Blues threat rivals United
Oct 1 2004 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
VISITING Goodison Park is just like facing Manchester United, says Spurs goalkeeper Paul Robinson - who will try to keep out the revitalised Blues tomorrow. Spurs lost their unbeaten record last weekend to a contentious Ruud van Nistelrooy penalty, and Robinson said: "Everton are flying and will be equally as tough as United. "They are picking up points from everywhere. People said they were in crisis when Wayne Rooney was on his way out but they've proved them wrong. "They have brought in a couple of new players but their squad is largely the same as last season. "They are doing well and it shows that every game in the Premiership is a difficult one. Every team can beat every other, and we've got to be confident." Robinson has conceded just three goals in seven games this season. David Moyes is keenly aware of their improvement, so much so that last weekend he missed only his second training session since becoming Blues' boss to watch Tottenham face United.
The blank in front of goal that day was Tottenham's third in a row in the Premiership - although they did hit Oldham for six in the Carling Cup - and Santini will be without Frederic Kanoute tomorrow.
Kanoute damaged a hamstring against United, but former Goodison target Sean Davis and Thimothee Atouba are back after injury.
Davis expects a battle of attrition.
He said: "This game is as big as the ones against Chelsea and Manchester United. "To stay in the top 10 we are obliged to have a good result. Everton did not do well last season and people wondered what would happen when they sold Rooney. "But they have shown it takes more than one player to have good results." Moyes has been boosted by the return of Leon Osman. The youngster, so impressive playing behind Marcus Bent this season, missed the trip to Portsmouth with a groin strain. He trained yesterday and, barring reaction, could return. The panel which decides the Manager of the Month meets today to decide the September winner. With a hundred per cent Premiership record and progress in the League Cup, Moyes will be favourite to claim his second award as Everton manager - but no announcement will be made until next week. Tickets are still on sale for tomorrow's clash from the Park End Box Office, open until 4.30pm today and from 9.30am tomorrow.
Tim's happy in Blues fight
Oct 1 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
TIM CAHILL could be forgiven for thinking the art of tackling has been outlawed in the Premiership.
It seems the only people not impressed by the midfielder's full-blooded approach to life in the top flight have been the match officials. The 25-year-old has enjoyed a dream start to his Goodison career since signing from Millwall for £2m in the summer. His winning headers at Manchester City and Portsmouth have provided him with a return of two goals from four starts. And his selfless performances have ensured he has quickly endeared himself to the fans and become a fixture in David Moyes' revitalised side. But his no-nonsense approach has attracted the attention of referees. Cahill was the victim of jobsworth officials at the City of Manchester stadium when he was dismissed for his second yellow card by Steve Bennett after pulling his shirt onto his head as he celebrated scoring. And last weekend's caution for daring to challenge Shaka Hislop for the ball means the Australian international already has three yellow cards to his name. Two more and he will be facing his third suspension of the season. But the midfielder has no intention of changing his approach.
"I would like to think I am just doing what I did at Millwall, which is just being myself and not changing my game," reflects the Aussie. "You have still got to be aggressive, win tackles, get goals and play football. My record is not the best at the moment for discipline. "But they have all been for tackles and they have not been really harsh tackles. I am not a dirty player, but being a central midfielder you need to win a lot of balls. "If you make a few tackles a game and one of them is yellow, then so be it. But at least you know you are putting everything into it. "A lot of Premier League lads seem to be sheltered by referees, particularly the bigger players. "They seem to get an arm around their shoulders and free-kicks quite easily. That was surprising for myself because I thought it would be quite physical. "But I think all the new rules, including the ones about celebrating, make it a lot stricter. "It means the games have been more stop-start than I expected, but I will get used to it." Advice from Ray Wilkins and Dennis Wise before leaving Millwall has helped him adapt to his new reality. But he is quick to point out that he also owes a lot to his new teammates at Goodison. He continues: "Coming to a new club is a bit foreign and you don't know what to expect. The best thing for me is that all the lads have been down to earth and it has made it a lot easier for me to settle. "On and off the pitch I feel happy, everyone has treated me well and it is just down to me to play the football. "I am pleased that the fans have taken to me because you always want to have a good rapport with them. I want them to be happy with my football and my performances for Everton." Cahill's debut came at Old Trafford last month just four days after returning to Bellefield following Australia's exit from the Olympic Games. It was a baptism of fire which he believes has benefited him. "As soon as the gaffer told me I was playing against Manchester United I was buzzing," he adds. "It was about doing my team and the fans proud and also repaying the gaffer's faith in me after he gave me the opportunity to come here. I have got loads to prove, not so much for everyone else but to myself, the gaffer and the other lads. I want to do well for them and my family. "When you are confident in your own ability it helps. That is the case for both me and Marcus (Bent). "The other lads know that we will put in a full shift regardless of whether we are playing well or not. "That is what they like to see - that we have got a lot of commitment and heart." That full-blooded approach is sure to mean Cahill will continue to attract the attention of referees. But Evertonians wouldn't have him any other way.
Scoring goals is what my game is all about – Cahill
GETTING his first Everton goals under his belt so quickly has come as a huge relief to Tim Cahill.
The Australian international netted his first goal for the club in his second appearance, heading the winner against Manchester City. He followed that with the winner at Portsmouth last weekend in only his third Premiership start. "Scoring goals is always a bonus, but I am goalscoring midfielder and I did get quite a few goals at Millwall," he said. "I was renowned for making late runs into the box and scoring, so it was good that I got my first goals here quite quickly. "The first goal at any new club is always the hardest. After that you can settle down and so to get it that early was a dream come true. "And for it to be the winning goal was even better. The importance of my two goals have made them extra special. "But that is what my game is all about - taking your opportunities. "Now I have to make sure I keep performing week in and week out. I don't want people looking and saying 'he is a three week wonder'. "It is good at the moment, but I have to keep my feet on the floor because as a new player you are always under the microscope."
'Scouse welcome helped me settle'
TIM CAHILL has been stunned by the welcome he has received in Liverpool. The 25-year-old was keen to settle quickly on Merseyside after completing his £2m move from Milwall. And he believes the city's people have helped him do that. "I have been out for dinner a few times and done a bit of shopping and it has been fantastic," he said.. "I have even had some Reds coming up to me and saying congratulations. The people are really great. That is the big difference after being in London.
"Everybody is really welcoming and it makes it a lot easier for myself and my family to settle in.
"I wanted to settle quickly. We had everything sorted out while I was in Greece (in the Olympics) because I don't like living out of a suitcase. "I just didn't want any excuses because of the moving situation when I started playing. I wanted to get in and sorted with my accomodation so I can just concentrate on my training. "I have just tried to take a professional approach to everything because I didn't want to be able to use any disruption as an excuse if I had a bad performance. If you play bad, you play bad. "I always try to hold my hands up and be honest. But at the moment I am having a good time. "And the people in the city and at the club have helped a lot."
Zonal marking? Elementary says Watson
Oct 1 2004 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
JUST 12 days ago, a zone was something you only worried about when you bought your monthly bus or train ticket. Then came Mikael Silvestre - twice - and Ieroklis Stoltidis,, quickly followed by the ominous sight of John Terry and Didier Drogba scoring headers from a corner and a free-kick, respectively. Chelsea meet Liverpool on Sunday. And whenever a cross comes into the Reds' box right now, their defenders produce a passable impersonation of an ostrich - heads firmly buried in the sand. Zonal marking is the problem, apparently. Rafael Benitez has introduced a set-piece system his defenders are not used to. It cost them the game at Old Trafford, while in Greece Liverpool failed to deal with crosses on four occasions. Four times Jerzy Dudek was left looking like Wayne Sleep trying to hail a taxi - but defending in zones can work. Don't take my word for it, listen to one of the most uncompromising defenders ever to grace the Premiership. Dave Watson made more than 500 appearances for Everton, after he had already turned out more than 200 times for Norwich - and won every domestic honour in the game. And he is a fan of zonal marking! "We used it at Everton and I used to prefer it," he said.. "Everyone knew their area of responsibility.
"If you were man-to-man marking you could get blocked or strikers could spin off round the back."
PAY attention now - here's the crux of the argument. "The only pre-requisite is that when everyone is in their positions you really have to attack the ball," added Watson - a defender so solid that Steve Bruce once rated him the hardest man he had ever seen in football. "You have a radius of five or six yards around you which is your responsibility and you have to defend that area aggressively.
"If you don't go and attack the ball then you have problems. But zonal marking has always been around and it can work." Josemi, Carragher, Hyypia, Riise and co have to want to make it happen.
John Arne Riise produced one splendid challenge on Giovanni to prevent a second goal in Greece, while Jamie Carragher is a man who gives the impression he would rather lose a limb than let in a goal. But the Reds have not shown that kind of aggression and appetite often enough in their defending this season. And while we are linking appetite and aggression with zones, when is Harry Kewell going to emerge from the twilight one he has dwelled in all season? Kewell was anonymous again on a night Liverpool needed someone to show a spark of inspiration. Forget systems, zones and fancy formations, the Reds just need someone to show some balls on Sunday.
Not much to look at but I love it anyway
View from the stands by Paul Cooper Everton supporter,
Daily Post Oct 2 2004
THERE'S nothing pretty about the way we are playing, but I couldn't care less - the results are pretty! Points on the board are by far the most important for the club at this time. Despite our wonderful start, we are keeping our feet on the floor and are hoping that we can get a few players that will add a bit more quality come January. It will also be in the boss's thoughts that the right players are found to fit into the squad and not spoil what is being done at the moment. I just hope that the wheels are already in motion for any transfers and we don't have to suffer the usual on-off transfer agony again. The two new lads have had a big impact. Marcus Bent, just by the type of player he is, has allowed us to employ a system that is working for the rest of the players. I think most fans have taken to him as he works hard for the team. If he can convert a higher percentage of his chances, he will be a very good player for us. Tim Cahill is industrious, uses the ball well and of course enjoys pop-ping up with the winner! I'm looking forward to his overdue home debut. You can't see it being anything other than a very tough game against the team that Jacques built this weekend, but then again I've been saying that every week. As with Boro, in all honesty, Spurs have the edge over us in terms of ability, with Defoe, King, Keane, Robinson et al. They look solid through the team, and not very Spurs-like really. But we are playing well and with plenty of confidence, dare I say it, this could be another 1-0 to the Everton!
Moyes sights January move for £5m Parker
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Oct 2 2004
DAVID MOYES will offer Scott Parker an escape route from Stamford Bridge if Everton have the investment and Chelsea the inclination to agree a deal for the England midfielder in January.
Parker, 23, has been tipped to make a swift return to Charlton when the transfer window reopens after being excluded from Jose Mourinho's plans this season. The midfielder was signed for £10million from Charlton only eight months ago but has made only one appearance for Chelsea this season, as a late substitute in the opening day defeat of Manchester United, and has not made the bench in recent weeks. Parker is reportedly ready to risk the wrath of the Addicks faithful and rejoin Alan Curbishley's side in January for a cut-price fee of £5m. But Everton manager Moyes will offer the PFA Young Player of the Year a genuine alternative armed with money from the sale of Wayne Rooney and the proposed Fortress Sports Fund investment. He confirmed: "We were interested in Scott Parker before he went to Chelsea and he would be a player we would consider if he became available again because he is a very good player. Whether we could afford him or get him is a different matter." Everton could leapfrog Chelsea into second place today if they overcome Tottenham at Goodison Park, with Mourinho's men facing Liverpool at Stamford Bridge tomorrow.
And despite constant setbacks at Everton this summer, Moyes insists he has not been surprised by his team's incredible start. "If I was surprised in how well we have done then that would show a lack of belief in my players and I do believe in them," he said. "I was surprised with how we did last season, but not really this year because two seasons ago we did quite well. It has been a bit of a roller-coaster the last few years and I'd rather be in this position now than 12 months ago.
"Winning breeds a good atmosphere and we didn't win enough games to generate that last season."
Moyes will welcome back Leon Osman to today's squad after the young midfielder's recovery from the groin strain that forced him to miss last weekend's win at Portsmouth. The Everton manager is likely to keep faith with the midfield that impressed at Fratton Park, while Joseph Yobo is vying for a return with the fit-again Alan Stubbs at the heart of defence. Everton, meanwhile, are progressing with contract talks with Gary Naysmith, whose current deal expires next summer, despite reports of interest from Scottish champions Celtic. Moyes said: "We have told Gary we want to keep him and the chief executive is in talks with him now."
Not much to look at but I love it anyway
View from the stands by Paul Cooper Everton supporter, Daily Post
Oct 2 2004
THERE'S nothing pretty about the way we are playing, but I couldn't care less - the results are pretty!
Points on the board are by far the most important for the club at this time. Despite our wonderful start, we are keeping our feet on the floor and are hoping that we can get a few players that will add a bit more quality come January. It will also be in the boss's thoughts that the right players are found to fit into the squad and not spoil what is being done at the moment. I just hope that the wheels are already in motion for any transfers and we don't have to suffer the usual on-off transfer agony again. The two new lads have had a big impact. Marcus Bent, just by the type of player he is, has allowed us to employ a system that is working for the rest of the players. I think most fans have taken to him as he works hard for the team. If he can convert a higher percentage of his chances, he will be a very good player for us. Tim Cahill is industrious, uses the ball well and of course enjoys pop-ping up with the winner! I'm looking forward to his overdue home debut. You can't see it being anything other than a very tough game against the team that Jacques built this weekend, but then again I've been saying that every week. As with Boro, in all honesty, Spurs have the edge over us in terms of ability, with Defoe, King, Keane, Robinson et al. They look solid through the team, and not very Spurs-like really. But we are playing well and with plenty of confidence, dare I say it, this could be another 1-0 to the Everton!
PROBLEM FOR PAMAROT
Oct 3 2004 By Steve Bates
Everton 0 Tottenham 1 Moyes boys sunk by Frenchman MENTION 'true grit' to any Spurs fan and they'll swear you're talking about the John Wayne classic. For showing bottle in the face of adversity isn't a trait you'd readily associate with a team which, on its travels, usually reveals a centre that is softer than a jelly baby. Spurs used to play pretty football and entertain; now they're boring, dull and tough to beat - but don't expect Jacques Santini to care. He's in the results business and if that means sacrificing panache for points on away trips then the Spurs boss won't be making his excuses before he leaves every Premiership ground. Santini's grim methods have already brought a stinging attack from Jose Mourinho and yesterday at Goodison Park David Moyes wasn't too pleased, either, as Spurs continued their unbeaten away run.Moyes wasn't irked specifically because Everton had been mugged by a team who must fear they're going to get nosebleeds if they make it into the opposition box, but that didn't help. No, his main complaint was over second-half challenges by Jamie Redknapp, who put Tim Cahill out of the game, and Jermain Defoe, whose tackle on David Weir incensed the Everton bench. The loss of Aussie star Cahill just after the hour following Redknapp's nasty challenge was a damaging blow to an Everton side desperate to keep their surprising start to the season on track. Cahill had been Everton's main hope of a goal after scoring twice in his previous three games and Moyes needed him desperately in the last half-hour as they chased the 52nd-minute header from Noe Pamarot that proved the Spurs match-winner and gave Santini his second away win of the season. Redknapp was booked for his robust tackle - as was Defoe for his two-footed lunge on Weir - but as Spurs clung on to their lead it was clear that Santini has instilled a bloody-minded belligerence in his team. Even Cameroon star Thimothee Atouba caught the bug in a half-time tunnel bust-up with Weir. Everton hit a post in either half, but Moyes will reflect that this match was lost in the opening 45 minutes when his men had Spurs on the run.They might not have much adventure and they'd rather get men behind the ball than commit them forward, but the travelling Spurs fans who celebrated victory aren't complaining. Spurs hadn't won at Goodison for six years and maybe they didn't expect much, especially as Everton had made their best start to a campaign in 26 years after going six games unbeaten. But the way they dug in and grafted for victory as Everton launched a predictable late assault must hearten every Spurs fan who has seen them crumble in such situations. It didn't look good for Tottenham as they endured a difficult first half, Everton overcoming a slow start to move into gear. But they held on and left Moyes with the knowledge that he'll need to invest in at least one new striker during the January transfer window. Spurs' revival after the break certainly sparked up a dull contest, but maybe Moyes wouldn't see it that way. His men enjoyed near total domination in the first half which stemmed from the collective work ethic the Goodison boss has installed in his side after their traumatic summer. And the bedrock of Everton's organised gameplan was the central-midfield axis of Thomas Gravesen and Lee Carsley, whose ball-winning skills made sure wide men Cahill and Kevin Kilbane were a constant danger. Marcus Bent isn't Wayne Rooney. But in the honesty stakes Moyes can't complain about the work-rate and effort the former Ipswich striker puts in. He didn't get much change out of the outstanding Ledley King, but it's clear Everton punters are looking elsewhere for their goal threat. Three times in the opening half-hour Everton could have taken the lead against a Spurs side pitifully poor in providing any serious attacking menace during that period. First, a long throw from outstanding Dane Gravesen picked out Cahill, who climbed impressively to plant a header against Robinson's post. Moments later, Cahill was the provider with a cross which found Leon Osman perfectly placed and unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box. The Everton striker would have wheeled away in celebration if he'd done anything but aim his header straight at Robinson. Kilbane's contribution was another Everton plus as they probed for a breakthrough and the winger was unlucky to see a powerful low drive fly past Robinson's left-hand post after sneaking behind Tottenham's defence on to an Alan Stubbs free-kick. Pamarot's headed goal from a short-corner routine by Simon Davies and Robbie Keane was a blow for Moyes who prides himself on set-piece organisation, but his men almost drew level immediately with a slick turn and shot from Osman which hit a post. Everton huffed and puffed but couldn't conjure an equaliser and Keane almost rubbed salt in their wounds by breaking clear in injury time only to shoot over.
Everton 0, Tottenham 1 (D,Post)
Oct 4 2004 By David Prior at Goodison Park, Daily Post
JUST as one disgraceful lunge doesn't necessarily make Jamie Redknapp a dirty player, so this undeserved defeat shouldn't be seen as anything more than simply that. Everton will play worse this season and end up sneaking off with the full quota of points that an unrecognisably direct and toughened Tottenham managed on Saturday. And they should know - Everton virtually mastered the 1-0 smash-and-grab two seasons ago. If it is possible to excuse the worrying shapelessness in the second-half in the somewhat undisciplined pursuit of parity, then David Moyes' upbeat assessment was entirely justified. The first half alone, particularly when laid next to some of the unrelentingly dismal opening periods of last campaign, was in fact enough to justify it. Here, against a side whose restructuring under Jacques Santini has patently started at the back, Everton were for 45 minutes pulsing with their new-found confidence. Dynamic, fluent in attack, patient when required, and constantly threatening; their play deserved reward. Few observers could have denied Everton a two-goal advantage by half-time. That they then fell victim to what must have been Spurs' perfect game-plan should in no way tarnish Everton's start, or even point to any potential pitfalls or problems ahead. "When you get two or three chances against the top opposition you've got to put at least one away," said captain Alan Stubbs after the game. "It was one of those games where whoever scored first was going to win the game. It was quite tight but I would say overall we probably edged it, and deserved to come out of it with at least a point." Moyes had, unusually, decided to tamper with a winning line-up on Saturday. Demonstrating his faith in rapidly improving Leon Osman, Moyes threw the 23-year-old, who had sat out the Portsmouth victory with a groin injury, straight back in at the expense of Steve Watson. Osman, barely out of single figures starts-wise at Goodison, has proved himself an integral part of the resurgent Everton this season and his immediate recall was well-earned. And for a time it was same old Everton. Or, at least, the 2004-05 model. And no-one has done more to trigger the improvements inherent in this model than Tim Cahill. Everton should discover the full extent of the Australian's leg injury today, and Moyes, while no doubt delighted the midfielder now does not have to travel to the other side of the world for a couple of games against those world-beaters from the Solomon Islands, will hope sincerely that Cahill requires only a minimal spell out. Cahill was again an effervescent presence on Saturday, marauding in and around the right flank and enthusiastically dancing through the holes that Everton's dominant five-man midfield were carving open. After his headed goals against Manchester City and Portsmouth, he almost achieved a third after 15 minutes, generating remarkable power and direction on Thomas Gravesen's long throw but denied by the outside of Paul Robinson's left-hand post. With Everton in full flow, Cahill turned supplier, delivering a magnificent cross from the right that found Osman's head and surely, the sell-out crowd then assumed, the back of the net. Osman's point-blank effort was somehow kept out by Robinson, however, with Marcus Bent skying the rebound into the stand. Tottenham were rattled, forced to fend off successive attacks from the home side with their own, rare forays upfield made all the more inconsequential by the again excellent Alan Stubbs and David Weir. Tony Hibbert on the right, too, was terrier-like but with a calm assurance when called upon and he gave Spurs little joy down their left. But while they were making a good fist of producing a goal themselves, Everton were given little help by the hapless Graham Poll. Bent had an excellent claim for a penalty after just three minutes, upended by Erik Edman after a weaving run from the right flank. Edman had given away Tottenham's penalty against Manchester United the week before; this time though he was to be reprieved. "I thought it was a penalty," claimed Moyes. "The lad left his leg dangling and brought Marcus down." Kevin Kilbane also had a claim after being left on the floor by Noe Pamarot, but again Poll waved away the appeal. Gravesen maintained the impeccable quality of first-half supply from the wings, with the Dane firing in a ball from the right that a fumbling Robinson did well to pick out of the reach of Bent. Over on the other wing, Kilbane was accepting a superb ball over the top from Stubbs, and after charging in on goal saw his left-footed volley narrowly sail past the far post. And while Everton remained on top, that moment shortly before the half-hour effectively spelt the end of the quality football. The rest of the half degenerated into a fairly tedious tussle with Spurs slowly coming back into the game and even having a goal disallowed for offside shortly before half-time. Then it got nasty. First came the 53rd-minute sucker-punch, with Robbie Keane's cross finding Pamarot unmarked to head beyond Nigel Martyn. Weir's positioning was perhaps at fault, although Stubbs preferred collective responsibility: "Their lad has scored a good goal from a set-piece and as defenders we're probably disappointed with that. But sometimes there's not a lot you can do and it was frustrating all round." Insult followed soon after. Given his injury record, Redknapp is someone you'd expect more aware than most of a foot-baller's vulnerability. His lunge - for tackle it most certainly wasn't - on Cahill early in the second half was truly reckless and utterly unprovoked. Disturbingly, Cahill sank to the ground and immediately started beating the turf in a gesture that usually denotes a footballer is genuinely in trouble. Three or four minutes' treatment later, Cahill was gingerly hobbling off the pitch - exactly where Redknapp should have immediately been ordered to were it not for the weak-willed Poll, who reached only for a yellow. Intention didn't really need to come into it. It was a sending-off offence. Having received a second yellow card for torso-exposure, Cahill is already more aware than most of the fickle and often nonsensical nature of Premier-ship refereeing. As the 25-year-old eloquently questioned afterwards, how an over-enthusiastic celebration and a potentially career-threatening foul can honestly warrant the same punishment is an extraordinary distortion of the official's role. Moments after the game had resumed, Jermain Defoe, clearly unaffected by the apologetic response from some Spurs play-ers to their captain's indiscretion, hurtled in with both feet on Weir. The Scot's nimble footwork ensured no contact was made, but it was an ugly enough moment to provoke consternation from the home dug-out. "In Europe that might have been classed as a sending-off," claimed Moyes. Perhaps it was Tottenham's aggressive policy that disrupted Everton. Certainly, Cahill's withdrawal was crucial. Duncan Ferguson's introduction, while perhaps understandable as Moyes searched for an equaliser, had a detrimental effect as Lee Carsley's muscular holding play was missed and Everton became unbalanced and lacking in the cohesion that had typified their early play. Substitutes James McFadden and Watson brought nothing to the fray as errors crept in. For Everton, there was to be little further inspiration although they continued to dominate possession. "It was just the desire to try and get a goal," explained Stubbs of the second-half performance. "I think if anything that's what we've got to learn - to be patient. But when you win games and you're doing well the expectation rises, and that's the case at the moment." He added: "Today was just a blip, I honestly believe that, and our momentum will pick up again after the international break. "We can't really be down-hearted after the performance because if anything it was a better one of our performances this season. The confidence definitely hasn't been knocked, and there's a lot of positive things we can take out of the game. It's not going to be the start of us going on a few games getting beaten." Even in defeat, Everton's captain, like his manager, have a confident air about them this season. With the international break, they now have two weeks to ensure that confidence can ride out the odd setback.
EVERTON (4-5-1): Martyn; Hibbert, Stubbs, Weir, Pistone (McFadden 76); Osman, Cahill (Watson 63), Gravesen, Carsley (Ferguson 59), Kilbane; Bent. Subs: Wrighth, Yobo.
BOOKINGS: Gravesen (foul).
TOTTENHAM (4-4-2): Robinson; Pamarot, Naybet, King, Edman (Gardner 69); Davies, Red-knapp, Mendes, Atouba; Keane, Defoe (Ziegler 79). Subs: Keller, Brown, Sousa.
BOOKINGS: Redknapp, Defoe (both fouls).
REFEREE: G Poll
NEXT GAME: Everton v Southampton, Premiership, Saturday, October 16, 3pm
Injured Cahill in fury at ref after Redknapp tackle
By David Prior, Daily Post
Oct 4 2004
TIM CAHILL will today discover the extent of the damage done to him by Jamie Redknapp's horror tackle as he lambasted the officiating that allowed the former Liverpool midfielder to stay on the pitch on Saturday. The Australian international - who confessed he was "very sore" when reporting to Bellefield yesterday - will this morning undergo an MRI scan on his left leg to determine exactly what kind of injury Redknapp's mistimed lunge early in the second half has caused. Cahill admitted he at first feared a similar cruciate ligament injury to one he suffered in September 2002 and kept him out of the game for seven months. Everton will hope that the 25-year-old has suffered merely a superficial wound and not such a serious problem. Either way, both Cahill and manager David Moyes were furious at the decision by referee Graham Poll not to red-card Red-knapp, who was in apologetic mood after Tottenham's 1-0 victory. Cahill, who was withdrawn from the Australian squad for next week's World Cup qualifying doubleheader against the Solomon Islands, was particularly critical in the light of the second yellow card he received last month for partially removing his shirt while celebrating his goal against Manchester City. "What's the game coming to?" he said. "You can't celebrate but you can kick people. "You have to ask the question what do you have to do - I got a yellow for celebrating and then other people will walk away scot-free. "I can't understand why he was so high up on my knee - he had the ball." Cahill was demonstrably upset immediately after Redknapp's challenge, beating the turf with his hands as he lay on the ground and refusing to accept the player's conciliatory approaches. "I was worried that it could be more serious," he said.. "It's very uncharacteristic, he's been on the treatment table as much as me. I did my anterior cruciate two years ago. It was very worrying, so that was why I was so upset. "It did flash through my mind that I'd done it again as I had quite a bit of pain. "You can't speak to people when they've done something like that - I just said to him 'why?' He just said, 'it was just a reaction, everything happens so quick'. It's not like Jamie Redknapp, hopefully I will come out of it okay." Moyes, who was in upbeat mood despite Everton's first defeat since the opening day of the season, described the interpretation of the laws that ensured the same yellow-card punishment for over-celebration and a serious foul, as "nonsense". He said: "I do not believe that Jamie Redknapp is that sort of player, but I must admit I felt the challenge deserved a red card. "I have looked at it again and I feel that most referees would have felt it was a red card, not a yellow one. It's not right, you don't need to be a coach or a manager to recognise it. It's nonsense. It's easy to spot if someone puts their jersey over their head and it's easy to make a rule of it, the bit that should be important in refereeing is that they pick out the tackles that are important and the challenges that matter in the game. The small incidental things like whether you run off the park when you're celebrating are real-ly, in the light of things, not that important." Captain Alan Stubbs added: "I didn't really know how bad the challenge was on Tim, but a few of the lads came in after the game and said it should have been a red card. But that's for the referee to decide and not us. Jamie's a good lad and I'd be surprised if he did mean it - maybe it was more mistimed than anything." Moyes believed Everton had enjoyed enough chances to have won the game. We wanted to win the game and there's frustration in there because we had chances to win. At the end we were a bit frantic as we chased a goal. "We defended very well and they created few chances. Cahill was a goal threat and he must have got his head on three or four things in the first half and we missed him in the last 15 or 20 minutes. But he's done well for us. "If we keep playing that way we'll be okay."
I didn't mean to hurt anyone - Redknapp
By Paul Walker, Daily Post
Oct 4 2004
0ShareJAMIE REDKNAPP insists he did not mean to hurt Everton midfielder Tim Cahill in Tottenham's victory at Goodison Park on Saturday. Midfielder Redknapp (left) forced the Australian out of the game with a mistimed left-footed lunge for which Everton boss David Moyes claimed he should have been sent off. Cahill required lengthy treatment before limping off, but Redknapp has stressed there was no malice intended and is upset at accusations it may have been deliberate. Redknapp said: "I can only say I didn't mean it, and that is on my heart. I wouldn't do that to anyone. I have spent enough time on treatment tables and out injured in my career not to do something like that to a fellow professional." Redknapp has never had a reputation as a midfield hard man, but the offence did look bad and took the shine off a win which lifted Spurs to fourth in the Premiership. Slow motion replays did not do Redknapp any favours, and neither did Cahill's angry reaction as he left the field. Cahill refused an apology and made a clear point that he felt he had been stamped on. Cahill has probable knee ligament damage which will keep him out of Australia's forthcoming World Cup qualifier against the Solomon Islands. Redknapp added: "He reacted angrily when he went off. I suppose I would have done the same if I had thought someone had tried to hurt me. I would probably think the worst. "I didn't mean to do that; it wasn't even a tackle. That is not my game, I would never do that to him. "As I tried to let the ball run across me, I just tried to step over it to allow it to run to me. But he came in a bit quicker than I anticipated and I caught him.
"Their manager thinks I should have been sent off, and okay - that's his opinion. But I would never try to do that to anyone. "I have never done it. Anyone who has watched me play over the years knows I tackle with my right foot; if I was going to tackle to get the ball I would have done it with my right." Redknapp's indiscretion was the most talked-about aspect of a match which saw plenty of commitment from both sides. There were other moments of friction too. There was a half-time tunnel melee involving David Weir, Tony Hibbert and Thimothee Atouba; Jermain Defoe was booked for a two-footed tackle - admit-tedly one which won the ball but left Weir rightly upset. Everton dominated the first half, legally hounding and harassing Tottenham - and the visitors were continually complaining to referee Graham Poll. But in the second period they began to compete like for like and grabbed a 53rd-minute goal from full-back Noe Pamarot which ended Everton's six-match unbeaten run.
Spurs setback is only a little blip
View from the stands by Paul Cooper Everton supporter, Daily Post
Oct 4 2004
THE defeat to Tottenham was only a blip and the way the game went, I don't think there is too much to worry about. The performance, certainly for the first hour of the game, was as good if not better than the way we played against Boro and Pompey. The only problem was that when Cahill went off we completely lost our shape and had to rely more and more on the punt up to Ferguson. I was disappointed when Steve Watson came on and was asked to play in the centre of midfield. He looked totally out of place and never got into the game. Cahill had been excellent in the game and I thought was the most likely for us. As a player he reminds me a lot of Gary Speed, he passes the ball intelligently and always seems to find a Blue shirt. His other major attribute, of course, is his ability to time his runs well to get on the end of things, the header that hit the post being a prime example. We will miss him badly if he is out for any length of time. The 'tackle' by Redknapp that took Cahill out of the game was dangerous and could easily have been a sending off. Redknapp was in no position to make a fair challenge for the ball, he was stretching and his foot was very high. Comments after the game suggest that Redknapp was very apologetic, and that's the least he could have been. The problem now is that we are left to stew on this result for a couple of weeks. The trick is to bounce back with a win straight away. We can beat Southampton playing the way we have been, let's hope that this setback does not affect the confidence and therefore the level of performance.
Everton on top
Women'S Football By Eleanor Crooks, Daily Post
Oct 4 2004
EVERTON moved back level on points with Charlton at the top of the table after a 2-2 draw against Birmingham. In a hard-fought contest, City took the lead after 10 minutes through Steph Samuels but goals from Jody Handley and Rachel Unitt put Everton in front. Sally Lacey's goal 14 minutes from time secured a point for the visitors. Arsenal have a number of games in hand after their European exploits, and they kept their unbeaten record with a 4-1 win against Liverpool, Gill Hart scoring the consolation.
Everton 0, Tottenham 1 (Echo)
Oct 4 2004 By Scott Mcleod at Goodison Park, Liverpool Echo
RARELY do footballers get so lucky on Merseyside. Tottenham secured a 1-0 victory at Goodison on Saturday after sidestepping a cast-iron penalty claim, dodging a couple of red cards and even riding their luck with two efforts that struck the woodwork. This was a win earned courtesy of the kind of football many people would have you believe the Blues have been playing this season. A one-man strikeforce, a succession of clean sheets and a host of narrow single-goal victories seem to have fooled people into thinking David Moyes' men have adopted a negative style of football with which to defy the bookies. The great irony is that it was Spurs, the side which cost millions to assemble, who played that kind of football on Saturday to grind out a result. It is a huge compliment to Moyes and his men. And it was a fitting lesson for an Everton side now having to cope with very different expectations. David Weir conceded before Tottenham's visit that the same critics who were tipping Everton for the drop before the start of the season were now tipping them to slip away from the upper reaches of the table before Christmas. On the face of it, this result adds weight to their argument. But whatever noise was emanating from Goodison on Saturday, it wasn't that of a bubble bursting. If anything, it was stunned silence. Even Tottenham's fans should have been a little embarrassed by this result. Spurs' one effort on target - a Noe Pamarot header in the 53rd minute - found the back of the net. But however undeserved the victory and frustrating the outcome, that strike has now provided Everton with their biggest test of the season. The side's previous defeat came on the opening day. And it was against Arsenal. There had been no expectations of success then. Just an acute fear of a relegation dogfight which many believed was looming over the horizon.
The players responded magnificently to that result. But they did so on their own terms. They must now respond to this setback in the knowledge they are expected to bounce back. Which is why the side's reaction to going behind provides cause for concern. Up until Pamarot's header, it seemed a foregone conclusion that Everton would add further points to their bumper early season tally. Tim Cahill had hit the base of a post with a header, Paul Robinson had produced a stunning reaction save to deny Leon Osman and Kevin Kilbane had driven inches wide of the target from 12 yards. After the goal, they created very little - bar a self-made effort from Leon Osman which found the inside of the post from 18 yards. They threw the kitchen sink, and Duncan Ferguson, at the Londoners to no avail.
But maybe the writing had been on the wall all along. As early as the fourth minute the Blues were tearing their hair out because a blatant foul on Marcus Bent by Erik Edman in the penalty area convinced everybody but Graham Poll that a penalty would follow. And having denied the Blues that early opportunity to take the lead, the referee proceeded to show the kind of leniency in his decision-making which allowed Tottenham to knock Everton out of their stride. A horrific challenge on Cahill by Jamie Redknapp shortly after the interval forced the Australian international out of the action and out of Australia's World Cup games in the Solomon Islands. It should also have earned the former Liverpool midfielder an early bath. He only picked up a yellow. That came moments before a ridiculously thoughtless two-footed lunge by Jer-main Defoe at Weir's ankles led to another lenient caution. It was clear the physical contest and the stoppages they created were distracting an Everton side which, up until the half-hour mark, had been playing some thrilling football. Tottenham could not match it. They were disjointed, second to everything in midfield and seemingly devoid of ideas going forward. And when they did probe, they found an Everton defence in unforgiving mood - with Tony Hibbert personifying the resolve which has been so prevalent in recent weeks. Spurs weren't much better after the break. But they were full-blooded, they went beyond the pale with a couple of tackles and they grabbed a crucial goal. Moyes is not afraid to be bold when his side falls behind. So often in the past his attacking substitutions have reaped dividends. But when he introduced Ferguson and withdrew Lee Carsley Everton were not the same. Thomas Gravesen could not impose the same influence as Carsley in midfield. And giving into the temptation of launching long balls on to Ferguson's head played into Tottenham's hands. It was the diversity of the home side's attacking play which had caused all the problems in the opening half, with Cahill and Osman finding space in and around the area and Bent proving once again what a selfless runner he is for the cause. It is a system which, bar a decent cameo as a second-half sub at Portsmouth, Ferguson has struggled to fit into. And, crucially, when he enters the action the rest of the side also struggles to adapt. But that is the limitation of having a small squad. Come January, Moyes will be able to splash the kind of cash Santini has had at his disposal in recent months. The money will provide him with greater options. But right now, the main priority is to get back to winning ways. And I wouldn't be too worried on that score. The run may have come to an end but the runners have still got plenty to give.
EVERTON (4-5-1): Martyn; Hibbert, Stubbs, Weir, Pistone (McFadden 76); Osman, Cahill (Watson 63), Gravesen, Carsley (Ferguson 59), Kilbane; Bent. Subs: Wrighth, Yobo.
BOOKING: Gravesen (foul).
TOTTENHAM (4-4-2): Robinson; Pamarot, Naybet, King, Edman (Gardner 69); Davies, Redknapp, Mendes, Atouba; Keane, Defoe (Ziegler 79). Subs: Keller, Brown, Sousa.
BOOKINGS: Redknapp, Defoe (both fouls).
REFEREE: G Poll
Money man Sam is feeling Blue
Oct 4 2004 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
CHRISTOPHER SAMUELSON is the man behind Fortress Sports Fund - the body which will invest £12.8m into Everton Football Club, and has an option to inject a further £17.2m if necessary. The proposal will be put before Everton shareholders for approval at the AGM in December. But today the ECHO brings you the first interview with the man Bill Kenwright hopes can help him restore Everton as a major power in English football. INVESTMENT in Everton FC is not Chris Samuelson's first foray into top flight football. The Geneva-based financier tried to buy into Chelsea Football Club at a time when Roman Abramovich was still struggling with his 12 times tables. That bid, in 1981, failed when a householder near the entrance to the old Stamford Bridge demanded "not a king's ransom for the property, but an Emperor's ransom." But while that attempt foundered, Samuelson admits his latest bid is altogether closer to his heart. "Whisper it quietly here today," said Samuelson, speaking in an office at Goodison Park before Saturday's Premiership clash with Tottenham, "but as a kid I used to follow Spurs. "But their great rivals at the time were Everton and they had such a wonderful side I always looked out for them, too. I always said the two teams I followed were Spurs and Everton. "Spurs never really had a good time after that - but Everton, of course, had that wonderful spell in the mid 1980s when they were wonderful to watch with some great players. "When I was looking around for investment opportunities in football the two I automatically looked at were Everton and Spurs. Spurs had their own source of funds with Enic, but Everton were looking for additional funds and I sat down and discussed it with Bill. "It's taken some time, but we are nearly there now. "The annual general meeting will have to approve the investment in December - but after that the money will be available." The immediate proposal is that Fortress Sports Fund, the body set up by Samuelson to invest in Everton, will take over 29.9 per cent of the club for a stake of £12.8m. Samuelson will become a director of the club - and will hold an option to invest a further £17.2m, taking FSF's shareholding up to a controlling 50.1 per cent.
