As a football fan, I always dreamed of playing for my team. In my case it is Everton, although I am a big follower of Norwich City too. However, I get very frustrated at the mercenary nature of footballers these days and their perceived lack of effort.
So this summer Everton seem to have taken something of a departure from the norm in signing two Everton fans. These fans are not just ordinary fans, they are England Under 21 player Leighton Baines and England B international Phil Jagielka. But to me it is an interesting move. I am sure these players were signed on merit, but in both cases they had better offers and substantially more money offered to them by other clubs, but they wanted to join Everton and were prepared to except less (okay I know they are probably still earning £20k a week, but its the principle) to play for the team they support.
Will it make a difference on the pitch ? Who knows. Will they stay loyal to the club if someone tempts them to go elsewhere ? I couldn't say. But some players do play better for teams they support and love.
There is the horrific example of Wayne Rooney, a fool who emblazoned himself in a T-shirt with the words "Once a Blue, always a Blue" on it, only to have his head turned by money, celebrity friends and a firm of agents who it seems to me had no interest in giving him advice as an Everton fan, but instead used him like a commodity to be traded. Unfortunately I am not sure that Wayne lacks the ability to think independently and left Everton. Good luck to him, but it is something I could never have done.
But well done to David Moyes on signing some true Everton fans for the club. At least we will know that a defeat will be as bitter for the players as the fans and a victory just as sweet.