Everton Independent Research Data


Middlesbrough 1, Everton 0
Jan 1 2002
THE saying 'out with the old and with with the new' took on greater significance at the Riverside today as a solitary goal from Middlesbrough pushed Walter Smith a step closer to the Goodison Park exit door. With whispers of boardroom discussions to oust the Blues boss if results don't pick up, the last thing Smith needed was to see his side succumb to their fifth straight defeat. But after enjoying much of the early possession, Everton's lack of fortune in front of goal continued.
With Tomasz Radzinski sidelined for up to three weeks with a stomach muscle complaint, the transfer listed Danny Cadamarteri was thrown up front to support a still half-fit Duncan Ferguson.
After forcing a good save from Mark Crossley in the Middlesbrough goal, Cadamarteri's unlikely return was cut short as Joe-Max Moore replaced him before the break. As the home side hardly threatened in the first half, Everton were unlucky not to be leading at the break as Ferguson rattled the crossar on 44 minutes. Shorlty after, Moore came close with a low drive, but it was Boro who broke the dealock through Gianluca Festa five minutes after the break as the Blues defence failed to clear a Hamilton Ricard corner. It was Everton's inability to muster anything of goalscoring note thereafter which afforded Steve McLaren's side maximum points, but more worringly, the Blues remain precariously in 13th spot just four points off the relegation zone. A tricky FA Cup tie at Division two leaders, Stoke City on Saturday could prove to be the final nail in the coffin for Smith as the powers that be threaten to carry out the most trying of New Year's resolutions.
Middlesbrough: Crossley, Festa, Southgate, Queudrue (Stamp 63), Stockdale, Mustoe, Ince, Greening (Gavin 45), Marinelli (Boksic 82), Ricard, Whelan. Subs Not Used: Nemeth, Beresford.
Everton: Simonsen, Watson (Hibbert 50), Stubbs, Weir, Unsworth, Xavier, Alexandersson (Blomqvist 45), Naysmith, Gemmill, Ferguson, Cadamarteri (Moore 38). Subs Not Used: Gerrard, Tal.
Booked: Gavin, Ferguson, Stubbs.
Att: 27,463
Ref: R Styles (Waterlooville).

Middlesbrough 1, Everton 0
By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
Jan 2 2002
THE last thing Walter Smith needed as the pressure cranked up another notch on Teesside yesterday, was a hard luck story. But that's just what he got. The advent of a New Year brought the same old problems and the same familiar feeling of defeat for Everton's under-fire boss.
And while yesterday's 1-0 loss was more a repeat of the undeserved Boxing Day defeat than Saturday's spiritless shambles against Charlton, five Premiership defeats in a row still represents a shocking slide. If the agents inside Goodison who whispered Walter Smith had two games to save his job are to be believed - Saturday's FA Cup tie at Stoke now boasts monumental significance.
The last man to preside over a run of losses that long was Joe Royle, and he was mutually consented soon after. Peter Johnson was the man who panicked and pushed the eject button then, before he'd even considered what his next options were. Bill Kenwright is the man now entrusted with the enormous responsibility of deciding what happens next. His first move should be to exercise strong leadership and tell exasperated Evertonians what is going on. If Walter Smith has his full support, he should say so, regardless of how unpopular he worries such a stance would be. If not, then clearly a change is imminent and should be made. But it is difficult to understand how such a switch would improve matters right now. David Moyes, David Jones and Gary Megson may be talented young managers, but with no more money to spend than Smith has - and an ageing, injury-decimated squad to inherit --they would be risking their reputations on a huge gamble. They would also be asked to learn about and select from a squad of players they have little knowledge of, while trying to pick up the points required to keep Everton in the Premiership. Yesterday's reverse leaves just a point between Boro and the Blues now - and the Teessiders are a poor, poor side. Steve McClaren's men were no better than they were back in August when the sun shone and they were swatted easily aside at Goodison Park. But they ended a run of four successive defeats of their own with a goal from a badly defended corner after being completely second best for 45 minutes. Even the goal smacked of the misfortune Smith has suffered at Everton. Forced into making his third substitution through injury after only 49 minutes, the final switch had to be made to a defender at a corner . . . from which Middlesbrough scored. If the knee jerk reaction from those who exercise power at Goodison Park was to whisper the manager had two games to save his job, Walter Smith's response was to revert to his comforting, if unpopular wing-back formation. To be fair to the manager, the depth of the Everton injury crisis meant it was the logical system for the players he had available.
But it also earned Everton the majority of the first half possession and by the far the better goalscoring chances. The nearest miss went to Duncan Ferguson just two minutes before the interval. Searching a first open play goal since April, he crashed a beautifully executed left-footed volley against the face of the beaten Mark Crossley's crossbar. It was not an isolated threat. While Steve Simonsen shivered almost unemployed in the sub-zero temperatures, Crossley had to scramble to beat away a 13th minute header by Alan Stubbs, then was relieved to see Ferguson thump an unmarked header straight at him in the 35th minute. Niclas Alexandersson then clipped a left footed shot against Southgate's toecap and into the side-netting. In a neatly ironic world, Danny Cadamarteri, the man told by Walter Smith he has no future at Goodison Park, would have extended Smith's own shelf-life with a match-winner on his first appearance for 11 months. In the real world, however, he played brightly enough until tweaking his hamstring and limping off after only 37 minutes. Everton's appalling luck with injuries continued after the interval. Niclas Alexandersson was replaced at halftime as Jesper Blomqvist became the seventh different would-be striker used by the Blues in the past month. Then just five minutes later Steve Watson limped off to allow the exuberant enthusiasm of young Tony Hibbert a rare outing. The switch was made at a corner - and Everton never reorganised properly. As the ball swept in it was not cleared adequately, fell sweetly for Gianluca Festa just six yards out and he crashed the ball into the roof of the net. A needle couldn't have punctured Everton's balloon of self-belief more effectively. Steve Simonsen wasn't troubled any more frequently, but the possession Everton enjoyed before the break disappeared as Boro finally found some authority. The only save Simonsen had to make he did so supremely, swooping to his left to palm Hamilton Ricard's near post daisy cutter. Paul Ince also charged into the Blues' box and crashed a shot inches wide of the same post. The lack of an effective cutting edge up front was always the problem. Blomqvist wriggled onto David Weir's pass in the 88th minute before lifting a shot over the crossbar, and in injury time Gary Naysmith shot narrowly wide.
Lack of firepower will continue to be the problem whoever is manager of Everton Football Club, unless Lazarus is taken on to the Blues' physiotherapy staff - or a large injection of cash is brought in from somewhere. Neither is very likely. What is likely is that during Saturday's trip to Stoke, as many eyes will be focussed on the Directors' Box than the penalty box.
MIDDLESBROUGH (4-4-2): Crossley, Stockdale, Southgate, Festa, Queudrue (Stamp 63 mins), Marinelli (Boksic 82 mins), Mustoe, Ince, Greening (Gavin 45 mins), Ricard, Whelan. Unused substitutes: Beresford, Nemeth.
EVERTON (3-5-2): Simonsen, Weir, Stubbs, Xavier, Watson (Hibbert 50 mins), Alexandersson (Blomqvist 45 mins), Gemmill, Unsworth, Naysmith, Ferguson, Cadamarteri (Moore 37 mins). Unused substitutes: Gerrard, Tal.
Referee: Rob Styles.
Bookings: Ferguson (68 mins) foul, Stubbs (78 mins) foul, Gavin (87 mins) foul.
Attendance: 27,463.

Smith is ready to fight on
Jan 2 2002 By David Prentice
IT was business as usual for Walter Smith today - as speculation about the Everton manager's future intensified. The Blues boss was behind his desk at Bellefield wrestling with an ever lengthening injury list, as reports suggested that lose on Saturday at Stoke and he will be sacked. Smith was widely reckoned to have two games to save his job after Saturday's defeat by Charlton - and his side lost the first of those yesterday at Middlesbrough. Asked about that statistic yesterday he said: "I don't like to comment on that. That's the speculation which surrounds any manager who has a run like we are having." Pressed on whether the Chairman or Deputy Chairman had spoken about his position to him, he added: "I don't want to comment on that. If you want to ask them, you are free to do so." Senior officials, however, were unwilling to be quoted this morning. A vote of confidence in a manager is often misconstrued as a kiss of death for a boss, although Sir Philip Carter famously issued a vote of confidence in Howard Kendall in 1983 and stuck to his word. The current silence, however, is simply fuelling speculation about Smith's future. The present run of five successive defeats is the worst of his 23-year career as a coach - and there was precious little relief at a frozen Bellefield for him today. Steve Watson and Niclas Alexandersson are receiving treatment to calf injuries and have not been ruled out of Saturday's FA Cup tie at Stoke City yet. But both are doubtful.
Paul Gascoigne is also receiving treatment, but Tomasz Radzinski, Thomas Gravesen, Danny Cadamarteri, Mark Pembridge, Kevin Campbell and Alessandro Pistone have no chance of being available. Gravesen is now due back on Merseyside tomorrow, after his extended compassionate leave to visit his sick grandfather. He will have immediate talks with Smith after failing to report back, as requested, on New Year's Eve.

Pressure point
Jan 2 2002 By Andy Hunter
UNDER-FIRE manager Walter Smith saw the pressure mount yesterday when Everton suffered their fifth consecutive Premiership defeat at Middlesbrough. The Blues were beaten 1-0 at The Riverside where they missed numerous chances in a bright first-half display before the home side recovered and ended their own dismal run thanks to Gianluca Festa's 49th-minute winner. Everton and Smith now face a crucial FA Cup tie at Stoke City on Saturday, where another defeat could cost the Scot his Goodison job.And Smith, who refused to comment on his own future after the game, insisted it is up to the Blues' threadbare squad to pull themselves out of danger following their latest failure to make their chances count. The Blues boss, who lost Danny Cadamarteri, Niclas Alexandersson and Steve Watson through injury, said: "Speculation always surrounds a manager in a run like this but my situation is of no consequence to the games. We are not suffering from a lack of confidence.
"With the exception of the Charlton game, when we thoroughly deserved to lose, this was of a similar pattern to too many games lately where we've lacked the cutting edge to get ourselves in front. "We haven't scored enough and today's game was typical of many this season where we've lacked the quality to deliver the final ball or finish. It has been a trend for us to do well and not get ourselves in front. "We've got to look for the answer ourselves. There is no easy way out of it. We have a small squad but that is not an excuse overall. We could have been leading comfortably by half-time, but the situation is repeating itself and we have to blame ourselves for that." Cadamarteri made a bright introduction in his first start of the season before pulling a hamstring that will rule him out of action for a month. Alexandersson and Watson are both doubtful for Saturday and Smith added: "It is a disappointing result for us. We started well in the first half and had most of the pressure and the territorial advantage. "Opportunities came our way, we hit the bar and Mark Crossley made a few good saves, and it was disappointing not to have had a lead by half-time.
"That was a concern and you begin to feel it is not going your way when you have to use all your substitutes because of injuries by the 49th minute. "We lost a player down the right hand side where the corner and their goal came from, and then Middlesbrough had their best spell of the game for about 20 minutes. We came back towards the end but didn't create many opportunities and it was disappointing not to come away with at least a point." Rival manager Steve McClaren, who saw his team move to within a point of Everton, echoed Smith's sentiments. He said: "I definitely have sympathy for Walter. It could easily have been me here talking about another defeat but we turned it around in the second half after Everton had a lot of pressure but didn't score.
"Mark Crossley was magnificent for us and made some vital saves. We were quite fortunate to come in at half time nil-nil but we controlled most of the second half apart from the final few minutes."

Smith fear
Jan 3 2002 By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
WALTER SMITH has admitted he fears for his Goodison future as Everton officials remain silent on speculation he is one game away from the sack. Defeat at Stoke City in Saturday's FA Cup third round could precipitate the first dismissal of Smith's managerial career as the Scot shoulders the blame for Everton's mid-season slump. Goodison chiefs are refusing to comment on the manager's position although Smith, who could have nine players missing at the Britannia Stadium, accepts his job is under threat after a run of five Premiership defeats. The Blues boss, however, remains defiant amid talk first division managers David Moyes, Gary Megson and David Jones are being discussed as possible replacements by the Everton board. Smith said: "When you hear reports that you will get the sack if you lose one more game, then that is something you have to take on board.
"People are speculating and a lot of the time there is something in it. "It obviously matters to me personally but it shouldn't matter to anyone else, and it is my job to prepare the players to get a good result. "I am in my 24th year of coaching and management with Dundee United, Rangers and Everton and it is the first time I have been in this position. "It is not what I want or what anyone else would want for that matter but you have to handle it the best way you can. "I wouldn't think about quitting and I have struggled my way through 20-odd years without ever getting sacked. "Managers have a personal pride about that and it is obviously a blemish I don't want on my record." Everton will have around 6,000 fans at Stoke, who went top of the second division on New Year's Day and have already sold over 26,000 tickets for the third round tie. And their reaction to Saturday's events could have a bearing on Bill Kenwright's ultimate decision to stand by or sack the manager tempted from Rangers by former owner Peter Johnson in 1998. Smith, meanwhile, is looking for the Stoke game to revitalise the team's season. "For my part I will go into the game against Stoke on Saturday hoping we will put our bad run behind us and go on from there," he said. "Obviously people look to the match, our run of results and the speculation surrounding myself and build it up. "But Stoke are going very well in the second division and you always get games like this in the FA Cup third round, irrespective of our own circumstances." Everton's limited resources are again likely to be exposed in the Potteries. Tomasz Radzinski has joined Kevin Campbell, Alessandro Pistone, Mark Pembridge and Danny Cadamarteri among the definite nonstarters, while Steve Watson, Niclas Alexandersson, Paul Gascoigne and Thomas Gravesen are all doubtful. Danish international Gravesen returned to training yesterday after failing to return from compassionate leave on Monday and is rated "touch and go" for the Cup showdown. And Smith added: "Apart from the Charlton game, I don't think anyone can say we lacked spirit. "In fact in most of our games we have shown spirit and determination but we have not had a cutting edge. "We started the season well when we had Duncan Ferguson and Kevin Campbell, even though Tomasz Radzinski was out. "But then we lost Kevin and Duncan so we were hard hit in that area. Now Tomasz is injured and Kevin is still out.
"I won't make excuses but we have been particularly hard hit in one area of the team. We have to battle on and get our way out of it. "This is our main priority and it has got to be mine as well."
* EVERTON'S reserve game at Sheffield Wednesday has been switched from January 22 to Monday, March 4 due to the Owls' involvement in the Worthington Cup semi-final.

A most untimely on-field crisis
Jan 3 2002 By Mark Thomas, Liverpool Echo
CLEAR VISION: But plans may be affected
EVERTON'S on field crisis could not have come at a worse time for the money men working on securing the club's long term future. The King's Dock arena plan would give the club a 49% share in an asset worth, conservatively, £300m. But the final deal has yet to be signed, and is unlikely to be clinched much before the end of this season. The club could try to take out an expensive unsecured loan now to provide the urgently needed injection of cash to buy players, and then secure it at a more favourable rate of interest when the King's Dock deal is done. But owner Bill Kenwright has been down that road before, spending millions on new players in the expectation that an NTL media deal worth over £30m would go ahead. When NTL backed out on the day they were due to sign, Everton was left with an overdraft that could have sunk the club. If Kenwright tried to make a substantial loan now, with the intention of securing it against the King's Dock, he would be gambling everything. While all the signs are that the King's Dock project will go ahead, if it was to fail the club could this time be left with a debt on a scale that it could not survive. Everton's share in the 55,000 seat arena and its surrounding housing, retail, and leisure facilities would dwarf the current debts of around £20m. Ironically, this boost should at last attract major investors who will want to buy into the club and maybe even seek to take it over from cash-strapped Evertonian Kenwright.
But Walter Smith is walking an increasingly wobbly tightrope towards another season of Premiership safety with his injury ravaged and over-aged squad. It would be cruel on this canniest of Scottish budgetkeepers if the financial lifeline was thrown too late to save his job. And crueller still for all Evertonians if the club finally slumped into the First Division just when rescue from the financial quicksand was at hand.

Rivals will revel in Blues' insecurity
Jan 3 2002 By Ken Rogers, Liverpool Echo
EVERTONIANS, relaxed and almost upbeat in a Premiership sense just three weeks ago, suddenly find themselves back in the shark infested waters of the Premiership drop zone. Five straight defeats have taken the Blues from a comfortable ninth position to 13th. They head a pack of five clubs who currently hover above the danger area. Everton's slide has been so dramatic that the media has been full of speculation about Walter Smith's future. It will reach fever pitch if the Blues suffer an FA Cup disaster at Stoke this weekend. Yet in mid-November, the manager's thoughts were more about the potential for European qualification than the threat of the sack.
But in the uncompromising world of top flight football, it doesn't take much for a slip to become a slide and a concern to become a major crisis. Evertonians, not surprisingly, want answers from the very top. For their part, the board seem reluctant to offer the manager the public vote of confidence that Smith's steadfast support for them deserves. This has only added fuel to the fire. And so a silence emanates from Goodison that, ironically, only serves to further increase the speculation about Smith's future. This is not a time to be keeping your head below the parapet. Stoke City might be in the Second Division, but they are top and full of themselves at the moment. They will be revelling in Everton's present internal distress. This needs to be a time for Goodison unity. Bill Kenwright and his board must confront the many questions that supporters continue to ask - and these are not all linked with Smith. Most, if not all of them, are tied up with the investment that is desperately needed to get the Blues out of the mire and back on the rails. Will money for signings be made available to the manager sooner rather than later or will Smith have to wait until the summer before his hands are finally untied? Even at that stage, will the money be realistic enough to make a difference? Are the board reluctant to trigger an early cash loan because they are wrestling with the dilemma of whether to stick with the manager or cast him adrift? You can fully understand why these thoughts are taxing the minds of all supporters right now. They are all perfectly reasonable in the present climate. Of course, Everton's silence does not mean that positive action is not being taken behind the scenes. I understand that activity has been going on for months to explore the re-financing opportunities that exist. One of the problems has been the inherited debt that the board has been striving to reduce. It is easier to re-finance from a position of comparative security. It doesn't mean that Everton will not get there. It is just that the timetable cannot be run in tandem with league results. You cannot suddenly press a button when form dips and expect complicated financial procedures to accelerate in tandem with your needs. But will this all come too late for Smith? There is no doubt that Everton would find it difficult to pull the rug on their steadfast manager, not least because his strength of character has helped to keep the wolves from the boardroom door. He is one of only two bosses in the entire Premiership who has managed to balance the transfer books. Even when the stress levels have soared - and they are at a new high at present - the Blues' boss has never pointed the finger at anybody but himself. I cannot help but think back to a conversation I had with chairman Sir Philip Carter exactly a year ago when he gave his own insight into the qualities of the manager. "Walter has a maturity, both as a football boss and a man, "said Carter. "We respect each other and I would like to think it is a solid partnership. I would expect him to look at the game and the ups and downs in a rational way, which he does. He is measured and sensible. He thinks things through and he responds to misfortunes in the correct manner." It was a perfect assessment of the Scot - from the boardroom. So why are those sentiments not up front today? The Everton directors should thank their lucky stars that they have been living with an individual who has never sought to exert pressure upwards in a high profile, public manner. Smith doesn't deal in tantrums, except with players who step out of line. He has not been demanding outrageous money to bring in the kind of stars who might finally spark that desperately needed Goodison Park revival. Is this because he is a football masochist or is it because he is a total realist, fully aware of Everton's financial restraints? Should that really be his problem? Should he not highlight the needs, target the players who would turn the tide and say: "Over to you!" Again, questions pile on top of questions. But that's the nature of the game at any Premiership club under pressure. For now Everton must not lose sight of the most important thing which is safe progress in the FA Cup on Saturday. They need Walter Smith to remain calm in a crisis. Despite everything, he will.

Stoking the fire
Jan 3 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
AFTER an era of broken promises, unfulfilled words and empty rhetoric, the present Everton regime never promised to wave a magic wand over the financial chaos they inherited in December 1998.
But they did vow to be more open with the fans.
So now, when communication, explanation and a clarity of purpose is called for . . . we are met with a deafening silence.
That refusal to publicly back the manager suggests the worst for Walter Smith. So how, exactly, has the most successful boss in Glasgow Rangers' history managed Everton Football Club? With difficulty is the obvious answer. Portsmouth, Coventry City and Derby County have all allowed their managers more money to spend on players. Smith has uncomplainingly operated on a strict financial budget for much of his threeanda-half years. Twice he has tried to construct new teams --and each time has seen the demands of the bank balance force him to tear up those plans.
After his arrival in 1998, and bolstered by the guarantee of pots of cash to throw at a squad which had missed relegation on goal difference two months earlier, he splashed almost £20m.
Purchases like Marco Materazzi, Olivier Dacourt and John Collins were largely sound, but the financial management which produced the money for them was not. Duncan Ferguson was hawked off behind the manager's back, then the aforementioned disaffected trio followed at their own request. That season ended in another nail biting relegation struggle. Season two saw Smith have to recruit from the bargain basement end of the transfer market --and purchases like Richard Gough, David Weir and Scot Gemmill were inspired. They were enough to rouse a charge up the table which threatened a top half finish - until injuries saw the season peter out in disappointment.
Part three saw Smith's Goodison career come full cycle. His blue blood bolstered by the promise of a £20m media deal with NTL, Bill Kenwright sanctioned another spending spree. When that deal collapsed at the last minute, the cash had to be clawed back by sacrificing the club's bright young talent. Which has left Smith with a thin, ageing and, as a result, injury prone squad. Sacking Smith now would be gambling in high risk territory. New managers often affect a short-term improvement in results, but any new Blues' boss would have to do so with an ageing squad left behind, players he knows very little about - and with limited funds to improve that band of players. And the improvement would have to be immediate. Walter Smith has shown before he is capable of effecting that improvement, especially when some of the nine currently injured players regain fitness. But fans are speaking like this because of the deafening silence from the Board Room.
"I am merely the custodian of Everton Football Club" was a favourite catchphrase of a previous owner. So, too, are the current regime - who should tell the real owners - the fans - exactly what is going on.

Walter Smith's transfer dealings
Jan 3 2002 Liverpool Echo
Officially published transfer fees given by Everton Football Club at the time of the transfer have been used.
So while the Blues have still not received anything like the full fees for Francis Jeffers or Michael Ball, equally players like Steve Simonsen and Stephen Hughes cost nothing like their published prices.
Marco Materazzi £2.5m
Olivier Dacourt £4m
John Collins £2.5m
David Unsworth £3m
Steve Simonsen £3.3m
Ibrahima Bakayoko £4.5m
David Weir £250,000
Peter Degn £200,000
Scot Gemmill £200,000
Richard Gough Free
Kevin Campbell £3m
Mark Pembridge .£800,000
Abel Xavier £1.5m
Joe-Max Moore Free
Stephen Hughes £3m
Mark Hughes Free
Steve Watson £2.5m
Alessandro Pistone £2.75m
Paul Gascoigne Free
Niclas Alexandersson .£2.2m
Alex Nyarko £4.5m
Thomas Gravesen £2.5m
Duncan Ferguson £3.75m
Gary Naysmith £1.7m
Idan Tal £700,000
Alan Stubbs Free
Tomasz Radzinski £4.5m
Jesper Blomqvist Free
Spent £53.85m
Graham Allen £300,000
Carl Tiler £700,000
Duncan Ferguson £8m
Gavin McCann £500,000
Tony Thomas £150,000
Mickael Madar Free
John Spencer £500,000
Ibrahima Bakayoko £3.8m
Olivier Dacourt £6.5m
Marco Materazzi £3m
Craig Short £2.1m
John Oster £1.1m
Gareth Farrelly £300,000
John O'Kane Free
Tony Grant £450,000
Michael Branch £500,000
Terry Phelan Free
Mitch Ward Free
John Collins £2m
Don Hutchison £2.5m
Nick Barmby £6m
Richard Dunne .£3m
Mark Hughes Free
Francis Jeffers £8m
Phil Jevons £150,000
Stephen Hughes Free
Peter Degn Free
Thomas Myhre £300,000
Michael Ball £6.5m
Received £56.35m

We're behind Walter
Jan 3 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
PAUL GASCOIGNE has headed a delegation of senior Everton players handing Walter Smith the backing his Board has refused to give. Gazza and a number of senior Blues' stars contacted The Echo today to back their beleaguered boss, days before a match which could see him sacked. Continuing boardroom silence has intensified speculation about his future, but the players spoke out this morning. "People should lay off him," said Gazza. "He has no money to spend and the squad isn't massive so if we get a couple injured, like we have done, then we are struggling. "I feel sorry for the gaffer. People must realise the difficult situation he has been working in." Others players, including Steve Watson, Gary Naysmith, Kevin Campbell, David Weir and Scot Gemmill echoed Gazza's support. Abel Xavier was fulsome in his backing for Smith, ironically at a time when he is negotiating a deal to stay at Goodison. "I don't think it is fair to criticise the manager or talk about changing him," said the Portuguese international. "For me he is a very good manager. "In football most of the teams who have success have a squad of 22 competitive players. Those who do not have that base struggle. "It is very difficult for a manager to change his options when he has no options. "For that reason I believe that if there is any manager who can work in these conditions I would like to meet him. He would be a magic man. "All the players here still think that we can have a reaction. I would hope that the injured players can come back and players like Kevin Campbell and Tomasz Radzinski can regain full fitness. They are all important players in a very small boat. "My perception of things is that Walter Smith is a man who can hold things together here, like he has done for three years - but you need more to make a difference." Xavier added: "He brought me here and I remember a conversation I had with him at the time when he explained that Everton are a great club and he wanted to build a team to match. "But in football you need a base to do that. He told me he hoped the money problems would pass and he would have time to realise his ambition, and that talk persuaded me to join. "If something happened to him, I would have to reconsider my position of staying at the club. "The problems here are not just economic and there is much that needs to be reviewed." Gascoigne has given Smith another boost by declaring his fitness ahead of Saturday's make or break FA Cup tie at Stoke. Steve Watson and Niclas Alexandersson look like joining Campbell, Pistone, Pembridge, Radzinski and Cadamarteri on the injured list.

1984 all over again
Jan 4 2002 By Howard Kendall
TODAY'S announcement by Everton securing the immediate future of manager Walter Smith, made just hours before the crucial FA Cup clash at Stoke City, sent a shiver down my spine. Talk about deja vu. All of this takes me back to January 1984. Once again the Blues were about to travel to Stoke in the third round of the Cup. The previous home game, against Coventry City, had attracted a bitterly disappointing crowd of 13,659 as fans began to vote with their feet against my emerging team.
It's now part of Goodison folklore that leaflets were handed out prior to that goalless draw with a stark message: "Kendall and Carter must go. 26,000 stay-away fans can't be wrong." And so as we prepared to head for Stoke, an Everton chairman was asked if he was prepared to give me a vote of confidence. Philip Carter, still to become a Sir at that stage, obliged without a second thought.
Even then, the proverbial vote of confidence was looked on as a possible kiss of death. Anticipating the way the media and some fans might interpret his words, Mr Carter added: "And I really mean it!"
Those five words were heartening and the chairman's resolve would ultimately be rewarded. The depth of Everton's statement today once again suggests that they "really mean it." Looking back, we beat Stoke 2-0 in that 1984 watershed clash with goals from Andy Gray and Alan Irvine. It was the start of the most successful period in Everton's famous history. We went on to win the FA Cup by beating Watford. Two League Championships and the European Cup Winners Cup would also be claimed in subsequent years. The club is in a difficult position now, as it was then. Naturally, it has been taxing the minds of the board members. They would have been asking themselves two questions this week: "Should we come out and say that Walter's position is safe, regardless of the Stoke result? Or should we stay silent, therefore indicating that we are considering the manager's position?" They could not sit on the fence before such a big game. I know that Walter himself has not been asking for that vote of confidence, but deep down he will welcome it. Thinking back to another crucial moment in my own early Everton managerial career, fans will recall the League Cup clash at Oxford United which followed a few weeks after the Stoke win. Again, it was a massive occasion with the pressure still very much on. People were still asking questions about my future. We were losing at the Manor Ground and it smacked of disaster before Peter Reid pressured Kevin Brock into a loose back pass right at the death. Adrian Heath pounced to earn us the draw.
Again, the result would have enormous significance - leading to that historic Wembley Milk Cup Final against Liverpool. But later, people were saying that if the Oxford scoreline had been different, I would have been sacked. It's incredible how key games can change the whole future of a club.
In many respects, the pressure at a giant like Everton is brought on by the expectation levels of everybody - board, players and fans. It said a lot about Philip Carter's resolve back in 1984 that he supported me with the club clearly losing money because of the attendances. Ironically, the same chairman is in the hot seat now, although he works in tandem with influential owner Bill Kenwright who made today's statement. If Everton get a good result tomorrow - and the players appear to be right behind the manager - the board must ask themselves if this might be a significant turning point, as it was for me13 years ago. I believed I had the makings of a very good team. I was grateful for the opportunity to finish the job. Walter seems equally resolute in wanting to carry on. A good result against Stoke will go a long way to convincing everyone that Everton's season is still alive and kicking and that the future can be full of promise.

