Icliverpool And Daily Post
Aug 1 2003
Bag Brown now
I THINK we are in for a good season at Everton but we desperately need a playmaker/scorer in the centre of the park. Michael Brown seems a player who will be a Premiership star, so let's hope it's in an Everton shirt. And sign Li Tie, but not for a million!
P Davies, Northwich
Tie up Li please
I AGREE Jason Koumas would be a good buy for Everton, and even Michael Brown may give us something extra, but buying Li Tie is a must! But I can't believe others aren't given a chance a head of him when he's not our player. Surely Kevin McLeod and Leon Osman should be in the team ahead of him. And what happend to Colin Healey, is he still available for free? I think we should have grabbed Kevin Davies on a free.
Mike Tilley, Southport
IT'S a shame to lose Wayne Rooney for the start of the season, but also a blessing in disguise. David Moyes may now be looking at a forward, and he should look no further than Ricardo Fuller at his old club Preston North End. Being a Blue living in Preston, the Preston fans adore him and he is class.
Apparently Preston have slapped a £3million price tag on his head, but Moyes should know who to talk to there to get this figure down.
Dave Ellis, Preston
Act now Blues
WHEN will Everton at least get SOMEBODY into the squad?
How about a Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Kevin Phillips, Jason Koumas or Joe Cole? We lack firepower and creativity and we need some proven players from the Premiership. Our squad is not good enough to finish where we should be - in the top five at least.
Stuart Jersey, Huyton
Don't doubt David
I CAN'T believe Everton fans are doubting David Moyes - he is the best thing that has happened to this club in a long, long time. We finish seventh last time around and now we have Nick Chadwick back and young Leon Osman coming through. Of course, everyone would like Moyes to spend millions on world class players but the money isn't there. We need to get behind the team and the sort of belief Moyes shows every game.
Mark Griffiths, Wirral
CAN anyone explain why Robbie Savage is a better bet for Everton than Li Tie, who is younger, cheaper and I think a better player? Am I missing something?
Colin McLeod, Halewood
Macca's our man
I FEEL Everton are in very real danger of losing the impetus that was gained last year unless we make at least one impact signing soon. Steve McManaman would be ideal as he is hardly an 'old' 31, given his recent inactivity and general lack of injuries over the years. He would also provide much-needed top quality and know-how to our squad.
Peter Doubt, Crosby
Reid all about it
REMEMBER what happened to Peter Reid last season after he couldn't or wouldn't buy! Okay, so Everton have got some good youngsters coming through in Leon Osman, Kevin McLeod and Nick Chadwick. I trust David Moyes but the lack of transfer deals plays on the back of fans' minds.
Remember we have been through hell over the last decade and we can't delete those nervous feelings we've been so used to.
S Cowie, Liverpool
Nick Hilton, Daily Post
Aug 1 2003
NEW Tranmere Rovers coach Kelham O'Hanlon expects David Moyes to receive a rapturous welcome from the Preston North End fans tomorrow when he takes Everton to Deepdale for a pre-season friendly. O'Hanlon was Moyes' right-hand man during four seasons of impressive progress at Preston between 1998 and 2002. He said: "I think David will get a fantastic reception. What he achieved there was nothing short of miraculous in such a short space of time. "But I imagine all his thoughts on Saturday will be on Everton. We speak to each other quite often and he knows what a big job he has got there." O'Hanlon stayed on at Deepdale as caretaker/manager after Moyes was head-hunted by Everton in March last year. But he lost out to Craig Brown for the job on a permanent basis and joined Rovers as number two to Ray Mathias this summer. He has watch Moyes turn Everton's sagging fortunes around and says: "David's success at Goodison was never in doubt as far as I was concerned. "He has done tremendously well. But he also knows expectations have now risen. The fans will be expecting Everton to do just as well this season as last - if not better.
"David's under no illusion about the job he has in store."
Width the Blues' key
Aug 1 2003 Howard Kendall, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON are continually being linked with midfielders. Robbie Savage is the latest name to be mentioned, but I would have thought David Moyes is looking for a wide player who can take on opponents and give his teammore width. Savage is an infectious player, but Everton already have enough grafters in their ranks already. What they need is someone who is a bit more inventive in the middle of the field without weakening the work ethic that led to last season's success. The Blues have again been linked with Jason Koumas, who is that type of player. He did well with West Brom last season, but I would be surprised if he is brought to Goodison. The Blues would have got a lot of information about the lad when he was playing for Tranmere 12 months ago, yet they chose not to go in for him. Having said that, he was playing in Division Two with Rovers at that time and was untried in the Premiership. Now he has experience at the top level.
FANS should not be concerned about Everton's patchy pre-season results. They lost at Dundee United on Wednesday and last week lost at Crewe. But their toughest fixture so far was at Rangers - Everton won that and scored three goals. They could have played non-league sides and notched up double figures, but a manager needs to test his players against good opposition to give him a guideline on what improvements are needed. The number of substitutions in Everton's pre-season games shows that they are all about getting the squad fit. As a manger I always used to worry if the team went through pre-season unbeaten. More than once they would win all the games, but then lose on the opening day of the league season.
Cup run needed
IT HAS been a long time since Evertonians have enjoyed a good cup run. There have been too many disappointing results in recent years. Perhaps this season will bring a refreshing change. I know the Premiership is the most important thing, but a cup run keeps the enthusiasm bubbling. But it will not be easy for Everton or any of the clubs outside the top five. If you look at the three main domestic honours - the Premiership, FA Cup and Worthington Cup - they were all won by Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool. Breaking into that will not be easy and now Chelsea look major contenders as well.
Aug 1 2003 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES is ready to wield the axe already - just weeks into Everton's pre-season preparations.
The Blues' boss was desperately disappointed by the midweek display at Dundee United and has warned that some players will pay the price. Everton go to Preston North End tomorrow, and Moyes is ready to show his ruthless streak, saying: "Some people ruled themselves out on Wednesday.
"I am looking for much better than we got there. You will start to see me getting a little more ruthless now, saying 'I can't look after you any more.' I will be picking my team on the performances I get and some ruled themselves out at Dundee." Moyes was infuriated by the lacklustre display at Tannadice and has demanded a reaction for his return to Deepdale. "Saturday will be different for me," he admitted. "I am looking forward to it and I am grateful to Preston for giving me a start in football. "That's something which so many people are desperate for, but not many actually get the chance of. "I know people I speak to at Preston who look for Everton's results every week and I think they are quite pleased when we do well." Lee Carsley will miss the trip to Lancashire, but Blues' fans should not read anything sinister into his omission. "He has strained medial knee ligaments," said Moyes. The Blues' boss, meanwhile, dismissed reports linking him with Lazio's 32-year-old midfielder Dino Baggio, and also said that a permanent deal for Li Tie is still some way off. He also hopes that the Blues can come to an agreement with the Nigerian FA regarding their August 20 friendly in Tokyo against Japan. Nigeria want Joseph Yobo to jet out after the opening match of the season at Arsenal and play on the other side of the world, just days before Everton's opening home match of the season against Fulham. "We don't want Joseph to go and hopefully we can come to an agreement," said Moyes.
Watson: No need to panic
Aug 1 2003 David Prior, Daily Post
STEVE WATSON has urged his team-mates not to panic despite Everton's worrying pre-season form.
The Blues' lacklustre defeat at Dundee United on Wednesday burst any hope generated by their win at Rangers last weekend, which in turn had come on the back of a loss at Crewe. Coupled with the club's inability to make any headway in their attempts to bring in some fresh faces over the summer, boss David Moyes was not the only one scratching his head over exactly which players had ensured a first-team start for the Premiership opener against Arsenal in 15 days' time. But Watson, one of the few bright points from the Tannadice reverse after coming on for Niclas Alexandersson in the second half, believes there is still plenty of time for the Goodison men to get on the right track. He said: "I've lost pre-season games before and although it's disappointing to lose any game at any level, we've got to realise that there's still a few matches to go before the start of the season and there's still a lot of time to put things right. "It's still only pre-season but performances are still very important. "Dundee United looked sharp - in fact they probably looked every bit as sharp as Rangers did on Saturday, so we should give them a bit of credit but we are disappointed. "We kept the ball quite well without actually getting anywhere or creating any chances. "Ossie (Leon Osman) was unlucky when he hit the post, but there's a lot for us to improve on. He added: "From my own point of view, I got half an hour or so and I managed to get a few efforts on goal which is pleasing because I've missed a couple of days training this week. "I still feel there's a lot more to come from me and there's a lot more goals to come." Scot Gemmill, meanwhile, has admitted he takes his manager's determination to strengthen the Blues midfield "personally" - and is eager to prove him wrong. Moyes has been linked with names like Sean Davis, Robbie Savage and Steve McManaman all summer, something Gemmill admits "hurts". He said: "I'd be lying if I said I didn't take it personally. I can only speak for myself, and not for the other lads, but it hurts me. I'm old enough to know it's part and parcel of the game and I suppose you have to hope it affects you in a good way and spurs you on
Moyes is eager to keep hold of Yobo
Richard Williamson Daily Post
Aug 2 2003
JOSEPH YOBO could find himself at the centre of a club v country row - with the Premiership season only four days old. Nigeria have agreed to play Japan in Tokyo on August 20 in a warm-up game for the African Nations Cup - which does not take place until next year. The Everton defender has been named in the squad for the game - just four days after the Premiership opener against Arsenal with the next game against Fulham on August 23. Goodison Park boss David Moyes is understanbly upset by the timing of the match - and is hoping he can strike a deal to keep hold of his player. "We don't want Joseph to go and hopefully we can come to an agreement," he declared. Meanwhile Everton have not given up hope of securing the services of Sean Davis from Fulham, although the midfielder has been ruled out of their first two Premiership matches, including the trip to Goodison. The midfielder damaged the medial area of his knee in the preseason victory over Austrian side ASK Voitsberg. A lot depends on whether Fulham line up a midfield replacement, which would make Everton's offer of £5m for the England Under-21 player a lot more tempting. Everton continue to monitor Steve McManaman's situation at Real Madrid and would be keen to broker a deal if the circumstances were right.
* Hospitality seats for Colin Harvey's testimonial match on Sunday, August 10 are now available.
Registered charity The Everton Former Players' Foundation, who have organised the match against Bologna, will accept donations for boxes. Suggested donation for the Alex Young Suite tickets is £22, while patrons using the Joe Mercer Suite are expected to offer £25.
Executive boxes, which seat 10, are available at £500 each. Places can be booked on 0151-520-2362.
General admission on the day is payment at the turnstiles. Advance tickets for the Park End and Bullens Road Stands, however, can be secured from the Park End Box Office during normal office hours. Prices of £15 adults and £10 concessions will apply. All areas will be unreserves seating and the Top Balcony will not be open.
Preston NE 1, Everton 0 (D, Post)
Aug 4 2003 Ian Doyle Reports From Deepdale, Daily Post
THE countdown to the start of the new season continues, but Everton are still not ticking at all.
There are now only 12 days until the Blues kick off with a testing trip to deposed champions Arsenal. And boss David Moyes can expect a few sleepless nights given the latest evidence of a perplexing pre-season. Rooneyless, goalless and winless during the last two games, Everton seem determined to prove the encouraging victory at Glasgow Rangers was more a blip than a statement of intent.
Throw in the fact there is now less than a month before the transfer window is slammed shut until the New Year, and you can see why post-match Moyes referred to a myriad of worries. Of course, pre-season is often a fickle indicator of fortunes to come, but supporters and management alike have good reason to be concerned as Everton prepare for what is likely to prove a highly significant campaign. Their old failings were never more apparent than on Saturday, when a virtually full-strength Blues line-up squandered a host of chances before surrendering meekly to a Preston outfit which, for all their pretty passing, are rightly not expected to be in the shake-up for promotion from Division One. In the first half in particular, the Blues had the opportunities to make life easy for themselves and record another confidence-boosting victory. None were taken, highlighting once again the need for not only more clinical finishing in attack, but a realistic goal threat from midfield.
Everyone knows Wayne Rooney is a matchwinner - but remove him from the equation and for all their hard work and individual talents, it is difficult to see where the 'spark', that something extra which can prove the difference, is coming from. A Steve McManaman or a Sean Davis could unlock the door, turning defeats into draws and draws in victories. This, of course, is hardly a startling revelation. Well aware of his squad's deficiencies, Moyes has insisted there will be transfer activity before the Highbury clash on Saturday week, and now he must hope the Blues board can deliver the readies to facilitate the desired incomings. The irony will not have been lost on the Blues boss - who was afforded a warm welcome from the home crowd on his first return to Deepdale since departing for Goodison 18 months ago - that the one player who did find the net was a striker he brought to Preston on the cheap. Richard Creswell was a cut-price £500,000 buy from Leicester City, and it was his 48th-minute strike which condemned the visitors to a third pre-season defeat. Given Everton's precarious financial state at present, such a seemingly nominal outlay would be considered extravagant. Although Wayne Rooney is expected to remain sidelined and Duncan Ferguson is suspended for the opening weeks of the season, Moyes has played down reports of bringing another striker in on loan. But the shot-shy strikeforce - lest it be forgotten the goals in the 3-2 win at Ibrox came from defenders David Unsworth and Alan Stubbs and the on-trial Li Tie - has shown itself in need of such a fresh injection. And even if in the short-term Moyes decides not to provide a temporary solution, a long-term answer must be sought sooner rather than later. Make no mistake, this was nowhere near as poor a performance as the one produced at Dundee United in midweek. It would have been quite an achievement for the players to under-perform in such a shocking manner twice in four days, and indeed there were a number of positives to be taken from the game. Alessandro Pistone impressed once again at right-back, the hard-working and nippy Tomasz Radzinski was always dangerous while there was a reassuring display at the heart of defence from Joseph Yobo. But although some parts were in working order, it was the whole which left Moyes a disappointed and concerned manager afterwards. As he admitted later, there is still an awful lot of work to be done. Not that it is beyond his players, however. If Everton's squad have demonstrated one thing, it is that they have the ability to surprise and play above themselves on a regular basis. The aim now is to sustain that improvement. Maybe if the Blues had maintained their blistering start on Saturday, then the post-match analysis would have been very different. The game was barely a minute old when Thomas Gravesen played Radzinski in on goal only for the Canadian international to drag his shot across the face of goal. It was a sign of things to come. Moments later, Kevin Campbell's flick put Radzinski in again, and after Jonathan Gould had saved his shot, the Preston goalkeeper was down low to save Li Tie's follow-up shot from 25 yards. The Blues enjoyed some good possession, but even at an early stage Preston - playing 4-3-3 - continually overran the visitors' midfield when on the attack, with Gravesen in particular content to believe the game was revolving around him instead of passing him by. That said, Everton should really have been out of sight by half-time. Gould saved from Campbell, and after Gary Naysmith made a mess of an attempted flick goalwards, Li Tie fired over. Campbell then beat Gould to a header outside the area and set up Naysmith who saw Michael Jackson - no, not that one - produce a thriller (sorry) of a block to deny his goalbound effort, moments before Gould pulled off a superb save to repel Steve Watson's close-range header. For the travelling support which filled the Bill Shankly Kop - obviously, people at Preston have a sense of humour - it seemed only a matter of time before the Blues went ahead, but when Campbell's pass over the top put Radzinski in on goal once more, the striker lifted his lob over the bar. That was as good as it got for Everton, and three minutes after the interval they were behind. Steve Simonsen excelled in tipping Ricardo Fuller's 20-yard drive around the post, but from the resulting corner the goalkeeper was badly at fault when he missed his punch from Paul McKenna's hypnotic set-piece delivery and allowed Cresswell the chance to eventually bundle the ball over the line at the far post. Simonsen almost repeated the trick again on the hour, beating out Graham Alexander's rocket shot and from the same attack then flapping at a cross which the stretching Chris Lucketti narrowly failed to turn home. The Blues goalkeeper saved well in the final minute from substitute Simon Lynch, but the only other highlight of a hum-drum second stanza was a double pitch invasion by a three-year-old boy which was curtailed by his father to the boos of the crowd. Moyes may have smiled at that, but there was little else to cheer. With just two friendlies remaining, he knows his side must improve quickly. Time is running out before the phoney war ends and the real stuff begins.
PRESTON NORTH END (4-3-3): Gould; Alexander, Lucketti, Jackson, Edwards; McKenna (McCormack 85), Etuhu (Skora 23), O'Neil (Abbot 63); Cresswell (Keane 63), Fuller (Lynch 63), Healy (Cartwright 63). Sub: Lonergan.
EVERTON (4-4-2): Simonsen; Pistone (Hibbert 76), Stubbs, Yobo, Unsworth; Watson (Pembridge 57), Li Tie (Gemmill 57), Gravesen (Osman 81), Naysmith (Linderoth 57); Radzinski, Campbell (Chad-wick 76). Subs: Gerrard, Weir.
REFEREE: Mr E Evans.
New check on fan ban
Aug 4 2003
EVERTON are to launch an investigation into claims that banned fan Stephen Price is back watching the club. Price was the supporter who confronted Alex Nyarko on the pitch at Arsenal in 2001 - leading to a ban at every ground in Britain for three years. A statement from the club said they were treating "very seriously" a picture in a Sunday newspaper which showed Price watching Everton' 3-2 win at Rangers eight days ago. The 43-year-old claims that the court ban was reduced to two years on appeal, but Highbury Corner magistrates have stated that they have no record of any reduction. "Not only did we understand that Mr Price was banned from every ground, but the likelihood would have been that even after he had served the suspension handed down by the courts we would have been looking to extend it in terms of our own club," said Ground Safety Officer Norman Whibley.
Moyes: I am not chasing a striker
Ian Doyle Daily Post
Aug 4 2003
DAVID MOYES has insisted he is not looking to sign a striker before the start of the season - despite watching his forward line draw a blank once again on Saturday. Everton slumped to a 1-0 friendly defeat at Preston North End to leave the Blues boss admitting his side have "a long way to go" before the Premiership opener at Arsenal on Saturday week. The defeat followed a similar reverse at Dundee United in midweek and was the fourth pre-season game in succession the strikeforce has failed to find the net. The goals in the 3-2 victory at Glasgow Rangers last week came from defenders David Unsworth and Alan Stubbs and on-trial midfielder Li Tie. With Duncan Ferguson suspended for the first three games of the season and Wayne Rooney likely to be sidelined for the opening week with an ankle injury, Moyes has been linked with a move to bring a striker in on a short-term loan. Brian McBride, West Brom's Jason Roberts and Manchester City man Jon Macken have all been mentioned, but Moyes revealed: "We're not looking to bring in a striker at the moment." Moyes cut a downbeat figure after Saturday's defeat. The Blues boss had urged his side to improve after Wednesday's poor showing at Tannadice, but despite acknowledging his side had done better, it was still not enough. "There are lots of worries," said Moyes. "We still have a way to go yet. "The players need to remember what they have done last season and the level of hard work they reached to achieve that. "I am concerned and we have to do better. We need to win some games in the build-up to the start of the season. "The improvement today was not as much as we would have liked." He continued: "My mood is not too good. I don't know about the players' mood.
"I don't know how much that hurt them but I was back at my old club and I would have liked to have done well." Moyes added: "But credit where credit is due and Preston played well and deserved their victory. "In the first half we played some good football, missed three chances and maybe could have been quite comfortably in front. Their keeper made some saves but from our point of view we missed the chances. I am happy that we created them, though. "But after that all credit to Preston, they played very well in the second half and we never really got out of second gear." Moyes hailed the reception he received on his first return to Deepdale since leaving for Goodison 16 months ago.
"I enjoyed it very much," he said. "It is a smashing football club with good people. The crowd gave me a good reception. I had a good relationship with them here. I did not enjoy the result, though."
Moyes also explained his reasoning behind omitting Ferguson from the squad. "Duncan Ferguson is suspended for the first few games of the season so it was only fair to give the likes of Nick Chadwick a chance," he said. Moyes also dismissed reports linking him with a raid on his old club for midfielder Dickson Etuhu.
Preston NE 1, Everton 0 (Echo)
Aug 4 2003David Prentice at Deepdale
THE Deepdale tannoy announcer was, one suspects, trying to deliver a sensible safety message.
But after another worrying pre-season defeat - three in four games now - he might as well have been screaming "Don't panic, don't panic!" at the leaving Evertonians. They had just witnessed a bright start blow up into another 1-0 defeat, when those that had chosen to hang on until the final whistle heard: "Safety announcement. Will the Everton fans please take their time leaving the stadium!" The Blues fans weren't exactly dragging each other back in a panic stricken evacuation. But it was clear they had seen enough and craved the solace of alcohol and some reassuring words.
There weren't many from the manager. “Any worries?" he was asked afterwards. "Lots of them, yes." was the curt reply. Top of the list must be that his two most influential players are also his most mercurial. In the absence of Rooney, the two Thomases, Radzinski and Gravesen, are the only players who can offer this Everton side something different. Radzinski has pace and intelligent movement up front, Gravesen some sublime skills and the ability to deliver incisive, chance creating passes. But they are flawed diamonds. Radzinski's movement allows him to claim the lion's share of the chances Everton create. But his finishing skills rarely allow him to convert more than half.
He missed several good chances on Saturday, leaving us to hope that it was just pre-season rustiness. He was the same last summer, remember, but ultimately flourished to become the most important member of last season's over-achieving Everton squad. Some achievement when you consider it was also the same season that saw Wayne Rooney explode into the nation's consciousness. Gravesen started Saturday's match impressively. Only 26 seconds had elapsed when he prodded an inviting pass through for Radzinski which the striker dispatched, left-footed, wide of the far-post. For half-an-hour he was comfortably the best player on the pitch - but he then faded alarmingly. They are the two individuals who can offer something more than just graft and perspiration - like craft and inspiration, for example - but are also the most enigmatic. Radzinski might have scored again in the fifth minute, Campbell holding up Tie's pass before sliding the ball across goal. Radzinski's shot was blocked by goalkeeper Gould then Tie followed up with a left-footed drive which he struck more sweetly than anything else he has connected with throughout his Everton career. Sadly for him, Jonathan Gould reacted more explosively than Rangers' Stefan Klos a week earlier and saved splendidly. David Moyes had demanded a reaction following the midweek defeat at Dundee United - defenders David Weir and Tony Hibbert were the instant scapegoats left out - and for half-an-hour he got one. Campbell's hooked right-footed shot was palmed away by Gould, picked up by Radzinski and crossed in again for Naysmith who miskicked with his right foot. The ball speared straight back to Radzinski, he picked out Tie this time and the midfielder shot over. Naysmith had another shot charged down by Michael Jackson after Gould had come haring out of his penalty area but been beaten in the air by Campbell, then Watson headed down into the bottom corner from Campbell's cross and Gould made his best save of the match.
On the stroke of half-time Everton wasted another opening. This time Campbell played Radzinski through, but he took his shot early, clipped it over the advancing Gould but also inches over the crossbar. Comfortably more entertaining than the Wednesday night defeat in Dundee, the match ultimately ended with the same scoreline as a result of a 48th minute error. Steve Simonsen had just made an excellent save low down to parry Fuller's 20 yard drive, when he came out to try and punch McKenna's resulting corner. He missed - and Cresswell was left with an unguarded goal to shake off the attentions of his marker and slide the ball into. Preston kick-off their League season on Saturday, and clearly have an edge to their fitness and sharpness. As the match progressed they became more and more dominant. If Moyes has been unconvinced by either of his back-up goalkeepers' performances pre-season, Nigel Martyn's availability at Leeds might tempt him.
A fee of £500,000 - the sum they have just received from Sunderland following Gavin McCann's departure to Aston Villa - could land a solid, experienced keeper. But in truth, this squad could be strengthened in every department - and Moyes knows it. Pre-season is not the time to panic, regardless of well-meaning PA announcements, but the significance of the new transfer window timings means that August 31 might be. Everton made meaningful strides forward last season.
But a couple of new faces might be the only way to build on that progress.
PRESTON NORTH END: Gould, Alexander, Edwards, Etuhu (Skora 22), Lucketti, Jackson, O'Neil (Abbott 63), Cresswell (Cartwright 63), Fuller (Lynch 63), Healy (Keane 63), McKenna (McCormack 86).
EVERTON: Simonsen, Pistone (Hibbert 76), Yobo, Stubbs, Unsworth, Watson (Gemmill 57), Gravesen (Osman 83), Tie (Linderoth 57), Naysmith (Pembridge 57), Campbell (Chadwick 76), Radzinski.
REF: E. Evans.
GOAL: Cresswell (48 mins) 1-0.
Fergie to miss Dutch friendly
Aug 4 2003David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DUNCAN FERGUSON will be left behind when Everton fly out for tomorrow night's friendly in Holland, so he can face Southport in a Liverpool Senior Cup tie tonight. The big striker was left out of Saturday's squad which went down at Preston, and faces the same fate when the Blues take on JC Roda Kerkrada. "Duncan will be left out for the same reason we left him out on Saturday," explained manager David Moyes. "He is suspended for the opening three games of the Premiership season so I need to look at the other options I have available. "But we have a reserve game at Southport tonight so he will still be able to work on his fitness." The Blues play Southport at Haig Avenue in a Liverpool Senior Cup semi-final held over from last season (kick-off 7.45pm).
The senior squad flies out to Holland tomorrow, but Joseph Yobo and Li Tie will not be involved. Difficulties in arranging visas for the Nigerian and Chinese internationals mean they will be left behind. Moyes is anxious to add to the pre-season win at Glasgow Rangers, after disappointing back to back results at Dundee United and Preston. "I am concerned and we have to do better," he said. "We need to win some games in the build-up to the start of the season. "I don' know how much that hurt them, but I was back at my old club and I would have liked to have done well.
"But all credit to Preston. They played very well in the second half and we never really got out of second gear. "There was an improvement after Wednesday at Dundee United, but it was not as much as we would have liked. "The players did very well last year so we have to be careful with what we say at the moment, but we hope they will do better and I am sure that they will once we get underway." Moyes revealed that Richard Wright is still on schedule to prove his fitness before the big kick-off at Arsenal, and may even figure in Friday night's reserve match at TNS in Wales.
"The original plan was for Richard to play in Sunday's game against Bologna," he explained. "He is still on course for that, but has an outside chance of figuring on Friday."
Spartan Blues on Roda for friendly
Aug 5 2003 By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
DAVID MOYES will take a threadbare squad to Holland today as Everton travel in search of a much-needed pre-season boost. The Blues take on Dutch first division club Roda tonight hoping to correct the form that saw them slump to successive defeats at Dundee United and Preston in the past week.
And with Duncan Ferguson, Li Tie, Niclas Alexandersson plus the injured Richard Wright and Wayne Rooney left behind on Merseyside, the side to face Roda will be close to the Premiership starting line-up at Chelsea in 11 days' time. Ferguson has again been left out of Moyes' starting plans after being selected to lead the line in the Liverpool Senior Cup tie at Southport last night. The big Scot is banned for the first three games of the new campaign and was joined at Haig Avenue by Alexandersson, Li Tie, Nick Chadwick, Kevin McLeod and young Italian trialist Patrizio Pascucci as the Blues won 2-1, with Ferguson opening the scoring. Wright, meanwhile, could step on the comeback trial ahead of schedule this week against League of Wales side TNS. The Blues number one hasn't figured this summer after injuring his shoulder in a freak accident at home. But he has been involved in every training session, albeit with limited goalkeeping work, and may face TNS this Friday. The game is scheduled as a reserve team outing but Moyes may give Wright the chance to test his fitness with the trip to former club Arsenal approaching fast. "The original plan was for Richard to play in Sunday's match against Bologna," said the Blues manager. "He is still on course for that but he has an outside chance of figuring on Friday."
Win Colin Harvey testimonial tickets
Aug 5 2003 Liverpool Echo
COLIN HARVEY is the only man in history to have occupied almost every meaningful role at Goodison Park. Harvey went from being a fan to League and Cup winning player, then became first team coach, manager and finally youth development coach. He says his farewell to Goodison in Sunday's testimonial match against Bologna - and The Echo has 10 pairs of tickets to give away for the clash.
To go into the hat for a pair, tell us the name of the team Harvey made his Everton debut against in 1963. Send your entries to Harvey Ticket Competition, Liverpool Echo Sports Desk, Old Hall Street, Liverpool, L69 3EB - not forgetting to include your name and address. Closing date is last post Thursday.
Southport 1, Everton 2
Aug 5 2003Daily Post
SOUTHPORT took a good deal of credit despite their defeat by Everton in the quarter-final of the Liverpool Senior Cup which was held over from last season. Overall they produced their best performance so far in their build up to the serious action which begins on August 16. On a night of near tropical temperature they matched the Blues for commitment and effort and were still going strongly at the end. The Everton starting line-up included six players with Premiership experience among them Duncan Ferguson, who gave the visitors the lead in the 40th minute after Southport had more than held their own before that. Ferguson rounded off an excellent four-man move begun by Li Tie and continued by Steven Schumacher and Niclas Alexandersson with a shot from close range. And, on the stroke of half-time Nick Chadwick increased the Blues' lead, beating Steve Dickinson with a firm shot from just inside the penalty area after being set up by Brian Moogan.
Southport however came back strongly in the second half in which they more than held their own and they scored the best goal of the match a quarter of an hour from the end. Peter Thomson dispossessed Li Tie 35 yards from goal and hammered the ball past Iain Turner before the goalkeeper could move. After that the UniBond League side pressed forward and Turner had to be alert to make saves from Lee Ashcroft and Thomson again to prevent the home side scoring an equaliser.
Southport manager Mike Walsh said: "I was delighted with our performance against top class opposition. We matched them for fitness and the build up to the start of the season is going well."
He also had a word of praise for experienced defender Neil Whitworth, who is on trial at Haig Avenue after a spell with Exeter City. Everton now move on to the semi-final of the competition in which they visit Marine next Tuesday.
SOUTHPORT: Dickinson, Williams (McGuire 38), Clitheroe, Stone, Whitworth, Pickford, Byrne (Bennett 76), Soley, Thomson, Mulvaney, Ashcroft. Sub: Whittaker.
EVERTON: Turner, O'Hanlon, B Moogan, Gerrard, Clarke, Schumacher (A Moogan 46), Alexandersson, Li Tie, Chadwick (Pascucci 46), Ferguson, McCleod. Sub: Barry.
Aug 5 2003 Liverpool Echo
DUNCAN FERGUSON was on the mark last night as Everton moved into the semi-finals of the Liverpool Senior Cup with a 2-1 win at Southport.Ferguson (left) was one of six players in the starting line-up with Premiership experience and the Blues had sufficient quality to ease their way into the last four.Iain Turner was the first keeper to be called upon when he made a terrific save from a powerful close range header by Peter Thomson.The non-leaguers began brightly and only for an excellent block by Peter Clarke, Thomson was denied again.On 27 minutes Everton should have had a penalty when Southport skipper Steve Soley upended Niclas Alexandersson inside the box and there was widespread disbelief when the referee waved away the appeals.The Swede was involved again shortly after when he finished a neat Everton move by shooting just over the bar.Everton were very much in the ascendancy by now and the breakthrough came four minutes before half-time.Stephen Schumacher crossed the ball from the left, Alexandersson pulled it back across the face of the goal and Ferguson rolled it under the keeper and into the net.The second goal came with virtually the last kick of the half when Nick Chadwick raced on to a through ball from Brian Moogan and lashed home an unstoppable shot.The second-half was a bit scrappier with long-range efforts from Moogan and Li Tie, both failing to trouble home keeper Dickinson.On 69 minutes Turner once again thwarted the lively Thomson when he safely gathered his well-struck shot.The Southport player was not to be denied though and his thunderous drive from 25-yards in the 75th minute beat Turner.Everton responded by creating a couple of chances of their own in the dying stages, but both Alexandersson and Li Tie were thwarted by the agility of Dickinson.
Moyes sets ultimatum
Aug 5 2003 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES today urged his Everton team to kick the losing habit - with just two friendly matches remaining before the big kick-off at Arsenal on August 16.The Blues face Dutch Premier Division side Roda Kerkrada tonight, before wrapping up their preparations against Bologna on and day in Colin Harvey's testimonial - and Moyes (pictured) warned: "We need to win some games in the build-up to the start of the season."I am concerned. We have to do better." Everton have won just one of their four recent pre-season games, the last being the victory over Rangers. They've lost to Preston, Dundee United and Crewe Alexandra without scoring in any of those games.The Blues' boss watched Duncan Ferguson score for a strong reserve line-up at Southport last night, but has not taken the Scottish striker to Holland with him.Li Tie, who played at Haig Avenue, and Joseph Yobo have been left behind because of visa difficulties, as well as the injured Wayne Rooney."Our performance at Preston on Saturday was an improvement on the previous match at Dundee United," Moyes added, "but not as much as we would have liked."Also left behind today were Swedish winger Niclas Alexandersson, while goalkeeper Richard Wright is hoping to play his first football of the summer on Friday at Welsh club TNS."Richard is just about on schedule," said Moyes." Our original intention was for him to play against Bologna on Sunday, but there is an outside chance he may be fit to face TNS before then. We are taking it one day at a time."Everton triumphed 2-1 at Haig Avenue last night to move into the semi-finals of the Liverpool Senior Cup, where they face Marine next Tuesday.
No worries at results
Aug 5 2003 By Kevin Ratcliffe, Liverpool Echo
THE only pre-season statistics which are really worth worrying about, are when players are injured or sent off.So while Everton's results so far have been less than reassuring, now is not the time to panic.Pre-season friendlies are simply exercises in developing fitness and touch. The players know that and it is difficult for them to motivate themselves otherwise.Lower division teams automatically have the greater incentive of trying to claim a notable scalp - and it may be no coincidence that on Saturday Everton were far from the only Premiership team to lose to more modest opposition.Wigan beat Blackburn, Wolves lost to Coventry and Southampton were outplayed by Millwall.Glasgow Rangers are probably more concerned at losing to Everton, because they were a fortnight further on in their preparations.But there are lots of other factors to take into account, too.At this time of year pitches tend to have longer grass, because groundsmen don't want to expose their pitches to sunlight too early, and that makes it difficult to zip the ball around.I tend to think that you find out more about your players in defeat than when you are winning, so it's probably best that David Moyes learns those lessons now rather than on August 16 when it starts to matter.No matter how well you are playing and how accomplished a team you are, there will always be a pre-season scare or two. But that's no reason for alarm bells to start clanging just yet.
DUNCAN FERGUSON'S public omission from Everton's pre-season build-up makes it look increasingly likely that the Blues will boast a new club captain next season.David Weir and Kevin Campbell have both worn the armband before, while Alan Stubbs and David Unsworth have the right credentials as well.But David Moyes might even be planning to bring somebody in who could fit that bill.Sean Davis is a leader and has been spoken of as a future skipper of Fulham. Maybe that could be a further carrot to dangle in front of him if Everton continue their pursuit of the midfielder.
Turn up for Col
I WOULD love to think that as devoted a servant of Everton Football Club as Colin Harvey would get at least 20,000 fans at his testimonial match this Sunday.But I know from personal experience how fickle testimonial match gates can be, so I will be keeping my fingers crossed.To say that Colin had an influence on my career is a huge understatement. He was a youth coach, when I was a trainee, first team coach when I broke into the senior side and then manager.He would still be working for the club even now but for the very minor fact that he finds it difficult to walk these days!Colin has always been fiercely competitive. I used to hate being in his group during training runs because he would always try to beat you - and usually succeed!He will find it difficult to enjoy himself on Sunday, but hopefully will leave Goodison Park with a big smile on his face.
Ray's still a Blue at heart
By Richard Williamson, Daily Post
Aug 5 2003
"ONCE an Evertonian, always an Evertonian" is a saying which rings true for former Dutch star Ray Atteveld. The midfielder spent three years at Goodison Park - and describes them as the best of his career. It was Colin Harvey who began Atteveld's love affair with the Blues when he brought over the Dutchman for £250,000 from Haarlem FC in August 1989. Atteveld made 53 appearances, scoring twice, before leaving for Bristol City in March 1992. He later played for Roda JC - Everton's opponents in tonight's pre-season friendly - in the 1993-94 season. Atteveld, now 36 and assistant manager of Dutch first division side ADO Den Haag, said: "Everton were the best club I played for - without doubt, the biggest and the best. I've got great memories of my time at Everton and I'm always looking out for their results. "I even stay up to watch the highlights on a Saturday night. I was so nervous when they played Coventry City on the last day of the season in 1998. I couldn't do anything that day. I couldn't move from the television set! Atteveld, who was Tony Cottee's room-mate in his Goodison days, added: "Since I signed for Everton, the club have always been in my heart, and that's where they will stay. I've heard people say 'Once an Evertonian, always an Evertonian', and it's so true." Atteveld, who turned out for nine clubs in all before being forced to retire through injury in 2001, says both clubs involved in tonight's game will be out to prove a point this season after losing out on European football in similar circumstances. "Like Everton, Roda narrowly missed out on European football at the end of last season," he said. "They needed a draw in their last game against Feyenoord and got beat 3-0. It was frustrating because they were very lethargic in that game. "To the fans it looked like they didn't want to play in Europe, but apparently they're really going for it this year. They are desperate to qualify for the UEFA Cup. He added: "Roda have changed their style in the past few years. "When I was there, they were like an English side, playing 3-4-3, with a lot of pressure. Now they hold back and wait for the opposition to make a move. They have players who are very confident on the ball and they hit teams on the break."
Roda JC 2, Everton 0 (D, Post)
Aug 6 2003 Andy Hunter Reports From Parkstad Limburg Stadion, Daily Post
PRE-SEASON friendlies are the home of the unusual, such as all 22 players being invited for a drink midway through the first half in Holland last night. In sweltering heat it was a common-sense approach, but no-one would have blamed David Moyes if he'd instinctly swapped Lucozade for a bottle of native Scotch given what he'd witnessed in the preceeding 24 minutes. A third straight summer defeat is disturbing enough without the ineptidude of Everton's performance against Roda JC leaving the Blues manager with serious worries and in need of dulling the pain somehow. New signings would ideally do the trick with his team in serious need of improved options and fresh legs. But with none forthcoming, while every other Premiership side - even Southampton and Spurs - splash the cash, the chance to build from the position of strength last season and the emergence of Wayne Rooney is drifting sadly by. With just the one friendly to go before Premiership duties resume at Highbury, the agonised look on the Everton manager's face already suggests hard times ahead. Win or lose, friendly fixtures are no accurate gauge for the real thing but while defensive mistakes and laboured football continues Moyes' concern is more than justifiable with only Bologna left to find improvement. Roda JC aren't exactly the most well-known of continental opponents either, except for the 'stattos' still reminiscing about their visit to Goodison in a pre-season friendly in 1978. But there was enough about them to suggest this was never going to be a foreign stroll even before kick-off and ultimately it was the Dutch left wondering when a decent challenge would materialise. Sixth in the Dutch first division last season, they could - just like the Blues - have qualified for the Uefa Cup but for a final day defeat by Feyenoord. Even Roda's stadium was enough to impress and highlight the fact it remains a major problem for their Premiership counterparts, despite last season's rise managing to paper over the cracks on that front. While Everton have yet to come up with a plan B for their future the town of Kerkrade, where Roda are based, has two, as the Liverpool press corps only discovered an hour before kick off while sitting in the old ground that still resembled a ghost town. The four-year-old Parkstad Limburg Stadion is blessed with state-of-the-art facilities - from its design and concerts to the club credit cards used to pay for everything inside the arena. Worryingly if any pointers were taken about Everton's immediate future at Parkstad Limburg they would only be the source of nightmares. Beaten and goalless in their last two outings the Blues at least should have been on the scoresheet inside 26 seconds as a flowing move down the right involving Leon Osman, playing as an advanced midfielder just behind the strikers, and right-back Tony Hibbert carved open the Roda right. Hibbert's cross picked out Mark Pembridge perfectly on the edge of the six-yard box, but from there he could only head high into the strong travelling contingent. Having survived that let-off the home side were quickly invited back into the game by the glaring chasms that began to appear throughout the Everton defence. Joseph Yobo was left at home over problems with a visa and must be loving red tape today after escaping any blame for the latest calamities to befall his exposed colleagues. Roda striker Eric Addo was the first to waltz through unopposed after 12 minutes when the dangerous Sergio's through ball caught out David Weir. Blues keeper Paul Gerrard managed to block Addo's shot with his legs and Alan Stubbs completed the clearance off the goalline, but the reprieve was horribly short-lived. Just three minutes later Tom Soetaers played a neat one-two with Cristiano on the edge of the area without an Everton tackle in sight and from 18-yards his low shot somehow squeezed through Gerrard's body and trickled over the goalline. With Richard Wright struggling with an injury caused by unpacking his bags both Gerrard and Steve Simonsen have had the ideal chance to stake their claim for a place against Arsenal this summer. It's not over-reacting to suggest Moyes would have both reserves packing theirs given the chance. On 20 minutes Roda doubled their lead with an embarrassment of a goal. Soetaers sent a straightforward chip over the Blues defence which Gerrard was the undoubted favourite to claim until he let the ball bounce under his hands and Sergio ran through to tap into an empty net, probably splitting his sides with every step. The only positives for the Blues during the first half was that the scoreline remained at two and that Moyes never chinned any of his players when they all raced for a drink on the touchline in the 24th minute. His team never came to terms a Roda formation that pushed three men up behind a lone target man. The gulf in performance was perfectly illustrated just before the break when the home side strung at least 20 passes together and Everton retrieved possession only to lose it with their first touch in minutes.
Gerrard saved cleanly from Yannis Anastasiou and Sergio to prevent matters becoming even more cringeworthy before the Blues left the field to another chorus of boos. It was only with a tactical shuffle and the arrival of three half-time substitutions that the contest improved by any degree for Everton, Kevin Campbell shooting high over from a Thomas Gravesen pass and Nick Chadwick over-running a good chance sparked by Scot Gemmill's lofted ball. Weir and Watson both went close to reducing the arrears as the Blues at least made a game of it in the second half, and Campbell should have scored when Chadwick's back-post header rolled agonisingly across the face of goal. The young striker missed a clear chance when he diverted Gravesen's cross well wide at full stretch, but by then most of the travelling Evertonians had taken up Roda's kind offer of cheap transport back into town. Very worrying indeed.
RODA JC: Kujovic; Senden (Brouwers, 81 mins), Addo, Sonkaya, Luijpers, Anastasiou, van Dessel (van Dijk, 63 mins), Lachambre, Soetaers (Berglund, 63 mins), Sergio, Cristiano (van den Broeck, 79 mins). Subs: Rudge, Vicelich, Roorda.
EVERTON (4-4-2): Gerrard; Hibbert (Unsworth, 65 mins), Weir, Stubbs (Clarke, 82 mins), Pistone; Gravesen, Osman (Naysmith, 82 mins), Linderoth (Watson, 46 mins), Pembridge (Gemmill, 46 mins); Campbell, Radzinski (Chadwick, 46 mins). Sub: Simonsen.
