SHEFFIELD UNITED AT GOODISON
December 3 rd 1927. The Liverpool Post and Mercury.
Everton are due to meet Sheffield United at Goodison Park, and in view of the team a victory at Bury and their general high standard of play a large crowd may be looked for, though it will be a rush for many to get to the Park in time for the kick off at 2.20. There is little light towards the end of a game in these dark days and Everton have timed the start on the safety line. Although Sheffield United are on the lower steps of the ladder the team is not to be held lightly, and I always find that these lowly placed sides generally contrive to make a sterner fight than relative table positions would lead one to expect. There are several attractive players in the Sheffield side, and Dunne's inclusion at centre half given local colour to the team, for Dunne formerly assisted New Brighton and Matthews played for Tranmere. Everton will be at full strength, with Weldon in his old place at inside-left. It should prove a hard fast game, with Everton finishing on the right side. The teams are: - Everton: - Taylor, Cresswell, O'Donnell; Kelly, Hart, Virr; Critchley, Forshaw, Dean, Weldon, Troup. Sheffield United: - Alderman; Chandler, Birks; Cawthorpe, Matthews, Green; Partridge, Blair, Dunne, Gilliespie, Tunstall.
EVERTON 0 SHEFFIELD UNITED 0
December 5 th 1927. The Liverpool Post and Mercury
POOR DISPLAY BY EVERTON
GOALLESS DRAW WITH SHEFFIELD UNITED
Everton experienced an unexpected check by failing to beat Sheffield United at Goodison Park on Saturday. A goalless draw was the measure of consolation of two moderate sides, and neither deserved more. Throughout the game there was little attempt at constructive work; there was more energy than skill. Everton gave a disappointing display and allowed their opponents, whose tactics were of the negative type, to dominate the game. Sheffield are known for their destructive qualities, and on Saturday they employed those methods, much to their own advantage. Sheffield's gain was Everton's loss, because the latter are seldom seen to advantage in that type of game. Everton, however, should have been proof against such methods. They certainly did most of the attacking, but it was more or less haphazard. Passes frequently miscarried, and any attempt at combined work was smartly frustrated by the rustless tackling of the United backs and half-backs.
GOOD OPENING MISSED.
It could not be said that the Everton forwards made the most of their scoring chances. They certainly missed some easy ones and others were well saved by Alderson, whose work, however, was fairly straightforward. Twice in the second half he had some luck when he divid full length and just turned the ball round the post and again when he got his foot to the ball and diverted it for a corner. Five minutes from the end Everton got the ball into the net, but Dean was judged to have handled it before Troup netted. It was by no means a good game; indeed, much of the play was exceedingly poor, and Everton's lapse is the more difficult to explain in view of the fact that Sheffield are known as a moderate side.
O'DONNELL'S SOUND GAME.
Taylor had not a great deal to do. He made several good saves, but his judgement in tackling high shots was not always sound. O'Donnell was a better back than Cresswell, because the latter was inclined to underestimate the pace of Tunstall; whereas O'Donnell after making a couple of mistakes early on played a sound and confident game. Of the half-backs Hart came nearer his usual form either Virr or Kelly, and the line as a whole was below its normal strength. The wing half-backs were frequently out of touch with their forwards. They did not offer sufficient support, and the forwards missed the backing they usually receive. Dean played as earnestly as ever, but he was not as successful. He was hampered and bustled and unable to rid himself of the cluster of opponents that generally surrounded him. Several times however, he broke away and made good efforts to score, but he was not the outstanding personally of other games. The line did not hand well together, and although Weldon and Forshaw work hard individually they did little towards consolidating the attack. Troup was dangerous once or twice, as also was Critchley, but both finished rather indifferently.
Sheffield had a useful defence, and in the pivotal position Matthew's was a fine destructive agent. Tunstall was the dangerous man in the forward line, but he was poorly supported.
Teams: - Everton: - Taylor, goal, Cresswell (captain), and O'Donnell, backs, Kelly, Hart, and Virr, half-backs, Critchley, Forshaw, Dean, Weldon, and Troup, forwards. Sheffield United: - Alderson, goal, Chandler, and Mirks, backs, Cawthorpe, Matthews, and Green, half-backs, Patridge, Blair, Dunne, Gilliespie, and Tunstall, forwards.
DERBY COUNTY RESERVES 0 EVERTON RESERVES 3
December 5 th 1927. The Liverpool Post and Mercury
CENTRAL LEAGUE (Game 15)
Everton had largely to thank a powerful half-back line and the genius of Irvine in the forward line for the Central League victory at Derby. Dominy, White (penalty), and Irvine, scored after the interval without reply. Griffiths played very finely at centre-half, and the work of Raitt and Curr at full back could not have been better. Everton: - Davies, goal, Raitt and R. Curr, backs, Bain, Griffiths, and Rooney, half-backs, Roscoe, Irvine, White, Dominy, Kendrick
RUNCORN 4 EVERTON “A” 2
December 5 th 1927. The Liverpool Post and Mercury.
LIVERPOOL COUNTY COMBINATION
The game produced two-district style of football, and the whole of the six goals were registered in the second half. During the proceedings the referee received a glancing blow on the face with the ball, and the game was stopped while the trainer rendered attention to the official's injuries. Everton played attractive football, then Runcorn were the more robust set, and from resuming had three goals up in as many minutes. Adams, Higginson, James and Cross scored for Runcorn. Causfield and French reduced the margins for Everton. Tyler played cleverly in goal for Runcorn, Fisher was the pick of the Everton team.
EVERTON MINUS VIRR.
December 10 th 1927. The Daily Courier.
