Everton 3 Bolton 1
April 01, 2002
Manchester Evening News
BOLTON'S two-game winning surge away from the Premiership drop-zone ground to a halt in a scrappy Goodison Park game. Both sides were reduced to ten men within half an hour. Everton striker Duncan Ferguson was dismissed after 26 minutes after punching Bolton's German striker Fredi Bobic. And Bolton's new Greek signing Kostas Konstantinidis followed the Scotsman ten minutes later after being booked for two fouls in quick succession. Alessandro Pistone gave Everton the lead with a brilliant 35-yard volley after 41 minutes, and Tomasz Radzinski made amends for two glaring misses with a second goal after 56 minutes. Bolton fought back with Rod Wallace and Ricardo Gardner both hitting the post, before Bruno N'Gotty headed in a free-kick 16 minutes from time. But the Trotters' hopes of forcing a dramatic draw were wiped out 5 minutes from time when they caught cold on the break, and Nick Chadwick slotted into an empty goal
I want to join in Blues' fight
Apr 1 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
Following Accrington Stanley's unsuccessful publicity stunt to lure Everton's French winger David Ginola to Lancashire, Glasgow Celtic are now reported to be courting the services of the 35-year-old star. Ginola, however, appears uncertain where his future lies . . . other than that he will remain an Everton player for six more matches, including today's crucial Goodison clash against Bolton Wanderers. After that, he must decide on the next step of a career which has always veered dramatically. He went from the south of France to the capital, Paris, from Newcastle in the north east of England to London, then from the Midlands to Merseyside. He insists he wants to remain in football, but admits coaching or management would not be for him. Then, as capricious as ever, suggests that if he did coach, it would be in England. "I don't recognise myself in football any more. I still have my appetite for football, but the game has changed a lot in the last few years," he said.
"When I started 17 years ago it was more like a big family. Players all went out together. Now, football is different, so maybe it is time to do something else. "It is not a question of retirement because football is my passion and the thing I want to do every day. Coaching is a different world also and I am not sure if I will be able to cope with the pressure and all that goes with managing and coaching. "If I did coach, I would do it in England. I have spent the last seven years in the country and it seems to suit me and my family." That is for the future. For now, Ginola remains an Everton player - and he is anxious to play some part in Everton's battle for survival after being singularly ignored by new boss David Moyes so far. "I have not been involved with the first team this week," he explained, "but everything is fine between me and the gaffer. My absence is simply because I have picked up a calf strain and I hope to be back in action next week. "The club is buzzing again since the new manager arrived and everyone is confident we can pull away from the relegation zone in the remaining few weeks of the season." Ginola is so keen to get back in action at Goodison that he has rejected another bid for his services - a more serious offer from First Division West Brom - which would have taken him a hundred miles closer to his capital-dwelling family and offered instant first team football. "I turned down the chance to join West Brom for the rest of the season and help their campaign to earn promotion to the Premiership," said Ginola. "I appreciated the offer, but I feel I would rather stay here at Goodison Park and help Everton secure their own place in the top flight. "I have found a flat on Merseyside and I am settling down here. If I can keep playing and get back to full match fitness I know I have a lot to offer still."
I'll lead Blues to safety
Apr 1 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DUNCAN FERGUSON hopes to be remembered as the captain who led Everton to safety - twice.
The Scottish striker scored for the third successive game on Friday at Newcastle, the first time he has achieved that feat at Everton. The scoring burst has coincided with him being handed the captain's armband for the second time in his career. When he was made skipper the first time, by Howard Kendall in 1997, he celebrated with his first career hat-trick. "I think the fans know how I feel about the club and to be made captain again is a great honour," said Ferguson in a rare interview published on the official club website. "I don't think you can get a bigger honour. Leading the Blues out is an honour bestowed on not many players and for me to be in that elite band . . . well, I feel privileged.
" It's always special when you are playing for Everton, but leading them out is something extra.
"It was a proud moment taking the team out for the Fulham game at Goodison, especially with the new manager coming in, and then winning the game made the day all the sweeter." One of the first acts of Moyes' new reign as manager was to restore the captaincy to Ferguson, and the striker said: "I think initially you get that lift when a new manager comes in because everybody is out to prove themselves and they seem to give that wee bit extra." Ferguson has responded by shaking off his ubiquitous injury problems to play in three successive games, and Moyes has also pointed out that Ferguson has not missed a single training session. "I have been trying to work hard all through my career, trying to keep myself on top of my fitness," he said. "It has not been easy for me. I always seemed to be picking up knocks and niggles. Nobody wants to be injured and I certainly don't because I think if I work hard and keep myself fit then the team can benefit. "I am feeling OK. I have played in three games now for 90 minutes and in one of those games we were down to 10 men. "Before that I had only had a couple of days training. Obviously the more training I get then things will start to improve." Ferguson remains supremely confident that he can lead the side to safety.
"I think we definitely can do it and I think we are going to do it," he went on. "With everybody getting behind the team like they did in the Fulham game for instance we can avoid the unthinkable.
"The crowd were right behind the players and we appreciated that. Unfortunately the team is used to being in the dogfight at the bottom of the league, but at this moment in time that can help us.
"I think that over the past few weeks we have proved that we are capable of pulling ourselves out of trouble. "We have to stay in this League and then hopefully in the summer we can regroup."
Apr 1 2002 Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES has not only transformed Everton's season, he is also in the process of transforming their style of play. The Merseysiders have changed overnight from one of the Premiership's dour teams into a thrill-a-minute side. In the three games since Moyes took over, a total of 18 goals have been scored by and against Everton, resulting in six points from a possible nine. Now Bolton await, and with Wanderers matching Everton's efforts to pull away from relegation danger, Moyes will settle for a 1-0 win at home tomorrow. Moyes said: "When I came here I was told we had not scored many goals but defended very well. That seems to have changed - we won 4-3 against Derby then lost 6-2 at Newcastle. "We have taken six points out of the last nine, which isn't a bad return for a team in the bottom half of the Premiership. "I want to win whatever way it comes about but I hope in time people are going to say Everton are a really good side to go and watch. But it's going to take a long time to change that around. "The teams I have been connected with so far, I would like to think have been attacking. I would like Everton to be a good attacking football side, but first and foremost we need to win whatever way we can - starting with Bolton. "It is a massive game for us now and I am sure it will be a packed house at Goodison. The supporters know the way it is and I hope they are right behind the players to get the wins which will keep us in the Premiership."
Moyes has been delighted by the response of players such as Duncan Ferguson, his fellow Scot, since his arrival from Preston. "Duncan's leading and I see him getting much fitter and stronger with each game," he said. "He told me he never trained two days in a row but he's not missed a day since I have been there, so I consider that really positive. "I think Duncan's taken the responsibility to try and lead the team and help them at this time of the season." Moyes has no regrets about swapping a promotion hunt with Preston for a relegation battle at Goodison. He added: "I have enjoyed the games. It's a great thrill to be manager of Everton. "We have done well in the games prior to this so we now have to look forward to Bolton." Everton will be without Tony Hibbert at right-back after he suffered a recurrence of an ankle injury against Newcastle. Steve Watson is expected to deputise again.
Everton 3, Bolton 1 (D Post)
Andy Hunter Reports From Goodison Park, Daily Post
Apr 2 2002
The theatre impressario's decision to give David Moyes top billing at Everton three weeks ago has delivered a rollercoaster ride that promises safety, full houses and, at this rate, nervous breakdowns by the trolley-load as the Blues took a giant, madcap leap towards Premiership survival yesterday.
In four games since his arrival Moyes has presided over more incident and excitement than Evertonians can care to remember. The power of positive thinking, even in the wake of a 6-2 defeat, is paying off. Fingernails and hairlines are rapidly becoming things of the past at Goodison Park but the summer now promises hope not humiliation after a third victory in four matches brought the new manager's first mission closer to completion. Late fightbacks by Fulham and Derby, combined with the mysterious mauling at Newcastle, had given Everton an appetite for carnival. But nothing could have prepared the Blues for the defeat of Bolton that would rank as a classic if there had been time amidst the mayhem for some football to be played. Two red cards, four goals, four penalties, none given, incredible misses and great escapes conjured up an enthralling afternoon for a home crowd too breathless to give the vital step towards safety the celebration it deserved on the final whistle. Moyes himself asked for a brief second to regain his composure before conducting the post-match press conference. That was no surprise, given the new supremo's induction into Goodison life had just received its latest demonstration that Everton refuse to do things the easy way. Yet again the Blues did their utmost to tease their suffering supporters with the prospect of a valuable victory, before making sure of one with Nick Chadwick's first goal for the club four minutes from time. Referee Steve Bennett aided and abetted the drama with a series of bad decisions but the blame for the tension that first gripped Goodison Park lied solely with the players who gave him no option but to show two red cards inside 12 minutes. Duncan Ferguson has gone a long way to rebuilding his reputation at Everton since the new manager arrived, but with the captain's armband that has re-ignited his passions comes the responsibility he relinquished shamefully after only 19 minutes. Everton's relegation battles have regularly thrown up an Easter sickener and there was a worrying sense of deja-vu when the striker, in a repeat of his dismissal against Derby four seasons ago, let his team-mates down with a scarcely provoked rabbit punch into the stomach of Fredi Bobic.
For the next ten minutes Everton remained the better side, with Bolton scarcely troubling the relentless home rearguard until late in the second half. But the match official punctured the fear when he evened the sides up again in the 31st minute when Kostas Konstantinidis foolishly clattered into Tomasz Radzinski two minutes after picking up a harsh booking for a foul on the same player.
Everton were not complaining as the Greek defender walked, although there was plenty for the home side to get infuriated about. Three times before Alessandro Pistone lifted the Goodison roof with his wonderful debut goal for the Blues, referee Bennett waved away firm penalty shouts - though to be fair he was twice ridiculously let down by his referee's assistant as Radzinski was clattered by Simon Charlton after only seven minutes, Paul Warhurst escaped a handball as he climbed over Alan Stubbs before the ex-Bolton defender's free-kick presented the hat-trick as Niclas Alexandersson was blatantly tripped by Bobic as he closed in on the rebound. Two minutes later, however, jeers turned to jubilation as Pistone made amends for his display at Newcastle in magnificent style. David Unsworth, dominant in central midfield, won a ball he had no right to win and the Italian seized on the loose possession. His first strike with his natural left foot cannoned off Bruno N'Gotty. The second, with his unnatural right, flew beyond Kevin Poole from 22 yards.
With or without Ferguson Everton should have been in the comfort zone before the break but unfortunately the big Scot wasn't the only Blues' striker facing an off day. After countless offside decisions, Radzinski finally beat the trap on the stroke of half-time as Alexandersson returned a poor clearance into the box - only for the Canadian to send his low shot too close to the relieved Poole.
Only then did Wanderers threaten but as Youri Djorkaeff pulled the trigger in the Blues' box, Steve Watson applied the safety-catch with a fabulous last-ditch tackle. That, however, set the scene for a brief second-half onslaught by the visitors, who experienced Everton's penalty fury with the same referee's assistant when he failed to spot David Weir's handball at a corner. After six minutes camped inside their own box the Blues broke via the excellent Jesper Blomqvist who rolled the ball across the Bolton six-yard area for Radzinski to make amends for his earlier error. Or that's what would have happened had the striker not somehow trapped the ball safely into the arms of Poole.
Goodison was still buzzing with incomprehension at the miss six minutes later when, to his credit, Radzinski was rewarded for not climbing into the hole he must have wished could have swallowed him up. N'Gotty made a hash of Scot Gemmill's cross from the right and the former Anderlecht star lashed the loose ball home courtesy of a fortunate but more than welcome deflection off Warhurst.
If ever proof were required this was turning out to be Everton's day, it arrived with two escapes in a minute as Bolton enjoyed their best spell of the game soon after. Steve Simonsen missed a free-kick he'd conceded with a foul on Rod Wallace but turned around to see the little striker head against the base of the post. Less than 60 seconds later, when Ricardo Gardner blocked a Watson clearance with his arm but was allowed to run into the box regardless, the Blues keeper was saved by the woodwork again. Everton may have been let off but there was no release for their supporters as Bolton continued to dominate. Simonsen kept the visitors at bay with a great double save in the 73rd minute, from Michael Ricketts and then at the feet of Wallace, but his barrier was breached two minutes later. The Blues had been given warning about Bolton's danger from Per Frandsen set-pieces, but still N'Gotty was able to sneak in at the far post to head past Simonsen.
Only now did the Blues regain control, with 19-year-old Chadwick growing in nuisance value as the minutes ticked by. And the youngster shattered the anxiety around the ground with a finish worthy of an old pro. Radzinski raced onto Watson's clearance and rounded both Poole and Mike Whitlow before rolling the ball along the 18-yard box for his junior partner. With Warhurst on the line it was by no means an easy finish, but with a nonchalant despatch into the bottom corner Everton were there. They are not yet home and dry, but at least now it appears a matter of when not if Moyes can build for a Premiership future as Everton await their curtain call.
EVERTON (4-4-2): Simonsen; Watson, Weir, Stubbs, Pistone; Alexandersson, Gemmill, Unsworth, Blomqvist (Chadwick 69); Ferguson, Radzinski (Linderoth 88). Subs: Gerrard, Cleland, Ginola.
BOLTON (4-3-3): Poole; N'Gotty, Konstantinidis, Whitlow, Charlton; Nolan, Warhurst, Gardner; Holdsworth (Frandsen 37), Bobic (Ricketts 46) Djorkaeff (Wallace 58). Subs: Southall, Cassar.
BOOKINGS: Everton's Weir (foul)
SENDINGS-OFF: Everton's Ferguson (violent conduct), Bolton's Konstantinidis (second bookable offence)
Chadwick delight at first strike
Apr 2 2002
STRIKER Nick Chadwick couldn't hide his joy at scoring his first Everton goal in yesterday's 3-1 win over Bolton and has set his sights on earning a permanent place. The 19-year-old struck the Blues' final goal after 86 minutes to wrap up the points - and he hopes that it is the first of many.
"It was a massively important game - and that's why I'm delighted to have scored," he said.
"Anything could have happened at 2-1, that's why I'm delighted to have got the goal that's sealed the win. "I haven't had the smile off my face since the 85th minute. That's my first goal for the club and hopefully it's the start of many." Since starring for the Everton under-19s side and the reserves last season the Stoke-born youngster has become a regular in Andy Holden's second team this term.
And now that Chadwick has forced his way into the Blues first-team squad he hopes his first goal will signal the beginning of a career which will see him follow in the footsteps of some of the club's greatest centre forwards. Although he knows he still has a long way to go before he can achieve his aim of becoming the Blues' number one striker. He added: "It's fairly obvious that my long-term aim is to be the number nine at this club. "But obviously with Duncan, Tomasz and Kevin, that's not going to happen yet. "I'm 19-years-old - so I've just got to be happy being in the squad and taking my chances as they come. "I've worked incredibly hard, as have the Academy staff and reserve team coaches to get me where I am now. "This is just the start for me, hopefully. I'll just keep on doing what I'm doing, when needed for the first team and I'll always do my best."
Ferguson had to go
Report By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Apr 2 2002
DAVID MOYES branded Duncan Ferguson "stupid" for his dismissal against Bolton yesterday as Everton took a major step towards Premiership safety at Goodison Park. The Blues bounced back from their Good Friday mauling by Newcastle to register their third victory in four games since Moyes took charge with a vital 3-1 win over Wanderers. But the enthralling triumph, which lifts Everton seven points clear of the drop zone into 12th, was not without controversy as new captain Ferguson earned an instant red card and three-match ban for punching Fredi Bobic after only 19 minutes. Moyes, who saw Alessandro Pistone and 19-year-old Nick Chadwick score their first goals for the club and Bolton's Kostas Konstantinidis also dismissed, admitted: "Duncan deserved to be sent off, no question. "I've told him he was stupid and could have let the team down badly with what he did. In the previous three games since I've been here, he has led by example and has been wonderful to have in the dressing room and getting the lads going. "He has played a big part in our recent wins, but he knows he has done wrong and after I told him so, he admitted he was out of order and said it wouldn't happen again." Ferguson will now miss the final games of the season for his straight red, but Everton have given themselves hope of avoiding a desperate finale since Moyes' arrival. But the new boss warned: "It would be stupid of us to say or think we are safe because then we could be found wanting. "Our current points total is not enough to keep us up so until we get the wins that do make us safe we have to keep our heads down. "I don't know how many more points we'll need, but we have given ourselves a bit of breathing space and we are closer to getting out of trouble." Tomasz Radzinski scored Everton's other goal after missing two excellent chances to have made the game safe. And though Bolton rallied in the second half, clawing one back through Bruno N'Gotty before Chadwick's 86th-minute strike, Moyes insisted the victory was thoroughly deserved. He said: "We had to play ten minutes before their lad was sent off, and at first I thought it was going to be like Fulham all over again. But even in the period when it was ten against eleven I thought we did well. "We had two penalty kicks turned down before Alessandro scored a wonderful goal and Bolton didn't hurt us at all until first-half injury-time. "We should have gone in at half-time more than one goal up. We had chances to score more. "Tomasz missed two snips, but then he got the second and set up the third and his pace gave us a get-out when we only had the one striker.
"To be honest, though, I didn't fancy us scoring from that distance for the third after the ones we'd missed, but Nick did very well after good work by Tomasz." Moyes added: "We were fortunate after we went 2-0 up, although we should have had a few more by then. There was a lot of tension around Goodison but the players have not been used to winning and hopefully when they do get in front in the future they can be more confident. "In that period I wanted to change things to strengthen us up with a 4-3-2 as Bolton were playing, so that's why I took Jesper Blomqvist off. That was no reflection on him, though. He played extremely well."
Everton 3, Bolton 1 (Echo)
By David Prentice At Goodison Park, Liverpool Echo
Apr 2 2002
ON such a vibrant, incident packed, entertaining - and surely significant - afternoon, there should be no room for cynicism. So skip a couple of paragraphs if you want analysis of Duncan Ferguson's indecent neglect of his captain's responsibilities. Instead, concentrate on the efforts of the 12-men who all but ensured Everton Football Club will become the first side in history to celebrate a century of top flight seasons in English football next term. That was the end product of an utterly absorbing afternoon at Goodison Park yesterday. The simple statistic was Everton 3, Bolton Wanderers 1 - three points which hauled the Blues six points clear of the relegation zone. But the 90 minutes which produced that result contained more ups and downs than even anxiety-attack accustomed Evertonians could be used to. Four goals, the first from a man who hadn't scored throughout his Everton career, another from a youngster joyously celebrating what he hopes will be the first of many, provided merely the main plot. There was also the miss of the season, other misses which could simply be described as dreadful, four blatant penalty appeals, none given - and two red cards.
If Duncan Ferguson ever decides to accept the responsibily that comes with captaincy, he should start by making two phone calls this morning. One should go to Greater Manchester, to thank the man who let him off the hook, quickly followed by another to any media outlet he may have a telephone number for to publically acknowledge the 10-men who shouldered the responsibility he recklessly frittered away. Fredi Bobic's penalty box shove wouldn't have been out of place on a crowded train. Ferguson's reaction was to right hook the German in the kidneys. The Everton skipper has reportedly been receiving treatment to cure a blood disorder in recent weeks. Clearly the treatment has done nothing to solve the rushes of blood he is so prone to. Ferguson has been red-carded five times throughout his Goodison career. Every time he has received a measure of sympathy on these pages. A push on John Jensen? The Dane over-reacted. An aerial challenge on Jimmy Willis? Paul Durkin at his most absurdly fussy. Calling David Elleray a baldy b***** d? Excuses are getting thin now, but he could at least have pleaded fair comment. Elbowing Paolo Wanchope? More over-reaction. Are the excuses beginning to sound familiar? Well this time there can be no excuse, no absolution for Ferguson ' s petulant over-reaction. If the only man who benefits from Ferguson being handed the captaincy of Everton is himself - he is the wrong man to hold that honour. His stupidity yesterday was matched only by his luck. The red card did not prove costly because Kostas Kostanidis proved equally as stupid. His first caution, nine minutes after Ferguson's dismissal, was harsh and prompted by a baying crowd devastated at the prospect of facing 70 minutes in the season's most important fixture so far, with 10-men. Sixty seconds later he lunged in with a ludicrous challenge on Radzinski which could have had only an inevitable outcome.
That ensured numerical parity for the Blues, while technically they were much the better side.
Alessandro Pistone's timing was impeccable to break his goalscoring duck for Everton. His left-foot shot was charged down, but his rightfooted finish from 25 yards was thrilling. That came in the 40th minute, after three justifiable penalty appeals had been turned down. Referee Bennett was unsighted every time when Radzinski and Alexandersson were fouled and Warhurst handled, but his right flank linesman wasn't and became another to neglect his responsibility. Djorkaeff was denied by a saving Watson tackle and Weir escaped a penalty box handball, before Gemmill darted positively down the right, crossed for N'Gotty to half-clear and Radzinski got the luck his persistence had earned when a leftfoot volley clipped Warhurst's heels and rolled past Poole. Bruno N'Gotty finally pulled a goal back for Bolton, but the two-goal comfort zone was restored five minutes from time. Radzinski, once again, burst clear down the right flank, evaded the outrushing Poole, nutmegged Whitlow and rolled the ball across for Nick Chadwick. Everton's season isn't finished yet, but yesterday's effort ensures that at least the closing chapter should be more stress free than had been expected.
EVERTON (4-4-2): Simonsen, Watson, Weir, Stubbs, Pistone, Alexandersson, Gemmill, Unsworth, Blomqvist (Chadwick 69 mins), Ferguson, Radzinski (Linderoth 88 mins). Unused substitutes: Gerrard, Cleland, Ginola.
BOLTON (4-4-2): Poole, N'Gotty, Charlton, Konstantinidis, Whitlow, Nolan, Warhurst, Gardner, Bobic (Ricketts 45 mins), Holdsworth (Frandsen 38 mins), Djorkaeff (wallace 58 mins). Unused substitutes: Southall, Cassar.
Referee: Steve Bennett.
Bookings: Konstantinidis (29 mins) foul, Weir (74 mins) foul.
Sendings-off: Ferguson (20 minutes) violent conduct, Konstantinidis (30 mins) second yellow card, foul.
Will real Duncan stand up
Apr 2 2002 By Kevin Ratcliffe
SOME footballers thrive on the responsibilities of being a captain. Others crumble under the added pressure. After recent events it's impossible to determine which category Duncan Ferguson falls into. His first three performances since David Moyes handed him the armband showed the positive effect captaincy has had on him personally. Then yesterday he selfdestructed spectacularly with a stupid reaction which could have cost his team. It didn't, and David Moyes has a difficult decision to make now. The other players seem to look up to Duncan, which has had a galvanising affect on Everton as a whole. A criticism levelled at Duncan in the past has been that his work-rate dips depending upon the opposition he is facing that day. But if he has sometimes struggled to motivate himself, being the captain quickly cures that. You can't be seen to be pulling a flanker if you have the armband on. As skipper you are effectively one step away from the staff and every Evertonian I've spoken to has been delighted by Duncan's performances and his work- rate since he accepted the role. But his temperament is still very, very suspect. There are other inspirational captains around who have discipline problems, Roy Keane is one of the best who springs instantly to mind and Denis Wise when he was at Chelsea. It doesn't mean you can't be a good captain, but it does create extra headaches for your manager he could well do without. The other part of being a captain Duncan doesn't handle well is dealing with the media. But when you have other players around who are willing to accept that responsibility, I don't think that is such a necessity any more.
As far as I can tell, Kevin Campbell still holds the title of club captain, and he is comfortable talking to the press - which leaves Duncan to get on with the important job of motivating the players on the pitch. It can be very helpful if you have an experienced player with you at the club who is comfortable with that aspect of the job. I had Mick Lyons, who was a great help. I was very young when Howard Kendall made me captain so I hadn't had much experience of watching how other players did the job. I don't think I did anything differently. I just spoke to the lads the way I always had done and got on with things off the field as I always had done. I am sure if I had my time again I would do certain things, off the field, differently. But I probably wouldn't change the way I was on the pitch. Duncan probably won't either, which will prove a double-edged sword.
Pistone banishes Toon defeat in style
Apr 2 2002 By David Prentice, Everton Correspondent
ALESSANDRO PISTONE bounced back from one of the worst experiences of his Everton career - to one of his best. The Italian defender scored his first goal in Royal Blue yesterday, three days after a humiliating 6-2 rout at his old club Newcastle. "Friday was really depressing because of the result, but not our performance," said Pistone. "We played well for the first hour against a team fourth in the league. " I was really tired atred at Newcastle. I had been out for a week with the 'flu so the gaffer did well to get me off when he did because I couldn't give a hundred per cent.
"Actually my last goal was in a North-East derby against Sunderland, but it wasn't as important as today's. "We deserved to win and now we have 39 points it is a lot better for the club and for the fans." Pistone's strike came at a crucial moment in the match, just five minutes before the interval with the score still goalless. It was also a spectacular strike. "I am a left-back, but actually I am right footed so I was not surprised to see the shot go in," he explained. "I have hit one as sweetly as that before . . . but it was a long time ago. "It was an important goal and that is what made me feel happiest."
My Shame - Radzinski
Apr 2 2002 By David Prentice, Everton Correspondent
TOMASZ RADZINSKI was an Everton goalscorer and creator yesterday - but the Blues' striker admits he will be haunted for the rest of his career by another moment in the match. The Blues' forward missed from just two yards, with his team clinging on to a precarious 1-0 lead and he admitted afterwards: "I think I gave many people many heart attacks today, which is not something I planned.
" My first chance brought a great save from the 'keeper, but I think my second miss is going to haunt me for some time. "This was one of the most embarrassing moments of my career, honestly.
"I think it proves that you can't take everything for granted. At that moment I was standing just two yards from the goal and you say 'Well it's in, nothing else can happen', and then you misjudge it. There is a little bounce and then you miss hit it and that's what happens. "I think in some ways it was too easy. But fortunately a couple of minutes after that I scored quite a difficult one so I was really relieved - and especially at the end when I gave the assist to Chaddy I was saying to myself 'Thank God, I'm finally there'." The goal was Radzinski's sixth of the season, his first since the FA Cup victory at Crewe, and earned Everton a win which takes them to within touching distance of Premiership safety. "In the end we won, I gave an assist and the day turned out to be great," he added. "Most importantly we got the three points and we are further away from worries.
"I think both of the teams were really frightened to take the initiative and after Duncan's red card I thought 'Oh, my God, now we are really going to have to pull ourselves together'."
Manager David Moyes condemned Ferguson for the punch which saw him collect the fifth red card of his Everton career. "I've told him he was stupid and could have let the team down badly with what he did," he said. "He has played a big part in our recent wins, but he knows he has done wrong and after I told him so, he admitted he was out of order and said it wouldn't happen again."
Ferguson's season will now end on April 13. He will be suspended for the final three games of the season against Southampton, Blackburn and Arsenal.
Striker Dunc to stay as Blues' leader
Apr 3 2002 By Claire Gray, Liverpool Echo
DUNCAN FERGUSON will continue as Everton skipper at Chelsea this weekend despite being landed with a fine by the club for his latest misdemeanor. The Scot is likely to be fined one week's wages for his sending off against Bolton on Easter Monday after punching Fredi Bobic. But manager David Moyes will not strip Ferguson of his captaincy, despite being hugely disappointed by the reaction of his striker, who will now miss the last three games of the season. "Duncan will be fined according to club rules," said the Blues boss."He's got a responsibility and he has to take that. "He let us down on Monday, but in the three games prior to that he handled himself very well and played well. We are hoping that it was a one-off incident and that it won't happen again." Moyes will travel to Bolton tonight to watch the Reserves as he continues to learn more about his squad. Tobias Linderoth and Alec Cleland will both figure at the Reebok Stadium. One eye will also be kept on events down at White Hart Lane, though, as the club's youngsters go in search of a place in this year's FA Youth Cup Final. They take a 2-1 lead from the first leg to North London, thanks to goals from Michael Symes and David Carney at Goodison last week. "They did great last week, but I wished it had finished 2-0 on the night," said Moyes. "It will be a hard game for them but, whatever happens, they have already done well in getting this far." Colin Harvey's side are likely to play Aston Villa in the final should they get there, with the Midlanders 3-1 up on Barnsley from the first leg.
FA Youth Cup player profiles
Apr 3 2002 By Chris Wright
ANDREW PETTINGER: The 18-year-old goalkeeper has shown his ability during the cup and now in his second year at the club has been first-choice for Colin Harvey's under-19s.
FRANKLYN COLBECK: Colbeck has been a vital member of both the Youth Cup and Academy League sides this season and the 18-year-old has produced a number of solid displays.
BRIAN MOOGAN: The younger brother of midfielder Alan, the 17-year-old was used as a substitute in earlier rounds but started in the first leg against Tottenham and did well on the right of the defence.
MARTIN CROWDER: A regular throughout the cup run, the 17-year-old left-back has been part of the Blues' mean defence.
STEPHEN SCHUMACHER: The 17-year-old England international central defender has been at the heart of the Blues' side. Recently out with injury and his assured presence was missed, but was back to his best in the first leg.
ROBERT SOUTHERN: Currently out injured the 18-year-old centre-back formed an impressive partnership with Schumacher in the earlier rounds.
ALAN MOOGAN: Recently called into the England U18s squad for a friendly in Italy, the versatile 18-year-old has shone with some gritty displays in the centre of midfield.
SCOT BROWN:A regular England youth international, the 16-year-old has provided midfield thrust throughtout the campaign both on the right and in the centre. Part of the England U17s squad who will feature in the UEFA U17s Championships at the end of the month in Denmark.
STEVEN BECK: Another England international, who scored in the 4-2 fifth-round victory over Manchester City. The 17-year-old has a fine range of passes and an eye for goal.
DAVID CARNEY: The Australian midfielder grabbed the opening goal in the first leg against Spurs and also scored against Forest in the quarter-finals. The 18-year-old has been a regular this season and his enterprising work on the left has been a big feature for the Blues.
WAYNE ROONEY: The star of the side with five goals in as many Youth Cup games and 20 all season. The 16-year-old is one of the most talked about players after an outstanding first full season for the Blues and at international level with England, whom he helped to reach the UEFA U17s Championships in Denmark.
MICHAEL SYMES: The 18-year-old grabbed the winning double in the third round at West Ham and also scored the vital second goal in the first leg at Tottenham which gives the Blues their advantage. The hard-working forward is the perfect foil for Rooney and the two have the ability to fire the Blues to the final.
CRAIG GARSIDE: The versatile 17-year-old has filled a number of roles for the Blues. He has deputised for both the injured Shumacher and Southern in defence, has played up front and in midfield. He is Wales U17s captain where he has generally played in central midfield.
DAMON MARTLAND: The 16-year-old started off in Alan Harper's U17s but has recently made the step up to the U19s. Currently suspended, he came on against Nottingham Forest in the quarter-finals.
OTHERS: Alex Cole has been the substitute keeper throughout the Cup run and has been joined on the bench by U17s players James Potter, Anthony Gerrard, Joseph Jones and Jack Flood, who all made the squad for the last two Youth Cup matches.
Historic night in the making
Apr 3 2002 By Chris Wright
EVERTON'S youth team stand on the threshold of writing their own chapter in the club's history.
Six times the Blues have reached the FA Youth Cup final - the last being their 5-3 aggregate victory over Blackburn Rovers in 1998 - and a win or a draw tonight at White Hart Lane against Tottenham Hotspur would allow Colin Harvey's team the chance to emulate that side and bring the Cup back to Goodison for a fourth time. Last week's 2-1 victory at Goodison - thanks to goals from David Carney and Michael Symes - have given the Blues the advantage in the tie. And though they believe they are good enough to take the final leap, they will be taking nothing for granted. Academy director Ray Hall said: "As far as I understand away goals don't count so it is on the night and our record suggests that we are difficult to score against. "And I think we've scored at least two goals a game in each of the rounds in this season's competition - 2-1 against West Ham, 2-0 against West Brom, 4-2 against Manchester City, 2-1 against Notts Forest and 2-1 against Tottenham - so two seems to be the number. "I'm sure we won't change anything we've been doing. We don't go out and defend but our record suggests that teams have to work very hard to score against us." Everton will face Aston Villa or Barnsley, with the Midlanders leading 3-1 from the first leg at Villa Park. But even if the young side went no further it is testament to their growing ability and self-belief that they have reached the last four of the country's most prestigious youth tournament. Colin Harvey said: "We've done well to get as far as we have, we've got through on merit. We've shown a lot of hard work and character to get this far and hopefully we'll go down there and put on another good show.
"If we work as hard as we did in the first leg this Wednesday, and get beaten, I won't have a problem - it's just important that they go down there and do themselves justice." And Hall added: "The staff have gone on record as saying the boys have surprised us a little bit by getting this far. But now we are this far it is getting quite close. "Semi-finals are generally quite close and you don't get much difference in terms of the scoreline in them. "The other semi-final Aston Villa won 3-1, but they only made it 3-1 with a penalty in the third minute of injury time, so they are both close. And the side that are in the semi-final are there because they are well-organised, are hardworking and have got good players." The Blues will have a full squad available apart from long-term injury victim Robert Southern and striker Damon Martland, who serves the second match of his suspension.
Striker Wayne Rooney and goalkeeper Andrew Pettinger have both shaken off knocks they picked up in last week's first leg and should be fit for tonight's second leg.
