Blues to knock £5 off Cup tickets
Feb 1 2002
EVERTON last night moved to put last Saturday's ticket fiasco behind them by offering knock-down entry prices for the next round of the FA Cup. The club came under fire as several thousand pay-on-the-day fans were locked out from the Blues' 4-1 fourth round win over Leyton Orient. But now Everton are offering all season-ticket holders a £5 discount on tickets for the tie against Crewe Alexandra at Goodison Park on Sunday, February 17. "After we had heavily discounted prices for the Premiership game against Derby County earlier in the season, a number of season ticket holders contacted the club to point out that, as they had paid up front for that fixture, they had, in essence, missed out on any additional saving," said Everton chief executive Michael Dunford. "It was suggested at the various supporters' forums that we should look into rewarding season ticket holders at some future date. "Our Cup tie versus Crewe Alexandra seems to be the perfect game to respond to this suggestion." Providing their application is received during the priority period - Friday, February 1 through to close of business on Tuesday, February 12 - season ticket holders will receive a discount on the standard, home league game price for this fixture only. The discounted prices for seasonticket holders will be: Main Stand £21; Top Balcony £17; Family Enclosure £17; Lower Gwladys £13.50; Upper Gwladys £17; Park Stand £18; Upper Bullens £19; Paddock £17; Lower Bullens £17.00. A Junior (Under-16) price of £6 will be available in all areas except the Main Stand, where the price will be £12, and the Park End and Upper Bullens, where the price will now be £10. An over-65s price of £8 will be available in all areas. Any holder of a concessionarypriced season ticket will be able to claim their own seat (subject to availability) at the concessionary price with discount for this game providing they apply before the close of business on Tuesday, February 12.
Supporters should note that there will be no student prices for this fixture. Tickets will, initially, be on sale to season ticket holders ONLY at the Park End box office from Friday, February 1.
In order to claim their own seat (subject to availability) season ticket holders must produce voucher no: 22, fully completed with their seat details. Non season-ticket holder seats will go on general sale from Monday, February 11 when standard, home League match prices will apply. The club has also re-introduced its policy of keeping open its box-office until 8pm on the Friday evening before all senior, weekend fixtures. All supporters attending this weekend's home game against Ipswich Town will receive a letter detailing full ticket information for the Crewe Alexandra tie and seasonticket holders will be written to individually.
Magic memories go begging
Fanscene By Mark O'Brien, Daily Post
Feb 1 2002
WHERE to start? It's all been happening this week. First we had the FA Cup game against Leyton Orient which saw Paul Gascoigne turn on the old style and lead us to a comfortable 4-1 win.
It's just a pity that for many, their memory of the day won't be of an old maestro's skills but of another age-old Goodison favourite, the ticketing fiasco. The club completely underestimated the support when they simultaneously dropped ticket prices and the ground's capacity. As a result, many of those ' floating' fans they were seeking to attract will have been put off forever by the sight of those ridiculous queues stretching the length and breadth of Goodison Road. We're a big club - start thinking and acting like one. Heaven help them if we're ever in danger of having some success on the field. How would they cope then? Talking of success, Abel Xavier and his bank manager have certainly had a result. Thirty thousand pounds a week? You could get David Unsworth for twenty.
That's a lot of dough for someone who has never been more than a peripheral figure at Goodison.
He is a good player though, very much in the 'no-nonsense' style that seems to be de rigeur over there at present, although many reports have suggested that they were keen to get him because of his versatility. Have they never seen him play at full-back? It's strange that no-one has really reacted to his move in the same way that they did to Nick Barmby's. Which is a good thing, incidentally.
It's just that we received an excellent fee for Barmby (and there is a rumour that he never wanted to leave anyway, Everton where trying to sell him to Chelsea) while Xavier has been quite cynical in the way he has sat his contract out and secured his move. Maybe it's just because the Portugese international has never been an integral part of the Goodison set-up. Either that or he has been advised well and made sure that the club haven't been allowed to stitch him up in the Press.
He intimated as much last week when he said something to the effect that he didn't want to leave under the same cloud that a lot of other players have left under. Anyway, he's gone and one of his understudies, Peter Clarke, did himself proud at Villa Park. The fact remains, though, that we still remain only three points above the relegation zone, making tomorrow's tie with a resurgent Ipswich Town yet another 'must win' game. Reinforcements look like coming our way, starting with Swedish international midfielder Tobias Linderoth. Without seeing him play it's obviously difficult to comment other than he must be reasonable to get in the Swedish national side, and it's good to see us getting someone who is only 22 years old. Hopefully, he will slot straight into that defensive midfield role. New signings, unbeaten runs and we're still in the Cup in February. Heady days.
Lee next up for Blues
Exclusive By Jonathan McEvoy, Daily Post
Feb 1 2002
WALTER SMITH last night followed up the £2.5million signing of Swedish international Tobias Linderoth by preparing a swoop for Coventry City's Lee Carsley. Smith is tracking the Republic of Ireland midfielder as he seeks to bolster his threadbare squad. Former Derby County regular Carsley has proved a key performer for City since joining from Blackburn Rovers in November 2000 and the 27-year-old will command a £2m fee. But first division Coventry, who had long-standing chairman
Bryan Richardson ousted this week, are suffering crippling debts and could be forced to sell Carsley to stay afloat. Former Blues manager Howard Kendall tracked Carsley during his last season at Goodison and Smith has been monitoring the Birmingham-born player for some time. Smith could only field one recognised midfielder in Wednesday's 0-0 draw at Aston Villa and is ready to re-enter the transfer market as he is resigned to losing unsettled Dane Thomas Gravesen. The Goodison boss's interest in Carsley comes after he moved quickly to sign 22-year-old Linderoth from Norwegian club Stabaek, with a spate of injuries hitting the Blues squad. Midfielder Linderoth, capped 17 times, has signed a four-and-ahalf-year deal, while Everton could end up paying another £500,000 for the player, depending on appearances. The Swede, who joins compatriots Jesper Blomqvist and Niclas Alexandersson at Goodison Park, said: "I am delighted the deal has gone through. "Everton seems like a great club - and there are a lot of Swedes here now. I have spoken to them before when we have met up with the national team. "We have spoken a bit about Everton and they have only said positive things about the club. "I only heard about the move yesterday, so it has all happened very quickly, but I am glad that it has been completed. "I want to be a better football player and I want to do my best for the club. "It is going to be different, the pace is a lot faster and it should help me immensely because this is one of the best leagues in the world."
Linderoth could figure in tomorrow's Premiership match at home to Ipswich while Tomasz Radzinski and Blomqvist are both available to return. Paul Gascoigne is expected to throw off his slight calf strain. David Weir, who became a father for a second time on Wednesday night, is available but Tony Hibbert is on crutches after injuring himself against Villa.
Gazza is laughing them off
Feb 1 2002 By Howard Kendall
PAUL GASCOIGNE has developed a beautiful knack of calming opponents whose priority these days seems to be to swop shirts with him at the end of the game rather than kick him off the park.
There must be Gazza shirts hanging up on the walls of houses all over the country at the moment, all signed by one of the game's great characters who is revelling in the autumn of his career.
I watched Paul closely during Saturday's FA Cup clash against Leyton Orient. He didn't exactly pat his marker on the head, put his arm round him and offer an autograph on one of those sought-after jerseys. But you could see he subdued his opponents, not just with his skill and vision, which was tremendous on the day, but also his demeanour. I think other players genuinely like him.
They respect his ability and enjoy his sense of humour. It works in Gazza's favour in the heat of battle. When Kevin Campbell scored after a great Gascoigne run, it was interesting that all the Everton players ran to the Geordie. Kevin was on his own. If he was waiting to be mobbed, he must have realised it would be a long wait and dashed across to join in the Gazza Show. Just for a second, I wondered if the Orient players might also join in. They were certainly in awe of Gazza and gave him the time and space to win all the headlines. It's interesting how different players psych out opponents. Gazza handles them superbly. They can't help but like him. Of course, people like Alan Ball took the opposite tack. He wound players up so they would kick out and lose their concentration. Colin Taylor of Crystal Palace was always told to track Alan wherever her went. Bally would click his tongue at his opponent as if calling a dog to heel. This would wind Taylor up and there was only ever going to be one winner. I left Everton for Birmingham in a deal that brought Bob Latchford to Merseyside. Ironically, the two teams met at Goodison just a few weeks later.
I remember sitting in the away dressing room - a strange experience for me - and hearing centre half Joe Gallagher being warned not to wind up Bob. The message was simple. Talk to him about his new house and where he might be going for his holidays. Remind him of some of the great times he had at Birmingham. Keep chatting to him like an old mate. But don't do anything to wind him up.
In the first few minutes Gallagher chopped Latch from behind. The new Everton star went crazy. He suddenly turned into the Incredible Hulk and went on to have a great game, scoring two goals in a 4-1 win, backed up by a Mick Lyons double. The boss's face at half-time was a picture. The Crewe scouts, reporting back on Gazza in advance of their fifth round clash at Goodison, might suggest Dario Gradi issues his midfielders with ear plugs. Otherwise the Geordie joker might have the last laugh again. Everton's new transfer policy is a healthy one
EVERTON'S move for Tobias Linderoth freshens things up at a timely moment. Results have improved and that's the time to act to keep the momentum going. The signing makes sense and suggests Thomas Gravesen's departure is now inevitable. The thing that will really encourage the fans is the player's age and pedigree. Because of the previous financial situation, the Blues have often had to settle for older players or people with a worrying injury background. Walter Smith has often had to spin the roulette wheel. He has had his successes with the likes of Richard Gough, Alan Stubbs and David Weir. But in this situation you will also encounter problems. Duncan Ferguson has frustrated the fans, whilst Alessandro Pistone and Mark Pembridge have missed a tremendous number of games. Paul Gascoigne has had spells on the sidelines and a little worry still hangs over Jesper Blomqvist. But Linderoth is only 22, and already has 16 international caps. He comes strong and determined, hopefully with a great future. It's a good sign.
Carsley's Coventry showdown
Feb 1 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
LEE CARSLEY will seek showdown talks with Coventry boss Roland Nilsson today - after Everton's interest in him was leaked to the Press. The Republic of Ireland International will ask his manager the strength of the Blues' interest, and is believed to be desperate for a move back to the Premiership. First Division Coventry have already rebuffed two Blues' bids, the first last week and an improved offer in the region of £2 million on Wednesday. Carsley (pictured) has been the Sky Blues' most influential player in recent weeks and they are reluctant to lose him, despite desperate financial problems which led to chairman Bryan Richardson stepping down in midweek. But Coventry have been boosted by Morocco's early exit from the African Nations Cup, which means their two Moroccan stars are now available again quicker than expected. No move is likely till after the weekend games, but Coventry may accept an Everton offer after their clash with Gillingham.
New Coventry chairman Mike McGinnity will sit down with Roland Nillson today to discuss cutbacks at Highfield Road, some of which could include the sale of players. Despite the midweek capture of Swede Tobias Linderoth, Walter Smith is still desperately short of manpower in his squad.
Paul Gascoigne will have a last minute fitness test on his injured calf to see if he can return for tomorrow's visit of in-form Ipswich. But Niclas Alexandersson, Steve Watson, Alessandro Pistone, Thomas Gravesen, Tony Hibbert and now Nick Chadwick are all ruled out. Jesper Blomqvist, Mark Pembridge and Tomasz Radzinski are all available again, but Smith is loathe to toss them straight back into action after long absences. That could see new £2.5 million Linderoth make an instant debut, despite not having played since November. "It is a big step for Tobias. He hasn't been playing for the last couple of months but I don't think he'll have a problem at all with fitness," said Blues boss Smith. Linderoth has signed a four-and-a-half year deal and will be given squad number 22.
Nic gave Blues inside info
Feb 1 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON'S overseas scouting network added an unlikely name this week, Swedish midfielder Niclas Alexandersson. The winger welcomed international team-mate Tobias Linderoth to Bellefield yesterday, then revealed he had played a small part in the 22-yearold's signing. "The gaffer asks all of the international players here about new players in the international squads," he explained, "and he asked me about Tobias quite a while ago. "I told him my opinion. But I didn't think any more about it until early this week when the gaffer mentioned him to me again. "I'm certainly not on a percentage of the deal . . . unfortunately!" Linderoth occupies the kind of midfield anchor role the Blues have lacked since Olivier Dacourt returned to France. And Alexandersson believes he has the ability to develop into just as accomplished a player. "He has had that role just in front of the back four for the national team ever since Stefan Schwarz retired," he explained. "He has done really well for us. He is a good passer of the ball and keeps the pace of the game well, and even though he is quite small he is strong and goes into tackles when he needs to. "He has a good attitude, as well --and it's a big bonus that he is only 22. "He is still developing and is still on his way up, which is good for the club's future. "We have quite a few players at the club who are 30 or coming up to that age, so it is good to see some players coming in at the other end of the age scale."
LINDEROTH could make his debut tomorrow with the Blues in the midst of a familiar injury crisis.
Everton were without seven firstteamers for Wednesday night's goalless draw at Aston Villa and the Sweden international's arrival will bolster their midfield options. Ipswich's dangerman will be Marcus Bent, just grateful for the chance to prove himself in the Premiership. Bent, who joined for £3m in November after being frozen out at Linderoth moved up from Sweden's Under-21 team to make his full international debut against Malta last February. Since then he has been capped 16 times, including most of Sweden's World Cup qualifiers and their impressive draw against England at Old Trafford. He also comes very reasonably priced for a 22- year- old full international.
"The good thing about Scandinavians still playing in Scandinavia is that their prices are generally reasonable," added Alexandersson. "If you are going to buy an international playing in the Premiership you would play a lot more than £2.5m. Scandinavians, in general, find it quite easy to settle over here, too." It's a viewpoint seemingly shared by his manager. With Alexandersson, Blomqvist and now Linderoth on board, the Blues are only one player short of an entire Swedish midfield. Alexandersson smiled at the thought. "It doesn't matter where players come from," he said. "The most important thing is that they are good players with the right attitude and I think Tobias is both of those. "He is a good lad and a good professional. "His dad, Anders, was a Swedish international as well, so it's in the blood. He was a really good player, too. Blackburn, has scored seven goals in his last eight games. "I got promoted with Blackburn Rovers and scored goals for them, but I didn't get the chance with them in the Premiership," he said. Jermaine Wright, who passed a fitness test to play in the midweek win over Fulham, is once again troubled by a groin problem while Alun Armstrong is nursing an ankle injury. The Tractor Boys will climb over Everton if they win. "It might take a few weeks for him to get used to the pace of the game here and the match tempo, but he is fairly easygoing and I'm sure he will adjust quickly."
Speedy Swede already part of squad
Report By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Feb 2 2002
TOBIAS LINDEROTH may be short on match sharpness but should have little trouble adjusting to the lightning pace of the Premiership if his first few days at Everton are anything to go by. After hearing of Everton's firm interest on Wednesday the £2.5million Swedish international put pen to paper on a fouranda-half year deal with the Blues 24 hours later. His first experience of English humour - or rather Paul Gascoigne's - came within hours of his arrival on Merseyside when his clothing isappeared during his medical, only to appear on the Geordie's back later that morning.
And the speed of his departure from Norwegian side Stabaek meant there was no time to tell compatriots Niclas Alexandersson and Jesper Blomqvist he was on his way! "It has all been so quick," said Linderoth. "And I haven't even had the chance to talk about the move with either Niclas or Jesper but having two countrymen here will help me settle. "I have talked to them about Everton before when I was on international duty and they told me what a good, professional club it is.
"When the chance came to move here I had no hesitation. I know this is a big club and although the team has a lot of injuries it also has a lot of good players. "Plus, like most Swedish players, I have always wanted to play in the Premiership. "I have watched English football on TV back home every Saturday for 10 years or so and I have always wanted to play here. I know it is one of the best leagues in the world and I hope it will improve my game being here. " The other Swedes here will help me adjust, and I want to play against the best players and I can do that here in England."
Despite his relatively young age Linderoth has played a key role in Sweden's march to this summer's World Cup, winning 16 caps so far, and though short on match practice he cannot wait to stake his claim for a regular role in the heart of the Everton midfield. Linderoth added: "I know the game is quicker and more physical, but I need to play in that style to improve and to help me at i n t e r n a --tional level with the World Cup coming up. "I have only played one competitive game recently but I've been in pre-season training in Norway and feel ready to play tomorrow if I'm asked to."
That wish is set to be granted due to Walter Smith's selection headache, but after months of searching for extra midfield steel the Blues boss is just delighted to have landed another potential, and younger, bargain. Smith said: "He's a player we've been watching for a while but Stabaek didn't want to sell him until after the World Cup. "However, when we got the indication this week they were prepared to do a deal we moved and I'm very pleased to have got him. "He's a good footballer with a good attitude to the game. He's only 22 but has won 16 caps in a strong Swedish international side. "For a young age he's played at a high level for a while and once he settles in he'll bring a steadiness to our midfield and a good work ethic. "His age is an important factor too. Due to our circumstances we've had to bring in players who are at the wrong end of the age scale and we've been looking to rectify that. We need to bring down the average age of the squad whilst keeping a level of experience." And the Blues boss added: "Tobias has only played one game since November because of the Norwegian break, so it's a bit unfair to think about him starting the game against Ipswich, but he will certainly be involved. "He looked pretty fit in training and I have no fears about him settling down quickly in England. Every Swede I have signed has always impressed me, of all the nationalities, they settle best in England. "The Swedes have the right attitude and mentality for the game here plus a good approach to training."
Blues close to Lee swoop
Report By Andy Hunter , Daily Post
Feb 2 2002
EVERTON are confident of clinching a £1.5million deal for Lee Carsley next week despite Coventry's reluctance to lose their influential midfielder. Republic of Ireland international Carsley spoke with Sky Blues boss Roland Nilsson yesterday to demand a move to Goodison Park after the Blues met the transfer fee clause in his Highfield Road contract. Coventry are anxious to keep hold of the player and turned down Everton's initial bid last week. But despite insisting the Blues' latest offer is below their valuation, Coventry may have little option under the terms of Carsley's contract. New Coventry chairman Mike McGinnity also met manager Nilsson yesterday, allegedly about impending cutbacks at the first division club, and chief executive Graham Hover said: "We have to weigh that up. But if it comes down to the fact we have to sell players, Lee would command a much higher fee than the one quoted." Everton, however, hope to make the 28-year-old their second midfield signing within the next few days after landing Swedish international Tobias Linderoth on Thursday. Linderoth was publicly unveiled as an Everton player yesterday and manager Walter Smith indicated the 22-year-old could be handed an instant debut in today's relegation six-pointer with Ipswich Town. The £2.5m capture from Stabaek has only played one competitive match since November due to the Norwegian league's winter break but is in line for a starting role against George Burley's in-form team.
Smith's selection problems have eased since Wednesday's makeshift side carved out a draw at Aston Villa, although youngsters Tony Hibbert and Nick Chadwick have now joined the injury list after picking up ankle knocks in that game. Tomasz Radzinski's comeback has been put on hold for another week after he injured his knee in training on Thursday but David Weir, Paul Gascoigne, Jesper Blomqvist and Mark Pembridge are all back for today. And Smith, who hopes to bring even more new faces to Goodison Park within the next month, admits there is plenty at stake for both sides as they look to open up a gap on the relegation zone. The Blues boss said: "In this group we're in it is important we get the points from those teams in a similar position, especially at home.
"After beating Sunderland at home we hope to keep that run going but there's no doubt we are going to have to be at our best to do so. We are meeting a team who are enjoying one of the best runs of form in the entire league. They've won six out of seven but we are looking to continue our improved run of form and make home advantage count." After languishing at the foot of the table until December, Ipswich's incredible run has lifted them up to 15th in the table, just one point behind the Blues. And Smith added: "In the early part of the season they were probably suffering a reaction to the tremendous season they had the year before. That is not unexpected. "But there is no way a team as good as they were last season could go to what they were at the start of this season and stay like that. They weren't playing badly at the start but now they've got their confidence back and that is the biggest factor. A lot of credit must go to George Burley."
Holland puts shirt on defying history
Feb 4 2002
IPSWICH skipper Matt Holland had the obligatory Paul Gascoigne shirt firmly in his hand after scoring the winning goal. Seven wins in eight Barclaycard Premiership matches has put George Burley's men on course to defy history and become the first team to survive after being bottom of the table at Christmas. Holland handled the growing Gascoigne influence and took the shirt off his back as a souvenir after admitting Ipswich had made special plans to hinder the veteran Geordie. Holland admitted: "We went out to stop Gascoigne. We felt he would be the danger so it was down to me and Jermaine Wright to keep close to him. "He's the one in their side who can create things and we were aware that he has been in very good form at the moment. "He looks very fit and he's enjoying the game. I enjoyed talking to him on the pitch and now I've got his shirt." Holland added: "We came into the Everton game a point behind them and knowing a win would take us above them and we'd won against Fulham in midweek, who were also mid-table. "It was a real battle, our defence was outstanding. The way Everton play, they are always going to hit it long to Duncan Ferguson and Kevin Campbell. "But our defenders dropped off a bit, let them get the first knock down and then mopped everything up because you are certainly not going to win much in the air against Ferguson."
Everton told to increase Lee bid
By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Feb 4 2002
EVERTON have again been told they must increase their bid for Lee Carsley if they are to prise the midfielder away from Coventry City. The Blues have already had a £1.5million bid turned down for the Republic of Ireland international, who is keen to make the move to Goodison Park from the first division club. And Coventry are insistent that Everton must improve their offer to £2m as the Sky Blues desperately seek a fee which they believe is nearer to the player's true value.
However, any move by the Blues will be held up the fact the club's refinancing package is not yet in place. Blues owner Bill Kenwright has intimated that further funds will be released to boss Walter Smith within the next fortnight - leaving Everton to run the risk of losing Carsley to a rival club.
Smith, meanwhile, has called on his players to hold their nerve after the Blues' mini-unbeaten run was halted by Ipswich Town on Saturday. George Burley's side left Goodison with a 2-1 win to ensure Everton remain just three points clear of the relegation zone. And Smith said: "We have shown a strong mentality to handle this situation in other seasons, and we can do the same this time. "I accept that we are in trouble, but then so is everybody in the bottom section. We've all had very similar seasons. "It is the closest it has been down there since I have been here."
New signing Tobias Linderoth made his debut as a half-time replacement for Peter Clarke, who sustained an arm injury, and Smith said: "He did okay, but it was a bit early for him to be thrown straight in." Duncan Ferguson will miss the FA Cup tie with Crewe after he picked up his fifth booking of the season at Aston Villa last Wednesday.
Everton 1, Ipswich Town 2
Ian Doyle Reports From Goodison Park, Daily Post
Feb 4 2002
IT won't be just David Weir and Idan Tal who will be suffering a few sleepless nights this week.
The duo became Bellefield's most recent fathers in midweek, but after seven days dominated by talk of birth and regeneration both on and off the field at Everton, it was the re-emergence of a less welcome addition that has assumed primary importance at Goodison Park. This defeat to Ipswich Town - as desperately disappointing a performance as it was damaging a result - has left Everton firmly ensconced in a relegation battle they appeared well capable of avoiding a mere two months ago. One glimpse through weary eyes at the Premiership table this morning suggests that the Blues' baby-boomers will be joined by team-mates and boss Walter Smith in taking an extra concern or two to bed with them. Eight weeks ago, Everton were a point behind Manchester United as Ipswich were marooned to the foot of the Premiership, having earned just one victory all season and looking set for a return to the first division. How times change. Since then, Smith's side suffered a five-match losing streak while George Burley brought his Tractor Boys to Goodison on the back of a run which had seen them win six of their last seven league matches. And despite Evertonians having cautiously raised expectation in keeping with the Blues' recent renaissance, Ipswich left for Suffolk on Saturday evening having extended their sequence to seven wins in eight to move ahead of Everton in the table and keep their hosts just three points above the drop zone. The last time Ipswich visited Goodison, they inflicted an embarrassing defeat which raised searching questions over application on the pitch and the support off it. And while this defeat was in no way as resounding or morale-destroying as that 3-0 hammering, there were enough similarities to again force both players and supporters into reconsidering their current approach. David Unsworth was the unfortunate target for the fans' ire that day 17 months ago, and while there were again familiar rumblings from sections of the crowd, his 27th-minute equaliser to Sixto Peralta's opener ensured any dissent was limited to a murmur. Instead, as the Blues searched in vain for a similar response to Matt Holland's thunderbolt just before halftime, the home fans turned their attentions to Kevin Campbell in such a manner that, as the players trudged off at full-time, they reserved their strongest jeers specifically for the skipper. Campbell has in recent months become the focus for much of the frustration of the home fans, who are impatiently waiting for a substantial return on the alleged £30,000-aweek the cash-strapped club are paying their captain. And while the striker would be the first to admit that, partly through nagging injuries and a lack of confidence, he has not been at his predatory best this campaign, he will hardly have the encouragement to improve following the vocal battering he received on Saturday. Of course, criticism in the main is fair comment. The fans pays their money, and they makes their choice. But once it is to the detriment of the team and a specific player in particular, then ultimately no-one will gain. An unavoidable truth, however, is that at the moment neither Campbell nor strike partner Duncan Ferguson looks anywhere near as sharp or as mobile as is required by a Premiership forward line. Both could argue they need time to rediscover their touch after spells on the sidelines, but with less than three months until the end of the season it is time Everton can ill afford. And that both are in their thirties now suggests their best days are already behind them. The pair were not the only players to under-perform on an afternoon which, with a little more creativity and patience going forward, Everton could have gleaned at least some reward from. Paul Gascoigne found that Ipswich are no Orient, with the game passing him by for large periods as he struggled to make an impression. But this has been the exception rather than the rule recently, and Smith must be hoping an increasingly exasperated Gascoigne was just disaffected with the general team display rather than anything more serious. Afterwards, Smith pointed the finger at his side's poor start to the game for their fifth home defeat of the season. But Everton had the whole of the second half to fashion a second equaliser against a hard-working yet uninspired Ipswich, yet could only force visiting keeper Andy Marshall into one worthwhile save.
With Gascoigne a peripheral presence, the Blues lacked nous and ingenuity in the centre of midfield, and the only pace was being provided by Jesper Blomqvist, making his first start since scoring in the defeat of Sunderland a fortnight ago. And while the Swede was indeed the home side's main threat, too often his final ball endangered only the fans sat in the Gwaldys Street stand rather than the Ipswich defence. Such lack of firepower will be a concern to Smith, and the sooner Tomasz Radzinksi is fit the better - Everton have scored just three goals in their last eight league games.
The visitors began the game with three central defenders - a ploy Burley later admitted was aimed to negate the aerial prowess of Ferguson - and Everton initially struggled to cope with the extra width in Ipswich's midfield. From such a source came the opening goal on 10 minutes.
A crossfield ball found Jamie Clapham in space on the left, and after he mishit his long-range shot low into the penalty area, Peralta reacted quickest to fire the ball into the top corner from 15 yards.
It prompted Smith to go like-for-like and change to a 3-5-2 formation, and Everton steadily worked their way back into the game before winning a penalty on 27 minutes. Scot Gemmill's ball into the box was flicked on by Ferguson to Campbell, and although the striker seemed to be heading for the byline, Marshall felt it necessary to upend the Blues man. Despite getting a firm hand to Unsworth's spot-kick, the Ipswich keeper could not deny Everton an equaliser. The Blues had a good shout for another penalty when Peter Clarke was struck by a high boot just inside the area soon after. But as Everton appeared ready for a second-half push, Ipswich struck the decisive blow two minutes before the interval. The otherwise ineffectual Marcus Bent tricked his way to the edge of the Everton area before unwisely being hauled down by a combination of Weir and Gascoigne. Clapham tapped the free-kick into the path of Holland, who unleashed a unstoppable drive into the top corner which gave Steve Simonsen - who did not have a single shot worthy of the name to save all match - no chance. After the break, the Blues huffed and puffed and enjoyed most of the possession, but save a smart Ferguson volley from just inside the area which Marshall palmed to safety, there was little chance of another leveller. Not even the second-half introduction of new £2.5million signing Tobias Linderoth could turn the match. Understandably, he struggled to get into the game, and his introduction for the injured Clarke left the home side without a recognised right-sided player which stymied their attacking options.
While the FA Cup draw has been kind on Everton, the fixture computer has not. The Blues next three Premiership matches are against title contenders Arsenal, a resurgent Liverpool and Leeds.
And even with Linderoth on board and Lee Carsley likely to follow, it seems as though it will be some time yet before Evertonians can sleep easily at night again.
Gravesen fitness shock for Smith
Feb 4 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DENMARK boss Morten Olsen has surprised his Everton counterpart Walter Smith today with the news that midfielder Thomas Gravesen is fit and available for duty. The international star has not figured in Everton's first team since limping out of the Boxing Day game against Manchester United with an ankle injury. He has missed eight matches since then, but Olsen intends to include him in an international squad tomorrow for a February 13 friendly against Saudi Arabia. Both Gravesen and Hamburg midfielder Stig Toftig have had problems at their clubs in recent weeks, but Olsen said: "If both of them are free from injury - and they are at the moment - they will play for the national team.
