For a moment, he was an Everton hero. His extra-time winner against Liverpool sent the Goodison faithful into delirium as the Toffees rallied to dump their cross-town rivals out of the 2009 FA Cup. Now, Dan Gosling will be remembered on the blue half of Merseyside for an altogether different reason: as a traitor.
Gosling has enraged Everton fans following his free-agent move from Goodison Park to Newcastle United. The midfielder retreated on a verbal agreement that would see him stay on at Everton and earn a significant improvement on his previous wages. The lack of a written contract meant Everton were powerless to stop Gosling from moving to St. James’s Park for no compensation.
Gosling’s decision to leave Everton is made all the more painful given that Moyes handed Gosling his first taste of top-flight football during his short two year stint on Merseyside. As my fellow FootballFanCast writer Zarif Rasul states, David Moyes has shown himself to be dedicated to developing youth talent within his ranks, with the likes of Jack Rodwell flourishing under Moyes’ astute stewardship. It seemed like a match made in heaven for a young midfielder looking to make a name for himself in the Premier League.
From a fan’s perspective, Gosling’s departure is hugely frustrating as a result of the hype that had been generated from a few good performances. As a young English midfielder at a prominent English club, Gosling’s on-field exploits were always going to garner speculation that he could be the next Steven Gerrard or Frank Lampard. For those who bought into the some of that hype, his defection leaves those supporters feeling short-changed at the loss of a promising English talent to another club.
While some supporters might be feeling short-changed, Gosling’s agent certainly isn’t. Gosling’s agent, David Hodgson managed to secure his client a healthy pay-raise, along with a substantial signing-on fee to which he is entitled to a share of. The prevalence of an agent culture has led to accusations of greed towards players who attempt to hold their clubs to ransom during contract talks.
Moyes saw the potential in Gosling and he decided to repay the faith shown in his talents by leaving the club without a penny to show for their troubles. Gosling chose to turn his back on Everton after all they had invested in him, both on the pitch and off it. Since injuring his ACL against Wolves in March, Gosling had been using the Everton treatment room to rehabilitate himself back to match fitness whilst simultaneously trying to engineer a move away from the club.
Rather than staying at Everton and attempting to break into the first team through dedication and hard work, Gosling has taken the easy way out.
What do you think? Will Gosling be a success at Newcastle or will his decision to leave Everton ultimately haunt his career?