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Back of the Net
Everton's midfield general has been attempting to rally the troops, reports Back of the Net's John Foster...
Darron Gibson’s attempt to rally his Everton team-mates in advance of Saturday’s game against West Bromwich Albion has proved unsuccessful, according to reports from Goodison Park, after the 24-year old’s motivational oration was lost in a light wind.
Everton had just concluded their final training session in advance of Saturday’s mid-table clash with the Baggies, when the normally shy Gibson was reportedly seized with the desire to address his team-mates.
But his impassioned pep talk was lost in the gentle spring breeze drifting across Merseyside, leaving his embarrassed colleagues straining unsuccessfully to hear him.
“It was pretty awkward,” Phil Jagielka told Back Of The Net. “Darron was clearly fired up, but we couldn’t hear a word he was saying.
“He was shaking with emotion, and making all these hand gestures, but Darron’s not got the loudest voice, and I don’t think anyone could work out what he was getting at.
“Leighton Baines was lip-reading for a while, and Tim Howard tried to catch Darron’s eye while miming for him to speak up, but he just kept mumbling on and on.
“In the end we all had to stand around politely and watch him get redder and redder, while he opened and closed his mouth like a vehement guppy.”
The content of Gibson’s speech is not known. He reportedly began by praising the club’s recent run of results, before the breeze stiffened momentarily, cancelling out his voice except for occasional snatches of words and phrases, like “passion”, “final third” and “yoghurt”.
At one point, the wind dropped enough for the players to hear Gibson describe the Viking hero Ragnar Lodbrok’s siege of Paris, and compare West Brom manager Roy Hodgson to French king Charles the Bald, before another gust rendered the rest of the sentence inaudible.
“It went on for about 15 minutes,” continued Jagielka. “When he was finished, Gibbo had tears in his eyes. I think he ended by reciting the lyrics to The Fields of Athenry, but John Heitinga reckons it was I Will Always Love You.”
Back of the Net asked Darron Gibson to comment, but his response was too quiet to be understood.
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