REFEREE: Vic van Hulten
BOOKINGS: Everton's Hibbert (foul), Roda's Soetaers (foul)
Blues realise pressure of Rooneymania
By Chris Wright, Daily Post
Aug 6 2003
TWO years ago Everton's youth side just failed to win their fourth FA Youth Cup. But despite being knocked out in the first hurdle last season, the legacy of that run to the final and the thrilling rise of Wayne Rooney (left) means the feelgood factor at the Blues Academy is still there. And the coming FA Premier Academy League season, which starts on August 23, brings the hope that another player or players of genuine promise can be unearthed. Rooney's emergence as one of the most talented young players in the world serves as a reminder of the quality of the Blues' youth set-up. Academy director Ray Hall said: "The season before last when we got to the FA Youth Cup final, I pointed out that we had already won the FA Youth Cup no matter what the final result was. "That was because we had a 16-year-old playing who was on the verge of making his first-team debut, and others who had also made their debuts that season like Tony Hibbert. "Last season was outstanding for our Academy because we had one of the most-sought after players in the world come through at our club." But this season different challenges emerge. Having found one such star the pressure is on to continue to produce players who can bolster David Moyes' first-team squad. Eighteen players have made their debut in the last six years for the Blues after coming through the ranks. With the money and time spent on developing young players, the conveyor belt needs to keep rolling on. It's something of which Academy director Ray Hall is mindful. He said: "It is almost like the hamster in the wheel. You have to work faster to stay where you are. To actually move on you have to work twice as hard. "But maybe Wayne was the stimulus for the club, because we have got to find and develop another one, and if our club is to progress and move into a position of strength we will have to have more players developed here." But Hall believes already the 'Rooney factor' is having positive effect on the club. He added: "I travel about Europe a lot and we have contacts around the world and Wayne has done more in one season to highlight our Academy or youth development programme than the previous 12 years that I have been here. "So if knowledge of the club is an indicator of young players wanting to be recruited by ourselves, we are probably at a better stage now than we have ever been. "I am getting calls from coaches, agents, scouts from all around and it is because of the impact one player has made. "But in terms of recruiting locally, I am not sure there is a great difference. The biggest difference I see is the number of Blue shirts with 18 on knocking about the place. The difference has come nationally and internationally. "The fall-out from that has been tremendous for the public relations side of the football club. "But I think our development programme has always been perceived as being very good because previous managers to David Moyes have given young players the opportunity. It is historical and traditional that we have always given local players a chance. "But the impact that Wayne has had worldwide has been massive. Everybody in every corner of the globe has heard of Everton Football Club. That wasn't the case 12 months ago." But finding the star of tomorrow is no easier than it has ever been. Hard work and dedicated staff seems to be key, but luck also plays a part. Hall said: "I am not certain there will be a player or players of the level of Wayne Rooney every season, although we would like to think so.
"But our aim as an Academy is to try and develop players who would maybe not make the same impact initially but would do over a few more seasons. Players like Tony Hibbert, who may take a little bit more time to develop but eventually get through. "In the time there have been players who you have thought 'I don't think we will have anyone as good as him or with the potential that he has'. But there is always somebody. Somewhere, somebody along the line will do what Wayne has done. But we will have another one, because I thought the same about Francis Jeffers. "In a way Wayne has set a standard for our Academy that we must strive to meet. And we have got to get as close to it as we can."
Moyes in new woe as Blues slip again
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Aug 6 2003
DAVID MOYES admitted Everton's confidence level has taken a serious blow after they slumped to a third pre-season defeat in a row against Roda last night. Moyes was left questioning his team's character and motivation after a dreadful first-half display that cost them the game in Holland.
Goalkeeper Paul Gerrard was at fault for both Roda strikes while his team-mates were given the run-around before producing a much-improved second-half display. But Moyes revealed he is becoming exasperated at having to fire up his troops with half-time volleys with just 10 days to go before the Premiership season begins. He said: "The second half was more like ourselves and at least we showed things like attitude, desire and determination, which was sadly lacking in the first half. That's the positive I'll take from this game. "We were a lot more like our true selves and I hope the penny might have dropped now. "I don't think there's anything wrong with their attitude because I saw exactly what I want from them in the second half. "But it is a worry that we've not won in a few games and not scored in three so confidence levels can suffer going into a new season. That is becoming a concern but there was a lot to take out of the second half. "We were more like ourselves but I don't think it should always be down to me to do the hard work to push them on because they know exactly what they've got to do." Moyes made three half-time substitutions and a tactical switch to stem the tide of Roda attacks. And the Blues manager admitted: "You've got to give the players some leeway in that we only flew over here this afternoon and it takes a while to adapt to foreign teams with a different style of play. "We went two-nil down and I have to take some responsibility because we were trying something different at that stage with Leon Osman behind the front two. That's when the goals came. "But we can't have just one string to our bow. You have to try things and we are giving young players plenty of opportunity to show they can do it."
With Gerrard at fault and Steve Simonsen not convincing this summer either, Moyes hopes first choice Richard Wright will be back to face Arsenal on August 16. "Wright sees a specialist on Friday and if the specialist gives him the go-ahead we'll try and get him playing as soon as we can," he said. "But I would have hoped one of the two goalkeepers would have let me say 'you deserve to take the jersey'." The Blues boss also offered a glimmer of hope regarding Wayne Rooney's fitness, with the Goodison hero still in with a chance of boosting flagging spirits before the season kicks off.
oyes added: "Wayne has an outside chance but we won't take any chances with him. I'd rather give him a week longer than push him but he's coming on. He's straining at the leash now, which is a good sign."
Roda JC 2, Everton 0 (Echo)
Aug 6 2003David Prentice at Parkstad Limburg Stadion
WITH the glorious gift of hindsight, maybe Everton's failure to qualify for this season's UEFA Cup is a blessing. The resilience, self-confidence . . . swagger almost, which carried them to a series of unlikely successes last season, seems to have evaporated in the sweltering sun this summer.
And Roda JC Kerkrade, the Dutch side who shared Everton's misfortune in missing out on UEFA Cup qualification on the final day of last season, strolled to a 2-0 win last night which added to a growing list of concerning pre-season reverses. David Moyes has identified a lack of midfield creativity as his side's most pressing deficiency this summer. But on the evidence of five pre-season friendlies now he could add defensive frailty whenever Joseph Yobo's pace is absent from the side, a diminishing goal threat - and an alarming lack of competent goalkeeping cover. A large army of travelling Evertonians made the trip to Southern Holland - and will have enjoyed the futuristic four-year-old Parkstad Limburg Stadion, a tidy and imaginative Roda team and the near tropical temperatures.
But what they really came to see will have left them icy cold. The mantra of the pre-season manager is that friendly results count for nothing. Walter Smith's final fatal season as Everton boss kicked off with four wins from five. Everton wound up last summer's preparations with back to back defeats by Anderlecht and Athletic Bilbao, then flourished. But performances do matter, and Everton's have been increasingly lacklustre. Adding to the frustration in Holland were the frequent newsflashes filtering into the Parkstad pressbox . . . Joe Cole for Chelsea, Kevin Phillips for Southampton, a fee of £15m agreed for Juan Sebastian Veron . . . Everton are still the only Premiership team without a single new face to parade this summer. And they need one or two desperately. With nothing to show from his limited excursions into the transfer market, Moyes introduced one or two youngsters last night - but learned little more than he already knew. Leon Osman's first team experience amounts to two injury-time appearances as a substitute, time enough for Steven Gerrard to start a riot maybe, but certainly not enough for anyone to draw any meaningful conclusions about his ability to handle senior top flight football. Last night he was employed in arguably his most effective role, as a central midfielder given licence to roam behind the two strikers. Thomas Gravesen floated out to the right of the pitch, with Tobias Linderoth acting as the midfield anchor. But Osman's influence was fitful at best. Nick Chadwick was also given a second half run-out, but while he conjured up two openings for himself, could convert neither. Everton carved out one very acceptable opening with just 26 seconds on the clock. A slick bout of interpassing gave Tony Hibbert the chance to cross from the right. He did so accurately and Pembridge hustled in to plant an unmarked header a foot over the crossbar. Goalkeeper Kujovic was untroubled by the effort, and remained so throughout the opening half, while Everton's goalmouth was peppered by a variety of shots and imaginative approach play. Eric Addo darted through Everton's soft centre in the 12th minute and cracked in a shot which Gerrard blocked with his legs. The ball spun up, but Stubbs cleared before the danger could intensify. It was a short-lived respite. The opening goal came, alarmingly, from an almost predictable source this summer. Tom Soataers was given far too much time and space to get off a shot on the edge of the Everton penalty area, but Gerrard got plenty of his body behind the ball and might have hoped to have done more than merely slow its inevitable advance into the Everton goal. Cristiano tried to poach the goal on the line, but it was undeniably Soataers' strike. The pair combined to score again four minutes later, and Gerrard (left) was again culpable. Soetaers' chip into the box tempted him off his line. He was a short-priced favourite to get there ahead of Cristiano, but showed no conviction and the Roda striker gleefully accepted a tap-in.
Following a quarter-time drinks break - the weather was more befitting cricket than football after all - Cristiano escaped Everton's defensive shackles again to fire in a low volley which Gerrard smothered this time. The sizeable army of travelling fans from Merseyside were camped in the corner behind the goal Everton were attacking in the first half. It would be kind to suggest it was the scorching sunshine which was responsible for their sleep-inducing state, but more likely was the lack of action at the end they were sat behind. Moyes made a trio of changes at half-time, but with only marginal impact. Nick Chadwick, just 24 hours after a 45 minute run-out at Haig Avenue, flashed a shot high over the crossbar then Kevin Campbell claimed a penalty after he tumbled chasing Gemmill's piercing pass into the box. But Everton rarely enjoyed any kind of decent possession and their forays were sporadic rather than concerted. David Weir headed over from a Gravesen corner and Campbell neatly played in Watson, only for a defender to divert his left-footed effort behind for a corner. Roda were comfortably playing keep ball by this stage, though, and Everton's only real prospect of a goal came in the final minute, when Gravesen crossed from the left and Chadwick slid in at the far post but rolled his shot wide of the post. The second half display had been an improvement on the first, but it was scant consolation after what had gone before. Everton have a decisive ten days ahead of them.
RODA JC KERKRADE: Kujovic, Senden (Brouwers 80), Addo, Cristiano (Vicelich 76), Sergio, Soetaers (Van Dijk 62), Lachambre, Van Dessel (Berglund 62), Anastasiou, Luijpers, Sonkaya. Not used: Rudge, Van Den Broeck, Roorda.
EVERTON: Gerrard, Hibbert (Unsworth 64), Weir, Stubbs (Clarke 82), Pistone, Gravesen, Linderoth (Watson 45), Osman (Naysmith 82), Pembridge (Gemmill 45), Campbell, Radzinski (Chadwick 45). Not used: Simonsen.
REFEREE: Vic Van Hulten.
BOOKINGS: Hibbert (59) foul, Soetaers (62) foul. GOALS: Soetaers (15 mins) 1-0, Cristiano (19 mins) 2-0.
Blues boss hoping for Wright response
Aug 6 2003 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES will wait anxiously on a specialist's verdict this Friday, to see whether Richard Wright can get the green light to solve a Goodison goalkeeping dilemma. Paul Gerrard was at fault for both Roda goals in last night's 2-0 defeat in Holland, just three days after Steve Simonsen gifted Preston a match-winner at Deepdale. And Moyes said afterwards: "Wrightie sees a specialist on Friday and if he gives him the go-ahead we will try and get him playing as soon as we can. "But I would have hoped that one of the two goalkeepers would have let me say 'well, you deserve to take the jersey . . . '"His words tailed off, but the inference was clear.Everton slumped to a third successive pre-season reverse, and Moyes was left searching for positives afterwards."The second half was more like us and at least we showed things like attitude, desire and determination which was sadly lacking in the first half. That's the positive I take from the game."We were a lot more like ourselves after the break and hopefully the penny might have dropped," he explained.But he added: "It's a worry that we have not won in a few games now and not scored for three games, because that can affect a team's confidence going into a new season. It becomes a concern, but in the second half I thought there was a lot to take out of it. "I thought we were more like ourselves, but it shouldn't take me to do all the work, because they know what they should be doing. I don't think the results have anything to do with how hard we've been working them in training. If anything I think they have worked just right. It's more to do with their performances."I don't think there's anything wrong with the attitude either. They showed me exactly the kind of attitude I wanted in the second half."The Blues trailed 2-0 at the break, but were marginally better after the interval.Everton have just one pre-season friendly match remaining before the big kick-off at Arsenal on August 16, and Moyes revealed that he still hasn't given up hope of Wayne Rooney being fit to figure in that match."We hope that Wayne has an outside chance but we certainly won't take any chances with him," he said. "We'd rather give him a week longer than push him. But he's coming on and straining at the leash a little bit now, which is a great sign."* COLIN Harvey's testimonial against Bologna kicks off at 3pm on Sunday and tickets are still available.
Match day marquee to be money spinner
By Laura DavisDaily Post Staff
Aug 7 2003.
EVERTON'S latest signing could become a money spinner for the Goodison club. Officials have won permission to erect a 300-capacity marquee outside the ground so they can offer special VIP packages to fans wanting to make a day at the match more memorable. When the marquee, close to the Dixie Dean statue, is not being used for football fixtures it will be hired out for business and community events. Officials have given an assurance to local residents that the marquee, to be called the Blue Brasserie, will not be used for wedding receptions or social functions. Rita London, Everton's sales manager, said: "We have erected the marquee due to the upsurge in demand for season tickets and lounge memberships. "It is being put up now and will open in time for the first game on August 23." The city council's planning committee has given the go-ahead for the marquee to be erected, despite protests from local people at an area forum who fear it will reduce the amount of offstreet car parking on match days. Coun Gary Booth, councillor for Melrose ward, said: "I am mildly irritated by it and will be calling for the chief executive of the council to investigate the effect it will have on the surrounding area. "There will be 65 more cars pushing out on to the surrounding streets and bugging our residents." However, in its planning application, Everton stressed the marquee would take up 65 of 1,000 parking spaces - 350 of these are usually empty even on the club's busiest days. The tent, to be erected behind the Dixie Dean statue on Walton Hall Avenue, will provide dining and drinking facilities for up to 300 people as well as kitchen and toilet facilities. The VIP package includes a glass of champagne on arrival, a four-course meal with wine, complimentary bar be-fore and after the match, coffee after the match, main stand match ticket and a programme and souvenir gift. There are no half-time facilities. Tickets cost £149 plus VAT for Grade A matches, such as those against Manchester United and Arsenal and £119 plus VAT for Grade B including Leeds, Newcastle United, Chelsea, Spurs and Manchester City. All other fixtures cost £99 plus VAT. The club has been granted a year's planning permission on the condition that the marquee will not open for business outside the hours of 9am to 5pm on non-match days and will not serve alcohol after 9pm on match evenings.
Colin would never wave white flag for beloved Blues
Aug 7 2003 By Chris Wright, Daily Post
AS the simple white flag fluttered in the breeze , it summed up just what Colin Harvey meant to Everton. While he was making his Sheffield Wednesday debut at Bolton's Burnden Park, at Goodison Park Evertonians had unveiled a banner that read: '£70,000 an insult to Colin Harvey, The White Pele'. A Blues playing career that had begun on September 25, 1963 in the San Siro had finally come to an end 11 years later when a hip injury and a new manager at the helm - Billy Bingham - meant the lifelong Blue had to leave his spiritual home. During those glory years, Harvey had won League Championship and FA Cup winners' medals and made 384 appearances in all competitions, scoring 24 goals in the Royal Blue jersey. But that banner meant as much to him as many of the honours he collected. The 58-year-old recalled: "I obviously wasn't at Goodison. I had made my debut for Sheffield at Bolton and my dad had come through to pick me up. When we got back there, a couple of mates who had been to the game said 'you won't believe it but they unveiled a banner in the Bullens Road'. It was a great honour and for people to think of you that highly is wonderful."
But back in 1962 the Blues faithful almost never got the chance to marvel at Harvey's skill and competitive nature. An integral part of the Holy Trinity of 'Kendall-Harvey-Ball' almost joined another club - Liverpool. He recalled: "It was an uncle of mine who knew somebody at Everton and he got me a trial. I had had a trial at Liverpool the week previously, but I was an Evertonian and the family were all Evertonians so the possibility of playing for Liverpool wasn't really what I wanted. I'd have gone if there had been nothing else, but the opportunity to go to Everton arose and I was made up. "Les Shannon - Liverpool under-17s' coach Dave Shannon's dad - was the youth team coach at Everton then and he asked me to come back after the trial. So I went back for a couple of weeks and played a couple of games in the 'C' team. But then I had my GCEs and I wasn't expecting much. I played in the last game against Burnley and Les asked 'Are you coming in Monday?' and I said, 'no I've had to get myself a job'. 'Harry Cook, who was the chief scout, said he wanted to talk about signing apprentice forms. My dad was obviously a little bit apprehensive. But I said 'I am going to do it'. So I went into work the next day and told them, although I had to give work two weeks' notice. So I did two weeks in a proper job." Harvey had been brought up as a Blue and used to visit Goodison regularly. He said: "Everton weren't the best team around then - they were a yo-yo team - as were Liverpool. "The first players I saw were midfield players like Wally Fielding and Johnny King, the former Tranmere manager. Then John Moores arrived, brought Harry Catterick in and started bringing quality players like Bobby Collins and Jimmy Gabriel, who were my heroes. Then the next minute I am in the same room as them getting changed. It was great." Soon Harvey was seeing at close quarters how the magic of Catterick and the Blues' new side was making Everton a team to be feared and the championship arrived in 1963. And it was on that day, when Everton beat Fulham to seal their first title victory in 24 years, that the hopes and dreams of a young footballer were forged.
Harvey said: "I played in a 'B' team game at Bellefield. We kicked off at 2pm, but we managed to get down for the last 20 minutes, just in time for the presentation. I remember thinking 'I wouldn't mind some of this,' but you never think it is really going to happen." But no sooner than he was cheering his idols on than he was on the pitch with them, making his debut against one of the greatest club sides in the world, Inter Milan in the San Siro stadium. Harvey remembered: "I just worked hard through the summer and I got into the reserves. Then we played at Sheffield United on the Saturday before the first team were flying out to Milan and on the way back we stopped for a meal. Gordon Watson was in charge of the reserves and he went out and made a phone call. He came back and told me to report with my gear along with Barry Reece and Roy Parnell. The three of us came in on the Monday morning ready to travel to Inter Milan. "We thought we were carrying the skips."
But it was more than skip carrier that Harvey had been drafted into Catterick's squad for. It was to make a dream debut in the San Siro aged just 18. Harvey recalled: "Jimmy Gabriel had got injured on the Saturday. Obviously there was a place going but I didn't think for one minute that it would be me. "But during the team meeting Harry said, 'Jimmy's not fit so Dennis Stevens will move back to number four and Colin you come in and wear number eight'. And that was it. That was the first I knew about it. "I didn't really have time to get nervous and it was a case of just getting on with it. I didn't have a great game but I didn't do too badly considering we were playing against a team who were eventually the European champions two years running." It was a daunting debut but one Harvey coped with it. The Blues lost 1-0 to a goal from Brazilian star Jair. Harvey recalled: "I was a little bit in awe of them. I was a big reader of World Soccer and I still am now so I knew all their players. But it didn't faze me as much as I thought it might." But Everton were no back numbers themselves and although no more trophies followed until the FA Cup victory over Sheffield Wednesday in 1966, Harvey remembers that side being packed with talented players. He said: "There were some unbelievable players like Alec Young and Roy Vernon. We were a top class side, no two ways about it. Brian Labone and Gordon West had just got in the side, so I was going into a very good side. "And once I did go in regularly it took me a while to find my feet." But both Everton and Harvey were about to find their feet in spectacular fashion. Harvey's team-mate Alan Ball was a big part in the transformation. Harvey said: "A couple of things happened. We won the Cup in 66. Then we played Liverpool in the Charity Shield at Goodison. They had the World Cup on display, the championship - Liverpool had won it - and the Cup. They beat us 1-0 and they absolutely murdered us. It was a 1-0 massacre. But on the Monday Harry went out and bought Alan Ball and that took us on to another level. Well, several levels." Harvey will forever be linked with his teammate, but he is still full of admiration for the England star. He said: "He was a fantastic player. He was the best Everton player I have ever seen. "He was the best player I have played alongside and up until Kenny Dalglish, I thought he was the best club player I've seen." That Holy Trinity gave hours of pleasure to the Blues faithful, but Harvey is at pains to point out that there was more to the side than just the celebrated triumvirate. He added: "We did play a lot of good football, but it was a team of internationals. We did get a lot of credit for it, but three men never won a title. Brian Labone's favourite line is 'we are the only three-man team to ever win a championship'." That title win was a personal highlight for Harvey. Although he was a player with superb passing skills and a competitive nature, goalscoring was not his forte. But he recalls two of particular significance - a semi-final winner and a goal that helped clinch the 1970 title against West Brom, when he beat two men and arrowed an exocet home to send Goodison into raptures.
IN THE BEGINNING: Harvey (front row far left) with his school football team
He said: "The goal in the FA Cup semi-final in 1966 (against Manchester United at Burnden Park) and the goal that sealed the title were big highlights." It should have been the start of another era of Blues success, but a hip injury curtailed his appearances and he eventually moved to Sheffield Wednesday in October 1974. But he retired less than a year-and-a-half into his career at Hillsborough. Harvey said: "I picked up an injury not long after in the title win and it turned out to be a big hip problem. I was feeling it from about 27 on. "It was a big wrench to leave. Billy Bingham arrived and he made it clear he wanted his own players. But I wanted to play first team football, so I went to Sheffield Wednesday. "It was a disappointment to me and to them because I didn't do as well as I should have done." But whatever happened in Sheffield he will forever be fondly remembered at Goodison as that Bullens Road banner testifies. Harvey said: "I've never met the people who made it and I'm not sure if it's still knocking around. But it is an unbelievable honour for people to think of you that highly. I was a bit embarrassed about it, but very proud. "I wouldn't say I understand the fans, but being one yourself and having watched some poor sides and some great sides I think they look on you as one of them." There is no doubt as a player Colin Harvey was that.
Harvey's pride at one-cap wonder
Chris Wright Daily Post
Aug 7 2003
TEAMWORK: Howard Kendall, Alan Ball and Colin Harvey made a formidable team IT still rankles with Evertonians that two parts of the Holy Trinity managed just one England cap between them, while less talented players then and since have garnered a hatful. While Alan Ball gained 72 international caps and won a World Cup winners' medal, Howard Kendall somehow failed to make a full international appearance. And Colin Harvey's sole game came in a 1-0 European Championship victory in Malta for Sir Alf Ramsay's side on February 3, 1971 - the night team-mate Joe Royle also made his international bow. But rather than look on it with regret, Harvey had immense pride and was glad for the novelty value as a one-cap wonder. He said: "I missed out on a couple of squads when I was injured and I know I would have got games then. I wouldn't have won loads of caps but I would have got another four or five caps "But it was tight knit then. The team that won the World Cup were like a club side. He (Ramsay) had had them for a number of years and without a lot of tinkering it was more or less the same team. So it was very difficult to break in." Even so, Harvey was too hard to ignore and although injuries curtailed what could have become a blossoming international career, he was happy for the chances offered to him. He added: "I got in once or twice, but I'm remembered as a one-cap wonder, which is better than having four or five. "Very often you see a compilation of one-cap wonder teams and I'm in it so at least I'm remembered for that.
"It is not like today when they give them away. Back then you really had to earn your cap."
Watson: We are playing for our shirts
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Aug 7 2003
STEVE WATSON last night admitted there are no excuses for Everton's dismal pre-season form.
The Blues midfielder confessed every member of the squad has yet to convince David Moyes they merit a starting role at Arsenal on Saturday week following successive defeats at Dundee United, Preston and Roda JC. Manager Moyes questioned his side's attitude, desire and determination after a lame first-half performance in Holland on Tuesday night, bringing all his squad back in for training on their return yesterday. With only nine days to go before the Premiership resumes at Highbury, Everton are still awaiting their first signing of the summer - the only top flight club yet to make one.
But Watson revealed the lack of transfer activity has not weakened morale at Goodison as he insisted the current squad still has the capacity to improve on last season's campaign. "I don't think not bringing anyone in has had an effect on the squad," he said. "We are all well aware of the situation at the club. We are not a Chelsea with £140million to spend on new players and that is not our concern either. "We still have the same collection of players that should have taken the club into Europe last season and our realistic aim for the new season is to go one better. "We don't believe that this season is all about consolidation, we believe it is about improving and finishing higher than last season's seventh place." Moyes is still holding out for top target Sean Davis despite Middlesbrough's continued interest in the Fulham midfielder. And Watson admits there is intense competition for the current Everton squad to prove themselves after recent below-par displays.
He said: "I speak to a lot of players at other Premiership clubs and I've noticed a lot of Premiership clubs getting bad results this summer. They've all said that pre-season is all about building up your fitness and that is the main aim for us too. "But with less than a fortnight to go before the season starts it is a concern that we are still losing games and haven't looked like scoring in the last three.
"Now it is time to really start raising our game. It is our last competitive game before the start of the new season against Bologna on Sunday and there is no question are all playing for our shirts now.
"No-one is assured of a place against Arsenal that's for sure. We've all got to stand up and be counted and show we deserve a in that team." Tuesday night's Dutch defeat capped a treble of miserable outings the Blues and Watson added: "The first-half performance was, by our standards, very poor. “ It doesn't matter if it's a friendly, you never like to lose and there were stages in the game when we couldn't get or keep the ball."
Italian job will mark end of era for Goodison legend
Aug 7 2003 By Rob Brady, Liverpool Echo
COLIN HARVEY dedicated his life to the Blues. Now retired, the club rewards his loyal service with a richly deserved testimonial this weekend. In the first of a three-part series, Harvey reflects on how he lived the Everton dream.WHEN his beloved Blues play Bologna on Sunday, it will complete the circle of Colin Harvey's illustrious career.A lifetime's service spanning more than 40 years began, and will end, against Italian opposition.Harvey (pictured) performed every major role for the Blues in that time, from boyhood supporter, through to star player and club manager.He freely admits that he "lived the dream".Sunday's match will close the book on a remarkable working life which started as an 18-year-old in the daunting San Siro stadium way back in 1963.Harvey's debut against Inter Milan in the first round second leg of the European Cup - which the Blues lost 1-0 - remains one of the highlights of his Everton 'marriage'."I still cherish the memory," said Harvey, who was handed his big break by manager Harry Catterick . "You always remember your first game and to play in the San Siro was unbelievable."I wasn't told I was playing until late in the afternoon. I just went out there thinking not a great deal was expected of me and I would just do my best. It was a great team performance and I really enjoyed the occasion. It seems like yesterday."Afterwards Harry Catterick said 'well done' and if you got that out of him you had played well. Then for the next game I was back in the reserves."That was the way he was. He was an old-school manager who governed the whole club."Harvey's Goodison love affair began at the tender age of six. Watching from the packed terraces, the exploits of 50s heroes Wally Fielding, Johnny King and Bobby Collins left him spellbound."For a while we lived just off Gwladys Street and I used to go into the boys' pen," he recalled. "There used to be 75,000 packed into the ground. The atmosphere was fantastic."Harvey joined the club straight from school and in the years to come developed into one of the game's finest midfielders. Together with Howard Kendall and Alan Ball (pictured above), he formed the best midfield trio the club has ever seen and allowed the Blues to sweep all before them in the late 60s. Dubbed the 'White Pele', Harvey's intelligent passing, tireless running and will to win inspired Everton to a 1966 FA Cup victory and the 1970 championship.But Harvey is a modest man and deflects all the praise onto Ball, who he rates as Everton's greatest ever player."He was unbelievable," he said. "He was a ball of fire. Fantastic. It rubbed off on the rest of us and raised everyone's game. You wanted to be as good as him."When Bally arrived I thought we were the best footballing side in the country and played fabulous footbal l . Harry Catterick never really got the credit he deserved."I was never a great goalscorer. That was one of the aspects of my game I should have been better at. Joe Royle used to say that I could pass it all over the pitch, but as soon as I reached the box I got a nosebleed. Harry told me to work box-to-box, which I did, and occasionally I got a spectacular goal."One of the most memorable was his first ever strike for the Blues in September 1964. For a boyhood Evertonian, there can be no more fitting victim than Liverpool."We went there as underdogs because we had injuries," Harvey recalled."We thought we would get murdered, but won 4-0 and I got the third."Grabbing the winner in the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United at Burnden Park in 1966, as well a stunning solo effort that clinched the 1969/70 title at Goodison are also magic moments.After making more than 380 appearances for the Blues - in which he scored 24 goals - Harvey was transferred to Sheffield Wednesday in 1974.Those two seasons at Hillsborough were the only ones he spent away from his spiritual home, but his Wednesday career was cut short after hip probl e ms be gan to materialise.When he was offered a coaching role back at Goodison, he did not hesitate in returning to Merseyside.From there he was appointed Howard Kendall's number two in 1983, coinciding with a massive resurgence in the club's fortunes.And when Kendall left the managerial hot-seat, Harvey was the man the club turned to. The final chapter of the Harvey life story will be written on Sunday, when thousands of Evertonians will pay tribute at his testimonial.Now 58, hip replacement surgery has meant he has had to call time on his coaching duties."Sunday will be an emotional time for me, but also a very proud one," he admitted. "It's recognition that everyone thinks you have done a good job."Everton has been a major part of my life. I came here as a boy supporting the team and I went on to play, coach and manage at Everton. I lived the dream."I used to play in front of 65,000 people. How can you forget things like that? Every time I come to Goodison, it takes your mind back."The Everton ties are way too strong to sever completely, however.In his retirement years, Harvey intends to remain a familiar face around Goodison Park.He vowed: "In a way it is a sad time for me, but I'm not just going to walk away from the place."I will be involved in a lot of different ways, maybe doing a bit of scouting. I'll be watching Everton and wanting them to win. Nothing will change."
Wright D-day landing
Aug 7 2003 By Rob Brady, Liverpool Echo
RICHARD WRIGHT was aiming to hand Everton a goalkeeping boost after visiting a specialist today to assess his shoulder injury - a day earlier than originally planned.The stopper (left) has been unable to join in full training after hurting his shoulder in a fall at home.Paul Gerrard has deputised in pre-season, but his formhas been patchy.If the specialist declares Wright fit, manager David Moyes will throw him into the reserve game against Welsh side TNS tomorrow night.And that could pave the way for him to yet make the Blues starting line up for their opening Premiership game at Arsenal.Republic of Ireland International Lee Carsley is also likely to figure as he heads back to fitness after suffering knee ligament damage in pre-season.Moyes said: "Richard Wright will see a specialist today to see how he is progressing with the injury. He has been doing lots of arm work, but hopefully he will get the go-ahead to pick up his training."If he gets that go-ahead we will try to play him tomorrow night. Lee Carsley is improving and there's a good chance he will be fit for the reserve game."Moyes is desperate to have Wright fit for the start of the season after Gerrard's error prone displays in pre-season which saw him gift Roda a 2-0 victory in Holland on Tuesday.Wright and Carsley are not expected to feature in Colin vey's testimonial on Sunday.Meanwhile, Wayne Rooney still looks unlikely to be ready for the game against Arsenal in 10 days time.The teenage striker was also seeing a specialist today to assess the ankle injury he picked up against Rangers.Moyes added: "We will have Wayne checked to see how he is progressing and hopefully we will be able to increase his work. He is not ready to start full training, but he is not far away. We will be guided by the specialist."The manager insists that Everton's approach to Sunday's game against Italian side Bologna has not been affected by their poor first half display in Holland in mid-week."It does not have any added edge," he said. "It will continue to be a pre-season game. I want the added edge to be there at the start of the season."That's when it matters. I would like us to play well and get a performance we can build on."There was a second half performance against Roda which had things in it which were a bit more like it. I will use that as a positive to take into the next game."I don't know a great deal about Bologna. They are a mid-table team in the Italian League. It will be interesting to see, but more importantly, it's a game for people to turn out and support Colin Harvey."
Time to show patience in Moyes plans
Fanscene With Mark O'Brien, Daily Post
Aug 8 2003
IT'S coming around again, as famous Evertonian Carly Simon once sang. Twenty-eight thousand eager Blues have snaffled up season tickets for the new campaign, no doubt intoxicated by a combination of last season's heroic failure to get into Europe and, of course, the Wayne Rooney Roadshow. How many of them now doubt their wisdom? A lack of new signings and some less than impressive friendly results have certainly put a dampener on the build-up to the opening game at Highbury, although the assumption that one is the direct result of the other is perhaps a little premature. Quite frankly, the squad that finished seventh in the Premiership last season should be able to beat Crewe, Dundee United and the rest, with or without Sean Davis, Steve McManaman or Robbie Savage. David Moyes' players have already shown at Shrewsbury in the FA Cup that they are capable of a certain amount of arrogance when it comes to facing lower league opposition, believing that their inate superiority will carry them through without the need for all that undignified working and fighting that serves them so well in the league. Hopefully they will have bucked their ideas up by August 16 and we'll see them getting back to basics and doing the things they do well. As for transfers, everyone likes to see exciting new signings but unless you're a Chelsea supporter - and there will probably be plenty of new ones - not many clubs have bought anyone who really catches the eye. After missing out on Ronaldinho, for instance, do you think that Manchester United fans are drooling over the prospect of their first sight of Eric Djemba-Djemba and Tim Howard? Moyes is being cautious with Everton's money, but you only have to look to our present squad to see the results of spending for spending's sake. He knows that with the sparse resources at his disposal he has no room for error. The players he brings in must be a significant improvement on what we already have because once this cash is spent he has no idea when he will get any more. One season of improved league form hasn't wiped out the financial problems that have burdened us for so long; we've only really taken a few steps on the road to recovery, but we can at least be thankful that we're not in the same situation as Leeds United. After all, it wasn't so long ago that we were the club selling off our best young players to keep the wolves from the door. Moyes asked the fans for patience when he first took the job as Everton manager, but we've never really had to display it as everything he's touched has pretty much turned to gold. Maybe now is the time when we need to show a bit of restraint and look at the bigger picture as he tries to continue to work his magic and get his limited side to live up to our increased expectations.
Icliverpool And Daily Post
Aug 8 2003
AS AN exiled Blue, my concerns are starting to grow over the in pre-season. I went to the Rangers game at Ibrox and was extremely concerned by what I saw. Yes, we are constantly told not to read too much into pre-season games but the fact is, we have failed to score in four of our pre-season games and have conceded a number of soft goals into the bargain. When you take into account that the blank returns came against Crewe, Preston, Dundee United and an average Dutch side, then you really have to start to worry that the squad is not up to it.
Barry Johns, Glasgow
Back the boss
MOYES is still the main man and I believe he will make signings when he's ready, which will be before the big kick off. Everton were poor against Preston but the results will come. Some players need badly to be offloaded before Moyes can personalise his squad and that will not happen until the end of the coming season. The squad from last year is good enough to reach Europe if Radz can keep fit and sharpen his finishing. Let's get behind the team and manager and stop moaning.
Lee Butler, Liverpool
Sam shows way
IF CASH is the problem, then we only need to take a leaf out of Sam Allardyce's book and loan some players until we have the cash for quality players.
Richie Eccles, Moreton
BAH! Humbug! So we can't watch Premiership football on foreign decoders any-more. Typical of the killjoy attitude of the money men. Why don't they concentrate on REAL crime?
Howard Rowles, (via e-mail)
WHY NOT play Radz as a winger on the left or right. He's got the pace and some goal scoring ability. He must be a huge improvement on Carsley, Naysmith, Pembridge and Watson. We could add a few Bosmans to the squad in the form of Di Canio and Kinkladze. They'd add the extra flair we need.
Keith Armstrong, Bootle
Milk despair turned Blues into cream of England
By Chris Wright, Daily Post
Aug 8 2003
DEFEAT to Liverpool is certainly nothing to celebrate if you are an Evertonian. But Colin Harvey believes it was just such a traumatic result - in a final as well - that was a spark to the most successful period in the club's history. Harvey had been one of the Blues' most celebrated players during the 1960s and early 1970s. And after a hip injury forced him out of the game while playing for Sheffield Wednesday, he made a return to his spiritual home of Goodison in 1976 as youth team coach and reserve boss under Billy Bingham and then Gordon Lee. And while Harvey was instrumental in launching the careers of some of the Blues' best players, it wasn't until he was reunited with another third of the 'Holy Trinity' of Kendall-Harvey-Ball that things really began to take off. Howard Kendall had returned to Goodison in 1981 after the sacking of Gordon Lee. But it was a baptism of fire and the Blues struggled initially under his reign. But two runs to the finals of the Milk and FA Cups in the 1983-84 started a sparkling four-year period of success. And Harvey, who had been promoted to assistant manager by then, believes that run to the Milk Cup final in 1984 was a catalyst. The Blues more than held their own in the first all-Merseyside cup final at Wembley, which ended goalless. The Reds won the Maine Road replay thanks to Graeme Souness' second-half strike, but the Blues had got a taste for mixing it with the big boys. Harvey recalled: "Getting to the '84 Milk Cup Final was the start really. It gave them the belief. They got there on merit and got beat by a very, very good Liverpool side, and possibly we deserved to win it. "So once you do it you think, 'well, there is not much difference here'. And they realised that and off they went. "It is great to win the Cup. But at the start of the championship year, in '84, we lost the first two games, but played really well in both of them. And you are thinking, 'We've got to win the championship over 40 games.' But we knew we could do it and did it in style - winning it quite easily in the end." It had been a wonderful achievement for the club, but also for Harvey personally. Since being brought back to Goodison as youth team coach, he witnessed many of that championship-winning side progress through the ranks under his tuition. He said: "I finished playing and didn't really know what to do. Billy Bingham asked me to go back as youth team coach in 1976. "You feel honoured to be invited back. He sold me as a player and I understood the reasons. I held no grudges. My career moved in steps after that. I took the youth team, then reserves, then Howard invited me to come to work with the first team. Then he left and I was the boss. "There were players like Kevin Ratcliffe, Graeme Sharp, who was bought but was only young when he arrived, and Neville was playing for the reserves when I was in charge. Stevie McMahon came through around that time and Paul Lodge - there were quite a few that went on and played in the first team. And also Brian Borrows, who went on to Coventry and played in a Cup final. "I always enjoyed seeing that, not just for any self satisfaction, but those who had gone on and done things like that had worked really hard to get it. It wasn't given to them on a plate. It was their just rewards to get in the first team and become good Everton players." Good Everton players is an understatement. The 1984 FA Cup win over Watford was the first of four trophies in four years for the Blues, including two title victories. And being part of one celebrated Everton side from the 1960s Harvey knew what it took to be successful. He said: "You have got to have a really good blend in midfield. The blend we had was good with Howard and me more defensive, Bally being more attacking. We had Johnny Morrisey on the left and Jimmy Husband, although he played to the right, he made breaks and joined up with Joe as a front man at times. The balance was right. "And the balance of the 84-87 team with Trevor (Steven), Sheeds (Kevin Sheedy), Reidy (Peter Reid) and Paul Bracewell was right. We also had Alan Harper and Kevin Richardson, who were two very good players in their own right, always there to fill in for anyone. "We had the two strikers - Sharpy, Andy Gray or Inchy and we had a solid defence built around Kevin Ratcliffe and of course a top class goal-keeper. It was a brilliant side. But it was the balance." Harvey's only regret from his first time as Kendall's right-hand man was the European ban that deprived that side from building on their European Cup Winners' Cup success in Rotterdam in 1985. He said: "They never got the opportunity and it would have been very interesting because they beat a very good Bayern Munich side. Probably one of the best sides in Europe at the time - and beat them handsomely."
That night has gone down in Goodison folklore and it is one Harvey remembers fondly, when the Blues came back from a goal down to win 3-1 and book their place in the final against Rapid Vienna. He said: "It was a hell of a game. We went over there and did a really professional job the way they went about it. We didn't look like conceding a goal. We never looked like scoring either. "But the atmosphere at Goodison was unbelievable and it stepped the game right up. It was an amazing night. "We weren't over confident going into the final after that, but we had watched Vienna.
The final was Bayern Munich really. If would have been very interesting to see how we would have got on. But three or four players moved on because of the Europe thing." And having played in one great side and helped coach another he is best placed to judge which was superior. He said: "You can't really compare sides, but having played in one and watched and worked with the other I think we were a little bit better. "I've had this argument with Howard and he thinks it would have been even. But I think we would have beaten them six times out of 10, with a couple of draws thrown in.
"They were great players and probably a little bit more powerful than our side. But they were two great sides to be involved in." The European ban on English clubs saw Kendall leave to sample continental combat himself as boss of Athletic Bilbao. It gave Harvey the chance to make the final step up the ladder as manager. In hindsight his three-year reign looks like something of a success in comparison to what followed. But after what had gone before, it became a series of near misses and it ended in his sad departure. Harvey said: "It was very frustrating more than anything because at every other level before and since I was successful. I had always been a winner as a player. I was involved with the first team, youth team and won things. But the fact that I never won anything as a manager was disappointing. "We got close a couple of times. The League positions weren't too bad - fourth, sixth, eighth - cup final against Liverpool, semi-final of the League Cup against Arsenal. "It was just an inch away. That was the frustrating thing. "At the end of the day I didn't win anything and as a manager you are judged on what you win or don't win and I have got no complaints."
But despite it all he was proud just to have led the Blues. He said: "It was a proud day leading the team out at Wembley. The first one wasn't really my team because Howard had won the championship the year before and then I did it against Liverpool which was something I'll always remember." Harvey returned just days after his exit as boss in 1991, again in tandem as assistant to Kendall. But it proved to be one return too many. Harvey said: "It was probably the old thing about never going back. We had worked well together and we thought we could again. "But looking back maybe we shouldn't. But I love the club and apart from four or five years I have been there for the last 40-odd years, so it has always been hard to leave." But for Harvey, due to his success as player and coach, his presence will never leave the club even in retirement.
Colin's joy at being in limelight once again
Chris Wright Daily Post
Aug 8 2003
COLIN HARVEY is not one for the limelight, but come Sunday he will be happy to be centre stage.
After almost 40 years as a player, youth coach, assistant manager and manager of Everton Football Club he gets a welldeserved testimonial when David Moyes' side take on Bologna at Goodison Park.
It will be the first time the 58-year-old has been centre stage since he finished his playing career in the mid-70s. And he is looking forward to his big day. He said: "It will be a very proud day and I haven't really been on the pitch since I left as a player. "I have obviously stood on the edge so many times I can't remember, but I have never been the centre of attention like that since I was a player.
"There will be all sorts of emotions - the memories, the pride and a little bit of apprehension and a bit of nerves. But I will be very, very proud to be an Evertonian back on there." Harvey decided to give up his role as coach to the Blues' under-19s side after more problems from his long-standing hip injury. As he could no longer perform his duties the way he always had, he decided to call it a day.
And the testimonial, with a portion of the proceeds going to Blueblood, the Everton Former Players Association, seemed the perfect end to a memorable career. Harvey said: "I was thinking about giving the coaching up anyway because of my hip, and then this comes up so it seemed the right way to go out. "I love the coaching but the way I like to work is very intense. "I've had both hips done. One was done nearly 20 years ago and I've never had any problems. "But I had the other one done a couple of years ago and it was never right. So I had what they call a revision and when you get that it is just to get you around, you can never really do the same as before. "So over the last two years it has been frustrating because I haven't been able to do what I want to do properly. So with the testimonial it is probably the best time to have a break from it." But having lived and breathed football for most of his life, it will be hard for him to stay away. He added: "Once the season starts I will be going to watch games. It will be nice to watch Everton games again because I haven't had the opportunity for a while. "And I can also watch other games and whether people will want me to watch players for them I don't know. But I still want to be involved in some way even if it is only watching." Being a big Evertonian from even before he came to the club as a 16-year-old apprentice in 1961, he is keen to see Moyes' side build on the progress of the last 18 months. He added: "Hopefully someone can come along and break the Arsenal-United monopoly and hopefully it can be Everton. "It is a little bit predictable at the moment." And he believes Everton have the right man to bring the glory days of the 1960s and 1980s back to Goodison. He said: "Just from his (Moyes) arrival to the end of the season you could see the difference. Who is to say whether we would have gone down, I don't know, but the improvement has been great."
Davis poised for move
By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Aug 8 2003
SEAN DAVIS was last night waiting for Everton to make their move after handing in a transfer request at Fulham. The midfielder signalled his intention to leave Craven Cottage and is believed to prefer Goodison Park as his chosen destination ahead of Middlesbrough. Davis has been the top target of David Moyes throughout the summer as the Blues boss seeks to increase his side's creativity from midfield. But Moyes has been hamstrung by the ever-present financial constraints with which he has been forced to work under. Everton have already had an undisclosed bid for Davis - believed to be in the region of £5million - turned down by Fulham, who value the player nearer the £7m mark. But the midfielder's insistence on moving could push down the price, with the Cottagers realistically unable to hold on to a player who no longer wishes to play for them and being forced into a quick sale before the transfer market becomes even further depressed. Everton have yet to launch a fresh bid for Davis, but may be forced to act soon after Middlesbrough boss Steve McClaren yesterday stated his interest in the England under-21 international. "I said this morning before I even knew this when asked about Sean Davis that he's a player I've always admired," said the Boro boss. "He's a clever player who fits our profile. He's English, he's young and he's a player that I've said if he becomes available, he's somebody we'd certainly be interested in."
