Darron GibsonÃ¢ÂÂs war-cry lost in faint breeze
Everton's midfield general has been attempting to rally the troops, reports Back of the Net's John Foster...
Darron GibsonÃ¢ÂÂs attempt to rally his Everton team-mates in advance of SaturdayÃ¢ÂÂs game against West Bromwich Albion has proved unsuccessful, according to reports from Goodison Park, after the 24-year oldÃ¢ÂÂs motivational oration was lost in a light wind.
Everton had just concluded their final training session in advance of SaturdayÃ¢ÂÂs mid-table clash with the Baggies, when the normally shy Gibson was reportedly seized with the desire to address his team-mates.
But his impassioned pep talk was lost in the gentle spring breeze drifting across Merseyside, leaving his embarrassed colleagues straining unsuccessfully to hear him.
Ã¢ÂÂIt was pretty awkward,Ã¢ÂÂ Phil Jagielka told Back Of The Net. Ã¢ÂÂDarron was clearly fired up, but we couldnÃ¢ÂÂt hear a word he was saying.
Ã¢ÂÂHe was shaking with emotion, and making all these hand gestures, but DarronÃ¢ÂÂs not got the loudest voice, and I donÃ¢ÂÂt think anyone could work out what he was getting at.
Ã¢ÂÂLeighton Baines was lip-reading for a while, and Tim Howard tried to catch DarronÃ¢ÂÂs eye while miming for him to speak up, but he just kept mumbling on and on.
Ã¢ÂÂIn the end we all had to stand around politely and watch him get redder and redder, while he opened and closed his mouth like a vehement guppy.Ã¢ÂÂ
The content of GibsonÃ¢ÂÂs speech is not known. He reportedly began by praising the clubÃ¢ÂÂs recent run of results, before the breeze stiffened momentarily, cancelling out his voice except for occasional snatches of words and phrases, like Ã¢ÂÂpassionÃ¢ÂÂ, Ã¢ÂÂfinal thirdÃ¢ÂÂ and Ã¢ÂÂyoghurtÃ¢ÂÂ.
At one point, the wind dropped enough for the players to hear Gibson describe the Viking hero Ragnar LodbrokÃ¢ÂÂs siege of Paris, and compare West Brom manager Roy Hodgson to French king Charles the Bald, before another gust rendered the rest of the sentence inaudible.
Ã¢ÂÂIt went on for about 15 minutes,Ã¢ÂÂ continued Jagielka. Ã¢ÂÂWhen he was finished, Gibbo had tears in his eyes. I think he ended by reciting the lyrics to The Fields of Athenry, but John Heitinga reckons it was I Will Always Love You.Ã¢ÂÂ
Back of the Net asked Darron Gibson to comment, but his response was too quiet to be understood.