Everton Independent Research Data


Goodison cheaper than Anfield
Jul 1 2003 By Scott Mcleod Football Correspondent
EVERTON is the cheapest destination for football fans in the Premiership. The Blues have come out on top in a poll by the ECHO to compare season ticket prices in the English top flight. The average cost of a standard adult season ticket at Goodison is just £364.50 a season. Charlton, Aston Villa and Bolton are the only clubs that come close to matching Everton for value for money. But Liverpool fans should not be disappointed. The Reds come out ninth in our table of season ticket prices, despite the Anfield club boasting a waiting list in excess of 20,000 for new season tickets. Liverpool are cheaper than most of their rivals in the top six, with the average price of season tickets coming in at £420.

Timing wrong for Jeffers
Jul 1 2003 By Kevin Ratcliffe
FRANCIS JEFFERS claims he would love to return to Everton. But I'm not sure that such a move would be all that beneficial for the Blues. Don't get me wrong, Jeffers is a great player - and the prospect of him forming a future international strike-force with Wayne Rooney is a mouth-watering one. But Everton's priorities at the moment lie in other areas, and the last thing they need at the moment is to take a striker with a questionable fitness record. When Jeffers left Everton, it was because he wanted parity with some of the club's highest earners - and Everton just can't afford to take a chance on another highly paid striker who may spend large chunks of the season on the injured list. In an ideal world people like Franny Jeffers are the type of players Everton maybe should be looking at. But this time the timing is not quite right. What the story does do, though, is give further credence to the old saying . . . Once an Evertonian, Always an Evertonian!

The cost of being an Everton fan
Jul 1 2003 By Scott Mcleod Looks
What does it cost to be a football fan nowadays?
ECHO Football Correspondent SCOTT McLEOD looks at the price of Premiership season tickets and asks if fans in this city get a good deal.
FOOTBALL has never been more popular.
Far from diluting the thirst for live football among the English public, the onset of satellite TV's wall-to-wall coverage of the Premiership a decade ago has led to an explosion in demand. For the country's top clubs, it has proved a win-win situation. Millions of pounds are generated from the contract with Sky Sports and revenue from gate receipts has increased substantially. In 1993 the average gate at Anfield was 37,009. At Goodison it was just 19,443. Last season an average of 38,480 fans packed into Goodison, almost doubling the total from 10 years ago. At Anfield the figure rose to 43,243. So it is no surprise that both clubs are talking about the possibility of moving to new, grander stadiums. They want to entice even more fans to further bolster the coffers.
There is a waiting list for season tickets at Anfield of more than 20,000 fans, while the whiff of success provided by Everton's resurgence under David Moyes has led to a cap on the number of season tickets sold. As a result, there is now a waiting list at Everton too. So while dark clouds may be gathering elsewhere in football, the Premiership goose continues to produce golden eggs.
But maintaining that is a tough balancing act. Season ticket prices regularly rise at a rate above inflation but the fans keep turning up in their thousands. And on Merseyside it is easy to see why.
Compared to the rest of the Premiership, Merseyside's fans seem to be getting a fair deal.
In a survey carried out by the ECHO, we can reveal that Everton are the cheapest club in the top flight for season tickets, offering an average price of £346.50. Not even Premiership newcomers Portsmouth, Wolves and Leicester can compete with a pricing policy aimed at providing value for money. On the other side of Stanley Park at Liverpool, an average price of £470 is still only just above the Premiership average. Season tickets in the capital cost a small fortune. Arsenal's is the most expensive at an astonishing £1,650, though that does include the right to attend a number of Champions League or FA Cup games. And with managers and chairmen constantly seeking to improve their squads with multi-million pound transfers, it is hard to avoid passing on those extra costs to the punters. Everton chief executive Michael Dunford is proud that the Blues boast the best prices in the top flight. But he admits it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep prices down, while other clubs are hiking them up. He told the ECHO: "The Board have always tried to be very sensible in their pricing structure, but it is becoming increasingly difficult for clubs who have high aspirations to keep admission prices at such a level. "We had an average of 38,480 last season, and while there was undoubtedly a huge improvement on the pitch, we believe our pricing structure was also a contributory factor. "When we set season ticket prices we do compare our prices to those of other clubs, although we usually discount the London clubs. "If we were to bring our prices up in line with many other clubs, obviously that would necessitate a huge hike in price, but the Board has chosen to pursue a more sensible pricing structure to reward the loyalty of our supporters. "We would hope to maintain that position in the future. "We also have a large percentage of junior season ticket holders, which augurs well for the future." It is an approach which is welcomed by the fans.
But Angela Dillon, an Everton season ticket holder from Litherland and a member of the ECHO's fans jury, concedes Evertonians would willingly pay more for their tickets if it meant improving the club's chances of landing top players. "We do get a very good deal," she conceded. "When you go to away games and see some of the ticket prices at other clubs you do wonder what they must be paying for a season ticket. "I couldn't believe it when we went to Birmingham last year and we had to pay £30. They were obviously making hay while the sun shines because they are in the Premiership now. "Evertonians are getting a bargain, especially when we have a season like the one we have just had. "But I am sure most fans wouldn't mind paying a bit more if it meant more money for the manager. "It is not cheap to be a football fan but it is something you have to do. It is a love affair." And that love affair shows no sign of fading. Thankfully here on Merseyside, the price of love remains reasonable. 2003/04 Adult season ticket prices at Goodison and Anfield
* Main Stand: £484 (£427 before June 21)
* Upper Bullens: £450 (£390 before June 21)
* Park Stand: £433 (£373 before June 21)
* Top Balcony, Family Enclosure, Upper Gwladys, Lower Bullens, Paddock: £416 (£357 before June 21)
* Lower Gwladys: £356 (£302 before June 21)
* Main Stand, Paddock and Centenary: £540 (£495 before June 18)
* Anfield Road Stand: £520 (£475 before June 18)
* Kop Grandstand: £490 (£445 before June 18)
* Anfield Road, adult/child offer: £780 (£712.50 before June 18)
* Kop Grandstand, adult/child offer: £735 (£667.50 after June 18)

Blues leave Li Tie option
Jul 1 2003 By David Prentice, Everton Correspondent
EVERTON have allowed their option to sign Li Tie to expire - as they chase other midfield targets.
But the Blues still hope to eventually snap up the Chinese midfielder permanently. The Blues had until yesterday to exercise their option to sign Li Tie on a long term deal for £1m. But with David Moyes trying to attract another, high quality midfield star, he does not want to commit £1m he may need for another target. "The option on Li Tie expired yesterday," confirmed chief executive Michael Dunford, "which means other clubs are free to show interest in him. But our negotiations will continue with the player and his club, and we believe Li Tie still remains keen to come to Everton. The final decision will rest with David Moyes." Leeds are reported to be showing interest in the Chinese midfielder, while a leading Chinese club has already confirmed their willingness to meet Liaoning Bird's £1m valuation. Under the terms of Tie's contract, his club could eventually order the player to sign for a club other than Everton - but for now they are content to sit tight.
The Blues are also negotiating with Scottish Premier Division club Livingston for the transfer of 16- year- old left- back Patrick Boyle. If talks are successful, the youngster would join Everton's youth academy for a nominal compensation fee. The Blues, meanwhile, have confirmed that their reserve matches next season will be played at Southport FC's Haig Avenue ground. Th e Blues were unhappy with the state of the Halton Stadium pitch last term. "We are delighted that we have reached agreement with Southport," said Mr Dunford.

Amokachi's national role looks to be short-lived
Jul 1 2003 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
DANIEL AMOKACHI'S flirtation with football management looks destined to be short-lived. The former Everton striker was appointed under-23 coach of the Nigerian national team last month - but his enthusiasm for the post appears to quickly waning. Last weekend Amokachi missed his second successive match. Having refused to join the team at a Lagos training camp ahead of a scheduled friendly with Egypt, Amokachi failed to show at the airport at the weekend for an Olympic qualifier in Namibia. The Secretary General of the Nigerian FA, Taiwo Ogunjobi, was reported to be "infuriated" by Amokachi's no-show. Amokachi, who was listed as one of eight officials to accompany the team to Namibia, could not be reached on his mobile despite deperate efforts to locate him. "Leave him alone if he does not want to go!" Ogunjobi is reported to have shouted. "That's his problem, but he assured me that he would be here at the airport." Odds on Amokachi being named a future Everton manager have lengthened to 100-1.

Tomasz top man for fans
Jul 1 2003 Report by Paul Walker, Dialy Post
EVERTON fans have spurned Wayne Rooney and voted Tomasz Radzinski as their player of last season - and that will delight manager David Moyes in his continued bid to keep the spotlight away from the England star. The voting by more than 30,000 Everton fans was organised by Everton's website, and amazingly the club's fans polled more than 14,000 votes for striker Radzinski and less than 3,000 for Rooney. Radzinski finished top scorer in Everton's best season in years when they narrowly missed European qualification and the former Anderlecht striker picked up 51 per cent of the total vote. The Canadian international missed the last eight games of the season with injury but still far outstripped Rooney, who came second in the voting. And that pleased Everton legend Graeme Sharp, who understands and supports Moyes' attempts to protect Rooney, who will get an extra week off on holiday in Mexico when the rest of the squad start pre-season training on Thursday. Sharp said: "Wayne grabbed all the headlines, but the fans are right to appreciate what Tomasz did for the club last season. "Wayne came into the side later in the season and did well, but Tomasz has been recognised for his massive contribution.

Blues on Li Tie alert
Jul 1 2003 Report by Ian Doyle, Daily Post Staff
LEEDS UNITED are hoping to take advantage of Everton's indecision and snap up Li Tie. The Chinese international became a free agent last night when his one-year loan move to Goodison Park expired.
The Blues have so far been unable to reach an agreement to sign the 25-year-old on a permanent deal. With the player now having returned to Liaoning Badao in his homeland, other potential suitors can now make a move. Leeds have moved into pole position in the clamour to sign Li Tie, who impressed many - including Elland Road boss Peter Reid - with his performances in the Premiership with Everton last season. Manchester City, Newcastle United and Southampton are also reportedly interested in the midfielder, whom Liaoning Badao value in excess of £1million. That price tag has prevented Everton from already signing up Li Tie, with Blues boss David Moyes unwilling to go past £750,000. Moyes is working within tight financial constraints this summer with a transfer kitty of around £5m, and was keen on negotiating another year's loan with Liaoning Badao. But the Chinese club have no interest in another temporary move, insisting they will cash in on their most prized asset and have refused to budge on the asking price. Li Tie arrived at Everton last summer as part of the club's sponsorship deal with Kejian, and made 33 appearances during the season. Meanwhile, Everton have confirmed they will play next season's home reserve fixtures at Southport's Haig Avenue instead of Widnes' Halton Stadium. Chief executive Michael Dunford said: "We are delighted that we have reached agreement with Southport. We were becoming increasing dissatisfied with the pitch at Widnes and had to seek alternative arrangements."

Hall fits the bill for Moyes
Richard Williamson, Daily Post
Jul 2 2003
EVERTON are eyeing up a move for Oldham's highly-promising young defender Fitz Hall. The 22-year-old has impressed for the second division club after joining from non-League Chesham United in March, 2002. He fits the bill for David Moyes, who is keen to add quality young players to his squad. But the sticking point to any deal may be Oldham's insistence that they want £500,000 for the centre-back. If Hall, who scored five times last season, were to arrive it would leave a question mark over the future of Peter Clarke. The England under-21 international, who was loaned out to Steve McMahon's Blackpool last year, has been linked with a permanent move to Bloomfield Road while Northampton Town have also expressed an interest in doing business for the 21-year-old defender, who made his Premiership debut in January 2001 at Coventry. Meanwhile Livingstone chief Jim Leishman says Everton are interested in 16-year-old left-back Patrick Boyle. "I spoke to David Moyes about Patrick Boyle last season," said Leishman. "He's been down there to look around and was impressed with what he saw. "I understand that Everton are one of the clubs that are very keen to take him on. "I think he has the potential and talent to do very well, and obviously under the Bosman rules we would receive compensation if he leaves the club." Everton have not given up hope of signing Li Tie, even though they have failed to exercise their option on the player whose loan deal ran out on Monday night. Chief executive Michael Dunford: "Other clubs are free to show interest in him, but our negotiations will continue with the player and his club and we believe Li Tie still remains keen to come to Everton. The final decision will rest with David Moyes."
Everton's clash at Middlesbrough has been moved to accommodate Premiership Plus. The game at the Riverside Stadium will now be played on Sunday, September 21 (2 pm). Everton will be televised four times before Christmas with the Goodison derby moved to 12.30pm on Saturday, August 30. The home clash with Southampton is now on Sunday, October 19 (4.05pm) while the trip to Blackburn Rovers has been switched to Monday, November 10 (8pm).

Campbell aims high
Richard Williamson, Daily Post
Jul 2 2003
KEVIN CAMPBELL has dismissed all thoughts of early retirement to underline his determination to lead the line for Everton. The countdown to the new season begins in earnest tomorrow when the players return for training. David Moyes will want to have his squad in perfect shape once more to prove that last year's dramatic improvement that brought them so close to winning a place in Europe was no one-off. And Campbell believes he still has much to offer to the great Goodison revival - and is prepared to work hard to extend his playing days. The 33-year-old hit the target ten times last year, just one goal less than leading scorer Tomasz Radzinksi. Everton's players have been undergoing a series of physical tests ahead of their return at the University of Liverpool this week and Campbell feels they have a vital role to play. "Doing things like this can help prolong your career, which is what I want to do," said Campbell. "Up until recently, players would be retiring at 33, 34 and 35. "Now you see players going on until they approach their forties playing at a decent level. Hopefully, that will apply to me as well. Whatever I have to do to maintain my fitness, I will do.
"Someone said that they'd heard I was contemplating early retirement, but there's no way that I'm going to do that! "I've got two years left on my contract and I'm trying to be as fit as I can. I will try and play my part in the team, but it's a squad game now. "Everybody has to be at peak fitness, and that is what we're all trying to achieve." Campbell believes the medical checks have taken on greater significance following the tragic death of Marc-Vivien Foe. The Blues striker shared the shock of the footballing world after the 28-year-old's fatal collapse during Cameroon's Confederations Cup game with Colombia last week. "It is hugely important to carry out these tests, especially in the wake of the Marc-Vivien Foe tragedy," Campbell added. The tests form part of a detailed build-up to the Premiership kick-off on August 16 and follow a similar path to last year when Moyes took the Blues to a top hospital in France. "I've always been receptive to being checked out at the start of the season," Campbell told the club's website as he underwent tests at the University of Liverpool's newly-opened School for Sport and Exercise. "You just never know what could be happening to your body or if there are any problems with yourself. "I think it's vital that everybody gets checked and receives a clean bill of health before the season starts because once we report back to training, our sessions are extremely vigorous, very tiring - and if your body can't take it, it may show up serious flaws. "We had these checks last season and they helped enormously, because it gives an indication of the intensity of the level you should be training at. "Sometimes in the past, players couldn't do the really intensive stuff, but that didn't necessarily get them fit. "What got them fit was training in the correct manner and in the area they most needed. Last season, everyone could see the benefit of these checks once the season began." Everton's sports scientist, John Murtough, explained: "The players have been put through basic physiological tests and the initial results will provide us with basic indications of their overall fitness-levels. "The data already collected shows the high professional standards of all the players at the club and it also indicates how well they have been looking after themselves during the close season. "The results will tell us what they need to work on once the real business of pre-season starts." Seven players will be missing tomorrow, having been given extra time off after playing in internationals after the league season was over.
Joseph Yobo, Thomas Gravesen, Wayne Rooney, Gary Naysmith, Mark Pembridge, Lee Carsley and Sean O'Hanlon will all be absent, along with Peter Clarke who was on England under-21 duty.
Meanwhile Leeds are being linked with a double swoop on the Far East with Japan's Hidetoshi Nakata joining Li Tie on their shopping list.

Unsung hero was ditched for Dixie
Jul 2 2003 Golden boots of Goodison, Liverpool Echo
WILF CHADWICK was English football's top scorer in 1923-24, but his name rarely figures even in Everton record books. The reasons are two-fold. Wilf suffered unfairly and unfavourably from comparisons with another Chadwick who had graced Goodison some 20 years earlier - the legendary Edgar Chadwick - and the man he made way for at Goodison Park became the greatest of all time, William Ralph Dean. But Wilf Chadwick's contribution to Everton's inter- war record was significant.
His 55 Everton goals came from just 109 appearances - an impressive ratio of a goal every other game. And in 1923-24 his 28-goal tally was unmatched by any other English striker. But that sparkling season was a solitary summit Chadwick found impossible to emulate. Signed from local junior football, he made his Blues' debut on March 4, 1922 - having boasted an average of two goals a game in reserve teamfootball. It was a reputation he maintained with both goals on his debut in a 2-0 defeat of Bradford City. Monday's ECHO carried the headline: "Chad-wick's Usual" with the following words: "Two goals, one with head and one with foot, helped Everton's cause and added to Bradford's discomfiture. Chadwick was the scorer in each instance. Thus the ex-Rossendale player's record of two goals per match is unimpaired." The report added later: "Everton have found another good centre-forward in Chadwick, who can justly be called an opportunist, but he does not finish at that, for his passes to the wings were always accurate and well conceived, while he placed himself well when there was a likelihood of a centre coming his way." Opinions were divided on Chadwick's contribution, though. The ECHO's sister paper, The Daily Post, wasn't quite so complimentary.
"Chadwick showed promise in the centre position though he is distinctly on the slow side," wrote their correspondent. "He scored twice but otherwise did little of note." That seemed an overly harsh assessment of a player who scored again the following week to finish his first season in senior football with three goals in four appearances. The following season confirmed his promise as an opportunistic goal-getter. He added a further 13 goals in 27 appearances, but usually found himself overshadowed in a forward line which contained the brilliant Bobby Irvine, the flamboyant Jack Cock and the dazzling wing twins Sam Chedgzoy and Alec Troup. Unfazed, Chadwick continued to amass a healthy total of goals and in 1923-24, when Everton outscored eventual champions Huddersfield and collected more league points than any other campaign previously, he was the division's top scorer.
He registered 28 league goals, and another couple in the FA Cup, as Everton finished a respectable seventh.
But it was the calm before the storm.
In 1924-25 - despite pre-season preparations which included games in Barcelona (one won 2-1, one lost 2-1) - the Blues slumped to the bottom of table and narrowly escaped relegation. Chadwick was injured for much of the second half of the campaign and scored only six goals. It was a dramatic fall from grace after his previous season's achievements - and 1925-26 was even worse. Chadwick played alongside a young, emerging centre forward called Dixie Dean just once at the end of 1924-25. Dean scored, Chadwick didn't - and Wilf made just two more appearances the following campaign. Dean scored four in those two games and the writing was on the wall. Wilf Chadwick was transferred to Leeds United in November 1925, and his accomplishments quickly became a faded footnote in Goodison folklore. For one superb season, though, he was the best striker in English football - a player for whom the term 'un-sung hero' might have been especially coined.

Summer medicals for Blues
Jul 2 2003 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
EVERTON'S players return to pre-season training tomorrow - after completing a series of intensive medical checks today. And striker Kevin Campbell believes the regular examinations are crucial in light of the recent tragic death of Marc-Vivien Foe. The 28-year-old Cameroon international collapsed and died during a Confederations Cup game with Colombia last Thursday. Everton take serious steps to ensure that the risk of such a tragedy is minimized by screening all their players at the bning of every season. "It is hugely important to carry out these tests especially in the wake of the Marc-Vivien Foe tragedy and obviously everyone at Everton sends their sympathies to his family and friends," Campbell said. Las t year, David Moyes took his charges to a top hospital in Lyon, France, but this time they remained closer to home, at Liver-pool University's School for Sport and Exercise Sciences. "I've always been receptive to being checked out at the start of the season," explained Campbell. "You just never know what could be happening to your body or if there are any problems with yourself. I think it's vital that everybody gets checked and receives a clean bill of health before the season starts because our sessions are extremely vigorous, very tiring. "We had these checks last season and they helped enormously, because it gives an indication of the intensity of the level you should be training at. "Sometimes in the past, players couldn't do the really intensive stuff, but that didn't necessarily get them fit. What got them fit was training in the correct manner and in the area they most needed. Last season, everyone could see the benefit of these checks once the season began." Everton's sports scientist, John Murtough, was on hand to oversee the tests and he explained: "The players have been put through basic physiological tests and the initial results will provide us with basic indications of their overall fitness-levels. "The data already collected shows the high professional standards of all the players here at the club and it also indicates how well they have been looking after them-selves during the close season. "As well as that, the results will tell us exactly where the play-ers are at in terms of fitness and what they need to work on once the real business of pre-season starts." Campbell hopes that tests like these can help him prolong his playing career. "You see players going on until they approach their forties playing at a decent level now," he said. "Hopefully, that will apply to me as well."

Why I had to return - Nyarko
Jul 3 2003 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
ALEX NYARKO will go solo in a bid to resurrect his Everton career, blaming many of the problems of his previous stay on bad advice. The Ghanaian international famously walked out on the Blues two years ago, after being confronted on the Highbury pitch by a fan who accused him of lacking passion.
But today Nyarko claimed his problems at Everton began much earlier. His initial form following a £4.5m switch from Lens was highly promising. Four goals in four pre-season friendlies - one an audacious back-heel against Manchester City - were followed by a series of influential displays in the Premiership and another spectacular goal at Spurs. An ill-advised switch to centre-half in a home match against Ipswich was the start of a down-turn in form on the pitch, but off it Nyarko admitted he had worse problems. "Something was very bad," he explained, "a problem with my agent and my contract and that unsettled me. "Bad things happened at the time I moved from Lens to Everton. I will not work with an agent now. I do not need anybody. I look after myself." Nyarko flew back into England from his Swiss home last night, ready to restart pre-season training at Bellefield today. But he made no promises about his long termfuture. "I have two years left on my con-tract and I don't know what will happen in that time," he said. "I will just take every day as it happens.
"I didn't really expect to come back here. Not really. But, as time went on, I felt strange about the situation, like I had an unfinished mission at Everton. "When I left, life became more and more difficult for me. I spent four or five months in Ghana, completely away from football, then spent time with my family in Switzerland - my wife is Swiss - before I started again at Monaco. "They were supposed to offer me a contract, but I finished after one year. Then Paris St Germain wanted me for one year. "I tried to enjoy my football in Paris, but with no permanent decision about my future it was difficult. But it is in the past. What will be will be, and God will decide my future. "I had offers in the summer from Dubai and Qatar, but I thought then, no, I must go back to Everton." Nyarko admitted he was deeply shaken by the tragic news of Marc-Vivien Foe's death last week, and that galvanised his resolve to return to Goodison. "I am happy to be back," he said. "I was very bad last week when the tragedy happened in Lyon with Marc- Vivien Foe. But when I heard that I thought I must go back to Everton." Walter Smith was manager during Nyarko's ill-fated one year spell at Everton, but he has met David Moyes before. "I met him after I had spent one year at Monaco and he wanted me to come back. I hope things go well for Everton and for me."

Why I had to return - NyarkoJul 3 2003
By David Prentice Everton Correspondent, Liverpool Echo
ALEX NYARKO will go solo in a bid to resurrect his Everton career, blaming many of the problems of his previous stay on bad advice. The Ghanaian international famously walked out on the Blues two years ago, after being confronted on the Highbury pitch by a fan who accused him of lacking passion.
But today Nyarko claimed his problems at Everton began much earlier. His initial form following a £4.5m switch from Lens was highly promising. Four goals in four pre-season friendlies - one an audacious back-heel against Manchester City - were followed by a series of influential displays in the Premiership and another spectacular goal at Spurs. An ill-advised switch to centre-half in a home match against Ipswich was the start of a down-turn in form on the pitch, but off it Nyarko admitted he had worse problems. "Something was very bad," he explained, "a problem with my agent and my contract and that unsettled me. "Bad things happened at the time I moved from Lens to Everton. I will not work with an agent now. I do not need anybody. I look after myself." Nyarko flew back into England from his Swiss home last night, ready to restart pre-season training at Bellefield today. But he made no promises about his long termfuture. "I have two years left on my con-tract and I don't know what will happen in that time," he said. "I will just take every day as it happens.
"I didn't really expect to come back here. Not really. But, as time went on, I felt strange about the situation, like I had an unfinished mission at Everton. "When I left, life became more and more difficult for me. I spent four or five months in Ghana, completely away from football, then spent time with my family in Switzerland - my wife is Swiss - before I started again at Monaco. "They were supposed to offer me a contract, but I finished after one year. Then Paris St Germain wanted me for one year. "I tried to enjoy my football in Paris, but with no permanent decision about my future it was difficult. But it is in the past. What will be will be, and God will decide my future. "I had offers in the summer from Dubai and Qatar, but I thought then, no, I must go back to Everton." Nyarko admitted he was deeply shaken by the tragic news of Marc-Vivien Foe's death last week, and that galvanised his resolve to return to Goodison. "I am happy to be back," he said. "I was very bad last week when the tragedy happened in Lyon with Marc- Vivien Foe. But when I heard that I thought I must go back to Everton." Walter Smith was manager during Nyarko's ill-fated one year spell at Everton, but he has met David Moyes before. "I met him after I had spent one year at Monaco and he wanted me to come back. I hope things go well for Everton and for me."