I'm desperate to play for Walter
Jan 4 2002 By Claire Gray and David Prentice
KEVIN CAMPBELL is still some weeks away from a return to first team action. But when the Blues' skipper is selected on an Everton team-sheet again, he has got his wish that Walter Smith is the man who puts him there. Campbell was one of a delegation of senior players who spoke out powerfully and publicly yesterday in support of the under-fire manager. Injury to Campbell and fellow strikers Tomasz Radzinski and Duncan Ferguson has been a contributory factor in Everton's slide down the Premiership. But Campbell has called for collective responsibility at the cash strapped club. "I'm a hundred and fifty per cent behind Walter Smith and so is all the squad," he declared. "We're all in this together and sometimes people are too quick to sack the manager. "Realistically, if you look at our situation Everton's position hasn't changed in the last five years. Perhaps even longer.
"So it's weird how you can blame the manager when he's had to get rid of a lot of our squad.
"If the decision had been made to sack him, which we were all hoping wasn't going to happen, and somebody else comes in it would be absolute turmoil. "The club has enough problems as it is without going down that road. "There would be no room for error, whereas this manager has been there, seen it and done it. "To be fair we're still sitting midtable, so a couple of wins will see us right back up there. "Now we can get on with what we do best." Campbell is still Everton's top scorer, despite last kicking a ball more than two months ago. He believes the inability to bring in adequate reinforcements has been the reason for the club's slide. "Walter's had no luck and he's had no money," he explained. "We've sold numerous players and brought in just one or two, so of course it's difficult. "There's other managers out there who have spent £50m saying they haven't had enough. I'm sure if our gaffer had £50m he could do a hell of a lot. "But he won't ever have that by the looks of things here. He's not a miracle worker, although I think he has worked miracles with us.
"That's the truth. Since I've been here I think he has worked miracles, because the squad has had no depth. That's our problem. "It's not the manager's fault. He would love to have a wonderful squad to choose from, but he just can't do it. "He's a realist and he's no quitter and the players are no quitters, but we've gone through a bad run like all teams go through bad runs. "It just so happens that ours is over the Christmas period when it is magnified. "But we're going to come out of this and we're going to be okay. The players will do anything to try and keep the manager happy, because he's a great manager and a great man as well. "He could have jumped the Everton ship long ago after the sale of Duncan Ferguson, but he didn't and I have a lot of respect for him over that because a lesser man would have walked. "He stuck the course and now we're going through a bad run people have been asking for his head, which I think is criminal."

Blues' injury woe goes on
Jan 4 2002 By Ian Doyle
WALTER SMITH is likely to be without EIGHT players for tomorrow's make-or-break FA Cup tie at Stoke City. Thomas Gravesen yesterday joined Kevin Campbell, Alessandro Pistone, Mark Pembridge, Tomasz Radzinski and Danny Cadamarteri as definite non-starters for the third-round clash - which could cost Smith his job. Steve Watson and Niclas Alexandersson are also struggling to make the trip to the Potteries, leaving Smith down to the bare bones of an already skeletal squad.
Danish international Gravesen, who faces disciplinary action after failing to return from compassionate leave on Monday, has succumbed to an ankle injury. Smith said: "The player was back with us on Wednesday getting treatment for his injury and as far as we are concerned we are just looking forward to him getting back fit again." Paul Gascoigne, however, has handed his beleaguered boss a welcome boost by declaring himself fit for the Britannia Stadium showdown.
Gascoigne was one of a group of players who yesterday moved to publicly back under-fire Smith.
Everton have lost their last five Premiership games and the Blues boss fears that defeat at Stoke tomorrow could signal the end of his tenure at Goodison. The conspicuous absence of comment from the Everton boardroom has served only to fuel such speculation. But Gascoigne said: "People should lay off him. He has no money to spend and the squad isn't massive, so if we get a couple of injuries like we have done, then we struggle. "I feel sorry for the gaffer - people-must realise the difficult situation he has been working in." Club skipper Kevin Campbell reiterated his team-mate's comments. "I'm 150 per cent behind him and so are the rest of the squad," insisted Campbell. "We're all in this together. "Sometimes people are quick to say sack the manager but if you look at Everton's situation it hasn't changed in the last five years or more. "So it is weird to blame the manager when he has had to get rid of a lot of the squad. "There are other managers out there who have spent £50million but say they have not had enough. "I'm sure our gaffer with £50m could do a hell of a lot, but he won't ever have that by the looks of it. "He's not a miracle worker but I think he has worked miracles with us." And Abel Xavier, who has recently opened negotiations over a new contract, claimed he would have to rethink his options if Smith were sacked. "I don't think it is fair to criticise the manager or talk about changing him. He is a very good manager," said the Portuguese international. "It is very difficult for him to change his options when he has no options.
"If there is a manager who can work in these conditions, I would like to meet him because he would be a magic man. "Walter can hold things together here, like he has done for the past three years.
"If something happened to him then I would have to reconsider my position about staying at the club."

Stoke City 0, Everton 1
Jan 5 2002
ALAN STUBBS lifted the gloom around Goodison Park as he fired Everton into the fourth round of the FA cup to end their run of five successive defeats. The defender eased the pressure on Blues boss Walter smith with afierce 51st minute free kick to dump second division leaders Stoke City out of the competition. Jesper Blomqvist almost scored in the final minute of normal time but lifted his shot just wide.
Stoke:Cutler,Rowson,Thomas,Shtaniuk,Clarke,Gudjonsson,O'Connor, Henry (Dadason,70), Vandeurzen, Goodfellow (Hoekstra,64), Iwelumo(Cooke,70) Subs not used: Owen, Ingham,
Everton: Simonsen,Abel Xavier,Stubbs,Unsworth,Weir, Gemmill, Naysmith, Gascoigne, Blomqvist, Ferguson, Moore Subs not used Gerrard, Tal, Cleland, Hibbert, Chadwick,
Bookings: Gemmill (Everton)
Attendance: 28218
Referee: E K Wolstenholme (Blackburn)

Everton to host Orient
Jan 6 2002 By David Randles, icLiverpool
EVERTON'S FA Cup hopes have been boosted by a fourth round draw against Leyton Orient at Goodsion Park. The Blues, who have been the subject of embarrassing early exits to lower opposition in the last few years, have a golden opportuntity to progress to the fifth round.
Despite an impressive 4-1 third round win over Portsmouth at Fratton Park on Saturday, the third division strugglers' away form has been poor this season. Alan Stubbs' powerful freekick was enough to overcome Stoke at the Brittannia Stadium on Saturday and a decent cup run could be just the tonic to lift the grey cloud which has descended over the club of late.
Full draw:
Brighton or Preston v Sheffield United
Rotherham or Southampton v Crewe or Sheffield Wednesday
Charlton v Walsall or Bradford
Southend or Tranmere v Cardiff
Gillingham or Bristol Rovers
Grimsby or York v Wycombe or Fulham
Darlington or Peterborough v Newcastle
Coventry or Tottenham v Stockport or Bolton
Norwich or Chelsea v West Ham
Millwall v Barnsley or Blackburn
Cheltenham v Burnley
Everton v Leyton Orient
West Brom v Leicester
Wimbledon or Middlesbrough v Manchester United
Ipswich v Manchester City
Arsenal v Liverpool

Stoke City 0, Everton 1(D,Post)
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Jan 7 2002
THOUGH it would have been entirely out of character Walter Smith would have been forgiven for leading the jubilant celebrations that resulted in Staffordshire Police fearing World War III had erupted in Stoke on Saturday. After the week that was but should never have been, the only reaction the Blues boss gave to a critical victory was a clenched fist salute to the travelling Evertonians rather than the more obvious one to those who turned the Britannia Stadium into the stage for his potential demise. A stoic response to a release of such mounting, unwanted pressure took incredible self-control. Yet on reflection it was a blessing Smith kept his head while all around people were on the verge of losing theirs. Preparing for an FA Cup third round tie away at the second division leaders is problematic enough with eight men down without working under a lowering axe all week. But it was to Everton's benefit on Saturday, and lasting advantage if Smith gets his way, that the Goodison manager maintained his grip on reality when his grip on his job was being undermined by the day. Which is why Smith will know the Goodison garden is not awash with roses as a result of one positive cup result and the welcome promise of much-needed financial support. As the local constabulary showed those in authority do not only reach for the panic-button inside the Goodison boardroom, herding delighted visiting fans away in riot gear through a cordon of dogs and vans like some futuristic sci-fi movie, Smith cut a swathe through the romance of the FA Cup instead. "This game keeps us in the Cup but Everton need to stay in the Premiership," he said.
"I'm not devaluing a cup run, I'd like one more than anything myself, but next week's game against Sunderland is vital as we need to climb up the table." And, in what could almost be read as a lesson for his own boys in Blue, Smith added: "As a manager it is important you keep a sense of perspective about where your club is. "We've been in the top half most of the season and the recent run has brought pressure to the fore and that is our own fault. "People will always pick up on that if it happens at Everton because this is such a big, high-profile club." Though one without a big, highprofile squad. Smith, clearly, knows more, crucial tests lie in wait in the Premiership that will determine whether he gets more genuine support from his employers than he received on Friday.
And while not so obvious at the weekend, the Blues boss is relieved he can continue with the fraught task of trying to restore respectability at Goodison Park after his players turned their words of support into action on Saturday. Typified, of course, by one Paul Gascoigne. It is not just the FA Cup that ignites a response from the former England hero but moments in the goldfish bowl to which he is well accustomed. Asked to play a full 90 minutes against a physical and direct Stoke side, Gascoigne proved his allegiance to his former Rangers' mentor goes beyond the show of support he led last week with a performance that reawoke memories of his awesome capability.
After ten seconds it seemed the lowlight of the competition had returned for the midfielder when he clattered into his opponent and came off injured. What his loss to a nervous Everton side would have meant does not bear thinking about, but instead he played through the pain-barrier to provide the Blues with the class and composure to edge into the fourth round. After struggling to cope with a fraught, direct opening by the home side, who raided down the flanks and sent a procession of dangerous crosses over the Everton area, the Blues settled to produce the better football and create the clearer chances in the first half without ever controlling it. Gascoigne was all flicks, instant control and invention, but with Duncan Ferguson statuesque and Joe-Max Moore lively but lightweight it was obvious the breakthrough would have to come by other means. After an abysmal shot from 35 yards Ferguson came within inches of making amends when he ended the first of many mazy Gary Naysmith runs with a shot on the turn that struck the base of Neil Cutler's post. Jesper Blomqvist, subdued on the right during the first half, outstanding on both flanks in the second, curled a left-foot effort beyond the same post after a tidy lay-off by Moore, himself played through by Abel Xavier but brushed off the ball on the penalty spot by centre-half Wayne Thomas. Stoke had the aerial menace but Everton, if they could get men to support their impressive midfield play - the first-choice strike-force of Campbell and Radzinski cannot return quick enough, clearly had the beating of their hosts. Smith was given a warm reception by the vociferous travelling section as he headed to his seat for the start of a second half his side dominated. Not without a scare, of course, as Thomas put a free header wide of Simonsen's goal after a terrible backpass by Xavier gifted Stoke a corner, but two minutes later Everton were in front in a game where one goal always looked the most likely outcome. Gascoigne started and finished the move of the match with a low shot kept out by Naylor's legs, Blomqvist hit the side-netting after more good link-up play by Moore, who volleyed high on the turn and then crossed for the impressive David Weir to head over, before the
Ferguson went to ground easily under a challenge from Thomas to win a dubious free-kick that brought an emphatic response from Alan Stubbs, whose blistering right-foot shot pierced the Stoke wall, drew an army of stewards racing from the trenches and sent the Blues into round four.
Never a side to make things easy on themselves Everton refused to kill the tie off with the second goal they always threatened with Naysmith and Blomqvist roaming unhindered through the Stoke ranks. Swede clipped agonisingly wide of the far post in injury time. One exocet cross in front of his goal apart Simonsen never had a save to make as, fittingly after a week of illtimed wavering, Everton held firm to leave Stoke with a vital cup victory and with the heat on their manager turned down ever so slightly. 1984 all over again? Steady on now.
STOKE (4-5-1): Cutler, Rowson, Thomas, Shtaniuk, Clarke, Gudjonsson, O'Connor, Henry (Dadason 70), Vandeurzen, Goodfellow (Hoekstra 64), Iwelumo (Cooke 70). Subs: Owen, Ingham.
EVERTON (4-5-1): Simonsen, Xavier, Stubbs, Unsworth, Weir, Gemmill, Naysmith, Gascoigne, Blomqvist, Ferguson, Moore. Subs: Gerrard, Tal, Cleland, Hibbert, Chadwick.
BOOKINGS: Everton's Gemmill (foul).
REFEREE: E Wolstenholme (Blackburn).

Swede sound for Blomqvist
Daily Post
Jan 7 2002
SWEDEN joint coach Lars Lagerback has refused to count Everton winger Jesper Blomqvist out of his World Cup plans. Blomqvist moved to Goodison Park on a free transfer from Manchester United late last year after an injury-plagued spell with the Barclaycard Premiership champions.
The 27-year-old has impressed for the Toffees since the move and Lagerback, who shares the Sweden coaching role with Tommy Soderberg, has made it clear he is still in with a chance of making the flight to the Far East. "It's really too early to talk about the World Cup after just a few games, but let me say this - it's all up to Jesper to show if he is the man for the World Cup," Lagerback said.
"We have left the door open for him and now it is up to Jesper to see if he can make the squad."
The former IFK Gothenburg, AC Milan and Parma man played 29 times for the national team before a serious knee injury kept him out of football for two years after the 1999 Champions League final.

Stubbs' victory delight
Daily Post
Jan 7 2002
EVERTON FA Cup goalscorer Alan Stubbs has summed up, on and off the field, just what the club's players feel about the torture their boss Walter Smith has gone through these past few days.
Stubbs was one of the senior men at Goodison Park who was prepared to voice public disapproval of the way Smith was being blamed despite the club's financial shortcomings. On the field at a packed Britannia Stadium it was Stubbs who smashed home the winner with a low, fierce shot from the edge of the box. All around him were colleagues prepared to give blood and sweat to keep the wolves from Smith's door. Stubbs said: "It was nice to win this one for the manager, I think we have made it plain as players that we are behind him 100 per cent. "It has not been an easy situation for him this past week to keep being told that if we lost this tie he'd be out of a job." Stubbs added: "No one has surely envied Walter the situation he found himself in. "But all credit to him, he has shown he will keep going all the way and that's what the players wanted to show too. "We worked hard, we controlled long spells and everyone gave everything. I'm just delighted for my team-mates and Walter Smith with this result," he added. "The win meant a lot to all of us after the well documented problems we have been having and all the negative publicity we have been getting, aimed at the gaffer and our performances as a team. "We accept that we played badly against Charlton last week when all the fuss started, but before that the performances hadn't been that bad.
"But we didn't look like an Everton team last week, we didn't look like we wanted to win and that is not Everton."

Gascoigne in nick of time
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Jan 7 2002
PAUL GASCOIGNE turned back the clock on Saturday to help extend Walter Smith's time as Everton manager. The former England star produced a vintage display against Stoke City to inspire the crucial FA Cup third round victory that helped ease the pressure on the under-fire Blues boss.
Gascoigne survived a first-minute injury scare to produce a man-ofthematch display at the Britannia Stadium. And afterwards he revealed threats to sack the man who revived his Premiership career at Goodison Park, and with whom he enjoyed so many triumphs at Rangers, had fired him and the rest of the Everton squad into action. Gascoigne, who led a players' appeal to keep Smith at the Blues' helm last week, said: "The manager is a tough man and doesn't want any pity. He wouldn't want anybody saying that we did this for him, but we are pleased for him. "We have let ourselves down over the last five games and we have let him down. "We have not been up to standard. It is the players who have out us in this position, not him. "At the start of the season people were saying that he was the best thing since sliced bread and it's not fair now for one man to shoulder all the blame. "As players we have to look at ourselves. "Before the game we were all laughing and joking but we knew how important this game was. I said to the gaffer that I was going to have to roll back the years for him. "He just said that I better had or I would be off after 10 minutes. He meant it as well! "But I was a bit more determined today because of what the manager has done for me. I wanted to win and I wanted to score. I managed one if not the other." He added: "Walter Smith is the man for the job. It's good to see that the board is backing him. "That's good news for everybody at the club. Now it's up to us players to back him on the field." Smith had to rely on a 90-minute display from the midfield maestro against the Potters due to his continuing injury problems, and was full of admiration for the 34- year- old afterwards. And the Blues boss insisted that despite Gascoigne's much-publicised problems he remains one of the finest natural talents in the Premiership. "Gazza doesn't need to repay me because he's already done that," said Smith.
"My expectation for him at Everton was to come on and change things as a substitute and to help the other players. Anything above that is to his own credit. "He's played exceptionally well in parts this season, without the consistency he used to have. "I always knew, from his injury record at Middlesbrough, that it was asking an awful lot for him to recapture his past form but in the early part of last season he rediscovered it. We've seen flashes of it this season. "If there is a bit of pressure on the club or himself he always gives a good response. The bigger the game the bigger the performance you get from him. "I don't think he feels the personal pressure as much as he used to do but his pride is still there." And Smith added: "As a manager you have to have a relationship with him to get the best out of him. "He knows he's coming to the end of his career and with him getting over his drink problem he has shown that, if he can get over his injuries, he's as good as anyone."

Stubbs' victory delight
Jan 7 2002 Daily Post
EVERTON FA Cup goalscorer Alan Stubbs has summed up, on and off the field, just what the club's players feel about the torture their boss Walter Smith has gone through these past few days.
Stubbs was one of the senior men at Goodison Park who was prepared to voice public disapproval of the way Smith was being blamed despite the club's financial shortcomings. On the field at a packed Britannia Stadium it was Stubbs who smashed home the winner with a low, fierce shot from the edge of the box. All around him were colleagues prepared to give blood and sweat to keep the wolves from Smith's door. Stubbs said: "It was nice to win this one for the manager, I think we have made it plain as players that we are behind him 100 per cent. "It has not been an easy situation for him this past week to keep being told that if we lost this tie he'd be out of a job." Stubbs added: "No one has surely envied Walter the situation he found himself in. "But all credit to him, he has shown he will keep going all the way and that's what the players wanted to show too. "We worked hard, we controlled long spells and everyone gave everything. I'm just delighted for my team-mates and Walter Smith with this result," he added. "The win meant a lot to all of us after the well documented problems we have been having and all the negative publicity we have been getting, aimed at the gaffer and our performances as a team. "We accept that we played badly against Charlton last week when all the fuss started, but before that the performances hadn't been that bad.
"But we didn't look like an Everton team last week, we didn't look like we wanted to win and that is not Everton."

Stoke City 0, Everton 1 (Echo)
By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
Jan 7 2002
ALL it needed was a vote of confidence for the parallels with '84 to be complete. And on the eve of Everton's FA Cup banana skin to Stoke, Bill and Phil duly obliged. We had a struggling team, disaffected fans, mounting speculation about the manager's future - and a team booed off the pitch in its last home match of the year. The comparisons with Howard Kendall's experience in 1984 were uncanny - especially when the Toffees were handed a third round trip to The Potteries which had "upset" stamped indelibly across it. The outcome was almost identical, too - a comfortable away win. But that's where the comparisons sadly stop. While Sir Philip's declaration of faith in his manager during the 1983 winter of discontent was followed by the rider "I really mean it!" - the 2002 version was lukewarm. And while only those of unsound mind could have predicted the dramatic turnaround in Everton's fortunes Kendall's Cup win at Stoke presaged, absolutely no-one is expecting a similar upswing this time. But at least Saturday's 1-0 win ensured the short-term stability which is vital if Everton are to transfer victories to the arena where they really need them . . . the Premiership. How ironic that their next test in that competition comes from a team managed by a hero of 1984, under pressure of his own following an FA Cup upset on Saturday.
If Peter Reid is under pressure today, Walter Smith is, temporarily at least, off the hook.
The Blues' boss received the strange, but touching support of a delegation of players on Friday, clamouring to put their names to their own vote of confidence. Smith appreciated, but was uncomfortable with the gesture. What he really wanted was an expression of confidence out on the pitch - and he got it. Paul Gascoigne produced a big display for the man who has treated him with almost paternal benevolence. As always, there were one or two tricks too many, but his desire, running and speed of thought were at the heart of a solid Everton display. The Blues were never seriously threatened by the Second Division leaders, and the only worry came from the now customary failing to transfer superiority into goals. The reason for that failing is obvious. Everton's only goalscorers are still confined to the Bellefield treatment room. With Kevin Campbell and Tomasz Radzinski available, the Blues were regular marksmen. Without them, they are impotent. Duncan Ferguson - hardly prolific when he's flying - is toiling terribly for match-fitness, and Joe-Max Moore is always more effective from the substitutes' bench. After Ferguson had clipped the base of a post with a volley, Blomqvist had side-footed a daisycutter narrowly wide and Gascoigne's 20-yarder was pushed aside by Cutler, the Blues must have wondered where their next goal was coming from. The answer was the right boot of Alan Stubbs. Evertonians have quickly taken the Kirkby kid to their hearts. He's one of their own, after all, and when Ferguson fortuitously won a 52nd minute free-kick in front of the massed bank of travelling Blues, Stubbs stormed forward and demanded responsibility. He drove the ball low, and when the Stoke wall leaped, anticipating an effort over their heads, it arrowed under them and into the bottom corner. The home support responded well, but there was precious little from their team as all the openings after that were created by the visitors. Gazza played a slick one-two with Moore to dash clear into the box. "I'll have to roll back the years for you today gaffer," he had joked before the match. In that instant he looked like he had, but Cutler bravely blocked the shot. Then Blomqvist, operating as effectively down the right as he has on the left in recent weeks, dashed beyond a final tackle but shot into the side-netting.
Moore hooked a volley over the bar, Weir headed over then Blomqvist was handed an excellent opportunity to make the comparisons with 1984 complete. He failed, which was apt because this isn't 1984. Even the fans seemed trapped in a timewarp. "We're all going to Wembley!" they joyously, but briefly chanted, until they realised that Cardiff is now the venue for the cup final.
Everton 2002 will not suddenly become the most successful team in the club's history - but a cup run can act as a springboard for a Premiership revival. And that was worth celebrating on Saturday night.
STOKE CITY (4-5-1): Cutler, Rowson, Thomas, Shtaniuk, Clarke, Gudjonsson, O'Connor, Henry (Dadason 69), Vandeurzen, Goodfellow (Hoekstra 63 mins), Iwelumo (Cooke 69 mins). Not used: Owen, Ingham.
EVERTON (4-4-2): Simonsen, Xavier, Weir, Stubbs, Unsworth, Blomqvist, Gemmill, Gascoigne, Naysmith, Ferguson, Moore. Not used: Gerrard, Tal, Cleland, Hibbert, Chadwick.
REFEREE: Eddie Wolstenholme.
BOOKED: Gemmill (35 mins) foul.

Jesper's carrot
Jan 7 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
SWEDEN have dangled a World Cup carrot in front of Everton winger Jesper Blomqvist, after he completed his first 90 minutes for two years on Saturday. Sweden's joint-coach, Lars Lagerback, said that he has not ruled the player out of his plans for this summer's finals. "Jesper has done remarkably well to return in the way he has done after so long out," he explained. "I am very impressed. If he keeps playing like this he is certainly an interesting name." The news will come as a huge boost to Blomqvist, who was a member of the 1994 squad which reached the semi-finals.
He signed a short-term contract at Everton until the end of this season, in a bid to prove his fitness following a serious knee injury sustained at Manchester United. He started his first Everton game against his old club on Boxing Day, followed up with another appearance three days later - then completed a full 90 minutes at Stoke City on Saturday. "I expect that I can't keep on playing like this after so long out," said Blomqvist "But I have just felt stronger and stronger after every game."
Blomqvist has won more than 30 full international caps, but none in the past two years. Fellow Scandinavian Thomas Gravesen, meanwhile, is less satisfied. The Dane is back at Bellefield following his recent press outbursts and agent John Sivebaek said: "We will meet up with Smith to sort things out. "It has a very high priority and therefore I am ready to take off at short notice. "Right now, it is impossible to know which direction things are heading. "We need the answers to three questions. What are Everton's plans? "Are Hamburg really interested and if so, what's the price for Thomas?
"In case other clubs are interested, is Thomas interested in them?"

The hard part starts now...
Jan 7 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
AFTER issuing a public show of support for their manager off the pitch on Friday, Everton's players produced a more meaningful one on it on Saturday. Matchwinner Alan Stubbs revealed that the Blues used the events of the past week to fire themselves up for the Third Round victory at Stoke City. "If you ask all the boys that was definitely the case," said Stubbs. "We are right behind the gaffer and I feel that the criticism he has come in for has been really harsh given the circumstances he has had to put up with. "But I think that has brought us even closer together and I think that showed on the pitch. "The gaffer has looked after Gazza in the past and I suppose in a way he tried to look after the boss with his performance on the pitch. "That's what we all need to start doing now. We're together anyway. I don't think we've ever been apart in the dressing room.
"We have a great team spirit and hopefully this could be the result that kick starts us again.
"But the hard bit is only just starting now. We have to try and go on a run now starting next week."
Stubbs' goal was his second long-range free-kick of the season, and he added: "A lot of people were looking at this as a potential banana skin and after what's gone on this week it's a great result for us.
"We have had chances and don't seem to have had much luck recently, so it was great to see that shot go in. "When the free-kick was given it just seemed to be in striking distance and soon as I went up there I wanted it straight away. "I said to Joe-Max 'I want this' and Joe just looked at me and said 'Okay.' "It was just a matter then of getting it set up right and making sure we didn't make a mess of it. "It was a great moment for me. The support we had was fantastic and in a way that showed their support. "If the team is not doing well the support dwindles away a bit, but you have to give them credit. They were right there behind us and they made for a great atmosphere. That's what we need.
"We knew they were never going to go away, but to see them there in their thousands does give you a lift."

Get Your Evertonian
Jan 7 2002 icLiverpool
THE latest edition of The Evertonian is out on Tuesday, January 8, and is packed with news and views for true Blues - don't miss it!
In this edition:
With a return in sight, Blues' skipper Kevin Campbell casts his eye over what's been happening while he's been away.
David Unsworth gives us an honest assessment of the current league situation and how the team plan to prise themselves out of it!
Since the last issue of the Evertonian, Joe Max Moore has returned to the starting line up, scored his first goal in 20 months and figured in every match. He reflects on a busy month.
Former England goalkeeper Chris Woods has a fair bit of experience under his belt, so we put him on the spot as we assess the recent form of the current owner of the number one shirt Steve Simonsen.
Tomasz Radzinski used to spend Christmas with his feet up, but this year he has been playing. We seek his opinion on which is best!
The Evertonian takes a look at some of the memorable strikes from men in blue since the Premiership began.
It's 14 years this season since Alan Harper last strung up his boots as an Everton player. But they just can't keep him away. We catch up with him on the sidelines with the under 17s team.

Pound Signs for Blues
Jan 7 2002 By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
WALTER SMITH hopes to discover how much money he has to revive Everton's league fortunes this week after surviving his FA Cup acid test at Stoke. Alan Stubbs' 53rd-minute free-kick brought Everton their first win in six games on Saturday to ease the pressure on the Blues' manager and book a fourth round home tie against Leyton Orient. Smith immediately switched his attentions to ending the run of five Premiership defeats that put his position under threat before the 'make-or-break' match at the Britannia Stadium. And now the Blues boss is waiting to hear when and how much he can spend following the Blues' board's pledge of financial support on Friday. The club are believed to have taken out a new loan of between £10m-£12m with the Allied Irish Bank that will fund new training and Youth Academy developments and "will allow the manager funds to develop his first team squad." But while welcoming the financial support, Smith insisted it is not a straightforward solution to Everton's problems. The Blues boss said: "I haven't spoken to anyone about the new package, but that is what has been said publicly and we'll have to be careful in how we spend it.
"We need to do something, but it is not that easy to find the right people. Blackburn had a lot of money to spend for a while before Andy Cole became available and it is not a case of money will make things all right. "What we really need is Kevin Campbell and Tomasz Radzinski back. That is the most important thing just now. If we had kept our strikers fit I'm sure we would have been in a much better position than we are now. "We've had to ask Duncan to play regularly recently without him having any real training. "It is a Catch-22 situation though. There are other areas of the team we need to strengthen." After a week dominated by speculation about his future Smith was relieved to end Saturday on a high. And he insisted Everton's overall performance this season meant the increased pressure on himself and the playing staff was misplaced. Smith said: "I felt all right, I always did. If our whole team had been fit and we'd lost the games that we have it wouldn't have looked very clever and I'd know something was wrong. "If we were that bad we'd now be in the bottom three. We actually started the season well, so it is important to keep things in perspective.
"The league is so tight that I can see ten teams being seperated by just a couple of points come the end of the season. "But the reason we are in this position is that we haven't had a fully fit squad available. We have started to lose players of late and that is the reason we have struggled.
"It is not for me to say whether everyone understands that. But after winning only one game in six I knew I was under pressure regardless of the circumstances." The Blues had to survive early pressure against the second division leaders and kept them at bay before clinching a deserved victory in a dominant display after the interval. And the Blues boss added: "In a cup tie like this the players had to be up for it. It was always going to be a physical battle. "Stoke have done exceptionally well in the league and, not wanting to put a curse on them, having watched them a few times I would say they should get one of the automatic promotion spots.

Smith made to wait for transfer swoop
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Jan 8 2002
WALTER SMITH is unlikely to make an immediate swoop in the transfer market, despite the refinancing package secured by Everton last week. The Blues boss is drawing up a list of potential targets after it was announced new funds would be available for team rebuilding, thanks to a loan secured with the Allied Irish Bank. However, the money is not yet in place for Smith to bolster his threadbare squad and it could be weeks before new faces arrive at Goodison Park. One player unlikely to feature among the manager's targets is Manchester United's for-sale star Dwight Yorke.
Yorke, linked with moves to Fulham and Middlesbrough in the past week, would cost £8million, using up all Everton's transfer fund, and Smith is keen to add younger talent to his squad rather than bring in another 30-year-old. That could open the way for a bid for Brighton's highly-rated striker Bobby Zamora. Smith, meanwhile, will look to sign Jesper Blomqvist on a long-term deal if the Swede continues his early promise at Goodison Park. The former United winger , excellent in Saturday's FA Cup win at Stoke, has signed until the end of this season but has a gentleman's agreement with Smith to give Everton first option in the summer, if he sustains his fitness after two years out with a serious knee injury. Thomas Gravesen may have to put his problems with life at Goodison Park behind him if he is to keep his dream of playing in the World Cup alive.
The Danish international, who recently declared he was homesick and keen to return to Hamburg, has been told he will not be considered for this summer's competition if he is not settled with a club by February. Denmark coach Morten Olsen said: "February 1 is the cut-off point and, after that, I will not consider any players experiencing uncertainty with their clubs." The threat by Olsen may prompt the former Hamburg star to forget his grievances and concentrate on regaining his place in the Blues' side after an ankle injury. Gravesen's agent John Sivebaek is intent on discussing his player's future with the Blues manager. However, Smith has no immediate plans to meet the former Manchester United defender.