"Both midfielders belong in our regular team and we will, of course, back them when they are having problems at their clubs. We will benefit from that attitude in the end." Gravesen returned to training last week but was not considered for Saturday's disappointing home defeat by Ipswich.
The 2-1 reverse has left the Blues only three points clear of the relegation zone - with three of their hardest Premiership fixtures of the season looming. "I accept that we are in trouble," said Smith, "but then so is everybody in the bottom section. "We have all had similar seasons. There is no great difference between the teams down in the bottom half. "It takes a strong mentality to handle the situation we are in at this end, but we have handled it before in previous seasons and we have to show the same commitment to handle it again. "We were disappointing and lost the game in the first half hour. "We struggled to create anything and it didn't get any better. We pinned them back for long periods of the second half, but we were never able to open them up.".
Blues need a large injection of pace
Feb 4 2002 By Tommy Smith
I LEFT Goodison Park on Saturday with my own thoughts about the fundamental flaw in Everton's current make-up. But as I made my through the crowds, it was intriguing that just about everyone had the same thing on their minds. The Blues lack real pace in key areas, not least up front. The end product is that they struggle to step up the tempo and pressure opponents. Ipswich Town were always in the comfort zone and deserved their 2-1 victory. The top teams all have pace up front. This is an attacking must. It enables the forwards to be the first line of defence, closing the opposing back four down quickly if the goalkeeper chooses to roll the ball out to the men in front of him.
Because Duncan Ferguson and Kevin Campbell both lack pace, the Ipswich backline were never put under any pressure. Equally, Ipswich started with five across the midfield and the Blues struggled to close them down. Things improved when Walter Smith went with a similar formation after the break when he brought new signing Tobias Linderoth into the frame. But by then it was clear that Ipswich felt they could win the game, having exploited their opponents down the flanks early on and enjoying the space to move the ball around. No pressure from the home side equals no atmosphere. The fans were just shaking their heads in total frustration. There were no flying tackles, no one putting their foot in. No wonder the crowd was quiet. Walter will have taken heart from Linderoth's decent debut. He will also be looking forward to the return of the pacy Tomasz Radzinski - just to offer something different up front because after the elation of the cup, this was back to the harsh realities.
World Cup hero to sell winner's medal
By John Vincent, Daily Post
Feb 5 2002
FORMER Everton and England star Ray Wilson is to sell his World Cup winner's medal at auction.
Defender Wilson hopes to get up to £90,000 for the gold medal at Christie's in South Kensington, London, on March 27. The full-back was one of the outstanding performers in England's 1966 World Cup campaign, which culminated in the famous 4-2 extra-time victory over West Germany at Wembley. Wilson, an undertaker since his playing days ended, said last night that he was selling the coveted medal "to financially provide for my family". At least four other 1966 heroes have parted with their medals. Goalkeeper Gordon Banks sold his for £124,000 at Christie's and, although full-back George Cohen's initially failed to find a buyer at Christie's in 1998, it was later bought privately.
Bobby Moore's medal was bought by West Ham United, as part of a £1.5m collection, and Sir Geoff Hurst's medal was also bought by his former club. Bobby Charlton's medal is on display in the Manchester United Museum. Last night Wilson said: "Although it is painful to part with my World Cup winner's medal, an object full of personal and national nostalgia, I have decided to sell in order to financially provide for my family. "It has taken me a good few years to come to this decision but I believe it is for the best and I hope my medal finds a worthy home. Regardless of its ownership, it will always represent England on top of the world." Wilson became the first player to win major trophies at Wembley in the same season. The World Cup victory came two months after he helped Everton to FA Cup Final victory. At the same sale, the shirt worn by Pele in the 4-1 win over Italy in the 1970 World Cup Final in Mexico City is expected to realise up to £50,000. Pele's number ten shirt is arguably the most famous in world football. It was worn by the 20th century's greatest footballer during the greatest World Cup Final of all time - the 1970 victory over Italy in front of 107,000 spectators. Pele scored the first goal of the match - and his country's 100th goal in the competition's history - and was arguably his finest performance on the World Cup stage.
It is being offered for sale by the Italian Roberto Rosato, with whom Pele swapped shirts after the final whistle blew in the Azteca Stadium on June 21, 1970. David Convery, football memorabilia specialist at Christie's, said: "This shirt is one of the most important pieces of football memorabilia I have ever had the pleasure of offering for sale. "It is on a par with the shirt worn by Sir Geoff Hurst in the 1966 World Cup Final and which fetched £91, 750 here at Christie's in September, 2000."
Blues close on 1.5m Carsley
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Feb 5 2002
EVERTON hope player power can help them clinch Lee Carsley's £1.5million transfer from Coventry City today. The Republic of Ireland international met Sky Blues' boss Roland Nilsson for a second time yesterday to demand a dream move back to the Premiership with Everton. And despite Coventry's insistence they will not sell for less than £2m, Goodison officials are confident Carsley's stance and their own 'take it or leave it' offer will persuade the Highfield Road club otherwise.
Everton chief executive Michael Dunford confirmed last night: "Negotiations between the two sides will resume tomorrow." The Blues are refusing to pay above the £1.5m they offered last week and which is believed to be the fee written into Carsley's Coventry contract to secure his release.
But if today's negotiations fail to break the deadlock over the midfielder, who Coventry are keen to keep for tomorrow night's league game with Rotherham, Everton are prepared to call the deal off and turn their attentions elsewhere in their urgent hunt for reinforcements. Walter Smith is anxious to add to last week's capture of Tobias Linderoth before Sunday's tough Premiership test with Arsenal at Goodison Park. The Blues manager could have both Tomasz Radzinski and Mark Pembridge back for the Gunners' visit, while young defender Peter Clarke should be available after damaging his shoulder during Saturday's dismal defeat by Ipswich. Clarke trained yesterday but fellow Academy graduate Tony Hibbert could be out for another three weeks after injuring his ankle at Aston Villa last week. And with Steve Watson and Alessandro Pistone still a fortnight away from comebacks, Smith currently has little defensive cover for his relegationthreatened squad.
One player unlikely to benefit from the Blues' player shortage, however, is Danish international Thomas Gravesen. The midfielder has not appeared for Everton since injuring his ankle in the Boxing Day defeat by Manchester United and has seemingly played his last game for the club after going public on his dissatisfaction with life at Goodison Park. Gravesen returned to training last week only to complain of further ankle trouble and was overlooked for selection against George Burley's side.
But now Denmark coach Morten Olsen has claimed Gravesen is fit and could be included in his squad to face Saudi Arabia in a friendly next Wednesday. Olsen, who recently warned Gravesen his World Cup place was in jeopardy if he had not resolved his differences with Everton or found himself a new club, will name his squad today. Both Gravesen and Hamburg's unsettled midfielder Stig Toftig are expected to figure in his plans. Olsen said: "If both of them are free from injury - and they are at the moment - then they will play for the national team. "Both midfielders belong in our regular team and we will, of course, back them when they are having problems with their clubs. We will benefit from that attitude in the end." Everton's disciplinary hearing with the FA over charges they failed to control their players at Fulham in December, originally scheduled for today, will now take place on February 19.
* EVERTON'S youngsters will bid to advance in the FA Youth Cup tomorrow night when they entertain Manchester City at Goodison Park.
The fifth-round tie kicks off at 7pm and admission, through the Bullens Road stand, costs £3 adults, £1 concessions.
Vieira hopeful of facing up to Blues
Feb 5 2002 Liverpool Echo
ARSENAL midfielder Patrick Vieira is hoping to give the club a much needed injury boost ahead of Sunday's game at Everton after cancelling a three-day break to report for treatment on his hamstring problem. Vieira came off in the first half of Arsenal's 1-1 draw at home to Southampton last weekend, raising fears he would add to the substantial injury and suspension list at the club.
Robert Pires and Dennis Bergkamp are banned for Sunday's game at Goodison Park, while Martin Keown and Ashley Cole, who has found he does not need surgery on his knee problem but will still be out for about a month, are injured. Frederik Ljungberg is also still ruled out, while last night's reserve game, in which Tony Adams, David Seaman, Lee Dixon and Francis Jeffers were hoping to prove their fitness, was called off due to a waterlogged pitch at Barnet. Arsenal are attempting to organise a friendly at their training ground later this week to help the likes of Adams, who believes he could still return to action after a four-month lay-off this weekend. However, Vieira's availability will be crucial to the Gunners as they attempt to recover from the deflation of having dropped two points against Southampton. The French midfielder had been due to return to Paris to see friends and family after the first team squad were given a three-day break.
Evertonian on sale now
Feb 5 2002
THIS month's edition of The Evertonian has a distinctly Scandanavian flavour to it, and is a must for all Blues fans! Available from all good newsagents from Tuesday, February 5, the latest edition includes features on the arrival of the third Swede on the Blues' books in the form of Tobias Linderoth. The Evertonian has an exclusive interview with the new boy as he tells us his hopes for the future at Goodison. The Evertonian also speaks to fellow Swede Niclas Alexandersson who reveals how he turned spy to help recruit Linderoth. Also under the spotlight is Jesper Blomqvist, who relives his first Premiership goal for Everton.
Other great stories include:
Clive Thomas - exclusive! We speak to the most infamous man in Everton derby history as he reveals his thoughts on THAT disallowed FA Cup goal 25 years on. Goal King Weir - defender David Weir topped the Blues' goalscoring charts after his wonder strike against Spurs. We speak to Everton's unlikely hitman on his rich goalscoring vein. Alan Stubbs is an Evertonian! We put the defender and True Blue Stubbsie to the test with an Everton quiz. He also gives us his best Everton XI and recalls some magical memories supporting the Blues. Also... Brian Labane, Graeme Sharp, Duncan McKenzie and David Unsworth look back on their own Everton eras as spokesmen for a generation.
Man City Res 1 Everton Res 3
February 06, 2002
Manchester Evening News
MANCHESTER City Reserves slumped to a fourth consecutive home defeat against Everton at Hyde last night (Tuesday). Asa Hartford's men never recovered from conceding two early goals to Kevin McLeod and Danny Cadamarteri. Defender Paddy McCarthy brought City back into the game after 20 minutes when he headed home a Terry Cooke corner, but any brief hope City had disappeared in the second half when Cadamarteri scored his second, capitalising on a mistake by youngster McCarthy. The Blues will hope for better success tonight when they visit Goodison Park (kick-off 7pm) in the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup. Everton start favourites to reach the quarter-finals but City have a full-strength squad to choose fromremain confident. CITY RES: Nash, Edghill, Jordan, Whitley, McCarthy, Ritchie, Killen (Mike 79), Negouai, Dickov, Tiatto (Shuker 46). Subs not used: Murphy, Dunfield, Furnival.
FA Youth Cup: Everton 4 Man City 2
February 07, 2002
Manchester Evening News
FORTUNE failed to favour the brave last night (Wednesday) as Manchester City saw their dreams of FA Youth Cup glory dashed by Everton. Despite having the majority of possession, then creating a number of good chances, the boy Blues slipped to a 4-2 defeat on Merseyside. The difference between the two sides was the Toffees lively striker Wayne Rooney who scored two and made two.
Phil Gilder and Glenn Whelan scored for City. Coach Jim Cassell said: "I'm happy with the performance but Rooney was the difference and there can't be too many arguments."
Lee set for Blues duty
Report By Andy Hunter Daily Post
Feb 6 2002
LEE CARSLEY is in line for an Everton baptism of fire against Arsenal this Sunday after the Blues secured his release from cash-strapped Coventry last night. The 28-year-old midfielder is today expected to put the finishing touches to his dream move to Goodison Park after Everton raised their bid for the Republic of Ireland international to £1.6million. The move comes after days of negotiations with the first division club, who were reluctant to lose the former Blackburn Rovers man but were left with little choice due to their precarious financial state and the player's desire to leave. Carsley twice met manager Roland Nilsson to ask for a move once Everton's initial offer was rejected last week. And that wish is set to be granted after Goodison officials increased their second offer by £100,000 and threatened to pull out of the deal if it was not concluded yesterday.
Carsley, yesterday named in the Ireland squad to face Russia in Dublin next Wednesday, has been pulled out of the Coventry side to face Rotherham tonight despite Nilsson's insistence he would play.
The midfielder is now expected to put pen to paper at Everton this afternoon and is almost certain to go straight into manager Walter Smith's starting line-up for the televised weekend clash with the Gunners. Carsley could come up against Patrick Vieira on his Blues debut after the inspirational Arsenal skipper refused the club's offer of a threeday break for all players to undergo treatment on a hamstring strain. Arsene Wenger, like his Goodison counterpart, will go into Sunday's crucial Premiership clash without a number of key players although Smith hopes to have striker Tomasz Radzinski back in time. Radzinski was due to return against Ipswich last Saturday after missing the previous six games with a groin strain but a knee injury in training delayed his comeback for a further week. But while Smith prepares to welcome back the Canadian international to his starting line-up there are growing fears Steve Watson may require surgery. The influential defender twisted his ankle in the New Year's Day defeat at Middlesbrough and was last week ordered by a specialist to rest for a further fortnight to help clear up the problem. However, the first seven days have brought no improvement and Watson may need an operation which will delay his comeback for the Blues' relegation battle. That continues against title-chasing Arsenal at Goodison, and Blues' hopes will be lifted by the selection problems facing Wenger this weekend. Apart from the doubtful Vieira, the Londoners are without the injured Martin Keown, Ashley Cole and Freddie Ljungberg, while ex-Blue Franny Jeffers' hopes of a Goodison return were knocked when Monday's reserve team run-out alongside David Seaman, Tony Adams and Lee Dixon was called off due to a waterlogged pitch.
Robert Pires and Dennis Bergkamp are also suspended on Sunday, with the Dutchman serving the first of his three match ban for his two-footed lunge on Liverpool's Jamie Carragher in the FA Cup.
* EVERTON'S youngsters take on Manchester City at Goodison Park in the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup tonight. Admission to the game, which kicks off at 7pm, is via the Bullens Road stand and costs £3 adults, £1 concessions.
Danny leads Blues
Feb 6 2002 Liverpool Echo
TWO GOALS for Danny Cadamarteri and a successful return from injury for Mark Pembridge ensured a fruitful night as Everton Reserves beat Manchester City Reserves 3-1 away. The Blues took only six minutes to open the scoring, Idan Tal's corner headed home by Kevin McLeod from close range. City paraded a strong lineup, with Danny Tiatto, Jeff Whitley and Paul Dickov all on show but Everton were just too strong for them. Cadamarteri got his first on 17 minutes as Leon Osman, another midfielder returning from a lengthy lay off, played in the Blues striker, whose shot was too much for Carlo Nash. Paddy McCarthy got the home side back into it, heading home a corner past Paul Gerrard to make it 2-1, but Cadamarteri added his second and Everton's third on 54 minutes with a vicious shot to cap a hardworking performance by the Blues striker.
Everton: Gerrard, Cleland, Valentine, Pilkington, O'Hanlon, Southern (Kearney 52), Tal, Pembridge, Cadamarteri, Osman, McLeod. Subs unused: Curran, Pettinger, Eaton.
Lee on brink for Blues
Feb 6 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
LEE CARSLEY has been pulled out of a clash with Rotherham tonight - to prepare for the visit of Arsenal on Sunday. Everton hope to plunge the midfielder straight into their starting line-up at the weekend, as they close in on a £1.6m switch from Coventry. Talks will continue today, but the fact that Carsley has been withdrawn from the Coventry side for tonight's game suggests that a deal is close. Everton increased their initial £1.5m offer by £100,000 - and threatened to pull out of the deal if it was not concluded quickly. Coventry's fraught financial state and the player's desire to move forced them to reluctantly concede. Carsley should arrive at Bellefield tomorrow to immediately bolster the Blues' options for the visit of the Gunners. Mark Pembridge is also anticipating a dramatic return to action - on two fronts. Everton's Welsh international came through a 90 minute reserve team run-out last night, his first football since the defeat at Leeds before Christmas, and will be included in the Blues' squad for Sunday's televised game. The midfielder is also in the Welsh squad for a prestigious friendly match against Argentina in Cardiff next Wednesday. New signing Tobias Linderoth has joined Niclas Alexandersson in the Swedish squad for a friendly against Greece, while Thomas Gravesen was expected to be called up by Denmark for a friendly against Saudi Arabia. The Danish midfielder, however, has not trained for six weeks because of an ankle injury and Everton are unlikely to release him.
Jeffers hopes fans accept why he left
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Feb 7 2002
FRANCIS JEFFERS has admitted he hopes fellow Evertonians understand why he quit his boyhood club in the summer - as he bids to make a shock Arsenal comeback at Goodison Park on Sunday.
The former Blues striker has made only two starts for the Gunners since his £10million move last year but has not ruled out a third this weekend as he continues his recovery from the latest ankle injury to blight his career. And as he bids to convince Arsene Wenger he is worthy of a role at Goodison, Jeffers has stressed his determination to turn his troubled move to Highbury a success.
Just like Tony Adams and David Seaman, Jeffers must first prove his fitness in today's rearranged reserves match against Watford. The postponement of the game earlier this week due to a waterlogged pitch had looked to end any hopes that the trio may have had of being involved at Goodison. However, the match will now take place behind closed doors at Arsenal's training ground and could be a significant boost for Arsenal's title challenge and, alternatively, an added worry for Everton's relegation fight. Jeffers is desperate to return against his boyhood club even though a hostile reception awaits following his June departure. Since then, however, Arsenal's supposed 'fox in the box' has been plagued with ankle trouble that has ruled him out from late September onwards. The frustration levels since then have been immense, especially when - after scoring 10 goals in six reserve-team games - he broke down again in a second-string outing against Chelsea last month. Now he is back on the comeback trail and is hoping that the absence of Kanu at the African Nations Cup and suspensions for Robert Pires and Dennis Bergkamp could give him a chance of a substitute's role. Jeffers revealed: "I'm back training and hopefully I'll feature in the reserves and then maybe in the squad for the match at Everton, which is nice timing. I'll be looking forward to that one. "I'm a bit reluctant to set a firm comeback date though as it's disappointing to miss out.
"I haven't come here to sit on the bench though. I want to play every game or at least play a major part in the team. "Coming back into the team is in my head every day. Watching the lads play and the chances we are creating makes me determined to get back. I think we've got the best squad in the Premier League and hopefully we can show that by winning a couple of trophies." While admitting his injury problems had "got him down", Jeffers is also dreaming of being involved in the England under-21 side at the European Championships this summer. However, he must first negotiate his way past tonight's reserves game behind closed doors and then his return to Everton.
" Hopefully the Everton fans will understand my reasons for leaving," he said. "I'm still an Everton fan and I always ask about their results every Saturday, but I want to do my best for Arsenal now.
"It would be nice to go back and get a nice reception. But either way, I'll just get on with my game."
Despite his injury problems at Highbury, the 21-year-old has no regrets at having left the club where he learned his trade and made his Premiership debut at the age of just 16. Jeffers added: "The lads at Arsenal have been a big help. I've settled in and there's no regrets. How can you regret joining a club like Arsenal?".
Coventry make Blues sweat over Carsley
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Feb 7 2002
EVERTON were left playing a waiting game for Lee Carsley last night after Coventry City held up his move to Goodison Park. The Blues had yesterday expected to complete the signing of the 28-year-old midfielder after agreeing a £1.6million deal with the first division club on Tuesday night.
But both Everton and Carsley were ultimately frustrated as Coventry stalled over his release, despite withdrawing the Republic of Ireland international from last night's team to face Rotherham.
The Highfield Road club insisted Carsley missed their 2-0 victory through illness, even though the player is again believed to have stressed his desire to leave with manager Roland Nilsson yesterday.
Everton remain confident the deal will go through but the fear now is that any further delay will ruin his chances of making his Goodison debut against Arsenal on Sunday. Carsley still has to undergo a medical before being registered with the FA in time for the Premiership clash. And if Coventry continue to prevent his release for another 24 hours the former Blackburn and Derby man's Blues' bow would come in the Merseyside derby at Anfield on February 23 due to his ineligibility for the FA Cup. Carsley's eventual arrive will hasten the Goodison exit of Thomas Gravesen who, despite being missing through injury for the last six weeks, is likely to get his wish to play for Denmark in next week's friendly with Saudi Arabia. Gravesen has been nursing an ankle injury since Boxing Day but was this week included in Morton Olsen's plans for the Danes' World Cup warm-up. Everton are reluctant to allow Gravesen's release but may be powerless to prevent the former Hamburg midfielder pursuing his World Cup ambitions. Rising star Wayne Rooney, meanwhile, struck twice as Everton's youngsters marched into the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup last night with a 4-2 win over Manchester City.
Humble 'H' the popular choice
Feb 7 2002 Liverpool Echo
WHEN you have the backing of one of your club's biggest fans' organisations the message is clear - you are worthy of the title Everton's Fan of the Year. The support for Harry 'H' Wildman from the Everton Independent Blues Supporters Club made the decision to give him the accolade straightforward. But what makes Wildman such a popular choice? What made 100 people sign a petition in support of Harry's nomination? Ask the man himself and he admits he does not have the answer. The humble Evertonian from Litherland confesses: "Obviously I am delighted and somewhat flattered because I feel there are people out there who deserve it more than I do.
"I couldn't believe it when I was told on the way to the Spurs game a couple of weeks ago that I had been nominated. It came as a complete shock." His modest response will come as no surprise to the many Evertonians who come into contact with 'H' on matchdays. Those who know him know all too well the effort he has to put in to just getting to the game. The 49-year-old suffers from cerebal palsy, a condition which makes the short journey from his Litherland home to Goodison Park a chore for the die-hard fan. Frank Savage, one of the many Evertonians who nominated Harry, sums up the appreciation of 'H' when he says: "Harry's dedication to the Blues in spite of his disability makes us all humble. He is always ready to be helpful to his fellow fans." Ian McDonald, spokesperson for the Independent Blues and the first person to nominate 'H', said: "Harry may not have a shrine at his home, just his loving Auntie Kate who cares for his needs. "But his record still stands out for not missing a game, although 'H' should be in a wheelchair now to get to the ground. "He has watched his beloved Blues since 1967 and has not missed a competitive home game in 24 years."
It is a record which Harry does not see as a great achievement, however. He explains: "I have been following Everton for 35 years and have had a season ticket for 28 years, but I am sure there are lots of fans who can tell a similar story. "I am proud to be an Everton fan and I get tremendous help from my friends going to the games. "It is such a great club with such great fans. I know every fan of every club will say the same about their team, but there is something special with Everton. I have got a special relationship with the fans, I am very fortunate. "So many people seem to know me, I am friends with hundreds of people and it is very gratifying on a matchday when people are chatting to me and giving me a helping hand. "There are always people looking out for me to make sure I can get along the street and through the crowds." During the 70s getting to Goodison tended to be the limit for Harry because of work commitments and the lack of decent facilities at away grounds.
But improvements over the last 20 years have made it easier for him to follow the Blues on the road.
"Since the 90s every season I have attended 42 to 45 games. Facilities have improved a lot since the 70s. Standing terraces were obviously a problem but they are all gone now." And travelling with the Evertonians ensures 'H' is always attended to if he needs a helping hand. Ian McDonald can vouch for the affection the fans show him. "You will see Harry making his way down the Gwladys Street on a matchday towards his favourite watering holes, The Winslow and The Blue House," added McDonald. "On his way he has to stop every five yards because his illness drains his energy and affects his breathing. I am sure it is the Guinness which fuels him on a matchday. "He makes us feel proud to have such a committed fan amongst us. The world seems a nicer place when you meet the likes of 'H'." Harry himself has many fond memories of his time at Goodison. Too many, in fact, to pick a highlight during his 35 years supporting the club. "The favourite game for the majority of supporters is the Bayern Munich match in '85," he conceded, "and it is hard to argue with that."
Blues swoop on the rocks
Feb 7 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON'S bid to sign Coventry midfielder Lee Carsley has been shelved...for now.
Coventry have thrown out Everton's offer of £1.6m, for a player they rate at £2m and Sky Blues Chief Executive Graham Hover said: "That's the end of the matter. We are not accepting the figure they have offered. "We are not in the business of letting our players go cheaply. "We have a responsibility to our supporters to try and get promotion and that means we will not let players go for anything less than we believe is their right valuation." Everton chief executive Michael Dunford, however, insisted: "We have made our final offer. The ball is firmly in Coventry's court. We believe our offer is fair. "I am waiting for a phone call." Everton expect to finalise their refinancing package in the next week, and could make an improved offer then. But for the time being, the deal is on ice.
Carsley did not figure for Coventry in last night's victory over Rotherham, but was reported to be suffering from 'flu. He revived sufficiently, however, to attend a late afternoon meeting at Highfield Road with Nilsson, Jim Smith and his agent. Thomas Gravesen, meanwhile, has found himself embroiled in another row at Everton - after Denmark demanded his release for next week's friendly in Saudi Arabia. Gravesen only started training again on Monday after limping off with an ankle injury against Manchester United on Boxing Day. But he is reported to have said yesterday: "I am as fit as ever, and I am ready to represent Denmark in Riyadh. I even expect to score a goal."
Angry Everton officials tried to bar Gravesen from travelling, but Danish boss Morten Olsen threatened to call in FIFA if the Blues did not relent. The Blues are suspicious that his sudden declaration of fitness has coincided with an international trip. Gravesen could find his bluff called, however, by being named in the first team squad for the visit of Arsenal on Sunday - the day he is due to report with Denmark.
Foxed by time travellers
Fanscene By Mark O'Brien, Daily Post
Feb 8 2002
DID you arrive at Goodison on Saturday with Michael J Fox in a silver DeLorean? No? Well how do you explain the fact that we appeared to have travelled back in time? It was just like when Walter Smith first arrived at the club. We had new foreign midfielders looking bemused as David Unsworth and the rest of the defence lashed the ball down the pitch at Duncan Ferguson, while his partner Kevin Campbell ran around aimlessly trying to get on the end of the predictable flick-ons and knock downs. That's two consecutive seasons when Ipswich Town have come to Goodison and contemptuously taken three points from us. Where they just lucky? Lucky that their players passed the ball quickly and moved off it intelligently? Lucky that they closed the ball down in groups and used the full width of the pitch when they retrieved it? Lucky that their manager didn't completely abandon any semblance of a game plan after ten minutes and stick a reserve central-defender out wide with no cover whatsoever? You try and look for the little positives in Everton's performances - the way they didn't crumble when a goal down at White Hart Lane, or holding out against Manchester united for most of the match - but waiting around the corner there's always a display like this one or the one the other week against Charlton Athletic. Basically a performance that reinforces what we all know: the team are badly coached and have not moved forward one inch in three and a half years. You've heard it before and it's plain for all to see. We have no other tactic than hoping that we get lucky from a Ferguson flick. As master plans go that's not good enough.
Maybe we're being a bit harsh though - after all funds have been tight at Goodison - how are we expected to compete with teams that contain the might of players like James Scowcroft, Mark Venus and John McGreal? Maybe Ally McCoist can enlighten us on the Premiership Parliament. In the midst of the shambles it was hard to assess Tobias Linderoth's contribution. What he was meant to do in a scene resembling the bridge of the Starship Enterprise (you know the bit when they're under attack and they all run from side to side) when he hasn't played since November was anyone's guess.
You could have put Zinedine Zidane on and it wouldn't have mattered. Or Lee Carsley. The fact is that until the fundamentals such as passing and movement are sorted out then no amount of transfer activity is going to set us on the right track. Surely everyone can see that? We've now taken two points from the last nine - the Ipswich result completely negating the hard work in the two previous games - and face Arsenal, Liverpool and Leeds next. We'll be grateful for anything from those ties, and all of a sudden the likes of Fulham at home don't quite look the bankers they should.
As for the home games against relegation rivals Bolton (on April Fools Day) Leicester and Blackburn, they simply don't bear thinking about. This is going to go to the wire. As they say.
Blues agree Carsley switch
Report By Jonathan Mcevoy, Daily Post
Feb 8 2002
LEE CARSLEY will finally sign for Everton today after the Blues agreed a knockdown fee for the Coventry City midfielder late last night. The Republic of Ireland international will join Goodison in a £1.8million switch after the two parties re-opened negotiations to resurrect the deal which appeared to have collapsed yesterday afternoon. Carsley, 28, will discuss personal terms today and be rushed through a medical in time to sign by the 12noon registration deadline, allowing him to make his debut at home to Arsenal on Sunday. Yesterday saw Everton's £1.6m offer rejected by Coventry, with both sides insisting they would not budge on their respective valuations.