"We will start with £12.8m of new money in the first phase, with an option for another £17.2m," he explained. "That all depends on the needs of the club. If the club needs the money we will bring the money in." At a time when football is nowhere near as popular an investment opportunity as it was only a decade ago, Samuelson has scoured Europe for individuals willing to invest into the Fortress Sports Fund. Some of the parties who have already committed include Michele Saba, a private banker, Patricia German-Ribon, a member of the Aramayo mining family, Guy de la Tour du Pin and Emily Willi, wealthy Europeans, and former business associates Robert Steelhammer and Michele Miller. Samuelson is adamant that all of the investors had to be aware of Everton's heritage, history and, most crucially, potential, before signing up. "My business is basically the trust and corporate services sector where we have something like 6,000 clients around the world," he explained.
"Twenty per cent of it is corporation and 80 per cent is big network private individuals. They range from somebody simply going over to buy a property in Spain to families with immense wealth.
"Whenever you cross an international border there is a requirement to do some tax planning and we were one of the larger factors in this business. "It was just a matter of saying which clients would be interested and inviting them to come and participate. I looked for ones who were interested in football and made quite sure they were obligated to understand the history and background of Everton. "You feel this place when you come here. It has such a spirit here and this is what is so special about this club. "Everton has won the title nine times, been runner-up seven times - and people must remember that Everton came before Liverpool. Anfield was Everton's home ground and if it wasn't for an individual called Houlding who wanted too much money for his rent Everton might still be playing at Anfield and Liverpool might never have existed! "I want the clients to be people who love the game but will also have strategic loyalties, so they can bring us presence in Asia and other places which will broaden our base and allow us to promote the team elsewhere.
"This is just the start. Everton is a jewel. The Evertonians are totally passionate and I think we can teach others to have the same feelings giving us to create a vast following around the world.
"Everton is a wonderful brand and needs to be seen. There is a real true, core supporter base here - but there are more around the world because the Premiership is watched by 139 countries and we need to tap into that to be competitive and have the resources we need to get Everton's revenues up. "Okay, we're not going to get them like Manchester United, but today we are £42m-£43m versus their £175m. So if we can get to £100m it will have a big impact on what the club can do.
"The secret now is to take the club forward." Part of the strategy to take Everton forward includes bringing a better class of player to Goodison Park. The Fortress Sports Fund investment, coupled with the sale of Wayne Rooney - "that was very sad, but I don't see what else Bill could have done in the circumstances," said Samuelson - will give David Moyes significant clout in the transfer market when it reopens in January. Samuelson added: "Obviously we can't compete with Roman Abramovich, who can write cheques for £100m without blinking. "However, there's only one of him and how many players can he have in his side? "We hear of unrest in their squad. People like Scott Parker can't get a game, and it's players like these that we should be looking at and no doubt will look at to try and see if we can get them to come here. "When you look at other players who want to come to the Premiership - Arsenal have a full repertoire, Chelsea don't look like they will be buying many more new players in the near future and Manchester United, according to what they tell us, don't have any money left because they've spent it all on somebody else! "That opens up opportunities for Everton. We will be in a good position to compete for these type of players and will not have to pay crazy prices for them. Who we go for is ultimately David Moyes' decision, but he will have our complete support." Samuelson has spoken to Moyes already and is a fan. "We do have a warchest now and we need to get the right kind of players here, but in David Moyes we have a great young manager. What's happening now is heavily down to him. We are playing so well as a team. "Can you buy success? To me a football team is just that, a team. And David has Everton playing as a team." But if Samuelson has been hugely impressed by the Scot at Everton's helm, his first involvement in football finances came as a result of an archetypal Englishman. Brought up in Ireland, educated in England and then a student in Munich, Germany and Grenoble before working on Wall Street, Samuelson was a close pal of World Cup winning skipper Bobby Moore. "My first involvement in football goes back a long time because Bobby Moore was an old friend of mine," he went on. "Way back when football wasn't fashionable, Bobby, myself, Christopher Martin Jenkins and Rob James who was the greatest sailor this country ever produced, formed a sports sponsor-ship business when the opportunity to buy Chelsea came along. "I saw the changes which were in the pipline for football - Sky hadn't arrived yet but it was already on the books and in the planning stage. "We only didn't get Chelsea because of one property which was at the entrance to the ground. The owners weren't asking so much as a King's ransom, but an Emperor's ransom for it! "I then went back into the commercial world, but through Bobby I got my first view of the football sector." That view has now become a long-term vision for Everton Football Club.
Redknapp charged after horror tackle
Oct 4 2004 By Dave MacBryde, icliverpool
The FA have charged Tottenham midfielder Jamie Redknapp with serious foul play after a dangerous challenge on Everton striker Tim Cahill in Spurs 1-0 vicotory at Goodison on Saturday. Cahill was withdrawn from play moments after Redknapp's lunge and will miss Australia's forthcoming matches with the Solomon Islands. Referee Graham Poll originally cautioned Redknapp, before later submitting his report to the FA. Redknapp has 14 days to respond to the charge.
Redknapp may see red over lunge at Cahill
Oct 4 2004 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
JAMIE REDKNAPP could be charged with violent conduct - despite apologising and despite already having received a yellow card for his challenge on Tim Cahill on Saturday. The Spurs' skipper was booked for a knee-high tackle on Cahill - a challenge which saw the Blues midfielder forced to limp off. He was undergoing a scan today to assess the extent of any damage, but referee Graham Poll has privately accepted he got the decision wrong and should have red- carded Redknapp. If he indicates as much in his report, the FA could take further action. Poll believes he did not have the best viewpoint of the incident. The FA has provision to take any further action it deems necessary if a referee indicates he did not have a proper view of any given incident. There is a precedent for such action, coincidentally involving Poll. In 2002 he missed a challenge by Steven Gerrard on Gary Naysmith which was subsequently deemed as violent conduct by the FA and brought a three match ban - although on that occasion he failed to see the incident at all. Cahill walked off the pitch after the second half challenge from Redknapp - but left Goodison on crutches as a precaution. Everton's physio department were initially hopeful that Cahill had just jarred the knee, but he sustained a serious injury to the anterior cruciate ligament of the same knee two years ago which has caused them to assess the problem cautiously. The player was immediately pulled out of Australia's international double-header next weekend with the Solomon Islands.
Stubbs: Tackle on Tim was case of mistiming
Oct 4 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON skipper Alan Stubbs refused to vilify Jamie Redknapp for the foul which forced Tim Cahill out of Saturday's game at Goodison. The Australian international hobbled off shortly after the hour mark with a shin injury following a high, raking challenge from the Tottenham skipper. He will now miss Australia's World Cup qualifying double-header against the Solomon Islands. Stubbs said: "A few of the lads said when they came in that it didn't look very good on the TV and a few people on Sky were saying it should have been a red card. "I can't really say too much on that, but knowing Jamie I would be surprised if he meant it. "He is a good lad and if anything he has probably mistimed it, which made it look bad. But if he did mean it, then he shouldn't have been on the pitch."
Redknapp was quick to apologise for the challenge, insisting it was not a malicious challenge.
He said: "That is not my game and I am not that sort of player. I tried to let the ball run, he came in a bit quicker than I anticipated and I stepped over the ball to try and hold him off. "I caught him, there is no doubt about it. But I certainly didn ' t mean it because I would never do that to anyone. Anyone who has watched me over the years knows I wouldn't tackle with my left foot anyway. "But for me, it took the gloss off a great day. I have never won at Goodison before. "I can only apologise to him. There was no intent because I have been on the treatment table enough in my career and I wouldn't do it to another player. "Tim is a good player and I feel bad about it. I went to apologise because if I was injured by somebody I would like them to come and see me. "I just hope he is okay." As for the result, Stubbs admitted it was hard to take after continuing the good form which has raised expectancy levels among supporters. He added: "You know you are doing something right when the fans are coming here expecting you to win. "Over the last season or so they have come here a bit subdued but that is changing. There is a buzz about the ground and that is all credit to them and to us. "We have started the season as well as we could have expected. It was one of those days. It was a blip and now we have to move on and look forward to our next game which is at home."
Reality check can Spur us on - Bent
Oct 4 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
MARCUS Bent believes Saturday's defeat to Tottenham has provided Everton with a timely reality check. The 1-0 reverse was the Blues' first defeat since the opening day of the season, bringing to an end a six-match unbeaten run. But the side remain third going into the international break.
And Bent insists the blow of losing the unbeaten run has reminded the Everton squad of what it took to get so high in the table in the first place. "Maybe in some ways it is a good omen, a result to knock us back into reality," said Bent. "We are up there doing well and as a squad we are flying. But to stay there you have to keep working hard. "We are not a big squad but we work for each other and that is what we have got to keep reminding ourselves of. "We have been giving our all. And we did again against Tottenham, but it just didn't happen for us on the day. "We have got to be positive and we have got to carry on doing what we are doing. We are still in third place and we have got another game at home to look forward to. We are going to go into that with all guns blazing." The outcome of Saturday's game could have been very different, had Graham Poll awarded a penalty to the Blues in the fourth minute when Bent was hacked down by Spurs fullback Erik Edman. He adds: "I said: 'If I have dived, then it has to be a yellow card for me. And if I haven't dived, then it has got to be a penalty'. But the referee said it was neither. "To me, that doesn't register. It can't be neither, it has to be one or the other. Nobody likes to criticise referees, but that was crucial to us because it was so early in the game. "Referees are there to make decisions and sometimes they get it wrong."
Poll seemed to get it wrong at the start of the second half as well, choosing only to show Jamie Redknapp and Jermain Defoe yellow cards for two badly timed, dangerous challenges.
Redknapp's foul on Tim Cahill forced the Australian international out of the action and led to an extended delay. "Maybe the delays at the start of the second half did knock us out of our stride," continues Bent. "But I don't think we started as sharply as we could have done in the second half. Maybe they came out a little bit quicker, but that is no excuse for us starting slow. "In the first half we played really well, creating chances, linking up well and passing the ball about. Not for one moment did I think we were going to lose the game. "With Tottenham they are always dangerous because they have got some quality players. But they didn't really trouble us, which is what made the result so frustrating. "I was on the post when the ball (Pamarot's winning header) dropped over my head. I couldn't get to it." Bent also dismissed reports suggesting there had been a bust-up between himself and Thomas Gravesen last week. Manager David Moyes barred the newspaper which ran the story from the post-match press conference. He said: "The story is absolute rubbish and is hardly worth commenting on. We are actually laughing at it because it is so bad."
Surreal as it may be... it did happen
Oct 4 2004 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
MAYBE the Pope does wear a flat cap after all, perhaps Guinness actually is good for you - and I suppose that cheque must be in the post. Because the sight of Everton lying third in the Premiership table was the least surreal image to behold on Saturday afternoon. Goodison Park was the venue for all manner of popular myths exploding. We had those traditional southern softies Spurs, coming over like a modern day Wimbledon, all cynical challenges, miserly defence and petulant flare-ups.
The better team somehow lost, after a dominant first hour when they hit the woodwork twice, missed a close-range sitter, drove a shot inches wide and had a cast-iron penalty denied - to a team with one shot on target all afternoon. Then we had Jamie Redknapp as a midfield hatchet man.
Mr Clean - he even sounds like a child's inoffensive squeaky toy - kicked Tim Cahill out of the match with a challenge as ugly as anything messieurs Jones, Wise or Fashanu ever produced.
The only man whose reputation remained unchanged was Graham Poll - a referee who still manages to get himself into the best possible positions to witness everything on the field, yet somehow sees nothing. On Saturday he missed two cast iron penalty kicks - one for each side - and that challenge by Redknapp.. The likeable Londoner tried to explain afterwards that he wasn't that type of player.
Maybe not. But his inexcusable 59th minute aberration was undoubtedly THAT type of tackle - one which could have left Tim Cahill in a hospital bed. The ball was between Redknapp's feet when he lifted his left boot into Cahill's knee with a challenge that could have had no other purpose than to harm the Everton player. He escaped nothing worse than a yellow card purely because of his reputation - underlining once again how easily swayed officials can be. Mark Halsey, ironically the fourth official on Saturday, changed his mind after he awarded a penalty recently - because of the reaction of Fulham and Arsenal players. Redknapp's wide-eyed apologies forced Poll into a similar climbdown. Because the only possible outcome could have been a red card. Imagine the reaction had Duncan Ferguson made an identical challenge. He would have surely seen red - and even if, by some miracle, he'd escaped dismissal, the FA would be knocking down the door of the BBC to borrow their video evidence. Redknapp will escape, because the referee has seen the incident and already decided on a punishment, inappropriate though it may have been. It sums up the absurdity of the legal system in modern football - when a player baring his torso to the crowd is deemed worthy of the same punishment as a dangerous tackle which injures a fellow pro. Jermain Defoe followed Redknapp into the referee's notebook for a twofooted lunge, coming seconds after he had kicked David Weir up the backside. But by making connection with the ball rather than Weir's ankles just a couple of centimetres alongside, his yellow was just about deserved. Totally undeserved was Everton's defeat. For the first half-hour in particular, they did everything which has taken them to third in the table - only a lack of ruthlessness in front of goal preventing them from having the match won by half-time. But one tactic will have given David Moyes some food for thought afterwards.
Everton caused Tottenham all kinds of problems in the air - BEFORE Duncan Ferguson came on.
The angle and variation of their attacks meant that diminutive threats like Tim Cahill and Leon Osman all came within inches of scoring headers. After Ferguson's arrival, though, Everton became predictable and direct and never once looked like being as threatening again. It seems that more than a decade after he first arrived at Goodison, Everton still haven't utilised the best way of getting the best from Ferguson's aerial prowess. They're unlikely to do so now.
Cahill in clear as FA admit Poll error
By David Prior Daily Post Staff
Oct 5 2004
TIM CAHILL yesterday received the all-clear from a knee scan triggered by the horror tackle for which Jamie Redknapp now faces a three-match ban. An MRI scan on the 24-year-old's left leg detected no serious damage, a major relief for Australian Cahill who at first feared he may have suffered cruciate damage for the second time in his career. Indeed Redknapp's high lunge early in the second half of Everton's 1-0 defeat against Tottenham on Saturday looks to have left Cahill with nothing more serious than swelling and considerable discomfort, although it is too early to say whether he will be fit for the home game against Southampton a week on Saturday. Head physio Mick Rathbone said: "Tim had a series of scans and x-rays on Sunday and Monday and they have come back all clear in as much that none of the major structures have been affected." Manager David Moyes, who now faces his former side Preston in the Carling Cup third round after they defeated Leicester City 3-2 after extra-time last night, added: "We were concerned with his ligaments and his knee after the game and now hopefully it may not take too long to heal." Graham Poll's decision to show Redknapp just a yellow card was roundly criticised, and yesterday the Football Association took the unprecedented step of determining that the official's punishment was insufficient and charged the Tottenham captain with serious foul play. Redknapp had issued a forthright apology to the player but the governing body have reviewed video evidence and decided the tackle was worthy of a charge for a breach of FA Rule E3. The charge was brought against Redknapp under the provisions of Article 6a of The FA's Disciplinary Code, which states: "Where a referee has reported that he has administered a caution to a player but the Association (The FA) is satisfied that the incident for which the player was cautioned should have resulted in his dismissal from the field of play, the Association may formulate and send to the secretary of the player's club and the player a charge of misconduct under FA Rule E3." The new use of the guidelines inevitably means less power to the referee's elbow and more likelihood of trial by television. It gives the FA a previously unused reason to review the Redknapp issue on video - and then almost certainly hand out a three-match ban usually reserved for violent offences. As the case does not come under the fast-track system, Redknapp has 14 days to respond to the charge. The FA could also come under pressure to apply the same criteria to Redknapp's Spurs' team-mate, England striker Jermain Defoe, who committed just as bad a foul on David Weir moments after Cahill had been forced to withdraw. Manager Moyes feels the FA's decision to charge Redknapp has come too late. "I wouldn't like to see Jamie Redknapp receive any further punishment," he said. "If Everton were to take any benefit from what happened then a red card should have been issued on Saturday afternoon and that would have allowed us to try and get the goal back for the last 30 minutes against 10 men. "Jamie apologised after the game. I told him that I thought it was a bad tackle but from my point of view the matter is now over." Meanwhile China international Li Tie has been given the go-ahead to resume full training with the rest of the first team squad. The midfielder, who has been sidelined for 10 months after breaking his shin during an international get-together, has been making slow but steady progress since his return from the Far East at the end of May. He could be ready for a run-out for the reserves within the next couple of weeks. Rathbone said: "Li Tie had his consultation with the consultant in Manchester on Monday afternoon and he has now been given the go ahead to resume full training. "He continues to make steady progress and hopefully he will be able to play some part in a reserve game later this month."
Post Soapbox, icLiverpool & Daily Post
Oct 5 2004
WELL done to Everton's players for the effort they put in against Tottenham - much better than last year. However I was disgusted by Jamie Redknapp's tackle on Tim Cahill. I have always been a fan of Redknapp even though he played for the Reds. He, of all people, should know how hard and frustrating it is to sit out with an Injury. Apology accepted, but that does not let you off the hook! But what happened to the referee and his socalled assistants?
B Manwairing (via e-mail)
Flak of cards
YET again we see the idiocy of officialdom as regards what is and isn't red/yellow card offences. Whether or not intended, THAT tackle was in the career threatening category and Rednapp should have walked.
B Norman (via e-mail)
IF WRONGLY given red cards can be rescinded, then surely the same should happen in reverse. The FA are going to fine Redknapp but he should have walked, maybe followed by Jermain Defoe. Graham Poll has now over-taken Clive Thomas as far as I'm concerned; how many more bad decisions is he going to be involved with when officiating us? If we'd lost at Portsmouth and won this to go third we'd be jumping around and with the chances we missed (two posts and a great save) this was surely a smash and grab - keep the faith.
Brian Swift (via e-mail)
EVERTON totally dominated the first half and played some great attacking football against Spurs, only to be denied by a fantastic keeper and the post. The Redknapp tackle was the turning point of the game. It goes to show how bad the standard of refereeing is. He should have been sent off immediatly and the failure to take this action should be looked into by the FA. Couldn't fault the Everton desire or the work-rate; it was just one of those days.
Eddie Hunter (via e-mail)
Roo the day!
I, FOR ONE, will never condone Wayne Rooney's attitude to our team, but I do believe he will (dare I say) 'roo' the day he left.. I am not going to mention him after this. My main concern and thoughts will be for the Blues. I reckon we have a fabulous bunch of players who are not famous names, but they showed against Pompey what a confident, well organised, together team they look.
K Withers (via e-mail)
Redknapp incident is over
Oct 5 2004 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON insist they are not seeking a revenge punishment for Jamie Redknapp despite his horror tackle on Tim Cahill. The Blues have confirmed Cahill escaped serious injury in the challenge during last Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Tottenham. However, he has a badly swollen knee and the club is unsure if he will be fit for their next Premiership fixture against Southampton in 11 days time.
Redknapp has been charged with serious foul play by the FA after referee Graham Poll reviewed the incident. The official only showed the player a yellow card during the game, but claimed he did not have a clear view. Redknapp is facing a three-match ban, but Everton will take no satisfaction from the FA's decision. Manager David Moyes said: "I wouldn't like to see Jamie Redknapp receive any further punishment. "If Everton were to take any benefit from what happened then a red card should have been issued on Saturday afternoon and that would have allowed us to try and get the goal back for the last 30 minutes against 10 men. " Jamie apologised after the game. I told him that I thought it was a bad tackle, but from my point of view the matter is now over." His assistant Alan Irvine added: "Jamie Redknapp is not a dirty player and we are not looking for any kind of retribution or revenge now. The time for punishment was on Saturday. "Jamie Redknapp is a good pro who happened to make a very bad tackle which the referee should have dealt with. The most important factor as far as we are concerned is that Tim Cahill appears to have escaped without any serious injury." Everton's head physio Mick Rathbone said: "Tim had a series of scans and x-rays and they have come back all clear in as much as none of the major structures have been affected. "However, he still has an extremely sore and swollen knee. At this moment in time it is too early to say whether he will be fit for our next game." Meanwhile, Moyes will face his old club Preston in the Carling Cup after the Championship side beat Leicester 3-2 last night. They now face Everton at Goodison in round three of the competition. * Everton Reserves entertain Sunderland at Haig Avenue, Southport, tonight (kick-off 7pm).
Door is still open for Eddy, says Aussie boss
Oct 5 2004 Liverpool Echo
AUSTRALIA coach Frank Farina says the international door is still open to Everton defender Eddy Bosnar, who insisted last week that he would never play for the Socceroos with Farina at the helm.
The war of words between the pair was ignited when a text message from Farina informed Bosnar (right) that he had been dropped from the Australian squad after being included in the original 25-man squad for the two-match Confederation Cup qualifying play-off against the Solomon Islands.
Farina claims that text messaging is standard practice when it comes to informing his players about selection for Australia. "We have to inform the players somehow and it's not always easy to contact them," Farina said.. "Eddy was the only player who complained about being informed by text message. "If Eddy does not want to play for the Socceroos that is disappointing and is entirely his decision, but the door is still open for him." Farina compared Bosnar's attitude with that of his Everton team-mate Tim Cahill. The attacking midfielder has made an instant impact at Goodison Park this summer and quickly become a key player for the Blues. But Jamie Redknapp's horror tackle last Saturday has ruled Cahill out of playing for the Socceroos this weekend. "Timmy Cahill has proven his ability to score goals from midfield," Farina said. "Going to Everton is a great move for him and he will improve under David Moyes." "Tim has always made it clear to me that he wants to play for Australia, but Eddy Bosnar has not even broken into the Everton first team yet, and now he says he wants to play for Croatia. "It's very disappointing because with the number of injuries we have Eddy might have played against the Solomon Islands. I am not sure who he thinks should be dropped to accommodate him?" On a positive note for Farina, Harry Kewell's availability has given his injury-decimated squad a major boost ahead of the two matches against the Solomon Islands.
Kewell has been fiercely criticised for breaking down with injuries before important international matches, but Farina believes that his star player has received unfair treatment from the media.
"Every time Harry has missed an international it was because of a genuine injury. "Harry is a great player, he loves playing for Australia, and I am sure that in time he will get back to his best at Liverpool," said Farina.
Blues in Preston's sights
Oct 5 2004 Liverpool Echo
PRESTON manager Billy Davies has promised his team will go all out to get the better of former manager David Moyes in the third round of the Carling Cup. Davies' men edged out Leicester 3-2 after extra-time last night and travel to Goodison Park to face the Blues in the next round.
A Richard Cresswell hat-trick - his third goal scored in the second period of extra time - saw the Lancashire side advance. And Lilywhites boss Davies said: "I am very proud of the team. Richard Cresswell was first-class but special mention must go to Mark Jackson because this was his first game. "We never gave up hope and now we have a wonderful game to look forward to at Goodison Park and I can promise that we will be going to Everton to give it a real go." Preston appeared to be on their way out after a Joey Gudjonsson penalty and Nathan Blake strike put them 2-1 up in the second half, but deep in time added on at the end of the 90 minutes Preston got a penalty and Cresswell kept his nerve to score. After Preston had twice struck the woodwork in the first period of extra time, Cresswell pounced in the 113th minute to score with a crisp half volley. Leicester manager Micky Adams declined to talk to the media after the game, leaving the after match comments to his coach Alan Cork.
Martyn rewarded for super September
By David Prior, Daily Post
Oct 6 2004
NIGEL MARTYN added another chapter to his career's Indian summer yesterday when he was named the Premiership's Opta Player of the Month for September. The 38-year-old played a key role in Everton's rise to third place in the Premiership during the month, keeping clean sheets against Manchester City, Middlesbrough and Portsmouth and making 14 saves, which according to the index was more than any other Premiership goalkeeper. Tim Cahill was the second highest Goodison player in the ratings, confirming the incident-packed start he has made to his Everton career which has seen him hit the target twice. And Everton's resurgence this season was confirmed by the Barclays Premiership's official player ratings system, the Actim Index, which ranked 10 Everton players in their top 34 with Cahill seventh for September. The Index awards points for positive actions during the game such as shots, saves and tackles, with Steve Finnan the highest-ranked Liverpool player, at number five. Tottenham, who inflicted a 1-0 defeat on Everton last Saturday, failed to register a single player in the top 100. Manchester United defender Gabriel Heinze was the month's best player, with inform Arsenal striker Thierry Henry a lowly eighth. Meanwhile Everton's hopes of signing Scott Parker in the January transfer window look to have increased with Charlton ruling out a return for the midfielder. Parker, who moved to Stamford Bridge from the Addicks in January, has made just one substitute appearance under new Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho this season. It had been thought the 23-year-old would be ready to risk the wrath of the Charlton faithful - who had turned against him in the last weeks of his Valley career - and rejoin Alan Curbishley's side in January for a cut-price fee of £5m. But Charlton are believed to have gone off the idea, with the relationship between the clubs having worsened initially after Chelsea's controversial approach for the player, and then with last season's pitch dispute and a loan disagreement involving Carlton Cole. And Everton manager David Moyes, armed with money from the sale of Wayne Rooney and the proposed Fortress Sports Fund investment, will now be more hopeful of bringing the PFA Young Player of the Year to Goodison. Tottenham are also thought to be in the hunt.
Everton Res 0, Sunderland Res 4
Oct 6 2004
A VERY young Everton Reserves line-up were well beaten by their Sunderland counterparts at Haig Avenue as the visitors inflicted the Blues heaviest home defeat for some years. Former Tranmere midfielder Sean Thornton, a reported Goodison transfer target, was on the scoresheet as the Black Cats second string proved far too strong for the Everton's second string. The visitors should have had a penalty as early as the fourth minute only for the referee to give a goalkick when Johnson was clearly brought down by Blues keeper Sean Lake in the box. Seven minutes later however Sunderland did get what they deserved when Thornton put them ahead. Daniel Fox's loose pass fell to the former Prenton Park player and he drove a low shot past Lake. Sunderland's dominance was clearly visible and it wasn't a surprise when Neil Teggart made it two on 22 minutes, again there was hesitancy in the Everton defence and Teggart poked the ball home from close range. Six minutes later, a carbon copy of Sunderland's earlier penalty claim this time went the way of Simon Johnson and after being tripped by keeper Lake, he chipped him from the spot to make it 3-0. Paul Hopkins tested Michael Ingham in what was a very rare Everton attack but his shot was straight at the Sunderland keeper. Everton began to press the Sunderland defence for the first time all night but in doing so left themselves vunerable to the visitors' breakaways. Simon Johnson capitalised on 76 minutes, rounding keeper Lake to get his second and Sunderland's fourth of the night.
EVERTON: Lake, Wynne, Fox, Hughes, Bosnar, Fowler, Harris,Wilson, Chadwick, Hopkins, Seargent. Subs: Vidarsson, Gallagher, Boyle, Wright, Anichebe.
SUNDERLAND: Ingham, Lynch, Ryan, Dickman, Collins(Christensen 82) Clarke, Lawrence, Thornton (Kingsberry 79), Teggart (Wanless 77) Johnson, Carter.
Norwegian mood motivates Naysmith
By Jon West, Daily Post
Oct 6 2004
SCOTLAND defender Gary Naysmith believes Berti Vogts' players can prevent Norway's pre-match predictions of success at Hampden Park from becoming a reality. Both teams will kick off at the national stadium on Saturday in search of their first Group Five victory. The Scots have played one game so far, a 0-0 home draw with Slovenia, while Norway have already lost in Italy and been held at home by Belarus. Vogts has already insisted it is not a must-win game for his side but the pressure is certainly on the visitors, who take on Slovenia next week while the Scots are in Moldova, to end that winless sequence. And Everton's Nay-smith had already noticed some bold statements coming out of the Norwegian camp. He said: "I read today that John Arne Riise says he fully expects to win both games so if he is speaking on behalf of the team they must be expecting to come here and take three points. "That is definitely an incentive to us although we knew it was a tough group with all the teams outside of Italy capable of taking points off each other." Like his Goodison colleague James McFadden, Naysmith comes into the game without much first-team action for his club. The 25-year-old competes with Alessandro Pistone for the left-back berth at Everton and so far the Italian has come out on top. A red card at Crystal Palace did not help Naysmith's cause either but he knows he is a certain starter on Saturday. Vogts regarded his performance against Slovenia as the player's best under his reign, although that also ended prematurely. He said: "Personally I thought I played quite well. I was disappointed I had to go off injured. It was nothing too serious, a couple of dead legs, but it was disappointing because I was enjoying the game. "This season has been frustrating really because I have been fully fit in the summer and started in the side. I had a silly sending-off at Crystal Palace and since then Everton drew one and won four up to the game against Tottenham. So I can't have many complaints about not being in the team. "I think it has been six weeks since I last played 90 minutes so obviously if I get selected on Saturday it is a good chance to get 90 minutes under my belt."
Highland fling a boost for Blues
Oct 6 2004 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON assistant boss Alan Irvine hopes that international duty can provide a springboard for Everton's two forgotten men. James McFadden and Gary Naysmith are both important members of the Scotland squad and are expected to figure in the forthcoming World Cup double-header against Norway and Moldova. But despite the lack of numbers in Everton's current first team squad, the duo have been forced to watch from the sidelines as the club has made its best start to a season in 26 years. McFadden, right, is still waiting for his first Premiership start, while Naysmith has made only sporadic starts since a red card on the opening day of the season at Crystal Palace.
"I'm pleased for the pair of them that the international break has come when it has," said Irvine.
"Everyone can see how difficult things have been for Faddy recently. Gary is slightly different in that he has been involved more this season, but he has had to sit things out recently as well. " But I would expect them both to play for Scotland which is great for them, because both are desperate to play. "They are both great lads who have worked their socks off in training and they have been delighted by the results the side has achieved without them. "It's a vicious circle really. They desperately want to play but they also want the lads to do well. "And they know that if the lads do well they will find it difficult to force their way back in. "I have no doubt that they will play a significant part in our season. "What they have to do is make sure that when either injury or suspension gives them that opportunity, they are ready to take it." The pair have enjoyed better fortunes for their country, however. McFadden has netted five times in 17 appearances, while Naysmith has 25 caps and one goal to his name.
Going public may not be in clubs' best interests
Oct 6 2004 By Stuart Rayner, Liverpool Echo
MALCOM GLAZER'S apparent interest in buying Manchester United should serve as a warning to Liverpool and Everton. Both clubs are looking for new investment to help them challenge United on a more equal financial footing. And some of those interested in getting involved are sure to mention the three letters which should send a shudder down the spines of all football fans: "plc".
There are no end of sharks circling British football clubs looking to make a quick buck, and a bit of good PR if possible, and to hell with the consequences. Even unglamorous clubs like Wrexham do not seem safe, with property developer Mark Gutterman who owns the League One club now threatening to evict it from its historic Racecourse Ground home with no alternative apparently in the pipeline. Quite what Glazer's plans for United would be are unclear, but their fans are understandably suspicious. Liverpool and Everton are quite fortunate in that their chairmen are genuine fans of the club. As a result, both are run in what David Moores and Bill Kenwright consider to be the best interests of the football clubs. They might not always be right, but at least that is the primary consideration. Public limited companies, on the other hand, are run in the best interests of their shareholders. And only their shareholders. If United's board genuinely believe a Glazer bid would meet that requirement, they will be obliged to recommend it to the stock exchange.
Private companies have their faults - not least that they do not have to exercise the same level of transparency - and this is why many fans worry about a Glazer-owned private Manchester United.
But a privately-owned football club in the hands of genuine fans is something to be cherished. And fiercely protected.
Toffees trialist comes to Town
October 06, 2004
Manchester Evening News
MACC Town manager Brian Horton has brought in former Everton midfielder Brian Moogan on trial.
The 19-year-old was released by Goodison Park boss David Moyes at the start of the season, and made 16 starts for Everton's reserve side last year. Along with Wayne Rooney and Leon Osman, he was a member of the Everton side which lost to Aston Villa in the 2002 FA Youth Cup Final.
Moogan lines up for Macc's reserves alongside fellow former Goodison youngster Joey Jones this afternoon (Wednesday) when Ian Brightwell's side take on Carlisle United. If he impresses, Moogan could be signed in time to face Notts County on Sunday.
Butcher believes in McFadden's ability
By David Prior, Daily Post
Oct 7 2004
JAMES McFADDEN has been backed to come through his current barren spell by his former manager Terry Butcher. The 21-year-old Scotland international joined Everton more than a year ago from Motherwell but this season has made just one start - in the Carling Cup win over Bristol City last month. McFadden is set to play in the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Norway and Moldova. But his former manager at Well insists the young forward has the confidence to succeed with the Blues. Butcher, also a former England captain, said: "It's only a question of time.
He's a homegrown boy, and it is a culture shock. "He will come through this because he has undoubted ability. He's a terrific player who just needs confidence. "It's a difficult time for a young man like Faddy, who is close to his family and is very much a Scottish boy. "But he will definitely do well. He thrives on confidence and maybe he just needs bit of luck to turn things around for him.
"I've caught up with him once or twice since he left and I think he is a different person now. He has a more mature outlook on life." He added: "He has also got the perfect manager to help him in David Moyes. David is Scottish and will be able to relate to Faddy and help him along the way. "He will know what he will be going through. When he was up here James would go through periods when he would struggle, but that's only understandable because he's a young boy." Butcher's comments have been echoed by Goodison assistant manager Alan Irvine, who believes the international break has come at just the right time for the winger - as well as Gary Naysmith. Naysmith has also found his chances limited this season, but is also expected to feature in Scotland's World Cup double-header. And Irvine said: "I'm pleased for the pair of them that the international break has come when it has. "Everyone can see how difficult things have been for Faddy recently. Gary is slightly different in that he has been involved more this season, but he has had to sit things out recently as well. "But I would expect them both to play for Scotland which is great for them, because both are desperate to play."
Everton looks East with Thai football academy
Oct 7 2004 By Alan Weston, Daily Post
EVERTON FC is planning a major campaign to tap into the lucrative Asian market. In a bid to catch up with its rivals Liverpool and Manchester United, the club is hoping to be the first in England to open its own football training academy in Thailand. It will also see a fan club and website being set up exclusively for Thai fans. The plans follow the club's new £1.5m sponsorship deal with Thailand-based brewery Chang, which was initially for one year only, but which the club is hoping to extend for a further two seasons. Andy Hosie, Everton's head of commercial operations, said: "Chang is the first Thai company to sponsor a Premier League team. "We are trying to increase our profile in the Far East and build on our fan base. Although we are well behind Manchester United and Liverpool, we are not far behind the likes of Arsenal and are ahead of other Premiership clubs who haven't done anything in that market. "We are still talking to Chang about a football academy to be built on land they own in and around Bangkok. "It would be branded Everton, but funded by Chang for Thai people and would be known as the Everton-Chang Academy. "The club would provide expertise in the way of coaches and staff, while Chang would provide the money. "It would also mean that Everton would have the first option on any player coming out of the academy. Thailand might even be where we find our next Wayne Rooney." Mr Hosie said Everton had already boosted its profile in China with its earlier sponsorship deal with the Chinese mobile phone manufacturer Kejian. This had led to the signing of Li Tie "Everyone agrees that the pace of commercial development in the Far East will mean that, in three to five years' time, the consumers in the region will have significant spending power and that the fan base in the Far East might outweigh the fan base in the UK.
"However, first and foremost, we exist for our fans in the UK who turn out to watch us week in, week out." Mr Hosie was speaking at a presentation he gave to the Merseyside branch of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) in the club's Joe Mercer suite last night. He also spoke about the development of sports sponsorship and how the club works with its current partners. Along with Chang, JJB is the main retail partner and Umbro is the official sportswear sponsor of Everton.
Golden oldies fear end of the line
Oct 7 2004 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DAVID WEIR has revealed the real secret of Everton's success this season - three-quarters of them are fighting for their futures. Weir, Alan Stubbs, Duncan Ferguson, Kevin Campbell, Gary Naysmith, Steve Watson, Kevin Kilbane, Nigel Martyn and Thomas Gravesen are all out of contract at the end of the season. Only Gravesen has been approached about a new deal, and Weir explained: "The manager has already said there won't be another contract for me. "Without presenting it in such black and white terms, he said this will probably be my last season and I probably won't be first choice. "He wants to get younger players in. I am really playing to be noticed by another club, but I have only played four games. I want to play 40. "I still think I have a lot to offer. Lots of older players are still playing and I think I have tried to look after myself." Most of the players still awaiting contract offers have turned 30 years old. Weir is 34, Watson 30, Stubbs 33, Campbell 34, goalkeeper Martyn 38 and Ferguson 33 in December. Moyes wants to reduce the average age of the squad, but Dundee United boss Ian McCall has warned Everton they will not snap up his Scottish under-21 defender Mark Wilson on the cheap. The Blues have monitored the youngster's progress and reports in Scotland claim they may bid in January. But McCall said: "Mark is a wonderful young player and I believe his development would be best served by remaining at Dundee United - at least for the next season-and-a-half. "It would take a few quid for Mark to go to Everton - or anywhere else for that matter. "I think it took something like £1.2m for James McFadden to go to Everton from Motherwell and we rate Mark in that kind of bracket." Everton's next opponents Southampton, meanwhile, already have striking problems ahead of their visit to Goodison Park next weekend. Peter Crouch has joined James Beattie on the injured list, giving an opportunity to 17-year-old Leon Best. Marian Pahars has been missing all season with an ankle injury. * Goalscorers will have to keep their shirts on at least until February. A decision on whether players should be booked for lifting their shirt over their face during goal celebrations has been passed to the International FA Board and will not be dealt with until then. Everton's Tim Cahill was recently sent off for a second caution after such an offence.
Naysmith frustrated at lack of action
By David Prior, Daily Post
Oct 8 2004
GARY NAYSMITH has spoken of his frustration at being unable to hold down a regular role at Everton this season. The defender, currently preparing for Scotland's World Cup qualifiers against Norway and Moldova, has not started a league game since being sent off at Crystal Palace back on August 21.
Alessandro Pistone has since been preferred at left-back, leaving Naysmith, a regular at Goodison since signing from Hearts in 2000, to watch Everton's rise to third in the Premiership from the stands. Naysmith said: "This season has been really frustrating because I have been fully fit over the summer and I started in the side. "But I had a silly sending off at Crystal Palace and since then we have drawn one and won four up to the Tottenham game. So when you look at it like that you can't have many complaints about not being in the team." His spell on the sidelines has however increased his determination to perform for his national side, for whom the 25-year-old is still a first-choice starter. Naysmith added: "I think it has been six weeks since I last played 90 minutes so if I get selected on Saturday it is a good chance to get 90 minutes under my belt. "It is going to be tough but we knew that all the teams outside of Italy are more than capable of taking points off each other." One of his likely opponents on Saturday, when the Norwegians come to Hampden Park, will be his opposite number at Liverpool John Arne Riise. And Naysmith said: "I read today that John Arne Risse says he fully expects to win both games. That is definitely an incentive for us."
Good luck Tom
Post Soapbox, icLiverpool & Daily Post
Oct 8 2004
Good luck Tom
NICE to see Radzinski enjoying life at the wrong end of the table. Tommy Gravesen should also take note of Hamburg's position at the bottom end of the Bundersliga, as they won't be seeing Euro football next season.
Terry Dune, Skelmersdale
Not a Fad
I CAN'T understand the socalled supporters who give stick to the likes of James McFadden. Just remember for all Rooney's brilliance, he was no great goal scorer with the Blues. McFadden needs a goal or two under his belt and he will quickly prove you all wrong.