TEAM (probable):Pettinger, B Moogan, Crowder, Schumacher (capt), Garside, Brown, Beck, A Moogan, Carney, Rooney. Subs: Colbeck, Cole, Jones, Gerrard, Potter.
Blues beat Ferguson faux pas
Apr 3 2002 By Len Capeling
AFTER the Friday flaying, came the Monday metamorphosis that re-worked a wreck of a team into one good enough to beat Bolton. If St James' Park was grim, this was - by the sound of the cheers, anyway - not far short of Shangrila. So, no last-day demands for divine intervention. Though such intervention at Highbury might have been a wish too far. Praise the players though not, on this occasion, Duncan Ferguson, who showed few leadership qualities in getting himself sent off for a bit of thuggery. Fortunately for Everton, Bolton also lost their centre-half for a second bookable offence - which helped avoid a re-run of the Fulham frenzy. No luck at all needed here - in fact Everton created the majority of the chances and took three of them. Now the real work begins. Everton on present form are probably good enough to push their noses into the soft belly of mid-table. That would suit the directors, whose underwear expenses must be enormous. The £5million that David Moyes has allegedly got to spend wouldn't even pay David Beckham for a year. That's where the gulf lies. And that's where the gulf will remain unless Everton can think bigger. Orville ducks out of crisis HOW do the Football League leaders react when crisis strikes? Simple. They go on holiday, leaving their muddled members feverishly counting the meat pies. Chairman Keith Harris left poor Orville behind and decamped for the Caribbean to work on his already well-developed tan.
Chief executive David Burns also felt it was a good time to take a break, prompting one League boss to say: "David claims he needs a rest, but if he needs a rest at a time like this, then you have to question whether he's the right man to have in charge." Maybe it really is time for Basil Brush and Orville to take over - could they do any worse? Mackenzie in wrong again THE death of the Queen Mother quite correctly wiped out Radio Five Live's coverage of Middlesbrough v Tottenham and all that followed. No such consideration at TALK Sport, which, apart from occasional nods in the direction of the sad event, ploughed on with its wittering phone-in co-hosted by Lawrie McMenemy.
Somehow, I think Kelvin Mackenzie can whistle for that knighthood.
Ferguson ban could be costly - Weir
Apr 3 2002 By Mark Staniforth, Daily Post
EVERTON defender David Weir believes the sending-off of Duncan Ferguson could still prove costly as his side are by no means certain of Premiership survival. Ferguson will miss the last three games of the season after what boss David Moyes branded a 'stupid' off-the-ball punch which flattened Fredi Bobic 21 minutes into his side's 3-1 win over Bolton. The Scottish striker's penalty for violent conduct is to sit out three games against Southampton, Blackburn and Arsenal, while Ferguson is also facing a fine of a week's wages as Moyes makes his disciplinary code clear. The crucial win over fellow strugglers Bolton, who were also reduced to 10 men in the first half when Kostas Konstantinidis was guilty of two bookable offences, left Everton seemingly safe and seven points above the drop zone. But Ferguson's fellow Scotland international Weir said: "I don't think we're in a strong position. "We've still got five games to go and there's still a lot to play for.
"We've got to try and take points from every game. We've got something to build on now, but there's still a lot to be done," he said. Everton's surge towards safety began when Moyes took over from Walter Smith and sparked three wins in four matches which have yielded an extraordinary 22 goals. One of Moyes' first acts upon his arrival at Goodison Park from Preston was to install Ferguson as captain and he suggested there would be no second thoughts despite the striker's moment of petulance. "In the first three games Duncan led by example, he has played a big part in the goals we've been scoring and the matches we've been winning."
Blomqvist feels Moyes wrath
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Apr 4 2002
JESPER BLOMQVIST has become the latest Everton player to encounter David Moyes' strict disciplinary code at Goodison Park. The Blues boss, who has fined Duncan Ferguson a week's wages for his dismissal against Bolton Wanderers on Monday, has revealed he will not tolerate any acts of petulance as he steers Everton away from relegation danger. Blomqvist was furious at being substituted during the Easter Monday victory and let his feelings known to the new Goodison chief as he took his place on the bench. That earned a swift rebuke from Moyes, who last night explained his response while confirming the matter will not be taken any further. Moyes said: "He was right to be unhappy when he got pulled off because he had played very well. "I made the change for a tactical reason because I felt there was too much pressure. If we put another forward on and played the same system as Bolton then it would have eased it a little. "I explained that to him and he was right to be unhappy, but wrong to react in the way he did and I let him know that right away."
Moyes (pictured) also confirmed he has fined Ferguson for the sending off which rules him out of the final three games of the season. He added: "He will be fined according to club rules and PFA guidelines. We are hoping it was a one-off and it won't happen again." Meanwhile, fears Gary Naysmith and Tony Hibbert will miss the remaining five games of the season have been realised.
The defensive duo both require surgery on their respective ankle problems and will go under the knife within the next seven days. "Both players are due surgery and if that doesn't take place this week it will do so early next week," explained Moyes. "They will miss the rest of the season but we want to have them back for pre-season training."
Pembridge returns but Blues beaten
Apr 4 2002
MARK PEMBRIDGE played for an hour of his comeback from injury but Everton Reserves lost 2-1 to Bolton at the Reebok Stadium last night. The Welsh international did well in the centre of midfield alongside Tobias Linderoth in front of the onlooking David Moyes before being substituted after 59 minutes. Everton took the lead through Leon Osman, who scored from 12 yards after 30 minutes.
Bolton levelled matters just before the break. Peter Clarke was adjudged to have pushed Michael Ricketts and the England international sent Paul Gerrard the wrong way. Keith Southern had two good chances to put the Everton ahead ten minutes into the second half, but Jeff Cassar saved his effort from Kevin McLeod's cross. From the corner Southern was again denied by the Bolton keeper. Bolton's Jermaine Johnson hit the post and Peter Clarke blocked a Chris Downey goalbound effort.
The Trotters eventually grabbed the winner on 76 minutes after Johnson's shot took a wicked deflection off George Pilkington.
EVERTON RES: Gerrard, Cleland, Valentine, Pilkington, Clarke, Pembridge (Eaton 59), Southern, Linderoth, Moore, Osman, McLeod. Subs: O'Hanlon, Curran. ATT: 356.
Tottenham Youth 1, Everton Youth 2
Apr 4 2002
WAYNE Rooney once again displayed his massive potential with two goals at White Hart Lane to send Everton into the final of the FA Youth Cup. His first of the night came on 10 minutes when Rooney beat a defender before firing past Rob Burch in the Spurs goal to put the Blues 3-1 up on aggregate. Everton should have extended their lead still further in the 19th minute when Michael Symes headed down at the near post but Rooney just couldn't convert a second header from close range. Rooney doubled his and Everton's tally on 37 minutes with a strike of sheer quality. The visitors were awarded a free-kick and the Blues striker's first effort was blocked, but he followed it up with a drive from 30 yards out, which arrowed into the top corner. Spurs came out fighting in the second half but excellent defending and some missed opportunities kept Everton in front.
Marney, Barnard and Bowditch all went close for the home side but to no avail. Ben Bowditch did eventually pull a goal back for Pat Holland's side but it was to prove nothing more than a consolation. Rooney has now scored seven goals in this competition this season and you wouldn't bet on him scoring the winner to lift the trophy in the final, which will be a two-legged affair against either Barnsley or Aston Villa.
EVERTON: Pettinger, B Moogan, Crowder, Schumacher (capt), Garside (Flood 81), A Moogan, Brown, Beck (Colbeck 76), Symes, Rooney, Carney. Subs: Jones, Gerrard, Cole
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR: Burch, Kelly, McKie, Hughes, Henry (capt), O'Donoughue, Marney (Malcolm 79), Barnett (Bowditch 65), Sutton, Barnard, Wettner (Galbraith 51). Subs: Rutherford, Noto.
Wonder boy has Moyes tempted
Apr 4 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
WAYNE ROONEY fired Everton in the final of the FA Youth Cup last night. But the 16-year-old's hopes of earning another slice of Goodison history will be put on ice for the time being.
Since he left school at Easter, the talented young forward has been eligible for first team football - and if he plays in any of the Blues' final five games of the season he would become the youngest League debutant in the club's history. But first team boss David Moyes does not want to rush the teenager unecessarily. "Wayne has the ability to be involved in the first team now, but we have to be mindful of his age and monitor his progress accordingly, " he explained. "He is a fine talent, and like most people I would like to see him included in the senior side, but you also have to ask when is the right time for the boy. "Wayne Rooney has a long-term future here and we have to protect that.
"He will definitely be involved with us during our pre-season preparations, but we will have to wait and see about the first team before then." Rooney scored both goals for Colin Harvey's youngsters in the 2-1 win at Tottenham Hotspur which earned a 4-2 aggregate semi-final success.
He will bypass Everton's Youth Academy entirely, moving from YTS trainee status to the senior squad. He signed a long-term contract in January and had been pencilled in for a place on the substitutes' bench against Arsenal when David Ginola made his debut, only for the club to discover that FA rules now prevent schoolboys from playing Premiership football. Moyes, meanwhile, watched Everton's reserves last night where midfielder Mark Pembridge made his comeback from a calf injury. He played for an hour, but will not be considered for the weekend trip to Chelsea. Kevin Campbell is back in light training but also has no chance of a recall for the trip to London.
Great first impression
Apr 4 2002 By Claire Gray
IF ANYONE had been in any doubt about David Moyes' ability to cope with the enormous task he has at Everton, Monday surely changed all that. Every manager will be judged on results, particularly at this time of year but it is also subtle gestures that endear them to the faithful. In one 10 second spell during the crucial win over Bolton the Scot signed, sealed and delivered his pledge to try to prise Everton out of the doldrums, now and in the future. Jesper Blomqvist had been one of the Blues' brightest sparks on Monday afternoon but in the 69th minute his manager took the decision to replace him. You could sympathise with the Swede's protestations after his substitution because he'd been impressive. But you'd guess he won't be doing it again. No sooner had the winger thrown down his water in anger, he was pounced upon by his manager and made aware of exactly where he stood. Those in the stands didn't need to hear what was said because Moyes' pointing finger told the story in itself. The general consensus from Evertonians has been that the response to Blomqvist's tantrum was spot on. First impressions do count and there has certainly been no complaint at Goodison so far. Moyes' decision to join in the pre-match warm-up with his players is down to habit rather than a desire to impress. But it has. With 39 points to count up now, those of a Blue persuasion can feel the pressure slowly easing. Safety is almost guaranteed and another three points would see the job complete. And then the real work can begin. Phase one of Moyes' remit is almost complete but a quick call to Walter Smith will remind him and anyone else about the constraints within which a modern day manager of Everton Football Club is asked to work.
The phone can be unplugged for now though.
I'm sorry boss
Report By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Apr 5 2002
DUNCAN FERGUSON last night vowed to clean up his act following his sendingoff against Bolton on Easter Monday - and insisted he remains the right man to spearhead David Moyes' Everton revival.
The striker has apologised after being red-carded early in the first half of the Goodison clash for punching Wanderers' Fredi Bobic. The Blues still managed to go on and win the game 3-1 to move themselves within touching distance of Premiership safety. And Ferguson was full of remorse following the incident and pledged to repay Moyes' faith in him. "Obviously I am really disappointed with the Bolton incident," he said. "I let myself down, I let the team down and I obviously let the manager down. "He has shown great faith in me by giving me the captain's armband and luckily enough it never cost us the game, but that is no excuse. "When I got sent off I was absolutely gutted and all I can really say is that I apologise to the fans, the rest of the team and the manager because I let everybody down." It was Ferguson's first sending-off in an Everton shirt in over four years - ironically, his last came when as captain at home to Derby County - but he added: "I have really got to look at myself and keep my aggression under wraps. "My disciplinary record has been good over the last few years. I know that was just a one-off incident and I am now trying to put that behind me and look forward to the next couple of games." In addition to a three-match ban, Ferguson was fined a week's wages by Moyes for his misdemeanour. "He has come down on me like a ton of bricks," continued the striker. He was not happy with me and it was not a good start to my captaincy at the club. "It was a good start for the first couple of games and then things have blown up, so I am really looking now to show him that I'm the right man for the job." Moyes confirmed: "I have spoken with Duncan and he was full of remorse for the incident and he has apologised to the players and gave them a big hug. "It was such an important match and the last thing you want is your skipper to be sent off. He has has told me it is not going to happen again and I trust him."
Ferguson underlined his determination to make amends before his suspension begins, and reiterated his case to remain the Blues skipper. He added: "I have been getting myself fit and I want to play as many games as I can and the manager has spelt it out to me as to what he expects from an Everton captain. "I have played in the last four games now, though the Bolton game I didn't last too long, and I have got the next couple of games to rectify that and show the fans and the manager that I take being the captain seriously." Moyes, meanwhile, is heading for a collision course with new Scotland manager Berti Vogts. The Everton boss is unhappy centreback David Weir was forced to play the full 90 minutes of the Scots' 5-0 thumping in France last Wednesday - despite the Blues facing a trip to Newcastle less than 48 hours later. "I thought Berti Vogts would have respected my club's wishes, particularly when Scotland were four goals down by half-time," said Moyes.
"I had spoken to Berti and I thought we had an understanding that Everton's league match at Newcastle on Good Friday would be taken into consideration. We had a 2pm kick-off and Scotland's plane did not land in Glasgow until 4am on Thursday."
Hail Moyes' Blue dawn
Fanscene By Mark O'Brien, Daily Post
Apr 5 2002
AT the end of the television highlights of Everton's game on Monday night the commentator said: "Nothing is ever certain at this most enigmatic of clubs." That pretty much summed up the game, the weekend and the whole season. A 6-2 defeat by Newcastle would have been enough to give a big dent to most clubs' confidence but it was significant that Evertonians still seemed positive afterwards. We ultimately were beaten by a side who were championship challengers until recently, but for an hour we more than matched them and played some good football. The manager surely learnt a lot from the game, when his players visibly tired, and next season we should probably expect to see a much fitter Everton team once he's had a full pre-season with them. Everyone knew that Bolton was the big one, that the winner would be realistically safe from relegation - and what a game it turned out to be. At the end of every season we seem to have a game at Goodison like this with apocalyptic weather, mad sendings off and goals aplenty. A game that sends you home exhausted and emotionally drained. Duncan Ferguson set the ball - and Fredi Bobic's kidneys - rolling with his act of crass stupidity. It was pure madness and he was lucky that Steve Bennett was intent on evening things up as soon as possible. He's the captain and he needs to grow up. Hopefully the crowd's reaction and that of the manager who has placed a lot of trust in him has taught him that he has to take his responsibilities seriously. One player who did show maturity - way beyond his years - was Nick Chadwick. The youngster replaced the irate Jesper Blomqvist and managed to keep his composure and clinch the game in a manner that his senior counterparts seemed incapable of.
Once again, as at Pride Park, the new improved Everton defied tradition and refused to throw away their lead at the death. With Ferguson set to miss the last three games of the season through suspension, Chadwickshould get plenty of much-needed first-team action. Apart from his coolness in front of goal - his scoring record speaks for itself - you cannot fail to be impressed by his enthusiasm and his willingness to harass defenders. Along with the tireless Tomasz Radzinski he never gave the Bolton defence a minute's peace. Just what a difference a couple of weeks have made. Suddenly we've got players going mad when they get subbed, you fancy us to score against anyone and match reports are peppered with words like 'thrills' and 'excitement'. And all this before we even mention Wayne Rooney. Those who know youth football have been talking in hushed tones about him for a while now and in midweek he grabbed a slice of national media attention with a brace of goals at White Hart Lane which took Everton through to the final of the FA Youth Cup.
It's a good while since the mood around the club has been so buoyant. Long may it continue.
Blues bid to match cup form
Academy League By Chris Wright, Daily Post
Apr 5 2002
IT'S back to league action for Everton's cup heroes tomorrow. Colin Harvey's side take on Huddersfield Town in the FA Premier Academy League, safe in the knowledge that their season will end on a high, with an appearance in the FA Youth Cup final. As they have throughout this year's magnificent cup run, the Blues excelled at White Hart Lane and became the seventh side in the club's history to reach the final. Their 2-1 second leg win over Tottenham Hotspur was the sixth time in a row that Harvey's youngsters have hit two or more goals in the cup. And once again it was hitman Wayne Rooney who applied the finishing touches with his sixth and seventh goals in the tournament, taking his total to 22 in all competitions this season. But while Harvey knows the value of his prolific striker, he was quick to praise what has been a real team effort. He said: "It was a smashing result. And it was a really good team performance. "Apart form a dodgy spell against Notts Forest in the quarter-finals, every game we have played in we have deserved to win.
"They have all played really well. The lads have deserved to win and you can't knock that. As I have said before I was a bit surprised that they have come this far, but because of the way they have played it has been thoroughly deserved. "We could have scored in the first few minutes. Rooney put Symesy in one-on-one, but he put it over the bar. But Wayne scored a couple of well-taken goals.
"He has done really well but he would admit that he wouldn't have scored without the other ten.
"Right from the back from Andy Pettinger in goal, who played really well in the first half."
The Blues will play Aston Villa or Barnsley in the two-legged final, with the Midlands side favourites as they hold a 3-1 first-leg advantage ahead of the second leg at Oakwell. And Harvey added: "All along we haven't known who we would play against next, but it hasn't bothered us because all you are worrying about is your own performance. "There will be a good crowd and they are nice occasions to play in cup finals whatever level you play at." But the Blues will know concentrate on their last three league matches starting with Huddersfield tomorrow. Harvey said: "The lads have performed well all year and there is no reason why they shouldn't carry it on. They are all enjoying their football so they will want to play as many games as they can." No date will be fixed for the final until the Blues' opponents are known. But with 16-year-old striker Rooney and midfielder Scot Brown almost certain to be involved with England under-17s in the UEFA U17s Championships which start later this month in Denmark, the Youth Cup final is likely to be played in mid May, after the tournament finishes. Alan Harper's U17s are also back in action tomorrow after the Easter break. They will be looking to end the season with victory in their final play-off match at Nottingham Forest.
The Blues can't progress to the quarter-finals after two defeats to Arsenal and West Ham in their previous group matches.
Apr 5 2002 Icliverpool & Daily Post
Wrap up Rooney
YOUNG Wayne Rooney should be given his chance to shine. Seven goals in six is a fantastic tally.
Considering our striking options at present - or lack of them - the lad could be our future. Kenwright and Co, please, please, please don't let another Franny Jeffers scenario occur. Wrap Rooney in cotton wool.
S Banks, Liverpool
THERE has been a lot of hype about Everton surviving, but what has changed? The manager.
I would suggest that David Moyes is, at the moment, a good 'motivator'. The underlying problem still remains, however. Until such time that sufficient funds are available or a long-term plan is implemented, Everton will always struggle. If the board cannot get a plan together, then I would suggest Everton should pick the best six or seven of its supporters for trials.
Steve James (via e-mail)
ISN'T it nice to see us threatening the opposing teams' goal and even scoring a couple. I watched the Newcastle game and didn't even care about the final result because we were lively and interested in the game. In the last three years the only function of EFC in the Premiership was to help football fans get to sleep through our dull, boring play, but a new horizon seems to have dawned.
Keep attacking Mr Moyes. I'd much rather see us beaten 4-3 than settle for limp, meaningless 1-1 draws.
Scott Montgomery, Merseyside
Give our Ball back
IF THE stories are true and Manchester United are in for David Weir, how about a trip up to Glasgow to bring home a young, quick defender who didn't want to leave in the first place?
Michael Ball still has age on his side and although he hasn't figured much for Rangers, you don't suddenly become a bad player overnight.
Geoff Atherton, Prescot
Keep young stars
GOOD to see our young lads get to another Youth Cup Final in midweek, but I fear our anticipation should be reserved with apprehension. Remember the last Youth Cup winning side.
Jeffers and Jevons to name but a few. How many of that side are still at the club? Enough said.
Roger Formby, Aintree.
Rad's faith in Chadwick double act
Apr 5 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
TOMASZ RADZINSKI reckons he has the answer to Everton's end of season striker shortage.
Duncan Ferguson will miss the final three games of the season through suspension, while Kevin Campbell is still receiving treatment on his hamstring. But the Canadian international combined well with youngster Nick Chadwick for the final half-hour of Monday's victory over Bolton. Both scored, and Radzinski is confident the duo can do it again. He said: "Nick's done really well. He's got pace and so do I. I know more or less if I have the ball what he would like because I know what I would like. You can see that in the short period of time he was on the pitch he got two and a half chances and one went in. "I think he's relieved at getting his first goal and as a young lad it's great for him. It was a very important one as well because it took some pressure off us in the final minutes."
Chadwick will be back on the substitutes' bench again at Chelsea tomorrow, as Duncan Ferguson continues as skipper despite Monday's red card. Ferguson issued a public apology yesterday on the club's website. "I let myself down, I let the team down and obviously I let the manager down," he said. "He has shown great faith in me by giving me the captain's armband and luckily enough it never cost us the game, but that is no excuse. "When I got sent off I was absolutely gutted and all I can really say is that I apologise to the fans, the rest of the team and the manager because I let everybody down." Jesper Blomqvist has also apologised to his manager after the altercation captured by the TV cameras following his substitution on Monday. "I reacted in a stupid and unprofessional manner when I got substituted," he said. "I completely lost it for a couple of seconds because I really enjoy playing and wanted to finish the game. "I felt as if I was doing okay and had a lot of energy left. The gaffer told me afterwards it was a tactical decision and I totally accept that, but unfortunately he did not shout that to me as I was walking off the pitch! "Straight after the game I apologised to him and to the team."
Dependable Weir won't run out of power
Apr 5 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DAVID WEIR is Everton's equivalent to the Duracell bunny.
While other, more expensive models run out of power, seize up, then stop, the ever-dependable defender keeps going, and going . . . and going. Since arriving at Everton in February 1999 in a bargain £250,000 deal, he has missed just five matches through injury and one to witness the birth of his daughter. But even Weir's own fabled powers of consistency were tested to the full last weekend. As a Scottish international, he was asked to play the full 90-minutes of the demoralising 5-0 demolition in France . . . just 40 hours before Newcastle went one-better and hit the Blues for six. Then only another three days later he stepped out again in a crucial relegation battle against Bolton. "Looking back it was too much, but you just want to play in every game," said Weir.
"I was surprised come Monday, that I didn't feel worse than I did. "I did as much stretching as I could between games and I try to look after myself, but it was hard." David Moyes wasn't pleased to see his defender used for the whole game against France but Weir, however, was keen to divert any club v country confrontation. "It's a big honour to represent your country, even more so against the World champions and they were unbelievable." Scotland have another international friendly on April 17, against England's World Cup opponents Nigeria. "You want to play in every game and I will be disappointed if I have to miss any between now and the end of the season." Given his track record throughout his career, such a prospect is unlikely.
Apr 6 2002 By Mark Staniforth, Daily Post
JESPER BLOMQVIST is ready to pledge his future to the club who have reignited his World Cup dreams. Blomqvist was recently recalled to the Sweden squad as a sign of the form he has shown in an Everton shirt since arriving at Goodison Park from Manchester United early this season.
The move by the then manager Walter Smith was seen as a calculated gamble after the player's injury misery at Old Trafford. But Blomqvist, whose current deal expires at the end of the season, has played a pivotal role in Everton's march away from relegation under David Moyes, which could be rubberstamped with victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge this afternoon. "As regards contracts, it's not really up to me,' said Blomqvist. "I need to play as well as I can but I think it's too early for the manager to think about my future. But I've had really positive feelings about everything here so I am very interested in staying at Everton." The Swede added: "The World Cup is a possibility and of course I'm in the frame, and I just have to keep working hard in training and then see what comes of it. I feel great and I've had no problems fitness-wise." Blomqvist and Moyes settled their differences this week over the player's minor display of petulance when he was withdrawn for tactical reasons in the second half of Everton's 3-1 win over Bolton on Monday.
And he can expect to line up for the Blues again in London, alongside Dane Thomas Gravesen, who returns after his o n e - m a t c h suspension. Kevin Campbell is unlikely to be risked as he steps up his recovery from a hamstring injury while Duncan Ferguson, whose suspension does not kick in until the last game of the season, will again lead the side as he looks to make amends for his Bolton dismissal. And Moyes, whose four games in charge have yielded three wins and 11 goals, stressed the importance of looking to the future in a week which saw Everton's youth side, under the guidance of Colin Harvey, reach the FA Youth Cup final. Teenager Nick Chadwick is one of those who can be expected to form a vital part of that blueprint after he came on as substitute and scored his first senior goal against the Trotters. Moyes said: "Nick is just one of a number of young players we are trying to assess. "Nick's had one of two opportunities and at the moment we're still in a relegation battle and he's going to get his chances. I was very pleased with the way he played."
David Ginola was selected for the first time by Moyes on Monday, albeit as an unused substitute, but is now doubtful with a calf injury sustained in training on Wednesday. Mark Pembridge, Lee Carsley, Gary Naysmith and Tony Hibbert are all out injured.
Chelsea 3, Everton 0 (D Post)
By Jonathan McEvoy At Stamford Bridge, Daily Post
Apr 8 2002
ON this occasion it proved a Bridge too far, but David Moyes' revivalist mantra promises that whatever the odds, given time, his Everton will deliver. Goodison cynics claim to have heard the rhetoric before, but surely no fan could quibble with Moyes' stated objective to restore lustre to Everton's reputation, tarnished so gravely by more last-minute scrapes with relegation than they care to remember. Nor will the promise to reintroduce an attacking brand of play find detractors. The hard evidence of Moyes' first five games in charge shows the potential benefit the ambitious Scot's style can render on a team and supporters greatly in need of a tonic. Even in defeat amid the plush surrounds of West London, Everton created numerous chances - only to be denied by outstanding saves from Carlo Cudicini and punished by the brutal artistry of top-scorer Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, with two magnificent goals. Italian sorcerer Gianfranco Zola's 90th-minute volley somewhat flattered the home side. Yes, Everton were throughly out- thought, out-fought and out-played in the opening period, but twice Alessandro Pistone and once each Thomas Gravesen and Niclas Alexandersson were thwarted by Cudicini. The fact the Blues, who also had Duncan Ferguson rattle the underside of the bar as he spurned an inviting late chance, could have snatched a point during a compelling second- half renaissance against Claudio Ranieri's Champions League aspirants, shows how the expansive offensive policy which underpins Moyes' philosophy could pay dividends.
Eleven goals since taking charge five games ago compares favourably with two from the previous six.
The School of Science it certainly ain't. But already the thrills and spills are lifting the once-impenetrable gloom hanging over Goodison. Said Moyes: "I believe the best form of defence is attack." Once Premiership safety is assured - one more win is needed to be 100 per cent certain - Moyes will still look to squeeze more out of his players. He told them last week that they were effectively playing for a role in his blueprint for the club. Impress him and you can stay, flunk it and you're out. The ear-bashing he administered to Jesper Blomqvist after the Swede showed resentment at being substituted during Everton's crucial Easter Monday victory over Bolton, was proof positive that he will take no nonsense. So how did Saturday's cast fare in the audition for starring roles in next year ' s production? First man singled out in an oblique reference by the manager himself was Steve Simonsen. The keeper was cited for being too far off his line to cope with Hasselbaink's sublime 25-yard chip, which capped a bullocking run 25 minutes into the game. The second goal - Hasselbaink's 29th of the season - came through a free-kick conceded by Peter Clarke. Boudewijn Zenden back-heeled the ball to the big Dutchman and he drilled home past the scrambling Simonse. Moyes thought: "There was a deflection but we could have coped better."
He added: "I want to take a chance to see some other players in the first-team." Take that as Paul Gerrard will be handed a chance before the season's out. A makeshift defence, minus David Unsworth (neck injury) and Alan Stubbs (family bereavement), was well- manned by Steve Watson (pictured) and Pistone, who is evidently more suited to an attack-minded role than a purely defensive assignment. David Weir's proven dependability in tandem with Stubbs is sure to make them the spine of Moyes' revamped squad. As for Clarke, thrust into a difficult job up against Hasselbaink and Eidur Gudjohnsen, he once again raised doubts over his distribution skills. He tends to give the ball away too lightly but he is still young and learning his game at this level.
Moyes' natural inclination to develop youthful talent could persuade him to hone the former England under-18 captain rather than include him in any close-season cull. The first 35 minutes saw Everton slow to close down Chelsea. They chased shadows - not a common trait since Moyes started to preach his high- octane approach - as Chelsea piled on wave after wave of pressure. Everton's midfield struggled to exert any hold on the game. Alexandersson worked hard but again failed to whip in enough quality balls into the penalty area. The first-half was punctuated by Everton crosses hitting the first man. That is an area in need of urgent attention. The lack of ammunition reaching the six-yard box has been an Achilles heel all season. Thomas Gravesen was his usual blur of perpetual motion. He forced Cudicini into his first save mid-way through the first half with a stinging shot. Ferguson, again handed the captain's armband, plied away but he must still be wondering how he missed the target as he stretched at Tomasz Radzinski's dangerous cross. He instead found the frame of goal with a minute to play. And partner Radzinski will be similarly mystified by his own profligacy moments earlier. Marcel Desailly's rare error allowed him a sniff of goal, he latched on to a long punt but, in beating the advancing keeper, he pushed the ball too wide and watched his effort roll agonisingly across the face of goal. Chelsea's class dictates they are lying in the fourth Champions League place. But on the evidence of the last few weeks, Everton should make their own landmark - survival - without too much extra alarm. Then Moyes can start planning for the future in earnest. What he will require most is money. Handing him £5million won't do it. It wouldn't buy a top striker's left fingernail, left alone his right foot. If, and when, safety is assured, the onus falls on the board to invest in the team, regardless of their long-term ambitions on the Dockside. If they don't, Everton fans can expect another tortuous season of relegation fears.
For the moment, though, such thoughts have all but disappeared.
CHELSEA: Cudicini, Melchiot, Desailly, Terry (Zenden 15), Le Saux, Stanic, Petit (Jokanovic 70), Zola, Lampard, Gudjohnsen, Hasselbaink (Cole 77). Subs: de Goey, Dalla Bona.
EVERTON: Simonsen, Watson, Weir, Clarke, Pistone, Alexandersson (Chadwick 77), Gravesen, Gemmill, Blomqvist (Linderoth 54), Ferguson, Radzinski. Subs: Gerrard, Moore, Cleland.
BOOKINGS: Everton's Gravesen.
REFEREE: D Elleray (Harrow-on-the-Hill).
Pistone's putting his faith in Moyes
By Jonathan McEvoy, Daily Post
Apr 8 2002
ALESSANDRO PISTONE believes David Moyes' attacking instincts will pay Everton rich dividends in the Premiership next season. The Blues have won three out of their five games since Moyes took over from the sacked Walter Smith and should avoid the drop, despite Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Chelsea. Pistone was twice denied at Stamford Bridge by in-form keeper Carlo Cudicini but the Milan-born left-back is confident his new boss can turn around Everton's ailing fortunes.
He said: "Under this manager we are far more attackminded. We don't go into games with nine men behind the ball and hope to snatch a point. "The system will always stay the same under Moyes and we all know our roles. "I think once we are safe he will see a big improvement in his team next season. "We should have got something from the game. "We started very badly and didn't play for the first 30 minutes. But after that we created more chances than Chelsea." Pistone added: "I had two good chances but Cudicini made a fantastic save. If the first chance had gone in, it could have been a different game. "Tomasz Radzinski had a fantastic opportunity but straight away Zola made it 3-0." Defeat leaves Everton six points above the bottom three. And Pistone added: "We are not safe yet and we need to get the necessary points as soon as possible. "We don't want to leave it until the last game of the season at Arsenal. "We've got to play Leicester, Southampton and Blackburn and we should get enough points to be safe." Moyes said: "I'm used to life at the top of the first division so I don't know where the safety point is. "But I know we need more points and our game plan must be to go out and win games. I hope that shows. "Anyone who comes to Chelsea would be happy with a point but we came here to try and win this game. "When I took the job it looked as if there could be trouble but the players have done well and three wins out of five is not a bad formula for staying up. "Some of the other results have gone our way but I'm only interested in Everton winning every game." Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri said: "Cudicini made some good saves. He's as crucial as Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Eidur Gudjohnsen."
Chelsea 3, Everton 0 (Echo)
By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
Apr 8 2002
WE should have known we were in for an unusual afternoon the second Stamford Bridge's brilliant floodlights flared on . . . at two o'clock on the brightest Spring day of the year. Maybe they're so proud of the football they serve up down the Kings Road now they don't want their fans to miss a trick. Afterwards, there was just as much baffled head-shaking. No-one could quibble at the supremacy Chelsea exercised throughout their 3-0 stroll. But despite the inferior quality of their football, Everton played a player clean through on goal three times, saw another waltz around the keeper and miss, then watched their skipper crash against the crossbar from point blank range.
Five glaring chances, on a day they went in at half-time unlucky to have nil. Everton deserved to lose, but still might have pinched the point many optimistic Evertonians had thought them capable of snatching before kick-off. The reason they didn't was put on a plate for us by David Moyes.
