferguson was already at Man Utd and Clough would never have been considered by our board.

Football was in dire straits as a business during that period of the late 80s and early 90s but we stood still while Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United looked forward and, as usual, we missed the boat when it pulled into port and we havenÂ’t really been able to catch it since.

Barry Stevens
37 Posted 07/03/2015 at 16:25:35
Blew both hot and cold, did TC. I wouldnÂ’t say he was a flop, though. I think how good his debut game was put expectations too high. He scored a cracker away at Sheffield Weds that I remember well, and had a good array of finishing from what I remember.

As for the rushing off the pitch, that was because most weeks he would be on the first train to Euston. Used to see him on there all the time.

Bobby Thomas
38 Posted 07/03/2015 at 18:56:18
On Cottee I felt that he was all about him and padded out his 99 goals with end of season hot streaks when the pressure was off and Simod Cup nonsense.

Basically he didn't do it when it mattered He wasn't the kind of player you could rely on really. He himself was reliant on service, and so as things unravelled around him he certainly wasn't the inspirational, inspiring figure we needed or that I felt we should have had for the money paid.

Don't get me wrong, he was good at what he did. But I just used to look at Peter Beardsley when he was playing for them and used to shake my head at the vast difference class. There are some parallels with Rom today. I'm not over-sold on him, although he is 15-20, and I believe he has more attributes and effectiveness that Cottee. Plus Rom is cool as ice one v one. But for the money you want a bit more, don't you?

Basically what fan would pay to watch a box player or a holding midfielder? Not many.

As for other issues, the injury to Ratcliffe was a crippler. Kendall, with an eye on the long term, did try to replace Reidy with Snodin, who fitted right in with the clique of senior pro's at the club after contributing minimally to the title win.

There is a disgraceful episode in Graham Sharps book where Snodin, giving it large in front of Sharp etc, digs Beagrie in a hotel room during a post or pre-season tour.

Cottee was there, apparently talk had turned to how the new players felt unwelcome!!!

I just thought Graham Sharp was an arsehole after that section of his book. The senior pro's that had won the medals got lazy, complacant and were on the ale too much. They were the ones who let Harvey down.

In Harveys last full season Graham Sharp got 5 goals.

Unfortunately injuries stacked up on the established pros and the England right side combo left. Colin Harveys signing record was, Keown and Hinchcliffe aside, woeful.

In fact looking at now shitting myself about the present!!!!

Dick Brady
39 Posted 07/03/2015 at 19:55:31
Tony Cottee scored 6 hat-tricks for Everton which was some achievement. Now you can argue Dixie Dean scored 37 hat-tricks but Cottee has the most hat-trick's for Everton in the modern era. Sharp only scored 4 hat-tricks, Latchford managed 5, Linekar, Ball and Royle got 3 each while Andy Gray, Duncan Ferguson and Peter Beardsley only hit one hat-trick for Everton. Lukaku is young and already has his first hat-trick for Everton but he'll need another 5 to catch up with Cottee.
David Harrison
40 Posted 07/03/2015 at 20:46:48
As 1 or 2 others have mentioned, he seemed to specialise in the consolation goal. Will never forget his 2 at Villa. Unfortunately, we were 6-0 down at the time!
Winston Williamson
41 Posted 07/03/2015 at 23:04:03
I was at the game at Morecambe he mentions. I was about 12 at the time. I sneaked out of the house and ran to the ground. I’d heard TC might be playing.

I paid the ٟ.50 gate money, watched him score all five goals in a 5 nil win and ran home before my mum caught me!!

Conor Skelly
42 Posted 07/03/2015 at 23:08:50
Ferguson and Cottee. Now that would have been interesting.
Harvey Miller
43 Posted 07/03/2015 at 18:45:38
Now we would be more than happy to get him in his prime. He did score more than a hundred for us, I could not understand the hate he got from the stands, it was not all his fault.

In a way it is similar things are happening right now as they were in 1989. We had a good team but had also a manager who liked his players too much. A good person as Tony said but not a very good manager. Sorry Harvey!