Everton have had the misfortune to be compelled to make a last-minute change in their tem to visit Aston Villa. Virr being unfit and Rooney being introduced in his place. This is bad luck for the Blues, whose task today will not be lightened there by. There are people at the present time who are saying that Everton have boarded the toboggan, pointing out that they have failed to score in two successive home matches. This is not, however, the writer's own opinion. At the same time, it is difficult to understand their failure to register a legitimate goal last week against Sunderland. The fact, too, remains that the visitors to Goodison this season –the season of Everton fireworks –have collared no fewer than half-a-dozen points, while four have been dropped by the Blues in foreign territory. Despite what that alarmists are saying, the writer is fairly confident that Everton will not be beaten today. There is just the possibility though, if the Everton forwards do really find themselves in trouble again, that a drew will be a result. The teams are appended kick-off being at 2:15: - Teams: - Everton: Taylor, Cresswell, O'Donnell, Kelly, Hart, Rooney; Critchley, Forshaw, Dean, Weldon, Troup. Aston Villa: - Jackson; Smart, Bowen; Kingdon, Dr. Milne, Yates; Chester, Beresford, Cook, Walker, Dorrell.
December 11, 1927. The Sunday Post
Director W.C. Cuff and Manager Tom McIntosh, of the Everton club, went off to Perth on the 10 o'clock train yesterday from Glasgow. Their objective? Neil McBain? It's not improbable. Mr. McIntosh always considered Neil to be the best centre half Everton ever had.
ASTON VILLA 2 EVERTON 3
December 12 th 1927. The Daily Courier.
DEAN ENABLES EVERTON TO SCRAPE THROUGH AGAINST ASTON VILLA
BLUES' GOAL SURVIVES FIERCE ONSLAUGHT.
Everton were lucky to secure both points at Villa Park. Aston Villa did most of the attacking at least in the second half. Their forwards were better balanced and more virile in their movements. Taylor, the Everton goalkeeper had more shots to stop then, and he was fortunate not to be beaten in the closing stages, when the Everton goal was overwhelmed. Taylor was more reliable in goal than the Villa goalkeeper. Everton were superior to the Villa in defence, both Cresswell and O'Donnell kicking and tackling with sureness. Cresswell also snowing mature judgement in anticipation. It was the opportunism and thrust unless of Dean that were the main factors in Everton's success. He scored all three of Everton's goals, bringing his total for the season upto thirty. Jackson was to blame for not saving all three. Two of them were obtained in the first half when the Everton forwards had a fair share of the attack, although never rising to their best form.
VILLA GOALKEEPER'S LAPSES.
Alter ten minutes play Jackson stopped a straight drive from Dean, but fumbled with the ball, Dean dashing up, knocking the ball out of his hands, and placing into the net. Eight minutes later Critchley eluded the backs, and running in hit the crossbar. Jackson knocked the ball down, but once again Dean was too quick for him, rushing the ball into the net. Following this second reverse the Villa forwards redoubled their efforts Walker, the Villa captain, hit the crossbar and later had a lighting shot saved by Taylor. Eight minutes from half-time the Villa scored during a mix-up in front of the Everton goal, Taylor jumped out of goal to beat down a corner kick. He was lying on the ground out of goal when he made another save, only for Cook to recover possession and place into goal. The second half was all in favour of the Villa forwards. They played with rare dash and cohesion, and kept up an almost continuous attack. Chester, receiving a short pass from Kingdon drove hard into the net, both O'Donnell and Rooney being caught napping in not tackling him. It was against the run of the play that Dean scored the winning goal for Everton five minutes from the end. Cresswell placed a long lofty clearance kick down the centre, and Dean was standing with his back to the Villa goal, he backed headed over Jackson into the net. Dean was placed onside by the Villa backs running up as he was waiting for the ball, and Jackson, in coming out of goal, showed fatal hesitancy in not jumping at the ball when Dean met it with his head. In the last five minutes the Everton goal had several narrow escapes. Time after time the ball was charged down at critical moments it was banged against the crossbar, and Taylor saved from Cook at point-blank range. The Everton forwards were most disappointing in the second half, Dean seldom had a pass of the right side and none of the other forwards looked like scoring. Teams: - Aston Villa: - Jackson, goal, Smart, and Bowen, backs, Kingdon, Dr. Milne, and Yates, half-backs, Chester, Beresford, Cook, Walker, and Dorrell, forwards. Everton: - Taylor, goal, Cresswell (captain), and O'Donnell, backs, Kelly, Hart, and Rooney, half-backs, Critchley, Forshaw, Dean, Weldon, and Troup, forwards.
EVERTON RESERVES 3 LEEDS UNITED RESERVES 1
December 12 th 1927. The Daily Courier.
CENTRAL LEAGUE (Game 16)
Everton's victory over Leeds was thoroughly deserved, as they were always the superior side, Griffiths went close to giving the Blues a lead with a shot which the visiting custodian turned against the bar. A stubborn, if at times lucky defence, however, prevented a score until ten minutes from the interval, when Dominy netted from an opening made by White. In the second half, although Irvine and Kendrick scored further goals, Leeds never give up, and near the close Roberts gave Davies no chance from a penalty kick. Everton: - Davies, goal, Raitt and R. Curr, backs, Bain, Griffiths, and Rooney, half-backs, Roscoe, Irvine, White, Dominy, and Kendrick, forwards .
EVERTON'S 3-1 HOME GOAL AVERAGE OMINOUL
December 17 th 1927. The Daily Courier.
For every ball picked up of the net at Goodison Park, Everton have taken a three fold average; that is, they have scored three goals for every one scored against them on their native heath. This fact as well as others to follow –is given for a very special reason. For the more recent performance of Everton at home have given rise to certain doubt's among some that can only be described as seriocomic. The avoiliating ones are now rather inclined to view an Everton away match with less misgivings than a game at Goodison these days. Therefore, some more stone cold truths may help to allay any fears that the first division readers will be denyed their sixth home win today when Burnley will be on the other side of the line. Burnley's goal average in away fixtures is well in the way to being the reverse of that of the Blues at home, 30 of the best having been toffed up against them to which they have “replied with 12. Burnley have dropped 13 points out of a possible 18 on strangers grounds, Everton have dropped six points out of a possible 20 at home. In the recent games in foreign soil Burnley have gained but one point –this though at Newcastle, overlooking the home sides recent lapses one may be excused for looking them as probable winning today. They are at full strength again, Virr resuming, while the visitors make no changes in the side beaten at home by Huddersfield last week. The match starts at 2:15 and the chosen sides are Everton: - Taylor, Cresswell, O'Donnell, Kelly, Hart, Virr; Critchley, Forshaw, Dean, Weldon, Troup. Burnley: - Downs, McCluggage, Waterfield, Steel, Hill, Parkin, Bruton, Pollard, Beel, Dougall, Page.