Alex: I want to meet fan
Jul 3 2003 Liverpool Echo
ALEX NYARKO wants to meet the fan who famously confronted him at Highbury over two years ago.
Nyarko vowed never to play for Everton again after supporter Stephen Price marched up to him on the pitch during the April 2001 meet-ing with Arsenal and offered to trade shirts in an angry and frustrated protest. The gesture forced the former Lens midfielder to immediately quit the Blues
But Nyarko said today: "I came back and was telling Michael Dunford that I even wanted to see the guy. I wanted to talk and if I had done something wrong I wanted to apologise. "We are only human and I do not want to go to my grave before I say I'm sorry. I am here today and maybe tomorrow you will never see me again, so it is better to forgive. "He did what he did, fine. He didn't mean it, no problem and maybe I was angry. You have to love the game, enjoy the game, but sometimes it makes people sad."

Pre-season dilemma for young Blues duo
Jul 3 2003 Report by Ian Doyle, Daily Post Staff
EVERTON begin pre-season training today - with two of their youngsters still unsure whether they will open the new campaign at Goodison Park. The Blues are back at Bellefield this morning with no new faces after a summer of much transfer speculation but little action to date. Li Tie has so far been the only departure after Everton allowed his loan spell to expire without coming to agreement over a permanent transfer, although chief executive Michael Dunford has stressed that talks are on-going. But Kevin McLeod and Peter Clarke face an uncertain pre-season with their Goodison futures in the balance. McLeod is ready to hold showdown talks with Blues boss David Moyes, who returned from a family holiday last night. The 22-year-old is unhappy with the new one-year contract offered by the club, and wants to know if he figures in the manager's long-term plans.
If not, McLeod is prepared to end an association with the club where he progressed through the ranks to make a handful of first-team appearances. Clarke, meanwhile, has been the subject of interest from both Blackpool and Northampton in the close season. Northampton insisted they had a £200,000 bid rejected, while Blackpool boss Steve McMahon claimed Moyes may be willing to part with the England under-21 star nearer the start of the season on August 16. Everton's interest in Oldham defender Fitz Hall has also cast doubts over the 21-year-old's future. Clarke, along with the other Everton players involved in summer internationals, does not return to training until next Thursday. He spent spells on loan at Blackpool and Port Vale last season and has not appeared for the Blues first team since the FA Cup defeat at Shrewsbury in January. Moyes arrives back at Bellefield ready to decide whether to follow up his interest in transfer targets such as Sean Davis of Fulham and West Brom's Jason Koumas. The Blues boss also remains confident a deal can be struck with Liaoning Badao for Li Tie, despite competition from clubs such as Leeds.

McLeod to stay at Goodison as Davis is priced out of Blues range
Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Jul 4 2003
KEVIN McLEOD is poised to extend his stay at Everton - as Fulham insisted the Blues have little chance of signing Sean Davis. McLeod will put pen to paper on a new one-year extension following talks with David Moyes. The 22-year-old - who spent a spell on loan at Queens Park Rangers towards the end of last season - had originally been hoping for a longer contract. But the midfielder is now ready to commit to what is likely to be a make-or-break season. "I spoke with Kevin on Thursday and he's told me that he wants to sign," said Moyes. "We've offered him another year. He went out to QPR and did quite well and this year he's going to try and see if he can make a go of getting into the first team. "If not, we're going to do what's right for Kevin, but as far as I know he will put pen to paper and sign another year's deal." During his time at Loftus Road, McLeod impressed and helped QPR reach the finals of the Division Two play-offs. And Moyes has challenged the youngster to make the step up to the Premiership, after having so far made just a handful of first-team appearances for the Blues. Moyes said: "We hope that spell he had at QPR would have benefited him. "He was playing regular football and in hindsight, if we'd have done that a year ago it may have helped to developed him a little quicker. "He did well at second division level, he just needs to show that he can step up a couple of notches and do it in the Premiership." Meanwhile, Moyes may be forced to admit defeat in his attempts to sign Fulham midfielder Davis. As reported in the Daily Post yesterday, the Blues boss is ready to look elsewhere for reinforcements after the Cottagers slapped a £6million price tag on the 23-year-old. That is more than Moyes - who is expected to be handed a transfer kitty of around £4m - can afford, and with Fulham themselves struggling for cash the Londoners are unlikely to lower their valuation of the player. A Fulham spokesman said: "Sean Davis is not for sale, and even if he was Everton could not afford him." And Moyes admitted: "We have got a genuine interest in Sean Davis but I can't say much more at the moment." If he cannot persuade Fulham to lower their asking price, Moyes will turn his attention to Scott Parker of Charlton and possibly West Brom's former Tranmere Rovers star Jason Koumas.

Bologna step in for Harvey
Daily Post
Jul 4 2003
BOLOGNA will provide the opposition in Colin Harvey's testimonial after Parma yesterday pulled out of a showpiece friendly with Everton at Goodison. Bologna have stepped into the breach for next month's game after domestic commitments forced their fellow Italians to cancel. Now the Blues will face the likes of former Italian internationals Giuseppi Signori and Gianluca Pagliuca in their final pre-season friendly before the season starts. The game - which will pay tribute to Harvey's 40-year association with the Blues as player, coach and manager - will still take place on Sunday, August 10 with a 3pm kick-off. Despite the disappointment of Parma's pull out, Everton's Italian star Alessandro Pistone believes Bologna will provide a good test. He said: "Bologna are a good team, who are always in the hunt for a UEFA Cup position. They're similiar to us. They work extremely hard."

Thank God I'm back with the Blues - Nyarko
Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Jul 4 2003
ALEX NYARKO returned to Everton yesterday - and revealed it was God's will that encouraged him to come back. The midfielder insists he is ready to be selected by Blues boss David Moyes, despite not having played for the club in more than two years following his infamous bustup with a fan at Highbury. Nyarko vowed to quit Goodison after Stephen Price confronted him on the pitch during the 4-1 defeat at Arsenal in April 2001 and offered to trade shirts following an embarrassing display.
The Ghanaian international subsequently spent the last two seasons on loan to French clubs Monaco and Paris St Germain. But Everton's failure to find a buyer has led the 29-year-old to return to Merseyside. And now Nyarko - who was at Bellefield yesterday as Everton began pre-season training - has underlined his determination to make a fresh start, thanks to some divine inspiration.
"I am happy to put the Everton shirt on again - I can't believe it has been two years," said Nyarko. "I was in pain or something when I went away to Monaco and Paris and now I am back home. "So many things have happened in these two years and it has been hard but coming back to Everton is a good decision for me to take. "After I left there was the season with Monaco and then I had talks with David Moyes about starting with the group. I was not ready and I thought maybe Monaco or Paris would come in for the contract. But it was the choice of God. What happened two years ago was maybe something that had to happen. "Maybe I was doing certain things that wasn't pleasing God, maybe that was the reason but I thank God that I am back and I now have to start my life again." Nyarko, signed by Walter Smith for £4.5million deal in July 2000, still has two years left on his contract. And although he feels he has unfinished business at Goodison, the midfielder has refused to set any long-term targets for his Everton future. "I have two years left on my contract but I don't know what will happen in that time," he added. "I will just take every day as it happens, every match. "I didn't expect to come back here again, not really. But as time went on I felt more and more strange about the situation, like I had an unfinished mission with Everton." Nyarko has even said he would like to meet the supporter who sparked the chain of events during which the Ghanaian consider quitting football for good. "I came back and was telling Michael Dunford that I even wanted to see the guy," he said. "I wanted to talk and if I had done something wrong I wanted to apologise. "We are only human and I do not want to go to my grave before I say I'm sorry. I am here today and maybe tomorrow you will never see me again, so it is better to forgive. "I am a footballer, an entertainer and people come from their homes to watch the game, to win and be happy. I have to come back and try to make people happy." Everton began pre-season training with no new faces, with Moyes likely to train his sights elsewhere after Fulham signalled their reluctance to sell Blues target Sean Davis for anything less than £6m.
* EVERTON'S home Premiership fixture with Leeds United has been put back 24 hours. The game was originally scheduled for Saturday, September 27 but will now be played on Sunday, September 28, still with a 3pm kick-off.

Post soapbox
Icliverpool And Daily Post
Jul 4 2003
Nyarko not needed
REGARDING Alex Nyarko, yes it's a changed dressing room, but talk about burning your bridges!
I don't think Everton need Nyarko now, I don't want to see him wearing the Royal Blue jersey again ever, but if David Moyes wants to give him a go then so be it. I doubt he's changed at all, and while that fan was wrong to go on the pitch, anyone who was at the game would I'm sure have felt that Nyarko's inept display warranted some abuse. He knew at the time we weren't a great side but he was happy to take the money. He's obviously got an inflated opinion of himself and it's no surprise his spells on loan in France have not led to a permanent move. It's just a shame that the hangover from the Walter Smith years has lasted so long.
Andrew Pinkham,
Ticket surprise
GRANTED, Goodison Park is not the most modern stadium, but considering Everton have big debts and limited resources for new players, how come they charge the lowest average season ticket prices in the Premiership? I'm not suggesting there should be a massive price increase, but having the lowest charges of all the teams in the top division is rather surprising.
John Diamond,
Back the Blues
BEFORE the season starts and all the moans come out before Everton have kicked a ball, the players to take the stick always seem to be David Unsworth and Kevin Campbell. Was I the only one at the Manchester United game that noticed how much we missed Kev once he went off through injury?
Let's get behind them all, whoever they are, as long as they have the Royal Blue jersey on. I for one can't wait for the start of the season. Come on you Blues!
Colin Evans,Chester
Splash out on Tie
WHY can't Everton seem to stump up the money for a relatively cheap player Li Tie?
How can Leeds come up with the money if we can't? Time for the board to either put up or shut up and shift out of Everton as they are neither use nor ornament.
Craig Oddie, Liverpool
Show us the money
I COULDN'T agree more about Michael Dunford's boast that we have the lowest season ticket prices in the Premiership. I, and I am sure the vast majority of season ticket holders, would happily pay an extra £100 per year if the generated £2.7million went straight into David Moyes' transfer kitty.
I am sick to death of watching our club being run like a corner shop and would challenge the board, with the notable exception of Messrs Carter and Kenwright, to come out and tell us exactly what they contribute to Everton.
John Rhodes,Oxton
Have faith in Moyes
I THINK everyone acknowledges that Everton never saw the best of Alex Nyarko. I say we give him a chance. The Walter Smith years were as demoralising as any for fans and players alike. David Moyes has brought a fresh attitude and approach that is bringing new hope for Evertonians. If this can be instilled in players such as Nyarko then why spend £5m on a midfielder when we potentially have one on our payroll who incidentally has been likened to Vieira in the past.
Ajay Timothy,New Brighton
Mission to Moscow
ANY chance of posting a lonely hearts ad in the Moscow Times, for a quiet, football-loving billionaire with GSOH to rescue a damsel in distress (well actually a ginger Scot)? A marriage made in heaven.
Andrew Smith, Old Swan.

Moyes digging in over Davis
Jul 4 2003 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
FULHAM are trying to price midfielder Sean Davis out of Everton's reach. And if the resurgent Blues cannot persuade the Londoners to reduce their asking price they will switch their attentions to Charlton's Scott Parker. Blues boss David Moyes has made 23-year-old Davis his main transfer priority this summer. An initial approach yesterday, however, was comprehensively rebuffed by Fulham. A spokesman said: "Sean Davis is not for sale, and even if he was Everton could not afford him." Fulham value their midfielder at £6m. Everton revealed at the end of last season - following the permanent signing of Joseph Yobo - they had £4.5m in their transfer pot. Moyes said today: "We have got a genuine interest in Sean Davis but I can't say much more at the moment."
Such is his admiration for the player, Moyes is prepared to spend his entire pot on Davis and even part-finance the deal by not taking up the option to sign Li Tie. But if Fulham - rocked yesterday when ordered by UEFA to pay a final instalment on £11.5m striker Steve Marlet - stick to their guns, Moyes may switch to Charlton's talented midfielder Scott Parker. The player, capped for the first time by England last season, has let it be known he is unsettled at the Valley and could be available for as little as £3m. Moyes would like new faces in as quickly as possible with the first group of players reporting back for pre-season training yesterday. "It's good to be back," he said. "We had a terrific season last year and I am now beginning to get out of that deep canyon I was in after the Manchester United game and I'm feeling a lot better about things. "It has started again and I'm looking forward to it. "There was a buzz about the place for most of last season and that's the way we aim to continue. "A lot of the work that helped the players last year started in pre-season. I think most of the supporters thought that the players looked in better shape physically than maybe they had been in previous years and that was because of the work they put in during pre-season.
"We want the players to complete the work and not be injured. So once they get that good base of the pre-season work under their belts, they will feel much better."
* Tickets for Everton's pre-season friendly at Crewe Alexandra, meanwhile, are on sale from the Park End Box Office priced £10 Adults, £5 over-65s and juniors (under 16s only).
The Blues face Crewe on July 22 (7.45pm).

Wayne Rooney safe, Blues reassure fans
By Mark Hookham, Daily Post
Jul 7 2003
THE man who steered Wayne Rooney through his first season of top-flight football is at the centre of violent Underworld threats. The teenager's millionaire agent has allegedly been told he will be attacked unless he hands over money to organised criminals in Liverpool and London. Paul Stretford, 44, from Wilmslow, Cheshire, is today meeting Everton bosses and officers from Merseyside Police to discuss the threats. The criminals made their first demand in December - shortly before Mr Stretford's Proactive Sports Management signed Croxteth-born Rooney on to its books. Everton last night denied reports that its 17-year-old star had also been threatened and reassured Blues fans he was safe. Ian Ross, head of corporate affairs and PR, said there were no plans to change security arrangements at the club's Bellefield training ground or for match days at Goodison next season. Rooney has no personal security guards and Mr Ross said there were no plans for the club to provide any in the future. He said: "Obviously the claims being made are of a very serious nature. "We shall be talking to Paul Stretford and Merseyside Police at the earliest opportunity. "Wayne Rooney is due to report back to pre-season training later this week. We do not, however, believe him to be at risk. "Our relationship with Paul has always been exemplary and we will be talking to him about any alleged problems he may be facing." Mr Stretford, who represents more than 400 footballers, told a Sunday newspaper: "This is a dangerous situation and I'm now going to have to consult a lot more people. "It's dangerous for me and my family. I'm not prepared to say another word on the issue." He was last night unavailable for further comment.
In March three shots were fired into the front door of one of Mr Stretford's neighbours in Wilmslow, Cheshire. However, a spokesman for Cheshire Police said the incident was in "no way related" to Mr Stretford. He added: "Mr Stretford has made no complaints to us about threats being made."
A spokeswoman for Merseyside Police said: "There have been no complaints or any alleged threats against Mr Rooney reported to Merseyside Police and as such we cannot comment on an issue which we are not dealing with. "We do not discuss personal security issues in the public domain but would be more than happy to discuss any concerns voiced by Everton Football Club, if they felt it appropriate." Proactive Sports Management was formed 15 years ago and currently employs more than 50 people in 11 offices around the world. The company represents star players including Everton's Kevin Campbell, Blackburn Rover's Andy Cole and Newcastle United's Jermaine Jenas.
Rooney's former agent, Peter McIntosh, said last night: "No-one ever said anything to me when I had Wayne. There was never any trouble." The death threats will come as another added distraction to the young teenage striker and follows weekend reports that Chelsea's new Russian owner has put him on his wanted list with a £30m price tag.

Davis in Moyes sights
By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Jul 7 2003
DAVID MOYES will press ahead with his interest in Sean Davis this week - after Everton dismissed speculation linking Wayne Rooney with a £30million move to Chelsea. Moyes will be heartened by reports over the weekend stating Davis is seeking showdown talks with the Cottagers over his future. The midfielder has already spoken with Fulham boss Chris Coleman and intimated he would like to leave. And Moyes is ready to test the Londoners' resolve with a £3.5m bid for the player - which would constitute nearly all of his transfer kitty. Fulham last week laughed off suggestions Everton could even afford to prise the 23-year-old away from Craven Cottage, slapping a £6m price tag on the player. But Moyes' hopes have been boosted by the news Davis is looking to depart, which may force Fulham to lower their valuation. The Blues boss is unable to bid much more than £3.5m, and if his offer is rejected he is likely to turn his attentions to other targets such as Scott Parker of Charlton and possibly West Bromwich Albion's Jason Koumas. Everton, meanwhile, have laughed off suggestions of Rooney making a move to Chelsea. Since the arrival last week of Rus-sian multi-billionaire Roman Abramovich as new chairman at Stamford Bridge, the Londoners have been linked with seemingly every top player in European football. They have placed the Blues striker at the top of their wanted list and were reported to be preparing a mammoth £30m bid for the 17-year-old. But Everton have insisted they have had no contact from Chelsea and are unlikely to listen to any offers for the England international. Head of corporate affairs Ian Ross said: "We are not surprised about any interest in Wayne Rooney. "There has been no contact at the moment and David Moyes is trying to build a team here, not dismantle it. "Wayne Rooney is an Everton player, he is happy at Goodison Park and will stay at Goodison Park." Kevin McLeod has said he was always going to sign a year's extension to his current Everton deal - but admitted he will have to prove himself at Goodison in the coming season. The 22-year-old midfielder agreed to a new contract last week following talks with David Moyes. And McLeod, who spent a spell on loan at QPR last season, said: "I was always going to stay at Everton. I just needed to speak to David Moyes before I signed. Everything's been sorted out now and it's a weight off my mind."

Wayne in gang threat
Jul 7 2003 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON FC do not plan to increase security at Goodison Park or Bellefield training ground after reports of threats to Wayne Rooney. The striker's agent Paul Stretford was allegedly told he or the teenager would be attacked unless money was paid to a gang of Merseyside criminals. The club says the first they heard of the allegations was on Saturday afternoon when they were approached by a Sunday newspaper, and insisted they were satisfied with security arrangements. Everton manager David Moyes said: "Our job is to concentrate on football and that is what I will do. "I will continue to guide Wayne in the best way I feel possible. "This has nothing to do with Wayne at all. His job is to be a football player first and foremost and that it what I will help him to do." According to national newspaper reports Mr Stretford, 44, who lives in Wi l msl ow, rece ived demands with threats from criminals last December just before signing Rooney. In March three shots were fired at the front door of one of Mr Stretford's neighbours. Cheshire police said today: "We are aware of the allegations made in the newspaper article but are not aware of any threat to the Rooney family. The incident in Wilmslow was investigated at the time but is unrelated." Everton spokesman Ian Ross said: "We do not believe there is any risk to Wayne Rooney and are not dealing with these alleged threats as a matter of urgency.

Hands off Rooney, warns Moyes
Jul 7 2003 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES has issued his strongest 'hands off' warning yet over Wayne Rooney. Weekend speculation claimed that Chelsea's new multi- millionaire owner, Roman Abramovich, was planning a £30m swoop for the 17-year-old striker. But Blues boss Moyes rapped today: "The Russians haven't got enough money to buy him. We are not selling Wayne Rooney. "We are building a team that we want Wayne Rooney to be part of for a long time to come. "This is just silly season speculation, nothing more than that." Everton's interest in Fulham's Sean Davis, however, is more than just speculation - but Everton have still not lodged a formal bid despite confirmed interest by Moyes last week. "There's nothing new on that," said Moyes. Davis met Fulhamboss Chris Coleman on Friday to discuss the stories, and comments today claim that the midfielder is settled at Craven Cottage.
Coleman said: "I don't want to lose Sean and he says he is happy here." Davis remains Moyes' number one transfer priority, however, and he may test Fulham's resolve with a formal bid towards the end of the week. A valuation of £7m was reported to have been placed on Davis' head, but with Harry Kewell set to move this week for just £6m, Everton are unlikely to bite at that price.

You're in no danger, police tell Rooney
By Mark Hookham, Daily Post
Jul 8 2003
MERSEYSIDE Police have reassured Everton FC that star striker Wayne Rooney is not in any danger following an alleged threat from local gangsters. Everton officials and police yesterday discussed threats allegedly made against Rooney's millionaire agent, Paul Stretford, by criminals in Liverpool and London. Following their talks, the club's head of corporate affairs, Ian Ross, issued a statement denying Rooney was at any risk. The statement read: "In the wake of weekend newspaper reports which appeared to suggest that one of our players, Wayne Rooney, had been threatened with physical violence and was, subsequently, at risk, Everton Football Club has this morning discussed the matter with both Merseyside Police and Cheshire Police. "The safety of this club's players, staff and supporters is of paramount importance and is an issue which will never be the subject of compromise. "Everton Football Club is happy to reiterate that it does not believe Wayne Rooney - or, indeed, any of its players - to be at risk." A Merseyside Police spokeswoman added: "There have been no report of threats against Wayne Rooney. Our Everton liaison officer has briefly been in contact with the club today." The furore surrounding the threats, first outlined in a newspaper article on Sunday, have come as added distraction for the 17-year-old striker who this week starts pre-season training. Manager David Moyes said: "Our job is to concentrate on football and that is what I will do. "This has nothing to do with Wayne at all. His job is to be a football player first and foremost and that is what I will help him do." The Daily Post understands Mr Stretford, 44, has been told he will be violently attacked unless he pays unnamed criminals a cut of Rooney's fortune. Mr Stretford, 44, last night declined to comment but a spokesman for his company, Proactive Sports, said: "The company is aware of certain issues which were raised as part of a Sunday newspaper article. "Due to the sensitive nature of these matters, we are not in a position to comment further at this stage." A close friend of Mr Stretford's last night confirmed the agent had received a number of serious threats and had hired security guards. He said: "He was in the office today and there is no question that he will carry on working and enjoying the full confidence of Wayne and his family."
Detectives from Cheshire Police were last night investigating Mr Stretford's claims. A spokesman said: "Mindful of previous cases where newspaper coverage of issues involving sports personalities has led to trials being compromised we will not comment on any police investigation until it has been concluded."

Home and Away
Icliverpool And Daily Post
Jul 8 2003
Put prices up
SO Everton have the cheapest tickets in the Premiership; sadly I don't think that is anything to boast about. I'm sure the intention is good but we need a commercial attitude to running the club. I don't think fans would object to reasonable, higher prices. All the season tickets are sold and there is now a waiting list for the first time; simple supply and demand tells you we could generate more from the ticket prices. Arsenal's cheapest season ticket is twice the price of our average. That tells you that they are getting double the ticket revenue from every game!
Max Dowler, Merseyside
Prices just right
I CAN'T believe some people are moaning that Everton's season ticket prices are too low at a time when the general agreement is that football is too expensive. This suggests that the Board are actually thinking of recognising our fantastic support is more crucial to the future of the club than an extra £2m a hike in prices would generate. Next season, every match will more or less be a sell out and the increased shirt sales of 'Rooney 18' should compensate for this. If you look around, there has been minimal transfer activity so the doom mongerers should concentrate their ire elsewhere.
Chris Fearns, Liverpool
Gap is closing
FOR SIX months of last season we were above the Reds but finished five points behind them. The result of the derby match basically decided who would finish above who and that was a tight game won by two top goals against the run of play! Liverpool have more financial power than us but maybe they are closer to us than they like to admit? Good to see that they are following the Leeds route to success anyway - £70k a week for Kewell? It would be good to see Francis Jeffers back, if he can prove his fitness, but I don't rate Steve McManaman. But if he signs pay him no more than £20k a week with a modest signing-on fee (as it's his "dream" to play for the Blues). Give Alex Nyarko a chance to prove himself.
Neil Colquhoun, Liverpool
Plenty of positives
WILL ALL Blues' fans stop moaning about new signings or the lack of them. We all know we need improvements but we need to walk before we run. Last season was a massive improvement on the previous five but to say we need a major overhaul at this stage is disrespectful to the players from last season. The positives for this season are Radz and Hibbert will be fit again, Rooney will be more experienced, we have already signed Yobo and we welcome back Pistone, Linderoth and Nyarko.
With Campbell and Ferguson on the tail end of their contracts, I expect them to make a big push this season in the hope of getting a new contract, Duncan. Also we would expect to see more of Leon Osman this season; he looks a good prospect. So, with or without new signings, there is still a lot going for us.
T Williams, (via e-mail)
Racing option
EVERTON need an attacking creative midfielder like Javi Guerrero of Racing Santander or Michael Brown of Sheffield United.
Jose Francisco Capello (via e-mail)
On Palace guard
I THINK David Moyes should invest his money in Julian Gray of Crystal Palace; he is a good wide player with pace and would cost us within our budget. I think we should also swoop for Gavin McCann and Jason Koumas as they are young and would fit in with David Moyes' policy.
Andy Kennedy, Liverpool
Fears for Rooney
I HOPE that the people surrounding Wayne Rooney stand up for the player's best interests.
The kind of headlines we have seen over the past few days are obviously bound to raise concerns. The last thing Rooney - and Everton need - is for any off the field problems to distract from what is a crucial season. We don't want Everton - or Rooney - to suffer from second season syndrome after doing so well last year.
Richard Griffiths, Formby

Blues keep up hunt
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Jul 8 2003
EVERTON are ready to test Fulham's resolve to keep Sean Davis by lodging a formal bid for the Cottagers' midfielder later this week. The 23-year-old midfielder has emerged as the top transfer target for David Moyes this summer - with the Blues boss as yet undaunted by the Londoners' £6million valuation. Now he is set to begin the task of prising the commanding star away from Loftus Road by challenging Fulham's stance with a bid of around £3.5m. Fulham slapped an inflated price-tag on Davis last week to ward off any Everton approach and manager Chris Coleman yesterday insisted: "I don't want to lose Sean and he says he is happy here." But Everton believe Davis would be willing to sever his ties with the club he joined as a schoolboy in favour of a switch to Goodison Park and are ready to pursue all avenues to get him. Capturing the midfielder would swallow up Moyes' transfer kitty and leave the Blues chief chasing Bosman signings and loan deals to bolster his squad for next season. But with midfield improvements a priority for the Scot he is prepared to fight Fulham for the player, who held talks with Coleman last week to discuss his future.
The new Fulham boss added: "I don't want to lose Sean and we don't have to sell. "The bottom line is that Sean says he is happy here and unless he tells me otherwise, that is the end of it. "I'm not surprised that Everton are interested and I'm sure a lot of other clubs will be as well in the future because he is a fantastic player. "But we have had no firm offers. "Sean is a massive player for us. Last season he was outstanding and I see him as a future captain of the club. "The key for us if we want him to stay here is to do well in the Premiership. "He is an ambitious lad and if we are playing on the big stage, I'm sure he'll be happy to stay."

