EVERTON PAST PLAYER PROFILES

Kevin Kilbane

Pistone
Squad number 14
Position Left/Centre Midfield
Joined 1 September, 2003
Joined from Sunderland
Signed by David Moyes
Transfer fee £1.1M
Full debut v Newcastle United (H)
13 September 2003
Contract duration 3 years
Contract expires June 2008
Finalé v Tottenham H (A)
26 August 2006
Left Everton to Wigan Athletic
31 August 2006
Transfer fee £2M
Born Preston, Lancashire
Date of birth 1 February 1977
Height 5' 10"
Nickname(s) Killa, KK, Zinedine Kilbane
Honours Ireland international


STRENGTHS
Natural width
Tracking back
Ability to go at a man
Strong in the air
 
WEAKNESSES
A "confidence player"
Inconsistent
One-footed



Soccerbase Datafile

Amid the excitement surrounding the four August 2003 transfer window deadline deals David Moyes pulled off, this one raised the most opprobrium among Evertonians.  A panic buy?  A straight replacement for Mark Pembridge? A deliberate foil to take the heat off Franny Jeffers?  Not for a cool million, surely?

But  Moyes, having worked with Kevin Kilbane at Preston, obviously likes him.  He works his socks off and gets the ball in nice and early.  The quality of that ball, however, is certainly in question.

Kevin Kilbane has reasonable pace and can score; he tracks back and covers better than most; he is a good header of the ball and is not going to hide.  He's a natural winger, not a converted full-back.  Moyes will give him his instructions; he may not create but he does the job.

Perhaps extraneous factors also contributed to this move: the departure of Pembridge, who was within sight of a Bosman; an outstanding account regarding the Gavin McCann transfer; Sunderland's lack of cash; and the need for a bit more width in the team.  

Kilbane is a fixture in the Republic of Ireland squad where he often plays central midfield. Certainly in a slightly more defensive role is when you see the best of him.  He did some great work in the 2002 World Cup, tracking back against Cameroon and Germany. 

Despite the reservations, Kevin Kilbane turned into a revelation for all the nay-sayers among the Goodison faithful in his first couple of seasons.  He played with spirit, drive, commitment, and not a little skill, making a significant contribution down the left.

The only problem was in David Moyes's mind, where he decided that Kilbane and McFadden were interchangeable assets in that position: Moyes has played them together on only a handful of occasions.

Ireland's manager, Brian Kerr, said: "He's a high-energy player.  He has a lot more awareness and vision for the midfield role than people realised.  He has good physical strengths — he can head the ball well and is able to get up and down the park.  He's well able to adapt to a central role and is in great form for Everton."

Solid, without attracting too much attention in the new 4-5-1 formation, he (along with Hibbert) racked up the greatest level of consistency in terms of appearances in David Moyes's small 2004-05 squad.  However, as Everton's season started to tank after Christmas, Killa lost the killer instinct almost completely, becoming increasingly ineffective.

Good performances became rare and many were convinced that Kilbane wasn't up to the Premiership; his body language and work rate perhaps reflected this. Nevertheless, David Moyes secured him on an improved deal, with a new three-year contract running through 2008.

For his commitment, stamina, and his comparative lack of injury problems, Kilbane has arguably more than repaid the £1.1M outlay but there are signs he has lapsed into the same pattern of form that so frustrated the Sunderland fans towards the end of his time at the Stadium of Light.

He'll run up and down that pitch all day long — for the team, the manager, no matter his limitations, knowing at least he's available for selection.  The likes of Van der Meyde might endear themselves to the terraces a bit but Kilbane provides a level of grit, determination, and hard work that we also need!

His departure from Everton came as a bit of a surprise — the only Deadline Day deal as the Summer 2006 transfer window closed, and coming hot on the heels of his early dismissal from the Spurs game that Everton went on to win with a fantastic 10-man performance.  In a remarkable piece of business, David Moyes collected something like £2M for him from Wigan!

By Michael Kenrick and Lyndon Lloyd
Last updated September 2006


Everton Career
Season Squad
Number
League
Apps (sub)
League
Goals
Cup
Apps (sub)
Cup
Goals
Total
Apps (sub)
Total
Goals
2003-04
14
26 (4)
3
3 (0)
1
29 (4)
4
2004-05
14
37 (1)
1
5 (0)
0
42 (1)
1
2005-06
14
21 (13)
0
8 (1)
0
29 (14)
0
2006-07
14
2 (0)
0
0 (0)
0
2 (0)
0
  Totals
86 (18)
4
16 (1)
1
102 (19)
5

Prior Club Record
Season Team Appearances (sub) Goals
1995-1997 Preston NE 40(8) & 6(1) 3 & 0
1997-1999 West Brom 105(1) & 16(0) 15 & 3
1999-2003 Sunderland 102(11) & 7(4) 8 & 1


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