As the now 35-year-old fullback has battled injury over the past couple of years, it looked as though he may never pull on the Royal Blue Jersey in anger again before what is likely to be the end of his professional career this summer.
However, Everton's need for cover at right back given Seamus Coleman's recent hamstring problem and Roberto Martinez's apparent reluctance to hand Callum Connolly his full debut has left a void for Hibbert to fill over the past couple of games and he made his first appearance for the senior team as a substitute against Bournemouth last weekend.
With Coleman doubtful, the veteran could be named in the starting XI for tomorrow's game against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium and would also be in contention for the final two matches at Sunderland and against Norwich if needed.
Martinez explains that a decision over Hibbert's future will be made at the end of the season but says he has worked hard to get back to a level where he can contribute in the final few games of the season.
"[I]t has been such a frustrating time for him in the last two seasons,” Martinez told the Liverpool Echo's Phil Kirkbride.
“He hasn't been able to keep himself fit but, again, the way he never accepted defeat.
“He has been working extremely hard in different ways, he had to go through surgery and he wanted to help the team as soon as he saw the team needed his experience and his know-how.
“Tony, at the moment, is working hard to be in the team in the next three matches and his future will be decided at the end of the season.”
It's not clear whether Hibbert would consider or be offered a coaching role at Finch Farm when he hangs up his boots but his manager admitted that the defender has recently been opening up a little and offering some pointers to the club's youth players.
"I've seen a little bit of a change in the last couple of weeks," Martinez continued. "In] the Under-21s game against Leicester, all of a sudden he shared his experience and spoke to the young players and clearly that is something that impressed everyone because that is not his normal way of behaving."
Coleman was described by the manager has being in with "a chance" of facing the Foxes in tomorrow's late-afternoon kick-off and, like Gareth Barry, will face a late fitness to see if he can play as the first-choice right back.
Reader Comments (62)
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1 Posted 06/05/2016 at 08:10:14
One thing though, I remember Martinez saying even though Hibbo wasn't playing he was sharing his invaluable experience with the younger players (this was about a year or so ago) and now he says Hibbo has spoken for the first time to the young lads?
Stop being a big fibber Roberto and tell us the truth, does Hibbo actually talk or does he just mime?
2 Posted 06/05/2016 at 08:21:37
Hibo, Ossie,Pienaar, and Gibson are consistently chattying away to our youth, banging on about how to become successful.
God only knows were we would be without that invaluable input, probably all the way down in 11 id guess.
3 Posted 06/05/2016 at 08:47:22
Sums up the state of affairs when he's been the best defender I've seen in our team all season last week & he's been out injured for most of it, not playing.
4 Posted 06/05/2016 at 08:47:30
What's Hibbo bringing to the party? By all means a cameo in the last 10 minutes of our last home fixture so we see him off and say thanks but before then it's a No from me!
5 Posted 06/05/2016 at 10:17:05
6 Posted 06/05/2016 at 10:26:30
If you take away the fact that he's a fan living the dream then he's actually a very average player.
I feel like I'm seeing the negative in everything when it comes to Everton lately. I just reckon the likes of young Connolly would benefit more from playing a first team game than he would from sitting down and having a chinwag with Tony Hibbert.
7 Posted 06/05/2016 at 12:24:32
Play him up front against the hung over Leicester defence and give us the riot we have been waiting over a decade for!!
Can't be any worse than Niasse...
8 Posted 06/05/2016 at 12:26:26
It's been a frustrating time for all of us for the last two seasons, Roberto!! Do the right thing!!
9 Posted 06/05/2016 at 13:00:29
10 Posted 06/05/2016 at 13:06:23
11 Posted 06/05/2016 at 14:07:15
13 Posted 06/05/2016 at 14:32:09
14 Posted 06/05/2016 at 14:38:12
Defending duties first,no nonsense defender with an ability to read the game,an awareness of space around him and tenacity in the tackle.
Just what we could do with now.
15 Posted 06/05/2016 at 14:41:15
Hibbo has barely played in almost two years and as far as I'm aware didn't use the time out to start any of the UEFA coaching badges. Doesn't look like actions of a guy keen to go into coaching/management when he hangs his boots up.
Pretty clear he'd rather go to his carp farm in France instead. He was a good servant but doesn't strike me as the coaching sort tbh.
16 Posted 06/05/2016 at 16:33:38
17 Posted 06/05/2016 at 16:55:09
There will be plenty of time for Connolly.
18 Posted 06/05/2016 at 17:04:35
They could be led out by Roberto onto the pitch and all given a fond fair well by the fans, so we know our leader will take his phenomenal team out the ground and keep walking into the sunset when the match is over.
19 Posted 06/05/2016 at 17:51:37
20 Posted 06/05/2016 at 19:46:29
21 Posted 06/05/2016 at 19:47:21
He always found a position that both cut off a pass and allowed him at his man, and then he got close ASAP when the ball came without overcommitting. It was a stark contrast to what we've watched all season.
He actually could play a few more years but not for a team with Top 6 aspirations. But for Everton, he should be the past, not the future, or the present even, and am not convinced he should get another playing contract.
