Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughFive reasons why Everton should avoid Cahill return - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Five reasons why Everton should avoid Cahill return - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Five reasons why Everton should avoid Cahill return


Last week saw Tim Cahill pay a visit to some of his old team mates at Everton’s training complex and has since been sounding out a loan move back to Goodison Park.

The Australian made no secret of his desire to pull on the blue jersey one again, claiming: “I am eager to come back and hopefully something can be done with Everton.”

Despite an earlier article on this site suggesting that a double loan swoop for Landon Donovan and Cahill would benefit the Blues this winter, perhaps the latter should be avoided.

The Blue Kangaroo’s loyalty and ability for Everton can never be questioned, and if he did return he would be given a hero’s welcome after eight years of tremendous service under David Moyes.

Perhaps it is fitting however, that Cahill’s final involvement for the Toffees resulted in him being sent off for confronting Newcastle’s Yohan Cabaye after the Frenchman had pushed a Goodison ball boy earlier in the final game of last season.

He cared for the club and it cared for him.

An overused term in football is ‘never go back,’ a term that Landon Donovan and Duncan Ferguson in recent Everton history can claim is nonsense.

But for every Donovan there is a Gravesen and for every Ferguson there is a Jeffers, two players who returned to Everton and endured much less successful stints.

With that in mind, this article will argue five reasons why Cahill and Everton should take note of that overused cliché and avoid tarnishing his reputation as a modern day Everton legend.

1. Cahill’s form towards the end of his Everton career dipped

A Premier League goal tally of 56 is very impressive when you consider he was not actually a striker. In fact, only Duncan Ferguson can claim to have scored more than that for the Blues with 60. The fact that Cahill was by no means the most gifted of footballers was often forgiven due to his work ethic and goal threat. However, during the final 18 months of his Everton career, the goals began to dry up. His passion and work rate was still apparent, but Cahill was no longer influencing games in the way he used to.

2. Marouane Fellaini has shone in the role behind Jelavic

With Darron Gibson, Leon Osman, Thomas Hitzlsperger and Phil Neville competing for the two central midfield slots, the Belgian has been able to play in a more advanced role. It is still up for debate which position best suits Fellaini, but a return of six Premier League goals so far shows that it has been effective. A Cahill return would provide competition for this role. But would a two month loan stint to possibly sit on the bench and be brought on for the last ten minutes similarly to how Ferguson was used towards the end of his career suit either party?

3. The recall of Ross Barkley

The Wavertree born star was sent out on loan to Sheffield Wednesday earlier in the season. He took a few games to settle in but a return of four goals from 13 appearances in a midfield berth is an impressive return. Moyes has decided to recall the 18-year old after it was confirmed that Phil Neville will be missing for 6-8 weeks and Darron Gibson still battling his way back to full fitness. Barkley appeared to be benefitting from first team football at Hillsborough and it would be a shame to see his progression halted purely to act as cover for Everton’s first team. The potential return of Cahill would surely see Barkley pushed further down the pecking order at Goodison and it is important that this stage of his career is not spent sitting on the bench.

4. Everton’s expansive style of play

It has been widely reported that Everton have been playing a more expansive style of football this season. In fact, at the risk of glorifying pointless stats as so often happens, David Moyes’ side have had more shots at goal than any other team in the top five leagues this season (England, Spain, Italy, Germany, France). This attacking football has been a result of some intricate play between the more creative players such as Pienaar, Baines, Mirallas, Osman, Fellaini and Jelavic. Cahill wouldn’t really suit this style of play. He thrived off late runs into the box and darts to the near post. The current style that Everton appear to have adopted would arguably be wasted on the Australian.

5. The board have to appear to be looking forward

That point should read, ‘the board have to look forward’, which of course they do. But even if they are looking to the future, bringing back Cahill would not signify this. They sanctioned a move to sign Belgian midfield general Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe in the summer only for the deal to be blocked by FIFA. Unless that money set aside has disappeared, surely a second attempt to sign Ofoe would be more beneficial in the long term for Everton Football Club. Also, looking forward doesn’t necessarily have to mean being in the market for new players (though it would be welcomed). The likes of Apostolos Vellios, Matthew Kennedy, John Lundstram, Junior Silva and Conor McAleny will be chomping at the bit for first team action and beginning to blood them into the side would surely be a better option.

There is no doubt that there is something about Tim Cahill that is different to most modern day footballers. He clearly cares a lot about Everton Football Club and his eight years of loyal service will always be remembered. Those memories should however, remain untarnished and a sentimental return would jeopardise that.

Gary Maiden @GaryMaidenEFC