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Steve Watson -  Right / Central Defender


Squad No. 2
Joined Jul 2000
Transfer Fee 2.5M
Signed by Walter Smith
Debut v Leeds United (a),
19 August 2000
Contract Expires 5 years:
June 2005
Final
Match
v Bolton (A)
15 May 2005
Left
Everton
Released
30 June 2005
Born North Shields
Date of birth 1 July 1974
Height 6' 0" (183 cm)
Nicknames Watto
Honours England B & U-21


STRENGTHS
Good going forward
Puts good balls into the box
Courage & determination
Tackling & teamwork

WEAKNESSES
Not great at keeping the ball
Lacks pace


Soccerbase Datafile
 
Previous Career
Seasons Club Apps Goals
1997-1998 Newcastle Utd 179(29) + 41(14)  12 + 2
1998-2000 Aston Villa 39(2) + 11(1) 0 + 1

Steve Watson turned down a move back to his native North East with Middlesbrough to join the Blues when he signed from Aston Villa ins the summer of 2000.  He cost Everton a 2.5M fee, just two years after Walter Smith tried to sign him from Newcastle for 4M.

Watson admitted: "It was a tough call between Middlesbrough and Everton because I have an awful lot of respect for Bryan Robson."  Watson also revealed how fellow Geordie Paul Gascoigne helped persuade him to join Everton, because of his praise for Goodison Park boss Walter Smith. 

"I didn't need to go ringing everybody up asking what Walter Smith was like to play for because Gazza can never speak too highly of him after playing for him at Rangers," Watson added. 

"It was a football decision because I don't think there is a doubt Everton has a successful future with the manager and the staff they've got here."

The versatile Geordie is at home in both midfield or defense, centre or on the right, although his favoured position is the right back place he found himself in at Villa.  Despite still being young he has made well over 200 appearances in all competitions, his breakthrough coming in 1990 when at 16 he became the youngest first team player at Newcastle.

Watson said of leaving Villa Park:  "I had to get away because I spent too much time on the bench for someone who has thoughts of going higher in the game.  "It was more or less a year wasted a year when I took a step back as a player and I had to put that right."

He failed to find a consistent run of form at Villa Park after his 4M transfer from Newcastle United in 1998, but Everton, eager to cover for the defensive shortcomings in their squad, were happy to take a chance on the 26-year-old.  Having signed a five-year contract worth 2.5M, the capture of Watson followed that of Alessandro Pistone, another defender, from Newcastle the week before.

Watson's early-season form in 2000/01 was solid but not spectacular except in his uncanny ability to score own-goals and gift goal-scoring opportunities to the opposition.  Everton fans, however, were generous in allowing him time to settle and he has become a popular figure with the Goodison faithful after some hard-working displays on the right side of the field. 

More of an attacking player than an out-and-out defender, he is more comfortable playing as a right winger than a true right back.  And in the 2001-02 season, he found himself employed as a striker alongside Tomasz Radzinski as Smith sought emergency cover for the injured Kevin Campbell and Duncan Ferguson.

Steve Watson was not utilized as much by David Moyes, who never seemed to see him as a first-choice player, no matter how reliably he could perform.  Perhaps Moyes could see a lack of flair... a long-term journeyman role was the best Watson could realistically expect as Moyes strove to build a young team in place of Everton's aging geriatrics.  The irony was Watson's rather handsome goal-scoring under Moyes at least until the final 2004-05 season, when Watson was finally edged out by a more confident and emphatic Tony Hibbert.

So, Despite the prospect of Champions Leaguer football , it perhaps no surprise that Watson turned down a one year extension... NO, it was a massive surprise that he was even offered an extension... but this was the way Moyes apparently chose to test the resolve of his reluctant conscripts.

When training resumed on 1 July 2005, Watson was nowhere to be seen.  He had left Everton by default, having rejected the one-year contract offered him by Moyes.  A strange decision considering Everton's chances in the Champions League, but later news that he had secured a three-year contract at West Brom showed where his priorities lie: job security!


Last updated by Michael Kenrick, July 2005


Everton Career
Season
Squad
Number
League
Apps (sub)
League
Goals
Cup
Apps (sub)
Cup
Goals
Total
Apps (sub)
Total
Goals
2000-01
2
34 (0)
0
4 (0)
1
38 (0)
1
2001-02
2
24 (1)
4
1 (0)
0
25 (1)
4
2002-03
2
14 (4)
5
0 (1)
1
14 (5)
6
2003-04
2
22 (2)
5
1 (1)
0
23 (3)
5
2004-05
2
12 (13)
0
3 (0)
0
15 (13)
0
 
Totals
106 (20)
14
9 (2)
2
115 (22)
16

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