"The managers who have the best players win the championships and cups," he said. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is the most prolific striker in the Premiership, while Carlo Cudicini one of the most accomplished goalkeepers. In comparison Everton's forwards are anything but ruthless, while their goalkeeper is still inexperienced and prone to lapses. Both failings were in glaring evidence under the unnecessarily enhanced sunlight in West London. Hasselbaink's goals were undeniably sweet finishes, but each time a gap was left exposed for a mastermarksman to exploit. Steve Simonsen took a step too many off his line in the 25th minute, and the Dutchman punished him with a sublime lob. The goalkeeper's positioning was equally awry a minute before the break at a free-kick, and again Hasselbaink took clinical advantage. David Moyes is keen to learn as much about the squad he has inherited as possible, which could mean a chance for Paul Gerrard to return before the season ends. But at the other end, Moyes has already seen the best . . . and the worst of two- thirds of his strike-force. On Saturday he only saw the downside in front of goal, but it wasn't just his forwards to blame this time. For 21 minutes, Everton were annihilated by sparkling, slick and purposeful approach play from the home team, then Gravesen turned smartly to crash in a shot which Cudicini beat behind for a corner. Chelsea enjoyed another spell of supremacy, before Gravesen played in Blomqvist to lift a 12-yard shot over the 'keeper and the bar. Then the same thing happened again before Alexandersson lifted the siege with another shot blocked by Cudicini which looped into the air and was slid wide by Ferguson at the far post. By the time the second half started, Everton were two down, but whether it was Chelsea easing off the accelerator, or the visitors finally clicking into gear, Everton began to grind out clear-cut chances and limit them at the other end, too.
An awkwardly spinning ball as much as Linderoth's pass allowed Pistone to outwit Stanic and race through in astonishment on Cudicini's goal. Clearly the Italian is happier when he can strike instinctively at goal without thinking. His body language smacked of indecision and while his shot was on target, Cudicini stuck out a left boot to save. Eleven minutes later the Italian raced through again, this time on to Ferguson's pass. The angle was tighter, his confidence even more eroded - and he seemed relieved when he got off another effort on target which was turned behind for a corner.
Chelsea had settled for a 2-0 win, and that lack of ambition almost cost them dear when Radzinski raced from the halfway line on to a loose ball, skirted around Cudicini but showed the same finishing ills which let Bolton off the hook last weekend. Substitute Nick Chadwick was roaring up behind in support, hoping for the same kind of tap-in which yielded his first senior goal on Easter Monday, but it never came. Neither did Duncan Ferguson's dreams of absolution for his red card madness that afternoon. He burst ahead of his marker on to Radzinski's cross two minutes from time, but the close range shot crashed against the underside of the crossbar and out. "The managers who have the best players win the championships and cups," remember. In injury time, Eidur Gudjohnsen crossed from the right to give the irrepressible Gianfranco Zola a glimmer of a goalscoring opportunity himself.
He swallowed it voraciously, flashing a finish inside Simonsen's near post to end a curious afternoon.
David Moyes has already shown the motivating effect a new manager can have on some players.
Chelsea showed on Saturday the difference having better players can have.
CHELSEA (4-4-2): Cudicini, Melchiot, Desailly, Terry (Zenden 14 mins), Le Saux, Stanic, Lampard, Petit (Jokanovic 70 mins), Zola, Gudjohnsen, Hasselbaink (Cole 76 mins). Unused substitutes: De Goey, Dalla Bona.
EVERTON (4-4-2): Simonsen, Watson, Weir, Clarke, Pistone, Alexandersson (Chadwick 76 mins), Gemmill, Gravesen, Blomqvist ( Linderoth 54 mins), Ferguson, Radzinski. Unused substitutes: Moore, Cleland, Gerrard.
Referee: David Elleray. Booking: Gravesen (47 mins) foul. Attendance: 40,545.
It doesn't end with one more win
Apr 8 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
BLUES' boss David Moyes is calling for a change of attitude at Everton during the end of season run-in. A win over Leicester on Saturday could all but confirm Everton's Premiership status for another season. But boss Moyes wants more. The Blues already look safe, despite the weekend's 3-0 defeat at Chelsea, but Moyes said: "I want us to win all our remaining games. "That sort of mindset where people achieve mathematical safety and then switch off definitely has to change. "I still think we need a few more points to be sure of staying up, but if and when we do that I don't want everyone suddenly thinking the job is done and the season has finished." If Everton can overcome already relegated Leicester at Goodison Park, that would open up a nine point gap between themselves and third-bottom Ipswich. Moyes would then take the opportunity to have a look at as many of the players he has still to see in senior action at Goodison. That could include goalkeeper Paul Gerrard, who hasn't played in the first team since being axed after the home defeat by Newcastle last October. The Blues' board will also have impressed on their new manager the financial implications of a successful end of season run. More than £200,000 a place is up for grabs. Kevin Campbell, meanwhile, is back in light training and targeting the weekend for a comeback, while Everton Reserves entertain Sunderland at the Autoquest Stadium tomorrow night, which could give Mark Pembridge the opportunity for another run-out.
Gerrard to get chance to shine
Apr 8 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
PAUL GERRARD could be handed a chance to revive his stalled Everton career under David Moyes, as the new Blues boss tries to assess all of the players he has at his disposal. Gerrard hasn't played since the home defeat by Newcastle in October, when a collision with Abel Xavier handed the visitors a decisive goal. Steve Simonsen was handed a long overdue opportunity and impressed, but after Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Chelsea Moyes said: "I think their goalkeeper made crucial saves today when they were required to be made, but I don't know if we made any when we had to.
"I don't think our goalkeeper should be as far off his line as he was when Hasselbaink chipped, but I don't want to take anything away from the finish." Gerrard could be recalled with only four games remaining this season, but Moyes insisted his side was still not safe from relegation. Victory over already relegated Leicester next Saturday would see Everton open up a nine point cushion over third-bottom Ipswich, with only three games to play. But the manager said: "I don't think we're safe yet. The other results might have gone in our favour but I'm only interested in Everton's results.
"I am more interested in Everton winning every game and I am not really bothered about the others.
"I think we need more points. You boys will be more used to working out what is required as a safety margin. I'm more used to how many points are needed at the top of the First Division.
"The gameplan today was the one we showed in the second half, where we got in and about Chelsea. We gave them too much respect in the first half and to be fair, we haven't really done that against anybody since I've been here. "I also thought there was a handball which should have been awarded in our favour in the build-up to their second goal. It's amazing how little things like that can change games. "I saw it, I'm sure you all saw it but the officials didn't. "Even after that we had Alessandro Pistone clean through with the goalkeeper to beat, Tomasz Radzinski clean through with the goalkeeper to beat and Duncan Ferguson with no-one to beat. They were wonderful opportunities to score goals." Moyes (pictured) added that he intends to build on an attacking philosophy at Goodison, which has already yielded 11 goals in his first four games.
"Obviously when I took the job it looked as though there could be trouble, but the players have done very well to get the results they have," he explained. "Hopefully you are seeing an Everton team now that's going to come to places like this and have a go. "I think now I am beginning to get a better feel of what one or two can do. The managers who have the best players win the championships and cups, but if you can create a team with what you've got that is attackminded you have a chance. "You can also choose to make a team more defenceminded and rely on counterattack, but I want a team which will try and win games. "I hope it's the right formula because it's the road I want to go down. After all, the best form of defence is attack."
Double joy for hot-shot Rooney
Academy League By Chris Wright, Daily Post
Apr 9 2002
WAYNE ROONEY kept up his hot scoring run with two more goals as Everton under-19s crushed Huddersfield Town 4-0 on Saturday. Rooney's double made it 24 goals in all competitions, while striker partner Michael Symes also scored twice to take his tally to 14 for the season, with all the goals coming in a scintillating first-half performance. Colin Harvey's team proved much too strong for the home side and are continuing their excellent progress. With just two FA Premier Academy League left before their two-legged FA Youth Cup final appearance, the Blues are playing some of their best football of the season. And while Harvey is more than pleased with his star striker, he was again delighted with the side's overall team performance. He said: "Wayne is picking up a few headlines at the moment, but I'm sure he'd be the first to acknowledge the contribution of his team-mates." Alan Harper's under-17s, though, ended their season with a 4-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest, their final play-off fixture. Harper, though, feels the benefit in the long term for the players will be enormous. He said: "It has been a difficult season. We have been operating with a very young side since the start of the season and, hopefully, we'll see some tangible reward next time round." Academy director Ray Hall said: "We have made comments every week about the fact that we are the young side. And, to put it into perspective, the Nottingham Forest coach, Chris Fairclough, said his side were quite young - half and half - half U17s and half U16s. Well we have a similar mix but it is half U16s and half U15s. "And physically we just could not cope on Saturday. Having said that we didn't play particularly well. Our performance was disappointing.
"We've told the boys it is going to be tough for them next year. Whereas we've made excuses age-wise, that excuse won't be there next year." Meanwhile, striker Rooney and midfielder Scot Brown are both in the England squad for the UEFA U17s Championships in Denmark, which start on April 27. England's group will feature Holland, Denmark and Finland, and, depending whether they qualify, the Blues could be without their influential duo for up to three weeks. With Everton U19s' final Academy League match on April 20 at home to Blackburn, neither will miss any competitive matches and will return before the FA Youth Cup final. The home leg for the final against Aston Villa or Barnsley, who meet tonight at Oakwell, has provisionally been scheduled for Tuesday, May 14 at Goodison Park and the second leg will be away on Saturday, May 18. Both dates need to be confirmed once the opposition is known tonight.
Apr 9 2002 By Kevin Ratcliffe, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON have enjoyed the benefits of new manager syndrome in the last few weeks, now they must beware it. Leicester City come to Goodison Park on Saturday not only with the pressure of battling against relegation now lifted, but with a new boss in tow. I know Nicky Adams well, having been battling against his side for the past three or four years - and he is a ruthless coach who will not accept anything less than every player's absolute best. If someone is not doing it for him he will change it instantly, regardless of whether that player is a so-called superstar like Robbie Savage or Muzzy Izzet. He will have Leicester wound right up and if Everton think they will be facing a team going through the motions now their relegation has been confirmed, they could be in for a nasty shock. The good thing is that I believe Everton are already safe. One more win would make absolutely sure, but I think Derby County and Ipswich Town already have too much to do to make up the deficit. David Moyes will be keen to secure one more win, then may take the opportunity to have a look at some of the other players he has at his disposal who have not been in action yet.
Internationals like Tobias Linderoth, Joe-Max Moore, Mark Pembridge and goalkeeper Paul Gerrard have all yet to start a game under the new boss and they may get their chance before the end of the season. Youngsters like Nick Chadwick should also get a run, too, but what Moyes will be keen to underline to his players is that there is no sudden switch off once safety is mathematically confirmed. He wants a winning habit put in place at Goodison and apart from the last day trip to Arsenal, every one of Everton's other remaining fixtures is winnable. Tough, sure, but still certainly winnable. A healthy final finishing place could go a long way towards everyone starting next season with a new mood of optimism, and could also help make it easier to attract one or two new faces in the summer. There is still plenty to play for, starting with the visit of Leicester on Saturday.
Travelling fans taken advantage of
A KICK-OFF time of 5.15pm for Everton's forthcoming trip to Southampton is a new one on me.
Players nowadays are so used to the chopping and changing of start times that it shouldn't affect them unnecessarily, but who it will affect are the travelling fans. Everton have always had a large away support, and this switch does them no favours at all. It's a bad enough journey back from the south coast at normal times, without asking fans to start their return journey at half past seven on a Saturday night. Fans who don't drive have no chance. The train network simply won't get you back to Merseyside on Saturday night. The casual fans who don't normally travel will be delighted that they can watch the game live on Saturday tea time. But once again the loyal, travelling support will be punished, simply because TV chiefs know they will go and create an atmosphere at any time of the day. They are being taken advantage of once again, and there's very little that can be done about it.
Moyes hit by injury Blom-shell
Apr 9 2002 By Claire Gray, Liverpool Echo
JESPER Blomqvist has emerged as a doubt ahead of Saturday's clash with relegated Leicester City.
The Swede missed training yesterday after feeling a niggle in his Achilles tendon, whilst his fellow-countryman Niclas Alexandersson is suffering from soreness in his glands. The latter should be fine for the weekend but Blues boss David Moyes will monitor the fitness of Blomqvist over the next few days. Both will be hoping to be called up to the Swedish squad for the friendly in Norway next week. Paul Gerrard meanwhile will step up his claim for a recall to the first team tonight when the reserves entertain Sunderland at Widnes. Current first choice keeper Steve Simonsen came in for some criticism following the 3-0 defeat at Chelsea last weekend, prompting speculation that Gerrard may be called up for the last four games of the season. The 29-year-old has not figured since the home game against Newcastle at the end of October. Mark Pembridge will continue his rehabilitation from a persistent calf problem by stepping out for the Blues' second string for a second successive week but is unlikely to be handed a recall for this Saturday's match.
Blues waiting on Blomqvist
Report By Chris Wright, Daily Post
Apr 10 2002
JESPER BLOMQVIST may miss Saturday's Goodison Park clash with relegated Leicester City.
The Swedish international is a major doubt after he missed training on Monday after an Achilles problem. David Moyes will monitor the progress of the 27-year-old Swede, and the Blues' boss is also hopeful that Blomqvist's countryman Niclas Alexandersson will recover from the soreness in his glands and be fit for the weekend. Moyes is unhappy over the number of injuries at the club and is hoping the treatment table at Bellefield will lessen. The Blues manager is desperate to work with an injury-free squad, but not at the expense of players' longterm fitness. He said: "I don't want players to be injured. I don't want players who have been out injured to get straight back into the first team.
"I want players who have been out to train and then to play in the reserves - because I think that's the right way for them to come back. "I understand that, in the past, because so many important players were out injured, there's been a need to bring them back very quickly. "Hopefully, we'll assemble a squad big enough to cope if we do pick up injuries and it'll give players a better chance of not re-injuring themselves on their return." One long-term casualty, Kevin Campbell, though, is making good progress. Moyes said yesterday: "Kevin had been doing fine, but he's has had a little bit of aggravation in his hamstring. "But he's been out training again today. He's anxious and desperate to get back training and he's shown a great attitude to get back in the team and get fit.
"We're hoping he'll make it before the end of the season, but we won't take any risks."
Summer kicks off
Apr 10 2002 By Debbie Johnson, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON Football Club has been given an £83,000 grant to run summer schools for youngsters in the city. The money will be used by the club's Football In The Community team in July.
Three secondary schools will be visited by the travelling team, and children from primary schools in the city will be brought in to the study support centre at Goodison Park. More than 300 youngsters will take part in the schools, which will provide a combination of sports science and practical footballing skills. The schools taking part have yet to be announced. The schemes are aimed at pupils who are interested in sport, but underachieving in other areas. Colm Whelan, the project coordinator, said: "It is a great way of motivating children to come back to school over the summer, and learn about something they are interested in." Julie King, of Liverpool Local Education Authority, said: " Receiving the bid is great news for over 300 children across Liverpool. The funding has allowed us to provide quality provision for youngsters in an inspiring and motivating environment." The cash grant has come from the New Opportunities Fund, part of the National Lottery.
Debut boy Rooney turns on the style
Apr 10 2002 Liverpool Echo
WAYNE Rooney continued his progression towards a first team appearance, coming on for the last half hour of Everton Reserves' 2-0 victory over Sunderland. The star of the club's FA Youth Cup campaign looked fearless in his first outing for the second string and was only denied a goal by a headed clearance off the line. A superb volley by Mark Pembridge plus a Joe-Max Moore penalty did the damage as Andy Holden's side won comfortably. The Blues went ahead on 24 minutes when Sunderland keeper Jurgen Macho pulled down Nick Chadwick, and Moore converted the spot kick.
And Pembridge's 20-yard volley came on the hour. Rooney impressed when he replaced Chadwick, looking lively and exciting the crowd with every touch. His debut would have been graced with a goal only for Simon Ramsden's clearance.
EVERTON: Gerrard, Cleland, McLeod, O'Hanlon, Pilkington, Moore, (Eaton 61), Southern, Pembridge, Osman, Chadwick (Rooney 61), Curran. SUBS (unused): Pettinger, Moogan A, Crowder.
Blues chasing UEFA Cup spot
Apr 10 2002 By Claire Gray, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON'S hopes of European qualification could take a step closer to reality should they beat Leicester City this weekend. The Blues are one of eight English clubs to have applied to take part in this summer's InterToto Cup, two of whom will get in, one at the second round stage and the other at the third. As things stand, three points in their penultimate home game of the season could see David Moyes' side put one foot on the European stage. Everton are one of four applicants prepared to enter the competition at the second round phase which begins on July 6, alongside Derby, Fulham and Leeds. Aston Villa, Chelsea, Newcastle and Ipswich however, have only expressed an interest in entering the tournament at the third round which begins on July 20. With Chelsea and Newcastle looking set to qualify for Europe via another route, Leeds are poised to take one spot as the highestfinishing team, and in that role they would not have to start until the third round.
That would pave the way for the next highest-placed club from those prepared to enter in the second round stage, to take the other spot. Everton are currently 13th but it is Fulham who the real danger. Jean Tigana's men are two points worse off than the Blues at the moment, while Derby are out of the running. Jesper Blomqvist, meanwhile, has been left out of the Sweden squad to face Norway in Oslo next week. The winger is a fitness doubt in any case, having missed the last couple of days of training with an Achilles problem. Swedish coach Lars Lagerback is insistent, however, that those players named for next week's friendly will not necessarily make up his final squad.
"This is not our World Cup squad," declared Lagerback. "The door is not closed for players."
Everton will face Aston Villa in the FA Youth Cup final after the Midlanders beat Barnsley 3-1 at Oakwell last night to go through 6-2 on aggregate. The dates of the two-legged final are yet to be confirmed.
* Fulham striker Barry Hayles faces missing the FA Cup final even if he manages to help guide his side there against Chelsea this weekend, after being hit with a three-match ban by the Football Association. Hayles could yet appeal against the sentence imposed yesterday on a charge of violent conduct. Hayles, the club's top scorer with 11 goals, still faces another FA disciplinary charge, following an alleged clash with Everton's David Weir on December 8 at Craven Cottage.
Moyes wants to mirror Magpies
Report By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Apr 11 2002
DAVID MOYES has set out his next aim for Everton once Premiership survival is secured - to copy Newcastle United's dramatic transformation. The Toon Army have gone from Premiership strugglers to Champions League chasers in the space of just two seasons under Bobby Robson and are currently favourites to claim the coveted fourth spot. And as he looks to take the Blues beyond the 40-point safety barrier against Leicester this weekend, Goodison's new supremo admits his next mission will be to follow the example set at St James' Park. Moyes explained: "I heard Bobby Robson say he wanted his team to be like Arsenal but I want my team to be like Newcastle.
"Bobby can see the likes of Arsenal as a team to aspire to at present and I think Newcastle are the type of side Everton should aim for. "There are leagues within this league and to get onto the same level as Newcastle is the first step for us. "They are a team that is full of young, enthusiastic talent and can improve over the years. "You need experience but it's important that you have up and coming youngsters from which you can build on." Moyes, meanwhile, could be starting his first full season at Everton as early as July 6 if Premiership permutations enable the Blues to qualify for the InterToto Cup. The Blues are one of eight clubs to have applied for the competition, which has two places on offer to Premiership clubs - with one to enter the second round, and one to join at the third. Everton, along with Derby, Fulham and Leeds are up for the vacant position in the second phase, while Aston Villa, Chelsea, Newcastle and Ipswich have only expressed an interest in entering the tournament in the third round, which starts on July 20. At present, Newcastle and Chelsea would qualify automatically for the Champions League and UEFA Cup respectively in light of their current league positions. Leeds would therefore be the highest-placed club from those remaining, and as a result would fill the third-round berth. And with Villa and Ipswich unwilling to join the competition at the earlier stage, it would leave Everton, Derby and Fulham fighting for the single second-round place. Barring a miracle, the Midlanders are out of the equation, which means Fulham and the Blues are fighting over the final qualification spot, with the Blues at present just two points ahead of Jean Tigana's side. If the Blues do qualify, they will face a two-legged tie against either a Yugoslav or Finnish outfit.
You're not goin' on a summer holiday
Apr 11 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON'S players have been ordered to cut short their summer holiday plans - as the prospect of a surprise InterToto Cup place has emerged at Goodison. The Blues are one of eight Premiership clubs who have applied for the backdoor route into next season's UEFA Cup. But while five have specified they will only take part from the third round stage onwards, which starts on July 20, Everton, Leeds, Fulham and Derby County have applied for entry from round two onwards, which kicks off on July 6.
So if Leeds qualify for a UEFA Cup place through a final Premiership placing, Everton must finish above Fulham to claim an InterToto Cup berth. They currently lead Jean Tigana's men by two points.
If Leeds miss out on the UEFA Cup but claim a third round InterToto Cup berth, Everton and Fulham would again be left to contest the second round slot. The clubs competing with Leeds for the third round place are Aston Villa, Chelsea, Ipswich and Newcastle. Ipswich are out of it, while Chelsea and Newcastle should qualify for Europe through more conventional routes. That leaves Aston Villa and Leeds to contest the third round InterToto slot - and Villa cannot catch Leeds. Equally if Fulham reached the FA Cup Final by beating Chelsea in this weekend's semi-final, they could qualify for the UEFA Cup and leave an InterToto place for Everton. All the criteria points to a firm likelihood of Everton being back in Europe next season. "The players have been warned to make their holiday arrangements accordingly," said chief executive Michael Dunford. Manager David Moyes added: "Obviously the uncertainty makes it difficult to construct any preseason plans, but the players are aware of it and as soon as we get the decision we will plan accordingly." A number of Blues stars could still be away on World Cup duty when Moyes recalls his squad for pre-season training.
Traditionally, Everton have reported back during the second week in July, but the new manager had already planned to bring them back a fortnight earlier than usual. That date could be brought forward even earlier now. Qualification for the InterToto Cup would not affect a date for David Unsworth's testimonial match, which has been provisionally pencilled in for August 10 at Goodison Park. The InterToto Cup competition has already been drawn, with the English representatives meeting a team from Finland or Yugoslavia, with the home leg first, on July 6 or 7. The winners then go on to meet a club from Greece. Before then the Blues will also travel to Falkirk on April 30 to help the Scottish club celebrate their 125th anniversary.
Blues going goal crazy
Apr 11 2002 By Len Capeling, Daily Post
THE Everton supporter who expressed a preference for fast and furious 4-3 defeats over dull, dreary 1-1 draws must be in pig heaven at present. Five games played under the new regime, result: 11 goals for, 14 against. Saturday's match at Stamford Bridge ended 3-0 to Chelsea but could easily have been 8-4 to Claudio Ranieri's impresssive side, such were the chances created at either end.
Which tells us that Everton can score goals, but plainly don't know how to defend against them.
Under Walter Smith the reverse was the case, which should indicate to David Moyes that he has a team capable of dropping anchor mid-table - but one also likely to slip its moorings at the first hint of a fast-flowing tide. Relegated Leicester may offer another step forward for Moyes' side at the weekend but probably won't alter his judgment that summer slaughter is necessary if Everton's fortunes are to be radically improved. Therein lies the rub. Only £5million to spend on a team that is slow and largely unadventurous at the back, horribly guileless in midfield and too static and injury-prone up front. It promises to be a fascinating but frustrating close season unless the Goodison directors (motto: We are Guiltless) deign to loosen their corporate corsets. But don't hold your breath.
The Evertonian: out now
Apr 11 2002
EVERTON is the People's Club. That's what the Blues' new manager said as he ushered in a new era at Goodison Park. This month, The Evertonian speaks exclusively to the self-styled "Man of the People" in an exclusive interview in this month's edition. David Moyes tells us about how he felt taking charge of the Blues, his aims for this season and his ambitions for the future as he begins the mammoth task of restoring Everton to their rightful place among the country's elite. It's the most revealing interview you'll read anywhere on Goodison's new young messiah and, along with our special "People's Club" poster is a must for any True Blue. Also inside the May edition of The Evertonian this month . . .
Bill Kenwright: "It was tough sacking Walter, but Davy's the right man for the job." We hear from the Blues' owner on the dramatic events of the past month and how he thinks David Moyes can prove a big success at Goodison. Captain Dunc: Duncan Ferguson was David Moyes' surprise choice as skipper and he speaks to The Evertonian on his new role. He explains how hard he has been working on his fitness and also says sorry for the sending off that will keep him out of action for the final three matches of the season. Double Dream: Alan Stubbs and David Weir are fast making a reputation for themselves in the centre of the Everton defence. We bring the two stars together as they assess their own game and turn the focus on each other. Goodbye Gazza: It was good while it lasted ... The Evertonian says farewell to one of the game's great characters in the month he departed Everton. How's that for starters: Nick Chadwick speaks about the thrill of scoring his first senior goal for Everton - as does Italian Alessandro Pistone, who also got off the mark in the same game. Final countdown: We pay tribute to the young stars bidding for success in the Youth Cup final by speaking to coach Colin Harvey. Plus: Catching up with '60s star Fred Pickering at the Gwladys Street Hall of Fame; how Everton bosses have fared in their first games; was Unsie's strike against Fulham the fastest ever goal? We've also got your usual Football in the Community news and all the stats and monthly awards in the Street End. And last but not least, we're offering you the chance to win a unique prize if you enter our People's Club competition. It's all in this month's edition of The Evertonian - Everton's official monthly club magazine. On sale in the shops now - priced £1.20, or you can order a copy by clicking here to go to our print-and-post order form.
Bosses need protection
Apr 12 2002 By Howard Kendall
MANCHESTER CITY have already secured promotion as Champions - a tremendous achievement by Kevin Keegan. The scramble is now on for the other places and I was interested to read about Gary Megson at West Brom, who was a candidate for the Everton job. Megson's success was highlighted by a recent Manager of the Month award - an honour he decided not to accept personally because he felt it might be a jinx! The Albion chairman has been saying that if the Throstles go up, the purse strings will be tight, the club will not be spending the income from their TV money straightaway and the manager would have to cut his cloth accordingly. This is not what you want to hear when you are making that final push for the big time. Albion have heaped pressure on Megson. If they do gain promotion, I wonder what their chairman will be expecting next season. If there is no investment and things begin to go wrong, Megson's position will be under pressure, not the chairman's. This is what happened to Joe Royle at City. Is Megson ambitious? If he gets promotion and an ambitious Premier club suddenly comes in for him, my advice would be to take the job. But perhaps the Albion manager and chairman must come to an understanding about the financial realities and implications. I'm not saying the chairman is wrong, just that he should not point the finger at his boss early next season if promotion is secured and things begin to go wrong. Again, if I was Megson, I would be asking for another three years to be put on my contract. This would be a sign from the club that without serious investment it can take time to become established in the top flight, let alone move forward. It's the same for every manager on the starting line next season. Safety is the first priority and David Moyes will be in this group, although Everton are a much bigger club than Albion. Moyes will be looking for a genuine financial boost to help him move the Blues forward. If he does not get it then it is a case of accepting that his rebuilding job will take time. If a manager is not getting any money, but the board still want improvement, this is unacceptable. It puts the manager in a very difficult situation. Ipswich have had crisis talks with George Burley who, ironically, was named Manager of the Year last season. Perhaps this is where the Megson jinx fear comes from.
Managers in the relegation zone are naturally under pressure at this time of year, but it's interesting that bosses at the other end of the scale also feel the heat and begin to wonder about the future.
As a manager you don't want to be among the candidates for the annual "Sack Race" conjured up by the media, even before a ball is kicked. But, as we saw this season, it does not take long for the pack of cards to start falling. This is why managers, like Megson, must be strong now for their own self-protection.
EVERTON are making a determined bid to secure entry to the InterToto Cup, a challenge that could lead on to participation in the UEFA Cup. I can understand the logic. It can provide an important financial bonus and give fans an opportunity to revel in some unexpected Euro action. English clubs have done quite well in this tournament in the past. Entry has also helped them to make a solid opening to the Premiership season because players are naturally that little bit fitter after an early start. The negative aspect is that players can suffer in the second half of the campaign as tiredness begins to take its toll. From the club's point of view, the incentive to enter is purely financial. But if the manager alone was making the decision, I doubt if too many would want to kick off in mid July.
If Everton can get into the InterToto and progress, I would hope that all the money secured would be ploughed back into team rebuilding. If I was David Moyes, I would ask for it in writing!
England's star trio cast cloud over Sven horizon
WHEN England beat Germany to virtually secure their passage into the World Cup Finals, everyone was getting excited about the possibility of Sven-Goran Eriksson's men going all the way.
This was based on the quality of three "world class" players in David Beckham, Michael Owen and Steven Gerrard. It's a major blow that a cloud of some sort has descended on all three in recent times. Beckham faces a KO with a foot fracture. Gerrard has had on-going fitness worries and a dip in form. Owen has temporarily lost his sparkle and also has a fitness question against his name.
I would be most concerned about Beckham, who has been inspirational as both a creator and a matchwinner. But the fact that all three have question marks against them seriously diminishes our chances.
Nic unfazed by summer of soccer
Apr 12 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
SIX days separate the World Cup final from the second round of the InterToto Cup.
Swedish winger Niclas Alexandersson conceivably be involved in both. But the Everton star refuses to condemn his club's involvement in the back door route into Europe. The Blues are likely to have six players on World Cup duty in Japan. Alexandersson is the most established international player of them all, but he believes the lure of UEFA Cup football next season cannot be ignored, regardless of the implications for the players. "I've never really had a full break in the summer because there have always been World Cup qualifiers or European Championship qualifiers with Sweden," he said.
"After the European Championship finals in 2000 I managed to get four weeks off and that's enough time to recharge the batteries and to rest the body. "It would be nice to have that again, but we will have to see whether it is possible. "I haven't discussed dates or anything yet with the gaffer, and we'll have to sort that out in the best possible way. "But for mine and the team's benefit I would obviously need a few weeks break otherwise it would be hard to get through a full season.
"Besides, there is a lot of uncertainty at the moment. I don't know how far we will go in the World Cup and we have still not qualified for the InterToto Cup, but you would need at least a couple of weeks' break to respond properly to pre-season training." Everton played five pre-season friendlies last summer, as part of their preparations for the 2001-02 season. But Alexandersson insists that there is no comparison. "It's not really like playing pre-season friendlies because the InterToto Cup matches are competitive games," he explained. "It would also make it difficult to put the right emphasis on pre-season training. "You would have to decide if we should be fresh for games or have hard sessions the day before to help us benefit later on? "It's difficult, but something we will have to concentrate on when it happens." For now, Alexandersson is focusing on Everton's final four games of the season, then a World Cup clash with England which was rendered just a little easier on Wednesday night when Pedro Duscher dived recklessly in on David Beckham. "You don't wish that on anyone," sympathised the Swede. "Even if Beckham is a key player for England, they will still put a strong team out - and we don't know whether we will have important players missing or not as well. "Patrick Andersson picked up a knee injury a few weeks ago and will be out for a few weeks.
"You can't avoid injuries. "Beckham has been very influential for them, but England will still have a strong side and will still be favourites!"
Go for it Dunc
Apr 12 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON will ask Duncan Ferguson to bow out with a bang tomorrow.
The Blues' skipper will lead out the side for the last time this season against Leicester at Goodison Park before starting a threematch suspension. Manager David Moyes believes one more win would confirm Premiership safety and hopes Ferguson's farewell performance can inspire his side to three points. "We need at least one more win to make sure," said Moyes, "and I want a committed performance from the whole team. "I won't be changing things around much just yet. Besides, there's not many changes we could make, anyway." That means Paul Gerrard and Tobias Linderoth may have to wait a while longer for the opportunity to impress the new boss. David Unsworth is fit again after injury, while Kevin Campbell will return to the squad and could get a place on the substitutes' bench. Tony Hibbert, Gary Naysmith, Lee Carsley and David Ginola are all ruled out through injury. Mark Pembridge's fitness is increasing but he will not be considered.
Jesper Blomqvist, however, has shaken off an Achilles strain and will be looking to shrug off the disappointment of being omitted from the squad for Sweden's last friendly before the World Cup party is named. Coach Lars Lagerback has insisted that Blomqvist's chances of going to Japan are not dead, but the player fears the worst. "I think I should have been included," he said. "I think I have done enough but Lagerback phoned me up and said that he thought my form wasn't consistent enough. "There's probably still a small chance of going to the World Cup, but if what I have done so far is not good enough then I don't really know what to do" Team- mates Niclas Alexandersson and Linderoth have both been included to face Norway on Wednesday, while Thomas Gravesen has also been recalled to the Denmark squad.
Bassett issues word of warning to Blues
Apr 12 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON may be targetting a place in Europe next season, but Saturday's visitors Leicester believe they could be set for an unsuccessful relegation battle. Everton are vying with Fulham for a place in the early stages of this summer's InterToto Cup competition. Leicester come to Goodison Park this weekend having just been relegated to Division One. And outgoing Foxes' manager Dave Bassett has warned that any club outside of the top six in the Premiership could suffer the same dramatic slump in fortunes as themselves. Their decline has been spectacular after occupying a top-four spot in the Premiership until the final stages of last season. But Bassett, now earmarked for a director of football role, believes that the Premiership is so " volatile" that the same fate could happen to virtually any club outside of the elite group at any time. He said: "We went to Sunderland as bottom of the league on Easter Monday. Last season Leicester got a point there to go top of the Premiership.