But a compromise deal - which falls below the £2m City chief executive Graham Hover insisted his club would hold out for - was thrashed out. Carsley, a former Derby County and Blackburn Rovers regular, was desperate to link up with Walter Smith's Premiership outfit - and cashstrapped City were ultimately forced to settle for a reduced fee. Carsley, who was tracked by Howard Kendall during the latter days of his Everton reign, becomes the Blues' second midfield signing in eight days, following the £2.5m capture of Swedish starlet Tobias Linderoth. Money from a refinancing package has given Smith scope to operate in the transfer market to bolster his threadbare squad.
And Birmingham-born Carsley's arrival prompts further questions over unsettled Dane Thomas Gravesen's future on Merseyside after Denmark coach Morten Olsen admitted the midfielder's dispute with Everton could cost him his World Cup place. The 25-year-old has been out of favour at Goodison following a number of outbursts criticising the club in the Danish media. However, Olsen has called on Blues boss Walter Smith to resolve the situation with his troubled midfielder.
"I can't get involved in what Everton have decided with regards to not using Thomas in matches and his training with the first team," Olsen said. "But the situation is very tedious and completely intolerable for everyone in the long run. "Everton surely don't want a vital first-team regular going on like this, particularly at a time when the club is in danger of relegation and could use him.
"I think Walter Smith needs to solve their internal problems. I've tried a number of times to contact him, but haven't been able to get hold of him. "I'm in no doubt that Thomas is in good physical form and able to play in internationals, and he's desperate to play. "Yet the current situation can't go on, otherwise I can't put him in the national team much longer." Smith was reluctant to release Gravesen for Denmark's friendly against Saudi Arabia next Wednesday because of suspicions he only declared himself fit with the international fixture in mind. Gravesen, now back in training, has been sidelined since hobbling off against Manchester United on Boxing Day, but Everton's physio staff have found difficulty in diagnosing the complaint. Smith has reluctantly agreed to let Gravesen represent his country, but he will not be allowed to join up with the squad before Sunday's match against Arsenal. Yet Olsen insists he cannot understand Smith's claims that Gravesen is injured.
"We received a fax on Tuesday from Everton, and it said that Thomas is injured and can't play," Olsen said. "Yet he's not injured and he's playing. Obviously we called him home as we're allowed to do, but we would have done that anyway, even if he had been injured, because we'd want to see ourselves how bad it was."
Sealed with a Gazza kiss
Feb 8 2002 Liverpool Echo
WHEN Lee Carsley finally put pen to paper on his Everton contract this morning, it concluded a saga he thought would never end. The 28-year-old's £1.9m switch to Goodison Park from Highfield Road had been on the cards for two weeks. But the player himself was convinced it would never happen.
"I thought at one stage that because I had been linked with Everton that much it was perhaps never going to happen, so I am just glad to be here now," he admitted. The ink will still be drying on his four-and-a-half year contract when he makes his home debut against Arsenal at Goodison Park on Sunday. He cannot wait for his dreams of a Premiership return to become reality. But while he longed to get back to the top flight, he spent the last 10 days convincing himself he would remain a Conventry player. He declared: "I am just glad it is all over. It has taken a week to come round but it has happened at last. "As soon as I heard there was an interest I really wanted to come but I had to keep my attitude right at Coventry because I was still their player. It has been a long 10 days but at least it is sorted out now and I can look forward to my first game." Along with new signing David Ginola and Swede Tobias Linderoth, who was snapped up for £2.5m from Stabaea in Norway, Walter Smith has brought in three players in the space of eight days who could transform the club's midfield. Manager Walter Smith believes his new signing will have no trouble settling in.
Smith said: "He is an experienced player in the Premiership. We are looking forward to getting him into the team for the game with Arsenal. "He has great qualities. He has good playing ability and he is fairly adaptable, which is important in our squad. "But I think more than anything else he brings a good work ethic to our team and we have missed that a little bit this season because of injury."
Feb 8 2002
Born: January 25 1967 in Gossin, near Toulon.
1985: Begins career with Toulon.
1988: Moves to Racing Paris.
1990: Moves to Brest.
1992: Joins Paris Saint-Germain.
1994: PSG win first league championship in eight years. Named French player of the year and French players' player of the year.
1995: Signs for Newcastle for £2.5million. Wins the last of his 17 caps for France.
1997: Moves to Tottenham for £2million after making 75 league and cup appearances for Newcastle, scoring seven goals.
1999: Wins Worthington Cup with Spurs.
2000: Joins Villa for £3million on a two-year contract.
2001: Charged with misconduct by FA over touchline bust-up with Wilkes.
2002: Signs for Everton until end of 2001-2002 season.
Smith: We need Ginola creativity
Feb 8 2002 Liverpool Echo
WALTER Smith believes David Ginola can provide the creativity that his team have been lacking in recent weeks. "He is a player who obviously has a very, very high level of ability and I just felt that towards the remaining games of the season he can add something a little bit different," said Smith.
"Obviously, with not playing many games for Aston Villa we'll have to speak to him and see what his overall match fitness is like but he'll be involved in the squad on Sunday. "We've had problems injury-wise up front all season, and I felt we needed someone who could cover for a number of positions. "David can play wide on the left, wide on the right and in the centre as well."
Ginola's SOS flair
Feb 9 2002 Liverpool Echo
WINGING IN: Ginola has the quality to save the Blues
WALTER SMITH believes new signing David Ginola has the flair to help lift Everton away from the Premiership relegation zone. Ginola flew in to Liverpool with his agent this morning, becoming the Blues manager's third signing in a week. And Smith believes the Frenchman's style and personality could be the perfect tonic for both the players and fans on the eve of tomorrow's game against Arsenal. Smith said: "We needed a lift after what happened last week against Ipswich. We have suffered badly with injuries and we want to ease that situation with these new signings.
"Now we have to do what Ipswich have done and put a run of wins together. We have some tough games coming up, but then they are all tough and I hope these new signings can make a difference.
"Ginola is fit, but I will be surprised, considering the few games he's had of late, if he will have the match fitness for 90 minutes, but you never can tell." To sign Ginola, now 34, after his highly public run-ins with Gregory, seems a gamble for Smith. But the Everton chief said: "He's got a terrific level of ability. There may have been a lot of things said about him in recent seasons, but nobody has said he's not a good player with decent ability. "He will bring that ability to us for the last few months of the season and hopefully we will make good use of it." After the sterile home defeat by Ipswich last week, Smith knew he had to do something, and with the soon-to-be-completed financial re-packaging of the club, money has been made available for the Scot. The signings of Ginola and Lee Carsley were both rushed through - Carsley initially on a short loan because his medical results were not cleared in time for him to face Arsenal. Both will go straight into the clash with the north Londoners, while Mark Pembridge and Tomasz Radzinski are also back in the squad.
Everton face Liverpool and then Leeds in the two games after the clash with the Gunners, so an injection of class and quality was desperately needed to attempt to stop the plunge towards the bottom three. Smith said: "Every game now is crucial, every one has more tension than the last. But we know how hard Arsenal will be, they are still unbeaten away from home in the league, which is a tremendous achievement. "If anybody is going to take away Manchester United's crown, then Arsenal are the team to do it. "We are aware of their work ethic and attitude to the game, but also the tremendous ability to achieve things." Whether the giant stage of a clash` with Arsenal will inspire Ginola, only time will tell after weeks in the doldrums at Villa Park. Smith said: "We signed David Ginola just before the deadline. He has a very, very high level of ability and he will be able to add something different in the remaining crucial games of the season. "He has not played too many games recently, but he'll also go straight into the squad. I will have to talk to him about his match fitness level, but he'll be in the squad for sure. "He's with us until the end of the season, but he's not a loan because you can't do that inside the Premiership. "We have needed someone who can cover a number of positions up front. We have had so many injuries to our strikers, that's what we have been missing. "David can play on the right or left, or down the middle so he gives us plenty of variety. He can bring more creativity to our team." The arrival of Ginola somewhat overshadowed the signing of Carsley after a week of protracted negotiations that looked like they had broken down on Thursday before Everton upped their bid to neared Coventry's asking price. But observers might think that a battler like 27-year-old Carsley is more important to Everton at present than the erratic skills of Ginola. The midfielder believes he has what it takes for a relegation battle. He said: "Everton are at the wrong end of the table, but they've suffered with injuries since Christmas after having a good start to the season. "Hopefully I'm coming in at the right time to do my bit and help change things around. "I'm ready for the task, I've been in this position before with both Blackburn and Coventry. The next three games against Arsenal, Liverpool and Leeds are going to be very tough, but I'm ready for it. "The boss wants me to get about the pitch and upset people, and I'm going to do my best to do that."
So glad Gin's back on my side
Feb 9 2002 By Claire Gray, Liverpool Echo
FRENCH FANCY: David Ginola checks in for Everton
STEVE Watson has hailed the arrival of his former team-mate David Ginola at Everton - because he'll no longer have to play against him! The two played together up at Newcastle from 1995 to '97 but since then they have only met as opponents. Now, with Ginola having signed in at Goodison Park on a free transfer, Watson is looking forward to watching other defenders squirm. "I am pleased to be back on the same side as him rather than having to face him again. He can be a defender's nightmare," he remarked. "David has got the ability to do something different. He will excite the fans. He is a match winner who can change the game in the way Gazza can. "When he was at Newcastle, especially in his first three months there, he was electric. "He was as good as any player I have ever played with and I'm sure at the time all the lads there would have said that."
The flamboyant winger joins the Blues until the end of the season by which time Everton hope Premiership safety will long since have been secured. Just one league win in eight has left Walter Smith's side in fourteenth place with only three goals having been scored in that time. Watson, however, is convinced that Ginola's arrival can help change that statistic. "We haven't scored enough goals all season - period," said the defender. "We have had our strikers out for long periods so this could be the creative force we need. "Putting balls into the box is one of his greatest strengths. In those first three months at Newcastle he used to send in a goal-making cross almost every game. "With Duncan and Kevin in our side and their aerial presence hopefully that is something that will prove very lucrative for us. He added: "We have had a mini-revival in recent weeks with two great cup results but we haven't been getting the results in the league.
"This signing will give us a lift and with Lee Carsley and Toby Linderoth also having come in hopefully it will make a difference. "David will tell you himself that he is probably a different type of player to what he was ten years ago. "But I played against him last season and some of the lads played against him in the reserve game at Villa the other week, and we can tell you that he can still turn it on. "He didn't have the best time at Villa and he'll be hoping to use this move as a springboard to get himself back in everyone's thoughts again. "I'm sure he will be grateful for the opportunity to do that." Ginola will go straight into the squad for the visit of title-chasing Arsenal tomorrow.
Everton 0, Arsenal 1
By David Randles, icLiverpool
Feb 10 2002
EVERTON fell to a second consecutive defeat as Arsenal held on to a lucky goal at Goodison Park.
French striker, Sylvain Wiltord was fortunate to see his second half hook shot spin over Steve Simonsen and off the post to sink the Blues. Despite enjoying much of the play in the opening half, the Toffees' new signings, David Ginola and Lee Carsley, were given a rude awakening to the plight ahead as Everton failed to make the most of their early chances. Indeed, Ginola went closest midway through the first half but could only watch as his freekick ricocheted off the wrong side of Richard Wright's post in the Gunners' goal. Carsley was on hand to send a couple of teasing crosses in, but Everton's depleated strikeforce meant the Blues lacked the finishing touch to convert as Kevin Campbell found himself isolated up front. Before the break, the Blues' new boys linked up well as Carsley found Ginola free on the edge of the box, but the flamboyant Frenchman lacked the finishing touch and could only drag the pullback agonisingly wide of the post. Despite the late appearence of Paul Gascoigne in midfield, the Toffees looked stuck for ideas as Arsenal sat back to hold onto the three points. The defeat leaves the Blues in fifteenth spot on goal difference as one of a trio of teams resting precariously just three points above the relegation zone.
Everton: Simonsen, Clarke (Moore 86), Weir, Stubbs, Unsworth (Gascoigne 70), Blomqvist (Pembridge 77), Carsley, Linderoth, Naysmith, Campbell, Ginola. Subs Not Used: Gerrard, Cleland.
Arsenal: Wright, Luzhny, Stepanovs, Campbell, Upson (Dixon 31), Parlour, Vieira, Grimandi, van Bronckhorst, Wiltord, Henry.
Subs Not Used: Seaman, Jeffers, Edu, Inamoto.
Booked: Campbell, Stepanovs, Parlour, Luzhny, Henry.
Referee: J Winter (Stockton-on-Tees)
Everton 0, Arsenal 1 (D,Post)
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Feb 11 2002
IT WAS like Pop Idol all over again. A split decision leaving the victor grinning inanely and the loser stuck for words. Walter Smith is hardly the type to have been swept along with the weekend hype but he will no doubt join the rest of the nation in hoping lucrative rewards are not only bestowed on runners-up in a lavish karaoke show. A second successive home defeat left his Everton side cemented in the familiar realms of the relegation brink yesterday when, without their latest show of generosity in front of goal this season, he should have watched his side edge away from danger.
Just as they discovered at home to Manchester United, however, Everton don't just rue missing chances against championship-chasing teams - they pay the ultimate price. And when Sylvain Wiltord mishit his winner over the startled Steve Simonsen there was an air of resignation around Goodison Park that a display that should have brought points would yet again deliver only misery.
It was Arsene Wenger who left Merseyside with a smile as wide as Will's while the Blues' boss was left to reflect on the continued absence of a cutting edge that is costing Everton dear. Arsenal produced one awesome but brief spell of play and took the spoils. Everton dominated before and battled after, but never made a convincing case for victory even if their three debutants did offer hope for the coming weeks. Smith had just 15 first team players fit for Thursday's training session but thanks to 10 days of hectic transfer activity at least he finally had a cavalry to patch up his struggling side. David Ginola, Lee Carsley (pictured) and Tobias Linderoth all made their full Goodison debuts against an Arsenal side also decimated by injuries and suspension but, with Duncan Ferguson joining Tomasz Radzinski on the sidelines with a hamstring strain, the usual struggle to find a striker reared its ugly head again. Everton have scored only three league goals this year and once again the absence of a fox in the box, as Thierry Henry would say, was telling but, to be fair, their only failing in a vibrant and dominant first-half display. With more guile and composure in front of goal, Smith's side could have made their superiority count before the break and given themselves the relegation lift their fans, players and now, thankfully, board are working towards. Ginola, starting in attack, arrived as the self-proclaimed great entertainer and so nearly lived up to the tag by pulling a wonderful opener out of his bag of tricks within two minutes of his debut. Carsley had already served notice of the timely qualities he brings to the fight with a thunderous tackle on Patrick Vieira when the Frenchman dummied David Unsworth's throw-in and swept a curling shot in from the lay-off to bring a fine save out of Richard Wright. A few back-heels and intelligent passes later and the seeds of a blossoming relationship with the Evertonians were sown. On a brighter day, it would have been a full-blown embrace. There was no disguising the fact the flamboyant star was intent on marking his 'new lease of life' by injecting the same into Everton's season with a debut goal, and on 13 minutes he was inches away from doing just that. The dreadful Igor Stepanovs was penalised for a clean tackle on Kevin Campbell just outside the area. Ginola demanded and took the subsequent free-kick to leave Wright rooted to the spot, only for his shot to caress the far post. That was a case of what might have been. His next effort was what should have been. A flowing move from the trio of debutants saw Carsley cut the ball back to present the arriving Ginola, but with a clear shot on goal he dragged his effort well wide. Missed opportunities failed to affect either Everton's drive or dominance, however, and until Arsenal's second-half recovery they were kept on the back foot by a disciplined and firm home formation. Alan Stubbs and Carsley (pictured) both had half chances while the visitors' first effort took 32 minutes to arrive and was hardly worth the wait as Simonsen smothered Henry's weak daisy-cutter. The French striker forced a far better stop out of Simonsen seconds before the interval with a vicious 30-yard freekick, and that rare moment of quality from the title-chasers was clearly not enough to spare them from the halftime wrath of Wenger. While former Blues striker Franny Jeffers warmed up to chants of 'Judas' on the Goodison pitch his new colleagues in the dressing room were clearly being ordered to up the tempo judging by the blistering opening that turned the tide their way so dramatically after the restart. It was only on Boxing Day that a side of championship quality punished Everton for not capitalising when they had the chance and the Blues failed to learn the lessons of Manchester United to their cost.
Once Vieira and Parlour came to grips with the midfield battle and Henry floated further left to take possession Everton struggled to stem the visitors' flowing football until they were a crucial goal behind. And what will really stick in the craw is that the matchwinner may have been threatened for 10 minutes but could so easily have been avoided. Parlour tested Simonsen with a deflected drive before turning a cross by Wiltord over the Blues' bar in a 15-minute spell when they had Everton on the rack for the only time in the game. But their winner should have been stopped at both its source and conclusion. Linderoth had produced a fine full debut despite playing only one competitive 90 minutes since November but spoilt it with his only error of the game, a poor clearance straight to the impressive Vieira. He lofted an immaculate pass over Unsworth for Wiltord, whose scuffed shot off his shin fooled Simonsen and the rest of Goodison into fatally thinking it was going over before dropping over the hesitant Blues keeper and bouncing in off the far post. The sucker-punch had been coming but, overall, the victory was undeserved. Despite wresting back control of the game and having players of the vision and skill of Ginola, Blomqvist and substitute Paul Gascoigne on the field Everton worryingly failed to create another chance of note.
That will alarm Smith most of all ahead of the increasingly fraught battle for survival, even if the performance should instil hope. That said, better vision from referee Jeff Winter, who rightly kept red in his pocket when Henry made a two-footed but half-hearted lunge on Weir in the final minute, and Everton should have earned at least one of two strong penalty appeals against Stepanovs.
The lucky Latvian wrestled Campbell to the floor two minutes after the restart and followed that up with a blatant check on Stubbs as he closed in on a corner with just six minutes to go. Neither was deemed worthy of a spotkick by the official, even though TV replays proved the second foul on Stubbs was a clear one. As both Smith and Everton know only too well by now, fortune never favours the strugglers. The one consolation to emerge from Goodison yesterday was the hope that more performances like this should see the Blues survive. But unless they discover a clinical edge soon, that hope will not spring eternal.
EVERTON (4-4-2): Simonsen; Clarke (Moore 86), Weir, Stubbs, Unsworth (Gascoigne 70); Blomqvist (Pembridge 78), Carsley, Linderoth, Naysmith; Ginola; Campbell. Subs: Gerrard, Cleland.
ARSENAL (4-4-2): Wright; Luzhny, Stepanovs, Campbell, Upson (Dixon, 30); Parlour, Grimandi, Vieira, van Bronckhorst; Wiltord, Henry. Subs: Seaman, Jeffers, Edu, Inamoto.
REFEREE: Jeff Winter BOOKINGS: Arsenal's Campbell, Stepanovs, Parlour, Luzhny and Henry (all fouls)
Smith's Winter blast as worries increase
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Feb 11 2002
WALTER SMITH last night blasted referee Jeff Winter after Everton slipped further into the relegation mire with defeat by title-chasing Arsenal. The Blues boss was furious the Stockton official waved away two strong penalty appeals in the second half of their 1-0 Goodison upset which left rival manager Arsene Wenger admitting his side "got lucky". Latvian defender Igors Stepanovs twice bundled over Everton players in the area either side of Sylvain Wiltord's fortuitous 62nd-minute winner which leaves the Blues hovering three points above the drop zone. But Winter ignored both claims to earn a stinging rebuke from the Goodison chief. Smith said: "We had two good penalty claims in the second half when Stepanovs pulled back Kevin Campbell and then Alan Stubbs at a corner kick. "It was fairly clear-cut from where I was sitting and I felt the referee had an even clearer view of both. Why he chose to ignore them is a complete mystery to me." The Blues dominanted the first half with debutant David Ginola making a sparkling start just two days after his shock arrival from Aston Villa. And despite a second successive home defeat that heightens relegation fears for the Blues, who face Liverpool and Leeds in their next two Premiership games, Smith praised his side's display as the form that can keep them out of danger. The Blues boss, who also handed new signings Lee Carsley and Tobias Linderoth full debuts, added: "We have to take the positives out of that performance. "Overall the lads deserved at least a point, taking into account the few opportunities either side created in the game. "I thought the three debutants did well. David did well to last the 90 minutes and it was understandable his brighter moments came early on as he hasn't played a lot recently. "The two midfielders played very well even though it was difficult for them to come into the team at this point. "We haven't been lacking in commitment and we just need to make sure we keep giving that level of effort, which I'm sure we will do, and hope that in other games we get the break we didn't get today. I felt we played well in the first half, we had the better of it. The second half was a bit scrappy from both sides and I was disappointed with the goal we lost. It was a soft one from our point of view." Highbury boss Wenger admitted his side were fortunate to get the win that keeps their title hopes alive thanks to Wiltord's mis-hit shot that looped over Blues' keeper Steve Simonsen. Wenger said: "We got a lucky goal and then we had to keep our shape to get through the game. Sylvain mis-kicked it and it chipped the keeper but I don't think it was his intention to do that." Smith was without strikers Duncan Ferguson and Tomasz Radzinski through injury but hopes their return can help Everton's latest bid for survival.
"We need a settled side now," said Smith; "The main thing is we get our missing players back. We've missed Steve Watson and Alessandro Pistone in the full-back positions and also Tomasz Radzinski up front. "Duncan was out with a back injury and misses next week's cup game through suspension but hopefully he'll be back fully fit for the Liverpool game."
Weir stays positive as luck runs out
Liverpool Echo, Daily Post
Feb 11 2002
DAVID WEIR believes Arsenal's slice of luck in front of goal made the difference as the Gunners escaped from Goodison with all three points yesterday. Everton's veteran defender (pictured) points to a positive performance as a solid platform to build on however as the Blues head into next week's FA Cup tie against Crewe and then crunch Premiership fixtures away at Anfield and against Leeds. He said: "We were positive in the first half. The team worked hard and we played quite well, but obviously you've got to score to win. "Arsenal, with the quality they've got, the chances are that they will make a goal. "I think they got the break at the right time. They got a bit of luck in the box which we never did." With the sides deadlocked at 0-0 and the Blues enjoying the best of very few opportunities, Weir admits that the players went in at half time optimistic of getting something out of the game. He added: "It was a hard game, they were a good side. "The way it looked at half time I thought we had a good chance of getting something out of it but then they have sneaked a goal which was maybe a bit fortunate, so it was disappointing. "I think Wiltord just had a swing at it really and caught it, got something on it, and it's looped over Steve into the goal. "I don't think he meant it to go there but obviously it's done the job and earned them the points" Weir also praised the performances of new boys David Ginola, Lee Carsley and Tobias Linderoth, saying: "I thought they all did very well. The fresh faces gave us a boost and a lift and they contributed to a decent performance. "Obviously a defeat was not the result we were looking for, or deserved, but the performance itself wasn't too bad. "We've got a lot of big games coming up, but if we play as well as that I'm sure we will pick up some points." Gunners boss Arsene Wenger added: "It was a difficult pitch and we had to dig deep out there because we were missing a lot of players and everybody out there, whoever they were, had to fight. "We dominated the second half but it was a lucky goal."
Kenwright: Spending isn't over yet
By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
Feb 11 2002
BILL KENWRIGHT hopes to bring even more new faces to Goodison, despite a trio of players making their full debuts for Everton yesterday. A week of frantic transfer activity ended with David Ginola, Lee Carsley and Tobias Linderoth all making favourable impressions against Arsenal.
And deputy-Chairman Bill Kenwright said: "I hope it is not the end of the spending for Walter.
"We have got a plan and we refinanced in the last couple of weeks. "We are a little ahead of the plan now, but I suppose three signings in a week is back to the old Everton. "Whatever Walter wants it is my intention to give it to him." Kenwright added: "It was a relentless 48-hours of negotiating, but it will be worth every second if it brings us the boost we need at a crucial stage." Manager Walter Smith will check on his injured players today, with Niclas Alexandersson the most likely to recover in time for next weekend's FA Cup tie. Duncan Ferguson will see a specialist about an injury to the hamstring area of both legs. "It's an unusual problem which Duncan has had for a few weeks," said Smith. "He will see a back specialist to discover what is causing the problem."
Tomasz Radzinski will resume light training this week, while a specialist will decide whether Steve Watson's ankle problem requires surgery.
YOUR views on double swoop
icLiverpool, Daily Post
Feb 11 2002
GINOLA is a brilliant signing, despite his age. At last Duncan Ferguson might get some decent crosses. Certain fans moan about how small the squad is, how we don't sign anybody - but Walter has signed an exciting player. Ferguson gets the blame for Everton's long ball tactics. It's not his fault the others can't go down the wings and cross it! Ginola will.
Kenny D'Arcy, Liverpool
WHY bring in a old player like Ginola? Can he save our beloved Everton? I am now very sceptical on the Blues' transfer dealings.
E Bromwell (via e-mail)
I'D LIKE to wish our new players all the best during their time at Goodison. Carsley is similar to Pembridge and Gemmill. He is a real battler but we already have a proven midfielder in Gravesen.
With relegation looming I urge the players to fight for the successful survival of the club they are paid by and also bring the FA Cup back to Goodison. I am not fully convinced about David Ginola; the man can be magical one moment, not the next. I guess only time will tell.
Marc Holdsworth (via e-mail)
GINOLA? That's scandalous. What are Everton trying to do -
excite us? I demand Steve Watson is re-instated back up front. I am also worried where Unsworth is going to fit in now. Seriously, well played Walter. At last I might see some excitement instead of tedium at Goodison. Blomqvist and Ginola on the wings, Ferguson can't ask for much more.
Derek Johns, Liverpool
I THINK that Ginola will be a great signing if he works down the field as well as he works up it.
Nigel Johnson (via e-mail)
GINOLA will be a great asset to the club; at last we have two decent wingers. We can only benefit from a signing like this. Big Dunc and Super Kev will be banging them in left, right and centre!
Tracy Gearing, Liverpool I, for one, am happy at the signings of Ginola and Carsley.
We now have something resembling a midfield. The thought of Gazza and Ginola, if fit, supplying flair sounds exciting.
I just wish they were younger. They might recreate the excitement we enjoyed with Limpar and Kanchelskis.Time is running out Walter, use the players wisely or even my patience will go.
Paul Webber (via e-mail)
OUR TEAM is crying out for a goalscorer and what do Everton do, bring in three midfielders. Linderoth may prove a great acquisition, but Carsley and the Frenchman do not fit the bill
S. Steel, Liverpool
GINOLA has to be the most overrated players in the Premiership and has never performed against the top teams. But now he's here I hope I'm made to eat my words.
Anthony Walsh, Huyton
Everton 0, Arsenal 1 (Echo)
Feb 11 2002 By Claire Gray, Liverpool Echo
GOODISON, some suggested, had become the California of the Premiership. The place where those who had once entertained the masses came to slip away from the footballing world quietly.
So the story's gone following the arrival of David Ginola. Advocates of that theory will have been disappointed then that the average age of the starting eleven yesterday was a reasonable 27 - and that with the latest admission to the 'graveyard' pitched in from the start. Few would deny that too many of Everton's first teamers are pushing the less pretty end of the age spectrum. Facts don't lie. But you live within your means. Like the Blues' other high-profile thirty something, Paul Gascoigne, Ginola comes on a free, desperate to play football at the highest level. Like Gascoigne, people have questioned his mindset but never his ability. If you're good enough you're old enough after all, therefore it should follow that if you're good enough you're always young enough. And the quicker the better given where Everton languish at the moment. As with Gascoigne, Ginola arrives with the remit of making things happen. When Everton's troubles have been debated in recent weeks the nail has been hit firmly on the head of creativity, money and finishing - or a lack of them.
In bringing in Ginola, Walter Smith has done as much as anyone with a limited budget can do to address the problems of creativity. The fact that the Blues' boss has been able to get his hands on enough cash to add some flesh onto the bare bones of his squad at all, is progress in itself.
That said, the arrival of a 'depleted' Arsenal outfit re-emphasised that as a squad the Goodison Idols are still more your Gareth Gates than your 'Fat Rick' as far as meat goes. More of the third later on.
This, apparently, was a good time to play Arsene Wenger's side. Robert Pires and Dennis Bergkamp were suspended. Martin Keown, Ashley Cole, and Freddie Ljungberg were left behind in the Highbury treatment room and Kanu on African Nations Cup duty. That only left the World Cup winning trio of Thierry Henry, Sylvain Wiltord and Patrick Vieira to contend with, and the not so timid midfield talents of England man Ray Parlour and Dutch international Giovanni Van Bronckhorst. Nothing to worry about there then. Apparently not, judging by Everton's first half display as they kept their opponents quiet to such an extent that at times you had to remind yourself who they were playing. Yes, Arsenal were ravaged by injury and suspension but Goodison is not a place to voice excuses like that. Walter Smith could kit out an army with the T-shirts he's been able to collect. Twelve days ago he was able to take just one recognised midfielder with him to Aston Villa. Suddenly a complete and balanced midfield has appeared - and a promising one at that.
