Most entertaining team

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Following Leighton Baines's double against West Brom on Wednesday night, it prompted the question of who was the last EFC left back/ full back to score two goals in a first-team match for the Blues?

Having followed Blues for over 50 years, I confess to not knowing. Any informed scholars out there?

[Hold that – flash of inspiration – I think Dave Jones scored two in an FA Cup replay against Swindon but he was right back.]

Thinking about Baines's season, I doubt I have witnessed a better attacking left back in the Everton blue even though I feel defensively Ray Wilson was better. With this in mind, I have selected the most entertaining EFC team I have seen over the last 50 years. I would emphasise this would not be the best team I would select. In my humble opinion :

  • Goalkeeper - Neville Southall
  • Left Back - Leighton Baines
  • Right Back - John Gidman even though AV fans had better of him than we did.
  • Centre Half - Derek Mountfield just shades Brian Labone solely on vital goals scored.
  • Half Backs - Tony Kay - short career, man of steel , lucky to see him. Jimmy Gabriel - great passer and very versatile. Seem to recall one derby at Goodison where he played with 9 on his back. He scored twice and we won 3-1.
  • Outside Left - Dave Thomas - has there ever been a better crosser of the ball in the last 50 years ?
  • Inside Left - Roy Vernon - never been a better striker of the football, deadly shot and no better penalty taker in last 50 years. Recall him making Sheffield Wed and England goalie Ron Springett look hapless in one game at Goodison.
  • Centre Forward - Bob Latchford if only for number of goals.
  • Inside Right - Alan Ball
  • Outside Right - Andrei Kanchelskis Again I would emphasise this team was dug up from my failing memory vaults and was not computer/reference book assisted.

Any opinions ?


Simon Davis, Simbars@gmail.com     Posted 01/02/2013 at 07:36:05

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Steve Barr
832 Posted 01/02/2013 at 21:35:30
Got to agree with you on Dave Thomas.

Fantastic crosser of the ball a skill and technique the modern day players don't seem capable of..usually hit the first defender!

Bob Latch was my favourite but Dave Thomas must have made half of his goals.

Laurie Hartley
839 Posted 01/02/2013 at 21:41:46
Simon many of my favourites in that team but Tony Kay - better even than Alan Ball! Complete midfielder. Piennar a bit unlucky not to get into your team - his work rate, close control, and football brain I think are perhaps underestimated by many of us "old timers".
Patrick Murphy
849 Posted 01/02/2013 at 21:48:00
Most entertaining team - some for skill some for personality.
George Wood , John Barton , John Bailey , Mike Lyons., Colin Todd, Andy King ,Trevor Steven, Peter Beardsley, Duncan McKenzie, Andy Gray, Dave Thomas

Innefective Eleven.

Drew Brand , Glen Keeley, Billy Wright, Ian Wilson,Stephan Rehn, Claus Thomsen,Geoff Nulty, Mickey Walsh , Mick Ferguson, Marc Hottiger,, Mickey Thomas.

Pat Finegan
850 Posted 01/02/2013 at 22:01:47
Kanchelskis, huh? Back to the memory vaults to pullout Tricky Trev, I'd say. Can't argue with the rest. Looking forward to the thread on this one.
Anthony Lamb
852 Posted 01/02/2013 at 21:44:46
Simon, I would have to give Alex Parker, Gary Stevens or Tommy Wright the vote over John Gidman, each for their differing qualities of course. Jimmy Gabriel was my favourite at the time, due I think to the fact that when he came he was of a similar age to myself! I do agree that the suspension of Tony Kay robbed Everton of a truly outstanding player, limiting him to I think about 50 appearances or so. (I do remember him being non-too "polite" to the ORIGINAL great Luis Suarez of Inter in the 0-0 home European leg (63 I think)!

Of course, we could debate fort many hours alternatives to some of your choices. As with Tony Kay the great Tommy Ring at outside left was an all-too short a presence in the early 60's due to his leg being broken against Chelsea. I can still see the two wonderful chipped goals he got against Gordon Banks of Leicester in a great 3-1 win. Johnny Morrissey would be pushing for the number 11 shirt as well I think! We could go on - but in all my 60 years of watching Everton, and thrilling to the sights of Alex Young at his best, the electrifying speed and finishing ability of "He of Match of the Day infamy"!

During his brief spell with us, and many others, I can honestly say that few have brought such undiluted pleasure as the supremely balanced, technically superb, beautiful striker of a football and wonderful example of a sportsman in the unprincipled world of today's football as the young man playing left-back for us today. He is a star entertainer in the fullest sense of the word. A person you could point any young person towards with confidence and say " if you want to know what a footballer is all about son – look at Leighton Baines and emulate him."

I do feel that your selection may prompt a few replies but thanks for prompting me to think back over many years of being a blue and checking if the scars have healed yet!