CENTRE FORWARD PLAY THAT TRIUMPHS TODAY
By Dixie Dean
Buckingham Advertiser and Free Press - Saturday 17 December 1927
That brilliant centre-forward of Everton and England.
Everton's winning form this season has caused many experts to point to me as "the reason for it." I hasten to say at once that no single man ever yet made a team. In fact, it is very selday that a man alone ever succeeds even in scoring a goal. Ninetty-nine goals out of every hundred scored are the direct result of clever team work -sound scheming by the inside forwards or a good run and a well-placed centre by the wing forwards, or some strategic backing-up by the half-backs. "Lucky" goals fall to the lot of most footballers. An error by goalkeepers or back places the ball at the feet of a man who has done little to earn the honour. I have had my share of these goals, and I do not think I shall be accused of undue egotism if I say that the form of the centre forward does make a big difference to the play of any team. There is a marked shortage of first-class centre-forwards at the moment.
Experts have many explanations to offer. For example, it is said that new off-side rule has changed centre-forward tactics considerably, and that many of the older generation are not able to adapt themselves to the new methods. Again, the speed at which football today is played is pointed out as the reason for the shortage of centre-forwards. many men have the ball control and the shooting skill, but they just lack the natural turn of extra speed that enables the centre-forward to take advantage of the openings that can be made by a clever centre-forward today.
Speed and Success.
Speed undoubtedly has a lot to do with success in the centre-forward position, but not quite in the way that many followers of the game believe. Team-builders, i believe, are barking up the wrong tree when they place too much reliance on speed. A man with the gift of speed is an asset in any team -a tremendous asset -but just because a man lacks extraordinary speed there is no reason to condemn him as a failure before he starts. What we need as centre-forwards are men who can play football. I honestly believe that we are in danger of overlooking this fact. When I say that we need men who can play football I mean that the first thing a centre-forward had got to realise is that football is a team game. If you take a man who has speed, ball control, and ability to shoot unerringly with head and foot, you have a footballer. if to these talents you add the ability to exploit tactical openings with the co-operation of the other players, to keep the line together, and to inspire the others in a crisis, you have a man who can play football. You see the difference.
Few centre-forwards can do all these things. Certainly not me! But it is the ideal I aim after.
Player Who Inspire
There is no room for criticism of one's team mates in modern football. If the other men are not playing up to the centre-forward as they should it is more than likely his own fault. If a centre-forward makes a few mistakes when he has a clear opening in front of the goal, the other players can be excused if they begin to lose confidence in him and do not feed him to the extent that they should. Everybody fails sometimes. Very often it is the easiest of shots that fail you, because you are over-confident and hold the ball too long, or do not take a careful enough aim, or fail to allow for what the goalkeeper can do in a very tight corner if he makes a superhuman effort. Undoubtedly, every player has moments when he wishes he could kick himself. But if he is obviously trying his hardest every minute of the time, and achieving a certain success, he can reply on the co-operation of his team mates. Another fault that may mar co-operation in a team is any small habit -either on or off the field - that makes a man disliked. The other players have got to be glad to see the centre-forward scoring goals, or otherwise they will not give him the help that they should. The only way to win this co-operation is for the centre-forward to admit frankly just how much credit is due to the others for the part they play in his best and most successful movements. A centre forward must credit his team, and not accept all the praise that is offered to him by enthusiastic supporters who think that it is only the head or the boot of the centre-forward that has scored the goal.
Men must have confidence in their -forward. They must feel in a tight corner that if only they could get the ball through him, everything would all right. And it is up to the centre-forward earn this confidence. That is-why I say that we need footballers-real footballers—in the centre-forward position. There is nothing like a little reciprocity in football as in other things. I mean, a man who expects to receive good passes should be able to give good passes. Inside men are clever schemers, and I am not suggesting that the centre-forward should attempt to do their work for them. All the same, it is much more encouraging to make openings for a centre-forward who takes a lively interest in the tactical proceedings than it is to strain continuously to get the ball through for a centre-forward who is doing little but wait for the ball, and who is does not even recognize a strategic and "penetrative" position when he sees it.
A centre-forward must work hard to win his place in a leading team, and keep it. It is nonsense to say that a man in a small team never gets a chance to be seen by the men who matter, why try? I suppose that when i was with Tranmere Rovers I must have been " watched" by a dozen managers, until eventually I went to Everton. Goodison Park, the Everton headquarters, is near enough to my own birthplace—Birkenhead— to make my present club the ideal one from my point of view. (NEXT WEEK Dixie Dean writes of how and when to shoot, and the various shots that defeat the goalkeeper.)
SCOTS MANAGER RESIGNS
Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail - Saturday 17 December 1927
Mr. George Wilson, the manager of Raith Rovers, has resigned for health reasons. The news revealed yesterday was not unexpected. Mr. Wilson has been off duty for some time, and Birrell, the Old Middleborough player having acted in his stead, is now likely to be given the job as player-manager. George Wilson, as a manager served Hearts, Everton, and Newcastle United.
EVERTON 4 BURNLEY 1
December 19 th 1927. The Daily Courier.
EVERTON WIN, NUT TAKE A LONG TIME TO BREAK THE ICE ON IRON-BOUND GROUND.
KELLY AMONG THE GOAL SCORERS FOR THE FIRST TIME THIS SEASON
Everton's superb-victory over Burnley at Goodison Park was the eleventh League match in which they have scored three or more goals. They have obtained seven goals twice, but have yet to beat Liverpool's record of eight goals in a single match. The Blues have played 19 matches in the League Competition, scoring 57 goals altogether, and they are widening the gap between themselves and other aspirants to the leadership. Newcastle have been submerged somewhat. Cardiff City at present occupy the second place on the First Division table, five points behind Everton. Everton's display in the first half of the match with Burnley was not too convincing. They realised, however, that facts must be faced, and in the second half they stepped right in and won in good style. It was a story in several reels, but the goal incident just before the final fade-out remains in the memory. This was just football with frills with a goal as the finale, by Forshaw, which could be seem coming all the way. Dean, who glided up had been bothered all the afternoon by England's long legged captain, John Hill. It was a duel between England centre half-back and England's centre-forward. This time Dixie worked the feint dodge on one of the men who invented it, passed to Critchley, who in turn sent Forshaw into goal. There was nothing streaky about a goal like that.