"But I look at the league and I feel that all of the sides outside of the top six could see their fortunes change dramatically and quickly. "That's why there is quite a lot of panic in the Premiership because clubs know that one minute they've got a chance of getting in the top six and then all of a sudden they are struggling to stay in the division. "You can see that the sides who did well last season - Leicester, Sunderland, Ipswich - have not done nearly as well this year. "After last season, Ipswich were probably thinking 'let's consolidate' and now they could go down. I am sure Leicester were not thinking of relegation as a possibility. "The league is so volatile and first and foremost what teams outside of that top six try and do is to try and establish themselves and not get relegated and take everything else as a bonus. "Everton look like they might get clear but next year they might find themselves at the bottom, or a Southampton or a Tottenham or a Fulham. The league is that inconsistent." Bassett insisted that his side will continue to give everything, despite relegation having been confirmed by last Saturday's home defeat to Manchester United. He said: "When you are not winning matches, football can be a draining and depressing game. "There can be no hiding from the fact that this has been a long and hard season for everyone."
Things are looking up
Apr 12 2002 icLiverpool & Daily Post
On way back
WITH David Moyes in charge and a few new signings, we can win the Intertoto Cup and have our place in Europe again.
That will be the start of our revolution, as once players see you are a European team they will want to come. We will have the money to get them in a few years time, so let's not get complacent and hammer Leicester on Saturday!
D. Bradshaw, Huyton
Don't give up
PEOPLE shouldn't write Kevin Campbell off just yet. Although he hasn't figured much in Moyes' revolution due to injury, he is still class and I believe he will come back and prove it. Remember how big Kev was asked to carry us for most of last season as a lone striker.
The man desrves more than the lame criticism thrown at him recently.
Simon Betts, West Derby
HOW IS it that there were people queueing for days to buy new yuppie pads at the Kings Dock when we are led to believe residents object to the Blues' new stadium?
What's happened to the consultants report that is supposed to allay fears of traffic conjestion. This appears to be the main stumbling block to the project. Come on Bill Kenwright give us a long overdue update. And please no smarmy luvvy duvvy quotes - just give us the basic facts. Ps if Walter was still there we would be down by now!
John Griffiths, Skelmersdale
Go for Jari
WHILE Liverpool are so keen on signing our players why don't we put a bid in for Jari Litmanen. Litmanen has always been a class act and is just what we need. He's creative and has a great eye for goal and says he is settled on Merseyside.
Peter Duffield, Crosby.
Stick with Steve
AM I the only person concerned to read that Paul Gerrard may be recalled for some of our remaining games? I can see David Moyes' policy in assesing all the squad in a competitve match, but Steve Simonsen has a presence about him in the penalty area and he likes to build from the back instead of lofting it forward for Ferguson.
Ben Kelly, Maghull
Bridge to the future
Apr 12 2002 Fanscene by Mark O'Brien
TO quote someone from our recent history, the result at Stamford Bridge was, in the end, disappointing. Maybe it's a sign that we're starting to expect a bit more from the Blues when we travel to one of the best sides in the country and our biggest gripe is that we never took any of a number of good chances. Doesn't the old cliche go, that the time to start worrying is when you're not creating them? Chelsea are better than us - players like Hasselbaink, Gudjohnsen and Zola are another step up from what we've got - but we still stuck to our guns and it was heartening to see the likes of Alessandro Pistone getting forward regularly and supporting the forwards. It would have been even more heartening if he'd buried his chances, but we'll take it one step at a time for now.
The Italian's comments after the game about how all the players now know their roles in a settled system and how they no longer just put nine men behind the ball seemed like further confirmation, if any were needed, that the players seem a lot happier under David Moyes. One who might not be quite as made up as the rest though is Steve Simonsen, as the manager seemed to express a modicum of disappointment with his performance, particularly his positioning for Hasselbaink's first goal. This has raised speculation that Paul Gerrard may be recalled to the first team so the manager can better assess him. Both are good shot stoppers but Simonsen, regardless of the odd error (he is still very inexperienced don't forget), is the more commanding of the two. When we're under pressure, particularly from set-pieces, Simonsen seems decisive and commanding when coming for the ball. In the past that hasn't really been the case with Gerrard. One paper in the week had us linked again with Coventry's Magnus Hedman - it could be a busy summer. Talking of pressure, one team no longer under any are tomorrow's opponents Leicester. A narrow defeat by Manchester United finally saw them succumb to the inevitable last week: relegation. While we are looking virtually safe, we still have to make sure and it would be a mistake if we took the foot off the gas now. Our improvement under Moyes has been in the most part down to effort and application; the players mustn't start to think they're world beaters and expect to stroll past the likes of the Foxes.
Micky Adams is now building a side for next season and so a lot of their young players will be working hard to try to cement themselves a first-team spot. Add to that mix the silky skills of Brian Deane - a perennial thorn in Everton's flesh - and we have opponents who you take lightly at your peril. While we're on the subject of lightly taken opponents, what about Bayer Leverkusen? "Are you watching Everton?" was the chant. Yes we were; wouldn't have missed it for the world. We're obsessed, remember?
Jesper targets return
Apr 12 2002 By Jonathan McEvoy, Daily Post
INJURY-PLAGUED Jesper Blomqvist is eyeing an instant return to action as he aims to complete his own 'double'. The Everton winger is determined to win a new Goodison contract and force his way into Sweden's World Cup plans. Blomqvist is suffering with an Achilles tendon injury but could be given the all-clear for tomorrow's home Premiership clash against relegated Leicester City.
Having overcome a career-threatening knee injury, Blomqvist has impressed since moving from Manchester United and has revealed he is eager to win new Blues terms. Everton have four games remaining this season, leaving the 28-year-old's World Cup dreams on a knife-edge. Blomqvist's chances of inclusion in the Far East tournament were dealt a blow by his surprise omission from Lars Lagerbeck's squad for the friendly against Norway on April 17. But the Swedish coach said: "This is not our World Cup squad. The door is not closed to any of the players." With just 49 days to go before the start of the showpiece event, Blomqvist faces an anxious wait to learn his fate.
He said: "I deserved a place and if I was making the decision I'd have picked me. I don't know what will happen now." Blomqvist's fitness will be monitored over the next 24 hours to determine if he is able to play any part against Leicester. Compatriot Niclas Alexandersson is suffering soreness in his glands but is expected to be declared fit for the weekend. Alexandersson and Tobias Linderoth are included in the Sweden squad while Joe-Max Moore has been named in the USA party to face the Republic of Ireland in Dublin. David Weir and Scot Gemmill are included in Berti Vogts's squad for their friendly with Nigeria.
EVERTON will have home advantage in the first leg of their Youth Cup final against Aston Villa on Tuesday May 14 (KO 8.05pm). The Goodison Park clash will be followed by the return at Villa Park on Saturday, May 18 (KO 12noon). Both games will be screened live on Sky TV.
Ferguson's final fling
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Apr 13 2002
DAVID MOYES wants Duncan Ferguson to sign off in style when his Everton season comes to a premature end at Goodison Park this afternoon. The Blues manager revealed his skipper has been flying in training this week as he prepares for his final game before a three-match suspension curtails his campaign. And Moyes hopes Ferguson can fulfil his promise to lead Everton to Premiership safety by adding to his seven-goal tally against relegated Leicester. "If he plays as well as he has done in recent games we'll have no problem with Duncan," said the new Blues chief yesterday.
"It will be nice if he can go out with a bang and a couple of goals that keeps us in the Premiership.
"He's been training really well again and looks in really good shape. "If anything he's got fitter with the more regular training and matches as you would expect and it would be nice if he can go out in style. He will want to go out that way certainly. "Duncan is disappointed to be missing the end of the season because it's the first time he's had a real good run in the team and he's feeling much better about himself as a result. "I just hope he can make it a good day for us tomorrow."
Moyes has enjoyed a 100 per cent home record since replacing Walter Smith four weeks ago but has warned that doomed Leicester will be no walk-over. Mickey Adams will take charge of his first Leicester game today and Moyes believes the 'new manager factor', and Leicester's relegation, will make them awkward opponents. Moyes explained: "There is less pressure on Leicester now than in recent weeks and it is a difficult time to be playing them. A new manager coming in and a side that knows its destiny can pose us different problems. But we are well aware of them." Kevin Campbell, David Unsworth, Jesper Blomqvist and Niclas Alexandersson are all available after recent injuries, while Alan Stubbs returns after missing the Chelsea defeat because of a bereavement.
David Ginola is still suffering from a calf injury while Gary Naysmith underwent surgery on his ankle injury this week and will be followed by Tony Hibbert on Monday as the defensive duo sit out the rest of the season as expected. Lee Carsley and Mark Pembridge will not be considered as they step up their recoveries from knee and calf injuries respectively. Meanwhile, fans of Lincoln City, with whom Everton formed an alliance earlier this season, will be at Goodison Park today raising money to help save their cashstrapped club from extinction. The Imps were placed into administration on Thursday and have just 16 days to pay off a £75,000 loan that threatens to bankrupt the club due to the collapse of the ITV Digital deal. Six Lincoln fans will be collecting outside Goodison, amid real fears next week's match with fellow strugglers Hull could prove their final game in the Nationwide.
* EVERTON'S Liverpool Senior Cup third round tie with Southport will take place next Tuesday, April 16, at Haig Avenue with a 7.45pm kick-off.
Moyes has to plan for the best of both worlds
By David Anderson, Daily Post
Apr 13 2002
DAVID Moyes admits Everton's entry into the Intertoto Cup has thrown his pre- season plans into disarray. Everton are effectively vying with Fulham for a slot in the second round of the much-maligned competition and may not know if they have been successful until the end of the season on May 11. This means the Blues boss is having to draw up two very different sets of plans for the summer and he cannot arrange any pre-season friendlies until he knows if Everton have qualified.
Everton's opening game could be as early as July 6 and this means the players would have to report back for pre-season training in June. Moyes said: "I've got a couple of plans in operation for the pre-season - a plan if we are in and a plan if we are out. It's very difficult when you don't know the outcome and come May 11 might be the time when you finally find out if you are in or out.
"It's not that easy to plan your preseason and we probably need a bit of time to do that, but we don't yet know the outcome. "Teams are wanting games arranged and friendly games and you can't tell them anything until you know the outcome. "It's difficult to say if it's the right thing for us to go into the Intertoto, but we will organise things as well as we can and I'm in the middle of discussions with the coaching staff about that now. "If we do qualify for it, though, then it means that we will have finished higher up the table than Fulham, which is an objective of mine." If Everton do take part then their contingent of World Cup players would have little time to rest, if any, before the start of the season. Defender Steve Watson said: "It's not too bad for a lot of lads like myself who will not be at the World Cup or involved in internationals this summer. "But for the lads going to Korea and Japan it's going to be a long season. "They're not going to get back until June and I don't know if that will take its toll - remember we haven't got the biggest of squads." Rather than worry about the Intertoto Cup, Moyes' prime concern remains guaranteeing the club's FA Barclaycard Premiership status for next season. Everton have 39 points and Moyes feels they should be safe if they can beat relegated Leicester at Goodison Park today. "They keep telling me if you get 42 points that's normally enough for safety in the Premiership," said Moyes, who confirmed that he will appoint his number two in the summer. "There are a lot of people saying the points total may be even less this season. "I think if we win tomorrow that would make it very difficult for the other teams below us to catch us. But until it is mathematically certain we have to keep our heads down and get on with it.
"I hope we can do it because I would like to start talking about looking upwards rather than downwards. "Our home record has been good since I took over and long may that continue. The fans have played a major part in that, they've been right behind us from the first game against Fulham, and we will need them again against Leicester."
Everton 2, Leicester 2
Apr 13 2002 icLiverpool
EVERTON reached the magic 40 point mark with a late, late comeback against Leicester City at Goodison Park. After Brian Deane had put the visitors 2-0 up at the break courtesy of some sloppy defending, Nick Chadwick pulled the Blues back into it after the break. With five minutes remaining, Duncan Ferguson , who will miss the Blues' final three games through suspension, signed off for the season to earn the Toffees a point and possibly Premiership safety with a back-post left-footed effort. It was a textbook game of two halves as Everton looked dead and buried at the break, but if the Blues could bottle and sell whatever they put in the half-time tea, their financial problems would be erased overnight. Whether it was some special ingredient or a good old ticking off from David Moyes, the most important thing is that it worked. As Everton resumed business in bouyant fashion, Leicester simply stayed in the dressing room, or so it seemed as the Blues strode forth to pull themselves back into the contest. An inspired substitution nurtured the revival. Nick Chadwick replaced the lacklustre Tomasz Radzinski and with his first touch, scored his second senior goal on 62 minutes. The youngster nearly levelled proceedings himself but could only look on in agony as his chipped effort was superbly tipped over by Ian Walker in the Leicester goal. However, it was Ferguson who answered his boss' pre-match request and gave the home fans a perfect end-of-season farewell present by chesting a cross down before powering his shot past the helpless Walker.
Everton remain in 13th place but, more importantly, are now seven points clear of the relegation zone with three games left to play.
Everton: Gerrard, Watson (Campbell 82), Weir, Stubbs, Pistone, Alexandersson, Gemmill, Gravesen, Unsworth, Radzinski (Chadwick 61), Ferguson.
Subs Not Used: Blomqvist, Simonsen, Linderoth.
Leicester: Walker, Rowett, Sinclair, Heath, Davidson, Piper (Reeves 72), Savage, Marshall, Oakes, Dickov (Stevenson 82), Deane (Ashton 68).
Subs Not Used: Flowers, Williamson.
Ref: U Rennie (Sheffield)
Everton 2, Leicester 2 (D. Post)
Apr 15 2002 Andy Hunter Reports From Goodison Park, Daily Post
WORD IS, Everton's playing staff are not exactly thrilled at the prospect of swapping European beaches for European pitches this July. But they didn't have to make it this obvious. Saturday's proverbial game of two halves at Goodison Park saw the Blues deliver two clouded messages to their hierarchy; that while InterToto football could be more fantasy than nightmare, team spirit and youthful exuberence is flourishing under David Moyes. Those two admirable qualities will not be enough to satisfy Everton's new manager, however, after the magnitude of the rebuilding task he's undertaken was indecently exposed by an appalling first-half display against new Nationwide League members Leicester. The dizzying heights of 12th in the Premiership table, and the much-maligned gateway to Europe that may offer Everton, had almost vanished from view when memories of Middlesbrough came flooding back just when it seemed safe to consign them to the dustbin of history. Thankfully the Nick Chadwick inspired second-half fightback repaired reputations and scorelines. Whether that proves enough to bring continental cup games back to Goodison or ease Moyes' long-term overhaul is highly unlikely. Moyes' first priority of securing the Blues' Premiership status was ultimately brought a step closer thanks to the draw that took Everton to the magical 40-point mark in the least enchanting of circumstances. But, Everton being Everton, they stubbornly refused to make survival all but certain in what, on paper, was their easiest remaining game of another forgettable season. The effects of a new manager should not have been lost on Everton, nor the freedom a relegated side can play with as Moyes had warned his men before kick-off.
That both managed to undermine the Blues as Mickey Adams' team strolled into a two-goal lead merely provided their manager with yet more proof, as if it were needed, of the great strides that need to be made before European football is earned by more traditional avenues. The honeymoon period for Moyes' new charges appeared officially over at 3.45pm on Saturday when they trudged off to a cacophony of boos from the Goodison crowd. How the Blues' boss must have been tempted to join in. Instead, he ignored the desire to ring the half-time changes and gave his side one final chance to prove their Premiership mettle, which they grasped as though their Everton futures depended on it. Which of course they do. Moyes had already sprung one selection surprise in his starting line-up where Steve Simonsen made way for Paul Gerrard in goal. The decision was based on the manager's understandable motive to assess everyone first hand prior to a possible summer clear-out, and he must have been left sharing the general Goodison belief that the search for a dominant goalkeeper goes on. Gerrard's lack of authority in his penalty area did little to improve an already porous-defence that has leaked 16 goals in six games under Moyes, but whose biggest crime was to be run ragged by a forward line of Brian Deane and Paul Dickov. Defenders were not the only culprits, however, for a first-half showing that suggested Everton believed they were mathematically safe amid an atmosphere that indicated their fans felt the same way, although they may have been simply aghast at what they were watching. Basic errors were committed in every area, encapsulated by the two goals where a four-goal lead would not have done the Foxes a disservice. Scot Gemmill's needless pass to the surrounded Alan Stubbs gifted Robbie Savage possession in dangerous territory just outside the Everton box. Dickov released his unmarked strike partner into acres of space, and Deane curled a delightful finish past the exposed Gerrard. Worse was to come in a ten-minute spell in which Stefan Oakes, Matthew Piper, Dickov - who later escaped after throwing a punch at Alessandro Pistone - and Lee Marshall should have punished more indecisive Everton defending before Deane eventually did. Walter Smith axed Gerrard after his collision with Abel Xavier gifted Newcastle a Goodison lead last October and turned the Portuguese defender into a free-scoring regular with Liverpool. His return was tarnished by an instant replay involving Stubbs, when to be fair both players were at fault, and Deane walked the ball into an empty Gwladys Street net.
Goodison was in uproar, but a turbulent afternoon was steadied thanks to a stirring Everton response. With Stubbs and Pistone revitalised at the back, Thomas Gravesen more commanding in midfield and Duncan Ferguson finally prominent in attack the Blues exposed their visitors' frailties throughout the second half. But it took the introduction of 19-year-old Chadwick for the anonymous Tomasz Radzinski to inject fresh belief into their cause. With his first touch the young striker nodded Gravesen's superb cross beyond Ian Walker at the back post to instigate the Everton revival on 63 minutes. Walker then began a personal dual with his Everton upstart to deny Chadwick the glory he sought with three fine stops. First he blocked Chadwick's volley with his body and saw Frank Sinclair scramble the loose ball clear, before producing a double-save at close range and then expertly tipping over a clever back-header from the latest Youth Academy graduate.
With every chance denied anxiety grew. But with four minutes to go in the game, and in his season, Ferguson produced the send-off Goodison demanded from its captain to save Everton's face.
David Unsworth's quick freekick caused panic in the Leicester defence, and Ferguson kept a cool head to volley home his fourth goal in six games under Moyes to ensure a deserved draw.
It was not the stuff European dreams are made of, although neither is the Inter-Toto Cup, but at least Everton should now be sure of a place in the competition they always craved - the Premiership.
EVERTON: Gerrard, Watson (Campbell 82), Weir, Stubbs, Pistone, Alexandersson, Gemmill, Gravesen, Unsworth, Radzinski (Chadwick 61), Ferguson. Subs: Blomqvist, Simonsen, Linderoth.
LEICESTER: Walker, Rowett, Sinclair, Heath, Davidson, Piper (Reeves 72), Savage, Marshall, Oakes, Dickov (Stevenson 82), Deane (Ashton 68). Subs: Flowers, Williamson.
BOOKINGS: Everton's Gravesen (dissent) and Leicester's Marshall (foul)
REFEREE: U Rennie (Sheffield).
Everton return to grim reality
Len Capeling Comment, Daily Post
Apr 15 2002
FOR the People's Scream - sorry, Team - this turned into a repulsive reminder of actuality, like a rottweiler springing from the shadows to rip into guests at a premature party. A truly nasty awakening from the spell cast by three wins under the voluble leadership of David Moyes , it also signalled the end of the selective amnesia that followed clobberings at Chelsea and Newcastle. Fortunately, collective memory loss is not an option here. This kind of awfulness cannot be camouflaged; or removed from the memory. The vision unsplendid is too powerful for that.
Not that we should be taken aback by the atrocious. After all, groans are part of the Goodison fabric. So are the boos and jeers which again engulfed the ground after an opening 45 minutes that was as bad as anything Everton fans have suffered in living memory. Quite simply, the players didn't want to know; didn't want to play; treated the faithful with contempt, although the faithful made it abundantly clear they haven't forgiven or forgotten another season of sloth - both on and off the field. Things were so bad appproaching halftime - when relegated Leicester might have been five goals in front instead of two - that I fully expected cries of "Smith out! " - forgetting for a moment that he'd already been sacrificed. There was a furious growl of "don't bother coming back for the second half" that was pure Archie Knox. But with all the sound and the fury it was difficult to be certain that the old autocrat was still with us. What is certain is that the fans are still close to snapping point. Three steps forward and a painful twoanda-half steps back might seem an improvement, but when you see fat cat footballers lazing in the sun, your first instinct isn't to offer them another bowl of cream. Mind you, just as worrying as the lack of endeavour was the apparent absence of tactical thought. Where was the strategy? All very well to pillory the players but, in truth, they looked ill-prepared for such a vital match. That will have to change - like the personnel. But with money to buy new players scarce as a Beckham-free day, major improvement may be slow in arriving. Thankfully, Nick Chadwick (left) - one player not on the basic £20,000-a-week - wrought some changes of his own in a second half that was better, but only just. He scored, could have had a couple more, and showed us bags of that scarce commodity called enthusiam. With Leicester missing three closerange chances early on - through Brian Deane, who's been scoring against the Blues for what seems like centuries, did accept two other gifts - the final tally could have been 5-5.
That would have made it sound like a spectacular game, which it never was. Paul Gerrard came back, flapping. His collision with Alan Stubbs, which opened the way for Deane to make it 2-0, was not exactly a surprise. Nor was Thomas Graveson's Mad Hatter's booking for dissent. Good sense refuses to grow on this stony ground. The midfielder might have been better served questioning his own contribution, rather than the referee's - although defenders of the Dane may claim that his antics were no more eccentric than those of Uriah Rennie, whose decisionmaking and positioning were not up to standard. In other words, the self-effacing Sheffield official was the perfect complement to one of the Premiership's poorest games.
All in mind for Moyes
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Apr 15 2002
ALAN STUBBS has revealed how a piece of David Moyes' psychology inspired Everton's second-half fightback against Leicester City on Saturday. The Blues trailed 2-0 to the doomed Foxes after an abysmal first-half display at Goodison Park heightened fears Everton could be sucked back into the relegation frame. But new manager Moyes refused to make wholesale changes at the interval as he challenged his faltering side to play for their Everton futures - and was rewarded as Nick Chadwick and Duncan Ferguson secured a deserved 2-2 draw. "The manager just said we had to go out there and show the fans more than anything else what it meant to us," said Stubbs, who was involved in both of Brian Deane's first half goals. "He was rightly annoyed and told us he would give us the chance to show a lot more and put things right or there would be changes. "It was just a pity we started playing 45 minutes too late because in the second half we had them pinned inside their own half and managed to get a point which at one stage looked impossible. "We can take a bit of credit for that but on the whole, after what had happened, we didn't deserve anything more.
"Maybe we were guilty of taking our foot off the gas a little bit in the first half, of thinking we were already safe and that they would just roll over after being relegated. "It's hard to put your finger on why that should happen but we never gave them enough respect in the first half and there was only one team out there." Stubbs' collision with recalled keeper Paul Gerrard gifted Deane his second on 27 minutes as Everton's defensive problems continued before a dramatic second-half improvement.
And the defender admitted: "The ball went over me and Gezza shouted for it. I tried to get it back to him but we were too tight, I couldn't get out of the way in time and we collided. "We conceded a goal like that earlier in the season but we deserve credit this time for picking ourselves up and having a go in the second half. "We defended much better in the second half, we were much more of a unit then because the midfield and forwards pressed more. "Every department can help with defending and that was the case in the second half because they didn't have a shot on target.
"It was a mixture of relief and frustration afterwards. We were frustrated with our first-half performance but relieved to have got something out of the game after playing so poorly.
"Chaddy had a few chances as did Niclas to have even won it for us, but to be honest if we had won that game it would have been outrageous. "We did show a lot more character in the second half and we showed we have got a bit about us, but that was the least we could do." Chadwick struck within three minutes of replacing Tomasz Radzinski for his second successive Goodison goal.
And Stubbs added: "I think he took a lot of confidence from his first goal against Bolton and that has helped his all-round play. "At his age it's more a question of enthusiasm than anything else but his movement and link-up play has improved a lot and like all strikers he is thriving on goals.
"Now he's got to knuckle down and keep working hard and the chances will come."
Players must be up for it
Apr 15 2002 By Tommy Smith, Liverpool Echo
SIGNING OFF: Big Dunc draws Everton level in his final game of the season
BOOS at half time, cheers at full time. Everton against Leicester was the classic case of one team, the relegated visitors, playing as if they had nothing to lose while their opponents started as if achieving safety was a formality. The end product was a day of mixed emotions for Blues fans. The end product was satisfying enough, a point that has surely put any further thoughts of a relegation dogfight firmly out of the minds of everyone at the club. But I expected Everton to be more clinical from the word go. There is a difference between thinking you can win a game and actually going out with a work ethic that will put you in the driving seat. Early on, the Blues were second to the ball, the midfield was non-existent, the defence was making mistakes and the attack was ineffective.
Both of Leicester's opening goals were down to mistakes. The ball was given away before Brian Deane rifled home the first. Alan Stubbs and recalled goalkeeper Paul Gerrard then had a total lapse in communication to give Deane a very simple second. I thought the lessons of Middlesbrough had been learned. It meant the home fans had to suffer a frustrating taunt of 2-0 to the Nationwide. Well at least the demoted Leicester fans have retained their sense of humour. The ball seemed to be constantly in the air during this first period. Even the simplest of passes were difficult to control. Everton always look better when they keep the ball on the floor. With everything at half pace, Leicester were looking comfortable. No one seemed to be getting annoyed and this is what would have been irritating me if I'd been out there. Sometimes you have to point the finger in a team-mate's face and demand that little bit extra. If players are lethargic you have got to stir them up.
It didn't worry me as a captain if it made me unpopular during a game. I was happy if there were eleven captains out there, which is what you want. The game is made up of many things. One thing you can't afford to do is start playing after 65 minutes. You go out and get stuck in from the word go. Everton let themselves down in this game. I smiled at half time when someone said: "We can't even shout Smith out!" Again, you find humour even when things are going badly wrong. But it all came right in the end, not least because the midfield pushed up more to close the gap between themselves and the attack. The lacklustre Tomasz Radzinski was replaced by young Nick Chadwick and his well placed header immediately sparked the revival. One little point for Steve Watson. When he gets the ball, he tends to try and run his opposite number every time down the flanks, going round the outside. It's tremendous when it comes off, but if you haven't got great pace then sometimes the more sensible option is to pass the ball beyond the man blocking your path and then make the run. It's difficult even for pacy, skilful wingers getting down the outside all the time. I'd like to see Steve get the ball in a bit quicker. I know David Moyes is refusing to accept that his team is now in the clear but hopefully Everton can relax a bit more and play without the pressure of a relegation fight. Moyes will have a chance to experiment a bit more and he will need the understanding of the fans if he does. But just one thought lads. Don't experiment too much on the last day of the season - at Arsenal!
Don't cash in on Chadwick
Apr 15 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
FORMER Everton defender Gary Rowett has urged his old club not to cash in on their latest striking discovery. Rowett, who played just four times for the Blues before being sold to Derby in the summer of 1995, got a first hand glimpse of 19-year-old supersub Nick Chadwick at Goodison on Saturday. The youngster scored his second goal in three substitute appearances, troubled the Leicester goalkeeper on three other occasions and helped inspire an Everton fightback from two goals down. Rowett, now an experienced 28-year-old, was impressed. "First and foremost I think he looked as though he knows where the goal is," he said. "He made intelligent runs and he was always lively which you would expect from a striker who plays alongside big Dunc. "He's a big strong lad as well and not afraid of the physical side. I'm sure he's got a good future ahead of him.
"But you worry about the likes of them coming through now and whether they are going to be sold on for the money. You look at Francis Jeffers and people like that, which is what you don't really want to be doing if you are a big club. "I'd like to see them doing a little bit better, but they seem to have been in the same position for many years now. "It's disappointing because it is a big club. It shouldn't be called a sleeping giant, but probably for the past 10 or 15 years it has been.
"There's not a lot of money available. David Moyes has come in to do a job and try and take them a little but further up the league and they'd be happy with mid-table, but the fans want more than that. "Everton have found themselves in the league below the top six which most of us have been in, and you have to try and finish as high up that table as you can." To that end, Chadwick's introduction helped Everton secure a point from a match they had trailed 2-0 in. "The young lad coming on coincided with Everton throwing a few more men forward and gambling a little bit," Rowett explained. "That made it difficult. We held on quite well but as soon as they scored they began to pin us back. "We missed our chance in the first half when we dominated and could have gone in three or four goals up. Two-nil is always a funny score because you know if they get a goal back the crowd will lift, the players will lift and that's what happened."
Blues watch Thommo
Apr 15 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
FORMER Anfield star David Thompson could become a shock transfer target for Everton this summer. Coventry have reluctantly decided they cannot keep their Player-of-the-Year after promotion hopes collapsed in recent weeks. Aston Villa are keen to take the £2.75m rated midfielder, but the boyhood Evertonian would relish a return to Merseyside. Sticking point for the Blues could be the asking price, with only a modest transfer kitty available to David Moyes.
A fee of £2.75m would swallow up more than half the available funds, but with Coventry ready to sell, the Blues will monitor the situation with interest. Meanwhile, Everton's enigmatic stars have three games to convince David Moyes they have a part to play in his Goodison rebuilding programme. The Blues' boss wants to see a repeat of the second half attitude which helped save a point against Leicester on Saturday, but hopes that the appalling first half display will never be repeated again. "There are obviously changes that are going to have to be made here," he said. "Whether they happen now or take a bit longer we will just have to wait and see. "If people want to be part of what we are going to try to achieve I hope they will all perform as well as they possibly can in the games we have left." Everton have trips to Southampton and Arsenal, plus a home game against Blackburn remaining. Yesterday's semi-final results mean that they now simply need to finish above Fulham to secure an Inter-Toto Cup place. Paul Gerrard may get another chance to impress his manager, despite his part in the mix- up which gifted Leicester their second goal.
Everton have two reserve team games this week, at Haig Avenue tomorrow night in the Liverpool Senior Cup and at Manchester United on Thursday. Steve Simonsen and Paul Gerrard will probably split the goalkeeping duties between them. With another batch of international friendlies scheduled in midweek, David Weir, Scot Gemmill, Niclas Alexandersson, Tobias Linderoth, Thomas Gravesen and Joe-Max Moore are all away with their respective countries this week.
Everton 2, Leicester 2 (Echo)
Apr 15 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
FOR 45 horrifying minutes this was football from another era - bloodcurdling stuff from a time when a grey-haired manager selected the side at Goodison. Lacklustre, shabby, shapeless, lacking in spirit or form, yes, this truly was football from the Mike Walker months. That Everton did come back to snatch a deserved draw can be credited to the new, flame-haired incumbent of the manager's chair.
But it surely won't be long before grey flecks are introduced to his coiffure, too. At least he will have learned a number of valuable lessons on Saturday. David Moyes' arrival has inspired a mini revival. But the worry is that when the benefits of new-manager motivation wears off, Everton's lack of quality becomes embarrassingly apparent. While they are pressing, chasing and closing down they are better than the dross which inhabits the bottom third of the Premiership. Take their foot off the throttle ever so slightly, however, and even already relegated Leicester minus nine senior stars can rip them to shreds. Moyes (left) will have noted those players unwilling to sweat blood against even the most modest of opposition, and they will form the basis of his summer culling operation.
The new boss clearly puts work-rate as a platform for everything he intends to construct at Everton.
But hard work - plus imaginative running, precise passing, organised defending - in fact any of the qualities which make up even an average side were shockingly absent. That and confident goalkeeping. Paul Gerrard was recalled so the manager could analyse at first hand the strengths and weaknesses of all of the squad he has inherited. He carried on exactly where he had left off last October, colliding with a defender to gift the visitors a goal on a plate. Thomas Gravesen showed that he can't be trusted either. One daft red card to his name already under Moyes, he carried penalty protests so far he was shown a yellow card which a more officious official than Uriah Rennie might have turned to red. Then Tomasz Radzinski lasted only as long as it took him to duck out of a challenge with Ian Walker in a chase for penalty box possession. But they were far from the only culprits during a disastrous first 45 minutes which brought the first chorus of boos of the new regime. Maybe it was complacency. Perhaps it was the fear of the InterToto. The reaction of the Everton players to the prospect of a July 6 kick-off next season has been 20 degrees lower than lukewarm. They did all that they could on Saturday to ensure that Fulham, with an easier run-in, lie just three points behind them with a game in hand. That margin could have been even slimmer, but for a second-half revival which finally restored some pride. Any side boasting even marginally greater confidence levels than Leicester would have had the game won by half-time.
Stefan Oakes had already hacked one six-yard shot over an open goal when Stubbs lost possession, Savage played in Deane unmarked and he clipped a careful shot around Gerrard for the opening goal. The same pair combined even more crazily to gift Leicester a second goal in the 27th minute. Frank Sinclair's punt from just inside his own half was hopeful. Everton's reaction was hopeless.
Stubbs couldn't get his head to the ball, Gerrard couldn't get his hands near it either and the pair collided to leave Deane with a simple tap-in. If another large Goodison gallery believed that would be the signal for an Everton cavalry charge, they were grossly mistaken. The impressively aggressive Paul Dickov flashed a close-range volley half-a-foot wide of the post. Lee Marshall boasted an even better chance but hooked it the same distance wide of the same post, and all Everton had in reply was an Unsworth volley well over the top and an Alexandersson shot which lacked the pace to beat Sinclair guarding his far post zealously. Everton's second-half reaction was better, but they still lacked dash, vigour and enthusiasm. That all changed with the introduction of Nick Chadwick.
