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Toffees – soft in the centre

by   |   08/07/2014  Comments (64)  jump

I don't think many supporters would disagree that we are in need of a top class centre forward.

Arguments rain in about the worth of Lukaku and there is doubt over his commitment to the Blues cause with his ego demanding to be with a Champions League club capable of winning titles which at this point in time rules us out.

So, what are the alternatives?

  1. Miss out on all our targets and promote youth – Conor McAleny looked promising 2 years ago but IMO throwing him in the deep end would ruin his career and our chances of making the Champions League.
  2. Get an older more experienced striker, such as Eto'o or Demba Ba. Although we are reported to be in talks with Ba, I don't see him as a regular consistent leader of the line and for me Eto'o is like an aged Yakubu.
  3. Get a relatively unknown/untried striker. We have been linked with a number of these, the latest being Enner Valencia. This is a risk as anyone of quality will be expensive and the Prem is totally different from any other league.
  4. Look at other proven goalscorers. Loic Remy, Hernandez, Negredo and Wilfred Bony spring to mind and I have been disappointed that we have not been linked with any of these as for me they are the quality that we should be looking at if we have any ambition.
So over to you guys.

Assuming Lukaku is off the table, what do you think?

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Reader Comments (64)

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David Chait
1 Posted 08/07/2014 at 19:44:06
We have to push the stable out to get a proven goalscorer. We have depth on the wings with McGeady with us from the start plus I can see a loan signing replacing Dela. Browning can start to deputise for Coleman when required and Hibbert signed on. We do need to solve for Barry - whether it is Barry or another (Cleverly could be a very smart move) as Gibson wont last a full season.

But for me I am on the page that we should have 㿔M to spend. I would push out 㿅M - 㿊M for a striker and make a real statement of intent. It would make the likes of Barkley very excited to stick around and encourage a couple others to follow.

Dave Williams
2 Posted 08/07/2014 at 19:53:03
㿔M would be great but we don't have that kind of cash. I like Bony – he was excellent against us at Goodison and I suspect Roberto is trying to sign his main striker first to see how much cash he has left for other positions.

Lots of ifs and maybes... if Oviedo and Gibson get and stay fit, if Ledson or one of the other youngsters come through, if Koné finds his Wigan form, if Ross progresses more quickly.

An interesting season ahead, I think, and I can't wait!

David Holroyd
3 Posted 08/07/2014 at 19:56:18
㿔M to spend would be nice but 㿅M would be my guess.
Matthew Roberts
4 Posted 08/07/2014 at 19:55:01
I think 㿔M is optimistic, David... I mean, when you work it all out, we should have it but I think 㿊 at best is what he’s got. Certainly I think we need a CM, and I think Rodders is actually a decent option again and don’t mind Cleverly either. Despite much criticism of the both, they should be cheap.

I think players like Bony who are already established are going to be 㿀M+. Negredo may be cheaper but the options for me would to get an untested kid. I trust Bobby to know how good someone is and our scouts. With our financial position, this is just something forced upon us. Swansea managed to do it (Michu and Bony); it also means they are more likely to want to come to Everton rather and not be moaning about not being in the Champions League for a few years.

The problem I have with Rom is that we might buy him for 㿅M and then, in two years, if we don’t get into the Champions League (it’s a big ask to get us in there), he will go for about the same price at best.

Sean McCarthy
5 Posted 08/07/2014 at 19:52:35
Jay, you say "over to you guys". Well if only it were that simple. Most of the names that get tossed around on these pages are frankly pie in the sky. Someone on an earlier thread we should buy a world class striker. Of course we should but we won't and one of the main reasons for that is "world class" players won't be coming here anytime soon as (1) we can't afford them and (2) we are unable to offer them what they'd want in terms of Champions League exposure, big fat salaries etc etc.

So we are where we are. Scratching around for decent bargains, loans or striking lucky by gambling on a James McCarthy. The names you mention will all be hoping a champions league team comes in for them before considering Everton. And by the look of it that's exactly what lukaku is doing. Good luck to him. I for one wouldn't be looking at paying 㿀+ millions for him. He's not half as good as he thinks he is!!

As for Cleverley.... No thanks. A very average player who has somehow managed to bag himself a dozen or so England caps!! But then in the grand scheme of things he'd probably join because he's all we can afford and it beats warming the bench at Old Trafford. Just ask Darron Gibson who in fairness when fit is twice the player Cleverley ever will be.