Harry Dwyer, Maghull
THE standard of Everton's performance - before the substitutions and the injuries that changed our shape - was awesome.. It was the best performance for years and real positives can be taken out of the game. I know that the way Everton played for the first 45 minutes was no fluke and they will bounce back and continue the run. The only thing for us Evertonians to do is get used to it, we deserve all the success the team can deliver.
Eddie Hunter (via email)
Lose Big Dunc
I WAS so disappointed with the outcome on Saturday. We played so well until Cahill got chopped.
Why did Moyes take Carsley off when he is playing the best football of his Everton career? Why keep persevering with Ferguson - we always pump long balls when he comes on, the whole shape changed and we played last season's rubbish for the last 20 minutes. Why can't Chadwick get that sub's spot? He does pinch goals, Ferguson can't even pinch himself. And what has happened to the standard of refereeing in England? Cahill sent off for being shirty, Red-knapp and Defoe should have both been shown the door - diabolical!!
Bob Butchard (via email)
I READ a lot of speculation about bringing in Scott Parker, but surely what we need more than anything is a striker or two who can still remember where the onion bag is. Cahill has played up front but he's really an attacking midfielder. We all know the problems McFadden has experienced and Ferguson just turns the game to Route One, Kick and Run. I'm afraid I don't see the appeal of Marcus Bent. He just hasn't been putting them away and as soon as Ferguson came on against Spurs, Bent went AWOL. Our first priority has to be an opportunist striker.
Peter Fearon, Liverpool
Catch a thief
FROM what I've seen the only thing we lack in the team right now is a real goal-thief. A person that can take a half-chance and score, that is at the right place at the right time. Bent works hard, but too many chances run out to nothing. We need a reliable scorer in our attack line. I give a big hand to our midfield, this is what we has lacked the last few seasons - goal from our midfielders. Now with Osman and Cahill we have midfielders that can score!
Peter Redgers, (via email)
Good to be linked with players at last
By Mark O'Brien Everton supporter, Daily Post
Oct 8 2004
0ShareIT'S probably fortunate that there's an international break this weekend, as it will allow the Everton staff time to form a search party and scour the Goodison turf in the hope of locating Tim Cahill's kneecap. There really was little justice done, with Spurs somehow sneaking all three points and Jamie Redknapp escaping with only a yellow card after one of the worst challenges seen since a Steaua Bucharest player was emasculated by Graeme Souness at Ibrox many moons ago. Listening to Redknapp's apology after the game and his assertion that anyone who knows him would tell you that he wouldn't deliberately injure someone, conjured up images of a pit bull owner addressing a postman with a bloody stump where his arm used to be and saying: "That's odd. He's never done that before." Luckily Cahill's injury isn't too serious, as he's already a key figure for Everton. Considering how scarce cash was in the summer it is testament to David Moyes's eye for a bargain that he managed to secure another gem in Cahill. If Chris Samuelson is to be believed though, the Everton manager might not have to work so hard to pick up the right sort of player once the transfer window opens in January. Naturally Evertonians are wary of getting too worked up about declarations emanating from the board-room, but Samuelson certainly pushed all the right buttons when he talked about bidding for individuals of the calibre of Scott Parker. Obviously the Fortress Sports Fund's proposal to buy into the club has to be ratified at the AGM in December first, but somehow, in the absence of any other alternative, it seems unlikely that many people are going to stand in their way. Just how much money the national newspapers think the Fund is proposing to inject into the club is unclear, perhaps they're still working on the £30million figure that the BBC mistakenly reported last week, but it doesn't take the most astute pundit to realise that the rumoured £5m bids for Robert Huth and some fullback from Wigan may never see the light of day.
Still, it's nice to be linked with any players after reading about who is leaving Goodison for so long, and with Everton still firmly in the Champions League placings, what player wouldn't want to come to Goodison?
Cahill in race for Saints
Oct 8 2004 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
TIM CAHILL could be ready to continue the impressive start he has made to his Everton career - after further tests on his injured knee have reassured the Blues' backroom staff. A scan on Monday revealed no serious damage following the challenge by Jamie Redknapp which has landed the Spurs skipper with a charge of serious foul play. But the knee remained swollen and Everton were uncertain if he would be fit to face Southampton next weekend. That now seems likely, with physio Mick Rathbone explaining: "We're pleased with Tim's progress and obviously relieved that it seems like he has not sustained any serious or long term damage to a knee that underwent serious surgery two years ago. "The swelling is starting to go down and he is doing some light gym work. He should be able to start jogging early next week. "It's still too early to talk about Southampton, but we're hopeful." Chinese midfielder Li Tie, meanwhile, will have his last session with Rathbone today, before starting full training on Monday. Everton's first match of the New Year, at home to Portsmouth, has been put back 24 hours from Monday, January 3 - which is a Bank Holiday - to Tuesday, January 4 (kick-off 8.00pm).
Why Eddy should stick to Reserve occupation
Oct 8 2004 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
JUST in case the Booker Prize judges occasionally cast their eye over the Echo while they sup their Friday night pint, I would like to publicly announce my withdrawal from the voting for this year's award. And if any of those dancers from that Eric Prydz video (not the bloke, of course) are intrigued by that scowling picture byline at the top of the page, I'm not really interested. Well, Eddy Bosnar started it. To those of you who may not be familiar with his name - quite likely, given his limited exposure so far - Eddy was signed by Everton last summer. Since then, his appearances in a first team squad equate to a big fat zero and the young reserve team he plays in lost 4-0 at home to Sunderland on Tuesday. That roll of honour notwithstanding, Bosnar was called up by the Australians for a sort of international get together in London last month. Some might suggest it was simply to keep Tim Cahill company, others that the Australian FA thought David Moyes must have spotted something they hadn't. But when it came to a real match - against the might of the Solomon Islands, no less - Eddy was left out and, shock, horror, only told by text message. That prompted World Weary, of Walton, to come to the ground breaking decision: "I have put my international career on hold for a while," before adding, menacingly "I have the option to play for Croatia. I will consider it. "I have played there, I have lived there, I have a house there, so it's my second home. So there's no reason why I shouldn't play for them." Erm. Nearly no reason. Some would say I spend far too much time in the Freshfield pub, but I wouldn't say that qualifies me to claim their number nine shirt on a Sunday morning. After all, they might have seen me play, which unless the Croatian manager has been to Haig Avenue, Southport, recently, he most certainly won't have witnessed Bosnar in action. I have - against West Bromwich Albion reserves - although it was difficult to form too lasting an impression because he was substituted after 51 minutes. Bosnar may be better served forgetting all about an international career and concentrating on catching David Moyes' eye.
Fun run in memory of Blues fan
Oct 8 2004 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON and Liverpool fans are being asked to take part in a derby day fun run with a difference.
A 5k race, 10k race and a fun run will be staged on Sunday - in memory of Bernard Murphy (right), the Evertonian who was tragically killed outside Leicester City's ground last season. The run is from the Albert Dock to Sefton Park and attracted more than 5,000 runners last year. Nine charities will benefit from the run - the Sunrise Fund, Leukaemia Research, Cystic Fibrosis, Weston Spirit, The Newborn Appeal, Muscular Dystrophy, MacMillan Cancer Relief and the Meningitis Trust. Adding spice to the races will be a derby-match challenge. Contestants from the blue and red halves of Merseyside will try and beat each other, racing against the clock. The collective finishing times will be added up to find a winner.
Cahill is likely to be fit to face Saints
By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Oct 11 2004
TIM CAHILL is winning his battle to be fit for Everton's game against Southampton next weekend.
The midfielder was on the receiving end of a horror tackle from Jamie Redknapp which resulted in the Tottenham Hotspur captain being handed a charge of serious foul play and left the Australian fearing a lengthy spell on the sidelines. A scan last Monday subsequently allayed those worries but the 24-year-old was forced to withdraw from his country's international double header with the Solomon Islands due to a knee injury. Cahill had been undergoing treatment at Bellefield last week with Everton's medical staff concerned the swelling in the knee was taking longer than anticipated to dissipate. But head physio Mick Rathbone said: "Tim is making reasonable progress, the swelling is starting to go down and he has been able to take part in some very light training. "It's still to early to talk about Southampton, but we're hopeful." Meanwhile, Everton's home game against Portsmouth on Bank Holiday Monday January 3 will now be played the following day on Tuesday, January 4 (kick-off 8pm). The journey to Middlesbrough has also been put back 24 hours to Sunday, January 16 which will be shown live on pay-per-view with a 2pm kick-off.
Everton tumble out to minnows
Womens Football, Daily Post
Oct 11 2004
EVERTON lost their unbeaten record and crashed out of the Premier League Cup when they lost 2-0 at home to Bristol Rovers in the second round. Trudy Williams opened the scoring nine minutes after the break and Steph Curtis wrapped up the victory with a second in the 89th minute. Rovers' manager Gary Green is confident his side will now be seen as genuine contenders for honours this season after springing the surprise result, declaring: "We can beat anyone." Liverpool secured a 3-0 win against Sheffield Wednesday with goals in each half from Hastie and a Thomas strike a minute after the opening goal. Meanwhile, Leeds have been the form team in the National Division with three wins in a row while Fulham have only won once all season, but it was the Londoners who emerged victorious from their cup encounter. Fulham came from behind to win 3-2 with the help of two penalties.
Only way is up for McFadden, claims Moyes
Oct 11 2004 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
BLUES boss David Moyes hopes that winger James McFadden's nightmare season has finally hit rock bottom - and that now the only way is up. Everton's unlucky star was sent off on Saturday for deliberately handling Claus Lundekvam's goalbound shot during the 1-0 home defeat by Norway.
It capped a dreadful month for the youngster in which he missed a penalty in the Carling Cup match at Bristol City, fluffed a sitter in a home game against Middlesbrough and is now suspended for Wednesday's match with Moldova. Scottish boss Berti Vogts defended his player after the game, while club boss Moyes said today: "Hopefully, everything that can have gone wrong for James has now gone wrong and he'll get the slice of luck he deserves. "He's been very unfortunate this season, but there's no doubt we will need him later in the season. "He had a tremendous impact when he first arrived here, when he was performing without any pressure or expectation. "Because he hasn't figured much this season he has probably been putting extra pressure on himself, but he's a very talented footballer and I know he'll come good again for us." There was better news on the international scene for Moyes from Paris, where Kevin Kil-bane was outstanding for the Irish during their 0-0 draw with France, and in Albania, where Thomas Gravesen won his 50th cap in Denmark's 2-0 World Cup win.
Spirit of '84 is guiding Blues
Oct 11 2004 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES' Everton have borrowed a few lessons from the club's greatest ever side - to make the best start to a season in 26 years. Even the celebrated 1984-85 side - which won a League and Cup double and was denied a treble only in extra-time of a Wembley FA Cup final - couldn't boast as impressive a start to a league season as the one put together by the current squad. And Andy Gray, a player many saw as a catalyst for that glorious spell in the club's history, sees one striking similarity between the class of '84 and the present Blues. At the end of the 1985-86 season, when Everton were runners-up in League and Cup, a series of stunning World Cup performances from Gary Lineker saw the Blues yield to temptation and sell him to Barcelona. Despite the loss of the most gifted striker of the generation - and an appalling catalogue of injuries which forced the club to lean heavily on their first team squad - the team spirit and togetherness carried the club to an unlikely League championship. Gray believes the situation this summer, when Wayne Rooney's incredible Euro 2004 achievements sparked a bid-ding war for his services, have uncanny parallels. "That Everton side was a complex mix of characters," he said. "There were fresh faced youngsters and battle hardened old pros with a point to prove: skill certainly and talent, but also a lot of grit and determination. "There were players who were quiet, some who could deal out a bollocking and others who could lighten the mood with a joke. It's hard to say how, or why, it worked, but it did. "The chemistry was right. We had a togetherness that was unbelievable. I felt I brought a will to win and a positive attitude to the team as well as my ability as a forward. "And maybe that meant something. Because despite all of Lineker's goals the following season, Everton won nothing." Gray's theories are revealed in his new autobiography - Gray Matters - published by MacMillan Press. The new volume covers Gray's glittering playing career - and his successful switch to television. Also covered in great detail for the first time, is the period when he was approached to become Everton manager following Joe Royle's resignation in 1997. Gray was criticised by then chairman Peter Johnson for leaving the Blues in the lurch and accepting a lucrative new deal from his Sky pay-masters. But as he explains, he desperately wanted the job - but was never offered the post. "Peter Johnson invited me up to Merseyside to meet him and some of the other directors and have an informal chat about the position," he writes. "As I travelled up the motorway my head was whirring. "At that moment I was absolutely clear in my mind - if I was offered the job then, I'd leave Sky and take it. "But Peter Johnson didn't come up with anything. He never mentioned a contract, terms or wages. Nothing."
Gray waited, and waited. He left for a golfing trip to Spain when other people in the game began to question the wisdom of leaving his comfortable Sky role for the pressures of managing a club in Everton's position. Sky boss Sam Chisholm then made it perfectly clear how difficult he would make it for Gray to walk out on the still developing satellite channel - and stories began to appear in the press that Gray believed had been spoken of confidentially during his meeting with Johnson. Eventually Johnson claimed Gray had turned his back on the club and let the supporters down.
The incident still rankles with Gray. "The plain truth is that I didn't reject the Everton job. How could I when I was never formally offered it?" he writes. "It hurt because I'd had a great relationship with the supporters at Goodison. I think Peter Johnson was trying to destroy that to cover his own backside. "In actual fact I don't think he could have met my financial demands and I think he knew it. I don't mean for me personally - I mean the money I would have wanted to return Everton to being a great club again."
* Gray Matters - by MacMillan Press. £18.99.
Wright presses claims for first-team return
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Oct 12 2004
RICHARD WRIGHT could be handed the chance to press his first team claims in tonight's "mini-derby" with Liverpool. The England international has endured a frustrating year in which injury and then the stunning form of Nigel Martyn has kept him on the sidelines. Wright made his first senior appearance for 12 months in last month's Carling Cup second round win over Bristol City but was back on the substitutes' bench when Everton's Premiership campaign resumed at Portsmouth.
With Martyn continuing to excel, and being named Opta Player of the Month for September, the former Arsenal keeper will have to bide his time for a recall. But he is expected to take his place in a youthful Everton reserve team against their Merseyside rivals at Wrexham tonight as David Moyes looks to increase the 26-year-old's match sharpness. Li Tie, meanwhile, took a major step towards his own Premiership comeback yesterday when he resumed light training for the first time in nine months. The Everton midfielder has been out of action since breaking his shin on international duty with China in January. But he has now stepped up his rehabilitation and is targeting a reserve team return within the next month. "He'll be training with some of the younger lads for the next week or two and then he will work into training with the senior pros," said club physio Mick Rathbone. "I would hope by the end of October, early November he'll be playing his first part in a reserve game. "It's been really tough. It's been eight months and dare I say it's dragged on somewhat. "But if a professional footballer breaks his shin he's entitled to be out for a long time, so whilst it's taken a tad longer than we would have hoped, at the moment it's by no means a disaster."
Play to strengths
Post Soapbox, icLiverpool & Daily Post
Oct 12 2004
Play to strengths
EVERTON have to stick playing to their strengths. We don't have a prolific goalscorer, but we do have a strong defence. Blocking out opposing forwards may be boring to watch, but three points a game until January will do me.
J Nathan, Liverpool
I HOPE that the minute's silence on Saturday is observed well at Goodison for Ken Bigley, a fellow Evertonian, and not a disgrace like the one at Old Trafford on Saturday. I find sometimes the people who start booing make things worse, as sometimes the talking may just be people coming into the ground late and not realising what's going on. Maybe the stewards could stand at the bottom of the stairs to make late-comers aware of what's happening.
B Traghan, Wirral
I PERSONALLY will not be at the game on Saturday but I will definitely be spending a minute in thought over our fellow Evertonian Ken Bigley. I am sure we will stand together as the Everton community and send our love to his family
Peter Lostock (via e-mail)
MARVELLOUS how a city so overcrowded, and land so expensive like London, can find space for Arsenal's new stadium. They've even put in a bid for the Olympics, which takes a lot of space.
So why is it such a problem in Liverpool to find room for our new stadium? Sharing with the Reds is like sharing a bed with the mother-in-law.
Jack Smith (via e-mail)
Cahill's recovery delights Moyes
Oct 12 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
TIM CAHILL is on course to keep his place in the Everton side for Saturday's game with Southampton.
David Moyes has been delighted with the Australian international's recovery from the knee injury picked up following the challenge by Jamie Redknapp in the match against Tottenham 10 days ago.
The injury prevented Cahill joining up with his national team for back to back games against the Solomon Islands. But Moyes said today: "He has got a good chance of being okay for the weekend.
"After the Spurs game there was a concern he had damaged his cruciate but the scan has provided good news. He has been working hard and is recovering well." Cahill's recovery is good news for the Blues small squad. The midfielder has scored twice in just four Premier League starts and has already become a regular in a side which has defied the odds by climbing to third in the table. Despite the shortage of numbers the level of competition has impressed the manager. He added: "We know we are playing well and in good form and at the moment we fancy ourselves against anybody. "That's what is keeping us going. It would be hard to pick players in the side at the moment who are not performing close to their maximum. "We are going to need nine or 10 men on top form to win games because in the Premier League you cannot carry passengers. "The players know there is a threat because of people who want to come in but they are giving themselves every opportunity to keep their places with their form." Duncan Ferguson has been pushing hard for a starting place after coming on as a sub in the last two games. But the Scot's chances of facing Southampton have been hindered by a knee injury picked up training yesterday. The problem is set to keep Ferguson out of training for the next couple of days. Meanwhile, goalkeeper Richard Wright will start for the reserves in the mini-derby against Liverpool at Wrexham tonight. The 26-year-old will be given a chance to improve his match sharpness as he presses Nigel Martyn, the Premiership's player of the month for September, for a first team place.
Liverpool Res 0, Everton Res 1
Oct 13 2004
A POWERFUL Eddie Bosnar free-kick in the second half gave Everton Reserves their first win of the season as they overcame Liverpool in the FA Premier Reserve League North last night. Both clubs fielded young line-ups, largely made up of Academy players, with Everton's former England keeper Richard Wright the only player of any real experience on view. Liverpool's Neil Mellor had the game's first attempt on goal after 10 minutes when he shot straight at Wright from 18 yards after a strong run. Seven minutes later Everton striker Paul Hopkins shot just wide after a good cross from the right by Christian Seargeant. Mellor went close with a glancing header just after the half-hour mark following a right-wing cross from Danny Guthrie, but the ball flashed just past the far post with Wright beaten. In first-half stoppage time Mellor went close again when he met Lee Peltier's sweeping cross with a powerful header, but Wright made a smart low save to his right. Darren Potter called the Blues keeper into action again two minutes into the second period when he capitalised on a slip by Bosnar to run through on goal, but his low shot from 18 yards was dealt with comfortably by Wright. Bosnar then made an outstanding clearance to prevent Mellor getting on the end of Stephen Warnock's excellent left-wing centre, before Wright once again denied Mellor at his near post. Liverpool were enjoying a good spell of pressure, but Everton hit back and on the hour Bosnar saw his curling free-kick narrowly clear Patrice Luzi's crossbar. The Australian then produced a wonderful goalsaving tackle to deny Mark Smyth, who had been sent clear by Mellor. It was to prove an eventful few minutes for the big defender, as on 65 minutes he gave Goodison's second string the lead with a powerful low free-kick from 35 yards which nestled in the far corner of Luzi's net. Mellor should have levelled the scores almost immediately, but misdirected his lob after running clear through the centre, and after that Everton comfortably held on to pick up all three points.
LIVERPOOL: Luzi, Peltier, Whitbread, Raven, O'Donnell, Potter, Guthrie (Wilkie 61), Mannix, Mellor, Smyth, Warnock.
EVERTON: Wright, Wynne, Fox, Gerrard, Bosnar, Harris, Seargeant, Phelan, Chadwick (Anichebe 82) Hopkins, Wilson.
Richard's made of the right stuff for Moyes
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Oct 13 2004
DAVID MOYES insists Richard Wright will return to prominence with both Everton and England as he saluted the £3.5million goalkeeper's "consummate professionalism". The Goodison manager watched the England international shut out Liverpool reserves last night as Everton earned a 1-0 victory in the mini-derby at Wrexham. It was a rare competitive appearance for the 26-year-old who has made only one senior start in the last 12 months due to the stunning form of veteran Nigel Martyn. And while he admits Wright has the hardest challenge of any Everton player in trying to oust Martyn from his first-team plans, Moyes believes the keeper's patience - and his own decision to sign the player from Arsenal in 2002 - will be vindicated.. "I'm sure it has been very difficult for Richard, in fact I know it has, but throughout it all he has been the consummate professional," said Moyes last night. "His attitude has been superb, he is working extremely hard and he has been excellent in training every day. "He knows opportunities will come along at some stage but equally he knows that the form of Nigel Martyn for the last year or so has been exceptional. "We initially decided to bring Nigel to the club because of Rich-ard's injury and I think everybody would agree we made the right decision. In fact, I would say the goalkeeping position is the strongest position we have at the club with the quality of the players competing for it." Wright's inactivity at Everton has inevitably cost him his place in the England reckoning, with Sven-Goran Eriksson taking Paul Robinson, David James and Norwich City's Robert Green to Azerbaijan with Liverpool's Chris Kirkland in the wings. But Moyes is adamant his own England hopeful will return to the international fold once his Goodison fortunes improve. He added: "There is no doubt Richard will be one of the England keepers in the near future. Once he gets back in the team he will be in that group of three or four keepers fighting for the England jersey." Moyes, meanwhile, is confident Tim Cahill will be fit to face Southampton on Saturday despite still feeling the effects of Jamie Redknapp's challenge 11 days ago. "It looks as though Tim will be available for the weekend," revealed the Everton manager. "He hasn't been able to resume training yet, but hopefully he will do by the end of the week.
"We did fear he had sustained cruciate damage at first so it was a massive relief to discover otherwise. He will be okay and that is great news for us."
Defenders delighting Blues boss
Oct 13 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES has praised Everton's veteran defensive partnership - and saluted Joseph Yobo for his patience as he seeks a return to the Blues' starting line-up. Everton have conceded just one goal in 450 minutes of Premiership football since Alan Stubbs and David Weir were united as a defensive pairing for the visit to Old Trafford at the end of August. Their form has left 24-year-old Yobo having to settle for a place on the bench. Moyes said: "Up until the injury which ruled him out for the Manchester United game our best player had been Joseph Yobo. But Davie (Weir) took his chance when he came in and has deserved his place in the side. That is the way it is at the moment and Joseph appreciates that. "If players are producing then there is no reason to change things around.
"The defenders are playing very well, are full of confidence and are benefiting from their experience and know-how." Weir and Stubbs are both out of contract at the end of the season, with Weir revealing he has been told he will not be getting a new deal. Stubbs, however, is still in contention for one extension and Moyes said: "Centre halves do get better in their early 30s because a player's footballing intelligence is much better. And good positional sense can make the difference in most situations. " Positionally, they have been excellent, and they have real expertise in the basic understanding of defending." The solid defensive form helped Nigel Martyn win the OPTA Player of the Month award for September. The veteran keeper's impressive performances have restricted former number one Richard Wright to just one senior appearance in the last 12 months - the recent Carling Cup success at Bristol City. The 26-year-old kept a clean sheet for the reserves in the 1-0 mini derby victory over Liverpool last night. Moyes added: "His attitude has been superb, he is working extremely hard and he has been excellent in training every day. "He knows opportunities will come along at some stage, but equally, he knows that the form of Nigel Martyn for the last year or so has been exceptional." * Blues' legends Howard Kendall and Ian Snodin will be in the Liverpool Echo building in Old Hall Street tomorrow ( noon to 2.00pm) signing copies of 'Z-Stars - The Men Who Made History, 1984-1987'. The book marks the most successful period in Everton's history.
Talks called off on JJB takeover
Oct 13 2004 By Neil Hodgson, Liverpool Echo
SPORTS and leisure group JJB said today that talks on a possible £600m takeover for the Wigan business have been called off. The group, which is the main retail partner of Everton FC and employs hundreds of people in the region, announced it had received an approach that "might, or might not" lead to an offer, on October 1. It was believed to be from private equity group Cinven, although JJB declined to name the possible bidder. But today the group said: "After entering into discussions with the third party, the board of JJB Sports has concluded that the approach is unlikely to lead to an offer that would reflect the fair value of the company. Accord-ingly, discussions with the potential offeror have terminated." JJB founder and chairman David Whelan also revealed that he is considering going to the Court of Appeal over allegations by the Office of Fair Trading that JJB was involved in price-fixing on replica football kits. "I have always maintained that neither myself nor any employee of JJB have been guilty of such actions," he said. JJB is already appealing against the £8.4m fine and revealed in today's half year results that on the basis of legal advice the board expects to pay £2m, instead. Today's interim results for the six months to July 25 showed a 21% fall in sales from £460.6m to £363m and profits of £21.5m against £24.18m last time. The lower sales were due to the disposal of Liverpool-based discount retail chain TJ Hughes last November and unseasonably wet weather which led to a fall in demand for summer clothing.
Bosnar bullet gives Blues mini victory
Oct 13 2004 Liverpool Echo
EDDY BOSNAR'S free-kick gave Everton the points in last night's mini- derby at Wrexham's Racecourse Ground. The Blues' win was their first of the season in the FA Premier Reserve League North. Both sides had a youthful look to them, Everton fielding seven of their under-18 squad, and the Reds starting with 10 players who have come through the club's academy. Liverpool had the better of the first half, but could not find a way past Richard Wright. Neil Mellor shot straight at Wright after ten minutes, and also saw a header well kept out following Lee Peltier's cross. The striker also saw a glancing header drift just wide after good work by Danny Guthrie, while for the Blues Paul Hopkins shot just wide after connecting with Christian Seargeant's right-wing cross. The home side continued to press, but struggled to create any clear-cut chances as Everton's centre-back pairing of Bosnar and Anthony Gerrard did a good job of nullifying Mellor. Bosnar was particularly impressive, and the key figure in an entertaining second half. First he produced a fantastic sliding clearance to prevent Mellor tapping in Stephen Warnock's teasing centre, then minutes later he curled a 25-yard free-kick just over. The Australian's eventful evening continued when Mellor released strike partner Mark Smyth through the middle. It seemed certain the England Under-20 striker would open the scoring, but Bosnar showed great pace to get back and block. Minutes later the Blues were awarded a free-kick 35 yards from goal, which Bosnar drilled into the bottom corner of Patrice Luzi's net. Liverpool almost hit back immediately, when Mellor escaped the attentions of Gerrard and lobbed the ball over the advancing Wright, but just the wrong side of the post. Defeat was harsh on Liverpool, who created the better chances and did enough to deserve at least a draw, but Bosnar's heroics at both ends of the field proved the difference.
LIVERPOOL: Luzi, Peltier, Whitbread, Raven, O'Donnell, Potter, Guthrie (Wilkie 61), Mannix, Mellor, Smyth, Warnock.
EVERTON: Wright, Wynne, Fox, Gerrard, Bosnar, Harris, Seargeant, Phelan, Chadwick (Anichebe 82), Hopkins, Wilson.
Cahill's a welcome surprise - Moyes
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Oct 14 2004
DAVID MOYES admits he has been taken aback by Tim Cahill's seamless transition to the Premiership as he saluted the midfielder's impact on and off the field for Everton this season. The Australian international remains a doubt for Saturday's game with Southampton despite stepping up his recovery from a knee injury yesterday. Moyes is anxious to have Cahill available for the attacking instinct that has flourished in his 4-5-1 system and delivered winning goals at Manchester City and Portsmouth. But Moyes insists the 24-year-old's contribution can be measured in more than goals and that he has played an integral part in Everton's stunning start just months after a £2million move from Millwall. "Tim may have spent a good few years in the lower leagues with Millwall but I think the step up has come naturally to him," said the Everton manager. "Even though we don't have a big squad he has got into the team earlier than we planned. "The way we have been playing has suited him and after coming in so well at Manchester United he hasn't looked out of place once.
"Obviously scoring a few winning goals has helped him settle in but he has contributed more than that." Moyes continued: "He is a great character who is really well liked but he's also a very tough boy who you don't take liberties with. That is always a good trait in a player and we hope it continues." Everton, meanwhile, have signed 16-year-old defender Johann David-sen after a successful week's trial at Bellefield. Davidsen, the captain of the Faroe Islands's Under-17 side, will join the club's youth academy system. Meanwhile, Everton Ladies slipped to a 5-1 defeat at Liverpool Ladies in their derby game last night.
* HOWARD KENDALL and Ian Snodin will be at the Liverpool Daily Post building in Old Hall Street today (noon to 2pm) to sign copies of "Z-Cars - The Men Who Made History, 1984-1987". The book marks the most successful period in the club's history.
'Grantona' marched all over the Saints
Post Past by Philip J Redmond Everton supporter, Daily Post
Oct 14 2004
IN NOVEMBER 1996, Everton were seen as championship dark horses and a club on the rise.
Only 18 months earlier, the FA Cup stood proudly in the Goodison trophy room and the following season Joe Royle's team had come within a whisker of a European place. Big money had been made available by the then still popular chairman Peter Johnson and only a couple of weeks earlier, Nick Barmby had arrived from Middlesbrough for a club record fee of just under £6million. Southampton came to Goodison in good heart, although struggling in the league, a few weeks earlier they'd tonked Manchester Utd 6-3 at the Dell and their two new signings Eyal Berkovic and Egil Ostenstad were the talk of the Premiership. However traditionally the Saints have struggled at Goodison and on this day, they were blown apart by a fantastic first-half performance by Everton and their young midfielder Tony Grant. After breaking through the reserves, the slightly built but elegant playmaker was making his mark on the big league and it is one of football's great mysteries as to why the man whom his team-mates called Grantona never fulfilled his potential. Against the Saints he was magnificent, prompting and probing and playing his part in most of the five goals that the Blues scored by the break. First he sent Barmby racing away to cross for Graham Stuart to slot the first and then laid on the second for Andrei Kanchelskis. Gary Speed got the next two and then Grant created Kanchelskis's second. It was 5-1 at the break after Ostenstad had grabbed what was already a consolation. In the second, the Blues took it a bit easier but added further goals from Barmby, his first for the club, and Speed. So the Blues continued their march towards the top and the future looked rosy. Little did we know that within six months, life as an Evertonian was about to get very dark.
Moyes to sign new deal
Oct 14 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES is close to reaching agreement over a new contract as Goodison boss. The Blues' chief today revealed he has been in talks with chairman Bill Kenwright for several weeks.
And the news all Evertonians will be waiting for is expected to be announced before confirmation of the Fortress Sports Fund investment is finalised in December. Moyes suggested earlier this month that he would wait until the first phase of the £30m plan was in place before putting pen to paper.
But he said today: "I have always said I wanted the club to show the ambition which will try to take us forward. "Everything I am hearing at the moment is moving towards that, which is very pleasing. Bill Kenwright has worked really hard to secure the finances and help me to get that money together. "We have been talking together about the contract for a few weeks now and it is going very well." A table of Premiership managers' earnings has claimed Moyes is currently the lowest paid Premiership chief. He has just over 18 months left on his present deal but a new agreement is expected to tie him to Goodison for at least a further four years and could double his earnings.
It would be a reward for the success he has enjoyed since moving to Merseyside from Preston in March 2002. In his first full season in charge, he steered the club to seventh in the top flight and has defied the odds this term by guiding his small squad to third in the Premiership table with the club's best start for 26 years. Meanwhile, the manager has fitness worries over two key players ahead of Saturday's Goodison encounter with Southampton. Tim Cahill had to pull out of his first full training session this week after feeling discomfort in the knee injured by Jamie Redknapp during the 1-0 defeat by Tottenham. And striker Marcus Bent is receiving treatment for a groin strain which makes him a doubt for Saturday. With Duncan Ferguson also suffering with a slight knock to his knee, the manager has a striking headache to contend with.
Quinn backs Blues' Beattie move
Oct 14 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
SCOUSER who made his name at Newcastle and who is now a familiar face as a pundit at Premiership games on the south coast, Mickey Quinn is well placed to assess the merits of the striker who tops Everton's wanted list. David Moyes is a known admirer of Southampton's James Beattie, a striker dubbed the new Alan Shearer. And after failing in a last-ditch attempt to sign the 26-year-old following the departure of Wayne Rooney earlier this season, the Goodison chief is expected to renew his interest in the England international when the transfer window reopens in January. Quinn, the Huyton lad who was himself a scoring hero on Tyneside in the 80s, believes Everton are right to move quickly before Newcastle realise Beattie is the ideal long-term replacement for Shearer. "I think James Beattie would be a great signing," he said.. "I am surprised Newcastle haven't shown more interest in him because I think he could be a ready-made replacement for Alan Shearer. "He has got two good feet, is great in the air and leads the line well.
"So it doesn't surprise me that somebody like David Moyes is interested in him. "He is definitely capable of providing you with 20 goals a season and under another England manager I am sure he would have had more caps. "He has been unlucky on that score. But his chances could be helped by a move. I think he is primed to get away. "Southampton have been struggling this year. Under Paul Sturrock at the end of last season they were playing the long ball game and now he has gone they need a little sorting out." The Saints arrive on Merseyside without Beattie this weekend after he sustained a broken toe in the clash with Bolton. The club is under intense scrutiny following a poor start to the season. Chairman Rupert Lowe said: "Obviously the start to the season has not been a start we would have wanted. "But I think if you look at the performances in the games, we as a club are confident that with the journey we have travelled along over the last few years, we will be able to put things right and climb up the table. "The club is in good financial health and I think we have a lot to be positive about." Whether their finances are sound enough to stave off Everton's interest in Beattie will become apparent in January.
Five-star show puts Blues top
Oct 14 2004 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON women thrashed Liverpool 5-1 to leapfrog Charlton and move to the top of the National Division. Fara Williams, Michelle Evans, Kelly McDougall (2) and England stalwart Rachel Unitt secured the points for Everton, while Gale Formston offered the Reds' sole response with a 24th-minute penalty. Keith Marley, the Everton coach, oversaw the victory along with his wife and Everton manager Mo. "We were absolutely brilliant," beamed Keith, whose side's victory took them three points ahead of Charlton to assume the position of leaders of the division. "The quality of our football was very high and Liverpool simply couldn't cope with us. We were relentless - that was women's football at the very highest level. It was a joy to watch. It was nice to be able to dish out a bit of a hammering."
Oct 14 2004 Liverpool Echo
Running at a shaky team like Southampton might be McFadden's ideal chance - James Tyrell
NOW that the circus of all things "Team England" is over, we can forget about Sven's bunch of arrogant yes men and get back to the proper stuff. Perhaps it wouldn't be so bad if all you had to do to get in the team was be the best player in your position, but those days are gone - just ask Nigel Martyn. Thankfully Everton and Moyes in particular represent the complete opposite of all we have to endure during the international break. A continuation of the work ethic and honesty that has so far characterised our season should be enough to overcome an extremely ordinary Southampton team. Hopefully Tim Cahill will have recovered in time but if he doesn't make it perhaps it is an ideal game to slot James McFadden into a reshuffled midfield.
JON SELLICK, Crosby
IT was a disappointment to have an international week which has stopped us from putting the Spurs defeat behind us. But Southampton, who have yet to win away from home, are an ideal team to play. We haven't been at our best at home so far this season but with the pressure on Steve Wigley, plus the players they have out injured, I don't think they can stop us claiming another three points.
Luck wasn't on our side against Tottenham - with another typical refereeing performance it was never going to be our day. Hopefully Tim Cahill will be fit to make the starting eleven. He has made a big difference to the way we play.
GARETH SCOTT, West Derby
Running at a shaky team like Southampton might be McFadden's ideal chance - James Tyrell WE welcome Southampton to Goodison on Saturday and need to get back to winning ways and put the disappointment of Tottenham behind us. The fans will be looking for a good performance and some goals to get us back on track. If Cahill is injured I'd have no qualms about putting in McFadden (pictured above right) on the left of midfield and moving Kilbane into the centre. McFadden needs to boost his confidence and running at a shaky team like Southampton might be his ideal chance to score a goal and find his feet again. Starting with Duncan up front wouldn't be a solution to our scoring problems as we seem to pump long balls up to him. McFadden would be a more mobile option on the left where he could get forward to help Bent along with Osman on the other side.
JAMES TYRRELL, Woolton
BEING a better team is so depressing isn't it? Blue-shirted players showing ability is very suspicious.
Obviously, when you think about it, there must be something fundamentally rotten happening if we're third in the table. So the club releases a DVD of the 'Great Escapes' - such happy days - and a fixture break has given us time to dwell on this dilemma. Yes, I know, all of a sudden Everton's form is down to players on the final year of their contracts, playing to get away. Seriously, it does amaze me how some sections of the press and a fair number of EFC website contributors are desperate to dredge out as much negativity as possible from our upturn in fortunes. In this 'culture of detraction', cynicism is the order of the day, but let's save the moaning for when we're rubbish again.
GEOFF HARRISON, West Derby
Become a Royal Liver Football Adviser
Oct 14 2004 Liverpool Echo
TRUE Blues - If you've got the knowlege you could win the best seat in the house and £1,550
It's hard to make your voice heard from the terraces or while shouting at the TV. If only someone would listen to your words of wisdom the team would be challenging for silverware come the end of the season. At last your chance is at hand. Royal Liver Assurance and Everton are offering supporters the chance to share their insights by becoming special Royal Liver Football Advisers.
Whether its time to give the star of the reserves a run in the first team or you've analysed Saturday's opposition and spotted a crucial weakness, send us your thoughts and none other than David Moyes himself will pick which one of you has the best footballing brain. Simply fill in the form (see link below) and you could be elevated from fan to super-fan. Monthly winners for October and November will win the ultimate prize for any Everton fan, the chance to watch a match at Goodison with an Everton legend, with 5 runners up each month winning a pair of tickets for a tour of Goodison. At the end of November, David Moyes will pick an overall winner from all entries to receive £1,550 in a Royal Liver Tax Exempt Savings Policy. Finally, one piece of good advice deserves another and each person who enters will be entitled to a free financial health check from Royal Liver. Royal Liver offers a range of financial products and services to Everton supporters, staff and players.
We can continue fine run of form
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Oct 15 2004
DAVID MOYES believes Everton are capable of turning their "flash in the pan" start to the season into a sustained run among the Premiership elite. Moyes's men resume their astounding league season against Southampton tomorrow still smarting from the recent home defeat by Tottenham.
