Four years ago this Monday Dan Gosling scored an extra time winner to defeat Liverpool in the FA Cup Fourth Round in a season that culminated in an FA Cup final. Since then contract wrangles, injury and disciplinary problems have all blighted his once fledgling career.
Four years ago Monday Everton defeated Liverpool in an FA Cup fourth round replay and it is a fond memory of mine as an Everton fan myself. I was on an obligatory night out at my Student Union but was constantly escaping the rounds of ring of fire and boisterous singing to watch as much of the game as possible.
Me and my friend Andy, himself an Evertonian for his sins like myself, jumped in the air in jubilation when Dan Gosling scored the winner in extra-time (even though ITV cameras initially missed the goal). I hugged strangers and ran around like it was me who had scored this famous goal; embrace my then girlfriend who herself only knew one Everton player; Gosling. I believed it had more to do with how he looked than his footballing ability.
It was a truly magnificent finish; a composed touch and turn before a fabulous curling effort to send Everton on their way toward the FA Cup Final that season.
Four years on and you would be forgiven for wondering whether Gosling has retired from the game.
Signed from Plymouth he was considered one of the country’s top footballing talents at Everton with a destiny to be fulfilled in the England national team. Now 23-years-old he still finds himself crocked and surely surplus to requirements at Newcastle United.
The downfall started with an unfortunate collision with Wolves goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann. The rupture to his anterior cruciate ligament kept him out for nine months. Everton helped him back on the road to recovery but neglected to formalise a new contract for the player; clerical and human error were both to blame and essentially he became a free agent in the summer of 2010 and signed a deal with Newcastle United.
In his two and a half years on Tyneside he has featured just 22 times as his injury record continues to mount up. Despite reportedly being on the road to recovery at the start of January he has so far not featured for the club this year.
During his injury recovery a lot has changed at Newcastle. Indeed Gosling has not played for the club since coming on as a substitute against Bordeaux in the Europa League in October 2012. In the Premier League he has not featured since a 3-0 win against Stoke in April 2012; again as a substitute.
His last Premier League start was on the 10th December 2011; over a year ago. Newcastle lost 4-2 to Norwich and Gosling was sent off after 66 minutes.
With the new influx of players now at St James Park a future in their first team seems almost impossible so you have to wonder what the future truly holds for Dan Gosling.
image: © Ingy The Wingy