Reader Comments (12)
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2 Posted 05/07/2018 at 22:09:37
Anyway, deep into said game, we have a thrown-in in the opposition's defensive third. Obviously, Tommy Gravesen comes over to take the throw. He steps backward pressing his back against the hoarding of the family enclosure directly in front of me whilst drying the ball in his shirt. In quiet anticipation, the crowd await the throw-in and at this point, having my favourite player stood one row in front of me, young me decided the best cause of action would be to scream "TOMMMMMYYYYY!!!" — genuinely expecting no response.
To my absolute astonishment, Tommy turns around and looks right at me being the only kid stood up directly behind him. I panic, having not planned this far ahead and froze. Tommy awkwardly grinned at me, so I just screamed "AAAVVVVVVVV IIIITTTTTTTTT". It felt like minutes but was most likely a few seconds. Tommy immediately turned back around to get on with his job and delivered a trademark long throw-in into the box, Kevin Kilbane rose highest and buried the chance, Goodison Park erupts.
(Now the best part for me) Tommy turns round from the throw-in, beginning to jog off to celebrate with the team, he gave me a massive thumbs up and shouted "Cheers mate!" whilst laughing. It stays with me and I tell anyone new given the chance. To this day, I still claim it as an assist to an assist in the Premier League!
It's a good pub story! But genuinely, if anyone around at the time can remember the game by any chance, it would be massively appreciated as none of the three of us at the game can remember unfortunately.
Thanks for reading anyway!
3 Posted 06/07/2018 at 02:28:46
4 Posted 06/07/2018 at 16:23:22
I remember meeting a young Peter Clarke and Tony Hibbert, but it was Thomas Gravesen who stood out.
In the match previously, he had to come off when someone nearly took his leg off, he'd tried to get up and carry on but his leg wouldn't have it. We asked him about it and he was proudly showing off his scar to everyone in the room, leg on the table and trousers (or jeans, can't remember) rolled up so everyone could see.
5 Posted 06/07/2018 at 17:42:24
The next couple of seasons were pretty poor for Tommy. He had played in the traditional German sweeper role for HSV and so was either just behind the defence or just in front of them and smashing the long passes. We couldn't work out where to fit him in, and he struggled in a poor team and was very much a square peg.
I remember having a weekly argument with my mate Paul, a regular on here, who hated Gravesen and used to say Scotty Gemmil was better!
Fast forward to 2004-05 and Moyes was in charge and took us to 4th. This was the perfect (half) season for Gravesen. Moyes had come up with a 4141 formation in which Carsley was the one. Basically Lee Carsley was the opposite of Gravesen and with him in this position Moyes was able to tell Gravesen to forget about defending and in a Rooney-less side to stroll around and get on the ball and try and dictate the game. He did that brilliantly.
Gravesen's best move was the reverse pass that we anticipated but always wrong-footed the defence and left us with goalscoring opportunities.
He had superb control. There was an article in the observer where the author had gone to watch Rooney train but ended up raving about Gravesen's touch. It was immaculate and he could almost kill any Mishit pass stone dead. He was a real finesse player. His passing was the best I've ever seen. Long or short. Superb range and accuracy.
What let him down was that he couldn't do what you assumed he was best at, that was tackling and pressing. He was a headless chicken and his best football was played with the aforementioned Tofting and Carsley.
The year we got 4th it should be noted that Gravesen player just over half a season and we got 42 points with him and just over half that without him.
He'll always be a cult hero for blues of my age, and we'll always picture him clenching his fist, eyes bulging and that mad expression on his face.
6 Posted 06/07/2018 at 17:50:22
Gravesen was a classy player who couldn't tackle to save his life which made Madrid poaching him off us as bizarre as it was disappointing.
Best of luck with the book.
7 Posted 06/07/2018 at 18:44:34
Look forward to the book.
8 Posted 07/07/2018 at 14:53:57
9 Posted 07/07/2018 at 21:02:44
He mentions Gravesen in this interview:
10 Posted 08/07/2018 at 16:28:41
12 Posted 11/07/2018 at 08:48:47
13 Posted 12/07/2018 at 19:01:15
14 Posted 16/07/2018 at 21:46:59
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