Davis cited a lack of ambition at Fulham as his main reason for wanting to quit the club. "I've been at Fulham a long time and now I think it is time I moved on," said Davis, who is currently recovering from a medial ligament injury which will keep him out for the first two weeks of the season.
"It is not a decision I have taken lightly and I hope the fans understand, but I am a very ambitious player and I don't think Fulham have the necessary ambition any more since they sold Steve Finnan (to Liverpool). "I have made the decision with no disrespect to Chris Coleman, who is a great guy. In fact, the decision was made harder because of my respect for him. "Hopefully he will do well, but I have to put myself first. The European Championships are coming up at the end of the season and I feel I would have a better opportunity of making them by moving to a bigger club. "I have to think of myself. I want to improve as a player and this is a cross-roads in my career. It has not been an overnight decision and I want the fans to know that." Meanwhile, Richard Wright is poised to make his first appearance of the pre-season after yesterday being given the all clear by a specialist to resume full training. The goalkeeper has been named in the squad for tonight's pre-season friendly against Welsh Premier League outfit TNS. It would be the Wright's first outing since suffering a shoulder injury in a freak domestic accident during the close season. "It's now been eight weeks since Richard sustained his injury and we're delighted that the specialist has given him the okay to play," added Everton's Head of Physio, Mick Rathbone. "Richard has been working hard this pre-season on his fitness, but we've had to keep a careful eye on him while he's been doing the goalkeeping work." Li Tie and Lee Carsley - who were both absent from Tuesday's defeat in Holland against Roda JC - are also included in the squad alongside midfielder Leon Osman and striker Nick Chadwick. Wayne Rooney has moved a step nearer to a recovery from the ankle injury sustained in the 3-2 friendly win at Glasgow Rangers last month. The 17-year-old is rated by Moyes as having an outside chance of making the Premiership kick-off at Arsenal tomorrow week. And the Blues boss will be buoyed by the news the striker is ready to step up his training as he attempts to regain full fitness. "Wayne's been given the go-ahead by the specialist to do some light jogging and he's just run a couple of miles," added Rathbone. "He felt absolutely no reaction to his injury and if he continues to feel ok, we'll step up the intensity of his training at the weekend."
Davis deal is fine for Blues
Aug 8 2003 Howard Kendall, Liverpool Echo
SEAN DAVIS would be an outstanding signing for Everton. A number of Premiership clubs will have been alerted after he handed in a transfer request at Fulham. He is a talented central midfielder who can benefit a defence and attack. The Blues are one of the teams that have been linked with him this summer. Middlesbrough and Southampton are other names that have been put forward, but if the player values success over money he will want to come to Everton. That is not me being biased, it is just that when you look at the size of each club, only Everton are big enough to match his ambition. Fulham don't want to lose Davis and they can turn down his transfer request, but any fee would be difficult to resist to a club in their position. Fulham's valuation of the player will almost certainly be higher than Everton are willing to pay, but if this is a player that David Moyes really wants then the club should be willing to spend a million or so extra to get him.
Turnout for Harvey
I CAN'T wait for Colin Harvey's testimonial on Sunday. Hopefully there will be a good turnout to honour the man. There isn't enough space here to talk about Colin's contribution to the club.
But if the fans are thinking that the pre-season schedule has been a disappointment, forget it. Pre-season results are not that important. Just enjoy Sunday's match. David Moyes will see the game against Bologna as the last competitive match before the new season. He will be looking for his players to get it right on Sunday.
That will be a fitting tribute to Colin.
No place for Cole
CHELSEA have gone about their summer spending incredibly well, looking to create a balanced side - but I can't agree with their signing of Joe Cole. Juan Veron and Frank Lampard in the centre of midfield is a great combination, but where do you play Cole. I have always felt he is not a striker or a midfielder. He is a player that wanders and Chelsea don't need him, unless they consider him good enough to build their system around. I feel they have made a mistake in signing him - possibly getting a bit carried away in the transfer market because he is a talented player who was available.
Cole will excite the fans at Stamford Bridge, but away from home I don't reckon Chelsea will even play him. I can't see them becoming champions next season if they don't have a set way of playing where everyone knows what they are supposed to do. Claudio Ranieri has built a balanced side this summer so I can't see where Cole fits in. If they must make room for him somewhere, that will only upset the balance.
Time not right for Fran
THERE has been talk of Francis Jeffers returning to Everton, but now is not the right time. If Jeffers has to move from Arsenal, he needs to prove himself at another club over a prolonged period.
Blackburn have been linked with him and after he has been there for a few years, then it would be the right time to bring him back to Goodison. But at the moment the Blues don't need his type of striker. The priority signing lies in midfield.
Quality control king
Aug 8 2003 By Rob Brady, Liverpool Echo
COLIN Harvey served the Blues for more than 40 years. On Sunday the club hosts a testimonial against Bologna to mark his many achievements. In the second part of our three-part series, Harvey talks about developing the talent of youngsters like Wayne Rooney, plus his only regret as manager.
WHEN asked what it is that makes a great player, Colin Harvey's answer is straightforward: "character". To make it to the top, an individual must have an unswerving will to win and a desire to push himself to the limit. That is the difference that separates talented kids from the stars of the future. Character was the quality Harvey always looked for in the youngsters who came under his wing at Everton's Youth Academy. Over the past 10 years he helped turn promising lads like Francis Jeffers, Tony Hibbert and Wayne Rooney into household names. Harvey explained: "You can't really make a judgement on a young lad until they are about 13 or 14, when you begin to see their character and how badly they want to be a player. The will to win and desire to push themselves is something they are born with. You look for that because it is vitally important. "The most important thing at any club is that the first team wins on a Saturday. Everyone works towards that goal. At youth level all you are trying to do is work the young lads in the right way. If they have the right attitude, all you are really doing is getting them towards the first team." Interestingly, Harvey still talks about Rooney having "potential", despite the lad now being widely considered an England regular. Everton have always been very reticent about singing the teenager's praises too highly and caution is obviously a habit Harvey finds hard to kick, even in retirement. He insists Rooney still has some way to go before he can be compared to Everton greats like Alan Ball, the player Harvey considers the finest ever to wear a Blue shirt. "He has got great potential," he said. "But until Wayne wins things, Bally will always be the best. Look at what he achieved as a player - he won championships, cups, played for England 72 times and was a World Cup winner. "If you want to aspire to be a great player, that's what you have to aim at. Young players have to want it badly. If you have the ability you also need the character to go on and achieve your goals. My feeling is that Wayne has the right character." As a player himself, Harvey had character in abundance. It was this determination that took him from boyhood Evertonian standing on the terraces to one of the finest midfielder's the club has ever had. Skilful, intelligent and with phenomenal stamina, he formed part of the Harvey-Kendall-Ball partnership that set the game alight in the latter half of the 1960s. But it all could have been so different - Harvey was almost caught in the Liverpool net. "I played in junior sides when I was still at school," he revealed. "I played for the school in the morning and then went off to Bellefield, but I had an offer to go to Liverpool. I went there one night and played in a trial game. I was invited back by Liverpool, but thankfully Everton came in for me first." And so was born an Everton career that was to last over 40 years and take in every major position at the club - player, coach and manager.
Regrets of man who failed to find silver lining
Aug 8 2003 By Rob Brady, Liverpool Echo
ONCE A BLUE: Colin Harvey (front row far left) has been an Evertonian since his school days
A CAREER that spanned five decades has to have a some low points, but Colin Harvey only really has one regret. As a boyhood Evertonian, he knew that the fans craved success. Yet as manager of his beloved Blues, he failed to bring silverware back to Goodison. "It was the most frustrating and disappointing thing for me," he explained. "I wanted to win trophies because I knew that is what the fans wanted, but we didn't do it. "I had always been involved with winning teams as a player and as a coach with Howard Kendall. To win something as manager of the club would have put the icing on the cake."We came close a few times, reaching an FA Cup final and the semi-final of the Littlewoods Cup, but it was not quite good enough."Harvey had a tough act to follow when he took over the Goodison hot-seat in June 1987 after Kendall left for Athletic Bilbao.Kendall, his close friend and former team-mate, had established himself as Everton's most successful manager, but Harvey was undaunted. "I wanted to ensure the continuity was there," he said, "but as a manger you live and die by results and at the time mine were not good enough. It was the only time in my career I did not win things." His reign, plagued by injuries to key players, was brought to an end in late 1990. Harvey understands why the board recalled Kendall and he bears no grudge. So after his own stretch as a manager, what does he think of David Moyes. "He took on a job-and-a-half and has done a fantastic job on a limited budget," Harvey said. "With his dedication and knowledge, he will not go far wrong. I didn't have direct dealings with David, but during the times I spent with him his enthusiasm really came through."Given the right tools and money to spend, he won't want to move from the club until he has won something."Harvey's judgement carries weight, for in Harry Catterick and Kendall he has worked with the best. Indeed, when quizzed about who was the better manager, it is a close call."I would pick Howard. Winning a European trophy just edges it. Howard had great man-management skills. We gelled as players and continued from there when we became manager and coach."Harry was from the old-school of management. He governed the whole club. I knew that if I put in 100 per cent he would appreciate it. I remember him once say that although I did not have a good game I gave 100 per cent - but my 100 per cent was not good enough."So what does the current Everton manager think of Harvey's contribution? Moyes said: "When I came here Colin was a big help to me. He was very experienced. I understood exactly why people talk so much about Colin. We used to talk a lot after training. He was a wealth of experience. I'm sorry he has gone."
Blues winning race to sign Davis
Aug 8 2003 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON are confident they will win the race for Sean Davis' signature - after the Fulham midfielder handed in a transfer request yesterday.Middlesbrough will be the Blues' chief rivals for the talented 23-year-old (left).But sources in London say that Davis has already set his heart on a move to Merseyside.The stumbling block now is the fee. Fulham will hold out for as close to the £7m they originally quoted Everton three weeks ago.But Blues boss David Moyes said today: "We have already made what we feel is a realistic offer and we hope that in light of this latest development Fulham will reconsider."Moyes is willing to exhaust his entire transfer pot on Davis, citing Joe Cole's £6.6m move to Chelsea as evidence that Fulham's valuation is too high.Davis said yesterday: "I've been at Fulham a long time and it is time I moved on. It is not a decision I have taken lightly and I hope the fans understand."But I am a very ambitious player and I don't think Fulham have the necessary ambition since they sold Steve Finnan."I have made the decision with no disrespect to Chris Coleman, who is a great guy. In fact the decision was made harder because of my respect for him. Hope-fully he will do well. But I have to put myself first."The European Championships are coming up at the end of the season and I will have a better opportunity of making them by moving to a bigger club."Davis was named in Sven Goran Eriksson's England squad for the friendly international against Australia last season.Everton face Fulham in their first home match of the new season, but Davis would be unable to play for either side in the fixture because of a medial knee ligament strain.The Blues are hoping to make Davis their first new face of the summer, but look likely to tie up another familiar one.Negotiations are still ongoing with Liaoning Bird over Li Tie's permanent transfer, but the player has been included on the official team photo for the new season taken today, indicating that Everton are confident talks will be successful. Everton also hope to hear from China today regarding Alex Nyarko's talks with two unnamed clubs. The African has been training in China with a view to a three-month loan.Richard Wright, meanwhile, will make his Everton comeback at Total Network Solutions tonight and if he successfully completes the 90 minutes will figure again against Bologna on Sunday.Lee Carsley will also play in Wales after recovering from a knee ligament strain.Wayne Rooney, meanwhile, proved yesterday that his fitness is already 'miles' better."Wayne's been given the go-ahead by the specialist to do some light jogging," said physio Mick Rathbone "and he's just run a couple of miles!"He felt absolutely no reaction and if he continues to feel okay, we'll step up the intensity of his training at the weekend."Rooney has still to kick a ball since sustaining the ankle injury, but still has an outside chance of making the start of the season.* A handful of Joe Mercer Suite (£25) and Alex Young Suite (£22) tickets remain for Sunday's friendly match, available on 0151-520-2362.
'Youngsters like Rooney are Blues' backbone'
By Chris Wright, Daily Post
Aug 9 2003
FOOTBALL is built on dreams.
Every Evertonian dreams of playing for the Blues. Playing at international level, winning the League, Cups, coaching, managing and doing just about any job they can to stay with the club they love.
But usually that is all they ever are - dreams. Even Wayne Rooney, who has already begun to live out a fairytale and is starting to rack up honours and records can't really expect to stay with the Blues for 40 years. But if he needs any inspiration or motivation, he has had the perfect tutor during his short stint in the youth teams. Colin Harvey was ideal for the role of teaching young Blues about what it takes to make it at the club. As a graduate of the School of Sceince, Harvey has achieved his dreams and more. As a youngster he stood on the terraces dreaming the dream. That he fulfilled it so well made him the perfect role model in his work as youth coach in two separate spells at Goodison. But can someone like Rooney emulate Harvey, in these days of Bosman moves and multi-million pounds signings? The 58-year-old said: "It is a bit more difficult because money has polarised it. Some clubs are very, very big and it is becoming more difficult for players to stay with one club.
"But it is not impossible. Having seen him for the last five years, all things being equal he is going to be a world class player. But he may not turn out to be like that. But if he keeps levelheaded, keeps listening to the good people around him he will be. "And fairytales do happen. Hopefully it is just the start for him." And modest as ever, Harvey plays down his role in helping develop and nurture some of the Blues' greatest players. He said: "It is not about me or anyone else. You can lay down principles for them about working hard and keep practising and all the things you have to drum into them day-in day-out but they have got to take that on board and all the discipline that goes with it.
"And if they take it on board and go on and play in the first team, then that is when you say you have deserved it and you've put the hard work in, now stay there and become an Everton legend. "But there are so many imponderables that go with it, so you just don't know how things will pan out."
In his first spell as youth coach from 1976, when the man who had ended his playing career - manager Billy Bingham brought him back to the club, Harvey set on the road many youngsters who became stars names in the trophy-laden '80s. He said: "You look at Kevin Ratcliffe and I can remember him coming in as a 15-year-old and who would have said he would have finished up being the most trophy-laden Everton captain of all time. "A lot of people didn't rate him as a player but he stuck at it and worked hard and had an unbelievable career." During that spell the Blues reached the FA Youth Cup final, but they fell to Crystal Palace, who became touted as the team of the '80s.
Harvey recalled: "When I first came back in we got to the final and got beat by Crystal Palace, who had that crew who were going to be the team of the '80s. They had Kenny Sansom playing for them and they had a lot of top class players. We had Mark Higgins playing for us. But we gave them a good game in the final, it's a shame we didn't win." Having coached and managed one of the real teams of the 1980s Harvey then returned to work with the youth team once more in 1996. And he finished what he had started by winning the Youth Cup with a side which included, among others, Francis Jeffers. Harvey said: "At that level they were a good footballing side. We got a bunch of players that year who were very good. There were some smashing footballers amongst them, but they just needed a bit of organisation. "We had Franny (Jeffers), Richard Dunne, Leon Osman got a few games, Tony Hibbert got a few games. The goalkeeper Dean Delaney, who is at Port Vale, Carl Regan was at Barnsley and Adam Eaton was at Preston and the one who was the biggest disappointment, and he won the man of the match in the first leg was Jamie Milligan. He had unbelievable technique but never kicked on. "It is not just ability alone that gets you to where you want to be. But they were top class players." Another final place two years ago, when Rooney emerged as a star of a well-organised side, showed he had not lost his touch with individuals and teams. But it was not the glory, but seeing local youngsters make the grade that filled Harvey with so much joy in his work as youth coach, And he added: "It is always nice to see young homegrown players coming through. You hope they can go in and push on from there. "Any player who you see arrive at the club, then they go on and reach the first team and after that they establish themselves, you are just proud for them. You know hard they have worked to get there. "They are the backbone of your side, the local players. They play with pride. I am not knocking the players from out of town or the foreigners, but you need the four or five local lads who are always going to be in and around the first team."
But despite getting the satisfaction from seeing so many of those in his charge make names for themselves, Harvey has no doubt of his greatest time at the club. He added: "I have enjoyed coaching but nothing can really beat playing. To play for your local side with good players and win things there is nothing better really." If Wayne Rooney or any other up and coming talents can do the same Harvey, as an true Blue, will be more than happy.
BORN: James Colin Harvey, Liverpool, November 16, 1944.
APPEARANCES: Everton, 317 (3 sub) - League, 18 goals; 67 - others, six goals. Sheffield Wednesday, 45 - League, two goals.
HONOURS: Player (1962-1976) - First division championship 1969-70; FA Cup winner 1966, FA Cup runner-up 1968. Manager (1987-1990) - FA Charity Shield winners 1987; FA Cup runners-up 1989; Simod Cup runners-up 1987/88. Youth Team Coach (1976-1980), 1997-2003) - FA Youth Cup winners 1998, runnersup 1977, 2002.
International honours: One appearance (v Malta (European Championship Qualifier), Valletta, February 3 1971). England Under-13s, five apperances. Football League representative, three appearances.
TNS 1, Everton Reserves 3
Aug 9 2003 Liverpool Echo
RICHARD WRIGHT made a successful return to action as Everton reserves came from behind to earn a 3-1 victory at Welsh League side TNS.The Blues keeper, injured for most of the summer after an accident at home, made his comeback with an assured performance, making a couple of brave saves.He said: "I was delighted to get back after what has been a frustrating time this summer.These games are difficult to make your comeback in - at these tight grounds the ball comes at you fast and I was pleased with my performance."I'm now looking forward to my second season at Everton and hopefully with another game or so under my belt, I can prove myself to the manager for the game at Arsenal."With Wayne Rooney watching from the bench, the home side took the lead on 38 minutes through Jamie Wood, but within a minute Everton were level.Leon Osman's cross was scrambled over the line by a combination of both Nick Chadwick and the TNS keeper.Everton went ahead in the 63rd minute when Li Tie found Patrizio Pascucci, and the ball eventually fell to Chadwick who finished from close range past Doherty.Everton increased their lead on 72 minutes when Osman ran skilfully into the box and finished at the second attempt after an initial parry by the TNS keeper.
Everton 3, Bologna 0 (D, Post)
Aug 11 2003 Andy Hunter Reports From Goodison Park, Daily Post
SHORT OF unveiling clones of Harvey, Kendall and Ball as the answer to his midfield prayers David Moyes had his side deliver the most fitting tribute they could to a Goodison legend yesterday.
Colin Harvey's final years at Everton have all been about providing genuine hope for the future in his guise as youth team coach. And yesterday, in their final chance to impress before a crucial season in the club's history commences, the Blues finally offered up some cause for optimism of their own.
Three straight defeats and no new faces had dampened pre-season expectation due to the manner of performance rather than the results everyone insists they pay no attention to. The players themselves admitted confidence had taken a battering after losing to Dundee United, Preston and Roda JC with the defeat by the Dutch leaving Moyes to wonder when the penny would drop with his European hopefuls. That penny has taken a while to be cashed in, with a two-hour delay to yesterday's kick-off extending the wait to the extreme, but having brushed aside Bologna in a style reminiscent of last season they showed the desire to keep the momentum rolling remains strong.
The loss of Kevin Campbell (left) has undoubtedly dented Everton's chances at Arsenal this Saturday but with the prospect of fresh faces now tantilisingly close suddenly the clouds that seemed destined to settle over Goodison are drifting by. With no new signings, no Rooney and, until frantic phonecalls found another plane, no Bologna until 2.30pm it was purely the chance to pay respects to Harvey for his unswerving loyalty as an Everton player, coach and manager that pulled the punters in. Plus, of course, the search for signs that pre-season results and performances aren't the true indication of their team's progress. Everton provided plenty, albeit against admittedly tired Italians whose season doesn't start until August 31, with a bright, purposeful and clued-up display. The opening ten minutes contained more movement, quality control and chances than the entire 90 at Roda JC on Tuesday night, with Campbell first to test former World Cup keeper Gianluca Pagliuca with a reaction shot inside the six-yard box after three minutes. Seconds later the Blues centre-forward took his first heavy knock of the game when Fabio Pecchia caught his ankle. After lengthy treatment the 33-year-old gingerly got to his feet to an obvious sigh of relief from the home fans, but that quickly turned to despair when he collapsed in obvious agony soon after. Campbell had bustled his way into the Bologna box but as he shaped to shoot he appeared to catch his foot in the turf before centre-half Alessandro Gamberini caught his outstretched leg. The striker grabbed his hamstring immediately and when physio Mick Rathbone confirmed the worst, the early optimism suffered a puncture. With Duncan Ferguson suspended for the opening three matches of the new season and Rooney unlikely to be risked against the Premiership runners-up, the striking options for Moyes at Highbury are limited at best. But at least the Blues manager could take more positives from this outing than the last three games combined. Nick Chadwick replaced the stricken Campbell and produced a lively show to improve his chances for Arsenal though it was the entire team display, from Joseph Yobo transforming the defence to Tomasz Radzinski stretching the Italians, that heartened most. The lead arrived in the 19th minute when Thomas Gravesen, another to shine, pierced the Bologna backline with a measured pass through to the Canadian striker. Radzinski's last goal at Goodison before injury struck came with that sublime winner against Southampton in February and he showed no sign of rustiness to bury a comfortable finish under the advancing Pagliuca, with his defence appealing in vain for offside. Raids down both flanks, a fortee of last season's play, kept the visitors under pressure though they almost levelled when a free-kick from veteran striker Giuseppe Signori struck the top of the bar with Richard Wright rooted to the spot.
Alan Stubbs showed Signori cultured curlers aren't the only avenue for set-piece success with a blistering 25-yard drive Pagliuca parried away, but he was beaten on the stroke of half-time when Everton's best move of the match doubled their lead. Gravesen foxed two white shirts with a customary drag-back and sent Alessandro Pistone scurrying to the by-line. Steve Watson connected with the right-back's low cross only for Marcello Castellini to block his half-volley, but the ball fell perfectly for Chadwick to pounce at the back post. Mindful of the blow to Campbell Moyes used the comfortable interval lead to rest a few key players ahead of the Premiership kick-off, Pistone, Stubbs, Gravesen and Radzinski all leaving the fray. The reshuffle didn't interupt the flow of the game, however, and the Blues added a third within five minutes of the restart. Another bright move down the right ended with the ball rolling to Mark Pembridge 20 yards from goal, and the midfielder found the far corner of the Gwladys Street net with a fierce shot that former Arsenal keeper Alex Manninger failed to keep out with his fingertips. A looming striker crisis aside, former Gunner goalkeepers were the most pressing concern where Moyes was concerned and Richard Wright eased his number one problem with his second outing in three days. Such has been Paul Gerrard and Steve Simonsen's impact in Wright's absence this summer that neither were on the bench yesterday, promising Scottish youngster Iain Turner selected instead and given his Goodison debut to a rapturous reception with 11 minutes remaining. While the 19-year-old hinted at his credentials with a fine block and brave claim from Andres Guglielminpietro, it was Wright who had more at stake following his shoulder injury and came through with few scares. In truth he was given little to do, save for a Signori overhead kick straight at him, a fine low stop from Claudio Bellucci and a few important interceptions off his goalline. But all were handled comfortably, suggesting only the arrival of a new keeper this week will stop him facing his old club in six days' time. Wright left the field to a fine ovation, though of course the loudest was reserved for legend Harvey whose dedication to Everton will never be forgotten.
EVERTON (4-4-2): Wright (Turner 79); Pistone (Hibbert 46), Yobo, Stubbs (Weir 46), Unsworth; Watson (Alexandersson 62), Linderoth (Carsley 69), Gravesen (Li Tie 46), Pembridge; Campbell (Chadwick 11) (Osman 62), Radzinski (Ferguson 46).
BOLOGNA (3-5-2): Pagliuca; Zaccardo, Gamberini, Castellini; Nervo, Pecchia, Amoroso, Dalla Bona, Guglielminpietro; Cruz, Signori. Subs: Teixeira, Troise, Bellucci, Manninger, Smit, Locatelli, Golucci.
REFEREE: Mike Dean
It's the Robbie and Rooney show
By Sam Lister, Daily Post
Aug 11 2003
POP superstar Robbie Williams could be among the crowds at Goodison Park this season after striking up an unlikely friendship with Wayne Rooney. The Everton striker chartered a helicopter to take him to Robbie Williams's Knebworth concert, where the singer played to more than 400,000 people over three nights, after receiving a personal invitation to watch the performance. The pair bonded and Robbie may now become a regular face in the crowd at Goodison Park after Rooney gave him an open invitation for the season. The friendship was sparked by a comment Robbie made on a local radio show. A spokesman for Rooney said: "It's true that Robbie came to Liverpool and went on the radio saying he was a fan of Wayne's. "And it's true Wayne went to Knebworth to watch the concert and they have been in contact with each other. If that's a friendship, they are friends. "I think the fact that he flew down to watch the concert shows that he is a fan." Robbie has become a confidant for the Croxteth teenager who was thrust into the limelight after bursting on to the scene with a stunning goal against Arsenal for Everton last year. The ex-Take That star struggled to cope after finding fame in his teenage years and is said to want to point out the pitfalls of fame to the young footballer. Port Vale fan Robbie revealed his admiration for the teenager when he called him an "absolute star" in the interview. Rooney heard the praise and asked his agent to contact Robbie to say he was a massive fan. Robbie then invited him as a VIP to the final night of his Knebworth concerts and the pair chatted back stage. Rooney, who is recovering from an ankle injury, handed over his number nine England shirt as a token of his appreciation. The pair are reported to be meeting up for a night out later this month and could also meet at Robbie's Los Angeles mansion.
Flight hitch for Harvey match
By Debbie James, Daily Post
Aug 11 2003
EVERTON legend Colin Harvey's long-awaited testimonial was delayed for an extra two hours yesterday, because the Blues' opponents hadn't arrived in the UK. The delay affected thousands of fans on their way to Goodison and may have been one factor in a slightly disappointing 13,000 turnout for the game. Everton's Italian opponents, Bologna, flew into Liverpool John Lennon airport to play the pre-season friendly. Their original plane suffered technical problems and a replacement had to be found. The scheduled 3pm kick-off had to be put back to 5pm. An Everton spokesman said: "Most people found out early enough that the game was delayed so they managed to change their travel arrangements." Everton do not anticipate the delay bringing any extra cost for policing the game. A police spokesman said: "The crowd has been very well behaved with no incidents at all." Supporters who did arrive early were let into the ground to watch pre-match entertainment, a friendly involving the Everton Former Players Foundation.
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Aug 11 2003
DAVID MOYES faces a striker crisis ahead of the new Premiership season as he identified Nigel Martyn as the man to ease Everton's keeper dilemma. The Blues hope to hijack the former England stopper's move to Chelsea this week with a £400,000 offer to cash-strapped Leeds. Moyes wants Martyn, 37 today, to increase competition with Richard Wright in the wake of the freak shoulder injury suffered by the current Goodison number one. But just as he hopes to solve a problem at one end of the field another arose for the Blues manager yesterday when Kevin Campbell suffered a hamstring strain against Bologna. Campbell will undergo a scan today to discover the extent of the injury that forced his 10th-minute withdrawal at Goodison Park. But he is a major doubt for Saturday's opener at Arsenal and, with Duncan Ferguson suspended plus Wayne Rooney doubtful with an ankle ligament knock, only Tomasz Radzinski and Nick Chadwick will be fully fit to face the Gunners. "It looks like a slight hamstring strain for Kevin," revealed Moyes, who will hand young Italian striker Patrizio Pascucci a two-year contract with the Blues today. "He was injured when he went over and extended his leg but we won't have any idea if he'll be back in time to face Arsenal until we get the scan results back." Moyes added: "If he's out we could well be short in attack, especially if Wayne doesn't make it in time. Wayne does have a good chance though, but he won't start kicking a ball again until later this week so it may still be touch and go for him." Radzinski, Chadwick and Mark Pembridge all struck yesterday as Everton ended a run of three straight defeats with a comfortable 3-0 win over Serie A side Bologna. Moyes - who could have a decision on Sean Davis in the next 48 hours - added: "When it mattered, which is the opening 30 minutes of these games, it looked as if the game meant a bit more to us. I hope that is the sign of things to come."
Goalkeeper Wright also starred in the Colin Harvey testimonial game, which was delayed for two hours after the Italians' plane was grounded by technical problems. But with the former Arsenal man short of match practice ahead of the weekend return to his former club and neither Paul Gerrard or Steve Simonsen securing a place in Moyes' plans, the Blues may move for Martyn this week. "Richard made a good save when it was needed," said the Blues chief. "That made us feel better and will help his confidence too as he is bound to be a bit tentative at the moment. "Now it's a question of working him hard this week or whether we lay off him so he'll be fit for the start."
Martyn, who infamously turned down a move to Goodison after being allowed to talk to Leeds by former directors in the mid-90s, has been sidelined at Elland Road by the emergence of Paul Robinson. And Everton hope the prospect of more regular first-team football at Goodison will convince him to turn his back on the riches at Stamford Bridge. Pascucci, meanwhile, has been offered a two-year contract after impressing Moyes during his pre-season trial. The 17-year-old, out of contract following his release by Lazio, will join the club's Youth Academy initially rather than the senior squad.
Everton 3, Bologna 0 (Echo)
Aug 11 2003 By David Prentice At Goodison Park, Liverpool Echo
THE crash of dawn thunder heralded an ominous start to Colin Harvey's testimonial day. The news that the scheduled Italian opponents couldn't actually make it to Merseyside in time for a three o'clock kick-off was an even gloomier portent. But in the end it just about turned out right for David Moyes' men. His team finally found some pre-season form and strolled to a 3-0 victory over the travel-weary Serie A side, two strikers boosted their confidence with a goal, Richard Wright returned safely from injury with his second outing in 48 hours - and there was even a brief run-out for a young goalkeeper held in very high esteem by the back-room staff at Bellefield. The only cloud on the horizon was the sight of Kevin Campbell limping off after only 10 minutes, victim of the kind of cynical challenge Serie A patented in the 1970s. But the youthful exuberance and enthusiasm, not to mention tidily dispatched strike, by Nick Chadwick meant even that had a silver lining. The 13,624 Goodison gallery, many of whom had waited inside the stadium for up to four hours before the eventual five o'clock kick-off - a delayed flight from Bologna the problem - roared an approval which was mixed equally with reassured relief. It's a footballing fact that you tend to become a better player when you're missing. And the mistakes made by the less than reliable firm of Gerrard and Simonsen in recent weeks meant that Richard Wright's stock had soared. A couple of confident catches early on and a decisive dash from his line to smother at the feet of Cruz merely added to the sense of relief. After a fortnight's lacklustre performances Everton finally showed some of the sharpness and poise which carried them to such an improved campaign last May. It took only five minutes for the Goodison crowd to find its voice. A sharp overlap by Alessandro Pistone from an intelligent Steve Watson pass was ultimately snuffed out by the veteran, but nonetheless still calming Gianluca Pagliuca. But the roar from the home support was far greater than the move deserved. It was if following three successive pre-season defeats, Evertonians were relieved that their team hadn't actually forgotten how to play sharp, incisive football. They showed just how piercing they could be when the two Thomases combined in the 17th minute. Gravesen and Radzinski are undoubtedly Everton's two most influential performers, but while they are also their most mercurial, they clicked consummately in that moment. Gravesen's pass was well picked out and delicately delivered, Radzinski's finish impeccable. Both players are certain starters at Highbury next Saturday - their half-time substitutions confirmation of Moyes' desire to preserve their fitness - while other key battles seemed to be won by those who started the match. Alan Stubbs was preferred to David Weir, and took the captain's armband when Campbell limped off injured. Tobias Linderoth was offered the anchor-man role in midfield and performed well, while the so-often under-rated Mark Pembridge started on the left of midfield and capped his afternoon with the clinching third goal. That came a few minutes after the break, while the second arrived seconds before the players departed for the interval. Gravesen jinked and juggled, then threaded another excellent pass into Pistone's overlapping run. His cross was met by Watson, but half-blocked, and Chadwick showed the natural poacher's instinct he possesses when he rapped in the rebound.
Kevin Campbell may be more polished, more experienced and better equipped to play the target man's role. But at the moment Chadwick looks far likelier to score a goal - and his withdrawal just 50 minutes after he had jogged on suggests he, too, was being saved for Saturday. Goals from midfield were rarer than a Duncan Ferguson smile last season, but Pembridge delivered one soon after the break - a goal that is. Watson's persistence down the right flank produced a cross, Li Tie's challenge on the edge of the penalty area gave Pembridge the shooting chance and while Manninger should possibly have kept the effort out, the strike was crisp enough and accurate enough to deserve a goal.
After that a parade of substitutions broke up the match as any kind of contest - with even the still admirable skills of the ageing Beppe Signori taken away five minutes into the second half. He broke clear only to produce the save of the match from Wright in the 74th minute, then nine minutes from time crashed in a dipping 20-yarder which allowed young Iain Turner to enjoy the first meaningful save of his top flight Goodison career. The ovation which greeted Wright's departure almost matched that offered to the real star of the day, Colin Harvey. One was returning from injury, the other saying a final farewell - but Evertonians were happy to see both.
EVERTON: Wright (Turner 76); Pistone (Hibbert 45), Yobo, Stubbs (Weir 45), Unsworth; Watson (Alexandersson 60), Gravesen (Tie 45), Linderoth (Carsley 65), Pembridge; Campbell (Chadwick 10 (Osman 60)), Radzinski (Ferguson 45).
BOLOGNA: Pagliuca (Manninger 45), Zaccardo, Castellini, Nervo, Dalla Bona, Cruz (Locatelli 72), Signori (Bellucci 50), Guglielminpietro (Smit 72), Amoroso (Rossini 50), Gamberini, Pecchia (Golucci 50).
Referee: Mike Dean.
Attendance: 13,642. Goals: Radzinski (17 mins) 1-0, Chadwick (45 mins) 2-0, Pembridge (49 mins) 3-0.
STAR MAN: Thomas Gravesen.
Rich will be Wright
Aug 11 2003 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
RICHARD WRIGHT today declared himself ready and raring to go in Everton's Premiership opener at the weekend. The Blues international keeper believes he has timed his comeback from injury to perfection for both club and country. Everton kick-off their season at Wright's old club, Arsenal on Saturday, just four days before England entertain Croatia in his hometown of Ipswich. And the Everton goalkeeper aims to be involved in both. After missing most of pre-season following a freak accident at home, Wright played 90 minutes at TNS in Wales on Friday night, then cpleted another 76 minutes of Colin Harvey's Testimonial match at Goodison Park yesterday. He said: "I'm ready to start the season, definitely. "The way the two games have gone I have not been standing around doing nothing. I have had to make decisions, perhaps a couple of bad ones within the Bologna game, but I have been able to rectify them and I feel much sharper. "The physios at the club have got me fit and ready to start a season. "I have been working hard with Chris Woods and doing what I can for the last week-and-a-half, then I have had the two games in quick succession so I am pleased with how they have both gone. Now I need to work hard in training and get myself lightning sharp, but I feel good." Added Wright: "Perhaps I haven't given myself quite enough time for England, but if I'm selected for the Arsenal game and if I perform, then hopefully I can get an opportunity to go back to my home-town and perform there as well. "It normally takes about 36 games before I feel fully match-sharp!" he joked. "The last couple of games I have needed to make decisions and be on my mettle and that has helped a lot." Wright also paid tribute to the Everton fans, following the rousing reception he received when he was substituted near the end. "The fans have always been fantastic to me," he added. "Even when I have made mistakes they have been 110% behind me."
Wright was replaced by 19-year-old Iain Turner, a youngster whose progress could curtail David Moyes' interest in a short-term swoop for Nigel Martyn. As revealed in the ECHO last Wednesday, Moyes is monitoring Martyn's position at Leeds with interest - but may consider £400,000 too much for a 34-year-old. Of Turner, Wright admitted: "You could definitely say there are three goalkeepers pushing me now - and hope-fully giving the manager a selection headache." David Moyes' main headache for next week-end's curtain raiser at Highbury concerns a hamstring injury which saw Kevin Campbell limp off (right). With Duncan Ferguson suspended and Wayne Rooney not likely to be risked, Nick Chadwick is in line for a shock start. Everton have completed the signing of 17-year-old Italian striker Patrizio Pascucci on a two-year deal from Lazio, but the youngster will go straight into the club's Youth Academy. The bid to bring Sean Davis into the senior squad, was boosted today by the news that Fulham have been given the green light to talk to potential replacement Claudio Reyna from Sunderland. Everton Reserves kick off their Reserve League season at Bolton tonight (The County Ground, Leyland 7pm).
* Tomorrow's Liverpool Senior Cup semi-final at Marine has been postponed.
No end in sight to the kit rip-off
Aug 11 2003 Liverpool Echo
DID it really come as a surprise when the Office of Fair Trading decided the price of replica football shirts had been subject to co-ordinated price fixing for the best part of two years? Most football supporters could have saved the OFT an awful lot of work by pointing out that there was little normal retail competition in the market. Last week the OFT slapped fines ranging from the £20,000 levied on Sports Connection to £8.4m on major high street retailer, JJB Sports. According to the OFT, wherever consumers went to buy a replica football shirt, the price was always the same. Coincidence? The OFT didn't think so. Umbro, still reeling from losing the contract to supply shirts to Manchester United last year are now faced with a £6.64m fine. After reporting profits of £3.8 m last year, the fine is expected to push them into the red. The most embarrassing of the fines, though, was the £158,000 levied on the Football Association. The supposed keeper of the national game and protector of football fans throughout the land actually colluded to rip them off. Were it not for the fact that the FA decided at the last minute to co-operate once the OFT enquiry was underway, the fine would have been £198,000. Between March 2000 and November 2001, the FA's website, England-direct.com, sold replica England shirts manufactured by Umbro, the price of which was directly linked to those on offer at JJB. This was the longest period that any of the offending businesses were involved in price fixing, despite the FA giving assurances to the OFT in 1999 that it would "take action" to prevent the prices of replica shirts being fixed. So will the OFT enquiry mean lower priced replica shirts this season? With the cost of producing replica kits relatively low, profits are colossal, but sales of replica shirts are expected to remain "buoyant". The FA is already advertising the new England shirt, posed by Michael Owen. For some, OFT investigations and fines are just an integral part of a relentless business: Welcome to the new football season.
Nick's in time for Moyes
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Aug 12 2003
DAVID MOYES insists he has no fears over handing Nick Chadwick a Highbury bow after Kevin Campbell was last night ruled out of action for a month. Chadwick could make only his third Premiership start at Arsenal this Saturday with the Blues gripped by a desperate striker shortage.
Scan results yesterday confirmed Campbell suffered a slight hamstring tear in Sunday's 3-0 friendly win over Bologna. He will be sidelined for a month, ruling the centre-forward out of the Merseyside derby with Liverpool on August 30. With Duncan Ferguson suspended plus Wayne Rooney still doubtful for the weekend Moyes now only has two fully fit strikers to call on ahead of the new campaign. But he remains confident Chadwick - withdrawn from last night's reserve game against Bolton - can deliver despite the 20-year-old top flight inexperience. The striker made two Premiership starts for the Blues at the tail-end of the 2001-02 season though his appearances last term were limited to the reserves and a loan spell at Derby County. And Moyes admits he is now firmly in his plans for the Premiership opener. "Nick can do it, certainly," he said. "He has that good habit of scoring goals whether it's in the reserves or youth team. He's done well in pre-season and I was pleased with him against Bologna. "We could be short of strikers on Saturday but Leon Osman could also do a job up front if required." Everton's worst fears over Campbell were confirmed by head physio Mick Rathbone after the 33-year-old visited a Manchester specialist. Rathbone said: "Kevin went for an MRI scan on his hamstring and the results confirmed what we saw clinically on Sunday. He has torn some fibres on his hamstring and will be out for a month or so." Though Campbell will miss out on a return to his old club on Saturday former Gunner Richard Wright has declared he is fit to start the new season. Wright eased Everton's keeper dilemma with a bright display against the Italians. And though Moyes hopes to clinch a deal for Nigel Martyn with Wright short of match fitness, the England international insists his shoulder injury has healed. "I'm ready to start the season, definitely," said Wright. The physios have got me fit and ready for the start of the season. I have been working hard with Chris Woods and doing what I can for the last week and a half, then I have had two games in quick succession so I am pleased with how they have both gone.
"Now I need to work hard in training and get myself lightning sharp, but I feel good." Moyes is likely to await developments on Sean Davis before the move for Martyn can proceed. But his pursuit of the Fulham midfielder received another boost yesterday when the Londoners were granted permission to talk to his potential replacement - Sunderland's Claudio Reyna.
Please fly away
Icliverpool And Daily Post
Aug 12 2003
Please fly away
EVERTON can't even give away the players that no-one wants such as Mark Pembridge, Scot Gemmill (pictured), Duncan Ferguson, Kevin Campbell, Paul Gerrard and Steve Simonsen - and I may have missed out a few.
The money these players are on is scary. They are like albatrosses around Everton Football Club's neck.
THE worrying thing about Everton's pre-season form is the serious lack of depth that we have.
If one or two main players are out then we struggle. As we are not about to sign anyone soon this problem will be magnified with the lack of quality waiting in the reserves. I also do not know how other teams such as Middlesbrough, Birmingham and Leicester are able to raise funds for new signings but not us. It really is pathetic that a club of our stature is constantly linked with debt. Our fans surely deserve more than this.
Ajay Timothy, New Brighton
Davis right on cue
GREAT news about Sean Davis handing in a transfer request. If Everton want to progress and keep up, with the exceptation of both David Moyes and Wayne Rooney, then the board have to supply Moyes with enough money to buy Davis. He will be a quality signing, just what we need.
Mark Brooks, Wirral
THE really worrying thing for Everton is that the David Moyes is starting to criticise the players in public. Last season Moyes got the players fitter, got them playing with some and was fortunate that the fixtures helped the team get a flying start. Then there was the Rooney factor. Trouble is, the players have now heard all his outbursts before. Now he needs to manage and coach. Can he do it?
Terry Gunn, Liverpool
Steadying the ship
EVERTON'S debt problem hasn't gone away overnight just because we had a good last season. I'm sure if we had qualified for the UEFA Cup we may have seen a bit more cash given to Moyes - but we didn't. While we weren't exactly rich before I guess most of this all goes back to the days of Peter Johnson when he let Walter go on a spending spree and refused to pick up the tab. At least Bill Kenwright looks to be holding things together (from the outside at least) and the future seems more certain than it's been for a while.
Frank Mahone (vie e-mail)
Blues face season of attrition
By Mark Lawrenson, Daily Post
Aug 12 2003
EVERTON'S current problems have served only to highlight what a tremendous job David Moyes did at the club last season. It must be frustrating for the Blues boss that after such a fine campaign, he has as yet been unable to build upon it with a couple of new faces. Moyes knows it is imperative that Everton bring in at least one new player for the coming season, with ideally another to follow, if only to keep rolling the momentum which he has built in his 18 months in charge. The last thing the Blues board will want is for the club to stall or go backwards and the manager to subsequently become upset. I don't think there is any real question of Moyes leaving in the near future, because Everton appreciate what they have got and by hook or by crook will find the money to fund his team rebuilding - and just as importantly, keep the fans happy. With that in mind, the Sean Davis transfer seems to be bubbling under and although Middlesbrough are sniffing around, I wouldn't be surprised to see him at Goodison before the end of the month. Steve McManaman would be another fantastic buy. After his success at Real Madrid, there can be no doubts over his ability and he would bring that extra quality to the Blues midfield of carrying the ball and running at defences.
