Evertonians young and old alike have made idols over the years of a select group of centre-forwards who have demonstrated their unique qualities, which, more often than not, included scoring goals in abundance. Some, but not all, have been part of trophy-winning sides which further enhanced their status amongst us.
We can all instantly reel off the names of this illustrious group Dean, Lawton, Hickson, Young, Royle, Latchford, Sharp, Ferguson, Angell... (well, er, maybe not that one!)
Although a major pre-requisite to becoming an enduring idol, the ability to score a shedload of goals is not the sole requirement to achieve this distinguished honour. Bravery, hard work, commitment, never-say-die attitude, ability to build a natural ongoing affinity with the supporters, selflessness, embracing the team ethic and, perhaps most of all, possessing the realisation that playing for the greatest club on earth is not a stepping stone to the promised land, but the pinnacle of your career are all essential contributory factors fundamental to being considered as counting towards becoming one of the chosen few.
It is crystal clear that Romelu Lukaku will, sadly, never become or even compete to become part of this exclusive group. He won't even get close. He has been afforded ample opportunity over an extended period to take up the mantle of the Chosen One, endear himself to thousands of young Evertonians, become part of the family, one of our own, only to return the honour with his now customary displays of inflated ego, arrogance, apathy and self-importance both on and off the pitch.
That's why, when he does go and the sooner he does the better, he will be easily forgotten and erased from the memory as a passing fancy, a flash in the pan, becoming another of those who failed to seize the Holy Grail of idolatry from the Goodison faithful.
Reader Comments (53)
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1 Posted 07/05/2017 at 20:00:49
2 Posted 07/05/2017 at 20:09:42
For example, in a recent poll on TW, 62% voted for Everton to hold Lukaku to his current contract, thereby keeping him here until at least July 2019, even at the risk of us losing the potential transfer fee due to a free transfer at the end of this period.
Despite his shortcomings, he has a tremendous amount of support, at least because there aren't many strikers around who can score like he does, and at the end of the day the main object of football is to score goals.
3 Posted 07/05/2017 at 20:27:14
Joe Royle was a supreme header of the ball, the best I can remember, but he was fed superbly by the best midfield in the world, and by wingers who could cross expertly.
Bob Latchford was brilliant at running onto through balls from midfield (like from Mike Bernard), but his workrate wasn't great. They're all different, and Lukaku is different.
For a big guy, and despite the criticism he gets from some on here about not being about to trap a bag of Ordinary Portland Cement, his running onto a good through ball is unequalled, as is his turn of speed in leaving a defender for dead.
When you talk about idols, people remember what a player can or could do, not what they can't or couldn't do. Alex Young often went missing in games, but who gives a shit now?
4 Posted 07/05/2017 at 20:47:07
From Day 1 all he's talked about is getting away. I get that it's modern football but you just don't need to say it as much as he has.
To compare his contribution to Alex Young is just ridiculous. All players go missing at times but the class ones step up when you need them. Lukaku just doesn't do that.
He may have scored a lot of goals but I guess if you are the only striker and everything goes through you and nobody else scores then really he should be scoring that amount, probably more given the chances he has.
My idol was Bob Latchford. Not the most agile player in the world but he knew where the net was. Give me the Latch over Lukaku any day if the week. He may be the best strikers we've have had for the last 25 years but that's not saying much.
For the amount of goals he's scored he should be an idol to all but he's not. He's disruptive and goes missing when we need him. To talk about him in the same breath as Young, Latchford Royle etc is quite frankly just insulting to the aforementioned players. He's a decent player but not fit to tie the laces of those players.
You may adore him Stan but some of us have a more realistic view of what he is. A talented player who plays completely within himself and only plays for himself. He will never be an Everton idol in my book.
5 Posted 07/05/2017 at 20:53:24
Maybe the best way to find out if he's idolised is to ask youngsters who play footie in the park. Who do they pretend to be?