Beware the tales from the Orient!
Jan 8 2002 By Kevin Ratcliffe
THE bad news for Evertonians is that Leyton Orient are a tidy, well-organised, footballing team quite capable of causing an FA Cup upset. The good news is that I've heard Tony Cottee is doing some coaching down there! Tony was the master of getting the most out of the minimal amount of training possible - an expert at being last into Bellefield and first out. Hopefully, some of that will have rubbed off on Everton's fourth round opponents by the time they come to Goodison at the end of the month! Joking apart, TC has clearly had an impact at Brisbane Road, as Orient's 4-1 win at Portsmouth in the last round testifies. When Third Division teams score a Cup upset, it's usually by the odd goal, a one nil upset or occasionally 2-1. But for Orient to go to Fratton Park, score four and be applauded off the field by the home fans, speaks volumes. Tommy Taylor was in charge earlier this season when my Shrewsbury side faced them, and we played really well to triumph 4-1.
Since then, Paul Brush has taken over, but much of the squad is the same, including a striker called Steve Watts, whom I've looked at quite a few times myself. Orient's win, and the even more incredible victory Bristol Rovers achieved at Derby County, were overshadowed by Cardiff's televised defeat of Leeds. But Walter Smith will have taken note and will no doubt have the Londoners watched as often as he can before they come to Goodison in 11 days' time. Everton will undoubtedly be the better side, but their attitude will have to be right on the day . . . as Portsmouth, Derby and Leeds have already discovered to their cost. Wembley was special - and will be again when the final returns there, but Cardiff showed that it can stage on occasion with as much atmosphere, style and distinction. I was enormously proud of winning championships and the European Cup Winners' Cup for Everton, but claiming the FA Cup in 1984 was arguably the most special feeling of all. I'd love to go back there again as a manager and repeat the experience.
Modern football may be all about the Champions League and Europe, but the FA Cup will always retain its uniquely special place in English football heritage. And this weekend's events have simply re-emphasised that.
All so different in 1984
THE comparisons between the Everton of 1984 and Walter Smith's current squad were inevitable when Stoke were drawn out of the hat as the Blues' third round opponents. The parallels were even more apparent when a socalled vote of confidence in the manager was issued on the eve of the tie.
But, in truth, it's a very different scenario Walter Smith is presiding over than Howard Kendall faced in 1984. Howard had the awesome task of trying to end 14 barren years without a trophy, but while Everton were cash-strapped back then, it was because they refused to go into the red at the bank, not because they were already hugely overdrawn. Everton's current squad is "experienced," but Howard was working with a very young squad which included Neville Southall, Gary Stevens, Derek Mountfield, Trevor Steven, Graeme Sharp and myself. All had our best years to come.
All it took was the confidence from a couple of cup runs - and then winning the FA Cup - to transform potential into achievement. That's not to belittle the effect a run in this season's FA Cup could have on Walter Smith's side, but the Blues will need luck. In 1984, we faced four top division sides on the way to winning the cup, but Stoke and Notts County were both struggling. Only when we faced eventual Championship runners-up Southampton in the semi-final were we not considered favourites. If Everton can enjoy some luck this year, who knows? But it's unfair to draw comparisons with the 1984 squad.
Romance of the cup still alive
THERE are signs in this season's third round ties, that the FA Cup has recaptured its sparkle again.
With Wembley lost as the final venue, some teams choosing to field weakened sides and Manchester United ducking out of the last but one competition, there were fears the grand old trophy had lost some of its lustre. A quick glance at this season's third round results, however, has wiped away those concerns. I was at Cardiff on Sunday to witness the kind of thing which makes the FA Cup special - a Third Division team deservedly knocking out the League leaders, in an atmosphere which made the hairs on the back of your neck bristle. Just hours later a full strength Manchester United staged one of the competition's great comebacks, and the reaction of Sir Alex Ferguson and his supporters showed just what the competition means to them. Then the fourth round draw saved the best till last - a repeat of the 2001 final to whet the appetites for the next round already. Last season's final between Arsenal and Liverpool was the first at the Millennium Stadium and was largely responsible, I think, for the renewed interest in the Cup. Peoples' fears that moving the final away from Wembley would devalue the occasion were wiped away.

Gravesen Warning
Jan 8 2002 By David Prentice
EVERTON have found an unlikely ally in their bid to settle homesick Danish star Thomas Gravesen.
The player's international boss, Morten Olsen, has warned that anybody unsettled at their club after February 1 will not be considered for the World Cup. Gravesen made a number of press statements last year suggesting he wanted a move from Goodison. But his national coach's ultimatum could convince him to knuckle down for the rest of the season. Olsen said: "February 1st is the cut off point and, after that, I will not consider any players experiencing uncertainty with their clubs."
Gravesen has expressed his desire to move closer to his Danish homeland. But the size of the Blues' squad means they cannot afford to lose any more personnel until reinforcements have been added.
The Dane is unlikely to be fit for the weekend's home visit of Sunderland, still suffering from an ankle injury. Walter Smith, meanwhile, is waiting to discover how much cash the recently announced refinancing package will make available to him. Reports suggest his transfer kitty could be bolstered by £6m, but it will be several weeks before those funds are made available. First Division Crystal Palace are reported to be poised to make a £3m bid for Niclas Alexandersson. Again, Everton's lack of depth to their squad will prevent his departure. Leyton Orient boss Paul Brush, meanwhile, has spoken of his relish at the fourth round FA Cup draw which takes his Division Three side to Goodison Park. The tie was Orient's reward for beating first division Portsmouth. Brush, who was in the West Ham United team which defeated Everton in a 1980 FA Cup semi-final replay, said: "That was the biggest game of my career and I have some nice memories of winning against Everton that day.
"It would be greedy to say we would have preferred them at home, because I don't have too many good memories of winning at Goodison Park. "But it will be a big occasion and great experience for our youngsters - and if we play above ourselves as we did against Portsmouth then anything's possible."

Out of the Red
Jan 9 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON are close to clinching a £25m deal which will wipe out their crippling overdraft.
The transaction will create fresh funds for two new capital projects, plus investment in the first team squad. Everton are in talks with two City-based investors, one of which is Bear Stearns International, the UK arm of a Wall Street investment bank. If the deal is clinched, the funds will be used to pay off the club's existing overdraft - now under £20m - with the Co-operative Bank. The remainder will be made available to Walter Smith for new signings and for new training and youth academy facilities.
This new money is being raised through a securitisation deal -effectively a loan similar to a mortgage - which gives Bear Stearns a charge over cash from season ticket sales for the next 20 years.
Such loan arrangements are becoming increasingly common for Premier League clubs, with Leeds, Newcastle, Chelsea, Leicester and Southampton, having either completed deals or in talks to do so.
Pop star David Bowie has done a similar deal to cash in on future earnings from royalties. If Everton were ever unable to repay the debt, Bear Stearns would be able to obtain a court order requiring revenues from season ticket sales to be handed over.

Smith discusses Gravesen future
Jan 9 2002 By Jonathan McEvoy, Daily Post
WALTER SMITH will sit down with Thomas Gravesen in the next 48 hours to determine the homesick star's Everton future. Gravesen told newspapers in his native Denmark last month that he wanted a move from Goodison, triggering speculation the unhappy midfielder was preparing to cut short his contract and return to Hamburg. But since then Denmark coach Morten Olsen has insisted no player who is unsettled at his club after February 1 will be considered for his World Cup squad.
Olsen's warning could force Gravesen (pictured) to prolong his stay in English football and fight for his place after the ankle injury which is likely to keep him out of Saturday's visit of Sunderland.
Smith will now have clear-the-air talks with the 25-year-old, who has 18 months to run on his current contract. And the threadbare size of Everton's squad means the Blues boss is keen to hold on to Gravesen, at least until further-funds are freed-up for strengtheningthe playing staff.
Meanwhile, Leyton Orient manager Paul Brush is delighted to be taking his third division side to Goodison in the fourth round of the FA Cup on January 26. Brush, whose side earned the reward of a big pay-day by beating first division Portsmouth, was in the West Ham side that put Everton out of the Cup in a semi-final replay in 1980. He said: "That was the biggest game of my career and I have some nice memories of winning against Everton that day. "It would be greedy to say we would have preferred them at home because I don't have too many good memories of winning at Goodison Park. "But it will be a big occasion and a great experience for our youngsters - and if we play above ourselves, as we did against Portsmouth, then anything is possible."
* EVERTON are slashing ticket prices for the Everton-Leyton Orient tie. Following the ticketing experiment against Derby County last month, adults will be charged £15, juniors and OAPs £10 behind the goals, while it will be £20 and £10 concessions elsewhere.

Niclas eases Smith worries
Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Jan 10 2002
WALTER SMITH'S bid to transform FA Cup form into precious Premiership points this weekend must be achieved without the aid of the Goodison cavalry. There were hopes some of Everton's catalogue of injured stars could be back to face Sunderland this Saturday as the Blues go in desperate search of victory after five consecutive league defeats. However, only Niclas Alexandersson (pictured) is currently in the frame for a swift recall as Smith faces up to selecting from the same depleted squad that overcame Stoke City against Peter Reid's side. Alexandersson limped off at half-time in the New Year's Day defeat at Middlesbrough with a calf injury but is expected to be fit for the Goodison test.
But strikers Kevin Campbell, Tomasz Radzinski and Danny Cadamarteri are all set to be sidelined once again as the Blues boss is forced to rely on Duncan Ferguson-and Joe-Max Moore in attack.
Club captain Campbell has now returned to full training after over two months out with a trapped nerve in his back, and while he has a slight chance of featuring against the Black Cats Smith is loathe to push him ahead of schedule. "Kevin is now back in training with the rest of the lads which is encouraging," said Smith. "But it is too early to say whether he can play a part on Saturday."
Meanwhile, £4.5million forward Radzinski could be a further-fortnight away from firstteam football as he recovers from the groin injury that forced him out of the recent home defeat by Charlton.
Steve Watson also suffered a calf injury at the Riverside last week, but is behind Alexandersson in his recovery and is rated doubtful for Saturday. Thomas Gravesen, awaiting developments on his clouded Everton future, will still be out with an ankle injury, as will Mark Pembridge (calf) and Alessandro Pistone (knee).

No way back for Gravesen
Jan 10 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
THOMAS GRAVESEN is unlikely to kick a ball for Everton again after finding himself isolated in the dressing room. The former fans' favourite has declared himself unfit for Saturday's visit of Sunderland, but Walter Smith would have been reluctant to include him anyway after his recent press outbursts. The Blues players publically rallied around their beleaguered boss last week in a show of the team spirit Smith has carefully tried to nurture amongst his small squad. Gravesen's statements claiming to be homesick and his refusal to return from Denmark when ordered to, have been seen as breaking rank. Only a monumental injury crisis would force Smith to call on Gravesen, even when the player finally recovers from an ankle problem. The Dane is now clearly free to pursue a move back to the continent. The Blues, however, have so far not received any official enquiries.
Gravesen has singled out Hamburg as his preferred destination, but the Bundesliga side has cash problems. The Blues paid £2.5m for the Danish international and would at least want their money back. After starting the season in inspirational form, Gravesen has been substituted in five of his last six outings. Replaced early at Leicester and Fulham, he was playing well at home to Derby before sustaining a head injury. After that he was substituted inside half-an-hour at Sunderland before he could be sent off, then lasted just seven minutes against Manchester United on Boxing Day.
The German transfer window closes at the end of this month, and Danish coach Morten Olsen has claimed any players unsettled at their clubs by February 1 will not be considered for his World Cup squad. Gravesen will hope his Goodison career is over by then.

Smith targeting midfield star
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Jan 11 2002
WALTER SMITH will make a midfielder a top priority when Everton's new financial package arrives after Thomas Gravesen's Goodison career drew to a premature close yesterday. Danish international Gravesen is unlikely to play for the Blues again as his untimely attacks on the club have isolated him from the first-team squad and, crucially, manager Smith. The pair this week met to discuss Gravesen's public claims of being homesick, disillusioned by a lack of ambition at Everton and desperate to return to former club SV Hamburg. And, despite his impressive form earlier this season, the 25-year-old has been told he can leave Goodison Park - providing would-be suitors meet the Blues' asking price. Everton paid £2.5million to the Bundesliga side in July 2000 for Gravesen but can now expect to make a profit on a player who, after a difficult debut season in English football, was in fine form before takinga blow to the head against Derby in December. The Dane is currently suffering from an ankle injury but would not have been considered for Saturday's game with Sunderland anyway by Smith, who will only consider deploying the former fans' favourite if his injury list rises dramatically. Cash-strapped Hamburg will have to move quickly to re-sign Gravesen as the German transfer window closes this month, while an approach from Newcastle could open the way for an Everton move for Rob Lee as a short-term solution to Smith's midfield problems.
Everton, however, have not received any official enquiries for the player. The Blues, meanwhile, have reduced admission prices for the FA Cup fourth round tie with Leyton Orient after the success of their 'Tickets for a Tenner' initiative against Derby County. Tickets for the game, expected to take place on Saturday, January 26, are £20 (adults) and £10 (juniors/ over 65s) for all areas along the sides of the pitch, while prices for the Park End and Upper/Lower Gwladys Street stands have been cut to £15 and £10. Supporters can pay on the gate or purchase a ticket now from the Park End Box Office.

Cup win Stokes up Blues
Fanscene by Mark O'Brien, Daily Post
Jan 11 2002
WHAT a difference a game makes. After the drama of last week, the win against Stoke City has seen the speculation over Walter Smith's job die down somewhat. In truth, though, tomorrow's game against Sunderland is as important as they come. We're still on the back of a five-game league run which has yielded no points, with trips to White Hart Lane and Villa Park to come. You don't need to be Simon Sharma to know our history at those grounds. We couldn't ask for a better fourth round draw than Leyton Orient at Goodison, although once again recent history warns us not to be too complacent - we have a nasty habit of making hard work of these games. Saying that, Stoke are meant to be the stars of the second division and they were very poor. Everton kept it tight and worked hard, Paul Gascoigne revelled in the space he was finding against players of that level and eventually his vision and Jesper Blomqvist's pace and all-round class had the home side relieved to concede just the one goal. When was the last time you saw so many police at a game? Most people, along with the powers that be, knew that there was potential for trouble at Stoke, likewise at Cardiff, yet it's interesting to see the media's 'shock' at the events at Ninian Park. A stark reminder for some who have been lulled into a false sense of security by Sky's vision of the modern game that it's advisable to exercise a bit of caution when travelling to away games. Speaking of caution, it appears the Board are prepared to throw cautionto the wind with the announcement that they are in negotiations with a couple of finance houses over a deal which would free money now on the strength of future earnings. The timing of this announcement is interesting given that the board have been the subject of a certain amount of implicit criticism from Everton's older players and expert pundits like Rodney Marsh, who keep reiterating that the club's on-field shortcomings are solely the result of a lack of funds. Obviously, any deal like this carries some sort of risk - indeed a while ago it was stated that those in charge did not wish to go down this very same route - as at some point you've got to pay the money, and the interest, back. Bear Stearns or whoever else we're entering into a deal with, aren't charities. The crux of the matter is what you do with the funds. If you spend them and remain wallowing at the wrong end of the table then you've only moved the problem further down the line.

10 things about Big Dunc
Jan 11 2012
Ferguson facts
TEN things you always wanted to know about Duncan Ferguson:
1. He is always the first player to leave the pitch at the end of a game.
2. He spends more time adjusting his kit than he does playing the game.
3. He wears a sweatband on his wrist for no apparent reason.
4. Excluding three penalties he hasn't scored a goal all season.
5. He rarely kicks the ball with his right foot.
6. He never makes a run off the ball.
7. He rarely wins headers these days.
8. He is a drain on the club's financial resources.
9. He is very rarely fit.
10. The legend has at long last been exposed for the myth he always was.
D Thomson, Merseyside
Mediocre Smith
CAN somebody please put to rest this myth that poor old Walter Smith is one of the great European managers, but he hasn't had a penny to spend?
First, in terms of talent he aspires to mediocrity. The Scottish Premier League is the equivalent of the Egyptian League these days.
Second, he has spent £54million, most of it on third-rate players who have no business in an Everton shirt.
If Bill Kenwright has another £10m lying around he would be well advised to hold on to it for Smith's successor.
Michael O'Rourke, Liverpool
High hopes?
THE good thing about being an Evertonian these days is our expectations are so low.
We would never have gone 2-0 up against United and then lost 3-2. We would have just got beat!
Ed Faichney, West Yorkshire
Onward Everton
NOW Evertonians can all go forward with faith again!
The board's full backing of Walter and funds being made available soon to resteel the squad is great news. However, we still need to clear some dead wood once the team is reshaped, the likes of Xavier and Unsworth. And we must stop those schoolboy errors. They're simply not good enough.
Smith too old
AFTER watching the worst Everton team in 25 years at Middlesbrough there is no doubt Walter Smith and Archie Knox must go very quickly. His signings of old men and the complete avoidance of anything young, keen and talented raise worrying questions.
Questions also need to be raised over the coaching, when players spend most of their time out injured or on the bench. My own view is that Smith and Knox are far too old for the Premiership and a young energetic team is urgently needed!
Steve Salmon, Moreton
Generous Blues
A RATHER generous last couple of weeks even by Everton's standards.
Not content with helping Fowler break his duck at Leeds, we even let Reyna get his first for Sunderland, play Charlton and it's a first for Konchesky and allow Festa get his first of the season in his first game against Boro.
Mick Burke, Liverpool 4

Cottagers charged by FA
By Mark Bradley, Daily Post
Jan 11 2002
FULHAM were last night charged with failing to control their players during an on-pitch melee during the Premiership game against Everton last month. Cottagers striker Barry Hayles was also singled out for an individual misconduct charge relating to alleged "violent behaviour" during the unseemly incident in the December 8 match. A spat between Fulham's Luis Boa Morte and Everton's David Weir resulted in both players being sent off during the game at Craven Cottage by Phil Dowd, who was in his first game as a Barclaycard Premiership referee. Although Boa Morte's red card - for allegedly biting Weir on the ground - was later rescinded, Fulham now still face a charge of failing to control their players in the ensuing melee, which involved virtually all 22 players. The maximum punishment would be to dock the club points, although that is normally only used in more serious cases and it is far more likely they will be handed a fine of up to £250,000 if they are found guilty.
Hayles, meanwhile, who was one of the first on the scene, could face a possible three-match ban as well as a fine if he is deemed guilty of his own charge. Weir could not appeal against his own red card as it was for a second caution, but Everton manager Walter Smith was still fuming at the dismissal in the immediate aftermath of the game, which ended in a 2-0 win to Fulham.
Smith said at the time: "David is the only player that has ever been sent off for clearing the ball, being pulled down and being stamped on by the opposition." Fulham and Hayles have 14 days to respond to the charges.

Everton stadium investor pulls out
By Bill Gleeson Business Editor, Daily Post
Jan 11 2002
A KEY investor in the Kings Dock stadium and arena project has pulled out. Countryside Properties, which was to build up to 1,000 apartments as part of the overall scheme, said yesterday the proposed development suffered from too many " imponderables" to allow the company to remain involved. The withdrawal comes as a setback to the plans as the proceeds from selling land at Kings Dock to Countryside were earmarked to subsidise the construction cost of the 55,000-seat stadium and arena that is to become Everton Football Club's new home. Last night, a spokesman for Bovis said his company was still keen to proceed and the firm, which built the Sydney Olympic stadium, is now looking for other residential developers to fill the gap left by Countryside's withdrawal.
Countryside was part of Bovis Lend Lease's "Pool of Life" consortium which last year lost out to Everton in a competition to develop the dock. However, the "Pool of Life" partners were subsequently invited to join the Everton scheme to develop and build residential, commercial office and leisure facilities next door to the stadium. Robin Hoyles, managing director of Countryside's strategic division, said: "Bovis Lend Lease and ourselves were invited into Everton's consortium but we decided not to take that up because the original concept of the scheme has changed.
"There were too many imponderables. We are concentrating our resources in Manchester where we have four schemes and where the market is extremely buoyant at the moment." Uncertainties affecting the stadium and concert arena proposal include the need to obtain planning permission, including approval from central government and the ability of the scheme's promoters to raise around £300m of investment funds, including £30m of public sector grant aid. A Bovis spokesman added: "We are talking to a number of partners both for the residential and commercial sides. We are confident that the scheme will go ahead." The spokesman also moved to clarify claims made last week that Bovis was set to invest £155m of its own money in the project. He said: "Bovis is not committing any of its own cash to the scheme at this time. "What we are doing is seeking funding from others to help the scheme go ahead." Everton's consortium, which includes Liverpool City Council and public sector regeneration bodies English Partnerships and North West Development Agency, was given preferred developer status last May. The consortium now has about three months to finalise its plans and raise the money needed. A decision will be taken around May on whether or not to proceed with Everton's plans. Everton's consortium is hoping to attract some of the world's biggest pop stars and other entertainment events to the venue to make the project economically viable.

Blues' FA Cup ticket plans
Jan 11 2002
FOR the Fourth Round FA Cup tie with Leyton Orient on January 26, reduced admission prices of £20 adults and £10 under-16/OAPs will apply in the family enclosure, main stand, top balcony, upper and lower Bullens and paddock stands. Reduced prices of £15 adults, £10 concessions will apply in the Park End and upper and lower Gwladys Street areas. All supporters should note that all areas of the ground (excluding executive areas) will be unreserved seating. Entrance to the stadium, will be by payment at the turnstiles on the day of the game. However, supporters wishing to buy a ticket in advance may do so from the Park End Box Office. Supporters should note also that a Dial-A-Seat service on 08707-383-7866 will also be in operation from Friday, January 11.

Blues in dock over Fulham 'brawl'
Jan 11 2002 By Scott McLeod
EVERTON today joined Fulham in the dock for allegedly failing to control their players in a mass confrontation during the FA Barclaycard Premiership match at Craven Cottage last month.
Fulham were charged yesterday with the same offence and have vowed to mount a vigorous defence. Now Everton have also been hit with a Football Association charge after almost all 22 players became involved in an onpitch melee following red cards for David Weir and Luis Boa Morte in the December 8 clash. Meanwhile, Peter Beardsley today caused a stir in three major soccer cities when he attacked a PFA/League Managers Association plan to use the likes of Everton's Paul Gascoigne, Arsenal's Tony Adams and Aston Villa's Paul Merson in an educational initiative to teach youngsters the perils of being a top Premiership player. All three stars have won all the wrong kinds of headlines in the past. Adams was actually jailed for a drink driving offence while Merson went public about his drug addictions. The PFA believe that the trio have all worked hard to turn round their lives. Beardsley, presently youth coach at Newcastle, believes the PFA should use people who have graced the game over a number of years as role models. He cites Alan Shearer as the perfect example. But many people in football believe the former Liverpool and Everton star has missed the point and that players who have been down a tough road and survived have a genuine and worthwhile message for young players. Graeme Sharp, who is a key member of Everton's community soccer scheme, said: "There is far more chance of young players listening to Gazza than there is of them taking in the message from a lecturer. "While being well meaning, anybody who criticises the move is missing the point. "The three players in question have all experienced real lows because of the rewards the game has brought them but they have come through it and reached the top. " I am sure they would love to help young players avoid encountering the same difficulties. If he takes up the initiative Gazza will be a great help for young players." But Beardsley, would rather see men who have kept their reputations unsullied. He said: "They've got it wrong with this. I would use people who have never been involved - and there are a lot of them."

Reid plans a happy return
Jan 11 2002
SUNDERLAND manager Peter Reid returns to former club Everton tomorrow desperate to tip the balance of a season which is starting to fall apart. Humbled at home by First Division West Brom last week in the FA Cup, the Black Cats know they have reached a watershed in their third campaign back in the top flight. They go into the weekend lying 11th in the table, only six points behind sixth-placed Chelsea but suffering from a lack of consistency. A rapid improvement could rekindle their dwindling hopes of European qualification, but a continuation of their recent Jekyll and Hyde form would see their season dissolve before their eyes. Striker Niall Quinn admits he is feeling the effects of a tough holiday programme. "We're out of the cup now and it's very hard to make people feel that there is something positive ahead for rest of season," he said. "It's up to us to produce and get things back again. We've got to play well in two or three games on the trot, get a few wins together and get the belief back."

The best form of attack is defence
Jan 11 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
KEVIN CAMPBELL will return from an enforced three month break this weekend with his position as four-goal top scorer intact. But the challengers breathing down his neck now includes a batch of defenders. David Weir has already bettered his previous best with the Blues by scoring three times so far this season. Alan Stubbs has contributed two spectacular strikes of his own, while Steve Watson's two goals this season were ironically added while he was operating in defence, not as a makeshift centre-forward. Weir, who has inherited Campbell's captain's armband as well as his goalscorers' mantle, prefers to think that the increased output from the back is a sign of the collective responsibility embraced by the squad. "With so many of our strikers having been injured it can place pressure on the defence not to concede, because one goal can see you lose all three points. "But there's also responsibility in another sense," he explained "we should all try and contribute with goals of our own. "It's not just down to the strikers to score, it's everyone's responsibility and we've been doing our best to chip in with our share! "I've got three up to now, Alan's got a couple, so has Watto. We just need Gary Naysmith to do his bit! "He gets forward often enough. . . it's obviously just his finishing!" Leg pulling apart, with four assists Naysmith is the club's leading goal creator this season, again pointing at a collective responsibility. Weir believes that dressing room morale has never dipped at Goodison, even during the recent depressing run of results. "The spirit has always been great here," he added. "The players like each other and get on with each other and that helps. "Obviously when you are having a run like we were having your confidence is low and you feel a bit down, but we knew we weren't playing all that badly.
"We were just struggling to score goals for whatever reasons and were losing games by the odd goal, which was difficult to bear. " But the lads all pulled together and hopefully we can use the Stoke result as a springboard now for the Premiership." And with Campbell, Duncan Ferguson and hopefully Tomasz Radzinski fit again soon, the defenders can go back to concentrating on keeping goals out!

Everton 1, Sunderland 0
By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Jan 14 2002
THE fat lady may have been clearing her throat some ten days ago, but on Saturday she was exiting stage left as Everton's brush with infamy thankfully failed to materialise. Defeat to Sunderland would have handed the Blues their sixth consecutive league loss - the worst record in their 124-year history - and increased the pressure on beleaguered boss Walter Smith. Instead, Jesper Blomqvist's first-half winner gave an injury-hit Everton a thoroughly deserved victory which was ultimately more comfortable than the scoreline suggested, and banished - at least for now - any notions of Smith departing Goodison. To think it was a mere fortnight ago that rumours emanating from the club were intimating the Scot was a mere two games away from unemployment. Everton may have hurriedly backtracked on those loud noises coming from the boardroom - instead promising Smith a cash cow to milk - but a glance at the Premiership table was enough to realise action off the pitch needed to be allied with an improvement on it. And while last week's FA Cup triumph at Stoke City brought welcome relief, it did not translate into league points, the like of which have been in desperately short supply. Only nine were gleaned from the previous 12 games going into Saturday's encounter. Little wonder then that revenge for the pre-Christmas defeat at the Stadium of Light elicited such an outpouring of relief from the home support come the final whistle. That it was Blomqvist - playing up front alongside the returning Kevin Campbell - who scored the winner was symbolic of the stifling conditions Smith has been forced to work under the past few seasons.
Here was a player who had spent over two years out of the game through injury, had not made a single senior appearance since May 1999 and was widely believed to be just one more sprain or strain away from retirement. Potential suitors were thin on the ground when his contract came to an end at Manchester United, but Smith's necessity to strengthen his squad - and his lack of funds to facilitate such an arrangement - meant he was compelled to act on Sir Alex Ferguson's advice and offer the Swede a deal. It was a gamble, but the evidence shown by Blomqvist since his bow at Sunderland last month has been cautiously encouraging. His desire, determination and self-belief in recovering from his succession of setbacks are just the qualities Everton have been crying out for during their wretched recent run. Indeed, the expression on the Swede's face - part delight, part relief at making his rehabilitation complete - when he nodded in Niclas Alexandersson's hanging cross 26 minutes into a tense Goodison encounter was a sight to behold. It was his first goal since netting at the same Park End in October 1998 while a Manchester United player - and there is unlikely to be a more deserving goalscorer this season. Blomqvist has not been the sole beneficiary of Smith's faith. Paul Gascoigne's admiration of his manager is no secret, and in Smith's hour of need he has repaid that faith by bolstering his public words of support with positive action, first at Stoke City and then on Saturday against Sunderland. Gascoigne was simply fantastic.
Undoubtedly spurred by the added incentive of victory over hometown rivals Sunderland, the Geordie was in sparkling form, his passing at its perceptive and incisive best, his tackling sharp, and, more importantly, he paced himself so well that he was still bounding around as the strongest player on the field in injury-time. There was even time for some of the crowd-pleasing antics which made him such an England favourite. Gascoigne is fit and enjoying his football again, and this can only be good for Everton. It was certainly too much for Sunderland. Former Goodison favourite Peter Reid has been under increasing pressure himself after a poor run of results on Wearside, and it's not hard to see why. The visitors were desperately poor, particularly in the first half. Despite boasting the likes of Kevin Phillips up front, they offered very little in attack, were frankly shocking in defence and had little answer to the Blues' industrious and intelligent midfield. And perversely, it could be argued that collectively Everton dig deepest when their personnel is at its most stretched.Last season, when the treatment room was at its fullest, the Blues rattled a hat-trick of wins against Bradford City, Arsenal and Chelsea which gave them the breathing space to avoid another relegation scrap last season. And on Saturday, for the second week running, Smith's already skeletal squad was down to the bare bones. With the flu-ridden Duncan Ferguson and Abel Xavier taking the number of senior absentees to eight, Tony Hibbert stepped in for only his second start of the season and Campbell returned up front after 11 weeks out. What a difference a striker makes. While understandably looking short of fitness, Campbell gave Everton a mobile, focal point to the attack which has been lacking during their barren run. And the skipper was within inches of a fairytale comeback when he should have given the home side the lead on five minutes. Hibbert's cross from the right was headed back across goal by Blomqvist, and Campbell, while admittedly stretching for the ball, wastefully fired wide from barely six yards out. Alexandersson - afforded the freedom of Goodison in the first half - was tormenting the Sunderland defence, on one occasion beating Stanislav Varga and working the ball inside for Campbell, only for Bernt Haas to make a saving tackle as the striker prepared to convert. Inevitably, then, it was the Swede who proved the source of Everton's winner on 26 minutes. Jason McAteer was dispossessed and Scot Gemmill swiftly played Alexandersson through down the flank. The winger sprinted forward before placing an inch-perfect cross on to the head of fellow countryman Blomqvist, who arrived at the far post to score.
After the break, Alexandersson shot wide from a good position and Gary Naysmith's slaloming run and shot almost saw keeper Thomas Sorensen palm the ball into his own net. Reid threw on Niall Quinn for the final half-hour, and the visitors did perk up a little. They enjoyed the majority of possession, but with Everton content to sit deep and defend their advantage, the Blues' only real moment of concern came when a Phillips volley was deflected wide by David Weir. In fact, the home side should have made the game safe in the final ten minutes. Blomqvist delayed too long in playing the offside Gascoigne clear on goal, while another powering run from the back by Naysmith ended with the Scot's shot being beaten out by Sorensen. So the league rot has finally stopped, and although they won't always come up against teams as bad as Sunderland, there was more than enough to suggest Everton's mid-season blip can be consigned to just being that. Now, where's that money Bill?
EVERTON (4-4-2):Simonsen; Hibbert, Stubbs, Weir, Naysmith; Alexandersson (Cleland 84), Gemmill, Gascoigne, Unsworth; Blomqvist (Chadwick 83), Campbell. Subs: Gerrard, Tal, Moore.
SUNDERLAND (4-4-2): Sorensen; Haas, Varga, Craddock, Gray; McAteer (Quinn 57), Thirlwell, McCann, Arca (Bellion 46); Phillips, Kilbane. Subs: Macho, Williams, McCartney.
BOOKINGS:Everton's Unsworth and Sunderland's Haas.
REFEREE: Mr D Elleray.
MAN OF THE MATCH Paul Gascoigne. The Swedish duo of Niclas Alexandersson and Jesper Blomqvist impressed, but it was Gascoigne who stole the show.
The 34-year-old belied his years with a non-stop display which proved that while age may have withered his fitness somewhat, it has certainly taken none of his talent. Outstanding.