The Londoners's flattering triumph punctured Everton's run of six league games without loss but not, according to their manager, the self-belief that has inspired their rise to third in the table. It was Moyes who described Everton's finest start to a season for 26 years as "a flash in the pan" after their last victory away at Portsmouth. But that was a gentle rebuke to those who branded his team relegation certainties ahead of the campaign and now he believes his players have the mentality and application to maintain Everton's position in the upper reaches. "I can see this being sustained," said Moyes, whose limited resources could be stretched by injuries to Tim Cahill, Duncan Ferguson and Gary Naysmith tomorrow. "I feel we are now in a mindset where we believe we will win when we go out on the pitch and we are playing really good football at times. Winning is always important but when you win with good performances and a bit of style it increases confidence even more. We deserve to be third now. We haven't been lucky with any of our victories, no-one can say we have scraped a result. We have played well in all of them and got what we deserved with the exception of the Tottenham game, which was another game we should have won. "Tottenham have only conceded one away goal this season but we carved out two or three great opportunities in that game. It was more a result of our bad finishing that we didn't win than anything else and Nigel Martyn didn't have a save to make. But that's football. "As I say, our mindset is centred on winning every game now and so the players's reaction to the Tottenham defeat was one of real disappointment. But mine was that if we keep playing as we did for that first hour then there is no question we will continue to win as regularly as we have been doing and there will be no complaints from me or the supporters. We just need to keep that standard up." Moyes's threadbare squad has several injury concerns ahead of Southampton with Naysmith suffering an ankle injury in Scotland's trip to Moldova. He could join Cahill and Ferguson, who has picked up a slight knee injury this week, on the sidelines. Moyes, meanwhile, has confirmed his own contract talks are progressing well with Bill Ken-wright but he will not sign a new four-year deal until the proposed Fortress Sports Fund investment is secured. The Everton manager is keen to extend his current deal which has less than two years left to run. But, as he revealed to the Daily Post on September 11, he will only do so once the club's long-term financial problems have been addressed. Chairman Kenwright is working tirelessly to conclude the Fortress deal before December's AGM and once the Geneva-backed plan to invest £30m in Everton is in place, Moyes will sign. "We have been talking together about the contract for a few weeks now and it is going very well," the Everton manager said.
At last... it's back to the 'greatest league'
Fanscene By Mark O'Brien, Daily Post
Oct 15 2004
WE all like to have a moan about the Premiership from time to time, but man alive it's a barren fortnight when the league takes a break for the World Cup qualifiers. Just what are we meant to amuse ourselves with in the absence of "the greatest league in the world?" Well, there are the internationals themselves for a start, although the England versus Wales clash ended up something of a damp squib after all the hype it received. Watching John Hartson lumber about like a grizzled Eagle and Child veteran who nobody has the bottle to drop is no one's idea of top-class entertainment, although at least David Beckham managed to raise a few smiles with his post-match comments. The heavily tattooed England captain did a great impression of Little Britain's delinquent schoolgirl, Vicky Pollard, when explaining the petulant barge into Ben Thatcher that earned him a yellow card and a ban from the Azerbaijan game. "Yeah but. No but. Listen right, you don't think I've got the brains to get booked on purpose but I have got brains right, listen!"
Altogether now, what would Bobby Moore say if he was around today? Matters were even worse for the Scots, and particularly James McFadden, who normally joins up with Berti and the boys for a bit of light relief from his struggles at Everton. His sending off against Norway must have been heart-breaking, although David Moyes reckons that the player's fortunes have now hit rock bottom and the only way is up from now on in. Let's hope so, because if his luck on the field gets any worse he's liable to be struck by lightning next time he's through on goal. If you're not taken with international football though, there was always the reserves victory in the mini-derby to savour.
Admittedly these aren't the star-studded occasions of yesteryear, there are no Paul Gascoignes, Paul Stewarts or Titi Camaras to delight the crowds, but visitors to the Racecourse Ground this week at least brought back grainy, long-range photographs that some experts claim prove the existence of Eddy Bosnar. Fortunately it all gets back to normal tomorrow, with the visit of Steve Wigley's Southampton. Hopefully Moyes' players are about to embark on another great run of form. After all, there are no more empty weekends for quite a while and a lot of the fixtures on the horizon look eminently winnable.
Icliverpool And Daily Post
Oct 15 2004
WHEN we watch Everton it is through thick and thin and if any of us could pull on the shirt to turn this club around we would. Rooney chose to leave the club he is supposed to love before he helped us achieve stability in the Premiership and for what? At 18 he needs to play in Europe and win trophies. I for one will never forget my kids ripping down his posters and getting upset at not understanding why an Evertonian chose to go to Man United. The Rooney family were supposed to be upset with him going to United but guess what? They took his younger brother to United as well. I hope they never get welcomed back to Everton Football Club as I for one will never ever forgive him.
John Robinson, Birkenhead
WE should beat Southampton and nick Beattie off them in January because we are in dire need of a striker. I think the midfield is sound and solid but the left-back position could do with some strengthening and obviously looking to the future a centre-back to link up with Joey. Swiss striker Vonlanthen looks like he could be a good addition to the squad and Bulykin is another option
Joe O'Brien (via e-mail)
Unfair on Rooney
THE ones who rubbished Rooney are not being fair. Many players have left the Blues who have later come back and worked for them - Hickson is a classic example. Everton gained a lot from losing Rooney, he put more in the coffers than the rest of the team put together would. Disloyalty for me is taking money without return - some players still on contract would be my critical targets, not a lad who wants to play at the top level.
Trev Lynes, Wrexham
I'M SURE that McFadden will come good and maybe this game against the Saints is the ideal time.
If Marcus Bent is injured, maybe we should give McFadden a go up front or just off the front - he just needs a goal or two to help his confidence (oh and maybe a wee bit of coaching on passing the ball).
What about Chadwick also? I'm sure he will fight tooth and nail to prove to Moyes he is worthy of a regular starting place. Let's put right what went wrong against Spurs and get back on the winning track.
Pete Simonsen, Wirral
Everton move on clear
Oct 15 2004
EVERTON LADIES coach Keith Marley praised his side after they routed Liverpool in their local derby.
Everton beat their Merseyside neighbours 5-1 to move to the top of the National Division. Kelly McDougall netted twice for the visitors with Fara Williams, Michelle Evans and Rachel Unitt also on target. Gale Formston's penalty was scant consolation for Liverpool. The victory leaves Everton three points clear of Charlton at the head of the table, and coach Marley said: "We were absolutely brilliant. "The quality of our football was very high and Liverpool simply couldn't cope with us. That was women's football at the very highest level. "It was a joy to watch and it was nice to be able to dish out a bit of a hammering."
Moyes named boss of month
Oct 15 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES has been named as the Barclays Manager of the Month for September. The Everton boss is expected to be presented with his award ahead of tomorrow's home game with Southampton after leading the Blues to three consecutive 1-0 victories in the Premiership during September. Despite the 1-0 reverse to Tottenham at Goodison a fortnight ago the Blues remain third in the table after producing the club's best start to a season since 1978. Moyes was last named manager of the month in November 2002 when Everton produced a similar run of 1-0 wins. That season the Scot went on to be named Manager of the Year by the League Managers' Association..
The award provides a double boost for Moyes, who is close to finalising a new four year contract at Goodison. Although the proposed £12.9m first phase investment from the Fortress Sports Fund will not be in place until the club's AGM in December, chairman Bill Kenwright has assured Moyes he will have significant funds to work with in the January transfer window. The new contract is set to be finalised before the end of the month. The Blues take on Southampton tomorrow with doubts over Tim Cahill, Marcus Bent and Duncan Ferguson. Scottish international Gary Naysmith is expected to miss out on a place in the squad after sustaining an ankle injury in action for Scotland against Moldova on Wednesday night. Cahill has returned to training but is still troubled by the knee injured by Jamie Redknapp in the home defeat to Spurs. Ferguson is also troubled by a knee injury and Bent has been struggling with a groin problem. All three will have to prove themselves in training ahead of tomorrow's game.
* As part of the anti-racism Kick It Out campaign, a group of Merseyside youngsters will show off their skills before kick-off at Goodison tomorrow. They are part of the Toxteth-based Silky Skills group set up by Integration by Sport to combat racism and anti-social behaviour.
Happy Hibbo's Euro dream
Oct 15 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
IF there is one player who personifies the transformation in Everton's fortunes between last season and this, it is Tony Hibbert. The young defender has been rejuvenated after a torrid campaign last year. And the 23-year-old's return to his best form has coincided with the club's climb to third in the Premiership. Maintain his current form and it won't be long before talk of international recognition will return. But the lifelong Evertonian has never looked any further than playing for the Blues. "When you talk about England, I am not really bothered," he responds. "I just want to get on with my football here and if anything like that happens then it is just a bonus. "Ever since I arrived here as a kid all I really wanted to do was play for Everton. Playing for England is something I have never thought about - it doesn't really appeal to me. My focus has only ever been to play regularly here.
"My aim is just to stay in the side, keep playing as well as I have been doing and kick on from that.
"And I would just love us to earn European football at the end of the season." That burning desire to play for the Blues also helps explain the dip in form he suffered last season. A series of niggling injuries, constant speculation about new defenders and even seeing the left-footed Alessandro Pistone moving ahead of him in the pecking order for a time eroded Hibbert's belief. "It was a confidence thing more than anything last season," he explains. "A couple of knocks didn't help. That is heart-breaking every time you get back into the side. Niggly injuries get to players more than maybe people realise, particularly if you are not in the team. "And we had people coming in who were defenders and Sandro playing right-back and I was thinking: 'But he is left-footed'. "But this season I have got my head together, I have worked hard in pre-season and the manager has stuck by me. "The confidence is rubbing off on everybody. If you see individuals produce a bit of brilliance or take somebody on, then it inspires you to do your best and make something happen as well - even if you are a defender." As a local lad, Hibbert knows better than most how big an impact the club's form has had on Evertonians in the city. He continues: "The mood in the city has definitely changed since last season. But I have noticed it more with my family and my mates because you only ever see punters every now and again. "My dad, my brother, my grand-dad and my cousin go week in, week out and they have a laugh and joke about how we are doing. "They sit in the crowd, have an opinion and say what they want to me, no matter what. They are the first to let me know when I have done alright or when I haven't and that helps." The challenge Everton face now is maintaining their good form, and their high position in the league. Victory over an injury-hit Southampton side at Goodison tomorrow would push David Moyes' men to within a point of second-placed Chelsea - if only for a couple of hours before Jose Mourinho's men take on Manchester City at Eastlands. Now Hibbert and his team-mates are eager to prove wrong those people who are predicting the in-form side will suffer a fall from grace. "I think everyone would admit we deserve to be where we are in the table because of the way we have played. And I don't think there is any reason why we can't carry that on," continues Hibbert. "We know there are some hard games and some big clubs coming up in the next couple of months. But we showed against Manchester United that with our spirit and togetherness we can mix it with them. "Only Arsenal have really got the better of us and that was in the first game of the season. "I think that game was a blessing in disguise. We realised Arsenal are class but it has helped us get to where we are now. "Other clubs may have buckled after that but the lads have stuck together and the training has been unbelievable. "Now we have games coming up which should prove this good start is going to turn into a good season. "We have to kick on and consolidate our position."
Legends in derby date for charity
Oct 15 2004 Liverpool Echo
FOLLOWING hot on the heels of Tuesday's mini derby match, which featured some of the up and coming stars of future derby days, is a Legends derby match-up with the stars from yesteryear.
The Huyton Suite, Civic Way, Huyton is the neutral venue tonight. The former stars taking part are Howard Kendall, Colin Harvey, Brian Labone, Gordon West, John Bailey and Ian Snodin, who will represent the blue half of the city, while in the red corner will be Ian Callaghan, Alan Kennedy, David Fairclough, Dave Johnson, Chris Lawler and Brian Hall. The night is in aid of the Mayor of Knowsley's charity, which this year is 'Friends of Knowsley Young Carers.' Tickets (£20) will be available tonight. Show starts at 8.00pm.
Time for FA to question role of agents
Oct 15 2004 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
IN the 15 years since I first interviewed him, I've always known John Hyland to be an impeccable ambassador for boxing, a shrewd and successful businessman and a decent family man rather than a falsely accused blackmailer. But this week he may have proved an unwitting force for good in another sporting circle - the murky world of professional football. When the court case between Paul Stretford and Hyland collapsed on Monday, Evertonians' worst fears over Wayne Rooney's advisors were confirmed. Paul Stretford poached Wayne Rooney from a rival firm. Rooney was lured away from Peter McIntosh's X8 Agency three months before his contract with them expired - and Stretford misled a court about that fact. But while Stretford's name has been blackened, his reputation as an honest, trustworthy individual questioned and his credibility shattered, his financial wealth has soared. A former vacuum cleaner salesman, he has hoovered up spectacular amounts of money from professional football - most recently £1.5m from the sale of Rooney to Manchester United. Which is why the FA is duty bound to mount a stringent, exhaustive inquiry into the activities of all agents. The Stretford court case may have cleared the names of three innocent men, but it left football fans everywhere, especially on Merseyside, sensing conspiracy theories in every board-room. Evertonians could be forgiven for asking leading questions like: Why did Newcastle suddenly bid £23m for Rooney after it had emerged that Manchester United were happy to wait until January at the earliest before trying to sign him? It may well have been a genuine bid. But the fact that Stretford's company has an office inside St James' Park run by Kenneth Shepherd, son of Newcastle chairman Freddy, had some fans sensing collusion. Then there was Stretford's astonishing decision to sell Rooney's life story to The Sun. Was this just a case of Stretford accepting the best possible financial offer, regardless of the consequences? Or was it more than just coincidence that the decision made life more difficult for Rooney on Merseyside and helped push through his move to United, securing Stretford £1.5m, before the court case? Unless the FA takes immediate action these won't be the only questions posed by frustrated fans about the dealings of agents. It has to be said that the FA's reaction earlier this week was not encouraging. "The FA does not licence agents. It's a FIFA issue," a spokesman told me, voice muffled from burying his head in the sand. "This is just a dispute between two individuals and as far as we can see, no rules have been broken." According to the FA rulebook, no. But this is a rulebook which states that an individual cannot represent both a player and a club in a transfer deal, then conveniently ignores the rule when just such a thing happens. Agents have been using that rule to take vast amounts of money from the game for years, and it is only the stand taken by clubs like Manchester United in recent years which has let us see how obscene those amounts are. It was said in court last week that no other business in the land would tolerate the way in which football agents are allowed to behave. If the FA does not mount an investigation now, it is failing its obligations as the guardians of the game in this country.
Moyes deal is just the ticket
Oct 15 2004 By Howard Kendall, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON'S tremendous start to the season has been vital in so many ways, not least in bringing closer a new contract for manager David Moyes. If things had carried on the same as last season, then I'm not sure the manager would have wanted a new deal. But this time round there is a great spirit in the Everton camp and there is money to spend. It is these kind of things that convince managers that a club is moving in the right direction. Recently I saw a table of Premier League managers' salaries.. Moyes was bottom. If Everton felt he was the man to take the club forward, then something needed to be done. Now it looks like David will be rewarded with a lengthy new deal that could also double his salary. Everton have made it clear that he is the man for them.
Waiting game has served no purpose THE international break has done the Everton play-ers no favours. No doubt they were gutted to lose to Tottenham in their last match and would have been looking to bounce back straight away. Instead they have had to wait a fortnight. At least tomorrow's game against Southampton is at Goodison. If the Blues perform as they did against Spurs, then I see no reason why they shouldn't get the right result this time round. Saints striker James Beattie will be absent through injury. He is one of the players to be linked with Everton. Although he is being valued at around £8m, I would not like to be paying that much for him. He is a useful forward, but he scores in patches then goes long spells without a goal. He does not seem to do a lot of work off the ball either. Certainly, Sven Goran Eriksson has seen something he does not like, otherwise an £8m striker would be playing for England.
Blues legends roll back glory years
Oct 15 2004 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON legends Howard Kendall and Ian Snodin revived memories of the club's most successful era when they signed copies of the new book "Everton's Z-Stars - The Men Who Made History 1984-1987." The book focuses on 18 key matches from that silver-laden era and features some outstanding photography from the Echo archive. Howard produced fascinating "Inside The Dressing Room" contributions for each game as well as providing an assessment of every player who starred for the Blues during that famous spell. Of Snodin, he said: "Ian oozed quality and pace. It was a real battle with Liverpool to sign him. If he had been able to retain his fitness, he would have been one of the best ever to play for England." Kendall, of course, led the Blues to two Championships plus FA and European Cup Winners Cup glory in the Eighties. This book will stir the souls of the Evertonians who revelled in that memorable four-year spell.
Everton 1, Southampton 0 (D, Post)
Oct 18 2004 Jonathan Mcevoy At Goodison Park, Daily Post
EVERTON may no longer be the School of Science, but simple maths are an adequate replacement.
David Moyes' side added three points with a hard-fought victory on Saturday to consolidate their hold on third place in the Premiership table, stretching their lead over a certain Mr Rooney and his new mates at Manchester United to five points and over city rivals Liverpool to six. Just a routine Saturday at Goodison, then. It might have been a scruffy 1-0 win over scanty Southampton, yet it served again to underline the transformation Moyes has wrought despite a trying summer beset by boardroom upheaval and the tortured transfer of your most valuable player. Admittedly, the quality of Saturday's football will certainly not live long in the memory, but that's being picky when you are sniffing the rarefied air near the summit and the anticipated inquests into a season of struggle have given way to heightened optimism. Moyes, deservedly glowing after his side's sixth win in nine games, knows expectation brings its own problems. But they are problems he would not swap for anything. It is the manager's own bloody-minded belief in what is possible that has driven Everton to where they are now - in the Champions League places and on the coattails of Arsenal and Chelsea - even though their squad is the smallest in the Premiership. He has engendered a collective spirit among a playing staff he has begged, borrowed and stolen. They battle for every point and, although they will struggle to match the league's sophisticates for artistry, they won't be second to anyone for industry. On Saturday against Steve Wigley's plucky but limited visitors, who have still not won under their new head coach, Everton duly never stopped toiling away until Leon Osman's neat goal two minutes from time gave them the victory they deserved. "We all believe in ourselves and each other, in our own ability and as a unit," said the match-winner after scoring his third goal of the season. "It is surprising just how much that sort of belief can carry you, and how far you can go. We are a unit, more than we were last year." Moyes spent the summer rounding the hard edges of his managerial style and the result is reaping tangible rewards. Not even the presentation of the manager-of-the-month award for September could work its usual curse on the recipient and now the defeat to Tottenham a fortnight ago can be filed away under b for blip, at least for the time being. "We deserve to be where we are," added Osman, 23. "It will get harder as the season goes on, but it's been hard already. We have belief in ourselves and we can keep it going. "It's another 1-0, but we don't bother about that. "A couple of seasons ago we strung together five 1-0 wins in succession and finished seventh, almost getting into Europe. We would take something like that again." Moyes has already talked about the run being a "flash in the pan" - if only to ensure there is no slacking - and,, yes, there are bigger fish to fry than a Southampton side that arguably contained fewer household names than any in Premiership history. But even after stripping away any inflated hopes, there is reason to believe Everton can enjoy a season of success in a weak top flight. Apart from Arsenal, who are already threatening to run away with the title, and their nearest pursuers Chelsea, several of the big clubs - United,, Liverpool and Newcastle - are languishing,, which has allowed Everton and fourth-placed Bolton to capitalise. "It's great that we have expectations here now, because nobody expected anything so let's get a bit giddy, a bit high," said Moyes, happy to let his feet leave the ground for a moment. "Everybody should enjoy it. We are up there on merit and moving forward. I do not expect this to stop. We do what we do and we are good at it. "I cannot think of a game this season that we have not deserved to win. It's another clean sheet, another 1-0 victory and another week we are third in the league." Despite Moyes' brave words, there is no doubt that their fortunes hinge on funds being released in January. Wayne Rooney's £27m sale to United and the expected injection of cash from the Fortress Sports Fund mean Moyes will be able to add to his squad, bringing fresh impetus at a time when injuries and fatigue could be expected to take their toll. Striker James Beattie, one of 10 Southampton players missing on Saturday through injury, and midfielder Scott Parker are believed to be in Moyes' thoughts. Since the summer sales of Rooney and Tomasz Radzinski the need to strengthen his attacking options is clear, just as added creativity in midfield is needed if his team are going to build on this impressive start. Osman, though, is delivering the goods for now. His goal came courtesy of the outstanding Thomas Gravesen's long throw on the right. Substitute Duncan Ferguson made a nuisance of himself at the near post and the ball fell to the little striker, who spun sharply and drilled a low shot into the net.
There were other flashes of excitement, but they amounted to little. Everton threatened sporadically, with Marcus Bent enjoying no luck in front of goal. He had a shot comfortably smothered by Antti Niemi in the opening three minutes, flunked his chance when in a good position 11 minutes later and then scooped the ball over the bar following good work by Tim Cahill, who himself couldn't find the necessary direction with an effort just before the half-time break. Gravesen nearly hit the corner flag with a shot at the end of the first half after his neat footwork had bamboozled the Saints rear-guard, while Nigel Martyn was a virtual bystander in the home goal.
The second-half was a similar story, with Bent denied first by Jelle van Damme's goalline clearance before Rory Delap foiled his close-range shot from the resulting corner. Next it was Niemi's turn to thwart Bent again as the keeper stayed big to stop the former Ipswich man's latest raid. Frustration was eating away at the home fans before Osman, who had somehow missed a header from Bent's cross mid-way through the half, brought reward for his persistence. With a trip to Norwich next week followed by Aston Villa's visit, there is no obvious reason why this successful streak should be punctured before Everton travel to Jose Mourinho's second-placed Chelsea next month. "It's turning into a three-horse race," laughed Moyes post-match. "It's between Arsenal, Chelsea and us." A joke naturally,, but with a quarter of the season played, who could begrudge him wearing the broadest of smiles?
EVERTON (4-4-2): Martyn; Hibbert, Weir, Stubbs, Pistone; Cahill (Ferguson 77), Carsley, Gravesen, Kilbane (McFadden 77); Bent (Watson 89), Osman. Unused subs: Wright, Yobo.
SOUTHAMPTON (4-4-2): Niemi; Nilsson, Kenton, Jakobsson, van Damme; Prutton, Svensson, Delap, McCann; Best (Telfer 64), Blackstock. Unused subs: Higginbotham, Blayney, Fernandes, Griffit.
REFEREE: Barry Knight
MAN OF THE MATCH Thomas Gravesen
Perpetual motion, the tireless Dane was Everton's driving force
Moyes wants to win over Gravesen
By Jonathan Mcevoy Daily Post Staff
Oct 18 2004
DAVID MOYES has insisted he is prepared to risk losing Thomas Gravesen on a free transfer at the end of the season rather than selling him in the transfer window. The Everton manager has vowed not to be pressured into selling his Danish midfielder - who is out of contract in the summer - in a cut-price deal in the January sales. "I don't think for a minute anything will happen in January, but we have no intention of letting Thomas go," said Moyes after watching his side tighten their hold on third place in the Pemiership with Saturday's 1-0 Premier-ship win over Southampton. "If anything did happen it would be at the end of the season. "We don't need money now. Thomas has said he wants to play in Europe, so at this moment in time we are not a bad shout. "It seems as black and white as that. There may be one or two things that come into it, but I have a good relation-ship with Thomas and we understand each other. "I'm not saying that means he will sign a contract. We will have to wait and see." Everton are hoping to seal an initial £12.5 million investment from Dubai-based Fortress Sports Fund before December, while Wayne Rooney's £27m transfer to Manchester United has helped offset an over-draft that topped £30m while bringing a promise of funds for the manager come January.
Moyes, however, is confident he can keep hold of Gravesen, 28, regardless of the club's financial situation, as he looks to build on Everton's impressive start to the seaason which has yielded six Premership wins from the opening nine games. "We don't need to be strong as a club," he said.. "I make decisions as regard to who comes in and who goes out. If I get told I can't afford a player then that is fine, but I said before that the Board will not take players away from me who I want to stay. If a player says he definitely wants to go, then that's different. "Thomas looked like the player most likely to craft an opening for us. When you consider that he had two tough games for Denmark in the past week, it was a great performance because he played in a couple of positions for us."
Moyes, though, has called on the combative Gravesen, who set up Leon Osman's late winner with a long throw, to enhance his goals return. He said: "When you see what he's got in his locker he should get more goals than he does, maybe not double figures, but it's an area he can improve.
"I don't know about Thomas' history before I came here. I think it was a bit chequered, but since I've come he's been good. "He has his moments and we have to keep him in check, but he's a great professional and knows what he wants. "Hopefully he will be staying at Goodison for a few years because we want to keep him."
One cliche I can abide... only the results matter
By Mark O'Brien, Daily Post
Oct 18 2004
IT FEELS like Merseyside has been in danger of being buried beneath an avalanche of clichés in the last few days. For a start there was the hackneyed, boring and inaccurate ramblings of the Spectator and its buffoon editor, Boris Johnson, last Friday. In instances like this, when the inhabitants of the city are stereo-typed in such a crass manner, spokesmen like Peter Kilfoyle should take a leaf out of the book of the fans of Everton and Liverpool who have to endure such nonsense on a weekly basis.
Instead of getting angry when they hear, for instance, hilarious hubcaps and car stereo chants, they just shake their heads, give a pitying look and treat the accusers with the contempt they deserve.
Another cliché that's been given a good airing recently is the one that deals with the mythical curse of the manager of the month award. Legend has it that the team whose manager is the recipient of this honour invariably embarks on a run of terrible form as soon as the handshakes and the photographs on the pitch are done. It would be interesting to know if the Barclays employee who hands over the award has his fortunes tainted too; does he go back to his branch and find that all his customers are withdrawing their cash and switching to Lloyds TSB? Debunkers of the curse theory like to point out that the award often goes to managers who have had a run of relatively easy games - hence their side's success - and that probability dictates that they are due the trip to Stamford Bridge or the visit from Arsenal that will bring their good run to a halt. It's as good an explanation as any, although it doesn't really explain why Everton were so breathtakingly poor on Saturday following David Moyes's crowning as manager of the month for September. For much of the 90 minutes it really did appear that occult forces were at play. The side that has stormed the league and made a mockery of many of their big-spending rivals struggled to even force an attempt on goal against an injury-ravaged Saints team. Perhaps the Everton players are so used to being the underdogs now that they struggle to cope against really poor opposition. Indeed, the five-man midfield that we currently employ is designed to stifle the Premiership's more creative opposition - and it has proved very effective at doing just that - but against the likes of Southampton or Bristol City it does seem a little like overkill at times. Good footballers such as Thomas Gravesen, Tim Cahill and Leon Osman all enjoyed plenty of possession on Saturday but there was very little end product, and ultimately it took the introduction of Duncan Ferguson, a good old-fashioned long throw and a penalty box scramble to turn the match in the Blues' favour. It seems ironic that last season, when we had two quick, out-and-out goalscorers, we were dreadful in midfield. This time around though, when it seems like we have playmakers coming out of our ears, they've got no one to get on the end of their assorted crosses, passes and through-balls. Marcus Bent, who was a revelation in his first few matches in a blue shirt, seems to have retreated into his shell completely. Whether it's the strain of playing up front on his own every game or not, he doesn't look a happy chappy at the moment. Maybe he just needs a goal to perk him up a bit, but it's difficult to see him getting one at the moment as his finishing is making Tomasz Radzinski look like Jimmy Greaves. In his defence, the system we play does ask a lot of him and it is possibly more suited to playing away from home where he can use his pace a bit, so hopefully he will show us a bit more at Norwich next week. There were some plus points from this game though, not least the return to the team of Cahill after that vile challenge from Jamie Redknapp. Most of us expected the Australian to be walking like a flamingo after the clobbering his knee took a fortnight ago, but he seems to have recovered completely and for much of the game looked like player most likely to break the stalemate. Most importantly though, we're still in third place and we've got 19 points while there are witches' outfits and fireworks in the shops; they are usually selling chocolate eggs by the time we amass that many. And, keeping with the cliché theme, it's the results that matter at this stage, not performances, and as we all know, it's always the sign of a good team that they can play badly and still win.
Gravesen deal must be sorted
By Mark Mckenna, Daily Post
Oct 18 2004
WHILE this game was hardly an advert for the English Premiership and Everton never fully convinced throughout this scrappy affair, you won't find many Evertonians complaining after looking at the league table today. Everton did stutter for long periods in the game, but give me one club bar Arsenal this season that hasn't struggled to break down a resilient defence? While we didn't play like a team you would expect to be third, Everton are simply proving how poor a league the Premiership is. The spirit and discipline we have will often get you a lot further than big name stars playing silky football, just ask our friends across the park! Southampton were poor and came with the sole intention of playing for a draw, but Everton were always the better team, so let's just concentrate on the positives and not get too drawn into bogging ourselves down as to why we're not destroying these poor teams. Few players provide as big a talking point with Evertonians as Tommy Gravesen. On Saturday, he epitomised everything that Moyes has for his Everton vision.
As the game wore on and the heads of several players started to drop, Gravesen took sole responsibility for driving Everton towards victory. Once Moyesie has signed the new contract, we've got to do our best to convince Tommy G that Everton can match his ambitions. Even if we hit a dodgy patch over the next couple of months, the results so far will ensure that Everton will be in the top half of the table come the January transfer window. This could bring a multiplier effect, as the higher we are in the table, the better quality of player we will be able to attract. After the summer of discontent, I reckon us Evertonians have every right to feel rather smug this Monday morning!
I expect us to keep winning, insists Moyes
By Paul Walker, Daily Post
Oct 18 2004
THE DIFFERENCE between Everton and Chelsea - apart from one billionaire owner - is just one solitary point. Everton are unashamedly basking in third place in the Premiership, a position they can hardly believe possible with a quarter of the season already gone. Surely it cannot go on like this, the critics insist, but Moyes is having none of it. His side racked up their fourth 1-0 win of the campaign thanks to Leon Osman's late goal at home to Southampton and Moyes has urged his players to savour their success. "It's great we have expectations here now, because nobody expected anything so let's get a bit giddy, a bit high," he said.. "Everybody should enjoy it. We are up there on merit and moving forward." Like Chelsea, they could soon have some money of their own, coming via the complicated route of the Geneva-based Fortress Sports Fund in a few weeks, but it will add up to more like £30million than the £200million-plus Roman Abramovich has spent on Chelsea. For now, though, Everton are happy to demonstrate that you can still challenge the mighty by spending buttons and being organised, brave, confident and committed. Moyes added: "I do not expect this to stop, we do what we do and we are good. "I cannot think of a game this season that we have not deserved to win. It's another clean sheet, another 1-0 victory and another week we are third in the league." Osman, whose goal two minutes from time made him the club's top scorer, said: "The way we have been performing, we feel we deserve to be where we are. And if we keep playing this way I can't see any reason why we cannot stay there, it's not a flash in the pan." Osman added: "Manchester United dropped two points before we started playing, and there were people around who were saying that we could take advantage and go five points clear of them. "That sounds funny because last season the results of the really big teams wasn't something that bothered many fans at Everton." Meanwhile, Rangers and Everton have opened negotiations in a bid to free defender Michael Ball from his current deadlock. The Scottish side signed the 25-year-old for £6.5million in August 2001. But Rangers are keen to avoid triggering a £500,000 payment to Everton, who negotiated a clause-laden sale, leaving Ball sidelined. Ibrox boss Alex McLeish said: "We're trying to come to some compromise. "Both ourselves and the player's agent have been talking to Everton because this situation isn't doing anyone any good."
Unlucky Everton Ladies beaten by thumping free-kick
By Eleanor Crooks, Daily Post
Oct 18 2004
EVERTON Ladies were caught at the top of the National Division after Carmaine Walker's late winner gave Charlton a 2-1 victory. Walker scored with a thumping free-kick four minutes from time to give the Addicks three points that manager Keith Boanas admitted they scarcely deserved. He said: "It's exactly the result we wanted. It was a hard-fought game and Everton probably deserved a point - it was nip and tuck. "But sometimes it takes something special to win games and it was a very special free-kick. Carmaine's been telling me for a long, long time she can hit them like that." Charlton took the lead through Eniola Aluko on the half-hour mark but Sam Britton drew Everton level just before half-time, and Boanas was indebted to goalkeeper Pauline Cope for a superb save from former Charlton star Fara Williams. At the other end of the league, Bristol City registered their first win at this level with a 3-0 victory against fellow strugglers Doncaster. City moved above their opponents and Liverpool thanks to goals from new signing Carla Ward, Michelle Munro and Rachel McArthur.
Bristol Rovers celebrated Steph Curtis's late winner against Liverpool which moved them back level with the leaders. Curtis' 80th--minute goal saw the Reds fall to the bottom of the table, and after dropping points against their city neighbours on Wednesday, Green was happy with the result.
Everton 1, Southampton 0 (Echo)
Oct 18 2004 Scott Mcleod at Goodison Park, Liverpool Echo
THERE has been increasing talk of Europe around Goodison in recent weeks. Alessandro Pistone was the first to openly talk about it ahead of the Carling Cup trip to Bristol City. Since then Tony Hibbert and, more importantly, manager David Moyes have admitted it is the target for this Premiership campaign. Saturday's victory over Southampton took the side a small step closer to making that a reality as the Blues extended their cushion in third place and closed the gap on Chelsea. And we have already reached the quarter point of the season. This is no longer just a short run of form. And the 1-0 win over Steve Wigley's struggling Saints exposed precisely why the prospect of qualifying for European competition is not pie in the sky. But it also provided a reminder of the frailties which will make a top six finish a remarkable feat. This was the club's fourth 1-0 victory of the opening nine games. That says a lot about how exceptional the Blues have been performing as a defensive unit.
But it fails to tell the full story of how they have been performing as an attacking force. And that irks. Maybe it is a sign of Evertonians getting too greedy, but this game should have been won by a far more comfortable margin. The side has played consistently better than the table's 'goals for' column currently suggests. As with the clash with Tottenham a fortnight ago, the Blues were guilty of wasting a host of golden opportunities. Up until the 89th minute, and Leon Osman's opportunist strike, it seemed they would pay the price. It provides ammunition for those who are ready to dismiss Everton's challenge for Europe. After all, if Everton make hard work of winning a game which is so clearly well within their grasp, what will happen when they are really tested? But the key is not the side's lack of goals - after all, tens of millions of pounds have failed to provide Jose Mourinho's Chelsea with a goal glut this term. The key to Everton maintaining their impressive points gathering lies in their self-belief. And there is no indication at all that it is being eroded. The Tottenham defeat could have knocked the stuffing out of the side. Instead, they played with such confidence in the opening 45 minutes of this game they were almost too laid back. The neat, eye-catching build-up play in the first two-thirds of the pitch was not matched by composed finishing in the final third. But each missed chance did not ratchet up the urgency or the anxiety. And in the second half when there were periods of play when the side's passing game eluded them there was no desperation in the tackling. This was far from the best performance of the season but there was still a reassuring arrogance in the Blues' play. Even if the nerves were frayed in the crowd, on the pitch the players were cool. Which is why Osman's goal was not a huge surprise, even if it was a major relief. It was a real poacher's goal, twisting in a crowded penalty area to poke the ball into the far corner of the net from eight yards after a long throw by Thomas Gravesen had flicked off Duncan Ferguson's shoulder. It was his third goal of the season. The midfielder is now the club's top scorer, closely followed by Thomas Gravesen, Tim Cahill and Marcus Bent. Getting goals from midfield was a real problem last term. Now it is those goals which are the bedrock of the club's success.
Cahill and Osman have transformed the side, providing a consistent threat with their well-timed runs into the 18-yard box. Those runs, coupled with support from Kevin Kilbane and Gravesen, ensure Bent is not isolated as the lone striker. It is a system which is causing real problems for opposition defences. It is only in the side's finishing where things are not going to plan. Bent is certainly in need of a little more good fortune in front of goal. It is his selfless running which makes the current system tick. And he is getting his fair share of chances. But on Saturday he was frustrated by clearances off the line from Jelie van Damme and Rory Delap and a couple of saves from Antti Niemi.
He wasn't the only player enduring one of those days in front of goal. Bent and Osman turned provider for Cahill in the opening half but the Australian international's fierce drive sailed just over the bar. Eighty-eight minutes of Everton's afternoon was summed up in one surreal moment shortly before the break. The mercurial Gravesen picked up the ball wide on the right of the Southampton penalty area, evaded three defenders with a brilliant piece of skill. It just served to underline exactly why he is one of the most talented midfielders in the Premiership. But then demonstrated why he can also be one of the most frustrating by drilling a cross/shot high over the heads of Bent and Kilbane and towards the corner flag. The Danish midfielder was giving his all in an advanced midfield position to inspire a cutting edge. So it was something of an irony that when he did turn provider, it was from one of his mammoth throws. Yet again, more cannon fodder for those who believe Everton are grinding their way up the table. They are right on one score though. As a defensive force the Blues are outstanding. It was Alan Stubbs' turn to shine. The rookie strike partnership of Leon Best and Dexter Blackstock barely got a look in. The highlight of his display was an acrobatic interception to divert a Neil McCann cross destined for Blackstock behind for a corner after a stray pass in midfield from Gravesen had put the Toffees on the back foot. That is the base from which Everton's climb to third has been built. But in order to stay there it is time for the side to click as effectively as an attacking force. All the ingredients are there. And with Norwich next up on the menu, maybe the time is right to cook up a mouth-watering goal haul.
Belief is the key for Blues, says Osman
Oct 18 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
LEON OSMAN, who is scoring his way towards a new Goodison contract, claims Everton's self-belief is the key to their current league position. His third goal from eight Premiership starts in the 89th minute of Saturday's 1-0 win over Southampton moved the Blues to within a point of second placed Chelsea and four points ahead of the chasing pack. But Osman insists the side didn't need his goal to boost their morale. "As a team a draw wouldn't have affected us negatively as much as maybe it would have done the people outside the club," revealed Osman. "That is because at the moment we all believe in ourselves and each other and it is surprising how far that can take you. "The way we are playing, we deserve to be third and if we can keep that up who knows where we can finish. "It is nice to be up there as top scorer but it is a team effort. I wouldn't have had the chances if it wasn't for the team playing so well. "We kept believing in ourselves, as we have done all season, and it came right in the last minute." Osman believes it is only a matter of time before Everton enjoy a goalfest. He went on: "In a number of our games we have dominated the sides and possibly could have come away with 3-0 or 4-0 victories. A win is a win, even though we do make it scary for ourselves at times. "But we all believe we can beat any side we play against, no matter if we score in the first minute or the last. We have faith in each other and we pull together as a unit. "We do have players in midfield now who break their necks to get into the box to create things and to score goals. The formation may look negative on paper, but we always end up with a lot of players in the box.
"That is the type of play which suits me because I have always tried to do that and it is benefiting us as a team." Osman has now played in 12 of the club's last 13 competitive matches since earning his first start at the end of last season. He has established himself as an important member of David Moyes' rejuvenated side and his form is set to earn him a new Goodison contract. His current contract runs out at the end of the season but, as reported in the ECHO last month, his representatives have held preliminary talks over a new deal. The Blues will be boosted by Gary Naysmith's return to training as the team prepares for Saturday's trip to Norwich City. The defender has shaken off the ankle injury he picked up while on Scotland duty. Moyes said: "Hopefully, Gary Naysmith will start training some time this week." Meanwhile, the Goodison boss will not allow Thomas Gravesen to leave during the January transfer window. The Dane is out of contract in the summer, so could leave on a free transfer, and has expressed a desire to play in European competition. Moyes, whose team currently lie in third place in the Premiership, said: "Thomas has said he wants to play in Europe, so at the moment we are not a bad shout. I don't think anything will happen in January, but we have no intention of letting Thomas go. "I have a good relationship with Thomas and we understand each other. I'm not saying that means he will sign a new contract, but hopefully he will be staying at Goodison."