Everton's midfield at the moment is much of a much-ness and that is where Moyes has rightly pinpointed his squad must strengthen. Everton aren't the only team not to bring in any players - Celtic are another - but it isn't just the lack of quality in the market that is stopping Moyes from making a move, it is the lack of money. And there isn't much Moyes can do about it. He has tried to bring players in on loan but that hasn't been happening, with Everton even struggling to cough up the readies for Li Tie. Moyes also has a headache in goal. I have never been convinced by either Steve Simonsen or Paul Gerrard and, with Richard Wright still not match fit, I'm not surprised the Blues boss has made a move for Nigel Martyn. Wayne Rooney is facing a significant second season, and he will not have been helped by his injury and the fact he is clearly carrying a few extra pounds. Pre-season is a time to get fit and Rooney could find himself playing catch-up in the opening months of the season, running the risk of further injury. I saw Everton in pre-season against Preston and although they created a few chances, they couldn't take them and I fear for them at Arsenal on Saturday. With Rooney, Ferguson and now Kevin Campbell out of the opener at Highbury, you can expect the Blues to pack midfield and play with just Tomasz Radzinski up front as a damage limitation exercise. But in terms of the season, if Moyes can bring in a few faces, I can envisage another top-eight finish. If not, there is a long, hard season ahead for the Blues.
MY THREE TO WATCH
DARREN FLETCHER (Manchester United)
I HAVE heard an awful lot about this young Scottish winger. He was close to getting a run-out for United but expect him to make a big impact this time around. With David Beckham departed, there is more of a chance for United's wide players to make their mark
ANTHONY LE TALLEC (Liverpool)
BOTH the French youngsters which Gerard Houllier has signed look the part, but Le Tallec will have the better chance of regular appearances as his playmaking abilities are something the Reds need if they are to have a genuine chance of winning the championship. He will play more often than he thinks
GRAEME LE SAUX (Southampton)
OKAY, so he is no spring chicken, but Le Saux is certainly worth more than the nominal fee Southampton paid for him. He's just as good as Wayne Bridge and I think will prove it this season, with Gordon Strachan sure to get the best out of him
American test for Ablett's men
Academy Football With Chris Wright Daily Post
Aug 12 2003
EVERTON under-17s continue their pre-season when they welcome YC of Pennsylvania to Netherton this afternoon (kick-off 4pm). Gary Ablett's side will be looking for another good performance in their penultimate friendly match before the FA Premier Academy League season starts on Saturday, August 23. Meanwhile after last Wednesday's 3-0 defeat by Nigeria under-17s, Everton under-19s will be looking to get back to winning ways in their final pre-season friendly match against Manchester City this Saturday. Several of Alan Harper's side have played two matches a week, making appearances for Andy Holden's reserve side as well as the U19s. One or two were involved against Welsh outfit TNS on Friday in a 3-1 victory by a Blues side made up of first team, reserve and Academy players. Against Nigeria the Blues had chances to win but while Craig Garside, Damon Martland and Anthony Barry failed to take them the Super Eagles did and ran out winners. Harper said: "Everything has been going well in pre-season. The lads have played well apart from the defeat against Blackpool. And a lot of them have been getting games in the reserves as well." And on last week's defeat to Nigeria, coach Harper added: "It's the first time that I've ever been involved in a club-vcountry game as a manager - and most of the players haven't as well. "It was a really worthwhile experience though and I'm sure it will stand us in good stead for the new season." The club's last pre-season friendlies are on Saturday when both the U19s and Ablett's U17s will face Manchester City at Netherton.
Osman drops hat-trick hint
Aug 12 2003Daily Post
Bolton Reserves 1, Everton Reserves 4
EVERTON Reserves got the new season off to a tremendous start with a comprehensive 4-1 victory away at Bolton Wanderers. With Blues boss David Moyes facing a striker crisis ahead of Saturdays opening Premiership game at Arsenal young Leon Osman wasted no time in staking his claim by grabbing a hat-trick. The night didn't start too well though for the visitors when Derek Niven put Bolton ahead after just five minutes, heading home powerfully past Paul Gerrard. Despite the setback Everton were soon into their stride and came close to equalising when Steven Schumacher challenged the keeper. However all the England midfielder got for his efforts was a yellow card for a foul on Jeremy Bon. On 23 minutes the Blues were level, Schumacher's initial free-kick was cleared but Osman was on hand to smash home from inside the box. Another player looking to impress Moyes was Kevin McLeod and he did so by setting up Everton's and Osman's second on 31 minutes. The lively winger's run and cross found Osman, who lifted his shot over the keeper and into the net.
Everton were flying by now and went further in front four minutes later when McLeod latched onto Osman's pass and shot hard and low past Bon. Bolton were forced into a change when keeper Bon was replaced by Ashley Timms after getting injured in the challenge. Andy Holden's side continued to dominate despite the best efforts of former Blue Gareth Farrelly. Peter Clarke and Brian Moogan both had chances to extend the lead. The Blues were not finished though and it was Osman who completed his hat-trick with four minutes remaining from the penalty spot. The Blues man of the match was brought down by Timms and then rose to slot home the resulting penalty. This was a fine performance by a young Blues side and might just give David Moyes something to ponder as he contemplates the season curtain raiser at Highbury.
EVERTON: P Gerrard, O'Hanlon, B Moogan, A Gerrard, Clarke, Schumacher, Alexandersson, A Moogan, Garside (Symes 84), Osman (Barry 90), McLeod. Subs: Turner, Jones.
BOLTON: Bon (Timms 34), Whitehead, Charlton, Livesey, Comyn-Platt, Farrelly, Niven, Smith, Facey Johnson (Kribib 45), Taylor. Subs: Talbot, Jones, Hamlin.
can be the new Rooney - JBlues
Aug 12 2003 Liverpool Echo
TRUE Blue James Owens is getting ready to follow in the footsteps of Wayne Rooney. James is the lucky winner of our fantastic JBlue competition to be Everton's derby day mascot. The 11-year-old will proudly lead out his heroes at Goodison when they take on their neighbours from across Stanley Park on August 30. When he was the same age as James, Rooney was the Blues' mascot for a game Liverpool at Anfield in November 1996. James, of Childwall, also wins four complimentary tickets for the big game. He has been supporting the Blues for six years and his best moment was Tomasz Radzinski's late winner against Southampton last season. He said: "It's great to be the Everton mascot and I can't wait for the match. Hopefully Everton will beat Liverpool." Laura Kavanagh is another lucky winner of our competition. The 10-year-old, from Orrell Park, will be the Goodison Toffee Lady on derby day and also receives four match tickets. Both correctly answered that Alan Irvine is the Blues' assistant manager.
Unsung Pembs up to the Mark
Aug 12 2003 By Kevin Ratcliffe
MARK PEMBRIDGE may not be the first name on every Evertonian's team sheet, but the combative midfielder showed again on Sunday the influence he can exert on Everton Football Club. I spoke to Mark before the match against Bologna - and he told me he had no idea if he was even playing.
But he was, and he was always the man looking to get back into position as quickly as possible whenever the Blues lost possession. Watching him for Wales over the past two years, Pembs has consistently been their best player. That might not be reflected in man of the match awards, but he has been Wales' best player occupying a holding role in a midfield three. Ironically a midfield holding role appears to be the area David Moyes is seeking to strengthen with his bid to buy Sean Davis, but for Everton, Pembs is often asked to play wide left. He does that efficiently as well, and showed on Sunday - as he had done earlier in his career at Luton, Derby and Sheffield Wednesday - that he can be a goalscoring midfielder. Only when injuries have disrupted his career in recent seasons have the goals dried up somewhat. Mark Pembridge may not be an automatic selection for some supporters, but he could be an important one for Everton this season.
Chadwick ready for his chance
KEVIN CAMPBELL'S injury is undoubtedly an untimely blow for the Blues. But it also offers an unexpected opportunity for young Nick Chadwick. There are some parts of Nick's game which need improving, but what you can't coach is a goalscorer's knack - and he certainly has that. He seems to have matured physically over the summer, and looked more muscular to me - but what was very familiar was the space he found in the penalty area to tuck away the second goal. Like Tony Cottee, he saves his best work for inside the penalty box and he has already shown he can do that at Premiership level as well as in the Reserve League. I tried - unsuccessfully - to take him on loan to Shrewsbury last season. He eventually had a spell at Derby but was on his way back from injury and didn't really do himself justice. He certainly has a natural goalscorer's intuition and I hope he gets the chance to show that prowess off this weekend.
Yobo should be no-go
JOSEPH YOBO'S call-up for Nigeria next week once again underlines the farcical nature of international friendlies. While Everton are preparing for their first home match of the season, a lynchpin of their defence will be jetting to the other side of the world to play Japan. At least their other internationals only have to journey around Europe. Yobo will be playing in a match which Nigeria will surely only benefit financially from, then make a 14-hour flight before probably sleeping most of Friday. I can fully understand David Moyes' reluctance to let Yobo make the trip - but unfortunately it's completely out of his hands.
Blues back in for Sean
Aug 12 2003 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON will make an improved offer for Sean Davis today - in a bid to hand David Moyes his first major transfer signing of the summer. But the Blues have annunced they have finally completed the permanent transfer of Chinese midfielder Li Tie for an undisclosed fee. The player has signed a three-year deal and is believed to have cost less than the £1m Liaoning Bird were originally demanding. The Blues will now intensify their efforts to add Davis (pictured) to their squad. They had a £3.5m bid, rising to £5m, tossed out by Fulham two weeks ago and insisted they would not go any higher. But Moyes' admiration for the midfielder, coupled with yet another injury blow for the Blues, means that an improved offer will land on Chris Coleman's desk today. Scot Gemmill has been ruled out for six weeks with a torn thigh muscle, and will join Kevin Campbell on the long-term injured list. Campbell was ruled out for a month last night with a hamstring strain. Ironically Davis, who has been Moyes' number one transfer target all summer, is also injured with a knee ligament strain. But the problem is not serious and should only sideline the 23-year-old for a fortnight. Nick Chadwick is set for a shock call-up at Arsenal on Saturday after a scan revealed the extent of Campbell's injury. Everton's threadbare striking resources - Duncan Ferguson is suspended while Wayne Rooney hasn't kicked a ball for a month - means that manager David Moyes must turn to Chadwick. "I would like to think I put forward more of a claim than being the only fit forward," said Chadwick. "It's obviously disappointing for everybody at the club because nobody likes to see anyone injured, but that's football. "I was injured last season, Wayne and Kevin are injured now and Duncan is suspended for the first couple of games, so there's a little opening there. I will have to wait and see. "I don't know what the manager has planned for the start of the season and all I can do is work hard." Leon Osman also pressed his credentials with a hat-trick in last night's Reserve League victory at Bolton Wanderers.
Wayne's brilliant pass
Aug 12 2003 by Tony Barrett, Liverpool Echo
AFTER missing a pair of chances Everton star Wayne Rooney has hit the target and passed his driving test at the third attempt. Wayne, 17, had failed to live up to his superstar image when he was caught out by the written exam on two occasions. But like all good strikers the England international never gave up and he made the grade yesterday. Immediately after passing Wayne phoned his parents Jeanette and Wayne senior, and girlfriend Colleen to tell them the good news.
Now Blues fans are becoming used to seeing their hero behind the wheel of a Ford Ka. A family friend said: "Wayne is made up because he had been getting a bit of stick in training about failing his test. "He had been getting a lift in from Alan Stubbs, although when he moved to his new house he could walk to training because he only lives around the corner from Bellefield. "But now he's passed he can drive in and park his new mini alongside the other flash cars. "It's no surprise that he has passed his test because everything else just comes so easy to Wayne."
Li Tie signs deal
Aug 12 2003 By David Randles, icLiverpool
LI TIE has become Everton's second summer signing after putting pen to paper on a three-year contract. Following the capture of Nigerian defender Joseph Yobo at the start of the summer, the Blues have also decided to make Li Tie's loan spell permanent after protracted negotiations with his former club Liaoning Bodoa. The 25-year-old Chinese international arrived at Goodsion Park in July 2002 along with fellow countryman Li Weifeng as part of the club's new sponsorship deal with Kejian. As defender Weifeng failed to make an impact on Merseyside before returning home, Li Tie surprised all with his combative style and high workrate as he held down a place at the heart of the Toffees midfield. He figured in 32 matches in all (29 Premiership) as the Blues just missed out on a UEFA Cup place to Blackburn Rovers on the last day. Following the success of his first Premiership season and reported interest from clubs such as Newcastle and Leeds, Li Tie's club slapped a £1m price tag on his head. However, as Blues boss David Moyes haggled with a limited £5m summer transfer kitty, Everton held out for a lower fee. The two clubs have now agreed on an undisclosed fee in a deal that will keep Li Tie at Goodison until 2006.
* Meanwhile Wayne Rooney is celebrating today after passing his driving test. It was third time lucky for the 17-year-old England star after he had failed the written test twice before. Blues fans will be able to see young Wayne whizzing around the city in his new Ford Ka.
Let's keep ball rolling
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Aug 13 2003
THE message from David Moyes is simple in theory. The hard part will be putting it into practice.
Rarely has the instruction 'keep the ball rolling' carried such widespread implications for a professional footballer than the demand placed on Everton's players this season. With expectation up, Europe a target not a pipedream and full houses almost guaranteed at Goodison there is more belief behind the coming campaign than any this millennium. But it is belief that must be tempered with realism. Already this summer, with new faces close but not yet close enough and the Blues delivering a few lame friendly displays, the suspicion has arisen that Moyes squeezed everything from his inherited squad last season. That view, thankfully, hasn't permeated through to the Everton squad. Alan Stubbs admits new signings could galvanise the team but maintaining the momentum of last term and launching another assault on Europe, he insists, is well within reach of the existing players at the club. "The most important thing is to build on last season after doing so well," said the Blues defender. "It would be very disappointing if we took a step backwards now but I don't believe we will. "Results-wise pre-season hasn't been great but if you asked any of the lads they'd say we've worked our socks off. We've worked harder than last summer and we are fitter than this time last year. "The results haven't all been there this summer but because we've worked so hard there has been some tiredness in the games and pre-season is all about fitness. Results are important but the most important one is Arsenal this Saturday. "The manager is looking for performances too and since the first half against Roda I think we've started to pick up." Footballers are creatures of habit and having been spoken of in relegation terms in the past Everton are desperate not to let the club's or their own revival slip now. As Stubbs explains: "Seventh was a realistic finish for us last season but if you look over the whole season we really should have claimed sixth. "We were sixth or better for the majority of the season. We only lost it right at the end when the season seemed to catch up with us but we are more experienced now as a result and better placed to cope with that situation. "Now we've put the disappointment of the UEFA Cup behind us. It was great to be chasing Europe at the time but that's gone now. "But it has left everyone with something to grasp this season. Europe is a great incentive for us, especially with the financial situation the club's in. It's our aim for the season and doing better in the cup competitions would be an added bonus." Moving on this season is the aim but without new additions it could be based more on hope than realism. And the boyhood Blue admits the squad is following their manager's pur-suit of the likes of Sean Davis with added interest. "Europe is a realistic target though it's going to be tough," adds Stubbs. "We haven't spent any money, we haven't really improved the squad or made it stronger though I'm sure we will do soon. "It's important for the squad and competition for places to get new players in. Whenever a player arrives it makes the players he could replace even more determined to stay in the team and that can only be good for the side. "It's healthy for the team to get new faces, it prevents complacency and kicks players on again. "A few new faces will help but if not we've still got a good, honest bunch of lads here. That's what you want of your fellow professionals - to be honest." Of all the professionals currently on the Goodison books only Wayne Rooney is said to be facing the curse of 'second season syndrome'. In truth, the entire Everton squad and even manager Moyes himself will be judged by their response to the condition this season. Stubbs admits: "It's going to be twice as hard for us now. There is a lot more expectation on us, you only have to look at the record season ticket sales to see that. "There is a big demand for tickets, there is a waiting list on season tickets and it's a long time since that happened here. "The expectation is to try and better last season so it will be harder. Teams will know how we play and how hard we work and we've got to find different ways of breaking teams down ourselves.
"But we know their games too, so it's a question of who adapts quicker and better. Only Chelsea have really transformed their team this summer, while a few others have made a couple of additions, so it's more or less the same. "It's the same again for us. We will be going out again to close teams down and then it's up to us to break them down." That approach will be put to one of its toughest tests this Saturday when Everton take on last season's Premiership runners-up Arsenal.
And Stubbs, in line for a Highbury start alongside Joseph Yobo, admits: "I think Arsenal will be better than last year. They haven't bought much and their pride was hurt last season. "They threw the title away. I know United were awesome towards the end of the season but Arsenal were in pole position and threw it away in a sense. "They'll be desperate to get the title back immediately. They've still got great players throughout their side and they haven't suddenly become a bad side or a failure.
"They are hurting but we are going there full of confidence. We have nothing to lose and it would a great time to beat them." Victory would not just banish pre-season doubts at a stroke, it would prove the Blues can cross that great divide between theory and practice.
Davis bid rejected
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Aug 13 2003
DAVID MOYES' summer transfer plans were thrown into turmoil last night when Fulham rejected a second Everton bid for Sean Davis. The Blues manager had hoped to land his top target within the next 48 hours after Goodison officials improved the terms of their offer to the Londoners. But that bid has also been thrown out - leaving Moyes to ponder his transfer alternatives just three days before the new Premiership season kicks off. Everton saw a bid of £3.5million rising to £5m on the player and club's progress dismissed by Fulham over a month ago. And yesterday they met the same response despite improving the conditions of the transfer fee. Fulham, who are now locked in talks with Davis' potential replacement at Loftus Road - Claudio Reyna, are still holding out for a deal worth around £7m. And their stance also leaves their Player of the Season in limbo after he handed in a transfer request last week to help broker his desired switch to Goodison Park. Everton are the only club to make a firm bid for the 23-year-old, despite interest from Middlesbrough who are now chasing Spanish superstar Gaizka Mendieta. But Moyes may now be forced to call off his summer-long pursuit of the midfield star with Everton going as far as they can with their transfer bid. Goodison officials had hoped to intensify their transfer activity as the new Premiership season dawns. Li Tie yesterday signed a three-year contract with the Blues and Moyes is now pursuing a short-term striker deal after losing Kevin Campbell for a month with a hamstring strain. Former Marseille forward Cyril Chapuis will arrive at Goodison within the next week for a trial. The 24-year-old Frenchman has also been attracting interest from Southampton and Aston Villa. But the Blues boss suffered another injury loss yesterday when Scot Gemmill was ruled out for six weeks with a torn thigh muscle. The unlucky midfielder said: "In the last big test I pulled my thigh muscle and I'll probably be out for six weeks although I could be back in four, which is the minimum for this injury.
"I was hoping to push for a place in the team and it's a major setback for myself. If the team get off to a good start, it'll be even harder for me to get back." Real Madrid, meanwhile, have given the clearest hint yet they will allow Steve McManaman to leave the Bernabeu before his contract expires next summer. Everton need the former Liverpool winger to agree a pay- off with the Spanish champions to further their interest in the 31-year-old. And last night Jorge Valdano admitted the club needs to off-load those players who, like McManaman, didn't feature in the recent tour of the Far East. Real's sporting director said: "The club is waiting for players to leave in order to sign a new defender. "I don't want to be too hard on the players who didn't play on the tour, but they know what their situation is and we have to look for solutions so that the squad is reduced to the size we want."
* FORMER Everton trialist Omar Daley has signed for first division Reading on a season-long loan from Portmore United. The Jamaican international, who spent last summer with the Blues, said: "I am a very skilful footballer and I like to put the ball in the back of the net. I am a speedy player as well. I will cope with my team-mates and I am a very nice guy."
Blues finally Tie up deal for Chinese star
By Paul Walker, Daily Post
Aug 13 2003
EVERTON arranged one of the most complicated transfer deals in their history to turn Li Tie's Goodison dream into a permanent reality. The 25-year-old midfielder has now signed a three-year deal at Goodison for a fee believed to be around £1million - with two-thirds of that cash being funded by Far East sponsorship. The Chinese ace was linked with Newcastle, Leeds and Southampton but Li Tie wanted to return to Goodison after his year-long loan and said: "During the last two months, my agent told me that there was interest from a number of other clubs, but I never thought I would leave Everton and I didn't want to. "I never wanted to go to another club. I love Everton, I've got a lot of friends here and I'm happy here. Staying here is good for my professional career too. "I'm very happy that I'll be at Everton for a long time. Everton is club with tremendous history, it's a great club, with great players, and so I'm delighted to sign the contract." Such was his desire to stay on Merseyside that he returned to train and play during pre-season while the money men thrashed out a deal. And that deal has paved the way for other Chinese players to move to Everton in the future. Everton's lack of money - and the fact that Moyes was unwilling to pay more than £700,000 for a player Liaoning wanted £1.5m for - was the main stumbling block. However, it now seems that a fee of around £1m is the compromise with sources at Goodison Park intimating that Everton have paid only about a third of that money up front, with the rest coming from a group of sponsors. Li Tie arrived on Merseyside a year ago as part of the club's sponsorship deal with Kejian and the Chinese electronics giant played a major part in securing his services on a permanent basis. Kejian have teamed up with ACIG Media and construction firm Xing He to help finance the transfer. And Everton chief executive Michael Dunford said: "We're not disclosing the transfer fee, that's a private matter between ourselves and Liaoning. "But I have to say that Kejian have been very supportive and have helped financially, though there have been a number of people involved in the deal, which was a complicated one to put together." The success of the Chinese World Cup star in the Premiership has been of huge financial benefit to both Everton and their Far East sponsorship partners. "The companies involved want to see more Chinese players come over to this country and we've entered into a spirit of co-operation with Liaoning as well," Dunford added. There will be young players coming across to Everton on a regular basis, and indeed some of our Academy coaching staff will be visiting China to assist with their youth development programme." The success of Li Tie in his first season encouraged Liaoning to try to find other clubs but no other bid came in.
Now his permanent move has been completed, with Everton having to pay only around £300,000.
Dunford added: "Li Tie had a very successful season with us last year. "The player always wanted to stay at Everton, that was obvious from day one. The lad made more of an impression than everyone expected."
Wayne's wheels of the future?
Aug 13 2003 by Matt Slater, Liverpool Echo
WAYNE Rooney has got the world at his feet - and could soon be using them to push the pedals on a top-of-the range supercar. Ford are lining up a lucrative sponsorship deal with the 17-year-old Everton striker which means he can pick up the keys to any motor they produce. That includes any car in the sleek Aston Martin range, one from the array of rough and ready Range Rovers or his pick of the sporty Mazda models. He could also be joining Liverpool rival Michael Owen by jumping behind the wheel of a luxury Jaguar XK8. After passing his test Rooney plumped for a modest blue Ford Sportka. The Ford Sport Ka complete with a nippy 1.6 litre engine and alloy wheels. It costs around £10,000 and has a top speed of 108mph. A Ford spokeswoman said: "We are delighted that Wayne's first car is one of our models. "It is a brilliant car for a driver who has just passed their test and I am sure he will have a lot of fun in it. "We are hoping this partnership between Ford and the player will continue so he can carry on driving our cars. "There is a lot of choice on offer and when he has been driving for a while I am sure he will want something a bit different. "That could mean him taking delivery of a Jaguar, a Range Rover or an Aston Martin." Rooney may have his choice of some of the world's finest cars but insurance firms are warning cover will not come cheap. A spokeswoman for First Gear Insurance said: "There are only a handful of people who touch Wayne Rooney because of his age and profession. "Fully comp insurance for the brand new 1.6 Sport Ka would be £8,500 and there is only one broker willing to offer this cover. "But if Wayne was to take the advance Pass Plus driving course his bill could be cut by ten per cent."
NEXT STOP...FORD FOCUS RS
ROONEY may want to upgrade his current motor for a faster Ford Focus RS. The model goes for just under £20,000 and has a top speed of 144mph. It was inspired by the Focus World Rally Championship version. THE RANGE Rover Vogue would be a good choice for Rooney if he fancies comparing notes with fellow England star David Beckham who owns one of the £53,000 motors. It has a top speed of 130mph. IF ROONEY is willing to wait until 2005 for a really slick car he could go for the Aston Martin AMV8. It is expected to be put on sale at around £150,000 and has a top speed of just under 190mph. LIVERPOOL star Michael Owen can tell Blue rival Rooney all he wants to know about the Jaguar XK8 as he has also been the proud owner of one of the classic cars. It sells for £55,000 and can go at speeds up to 155mph.
Davis worth wait - Moyes
Aug 13 2003 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON will play a high risk game of patience, in a bid to land David Moyes' first choice transfer target. The Blues will take their interest in Sean Davis right up to the August 31 transfer deadline, secure that the player wants to move to Merseyside. But if Fulham dig their heels in and the Blues miss out, they must then wait until the transfer window re-opens again in January before they can add to their squad - leaving Moyes to work with exactly the same squad of players who just missed out on Europe last season. Goodison officials remain confident that the 23-year-old will eventually end up an Everton player, despite the latest rebuff from Fulham. But the Blues insist that they do not value the midfielder any higher than £5m. Everton improved the conditions of their latest bid yesterday, which was again rejected by Fulham. But there was a chink of light when sources in London said The Cottagers were now holding out for £6m, a million less than their original valuation.
Fulham are in talks with Sunderland for the £3.5m transfer of Claudio Reyna. The player is also on £20,000 a week on Wearside and that swoop could accelerate Davis's departure. The player has already indicated privately that he wants to move to Merseyside, but the Blues may have to wait right up to the August 31 deadline to get their man. David Unsworth, meanwhile, has hit out at critics who claim Wayne Rooney will find it tougher in his second full season of Premiership football.
"He will be even better than last year," said Unsworth. "Paul Merson said that Wayne has had his 'free season' now, but I don't agree. He should concentrate on himself and people in general should leave Wayne alone. "I know he is already a big star, but when you've got the quality he has, and you see it day in and day out like I do, people should keep their opinions to themselves. "Wayne will do his talking on the pitch. He will never have a quiet time or a quiet season. He will always be there, making headlines for his football. "He's got amazing skill. He's dedicated and he wants it. All this 'free season' stuff is rubbish. It will be tough for him, but it will be tough for everyone." The Blues, meanwhile, have offered a short trial to French striker Cyril Chapuis from Marseille. The 24-year-old will spend a couple of days at Bellefield.
Davis on his way
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Aug 14 2003
EVERTON AND Middlesbrough will go head-to-head in a bid to land Sean Davis today after Fulham accepted rival bids for their midfield star last night. Davis is expected to travel to Merseyside to discuss personal terms this afternoon after Goodison officials finally made a breakthrough in the transfer saga. A third, improved offer of just over £5million was accepted by the Londoners just 24 hours after a second official approach was rejected. But the Blues face a straight fight with Middlesbrough for the 23-year-old after they too reached a verbal agreement with the Loftus Road club. Davis, who handed in a transfer request last week, will also visit the Riverside today as he moves a significant step closer to a Fulham exit. And Everton hope the player's preference for a Goodison Park switch will prove decisive as they attempt to clinch the signature of David Moyes' top transfer target before the weekend. Fulham had been holding out for £7m for their Player of the Season, but with neither Boro nor Everton willing to go that high and the transfer deadline looming on August 31 they are now ready to compromise. Now it is down to both potential suitors to convince the powerful midfielder where his future lies. French striker Cyril Chapuis, meanwhile, would be ready to make an instant Everton debut at Arsenal this weekend, his agent has claimed.
The Marseille forward is also due on Merseyside today as Moyes searches for a solution to his striker crisis. Moyes is chasing a temporary deal to cover for the injured Kevin Campbell and Wayne Rooney, plus the suspended Duncan Ferguson, with Chapuis one of several targets and invited for a brief Bellefield trial. But last night Chapuis' representative claimed a one-year deal with a view to a permanent signing could go through if the 24-year-old impresses on trial. Willie McKay, the Monte Carlo-based agent working on behalf of Marseille, revealed: "I am going over to Liverpool with Cyril on Thursday where he will train with the rest of the squad so that David Moyes can have a look at him. "If he impresses he should sign a season-long deal loan arrangement with the option to sign him permanently in the summer and he could be available for this weekend's game at Arsenal." Chapuis is under contract with Marseille for four more years following last January's move from Rennes. But the six foot centre-forward is now anxious to escape the Stade Velodrome after being played out of position on the left wing all last season. "There have been a lot of clubs interested in Cyril," added McKay. "David has checked out Cyril with former Fulham boss Jean Tigana and he has told him what a good player he is." Moyes, however, is currently weighing up a number of Premiership striking alternatives and is unlikely to rush into a deal for Chapuis.
Moyes plans more moves
Aug 14 2003 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON are set to land number one transfer target Sean Davis in the next 48 hours - but boss David Moyes has immediately set his sights on two more signings. Fulham finally accepted an offer in excess of £5m for their 23-year-old midfielder last night, but boss Moyes declared today that he wouldn't stop there. "We have been given permission to speak to Sean today," said Moyes, "and hopefully we can convince him that his future lies at Goodison. "But even if we do sign Sean I am still hoping to bring in at least another two players before the August 31 deadline." Steve McManaman is likely to be the Blues' next target, especially if Everton finally hear from China that Alex Nyarko intends to stay there on loan. And Moyes would also like further striking cover with Kevin Campbell injured, Duncan Ferguson suspended and Wayne Rooney only set to restart full training today. French striker Cyril Chapuis arrived at Bellefield today for a short trial, and Moyes said: "We are having a look at him for a few days. "He played 30 games for Marseille last season, a lot of them wide on the left. He sees himself as more of a striker, though, so maybe his versatility will be useful." The Blues boss has been dealt even more injury blows. Niclas Alexandersson received three stitches in a knee wound after the reserve match on Monday, Mark Pembridge has calf stiffness which has caused him problems in the past and Lee Carsley has suffered a recurrence of the medial knee ligament strain which troubled him pre-season. Carsley has already been pulled out of the Irish squad for next week's international, and Moyes hopes that Joseph Yobo will join him on the international sidelines. Nigerian captain Jay Jay Okocha announced last night that he will no longer play in friendly matches for his country. "Discussions have taken place between the Nigerian FA and Bolton in respect of my international future," he said. "I have agreed I will play for them in competitive matches. I have made it clear to the Nigerian FA I will not be taking part in friendly matches. Therefore I will not be travelling with the squad for next week's game. "Travelling to Japan would be too much especially in the middle of a Premiership season. Playing for Bolton is important to me and I want to be successful here." Moyes hopes that Yobo will follow his skipper's lead and said today: "Joseph has indicated he will not be travelling to Japan, but we have not spoken to the Nigerian FA and we are still governed by FIFA rules. We are getting our information from Joe at present." The Blues, meanwhile, have sold their allocation of tickets for Saturday's curtain raiser at Arsenal and will beam the match back to Goodison on the Jumbotron screen. Tickets will only be available in advance, costing £10 and £5, from the Park End box office. Tickets will only be available until 4.30pm on Friday. Supporters canot pay on the day.
Kev ,Wayne and I are a terrific trio - Radz
Aug 14 2003 By Rob Brady, Liverpool Echo
TOMASZ RADZINSKI is adamant that three into two will go. He believes Everton played some of their best football with a trio of strikers last season. But when David Moyes opted for 4-4-2, all too often it was the Canadian international who had to make way for the emerging talent of Wayne Rooney.
Despite his frustration, Radzinski finished the campaign as the club's leading Premiership scorer with 11 goals, earning him the Blues' Player of the Year vote. Now fully recovered from the groin injury that prematurely ended his last season, the 29-year-old is at least assured of a starting place at Highbury on Saturday. With Kevin Campbell and Rooney injured and Duncan Ferguson suspended, Radzinski is expected to pair up with young forward Nick Chadwick. But when Campbell and Rooney return, Radzinski believes there is no need for one of them to miss out. "Some of the better games we played last season were when we had Kevin, Wayne and me up front," he said. "We put so much pressure on defences, they didn't know how to cope with us. "Young Wayne was coming through the ranks and trying to grab my place. "That made me work harder on the pitch and play better last season. Ultimately, it's the gaffer who decides who will play." The likes of Paul Merson have warned that Rooney will struggle to make the same impact in his second season, but Radzinski - who knows the teenager much better than Walsall's new signing - thinks differently. "The second season is always more difficult because he has to prove what he showed last year," he said, "but I think he can do it and be a great asset for the club next season and well into the future. “He is a lad who is only focused on the game. That's something that not many players have. He does not live on the success of last year - he is looking forward to the success of tomorrow. That's what I like about him."
Everton's lack of transfer activity this summer - to date they are the only Premiership side without any new faces - has led some to doubt they can match last season's impressive seventh place finish. An opening day Premiership fixture at Highbury is as tough as they come, but Radzinski knows the Blues must come out fighting from the start. "Going to Arsenal will be very difficult," he admitted, "but if you start the season slowly it will be difficult to catch up later on. On August 16 we will have to show everyone we mean business and will be there for the rest of the season. "Not having any new faces is not necessarily a negative thing. Having the same group of players means everyone knows what they have to do. "Maybe having one or two fresh faces would make training more colourful, but hopefully it will be a great season and we will prove everyone wrong. "Look back at what we achieved last year, at the beginning of last season everyone was saying that if we got into the top 10 it would be great. Well, we finished seventh and this time everyone will push for the UEFA Cup. "The pressure will be on us a little bit more and mentally we have to be strong, but with the same squad I think we can get that European place."
Irvine: Confidence can improve us
Aug 14 2003 By Rob Brady, Liverpool Echo
DYNAMIC DUO: Blues coach Alan Irvine has worked wonders alongside David Moyes WHILE most of the Premiership has been busy in the transfer market, Everton look set to kick-off the new season without any new faces. The only wheeler-dealing so far - bar David Moyes' pursuit of Fulham's Sean Davis - has been to tie up Joseph Yobo and Li Tie on permanent deals. This lack of fresh talent may concern some fans, but the Blues' assistant manager Alan Irvine does not consider it a major obstacle to the club's European aspirations. "I felt that the fact we did not bring in a load of new players last year worked to our advantage," he explained. "The players knew they would be the squad for the season and could relax. They were not panicking that if they had a bad game all of a sudden there would be wholesale changes. "I hope the fact that we haven't broken the squad up will be an advantage. "If we have to go with the same players again - well, they did an exceptional job last year." And Irvine believes the Blues can better last season's seventh place finish. "It will be difficult," he warned. "No one is under any false impressions, but we hope to improve. "The players should have increased confidence based on the fact they did come so close last year and were a bit unfortunate not to qualify for Europe. I have high hopes for this season and hopefully the players have too. "I don't know if there is ever a great time to go to places like Highbury, but we have seen plenty of shocks on the opening day of past seasons. Hopefully we will catch Arsenal a little bit cold, but it's a difficult game. "Last year my goal was to be out of the relegation fight by the end of March. We surpassed that considerably. If we can now surpass the goal of European qualifi-cation, I will be delighted." The Everton backroom staff have looked hard at last season's display, which ultimately saw the club miss out on European football by a single point to Blackburn Rovers.
"We had worked so hard last season and we possibly just ran out of energy towards the end," admitted Irvine. "We could have possibly done with a little more depth in certain positions.
"When Tomasz Radzinski was out at the end, that was a big miss. Not just because he had done exceptionally well, but it put a lot of strain on the other strikers. "Duncan Ferguson was only just back after being out for a long time and he probably was not quite ready when he was thrown in.
"We finished the season with two fit strikers, which meant if it was not quite happening for Kevin Campbell or Wayne Rooney on the day then there was nothing we could do to freshen things up."
Everton set to kick-start your season
Aug 14 2003 By Tom Dowling
IT'S NOT just the Premiership players who are getting excited about Saturday's big kick-off. Everton's disability teams are also about to spring back into action. They are on the look-out for new talent, and there's a great chance for all you budding stars to get yourself noticed at tomorrow's trials. Football in the Community coach Dave Connor says: "We are holding trials for all our disabled teams - amputee, pan-disability, blind and partially sighted - and a new female team. "So if you want to wear an Everton shirt then here's your chance."
Tomasz Radzinski on his future...and Rooney
By David Prior, Daily Post
Aug 15 2003
HE'S as good as Pele - and will get five times better. Not the words of Wayne Rooney's mother or even his PR company, but the thoughts of his striking rival. "Let's face it," says Tomasz Radzinski. "Wayne is a great player. I really hope he is going to have a great season, no matter where it leaves me. "He has shown only 15 or 20 per cent of his ability so far. This boy can improve so much in every possible aspect. "When I was younger I could only imagine or dream of players like Pele or Maradona or even Michael Owen. I wasn't there day in and day out. I could only see what they did on the pitch. "But with Wayne we train every day together and yes, he is as good as anybody I have seen." Whether this is a genuine case of good buddies and exemplary team spirit, or there is something more conniving in his ratcheting up of Rooney's already overblown expectation, the end result should benefit Everton either way. Hidden somewhere in the eulogy Radzinski extended towards the 17-year-old, however, was the concession that should his lofty predictions materialise, his own position will inevitably be somewhat compromised. "The pressure will be on the gaffer to put him on the pitch so it will be a much tougher assignment for me this year," he admits. Last season, the Canadian ended the campaign as the Blues' top scorer and the fans' Player of the Year.
But boss David Moyes' preference for the 4-4-2 formation meant that, as three into two cannot go - Radzinski, Rooney and Kevin Campbell all vying for position - the Canadian is at risk of being over-looked during the forthcoming campaign. Radzinski's solution is under-standable. "I think the best games we played as a team last season was with three up front," he reckons. "Defences had so much to do with me playing wide and Kevin Campbell up the middle. It was difficult for teams to cope with the skill of Wayne and my speed. It is a very good option to have. Sometimes 4-3-3 can be lethal." Lethal it may be, but three strikers - the injured Rooney and Campbell, the banned Ferguson - are currently overcrowding Everton's sidelines. But even with a full quota at his disposal, and allowing for the manager's softly-softly approach with Rooney, there is a certain acceptance by the 29-year-old of his predicament. "It's always a little bit frustrating because you do put a lot of effort into the game for 70 minutes and from a striker's point of view you make your defenders quite tired, so that is the time when they make mistakes," he says. "Someone else comes on and finishes it. But Wayne gave me many goals as well. I think four of my 11 goals came in the last minute, which gave us points as well. It is a bit disappointing but what can you do? "Only the win counts in the end. If you work hard for this club the fans appreciate it and some of my goals helped with that." The optimism generated by last season's advances has to some degree evaporated as potential signings have slipped by and ill-timed injuries have forced Moyes' selection. An opener at Highbury does not tend to over-enthuse those Blues wishing for a flying start either, although it is a game Radzinski claims to relish. "We are optimistic. Hopefully this year it will be a better start than we did last year," he said. "Having a game like Arsenal on first day of season is the best challenge you can get. You just go there with the idea of having nothing to lose. "On the first day of the season that is the greatest feeling to have. We can win and get a result and that will take the pressure off the guys." Sean Davis may yet end Everton's search for new blood, and while Radzinski does not seem too concerned by the club's summer of inactivity thus far, he would like to seem some 'fresh faces' - in moderation. He adds: "If he (Moyes) had the chance to add he would have done. The players just have to get on with their job. "We did it last season so we can do it again. Everything is possible.
"We have a big advantage in many areas. One of them is keeping the same squad, which means you don't have to accommodate new players and try new systems. "When you get six or seven new signings you can still play only 11 players. There are going to be so many players unhappy at not getting in the team. That can affect you in training and the way you play. "It is going to be a difficult task for Chelsea and a big advantage for us. That said, some fresh faces could add a bit of a spark. But the signing period is not over yet." But back to the current squad, and back to, by all accounts, Tomasz's favourite subject. "Wayne is a much bigger personality than he was last year - I hope he will be even greater than last year," he continues. "For the club's sake, not for mine. Evertonians need a great season and someone like Wayne to lift up their spirits. "If I'm not going to be on the pitch I'm going to have to try two or three times harder to get the place back but I wish him well.
"He is already great, so we can only imagine what to expect from him this season. I'm really happy to be at Everton looking at Wayne growing up and showing to the rest of the world how good he is."
No pressure, Wayne.
Don't go messing with our A-Team manager
Aug 15 2003 Fanscene by Mark O'Brien, Daily Post
LIKE George Peppard in the A-Team, don't you just love it when a plan comes together? After lulling the opposition into a false sense of security this summer, the Blues have seemingly sprung to life in this last week of pre-season. After struggling to get across the halfway line against the likes of Roda and Preston, they finally put on a bit of a show for Colin Harvey's testimonial. Granted, the Italians had to get changed on the coach and barely had enough to put their duty free Toblerones in a safe place before taking to the pitch, but the Toffees still passed the ball well and scored some confidence boosting goals. The drawback, and of course there had to be one, was the injury to Kevin Campbell. Despite what his critics might say he is absolutely pivotal to the way we play and this injury is possibly a bigger blow than Wayne Rooney's. However, last season our biggest strength was the ability of 'squad players' to step into the breach and give their all when required. This time around it's Nick Chadwick's opportunity to try and reproduce his form for the reserves on the big stage. Things even appear to be looking up on the transfer front, with David Moyes' patience in the face of fans' frustrations seemingly about to pay dividends. Li Tie has been signed for three years, and if the rumours are to be believed then the club themselves have paid very little for the energetic midfielder, with the sponsors picking up the lion's share of the tab. Has anyone asked them if they feel like shelling out for Sean Davis too? After what feels like a decade of protracted negotiations, offers, counter-offers, bluff and brinksmanship we're led to believe that Everton and Fulham have now come to some sort of arrangement over the highlyrated England under-21 international. This is a crucial move for the player, as his stock is high at the moment, yet by all accounts it's Everton he wants to play for, and that says an awful lot about the strides we have made under Moyes. After all, it wasn't so long ago that, faced with the prospect of playing for us, Igor Protti chose to retire at the airport instead. If Davis is as good as Moyes obviously thinks then, in the space of only 12 months, he will have managed to put together a spine of young, talented players that will hopefully be the envy of the Premiership. The moral of this story is that good things come to those who wait, although despite all the optimism don't be too surprised if we're still waiting for some points come five o'clock on Saturday.
Davis move snookered
By David Prior, Daily Post
Aug 15 2003
DAVID MOYES will travel to London today with a dual aim - guiding his Everton side to a winning start in the Premiership and persuading Sean Davis to move to Merseyside. The Blues go south for their tough opener at Arsenal with the Scot hoping his depleted squad can deliver an immediate blow to the Londoners' title ambitions. But whatever the outcome Moyes will hope to go some way to convincing Fulham target Davis to switch to Goodison. The Cottagers have already agreed a fee - believed to be a little more than £5million - with both Everton and Middlesbrough for the highly-rated midfielder, but have as yet refused permission for either club to speak to the player. They will only yield once they have brought in a new player themselves, with Sunderland's American midfielder Claudio Reyna currently in talks with the west Londoners. "Fulham can confirm that it has had offers from two clubs, Everton and Middlesbrough, for the services Sean Davis, both of which are acceptable to the club," a Fulham statement read yesterday. "Permission for the midfielder to speak to both of these clubs will be given when Fulham have secured a suitable replacement for him.
"It is no secret that the club is talking to Sunderland regarding Claudio Reyna and is hopeful that an agreement for the American can be reached in the near future. "However, as Chris Coleman has previously stated, unless a replacement for Sean is secured he will remain a Fulham player." And a Sunderland spokesman added: "Discussions are ongoing. There's nothing more to say at the moment." Fulham's stubbornness in releasing a player who handed in a transfer request last week - and is actually injured at the moment in any case - meant Davis did not speak to either Everton or Middlesbrough yesterday. Everton could use the trip to London to try and made headway in their attempts to snare Davis, but, ironically, Middlesbrough find themselves even more handily placed to steal a march in their own pursuit of the 23-year-old - their opening day fixture is at Fulham. Meanwhile, Everton' s attempts to bring in more new blood took a turn for the bizarre yesterday.