Blues lodge bid for Davis
Jul 8 2003 Exclusive By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON today lodged official bid for 23-year-old Fulham midfielder Sean Davis. And sources in London say that the player is keen to hear what the Blues have to say. Blues' boss David Moyes was guarded in his comments this morning but did confirm: "Hopefully we will be in a position to make an offer for a player today." That player is almost certainly Davis. After completing the permanent transfer of Joseph Yobo earlier this summer the Everton board was reluctant to commit another large down-payment on one player. But deputy chairman Bill Kenwright was adamant that they should back their manager's judgement and Fulham will now be forced to fend off an official approach. New boss Chris Coleman has already spoken of his desire to keep hold of the midfielder, but contrary to comments issued yesterday Davis is believed to be encouraged by Everton's interest.
Moyes has made the influential central midfielder his transfer priority this summer. Now he must hope that Fulham can be persuaded to part company.

High cost of selling Wayne
Jul 8 2003 By Kevin Ratcliffe
SO far, neither Chelsea, Manchester United nor even Real Madrid have offered Everton £30m for Wayne Rooney's services. But if they did, the Blues might not be quite so dismissive of the possibility of selling their prize asset. Evertonians should thank their lucky stars the Blues are not a plc. If they were, they would probably have no choice but to take advantage of what is clearly an excellent business proposition. But while business-wise it might be attractive, in terms of morale it makes no sense whatsoever. Any Everton manager who sanctioned the sale of such a stunning talent might have £30m in his transfer kitty, but he would also have 30,000 Evertonians screaming for his head. Personally - and I'm delighted to read that David Moyes shares my view - there is no way I would sell Rooney. I read Tony Cottee saying this week that Wayne needed to learn his trade at Everton, the inference being that he could then move on to a bigger club. Well I'm sorry Tony, but Everton is not like West Ham. Unrealistic though they may be at present, Everton harbour ambitions of being Premier League champions once again and Moyes sees Rooney as a vital way of attracting a better quality of player to Goodison Park. Moyes has already said he is trying to construct a winning team at Everton and keeping hold of Rooney is an important part of that.
Wayne is a massive Evertonian and doesn't want to go anywhere else. I am sure that by the time he matures and reaches 23 or 24, there will be bigger and better clubs than Chelsea coveting his signature. But hopefully by then Everton will be a championship-chasing team again and there will be no reason professionally, let alone emotionally, why Wayne would want to leave.
Nyarko must get ethic
ALEX NYARKO is back at Bellefield making all the right noises about reviving his Everton career.
All we can do is wish him well, and accept David Moyes will know very quickly whether he is the type of player he wants. If Nyarko does not embrace the work ethic David has installed, his restarted Everton career may end even quicker than his stalled one. We will watch with interest.
Time for McLeod to find the right mix
KEVIN McLEOD has committed himself to Everton for one more year - and I'm pleased he is sticking around. I was at the Play-Off final at the end of last season when Kevin was playing for Queens Park Rangers, and he has all the attributes to become a Premiership player. He has terrific pace, the ability to deliver a good cross, he is decent in the air and has a nasty streak which all top players need. The only question mark about Kevin is in getting the right balance to that nastiness.
I would like to see Kevin be a little more aggressive, but given his occasionally flawed disciplinary record in the past, it has to be controlled aggression. If he can display a little more ruthlessness on the pitch at the times it is required I have no doubt he can go on to become a Premier League player.
Everton obviously think there is something there too, which is why he has been handed a year's extension. I hope Kevin makes something of it.

Dutch date
Daily Post
Jul 9 2003
EVERTON have added more continental flavour to their pre-season preparations. The Blues, due to play Italian side Bologna in Colin Harvey's testimonial on August 10, have now agreed to take on Dutch club Roda JC. Roda finished sixth in the Dutch first division last season and will entertain David Moyes' men at the 19,200-capacity Parkstad Limburg Stadion on Tuesday, August 5, kick-off 8pm.

Everton's £5m bid for Davis rejected
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Jul 9 2003
EVERTON made their determination to land Sean Davis clear yesterday by lodging a bid worth £5million with Fulham - but it still might not be enough to get David Moyes his man. The Blues' offer - their first genuine bid of the summer - was much higher than expected yet was still rejected by the Londoners. It is believed the offer contained a £3.5m downpayment rising to £5m in line with both Davis' and Everton's progress. Fulham, however, insist the 23-year-old is worth £7m - a stance that could force Moyes to concentrate his midfield efforts on Charlton's Scott Parker instead.
Having let Steve Finnan go to Liverpool, the London club are loath to lose their one homegrown star to a Premiership rival. They are also concerned over the future of Steed Malbranque, also a target for Gerard Houllier, and are adamant all three stars will not be allowed to leave Loftus Road. Davis, however, would be receptive to a switch to Goodison Park. Despite being on Fulham's books since the age of 15, he is known to be concerned at the uncertainty surrounding the club and his England prospects if he stays there. The midfielder has been called up only once by Sven-Goran Eriksson and believes his international prospects may suffer at Fulham, in contrast to his chances if he lined up alongside wonderboy Wayne Rooney - who returns to preseason training today - at Everton.
Fulham's managing director Bruce Langham recently admitted they wouldn't stand in the way of players who wanted a move. Though Everton's opening gambit has been rejected, and represents all Moyes' transfer budget, the Blues still hope to find some leeway in the deal before turning their attentions elsewhere. One-time Everton trialist Lee Miller, meanwhile, is being chased by Scottish Premier League side Aberdeen. The young Falkirk striker spent a week at Bellefield last season with fellow promising forward Collin Samuel. An unnamed English club - though not Everton - approached the Scottish first division champions over one of the forwards this week, though Aberdeen head the race for Miller. The Dons had a £175,000 bid rejected last week and have now upped their offer to £200,000. Falkirk value the 20-year-old at £500,000 but may be forced to lower their asking price.

Greatest of the sharpshooters
Jul 9 2003 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
In our weekly series, DAVID PRENTICE focuses on the seventh - and most celebrated - man to top the league goalscoring charts for Everton DIXIE DEAN was the seventh Everton striker to claim the prestigious Golden Boot prize in English football - but he was the first to do it twice. And Dean's double stint at the top of the goalscoring charts saw him amass a combined total of more than 100 goals. In 1927-28, of course, Dean didn't just break the top division's scoring record . . . he shattered it. His celebrated 60 goals in a single season was 17 goals more than any other top division striker had previously managed. In the 75 years since no other striker has even reached 50.
But four years later Dean showed his achievement had been no fluke, topping the scoring charts again with 44 goals. WilliamRalph Dean had been born to score goals. Signed by Everton from Tranmere Rovers for £3,000 in 1925, he scored 32 League goals in his first full season as an Evertonian. That was just six goals short of the then League record of 38, held by another former Everton centre-forward, Bert Freeman. But his chances of eventually overtaking the record were severely doubted during the summer of 1926. Indeed his ability to play football ever again was questioned, following a motorcycle accident in which his skull and jaw were fractured. Thomas Keates' Jubilee History of Everton Football Club recorded: "Doctors were afraid he could not live for many hours. "His survival astonished them. When recovery was assured the medical pronouncement was 'This man will never be able to play football again." But play again he did. Quick, sharp and intelligent in his centre-forward play, his greatest quality was undoubtedly his astonishing aerial ability. "Ordinary players butt the ball with the crown of their heads," wrote a contemporary report. "Dean artistically glides it downwards with the side of his head. "In this respect he excels ever y oth er fam ou s centre-forward." His record breaking season of 1927-28, when Everton claimed the League Championship, was a Roy of the Rovers style saga. Dean scored in each of the first nine matches - including all five in a 5-2 home defeat of Manchester United.
By Christmas he was halfway to his target. Goals 41, 42 and 43 came at Anfield in a 3-3 draw.
With nine matches remaining, Dean needed 17 goals for the record - a seemingly impossible target.
But after doubles against Derby, Blackburn, Sheffield United and Aston Villa were netted, a sparkling four goal haul at Burnley put the record in sight again. Worryingly Dean had to leave the Turf Moor pitch through injury and he was nursed diligently through the next seven days by trainer Harry Cook.

He was eventually declared fit for the final match of the season, at home to Herbert Chapman's legendary Arsenal side, but needed a hat-trick for the record. The Gunners had the famous defender Charles Buchan playing his final match before retirement, eager to ensure nobody stole HIS show. It was, however, undeniably Dean's day. A header and a penalty kick equalled George Camsell's record (set in Division Two), then with time ticking away Dean broke the record outright.
"Five minutes from time we made up our minds that Dixie wasn't going to get the other goal we longed to see," wrote Thomas Keates. "Good heavens! While the thought was formulating, Troup (the electric tripper) sent a nice dropping shot in front of goal, the ball hung in the air, Dixie's magical head went for it and tipped it into the net. "You talk about explosions, but, believe us, we have never heard such a prolonged roar of thundering, congratulatory applause before as to that which ascended to heaven when Dixie broke the record." This was only the first significant achievement of Dean's long and successful playing career - but it is still the most memorable. Those goals helped Everton to the Championship, a feat they repeated four years later when another mammoth haul of 44 strikes from Dean saw the Blues claim the title again. Again, he was the country's leading marksman - but in time he came to be recognised by a much grander mantle . . . the greatest goalscorer of all-time.

Blues' bid for Davis on verge of collapse
Jul 9 2003 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
FULHAM have told Everton they will have to double their bid if they want to sign midfielder Sean Davis - and boss David Moyes is already planning to switch his attentions elsewhere. The Blues officially tabled a £3.5m bid, rising to £5m in instalments, last night. Fulham officially rejected it.
"Sean is a hugely important player to us and we value him a lot higher than the offer Everton have made," said Chief Executive Bruce Langham. Moyes was philosophical about the knock-back today. "I will speak to Bill Kenwright today and see where we go from here," he said. "But there is not a great deal of money around and I won't be dwelling if it's not to happen. I will have to try and move on and start looking elsewhere." Everton made a formal offer at 5. 30pm last night, almost identical to the deal which persuaded Fulham to sell Steve Finnan to Liverpool, but the approach was swiftly rebuffed. "Everton made an official bid," said a Fulham spokeswoman. "This has been officially rejected. We don't want Sean Davis to leave, nor will we be encouraging any further offers."
The player is believed to be keen on a switch to Merseyside, and the only hope the Blues now have is if Davis himself makes those feelings known to his manager Chris Coleman. Fulham have intense financial problems -struggling under a debt mountain of £70m, no home stadium and support plummeting since they left Craven Cottage to ground-share with QPR. Their Second Division landlords have currently sold more season tickets than them. The Blues' board may make one final push to persuade Fulham, but if the Londoners stick to their original £7m valuation Everton will be forced to look elsewhere. That could mean a switch across London for Charlton's Scott Parker, but Moyes added: "He is a player who we have admired in the past, but I have certainly not made any approach to anyone at Charlton and I wouldn't do that until I had spoken to their manager - and at present I have no intention of that." Moyes also dismissed a report that he had spent in talks with Boavista's Paolo Turra and that the defender would be signing for the Blues today, saying: "I was training yesterday. That is rubbish." Ever to n have announced an addition to their pre-season fixture list, with a trip to Dutch side JC Roda Kerkrada on August 5. Roda finished sixth in last season's Dutch League and play at the 19,200 capacity Parkstad Limburg Stadion. Everton will announce ticket details once the clubs have negotiated with police. Everton's Reserve League programme will kick-off on August 11, meanwhile, at Bolton. The first match to be played at their new Haig Avenue base in Southport will be against New-castle on Wednesday, August 20.

Gift from the heart will help patients
By Suzanne Elsworth Daily Post Staff
Jul 10 2003
FORMER Everton FC owner Peter Johnson has helped doctors at Merseyside's specialist Cardiothoracic Centre embark on a ground-breaking project which could affect tens of thousands of heart patients. The research will look at improving the outcome of angioplasty operations, specifically on patients with smaller than average blood vessels. Consultant cardiologist Dr Rod Stables, who helped save the life of Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier, has already conducted studies at the hospital which has found that these people have poorer responses to clinical procedures. It is estimated that around 30pc of patients are affected in this way. Angioplasty uses a keyhole method of surgery to fix a severely narrowed coronary artery. A wire is inserted into an artery in the wrist and fed up through it to the coronary artery. A tube is then passed along this wire and a tiny balloon blown up to widen the narrowed section. A cylinder of mesh known as a stent is then pushed into place via the balloon to hold the artery walls further apart. Scar tissue builds up after the operation and can often create its own obstruction, narrowing the artery again, which causes additional problems for patients with already narrow vessels. The Merseybeat Appeal, based at the unit in Broadgreen, has received £35,000 from a charitable trust set up by Mr Johnson, major shareholder in Tranmere Rovers FC. This has enabled the hospital to set up the Johnson Foundation Research Fellowship, which will find ways of improving the outcome of angioplasty operations. Cardiologist Dr Shahid Aziz has been appointed research fellow to undertake the project, under the supervision of Dr Stables. The project will allow 32-year-old Dr Aziz to develop his chosen speciality, adding to his experience when he becomes a consultant.
The Cardiothoracic Centre performs 1,268 angioplasty procedures each year and each of these will be observed to look at ways of improving them. There are three main areas the research will focus on. The first involves looking at whether by administering a drug down the artery in question, it would increase the vessel's size. The second concentrates on the stent itself and whether the technique of sizing the stent should be changed. Thirdly, doctors will look at whether traditional methods of implanting the stent are the best.

My First Game
Daily Post
Jul 10 2003
MY FATHER took me to my first football match on September 7, 1946. It was Liverpool v Chelsea and my first memory is of a huge crowd jostling to get into the ground. I remember that my father had to pick me up to prevent me being squashed as we tried to get it. I was aged nine. Because I have the book "Liverpool Champions of Champions" by Brian Pead I have refreshed my memory and record that the unforgettable Billy Liddell opened the scoring after three minutes. Before half-time Jones scored twice and Fagan once to give the Reds a 4-0 interval lead. Balmer and Liddell made it 6-0 after 50 minutes but, incredibly, 22 minutes later it was 6-4 and I was fretfully asking my father if we would win. Late in the game Fagan scored again and then Balmer hit a post and the game finished 7-4 and I was hooked. Tommy Lawton was playing for Chelsea but I only had eyes for LFC. The team was: Ashcroft, Harley, Ramsden, Taylor, Hughes, Paisley (God bless him), Nieuwenhuys, Balmer, Jones, Fagan, Liddell. The crowd was 49,995 with the gates locked. Because of the crushing to get in, it was a few years before I was allowed to go again. But what an introduction!
David Bretherton, Mossley Hill,
IT must have been inevitable that I would become a Liverpool supporter - either that or I just had a soft spot for a loser. My first match at Anfield was on September 4, 1954, against West Ham - a game which Liverpool lost 2-1, the goal scored by Jimmy Payne. This was in the very early days of the first of those eight second division seasons, which looked like never ending until the arrival of a certain Scot from Huddersfield. As a 14-year-old I found the atmosphere riveting and the excitement irresistible. There were more than 37,000 fans at that game - most of them wondering how the Reds found themselves in such dire straights. At the end of that season Liverpool had scored 92 goals but had conceded 96. No prizes for working out where the problems lay. Still they had Billy Liddell and that was compensation for many of the disappointments. I thank my lucky stars that I saw him play, even though he was in his thirties. He and John Evans scored 59 goals between them that season. Some other memories. Do you remember how the fans would change ends at half-time so they could be behind the opponents' goal and the lads who would come with the half-time results and lean the numbers against the walls? Still the eight second division seasons turned out to be a prelude to the most exciting times that any football fan could ask for. That September day against the Hammers was the beginnings of a love affair which still makes it difficult for me to eat my tea on a Saturday night if the Reds don't win.
Graham Keegan, Newton-le-Willows.

Davis move encourages Blues
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Jul 10 2003
SEAN DAVIS kept alive hopes of a move to Goodison Park last night by asking for showdown talks with Fulham boss Chris Coleman. Everton's number one target wants another meeting with the Londoners after speaking to his advisors in the wake of the Blues' failed transfer offer. David Moyes' interest in the powerful midfielder appeared to cool yesterday after the Cottagers rejected a bid worth £5million for the 23-year-old midfielder. That fee - £3.5m rising to £5m with the player's and club's progress - remains a stumbling block and Everton have little room for manoeuvre after offering the bulk of their summer transfer kitty. But if Davis tells Fulham he wants to quit, as now seems likely, then the Blues will hope a compromise can be reached. The midfielder met Coleman last Friday in the wake of Everton's initial interest and appeared to reassure the new manager his future lay in London. But now the Blues have made a genuine approach for his services Davis and his advisors want further talks where he is expected to reveal his desire to move to Merseyside.
Fulham managing director Bruce Langham insist they will only listen to offers of £7m for the former England under-21 skipper. Yet he left the door open for a possible departure by admitting Fulham wouldn't stand in the way of players who wanted out. Langham said: "The club wants to hang on to its best players and as such, offers like the one we had for Sean are unwelcome. "However, as I have said before, if any player makes it clear that he wants to leave the club that puts us in a very different position." Moyes now hopes Davis - who has two years left on his Fulham contract - can force the issue before he starts to look elsewhere, with Charlton's Scott Parker a likely alternative.
"He is a player who we have admired in the past," said the Blues manager. "But I have certainly not made any approach to anyone at Charlton."

Beware a second season syndrome
By Paul Walker, Daily Post
Jul 10 2003
WAYNE ROONEY returned to training yesterday with a warning that next season will be far tougher than the last ringing in his ears. And Everton have been told to brace themselves for constant speculation about the 17-year-old's future and the prospect of major attempts to prise him away from Goodison Park. Rooney was one of a handful of international players at Everton allowed one extra week's break before getting down to full training this week. And two of the club's former players, Duncan McKenzie and Graeme Sharp, believe the five-times capped England youngster will find the coming season more difficult than the last, when he played 48 matches in all competitions in a demanding 11-month span. McKenzie said: "Next season will be more difficult for him - people are looking out for you, that's always the case. But I don't think he will suffer as much as most young players do in their second season, largely because of his physique. "This time last year he was still at school, his progress has been astonishing, and this time next year he will be at Euro 2004 with England." Everton manager David Moyes will continue to carefully protect his prize asset. Sharp appreciates Moyes' stance but has his own fears about the next campaign for Rooney. "I can't say whether he'll play every game next season or whether he'll be a bit-part player like he is now," he said. "It all depends on how he goes through pre-season and how he develops. "It's obvious that he'll be in the England squad but I can't see David Moyes thinking in terms of Rooney of England, he'll be looking more to Rooney of Everton and charting his progress accordingly. "And I agree with David, if England are banking everything on a 17-year-old, they have problems. There surely are other lads around ahead of him, apart from Michael Owen, they have got Jermain Defoe and Darius Vassell as well as Wayne. "Wayne will find next season difficult, kids always do in their second term. I do not believe he will be a world beater next season. "He's had a fine start to his career but he's not a seasoned, experienced professional with lots of seasons behind him. Wayne has just started."
Everton last weekend brushed off reports that Chelsea's new-found millions could be used to tempt the Merseysiders with a vast bid for Rooney. But Everton accept that their own progress will have to match Rooney's ambition. McKenzie added: "What it comes down to is that Wayne will eventually want to play in the Champions League and Everton have to get there before he does!" They almost managed to qualify for Europe last season, but eventually missed out on the UEFA Cup by one place.
McKenzie believes that will probably not be enough in the future. He said: "You come to a point when you mustn't allow your support for a club as a boy to cloud your entire career. "I'd be gobsmacked if there wasn't a massive bid for him in the next two years. In the end financial considerations come into things. What will happen is if they match the kid's ambitions themselves by being consistently there and thereabouts in the championship and playing in Europe, things will be okay."

Blues' bid hangs on Davis talks
Jul 10 2003 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
SEAN DAVIS demanded talks with his Fulham boss Chris Coleman today, in a bid to keep alive his fading hopes of a move to Everton. A Blues' bid of £5m (£3.5m down) was rejected by Fulham on Tuesday tea-time. The 23-year-old has since asked for a meeting with Coleman, but must hope that the Cottagers are prepared to reduce their original £7m valuation. Davis remains David Moyes' priority, but the Blues' boss has other options open to him and will not wait long before switching his attentions elsewhere. Li Tie, meanwhile, is prepared to train for nothing at Everton - while his future is sorted out. The Blues have still not reached agreement with Liaoning Bird over a fee for the midfielder's permanent transfer, but the player is prepared to fly back to England anyway and will arrive at Bellefield tomorrow. "We would be happy to have him back here," said boss David Moyes. "He is a great boy, I just don't think the valuation on him is correct. But we would certainly extend our facilities to him if that is what he wanted." The Blues, meanwhile, have 18-year-old Italian striker Patrice Pascucci on trial. He trained at Bellefield yesterday, along with Everton's clutch of international players who enjoyed an extra week's holiday.

Wayne enjoys boyband show
Jul 10 2003 Liverpool Echo
WONDERKID Wayne Rooney has been enjoying his new found celebrity status with some VIP tickets for the Summer Pops. But it wasn't shock rocker Alice Cooper or former mod-god Paul Weller the footballing ace wanted to see - but the top boyband Busted. The 17-year-old had returned from a family holiday in Mexico in time to see the group play at the Liverpool Pops festival. And our insider snout says the Everton striker looked out of place as he sat amongst thousands of screaming teenage girls anticipating a glimpse of the spikey-haired hunks. He arrived late to the show with girl friend Colleen McLoughlin - missing the support act. But he made sure they were in their specially reserved seats by the time the boys from Busted - Matt, Charlie and James - took to the stage.
As the group belted out their top 10 hits, That's What I Go To School For and Year 3000, our spy spotted Wayne singing along to all the words. Concert-goer Rachael Ferguson said she was surprised to see the soccer player at the concert. The 12-year-old said: "I thought he looked a bit daft when I saw him - he was one of the only boys there - it's normally girls. "But he must love them because he knew the words to the songs and was singing all the time. "I suppose Busted are a bit different from other boy bands because they play guitar and stuff - maybe that's why he likes them?"

Splashing out
Jul 10 2003 By Claire Stoker Education Reporter
EVERTON footballers and the Fab Four helped Liverpool children make a big splash to launch a summer of fun. Liverpool Splash will offer six weeks of holiday fun for children aged from eight to 18 and it's free. Activities include scuba diving, gokarting, paintballing, horse riding, film making, circus performing, stunt acting, and sea fishing. To launch Liverpool Splash in style the Backbeat Beatles wowed an afternoon crowd of 4,500 school children in the Summer Pops tent followed by a visit from Everton FC's Thomas Graveson, Lee Carsley, and Kevin McCloud. In the evening HOT - Hot Original Talent - showcased new bands Casini, Lo-Vision, rappers Timber Trouble, and solo artists like Leanne White and Dave Robinson - many of them still school children. More than 10,000 young people have the chance to have fun and learn new skills over the summer with Liverpool Splash all put together by Liverpool council, advice service Connexions, and Liverpool Children's Fund.
Natalie Cheers, Splash coordinator, said: "This is a great opportunity for young people to take part in activities they wouldn't normally be able to do. "There are even vocational courses on offer in subjects like hair and make-up." Jade Young, 11, from Belle Vale is amazed at the number of activities on offer. She said: " The events sound great - I'm really looking forward to it." Sasha Muir, nine, from Anfield, added: "It's dead exciting. The concert sounds really good." For details of all the activities on offer speak to your school, go to the library or visit the website www.connexions-gmerseyside.co.uk/splash

Hope for 'friendly' friendly
Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Jul 11 2003
EVERTON and Merseyside Police officials are to travel to Holland next week in a bid to ensure the club's pre-season friendly with Roda JC is trouble-free. David Moyes' men take on the Dutch first division side on Tuesday, August 5 as part of their summer build-up. But before Everton receive their ticket allocation representatives from both clubs, and local police forces, will meet to discuss a number of security issues. Roda JC have their own hardcore hooligan problem while Everton's preseason trip to Anderlecht last year was marred by trouble. Crowd safety and segregation issues are therefore top of the agenda at Monday's meeting, after which away ticket details will be released. The Blues have also announced a pre-season friendly against Welsh Premier League side TNS next month. An Everton XI will travel to the Llansantffraid-based club on Friday, August 8 (kick-off 7.30pm) as part of the Welsh club's preparations for their Uefa Cup preliminary round meeting with Manchester City.
* FOLLOWING the retirement of Colin Harvey, Alan Harper will now coach the Everton U19s side with Gary Ablett taking charge of the U17s team. The Blues are building up to the start of the new FA Premier Academy League season, which begins on Saturday, August 23.
All Everton's pre-season friendly fixtures are: Saturday, July 19: U19s v Winsford United (Away), 3pm; U17s v Winsford Reserves (Home), 10.30am. Saturday, July 26: U19s v Arsenal (Home), 12noon; U17s v Arsenal (Home), 12noon; Wednesday, August 6; U19s v Nigeria U17s (Home), 2.30pm. Monday, August 11; U19s v Thailand (Home), 2.30pm. Saturday, August 16: U19s v Manchester City (Home), 11am; U17s v Manchester City (Home), 11am.