The youngster has come on as a substitute in his last four games now. On Saturday he did enough to earn his first senior start. He found enough space in the penalty area to head in Gravesen's left wing cross with his first touch of the game. But then in the next 20 minutes he troubled Walker four times with a variety of shots and headers. He turned smartly onto Watson's long ball to fire in a shot which Walker blocked impressively. Alexandersson played him in again and this time Walker had to block twice in quick succession as two more efforts were unloaded on target. The youngster (left) showed he has cuteness to go with his willingness too, when he produced a clever backheader that Walker spectacularly tipped over. Then from the corner he connected with another header which this time flew wide. His enthusiasm was infectious. Everton finally performed with some conviction and an equaliser seemed increasingly likely. When it arrived, five minutes from time, it was with a neatness of execution and constitution. Duncan Ferguson had vowed to bow out this season with a bang. He adroitly controlled Unsworth's free-kick and steered a left-foot volley adeptly past Walker.
It was the 50th League goal of his Everton career. It came in his 150th League appearance. Always the man for the occasion, it was the last act of his season. His form over the last six matches has been among the most sustained of his Everton career and points at better things to come next season. So, too, does the emergence of striking talents like Nick Chadwick and, a couple of years lower down the age scale, Wayne Rooney. Moyes clearly has plenty of problems to address at Goodison this summer. But forward planning may not be the biggest. The point Ferguson's finish earned probably ensures a last day relegation won't be one either.
From small acorns . . .
EVERTON (4-4-2): Gerrard, Watson (Campbell 82 mins), Weir, Stubbs, Pistone, Alexandersson, Gemmill, Gravesen, Unsworth, Ferguson, Radzinski (Chadwick 61 mins). Unused substitutes: Simonsen, Blomqvist, Linderoth.
LEICESTER CITY (4-4-2): Walker, Rowett, Heath, Marshall, Sinclair, Piper (Reeves 71 mins), Savage, Oakes, Davidson, Deane ( Ashton 67 mins), Dickov (Stevenson 82 mins). Unused substitutes: Flowers, Williamson.
Referee: Uriah Rennie.
Bookings: Marshall (8 mins) foul, Gravesen (29 mins) dissent.
Everton's star duo gun down the Owls
Academy League By Chris Wright, Daily Post
Apr 16 2002
EVERTON under-19s twin striking stars kept up their sparkling form to score the goals in Saturday's 2-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday at Bellefield. Michael Symes and Wayne Rooney have scored 40 goals in the U19s FA Premier Academy League and FA Youth Cup between them. And the strike duo have spearheaded Colin Harvey's side's march to the Youth Cup final, as well as their improved post-Christmas showing in the league. Sheffield missed a good opportunity early on but the Blues looked the better side after the first five minutes. The two front-men linked well throughout and Rooney sent Symes through after 25 minutes, but his shot was well saved by the visiting keeper.
Steven Beck saw a close-range effort fly over the bar, but the Blues couldn't turn their dominance into goals and it was still goalless at the break. But just before the hour mark Symes nipped in to head home a throw from full-back Martin Crowder to open the scoring with his 12th goal in the league and 15th of the season overall. Everton goalkeeper Andrew Pettinger kept the Blues ahead with a superb penalty save after 70 minutes after he was adjudged to have fouled the Sheffield Wednesday forward as he came out to collect for a long ball. And within two minutes midfielder David Carney's superb tackle on the half-way line allowed Rooney to break free and score Everton's second - his 18th strike for the U19s this season and 26th in all competitions. Harvey said: "It was a hardfought game. We created a few chances in the first half but didn't put them away.
"It was a hard-working performance and we were more solid in the second half. "In the first half it was endtoend stuff but in the second half we were more solid, scored the goals and deserved to win it in the end." The Blues were without Stephen Schumacher, who had a minor operation last Thursday, and Scot Brown, who took a knock in training, while Sean O'Hanlon had to be replaced at half-time. Harvey added: "Alan Moogan switched to the back and did a good job.
"The lads who have played regularly have adapted to different positions and they deserve all the credit they've got." Academy director Ray Hall added: "It was a solid performance without pulling up any trees. Sean O'Hanlon went off at half-time, so in an U19 league we have finished with no U19s on at all." With Coventry drawing their final match with Newcastle on Saturday 2-2 the Blues can leapfrog them and finish the season in fifth spot if they beat Blackburn in their last league game at Bellefield this Saturday. Defender Sean O'Hanlon is on standby for England U19s two UEFA Championship qualifiers against Lithuania tomorrow and on Sunday.
EVERTON U19s: Pettinger, Colbeck, Crowder, Garside, O'Hanlon (Martland 46), A Moogan, Beck, B Moogan, Symes, Rooney, Carney. Subs: Flood, Potter.
New deal for Nick
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Apr 16 2002
EVERTON are to offer rising star Nick Chadwick a new improved Goodison contract as David Moyes lines up a summer swoop for former Liverpool midfielder David Thompson. Coventry's Player of the Year has emerged as a potential close season target for the Blues' boss, whose first Goodison signing is set to be Chadwick (left) after the striker's dramatic Premiership emergence. Stoke-born Chadwick, 19, was instrumental in Everton ' s recovery against Leicester on Saturday, registering his second successive Goodison goal as a substitute in the 2-2 draw. The young striker is now in line for his first Everton start at Southampton on Saturday as Duncan Ferguson's threematch suspension kicks i n and could soon celebrate his development with a new Goodison deal. Chadwick still has two years of a three-year contract to run but the Blues hierarchy's desire to have their latest Academy graduate commit his long-term future will see him invited for fresh talks.
New manager Moyes is keen to bolster his squad with young British talent for next season and will also target ex-Red Thompson as he begins his Everton revival. Coventry are loathe to sell their influential star, signed from Liverpool in 2000, but their failure to make an immediate return to the Premiership has left them in a precarious financial state. Thompson, now 24, has emerged as a transfer target for the Blues, Manchester City, Middlesbrough and West Bromwich Albion, if they win promotion, after an excellent season at Highfield Road where he is currently jointleading goalscorer. Everton and first division champions City would lead the chase for his signature with the boyhood Blue from Birkenhead keen to move back up north. Moyes is a firm admirer of the former England Under-21 international, who made 48 appearances at Anfield before leaving in search of regular first-team football. However, limited transfer funds at Goodison Park of around £5million could scupper a £2.75m deal for Thompson unless further finances arrive to support Moyes' planned rebuilding programme. Moyes, meanwhile, admitted the Everton goalkeeping position remains a cause for concern after Paul Gerrard's collision with Alan Stubbs gifted Brian Deane Leicester's second goal on Saturday. Gerrard was recalled after 29 games on the substitutes' bench in place of Steve Simonsen but was part of a dreadful defensive display that saw the relegated Foxes twonil up by the break. And Moyes said: "The goals we lost were criminal, nothing less than that. We defended really poorly and for both goals we made blatant errors. "Paul knows that he should have done much better, but that happens when you're a goalkeeper at times. That's something we need to address and make sure doesn't happen too often. "We should have 42 points today, but 40 is what we've got. We drew a game which I would have hoped we'd win, but it wasn't to be."
* EVERTON will book their place in the InterToto Cup if they finish above Fulham this season, after Sunday's FA Cup semi-final results guaranteed Chelsea an automatic UEFA Cup spot.
Everton probe racist abuse claim
By Claire Tolley, Daily Post
Apr 16 2002
EVERTON Football Club has launched an inquiry after a company director made an allegation of racism against fellow supporters in a VIP lounge. The incident is said to have occurred when an Everton supporter, whose wife is half-Caribbean, took exception to remarks he says were made by other fans during the match against Leicester on Saturday. Merseyside Police are taking statements from match stewards regarding the alleged incident. Nik Allen became upset after a fan sitting alongside him allegedly berated Everton striker Kevin Campbell with the words: "You useless black b------d" after the player missed a shot on goal. The allegation is a blow to Everton, which has focused its efforts on eradicating racism after abusive chanting marred the club's away fixtures earlier this season. Everton deputy chairman Bill Kenwright last night pledged the club's commitment to stamping out racism. He said: "I feel really sorry for him and his wife. The evil that is racism exists everywhere and this stupidity and idiocy that happened in the Legends Bar is something we want to stamp out. "Whenever we hear any kind of racism it's horrible, but it's awful when you hear it against Evertonians." Mr Kenwright, who saw Mr Allen on the train returning to London, said he and his friends were horrified when they heard his story. He added: "We said what in God's name do those people think they are doing, drinking in a restaurant at the club, supposedly watching the match on television and making racist comments. It's mindless, it's brain dead, and we have got to bring this to a head." Following the allegations of racist chanting at Leicester City and Fulham, Everton launched a crackdown. Mr Allen, 41, who runs his own home improvement company in West London, claimed the remark about Campbell was only one among a host of abusive comments made about the black players on the pitch. Mr Allen made his way down to Legends Bar, an executive area available at an extra cost, with his wife, Lisa, for the final minutes of the match. He claimed: "My wife went to the bathroom and I had sat down next to an elderly guy who was watching the game when he suddenly shouted: 'Get the f-----g n----r' as one of Leicester's players was on the ball. I told him I found that offensive because my wife was coloured but he refused to stop. "Then the table behind, with several men sitting at it, started saying things like: 'We don't want n----rs playing for, or supporting this club'. "The comments weren't directed at my wife but they went on for five to 10 minutes and she was around when some of them were said."
Everton FC's spokesman Ian Ross added: "Obviously, from Everton's point of view, this is disappointing that we have any reports of racism at Goodison because we have worked so hard to remove these mindless morons from the equation. "I have spoken to two stewards who were on duty at Legends Bar. "We have a set procedure to deal with accusations of racism and this procedure was followed to the letter by our stewards." The racism incident is not the first Kevin Campbell has experienced. The striker left the Turkish club Trabzonspor for Everton in 1998 after the club's president, Mehmet Ali Yilmaz, called him a "discoloured cannibal" in a television interview.
Apr 16 2002 By Kevin Ratcliffe
I'VE played in more than my fair share of lightly regarded tournaments for Everton.
The Simod Cup, the Zenith Data Systems Cup, the Screen Sport Super Cup, the Mercantile Credit Centenary Tournament . . . they all had their critics, but compared to the Inter Toto Cup they were like the FA Cup. The InterToto Cup may unlock an eventual back door into Europe, but the consequences could be costly. As a player I would hate to come back for pre-season that early - and from what I hear, Everton's current players are just as enamoured with the prospect.
I believe you need four to five weeks of pre-season under your belt before you are in the kind of shape to play competitive matches. That would mean Everton starting training again during the opening week of the World Cup! But quite apart from the timing of the whole thing, I think the InterToto Cup devalues European competition. Qualifying for Europe should be a prestigious prize, open only to the top half-a-dozen teams in the Premiership. Achieving a place in the Champions League or the UEFA Cup should be a prize you have fought long and hard for over the course of an entire season. Creating a back-door route for clubs who have struggled all season is wrong.
Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see the Blues back in Europe again. But they don't deserve to go. I'm all for bringing the players back in June to start working on their fitness and conditioning, but not to play matches. Premiership teams only play 38 games a season now. Compare that to my club, Shrewsbury, who play 46 league games. I'm not against the Inter TotoCup because of the extra physical demands it places on players. I just think it takes away from the real prestige of European competition.
Chadwick has proved his worth
NICK CHADWICK has proved a genuine Everton supersub in the last couple of weeks.
He has surely done enough now to prove to everyone he can reproduce that kind of form from the start. There will never be a better time for Everton to blood a few youngsters, although I am well aware of how desperately David Moyes wants to add a couple more wins before the season comes to an end. Using youngsters like Chadwick, however, might actually help Everton achieve a higher finish. Southampton are safe, slap back in mid-table, drifting through the comfort zone to the end of the season. The last thing in the world their defenders will want to face on Saturday night is a young whipper- snapper charging around looking to make a name for himself. Lads like Peter Clarke and Tony Hibbert have already had a chance, although they've had to do it in a high pressure situation, but Nick has only had halfhour run-outs here and there. He's looked bright and willing every time and the only way to find out if he can do it over 90 minutes in the Premiership is to give him his chance.
Moyes on a spying mission
Apr 16 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES will watch Ireland's friendly match against the USA tomorrow night, as he begins to plot the first pieces of his Everton rebuilding plan. The Blues' boss has already decided where his squad needs urgent strengthening - and will watch a couple of potential targets in Dublin.
USA striker Brian McBride, however, a player he had on-loan at Preston, is not on his hit-list.
"Brian's a friend of mine, but he had to go back to America with various injury problems," explained Moyes. "He's not what we're after at present." But Moyes did confirm that the Blues were monitoring the situation regarding Coventry midfielder David Thompson with interest.
"David Thompson is one of a number of players we are keeping an eye on," he explained "but nothing concrete is happening with anybody at present." Coventry have reluctantly conceded that they must sell their Player of the Year. Manchester City, Aston Villa and Everton are all interested in signing the former Liverpool star. But the stumbling block for the Blues will be that a likely asking fee of £2.75m would make too large a dent in the limited transfer funds the manager has available.
New faces are needed in a number of positions, and a fee approaching £3m would swallow up the majority of the pot. Kevin Campbell, meanwhile, will have a run-out with the reserves in tonight's Liverpool Senior Cup tie against Southport at Haig Avenue. Everton have named a young team, but Campbell will play some of the game to sharpen up before Saturday's trip to Southampton.
Moyes to wise up on transfers
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Apr 17 2002
DAVID MOYES admits he will have to pursue a "shrewd" and "wise" transfer policy this summer as he confirmed Everton's interest in ex-Liverpool midfielder David Thompson. The Blues boss is in Dublin tonight to run the rule over potential targets in the Republic of Ireland's friendly with the USA. And as he prepares to begin his Goodison rebuilding programme in the summer Moyes admits he is under no illusions about the impact the club's financial position will have. The Blues boss currently has around £5million to spend and Coventry star Thompson would cost over half that amount. And Moyes said: "We are not hiding the fact that we are looking to bring some new players in but with the financial situation we are having to look shrewdly and buy very wisely. "There have been a lot of names mentioned. At the moment there is a new manager just arrived and people are always looking around, but no enquiries have been made. "David Thompson is one of a number of players we are keeping an eye on but nothing concrete is happening at present." Moyes, meanwhile, could be boosted by the return of two midfielders this Saturday as the Blues look to cement their Premiership status with a win at Southampton. Both Lee Carsley and Mark Pembridge are in line for a recall at St Mary's Stadium after injury, with the former Coventry man set to make his comeback for the reserves at Manchester United tomorrow.
* EVERTON will face Liverpool in the Liverpool Senior Cup final after a 3-1 win over Southport at Haig Avenue last night. Club captain Kevin Campbell played the first half alongside teenager Wayne Rooney and both were on target as the Blues took a 2-0 first-half lead. Campbell opened the scoring on 22 minutes after Keith Southern failed to connect with a low cross from David Eaton. And Rooney doubled the advantage on 35 minutes, unleashing an unstoppable angled drive from Brian Moogan's pass. Rooney and Campbell were replaced at half-time by Michael Symes and Damien Curran.
Lee Elam scored for Southport before Symes sealed victory with five minutes left, glancing in David Carney's cross. Everton's reserve game with Manchester United is at Old Trafford and not at Bury's Gigg Lane.
Strikers fire Blues into final
Dault Post, Daily Post
Apr 17 2002
YOUNG and old combined to put Everton into the Liverpool Senior Cup final, where they will face Liverpool, after a comfortable win over Southport at Haig Avenue last night. Club captain Kevin Campbell played the first 45 minutes alongside teenage striker Wayne Rooney and both were on target as the Blues took a 2-0 first-half lead. Campbell almost opened the scoring in the 12th minute but he pulled a closerange effort wide before Leon Osman saw another attempt well saved by Southport keeper Phil Morgan. The 32-year-old forward did open the scoring on 22 minutes, though. Rooney, who has been a star of Everton's march to the FA Youth Cup final, cleverly flicked the ball into the path of David Eaton. From his low cross Keith Southern failed to connect with the low cross but Campbell was on hand to score. Rooney doubled the Blues' advantage with another superb strike. The 16-year-old England youth international took a pass from another Academy youngster, Brian Moogan, into his stride before unleashing an unstoppable angled drive into the far corner. Young French midfielder, Abdou Konko, who impressed in the first half, saw his long-range shot well saved by Southport keeper Morgan just before the break. Michael Symes replaced his U19s strike partner Rooney at the interval and Campbell made way for Damien Curran.
The Nationwide Conference side hit back in the second half when substitute Lee Elam scored from close range with virtually his first touch, meeting deep Dean Howell cross from the left.
Symes sealed the victory and a place in the final for Everton five minutes from time as he glanced in the Australian midfielder David Carney's cross.
EVERTON: Pettinger, B Moogan, McLeod, O'Hanlon, Pilkington, Osman, Southern, Konko, Campbell (Symes 46), Rooney (Curran 46), Eaton (Carney 78).
SOUTHPORT: Morgan, Lane, Howell, Connolly, Jones, Scott, Macauley, Eastwood (Mulvaney 48), Whitehall, Ward (Elam 46), Grayston. Subs: Clarke.
REFEREE: Mr G Cain.
Campbell fires in a reminder for Moyes
Apr 17 2002 By Claire Gray, Liverpool Echo
KEVIN Campbell sent a timely reminder to David Moyes that experience is as good as youth as he scored the opening goal in the Liverpool Senior Cup win over Southport last night. And then the 32-year-old (pictured) watched the club's star of the future, Wayne Rooney, find the back of the net with a scorching shot into the top corner. It was the first time the two have played together but while thoughts of Rooney are in the future, Campbell is pushing for a place in Everton's starting line-up for the trip to Southampton at the weekend. His 45 minute role at Southport last night was the most football the striker had played since the Premiership defeat at West Ham at the beginning of March, although he has appeared twice as a substitute since then. With Duncan Ferguson suspended for the final three games of the season, Blues boss Moyes must decide who to pitch up front alongside Tomasz Radzinski. But Campbell faces stiff competition for the spot following Nick Chadwick's impressive display against Leicester last Saturday. "I wanted Kevin to get a bit of football under his belt before bringing him back," said Moyes. "I wanted the chance to see him play, something I haven't really had since I've been here." Lee Carsley has trained the last couple of days and is likely to force his way into contention for Everton's first visit to the St Mary's Stadium.
David Ginola is struggling with a calf strain.
Moyes cools interest in Thompson swoop
Report By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Apr 18 2002
DAVID MOYES' interest in David Thompson is on the wane due to the former Liverpool midfielder's wage demands. Everton's new manager confirmed his interest in the dynamic 24-year-old (right) this week after Coventry reluctantly agreed to sell their Player of the Year after missing out on Premiership promotion. With only £5million to spend on reinforcements at present, Moyes is carefully weighing up a £2.75m deal for the boyhood Evertonian - but Thompson's salary could put an end to his interest. Thompson signed a lucrative deal at Highfield Road when he left Anfield in 2000 but wants a pay increase to return to the Premiership. That is likely to price Everton out of a deal, with Manchester City, Middlesbrough and West Brom, if they win promotion, ready to move in.
Kevin Campbell, meanwhile, hopes to start playing his way into Moyes' first-team plans this weekend after an injury-hit start to the new manager's reign. Everton's club skipper has made only two substitute appearances since the Scot arrived from Preston a month ago due to ankle trouble but he stepped up his comeback with a goal in the Liverpool Senior Cup semi-final win over Southport on Tuesday. With Duncan Ferguson's season now over through suspension, Campbell is desperate for the chance to impress at The Dell. Nick Chadwick is also in the frame for his first starting role and Moyes could play an all-new strikeforce against the Saints with Tomasz Radzinski off-form. One player unlikely to make his first start under Moyes this weekend is David Ginola, who yesterday declared he will continue playing when his Goodison contract expires this summer.
The Frenchman remains doubtful with a calf injury as his disastrous Everton spell continues, but last night he said: "I want to dispel a rumour: I have no intention of hanging up my boots next season. I want to carry on playing and I have already had one or two interesting offers to consider."
Blues may blank sponsors
Apr 18 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON may mark their 100th season in top flight football by wearing a shirt with no sponsor's logo. The Blues are considering the idea to celebrate their likely achievement in becoming the first club to complete a century of seasons in the top division of English football. Real Madrid did the same thing this season to mark their centenary. Everton's head of corporate affairs and PR, Ian Ross, explained: "There is a body of people who think that we shouldn't have a sponsor this year, a la Real Madrid, as we're the first club to celebrate 100 years of top flight football. "There is a feeling that if we can't find a sponsor who is suitable in financial terms then maybe we should leave the shirt blank, or have '100 years' printed on it or something - a special collectors' item for one year only."
There had been speculation that Everton would link up with Liverpool nightclub Cream. Everton first carried a sponsor's logo on their jerseys in the early 80s. Meanwhile, David Moyes wants to bring former Everton winger Alan Irvine back to Goodison as his number two. But the Blues' boss faces a battle with the FA to secure his services. Currently a respected Youth Academy Director at Newcastle, Irvine is set to join the England Youth set-up under Howard Wilkinson this summer.
But the prospect of staying in club football with fellow Glaswegian Moyes may appeal.
Moyes confirmed Everton have made an approach for the former Blues star. " Alan is a very respected coach, well thought of throughout football, and we are keen to add him to our backroom staff." First Moyes must persuade the FA to release him from his England commitment.
Irvine made 80 appearances for Everton between May 1981 and August 1984, including the historic Milk Cup Final against Liverpool. He left Goodison to join Crystal Palace, before joining Kenny Dalglish's backroom staff at Blackburn.
Kings Dock stadium faces 12-month delay
Apr 19 2002 By Bill Gleeson, Daily Post
VISION OF GRANDEUR: But the Kings Dock Stadium could be delayed
EVERTON'S plan to build a new stadium on the Kings Dock waterfront has suffered a significant setback. Concerns about how the new stadium and surrounding buildings will look have forced its promoters to delay applying for planning permission by six months. That delay means Everton must now wait until at least August, 2006, to begin playing at the new ground, rather than the 2005 as had originally been proposed, unless they are prepared to move mid-season. It had been hoped to submit a planning application within the next couple of months, but this will now not happen until autumn at the earliest. English Heritage has raised concerns about the way many of the buildings will look at what is regarded as an architecturally important site on Liverpool's waterfront next to the Albert Dock. The architectural watchdog has voiced concerns that the current design of the stadium itself is too plain. Jim Gill, chief executive of Liverpool Vision, the body that is overseeing the project, said last night that it was important to take time now to get the details right in order to avoid longer delays later. Mr Gill said: "English Heritage has had some comments about the way it is designed and how the arena relates to the waterfront. They are asking can it be made more interesting? "Because it is an important site, more work is needed to get planning permission than originally thought." He said most large schemes would only need to apply for outline planning permission at this stage in their development. But because the proposed arena is on such an important site, detailed plans are required from the start. English Heritage has statutory rights to intervene in planning applications affecting major developments. Mr Gill warned: "The most important thing is not when we put in the planning application, but how long that application takes to get secured and whether it is called in by the Government. "If it gets called in, it will not be just a six-month delay but a delay of a year or more. "I think it is unlikely now it will be completed in time for the 2005 season." He said the big danger of having the project called in by Whitehall is that a lengthy delay could mean losing the chance to apply for funding from Europe's Objective 1 programme for Merseyside. That programme expires at the end of 2006 and Everton are looking for £35m of European help to pay for the project. "To minimise this risk it is worth spending time on it at this stage," said Mr Gill. Everton Football Club last night refused to comment.
Moyes chasing ex-Blue as coach
Apr 19 2002 By Jonathan McEvoy, Daily Post
DAVID MOYES wants to bring Alan Irvine back to Everton as his number two. Everton boss Moyes has confirmed the Goodison club have made an official approach to Newcastle for the former Blues winger. The highly-rated Irvine, 43, is currently Academy director at Newcastle and also part of the FA's newlyappointed youth coaching set-up. The question of compensation is the only possible stumbling block to the move, as Moyes starts to lay the foundations for his first full season in charge.
Moyes said: "We have made an approach to Newcastle for Alan and I'd like to make him part of the staff here. He's a very good coach who is very well thought of and somebody who I've known for a long time. "He would be of great benefit to us and all I've got to do now is wait for a response from both Newcastle and from Alan." Moyes has worked without an assistant manager throughout the five weeks he has been in charge at Everton. After previous boss Walter Smith's dismissal, his number two Archie Knox also left the club the same week. Reserve team boss Andy Holden has acted as his only coaching help since then. Irvine played 80 times for Everton from 1981 to 1984, after joining the club from Scottish side Queens Park. On leaving Goodison he had spells with Crystal Palace, Dundee United and Blackburn Rovers. It was while he was at Blackburn that the then Ewood Park boss Kenny Dalglish put him in charge of the youth set-up, and then he took Irvine with him when he took over as boss of Newcastle. Irvine has since earned a reputation for his coaching work with young players, and Moyes sees the fellow Scot as the ideal lieutenant to help him remould the Blues' playing squad.
Apr 19 2002 Daily Post
Man United Res 2 Everton Res 1
STEVE SIMONSEN gave Everton boss David Moyes an injury scare ahead of the Blues' trip to Southampton after coming off 15 minutes from time in the reserves 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford.
Simonsen (left) damaged his hip trying to prevent United's second goal and was replaced by defender Peter Clarke because the Blues had already used their three substitutes. Ronnie Wallwork gave the home side an interval lead, heading home on 25 minutes but Everton hit back through Mark Pembridge, his second for the reserves in two games. Lee Carsley began his comeback from injury with 70 minutes of action and youngster Wayne Rooney also started his first reserve fixture only to come off after taking a knock on the hour mark. United scored the winner on 62 minutes when Jimmy Davis showed great skill in the box to create the opening for himself.
EVERTON RES: Simonsen, Cleland (Carney 31) O'Hanlon, Pilkington, Clarke, Pembridge, Southern, Carsley, (Eaton 70) Rooney, (Symes 59) Osman, McLeod. Subs: Pettinger, Curran
Dock project put back
Apr 19 2002 by Mark Thomas, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON'S dream of kicking off the 2005-6 football season at its new Kings Dock home has been dashed. The project is being put back six months, leaving the club with the prospect of a mid-season ground switch or another full year at Goodison Park. News of the delay was being mapped out to Everton's public sector partners at a board meeting of city regeneration company Liverpool Vision today (Friday, April 19). The delay comes after concerns by English Heritage about how some of the buildings surrounding the main 55,000 seat arena may look. The Kings Dock partners fear that if English Heritage objects to the plans, the whole project could be "called in" for a full government inquiry. That could delay things for up to two years, taking it out of the timescale for getting the £35m of Objective One Euro-grant vital to the success of the £300m scheme. Now leading architects are to be signed up to draw detailed plans for the leisure, residential and retail buildings, putting back the submission of the planning application until this Autumn. If the scheme avoids being called in, planning permission should be granted by next summer, with work starting on the site in Autumn, 2003 and completion in the winter of 2005-6. Everton owner Bill Kenwright said: "This is a huge project for Everton and for the city of Liverpool. I would love it to be ready for next season, but we aren't going to worry too much about it being put back six months if it makes the result even more exciting. "This is simply an effort on the public sector side to make sure that everything is of the highest possible architectural standard. "While any delay is unfortunate we have to be positive about it. This project has to be right." Moving the club in mid season would pose a huge administrative headache, involving the allocation of new seats and season tickets to thousands of fans half way through a campaign. But Mr Kenwright is adamant that the club will switch in mid-season if possible when the arena is ready. "We won't now be in for the start of the 2005-6 season, but it is not a massive blow. It has never entered my head that we won't be in before the end of that season." Liverpool Vision chief executive Jim Gill said: "The most important thing is not when we put in the planning application but how long that application takes to get secured and whether it is called in by the Government." He said he expects final approval of the project to come from the public sector partners in the next two months, with all elements of the financial package in place within a year.
What's up with Goodison, Sven?
Apr 19 2002 By Howard Kendall
I ALWAYS felt that Everton should have stood up for themselves more in the late Eighties when the blanket European ban after the Heysel Stadium Disaster wrecked any dreams of the Blues competing in the Champions Cup. The 1985 and 1987 title-winning seasons became meaningless in terms of the massive financial rewards they would have brought to the club, not withstanding the prestige of competing in and possibly winning Europe's premier club competition. And we were good enough!
UEFA inflicted a five-year ban on all English clubs at that time, which hit Everton more than anyone else. By the time the ban was lifted in 1990, the Blues charge had been blunted for many reasons.
I'd actually departed myself by then, ironically for a continental challenge in Spain. But as I watched from afar, I felt that there should have been a louder voice coming out of Goodison fighting for Everton to be the first club re-admitted. As it turned out, when UEFA finally recalled our teams we were not in a qualifying position, but my view is that because of our two Championship campaigns, a special case should have been argued for Everton to have at least been granted a place in the UEFA Cup. And we should have been arguing it and banging the drum. The Blues didn't actually qualify again until 1995, a disastrous ten year absence. All of this came into my mind this week as I watched another England game unfold at Anfield. Why not Goodison Park? Why are we not putting the FA under pressure and reminding them there are TWO clubs on Merseyside. I know Liverpool are influential in high places and that they have a number of players in the current squad, but it's as if Goodison does not exist any more. Meanwhile, with Wembley unavailable, Sven Goran's soccer roadshow has been to Leeds (Italy), Newcastle (Albania), Sunderland (Belgium), Derby (Mexico), Manchester, Old Trafford (Greece and Sweden), Birmingham, Villa Park (Spain), Liverpool, Anfield (Finland and Paraguay), and London, White Hart Lane (Holland). So where has the shout been for Goodison? Why have the FA gone twice to Liverpool and Old Trafford? The Everton capacity is over 40,000. The stadium was a famous World Cup venue in the winning year of 1966. We were granted the Brazil v Japan game in the Umbro Cup in 1995, but that was seven years ago. Do Everton want to stage games like this? I would suspect the answer is yes. They bid for the right to stage matches in Euro 96, but the vote went to - Liverpool! Once the club moves to the state of the art King's Dock, I presume there will be a much greater focus to win big events and matches. But in the meantime, Everton must not become the forgotten club and Goodison Park, one of the country's most famous grounds, must not be written off. We must not let ourselves be pushed into the background. We want to be in the front line. If you sit back without even a squeak, it's another signal that you are no longer one of the elite which again gives the wrong message to potential sponsors. I read yesterday that we might be going into next season, a record-breaking 100th in the top flight, without a sponsor's name on that famous Blue jersey because at present there is not an acceptable offer on the table. I think that's right. But the fact that no other club can match our ton of seasons in the top flight is another good reason why we should be pointing the finger in the direction of the FA and demanding a slice of the international action. There is a prestige about staging big internationals which has spin-off opportunities so let's start shouting loud and asking for a fair crack.
Everton have got to start standing up for themselves, on and off the pitch. It relates back to that ban. We have not learned the lesson and they continue to treat us shabbily. It's got to stop because we have some of the best fans in the land whose passion for our great game deserves to be recognised.
Six shooter Kev
Apr 19 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
KEVIN CAMPBELL comes back for Everton at Southampton tomorrow (kick-off 5.15pm) with a twin target. Everton's top scorer for the past three seasons needs one goal to match Duncan Ferguson on five goals and claim a share of that prize again. But in order to avoid an all-time low for the club, he must score three in the Blues' last three games. The lowest league total for any Everton top scorer came in the club's inaugural league season of 1888-89, when Edgar Chadwick claimed six.
Duncan Ferguson is currently stranded on the same total, and unable to add to it because of suspension. Campbell has four league strikes to date, while Tomasz Radzinski can boast five.
Steve Simonsen, meanwhile, handed David Moyes an injury shock when he limped off 15 minutes from the end of last night's reserve defeat at Old Trafford. Peter Clarke was forced to go in goal - successfully - for the last quarter, but the hip injury sustained by Simonsen means Paul Gerrard may continue at the Friends Provident St Mary ' s Stadium tomorrow. Simonsen was diagnosed as suffering from a badly bruised hip, and if the injury does not settle youth team keeper Andrew Pettinger will travel. Young striker Wayne Rooney may also get his first experience of a senior trip, provided he shrugs off a back injury he collected on his full reserve team debut last night.
An Everton victory would haul the Blues above Southampton in the Premiership, and accelerate the prospect of InterToto Cup football at Goodison Park this summer. "I want to win as many matches as possible between now and the end of the season," said manager David Moyes. "We are still not mathematically safe from relegation - and that has to be our first priority - but I don't want anyone taking their foot off the pedal once that objective has been secured."
Apr 19 2002 IcLiverpool & Daily Post
I THINK Everton should take a leaf out of Liverpool's book and get some Scousers on the pitch (and maybe the crowds will return) especially up front instead of wasting time with the so-called "Bruise Brothers". They should be called the "Bruised Brothers" with the amount of injuries they sustain.
Mussif Khan, (via e-mail)
POOR result on Saturday, however it was nice to see Everton make a comeback of sorts.
Further evidence (as if it were needed), that Gerrard is a very poor keeper and shouldn't be allowed anywhere near our centre-backs again as he has a tendency of trying to catch them rather than the ball. Of his summer signings, I hope Moyes doesn't go for Dean Ashton because he is average at best - Nick Chadwick looks a far better striker than Ashton will ever be. We now need a result against the Saints to grab an InterToto place - come on you Blues!