Marseille striker Cyril Chapuis had been set for a week's trial at the club and could even have been in line for an appearance on Saturday, given Moyes' current striking woes. But within minutes of turning up at Bellefield yesterday he informed the coaching staff he would not be taking part in any training - and he was promptly shown the door. "I have not had a triallist here," said Moyes. "A player did arrive but didn't want to train, so we sent him away." Moyes has not given up hope of Wayne Rooney making an appearance at Highbury. The 17-year-old continues to recover from the ankle ligament damage which blighted his pre-season, and will travel with the squad to London, although at best he will take a place on the substitutes' bench. The season opener will be beamed back to Goodison Park on the Jumbo-tron big screen. The Blues sold their allocation of tickets for the game late last week and that has prompted a live screening back on Merseyside. Only the Park End of the stadium will be open with admission costing £10 for adults and £5 concessions. Tickets are available from the box office at Goodison until 4.30pm today. No tickets will be available tomorrow and turnstiles will open at 1.30pm.
Dates for your diary
Your Guide To The Key Encounters, Daily Post
Aug 15 2003
Fulham (H), August 23
THE best thing to say about Everton's opening day fixture is that they get it out of the way early. Pessimistic perhaps, but with the Blues rendered virtually toothless by injury it's difficult to see them getting anything at Highbury. So hurrah for a chance to kick their home season off with a bang against a side tipped by many for relegation. Fulham are a team that has lost its British heart over the summer, have crippling debts, a temperamental owner and no home. Add a shocking away record and this should be a gift.
Chelsea (H), November 1
ADMITTING Chelsea had the upper hand on Everton last season is a bit like predicting that Forest Green Rovers are unlikely to win this season's FA Cup. Looking on the bright side, Moyes' boys will not be facing the same players this season. Unfortunately, they will now be lining up against a team on paper which is considerably better thanks to Roman Abramovich's shopping spree. Moyes hates his side being regarded as a pushover, though, and he'll make sure the Blues are up for this one.
Blackburn (A), November 10
SHOULD history repeat itself, Blackburn could well be Everton's chief rival for a UEFA Cup place, arguably the Blues' most realistic goal this season. Certainly there are similarities between the squads - hard Scottish managers, young British-based sides, intentions of reclaiming former glories - and last year's success was undoubtedly founded on results like the 1-0 win at Ewood Park. This fixture could be a useful litmus test.
Wolves (H), November 22
COMPLETING a telling trio of games is Everton's first game against one of the three new boys to the Premiership. The opening three months to the season will give a much better idea as to whether Dave Jones' men are likely to follow in the inglorious tradition of yo-yo clubs. It is a must-win for Everton although likely to be a trickier prospect than Wolves' Black Country neighbours West Brom were last season.
Tottenham (H), April 10
THIS fixture is sandwiched by a hat-trick of away trips, to Newcastle, Leeds and Chelsea, thus constituting what is likely to be Everton's toughest stretch of the season. Coming as it does in the last throes of the season, this game will fall under the usual 'anything could happen' status. With some impressive new blood brought in over the summer, Spurs are likely to be a better challenger for Europe than last term.
Man City (A), May 15
OPTIMISTIC though it may be to think that Everton could mirror last year and still be playing for something on the last day of the season, it is still mindful to consider the what-ifs. Rejuvenated City, with a new stadium and a couple of canny buys over the summer, look destined to improve on last year's ninth place. Last year's trip to Maine Road was an unhappy one and it is unlikely to be any easier.
Blues primed for Villa test
Aug 15 2003 Academy Football With Chris Wright, Daily Post
EVERTON'S Academy sides complete their pre-season programme tomorrow looking for victories to set them up for the start of the FA Premier Academy League campaign next week. Both Alan Harper's under-19s and Gary Ablett's under-17s entertain Manchester City at Netherton tomorrow (kick-offs 11am) as they put the finishing touches to their preparation for the new campaign.
Harper's team will face Aston Villa at home in their opening game next Saturday and he is happy with the way the pre-season has gone. He said: "We are gearing up for the final pre-season game against Manchester City and luckily we haven't had any injuries. And considering many of the lads have played for the reserves as well that is a bonus. "Those lads have done well because sometimes it is hard playing twice a week, especially with a lot of the hot weather we have had. But hopefully we can do well against City on Saturday and come through without any injuries ready for the start.
"Everybody is really looking forward to the new season getting under way." Ablett's side will also face Aston Villa at Netherton next Saturday in their first game. And they go into tomorrow's final friendly against Manchester City on the back of another highscoring victory on Tuesday over York College of Pennsylvania. The Blues have hit 12 goals in their last two friendlies and the 7-0 win over the Americans at Netherton leaves them in buoyant mood. Ablett said: "It was a good confidence-boosting win. It was a very good performance but they were a college team so we were much better, even though we were giving a few years away in some cases. Physically they were much stronger but we moved the ball around well. It was a good game for us and it turned out more of a training exercise in the end. We got to keep the ball and virtually do what we wanted with it." Goals from Andy Fowler (2), Paddy Boyle (2), Paul Hopkins, James Harris and trialist Kevin Strudders did the trick and Ablett added: "Obviously the big test will come Saturday when we play Manchester City.
"We are fairly pleased with the preparation, but Saturday will be a big test. It is almost like a league game and it sets us up nicely for Villa."
Double up on Gunners
Aug 15 2003 By Howard Kendall, Liverpool Echo
WATCHING Colin Harvey's testimonial, I was impressed by the performance of Nick Chadwick. He appeared to have regained the sharpness he displayed before he was injured last season. Against Bologna he looked refreshed and was looking to take his chance of first-teamfootball. Everton are without Wayne Rooney and Kevin Campbell for tomorrow's trip to Arsenal and Chadwick will have given David Moyes food for thought. Tomasz Radzinski worked well alongside him last Sunday. It looked a lively par tner ship with plenty of movement off the ball and both of them did their share of closing down. The alternative is to field Radzinski as the sole striker, but going to Highbury is never easy. Going there with just one up front can often put negative thoughts into the players' heads. It tells them they are only good enough for a draw. Arsenal have never been as solid at the back since the Tony Adams and Martin Keown partnership was broken up. That may influence David Moyes' selection.
Jackie was true Blue
I WANT to pay a few words of respect to a man I worked with many times on the afterdinner circuit - Jackie Hamilton, who passed away earlier this week. He was a big Evertonian who will be sadly missed.
Blues move for Fran
Aug 15 2003 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON have made an audacious move to bring Francis Jeffers back to Goodison Park. The Blues want the Arsenal striker on a year-long loan and have opened discussions with The Gunners.
Deputy-Chairman Bill Kenwright has worked overtime to try and solve his manager's striker shortage. With transfer funds exhausted by the ongoing move for Sean Davis, he is attempting to pull off a number of imaginative loan deals. Kenwright contacted his Arsenal counterpart and friend David Dein yesterday to sound out the possibility of Jeffers being released on a year-long loan.
"That is something we are looking at, but we are looking at a number of things," confirmed Moyes.
The player himself was unaware of David Moyes' interest, but was thrilled to discover that a move back to Goodison - even temporarily - was a possibility. The bid raises the mouth-watering prospect of Wayne Rooney and Jeffers reigniting the England striking partnership they enjoyed for 45 minutes in last season's friendly against Australia. But there are obstacles. Jeffers is suspended for almost a month following his red card in Cardiff last Sunday, and Moyes would also need convincing that the player - a pal of Rooney's - would not lead the youngster astray off the field. The supporters may also be split, following Jeffers' high profile departure in 2001. Ironically it was on the eve of the 1999-2000 season that Jeffers handed in a transfer request asking to leave Goodison. But he boasts undoubted quality and remains a very public Evertonian. Everton have also been offered Chelsea youngster Carlton Cole, but have dismissed that option. With Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Eidur Gudjohnsen, Adrian Mutu and Mikael Forssell all ahead of the England under-21 star in the Stamford Bridge pecking order, Cole is currently surplus to requirements. But there is no chance of the Londoners allowing a loan deal to become permanent and that dashed Moyes' interest. Dion Dublin has also been ruled out because of his age. In a day of frenzied transfer activity, the Blues also hope to speak to Davis. Fulham have refused permission for the Blues or Middlesbrough to stage talks with the midfielder until their own move for Sunderland's Claudio Reyna is completed, but that should go through today. Meanwhile, one player on his way out of Goodison today could be winger Kevin McLeod. The 22-year-old was heading down to London, after Everton accepted an offer of £300,000 from Queens Park Rangers. The player will now discuss personal terms. Moyes and the rest of the team also travelled down to London today with an eve of season rallying call. "In a lot of ways Arsenal away is probably the hardest test we could have asked for on the opening day," he said, "because in a strange way the trip down to London is even harder than the short journey to Manchester. "We will have to be at our very best to come away with a result. "But the thing with Everton now is we are hard to beat wherever we go. In all our games last season there were only one or two occasions when we weren't in with a fighting chance all the way to the end and we want that to continue this season." With Kevin Campbell, Duncan Ferguson, Scot Gemmill, Lee Carsley and Niclas Alexandersson all unavailable, Moyes has taken almost every fit body available to him to Highbury. Mark Pembridge will have a late fitness test on a calf injury but the Blues are hopeful he will be fit.
Arsenal 2, Everton 1 (D,Post)
Aug 18 2003 Andy Hunter Reports From Highbury, Daily Post
BILL KENWRIGHT sat through two painful though revealing episodes in the name of his beloved Everton on Saturday. One was a ghost from his past, the other a glimpse of a ghostly future.
The first left the impresario (right) cringing with embarrassment when his performance as a Liverpool fan in 1970s sitcom 'The Liver Birds' was unearthed from the BBC vaults on Football Focus. A few hours later the second exposed the brutal truth of what must be done if the Blues are to seriously challenge under his stewardship. If it is a close call over which caused the Everton deputy chairman more misery, then there is no question which is of more concern to his club's followers right now. This was not another Highbury horror story for the Blues by any means and the travelling hordes can even count themselves fortunate to have escaped the assault on their senses from Carla Lane. Their team may have lacked conviction to win even after Sol Campbell marked the start of Everton's 50th consecutive top flight season with the 51st red card of Arsene Wenger's reign, but they showed enough to suggest last season's solidity remains intact. For David Moyes, however, consolidation is a banned ideal this term as he continues to demand progress with every game. And the simple truth is that without Sean Davis or added midfield creativity, without Francis Jeffers or extra quality up front, breaking back in with the big boys will remain a pipe-dream, albeit one with serious consequences. Everton entered the new season as the only Premiership club without a new addition and to completely mis-quote the club's motto, nothing is not good enough. Fortunately Kenwright is not immune from the fact and has worked tirelessly to try and give Moyes and the club the signings it craves and deserves. But as he shakes the transfer kitty for every last penny and begs his friends in football to sanction more imaginative deals, there must come a moment when he asks what his fellow, wealthy directors are doing for the good of the club too? An in-depth expose of the ridiculous Duncan Ferguson situation in yesterday's Observer showed the dangers of over-stretching resources on the wrong players. But as they watched 10-man Arsenal win comfortably on Saturday, the Everton board will have noted the problems their manager has identified and the players he has picked to solve them are valid ones worth pursuing. Short on strikers, Nick Chadwick was thrown into the fray and almost gave the Blues a merited early lead, only for debutant Jens Lehmann's legs to keep out his close-range prod from Tomasz Radzinski's cross. But honesty and endeavour alone are not enough to puncture top Premiership defences while behind him the Everton midfield again failed to last the distance. Usually it would be harsh in the extreme to harp on about these faults after one game, but th ese are n ot fresh weaknesses. As Moyes said afterwards: "I was disappointed we didn't do more when they went to 10 men but it seemed to suit them. Henry scarpered around and kept our defence occupied and Pires was able to float about even more. "We needed to try more after the sending off, we needed the full-backs to push up but we were worse at the start of the second half than throughout the first. "Arsenal are capable of eliminating opposition players with their movement all over the pitch and maybe we are not as good at that." Once an inevitable explosion from the Gunners had been contained, Everton settled so well it was the home fans who were quickly unnerved and on the backs of their team. At the height of visiting pressure, initially contained to breaks and set-pieces but more controlled as the first half wore on, Thomas Gravesen danced superbly beyond Gilberto, Kolo Toure and Campbell only for the last man's out-stretched leg to deny him a clear goalscoring chance. The red card was that inevitable even Wenger saw it coming, but the advantage of a free shot on goal disappeared and Alan Stubbs' free-kick cannoned off the encroaching Freddie Ljungberg. "I'd rather have had the goal than the sending off," admitted Moyes. "We'd started well and it was a good run by Thomas. He's been finishing well in training and if he'd have gone through he'd have scored." It is a football cliché that the side reduced often respond better and this was another prime example. Arsenal, their players and fans enraged by an imaginary sense of injustice, were transformed from the edgy, confidence-lacking side that blew the title back into the mesmerising team that should have had it sewn up by April. Even with their unexpected bonus, Everton never convinced they had the belief to succeed and were soon under the cosh. The excellent Joseph Yobo pinched the ball off Henry and Pires' toes inside the area with the home fans - who appear to have undergone a Newcastle United conversion in the summer - screaming for a decision from the controlled Mark Halsey. At least they didn't wait long for the penalty they craved, as 10 minutes after the first controversy Henry's chip caught Stubbs on the elbow leaving the official with no option once his assistant spotted the offence. Naturally upset, the travelling fans were then incensed when the French striker rolled his penalty past Richard Wright and celebrated by tearing off his shirt to flex his muscles in front of them, with a Metropolitan Police guard safely in place of course. Quite what prompted Henry's reaction after no previous between the sides is unclear. As wonderful a player as he undoubtedly is, one of the few you'd gladly pay to watch play all day, the Arsenal man does have his moments of histrionics and strops and this, with every decision disputed and every challenge tumbled over, was one of them. The distraction got to Everton's players too, lapses of concentration undermining attempts to make their advantage count with one dreadful error by Gravesen almost costing them the game on the stroke of half-time.
A dangerous square pass for Yobo was intercepted by Henry who, with Stubbs the last man, fed Gilberto but the World Cup winner crucially miscontrolled. With his team ineffective down the flanks Moyes sacrificed a midfielder in favour of a three-pronged attack and the rusty Rooney after the break. Yet before the plan was in place Arsenal struck again as the Blues, slower with and without the ball than the Gunners, failed to react to their goalkeeper's heroics. Henry saw a 20-yard drive parried by Wright, who then instinctively blocked Patrick Vieira's follow-up only for a red shirt to appear first again as Pires poked the winner home. Everton looked to the wings to supply their comeback but with almost every cross hitting the first defender it seemed a thankless task.
Wright turned Vieira's close-range prod over the top and saw Ljungberg's free-kick strike the bar before the Blues breathed new life into the contest with six minutes to go, Radzinski firing low past Lehmann after Li Tie, Yobo and finally Gary Naysmith forced open a space inside the area. Not for the first time, however, Everton let momentum slip. Headless chickens may not be a speciality in China but Li Tie produced a marvellous impression of one. In the space of six minutes he was booked for a foul on Ray Parlour, escaped an equally late challenge on Toure and a spot of encroaching at a free-kick before the Arsenal midfielder took full advantage and lulled him into another trip for the inevitable red. Consolation came for Moyes in the likely form of Sven-Goran Eriksson, who for once accepted wise counsel and chose not to call the clearly unfit Rooney into his England squad. Now the Everton boss will eagerly await the arrival of other England stars, international or otherwise, into his.
ARSENAL (4-4-2): Lehmann; Lauren, Campbell, Toure, Cole; Ljungberg, Gilberto, Vieira, Pires (Parlour 69); Wiltord (Keown 31), Henry. Subs: Jeffers, Bergkamp, Taylor.
EVERTON (4-4-2): Wright; Pistone, Yobo, Stubbs, Unsworth (Naysmith 67); Watson, Linderoth (Rooney 57), Gravesen, Pembridge (Li Tie 67); Chadwick, Radzinski. Subs: Weir, Simonsen.
BOOKINGS: Arsenal's Vieira (foul) and Everton's Gravesen and Rooney (fouls).
SENDINGS-OFF: Arsenal's Campbell (professional foul) and Everton's Li Tie (two bookable offences).
REFEREE: Mark Halsey.
Henry in FA probe after fan flare-up
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Aug 18 2003
THIERRY HENRY last night insisted he never intended to incense Everton fans as the FA launched a probe into the Arsenal star's goal celebrations at Highbury. The French striker sparked ugly scenes after his first-half penalty strike on Saturday by ripping off his shirt and running to the away section.
Under new guidelines, players should be booked for such incidents and Henry could be penalised after an investigation by the FA into the crowd disturbances during Everton's 2-1 defeat. But last night, as Arsenal declared he was merely marking the birthday of his wife who was sat in the executive boxes behind the away crowd, Henry insisted there was no bad blood between him and Everton fans. "Why should I be punished?" he said. "I haven't done anything wrong. I did what I always do when I score a goal at Highbury and that's run to the crowd to celebrate. "I wasn't trying to confront the Everton fans, no way. I didn't make any signals to them and although things were said to me afterwards that is just part and parcel of the game." Everton keeper Richard Wright, meanwhile, admitted the opening day defeat showed Everton must raise their game to qualify for Europe this season. While Wayne Rooney's omission from the England squad to face Croatia at Ipswich on Wednesday left the Blues satisfied, Wright was disappointed a fine display in front of Sven-Goran Eriksson failed to win an international call-up. And the Blues number one admitted his side were also down after failing to take advantage of Sol Campbell's early red card at Highbury.
"We all need to improve ourselves to improve on last season," said Wright. "Every individual in the team has to improve to make sure we progress. "It was always a hard task to come to Arsenal on the opening day and get a result but the way things went we were disappointed not to get one.
"We had an opportunity to really have a go at them after the sending off but we didn't give them enough problems. "It shows the standard we are up against. They are one of the top teams in the country and if you get an opportunity you must take it. Unfortunately we never took ours." He added: "We were doing well until the sending off. Maybe after it happened we sat back and thought it would be easier and stopped pressing them as we had done before. "We should have got something from the game. We had enough possession of the ball but maybe didn't make the right passes and instead of trying to break Arsenal down with good football we went longer." Wright made a string of fine saves to keep out his former team-mates despite only returning to full training 10 days' ago. He said: "It was a good game on a personal level. I've not had the pre-season I'd have liked but that's life sometimes. I've worked hard for the last weekand-a-half to be able to play and on my fitness with the physios too. "I was a bit quieter than I thought I would be at Highbury but quite pleased with the way it went for me." Blues boss David Moyes had no complaints about the penalty award that sparked the Henry controversy or the late dismissal of Li Tie which is set to rule the Chinese midfielder out of the Merseyside derby on August 30. "The referee called them right," he said. "They (Arsenal fans) were looking for a decision after Sol Campbell's red card and at big clubs supporters can be influential in big decisions but this time the referee was right. "As for Henry I can't comment on that, although we did get a directive from the police before the game not to celebrate in front of opposition fans. "Li Tie deserved to be sent off. He was fortunate not to go sooner and having been booked he was taking a risk and should have known better." Lee Carsley's knee injury has forced him to pull out of the Republic of Ireland's friendly with Australia on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Everton will entertain Stockport in the second round of the Carling Cup next month.
CARLING CUP SECOND ROUND DRAW: Portsmouth v Northampton, Blackpool v Birmingham, Leicester v Crewe, Wigan v Fulham, Sunderland v Huddersfield, Notts County v Ipswich, Wolverhampton v Darlington, Crystal Palace v Doncaster, Hartlepool v West Brom, Bolton v Walsall, Bristol City v Watford, Tranmere v Nottm Forest, Oxford Utd v Reading, Leeds v Swindon, Stoke or Rochdale v Gillingham, Cardiff v West Ham, Everton v Stockport, Charlton v Luton, Rotherham v Colchester, Scunthorpe v Burnley, Sheff Utd v QPR, Wycombe v Aston Villa, Coventry v Tottenham, Middlesbrough v Cardiff. * Ties to be played week commencing 22nd September.
Fans forum - Arsenal v Everton
By Miles Shackley, Daily Post
Aug 18 2003
Taking The View From The Stands
THE ideal fixture for the lazy journalist - Arsenal v Everton.
In the past, any hack who fancied putting his feet up and having a lazy Saturday afternoon must have prayed for this assignment. A history of lame capitulations at Highbury meant they could pretty much pick up the previous season's report, change the names and order of the numerous Arsenal scorers and submit it as cutting edge. In the opening half hour Everton threatened to write their own script, going close to opening the scoring early on through Chadwick and looking more dangerous than their illustrious opponents until Sol Campbell's crude block on Thomas Gravesen had Mark Halsey fumbling in his back pocket for the red. Undoubtedly the correct decision, it unfortunately served to galvanise Arsenal while Everton inexplicably lost their way. Five minutes later, Alan Stubbs' erstwhile elbow had given Thierry Henry a route to goal from the penalty spot. Quite why the Frenchman chose to celebrate it in front of an, up until then, respectful Everton contingent is anyone's guess. A 10-man team of Arsenal at their best would be a match for most sides, and their midfield ran the show in the second half. The second goal from Robert Pires effectively ended the contest despite Richard Wright's best efforts. Everton's neversay-die attitude was illustrated yet again when Tomasz Radzinski's late consolation set up a flurry of action around the Arsenal area in the closing moments, but we never looked like getting an equaliser that, in fairness, we didn't deserve. Against 10 men. Such is the gulf in class, unfortunately. Li Tie, who came on in Dismember Mode, walked shortly before the end for an innocuous trip and the game was truly over. Points against Fulham and Charlton are a must.
Arsenal 2, Everton 1 (Echo)
Aug 18 2003 By David Prentice
THERE'S something about sunshine, shirts and The Clock End at Highbury which gets supporters going. It wasn't that long ago that an angry Evertonian marched out of that section and tried to swap shirts with a work-shy Everton midfielder. That was at the end of a long and difficult season.
Thierry Henry chose the opening day of a new season to willingly toss his to the fans, before strutting bare-chested in front of the irate Everton section. Fortunately the Frenchman is lightning quick. Even wash-board abs and well developed deltoids wouldn't have saved him from the seething mass of resentful visitors which tried to pile over the suddenly submerged stewards.
Henry's motivation was unclear. He had to make a significant detour to celebrate his successful penalty conversion in front of the visiting fans rather than his own. But maybe, just maybe, he was trying to inject a little edge into his performance. If there was an air of subdued complacency around Highbury on Saturday - and the pre-match atmosphere was anything like the opening day of a new season - it was because one of the teams on display has much to be complacent about.
For 25 minutes Arsene Wenger's gifted Arsenal team meandered around fitfully and were, marginal-ly, second best. It was as if The Gunners needed a real challenge to rouse them - and when they were reduced to 10-men they got one. Sol Campbell's red card came just nine minutes before Henry's aberration - and The Gunners were a team transformed. For the fourth time under David Moyes, a single goal split Everton and Arsenal. But while the previous three were genuinely close tussles, this was the most one-sided of the lot. Richard Wright stood between the Blues and a landslide, as it became easy to forget at times the numerical disadvantage of the home team.
Happy to defend diligently and hit Arsenal on the break, Everton were disoriented at being handed more attacking responsibility. Arsenal, however, were galvanised. Henry was a precociously persistent threat, Ljungberg and Pires revelled in the greater attacking opportunities offered by Wiltord's substitution and Vieira mopped up magnificently behind them. In the on-going absence of Wayne Rooney, Everton had nothing like that inspiration, despite Tomasz Radzinski's valiant efforts.
The little Canadian showed again that while the focus this season will shine fiercely on Rooney, he is the side's most influential outlet. He was helped on Saturday by being handed a strike-partner, David Moyes eventually eschewing any negative tendencies he may have harboured. Having pondered all week the possibilities presented by Radzinski operating up front alone, behind a five man midfield, he allowed his more natural positivity to come through and selected Nick Chadwick to partner the pacy Canadian. The youngster may be less polished and less physical than Kevin Campbell, but he offers far more youthful exuberance and enthusiasm. And he also has the happy knack of finding space in packed penalty areas - at any level. He showed it in his first brief dalliance with Premiership football - three goals in five fleeting appearances at the end of Moyes' first part-season in charge - then continued to show it in an injury hit run in the reserves' last season, when 16 goals saw only Liverpool's Neil Mellor score more. It took only seven minutes for him to shuttle unseen into a goalscoring position again. Radzinski darted down the right channel and lanced an inviting pass across the Gunners' six yard box. Chadwick accelerated ahead of his marker, poked a right-footed shot on target, and home debutant Jens Lehmann was grateful the shot struck him on the legs. Arsenal were subdued at this point, although Vieira still managed to lunge in late on Radzinski and then Linderoth in the same midfield skirmish. Referees are regularly, and rightly, derided in these pages. But occasionally there is one who gets it right more often than most. Mark Halsey is one of the Premiership's more forgiving officials and on Saturday he enjoyed an excellent start to the season. He missed a couple of decisions - Vieira headed Gravesen's corner behind in the 18th minute but saw a goal-kick awarded - but he got the big ones spot on. Stubbs and Vieira might both have been cautioned before the pivotal 25th minute red card, but Halsey was restraint personified. Sadly Sol Campbell gave him little option when he ended Gravesen's mazy, side-stepping progress into the Arsenal penalty box with a crude trip. A red card followed, although Everton might have preferred the goal lead and the sides to stay numerically even. It's not as if Arsenal lack experience at playing with 10-men. This was the 51st red card of Arsene Wenger's Highbury tenure - and strangely one of the few he actually witnessed and judged deserved. Martin Keown replaced Sylvain Wiltord, leaving Thierry Henry on his own up front. He was still too much for Everton.
A dazzlingly wonderful footballer, it was difficult to understand his stupid 34th minute goal celebrations. Henry had won the penalty, clipping the ball against Alan Stubbs' elbow, but the protests from the away section were muted. The Frenchman still decided to produce his Mr Universe pose in front of them - and was booed relentlessly from that point. It hardly troubled him. In first half injury time he sent Gilberto racing clear for what should have been a second goal, but while the Brazilian's first touch was good, his second was an embarassment. For half-an-hour after the interval Arsenal were vibrant. Shuttling the ball about in slick, intricate patters, they mesmerised Everton with the pace and precision of their football. Like a reeling boxer, the Blues clung on, waiting for an opening to finally present itself, but it was a long time coming. From Henry's corner Vieira headed wide. Wright made two wonderful saves to deny first Henry and then Gilberto, and could look questioningly at his defenders when Arsenal reacted quickest for the third time, Robert Pires rapping in the second rebound. Wright made another stunning stop to deny Vieira at the far post, then was grateful for the crossbar halting Freddie Ljungberg's free-kick. Predictably, it was only when the half-fit Wayne Rooney trotted on that Everton began to half-heartedly threaten.
The youngster's 72nd minute free-kick was part-cleared, Yobo clipped the ball back in and Watson steered a header wide. Rooney's corner again forced a half-clearance, Yobo was influential again in digging the ball back from the edge of the penalty area and Naysmith touched on for Radzinski to dispatch a confident finish. Everton might have snatched an undeserved equaliser, when the sides were numerically even. Substitute Li Tie allowed his enthusiasm to complete an unlikely comeback to get the better of him. Booked for a reckless lunge on Parlour, referee Halsey forgave him an oth er indiscretion 60 seconds later, but when the Chinaman left his leg in for Parlour to topple over for a hat-trick of hacks he followed Campbell off the pitch. That was in the 87th minute, and a minute later another corner gave Pistone a crossing chance. After hitting the first defender all afternoon, he finally lofted the ball into the penalty area. Yobo had a free header, but took it too early and a good chance went begging. The same could be said of Everton's entire afternoon. Rarely will they have a better opportunity of inflicting a home defeat on a side as talented as Arsenal. But happily, rarely will they meet a team as gifted as The Gunners again this season.
REFEREE: Mark Halsey
GOALS: Henry, penalty (35 mins) 1-0, Pires (58) 2-0, Radzinski (84) 2-1
Rooney ready for reserves
Aug 18 2003 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
WAYNE ROONEY will swap an England cap for an Everton reserve team run-out on Wednesday.
The Blues striker was omitted from Sven Goran Eriksson's squad to face Croatia at Portman Road, much to club boss David Moyes' relief, and is likely to build on his fitness against Newcastle United reserves at Haig Avenue. “Wayne has only played one match against Crewe Alexandra this summer, 15 minutes against Glasgow Rangers and then half an hour on Saturday," said Moyes. "He needs to get plenty of training under his belt and we will consider him for a reserve run-out on Wednesday."
Lee Carsley and Scot Gemmill will also miss midweek internationals through injury, but the Blues could have two England internationals at Under-21 level tomorrow night. Defenders Peter Clarke and Tony Hibbert have been named in David Platt's squad to face their Croatian counterparts at Upton Park. It would be Clarke's sixth U21 cap, if selected, while Hibbert would be making his international debut after injury cruelly robbed him of a start last season. Everton are still waiting for Fulham to tie up the transfer of Claudio Reyna before they receive permission to speak to Sean Davis. The Blues hope that the Cottagers' deal will go through today. Everton are also still negotiating with Arsenal over a loan deal for Francis Jeffers, but have not reacted favourably to the news that the Gunners will only allow the former Blues' star to leave if he joins Everton permanently for £3m next summer. Joseph Yobo, meanwhile, has followed international captain Jay Jay Okocha's lead and pulled out of Nigeria's squad for Wednesday's match in Japan. David Moyes has revealed no new injury problems following Saturday's opening day defeat at Arsenal. But the Blues' boss is still far from happy. "We didn't react well to their red card," he said today. "For 10 minutes before half- time we switched off and they had their best spell. "We lost a penalty and a shot from outside the box, but otherwise Arsenal probably created fewer chances against us than any other time we have played them. "But we didn't create anywhere near chances of our own."
Everton have received a home draw in the Carling Cup against second division Stockport County, likely to be played on Wednesday, September 24 (8pm). The Blues will announce cut-price ticket plans in the next 24 hours, after similar successful ventures in recent years against Bristol Rovers and Crystal Palace. "I am delighted with the home draw," said Moyes, "but our record in the cup competitions is such that we will not be taking Stockport lightly. We will show the same level of commitment as we would to any other game."
Blue Carsley pulled out of Ireland clash
Aug 18 2003 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON midfielder Lee Carsley and Blackburn new boy Steven Reid have been withdrawn from the Republic of Ireland squad for Tuesday's friendly international against Australia at Lansdowne Road.
Carsley (left) has a knee ligament injury while Reid has an ankle problem which kept him out of Rovers' victory over newly-promoted Wolves at Ewood Park yesterday. Manager Brian Kerr brought 14 players together for a light training session in Dublin today and was hoping the seven other members of his squad would check into the team headquarters tomorrow. Kerr is anxious to keep the momentum going in preparation for the vital Group 10 European Championship tie against Russia in Dublin on September 6. "Australia are making progress in international football as their 3-1 victory over England at Upton Park last February proved," he said. "The important thing is that we pick up where we left off against Albania and Georgia at the end of the season and keep the momentum going for the Russian match." Australia will be without Rangers defender Craig Moore after he suffered a hamstring injury in his club's 1-1 draw in the Champions League qualifying tie with Copenhagen at Ibrox last Wednesday. Liverpool signing Harry Kewell will take his place in the Socceroos squad for the game. Fellow Anfield new boy Steve Finnan has been called up by the Republic.
Backing for Fran
Aug 18 2003 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
BOYHOOD Blue Alan Stubbs believes Evertonians should forgive and forget - and welcome Francis Jeffers back to Goodison Park with open arms. Everton fans are split over the club's move to sign the striker who left for Arsenal two years ago. But Stubbs believes the move would be good for the club. "He would be a fantastic signing for us. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that talks go well," he said after Saturday's opening day defeat at Arsenal. "It adds more competition up front, and would give us five top forwards fighting for places when there were times last season we were struggling to find two. “It also adds another Scouser to the squad, too, which is good for the fans! "He should never have really left in the first place and if he does come I'm sure he will be desperate to get into the first team and try to forge a part-nership with either Radz, Kevin, Wayne, Chaddy or Fergie.
"It's healthy competition for places and hopefully there will be one or two more." Stubbs had an eventful start to the season at Highbury. Named captain for the first day he led his side out, then conceded the penalty which gave The Gunners the lead when Thierry Henry's cross struck his arm.
"I just held my ground, Henry turned and flicked the ball up and it just hit me," he explained. "As a defender there's absolutely nothing you can do. Sometimes those decisions go in your favour, sometimes they don't. "Unfortunately they got it today, but there was another incident almost in the same place - just outside the box - when Ashley Cole hand-balled it and the ref gave nothing. Unfortunately that's the way it happens when you come away from home. "You expect to get nothing and more often than not you get nothing." Stubbs added: "It was good to be skipper, but to be honest I just wanted to be in the team so it was an added bonus. It was just very disappointing that the end result didn't go our way. "The way we started and the way the game was going we felt that Arsenal were there for the taking. We had them on the back-foot and they were looking a bit subdued. "The game definitely changed on the sending-off. As soon as they went down to 10-men they looked a completely different team. They came at us, looked sharper and it was as if it was a kick up the backside for them. "Looking back now we would rather it had carried on with 11 against 11. "In the second half especially we didn't do enough to get anything out of the game. We stood off them a bit and gave them time to play. The goal gave us a bit of heart near the end, but it was probably too late then. "I think the biggest thing about coming to places like this is belief. On their day Arsenal can be absolutely awesome and at times today some of their play was really good. But if a lot of teams come here with the belief that they can break them down and that they are not invincible they can get something. "We have come close on our last couple of occasions here, hitting the crossbar each time, but for our manager that's not good enough."
Nyarko's Chinese deadline
Report By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Aug 19 2003
ALEX NYARKO must solve his Chinese puzzle by tomorrow if Everton are to continue their pursuit of Steve McManaman. The Blues midfielder has spent the last three weeks in talks with clubs in the Far East after being told he had no part in David Moyes' plans. And he will have to give an answer within the next 24 hours when China's transfer window closes. Nyarko is believed to have been offered a loan deal with a view to a permanent transfer in January by an as yet unnamed club.
And his final decision holds the key to Moyes' interest in former Liverpool midfielder McManaman.
The 31-year-old has been told he has no future at Real Madrid follow-ing the arrival of David Beckham and has now been forced to train away from their galaxy of first-team stars. McManaman will have to negotiate a pay-off to cover the final year of his Bernabeu contract if Everton are to have any chance of offering him an acceptable salary. But they will only be in a position to do that if Nyarko, one of their big earners, is off the wage bill before the August 31 transfer deadline.
Newcastle and Manchester City are also in the hunt for the two-time European Cup winner while Everton's fight with Middlesbrough for Sean Davis could finally produce a winner within the next 24 hours. Although Middlesbrough could offer Davis higher wages than the Blues, Goodison officials hope his desire to move to Merseyside can clinch Moyes' top transfer target. Further talks between Bill Kenwright and Arsenal at the weekend have not brought the prospect of a Jeffers return any closer. Arsenal are willing to let the striker leave on a one-year loan deal only on the condition Everton commit to making the deal permanent for £3m next summer. However, the Blues are unwilling to enter into such an agreement. Tony Hibbert and Peter Clarke are in line to play for the England under-21s against Croatia at Upton Park tonight. Joseph Yobo has withdrawn from the Nigeria squad for tomorrow night's match in Japan, while Wayne Rooney will play on Wednesday in a reserve team appearance against Newcastle at Haig Avenue. Kevin McLeod yesterday completed his £250,000 move to QPR.
Naysmith's happy with payouts
Report By Ronnie Esplin, Daily Post
Aug 19 2003
SCOTLAND'S Gary Naysmith insists he is satisfied with the new proposed bonus scheme which could see him and his team-mates playing for almost nothing. After a meeting with team manager Berti Vogts, the Scotland players' committee agreed to a structure which would only see the squad remunerated if they actually qualify for the finals of major tournaments. And although Scotland's qualification record in recent times is poor - they failed in their bid to get to the last two major champion-ships - the prospect of appearing for appearance money only does not bother Naysmith.
The Everton defender said: "I don't know the ins and outs of it but I think it is a good way forward.
"It's about playing for Scotland, it's not about playing for money and getting rewarded if you're successful is the way to go." The financial gamble that Nay-smith and his team-mates are set to take in the future is perhaps a result of the confidence the Scots took from their 1-1 draw with Germany at Hampden the end of last season. Naysmith, speaking before the squad left to play Norway in a friendly in Oslo, claimed he had no fears about the return game in Germany but admitted that qualification for Portugal 2004 through the play-offs is perhaps their best bet.
He added: "When we played Germany we more than matched them so we've no reason to fear them when we go over there. "You've got to go into every game confident of winning and you can never go into a game thinking you're going to get beat. "The players took a lot of confidence from the team playing well against them and I thought we thoroughly deserved the result that we got.
"Hopefully that will give us the confidence to go into the future games and hopefully we can finish at least second in the group. "But if everything goes to form and goes the way everybody thinks then Germany are going to win their games and they're going to win the group. "If that happens then we would need to win our two home games to ensure second place so I think that's what we've got to be looking at. "I suppose Iceland are the mai n danger to us. If Germany don't beat Iceland in both their meetings then I think we have to go to Germany and g et something. "But it just seems strange to me that we've beaten Iceland twice and they're sitting above us in the group." Naysmith admitted the Scots face another tough test in Oslo but the Everton player hopes for a positive outcome ahead of the upcoming qualifiers against the Faroe Islands and Germany. He said: "At this stage every game is a test for Scotland. We can't say this is going to be easy."
Blues need to show Moyes the money
By Mark Lawrenson, Daily Post
Aug 19 2003
EVERTON'S defeat at Arsenal on Saturday merely underlined the need for David Moyes to bring in new players. Basically, the Blues didn't capitalise on the Gunners being down to 10 men for most of the game. Arsenal at home are formidable and, the way they played on Saturday, you couldn't tell they were at a numerical dis-advantage. A lot of teams will go to Highbury and lose, so there was no shame in the Blues' setback. But when Arsenal went down to 10, Everton should have been thinking about not being beaten. For whatever reason, it just didn't happen for them. And in fact, the Gunners seemed to grow stronger rather than the weaker. The sending-off of Sol Campbell was the correct decision. Speaking as a former central defender, the Arsenal man was a bit unlucky, but on the edge of the 18-yard box and central to goal, you have to imagine Thomas Gravesen would have scored. In truth, had Gravesen been allowed to have gone on and scored, the goal would have made more of a difference to the game than the red card and could have turned proceedings in Everton's favour. It's easy to say that a few new players would aid Everton's cause, but it is true. And not just because it would improve the quality of the side - it would also act as a lift to the squad and the supporters. Most Evertonians are of same opinion - the Blues had a great season last time around, but it will be difficult to repeat it unless reinforcements are brought in. The Premiership is demonstrating that if you don't improve your squad, you run the risk of stagnating. The perception of Everton is that they are standing still - something Moyes will not accept for much longer.
Sean Davis is precisely the type of player Everton need. He wants to come to Goodison rather than join Middlesbrough, but with substantial financial backing Boro are likely to test the resolve of Davis by throwing a load of money at him. Bill Kenwright has been under pressure to provide funds, but he can't do it all on his own. He needs the help of his fellow board members. And it seems they are finally getting their act together. The saying goes that you can't spend money that you don't have, so Everton have proved they have found some money by signing Li Tie and having a bid for Davis accepted. The problem for Everton is finding the balance between what they do spend and what they actually can spend. If they do sign Davis, maybe Steve McManaman will come. And if he arrives, suddenly it sets the ball in motion. Goodison becomes a place players would want to join. One highlight of the defeat at Highbury was the performance and goal of Tomasz Radzinksi. He was a worthy player of the year last season and has come to terms with the Premiership. Given their opening result, Everton have got to turn Fulham over on Saturday. The Blues had a good home record last season and with the Cottagers likely to be struggling towards the bottom of the table this season, these are the games Everton should be winning.
Ablett delight at progress
Academy Football With Chris Wright, Daily Post
Aug 19 2003
EVERTON under-17s completed their pre-season programme with a 2-0 victory over Manchester City at Netherton on Saturday. But Alan Harper's under-19s ended their friendly fixtures with defeat, going down 3-2 to City, also at Netherton. As the Blues gear up for the opening FA Premier Academy League fixtures, when both sides face Aston Villa at home, it is Ablett's side who are the happier
The Blues 16-year-old striker from Walton, Paul Hopkins, opened the scoring with a superb volley. Then Wallasey midfielder Christian Seargeant, whose dad Steve played for the Blues in the 1970s, chipped a second two minutes from time to seal the win. And Ablett feels it was the ideal way to enter the new campaign. He said: "It was probably our best pre-season performance and we were certainly good value for 2-0. "I am delighted for the boys because I had told them what a good side City were. The lads have set a high standard now and hopefully they can maintain it." But the U19s were not as fortunate. Despite taking the lead twice through Huyton defender Anthony Gerrard, cousin of Liverpool and England star Steven Gerrard, and Wigan winger Damon Martland, they lost 3-2. But Harper is looking ahead to the opening game against Villa rather than dwell on Saturday's defeat. He said: "We had a collective bad day - and Manchester City deserved their win. "Considering it was our last pre-season game, I was disappointed. Our play was poor, our passing was poor - there's plenty for us to work on. But the good thing is that we have time to put it right."
Everton fan arrests soar
Aug 19 2003 By Tony Barrett Echo Reporter
ARRESTS of Everton fans at football matches soared last season, new government figures reveal.
The Goodison Park club is now fourth in the Home Office's league of shame. But Everton chiefs today insisted the club does not have a hooligan problem. During the 2002-03 football season, 108 Everton supporters were arrested at home and away games compared with 65 the previous season.
Those included 39 disorder offences, 29 alcohol offences and 24 for pitch invasions. Everton is joint fourt behind Sunderland with 154 arrests, Birmingham City 137 and Manchester United 134; it is equal with Manchester City. Liverpool saw arrests rise more modestly, from 90 to 96, including 26 disorder offences. Tranmere Rovers was the only Merseyside club to record a decrease with the number of arrests dropping from 16 to 12. The figures, released by the Home Office, also showed banning orders have been imposed on 10 Everton fans, 15 from Liverpool and two at Tranmere.
The government today pledged to combat rises in crime on the terraces and outside grounds by giving police forces an extra £5m to spend on spotting potential troublemakers. Home Office minister Hazel Blears said the cash will be shared by police forces over three years. Everton's club safety officer Norman Whibley said: "These figures have to be put into perspective. Nearly one million spectators watched matches at Goodison last year and 51 people were arrested. "The arrest figures look dramatic but around half of the arrests home and away relate to two offences - running on the pitch and alcohol-related offences. "The positive that comes out of it is that the number of people arrested for racist chanting is down to just one. "We would prefer it if this figure was nil, but this shows we are not ignoring the problem and neither are our fans. "The real issue is that people do not come to Goodison Park with any safety fears, matchday is a safe and enjoyable experience."
Reyna's deal key to Davis
Aug 19 2003 By Scott Mcleod Football Correspondent
EVERTON expect to learn in the next 36 hours if their bid to sign Sean Davis has been successful.
The Blues had an offer in excess of £5m accepted by Fulham last week but the London club refused to allow Davis to talk terms with Goodison officials until they had signed a replacement. The wait was set to end today, with Fulham finally tying up the loose ends over Claudio Reyna's move from Sunderland. Reyna agreed personal terms last week but the deal was delayed because of tax problems. Davis will now be given permission to talk to Everton about a switch to Merseyside.
The Blues face competition from Middlesbrough, who have also had an offer accepted by The Cottagers. But Davis is believed to favour a move to Everton. And Boro's imminet signing of Gaizka Mendieta on a season long loan from Lazio could further boost the Blues' chances of landing Davis.