Boro enter Davis chase
Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Jul 11 2003
EVERTON face another stumbling block in their bid to land Sean Davis with Middlesbrough poised to move for the Fulham star. The Teesside club are set to concentrate their efforts on the Blues' top transfer target after losing out in the race to keep Real Madrid midfielder Geremi. Madrid yesterday agreed a £6.9million deal with Chelsea's new owner Roman Abramovich for the Cameroon international, who flourished on loan at the Riverside Stadium last season and whom Steve McClaren was desperate to hold on to. Now the Boro boss hopes to fill the void left by Geremi by stealing a march on Everton with a firm offer for Davis. McClaren is set to land Trevor Sinclair from West Ham for £2m but has still endured a frustrating summer after missing out on Geremi, David Dunn and Brett Emerton, while tragic Marc-Vivien Foe was also on his list of top quality midfield targets. Middlesbrough can better the £5m-rated offer Everton had rejected by Fulham on Tuesday and McClaren has been monitoring the player's position at Loftus Road ever since David Moyes' interest was confirmed. Moyes is still waiting for signs of a compromise deal after Davis held a second round of talks with Chris Coleman. But if the impasse remains - and Boro better Everton's offer - his midfield search will turn elsewhere. The Blues boss, meanwhile, has admitted the freak shoulder injury suffered by Richard Wright is a serious concern. Wright is confident he'll be fit to face former club Arsenal on the opening day of the new season despite damaging his shoulder in a fall at his home. But Moyes has revealed there are concerns over the keeper's long-term fitness if he is rushed back too soon. "It's quite a serious injury," said Moyes. "He's been able to do all the running and training, it's just the goalkeeping he isn't able to do! "It's touch and go whether he'll be ready for the start of the season. "There is a worry in bringing him back too soon because it is a serious injury for a keeper, even though he didn't need surgery on it. "We'll rush him back if we can but we've got to be careful because of the nature of the injury - we don't want it going again."
Moyes has been linked with a £2m move for Bastia keeper Nicolas Penneteau but wants his midfield situation sorted before considering any alternative targets. He added: "The goalkeepers we've got here now are in the reckoning, that isn't a main target at the moment."

Keep your cool
Icliverpool And Daily Post
Jul 11 2003
Keep your cool
DAVID MOYES knows what he's doing. He is a shrewd operator and the longer he holds off buying players the better the price will be. It's a buyers market and if you look at what Birmingham paid for David Dunn and compare it with what the Reds paid for Harry Kewell I reckon Brum got ripped off!
Al Smart (via e-mail)
Parker penned
SEAN DAVIS or Scott Parker? I think that Parker will be better for Everton - and cheaper.
Rob Svensson, Warrington
What's going on?
I CANNOT understand the level of transfer inactivity affecting Everton at the present time. The club appear to prepared to lose a fine young talent in Peter Clarke and a creative midfielder in Li Tie while hanging on to an expensive crock like Duncan Ferguson.
Laurie Cooper, Toxteth
Nothing doing
TO all you idiots saying sell Wayne Rooney to Chelsea for £30million - he is Everton's version of David Beckham: a marketable tool, but unlike Beckham can actually play a bit. He will be a big draw for other players coming to the club. Especially young Englishmen who want Sven-Goran Eriksson to notice them. Keep him, he is this club's future.
Mark Yates, Liverpool
Rooney is true Blue
Have all the Everton fans gone mad!!!! We cannot and shall not sell Rooney. He is the person we have been waiting for here at Goodison for decades. Rooney is the kid who brings a smile to our faces and who wants to wear the great shirt. He is a true Blue who will play for us like only a true Blue would and he would even play for free just to play for the peoples club. Don't forget Rooney is the one who puts smiles on our faces with his skills and his great goals. Wayne please do not go. The true Everton fans do Love You dearly. NSNO and Wayne Rooney is that, Everton till I die.
by John Platania, Liverpool
No rush to buy
Selling Rooney is THE VERY LAST THING we should do. Yes, we need a midfielder. The next season hasn't started yet, so why the panic ? Look at the number of transfers up to now. NO PREMIER CLUB has spent more than £5.5 mil yet, which shows the state of the market. Some of the buy suggestions are utopian if not comical anyway and why do we swallow all the newspaper speculation?
The new owner of Chelsea has a questionable if not dubious past too. It'll be interesting to see how things develop there. P.S.: I thought we agreed Moyes knows what he's doing
by John Berne, (via e-mail)

Better late than never for Blues
Daily Post
Jul 11 2003
EVERTON'S pre-season training routine stepped up a notch yesterday with the return of the club's international stars. The players who were involved in international games at the end of last season were given some extra time off by manager David Moyes to ensure they would be raring to go.
Among the latecomers were Wayne Rooney, Lee Carsley, Thomas Gravesen, Gary Naysmith, Joseph Yobo, Mark Pembridge, Peter Clarke and Sean O'Hanlon. Everton's first Permiership game is on August 16 at Arsenal.

Moyes is unlikely to raise 'fair' Davis bid
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Jul 11 2003
DAVID MOYES looks unlikely to raise his offer for Sean Davis after insisting the £5million-rated deal was "more than fair". The Everton boss is waiting for the outcome of talks between the Fulham midfielder (pictured) and manager Chris Coleman before deciding his next move in the transfer saga.
But having offered the bulk of his summer kitty to land the 23-year-old - a £3.5m downpayment followed by £1.5m in instalments - Moyes hinted he wouldn't raise his bid even if he could. With Harry Kewell moving to Liverpool for just £5m and Leeds offering Paul Robinson to Aston Villa for £3.25m the transfer market slowdown has taken full effect. And with little cash moving between Premiership clubs Moyes believes £5m for an as yet uncapped player represents honest business.
"I think the offer we have made to Fulham is more than fair in the current climate," said the Blues boss last night. "You may even find prices come down again next season. "So to be fair to Bill Kenwright and the board they have been very supportive in a difficult time for football.
"We are a club who like anyone else is striving to move forward on last year and to do that you need one or two additions to your squad." Moyes is not the only one waiting for a decision on Davis as Li Tie's future rests on how Everton spend their summer cash. The Chinese international will return to training with Everton today even though the Blues have not reached an agreement with Liaoning Bird over his transfer fee. "Li Tie is coming back into the country and will train with us," explained Moyes. "At the moment the fee his club is asking for is too much but we'd love to have Li Tie. He did a great job for us last season but at the moment there is only a certain amount of money in the kitty and we've got to use it as best we can. "Unfortunately that may not be on him at the moment." Moyes, meanwhile, is running the rule over 18-year-old Italian striker Patrice Pascucci this week.

Davis too good to turn down
Jul 11 2003 By Howard Kendall
SEAN DAVIS would be an excellent signing for Everton, even if it means all their transfer budget going on one player. I have seen Davis on a number of occasions for Fulham and he has quality. His best years are still to come, too. Most fans were expecting the club to go for a wide player this summer, whereas Davis operates in the middle of the park. It could be said that Everton are at risk of becoming overloaded with central midfielders unless they can move one or two of their existing players on. But when the opportunity comes to improve your squad, you have to grab it with both hands. Fulham have rejected Everton's bid for Davis, but the player himself is said to be keen to come to Goodison and that is the most important thing. Sometimes it can be dangerous to make too many changes in the summer. If you have been successful, a team often only needs topping up with one new face. In recent years Liverpool have had an influx of players. That's all very well, but where do you play them all? Numbers are not important, it is quality. Moyes has identified his target and is going after him. Players hold all aces
HARRY KEWELL'S transfer to Liverpool demonstrates that the Bosman ruling has an awful lot to answer for. Leeds had to let Kewell go for £5m or risk losing him for nothing next year. Just once it would be nice for a club to say to a player in that situation "you're not going anywhere", even if it meant letting them go on a free transfer later. Cash- strapped Leeds were never in a position to do that, though. There are no doubts about Kewell's talent. Players like him who can go past defenders are invaluable. I don't see Kewell as a striker, though. The left midfield position is where he should play for Liverpool.
Nice to see Li Tie back
LI TIE'S loan stay at Everton expired last month, but he is back training with the club. He wants to keep himself fit in the hope the Blues can agree a deal to keep him here. I have a lot of time for Li Tie. Perhaps he was somewhat forced on David Moyes as part of a sponsorship deal, but the biggest compliment to the lad is the number of games he played last season. He has technique and vision, but perhaps was not suited to the hustle of the Premier-ship in his first season. But his willingness to train for nothing makes a refreshing change.
Cup should cop it first
FIFA are considering reducing domestic leagues to 16 clubs. Before we do that, we should get rid of the League Cup. No other major country has two domestic cup competitions. If the authorities are serious about reducing fixture congestion and helping the international coaches, they should do away with the League Cup.

Nyarko seems a lot happier now - Moyes
Jul 11 2003 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
ALEX NYARKO'S last appearance in a senior Everton shirt saw him wearing a scowl and making a promise never to play for the club again. Now the midfielder is back, and has just completed his first full week's training as he attempts to salvage a career which stalled at Highbury two years ago.
And initial reports from Bellefield have been positive. "Alex seems a lot happier and his demeanour has been very positive," said manager David Moyes. "It has taken him a day or two to get back into the swing of things, but we can't fault his training at present. "He's gone about his work in an excellent fashion. "Before he came back I'd only seen him play once for Everton in a pre-season friendly when I was managing Preston and he did extremely well that day. So we'll wait and see."
That pre-season friendly was Nyarko's first start in a Royal Blue jersey - and contributed to a sparkling Everton performance and a 5-0 victory. The Ghanaian then scored four goals in his next three friendlies, and made a positive impression in the Premiership, too - before his form and his mental outlook began to falter. Fit and focused, however, there is little doubt that Nyarko can make a contribution to most teams. On loan at Monaco he started 24 matches in Le Championnat, scoring two goals, but at Paris St Germain he made only 15 league starts (worryingly collecting two red and five yellow cards), plus three appearances in the UEFA Cup which yielded his only goal against Boavista. But even then he was still considered influential enough for international football.
German Burkhard Ziese was unveiled as the new coach of Ghana in March this year - and in his opening press conference admitted one of his priorities would be to try to persuade Nyarko to return to the international fold. "My aim is to work with a good mixture of players whether foreign or home-based," he said. "I've spoken with some players in Europe that fans don't know of and I will produce the best squad for the Black Stars. "All of them have responded positively, apart from Nyarko, who I am still hoping will change his mind." Much could depend on whether Nyarko's form is sufficient to convince David Moyes to include him in a Premiership squad again. Nyarko has taken his first tentative steps towards rebuilding his football career. But while the foundation stone is barely in place, the player at least has a smile back on his face again - which hasn't happened for some time.

Moyes' keeper targets
Jul 11 2003 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON boss David Moyes has challenged his goalkeepers to save him a small fortune in the transfer market. With first choice keeper Richard Wright "touch and go" for the big kick-off on August 16, Moyes could be forced to spend cash he can ill-afford on a replacement - unless Paul Gerrard and Steve Simonsen impress pre-season. "It's up to Paul and Steve," he said. "As long as they do well enough pre-season they will have every chance. If not I will have no hesitation about going into the transfer market. "We also have young Iain Turner who is doing very well. We have been very impressed since we brought him in from Stirling last season. He is a big lad who has some filling out to do. "This will be his first real pre-season and he is not right for regular first team action yet, but he has done well." Richard Wright is recovering from the freak shoulder injury he sustained shifting suit-cases at home, and so far his rehabilitation has gone according to plan. "He has done all the running and all the football work," explained Moyes, "but he has not been able to do anything with his hands because of the shoulder. "It will go down to the wire with him but if there are no setbacks he should be ready round about the start of the season." Wright is not the only player progressing well in pre-season training. Niclas Alexandersson was a peripheral figure last season, but he has been the early pace-setter in training. "Most of the lads have looked bright and sharp," he said, "but Niclas is looking in particularly good condition. "I think he has benefited from having his first real summer's break for a while, with no international commitments, and he has been the most impressive so far." Moyes is still refusing to put a deadline on when to draw a halt to his bid to land Fulham's Sean Davis, but he is becoming increasingly frustrated. Davis met with his manager yesterday to outline his desire to speak to the Blues, but Fulham are refusing to budge. The player still has two years remaining on his contract and The Cottagers are sticking to a £7m valuation.
Everton have offered £5m, with £3.5m down, and will not offer more. Chinese midfielder Li Tie, meanwhile, returned to Bellefield today, even though the Blues have not reached agreement with Liaoning Bird over a permanent transfer. He wants to train with the Blues until his future is sorted out and will go on next week's training camp to Austria.

You can be a part of Everton history
Jul 11 2003
IF you are a passionate Evertonian and you want to be part of Everton history, an exciting new official book will provide you with the perfect opportunity. "IF YOU KNOW YOUR HISTORY" will offer 160 pages of superb photography, bringing to life the wonderful story of Everton Football Club.
This hardback publication, superbly printed, will carry an "Evertonian Roll Of Honour" as a special index section. Anyone pre-ordering the book can have their name included. It will also be an opportunity to salute your father, your grandfather or any great Evertonian you know by securing a book in their name. Out in September, "IF YOU KNOW YOUR HISTORY" is being published to mark 125 years of Everton passion. It was in in 1878 that Everton Football Club was formed as St. Domingo's and the pictorial record of the Blues through decades of outstanding achievement is captured beautifully in this new book with over 160 photographs that feature everyone from the immortal Dixie Dean to new super hero Wayne Rooney. Many of these special archive photographs have never been seen before. Manager David Moyes and that supremely committed Evertonian Bill Kenwright both write forewards to salute the fans who have made Everton great. To secure your book and take advantage of the "Evertonian Roll of Honour" opportunity you must order by the extended deadline of July 30. Don't miss this chance to buy a unique birthday or Christmas present, or simply show your Everton pride by getting your name in a book that you can treasure forever.
So what do you need to do?
Send us the name and address of the book receipient. Also, write in BLOCK CAPITALS the name you want in the "Evertonian Roll of Honour." Ensure it is written clearly. What will it cost?
The standard book price is £25. Please send your cheque (made payable to EVERTON FOOTBALL CLUB) to: Everton FC, History Book Offer, Goodison Park, Liverpool L4 4EL. Copies will be available for collection from the Club Megastore from September 1st. To collect your book you will need proof of identity (i.e. passport, driving licence, utility bill). To mail a copy in the UK or abroad, the following prices apply: Inland: Book + postage + packaging: £30. Overseas: Book + postage + packaging: £35.
IF YOU KNOW YOUR HISTORY you will want to secure this super 125th anniversary publication and get your name in the "Evertonian Roll of Honour" - available only to those who take part in this pre-order opportunity.

Moyes: We must continue to improve
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Jul 14 2003
DAVID MOYES last night set the benchmark for Everton to make even more progress this season by insisting: "We should have done better last year". The Blues pick up their pre-season preparations today when they embark on a week-long training camp in Austria. And they do so with a clear message from their manager that last season's sudden rise up the Premiership table should have gone further and represents just the start of his Goodison revival. Moyes acknowledges there is more pressure on him and his players this season after raising the stakes by transforming the Blues from relegation candidates into European hopefuls in his first full year in charge. The Goodison boss has yet to add to an ageing squad this summer and still only has a limited transfer budget at his disposal despite finishing seventh in the Premiership last season. But he sees no reason why the Blues cannot claim at least the UEFA Cup spot lost so agonisingly on the final day of last term after seven months spent in the top six. Moyes said: "I want us to improve this term and I believe there is no reason why we shouldn't do as well as last year. "In fact, I think we should have done better than we did last season and our goal now is to attain the maximum out of the team. If we can do that in every game we play then we will come as close as we did last season and that is what we are aiming for." The Scot is still awaiting developments from Sean Davis' second round of talks with Fulham last week before deciding where to make his first splash in the transfer market, with a raid on former club Preston for Dickson Etuhu claimed yesterday if the Cottagers refuse to budge on their midfield lynchpin. But the Blues manager revealed his transfer strategy is aimed at forging a team that can raise expectations around Goodison for years to come. Moyes added: "We are trying to bring in some players with experience but also young players who will provide the future of the club and a backbone of the team for years to come." Chinese international Li Tie travelled with the Blues to the Austrian training base last night despite being a free agent with Everton yet to agree a fee with Liaoning Bird for the midfielder's transfer.

Blues move for Macca
Jul 14 2003 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON are to make a bold attempt to sign Steve McManaman and bring the boyhood blue back to Merseyside, the ECHO can reveal. Goodison boss David Moyes confirmed today that he is closely tracking the ex-Liverpool star, admitting McManaman is on a list of potential targets he is actively chasing this summer. Moyes has been boosted by news that McManaman, who is out of favour at Real Madrid, is prepared to take a significant cut to his £60, 000 a week wages in Spain. His first priority remains a central midfielder, with Fulham's Sean Davis still his number one target despite a £5m bid already having been rejected. Speaking this morning at the Blues' pre-season training camp in Austria, Moyes said: "Steve McManaman is one of several players that we are presently tracking, but there's nothing concrete to report at present." Moyes has also been alerted by Real Madrid's decision not to allocate McManaman, 31, a squad number for next season. He is therefore unlikely to figure for the Spanish champions next season and faces life on the sidelines unless he agrees to a move. McManaman currently has one year left on his contract and can leave on a free transfer. The Blues have made preliminary investigations, and now believe McManaman would be prepared to comply with Everton's self-imposed £20,000 a week wage cap. But before he quits Spain, he would want his final year's contract paying up by Madrid. Moyes is prepared to give Fulham a further 24 hours to decide whether Sean Davis will be allowed to leave, but is not optimistic, before switching his attentions elsewhere. Preston's Dickson Etuhu and West Ham's Michael Carrick would not be targets, although Sunderland's former Everton midfielder Gavin McCann could be. "We are actively pursuing a number of possibilities," said Moyes, "but we want to make sure it is absolutely right for the club." Everton have been joined at their Austrian training camp by Li Tie, despite the Blues still being unable to reach agreement with his club Liaoning Bird over a permanent transfer.

Blues are fit to explode
Jul 14 2003David Prentice Reports From Everton's Austrian Training Camp
DAVID MOYES turned Everton into a team of late finishers last season. And with pre-season training having kicked off in earnest in Austria this morning, he hopes to make Everton an even more formidably fit force. The Blues snatched a number of vital victories last season with late goals against Arsenal, Southampton and Aston Villa, and dramatic draws against Manchester City and Birmingham - and Moyes hopes to turn his team into an even more resilient outfit. "The position we are starting from this year is probably better than last season," he explained. "I don't like saying that the players are fitter, because they were already fit, but we have just given them a lot more self-belief in their levels of fitness and the psychological effects that that can bring are important.
"We work them relatively hard, but they are keen to work hard and a number of fans commented last season on how much leaner they looked." Given the hour's time difference, Moyes had his squad taking part in a warm-up training run this morning through the Austrian countryside - at 6.30am English time. They then endured two high intensity training sessions during the morning and again in the late-afternoon. "We have done 10 days at Bellefield and now we will have five or six days in Austria when we can intensify their work," he explained. "We have the players at our disposal continuously which helps us because we can monitor their diet and educate them, especially the younger ones, and it's also a good opportunity to take part in some teambuilding.
"The players feel much better in themselves if they are fitter. We are not doing anything different to most other clubs, but hopefully the little extra bits we can do with them can help us glean those extra points which can prove vital at the end of a season." Everton are in Austria until Friday, and play their first competitive pre-season friendlies next week with a double-header at Rochdale and Crewe which will see the squad split.
IRISH international Lee Carsley has never boasted a reputation as a midfield hatchet-man - until now. The follically challenged Carsley has turned demon barber for the week offering team-mates head-shaves to help them cope with the Austrian sunshine. Alan Stubbs was first to succumb to the sharp end of Carsley's razor, with coach Jimmy Lumsden expected to be next!
* COACH Andy Holden was met by an unusual sight at 6am this morning - a fully grown red deer.
"Must have been out on a stag night," he quipped.

The Evertonian - OUT NOW
Jul 14 2003 By Dan Kay, icLiverpool
THIS month's edition of the Evertonian magazine features an in-depth interview with retiring Blues legend Colin Harvey. Ahead of his forthcoming testimonial match against Bologna, Colin looks back over the 40-plus years he has been with the club, and the many roles he has excelled in during this period. Among many high points, the popular coach reflects on his trophy-laden playing career and his successful time as Howard Kendall's right-hand man during the glorious mid-1980's.
Also not to be missed is the full-size glossy fixture poster that will enable you to plan ahead for the next nine months as well as features on the pre-season games against Glasgow Rangers and David Moyes' former club Preston North End. The long-overdue return of international football to Goodison Park is marked with a reflection of previous fixtures that have taken place over the years, while we also catch up with the various ex-Blues now plying their trade as managers and see how they are all faring. There's a Q&A with Chief Executive Michael Dunford, a focus on what our previous form against this year's Premiership new-boys looks like and we also re-open the debate over which was our finest ever championship winning side. You'll find all this and much, much more in this July's Evertonian - what are you waiting for?

Young Blues start with City victory
Academy Football By Chris Wright, Daily Post
Jul 15 2003
GOALS by Robert Booth and Scott Brown helped Everton under-19s start their pre-season programme with a 2-0 victory over Chester City Reserves at Netherton on Saturday. Alan Harper's side took the lead after the City keeper misjudged Booth's cross/shot and the ball flew over his head and into the net. Then Scott Brown finished a fine move, after a patient build-up from the back, getting in on the end of Craig Garside's pass to finish well. Academy director Ray Hall said: "It was a good work-out in what was a very hot day. It was just what we needed. Although I am not working with the boys day in day out it was a good start. "It was the first game of the pre-season programme and we have now got six weeks to build up to the first games." Everton will open their FA Premier Academy League season with home games for both the U19s and the under-17s against Aston Villa on Saturday, August 23. The first away matches are a week later at Wimbledon for both sides. Gary Ablett's U17s also played their first match, a goalless draw with Wigan Athletic. Ray Hall said: "It was a good start. We had a much younger side than they did, so physically it was a good test for us. "And it was nice to see the lads who have been training over the last few weeks to play their first game as a full-time Academy scholar." The Blues will now take on a Samoan U17s national side tonight at Netherton (6pm kick-off). Coach Ablett will take charge of an under-15s side who are preparing for the first match on Saturday in the Northern Ireland Milk Cup. Everton are holders of the prestigious pre-season youth event, having beaten Brazilians Botafogo in last year's final.
Hall added: "Physically it will be a good test against the Samoan side, but technically you would expect us to be ahead of their boys. And it should be good preparation for us."

