A Eulogy: “Davie! Pack ya bags!
Words by Matt Gibbs.
David Weir, our illustrious club captain, has joined Rangers, following Walter Smith’s appointment as manager. It’s not really news; the rumours have been flying around for just over a week now.
Apparently Wally wanted to use the transfer window to strengthen his squad after returning to Rangers for his second spell as manager, and saw our arl Davie - who has 52 international caps - as the sort of experienced campaigner who can bolster a defence which has been in for a fair amount of criticism so far this season.
The 36 year old defender has been at Everton since February 1999, when he was signed for pretty much peanuts from Hearts, by Wally who had taken over the reins from Kendall in July of ’98.
He managed to strike a formidable (read “physically large”) partnership when Richard Gough joined during the summer of 1999, and deputised as club captain for the injured Gough for much of the 2000-01 season.
One of Berti Vogts’ strops, after Scotland’s 2-2 draw against the Faroe Islands in October 2002, led to Davie throwing his toys out of the pram and calling time on his international career. Wally, however, once appointed to the vacant managerial position of Scotland, managed to convince Davie to come back to the international fold, making the first appearance of his second international tenure against Italy in March 2005.
Dave Lockwood, Weir's agent, apparently told BBC Scotland: “It would be fair to say his choice would be Ibrox. Walter has spoken to David and David has spoken to David Moyes and we hope to speak to them later on Monday. But, if it works out, he will be going to Rangers. Everton reluctantly agreed that if David wants to go and play regular football then he can leave and continue his career elsewhere.” Well, Davie and his agent have got their wish.
Weir hasn’t been bad for us on occasion, and has certainly been a great servant for the cause, although as he has aged, his deficiencies have become more and more obvious.
His lack of pace is perhaps the most apparent, and it seems always was: Richard Gough came out today in support of Davie’s move, but noted “When I first went there I just knew him as a solid player who used to play for Hearts but who maybe lacked a bit of pace.” This was almost eight years ago; he’s only got slower since then. Also, consider the fact that he’s been described as a “natural central defender” which – for all intents and purposes – is akin to saying, “well, you’re slower than Alan Green, and have the turning circle of bus, but you’re a lump, and you can hoof a ball.”
Moyesy’s choice to make him club captain, following Stubbs’ departure a few years ago, also seemed to be somewhat of a minor boob. He was hardly ever the greatest presence on the pitch during his later years; he certainly never let anyone know what was going wrong (or right for that matter), and was probably one of the most timid Premiership captains of recent times. That’s not a slight on his ability to read the game. He just doesn’t have Stubbsy’s gob, or, I suspect, anything like Stubbs’ level of respect (or should that read “thuggery”?) on the pitch; both Everton and opposition players were hardly ever afraid of being webbed up in the air by Weir. He always seemed to be trying to be the more “intelligent” defender.
None of these minor criticisms, however, should suggest digression from the fact that Weir has been the consummate professional during his time at Everton; none of this late-night drinking, gambling, wife-beating, or accusations of GBH that so often seem to have occurred with professional players nowadays (both Everton players and our supposed transfer targets…).
The current players are apparently “gutted”, but at the same time, “chuffed”, that he’s moving to Rangers; that’s a pretty good reflection on him surely, as is Gough’s recommendation. Radzinski never got any of that; bleedin’ back-stabbing, whiney, loud-mouthed Canuck. Good riddance. Plus, at 36, I suspect that the current crop of Everton players, the management, and Weir himself know that he’s onto a good thing at Rangers, especially considering his age.
So Davie; we salute you, and wish you well in Scotland for what remains of your career. You will be fondly remembered as a great servant to cause, particularly through the years of torture we’ve endured in the past.
Now, don’t forget ya bags. And don’t let the door hit you on the a**e on the way out.