Peter MacFarlane
859 Posted 01/02/2013 at 22:40:15
I'd guess that at some point David Unsworth may have scored 2 in a match and after he returned to the club from West Ham he played primarily as a left back. On the other side, I remember Steve Watson scoring a hat-trick against Leeds but I'm pretty sure he was playing right wing at the time, but signed as a right back.
Stewart Oakes
864 Posted 01/02/2013 at 22:43:43
The last person playing left back to score twice in a game, Joleon Lescott against Aston Villa, 7 December 2008
Gerry Quinn
865 Posted 01/02/2013 at 22:47:30
Simon, I actually wrote on the Live Forum during the match as to who the last full back was to score 2 goals. Unfortunately that Forum has shut down - Michael/Lyndon?
Graham Mockford
867 Posted 01/02/2013 at 22:35:28
If we are on the purely entertaining level here lets have a stab

Big Nev - for his sitting in the goal protest at Leeds and being the best keeper ever
Terry Darracott - for the hair and the moustache
Pat Van Der Hauwe- because he was seriously nuts
Mick Lyons- fearless, still remember his winning diving header the day my grandad died.
Rats- Everton legend who headbutted Tommy Hutchinson in the FA Cup
Anders Limpar- a serial patchy player but great on his day i.e 1995 Cup Final
Barry Horne- need I say more
Phil Neville- only because it will piss of the MOB
Dave Thomas- socks down, the best winger performance I've ever seen 6-0 vs Coventry to go top of the league1977
Duncan Mckenzie an absolute legend who was my boyhood hero, got to play golf with him and he's shit
Andy Gray- our talisman in the glory years, scored the best hatrick I've ever seen against Fortuna Sittard where he literally terrorised the back four.

I know I've missed loads out but top of the head stuff and I'm now feeling full of joy remembering why I love this club.

Andy Kay
892 Posted 01/02/2013 at 23:48:57
Kevin Sheedy somewhere surely? What a left foot, spectacular goals and Zulu style chants for any free kick inside their half!!! Pure class!
Ernie Baywood
893 Posted 01/02/2013 at 23:52:33
In terms of full backs scoring... Steve Watson managed a hat trick against Leeds... but he was playing up front at the time.
Conor Skelly
928 Posted 02/02/2013 at 02:03:19
Great to hear all about the great names from people who were lucky enough to witness them first hand. Since I didn't I can't really compete with all you due to having a smaller pool of players to choose from but since I like this game I'll give it a bash anyway from about 1993. (Premier League era)

GK - Southall. Was at the end of his days for the most part but having witnessed the FA Cup final I then got what all the fuss was about.
RB - Seamus Coleman. Such a poor choice in general as far as excitement goes with Hibbo taking up a big chunk of that time so. I'm going to be technical and allow Coleman in.
CB - Lescott. Technically sound defender who could maraud forward and also score a few goals.
CB - Materazzi. Only a season but I remember him oozing class and had a nasty side too.
LB - Baines. Best LB we've ever had. Our best player at the moment and one of the best players in England full stop.
RM - Kanchelskis. The last truly world class player Everton bought.
CM - Gravesen. All action superman for a couple of seasons.
CM - Cahill. I got excited evrey time we got a corner or set piece for 7 years.
LM - Limpar. The enigma.
CF - Duncan Ferguson. Anything could happen.
ST - Wayne Rooney. The most exciting player to EVER come out of the club.

This list for the most part pales in comparison to the original post or there after. Exciting is not exactly been the Everton way in my time. Would love to have seen Alex Young.

Norman Merrill
940 Posted 02/02/2013 at 07:21:31
Alex Parker at right back for me, and as for centre half there is only one for me Labby.
Sam Hoare
948 Posted 02/02/2013 at 08:21:58
Surely Dixie has to get in for goals scored?
Simon Davis
949 Posted 02/02/2013 at 08:19:43
Many thanks to all comments so far. Mention of so many other names I had forgotten — makes you realise what a massive and wonderful club we have!

Thanks to Lyndon Lloyd for Joleon Lescott double info against Villa in 2009.

Two errors in my original submission 0 Dave Jones only one v Swindon in replay and Gabby only one v Reds in 3-1 win.
Keep the faith.

Paul Ellam
950 Posted 02/02/2013 at 08:19:16
1. Southall
2. Stevens
3. Baines
4. Lyons
5. Watson
6. Kanchelskis
7. Mckenzie
8. Beardsley
9. Latchford
10. Lineker
11. Sheedy
Barry Earley
004 Posted 02/02/2013 at 10:35:32
Duncan Ferguson and Andy Gray up front with Wayne Rooney just behind. They would terrorise any defence, even before they got out onto the pitch.
Steavey Buckley
008 Posted 02/02/2013 at 10:46:34
Barry Earley: But you would need Dave Thomas to whip accurate crosses in with pace without him having to break his stride. No wonder Bob Latchford got 30 league goals in a season. Best Everton crosser of the ball besides Leighton Baines. It's a pity Dave Thomas was never on the coaching staff to teach youngsters how to cross the ball.
Bill Griffiths
037 Posted 02/02/2013 at 12:26:18
Great idea this, though I usually hate this sort of thing as I find it impossible to choose from so many favourites of mine and usually end up with loads of names and crossings out. Anyway I'll give it a go with the following where in some cases they are favourites of mine for their ability and in others for various other characteristics.

