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Anders Limpar

Facts

  • Position: Right and left winger
  • Born: Solna (Sweden) 24.9.65
  • Height: 5'8" (173cm)
  • Previous clubs: Brommapojkarna, AIK Stockholm, Orgryte IS, Young Boys, Cremonese,
    • Arsenal: League 96 Apps, 17 Gls; Cup 20 Apps 3 Gls
  • Joined Everton: February '94 (£1,600,000)
  • Honours: Sweden full caps, League Champion ('91), FA Cup winner ('95)
  • Left Everton: January '97 (£100,000)
  • New club: Birmingham City


Strengths: 

Weaknesses: 

  • Excellent technique 
  • Good shot 
  • Excellent dribbler 
  • Excellent vision 
  • Very good in counter-attacks 
  • Very quick 
  • Very inconsistent 
  • Can be a very frustrating player 
  • Gets too many cards 


"I went up to speak to Everton and I went up to speak to Manchester City at the same time.  I went back and forth and chose Everton because of Mike Walker.  The fact I had supported Everton as a boy was also a factor, but the main reason was because of Walker and I really liked his way at looking at football."

With these words, the enigmatic winger-cum-midfield dynamo recalled how he left Arsenal in a surprise move to Mike Walker's Everton in February 1994.  He made his debut in a home defeat (0-1 to Tottenham Hotspur) on 26 March 1994, and made the left-wing position his own as a weak Everton team fought desperately against the drop out of the Premier League.

The most bizarre match in a blue shirt for Anders Limpar must be that relegation battle against Wimbledon in May of 1994.  With not 2 minutes gone, Anders inexplicably handles the ball in the area to give away a needless penalty.  But a piece of marvellous trickery later balances the books as Anders lunges into the Wimbledon area and is poleaxed.  A penalty is now awarded in his favour, but later scrutiny of the TV replay makes it very hard to see any physical contact...

Anders Limpar peaked with Everton in the FA Cup run of 1995.  Some scintillating runs, fantastic cross-field balls, and other deft touches gave the Everton midfield creativity their Dogs of War style had all but consumed.

Three classic breakways were exquisite Limpar: the first two were in the FA Cup semi-final against Spurs -- perhaps Limpar's greatest ever game for Everton.  He signalled his intent by forcing three fine saves from Ian Walker in the first 10 minutes of this great match.  The breakaway masterstrokes came when he built a great move with Horne for Amokachi to head in Everton's third goal.

Later, he released Ablett for a very fine cross that Amokachi converted for the fourth goal.  The next was in the final, when his theft of the ball from Ince suddenly set up a 4-on-2 breakaway situation with Jackson, Stuart and finally Rideout combining to score that vital winning goal at Wembley.

Limpar did not score all that many goals for Everton -- just six.  Memorable strikes at West Ham and Leicester came in a purple patch of three goals in three weeks during that Spring of 1995.  But perhaps his best goal at Goodison came against Southampton in August 1995. He received the ball from Kanchelskis in deep midfield.  Slipping it sideways to Rideout, he moved forward for a return pass that was perfectly weighted just outside the area.  A marvelous left-foot shot screamed inside the left-hand post in front of the Park Stand.

Limpar received the most flattering accolades from manager, Joe Royle, in the build-up to the 1995 FA Cup Final. Limpar was described as "the most skillful player on the field..." But the next season was to prove a difficult one for Royle and Limpar as the Swede repeatedly tried Joe Royle's patience with a series of desperately inconsistent displays.  The final straw may have been that fateful FA Cup replay at Port Vale -- Joe Royle's so-called watershed.

In his last season at Goodison Park, Limpar vowed to fight for his place, but the writing was on the wall.  Royle had mysteriously stated more than once that he did not want to play with two wingers (Limpar and Kanchelskis).  Then, in only his second full start, Limpar became a part of the annual Coca-Cola Cup fiasco as Everton crashed out to York City.  This was to be Limpar's last full appearance for Everton, and a description of his performance that fateful night captures everything about Anders Limpar:
  

Moments of absolute brilliance, a couple of great balls to Kanchelskis, a few winding runs, a real threat and he looked more than anyone the man who could have turned this game. Nevertheless, his off the ball movement, and wandering from position were annoying. Guy McEvoy

A Christmas injury crises  in 1996 saw the Everton midfield decimated, but still no role for Limpar, other than a bench-warmer on the list of unused subs.  He did run on to his beloved Goodison Park in a blue first-team shirt for one last time on New Year's Day.  He replaced the ineffective Kanchelskis after 71 mins as Everton lost 0-2 to Blackburn Rovers in an uninspired performance.

It came as no surprise that Limpar joined a growing group of ex-Evertonians at Birmingham City, although the paltry fee of only £100,000 seemed at best derisory.  The word was that Limpar would be off for free anyway at the end of the season, so Royle a least recouped a little cash from one of Mike Walker's more prestigious signings. The Everton fans will always remember the little enigmatic Swede.  His incomparable mistakes and skills moved Everton from the depths of despair to the joy of a Wembley triumph.

Now retired from football, Anders Limpar has opened The Limp Bar at Norra Bantorget in Stockholm, just two stonethrows from the Central Station.  He won the championship with Arsenal and was worshipped by their fans, but the decorations in his bar testify that he still thinks warmly about Everton. 


Anders Limpar -- Everton Career Statistics 

Season 

League
Apps(Sub) 

League
Goals 

Cup
Apps(Sub) 

Cup
Goals 

TOTAL
Apps(Sub) 

TOTAL
Goals 

1993-94 

9(-) 

-(-) 

9(-) 

1994-95 

19(8) 

5(1) 

24(9) 

1995-96 

22(6) 

7(2) 

29(8) 

1996-97 

1(1) 

1(-) 

2(1) 

Totals: 

51(15) 

5 

13(3) 

1 

64(18) 

6 

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