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Why Steven Naismith was a man of the people at Everton FC

10:12 20 January 2016

Steven Naismith celebrates in front of the fans at Goodison Park.Credit  Dave Thompson/PA Wire.

Steven Naismith celebrates in front of the fans at Goodison Park.Credit Dave Thompson/PA Wire.

PA Wire

There’s been an outpouring of love for Steven Naismith from Everton fans after his departure from Merseyside for Norwich City.

Steven Naismith  signs for Norwich City FC from Everton.Steven Naismith signs for Norwich City FC from Everton.

In a comment piece of the Liverpool Echo website, the newspaper’s Everton writer Phil Kirkbride gives a taste of what Norwich City fans can expect as he bids farewell to Merseyside.

The People’s Club found themselves a man of the people.

They now say farewell to someone they will call a friend for life.

Steven Naismith battles for the ball during the Capital One Cup. PRESS ASSOCIATIONSteven Naismith battles for the ball during the Capital One Cup. PRESS ASSOCIATION

Steven Naismith was a player the Everton fans could relate to, one they saw give nothing less than everything he had, for every single second of every single game.

Naismith was the type loved on the terraces, he approached each game how the fans would if given the chance to pull on that royal blue shirt and they adored him for it.

A deadly finisher, the scourge of the top four, feisty, brave, relentless in his work-rate but clever, cunning and skilful to go with it, he was an Everton forward with a winning mentality - and brilliant on his day.

But off the pitch he was also a leading light, a generous and kind-hearted man who continues to dedicate himself to several charities, many in this city.

He ends his Everton career with 67 starts, 56 sub appearances and 25 goals in his three-and-a-half-year spell but, maybe more importantly, with the respect of everyone at Everton.

Signed from Rangers in the summer of 2012, his form would dip like everyone’s and he took time to win the fans over, but whenever he was on the pitch Naismith could never be accused of showing anything other than full-blooded passion.

You see, football is his passion.

Settled and happy on Merseyside, Naismith no doubt leaves with a heavy heart but he has been offered the chance to go and do what he loves, and what he did best at Everton, and play football.

His chances were increasingly limited at Goodison and though, selfishly, we would rather have kept him, who would deny the 29-year-old the opportunity that Norwich have offered?

Such was the Canaries’ desire to sign Naismith that they were willing to match Everton’s valuation of the player and make the Blues’ decision that bit easier.

A fee of £8.5m is not to be sniffed at, even in today’s world of eye-watering transfer sums, and for a player bought on a free, who was not in the manager’s plans, it’s money Everton couldn’t turn down, well, not twice anyway.

Martinez blocked a summer move to Norwich but in doing so paved the way for, perhaps in many fans’ eyes, the defining moment of Naismith’s Everton career.

Which of his three goals against Chelsea did you like the best? Was it the header, left foot strike or right foot finish? Either way his perfect hat-trick was the perfect way to remember a player who served the club, and its supporters, with distinction.

Naismith’s most impressive run of form came in Martinez’s first season where his five league goals, each one either match-winning or game-turning, helped propel Everton to fifth in the table and a record Premier League points tally.

For a while that term he was the manager’s super-sub but by the time the campaign was in the home straight, the Scot was in the starting line-up on merit.

His goal against Arsenal, at a Goodison drenched by April showers, was a special moment as Naismith held the adulation of an entire fan base.

He’s never lost it.

Chances are, Naismith will win the same level of admiration at Norwich City and their chances of survival have today increased with his arrival.

We wish him well and look forward to his return to Goodison on the final day of the season.

Cheers Naisy and see you in May.

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5 comments

  • Will Naismith play in Hoolihans position. Who will be the two centre backs. Will Martin be replaced at full back.

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    Barry from Spain

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

  • Ethered. Agree with Trev.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

  • The sagacious TK is right to warn about over hyping players. Our quasi professional local journos are recid!vists in this field of activity. .. Club-record signings. .. Midfield Powerhouses. .. Franco-Caledonian Poets. .. Big Swiss centre backs more skillful than Messi. .. Nailed on First Teamers the likes of Conor McGrandles. .. Hooper on trail of England call-up. .. etc. It is a blessing that the measured thoughts of Trevor are here to balance the banal buIIs#!t that blares from the blageurs of Ruin Road. I am not TK's sycophant, btw. He just talks sense about footy.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

  • Of course we'll not know how successful Naismith's signature, and that of Klose and Pinto, has been for a few weeks yet, but SN has always given me the impression of a wholehearted, yet skilful player, and, with the situation NCFC find themselves right now, I'd say that, on balance it's better to gamble on someone like him rather than a prima donna type or even a raw, untried player from the lower leagues. Like many, I'm not entirely clear as to where Alex is going to deploy SN. On the face of it, he doesn't seem immediately to fit in the setup that AN has used thus far, but we really cannot afford to become a one trick pony, as we finally dis under Hughton and Adams, so I've no doubt that the manager is going to have to become more flexible in his approach. That may well be where SN fits in.

    Report this comment

    Rick

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

  • I really hope that SN lives up to expectation, but cannot help but wonder if it would be better to see how he performs for us before going overboard with praise. I am like most other fans in that I see this as a great signing with potential as I likewise do with Timm Klose. Now lets see how Alex can blend them into the team.

    Report this comment

    TrevorKeith

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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