The return of “The Gravedigger”

Over the weekend, I noted Everton’s acquisition of the striker Yakubu who, eleven minutes into his first appearance for the club, scored a goal. But I won’t be able to forgive myself unless I also comment on the return of hard-charging, charismatic midfielder and Goodison Park favorite Tommy Gravesen.
Gravesen was a mainstay for Everton during the first half of this decade — virtually a lone bright spot in the early years and then the best player on the fourth place finishers of 2004-05. That year, he made my all Premiership team.
Unfortunately, the soccer world noticed, and Real Madrid promptly snatched him away. The Dane started well for the Spanish giants but, as has happened to better players (nearly including David Beckham), he later fell by the wayside at this star-laden outfit. Last year, Gravesen ended up in Glasgow, with Celtic, where he seemed a shadow of his former self. At 31, though, there’s reason to think he still has something to offer, especially when spurred on by the Everton faithful.
This suspicion received support on Saturday. “The Gravedigger” entered the match against Bolton in the second half with the score tied and the momentum all in favor of the Trotters. His influence in midfield stemmed the tide and, with time running out, it was Gravesen’s corner kick that Joleon Lescott headed in for the winner.
Welcome home Tommy.
UPDATE: This appreciation on an Everton website helps explain Gravesen’s appeal.

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