Blomqvist - My thanks to Blues
Jan 14 2002 By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
JESPER BLOMQVIST last night showed his gratitude to Everton after helping end the Blues' run of five consecutive Premiership defeats. The Swede dedicated his 26th-minute header against Sunderland on Saturday to the supporters and staff at Goodison. The goal gave the Blues their first league win since beating Derby on December 15 and helped move them five points clear of the relegation zone.
It was also Blomqvist's first goal since signing in at Goodison Park in November - and his first senior goal since netting at the same end of the ground for Manchester United in October 1998.
And he said: "I must thank everybody at Everton, the players, the staff and the fans, everybody. They have all made it easy for me. "Easy to settle in so quickly and to find my form on the pitch. This goal I dedicate to them all. "Our performance was excellent, in the first half, particularly. In the second we weren't so good, but we really worked hard together. "That was brilliant to see because you know there is more to come when the team works that hard." Blomqvist added: "I can't explain the feeling of scoring that goal, it was just magic. I have been surprised with the speed that I have got my touch back and the feel for the game. "On the physical side, I have worked as hard as I have ever done these past six months. "But my form on the pitch, the touch I have found, that has surprised me to have got it back so quickly. "It's very early to talk about the World Cup, but things are going well so far. I expected that I wouldn't be able to play like this after so long out, but I've just felt stronger after every game." He added: "I do remember my last Premiership goal, it's not too hard, I only got one in my time with United and it was at Everton, so yes, this has been a great day for me. I'm delighted, really delighted." Blues boss Walter Smith praised his match-winner.
"He has settled down very quickly, and started to play very well," he said. "After the length of time he has been out through injury and the nature of that injury, we couldn't have expected him to be playing so well so quickly. "Jesper has been out for a very, very long time and he is still building on his match fitness. "That won't be there for another three or four games so to see him play this well and to score is outstanding. "The win further eased the pressure on Smith following on from the FA Cup victory against Stoke City last weekend. Smith added: "It was a welcome win after losing five on the trot in the league. "We had a lot of chances and should not have been in a position to be as worried as we were in those final minutes. Sunderland are always dangerous and will come back at you." Kevin Campbell made his first appearance since the end of October after recovering from a back injury. And Smith said: "He was out for 11 weeks and could not train for five weeks and it was asking a lot of him to come in. "He has a few opportunities which a few weeks down the line he would put away. I was delighted to have him back." Smith was also delighted with man-of-the-match Paul Gascoigne, who had announced before the game that he still felt he could play for England. "Actually, I keep telling him to stop talking about it and, to be honest, with the amount of good young players around, I don't think he can expect to be there now," said the Blues boss.
"But he still amazes me. He has always had the ability but I discovered a long time ago that he has amazing natural fitness when he is free from injuries. "He ended up the strongest player on the pitch, running all over the place. "He was terrific in those last 30 minutes when we were under so much pressure." Gascoigne himself had spoken earlier about his desire to turn out for England again for the first time since 1998. "I do say to myself, I'd love to be in midfield with Beckham, Scholes and Gerrard. If I could play one and two touch with them it would be a great feeling," said Gascoigne. "We have young, enthusiastic kids who are becoming world-class players and I feel I still have it up in my head, you never lose that. "It would be nice to have a run out with them to prove what I can do with players like that around me."

Blues could spend a few Bob
Jan 14 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON could step up their interest in Brighton striker Bobby Zamora this week - as soon as the South Coast club fulfill tomorrow night's FA Cup commitments. The Seagulls entertain Preston in a delayed FA Cup third round tie at the Withdean Stadium, and may be prepared to listen to offers for their 19 - goal marksman. The Blues are close to releasing funds to their beleaguered boss - and would back a bid for Zamora now. Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Tottenham have all been linked with the Zaire-born striker. But Middlesbrough denied an interest and Sunderland and Spurs have now turned their attentions to Valencia's £8m rated John Carew. Zamora celebrates his 21st birthday on Wednesday, and has scored a staggering 49 goals in 72 league appearances.
Brighton Chief Executive Martin Perry confirmed a Premiership club had shown interest in his club's hottest property last week. "We haven't had a bid but there has been contact Chairman to Chairman," he said. "It was a Premiership club. They were told we are not selling and there was no further discussion. "There was a strong rejection from us. There was a board meeting to discuss it afterwards and the board confirmed that position." Brighton, however, could find it difficult to reject a hard cash bid. Seagulls boss Peter Taylor added: "If it means in the summer something fantastic happens for him that everybody agrees with, then I will live with that, but not now, not for the run-in." The Blues, meanwhile, have asked Abel Xavier to give them a decision on his future.
The Portuguese defender could sign a deal with another club at any moment, but he would not be able to quit the Blues until the end of this season. Everton are anxious to discover his plans before Walter Smith is handed cash to spend on squad reinforcements. Liverpool's Champions League opponents Galatsasary were the latest club to be added to a list of names rumoured to be courting the Portuguese international.

Gazza's winning back respect
Jan 14 2002 By Tommy Smith
GEORDIES are a close knit family. They're a bit like Scousers in that respect.
And so I was a little bit surprised, to say the least, to hear Peter Beardsley having a go at Paul Gascoigne on the thorny subject of whether players whose personal lives have often overshadowed their playing careers should be used to help keep young professionals on the straight and narrow.
Gazza, Everton's man of the match against Sunderland on Saturday and possibly the most skilful player this country produced in the Nineties, has had his nightmares off the field.
His wife revealed his violent moments. His drinking has had him in a rehab clinic. And yet Gascoigne remains loved in a football sense because of the joy and the skill he brought to the game and still brings. The PFA and the League Managers Association want to use people like him, Arsenal's Tony Adams and Villa's Paul Merson in an educational programme to warn young players about the perils of falling victim to drink and drug related problems. Beardsley thinks this is outrageous and that this challenge should fall to clean living pros like another Geordie - Alan Shearer. Peter is an honest lad. He is entitled to his views. But life is not about fairy tales and everything falling into its place. I wish it was. I would never condone the former drinking escapades of Adams who ended up in jail for his sins. I would certainly not hold Merson up as a role model because of his self-confessed drug problems. But Merson is now clean and showing a very different kind of example as skipper of Villa.
Adams is off the drink and determined to warn kids about the perils of going too far, especially young pros who have a dangerous amount of free time. Then there is Gazza. He took Walter Smith's advice last summer and went to America to find a solution to his problems. The end product is a more disciplined, fitter and focused individual than we have seen for some years. The standing ovation he received following the 1-0 victory over Sunderland on Saturday was massively deserved. He never stopped running, right until the final whistle. He tackled without fear, despite worrying injury problems. He was inspirational. But the thing which everyone commented on was his attitude. Here was a Geordie clearly determined to put one over on the old enemy. The game had extra meaning for him. But even after moments of conflict in a fiercely fought battle, he never failed to shake an opposing hand. And at the end, he saluted the Sunderland fans as fellow North Easterners, a truly nice gesture. Gazza has not been an ounce of trouble for Walter Smith.
I would like to think that young pros would listen to him because he has been to hell and back, clearly affected by drink in the past. It doesn't mean I don't believe that the Shearers and others like him should also not be used as role models to positively influence the stars of tomorrow.
But it's not for any of us to be judge and jury because drug and drink addiction can creep up on you. We've only got to look around us to see the misery it can cause. But Gazza is living proof that you get back out of football what you put in. He is clearly putting a lot in at the moment. I hope Peter Beardsley thinks again and sees a fellow Geordie who has definitely got something to offer, regardless of his past. The Evertonians who saluted Gazza on Saturday only see one thing right now and that is a player with a spring in his step, loving every minute of his football comeback and who clearly wants to put something back into the game he loves. And even if he doesn't get to influence the players of tomorrow because of negative publicity, he can certainly influence the Everton players of today who look to him for inspiration. They desperately needed that against Sunderland to end a run of five straight league defeats. After a great opening goal from Jesper Blomqvist, the Blues threatened to self destruct, terrified of giant substitute Niall Quinn and the visitors high ball bombardment. Gazza kept them going. He remains a class act.

Cold comforts
Jan 14 2002 By Len Capeling
AFTER two weeks of weasel words from within Fawlty Towers, Walter Smith won't count on the backing of Everton's jobsworths. Not now, not ever. Even the comfort of two victories in the space of seven days won't lift his suspicion that people he trusted were happy to shaft him.
Those lined against him would have been the ones most uncomfortable at the Britannia Stadium, and again here at Goodison. Their scenario demanded two defeats to bolster their belief that the manager was on his way out. Now, two wins on, they don't know what to do - resign or commit themselves to the rubber room. Thankfully, those of us who prayed that Stoke and Sunderland would prove amenable to conquest found their petitions answered, even though Peter Reid's Black Cats eventually stirred from their slumbers and threatened to give the increasingly nervy Blues a nasty bite. Of course, the great irony of this at times desperate encounter between two of the Premiership's strugglers is that Reid remains the overwhelming fancy of those who wish Walter Smith to depart. Yet the former Everton hero presently finds himself under such pressure from disenchanted fans at the Stadium of Light that, seemingly by the day, he has to defend himself against mad letter writers. You could see why he's under threat on Saturday as the Wearsiders displayed a worrying disinclination to get involved in anything that required real physical effort.
Reidy was renowned for coming off the field so drained from his endeavours that he appeared in need of a blood tranfusion. So you can imagine his feelings towards players who gave Everton the perfect confident boost with a first-half non-show that reduced the usually vociferous away supporters to stony-faced silence. Not that Everton were able to capitalise to any great extent. The returning Kevin Campbell did as well as anyone on the day, but a lack of sharpness meant that he fluffed two of the Blues' best chances. Fortunately, Niclas Alexandersson surprised everyone - including possibly himself - by finally finding an accurate cross and Everton's classiest performer, fellow Swede Jesper Blomqvist, rose unchallenged to head what turned out to be the match-winner.
It would be nice to say that Everton built on their early superiority. They didn't.
Never the sweetest of passing sides - even with Blomqvist and Paul Gascoigne - they built up a head of steam-heat on their fans by so frequently losing the ball that you wondered if they practised mis-passing just for the hell of it. A better side than Sunderland might have taken this as an invitation to cause some real bother. But their idea of a chilling North-Easter was to unwrap the creaking Niall Quinn from his bandages and try for the kind of aerial assault that taints Everton so far as soccer purists are concerned. Quinn caused some alarm as he flapped around in the sky. There were a couple of agonising moments when the ball rolled along the Everton six-yard line with neither Kevin Phillips nor Quinn himself able to get a touch. But in the main, David Weir and Alan Stubbs got a boot, a head, or a body part in the way. On chances alone, Everton deserved to claim the points. It wasn't pretty. It wasn't likely to win new friends for football. But after five straight Premiership losses, scrapping and the scraping was its own salvation. Besides that, Blomqvist's wide smile warmed a chill afternoon and gave Smith a bit of breathing space before tricky away games against Tottenham and Aston Villa and a home encounter with Arsenal. Then there's the small matter of the derby game at Anfield on February 23.

Swedish duo eye Far East sojourn
Report By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Jan 15 2002
NICLAS ALEXANDERSSON believes Jesper Blomqvist's impressive revival could see both of Everton's Swedish wingers on the plane to the World Cup this summer. Blomqvist has been in sparkling form since seizing the Premiership lifeline handed to him by Walter Smith following two years with his career in doubt due to a serious knee injury. The former Manchester United midfielder is still working his way back to full fitness but has shot himself back into contention for a remarkable international recall after only six Everton appearances. And Alexandersson, who is certain to be chosen for Sweden's squad barring injury, believes a World Cup call-up is a real possibility as national bosses plan to see for themselves Blomqvist's amazing comeback as they begin their preparations for the finals in Korea and Japan. "The way Jesper has been playing you would never have guessed he has been out of the game for two years, he should definitely be considered for the World Cup finals," said Alexandersson, whose cross presented Blomqvist with his first Everton goal against Sunderland on Saturday. "He has surprised everyone and maybe even himself. I'm really pleased for him because he has been through so much and now he can only get better." Sweden coach Tommy Soderberg, having already said "the door is still open", now plans to have the 27-year-old watched before he names his squad for a friendly with Greece on February 13. Soderberg said: "We are looking at Jesper. "As Niclas Alexandersson plays for Everton as well, we might go and see them in a game. We will decide next week which matches to see ahead of the Greece game." Blomqvist admits he is excited about the prospect of returning to international action. "I wouldn't turn down a phone call," he said. "It's nice to hear people saying I am back playing at a high level again. It's very early to talk about the World Cup, but things are going well so far. "I didn't expect that I wouldn't be able to play like this after so long out, but I've just felt stronger after every game." Blues boss Walter Smith, meanwhile, is continuing to monitor Brighton striker Bobby Zamora's progress.
Smith will soon have funds to spend thanks to the club's refinancing package and is an admirer of the £5million-rated striker. However, with first choice strikers Tomasz Radzinski, Kevin Campbell and Duncan Ferguson all suffering from injuries this season, the Everton manager may be forced to continue his search for a proven top-flight forward rather than one who would need to be carefully worked into the Premiership.

Bobby's chance to dazzle Walter
Jan 15 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
WALTER SMITH will be at the Withdean Stadium tonight - to weigh up whether to gamble £3m of his cash conscious club's coffers on Brighton hotshot Bobby Zamora. The Everton manager will watch the 15-goal forward in FA Cup action against Preston, but has denied reports today that the Blues have already lodged a bid. Ironically Preston boss David Moyes has suggested Zamora is not worth the money being quoted for him. "Not many Premiership clubs can afford to gamble so much money on him," said the boss who must blunt Zamora's threat tonight. "It's safe to say that he is out of my price range!" Blues' boss Smith has already been impressed by Zamora this season, but is aware of his club's limited resources. Zamora celebrates his 21st birthday tomorrow and offers exciting potential, but a failure to realise that potential in the Premiership could leave Everton with an expensive mistake. The player would have to come in on a salary far in advance of his current earnings, which would severely reduce the list of clubs who could afford to take him back if he failed to transfer his astonishing Division Two goals output onto a higher stage. Brighton have already stressed that they are keen to keep hold of Zamora at least until the end of the season.
But so far they have not been tempted by a firm offer, despite interest from Middlesbrough, Tottenham and Everton. Blues' officials did make an enquiry last week, but were firmly warned off.
The Blues have announced a successful link-up with third division Lincoln City though, not a player development connection like Liverpool's alliance with Crewe. The Imps will still get first refusal on any youngsters Everton release at the end of each season. Likewise a gentleman's agreement has been reached whereby Everton will be informed of any players Lincoln intend to transfer.
But the deal is largely between both clubs' community schemes. A statement by Everton Chairman Sir Philip Carter read: "Following a number of informal meetings involving Boards of Directors and senior members of management, Everton are pleased to announce a formal alliance with Lincoln City. "Here at Everton FC we have a renowned, well developed and successful community scheme and it is clear that this new relationship will be of enormous benefit to Lincoln City, who are committed to the introduction of and establishing of their own progressive community schemes."

Blues trio run the rule over Zamora
By Bruce Talbot, Daily Post
Jan 16 2002
BRIGHTON boss Peter Taylor insisted last night that Everton target Bobby Zamora is not on his way to Goodison Park. Walter Smith, his assistant Archie Knox and Blues owner Bill Kenwright watched Zamora miss a first-half penalty as Brighton lost 2-0 at home to Preston in the FA Cup third round tie at Withdean. Zamora , who celebrates his 21st birthday today, has been the subject of speculation about his future for most of the season as he continues the phenomenal goal scoring feats which have made him the hottest property in the lower divisions. Bolton and Spurs are among Everton's Premiership rivals who have been monitoring Zamora. He has scored 19 goals this season including a club record equalling 10 in successive matches earlier in the campaign. But Brighton believe that if they were to cash in on their prized asset at this stage of the season it would wreck their chances of a second successive promotion. Taylor said: "I've always maintained that Bobby won't be going anywhere this season. I'm very confident that will be the case. "Walter Smith was here, but who's to say he wasn't watching other people. He could have been looking at Jon Macken." Since joining Brighton from Bristol Rovers at the start of last season for a bargain £100,000 he has netted 56 goals in 77 appearances. Significantly he hasn't scored for four games now and during that sequence Brighton have managed just two goals and no victories. His opportunity to maintain his record of scoring in every FA Cup tie since moving to the South Coast came after 18 minutes last night.
Zamora shrugged off the attention of two defenders to win his side a corner with a deflected shot. When the corner came in strike partner Daniel Webb was pushed but Zamora's penalty lacked his customary power and Preston goalkeeper David Lucas dived to his right to make a comfortable save.
Taylor added: "Bobby is a better player than he's been showing in the last few games. But one goal could change that and hopefully it will come for us on Saturday." The penalty was the only shot on target Zamora had all night but Smith would have been impressed by other facets of his game.
He might not have the build of the traditional barrel-chested centre forward but he competes physically and is no slouch in the air. His undoubted assets are his pace, link-up play and predatory instincts in and around the box. Just before half time he peeled away from his marker to fend Paul Brooker scampering down the wing with a deft pass only for a defender to intercept Brooker's return ball just as Zamora was preparing to pull the trigger. In the end Zamora was upstaged by another scorer - Preston's new French forward Erik Skora who put the visitors ahead with a low shot. Preston's passage into the next round was confirmed on 63 minutes when Brighton's debutant keeper Will Packham fumbled Macken's 30-yard shot into the net. Zamora, who was partnered up front for the last half-hour by former Shrewsbury striker Lee Steel, kept plugging away using his pace midway through the second half for a left-wing cross which he disappointedly fired straight at Lucas. It summed up his and his team's evening.

Greatest Sporting Moments
Jan 16 2002 By David Randles, icLiverpool
FANS FOR THE MEMORIES: But which was the best?
IF you were asked to describe the greatest ever sporting moment, which one would you pick?
As an Evertonian there are a host of glorious sporting encounters to choose from. Since the first time the Blues claimed the league title in 1890-91, eight more have followed. But which one meant the most? Which was the best? The FA Cup has also adourned the Goodison trophy cabinet on no less than five occasions. Many hark back to Harry Catterick's Cup winning side of 1966, but do you have fonder memories of 1984 and Howard Kendall ? And how can we forget Paul Rideout's decisive cup winning goal in 1995 when the Toffee's upset the odds to grab the world's most coveted domestic trophy from Manchester United at Wembley? From the European Cup Winners Cup success in 1985 to Rideout's FA Cup winning goal 10 years later, Blues have had plenty to smile about down the years. And Paul 'Gazza' Gascoigne will always occupy a special place in most sports fans' hearts, not only for the tears shed at Italia '90, but also for 'that' goal against Scotland at Wembley during Euro '96. Whatever your preference, help is at hand to dissect one of the most contentious of subjects discussed for decades in clubs and pubs the length and breadth of the country Following the first of two parts of 'The 100 Greatest Sporting Moments' last weekend, Channel 4 continues the countdown on Saturday to see what sporting encounter the British public hold dearest to their hearts. Picking up with 'Greatest Sporting Moment' number 50, the decisive two-hour programme looks to settle the score once and for all. Hosted by football hard-man turned Hollywood star, Vinnie Jones, 'The 100 Greatest Sporting Moments' reveals the stories behind an array of famous achievements, and interviews some of the great and not so good responsible.
And over the next week, icLiverpool is giving you the opportunity to tell us about your Greatest 'MERSEYSIDE' Sporting Moments. Whatever, whoever, or whenever your greatest 'MERSEYSIDE' sporting moment occurred, icLiverpool want to know about it. You can e-mail your memories to the address below, or visit the messageboard to discuss it with other sports fans.

Academy: Bar denies Rooney
Jan 16 2002 Inside Goodison By David Prentice
WAYNE ROONEY was the width of a crossbar away from claiming the Goal of the Season award . . . in January! Everton's talented youngster tried a repeat of the strike which earned David Beckham fame in 1995, a shot from the halfway line. His audacious effort beat the goalkeeper, but bounced back into play. Wayne's world class strike came in Everton's first Academy Under-19 clash of the season against Bolton yesterday. The Blues kicked off the New Year with a 3-0 home win, earned with goals from Michael Symes (two) and Dave Carney. "We started very well and deserved the win," said coach Colin Harvey "but we got a littled ragged towards the end. "Nevertheless it was a good start to the year for us." Alan Harper's Under-17s started just as impressively, with a 2-1 victory over their Bolton counterparts on Saturday morning. "We should really have won by more," said coach Harper "but it was still a good performance from the boys." Colin Thorbinson saw an early shot superbly tipped over before Damien Martland ended a surging run with a powerful shot to give the home side the lead. Michael Byrne equalised for the visitors soon after half-time, but after Gavin Lynch had struck the post twice inside two minutes Thorbinson headed the winner from a corner with 20 minutes left.
Under-17s Everton 2, Bolton Wanderers 1. Scorers: Martland, Thorbinson. Everton: Cole, Flood,Fox, Hughes, Gerrard, Thorbinson, M Jones, J Jones, Lynch (Hopkins), Barry (Seargeant), Martland. Unused subs: Sly, Wilson, Cain.
Under-19s Everton 3, Bolton Wanderers 0 Scorers: Carney, Symes 2. Everton: Pettinger, Colbeck, Crowder, Schumacher, O'Hanlon, Southern, Brown (Beck), A Moogan, Symes (Garside), Rooney, Carney.

Blues going cool on Bobby
Jan 16 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON'S interest in Brighton striker Bobby Zamora is cooling. The Blues will not follow up last week's enquiry with a firm bid today, after a Goodison delegation saw the Second Division hit-man fire a blank in last night's FA Cup tie against Preston. But they will continue to monitor his progress.
Manager Walter Smith, assistant Archie Knox and Deputy-Chairman Bill Kenwright were all at the Withdean Stadium to see Zamora fluff a first half penalty in his side's 2-0 defeat.
Smith has watched the player, 21 today, several times already this season and last night's evidence merely confirmed what he already believed --that the youngster is not ready to step up to the Premiership yet. Brighton boss Peter Taylor is convinced Zamora will soon rediscover his goal-scoring touch. "Bobby can play ten times better than he is playing at the moment," he said. "It's vital we get three points against Cambridge on Saturday and if he gets one goal then he'll be away.
"Walter Smith was watching this game but it may not have been Bobby he was here to see. There were other players on show, including Preston's Jon Macken who is on the list. "I've always said that Bobby won't be going anywhere this season." Abel Xavier is unlikely to move anywhere this season either, but the Blues have resigned themselves to the fact that the Portuguese defender will leave Goodison on a Bosman free this summer. Xavier has not responded to a contract offer which has been on the table since Christmas. The transfer deadline for moves to clubs on the continent expires in a fortnight, and Xavier is currently injured. If a Premiership club showed interest after that the Blues would demand a prohibitive fee. Everton's mini derby meanwhile, originally scheduled for February 12, has been switched to Wednesday, May 1 (7pm) at the Autoquest Stadium.

Smith in for £3m Zamora
Jan 16 2002 By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
EVERTON could commemorate Bobby Zamora's 21st birthday today with a formal offer to Brighton as Abel Xavier heads for a Goodison exit. Walter Smith ran the rule over the promising young striker at the Withdean Stadium last night as he missed a penalty in the Seagulls' 2-0 defeat to Preston in the FA Cup third round. The Blues manager is now set to make a firm bid for Zamora but faces a difficult job tempting the second division side to sell a player Smith wants to ease into the Premiership. Everton are willing to pay £1.5million up front for the striker who has scored 43 goals in 68 league appearances for Brighton, with the rest of a £3m offer based on appearances.
But the South Coast club are unlikely to accept the offer - the first from a Premiership club despite interest from Tottenham and West Ham - as they aim to keep Zamora for their promotion push from Division Two. Brighton are currently fourth in the table and last night chief executive Martin Perry said: "We rebuffed an enquiry last week on a chairman-to-chairman basis because Bobby is not for sale. "That is still the case. We expect Walter Smith's visit to Withdean to provoke further speculation but Bobby is not for sale." Also complicating the deal is the fact Brighton have to pay Bristol Rovers a third of any profit they make on Zamora over £100,000. That is the amount they paid for the striker in August 2000, even though he had never started a league game for Rovers.
But while the Blues hope to bring Zamora into Goodison Park they are believed to be ready to let Portuguese international Xavier leave. Everton offered the versatile star a pay-as-you-play contract in December but have still not heard from his representatives if they are willing to accept the offer.
Now, however, the club is expected not to proceed with a contract renewal due to Xavier's poor appearance record and will allow him to move on a free transfer in the summer. Xavier piled on Smith's selection problems on Saturday when he was forced out of the Sunderland squad and is again expected to be missing when Everton travel to Tottenham this weekend. But both Steve Watson and Duncan Ferguson should be back after recent injuries. Influential defender Watson suffered a calf injury in the New Year's Day defeat at Middlesbrough and subsequently missed the FA Cup win at Stoke and the league victory over Peter Reid's men. Ferguson is expected to bolster the Blues' attacking options after straining a neck muscle in training last week but Tomasz Radzinski will be sidelined again. The Canadian international, now definitely out of next month's Gold Cup defence in America, is still receiving treatment for the stomach strain he aggravated against Charlton. Everton, meanwhile, have linked-up with third division Lincoln City in a deal that will see both clubs alerted to young talent through their respective community schemes. The Imps will get first refusal on trainees Everton release at the end of a season while informing the Blues of any potential transfer targets they may have. Chairman Sir Philip Carter said: "Following a number of informal meetings involving Boards of Directors and senior members of management, Everton are pleased to announce a formal alliance with Lincoln City. "Here at Everton FC we have a renowned, well developed and successful community scheme and it is clear that this new relationship will have immense benefits to Lincoln City, who are committed to the introduction and establishing of their own progressive Community Schemes." The 'Mini-Derby' between Everton and Liverpool reserves, originally scheduled for Tuesday, February 12, will now be played on Wednesday, May 1 at the AutoQuest Stadium, while Everton will play Southport in the Liverpool Senior Cup on February 12. Kick off will be 7.45pm at Haig Avenue.

Zamora still on Smith's wish-list
by Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Jan 17 2002
EVERTON will continue their pursuit of Bobby Zamora despite the Brighton hotshot's disappointing parade in front of Walter Smith this week. The Blues manager, assistant Archie Knox and deputy chairman Bill Kenwright watched on as the 21-year-old missed a penalty in his side's 2-0 FA Cup third round defeat by Preston at the Withdean Stadium on Wednesday night. Brighton boss Peter Taylor admitted it was a below-par display by his leading striker and it was one that confirmed Smith's belief that Zamora needs more time to develop into a Premiership player. That is why the Blues are only prepared to pay £1.5million now for the forward with the rest of a £3m deal based on appearances. Everton have not yet tabled an official bid but could move if Brighton relent in their stance to keep hold of a player they signed for £100,000 17 months ago but now rate at £5m.
Duncan Ferguson, meanwhile, got some much-needed match practice under his belt last night when he played the full 90 minutes in captaining the reserves in their 5-1 defeat at Aston Villa.
The Scot has started two games this year despite being short of fitness as he was pushed back from an ankle operation due to Everton's striker shortage. Ferguson missed Saturday's win over Sunderland with flu but is expected to be available for the weekend trip to Tottenham when he could partner Kevin Campbell for the ninth time this season. One-time Smith target Daniel Prodan could revive his hopes of appearing in the Premiership if he succeeds on trial at Bolton.
The former Romanian captain held talks with the Blues in the summer over a free transfer move to Goodison Park but the deal was scrapped on medical grounds.