Sean McCarthy
44 Posted 08/03/2015 at 02:00:13
Amazing what tricks the memory can play on you!!!!

Ian at #25 there were no crushes on the Lower Gwladys street an hour before kick off back in the late 80s. I recall the place being pretty deserted til about 2:45 then there'd be a late rush on the turnstiles followed by people jostling for position. Even at kick-off, the ground was half-empty despite our successes.

As for TC I remember being delighted when he chose us over arsenal as at the time he was one of the most prized and sought after names in English football and he chose us. Never really hit the heights as he came just as the decline set in from which we are still trying to recover some 20+ years later.

Ste Traverse
45 Posted 08/03/2015 at 04:39:05
Cottee being the long term replacement for Gary Lineker summed up our decline in the late-80s. Lineker should have never been sold.

Whereas TC got hat tricks against lower division sides in cup ties to boost his goals, Lineker banged them in against all comers.

Lineker got as many goals in derbys in one season as Cottee got in 6 seasons for starters.

Cottee's goal ratio may seem more than reasonable, but overall his Everton career has to be viewed as disappointment.

Eugene Ruane
46 Posted 08/03/2015 at 07:24:03
After Cottee's debut, many excited young blues were predicting we'd sweep all before us and we'd found the new Jimmy Greaves.

However those of us of slightly more advanced years kept our heads, as we could remember another scintillating debut 6 or 7 seasons earlier from a player who scored on his debut and in the following game.

'2 goals in 2 games - where would it end?' we thought.

Er..3 in 19 and fucked offski.

I give you Alan 'Spike' Biley - 'The new Dennis Law'

On reflection, maybe he was just too easily sidetracked

"There used to be a shop just over a bridge at the back of the ground. They bet me to go to the shop stark naked to buy a Mars bar. There was a lady that always served you. Well, they made you do it with a fiver which was a lot of money in those days. I had to wait for my change but had no where to put it" - Alan Biley.

Neil Quinn
47 Posted 08/03/2015 at 08:44:09
Conor # 42.....Ferguson & Cottee. I always thought that Cottee would have been the ideal strike partner for Duncan. He never had a decent target man to play alongside after Sharp & Duncan never had a decent goal poacher to play alongside.
Jason Lam
48 Posted 09/03/2015 at 02:12:31
I remember the day the quartet signed. The rs had signed 4 the previous season, so we followed up the same. I thought that's not very original, so all you had to do was splash on 4 new players to win the league! Cottee was arguably the best striker on the market at the time (I don't count Ian Rush for obvious reasons!) so I guess there is some truth in us not playing to his strengths. Don't make the same mistake twice with Rom!
Matt Traynor
49 Posted 09/03/2015 at 03:00:01
Jason #48. Rom wouldn't be the second time we'd have made that mistake!
Tony Onslow
51 Posted 11/03/2015 at 21:04:29

Just to let you know that today I received a copy of the marriage certificate for Sarah Unwin and Tom Evans that took place, 1 May 1877, at Clay Cross in Derbyshire. Tom Evans is, at the time, resident in Liverpool.

Terence Leong
52 Posted 28/03/2015 at 01:16:06
The cliques in the camp between those who won and the newbies were quite well-documented. Sharp, in his biography, talked about that as well, and how he felt that Cottee didn't work for the team.

The surprising thing was that Sharp also felt that Lineker was always looking for a chance to do less, but somehow Sharp didn't have the same sentiments about Cottee! Looks like it comes down a bit to chemistry etc.

For all his inconsistencies (tends to score his goals in bunches rather than consistently – and so does Rooney till today), he was still top scorer for those seasons, averaging 15 goals. How many players give us that nowadays?

It probably was too many managers for that period, and also we missed the boat big time (and the years just before that) during those years, when you think about the talent, especially when Liverpool started to blood in all those teenagers that grew up blue.

If we had been able to go upstream and deal with our academy those years while we were winning, we would have gotten ourselves on a roll.

Back to the player himself (Cottee). From his interviews, seems humble enough to learn; in a different era, he might have been a lot more successful.

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