Goalie
Big Nev - hell of a complex person but one of the greatest keepers of all time.

Back Four.
Gary Stevens - strong, athletic, decent pace, decent defender and decent going forward.
Dave Watson - Strong, Hard, Great Leader, Scored a few goals and Great Evertonian.
Derek Mountfield - Great partner for other CB & scored many vital goals.
Pat Van dan Haue - Hard man who could defend and maraud forward.

Midfield
Ball, Kendal & Harvey - the 3 greatest midfielders ever to play together (despite what Leeds fans may argue.

Up Front
Anders Limpar - Sometimes frustrating but at others mesmorising.
Bob Latchford - Goalscorer supreme. In this side he'd score 30 every season.
Dave Thomas - Greatest crosser of a ball ever.

Reading these posts brought back memories to me of watching Latchford and Thomas. I always tell people Dave Thomas is the greatest crosser of a ball that's ever set foot on a football pitch. He was just amazing, he could hit the by-line at full speed and still send over an accurate cross. As good a crosser as leighton Baines is he is nowhere near approaching Thomas's ability in crossing a ball. Anyway That's my team though I'm sure I could come up with several more.

Ken Crowther
059 Posted 02/02/2013 at 14:06:12
I go part of the way with Anthony Lamb #852, you guys can debate the other ten as much as you like, so long as you find a place for "the great Tommy Ring" (which I accept must be outside-left). What a buy, what a talent, and what a crying shame that he broke his leg when we were only just starting to realise what a talent we had found in the lower reaches of Scottish football.
Andy Crooks
077 Posted 02/02/2013 at 15:53:41
I don't see how Alex Young and Gary Lineker could be left out. Limeker was probably our last shout as a club who cold buy the best.
Andy Mack
143 Posted 02/02/2013 at 17:40:08
Hinchcliffe had a spell of games where his delivery was astonishing, didn't score many as I recall but this corners and free kicks always found a diving blue head it seemed.
Thomas Windsor
216 Posted 02/02/2013 at 19:14:21
Southall
Wright Labone Watson Wilson
Steven Ball Kendall Sheedy
Latchford Sharp

Not a bad little line-up, but don't ask me to put the worst team up.

Simon Davis
248 Posted 02/02/2013 at 20:38:11
I agree with comments about Tommy Ring – my first game at Goodison was that one v Leicester and two great finishes from a player whose Everton career was sadly too short.
Laurie Hartley
385 Posted 03/02/2013 at 09:51:00
Anthony Lamb # 852 - Johnnycake "put that in your little black book" Morrisey. What a footballer. Beautiful close control and crosser of a football and as hard as nails - ask Tommy Smith and Jack "I've got a little black book" Charlton.
Happy days.
Laurie Hartley
386 Posted 03/02/2013 at 10:01:21
Ay - johnnycake ??? SPELLCHECKERS!
Ian Bennett
105 Posted 05/02/2013 at 21:26:26
Southall
Baines
Watson
Lescott
Stevens

Speed
Arteta
Steven

Beardsley
Rooney
Kanchelskis

Richard Pike
191 Posted 06/02/2013 at 13:08:18
Y'all seem to have forgotten that we had Gascoigne for a couple of years too. While he was clearly well past his best by then, the talent was still evident. My god, that man could play... Such a shame to see what's happened to him since.
Matt Thomas
195 Posted 06/02/2013 at 13:21:59
Laurie Hartley #385 I once had a beer with Tommy Smith and he was talking about tough players he'd played against he told me Jonny Morrisey was by far the hardest – he even remembered Morrisey standing on his chest after Smith tried to flatten him in a tackle!!
Mike Hughes
299 Posted 06/02/2013 at 23:41:19
I'd have Ian Snodin at right back. Class act.

Preferred to Gary Stevens for me due to Stevens giving the ball away for RS equaliser in FA Cup final and, also, saying he was "absolutely terrified" of facing the shite in a TV interview. Mind you, GS would be in top 3 probably along with John Bailey.

You can only go on who you've seen play really so it's a tough call.

#004 Barry - I'd have loved to see Big Dunc, Andy Gray and Rooney (with Big Bob as sub or preferred to Dunc) up against Tommy "arthritis" Smith and Jimmy "Shithouse" Case.

Left back definitely Bainesy.

Centre backs - Richard Gough was a class act. Surely a contender despite being in a crap team?
Goalie - Big Nev

Midfield - how can you choose out of Peter Reid, Paul Bracewell, Tricky Trev, the Holy Trinity (never saw them), Kanchelskis, Sheedy, Drunken Duncan.

I'm still hopeful we can add Jelevic to the list as he's back on the goal trail tonight.

Derek Thomas
337 Posted 07/02/2013 at 11:05:47
West; Wright, Hurst, Labone, Brown; Kendall, Ball, Harvey; Husband, Royle, Morrissey.

Entertainment on a stick, never seen better before or since.

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