David Chait
6 Posted 08/07/2014 at 20:06:40
Realistically we have never ever carried monies from one window to the next, so I don't expect 㿔M... just that we should..

saying that we shouldn't fear a player giving us his best for 2 years and moving... if he costs 㿅M, then we get that value for 㿅M and sell and replace with another 㿅M player...

I have been advocating for years the idea of mini-Galacticos which, over a few years, actually builds up a very good squad as opposed to selling a player for 㿀M (Lescott) and buying four more. This model works for Atletico and proves the theory.

But I can assure you the chances of reaching the Champions League are much better than with an unheard-of wonderkid we can snap up that miraculously no-one else had scouted... I know I'm exaggeraing but he would have to be a wonder to bang in 20 goals from nowhere.

Patrick Murphy
7 Posted 08/07/2014 at 20:11:27
Roberto may have already got his main-line striker. the man he bought this time last year – If Koné isn't desperate to make his mark at Goodison after almost twelve months out of the game then Roberto's judgement of this particular player must be faulty.

We do need to invest in the squad as a whole but a team that scores from all areas of the pitch is much more likely to gain success than a team reliant on one source.

I also hope that Roberto takes more interest in set-piece goals than he did last season. As has been proven in the World Cup, they are an invaluable source of goals... but again, no team should rely on them for all their goals – they count just the same as the beautifully created ones.

Matthew Roberts
8 Posted 08/07/2014 at 20:11:06
I see your point, David, but we have to be looking for players who aren’t already established, others either want too much salary, Champions League or we can’t afford the transfer fee. Other teams seem to find them.

And what I meant with Rom is that we have him for two more seasons and at BEST he goes for the same price, without having been a superstar we all want him to be.

Paul Andrews
9 Posted 08/07/2014 at 20:17:47
Jamie Crowley
10 Posted 08/07/2014 at 20:19:37
If we can't sign Lukaku, we should sign Hernandez. I think he'd be chomping at the bit to prove his quality and I like him.

The we have to sign 2 CMs... have to.

That, IMO, may be more important than signing Lukaku.

If we are relying on Osman to be our midfield maestro we are fucked. And I actually like Osman... but he can't go 90 mins and we have no chance of top 4 without an upgrade in the middle of the pitch.

James Stewart
11 Posted 08/07/2014 at 20:25:52
Assuming Lukaku is out of the mix, there are a number of options. Remy looks Arsenal-bound so I will discount him, but a good player. Bony I like but not for 㿀M. Dortmund signed Immobile for less than that!

Benteke would be class but that's assuming he gets over his injury which was a very nasty one. Pretty slim pickings.

Peter Laing
12 Posted 08/07/2014 at 20:34:16
Lukaku is a proven Premier League goalscorer in the 15- to 20-goal bracket. We need to sign Lukaku and AN Other, I would be going for Finnbogason from Heneerven. We desperately need pace and power up front next season. I'm not arsed about Barry as he is 33 and replaceable.
Darren Hind
13 Posted 08/07/2014 at 20:15:37
Dya know what Jay, I would like to see Robbie test the water with a cheeky little bid for Soldado.

Okay, he had a bit of a weston last season, but Spurs were a complete dog's dinner for most of it.

Soldado could be right up Martinez's street He's an intelligent player and his goal record for Getafe and Valencia was really impressive – 88 goals in 161 games – he didn't become a bad player overnight.

Reports suggest Soldado is miserable as sin at WHL and would be prepared to take a significant drop in wages to get back to Spain. The question is, could he be persuaded to trade his paella for Scouse? Who better than Martinez to try? These two could be made for each other.

I think Spurs paid about 㿅M for him, but it's a bad match. Maybe they are ready to cut their losses.

Mark Frere
14 Posted 08/07/2014 at 20:37:53
I've got to admit, I'm so disappointed we didn't try and sign Bafetimbi Gomis. This guy has been a 20-goal-a-season striker for many seasons at Lyon and has played for France several times. We will struggle to find a better free signing anywhere in the world. Surely we could've put together a better financial package than Swansea were offering.

Gomis has had a much more impressive career than Koné or Traoré and is still only 28 years old. One thing's for sure, Swansea have one helluva impressive strike-force with Bony, Michu and Gomis... not bad considering only 㾺 million was spent for all three players.