Burnley started the match evidently with a winning feeling, with their Scots, the prominent men. They kept at it with long swinging passes, whereas Everton's passes were not well directed, and they were not adapting, themselves to the iron-bound ground. Burnley did not certainly take full advantage of shooting chances, and many of their shots were the wrong material. Yet at the interval the balance of the play, if not the score sheet, was in their favour. Dean ought to have given his side a goal in the first few minutes, but as he did not trap the light ball it evidently beat him. Everton's defence during this time was doing its duty, while Taylor throughout pleased with some confident handling. Troup's persistency was rewarded by Everton;s only goal in the first session, and he deserves all the credit for sticking to, or rather evading McCluggage, for Ireland's right back is a hefty tackler and fearless, and he was kicking a splendid length. Dean found himself well policed by Burnley's giant centre half-back, who seemed to be enjoying the strenuous struggle. His long legs were continuously coming in the way of “Dixie.” Dean, however, made the most of what freedom permitted him.
Weldon had the power but not the direction, in some of his shots, while Forshaw's moves were too plain, for he continually tried to put Dean through. Critchley made the blood tingle with some of his bursts, but he was inclined to manceurve for the whole chance instead of acting instantly, as he certainly did in scoring that fine goal of his after Down had made a great save from Dean. Kelly deserves a pat on the lack for his display, but his goal from a free kick was lucky, for Waterfield deflected the ball into the net. It was Kelly's first goal this season. Beel, who three seasons was Burnley's top scorer, was shooting with either foot, but his leadership might be criticised. His goal soon after the restart certainly had the offside look, for he appeared to be in front of Everton backs when he sent the ball against the bar and scored from the rebound. Dougal, who is really a half-back showed his versatility as a forward, but after starting well he was not first class afterwards. He made the debut for his club at Goodison Park last season. Teams: - Everton: - Taylor, goal, Cresswell (captain), and O'Donnell, backs, Kelly, Hart, and Virr, half-backs, Critchley, Forshaw, Dean, Weldon, and Troup, forwards. Burnley: - Down goal, Waterfield and McCluggage, backs, Steel, Hill, and Parkin, half-backs, Bruton, Pollard, Beel, Dougall, and Page, forwards.
LLANDUDNO 1 EVERTON “A” 3
December 19 th 1927. The Daily Courier.
The Everton directors send a very serviceable team to play an exhibition at Llandundno. Both sets of players found it difficult to control the ball in the first half, owing to the frosh-bound ground, but this was quite a bright exhibition in the second half. Hardy in the Everton goal, was applauded often for his clever catches just below the bar, and his vis-à-vis also did some good work. On the whole the visitors deserved to win, but with a less experienced custodian against them the home team might have drawn level. The scorers were French (2), and Lewis for Everton and Hughes for Llandudno.
DENT TO VISIT LLANDUDNO
With the consent of the directors of Everton, Dean will visit Llandudno to present prizes at a whist drive in aid of the funds of the local club. He will also autograph a football, to be subsequently sold to swell the funds.
Falkirk Herald - Wednesday 21 December 1927
George Wilson, the old Hearts of Midlothian and Scottish left winger has resigned the managership of the Raith Rovers. he also played for Everton, Newcastle United and the Rovers themselves.
EVERTON AT HIGHBURY
December 24 th 1927. The Daily Courier.
Everton will be ready to do a lot of cavcuting at Highbury, and this match might very well provide a surprise result. The Arsenal are not much of a force away, as readers of the column have been told before, and the writer's forewit of a Manchester United win last week was proved correct, and with a little to spare. The Gunners, whose, away record is not one that can stand too much advertisement, were whipped 4-1. Here we arrival at the peanut in the popcorn stage. In other words, where the fly is caught making an unwelcome meal of the ointment. For despite their poor showing on foreign soil, they have nearly always managed to monopise, like the attentions of the gallery at home, at least this term. They have had to bite the dust –such as it was –once only at Highbury so far, although they have been held there twice. They have gained no fewer than 12 points out of a possible 16 at home, which is rather good for the 1927-28 Gunners, and now that Charles Buchan, who used to carry a £100 weight on each of his shooting boots, is in the team once more it looks like business in North London with a capital B. The glamour of Everton is widespread at the moment, and deserving so, for they play together ideally, bit their followers may experience a cold douche at their inability to defeat the Gunners today. A draw is the present scribe's notion of how the match should end, all this considered. The sides chosen are as follows, kick –off being at 2:30: - Everton: - Taylor, Cresswell, O'Donnell, Kelly Hart, Virr; Critchley, Forshaw Dean, Weldon, Troup. Arsenal: - Lewis, Parker, Cope, Baker, Butler, John Hulme, Buchan, Brain, Blyth, Hoar.
SCORING SHOTS IN THE MODERN GAME
Buckingham Advertiser and Free Press - Saturday 24 December 1927
By "Dixie Dean"
(Who Heads the list of Goal Scorers this Year)
Every player remembers goals that pleased him -either because they were scored when urgently needed, or because of it peculiarity in the way they were scored. A most exceptional goal came my way quite recently -in the match in which Everton beat Bury by three goals to two. This was the goal that put us one up, just before half-time. Forshaw, by inside comrade, rose to head the ball, but slipped. As he fell, he was able to head the ball forward. The ball came to me with the two opposing backs almost on top of me. I was able to outwit the first back with my first step, the second back with my second, and to shoot with my third - scoring the goal. It was all done in a few seconds, and in the space of a couple of yards, but it made a memorable goal. The presence of mind of Forshaw in heading the ball in the right direction even though falling made, of course, all the difference. Far too few players are careful enough with their heading. It is not sufficient to get your head to the ball. You must guide it in the way you want it to go. You must know before you jump where you intend to place the ball, and you must time your jump so that you have enough energy in hand when you reach it to direct as well as strike.