Blues not in talks with Bosnian
Jan 17 2002 By Claire Gray, Everton Reporter, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON have rubbished claims by Bosnian midfielder Zlatan Muslimovic that he has been offered a contract by the Blues. The Perugia midfielder, who can also play as a striker, has said that the Blues have offered him a deal and that their Premiership rivals Derby County are also interested in signing him. "I am in contact with Everton's directors and they have offered me a two-year contract. At the same time I have received an offer from Derby," he said. "I still don't know what to do. I am having a great time here in Italy but I am on the bench and that is killing me." His dreams of firstteam football however are not likely to become reality at Goodison Park. Everton though are still continuing their search for reinforcements and will monitor the progress of Brighton striker Bobby Zamora as the weeks go on. They were boosted by Duncan Ferguson's full 90 minute run-out for the reserves at Aston Villa last night. The Scot missed last weekend's win over Sunderland with the flu but will now be available for Saturday's trip to Tottenham. It is unlikely however that he will will be joined by the injured Steve Watson in the squad. Former Blue Francis Jeffers, meanwhile, suffered a recurrence of his ankle injury while playing in a comeback game for Arsenal reserves last night.
The 21-year-old has been plagued by the problem since his move from Everton last summer and the latest setback looks set to delay the final payment of his £10m transfer fee. The Blues received £8m as an initial payment but the final £2m is based on appearances.

Dunc returns but Blues take a Villa pounding
Jan 17 2002 Liverpool Echo
DUNCAN Ferguson continued his quest for full match fitness with a full 90 minutes for Everton Reserves at Villa Park only for the Blues to crash to a 5-1 defeat. Ferguson missed Everton's weekend victory over Sunderland with flu, but his side was caught cold on ten minutes when Frenchman David Ginola curled a free kick around Paul Gerrard to open the scoring.
Villa, who boasted several internationals in their side, went further ahead when Thomas Hitzlsperger fired home a tremendous 25-yard shot before Steve Stone added a third on 35 minutes as Villa threatened to run riot. Everton did create a few chances but never really troubled Peter Enckleman's goal, in fact it was Gerrard who was in trouble just before the break as Mustapha Hadji made it 4-0 with a clever finish. Andy Holden's side battled with more purpose in the second half and was rewarded with a goal on the hour. Captain for the night Ferguson combined well with Nick Chadwick, and Damien Curran finished after good approach play from the Blues strike duo.
Villa were not finished scoring themselves, however, and looked to have got their fifth when substitute Stefan Moore found himself through on goal only for his shot to come back off a post.
John Gregory's second string did add to their tally in the final few minutes when Moroccan Hassan Kachloul drilled the ball under the advancing Gerrard.
EVERTON: Gerrard, Cleland, Valentine, Pilkington, Clarke, Southern, Curran, McLeod (Eaton 72) Moore, Chadwick, Ferguson. Subs (not used): Pettinger, O'Hanlon, Kearney.
ASTON VILLA: Enckleman, Bewers, Jackman, Kachloul, Smith, Barry, (Ridgwell 49) Hadji, Stone, Balaban (Moore 59), Hitzlsperger, Ginola (Cooke 53), Subs (not used): Mealugh, Myhill. Referee: Mr D Whitestone.

Ferguson fitness fillip for Blues
By Jonathan McEvoy, Daily Post
Jan 18 2002
DUNCAN FERGUSON will offer boss Walter Smith light relief from Everton's injury plight by recreating his Bruise Brothers partnership with Kevin Campbell tomorrow. The big striker is pencilled in for his third start of the New Year at Tottenham after missing last weekend's victory over Sunderland with flu. After captaining the reserves on Wednesday night, Ferguson is poised to help Smith's side continue their resurgence at White Hart Lane. Everton are looking for a second successive Premiership win since beating Stoke in the FA Cup a fortnight ago - a victory which ended a five-match losing slump. Smith said: "I'm just pleased that Duncan and Kevin will be back together after all this time. "It hasn't happened much for us over the months and we have been short in our attacking options. "Basically we have kept them both fit. But Duncan played a full reserve game in midweek and they will be our front partnership at Spurs," he said. The Blues' injury headache continues with defender Steve Watson and unsettled midfielder Thomas Gravesen (both ankle) not expected to resume training until next week. Canadian international Tomasz Radzinski will miss tomorrow's trip to the capital as Everton look for only their second away win of the campaign.
The 28-year-old is sidelined by a stomach strain but is progressing well and could return for the FA Cup fourth round tie against Leyton Orient next week. Abel Xavier is also on the casualty list with a virus while longer-term victims Mark Pembridge (calf) and Alessandro Pistone (knee) are still nursing their ailments.

Who would follow Smith for Blues?
Jan 18 2002 Icliverpool & Daily Post
Who would follow Smith for Blues?
I'VE NOT been a great fan of Walter Smith. Some of his buys have been poor, but everyone knows what state the club is in. We have no money to spend or replace the management as some people would like, although I would like to see Knox go. The million dollar question if we do eventually replace them, is who to bring in? With some of the names we have been linked with such as Moyes and Megson, we are better keeping Smith who will hopefully then use what little money he gets by bringing in a couple of quality players. We will have to shop in the lower reaches and the only one that springs to mind is Jason Koumas, although I hear Paul Lambert is up for grabs at Celtic.
Graeme Beswick, Liverpool
Transfer targets
JUST thought I'd add some realistic transfer targets to the rumbling Everton debate: Par Zetterberg - a Swedish international - wants away from Greece and is good friends with Tomasz Radzinski from their Anderlecht days. Michael Bridges is a quality striker who will find it hard to get a regular place at Leeds with Smith, Viduka and Fowler. Birmingham midfielder Bryan Hughes is a born Evertonian, has a very professional attitude and is a Brummie favourite. Danny Coid - one of the hottest prospects to come out of Blackpool's YTS scheme in recent years (excluding Brett Ormerod) could also be up for grabs.
Over to you Walter.
Louis Morgan, Fazakerley
Perfect role model
IN ANSWER to Peter Beardsley's criticism of using Paul Gascoigne as a role model for young footballers over the dangers of alcohol, I would like to say that Gazza is the perfect man for the job.
As a young footballer, who would you rather listen to - a man who has experienced the allure of a hedonistic lifestyle and is coming to terms with his life? A man who has felt the urge to misbehave, but has corrected his problems? I think so. Players like Alan Shearer are without doubt model professionals, but are a rare breed and one I feel the modern footballer will not identify with.
Darren Hodges, Birkdale

Gazza could become top boss - Hoddle
Jan 18 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
THE man who famously ended Paul Gascoigne's international career will welcome him to White Hart Lane tomorrow, predicting a possible new career for the Everton midfielder. Spurs' boss Glenn Hoddle gave Gazza his last England cap against Belgium in 1998. But his decision to axe him from his World Cup party later that year was the kind of tough decision Hoddle believes Gascoigne himself could be making in the future. "I see no reason why Paul can't carry on in football in some sort of coaching capacity, or even as a manager," said Hoddle. "But before then he still has a lot to offer as a player. "Leaving him out of the World Cup squad was the saddest decision I had to make in football. But I felt it had to be done to be fair to everyone in the squad. "I've seen him on numerous occasions since then and we've had no problems. "It is good to see him back and playing because I think he has a lot to offer the Premiership. If he stays injury free he has still got a lot to achieve in football." Gazza has completed Everton's last two matches, and with Thomas Gravesen, Tomasz Radzinski, Mark Pembridge, Abel Xavier, Alessandro Pistone and Steve Watson all still missing from Walter Smith's squad tomorrow, he will start a third successive game at Tottenham. Hoddle believes that could spell danger for his own team. "Paul's mind is still as quick as anyone on a pitch and because the game is now played on the deck more and the long ball game has gone, it suits him," he said. "When he's fit and he's had a few back-to-back matches under his belt, he can still influence the way a match is played. He can change games. "He's almost at that level now . . ." While Gascoigne's form is a major boost for the Blues, they were dealt another crushing injury blow when in-form Jesper Blomqvist twisted his ankle in training yesterday. The Swede is a major doubt for the trip south. Duncan Ferguson, however, completed 90 minutes for the reserves on Wednesday night. He will partner Kevin Campbell up front, but Spurs can also welcome back Teddy Sheringham after suspension, to combine with Everton sadist Les Ferdinand. The striker's matchwinner in last season's corresponding fixture was his 13th career goal against the Toffees in 14 appearances.

Shooting star Nick aims high
Jan 18 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON'S interest in Bobby Zamora suggests Walter Smith has three objectives in the transfer market. He wants to add a young striker to his squad. He is chasing a marksman with a proven goals record. He wants a forward who can learn from the experienced hit-men he already has at his disposal. The Blues' boss may already have one - and it would cost him nothing. Step forward 19-year-old Nick Chadwick, scorer in five successive reserve matches before last night's game at Villa Park. The young centre-forward's only taste of first team football to date has been as a late, late substitute. He appeared in extra-time against Crystal Palace earlier this season, in the 90th minute at Sunderland, then for a full seven minutes against the Wearsiders last Saturday. He admits he still has much to learn, but craves more of the first team scene. "I have always been quite confident in my own ability and I have been reading the papers and heard on the radio some fans asking why I haven't been playing," he said. "The first team has had a number of injury problems to key strikers recently and I have been scoring for the reserves, so I suppose people put two and two together.
"But it is up to the manager who plays and who doesn't. "It is up to me to keep my head down, keep working hard, do what I can for the reserves and hopefully that will be enough for my chance."
Regular observers of the Blues' reserve team readily admit that it is too soon to pitch Chadwick into the unforgiving arena of the Premiership. His needs to work on his touch, his awareness and his sharpness. But his attitude is exemplary, he is willing to work on his deficiencies - and he scores goals. In his first FA Youth Academy season, he scored 21 times in 27 Under-19 matches, plus another two in two FA Youth Cup ties. That form earned him a call-up to the FA Premier Reserve League at the end of last season, and he struck four goals in the last two matches to confirm a Reserve League title for The Toffees. The marksmanship has continued this season and he is itching for the opportunity to show he can do it at the hardest level of all. "The manager has been in the situation before when he has had a young player wanting to break into the side and he knows when it will be time for me to either start a game or be used more regularly as a sub," Chadwick went on.
"I have always said the more reserve team games I play, the sharper I will feel and I think that is obvious. "When there hasn't been any reserve team games I've played for the Under-19s and it has helped with the confidence. "When you are not playing that regularly you lose a bit of the sharpness you need and that can affect you if called upon. "It is the same for a lot of the youngsters trying to break in. Therefore when you do get the chance you need to be as sharp as you can, so it's important that I can get as many matches under my belt as possible. "Before the Villa game I was on a good scoring run, which is a bonus to push myself into the picture to be a used sub or even just get on the bench. "I've been fairly sharp without doing anything fantastic in my general play, so it is all going along quite nicely and the season has not been too bad for me. "If I can keep scoring goals and taking my chances then, hopefully, I will be given further opportunities in the first team. I just hope that time will come sooner rather than later."

Smith expects
By Paul Walker, Daily Post
Jan 19 2002
WALTER SMITH has demanded an end to Everton's away day blues as Paul Gascoigne continues his farewell tour of the top flight with an emotional return to Tottenham today. Gascoigne, who could quit English football in the summer if he does not get an extension to his Everton contract, spent four years of his peak at White Hart Lane between 1988 and 1992 and is still fondly remembered in north London. He has voiced his support for Smith and backed up words with performances, digging deep to rediscover displays most presumed had gone for ever. Nothing would delight Gascoigne more than to orchestrate Everton's third win in succession and only their second away league success of the season, on a ground where he was so loved. Everton boss Smith knows he has much to thank Gascoigne for in his hour of need. It has been Gascoigne's displays of sheer quality and guts which have contributed most to successive victories in the FA Cup at Stoke and last weekend over Sunderland to lift the pressures on his manager. Smith said: "He still amazes me. He's always had the ability, but I discovered a long time ago that he has amazing natural fitness when he is free from injuries. "Last week in the final minutes of our win over Sunderland he was bounding around all over the place and obviously the strongest player out on the pitch. He was terrific when we were under so much pressure. "Hopefully we can make it three wins on the run since he returned to the team. We've won the last two with him in the starting line-up so maybe he's a lucky charm as well.
"He'll certainly be looking forward to going back to Tottenham where he'll get a good reception, as he does everywhere. "He doesn't need me to give him more publicity. He's doing that for himself still." Spurs boss Glenn Hoddle, who as England manager famously ended Gascoigne's international career, has also been quick to praise the Geordie's renaissance. He reckons too he is a manager in the making. "I see no reason why Paul can't carry on in football in a coaching capacity or even as a manager," he said. "Leaving him out of the squad for the World Cup finals was the saddest decision I had to make in football, but I felt it had to be done to be fair to everyone else. "I've seen him since on lots of occasions, and we've had no problems. It's good to see him back and playing because he still has a lot to offer the Premiership if he stays injury free." Gascoigne just wants to play and live out those bitter-sweet memories of a career he admitted last weekend had been wrecked by his boozing and injuries. Smith will have his 'bruise brothers' frontline partnership of Duncan Ferguson and Kevin Campbell together for only the ninth time this season. He said: "Winning the last two games has given us a lift. "We are looking forward to our matches a bit more than we did a few weeks ago." But it is their away form Smith knows Everton must improve. He added: "Last season we had a number of away wins. Only five teams won more league games away than us last season in the Premiership. "But this term we haven't won an away league game since the first day of the season at Charlton. "That has to improve, sooner rather than later." Smith watched Spurs' FA Cup win at Coventry and knows that their talisman Teddy Sheringham is set to return now after suspension - setting up an intriguing clash of former England colleagues with Gascoigne.
"Spurs won comfortably at Coventry when many people felt they would struggle," said the Everton boss. "Spurs, all round, play good stuff. They have players who are very comfortable on the ball - and none more so than Teddy Sheringham, who will be back after suspension. "He's an excellent player. Spurs use him well, and we must be aware of the damage he can do to us."

Duncan future under threat
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Jan 19 2002
DUNCAN FERGUSON will return to Everton's starting line-up at Tottenham today with his long- term Goodison future under serious threat. Walter Smith is believed to be running out of patience with the injury-plagued striker, who has made only 20 starts for the Blues out of a possible 70 since his £3.75million return from Newcastle in August 2000. And the Everton manager would listen to offers for the 30-year-old after questioning his attitude and accepting he cannot rely on his fellow Scot any longer. However, Ferguson's injury record and salary make an immediate move unlikely with three years of his contract remaining. Smith has been searching for a new forward since Ferguson joined Kevin Campbell, who he will partner at White Hart Lane, on the sidelines in November.
But despite the return to fitness of the duo, and the expected comeback of Tomasz Radzinski next week, the Blues boss will continue his pursuit for a fresh face that will see Ferguson move further down the pecking order. The Goodison favourite, who missed most of last term with a calf problem and has been dogged by ankle trouble this season, was a late cry-off against Sunderland last week with flu. And that, plus a lame display in what was a 'make-or-break' game for Smith at Stoke recently, has convinced the Everton management to pursue other options. Brighton's Bobby Zamora remains a £3m target but the second division side are desperate to hold on to their leading marksman until the end of the season. A more immediate concern for Smith is the Blues' poor away record this season, which he wants improving this afternoon. Everton have picked up just one victory on their travels this season and head to London without the inform Jesper Blomqvist who picked up an ankle injury in training on Thursday. And Smith said: "We've got a couple of tough away games coming up at Tottenham and Aston Villa and we have to show an improvement on our away record. "We acquitted ourselves well away from home last season but this season it's been disappointing. We've got one win and it's something we have to adjust to sooner rather than later.
"There have been times when we've played well but not got the results. There's no magic formula to it. Probably we've not played well enough to get results more than anything else. "Our confidence will get tested in this period because we are playing teams above us, so we have to try to get points from them. "Spurs are a very good side and have some good players. I saw them play Coventry in the cup tie during the week and they won that comfortably. "Teddy Sheringham will be back from suspension and he adds a great deal to the team. So we will have to show more resilience than in away games this season." Smith, however, has at least had his striking options improved by the return of Campbell and Ferguson, who played the full 90 minutes for the reserves in midweek, and hopes to have other injured stars back soon. The Blues boss added: "We've not got so many mid-week matches and if we can get some injured players back to a level of fitness then hopefully that will reflect in our results. "In the early part of the season we had one or two injuries to deal with each week. Every club expects that and we could cope, but the problems come when you have six or seven players injured. It reduced our options over the Christmas period with the number of games we had to play."

Nyarko auction may land Blues a bonanza
Jan 19 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
MONACO are keen to make Alex Nyarko's loan move permanent - and their decision could add to the pot Walter Smith has available to spend. The Ghanaian returned to France last summer, after an unhappy first season in the Premiership which culminated in an angry confrontation on the pitch with a fan. World Cup winner Didier Deschamps gave him refuge at Monaco, where the midfielder has been almost ever present since. His form has alerted Paris St Germain and Serie A side Parma - and an auction for his signature would only help Everton recoup much of the £4.5m they spent to bring him to Goodison from Lens. American MLS side DC United, meanwhile, have confirmed they have contacted Everton to enquire about taking Paul Gascoigne across the Atlantic when his Everton contract expires. "Gazza is made for American soccer because of his style," said coach of the Washington club, Ray Hudson, a Geordie. "America would love him and he would love America.
"I've never spoken to Paul, even though we only come from a few miles apart in Newcastle, but we've contacted Everton about his availability." Striker Duncan Ferguson's future at Goodison may be under threat. Boss Smith is believed to be running out of patience with the injuryplagued star, who has made only 20 starts for the club out of 70 since his return from Newcastle in August 2000.
Smith has been frustrated at the player's lack of fitness and has turned his attentions to the transfer market, with Brighton's Bobby Zamora among those being considered as targets.

Tottenham 1, Everton 1
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Jan 21 2002
IT WAS hardly the performance dreams are made of but to suggest Everton may have turned a critical corner at White Hart Lane is not pure fantasy. At least judging by the reaction to Saturday's final whistle it isn't. Players punched the air before controlling themselves with the realisation they had not beaten Tottenham. Visiting fans waited to salute the Blues when they reappeared for their warmdown while, a few thousand miles away in front of a Washington TV screen, the most powerful man in the western world was choking on another pretzel. Alright, one of the above is not strictly true but had Texan George ' Dubya' checked out his Spurs at the weekend it's pretty certain we'd have been a Heimlich manoeuvre away from the latest world crisis. Hearts, or heart-shapes, in-mouth moments were everywhere. Not only did a centre-half crash home one of Everton's goals of the season but at a ground synonymous with late Tottenham comebacks and Blue misery Walter Smith's men survived a 90th-minute header against their bar to collect only the seventh away point of a traumatic travelling season. And they did so with a determination that indicated the pounding Everton's belief and resources took after five consecutive Premiership defeats in 13 miserable days has not left them punchdrunk on the verge of collapse. This was hardly the most composed or fluent Blues away display of the season, with too much of the afternoon spent clearing their lines as a result. But having produced better and lost at Blackburn and Middlesbrough to name but two games, Everton's response to falling behind in five minutes to a Tottenham team clearly on the up under Glenn Hoddle was thoroughly deserving of the point and the lift to morale it brought.
Defensively the Blues were immaculate and, although static in attack and outpassed in midfield, the level of commitment on show more than met the requirements of both the travelling fans and Premiership safety mission. Plenty more of the same will be necessary as, despite halting their slide Everton, find themselves just four points off the relegation zone. With a mere nine points separating seventh-placed Spurs from 18th-placed Middlesbrough this could well be the season when 40 points is not the survival guarantee. That is well within the Blues' grasp, especially with the immediate future promising the return of Tomasz Radzinski to give much-needed movement and pace to an attack slowly nurturing the comebacks of Kevin Campbell and also Duncan Ferguson.
In the meantime points against better teams have to be earned by resiliently scrapping for every cause and, in David Weir and Alan Stubbs, the Blues had two men willing to lead from the back at Spurs. The rest of Everton's defensive union - Steve Simonsen, Tony Hibbert, David Unsworth, Gary Naysmith and latterly Peter Clarke - all deserve honourable mentions in a performance that, with a bit of luck in front of goal, could well have ended with a win. Although that applies to Tottenham too, of course. But the Blues' two centre-halves, who cost the club a combined £250,000, were outstanding in repelling raid after Tottenham raid and it was fitting one provided the game's memorable moment. Initially, however, the prospects of a fifth consecutive away defeat appeared all too likely. Les Ferdinand collided with Unsworth early on and spent most of the half contused before being replaced by Steffen Iversen at the break. But even dazed and confused, the striker still knows how to score against Everton and gave his side the lead with a text-book header from Oyvind Leonhardsen's cross after the impressive Simon Davies seized on slack play on the Blues left.
That could easily have been the cue for a weakened, fragile team to fold. But, led by Weir, the visitors levelled in their next attack. Returning Spurs hero Paul Gascoigne whipped in a cross that skimmed off the head of Mauricio Taricco, roundly heckled by visiting fans for his appalling lunge on Thomas Gravesen in August, and the polished defender connected with a first-time volley that flew into the top corner before Neil Sullivan could even react. Then it was Stubbs' turn to come to the fore. Three times in the next seven minutes he was forced to make desperate clearances in front of his own goal, though the first should have ended in a second for Ferdinand when he sliced wide from 12 yards. Despite odds reports yesterday of a bore draw the game provided plenty of escapes to keep nerves frayed on both sides. Ferguson saw a header from a Naysmith corner expertly tipped over by Sullivan. From the resulting set piece Stubbs' arched header dropped inches wide before he reverted to type and blocked Davies' angled shot, while Teddy Sheringham turned a gilt-edged chance over seconds before the break. In the second half the Blues, now forced into a 3-5-2 of their own, weathered the early Spurs storm when Simonsen produced a great save to keep the giant Anthony Gardner's header out having picked himself up off the floor following a corner.
The Blues keeper followed Sullivan's earlier example to tip away Dean Richards' effort on 73 minutes, but either side of that the visitors frustrated their hosts when they finally produced enough football to relieve the pressure on their overworked defence. Niclas Alexandersson, Campbell, Unsworth and Ferguson all had half chances cleared while, with just six minutes left, Everton should have been awarded a penalty when Scot Gemmill latched on to Tony Hibbert's blocked shot in the area and was clearly shoved by the back-tracking Darren Anderton. Appalling referee Wilkes reached for his whistle but not for the first time in the game bottled a decision against the home side. As Gemmill himself said: "The first five decisions of the day went in their favour and three of them were debatable, so the referee set his standards early on. I thought it was a penalty, but Darren Anderton didn't and he said a few things to me afterwards. But I was pushed."
There was still enough time for Walter Smith to raise his heart rate dangerously above Sam Allardyce and Dave Bassett levels when two more terrible decisions from Wilkes allowed Spurs to pile the pressure back on in the closing seconds. Iversen so nearly made it the same old story for Everton at White Hart Lane when what should have been a last-minute winner instead crashed against the bar. But that was an escape Everton's valiant effort had earned and, not for the first time this week, an audible gasp of relief could be heard in the capital.
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (3-5-2): Sullivan; Perry, Richards, Gardner; Davies, Anderton, Sherwood, Leonhardsen (Etherington 76), Taricco (Rebrov 87); Ferdinand (Iversen 46), Sheringham. Subs: Kelly, King.
EVERTON (4-4-2): Simonsen; Hibbert, Weir, Stubbs, Unsworth; Alexandersson (Clarke 60), Gemmill, Gascoigne (Moore 82), Naysmith; Ferguson, Campbell. Subs: Gerrard, Tal, Chadwick.
BOOKINGS: Everton's Weir (foul) and Ferguson (dissent).
REFEREE: Mr C Wilkes.

Weir cheer
Report By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Jan 21 2002
DAVID WEIR admitted sharing the spoils with Spurs represented the Blues' "best away result of the season" as he volleyed his way to the top of Everton's goalscoring chart on Saturday.
The Scottish defender slammed an unstoppable shot past international team-mate Neil Sullivan as Everton produced a resilient performance to earn a valuable point at White Hart Lane. Weir (pictured), afterwards described by Walter Smith as "one of the most consistent players in the Premiership", struck just three minutes after Les Ferdinand's opener and gave a superb defensive display to keep impressive Tottenham at bay. And Everton's vicecaptain, now joint-top scorer alongside Kevin Campbell with four goals, believes the return to full fitness of the Blues' forward line can lift them clear of danger. "I don't think I've ever been a top scorer at a club before," admitted Weir. "I've got quite a few in the past but not that many for Everton although it's going well this season. "But it doesn't matter who gets the goals as long as they go in. "I said recently we all had to take responsibility for scoring goals but we all have the responsibility to stop them as well, and that was certainly the case at Spurs. "I'd say it was the best away result of the season. We made it that we had to defend a lot, we defended deep and it was a back to the wall job at times, but it is hard work picking up points at places like this. "Apart from one or two games this season our confidence has always been good. The problem was we just haven't been scoring enough. "We've been going a goal down and struggling to get back into the game but now we've got a threat up front again we have the confidence that we can cause teams problems and get ourselves back into it." As for the goal itself, the Blues defender conceded: "I've got to be honest, it was a great goal! I really enjoyed seeing it go in and it was great to get a decent result. I particularly enjoyed seeing it go past Neil as well." Weir continued: "I don't recall putting too many past him on Scotland duty so I think I'll have to remind him of this one in the future." Manager Smith was full of praise for his £250,000 bargain as he saw his team pick up their first away point since drawing at Leicester on November 24.
The Blues boss said: "Davie has been excellent for us since he signed, and in terms of consistency is one of the best in the Premiership. "I would say that's got to be the best goal he's scored as well. I can't remember him scoring many like that anyway! "But both Davie and Alan Stubbs had a lot to do. We were on the back foot for most of the game and it was a difficult one for us, but we defended very well and created a few more chances ourselves from set-pieces." Smith conceded Everton have played better on their travels this season but got nothing, and believes equally-committed performances are vital in the Blues' fight to climb the table. "Getting the goal back so quickly was a big factor in the game," added Smith. "The players deserve credit for the way they defended although overall we didn't play as well as we could. "For every team around the bottom of the league games are going to be like cup ties now and you need to have a strong mentality to handle them between now and the end of the season. "We may lack in some areas but not in terms of spirit and commitment and, apart from Fulham away and Charlton at home, we haven't lacked for that. "A lot of good defending and a little bit of luck helped us." Swedish winger Niclas Alexandersson, meanwhile, suffered a suspected broken thumb in the 1-1 draw.

Blomqvist injury scare
Jan 21 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
JESPER BLOMQVIST'S knee injury has flared up again - but Everton are confident the problem is not career- threatening and hope to name the Swede in their line-up for Saturday's FA Cup tie.
Blomqvist flew back to Croatia last week to be examined by renowned knee specialist Dr Stanislav Peharec, after the problem which ripped two-and-a-half years from his career re-emerged.
But manager Walter Smith said: "I think Jesper just wanted some reassurance. To be honest, I would be amazed if a player who had been out for more than two years with a knee injury didn't have some soreness once he started playing again. "When you consider how many games Jesper has played and how hard he has trained some reaction is only to be expected. "He's back with us tomorrow and I expect him to be okay for Saturday's game." Dr Peharec nursed Blomqvist through his rehabilitation from a 30-month absence from football. He counts Brazilian star Ronaldo, tennis champion Goran Ivanisevic and motor racing legend Michael Schumacher among his patients.
Blomqvist could be among a number of players the Blues could recall against Leyton Orient.
Steve Watson and Abel Xavier are expected to be fit again, Danny Cadamarteri is progressing well and Tomasz Radzinski is expected to restart training this week. "The cup tie will be too soon for Tomasz," said Smith, "but we're hoping to have the others available again." That leaves Mark Pembridge, Alessandro Pistone and Thomas Gravesen on the injured list. Niclas Alexandersson will have an X-ray today after aggravating a thumb injury during Saturday's draw at Spurs. He took to the field in the second half wearing a light plaster cast, but had to come off before the end.
Everton's youth team, meanwhile, meets West Brom at Goodison Park on Wednesday in the FA Youth Cup fourth round. Kick-off is 7.00pm and admission to the Bullens Road Stand is £3 adults, £1 juniors and OAPs.

That's my best goal says Weir
Jan 21 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
MICK LYONS was the last defender to top the scorers' charts at Everton - and he spent much of the 1973-74 season as an emergency striker. But David Weir's stunning seventh minute strike at Spurs on Saturday took him joint top of the current goals table, and drew a rich tribute from manager Walter Smith. "Since he came here, I don't think I've seen a defender in the Premiership who has been as consistent," he said afterwards. "He was asked to do a lot today defensively, and the goal was a real bonus. "He's hit one or two since he has been here, but I would have to say he doesn't score many like that." Weir disagreed. "I've hit loads of goals like that before!" he joked, then added: "But if I was telling the truth I'd have to say it's the best I've ever scored. "I really enjoyed it and it was even better that it helped us get a result on the day." The 18-yard volley was Weir's fourth of the season and he went on: "I can definitely say I've never gone into January as joint top scorer anywhere before. That's nice, but it really doesn't matter who scores. "Scoring goals and stopping goals is the responsibility of the team in general, not individuals. The secret is to do everything together. "I've been away on plenty of international trips with Neil Sullivan and never scored one like that past him. But I'm sure I'll be reminding him next time I see him.
"I've scored plenty of goals in the past, but for some reason since I've been down in England I haven't got as many until this season." Manager Smith added: "It was a pleasing result for us because we were on the back foot for most of the game. "Tottenham pushed us back and had most of the territorial advantage, but we defended well. "We gave them one or two chances and we had some opportunities ourselves, but I thought the biggest factor was getting an equaliser so quickly after they scored. " There are so many teams bunched so close together in the table that League games are like cup ties this season. "We have played a lot better than that away from home this season and lost, so we have to be happy with the result."

