Everlasting Timmy

by Tunna on Jan 04, 2015

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As I sat in front of my television flicking through copious amounts of bad television over the Christmas break, I did at one point come across a gem.

Turning back the clock, I stumbled on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, one of my favourite films growing up. Anyone who has seen it will of course be familiar with the Everlasting Gobstopper. Wikipedia describes it as ‘a fictional candy that not only changes colours and flavours, but can never be finished, and never even gets smaller. It is implied that they may also be indestructible’.

So, it got me thinking to football parallels and which player I’d compare with the Everlasting Gobstopper. Someone who has stood the test of time has adapted to different leagues and clubs all while maintaining a high standard and been ‘indestructible’. My mind immediately thought of one man, Tim Cahill, or ‘Everlasting Timmy’: NY Red Bulls star, Everton legend, Socceroos Immortal.

With 2015 here it’s a good time to reflect and look forward to what awaits us this year. Brazil 2014 was without doubt the highlight of the football year. The high quality football that was dished up for starters was followed by an even better party and a general atmosphere which will be difficult to ever replicate.

While the Argentinean chorus of ‘Brasil decime que si siente’ will always be the distinct memory for many, it is Tim Cahill’s wonder strike against Holland that leaves a lasting impression from a Socceroos perspective.

It was a picturesque day in Porto Alegre and there seemed to be more Aussies in the stands than the proceeding match against Chile. We weren’t expectant but we were hopeful of some sort of result.
While I and my fellow Australians seated near the corner flag where Arjen Robben celebrated the opening goal sunk deep in our seats, you could feel hope diminish and it was replaced by fear of a complete Dutch rout.

We weren’t to know at that point was moments later we’d be jumping out of our skins in euphoria when a dipping low ball across the field arrived into the box for Cahill to do the unimaginable and volley the ball first time. I personally was more in a state of shock at that point. From my vantage point I saw it hit the underside of the cross bar but wasn’t aware if it had gone in or not. When I realised it was a goal, a second bout of shock arrived while trying to come to terms with what had happened.

Charlie Yankos might disagree (Australia vs. Argentina, 1988) but taking into consideration the goal itself, coupled with the grandest of stages, it was the best goal scored by an Australian ever. "That's what it's all about, defining moments," Cahill said after the match. "It's another one in my career and I'm really proud of it". The Gobstopper struck again!

How on earth that goal wasn’t voted as the best in the tournament  I’ll never understand. Rodriguez's goal for Columbia was fantastic but was it better than Super Tim's? Surely not. There is no bias intended in my argument but it's so much more difficult firing a ball on the volley at goal which is coming across your body compared with the Rodriguez goal where he had time to control the ball. Tim had to get his positioning spot on, judge the trajectory of the ball and time his strike. There was absolutely no room for error. The Rodriguez goal could be pulled off by thousands. Tim's is reserved only for freaks of nature.

“It’s a wonder strike by the wonder boy of Australian Football,” screamed Simon Hill through the microphone on that magical day in Kaiserslautern in 2006. That day, as a fan, will forever be etched in our thoughts. Just as players tired in the sweltering German summer and the game was on a knife edge, up stepped Mr. Everlasting to turn Australia’s campaign around.

There have been so many classic Cahill moments that came before that match but his four world cup goals are no doubt the highlight.

That’s the thing, we’ve become so accustomed to Super Tim taking games by the scruff of the neck and turn them in our favour that Its only natural that we’re pinning most of our hopes on him playing a major role when the Cup kicks off on January 9 in Melbourne. It’s become almost natural that he will pop up in the front third and create another miracle, normally a game decisive header with the match dead locked.

As the 2015 Asian Cup draws nearer, the tootball nation will again look to arguably their all time favourite son. In a Socceroos squad not brimming with superstars, Tim stands alone as our beacon of hope, our x-factor, our leader and our hero. Should the Socceroos create history and win their first Asian Cup on home soil, you can bet your house that Tim Cahill will be front and centre...again!