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Everton Past Player Profile
Central Midfielder

Tony Grant  FACTS
Born Liverpool, 14 November 1974
Height 5' - 10" (178 cm)
Joined Everton From trainee
Debut Sub: v Newcastle United (a), 1 February 1995
Full: v Queens Park Rangers (a), 18 March 1995
Nicknames Rodney, Trotters, Grantona
Left Everton for Manchester City in December 1999 (�450,000)
Finale Full: v Sheffield Wednesday (h), 5 April 1999
Sub: v Manchester United (a), 4 December 1999
Honours England U-21, FA Charity Shield (1995)
Seasons Team Apps Gls
1995-1996 Swindon Town (on loan) 3 (0) 1
1996-1997 Everton Reserves 7 (0) 1
1997-1998 Everton Reserves 4 (0) 1
1998-1999 Everton Reserves 7 (0) 1
1999-2000 Everton Reserves 2 (0) -
1999-2000 Tranmere Rovers (on loan) 8 (1) + 1 0 + 1

  • Calm and composed
  • Good technique
  • Can and does dribble
  • Excellent vision
  • Weak, therefore looses the ball too easily
  • Lacks consistency
  • Very injury-prone
  • Fades and disappears too easily
Tony Grant ended 1996 with a run of eight starting appearances in nine first-team matches.  His New Year's resolution was to force himself into Joe Royle's plans permanently, and make 1997 the year the rest of the football world sat up and took notice of him. 

Instead, Tony didn't start a game until September 1997.  For the first month of the year, he was a permanent substitute and has had problems with a niggling ankle injury.  Tony's problems flared up back in November, 1996 game against Sunderland.  A strong tackle � ironically by former Evertonian Paul Bracewell � forced his substitution with that ankle injury.  Despite trying to "play through the pain" in three more matches, Tony found the discomfort too much to bear and rest was declared the only cure.  Eventually, a second operation was required and Grant was out for the rest of the 1996-97 season.

Although Grant recovered from that ankle injury by the start of the 1997-98 season, Howard Kendall has been reluctant to use him, favouring instead his own purchase: Danny Williamson.  Only a 10-man injury crisis forced Kendall to include Grant in the starting line-up at Newcastle, where he played like his life depended on it.  But just two more matches and Grant was injured yet again.

Rodders eventually got back in to the 3rd Round FA Cup tie with Newcastle United.  This was to be the quiet start of a good spell for Grant, who put together 4 or 5 excellent performances in Everton's January 1998 revival.  But it all ended in a tragically predictable way in the home match against Derby County.  A crunching tackle from Grant left him limping with a crocked ankle.  He was out for the rest of the season, and the first quarter of the 1998-99 season.

Under Walter Smith, and recovered from yet another injury, Rodders was involved (as player or on the bench) in all but two games from mid-October 1998 to mid-April 1999. Occasional flashes of brilliance and defence-splitting passes of great vision were interspersed with long periods of inactivity and non-involvement as the clearest picture yet of Tony's fleeting value developed.

The damning conclusion is that we have seen the best of Tony Grant, and it just ain't good enough. It seems that Walter Smith is in full agreement: Tony Grant was one of the Gang of Five transfer-listed as soon as the season ended. But well into the new season, little or no real interest has been shown in the player fans dubbed as "Grantona".

In September 1999, Grant went off for a month's loan with Tranmere Rovers.  One month turned into two...  These comments are from someone who watched him play against QPR recently:

