The Player Archive; Nikica Jelavic
I’ve chosen to write about someone we all loved and is the type of striker we could do with today; one of, if not the most clinical striker I’ve ever seen wear an Everton shirt, the one touch specialist, Nikica Jelavic.
He was signed from an almost dead Rangers by David Moyes in 2010 but not many had heard of him so off to YouTube we went to watch him score tap ins against Dundee, Dunfermline and Gretna. Not many convinced but we were soon proved wrong.
He got his first goal at Goodison against Spurs and what a finish it was, I can still remember it as clear as day; a cross from Pienaar and a lovely one-touch finish into the far corner past Brad Freidel, the first of many. After a few more appearances which included more clinical finishes, the fans soon took to him inevitably leading to him having his own song, no one needs a reminder.
He was involved in some memorable games, both for the right and wrong reasons and created a handful of moments that will go down in Everton folklaw. The first has got to be the 2-1 win against Spurs. 1-0 down with 7 minutes left, you’d write us off nowadays but back then we had a bit of fight believe it or not. Pienaar headed the equaliser and all of a sudden we were pushing for the winner. Injury time, a hit and hope from Darron Gibson, who back in the day could ping a ball wherever he wanted, was met by an audacious attempt at an overhead kick from Apostolos Vellios and the ball somehow found its way through the defence and Jelavic pounced like a cat and toe poked it past the keeper. Limbs. Everywhere. The significance of this goal came from the celebration. Jelavic ran to the corner flag at the Street End, stood on an advertising hoarding and his sheer excitement forced him to take some fella’s hat off his head. A wonderful sight. Just referring back to the 2 players I’ve just mentioned there, Gibson crossing to Vellios mate why did we even bother competing? Darron Gibson and Apostolos Vellios hahahahaha.
The second and probably most memorable time of Jelavic’s Everton career came from a video in the Gwladys Street. We’re 1-0 up against Man City after Osman’s bizzare goal at the Park End. Being an Evertonian I don’t feel comfortable at 3-0 never mind 1-0. We’ve just entered injury time and Fellaini’s just nicked it off the dominating City midfield and we’re away on the counter. 2 on 1, Fellaini passes to Jelavic and this is where those 4 famous words from that iconic video come into play, “Just fuckin hit it!” Eventually he did and it deflected up and over Joe Hart and bounced into the net. Again, another sight to behold.
I thought he’d sent us to an F.A Cup final once as well but Distin thought he’d send Suarez one on one with poppadom hands, who never saved a one on one in all his career. The less said of that the better, stupid French bastard.
Unfortunately for the Croatian and for us, Martinez didn’t like him much so his Everton career sort of just fell on its arse but Martinez bought Lukaku so yeno swings and roundabouts, but what a fella he was and what a season he had. The one touch specialist, Nikica Jelavic
– Joe (@Joewhitehead__)