Gascoigne facing elbow quiz
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Jan 22 2002
PAUL GASCOIGNE faces trial by television after the FA confirmed they would investigate complaints the Everton star elbowed Oyvind Leonhardsen at Tottenham. The former Liverpool man claimed the Blues midfielder twice caught him in the face during Saturday's 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane.
Neither incident was picked up by any of the four match officials on duty while, Leonhardsen apart, there were no complaints from Spurs' players during the game or manager Glenn Hoddle afterwards. But last night the FA said they would look at the incidents which could lead to a threematch ban if Gascoigne is found guilty. "The video will be studied before we consider whether any action is to be taken," said a spokesman for the FA, who will also review Mark Viduka's tussle-with Martin Keown during Sunday's draw between Leeds and Arsenal. Everton can ill afford any further losses to their already depleted midfield but Leonhardsen was adamant Gascoigne should have been punished by referee Clive Wilkes. The Norwegian exclaimed: "If the referee had seen them Gazza would have been sent off. He should have been sent off too as they were both red card offences. It was very painful and out of order. "I admit I caught him early on with a tackle but for the rest of the game we had a battle. He went for me. A player of his quality and reputation shouldn't be doing those things. "I think he lost his head in the first half but when he calmed down he said sorry and we shook on it at the end." Walter Smith, meanwhile, is confident Jesper Blomqvist will be available for Saturday's FA Cup fourth round tie with Leyton Orient despite a fresh injury scare last week. Blomqvist flew to Croatia to be examined by specialist Dr Stanislav Peharec, who helped him recover from the knee injury that looked to have ended his career at Manchester United last summer. The Swedish winger complained of soreness in the troubled knee last week raising fears his impressive comeback at Goodison Park was in jeopardy. But Smith said: "I think Jesper just wanted some reassurance and, to be honest, I would be amazed that someone who had been out for two years with a knee injury didn't have some soreness once he started playing again.
"He'll be back this week with us and I expect him to be available for the cup-tie with Leyton Orient.
"When you consider how many games Jesper has played and how hard he has trained, a reaction is only to be expected."
*EVERTON'S FA Youth Cup fourth round tie against West Bromwich Albion takes place at Goodison Park tomorrow. Admission to the game, which kicks off at 7pm, is via the Bullens Road stand and costs £3 adults, £1 juniors.

Stubbs delights Walter
Report By Andy Hunter Daily Post
Jan 23 2002
WALTER SMITH believes Alan Stubbs is the "player who proved me wrong" as he saluted the defensive linchpin who halted Everton's mid-season slump. Blues' fan Stubbs was outstanding alongside David Weir in Saturday's resilient 1-1 draw at Tottenham, as he has been throughout Everton's recent threematch unbeaten run. But while Weir claimed the weekend headlines with his wonderful equaliser at White Hart Lane, Smith insists his free transfer signing from Celtic deserves a share of the plaudits. Stubbs missed four of Everton's five-match losing streak through injury but returned to ease the pressure on the under-fire Blues boss with the winner at Stoke. He followed that up with a late goalline clearance that secured three precious Premiership points against Sunderland a week later. And the Goodison chief admitted he has been delighted with the 30-yearold's form since being dropped for the 5-0 win over West Ham earlier in the season.
Smith said: "I changed the team for that game from five at the back to a flat back four and at the time I felt Alan was better suited to a five. But he has since proved me wrong and I'm delighted about that. "Both Alan and Davie Weir have shown they can play exceptionally well in a back four or five and have done really well for us this season." Smith's central pairing at Spurs cost a combined total of £250,000 and he added: "I said on Saturday that Davie is one of the most consistent defenders in the Premiership. But never mind his good display at Tottenham, there haven't been many more consistent players in the league since he came here. "We were under a lot of pressure at Tottenham but they had very few clear-cut chances. We had as many opportunities to score as they did so that is a credit to our defending and for Davie and Alan who have been doing really well.
"Saying that, David Unsworth, Gary Naysmith and young Tony Hibbert all played a big part in that on Saturday and when they did get through Steve Simonsen pulled off a couple of good saves."
Thomas Gravesen, meanwhile, is facing a desperate race against time to escape his Goodison homesickness and keep his World Cup hopes alive. The wantaway midfielder has just a few weeks to secure a transfer abroad as most of the European transfer windows are due to close. Everton have yet to receive any offers for the Danish international, who is likely to endure reserve team football for the rest of the season if he stays after his illtimed criticism of the club.

World Cup threat to Blues pair
Jan 23 2002 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent Liverpool Echo
BLUES' duo Thomas Gravesen and Abel Xavier could be sweating on World Cup places this summer.
The Dane and the Portuguese international both expect to be part of their nation's plans in Japan.
But they could find their club places under threat in the crucial build- up to the 2002 Finals.
Xavier has still not told Goodison officials of his plans for the future - three weeks after he became free to sign a precontract agreement with European clubs. Walter Smith is beginning to become frustrated by the uncertainty surrounding Xavier, while Gravesen is at loggerheads with both his boss and his team-mates. Two outbursts in the Danish press before Christmas left Gravesen out in the cold at Goodison. He is anxious for a move closer to his Danish home. Everton are prepared to sell, but no-one has expressed an interest in his signature yet - and the European deadline for transfers passes in little over a week's time. If Gravesen has not secured a move by then, he could find himself languishing in the reserves for the rest of the season. Walter Smith would only call on his services again as a last resort, and in any case the player is still complaining of an ankle ligament problem. He is out of Saturday's FA Cup tie with Leyton Orient, along with Mark Pembridge, Alessandro Pistone and Tomasz Radzinski. Abel Xavier is doubtful, but Steve Watson and Jesper Blomqvist could be fit.

Xavier up for sale
Report By Ian Doyle Daily Post
Jan 24 2002
EVERTON last night ran out of patience with contract rebel Abel Xavier - with Galatasaray waiting to swoop. The Portuguese international was transfer-listed by the Blues yesterday after failing to agree to a pay-as-you-play deal. And both club and player are seeking an instant departure for the 29-year-old, who will be free to walk away from Goodison for nothing once his current contract expires in the summer. However, Everton are hopeful a potential suitor prepared to pay a small compensatory fee will provide an immediate exit for the player who cost £1.5million from PSV Eindhoven in September 1999. Xavier has been linked with a move back to Portugal with either Benfica or Sporting Lisbon. But Turkish champions Galatasaray last night emerged as front-runners for the defender's signature. Ironically, such a move would result in an quick return to Merseyside for Xavier, as Galatasaray visit Liverpool for their Champions League encounter on February 20.
The transfer deadline for the competition is next Thursday, giving Xavier a week to complete any prospective transfer and remain eligible for European duty. "I have clubs interested in me and I am going to see what is the best for me," confirmed Xavier, who has made just 49 appearances in over two years for the Blues. "There are a few possibilities and I cannot stop playing. "There is a deadline for clubs playing in Europe and I am going to see now if I can find a club. "I would like to have stayed at Everton but unfortunately we couldn't reach agreement." Everton had offered Xavier a three-year deal based on appearances, given the high percentage of games he has missed through injury during his Goodison career. This was rejected, and while Blues boss Smith admitted that he was reluctant to lose the player from his wafer-thin squad, he said the club was left with little choice.
Smith said: "With the size of our pool of players, losing him will be a blow to us but that is football at the moment. The Bosman ruling allows players to leave clubs at the end of their contracts.
"If they can't re-negotiate a contract, as has happened in this situation, then all clubs face the problem of players leaving. "Our own situation means that is going to happen to Abel and we will just have to wait and see whether he leaves sooner rather than later." Xavier said concern for his place in Portugal's World Cup squad will lead to a swift departure. "As a player, you visualise things and playing for the national team and in the World Cup is one of them," he continued. "That is important for me. "It is difficult to express what I really feel. I would like to thank the fans for all their support. As I have said in football there are difficult decisions to make and this one has had to be made. "It is sad but they must be made and I must look to continue my career at another club.
"People must realise that I cannot stop playing football and I just hope I can find a club where I will be as well treated as I was here."

Rooney at the double
Jan 24 2002 Liverpool Echo
STRIKER Wayne Rooney secured Everton's place in the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup with both goals in a 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion at Goodison Park last night. The Blues dominated most of the game and should have been in front as early as the third minute. Michael Symes, a scorer in the last round at West Ham, very nearly put his side ahead but his shot skimmed the post. And Frankly Colbeck tried a speculative lob from the halfway line which had to be tipped over by Crane in the Albion goal. The Blues eventually took the lead with four minutes to go to the break.
Albion's Tom Warner lost possession and the impressive Rooney picked the loose ball up, ran clear of two defenders and fired home passed Daniel Crane. West Brom made a change at the break but the home side still looked like increasing their lead, Dave Carney inches away from making it two when his header came back off the bar. But the visitors improved and started to cause the home defence problems. Daniel Carey-Bertram had two giltedged chances to level but fired wide on both occasions. Simon Brown then saw a shot saved as West Brom kept coming but the Blues always looked capable of sneaking a second. With a minute remaining goalkeeper Andrew Pettinger cleared long to Rooney who, went past two defenders with great confidence and lobbed the ball over the keeper and into the back of the net.
Everton entertain Manchester City in round five.
EVERTON: Pettinger, Clobeck (Crowder 75), Schummacher, Southern R, Moogan A, Brown, Beck, Symes, (Garside 77), Ronney, Carney. Not used: Cole, Moogan B, Martland, Potter.

Sheedy warns against cup upset
Jan 24 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON legend Kevin Sheedy has issued a warning to Everton's current stars as they seek to repeat his cup feats of 13 years ago. Sheedy was on the mark twice the last time Everton met Leyton Orient. That was a two-legged Littlewoods Cup tie in 1989, and Sheedy was on target both at Brisbane Road and Goodison Park as Everton progressed 4-2 on aggregate. The Blues had to battle before they went through, and Sheedy is sure the same will apply on Saturday. "Orient's result in the last round against Portsmouth shows exactly what they're capable of," he said. "They might have lost 6-1 at Carlisle just a couple of weeks after that, but the result in Portsmouth shows how they can raise their game for the cup, and that's what Everton must beware of. "When I was at Everton we treated everyone exactly the same, whether it was Manchester United or Liverpool, Telford or Woking - and the only time we were ever on the receiving end of anything like a giant-killing act, we were applauded off the pitch! "That was against Grimsby in 1984 when we did absolutely everything but score. "If Everton's attitude is right on Saturday they should be alright, but if not the potential for an upset is always there."

Smith allays winger worries
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Jan 25 2002
WALTER SMITH has again played down fears Jesper Blomqvist's future is in jeopardy despite leaving the Swedish winger out of tomorrow's FA Cup squad. Everton's free transfer capture from Manchester United was expected to return for the fourth-round tie against Leyton Orient after missing last week's 1-1 draw at Tottenham with a knee problem. But the in-form star will again be missing at Goodison Park as Smith gives the midfielder time to recover from the knee problem that prompted his visit to Croatia last weekend. Blomqvist complained of soreness in the knee that nearly forced him to quit football last week after making six impressive appearances for the Blues in 20 days. And after receiving reassurance from the specialist who nursed him through his injury torment, the Swede will be given time to make a full recovery before coming back into contention for next week's Premiership clash at managerless Aston Villa. Blues boss Smith said: "He hasn't got a real problem but we will leave him out this weekend to help his rehabilitation. We are confident he will be available for next Wednesday." Smith does not expect to add any new faces to the squad he had at Spurs with Tomasz Radzinski, Steve Watson, Mark Pembridge, Alessandro Pistone, Thomas Gravesen and transferlisted Abel Xavier on the sidelines. Radzinski could be back for the Villa game after missing the last four games with a groin strain, as could Watson, while midfielder Pembridge is expected to return to first team training on Monday.
* EVERTON have announced advanced ticket sales for tomorrow's FA Cup fourth round tie with Leyton Orient will end today at 4.30pm.
Supporters will be able to pay by CASH ONLY at the turnstiles on the day of the game but no credit card or cheque facilities will be available. Admission to the Top Balcony is now only by cash at the turnstiles tomorrow while the Park End stand is completely sold out.

Hall praises Blues youngsters
By Chris Wright, Daily Post
Jan 25 2002
AFTER Wednesday's hard-working FA Youth Cup victory over West Bromwich Albion at Goodison Park, Everton's Academy sides have a blank weekend. Wayne Rooney hit a stunning double for Colin Harvey's youth team to set up a fifth round tie with Manchester City next month, again at Goodison.
But with Blackburn Rovers having to complete their Youth Cup match with Swindon tomorrow, Everton's scheduled FA Premier Academy League fixtures with the Lancashire side at under-19s and U17s level have been postponed. The next match for the U19s will be the re-arranged game at Coventry City, now to be played this Tuesday (January 29). It has been a stop-start year for Harvey's U19s and Wednesday's win was only their second match since December 16. But both have ended in victories and they are yet to concede a goal. They have become a tough side to beat and with England U17s international Rooney - whose first goal on Wednesday was a vicious right-foot shot and his second a delicate chip - in fine form the Blues have a good chance of further progression.
But Academy director Ray Hall was just pleased to get through. He said: "We started brightly (against West Brom) and I felt they gave us no trouble whatsoever in the first half. "We had a couple of chances and it was a superb first goal from Rooney. He had a little bit of luck to score but it came at the right time two or three minutes before halftime. "They got at us a bit more and it wasn't the prettiest of games in the second half but we controlled it really. "Apart from one effort 15 minutes from the end we limited their opportunities. "Then just as you are getting nervous towards the end thinking if we let a goal in you never know what might happen with the youngsters up pops Wayne again late on to score a goal as good as you will see at Youth level. "I don't want to be too critical because we also hit the woodwork twice but the boys are beginning to realise that it is not just about being gifted technically it is about an awful lot of other things. I think we ground the result out." Two players went off injured against West Brom, left-back Franklyn Colbeck and forward Michael Symes, but the Blues expect both to be fit to play next Tuesday. Their injuries gave opportunities to some of the younger members of the squad to get a taste of the action with Brian Moogan and Craig Garside acquitting themselves well.

Fast track past Orient
Fanscene By Mark O'Brien, Daily Post
Jan 25 2002
THE fever of the cup, eh?
You can't beat a nice home tie against lower league opposition; going to the game not having to worry about who else is playing that day and how results will affect league positions, etc.
The fact you actually think we will win also helps to put a spring in your step as well. Even by our standards this game against Leyton Orient has got to be seen as straightforward. Even our new 'partners' Lincoln City beat them, and we're coming off the back of a result at Spurs. We conceded the inevitable Les Ferdinand goal but didn't do the usual collapse - David Weir's equaliser was worthy of a centreforward. Granted, not one of our centre-forwards, but one of them crazy types who score goals. Which brings us almost seamlessly to Duncan Ferguson. The stories in the press last weekend were that Walter Smith has had enough of him and wants rid. Given his lack of appearances and goals since his return to the club that's not unreasonable. We said a while ago that if all three main strikers are fit then Ferguson should be the one to start on the bench; in the unlikely event we land Bobby Zamora then the big chap would be forced even further down the pecking order. The thing about the stories that doesn't sit too comfortably is that more than one newspaper cited Ferguson's 'lack of desire for the game' as the reason he's surplus to requirements.
We're currently one bad weekend of results away from a bona fide relegation fight, what good does it do us putting a story like that into the public domain? As soon as we're involved in a game where things aren't going our way Ferguson is going to become the focus of the fans' frustrations.
If the club want him out they should go about it in the right manner. Nearly every player who has left Goodison Park in recent years has done so acrimoniously. Coincidence? If, on the other hand, the club don't want him out then why haven't they denied them? Phil Thompson backed one of his underpressure players after their game against Southampton and look how he was repaid at Old Trafford. One player definitely on his way out is Abel Xavier. Finding out about George Michael was less surprising than the news that Xavier wasn't going to sign a new contract. It's been clear for about the last 18 months that he's intent on making a fortune from a Bosman move - despite the continuing charade of negotiations with Everton - so our 'pay as you play' offer was hardly pulling out all the stops to keep him. He's a good centre-half, it's a shame that due to injuries and being played out of position in his first year or so we never really got see him play there. Hopefully next week we'll be discussing a goalfest against the O's and our first league double of the season.

Abel's scrabble to find new club
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Jan 25 2002
ABEL XAVIER yesterday began his whistle-stop tour of Europe in a bid to secure a swift Goodison exit. The transfer- listed Everton star was reported to have spent the morning in the south of France trying to tie up a move to Marseille but was in fact in Portugal to spark speculation he is set to move home. The Portuguese international initially flew to Oporto, the home of Champions League second round qualifiers Boavista and Porto, before catching an afternoon flight to the capital Lisbon.
Both Sporting and Xavier's former club Benfica have expressed an interest in the versatile Everton star but a move to either of those cashstrapped clubs would be likely to take place in the summer when he is available on a free. The Blues put Xavier up for sale on Wednesday after his advisors rejected their offer of a new pay-as-you-play offer. Everton would rather get a nominal fee for his services now rather than lose the injuryprone 29-year-old on a Bosman while Xavier has declared his intention is to move now to a Champions League club. Xavier is anxious to finalise a transfer quickly in order to retain his place in Portugal's World Cup squad this summer. "It is sad that I am not in Everton's plans any more," he said: "Now I must find a club that can give me the sensation of importance. "We agreed that I can look for a solution for my future because there is no agreement to extend my contract. "I have a few options and I am going to analyse them. "There is a deadline of January 31 and I hope I can reach agreement with one of these clubs and play football.
"The last week has been a little confusing. "I just want to concentrate on my football because I am a football player. "But sometimes life in football is like that and I must take hard decisions."
Despite his disappointment at the close of his Everton career Xavier has no dispute with the breakdown in negotiations. He added: "My meetings with the board were always conducted respectfully and in the end I believe that the board was correct. "But I want stability and a club that makes me feel important. "That was not the case in the end with Everton, although I hope I can find a club where the fans will receive me the same way as I was received here." Xavier arrived at Goodison Park in September 1999 for £1.6million from PSV Eindhoven and has played just 49 times due to illness and a succession of niggling injuries. His two-and-a-half years with the club is the longest spell he has ever stayed with one club, having played in Spain, Italy, Portugal and Holland before arriving in England.

Post Soapbox
Jan 25 2002 icLiverpool & Daily Post
Dis-Abel Everton
I SAY if Abel Xavier wants to go then let him leave Everton. He may be a good player of decent international pedigree but if we're honest, he hasn't exactly set the world alight since he's been at Goodison. In fact, the most poignant thing he has done is become a bottle blond!
Sell him now before he goes for nothing in the summer.
S Crone, Formby
Blues clearout
NOW that Walter Smith has began to steady the ship and get a few results, it's time to throw the dead wood overboard. Thomas Gravesen looks like he's played his last game, and now we have Abel Xavier feeling sorry for himself. For all their talent, these types of players simply appear as mercenaries and Everton Football Club is bigger than that. If they're not happy, let them go and earn their £12,000-plus a week somewhere else. One Alan Stubbs is worth 100 Xavier's any day!
J Cavanagh, Huyton
Beware the Rams
I THINK all those supporters calling for Walter Smith's head should try and think ahead a little.
Do we want Everton to be like Derby? Struggling to find somebody half decent to steer the club, or should we stick with Walter? After all he has stuck with us through the bad times. I am sure he would be the first to admit he has made some errors in the transfer market but I believe that is because he has had to rely on so-called cheaper foreign players. Olivier Dacourt should take a strong look at himself as well. Why did he so highly recommend that waste of space Alex Nyarko? I thought he was fond of us!
J Saggers, Liverpool
That's Zamora
WALTER SMITH should sign Bobby Zamora and give him a chance in the top flight. And why were Everton not in the market for Andy Cole, a proven goalscorer? The Blues' midfield is lacking a bit of steel as well so we should buy a player who can dominate in the middle and tackle anything that moves. The defence is doing fine but it's the midfield where the Blues lack that special something.
David Matthews, Liverpool

Gravesen tackles rumour
Jan 25 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
THOMAS GRAVESEN has responded to the latest reports ruling him out of football for another month, by declaring he can restart training again on Monday. But the Blues midfielder is unlikely to find himself pitched straight back into Walter Smith's first team plans. Everton's unsettled Danish international has been widely quoted once more in the morning press, but once again claims to have been misquoted. In one article he was reported to have said: "My ankle injury is still very sore and I don't think I'll be fit for a few weeks. I am even likely to miss the derby against Liverpool in a fortnight." In another he is alleged to have commented: "Today I can run at full speed, but the ankle is still weak and I expect my next game to be against Liverpool on February 23. Physically I am in great shape and I could do the Triathlon in the Olympics." Manager Walter Smith said this morning: "He won't be doing a Triathlon, but he tells us he will be okay to start training on Monday."
That is too late for him to be included in tomorrow's FA Cup plans for the visit of Third Division Leyton Orient to Goodison Park. Smith's side effectively picks itself, with none of his injury victims likely to recover in time to be selected. That means Gravesen, Steve Watson, Jesper Blomqvist, Mark Pembridge, Alessansdro Pistone, Tomasz Radzinski and, of course, the transfer-seeking Abel Xavier will all be sidelined. Smith has warned his side not to take the Third Division strugglers lightly at Goodison Park. "It's a classic cup tie," he said. "A team from the lowest division taking on a team from the Premiership. "They showed in the previous round at Portsmouth that they are capable of upsetting a team from a higher division, so the warning signs are there for us. "We will need to produce a good performance to progress." Entrance tomorrow will be cash only, with advance ticket sales ending at 4.30pm today. The Park End has completely sold out, as have Top Balcony tickets, but some seats will be available for cash admission on the day. Everton have reduced prices for the tie to £15 behind the goals £20 other areas for adults, £10 and £15 juniors and OAPs.

Kev's debt to Orient
Jan 25 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
KEVIN CAMPBELL'S full league debut came in the colours of tomorrow's FA Cup opponents Orient.
So did his first goal. But while the Everton captain admits he owes a huge debt of gratitude to the East London club, he aims to repay them by ending their FA Cup dream. Campbell will line up at Goodison Park against Leyton Orient 13 years after they gave him his first big break. A talented, but raw teenager in 1989, the then Fourth Division side acted as a stepping stone between Arsenal's reserves and the first team. "The Arsenal management team at that time wanted to move my progress along," Campbell explained. "I was 18-years-old and they thought that reserve team football was getting too easy for me, although they didn't think that I was quite ready for a regular move up to the first team. "They wanted to see me play in the Football League and it was an important part of my footballing education. My actual Football League debut was for Arsenal, but my first full game was for Orient." Ironically, Campbell's League bow came at Goodison Park, as an Arsenal substitute. But it was at Brisbane Road where he first began to enjoy the taste of goalscoring. "It was a very successful time for the club and I scored a few goals," he explained (nine in 16 league games). "Frank Clark was in charge and he was a very shrewd manager for them.
"They had a lot of good players and a good coaching staff, they just needed a bit of a spark and it seemed that I helped ignite that spark. "Frank also signed Mark Cooper, which was important, and Orient went from strength to strength and we ended up getting promotion. "Although my loan period had ended, I was there to watch the Play-Off Final and it was brilliant to see them win.
"It definitely helped me mature as a player. It's not quite grass roots but it was as close as it gets for a professional, at that level. "It was a great education for me and it makes you appreciate what you do have at a big club, because it's not all money and roses down there, I can tell you."
"It was brilliant, though, and I enjoyed every second of my time at Orient," Campbell added in tomorrow's matchday programme. Now Campbell is happy just to be back in action again, after a frustrating 11-week lay-off while a painful back injury settled down. With two 90-minute appearances under his belt, he feels ready to pick up where he left off in September, the last time he celebrated a goal at Goodison Park. Since then David Weir has assumed an unlikely top scorers' mantle at Everton, but Campbell said: "Davie's done absolutely brilliant this season - at both ends - but it's time the forwards started getting back on the scoresheet again. "Both Duncan and myself are having to find our fitness while playing, which isn't ideal, but we're both feeling sharper and hopefully we can make life difficult for Orient tomorrow." JESPER Blomqvist will not be involved in Everton's home fourth round FA Cup tie with Leyton Orient but he should be back to face Aston Villa on Wednesday. The Swedish winger has visited a Croatian knee specialist after feeling discomfort in his joint. "We're just letting him rest a little longer," Walter Smith explained. "There's no problem and he will be included in some capacity at Aston Villa on Wednesday." Everton will be without Abel Xavier, who is back in Portugal looking for a club to join, Thomas Gravesen, Tomasz Radzinski, Mark Pembridge, Steve Watson and Alessandro Pistone.

Harris happy to play mind games
Jan 25 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
MENSA member Andy Harris aims to outwit Everton at Goodison Park tomorrow.
But the boyhood Blue admits he will experience divided loyalties in the biggest match of his career.
The Leyton Orient midfielder was born in Liverpool, brought up in Litherland - and followed Everton avidly as a youngster. But now he is hell bent on trying to engineer another cup shock for the team from the lower reaches of the Third Division, following their 4-1 upset of Portsmouth in the third round. "As an Evertonian, I've got to admit I feel a bit bad about what I think of the game from a professional point of view," he explained. "Given a choice between some Premiership teams I think we've got a good chance of getting an upset at Goodison rather than the likes of Old Trafford.
"It's a good tie for us in front of a decent stadium and we might not be on the hiding to nothing people may think. I think we can do well." Harris' thinking is not just based on blind hope.
As a Mensa member who boasts an IQ of 153, he is counted among the top two per cent of the country's brainiest people. "I read a lot, but not War and Peace or Plato, and I've no desire to be a mastermind," he said. "We aren't a bad footballing team. In fact I would say our football is too good for the Third Division. "At Portsmouth we had more time on the ball, which suited us. "I know it sounds cheesy but I've always dreamed of playing at Goodison Park, scoring the winner in the Gwladys Street goal and then running to celebrate in front of the fans. "But if I do that on Saturday I'll get pelted, even though I'd be stood there thinking 'But I'm one of you!' "

Blues go green for Lincoln
Jan 25 2002 By Len Capeling, Daily Post
IGNORE the mischief-makers who would have you believe that Everton's exotic link-up with Lincoln City is designed to give Blues fans a foretaste of life in the third division. My own investigations at the friendly Lincolnshire Echo dredged up a measure of bewilderment over the shotgun wedding as against the expected cries of "Why us?" and "What have we ever done to you?" In fact, of course, there are striking similarities between the loving couple. Both are paupers, with Lincoln being kept above ground by its own supporters who pay between £25 and £50,000 for the . . . er . . . privilege of owning the club. Also, both are having unfortunate seasons, and both are within bus rides of cathedrals and rivers. Asked if The Imps - who play in red and white - had a reputation for producing pedigree players my informant referred me to Manchester City's Darren Huckerby (hmmm!) and Wimbledon's Gareth Ainsworth (the latter being a bit of an imposter having beeen discovered by Preston North End). As for the present, good things are apparently said about 21-year-old central defender Paul Morgan and an 18-year-old left-back Paul Mayo. SO, where do you stand on the vital question of Everton Team versus Everton Stadium? I know where you should stand, but don't take my word for it. Listen instead to Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein. Dein, an FA councillor, was reacting to stories that Patrick Vieira is ready to quit Highbury, but his sentiments surely fit Evertonians like an attack of nerves. Said Dein - coincidentally a good friend of Bill Kenwright's - "There is no point in having a worldclass stadium, which we will start building soon, and not have a world-class team to put into it." Is anyone listening at Goodison, I wonder?

Past ghosts serve as an inspiration
Jan 26 2002 by Andy Hunter and Paul Walker, Daily Post
FRESH AND very painful memories should provide all the inspiration Everton need to avoid falling victim to yet another giantkilling act today. Recent years have seen the Blues produce a litany of upsets by lower league opposition but few compare with the misery and embarrassment of the FA Cup fourth round tie at Goodison last season. That day Tranmere Rovers took the Merseyside honours with a comfortable 3-0 victory that left the Blues' season in tatters. It is an experience no-one associated with the club needs reminding of. "It was a sad day in the history of this club and one that still rankles with the fans," said Kevin Campbell. "But the Tranmere game is gone and there's no point dwelling on it. "To say I wasn't happy afterwards is an understatement but I wasn't alone. It is time to put that aside and get winning in the Cup again." Campbell is confident that will prove the case today in another fourth round home tie, against third division Leyton Orient, as the Blues look to secure a much-needed lift with a lucrative Cup run. The Blues skipper admits to the anguish of being injured and not being able to do much to help under-fire boss Walter Smith during a period when Everton were sinking down the Barclaycard Premiership. But despite frustration at the lack of investment so far for Smith, Campbell believes the FA Cup has already boosted morale and he has urged his team-mates to seize a gilt-edged opportunity to land a place in the last 16.
He said: "Everyone has got a smile on their face, it's a happier place to be around and people shouldn't be afraid to come into work. "It's vital that we have a good Cup run for the club's sake financially, and for the fans. We must start building now to improve in all aspects. "The Stoke game was big for us, there was a lot of speculation about the manager's future and we made sure we backed the boss and put on a really good performance. "It's got us back on track and if we can keep this run going the club will benefit. It's vital we have a good Cup run. "It's a happier place now, what was going on was no good for anyone - us, the manager or the fans." Campbell has just returned from three months out with a back injury and is relieved to be back in action. He added: "I've got a few games under my belt now and it's good to be back, although I still need to get my match fitness sharper. "We have been unbeaten in three so we go into this game in very good spirits. I still do feel a bit rusty, being out of the fray for so long, but it would be nice to score again in this Cup."
He added: "The worst thing about being injured is when the team is not doing well. You sit and watch and can't do anything, then there's five defeats on the bounce and the alarm bells start ringing and it just makes you feel worse. "It didn't help that the pressure seemed to be on the manager at the time. You just look at yourself in the mirror in the morning and say 'what can I do?
"You make sure that when you come back you are right so that you can help. I feel fine, hopefully I will stay that way until the end of the season." Campbell had a spell on loan at Brisbane Road while on Arsenal's books, scoring nine in 16 games. He said: "I spent three months on loan at Orient when I was at Arsenal. They gave me my first real taste of league football and they will always have a place in my heart. "I played 16 games for Orient and though my loan spell ended before the end of the season I was there at Brisbane Road to watch them win the play-offs. "They're a smashing little club and I got on great with the fans but we have to be looking to turn them over and get further in the Cup. We must be in the hat for the next round, this club needs a Cup run. "It's not nice to be on the wrong end of a giant-killing, I know that feeling, so we must make sure we don't mess up.
"There are a lot of big clubs playing each other, so if we can get through this and creep quietly into the next round, that will do fine. "On paper we will win, but the game isn't played on paper so we have to be professional and do a good job." Boss Smith added: "We must match the enthusiasm of lower division teams, work hard to do so, and avoid them embarrassing a higher division team.
"A Cup run is fine, we need it, but that will also benefit our league form too if we are going well in the Cup. "After our disappointing performance in the Cup last season when we lost to Tranmere, we must make sure we put that right and match and better whatever effort Orient put in.
"Teams in lower divisions always lift themselves to a higher level - normally much to the annoyance of their managers - it does happen and everybody knows that and must guard against it."