Macca is not top priority
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Jul 15 2003
DAVID MOYES will continue his mission to rebuild Everton's central midfield before he considers any move for former Liverpool star Steve McManaman. The Blues manager has confirmed the Real Madrid star is on his list of transfer targets after months of speculation linking the 31-year-old with a sensational move to the club he supported as a boy. But any bid to the Bernabeu hinges on a number of factors - not least Moyes' desire to bring in young, central midfielders ahead of the new campaign. Sean Davis remains a top target but the Goodison manager admits he is running out of patience with Fulham's stance and may switch targets in the next 48 hours. And McManaman himself would have to reach a compromise deal with the Spanish champions over the final year of his contract - worth £3m - in order to drop into the Goodison pay structure. The former Anfield favourite has not been handed a squad number this summer by Madrid who are keen to offload the midfielder in the wake of David Beckham's arrival. But that has happened to McManaman for the past two seasons in Spain and the player, currently on holiday, has yet to decide on where his future lies despite interest in a Premiership return. Such obstacles mean a move for McManaman is a long way down the pipe-line but Moyes admits the prospect of luring the two-time European Cup winner to Everton does appeal. "He's one of a number of players we are tracking at present," said Moyes.
"But we are trying to be active in the transfer market whilst also trying to make the money we've got go around as best we can. "We haven't spoken to Steve McManaman but he is somebody who I think could be a good addition to the squad. However, we are not doing anything just now because people know I am pursuing Sean Davis. I want to get some younger players in rather than ones who are coming to the end of their playing days though I wouldn't put Steve McManaman in that category yet." On Davis, he added: "At the moment it looks as if the deal isn't going to happen which is disappointing. I feel we've made a decent offer in today's market but obviously Fulham value him much higher." Moyes remains unperturbed by the lack of incomings at Goodison this summer and revealed he expects to unveil a number of new arrivals within the next fortnight.
He admitted: "We'd like to get players in earlier but the situation was exactly the same this time last year and we still managed to bring in a few players before the start of the season. I'm hoping we'll be able to bring in a few in a week or two." The Blues, meanwhile, suffered a minor scare at the start of their week-long training camp in the Austrian Alps yesterday when Wayne Rooney was forced to miss a training session with a slight groin injury. Moyes added: "This is the start of the training proper now. We've had around 10 days' light training at Bellefield so now the intensity of the training will increase plus it gives the players the chance to live together for a week. "Training is not the only reason we come here, it helps the team to bond too and that's important. The good spirit we have shone through in a number of games last season and that is what we'll want again.
"When you've got six weeks preseason training it's important to vary the regimes as well and this is a good break from Bellefield and a place where we can train three times a day."
* ANGRY Oldham manager Iain Dowie claimed yesterday that central defender Fitz Hall, who Everton had been tracking, had been sold to Southampton behind his back. Hall's departure from the debt-ridden second division club for a fee believed to be about £250,000 follows that of Chris Armstrong, who is now at Sheffield United. Dowie said: "We have lost another player and that is a big blow considering the fee he has gone for. I wasn't aware of the deal and I already had a higher offer from another club. But the clubs were in agreement and Fitz was sold on what he saw. Southampton are a great club and one I know well and Fitz has a chance to secure his family's future.
"He's been a pawn in this game and is a close personal friend, so I knew his situation. But it is disappointing when you are building for a season and you are not part of the discussion loop."

I've found my second home - Yobo
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Jul 15 2003
THOUGH frustration over limited transfer funds and no new faces simmers, Everton have still made a glaring statement of intent with the one man who has signed up to the David Moyes' cause this summer. Joseph Yobo displayed not only awesome potential last season he also broadcast his talents to a wider audience. And his availability too. Despite the imaginative transfer deal that enabled Everton to bring the World Cup defender from Marseille there were always doubts over whether he was here for the long-run, particularly when contract problems emerged and Arsenal, among others, were linked with a swoop for the commanding 22-year-old. Plus of course there were doubts on the playing side too. Not many admittedly when he stormed onto the Premiership stage after an injury-plagued delay but after playing second fiddle to David Weir and Alan Stubbs for months it was only during the runin when he reclaimed his favourite role and form. Taken together it didn't brew the most confident cocktail for a permanent stay on Merseyside. Problems between his agent and former club Marseille left the Nigerian international seriously contemplating his future and he admits they lay behind the dips in form that saw him dropped to the bench by a frustrated Moyes. But with the contract row ultimately resolved and Everton determined to push through the deal - at a total of £4.5million one of the biggest yet least discussed cash transfers of the summer - Yobo was convinced to stay. More importantly, he is convinced he made the right decision too.
"It was very unfortunate what happened so I'm just happy it's all sorted out now because it was a long wait and it did affect my game," said Yobo. "Now I just want to give my best this season without any problems. "It was a big problem last season, especially when I was told one thing and then other people denied it. It was a stressful time for me. "I was very sad and upset and I even wanted to return to Marseille at one stage but I'm much happier now. "I was very disappointed with my agent and a lot of things. I just wanted to be happy at Everton and with my football and now it's sorted I want to move on." Yobo's motives came in for questioning as the commanding defender who made such an impression on Evertonians in his early appearances struggled for form once the contract row reared its head. Yet he insists it was precisely because the move to Goodison dragged on so long that the situation worsened. "It did affect my game, no doubt," he adds. "The deal was supposed to be made permanent before the transfer window in January and it was during that period that the problems started. "I struggled to get back in, things weren't going the way I wanted and the manager thought I wasn't concentrating enough on my game. But when he gave me my chance back it was down to me to do my best and stay in the team. "I waited a long time for my chance to come because I knew I had to put my football first even with everything that was going on and especially because we were chasing a place in Europe. "I was patient, I knew I had to and support the team, but while I was pleased to get back in it was such a disappointing end when we didn't get into Europe. "That is our aim now for next season. If we do any better than last season it will be a massive achievement and it will mean we are in Europe. "We want to finish a few places higher up, which would give us a good chance of the Champions League but definitely a place in the UEFA Cup." It is the promise of more to come that has produced record season ticket sales at Everton this summer and heightened expectation on the players. Yobo, for one, is in no doubt he will deliver. As he explains: "I think there is more to come from me this season. I started well enough and had no problems at all, now I am in that position again and hopefully my family can come and support me more. "I expect a lot from myself and I'm working hard. I didn't do the pre-season last season because of injury and it's been a long time, maybe three seasons, since I have had a full pre-season. This is going to help me a lot. "The Premiership is very fast, quick and physical and I think my technique is well suited to it so with pre-season behind me I think I can show the supporters even more next season." Settled and secured, Yobo is now clearly itching for August 16 when, ironically, he will be at Highbury as many thought. But it is the chance to cement his Premiership and Goodison status - and do so trouble-free - that is his motivation now. Yobo said: "The Premiership is even better than I thought it could be. The passion, the love from the fans and every player wanting to play all the time makes it special. The football generally here makes you a better player as well. Since I came to the Premiership people have told me I've improved, even for the national team.
"For me it's the best league and the club feels right again as well. If I wasn't happy here I wouldn't have decided to stay but I love the club, love the fans and love the town. I'm happy, I'm more settled here than if I'd gone anywhere else and I feel like I've found my second home. I hope that's the way it's going to stay."

Put pen to Parker
Icliverpool And Daily Post
Jul 15 2003
Put pen to Parker
PLEASE sign Scott Parker from Charlton for around £3million, then use the rest on a decent centre back to go with Yobo. I also think Kevin McLeod should be playing. And to everyone who says sell Rooney, try being a real fan and believing in the future.
Brad Stanton, Merseyside
Value for money
PEOPLE should lay off players like Gemmill and Pembridge. They were brought in for a song and pound for pound have shown a much better return than some of the high-priced players over the last couple of years.
N Flynn, Liverpool
Cash in on Rooney
IF THE Russian wants to stump up £30million for the boy Rooney, then I say snap his hand off. One man/boy does, and will, not make a club. The Kid is without doubt gifted when it comes to his football skills. His temperament, however, is highly questionable. The money can go towards buying tried and tested players . . . let's stop this Southampton-Matt le Tissier scenario and let's think team.
Kris Barlis, Liverpool
Bring back Jeffers
DAVID MOYES should go for Scott Parker and give Alex Nyarko a chance. Despite leaving on bad terms, I would like us to sign Franny Jeffers back from Arsenal because Moyes can get the best out of any player given time and silverware will follow
Louise Lynch, Liverpool
Fourth grace
TO ALL Liverpudlians: you'd think you'd signed Wayne Rooney the way you're going on about Kewell. You might finish fourth now!
S Shelley, Liverpool
Hammer out deals
IT IS hard to believe we have not signed anyone yet. The new players need to train with the team. I don't think Davis will join us. We should concentrate on looking at players from Sunderland and West Ham. They need cash. We should buy Phillips, Reyna, Sinclair and Carrick. I think we can get any three of them for £5m.
Gary Grainger, Bootle
No chanceski
CHELSKI have more chance of signing the Pope! The boy is a devoted Evertonian and was not a bit interested when Real Madrid were sniffing around last season. By the time he is 21 he will be worth double that to Everton.
Jason King, (via e-mail)
Star attraction
ANYONE saying sell Rooney should be ashamed. Rooney won't leave until he's pushed and will attract classy players to Everton. Sean Davis would be excellent next to Gravesen in the centre of midfield. Alex Nyarko could possibly save us that £5m in the end. I hope everyone gives him a second chance. We still need a class partner for Yobo in defence.
Andy Devey, Liverpool

Test is yet to come
Jul 15 2003 By David Prentice With The Blues Squad In Austria
TONY HIBBERT has cast off his L-plates this summer - on and off the pitch. The talented young Everton defender passed his driving test last month. Now he hopes to come through a more testing examination and prove he is fit to revive an exciting career which stalled halfway through his first full campaign. Hibbert had just been called up to the England under-21 squad for the first time last season when injury cruelly struck. Even more disappointingly, now that he is nearing full fitness again, he is too old to qualify for David Platt's squad. "Like every player I'd love to play for my country," he said. "I was disappointed to miss out last season but the priority now is to get back into the Everton first team. "I should be ready for the start of the season," he said, after completing another gruelling session at Everton's Austrian training camp. "It's getting pre-season behind me and getting back to the position I was at before the injuries. I still get some discomfort from my groin and my ankle, but you just have to get on with it. "It's like that every season and I think the lads are feeling strains and soreness, but that's what pre-season is all about." Hibbert had been a virtual ever-present last term, combining a dogged resilience at the back with adventurous and effective raiding down the right flank. But in December he sustained a series of debilitating injuries. "It was a nightmare second half of the season for me," he groaned. "I had an ankle injury, the gash in my thigh and then the hernia problem. "I'd just got over those problems when I felt my hernia again. It turned out to be a double hernia, which meant both sides required surgery. After the way things had gone it was a real disappointment." Hibbert added: "I never expected last season to go so well for me. When the gaffer came in he said he had faith in the young lads, he gave them all a chance and luckily I was one who he gave a chance to. "He tells you when you are having a good game, but he tells you when you are doing wrong also so that helps. "When he first came he said he knew what kind of player I was. He said he knew I sat back under Walter, but he wanted me to get forward more and it worked. "Apart from that, I wasn't doing anything different, but the lads did a huge amount to help me fit in." One of those who played an unconscious part in smoothing Hibbert's path into Premiership football was Wayne Rooney. With the eyes of the football world focussed on the Everton wunderkind, the full-back was able to find his feet without media-created expectation.
"It helped a lot," he declared. "Even the press conference which announced the signing of our new contracts was dominated by him and I didn't have much to say! "I am made up the pressure's on him. It keeps my feet on the ground!"
BLUES' demon barber, Sweeney Carsley has struck again. Fresh from the savage shaves he administered to Alan Stubbs and Jimmy Lumsden yesterday, Leon Osman became the latest to fall victim to his voracious razor. EVERTON'S players became used to scaling unexpected heights last season. But none of the players were prepared for the vertiginous climb today - a precipitous cable car ride up the nearby Dachstein mountain. Height from sea-level to summit . . . 2,900 metres!

Settled future will help Yobo
Jul 15 2003 By Kevin Ratcliffe, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON may have made their most influential signing of the summer already. While David Moyes waits on a response from Fulham over Sean Davis, and monitors the situations of players like Steve McManaman and Scott Parker, Joseph Yobo is already settling swiftly into pre-season training with the Blues. The Nigerian defender spent a full season with the Blues last year. But the confusion over the terms of his contract certainly saw a dip in his previously majestic form. With those worries behind him, Yobo could now be in a position to reproduce that outstanding early season form consistently. That won't stop David Moyes desperately trying to add at least two new faces to his squad. There's still a month left before the big kick-off, though, so David won't be getting too concerned yet, which is maybe why he is holding tight over a possible swoop for Real Madrid's Steve McManaman. Given the difficult financial situation at Everton he won't want to bring a crowd-pleasing player in just to satisfy the fans - it has to be some-body who will please the team as well and embrace the work ethic he has successfully introduced at Goodison. McManaman may be able to do that, but having celebrated his 30th birthday he will have little future resale value.
McManaman may be able to improve Everton, but I believe Moyes has one or two other more pressing priorities before he considers a move.
Moyes can get more
DAVID MOYES has a difficult task to improve on last season's highly creditable seventh-place.
But he believes it is attainable, and I, for one, believe him. David has had the players at his disposal for a full season now. He knows their qualities and individual foibles better, and they understand his beliefs and tactics better. The squad is largely the same, and hope-fully there will be at least one better quality addition to arrive. So why shouldn't Everton at least match last season's finish?
Of course it's going to be difficult. Only a fool would think otherwise, but there's no reason why Everton can't continue to build on last season's progress.
I dearly hope it is the case.
Roman's empire won't be built in day THE Roman Abramovich-inspired spending spree at Chelsea is like a story plucked from the pages of Roy of the Rovers. But it's been proved many times before that you can't buy success. It's more likely to help you lower down the League. A club can certainly buy its way out of the Third, Second or maybe even First divisions - but you just can't buy the Premiership title. Spending sprees like the one Chelsea seem about to embark upon can cause as many problems as they solve. Remember Everton's spending spree in the summer of 1988 when Tony Cottee, Pat Nevin, Stuart McCall and Neil McDonald arrived? It didn't help Everton restore former glories and cliques developed in the camp. Chelsea could find something similar, as well as finding themselves held to ransom over players. Damien Duff is undoubtedly a talented player - but at £17m he is certainly not £12m better than Harry Kewell. The money Graeme Souness could receive for him, plus the cash they banked for David Dunn could see Blackburn Rovers bring in another three or four top-class players. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see them perform as well, if not better than Chelsea next season.

Moyes praises Tranmere target
Jul 15 2003 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES has backed Kelham O'Hanlon to be a success at Prenton Park - if the 41-year-old coach is appointed as Tranmere's new assistant manager. Rovers have yet to make an official announcement on the replacement for David Kelly, who quit his role as Ray Mathias' number two 10 days ago in order to join Neil Warnock at Sheffield United. But O'Hanlon appears to be the front runner to become Mathias' assistant. The former Preston coach is working with the Tranmere squad this week as they continue their preparations for the new season. O'Hanlon worked alongside Moyes during the Everton manager's time in charge at Deepdale. And the Blues' chief (pictured) has backed him for the Rovers job. He said: "He is a very knowledgable coach and knows the game extremely well. "He can certainly help Ray Mathias in the push to get out of the second division because we did it ourselves when I was manager at Preston and he was my assistant.
"He knows that division inside out." O'Hanlon, from Saltburn near Middlesbrough, moved into coaching after retiring as a player in 1996. He played 600 games for five clubs in a 16 year career as a goalkeeper, turning pro with Middlesbrough in 1980. He spent six seasons at Rotherham between 1985 and 1991 before spells with Carlisle, Preston and Dundee United. He returned to Preston as a coach, although he was called into action as a keeper for 15 games in the 1996/ 97 season.
He was promoted from coach to assistant manager alongside Moyes in 2001. Mathias is keen to find a replacement for Kelly as soon as possible. The Rovers boss will be watching his senior players in action for the first time since their return to preseason training tonight. Tranmere will be involved in two games, with the first team squad split in two to face Heswall and Cammell Laird.
Both matches will played away from Prenton Park and Mathias will be splitting his time between Heswall and Cammell Laird to monitor the progress of his sides. Each side will be made up of a combination of senior squad members and youth players. The games will kick-off at 7.30pm.

Davis digs in for Blues
Jul 15 2003 By David Prentice With The Blues In Austria
SEAN DAVIS today demanded another showdown meeting with Fulham boss Chris Coleman - his third in a week - to plead with the chance to talk to Everton. But if the Cottagers refuse to budge, Blues boss David Moyes admits he may go into the new season without any new faces in his squad.
"It's a possibility," he said at Everton's Austrian training camp today. "What money we do have available I am not going to waste if I don't think it will improve us. I would rather keep it and pick and choose the right time to spend. "But there's no doubt we could do with giving the squad a boost with one or two new faces, and I do have two or three other things which we are working on.
"We are trying to exhaust every avenue possible, but if you think back it was the same last season before we eventually got the players we were after." Davis is undoubtedly the player Moyes is primarily after this summer, but as revealed in yesterday's ECHO, he has also confirmed his interest in bringing Steve McManaman to Goodison. Moyes admitted: "It looks as if Sean Davis is a step too far for us now. "The price we have been quoted is out of our capability, but we will keep pursuing it for a little while longer." Wayne Rooney, meanwhile, missed training today with a minor groin strain. "It will probably keep him on the sidelines for a couple of days," said Moyes. "Leon Osman has also missed a day with a thigh strain, but both problems are very minor and everybody else is getting through the work very well." Everton's former Brazilian loan player Rodrigo, meanwhile, has started a three-month trial at Leeds United. Colin Harvey's retirement has seen Alan Harper elevated to Under-19 coach for next season, and Gary Ablett has been appointed under-17 coach.
Former Everton winger Jesper Blomqvist has signed for Swedish champions Djurgardens until the end of the Swedish season in October. Blomqvist had previously spent an unsuccessful period at Charlton Athletic.

Wayne warned
Jul 16 2003David Prentice Reports From Everton's Austrian Training Camp
WAYNE ROONEY may have to resign himself to being an Everton supersub once again this coming season. The Everton forward is one of world football's most exciting young talents and current first choice for Sven Goran Eriksson's England side. But Blues boss David Moyes has admitted he will find it as difficult to accommodate him in Everton's starting line-up as he did last season.
"We will have the same dilemma again this season, and I will probably continue to handle it the same way as I did last year," he confessed. "Whoever is playing well and is in form will be in, but we have other people to come in and play, too." Tomasz Radzinski was Everton's Player of the Season for 2002-03, and Moyes has already shown his preference for a powerful centre-forward who can provide an aerial threat to play alongside him. Moyes said: "There are times when we would like to play Wayne and Tomasz Radzinski together because there were times last season when Kevin Campbell carried an awful lot of the workload. "We will have a look at that pairing during pre-season, but the only time we have used the two together before was at Shrewsbury in the FA Cup and we know what happened then!" Rooney rejoined training today at Everton's Austrian training camp, after sitting out Tuesday's session with a minor groin strain, but he will not be risked in the first of two friendly matches Everton have arranged in Austria. The Blues face an Austrian Second Division side tomorrow night, when Alex Nyarko will play some part. It will be the Ghanaian's first appearance in an Everton jersey since his infamous walk-off at Arsenal more than two years ago.
"We probably won't play any of the internationals tomorrow night," said Moyes "but Alex will play some part. The games are against low-key opposition and will just form an extension to the training sessions. "We will still train on the days of the matches and they're just designed to get the lads back playing with a football again."

EVERTON'S tour squad gave a new slant to the hit Hollywood movie "White Men Can't Jump" last night. Steve Watson, Kevin McLeod and Joseph Yobo staged an impromptu high jump competition.
Watson and McLeod sailed over the 150 centime-tre bar, while Yobo crashed hopelessly. "Black Men Can't Jump!" cried Tomasz Radzinski with glee. WAYNE ROONEY was forced to sit out yesterday's sessions with a minor groin strain - but instead revealed another hidden talent. From the halfway line, he tossed a ball into the air and punched it direct into the facing goal more than 60 yards away . . . without the ball bouncing. Wouldn't fancy a right hook from him!

I'll score for Blues - Pembo
Jul 16 2003 By David Prentice With The Blues In Austria
MARK PEMBRIDGE believes he can solve Everton's midfield goals shortage - provided he is given a consistent run in David Moyes' side. The Welsh international was a regular marksman at Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday, hitting double figures in a season several times. At Derby he netted 28 times in 108 league games and recorded 11 goals in 90 matches for the Owls. He netted Everton's opening goal of last season, but then was afflicted by the chronic goals drought which affected Everton's entire midfield. Only Steve Watson weighed in regularly, with Thomas Gravesen scoring just once and Li Tie and Scott Gemmill failing to reach even that paltry total. But Pembridge declared: "I did score regularly earlier in my career, but then if you look at my career I played consistently, week in week out - except for when I came to Everton. "So hopefully I can stay injury free and if I get a run in the team perhaps I can score a few goals. "That's the key really, playing games more regularly - which keeps you match fit as well." Pembridge is unfazed by the prospect of new midfield arrivals at Goodison this summer - with David Moyes actively pursuing Sean Davis and Steve McManaman. "Competition f or places is healthy," he said. "With the players we have and maybe one or two new faces there's no reason why we can't do even better than we did last season." Moyes admitted today there were no new developments in the transfer market. McManaman is currently on holiday with his wife and uncontactable, while Fulham are refusing to budge on Davis. Moyes noted with interest Tottenham's rejected £3.5m bid for Scott Parker, however, and may believe that now is the time to switch his attentions in that direction.

McLeod's keen to end his long wait
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Jul 17 2003
EVERTON pre-seasons have developed into one long waiting game over the last few years.Whether it's for new signings to arrive or the manager to prise his top transfer targets away from reluctant sellers, close season tends to follow a familiar pattern for the Blues.That is a sentiment Kevin McLeod will no doubt recognise. Another recurring theme over the past few summers has been the hugely impressive form of the local winger and the belief that this, finally, could be his year. Then the waiting game kicks in.Under both Walter Smith and David Moyes the boyhood Blue shone in the sunshine only to remain in the background once the real business got underway.Rather than become the latest product to roll off the Youth Academy production line and into a first team berth McLeod, now aged 22, has had to look on as peers progressed and a team crying out for pace and width on the left carried on without him.After just one substitute appearance last season, off the back of another starring role in the Blues' first pre-season tour of Austria, McLeod headed to Queens Park Rangers for a successful loan spell that ended with a second division play-off final and the offer of a permanent move to Loftus Road.Seriously tempted, the winger from Garston rejected the bid in favour of a new one-year deal with Everton. It is, he admits, "the last crack of the whip" to make it at Goodison Park and though frustrated at his lack of opportunities his belief in finally making the breakthrough remains undiminished.And it is the added experience gathered with QPR that he believes can make the difference this time around. McLeod said: "It has happened every summer it seems, I've scored plenty of goals in pre-season and proved to managers I can play in their teams but they tend to go for experience rather than throw a younger player in from the start. Now though, I've got more experience on my side so I'll see what happens this pre-season and take it from there."It would be unbelievable if the gaffer could just give me two or three games on the bounce to prove myself. A lot of the fans say we haven't got an attacking left-sided midfielder at the club so hopefully I can get the chance to show we have."With just 12 months left to make his mark at Everton McLeod knows he cannot afford to be left out of the reckoning when August comes around.But, as he says: "Playing in the Premiership is the ultimate goal for any player, especially a young player, and I will drop down to get back up again. That doesn't bother me. I've experienced it now but I've come back to work twice as hard and to get my place back."Basically I've got another year to try and get back in the first team. I went to QPR on loan and showed I could play at that level and I think I can play in the first division as well but I've signed this contract to try and prove I can play in the Premiership and I hope David Moyes gives me that chance."I thought if I went out on loan and done well then I might have got a longer deal but obviously I've now just got the one year to prove myself to the gaffer. Being on loan got me fit and gave me more experience so I've signed for the year to hopefully use that to get in the team."It's not my last chance in the sense that if I can get in and stay in the first team then I'll be here longer. But this is the last crack of the whip to try and get in and I'm going to give it everything to make it work." McLeod is not the only one banking on his experience in the second division having the galvanising effect that could see him ease Everton's midfield problems next season.Manager Moyes said: "He's done quite well in the second division and now this is an opportunity for Kevin to go on."My feeling is he should have gone out on loan earlier in his career, maybe even before my time, as it would have given him a better idea of what it's about."We'll look at him in pre-season and I'll be fair to Kevin. He's at a stage where he has to be closer to the first team but Kevin's got to be the one to force the issue and make it difficult to leave him out. You have to fight for a position in football so he'll need to work very hard for his."McLeod lived with former youth teammate Francis Jeffers during his three-month loan spell in London. Now it is the prospect of joining Jeffers back in the Premiership arena rather than a capital residence that drives the winger on."It was great in London, I had a really good time," he said. "Fran looked after me and was different class, and I was playing some unbelievable football down there and it was nice to play in front of a crowd rather than Widnes.It does make a big difference being in the first team regularly. People seem to look at you in a different way and respect you more because you're in the first team. The manager speaks to you differently because you're one of his players."That was at QPR. I'm not being big headed but I was one of their top players and so they really looked after me. Here though I am at the bottom of the pecking order so it's a totally different role for me."I was tempted to stay at QPR. It's a nice club with nice people who looked after me well. But I want to play a better standard of football in the Premiership and on a wider stage."McLeod adds: "Obviously if I don't get in early doors this season then I'll have to look at my options but when the gaffer gave me the new contract he said it was the chance to prove myself and now it's all down to me."