Ray Roche
15 Posted 08/07/2014 at 20:59:16
"Eto'o is like an aged Yakubu."
FFS, Yakubu must 54 now, how old is Eto'o?

Ant Dwyer
16 Posted 09/07/2014 at 00:45:33
I'd like to see us go for Hernandez or Welbeck!

Both young enough to still improve an in my opinion would both be much better if they knew they were guaranteed a start.

Both quick, and decent finishers, sure ppl will have there doubts, especially over Welbeck but I can't help but feel he might have a similar effect as Sturridge has had over the park were he's finally feeling loved.

Paul Corbett
17 Posted 09/07/2014 at 04:23:32
I'd like to see us go for Bony. He has Premier League experience, has Europa League experience, and moving from Swansea would be seen as a step up. He is still only 25 and his goalscoring record averages around 1 every 2 games.

Lukaku has much promise and we could probably make a profit from him in a few years time but all this talk surrounding his ego is making me feel he is less of an Everton type player than I previously thought.

Other than that, Hernandez make be worth a shot, my only doubt is his ability to be a sole striker which he undoubtedly would have to be.

Rick Tarleton
18 Posted 09/07/2014 at 08:09:40
I think Lukaku sees Everton as a last resort and I doubt if Hernandez sees us as his next move.

Three things are necessary to sign a player: the finance, transfer fee and wages; secondly, whether the player and his agent want to come to the club concerned; and thirdly, if the club considers that the player is going to fit in and has a sell-on value.

It's not a case of us supporters saying, we want, Bony, Benteke, Lukaku etc. But please Eto'o – added to Barry, Distin, Howard, Osman & Jagielka – would make us the new Pensioners now that Chelsea have given up that honourable title.

Sam Hoare
19 Posted 09/07/2014 at 09:14:57
The trouble is that we are not the only club looking for a striker. Moneybags Arsenal and Spurs need one or two each and so will RS if they sell Suarez. The sad truth is that we cannot compete with any of these teams financially and as such may have to wait a little bit to see who moves for who. It may well be that we end up going for someone that lots of us have not heard much about as the likes of Bony and Lukaku will come overpriced and possibly out of our range.
James Morgan
20 Posted 09/07/2014 at 10:06:44
Jamie, sorry to be fussy but it's "champing" at the bit.

And whoever mentioned Negredo needs to take their meds. Likes of Bony are more realistic.

Kieran Fitzgerald
21 Posted 09/07/2014 at 11:40:49
Dave Williams @ 2, I think you're right. The most of our available funds probably will go on a striker and then we will see what's left. We have enough cover in most positions or have young players coming through in a number of positions that may work out. Up front is where we are really short.
Jay Harris
22 Posted 09/07/2014 at 15:06:06
Darren #13

Good shout about Soldado. Although he struggled along with all the other Spurs flops, he did look a class player on the occasions they played him and is just as good a creator as goalscorer.

He may have been suffering first season syndrome but dealing with Levy is never easy and they paid 㿅M for him so, at that price, I would prefer other options, such as Bony or Negredo, assuming Lukaku is not on.

Paul Andrews
23 Posted 09/07/2014 at 15:36:43
Is that the same Soldado that scored 6 league goals last season?
Patrick Murphy
24 Posted 09/07/2014 at 16:01:28
I hear that City fans call him "Sold-A-Dud-O"...
Jay Harris
25 Posted 09/07/2014 at 16:03:05
Paul (#23),

That would be the same Soldado that scored 101 goals in 207 games in La Liga playing for Valencia among others.

He would not be my preferred choice but, as he flopped at Spurs, he may be an opportunist buy for Roberto to work his magic on.

Patrick (#24),

Why would City fans call him that? He plays for Spurs... You may be confusing him with Negredo, who I do rate highly?

Paul Andrews
26 Posted 09/07/2014 at 16:13:31
He never adapted to English football then, Jay? Despite the very good scoring rate in Spain...
Kevin Tully
27 Posted 09/07/2014 at 16:11:40
Negredo may be looking at a spell on the bench at Man City – they've got Aguero, Dzeko and Jovetic, that's if they don't sign another striker this summer.

He is probably third choice at present, so he could possibly be up for a move? 㿀M might convince City.

