Goodison Park under the lights is a special place to be. Every sense is heightened that extra notch, the decibels have gone from the norm to a jet engine during takeoff, the crowd is collectively more fervent.
But good ol’ Goodison has a distasteful monkey on its back that it just can’t shake. Roberto Martinez moving to Merseyside with a head full of hair and leaving sporting the Lee Carsley look is just one example.
Injuries are Everton’s Kryptonite. It started off as a little bit of a coincidence but every single decent player the Ev get their hands on is cursed. Their legs turn into papier-mâché. It’s cruel, wretched and Blues fans must be left counting their sins – but sometimes, it’s kind of…laughable.
Let’s see which hapless players have fallen under the Everton injury curse.
We’ll start with the most recent one. Everton signed Ivorian defensive midfielder from Mainz 05 for £22.5m in August 2019, an urgent replacement for Idrissa Gana Gueye. JPG played a total of 135 minutes before sustaining a thigh injury that eventually ruled him out for the season.
Expected back for the remaining nine games, JPG has recently picked up a non-contact Achilles injury playing foot-tennis, ruling him out until 2021. That’s almost £167k per minute of football so far – ouch.
Bernard joined Everton in August 2018 and it took a bit longer for the curse to strike him than it did to Gbamin. October arrived and Bernard suffered knee ligament damage after a slip on the turf.
The sniper got him, as your dad would say. He missed the next four games, which isn’t too bad all things considered.
Now, James Vaughan came through as a kid at Everton so it’s a little different from the others who have signed for big money. Nevertheless, Vaughan broke records on his debut becoming the Premier League’s youngest scorer and Everton’s youngest top-flight scorer.
Destined for greatness, injuries hindered Vaughan tragically. He only made eight league starts for the Ev over six years with several loan spells thrown in. The dreaded curse was just getting started.
Bryan Oviedo joined from Copenhagen in 2012 full of hopes and dreams but it felt like he spent a lot more time in the stands than on the hallowed turf – 54 games missed across five years, to be exact.
He’s one of the many Blues players in recent times who have endured a horrific leg break. He moved on to Sunderland when it became clear his time was up, but is still held highly in the thoughts of the blue side of Liverpool.
Everton fans can’t have been holding onto much hope with Gomes, given that he was injured when he signed from Barcelona.
He suffered a bad ankle injury when Son Heung-min mistimed a tackle, leading to one of the more gruesome images of the season. On the plus side, his recovery was remarkably speedy…and he’s still good looking.
James McCarthy was only ever injured once in his seven-year senior career at Hamilton and Wigan prior to joining Everton. You know where this is going, don’t you?
£13m was handed over and the curse reared its ugly head. McCarthy sat out of an astonishing 105 matches at Goodison; becoming another member of the Ev’s horrific leg-break club.
Yannick Bolasie signed for Everton back in August 2016 for £25m. In December 2016, Bolasie suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury and was out for just over a year.
Premier League fans – especially at Crystal Palace – remember that Bolasie was an exciting, creative player, and he was broadly well-liked. He’s only played half a season of Premier League football since that ACL tear. You do the maths.
The Everton injury curse patient zero, Danny Williamson was the boy who never quite made it.
Williamson came through West Ham’s youth setup and signed for Everton in 1997 for the sum of £1m plus David Unsworth. At the time, he was the next big upcoming English youngster, but picked up a foot injury four months into his Everton career and missed the rest of that seaso. And the next season. And the next season. He eventually retired in 2000 at the age of 26.
Ramiro Funes Mori
Funes Mori had a case of the DOCS (Delayed Onset Curse Syndrome). The Argentine signed for the Blues in 2015 for £9.5m and everything went relatively well in his first season, the centre-half even nicking five goals.
It was all too good to be true. Funes Mori spent the best part of a year on the sideline with a knee injury he picked up on international duty with Argentina, and only played 118 minutes for the club before leaving for Villarreal.