Look back to find real Blues heroes
Oct 18 2004 By John Thompson, Liverpool Echo
LEON OSMAN looked pretty pleased as he wheeled away in celebration having threaded his late winner with the unnerving instinct of a genuine goal-poacher. But it's a fair bet Everton team-mates Alan Stubbs, David Weir and Nigel Martyn were just as delighted as the ball eluded Antti Niemi's despairing 88th-minute dive. These three had every right to enjoy the moment as if one of them had dragged themselves forward and lashed the ball across the Southampton line. Because for 90 minutes of a not-so-memorable Goodison encounter, they stood firm yet again at the heart of David Moyes' resilient defence, resisting all efforts from the far younger legs of the stand-in Southampton attackers to break them down. So emphatic was Everton's rearguard that Martyn hardly made a save worth remembering. And when he is called upon these days, he looks as steady and reliable a stopper as there is in the Premiership. In five of their last six Premiership games, Everton have now totally shut out the opposition. And that - as much as anything - is where the secret of this unexpected early season rush towards the top of the table lies. These particular veteran Blues may number more than 100 years between them, but they are now starting to rival Fazakerley Hospital's storeroom for keeping clean sheets. Moyes alluded to their key role as he spoke afterwards of his pride in his players - a pride evident just before kick-off as he placed his Barclays Manager of the Month award back onto the white tablecloth at pitchside and turned round to direct his own applause at his team. You can bet his salute was aimed at his back four as much as anyone else.
Only goalkeepers enjoy keeping clean sheets more than football managers. Because a clean sheet at least means the boss can go home and not risk a bout of simmering self-torment - or find himself gnawing his knuckles to the bone in pained regret. Right now, this meanness to the opposition at Everton is starting to look like a bit of a habit. So much so that Moyes afterwards expressed a tinge of sorrow for under-pressure Saints boss Steve Wigley. Not that he's likely to be penning him any sympathy cards. Everton's defenders probably deserve more than last-gasp winners and single-goal margins of victory. When you are putting body and limbs on the line for the cause at the ugly end of the action - and this weekend in particular we've seen how ugly and painful the Premiership's battles can be - it would be nice if those gifted with more celebrated talents ahead of you could do their stuff earlier and with a bit more frequency. Everton don't have that luxury. Too many chances still going begging at Goodison and with the January transfer window not yet looming, it could be a while before they can enjoy a Saturday afternoon with anything like a decent comfort margin. But as long as the Blues defenders keep this sterling stuff up, they will always give those before them a chance of grabbing the points. Just as they have done lately with 1-0 victory margins for which free-scoring Arsenal were famed until not that long ago. The Gunners may have clocked up an astonishing 29 strikes in just nine games this season, but until they started scoring those sickeningly choreographed goals, Wenger's priority was always stopping his opponents first. It's the way of all top sides. And while the Blues have a long way to go before convincing people they are that just yet, it's at the back where it all starts. Only Arsenal have breached the Blues back-line with any significance thus far.
And if Moyes lesser-sung heroes can keep it up, more people will start to give them the rich credit he knows his stalwarts deserve.
Moyes urges Blues to milk the moment
Oct 18 2004 Liverpool Echo
THE difference between Everton and Chelsea - apart from one billionaire owner - is just one solitary point at the moment. Everton are unashamedly basking in third place in the Barclays Premiership, a position they can hardly believe possible with a quarter of the season already gone. Surely it cannot go on like this, the critics insist, but Everton's manager of the month boss David Moyes is having none of it. His side racked up their fourth 1-0 win of the campaign thanks to Leon Osman's late goal at home to Southampton and Moyes has urged his players to savour their success. "It's great that we have expectations here now, because nobody expected anything so let's get a bit giddy, a bit high," he said.. "Everybody should enjoy it. We are up there on merit and moving forward.
"I do not expect this to stop, we do what we do and we are good at it. "I cannot think of a game this season that we have not deserved to win. It's another clean sheet, another 1-0 victory and another week we are third in the league." Osman, whose goal two minutes from time made him the club's unlikely top scorer, said: "The way we have been performing, we feel we deserve to be where we are. And if we keep playing this way I can't see any reason why we cannot stay there, it's no longer a flash in the pan. "It's another 1-0, but we don't bother about that. A couple of seasons ago we strung together five 1-0 wins in succession and finished seventh, almost getting into Europe. We would take something like that again. "That sort of run gets points under your belt early on in a season and gets you going with plenty of confidence. We all believe in ourselves and each other, in our own ability and as a unit. It is surprising just how much that sort of belief can carry you, and how far you can go." Everton fans were well aware that Manchester United had dropped two more points before the Toffees had even kicked off against Southampton, who deserved more for their efforts. Osman said: " Manchester United dropped two points before we started playing, and there were people around who were saying that we could take advantage and go five points clear of them. "That sounds funny because last season thinking about the results of the really big teams wasn't something that bothered many fans at Everton." For the record, Everton managed six 1-0 league wins in the 2002-03 season, five on the trot early on and 15 one-goal victory margins. Moyes clearly has not torn up the blueprint. Everton ground away at the dogged Saints and won it with a long throw, flicked on by Duncan Ferguson and driven in on the turn by Osman. Under-pressure Southampton boss Steve Wigley, who was missing nine senior men, added: "We have almost a complete team in the treatment room at the moment, but that is our problem to solve. Things are not going for us but you can't feel sorry for yourself, I certainly am not. "It's more than just luck though. Look at Everton 12 months ago, they were losing games 1-0 and struggling. But this season it has gone for them because they are working very, very hard and I have great respect for David Moyes for what he has achieved."
Blues can help Gers play Ball
Oct 18 2004 Liverpool Echo
RANGERS and Everton have opened negotiations in a bid to free defender Michael Ball from his current deadlock with the Ibrox club. The Gers signed the 25-year-old for £6.5million in August 2001 under former boss Dick Advocaat. But Rangers are keen to avoid triggering a £500,000 payment to Everton, who negotiated a clause-laden sale in the summer of 2001, leaving Ball sidelined through no fault of his own. But Ibrox boss Alex McLeish insists all parties are now working towards a solution. He said: "We're trying to come to some compromise with Everton. "Both ourselves and the player's agent have been talking to the Goodison club because this situation isn't doing anyone any good. "We are considering a variety of things but we need to be creative." Ball was considered to be a rising talent in the game when he joined Rangers but a variety of injury problems have limited his appearances. He was famously involved in a touchline spat with Advocaat when he was substituted in a defeat by Celtic at Park-head in November 2001. Ball has one England cap, earned in Sven Goran Eriksson's first match in charge - a friendly against Spain at Villa Park in February 2001.
Defender Naysmith rejects new deal
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Oct 19 2004
EVERTON could lose another international on a free transfer next summer after Gary Naysmith last night rejected a new contract offer. David Moyes, who is prepared to risk losing Thomas Gravesen for nothing at the end of this season rather than accept a nominal fee in January, had hoped to persuade the defender to extend his four-year stay at Goodison Park. But the Scottish international has turned down the offer of a new three-year deal and could now be set for a return north of the border with Celtic. Naysmith is one of several first team play-ers out of contract next summer but one of only two, Leon Osman being the other, to have been offered an extension so far. Scottish champions Celtic have been monitoring the 25-year-old's situation for some time but whether they pay a small fee in January or wait until he becomes available on a free remains to be seen. Naysmith, a £1.75milllion signing from Hearts in 2000, has been a regular fixture under Moyes until this season. The defender missed Saturday's win over Southampton with an ankle injury suffered in Scotland's 1-1 draw with Moldova last week. But he is expected to return to full training tomorrow after making a quicker than expected recovery. "Gary went in for a block tackle playing for Scotland and he bent his ankle back in the process," explained physio Mick Rathbone. "It doesn't seem too serious and the injury has settled down quite well. All being well, I expect him to join in full training over the next few days."
Post Soapbox, icLiverpool & Daily Post
Oct 19 2004
MAYBE it wasn't the best performance of the season on Saturday, a few Everton players were below par in my opinion, but who cares? Against Spurs we played some smashing football but had nothing to show for it. After the summer that we had to go through we deserve all the luck in the world. I'm made up for David Moyes - no-one deserves more credit than him - a truly talented manager.
Bill Jay (via e-mail)
Pay up, Rangers
WHY are Rangers "in talks" with EFC over the £500,000 they have to pay if Michael Ball plays again? They signed the deal. If they don't want to pay up then they have to sell him or come to some arrangement with Ball. EFC have an agreement that can be upheld in a court of law unless there is some other deal that is more beneficial to EFC, eg a player worth more than the £500K that we want (unlikely!).
Michael Phillips (via e-mail)
ANOTHER three points in the bag for the Blues, and well deserved too. Everton are playing great football and are making it increasingly difficult for teams to score after yet another clean sheet.
I feel this is down to the managerial expertise of David Moyes who had adopted a 4-5-1 formation which has paid dividends. He thoroughly deserves his manager of the month award, I'm sure I am not alone when I say we have probably got one, if not the best, young managers around.
Neil Houltram, St Helens
WHAT a great start to the season this has been. Noone expected us to start so well, although David Moyes may disagree with me on that one. Moyes is the most important man at Everton, the guy is excellent, and he obviously loves being at the helm at Goodison Park. We know there will be other setbacks during the season, but if we can just consolidate our position in the top six, and then build on the squad in January with the addition of some quality players, then this season could prove to be a very enjoyable one.
Phil Peel, Liverpool
Blues in dark over Naysmith
Oct 19 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON are mystified by claims Gary Naysmith has turned down a new contract offer. The Blues have been in negotiations with the 25-year-old Scotland international over a new three-year deal for the last month. But they have received no notification that the player has declined the offer. Reports of Naysmith's refusal emerged in Scotland yesterday and there are concerns inside Goodison that the defender's representatives are awaiting an approach from Celtic when the January transfer window opens. Naysmith's current four-year deal runs out at the end of the season and he will be able to sign a pre-contract agreement with any club outside England in January.
Celtic have constantly been linked with the left-back. But Everton intend to continue contract talks with Naysmith and are eager to discover if the player is ready to turn down the three-year offer.
David Moyes is a fan of the defender's no-nonsense approach and has made no secret of his desire to keep the Scot at Goodison. But the chance to return to Scotland with a move to Celtic could prove a major draw for Naysmith. By contrast, Rangers' left-back Michael Ball is believed to favour a switch back to the Premiership. The former Everton defender has found himself in limbo at Ibrox because he is just four games short of a 60th appearance for the club which will trigger a £500,000 payment to the Blues. Rangers ' financial problems have forced manager Alex McLeish to leave Ball on the sidelines. The Scottish giants want to negotiate a compromise with Everton which will allow Ball to play for Rangers but Goodison chief executive Keith Wyness will not agree a new deal which will result in the Blues losing out financially. Moyes is believed to be reluctant to consider the prospect of taking Ball back to Everton after having his fingers burned over the Francis Jeffers deal last season.
Networking at Goodison
Oct 19 2004 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON stage their next networking event in the famous Dixie Dean Platinum Suite tomorrow from 7pm-9pm. Hosted by Everton's Head of Commercial Operations, Andy Hosie, cost is £10 per person - free to Cblue members.
Those interested should contact Natasha Harris on 0151 330 2224 or e-mail Cblue@evertonfc.com
Redknapp launches charge appeal
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Oct 20 2004
TOTTENHAM captain Jamie Redknapp stepped up efforts to clear his name over the dreadful lunge at Tim Cahill last night by requesting a personal hearing with the FA's disciplinary committee.
Redknapp is facing the prospect of a three-match ban for the challenge that left Cahill in agony and Everton fearing their £2million summer signing had suffered cruciate damage in the Premiership encounter on October 2. Despite only being cautioned by referee Graham Poll at the time of the incident, Redknapp has since been retrospectively charged by the FA with violent conduct.
And while his appeal is unlikely to succeed given that the FA opted for the punishment themselves after reviewing video evidence, the action does endure the midfielder will be eligible for Tottenham's home game with Bolton this Saturday. "A date for the hearing will be fixed in due course," said an FA spokesman last night, which means Redknapp will not be immediately banned under the new fast-track disciplinary procedure. The delay has been welcomed by Spurs after Redknapp missed their first away defeat of the season at Portsmouth on Monday for collecting five yellow cards this season. The last of those was for the over-the-top lunge at Cahill, who was able to return to action in Saturday's defeat of Southampton, and the FA believe there is a case for upgrading the punishment handed out by referee Poll. Everton, meanwhile, are still waiting for a satisfactory proposal from Glasgow Rangers over the current stalemate involving Michael Ball.
The former Goodison defender is yet to appear for the Scottish giants this season as Rangers try to avoid triggering a £500,000 payment due to Everton under the terms of his £6.5m transfer in 2001.
Ball has made only 49 starts for Rangers in an injury-hit spell north of the border and is desperate to break the current impasse, even offering to pay a percentage of his wages back to Everton if a compromise can be agreed. Everton, however, are yet to receive a formal proposition from Rangers and will insist on the terms of the original deal unless one is forthcoming soon. Rangers manager Alex McLeish admitted: "Both ourselves and the player's agent have been talking to Everton. This situation isn't doing anyone any good. We are considering a variety of things but we need to be creative."
Golden memories of true Blue hero
Oct 20 2004
Len Capeling recounts the tale of a real Goodison star
ALAN BALL was at a low point. Still deeply shocked by the hurried end to his extraordinary Everton career, he faced a traumatic time adjusting to a new life with Arsenal - an Arsenal a world away from the modern wisdom of Arsene Wenger. Vainly attempting to heal his broken heart, he took his wife Lesley to a favourite Lancashire restaurant. Halfway through the meal, the headwaiter arrived at their table to announce that someone wanted to speak to Alan. Down the telephone line came an unmistakeable, glasspaper-on-gravel voice. "Aye, son, your mother told me where you were. I know you got back at 3.30 this afternoon, son, because there was suddenly a thorn pulled from my side. I wish you all the best, son. You've been great on Merseyside." The thorn analogy was perfectly fitting. But, then, it did come from one of the masters of the spoken word, Bill Shankly, whose entry in any book of quotes is always an extensive one. Alan Ball had been Bill's nemesis in many a Merseyside derby yet the gruff Scot, a true football genius, wished to acknowledge that Alan's leaving of this soccer-daft city represented a sharp pain removed from his body. The call was significant for another reason. Alan Ball had no great love for his most recent manager, Harry Catterick, who had just emptied Ball out of Goodison - to the dismay of Everton fans all over the world. A dismay that exists to this day. Catterick's final words to the departing darling of the terraces were cold and clipped, as befitted a man whose relationship with his players was too often haughty headmaster to errant pupil. Bill Shankly could also be difficult, his temper occasionally ungovernable. But he loved his players. Well, the robust ones anyway, and he made them feel special, particularly when it came to facing what he regarded as unscrupulous foreigners.
As Ball says in his marvellously inspirational memoir, Playing Extra Time, the kindly call from Shanks came at the right time, made him feel wanted again. Lifted him high. I was almost in tears," he recalls, "hearing those words from such a great, whimsical, passionate football man."
Len Capeling recounts the tale of a real Goodison star
Just as heartfelt would have been the tears shed by Everton fans at the unbelievable exit of a Goodison giant whose smallness of stature could fool you until you met him in combat on a soccer field. More than 30 years on, I still kid myself that he never left the royal blue boys he drove to glory - as the flame and the arrow. Think Rooneymania and you're still nowhere near the adulation heaped on one of the most dynamic and driven players of his - or any - age. To see Alan Ball in his Goodison pomp was to be in heaven. And it wasn't only Ball. For this, after all, was the School of Science and its classical scholars - present and past - included Tommy Ring, Bobby Collins, Roy Vernon, Alex Parker, Alex Young, Brian Labone, Tony Kay, Howard Kendall, Colin Harvey and Joe Royle. Under Catterick, Everton carried off two championships in thrilling style, won arguably the most enthralling and exciting FA Cup finals of all-time against Sheffield Wenesday - kisses to Mike Trebilcock and Derek Temple - and totally dominated another Wembley day against West Bromwich Albion, only to go down to a sucker-punch from Jeff Astle. Yet Ball, like some of his other team-mates, was not a fan of Catterick, a martinet who only pulled on a tracksuit if he heard that chairman and benefactor John Moores - later Sir John Moores - had been pointing his posh car in the direction of Bellefield. Ball is scathing about an emotionally arctic human being whose gifts as a manager he did not see, even if the trophies shone through the gloom Catterick sometimes cast on his players. Ron Suart, Ball's first manager at Blackpool, got loved while Catterick got loathed despite bringing Ball to the club he was made for after the young England star's amazing exploits with the Boys of '66. Says the uncompromising Ball: "Ron Suart had been a lovely man; Catterick ruled by fear. "The smiling man who signed me for Everton turned out to be the toughest boss of all. The dressing room was tough and the manager was a fearful dictator." Ball gives Catterick due credit for giving life to the astonishing, telepathic trinity of Ball, Harvey and Kendall, players who dictated the way Everton played their football... beautifully, in case you're too young to remember.
No-one can deny that success came to Everton under Catterick's stewardship, Ball concedes.
But there were times when it seems we were playing well despite him, and not because of him - a stark sentiment that might just chime with a number of present-day Premiership performers.
Catterick never took a training session, says Ball. "I never saw him in a tracksuit and he never imparted any football philosophy to think about. "He had problems with one-toone relationships. He was strong when it came to lashing out with the big stick and you always knew when it was coming because you could hear him pounding down the corridor in his heavy brogues after you had been beaten the previous Saturday. "The lads would sit there like naughty schoolboys waiting for the appropriate punishment. "I think he was shy underneath. He wanted to be friends later in life and there were times when I felt sorry for him." Thankfully, Alan Ball's problems with Catterick seldom seemed to affect his on-field displays. He was an inspiration and irritant to opponents and his own team-mates, his much-mimicked voice screeching out instructions if colleagues fell below the Ball requirement of 110%. He never slacked. He never hid. He was always in your face. His confrontations with people like Billy Bremner were legend. He never ever accepted defeat, never knew when the game was up. He saw a loser's medal as something to be chucked away into the nearest river. His father - same name,, same obsessive attitude - wanted a solid-gold winner, the 'get a bit of blood on your shirt and they'll love you for it' type. He got one. That's why Evertonians of a certain age see Alan Ball in the same bright light as earlier generations saw Dixie Dean.
Ball argues, forcibly, that life didn't end when Catterick pulled up the drawbridge. But Arsenal was not the most happy playground, though he could always be sure of a hero's welcome when he returned each season to his only true home - Goodison Park.. Like Catterick, Terry Neill wasn't his type of creative force. Portraying the Gunners as Cowboys and the opposition as Red Indians in his training sessions - Neill dragged both both sets of plastic figures out of cloth bags as illustration - did not endear the bluff Irishman to the worldly Ball. He found a soulmate later on in Lawrie McMenemy and had some happy years at The Dell. But Evertonians still claim him as their own. And those of us privileged enough to see him know why we continue to worship at the shrine of memory... The carrot-top, the forest of freckles, the gleaming white boots quickly scarred, the royal Blue shirt worn with allconsuming pride - it's an unforgettable picture that lifts the clouds on the greyest of days. Ihave another memory of Ball apart from his incredible ability to nail Liverpool.
It is the Alan Ball of later years returning to the holy ground with Southampton to be greeted with a huge bouquet of flowers, predominantly blue. Alan Ball was back, for just the day, and we could admire him once again, even if he was in an opposition shirt of red and white stripes. His book is a treasure-filled reminder of those blue remembered hills we climbed together in our wellspent youth. Read it, and recollect. Alan Ball: Playing Extra Time, by Alan Ball, is published by Sidgwick and Jackson at £17.99.
Day legend was cornered by the football wisdom of old Mr John
JOHN MOORES loaned Everton the money that turned them into one of the fabled Top Five in the singing Sixties. Alan Ball got on well with the great man while the self-made millionaire pools tycoon felt able to impart some of his footballing wisdom to the player who'd just helped England win the World Cup. One day at the club, Mr John, as Moores was always known at Everton and Littlewoods, came to sit beside Ball. After the usual pleasantries, he leaned closer and said: "You aren't taking your corners as I would have liked. You've got to get that left foot alongside the ball." To this Ball would politely reply: "Yes, Mr John. All right, Mr John." He felt too embarrassed to tell one of the world's great businessmen that he wasn't taking the corner kicks. STAN CULLIS and Bill Ridding. Remember the names. They were the managers who rejected the teenage Alan Ball, Cullis at Wolves, Ridding at Bolton. Ball trained with both clubs, and Ridding's dismissal of the teenager must have haunted the Bolton boss for the rest of his days. After the usual putdowns such as small and frail, Ridding said: "The only apprenticeship you'll get, lad, is apprentice jockey." The rest is soccer folklore writ in gold.
Everton Res 3, Aston Villa Res 1
Oct 20 2004
EVERTON RESERVES inflicted a first Barclays Premiership Reserve League defeat of the season on Aston Villa as James McFadden got the ball rolling early on at Haig Avenue. Everton started really well as Nick Chadwick combined well with McFadden, but fired his shot just wide. Scottish international McFadden was not to be disappointed a minute later, with Henderson in the Villa goal having no chance as the Everton striker drove in a low drive from the edge of the box. An Eddy Bosnar free-kick on 10 minutes nearly made it two as Everton continued to dominate. Nick Chadwick then doubled the Blues lead on 21 minutes, heading home Daniel Fox's left-wing cross superbly. Everton's first half joy continued, only punctuated by the loss of Anthony Gerrard who was stretchered off just before the break and taken to hospital. They continued to dictate and went close to a third when Chad-wick's shot came back off a post and then Wilson was denied by Henderson. Despite an improved second-half showing Villa did not trouble Iain Turner until the 82nd minute when Luke Moore pounced to halve the deficit. Henderson continued to deny Everton, who were not fazed by the Villa goal and indeed secured all three points with James Vaughan's late goal.
EVERTON: Turner, Wynne, Fox, Gerrard (Hughes 42), Bosnar, Harris, Seargeant, Phelan, Chadwick, McFadden (Vaughan 52), Wilson (Bolyle 15). Subs: Hopkins, Lake.
ASTON VILLA: Henderson, Drobny, Nix (Paul 73), Cahill, Ridgewell, Berson, Cooke, Davis, Moore, Agbonlahor (Aaritalo 76), Gardener. Subs: Olejnik, Troest.
Boss backs luckless McFadden
Oct 20 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES has backed James McFadden to overcome a crisis of confidence. The Scottish international (left) endured a bitter-sweet outing for the reserves last night, scoring in the 3-1 win before hobbling off with a leg injury. Moyes included McFadden in the reserve squad for the clash with Aston Villa at Haig Avenue in order to help the forward play his way back to form. The Blues boss said: "He picked up a dead leg but we hope it won't be too serious. "We wanted to give him a run out and we always planned to play him for one hour anyway. "There is nothing wrong with his match fitness but we felt he needed to keep his eye in. "He is mentally very strong. You can be as strong as you like, though, but if you are lacking confidence it doesn't make a difference. "But the natural ability James has will make it easier for him to come through it. I am sure it is only a matter of time before he is helping us with his performances in the first team. "When he gets his opportunity, he must be able to grab it." McFadden has endured a torrid run of fortune this season.
He was selected for the opening game of the campaign against Arsenal but lasted only 45 minutes before being substituted. His only start since came in the Carling Cup tie at Bristol City in which he missed a penalty in open play five minutes from which would have ensured the Blues avoided extra time and a penalty shoot-out. His run of bad luck has extended to the international stage, where he was sent-off in Scotland's recent World Cup qualifier against Norway for handling on the goalline.
But Moyes has faith in the forward, using him as a sub in Saturday's 1-0 victory over Southampton at Goodison. Meanwhile, three Thai youngsters have joined Everton's Youth Academy. Rattapol Piyavutiskul, Sompong Soleb and Teeratep Winothai have arrived on Merseyside as part of the shirt sponsor-ship deal with Chang Beer and will have the opportunity to impress Academy chiefs during the course of the season. The three youngsters will remain at Goodison for nine months after beating 500 rivals in a Pop Idol style show on Thai television. Andy Hosie, Everton's head of commercial operations, has been relieved of his duties. He is the first senior figure at Goodison to depart since Keith Wyness' appointment as chief-executive.
Become a Royal Liver Football Adviser
Oct 20 2004 Liverpool Echo
TRUE Blues - If you've got the knowledge you could win the best seat in the house and £1,550
It's hard to make your voice heard from the terraces or while shouting at the TV. If only someone would listen to your words of wisdom, the team would be challenging for silverware come the end of the season. At last your chance is at hand. Royal Liver Assurance and Everton are offering supporters the chance to share their insights by becoming special Royal Liver Football Advisers.
Whether it's time to give the star of the reserves a run in the first team or you've analysed Saturday's opposition and spotted a crucial weakness, send us your thoughts and none other than David Moyes himself will pick which one of you has the best footballing brain. Simply fill in the form (see link below) and you could be elevated from fan to super-fan. Monthly winners for October and November will win the ultimate prize for any Everton fan, the chance to watch a match at Goodison with an Everton legend, with 5 runners up each month winning a pair of tickets for a tour of Goodison. At the end of November, David Moyes will pick an overall winner from all entries to receive £1,550 in a Royal Liver Tax Exempt Savings Policy. Finally, one piece of good advice deserves another and each person who enters will be entitled to a free financial health check from Royal Liver. Royal Liver offers a range of financial products and services to Everton supporters, staff and players.
Beattie just another Dunc - we need guile
Oct 20 2004 Echo Letters
Beattie just another Dunc - we need guile
I DO not think that James Beattie would be a good buy, he's just a younger version of Duncan and that means more high balls and less midfield guile. For me, the idea of having Ferguson and/or Cambell on the bench is wasting an opportunity to give Hopkins or Chadwick a chance in the first team. That said, I don't think that a striker is the most important player we need. Stubbs and Weir must be replaced sooner rather than later. They have given decent service over the past few years but if we are to be successful then we must get a good young centre back who is quick.
We desperately need a player in the Ledley King mould.
Trev Lynes, Liverpool
A FEW people commented after the match on Saturday how poor the game was. But if they look at it with open eyes instead of being blinkered they would appreciate what really matters. We played well against Tottenham and were beaten, but played badly against Southampton, won and collected three points. I would take last Saturday's result and points every time - a win is a win.
Otter Woods, Southport
Make Gers pay full price
EVERTON should stand firm against Rangers over the £500K owed. It's not our fault they have overspent on foreign veterans for years. Also if it's so hard on Michael Ball, why doesn't he put his hand in his own pocket to bail Rangers out? We hold all the aces for once and should stick to our guns. Only hope this isn't a foretaste of wrangles to come with Man United over milestone payments for Rooney.
* Gravesen was pure class on Saturday.
For all the times he does headless chicken impressions, I'd still rather have him for performances like Saturday than not have him at all.
Steve S, Southport
Faddy's strike inspires Blues
Oct 20 2004 Liverpool Echo
JAMES McFADDEN'S strike after just four minutes set Everton Reserves on their way to a creditable victory over previously unbeaten Aston Villa at Haig Avenue. Andy Holden again fielded a young side, with the addition of McFadden against Villa, managed by the former Liverpool midfielder Kevin McDonald. Everton started well as Nick Chadwick combined with McFadden, but fired his shot just wide. Scottish international McFadden was a lot happier a minute later, however, with Villa keeper Henderson having no chance as the Everton star drove in from the edge of the box. An Eddy Bosnar free kick in the 10th minute nearly made it two, but Chadwick doubled the lead on 21 minutes, heading home Daniel Fox's left-wing cross. The Blues were dealt a blow with the loss of Anthony Gerrard, who was stretchered off after injury, before Chadwick's shot came back off a post.
Despite an improved second half showing, Villa failed to trouble keeper Iain Turner, until the 82nd minute when Luke Moore made it 2-1. Henderson continued to deny Everton, but could do nothing about James Vaughan's late goal to clinch the points. Australian Bosnar once again impressed
EVERTON: Turner, Wynne, Fox, Gerrard (Hughes 42), Bosnar, Harris, Seargeant, Phelan, Chadwick, McFadden (Vaughan 52), Wilson (Boyle 15). Not used: Hopkins, Lake.
Content Kilbane keen to extend Everton stay
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Oct 21 2004
KEVIN KILBANE last night revealed his determination to stay at Everton - and insisted he would have no hesitation signing a new long-term deal at Goodison Park. The 27-year-old is one of several first-team regulars out of contract at the end of this season but, unlike his team-mates, does have the option of an extra year. Kilbane signed a two-year deal in a £750,000 switch from Sunder-land last August with a view to a 12-month extension if both parties were satisfied with the move. Following a hugely successful spell on Merseyside, both Everton and the Republic of Ireland international are willing to exercise that option. And Kilbane admits he would sign for as long as possible after flourishing under David Moyes's tutelage at Goodison. "I have an option to extend my contract at the end of this season and the manager has already spoken to me about it," revealed the Everton midfielder. "I'm now just looking to sign a new deal for as long as possible. I love it at Everton and I'd like to think I could be here for a good few years yet. "The manager has said he wants me to stay and that's what I want too. There is an agreement in place whereby if both parties are happy we just extend the contract. "Ideally, I'd just like to scrap it and just sign a new two-year deal or whatever is there. I'm just looking to sort something out with the club and get it done and dusted as quickly as possible." Kilbane has been a permanent fixture under Moyes since the move from Sunderland and hopes that will continue for several more years. Kilbane added: "Since I've come to the club I've settled in well and I've been accepted, which was very important to me. "I wanted to feel part of this club and from day one that is how I've felt. I've really enjoyed my time at Everton and I want to stay here as long as possible if I can." Nick Chadwick, meanwhile, admits he may have to leave Everton in the January transfer window due to a lack of first-team opportunities. The 21-year-old (left) has hardly featured under Moyes during the past 18 months despite his fine goalscoring record at both reserve and senior level and Everton's need for more firepower. And Chadwick, who scored in the 3-1 reserve team win over Aston Villa on Tuesday, admits he may need to move for the sake of his career. "As a player I don't think I can play reserve team football for much longer," said the striker. "It's been four seasons now and anybody will tell you that playing in the reserves for that long doesn't do anyone's career any good. "I've spoken to the people that matter at the club about it. Everybody knows where everybody else stands, so we'll be seeing what happens in January.
"I'm nearly 22 now, I've been out on loan a few times but I've got to be realistic and look at it and think it might not happen for me here." Andy Hosie, Everton's head of commercial operations, has become the first senior figure at Everton to be relieved of his duties since Keith Wyness took up the chief executive's position last month.
Ball back in the Rangers frame
Oct 21 2004
MICHAEL BALL, the forgotten man of Ibrox, has resurfaced in Poland. The left-back, who played a single game for England under Sven-Goran Eriksson in 2001, was a surprise inclusion in the Rangers squad which landed in Poznan ahead of tonight's UEFA Cup clash with Amica Wronki. The former Everton player (right) is fit again after suffering another pre-season injury setback - but Rangers' financial problems had already overtaken him. Rangers are almost £74million in debt and as a result are keen to avoid triggering a clause which will see Everton receive £500,000 on top of the £4m they banked three years ago. That will happen if Ball plays 60 games and so far he has appeared in 54, the last being on May 8 against Celtic.
Helveg in fear of sizzler from Danish partner
By Jim Van Wijk, Daily Post
Oct 21 2004
THOMAS HELVEG has warned his Norwich team-mates to be wary of fellow Dane Thomas Gravesen when Everton arrive at Carrow Road on Saturday. The Canaries moved out of the bottom three following a goalless draw at West Brom on Saturday, but remain without a victory in the Barclays Premiership since winning promotion back to the top flight as first division champions. Having already played the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United, Newcastle and Liverpool, it does not get any easier for Nigel Worthington's side, who are now set to come up against a team that has started the season in superb fashion, battling out six wins in nine starts to take them to third in the table. Everton have been the surprise package of the new campaign, exceeding all expectations following the sale of striker Wayne Rooney and are just a point behind Chelsea, with an unbeaten record away from home. Former AC Milan and Inter midfielder Helveg - a free transfer in the summer - is captain of Denmark, and knows what an influence his countryman can be. "He is a very important player for Everton," the 33-year-old said. "He is also very important to the Danish national team. We have to stick close to him. "He is a brilliant footballer. If you give him the time and space he will do whatever he wants. We need to watch him and make sure he does not get that space. "For sure, he is one of the main players for Everton." Helveg came off the bench at The Hawthorns and put in an impressive display on the right side of midfield. "I have done that for a long time in Italy," he said.. "Recently I have been playing more as a full-back, but I felt very comfortable there." Helveg feels he is gradually adjusting to the hustle and bustle of life in the Premiership. "I knew before coming over here that it would be different," reflected Helveg. "It was maybe a quicker type of football, but I think I was prepared for that. But you need to play games before you are able to get used to that.
"I'm just trying to be ready now for when that chance comes along." Meanwhile, Aston Villa midfielder Gareth Barry is targeting the Premiership match at Everton on October 30 for a quickfire comeback from a knee injury after admitting he had feared the worst. Barry was stretchered off after just six minutes of Saturday's game with Arsenal at Highbury after being caught on the knee by a late challenge from Lauren. But the former England under-21 captain was relieved when a scan showed no long-term damage - although the fortnight he will spend on the sidelines is his longest spell out injured in his career. Barry said: "When it initially happened I feared the worst. It was something different to just a normal kick. "I was panicking a bit at the time of the challenge. I think you always do when you are not sure what has happened, when you try and walk and you can't.
"You do fear the worst but the specialist said to me I was very lucky and I'm thankful for that. When the results of the scan came through, I was relieved. "I'll try and aim to be ready for next Saturday against Everton - but the physio tells me to take it a day at a time. This will probably been the longest I've been out."
I realised football, my lifelong fixation, is only a game
Oct 21 2004
Len Capeling on the biggest fight of Goodison legend's life WE ALWAYS want our heroes to be happy ever after, to have nothing but the sweetest fortune as a thank you for the good times they brought into our lives. But even as we wish them and their loved ones the very best, we know that fate doesn't always look with favour on those we hold in high regard. One of the most poignant parts of Alan Ball's Playing Extra Time is the agony of watching his beloved wife Lesley lose her battle against cancer. She died earlier this year after long months of treatment involving chemotheraphy, radiotherapy and pioneering surgery At the same time as Lesley was fighting for her life, their daugther Mandy faced her own fierce struggle against breast cancer - now,, thankfully, in remission.
"Lesley deserved to live, and it is difficult for me to think of anything else. They were awful times," writes Alan Ball. "Every day I realised how much she did for me. "As with all footballers, the clubs molly-coddled me. Everything was taken care of. "All of a sudden you are out of football and even mundane tasks such as checking in at airports were new to me. "Lesley took care of all that and I followed on until I was confident enough to do it for myself. I thought everything in our lives had been arranged. "Lesley always had energy to burn. Even when the prognosis was poor, when we knew the cancer appeared to be relentless in its progress, she was determined to make the most of life for as long as possible. And despite all the pain, a smile was never far away. Believe me, she was braver than any footballer I've ever played against." The fight against the cancer went on for two-and-a-half years, conventional treatments being followed by new surgical techniques. In the end, nothing worked. But Lesley wouldn't give up, once violently banging a saucepan against the kitchen wall and repeating, 'I'm not going to die. I'm not going to die'. Yet despite the the terrible times, there were moments of dark humour. "I always used to tell Lesley she had a great bum," says Ball. "But she came out of the shower one morning and said to me, 'You are not ever going to look at my bum again, because it's gone'. "That gave us a great laugh. Then immediately came the tears of realisation." Further drastic surgery followed, but Alan Ball sensed his wife was getting weaker. The old sparkle of the woman he loved had finally gone. But even in her hour of greatest need, she thought only of him. Ball had been voted by Everton fans into the club's greatest all-time eleven, the presentation to take place at the final home game of last season. "I won't go. I can't leave you," he told Lesley. "It's Everton," she replied. "You must be with your people." "That said everything about her," says Ball. "Despite her severely weakened state, she was thinking of me." Little more than a week later, Lesley died, her husband by her side, their three children close by. "Lesley was the eternal battler," writes Ball,, seeking that quest for just one more time. "Sadly, it wasn't to be. When I think of her now, I realise that football, the game which was my lifelong fixation, is, after all, only a game."
I was trembling when I heard his key in the lock . . .
ONE afternoon after I came home from school in Oswestry I went out, as I always did, to kick a ball against a wall, trapping it, firing it back, catching the rebound on my instep, and sometimes taking it on my chest. Nothing could come between me and the romance with a ball. Unfortunately, I was wearing new sandals my mother had just bought. They were supposed to last two summers. But then I was only 10 years old and by the time I'd finished, a sole was hanging off. I knew I would be in trouble. My mother went mad about the state of the sandal and promised full retribution from my dad when he got home. A fearful sense of fore-boding enveloped me, trembling when I heard his key in the lock. As my mother delivered her critical report, holding a slipper aloft and saying something like 'Look what he's done now', my dad inspected the damage and suddenly reacted as if he'd found gold dust. 'It's all right,' he said, 'it's his left foot' - the foot he'd been at me for days to work on and improve. ALAN BALL, from Playing Extra Time
Carrow Road victory that sealed title win
Post Past by Philip J Redmond Everton supporter, Daily Post
Oct 21 2004
IT'S Norwich away this Saturday and one game always springs to mind when recalling past meetings at Carrow Road. It was May 1987, when Everton were last crowned as League Champions, our ninth in all. The 1986-87 season started with the club still suffering from the hangover of the previous season's nightmare finish which let Liverpool sneak in from nowhere to clinch a league and cup double. Added to that was a frightening long-term injury list that included Southall, Mountfield, Reid, Bracewell, Steven and Van Den Hauwe. Everton would also somehow have to replace the 40 goals that Gary Lineker had plundered the previous season. In '86-87, Everton managed to overcome all these problems, with a display of character and purpose, a return to the attacking game of '84-85, which enabled half a dozen players to reach a double figure goal tally. Howard Kendall also used the transfer market wisely to bring in future club stalwart Dave Watson, the ageless Paul Power from Manchester City and useful squad players like Neil Adams and Kevin Langley. Other big players that year were the ultimate utility man Alan Harper and the peerless Kevin Sheedy On the May Bank holiday Monday, I was one of about 8,000 Blues who made the long trip to Norfolk knowing that three points would secure Everton's second title in three years. Norwich themselves had had a decent return to the top flight but the Champions-elect were in the mood to finish the job off properly and inside the first minute Pat Van Den Hauwe drove in the goal that would be enough. Psycho Pat, as he was known to the faithful, found the roof of the net after a scramble following a corner. After 90 nervewracking minutes for the huge travelling support, the party could begin and it seemed that every pub in every little Norfolk hamlet had a party of happy Blues singing "Hand it over, Liverpool", that balmy night
Oct 21 2004 Liverpool Echo
'A five-man midfield has allowed Gravesen, Osman and Cahill greater freedom to attack' - David Spowart WE really are just a point behind a team that cost £200m to put together and we really are almost half way to a points total that will confirm our top flight status for another season. And yes it really is still only October! It hasn't been pretty football but it is winning us games and all credit to the management and players for that. A further three points on Saturday at Norwich would keep the confidence high and the points coming in as we face a very difficult November with three away trips to Chelsea, Birmingham and Newcastle, all of whom we rarely take points from. Looking further ahead, the higher we are in the league when the transfer market re-opens, the better our chances of luring players like James Beattie and Scott Parker to Goodison Park.