Everton Head of Communications Ian Ross revealed: "We expect the whole thing to be cut and dried either way within 36 hours. Meanwhile, loose cannon midfielder Alex Nyarko is on his way back to Merseyside from the Far East. The Ghanaian has been called back to Goodison by manager David Moyes after failing to agree a loan move to China during a three week trip to Asia. The manager is desperate to offload the player in order to provide him with a financial boost as he strives to bolster his squad before the August 31 deadline. Moyes said: "We want Alex back now. He has been out there for over two weeks and I can't understand his reasons for being out there as long as that.
"He has got to come back to the club. We were told he was going out there to meet the people at the club and spend a few days looking around, not two and a half weeks. "He is coming back with a view to trying and getting him out elsewhere." Nyarko's departure could prove the key in any bid to draft in Steve McManaman from Real Madrid. The former Liverpool midfielder is surplus to requirements at the Bernabeu but he still has one year remaining on his contract. But they could face competition for the player. Reports claim Newcastle and Celtic have contacted Real about McManaman.
Moyes answers JBlue questions
Aug 19 2003 Liverpool Echo
EVER wanted to know what your favourite player gets up to away from football or who his idol is?
We are offering JBlue members the chance to ask the stars 10 questions on any subject they like.
This week 13-year-old Michael Hart puts manager David Moyes under the spotlight. Michael, of Aintree, has been a Goodison season ticket holder since 1994. He plays Sunday league football for Marina Colts and his favourite Everton players are Tomasz Radzinski and Wayne Rooney.
1. Who would be your ideal signing if money was no object? - Zinedine Zidane.
2. What is your most memorable match for Everton? - The first one, against Fulham at Goodison.
3. How did you feel after Preston's defeat in the Division One play-off final when you were in charge? - I was devastated because it would have been an incredible achievement to take a team of Preston's resources into the Premiership.
4. What do you do to relax away from football and management? - I spend time with my family . . . and I also watch more football!
5. How did you feel five minutes before kick-off in your first game in charge of Everton? - I was both nervous and excited.
6. In the next 10 years, do you think Everton can win the Premiership with you as manager? - Yes.
7. Away from football, who is your favourite sportsman or sportswoman? - Michael Jordan, the basketball player.
8. If an offer came in for Wayne Rooney, would you let him go for what you felt was the right amount of money? - No.
9. What is your aim for this season? - To continue to be a club that makes progress.
10. What team did you first play for? - Celtic Boys Club.
Blues: We're staying put
Exclusive By Mark Hookham Daily Post Staff
Aug 20 2003
EVERTON FC has shelved its plans for a new stadium indefinitely, the Daily Post can reveal. Blues bosses said they were concentrating financial resources on the pitch rather than off it. An Everton spokesman said the club's board was refusing to be rushed into any new development and warned fans not to expect any announcements in the near future. It was a devastating blow for the Blues when a planned 55,000-seat arena on Liverpool's Kings Dock collapsed at the beginning of the year because the club had failed to raise enough funds in the face of spiralling costs. Initial costings were for around £155m but this rapidly raced towards the £200m mark. The wrangles over the proposals, which kept fans gripped for two-and-a-half years, cost the public sector an estimated £2m. A boardroom rift over how to pay for the stadium effectively split Everton director Paul Gregg and Everton deputy chairman Bill Kenwright. Now club bosses say the team and its performance is their main concern. Head of communications Ian Ross said: "We are getting back to the basics - the bread and butter of running a football club. "We are still looking for alternative options to Goodison but the time has to be right and the financial aspect has to be right." Mr Ross said the board had learned important lessons about from the collapse of the Kings Dock scheme. He said: " We went through 21N2 years of the Kings Dock proposal and it was long, hard and expensive.
"We learnt lessons from that and maybe the biggest one was that moving to a new stadium is an incredibly expensive business. "The good thing is, we do not have to drag our fans to Goodison. They like coming here." He added the club's board of directors discussed moving to a new stadium at every monthly meeting but no longer in great detail. In May, the club was approached by a business consortium interested in building a 60,000-seat stadium near the Stanley Dock. Regeneration expert David Taylor, the former executive in charge of Lancashire Enterprises and a member of the board of Preston North End, is behind the £500m plan. Mark O'Brien, editor of the When Skies are Grey Everton fans' website, said: "The fans were always told that a new stadium was needed to move the club forward. "If you look at clubs like Sunderland or Derby, who built new stadiums, then it doesn't always move clubs forward."
Moyes made to wait again
Report By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Aug 20 2003
DAVID MOYES took his transfer chase to Ireland last night as the Sean Davis deal was put on hold for another 24 hours. Everton expected talks with the Fulham midfielder to start yesterday as they prepared to close in on Moyes' top transfer target. But they are still awaiting permission to speak to the player after another hitch emerged in Claudio Reyna's proposed move to Loftus Road. Fulham were due to tie up a £3.5million deal for the American international after resolving a tax problem. But now the midfielder wants a pay-off from Sunderland before leaving the Stadium of Light - adding to the delay in the chase for Davis. Transfer rivals Middlesbrough yesterday completed the one-year loan signing of Spanish star Gaizka Mendieta from Lazio. The Blues hope that is an indication they are resolved to missing out on 23-year-old Davis, who is known to favour a move to Goodison Park. But until talks get underway, Everton - who saw Alex Nyarko reject a loan move to China yesterday - are taking nothing for granted. Frustrated Moyes was in Dublin last night to watch the Republic of Ireland take on Australia, renewing speculation he could swoop for Kevin Kilbane, who was a second-half substitute at Lansdowne Road. The Sunderland winger is available for around £1m from the cash-strapped Black Cats. But hopes of adding Kilbane or other targets such as Steve McManaman to the Goodison wage bill received a setback yesterday when Nyarko was called back from the Far East. Nyarko had been in talks with two clubs in China over a proposed loan move but returned after almost three weeks without a deal. Blues boss Moyes said: "Alex has got to come back to the club. We were told he was going out there to meet the people at the club and spend a few days looking around, not two-and-a-half weeks. "He is coming back with a view to trying to get him out elsewhere." Wayne Rooney, meanwhile, will play for Everton reserves tonight in a bid to bolster his fitness ahead of the Premiership game with Fulham on Saturday. The young striker will face Newcastle United reserves at the Blues' new second string venue, Southport FC's Haig Avenue.
Blues finally plan to open Davis talks
Aug 20 2003 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
AFTER a fortnight on amber, Everton were finally hoping for the green light to speak to Sean Davis today. The Blues and Middlesbrough have been waiting patiently for permission to speak to the highly regarded midfielder, after both having £5m-plus bids accepted by Fulham. But the Londoners have refused that access until they have completed the transfer of replacement Claudio Reyna.
That move hit yet another snag yesterday after the American was reported to be chasing a pay-off from Sunderland, but Reyna was believed to be in London last night for a medical, suggesting his financial package is finally in place. "We are hopeful of hearing something from Fulham today," said chief executive Michael Dunford. Further swoops for Francis Jeffers and Steve McManaman will remain on the back-burner until the full financial implications of the Davis deal are known. The Blues still have 11 days before the transfer window closes until January - and they will try to use that time to engineer a move for Alex Nyarko after the Ghana-ian returned from China without reaching agree-ment over a loan with two clubs. Manager David Moyes was in Dublin last night watching the Republic of Ireland's victory over Australia. Sunderland winger Kevin Kilbane was one of the players under scrutiny. Wayne Rooney, mean-while, will play for Everton reserves against Newc as tl e Un ite d reserves at Haig Avenue, Southport tonight (7pm).
EVERTON RESERVES (from): Turner, Hibbert, B Moogan, O'Hanlon, Weir, Schumacher, Alexandersson, Tie, Rooney, Pascucci, A Moogan, A Gerrard, Gallagher, Barry, Garside, Booth, Fox.
Everton Res 2, Newcastle Res 4
Aug 21 2003
WAYNE ROONEY eased David Moyes striker worries with two goals on his return to action in Everton's 4-2 defeat to Newcastle United. Rooney, who hasn't played since injuring his ankle against Glasgow Rangers, scored twice and looked sharper as the game went on, finishing the full 90 minutes. Everton boss Moyes was in the stands to watch as the Blues went behind to a Calvin Zola goal five minutes before the break, Rooney had only tasted limited action up to this point, obviously under instructions to avoid need-less challenges. However, the second half was much different as the Blues striker set about the Newcastle defence, levelling on 50 minutes. Niclas Alexandersson laid the ball back to Rooney who unleashed a low drive passed Craig in the Newcastle goal. Rooney should have had a second within a minute, but his left-foot effort was inches wide of the post. Everton's delight was shortlived as Zola once again put the visitors ahead, curling a delight-ful shot around the advanced Iain Turner. Newcastle stretched their lead further when substitute Richard Offiong found Michael Chopra who finished past Turner. Rooney wasn't finished though and shortened Everton's deficit on 70 minutes with a typical strike from the youngster. Holding off a defender in the box, he turned and smashed his shot into the top left hand corner of the goal to the delight of the 2,500-strong crowd. The Everton wonderkid looked to have had his hat-trick on 78 minutes with a low drive which the keeper could only hold at the second attempt. However it was Newcastle who stretched their lead further two minutes later when Phil Cave caught out the Blues' keeper from 40 yards finding the top corner which Turner could only watch. Two more late chances nearly brought the hat-trick everybody wanted, but Anthony Craig denied Rooney on both occasions. Tony Hibbert's commitment was slightly over zealous in the 89th minute earning him a yellow card.
EVERTON: Turner, Hibbert, B Moogan, O'Hanlon, Weir, Schumacher, Alexandersson, Tie, Rooney, Garside, A Moogan. Subs: A Gerrard, Gallagher, Barry, Booth, Fox.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Craig, Gate, Cave, Carr, Taylor, Webster, Brittain, Orr, Zola (Offiong 57) (Marshal 70), Pattison (Bates 90). Subs: Edgar, Bartlett.
REFEREE: Mr N Swarbrick
Rooney hits double reminder
Chris Wright Daily Post
Aug 21 2003
WAYNE ROONEY gave his watching manager David Moyes and England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson a boost with a double blast in last night's reserve fixture at Southport's Haig Avenue. The Blues youngster hit a goal in each half to advertise his claims for a starting role in Saturday's Premiership match against Fulham at Goodison Park. And England coach Eriksson will be glad to hear of the striker's well-being with the crucial Euro 2004 qualifier against Macedonia and Liechtenstein coming up next month. But despite Rooney's double blast Andy Holden's second string went down 4-2 to Newcastle United in the FA Premier Reserve League. The 17-year-old striker cracked in a low drive just before the break and added a second 15 minutes into the second half, lashing in Tony Hibbert's cross. Everton's striking options are limited at present with Duncan Ferguson serving the second match of his three-game sus-pension and Kevin Campbell out for a month with a hamstring injury.
So Rooney's performance will have hearthened Moyes ahead of the Blues first home match of the new season. The Blues were last night still awaiting Fulham's permission to open talks with Sean Davis as another transfer target Steve McManaman re-iterated his desire to stay with Real Madrid.
Davis is Moyes' top target with Everton, along with Middlesbrough, having already had a £5million bid accepted for the 23-year-old midfielder. Fulham will only let the two clubs open negotiations with the player after the successful conclusion of their bid to bring Sunderland's Claudio Reyna to the Cottage as his replacement. But as yet they have not completed the £3.5m deal for the American midfielder. But as the Blues were waiting to speak to Davis, former Liverpool midfielder McManaman has once again said he wants to remain in Spain. The 30-year-old, who is out of favour at the Bernabeu, is now training apart from the first-team squad and has been told he will not figure in new coach Carlos Queiroz's plans. But despite his predicament he remains insistent he is not looking for a move. "I have a contract with Madrid and I want to continue here because I can be of use for the new project here," said the former England star. "I don't know anything about Manchester City, Everton, Celtic or the rest because nobody has presented me with an offer." And Real director of sport Jorge Valdano also confirmed there had been no firm offers for McManaman.
The former Argentine World Cup winner said:"At this moment there is no formal offer for McManaman. There are many rumours, but we have nothing on the table." Blues boss Moyes would like to bring the Madrid midfielder to Goodison. But the main stumbling block to any deal is McManaman's wages. The Merseysider would have to take a substantial cut in pay if he were to return to England. And Everton will not make any move until any deal for Davis has been finalised.
Meanwhile a date for Everton's Carling Cup second round match with Stockport County at Goodison Park will not be decided until the end of August. The game with the Nationwide second division side was expected to take place on Wednesday, September 24 (kickoff 8pm). But with Liverpool playing a UEFA Cup tie that week means there could be a fixture clash. European competition takes precedence over domestic matches and if the draw for the first round of the UEFA Cup, which takes place on August 30, hands Gerard Houllier's side a first leg home tie, then the Blues will be forced to play the Carling Cup game 24 hours earlier on Tuesday, September 23, kick-off 8pm.
* EVERTON'S Premiership fixture with Manchester City at Goodison Park will be screened live on Premiership Plus. The game with Kevin Keegan's side was originally scheduled for Saturday, December 6 but has been put back to the Sunday with a 2pm kick-off to accommodate pay-per-view television.
Stink over new Bellefield
Aug 21 2003 Exclusive by Jenny Watson, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON'S new multi-million pound training facility must be fitted with toxic fall-out shelters because of fears of chemical leaks from a factory next door. The club are selling their Bellefield site to help fund a move to a new centre on the other side of the city. But council planners are so worried by a neighbouring chlorine and bromine plant, they have told Everton they would need to produce a detailed emergency plan in case of leaks. If they get the go-ahead for the move to Halewood, they need to install toxic refuge centres and an air-raid siren to warn players in the event of a crisis. Everton must also ensure their buildings have their own air supply that can be switched on in the case of an emergency to prevent taking air from the outside. There must also be large signs fitted around the centre, to warn players what to do in the event of an emergency. The assessment has been carried out by an independent planning officer, seconded to Knowsley council from the fire service. The club wants to leave their existing training ground, in West Derby, and sell off the land, thought to be worth around £1m an acre. The money will be used to fund the new £9m complex on Finch Lane, Halewood, near to the Great Lakes UK factory in Lower Road. Club officials are aware of the health issues but insist player safety would not be compromised. In March this year, thousands of people in the area were warned to stay indoors after a carbon monoxide cloud escaped. Planning officers have recommended the soccer academy be approved, on August 28, subject to Everton adopting the emergency plan. Everton's chief executive Michael Dunford said: "We are cautiously optimistic we will get the go-ahead for the academy. "If we do, Everton will have a state-of-the-art training ground to compare with other premier league clubs. "There have been some health and safety issues raised but we are confident they pose no risk to our players training at the site." The plan includes 13 football pitches, including two full size and floodlit pitches plus one indoors, administration offices, classrooms, kitchen and parking spaces for up 171 cars and coaches. Mr Dunford added: "The academy would boast first class playing facilities and dressing rooms. "Our players have been consulted about the proposed facilities and manager David Moyes has been directly involved in planning the training facilities." He added: "The academy will be partly funded from the sale of the Bellefield training ground. "And, if approved, the timing of the academy's completion will depend on the disposal of Bellefield but we hope to start in 2004 and finish by the summer of 2006 at the very latest." The application is expected to be approved but because it would be built in 55 acres of farmland designated as green belt, deputy prime minister John Prescott could still choose to call a public inquiry.
Blue fans plan H'boro service
Aug 21 2003 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
A GROUP of leading Evertonians hope to end the spate of tit-for-tat vandalism which has marred recent derby matches. The Blues' fans will be gathering at the Hillsborough memorial at Anfield on Saturday at 12.15pm, for a short service to remember the 96 football supporters who lost their lives in the 1989 tragedy. The service will be conducted by the Everton club chaplain, Rev. Harry Ross, vicar of St Luke's Church on Goodison Road. Last season, paint was thrown on the Hillsborough memorial, following two incidents of paint being thrown on Everton's Dixie Dean statue outside Goodison Park. It is hoped that the service will help to bring an end to the vandalism which has tarnished the name of Merseyside football. "Memorials are for remembering people," said a spokesman for the Evertonians. "Respect should be shown to those who are no longer with us, and consideration shown to their families. "If people stoop to vandalising memorials, they are not only letting themselves down, but also letting down their club because it reflects badly on them."
Phil Hammond, of the Hillsborough Families Support Group, said: "I shall be attending this service. We don't want to see any further vandalism at Goodison or Anfield. Dixie Dean and the 96 people deserve better." Former Everton captain Dave Watson, who started his career with Liverpool, has also said he will be attending. Mr Ross, who will be conducting the 10-minute service, said: "It's time for football fans to show generosity of spirit, rather than meanness of spirit." The Evertonian spokesman added: "Arguments between Evertonians and Liverpudlians are part and parcel of Merseyside life and will continue; but throwing paint on memorials only brings shame on the club that the culprits purport to support. It must stop." He added: "Perhaps some younger supporters don't realise how the followers of the two clubs rallied together in 1989. "It was a devastating time but Evertonians stood by Liverpool fans in the weeks after, sharing the grief."
Aug 21 2003 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
EVERTON'S search for new blood has become a top priority - after another influential star joined the club's growing injury list. Thomas Gravesen hobbled out of last night's friendly international in Denmark with knee ligament damage, and looks certain to be ruled out until after next weekend's Merseyside derby. The Dane joins Kevin Campbell, Scot Gemmill, Lee Carsley and Duncan Ferguson on Everton's injured or unavailable list, while even top transfer target Sean Davis is recovering from a knee strain. The only consolation for beleaguered boss David Moyes is that Wayne Rooney and Tony Hibbert came confidently through a reserve run-out at Southport last night. Rooney scored two excellent goals in a 4-2 defeat by Newcastle, the second created by a dashing overlap from Hibbert and completed a full 90 minutes for the first time since July 22. Everton's player shortage could see him pressed instantly into first team action against Fulham on Saturday. Gravesen will have a scan today to assess the full extent of the damage he sustained just before half-time in Denmark's 1-1 draw with Finland. Danish medical staff fear he will miss three club games. On an unhappy night for international Evertonians, Tobias Linderoth was sent-off for time-wasting as Sweden crashed 2-1 at home to Greece. "Thomas phoned us straight after the Denmark match," said manager David Moyes "but we won't know the full extent of the injury until later today.
"At the moment we are really short. Central midfield is an area where we do have several players, but unfortunately two or three of them are injured at the moment." Moyes was at Haig Avenue last night and added: "We are pleased that Wayne and Tony got the full game. They both definitely need match practice and the game will have done them good." Ironically Hibbert reported a sore knee this morning as a result of the game, but the Blues suspect nothing serious. Carlton Cole has joined Charlton on a season-long loan. The Chelsea youngster was offered to Everton on similar terms last week, but the Blues turned it down. Everton's home match against Manchester City, meanwhile, has been selected for Premiership Plus screening, meaning the game will now be played on Sunday, December 7 (kick-off 2pm) instead of December 6.
Linderoth is sent off
Aug 21 2003 Daily Post
EVERTON'S Tobias Linderoth will want to forget his first international appearance for Sweden in a year as he was sent off in a 2-1 defeat against Greece in Norrkoping. Sweden took the lead through Southampton midfielder Anders Svensson's 20-yard shot but went into half-time a man down after the Everton man picked up a double booking. Aston Villa striker Marcus Allback limped out of the opening 45 minutes with an injury but Greece improved in the second half after plenty of substitutions from both teams. Belgium and Holland had to settle for a 1-1 draw after a supposedly friendly but in reality stormy meeting of the Low Country neighbours. Both sides had a player sent off in a fiercely-contested match.. Cocu was given his marching orders by German referee Herbert Fandel for two yellow cards and in injury time Olivier De Cock was dismissed with a straight red card for an innocuous looking challenge on former Arsenal winger Marc Overmars.
Practice pays off for Blues
Aug 22 2003 Academy Football With Chris Wright Daily Post
PRE-SEASON results don't mean a thing when the season starts. But after Everton under-17s superb 2-0 victory over Manchester City, coach Gary Ablett hopes it is a sign of things to come. When the Blues take on Aston Villa at Netherton tomorrow (kickoff 12noon) in the FA Premier Academy League's opening fixture they will hope to continue in a similar vein of form. For most of the players it is their first year as a full-time professional footballer. But almost all of Ablett's squad have had experience of Academy football in the last two years as schoolboys. And they will hope to use that to their advantage. Performances in pre-season have buoyed the squad and they go into today's match aiming for a positive start to the season and to what they hope will end with a first team place at Everton. Ablett said: "Last Saturday's performance was excellent. What we had been practising on the training ground - passing, moving, keeping hold of the ball - came off. "My job this week has been keeping them in that positive frame of mind and stopping complacency creeping in. "But after playing so well in pre-season everyone is looking forward to getting going and hopefully we can play like we did last week." Ablett has no real injury worries, with just one or two suffering with blisters due to the hard grounds they have playing on. But they will not keep them from playing tomorrow and the Blues will have a full squad to choose from. Alan Harper's under-19s also face Aston Villa at Netherton tomorrow (KO noon) in their opening fixture. And although their pre-season results have been mixed Harper will have been working on the areas that his side need to improve on after last week's 3-2 defeat against Manchester City.
EVERTON UNDER-17s (from): Craig Gallagher, Steven Wynne, Mark Hughes, Sean Wright, Patrick Boyle, Laurence Wilson, James Harris, Christian Seargeant, Paul Hopkins, Andrew Fowler, Michael, James Foran, Scott Phelan, James Vaughan.
No rescue act from Rooney
Andy Hunter Daily Post
Aug 22 2003
WAYNE ROONEY isn't ready to ride to Everton's rescue yet, David Moyes insisted last night. Everton's injury misery deepened yesterday when key midfielder Thomas Gravesen reported back from international duty with a knee problem. The Dane is doubtful for tomorrow's game against Fulham at Goodison Park and could also struggle to make the Merseyside derby next week.
With Kevin Campbell, Duncan Ferguson, Scot Gemmill, Lee Carsley and Tony Hibbert all unavailable this weekend Moyes is down to the bones for the Goodison opener. But the Blues boss will resist the temptation to field the young Everton hero from the start against Chris Coleman's side. Rooney scored two fine goals in a 90-minute run-out for the reserves on Wednesday - his first full game in almost a month. But Moyes seems set to stick with Tomasz Radzinski and Nick Chadwick on Saturday rather than rush the prodigy back too soon. "I still think Wayne is short of match practice," he said. "He is quite a bit off yet before he is ready to play but the game would have done him really good." Gravesen was injured just before half-time against Finland to give Moyes an added midfield problem, although he still has an outside chance of facing the Londoners. "Thomas had a scan earlier today and it is showing clear at the moment which is good news," said Moyes. "We will have another look at him in the morning." Li Tie, meanwhile, admits he is still stunned by the red card that will force him to miss next week's Merseyside derby. The Chinese international gave Mark Halsey little option but to issue the first dismissal of his Everton career at Highbury last week with a reckless substitute's display. Li Tie's uncharacteristic performance saw him booked twice inside 20 minutes as the Blues chased an unlikely late leveller against Arsenal. It left manager David Moyes to admit the midfielder "would have plenty of time for reflection" as his first outing as a permanent Everton player ended in misery. And last night Tie conceded he was guilty of a lack of control.
"I was unhappy to receive the red card. It is not a good thing for me, but I can't complain, only accept and face it," he said. "Last season I got some yellow cards in matches, but not worse than this time. This is my first time to get a red card in the Premiership. "Everyone will meet all kinds of things in their life, some bad things will change into good things, and the most important thing is to learn from this. "What I need to do is to get more experience. I will learn how to control myself. In a strange environment it becomes more important to do it, especially when you play football in the Premiership." Li Tie revealed Moyes did have words following his untimely dismissal last weekend.
He added: "The boss had a talk with me about the red card; he gave me lots of advice on how to avoid it happening in the future." "I didn't want to have a bad start to the season, but it has happened, so I accept it. "The boss and my team-mates didn't blame me, but I will criticise myself and think carefully why it happened and make sure it doesn't happen again."
Highbury display is proof we can hold our own
Fanscene With Mark O'Brien Daily Post
Aug 22 2003
NIL points after the first week of the season, but was anyone really surprised that we failed to get anything from Highbury even after Sol Campbell got sent off? It would have been nice if we'd taken control of the game once they were down to 10 men but instead Patrick Vieira, Robert Pires and company just stepped up to a level that the majority of our players simply aren't capable of. Everton pushed them hard, especially in the early stages, but ultimately we just forced them to show why so many of them are World Cup winners and why they will be pushing for the title this season and we probably won't. All the talk in the Sunday papers was about Thierry Henry's over-exuberant celebrations following his penalty, but fortunately the FA have chosen not to give him the public flogging that was demanded in some quarters. Every season we get these incidents - no doubt there's plenty more to come in the months ahead - and every season we get more outraged calls to Alan Green and more reports to the police. When did football fans turn into such shrinking violets?
Much more objectionable than Henry's Charles Atlas impression was his imitation of Trevor Berbick in the dying minutes. With the Gunners sort of hanging on as Everton kind of pushed for an equaliser, the French striker's play-acting and time-wasting - particularly when he pretended that he'd been pole-axed by Joseph Yobo - was unsporting in the extreme. Even Arsenal fans are mystified as to why such an amazing player sullies his reputation with these antics. While the result reminded us - as if we needed it - that we're light years behind the likes of Arsenal, there were enough positive signs to indicate that we'll be able to hold our own against most sides again. Most importantly, the work rate and the commitment that seemed lacking in preseason was back, and heart can also be taken from the performances of some individuals, particularly Yobo and Thomas Gravesen. Hopefully the Dane's knee injury picked up on international duty won't keep him out of action for too long as Saturday saw one of his most accomplished performances to date in a Blue shirt. If those individuals can keep performing like they did at Highbury, and the team can continue to work hard against less talented sides than Arsenal, then there's no reason why last season's achievements can't be emulated or surpassed. David Moyes famously kickstarted his Everton career with a home win against Fulham - hopefully we can get this season out of the blocks with something similar tomorrow.
Davis on brink of switch
Andy Hunter Daily Post
Aug 22 2003
SEAN DAVIS arrived on Merseyside last night as Everton closed in on their prime transfer target. The 23-year-old received permission to speak to the Blues from Fulham yesterday afternoon and immediately headed for Goodison Park. He visited the club's facilities before meeting Everton officials and manager David Moyes, whose patient pursuit of the midfield star looks to be paying off.
Personal terms on a five-year contract are close to agreement with Davis desperate to play for the Blues after handing in an official transfer request a fortnight ago. Now only a medical - expected to be completed once he recovers from a knee injury - stands in the way of Everton making Davis their first summer signing for just over £5million. Middlesbrough remain in the chase for Fulham's Player of the Year, and will today try to tempt the England under-21 international to turn his back on Everton and move to the Riverside. Fulham stood aside after resolving financial issues with Davis' potential replacement at Loftus Road, Claudio Reyna. And Cottagers' boss Chris Coleman admitted: "It is highly unlikely that Sean will be a Fulham player past the transfer deadline." If successful the capture of Davis would end a summer of frustration for Moyes who has held out for his number one target despite a series of obstacles. The Blues manager, meanwhile, is currently giving a trial to out-offavour Sporting Lisbon goalkeeper Nelson. The Portuguese international will remain at Bellefield for the next few days with Everton seeking a loan deal for the 27-year-old, who has been usurped as the club's number one following the arrival of Ricardo from rivals Boavista. Nelson has been joined by another trialist, French midfielder Philippe Delaye. The 28-year-old from Rennes was at Blackburn Rovers earlier in the week before Graeme Souness opted not to further his interest.
Blues must move
Ic Liverpool And Daily Post
Aug 22 2003
Blues must move
AS a season-ticket holder and lifelong Blue, I am very disappointed that Everton are not moving forward on the new ground development. I have my memories of Goodison Park and all the great moments (and many not so great) but the ground is antiquated and an embarrassment. We are all squashed in like sardines with poor facilities, a lack of space in general and poor parking. It is time we move, or at least make plans to do so. Despite the latest increase of glory-hunting fans, I know a few good fans who won't go to the ground now because of all the above factors.
Mike McLoughlin, Liverpool
THIS may sound like a daft idea, but I'd be interested in what other Everton fans think of it - couldn't we borrow Anfield for one season, after the Reds have moved to their new stadium in Stanley Park?
During that time, we could completely rebuild Goodison, increase the capacity and so on, without disruption - it'd be much quicker. I know lots of Blues would say never at Anfield, but it was OUR home in the first place. We could paint it blue too, although I'm not sure the Kopites would be too keen on that.
Stop the laughter
IT IS definitely more important for Everton to have a good team than a new stadium. However, the two can go together. Derby and Sunderland did not fail because of their new homes - and in fact they are probably their only source of profit now! A top stadium and infrastructure (training facilities etc) attracts good players. It attracts more supporters. It raises expectations. It engenders respect from visiting fans, many of whom laugh openly at our away facilities. The thought of 'them' building a massive shiny place next door makes me want to vomit.
Paul Kareg, Northwich
READING Ian Ross's 'we don't have to drag Everton fans down to Goodison' comment about the ground move, may I just say that us Evertonians will go anywhere to watch the Blues play. But the state of our current stadium is a shambles. Only the Park End and Family Enclosure are worthy of a club of Everton's stature. I'm all for giving David Moyes extra transfer funds but Everton WILL need to move stadium sooner or later if we are to progress to the level Moyes and us Everton fans demand.
Paul Mullally, Old Swan
WHAT is going on? Have Everton a curse on them? The nearly club - nearly the big media deal, nearly Europe, nearly a move to a new stadium, all lost at the 12th hour. We are a big club, bigger than Chelsea, who have come out of their financial manure smelling of roses. If there is a God, let's hope he or she wakes up and starts to smile on us again.
L Taters, Childwall
EVERTON should be a name that footballers hear and associate with great things. We are one of the few original massive clubs. But why are footballers so greedy, namely Duncan Ferguson? Does he not feel guilty when he saunters into Bellefield in his custom Porsche, sits on a treatment table every day and then at the end of the month takes home £140,000? I think this says it all about Peter Johnson's reign.
Matthew Workman, Warrington
The name of the game
Aug 22 2003 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
NICK CHADWICK has been handed one of the less complimentary nicknames at Everton. But far from being offended, the young striker revels in it - and what's more, hopes to prove he deserves the title during the coming season. After spending the whole of last season out of the first team spotlight - an injury sustained the previous summer not helping his quest to impress David Moyes - he came in from the cold to lead the line at Arsenal last Saturday. Uncharacteristically he failed to score, but still did enough to offer hope that the run-out will not be a solitary outing. "All the lads call me 'Jammy' because all the five yarders seem to fall to me," he said afterwards. "But you have to be a Johnny on the spot and I'm happy to be labelled that, because if chances keep coming my way I know I will keep scoring goals. Miss them or score them I will still be there for the next one.
"I just hope that if enough chances come my way I will score one sooner or later . . . hopefully sooner." Chadwick showed his ability to get on the blind side of defenders just seven minutes into Saturday's curtain raiser. Tomasz Radzinski raced down the right and launched an inviting cross into The Gunners' six yard box. Chadwick was first to react with an instinctive effort which goalkeeper Lehmann blocked equally instinctively. "Finding space in the box is something I've never thought about really," explained Chadwick. "You just go where you think the ball might land and if it does, great. "Nine times out of 10 you make a run and it doesn't arrive there, and people don't see that. But the time it does you have to put the ball into the n et bec au se that's what centre-forwards are there for." With Duncan Ferguson and Kevin Campbell still missing for tomorrow's first home match of the season against Fulham - and Wayne Rooney only edging towards full match fitness, Chadwick hopes to be involved again. "I certainly feel like I'm ready for a run in the first team," added Chadwick. "I've bided my time long enough now. A chance came my way in the first 10 minutes at Arsenal, but the goalkeeper made a good save. If that had gone in maybe things woul d have been different. But the manager will pick the side and all I can do is keep my head down, work hard and try to do my best. "I said a couple of weeks ago that I didn't want to be in the team through injury, I'd rather be in because of my form, but it probably was because of injury that I got a starting place.
"I just had it in my mind then that I had to take that chance. "We knew it was going to be difficult for us but I thought we did well, strangely enough until they went down to 10-men when we let them back into the game. "We have to try and build on what we did in the first 35 minutes and maybe the last 15 and take that into the game against Fulham." A 'jammy' goal or two would be more than welcome too!
Davis in race against time
Aug 22 2003 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
SEAN DAVIS faces a race against time to convince Everton he is fit enough to complete a £5m move from Fulham. The Blues finally received permission to speak to the midfielder last night, and boss David Moyes showed him around Bellefield and Goodison Park. The player seems certain to choose Everton ahead of transfer rivals Middlesbrough, but before he can sign, Davis must first pass a medical - and he currently faces a further month on the sidelines with knee ligament damage.
In the past, players could sign contracts, subject to medical. But the rules have been changed now, which means Davis must pass a medical by the August 31 transfer deadline. "I showed Sean around and he is thinking things over at the moment," said Moyes "But his injury means he will still be out for another month so we are getting a serious amount of checks done today and he will see a specialist also. "The deal will not be done until we are sure everything is alright - but we are hopeful." Big money moves for Slaven Bilic and Danny Williamson backfired on the Blues in the recent past because of injury complications, while Duncan Ferguson's fitnes s means he has started only a handful of matches since his £4m return from Newcastle three years ago. The uncertainty over Davis' fitness leaves Moyes in limbo over other transfer targets. Until he is aware of the full financial implications of that transfer, he cannot chase deals for Francis Jeffers or Steve McManaman. It is not clear whether Davis will be at Goodison Park tomorrow for the visit of Fulham, but definitely absent from the Blues ranks will be midfielder Thomas Gravesen - injured on international duty in midweek. "Thomas's injury isn't as bad as we feared," said Moyes "but he will definitely miss tomorrow and Tuesday. We will also check on Tony Hibbert in training on Friday."
Wayne Rooney reported no reaction his first 90 minute run-out for a month on Wednesday, but Moyes said: "He is still several weeks off being where we want him to be. I have not made up my mind yet about the teamfor tomorrow." Duncan Ferguson serves the second match of a three- game ban while Kevin Campbell, Scot Gemmill and Lee Carsley are all injured. "Since I have been at Everton games against Fulham have been really important," added Moyes. "They were the opponents for my first match, and last season's defeat down there effectively cost us a place in this season's UEFA Cup. "Chris Coleman has got them up and running again with some good results at the end of last season and a good win on the first day. We will have to perform well to get a result.
"They look to have regained some team spirit and that can help you along at times." The Blues, meanwhile, have offered short trials to Rennes midfielder Philippe Delaye and Sporting Lisbon goalkeeper Nelson. Both players will spend a few days at Bellefield in a bid to impress the Blues' boss.
Blues wait for safety probes
Aug 22 2003 By Jenny Watson Echo Reporter
EVERTON are being warned Knowsley council will be examining two other safety reports into risks associated with building their new £9m academy. The club conducted its own report into the risks associated of building its academy so close to the Great Lakes UK chemical plant in Halewood. But on the advice of the Health and Safety Executive, council officers commissioned two further safety reports. Before agreeing to grant planning permission, councillors will read two separate reports.
One was prepared by the council and one by an independent emergency planning officer seconded from Merseyside fire service. Both those reports recommend an emergency plan be made a condition of planning permission to avert the risk of people using the ground being injured in the event of a chemical leak at the plant. The council's own report recommends the plan includes toxic refuge shelters and evacuation plans. The report written by the emergency planning officer recommends the inclusion of suitable ventilation systems and a siren connected to the plant loud enough to warn players of a leak. A Knowsley council spokeswoman today said: "An emergency plan, based on the recommendations of these reports, would form part of any planning agreement as a legal requirement. "We cannot comment on what Everton spokesman Ian Ross has said ahead of the planning commit-tee's meeting." The club plans to sell-off its existing Bellefield training complex in Sandfield Park, West Derby, to fund the new facility in Finch Lane, Halewood. Bellefield's 11 acres is prime residential development land, worth up to £1m per acre.
Everton 3, Fulham 1 (D, Post)
Aug 25 2003 David Prior Reports From Goodison Park, Daily Post
HAD Sean Davis popped into Goodison on Saturday for some arm-twisting evidence that Everton should indeed be his next club, he certainly would have got it. In fact had the midfielder been able to view at first hand the way his present employers were picked apart and spat out by his prospective teammates, he could well have introduced ink to contract before the half-time tea had been brewed. The second period would have brought some perspective to the 23-year-old's thinking, considerably narrowing as it did the gulf that had appeared so yawning between the sides earlier on, but even so this was a thoroughly heartening display by the Blues. Davis' future may yet be taken out of his hands - his current knee ligament injury is delaying matters - and for once David Moyes could exult in the strength of his present charges. In particular Gary Naysmith, coming in for the injured Thomas Gravesen, grabbed his opportunity with both hands. Chris Coleman's Fulham were abysmal in the first half, amply demonstrating why they should spend next May losing a relegation fight, but there was enough in Everton's fluidity, passing and finishing to suggest the horrible pre-season was as hopeless an indicator of what was to come as ever. Certainly it appeared from a very early stage little chance there would be a similar outcome to the fixture in May, Everton's meek defeat at the Cottagers that day probably doing as much as any to cost them their European place. The unsettled Londoners had gone away from all of their previous visits to Goodison - 15 in all - without three points and once Naysmith had become the first of a hat-trick of Blues defenders to score after six minutes there was negligible chance they would make it a sweet 16th. Tomasz Radzinski provided the unintentional assist, his robust challenge with Alain Goma spraying the ball perfectly into the run-up of the Scottish international, who opened his season's account with a low 25-yard drive that nestled into the bottom right corner. Barely a week of the new season has gone, but Naysmith has already equalled his last two years' league goal total. In wrestling with the thorny word 'expectation' in his programme notes, David Moyes had act ual ly attempted to bring the fans' sights down a notch or two, warning of the need to be "completely realistic" and claiming that a similar performance to last season would leave all concerned "delighted". Given Everton's rollicking good performance in the opening 45 minutes, however, he needn't have been so cautious. With Wayne Rooney back in the starting line-up, there was a sense that Everton were nearing something approaching full strength, and it was the 17-year-old who almost benefitted from some neat interplay between Steve Watson and an overlapping Alessandro Pistone after 13 minutes. Seven minutes later, though, Rooney and ball were back in union. The striker forcefully strided through the centre riding one challenge and, after his run was interrupted by Fulham's Japanese midfielder Junichi Inamoto, the ball fell into the path of the incoming Naysmith, who narrowly failed to add to both his and Everton's tally with a sledgehammer of a drive that flew just over the bar. The hosts were well in control with Joseph Yobo a reassuring presence at the heart of defence, and 60 seconds later the second goal duly arrived courtesy of a delightful move. Naysmith was again at the centre of the action, his cute back flick on the edge of the box finding Mark Pembridge, who slid a weighted ball to David Unsworth, and the veteran made no mistake with a low shot from 12 yards. Fulham were proving just as cooperative a visitor as they had done when Everton were able to crush them early on in David Moyes' very first game in charge, but in losing possession badly to Luis Boa Morte just inside his own half Pistone almost initiated the kind of come-back that had almost soured that day 15 months ago. Thankfully Fulham had neither the power nor invention to turn what was an excellent chance into anything else. Everton frantically cleared their lines, and after 27 minutes almost extended their lead further when Alan Stubbs cracked a free-kick against the upright from the best part of 30 yards. The third did arrive after 35 minutes, with Fulham by this stage a disjointed mess. Stubbs' free-kick was headed back into the danger area by a stretching Naysmith to Rooney, who forced Goma into an error before niftily screwing the ball back from the byline. Watson was the man in the right place to fire home from barely six feet. Such was Everton's dominance in the first half that a potential Fulham comeback did not even merit a mention by even the most pessimistic Blues follower during the interval. But Fulham came from behind to claim an opening day win against Middlesbrough and although they rarely looked like avoiding defeat, they at least made a better fist of it once Coleman had delivered no doubt the angriest team talk of his fledgling managerial career. Ten minutes in, and there was the first evidence that Fulham had not totally given up hope, with Louis Saha's shot crashing into the side-netting, fool-ing the entire away support into believing they had pulled one back. Just after the hour and Steed Malbranque was at least on target, causing Blues keeper Richard Wright to clamber across the full length of his goal in order to turn round his 20-yard shot. Wright, virtually unemployed during the opening half, was at least earning his money now, and soon after needed to be alert to gather sub Malik Buari's low header. Fulham's more carefree policy inevitably created gaps though, and in the 66th minute Watson's robust challenge on Goma sent the ball spinning directly into Rooney's path. The England youngster burst through towards goal but his decision to chip Fulham's keeper Edwin van der Sar was illadvised, the lanky Dutchman anticlimactically plucking the ball out of the air into his chest. Given the visitors' performance in the second half a consolation was likely, and it came on 69 minutes when half-time sub Barry Hayles converted Malbranque's right-wing corner. It was a somewhat controversial goal, as referee Neale Barry had originally awarded a goal kick until spotting his assistant's hoisted flag, but there was no doubt Hayles' original shot had indeed been deflected off a Blues player. With 16 minutes to go Nick Chadwick replaced the tiring Rooney, who looked understandably rusty in his first start for over a month. A few nerves started to creep in as the Blues tired, with Naysmith spurning a glorious chance to settle the match once and for all after Watson's inch-perfect cross. But this was a game Everton would had to have lost long before Fulham could ever have won it. So the first home win of the season is comfortably in the bag. What would the Blues give for a second one on Saturday?
EVERTON: (4-4-2) Wright; Pistone, Yobo, Stubbs, Unsworth; Watson, Linderoth, Naysmith, Pembridge; Radzinski, Rooney (Chadwick, 74). Unused subs: Weir, Li Tie, Simonsen, Osman.
FULHAM: (4-1-4-1) Van der Sar; Volz, Goma, Djetou (Knight, 56), Bonnissel; Legwinski (Hayles, 45); Boa Morte, Clark, Inamoto (Buari, 62), Malbranque; Saha. Unused subs: Crossley, Sava.
BOOKINGS: Everton's Stubbs, Pistone. Fulham's Hayles, Volz, Malbranque, Goma.
REFEREE: Neale Barry
Blue smiles as Fulham dispatched
Len Capeling Daily Post
Aug 25 2003
MORE of the same, please. Though spare us the second half when Everton grew tired of toying with fearful Fulham and chose to preserve their energies with tougher trials to come Still, those first 45 minutes were tremendous with the Blues over-running the Londoners to such an extent that six or seven goals appeared there for the taking. So good was it that a full-blown smile was even spotted on the face of the difficult-to-please David Moyes - however this was later put down to a touch of indigestion. But no doubt at all about the grin on Goodison faces as the club's 125th birthday party began with a tempest that quickly extinguished every candle on Fulham's complimentary cake.
