Last December, I wrote a post detailing the impressive late-game exploits of Everton and Australia attacking midfielder Tim Cahill.
There is no doubt that Cahill is the most clutch player in the world, bar none. Cristiano Ronaldo? No. Lionel Messi? Nope. Fernando Torres? No.
If your team needs a goal to either equalize or win a match, Cahill is the man for you. He has a remarkable knack for being in the right place at the right time, and most importantly, burying the chance. Cahill isn’t what you’d call a natural goalscorer, it just seems like every goal he does score is so important, so significant. He’ll often pop up from nowhere to convert the finish, which is amazing because you’d think opposing defenders would be marking him so tightly given his reputation and penchant for heroics.
He struck again today, scoring the 77th-minute winner off a corner kick in Everton’s 3-2 victory over Stoke City, rescuing the three points after Stoke had climbed back from 2-0 down. He also had the assist on Yakubu’s goal, which put the Toffees two goals to the good. That’s Timmy Cahill in a nutshell for you. He gets himself in the right position and when he gets an opportunity, he makes it count. He’s gutsy and hard-nosed and is at his best when the situation means the most. That’s the type of player I’ll take on my team any day.
His only problem is a significant one — staying healthy. He missed the start of this season with a fractured metatarsal, the same one that caused him to miss a considerable amount of time last year. A knee injury cost him eight weeks in late 2006. Various knocks and nagging injuries have blighted Cahill’s career, but when he’s fit, he’s extraordinarily valuable.