Get fucking excited, it’s spreadsheet time!
I’m going to be giving out some awards, as I sometimes do, only these ones can be backed up (Or furiously disputed) using cold hard numbers and statistics thanks to this little beauty I knocked up:
The “Unshiftable Presence” Award
For the player who played the most games for me
Starting nice and easy then. Unsurprisingly, this goes to Petr Cech for his 232 appearances in 4 years. That’s a lot of football and I’m grateful for him only missing about 3 matches through injury. Obviously we conceded a lot of goals, but I feel like that was going to happen with any keeper because of my tactics. Cech was good for us. He conceded 263 goals during his time with the Blues and kept 79 clean sheets. Not mind blowing stats, but to say we got him for free, I think he turned into a great bit of business.
To be honest I was surprised to see Jeffers and Barmby as high up as they were and also to see that Aimar only just snuck into the top 10, but I suppose the former 2 were first team players for a long time and Aimar had an infuriating amount of injuries.
The “Terminator” Award
For the player who scored the most outrageous amount of goals
Honestly, this one was closer than I thought it’d be. But not that close that the result wasn’t obvious. Now I get to remember Tomasz Radzinski not as a pretty decent striker who scored two lates goals against Southampton that one time to set Goodison ablaze around me, but as a monster of a man who rivalled any other Premier League striker. He scored 123 goals over his 4.5 years with us in total, but it’s a shame that his time with me ended with such a whimper. He struggled for goals and therefore playing time in our final season, before damaging his spine and sitting out all of the crunch matches that won us our Premier League/ Champions League double. Nevertheless, for the middle 3 seasons he was absolutely on fire and the major reason we had such a successful save. £4.8M seemed like a significant amount to spend in that first season, but bloody hell what a bargain.
I thought that Vieri would be closer to the winner, even having only been with us for 3 seasons. Flash forward a year and I’m absolutely certain he would’ve surpassed Tomasz. I was also pleasantly surprised to see Franny Jeffers in 3rd place, just pipping the obscenely high scoring defender David Unsworth.
The “Selfless As Fuck” Award
For the player who laid on goal after goal
I mean, it’s Pablo Aimar. Obviously. None of these have been surprising so far. I genuinely think that this £1.6M signing catapulted us into Elite status as a club. I mean, look at him. He’s so good. I don’t have any way of seeing what his current ability is but it’s got to be close to 200. Aimar set up 92 goals in his 4 year stint with us, but like Radzinski, it’s a shame that he wasn’t more pivotal in our greatest achievement. He missed pretty much the entire 2nd half of the season, got fit for the Champions League Final and did his cruciates before the half hour mark. Still, what a class player.
Radzinski deserves credit for being almost as good at setting up goals as scoring them. Otherwise, no real surprises here. Lampard, Beckham and Arruabarrena were all close to the top 10, but didn’t quite make it due to not having spent as much time with the club as the other players.
The “Dirty Bastard” Award
For the player who definitely went for the ball, but was a bit late. Often.
Step forward and let me ruffle your hair, David Unsworth. You little rascal. To be fair, 49 yellow cards in 207 games isn’t that bad. It’s the 1 red card that still gives me flashbacks. The red card that in my opinion sent us out of the Champions League at the Quarter Final stage against Inter. Nevertheless, he was my captain for the majority of this save and was the only original player not to be ousted from the starting lineup at any point and that’s worth a golf clap.
Unsurprisingly, the defenders dominate this top 10, with the ones with us from the start seeming to be closer to the top. Makes sense. Shout out to Gattuso though, who was with us for 4 seasons and was only a first teamer for 2 of those, but still managed to rack up 40 yellows and a red. Dirty bastard.
The “Daddy’s Favourite” Award
For the best performing player
Here’s the big one then. The one that the players all covet. Who over our 5 year spell in charge of Everton has performed the best? It gives me great pleasure to award this award as a reward for putting all those defences to the sword to… Stein Huysegems…?
Uh, yup. For his average rating of 7.95 in 2 Everton appearances, our £240k signing from Lierse in January 2000 has technically performed the best. Although he’s mainly been tearing up the scoring charts in Belgium and Switzerland, so I think we’d better add an asterisk here.
The best performing player who’s at least played a reasonable sample size of let’s say 30 games for the club is Tomasz Radzinski. Of course it was. In his pomp, he was ridiculously consistent and so thoroughly deserves the award. One thing that’s stood out to me since reviewing all of these stats, by the way, is that I probably would’ve been better off making Nakata stay instead of replacing him with Beckham before the 4th season. The differences between them are pretty negligible except for the fact that Nakata scored more goals in his single season than Becks did in 2, while Beckham cost me Nakata plus £15M. Oh well, it’s easy in hindsight isn’t it.
Team of the Save
I think the only thing left to do is to name my team one more time. This is my best and second best team according to the average ratings of the players (Again, they have to played 30 times to qualify).
No surprises whatsoever for the first team, really. For me, Nakata deserves the starting berth ahead of Beckham but was marginally inferior in terms of average rating, so fair enough.
There are a couple of blasts from the past in the second string, though. Thomas Myhre beats Steve Simonsen and Paul Gerrard by virtue of being our only other keeper to have played more than 30 games. In defence, stalwarts Abel Xavier, David Weir and Michael Ball are all left out in favour of Maicon, Richard Gough and Rodolfo Arruabarrena, while in midfield Gennaro Gattuso is shockingly left out, with John Collins just beating him to the punch. It could barely have been closer.
The attacking quartet is no surprise whatsoever. All great players.
I think that’s all I have for you. I’ve enjoyed this save (The vast majority of it anyway) as it’s always fun to rewrite history, see minor players emerge as stars and vice versa. Again, I’d highly recommend giving this database a go if you haven’t already. Thanks again for reading and hopefully I’ll see you soon for… Honestly I don’t know what, but something.
Edit – Alright, 1 more episode but then I promise I’m done
Since finishing writing this episode, I decided to start simming to present day to see where everyone ended up and I reckon it’s interesting enough to warrant another episode. I’m gunna warn you now, it’s going to be a long one. I’m going to look at how Everton fared without me, what happened to everyone in my Team of the Save and Second String and I want to see what happened to our most promising youngsters. With this in mind, I’m adding a youngster XI that we’ll check back with next weekend.
I’ll grant you it isn’t a conventional lineup, with 2 goalkeepers and 0 centre backs. But I’ve been invested in each of these players’ futures to varying degrees and I want to see what happens to them. Alright, see you on Friday.