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Espen Baardsen -  Goalkeeper


Squad No. 25
Joined 24 December 2002
Transfer Fee Free
Signed by David Moyes
Debut v Tottenham (a)
12 Jan 2003
Released 21 February 2003
Finalé v Tottenham (a)
12 Jan 2003
Born San Rafael, USA
Date of birth  7 December 1977
Height  6 ft 5 ins (190 cm)
Nicknames  
Honours  4 caps for Norway


STRENGTHS
Very, very tall

WEAKNESSES
Past his best
and very rusty
Previous Career
Seasons Club Apps Goals
1995-1996  SF All Blacks ? 0
1996-2000 Tottenham Hotspur 22(1) + 5(1) 0
2000-2002 Watford 41(0) + 5(0) 0

Espen Baardsen was born in California and got selected for the US Under-18 national team before fate stepped in and he got invited to train with the visiting Norwegian national side at the age of 16.

Baardsen had been coming over to train with the Spurs youth team each summer since 1992 and in June 1996 he signed a full contract for Tottenham Hotspur.

His first year at Spurs was very up and down.  He started really well in pre-season and was able to claim the second-choice goalkeeper spot which was vacant after Chris Day had left the club. He played plenty of reserve games during that season and made his debut against Liverpool at Anfield. He was also able to establish himself as the first-choice keeper for the Norwegian U-21s.

Over the next three seasons, Baardsen had two periods in the Spurs first team.  In January 1998, he came in for Ian Walker with Spurs third from the bottom of the table and battling against relegation.  By the end of March, Walker was fit again and it wasn’t particularly surprising that he came back into the side because Baardsen was only 20 years old and Walker was an England international.

The next period in the first team at Spurs was in September 1998. Walker wasn’t in his best form, so he got a chance against Everton away and Spurs won 1-0. The next game we beat Blackburn at home 2-1 and I was voted Man of the Match.  He made his international debut against Latvia. After eight or nine games George Graham became the manager of Tottenham. He played another six or seven matches under Graham and was then dropped after letting in a weak goal against West Ham.

There followed a season and a half of disappointment. His confidence nose-dived immediately after he was dropped and it took a few months to recover.  In the end, he moved over to Watford and a new start in English Football.

What will go down as Espen Baardsen's one and only appearance for Everton occurred in bizarre circumstances, and ironically at his previous club, Spurs.  Richard Wright damaged his knee in the pre-match warm up and Baardsen was press-ganged into goal.  But his performance was less than stellar, even though kinder hearts claimed that none of the 4 goals he let in that day could have been prevented?

David Moyes kept him on for an extra month but he was finally released in February 2003 — possibly the shortest ever contract for an Everton player?  And it was not long after that Baardsen decided to give up football altogether — at the tender age of 25 — saying "... a footballer who is not passionate about football will not get much success or enjoyment out of the game.''


Everton Career
Season
Squad
Number
League
Apps (sub)
League
Goals
Cup
Apps (sub)
Cup
Goals
Total
Apps (sub)
Total
Goals
2002-03
25
1 (0)
0
0 (0)
0
1 (0)
0
 
Totals
1 (0)
0
0 (0)
0
1 (0)
0

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