Tobias Linderoth had had little chance to impress in his 45 minute debut against Ipswich last weekend but once he'd found his feet in this one he looked a player. As did his central midfield partner Lee Carsley. They signed on the same day but were always going to court a different press.
The Republic of Ireland international was the less glamorous of the two - on and off the pitch - and was never going to be snapped up to front an advertsing campaign for a shampoo company.
But by the 27th minute the Gwladys Street faithful were singing his name. Barry Horne will tell you when you have a reputation as a hard-working midfielder that sort of respect doesn't come easy.
On the basis of this, the new-look midfield has great potential. So in a game where Everton failed to score again, what of their strikeforce? After a run of four games, Duncan Ferguson is back in the treatment room, courtesy of a hamstring injury this time, while Tomasz Radzinski's comeback from a stomach strain has been delayed once again. The effort put in by Kevin Campbell can never be questioned but he hasn't found the back of a Premiership net since returning from injury.
Just three league goals have gone in in the last nine games and if the 'goals for' tally continues to stagnate Everton could find themselves plunged into deep trouble. The stark statistics could have been improved upon had anything come of two good penalty claims in the second half when first Stubbs was hauled back by Stepanovs and then Campbell. But it's goal productivity from open play that the Blues are crying out for. In a bright debut Ginola, demonstrating his versatility in a forward role alongside Campbell, almost provided that. Less than two minutes in he fired in a fierce shot that flicked off the back of the hapless Igor Stepanovs forcing Richard Wright into a diving save. With David Unsworth clearly having been forced to sacrifice his free-kick taking responsibilities in the last 48 hours, the Frenchman then found the outside of the post with a swerving free-kick, before disappointingly scuffing a golden opportunity from 18 yards out after new boys Carsley and Linderoth had carved open the Gunners defence. That had been a regular feature of the first half but the space Everton had found in the opening period vanished after the break and Arsenal began directing matters, prompted by Parlour's switch to the centre of midfield and the customary brilliance of Patrick Vieira. The half-time coffee was still steaming when he let rip from long range with the ever-reliable David Weir mopping up after Steve Simonsen had spilled. Minutes later, Parlour started and finished a promising move with Wiltord that saw him blast his teammate's square ball high. Still, Everton were managing to contain Arsenal's growing threat - until the 62nd minute when Vieira chipped a perfectly flighted ball over the Everton defence and a slipping and stretching Wiltord hooked his shot over the hesitant Simonsen. It was a rare moment of bad judgement from the young keeper who appeared to think the ball would land over his crossbar.
That merely intensified the frustration that the good work done in the first half had not yielded a goal. Alan Stubbs had his usual couple of close pot shots from long range but the opposition net looked less like bulging as the game wore on. And so it proved. This was a game that Everton could have won but instead they sit just three points off the bottom three with a trip to Liverpool on the horizon. If they play in the same manner as they did against Arsenal then they could cause an upset at Anfield.
At least Abel Xavier's got his first goal out of the way.
EVERTON (4-4-2): Simonsen; Clarke (Moore, 85), Weir, Stubbs, Unsworth (Gascoigne, 69); Blomqvist (Pembridge, 77) Linderoth, Carsley, Naysmith; Ginola, Campbell. Subs unused: Gerrard, Cleland.
ARSENAL (4-4-2): Wright; Luzhny, Campbell, Upson (Dixon 30), Stepanovs; Grimandi, van Bronckhorst, Vieira, Parlour; Henry, Wiltord. Subs unused: Seaman, Jeffers, Edu, Inamoto.
Referee: Mr J Winter
Bookings: Sol Campbell (professional foul, 16), Igor Stepanovs (professional foul, 24), Ray Parlour (professional foul, 45).
Man of the Match: Lee Carsley: In a gritty first half display he proved more than the advertised ball-winner
Take same route as Gascoigne did
By Mark Bradley, Daily Post
Feb 12 2002
ENGLAND captain David Beckham held out the example of Paul Gascoigne for the likes of Joe Cole to emulate by using this week's friendly in Holland to force their way into the World Cup. Cole, 20, who has only one cap behind him as a second-half substitute against Mexico last May, is now in a prime position to make his first start for his country in tomorrow's game in Amsterdam. Darren Anderton and Trevor Sinclair had been the leading contenders to feature on the problematic left flank in the absence of Kieron Dyer, who was already ruled out by injury. However, they were forced to pull out of the squad yesterday as Anderton's injury jinx resurfaced and Sinclair was feeling unwell.
Eriksson has other makeshift options in the form of Emile Heskey and Frank Lampard, as well as moving Wayne Bridge forward from left-back. However, Cole, who has been performing with developing maturity in central midfield at West Ham, insists he can fill the left-sided void.
And now he may be given his longawaited opportunity, even if Dyer remains the most likely long-term solution. After these two withdrawals and with Robbie Fowler, Teddy Sheringham and Andy Cole all rested, this is an overwhelmingly youthful England squad. As well as Joe Cole, there are four uncapped players - Bridge, Ledley King, Darius Vassell and Michael Ricketts - and a doubt remains over Steven Gerrard. He and Beckham did not train due to hamstring and ankle problems respectively, but both are expected to take part tomorrow even if Eriksson will not take any risks on their fitness. Beckham realises the importance of being fit to lead the side, insisting his recent break from action has done him good - even if he does not want another rest before the World Cup.
While his ankle is still sore, he added: "It would be silly to risk anything in a friendly but I don't think it's a risk and I don't think there will be a problem. I want to be out there." Beckham discounted suggestions Eriksson was needlessly experimenting when he should be looking to finalise his first-choice side and give them experience together. He raised the example of Gascoigne, who made only six substitute appearances and one start before becoming an international regular just two months before the 1990 World Cup. Other examples of late ' shooters' into an England squad for a tournament have been Anderton, Michael Owen and Gareth Barry, with a handful of places still up for grabs for this summer's tournament. "We do need to be playing together as a team but the manager has to experiment as well as he feels the need to do that," said Beckham. "The young players who are coming in deserve their chance. It's like Gazza. He was brought in before the 1990 World Cup and look what he achieved. People have to be given chances. "There's a good team and a good understanding here. But we're still young and have a lot to learn so we have to make the most out of the next three friendlies as we don't get together as much as we'd like to." As for his enforced rest before Christmas, when he was controversially out of the Manchester United starting line- up for seven games, Beckham believes it will benefit the national team. "Looking back, it probably has done me good. It's not nice not to be playing and, especially when the team were starting to come back into form, I was getting itchy feet," he revealed. "But the manager felt my freshness wasn't back. I'd felt physically tired after those England games last year and it took more out of me than I realised. "It's made me feel a lot better but that's enough now. I don't think I'll need another rest."
The closeness of the title race does not concern the midfielder as he believes any exhaustion will be compensated for by the galvanising factor of the "challenge" ahead. What has hurt him, however, is the suggestion he was saving his best performances for England when his United form dipped.
"I give 110 per cent in every United game. "I've never saved myself thinking that I've got a World Cup coming up," he insisted. Indeed, while it is the timing of Gascoigne's England impact that should be followed by the emerging talent in the latest squad, it is Beckham who should actually remain their role model.
Campbell backing Ginola to save Blues
By Paul Walker, Daily Post
Feb 12 2002
VETERAN showman David Ginola can be the new signing that can save Everton from the drop, according to England star Sol Campbell. The Arsenal defender echoed the thoughts of his manager Arsene Wenger after witnessing Ginola's first senior game in almost three months when the North London title-chasers stole a 1-0 win at Goodison Park on Sunday. Campbell, Ginola's former Spurs team-mate, said: "You never know what he is going to do next. He could be a real asset for Everton."
Everton find themselves three points off the drop zone with crunch league games against Liverpool and Leeds next on the horizon. With Ginola, plus equally impressive new boys Lee Carsley and Tobias Linderoth on show, Everton face the final months of a worrying season with renewed confidence despite the defeat by Arsenal, with what Wenger admitted was a "lucky" goal from Sylvian Wiltord. And Ginola's flair, claims Campbell, could be the key to Everton's survival in the top flight. Ginola had defied the logic of fitness that said he could not last the full 90 minutes of a Premiership battle after being frozen out at Aston Villa for so long before his shock free transfer move from the Midlanders last week. The 35-year-old Frenchman could have scored three times before the break against the Gunners and managed to complete the match - much to the surprise and delight of his new manager Walter Smith. Now Ginola's next target is the FA Cup fifth round home game with Crewe at the weekend before the more pressing objective of a Mersey derby showdown at Liverpool the following week. Wenger said of Ginola: "He showed that he has the ability that can help Everton." And Campbell added: "He certainly can help them. He's a talented guy and can create things nobody is expecting. "You don't know what he's going to do, whether it's at free-kicks, shooting or when he's twisting and turning with the ball. "Because of how he plays, he can drag players towards him and that opens things up for other players. Considering how long he had been out, it was a good start for him against us. He's being called a gamble, but it's a gamble worth taking for Everton. "That was his first game for a while. It was certainly a good performance, certainly early on he was a real worry for us." Campbell then turned his attentions to joining up with England for tomorrow's game in Holland, and cementing his own place at the heart of Sven-Goran Erikkson's defence for the World Cup finals. Said Campbell: "It's good to get back into the England swing again. "There have been times this season when I have not been fit when internationals have come round, but I'm fine now and really looking forward to England duty." And as unlucky Everton rued the fortunate goal that cost them a point, Campbell and his colleagues moved a step nearer the championship. Campbell said: "It was a vital win on a difficult day. With everyone else also winning we knew we had to do the same to keep on track. "We have done that and now there's a couple of weeks breathing space with the internationals, to get a few of our injured players back for the next league game. "We need our injured and suspended players back to keep things rolling along.
"A defeat would have been a real setback with all the big games coming up."
Public have their say on Kings Dock plans
Feb 12 2002
A MAJOR public consultation exercise on plans for a new stadium and arena at Kings Dock has been launched. Sir Joe Dwyer, Chairman of Liverpool Vision, said he wanted to give local people a chance to air their views and comments on the scheme that will provide a new home for Everton FC.
He said: "We have received encouraging support for our plans for Kings Waterfront and we want to continue to give local residents, businesses, and all stakeholders every opportunity to communicate their views as we work up our proposals for this landmark scheme. "The Kings Waterfront development represents a once in a lifetime opportunity to deliver a flexible multi-purpose venue and entertainment complex that will allow Liverpool to attract leisure, sporting and conference events that are currently lost to other cities." Kings Waterfront is the single largest redundant site in Liverpool and is being earmarked as the new home of Everton FC, as well as providing the city with a sliding roof arena. Backers say it offers a huge opportunity for the regeneration of the most prominent development site on the Liverpool Waterfront. The £300m scheme also includes a major retail and residential element. Representatives of local residents associations and business groups will meet Sir Joe as part of the commitment by the consortium planning the scheme to a wide-ranging community engagement process. They want to discuss moving forward with proposals for the mixed-use development. The Kings Waterfront Group say it is its aim to be a model of best practice in public/private partnership and the consultation process is seen as a significant part of this. The consortium carried out widespread public consultation last year as part of its bid to become preferred developer and today's meeting is the next step in a four-stage process.
Gravesen: I'm Sorry
Exclusive By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Feb 12 2002
FALLEN Everton star Thomas Gravesen is ready to make a public apology to rescue his Goodison career and World Cup dream. The Danish midfielder has not played for the Blues since suffering an ankle injury in the Boxing Day defeat by Manchester United - a game which coincided with a series of damaging interviews given in his homeland. Gravesen was reportedly homesick and disillusioned with life at Goodison Park, claims which caused a rift with his Everton colleagues and, apparently, an abrupt end to an improving Premiership career. The 25-year-old, however, is now believed to have resolved his problems and is desperate for the chance to play his part in the Blues' relegation dog-fight. Gravesen is currently away on international duty in Saudi Arabia but is expected to issue a statement on his return outlining the cause of his unrest. The £2.5million Dane refutes claims he criticised Everton or wanted a move out of Goodison but admits he was unsettled in England by the sudden illness of his grandfather over the festive period. Former club SV Hamburg were subsequently linked with the midfield star but Gravesen is believed to have rejected their overtures and now wants the chance to return to the Blues' fold. Walter Smith has since bolstered his squad with three new midfielders but could welcome Gravesen back for Sunday's FA Cup tie against Crewe if the player's explanation reaffirms his commitment to the Everton cause. Gravesen is also anxious to secure his World Cup place with Denmark as, despite being selected for tomorrow's friendly after six weeks on the sidelines, coach Morten Olsen has warned that a lack of regular football will harm his prospects. Everton, meanwhile, are not paying new star recruit David Ginola the £40,000 a-week wage he received at Aston Villa. The Blues' shock swoop for the flamboyant Frenchman was in danger of collapsing late last week due to the club's salary cap. But Villa agreed to meet the difference, believed to be around £13,000 a-week, to enable the deal to go through. As well as Gravesen, Blues boss Smith hopes to have a few key players back from injury for the fifth round FA Cup tie this weekend. Niclas Alexandersson is expected to have recovered from the knee ligament strain he suffered in the victory over Leyton Orient, and should be joined back in the ranks by Tomasz Radzinski. The Canadian international hasn't played this year due to groin and knee problems but will return to light training today. Duncan Ferguson, suspended for the Crewe clash, will see a specialist this week over the hamstring injury he is suffering in both legs. "It is an unusual problem which Duncan has had for a few weeks," said Smith. "He will see a back specialist to discover what is causing the problem."
* EVERTON Reserves face Southport tonight in the third round of the Liverpool Senior Cup. The match kicks off at 7.45pm at Haig Avenue, with admission £6 for adults, £3 juniors.
The Blues' second string were due to meet Liverpool in the ' miniderby' tonight but that game will now take place at the AutoQuest Stadium on Wednesday, May 1.
At your service!
By Kevin Ratcliffe, Daily Post
Feb 12 2002
FRENCH FANCY: Ginola makes his debut against Arsenal
DAVID GINOLA has been brought in to bring a smile to the faces of the Everton fans. The move could also bring the best out of Everton's frustrated forwards. Neither Kevin Campbell nor Duncan Ferguson has celebrated a League goal since September. Injury and unavailability has contributed to that worrying drought but so, too, has a lack of quality service from the flanks. Ginola will create a buzz in the stands with his flicks, skills and imagination - but he will also provide more regular service for strikers who thrive on balls from wide positions. Ginola showed a hint of that on Sunday with one ball he whipped in during the second half. Nobody read it on that occasion, but after a few days' training with the Frenchman the strikers will soon know when and where to anticipate those balls. I thought all three of Everton's new boys settled well. Lee Carsley moves intelligently about the pitch, gets into plenty of forward positions and I'm sure Evertonians will soon see that he is a decent finisher, too. Tobias Linderoth did very well and the two of them formed a good partnership which complemented each other well. It was a shame that all three had to kickoff in such a testing fixture, but they will have benefited from the experience and hopefully can start to build on it this weekend. Every Evertonian I know is excited by the arrival of Ginola. So, too, will the Goodison strikers be.
Crewe may be cut up over pitch
I TOOK a team to Crewe Alexandra recently for a reserve game, and what was apparent while I was there was that the Railwaymen fancy their chances in this weekend's FA Cup tie. Don't be fooled by their mauling at the hands of Coventry on Saturday. They can play quality, passing football, but the state of the Goodison pitch may count against them on Sunday. I've not seen the turf looking quite so bobbly. The combination of a Youth Cup game sandwiched between back-to-back home games, plus incessant rain, created a pitch that cut up quickly. You can't do anything about the weather, but hopefully things will be back to normal this weekend - and Everton can progress to the quarter-finals.
Fans urged: Buy early
By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Feb 13 2002
EVERTON are urging fans to buy their tickets early for Sunday's FA Cup clash with Crewe Alexandra.
The Goodison hierarchy are keen to avoid a repeat of the unfortunate scenes at the fourth-round game with Leyton Orient last month, which saw thousands of supporters locked out.
Therefore, fans are strongly advised to purchase their tickets by noon on Saturday. The Blues have almost 15,000 tickets remaining for the fifth-round tie against Dario Gradi's first division outfit.
The general sale of non seasonticket seats, which began on Monday, will continue until kick-off at 1.30pm on Sunday. The deadline for season-ticket holders to buy their own seats at a £5 discount ended yesterday, and now all season-tickets not already claimed will be included in the general sale.
Crewe have sold their allocation of 5,938 for the game, while close to 20,000 home supporters have already snapped up tickets. The Goodison Box Office, which opens at 9.30am each day, will close at 6pm today and tomorrow, 8pm on Friday, noon on Saturday and 1.30pm on Sunday.
Gravesen peace talks call
By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Feb 13 2002
EVERTON outcast Thomas Gravesen last night admitted his "regret" following recent outbursts on life at Goodison. The Danish midfielder is due for talks with manager Walter Smith on his return from international duty in Saudi Arabia, in the hope of resurrecting his Blues career. Gravesen has not played for Everton since the Boxing Day defeat against Manchester United after a series of Danish newspaper articles which raised serious doubts over his commitment to the club.
But now the 25-year-old admits he was wrong to go public with his grievances and is desperate for a chance to reclaim his place in Smith's plans. "I have said some things which we should have dealt with inside the club," said Gravesen, who during his spell out has seen Smith bolster his midfield with the signings of Lee Carsley, Tobias Linderoth and David Ginola. "It's something I regret and that's why we shall have a meeting when I arrive back and hopefully we can find a solution.
"I will find out when I talk to the manager." Gravesen had spoken of homesickness and a disillusionment of life at Goodison Park, a move which caused resentment among his Blues team-mates and had seemingly brought an end to his Premiership career - until his change of heart.
"I have already spoken too much," he added. "There will be a meeting when I will discuss the matter.
"We shall get everything straight then - I can't say anything more now." Gravesen is expected to issue a statement on his return, in which he will outline the cause of his unrest at the club.
Meanwhile, Steve Watson resumed training yesterday after a niggling ankle injury forced him on to the sidelines. "A specialist advised Steve to rest for a fortnight, which has been done," said Smith. "We will need to wait a day or two to see if there is any adverse reaction." Last night's Liverpool Senior Cup tie against Southport at Haig Avenue was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
* EVERTON'S reserve game at Bradford City, originally scheduled for Tuesday, March 12, will now be played on Thursday, March 14 (7pm).
Blues fancy shot at Europe
By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
Feb 13 2002
EVERTON may still be battling furiously against relegation, but they have already set their sights on Europe next season. The Blues have given the FA formal notice that they wish to enter next season's Intertoto Cup. To qualify the Blues must finish at least 12th - something they haven't achieved for six years - then the two highest placed clubs who have not already qualified for the UEFA Cup will gain entry. If Everton do manage to fulfil that criteria it would mean their season starting on July 7 - seven days after the World Cup Final. Aston Villa and Newcastle were England's representatives in the tournament this season, and Villa went on to reach the UEFA Cup proper . Midfielder Thomas Gravesen, meanwhile, has spoken for the first time about sorting out his differences with manager Walter Smith. At a press conference for the Danish national team yesterday, ahead of their friendly in Saudi Arabia, Gravesen said: "After this match I am going to have a meeting with Walter Smith. We need to clear a couple of things up and we need to resolve the problems. "There have been mistakes from my side and I know we are going to resolve things. "The initiative for the meeting comes from me. I obviously need to clear the air." If Gravesen is selected to face Arabia tonight, it would be his first competitive outing since Boxing Day.
Feb 14 2002 By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
EVERTON'S hopes of bolstering their faltering forward line ahead of Sunday's Cup clash with Crewe appear doomed - with no support arriving from inside or outside Goodison Park. Tomasz Radzinski is again expected to be missing when the Blues take on the first division strugglers in the FA Cup fifth round with his latest injury. And there is little chance the Blues' refinancing package will allow Walter Smith to make a fourth signing in a fortnight before the televised showdown.
Deputy chairman Bill Kenwright had indicated more new faces would arrive at Goodison following the shock swoop for David Ginola. But the flamboyant French star could be the last Everton acquisition for the forseeable future. The Blues are desperate to strengthen their strikeforce as they slide towards the relegation zone having registered only three league goals this year.
Central defender David Weir remains their joint leading marksman in the Premiership with four goals, alongside Kevin Campbell, who is likely to again be partnered by new boy David Ginola against Dario Gradi's side. With hamstring-victim Duncan Ferguson suspended on Sunday, Smith - yesterday linked with Vicenza midfielder Lamberto Zauli - had hoped £4.5million summer signing Radzinski would finally return to the side after missing the last eight games with groin and knee injuries.
However, the Canadian international has not fully recovered from the ligament strain suffered in training two weeks ago and is now targeting the Anfield derby on February 23 for his comeback.
The Blues, meanwhile, have granted long-serving defender David Unsworth a surprise testimonial game on the day they formally applied to enter next season's Intertoto Cup. Unsworth has been with the Blues since his schoolboy days and made a goalscoring debut for the club at Spurs in April 1992. His Goodison service was interrupted by a move to West Ham in 1997 and a famously brief spell at Aston Villa before rejoining the Blues for £3m under Walter Smith a year later.
No details have been arranged yet but the match will form part of Everton's pre-season preparations in the summer. And Unsworth, who has made 270 Everton appearances, said: "It is fantastic news. Michael Dunford informed my agent and I'm made up that a game will be taking place for myself.
"They are a very rare occurence these days. It is a tribute to any player who has given 10 or more years service to a club and my feelings about Everton have been well documented over the years.
"It is an honour for myself to, first and foremost, be granted a testimonial and to add my name to a list that includes Waggy, Big Nev and Sharpy." Despite hovering three points above the drop zone in 15th place, Everton have given the FA formal notice they would enter the Intertoto Cup next season if they qualify. To do so the Blues must finish at least 12th in the Premiership and then the two highest placed clubs who have not already qualified for the Uefa Cup will gain entry.
If Everton meet the criteria their season would start on July 7 - just seven days after the World Cup final.
Lee's steel appeal
By Claire Gray, Liverpool Echo
Feb 14 2002
WOMEN quivered, staff looked excitedly out of windows and television cameras were anxiously switched on as a silver Mercedes carrying David Ginola drove through the Bellefield gates last Saturday morning. So much so, that barely an eyebrow was raised in the direction of the smart car that pulled in directly behind him. As Ginola fever swept the training ground car park, Lee Carsley arrived for his first training session at his new club almost unnoticed. Well, he was the supposed unglamorous ball-winner from a First Division club, compared to the man who had signed on the same day as him - the flamboyant and unpredictable winger who made people swoon off the pitch and at regular intervals on it. I have to admit, I was as guilty as anyone at getting caught up in the fervour that accompanied Ginola's arrival. And, on Sunday, along with the vast majority, my eyes were focused upon him, waiting for the precocious talent to frighten defences in the way we know he can. Yet, while he enjoyed a bright debut, it was to Carsley and not the winger to whom my attention was drawn. Spending my formative years looking on in awe at the talents of Peter Reid, and having been fed through my early 20s on a midfield diet of Barry Horne, Joe Parkinson and John Ebbrell, I am a firm believer that you can never over-rate a ball-winner. While I'm all for creativity, it has to be backed by steel as well. That's why Sunday's display, in the first half at least, was pleasing. With Carsley nestling in alongside the promising Tobias Linderoth there were at last signs of a bit of real bite in the centre of the park. One delectable and perfectly timed sliding tackle from the Republic of Ireland man left Arsenal's Matthew Upson in no doubt that he had been involved in a challenge, with the defender limping from the field not too long after. Carsley has been around and gone through the pain of relegation twice, but by no means should that be marked down as a negative point. When you are fighting your corner at the wrong end of the table, as Everton are, experience can count for everything. Reputations, on the other hand, should count for nothing.
Bizarrely, I've spoken to Scots in the past who cannot understand the sort of reputation that David Weir enjoys down here. As any Evertonian will tell you, at £250,000 surely there's not a better deal that has been struck in the last 10 years. Only time will tell, of course, but at £1.9m Everton could have got themselves a bargain. Coventry's obvious reluctance to let Carsley go says something in itself. The spotlight will fall on Ginola in the coming weeks, you can bet on that. But remember, it's always the quiet ones you've got to watch.
Blues striker faces more Cup agony
By Claire Gray, Liverpool Echo
Feb 14 2002
TOMASZ RADZINSKI'S hopes of an FA Cup debut look set to be dashed once again.
The Canadian striker is still troubled by a knee ligament strain picked up in training, which is expected to rule him out of Sunday's match. Radzinski is yet to figure in the competition after a stomach strain ruled him out of the previous two rounds, and now he looks unlikely to return until next weekend's derby match with Liverpool. That leaves Blues' boss Walter Smith with limited options up front for the FA Cup fifth round tie with Crewe Alexandra. Duncan Ferguson is suspended for the televised clash after collecting five yellow cards but, in any case, the Scot is struggling with a hamstring injury which could have ruled him out of contention. Everton have found the back of the net just three times in their last nine Premiership games, with not one of those goals coming from a recognised striker. With Radzinski's absence looking set to stretch into an eighth game, David Ginola is once more likely to be asked to partner Kevin Campbell up front as they look to improve upon that tally. The Blues were hoping for the safe return of their international contingent this morning.
New signing Lee Carsley came on for the second half of the Republic of Ireland's 2-0 win over Russia, while Mark Pembridge stepped up his rehabilitation from a calf injury, playing 88 minutes of Wales' creditable 1-1 draw with Argentina at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium. Idan Tal gave Israel a 27th minute lead in Kaiserslauten against Germany, but the hosts eventually ran out 7-1 winners.
Everton, meanwhile, are urging supporters to snap up tickets for this Sunday's FA Cup tie as early as possible. By 9.30am this morning, 27,000 tickets had been sold, with club officials estimating a further 5,000 will be snapped up before the close of business on Saturday. Thousands of fans were locked out of the fourth round clash with Leyton Orient and, with memories of that day still fresh in the mind, the Blues are eager that Sunday's operation goes as smoothly as possible. A further announcement regarding sales is expected tomorrow afternoon.
Watson facing fresh setback
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Feb 15 2002
INFLUENTIAL defender Steve Watson could miss another chunk of Everton's relegation run-in after being sent back to a specialist over his troublesome ankle injury. The Blues right-back has been out of action since suffering a blow in the 1-0 defeat at Middlesbrough on New Year's Day and now fears are growing he could be sidelined for at least another month. Watson had been ordered to rest the injury rather than undergo surgery but, despite following medical advice, it could be he needs an operation after all. The former Newcastle and Aston Villa star only returned to light training this week but has already complained of a reaction in his ankle. He will now return to the specialist and, if Everton's worst fears are confirmed, may go under the knife this weekend. Watson said: "Apart from breaking my foot, this is the longest spell out that I've ever had. I'm not a patient healer and I think the physios are getting fed up with me now too." With Tony Hibbert still out injured, also with an ankle problem, manager Walter Smith will have to again call on promising young defender Peter Clarke in Sunday's FA Cup fifth round clash with Crewe. The Blues boss will welcome back Scot Gemmill after the midfielder missed last Sunday's 1-0 defeat through suspension. The Scottish international is likely to come straight back into the side in place of new £1.9million signing Lee Carsley, who is cuptied after playing in Coventry's defeat by Spurs in round three. Of Everton's walking wounded only Niclas Alexandersson has a realistic chance of returning on Sunday after missing the last three matches with a knee ligament injury. The Blues, meanwhile, are unlikely to face Crewe's calamity keeper Ademola Bankole at Goodison after his antics against Coventry last weekend. Bankole was substituted with 20 minutes remaining at Gresty Road on Saturday after being culpable for five goals in the Sky Blues' 6-1 win - Crewe's heaviest home defeat for 29 years.
Angry Alexandra boss Dario Gradi is now expected to recall Trinidad international Clayton Ince to face the Blues.
Gunners game sums up season
Fanscene By Miles Shackley, Daily Post
Feb 15 2002
THE Arsenal game was our season in a 90 minute-nutshell. Started well, promised much, petered out and we ended up with nothing to show for it. Stop me if you've heard this one. After 45 minutes of at least having a good go, the second half of the match took on the depressingly familiar pattern of kicking the ball at the front man - not men, more on that in a minute - and hoping that when it bounced off him, it might be to a blue shirt. The only way Arsenal looked like losing after they took the lead was if they took pity on us. The thing with football is that sooner or later, you get found out. It's not like art or music or comedy. In the world of art, Tracy Emin can clamber out of her bed, decide not to make it and the art world will adore her for it. S Club 7 can dominate the pop charts, and real live people still find Michael Barrymore funny. Don't laugh, I've seen it happen.