Moyes may turn to McCann
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Jul 17 2003
DAVID MOYES will switch his sights on bringing Gavin McCann back to Goodison Park if his bid for Sean Davis remains deadlocked by this weekend.The Everton boss is weighing up midfield alternatives to the 23-year-old (left) as Fulham refuse to lower their asking price despite being told repeatedly he wants a move to Goodison Park.And Blues' old boy McCann heads the reserve target list - providing Sunderland drop their £3million asking price for the England international.The Black Cats are in deep financial trouble after last season's relegation from the Premiership and their failure so far to offload any of their highearners.And their £3m price-tag on McCann will halt any interest from Moyes, who would be likely to offer only half that amount.The 25-year-old left Goodison in 1998 in a £500,000 deal that gave Everton 25 per cent of any future transfer fee more than £1.5m.A £3m bid, therefore, would see Everton pay £2.25m but that is still more than Moyes would be willing to spend from his limited transfer kitty.The Blues boss will await the outcome of yet more talks between Davis and Fulham officials today before deciding his next move in the transfer market.Scott Parker remains on Moyes' wish-list but with Fulham insisting on £7m for their man, Charlton would almost certainly price their midfield star out of Everton's range.Contrary to some reports the Blues have not signed Steve McManaman from Real Madrid although he remains a target once the central midfield issue is resolved.Wayne Rooney, meanwhile, will take no part in Everton's first friendly of the summer when they play an Austrian second division side tonight.The star striker and the rest of Everton's international contingent will not be considered after reporting back for training later than their colleagues."The international lads have only been back ten days so they won't play," confirmed Moyes. "But they may be considered for another practice game we have scheduled for Friday."Duncan Ferguson is expected to play tonight after making a flying start to the Blues' pre-season programme. The big Scot scored an superb hat-trick in the first competitive game at the Austrian camp yesterday and Moyes is delighted with his contribution so far."Duncan is doing really well this pre-season," he said. "He's getting a good pre-season under his belt and has taken part in every training session since we started back. He's certainly looking fit and his test results show that."Moyes added: "As a group I think the players are at a better level than this time last year. "The players feel better in themselves and they realise that last year a lot of their performances were down to them feeling stronger and fitter. That's nothing to do with me, it's down to the players and their attitude and desire to be in good condition."

Everton score with fans' one-stop shop
By Chris Brown, Daily Post
Jul 17 2003
EVERTON Football Club are to provide a one-stop shop for fans.Supporters who want to use any of the club's services will be able to call one number and have their enquiries sorted out easily.Everton will be the first British club to operate such a scheme as clubs normally use a variety of different commercial partners for each individual service.The call centre will be launched before the start of the season.The Blues have signed the deal with Optimum Advice and a single call centre will deal with all incoming calls.The phone number will be announced soon. Among the services that will be available through the club are finance, general insurance, personal injury claims, electrical goods, travel, health products, motor dealerships, telecommunications, leisure and fitness and home improvements.The two companies that will still retain an affiliation to the club aside from Optimium are Britannia Building Society and MBNA Credit.Everton chief executive Michael Dunford said: "This is a ground-breaking initiative."Once again, we find Everton at the forefront of modern-day business thinking."In football, it is essential that a club never stands still, you have to move with the times and that is exactly what this deal represents."Chris Pornell, co-founder of Optimum Advice, said: "This is an exciting project for all concerned and will allow us to serve the fan base, saving thousands of pounds per year on everyday goods and services."Alastair Saverimutto, commercial manager for Everton said: "I haven't been with Everton for that long but we had four or five affinity partners all of whom were coming to our customers and calling them."So our fans all had four or five different messages coming at them from different parties."Now what this will mean is our customers will be able to come to the one place over any query that they may have."We are able to offer them some incredible discounts. We can offer people a flat screen Samsung Plasma TV which sells in the shops for £799, for £375."As well as the new partner, the Blues are setting up a business directory for fans. The Everton True Blue Pages Business Directory will include the names of businesses of fans meaning that Evertonians will be able to use fans' businesses.

Linderoth: Forget Davis
Jul 17 2003 By David Prentice In Austria
EVERTON'S dogged pursuit of Sean Davis this summer suggests David Moyes has targeted a midfield anchor-man as his transfer priority for next season. But he has a Swedish international who fits that bill already at his disposal - and over the next few weeks Tobias Linderoth hopes to convince the Blues' boss he should redirect his transfer search. Linderoth's season was ripped apart by injuries last year, but when he did play his record was almost impeccable. An influential 55th-minute substitute during the pivotal match of the season - the 2-1 defeat of Arsenal - he played the full 90 minutes in the subsequent victories at West Ham and Leeds. He also started the Worthington Cup tie at Newcastle which ended in penalty shoot-out triumph, before the torn hamstring which effectively ended his season. "I don't think I'm a lucky charm," he laughed, "but I hope next season goes like that for me. "I have played the last couple of years in the anchor role in central mid-field and I think I have played my best games there. "Last season was a difficult one for me, but I feel fine now. The hamstring is perfect and it is good to get a full pre-season under my belt for the first time at Everton." Linderoth's entire Everton career has been interrupted by circumstances beyond his control. Barely weeks after his £2.5m arrival from Norwegian side Stabaek, the manager who signed him, Walter Smith, was sacked. Then, any chance he had of impressing new boss David Moyes was ruined by injury. "I don't feel that last season was a completely wasted one for me," he said. "I had a tough beginning of the season and then I started to play a little bit. "Then I got injured and there's not much you can do about that. "It feels a bit like the manager doesn't really know how well I can play because he hasn't been able to watch that much of me. He went with the other players he knew better." Linderoth hopes to be involved in tonight's opening pre-season friendly against Austrian second division side Bad Goisern, but admitted: "Of course you want to do well, but the main thing is to show you can get through 90 minutes without a problem. "I feel very comfortable and very settled at Everton now. When you are injured you feel you are not as involved as the other players. But it maybe gave me time to get to know everyone at the club better - and I want to stay here for a long time."

Keeper Gerrard ready to stake his claim
Jul 17 2003 By David Prentice With The Blues In Austria
PAUL GERRARD will get first shot at showing he is ready to claim the Goodison goalkeeping berth when the season kicks off - after shedding eight pounds during a gruelling pre-season schedule.
Linked with a move to Ipswich all summer and not having figured in the first team since the trip to Southampton almost a year ago, he will start Everton's opening pre-season friendly tonight against Austrian Second Division side Bad Goisern. "Gezza has worked incredibly hard pre-season and is probably in as good a shape as we have seen him," said boss David Moyes today. "He has lost half-a-stone and is looking sharp. Richard Wright is still touch-and-go for the start of the season so it is good to see Paul pushing himself so hard." Everton will conclude their week's t raining camp in Austria with back-to-back friendlies against minor opposition. Following tonight's match against Bad Goisern, the Blues will face SC Schwan Schwanenstat tomorrow night, an Austrian third division team. Italian triallist Patricio Panucci will be on the bench tonight, along with Alex Nyarko - but international stars like Wayne Rooney, Thomas Gravesen and Lee Carsley will be saved until tomorrow night's match. Moyes, meanwhile, is no closer to snaring his first signing of the summer.
Frustrated by Fulham's intransigence over Sean Davis, he has made an inquiry about Sunderland's former Evertonian Gavin McCann, but was quickly scared off by the asking price. "We have expressed an interest," he admitted. "But Sunderland's valuation of the player is way above ours."
The Black cats are believed to be demanding £3m for a player who won his first international cap for England two years ago.
EVERTON v Bad Goisern: Gerrard, Hibbert, Weir, Stubbs, Unsworth, Alexandersson, Gemmill, Linderoth, Pembridge, Campbell, Chadwick. Substitutes (from): McLeod, Tie, Nyarko, Osman, Clarke, Panucci.

Blues' pre-season fixtures
Jul 17 2003 icLiverpool
THE Blues begin to dust off the summer cobwebs with a training camp in Austria that is likely to involve at least one friendly match against local opposition before a return to England to face Rochdale at Spotland. Everton boss David Moyes has opted to split his squad into two teams that day giving Blues fans the dilemma of deciding whether to travel to Manchester or Crewe where a second game will take place. The 25th July sees Everton take off to Scotland as they did last year and a mouthwatering clash against Scottish champions Glasgow Rangers will see Blue shirts out in full force. A trip to Dundee Utd on 30th July comes ahead of what will be an emotional return to Deepdale for Moyes as he pits his wits against his old side Preston North End. The Toffees travel to Holland to take on Roda JC before the pre-season preparations come to an end as Italian side Bologna arrive at Goodison Park for Colin Harvey's testimonial on 10 August.
Pre-season fixtures
Thursday, 10 July / Start Training Camp in Austria.
Thur 17 July Bad Goisern (A) 8.00pm Friendly
Fri 18 July SC Schwan Schwanenstadt (A) 8.00pm Friendly
Tue 22 July Rochdale (A) 7.30pm Friendly (Everton XI)
Tue 22 July Crewe (A) 7.45pm Friendly (Everton XI)
Friday, 25th July / Leave for Training Camp in Scotland.
Sat 26 July Glasgow Rangers (A) 3.00pm Friendly
Sat 26 July Leigh RMI (A) 3.00pm Friendly (Everton XI)
Wed 30 July Dundee Utd 7.30pm Friendly (Kick-off TBC)
Sat 2 Aug Preston (A) 3.00pm Friendly
Tue 5th Aug Roda JC (Holland) (A) 8.00pm Friendly
Sun 10 Aug Bologna (Italy) (H) 3.00pm. Friendly
(Colin Harvey Testimonial)

Bad Goisern 0, Everton 7 (D, Post)
Jul 18 2003 By Andy Hunter in Austria, Daily Post
THE STANDARD of Austrian PA announcing has declined alarmingly in the last 12 months. This time last year an obviously clued-up tannoy man hailed Wayne Rooney's arrival on the senior stage with the prophetic words "Here is the new Alan Shearer". Last night, when Nick Chadwick delivered a timely reminder that it doesn't always have to be the Rooney show, the youngster's efforts received scant reward on the public address. Chadwick helped Everton get their pre-season programme off to a commanding start as they strolled to victory over Austrian minnows Bad Goisern. Bad they were, and not just the opposition. Having opened the scoring after just nine minutes his moment was somewhat spoiled by the declaration it was a goal by Duncan Ferguson, who wasn't even in the squad. Worse was to come, much worse, as goals two and three before the break prompted a Phil Collins record to burst out of the speakers to dampen the mood more than the torrential Alpine downfall could ever do. PA controllers may have had it in for the young Everton striker, but fortunately for Chadwick the man who really matters - David Moyes - was taking note. Let's be honest, this was hardly frightening opposition nor the stage to show you merit a place in the Premiership. But after a frustrating 12 months at Goodison Park, when injury prevented the forward building on the rich promise of the 2001-02 campaign, Chadwick will be glad of any chance to press his claims. With 17-year-old Italian trialist Patrizio Pascucci also making a mark with two poacher's goals, Moyes at least received confirmation that while midfield needs addressing he has enough options in attack to carry Everton through the coming campaign. Those options will increase significantly if Chadwick does "bridge the gap" to Premiership level but for now it is a question of shaking off the summer rust and in that respect Everton had no trouble. The only problem faced all night was doubts over whether the game would go-ahead after a lightning storm broke out on their arrival at the Austrian second division club. Everton's international contingent, who had been rested for the game, wisely chose to stay on the team coach parked alongside the pitch and watched as their team-mates basically enjoyed a 90-minute game of attack versus defence. Chadwick broke the deadlock with a smart piece of control and a low shot on the turn from a Niclas Alexandersson cross. The Swede, who had been flying in training, was soon forced off with a slight thigh strain but the supply line remained undiminished. Leon Osman (left) replaced Alexandersson and produced a livewire performance down the right. Everton's second came on 33 minutes when, after Jurgen Aschauer had a goal for Bad Goisern ruled out for offside, Kevin Campbell was set free by Tobias Linderoth and chipped back across goal for Chadwick to apply a simple tap-in. His hat-trick strike arrived just three minutes later and this time was all his own work. Picking up the ball from deep Chadwick skipped inside a defender before finding the bottom corner with a powerful drive from the edge of the box. Tony Hibbert also suffered a knock, with his departure at half-time paving the way for a player we thought we'd never see again making his Everton return, Alex Nyarko. Two minutes after the restart Campbell rolled the ball into an empty net after an almighty howler from keeper Markus Stamberg saw the ball bobble through his legs, with Pascucci adding the fifth with his first touch in the 64th minute. Again Stamberg was to blame, letting a Li Tie cross slip through his fingers and giving the Italian a gift from two inches out. Pascucci showed plenty of promise for a teenager, but though lively and skilful it remains to be seen whether he will be joining his team-mates full time in the future. David Weir powered home a header from Mark Pembridge's corner in the 67th minute before Pascucci completed the rout with a glancing header from Linderoth's cross with five minutes left. The traditional pre-season friendly scoreline could have reached double figures as Chadwick hit the post and Mark Pembridge missed two clear openings. Just as well, seven blasts of the bald former Genesis drummer was more than enough.
EVERTON (4-4-2): Gerrard; Hibbert (Nyarko 45), Weir, Stubbs, Unsworth; Alexandersson (Osman 12), Gemmill (Li Tie, 62), Linderoth, Pembridge; Campbell (Pascucci 61), Chadwick. Subs: McLeod, Clarke.

Bad Goisern 0, Everton 7 (Echo)
Jul 18 2003 By David Prentice In Austria, Liverpool Echo
BACK when Wayne Rooney was known only in Croxteth, rather than the world, Nick Chadwick was the hot young striking prospect at Everton. Three goals in only two starting appearances at the end David Moyes' first season in charge of Everton marked him down as a youngster of promise and potential. A series of cruel injuries allowed Rooney to accelerate ahead of him in the pecking order at Everton. But last night, Chadwick used the opening match of Everton's pre-season preparations for 2003-04 to remind Moyes of his finishing prowess. Chadwick scored a 36 minute hat-trick during Everton's rain-drenched 7-0 stroll against Austrian second division side Bad Goisern. And while the Austrians were undoubtedly aptly named, Chadwick took his chances well and proved that the injury problems which limited his first team chances to just 15 minutes in the final match of last season were well and truly behind him. There was also a brace from Italian triallist Patrizio Pascucci - a fight with Chadwick for the matchball was prevented when a cute back-heeled third was disallowed for offside - a looping header from David Weir and a simple tap- in for Kevin Campbell. Moyes will have learned little from a match which he admitted afterwards was little more than a continuation of the day's training activities. But it saw the re-appearance in an Everton jersey again of Alex Nyarko and saw Tony Hibbert make an even more welcome return after the hernia problems which cut his hugely promising debut season in half last December. He was replaced at half-time with a knock on the shin, 33 minutes after the lively looking Niclas Alexandersson had limped off with a thigh strain.
But by then the Swede had already created Everton's opening goal. Wearing their dismal looking brand new pale blue third strip, the Sky Blues strolled to a 3-0 half-time lead. Alexandersson cut inside from the right and clipped a cross into the box which Chadwick turned cleverly onto and tucked neatly into the corner of the net. Bizarrely the tannoy announcer gave the credit for the goal to Duncan Ferguson - who was watching the action from the comfort of the team-bus in a bid to escape the torrential rain. But as the rain poured down, so too did the goals. Everton created goalscoring chances at will. Tobias Linderoth did his best to show that the dogged pursuit of Fulham's Sean Davis may not be entirely necessary when he slid onto the end of a rampaging David Unsworth run and saw a shot saved, substitute Osman curled a shot narrowly wide and Stubbs crashed a free-kick inches wide of the opposite post. The second goal came in the 33rd minute. Linderoth's decisive pass created a goalscoring opportunity for Campbell, but after appearing to take the ball too wide of the target, he cut it back across goal for Chadwick to chest in from almost on the line. If that goal was scruffy, Chadwick's hat-trick strike three minutes later was the most magnificent of the seven. Veering onto Scot Gemmill's pass he evaded the attentions of two defenders before drilling a fierce, 20-yard drive low into the bottom corner of the net. The second half was little more than a procession. An awful defensive mix-up handed Campbell a tap-in just two minutes after the restart, before Haischberger roused Paul Gerrard from his slumbers with a drive which cannoned off the inside of a goalpost and squirted across the goalmouth. A minute later Chadwick also struck the woodwork with an even easier chance, before 17-year-old Italian triallist Pascucci entered the fray. He made his mark inside 60 seconds, but owed a huge debt to a goalkeeping howler from Markus Stamberg. Li Tie's cross should have been comfortably dealt with, but he handled it like a bar of Imperial Leather and Pascucci tapped in on the line. Pre-season friendlies are a fertile breeding ground for triallists who look promising, but then disappear without trace. Everton anoraks will remember other pre-season marksmen like Omar Daley, Jack De Gier and Ronnie Eke-lund - who all scored then disappeared. Despite a soaring header which the diminutive forward looped over substitute keeper Unterberger five minutes from the end, he may well follow the same route. Before then David Weir had looped another header from Mark Pembridge's corner past the original keeper, Stamberg, as Everton eased gently into their pre-season work-outs.
A clean sheet, seven goals scored - and Wayne Rooney, Tomasz Radzinski and Richard Wright still to come . . . Everton's pre-season preparations are well and truly underway.
BAD GOISERN: Stamberg (Unterberger 70), Putz (Engleitner 72), Barnthaler, Stuhlar, Halada, Krieg, Sengul, Scherpink, Haischberger, Schrempf (Rieger 84), Yeter. Not used: Babyd, Wimmer, Pfandl.
EVERTON: Gerrard, Hibbert (Nyarko 45), Weir, Stubbs, Unsworth, Alexandersson (Osman 12), Gemmill (Tie 62), Linderoth, Pembridge, Campbell (Panucci 62), Chadwick. Not used: Simonsen, McLeod, Clarke.
GOALS: Chadwick (9 mins) 1-0, Chadwick (33) 2-0, Chadwick (36) 3-0, Campbell (47) 4-0, Pascucci (63) 5-0, Weir (67) 6-0, Pascucci (85) 7-0.

Chaddy's treble reminds Moyes
Jul 18 2003 By David Prentice With The Blues In Austria
NICK CHADWICK rapped a 36 minute hat-trick in Everton's 7-0 stroll against Austrian side Bad Goisern last night - to remind David Moyes that Wayne Rooney isn't the only talented young striker at the club. While Rooney sat out the opening game of Everton's pre-season preparations, Chadwick hit three and said afterwards: "It's a nice way to start pre- season. It's just what I was looking for to kick-start this season after the problems I had last term." Two years ago Chadwick announced his potential with three goals in only two Premiership starts. But despite injury problems last season, and a two-month loan spell at Derby, he still finished runner-up in the Reserve League's leading scorer charts. "Hopefully my injury problems are behind me," he said. "Every time someone asks me if I am okay, I say yes and then something else comes along. Bu t hopeful ly that's all behind me now. "Last season was a completely wasted one for me. I spoke to people who told me it was very important to get a good start, but obviously that didn't happen. "There was nothing I could do about that, but since the operation and the loan spell at Derby I have felt fitter and sharper.
"I don't know about putting pressure on Wayne, but if I can get a good pre-season under my belt I'll just take things from there." Manager David Moyes was delighted by the youngster's progress.
"Chaddy pushed himself really hard at the end of last season," he explained, "and while it's hard for young boys to break into the first team he did himself no harm tonight. "Chaddy scored a hat-trick here, did well for the reserves at the end of last season and is working his way towards the first teamagain." On Italian trialist Patrizio Pascucci, who scored twice, Moyes added: "He's only 17 years old and I think he's a little bit out of his depth for the first team at present, but we're having a look at him and he did okay. "The opposition weren't great, but at the end of the day we had to beat them and we did. It was just an extension of a training session really." Everton will face marginally better opposition tonight in SC Schwan Schwanenstadt who finished third in last season's Second Division. Wayne Rooney, who trained yesterday after nursing a minor groin strain earlier in the week, is unlikely to be risked from the start - despite declaring his desire to play.

Radzinski raring to do it all over again
Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Jul 18 2003
GOODISON PARK is only too happy to indulge in Rooneymania yet even the wonders of Wayne cannot cloud its judgement. Voting for Everton's Player of the 2002-03 season produced an overwhelming response on the club's official website this summer and an overwhelming winner too.
And while Evertonians offer up daily prayers for the gift of English football's latest sensation, they refused to overlook the contribution of a striker widely regarded as the most improved in the Premiership last term - Tomasz Radzinski. The pacy Polish-born star laid claim to an instrumental role in the David Moyes' revival just at a time when the disappointment of his debut year and the emergence of a power-ful teenage rival looked to have put his future at the club in doubt. As Moyes acknowledges, it was simply down to the form and goals of the Canadian international - who finished the season as top scorer with 11 Premiership strikes - that he was able to leave Rooney in protective custody on the bench. That contribution was reflected in the player poll. Radzinski received 14,130 votes from grateful Blues or 53 per cent of the total vote, while runner-up Rooney polled 10 per cent. Little wonder then that the striker, as he takes in the actual figures, is taken aback. "I was told I won it when I came back from holiday and I'm delighted," Radzinski said. "I didn't know about the result so to be told I'd won the fans' vote like that is really pleasing. It's something to look back on but that means it's probably going to be even more difficult this season because everyone will expect the same or even more from their player of the season! "I appreciate an award like that, but it's a team thing and I was fortunate that the team was playing so well and the wins were coming at the right time. The season was a good one for me not because I was consistent but because the whole group was. "Maybe I've been picked for scoring an important goal here and there but obviously it's easier for a striker to stand out from the crowd because of that, but the whole team deserved to be men of the season." He added: "We were written off from the start of the season as relegation candidates but we kept a European spot for most of the season which shows every single player, from the defenders to the substitutes, did well when they were needed. "I was fortunate enough to be part of that and I'm delighted with this support from the fans." The campaign was not without a final sting in the tail, however. Injury decimated Radzinski's first season at Everton and just as he was spearheading their push for Europe it struck again.
A groin strain forced him out of the final eight games of the season, a major factor in the team's agonising slide out of the European berth they'd held for the previous seven months. He said: "Overall last season went really well, it was just the Friday before the Arsenal game that it went wrong when I got injured. I missed a lot of important, big games and at the end we didn't get the ticket to Europe that we all wanted so much and deserved. That was a big disappointment.
"Being forced to sit in the stands and being unable to help the team in that situation was very hard, but looking back on the season as a whole I was pleased. Eleven goals is alright, four more would have been brilliant. "It was disappointing at the end but we shouldn't forget it was a really enjoyable season for everyone. Training was great, we went into every game thinking we could win every one and the whole atmosphere around the club was good. "It was a big difference from my first season at the club, but I'd mainly put that down to getting used to the life-style, to living in Liverpool and also my team-mates. The team was more or less the same, even more so this year, and that helps the atmosphere between the players too. Last season everything was really good and that was reflected in the football." Player of the season awards and a seventh-placed Premiership spot have consequently heightened the pressure on both Radzinski and Everton for next season.
He admits the arrival of new faces would go a long way to realising those expectations. But even without, he insists, the new hopes are justified. "Our goals should not be any lower than what happened last season. "We don't want to put too much pressure on ourselves because if it doesn't go well the heads can drop but we have exactly the same squad, and maybe if we can bring one or two young fresh faces into the team that will strengthen us even more." Radzinski added: "I think we'll have a clearer idea just before the start of the season when you know how the squad is compared to last year, how the atmosphere is and whether the will is as strong. "I think it should be and if that is the case then a similar place to last season, but one position higher, would be good."
As for his own objectives, Radzinski adds: "Every season is different, you never know what will happen, so it is difficult to set your own targets. "Obviously there is a lot of strong competition up front now with Wayne, Chaddy, Dunc and Kevin so the main target for now is making sure I get a place in the team. "Then we'll take it from there. Football is a strange job and it can change from day to day but hopefully I can make the same impact on the team and the club as I did last season."