6 Posted 07/05/2017 at 21:09:45
For me, Lukaku will not be in that category. We know he can score, we know he has talent but he seems to pick and choose when to showcase those talents. Either that or is unable to stand the pressure when we really need him.
Either way, with that and the fact that he never really wanted to be here in the first place just puts me off him. He just comes across to me as a really selfish player and it's all about him. If you're going to be like that then you've got to be beyond reproach for that attitude.
Ronaldo had that attitude but he turns it on week after week and does it when it really matters. He can get away with it whereas Lukaku can't. I wouldn't know who the kids pretend to be in the park these days but it wouldn't surprise me to find they are all Messi or Ronaldo rather than Lukaku.
7 Posted 07/05/2017 at 21:14:16
It's also irrelevant. Very few idols exist in the game anymore. I can't think of a single player in the Prem who fits Frank's description and inspires worship in his club's supporters. Today's players just don't stick around that long.
8 Posted 07/05/2017 at 21:48:42
9 Posted 07/05/2017 at 21:50:28
10 Posted 07/05/2017 at 22:03:51
We have had other technically fantastic strikers like Louis Saha but he was addled by injury and too much an enigma. We never saw the best of Rooney in a blue shirt.
We've had good honest pro's like Marcus Bent, Andy Johnson, James Beattie, we've had a really good season in 2002-03 from Tomas Radzinski which still only amounted to 11 goals.
We've had Kevin Campbell revered early on but nowhere near in Lukaku's league lets be honest.
We idolized Duncan Ferguson but this is a man who spent more time on the treatment table or suspended than actually on the pitch, maybe Ferguson was even wrongly idolized at times?? All he really turned up for was the Liverpool and Manchester United games after all and he was never the prolific striker the likes of Ian Wright, Alan Shearer or Les Ferdinand were back in that same era.
Lukaku it's always been love-hate and probably always will be, with his attitude dividing fans opinions but there's quite simply no getting away from the fact that he's been easily the most lethal forward that has graced this club in 30 years, a match-winner with pretty average to poor players around him.
In many ways Lukaku has been unlucky he missed out on the Everton midfield that had Arteta and Pienaar in his pomp pulling the strings creative wise and could have been greatly helped with the fantastic supporting role of Tim Cahill behind him.
But instead of that he's played with Ross Barkley, the most frustrating player to wear blue since James McFadden, and basically no wingers and even the best of Baines up and down the flank had gone by the time Lukaku had started to kick on here.
For all the doubts about Lukaku, a quick glance at his goal return should tell us that this summer will be a massive problem and conundrum for Koeman to solve once the Belgian departs Goodison Park for the final time.
11 Posted 07/05/2017 at 22:22:33
Jim makes a fantastic point; imagine Lukaku with Arteta, Pienaar and Cahill behind him.
12 Posted 07/05/2017 at 22:30:19
13 Posted 07/05/2017 at 22:41:48
Lukaku with Pienaar and Arteta? On paper, awesome; however I watched Man City on MotD and Silva was superb, but the movement from all of City's players was great. Even with Silva Lukaku would have to move occasionally to benefit from the vision and guile that Silva, Arteta, Pienaar etc. were blessed with.
Standing with your arms open and looking with disgust at your team mates because they played a ball into an area where you should have been doesn't make you worthy of being idolised.
14 Posted 07/05/2017 at 22:49:52
Rom knows his value to the team and I would imagine so do his team-mates; they might not like him, he may not like them, but only Rom will be able to demand a move to a major club to increase his wages and trophy prospects.
Most top players have no affinity to the clubs that they play for; they might pretend they do, but in general, they are all in search of big money and ever higher profiles. It could be argued that Rom has always been honest with the fans at Goodison, he's never hidden his higher ambitions or his personal wish to move to a club with better prospects; he's not what might be described as a 'badge-kisser'.