But football is by and large a meritocracy. The sides that are at the top tend to be there because they deserve it. They win more. They score more. To do that, they have to play better over the course of games, months, seasons. It has nothing to do with what people think. It comes down to cold hard statistics and results. So, to borrow his most over-used phrase, I was "a little bit disappointed" to hear Walter Smith pointing to two half-hearted penalty appeals in the second half as mitigation for the fact that we reverted to our one-dimensional worst following a very encouraging firsthalf performance. What exactly was said at half-time? "Play worse"? "Kick badly"? "Lose shape"? I don't know, but it could have been any or all of the above. In truth, there are not many better sides than Arsenal in their pomp. But this was Arsenal after a night on the tiles. Hungover, jaded, limp and it has to be said, there for the taking. So why start with one man up front? When are we going to try and win a game - a home game, against a side decimated by injuries - rather than hoping that they are going to lose it for us? Credit has to be given where it's due. Ginola looked good, especially in the first half which he spent floating largely around the left-hand side of the field just behind Kevin Campbell. Lee Carsley, the man for whom the groan was seemingly invented when it became apparent that we were actually going to sign him, looked busy and half useful until we started kicking the ball over his head in the second half. Tobias Linderoth went a step further and looked accomplished, while young Peter Clarke, who will not face a stiffer test all season than that presented by Thierry Henry, will hopefully have come out of the game a little bit wiser after a nonetheless solid performance. But the fact remains that we cannot beat good sides, and indeed we will struggle to beat poor sides, if we do not approach the game with the mentality that games are there to be won. Kick ball to blue shirt. Stand in space. Run away from marker. Kick ball at goal. Football is easy. Why are we making it difficult?
Skipper's blast for the Blues
By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
Feb 15 2002
KEVIN CAMPBELL has saluted the new signings which have given the Blues a buzz ahead of Sunday's FA Cup tie. But the Everton captain has rapped the club for not backing his boss sooner. The Blues swooped for three players last week, spending more than £4m on midfield reinforcements Tobias Linderoth and Lee Carsley, then adding the Gallic flair of David Ginola . . . at a cost of £27,000 a week wages. Carsley is cup tied for the visit of Crewe, but Linderoth and Ginola will both be involved, and Campbell said: "Any club that signs new players gets a lift - and that's what's been lacking here over the years. "We've let players go, but we haven't been making the big signings the other way.
"A club as wonderful as this should be adding to those signings so we have a strong squad, because that's what it's all about. "We've let too many go, found ourselves in an unhealthy position and then we go and make a move . . . reacting to a situation. "Earlier in the season we found ourselves at the top, or near the top, and that's when we should have made additions to keep that buzz going.
"Obviously, there are problems why we haven't done that, but as far as I am concerned if we can do it now we could have done it earlier in the season and maybe we wouldn't have found ourselves in such a dogfight at the bottom. "But we always knew that was a possibility and we have been used to it for years." The Blues have been given a break from that relegation battle with the visit of Crewe in Sunday's fifth round clash. Campbell is relishing what will be close to a sell-out, and added: "I am sure Crewe will give us a tough game because Dario Gradi breeds them to play football in the right way. "They get the ball down, pass it and move, and that's good grounding. "But we don't want an upset. We want to make sure we are in the quarter-finals and we will be going all out for a win, as will Crewe. "The FA Cup is the best club competition in the world and always brings surprises - but not at Goodison Park on Sunday."
Gazza and 'bad boy' Gravesen in frame
By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
Feb 15 2002
WALTER SMITH could turn to his FA Cup talisman on Saturday to help solve a Goodison goal drought.
Paul Gascoigne may be asked to repeat the heroics he produced in the last two rounds against Stoke and Leyton Orient, when First Division strugglers Crewe Alexandra arrive for a Fifth Round clash.
Everton have been alarmingly short of creativity in recent weeks, with just three Premiership goals in nine games. But Gazza created three of Everton's four goals in the last round - and may be asked to reproduce that form again. "We don't know who will be available yet," said boss Smith "but Sunday could be Gazza's stage. He may start, but we'll have to wait and see." Smith also hinted for the first time in months that Danish midfielder Thomas Gravesen may still have a part to play at Goodison.
The Dane was expected to make a public statement this weekend, apologising for outbursts in the Scandinavian press over the New Year. Smith said: "Thomas's agent has indicated that Thomas wants to put the record straight publicly. "He will be in the squad on Sunday and could be involved in some capacity." Gravesen could find himself on the substitutes' bench, as Everton's options are once again reduced by injury and suspension. The striking positions are causing Smith most problems, with Duncan Ferguson both injured and suspended, Tomasz Radzinski now struggling with a knee ligament strain after shaking off a stomach injury and young forward Nick Chadwick sidelined with a calf strain. Even teenager Wayne Rooney, who has impressed for the youth team recently cannot be used because he is still a schoolboy. Alessandro Pistone has restarted training after a lengthy absence with a knee injury, while Scot Gemmill is available again after suspension.
David Ginola is not cup tied after joining from Aston Villa and is expected to start in attack.
Ginola can be a Cantona or Curran
Feb 15 2002 By Howard Kendall, Liverpool Echo
I TOOK a special interest in Walter Smith's team selection last week with new signings Lee Carsley and David Ginola in the heart of Everton's midfield. The irony is that I tried to bring both to Goodison Park in my last spell as manager. I asked David Pleat about Ginola four years ago when Tottenham were giving out signs that they might part company with the Frenchman.
He was the type who could have given us a lift at that time. No doubt the same thought went through Smith's mind last week, although it's more of a short-term fix for Everton at present and certainly cheaper than it would have been if I had captured the player. Then there is Carsley, a very different midfielder who will win the ball for you. Adrian Heath tipped me off about him in the first instance. Inchy, when he was manager of Burnley, had tried to sign Carsley, who was in the Derby reserves at that time. Then the player broke into the Derby first team and the price went up.
Inchy mentioned him to me when we were looking for that type. We didn't have the money for a straight cash deal, but I asked Jim Smith if he fancied a swop. He asked about Craig Short, but Derby signed another centre half and it effectively killed the deal. It's intriguing how both players signed within hours of each other. The Blues' midfield options have been increased dramatically with Tobias Linderoth also in the equation. All three started brightly against Arsenal. Ginola is suffering a lack of match practice, Carsley is stepping up a level again and Linderoth will take a few weeks to find the pace of the Premiership. They did well but were never going to keep it up for the 90 minutes.
The free role probably suits Ginola at this stage of his career, although at his peak he was most effective playing wide and going past people. When I asked Pleat about Ginola, he indicated they might do business at the end of the season. It never happened. I remember speaking to David Jones when he was manager at Southampton. He revealed he had set up a swop deal with Spurs involving Ginola and Matthew Le Tissier. Then Ginola scored a great goal for Tottenham, ironically at Goodison, and suddenly they refused to sell. I know how disappointed David was. He felt he would have got the better of that potential deal. In recent years, there has always been a risk in signing Ginola. If you play him, will he have a positive or an adverse effect on the team? He was criticised at Spurs and at Villa for not working hard enough. But managers buying him should know what his strengths are. Usually when you are scrapping for points as Everton are, you need players to roll their sleeves up. But you could equally argue that you need players who can win you games.
Sometimes a Ginola-type lifts everyone. Eric Cantona was a gamble of sorts for Manchester United because of his style and character. That worked famously. But then I think back many years to Rodney Marsh, one of the most skilful players of his day. There was no doubting his ability at Manchester City, but he didn't fit in and unsettled people in the dressing room. Duncan McKenzie was loved by the Everton fans but deemed a luxury by most of his managers. I bought Terry Curran for Everton. He was another flair player who gave everyone an immediate lift. If Curran had been able to play for every club for just two months before moving on, he would have been a sensation. As it turned out, he had about 14 different teams during his career. At least I had the opportunity to work with him on loan. Walter Smith has the bonus of having signed Ginola, initially, until the end of the season. Hopefully the lift will come quickly and help turn the tide for the Blues, who desperately need points to move away from the danger zone as well as a boost to keep up the momentum in the cup.
Campbell: Why weren't new boys brought in earlier?
by Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Feb 16 2002
EVERTON skipper Kevin Campbell has welcomed the trio of new Blues to Goodison Park - but blasted the club for not signing from a position of strength. The Everton striker believes David Ginola, Tobias Linderoth and Lee Carsley have given the rest of Walter Smith's squad the timely lift they need at this crucial stage of the season. But he believes the Blues board should have splashed the cash earlier and avoided the selection crisis that pre-empted the winter slump that has left Smith's side on the relegation fringes once again. Campbell said: "Any club that signs new players gets a lift, and that's what has been lacking here over the years. "We've let players go but we haven't been making the big signings the other way. A club as wonderful as this should be adding to those signings so we have a strong squad, because that's what it's all about. "We've let too many go, found ourselves in an unhealthy position and then we go and make a move. . . reacting to a situation. "Earlier in the season we found ourselves at the top, or near the top, and that's when we should have made additions to keep that buzz going. "Obviously there are problems why we haven't done that but as far as I'm concerned if we can do it now we could have done it earlier in the season and maybe we wouldn't have found ourselves in such a dogfight at the bottom. "But we always knew that was a possibility and we have been used to it for years."
Stubbs calls on Smith to launch his G-force
by Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Feb 16 2002
WALTER SMITH is prepared to unleash his Goodison G-force on Crewe tomorrow in a bid to propel Everton into the quarterfinals of the FA Cup. The Blues boss may include Paul Gascoigne and David Ginola in his starting line-up for the televised fifth-round clash despite reservations the duo represent one luxury too many. Smith is anxious to inject some much-needed creativity into his side against the first division strugglers and centrehalf Alan Stubbs believes the flair pair could be the answer to his problems. Stubbs, hero of the third round test at Stoke, said: "Only when they play together will we know whether it can work but there is absolutely no reason why they can't and I think a cup game could be their perfect stage. "The first thing we want to do on Sunday is start well and get at Crewe early. If we get an early goal it will help us a lot and put doubts in their mind, especially after their heavy defeat last weekend. "We probably need a bit more creativity so Gazza and Ginola could work really well together in that sense." Ginola is set to retain his place in attack alongside Kevin Campbell due to the absence of Duncan Ferguson and Tomasz Radzinski, while Gascoigne is vying with Scot Gemmill for a starting role in place of the cuptied Lee Carsley.
Gascoigne has been in superb form in the Blues' FA Cup run but Stubbs believes there will be
no sentiment from Smith at this critical stage of the campaign. He said: "Gazza's pulled out the stops in the FA Cup this season. He was outstanding against Leyton Orient although I shouldn't be saying that as he'll be reading this in the papers! "It was a performance that gave him a lot of confidence. Not that he needs more confidence mind you, but he's looking to get a run in the team.
"At this moment in time though the manager has got to pick teams for games and unfortunately players are going to be left out. But the most important thing is not upsetting players but getting results." Manager Smith, who will have both Thomas Gravesen and young striker Nick Chadwick back in his squad, added: "We've got Tobias Linderoth now plus Mark Pembridge and Scot Gemmill coming back, so midfield is an area I have to look at. But Paul has done well in the Cup this season."
Stubbs, however, admits the lack of creativity is undermining Everton's season. "It's always a worry when you haven't scored enough," he added. "But that's the responsibility of the team and not just the midfield and forwards." Stubbs continued: "Goals can come from anywhere but we haven't scored enough of them. That is a criticism of the whole team more than anything though.
"We haven't scored enough and maybe we haven't created enough chances to score them. The new lads have given the place a lift. We did well against Arsenal last week and were very unfortunate not to get anything out of the game. "In the first half we created more but in the second they had more of the ball without really doing anything, but we didn't get behind them a lot. "That's where Gazza and Ginola can help. Against Arsenal though Ginola was playing up front so he couldn't really get down the line and put crosses in. Maybe he will on Sunday if he plays there. "That's something we will be looking at when Duncan and Tomasz are fit. It's been a long time since we had all three strikers available." Crewe currently languish 20th in the first division table and arrive at Goodison on the back of their heaviest home defeat for 29 years, last week's 6-1 drubbing by Coventry.
But Evertonian Stubbs is well aware of the club's poor cup record against lower league opposition and is determined to prevent another upset at Goodison Park. "Crewe have got nothing to lose," explained the defender. "They are a good footballing team and will come and try and play football. We've got to unsettle them early doors, not give them any time on the ball and pen them in.
"We did that against Leyton Orient, got the early goal that settled us down and even though they got one back we always looked comfortable. "Sunday's game will be harder but it's a great chance to put ourselves in the quarter-finals and from there it's all about a bit of luck. We can take anyone at home."
Double act set to put on a show
by Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Feb 16 2002
SHOWMEN need a showpiece, which explains why two of English football's finest are desperate for Everton's FA Cup run to go all the way to Cardiff this season. As the Blues bid to reach the quarter-finals at Crewe's expense tomorrow, however, it is clear the driving force behind the Cup aspirations of David Ginola and Paul Gascoigne has much deeper roots. Unless new contract offers are bestowed from the Goodison boardroom this could be the pair's final season in the Premiership and this their only hope of signing off with a fitting finale at the Millennium Stadium in May.
For Gascoigne this year's competition is proving more than just a possible swansong. Driven by the demons of the 1991 final and the infamous foul on Gary Charles that blighted his career, Gascoigne has so far performed his own exorcism with inspirational performances in previous round victories against Stoke and Leyton Orient. As for Ginola, the first FA Cup final appearance of his colourful career would cap perfectly the "new lease of life" Everton encapsulate. Having only just escaped from an 18-month nightmare at Villa Park the French winger is reluctant to look too far ahead at the prospect of adding to the Worthington Cup winners' medal won with Spurs in 1999. But Ginola admits the groundswell of public support that follows Gascoigne in the twilight of his top-flight career is a load he is happy to share, and would be delighted to reciprocate in Wales in three months' time. "I think there probably is a willingness to see us do well in the FA Cup," said the shock new Blue. "When you have players as talented as Paul there is a lot of support from people wanting to see him do well. "It would be nice to achieve it with the FA Cup and we will do everything to get there. "I had the chance to play once at Wembley and I don't think I will play there again, that's for sure! But I played in the final once and it was a great feeling." Ginola is under no illusions why Walter Smith stunned football to bring him to Goodison Park. But with the main aim of Premiership survival on hold until next week's Merseyside derby the distraction of the Cup cannot be understated. Ginola added: "It is too early to talk about going to the final again but we are still there. I think it would be great to have a good Cup run on top of the games we've got left in the league. "The league is the main priority. We have to be safe and avoid relegation, but I don't see why we can't also go far in the FA Cup as well. "It would be an interesting way to finish the season. I am here until the end of the season and I want to enjoy every single day here." Smith is currently playing a "wait and see" game over whether he will include both luxury items in his starting line-up but will be more tempted to play them together in a cup tie than a Premiership scrap for survival.
However, in midfield at least is where he finally has a plethora of options to pick from even with new £1.9million signing Lee Carsley cup-tied. Mark Pembridge and Scot Gemmill are available after injury and suspension respectively, Niclas Alexandersson faces a late fitness test, while Thomas Gravesen's public apology could see the Dane brought back into the Blues' fold via the substitutes' bench.
But while he ponders his Sunday service Smith believes the unwanted reputation Everton have against lower league opposition is largely unwarranted as far as the FA Cup is concerned.
Although he warned: " Tranmere is the warning shot we all have to heed on Sunday." The Goodison chief explained: "In the Worthington Cup we have a bad record. I've not played our full team in that competiti on because the league is our priority and we haven't had a big enough squad.
The FA Cup is different though. We've gone at that and reached the quarter-finals in my first two seasons. Only last year's game against Tranmere, which was the poorest result since I've been at the club, has been a bad upset. "We've had potential upsets at Stoke and at home to Leyton Orient this season and now we have another one at home to Crewe. Of the three Crewe are the best side and we are aware of that fact. "Hopefully we won't slip up in the manner we did last season against Tranmere but it's up to us to perform against Crewe. They are a hard-working side who try and play and they have players who can cause any team a problem."
Don't doubt me says Thomas
by Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Feb 16 2002
THOMAS GRAVESEN insists he is committed to the Everton cause and his Goodison contract after publicly apologising for the Christmas outbursts that put his Premiership career on ice.
The Danish midfielder, as revealed in Tuesday's Daily Post, hopes to revive his Everton prospects after 'clear-the-air' talks with Walter Smith on his return from international duty yesterday.
Gravesen is back in an Everton squad for the first time this year for tomorrow's Cup clash with Crewe after being ostracised since interviews slamming the club and questioning his Goodison future were given in Denmark. The 25-year-old denies those reports but did admit to being unsettled by the sudden illness of his grandfather during Christmas week. And last night he said: "I would like to apologise for everything that's been said during the last couple of months. I want to put the record straight because I didn't mean to offend anybody. "I want to apologise to the club, the fans, the manager, to everybody. I am here to play football, that's the reason I'm here and when that's taken away from me, I'm not good. "The stories that were out in the media in Denmark were exaggerated a lot. My granddad was sick and I was homesick but some of the conversations I had with journalists over there were not reported correctly. "My granddad was ill and I needed to be there for my family and that was one of the reasons that all the stories started." Gravesen has been sidelined by an ankle injury, although his chances of returning to the Everton set-up were bleak until his apology to manager Smith. But the midfielder, who was subsequently linked with a return to Hamburg, stated: "I have not fallen out with the manager. "I think I have a very good relationship with him, but there will always be certain things that need to be discussed and things that will be argued about between people. "I think our manager is understanding, but when he sees things like that in the paper then he must react, and he did. "I just hope that now the record is straight and I can start playing for Everton again. If I am picked in the squad then I am definitely ready. I wanted to be ready earlier but the ankle injury has kept me out." Gravesen also insisted his alleged criticism of the club had not caused a breakdown in relations with his Everton team-mates. He added: "I have a very good relationship with the guys here and I can feel it now that I'm training again, I've just picked up where I left off. "There's never been a problem with any of the guys. The situation now is that I have to train hard to get back into the team, which is what I'll do. "I want the record straight again and whatever it takes, then I will do it. When I came here I signed a five-year deal and that, from me, is a sign that I am committed to the club."
Buy tickets today, urge Everton
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Feb 16 2002
EVERTON are urging supporters to purchase tickets for the FA Cup clash with Crewe before 12 noon today in an effort to avoid the problems that clouded the fourth round win over Leyton Orient.
Sales for the fifth round televised clash had reached 29,000 by yesterday morning and, after a meeting between club officials and Merseyside Police, it was decided to allow tickets to go on sale on the day of the game. However, to avoid any delays, supporters are asked to purchase tickets from the club's box office this morning. No tickets will be sold directly from turnstiles on the day of the game but will be sold from the box offices at the Park End, on Goodison Road and Bullens Road.
Normal league prices apply for this fixture and supporters are also asked to tender the exact money when buying their tickets.
We can win the FA Cup
by Claire Gray, Liverpool Echo
Feb 16 2002
PAUL GASCOIGNE hopes Everton can leave their troubled league form behind tomorrow and take a step closer to his dream of playing in another major cup final. The Blues face first division Crewe Alexandra at Goodison Park with just one league win in nine having seen them slip down the Premiership table in recent weeks. But their flawless cup form to date has so far offered them respite from that and Gascoigne believes that can continue --culminating in a trip to Cardiff in the first weekend in May. " We are a good enough side to win the FA Cup," he declared. "I can't see any reason why not. "It's just how we approach games that has let us down sometimes in the Premiership this season. "We have to treat the visit of Crewe like the cup final itself."
Dario Gradi's side arrive on Merseyside having disposed of their first division rivals Rotherham in the last round, but like Everton, struggling in the league. With a place in the quarter-finals of this year's competition awaiting the winners of the tie Crewe's incentive, says Gascoigne, is just as strong.
So while he is desperate to help Everton to their first cup final in seven years, nothing will be taken for granted from the moment the whistle sounds on Sunday afternoon. "Even though it's a great home draw for us, Crewe will be tough simply because it's the FA Cup," declared the midfielder. "We got it right against Stoke and Leyton Orient, but we have to be up again for this one. "Crewe will raise their game and we won't really know what to expect from then. "We must be focused. We won't have to adjust our game as such, we just need to make sure we are prepared properly. "If we treat it like a cup final and go about things in the right manner we should be okay." Blues' boss Walter Smith will have Scot Gemmill available again after suspension, but Niclas Alexandersson is the only player likely to return from the injured list. Strikers Duncan Ferguson and Tomasz Radzinski are still sidelined.
Gravesen issues a public apology
by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
Feb 16 2002
THOMAS GRAVESEN has issued a public apology, which he hopes will see his Everton career revived after a six week stalemate. The Dane is back in the Blues' squad for tomorrow's FA Cup clash with Crewe, after a clear the air meeting with Walter Smith yesterday. After the lunchtime meeting, Gravesen issued a statement on the club's website. "I would like to apologise for everything that's been said during the last couple of months," he declared. "I want to put the record straight because I didn't mean to offend anybody. "I want to apologise to the club, the fans, the manager, to everybody. I am here to play football. That's the reason I'm here and when that's taken away from me, I'm not good. "The stories that were out in the media were exaggerated a lot, and a lot of them came from Denmark. " My grandad was sick and I was homesick, but some of the conversations I had with journalists over there were not reported correctly. "I have never criticised the club. I love the club and it was the club I wanted to be at from the beginning, but certain things had made it difficult for me, especially mt grandad ' s illness because I have a very close relationship with him."
Gravesen also denied that there was a rift between himself and Walter Smith. "I have not fallen out with the manager," he said. "I think I have a very good relationship with him. "I think he is understanding, but when he sees things like that in the paper he must react - and he did. "I just hope now that the record is straight and I can start playing for Everton again."
Everton 0, Crewe 0 (D, Post)
By Andy Hunter At Goodison Park, Daily Post
Feb 18 2002
EVERYTHING changes at Crewe. But Everton's inability to take a comfortable cup ride when it's offered persists. At home to a struggling first division side coming straight off the back of their heaviest home defeat for 29 years, the Blues delivered the latest chapter in their litany of cup embarrassments against Dario Gradi's side yesterday. A goalless draw against the Railwaymen does not represent the biggest nightmare in Everton's recent history in knockout competitions by any stretch of the imagination. But the simple fact the Premiership side is relieved to still be in the cup after a display which held little surprise for its suffering supporters testifies that this contest is the latest to be filed under 'Goodison embarrassments'. Everton had more of the ball in this fifth round tie against limited opponents than they could ever hope to have in the Premiership. Worryingly, they did nothing with it. There have been too many examples already this season but this stale contest at least managed to illuminate the startling lack of ingenuity or threat the Blues possess, sending the televised audience into an early Sunday nap in the process. Cavemen showed more creativity than Everton have at present. And until that problem is solved the Blues' cup and Premiership ambitions will continue to follow them towards extinction. Many of the fingers from a resigned home crowd are pointing towards club captain Kevin Campbell. And it's not hard to see why when his touch and awareness are way below the standards required. But when a team containing David Ginola, Jesper Blomqvist , Niclas Alexandersson and latterly Paul Gascoigne in its ranks cannot evade the fullbacks once, engineer one decent chance or offer the isolated striker any support it is clear the problems extend far deeper than one player's fight for form. Campbell's second-half display earned him a degree of sympathy yesterday, as he chased and harried every lost cause and had the knocks to prove it on the final whistle. But playing as practically a lone striker, due to Ginola's natural tendency to work from deep, is proving a thankless task for the skipper, who was almost cast adrift from the rest of his rigid, labouring team-mates on a turgid, labouring afternoon. Against a side still smarting from their 6-1 drubbing by Coventry eight days earlier Everton had to capitalise on Crewe's creaking confidence early but ultimately created less than they did against title-chasing Arsenal a week before. They did take the game to the first division side, but once Scot Gemmill shot tamely at recalled keeper Clayton Ince following a neat knock-down from Campbell, Peter Clarke curled a low effort close to the keeper and Alan Stubbs had drilled a free-kick well wide, it was simply too comfortable for Crewe. It was the visitors who displayed the movement and the menace lacking in Everton to threaten at the close of either half. In the first, the aerial ability of the highly-regarded Dean Ashton twice unnerved Steve Simonsen only for his headers to drift just wide.
Alexandra's attack of Ashton and Rob Hulse rarely received the same supply as their Everton counterparts but were always available for whatever scraps fell their way. Until the second-half improvement the same could not be said of the home team. The Blues produced an all-too familiar performance of neat tidy possession everywhere on the pitch except where it could have cut Crewe. At times they managed to string a dozen passes together and not move any further down the pitch.
Once Gradi had relegated calamity keeper Ademola Bankole to the bench it was always likely his replacement would play a blinder and he did, commanding his area with impressive authority. But even so, Trinidad international Ince never had a genuine save of note to make. The only scare to trouble the Crewe defence in the second half were two Everton shouts for handball in the penalty area. Neither was given but it is indicative of Everton's current condition that, for the third home game running, penalties appeared their only hope for a breakthough. And it could have been much, much worse. Though the Blues' lack of guile and movement is alarming enough they could easily have been dwelling on an FA Cup exit today rather than an even bigger banana skin in the replay at Gresty Road next week. As the game wore on and the visitors broke from their shells safe in the knowledge they would not be punished it was Crewe who looked the more likely winners. But for the bar they would have been. With 16 minutes remaining David Wright chipped the ball into the exact spot Patrick Vieira did a week previously at the Park End. But where Sylvain Wiltord got lucky, Hulse didn't and his cleaner connection beat Simonsen from a similar angle only to cannon clear off the woodwork. Substitute Joe-Max Moore produced a rare, late flourish on goal when he drilled Gemmill's incisive pass just wide but the script had been finished long before. Ultimately, it was Walter Smith who breathed a sigh of relief on the final whistle, a most fitting reaction given his team's huff and puff throughout the game, and now the need for that cutting edge has never been greater.
EVERTON (4-4-2): Simonsen; Clarke, Weir, Stubbs, Naysmith; Alexandersson (Gascoigne 63), Gemmill, Linderoth (Pembridge 74), Blomqvist (Moore 71); Ginola, Campbell. Subs: Gerrard, Unsworth.
CREWE ALEXANDRA (4-4-2): Ince; Wright, Sodje, Walton, Smith; Lunt, Sorvel, Brammer, Vaughan (Rix 56); Hulse (Foster 90), Ashton (Jack 67). Subs: Bankole, Collins.
BOOKINGS: Crewe's Walton (foul) and Everton's Moore (foul)
REFEREE: Uriah Rennie
Blank Blues serve unpalatable Sunday fare
By Len Capeling, Daily Post
Feb 18 2002
IT could have been worse, I suppose. Not in any footballing sense, because the bill of fare on offer was very definitely greasy spoon and not Cordon Bleu. But in the sense that Everton can count themselves extremely fortunate still to be in the FA Cup after an extraordinary escape in the 74th minute when Crewe thought they'd engineered one of the season's rare shocks. Striker Rob Hulse wriggled his way into a couple of inches of space at the worst of right angles and, with Steve Simonsen stranded, scooped the ball towards the empty net. For a millisecond Evertonian hearts skipped a beat as the hook-shot completed its arc before striking the face of the crossbar and rebounding away. Goodison's collective sigh of relief could probably be heard at the other side of Stanley Park, where these off-colour Blues face a sterner examination in six days' time.
Derby games being what they are, failure to dump a depressingly ordinary Crewe side will have no relevance - he said, not believing it for a moment. If Liverpool had a spy present he would have gone home to a quiet night's sleep, a state of lassitude completely in harmony with this dullest of dull matches. Blame Everton for that. Crewe, so far down the first division that you get double vision trying to locate them, came to survive. Nothing more. Still digging out the buckshot from their hides after the 6-1 siege against Coventry, they showed only the briefest flashes of attacking intent.
So it was down to Walter Smith's men to show the class and commitment that would see them through to the quarter-finals. It wasn't there, apart from the first 15 minutes when Crewe were still feeling their way into the game. Even then - as ever - there was more grit about Everton than real guile. Goodison's new darling David Ginola snapped a few slick passes around, but there were early signs that any good things would begin - and end - with the enigmatic Frenchman. And so it proved.
Scot Gemmill frightened everybody by getting beyond the 18-yard line, on to a flick header from Kevin Campbell, but from a tight angle he drove the ball at keeper Clayton Ince. That came after 11 minutes and was noteworthy only because a halfshot from right back Peter Clarke apart, it was Everton's sole strike on target in the first half. Seeing that, Crewe grew in confidence and centre-forward Dean Ashton might have done better with a free header which he sent over the bar after eluding David Weir.
Did I say grew in confidence?
Well, just a little. It was still pretty awful stuff, but resistant enough to have the first tinges of apprehension colouring the faces of Everton regulars who know what it means to look into the pit.
Walter Smith did his usual war-dance at the break and for at least 10 minutes afterwards the Blues stirred themselves sufficiently to make half a game of it. But only half. Any moment you expected Crewe to rediscover Coventry mode, but at the moment Everton haven't a goal in them.
Campbell was again a blunt instrument; a candidate for a break if there was anyone on two usable legs to replace him. Ginola excites with the ball at his feet but his goals are usually masterpieces that take half a season to fashion. Behind them the workers expend perspiration but provide little in the way of a forward threat. Paul Gascoigne came on to huge applause but could make little impact alongside Ginola. All pretty depressing, I'm afraid. Crewe can still be beaten, and probably will be beaten if Everton can conjure up a little bit more craft. But the team is at a low point. The running beyond midfield has never been great, but unless the front men get help from somewhere the future looks as bleak as the weather forecast. And there's still the derby match to survive.
