Luka Modric, Jordan Henderson, Phil Jones, Ashley Young, Kevin Nolan: those are some of the names we have constantly been seeing and hearing when reading, watching and listening to the press go to work since the season’s end, but there is, I feel, one glaring name missing from that array of player’s. And that is the man they call Tiny Tim on Merseyside, Tim Cahill.
The free-scoring midfielder with the bullet for a header would be a great acquisition for most football teams, but there has been less than even a mere hint of a whisper regarding the player who would, on recent and past evidence, benefit any side looking to improve themselves.
Maybe it is because or appears that he is so settled at Everton that clubs do not find it worth contemplating a move for him for the time it would inevitably waste. This hasn’t deterred clubs in the past or indeed now: now more than ever, what with the often interfering ‘gremlin’ by their side and voice in the head.
Or agents as they are commonly known, telling them that the ‘grass is greener on the other side’, a philosophy that can divert the player’s gaze away from the ‘gutter’ that the millionaire has made for himself, to a view of ‘paradise’ behind him. This often occurs with modern-day athletes especially as their ‘gremlins’ (agents) get a cut of the deal. When a player’s head is turned to seek pastures new, it doesn’t take long to reach football’s grapevine, but this is a situation that seldom crops up in the transfer window regarding Cahill despite his undoubted ability.
The presumption that he is firmly settled with the Toffee’s, thus them not being approached with a view to signing him, is much like that of ‘Fergie’s Fledglings’ at Manchester United whom would not be hounded by other club’s – not so much that it reached the press anyway – in acquiring the services of their home-grown first team regulars such as the newly retired Paul Scholes, a player of immense quality who would have been in with a chance of breaking into virtually any side in the world.
But because he was a local boy plying his trade with one of the best team’s in the land, there was hardly any talk of other club’s making bids to offer him their services because it would more than likely result in nothing but a waste of time. There is a difference between this and Cahill’s situation – one being that many people would hold Scholes in higher esteem than Cahill – but there’s also the fact that United are bigger than most clubs which means that there are not many other ones that could persuade a first team player to leave the Theatre of Dreams in order to better themselves.
Everton are often regarded to be top or at least close to the top of the mini league that has been created outside the top six and, whilst being one of England’s most successful clubs, they are not in the sort of position where it would be considered ‘mad’ for a top first team player to leave for a club lower than them in the table; not like, say, Nemanja Vidic quitting the Red Devils for David Moyes’ current Everton side.