Splash the cash or we will suffer
Jan 26 2002 by Andy Hunter, Daily Post
KEVIN CAMPBELL has warned Everton directors the club will sink further into the doldrums unless a serious cash injection is made at Goodison Park. The Blues hope to book a place in the FA Cup fifth round this afternoon when third division strugglers Leyton Orient arrive on Merseyside.
But they go into the game with the all-too familiar tale of a small squad weakened further by injuries and players on the verge of an Everton exit. Abel Xavier is the latest international set to leave Goodison after he was placed on the transfer list following the breakdown of contract negotiations.
And Campbell has issued a stark warning to club officials that the continuing exodus of talent will push the Blues closer to the brink unless Walter Smith is finally given Premiership money to spend.
"No-one likes to see good players leave," said the striker, who is set to resume his partnership with Duncan Ferguson today. "And maybe in Abel's case the club made the right stand as he only has three months left on his contract and a World Cup place to think about. "But it is going to be interesting to see what the club does now because this is another good player we've lost.
"We need to strengthen but the manager hasn't had money to spend although we've now been told there is some available." Brighton's Bobby Zamora has been linked with a £3million move to Goodison since club officials announced Smith would be helped by a refinancing package three weeks ago. But as yet there has been no signs that the smallest squad in the Premiership will be strengthened. Campbell added: "You can't survive by letting your good players go. You've got to be seen to be ambitious and it is a bit disillusioning to see good players leave and no-one come in to replace them. "In many respects it has been a case of one step forward and three steps back for Everton. "The squad has changed so much over the last few years and we have not replaced the quality players who've left. "It is going to be interesting to see how much money is available
"We have been flirting with relegation or mid-table for too long now so we need an injection to move onto the next level otherwise we will continue to flirt with danger. "The cycle has got to stop. It's time for serious thinking and serious progress." Campbell has seen a succession of summer sales by Smith help cut Everton's crippling overdraft, but now the Blues striker believes more must be done at boardroom level to halt the club's decline. "The fans are as frustrated as the players are," he added. "Everton are a big club, a great club, but we've been sleeping for far too long and it is time to reawaken the giant. "The only way to do that and make the club more solid is with more money. Players can only do their best out on the pitch but off it serious negotiations have to take place." Smith, meanwhile, will select from the same squad that secured a 1-1 draw at Spurs last week and has warned his players to learn from the lessons of their dismal defeat by Tranmere at the same stage one year ago. The Blues boss said: "We know the potential problems of this tie having lost to lower league opposition at this stage last season. "Orient have shown they have the capability to lift their game against teams of a higher level so the warning signs are there.
"We need a good performance to get through to the next round."

Everton 4, Leyton Orient 1 (D,Post)
By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Jan 28 2002
IT was the nearest poor Andy Harris had got to Paul Gascoigne all afternoon. With the tie breathing its last, and Everton comfortably cruising through to the fifth round, Leyton Orient's boyhood Blue was sticking to his opposite like a leech, never letting him out of his sight. It was to ensure Gascoigne followed through with his pre-match promise of exchanging shirts with the Scouse midfielder - and it didn't take a Mensa membership to deduce why Harris was so keen to take such a memento from the occasion. Simply, Gascoigne was superb. Fantastic. He created three of Everton's four goals with the kind of footwork a ballet dancer would have been proud of and continues to defy those critics who were all too keen to dismiss him. "I saw the clock had run up and even though he'd said before the game he'd give me the shirt, I knew it was the one everyone wanted," said Harris.
"Maybe I should have got a bit closer to him during the game! But I don't think anyone could get near him, he was that good. "You can see he was enjoying the game. He was just brilliant. That is what you aspire to be as a footballer." Never mind spending the impending cash windfall - three weeks and counting down, according to Bill Kenwright - on much-needed squad strengthening. If possible, Blues boss Walter Smith would undoubtedly blow the whole lot on a Gascoigne ten years younger. A Gascoigne entering the peak of his career. A Gascoigne who would produce performances like this on a weekly basis. That's asking a lot these days, of course. On occasion, such as last week on his return to White Hart Lane, Gascoigne looks all of his 34 years. The mind's willing, but the legs are not. But when he can summon his body and brain to act in union, there is no better sight in English football. His tricks, flicks, passes, dribbles and outright audacity bamboozled Orient on Saturday and left Goodison rising as one to salute their hero as safe passage was made into the last 16. What a pity then that there were not more inside the ground to see it. A gross misjudgement on the pulling power of a combination of FA Cup and cheaper tickets had left many supporters locked outside with more than 3,000 empty seats inside. Given their precarious financial state, the last thing Everton can afford to do is turn fans away. For those who did get through the turnstiles, Gascoigne saved his best until last. For Everton's fourth goal in the 78th minute, he received the ball just inside his own half and embarked on a run which, thanks to his trademark footwork and body strength, left three defenders in his wake before slotting a delightful pass through to Kevin Campbell which almost compelled the striker to score. The Blues skipper was the main beneficary of Gascoigne's display. Before the game, Orient had made a presentation to Campbell in honour of the goals he scored during his loan spell at Brisbane Road to help them win promotion in 1990. If it was a ploy to make the striker go easy on his former club, it didn't work. Campbell scored twice - his first goals since September - and with a little more luck and accuracy could have netted a hat-trick. But no matter how many he scored, Campbell was always playing second fiddle to the man of the moment. There is something about the FA Cup - a competition Gascoigne believes is second only to the World Cup - that stirs the emotions in everyone's favourite Geordie. During Tottenham's successful run in 1991, Gascoigne played some of the most enthralling football of his career, only to see it end in ignominy at Wembley where, over-tense and overenthusiatic, he came close to destroying it all with his infamous tackle on Nottingham Forest's Gary Charles. Fast forward 11 years, and at Stoke City in this year's third round, Gascoigne chose the world's oldest knockout competition to show there was still magic left in his boots - and most probably save mentor Smith's Goodison job as a result. Admittedly, Saturday's display was against a team who are 76 places below Everton in the league and should by rights be swatted away with the minimum of fuss. But, lest we forget, it is against lower league opposition that the Blues have conjured some of their worst performances of recent years. Indeed, when Orient scored on 35 minutes through Scott Canham, supporters nerves were jangling just a little at thought Everton were about to press the self-destruct button again. In truth, however, the outcome was never in doubt. Orient were reluctant to hoof the ball long, instead opting to try and play their way through the Everton defence. While an admirable ploy, it meant the Blues back line - with David Weir again impressing - comfortably dealt with any threat, and might also explain why Paul Brush's side currently sit in such a lowly position in the rough and tumble of the third division. Of course, it doesn't help when you give your Premiership opponents a goal start. That was the fate which befell Orient defender David McGhee, who produced a spectacular diving header into the top corner of his own net from Tony Hibbert's 10th-minute right-wing cross. Ironically, McGhee netted in similar fashion in the previous round, before scoring at the right end as Porstmouth were crushed 4-1. There was to be no repeat on Saturday. Gascoigne's delightful lofted ball over the Orient back line was wastefully fired wide by Campbell on 26 minutes, but Duncan Ferguson - also scoring his first goal since September - proved more accurate five minutes later, side-footing home after Gascoigne went past two players and shrugged off an attempted foul before playing the Scotsman in.
Then Canham halved the deficit, reacting quickest after Steve Simonsen could only parry out Jeff Minton's deflected 25-yard drive, only for another piece of Gascoigne magic on the stroke of half-time to ease any Goodison worries. Entering the penalty area from the left flank, the midfielder twisted his way past defenders and slotted a pass inside to Campbell, who turned Dean Smith and eventually forced the ball in past Orient keeper Scott Barrett. It ended any hopes of a revival by the visitors. In the second half, substitute Joe-Max Moore and Campbell combined only for the latter to be denied by a smart save from Barrett, and later the skipper shot over from Gemmill's pass.
After Gascoigne had conjured Campbell's coup de grace, both players missed chances to give the scoreline a somewhat unfair slant, with the man of the moment still bounding around the field with that infectious enthusiasm he has made his own. Another potential banana skin safely negotiated, then. And with so many Premiership rivals falling by the wayside, what price a rejuvenated Gascoigne being given the opportunity to erase his bitterest FA Cup memory come Cardiff in May?.

Blues on track for cup success
By Jim Van Wijk, Daily Post
Jan 28 2002
EVERTON have landed another home draw against opposition from the lower divisions to keep alive Paul Gascoigne's dream of making the FA Cup final. The former England midfielder was man of the match as the Blues saw off the plucky challenge of third division minnows Leyton Orient 4-1 at Goodison Park on Saturday. Gascoigne has high hopes that Walter Smith's side can go all the way to the final at Cardiff in May, and will no doubt have been cheered by last night's fifth round draw which paired the Premiership club with first division strugglers Crewe. The Railwaymen twice came from behind to overhaul Ronnie Moore's Rotherham 4-2 at Millmoor and the Blues will be taking nothing for granted, having slipped up against sides below them in the league pyramid in the past.
However Crewe are already looking forward to their big day out. Manager Dario Gradi is not concerned about their trip to Everton taking the attention away from their battle against relegation. Gradi is looking forward to the experience of taking on a Premiership club in their own backyard.
"It will generate a lot of interest amoung the supporters," he said. "A lot of people in Crewe will have Everton as their second team and we will take a big following. "It will be a good day out."
Meanwhile former Everton skipper Dave Watson, now in charge as manager of Tranmere Rovers, is looking forward to taking his side to a Premiership ground in the next round after seeing off Welsh giant-killers Cardiff City 3-1 at Prenton Park yesterday. They have been drawn to visit the winners of the delayed fourth round tie between Premiership clubs Tottenham and Bolton, which is due to be staged at White Hart Lane a week tomorrow. Tranmere's players had been hoping for a pairing with Merseyside neighbours Everton following their fourth round success at Goodison last season.
But they have a recent Cup history with each of their potential opponents. Tottenham put Tranmere out of the Worthington Cup at the third round stage in October, winning 4-0 at Prenton Park. And Bolton were Tranmere's semi-final victims on the road to their historic Worthington Cup final appearance against Leicester City at Wembley in February 2000.

Gascoigne: We can reach final
By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Jan 28 2002
PAUL GASCOIGNE has backed Everton to reach the FA Cup final after inspiring the Blues into the last 16. Walter Smith's men brushed aside third division minnows Leyton Orient 4-1 at Goodison Park to set up a fifth-round tie at home to Crewe Alexandra. A spectacular own goal from Orient's David McGhee, Duncan Ferguson's first goal in four months and a double from Kevin Campbell - his first goals since September 29 - rendered Scott Canham's first-half strike a mere consolation.
But it was man-of-the-match Gascoigne who took the plaudits, creating three goals and leaving Blues boss Smith to hail a "vintage" Gazza performance. And the 34-year-old insists Everton can go on to the final in Cardiff in May and lift the Cup for the first time since 1995. "The FA Cup is a really special occasion for me," said Gascoigne. "I've had some great memories from it and I hope we can keep it going. "Manchester United are already out as are some other big teams, and if it carries on the way it is going and we get the luck of the draw, we can go all the way to the final.
"You saw the crowd today. It was packed, and thankfully we've got another home draw.
"I think the FA Cup is the next step down from the World Cup. The World Cup is the biggest thing and then, for me, the FA Cup. "But like any of the lads, I'm not going to get carried away."
Recalling his last FA Cup final appearance - playing for Tottenham in 1991 when he sustaineda serious knee injury followinghis infamous tackle on Nottingham Forest's Gary Charles - he joked: "Yes, I would love to get to the final, but if we get to the final then I might ask the manager not to pick me!" Gascoigne added: "I was pleased with my performance but I won't be getting too carried away with it. "It was good to see Duncan and Kevin back on the scoresheet and it was a good display by the lads. "Winning in the cup can only help us going into the Premiership games." Gascoigne continued: "We got a good result at Stoke and that helped us for a couple of games, and hopefully this can do the same. We have a tough game on Wednesday at Aston Villa, but after John Gregory quit maybe we can cause an upset. Gascoigne used to have his boots cleaned by Orient midfielder Jeff Minton during his days at White Hart Lane and he added: "It was good to see Jeff and a few other faces. "It was enjoyable game and hopefully the lads from Orient can have gained experience coming to a club like Everton." Everton boss Smith claimed it was like watching the Gascoigne of old. "Paul did very well today," said Smith. "I know him well and it was a touch of vintage Gascoigne, especially for the fourth goal - and a good finish by Kevin Campbell. "It was a real 'roll back the years' goal. I have seen him do that many times when I had him at Rangers and let's hope we see a bit more of it. "He set up three of the goals and the last couple of games he has played well.
"He created one or two other opportunities during the game and I was delighted by his contribution.
"His fitness is okay and maybe he is lacking a bit of the old sharpness, but he can still do thiings that other players cannot do." Smith added: "I'm pleased we have won through to the next round. We started the game well enough and had a break for the first goal and got a good second.
"Orient came back at us but we managed to get a goal at halftime, and maybe 3-1 was a bit flattering for us at that point. "We had one or two opportunites to go further ahead in the second half before we scored the fourth. Even at 3-1 Orient were always in with a chance to add to our nerves by getting a goal back. "It didn't surprise me when they came back at us then, they showed a bit of pride." Meanwhile, Scot Gemmill will miss the visit of Arsenal on Sunday, February 10, after picking up his fifth booking of the season on Saturday.

Everton 4, Leyton Orient 1 (Echo)
By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
Jan 28 2002
THE FA CUP has always been the tournament for self-indulgent dreamers. While the Premiership provides the remorseless high pressure bread and butter, the Champions League the means to finance the high rollers - and the Worthington Cup an increasingly peripheral bauble, the FA Cup still offers romance, glamour, intrigue and excitement. Witness wonderful Walsall, Manchester United made to look mundane - and a 34-yearold legend rolling back the years in maybe his last season in English football. Few are indulging themselves more in the FA Cup this season than Paul Gascoigne.
What more romantic notion is there than Gazza returning to an FA Cup Final, to exorcise the demons which only truly started to torment him after his last, violently brief appearance in one 12 years ago?
Only three matches now separate Gascoigne and his latest dream. Admittedly that represents a Grand Canyon sized gulf given the fragility of The Toffees' current squad. But already Gazza has given us some fresh Cup memories to cherish and add to that startling 35-yard free-kick and that stomach churning tackle. In the last round at Stoke, he said he rolled back the years for his under-pressure manager. This time he did it for a capacity Goodison crowd . . . what passes for capacity when tickets aren't sold on the day, at any rate. And the standing ovation he received when he came off the pitch - his held still upright and alert, a perky spring still in his stride - emanated from the home and away sections of the support. If we're being brutally honest, this is probably the best platform in which to witness Gascoigne right now. His magical ball control and peerless vision can still conjure the occasional opening on a Premiership stage. But against honest, but limited Third Division opponents he can produce pass after penetrating pass, defence-duping shimmies and damaging bursts into the penalty box. And that imagination was undoubtedly the difference between the two sides. The match-ending fourth goal was straight out of his Italia '90 repertoire.
He picked up possession inside his own half. He released the ball just inside Orient's penalty box, after spinning and careering past three defenders, and the pass he ended with simply dared Kevin Campbell to even try and miss. The Blues' skipper produced the finish the move deserved.
Gazza's self indulgence is far from selfish, though. The goals he carved out for Duncan Ferguson and Kevin Campbell will do more for their rehabilitation than any amount of 90-minute run-outs.
Ferguson hadn't scored an open play goal since April, but Gascoigne's nostalgic 32nd minute burst forward gave him an excellent opening which Ferguson finished comfortably with his weaker right-foot. Five minutes earlier, Gascoigne had flipped the ball impudently into Campbell's path for an even better chance, which the striker wasted. Sixteen minutes before that, Dave McGhee showed all the strikers on show how to finish with a quite glorious diving header, past his own goalkeeper.
Orient's enthusiastic travelling support were not as nonplussed as they might have been.
Exactly the same thing had happened in the previous round at Portsmouth, and they immediately chanted: "We're gonna win 4-1!" Scott Canham's close range consolation, after Simonsen had palmed Minton's shot into the forward's path, hinted at a comeback. But just as Orient began to build belief into their game, Gascoigne dashed it with another punishing penalty box excursion.
This time he drifted into the left hand side of the box, body swerved into a crossing position and clipped the ball into Campbell's path. The ring rusty forward's touch was not great, but his upper body strength retrieved the situation and with only the hint of a foul he forced the ball past Barrett.
That goal, on the stroke of half-time, calmed any Everton nerves and ensured that even with yet another injury to contend with - Niclas Alexandersson adding a knee strain to his strapped up thumb - the Blues were comfortable after the break. Andy Harris, the Evertonian back on his favourite football stage, almost marked the occasion with a deft lob which landed on the roof of the net.
But Campbell twice went close, too, before Gazza's 80th minute intervention ended the match on a thrilling high-note. It had been billed as Leyton Orient's big day out. In the end the afternoon belonged to Gazza, and there will be more than just Evertonians around today who hope he has one or two more in the tournament before the campaign closes.
EVERTON (4-4-2): Simonsen, Hibbert, Weir, Stubbs, Unsworth, Alexandersson (Moore 44 mins), Gemmill, Gascoigne, Naysmith (Tal 84), Campbell, Ferguson. Unused substitutes: Gerrard, Clarke, Chadwick.
LEYTON ORIENT (3-5-2): Barrett, Smith, McGhee, Partridge (Martin 83 mins), Joseph, Harris, Gray, Minton, Lockwood (Jones 71), Watts (McLean 77), Canham. Unused substitutes: Bayes, Barnard.
Referee: Alan Wiley.
Bookings: Watts (47 mins) persistent misconduct, Gemmill (56 mins) foul.
Attendance: 35,851.
Goals: McGhee own goal (11 mins) 1-0, Ferguson (32 mins) 2-0, Canham (35 mins) 2-1, Campbell (45 mins) 3-1, Campbell (80 mins) 4-1.

Smith hails sick star
Jan 28 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
PAUL GASCOIGNE shook off old age and illness to inspire Everton to an FA Cup FiFth Round place on Saturday. The 34-year-old joked afterwards how he rolled back the years against Leyton Orient to produce a vintage performance. But boss Walter Smith revealed today that Gazza also overcame sickness to produce an inspirational display. "He's a gutsy so and so," marvelled Smith. "He didn't tell anyone that he was feeling sick on Saturday, then he went out and played like that.
"It was only afterwards that he mentioned anything. His attitude is excellent and when his head's right, like it is at the moment, he loves his football." Gascoigne's performance helped earn Everton a home draw in round five, the first competitive meeting between the Blues and Crewe Alexandra.
The First Division strugglers triumphed 4-2 at Rotherham United to earn their place in the last 16.
The Blues, meanwhile, may be forced to hand a full first team debut to young defender Peter Clarke at Villa Park on Wednesday. Niclas Alexandersson joined Everton's injury list on Saturday with strained knee ligaments and will be missing for a fortnight. Smith's limited options are to introduce Idan Tal or Joe-Max Moore for the injured Swede, or revert to three at the back with Clarke making his debut. None of Everton's injured stars will be fit for the midweek match, although Thomas Gravesen, Tomasz Radzinski and Mark Pembridge all returned to training this morning.
Jesper Blomqvist is due to resume training tomorrow and has the best chance of being available.
Complicating matters further is a 'flu virus picked up by Gary Naysmith, although the Blues expect him to recover in time.

Jan 28 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
BLUES' boss Walter Smith described Paul Gascoigne's performance against Leyton Orient on Saturday as 'vintage Gazza' after putting years on his manager a week earlier. But after the home team's 4-1 win Gascoigne said: "It was nice to get a decent performance out of myself, but I won't get too carried away. I don't want to be too big-headed. "We've just been having a laugh about it. I rolled back the years in the last round at Stoke, then put about 15 years back on at Tottenham."
"If I was about 39 at Spurs, I've come back down to 26 today." Gascoigne created three of Everton's four goals against the Third Division minnows and he relished the occasion. "The FA Cup is a really, really special occasion for me," he said. "It has great memories for us and I only hope that carries on.
"Obviously we need the luck of the draw, but Manchester United have been knocked out and if the
tournament carries on like that I don't see any reason why we can't go all the way to the final.
"But I don't want to get carried away. I just think the FA Cup is the next competition down from the World Cup. "The World Cup is the biggest thing, then for me the FA Cup comes next. "You've seen the crowds at some of the grounds today - and ours was a full-house - a sell-out. " I was pleased with my performance. It was a game we had to win, but it wasn't as straightforward as some people might have thought. Some bookies has us at 9-1 on, but Orient came here and battled hard.
"I was pleased about Duncan and Kevin scoring and hopefully that performance will rub off on the Premiership." Everton now go to Aston Villa on Wednesday, and Gazza added: "An FA Cup run can help your League form. It has done so far after we beat Stoke in the Third Round, and hopefully that can carry on. " We have a tough match on Wednesday at Aston Villa, but with John Gregory having resigned it might just work in our favour. Hopefully we can carry on where we left off today."

Reds move for £1m Xavier
Exclusive By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Jan 29 2002
EVERTON star Abel Xavier is on the brink of a sensational £1million switch to Liverpool.
The Portuguese international is today expected to clinch a lucrative Merseyside move exactly one week after being placed on the Goodison Park transfer list. Talks between Xavier's representatives and Anfield officials are at an advanced stage while the player himself underwent a medical at Liverpool's Melwood training complex yesterday. And the shock move could be sealed this afternoon as the Reds bid to bolster their defensive options ahead of Thursday's Champions League transfer deadline. Liverpool spokesman Ian Cotton last night confirmed: "The player has been at Melwood for discussions about a possible move." As in the controversial case of Nick Barmby, the Reds will pay a premium price to bring an Everton player across Stanley Park as the Blues net £1m for a player they would have lost for nothing this summer. Liverpool, who will offer Xavier a four-year deal, will pay a £800,000 fee while Everton will also save £200,000 in wages. The 29-year-old's Goodison departure is no surprise after the club's pay-asyouplay contract offer was rejected but his likely destination will stun fans on both sides of the Mersey divide. Liverpool's Champions League opponents Galatasaray were believed to be leading the chase while Xavier has also been linked with a return home to either Benfica, Sporting Lisbon or Porto. But Gerard Houllier's second raid on Goodison Park in 18 months has pushed Liverpool to the head of the queue for the talented but injury-prone defender. Xavier's ability has never been in doubt but injuries and illness have restricted him to only 45 appearances for the Blues since his £1.6million arrival from PSV in September 1999. Everton had offered Xavier a deal similar to that signed by Paul Gascoigne, which would have placed the former Benfica, Oviedo and PSV Eindhoven star in their highest- earner bracket when he played. Instead, Liverpool have landed a proven international desperate for the chance to secure his World Cup place for a bargain price. Xavier will offer experienced cover in his favoured central defensive role but can also operate at right-back and midfield.

Sky Blue challenge for youngsters
Academy League By Chris Wright, Daily Post
Jan 29 2002
EVERTON'S Academy sides face a Sky Blue challenge over the next few weeks starting at Coventry City. Colin Harvey's under-19s play their re-arranged FA Premier Academy League match at Coventry today (kick-off 1pm) before this weekend's matches with Manchester City, who they also face in the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup in February. It has been a stop-start beginning to the new year with games being postponed due to the weather and Saturday's fixtures at Blackburn Rovers called off due to the Lancashire club's FA Youth Cup commitments. But Harvey's side have a 100 per cent record from their two matches since the break. Academy director Ray Hall said: "The U19s have started off quite well since we came back after Christmas." The Blues will assess the fitness of striker Michael Symes and defender Franklyn Colbeck, who both came off injured against West Brom, but have since returned to training. Meanwhile striker Wayne Rooney and midfielder Scot Brown have been named in the England U17s squad for their friendly with Slovakia at Stevenage Borough's ground on February 13.
* A date has yet to be confirmed for the FA Youth Cup fifth round tie with Manchester City at Goodison Park. It is likely to be played in the week starting Monday, February 18.

Cash incentive swayed Blues' sale
Jan 29 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
ABEL XAVIER'S Anfield switch comes down to cold, hard economics. While Liverpool can afford to offer around £800,000, plus a £1m plus per year salary for a player who will effectively become cover for Henchoz, Hyypia and Carragher, Everton could not. For that kind of cash the Blues want a solid, seasoned international capable of playing 40-matches a season - Abel Xavier without the injury problems if you like. Given Henchoz and Hyypia's enduring appearance record, Liverpool can afford to gamble on a part-time player. If fit, Xavier would almost certainly have played a more prominent role at Everton than he will at Anfield. A steady, reliable centre-half with the versatility to fit in at right-back or all across midfield if necessary, Everton's small squad would have offered him more first team opportunities. But a patchy appearance record of 49 outings in two-and-a-half years meant the Blues could not gamble a big salary on his fitness. Liverpool have no such worries. The switch is unlikely to whip up the same storm which accompanied Nick Barmby's transfer across Stanley Park. Xavier has been open and candid throughout his contract negotiations at Everton - and once he began to stall on signing a deal few Evertonians expected him to remain. His choice of destination will certainly raise eyebrows, but it will not inspire the same feelings of outrage.
A solid professional, his limited availability meant he never assumed the fans favourite status once enjoyed by Barmby. And unfortunately for Evertonians, they are now becoming accustomed to these kind of blows.

Moment of home truths for Blues
Jan 29 2002 By Kevin Ratcliffe
HOME, sweet home? Or domestic upheaval?
They are the two avenues which could open up for Everton in the next few weeks.
After tomorrow night's trip to Aston Villa, The Toffees have three successive games at Goodison Park. If they can use home advantage to their benefit, we could see the Blues set up for a storming run-in to the season. But fail in a couple of them, and all the old fears, worries and speculation of a few weeks ago will return. The bedrock of Everton's solid 1999-2000 season was consistent home form. I think they got as far as mid-March that season before they lost a Premiership game at Goodison Park. This season their home form has been mixed - sensational victories over West Ham and Aston Villa standing alongside the worst reverse of the season by Charlton and dispiriting defeats to Newcastle and Liverpool. The three home fixtures looming could not be more different.
Ipswich are an attractive, creative team who were enjoying an outstanding run of results before Sunday's FA Cup upset. The visit of Arsenal is arguably one of the toughest fixtures of the season.
Then it's first division strugglers Crewe Alexandra in the fifth round of the FA Cup. That ought to be an open, attractive match. Crewe are a passing side - and the only criticism you would level against them is that they possibly overdo it at times, passing the ball along their 18-yard box if there are no options further forward. Everton will have to press them as far up the pitch as possible - which means their strikers working over-time - but if they fail to do that Crewe have the ability to hurt anyone. Everton must cash in on Villa's financial in-fighting
JOHN GREGORY'S fortunes at Aston Villa should place into context Walter Smith's achievements at Everton. Gregory has fought a continued - and often public - battle with his chairman to release funds for squad strengthening. During his time in charge there he spent the equivalent of £18m.
Walter Smith's transfer balance is in the black - and the only time he has come into confrontation with his board is when a centre-forward was sold without his knowledge. As always, finance is the pressing issue in football. John Gregory felt he needed more than a pot in the region of £18m.
It seems his chairman disagreed. Let's hope the the real winners from the whole situation are Everton Football Club. The Blues' recent record at Aston Villa is awful, but they may not have a better opportunity of coming away with a result than tomorrow night. Gregory's departure has left the club in limbo, and there's little doubt some people may be more focused on the identity of the new manager than the visit of Everton. Of course the concern for the Blues is that Stuart Gray and John Deehan will be so keen to stake their own claim for the post they will have Villa well and truly whipped up. Most clubs who have to operate under a caretaker-manager suffer, but that's not always the case. Just look at how Liverpool handled the loss of Gerrard Houllier - Tommo came in and immediately oversaw a run of six wins out of seven Premiership matches. In the end it will all come down to how Everton apply themselves on the night. If they defend as well as they did at Spurs recently - and the strikers are that little bit sharper - there's no reason why the recent mini-revival can't continue.
Even now, Graeme is Goodison's Sharpest
EVERTON officials say they were taken by surprise at the level of interest in Saturday's FA Cup tie.
That surprises me. Arguably the toughest job on Merseyside this week must have been that of the club's Fans' Liaison Officer, fielding calls from the disgruntled thousands locked out of Saturday's Leyton Orient match. Yet I heard Graeme Sharp speaking on the radio more than a week ago, warning of exactly what eventually did happen at Goodison Park. Maybe Graeme deserves a new role at Everton!