Eric Myles
28 Posted 09/07/2014 at 16:28:36
James #20, Jamie was correct
Andrew Ellams
29 Posted 09/07/2014 at 16:39:29
Negredo is a cult hero at City (The Beast) and probably way outside our salary budgets.
Steavey Buckley
30 Posted 09/07/2014 at 16:34:16
Martinez will do two very good businesses before the season starts, by signing Lukaku on a transfer and Rodwell on loan (with a view to sign) and 2 or 3 other players at bargain prices or on loan with a view to sign.

The rest of the players that Martinez needs will come from the Everton Under-21s. Because what Martinez is looking for, from last season, is continuation with basically the same group of players.

Linda Morrison
31 Posted 09/07/2014 at 17:01:33
I hope Steavey is right, but Barry signing is good.

Martinez needs to get Barkley and Stones on long term deals now.

James Stewart
32 Posted 09/07/2014 at 17:04:39
@14. I was surprised we didnÂ’t go for Gomis. He was free after all! Even if we sign Lukaku and a winger, we are still no stronger than last year. We had Barry and Lukaku already last year, donÂ’t forget; they are not new signings! We need them signed plus new actual players! We need at least 5 new players to compete and that is of first team quality.
Kevin Tully
33 Posted 09/07/2014 at 17:13:11
Yeah, while we're at it - marquee player is also correct ;

2.1 [AS MODIFIER] Leading; pre-eminent:
a marquee player
[with allusion to the practice of billing the name of an entertainer on the canopy over the entrance to a theatre]

James Morgan
34 Posted 09/07/2014 at 18:35:46
Eric, the link you just sent me reinforces my "champing" over "chomping"!
Darren Hind
35 Posted 09/07/2014 at 18:25:17
You're probably right, Jay, it is a bit of a stretch to expect Kenwright to negotiate a really cut price deal, especially as he would be dealing with Levy.

Soldado may have started less than 30 games for Spurs, but despite what he himself calls a "nightmare season" at a mad house, he still netted 11 times.

This guy has been one of the most feared strikers in Europe, yet although he has played for Real Madrid, Valencia, Spurs and Spain, some people want to dismiss him... Perhaps they are right maybe Martinez is not the guy to inspire him to be the player the entire footballing community knows he can be... Ah well, it was just a thought.

BTW... How's Koné doing?

Paul Andrews
36 Posted 09/07/2014 at 18:57:41
He's doing okay, apparently. Well on the way back to fitness by all accounts. I'm looking forward to seeing him in the squad.

He scored just over 1 in 3 in his last league season, as opposed to Soldado who scored 6 in 28 league games. And, for less than a quarter of the price of Soldado, he could turn out to be good value.

Fingers crossed.

Jim Potter
37 Posted 09/07/2014 at 19:20:06
Jay – it appears that Lukaku may be more off his head than ’off the table’. He appears to have an inflated opinion of himself (as well as an inflated price tag) – and his hissy fit during the World Cup does not bode well for the future.

Like Samson, he should never have had his locks cut off.

Like Delilah, IÂ’d still have him (but not in the way some of you are now considering).

As long as we get a 60-goal a season guy – then I’ll be chumping at the bat.

Paul Tran
38 Posted 09/07/2014 at 19:39:36
Darren, Soldado is potentially a good shout. A lot of those Spurs signings aren't suddenly bad players – they just played under two ordinary managers. I think he may do better under the better manager we have. How cut-price could we/they go?
Darren Hind
39 Posted 09/07/2014 at 19:43:35
Sorry, I was just watching all 11 of Soldado's goals for Spurs on YouTube. Jay's right, if that's him playing under par in a shambles of a team, we probably can't afford him.

So Kone's progressing nicely? That is good news; he too is good enough to play in La liga – he once even scored for Sevilla you know?

Paul Andrews
40 Posted 09/07/2014 at 20:45:15
Soldado's, or indeed Kone's goals in La Liga, are irrelevant. Their performances in the English league are what we should be concerned with.

You seem to be disparaging to several Everton players quite regularly, Darren. Why is that?

Paul Andrews
41 Posted 09/07/2014 at 20:52:04

You do realise that "shambles of a team" finished 3 points behind us?

