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PLAYER PROFILES

David Weir

Squad number 5
Position Centre Back
Joined 16 February 1999
Joined from Heart of Midlothian (SCO)
Signed by Walter Smith
Transfer fee £200,000
Debut as sub v Middlesbrough (H),
17 February 1999
Full debut v Wimbledon (H),
27 February 1999
Contract duration 1 year
Contract expires June 2007
Finalé v Portsmouth (A)
26 August 2006
Left Everton to Glasgow Rangers
18 January 2007
Born Falkirk, Scotland
Date of birth 10 May 1970
Height 6' 2"
Nickname(s) Weir-do
Honours Scottish international


STRENGTHS
Experience
Cool head
Goals at set-pieces
 
WEAKNESSES
Ageing legs


Soccerbase Datafile

In the winter months of 1999, just when everyone thought Everton's main problem was scoring goals, Walter Smith demonstrated he knows best, pulling off a cannie deal to bring Hearts defender David Weir to Goodison Park.  

A highly-rated defender whose career had taken a turn for the better since signing for Hearts, after a great season he broke into the Scotland team and was interesting the likes of Rangers, Newcastle and Liverpool.  Weir brought all the essentials of a great defender big, strong, good in the air and a hard tackler, he had also shown that he was good at attacking, scoring important goals and taking set pieces.

Many fans feel he was the best defender Scotland had and the best signing Jim Jefferies made for Hearts.  Signed in July 1996 from his home town side, Falkirk, this tall, slim-built performer had an outstanding first season which saw him gain International recognition.  A product of Celtic Boys Club he spent almost four years studying in the USA before returning home in 1992 to sign for Jefferies at Falkirk.

Smith twice tried to sign Weir for Rangers when he was at Falkirk but the deals fell through.   The Edinburgh club accepted a knockdown fee of £200k from Everton rather than see the player leave for nothing in the summer when his contract in Scotland ends.  Weir says he chose Everton over Liverpool because of his admiration for Smith.

"Liverpool were definitely interested and I was linked with them, but Everton have come in and made me this offer and I'm more than happy to come here," he said.  "They were keen and that was good enough for me.  Liverpool is all in the past.  I have made my choice and joining Everton is fine by me."

Weir, who initially signed a 3½-year contract, added: "I'm very excited, it's a really good move for me coming to the Premiership.  I hope things start getting better for Everton.  They are surely in a false position and I will be able to help them improve the situation in the league.

"I never had any fears about relegation and Everton.  Yes it crossed my mind, but not for long.  It was the management team of Walter Smith and Archie Knox that convinced me.

"It's a big, massive club and I have known about the manager and talked to people who have worked with him.  That's impressed me and made the move more attractive and sealed it for me.

"I have been in Scotland all my career and it's a challenge to come to England and play with different players.  I hope that I will be able to better myself.  I had some great times while I was at Hearts but it was time for me to move on.

The Everton manager said: "We tried to sign David on a pre-contract agreement for him to come to Everton next season.  Like all clubs, Hearts were faced with a situation where they would have lost the player for no fee at all unless they came to an arrangement with us, which has now been done."

1998-99:  The verdict on David Weir's first season at Goodison was generally noncommittal or dismissive, although he likes to get forward and can come up with some neat touches.  But widespread amazement that Weir is a current first-choice International for Scotland is indicative of the paucity of their players and the gulf between good and bad at both club and national level.  He is probably okay as a centre-back but Walter insists on playing him out of position, as a wing-back or midfielder, where he clearly doesn't cut it.

1999-2000:  Smith's persistence with Weir started to make more sense during the 1999-2000 season, when his calm but solid contribution to Everton's and Scotland's defence was allocated greater recognition.  A lot of the good work was undone, however, in a disastrous afternoon at Old Trafford, when Weir's hesitancy gifted One Gunnar Solskjaer 2 of his 4 goals.  Undeterred, the quiet Scot went on to become one of Walter Smith's first names on the teamsheet, with the solid defender chalking up more appearances than everyone except Nick Barmby.

2000-01:  In the absence of Gough and occasionally Unsworth, Weir came on in leaps and bounds and wore the famous Number 5 shirt for the first time.  He and Michael Ball built up quite a partnership before the latter left for Rangers in the summer of 2001.  Weir skippered the team for most of the season and was rewarded with the Everton Supporters Player of the Year award.  With Gough gone, a lot of responsibility was placed upon his shoulders, but if anyone could handle it, it was David Weir.

2001-02: This was perhaps Davie's best season at Everton (certainly in terms of goals!) as he became a permanent fixture and and first choice under both Walter Smith and then David Moyes

2002-03:  Weir finally got credited for a nice flick header at West Brom that set up a goal for Campbell or Hoult.

2003-04:  This was one season too far for Davie Weir.  He was off the pace and made to look slightly foolish on too many occasions.  He was also culpable for a number of opposition goals, which was sad to see for a player who has done so well for us.  After picking up injuries this season, he's struggled to regain full fitness.  Perhaps, with a proper pre-season under his belt in the summer, he may approach his old standards again.  Or perhaps, at 34, it's downhill all the way...

2004-05:  Despite a poor season last time Weir slowly reestablished himself alongside Alan Stubbs as the defensive pair with no pace but lots of experience.

2005-06:  Weir has been directly responsible for a good number of the goals our defence has shipped thus far. But Moyes refuses to contemplate dropping his 'skipper.'  Why Weir was given the armband to begin with Moyes alone knows.  He's old, does not necessarily warrant a place in the team as a first choice centre back.  He is good when the ball is in the air and he can head it out of defence and positions himself well to receive through balls.  But one-on-one with a fast runner, he is far too slow and will lose out every time.

2006-07:  Nevertheless, he was offered and finally accepted yet another year at Goodison Park, and the honour of being Club Captain, despite the arrival of Joleon Lescott.  The honour was somewhat pyrrhic as Lescott and Yobo kept Stubbs and Weir on the sidelines, such that an opportunity for Weir to move back to Scotland in January 2007 proved irresistible.

Everton reluctantly agreed that if David Wanted wanted to go and play regular football then he could leave and continue his career at Rangers under his old friend and mentor, Walter Smith.  An excellent if not particularly stellar servant to the club.

By Michael Kenrick
Last updated January 2007
 


Everton Career
Season Squad
Number
League
Apps (sub)
League
Goals
Cup
Apps (sub)
Cup
Goals
Total
Apps (sub)
Total
Goals
1998-99
18
11 (3)
0
1 (0)
0
12 (3)
0
1999-00
14
35 (0)
2
7 (0)
0
42 (0)
2
2000-01
5
37 (0)
1
2 (0)
0
39 (0)
1
2001-02
5
36 (0)
4
6 (0)
0
42 (0)
4
2002-03
5
27 (4)
1
3 (0)
0
30 (4)
1
2003-04
5
9 (1)
0
2 (0)
0
11 (1)
0
2004-05
5
34 (0)
1
1 (2)
0
35 (2)
1
2005-06
5
32 (1)
1
8 (1)
0
40 (2)
1
2006-07  5 2 (3) 0 1 (0) 0 3 (3) 0
  Totals 223 (12) 10 31 (3) 0 254 (15) 10

Prior Club Record
Season Team Appearances (sub) Goals
1992-1996 Falkirk 133  & 1 8 & 0
1996-1999 Hearts 74 & 24 6 & 4


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