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ToffeeWeb's Everton Past Player Profile

Daniel Amokachi  FACTS
Born  Grokko (Nigeria), 30 Dec 1972
Height  ft' - in" (n cm)
Joined Everton   from  FC Bruges in August 1994 (£3M)
Signed by  Mike Walker
Debut  v Blackburn Rovers (a), 10 September 1994
Finalé  v Aston Villa (h), 5 May 1996
Left Everton  to join Besiktas (Turkey) in July 1996 (£1.75M)
Nicknames  Amo
Honours  Nigeria full caps, FA Cup winner ('95); Olympic Gold ('96)

Other Link

 Seasons  Club  Apps  Gls
1992-1994 FC Bruges (Belgium)

  • Good pace and technique
  • Strong runs
  • Good shot
  • Can turn the match (ie, has flair)
  • Sometimes runs around without a purpose
  • Difficulty adjusting to Premier League pace
  • Too unpredictable for his own teammates
  • Ideal role is behind front line
Daniel Amokachi was one of Mike Walker's key signings in the summer of 94.  Great things were expected of the 21-year-old who had looked so good for Nigeria at the 1994 USA World Cup, but he got stuck in the doldrums of that awful period when Walker's team just could not do anything right.  Amokachi scored only one goal in this dismal period. 

When Joe Royle arrived as manager in October 1994, he used Amokachi in that famous first match against Liverpool.  But that was to be the last time Amo would start in the first team until the spring.  He was away for an extended period with the Nigerian national team – which did not help his prospects under Royle – who could not (or would not make the effort to) make him fit in with the standard 4-4-2 formation that Royle envisaged for Everton. 

The problem with Daniel Amokachi was that Royle saw no merit in altering the team formation to accommodate a player who could really only impress in a very specific role – in "the hole" behind the front two attackers.  Royle, backed by trainer Willie Donnachie, claimed that such a position didn't really exist in football, and insisted that Amokachi should be an out-and-out striker.

Amo returned to the first team against Queens Park Rangers, coming on sub in place of Brett Angell who just played his last game for Everton.  Amo made his comeback after being left out of the side for months, and played very well.

Ironically, the temporary rehabilitation of Amo occurred in the role of striker – by mistake!  No-one will forget the strange circumstances surrounding his entry onto the field during that mammoth FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham Hotspur, when Paul Rideout was injured and Danny was on the field before Royle could hold him back...  Two lovely breakaway goals later, and the name on the 1995 FA Cup was not to be Tottenham Hotspur, but Everton!

Amokachi came on late in the FA Cup Final at Wembley as a sub for Limpar, and appeared to have a golden opportunity to embarrass Schmeichel when the Manchester United goalie was way out of his area, trying to help the attack.  But Amo just didn't seem to realise the chance, and his moment of potential glory slipped away...

1995-96: In his second season at Goodison Park, Amo ended up hovering around the periphery of the first-team squad, playing in a little more than half of the games without really impressing Joe Royle.  He started well, coming on as sub for Limpar against Arsenal, and then getting a run of eight games with three goals.  He scored some impressive and valuable goals – not least of which was the last-minute winner on a cold Euro-night in Reykjavik.  But he missed a great many more chances and, at the end of the day, we were left to remember his inability to really impose himself consistently on games.  Another player of golden potential allowed to go begging from Goodison Park...

Amokachi's two years with Everton ended where they had started – in America.  Amokachi went on to win a gold medal with Nigeria as they won the Olympic soccer final in 1996, with Amo scoring the second equalizer that helped them defeat Argentina.  But by that time, Amokachi was no longer an Everton player, having moved on to the Turkish club, Besiktas in Istanbul for a very paltry sum of £1,750,000.  

Perhaps Daniel Amokachi was simply too classy for Joe Royle's workmanlike Everton team.  The guy was a qualified lawyer who had attended college in America, and kept an apartment in New York City.  His stunningly beautiful wife, Nadia, was a supermodel from Tunisia.  Are these the typical qualifications for footballers of a New Age?

April 2001:  Daniel Amokachi was given another chance to revive his flagging career by French Second Division side Creteil.  Amokachi has signed a one-year contract with the option of another two years if he proves his fitness.  Amokachi, 28, said, "Alain Pedretti, the club president, invited me to train with the team to help my fitness.  Now I am ready to make my way back."

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Last updated: 01 December 2008