With regards to whether Everton can do without Rom, It's a bit of a chicken and egg problem; the team isn't good enough to challenge at the very top because it is short of high quality fully focussed characters and players, but it does have a bloke that can score goals for fun when the chances are presented to him, but would they function better without Rom in the line-up?
Take away Rom's goalscoring and the team would likely be a lower to mid-table side; as it is we are a top mid-table team but not much more. If Rom was sold could we replace him with better quality players in different positions and at the same time score enough goals? That issue will come at some point in time but I bet Ronald Koeman would prefer it not to be this summer.
Romelu is not alone in failing to invite the adoration of the Goodison crowd; few of the players in the current team are fully respected which is fair enough given the way they tend to switch off and depending on their individual or collective moods never mind worshipped.
Tim Cahill may end up being the last of the true Goodison icons as he loved to play the game and loved to give the crowd what it wanted i.e. graft, courage and goals the game has changed dramatically, even in the short time, since Tim kicked a ball for Everton in earnest.
If Romelu goes then so be it, we will continue without him, we have done it plenty of times previously, but will it derail the project? Possibly or perhaps probably, but we have a manager who is paid a lot of money to overcome any hurdles that get in his or the team's way. We can only hope that the Dutchman does have a plan to get the team moving in the right direction and I'm pretty sure he'd prefer to do it with Romelu in his side rather than at one of Everton's rivals.
15 Posted 07/05/2017 at 23:03:17
16 Posted 07/05/2017 at 23:11:28
If I compare him to the Yak or Cottee, similar goal-poacher strikers, I see far more joy when I think back to how happy they appeared when playing for us. Remember Cottee's reaction to scoring in the 4-4? Or the Yak doing his little Eagles celebration when he scored for us?
The Yak would also be mobbed by his team mates, and we loved him - I reckon he loved it when we sang 'Feed the Yak and he will score'.
Lukaku just nodding his head when he scores, or just standing there, is really winding me up. He never appears angry with himself when he misses he just seems to act surprised that it is possible for him to miss!
I hope we sell up this summer. I want a striker who is bursting a gut if we are getting beat 3-1, I've had enough of Lukaku standing up there like a statue thinking it's nothing to do with him.
17 Posted 08/05/2017 at 03:37:27
Kane has only three full seasons in at Spurs, and that's way too soon to be a legend. Vardy might achieve that status someday at Leicester... if he stays.
Andy #12, I do believe you're having me on.
18 Posted 08/05/2017 at 06:10:42
Will we miss Lukaku, the player? Nah!
19 Posted 08/05/2017 at 07:35:38
Lukaku will never be invited back as a club legend or have a suite named after him, because he hasn't fallen in love with the club like the others.
Royle and Ferguson still do. Hickson ran the tours at Goodison for years. Dean spent his last moments on earth at a match.
Lukaku will go and be grateful to Everton for providing a nice step on the ladder for Lukaku in his inevitable rise to greatness. He wants to be a legend of the game, not of Everton.
And good luck to him we've had his goals, we'll make a tidy profit and I doubt will miss him much. Maybe we'll miss his goals for a 6 to 18 months, but we'll move on.
20 Posted 08/05/2017 at 08:25:07
Imagine how he would've been revered and yes, would've been an idol to many had he not sold his soul. Oh what might have been!
21 Posted 08/05/2017 at 09:29:31
My concern (and I believe that of many others) is that, to date, Koeman has not addressed the former. With two games left, he seems to have got away with his failure to do so!
Alasdair (#19) "inevitable rise to greatness"? I assume the comment was made with tongue firmly in cheek! He might become a very good player (even great based on the way that word is devalued in this day and age) but "inevitable"? Naah!
22 Posted 08/05/2017 at 13:24:25
1. He scores goals (when he wants to, there is a song along those lines isn't there?!) so we all need a good goal scorer. But he doesn't turn it on much in the big games does he? His goals would be missed but we can replace him we will replace him.