Too expensive
Icliverpool And Daily Post
Jul 18 2003
Too expensive
If MACCA comes to EFC he'll want a three-year contract and for more than the £20,000 wages ceiling. But as a 31-year-old winger he'll only have pace and stamina for one season. Nice though it first seems surely it's better to invest in youth? Osman and McLeod deserve a shot at that position and go for a young mobile centre forward like Miller from Falkirk.
Dave Rearden, N Wales
Go for proven
THE BLUES should pick up Hasslebaink and Koumas: A proven scorer in the Premiership, and somebody who showed something with WBA in the Premiership.
Joe Yorke, Merseyside
Raise Pennant
THE Everton midfield was our biggest area for concern last year with few goals and little strength in depth. However, this may be rectified by the return of Nyarko, Linderoth, and the emergence of either McLeod or Osman. Also Alexandersson, who missed much of last season, is flying in pre-season training which will provide further vital competition for places. So, I think we only need to concentrate our efforts at picking up just one quality midfielder this summer, along with a cheap deal for Li Tie. McManaman would be okay, but I would propose a move for Jermaine Pennant as our big signing of the summer. He plays wide midfield, has pace and creativity, and as he showed against Southampton last season, he has an eye for goal. He is also young, and his value will increase as he improves.
Billy Branch (via e-mail)
Panic over
AS the new season gets closer and the panic sets in with the supporters because we haven't been able to make a significant signing, we need to calm down a bit. We were never going to break the bank as far as signings were concerned, we are in a better position than we were at the begining of last season because we will be more confident as a team, we have players who will be coming back into the side for one reason or another ie Linderoth, Nyarko, we will have Rads fully fit from the start and Yobo free from outside influences on his game. Oh, and I nearly forgot, young Wayne and a manager that will get the very best out of every player. Mix this all together and we shouldn't have any complaints come the end of the season.
B Peters, Liverpool
Macca class
YES, McManaman may be an ex-Red and yes, he's 31. But he would be coming from Real Madrid, not Kansas City Schmucks and would prove another attraction (like Rooney) to other players thinking of moving clubs. He would also provide much needed class and experience in our weakest department. If the money's right, get him in.
David Whitehill, Merseyside
McLeod's the man
DON'T bother signing Macca, he's too old and too greedy. Kevin McLeod will do the job this season if he gets a chance. I'm sure Nyarko will prove himself this season.
A Mills, Perth

Chadwick's challenge
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Jul 18 2003
DAVID MOYES last night challenged Nick Chadwick to reclaim a Premiership place after his starring role in Everton's opening pre-season friendly. The 20-year-old struck a first half hat-trick as the Blues strolled to a 7-0 win over Austrian minnows Bad Goisern in their first friendly of the summer.
Chadwick's strikes were his first for the senior side since he burst onto the Premiership scene at the end of Moyes' inaugural season in charge. Injury hindered his progress last season, although he scored 16 goals for the reserve team - a tally bettered only by Liverpool's Neil Mellor in the FA Premier Reserve League. And Moyes now wants the striker to take that form into the senior stage as he enters the final year of his Goodison contract. "Nick took his goals well and as a centre-forward a hat-trick will do his confidence no harm at all," said the Blues boss. "What Chaddy does is get goals at the right time and come up with the goods, whether it's for the reserves or whoever. He's had a taste of the first team already but now he's got to bridge the gap to the first team to establish himself. There are a lot of good players ahead of him so he'll have to do well but he's done himself no harm tonight." Kevin Campbell and David Weir were also on the scoresheet, as was Italian trialist Patrizio Pascucci who marked his debut with a double. "For a 17-year-old I thought he did quite well," said Moyes. He got a couple of goals and was obviously trying to impress. We'll have a look at him over the next week or two. I wouldn't say he is first team material just yet but maybe he could join one of our younger teams." Moyes added: "The game was really just another part of our training, instead of having a training session we had a match although it didn't prove to be much of one. "The good thing is it gave the players a chance to play 90 minutes and it helps their build-up." Everton complete their Austrian trip against second division side Schwan Schwanenstat tonight, when Moyes will field a different starting XI. Steve McManaman, meanwhile, has played down talk of a move to Goodison by hinting he is prepared to stay at Real Madrid for the final year of his contract. The Blues target said yesterday: "I've had loads of calls about my supposed move back to England and I'm supposed to have lost my shirt number and been shown the door. But it's all nonsense. "The truth is I'm a Real Madrid player. We won the league and now I'm on holiday. I love it at Madrid. I'm going to be back training next week and then we're off on tour to the Far East."
Sean Davis had another round of talks with Fulham officials last night, but Moyes admitted there were "zero developments" in his transfer pursuit yesterday.

Blues face Milk run
Academy Football By Chris Wright, Daily Post
Jul 18 2003
EVERTON travel across the Irish Sea tomorrow looking to win back-to-back Northern Ireland Milk Cups. The Blues claimed the trophy last year with a 1-0 win over Brazilians Botafogo in the final. They also won it in 1995 when the likes of Francis Jeffers, Kevin McLeod, Tony Hibbert and Leon Osman were part of the winning team. Tomorrow Everton coach Gary Ablett takes the latest crop of young talent from Merseyside to take on County Londonderry at Limavady (2pm kick-off) in their opening group match. The other teams in the Blues group are Israeli side Maccabi Haifi and Shamrock Rovers. Academy director Ray Hall said: "We won it last season and we are looking forward to defending it. Of course that adds a little bit of pressure, but really it is about trying to develop the players. "And when we won it in 1995 several players have gone to play for the first team. So you are hoping every year that the squad will have players who can progress." He added: "Up to under-16s level all of our players will have played up to a minimum of two international tournaments this season. "And apart from the time you can spend with the players so that their football develops it is also time that you can spend getting to know them." Alan Harper's under-19s are also in action at Winsford United today (kick-off 3pm) while the under-17s face Northwich Victoria Reserves at Bellefield (KO 10.30am).

SC Schwan 1, Everton 4 (D, Post)
Jul 19 2003Daily Post
IT WAS the long and short of it as Everton completed their pre-season trip to Austria with a second resounding success last night. Against the team sporting the longest name they'll face this season David Moyes' men showed no signs of being tongue-tied as they easily beat the second division outfit. The only shock was the sight of Wayne Rooney's freshlyskinned head after the Goodison sensation became the latest victim of Lee Carsley's razor, although the new aero-dynamic look didn't affect his performance as he created the Blues' third within a minute of coming on. Thankfully for Moyes' preparations this was a much tougher, harder and more physical challenge than his men faced the previous night against Bad Goisern. In warm sunshine, as opposed to the torrential rain they'd played in during their first friendly of the summer, the Blues again pressed the opposition throughout despite only being in the early stages of training. Moyes has been delighted with this week's work-out in the Austrian Alps and believes the squad is already stronger and fitter than this time last year, an important factor if the same squad are going to be asked to repeat last season's revival without the aid of any new arrivals. They were forced to wait for the deadlock to be broken last night, though that almost wasn't necessary as Kevin McLeod made an instant impression with a thunderous drive that seemed destined for goal only to cannon off the crossbar. Tomasz Radzinski, making his first Everton appearance since the goalless Goodison draw with West Ham on March 15, almost marked his return with an early goal but was denied by the keeper. However, he didn't have to wait long for his first of the summer when he lifted Thomas Gravesen's pass expertly over the Schwanenstadt stopper on 33 minutes. The Canadian's pace unsettled the home defence five minutes later when he broke clear and cut the ball across the goalmouth where the unfortu-nate Feichtinger lashed the ball into his own net. Goal number three arrived on the hour after Rooney, a second-half replacement for Duncan Ferguson, played in Radzinski. He unselfishly slipped the ball into the path of Steve Watson rather than shoot himself, and the midfielder couldn't miss.
The Blues conceded their first goal of pre-season after an ugly goalmouth scramble in the 73rd minute before Italian trialist Patrizio Pascucci again showed some rich promise with his third goal in two matches. Striding away from his marker with ease, the 17-year-old produced a stylish finish - and a fitting conclusion - to Everton's Alpine work-out.

Help me protect Wayne
Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Jul 19 2003
DAVID MOYES wants Tomasz Radzinski to help him protect wonderkid Wayne Rooney by reclaiming his place at the head of the Everton attack next season. Radzinski, recently voted Everton's player of the season, scored one and made two as the Blues ended their Austrian tour with a 4-1 win over Schwan Schwanenstat. The Canadian international ended the season as top scorer with 11 Premiership goals only for an untimely groin injury to curtail his campaign as Everton just missed out on Europe. It was thanks to Radzinski's fine form that Moyes was able to ease Rooney into his debut Premiership campaign with 19 substitute appearances. And while he refuses to rule out the prospect of playing both Radzinski and Rooney in the same attack next season, Moyes wants it to be impossible for him to leave the former Anderlecht star out. The Blues boss said: "I think people realise Tomasz was in the side on merit last season. For all the great things that have been said about Wayne Rooney, Tomasz Radzinski probably kept his position because of the role he played and the goals he scored. "We needed Wayne at different times throughout the season and we needed Tomasz at the end but we didn't have him because of injury. "But it won't be one or the other next season, it will be a package from all the strikers and their goal tally will hopefully be delivered as a group and not individuals." He added: "We'll be looking at all the combinations we have. "When we play the two smaller lads together it causes defences problems but it also gives us problems because we don't have the physical presence you need at times." Radzinski partnered Duncan Ferguson then Rooney up front last night, and Moyes believes the key to the Canadian keeping his place when the Premiership begins lies in his unselfish work-rate. "Tomasz had a good season last year," he said:"By all accounts he worked much harder for the team and that was acknowledged by the supporters. In turn, I think it led to more goals and more opportunities for him.
"He became a real team player and when you have pace like he's got then it's a worry for any defence. "We've got high hopes for him to continue that but he needs to keep working hard and working on his finishing. When I first came here I thought he looked a poor finisher but the confidence he got last year from having a good pre-season and getting a few goals under his belt made a big difference," he added. "Centre forwards need goals for their confidence to grow and that developed right throughout last season." On the game itself Moyes added: "I thought we played well in the first half and created some good chances. "Overall we are pleased."

SC Schwan 1, Everton 4 (Echo)
Jul 19 2003 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
WAYNE ROONEY showed off his ability to surprise again last night - by completely shaving his head for Everton's second pre-season match of their Austrian training camp. But it was the man he competed with for a starting place for most of last season, Tomasz Radzinski, who looked razor sharp against the Austrian second division side Schwanenstadt. After the previous night's deluge - of goals and rain - against the appropriately named Bad Goisern, this was an altogether hotter test.
Schwanenstadt had finished third in the Austrian equivalent of the Second Division the season before - and had just kicked off their regular league season. That showed in a keenly competitive edge which rather than irritating David Moyes, gave his side the work-out he was looking for. The only survivors from the previous night's work-out were the cosmopolitan trio of second half substitutes Li Tie, Alex Nyarko and Patrizio Pascucci. The Italian teenager did his cause no harm with another slickly-taken goal, but Moyes appears to have already decided that his squad-strengthening priorities lay elsewhere than in his forward line. One young man trying desperately to force his way into his forward planning is Kevin McLeod, who crashed a stunningly explosive drive against the Austrians' cross-bar after three minutes - a strike of such ferocity it almost silenced the small but irritatingly noisy band of oompah-playing musicians. A temporary silence did arrive when Thomas Gravesen cleverly crafted an opening for Radzinski which the Canadian deftly lifted over the advancing Wimmer. This time last year you could confidently hold a sweep on Radzinski's goals-to-chances ratio - and if you'd picked out one in five you'd be happy. But such is the confidence he has gleaned from the wonderful campaign he enjoyed last season he now looks as much a menace with his finishing as he does with his explosive pace and intelligent running. Those qualities helped him fashion Everton's second in the 38th minute. He darted to the byline and pulled the ball back across goal, where Feichtinger frantically diverted it into his own net. Radzinski claimed another assist on the hour mark, collecting Rooney's pass and unselfishly squaring for Steve Watson to tap in.
The Austrians remained resolutely spiky throughout, and claimed a 73rd-minute consolation when Tichy scrambled the ball past Simonsen from close range. Everton were hardly fazed, however, and in the 82nd minute Pascucci collected the ball on the left, drifted easily inside his marker and crashed the kind of shot Charles Buchan's Football Annual used to call fulminating into the net.
It made for a satisfying end to the Blues' week-long training camp, and set the ball rolling for the sterner challenges which lie ahead.
EVERTON: Simonsen, Pistone, Yobo, Clarke, Naysmith, Watson (Nyarko 62), Gravesen (Tie 45), Carsley, McLeod, Ferguson (Rooney 58), Radzinski (Pascucci 69).
SC SCHWAN SCHWANENSTADT: Wimmer, Imdorfer, A Feichtinger, Rozsavolgyi, Russ, J Feichtinger, Struber, Stromberger, Brandstatter, Mosender (Tichy 60), Bleyer.
Goals: Radzinski (33) 1-0, A Feichtinger own goal (38) 2-0, Watson (59) 3-0, Tichy (73) 3-1, Pascucci (82) 4-1.
Attendance: 1,372.

Blues to let trialist go
Daily Post
Jul 21 2003
EVERTON will not be pursuing an interest in striker Patrice Pascucci - despite the 17-year-old scoring three goals in the Blues' two friendlies in Austria. The Italian spent a fortnight training with the first-team squad and helped David Moyes' men complete comfortable wins over Schwan and Bad Goisern last week. However, Pascucci, a product of Lazio's Academy, will not be making the move to Merseyside. "He has done okay," said Moyes. "I have said before he is a little bit out of his depth being involved at first team level. But he has done fine for us and I am sure it has given him good experience."

They all have a price
Jul 21 2003 By Tommy Smith
EVERTON moved quickly to quash rumours linking wonderkid Wayne Rooney with Chelsea. Since Roman Abramovich got his hands on the Stamford Bridge reins, it's almost easier to list the top players who haven't been linked with a move to the London club. Even Steven Gerrard's name was mentioned. When Rooney first made an impact in the Blues line-up, I wrote in the ECHO that the Goodison club, despite great financial restraints, should not become a "nursery" to bring through good young players and sell them on. I also suggested that with manager David Moyes' moves in the transfer market greatly restricted, the cash-strapped Blues might have problems, and would have to make big decisions. If a club like Chelsea was to dangle a carrot at Everton's door - something in the region of £30m-£50m for Rooney - it could be tempting. But Everton will keep hold of Rooney because everyone acknowledges his worth to the club, the progress that can be made with him as an integral part of the team, and because he is such an idol with the fans.
Some Blues wrote in to the ECHO last week suggesting that if a substantial offer was made it might make good business sense to sell him, pay off their debts, and use the rest to strengthen the squad.
There is no reason why the Merseyside clubs would want to sell their main assets like Rooney, Gerrard or Michael Owen when they have been nurturing these players for some time and grooming them for first-team stardom. Blackburn rejected overtures for Damien Duff, whom they saw as a key part of their side, but when the price was right things quickly change. Could we have suspected this time last year that David Beckham would no longer be a United player? It comes down to money in the end. And, yes, everything does have a price. Howard not able to match hype

I WAS very surprised Manchester United have signed American goalkeeper Tim Howard. Even more surprising was the feeling that they had secured "the next Peter Schmeichel". I have recently been over to the States, where former Anfield favourite Steve Nicol is in charge of New England. I watched them score three goals past Howard's New York Metro in the first half. The Metros equalised in the second half, but Howard seemed to lack a little bit of confidence. There is no doubt Fabien Barthez needs a good kick up the backside and possibly the signing of Howard might do the trick. The Frenchman is not a bad keeper, having won the World Cup, but he needs to be more focussed. Howard was supposed to be the best keeper in the States, but I think Blackburn's Brad Friedel is a far better keeper.

Rooney all set for first start
Jul 21 2003 By Rob Brady Sports Correspondent
WAYNE ROONEY will play one of Everton's two warm-up games tomorrow night. The teenage striker, who replaced Duncan Ferguson in the second half in the 4-1 win over SC Schwan last Friday, looks set to get into the action from the start. Rooney, who suffered a groin problem during the club's Austrian trip, will be given a run-out at either Crewe or Rochdale. Full-back Tony Hibbert played just 45 minutes in Austria after recovering from his hernia problems of last season, but he should feature in one of tomorrow's games. Niclas Alexandersson has a slight thigh strain and Lee Carsley twisted his knee while away last week. David Moyes said: "Wayne will figure in one of the games tomorrow night. Tony Hibbert only played 45 minutes in one of the games in Austria and he took a bit of a kick, but we are hoping and expecting all three will be okay for the games tomorrow."
Moyes will split his squad down the middle for the matches against Crewe and Rochdale. The manager was pleased with the attitude of his players at the Austrian training camp. He added: "I did not learn anything I did not already know about my players. "It was really just a training camp for four or five days getting the play-ers back into the swing of things. "They trained hard and they showed a great attitude towards their work. They are fully committed to getting themselves into good physical condition for the start of the season. "It was nice for the play-ers to get a few goals in Austria and it was exactly how we wanted our first games to go." The Everton players were back at Bellefield today, but there was no fresh news on the club's search f or a new midfielder. The Blues have been linked with Fulham's Sean Davies, Charlton's Scott Parker and Gavin McCann of Sunderland, but the Everton manager said today no further progress had been made in his chase for any players.

Triple joy for Blues' Academy
Academy Football By Chris Wright, Daily Post
Jul 22 2003
IT was an excellent weekend for Everton's Academy, with three teams winning in competitive and friendly action. Gary Ablett's under-15s opened their defence of the Northern Ireland Milk Cup with a 2-0 victory over County Londonderry at the Limavady Showgrounds on Saturday. While assistant Academy director Neil Dewsnip oversaw a 5-0 win for the under-17s against Northwich Victoria's under-19s at the Drill Field. And Alan Harper's U19s grabbed their second win in a week, beating UniBond League first division side Winsford United 1-0 at the Barton Stadium. In Northern Ireland second-half goals from Scott Phelan and James Vaughan secured a 2-0 win in the Blues U15s' opening game of this year's Milk Cup. Coach Ablett, whose side won last year's Milk Cup beating Brazilians Botafogo in the final, said: "They did very well, we're proud of them. They've been excellent ambassadors for Everton, both on and off the park and we can't ask for anymore than that. And they're learning all the time." Yesterday the Blues won 1-0 against Shamrock Rovers - who had beaten Israeli side Maccabi Haifa 3-1 on Saturday - at the University of Ulster. Ablett's side are now almost certain to progress through to Wednesday's quarter-finals and need just a point in their final group match today at Megaw Park in Ballymoney against Maccabi Haifa. The U17s win over Northwich Victoria came courtesy of a double from Andy Fowler plus further strikes from Paul Hopkins, Jay Harris and trialist Patrick Boyle. Harper's U19s kept up their unbeaten start to the pre-season programme after a superb 25-yard strike from Anthony Booth settled their match with Winsford in the 65th minute. Academy director Ray Hall said: "The U17s match started a bit scrappy but after the break we kept the ball well. And if you control the ball you can control the result.
"Northwich tired and once the first goal went it was a case of how many. "In the afternoon it was a very competitive game for the U19s and it was credit to Winsford for playing it in the right way.
"Being an open age side they were physically much stronger than us - we had just three U19s playing with the rest U18s players. But technically we had the edge. "We have been pleased with the performances so far. And though you don't want to tempt fate, that is six games so far at U15s, U17s and U19s level and we are unbeaten and yet to concede a goal."

Rooney returns
Daily Post
Jul 22 2003
WAYNE ROONEY will have a runout for Everton tonight - but his destination is unknown. The club have fixed up two friendlies, one at Crewe and another at Rochdale. The young England striker has recovered from a groin problem, suffered in the club's training camp in Austria. Full-back Tony Hibbert and midfielder Niclas Alexandersson are also expected to feature today after hernia and thigh injuries. Manager David Moyes said: "Wayne will figure in one of the games. Tony only played 45 minutes while we were in Austria and took a bit of a kick. "But we are hoping and expecting that all three will be okay tomorrow." Moyes has decided against signing 17-year-old Italian striker Patrice Pascucci, who spent a fortnight training with the first team squad. Pascucci, a product of Lazio's academy, scored three goals in two games as Everton chalked up comfortable victories in Austria against Schwan and Bad Goisern. Moyes said: "He is a little bit out of his depth being involved at first-team level. But he has done fine for us and I am sure it has given him good experience."

Save our money
Icliverpool And Daily Post
Jul 22 2003
Save our money
I THOUGHT that Everton needed a bit of class in the middle of the park, but given a major clearout next summer it might be more expedient to hang fire. We have a large number of midfield players and some of them like Nyarko, Linderoth (pictured) and even Alexanderson did not appear much last season and might yet throw in classy Moyes-inspired performances. We also have a couple of good young lads in Osman and McLeod who deserve a chance. Rooney may yet turn out to be a superb attacking and ball-winning midfielder. So let's think about consolidating upon last year.
Steve Jones (via e-mail)
Davis or bust
GO ALL out to get Davis, even if that means sacrificing Li Tie. Improve the bid and tell the player it is make-or-break - ask for a transfer now and stop mucking around.
Neil Heath (via e-mail)
Second chance
DAVID Moyes is no fool and if Nyarko deserves a shirt then he will get one. We don't have to forget what happened, but we can forgive him as everyone deserves a second chance.
David Parr, Liverpool
Great Scott
IT WILL be an absolute travesty if Everton miss out on Scott Parker. He was by far and away the best midfielder to come to come to Goodison last year and he ran us ragged. He has everything to his game, especially the work ethic Moyes demands. He's young and English. If we can't get Parker or Davis, I say give Nyarko and Linderoth a chance to impress and try and get Jason Koumas, who will give us that much-needed flair. Good luck to Osman and McLeod; we have high hopes for these lads this season.
Paul Mullally, Liverpool
Golden Jason
GAVIN McCann is no better than what we already have. We need a creative midfielder. Jason Koumas creates and scores goals and is affordable.
Tom Roberts, Liverpool
Show of patience
DAVID MOYES is not jumping into the transfer market, but hanging onto our precious money and waiting for the right player at the right price. Is he waiting to see how St Nic, Linderoth, McLeod, Osman and Li Tie perform? Also a fit Dunc (is that possible?) and a Chaddy performing as he did towards the end of the 2001-02 season will also be like two more new players.
Al Hutchison (via e-mail)
TO THOSE that harbour doubts as to Everton's ability to eventually compete at the elite level for silverware, I seem to remember the club starting the 1980s at the wrong end of the table. In purchasing players of the calibre of Sheedy, Stevens, Steven and Reid for relatively bargain prices (compared to what the likes of Man Utd and Liverpool were then bandying about), the then gaffer (Howard Kendall) proved that with a modicum of acumen in talent spotting, and the ability to extract the maximum effort from focused players, improvement can transpire. Admittedly the financial resources now are somewhat more precarious than those of a few decades ago, but clubs such as Middlesbrough and Blackburn are examples of ample financial resources not being matched by sustained on-field success.
Jim Smith, Allerton

Duncan can give duo a tough test
By Jon West, Daily Post
Jul 22 2003
RANGERS manager Alex McLeish believes former Ger Duncan Ferguson can do him a massive favour on Saturday. The former Scotland international is set for a return to Ibrox in a friendly at the weekend with his current club Everton. The Light Blues boss is looking for Ferguson - and the other Everton forwards, including teenager Wayne Rooney - to test out his trialist defenders Emerson Thome and David May. Both centre-backs are trying to earn deals at Ibrox but, after gentle run-outs in Germany, McLeish wants a more stubborn test for May and Thome with Ferguson the ideal challenge. He said: "I will talk to the boys about staying on for the Everton game. I don't think there have been sufficient tests for Thome and May because the German sides don't tend to play the aerial game which is largely prevalent in Britain. "I know that both players have coped with this in the past but they have both had injuries and I have to be certain. "I don't know if big Duncan Ferguson will be back in the scheme of things but English teams always pose a threat at set-pieces. They are notoriously big so I would like to see David and Emerson tested in this environment.
"It is one area of the team we have tried to strengthen in the last year in terms of our presence.
"It is safe to say the two lads have done well so far but I would like them to remain with us and play in the Everton game." But Rangers captain Barry Ferguson will not now feature against David Moyes' side. The Scotland international underwent surgery on a pelvic problem after the Tennent's Scottish Cup final and is progressing towards full fitness after missing training for much of last season. The 25-year-old was originally pencilled in for a possible run-out in the friendly against Everton. But Ferguson has delayed his comeback by a few days with the friendly at Linfield on July 30 his current target. However, the Ibrox star has assured supporters he will be ready for the opening game of the season against Kilmarnock on August 9. Ferguson said: "I'll definitely be fit for the first game of the season and I hope to get a few games under my belt before Kilmarnock. "I don't think it will be in our last game in Germany but maybe I'll get 20 or 30 minutes against Linfield or Arsenal.
"I'm doing a lot of running and strengthening work at the moment. I feel good and, touch wood, I've had no reaction." But Ferguson was relieved his operation was successful after fearing the worst.
He said: "I am absolutely delighted the operation was a success. "Everything went well and the club doctor, Ian McGuinness, was in on the surgery and said it went smoothly. I'm glad it is out of the way now and I can concentrate on getting fully fit."

Gerrard is not off to Town
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Jul 22 2003
PAUL GERRARD has moved to quash reports he is eyeing a move back to Ipswich Town. The Blues' reserve keeper has been linked with a return to the first division club where he spent a successful loan spell last season. An Ipswich-based newspaper, the Evening Star, quoted the Everton stopper as saying a switch back to East Anglia would be "certainly appealing", adding: "It would be like moving from one Premiership club to another as Ipswich are a massive club." But Gerrard has claimed he did not make any such comments and insists he wants to stay on Merseyside. The 30-year-old is currently favourite to face Arsenal on the opening day of the season, with Richard Wright struggling with a shoulder injury. He said: "I haven't spoken to anyone about going back to Ipswich.
"Ipswich is a great club and I enjoyed my time there but at the moment all I am doing is concentrating on working hard for Everton. "I have a year left on my contract and due to Richard picking up an injury over the summer I could possibly be handed a chance at the start of the season."
One midfielder who won't be joining Everton this summer, meanwhile, is Scott Parker. The highly-rated Charlton playmaker yesterday signed a new five-year contract with the Addicks after being linked with moves to both Everton, Chelsea and Tottenham in recent weeks. Charlton plc chairman Richard Murray said: "There has been much speculation recently about Scott's future, but it was not encouraged by us. "This deal should be seen as a clear statement of Charlton's intention to compete at the highest possible level. "We are delighted that Scott has committed himself to the club in this way and it is a vote of confidence in what Alan Curbishley and the board are doing here, because it shows that he recognises that he can progress further as a player at The Valley." Moyes is still waiting for a definite sign from Sean Davis that his Fulham days are numbered before deciding to officially end his pursuit of the 23-year-old midfielder. Chris Coleman insists only a written transfer request will signal Davis' departure from his boyhood club - and unless one is forthcoming this week Moyes will have no option but to chase other targets. "Sean wants to be informed of any new bids that come in for him but that's all," said Coleman. "Unless he refuses to play for us any longer and puts in a request to leave in writing then as far as I'm concerned he's staying. "I understand his ambition to join a bigger club in the future. But I also do not believe that the speculation is getting to him, judging by the way he's been training in pre-season."