STE DALEY, Speke
SOUTHAMPTON have now suffered two last minute defeats in three years at Goodison, and though Leon Osman's goal was neither as late nor as spectacular as Tomasz Radzinski's two seasons ago, it was equally as welcome. Saturday's performance was not the most fluent the Blues have provided this season, but we again showed commitment and fitness. A five-man midfield has provided greater solidity while allowing the likes of Gravesen, Osman and Cahill greater freedom to attack.
Success is dependent on the presence of these players, as well as the likes of Kilbane and Bent, due to the size of the squad. If the team is not to run out of steam, then David Moyes must be given the resources to increase the squad as he sees fit. Otherwise, another bright chink of light for Evertonians at the end of the tunnel will turn out to be just one more train coming our way.
DAVID SPOWART, Liverpool
AS the old adage says, the league table does not lie. It wasn't the greatest of games against Southampton but who cares? We've got three more points and another week in a Champions League spot. To make things better, we could actually go second for at least a few hours on Saturday if we draw against or beat Norwich. The one thing that was obvious on Saturday was the need for another striker, particularly when Everton needed to freshen things up for the last 20 minutes. If Everton are to continue this good form we need strength coming off the bench.
Finally, I bet Mrs. Moyes was rubbing her hands with glee when Everton won again. I've been told she is getting rather used to being taken out for a slap-up meal every time we win!
STEVE SHONE, Wallasey
ANOTHER week, another win.
I'd be shocked after our start to the season but it's slowly starting to emerge that last season was the one-off and not the previous one. Maybe the players got too confident after Moyes' first full season, so they took their foot off the gas and thought that they could do it every week without showing enough passion. Last season may have been a blessing in disguise. People keep saying it won't last and we're in a false position, but it's the usual rubbish the press come out with when they see a team that's not Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea or Liverpool occupying the top four. They hate to see teams who are actually teams - and not a bunch of individuals - doing well. So don't enjoy the moment and expect us to falter. Expect winning to be a regular habit.
KEN STEWART, St Helens
Super Kev is model pro
Oct 21 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES has paid tribute to Kevin Campbell's attitude after being dropped from the first team squad for Everton's last two Premiership matches. The 34-year-old striker is in the final year of his Goodison contract and his deal is unlikely to be renewed at the end of the season. But the manager has been impressed with Campbell's response to missing out on the 16-man squads for the games against Tottenham and Southampton. He told the ECHO: "Kevin has been unfortunate to have been out of the 16-man squad for the last few games. "But I would like to say that behind the scenes he has been a model professional and after every game he has been the first to congratulate the players. "Sometimes that kind of thing can go unnoticed. "It can be difficult for an experienced, older player to come to terms with a situation like that but Kevin has handled himself well.
"He knows that with the size of the squad we have right now there will be plenty of opportunities to play between now and the end of the season." Moyes has just 19 senior outfielders in his first-team pool. Like Campbell, young striker Nick Chadwick has been given very little opportunity to make an impression this season, although he did score as a substitute in the Carling Cup win over Bristol City last month. The forward's frustration has led to him admitting he may have to leave Goodison for regular football. The 21-year-old said: "I don't think I can play reserve team football for much longer. "It has been four seasons now and anybody will tell you that playing in the reserves for that long doesn't do anyone's career any good. "I have been out on loan a few times but I have got to be realistic and think it might not happen for me." Hull head a host of Football League clubs interested in the striker, but Moyes has no intention of letting him go. He said: "We are not keen on letting anybody leave the club because we don't have enough players. "Nick has been here a while and we know he wants to play football, we understand that. But we are short of players." Meanwhile, the dead leg James McFadden sustained against Aston Villa in Tuesday night's reserve match is not expected to rule the forward out for Saturday's Premiership trip to Norwich.
Tim Cahill answers your questions
Oct 21 2004 Liverpool Echo
MIDFIELD star Tim Cahill answers the Top Ten questions put to him by jblue member Sean Meaney, aged 11, of Rainhill. Who was your football hero when you were young?
Marco Van Basten. He was great for AC Milan, and Holland during the 1988 European Championships when he scored an unbelievable goal in the final. It was just a shame his career was cut short by injury. What do you miss most about Australia?
Definitely the weather. It would be nice to have a bit more sunshine here. What was your first impression of Everton?
The size and stature of the club really opened my eyes. This club is a giant, not just of the English game, but also the world game. Who is the funniest at the club? Cars (Lee Carsley). I find him very witty and sharp.
Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
My old man, without a doubt. He wasn't a player himself but he has always supported me. Within the game, Dennis Wise helped me a lot. But my dad has been my biggest influence.
Proudest moment in football?
Playing in the FA Cup final last season for Millwall against Manchester United. That was on a par with playing at Wembley in '98 in the LDV final against Wigan. They are pretty equal, but the FA Cup has got to edge it. It is just a shame we didn't win either game.
What is your nickname?
Who is the best player you have played with?
Marco Bresciano. He plays in Italy with Parma, but I have worked with him in the Australian squad. He is a top player, although he probably isn't that well known in this country.
What kind of music do you enjoy?
I like a range of stuff, from r&b to easy listening. But nothing particularly Australian, although you could throw in Rolf Harris.
What's the funniest thing you've seen in football?
Good question, but I can't think of anything.
* NIGEL MARTYN is once again having a terrific season for the Blues - and you have the chance of asking him your Top Ten questions. We will select the best set of questions sent in and put them to the keeper. Send them to: Nigel Martyn, jblue, Liverpool Echo Sports Desk, PO Box 48, Old Hall Street, Liverpool L69 3EB. Please include your name, address, phone number and jblue membership number.
* WE'RE on the look-out for talented members of our club to feature in future Everton match day programmes. We want to hear from anyone who thinks they can make a contribution to the programme, whether that be a poem, set of jokes, some artwork or something else. It's a great opportunity for you to 'star' in the Everton programme so send your contributions to jblue, Everton FC, Goodison Park, Liverpool, L4 4EL, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
* WE are looking for Everton's Best Young Fans - one of whom will become "Fan of the Year".
We want family or friends to send us their nominations, giving details as to why they think their nominee is worthy of the title "Fan of the Year". Include both your name and the youngster you are nominating, plus addresses and phone numbers. Send them to Blues' Fan of the Year, jblue, Liverpool Echo Sports Dept, PO Box 48, Old Hall Street, Liverpool L69 3EB.
Kilbane wants to stay a Blue
Oct 21 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
KEVIN KILBANE is ready to commit his long term future to Everton. The 27-year-old Irish international (right) was described by manager David Moyes as one of the club's most consistent performers of the last 12 months. Since his £750,000 arrival from Sunderland in September last year Kilbane has become one of the first names on the teamsheet and a favourite with fans. But his original contract was only for two years, with the option of a third season. That option is sure to be taken by the club at the end of the current campaign. But Kilbane is eager to put pen to paper on a deal which will keep him at Goodison beyond 2006. He said: "I have an option to extend my contract at the end of this season and the manager has already spoken to me about it. "I'm now just looking to sign a new deal for as long as possible. I love it at Everton and I would like to think I could be here for a good few years yet. "The manager has said he wants me to stay and that's what I want. There is an agreement in place whereby if both parties are happy we just extend the contract. "Ideally, I would just like to scrap it and just sign a new two-year deal or whatever is there. I'm just looking to sort something out with the club and get it done and dusted as quickly as possible. "Since I have come to the club I've settled in well and I've been accepted, which was very important to me. "I wanted to feel part of this club and from day one that is how I have felt." Meanwhile, manager Moyes is having to come to terms with the heightened expectations his side is facing following their flying start to the season. Saturday's 1-0 win over Southampton closed the gap between the Blues and second placed Chelsea. Moyes said: "Life is good because we are doing well. People are now saying that, with a 1-0 win against Southampton, maybe we did not do as well as we should have done. "Six weeks ago we would have taken any 1-0 win. Now people are beginning to look for it to be done with a lot of style and flair. But from my point of view we will take any win. "We should have beaten Tottenham when we played well, but didn't get it. Getting results in the Premiership is really hard no matter who you play and how they come. "You have to pick up the points and we picked up three really good points against Southampton. We are trying to have a similar season to two years ago. We are not getting carried away with ourselves for a minute. "We know that if we want to stay where we are we have to work hard. We know there is a lot of good days ahead, but we are also aware that there will be some bad ones, too. "What is in our minds at the moment is the disappointment of last season. We have to make sure we get rid of that before we think any further. "At the moment, the players are making me feel much better and I have no doubt they are feeling much better themselves. "Our defensive record has been excellent and that is down to the whole team. We felt we had to be harder to beat and that has happened. "It is something we will look to build on and hopefully we will have another five or six clean sheets by the end of the season."
Worthington: You're better off without Wayne
By David Prior, Daily Post
Oct 22 2004
NIGEL WORTHINGTON will cross swords with David Moyes once again tomorrow - with the Norwich manager claiming Everton are a more difficult proposition without Wayne Rooney. Everton today set off for East Anglia to prepare for their lunchtime clash with the Premiership new-boys, hoping for the victory that would see them overtake Chelsea in second - if only until the Londoners' home game against Blackburn Rovers later in the day. Worthington and Moyes have already met each several times in the late '90s when managers of bitter rivals Blackpool and Preston respectively, but tomorrow will represent their first meeting as Premiership managers. And Worthington has been impressed by Everton's start, claiming the sale of Rooney to Manchester United has proved crucial to their revival. He said: "They've started well after coming through some turmoil in the summer what with takeovers, the finances and the 'will he stay or will he go' Wayne Rooney stuff..
"I think it (the sale of Rooney) has been good for them. They got good money for him and the coverage is more on the team than on an individual now. "You can see that on the pitch, with the results they have got." Norwich are still waiting for their first league win of the season, and Worthington acknowledged it would be difficult to break that duck against Moyes's men. "If you look at the squad, they have some quality players but they have had a tough two years," he added.
"David will work them hard, have them organised and do what he wants to do with them, and I think the results are showing that." Meanwhile, Gary Naysmith's agent has confirmed the Scottish defender has rejected a new contract, as reported in the Daily Post on Tuesday. Celtic are among the clubs thought to be monitoring Naysmith's situation, with the player able to leave on a free transfer when his present contract expires next summer. His agent Jim McArthur said: "The latest offer from Everton has been rejected. The offer was rejected last week before Gary went away on international duty. "As far as I am concerned things are ongoing, but I have not spoken to anyone from Everton since the latest offer. "Gary is keeping his options open and one of them is Everton and anyway nothing could happen until January."
Bring back Ball
Post Soapbox, icLiverpool & Daily Post
Oct 22 2004
Bring back Ball
DAVID MOYES - a penny for your thoughts. Are you thinking "this 4-5-1 has a limited shelf life. It's basically a defensive formation - it might get us to January, when we can get a couple of strikers to play with a bit more adventure"? Marcus Bent isn't up to the lone striker position. Ironically, Radzinski or Jeffers would have been more suited to this role. Finally, David, with it looking as if Naysmith's on his way to Celtic Park, what about letting Rangers off that last half-million due on Michael Ball and bringing him back to Goodison?
Roger Egerton (via e-mail)
In good Nick
I'VE rarely seen Nick Chadwick play for EFC but by all accounts he does well in the reserves and was well thought of when out on loan to Millwall. But is he an Ossie waiting to happen - what do others who've seen him play regularly think?
C Royden (via e-mail)
GOOD start but one or two injuries and it could all fall apart. If any two of Bent, Gravesen, Cahill or Osman are laid up at the same time we will struggle. Dunc is too old and slow (sorry) to lead the line in the way Bent can, even if he hasn't really found his scoring boots yet. His pace, touch, ability to hold up the ball and his pure physical strength make him a formidable adversary. Cahill has shown real Evertonian tenacity since his arrival and Grav is Grav, tough tackling with moments of genius. But we have not got the depth to cope with any sort of injury crisis. If hit with one to the extent of Southampton's, Moyes will be back playing and Kenwright will be up front, no choice.
Walter Rainey, Walton
AN observation from Saturday's game on Everton defending corners: Why do we have every single player in the box? Why not have someone small with pace, like Osman, waiting somewhere between the box and the halfway line to hold the ball up when it is cleared, while the others push out? Otherwise we put ourselves back under unecessary pressure when the ball is launched back into the box, as happened several times on Saturday! Also if we leave a player out there then they have to leave 2-3 players out defending him, leaving them with two less players for attacking corners!
N Bose (via-mail)
Chance to make Canaries eat words
By Mark O'Brien Everton supporter, Daily Post
Oct 22 2004
IT'S impossible to talk about Norwich City, tomorrow's opponents for the Mighty Blues, without making some reference to food. Whether it's the fact that the Canaries' start to the season has left them flat as a pancake, or the nasty taste that last season's FA Cup tie left in the mouth, a Delia-inspired analogy is never far away. With regards to the aftermath of that Cup game, it's typical of Everton's contrariness that we now have grudge matches against such seemingly inoffensive teams as Fulham and Norwich. The East Anglians are still apparently unhappy about the accusations that were made concerning the words their supporters were chanting at Goodison in January. The whole furore hinged on some allegedly misheard lyrics, and the whole episode ended up like a round of 'Never Mind the Buzzcocks'. Did they say 'black' or did they say 'fat'? Understandably, Norwich fans would be upset if they were undeservedly labelled racist - although the matter has never really been adequately resolved - but what always jarred slightly during their vigorous defence of themselves through the media was the assertion that Evertonians have no right to label anyone racist, given their behaviour in the past. Granted, some Blues have behaved shamefully towards black players, indeed it's happened in the not so recent past, never mind the '80s, but surely that doesn't give the opposition supporters carte blanche to fill the Bullens Road with pointy hoods and burning crosses. Something of an exaggeration, obviously, but the principle remains the same. The other abiding memory was the way in which an Everton side that was struggling in the Premiership made relatively short work of the then first division leaders. The gulf between the two divisions was never more obvious than then, and the way that Norwich have struggled since promotion has only served to underline it. Evertonians, being the pessimistic souls that we are, all probably agree that they must be due a win soon. However, the same could have been said of Southampton, and although we left it very late we eventually sent them home empty-handed as expected. So if we go to Carrow Road and play as we know we can, then we're more than capable of extending our hosts' run of games without a win and make Delia eat a slice of home-baked humble pie.
Moyes wants goal feast
Oct 22 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES has called on his high flying Everton side to start producing the goals their form merits. The Blues can climb to second spot in the Premiership if they win the early game at Norwich tomorrow (kick-off 12.45pm). The club's march up the table has come despite failing to score more than once in a game since August. The manager has been pleased with the way his side has been playing and the chances the players have been creating. But he said today: "I'm looking for us to convert more of the chances we are making. We should have scored many more goals than we have done and I want a higher completion rate. "I would not want to change what we have been doing at the back because our defensive record is very good and I want us to keep the good away run going.
"We have players who can make goals and hopefully who can take them. We have been making plenty of chances. My aim is always for us to entertain with goals and be attractive to watch, but more importantly we want to keep winning games. "You have to have the confidence and ability to get the ball in the net. That's the hardest part of the game, but we have been giving it plenty of practice and hopefully that will show, starting tomorrow." Everton face a Canaries side yet to win a league game this season. Meanwhile, Gary Naysmith's agent, Jim McArthur, insists the defender has formally rejected a new three-year deal. He said: "The latest offer from Everton has been rejected. As far as I'm concerned things are on-going, but I have not spoken to anyone from Everton since the latest offer."
Contracts just a side-show for ambitious Alessandro
Oct 22 2004 Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
ALESSANDRO PISTONE insists the contractual situation shared by himself and the majority of Everton's senior squad will not undermine the club's flying start to the season. Of the 11 Everton players who started last weekend's game against Southampton only four have contracts beyond this season. The prospect of having so many senior players increasingly pre-occupied by thoughts of the future is far from ideal. The end of the season may be seven months away but the issue of new contracts is having to be dealt with now. Which is why we have already seen stories this week revealing Gary Naysmith is ready to turn down a three-year offer and that Kevin Kilbane is keen to sign a new long-term deal. But while the situation is sure to keep Everton chief executive Keith Wyness busy in the weeks and months ahead, the players themselves are not going to be side-tracked by the situation. That is Pistone's opinion, one of the 12 players in the senior squad nearing the end of his current deal. "From my point of view, I have only ever wanted to be in the team and playing, not because my contract is running out but because I want to play and I want to be giving 100% to the club," explains the 29-year-old . "I don't want to sit on the side and watch the others playing, I want to be a part of things. "I would like to stay at Everton for the rest of my career. That is why I always give 100%, be it in training or playing. "That is all I can do and we will see where that leads me." The assertion that contract negotiations will not detract from the players' form has been backed up by the results in recent weeks. And while Pistone is confident doubts over his future will not have an impact on his football, there is little doubt that the left-back could not have timed his return as a first-team regular better. The defender endured a stop-start campaign last year, with a spate of injuries restricting him to just 21 league appearances. His longest run of consecutive games came at the end of the season, when he figured in nine matches. And that coincided with the torrid run of form which resulted in the Blues finishing 17th. Six months on and the picture has changed dramatically, both for Pistone and Everton. "It has definitely been pleasing to be a part of a side doing so well," he admits. "I am pleased that are getting good results but I am especially pleased that we have been putting in some good performances as well. "When you are a regular part of the team and you are regularly getting good results it is a different world. Everything feels good. We are conceding a lot less goals compared to last season. "Yes, I would say my performance levels are increasing because the team is doing well. When you perform as a team it is a lot better for everybody and that is what we are doing this season. "Tactically we are working a lot during the week and we are working as a team during the week, which makes it better for everybody.
"Personally, I am pleased because for the first time in a while I am playing without any problems and I am training every day. That is really important. "When you are able to train you are able to develop, not just physically but in terms of what the gaffer wants from you tactically. "That is why it is so important for me to stay fit for the season, not just to play every week but to be here training every day. "I was able to start with all the players in pre-season and that was a big help for me."
Pistone has been part of a defence which has conceded just three goals in the league in the last 730 minutes of football. That is in stark contrast to the 16 goals conceded in the 730 minutes of football which brought an end to last season. Pistone provides an explanation. "We are playing better as a team this year and for defenders that is a big help. "We are not just keeping clean sheets because the defenders and the goalkeeper are playing well, it is because the whole team is playing well.
"That has been the key. Everybody is giving all they can give to the side and that is making us effective as a team." Having started the season amongst the favourites for the drop, talk has quickly turned to the possibility of Europe - thanks to such an impressive run of form. Victory at Norwich tomorrow would move the Blues to within three points of Arsenal and the top spot. But Pistone is not getting carried away. He explains: "We have to try and achieve the targets we set at the start of the season, which was guaranteeing our place in the Premiership. Once we reach that goal we can then focus on something else. "But we are not going to get ahead of ourselves. We are taking everything one step at a time and first of all we have to reach our target from the start of the season. "If we reach that in December, January, February - whenever, once we have got to that stage then we can see where we are and set another target. "At the moment it is great to be a part of the team and to be doing so well. "But we are not taking anything for granted. Norwich have not won a game in the Premiership yet, but as we have learned in the past there is no easy game in this division. "We will just go there, try and play as we have been doing and if we can do that I am positive we will get the result." And if the results continue to roll in, then the contract situation is sure to remain a side issue.
Worst of all!
Oct 22 2004 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
WRITE an article on the subject of modern-day superstars, and reader reaction is limited. Highlight an eccentric donkey from yesteryear and the Old Hall Street postman slips a disc staggering into the ECHO offices with mail. That was the case when Albert Juliussen's dubious claims to be the worst footballer ever to pull on an Everton shirt were first aired. It was seven years ago, before Bakayoko, Williamson and poor old Claus Thomsen - but not Brett Angell, the unfortunate recipient of 'Everton's worst' tag in a magnificently entertaining new book by Jeff Stelling. "England's Worst Footballers" hands out its titles on the basis of polls among fans and former players. The other Angell of the north collected the Everton vote, with Sean 'Crocodile' Dundee Liverpool's less than proud winner. Perhaps the voters were unaware of the counter-claims of the son of a Norwegian sailor. Juliussen deserves a place in the club annals, if only for the originality of the excuse he used to engineer a move to Merseyside. He made 10 appearances for the Blues from September 1948 to August 1949, scoring one goal. And, but for Brett, he may have remained in statistical obscurity.
A letter to the When Skies Are Grey fanzine in 1997 by AP Fletcher, said: "If you thought Brett Angell was a load of rubbish, you would have loved a man called Julenssen (sic) - he was utterly hopeless."
Maybe it's an Evertonian's natural feel for false dawns, but while some people like to gawk at motorway crashes, and others show a macabre and unhealthy interest in mass murderers, I am intrigued by the qualities of men like Bernie Wright and Rod Belfitt - and what made Everton managers buy them. In Juliussen's case, Theo Kelly's reasoning was clear. "A strong and virile six footer," Juliussen also boasted a decent goals record at Dundee and Portsmouth, but it's on the south coast that his story gains momentum. When it comes to reasons for quitting clubs, footballers notoriously lack invention. But Albert had his escape route well planned. He didn't need a new challenge, more money, or a desire to prove himself at a higher level. No, Albert Juliussen didn't like the warmer South Coast air! A Daily Post cutting of the day revealed: "Juliussen was transferred by Dundee to Portsmouth for £11,000 last March, but has been out of the side in Portsmouth's first two games. "The rather relaxing Southern climate is believed to be the reason why he has not settled down as well as expected." A contemporary football magazine agreed. "Juliussen scored 77 goals in two-and-a-half seasons for Dundee, but never settled down at Portsmouth, where the air did not agree with him." Perhaps Wayne Rooney should have cited the odious fumes which regularly drift east from the edible oils plant at Bootle Docks. Evertonians might have understood that excuse.
Sadly, the bracing Mersey air proved no more to Albert's liking and he moved on to Consett, with Everton writing off the £10,000 they spent on him. From there, Juliussen's trail went cold. But he wasn't forgotten. When we reminded readers of his unfulfilling Everton career, we were deluged by fans still suffering post traumatic stress disorder from the memory of his displays. Frank McNeill, of Crosby, wrote: "An ardent Red for 58 years, I never expected to be writing to The ECHO on an almost exclusively Everton topic; but I think I can throw some extra light on the Albert Juliussen affair. "In the late 1940s, an Evertonian pal of mine had a couple of Irish footballing cousins by the name of Lawlor. "One of the cousins was picked up by Portsmouth, then a power in the land. In due course, he travelled up to Goodison as Pompey's 12th man - no subs in those days! "After the game, he gave my pal some inside info about Juliussen, who had either just joined the Blues or was just about to.
"During his brief stay at Fratton Park, Albert's team-mates were successively amazed, amused and abashed by their new striker's maidenly reluctance to disrobe in their presence. Even in the communal bath, it seems, he insisted on keeping his football socks on! "Eventually, the dreadful truth emerged: varicose veins! "Everton, like Portsmouth before them, had clearly been sold an expensive but somewhat handicapped pup; and it wasn't long - yet much too long - before he was despatched into belated and presumably terminal quarantine in the lower depths of the non-league game." Albert Juliussen may have long quit this parish, but he is far from forgotten.
* What do you think? Was Brett Angell Everton's worst ever? And did Sean Dundee deserve the Anfield accolade?
Write to me at the Liverpool ECHO Sports Desk, PO Box 48, Old Hall Street, Liverpool L69 3EB, and let me know. Your letters may even start a debate.
Norwich 2, Everton 3 (D,Post)
Oct 25 2004 By David Prior At Carrow Road, Daily Post
WE'RE gonna win the league, they sang. And they were just the players in the bath. The travelling supporters on the terraces had rolled out the same ditty about an hour before, revelling in the lightheadedness that the heights of second place do for you. Twelve nervous minutes early in the second half meant its temporary removal from the song-sheet, but Evertonians on and off the pitch could all wallow at the final whistle in the sheer, unbridled disbelief that this extraordinary season continues to provide. The newest chapters to Everton's storybook season are somehow the most fantastical so far. Jockeying with Chelsea for second place... a fourth away victory from five... a high-scoring thriller a permanent smile on David Moyes's face . . even, for heaven's sake, a Duncan Ferguson winner. This campaign of surprises will clearly stop at nothing. But then, surprise is increasingly becoming the wrong word. Because for all Moyes's attempts to make light of their predicament, for all the talk of flashes in pans and jokes about his players' post-match song of choice, there is with each passing week a further erosion of the memory of all the things that made their progress this term so improbable. As Christmas approaches and the phrase 'Everton's best start for x years' stops being dragged out, so Moyes and his side know that they must turn all this into something tangible. Although Moyes and his side would never admit so much as they attempt to stay on this wave built on confidence and team spirit, it's almost at the point now where the only surprise now will come if this season does not end with qualification for Europe. Yes, Everton are currently one of the best half-a-dozen clubs in the country. They're extremely hard to beat, they have several players who can score regularly, they have one of the best team spirits anywhere, and, as proved in the depths of East Anglia on Saturday, they possess an attitude and an ability that can over-come adversity. The last of these qualities was the most impressive thing at Norwich. Last season, Everton would have caved in to Norwich's second-half revival, felt sorry for themselves and ended up with a point at best. But against a side who had troubled Manchester United and frustrated Newcastle, Tottenham and Aston Villa, Everton kept fighting, generated their own luck, stole back in front and then battened down the hatches. Such depths of resolve had seemed improbable as Everton again delivered the polar opposite of last term's typical first-half fare. Although Norwich displayed absolutely none of the fighting spirit and incorrigibility that had been billed, they were made to look even more Coca-Cola Championship material by their clinical visitors.
The 4-5-1 was again deployed, with Everton unchanged from Southampton and Tottenham, and it took just 10 minutes for Norwich to fall prey to a goal that would not have looked out of place on Highbury. Sweeping upfield from their own penalty box with a series of simple yet potent passes, Marcus Bent fed Tim Cahill, who neatly bamboozled Thomas Helveg before pulling the ball behind all City's defenders and allowing the unmarked Kevin Kilbane the luxury of passing home from point-blank range. It was the Irishman's opening goal of the season. Given their liking for 1-0 wins, one then assumed Everton may try to kill the game and rest on their advantage. Not a bit of it. The visitors continued to plough forward as they enjoyed a period of almost complete domination.
With balls propelling incessantly into the Norwich box, courtesy largely of Thomas Gravesen and Kilbane, the again impressive Tony Hibbert should have connected first time when a ball came loose after spate of goal-mouth pinball. His hesitant shot from just inside the box was blocked however and Gravesen sprayed the rebound high into the stands. The onslaught continued. Alessandro Pistone supplied Kilbane, who swung in a fine cross from the left and had Bent's goalbound header not clattered into Adam Drury, Everton would have increased their advantage. Norwich had threatened intermittently to come back into the game, but they were too disorganised, too slack with the first pass and patently unable to cope with the creativity that oozed from Everton's midfield. And five minutes before half-time Everton scythed open their defence again. This time Gravesen was the chief architect, splitting the home defence with a pass that released Bent, relentlessly booed throughout on account of his Ipswich connections. Bent has dimmed somewhat since the promising start to his Goodison career, but here he was clinical, taking one touch wide and sliding the ball to the opposite side of Robert Green. Two-nil half-time leads have been the stuff of dreams in recent times, especially away from home, and there was a feeling during the interval that surely the level of domination, allied with the Everton's quality and Norwich's poverty, could not last throughout the 90 minutes. Moyes's half-time talk had probably centred around the need to avoid an early concession in the second half, but that was exactly what happened just three minutes in as Leon McKenzie skipped round Alan Stubbs on the right flank, turned back inside and fired under Nigel Martyn. That was all the crowd needed to rise from their first-half slumber, and instantly Carrow Road was the place Moyes had probably remembered from his time at Preston. First the pacy Darren Huckerby, handled well by Hibbert all afternoon, almost got through with a 55th-minute header, but they had to wait only two more minutes for parity. Huckerby's corner was headed back by Matthias Jonson with Damien Francis sweeping in the equaliser. Suddenly Norwich, entirely unrecognisable from their first-half selves, were winning the tackles. Suddenly, Everton lacked confidence and looked anxious. They needed a change, and Moyes gave them two. On came Ferguson and Steve Watson, and it was a move that succeeded - by luck or design - in first halting the flow of yellow shirts, then providing an unlikely winner. Not before a couple more scares, though. First McKenzie had a great chance for a third after Huckerby's cross, and then Hibbert timed a tackle expertly to snuff out Huckerby in full flow as the striker hurtled into the box. Everton were not done, though. On one of their rare forays forward in the second half, Watson picked up a loose ball and, spotting Ferguson looming at the far post, lofted in a ball that the Scot headed beyond Green for his first league goal of the season. Still Everton could not quite shut up shop. Lee Carsley's chest was called upon to block Francis's close-range volley with the home support out of their seats in anticipation of a certain leveller. But Everton held on, and while it will not go down as their most convincing performance this season - the post-interval loss of shape was alarming - Moyes and his men did not care. Their journey from relegation certainties to Champions League contenders continues apace, and they're in no mood to get off just yet.
NORWICH (4-4-2): Green; Edworthy, Drury, Fleming, Charlton; Holt, Francis, Jonson (Doherty 82), Helveg (Svensson 45); Huckerby, McKenzie (Bentley 82). Subs: Ward, Safri.
EVERTON (4-5-1): Martyn; Hibbert, Stubbs, Weir, Pistone; Osman (Watson 60), Cahill (Ferguson 60), Gravesen, Carsley, Kilbane; Bent (Yobo 78). Subs: Wright, Yobo, Watson, McFadden, Ferguson.
BOOKINGS: Carsley (foul), Weir (foul).
REFEREE: M Clattenburg
NEXT GAME: Everton v Preston North End, Carling Cup third round, Wednesday 8pm
Moyes: Why changes have done us good
By David Prior Daily Post Staff
Oct 25 2004
DAVID MOYES toasted yet another away win for Everton as they moved to within three points of leaders Arsenal - and then revealed the extent to which his tactical manoeuvrings sealed victory at Carrow Road. Moyes' men claimed a fourth victory out of five on the road despite seeing their two-goal half-time lead wiped out by winless Norwich. Kevin Kilbane and Marcus Bent had appeared to have secured all three points by the break, but Leon McKenzie and Damien Francis brought Nigel Worthington's men level before Duncan Ferguson's 73rd-minute winner. The triumph temporarily lifted them above Chelsea into second place, although the Londoners' subsequent win over Blackburn restored the original order, consolidating Everton's magnificent start to the campaign.
Moyes himself had a definite hand in two of Everton's goals, first instigating the temporary formation shift that led to Bent's goal and then bringing on substitutes Ferguson and Steve Watson, with the latter setting up the Scot's winner. As he admitted: "I felt like I was having to work harder from the bench compared with what I've had to do in several other games this season. "I think it (the substitution) ended up a good change. You make it at the time and hope that it works, and the way we play means we always have to make changes whether the game's going our way or whether it's not. "We also made a subtle change just before half-time that got us the second goal when we swapped Tommy Gravesen and Leon Osman over for five minutes. "If you look at the goal, the position both players are in creates the goal for Marcus. "The substitutions in the second half helped us stem the tide, and in the end it was a lovely ball from Steve Watson and a great finish from Duncan." A beaming Moyes was delighted his side had managed to withstand Norwich's comeback and keep their fantastic run going - although he conceded his men had been fortunate at times. He added: "It's a manager's job to raise expectations. After everything that happened in the summer we are having a bit of a laugh. "If we can keep this going who knows what can happen."
He added: "I did not feel comfortable in the first half and in the second half we didn't control the game as well as we have in the past. "It was good to go in 2-0 ahead at half-time. I was happy at that. "But they came at us - they are desperate for a win. "Norwich caused us problems and got right back into it. "Once it went to 2-2 we would have probably settled for that and gone home. They were the better team. Norwich were over-running us but up popped big Duncan Ferguson.
"I'll defy anyone who says they can come here and win games easily. "This is not an easy place to come, and I'm sure Norwich will win as many down here as they lose." The result broke a succession of five 1-0 games Everton had been involved in - four of them in their favour - and Moyes believes his side do have the ability to be more prolific in front of goal. He added: "We've started to get the feeling that there are goals in the team. We've maybe not been scoring twos and threes, but we've maybe been creating enough chances to get twos and threes. "Today we got the three with the oppoprtunities we had."
Bent: Pundits are driving us on to victory
By Jim Van Wijk, Daily Post
Oct 25 2004
MARCUS BENT has revealed Everton are revelling in making the pre-season critics eat their words.
Their victory at Norwich means they have now won 22 points after chalking up seven victories in the league - just two wins fewer than during the whole of last season. While manager David Moyes is refusing to get too carried away with his team's early success, he admits to harbouring a determination to keep them up with "the top boys" and that everyone at Goodison Park is now "having a wee snigger" at the expense of their critics. It was a sentiment echoed by striker Bent, who netted his side's second goal five minutes before the break. "A lot of people had written us off before the season started, so it has been nice to throw a little bit back," said Bent. "Everton are a big Premiership club and have not really been achieving what they are supposed to be. "I might not be a superstar, but I have come in and worked hard to help both Everton and myself achieve something. "We are all working hard and working for one another." That strong team ethic was clear to see at Carrow Road on Saturday, when Everton threw away a 2-0 lead but fought back to seal the victory. Bent reflected: "The second half was a bit scary, they came at us and we showed good morale to bounce back. "We are not saying we are the best team in the table, we are just working hard and as long as we keep doing what we are, then I am sure it will put us in good stead for the rest of the season." Their solid start has indeed given Everton a strong platform on which to build a sustained assault for, if not the title, then at least securing a return to European football for the first time since after they won the FA Cup in 1995. "It is a manager's job to get expectation high because it means your football club is doing well," said Moyes. "We are enjoying it, but we are serious about our work and know we have a good chance here to try and stay in among the top boys." For Norwich, meanwhile, the remainder of the campaign looks set to be a battle for their top-flight survival. Worthington admitted his side had to start maintaining their performance levels right through each and every match. Norwich striker McKenzie insisted: "We are not playing that badly and just have to pick ourselves up and start again. "At the end of the day you have to go out there and do your best. Unfortunately we just did not win. "Maybe if we had scored first, things might have gone differently - but to come back and level at 2-2 showed we are not ready to lie down.
"Hopefully it will start happening soon."
As if it was going to be stress-free..
View from the stands by Simon Ryan Everton supporter, Daily Post
Oct 25 2004
WHAT a rollercoaster ride being an Evertonian is! Everton got off to a great start with a well worked goal from the ever-consistent Zinedine Kilbane . An uncharacteristically cool finish from Marcus Bent then sent the travelling Blue army into dreamland as chants of "We're gonna win the League!" rang around Carrow Road. Going in at half-time with a comfortable two-goal lead had the fans thinking it was for once going to be a stress-free afternoon. However, within minutes of the restart, the Canaries pulled one back which ignited the previously dormant home fans and drove Norwich on to a second. An onslaught of attack from Norwich followed and Everton seemed to be hanging on with the travelling Blues fearing a long journey home. The impressive Huckerby was causing the Everton defence continuous problems and David Moyes was forced to make what proved to be some inspired substitutions. Watson helped stifle Huckerby's attacks and then provided the cross for Ferguson to power home the winner. Everton held out for the remaining quarter of the game to continue their unbeaten away run and move them up to second place, if only briefly. Most Everton fans are enjoying the current lofty position while they can. The question is: How long can it last? With some tough fixtures like Chelski away approaching we will really see just how far this current form can take us. It's never easy watching the Blues, but would we want it any other way
Norwich 2, Everton 3 (Echo)
Oct 25 2004 By Scott Mcleod at Carrow Road, Liverpool Echo
FOR a couple of glorious hours over the weekend Everton were the second best side in the Premiership. And I am not just talking about league positions. No team maintains a place in the top three of the country's top division merely because of good fortune. It is not just defensive resolve which gathers the points necessary to keep pace with the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal. Everton climbed into third spot five games ago, courtesy of the 1-0 win over Middlesbrough. More than a month on and they are still there, having only been denied an extended stay in second spot by Chelsea's win over Blackburn. So maybe it is time to stop focusing on what a surprise it is for the Blues to be where they are. Maybe it is time to start praising the quality of the performances.
In many ways, the frailties exposed during Saturday's win merely served to underline exactly what it has taken to reach such heady heights in the first place. Consistently solid performances have been the key. On Saturday, for the first time in a number of weeks, that consistency dipped. The side was left to rely upon its character to claw out a result after seeing a two goal half-time lead disappear inside the opening 12 minutes of the second period. Having to battle back from the ropes is something Evertonians have not witnessed very often this season. This display was way short of what the fans have become used to, which is why it puts into perspective the suggestion the results which preceeded it were down to character and guile alone. Everton have not received the credit they deserve for the football they have been playing this season. And they are certainly not getting the recognition for their league position. During the long drive to Norfolk on Saturday morning I listened to umpteen sports news bulletins on national radio. But only one of those reports mentioned the fact Everton could climb to second spot with victory over the Canaries. The focus in each one was the fact Chelsea had the chance to close the gap on Arsenal. I am not daring to suggest Everton are on a par with Jose Mourinho's men in terms of depth of quality. And even when the Evertonians who travelled to Carrow Road began chanting "We're going to win the league" after Marcus Bent had put the side 2-0 it was somewhat tongue in cheek. But nevertheless, it is undeniable that, right now, Everton deserve to be up there with the Gunners and Mourinho's millionaires. They deserve to be looking down on the likes of Manchester United and Newcastle.
And they deserve more credit for the way in which they have done it. The size of the squad and the lack of options open to Moyes if there is an injury crisis or a spate of suspensions makes it hard to imagine the Blues remaining in such a lofty position. But that shouldn't be allowed to detract from what has already been achieved. Saturday's nervy passage to victory, which was sealed with a 73rd minute Duncan Ferguson goal, was a reminder that the results and performances should be savoured. It was the perfect day for the Blues to rediscover their touch in front of goal. The manager had called for his players to be more clinical. And they were. They needed to be. The passing only really hit top gear during two 10 minute periods during the opening 45 minutes.
But that was enough to produce the two goals which should have ensured this victory was achieved with far greater ease. Both goals were the result of slick, incisive, attractive attacking football. On 10 minutes Marcus Bent fed Tim Cahill down the inside right. He skipped past Thomas Helveg with consummate ease as he penetrated the penalty area and pulled a great pass back for Kevin Kilbane to slam home his first goal of the season. The second was equally impressive. It came in the 40th minute, and was the result of a tactical switch from Moyes. Moments before Bent fired the ball into the net the manager told Osman to move into the centre from the right flank. Seconds later, the 23-year-old gained possession in the centre- circle and picked out Gravesen as he skipped inside from the flank. Having outwitted Norwich's midfield, the Dane then did likewise to the back four by producing a pinpoint pass which sent Bent sprinting through. He netted his third goal of the season.