Shez Khan, Birmingham
Ball boys needed
WHY are only four ball-boys used at Everton's home matches? At other grounds, including Nationwide Division Three, as many as 10 or a dozen are deployed around the touchlines. The onus to force the pace of a game is usually on the home team. Rapid retrieval of the ball by a welltrained ball-boy, followed by a quickly taken throw-in, could just occasionally make a result. On one occasion last Saturday, when Everton were chasing the game against Leicester, Mr Moyes even had to run 20 or 30 yards along the touchline to retrieve the ball for a throw-in because there was noone else there to get it. I know money is limited at EFC at the moment but having only four ball-boys is ridiculous! Think about it, Everton!
Keith Richmond, (via e-mail)
Bring in Rooney
TOMASZ Radzinski and Paul Gerrard should never grace the Goodison turf again. Wayne Rooney should play the last three games of the season now that things look safe. Surely giving him a taste of firstteamaction won't harm him. It can only bring him on and aid his maturity as a player.
S Faulkner, Liverpool
SATURDAY'S woeful performance was a blessing in disguise. Now Moyes has seen what we have had to put up with for so long. Old Niclas Alexandersson is a wag isn't he? He says he wouldn't be fazed by playing in the summer! Hardly surprising since he hasn't played through the winter, he should be as fresh as a daisy!
P Barry, Waterloo
Thrills and spills
PLUS SA change, as the French say. I can understand that Dave Moyes had to have a look at Paul Gerrard for himself, but I hope he has seen enough. Was it just me or did anybody have a sense of 'deja vu' about Leicester's second goal. On a more positive note, however, Walter Smith's Everton would never have had the character to come back for a draw. As David Moyes says it is Goodison for thrills just at the moment. Here's to next season at Everton.
Jack Farrell, Co Kerry
Damned by faint praise
Apr 19 2002 Fanscene By Mark O'Brien
WELL, that will teach us to give ironic praise to the opposition's striker.
Last week's reference to the silky skills of Brian Deane was meant to be tongue in cheek, only for him to dispatch the first of his brace on Saturday like Jimmy Greaves. And the less said about his second the better. Poor old Paul Gerrard unfortunately resumed where he left off last season against Newcastle, mauling defenders and gifting goals to the opposition. It was a mistake to play him, plain and simple. Steve Simonsen may not be perfect but you sense the defenders have faith in him; that just isn't the case with Gerrard. His decision making is highly suspect when he's under pressure and that uncertainty transmits itself to the other players and to the crowd, although he couldn't have exactly been buoyed by the reception he got before we'd even kicked off. It would be unfair to lay all the blame at the door of the keeper though. We dropped two easy points against the Foxes because, as feared in last week's column, the players seemed to be far too complacent in their approach to the game. The things that had served them so well recently, such as pressurising the opposition and working hard off the ball, were absent and we saw a return to casual defending and aimless balls down the pitch. At half-time someone pointed out that it looked as if the team set to go down with the lowest points total ever were going to take four off us! Luckily we looked a bit more like the new Everton in the second half, especially when the strawberry-blond goal-machine Nick Chadwick was introduced. He gave what commentators generally describe as a 'bustling performance'; once again upsetting defenders where his more illustrious team-mates had struggled all afternoon. It's not really a surprise that the club are seeking to open talks with him over a new, extended contract.
Chadwick certainly seems to have the attitude and work ethic that David Moyes seeks from his players, just like a certain David Thompson who the manager has confirmed an interest in.
Liverpudlians - although you have to take with a pinch of salt any judgement from fans who christened Bjorn Tore Kvarme 'the Terminator' - were upset when he left them, and in a survey-lately he was rated by many as the best player in England outside of the Premiership.
He showed admirable character when Everton went to Highfield Road last season. Coventry were awful and he got some of the most unmerciful stickimaginable when he touched the ball.
However, where many players would have retreated into their shells he just tried even harder to get his side back into the game. We could definitely do with all our players showing a bit more of that attitude, starting at tomorrow's conveniently timed game down at Southampton.
Gordon Strachan has had a similar effect on the Saints as David Moyes has had on us; saving them from relegation and getting them playing some good stuff. They're a match for most teams at home so it will be interesting to see we respond.
Reserves back on track
April 20, 2002
Manchester Evening News
MANCHESTER United have played themselves back into strong contention for the FA Premier Reserve League title after halting a poor run of results that threatened to wreck their chances.
Victory over Everton at Old Trafford on Thursday, coupled with unfavourable results for the other teams in the leading pack, has thrust them right back into the championship frame. Goals from Ronnie Wallwork and Jimmy Davis helped Brian McClair's team gain a 2-1 win over the Toffees whilst Middlesbrough could only manage a goalless draw at Leeds on the same night. Newcastle, the current leaders, had already gone down 1-0 at Aston Villa. earlier in the week. It isn't that long ago that United looked doomed to miss out but that has all changed and it promises to be an exciting last few weeks to McClair's first season in charge of the Reds' second XI. They have two games remaining, both against Leeds United, the first of which is at Elland Road next Thursday, kick-off 7.00pm. Meanwhile, the under-19s' bid to win their group in the FA Premier Academy League foundered last week, despite winning their last game of the season. David Williams' lads travelled to Middlesbrough knowing that they had to better Liverpool's result at Leeds to pip the Merseysiders to the title. United won 2-1, with goals from Colin Heath (penalty) and David Poole, but it was all to be in vain because Liverpool also won, 3-0, to finish in top spot ahead of United on goal difference
Southampton 0, Everton 1 (D, Post)
Andy Hunter Reports From St Mary'S Stadium, Daily Post
Apr 22 2002
THEIR long- term future may have been hit by uncertainty and delays this week but Everton, with a minimum of fuss and ahead of schedule, secured their Premiership survival regardless. Proof, once again, that this side will never stick to the script. The omens for a comfortable release from relegation were not out in evidence ahead of Everton's maiden test at St Mary's Stadium.
Their own ambitious plans for relocation to the Kings Dock hit by planning problems and fellow strugglers picking up precious points before kick-off did little to suggest a first victory on Southampton soil in eight Premiership attempts was on the way. Thanks to Steve Watson's polished chip, however, the Blues flew back to Merseyside at the dizzy altitude of 11th place and with the mathematical assurance David Moyes needs to instigate his own building process.
Whether it is the architect of the Blues' top flight survival or new Kings Dock home whose plans come to fruition first, remains to be seen. Both visions need the necessary finance from higher authorities before their public gets the side and stadium it deserves, but for now at least both can be said to have produced encouraging early signs in face of huge odds. In Moyes' case it is mission accomplished. In less than 40 days at the helm he has guided Everton out of freefall into the calming waters of mid-table, with 13 points out of 21 and talk now turning towards a top-10 finish plus an Intertoto embrace. Mercifully though, preserving Everton's Premiership status two games short of his initial nine-match assignment will not satisfy the Scot. Moyes has set his sights much higher, with an emphasis on attacking football and a belief in youth that has galvanised the supporters behind him even if, as Newcastle, Chelsea and even Leicester have shown, there is a long way to go before they get there. Against a dismal Southampton on Saturday those principles were in evidence again, though it is the rediscovery of some good old defensive solidity in the form of the first clean sheet of Moyes' reign that played a major part in Everton's triumph. Sixteen goals shipped in six games has brought the Blues rearguard in for fierce questioning, even if the responsibility lies with the team as a whole. But at St Mary's, where Everton never hit the heights of previous Moyes victories, they showed the discipline and authority that adds to the mystery of why they ever played chicken with the relegation trap door in the first place. The contest was too close to call for Wayne Rooney to be handed the chance to break Joe Royle's record as the youngest player in Everton's history, but with safety assured his time will surely arrive before the campaign closes. Just his appearance on the sidelines was enough to highlight how desperate Evertonians are for a brave new era, though, with every sprint by the 16-year-old towards the corner flag greeted by a raucous welcome to the fold.
The attention surrounding the youngster was in danger of overshadowing the full Everton debut of fellow Academy graduate Nick Chadwick although, until leaving on a stretcher, the 19-year-old did his utmost to remain in the Everton limelight. Chadwick displayed his usual menace to unsettle the Saints rearguard whenever the Blues ventured forward, which was too infrequent and too sloppy in the first half to inflict maximum damage on a poor Saints display. Despite starting and closing the first half on top, Gordon Strachan's side rarely troubled the imperious David Weir and Alan Stubbs. Though James Beattie and Marian Pahars let the duo know there was a game on, Paul Gerrard never had a save to make all evening. Everton, by contrast, posed the greater threat without ever appearing as composed. Chadwick and Kevin Campbell both had goal-bound shots blocked before combining in the 25th minute for what could have been the opening goal or a penalty, but ended in a Southampton throw-in and the young striker carried off after a collision with keeper Paul Jones.
It was a cruel way for Chadwick's encouraging full debut to end but, in a game that was always going to be decided by the opening goal, Everton remained the most likely, even if the eventual matchwinner was anything but predictable. By his own admittance Watson never got sight of goal when he was thrown into centre-forward duty last year but, angered by morning reports questioning his European ambitions regarding the Intertoto Cup, the fired-up defender showed all the style of a proven marksman when his moment arrived four minutes before the break. The Saints failed to cut out a harmless ball infield, or Watson's galloping run through the centre, and when Campbell laid-off a precision pass the full-back applied the left-foot finish to match from 12 yards. As Moyes (left) admitted afterwards, the quality of Everton's play left a lot to be desired. But that charge applied to both sides. Gerrard's poor clearances were a constant source of frustration, though only afterwards was it revealed the keeper suffered an early groin injury that could have prompted his withdrawal had youth team stopper Andrew Pettinger not been his only cover. There was less excuse for his outfield colleagues wastefulness in possession, even though a more confident secondhalf display by the Blues stifled Southampton's initial fightback and saw fine efforts by David Unsworth and Tomasz Radzinski denied by the sharp reflexes of Jones. Any fears of a home recovery evaporated in the 77th minute when Pahars was clipped by Alessandro Pistone on the edge of the area but booked for diving by Mark Halsey, whose fussy officiating played its part in a scrappy affair. Not that Everton were concerned. After 4-3s, 2-6s, victories with 10 men and an incident-packed start to his Goodison era, Moyes and the Blues' travelling band were simply thrilled to savour a dour one-nil triumph.
That is the scoreline synonymous with Arsenal, who delivered their part of the bargain by keeping Ipswich out of Everton's reach yesterday. Now Rooney, Chadwick et al can head to Highbury free of fear and with a bit more hope for the future. And who would have envisaged that one month ago?
Boss' caution on a Blue revival
By Alistair Moffatt, Daily Post
Apr 22 2002
DAVID MOYES has told Everton's success-starved supporters he has a blueprint to bring about a return to the 1980s glory days - but also warned that the Toffees' financial crisis means his masterplan cannot swing into action overnight. Everton's thoroughly-deserved 1-0 victory at Southampton clinched the Merseysiders' Premiership status for another season. The former Preston manager believes a decade of mediocrity - 1996's sixth-place was Everton's only top-half finish in that decade - has left the blue half of Liverpool simply aiming to stay in the top flight. But he believes he can change that, although the shaky finances preventing a wholesale overhaul of his side mean Moyes has adopted a long-term strategy to return to the league and cupwinning days of Howard Kendall. "Expectations at Everton in recent years have been just to avoid relegation," Moyes said.
"But expectations are great if they're used in the right way - and now we're trying to turn round the feeling that the aim is always to avoid relegation. "We've had wonderful success-in the past, but in recent years - obviously to do with the financial situation - expectations haven't been as high. Now we're going to try and change that, but it won't be possible overnight. It will take time to turn the club round. "There are things I'd like to work on - but I've not had time yet, as I've been so focused on winning games to get us to safety. I'm glad we've got enough points and can enjoy this period now." Moyes revealed his transfer kitty will be bumped up by club directors, although he stressed big-money signings are not on the agenda. "There will be a lot of clubs trying to spend wisely," he added. "There's not much between the clubs from 10th downwards, but there's a big gap to the clubs above that, who will compete for the bigger players. The rest of us will make do with bits and pieces from the transfer market, without being too outrageous - although my board have indicated some finances are available. It's also important for us to get young players coming through, but that takes time."
Moyes lines up raid for Walker
Report By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Apr 22 2002
LEICESTER keeper Ian Walker has joined David Moyes' list of summer transfer targets as the new Everton boss prepares for his first full Premiership campaign. Victory at Southampton on Saturday, coupled with Arsenal's defeat of Ipswich yesterday, ensured Everton will become the first English team to celebrate 100 years of top flight football next season. Moyes wants to kick-off the 2002-03 season with a new keeper and has made Walker (pictured), son of ex-Everton manager Mike, a £2million target. The former England international is expected to leave Filbert Street this summer as the Foxes trim their wage bill in preparation for the Nationwide League. And Everton are ready to head the chase for his signature as Walker eyes an immediate return to the Premiership.
Steve Watson, meanwhile, revealed his desire to land a tophalf finish and InterToto place after his third goal of the season preserved Everton's league status. The Blues' defender was angered by a newspaper claim that his concern the InterToto Cup would impact on Everton's limited squad showed a lack of ambition. And he hoped Saturday's matchwinner has set the record straight. Watson said: "That was the best goal I've scored in a long while and, with it being the winner, it was definitely the most important. "I've been feeling a lot fitter lately so I think that's why I was able to get forward and make that run, although Tomasz Radzinski reckons I didn't consider the bigger picture! "It's great to get back on the scoresheet as I didn't get one chance when I played centreforward. "Before the game I was a bit upset with what had been written about me in the morning. Anyone who knows me knows I don't feel that way. "I got up this morning a bit down after reading that but at least now I'm going home with a smile on my face. "The only people I need to clear it up with are the Everton fans. Every professional footballer wants to play in Europe. In an ideal world I'd love to be playing in Japan this summer but unless something dramatic happens I can't see that being the case! "I've played in Europe before and I don't think I have to justify myself but it was a bit harsh." Watson (left) was also delighted with the Blues' first clean sheet under Moyes and insisted a top 10 finish is now the target in the final two games of the season.
"We haven't changed anything dramatically," he added. "But I think the lads are all feeling fitter and free of injury and it's coming together. "With another three points we could finish in the top half and the season wouldn't look too bad which, given where we were a few weeks ago, is a major improvement. "Teams are now getting unexpected results all around us, like Fulham at Leeds, but we've got two games left and a top-half finish is not out of the question. "We owed the supporters after our last two performances - the first half against Leicester was abysmal. While it wasn't a classic, we got the points. Getting three points here is not easy. Southampton have had a great run at home, plus we kept a clean sheet as well. "Now we've got to try and improve on that in our next two games. The next one is certainly winnable." Young striker Nick Chadwick is to have an X-ray on the ankle injury that cut short his full debut after only 25 minutes. The 19-year-old made a bright start at St Mary's only for a collision with Saints keeper Paul Jones seeing him leave on a stretcher.
Chadwick said: "Hopefully it's just a bad sprain and nothing else. Their keeper went over on my leg and, having looked at it again, it could have been much worse. "I thought it was a penalty. I touched the ball away from the keeper and he didn't get anywhere near it." He added: "Any player's debut is a significant moment for them. I was pleased with how it started."
Southampton 0, Everton 1 (Echo)
By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
Apr 22 2002
THE power of the press . . .
Steve Watson started Saturday morning spluttering into his cornflakes. A nasty tabloid columnist had sparked some impromptu indigestion by claiming he worried more about "halving his two month stay in Bermuda's Camp Hedonist" than securing an InterToto Cup slot for Everton. Watson ended the day as the matchwinner who kept the club's hopes of a backdoor route into Europe alive.
It was the kind of coincidence which football is full of, and should have seen us rushing to toss tenners at bookies offering 33-1 on Watson for first goalscorer. But coincidence is all it was. It would be wrong to suggest the morning's harsh words press ganged Watson into his spiky reaction.
There are faint hearts and frauds in Everton's squad, but Watson is not one of them. He showed the professionalism and poise which helped the visitors stroll to a straightforward 1-0 win on their first ever visit to Southampton's St Mary's Stadium. For that - and the bizarre 5.15pm kick-off time - the game was significant, but precious little else. Throughout the evening the game often threatened to offer something special, without ever delivering. Nick Chadwick made his long awaited full league debut. But after troubling Paul Jones with a 12-yard volley he was stretchered off just 26 minutes into the match. That brought the prospect of an historically significant debut for 16-year-old Wayne Rooney ever closer. Any part in the game would have seen him become the youngest player in Premiership history - and overtake Joe Royle's coveted status as the youngest league debutant in Everton's history. But the precarious nature of the scoreline meant the closest he got to the action was a series of sprints up and down the touchline . . . roared on by already appreciative support.
Royle's proud title is now probably safe . . . at least until the next precocious pup emerges from Everton's flourishing Youth Academy. Rooney is away on England under-16 duty next weekend, taking him out of David Moyes' planning for the Blackburn match. Then the Blues' final match of the season is at Arsenal, just three days before a two-legged FA Youth Cup Final in which Rooney will spearhead Everton's challenge. Next season will kick-off after Rooney has crept past the 16-years 288 day mark when Royle ran out at Blackpool. But he shouldn't fret. He is sure to play an increasingly influential part in Everton's immediate future. So too, should Nick Chadwick, who was bitterly disappointed to see his first start cut short so quickly. His energy and enthusiasm had already been evident when a 12th minute volley was spectacularly saved by Jones and Kevin Campbell's follow-up shot blocked. A dozen minutes later and Chadwick was stretchered off after goalkeeper Jones took his left leg from under him as they both challenged for a ball on the edge of the six yard box. That was a rare moment of penalty box action in a turgid first half.
The fans who paid eight quid for that should get their money back quipped Gordon Strachan afterwards, referring to Sky TV's payper-view audience which forced the unusual kick-off time.
So too, should Everton's packed away section . . . fans who won't have arrived back on Merseyside until midnight. At least the return journey will have been a happy one. In the 40th minute Steve Watson played a ball infield from the halfway line to Kevin Campbell, spotted space parting in the Saints' defence like the Red Sea and hared into it. Campbell cleverly slipped the ball into his path and he lifted the ball expertly over the advancing Jones. It was the kind of finish which had convinced a previous Everton boss to use Watson as a centre-forward against Southampton earlier in the season. During that spell, however, Watson didn't receive anything even remotely resembling a goalscoring opportunity. A little like Southampton on Saturday, in fact. The Saints won their first corner in the 90th minute. Paul Gerrard wasn't troubled once, and the only animation from the home team came when Marian Pahars was rightly booked in the 76th minute for diving.
Everton were more threatening, marginally. Unsworth - on his 250th start for Everton - curled a free-kick towards the top corner which Jones tipped over, then the Saints goalkeeper kept out a near post effort from Watson after the full-back had ended a swashbuckling byline romp with a cross-shot. A spectacular Jones save from Radzinski's left footed volley was about the only other goalmouth action of note. But the Blues' fans didn't mind. Gruelling 90 minute bores are worth watching if you win them 1-0, effectively secure Premiership safety - and keep alive the possibility of European action this summer. And so says Steve Watson . . !
SOUTHAMPTON (4-4-2): Jones, Dodd (Ormerod 67 mins), Lundekvam, Williams, Bridge, Telfer, Delap, Svensson, Tessem (Fernandes 45 mins), Beattie, Pahars. Unused substitutes: Moss, El Khalej, Bleidelis.
EVERTON (4-4-2): Gerrard, Watson, Stubbs, Weir, Pistone, Carsley, Gemmill, Gravesen, Unsworth, Campbell, Chadwick (Radzinski 26 mins). Unused substitutes: Pettinger, Pembridge, Rooney, Linderoth.
Referee: Mark Halsey. Bookings: Delap (11 mins) foul, Pahars (76 mins) diving.
Goal: Watson (40 minutes) 0-1.
Watson boosts Blues' euro bid
Apr 22 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
STEVE WATSON fired the goal which kept Everton's InterToto Cup hopes alive at Southampton's St Mary's Stadium on Saturday night. But he insisted a morning report criticising comments he had made about the competition had not inspired him. "It was a total load of rubbish," said Watson, after his goal had clinched a 1-0 win and kept the Blues three points ahead of InterToto rivals Fulham. "Everyone who plays football wants to play at the highest level. Everybody wants to play in Europe. In an ideal world I would be playing in Japan in the summer, but that's not going to happen.
"But I've played in Europe before and it's the place to play. I don't need to justify myself, but the article was harsh to say the least." Fulham play their game in hand at home to Bolton tomorrow, and Watson added: "We have two games left, but as far as the InterToto Cup goes Fulham had a great result today. "If teams are pulling out unexpected results from underneath us we have to look to collect three points from our next game. If we can do that the top half of the table is not out of the question. "Two months ago that might have been considered unthinkable, but we have really worked hard and it is starting to pay off." On his match- winning strike Watson explained: "I just followed my pass to be honest. I am feeling a little fitter now and am able to make more forward runs, which probably had something to do with me being up there. "I was missing for a lot of the season through injury and I am still getting fitness back. "It was pleasing. I don't think I got one chance when I was playing centre forward, so that was one from right back. "It was a great way to bounce back after our last two performances, especially after the first half display against Leicester last week which was abysmal. "We owed the supporters who travelled so far a performance. It probably wasn't an absolute classic, but we got the points. "It puts us in a tidy position in the table going into the last two games. The next one is very winnable. Then we have a more than difficult task at Highbury, but at least we're going there with a lot of confidence. "It was a clean sheet away from home and a difficult place to come to. Southampton have been playing well here all season so to come away with three points is great for the lads." Manager David Moyes was delighted for the travelling fans who sold out the away section. "It was a great result for the supporters," he said. "It's easy for us to fly down and get back as quickly as possible. "But the supporters are the ones who probably set off at seven o'clock in the morning to get down and probably won't return until after midnight tonight, so I am more pleased for them."
Moyes ready to unveil Blueprint
Apr 22 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON boss David Moyes celebrated the completion of the first part of his Goodison mission last night --mathematical safety in the Premiership. Now he aims to unveil his long term plan to re-establish the Blues as a force once more in English football. Ipswich's defeat at Arsenal yesterday means Everton will become the first English club to celebrate 100 seasons in the top division next term. Moyes will be a special guest at tonight's Shareholders Association dinner at Goodison Park.
He said: "Four to six weeks is not really enough time to observe a club of the stature of Everton.
"That only lets you scratch the surface. But I have had a look and there are things I would like to suggest to the board which I think may move the club in the right direction. "We need a strong foundation at the bottom which we can build on. I know there is not a massive financial outlay available, so to build that strong base will take a lot of hard work. "We have been linked with buying every Tom, Dick and Harry recently, but realistically I know the players we do bring in won't be at the top end of the money market. "A lot will come down to availability and timing. The staff have been out at games most nights looking at players who may be possibilities. "I have taken a lead from John Ebbrell and Andy Holden who have watched more Premier League games than me, but I have an idea of what I think we need to take us forward." Everton reserves, meanwhile, have two fixtures this week. Mark Pembridge, Tobias Linderoth and Idan Tal will all play at Morecambe tonight against Blackburn Rovers, then the Blues entertain Middlesbrough at the Autoquest Stadium on Thursday.
Nick Chadwick's injury which saw him stretchered off on Saturday has been diagnosed as a sprained ankle and will sideline him for a couple of weeks.
Everton rule out Rooney
Apr 22 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
YOUNG Blues' striker Wayne Rooney has been denied a slice of soccer history - by an international call-up. The 16-year-old was named on the substitutes' bench for the first time at Southampton on Saturday. If he had come on, he would have become the youngest Premiership player in history and Everton's youngest league debutant ahead of Joe Royle. But when Everton entertain Blackburn this Sunday in another Sky payper-view clash, he will be with England under-17s in Denmark.
Rooney has been selected for the squad which will compete in the UEFA European under-17 Championships finals, which could see him in Scandinavia until May 10. "I would have liked to have Wayne Rooney involved on Sunday," said manager David Moyes. "It would have been nice for him to be involved in our last home game, but I can also see reasons why perhaps it's a good thing for him to wait a little longer. "It will keep expectation levels down. People must realise he is still only a baby in football terms. "The fans showed on Saturday they are already aware of him, although I think most people in football are already aware of him."
Blues site D-day
Apr 22 2002 By Scott Faulkner, Liverpool Echo
THE location of Everton's new multi-million pound training complex will be decided this week.
The former Lee Manor community comprehensive school in Childwall is being lined up and it is thought architects have already drawn up plans. The club and council chiefs have been in talks over plans to build a world class training base in the city. The council will decide on Friday if the land will be sold. Neither party will talk about the deal, but it is understood negotiations are nearing completion, with an announcement expected soon. Council chiefs are keen for Everton to choose a site in the city after Knowsley council persuaded Liverpool FC to build its £15m youth academy in Kirkby. Mike Storey, leader of Liverpool city council, said: "There are negotiations under way for a use of the site which will release millions of pounds of investment for community facilities."
Former Everton manager Walter Smith identified the need for complete refurbishment of the club's Bellefield training ground when he took charge in 1998. Little work has been carried out on the West Derby-based facilities since they were built in the 1960s. A new ultra-modern facility is part of owner Bill Kenwright's ambitious plans for the club, which include the proposed £250m stadium at Kings Dock. An Everton FC spokesman confirmed that the club is still interested in building the training and youth academy at Lee Manor. He said: "It is still one of a number of sites we are considering. We have still not yet come to a decision." Lee Manor closed last year after a drop in pupil numbers. The 36-acre site is the largest green belt area in Liverpool, with 27 acres of playing fields. School buildings are on the other nine acres and used for adult education classes and various community group activities. The local authority is currently looking at alternative venues for these.
Blues battle for point
Academy League By Chris Wright, Daily Post
Apr 23 2002
EVERTON under-19s ended their FA Premier Academy League season with a 1-1 draw against Blackburn Rovers at Bellefield to finish sixth in the North West section. It kept up Colin Harvey's side's excellent run since Christmas which saw just one defeat. On the downside, captain Stephen Schumacher had to be taken off with a nasty head injury after just 30 minutes. The 17-year-old central-defender had to have eight stitches and is a fitness worry ahead of the FA Youth Cup final against Aston Villa. But with the first leg three weeks away he should be fit. The Blues began the match without two of their most influential players - keeper Andrew Pettinger and star striker Wayne Rooney. The 16-year-old U19s top scorer has continued his dramatic rise with a call-up to the first team, where he was on the bench, along with keeper Pettinger, for Saturday's 1-0 win over Southampton at St Mary's Stadium. Despite Schumacher's departure making the side one of the youngest the Blues have fielded, they appeared to be heading for the victory that would have seen them end the league season in fine style. Harvey's team were on top and after hittingthe woodwork three times, once from a spectacular overhead kick from Craig Garside, they made the breakthrough after 20 minutes. A Rovers defender diverted Australian midfielder David Carney's cross into his own net under pressure from Scot Brown. But after Schumacher's substitution Everton found it hard to keep up the momentum and without the defender's assured presence, they were pegged back with 20 minutes left. The visitors equalised after some poor defending down the Blues right allowed Blackburn striker Yeye to score. Steven Beck and Damon Martland both had chances to win the match but the Blackburn keeper forced both their efforts around the post in a matter of minutes late on. Academy director Ray Hall said: "It was not one of our best performances recently. It was a fair result without us ever reaching the heights we know we can. "When Stephen Schumacher went off - not because of the personnel - it seemed to knock us back a bit. And we couldn't really get in the game for the rest of the half and 10 or 15 minutes into the second half and at the end of that was when they scored. He added: "But the bonus of the weekend was to switch the television on three hours later and see we had got two boys (Pettinger and Rooney) who could have played in that game, and can for the U19s next year, on the substitutes' bench at Southampton. And another (Nick Chadwick) who can still play at Academy level starting the game.
"It is great for those lads to be involved at that level and they can only benefit from it. It has the knock-on effect that we have had to put out a very young side on Saturday, but it also gives them great experience." Now the Blues can focus on the mouthwatering FA Youth Cup final against Aston Villa on May 14 at Goodison and May 18 at Villa Park. Hall added: "The league season has finished but our season is still extended well into May and that is great for the club. "And after the results at the weekend, we can actually enjoy the Youth Cup final more than the last time we played in it in 1998, because then the club needed to stay up on the last day - that is not the case now. "And what we can promise is that all of that squad will be working their socks off for Everton Football Club and themselves and we'd love as many people as possible to come along and support it."
Meanwhile, Rooney and Scot Brown left yesterday to join up with the England squad for the UEFA U17s Championship in Denmark, which starts this Saturday. England open against Finland in Gladsaxe on the same day
Moyes offers helping hand
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Apr 23 2002
DAVID MOYES is ready to lend Liverpool's title bid a hand as he insists there will be no let-up in Everton's season. The Blues secured their Premiership status at Southampton on Saturday with their fourth victory in seven games under their new manager But although relegation fears have now disappeared, Moyes is adamant his side should strive for a maximum return against Blackburn and title favourites Arsenal on the final day of the season and book the Blues' place in the Intertoto Cup.
"Our job now is to try and pick up another six points. That has to be our aim," said Moyes, the special guest at the Everton Shareholders' dinner at Goodison-Park last night. "I'm glad we've got enough points and can enjoy this period now but there will be no let-up as far as I am concerned."
Everton, meanwhile, have not given up all hope of Wayne Rooney making a record-breaking first team appearance before the end of the season. Rooney was bidding to become the youngest Everton player in the club's history at St Mary's Stadium but stayed on the substitutes' bench during the close 1-0 win. Now his chances of featuring in the final two games of the campiagn have been hit by a call-up for the UEFA European Under-17 Championship finals in Denmark. The competition starts on Saturday and could run until May 10, 24 hours before the trip to Highbury, which in turn is three days before the first leg of the FA Youth Cup final. But Moyes may still give the 16-year-old a run-out against Arsenal with his attacking options limited by injury and suspension. The Blues boss said: "It would have been nice for Wayne to be involved in our last home game, but I can also see the reasons why perhaps it's a good thing for him to wait a little longer. "It will keep expectation levels down. People must realise he is still only a baby in football terms." Fellow young striker Nick Chadwick is also likely to miss out against Blackburn through injury, after scans confirmed his ankle was badly sprained in a collision with Southampton keeper Paul Jones. * Blues striker Joe-Max Moore was last night named in the USA's World Cup finals squad. * The mini-derby between Everton and Liverpool reserves, scheduled for Wednesday, May 1, will now be played on Monday, May 6, at the Halton Stadium with a 2pm kick-off.
Peter the great was ideal for Moyes
Apr 23 2002 By Kevin Ratcliffe
EVERTON have been widely linked with a summer swoop for Leicester goalkeeper Ian Walker this weekend. No disrespect to Walker , but I think Everton have already missed the boat.
Manchester City have offered a year's contract to Peter Schmeichel, and I think he is just the kind of character Everton need in what is sure to be a transitional season at Goodison. Both Paul Gerrard and Steve Simonsen have similar strengths - and deficiencies. At 29-years-old you could argue that Gerrard has still not reached peak maturity for a goalkeeper, while at just 23 Simonsen is still learning his trade. Schmeichel would have allowed them to continue their development, whilst also handing Everton a reliable shortterm solution to their goalkeeping situation. Everton's loss is Kevin Keegan and Manchester City's gain, but there are plenty of other positions David Moyes will be seeking to strengthen this summer too. Defensively Everton have looked reasonably solid all season, but they clearly lack legs in midfield and pace up front. Nick Chadwick and Wayne Rooney are obviously exciting talents, but you can't go into a Premiership season expecting to rely on them week in week out. When Everton do start bringing in players - and it will be difficult for David wheeling and dealing with limited financial resources - I expect him to target youthful, energetic types. David will want one or two new players in just to freshen the place up a little - and stamp his own identity on the squad. It doesn't matter how good a job David is doing as manager, he will want his own players in place. It promises to be an eventful summer for Evertonians, regardless of what their World Cup bound players achieve.
Come on Fulham! InterToto could spoil Blues' season
TONIGHT'S Fulham v Bolton fixture could go a long way towards deciding Everton's InterToto Cup future this summer. I've already aired my views on the subject. I'm firmly rooting for a Fulham win!
InterToto advocates have pointed to Newcastle's achievements this season, suggesting that starting your season in July need not necessarily have a detrimental affect. But I prefer to point to Aston Villa's experience. Both clubs kicked off the Inter-Toto at a later stage than Everton would, and both have bigger squads. But despite that Villa have faltered badly from the mid-point of the season onwards, after a bright start. Collecting injuries contributes to that, but I think losing mental freshness is also a factor. You also lose that vital preseason period. Pre-season is a terrifically important time of year for a football club. It can have enormous benfits in helping a new squad bond - and helping a new manager get his ideas across to a squad of players. It's also the only time in any football club's calendar that the players and coaching staff can work together in a totally pressure-free environment. As soon as you start playing games pressure kicks in - and it's not a good idea to have that pressure in place for 10 months of the year. I would be disappointed to see Fulham overhaul Everton in the Premiership table over the next three weeks, but not disappointed to see them clinch England's InterToto Cup place.
Power to 'The People'
Apr 23 2002 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON will put the flags out at Goodison Park this weekend.
The Blues have declared Sunday's final home game of the season to be an official Flag Day.
People's Club flags are now on sale at the club Megastore and officials hope fans will make the day a carnival occasion. Everton's Head of Corporate Affairs and PR, Ian Ross, explained: "It has been a long and in many respects demanding season for everyone connected with the club - supporters, players and staff. "We are now officially safe in the Premiership and looking forward to being the first English club to celebrate 100 seasons in the top division. "Although many people would suggest we don't have anything to celebrate, safeguarding our Premiership status and reaching this milestone first is of major significance. "We hope our fans will help us make the day a little bit special."