Those with the fingers to cross will get them entwined now and not untangle them until next Saturday night.
A blessing in disguise
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Feb 18 2002
WALTER SMITH last night claimed Everton's dismal draw with Crewe could yet help cure his side's goal drought as he admitted the Blues' lack of firepower is a major concern. Smith's side were comfortably held to a goalless stalemate by the struggling first division side in the FA Cup fifth round tie at Goodison Park. The Blues, who will travel to Middlesbrough in the quarter-finals if they triumph in next Wednesday's replay, again created few chances and survived a late scare when Alexandra striker Rob Hulse hit the bar. But Smith believes his injury-hit strikeforce's search for sharpness could benefit from the extra game. The Blues boss, who gave his side a lengthy dressing down afterwards, said: "We are disappointed with the replay but at least we are still in the competition. Overall, it might not be a bad thing for us. "Our players need matches to get their sharpness back. We've had a few players missing chunks of the season but particularly our forward players and they need the games to develop their sharpness. "That is causing a problem for us and we have to work at that." Smith, however, did not disguise his dismay at his side's continued failure to turn possession into chances. He added: "Territorially we dominated most of the match but their keeper never had a save to make. "That's been us lately. Our problem over recent weeks has been that we haven't been able to create chances and score goals. That is the obvious concern at the moment. "Crewe played well and you can't take anything away from them. "They set their stall out and after suffering a heavy defeat in their previous game they were anxious to avoid another one."
Smith continued: "But we've got to look at ourselves. "It is our own fault we didn't create anything despite having the ball in their half for long spells in the game. "When you are going through a period like we are at the moment you can't put it down to a lack of effort on the players' part but a lack of sharpness and a lack of confidence does creep in. "We have to take responsibility as a whole team for not creating chances. It's not just two or three players. We have not been creating enough in recent games." Everton had two secondhalf penalty appeals for handball waved away by referee Uriah Rennie but Smith had no complaints with either decision. "Sometimes they're given and other times not," he said. "They tend to balance out over a season and although that doesn't seem to be the case at the moment I've no complaints." Crewe boss Dario Gradi, meanwhile, admitted his side had wasted "a great chance to get to the quarterfinals" after their battling performance.
The first division club's boss has never got beyond this stage in his 19 years at Gresty Road, and wished his side had completed the job instead of acquiring another match in next week's home replay. Crewe are deep in a relegation dogfight, and Gradi added: "We deserved a replay, but it will not make our survival any easier. "I was disappointed with us at half-time. We hadn't played or done what we had set out to do. Everton had shut us down. "We were playing too many long balls and I wanted us to play a better standard of football, even though I never felt we looked like conceding. "And when we broke away and had that effort against the bar, we could have clinched it then."
* Tickets for next week's replay, priced £15 adults, £12 over-65s and £3.50 under-16s, go on sale from the Park End box office this Wednesday from 9.30am.
They are available to Everton season ticket holders on production of voucher 43 together with not less than 11 away match ticket stubs, from different games this season, attached to their official saving sheet.
SKY keen to screen Blues' Cup replay
By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
Feb 18 2002
SKY TV cameras will screen Everton's Cup replay against Crewe on Tuesday, February 26 - sensing another upset. The Blues have fallen victim to lower league opposition nine times in the last seven years in both domestic cup competitions. With another accident on the cards, Sky have chosen to show the Gresty Road replay (7.45pm). The winners will travel to Middlesbrough in the FA Cup quarter-final on Saturday March 9. The replay is one of five games in a 14-day spell, but Blues' boss Walter Smith believes the extra commitments could help his side. "A number of our players need matches to get their sharpness back," he explained. "We've had a few players missing chunks of the season, but particularly our forward players, and they need the games to develop their sharpness.
"That is causing a problem for us and playing matches may actually help that." Smith, meanwhile, headed for Highbury today, as part of Everton's off-field rebuilding plans. The Blues' boss was in London to inspect Arsenal's training complex, with plans to relocate from Bellefield already underway. A refinancing package has already handed Smith £4m to spend on new players, and further funds have been earmarked for a new training facility and a Youth Academy. The Blues have undertaken a fact-finding tour of leading training complexes in recent months. A final decision to quit their long-standing Bellefield base has not been taken yet, but a switch to a new complex in the Childwall area of the city is expected to be rubber-stamped soon. The Blues boss has dismissed weekend speculation linking him with Crystal Palace striker Clinton Morrison and Aston Villa goalkeeper Peter Schmeiche
Crewe boss praises stand-in keeper
Liverpool Echo, Daily Post
Feb 18 2002
CREWE boss Dario Gradi praised the heroics of replacement goalkeeper Clayton Ince as his side held Premiership Everton at Goodison Park and stayed in the hunt for a possible FA Cup quarter-final at Middlesbrough. Crewe have never made it beyond the fifth round in Gradi's 19 years as manager, and have not reached the semifinals since 1888. Now they will have to knock out two Premiership sides if they are to reach the last four this season. But Gradi praised Ince's display, which dented Everton's hopes of a last-eight spot for themselves. Ince made fine saves and commanded his area. He had only been called into the side because of Ade Bankole's terrible performance last week, when Crewe lost 6-0 at home to Coventry and their number one goalkeeper was blamed for five of the goals. Gradi said: "Clayton was outstanding. His performance was inspirational in a very important cup tie. " Of course I am disappointed we didn't win at the first opportunity. I felt we deserved to and we had a great chance. "But we can play better than that. "We played too many long balls and I wanted us to play better football than that."
Blues lack the pace to hurt defences
By Tommy Smith, Daily Post
Feb 18 2002
EVERTONIANS remain bemused today after the goalless home FA Cup draw with Crewe.
Every time I see the Blues, the same thing leaps out at me. There is a woeful lack of pace up front.
Kevin Campbell was getting all the stick and it's fair to say that he did have a poor game. But he had no natural support and he has got no speed to spin off defenders himself. I can't recall a single occasion when a forward ran between defenders or wide of defenders on to a cutting ball.
I think the really frustrating thing is that the fans genuinely felt that they could be in for a football exhibition with the likes of David Ginola and Paul Gascoigne both available to stretch inferior opponents. If ever they were going to have the time and space to show their skills, this was going to be it. As it turned out, Ginola was one of the few who looked as if he was on a different level.
It's tragic that Tomasz Radzinski has been out for so long through injury. Walter Smith desperately needs him back. Everton can definitely go to Gresty Road and win the return, but this should have been a day for the fans to savour. Instead it was another afternoon of total torment.
A bit of bravery can take heat off Kev
By Claire Gray, Liverpool Echo
Feb 18 2002
NICLAS Alexandersson believes that bravery rather than blame is the key to solving Everton's current problems in front of goal. The Blues' failed to find the target at Goodison Park yesterday as first division Crewe took the FA Cup fifth round clash into a replay. It's the fourth time Walter Smith's side have been unsuccessful in adding to their opponent's 'goals against' tally since the turn of the year. But while pressure is mounting on striker Kevin Campbell, who is yet to score in the Premiership since his return from injury, Alexandersson says the responsibility for scoring and creating goals should be shared. "We need to be a bit braver if we want to get the ball down and pass it," said the Swede who shrugged off a knee injury to return to the starting line-up.
"Even though it is difficult to do that on the pitch at the moment we should manage it, especially against a team from a lower division. "Kevin sometimes got a bit isolated on his own yesterday and the balls came from quite far back, which is hard for him to deal with. "Crewe had a lot of players around him as well so it was hard for us to get that second ball. "It is up to us midfielders to take some pressure off him but at the same time, if you go up there too early the front line tends to be bombarded with all the long balls. "The question then is whether you should come back and show for the ball or go up and support him. "I have tried for example to run behind Kevin for the knocks but it feels a bit like you are playing on chance all the time rather than concentrating on keeping the ball." Everton now face a tough trip to Anfield in the league before they get a second bite of the cup cherry at Gresty Road next week. One Premiership victory since the turn of the year has seen them slip to 15th in the table - and reversing that trend, says Alexandersson, remains the main concern. "Even though this is a very good chance for us to progress in the cup, the league is obviously the priority," he said. "If we could get a goal that could ease the pressure on a lot of things.
"We have not managed to find that spark in the opposition's half, that has been the problem over the last four or five games. We have not created as many chances as we need to do to win games.
"I don't think that the problem is that we don't work hard enough, I think we all work for each other. The problem we have at the moment is the creative side of things - and I'm sure it will come."
Everton 0, Crewe 0 (Echo)
By David Prentice from Goodison Park
Feb 18 2002
REMEMBER Port Vale. Think back to the embarrassment of Bristol Rovers. Recall, if you can without twitching, the shambles of York (and that's not the tourist attraction). All are Cup ties Everton have lost after drawing at Goodison. This fifth round tie had an ominously familiar feeling to it, after the Blues were all too easily held at a groaning Goodison Park by Crewe Alexandra.
No doubt the usual cliches will be trotted out to sum up Crewe's display. Plucky, brave, no respecters of reputation. . . All were appropriate yesterday. But they are also a struggling First Division side. And the ease with which they held Everton was almost as worrying as the prospect of another fixture for Walter Smith's famously feeble squad to negotiate without incurring further injury or suspension. At present Kevin Campbell is Everton's only fit specialist striker - and he is toiling for form. It showed as Everton managed just three shots on target all afternoon, none of them likely to induce palpitations in the always assured Clayton Ince, despite a string of quality crosses from David Ginola. Campbell wasn't given a strike partner until Joe-Max Moore was introduced 20 minutes from time. But by then Alex were long since in the comfort zone and dreaming of a money-spinning replay in front of upset-sensing Sky cameras. It was the BBC who opted to screen yesterday's dirge of a tie. If viewers adjusted their sets only slightly at half time, they might have heard a faint rustling above Mark Lawrenson and Graeme Sharp's world-weary analysis. It was unquestionably the sound of the TV executive who recommended that the nation digest its Sunday roast over this game, emptying his drawer. It was a fifth round cup tie without a cup tie edge. For 45 minutes Everton performed like a stumped Mastermind contestant. Pass, pass, pass, without scoring any plus points at all. Ginola swung over three inviting crosses, but goalkeeper Ince was sharper to react every time than Everton's leaden-footed forward. Highly-rated teenager Dean Ashton went closest to a goal, with two flying headers which flashed narrowly wide.
After the interval it was only marginally better. And while a different referee might have awarded two penalties for a couple of handballs which were clear, if unintentional, Crewe came closest to scoring with a rising Rob Hulse drive which beat Steve Simonsen but slapped off the face of the crossbar. That was in the 73rd minute, 11 minutes after the clamour for Paul Gascoigne's introduction had finally been rewarded. Calls for the inventive thirty-something had grown since the restart, the increasingly agitated Blues believing he could inspire a breakthrough.
He almost did just that - getting caught in possession and allowing Crewe to breakaway and threaten on the counter. Not even Gascoigne and Ginola on the same pitch, however, could conjure a decent goalscoring opportunity for Everton. Moore flashed a 20-yarder inches wide in the 87th minute, but Campbell was largely asked to plough a lonely furrow. If Everton thought they were advertising their ambition and adventure by offering a then in-form Kevin Campbell a colossal contract, they were also creating a even bigger stick with which to beat him with. The crowd is turning with increasing volume on Super Kev. True, Campbell has lost some of his old zip and confidence. But he is Everton's only specialist centre-forward available at present and - appalling though the prospect may sound - the Blues are a less effective side when he is absent. A line-up sat in the stand which included the contrite Thomas Gravesen and the not quite right Tomasz Radzinski suggests Everton could offer more firepower by the time the replay comes around. But it will be a nerve-jangling night. Remember Port Vale, Bristol Rovers, York City . . . But then think of Stockport County, too.
Everton can beat lower league opposition in replays away from home. But that 3-2 thriller was a long time ago . . .
EVERTON (4-4-2): Simonsen; Clarke, Weir, Stubbs, Naysmith; Alexandersson (Gascoigne 62 minutes), Gemmill, Linderoth (Pembridge 73 minutes), Blomqvist (Moore 70 minutes); Ginola, Campbell. Not used: Gerrard, Unsworth.
CREWE ALEXANDRA (3-5-2): Ince; Sodje, Walton, Smith; Vaughan (Rix 56 minutes), Sorvel, Lunt, Brammer, Wright; Ashton (Jack 66 minutes), Hulse (Foster 93 minutes). Not used: Bankole, Collins.
Referee: Uriah Rennie.
Bookings: Walton (66 minutes) foul, Moore (91 minutes) foul.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Alan Stubbs. Solid and sound, as he had to be in the face of frequently-threatening Crewe forays.
Brown shipshape with Crewe strike
By Chris Wright, Daily Post
Feb 19 2002
IT seems nothing could separate Everton and Crewe at all levels at the weekend. The first team's draw with Crewe in the FA Cup on Sunday was the third stalemate of the weekend between the two clubs. The day before Colin Harvey's under-19s and Alan Harper's under-17s had both shared the points with their Crewe counterparts in the FA Premier Academy League. Midfielder Scot Brown's stunning late strike saved the U19s from a first defeat of 2002 at Crewe. Harvey's side had dominated much of the first-half but had little to show for their efforts. England U17s striker Wayne Rooney had a chance but failed to take it. But Crewe broke near the end of the first half to open the scoring. Martin Crowder's clearance rebounded back off a Crewe player and, from a right-wing cross, Platt headed home. Despite their continued dominance it looked like the Blues would lose. But in the last minute England U17s midfielder Brown hit a superb shot in off the underside of the bar to earn a draw. Academy director Ray Hall said: "We started off brightly and although there was not much in it we looked the most likely to score. They scored on the break, but in the second half we had the edge again and Scot Brown scored a spectacular goal to level things. "Overall it was a good performance. Obviously we had one or two boys away last week with the international groups. Craig Garside came back injured after playing the full game for Wales U17s on the Wednesday. And Scot Brown and Wayne Rooney played half a game with England U17s so they were feeling it a bit as the game went on." The U17s halted a run of three defeats with a goalless draw at Crewe. Hall said: "The first half was quite even, but the second half we dominated it. And with less erratic finishing and a bit more luck we could easily have won it. "But we are delighted the side have come away with something, but a bit disappointed we haven't won. "Alan (Harper) has made the point to the lads that they should forget the results this season because they haven't always reflected the performance. "And again we are not just saying it as an excuse, but it is a fact we have had three U15s take part in the game." Many of those schoolboy players will be taken on full-time next year after some excellent performances. Hall added: "The boys now are more settled in the knowledge that all the U16s who were with us on Saturday have been offered full-time places at the club.
"So they can get on with the football side of it rather than worry about whether they are going to be here next year." Including striker Rooney, who is at De la Salle School in Croxteth, there are 10 other schoolboys who will be taken on. They are: Anthony Barry (Bluecoat School), Jack Flood (Bootle HS), Daniel Fox (Verdin HS, Winsford), Anthony Gerrard - who is a cousin of Liverpool and England midfielder Steven (St Thomas Beckett, Huyton), James Potter (St George of England, Bootle), Damien Martland (Abraham Guest, Wigan), Gavin Lynch (Deyes High School, Maghull), Morgan Jones (Ysgol Friars, Bangor), Joseph Jones (All Saints, Kirkby), Colin Thorbinson (Liverpool College, Mossley Hill).
Blues pitched into a turf war
By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
Feb 19 2002
EVERTON face a pitch battle - to patch up their Goodison Park playing surface for the rest of the season. The Goodison turf has cut up badly, after a combination of wet weather and an unusual run of successive home fixtures. Chief Executive Michael Dunford will hold a meeting with the Goodison groundstaff this week, but revealed there is little which can be done before the summer.
"I must point out that the pitch was in superb condition until after Christmas," he explained "but since then we have had an exceptional level of rainfall and the number of fixtures we have had means it has had no respite." The Blues have played at home on four successive weekends recently --and have also staged two FA Youth Cup ties sandwiched inbetween. The battered pitch has not recovered and Swedish winger Niclas Alexandersson said on Sunday: "The pitch is quite difficult to play good football on. It is bobbly in places." Mr Dunford added: "We have a seeded pitch, which is the preferred option, so we cannot just relay fresh turf, and there is no opportunity between now and the end of the season to re-seed. "We will do all we can to improve the surface, but our hands are largely tied." Everton had already taken the decision to take reserve games away from Goodison Park two seasons ago. Those fixtures are now staged at the Autoquest Stadium in Widnes.
But FA Regulations state that Youth Cup ties must be played on a senior stage, and after trips to the final in 1998 and the semi-final in 1999 the Blues are once again enjoying a good run in the competition. They will stage the next round of the Youth Cup, once tomorrow night's tie between Nottingham Forest and Kidderminster Harriers is concluded. Steve Watson, meanwhile, has been told he will be back playing football in three to four weeks. The defender had an arthroscope on his injured ankle yesterday, which revealed and repaired ligament damage. Tomasz Radzinski and Alessandro Pistone are both back in training, while Duncan Ferguson is expected to resume training again on Thursday.
Blomqvist: Give Blues time to gel
Feb 19 2002 By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
JESPER BLOMQVIST believes familiarity will breed the solution to Everton's alarming lack of creativity. The Blues drew another blank on Sunday when they were held to a goalless draw by first division strugglers Crewe in the FA Cup - extending their miserable goalscoring record to just one in four games. Manager Walter Smith admitted afterwards that his side's cutting edge was "a major concern" as he pinpointed injuries to his strikeforce and subsequent lack of sharpness as the major reason for the Blues' failing. But Swedish winger Blomqvist believes the amount of new faces and the absence of a settled side is also to blame. "It's not just about creative players, it's about being a creative team," said the former Manchester United winger. "We don't seem to be able to create chances at the moment, but it will come. We have to work together and also get used to Ginola and the two or three new players. It takes some time to play together and get used to each other.
"When you get a new player in the team, he has to adjust to the team and you have to adjust to him.
"That's counts for all the players and it's the same for me. I've played for just two months and I'm still learning about the team, it's a very important process in football. Now we have a lot of injuries it has been a little bit difficult to play more or less the same team. "That makes it even more difficult because it is so important to know how your team-mates are playing, how as a team you operate."
Blomqvist insists it is the whole team's responsibility to create and convert the goals needed to keep Everton in both the FA Cup and the Premiership. And he offered support to skipper Kevin Campbell who has come under-fire from sections of the Goodison crowd. "I think Kevin worked especially hard against Crewe, he said. "It was definitely not just one or two players, it was the whole team, apart from the goalkeeper and back four, who missed that edge in the last third of the pitch.
"We know we play well until the last third of the pitch but we're the people most angry and worried about it. "It's just natural that the crowd are not happy. "The Cup is our chance to win something this year." Blomqvist added: "Obviously we had a home draw and of course we are disappointed not to have gone through first time around. The replay won't be an easy game, definitely not, but we are still in it and still have a chance to go through." The fifth round replay will now take place next Tuesday, February 26, at Gresty Road after Sky TV elected to screen the game live, kick-off 7.45pm.
Manager Smith was in London yesterday to inspect Arsenal's training complex as the Blues' begin detailed preparations for their proposed new training and Youth Academy development.
Today's scheduled hearing with the FA over charges Everton failed to control their players during December's clash at Fulham has been moved again, and will now take place on Tuesday, March 5.
* Everton are reminding supporters that tickets for the live 'beamback' screening at Goodison Park of the Merseyside derby on Saturday will not be available on the day of the game. Tickets are priced £8 adults and £4 juniors (under-16s only) and the over-65s. The Box Office will be be open 9.30am to 4.30pm until Thursday and 9.30am to 8pm on Friday.
Ginola is too big a gamble for derby
Feb 19 2002 By Kevin Ratcliffe
DAVID GINOLA has been one of Everton's brighter sparks in his two games since signing from Aston Villa. But Walter Smith has a difficult decision to make this weekend. Does he include the Frenchman in a fixture which will undoubtedly prove a culture shock for a player even as experienced as him? Or does he hope that Ginola's much-publicised feud with Gerard Houllier will act as a motivating force which can prove the difference between the sides on the day?
I respect Ginola enormously as a footballer, but I think on Saturday Everton may be better equipped with Tomasz Radzinski alongside Campbell up front - and someone like Mark Pembridge working the left flank. That presupposes that Radzinski will be fit, of course. Kevin Campbell is not playing well at present, but he was so isolated on Sunday that he had little chance of shining. His game is to hold the ball up and get other players involved around him. But with Ginola drifting wide at every opportunity - and no-one from the midfield taking the responsibility of getting beyond the back-four - he was always likely to be fighting a losing battle. He is getting stick right now, but he is big enough to come through that. He could do worse than take a leaf out of Emile Heskey's book, who persevered throughout that long, long run without a goal, and has been rewarded spectacularly in recent weeks. Crewe defended deep, but the only way to counter that is to get behind the back line whenever possible, and that rarely happened. Having achieved success with that gameplan on Sunday, Crewe are unlikely to be any more expansive next week. That puts the onus firmly back on Everton again. The Blues are unlikely to find Gresty Road a seething cauldron. It was a more intimidating place to visit, I found, in the days before the new, modern stand was built.
I took a Chester team there once, and it was an old fashioned ground with a great atmosphere.
The new stand has diluted that marginally, but it will be the quality of the team on the pitch facing Everton which will cause the most concern. As I said last week, Crewe can play if you let them - and for the replay they could have the very influential Geoff Thomas available again. That said, Everton still should have too much quality . . . but it will be a nervous night.
Forget the cup, league safety must be priority
WITH a cup replay and a potential quarter-final in Middlesbrough looming, Everton must make sure they do not lose sight of their over-riding priority this season . . . Premiership safety.
There is a danger that the Blues could look to next Tuesday's game at Crewe and a possible trip to Tees-side as the crunch games in their season. They are not. Saturday's trip to Anfield and the next home game against Leeds are the most important fixtures on the immediate horizon, with just three tenuous points separating the Blues from the relegation zone. The Blues don't want to be contesting 'cup finals' against Bolton, Leicester and Southampton in April, when everyone in the bottom half of the table is fighting furiously for their lives. They need to be scrapping now to try and prise unexpected points from top six sides. When Joe Royle took Everton to Wembley in 1995 to win the cup, he never deviated from the line that his prime mission was to secure the club's Premiership place. He accomplished that mission and lifting the cup was a sizeable bonus prize.
Middlesbrough contested two cup finals in 1997 and went down - and there's absolutely no doubt what they'd rather have achieved. The cup is an attractive sideshow, but Everton will take their eye off their main target at their peril.
Ginola: The time my life fell apart
By Richard Williamson, Daily Post
Feb 20 2002
IT is perhaps fitting that the birthplace of David Ginola is within striking distance of glitzy St Tropez.
The resort has a reputation for more front than most along the coast in the south of France, with a headturning glamour all of its own. If you're looking for style and swagger then Ginola's your man, and the sight of the most famously shampooed tresses in football trailing in the wake of another dazzling run turned more than a few Premiership defenders during his time at Newcastle and Tottenham. Now, like his new team-mate in the Everton dressing room Paul Gascoigne, Ginola is hoping he can demonstrate that his footballing prowess remains a potent threat. After 18 months in the wilderness of Villa Park, Ginola has a point to prove. And in doing so the Frenchman could yet be the catalyst for Everton to avoid the relegation gallows. It is not the first time Ginola has found himself having to prove his footballing skills deserve a stage. He was actually born in a small village called Gassin in the foothills surrounding St Tropez 35 years ago and local expectations would have seen him follow both his father and grandfather, and many other members of his family, into making torpedoes for submarines in the nearby factory. But Ginola's footballing gifts were evident from an early age and his father Rene's love of the game saw him provide plenty of encouragement.
It was his father who first introduced Ginola to the heady intoxications of the world of football.
He was a defender with local team Association Sportive Maximoise, where he carried on playing until he was 38, a feat his son would love to match. The team's headquarters became a second home for the young Ginola. Ginola recalls how he was passionate about football from an early age.
"From about two years old, as soon as I could walk, I was kicking a ball about," he wrote in his autobiography David Ginola le magnifique. "It was my father who introduced me to the game when one day he just kicked me a football. From then on I was never without a football tucked under my arm, always in the garden practising my skills." And there was never any doubt that football was his chosen goal in life, as declared in a school essay at the age of nine, or that he wanted to be a crowd pleaser. While some thought he might become a goalkeeper because of his big hands, Ginola always preferred scoring goals to stopping them. Ginola's first big break came at the age of 13 when he was offered the chance to join Nice's football academy, which would see him combining normal schoolwork with coaching and matches in the evenings and weekends. But just as quickly as it seemed his dream of following his great hero Michel Platini was about to come true, Ginola's world came crashing down around his ears. Nice decided that the 16-year-old Ginola - nicknamed "jambes des baguettes" (breadstick legs) due to his thin frame - was surplus to requirements with the damning verdict that he had no future in the game. Ginola recalls the setback as a crushing experience. "I was distraught and started to cry in my father's arms," recalled Ginola. "As we drove off in the car, my life appeared to be falling apart in front of me." But Ginola's hopes were dramatically revived a few days later when Toulon offered him a trial and then moved quickly to snap up a player they believed had the potential to go all the way to the top. From the depths of despair Ginola had been offered a second chance and he was determined not to let it pass him by. He made his full debut in the first team at just 18 and even returned to play against Nice, scoring one goal and setting up another in a 2-1 success. Reflecting on his rejection, Ginola believes it only served to make him stronger. "The last time I passed through these gates I had floods of tears in my eyes, feeling destroyed," he wrote in his autobiography of his return to the Nice ground.
"Maybe those years here made me mentally strong and capable of proving my detractors wrong."
He spent three seasons there before moving on to Racing Paris, where he scored in the 2-1 French Cup final defeat to Montpellier, and two years later to Brest. Here he was rewarded with his first full international call-up, when he made his French debut as a substitute in Tirana against Albania in November 1990. But his career threatened to stall when Brest were demoted to the second division for financial irregularities, despite finishing sixth in the league, and it was not until the following season that he was plucked back into the first division by Paris St Germain. It was here that he became one of the hottest properties in France - both on and off the field - being named player of the year and players' player of the year i n 1994 as he won a French championship medal and stamping his unique mark both at home and in European competition while carving out a glamorous lifestyle away from football. His face was plastered across billboards, magazines and T-shirts as Paris went Ginola crazy. But once again Ginola found all he had worked for slipping through his grasp after making a pass that went astray in the final minute of a World Cup 94 qualifier against Bulgaria. The ball was intercepted, Bulgaria scored and were on their way to the finals with the French left to lick their wounds. Ginola was pilloried for the slip-up and his love affair with France was on the wane. By 1995 relations had become strained at PSG, who replaced Artur Jorge, a man Ginola respected, with Louis Fernandez. The new coach immediately handed the captain's armband to Ginola, only to strip him of the job two months later as he declared: "David and I have a love-hate relationship." There were plenty of suitors for the increasingly disgruntled French star with European giants like Barcelona, AC Milan and Juventus in the frame. "I was like a hungry schoolboy being given the pick of the tuck shop," says Ginola. But, surprisingly, it was the more down to earth of attractions of Newcastle that beckoned - and with it a whole new army of admirers. And more controversies . .
Carsley eyes derby return
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Feb 20 2002
LEE CARSLEY'S baptism of fire at Everton will continue with an immediate recall for the Merseyside derby this weekend. The recent £1.9m purchase from Coventry is set to follow his Goodison debut against Arsenal with a date with Liverpool as the Blues go in search of vital Premiership points against their arch rivals. Carsley was cup-tied for Sunday's goalless draw with Crewe in the FA Cup fifth round but manager Walter Smith is ready to give the Republic of Ireland international a swift return even with a full complement of midfield options. Thomas Gravesen is the latest Blues midfielder available to Smith after last week's public apology but his attempts to come in from the cold last night were stifled by a waterlogged pitch. The Danish international was due to play for the reserves against Blackburn Rovers in Morecambe along with fit-again defender Alessandro Pistone only for a late postponement to dash their comebacks. Smith could also have Tomasz Radzinski and Duncan Ferguson back in time to bolster his goal-shy strikeforce at Anfield but once again he has to wait on their fitness. Radzinski has not played this year due to groin and knee problems but is now back in full training, while Ferguson visited a specialist last week over a hamstring injury.
The Canadian is the more likely to feature against Liverpool-but Smith warned: "There is no point in bringing him back unless he is ready. "I think he will have a level of fitness that will enable him to play but the problem is the length of time he has been out. We will wait to see if he is ready to be involved at the weekend." He added: "Duncan will return to training this week but he is in a similar position to Tomasz." Steve Watson, meanwhile, has undergone an arthroscopy on his troublesome ankle and should be back in action within three weeks.