That should have been game over. Before Saturday Everton had conceded just one goal away from Goodison in the league this season. Had that form continued it would have been a far more enjoyable second period. Instead, Norwich scorched into action after the break and Everton were caught napping. First Leon McKenzie left Alan Stubbs in his wake to fire between Nigel Martyn's legs in the 48th minute, and then in the 57th minute Damien Francis swept a shot in from close range following a corner. Moyes wasted no time in introducing Steve Watson and Duncan Ferguson, switching his system and providing the springboard for the response which would secure the three points. It was Watson who crossed for Ferguson to head home 17 minutes from time. It sent the travelling fans into a state of delirium. But in the 17 minutes that followed Norwich caused enough problems to ensure when the final whistle did arrive it was met with a sigh of relief. It was a great win. But a win which reminded Evertonians of the hard graft which has made the climb up the table appear more straightforward than it has actually been. It was something of a wake-up call. And one which underlines why Moyes must already be on the shortlist for the Manager of the Year award. It is easy to forget just where Everton were at the start of the season, and just how much pessimism there was amongst fans about this campaign. So to see the side riding so high in the table for so long is nothing short of sensational. It is a feat which, in itself, is worthy of the top managerial award. Regardless of whether the side finishes the campaign in such a heady position, the manager has already ensured there will be no fearful relegation talk amongst Evertonians this season.
He has given the Blues their pride back. Given where the club was three months ago, it is hard to imagine how many other managers could have achieved that.
NORWICH (4-4-2): Green; Edworthy, Drury, Fleming, Charlton; Holt, Francis, Jonson (Doherty 82), Helveg (Svensson 45); Huckerby, McKenzie (Bentley 82). Subs: Ward, Safri.
EVERTON (4-5-1): Martyn; Hibbert, Stubbs, Weir, Pistone; Osman (Watson 60), Cahill (Ferguson 60), Gravesen, Carsley, Kilbane; Bent (Yobo 78). Subs: Wright, Yobo, Watson, McFadden, Ferguson.
BOOKINGS: Carsley (foul), Weir (foul).
REFEREE: M Clattenburg
NEXT GAME: Everton v Preston North End, Carling Cup third round, Wednesday 8pm
Please stay Tommy
Oct 25 2004 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
MARCUS BENT has issued a heartfelt plea to undecided Everton team-mate Thomas Gravesen - "Please don't go!" After profiting from another goal making pass from the Danish international in Everton's away-day triumph at Norwich on Saturday - a win which briefly took the Blues second in the table - Bent said he was anxious for Gravesen to stay. The Dane is out of contract at the end of the season and has yet to sign a deal which has been on the table since the summer. Bent would hate to see him leave. "Thomas always produces great passes because he is a world-class player," he explained.. "In training he does things that make your jaw drop. "You find yourself thinking about things he has done for a couple of days. "He is a big part of our team and it would be a big loss if he was to go. But we are not even in January yet, so we don't have to talk about that." Everton take a break from Premiership action on Wednesday when they entertain David Moyes' former club Preston in the Carling Cup at Goodison Park. Moyes must decide whether give Bent a break, with James McFadden, Nick Chadwick and Kevin Campbell all short of match action. Alan Stubbs has a tight calf after Saturday's win, while Gary Naysmith is still receiving treatment on an ankle injury.
"We have a squad of around 18 or 19 players and I will be looking to use one or two of the lads who haven't been involved recently," said Moyes.. "But Preston will be a tough test and we will select our strongest side possible." Blues boss Moyes also laughed off weekend speculation linking him with a January swoop for Manchester United striker Louis Saha. Glasgow Rangers manager Alex McLeish, meanwhile, is fuming with Everton chief executive Keith Wyness over his refusal to negotiate Michael Ball's appearance fee. The Gers will be forced to pay The Toffees £500,000 once the full-back makes another six appearances for the team, however the Scottish giants are unwilling to pay the money until the stopper's injury worries clear. McLeish had hoped the clubs could come to an arrangement over Ball's future appearances, but Everton are refusing to change the terms of the deal. "If Wyness is going to be stubborn, that's his prerogative. But I don't know if that would help anybody," said McLeish. "We're not in a position to pay Everton £500,000. If Michael plays six games - that's a complete non-starter."
Nice to dust off famous chant
Oct 25 2004 Analysis by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
CARROW ROAD was an appropriate venue for Evertonians to air not one, but two renditions of a song they may have been forgiven for having forgotten. It was 17 years ago - on the same ground - that Everton last lifted domestic football's most prestigious prize, then known as something called the Today League Championship. On Saturday, their followers declared they were going to win the modern version - "and now you're going to believe us." That chant has been heard at Goodison since 1987 of course, usually after unexpected opening day wins. But it was always delivered with tongues pressed firmly in cheek. Such was the quality of Everton's first half football at Norwich that there was a conviction amongst the fans who bellowed it. David Moyes told us the players were even joining in, in the bath afterwards. Now you're going to believe us? Few will. But that's largely down to the quality of the squads Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United have assembled rather than any Everton inadequacies. And that's where David Moyes' next headache will come from.
Whether by accident or design, he has stumbled upon a formation which most teams find difficult to fathom, makes the most of Marcus Bent's selfless front-running skills - and allows midfielders like Kilbane, Cahill and Osman who love to arrive late in the penalty box, to do just that. Injuries or suspensions to only a handful will force a rethink. Then, of course, there's what to do with the £20-odd million burning a hole in the manager's pocket come January. A sum like that will clearly enhance and strengthen the squad, but what will it do to the wonderful team ethic coursing through the squad at present - epitomised by,, well almost everybody. But that's for the near future. For the present Evertonians are simply enjoying another away win. And for that, despite his protestations that the players deserved all the credit, David Moyes should also be praised. In simple terms, his double substitution swung a match which had turned away from Everton. Steve Watson crossed sublimely, Duncan Ferguson turned back the clock with a classic centre-forward's finish. But it was also the manner in which the substitutions were used which was significant. Against Tottenham Ferguson was thrust up front, Everton went predictably route one and never looked like retrieving a lost cause. This time he played behind Bent for 15 minutes. It encouraged Everton to keep the ball on the floor, allowed Ferguson to show he can pass a ball as well as he can head it - and allowed him to drift in at the far post for the matchwinner. They're going to win the League? Of course not. But it was wonderful just to hear that old anthem sung by Evertonians again.
Bent out to fast forward career
Oct 25 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES has signed Marcus Bent up to the Bellefield video club to get the most out of Everton's new goalscoring talisman. The 26-year-old netted his third goal from nine Premiership starts in Saturday's 3-2 win at Norwich. But Moyes is keen to get even more out of a player who has become crucial to the manager's plans. He said: "We need him to be there (within our system) because of his mobility. He has energy, is decent in the air and is willing to run for us. "That has given us something which causes problems for opposition defences. "There are a lot of things he needs to get better at, but he is working hard. "Marcus is in with us most days looking at things he can do better on tapes from the games. We are trying to improve him as a player." Moyes' eagerness to work hard on getting even more out of Bent underlines exactly how important the player is to the team's plans. Bent has been the lone striker in the starting line-up for each of Everton's last seven Premiership outings. His work-rate and running have enabled Moyes to operate a series of systems based on fielding five men in midfield. The Goodison chief has tipped him to exceed his goal haul of last season and become a long-term fixture within the Everton squad.
"Marcus has had a good start. He has got three goals now, and probably should have had more.
"He got 10 for Leicester last year so I am hoping he will get more than that for us. "He has been around and he is getting to the stage of his career where he can find a home and bed down in the squad." Saturday's victory over Norwich maintained Everton's four-point lead over fourth-placed Bolton and kept the pressure on Chelsea and Arsenal ahead of them. But with a quarter of the season now gone, Moyes is not ready to start setting targets. He added: "We are really pleased with the way things are going. But we are not going to set ourselves up by making predictions. "We have got a very small group of players but that is working for us just now. Whether it will work continually, I couldn't tell you. "It is probably the best spirit I have ever been involved with at any club. There is confidence and a lot of understanding. "We are enjoying it and we are smiling a lot at the moment. But we are serious about our work and we know we have a chance to try and stay at the top, which is what we are going to do. "We knew in the summer we had good players, we just hoped we could mould them into a formation and shape which could win games. We are making the most of the players we have available right now." But Moyes was not happy with many aspects of Saturday ' s performance at Carrow Road. "We got our goals and played quite well in the first half, but I still thought we weren't controlling the game as well as I would have liked," he explained. "I felt as if I was having to work harder from the bench than I have done in several other games this season. "We knew the second half would be tough, but I didn't think it would be as bad as that. Norwich did very well. "In the second half the change was in order to stem the tide and in the end it was a lovely ball from Steve Watson and a great header from Dunc. "It turned out to be a good change, but at the time you are making it you just hope it works."
Blues enjoying turning tables
Oct 25 2004 Liverpool Echo
AFTER establishing a reputation for grinding out 1-0 away wins in the Premiership this season, Everton edged a five-goal thriller at Carrow Road on Saturday. The incisive, swift passing move which led to Marcus Bent's second goal had followed an even more impressive move for Kevin Kilbane's opener. It was the kind of football you would expect from a side established in the Premiership's top three. And the Blues are enjoying upsetting the odds. Goalscorer Bent explained: "It is nice to be at the top rather than the bottom. Sections of the press seemed to have written us off before this season had even started so it is nice to throw a little bit back. "Maybe we didn't believe we would be as high as we are, but we have worked hard and we know we are a better side than where we finished last season. "I wasn't a part of that side, but when I came in and saw the quality, the youngsters coming through and the determination in the camp I realised we should have been in the top half." Bent also helped shed a little light on the ethos which has provided the grounding for the thrilling start to the season. "I may not be the biggest name, I may not be a superstar but the manager wanted me to come in, work hard and help the side to achieve something. "That is what we are all trying to do. "I came to Everton because I knew it was a big club - a huge Premiership club which hasn't been achieving what it should. "We are not saying we are the best side in the table, or that we have got a team of superstars. "We are just working hard and as long as we keep doing what we are doing it will stand us in good stead for the second part of the season."
I love this city and its passion for life
Oct 25 2004 Liverpool Echo
As the ECHO celebrates its 125th birthday Everton manager David Moyes explains why Liverpool, and its paper, means so much to him ARRIVING in Liverpool felt like coming home. That may sound odd coming from a Scotsman, but there is so much about this city which reminds me of my beloved home town of Glasgow. Like any city, it is the people who make it what it is. It is the character, the passion and humour which makes it special. But there are many cities like that. Explaining why Liverpool has that something special is not easy. But I can think of a good example which goes some way to encapsulating it. Earlier this year, after arriving back at John Lennon airport following an away match, I was greeted by three young teenage Evertonians. They came running up to me in search of an autograph as I was getting in my car. I duly obliged. But they weren't done there.
They then asked if there was any chance of a lift. They were probably a little surprised when I said it was fine. But their brassneck, as we call it in Glasgow, impressed me. It is that honesty, that cheeky humour which soaks through the city. And which is why Liverpool is as close as anywhere I have ever been in my life to being like Glasgow. When you come into Liverpool you know you have to be sharp-witted and quick because the people are that way. I have always had a good relationship with the people in the city - the Blue half anyway. I appreciate their honesty and I hope they appreciate my efforts to do a good job at Everton and to always make sure they feel a part of things. Short of going to the house of each Evertonian, the key to getting my thoughts across to the fans is through the local media. And there is no bigger platform with which to do that than the ECHO. The paper is celebrating its 125th anniversary this week. And throughout that time it has been the paper which has been the main source of information for the football fans. It is always the local paper which people look to for their prime source of information. In a lot of ways, it is an extension of the match for the fans. And when a city is as football orientated as this one is, it becomes hugely important - part of Liverpool's make-up. I would dare to suggest that most people who buy evening papers do so for the sports news. And so it is a very important bridge between the club and the fans. Using that bridge is important to me. Like Glasgow, there is huge passion for the two clubs. It is hard for the local paper to strike the right balance because of the two sets of supporters, but it achieves that.
In Glasgow, you are either a Bhoy or a Ger. In Liverpool you are either a Red or a Blue. And so football plays a part in everybody's lives in some way - even for those people who may not go to the game. The football binds the city but it also acts as a huge release for so many people. It is that passion which feeds the clamour for the news. The two sets of fans may not want the other side to do well, but the clubs need each other to create that special relationship - a relationship that ties the city together and which probably gives it much of its humour. It gives the place a buzz and helps create the atmosphere. Right away when I came here, I picked up on that because I had been brought up amidst a similar community in Glasgow. You feel safe in the city and you trust the people in the city. The accents may be a bit different, but the approach to life isn't. The people are tough, and many have had a hard upbringing, but the people are very fair and understanding.
I had a good upbringing in a good family. But out on the pitch I was around tough footballers in a tough city. Nevertheless, I felt safe within that environment. That is because the people look out for each other. I picked up on that warmth and support as soon as I set foot in the city. And the passion on the streets for Everton led to my comment in that opening press conference about this being The People's Club. It was from the heart and it was how the city made me feel. My opinion certainly hasn't changed. If anything, my time here has reaffirmed it. In fact, I believe the truth of it explains why it struck such a chord. And it has helped make my time here on Merseyside in the privileged position of Everton manager so enjoyable.
Moyes confident character can continue
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Oct 26 2004
DAVID MOYES believes Everton's win at Carrow Road illustrated they have the ability and character to stay among the Premiership elite. Everton went second in the table for just a few hours on Saturday after withstanding Norwich's second-half fight-back to record their fourth away win of the season thanks to Duncan Ferguson's late header. Moyes's conviction Everton will continue to defy the critics will be tested over the next month with trips to Chelsea and Newcastle on the agenda.
But the confident Goodison manager declared: "I actually think we can stay there up at the top now.
"I think we are doing well, we are playing well enough with lots of confidence and we will continue to be a hard team to beat, be it away or at home. "I can only speak for myself but I believe everyone agrees in the squad that we are going to try to stay up at the top for as long as we can. "We have never said that we would be in this position in the first place but now that we are there we are going to try to stay there. "We are enjoying it and it is a great position for us to be in because most people thought we would be down around the bottom three, never mind the top three." It took Everton until December 28 last season to reach the 22-point mark they have acquired so far. But Moyes added: "There are only about three or four clubs in the division who do not have that safety margin as their initial target, to stay a Premiership club. "But if we have had to alter our targets from the beginning of the season, so much the good. "The title is not just about Arsenal and Chelsea, we can include another couple in that list now. "We have done well but I feel in the end it will come down to Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United. "Liverpool look as if they are improving as well and if we can stay anywhere near that four then we will believe we have done really well." The current situation is also encouraging an increasing number of first-team squad members - a dozen of whom are out of contract in the summer - to pledge their futures to Everton in the hope of acquiring new deals. Kevin Kilbane has already revealed his intentions and now Alessandro Pistone has voiced his opinion. The Italian defender said: "From my point of view, I have only ever wanted to be in the team and playing, not because my contract is running out but because I want to play and I want to be giving 100% to the club. "I do not want to sit on the side and watch the others playing, I want to be a part of things. "I would like to stay at Everton for the rest of my career. That is why I always give 100%, be it in training or playing. That is all I can do."
Post Soapbox icLiverpool & Daily Post
Oct 26 2004
GOOD old Moysie, what a great substitution bringing on Big Dunc. Once again he wins the game for us, I hope he is going to be offered a new contract as he is vital to our future. If only we could get somebody of Bellamy's pace and class to sign for us but, I doubt it, as he is already on a reputed £3million a year and plays in Europe every year.
B John, Wirral
HOW happy to see another win for our boys. If we could maintain our first half performance throughout the season then no-one can deny us a place in Europe. David Moyes is a genius and his substitutions were inspired. Note: Beattie is overrated and way over-priced. Buy Huckerby instead!
J Big (via e-mail)
WITH options limited for Moyes at present, Scott Parker would be a great buy for Everton as he has that work ethic Moyes demands. Maybe even a cheeky bid for David Thompson at Blackburn who could also do a great job. A centre-half, a left-back and two forwards are required but I'm sure Moyes knows exactly who he wants and with his record in the transfer market so far, it would be hard to argue with whoever he goes after.
Paul Mullally, Liverpool
OTHER than the three quality goals we scored, Everton were not that wonderful at Carrow Road and still won. Carsley and Hibbert were fantastic. Well done Blues. Keep it going.
Shirley Smith, Liverpool
Ball cash due
I'M sick and tired of this bleating from Rangers over the Michael Ball money they owe Everton FC.
Over the weekend the manager of that Glasgow club was crying out about us being unrealistic about getting the last £500k payment. Why is that? A deal is a deal. Pay up Rangers!
D Kennedy, Liverpool
I AM delighted at this season's start, but, we must have the oldest team in the Premiership. Our present team averages almost 30, only Hibbert and Osman get that average down. Our squad is threadbare and cannot withstand injuries. I hope January brings some youth to the squad.
Trev Lynes (via e-mail)
Moyes delight as Blues share goal burden
Oct 26 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON boss David Moyes has praised his side for sharing the goals around better than any other side in the Premiership's top six. Marcus Bent and Leon Osman are the club's joint top scorers with three goals each. But the key to the Blues' climb to third in the Premiership has been the goals from elsewhere in the team. Kevin Kilbane became the eighth different player from the 17 used this season to score for the club in all competitions. That is an average which betters Arsenal, Chelsea, Bolton, Manchester United and Liverpool. Moyes said: "It is important to share the goals around the team. "You want your strikers to be getting the goals, but if you are sharing them around the side that will do fine. "It is good for all the players to feel good about scoring goals and feel as if they are capable of scoring goals." Moyes admitted before last weekend's visit to Norwich his prime concern was the number of chances his side had been missing. The 3-2 victory over Norwich was the first time since August that Everton had scored more than once in a league game. The result maintained the four-point cushion over fourth placed Bolton. And Moyes is determined to stay there.
"The Premiership has always needed a good Everton," he adds. "We are one of the biggest clubs in the country and it is what is needed for us to be up there. "We are not saying we are going to be there all season, but we are going to try and stay there if we can. "We are playing well enough, with lots of confidence and we will continue to be a hard team to beat." Meanwhile, the Blues are likely to be without Alan Stubbs for tomorrow night's Carling Cup third round tie with Preston at Goodison. The skipper has a niggling injury and joins Gary Naysmith, who is still recovering from an ankle injury, on the sidelines. It should mean a return to the starting line-up for Joseph Yobo.
Blues will feel lure of Roses
Oct 26 2004 Liverpool Echo
A RED ROSE army will descend upon Goodison Park tomorrow night. Carling Cup visitors Preston North End have already sold 7,000 tickets for the third round tie - and with slashed ticket prices and unreserved seating on the night, even more could make their way into Goodison. Everton have advised their supporters they will not be able to claim their usual seats in the Upper Bullens Road Stand, which has been allocated for visiting fans. But all other stands will be open, with prices cut to just £15 adults and £10 concessions. When the two clashed in the fifth round of the FA Cup in January 2000, there was a gate of 37,486. Everton will not attract anything like that tomorrow, but a gate approaching 30,000 could be possible for a game which pits boss David Moyes against his former club. The Blues are also advising fans that tickets for the November 6 trip to Chelsea are now available - a match which currently pits second against third. The bonus for visiting fans is they have lost their category A status from last season, which would have meant ticket prices of £48. Instead Blues fans will be charged £40 a ticket - exorbitant compared to Goodison prices - but significantly cheaper than Liverpool fans were forced to pay earlier this month. Chelsea tickets are on sale now from the Park End Box Office.
Pop goes the football career
Oct 26 2004 Liverpool Echo
SLAVEN Bilic could be on his way back to Merseyside. But before Everton fans break out in a cold sweat at the thought of seeing the much-maligned centre half in a blue shirt again, this time he will be carrying a guitar instead of a pair of football boots. Fittingly for someone who was once mistaken for a young Keith Richards, Bilic plays guitar in his band Newera, the most talked about underground group in his native Croatia. And Bilic, who became the costliest defender in the world when Everton paid West Ham £4.5m for his services in February 1997, has turned his attentions to touring the UK.
Music insiders describe Newera's sound as "more like Mega-death than the Beatles". Bilic is confident their brand of heavy rock will be a hit in the UK. He told The Insider: "It is rock. It's a bit hard, but really modern and the people who have heard it think it's great." Fellow Newera member Dado Pastuovic admitted: "The songs are a bit hardcore. But they are already very popular and there has been a lot of interest in what we are doing." For Bilic, music has always been his first love. Even during his injury plagued spell at Goodison Park the Croatian international dreamed of being a lead singer rather than scoring a goal in a major cup final. He says: "I have always had a dream to form my own band. Even when I was playing in West Ham and Everton, music was an important part of my life. "Of course we're not the Rolling Stones, but we don't have to be them. We're trying to express ourselves and if people like it, great. If not, I will still enjoy our music." As if being lead singer and writer in an emerging rock band is not enough, Bilic still enjoys reading law, practising the five languages he speaks fluently and is also manager of the Croatia Under-21 team. But the next time he is seen on Merseyside he is likely to be belting out hard rock tunes from a stage as Newera launch their quest for fame and fortune.
Red sisters sign for the Blues
Oct 26 2004 By Andrew Greenhalgh, Liverpool Echo
LIVERPOOL season ticket holders Megan and Rachel Hughes are the toast of their family - after being accepted into the EVERTON academy! The sisters, from Netherton, are regulars at Anfield - but on Monday nights both don the blue of Everton to represent the Toffees. Megan, aged 13, was selected for the academy last year, where she was joined by 12-year-old Rachel this summer.
And there is no question about which of the two teams receives preferential treatment. Dad Mark, himself a Reds season ticket holder, revealed: "Megan gave away her ticket for the cup final at Cardiff to play for Everton once. "But then, the night before the game, the manager rang to say her match had been cancelled. "She thought I had asked him to say it to wind her up, but I wouldn't have done that!" He confessed that it was difficult seeing his two children wearing the colours of the old enemy, saying: "The first time Megan put on a blue shirt was difficult! "But the best thing about the level of football they are playing at is that if they are good enough they will be able to make it all the way." Both girls spent four years playing for Everton girls, as well as Sefton academy, before being selected for the Blues' academy proper. With only 16 girls being selected in each age group each year, Hughes senior is understandably proud to have two daughters receive the call - even if they are playing for the Blues. And he admitted: "When they go out to play, if it is cold, they wear their Liverpool kit underneath their Everton shirts!"
Man City Res 2, Everton Reserves 2
Oct 27 2004
TWO goals from James Vaughan earned Everton Reserves a point in a 2-2 draw at Manchester City last night. Despite trailing at the break Andy Hold-en's Everton side came back to lead before having to settle for a point against FA Premier Reserve League (North) leaders Manchester City. City took the lead after 10 minutes. Lee Croft's excellent cross from the right was powerfully headed past Everton goal-keeper Iain Turner by Jamie Tandy. Everton forward Paul Hopkins saw his shot from the edge of the area comfortably saved by Kasper Schmeichel, son of former Manchester City and United keeper Peter, on 15 minutes. Midfielder James Harris was also denied by Schmeichel and the young City keeper kept out a 25-yard free-kick from Eddy Bosnar. Vaughan brought the scores level six minutes into the second half with a low shot from just inside the area. Holden's side took the lead with 12 minutes remaining. Substitute Victor Anichebe's low left-wing cross was slid in at the far post by Vaughan. But the lead was short-lived as five minutes later before Bermingham pulled City level.
EVERTON RESERVES: Turner, Wynne, Wilson, Bosnar, Fox, Harris, Fowler (Anichebe 46), Phelan, Vaughan (Vidarsson 81), Hopkins, Seargeant (Boyle 46). Subs: Lake, Wright.
Cup can be route to Europe - Moyes
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Oct 27 2004
DAVID MOYES believes the Carling Cup offers a genuine route into Europe for Everton this season despite concentrating his meagre resources on the club's Premiership revival. Moyes welcomes former club Preston to Goodison Park tonight admitting he cannot allow the competition to overshadow Everton's remarkable league form. But the Goodison manager is anxious to lead the club back into Europe this season and with a UEFA Cup place on offer for the Carling Cup victors he will not take the third round clash lightly. Moyes, who saw his team beaten by eventual winners Middlesbrough on penalties in last season's fourth round, said: "We want to try and do as well as we can in the cup but I think we will always look at the Premiership as our bread and butter. If we get a run in the cup I think it would be great as it would give everybody a further lift. "It would be great to qualify for Europe. I actually think that this season some teams are thinking the competition is more important than it has been in recent years. "The word I am hearing from the other clubs is that maybe Everton should have a decent crack at the Carling Cup. But I still see most Premiership sides using the competition to rest players because they know the ultimate goal is to do well in the league." With such a limited squad at his disposal Moyes is limited to only minor changes from the side that beat Norwich City at Carrow Road on Saturday. But he will use the tie to give several senior players a chance to press their first team claims. Moyes added: "The likes of Richard Wright and Joseph Yobo will have a chance of playing because we only have 18 or 19 first-team players and we'll try and use as many of those as we can. "I'm not going to make that many changes where I feel it could jeopardise us, but I have to look at which players could do with a rest and which would feel happy to play again. "There are a few players who could do with games, Kevin Campbell, James McFadden and Duncan Ferguson fall into that category." Captain Alan Stubbs is Everton's only doubt for tonight's fixture, the defender having picked up a calf injury. Scottish full-back Gary Naysmith will miss his third successive match with the ankle injury he picked up playing for Scotland in Moldova earlier this month. Chinese midfielder Li Tie is close to a return after his broken leg, and could play in the reserves against Wolves in a fortnight.
No sentiment to former favourites
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Oct 27 2004
DAVID MOYES hopes to show no sentiment towards the club that launched him on the road to managerial stardom tonight, even though his own son was once an avid follower of Preston North End. But Moyes's Deepdale experience should provide plenty of lessons for the Everton hierarchy to heed as they prepare to shape their immediate future together. It is a source of great comfort for the Goodison board that Moyes regards his promotion and championship winning days at Preston as an unfinished task and, as he has expressed before, that feeling is not one he wishes to repeat at Everton. The hope of Moyes wanting to continue an arduous restoration process at Goodison Park was all Evertonians had left to cling to during the dreadful summer, and one that has paid instant dividends with third in the table restoring battered pride with every passing week. But before any complacency sets in at the very top there are dangerous parallels Everton must avoid if their sudden feelgood factor is to remain. The first seeds of discontent were sown for Moyes at Deepdale when a star striker was sold and not all the proceeds were spent on his Preston squad. Jon Macken is clearly no Wayne Rooney, but the implications for Everton are clear. Moyes is currently only concerned with the future of Everton, which he is convinced will brighten once the proposed investment from the Fortress Sports Fund and the proceeds of Rooney's sale arrives to underpin this season's remarkable momentum. But tonight's reunion with Preston does provide a fitting moment to reflect on how he has come so far, so quickly. Moyes recalled: "Preston was where I spent the latter end of my career as a player and eventually went into coaching there and they gave me my opportunity in management. There were a lot of good days and a lot of good memories. "I was close to my testimonial before I left, because I was there as a player, a coach, an assistant and eventually a manager. "I was grateful to Preston for the chance they gave me in management. I had a lot of belief in myself that I would go into coaching. I had offers from other places to get involved in coaching and management, but Preston was the right choice. "When Gary (Peters) was unfortunately sacked, I took over and initially said I wasn't going to take the job. I said to the board I wanted to see how the supporters reacted because at that time they probably wanted a big name manager. "From about the February I took over (in 1998) onwards to the end of the season, I didn't actually take the job. I was just doing it in a caretaker role. "I didn't win for the first five or six games, we had a few draws, but once we got the first win that was the turning point." He added: "In that first season (in the second division) I thought avoiding relegation was the main aim and we managed that. The next season we got to the play-offs and the following season we won promotion out-right, and then the next season we got into the play-offs for the Premier-ship and lost to Bolton in the final. "When I left we had suffered a slow start to the season after losing in that play-off final to Bolton, but we were on course to make the playoffs again. "It was a continued success story, and if I have a regret it was not getting Preston into the Premiership. Looking back now, the year we lost to Bolton the two teams who went up were Fulham as champions and Blackburn as runners-up. None of those clubs have dropped out of the Premiership and they have all made a success of being in it. "The clubs we were competing against at the time were the likes of Birmingham, Norwich, Crystal Palace and West Brom who have all had spells in the Premiership, and Preston were certainly as good them. "We had had to sell Jon Macken and we were at a stage where we had to keep that continued growth going, and if we weren't going to do that then the club was always going to move down. "When you have that momentum going you have to keep it going, and we weren't going to use all the money from the sale of Macken so I knew it would be difficult for us to succeed."
Bill Kenwright et al take note. It is unfair to describe Moyes's departure from Preston as one prompted by disillusionment. Simply, it was the Scot's ambition that saw him accept the offer to replace Walter Smith having rejected several previous Premier-ship offers. But he admits: "It seemed like a job not finished at Preston but the opportunity to come to Everton was too great.
"I still speak to people at Preston and we get on well. I still live in the town, but my son is now definitely an Everton fan rather than a Preston one! "They are a club which is certainly capable of getting into the Premiership. As a football club, they would be as welcome as any in the top league.
"The team hasn't changed all that much, and though they've signed some players there are still quite a few there from when I was there. "I know bits about the players but they are obviously playing in a different way to when I was there so I don't know if me having been there in the past will help all that much."
Billy, no mates today!
Oct 27 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
PRESTON boss Billy Davies will find old friendships with David Moyes and James McFadden put to one side tonight, when he brings his Championship team to Goodison Park in the Carling Cup.
The Deepdale chief is one of Moyes' oldest pals in football, as well as the coach who nurtured McFadden's talent in the youth team at Motherwell. But Moyes, who will be coming up against his former club for the first time since making the switch from Preston to Everton in 2002, knows there will be no room for friendship in tonight's third round tie (8pm). "We will have a glass of wine together afterwards but for the match he will be wanting to pull off a shock result and I will want to make sure Everton get into the next round and keep our form and consistency going," said Moyes.
McFadden is eager for the chance to pit his wits against his mentor - and exorcise a few of the demons which have dogged his season. They were typified in the last round at Bristol City when he saw a potentially match-winning penalty saved. He believes tonight will be the ideal opportunity to make amends - and score his first competitive goal for the club. McFadden said: "This period has been hard for me. I am delighted when the team wins, but it is not too nice not being involved. I want to be winning on the pitch as well. "I'm really looking to score, I've been without a goal in the first team for too long. "Billy was my under-15 manager at Motherwell. He is a good man and a good coach." Moyes is set to make a number of changes for tonight's game. Alan Stubbs will sit out because of a calf strain, giving Joseph Yobo the opportunity to stake his claim. Marcus Bent is also expected to be rested, while Richard Wright will come in for Nigel Martyn. McFadden and Nick Chadwick will be battling for a place in attack, while Steve Watson is likely to be given the full 90 minutes.
Osman the inspiration as Chaddy hopes for cup chance
Oct 27 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
NICK CHADWICK believes the time is right to follow the lead of his best pal Leon Osman. The Everton striker has been in and around the first team squad since bursting onto the scene as an 18-year-old under Walter Smith in September 2001. Three goals in six matches following David Moyes' appointment at the end of that season marked him out as a star of the future. But three years on and Chadwick is still waiting to establish himself as a Goodison regular. He turned 22 yesterday and admits that time is running out for him at Everton. But he has not given up hope just yet. He points to the example set by Osman as his justification - while waiting to learn if he will be given an opportunity to make an impression in tonight's Carling Cup third round tie against Preston at Goodison. "Ossie and myself are quite close and we have spoken about the situation he was in," he revealed. "If you had asked him 12 months ago I don't think he would have been convinced that the chance was going to come at Everton. "Now it has come and everybody has seen how well he has done. I am made up for him. "It does give me heart to see how well he has done. But it also disappoints me that he has done that well and I haven't made that step as well. "We have always done as well as each other as we have come through the ranks. And seeing how well he is doing makes me feel I deserve a chance to do that as well." That chance could come tonight. Chadwick's only appearance of the season so far came in the second round victory at Bristol City, when he came on as a sub shortly before half-time and promptly scored Everton's second goal of the night. Scoring has never been a problem for him, having started only four senior games and netted five goals.
And he knows his best chance of significantly extending his senior appearances is by finding the target if he is given another chance to shine in the Carling Cup. "I always say I am confident I will score and get goals for the team if I am playing," he admits. "That has been the case when I have been included so hopefully if that chance comes against Preston it will continue. "If I do play it is exposure for me, which is probably what is needed at the minute with the situation I am in. "I am not counting on anything. If I am involved that would be great but I have been in this position a few times where I think something might happen and then it doesn't, so I am just going to train and let the manager make his decision. "The fact I was 22 yesterday underlines the point I am making about wanting to play more first team football. "It is difficult to deal with if you have never had an extended taste of first team action. "When you have gone in and then come out again and you are the only senior still running around regularly in the reserves you feel as if you are past that. "That is where I am at. I feel as though reserve football is holding me back. I don't want to be held back any longer, I want to go out there and do well for myself. "I am not giving myself the best chance of forging a good career in the game by playing reserve team football." And Chadwick accepts that it is looking increasingly likely that his future could be away from Goodison. He enjoyed a decent return of four goals from 11 starts on loan at Millwall last season and he knows there will be interest from elsewhere if he does leave Merseyside. It is a frustration manager David Moyes understands.
Chadwick explains: "I have spoken to the manager about it and we both know where each other stands. "We both know there is only so long I can stay here and not play football. "I understand the manager has got to do what he thinks is best for his team. But I have also got to do what is best for me. "Something will come to a head shortly. And hopefully that will be going into the team tonight, scoring three goals and becoming a part of the Everton first team. "But if that doesn't happen and I am waiting six months between first team appearances then I am not helping myself. "Sometimes your love for the club can be detrimental to your career. "I love it here, I love the lads, the fans and everything. But I have got to be careful that doesn't sidetrack me from the fact I am not playing as often as I would like. "I have always known there is life out-side Everton and that there would be plenty of opportunities to go elsewhere if that is what I want to do. "It felt good to be part of a regular starting eleven at Millwall and that is what I want again."
Effort has put Blues on a high
Oct 27 2004 Echo Letters
CONGRATULATIONS to the Blues for the great start they've made to the season. The club has moved on from the traumas of selling Wayne with all the players giving 100 per cent effort. I was sickened to see the young man play at Old Trafford on Sunday, showing the world he has quickly joined the ranks of the free-falling cheaters. The game also proved the standard of English refereeing to be on a downward spiral.
Bob Butchard, Australia
THERE'S a danger we are all getting totally carried away with the Blues' fine start to the season.
What we do have are an exceptional manager, great tactics and a few players who are playing out of their skins (Cahill, Gravesen, Bent, Carsley). But it could all come crashing down very quickly if we aren't careful. We need to consolidate until January, stay difficult to beat and then spend some money in January on some quality players. We all know that Moyes is dynamite in the transfer market and with sufficient backing from the board, we really could be a force to be reckoned with.
Whatever happens, it's been a fantastic start and it makes you proud to support the lads.
Ian Murray, Birmingham
WELL done again lads and well done to the management and backroom staff who are rarely mentioned. After buying few decent players in January, Moyes should give all the current players a new contract and throw whatever money is left over in the pot for the lads who have all given 100 per cent.
Clubs must find Ball compromise
I'M sure the Blues can sort out the payment for Michael Ball with Rangers amicably. If we were in the same position as Rangers, I would expect the fans to hope the Glaswegians would be prepared to find a compromise. We're not as desperate for the money as we have been in recent times, so surely a payment method could be worked out which would be good for both clubs. We could lose out if we shove them too hard and they go into liquidation.
Kevin Wallace, New Zealand
WHAT is Alex McLeish on?
Perhaps we should also let Manchester United off with the £10 million instalment they owe us for wonderboy if they say they can't afford it!
A deal should be a deal.
Sean's a true lifelong Blue!
Oct 27 2004 Jblue, Liverpool Echo
GOING to your first Everton match before turning one year old makes you a member of an elite club.
"That was against Sheffield Wednesday," recalls 11-year-old Sean Meaney, whose commitment and enthusiasm for the club has grown from that day. Sean, a season ticket holder for the past five or so years, does not have one at present. "This season, my dad bought two and my uncle and I go to alternate games," he said.. But the youngster from Rainhill will be going to every home game from January - after winning the jblue competition for a Half Season Ticket for two. Sean said: "It's great to win. I will be going with my schoolmate, Robert. "It's been brilliant this season. I think we will get into Europe. "Last year, I went to one of the jblue Christmas parties and met some of the Everton players." A keen young player himself, Sean attends St Edmund Arrowsmith School and plays right back in their football team.
Make plans for Nigel
NIGEL MARTYN has been in inspired form this season - and you could find out the secret behind his success. One lucky jblue member has the chance to ask the Blues' shot stopper their Top Ten questions. We will select the best set of questions sent in and put them to Nigel. Simply send your entries to the address above marked 'Nigel Martyn', including your name, address, phone number and jblue membership number.
* SEVERAL Everton first-team players will be promoting the club's training range at the City Centre store, Ranelagh Street tomorrow lunchtime. Supporters who purchase anything from the training range will get a signed print free of charge.
Vaughan ensures share of the spoils
Oct 27 2004 Liverpool Echo
TWO goals from James Vaughan earned Everton Reserves a point in a 2-2 draw at Manchester City.
Despite trailing at the break, Andy Holden's Everton side came back to lead before having to settle for a point against the FA Premier Reserve League (North) leaders. City took the lead after 10 minutes. Lee Croft's excellent cross from the right was powerfully headed past Everton goalkeeper Iain Turner by Jamie Tandy. Vaughan brought the scores level six minutes into the second half with a low shot from just inside the area. On 55 minutes, City should have regained the lead when Karl Bermingham ran through on goal, but Turner stood tall and made a fine block. With an hour gone, Eddy Bosnar tested City keeper Kasper Schmeichel with one of his trademark free-kicks, but the son of former Manchester United hero Peter stopped it, and again Vaughan was just unable to stab home the loose ball. Holden's side eventually took the lead with 12 minutes remaining. Substitute Victor Anichebe's low left-wing cross was slid in at the far post by Vaughan. But the lead was short-lived as five minutes later Bermingham pulled City level. Hopkins almost secured all three points for the visitors but he shot just wide in the final minutes.
EVERTON RESERVES: Turner, Wynne, Wilson, Bosnar, Fox, Harris, Fowler (Anichebe 46), Phelan, Vaughan (Vidarsson 81), Hopkins, Seargeant (Boyle 46). Subs: Lake, Wright.