Apr 23 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES has already been handed his first injury headache . . . of next season.
Gary Naysmith , who underwent surgery on an ankle injury recently, has developed complications and must see the surgeon again. "Gary's still not happy with the ankle after his op," explained Moyes. "We had originally hoped to have him back for the start of pre-season training, but that's looking unlikely now. "We'll have to be guided by the surgeon but it's disappointing."
Everton's InterToto Cup hopes, meanwhile, could be hit this evening. Rivals Fulham, currently three points behind the Blues in the Premiership table but with a game in hand, entertain Bolton at Craven Cottage. With a home game against Leicester and a trip to Blackburn on the last day to follow, a victory against Sam Allardyce's men would leave the Londoners in the driving seat for the back door route into Europe. Joe-Max Moore, meanwhile, has been named in the USA's World Cup squad.
Jesper Blomqvist's hopes of joining Niclas Alexandersson and Tobias Linderoth in the Swedish squad, though, appear to be fading. Omitted from the last international squad, Blomqvist did not play at Southampton because of an achilles strain and is resting the injury this week.
Nyarko set for shock return
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Apr 24 2002
EVERTON may be forced to welcome Alex Nyarko back into the Goodison fold this summer as doubts mount over the midfielder ' s Monaco future. Ghanaian international Nyarko , who infamously quit football one year ago this week after a run-in with a fan at Highbury, was expected to move to the Principality when his loan spell expires at the end of this season. But financial pressures on the French club mean they are unlikely to match Everton's asking price - leaving the controversial star facing the prospect of a shock return to Merseyside. Both Nyarko and Monaco are keen to complete a permanent transfer after the success of the midfielder's loan move to the Stade Louis II.
But with the Blues anxious to recoup most of the £4.5million paid to Lens for his services in 2000, the fee is proving a major stumbling block. Everton have an agreement with their French counterparts to resolve Nyarko's future within the first two weeks in May but could be left holding the player's registration if no compromise is reached. Monaco coach Didier Deschamps plans a major overhaul this summer but has a limited transfer budget after failing to lead the team back into European competition next season. The signing of Akis Zikos has also cast fresh doubt over Nyarko's future at Monaco this week - after Deschamps landed the defensive midfielder on a free transfer from AEK Athens. Ironically, however, it is Nyarko's fine form in France that could prove Everton's salvation as they try to offload him following a disastrous debut season in the Premiership.
Nyarko, who paid a surprise visit to Bellefield recently to meet new manager David Moyes, has attracted interest from other French clubs while Alex McLeish has also been linked with taking the midfielder to Glasgow Rangers. Gary Naysmith, meanwhile, is already doubtful for the start of next season after suffering a setback in his recovery from an ankle operation. The Scottish international strained ankle ligaments in the FA Cup fifth round replay at Crewe and underwent surgery last month after rest failed to solve the problem. But now Naysmith is facing a further four months on the sidelines after developing complications. Manager Moyes said: "Gary's still not happy with the ankle after his op. We had originally hoped to have him back for the start of preseason training but that is looking unlikely now.
"We'll have to be guided by the surgeon but it is disappointing."
* Everton's final home game of the season against Blackburn Rovers this Sunday has been declared an official flag day. Ian Ross, head of corporate affairs at Goodison, explained: "We are now officially safe in the Premiership and looking forward to being the first English club to celebrate 100 seasons in the top division. "Although many people would suggest we don't have anything to celebrate, safeguarding our Premiership status and reaching this milestone first is of major significance."
Blues feel Euro heat
Apr 24 2002 By Claire Gray, Liverpool Echo
THE RACE for InterToto Cup places hotted up last night as Everton were leapfrogged in the Premiership by closest rivals Fulham. The Cottagers' 3-0 win over Bolton has pushed them above the Blues on goal difference having played the same number of games, leaving Jean Tigana's side as favourites to take the second round place. But that might matter little to Everton should Aston Villa's poor run of form continue. Villa will only be invited to play in the competition should they finish as the highest-placed side, having declared they would only be interested in entering at the third round stage. That means they could be squeezed out of the reckoning altogether should they fail to stop the rot. Graham Taylor's side have failed to record a victory in eight games, leaving Everton and Fulham just a point behind them with two games left to play. That means Fulham need only finish above the Midlanders to ensure that both they and the Blues will qualify for the competition. As the highest finishers, they would take the third round spot leaving Everton to enter at the second round stage. Villa must play Southampton at home and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, while Fulham entertain relegated Leicester City before making the trip to Blackburn on the last day of the season. Meanwhile, Lee Carsley is confident he has done enough to secure his place in the Republic of Ireland squad for this summer's World Cup finals, despite being ruled out of his country's recent friendlies due to injury. Carsley opened up medial ligaments in his knee during the win at Derby County, only returning to action last weekend at Southampton. The midfielder , however, is a firm favourite of Mick McCarthy having round stage. That means they could be squeezed out of the reckoning altogether should they fail to stop the rot. Graham Taylor's side have failed to record a victory in eight games, leaving Everton and Fulham just a point behind them with two games left to play. That means Fulham need only finish above the Midlanders to ensure that both they and the Blues will qualify for the competition. As the highest finishers, they would take the third round spot leaving Everton to enter at the second round stage. Villa must play Southampton at home and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, while Fulham entertain relegated Leicester City before making the trip to Blackburn on the last day of the season. Meanwhile, Lee Carsley is confident he has done enough to secure his place in the Republic of Ireland squad for this summer's World Cup finals, despite being ruled out of his country's recent friendlies due to injury. Carsley opened up medial ligaments in his knee during the win at Derby County, only returning to action last weekend at Southampton.
The midfielder, however, is a firm favourite of Mick McCarthy having earned 19 caps under his management and Carsley hopes that his previous record will influenence the final decision.
"I hope I have done enough for Mick over the years to get my name into the squad.
"I have never let Mick down. I have always given my all for Mick and the team so I hope that's enough. "But I am not worrying about whether I will be in the squad or not, it's out of my hands and it's up to Mick."
So slow to blow whistle
Apr 24 2002 By Len Capeling
DID I miss something amidst all the hoopla for Everton's new dockland theatre?
I understood it was going to be the eighth wonder of the architectural world, a symphony in stone, a palace. Merseyside's fourth or fifth grace But what's this? England Heritage is holding its aristocratic nostrils and saying nasty things about the Blues' cathedral of concrete. Things like, oh dear, it's much too plain. Things like, oh dear, can't it be made more interesting? And there's the rub, as Ulrika Jonsson might say, because football stadia generally resemble nothing more than . . er . . . football stadia. Bowls full of seats with a splash of glass and stainless steel here and there as cake decoration. They seldom conjure up visions of the Paris Opera House or the Parthenon.
What puzzles me is why those at English Heritage didn't twig what a football ground actually looked like a bit earlier in the piece - say at the planning stage. Rather than uttering a girlish shriek when Everton are already counting the bags of cement. SORE loser Gordon Strachan suggested that Pay-For-View victims should get their £8 refunded after the mass sleep-in at St Mary's. BBC Radio Five Live's team commentary couldn't find words to describe the utter tedium of a match that called into question the designation Premier, as in Premiership. One writer described the match as brain-numbing, and left it at that. The Everton view would have been, not a classic, but handy pointswise in view of (baseless) rumours of relegation. As it happens, Everton are now in the slot I predicted for them before the season began, mid-table and increasingly comfortable That's been their hopedfor home for the past 12 years. And only generous transfer funds will push them much further.
Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Newcastle and Leeds will take up the first six places for the foreseeable future. Below them will be Tottenham and Aston Villa, with the likes of Everton, Fulham, Middlesbrough and vibrant new boys Manchester City striving to make some headway.
The limiting factor for the latter clubs is serious money. Those who have the cash will prosper. And deserve to prosper. Those who don't will fret and eventually fall.
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Apr 25 2002
DAVID MOYES made the first signing of his Everton reign last night when Alan Irvine agreed to join the Blues' backroom staff. The former Everton midfielder has accepted the opportunity to become Moyes' right-hand man in the summer after rejecting the chance to join the Football Association's new coaching set-up. Irvine, who made 80 appearances for the Blues in the early 1980s, is currently in charge of the flourishing youth set-up at Newcastle United where his work has attracted offers from various parties. But Moyes' move for his fellow Scot last week has paid off with Irvine admitting the lure of his former club was a key factor in his decision to quit the North East.
"I spent three very enjoyable years at Everton," said Irvine. "And that obviously makes a difference."
His new manager Moyes added: "We are delighted that Alan has decided to join us and he will arrive at the club at the end of the season." Under- pressure Everton striker Tomasz Radzinski, meanwhile, has vowed to prove himself at Goodison Park after admitting his debut season in the Premiership has been a flop. Radzinski has been hit by a series of niggling injuries since his £4.5million move from Belgian side Anderlecht last summer and his form has prompted speculation he could be sold in the summer to bolster Moyes' transfer kitty. But the striker insists he does have a future at Everton - and can flourish thanks to Moyes' attacking style. Radzinski said: "I know I came here with great expectations and I am determined to prove myself. "Scoring only six goals so far is not good enough.
"The way the team is playing now is more suited to me. There is a greater emphasis on attack and we tend to pressure the opposition more. "I also think we are playing more attractive football."
Despite preferring Moyes' tactics the 29-year-old insists that is no criticism of former boss Walter Smith (left). He said: "Walter Smith gave me the chance to play in England and so I don't want to say anything bad about him. I am very happy here and people in Liverpool have made me really welcome." And as he looks to improving his Goodison future Radzinski has revealed he plans to come out of international retirement to help Canada's bid to reach the 2008 World Cup.
Radzinski made a rare appearance against Malta last year and, though he did not take part in his country's Gold Cup defence in January, the striker is now prepared to return to the international fold full-time. Radzinski added: "I took a lot of criticism over my initial decision and my parents didn't agree with me but it was the right thing to do and I don't regret it. "The club I was with at the time was paying my wages and all the travelling was affecting my football. My first-team place was at risk.
"I could have lost everything. Since then, I have grown up a lot and have proved certain things to myself. I want to be a part of the Canadian squad again and will do everything I can to help us qualify in four years' time."
* EVERTON'S reserves are in action tonight against Middlesbrough. The game kicks off at 7pm at the Halton Stadium in Widnes.
It's in the Blueblood
Apr 25 2002 By David Randles, icLiverpool
A HOST of Goodison legends were present at a fundraising night for the Everton Former Players Foundation last week, but one in particular epitomized the ethos of the occasion. The Blueblood Foundation, as it is commonly known, was established two years ago as a benevolent fund to support former Everton players who need help after leaving the game. And former Blues goalkeeper, Gordon West was present as a shining example of the success of the foundation. West was a true hero for the Blues between 1962 and 1973. An England international, he won an FA Cup winners medal in 1966 while helping guide the Blues to the League title in 1970. Apart from big Nevile Southall, there has never been a goalkeeper so revered by the Gwladys Street, but unlike the instant millionaire players of the modern era, West was of an age when financial security was at a premium.
After retiring from the game, the strain of over 400 appearances for the Blues began to take its toll in the form of chronic arthritis, so much so that his mobility became restricted to the point he could barely leave home. "After years of suffering with both knees and dragging myself through the NHS system I was eventually stuck in the house," said West. "But as soon as Blueblood was formed they got in touch, bought me a television and even came round to clean my gutters." Having paid for his first knee operation last year, West is due to have the second knee done courtesy of the Blueblood Foundation again. Without their help, the giant goalkeeper would eventually be confined to a wheelchair. "It's a big relief to know that the foundation are prepared to look after us in every way and also reassuring that someone is thinking about us everyday," he said. The Blueblood Foundation raises around £100,000 a year on average, which is channelled back to support former players who need help as trustee, Steve Milne explained: "Some former players we talk to, who may now be in their 40's or 50's, are in severe pain. "They played at a time when if you got injured in the first half, they would simply be sent back out after a painkilling needle and told to continue." The use of cortisone injections were a common but only temporary respite from injury, of which the long-term effects are almost irreparable. Milne continued: "Gordon was housebound until we stepped in to help and now he can get out and about again. "It's a case of Evertonians doing it for Evertonians. Afterall, our motto is 'once an Evertonian, always an Evertonian." "By taking several ex-players on our roadshows to meet the fans it gives us the means to raise money for ex-players," said Milne. Indeed, also present at the Sylvestrian Club, Vauxhall, was guest speaker and former Everton player and manager, Howard Kendall, and ex-players, Alan Whittle and John Bailey. To complete the star-studded line-up, current defender, David Unsworth received an award on behalf of Alan Stubbs who was unable to attend for personal reasons. Stubbs has been voted as 'Star Man of the Year' by Everton fansite, Bluekipper.com who were instrumental in arranging the fundraising event.
This was the second annual charity night organised by the Bluekipper Team who, due to its success, plan to carry on raising cash to help those they once idolised as webmaster, Steve Jones points out:
"We got involved with Blueblood about a year ago and shall continue to raise funds through various activities such as nights like this and auctioning memorabilia online. "Blueblood is essential for the work they do for some of the older players who need help from time to time." However, it is not just players from West's era who have missed out on the lucrative contracts and sponsorship deals up for grabs in today's television dominated climate. Former defender, Derek Mountfield, who played for the Blues from 1983 to 1988, was due to attend the dinner. Due to convalescence after receiving treatment funded by Blueblood however, Mountfield's absence served as a poignant but welcome reminder of what the evening was about. Between themselves and the 250 or so fans in attendance, Bluekipper.com managed to raise £1000 for the Blueblood Foundation. An amount, which will go a long way towards helping others like Mountfield and West while serving to show that Everton is more than just the People's club. Once an Evertonian, always an Evertonian.
* For more information or to make a donation to The Everton Former Players Foundation, log-on to their website at www.toffeeweb.com/blueblood or write to them at Blueblood, PO Box 354, Liverpool, L69 4QS.
Apr 25 2002 IcLiverpool & Daily Post
WHY, oh why, do we have to put up with Len Capeling's constant genuflecting to LFC and constant sniping at EFC. It's not acceptable to be complacent by using the standard by-line of "Love him or loathe him - you can't ignore him." This is just a cop-out (no pun intended) and just gives Len the red licence to display his obvious prejudices. This week we had the wishful hope of Arsenal's downfall, a placing of Michael Owen on another pedestal, promotion of Jamie Carragher for the England squad over and above all others, all amounting to about 80 per cent page coverage of his beloved Reds.
Then there is the expected "pop" at Everton, relating to a boring game at St Mary's (isn't another local team criticised nationally for grinding out boring wins). Then he dismisses the Blues along with Fulham and Middlesbrough, who to my knowledge have never won anything. Also he asks the question "Did I miss something...?" in respect of the planning delays over the Kings Dock.
Clearly he did. The architectural concerns relate to the complex as a whole and NOT the stadium. But why miss a chance to promote some more negativity towards Everton.
May I suggest that Mr Capeling has been around too long and is now subservient to the Reds' media machine.
JT Griffiths, Fair-minded Blue
Euro timing wrong
THE Intertoto application has come at the wrong time for Everton. The club needs to learn to walk before it can run and Moyes would surely rather spend the close season on intensive coaching than enter a long, low-profile campaign that could leave an already unfit squad exhausted by Christmas.
This could be the start of a new dawn for Everton, but full daylight is still a long way off!
Charles Quinn, Liverpool IF WE qualify for the Intertoto Cup, it will be a great achievement. So what if the next season starts on July 6.
Dominic Bond, Liverpool
Blues be bold
THE lost revenue from not having an Everton shirt sponsor will be more than made up by the sales of shirts without a logo. Go for it Blues. Have the courage to be DIFFERENT.
Wyn Roberts (via e-mail)
Not all racists
WHERE has the racist idea come from? So one Everton fan makes racist comments in the posh lounge bar. That doesn't mean that there's racist chanting on the terraces as the media widely report. I haven't heard a single racist comment at any home game this season from the Lower Gwladys Street, and I can assure you that this is where the most passionate fans sit.
Mike Cahill, Liverpool
I LIKE the idea of having the Everton badge in gold next year with the magic 100 on board. As for not having a sponsor is that a story made up just in case we can't find one? Why not Pepsi, if Coca-Cola are to sponsor Liverpool?
Bernard Jones, Liverpool
Moyes rides the Blue 'People' carrier
Apr 25 2002 By Ken Rogers
DAVID MOYES possibly did not realise the controversy he would cause when he uttered those three little words at his very first Everton press conference . . . "THE PEOPLE'S CLUB".
The Echo was inundated with letters from irate Liverpudlians. I devoted an entire column to the subject, looking in detail at the fan statistics of both Mersey giants as provided by the Premier League itself in a special survey. The end product, as far as I was concerned, was that we belonged to the "People's City" in a football sense. But the other phrase continues to stir powerful emotions in the Blue half and irritation in the Red half. I've often wondered where Moyes got it from.
Was the thought planted in his head by someone within the club, possibly that most able of spin doctors Bill Kenwright, an individual whose business is linked with the power of positive publicity and whose day job includes the art of conjuring up clever sound bites to promote a variety of shows? Alternatively, was it just an off the cuff remark? Kenwright claims that he had absolutely nothing to do with "The People's Club" line and that the statement was instinctive.
He does, however, admit to feeling a glow of pride when his new manager wasted no time in saluting the passion of the Evertonians who have never wavered in their support, despite a string of relegation-haunted seasons. Moyes struck up an immediate rapport with those fans and "The People's Club" has become a symbolic statement reflecting the fervour of the Goodison faithful.
I found myself in the company of the Blues' boss on Monday night when he attended his first Everton Shareholders Association dinner. I brought up the subject of "The People's Club" and asked him where it came from. He explained that in the days leading up to his appointment, with speculation rife in the media that he was the favourite to secure the Everton hotseat, he was constantly being stopped by individuals who said to him: "Are you coming to Everton? I'm a Blue. It's a great club." Moyes said that wherever he went at that time he seemed to be confronted by Everton supporters and it hammered home the strength and size of the club, not to mention the potential. He says that when he subsequently declared that he had come to "The People's Club" it simply reflected his growing belief that he had joined an organisation with powerful traditions and real potential, based around that passionate fan base. I think he has now grasped that he has stirred up something of a hornet's nest, but Everton are clearly ready to exploit the phrase, even producing special "People's Club" flags this week, which have been on sale at the Megastore and which will be in evidence at the final home game of the season this Sunday against Blackburn. The die is cast in terms of the copyright of the phrase. It's Everton's. It's now up to Liverpudlians to produce a sound bite of their own. When I asked a couple of Reds in the office if they could conjure up an alternative, the Merseyside humour and cynicism came straight back. How about "The Winners Club" said one?
Clearly, this is not going to go away! I can't wait for the next derby to see the battle of the banners.
Not much between top and the drop
PRIOR to Everton's recent game against Leicester City, Dave Bassett caused a stir when he suggested that sides like the Blues would once again be caught up in the relegation whirlpool next season with every likelihood that they might follow his club into the Nationwide. At first glance, Leicester's Director of Football seemed to be speaking with a little bit of post-relegation spite.
But when you analyse his words, it highlights a harsh reality. A situation no longer exists in which two or three clubs are automatically installed as favourites for the drop. In the past it has been possible to point the finger at a couple of the promoted clubs and add to the list one or two of the less glamorous top flight outfits. Bassett's point was that when you get below the top eight in the Premiership these days, any one of the clubs below that level are now vulnerable because the difference in quality is minimal. Everton finally reached the accepted 40-point safety mark against rock-bottom Leicester and followed that up with another three points at Southampton.
Nevertheless, some Evertonians continue to express concerns about next season. Bassett's viewpoint has clearly struck a chord. At the same time, many people believe that the funding available to David Moyes in the summer will only be marginally better than that which was available to predecessor Walter Smith. Clearly Moyes will face the biggest challenge of his career to date, not least because the expectation levels are growing. We will watch with interest to see how his plans unfold and what support he will get. Bassett's chilling, but realistic words add urgency to the need for the kind of longterm blueprint that will genuinely make a difference.
* CONGRATULATIONS to Steve Bowers from Aigburth who is the winner of my signed England- Paraguay programme.
Weir happy to remain with Blues
Apr 25 2002 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON'S Player-of-the-Season says he would snub the chance of playing at Manchester United to remain a part of David Moyes' Goodison revolution. David Weir has been linked several times with a summer switch to Old Trafford. Laurent Blanc has still to decide whether he will retire at the end of ther season, while injuries continue to trouble Ronnie Johnsen. But Weir said: "I have heard the Manchester United talk, but I don't think there is anything much in it. "As far as I'm concerned, I'm happy here at Everton. It is a great club. I want to stay here and be part of what is happening with the new manager. "When I came here from Scotland there were other clubs in for me, but Everton was the right club. I don't want to leave."
Weight off his mind
Apr 25 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
THOMAS GRAVESEN has taken a weight off his mind by shedding pounds from his midriff - and has seen his Everton career dramatically revived. The Danish midfielder was injured after Christmas and his weight went up, while then manager Walter Smith vowed he would never play for the club again.
But his performances under new manager Moyes have drawn a rich tribute, and the player has put his recent form down to a strict training regime. "I have now become quicker and got more power," he explained. "I have lost the weight by changing my diet with the help of a dietician and changed training routines." Despite a red card just 29 minutes into Moyes' first match as manager, Gravesen has since played every minute of every match he has been available to the new boss.
"Tommy Gravesen has played well in the last couple of games for us," said Moyes. "I thought he played very well at Southampton and I said that to him. "Some of the things he does are exceptional. Then there are one or two things that you worry about. But can you not say that about all players? "He has great ability in his feet and his passing. Technically, he is very good."
Gravesen will be hoping to celebrate the rebirth of his Goodison career with a place in Denmark's World Cup finals squad this summer. Morten Olsen names his party early next month.
The Blues, meanwhile, have confirmed that Newcastle youth coach Alan Irvine will be returning to Goodison this summer as David Moyes' first team coach. Irvine, who played in the historic all-Mersey Milk Cup final of 1984 said: "I spent three very enjoyable years at Everton and that obviously makes a difference."
Naysmith left all on his own
Apr 25 2002 By Claire Gray, Liverpool Echo
IT'S NOT often you can talk of a sparse Everton treatment room but while it might be emptying itself out at the moment, there's still one very sick man in there. That bump Gary Naysmith must have felt underneath him when driving down from Hearts 18 months ago can only have been a black cat, because at the moment he's doing a very good impression of the unluckiest footballer in the world.
Being injured in itself is bad enough at the best of times, but being out when both your club and international manager are being replaced by fresh blood must be gut-wrenching. Two weeks after sustaining an ankle injury in the FA Cup replay at Crewe, David Moyes replaced the man responsible for bringing Naysmith to these parts, Walter Smith. Around the same time, Berti Vogts was officially installed as Scotland manager. And where was Naysmith while all the fun was going on? Nursing an ankle problem that would eventually require surgery and rule him out of the last three months of the season. It's not like he didn't know how to deal with that sort of lay-off because this time last year an horrendous gash to the knee cut short his season at pretty much the same point.
Players often talk about being useless spectators and Naysmith would profess to be one of them, but at least the majority of those that fall into that category have had the chance to do the necessary impressing before that point. Now he's discovered that the the next route recovery he's planned has hit another diversion. Instead of being able to focus upon the likely destination of the UEFA Cup when planning his return, the goalposts have been moved once again after it was discovered that surgery to rectify an ankle problem hadn't had the desired effect. Now pre-season looks like a long shot. And your heart goes out to him. It's not back to square one, it's not even back to the drawing board - he hasn't even picked up the pen. Moyes will no doubt have been made aware of his abilities by now and you'd hope that someone north of the border knows enough German to make exactly the same recomendations to Vogts, as he puts his planes together for reviving Scotland's fortunes. But if you wantw ant something doing then often you can only rely upon yourself, and that is what will be grating the young Scot as he starts to readjust to another deadline. Naysmith though is the type of player that Evertonians want to see on their books, a young talent, still only 22, with the potential to make a big name for himself when Lady Luck allows him to. Once the season is over, direct all black cats Bellefield way.
Alex is the man for Moyes
Report By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Apr 26 2002
FORGOTTEN Arsenal star Alex Manninger has emerged as the latest name on David Moyes' summer hitlist. Having appointed his number two this week in the shape of ex-Blue Alan Irvine, the Everton manager has made a new number one a top priority for next season. Leicester's Ian Walker is in the frame for a possible switch from the relegated Foxes with Moyes unconvinced by the claims of both Steve Simonsen and Paul Gerrard for a regular first-team role. Walker is available for around £2.5million but the Blues boss has widened his search for a stopper to the continent and is interested in Austrian international Manninger. The 24-year-old Gunner is nearing the end of a nine-month loan spell at troubled Italian side Fiorentina, recently relegated from Serie A and unable to conclude a permanent deal due to the threat of bankruptcy. Manninger, who fell further down the pecking order at Highbury with the £6m arrival of Richard Wright last summer, is expected to leave Arsenal at the end of this season for a fee of around £2.5m-£3m. Moyes is considering tempting the Austrian to remain in the Premiership but will face strong competition from a number of Italian sides alerted by Manninger's fine form in a struggling side. Thomas Gravesen, meanwhile, has received a glowing tribute from new manager Moyes just months after the midfielder's Goodison career appeared over under former boss Walter Smith. Gravesen, who has lost weight as a result of a new diet and training regime, was sent off just 29 minutes into Moyes' Goodison reign but has since played a key role in Everton's escape from the danger zone. And the Blues boss said: "Tommy has played well in the last couple of games for us. I thought he played very well at Southampton and I said that to him. "Some of the things he does are exceptional. Then there are one or two things that you worry about. But can you not say that about all players? "He has great ability in his feet and his passing. Technically, he is very good.".
Everton Reserves 1, Middlesbrough Res 0
Apr 26 2002
CHAMPIONS Everton denied Boro the chance to take top spot in the FA Premier Reserves League with a narrow victory at the Halton Stadium. In a first half of very few chances the Blues came closest to breaking the deadlock when Kevin McLeod made a great run and cross only for the ball to miss all the Blues' players in the box. The second period was much better and Everton found the opening with nine minutes to go. Leon Osman was fed by Sean O'Hanlon before cracking a terrific shot past Mark Crossley. The visitors very nearly earned a point with five minutes remaining but Ryan Valentine was on the line to clear.
EVERTON: Pettinger, O'Hanlon, Valentine, Pilkington, Clarke, Southern, Curran, Osman, Symes (Carney 62), Eaton, McLeod. Subs: Crowder, Cole, Moogan A. BORO: Crossley, Parnaby, Murphy, Hudson, Gulliver, Davies, Smith, Close, Dove, Bernhardt (Cade 65), Gordon. Subs: Storey, Brunt, Garbutt, Agbatar. Ref: P Caradine
Is Europe really worth it?
Fanscene By Mark O'Brien, Daily Post
Apr 26 2002
WELL this makes a refreshing change. Mathematically safe and now only sweating over European qualification and whether we would want Everton to win or lose against Arsenal if the title depended on the outcome. Actually, that last one isn't really the dilemma that some people seem to think. We've improved immeasurably since the change of management but the Gunners are still quite a way ahead of us. If they need the three points on the final day they won't need to depend on our boys taking a dive in the ninth. So rest easy. The players seemed to have been stirred by the criticism after the Leicester game and gave a more committed performance down at Southampton-It obviously wasn't vintage stuff but better teams than ours have come unstuck down there since Gordon Strachan took over. We kept it tight and defended well for a change; as a result the one well-taken goal was enough to secure the points. Who does that remind you of? And what a well-taken goal it was. Seeing Steve Watson rampaging in from the right like that was almost as big a shock as the sight of Bernie Hitchmough's moustache. Qualification for the Intertoto Cup now apparently depends on Fulham finishing above Aston Villa. But do we really want to play in this much-maligned competition? What is an Intertoto anyway? Admittedly, if you do well in it there is the chance of entry into the UEFA Cup and the extra revenue that generates. In that respect it is obviously 'a good thing'. However, there are certain drawbacks. Firstly, there's the fact that those not travelling to the games will have to watch the games through the fog of Channel 5's dodgy reception. On top of that they'll also have to endure the excruciating rantings of wacky funster Jonathon Pearce and the fascinating facts about the local region that he seamlessly shoehorns into his commentary. There's also the very real possibility-that ruddy-faced, sunburned players, miffed that they've had their holiday in Florida curtailed, will embarrass us all by dipping out against some French team with an unfeasibly short name and a chain-smoking manager who is considered 'something of a character'. And that's before we even consider the fact that our small squad struggles to cope with one game a week. Ipswich Town's league form was atrocious while they were in Europe and they now look like they may end up paying the price for that awful start to the season.
It would be a travesty if we end up fighting relegation because we've entered a competition that is just so inherently tacky. Whatever next, official flag days?.
Treat fans to a free-for-all
Apr 26 2002 By Howard Kendall
EVERTON should lead the way in celebrating their outstanding achievement in becoming the first English club to celebrate 100 seasons in the top division. The achievement can be placed in its proper context by comparing Everton's record to other famous clubs. No-one even comes close.
Aston Villa are Everton's nearest rivals, with 88 top flight seasons behind them. Liverpool are a season behind them, Arsenal three seasons further back again, while Manchester United are trailing way in the distance with 77 completed top flight seasons. I believe plans are already well under way to commemorate the historic hundredth season, but that hasn't stopped me thinking of ways of marking the occasion. I like the idea of having no shirt sponsor for a year, with a slogan which would appeal to the supporters replacing the advertising logo. But I also appreciate that Everton are not Real Madrid, and if a suitable offer is received they could not realistically turn down that bid.
I think Evertonians would appreciate that. But what I would like to see happen is season tickets for the new season reduced by the cost of admission for one match. The club's loyal fans could then celebrate the first home game of the historic season free of charge. There is already a suggestion that the club will plan some special celebrations that day. The first home game always attracts a near capacity gate, anyway, but by admitting so many supporters effectively for free it would be a marvellous gesture from the People's Club to the people who support them.
Alan's a good choice
MY first reaction on hearing that Alan Irvine was coming back to Goodison as first team coach was "not a bloody winger!" Like all wingers, Alan could drive you to distraction. But he was one of that rare breed of wingers in the modern age who could go past players not through pace, but with pure skill. He was a smashing lad to work with, and Kenny Dalglish obviously thought very highly of him to take him from Blackburn up to Newcastle. David Moyes clearly thinks very highly of him, too, and together they will form a dynamic and energetic partnership.
Promotion - and battle for survival
MANCHESTER CITY and West Brom are still celebrating elevation to the Premiership.
Wolves, Millwall, Birmingham and Norwich, are all dreaming of clinching the final prized place. But I'm already frightened for all of them, when you look at their respective records in the First Division.
Norwich City, for example, have sneaked into the last play-off place despite losing 15 games this season. If they do succeed in achieving promotion, Canaries' fans must be worried at how long they can stay up. To put their record into perspective, Bolton and Fulham have both lost fewer games than that in the Premiership this season - and have still found themselves battling against the threat of relegation. Fulham were the best side in Division One by a mile last season - and have spent £30m since the start of the new campaign on consolidating. That has still only proved sufficient to see them guarantee Premiership safety this week with two games remaining. It highlights the enormity of the task promoted clubs have in consolidating in the Premier League. Gary Megson has worked wonders at West Brom in ending their 16-year absence from the top flight, but is already complaining at the lack of financial backing he is likely to be given to keep them there.
What it does is once again highlight Everton's achievement in celebrating their membership of the 100 Club, the most exclusive members club in English football!
Nick in the firing line
Apr 26 2002 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
NICK CHADWICK already feels his first team place is under pressure - just days after making his full League debut. After a string of vibrantly productive substitute appearances, the 19-year-old striker made his first start at Southampton last Saturday. But he did so in the knowledge that lurking on the substitutes' bench for the first time was another ambitious young marksman, 16-year-old striking prodigy Wayne Rooney. "That's just my luck," grinned Chadwick, after his full debut was cut short after only 26 minutes by injury. "But seriously, that kind of competition for places can only be good for the club. "If a few other youngsters start pressing the seniors it's a sign the club is moving in the right direction. "I haven't really ever played alongside Wayne before. He's obviously going to be a massive talent and a great asset to the club. "Hopefully I'll see a lot more of him in the coming weeks whether it be reserve team football or, dare I say, the first team." Chadwick's full debut at St Mary's Stadium was fully meritted. And after substitute strikes against Bolton and Leicester he troubled Paul Jones last weekend before the Saints' goalkeeper exacted cruel revenge. Chadwick was chasing the ball with his usual predatory intent on edge of the six-yard box, when Jones collided painfully with the young striker. It ended Chadwick's debut early, but according to the teenager should also have yielded a goal for the Blues. "I thought it was a penalty," he explained. "I took the ball away with the outside of my right foot just as the 'keeper came out to get the ball.
"He went over on my leg and sprained the outside of my ankle. "I touched the ball away and not the 'keeper, so I would have given a penalty. "Just as things are starting to go well for me something like this happens. It's back to the drawing board and start again. "I enjoyed the brief time I was on. I thought there would be a few openings for me to nick a goal but it wasn't to be. "Hopefully in the weeks left, or next season maybe, there will be other opportunities." A Chadwick-Rooney partnership never materialised at Southampton, but with the Inter-Toto Cup still a realistic possibility there will undoubtedly be other opportunities. It's almost four years since a teenage strike-force of Francis Jeffers and Jamie Milligan saw out the final 60 seconds of a 1998 home defeat of Newcastle. Chadwick and Rooney could be a more enduring double-act.