A critic has said that forwards today are doing too much shooting with the head. He thinks they ought to use their feet more. My own idea on the subject is that the footballer must use the first weapon that comes handy, when shooting -his left foot, his right foot, or his head. You cannot stop to pick and choose. If the goal is what we call a "gift" and you have ample time to do what you like without fear of interference by the backs, then obviously you can trap the ball, steady it neatly in front of you with the instep on your right boot into the exact spot in the net that the goalkeeper cannot reach, no matter how hard he tries. Chances of shooting in this way, however, occur about as often as do chances of walking the ball round the goalkeeper without opposition -sometimes, but not very often.
Last Moment Surprise
A shot with the head -though it may look soft compared with one with the foot - has one advantage over a direct kick. It is usually quicker, and quite apart from the elements of surprise there is the peculiar fact –and I know this to be true – that even the cleverest goalkeepers cannot anticipate the way in which you intend to head a ball, but they can nearly all get a shrewd idea of the direction in which you intend to kick it. Goalkeepers often move to get into line with your shot before the ball leaves your foot. You see them do this, but cannot change the direction of a kick at the last moment. In heading, it is the final flick that imparts direction, and this is likely to beat the shrewdest goalkeeper. Naturally enough, however, I kick the ball whenever I get a chance of a shot in this way. I should say that given a few moments to prepare, and a range of twenty yards or less, a forward ought to be able to beat the goalkeeper every time if he kicks the ball. The out-stretched arms of the goalkeeper cover seven feet at most. The goal is eight yards wide. The forward, therefore has two clear yards on each side of the goalkeeper in which to place his shot - assuming that the goalkeeper stands in the middle of his area. The most effective way of finding the uncoverable portion -even allowing for a spring on the part of the alert custodian -is to shoot across him. When the ball is put across the goalkeeper in the direection of the far post, he may get his fingers to it by stretching out at full length on the ground, but as the direction of his spring will be the same direction as the flight of the ball, he is not likely to check it. Failing a cross shot, the best kind of direct shot must be considered. A ball that comes to the goalkeeper about the height of the top of his legs is the easiest of the lot to save. He can bend so that his hands and his stomach form a kind of basket, and a goalkeeper of any class is almost bound to catch even the fiercest drive in the excellent natural basket thus formed. If his hands fail him, he has his body in the way. A ball that comes straight at the goalkeeper's chest is much more difficult.
HUSTLING THE GOALKEEPER.
When the ball comes at this height it may strike the chest and bounce out of control before the goalkeeper can get his hands round it. A ball that bounces back to the oncoming forward is something in the nature of a present. A good forward should always be ready to hustle the goalkeeper when he attempts to side-step him, or when he bounces the ball to avoid being pulled up for running with it. Low shots are always more difficult to handle than any kind of high shot, and the forward who is practising shooting must first learn to keep low.
I have already described the low cross shot, and will only add that this can—and shouldl -be done with either foot. That is to say, it can be shot into the right-hand corner of the net with your left foot, and the left-hand corner with your right foot. If these two cross kicks are freely intermixed, and sometimes varied by means of straight kicks, the goalkeeper will never know what to expect-and that is important. When taking penalty kick from the spot terrific force is not necessary. In view of the size of the space in which the forward has to shoot, it is more luck than skill if the goalkeeper manages to stop a ball of even moderate pace. Therefore, take your time and take aim. (NEXT WEEK Dixie Dean continues his fascinating series with some hints on combination moves in which the forwards take part'.)
ARSENAL 3 EVERTON 2
December 24 th 1927. The Liverpool Football Echo
BEES LONDON WIRE.
VISITORS ATTACKED WITH SICKNESS.
Teams: - Everton: - Taylor goal, Cresswell (captain), and O'Donnell, backs, Kelly Hart, and Virr, half-backs, Critchley, Forshaw Dean, Weldon, and Troup, forwards. Arsenal: - Lewis, goal, Cope, and Parker backs, John, Butler, and Baker, half-backs, Hulme, Blythe, Brain, Tricker, and Hulme, forwards. The Everton footballers were early astir this morning and a pretty sensation would have been created had their condition not improved. Every player suffered a minor Illness this morning through the effects of some food. Instantly my mind went back to Anfield twenty-six years ago, when five or Six Stoke players left the field through sickness consequent upon some fish they had eaten that day. Fortunately by midday the Everton players were all fit again. This visit to the Arsenal was to be the first of a big Christmas list of fixtures in which the greatest trouble was the means by which the teams would get tom Cardiff. Everton tried to get the League to rearrange dates and failed to do so.
EYES ON CHARLTON.
Everton will spilt the journey by going to Birmingham on Monday night. Directors Ernest Green and A. Coffey, with Secretary McIntosh and the reserve player, Dominy, made the journey, but as soon as the Arsenal ground was reached two were posted missing and the game looked like being put into the same mist. Messar Green and McIntosh had gone out scouting for new players and my Football Recorder” tells me that Charlton are playing at home. At ten minutes to two the gates had not been opened, and the large crowd outside became a bit restive. However, Referee Harper decided then to take a risk and imagine there was no fog and that the kick-off was not at the late hour of 2.30. The Arsenal Club who have had such a pack of trouble this year seemed fated to be unlucky. Their meeting with the ‘Spurs was ruined by the weather, and today one of their best fixtures was certainly curbed. In fact although the referee ordered the start of the game, I felt it could not be finished.
The brilliant band at the ground put the crowd in good humour and there were no eleventh hour change. Buchan was stated to be not playing but you will notice that he plays in nearly all the home games, and very few of the away games. As Everton have won their last five away games the London test became a very important one. They hope to add to victories at Aston, Derby, Portsmouth, Bury, and Tottenham, a victory at Highbury.