REFEREE: Mr I Nolan
Everton 2, Preston 0 (D,Post)
Oct 28 2004 By Andy Hunter at Goodison Park, Daily Post
THE last thing David Moyes needed out of the Carling Cup, apart from a midweek journey to champions Arsenal in the next round, was unnecessary damage to the all-important issue of Everton's Premiership rise. And when he reflects on a needless sending off Lee Carsley will realise his moment of madness could be costly in more ways than one. The Republic of Ireland international should be toasting his mantle as Everton's Carling Cup talisman today, having added to his penalty shoot-out winner against Bristol City by breaking the deadlock against Preston last night with a stunning free-kick. Instead he will miss the next three crucial matches in Everton's season with an enforced spell on the sidelines and dis-cover where Moyes's priorities lie when he opens his next pay-packet and finds a fine inside. As Joseph Yobo has already found it doesn't pay to miss a second of the club's whirlwind start to the campaign, and even though Carsley has played a pivotal part in Everton's incredible climb with the finest form of his Goodison career he is likely to suffer as much as his team-mates over the coming weeks. Games against Aston Villa and Chelsea in the league, Arsenal in the last 16 of the Carling Cup, represent testing fixtures that could well determine the shape of Everton's season. And Carsley will miss them all after lashing out at Eric Skora for a straight red card that was as deserved as it was needless, even if the Preston substitute had provoked the outburst with an earlier elbow. Marcus Bent's fourth goal of the season, and an Everton performance that improved as the contest wore on, ensured Carsley's indiscretion would not return to haunt Moyes's side in the Carling Cup. But that is the only consolation Carsley can take from an absorbing cup tie with Moyes's former club. The kick-off was delayed 10 minutes to allow he late arrivals into the ground with many more locked out as Goodison's capacity had to be reduced by 20% to allow for unreserved seating. The fact 33,922 still made it inside illustrated how, like Moyes, many Evertonians do see this competition as a genuine route into Europe despite the club's dreadful record in it. With that figure including 7,000 Preston fans, the stadium soaked up an atmosphere not usually associated with third round League Cup ties. But atmosphere was all the contest had going for it during the first half as expectation was soon diminished by football as miserable as the weather. Thankfully, the clouds over Everton's performance vanished after the break. Everton dominated the first half in terms of both purpose and possession with James McFadden at the heart of almost every attack. But his fluctuating performance between encouraging or hugely frustrating encapsulated the entire opening 45 minutes for his side. Too often Everton wasted inviting openings through a moment of sheer carelessness as the distribution and control of several players left a lot to be desired. It was hard to judge what was the strangest experience for Moyes, facing his former friends as foes, or being able to make five changes to an Everton team and still sending out a recognisable side. Nigel Martyn was rested completely while Marcus Bent, Tim Cahill and Thomas Gravesen were all spared on the bench, although the most notable absentee was Nick Chadwick. The reserve team striker seized his chance at Bristol City in the last round but was left out completely last night, suggesting his recent fears about having to seek pastures new shortly are well-grounded. Moyes, by contrast, is determined to guide McFadden through his difficult Goodison spell and ensure his compatriot fulfils his obvious natural talent on the Premiership stage.
Last night indicated why, with the Scottish international providing the only spark or thrust at times for the home side, but also how infuriating that task can be when a player full of tricks is also so low on confidence. McFadden regularly had the beating of his first marker but, in his desperation to impress, often floundered attempting to beat a second man when an early lay-off would have sufficed. That said, the young striker still showed more attacking verve than the entire opposition in the first half, who looked a far cry from the side Moyes brought to the brink of the Premiership three years ago until their much-needed second-half improvement. Everton may have been victim to their own rising standards but even before Carsley broke the deadlock just after the interval their superiority over Billy Davis's team was clear. After an opening marked by a procession of corner kicks for the home side Duncan Ferguson found the net with a sweet low strike in the 26th minute only for play to be called back for an earlier foul on Leon Osman. Kevin Kilbane hit the resulting free-kick just as cleanly but unfortunately for the Republic of Ireland midfielder a deflection off the Preston wall just proved enough to deny him a second goal in two games. Steve Watson and Ferguson almost recreated their winning combination against Norwich when another penetrating cross from the former produced a towering header from the latter. This time, however, it sailed just wide of Gavin Ward's top right hand corner. The threat from McFadden began to improve and after sending a 25-yard shot harmlessly wide he created the clearest opening of the half with a delightful lay-off from Tony Hibbert's long throw to Ferguson only for his strike partner's shot to cannon off the legs of Ward. Two minutes before the break McFadden's long-awaited first Everton goal almost arrived when he beat Chris Lucketti and Ward to David Weir's long ball and lifted a shot just over the bar. Seven minutes after the restart, however, Everton did find the target when Claude Davis presented them with a perfect invitation by flattening Osman just outside the Preston area. The visiting centre-half escaped a booking, but not punishment entirely as Carsley stepped forward and curled a powerful free-kick beyond Ward's grasp and into the Park End goal. Twenty minutes later Carsley's contribution to the game dipped dramatically when he was stupidly sent off for kicking out at Skora as they ran into the Preston area together. There were no complaints from the midfielder as Andre Marriner brandished a straight red card, even if Skora made the most of the clash and instigated it with a sly elbow at the start of the move. But there were plenty of complaints from Moyes as he confronts the next three games without his powerful enforcer and no obvious replacement. However, the dismissal failed to diminish Everton's dominance last night. Richard Wright saved from Richard Cresswell's header and superbly from David Healy's low drive while Youl Mawene had a goal disallowed by a close offside call when the final touch appeared to come off an Everton player. That brief response from Preston apart, Everton maintained the upper hand and could have made the scoreline even more convincing than Bent eventually did. In the 85th minute McFadden should have made the contest safe when Kilbane's cut-back from the right gave him the perfect opportunity to break his Everton duck but he somehow skied a free shot high over the bar.
Bent showed how it should be done from an identical route in the final minute when the excellent Osman tricked his way to the by-line and rolled the ball back for the striker to despatch his first touch of the game low beyond Ward. The substitute striker also went close in injury time at the end of a flowing passing move by Everton where every touch was accompanied by "Oles" from the Goodison crowd. But for Carsley's outburst it was ultimately another Goodison outing to savour for the home faithful and, with the memories of their opening day mauling firmly behind them, even a trip to Arsenal doesn't hold the fears it might.
EVERTON (4-4-2): Wright; Hibbert, Yobo, Weir, Pistone; Watson, Osman, Carsley, Kilbane; Ferguson (Bent 88), McFadden (Cahill 90). Subs: Campbell, Gravesen, Turner.
BOOKING: Ferguson (foul) SENDING-OFF: Carsley (violent conduct)
PRESTON (4-4-2): Ward; Mawene, Lucketti, Davis (Skora 66), Alexander (Jackson 83); Smith (Daley 76), Etuhu, O'Neil, McKenna; Healy, Cresswell. Subs: Lynch, Gould.
BOOKING: Lucketti (foul)
REFEREE: Andre Marriner (West Midlands)
NEXT GAME: Everton v Aston Villa, Premiership, Saturday 3pm
Carsley set to pay for moment of madness
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Oct 28 2004
DAVID MOYES will fine Lee Carsley for the moment of madness that tarnished Everton's efficient Carling Cup win over Preston North End last night. The Republic of Ireland midfielder faces a three-match suspension after being sent off for kicking out at visiting substitute Eric Skora in the 72nd minute of Everton's 2-0 win over Moyes's former club. Carsley will be punished with a club fine for his outburst, which Moyes revealed was provoked by an elbow in the face from Skora in the build-up to their penalty-box clash. And the midfielder's ban will begin with immediate effect to rule him out of testing league games against Aston Villa and Chelsea, plus the fourth round tie away at champions Arsenal. Moyes said: "I am very disappointed with Lee because it is not like him at all. "Skora caught him in the face with his elbow at the start of the move when Lee played the ball out wide, then Lee followed him into the area and kicked him. "I thought the referee was of first division standard tonight but that is not an excuse for what Lee did. He is not the type of player to be sent off for something like that but it is a very costly suspension for us. He has been playing very well this season and is a great lad to have in the side." Carsley had opened the scoring with a delightful free-kick just after the restart and despite the dismissal Marcus Bent came off the bench to score his fourth goal of the season in the 89th minute. Moyes said: "Lee practises those free-kicks a lot and it was an excellent strike. "I thought we played pretty well throughout the game. I wasn't happy with how we started. Moyes added: "Preston started brighter and we didn't respond well enough, but the blustery conditions didn't help and we deserved our win in the end." Everton now face a daunting trip to Arsenal in a fortnight in round four when, even though Arsene Wenger will field a makeshift team, the visitors will be desperate to make amends for their opening-day defeat at Goodison. "It is a hard game but if we want to compete and win things then we are going to have to go to the best teams and beat them," said Moyes. "That's what we have to do to get further up the ladder. "It will be a great game for us and despite what happened on the opening day we are still only three points behind them in the league. "It is not an easy draw, in fact it is the toughest we could have got, and a lot of teams are taking this competition more seriously this season because it is getting harder and harder to win things. But we welcome the draw."
Heath's winner got the title ball rolling
Post Past by Philip J Redmond Everton supporter, Daily Post
Oct 28 2004
GAMES against Aston Villa are invariably tight affairs and I'll be surprised if this Saturday's clash is any different. One such encounter was when Villa came to Goodison on a bright and breezy October afternoon in 1984. Like a lot of Blues (if people are being honest) at this point there is no way I could've envisaged Everton running away with the title like they did that season. The Cup holders had started the season erratically and while they were handily placed in about seventh at this point, they were still letting in far too many goals for comfort. Already at Goodison they'd dropped points against average teams like Ipswich and Southampton and who could forget the 4-1 openingday thrashing by Spurs?. The previous week we'd lost 1-0 against Arsenal at Highbury, a game in which new signing Pat van den Hauwe made his debut. This was offset by a 4-0 thrashing of second division Sheffield United in the League Cup. Villa came to Goodison in decline, and so it proved. Everton had taken the lead halfway through after a scrappy opening. An incisive pass from Peter Reid had sent Adrian Heath down the right and his cross was headed firmly home by Graeme Sharp. Unfortunately Villa equalised on the stroke of half-time after Neville Southall uncharacteristically fumbled a Peter Withe header. In the second however, Everton really cut loose, and their pressure brought dividends with a blinding winner in the dying minutes after Reid's drilled cross, Sharp's exquisite chest down and a stinging Heath volley. I remember looking at the fixture list and thinking we had our work cut out over the following fortnight. Everton would face a trip to Anfield, games home and away against Man United in the league and League Cup and the two legs of the Cup Winners' Cup second round against Inter Bratislava. Who could've foreseen that all five games would be won and the march to glory would well and truly be underway?
Everton 2, Preston 0 (Echo)
Oct 28 2004 By Scott Mcleod at Goodison Park, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON were left punch drunk by their progress in the Carling Cup last night. First came news that the 'reward' for the 2-0 third round victory over Preston North End was a trip to Arsenal. And then came confirmation that Lee Carsley will miss the club's next three games after being sent off for violent conduct 21 minutes after netting the free-kick which set the Blues on their way to victory.
That is the real body blow - the hit which will impact as greatly on the club's game against Aston Villa on Saturday as the prospect of tired legs after last night's exertions. Carsley may not have grabbed many headlines in the last couple of months, but he has been an essential figure behind the club's remarkable start to the season. He has been quietly but effectively getting on with his job as the midfield anchorman during the Blues' march to third in the Premiership. But last night he took centre-stage as hero and villain after having his defensive shackles loosened by David Moyes' decision to switch to a standard 4-4-2 formation. His exquisite free-kick in the 52nd minute was followed by a less welcome kick at Eric Skora which ensured the shine was taken off the result.
It may have been retribution for an earlier elbow from the Preston sub. But that defence will not help Carsley avoid a fine from the club for his behaviour. The fact there is no obvious replacement within Moyes ' depleted squad is justification alone. Let's just hope that fact doesn't make watching Saturday's game along with the trips to Chelsea and Arsenal from the stands too painful for the former Irish international. His early departure in the 73rd minute could have scuppered Everton's progress in this cup competition, had Preston not been such toothless opposition. It was clear after the opening 20 minutes it would only be a matter of time before Everton swept aside an under-strength North End. The problem which has been all too prevalent at Goodison this season was the reason why the game was not dead and buried long before Carsley's early bath. Chance after chance went begging. The Blues barely got out of third gear in the opening half and yet still managed to camp in Preston's half. Duncan Ferguson headed narrowly wide and fired into the legs of keeper Gavin Ward before finally finding the back of the net with an 18 yard drive, only for it to be ruled out because referee Andre Marriner had already awarded Everton a free-kick for a foul on Leon Osman. But while it was a frustrating night for the Big Scot, his young strike partner must have been tearing his hair out. All of Goodison was willing James McFadden to score. And he had plenty of chances to do just that and break his duck as an Everton player. But despite his best efforts, he couldn't manage it. He showed great bravery shortly before half-time, risking serious injury as he threw himself in the path of Ward and defender Chris Lucketti to chip the ball over the keeper.
His reward was the sight of the ball falling agonisingly wide of the empty net. Worse was to follow. With Preston out on their feet, he managed to find acres of space within the penalty area in the 86th minute. But when Kevin Kilbane pulled the ball back to him he rifled his first time shot over the bar from eight yards. It was left to Marcus Bent to find the target, sweeping into the net with his first touch seconds after coming on as a sub in the 89th minute. He was teed up by Osman, who was excellent as an attacking force in midfield. But it was his partner who grabbed the headlines this morning. If only it were just for his 52nd minute strike. He stepped forward after Osman was felled by the fore-arm of man-mountain Claude Davis on the edge of the Preston area. The defender inexplicably escaped even a yellow card. But he didn't escape the ignonimy of being the creator of Everton's opening goal. Carsley did his best Thomas Gravesen impression, whipping a right foot shot over the wall and inside the near post as Ward scrambled across his line. Unfortunately, he was equally clinical 21 minutes later. And now he must rely on his team-mates if he is to have the chance of recreating the Carling Cup heroics which also saw him score the winning penalty in the last round at Bristol City in the months to come. The game also provided further good news, with the sight of Joseph Yobo returning to the first team. The Nigerian international was his usual classy self alongside David Weir. And one way or another, he will surely get his first Premiership start since August on Saturday. Whether that is in defence or mid-field remains to be seen. Moyes will have assessed his players today before deciding how to set his side up against Villa. This may be the Rotation Cup for a number of Premiership outfits, but Moyes didn't make sweeping changes last night. Of course, that is partly down to the fact he can't, such are his lack of options. But had he chosen to, Goodison could have played host to some of the club's promising youngsters, or even in-form reserve men Nick Chadwick and Eddy Bosnar. Instead, there was one enforced switch - with Yobo coming in for the injured Alan Stubbs - and an opportunity for Ferguson, McFadden, Steve Watson and Richard Wright to start a game on the pitch rather than the bench. How many of those players keep their places on Saturday remains to be seen. But there will be at least one change.
EVERTON (4-4-2): Wright; Hibbert, Yobo, Weir, Pistone; Watson, Osman, Carsley, Kilbane; McFadden (Cahill 90), Ferguson (Bent 89). Not used: Turner, Gravesen, Campbell.
PRESTON (4-3-3): Ward; Mawene, Davis (Skora 87), Lucketti, O'Neil; Smith (Daley 77), Etuhu, Alexander (Jackson 84), McKenna; Healy, Cresswell. Not used: Lynch, Gould.
REF: Andre Manniner (West Midlands)
BOOKINGS: Lucketti; Ferguson
Fury as 2000 fans shut out
Oct 28 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
FURIOUS Everton fans today demanded an apology from the club after being locked out of Goodison Park. More than 2,000 supporters missed last night's Carling Cup clash with Preston after safety regulations forced the club to reduce the capacity. Everton today defended their decision - but fans say they should have been given more warning. Damien Cummings, 38, a scaffolder from Warbreck Moor, said: "My 13-year-old son was locked in the ground and I was not allowed to get in to see him.
"Once the announcement went out I had to convince Merseyside police to escort me to see my son, and let me speak to him to let him know everything was okay. Then I was made to leave." The start of the game, which Everton won 2-0, was delayed by 10 minutes because of congestion as more than 22,000 fans turned up in the 90 minutes before kick-off to pay on the turnstiles. The club insist they had to close the doors because safety regulations dictated that the capacity had to be reduced after the club made the decision to sell tickets for unreserved seating. Ian Ross, the club's head of communications, said: "Our capacity for the game was reduced to 34,000 after making the decision three weeks ago to have unreserved seating. "When you do that you have to apply for a special safety certificate from the local authority and they insist capacity is reduced by 10%. As a club, we made the decision to reduce it by a further five per cent for safety reasons. "It is desperately disappointing when you have to turn people away, but we had no option." The club had put out public messages warning people to come early. But season ticket-holder Tony Redfern, 41, originally from Sterrix Lane, Bootle, said: "I made a 300-mile round trip from Rugby, only to stand in the rain for 45 minutes then to be told I couldn't get in." Martin Reppion, 42, a recruitment company manager, from Keighley, West Yorkshire, said: "We demand an apology and an assurance never again will an Everton supporter be locked out."
Yobo ready to plug the gaps for stretched Blues
Oct 28 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
JOSEPH YOBO is ready to be Everton's reluctant hero. The Nigerian international could be in contention for a starting berth in midfield against Aston Villa on Saturday as Lee Carsley begins a three match suspension following his red card last night. The former Irish international was dismissed for violent conduct in the 2-0 Carling Cup victory over Preston 21 minutes after scoring the goal which set Everton on the road to the fourth round. Manager David Moyes has been playing five men in midfield for the club's Premiership games this season, with Carsley the anchorman in front of the back four. If the Goodison chief opts to stick with the same system there is no obvious replacement for the 30-year-old. Yobo has played in midfield for Nigeria and could provide a solution after returning to the side for the first time in five games last night. "I used to play in midfield for Nigeria but it has been a long time since I played there," admitted Yobo. "Honestly, I don't know if that is what will happen. I want to play as a centre-half, that is my best position. "If I can do a job, that is fine. It is going to be hard for me because the game is so close. "But you can never say never. I will just go out there, keep training and anything that happens will be fine."
Any decision will have to wait until Moyes receives a fitness report on Alan Stubbs, who was replaced by Yobo in central defence last night after picking up a calf strain. The skipper is battling to be fit for Saturday's game with Villa. But if he doesn't make the match Yobo is set to continue in the heart of defence alongside David Weir. As for Carsley, he is facing the prospect of a club fine after being dismissed for kicking Preston's Eric Skora. He will be suspended for the games with Aston Villa, Chelsea and Arsenal in the Carling Cup fourth round. Moyes said: "I am very disappointed with Lee because it is not like him at all. "Skora caught him in the face with his elbow at the start of the move when Lee played the ball out wide, then Lee followed him into the area and kicked him. "I thought the referee was of first division standard but that is not an excuse for what Lee did. "He is not the type of player to be sent off for something like that but it is a very costly suspension for us. "He has been playing very well this season and is a great lad to have in the side." The Blues travel to Highbury in the fourth round in a fortnight. "It is a hard game but if we want to compete and win things then we are going to have to go to the best teams and beat them," added Moyes.
Oct 28 2004 Liverpool Echo
"The players are doing their jobs, Moyes is doing his, now it's the board's turn" - Ben McGrae
THANKS are due to United for keeping Arsenal within striking distance. Who would have thought we would be saying that at the start of the season? In Moyesy's first year he seemed to have the knack of making unexpected, but always positive, substitutions which came off. Like everything else that went wrong last year, the substitutions often didn't seem to change the game for the better. But this season he has got his touch back and on Saturday Steve Watson and Duncan Ferguson surprisingly replaced Leon Osman and Tim Cahill when the match was in the balance. Moyes has timed Ferguson's entrances to great effect against West Brom, Portsmouth and Southampton as well as on Saturday. Duncan's made an important contribution and this season may have been a lot different if he had accepted the pay-off offered in the summer.
HANNAH BARGERY, Widnes
WHILST it would be over-optimistic to consider ourselves genuine Champions League contenders, it would surely be reasonable to expect a slightly more positive representation from the national media. It seems we are either an 'underachieving big club' or grouped with Bolton as an 'over-achieving also-ran'. Everton fans don't need people who think football began in 1993 to tell us what our club is all about. The team is doing us proud at the moment. A few more telling contributions from Big Dunc and he could yet earn a new contract!
You sense David Moyes won't stop until Everton are perceived once again as a big club that achieves.
JON SELLICK, Crosby
THIS season just seems to be getting better and better. Only a point behind Chelsea and we're getting closer to the main objective of 40 points. Saturday's first half saw a top-drawer performance which reflected our other displays this season. We played slick, fast football and dominated possession in midfield. In the second half we crumbled under pressure from Norwich and their supporters. We seemed to lose concentration. But it takes character to come back and we showed a lot of that. One player who has been a revelation is Kevin Kilbane. When we first signed him I thought we had acquired a poor midfielder, but he has proven myself and many critics wrong.
The players are doing their jobs, the manager is doing his, now it's time for the board to do theirs and provide a good transfer budget in January.
BEN MCGRAE, Hunts Cross
"WE'RE gonna win the league!" How proud did that make us feel on Saturday - especially singing it at Norwich, the ground where we last won the title? At half-time, no-one could believe what was happening. Everton were winning 2-0 away and looking comfortable. Then we reverted to the typical Everton, throwing away a good first-half performance with a pathetic and panicking first 15 minutes of the second half. Kevin Kilbane said we were complacent. That was an understatement.
We got ripped apart in the second half with pace and skill. It just proved how much Joseph Yobo needs to play. We must be more solid to stay were we are. We can always rely on the Big Man. He got stuck in and some of his touches and passes were exquisite. He totally deserved his goal.
Bring on Chelsea.
GARETH SCOTT, West Derby
Watson and Yobo to fight for place
By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Oct 29 2004
STEVE WATSON will compete with Joseph Yobo for a place in the Everton midfield tomorrow in the absence of the suspended Lee Carsley. Irish international Carsley will sit out the next three games as a result of his moment of madness for which he received a straight red card in the 2-0 Carling Cup defeat of Preston North End on Wednesday night. With squad numbers already in short supply, Carsley's dismissal was the last thing Everton manager David Moyes needed as injuries begin to bite into his threadbare resources. Alan Stubbs is already struggling with a calf problem and now Carsley will not only miss tomorrow's Premiership home game with Aston Villa, but the league game at Chelsea the following week and the Carling Cup fourth round tie at Arsenal. His absence has paved the way for Watson (pictured) to fill the breach against his old club, although the 30-year-old faces competition in the form of Nigerian international Yobo, who may be asked to step into the defensive midfield role. Both were handed rare starting roles against Preston but with just 19 senior players at his disposal, Moyes was unable to oversee wholesale changes similar to those made by the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United. "We can't operate like that so there is no point worrying about it," said the Everton manager. "But what we cannot afford is to have injuries and suspensions, and now we will be missing Lee for three games. "We are concerned because we tried to use a few lads who did not play on Saturday. "But as you can see, when you do leave top players in the side things can happen like they did and we ended up with Lee Carsley sent off. "That is going to be costly to him and us. We have a small squad and we just cannot afford things like that."
While Watson would appear favourite to play at Goodison, Yobo has insisted he is capable of deputising for Carsley. "I used to play in mid-field for Nigeria but it has been a long time since I played there," he said.. "If I can do a job, that is fine. It is going to be hard for me because the game is so close. "Honestly, I don't know if that is what will happen. I want to play as a centre-half, that is my best position. But you can never say never. I will just go out there, keep training and anything that happens will be fine."
* EVERTON'S Carling Cup fourth round tie at Arsenal will be played on Tuesday, November 9 with a 7.45pm kick-off. The game will not be televised live.
Hendrie demands improvement at Goodison
By John Curtis, Daily Post
Oct 29 2004
LEE HENDRIE is calling upon Aston Villa to regain their pride in tomorrow's Barclays Premiership clash at high-riding Everton. The former England midfielder branded Villa's performance as "rubbish" in Tuesday's shock 3-1 defeat at Burnley in the Carling Cup. Hendrie believes Villa owe it to their travelling supporters to put up a far better performance when they take on David Moyes' side.. Hendrie said: "I just want to say sorry to the fans who travelled on Tuesday to Burnley because our showing just wasn't good enough. "They had paid a lot of money to travel and watch the game and in all honesty we were rubbish. "I've been at Villa for a long time now and that is probably the worst that I've known. I'm a Villa fan myself and it really hurt me. "Irrespective of whether we win on Saturday, we have to put in a performance which is a million times better and immediately put things right. "We're just hoping that what happened at Burnley gave us the kick up the backside that we needed." On a more positive note, Villa central defender Martin Laursen has resumed full training with Villa after more than two months out of action with a knew problem.
The Danish international, signed for £3million from AC Milan in the summer, suffered the setback against Charlton at The Valley in only his third match in Villa's colours. With Liam Ridgewell also back to fitness, manager David O'Leary's defensive injury crisis is slowly starting to ease. There is even a chance that full-back Jlloyd Samuel will have recovered from the shoulder injury sustained at Turf Moor in time to face Everton.
Wenger in promise to give youth a chance
By Simon Stone, Daily Post
Oct 29 2004
ARSENE WENGER has promised his young charges they will be given the chance to extend Arsenal's Carling Cup run against Everton next month. The Gunners' reward for their excellent victory at Manchester City on Wednesday night is a Highbury encounter with David Moyes' high fliers in a fortnight.. With a place in the quarterfinals up for grabs, Wenger would have been forgiven for bringing at least two or three more experienced players to supplement a starting line-up that contained only two men over 21. However, with his side continuing to contest for silverware on four fronts and with a home Champions League encounter with Panathinaikos looming next week, Wenger will resist that temptation, handing his promising youngsters a chance to supplement an already fine reputation. "I will stick with that team in the Carling Cup for as long as I can," he said. "At least for as long as we are in the Champions League. "I believe at least seven or eight of them are capable of playing in the Premiership immediately, maybe not all at once but they are certainly good enough to play." Just like his old rival Sir Alex Ferguson did at Old Trafford, Wenger made an overhaul of Arsenal's youth development programme one of his first tasks when he succeeded Bruce Rioch in 1996. And just like Ferguson he has scoured the planet looking for talent with enough promise to one day be able to play at the kind of level Arsenal now demand. Wednesday night's starting line-up was drawn from eight nations and included Cesc Fabregas, goalscorer Robin van Persie, French midfielder Mathieu Flamini and 17-year-old Italian forward Arturo Lupoli, who all appear set for stardom. As Wenger outlined, it is not luck that got them on the coach up the M6 on Wednesday, their presence is the product of some intense, hard work. And it is one of the major reasons why the Frenchman had little hesitation in extending his stay with the Gunners to 2008.
"When you take a manager's job, I believe you have to look at the situation as though you are going to spend your whole life at that club," he said. "You know it can be a lot shorter than that but you need to have a sense of responsibility about what you are going to leave behind if you do go.
"The players we see coming through now are the product of five years' hard work with our scouts and through our academy. You look at the team which played last night and it convinces me this club has a great future." What made last night's victory even more pleasing was that it came against a side who had made the competition one of its priorities for the season. Five of the City starting lineup were in the side which defeated Chelsea just under a fortnight ago and three of the other six were missing through injury, offering a true measure of the Gunners' achievement. "I was a bit apprehensive at the start because if it hadn't gone well in the first 20 minutes, we could have conceded four or five," Wenger said.. "But Pascal Cygan set a great example and helped the younger players get through the bad periods in the game. Without him I don't think we would have won.
"We lacked experience and maturity on occasions with our final ball or in possession but we soaked up a lot of pressure in the first half and finished the job in the second. "We always tried to be composed on the ball and have a positive attitude in our game, which was really pleasing and the first goal delighted me because it was a real Arsenal goal."
Post Soapbox, IcLiverpool & Daily Post
Oct 29 2004
I AM sure you have had comments about the farcical situation at Goodison - with 7,000 empty seats inside and 2-3,000 fans locked outside. However, this is the last nail in my own personal football coffin. At 49-years-old, I am not prepared to be treated as contemptuously and have vowed never to go again unless something is done to persuade me otherwise. I have supported (an undervalued word, but how true in this context), Everton for almost 40 years and even sponsored the ball on three separate occasions. As a consequence, I deserved treating like a customer last night, instead of receiving the 'tough luck, better luck next time' attitude evident last night. I won't be back and I am sure increasing numbers will join me in the future.
David Booth (via e-mail)
EVERYONE was warned about what happened last time. People demanding an apology from Everton is a disgrace. You could have booked tickets, gone down to the ground. I did, was in the Park End. And people saying that they were waiting for 45 minutes is wrong. My mate got in the ground at about 7.45pm and he left the pub at just after half seven. I think the ones who were locked couldn't be really be bothered to turn up. Or spent too much time in the pub.
G Roberts (via e-mail)
I CAME away from Goodison a bit bemused by it all last night. We looked a bit rusty in the 4-4-2 set-up in the first half although it steadily got better. The team also adapted well to the returning players in the starting line-up and to the substitutions that were made. So it does seem that there are some advantages of having a small squad. I am looking foreward to seeing the team for the Villa game. There are a lot of selection ponderables for a small squad of out of contract players. The pundits never pondered this one.
Steve Jones (via e-mail)
WE need to freshen up the bench as this is surely Dunc's last season and definitely Campbell's. Hopkins should have had a go for last 20 minutes against Preston.
Frank Williams, Bootle
So far so good
SO FAR so good, but to close the gap at the top will take more than what we have got in the locker at present. It will be very interesting to see who Moyes goes for in the January sales. Although let's hope it's a bit more imaginative than Savage again.
T Bloom, Waterloo
Post soapbox, Icliverpool And Daily Post
Oct 1 2004
I WATCHED Man United's game and I was just relieved that Rooney didn't kiss the Manc badge.
That would have been a kick in the teeth to all Everton fans. Let's face it, even Brett Angel and Stuart Barlow could have bagged a hat-trick against that defence. Rooney only ever went to one school, and that was at Goodison at the School of Science. Nil Satis Nisi Optimum.
Phil Macdonald, St Helens
I'M very proud of a certain ex-Blue. We nurtured him, now he's banged in three on his debut. Well done lad. Wish it could have been with us, but then you have your reasons and it's your career not mine. Now let's think about who we'll get in January.
Carl Brown (via e-mail)
JUST remember they bought Wayne's contract, not his soul. That will always be with Everton, no matter who else he plays for in his career. We should wish him well, with no regrets on our part, because you can be sure he will have regrets of his own. He may never play in an Everton shirt again and that surely is torment enough!
Barry Robson (via e-mail)
Let it lie
I WOULD just like to congratulate a certain young lad on his Champions League debut and thank him for the money he made us. Well done lad! Can we all now let bygones be bygones?
Joe Kelly (via e-mail)
MIXED feelings over the boy wonder's MU debut. I say let's not give him stick - if it was you or me and we moved for the reasons he did, every time you played against us you would do your best to score to rub our noses in it. Lay off the kid and look to the future.
Steve Sky (via e-mail)
Proud of him
MIGHT as well say how proud, yes proud I was at seeing WR do what he did. The only doubt I have for MU now is that they will come to rely on him like we did, and the rest of the team will just knock the ball to him and expect him to do the deed. I wonder how long he will cope with that pressure. If they see he can bang in three each game I reckon they will do what our guys did and rely on him too much. Anyway although I was gutted to see him go, it was his choice so as others have said let go and let's get on with supporting our boys.
A Bishop (via e-mail)
Lock-outs the norm if good run continues
By Mark O'Brien Everton supporter, Daily Post
Oct 29 2004
A TRIP to face Arsenal doesn't feel like much of a reward for winning our cup tie against Preston.
We can only hope that Arsene Wenger fields another reserve team, as he did against Manchester City, if we're to stand a realistic chance of progressing. However, given that we're top-of-the-table opposition we can probably expect the Gunners to take us a little more seriously, but at least we can take heart from the fact that we're likely to actually get into the game at Highbury. Wednesday night saw a repetition of the scenes that occurred at the infamous Leyton Orient match in 2002. Reduced prices, a huge away allocation and the reduction in capacity stipulated as a necessity when cash turnstiles are operated once again resulted in large numbers of fans being turned away from the ground. No doubt Everton will be pleased with the attendance, more than 33,000 for a Carling Cup game against less-than glamorous opposition on a horrible night, but it's not exactly a public relations coup when people are turned away. Obviously the club were trying to make the effort with their ticketing policy in this instance, but, especially given the Leyton Orient experience, they need to learn not to underesti-mate the demand for affordable games. The lock-out, and Lee Carsley's sending off, were the only downsides of another positive week for the Blues. The game at Carrow Road was a far cry from our trademark onenils, with the players showing uncharacteristic nervousness at the back, fortunately allied to clinical finishing at the other end. Marcus Bent certainly responded to any criticism of his recent performances to score a superb goal, and even the most hardened cynics would struggle to convince anyone that there isn't still something a bit magical about watching a Duncan Ferguson header find the back of the net. Manchester United did us a big favour, pegging back Arsenal to leave us only three points off the top. Unfortunately there doesn't seem much chance of us catching the Gunners this weekend even if we do beat Aston Villa tomorrow. It is highly unlikely that Southampton will produce a shock at Highbury. Villa themselves are rarely a pushover, although Burnley fans may disagree, and tomorrow will be a stern challenge. It's one they are capable of rising to though. If they keep on winning there's the danger that crowds will be turned away from every game.
Blues hold Tommy talks
Oct 29 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
THE first shots have been fired aimed at keeping Thomas Gravesen at Goodison Park. There is a growing sense in Denmark that the 28-year-old midfielder (right) is willing to stay beyond the conclusion of his current Everton contract, which runs out at the end of this season. And that has been backed up this week by a cordial meeting between the Blues and Gravesen's representatives.
The Danes were invited to Goodison for an informal meeting. Reports in Denmark suggest Gravesen could be willing to commit his future to the club in January, when the next round of formal contract talks are set to take place. The 28-year-old was offered a new three-year deal by Trevor Birch in the summer. But so far he has resisted putting pen to paper, insisting he wanted to see signs that Everton were heading in the right direction and capable of qualifying for European competition.
That has alerted a host of clubs, including Newcastle and tomorrow's visitors to Goodison, David O'Leary's Aston Villa. But Everton boss David Moyes is keen to secure Gravesen's services beyond this season and has insisted that there is no chance of the player leaving Goodison in the January transfer window. Gravesen will return to the starting line-up for tomorrow's home clash with Villa.
Moyes is still coming to terms with the loss through suspension of influential midfield anchorman Lee Carsley for the match. He said: "It is a big blow because Lee has played a big part for us this season and we are disappointed to lose him. "It was a stupid sending off from him and he knows that. But we have plenty of players available and ready to play." Alan Stubbs is set to return to the squad after shaking off a calf strain. He could find his route to the team blocked by Joseph Yobo, who impressed against Preston. However, the Nigerian international could also be drafted in to play in midfield in place of Carsley if Steve Watson fails to shake off a minor knock. Leon Osman is also receiving treat-ment for a knock today, although he is expected to be given the green light to face Villa.
Forgotten Yobo keen to grasp his chance
Oct 29 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
JOSEPH YOBO doesn't mind admitting he has endured mixed emotions during his extended spell on the Everton substitutes' bench. The Nigerian international has been delighted with the sight of Everton riding high in the Premiership table. And he has been pleased by the defensive form which has provided the bedrock for that success. But it irks him that he has not been a key figure on the pitch. The form of Alan Stubbs and David Weir helps him to understand why he has had to settle for a place on the bench since missing the Manchester United game at the end of August because of injury. And it is the reason why he has not become a dissenting voice on the sidelines. But that does not mean he has been entirely happy with the situation. "It is easier to understand not being in the side when the team is doing so well," explains the 24-year-old. "But when you sit on the bench for so long you never know if that is going to continue until the end of the season. "It has been a long time for me. "I have been very happy for the team, but I started realising after last week that I had sat on the bench for too long - six games. "I am very happy for the team because we are playing well, scoring goals and getting points - but I need to play." That chance came in the Carling Cup tie against Preston on Wednesday night. He came in for the injured Stubbs, making his first appearance since the penalty shoot-out victory over Bristol in the previous round. But now he wants to stay in the side for the Premiership clash with Aston Villa tomorrow. "I was delighted to finally get a game," he admits. "I have been wanting to get involved in the league games because it makes your own game very easy when the team is working so hard and doing so well. "It is always good to be in a side when it is like that and the team spirit is very high. "I have wanted to be a part of that. Everybody is fighting for one another and I am happy with what we have done. "It is so frustrating that I lost my place because of injury because I was really looking forward to this season and I felt I had a good start as well," he explains.. "I am just happy I didn't have to have surgery and I am able to play again now." Yobo didn't put a foot wrong during Wednesday's Cup victory. But manager David Moyes knew he wouldn't. He admitted last week that the defender had been bitterly unlucky to endure such a long spell on the sidelines after making such an impressive start to the season.
"It is always good to know the manager has still got faith in me and that he realises what I have done in the time I have been here and the games I have played," adds Yobo. "It is nice to hear him say he still has confidence in me, but I am a very confident player anyway. "I never let my confidence drop, which is sometimes hard when you are not playing. After the way things have gone for me I am just looking forward to playing regularly again after being on the bench for so long. "I had been waiting for that opportunity on Wednesday." And with Stubbs still a doubt for tomorrow and Lee Carsley beginning a three game suspension, Yobo's run in the side is sure to continue. Having fulfilled his own short-term goal of returning to the side, Yobo can now focus on his long-term targets for the club. And that means realising his ambition of playing on the continent with the Blues.
"It would be great to help the side get into Europe," he admits. "I have always said it is good for this football club to be where we are now. "We will have setbacks, but at the moment everything is going very well and hopefully at the end of the season we will still be in a European place."
Helping the Blues to victory against Villa tomorrow will take the club another small step towards that target.
Rare chance is Nicked
Oct 29 2004 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
MARCUS BENT might have managed the stunning feat of scoring just 10 seconds into his introduction to Wednesday's Carling Cup tie, but even he can't match the ratio of the most prolific striker currently on Everton's books. Nick Chadwick has managed one senior goal in his half an Everton appearance this season. And it wasn't a flash in the pan. The youngster scored one goal in his two senior starts last season - and three in six fleeting appearances two years ago. Which made his absence from even the substitutes' bench on Wednesday all the harder to fathom. The Goodison coaches may think Chadwick does not have the quality for an enduring Premiership career, but he does have enthusiasm, honesty, a proven eye for a scoring chance - and youth, on his side. Is it just me, or would both Chadwick and Everton have benefitted more from having his presence on the substitutes' bench,, rather than a 34-year-old winding down to the end of a lucrative contract?
Kevin Campbell deserves the undying gratitude of every Evertonian for his magnificent contributions from April 1999 through to the end of the, ahem, magnificent seventh season. But surely now is the time to be looking to the future.
David's hidden talents
SEE if you can spot the deliberate error below.
"Everton and Preston meet on Wednesday night, the first time the clubs have met in a competitive fixture since January 2000. "In the Everton squad on that day were the following players: Myhre, Simonsen, Ball, Dunne, Gough, Unsworth, Watson, Weir, Gemmill, Pembridge, Barmby, Cadamarteri, Campbell, Hutchison, Jeffers and Moore. "Coincidentally, not one remain with the club!"
Someone at Everton's official website did, because half-an-hour later an amendment appeared. "Coincidentally, only one, Kevin Campbell, remains with the club." Followed finally, another hour later, by "Coincidentally, only two, Kevin Campbell and David Weir, remain with the club!"
I know David Weir is the epitome of an unsung hero, but that's ridiculous!
MANY thanks for all your letters on the worst Everton and Liverpool players of all-time. There were far too many to print here - although a selection will appear in tomorrow's Pink Echo - but here are just some of the anti-heroes you picked out. Goons of Goodison included Jimmy Glazzard, Peter Harburn, Peter Kavanagh, someone actually called Jimmy Hill, but not that one, Bobby Laverick, Billy Higgins, slim Jim Pearson and poor old John 'Tiger' McLaughlan. Liverpudlians produced just one - a striker called Fred Morris - who scored 14 goals in 47 matches then disappeared to who knows where. Can nobody genuinely remember Istvan Kozma? Or has the post traumatic stress disorder his displays induced wiped him from Anfield's collective memory?