Darren Hind
42 Posted 10/07/2014 at 05:44:56
So Paul,

If Messi wanted to come to Goodison Park, you would turn him down because you would consider his goals in La Liga to be irrelevant? It's only players' performances "in the English League that we should be concerned with"... Wow, that narrows the field a bit.

Spurs spent around 𧴜M last season. They bought some outstanding individuals who, on occasion, were able to do the business for them. But I saw them a few times (noteably against the Redshite) and as a team they were indeed a complete and utter shambles.

A shambles of a team... ask any of their fans.

Paul Andrews
43 Posted 10/07/2014 at 07:02:15
Tell me you are not comparing Soldado to Messi.


I will do, do you have any of their contact details? :-)

Paul Andrews
44 Posted 10/07/2014 at 07:07:13
Didn't the shambles take 4 points off us last season?
Jim Knightley
45 Posted 10/07/2014 at 07:30:50

Soldado is not right for this league. 6 goals last season was horrific, especially as most came from the penalty spot. He is slow, his touch was poor, his movement was poor, and his finishing terrible. He also offers very little to the team when he is not scoring.

Answer me some questions: Why would we take a risk on a 29-year-old, who has had such an awful season, at even ٦-10million? Why, when Kone is turning 31 and Naismith 28 before the end of the year, would we add another older striker to the squad? Why would we inflate the wage budget with a player who might now be finished? And a player whose lack of speed and indeed strength demonstrates the differences between La Liga and Premier League?

I think Soldado, even if had came 2 or 3 years ago, would have failed to live up to expectations in the Premier League. The league has changed, and is changing, but there are certain types of striker who will always find things harder going. Soldado is a great finisher on form, but he has neither speed, or is particularly strong, and that renders him unsuited to this league. He will have another poor few months, if he is still here come September 1st, and then he will be shipped back to Spain in a cut price deal.

Jamie Crowley
46 Posted 10/07/2014 at 07:49:11
Just read Wolfsburg are coming in for Lukaku. If we lose out to a Champions League side for his signature, so be it. If we lost out to fucking Wolfsburg, I'll be distraught and livid.

That means we didn't cough up enough dosh, didn't convince Rom his future was brighter at Everton, and Rom would settle for a club he knew wanted this Morata fellow before him – whereas he knows we'd lose a finger for him.

Fucking hell... get him signed up now, already! Give him a week and, if he's playing games, go get Bony.

Either way Everton need to spend this window or we'll never be anywhere near the top 4 this season. And we need to do it fast because, with our opening fixtures, we are doomed if we don't hit the ground running this year.

Brian Hill
47 Posted 10/07/2014 at 07:58:48
Jamie Crowley, where did you read this undoubtedly completely reliable information that Wolfsburg is after Lukaku?
Jamie Crowley
48 Posted 10/07/2014 at 08:05:02
ESPNFC... Might be crap. I dunno.

Mark Stone
49 Posted 10/07/2014 at 08:00:38
My pick of strikers would be Jay Rodriguez from Southampton. I'd rather have him than Lukaku.
Ray Roche
50 Posted 10/07/2014 at 08:14:12
Thing is though, Mark, Rodriguez will be out until September/October at the earliest and there is no guarantee that he'll ever be back to the form he was before his cruciate injury.
Soldado? No thanks. Didn't cut it at Spurs and wouldn't here. Martinez may be good but not THAT good.
Sam Hoare
51 Posted 10/07/2014 at 08:27:51
Soldado is surely a terrible idea. The worst butt of last season. Old, expensive and, most importantly, totally ineffective!
Paul Andrews
52 Posted 10/07/2014 at 15:39:50
Jim, Ray, Sam.

I could not agree more with your posts.

Bottom line is we have had an abundance of one goal every 4 league games strikers down the years, closer to one goal every 5 games in Soldado's case.

I would hope we have moved on from that.

Matthew Roberts
53 Posted 10/07/2014 at 15:43:43
Problem with Soldado is when heÂ’s not scoring he isnÂ’t really doing anything and unless you play the way he needs then he wonÂ’t score. DonÂ’t think itÂ’s the worst name to be touted around here but got to be better options, he wouldnÂ’t be cheap either, both wages and price tag.

WeÂ’re in a bit of a tough situation as we need that world class striker to get top 4 but we need him cheap and not with champions league football. Just hoping Martinez has thrown all his eggs in the Lukaku basket because iÂ’m not so sure he wants to be at Everton.