2. As far as I'm concerned he's not good enough for the team; he just doesn't do enough in those periods when "he's not getting the service". He has to make himself involved. He has to also bully defenders I mean Swansea's centre forward did more in my opinion on Saturday.
3. He wants to go! Get the best fee. Sorry to say but players go. Buck teeth went for the RS.
24 Posted 08/05/2017 at 15:10:29
Pity he didn't do the same when he was quoted as saying he was too good for Everton.
25 Posted 08/05/2017 at 15:30:33
26 Posted 08/05/2017 at 15:38:21
I do love the comment that "he's the best striker we've had in the past 25 years" .
An alternative statement to make would be: "Repeated failures over 25 years seen Everton declined into a club where players such as John Spencer, Mikel Madar, Nick Chadwick, Brett Angell, geriatric Mark Hughes et al became the type of strikers the fans got used to seeing whilst money was fluttered away till we actually spent money on a striker in Lukaku."
Scores goals; poor player; poor attitude... get rid and spend the money.
27 Posted 08/05/2017 at 16:59:11
Should he score more? Yes.
Good or intelligent footballer? No.
After what we've seen of him, would he be on our shopping list? No!
Not for me.
Cheer his goals... yes; be a hero? Never in a million years!!!
28 Posted 08/05/2017 at 19:02:34
But our current goal-scorer seems not to care; his goals should at least earn him respect but never to the extent of idolatry. On balance, I would prefer Lukaku to remain within the Everton fold.
29 Posted 08/05/2017 at 19:32:18
Scores lots of goals when they are not necessarily needed in terms of winning games, if that makes sense, and does not score enough when we need them, when struggling away from home and we need some magic to grab the points.
Big test for him will be at his new club and my money is on him to not be the great success he thinks he will be. He plays here whatever his form etc, and he will not have that luxury at one of the top 4 type sides.
I am hoping we don't miss him but do worry about the club's ability to bring in quality replacements.
30 Posted 08/05/2017 at 20:12:03
For my money (and I'm ready to be shot down here) Louis Saha was the best striker we've seen in the last 20+ years. If only he had stayed fit. (If he had, Man Utd would never have let him go!!)
31 Posted 08/05/2017 at 20:25:04
Just a thought but Moyes really put together a very good team and possibly only lacked a striker in the Rom mould! Shame he spoiled his tenure with his unfortunate departure and subsequent pitch for our players because it was the best midfield since Reid and Co.
32 Posted 08/05/2017 at 20:38:48
I completely agree about Saha. Technically he was on a different planet to Lukaku... absolutely no comparison.
For all intents and purposes, he was finished by the time we got him. Injuries mashed his head up and he was fragile goods.
Saha was lazy but not on the scale of Lukaku. If Saha stayed injury free, he would have been at Man Utd almost as long as Rooney.
33 Posted 08/05/2017 at 20:39:28
Things change, not for the better or worse, they are just different and the players mentioned are all ones I've seen live and some I've regarded as Everton greats. Well not Dean or Lawton but my dad saw them and filled me with his memories, and infected me.
Idols I think these days is an outdated concept. Footballers are more remote, football is now a product peddled internationally by massive corporations and supporters are no longer as local and committed.
Success is mandatory and must be instant; shirts must be sold in the Far East and far west and all points in between. Managers must deliver immediately or be deemed wankers, no time allowed to build anything.
I care as much for Lukaku as he cares about Everton and I still retain my love for Everton. I love the romance and the glory and I rejoice in the fact that we have a club that still has values rooted in the community.
There is still nothing better for me than a night match at Goodison so I'm looking forward to Friday night but I recognise the financial reason behind the fact it's being played on Friday.. nothing to do with romance or glory.
Forums like his is also a major change. Opinions from all over the place and some instant judgements that may be regretted later perhaps. Different experiences and cultures. Twitter and all manner of media as well as tabloid crap, all being instant and immediate. Footballers as well as supporters and followers.