He'd be a great defensive coach. We need one, that's for sure.
22 Posted 06/05/2016 at 20:34:26
23 Posted 06/05/2016 at 20:45:29
24 Posted 06/05/2016 at 20:49:44
25 Posted 06/05/2016 at 20:56:45
Their we have THE difference between a club striving to win honours, and a convalescence home
26 Posted 06/05/2016 at 21:03:16
27 Posted 06/05/2016 at 21:13:46
Instead at 5.8 or whatever he is he had to play full back as the role was completely changing.
28 Posted 06/05/2016 at 21:14:06
29 Posted 06/05/2016 at 21:18:30
He was an average full back at best and frequently was caught out of position but relied on his speed to get him out of trouble which didn't always happen.
If he has the necessary coaching qualifications then offer him a job if there is a vacancy but other than that it is time to give time to the younger guys to impress.
Everyone seems to agree that Everton need to move some players elsewhere so let's get it done now and usher in a new era.
The Martinez era has become an embarrassment where the squad in the beginning only flattered to deceive and has spiralled downward ever since. No more, Mr. Nice Guy says Alice and me.
30 Posted 06/05/2016 at 21:19:02
I think Hibberts attacking play clearly improved as his career went on & to suggest he didnt or couldn't develop that side of his game is way off beam.
31 Posted 06/05/2016 at 21:19:09
32 Posted 06/05/2016 at 21:22:50
I don't buy this at all and why?
Because in a dead rubber European game at Goodison near Xmas in 2009, Moyes felt confident enough in him to send him out as captain, at centre half to organise a team full of teenagers who he was speaking to all match.
No, this one just sounds like our manager wittering for the sake of it yet again to reach some kind of positive.
I swear Moyes didn't talk this much. Is someone following Martinez around with a camera and a mike?
33 Posted 06/05/2016 at 21:23:07
34 Posted 06/05/2016 at 21:25:00
35 Posted 06/05/2016 at 21:34:40
36 Posted 06/05/2016 at 21:35:13
37 Posted 06/05/2016 at 21:37:52
Not being sarcastic, if Tony could have improved the attacking side of his game he would have been a top class full back because I believe he was an excellent defender.
38 Posted 06/05/2016 at 21:43:21
39 Posted 06/05/2016 at 21:49:08
40 Posted 06/05/2016 at 22:26:52
Only those with real pace.
That he's still in the running for a first-team start, seven years after being ruthlessly targetted and taken to the cleaners in the FA Cup Final, say's it all about the strength of our 'best squad for thirty years'.
Nothing against Hibbert at all. Not saying he was crap. Not saying he hasn't been a model pro. He has, however, always been a player of average ability.
The fact he knows the requirements of his role, will stick to the task, put every ounce of effort in and never stop trying is all very laudable, but shouldn't we expect that as a given from any player paid a fucking fortune to go out and do something every kid dreams of?
That such attributes are now being highlighted and even held up as 'inspirational' by some, just goes to show what a spineless, strolling, shoulder shrugging, sweat phobic, pack of pussies we've become accustomed to seeing over recent seasons. We've got a squad swimming with players lacking real character and commitment and it'll take a hell of a lot more than Tony Hibbert being given a 'based purely on sentiment' coaching role to drum some into the soft bastards.
41 Posted 06/05/2016 at 22:38:41
If Chuck Norris was a footballer he'd be Hibbo. In Hibbo we trust!!
42 Posted 06/05/2016 at 22:39:18
43 Posted 07/05/2016 at 00:34:36
But apparently he gives the kids a chance !!
44 Posted 07/05/2016 at 10:41:41
45 Posted 07/05/2016 at 11:45:40
I thought I was actually making an effort not to be too critical because, as I said, he's undoubtedly made of the right character. However, if I'm being totally honest, even in Hibbert's hey day, I always preferred Neville at right-back and there's not been many an occasion since Coleman learnt to look up and stop running about like the school loon in the Super Mario jacket, sprinting down the corridor whilst shouting 'meep meep', where I've thought 'Shit. I really wish he'd have given Hibbo the start'.
As for the Chuck Norris comparison, Colin? Also works if you flip it around. If Hibbert were an actor he'd be Chuck Norris and...with the best will in the world and even when wankered on booze...'Delta Force 2: The Columbian Connection' ain't no fucking 'Die Hard'.
46 Posted 07/05/2016 at 12:12:11
He was "ruthlessly targeted" not because of his ability at right back. It was because Moyes played Osman wide right (he was never a player who had the energy to go up and down in a wide position) on a blazing hot day. Hibbert was left two-on-one time after time.
47 Posted 07/05/2016 at 12:17:59
Hibbert was'nt specifically targeted in that cup final. He just happened to be facing probably the strongest left left side in world football at the time -Malouda and Cole - and if he was targeted. so was every other right back who faced Chelsea that season.
Hibbert had spent weeks out injured before that game, his only protection came in the form of the fearsome Leon Osman. to cap it all he was booked early.