The start was five minutes before time and Everton kicked off in dense gloom. I was fortunate enough to have a flashlamp to guild my way. Billy Blythe was soon hurt, and Cresswell stepped into the breach twice, and Critchley made a lovely touch that even the London crowd cheered. Taylor made the first catch of the festive season, and when Dean worked forward it was plain the Arsenal backs like the Aston backs were going to work the offside trick. From a free kick for this position Brain shot outside. Brain made an overhead shot, Kelly crossed Hoar and made a corner that led the spectators to think a penalty kick had been given. Actually it was a free kick to Everton. Critchley tricked Cope, took the ball and shot outside being followed by Hulme, who worked a good chance. Taylor punched away when Blythe was on top of him, and this suggested to me that the players had a better view of the ball there the spectations. Dean was near heading a goal from a centre from the left, and O'Donnell crossed over to make Hoar's winter of discontent. Dean slipped in front of goal, and Critchley shot when harassed and Lewis started to go the wrong way with the ball but recovered himself and saved. At this point the fog lifted a bit.
Arsenal's football drafted into quite a high realm, combination being good and Buchan using the long leg to some tune Dean sent Critchley off on a sprint, and John was just in time to make a corner of it. Everton's best effort came from this corner. Weldon produced a fiery drive, which Lewis caught at the top of the goal. Hoar was one of Arsenal's best raiders, and the way he doubled back and later back headed the ball gained him good marks. The fog came in banks, so that one minute it was light fog, and another a “black-out.” Hulme had a Christmas grit affected to him by Brain and again was off the target Hart was hurt O'Donnell was wonderful with his head, and Cresswell moved upto make one of his priceless passes.
A FOOT OUTSIDE.
The ball drifted to the right. Dean scampered after it, and although angled Dean shot well, the ball swinging out beyond the far post. The fog now lifted so that the crowd could see a joyous bit of work by Dean. Another long kick up the middle, and Dean was just onside. The Goalkeeper, advanced, full backs chased him, and Dean did the only thing possible. He drifted the ball towards goal. The back could not reach it, the goallie could not either. Where would the ball finish? The crowd looked on with awe. The ball trickled a foot outside the post. Everton were now playing well, and when Troup made Lewis back handle the ball for a corner Critchley took the kick, and Dean nodded the ball no more than a foot from the goal.
HULME BEATS ALL.
In the thirty-five minute, however, Arsenal scored through Hulme. Buchan was fouled well out on the right wing; Hulme took it and three or four players went upto head it, and Taylor raised his hand to a ball that evaded and entered the net. This was a shock and worse was to follow, Forshaw was cautioned and from the free kick something happened between Cresswell and Hoar. Thereupon Cresswell retaliated viciously, got a caution from the referee and intense booing which was continued so long that eventually the referee stopped the game and refused to continue until the ground stand occupants and eased their noise. When some peace had been obtained the referee sermonised, the crowd cheered, and the game went on in high tension. Arsenal gave a free kick and Cope put his leg dangerously into Kelly's chest fists being raised for a second. This was unlike Everton and the Arsenal and it upset the game of play.
Everyone wondered what value could be attached to the referee's lecture, and the players turned straight round owing to the danger of fog returning. This, was so far as my memory serves me, only the second time Everton had been down at half-time, the second week of the season, when Middlesbrough won. The game had turned inside out when Dean narrowly failed twice at the twentieth minutes.
However, the game was sort of reopened when Troup scored at the 47 th minute. Hart sent Dean going, and he shot, and Troup dragged the ball into the empty net. Everton had a now heart, and if Critchley had centred quickly they might have had a second goal. Taylor had run out and kicked away, and while he was out of goal, Hulme tried to balloon the ball into empty net. Taylor made a lovely catch and clearance, and followed it with a further safe clearance, but only after he had been to earth twice.
When Dean was out on his own on the left wing he had to wait for forwards to come up to take his centre. O'Donnell put a ball on top of the stands, and it took quite a time to come down to the field again. When it did fall like Humpty-Dumpty, the ball went out to the right, and when it was middled, Dean as usual had three men on him. He was seen on the ground, yet was able to rise and score in the extreme left hand corner. This is in just under the hour the teams were level, and the recovery had been a really remarkable one. Dean had made his thirty-first goal of the season. As Arsenal defender nearly put through his own goal, Lewis jumping upto make a good catch, and at the other end O'Donnell played as if it were a cup final. The game was surely one of the most exciting the London crowd has witnessed. Forshaw's best work was a gliding header, and a fine shot was charged down luckily. Lewis did a lot of running to the corner flag that suggested he had developed a new style. Critchley was tripped in a rough and tumble on the wing, and from the free kick Lewis prevented Dean from taking the lead.
BLYTHE GIVES LEAD.
Taylor caught Buchan's attempt to score in the mist as it came back again, and with a quarter of an hour to go it was a question of whether this was a case of love's labour lost. However, Blythe scored in seventy-five minutes to take the lead for the Londoners who had five minutes attacking. Some of the Everton attacks were inclined to dwell upon defence, and Arsenal's offside tactics nearly cost them another goal to Dean.
A PEACE PARLEY.
The game ended with the referee being Dean, Cope, and O'Donnell, and Hulme together in a peace parley.
EVERTON RESERVES 4 MANCHESTER CITY RESERVES 5
December 24 th 1927. The Liverpool Football Echo
CENTRAL LEAGUE (Game 17)
Although Everton well at Goodison Park the heavy going soon took toll on the players. The visitors eventually demonstrated that their attack was the more dangerous. The City forwards were faster and well constructed' movements led to Everton's defence being heavily worked. A characterials Irvine dribble lead to White opening the scoring and Gorring equaliser. Allen scored City's second, and Gorringe a third. White headed a second and Templeman made the score level in the second half, Foster scored a fourth and Gorrine a fifth for Manchester City, and White scored Everton fourth.
EVERTON 2 CARDIFF CITY 1 (Game 1247)
December 27 th 1927. The Daily Courier.
50,000 SEE EVERTON ATONE FOR LONDON FALL.
BLUES DELAY AT GOODISON PARK.
CARDIFF'S SUPERB DEFENCE FALLS IN THE END.
KEENOR V DEAN.