Idols don't really exist any more, nobody has the time these days. Image rights and product. It's not better or worse it's just different... I suppose.
34 Posted 08/05/2017 at 20:50:17
Ferguson and, more latterly, Cahill were idols if a sort as Franks says not through buckets of goals but doing the things all Evertonians at one point dream of doing and celebrating it in the way we would.
Both players scored important often defining goals against big team in big games. Ferguson scoring on his debut against Liverpool, Cahill profilic against our neighbours by modern standards when success in that fixture has been scant.
Has Rom ever been on a winning derby side?
Cahill had the Indian sign over Man City as they became a big player and Ferguson often upset Man Utd.
And when they scored those goals they celebrated as wildly as we did and the empathy of joy made them favourites that still linger long in the memory.
What Rom will slowly realise as he ploughs his ambitions at a "better" club is that its all downhill after Everton. Undoubtedly the flaws in his game will starve him of game time and his ego so bloated will encounter a fragility which will crack as he finds his game time shrinking.
Would I be surprised to see him back on loan at Goodison in 18 months? Not really.
So this is what's frustrates me as I actually think the flawed Lukaku is a great fit for the flawed great club that is Everton. We actually give each other oxygen, room to grow but we seem intent on using each other to each others detriment.
35 Posted 08/05/2017 at 21:04:48
36 Posted 08/05/2017 at 21:09:51
The fact he has scored 24 goals this season is remarkable given the lack of support in many games. If Bolasie had not gotten injured, I believe the tally would have been higher. Sadly, neither Valencia, Barkley or Mirallas have done enough.
I suspect Lukaku will hand in a transfer request any day now and the quicker the better so that Everton can bank the money and quickly search for an adequate replacement.
The disappointing end to the season somewhat clouds the high spots regarding the emergence of the youngsters but generally the defensive side of things has been the main reason Everton have only finished seventh. Even in many games they won Everton were shaky and unconvincing.
In any event, Rom has proved his worth and certainly ranks up there with some of the past Everton strikers of note.
37 Posted 08/05/2017 at 21:15:39
We'll be taking my grandson to the game shortly. I wonder will he have idols the way we both had and have in 50-odd years time?
Not so sure but I would love it if he did, not that I'd be around mind!
38 Posted 08/05/2017 at 21:28:58
The next Hazard or Drogba is out there in an African league or whatever... There again, he suits Everton's level. Not Moshiri's level though we will never see that. Not with Betty's hotpot boy still hovering about.
39 Posted 08/05/2017 at 21:43:01
"Lukaku is not to blame for the poor showings from Everton particularly the last 3 games".
I fundamentally disagree.
The main problem we've had in the last few games is the ball being retained or even won by the forwards and the lack of movement to create space with Lukaku being the biggest culprit.
Take away his goals and you are left with nothing... so, when he's not up for a game, we play badly and he doesn't score.
You get the picture.
40 Posted 08/05/2017 at 22:21:59
41 Posted 08/05/2017 at 22:26:20
When he doesn't score his contribution is usually negligible and that failing makes him way short of being an idol. Given his poor attitude towards improving his skills, working for the team or showing basic loyalty to his employer and the club's fans he can do one for me.
In all honesty, I don't think a Champions League team in England will be interested in such a conceited wally as him because there's no place for slackers in achieving success, especially at the price now allegedly being demanded.
42 Posted 08/05/2017 at 22:55:35
43 Posted 09/05/2017 at 17:40:11
I would like to think that Spurs fans can enjoy him and think of him as a legend now, in the hope that he stays with them and becomes even more of a legend!
44 Posted 09/05/2017 at 18:26:30
He may find that moving to Manchester United may increase the level of expectation and put more pressure on him than he can handle. Remember Forlan? Went to United, failed, yet enjoyed a career at Villarreal and Atletico Madrid where he was better suited.
With the right transfers this summer, if he stays, he could be a better player than he is now. He needs to ditch his ego, though.