Darren Hind
54 Posted 10/07/2014 at 18:08:00
Soldado must the luckiest player in the history of the game.

He is "slow", His "touch is poor" his "movement is poor" and when he is not scoring he contributes nothing.

Yet, in the past 5 years alone, he's scored 125 goals playing for some of Europe's top teams, against many of Europe's top teams, in some of Europes top competitions... What happened? Did they all bounce in off his arse? ... And were those top clubs who paid millions of pounds for him failing to see what the experts on here see ?

Ignore Wiki; take a look at the incontestable facts.

Getafe – 33 goals in 66 apps;
Valencia – 81 goals in 141 apps;
Spurs – 11 goals in 36 apps (28 starts).

Come on, guys, if you don't believe the manager who you hold up as special, can inspire one of Europe's most prolific marksmen to score a bagful of goals, just say so. It's only opinion... no need to try to denigrate the man's record because he wouldn't be your choice.

Soldado is earning a fortune at Spurs; if he leaves, it will be because he doesn't like the place. It will only happen if he wants it to... He won't be getting " shipped" anywhere.

Paul Andrews

"I hope We've moved on from that "? ... is that right? Only I'm struggling to remember the last Everton player to come even close to scoring 125 goals in five seasons... can you help me out?

Oh I was forgetting, most of his goals were in Spain, so they are "irrelevant".

We don't need these intelligent players, do we Paul? Wwe need a big lump up front "wi legs lark bluddy tree trunks" ... Someone to give these center-halves what for

Jay Harris
55 Posted 10/07/2014 at 19:45:20
In support of Darren, we all go on about "one season wonders".

Well, in strikers' terms, it is also possible to have "one season blips", especially in an ever-changing team and management structure.

Anyone who watched Soldado last season should have noted that his touch, movement and creative play was good, not poor. He would not be my first choice but he certainly would not be a bad one.

Paul Andrews
56 Posted 10/07/2014 at 20:01:10

Just two questions.

Soldado has "played for some of Europe's top teams".
What teams would that be?

Why would Shambles Spurs want to sell a player with the ability you consider Soldado to have?

Sam Hoare
57 Posted 10/07/2014 at 20:20:24
Darren, Soldado obviously has ability but many players with ability fail to make it in the Premier League and although he may turn it around I would not want to stake a 㾶M transfer fee (at the very least) and 㿼kp/w on it.
Paul Andrews
58 Posted 10/07/2014 at 20:24:57
"Someone with legs like tree trunks to give those centre halfs what for...."

Not really Darren. The criteria is for a centre forward who can score goals in the Prem. Lukaku can; Soldado can't.

Darren Hind
59 Posted 10/07/2014 at 20:44:17
Fair enough, Sam, you are entitled to your opinion, You may well be right.

At least you didn't embarrass yourself by describing one of Europe's most prolific strikes as a "one in five man".


Most of us want Lukaku to sign, but Jay tried to get a little conversation going by asking for ALTERNATIVEs to Lukaku.

You... Na, it doesn't matter,

Paul Andrews
60 Posted 10/07/2014 at 22:13:37
And the top European clubs Soldado played for are..........?
Paul Andrews
61 Posted 10/07/2014 at 22:14:48

We play in the ENGLISH Premier League.

Soldado is slightly better than 1 goal every 5 league games in the ENGLISH Premier League.

Darren Hind
62 Posted 11/07/2014 at 06:25:59
From official Spurs website - Bearing in mind this is a season which the player himself describes as a "Nightmare"

Time on pitch - 2492 min ( 27.5 games )

Goals 11

Assists 5

Passing accuracy 73%

When calling him into what many regard as one of the greatest international squads ever assembled, legendary coach Vincente Del Bosque describe him as "a very intelligent player"... goes a long way to explaining why certain people think he's crap.

I mean, playing with your brain is all well and good on the continent, but when was the last time he left a center half in a heap???

Paul Andrews
63 Posted 11/07/2014 at 15:24:26
He left a few in a heap last season.

Laughing at his ineptitude in front of goal.

A full 6 (SIX) league goals in 28 games

Paul Andrews
64 Posted 11/07/2014 at 15:38:38
"When calling him into what many regard as one of the greatest international squads ever assembled"....,

Can you name one person who made that statement?

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