Everton deserved their win at Goodison Park yesterday, but they left it till 15 minutes to time before they obtained the lead. Honours must go to Cardiff for a superb defence throughout. The backs held the fort desperately, with Fred Keenor, although not really fit, the outstanding half on the field. A rugged, unceremonious player, the, nevertheless played his usual clean game, although this encomiums could not unfortunately be universally applied. Keenor took care of Dean in the first half, had Keenor does not seem quite the full 90 minutes' man these days, and did not finish so strongly. Cardiff made the best showing in the first half, when the Everton forwards were self-flattening in front of goal to no purpose. Cardiff scored their first goal in six minutes, when Wake beat Taylor at the second time of asking after the goalkeeper had pushed one shot out. There was however, little doing on Taylor's doorstep. Wake was duputising for Irvine, whom Cardiff had left in a nursing home at Burnley with a severe chill. Cardiff, in fact, were not a familiar side, for Willie Davies is ill and Curtis came in, Hardy that backbone of the side and an institution, was missed owing to indisposition, and Blackburn stepped into the breach.
Everton, too, had their troubles for Cresswell had strained the muscles of his thigh, and Raitt was introduced. Try as they would, Cardiff could not keep Everton out of their territory in the second half, and could not complain of being two down, although there was just the chance the Blues would be kept out. Dean's first goal was a beauty, after Kelly had given him the chance. It was too much for that fine Irish international goalkeeper, Farquharson, who had caught some high shots brilliantly. Six minutes from time Dean again although closely in, made no mistake with Critchley fine centre. It must be remembered, too, that dean received a nasty shaking seen after the interval. Weldon received a blow in the face and Forshaw, who went off five minutes before half-time, played through the second session with one sound and a swinger and was little more than a passager. Both sides were shots in playing through on intermitted driving snowstorm and the arts and graces could not be expected on an ironbound treacherous surface. The game naturally, was disappointing as a spectacle, and the Everton forwards were by no means as impressive as they can be. Neither were the halves, on their toes, although Hart introduced some nice touches and Virr did some smart things.
Referee Walden had a not altogether enviable task in keeping the game in hand, for the meeting is always a “needle” match. Just before Dean netted his first goal Everton made a most insistent but unsuccessful demand for a penalty, and if their persistence went for anything there would he something in it. A linesman, on being consulted, agreed with the referee. The contention was that Nelson had handled, but the players were all in a bunch at the time. Everton failed to avail of early chances. Their defence was not too impressive. It was frequently a case of “any port in a storm” with O'Donnell, who was impetuous. Yet he was able to clear, although on one occasion he was able to clear, although on one occasion he gave Taylor a shock when with an overhead kick, he lifted the ball over the crossbar. O'Donnell could not altogether he blamed, for he was a dilemma when the ball hit him awkwardly on the chest. He did not, it seemed give Taylor any inking of his intention. Teams: - Everton: - Taylor, goal, Raitt and O'Donnell, backs, Kelly, Hart (captain), and Virr half-backs, Critchley, Forshaw, Dean, Weldon, and Troup, forwards. Cardiff City: - Farquharson, goal, Nelson, and Watson, backs, Wake, Kennor, and Blackburn, half-backs, Thirlaway, Curtis, Ferguson, Len Davies, and McLauhian, forwards. Attendance 50,000.
EVERTON RESERVES 1 BOLTON WANDERERS RESERVES 2
December 28 th 1927. The Daily Courier.
CENTRAL LEAGUE (Game 18)
Everton were defeated by the odd goal in three at Goodiosn Park yesterday, thus failing to collect a point from the holiday matches. Bolton were value for their victory, as collectively they played the better football, Everton's attacks at times being uneven, the forwards, and halves failing to keep in touch, while the winners were unreliable. Wright opened the score with a penalty for hands against Carr, and Millington registered the equalizer after White and Dominy had made the goal possible. Prior to the interval Jones put Bolton in front, the second half being evenly fight, though lacking in incident.
CARDIFF CITY 2 EVERTON 0
December 28 th 1927. The Daily Courier.
EVERTON WELL BEATEN.
SWEETS OF REVENGE FOR CARDIFF CITY.
Two much weakened sides strove hard for supremacy at Ninian Park yesterday, but it has to be admitted that Everton on the general play were clearly and squarely beaten. Disorganised by the absence of Hart and Forshaw, the team never seemed properly knitted together, and it was rarely that a scoring chance presented itself. Cardiff, who were forced to introduce half a dozen reserves including two who had never previously played First Division football, undoubtedly showed the better teamwork, especially during the initial half, when the wingers, McLachlan and Thirlaway, had a good service of the ball, and made full use of it. The result was that a great amount of work fell on Raitt, who again deputised for Cresswell, and O'Donnell. The latter really should not have been playing, for he was obviously suffering from injuries.
A GREAT GOAL.
Still, with Raitt, he repeatedly beat off the swiftly developed Cardiff attacks, for half an hour before the pair capitulated. Cardiff first goal came when Thirlway, having got the better of a tackle with O'Donnell, centred almost on the goalline and Len Davies jumping in headed out of Taylor reach. It was a great goal and the result of persistent attacks. There were times after this score when the Everton halves made real efforts to give Dean his chance in the centre, but the Cardiff backs were always alert. Nelson in particular seeing to it that Dean did not repeat his performance of the previous day. He was helped in this spoiling work by Sloan, who was a trenchant tackler.
There was considerable improvement in Everton's approach work during the second half, though their shooting was still weak. This was, however, to a great extent due to the fearlessness of Nelson and Jennings, the latter playing his first game this season. He was quite as effective as Nelson, especially in first time clearances. Cardiff reserve halve also played on the top of their form and never allowed the Everton attack to develop to be a real menace. There were occasions when Weldon and Troup showed good ball control, but Dean's dashes were entirely absent, owing to the stopping work of Sloan and Nelson. Although they had showed marked improvement, Everton found themselves further in arrears 10 minutes from the end, when Wake headed through from a corner. Again it was a well-deserved goal, and Taylor had no chance to save. The attendance was about 25,000. Teams: - Cardiff City: - Hillier, goal, Nelson, and Jennings, backs, Blackburn, Sloan, and Hardy, half-backs, Thirlway, Wake, L. Miles, Len Davies, and McLarclan, forwards. Everton: - Taylor, goal, Raitt and O'Donnell, backs, Kelly, Virr, and Rooney, half-backs, Critchley, Irvine, Dean, Weldon, and Troup, forwards. Referee Mr. Weldon.
EVERTON AT HILLSBOROUGH.
December 31 st 1927. The Daily Courier.