Having already tipped Chris Coleman's timorous team for the departure lounge come May, the result came as no kind of surprise. The lugubrious Welsh manager must have wished he'd listened to his instincts when he initially declined Mohamed Fayed's offer of Harrods' hampers for life. "I'll be having a heart attack every week if this goes on," said Coleman as he tore down the white flag flown by his collection of misfit mercenaries. They were a disgrace, though that won't concern Everton fans who saw their heroes control every part of the pitch until they grew weary with the ease of it all. At least the second half allowed David Moyes to look concerned for the first time, even if there was rarely cause for real distress. Fulham had been so dismal they were bound to be shamed into some sort of response - feeble though it was - to the pounding they took from an Everton side much too focused to be anything other than winners. Moyes, having kidded the press all week over Rooney's readiness, chose to play the Croxteth cannonball from the start, and his pace, power and panache was too much for the Cottagers. Rooney may still lack full fitness, but his natural awareness never seems to be on anything less than full beam. For that reason, Moyes will struggle to resist Rooney's call-up for the Euro 2004 qualifer against Macedonia in two weeks' time. The 17-year-old has a possible two games before England gather and if he becomes a derby hero in the meantime, Sven will wave a welcoming hand and that will be that. The Everton icon helped set up two of Everton's first half goals - one of them a tap-in for the excellent Steve Watson - and although there was a bit of rustiness about his first touch, none of his adoring fans felt moved to complain. Much bet ter to chant his name, incessantly. There were a few groans after the break when Everton began to give Fulham a bit too much space. And Barry Hayles' strike across the rooted Richard Wright to make it 3-1 just after the hour unfurled a few more frowns. But no more than that. Fulham were never precise enough to expose anything apart from a couple of moments of daydreaming at the centre of Everton's otherwise exemplary defence. What the watching Liverpool spy will have made of it is a moot point. He will have seen Everton's midfield keep things narrow and congested yet still manage to create some good width - something the Reds seem incapable of doing even against the weakest of opposition. Tobias Linderoth played sensibly and simple in the key holding role and the Gravesen twin was not missed. Either of him. In fact, all of Everton's midfielders shone until the second half power cut which Moyes - perhaps tongue in cheek, put down to Fulham's . . . er . . . resurgence. On this hazy, mazy afternoon, with goals from Gary Naysmith - hopefully not simply a collector's item - David Unsworth and Steve Watson - it didn't matter. But on this frail form Fulham are doomed while Everton, shining brightly in the sun, have something substantial to build on, especially if they continue to play the high tempo game that suits them best. What they won't want to do is imagine that Liverpool, in particular, will allow them the luxury of only playing half a game.
Gerard Houllier's men are still groping for the magic touch that will enable them to be more than disappointingly workmanlike. Everton will fancy their chances on the evidence of their dynamic opening burst. Around 90 minutes of the same should allow David Moyes to celebrate his first derby victory. How sweet that would be.
D-Day looms for Davis deal
David Prior Daily Post
Aug 25 2003
THE full extent of the knee ligament injury suffered by Everton transfer target Sean Davis is leaving a cloud over his proposed move to Goodison Park. But Everton boss David Moyes is confident the £5m-plus deal will still go through ahead of this week's transfer deadline. The injury has already ruled the 23-year-old Fulham midfielder out of the start of the Premiership season and threatens to keep him on the sidelines for a further month. And that is why the club is anxious to check out just how serious the damage is before they commit to a package which could add up to £10m including the player's wages. The Blues are keen to explore all possible avenues to make the move happen - and have even suggested a loan arrangement to Fulham, which has been dismissed by the Londonders, beaten 3-1 at Goodison on Saturday. But Everton should know later today whether they can clinch the deal or need to persue alternatives with Robbie Savage and Barry Ferguson potential targets, although the Rangers captain, who is also interesting Blackburn, is almost certainly out of their price range. Meanwhile Gary Naysmith admitted Everton had "clicked" on Saturday as his man-of-the-match display inspired the 3-1 win over Fulham. The Scottish defender played out of position in replacing the injured Thomas Gravesen and was a central figure as the Blues opened their home account with a superb performance. Opening the scoring with a 25-yard drive, Naysmith then played a crucial role in further strikes for David Unsworth and Steve Watson before the Cottagers grabbed a Barry Hayles consolation in a much-improved second-half display. Naysmith had been left on the bench at Highbury on the opening weekend of the season - but Moyes will be hard-pressed to leave him out if he continues in the same vein. "Last week I didn't start, but I had the chance this week so I needed to make the most of it," he said. "In the last 10 or 15 minutes the effort of the first half began to take its toll. We played a slightly different formation - we had me and Steve Watson more or less in front of Mark Pembridge and Tobias Linderoth and that gave both of us a lot more chances and the two of us have ended up with a goal, so I suppose the formation has worked.
"At 3-0 up most of our attacks were resulting in a chance or a half-chance. But 3-0 at half-time is always a difficult scoreline because when you're 3-0 up you shouldn't lose the game but you know the other team has got to come back because they've got to salvage something. They can't let it turn into a five or a 6-0. "In that respect the manager did say to us if we came out of the game at 3-0 he'd be happy. But Fulham had a lot more chances in the second half than they did in the first.
"In the first half everything seemed to click - you get these sort of games and hopefully we'll have more of them. There certainly wasn't anything lucky about us being 3-0 up." Naysmith was pleased his team-mates had hit back early after losing their opener to 10-man Arsenal last weekend.
"We knew we had to get three points because even at this stage we don't want to start falling behind," he said. "You don't want to be going four or five games into the new season still looking for your first win. Fulham got their first win last week so we were just wanting to get some points on the board. "We've got to pick up as many home points as possible and let the away form take care of itself." Wayne Rooney was back in the Blues starting line-up - Moyes deciding to throw the 17-year-old straight back in after recovering from his ligament damage. Rooney had been ruled out of England's international friendly against Croatia on Wednesday, but Moyes claimed his young striker was still weeks away from being back to full fitness. "Of course he is eligible for England, but if you are asking whether he is ready I would say it will still be a few weeks before Wayne is at the level we want from him," said Moyes. "From what I expect from him and what I know he can produce, he is still not ready yet. "I decided last Monday to start with Wayne. It was right to use him in our first home game because he gives the crowd a lift and that is really important to us here. "We have been waiting to see whether Radzinski and Rooney can form a partnership together, if they can it will be important. "I felt this was the right opportunity to try it, even if Wayne is still two or three weeks away from the level we want him to be at. "Time will tell whether Wayne and Tomasz can form a partnership. They are both small, very elusive and extremely quick with ability to create goals from very little. "It sounds good, but I do not want us to be considered a small side." Meanwhile, Blackburn won't be making a move for Radsinski, despite weekend reports linking Souness with a swoop for the striker.
Everton 3, Fulham 1 (Echo)
Aug 25 2003David Prentice Liverpool Echo
WHEN Everton last boasted the brightest young boss in English football - their spiciest confrontations always came against the most innocuous of opponents. Little Luton Town always managed to jerk The Toffees' tether, at a time when the most frightening thing about The Hatters was Steve Foster's headband. Twenty years on and Fulham seem to have inheritted that mantle. Hailing from London's elegant West End and chock full of cosmopolitan internationals, they are the epitomy of the Southern softies. Until they face Everton. A feud which still simmers from a Christmas 2001 clash which ended 10-aside, Fulham were fortunate to finish this game with 11 players. Luis Boa Morte hacked Alan Stubbs to the ground, and was fortunate that football's equivalent of the wise monkey with his hands over his eyes was only yards away . . . the linesman.
Then the human bumper car that is Barry Hayles trotted on. One of those players who should probably be referred to in polite company as a bloody nuisance, he enlivened Fulham after the interval. But like those old clashes against Luton, Everton already had it won. The sight of Fulham on the fixture list must have been a joy to behold for David Moyes, after his most frustrating of summers. In his First Division days, Preston were the only side who seemed to hold a sign over Jean Tigana's all-conquering champions, and it is a happy hold Moyes has carried into his Premiership career . . . at Goodison Park at any rate. "I think it's the first time I've been able to enjoy a win by more than one goal here," he told television afterwards. Actually, there have been a few twogoal victories under his stewardship - and the first of last season's came against Fulham. Unable to add to his squad throughout pre-season, Moyes has clearly spent time honing the qualities of the players already at his disposal. Goals from midfield were rarer than a protestant pope last season, while if you took David Unsworth's penalties out of the equation, a defender failed to celebrate a goal throughout the entire campaign. With barely half-an-hour elapsed on Saturday, both failings had been remedied. Gary Naysmith, David Unsworth from open play and Steve Watson formed an unlikely first goalscorers' trio for a new Goodison season - and their strikes ensured that by half-time the game was already won. Naysmith in particular was intent on invading the opposition penalty box at every opportunity. A buccaneering, attack-minded fullback when he arrived at Everton three years ago, last season was an uncharacteristically quiet one in front of goal --Scotland internationals in Iceland excepted. But he showed just six minutes in that his finishing is still of a high class.
Tomasz Radzinski tried to dribble the ball into a shooting position on the edge of the Fulham box, but was denied by Alain Goma's sliding interception. But the ball broke to the well advanced Naysmith and he buried a crisp, decisively directed shot from 20 yards. The goal added to, rather than sated his hunger. Thirteen minutes later he should have had another when Wayne Rooney showed just why, even when only half-fit, his manager included him. His dash from the halfway line had Fulham back-pedalling. He didn't have the acceleration nor the sureness of touch another half-a-dozen outings will add to his game, but it was his characteristic directness which unhinged the visitors. They finally dispossessed him on the edge of the penalty box, but the ball broke again for Naysmith and he blazed over. But a minute later Everton rolled back the years, with a goal their younger fans thought only existed in video archives. Rooney plucked the ball from the air with one deft touch of his boot and rolled a simple, but punishing pass into the heart of the Fulham rearguard. Naysmith flicked it through his legs to Pembridge, he spotted Unsworth's overlap and slid a sure pass into his path. An excellent touch and even better finish polished off a classic goal. Alan Stubbs clipped the outside of a goalpost with an equally slick free-kick routine, before Fulham self-destructed. Rooney was far too good for the toiling Legwinski, after Naysmith had climbed prodigiously to head down Stubbs' free-kick. He dragged the ball to the by-line, realised the angle was too acute for a goal of his own and handed one on a plate for Steve Watson instead. As so often happens in these circumstances, the second half was a non-event. Everton laboured, Fulham were riled and rejuvenated and the Blues had to rely far more than they would have liked on Joseph Yobo and Richard Wright. The goalkeeper needed to be at full stretch to deny Malbranque and Buari, before the excellent Steve Watson charged down a ball in midfield to give Rooney the chance to charge at goal. The youngster's decision making is usually outstanding, but on this occasion he will probably concede that trying to chip a goalkeeper marginally taller than Lurch was the wrong option.
Two minutes later Hayles spoiled Wright's clean sheet, but it was hardly the signal for a cavalry charge. The first Premiership win of the season is always a reassuring landmark, especially with a tricky away game, then Liverpool and Newcastle to follow. Everton are up, and if not running, certainly up to a fast-paced jog.
Blues and Reds in Hillsborough tribute
Aug 25 2003 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON and Liverpool supporters stood shoulder to shoulder in a poignant service to remember the victims of Hillsborough. The service took place at the Hillsborough memorial at Anfield on Saturday after an Everton supporter named Michael Owen came up with the idea as a way of improving relations between the two sets of fans. In recent years, both the Hillsborough memorial at Anfield and the Dixie Dean statue at Goodison have been targeted by vandals in the run-up to derby matches. The service was conducted by the Everton club chaplain, Rev Harry Ross, vicar of St Luke's Church on Goodison Road.
It was attended by fans of both clubs, former Everton captain and Liverpool trainee Dave Watson, acclaimed writer Jimmy McGovern and representatives from the Hillsborough Families Support Group. A wreath was laid and a minute's silence was held for the 96 who lost their lives in the 1989 tragedy. Mr Owen said: "It was fitting that we should come together in the run up to next week's derby because in recent years these occasions have been marred by events off the pitch. "Arguments between Evertonians and Liverpudlians will continue - but throwing paint on memorials only brings shame on the club that the culprits purport to support. "Memorials are for remembering people, no matter who you support. "Respect should be shown to those who are no longer with us, and consideration shown to their families."
Torrado: I want to make history with Everton
Aug 25 2003David Prentice Liverpool Echo
EVERTON transfer target Gerardo Torrado will land on Merseyside this week, hoping to make history. Mexico's 2002 World Cup star will start a three-day trial at Bellefield, which could lead to him becoming the first Mexican to appear in the Premiership. "There has never been a Mexican in England so it would be historical. I am willing to play there. I want to prove myself and that's a good place to do it," said Torrado. "I have always given my best and I will always work hard to get my place." Everton have agreed a 200,000 Euro deal (£138,000) to take the hardworking 24-year-old midfielder on a year's loan from Spanish side Seville. There is also an option for a permanent switch next summer. Torrado's agent, Olaf Bonales, said: "I will have a final conversation with Seville but I am sure it won't be any problem to have Gerardo released to make the trial on Monday. "Gerardo is very happy with the challenge. His time in Spain is a nightmare now because he won't get a place in the starting line-up." As Seville's fifth non EU player, Torrado often found himself left on the sidelines by coach Joaquin Caparros. He started just 22 La Liga games last season. Bonales added: "Everton are familiar with his ability but they want to meet the player prior to signing him.
"The economic offer is good for everyboday, as Everton will pay 200,000 Euros for a year long loan."
Torrado joined Seville from Mexican club UNAM in the summer of 2001 and was in the Mexican World Cup squad in Japan last year. Sean Davis, meanwhile, will have a medical today which could go a long way to deciding whether Everton can clinch his £5.5m transfer before Friday's transfer window closes.
Striking out in total praise
Aug 25 2003 By David Prentice Liverpool Echo
DAVID UNSWORTH paid tribute to the contribution of the strikers at Everton on Saturday - on a day when all the goals came from midfielders and defenders. Unsworth capped a flowing move to score Everton's second goal against Fulham, either side of strikes from Gary Naysmith and Steve Watson. But the left-back said afterwards: "Wayne (Rooney) deserves a lot of credit for the last two goals.
"Mine came from a great first touch from Wayne. He pulled it out of the sky a la his wonder goal against Arsenal. It was a superb touch, which he followed with a good pass and then Gary's little flick and Pemb's pass did the rest. "It was a good move and I knew my first touch would be vital. I managed to get it out of my feet and then just lashed it. "After that Wayne did it again for Watto's goal and we were fairly comfortable after that." Unsworth admitted it was pleasi ng for the goalscoring responsibility to be taken off the forwards for once. "Everybody needs to chip in," he said. "We are very aware that last season we only really had Steve Watson chipping in with goals from midfield, while I don't think any of the defenders managed to score. So it was great to see Gary Naysmith score and I was delighted to get off the mark so early. "Since the gaffer has come he has always tried to get the full-backs pushed on so that we bombard teams down the wings, but it's usually to offer crosses and support play rather than add goals. "I think it's just coincidence that I managed to score against Fulham again, but it's nice to get off the mark."
After a sparkling first half display, the second period was a disappointment, but Unsworth added: "I wouldn't say we switched off, but your foot comes off the gas a little bit to try and consolidate.
"You don't want to bomb on as much and be cavalier in your approach. Myself and Sandro were certainly a bit more reserved and we just sat back and defended what we had. We'd settle for being 3-0 up at half-time in a Premiership game every week. "It was important to make sure we picked up all three points. We didn't want to be going down to Charlton, and then have a derby game looming without having picked up anything. "The mood is a lot better in the dressing room now. Once you get a couple of goals under your belt and the first win people can breathe a sigh of relief."
Players the priority
Icliverpool And Daily Post
Aug 26 2003
Players the priority
WHEN we sell out Goodison week in week out, that's when we should be looking to move. It was great that last season a number of games sold out, but that was the first year in many that it happened. Everton, first and foremost, need to improve our squad - that's the priority.
Ian Campbell (via e-mail)
FANTASTIC performance and result on Saturday. Sure, we give Fulham a good pasting at Goodison on a fairly regular basis but the quality of football was first class. I know Moyes is unsure whether Rooney and Radzinski can play together, but they looked class on Saturday and I remember them destroying Southampton at Goodison last season too. For the record, if it was a case of Radzinski v Jeffers ... I would take The Rad!
Steve Hughes, Liverpool
Midfield the key
NICE TO see the Blues bounce back after the defeat against Arsenal. A great first half display and nice to see the midfielders on the scoresheet. I do, however, still feel that the midfield is looking rusty. Pembo had a great game on Saturday but can he produce this form week in week out?
I just hope that Moyes makes the right decision with Davis; if he does sign then it's vital that he's fit soon, otherwise Moyes will have to look at other options - Ferguson from Rangers maybe?
I also hope that Mexican Torrado makes a good impression on his trial as we need options in the centre of the park. Defence - Stubbs/Weir? Weir every time.
Neil Houltram, St. Helens
MEXICAN Gerardo Torrado has excellent vision and get's stuck in. Moyes should make his move. Everton sixth this season.
N Jones, Liverpool
Go for Lua Lua
ADD Lua Lua, not Jeffers, to our team. He will work his socks off to make things happen.
John Orritt (via e-mail)
Put move on hold
WHAT ALL Evertonians want most of all is a successful team. Once that occurs we can all talk about a ground move. Until then let's support our manager and team through what is going to be a traumatic season. Next season we can discuss getting rid of the players on multi-million pound contracts and build for the future. Until then let's hope for at least a mid-table finish given our resources and a decent cup run. I hate classifying our team as mediocre and mid-table but we need to face reality.
Ajay Timothy (via e-mail)
ROME wasn't built in a day. Bill Kenwright is right to keep things realistic around Goodison Park and not blow untold millions that we simply don't have. The problem is that most people expect everything yesterday - it's a symptom of living in the times we do. Lots of impatient, demanding people that need to put things into I think Moyes is committed to a long-term plan at Goodison and it doesn't involve huge bids on mercenary players for a little short-term success. I for one don't envy the millions flying about at Man U, Chelsea etc. There's more achievement in building a team around youth and astute signings and he is going make it happen!
H Lewis (via e-mail)
Fans must be patient
By Mark Lawrenson, Daily Post
Aug 26 2003
EVERTON fans have had a long wait for new faces to arrive at Goodison Park this summer - and the collapse of the Sean Davis deal means their patience will be tried once more. It will certainly be a worry if David Moyes fails to add some extra quality to his squad, but should not be seen as a disaster. I don't think the Blues have anything to worry about in terms of staying in the Premiership, but their fans were hoping to see signs that they could press on from last year's dramatic progress.
However, they showed against Fulham that they remain extremely difficult to play against and, particularly at Goodison Park, hard to beat. They might lack quaility in certain areas and that is something Moyes (pictured) had been hoping to address. Wayne Rooney showed how important he remains - even if not fully fit. There are still moments when he creates things and his touch in the build-up for the second goal was exceptional. Everton's pre-season might have been disappointing but Moyes has quickly shown that he still as the ability to get the most out of the players he has at his disposal. There are one or two careers at Goodison that had stalled, but he has revived them and given players a new lease of life. The goalscorers on Saturday - Naysmith, Unsworth and Watson - seemed to typify what has gone on under the Moyes revolution. He does demand a high tempo game because of the players he has and that is where a bit more quality would allow them to play a different kind of game. It is fair to say they just ran out of legs last season after doing so well up to March. I feel sorry for Chris Coleman at Fulham. No-one seems to know what the chairman is doing with the club and that kind of uncertainity can undermine things. I think they will do well to survive come May.
50-up Moyes in call to midfield
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Aug 26 2003
DAVID MOYES celebrates his 50th today toasting absent strikers but welcoming the gift of midfield dynamism. The Everton manager reaches his half century of Premiership games at Charlton tonight looking to bank more valuable points before the more awkward tests of Liverpool and Newcastle appear over the horizon. But to do so he admits the goals and energy that sprung from the Blues midfield to shatter Fulham in the first half on Saturday are essential. Wayne Rooney's mind was sharp enough to unravel the Londoners' defence though his body is still weeks away from peak condition, his manager insists. The wonderkid's performance alongside Tomasz Radzinski offered encouragement at Goodison but with Kevin Campbell and Duncan Ferguson still absent at The Valley the cutting edge remains blunted. So it is up to the Everton midfield not just to make up for the loss of Sean Davis but to weigh in with goals as Gary Naysmith, Steve Watson and defender David Unsworth did at the weekend. Moyes said: "We didn't score enough goals from midfield last season, so it was pleasing to see the lads score on Saturday. Hopefully that will continue against Charlton."
Naysmith's display was arguably his best in an Everton shirt as the Blues coped with the loss of Thomas Graves-en, out again tonight, with little fuss. "Gary could have had a hat-trick on Saturday," added the Blues manager. "He's a great lad to work with, very conscientious about his work. It's still a debate whether he's a left-back or better further forward but whatever job he does he does to his best and I cannot ask for more than that. "It was not only his energy that stood out but his passing and play in general throughout the game were very good." Of his 49 Premiership games at the Everton helm so far Moyes has won 22, drawn nine and lost 18. The 22nd victory of his reign was by no means the most impressive, but its significance isn't loss on the Everton boss. "I thought it was okay," said Moyes. "I wouldn't go mad and say it was the best we've ever played but we scored three good goals and looked quite dangerous. "There were still parts of our game I wasn't pleased about but considering we are a number of players down at the moment and trying to improve things we did well with the side we had. "It's really important to get the first win. Hopefully, it will give them great confidence. "The start to this season is near enough the same as the finish to last season for some reason. We didn't do well points-wise in the run-in to last season so to get three from Fulham ahead of the big hard games we've got coming up, like Liverpool and Newcastle, was good." Charlton, like Everton, have opened the campaign with a win and a defeat. Unlike the Blues they have bolstered their ranks this summer with Paolo Di Canio and Chelsea's Carlton Cole, offered to Moyes on loan for the season, notable arrivals. But Moyes believes it is the stability offered by manager Alan Curbishley that is the one attribute Everton must follow. "Their manager offers a role model to Everton," he said. "He's done well every season and shown the way forward for a lot of clubs without spending a lot of money. They are looking to improve every season and, more importantly, they have stabilised in the Premier League. "I hope in the future that with a club the size of Everton we can aim higher than Charlton but until we get genuine stability we can't say we are on that path yet. "Charlton are further down the road in that they've had the same manager and have been settled for several years now." Moyes added: "I watched them against Manchester City last week and it was a game that could have gone either way but changed on a penalty decision. "They've got good players and I think they'll do well again this season. "They've brought Di Canio in who I'm sure will help them. He's a terrific trainer and a great example to the younger players.
"Only time will tell if it will work out for everyone but there's no question he's a terrific footballer."
Davis deal scuppered
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Aug 26 2003
DAVID MOYES' summer transfer policy lay in ruins last night when Sean Davis's £5.2m move to Everton collapsed. A medical yesterday revealed the Fulham midfielder cannot be declared fit before the transfer deadline on Sunday - giving Everton no option but to call off their summer-long pursuit of the 23-year-old. And unless a dramatic coup is conjured up in the next few days Moyes must wait until next year to make any permanent additions to his squad. The Blues manager yesterday confirmed he "would love" to bring Rangers' star Barry Ferguson to Goodison Park.
But with club finances making that deal a non-starter and work permit problems affecting Mexican Gerardo Torrado's proposed loan move to Merseyside, Moyes is facing a frustrating end to his summer search for new faces. Davis has been injured for a month and faces a further eight weeks on the sidelines after scans showed he is suffering from a trauma of the cruciate ligament. Moyes confirmed: "After close inspection it is apparent that Sean Davis is presently unable to complete a medical prior to the close of the transfer window. With that in mind, we are not able to complete the transfer at present." Fulham rejected the chance to trigger the transfer at a later date by sanctioning a loan deal for Davis and without the medical Everton cannot insure a transfer worth a total of £10m. Unless the Londoners change their stance Moyes must decide whether to keep his money and try again when the window reopens in January, or tie up an alternative target in just five days. Rangers' influential skipper Ferguson is one and the Blues boss said: "He is a player I have long admired and we are interested in him. "Barry Ferguson is not just a flyer, we have got an interest in him and I have done for months, and he's another name who I would love to have here. "But I am not sure that we have the finances that Rangers are after." That is almost certainly the case, even though Everton are still owed appearance money from Michael Ball's transfer to Glasgow. Rangers want at least £7m and Ferguson is already on £27,000 a week at Ibrox - £7,000 more than the Goodison wage cap. Blackburn have a long-standing interest in the midfielder and expect to sign the 25-year-old after Rangers' Champions League qualifier at FC Copenhagen tomorrow. Everton need a work permit before August 31 to land Mexican international Torrado for a year from Sevilla, but with the Blues at Charlton tonight, Moyes will not see him play until later this week. "I keep hearing about a Mexican coming," he said. "But when he's here and he performs I will let people know if he's any good." Of other recent trialists, Sporting Lisbon goalkeeper Nelson has returned to Portugal for now while Rennes midfielder Philippe Delaye is still training at Bellefield. Their chances of staying on loan have improved with the collapse of the Davis deal. Steve Watson, meanwhile, is the latest injury worry ahead of tonight's trip to The Valley. The Blues midfielder hasn't trained since the weekend win over Fulham and is a major doubt while Thomas Gravesen, Scot Gemmill, Lee Carsley, Kevin Campbell and the suspended Duncan Ferguson are still out.
Moyes set to break Rooney rule
Aug 26 2003 By Paul Walker, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES admits he may be forced to go against his instincts and start Wayne Rooney in two successive games. The 17-year-old spent the summer recovering from an ankle ligament injury and Moyes has been careful to ease him back into action. The England international was brought on as a substitute in the season opener against Arsenal and the Everton boss took him off after 75 minutes against Fulham on Saturday. But Moyes, as keen to protect Rooney as he was last season, will almost certainly have to retain him in the starting lineup at Charlton tonight because of the absence of Kevin Campbell (hamstring) and the suspended Duncan Ferguson. He said: "I have to decide yet whether to pick Wayne for two games in quick succession, but at the moment we have not got too many options. "We have Nick Chadwick and Leon Osman to play up-front alongside Tomasz Radzinski, but that is about it. "I felt Wayne had an impact on the Fulham game on Saturday, for about an hour until he tired. He needs match practice and fitness. "But he came in on Sunday morning and trained, and again on Monday. He is very determined to get himself in good shape as quick as he can and in a couple of weeks he will hopefully be back to his very best." Everton expect to name an unchanged side at the Valley as long as Steve Watson passes a fitness test on a foot injury. But Moyes' preparation has not been helped by the transfer market problems he is encountering, and the fact that Everton had to pull out of their £5.5million move for Fulham's Sean Davis last night. The midfielder is unable to complete a medical in time for Sunday's transfer deadline because of a knee problem that will take a month to clear-up. Davis visited Goodison Park on Friday and completed one half of his medical, and returned yesterday for a crucial scan on his knee. But the results of that made it clear he will be out of action for a month, and that means Everton reluctantly pulled the plug on the deal. It also means that Moyes will now redouble his efforts to bring in a top-class midfielder this week, and turn his attention fully on Rangers skipper Barry Ferguson. Moyes said: "After a close inspection, it is apparent that Sean Davis is unable to complete a medical prior to the transfer deadline. With that in mind we are not able to complete the deal at present." Moyes has also been linked with Robbie Savage as well as Francis Jeffers and Steve McManaman. He will now be able to utilise the cash put aside for the Davis deal to maybe finance one of these other moves but his priority is Ferguson. "He is a player I have long admired and we are interested in him," said Moyes With Liverpool insisting that they have no intention of making a bid for Ferguson, Moyes could well be locked in a battle with Blackburn for the Scottish inter-national's signature. Blackburn are being reported as having offered £8million for the midfielder but the fee could be less than that, which would bring him within Everton's reach.
Moyes said: "I am trying my utmost to get some new faces in this week before the deadline, and I am trying to do as much as I can. "Barry Ferguson is not just a flyer, we have got an interest in him and have done for months and months, and he's another name who I would love to have here.
"But potentially I am not sure that we have the finances that Rangers are after."
Blues face facts
Aug 26 2003 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
THE collapse of the Sean Davis deal could leave Everton facing a winter without any new faces in their squad. Everton's drawn out pursuit of the Fulham midfielder finally ended last night when a medical revealed more serious damage to the player's knee than first feared. And with the Blues unable to afford Rangers' midfielder Barry Ferguson and Mexican triallist Gerardo Torrado having just three days in which to impress David Moyes, Everton could reach Sunday's transfer window with no additions to a severely depleted squad. "We are dead keen to get people in, but we have to face the facts that the players we want are either not there or we have missed out because we don't have the finances," said manager David Moyes this morning. "We need to add to the squad, but I don't want to spend what money we have for the sake of it. "We have waited a long time for Sean Davis and it is very disappointing that the deal has broken down. But we will have to just roll our sleeves up and get on with it." Everton had been told that Davis was suffering from medial knee ligament damage but after being given permission to talk to the player they organised their own scans which revealed trauma to the cruciate knee ligament. "With that in mind we are unable to complete the transfer at present," said Moyes - and it must be doubtful whether the move will now ever happen. The Blues are desperately short of cover in midfield. Thomas Gravesen has not even travelled to London for tonight's match at Charlton, but has an outside chance of being fit for the derby match on Saturday. Of more immediate concern for Moyes is Steve Watson's fitness.
With Gravesen, Scot Gemmill and Lee Carsley all joining Kevin Campbell and Duncan Ferguson on the side-lines, the Blues' boss can ill afford another midfielder joining the injured list. But Watson, a goalscorer against Fulham on Saturday, took a knock on his foot and missed training on Sunday and Monday. Wayne Rooney, however, felt no ill affects from his first Premiership start of the season and is in line to start again at The Valley tonight against Charlton (kickoff 8pm). "Wayne felt fine after Saturday and he has trained Sunday and Monday. "We would have no qualms about him starting again tonight," said Moyes. Blues' transfer target Francis Jeffers, mean-while, will be at The Valley tonight watching his old club in action - and sparking further speculation about a move back to Merseyside.
Charlton 2, Everton 2 (D, Post)
Aug 27 2003 Andy Hunter Reports From The Valley, Daily Post
HE'S UP, he's now running and he's definitely back. Short of the resurrection of Sean Davis' knee or a lottery win to land Barry Ferguson, Wayne Rooney gave Everton exactly what they needed last night when he announced the start of his season in his own inimitable style. The campaign has been one of slow progress for the teenage sensation as the effects of injury and a short summer holiday told on his fitness and shape. Until the 71st minute at The Valley that is. With Everton trailing for the second time against Charlton and struggling to find a way back Rooney's season sprung into life in one stunning moment as he killed a cross on his right foot, left Mark Fish sleeping with his namesakes and unleashed an unstoppable drive into the top corner of Dean Kiely's goal. All in one flowing, sensational move. His first goal of the season will earn a rightful place among his litany of jawdropping strikes, with even David Moyes' protection policy slipping as he admitted it was a finish Alan Shearer would have been proud of. Of course there is always more than pure genius for Moyes to dwell on after such moments of magic from Rooney and Sven-Goran Eriksson's decision to exit Charlton while wild celebrations were still in full flow means international headaches are just around the corner. But after a week of traumas from London, in the guise of Davis's cartiledge problem, England can wait for Moyes after Rooney helped avoid more capital misery at Charlton.
Twice behind to Jason Euell penalties that on first glance looked fair but which the Blues manager believed were harsh on the second look, a battling display by the Blues could easily have ended in anguish but for the 17-year-old, whose first 90-minute display of the new campaign provided almost as much delight for Moyes. Too often his team were over-reliant on Rooney and the excellent Tomasz Radzinski doing it all themselves, until their second leveller made them realise they could all win this game. But to be fair, when you've a player of this talent alongside you, it is a tempting fault to succumb to. Moyes had fielded the same side that defeated Fulham on Saturday and the first half performance was similar too, except a glut of goals obviously. When sweeping forward with their midfield in close support the Blues retained possession well and always threatened. When the ball was played straight up to their isolated strikers and the cavalry didn't arrive, however, they struggled to find a way through and too often gifted the ball back to Charlton. The positives lay in attack from the first whistle, where the selfless Radzinski chased every cause and looked the most potent outlet. But the negatives from Fulham didn't disappear immediately, and central defence again looked uncomfortable every time Charlton tried to pass their way down the middle. Everton started brightly and Fish was forced to clear in front of his own goalline after keeper Kiely failed to hang onto Alessandro Pistone's low cross. Then Radzinski clipped a cute back-heel from David Unsworth's forward pass into Mark Pembridge, spun and latched onto the return ball only to drive a left foot shot wide. With the all-Blues seeking to exploit Radzinski's pace every time they came under pressure at the back the little Canadian international was often left toiling down the flanks in search of scraps, but fortunately his willingness never faltered and Luke Young endured a torrid night. Charlton's attacking intent was also obvious as they continuously looked to unlock the visitors' defence with neat exchanges around the edge of the 'D'. Shaun Bartlett and Euell were a handful for their markers and when the hosts finally slipped past the Blues backline they couldn't argue they hadn't been warned. The energetic Scott Parker made the most of a slip by Gary Naysmith, who again impressed on the Everton left, and played a swift one-two with Bartlett that sent him clear inside the area. As he pulled the trigger The Valley hero was caught by Unsworth's sliding tackle, and referee Steve Dunn had no hestitation in pointing to the spot while booking the defender in the process. Euell stepped up to send Richard Wright the wrong way from 12 yards.
Though Moyes later felt Unsworth also touched the ball the Blues had no reason for self-pity and proved as such by delivering the perfect response two minutes later. Steve Watson was a major fitness doubt before kick-off but his healing powers became even more important when he struck his second goal in two games from a well-worked move. Unsworth carried the ball deep into Charlton territory and squared the ball to Pembridge, whose lofted ball into the area saw Watson beat the offside trap and hook a left-foot finish over the advancing Kiely. Until he exploded onto the back pages Rooney's best work was confined to deep in the Charlton half. His first sight of goal came on the end of a piercing through ball by Watson on 29 minutes when he was just denied by a fine tackle from Jonathan Fortune. Otherwise it was the home side who finished a lively first half stronger. Bartlett wasted a clear chance when Joseph Yobo failed to cut out a hopeful punt forward, Euell sent an improvised over-head kick inches over the top and Young curled high and wide when his fine run past two on the right threatened better. Everton welcomed the interval, and two minutes after the restart could so easily have found themselves in front when a great opening fell to the feet of Alan Stubbs. Pembridge's corner dropped to the defender via the chest of Yobo and a free shot was destined for the bottom corner but for a crucial deflection off Bartlett. It was a costly escape. When the resulting corner was cleared Charlton swept down the Blues right and, for the second time in the match, they resorted to desperate measures to cut out an Addicks' exchange. This time Hermann Hreidarsson swapped passes with Parker and as he collected the return the fullback was sent tumbling by Yobo's challenge. Everton protested over the player's willingness to collapse, but in truth it was a rash tackle on a player posing no danger to Wright's goal and summed up Yobo's night. Fortunately the game was following a familiar pattern and once Euell had again foxed the Everton keeper from the spot - only this time into the bottom left hand corner - the penalty galvanised Everton into action. Naysmith should have doubled his tally for the season on 62 minutes when a flowing move started by Pistone's trickery landed at his feet via a Watson header and Rooney lay-off. The Scot was off-balance as the ball rolled across the six-yard area, but from that distance he had to hit the target instead of scuffing well wide. Naysmith's next contribution was more telling as he delivered the delicate left wing cross that became the bullet which almost burst Kiely's net seconds later. After Rooney's fantastic equaliser the Blues dominated until the close, although their defensive uncertainties meant they were never the sure-fire winner of the contest.
Radzinski almost grabbed the goal he deserved a minute after his strike partner's moment, when Rooney's layoff was smacked first time on the volley from 25 yards and just over Kiely's crossbar.
He then dragged an 18-yard shot wide under pressure and saw a half volley deflected wide from Pistone's right wing cross. Try as he might, however, this was a night for the young apprentice to grab the headlines. At least Radzinski's used to that.
CHARLTON: Kiely, Young, Fortune, Fish, Hreidarsson, Kishishev (Stuart 77), Holland, Parker, Jensen, Euell, Bartlett (Cole 76). Subs: Royce, Powell, Johansson.
EVERTON: Wright, Pistone, Stubbs, Yobo, Unsworth, Watson, Pembridge, Linderoth, Naysmith, Radzinski, Rooney. Subs: Simonsen, Weir, Li Tie, Hibbert, Chadwick.
REFEREE: Steve Dunn (Gloucestershire).
BOOKINGS: Charlton's Jensen and Everton's Unsworth and Rooney (fouls).
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Aug 27 2003
WAYNE ROONEY opened his account in style last night to salvage a draw at Charlton - as manager David Moyes insisted Everton were in the hunt for Barry Ferguson. Rooney, in front of England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson, lashed in an exquisite 71st minute equaliser for the Blues as they twice fought back from Jason Euell penalties at The Valley. And as Moyes admitted it was a strike Alan Shearer would have been proud of, the Blues manager insisted he won't give up in the transfer market after the collapse of the Sean Davis deal on Monday. Rooney stunned Charlton when he capped his first 90-minute appearance of the season with his first goal of the new campaign. And Moyes said: "It was a great touch and finish. He finished the way Alan Shearer would do in front of goal. His touch made it. "It enabled him to turn away from the defender in the box and I was delighted with the finish. "We have been saying he needs to finish more regularly in the six-yard box and that one was close enough! "I was pleased with Wayne's all-round contribution tonight. I felt he was flagging towards the end of the second half, but the goal gave him that extra incentive and he came alive again after that. "He was on his knees just before he scored but in the end I'm pleased we got 90 minutes out of him, too. That's only his third full game since the end of last season." Eriksson left his seat as Rooney celebrated the strike that has pushed him back into the international frame ahead of the European Championship qualifers with Macedonia and Leichstenstein. And Moyes added: "I think he should be selected for England. I want all my players selected for their countries. "In an ideal world I'd be using him just to get match fitness at the moment. There is more to come from Wayne, no doubt. He's not going past people the way he can do just yet, but he's still a baby and it will come. "I always think the younger lads need about ten weeks before they are up and running, so there is more to come from him. "I thought both our strikers caused them problems tonight whenever they got the ball." Charlton scored from the spot either side of Steve Watson's second goal in two games as Everton geared up for Saturday's Merseyside derby with a deserved draw. Moyes said: "The first time I saw them I thought not but having seen them again on video it looks like David Unsworth gets a piece of the ball and the second one could have gone either way, it could have been a penalty or a booking for going over too easily."
The Blues boss was forced to call off his £5.2m pursuit of Davis on Monday for medical reasons. And despite Rangers' skipper Ferguson being valued at £7m and currently earning more than the Goodison wage cap, Moyes insists Everton are chasing his signature. He admitted: "I am still looking at several players but whether we get any before the deadline I don't know. It changes by the hour.
"Claudio Reyna is one player we are interested in, but it is not only him. We have made an offer for Barry Ferguson. "We are speaking to Rangers regularly but he's got a big night for them in the Champions League qualifier on Wednesday so we'll have to wait and see." Charlton boss Alan Curbishley applauded Rooney's strike. "It was smashed across the face of goal and it was his first touch that did it," he said. "It was a great turn - so Fish couldn't gamble and make a tackle - and a great finish. "The headlines will be about Rooney and his goal - although that takes away from the rest of Everton's players." "But I think we shaded it and, having led twice, we feel we could have had the three points. Everton will be pleased with their point."
Davis still has Fulham future
Aug 27 2003
CHRIS COLEMAN last night held out an olive branch to Sean Davis, suggesting the injured midfielder could have a future at Fulham after all. The 23-year-old's £5.5million move to Everton collapsed when he was unable to take the second half of his medical due to the medial ligament injury to his right knee. The problem, sustained in a pre-season friendly against ASK Voitsburg, has already sidelined him for a month and is expected to keep him out for another four weeks. That means Davis, whose transfer request was granted three weeks ago, would have no chance of passing a medical before Sunday's transfer deadline. Fulham refused to allow Davis to move to Mersey-side on loan, in order to recover his fitness before a possible permanent deal. The Londoners also agreed a £5.5m deal for Davis with Middlesbrough. But it is understood Boro, who have just signed Spanish midfielder Gaizka Mendieta on loan, have no plans to resurrect their move for the Fulham player.
Boro's decision and Davis' injury means he appears poised to stay at Loftus Road. Coleman said: "The deal (with Everton) is off and Sean's back here with us. The bottom line is he's still a Fulham player and he'll now be working hard to recover from his knee injury. It's now down to him to start showing some form, if and when selected, and if he does that we'll welcome his contribution." Coleman had expected his £2.5m swoop for Sunderland's Claudio Reyna to go through early this week. However, Reyna's agent yesterday disclosed a delay in that deal.
Blues two hot for Villa
Academy Football With Chris Wright, Daily Post
Aug 27 2003
IT was the perfect start for Everton as both youth sides opened the new FA Premier Academy League season with victories at home to Aston Villa on Saturday. Alan Harper's under-19s secured a 1-0 win thanks to a Damon Martland goal, while Gary Ablett marked his first full competitive game in charge of the under-17s with an excellent 3-1 victory. Harper's side made a determined start to the season in a close-fought contest. The Blues, featuring 19-year-old Italian striker Patrice Pascucci in his first competitive start, had to fight hard for their win with Villa having the better of the opening half.
Harper said: "It's nice to get a win against anyone in the first game. But especially against Villa, because they've got a decent youth set-up. "It was a good performance and probably the lads deserved more than one goal. They played well in patches, but the work-rate was smashing and they defended well. "We just needed the goal to relax us and when we got it we played a little bit of football." Wigan winger Martland, who had an interrupted season last year through a cruciate ligament injury, came off the bench to hit the winner 20 minutes from the end, sidefooting home from fellow substitute Scott Brown's cross. "It was a good move for Damon's goal," added Harper. "He had a cruciate injury last year and has only just come back. He came back flying but got injured two weeks ago but he came on as a sub and scored." Ablett was delighted to open with a win for the U17s. And after a brisk start from the visitors new signing Patrick Boyle opened the scoring after 20 minutes. Jay Harris added a second 20 minutes later with a low drive from just outside the area.
The visitors hit back after the break, but Paul Hopkins finished off a smart move in emphatic fashion to seal the points after 65 minutes. Villa grabbed a late consolation goal with ten minutes left, but nothing could dampen the positive start by the young Blues. Ablett said: "It was a difficult game. They were a very good side. They probably passed it better than us at the start of each half. But we overpowered them a little bit towards the end of the first half. With it being the first league game there were bound to be a few nerves, but we did really well in the end. Overall it was a decent all-round performance."
EVERTON UNDER-19s: Lake, Flood, Fox, Potter, Gerrard, B Moogan, Booth (Martland), Joseph Jones (Brown 60), Garside, Pascucci, A Barry. Subs: McCall, Thorbinson, Lynch.
EVERTON UNDER-17s: Gallagher, Wynne, Hughes (Molyneux 80), Boyle, Wright, Seargeant, Wilson, Harris, Johnson, Hopkins (Phelan 88), Fowler (Vaughan 65). Subs: Jamie Jones, Foran.
Charlton 2, Everton 2 (Echo)
Aug 27 2003 By David Prentice At The Valley, Liverpool Echo
STILL not fully match-fit, Everton had to settle for Rooney the match-saver rather than Rooney the matchwinner last night. But whatever its status, it was still another goal worth waiting for.
You could almost anticipate David Moyes' press conference as Everton trailed 2-1 to a vibrant, determined Charlton team at The Valley. "Well, we've been telling you Wayne's a long way off from the point we'd like him to be at. I'm glad Sven was here to see for himself . . ." Then Rooney exploded his argument into smithereens. Clearly still not match-fit. Undoubtedly short of the razor sharpness he displayed in the early stages of last season and maybe still finding that decisive extra half-a-yard of pace, the 17-year-old can still conjure stunning goals out of next to nothing. The last time Sven Goran Eriksson watched Everton at The Valley, he slipped off before Wayne Rooney had even trotted on. This time the undoubted object of his attention started - and made his journey worthwhile. Rooney's library of goals is beginning to bulge - and every one is usually worth recording in freeze-frame detail. Last night's was no exception. Gary Naysmith clipped a cross into the Charlton penalty area which was optimistic rather than damaging. But Rooney accelerated in front of Mark Fish, nudged the ball away from his marker with one sublime touch of his right boot and created the space which gave him a clear shooting opportunity. The finish was explosive - smashed into the roof of the net. They like to stretch credulity to breaking point at The Valley.
How else can you explain the following sentence from last night's match programme, referring to an Everton midfielder of yesteryear. "He is showing flashes of passing brilliance with a magic wand of a left foot." Go on, guess. Kevin Sheedy? Dave Thomas? Andy Hinchcliffe maybe? Wrong on all counts. Stephen Hughes was the mystery maestro, currently plying his trade at Charlton. The goal gave Everton a point they just about deserved, although for a spell after Rooney's 71st minute stunner they might even have pinched all three points. Radzinski fired a dipping volley just over, Pembridge's corner sparked a frantic six-yard box scramble which The Addicks just about cleared, then Rooney held the ball up well for Radzinski to fire narrowly wide. Gary Naysmith then arrowed another effort across the goalmouth as Everton finally gave up the chase and settled for a point.
