Wednesday, October 4, 2023
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Jermaine Man – Beckford

If you speak to Evertonians about Jermaine Beckford you get some quite differing opinion; some say he’s a brilliant goalscorer who has made an amazing step up from League One to Premier League, others say he’s an arrogant, selfish player with little talent and a bad attitude.

I am on the fence about Beckford, and I will try to reserve my judgement of him until this season, what I can do however, is look at the stats from last season and see how his performances measure up.

Beckford was immediately thrust into the limelight due to Everton’s paper thin squad starting in three of the first five games. The step up showed as Beckford seemed to be in a permanent state of offside and couldn’t hit a barn door with a banjo.

After starting Everton’s 5th match against Newcastle Beckford then waited until Everton’s 21st game against Spurs before he started again. In total Beckford made 14 starts and 18 substitute appearances playing a total of 1,318 minutes.

Beckford had to wait until his 8th appearance before he could score his first league goal, a last second equaliser against Bolton after coming on as a substitute. It then wasn’t too long before he came on as substitute again at Stamford Bridge and headed home another equaliser which kick started Everton’s spluttering season.

In his last 25 (11 starts) appearances Beckford notched 8 goals. All of those 8 goals were point winning goals: He scored four goals in games ending in draws and three winners (including a brace against Sunderland), gaining Everton 15 points an impressive tally for a freebie from league one.

Most impressively of all was the goal against Chelsea in the final game of last season, as a ten man Everton defended a corner Beckford nicked the ball off Lampard’s foot on the edge of his own penalty area before running the length of the field (albeit with a few lucky bounces) and dinking it over Čech. The papers the following day all talked about Ancelotti whereas Evertonians were talking about their  goal of the season.

Beckford’s 8 goals in 1,318 minutes stands up quite impressively round the league too, Kevin Davies managed the same tally in 3,385 minutes and he got an England call up, Fernando Torres (you know that fella that cost nearly double Everton’s starting line up against Chelsea last season) managed just two more goals than Beckford in twice as many minutes, Danny Welbeck played 400 more minutes and scored two less, Marouane Chamakh managed the same tally but played 500 minutes more and Nicolas Anelka scored just 6 goals in 2,362 minutes.

In all it was a good first season in the Premier League for Beckford considering five years ago he was playing in The Isthmian League and fitting windscreens.  However this season is crucial for him, at 27 he should be in his prime and he is not going to get any faster. If he can add a touch of Saha’s link up play Beckford could be a real threat this season.

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