  1. He's far too good a player for Tranmere.  The runs he was making and the space he was creating were hardly ever picked up by the other Tranmere players.
  2. Every time Tranmere came forward he'd manage to get himself completely unmarked in the middle of the park.  His passing was superb and unfortunately the other players just did not spot which runs to make on to his perfectly weighted through-balls.
  3. He's matured a lot in his defensive play.  He tackles back a lot more, and he's not so lightweight as he was.  Still hardly what you'd call a ball-winner though.
  4. He should be playing in the Premier league.  With players of similar quality around him, once he gets a run he'll work wonders.
  5. He'd work really well with KC and Franny.  They thrive off the kind of through balls and middle of the park work he can provide. He probably missed out in the past as he'd be bypassed and everything would be chucked in the air to Duncan Ferguson.  As he's not an effective ball-winner this made him look poor.
  6. 5) Although I still have doubts about his defensive ability, if we could pair him with a proper ball-winner (probably not Hutch or Xavier) then he could really thrive as the quality playmaker we've been searching for.  I personally believe that he's a much better creative player than Collins, though I'm sure many will disagree.
  7. Finally, the two players we've had lately that really appreciated the ball being played to their feet � Kanchelskis and Bakayoko � both named him as their favourite player to play with.  Surely this is as good an indication as any of his talent.

It's a shame that a player of such obvious talent has spent most of his Everton career in the reserves or the treatment room. If we sell him, we'll get a fraction of his worth simply because he's never established himself.

Let's hope he 'does a Hutch', proves Walter and all the rest of us all wrong, comes back, does a job, establishes himself and saves us loads of money. Maybe two appearances off the bench for Walter Smith suggest this process could actually be happening...

In December 1999, Walter Smith allowed Grant to join his old mentor Joe Royle at Manchester City for the paltry sum of £450,000.  the rumour was that his career at Everton ended when he turned up on crutches but was ordered to play after several injections and some strapping – he lasted 15 minutes and hardly played for us again. Surely Grant has the talent to be one who will be coming back to haunt us in future years...

Nov 2001: Tony Grant moved to Burnley for the sum of £250,000.

Oct 2005:  Crewe offered Tony Grant a contract until the end of the season, following a successful trial spell with the club.  The 30-year-old had been training with the Alex after failing to agree terms on a new deal with Burnley at the end of last season. 

Tony later joined Accrington Stanley in ___ but was released by them in June 2007.

July 2007:   Grant, 32, has joined Chester City.   

"Grant's Got The Lot" � Joe Royle

(From Liverpool Echo, 1997, transcribed by Richard Marland)

Tony has the potential to be a superstar, there is no midfielder in the country who has all the qualities he has.  He can defend and win the ball, he can pass, he can make chances and he can score goals.  If he can put that all together he could become a truly outstanding midfielder.

The turning point for Tony was at Blackburn Rovers in March 1996.  I sat down and did a little experiment after that match, with a tape of the game. Grantie made 64 passes during the game, and 60 of them found Everton players.  The 4 which didn't were long, sweeping crossfield balls.  Andrei scored from one of his passes and from another Andrei scored but he had just run offside.  I spoke to Tony about it, told him that his passing was good and that if he kept things simple and introduced his other qualities bit by bit, it would all come together.

When Tony first came into the senior side he was a little overawed playing in front of big crowds and was trying to do special things all the time.  The hardest thing about kids is that they get in because they have something special and they want to show that something special all the time rather than be a rounded player.  Grantie had great skill, but didn't look like he was tough enough in the tackle or worked hard enough. I knew he had those abilities because I'd seen them in the reserves where he was a great defender with loads of energy.

Tony got great confidence from that game at Blackburn Rovers.  He knew he had done very, very well and in the derby he game of age as a defender. In the first half he helped stop their great midfield players playing.  He got his foot in and showed great energy.  That game is a big one for a Liverpool lad and I think he proved something to himself that night.

The other thing we have still to see from Tony is his dribbling in and around the box.  He can go by one or two people and open up things.  Gradually he will put that into his game, because he has quick feet and he can glide by people. When that happens we will have an exceptional, and rounded midfield star.

Season Squad
1994-95 29 1 (4) - - (-) - 1 (4) -
1995-96 20 11 (2) 1 4 (3) 1 15 (5) 2
1996-97 20 11 (7) - 1 (2) - 12 (9) -
1997-98 14 7 (-) 1 2 (-) - 9 (-) 1
1998-99 14 13 (3) - 4 (2) - 15 (5) -
1999-2k 24 - (2) - - (-) - - (2) -

Totals: 43 (18) 2 11 (7) 1 54 (25) 3
Last update:12 December 1999


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