This Charlton side was the role model Everton's board-room powerbrokers had in mind when they handed new boss David Moyes a shoestring budget to work with. In Scott Parker, Claus Jensen and Matt Holland they boast a trio of midfielders with the creativity and class the Blues boss yearns for.
Everton struggled to create chances, but after David Unsworth conceded the first of two contentious penalties, they enjoyed prolonged spells of possession and pressure. Just three minutes in, Rooney was only half-a-touch away from a goal after Pistone overlapped onto Watson's pass and clipped in a near post cross which the youngster couldn't quite turn past Kiely. For 20 minutes Everton were vibrant, with the pace and timing of Radzinski's runs a potent threat. In the 11th minute the little Canadian raced onto the end of a slick move and found himself marginally clear of the covering defence with Kiely's goal looming. It was the type of half-chance which Radzinski regularly crashes into the roof of the net. This time, however, his left foot could only find the side-netting. Everton's bright start evaporated with just one mistimed lunge of Unsworth's boot. Scott Parker was the player sent sprawling, and a penalty kick was awarded, but closer inspection revealed Unsworth getting a touch to the ball before Parker toppled. Undeterred, Jason Euell confidently sent Richard Wright the wrong way. But three minutes later Everton were level. Mark Pembridge clipped a peach of a pass down Everton's inside left channel, and Steve Watson once again showed his precious gift for finding space in an opposition area - and the abilty to finish, by lobbing deftly over the advancing Kiely with his left foot. Charlton enjoyed their best spell after that - and three minutes into the second half took the lead once again from the penalty spot. This time Yobo was the offender, but once again there were sufficient grounds for dispute. The Nigerian left his leg in, and Herman Hreidarsson was delighted to fall acrobatically over it. Jason Euell was much less flowery, dispatching his spot-kick to his left this time - with Wright once again choosing the wrong corner.
Everton should have levelled 10 minutes before Rooney's strike, and if successful it would have been just as memorable. Pistone produced a piece of stunning skill on the right touchline to clip the ball through Fortune's legs, then cross damagingly. Watson touched the ball on to Nay-smith at the far post, but he couldn't dig the ball out from under his feet and an opening was wasted. That simply handed Rooney his cue to grab centre-stage again. It was his first goal of the season. It was a wonderful effort . . . and you know it won't be his last.
CHARLTON ATHLETIC (4-4-2): Kiely, Young, Fortune, Fish, Hreidarsson, Kishishev (Stuart 77), Parker, Holland, Jensen, Bartlett (Cole 76), Euell. Unused substitutes: Royce, Powell, Johansson.
EVERTON (4-4-2): Wright, Pistone, Yobo, Stubbs, Unsworth, Watson, Pembridge, Linderoth, Naysmith, Rooney, Radzinski. Unused substitutes: Simonsen, Weir, Tie, Hibbert, Chadwick.
Referee: Steve Dunn.
Bookings: Unsworth (23), Jensen (69), Rooney (83) all fouls.
GOALS: Euell penalty (23 mins) 1-0, Watson (26) 1-1, Euell penalty (48) 2-1, Rooney (71) 2-2.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Alessandro Pistone.
Blues' £6m Barry bid
Aug 27 2003 Exclusive By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON today launched a bid to make Barry Ferguson the club's record signing. The Blues lodged an official £6m offer for the Glasgow Rangers midfielder this morning. Everton's record transfer is still the £5.75m they splashed out on Nick Barmby six years ago. Blackburn Rovers, who have funds to spare from the sale of Damien Duff and David Dunn, have also been in the running for the 25-year-old Rangers captain. However, Rovers officials say they have now pulled out after having two bids for him rejected. Ever to n have exhausted the money they had in place for Sean Davis, together with an extra half-a-million Bill Kenwright has managed to prise from his cash-conscious board. But the Blues cannot go any higher - and that £6m offer would include a re lative ly smal l down-payment. Ultimately Everton's main hope could still be if Ferguson himself preferred a move to Goodison Park rather than Ewood Park. "The situation changes hour by hour," said manager David Moyes after last night's 2-2 draw at Charlton. "We have made an offer for Barry Ferguson and I don't know where we are up to with that. But we are speaking to Rangers regularly and as soon as we have any news we will let everybody know." It is widely thought that Ferguson's appearance for Rangers tonight in the Champions League qualifier against Copenhagen could be his last f or th e S cot tish champions. Moyes also confirmed that Claudio Reyna was a back-up option should the Ferguson move fail. The Blues earned a draw at The Valley courtesy of Wayne Rooney's first wonder-strike of the new season. Moyes purred: "It was a great touch from Wayne and he finished the way Shearer would finish. "I was much happier with his all round play. I actually thought he was flagging a little bit in the second half, but the goal pushed him on some more "That's three full games he has played since the end of last season. "More pleasing for me is that we have asked him to try and finish more in and around the six yard box and I think that was roughly where he was when he scored. "We wanted to see Rooney and Radzinski playing together and I thought tonight the two of them caused problems every time they touched the ball." Everton twice trailed to Jason Euell penalties, which at the time Moyes had few complaints about. But after watching a tape of the incidents he felt both could have been avoided. "On first viewing I had no complaints," he said. "But I have had the chance to see them both again and for the first one I think David Unsworth gets a piece of the ball and redirects it. "Then the second one could easily have been a yellow card for going over. I don't think their player should have gone over so easily."
* Everton season ticket holders can purchase further tickets for Saturday's derby match on production of voucher 63 at the Park End box office.
Nelson signs with eye to derby debut
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Aug 28 2003
SPORTING LISBON keeper Nelson is expected to sign a one-year loan deal with Everton today - and could be plunged straight into the white-hot atmosphere of a Merseyside derby this Saturday.
Blues manager David Moyes has followed up his interest in the Portuguese international as Richard Wright emerged as a major injury doubt for the Goodison clash with Liverpool. Nelson spent a few days at Bellefield last week with a view to a 12-month loan deal after falling down the pecking order at Lisbon. Moyes wants a new keeper to increase competition on £3.5million Wright after both Paul Gerrard and Steve Simonsen failed to convince the Blues boss they could solve his goalkeeping dilemma during pre-season. But Nelson could be handed an immediate debut against Liverpool if Wright fails to shrug off a knee injury that flared up during Tuesday's draw at Charlton. The Blues number one sacrificed his place in the England squad to undergo a knee operation at the end of last season in a bid to be fit for the start of this campaign. But three games into the season he has been struck by a new knee problem and Moyes faces an anxious wait to see whether it settles down ahead of the Goodison clash. The Blues manager, meanwhile, is to ask referees' chief Philip Don why Goodison sensation Wayne Rooney appears to be victimised by Premiership officials. Rooney collected the 10th booking of his fledgling Everton career on Tuesday night for an innocuous trip on Charlton's Scott Parker. Parker, ironically, was one of several players to escape punishment for clearer fouls by referee Steve Dunn but the 17-year-old was swiftly shown a yellow card when the midfielder ran across him. "At the moment I feel that every time Wayne Rooney plays referees are desperate to get him booked," fumed Moyes. "I find it quite incredible and I will be making contact with Philip Don to express that feeling as we have the means to do now. "I didn't feel there was a serious tackle in the game and he was so quick in getting his card out - it was almost in his hand before he (Rooney) did it."
Lead out England for Euro qualifier
Aug 28 2003
ENGLAND are heading to Merseyside - and you can play your part in a special night of football by winning our unique prize. David Platt's under-21 side take on Portugal in a crucial UEFA U21 Championship qualifier on Tuesday, September 9 (8pm), at Goodison Park, the home of Everton.
And you can be a there - at the very heart of the action in our exciting competition. The Daily Post has teamed up with The Football Association to offer one young football fan the chance to be the official England under-21s mascot for the night. The lucky winner (who must be aged between 8-14 years old) will get to walk out with the England team and have their photograph taken with the players before watching the game. The mascot will also get their very own replica kit as a memento from the evening. Ten lucky runners up will also receive a pair of tickets to watch the game.
For the chance to win simply answer the following question: What is the name of the under-21s team coach? Send your answer to: England competition, Daily Post Sports Desk, PO Box 48, Old Hall Street, Liverpool, L69 3EB. You must include your name, address, daytime telephone number and age of the person who would act as the England mascot in the event of winning the competition.
Alternatively you can fax your details to: 0151 330-5091. The closing date is first post, Tuesday September 2, 2003. One winner and ten runners-up will be chosen at random. The mascot winner must be accompanied by an adult and will receive four tickets for the game. After a season during which David Moyes' splendid management and the emergence of Wayne Rooney helped Everton become a force to be reckoned with, it is the perfect time for England U21s to head to Goodison.
Those not lucky enough to win this fantastic competition can call the Everton FC Box Office on 0870 7383 7866 to buy tickets for the game. For more information on the U21 team log onto www.TheFA.com. Tickets prices for the match are: Adults £10; children and OAPs £5.
Ferguson bid in balance
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Aug 28 2003
EVERTON'S CHANCES of landing Barry Ferguson looked even more remote last night as Rangers' secured a £10million Champions League windfall. The Blues yesterday confirmed they had made a bid of £6m for the Scotland international, who is sure to have played his last game for the Glasgow giants in their 2-1 qualifying win at FC Copenhagen. Manager David Moyes was believed to have travelled to Denmark in an attempt to persuade the Rangers' skipper his future lay at Goodison Park.
Blackburn boss Graeme Souness yesterday insisted he was pulling out of the race to sign Ferguson after having two bids equal and better than Everton's rejected. That raised the possibility of Rangers accepting the Blues' 'take-it-or-leave-it' offer if they missed out on the Champions League.
But qualification to the lucrative group stages means they can now hold out for their minimum asking price of £7m - almost certainly ruling Everton out with Rovers, and possibly Manchester City, expected to return with fresh bids. Moyes is refusing to rule out new signings ahead of the transfer window, however, and may turn his attentions to Claudio Reyna after adding Portuguese keeper Nelson to his squad on a season-long loan deal today. The Sunderland midfielder was the man Chris Coleman wanted to replace Everton's original transfer target Sean Davis. But just two days after the collapse of Davis' proposed £5.2m move to Merseyside Reyna's switch to Loftus Road has ironically followed suit. Personal terms forced Fulham to call off the deal last night and Moyes, who has a confirmed interest in the American international, could now be tempted to swoop. A deal for Steve McManaman is highly unlikely to be completed before Sunday.
Blues swoop for a keeper
Aug 28 2003 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON are poised to make their first new signing of the season - and he could be handed a shock debut in Saturday's Merseyside derby. Sporting Lisbon goalkeeper Alexandre Nelson was due at Goodison Park today to sign a year-long loan. And an injury to Richard Wright means he might start at Goodison Park. The 27-year-old, capped three times by Portugal, spent a brief trial at Bellefield last week. He returned today to discuss personal terms, and a jarred knee suffered by Richard Wright at Charlton on Tuesday means he may start. Moyes has not been convinced by the form of Paul Gerrard nor Steve Simonsen in pre-season, and hopes that Nelson will become the first new addition to his squad this season. The Blues boss was in Copenhagen last night to watch another transfer target, Barry son, help Glasgow Rangers into the lucrative group stages of the Champions League. Rangers' qualification has not spiked son's desire to leave Ibrox, but no talks took place between Moyes and Rangers' officials after the match. The Blues are still waiting for reaction to yesterday's £6m bid, but Blackburn's response - after claiming they had pulled out of the chase - was to lodge an improved offer. Rovers are believed to have offered £6.25m, but the Blues may also improve their opening bid. Everton's £6m bid does not include any cash owed them from the Michael Ball transfer nor any player-exchange. "I keep reading in the Scottish press that I am the guy blocking a bid by David Moyes for Barry Ferguson. That couldn't be more wrong," said Blues' deputy Chairman Bill Kenwright. "I would give my right arm to get my manager who or what he wants - and he wants Ferguson." The Blues, meanwhile, refused to confirm reports that former Liverpool star Steve McManaman had been offered a £2m contract yesterday. Real Madrid coach Carlos Queiroz said last night: "I know Steve is in talks with a club and it is better for him and for us that it is sorted out in the next 48 hours." That club is not believed to be Everton.
Academy Football With Chris Wright Daily Post
Aug 29 2003
EVERTON will feel at home in their first away fixtures of the new FA Premier Academy League season tomorrow. And it's not just due to the opening wins for Alan Harper's under-19s and Gary Ablett's under-17s last Saturday. The Blues were due to travel to London to take on Wimbledon, but the Wombles asked for the venue-switch after problems with their own pitches. So both sides will be aiming to keep up their 100 per cent start to the season at Netherton tomorrow (KO 11am).
Harper's U19s won 1-0 thanks to Damon Martland against Aston Villa in last Saturday's opener and it is a case of more of the same tomorrow. Coach Harper, who has no new injury worries for tomorrow, said: "It was good to start with a win and now we have just got to keep it going. We have never played them before so we don't really know what type of system they play. But it is more about ourselves." Italian striker Patrice Pascucci made his U19s debut last week and Harper is happy with the way the 19-year-old is settling in. He said: "The lads enjoy his company and he is trying to learn. He did okay last week. It was his first game and it a bit different for him. But he did all right and could have had a couple of goals. I'm sure he can do well once he has fully settled in."
Ablett's side won 3-1, but the Blues coach is still looking for improvement from his side. The youngsters were superb in their final friendly victory against Manchester City and although last Saturday they won, in patches they didn't play as well as the previous week. Ablett said: "I am disappointed in the respect we didn't live up to the standards that we set the week before. But that was always going to be difficult. It was a decent all-round performance but it leaves us plenty to work on."
Watson: I wish I was out there
Aug 29 2003
DAVE WATSON has time for the moment to indulge his passion for Everton as a fan. No-one could deny the 41-year-old Scouser the right to sit back and simply enjoy the turnaround in on-the-field fortunes Everton have achieved under David Moyes. Watson, a commanding centre-back, lifted the League Championship and FA Cup during his 14-year playing career at Goodison. More significantly he probably did more than anyone to keep Everton in the Premiership through the years of struggle in the '90s when the threat of relegation was rarely far away. A succession of Everton teams rallied around Watson's broad six-foot frame in many a backs-to-the-wall fight for survival points. As a captain he led by the example of his devotion to the cause and fierce competitive will. When Watson gave up a new coaching role at Goodison to try his hand at management with Tranmere Rovers in the summer of 2001, many Evertonians expressed the view that the best of their number had departed. So when Watson's Tranmere venture was brought to an abrupt halt last August after one full season in charge at Prenton Park, he was drawn instinctively back to Goodison. Watson says: "Last season I went to most of Everton's home games and one or two away and it was enormously enjoyable. "It was a pleasure just turning up at the ground and soaking up the atmosphere. Fans were arriving early to talk about the game. There was a buzz around the place. The talk was that Everton were back on track and back to winning ways. "The results were excellent and the introduction of the likes of Wayne Rooney, Li Tie and Joseph Yobo had people excited.
"Everton had a fantastic season and so did I." But there were two fixtures in the campaign Watson could not enjoy: the derby encounters with Liverpool. As much as he relished playing in derby games, Watson admits to finding the experience of watching them deeply uncomfortable. Watson won't be able to stay away from Goodison for Liverpool's visit tomorrow but he isn't expecting to enjoy himself during the 90 minutes. "I loved derbies as a player," Watson says. "I got very wound up for them. You know the passion the supporters feel about the game and it gets through to the players. "I would feel it as soon as I stepped off the coach at the ground and walked into the excitement all around. "I knew how much the game meant to people and that as an individual player I could possibly influence the outcome. "So I gave those games everything I had. I loved them, thrived on them. But watching them has been another matter. Watching the two last season (a goalless draw at Anfield and a 2-1 defeat for Everton at Goodison) drove me mad. "I think it's because I can't do anything to influence what's happening on the pitch. All I could do was kick the seat of the poor chap in front of me. It was very frustrating." Watson concedes that a derby game isn't the best place to go looking for clues about how Everton are going to fare in the new campaign.
But he warns that last season's seventh place finish will be a hard act to follow. He says: "If Everton had finished midway up the table last May it would still have been seen as a significant improvement on recent years. The fans would then have been looking for the team to finish sixth or seventh this season. But last season was a fantastic leap and it's going to be difficult to keep to that level. "The players have set themselves a high standard. Everton have essentially the same squad now with one or two additions so there is good reason to think they can reach those high levels again. People got a bit carried away last season because the results encouraged it." Watson is as excited as any Evertonian by the enormous potential of Wayne Rooney. As a centre-back he takes a particular interest in Yobo (left) saying: "When he first arrived he played out of his skin. He was tried at right-back but I think he does a great job in the middle. "Li Tie isn't one to do a trick on the ball or spread passes around but he's good at taking the pressure off the defenders. "Kevin Campbell leads the front line well even if he may not be a 20-goal-a-season man. He's also very good in the dressing room. 'I see a good bunch of senior pro's at Everton now: people like Alan Stubbs, David Weir and Mark Pembridge. There is a good base to build on for the future." As for Watson's own future, he is keeping an open mind. His experience at Tranmere won't disuade him from pursuing other opportunities in football management as and when they arise. Tranmere finished 12th in Division Two at the end of Watson's season in charge. His curiously-timed dismissal 13 months ago followed Tranmere's defeat in a pre-season friendly, albeit by a seven-goal margin to Premiership side Birmingham City. Watson says: "If managers get discouraged every time they get the sack, some of the best of them would be lost to the game. "Going into management is a learning curve and the only way you learn is by being put into situations and having to deal with them. "I learned an awful lot in my year at Tranmere." Mike Newell, Watson's friend and former Everton team-mate, might say the same about his seven months in charge at Hartlepool which ended in dismissal after the club won promotion to Division Two. Watson points out the manager at Real Madrid won the championship last season and he still got the sack. "Nothing surprises you in football anymore. When you hear about what you might think is a ridiculous thing to happen, most people in football these days just shrug their shoulders and say: alway s expect the unexpected." The high stress levels associated with football management are an attractive rather than a deterrent to Watson.
He says: "I know how much stress is involved in the job but it keeps me going, gets my body working.
"While I have been out of football, I have seen people who are so relaxed they don't seem to have any urgency about them. You could easily get into a rut. “I'm someone who needs to have pressure put on me. In pressure situations my body comes into its own." Watson is keeping his hand in football by doing some scouting work for a couple of league clubs. He is waiting for the job vacancies to crop up in the autumn when the first crop of managerial sackings usually takes place. He says: "I have had one or two offers which did not appeal to me. As for working outside football, I'm open to suggestions and I have had one or two proposals which do interest me. "But I want to give it a little bit longer first to see if something comes up in football."
Unsung stars are giving their all for cause
Fanscene With Mark O'Brien, Daily Post
Aug 29 2003
EVERTON should get Andy Nicholls to negotiate with Rangers for their midfield general. That way we could have the headline 'When Barry Met Scally'. It's certainly been an eventful week on and off the pitch, what with Sean Davis' knee turning out to be made of balsa wood and David Moyes' subsequently being linked with every midfielder in Europe and beyond. If he does get Barry Ferguson it will certainly raise a few eyebrows as the Scotland captain undoubtedly represents a 'prestige signing'. Blackburn must still be favourites though, given the money they received for Damien Duff and David Dunn. If they can't trump an offer from supposedly cashstrapped Everton then there will surely be questions asked in that part of Lancashire. No doubt there will be plenty more developments in the next few days as everyone tries to secure last-minute reinforcements. If we don't make any big signings we can at least take heart that the existing players, perhaps spurred on by the prospect of renewed competition for places, have done themselves proud in the last two games. Fulham simply couldn't deal with our total football in the first half at Goodison. While they worried about containing Wayne Rooney and Tomasz Radzinski they didn't reckon on the sharpshooting skills of our full-backs. Just like last season one of our biggest strengths is the ability of the less glamorous players to come into the side, sometimes in unfamiliar roles, and give their all. Mark Pembridge, for instance, more than filled the boots of the injured Thomas Gravesen, and along with Tobias Linderoth never gave Fulham's highly-rated midfielders a moment's peace. Charlton at the Valley were a slightly more daunting prospect but in the end it was Everton who could and possibly should have taken all three points. Few teams this season will dominate the Addicks at home as comprehensively as we did in the second half, and not many players will score a better goal than Rooney's equaliser. For all Liverpool's problems, and they are numerous, they have a knack of getting back on track against us. Their direct, physical approach seems to be suited to the frenetic derby atmosphere and they know that after three games without a win the stakes are very high.
A good result against us will win their management team a bit of grace from their increasingly agitated fans. We just need to cut out some of the lapses in concentration at the back and make sure we get good balls into the feet of our strikers. If we do that then we have as good a chance as ever of turning them over and reinforcing what they secretly know: that the gap between us is getting ever smaller. Wilson says: "This is not just for people who take sport seriously, it's for people who take their health seriously. "Prevention is always better than cure. A practice like this can save the NHS a great deal of money. It costs untold millions in taxpayers contributions to treat preventable illnesses caused through bad lifestyle and poor diet, in short people not looking after themselves properly. "Very often people don't know how much risk they are under. "In a doctors surgery they can take an ECG test which monitors the heart while it is at rest. But to discover potential problems you ideally need to put the body under stress which is what the exercise ECG can do. "It will show up problems with the cardiac cycle that an at rest ECG may miss." And Joe and Joanne should not worry. The treadmill would be set to their own fitness capacity, not Watson's so fast walking or gentle jogging may be all that is required for their test. Wilson says the range of tests and services available at the centre in Coronation Road are currently unavailable in the Merseyside area outside the expensive world of private health care. Wilson's MOT cost the client just £50. He says: "I'm able to keep the cost down because I'm a one man show. I do everything. And once people are tested I can give them a full range of advice on exercise, diet and lifestyle." When you consider the annual MOT for your car costs around £25 the charge of £50 for an MOT for your body sounds like a small price to pay. As Watson says: "It's something to think about when you walk into the kebab shop."
Icliverpool And Daily Post
Aug 29 2003
Learn our lesson
HATS off to the gaffer for the decision to put the proposed Davis transfer on ice. It's no doubt a significant risk to spend over £5million on a player whose fitness remains under a cloud, and, in turn, potentially compromise future progress. Let us not forget one Slaven Bilic, a man who was as useful to the Everton cause as Yul Brynner was for the shampoo industry. The club already has enough individuals on the payroll whose earnings could be put to better use elsewhere. Failing the arrival of an Abramovich type to splash out the roubles, circumspection has to be exercised for the forseeable future: the lessons of Everton's recent past should ensure that indeed remains the case.
Jim Johnson, Allerton
Out of our league
What's going on? Why can't we just be like normal teams? The Davis transfer saga shows how the club is run, although they were right to abandon the deal, but we all knew he was injured weeks ago - why not abandon it then? I feel sorry for Moysey. How can he take the club forward when he's not getting any help from the board? There is no way that we'll get Barry Ferguson from Rangers, the price quoted of £8 million plus is way out of our league! Big club? That's a joke!
Jamie Ryder, Bootle
TO all of you moaners straight out of the Doug Ellis school of football club management, the season is a few games old - but that is enough for you lot to drone out the usual rubbish.
Keith Morgan, Liverpool
Doubts over Davis
IF I go and buy a car I can get at least a three-year warranty on it. Given that Davis is a high-powered sports car surely we can have a clause in the deal that allows us to sign him on the understanding that if he breaks down then we can return the damaged goods or at least get a refund. At the moment I think we need to address the weaknesses at the back with Alan Stubbs and David Unsworth. I would prefer to see Hibbert starting ahead of Unsy and Weir along side Yobo but there has to come a time when we introduce the likes of Clarke and Osman. Its good to see Ossie on the bench. He is a goalscoring midfielder with a bit of pace.
Ozzie Dean, (via e-mail)
Undoing good work
IT is a shame that we always seem to undo all our great team work and shoot ourselves in the foot more often than not by giving away penalties and silly free-kicks that lead to opposition goals.
We have always seemed to be the only team that does it we have had 'only' four goals scored against us and three of them have been penalties. We are playing brilliantly again under Mr Moyes so let's stop making it much harder for ourselves.
J Boyd, Kirkby Town
Give Moyes money
This is a open message to any or all the members of the board of Everton Football Club. If all of you do not pull your fingers out and give Moyes the money he deserves to buy the players he deserves, Everton Football Club will not only lose firstly Rooney, but also Moyes. And just in case you think that you will be be able to make lots of money selling them, you don't get many fans supporting you when you're playing in the third division.
Mike Hadley, Cape Town, South Africa
Ball could be key
CAN anyone answer me if we have ever received anything for Michael Ball yet? If we are still owed some of the reported £5million could whatever is owed be a downpayment for Ferguson and then we could just give Rangers whatever else they ask for, say another £2.5m? The deal would only cost us £4m max, Rangers wouldn't owe us any longer and we'd have a very talented midfielder on our books.
Marc Ibbotson (via e-mail)
D-Day for Ferguson deal
By David Prior, Daily Post
Aug 29 2003
EVERTON must increase their offer for Barry Ferguson by 5pm today to stand any chance of landing the Rangers star. The Glasgow club last night took the transfer saga into their own hands by revealing they had rejected all bids for the player - including one from the Blues, three from Blackburn and from another unnamed club - and insisted the 25-year-old would be staying at Ibrox unless an acceptable bid was tabled by close of business today. Rangers chairman John McLelland said: "There is no real change in Barry's situation. We told him if we got an acceptable bid we'd let him go albeit against our wishes. "But we haven't concluded anything yet so there is the chance that he will stay at Rangers. "We are still have discussions with Blackburn and Everton although we have rejected their bids. There is a third club who have expressed an interest but I don't want to name them. All I can say is they are also an English club. "Whatever happens we have to conclude this in the next 24 hours - one way or another - because we can't let it drag on any longer. If we don't get an acceptable bid by tomorrow afternoon then Barry will be staying." Rangers' deadline came after Everton supremo Bill Kenwright had denied claims he was standing in the way of the Scotland skipper moving to Goodison. The club's £6million bid for Ferguson was yesterday topped by a third offer from Blackburn, but even before McLelland's revelation Rovers confessed their improved approach had met with "little encouragement". Ewood Park chief executive John Williams said: "We talked to Rangers again before their Champions League game in Copenhagen after making a fresh bid. "But we got very little encouragement from that and that's how it was left." Kenwright was eager to point out yesterday that he would do all he could to facilitate any move by boss David Moyes, a firm fan of the 25-year-old. "I keep reading in the Scottish press that I am the guy blocking a bid by David Moyes for Barry Ferguson - that couldn't be more wrong," said Blues deputy chairman Kenwright. "I would give my right arm to get my manager who or what he wants." Meanwhile another of Moyes' confirmed interests looked set to move elsewhere last night.
Sunderland midfielder Claudio Reyna is due to have a medical at Manchester City today with a view to completing a permanent move. The Wearsiders had agreed a fee of £2.5million fee with Fulham - but City matched the bid. Sunderland opened talks with City officials and it now appears the USA international captain will complete a move to the City of Manchester Stadium. The development represents the latest twist in a transfer saga complicated by the collapse of Sean Davis' £5.5million move from Fulham on Monday. Ahead of tomorrow's Goodison derby, goalkeeper Richard Wright was still battling to be fit after suffering a jarred knee at Charlton on Tuesday. The Blues were yesterday still attempting to tie up a loan deal for Sporting Lisbon stopper Alexandre Nelson, who could be thrown straight into action should Wright fail to make it. And Everton's Lee Carsley joined Blackburn's Steven Reid in being recalled to the Republic of Ireland squad for the vital Group 10 Euro 2004 qualifier against Russia at Lansdowne Road on September 6.
Come to join the Blues Carew
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Aug 29 2003
EVERTON last night made a sensational bid to bring Valencia striker John Carew to Goodison Park before the transfer deadline. The big Norwegian star has emerged as the latest target for manager David Moyes, who has refused to give up hope of landing a big name signing despite a summer of frustration. And he is confident Carew will make the move to Merseyside with Everton seeking a one-year loan deal with a view to a permanent transfer. The 23-year-old forward has been a central figure in Valencia's recent rise in Spain, helping them to two Champions League finals and one Spanish League title success. He scored seven goals in 23 appearances for Rafael Benitez's side last season, including the goals that knocked Arsenal out of Europe's premier competition. But failure to qualify for this season's Champions League has left Valencia in severe financial trouble and they have told a host of top stars - including Carew and Juan Sanchez - that they can leave. With star Argentine defender Roberto Ayala reportedly on the brink of a move to Real Madrid despite Valencia assurances he would not be sold, the Spaniards' predicament is more severe than many anticipated.
And Everton hope to capitalise on the situation by concluding a swift and audacious deal for their giant centre forward before the August 31 transfer deadline. Moyes believes Carew - 24 next week - can add a new dimension to his side, with Kevin Campbell injured and Duncan Ferguson, eligible for tomorrow's Merseyside derby, struggling to reach a full Premiership fitness level. Negotiations need to be swift for Everton to conclude a deal. But after the collapse of the Sean Davis deal on Monday and with Barry Ferguson out of their financial reach, Goodison officials are now going all out to secure Carew on an initial 12-month contract.
Be mascot and lead out England
Aug 29 2003
ENGLAND are heading to Merseyside - and you can play your part in a special night of football by winning our unique prize. David Platt's Under-21 side take on Portugal in a crucial UEFA U21 Championship qualifier on Tuesday, September 9 (8pm), at Goodison Park, the home of Everton.
And you can be there - at the very heart of the action in our exciting competition. The Daily Post has teamed up with the The Football Association to offer one young football fan the chance to be the official England under-21s mascot for the night. The lucky winner (who must be aged between eight-14 years old) will get to walk out with the England team and have their photograph taken with the players before watching the game. The mascot will also get their very own replica kit as a memento from the evening. Ten lucky runners up will also receive a pair of tickets to watch the game. For the chance to win simply answer the following question: What is the name of the under-21s team coach? Send your answer to: England competition, Daily Post Sports Desk, PO Box 48, Old Hall Street, Liverpool, L69 3EB. You must include your name, address, daytime telephone number and age of the person who would act as the England mascot in the event of winning competition.
Alternatively you can fax your details to: 0151 330 5091. The closing date is first post, Tuesday September 2, 2003. One winner and 10 runners-up will be chosen at random. The mascot winner must be accompanied by an adult and will receive four tickets for the game. After a season during which David Moyes' splendid manage-ment and the emergence of Wayne Rooney helped Everton become a force to be reckoned with, it is the perfect time for England U21s to head to Goodison.
Those not lucky enough to win this fantastic competition can call the Everton FC Box Office on 0870 7383 7866 to buy tickets for the game. For more information on the U21 team log onto www.The FA.com. Tickets prices for the match are: Adults £10; children and OAPs £5.
Academy permission granted
Aug 29 2003 by Jenny Watson, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON have won planning permission to build a £9.5m academy in Halewood. The club will sell the famous Bellefield ground in West Derby, worth £11m according to property experts, to fund the move. Knowsley councillors last night (Thursday, August 28) voted to approve planning permission but demanded Everton were fully prepared in the event of a chemical leak at the neighbouring Great Lakes UK factory. Before granting permission, councillors heard Everton officials were developing an emergency plan in consultation with the agro-chemical factory. The club has already prepared a full evacuation procedure so players training on the fields could escape a toxic chemical cloud as quickly as possible by taking refuge in the academy's building. Among the procedures recommended by an emergency planning officer seconded to the council from Merseyside Fire Authority included emergency sirens connected to Great Lakes, regular drills and suitable ventilation systems to ensure buildings can exclude air from outside in the event of a leak. The council's own risk assessment consultants advised the club to consider toxic refuge shelters in addition. While the club finalises its emergency plan, the Health and Safety Executive has 21 days to decide whether the proposed emergency procedures are satisfactory. If they are not satisfied they can refer the case to the deputy prime minister. The new academy will stand in 22 acres of green belt land and will boast 10 full six grass pitches, one of which will be floodlit, two half-sized pitches, two goal keeping areas and one outdoor artificial pitch and one indoor pitch. The main building will include state-of-the-art training facilities, changing rooms, classrooms, a kitchen, equipment rooms, parents lounge and a security lodge. There will also be parking for 170 cars and five coaches.
Blues can't afford to be complacent
Aug 29 2003 By Howard Kendall
THE natives across Stanley Park are restless. Just one goal from three games and even that was a retaken penalty. That must be a concern for Gerard Houllier. I know it is still early in the season, but if tomorrow's derby result goes Everton's way then the league table will make very uncomfortable viewing for Liverpool fans. Merseyside derbies are very difficult to predict, of course. They start so quickly with little quality before slowing down to their normal pace - frantic. The side who settles down first will be in the strongest position. Everton are playing with confidence and are scoring more freely than their neighbours. At the start of the season all the pressure was on the Everton strikers to come up with the goals because you couldn't see them coming from anywhere else.
But what has impressed me and I'm sure every Evertonian is that the Blues' midfielders are now also getting on the score sheet. And the Rooney-Radzinski partnership is also showing a lot of promise, although much of that is down to the way the midfield is performing. Everton can't afford to be over-confident, though. Look what happened last season when Liverpool were missing Henchoz and Hyypia in the heart of their defence yet still won. In recent Goodison derbies, Everton have not had the rub of the green - remember Gary McAllister's late winner and Don Hutchison's last minute 'goal' that was ruled out by Graham Poll. Liverpool have yet to score from open play, but as the opposition manager, you wouldn't focus too much on that in your pre-match team talk. It would be tempting fate. The Reds won't go much longer without scoring, that's for certain. Evertonians can only hope it comes after tomorrow.
BARRY FERGUSON is a very good player and would be an excellent acquisition to the Blues, even if it seems the deal is now dead in the water. Whenever a quality player like that becomes available, you are never alone in your admiration. With the transfer deadline looming, Everton are desperate for a midfielder, but Ferguson seems destined to end up at Ewood Park. The Sean Davis saga wasted a lot of time. In the ideal world you would have a medical done before talking over the financial details with the player and his club. It will be interesting to see what the next step is for Davis. I'm sure Everton will be monitoring his recovery, particularly if they don 't land Ferguson.
If Ferguson leaves Rangers, it will be a major blow for the Glasgow club. It would suggest that the big two in Scottish football can no longer hold on to their best players, in which case Celtic and Rangers will be desperate to join the Premiership.
Put money on the spot
Aug 29 2003 You Bet, With Adam Oldfield
SCOUSE pride is once again at stake tomorrow when Goodison hosts the first Merseyside derby of the season. For one set of fans, victory will earn them bragging rights while the loser will have to fall back on past derby triumphs in the scant hope for solace.
There's little to choose between the two in the betting, with Liverpool just shading Everton as the 6-4 favourites in most quarters. The draw is 11-5. But David Moyes has clearly mas tered the art of being an under-dog, and prices of 8-5 and upwards for a home victory should tempt even the most prudent punter. But the big money lies in the first goalscorer betting. The last three Goodison derbies have all produced a penalty, two converted by David Unsworth and the other by Michael Owen. So with another full-blooded affair in store, take up Bet365's offer of either Owen (4-1) or
Unsy (25-1) finding the back of the net first.
* Paddy Power offer 10-3 that both Rooney and Owen will be on the scoresheet tomorrow. They also go 3-1 that the Reds striker will outscore his England team-mate and 5-2 vice-versa.
Mum's ready to ref Derby
Aug 29 2003 By Tony Barrett Echo Reporter
JULIE Honker will be watching tomorrow's Merseyside derby dressed as a referee. She will don a black outfit and watch over her family - split right down the middle as Liverpool and Everton fans.
Mrs Honker, a classroom assistant, fears her children and husband will need to be pulled apart repeat-edly as the match is played out at Goodison. Half of the family will be decked out in blue with the other half in red as they view the game in the living room of their home in Mimosa Road in Wavertree. The problems started over two decades ago when Julie, a fanatical Liverpudlian, married Kevin, a dyed-in-the-wool Evertonian, despite warnings from her dad. Julie said: "My dad told me not to marry Kevin because there would be murder with him being an Evertonian - and he was right. "Now we have got four kids and two of them are Reds and two are Blues." Steven, 22, and Abby, 10, are fully paid up members of David Moyes' blue and white army while Laura, 20, and Gary, 14, are proud Kopites. When Gary was born, dad Kevin was determined he would be an Evertonian and for four years he did everything in his power to have his way. Julie added: "His father made him be an Evertonian until he was four and he wouldn't buy him a Liverpool kit even though he kept asking for one. "But, luckily he saw the light and now he is a Red." As a way of keeping the peace during the summer break the Honk-ers visited the home grounds of both clubs - but even that ended in family strife. Julie said: "During the summer we decided to go on stadium tours of Anfield and Goodison. "But Abby wasn't too happy about going to Anfield so she wore her Everton shirt and when she walked out onto the pitch with You'll Never Walk Alone playing all you could hear was her singing Everton." Julie says she is dreading a win for either side tomorrow because the following week will be unbearable. In an attempt to keep the peace she will forget her Anfield loyalties for 90 minutes, she said: "I will be wearing black on Saturday because I will have to be the referee - otherwise all hell will break loose. "The best result for me would be a draw because then I could have a bit of peace next week, but I wouldn't be too disappointed if Liverpool were to sneak it."
Watson is happy to help out
Aug 29 2003 Liverpool Echo
STEVE WATSON goes into the derby as Everton's surprise top scorer this term, insisting their "goals from anywhere" policy is paying off. The main criticism of Everton last term was they relied far too much on the scoring exploits of their strikers, Wayne Rooney, Kevin Campbell and Tomasz Radzinski.
And the Goodison outfit, preparing for tomorrow's 169th Merseyside derby against Liverpool, have set out this term to produce more goals from defenders and midfielders. Watson has bagged goals in his last two games against Fulham and Charlton, and says: "We have all felt that we relied on the strikers far too much last season. "And in these opening games we have tried to spread them around a bit. More of our goals have come from defenders or midfielders." Against Fulham last weekend all the goals came from non-strikers - David Unsworth, Watson and Gary Naysmith.
At Charlton on Tuesday night, it was Watson again who netted the first equaliser in a 2-2 draw.
Watson added: "We are scoring from different areas of the pitch and that takes the weight off the strikers." Everton have been playing a strike-force of Radzinski and Rooney in their last two games - and it has produced the goods. "Some of our play has been excellent," reflected David Moyes. "The two quick, sharp boys up front cause all sorts of problems. "They are being given plenty of ammunition from the lads behind, and it is not only the strikers who are scoring." He added: "I am delighted that we are scoring goals from different parts of the pitch, we did not score enough from midfield or from our defenders last season." Moyes must now decide whether to stick with his front pairing for the 12:30pm kick-off. He will have Duncan Ferguson available again after a three-match suspension and could well plunge the big Scot into his first game of the season to face a club he always does well against. But after the way Radzinski and Rooney have played alongside each other, it seems likely they will start the match. Moyes added: "We have been waiting to see whether Radzinski and Rooney can form a partner-ship together - and if they can, it will be important for us. "I felt this has been the right opportunity to try it."
Unsy is sympathetic over the strife of Riley
Aug 29 2003 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
FOR a team which has conceded three penalty kicks in three Premiership matches already this season, the identity of tomorrow's derby match referee is of crucial importance. So Everton defenders could be forgiven for groaning in disbelief when Mike Riley - he of phantom penalty at Leicester on the opening day of the season - was ushered in for his second Premiership commission of the season. David Unsworth, though, a player who was adjudged to have conceded one of those penalties at Charlton in midweek, has some sympathy for the men in the middle. Only some, mind. And that sympathy did not extend to Steve Dunn in midweek. "What disappoints me is that you can't talk to referees any more," he said. "If you look at the penalty awarded against me on Tuesday, the ball clearly changes direction. I challenged for the ball - and got it - but the referee wouldn't entertain me afterwards. "I told him if he watched it again on television it would embarass him, and I was right. "It was the same with Joseph (Yobo) in the second half. He was adamant he didn't touch their player and video evidence again bears him out. "But the lad went down like a six foot five inch ballerina. "Referees have a horrible job and I would never dream of doing it. But mistakes never seem to even themselves out. "We went from the end of August last season all the way through to February without receiving a single penalty in the Premiership, when there were numerous occasions we felt we were hard done by. "We only got five all season, which didn't seem like a fair return for the number of claims we had." As the man in the penalty-taking frame for Everton, Unsworth notices these things more acutely than most. In two of the last three Goodison derbies, Unsworth has converted high pressure penalties. But each time Liverpool have gone on to win.
It's a situation Unsworth acknowledges. "There's no doubt we are due a derby win," he said. "You get spells like this in derbies where somebody is due a victory, and hopefully it will be our turn on Saturday. "I've played in too many now to know they are impossible to predict. It doesn't matter how either side has been playing in the build-up. It's what each set of players does on the day."
Unsworth will have more experience of the occasion than any other player on the pitch, but admits that will not give him an advantage. "I probably get more psyched-up now than I did when I was younger," he explained. "As your career goes on you get to know more and more people and you know just how much the derby means to them. With an international break coming up it gives even more opportunity for the fans to wind each other up depending on what has happened." Those wind-ups and banter were an integral part of the derby match atmosphere, but Unsworth admits he has noticed a deterioration in recent years. "The derby is probably the only match where you do notice the atmosphere," he added "and it has been different in recent years. There has been more animosity. "I thought it was lovely idea by the group of Evertonians who organised the service at the Hillsborough Memorial last Saturday, because while rivalry is healthy and enjoyable, it should never overspill into nastiness. "There is extra spice out on the pitch, with tackles flying in, but afterwards there is a grudging respect and that's the way it should be. "I hope there are no problems off the pitch, just as I hope that we get one over on them on Saturday."
Blues in Carew chase
Aug 29 2003 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON have confirmed they have dramatically trained their transfer sights on Valencia striker John Carew. The Blues have given up hope of landing a central midfielder and have now started to look at strengthening other departments after missing out on Barry Ferguson. The Rangers midfielder was at Ewood Park this morning for a medical after Blackburn tabled a bid £1m higher than Everton's. Carew has emerged as the Blues' new target. "I am reluctant to say too much, because there are other clubs involved," said manager David Moyes today. "But we have made contact with Valencia and obviously we would love to bring a player of his ability here." The 23-year-old Norwegian is one of Europe's most effective centre-aware forwards, having helped steer his club to two Champions League finals and a Spanish title. But Valencia are wracked by financial difficulties and must sell. Everton want to bring in Carew on a year's loan, with a view to a permanent signing, and have been encouraged by reports that the player is keen to move to the Premiership. Roma, Lyon and Glasgow Rangers are also reported to be interested. Any move for the big striker must be concluded quickly, with the transfer window closing at 5pm on Monday.
Goalkeeper Steve Simonsen, meanwhile, is on derby stand-by - with Moyes still sweating on Richard Wright's fitness and Paul Gerrard joining Sheffield United on a three-month loan today. Portuguese goalkeeper Nelson decided not to join the Blues on a year-long loan yesterday, citing personal reasons behind his decision. And with Gerrard's departure - although the Blues have insisted on an instant recall clause - Simonsen could be thrust forward for his first Premier-ship appearance in a year. "We will give Richard as much time as we can," said Moyes today, "and leave a decision until the last minute. He had some fluid drained from the knee yesterday and we will see how he is today." Wright is suffering discomfort in the same knee he had surgery on at the end of last season.
Thomas Gravesen, however, has declared his fitness for tomorrow's derby - but is not guaranteed an instant recall. "We have had two good results with Mark Pembridge and Tobias Linderoth together," said Moyes. "Tommy has trained and is fit, but I must decide whether to bring him straight back in." Moyes must also decide whether to bring Duncan Ferguson back into the squad after serving a three-match suspension. In years past Ferguson was always Everton's derby match talisman, but he has had no match practice for a month.