Xavier's £1m boost for Smith
Jan 29 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
WALTER SMITH resigned himself to a second high profile defection across Stanley Park in 18 months today, with the news that he can add £800,000 to his own transfer budget. That is the sum Liverpool have agreed to pay to make Abel Xavier an Anfield player. Everton will also save £200,000 of the player's wages between now and the end of the season - adding up to a £1m boost to Smith's transfer fund. The Blues' boss will seek to bring in reinforcements immediately. "The most disappointing thing is losing an experienced player at this time of the season," said Smith, "but that's something clubs are having to face now because of the Bosman ruling. "When we couldn't reach agreement we knew Abel would be leaving before the end of the season, but the compensation we have received from Liverpool is far more than we could have expected to receive at this stage of a player's contract. "Abel is a good player and I have no complaints about his time here, other than that we would have liked to have had him available for a few more matches." The Portuguese international becomes a free agent in May, but reached agreement with Everton last week to sever his ties immediately. That left him free to negotiate with interested parties, and he engaged upon covert talks with Liverpool which remained top secret until yesterday. Xavier joins Nick Barmby at Anfield, and faces a lively start to his Liverpool career. The Anfield derby takes place on February 23, while Liverpool also face Galatasaray - another club who were courting his services - next month.

Xavier will be a bargain buy for Reds
Report By Andy Hunter Daily Post
Jan 30 2002
PHIL THOMPSON believes Abel Xavier is a bargain Liverpool couldn't refuse as he revealed Gerard Houllier played a pivotal role in the Portugal star's shock signing from Everton. The Blues defender is today expected to sign a three- and- a- half- year deal with the Reds after passing a medical at Melwood. And as he prepared to welcome Liverpool's latest capture from Goodison Park, Thompson announced the Reds could discover in the next ten days when their influential manager will return. The recuperating Reds boss is now back in England after taking a complete break on doctors' orders and yesterday his assistant confirmed : " Gerard was instrumental in the Abel deal."
Thompson added: "We should have good news or a definite date on Gerard's return in the next 10 days. We hope to have something concrete then, but of course we have to make sure he regains his full strength before he returns." Liverpool's caretaker boss believes Xavier's £800,000 acquisition will provide quality defensive cover at Anfield and insisted: "He will be a tremendous asset."
Thompson said: "We have been treading on thin ice for a long time now with Stephane and Sami at the back and with the Champions League deadline approaching we had to act. "Markus Babbel may be out until the end of the season so it is an area we have been looking to strengthen for a while.
"With Bosman transfers you win some and you lose some and Everton were in a difficult position with Abel's contract coming to an end." Thompson added: "Everton were ready to listen to offers and it was sensible for us. "He is an established international, a proven Premiership player who can play right along the back four and won't need time to settle into the English game. Plus, of course, he won't have to move! "The money was a big issue as well. "Some of the prices that are being quoted for players are frightening but Abel's availability makes him a good investment, plus he's eligible for the Champions League." Xavier could even make tonight's squad against Leicester but is more likely to figure against Leeds on Sunday as Thompson admitted: "After everything that's happened in the last few days, it would be difficult for him to come in straight away."
And the Reds assistant is confident Xavier will complete his Mersey switch without the bitterness that followed Nick Barmby from Goodison to Anfield. "Abel will have to live with the fact that he is coming from Everton to Liverpool; it's a fact of life," said Thompson. "Nick has done very well under difficult circumstances. He's handled himself very well. "But in the end all the lads want to do is play football. "To get Abel for not a lot of money is a tremendous thing for the club. "Everton fans will no doubt be surprised, but these are the things that happen in this day and age with Bosman."

Blues to increase Villa's turmoil
Report By Andy Hunter Daily Post
Jan 30 2002
STEVE SIMONSEN believes Everton must fill the Aston Villa vacuum and capitalise on John Gregory's shock departure tonight. The Blues aim to extend their four-match unbeaten run when they travel to Villa Park for the first Premiership game since Gregory's resignation last week. Blues boss Walter Smith admits it is impossible to gauge what Villa's reaction will be due to the mysterious circumstances surrounding Gregory's exit. "Normally when a manager leaves a club they have been struggling but John has left them in a good situation," Smith said. "How their team and fans react will add an interesting aspect to the game but the main thing for us is to show the same resilience we did at Tottenham but with a better performance. "We have had a few good wins in the cup but the league can't be forgotten. We picked up a decent away point at Tottenham in what, defensively, was one of our better away performances. If we can achieve that at Villa and produce a better display than at Tottenham we have a good chance." Everton will be without Niclas Alexandersson tonight after the Swedish winger suffered a knee ligament strain in the FA Cup win over Leyton Orient, and have no additions to their travelling squad from their extensive injury list.
But goalkeeper Simonsen is confident Everton can take advantage of their opponents turmoil and give Smith his first ever points at Villa Park. He said: "With John Gregory leaving, it could well rock the boat a bit for them. We would want to take advantage of that. "I think him leaving surprised all of us. It was no secret that he didn't have the best of relationships with Doug Ellis, but it is a shock. I saw them on the TV against Charlton, and they were brilliant. But if there was a good time to play them it is now." Simonsen hopes Everton can build on an unbeaten run that has restored confidence after a five-match losing streak. "The atmosphere is good here now," he added: " We are through to the Cup's fifth round and we've had a couple of good league results - so the aim is to take advantage of the situation and build on our recent good run. "I hope it's the sign of things to come, and we are on the up." The Blues' keeper admits the flourishing form of Paul Gascoigne has further improved Everton's confidence, adding: "His run in the side has done wonders for him. He's so full of confidence and playing very well." Gascoigne himself is looking to take Saturday's man-of-the-match display against Orient into the Premiership. "The Cup games have helped our league form," he said. "We started out with a tough game at Stoke and won that. Then we beat Sunderland and battled really hard to get a point at Spurs. "The Orient win followed, and we are full of confidence. The Cup form has really helped us in the Premiership. Now we go to Aston Villa, where John Gregory has just left. Maybe that will upset their camp a little bit, which could help us."

Blues pleased with 'exceptional' Abel transfer
Report By Andy Hunter Daily Post
Jan 30 2002
WALTER SMITH last night insisted Everton had secured an " exceptional" fee for Abel Xavier as he denied his departure marked a lack of ambition within Goodison Park. The Blues boss admitted he was shocked the Portuguese international had chosen to move to Liverpool just four months short of a free Bosman transfer. But as he welcomed a deal that will bring an extra £1million into his transfer- kitty Smith slammed suggestions Xavier's rejection of an Everton extension indicated a failing on the club's part. "Definitely not. That is not the case at all," said Smith, who is now on the look-out for a replacement for the 29-year-old. "It was the means of payment rather than the a c t u a l payment that was the problem and so the player decided he wanted to move and we had to accept it. "In this case we were not far away with the contractual side of things and came very close to offering him what he wanted." Xavier was placed on the transfer list last week after rejecting the pay-asyouplay contract the club had offered on the basis of the defender's poor appearance record since his £1.6m arrival from PSV Eindhoven in 1999. But despite the surprise of his ultimate destination, Smith believes the Blues have conducted an excellent piece of business.
He added: "The fact that he's gone to Liverpool is a bit of a shock yes, but he turned down the contract option and we faced a situation of getting no fee at the end of the season so we had no option but to let him leave. "We had to try and get a fee for him and it's turned out to be an exceptional one for a player who only has a few months left on his contract and then can walk away for nothing. That was always a danger but it has turned out to be a decent deal for us.
"I think Liverpool will say the same. Both clubs are happy. We certainly are." This is the second time in 18 months Liverpool have snapped up a player nearing the end of his Everton contract and, although this lacks the controversy of Nick Barmby's Merseyside switch, Smith admits such deals are now normal practice in modern-day football. The Blues boss said: "It was the player's not the club's decision in the end and that is a fact these days. It happens. "Players have the freedom of choice and Abel chose to go to Liverpool. "You have to face the situation, accept it and get on with it.
"Some clubs are now forced to sell players when they have two years left on their contracts and nothing should surprise me these days. "He was leaving for nothing at the end of the season. That is part of football now. "But when we got the chance to receive a fee, it softened the blow of him leaving." With Steve Watson and Alessandro Pistone approximately 10 days away from a return, Smith has few defensive options for tonight's Premiership clash at Aston Villa and Saturday's game with Ipswich. "It does leave us short defensively with Watson and Pistone injured but we will have cover when they're back," he said. "But we are casting around at the moment for defensive cover."

It's God 1, FA Cup 0
Report By Andy Hunter Daily Post
Jan 30 2002
DIVINE INTERVENTION has changed the time of Everton's televised FA Cup clash with Crewe next month. The Blues' fifth round tie at Goodison Park was due to kick off at 1pm due to the demands of the BBC but the higher demands of the church have succeeded in pushing the starting time back to 1.30pm. Reverend Harry Ross appealed for the switch to allow worshippers at St Lukes' Church on Goodison Road to leave his regular Sunday service in safety. Last night the BBC accepted the request. "We are delighted to be able to accommodate the needs of the local community in this way and we hope the Reverend enjoys the game as well," said a spokesman. Rev Ross, who is also Everton's club chaplain, explained: "I worship God first, Everton second. "My Sunday morning service was due to start at 10.45am but I've brought it forward to 10.30am. This, coupled with the kick off going back half an hour, will give my congregation plenty of time to leave the church in complete safety and comfort."

Birth of the Blues
Jan 30 2002 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
A BELLEFIELD baby boom has given Blues' boss Walter Smith a fresh headache ahead of tonight's trip to Aston Villa. With seven senior players already missing through injury, Smith left for Birmingham today without two of his still- standing stars - whose wives were rushed to hospital to give birth!
David Weir dashed to hospital this morning to be with his wife as the pair prepared for their second baby. The Blues hope that Weir will be able to follow the squad later today. Idan Tal's wife gave birth last night to a boy and he, too, is expected to follow on. The timing of the news has come at the worst possible time for Smith. With Niclas Alexandersson ruled out, joining Steve Watson, Alessandro Pistone, Mark Pembridge, Tomasz Radzinski and Thomas Gravesen on the injured list, Everton's options have been decimated. Danny Cadamarteri has been added to the squad, but it is the potential loss of Weir which is the most crushing blow. Following Abel Xavier's departure to Liverpool, the Blues have only inexperienced central defensive cover in Peter Clarke - yet to start a first team game. " It's a headache," groaned Smith. "We won't be able to think about the kind of team we send out until we see who gets here." Xavier has completed his £800,000 switch to Liverpool, who will take measures to avoid a repeat of the aggravation which accompanied Nick Barmby's switch across Stanley Park. The defender will not pose holding Liverpool scarves or flags, and all Press statements will be carefully vetted.

Simonsen out to stop hero
Jan 30 2002 Liverpool Echo
STEVE SIMONSEN idolises Peter Schmeichel's goalkeeping, but the Everton stopper has been warned to watch out for his shooting at Villa Park tonight. Simonsen is looking forward to being on the same pitch as the great Dane for the first time when the Blues take on Aston Villa in the Premiership.
But manager Walter Smith is more concerned about avoiding a repeat of Schmeichel's striking heroics after he scored in October's 3-2 defeat at Goodison Park. For Simonsen, facing Schmeichel is a dream come true. He said: "I've always rated him hugely. He's one of the best keepers I have ever seen. "He's been one of the greats for 10 to 15 years now and it will be nice to be up against him. It's something I haven't had the privilege of doing in the past." Smith would settle for Schmeichel staying in his own area and Everton adding to their four-match unbeaten run. He said: "Schmeichel has been a good influence on their team this season, but let's hope he doesn't find himself on the scoresheet again this time, like he did at Goodison Park earlier in the season. "We played pretty well that day and went 3-0 up before they hit back, but we showed great resilience to hang on to a win."
And Smith acknowledged the importance of tonight's clash, saying: "From 10th position to the bottom everyone is scrapping around for points. " Our results have improved and we must keep that going. We need a point at Villa, at least, and then a good performance at home to Ipswich on Saturday. If we do that we will pull ourselves into mid-table." Smith does not see the departure of John Gregory affecting Villa. He said: "Teams are not normally doing well when a manager leaves, but John has left Villa in a good situation, seventh in the league, and I don't go along with the theory they are inconsistent. "If you look at the clubs above them, who have all spent a lot more money than Villa, they have done pretty well. "I would like to have the same problem with consistency that they have had." Villa caretaker boss Stuart Gray is looking for his players to silence the demonstrators wanting to oust chairman Doug Ellis. Shareholders and supporters are planning to stage a march before the game calling for Ellis and the board to quit after Gregory's resignation, and then hold further protests inside the stadium. First team coach Gray, in joint charge along with assistant manager John Deehan, said: "There has been talk of some demonstrations taking place on Wednesday before and during the game. "But the players need to create an atmosphere on the pitch for the crowd to be cheering the team on. "What we don't want are any negatives that are going to help Everton and the only way we can do that is by playing at a high tempo and very positively." Fit-again striker Dion Dublin, a one-time Blues target, is added to the squad but defender Ozalan Alpay is still ruled out with an ankle problem.

Aston Villa 0, Everton 0 (Post)
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Jan 31 2002
ASTON VILLA fans must be furious. After a week of meticulously planning protests against 'Deadly Doug Ellis', it was Everton's true grit demonstration that stole the show at Villa Park. Birmingham's finest have never been the most welcoming of hosts to Walter Smith and last night he arrived in town to find the odds stacked against his men once again. But deprived of nine first team regulars - 10 if you include Anfield new boy Abel Xavier - Everton's makeshift rag-bag of a team produced the ultimate in commitment and passion to leave the moody Midlands with another precious away point and their travelling army ecstatic. And they had every right to be. After holding Tottenham at White Hart Lane with a display of pure defensive resilience, the Blues bettered that performance in the most extreme circumstances to edge ever further away from trouble. The Blues had enough to contend with in an atmosphere that, while hardly poisonous, was more interested in matters off the pitch. But it was testimony to their squad spirit and discipline that a side as disjointed as Smith has ever fielded during his time at Goodison, ignored all calls for sackings, took the game to Villa and departed frustrated that they just failed to pull off an incredible victory. In the stands their fans rejoiced, while their directors were at least given a clear indication of what the responsibilities of power entail by events inside and out Villa Park. Despite a deficit of £18m on transfers John Gregory's departure over the lack of finance provided by Ellis to allow Villa compete in the upper echelons of the Premier League drew the expected response. A mass demonstration before, during and after the game, a pitch invasion plus chants of "We want Ellis out" and "There's only one tight *******" underlined the understandable frustration of a set of big club supporters for whom hanging on to the coat-tails of the elite is not acceptable. Yet as Villa fans voiced their anger at a lack of ambition for a team languishing in seventh in the table it was almost obscene to contrast their plight with a joke of an Everton line-up. A bad joke of course, that once again underlined the pitiful rations both Smith - in profit on transfer deals, and Evertonians - who have produced a higher average home attendance than Aston Villa, have been dealt and have resigned themselves to.
But at least the Blues board sat more comfortably than their Villa counterparts, even if the away fans showed what they'd give for £18m by shouting "There's only one Doug Ellis" in the closing stages.
With Everton Footballers' Wives writing a script that would probably be dismissed as too farfetched for the TV show - not one but two players becoming fathers just before kick-off - Smith's selection problems reached farcical heights. David Weir's absence was bad enough for a manager whose only experienced defensive cover has just gone to Liverpool, but with Paul Gascoigne picking up a knock in training, the Everton midfield had to be seen to be believed and showed exactly why Smith is searching for reinforcements today. Scot Gemmill, the only natural Blues midfielder on the pitch, was joined by Joe-Max Moore and Kevin Campbell in a 5-3-2 formation that also saw Peter Clarke given his full debut. It was not the team-sheet that inspired confidence the Blues would finally earn a point at Villa Park under Smith. But while the home side predictably looked sharper and provided the greater threat, the determination of the visitors was faultless. Inexperienced and ragged they may have been, but the Blues stuck to their unfamiliar tasks to keep Villa comfortably at bay in a first half where, with more composure in front of goal, they could have snatched a scarcely believable lead. Darius Vassell had Villa's two best chances of the opening half, a header just wide and a shot blocked by the industrious Moore, and they both arrived within 16 minutes. Thereafter, Everton battled gamely to worsen the home mood even more and created the much clearer chances.
Danny Cadamarteri, leading the line alongside Duncan Ferguson, should have opened the scoring when Campbell headed the big man's lob across the Villa sixyard box, but he criminally waited for the ball to come to him rather than attack it and was dispossessed at the back post. The recalled forward tried to make amends with a quality deep cross minutes later that saw Ferguson out-leap Olof Mellberg and bring a finger-tip save out of Peter Enckelman, in for the injured Peter Schmeichel.
Villa were dominating the play but creating precious little and they were so nearly punished by the best Everton move of the night a minute before the break. Gemmill's chip from midfield found Ferguson, whose deft flick was read perfectly by Campbell as he raced through but at full stretch his first-time volley flew over the bar from 18 yards. Villa may have had the individual quality, but increasingly they looked a team lacking guidance. Dion Dublin was brought on at half-time to find the cutting edge but the pattern, fortunately for Everton, remained the same with little entertainment on either side. Paul Merson sent a tame sidefoot shot straight at Steve Simonsen to raise more moans from the home fans but put that to rest with a superb 25-yard effort on 57 minutes that beat the Blues' keeper but cannoned off his crossbar. Otherwise the Blues defence was displaying the same solidity that kept Spurs at arm's length on their last away journey, with commitment everywhere, despite two theatrical dives from Mark Delaney earning bookings for Gary Naysmith and Ferguson. Indeed, as the match wore on it was Everton who looked the more likely to pull off a magnificent triumph. Nick Chadwick replaced Cadamarteri to wholescale approval from the travelling fans, who rallied their team to an encouraging finish. Enckelman just beat the substitute striker to Naysmith's punt, while Ferguson cushioned an inviting chance for Campbell on the edge of the area that was pulled wide with six minutes to go. Sixty seconds later Dublin escaped a clear handball decision as he challenged the Scot at a corner and a sign of the mettle Everton's makeshift side had shown arrived when the fourth official signalled three minutes of injury time - it drew roars of approval from the away end. Those could have been wild celebration with seconds to go when Ferguson again climbed highest to knock Alan Stubbs' free-kick into the path of Chadwick, who controlled superbly but volleyed over. Whether that chance would have altered the Everton mood on the final whistle is debatable, as they celebrated a precious point as though a valuable victory. In the circumstances, that is not a million miles away from the truth.
ASTON VILLA: (4-4-2): Enckelman; Delaney, Mellberg, Staunton, Samuel; Hadji, Hendrie (Kachloul 75), Boetang, Merson; Angel, Vassell (Dublin 46). Subs: Myhill, Barry, Stone.
EVERTON: (3-5-2): Simonsen; Clarke, Stubbs, Unsworth; Hibbert (Cleland 25), Moore, Gemmill, Campbell, Naysmith; Cadamarteri (Chadwick 71), Ferguson. Subs: Gerrard, Tal, McLeod.
BOOKINGS: Everton's Clarke, Naysmith and Ferguson (fouls), Villa's Angel (ungentlemanly conduct).
ATT: 32,460.

Blues lead race for Starlet
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Jan 31 2002
WALTER SMITH will today attempt to build on Everton's valuable point at Aston Villa by capturing one of Sweden's hottest young talents. The Blues opened talks with international midfielder Tobias Linderoth over a possible £2.5million move to Goodison Park just 24 hours after Abel Xavier completed his £1m transfer to Liverpool. And they hope to conclude a deal within days for the promising 22-year-old after agreeing a fee with his Norwegian club Stabaek. Linderoth has won 17 caps for Sweden and is expected to play a key role in their World Cup campaign this summer alongside Niclas Alexandersson and possibly Jesper Blomqvist. Newcastle United and Greek giants Panathinaikos have been in the hunt for the dimunitive midfielder, described as combative and a polished passer of the ball, but Smith hopes to have finally ended his exhaustive search for more central strength. Everton are expected to pay an initial £1.5m fee for Linderoth, rising to £2.5m on appearances. Smith said: "We are hopeful that the deal will progress because midfield is an area where we are short of players. "Negotiations are in progress and we hope to complete a deal inside 24 hours." Smith's need for reinforcements was graphically illustrated at Villa Park last night, where Scot Gemmill was the only midfielder on show as the depleted Blues held the managerless Midlanders to a goalless draw. Everton were already without seven first-team players through injury before David Weir and Paul Gascoigne's late withdrawals added to the their problems.
Influential defender Weir was absent after his wife went into labour with their second child, while in-form Gascoigne was rested after picking up a slight calf strain. But afterwards Smith was full of praise for his makeshift side, which saw strikers Kevin Campbell and Joe-Max Moore join Gemmill in midfield, as they restricted Villa to one Paul Merson chance that struck the bar and could have won the game themselves late on. The Everton boss, who saw Tony Hibbert hobble off with an ankle injury after 25 minutes, said: "It was very pleasing to get a point here, but on reflection we had by far the better opportunites to take three points so it is a bit frustrating in that respect.
"But overall I'm really pleased for the players that we got something from the game given the amount we had out. "They gave a very determined display and I'm delighted for them."
Everton had a strong penalty appeal turned down in the closing minutes when Dion Dublin appeared to handle in the area. And Smith added: "It did look like a penalty but it wasn't very clear. There was a fair shout from the fans behind the goal and us on the bench, but unfortunately the referee didn't agree." Villa fans spent the entire game demanding the resignation of chairman Doug Ellis following manager John Gregory's departure last week, with one supporter staging a pitch invasion during the game. But Smith said: "I don't think that played a part in the game for either side. It wasn't a great demonstration and the players didn't get caught up in it."

Aston Villa 0, Everton 0 (Echo)
By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
Jan 31 2002
DON'T whisper this in earshot of the Goodison boardroom, but last night's point was not the first time Everton have plundered an unlikely result . . . with their only fit players left standing.
Three times now in the past 14 months Everton's absurdly under-invested squad has found itself scratching for 11 fit players . . . and each time they've come up with a result. Last season they drew on an immense siege mentality to produce two hugely deserved victories over Arsenal and Coventry.
Last night they travelled to Villa Park and dug out another morale boosting point in the unlikeliest of circumstances. Stripped of seven senior players through injury, David Weir was ruled out when Mrs Weir went into labour. If you think Footballers Wives is far-fetched, you should hazard a glance at Goodison now and again. Scot Gemmill was left as the Blues' only recognised midfielder on the pitch. Kevin Campbell tried uncomfortably to slot into a left midfield berth. Peter Clarke was handed a full debut at the back, transferlisted Danny Cadamarteri only his second start of the season up front - and international striker Joe-Max Moore once again asked to do the fetching and carrying in midfield. But an immense performance of character and courage saw them limit seventh-placed Villa to just one Paul Merson shot which hit the crossbar, and conjure up the best openings of the game themselves. They were helped by a club more focussed on off-field protests, but don't let that detract from a fine result. There was revolution in the air at Villa Park last night, but not from the source it might have come. The demonstrations, one-man pitch invasion and 'Sack the Board' chants came from the fans whose manager had invested £18m, then quit. Aston Villa's vociferous supporters should take a lesson in self-control from their Everton counterparts. They've watched their manager operate in the black, ignore pressure for his removal --and still turn up in their thousands to back their club. If the point gleaned from from a goalless draw was the most impressive statistic of last night's Premiership showdown, the packed visitors section at the Witton Lane End, which spilled over into the South Stand, was only marginally less so. Everton's immensely loyal support deserves more than to witness a side which contained only one natural midfielder - a £200,000 signing from Nottingham Forest. At least the cavalry is coming in the shape of Swede Tobias Linderoth. Never have the Blues needed reinforcements more badly. The sound of jaws hitting the floor was the loudest noise in the Villa Park press room when Everton's team- sheet was presented. Four forwards and one recognised midfielder filled their side, but in the circumstances there was little else Walter Smith could have done. And even then he had to watch Tony Hibbert limp off after 24 minutes to be replaced by Alec Cleland - a man who hasn't been in a losing Everton side for 18 months - although he has only been in three in that time. Vassell and Angel against a rejigged and inexperienced Everton rearguard should have been an unfair fight, but the Blues created the best chances. Danny Cadamarteri turned and crossed well for Ferguson to head powerfully at Enckelman, who saved well, then Campbell crashed a shot on the run only a foot over the Villa crossbar. They were the only incidents of note in a tedious first half punctuated only by 'Ellis Out' cries from the Holte End. Villa were improved after the interval, but Merson's rightfoot shot which hit the crossbar was a solitary threat. And when Everton replaced Cadamarteri - to loud cheers from the visitors' section - they looked even more threatening. Nick Chadwick may have a few rough edges, but his willingness, directness and eagerness to chase down everything caused problems for Villa's tiring defence. He was the intended target when Ferguson won another head on. The ball didn't quite reach him, but Campbell darted in to shoot narrowly wide. Then in injury time another Ferguson flick-on was controlled tidily by Chadwick on his thigh, before volleying a foot over the bar. That was on his left foot. On the other side of the pitch he might have managed a shot on target, but Chadwick's attitude ensured his name was chanted loudly by the Blues' fans for the first time. Chances are it won't be the last. One positive from Everton's threadbare squad syndrome, is that youngsters are gaining Premiership experience earlier than they might have done. But this isn't an XI you'd like to see play many more games for the Blues. At least numbers are beginning to filter in. They've never been needed so badly.
ASTON VILLA (3-5-2): Enckelman, Delaney, Staunton, Mellberg, Hadji, Boateng, Hendrie (Kachloul 75 mins), Merson, Samuel, Vassell (Dublin 45 mins), Angel. Unused subs: Myhill, Barry, Stone.
EVERTON (4-4-2): Simonsen, Clarke, Stubbs, Unsworth, Naysmith, Hibbert (Cleland 24 mins), Moore, Gemmill, Campbell, Ferguson, Cadamarteri (Chadwick 70 mins). Unused subs: Gerrard, Tal, McLeod.
Referee: Chris Foy.
Bookings: Clarke (44 mins) foul, Angel (56 mins) diving, Naysmith (61 mins) foul, Ferguson (77 mins) foul.
Attendance: 32,460.

Gazza traps new boy
Jan 31 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON target Tobias Linderoth swapped shirts with Paul Gascoigne today, even before he officially became a Goodison player. The Swedish midfielder was given a traditionally warm Bellefield welcome this morning, when his clothes went missing within minutes of him arriving for a medical. They turned up soon after, as Gascoigne and Mark Pembridge paraded around the training ground wearing them! The Blues hope to complete a £2.5m transfer later today. "He fills a position we have been looking for," said Smith. "He is a defensive midfield player who is good on the ball and has a really good appetite for the game, which is important. "He is also only 22, and we have been looking to bring younger players into the squad, which is also important. "He hasn't played since the Norwegian season finished at the end of November, but he has been in pre-season training and we hope to involve him in some capacity on Saturday." Everton have agreed a fee with Norwegian club Stabaek, for a player who has been capped 16 times by Sweden. Greek side Panathinaikos had offered £2m for the highly rated youngster, but Everton matched that sum - plus top ups for appearances taking the eventual fee to £2.5m. The Blues' current injury crisis means he could be pitched into action immediately. Tomasz Radzinski and Jesper Blomqvist are both available again for Saturday's visit of in-form Ipswich. Tony Hibbert is on crutches after limping out of last night's draw at Aston Villa, but David Weir is available again after becoming a father for the second time last night. Paul Gascoigne is also expected to return after missing the Villa Park clash with a slight calf strain.

Post Soapbox
Jan 31 2002 icLiverpool & Daily Post
A treat for Reds
IF Xavier wants to warm the Reds' bench (or treatment table), who are we to argue?
A McArdle (via e-mail)
Cup run needed
XAVIER is not too much of a loss, and at least we got something for him. Praying for a Cup success that could get us desperately-needed cash and a European spot, which could help get us out of this financial mess.
A Thomas (via e-mail)
No staying power
IN TWO snap polls, the majority of Everton fans agree it was right to sell Xavier and most of the Liverpool fans said it was wrong to buy him. The longest period he's stayed at a club is Everton, so let's see how long the other lot put up with him (or vice versa!)
John Schrempft (via e-mail)
Money to burn
ABEL'S move cannot be likened to the Barmby switch. Barmby's career was resurrected by Everton and even Bill Kenwright. He was offered a lucrative deal to stay and then drops a bombshell on the club that supported him in every way by moving to Anfield. Xavier has been much more subtle. He has supported Walter and is leaving in a professional manner saying all the right things. I wish him well. I think that if they want to pay him £30,000 a week for a four year contract they obviously have funds to burn.
A Timothy (via e-mail)
Wanted to leave
I THINK the Xavier deal is a good piece of business. Okay we were cheesed off when Barmby went, but is anyone really bothered about a player who's been wanting to leave since last World Cup? He's missed more games than he's played for us.
A Sloan (via e-mail)
Splash cash now
I HAVE just read that the funds which were to be made available to Walter Smith will not now be available until mid February. Without serious money sooner rather than later, we will continue to struggle Coventry-like, although we may have a nice new stadium in which 20,000 fans can rattle around!
Jeff Thompson, Frodsham
Lay off Walter
I'M FED up with people slagging off Walter Smith. Admittedly his tactics have sometimes been on the bad side of baffling (Rhino in midfield and Watson up front), but he has bought some very good players during his time (Materazzi is now unbelievably playing for Italy, Dacourt at Leeds) and he has not made anyone stay at Everton who doesn't want to play for us. I say bring on the FA Cup, Gazza for England and get your sun-tan lotion ready for the UEFA Cup next year!
Danny Collins, Durham



January 2002