Everton Euro hopes hit snag
By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
Feb 20 2002
EVERTON'S hopes of a return to Europe have been dealt a blow with Leeds United revealing they have applied to compete in next season's Intertoto Cup competition. Aston Villa and Ipswich Town have also announced their intention to attempt to use that route to qualify for the UEFA Cup, should they fail to do so automatically. The Blues announced last week they had given the FA formal notice of their wish to be considered. But they must dramatically improve their form if European football is to be a realistic proposition. Intertoto places are offered to the two teams who finish highest in the Premiership but who do not qualify for Europe. Leeds are currently sixth but have to be playing in Europe at all costs given the money spent b y manager David O'Leary in the transfer market, and to cover the expense of a rapidlyescalating wage bill. Clubs like Charlton and Fulham, who are better placed in the league than Everton and Ipswich, may also be tempted to follow their lead before Monday's deadline. Confirmation of whether the Premier League will take both or just one of those places, as has been done in the past, is expected next week. Interested clubs must finish at least 12th if they are to be considered, something Everton have not achieved for six years now.
The Blues dropped to 16th in the Premiership last night following Middlesbrough's win over Fulham.
They now face a tough trip to Anfield this Saturday with Walter Smith still sweating on the fitness of Tomasz Radzinski and Duncan Ferguson. Radzinski has resumed full training but Smith will not risk the Canadian unless he is ready. Said the Blues' boss: "I think he will have a level of fitness that will enable him to play but the problem is the length of time he has been out." Ferguson will also return to training this week following hamstring problems, but is in a similar position. Alessandro Pistone and Thomas Gravesen were forced to delay their comeback from injury as last night's reserve game with Blackburn Rovers fell foul of a waterlogged pitch.
Tyne runs out
By Jamie Gardner, Daily Post
Feb 21 2002
EVERTON will soon discover that nothing, except maybe his hair, is a grey area where David Ginola is concerned. The flying French winger seems to divide footballing opinion, but regardless of whether he engenders love or loathing he has never simply blended in. On the pitch he is so often at the centre of the action, attempting to bamboozle his way through the opposition ranks or demanding to take free kicks and corners. Away from football his profile is equally high - whether it be an appearance alongside film stars at Cannes or on the catwalk of a Paris fashion show - and he is not backwards in coming forwards with his opinions on a wide range of topics. On his own official website they range from the trivial, with recipes for barbequed sea bass with fennel, to the worthy, with details of Ginola's work on behalf of the Red Cross with the victims of landmines in areas like Cambodia. Ginola first took root in the English consciousness when he swapped Paris for Newcastle in a £2.5m deal in 1995. He should have received a hero's send-off from Paris St Germain, having scored 13 goals to help the capital club to their first French title in eight years in 1994. Instead the sentiments were less bon voyage and more au revior for the man who had put his home village of Gassin, just outside the glamorous Mediterranean resort town of St Tropez, on the sporting map.
After his infamous mis-placed pass in the 1994 World Cup qualifers, which saw Bulgaria score the goal that left France at home and their opponents heading for the finals instead, Ginola found that the fans at the Parc des Princes, who had been so quick to adore his title-winning skills, had turned on him. With criticism raining down on him from fans, press and French coaching staff alike, Ginola opted for a change of scene. And so it was that Kevin Keegan brought Ginola to Tyneside ahead of other interested parties such as Barcelona, Inter Milan and Celtic. He was the perfect player for the club in the carefree Keegan era and helped the Magpies make the leap from top-six club to serious title challengers. Making his debut on August 19, 1995 in a game against Coventry, he played a crucial part in the club's electric start to the 1995-96 season, scoring in his third game against Sheffield Wednesday. Ginola's accurate crossing from the left for striking pair Les Ferdinand and Andy Cole was a prime source of goals, and he added six himself as the club held a strong lead in the Premiership. Eventually, of course, Manchester United chipped away at Newcastle's lead while Sir Alex Ferguson famously did the same to Keegan's composure, and Ginola's first season in England ended trophy-less, but with Newcastle winning over new If anything they became an even more attractive proposition the following season. Ginola - of whom Ron Atkinson famously said: "I would not say he is the best left winger in the Premiership, but there are none better" - was once again pulling the strings. An opening-day hiccup was followed by a run of 11 straight Premiership wins, including an unforgettable 5-0 thrashing of Manchester United at St James' Park, Ginola netting the second. Nine days later he displayed his penchant for the spectacular, rifling in a stunning volley from outside the box in a 4-0 UEFA Cup win over Hungarian side Ferencvaros. Ginola was revelling in the expressive environment at Newcastle, saying in retrospect: "Kevin Keegan had imagination. We didn't do much about tactics. It is good when you have a manager who believes in you."
Unfortunately for Ginola, Keegan's resignation from his post in January 1997 was the precursor for his own exit. New boss Kenny Dalglish made it clear he would be tightening up the squad in every sense, and a luxury player like Ginola was surplus to requirements. He stayed until the end of the season but it was clear time was running out for him, and in July 1997 he headed to Tottenham, who signed him for £2million. He faced early uncertainty when the manager who signed him and Newcastle team-mate Les Ferdinand, Gerry Francis, left the club. Tottenham chairman Alan Sugar chose Christian Gross, a wellrespected manager in his native Switzerland but virtually unknown in England, as Francis' successor, but his muddled tactics failed to lift the club, who finished the season in a disappointing 14th. On a personal level, however, Ginola made a strong contribution. He scored nine goals for his new club in the 1997-98 season. He was still capable of conjuring up moments of amazing skill and even as his team crashed out of the FA Cup to Barnsley, he picked the ball up just inside the opposition half, took on the Barnsley defence single-handedly to score one of the great cup goals. It was a moment which neatly summed up Ginola's philosophy on how the game should be played. "If I am to become a manager one day, I will change things for kids," he says. "The education now is stereotyped. Football is really about creativity. "When you have creativity, it is like being a painter in front of a canvas. He paints something great and football is about imagination."
Ginola's imagination was not required by French World Cup coach Aime Jacquet for the 1998 finals in France, which of course the hosts went on to win. Instead he worked as a pundit for the BBC during the finals. A greater challenge was to emerge at the start of the 1998-99 season when George Graham took over as manager of Tottenham. Many felt a culture clash was on the cards with Ginola. Graham had built his success at Arsenal on strong defence, stamina and spirit. Ginola, not renowned for mucking in with the dirty work of defence, looked as though he had played his last game for the club. But once he got the chance, Ginola made it impossible for Graham to drop him. He became indispensable source of inspiration in the team - whipping in dangerous crosses, setting off on mazy runs across the pitch and being in charge of set-pieces. A 1-0 win over Leicester secured the Worthington Cup. It was Ginola's first - and so far only - piece of silverware in England. But his troubles were far from over .
Blues in link with wantaway Wallwork
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Feb 21 2002
WALTER SMITH is considering a summer swoop for Manchester United's Ronnie Wallwork after the England under-21 midfielder rejected a new contract extension at Old Trafford. The Everton manager has been alerted to the United star's situation and could land him on a free transfer when his current deal expires at the end of this season. Wallwork has come through the ranks at Manchester United but turned down the chance to stay with his boyhood club due to his frustration at his lack of first team chances. The 24-year-old has made just 28 appearances for Sir Alex Ferguson's champions and would relish the opportunity to prove himself in the Premiership under Smith, who is actively seeking to lower the average age of his first-team squad next season.
Wallwork hit the headlines in 1999 when he received a life ban from football for an incident with a referee during a season on loan with Belgium club Royal Antwerp. The punishment was lifted on appeal and the midfielder, who has also been on loan at Carlisle and Stockport, returned to England to play in United's controversial World Club Championship campaign in Brazil. But he has failed to land a regular role at Old Trafford and has now accepted his future lies elsewhere. Smith, meanwhile, will consider ringing the changes for Saturday's Merseyside derby clash at Liverpool.
Lee Carsley is almost certain to return after being cup-tied for the drab draw with Crewe on Sunday, and could be joined by fit-again Mark Pembridge. Both Tomasz Radzinski and Duncan Ferguson are pressing their claims for a striking role after returning to training this week but their lack of match fitness could influence Smith's starting selection.
* EVERTON'S reserve clash at home to Middlesbrough, scheduled for next Tuesday, has been postponed.
A little bit of derby history
Feb 21 2002 By David Randles, icLiverpool
SATURDAY sees the 166th Merseyside league derby as Liverpool play host to Everton at Anfield.
One of the oldest fixtures on the footballing calendar, the Merseyside derby is steeped in huge tradition and comes with a guarantee to divide loyalties across the city and beyond.
The first of these hotly contested affairs took place on 13 October 1894 as a crowd of 44,000 witnessed a 3-0 victory for the Blues. In the return match later that season, a 2-2 draw saw the great arch rivals share the spoils, but it wasn't long since the footballing neighbours had shared more than just points. Despite the Reds' superior record over the Toffees - 72 to 62 wins and 58 draws in all competitions - Evertonians will take pride in telling you 'we were here first'. Everton started life in 1878 under the guidance of John Houlding, but when, in 1892, the landlord was confronted over an increase in rent, the Blues upped sticks to make the short journey to Goodison Park where they remain to this day. Undeterred, Houlding regrouped to form a new side known as Liverpool Football Club and the Merseyside derby was born. While arguments rage over Dixie Dean's amazing 60 goal season in 1927-28 and Ian Rush's incredible tally of 25 goals in 34 derby appearances, this fixture has become one of, if not, the most vibrant and fiercely contested of its kind worldwide. Between 1994-97 Roy Evans' Liverpool team failed to beat Joe Royle's Everton side in any derby game. Billed as the 'Spice Boys', Liverpool always seemed to struggle when up against Everton's 'Dogs of War' and despite the relative gap between the two sides come the season's end, former Blues striker, Royle always had the last laugh when facing the Reds. Since Royle's departure however, the tables have begun to turn in Liverpool's favour. Following Walter Smith's appointment to the Goodison hotseat in July 1998, The Toffee's have come unstuck against their arch rivals. Just one win from seven - courtesy of a solitary Kevin Campbell goal at Anfield in September 1999 - has reserved boasting supremacy for the Red half of the city. Gerard Houllier's Liverpool have won the last three meetings - the latest being a comfortable 3-1 win at Goodison earlier this season. However, last April's encounter is still the derby on everyone's lips. In a thrilling encounter, the Reds took the lead twice before David Unsworth made it 2-2 from the penalty spot with seven minutes to play. With Reds and Blues alike settling for a well-earned draw, Liverpool veteran, Gary McAllister stepped up at the death to catch Everton goalkeeper Paul Gerrard off guard with an audacious 30-yard freekick.
The rest, as they say, is history. A history however, that Everton will be hoping to amend at Anfield on Saturday
ABEL XAVIER has become the latest defector to trade colours across Stanley Park, but unlike a similar switch the season before, the Portuguese international's departure seemed to avoid controversy.
Much was made of Nick Barmby's switch from Goodison to Anfield in the summer of 2000, mainly because, despite the £6m price-tag, many Evertonians who had idolised their star player, felt shortchanged for the faith they had shown in him during his time with the Blues.
Such is the rivalry between the two clubs, that historically the business of trading players has been kept to a minimum. Barmby was the first player to don the colours of both clubs since Don Hutchison joined Everton in 1998. However, the fact that Hutchison had not worn the Red of Liverpool since 1994 made it easier for the Gwladys Street to accept him as Howard Kendall returned to former club, Sheffield United to rescue the Scottish international from first division obscurity.
In the wake of the furore surrounding Barmby's shock move following an impressive Euro 2000 campaign for England, you would be forgiven for thinking he was the first player to make the short journey between the two clubs. But in truth however, a host of players have made that same journey in one direction or another down the years and are as follows:
Everton Career Liverpool Career
Edgar Chadwick 1888-89 - 1898-99 1902-04
Billy Lacey 1908-12 1912-24
Dick Forshaw 1927-29 1919-27
Tosh Johnson 1930-34 1934-36
David Johnson 1969-72 - 1982-84 1976-82
Steve McMahon 1977-83 1985-91
Peter Beardsley 1991-93 1986-91
Gary Ablett 1992-96 1986-91
David Burrows 1994-95 1988-93
Nick Barmby 1996-2000 2000-Present
Abel Xavier 1999-2002 2002-Present
DERBY DAY OFFENDERS
THE Merseyside derby is famous the world over, not least for the rivalry dividing families and friends across the city, but also for the full-blooded commitment guaranteed to be on show from both set of players. Arguably, the derbies are the first ties Evertonians and Liverpudlians look for when the fixture list is printed at the start of each season and more often than not result in two of the most highly charged matches for both teams in any given campaign. However, sometimes the intensity boils over to the point where commitment is clouded by controversy with the end product being an early bath for certain players. Despite the local importance attached to the fixture however, it took nearly 90 years from the first Merseyside derby in 1894 for a player to be given his marching orders. Since then, only six meetings have been marred by the red card treatment.
The derby day offenders are listed below:
Eamonn OundefinedKeefe (Everton) 7th November 1981
Glenn Keeley (Everton) 6th November 1982
Robbie Fowler & David Unsworth 12th April 1997
Sander Westerveld, Steven Gerrard 27 September 1999 & Francis Jeffers
Thomas Gravesen 29th October 2000
Igor Biscan 16th April 2001
Cadamarteri case adjourned
Feb 21 2002 Daily Post
FOOTBALLER Danny Cadamarteri appeared in court yesterday charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. The Everton striker, 22, spoke only to confirm his details during the two-minute hearing before magistrates in Liverpool. The case was adjourned until March 20 when he will appear at the city's crown court for a preliminary hearing. Cadamarteri, of Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, was arrested and questioned last Friday after voluntarily attending a police station on Merseyside.
You can't write off Everton - Sharp
Feb 21 2002 By Graeme Sharp
GRAEME SHARP provided Evertonians with one of their most memorable derby moments at Anfield.
The Scottish international's stunning volley in the Blues' 1-0 win in October 1984 ended the Blues' miserable run of not having beaten Liverpool at Anfield for 14 years. Things aren't quite as bad these days. Everton have won twice in the last six seasons on their former home ground with the most recent win coming in October 1999 thanks to a Kevin Campbell strike. But many Evertonian's are going into Saturday's game with a sense of trepidation. Liverpool have won their last four Premiership games in a row without conceding a goal and have won the last three derbies on the bouce. Meanwhile, Everton have struggled to hit the target and have found themselves slipping perilously close to the relegation trapdoor. So does Sharp, who is currently Everton's fans liaison officer, think the Blues can produce a shock at Anfield? "You can't write Everton off before the game," he says. "We've looked solid at the back over the last couple of months although there have been problems in attack. " But hopefully Tomasz Radzinski will be back to liven things up and add a new dimension to the side. "I think the added dimension and pace Tomasz provides can bring the best out of Kevin Campbell. "There's also the spice of Abel Xavier facing the Blues for the first time and with David Ginola lining up against Gerard Houllier's team there should be a number of interesting sideshows to the game." Sharp also feels that it is a good time to be making the short trip across Stanley Park. With the derby sandwiched between the two Champions League clashes with Galatasaray, the Everton legend feels that Liverpool might still have an eye on their European ambitions. "A lot of Evertonians are not expecting a great deal from the match but the timing of the contest might help," he said. "Liverpool had a crucial Champions League match against Galatasaray last night and with the return in Istanbul on Tuesday maybe the derby is their least important game this week. "I would not be surprised if they went into the derby without Michael Owen.
"They might decide to rest him for Tuesday night and give Nicolas Anelka a game instead.
"I'm sure Michael will be desperate to play but Liverpool will have half an eye on the Galatasaray.
"Of course, Liverpool will still be a formidable attacking force whoever plays up front.
"But they have also shown in glimpses this season that they are not impregnable at Anfield.
"In many ways, they are a better team on the road because of the counterattacking style they adopt.
"They are in a rich vein of form but when the two teams step out at Anfield that will all be forgotten.
"From Everton's point of view, the fact they are seen as considerable underdogs could well play in their favour."
Wallwork linked with Toffees
February 21, 2002
Manchester Evening News
EVERTON are set to compete for the signature of Manchester United defender Ronnie Wallwork, according to a report in today's (Thursday) Daily Mail. The 24-year-old is set to leave Old Trafford as a free agent in the summer having turned down United's contract offer, but it is clear who will win the race for his signature. West Brom are thought to be leading the hunt - Wallwork was seen at their FA Cup Fifth Round win on Saturday and is thought to be impressed with the way manager Gary Megson has turned them into one of the strongest teams in the Nationwide League. However, he is sure to be interested by the news that Everton are monitoring the situation. Toffees boss Walter Smith has done wonders on a tight budget, keeping Everton in the Premiership despite a seemingly never-ending injury list and Wallwork might be just the sort of signing he looks for to boost his squad for next season's likely fight against relegation
Dreaded derby upon us
Fanscene By Mark O'Brien, Daily Post
Feb 22 2002
SECRETLY, most of us - including the Reds - dread the derby. Even at the best of times the tension leading up to and during the game borders on the unbearable. Plenty of people say they would be happy to take two points at the start of each season and not play them. For Evertonians this one tomorrow is about as welcome as Ali G on Blue Peter. We're now only two points above Blackburn Rovers with the same number of games played. True, that means our fate is still in our own hands, but do you trust us after watching the latest shameful display against Crewe Alexandra?
It was a televised display that contained all the 'ins', inept, insipid, insulting. The coming week has that 'watershed' feel about it. Except that nowadays it doesn't matter how bad things get at Goodison, nothing changes. Let's face it, the bar was set pretty low when the club accepted losing 3-0 at home to Tranmere Rovers. All the old favourites that have haunted us for so long were there against Dario Gradi's side: lack of any discernible pattern of play, poor movement off the ball and isolated strikers. Make that striker. Kevin Campbell, whose turn it seems to bear the brunt of the fans' ire, was up front on his own while David Ginola was allowed to stand with his hands on his hips wherever he so chose. Why worry about a game-plan when you can give a 35-yearold a 'free-role' instead? Campbell isn't playing well, but his game is about holding the ball up and bringing other people in. Most of the time he needs binoculars to spot his nearest team-mate. By the time support arrives the opposition's defenders have had time to hold a ballot to decide which of them will dispossess him. Hopefully the return of Tomasz Radzinski, who is proving more elusive than Springheeled Jack, will take some of the pressure off, but until then we need to use someone else as a 'second striker', be it Joe-Max Moore or whoever. Given that the manager steadfastly, for reasons best known to himself, refuses to allow Moore to earn his salary then possibly Niclas Alexandersson can. The Swede, for all his perceived faults, makes intelligent runs and is a decent finisher. His berth on the right could be filled by Ginola who would be of more use if given a specific role on the wing.
It's just a thought. It's difficult to see how we will get a result at Anfield. The teams that have done well there recently are those such as Barcelona, Galatasaray and, erm, Southampton, who have kept possession well and starved Liverpool of the ball. Their direct style relies on them often gambling as they go forward. Give them enough cheap ball and they'll eventually punish you; keep it from them and doubts start to creep in, they worry about being wasteful and think twice before getting it forward so quickly. But that whole keeping possession deal isn't really something we're renowned for at the moment. However, as people keep saying this week, you never know in a derby.
Does that sound convincing?
Liverpool 1, Everton 1
Feb 23 2002 By Chris McLoughlin from Anfield
TOMASZ RADZINSKI marked his return to action by firing Everton into the lead before Nicolas Anelka equalised for Liverpool to leave both sides sharing the spoils in the 166th Merseyside derby.
The French international striker netted in the 72nd minute to cancel out Tomasz Radzinski's shock opener that had handed Everton a lead early in the second-half. There were seven Merseyside derby debutants as both Phil Thompson and Walter Smith made changes to their most recent line-ups. Thompson preferred Nicolas Anelka in attack to Emile Heskey and despite morning scare stories about his fitness, Michael Owen partnered the Frenchman up-front. The biggest shock was the absence of Paul Gascoigne from the Everton squad as the former England star was widely expected to at least be on the bench. Duncan Ferguson was also missing from the Blues' 16 after failing to prove his fitness in training and therefore missed out on the chance to continue his impressive derby record against the Reds. Steven Gerrard and Jerzy Dudek were the major absentees for Liverpool. With both players side-lined through groin injuries, 37-year-old Gary McAllister and England Under-21 goalkeeper Chris Kirkland deputised. As well as making his first derby appearance, Kirkland was also making his Premiership debut for the Reds. Abel Xavier lined up for the first time against Everton since his £800,000 move across Stanley Park but his expected battle with Jesper Blomqvist never materialised as the former Man United winger, along with fellow Swede Niclas Alexandersson, was strangely missing from the Blues' squad. Everton were boosted though by the returns of Lee Carsley and Alessandro Pistone while David Ginola, Tobias Linderoth, Steve Simonsen and Peter Clarke joined Carsley in making their derby debuts. Tomasz Radzinski returned to the Everton bench for the first time this year. Liverpool started the brighter of the two teams and it was a mistake from Ginola that led to the Reds' first shot on goal. The French winger gave a sloppy pass to Murphy who was brought down on the edge of the box by Linderoth which allowed John Arne Riise the chance to shoot directly on goal but he smashed his free-kick high and wide. Anelka also made a lively start to the game and in the seventh minute he ran on to a long ball from Hyypia and got behind Pistone but his low effort flew into the side netting as Simonsen dived to his left. Everton were looking to push forward and the Reds were fortunate when Hyypia intercepted a pass from Gemmill that he almost miscontrolled with Campbell lurking.
Lee Carsley was given a stern ticking off by referee David Elleray shortly afterwards for bringing down Anelka in what was the first real derby-clash style challenge of the afternoon.
The Everton midfielder had the Blues' first attempt on goal in the 13th minute after Campbell made the ball off to him but Kirkland saved his shot at the near post. Everton's central defensive partnership of Alan Stubbs and David Weir both made outstanding starts to the game and they had to be at their best as the Reds tried to find a breakthrough. In the 15th minute Stubbs was forced to cut out a poor back pass from Pistone that almost let Anelka in and a minute later Weir made a vital interception with his head from Didi Hamann's through ball that would have set both Owen and Anelka clean through. Four minutes later and Anelka did get in behind Peter Clarke, who was looking shaky, but Simonsen rushed out and bravely blocked as the former Arsenal striker charged through on goal. Everton were content to sit back in midfield and see if the Reds could break them down but they created an opportunity of their own in the 25th minute when Ginola and Naysmith linked well but a fine tackle from Stephane Henchoz denied the Scottish wingback.
Linderoth was fortunate not to become the first player booked in the 29th minute for a high challenge on Riise but the referee felt a warning was sufficient. Sadly, a minority of Evertonians disgraced themselves by chanting about Gerard Houllier's heart problems. It was out of order and completely unnecessary. Referee Elleray then gave Weir a stern talking to after he brought down Owen with many Kopites calling for the Blues defender to be booked. Anelka was by far the most dangerous player on the pitch and he showed Weir a clean pair of heels in the 40th minute and burst down the touchline but his low cross was intercepted by Stubbs as Owen looked to get on the end of it. Hamman was looking good for Liverpool in midfield and in the 42nd minute he battled his way to the edge of the box but was brought down by Weir. Riise stepped up to take the free-kick but blasted it straight against the wall. Clarke was finally the first man to be booked a minute before halftime for a foul on Riise. In injury time a corner from McAllister was met on the volley by Riise and his bouncing effort was pushed out by Simonsen who then bravely blocked at Anelka's feet in what was the last opportunity of the first-half.
Half-time: Liverpool 0 Everton 0
Everton boss Walter Smith made two substitutions at half-time bringing on Radzinski and Gravesen for Ginola and Linderoth. Liverpool forced a couple of corners early in the second-half, one of which almost led to the breakthrough. Riise's in-swinging corner was cleared out to Hamann on the edge of the box but his powerful effort was blocked by Gemmill on the edge of the six yard box.
But it was Everton who took the lead and it was substitute Radzinski who found the net.
A neat one-two between Naysmith and Pistone gave the Italian space to cross and his ball found Radzinski who seemed to miskick his effort on goal but it beat Kirkland to send the travelling fans wild. Phil Thompson responded to the goal by bringing Emile Heskey on for Wright and the Liverpool striker, who was put on the left wing, almost made an immediate impact when his cross fell to Owen ten yards out but his left-footed shot went over the bar. The Reds then had two claims for a penalty turned down in the space of 60 seconds by the referee. First Owen saw his shot deflected wide amidst calls for hand ball from an Anelka effort and then the Frenchman appeared to have his shirt tugged in the box by Stubbs but the referee waved play on. Liverpool were pushing strongly for an equaliser and in the 63rd minute Anelka's brilliant cross found Owen at the far post but he chose to pull the ball back rather than shoot and the chance was wasted. Moments later Owen met a cross from Heskey but sent his header wide of the post when he should have done better. Vladimir Smicer was then brought on to replace McAllister with Murphy switching to central midfield. Everton were defending well and the impressive Pistone and Clarke both made important challenges as Liverpool continued to press. Anelka had a half chance in the 69th minute when he climbed to meet Hamann's cross but his week header was easily held by Simonsen. Liverpool equalised in the 72nd minute and it was no surprise that Anelka was the man with the goal.
Neat play between Heskey and Murphy presented the Frenchman with an opportunity in front of goal and he calmly slotted the ball passed Simonsen much to the delight of the Kop. Liverpool were completely on top and it took a good tackle from Clarke to deny Owen before Hamann tried his luck from long range but Simonsen was equal to the task. Simonsen's handling was again put to the test in the 80th minute when Riise hit a powerful cross shot. Murphy almost got the winner for Liverpool five minutes from time when he headed Riise's corner goalwards but Simonsen produced an outstanding tip-over to keep the scores level. Moments later and Radzinski almost snatched glory for the Blues when he turned on the edge of the box and sent a shot goalwards but Kirkland dived to his right to brilliantly tip the ball round the post for a corner which came to nothing. Gravesen was the second player booked a minute from time for a late challenge on Murphy as the Red's pressed and with the game in stoppage time Hamman again tried his luck from the edge of the box but only screwed the ball wide.
It was to be the final chance of an exciting second-half and the honours finished even.
LIVERPOOL: Kirkland, Wright, Xavier, Henchoz, Hyypia, Murphy, Hamann, McAllister, Riise, Anelka, Owen. Subs: Smicer, Heskey, Biscan, Litmanen, Arphexad.
EVERTON: Simonsen, Pistone, Stubbs, Weir, Naysmith, Clarke, Carsley, Gemmill, Linderoth, Ginola, Campbell. Subs: Gerrard, Unsworth, Radzinski, Pembridge, Gravesen.
Referee: David Elleray
Gazza hints at retiring
Feb 23 2002 Football Echo
PAUL GASCOIGNE today hinted he may be on the verge of retiring.
Everton's former England midfielder believes the time soon may be right for him to call time on a glittering, if controversial, 18-year career . The 34-year-old told ITV1's On The Ball programme he is now considering calling it a day - possibly at the end of the current Premiership season.
"I am looking at retirement," Gascoigne said. "My dad's looking forward to my pension, because he wants a new car and a boat. "I am 34, and the manager has brought in some midfield players. That is only right, because I am getting on a bit. "This team needs to grow, and I am sure the money they are giving me every week could buy some talented young lad. ""He could go in and take my wages. I do not mind that at all, because I love the club and I think they deserve more." Gascoigne added he has already received alternative offers of employment abroad should he decide to continue his playing career. He said: "I have had some good offers from abroad - really good ones.
"It all depends if I want to play in the sun again - whether it be America, Dubai or a couple of other places abroad."
Stubbs double delight
By Jonathan McEvoy, Daily Post
Feb 25 2002
LIFELONG Blue Alan Stubbs was celebrating an Everton 'double' after Saturday's derby draw.
The Kirkby-born defender's impressive display helped his side take a point from the hardfought clash, as they aim to cut loose from the relegation mire. And by denying Liverpool the victory many had predicted would be a walkover, the Blues dealt their Merseyside rivals a bitter setback in the title race. Stubbs said: "There's no happier person than me to put a dent in Liverpool's title challenge. My mates were all here today and they will be be happy as well. "The same would be true if I was a Liverpool player and the roles were reversed. But the 30-year-old added: "The priority is to climb up the table. Nothing else matters. We need to move up and do well in the Cup."
And Stubbs is confident the resilient performance can rescue Everton's season - starting tomorrow in the FA Cup fifth round replay at Crewe. He said: "It's important to carry on from here against Crewe. Sky TV have decided to send their cameras because they think there might be an upset.
"After the first game their manager and some of the players were saying how they would relish us going there. "All that makes us more determined to get a result." Everton, having lost the last three derbies, beat the odds to move four points clear of the relegation places. Stubbs said: "A lot people, including our own fans, expected us to get a good hiding. Some bookies had us at 5-1 and 11-2. We came here to win but getting a draw will put a smile back on the faces of Evertonians."