I think the only targeting that went on that day came from people who were looking for a scapegoat. Chelsea battered us all over the pitch, not one single Everton player won his personal battle . . . . and lets not forget, when the injury Hibbo was nursing eventually forced his withdrawal . . The game was still all square.
Ordinary ? yes when he had the ball, but there have been few fullbacks who have been able to time a tackle like Tony. I still remember the look of total frustration on Ronaldo's gob as time and again Hibbo frustrated him.
I'd pay ten times the admission fee against Norwich to see him get the winner
48 Posted 07/05/2016 at 13:00:48
As for becoming a coach, I think the first priority would be to dismiss the current bunch we have involved in defensive coaching (an oxymoron?) & bring in a well established & respected individual who can bring back fortress Goodison
49 Posted 07/05/2016 at 13:22:26
I'm in two minds over this; nice to give a loyal servant a chance to have a last few games, but on the other hand, what does it say about RM's confidence in the youth?
50 Posted 07/05/2016 at 13:32:07
52 Posted 07/05/2016 at 13:44:42
I'm trying really hard not to be but I'm obviously failing miserably here.
Not really wanting to dig over that cup final too much, but I thought Hibbert was brought off for purely tactical reasons (as in he was struggling to cope and he was already on a yellow) rather than it being due to him feeling an injury?
Regardless, for the 45 minutes he was on the pitch, he had a nightmare that day. I don't think that can be denied or written off as some urban myth conjured up by a few Everton fans looking for an easy target to throw blame at.
"You wouldn't wish it on anyone but Tony Hibbert, the Everton full-back, was freezing in the sunshine" and "...the confidence of the opposing full back Tony Hibbert, was burnt to a crisp long before his replacement at the interval" are just a couple of quotes from match reports back in the day. I presume those people had no axe to grind and no reason to look for a 'scapegoat', so were just giving an honest summary of what they witnessed.
53 Posted 07/05/2016 at 13:47:56
54 Posted 07/05/2016 at 13:57:03
55 Posted 07/05/2016 at 13:59:24
I love Hibbo but there is no room for sentiment. You always put your best 11 out on the pitch. That is why Howard should not have played last week.
Everton bang on about the past to much. Put the youngsters on if they are good enough. It is the future that is important.
56 Posted 07/05/2016 at 14:21:27
Gooble gobble, gooble gobble, that 'one of us' thing isn't always appreciated.
57 Posted 07/05/2016 at 14:22:45
As for the final, I thought we were ruthlessly exposed on our right as Tony Hibbert, with Osman in front of him, was overrun and that was the end of our chance for a win. As soon as Chelsea started probing down their left, it was game over. I think Moyes should have changed both Hibbert and Osman after about half an hour that day. They were like rabbits in the headlights.
But now, what on earth are we doing playing another 35 year old and one who's been injured for ages. That isn't meant to be a slur on Tony Hibbert, it is a criticism of the paucity of good class players available for the first team.
For today though, and the next couple, I'm not that concerned as we're not going to be involved in anything major, except for those teams who are involved in the relegation struggle.
58 Posted 07/05/2016 at 14:41:59
59 Posted 07/05/2016 at 15:16:56
Shame we didn't play him instead of an out of position (and frankly out of his depth) Besic at Wembley.
On the subject of a last run out in lieu of service - I'm hoping that this is the same courtesy we're affording Martinez before he too is put out to pasture.
61 Posted 07/05/2016 at 20:11:58
Hibbert, Osman, Gibson, Oviedo, Pienaar, McGeady, McCarthy, all need to fuck off.
62 Posted 07/05/2016 at 20:48:24
64 Posted 08/05/2016 at 06:06:59
I accept Hibbert was murdered that day, but I think in his case there were mitigating circumstances.
I have seen and heard hundreds of comments about his performance that day. Mention his name and somebody will mention the 2009 cup final.
I just don't get why Cahill, Fellaini and the lamentable Neville (all of whom were outplayed with such a contemptible ease, for the whole ninety minutes) have gotten away with it while Hibbo, to this day, still takes the flack.
Why does nobody ever mention how easily Yobo and Lescott were bullied ? Ossies's disappearing act ? Howards cringeworthy limp wristed attempt to keep out Lampards tame effort ?
I'm not sayng its an urban myth that Hibbert had a Weston that day. What I AM saying, is that the performance's and the support of his team mates have developed into some sort of urban oversight.
I don't get it. The whole team bottled it that day, Yet here we are seven years later and the one man who didnt experience being behind that day, still takes all the flack.
If the Ginger twats decision to play an unfit Hibbert was'nt the worst decision made that day, then the decision to play Ossie in front of him against two proper proper athletes must have been.
I know you are trying to avoid criticising him any further and that by having to respond to my comments it becomes kinda unavoidable ... but it's not really you I'm challenging, it's this widely believed perception.
Tony Hibbert must be the only man in football history who was responsible for a defeat which didn't actually happen until he was off the pitch.
It's a measure of where we are at the moment when an ageing full back who has never won anything, can still draw sixty odd posts
65 Posted 09/05/2016 at 21:02:10
66 Posted 09/05/2016 at 21:16:25
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