Gerrard gets chance to save himself
Apr 26 2002 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
PAUL GERRARD will be given another chance on Sunday to prove he has a future at Goodison Park, as Everton continue to be linked with every available goalkeeper in Europe. Arsenal's Alex Manninger is the latest keeper reported to be on David Moyes' summer shopping list.
The prospect of the Austrian joining Everton is highly unlikely, but Moyes admits he has monitored his form this season on-loan at relegated Serie A side Fiorentina. Ian Walker's name has also been linked with the Blues, but again a swoop is unlikely, while a bid for Coventry's Magnus Hedman has been completely ruled out. Moyes has been checking on goalkeepers, though, and with Steve Simonsen still not recovered from a hip injury, Gerrard will be given another chance against Blackburn to show Moyes what he can do. Ironically Gerrard has also been struggling with a groin strain this week but he should recover in time for the televised Sunday clash. Youngster Andrew Pettinger will again sit on the substitutes' bench. Moyes watched Blackburn draw 2-2 against Newcastle on Tuesday night --and with his own side having scored 14 goals since his arrival - an entertaining clash is likely. "Sometimes you say that and it doesn't work out that way," said the Blues boss "but they have attacking threat all over the park with their two wingers, Gillespie and Duff, and Andy Cole and Matt Jansen up front. "As long as we score more than they do, though, I won't mind."
Young striker Nick Chadwick has made a speedy recovery after being stretchered off at Southampton just 26 minutes into his full League debut last Saturday and has every chance of being included against Rovers. Tomasz Radzinski, however, will be hoping for a recall to the starting line-up, after admitting his form this season has not been good enough. The Canadian was top scorer for Anderlecht last season with 23 goals - five in the Champions League - but so far this season he has managed six. " Scoring only six goals so far is not good enough," he declared. "I know I came here with great expectations and I am determined to prove myself. "The way the team is playing now is more suited to me. " There is greater emphasis on attack and we tend to pressure the opposition more. I also think we are playing more attractive football. I am very happy here and people in Liverpool have made me very welcome."
Everton 1, Blackburn 2 (D. Post)
Ian Doyle Reports From Goodison Park, Daily Post
Apr 29 2002
THE lone piper who scarpered from the Goodison turf in no time had the right idea. Come the final whistle, there were more than a few supporters who had followed the kilted one's example by leaving early yesterday as Everton contrived to turn what had been built up as an end-of-season party into an atmosphere more akin to a wake. The piper - making a first re-appearance since Walter Smith's departure - had been the centre-piece of pre-match hype hailing a Goodison flag day; a chance for the People's Club's people to celebrate clinching the 100th year of top-flight football.
But his display was as brief as the enthusiasm shown by the fans as they saw their side end their home campaign with a whimper. And while this abject defeat mattered little in terms of the Premiership, it led to the almost embarrassing sight of a half-empty ground disinterestedly clapping the players around a lap of dubious honour. Supporters can't be fooled - cutting through the hyperbole, they are more than aware there has been precious little to cheer as a Blue this season.
It's safe to say not much money was wagered last August on either Everton or Blackburn Rovers representing the Premiership in Europe next season. But with Graeme Souness' side already qualified for the UEFA Cup as a result of their Worthington Cup success in February, victory yesterday would have taken the Blues to the brink of joining their Lancastrian rivals in Continental combat next season. Alas, clearly the lure of the Intertoto Cup was not quite enough to stir the home side for a rousing finale, and barring a series of unlikely final-day results, Europe will have to wait for another year. That will be a blessing in disguise. Instead of having to prepare for what many see as an unnecessary money-making competition, David Moyes will have the opportunity to plan his pre-season with the Premiership as his priority - and be able to undertake what squad rebuilding the ubiquitous financial restraints will allow him. It will also give the players extra time to recuperate following a draining season - although on yesterday's evidence, some of them already appeared to have started their summer holidays. In truth, all talk of a top ten finish and a place in Europe next season had served only to mask the harsh realities which had seen the Blues fighting against relegation for the majority of the season. During those dark hours, mere survival itself was very much in the balance. That, inspired by the arrival of Moyes, the players managed to lift themselves to safety with two games remaining is credit to their resilience and application in recent weeks and maybe reason enough for the supporters to approach yesterday's game in such good voice. But it didn't take long for that to wane and the old grumbles to begin as Everton returned to type to labour through a first half of tedium. The Blues preceded the kick-off by handing out autographed shirts to some of their young disabled fans, and with Moyes poised for a summer of rebuilding it won't be the last time some of these Everton players are handing their kits to someone else before the start of next season. One such player who has yet to convince the new boss is goalkeeper Paul Gerrard - and he will not have done himself any favours with another piece of indecision to gift Blackburn the lead on 10 minutes. A short corner from the right was taken to the unmarked Martin Taylor, who was allowed time to swing in a curling cross. It appeared Gerrard's ball, but a moment's hesitation was enough to gift Matt Jansen a free header six yards out into an empty goal. Like Taylor, the Rovers striker was left unattended by the Blues defence and, while the finger could be pointed at the back four, they had every right to expect their goalkeeper to come and claim a cross which should have been a routine one. Jansen's opener brought a brief flurry of response from the home side, with David Unsworth wasting a decent opening just minutes later. Good work by Niclas Alexandersson down the right ended with the Swede delivering a cross to his opposite winger on the far post, but despite having a clear goalscoring opportunity, Unsworth dallied before pulling his shot across the face of goal with such ferocity it left Chadwick with little chance to divert the ball home. A goal down, the Blues were fortunate not to go a man down on 24 minutes when, beaten for pace, Alan Stubbs hauled down Jansen on the corner of the penalty area. With the home fans fearing the worst, referee Jeff Winter - never the most popular among the Goodison faithful - broke from character and deemed a yellow card sufficient punishment.
Scot Gemmill saw a long-range effort tipped around the post by Brad Friedel, but otherwise the Blues struggled to contend with a Blackburn side which, with their own Premiership safety secured because of Ipswich's defeat to Manchester United the previous day, was hardly over-exerting themselves. It was some surprise then when Everton hauled themselves level five minutes after the interval with a cheeky piece of opportunism by Nick Chadwick, who had completed a remarkable recovery to retain his place in the starting line-up after being stretchered off with what appeared a serious injury in the win at Southampton last week. An Unsworth corner from the right was headed on by Weir and, after a deflection off Martin Taylor, the young Blues striker, with his back to goal, used a combination of his studs and his heel to roll the ball in from six yards out before Friedel could reach it. Now the stage was set for the Blues to press forward and end their home campaign with a comeback victory. Except, as has happened far too often this season, they succeeded only in blundering their way out of a good position. And again, it was Gerrard cast in the role of chief villain. In spilling Damien Duff's searching 63rd-minute shot, he gave the previously apathetic Andy Cole the chance to head in for what was ultimately the winner. While not as culpable as in the first goal, following so soon after his misdemeanours against Leicester City a fortnight ago, it's now obvious Gerrard is unable to shake off his error-prone reputation. No wonder Moyes has announced he is in the market for a new goalkeeper. Save one late chance for Cole to deepen the home fans' misery with a chip that landed on top of the netting, that was about it. A home campaign which began with the Blues moving to the summit ended with the sight of the players sheepishly acknowledging the muted applause of a half-empty Goodison. With Everton now safe, Moyes has delivered on his first promise of keeping the club in the Premiership. Now, though, is when the real work begins.
EVERTON (4-4-2): Gerrard; Watson, Stubbs, Weir, Pistone; Alexandersson (Radzinski 73), Gemmill, Gravesen, Unsworth (Blomqvist 81), Chadwick, Campbell. Subs: Pettinger, Linderoth, Carsley.
BLACKBURN ROVERS (4-4-2): Friedel; Unsal (Johansson 63), Short, Berg, Taylor; Dunn, Tugay (Gillespie 63), Flitcroft, Duff; Cole, Jansen. Subs: Kelly, Hughes, Yordi.
BOOKINGS: Everton's Stubbs and Unsworth and Blackburn's Jansen and Cole.
REFEREE: Mr J Winter.
Defiant Moyes pledges to beat Goodison gloom
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Apr 29 2002
DAVID MOYES admitted he is under no illusions about the size of the task at Everton after suffering the first home defeat of his reign against Blackburn Rovers yesterday. The Blues ended their Goodison campaign with a defeat by Graeme Souness' side that dropped Moyes' men down to 13th in the Premiership and all but ended any hopes of qualification for the Intertoto Cup. Headers from Matt Jansen and Andy Cole sandwiched Nick Chadwick's cheeky back-heel, his third goal in three Goodison appearances, as Rovers leapfrogged Everton in the table. And afterwards Moyes said: "I knew the size of the task when I arrived here and what has happened doesn't change anything.
"This certainly wasn't the way we wanted to sign off. It was a disappointing day. "We've had a lot of good days here in the last six weeks and if you'd said to me when I started that we'd lose the final home game but still be safe I would have taken that. "But we didn't play well and were a few levels down on what we have been." Jansen headed the visitors in front after only nine minutes before Cole reclaimed the lead in the second half to leave the Blues needing victory at Highbury on the last day of the season to stand any chance of qualifying for Europe next season. And Moyes said: "I'm not sure of the maths but I want to win as many games as we can. The Intertoto would be great but we've got to win matches first. "I didn't think there was anything in the first half but their early goal changed the outlook of the game. "It was a poor goal to concede and while I have to protect my players we should have done better and Jansen should have been picked up better. "After they scored we missed a great chance for David Unsworth just afterwards and though we went in 1-0 down I didn't think there was much in the game. "We rallied well after the break and the first 20 minutes of the second half was our best spell but once we scored we gave Blackburn the opportunity to play around us more than we should have. We should have been more controlled and patient." Rovers manager Souness, meanwhile, believed his side's improved second half showing - and Cole's allround display - made them worthy winners. Souness said: "The first half was thoroughly miserable, and both teams didn't want to win it. But in the second half we were the more aggressive, made most of the running and deserved to win. "It has been a great season for us in many respects but I still say we have underachieved." The former Liverpool man added: "Andy Cole's goals and all-round play have lifted the club. "He has delivered what we bought him for, cheaply in my opinion, and why he is not going to be going to the World Cup with England cannot be for football reasons."
By Len Capeling, Daily Post
Apr 29 2002
SADLY, I couldn't stay for the slap of honour. There's only so much excitement a body can take before the lure of an ulcer tablet becomes too great. Apologies to Nicky for trampling her in my haste to be away from the screech of catcalls and the thunder of protracted booing.
If you've heard this all before, I'm sorry. Goodison has been home to excruciating agony all season.
You hardly ever escape its confines without the sound of discontent darkening the evening air.
Take the slap of honour, for example. This little wheeze was dreamed up - I think that's the expression - so Evertonians could let the players know what they thought of their efforts. Or vice versa. Trouble is, no-one had allowed for the fact Blackburn would come along, make Everton look lumbering or worse and thus spoil the final love-in of a long season. To judge by the huge numbers of innocent people who'd catapulted themselves out of their seats and into Goodison Road before the terrifying climax to the festivities, the idea of a spending another second's cuddling wasn't high on their menu of thingstodo before flinging themselves into the Mersey. Was it that bad? Yes it was. And more. Blackburn deserved to win four or fiveone on takeable chances, played all the football and had, in Damien Duff, the best player on this or many another pitch. Duff's dazzling wing skills have already attracted Liverpool's attention and you could see why after a sparkling show that saw him dance past so many Everton defenders you wondered if they were nailed to the turf.
Add to that the predator's awareness of Matt Jansen and the stone-cold certainty of every tackle and interception by veterans Craig Short - ex-Everton - and Henning Berg - and you have a level of ability and determination from front to back that the Blues never matched. As against Leicester, watching fans waited in vain for a hint of guile from an Everton midfield whose tackling ability too often leaves them with possession they're incapable of using. Where Damien Duff and David Dunn enabled Blackburn to maraud down the flanks, Everton's selection - including the terminally frustrating Niclas Alexandersson - gave them the width of a back-alley, one strewn with obstacles.
All this will come as no surprise to David Moyes, who would have been able too see the depth of the furrows etched on Walter Smith's face from the banks of the Ribble. The only consolation for Moyes and his stretched squad is that the InterToto Cup will now have to be put away for another day. And hopefully never. Everton are too naively predictable to be thinking thoughts of Europe. Better to prove something in the middle reaches of the Premiership before trying unfancy footwork on your betters. Here those betters were Blackburn Rovers. Graeme Souness has moaned all season about their underachieving nature, but on a storm-tossed afternoon in the city of sighs, they looked a team in a false position. Matt Jansen epitomised their attitude to a match which Souness demanded they win with something to spare. On an intravenous drip all week after the serious stomach infection that kept him out of the England team, Jansen made a number of his opponents look distinctly queasy - particularly when he rose in a crowded goalmouth ahead of the indecisive Paul Gerrard to give Blackburn the lead after 10 minutes. Rovers passing wasn't always the crispest, but then, all they had to was knock it to Duff and watch him spread panic. Everton briefly burst into life when Nick Chadwick back-heeled an equaliser on 50 minutes but when that tremor of interest had subsided, the otherwise anonymous Andy Cole scored what turned to be the winner after a shot by Duff looped up off Gerrard. Blackburn then strolled on, hit the crossbar, brought Gerrard into further action and ended the game as they'd started it - in charge. Even a streaker couldn't disturb their massive concentration, nor could the dirgeful piper who'd earlier given the match its air of untimely triumphalism. Being promised a slap of honour merely made the clouds thicken and blacken.
Everton 1, Blackburn 2 (Echo)
By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
Apr 29 2002
WHEN Everton declared their final home fixture an official Flag Day, they could hardly have expected their players to interpret the idea as an instruction. While the Goodison fans, any excuse for a celebration, responded with an impressive flurry of banners, the players flagged as forlornly as they have managed for most of this miserable season - and they have some fairly stiff competition for that title. Blackburn - a side which had only confirmed their own Premiership survival 24 hours earlier - won at a canter. Graeme Souness summed it up succinctly. "The first half was a miserable affair between two teams who didn't want to win it," he shrugged. "In the second half we ran around a bit more." Everton did everything to try to inject some urgency into the affair . . . a Scottish piper, a sixties legend introduced on the pitch at half-time, a tannoy announcer calling for "a really loud cheer when the lads come back out for the second half" - even the shock tactic of a ginger streaker. But the players remained resolutely apathetic. That last attempt showed how desperate things had become. But the suffering supporters could barely find it in them to even halfheartedly jeer, let alone hang around for a farewell lap of dishonour once the game had ended.
The crumb of comfort for a dejected David Moyes was that at least his club's illconceived collision with the InterToto Cup has now surely ended. The Blues' boss will need every minute at his disposal this summer to address the glaring deficiencies in his already small playing staff. Looking at a list of the players he does have available, his eye will not travel far before a priority emerges. The first line, in fact. Any hopes Paul Gerrard may have harboured of his manager dismissing his last Goodison aberration as a one-off, disappeared inside 10 minutes. That's how long it took for him to hand over another goal in a fright of indecision. Dunn's cross was tempting, as much for keeper as forward. But Gerrard stood frozen in the headlights as Jansen jogged into the six-yard box to head into an unguarded net. Everton might have levelled almost instantly, but Unsworth miscued badly from Alexandersson's cross. David Weir also failed to connect cleanly with a 22nd minute corner kick, the ball bouncing safely behind the target. But any thrust, pace or creativity generally came from the visitors. The sum of Blackburn's parts should be greater than their present Premiership position.
Attacking incision from Cole and Jansen, natural width and imagination from Dunn and Duff and an efficient midfield organiser in Tugay suggests Souness' side has the basis for greater optimism next season. Everton have nothing like that quality, but at least Moyes does have promising youngsters beginning to emerge. A respected member of Everton's coaching staff once tried to encapsulate the appeal of Nick Chadwick, when the youngster was making the step from Under-19 to reserve team football. "He's raw, rough round the edges and sometimes his touch makes you wonder why he's out there. Then he'll score a goal," he summed up. Chadwick has clearly polished up some of those rough edges since then, but while he will never have the grace of say, Matt Jansen, he still possesses that priceless ability to score a goal. Yesterday's was his third league strike, grabbed while his career is still very much in its infancy, and it carried the hallmark of a true goal poacher. Back to goal as the ball span sharply towards him in a crowded goalmouth, he reacted with a marksman's instinct, dragging the ball back with the sole of his foot into the corner of the net. That should have been the platform for Everton to at least prise a point from the match, but Everton's defending again let them down within 10 minutes. Under Moyes, Everton's attacking threat has increased dramatically - but they still haven't got the balance right at the other end. Campbell headed a freekick out towards the edge of his own penalty area. Duff was given enough space to crash a volley goalwards, then after Gerrard made a plunging parry, Cole had even more time to nod the rebound into the empty net.
It might have been far worse. Garry Flitcroft rapped a close range shot against a post after Gerrard had parried Jansen's header. The midfielder was ruled offside on that occasion, but Duff wasn't when he curled a gorgeous shot around the stranded keeper and was again denied by the woodwork - the underside of the crossbar this time. Everton ended with three strikers on the pitch, but Blackburn again enjoyed the best opening when Cole broke free on a breakaway.
He should have sealed the game, but lifted his shot onto the roof of the net.
Maybe he was flagging. If so, he wasn't alone . . .
EVERTON (4-4-2): Gerrard, Watson, Weir, Stubbs, Pistone, Alexandersson (Radzinski 74 mins), Gemmill, Gravesen, Unsworth (Blomqvist 82 mins), Chadwick, Campbell. Unused substitutes: Linderoth, Carsley, Pettinger.
BLACKBURN (4-4-2): Friedel, Unsal (Johansson 63 mins), Berg, Short, Taylor, Dunn, Flitcroft, Tugay (Gillespie 63 mins), Duff, Cole, Jansen. Unused substitutes: Hughes, Yordi, Kelly.
Referee: Jeff Winter.
Bookings: Stubbs (24 mins) foul, Jansen (32 mins) dissent, Cole (44 mins) foul, Unsworth (61 mins) foul.
Players get a second chance
Apr 29 2002 By Claire Gray Everton Reporter
DAVID Moyes' will take a near full-strength side to Falkirk for tomorrow's pre-arranged friendly.
The Brockville Park fixture (KO 7.30pm) was agreed weeks ago to celebrate the Scottish club's 125th anniversary. And those players involved in yesterday's disappointing defeat to Blackburn will be given another chance to impress by making the journey north of the border. Alessandro Pistone and Thomas Gravesen will not travel. Pistone is in Colorado seeing a specialist about his knee as a precautionary measure while Gravesen is being rested. There is also a slight doubt about the availability of Duncan Ferguson as the Scot picked up a niggle in training. Blues boss Moyes said: "We will be taking most of the players up there and will play most of them at some point in the game. "It will give us a chance to look at one or two other players as well. The main point of the exercise though is to help Falkirk celebrate their anniversary." The Scottish club were relegated to division two at the weekend following a goalless draw at St Mirren. Meanwhile, Everton are offering their supporters an early chance to stake their claim for priority seating if their bid to relocate to the Kings Dock proves successful. Supporters who buy season tickets between now and then will receive a voucher for priority booking, guaranteeing them first option when sales begin at the new stadium.
Chief executive Michael Dunford said: "In terms of its pricing policy, Everton remains one of the most competitive clubs within the Premiership. Loyalty should be met with reward. "Those who underscore that loyalty by way of purchasing a season ticket will enjoy the additional bonus of finding themselves in pole position when the time comes to allocate seats inside the new stadium."
A poor display, admits Moyes
Apr 29 2002 By David Prentice
EVERTON have almost certainly let an InterToto Cup place slip through their fingers with yesterday's disappointing home defeat to Blackburn. Only the unlikely prospect of Fulham overhauling Aston Villa on the last day of the season - the Londoners face Blackburn at Ewood Park while Villa go to Chelsea - can revive Everton's hopes, unless The Toffees produce the even more unlikely result of an away win at Arsenal. But boss David Moyes preferred to dwell on the positives after a disappointing 2-1 defeat. "If I'd been told when I took the job that we'd be safe, but lose the last home game, I'd have certainly taken that," he said. "We have to try and be positive about it, but it was a poor performance. "I think everyone was just a couple of levels down from how they've been playing in recent games. "I didn't think there was anything in the first half. The goal changed the look of the game, but it was very even. Both teams never really hurt each other too much. "They scored the goal, we missed a great chance with David Unsworth, but other than that there wasn't much in the first half. "Our best spell was the opening 20 minutes of the second half when we rallied.
"We got about them and looked more like ourselves, but once we scored the goal we gave Blackburn opportunities to play around us a bit when we should have been more controlled and patient."
Moyes was resigned about the disappearance of the Inter Toto Cup place. "I've not studied the mathematical permutations yet," he explained "but we want to win as many games as we can, which would mean us getting up the table and qualifying for the InterToto, which would be great - but we had to win those games first. "I knew the task in front of me when I came here and games like this don't make me think any differently about it." But Moyes indicated that when he begins his hunt for new talent this summer, a goalkeeper will be high on his shopping list. "The first goal was poor," he admitted. "We always try to look after and protect the players, but we have to own up to things at times, too. "Having said that, I would have liked to have seen the boy picked up better as well."
Don't expect a quick fix
Report By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Apr 30 2002
DAVID MOYES insists there will be no 'quick fix' to Everton's decline as the Blues boss outlined his strategy for reviving the club's fortunes. The Everton chief admits he must target raw talent and is unlikely to make wholesale changes this summer due to the financial restraints at Goodison Park.
But as he warned against overexpectation at Everton, where Moyes secured Premiership survival with two games of the season to go, the new manager insisted he was optimistic about the club's long-term future. Moyes, who admits he has "to turn Everton around", said: "We want to try to get the winning mentality here. It has been a bit of an achievement to stay up but that outlook is something we will try to change. "We have done better than I could have expected. We have got 43 points, which is more than people were saying we could get, and we still have one game to go.
"There are things we need to put in place to change things around. A number of managers have tried and it hasn't quite worked out for them for a number of reasons, one of which is the financial constraints here. "If we do turn things around then it is not going to be a quick fix - it will take time.
"We will be looking to bring in players that are not the ready-made article and hope to bring them along in training and give them the games. "It can only work that way if we get them in at the right price but the likelihood is that we will have the same players here next season." Moyes' arrival from Preston has received widespread approval from Evertonians but he has called for patience as he embarks on his rebuilding process. "Expectation is a great thing if people understand the way we are trying to move forward," added Moyes. "If the expectation is that in three months we would have a new club here then that is way off the mark. We are looking to improve the players we've got, and any players we do bring in will not be ready made. "I am going to try to turn Everton Football Club around but I need everyone to have a realism about it. "Hopefully in the next few weeks we will have a better idea of the way we can take a long-term look at where we would like to be and how we can achieve that." Sunday's defeat by Blackburn effectively killed off any hopes of European football at Everton next season via the Intertoto Cup but Moyes has been delighted with his squad's attitude in dragging themselves out of danger. Moyes, meanwhile, will field a near full-strength side at Falkirk tonight where Everton take part in a friendly to mark the Scottish club's 125th anniversary. The game at Brockville Park was agreed while former boss Walter Smith was in charge and Moyes will use the match as another opportunity to assess his first team squad. Thomas Gravesen and Alessandro Pistone will not travel, with the Italian in Colorado for a precautionary check on his knee, while Duncan Ferguson is doubtful after picking up an injury in training.
Everton are to give season ticket holders the chance to stake their claim for priority seating at the proposed Kings Dock stadium. Fans who purchase season tickets before the planned stadium opens will be given a voucher that guarantees them first option on seats when sales begin at the waterfront site.
Rooney scores as England triumph
Uefa U17s Championship By Chris Wright, Daily Post
Apr 30 2002
WAYNE ROONEY'S wonderful first-half goal set England on the road to the quarter-finals of the UEFA under-17s Championship in Gladsaxe, Denmark, yesterday. The Everton striker scored a superb individual goal to open the scoring as England went on to beat Holland 2-0 - Dick Bate's side's second successive win in the tournament following Saturday's 3-2 victory over Finland - to guarantee a place in the last eight. The 16-year-old striker also had a hand in England second strike. His clever ball put in Manchester City's Lee Croft on the right of the box and his low cross was smashed home by Charlton's Stacey Long after the ball had been deflected into his path. Rooney gave way to Manchester City's Dorryl Proffitt and his Everton colleague was also a late substitute, making a brief first appearance in the finals, as he replaced Croft in the last minute. The side was once again captained by Liverpool defender David Raven, who marshalled the backline well as they kept their first clean sheet of the championship Liverpool colleague Mark Smyth, who scored on Saturday against Finland, was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet again, but after a forceful run his vicious shot was palmed away by the Dutch keeper. And the 17-year-old left-sided striker just failed to connect cleanly with a right-wing cross from Crystal Palace's Wayne Routledge as he rushed in behind the Dutch defence. Another Liverpool youngster, 16-year-old midfielder David Mannix, also made his second substitute appearance of the tournament. England coach Bate said: "I thought it was a good all round performance. We defended well, kept the ball well and looked good going forward. It was a much improved performance from our first game. "The boys are enjoying the experience of tournament football and are acquitting themselves well. The team I took to the semifinals of last year's UEFA Under-16 Championship was an extremely solid one, but this one seems to have a little more invention going forward. "In terms of potential winners of the competition, I think the traditional powers like France and Spain will both be there at shakeup and Denmark, as the host nation, will also be a strong side." And on England's star performer Rooney, he added: "Of course he is just one member of the team, but with the rapid progress that he has made this season, it might have been easy for him to become a little distracted. "However, he has shown an excellent attitude since he has been out here, as have the whole squad." Bate's team now face hosts Denmark - who beat Finland 6-0 yesterday - tomorrow in Hvidore (kick-off 4pm). England only need a point to top group A and avoid a likely meeting with favourites Spain in the last eight.
England's matches are being shown live on British Eurosport
Unsworth has faith in Moyes
By Paul Walker, Daily Post
Apr 30 2002
EVERTON brought the curtain down on another erratic home campaign expecting a summer of change and believing that new boss David Moyes will put things right. Everton lost their last home game of the season to Blackburn, and now face just one more match - at title-chasing Arsenal - before Moyes begins the rebuilding work. But the club's longest-serving player David Unsworth believes the Scot has already stamped his mark at Goodison Park. "Impact is what management is all about, and unfortunately this season it has led to one manager getting the sack, but the results since then are getting the new manager a lot of praise," Unsworth said. The Intertoto Cup looks to be beyond the Toffees now because they still need points to overhaul Fulham, and with Arsenal possibly in need of points on the last day of the season, they will not be easy to come by. But for Unsworth - who won the champagne as Sunday's man of the match - the wind of change has given him a new lease of life. Under former boss Walter Smith, big-hearted Unsworth was constantly left out. Now Unsworth - who has been first choice in all but one of Moyes' matches - feels wanted.
He said: "I've been in the side consistently under the new gaffer. "When someone has got faith in you it gives you the confidence you need. "When you give anyone a pat on the back they feel great about themselves, not just myself but the whole team. "You can see it out on the pitch and that's a benefit to the club. "When someone shows you faith it can only make you more confident. It's not just me, he's shown a lot of faith with the other guys, too. "We have kept virtually the same team, week in week out. Look at the successful clubs, like Manchester United, and you can name their best side over a matter of years. "You don't win anything by chopping and changing all the time. Suspensions and injuries mean you are sometimes forced to change, but he's kept faith with the boys and on the whole the lads have played well." Now Unsworth, who accepts that there will be major staffing changes during the summer, reckons the new boss can change the mental approach of the players. He said: " Nobody wants to go into a season just striving to get out of the relegation zone. We have shown since the new boss arrived that our form is better. It's certainly top half of the table. "If you can maintain that I'm sure the Everton fans will be pleased. "Things don't happen overnight and we haven't got a great deal of money but there is some there. If we can improve a little each year then we are moving in the right direction. " The problem we have always had is that we can't keep players free from injury. We have certainly done that since the gaffer has arrived."
Everton saved themselves from the drop a week ago, and blew a chance against Rovers of establishing themselves in the top half of the table. Matt Jansen put the visitors ahead in the first half before Nick Chadwick grabbed a cheeky back- heeled equaliser. Andy Cole then restored Rovers' lead with a diving header on the rebound to consign Everton to defeat, but with the work to ensure survival already done, Unsworth is glad to be playing free of pressure. He said: " There was always a fear of relegation, results go against you and like 10 or so other clubs who are all very much the same, if you lose a match you are right back in the mire. "It was always in the back of our minds. It forced us to strive to get away, particularly in such a tight division. "We are looking to get into the top half more consistently to take a bit of pressure off. "The gaffer is ambitious, and the players have bigger ambition. Nobody wants to be in relegation bother. We have experienced it far too often for a club of this stature. We want to be competing in the top half. "I knew the gaffer was an honest guy. I'm a Chorley lad so I have a lot of family and friends who watch Preston and they have had some great success under him. You have to respect that. "Since he's arrived here it's obvious he's a bright, confident man. The Blackburn defeat was a hiccup, on the whole we've shown the things we've been doing in training are successful. He's made an instant impact."
Real work starts now for Moyes
Apr 30 2002 By Kevin Ratcliffe
SUNDAY'S Goodison Park defeat at the hands of Blackburn has provided Evertonians with a timely reality check. The 2-1 defeat against Rovers was a disappointment. It was also a reminder that there is a lot of work to be done by David Moyes over the next few months. The new boss has done a remarkable job in transforming the club's fortunes since his arrival. Many people thought he was facing an uphill struggle to save the club from the drop with so few matches remaining.
It seemed every minute of every game would have to be utilised by the Blues if they were going to steer clear of danger. Instead, Everton's fans had the luxury of a flag day at Goodison in their penultimate match, safe in the knowledge Premiership football is assured next term.
But while the turnaround in form and results has been dramatic and very welcome, Sunday served as a reminder of how much work still needs to be done. Moyes has inspired his squad to some great results. But he will know already that there need to be plenty of changes made to the playing staff if the Blues are going to avoid another struggle next season. A squad that has struggled to get into the top half of the table consistently over the last couple of seasons isn't suddenly going to be transformed into a top 10 side. The manager has motivated his playing staff and has given them more attacking licence in order to get the goals which have helped them climb out of trouble.
But he will know they are not good enough to produce the form of the last month consistently throughout a Premiership campaign. The Blues are where they are in the table because they deserve to be there, not because they have been unlucky. That fact was illustrated by Blackburn, another side which has been haunted by the threat of relegation for much this season. Graeme Souness has a team that is impressive going forward and that will always score goals. But that has not stopped the men from Ewood Park being sucked into trouble. Sunday provided a perfect illustration of the task facing Moyes this summer. He will not have been fooled by the recent good run of results. Nor should the fans. The financial situation is such that it will take time for him to build his own team.
And his situation will not be helped by the fact he will need to offload players before he can even think about spending big sums of money. It is getting harder to sell players on, particularly from Premiership clubs where wages are much higher than in the Nationwide League. The fans should appreciate that fact. They should also try to avoid becoming too optimistic about the new season just because of the handful of impressive results over the last few weeks. Moyes will be a success in the job. But it will take time. The last few weeks have merely provided a glimpse as to why the Everton boss should be given that time.
Nick's got special knack
NICK Chadwick knows how to make a good impression. Everton's latest goalscoring star has burst onto the scene with three goals in three consecutive home games. When you are a young player, trying to make an impression, it is always more beneficial to produce your best in front of your home crowd and not away from home. Chadwick has done that, and quickly endeared himself to the Goodison Park faithful. He has got this nack of being in the right place at the right time.
That is a rare quality, even amongst strikers. There are plenty of talented strikers. There are far fewer talented goalscorers. Chadwick has shown he is as adept at scoring goals under the intense spotlight of the Premiership as he is netting goals for the reserves. That fact makes him a player of enormous potential. Thanks to his impeccable timing, that potential has already been presented to the Goodison faithful.
Now Rooney's doing it for his country
Apr 30 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
WAYNE ROONEY added to his fast growing reputation last night - with another spectacular goal for his country. Everton's 16-year-old striker inspired England under-17s to a 2-0 victory over Holland in the UEFA European Championships in Denmark. The youngster produced a stunning burst of skill and finishing power to crash England in front, then created the second goal for Charlton's Lee Croft. England coach Dick Bate praised Rooney's performance saying: "Of course, he is just one member of the team, but with the rapid progress that he has made this season, it might have been easy for him to become a little distracted. "However, he has shown an excellent attitude since he has been out here, as have the whole squad." England, who also handed caps to Liverpool's Mark Smyth, David Raven and David Mannix, have now booked their place in the last eight and a clash against host nation Denmark. The Blues, meanwhile, took a number of youngsters north today for tonight's friendly match at Falkirk (7.30pm). Both sides will play for the Alex Scott Memorial Trophy, to commemorate the Scottish club's 125th anniversary celebrations. Scott, who died last year, ended his career at Brockville after winning league and cup winners' medals at Goodison in the 1960s.
David Moyes took a strong squad to Scotland, and dismissed a morning report that he was set to spend £5m on Leicester's Robbie Savage. "I am not buying Robbie Savage for £5m," he rapped, "and there is unlikely to be any transfer activity before the end of the season. "If we do turn things around then it is not going to be a quick fix - it will take time. We will look to bring in players that are not the ready-made article."