Everton's visit to Hillsborough today should be productive of several bones, and a bean or two for the boys in blue –that is, something sweet to follow bitter pills –although bottom dogs have been known to emulate the worm and bite (not that worms really bite!) like –well anything. A recent case in point is the Newcastle-Portsmouth slam at St. James's Park, when the then lowest club on the First Division figure board thrashed a “top of the biller.” This might be taken as a warming for a measure of caution on the part of those attempting today to find out what is going to happen tomorrow. Well, nothing is impossible in football, anyway, especially around the festive season, but while this is so it does really look as if the Everton people are going to obtain some compensation for their holiday disappointments, although minus the services of Cresswell and Forshaw.
“DUCK” –A SEASONABLE GRIF
Wednesday have had a wretched Christmas, too, having lost their three games –the last at home by five goals to a duck –and as they have now apparently taken a lease of the basement, with a record, home and away, which it would be a shame to publish, their chances are but the chances of a butterfly growing fat at the North Pole. Everton, it might be mentioned casually, whacked the Wednesday at Goodison Park on August 27, the score being 4-0. To misquote a once popular ditty: “When it is half-time at Hillesborough, Wednesday should be all at sea. Following are the selected sides: - Everton: - Taylor, goal, Raitt and O'Donnell, Kelly, Hart Virr, Critchley, Irvine, Dean, Weldon, Troup. Sheffield Wednesday: Brown; Walker, Blenkinson, Leich, Kean, Smith; Hooper, Hill, Harper, Seed, Wilkinson.
ATTACKING MOVES FOR THE FORWARD LINE
Buckingham Advertiser and Free Press - Saturday 31 December 1927
By "Dixie" Dean
Most footballers begin their career with an amateur club, go on to a third division club, and finally -if they have the ability -win a place in a crack first division team. The first difficulty of the footballer who rises to the first league is that of becoming accustomed to the close style of play that is still adopted by many of the most important teams. There is much to be said for the open game, in which the ball passes freely from wing to wing, but it is undoubtedly a fact that some of the leading English and Scottish sides continue to prefer the short-passing game. Even where the team adopt what is perhaps the last game of all -a clever combination of the two styles - the player from other leagues may still find difficulty in adjusting himself. Goalkeepers often say that they prefer to play against teams which indulge in short passing -there are less surprise rushes. Half-backs also prefer to face teams that play this game. In fact, in view of the almost unanimous opinion among footballers that the open game is the best, it is a little difficult to see what some of our best teams keep to their short passing. The truth is that, given the right type of ground, and a well-balanced and well-trained combination, there is nothing to beat short passing. Scottish teams of first-class rank reveal this fact very convincingly. Where there is a weak link in the short-passing combination, or where the ground is heavy and the men are just not physically strong enough to keep it up for the full period, the short-passing game may prove a serious failure.
The Melting Pot
In the English second division we have the peculiar fortune to see some teams which have recently been relagated keeping to their short-passing in the hope that they will win back to the senior league, and other teams newly promoted showing how the open tactics of League three are used to keep the ball moving with considerable vigour. The second league is an excellent training ground for the young footballer. He sees all styles. The success of the open game in bad conditions accounts for the many surprises in Cup matches, when the stars of the first league are defeated by third division clubs. The gaints of the game are caught on a day when the ground is against them, and the juniors reap the reward of their more open tacics.
Cardiff City, who won the Cup last year, have a style of their own, which is ideal for Cup matches. This is a form of the open game, with the inside men playing even farther behind the other three forwards than is customary today. Thus the defence is automatically strengthened, since the inside men are able to help the halves readily, and should one of the forwards get away the three advanced forwards are likely to score the goal that so often decides the result of cup tie. I liken this kind of football to an attack in which spears are used. The three advanced forwards are the spearheads, and they are skillfully guided by the inside men. Short passing is difficult to learn, and it puts a considerable strain on his physique. The ball passes like a shuttle on a machine. It is wonderfully effective to watch, but I am afraid that it is likely to die out within the next few years since under the conditions that have ruled since 1925 the open game seems more effective unless -the short-passing is done very brilliantly indeed.
A feature of the short passing game that will always survive -despite the difficulties under which modern half-backs play - is the triangle combination in which a half takes part with two forwards usually the wing forward and his inside men. It is not important who gets the ball so long as he makes some ground with it, draws the opposing man who comes to tackle, and sends the ball either back or forward to one of the other two players who is best placed. What usually happens is that one of the two forwards get the ball draws the defence and sends theball back to the half. The half makes some ground with it, and sends it forward when tackled to the man who is able to give the opponents combination, and can often be dropped into the open game as a change.
A Speedy Move
Another short-passing combination for which there will always be room in football is that which can best be described as a race for the goal three players. This has the advantage of being faster than the other triangle combination just described. Fundamentally, the idea is the same. The player in possession draws the defence and passes the ball to one of the other two. In this game, however, there is no back passing. The men not in possession run as hard as they can to get ahead, so that the ball can always be passed forward. The ball, instead of being passed direct, is put more ahead of the man for whom it intended. Forward passing on these lines can be very swift, and the lines weaved by the passing of the ball are most baffling to the defenders. Another move that can be extremely effective depends on the co-operation of the half-back. He brings the ball forward, forcing the opposing half to tackle him. Then he passes wing. The wing man is promptly tackled by the opposing back, but as the half has been tackled by the enemy half, and the wing man has been tackled by the back, the inside forward is temporarily unmarked. It is only necessary for the wing forward to push the ball through in the direction of his own inside man. The inside man, expecting it, is after it before the defenders can turn. These moves depend on their unexpectedness for success. They must be well varied to produce the necessary surprise. (NEXT WEEK “Dixie” Dean tells of the duty of the centre-forward “penetrate.”)
Once a Defender.
Derby Daily Telegraph - Saturday 31 December 1927
One of Barnsley's ever-present players to date is George Caddick, and if goes through the season without missing engagement he will have crowned a remarkable career. He used to be a full back with Bootle and Everton, and four seasons at Goodison Park never once played in League football. When he tried his luck with Stockport County he only played in ten games, but Barnsley saw his promise as centre-half, and acted upon their convictions.