45 Posted 10/05/2017 at 01:10:48
I think he is a great footballer, I want him to stay. Do I idolize him? No. He thinks he is bigger than Everton and has for a long time, wanted out. So sorry - as long as he is here, we reap the benefits. A Goodison idol/legend - whatever. Sorry. No.
Just like I did not idolize Gary Lineker. He shoved off after 1 (albeit it fabulous season). Now Greame Sharp - how long did he stay, consistently scoring goals?
Just two examples. And my opinion.
46 Posted 10/05/2017 at 01:26:39
Do kids idolize Lukaku?
That said, I held a huge amount of respect as an adult for Cahill. I don't hold Rom in anywhere near the same regard. That's completely fair though, he's a bit of an arse. I respect his ability massively.
He probably doesn't care what we think does he?
47 Posted 10/05/2017 at 08:19:36
48 Posted 10/05/2017 at 13:26:06
So where does that leave £100 million Lukaku who may have the same type of contact?
49 Posted 10/05/2017 at 20:30:45
For me, he has never felt like one of us, the way Cahill was or that Baines and Coleman are. Like other people have said, Lineker and Cottee both scored goals but were not team players and never particularly showed love for the club.
If he won't sign a new contract then sell him; he will be hard to replace but no player is bigger than the club.
50 Posted 11/05/2017 at 12:51:02
It does to me, I have been saying this to my mates for a while. He is a great "goal scorer" but the team suffers from the rest of his game.
This season he has scored 24, but there is not one 1-0 amongst them; I know how weird that sounds but there has only been one game where his goals were the match winner.
3 goals against Sunderland - Won 3-0
1 against Middlesborough - Won 3-1
1 against Palace - Drew 1-1
1 against ManCity - Drew 1-1
1 against West Ham - Won 2-0
2 against Watford - Beat 3-2
1 against Leicester - Won 2-0
1 against Southampton - Won 3-0
1 against Man City - Won 4-0
4 against Bournemouth - Won 6-3
1 against Sunderland - Won 2-0
1 against Spurs - Beat 3-2
1 against West Brom - Won 3-0
2 against Hull - Won 4-0
2 against Leicester - Won 4-2
1 against Burnley - Won 3-1
Not entirely sure where I am going with this, but how many really important goals, like your Cahill's Yakubu's etc, has he scored?
He is a talented goal scorer and we are better with him and I hope he stays, but I don't think we will be as bereft of goals as some believe if/when he goes.
51 Posted 11/05/2017 at 13:10:41
When asked what shirt he wants for next season, he replied..."Let's see who replaces Lukaku".
He's not 'fussed' although he loves Mirallas and sings his song. He likes Barkley too.
To my lad, Lukaku is not an idol. I genuinely believe it's harder for the young ones nowadays to have idols, as there are very few players with a close affinity to one particular club. Money has changed everything, imo.
52 Posted 15/05/2017 at 22:26:48
His record given the standard of players around him is fantastic. Put a Deli Ali and Eriksen next to him and you are guaranteed champions league.
Our 2nd top scorer this year is another player who we cant seem to stop putting the boot into, Barclay on about 5. Lukaku has carried us for a few seasons now, without his goals last year we would have been in serious shit. Was Lineker our last golden boot 30 years ago.
My all time favs are King, Reid, Sheedy, Beardsley, Kanchelskis & Cahill for what they showed on the pitch, they played with a style and passion something that is very rare in modern football. In the pre premier League era most clubs had long serving players who had a real affinity with their club, today your lucky if a team has an Englishman playing, nevermind someone who can identify with the local club.
Let's hope we don't have to wait another 30 years for another golden boot winner.
53 Posted 15/05/2017 at 22:36:57
54 Posted 21/05/2017 at 01:41:51
Best we've had in a long time but don't like the lad. Kinda pleased he ain't gonna get the Golden Boot, he doesn't deserve it; it would only fuel his ego.
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