Landon's Love Runs Deep
USA skipper talks about his special relationship with the Blues.
Landon Donovan departed Goodison for a second time yesterday with a sentiment that will no doubt blossom into one of the seminal Everton quotations.
All-time greats like Ball, Labone, Hickson and Dean are famous for their poignant musings about the Club, now Donovan has offered a heartfelt tribute, sure to be added to the vernacular of Everton folklore.
“There is something magical about this club that captures you the minute you step into Goodison – and it doesn’t let you go.”
The American may have only played 22 games for Everton but is as popular as anyone in the recent times and that love is most definitely mutual.
And when he said goodbye – for now – to evertontv this week, with articulation to match his poise on the pitch, that fact was abundantly clear.
"I think of myself as an honest person and player,” he said. “Most clubs around the world, fans are happy if you give everything but, at Everton, that is all they ask of you. I like to think every time I put on that kit I have brought that.
“It all started for me the first time I walked into Goodison Park. They had never seen me play in an Everton shirt but were welcoming and accepting and I wanted to reciprocate that by giving everything every time I wore Blue.
"I'm very fortunate to play in a couple of places where I think I have the respect of the people. Forget the football side, as a person that feels good.
“The reality is that people work every week and pay their hard-earned money to watch us play. The minimum that should be required of us is to give everything we have and try to give those fans something to shout about. Fortunately in LA and here at Everton people appreciate what I do and I want to keep giving them a reason to appreciate it.”
Of course, the perennial question with Donovan pertains to his future and the possibility of yet another return to Merseyside.
And the American skipper said: "I would approach it the same way I approach it each year when I get a call from the manager here.
“One, am I physically able to do it? Two, does the manager want me? Three, do I feel like I can contribute and benefit the club?
“I would not come back if it was just for me to have the experience, but where I couldn't benefit the team. That would do nobody any good. I have too much respect for the club, the manager and the players to do that.
"The expectation is very clear if I come back. If I feel I can deliver on that expectation and the club wants me I would absolutely do it. I know I will be back in the future. I just don't know if it will be as a player – I hope it is.”