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COLUMNIST JOE JENNINGS

Tim Cahill — Everton Legend?

By Joe Jennings :  17/02/2009 :  Comments (0) :

It’s a word that seems to be thrown about like confetti in contemporary society, often in football when a player scores an important goal or stars in a splendour performance. Rarely, though, is it applicable to those it is associated with.

Whether winning headers that belies his size, expending energy of five times that of the opposition or putting in a defensive shift — Tim Cahill deserves every last superlative that comes his way after what has been another incredible season for the hard-hitting talisman. The man is just relentless. He can do no wrong.

Which brings me to my point. Evertonians have had little to cling onto over the past fifteen years — particularly the younger generation — and it’s easy to sketch comparisons with the Everton legends of yesteryear. But can Tim Cahill really be mentioned in the same breath?

Tim Cahill is arguably the greatest bargain buy in Everton’s long and illustrious history. For the little we paid, we acquired a truly world-class performer. But there really isn’t, as far as I’m concerned, a figure you can put on a player of Cahill’s calibre. The man is priceless.

A player who can sniff goals despite having a killer cold, a player who wears his heart on his sleeve, a player who the young Evertonian hordes look up to hoping to emulate. A fine representative of his profession.

Is there a predetermined list of rules and regulations for which a ‘legend’ has to follow? I don’t think so. Personally, I believe it to be dependant on circumstance. There are those who will argue you have to win something in order to be considered a true Everton legend, considering our healthy roll of honours. It’s a fair judgement, and the same supporters would probably point to Duncan Ferguson as evidence of that.

But did Duncan’s cameo for thirty minutes in the FA Cup final against Manchester United really qualify him as a fully-fledged Everton legend? I’m not so sure. I’d argue it was more the passion displayed by Duncan, the love for the shirt and the memorable goals that endeared him to the Everton faithful and made him a legend in his own right, as opposed to his role in lifting our last tin-pot.

Make no mistake, he has been our undisputed leader during the David Moyes regime and epitomises the Everton spirit and everything our current crop of players embody. There are players that come and go and those that will always be remembered fondly. But safe to say, Tim Cahill will go down as an Everton great. There is no other player who rivals Cahill when it comes to those who have embraced Everton, although Duncan certainly runs him close.

There are those that wonder whether we will enjoy the remaining years of Cahill’s courageous contribution. Some just get a niggling worry that a major bid could be on the cards come the summer. I hold no such doubt. If Manchester City offered 50 million it would not make a difference, as Bill Kenwright is all too aware he wouldn’t draw another breath if he was to dare consider selling as an option. And that, I guess, is a measure of the affection and love we have for him.

He is a player I can see, in the future, revelling about to my son, no doubt with a tear of nostalgia dripping down my face. He epitomises everything great about Everton Football Club. If Tim is to win something with the Blues, it will only confirm what others already know, that he’s in our hearts for life. My favourite Everton player of all time.

“Why would I need to go anywhere else when I can be a legend here?”

Tim Cahill, in the opinion of this Blue, is already an Everton legend. The question is however, can he become a Goodison God?

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