blogAuthor: michaelcalvin | Filed under: Blog
Hello all. Back from brief break – here’s today’s blog:
So long then, Tim Cahill. Everton have taken the pragmatic option of trading in a totemic player for the relative pittance of £1m. He will become one of the stars of Major League Soccer, with the New York Red Bulls, as much for his qualities as a man as his abilities as a midfielder.
Cahill has given Everton eight years, but needs to be judged over his 14 years in England. He may be 32, but he remains, at heart, the gritty, grounded teenager who left his parents in Sydney to undergo a successful trial at Millwall. He lived in digs with an uncle, on £200 a week.
“I’d have accepted £20,” he told me earlier this summer. “I was a kid, chasing the dream. I’d found another family.” That sort of attitude explains the reverence in which he is held by Everton and Millwall fans alike. He’s a proper footballer, a credit to a profession defined by a minority of ungrateful wretches.
Cahill’s inspirational nature is reflected by his charity work and support for the Hillsborough Justice Campaign. It is expressed by the relentlessness of his ambition and the purity of his passion. His impact may have declined at Everton over the past year, but his level of commitment has never dipped.
David Moyes has taken a hard decision on a personal level. His respect for Cahill’s character, work rate, versatility and opportunism in front of goal is absolute. He could have squeezed another Premier League season out of him, but on a professional level Cahill’s departure offers the Everton manager scope to recycle his squad.
Cahill readily acknowledges the similarities between his two English clubs. Neither attracts plastic fans. They are demanding but supportive, and recognise honesty and hard work. It’s no surprise to learn the Australian has Millwall and Everton timeline tattoos on his left arm.
We will miss the goal celebrations – the ritual punching of the corner flag – and his transparent joy in getting paid a lot of money for something he’d do for very little reward. He will quickly become a media darling in New York, because they, too, love a trier who speaks from the heart.
Good luck, mate. You deserve it.