Stubbs hailed the contribution of Canadian international Tomasz Radzinski, who opened the scoring, claiming his fourth goal of an injury-hit season before Nicolas Anelka levelled. "When he came on Tomasz gave us a bit more direction going forward," said Stubbs. "It gave us another option and took some of the pressure off Kevin (Campbell). He gives us a lift and an extra outlet. "He's small, sharp and has a good turn of pace and he can get a goal even when he scuffs it! "It's the first time we have had a little bit of luck from November onwards, so it was deserved." Stubbs added: "I think up to half-time we were quite comfortable-without really hurting them. "We gave the ball away too quickly and the gaffer made a few changes at half-time which gave us more direction going forward. They put us under pressure towards the end but we battled through." Walter Smith substituted recent signings David Ginola and Tobias Linderoth at half time to make way for Radzinski and Thomas Gravesen, back in the squad after apologising for outspoken comments he made about the club in the Danish newspapers. And the Goodison boss will continue to ring the changes from game to game and by using substitutes during the course of matches to ease players back to full fitness. Paul Gascoigne, left out at the weekend, is pencilled in for a return tomorrow, leaving only Steve Watson and Duncan Ferguson on the injured list.
Radzinski can keep us up
By Jonathan McEvoy, Daily Post
Feb 25 2002
WALTER SMITH has singled out Tomasz Radzinski as the key figure in Everton's scramble for Premiership safety. The striker marked his return from injury with the 52nd-minute goal that secured a point for the Blues in the 166th Merseyside derby at Anfield. Smith's team had scored just three goals in their last nine league matches before Saturday's clash as a succession of injuries to the forward line undermined the fight for survival. Now the Goodison boss is looking to Radzinski, 28, to help Everton through the run-in and take some of the responsibility off captain Kevin Campbell, who again started the showdown as a lone striker. "I hope he can stay for the rest of the season," said Smith of the Canadian international, who had been sidelined since the 3-0 defeat to Charlton on December 29. "We looked more dangerous when he came on and it helps when you have two of your four strikers fit. And that will be the key for us to the end of the season. "If we'd had that all season we would now be in a better position in the league. That is the crux of our season.
"He's been out for a run of games and he needs some more games yet. "It was a good finish from Tomasz and it came from probably our best move of the game. I hope he can stay fit until the end of the season." With Duncan Ferguson having made only 11 league starts in a disjointed season, Smith could increasingly come to rely on Radzinski to fire his goal-shy team to safety. Everton have scored just 27 goals in 27 Premiership games, with defender David Weir, Campbell and Radzinski leading the way with four each. Radzinski was introduced at the start of the second half and he quickly broke the deadlock with a low shot before Nicolas Anelka's leveller - the striker's first Premiership goal - 18 minutes from time. And Radzinski said: "It was just a great feeling to be back. I was initially disappointed in not being in the starting line-up, but I supposed after being out for so many weeks, the best I could have expected was a place on the bench. "It turned out to be a good decision by the gaffer, because I'd scored within minutes of coming on. "It wasn't the greatest of strikes, but it was always moving away from their keeper and he was never going to get to it." And the little striker, bought from Anderlecht for £4.5million in the summer, dedicated his goal to the Blues' supporters.
Radzinski said: "Derby performances are to pay back the fans. I'd been out for so long, that goal was for them and I wanted to share it with them. "But it was more than about my goal. We were so strong defensively. The whole team were brilliant and worked so hard. "After struggling for so much of the season this gives us a great boost going into the Crewe Cup tie. "And as far as our league position goes, it may only be one point but it was a point few thought we were capable of. This point could well be the most important of the season for us. "All I want to do now is to stay injury free, and that goes for my strike colleagues Kevin and Duncan too. Scoring was the best feeling in the world after being out so long, but now we know we must build on it." Smith was also quick to praise central defensive duo Weir and Alan Stubbs. The Blues chief enthused: "They have been tremendous for us. David has been playing like that as long as he's been here. "Sami Hyypia and Stephane Henchoz didn't get much credit until Liverpool started to win things and it's the same with David and Alan." Smith was pleased with his team's combative performance which keeps them 16th in the table, four points above Blackburn who occupy the last of the three relegation places.
He said: "I felt the result was just about right. "It was fairly even in the first half with not much happening for either side. When we got the goal we were fairly comfortable for five or 10 minutes before they made substitutions and put us under pressure."
Blues singing Reds hurting
Comment By Len Capeling, Daily Post
Feb 25 2002
AFTERWARDS, all the singing came beerily pouring out of the Everton pubs clustered around Goodison Park. Hastening past the open doors in sullen silence, their Liverpool counterparts miserably meditated on their team's continuing inability to cling on to the Premiership ladder's dizziest rungs. For Blues supporters the moment was sweet enough to be savoured. Taunted by chants of 'Going down', they had emerged from a gutwrenching 90 minutes warmed by the sight of their dauntless underdogs taking another bite - however small - out of Liverpool's much-vaunted championship ambitions. A point was probably as much as the most optimistic of Everton fans dared contemplate after the no-show against clueless Crewe Alexandra. But, in hindsight, even the doubters should have realised that this was a venue from which battlers like Galatasaray, Southampton, Bolton and Fulham had emerged with honour intact. Phil Thompson made much of the fact that Liverpool enjoyed most of the possession. And they did. The worry for him and the returning Gerard Houllier is how little they achieved, despite that. Not for the first time in what is rapidly becoming a puzzling season, they won the ball in important positions but still failed to bring their most potent weapon - Michael Owen - into play often enough. There were some close calls, notably for Nicolas Anelka who fired into the side-netting before being denied by the on-rushing Steve Simonsen. But in both instances the French striker found himself all alone, with Owen seemingly required to operate from deep - and if that suits him I'm Ron Atkinson's jewellery wholesaler. Fact is that Simonsen didn't have too much to do. Yes, he did superbly well to tip over a bullet header from Danny Murphy but in the main there were sufficient bodies between him and the net to ensure that even when Liverpool's most industrious player - Dietmar Hamann - got a sight of goal, the shot rebounded away from rib, shoulder or thigh. Half-chances fell to Owen, one half-volley and one header over, but if the mark of superiority is the work done by the opposition keeper, then Everton survived with something to spare. Only John Arne Riise, charging down the left, threatened to turn the Blues defence, but that merely served to show up Liverpool's inadequacies on the right. Forced narrow, Liverpool were picked off by Scot Gemmill - who had a resolute game - and Lee Carsley while the outstanding David Weir and Alan Stubbs never blinked. Weir probably shaded it as Everton's star man but Kirkby kid Stubbs, immersed from boyhood in the folklore of derby encounters, will have found this 166th confrontation much to his liking. The icing would have been the ability to hang on to Tomasz Radzinski's shock 51st-minute opener, which temporarily reduced the earsplitting Kop to silence. For once, the Liverpool resistance evaporated as the busy Gary Naysmith and Alessandro Pistone prised an opening down the left. When Pistone ran on to cut the ball back across the penalty area, Radzinski - on the field for barely six minutes - contrived to mishit the ball past a floundering Chris Kirkland. After the barrenness of the first half this was water in the desert. And, for the next 20 minutes, highly delighted Evertonians cranked up the noise with real purpose as Liverpool - for all their pressure - found that perfect final ball as difficult to find as a David Ginola tackle. When Danny Murphy eventually unlocked the gate for the jet-powered Anelka, justice of sorts was done. Now the Evertonians' fear was that Owen - with Emile Heskey introduced down the left - would sniff out the usual opportunity. Twice we saw the real Michael Owen accelerate like a thoroughbred past stationary defenders. But twice the danger was averted by the massed blue ranks. The adrenalin was pumping. Danny Murphy's tremendous header and Simonsen's perfect reaction was matched almost immediately by Tomasz Radzinski's effortless turn and shot that sent Kirkland hurtling across goal to palm the ball away. That strike gave the Everton faithful some belief that they could still nick it. But on a day when hearts were occasionally in mouths, a Mersey shareout was still sweet on the tongue. After this, a trip to Crewe and all that lies beyond should hold no fear. Elsewhere, Liverpool will want an answer - and soon - to the horror of home, which, increasingly, is puncturing their pretty Premiership balloon. Away from Anfield - and tomorrow's swoop on Istanbul will surely confirm this - they are fearsome. But give them a sight of the Kop and its intimidating maw and they malfunction. Thus far they have failed to cure that - and it's a major worry unless you were decked in blue and wearing a post-derby smirk.
No Crewe cut for Ginola this time
Feb 26 2002 By Kevin Ratcliffe
LAST week I trumpeted the reasons why selecting David Ginola from the start of the Anfield derby match would be risky for the Blues. This week I'll take the opposite tack. Tonight's trip to Crewe should be a different kind of test altogether for Everton - and one Ginola is ideally equipped to help them past. I always felt that Saturday's match was not the kind of environment in which the Frenchman would flourish - and so it proved. But against First Division strugglers who have leaked goals regularly at home all season, the Blues must go for the jugular. That means starting with Kevin Campbell and Tomasz Radzinski up front together, and giving David Ginola the opportunity to offer some quality service. After the draw at Goodison the tie now has to be decided on the night - and every Evertonian knows all about Everton's fortunes in penalty shoot-outs. The match needs to be won in 90 minutes, and Everton's best hope of doing that is by employing Ginola in his most effective left wing role. David doesn't even need to beat a defender to get a quality cross in. Usually just dropping a shoulder is enough for him to create the space to deliver. And finally, with the luxury of two out and out strikers in the penalty area, it could be an outlet which will prove fruitful for the Blues. Here's hoping!
Weir at the centre of all things great
Feb 26 2002 By Kevin Ratcliffe
LAST season Michael Ball produced a run of form at centre-half so impressive he won an England cap. The season before Richard Gough was Everton's Player of the Year in the same position.
This term Alan Stubbs is a genuine contender for the same title. The one common denominator in every case is the identity of the man alongside all three. David Weir has been an outstanding servant for Everton ever since he moved south from Hearts. And in Alan Stubbs the Blues seem to have unearthed a kindred spirit. Both are solid, reliable pros with a wealth of experience and impeccable attitudes. Liverpool's selection of Michael Owen and Nicolas Anelka up front on Saturday suggested that the Reds thought that pace could unlock Everton's defence.
But the defensive pair have enough experience to know how to counter that threat --and while it has been pointed out frequently in recent weeks how few goals Everton have scored, it should be pointed out how few they have conceded also. This year the Blues have let in seven goals in 10 games, and the credit for that must go to Weir and Stubbs. Steve Simonsen also seems to have settled down swiftly and having that understanding at the foundation of the team is crucial.
It was certainly at the heart of Everton's satisfying point at Anfield, but the Blues know that they now have to build on that result. It's all been doom and gloom around Goodison recently. But a win tonight so quickly after the draw at Anfield could change the atmosphere dramatically.
There would be an FA Cup quarter-final to look forward to, a home match against a Leeds team who haven't scored for a couple of games and the prospect of a number of players returning to the first team squad from the treatment room. The reverse does not bear thinking about!
Crewe 1, Everton 2 (D,Post)
Feb 27 2002 Jonathan McEvoy Reports From Gresty Road, Daily Post
THIS time it was all change at Crewe: no ignominious cup exit for Everton, and a Kevin Campbell goal. Striker Campbell fired only his third goal in five injury-ravaged months to fire the Blues into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup after a nervy replay last night. The Everton skipper, who hadn't scored since hitting two goals in the 4-1 defeat of Leyton Orient in the last round, ended doughty Crewe's FA Cup adventure with a 70th-minute winner. Campbell's classy strike sets up a visit to Middlesbrough on March 10 and keeps alive Everton's hopes of Cup glory. Having gone out of knockout competitions to lowly opposition in recent years - to Portsmouth, Millwall, York City, Oxford United, Bristol Rovers and Crystal Palace - there was no humbling this time.
Star performer Tomasz Radzinski, making his first start of 2002, created the chance for Campbell, having previously cancelled out Dean Ashton's opener with a headed equaliser on the stroke of half-time. Radzinski crossed to Campbell and he turned smartly to rifle home with a powerful, left-foot finish to settle an absorbing tie. It was perhaps a touch harsh on Crewe who dominated the first-half with some neat passing football and put their illustrious visitors under early pressure.
Ashton provided a tough physical presence for the Everton backline to cope with and could easily have fired Dario Gradi's side into a quickfire lead. Kevin Lunt played the highly-rated Ashton in but his volley from 12 yards out sailed high over Steve Simonsen's bar with just five minutes on the clock. Alex, who shipped 12 goals in their previous three home games, were far more assured than their lowly 21st place in the first division suggests and grew in confidence as the first-half progressed. They continued to pepper the Everton goal, with Ashton and partner Rob Hulse combining well, with the Blues ominously pushed on the back foot. With 11 minutes gone, Ashton unloaded an ambitious shot from 30 yards which rebounded off Simonsen, only for the relieved keeper to just grab the ball as Hulse ran in to pounce. Everton had little response with Ginola, isolated for long periods on the left, showing all too brief flashes of intent as a lack of midfield creativity continued to plague Walter Smith's team. Ginola twice jinked his way into shooting opportunites inside the opening 15 minutes without unduly troubling Clayton Ince in the Crewe goal.
The visitors survived a scare when Hulse went down under an Alan Stubbs challenge in the box but referee Mark Halsey rightly waved away the penalty appeals as the young striker fell under his own weight. Ashton twice failed to find direction with headers as the ascendent Crewe rattled Everton before making the vital inroad in the 24th minute. Mark Pembridge lost the ball in the middle of the pitch and Ashton raced clear before delaying his shot and finishing coolly past Simonsen.
The Blues briefly responded to the shock of going behind. Pembridge, one of three changes from the side which battled to the 1-1 derby draw at Anfield at the weekend, came close to regaining parity.
The Welsh international, though, spurned the chance as he watched his effort skim wide of a post following good work by Ginola. Everton were struggling to find a way through the home rearguard until Radzinski put them level on the stroke of half-time. Pembridge, the culprit in Crewe's goal, made amends by winning possession before powering down the right and whipping in a cross under pressure. Radzinski found himself in time and space at the far post to nod home his fifth goal of an injury-hit season and his first in the FA Cup. Just how important Radzinski is for Everton in their main objective of staying in the Premiership was underlined once more. At Gresty Road he gave Everton a lifeline with his second goal in four days, after scoring as a substitute against Liverpool. He offers pace and an important outlet up front - and Evertonians will hope he steers clear of injuries until the end of the campaign. Smith, who left Paul Gascoigne out of the 16- man squad, brought on the abrasive Thomas Gravesen and David Unsworth in place of the injured Ginola and Gary Naysmith, at half time in an attempt to revitalise his side - and it worked as the Dane added extra bite and Everton took charge of the match. Gascoigne, impressive in wins over Stoke and Leyton Orient in previous rounds, was expected to receive an immediate recall after missing the 166th Mersey derby at the weekend. The Blues boss' decision to omit the former England man comes after speculation linking him with a lucrative move to Dubai in the summer and inevitably invites fresh speculation about Gascoigne's longterm future in the top flight. Gradi stuck with the team that fell 2-1 to Burnley on Saturday but his display of faith in his players was reciprocated, even if they were finally denied. Everton showed signs of improvement in the opening exchanges of the second period with Niclas Alexandersson floating in a teasing cross, which Pembridge headed over with the help of a deflection and the midfielder then stung Ince's hands from long range moments later. The keeper smothered the ball at the second attempt as Unsworth bore down on him. Crewe could easily have restored their lead in the 56th minute. Hulse glanced Lunt's corner goalward but Pembridge was alert to the danger and cleared off the line. But almost immediately there was danger at the other end, with Efe Sodje on the goal-line getting his body behind Stubbs' close-range shot.
There was no denying Campbell his winner 20 minutes from time as Everton asserted an increasing hold on the game. The skipper has taken the brunt of crictism from fans as he has struggled to find his form. But with Canadian international Radzinski alongside Campbell, Smith will be looking to them to give his team the cutting edge they need. Everton have crashed out at the quarter-final stage in three of the past four seasons but, before meeting Boro, their attention will turn to winning the relegation dogfight.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Tomasz Radzinski Starting his first game of the year, he provided pace to the Everton forward line. Made one and scored one. His fitness is a key to the Blues' season.
CREWE: Ince, Wright, Smith, Lunt, Walton, Ashton, Sodje, Collins (Rix 78), Hulse, Brammer (Sorvel 64), Vaughan (Jack 72). Subs: Bankole, Jack.
EVERTON: Simonsen, Stubbs, Weir, Alexandersson, Radzinski, Campbell (Linderoth 80), Pembridge, Naysmith (Unsworth 46), Gemmill, Ginola (Gravesen 46), Clarke. Subs: Gerrard, Blomqvist.
BOOKINGS: Crewe's Ince and Smith and Everton's Clarke.
REFEREE: Mark Halsey.
Crewe 1, Everton 2 (Echo)
Feb 27 2002 By David Prentice At Gresty Road
FOR 45 minutes, Everton's Cup trip to Crewe had assumed the watershed status of another Port Vale-Bradford-Tranmere tribulation. In the end it may come to be recognised as a Bristol City; a first division fright Everton ultimately overcame on their way to last lifting the famous trophy.
All change at Crewe? There's more to be done, much more, before the Blues can realistically harbour hopes of repeating that 1995 triumph. But they showed the match-winning value of finally having two strikers working in tandem together. Tomasz Radzinski, in his first start since December, was a revelation. Everton's goalscoring potential has instantly been doubled and the travelling fans were treated to the sight of a Goodison striker scoring in successive matches for the first time since late summer. The little Canadian, born in Poland, raised in Germany and who last played in Belgium was eventually left on his own up front, as Kevin Campbell became another injury casualty.
But Blues will hope that this time the problem is minor, with Duncan Ferguson still struggling to rediscover match fitness. One inescapable conclusion will have been delivered to Walter Smith last night. After four starts now, David Ginola's only usefulness must be as a late substitute.
He flitted ineffectually on the periphery of this game, like a moth fluttering against a locked window, while everyone else buzzed frantically around the flame. For the second successive game he was hauled off at half time, and could have few complaints. The man who replaced him, Thomas Gravesen, enjoyed a much better night than Saturday's ill-disciplined ramblings. But quite why he chose not to support Radzinski on a last minute breakaway - at least until Archie Knox raced out of the dug-out to ever so gently suggest it might be a good idea - only he will ever know.
With mavericks like him, Ginola Gascoigne in their squad, grey hairs will continue to multiply on Smith and Knox's head. For 45 minutes last night they might have been tempted to tear that greying hair out. Everton were abysmal, deservedly fell behind when Dean Ashton added to his growing reputation with a consumately converted goal, and might have seen their cup hopes perish had Hulse been able to turn in a second three minutes later after skirting around Simonsen.
Smith reorganised, switching to three at the back to offer an extra man in midfield, and the change brought some respite. Everton steadied the ship, then struck on the stroke of half time.
Mark Pembridge, an eager and influential performer all night, burst down the inside right channel to the byline before cutting back a perfect cross for Radzinski to head in. If the strike was aesthetically pleasing, psychologically the timing was perfect, too. It wasn't enough to prevent a major interval reshuffle, though. Unsworth replaced the injured Naysmith out of necessity, Gravesen came on for Ginola almost as necessarily and the Blues reverted to 4-4-2. For the first time in the tie, Everton actually began to look like a Premiership team taking on spirited but limited First Division strugglers.
There were still scares. Pembridge headed off the line from Hulse, but the action was largely at the other end. Stubbs also saw a goalbound shot cleared off the line, while Pembridge's angled 20-yard drive was clutched at the second attempt by Ince. There was little the Crewe goalkeeper could do about Everton's 69th minute matchwinner. Radzinski cut the ball into the box from the right, Sodje made his first mistake of the tie and Campbell showed superlative strength and even better technique to swivel and crash an outstanding left-foot finish. After bearing the brunt of the crowd's frustration for so long, the Blues' skipper was suddenly treated to the sound of "Super Kevin Campbell" for the first time since the fourth round. It was as deserved as - ultimately - was Everton's victory. They now go to Teesside for a winnable quarter-final. But first, there are six Premiership points to fight for. Middlesbrough reached two Cup Finals in 1997 and were relegated. Everton still have work to do to ensure their Cup run isn't accompanied by similar struggles.
CREWE ALEXANDRA (3-5-2): Ince, Smith, Walton, Sodje, Wright, Lunt, Collins (Rix 78 mins), Vaughan (Jack 74 mins), Brammer (Sorvel 64 mins), Hulse, Ashton. Unused subs: Bankole, Foster.
EVERTON (4-4-2): Simonsen, Clarke, Weir, Stubbs, Naysmith (Unsworth 45 mins), Alexandersson, Gemmill, Pembridge, Ginola (Gravesen 45 mins), Campbell ( Linderoth 80 mins), Radzinski. Unused subs: Gerrard, Blomqvist.
REFEREE: Mark Halsey.
BOOKINGS: Ince (37 mins) handball, Clarke (92 mins) time-wasting.
GOALS: Ashton (23 mins) 1-0, Radzinski (45 mins) 1-1, Campbell (69 mins) 1-2.
Traffic probe at Kings Dock
Feb 28 2002 By Jane Woodhead, Liverpool Echo
BLUE VISION: But what will it mean for residents?
THE team behind the £300m initiative to develop Liverpool's Kings Dock has drafted in experts to identify potential traffic problems. The consultants are expected to spend several weeks looking at the impact the development could have in the city. Protesters fear Liverpool could face gridlock if Everton's new 55,000-seater stadium is built at the site. A spokesman for the developers said: "Detailed research is being carried out in relation to transport and pedestrian access to the Kings waterfront. "This work will identify any steps which need to be taken to ensure the development complements the city's overall transport infrastructure." A full planning application for the scheme, which is likely to create around 3,000 permanent jobs and will also include a retail and residential development, is expected to be submitted in May. The spokesman added: "This is what we are aiming for but obviously this is dependent upon the traffic assessment." A public consultation exercise was launched earlier this month involving presentations to resident groups and businesses.
This will culminate in a public exhibition, a date for which has not yet been set. Abercromby Labour councillor Joe Anderson, who has been fighting the plans, has welcomed the work by the traffic consultants. He said: "We welcome the intervention of the consultants as we believe the traffic could become unmanageable with a development of this size. "One only has to look at the problems which are caused on Bonfire Night when cars can be waiting up to an hour to leave this site.
"On this evening there is only a fraction of the people compared to the number who would be visiting when the stadium is full."
King's Dock vision gathers momentum
Feb 28 2002 By Ken Rogers
EVERTON continue to make steady progress on the King's Dock front. I can reveal that key meetings are unfolding this week involving the Blues and their partners Liverpool City Council, English Partnerships and the North West Development Agency. They will be sitting around the table with regeneration agency Liverpool Vision, stadium architects HOK Sport and CABE (the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment). The aim is to bring the design procedure to a climax over the next few weeks so that formal planning permission can be sought. What the partners don't want is for the whole project to be "called in" by the government which would mean a complicated and lengthy public enquiry, holding everything up for at least a year. To avoid this, they will have to demonstrate to CABE and English Heritage that the design as it stands is pleasing from an aesthetic and architectural viewpoint. Recently, Arsenal's new stadium plans received the green light in London, avoiding the "calling in" procedure. This is what the King's Dock partners are hoping for.
Of course, other issues are relevant, not least the on-going questions about the transport links.
But while the Blues power on with their exciting plans and Liverpool Football Club continue to assess their own future needs at Anfield, a sizeable number of fans continue to pose an obvious question.
Even at this stage, should the two Mersey giants consider a joint stadium plan? I've never been an advocate of a joint venue. I detest going to Selhurst Park, for instance, where Crystal Palace and Wimbledon walk in each others less than illustrious footsteps. A stadium, in many respects, is a symbol of a club's independence. It's like a castle. In the good times the football army goes out to conquer the world. In bad times, you pull up the drawbridge and take heart from your history, always believing that brighter days are on the horizon. Yes, some of the world's biggest clubs share stadia in passionate soccer cities that include Milan, Turin and Rome. But why have Real and Atletico never considered a joint venture in Madrid? And you'd never get Arsenal and Tottenham sharing or Rangers and Celtic. In many respects it's because we are committed to a particular colour. We see red, blue, white, green or whatever and become fanatical about it. I remember the uproar when Everton once produced season tickets with a maroon cover that smacked of red. Many Liverpudlians questioned the navy in their current white kit. We become almost paranoid about these things.
And so if shades of different colours raise issues on relatively minor matters, how would you deal with the colour plan at a new stadium? Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron have come up with a fascinating solution. They have designed the world's first chameleon stadium and revealed plans for a shared facility between Bayern Munich and their German city rivals TSV Munich 1860.
The complete fabric of the stadium changes colour from red to blue, depending on which team is at home thanks to special cladding which features lighting in air-filled synthetic pillows.
The stadium will be ready in time for the 2006 World Cup to be held in Germany and will house 66,000 spectators. Take a look at the two images on this page which show the dramatic effect, especially for night games. As I said, I'm still not in the camp advocating the pluses of a joint stadium venture. The King's Dock will become a very special and personal home for Everton, ultimately becoming as historic in its own way as Goodison Park. Mention "Anfield" anywhere in the world and people instinctively say "Liverpool FC". But I found the Munich initiative fascinating to say the least, whether exploited as part of a shared facility or a single club venture. So how about the Royal Blue King's Dock Stadium on the banks of the "Royal Blue Mersey" - to steal the words from the romantic Sixties song? Or a singularly red Anfield, casting a warm glow over Liverpool 4?
Wolves boss slams Everton rumours
Feb 28 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
WOLVES boss David Jones has angrily rebuked rumours linking him with a return to Goodison Park.
And current Blues' boss Walter Smith has also laughed off the links. Wolves' success in topping the First Division table, together with Everton's continuing battle against relegation, has sparked numerous rumours linking Jones with the Goodison hot-seat. But the Wolves boss rapped: "Some people know I'm an Evertonian and are making something out of nothing. "I find the speculation distasteful. I count Walter as a friend and it's embarrassing for both of us. "I'm not behind the speculation and don't even want to think about it. I am not going to Everton." The former Everton player added: "My first aim is to achieve what I set out to do when I came to Wolves. "I can see no reason why I will not be in the Premiership with the club next season. "I am not a fool. When I was out of work I had a number of offers to come back as a manager and picked Wolves because of their tremendous potential. "Having put a lot of work into getting the team where it is now I am not about to walk away from it. The job is not done yet." Walter Smith laughed off the speculation.
" I've heard the rumours," he said "once when Dave was sat next to me at a match! "A fan came over to speak to him, didn't recognise me, then proceeded to say he was a Wolves fan and was concerned that he was only managing Wolves to pave his way to take over at Everton.
"When the fan left we both had a laugh about it." Smith, who is approaching the final year of his existing Everton contract, is preparing for a make or break period of the season. The Blues entertain Leeds at Goodison Park on Sunday before travelling to West Ham on Wednesday. Next weekend they go to Middlesbrough for an FA Cup quarter-final. Smith hopes to have Gary Naysmith available again for the Cup tie, but has already ruled him out of the two Premiership clashes with strained ankle ligaments. He hopes that Kevin Campbell, though, will recover from a tight calf in time to face Leeds. Defender Alessandro Pistone, meanwhile, has been linked with a move to Serie A side Torino. The Blues, however, have had no approach.
Win a sign of Blues' revival
Feb 28 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON'S Under-19s underlined the transformation in their season with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over table-topping Manchester United last weekend. Back in October, the young Blues lost to United 3-2. But this time they won to extend a remarkable run of form which stretches back to a night in November. "The win at West Ham in the Youth Cup seems to have been some kind of turning point for the boys," explained coach Colin Harvey. "After a poor start to the season that gave them some self-belief." Everton took the lead when striker Michael Symes, the hero that night in East London, finished well following Brian Moogan's break. Goalkeeper Andrew Pettinger helped keep the Blues' noses in front with some excellent stops, then in the second half Craig Garside made it two. With the wind behind them after the interval substitute Wayne Rooney knocked in a third after man of the match Sean O'Hanlon had headed on at the near post. "The conditions were very bad, with wind, rain and hail," said Harvey "and we coped with them better and played some good football to deserve the win." The under-17s lost 2-0 to their United counterparts, after losing goalkeeper Alex Cole to injury after only 10 minutes. Wayne Rooney and Scott Brown, meanwhile, have been named in England Under-17s' squad to face Scotland and Lithuania at Bristol City early next month. Everton's FA Youth Cup quarter-final against Nottingham Forest will take place at Goodison Park on Tuesday, March 12.
FA Under-19 Youth Academy: Everton 3, Manchester United 0. Scorers: Symes, Garside, Rooney. Team: Pettinger, Colbeck, Crowder, Garside, O'Hanlon, A Moogan, B Moogan (Brown), Beck, Symes, Carney, Martland (Rooney). FA Under-17 Youth Academy: Everton 0, Manchester United 2. Team: Cole (Gallagher), Potter, Fox, Hughes, Gerrard, Thorbinson (Seargeant), M Jones, Booth, Hopkins, J Jones, Wilson.