Want to write about the Blues?
Jul 22 2003 By David Randles, icLiverpool
HAVE you got something to say about Everton FC and want to share your views with other fans? Yes, then how would you like to write about your team? Following the success of the icLiverpool/Daily Post collaboration with our Home and Away and Post Soapbox letters pages, we are inviting YOU the supporters to take part in our exciting new venture. Playing a central role throughout the coming season, we need some of the most knowledgeable fans around to offer their views on all things concerning the Blues. As a valued member of the 'Fans' Forum' we could ask you for your thoughts on anything from the latest transfer rumours to team selection, or simply want a pre-match prediction or post-match analysis. Just like supporting the Toffees, the Fans' Forum requires dedication throughout the next nine months but because your views will be published in the Daily Post and here at icLiverpool each week, we are asking for around five Evertonians to get involved. That way, you need not worry about missing a game or going on holiday for a few weeks as another member of the Fans' Forum will be able to fill in. So how do you become a member of the Fans' Forum? Simply e-mail (address below) your predictions on how you think the Blues will do in the forthcoming season (in no more than 200 words) and tell us a little about yourself ie: Where you are from, your age, how long you have supported your club etc... Once we have collected enough entries, we will inform you of whether you have made it into the Fans' Forum and provide further details of what to do next. All football fans have got something to say about their team but through the Fans' Forum YOU can now see those thoughts in black and white. What are you waiting for? Get writing. Send your season's predictions to the following e-mail address and please remember to call your e-mail Fans Forum in the subject box. Also, please include a daytime telephone number.

Nyarko to make first Blues start
Jul 22 2003 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
ALEX Nyarko will make his first appearance for Everton since returning to the club at Rochdale tonight. The Ghanaian midfielder will play against Rochdale as manager David Moyes splits his squad for the games at Spotland and Crewe's Gresty Road. Nyarko figured last week in a training match in Austria but tonight will be his first game in front of Everton fans since returning to the club following a season long loan spell at PSG. Moyes will split his strikeforce for the games, with Wayne Rooney playing alongside Duncan Ferguson at Gresty Road and Tomasz Radzinski partnering Kevin Campbell at Rochdale. Trialist Patrice Pascucci will also be in action at Spotland, although the Italian striker has been told he will not be offered a deal by the Blues. Meanwhile, Ipswich have not made any approach to Everton for goalkeeper Paul Gerrard. Reports in Suffolk yesterday suggested Joe Royle was preparing a £250,000 bid for the Blues keeper after losing Matteo Sereni to Lazio.
However, Everton have had no contact from Ipswich and the player has denied he admitted to local press in Ipswich he was keen to join the Division One club after spending time there on loan at the end of last season. The 30-year-old said: "I haven't spoken to anyone about going back to Ipswich.
"Ipswich is a great club and I enjoyed my time there but at the moment all I am doing is concentrating on working hard for Everton. "I have a year left on my contract and due to Richard picking up an injury over the summer I could possibly be handed a chance at the start of the season."
* ENGLAND Under-21 midfielder Scott Parker has signed a new five-year contract at Charlton.
The midfielder had interested Everton, as well as Chelsea and Tottenham, but has decided to stay at The Valley. Tonight's games both kick off at 7.45.

Kids offer a bright future
Jul 22 2003 By Kevin Ratcliffe, Liverpool Echo
NICK CHADWICK has reminded everyone what a good striker he is with a hat-trick in Everton's first warm-up game, against Bad Goisern in Austria. Chadwick has been overshadowed by the likes of Wayne Rooney, but his record shows he finds the net on a regular basis. He burst on to the scene two years ago, but his progress was hindered by injury. Now he looks raring to go. When he is handed his first-team chance, it is up to him to grab it. Chadwick played on loan last season at Derby and he may be offered something similar again next season. A loan spell can do a young player the world of good. It is far better than reserve team football because it is a lot more competitive. Everton are searching for an attacking midfielder, but have got a very good youngster in Leon Osman coming through. He has good feet, can score goals and has some nice touches around the box. Perhaps the only thing counting against him is his height and weight. Osman was loaned to Carlisle last season and I know they were very impressed. At the end of the season he broke into the Everton first team. Pre-season is the ideal chance to prove himself ready for a serious challenge.
Chelski fans will thirst for first
EVERTON have not made any new signings this summer, but that should not be cause for concern. The Premiership does not start until mid-August and clubs are aware that if they buy now they have to pay the players' wages through the closed season. We will see a lot more players moving clubs next month. I'm sure Everton will bring in one or two new faces before the start of the new season.
They need to, but when money is tight they know they have to be very careful. In contrast, Chelsea have plenty of cash to spend, but it does not guarantee success. It puts pressure on the manager and if the results don't go as well as people are expecting, the wolves will be at the door. Bringing five or six players into a team in one go does not work. They need time to blend into a unit.
Chelsea finished fourth in the Premiership last season and will obviously be seeking to improve on that. But given the amount of money they have spent, will the fans be satisfied with anything less than first or second?

Rochdale 0, Everton 1 (D, Post)
Jul 23 2003 By Neil Goulding, Daily Post
EVERTON had to battle hard to overcome third division Rochdale last night, but thanks to a single goal from Tomasz Radzinski they did just that. It was not the most polished of performances from the Blues, but there were plenty of positives to take from a pleasant evening in Lancashire with Alex Nyarko, the enigmatic Ghanaian, playing his first game on English soil since the infamous Highbury incident against Arsenal in March 2001. The Blues looked rusty in the first-half, although they did have the best of the chances in a lively opening period. And without the services of wonder-teenager Wayne Rooney at their disposal, as well as Lee Carsley and Niclas Alexanderson, both missing through injury, it was hard to criticise David Moyes' side, well, one of them, who played with a lot of spirit. Duncan Ferguson, Joseph Yobo and Alessandro Pistone were also not included for this pre-season encounter, but Everton still very much wanted to win this match. With Moyes choosing to split his squad down the middle with another Everton side playing Crewe Alexandra at Gresty Road, this was never going to be the prettiest of games - more inclined to be a battle against a Division Three side who showed plenty of grit and determination. It was former Newcastle United midfielder Steve Watson who was on hand to create the first chance for the visitors, on 10 minutes, but his looping header from a Kevin Campbell cut-back was easily saved by Rochdale keeper Matthew Gilks. And when Watson was presented with another good goal-scoring opportunity just two minutes later, Gilkes was there again to save well with his legs. Campbell threaded Radzinski through in the 18th minute, after some clever inter-play, but the talented striker couldn't beat Gilkes with a rasping right-foot shot, which the keeper tipped over the bar. But it was the home side who should have taken the lead after only three minutes when Sean McClare dragged a left-footed shot agonisingly wide from just inside the penalty area. Having won two of their four pre-season friendlies Rochdale were not about to be walked over at Spotland and McClare knew he should have done better with his excellent chance. Patrick McCourt also went close with a curling free-kick, after a clumsy challenge from defender Peter Clarke gave the home side another chance to break the deadlock. Everton were the better side though and as the half wore they gradually moved up a gear with some slick passing and plenty of possession. And the pressure eventually told when McCourt felled Watson in the box and the Blues were deservedly awarded a penalty in the 34th minute. Mark Pembridge stepped up, but instead of placing the ball into the back of the net, he blasted his left-footed shot against the upright and, for the home team, luckily away to safety.
Moyes' men didn't give up though and were unlucky not go into the break ahead with Campbell having a shot wellstopped by Gilkes three minutes before the interval. However, it was a defensive error which was eventually to lead to Everton's winner as Wayne Evans could only watch with dismay as a back pass cruelly deflected off his right leg and into the path of Radzinski in the 48th minute. And with Gilks spreading himself early the Canadian centre-forward made no mistake in slotting home to the delight of a strong travelling support. That was the way it stayed with very little to grab the attention in a second-half, which failed to live up to expectation.
ROCHDALE: M Gilks, W Evans, M Simpkins, S McClare, G Griffiths, D Burgess, L Bertos, P McCourt, P Connor, K Townson, C Beech. Subs: L McEvilly, J Mann, M Doughty, S Grand, S Hill, L Duffy, S Warner, N Allen, R Patterson.
EVERTON: S Simonsen, T Hibbert, G Naysmith, P Clark, D Weir, T Linderoth, S Watson, T Radzinski, K Campbell, L Tie, M Pembridge. Subs: A Nyarko, S O'Hanlon, P Pascucci, B Moogan, A Barry, A Moogan.
ATT: 2,669

Crewe Alex 2, Everton 0 (D, Post)
Jul 23 2003 By Ian Doyle At Gresty Road, Daily Post
WAYNE ROONEY may have been parading a freshly shaven head but it is Paul Gerrard facing a Crewe cut of a different kind after a night of discomfort for the Blues. First the good news. Rooney played the full 90 minutes and showed no ill-effects from the groin strain he sustained during training camp in Austria last week which forced him to miss the Blues' opening two pre-season friendlies. The youngster looked sharp and re-invigorated after a well-earned summer rest, keeping Crewe goalkeeper Clayton Ince on his toes and easily proving Everton's most impressive performer.
But that's where the cheer ended for Blues boss David Moyes after his "A" team were humbled by a Crewe side which, still buoyed by their promotion back into the first division, fully deserved their victory. Save two or three players, this was the core of the Everton side which came so close to securing a UEFA Cup spot in May. But on this evidence it is easy to see why Moyes has been keen to inject some fresh blood - particularly a cutting edge in midfield - to sustain the momentum into a squad which exceeded all expectations last season. The defeat served only to further expose those key areas which Moyes must address. Clearly, with Richard Wright fighting to regain fitness in time for the Premiership kick-off at Arsenal next month, a goalkeeper is on the list of priorities for the Blues boss. And his search is likely to be accelerated after a jittery performance from goalkeeper Gerrard, who was badly at fault for Crewe's second goal and once again failed to fully convince.
Gerrard may have earlier this week denied wanting a move out of Goodison Park, but it looks increasingly likely he will have little say in the matter. If Moyes was seeking a decent work-out when this fixture was arranged, then he wasn't disappointed as Crewe - who held Liverpool to a 1-1 draw at the weekend - were keen to upstage their more illustrious North West neighbours.
But last night's defeat looked unlikely in the early stages in which Everton were the brighter and came close to opening the scoring in the 10th minute, Steve Foster doing enough to nick the ball away from the head of Duncan Ferguson with the Scot poised to head home Alessandro Pistone's inviting cross from the right. Moments later, pressing from Kevin McLeod in midfield handed Lee Carsley possession and the Irishman instantly slipped Rooney through on goal. But as the youngster prepared to pull the trigger just inside the area, Chris McCready raced back to produce a decisive challenge to clear the danger. The Blues came close again on 21 minutes when a impressive save from Ince denied the visitors what would have been a well-worked goal. Rooney played a one-two with Ferguson which Scot Gemmill stepped over to leave the youngster with a clear shot, only for the Crewe keeper to save one-handed down to his right. Gerrard was forced to paw away a teasing cross from Steve Jones but otherwise Everton were content to play keep-ball across the back and midfield while waiting for the chance to release the pace of Rooney over the top or find the head of the towering Ferguson. Without any other recognised wide player in the starting line-up, Kevin McLeod provided the main outlet for the Blues. The youngster, who spent a spell on loan at Queens Park Rangers towards the end of last season, has admitted this will be the make-or-break campaign to determine his Goodison future. He certainly had enough opportunity in the first half to impress the watching Moyes, but let himself down with some wayward crossing and the ease at which he was knocked off the ball. McLeod - along with the likes of subs Nick Chadwick and Leon Osman - won't need reminding that these are the games in which he should be proving there is a place for his undoubted talents in the Blues first team. And Moyes later concurred: "He did some good things but he probably could have done better with his crossing, but it was a game for him." Thomas Gravesen (left) was a tad unfortunate not to have been awarded a penalty after being dumped to the turf by Wright, while Gerrard was called into meaningful action just before half-time with a save low down to halt Dave Brammer. However, there was nothing the Everton goalkeeper could do on 42 minutes when a superb throughball from Kenny Lunt split the Blues central defensive pairing of Joseph Yobo and Alan Stubbs and allowed Dean Ashton the chance to neatly slot home the opening goal. Gerrard, though, was the guilty party when Crewe doubled their advantage moments after the interval. Paul Edwards set up fellow substitute Ben Rix, and Gerrard allowed the winger's shot from an angle to go straight through him and into the net. Crewe manager Dario Gradi made seven changes for the second half and the home side's energy and drive surprised Everton, who until the first goal had controlled proceedings. Brammer almost embarrassed the Blues goalkeeper once more with a cheeky 25-yard chip which clipped the top of the crossbar, but Gerrard redeemed himself slightly with a sprawling save to his right to deny Rix a second goal. With Rooney, of course, Everton retain an explosive element of their own and he saw an audacious 30-yard effort beaten out by Ince before the keeper was lucky to be in the right place when the Blues striker unleashed another piledriver. Gerrard was at fault again on 57 minutes when he allowed Justin Cochrane's speculative cross to curl across the face of goal and against a post, while Chadwick - on for Ferguson - brought the best out of Ince with a 16-yard drive. Rooney continued his one-man assault on Crewe's goal with two efforts which flashed dangerously close to Ince's goal before striking a post, but the goal he deserved never arrived. But Everton as a whole got what they deserved. Embarrassing? Not quite. But not what Moyes would have wanted - nor expected.
CREWE ALEXANDRA (4-4-2): Ince (Tomlinson 81); Wright (Sodje 46), Moses (Macauley 86), Foster (Walker 46), McCready (Smith 46); Lunt (Rix 46), Brammer, Cochrane (Platt 86), Vaughan (Bell 46); Jones (Edwards 46), Ashton (Robinson 46). Subs: Varney, Karagianis, Yates.
EVERTON (4-4-2): P Gerrard; Pistone, Yobo, Stubbs, Unsworth; Carsley (Osman 55), Gemmill, Gravesen, McLeod; Rooney, Ferguson (Chadwick 55). Subs: Brown, A Gerrard, Schumacher.
REFEREE: Uriah Rennie.

Moyes warns players after Crewe defeat
By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Jul 23 2003
DAVID MOYES has warned his players he will not accept further failure after Everton slipped to friendly defeat at Crewe Alexandra last night. Wayne Rooney played the full 90 minutes at Gresty Road in his first game since England's Euro 2004 qualifier against Slovakia after missing Everton's opening two pre-season friendlies in Austria after sustaining a groin injury in training camp last week. But the striker's return could not prevent the Blues slumping to a 2-0 defeat to Dario Gradi's side, with Dean Ashton and Ben Rix scoring either side of half-time. Blues boss Moyes was upset by the display of some of his "A" team players, and with the "B" team winning 1-0 at Rochdale, issued a veiled warning if they continue to underperform. "I'll be looking for a higher level of performance from certain players than I did tonight," said Moyes. "The players are fit, so it is about getting match sharpness and practice. Some of them need it on tonight's showing but they might not get it if they keep performing like they did." He added: "You play football to win no matter what level you're at, so it was bad for us that we didn't win. "We played some good stuff in the first half but maybe didn't take the opportunities that we had. There wasn't a great deal in the game but it's disappointing not to win." Moyes, however, was pleased with the return of 17-year-old Rooney, who was by far Everton's best player on the night. "Wayne hasn't played any football since the end of last season in the internationals," said the Scot. "Tonight was his first run-out and he has a bit to go yet. "He's not quite at the condition we want him to be in. He had some chances and was a bit unlucky not to score a goal." Duncan Ferguson started up front with Rooney and was named captain. Moyes added: "Duncan's worked hard in pre-season. We're pleased he's got himself fit and available for selection." The Blues' next game is at Glasgow Rangers on Saturday, but despite much speculation Moyes does not expect any transfer movement either in or out of Goodison in the near future. "It's been a little bit frustrating," he admitted. "I'd have hoped we'd have someone new in by now. "I prefer to earn success rather than buy it, but sometimes it can be bought and maybe Chelsea are going that way to try and do that. I'm looking to get success here at Everton and do it my way, and maybe there is more pride doing it that way. But having said that, I wouldn't say no to a few of the Chelsea millions!"

Rochdale 0, Everton 1 (Echo)
Jul 23 2003 By Scott Mcleod At Spotland Stadium, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON assistant manager Alan Irvine admitted it was "like having a new signing" after Alex Nyarko made his first appearance in two years in front of Everton's fans. The Ghanaian midfielder received a warm reception from Everton's travelling fans when he replaced Tobias Linderoth at the start of the second half of the Blues' 1-0 win over Rochdale last night. Nyarko's last appearance in an Everton shirt was at Highbury in April 2001, when he was confronted by an angry fan and vowed never to play for the club again. But after two season-long loan spells in France with Monaco and Paris Saint Germain the midfielder is back with the Blues and has two years remaining on the five-year contract he signed for Walter Smith. "I am sure it was nice for Alex to get a good reception from the fans," admitted Irvine. "I wasn't at the club when all of that kicked off with Alex but you do hope people will forgive and forget. "He was welcomed by the fans tonight and I am sure that was important to him and that he appreciated it. "He has slotted in very well. It might take him a bit of time to get up to the pace of English football again because it is a bit slower in France, but he is another player to add to the squad. "From our point of view he is like a new signing because we have never worked with him before." The failure to turn his move to Paris into a permanent deal led to Nyarko's return, with manager David Moyes willing to give him a second chance. And so, it seems, are the fans. Nyarko was given a round of applause from the away fans with his first touch.
That was followed by a roar of appreciation when a moment of showmanship on the touchline ended with a pin-point 35 yard pass picking Steve Watson out at the back post. The midfielder did not exert himself but showed enough touches during a 45 minute run-out as a holding midfield in front of the back four to suggest he could yet have something to offer Everton. The Blues recorded the victory in what was a low-key encounter courtesy of a simple strike from Tomasz Radzinski on the hour. Rochdale goalkeeper Matt Gilks miscontrolled a back pass from Chris Beech and the Everton striker capitalised, nipping in to steal the ball off the keeper's toes and tap it into the net from four yards. It was a night of few opportunities for the Blues against their third division hosts, although Mark Pembridge should have given Everton the lead via the penalty spot in the 33rd minute. He rattled the crossbar with his effort after a foul by Patrick McCourt on Steve Watson had led to the kick. Kevin Campbell hit the base of the post from a tight angle seven minutes from time and Gilks produced good stops in the opening period to deny Radzinski, Linderoth and Watson.
Rochdale had fewer opportunities but should have found the target themselves 13 minutes before the interval when a probing ball from right-back Wayne Evans picked out Paul Connor. The young striker easily out-paced David Weir only to produce a weak shot from eight yards. Everton returned to Merseyside with two walking wounded. Tony Hibbert aggravated a shin injury and Mark Pembridge hobbled off in the second half with a bruised calf.
ROCHDALE (starting XI): Gilks, Evans, Simpkins, McClare, Griffiths, Burgess, Bertos, McCourt, Connor, Townson, Beech. Subs used: McEvilly, Doughty, Grand, Warner, Hill, Allen, Patteson, Mann, Duffy.
EVERTON: Simonsen, Hibbert, Naysmith, Clarke (O'Hanlon 60), Weir, Linderoth (Nyarko 45), Watson, Li Tie, Pembridge (A Moogan 78), Radzinski (Pascucci 60), Campbell. Not used: B Moogan, Barry.

Crewe Alex 2, Everton 0 (Echo)
Jul 23 2003 By Rob Brady At Gresty Road, Liverpool Echo
WITH no fresh signings this summer, it should come as no surprise that the main flaw in Everton's make-up last season was still very much in evidence at Gresty Road last night. The 2-0 defeat by First Division newcomers Crewe showed that for all the Blues' hard work, the midfield is crying out for a touch of creativity and class. Everton were in no way outplayed, but rather predictably the only touches of magic came from Wayne Rooney. The shaven-headed England striker - given a full 90 minute run-out - had six good chances to score, but was denied by a combination of keeper Clayton Ince's prowess and some pre-season rustiness. This was the lad's first start since his summer holiday in Mexico, while a groin injury meant he saw very little action at last week's Austrian training camp. But he was still easily the sharpest player in blue last night. David Moyes paired Rooney with Duncan Ferguson - the dream partnership for some Evertonians. But it only worked intermittently against Crewe, with the best moment coming after 21 minutes. A neat one-two between the pair cut open the hosts' otherwise well-organised defence and released Rooney into the penalty area. The 17-year-old produced a crisp low shot that Ince did well to push away. Paul Gerrard could do nothing about Crewe's opening goal. For the most part, Alan Stubbs and Joseph Yobo gave composed peron the night, but three minutes from the interval they gifted Dean Ashton too much space on the edge of the box. Latching on to Kenny Lunt's superb pass, he steered the ball well wide of the keeper and into the net. Crewe boss Dario Gradi made seven changes at half-time, but it did nothing to upset his team's rhythm. If Gerrard had no chance with the first goal, he should have prevented sub Ben Rix putting the Railwaymen two up seconds after the restart. Brammer's through-ball released Rix in the box and he fired under the keeper's body to score. Crewe had further chances, but so did Everton - the best ones falling to Rooney. The young forward seized on a sloppy pass in midfield and sent in a 30-yard rocket that brought a superb diving save from Ince.
Within a minute, the keeper foiled him again. McLeod's long pass was well controlled by Rooney on the edge of the box. He turned his marker and blasted a shot that cannoned off Ince. The teenager was getting better as the match went on. A deep Pistone run down the right flank ended with a low cross that saw Rooney lift the ball just over the cross bar. Then in the dying seconds he took Gravesen's pass and from 18 yards fired against Ince's right-hand post. Pre-season results do not matter of course and there is still plenty of time for Rooney and co to sharpen up their shooting skills. The question of how to instill greater ingenuity into the midfield is a harder one to answer.
CREWE ALEXANDRA (4-4-2): Ince, Wright, McCready, Cochrane, Moses, Foster, Lunt, Brammer, Jones, Ashton, Vaughan.
EVERTON (4-4-2): P Gerrard, Pistone, Stubbs, Yobo, Unsworth, Carsley, Gravesen, Gemmill, McLeod (Osman 57), Ferguson (Chadwick 57), Rooney. Subs not used: Schumacher, A Gerrard, Brown.

Moyes won't budge over Tie
Jul 23 2003 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
LI TIE will return to China before the start of the Premiership season if Liaoning Badao refuse to drop their £1m asking price. The Chinese international completed 90 minutes for Everton last night in their 1-0 victory over Rochdale at Spotland. But after spending last season on loan with the Blues, he is no longer registered with the club for competitive games. Manager David Moyes is interested in adding the 25-year-old to his squad on a permanent basis but believes the C-League side have over-priced the midfielder. "Li Tie is over here to work with us and benefit from the training facilities," revealed Moyes. "We are quite happy to have him here but we would only do business if the price was right. "I think the valuation is too high in the current market." Li Tie played more than 30 games for the club last season, including a run of 21 consecutive matches during the middle of the season. But with a transfer budget of just £5m the Everton chief is reluctant to invest such a large sum of money in the player, despite reports in the Far East suggesting a £1.2m deal is waiting to be signed. Meanwhile, Mark Pembridge is set to miss Saturday's game against Rangers at Ibrox after picking up a dead leg against Rochdale. He is the only major injury worry from last night's matches. David Moyes has told his players to sharpen up in front of goal after last night's 2-0 defeat at Crewe. The Blues boss had the consolation of watching Wayne Rooney complete a full 90 minutes. The teenager showed he had shaken off the groin strain that had limited him to just 30 minutes action in Austria last week. But he was by far and away the sharpest Everton player on the pitch at Gresty Road. Moyes said: "He got 90 minutes and made some good chances. He was a bit unlucky not to score a couple of goals. There were some bright moments from him and some not so bright. "He has not played any football since the international games. This was his first real run out. He has a bit to go yet. He is not quite in the condition we want him to be in." Moyes could not hide his disappointment at last night's performance and he will warn his players they must improve in Saturday's friendly at Rangers. The manager said: "I will certainly be looking for a higher standard of performance from several players. "We played some good stuff in the first half, but may be we didn't take the opportunities we had. In the end there wasn't a great deal in the game, but we are disappointed we didn't get a better result. "The players are fit. It was about getting match practice and sharpness more than anything. Some of them needed it and will need more. They may not get it, though, if they keep performing like they did." Rooney was paired up front with Duncan Ferguson, with the Scot playing almost an hour before being replaced by Nick Chadwick. Moyes said: "Duncan has worked hard in pre-season. We are pleased he has got himself fit and in a condition to be selected. We will want to be getting as much football into him as we can."

Moyes: I don't envy Roman empire
By David Prior, Daily Post
Jul 24 2003
DAVID MOYES has insisted he is not envious of Chelsea's free spending in recent weeks - saying he'd much rather Everton achieved success through hard work. Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has transformed the Stamford Bridge side from a club struggling with huge debt to one able to target virtually any player in the world. Damien Duff's £17million arrival from Blackburn this week means the Londoners have shelled out £34m in a matter of days, following their recent acquisition of Wayne Bridge from Southampton for £7m, Geremi from Real Madrid for £7m and West Ham's Glen Johnson for £6m. But while Moyes would not be adverse to a few Russian roubles to ease Everton's well-documented financial problems, he adamantly claims he is not jealous in any way of Chelsea's new found riches. "I've been surprised more than envious. I'd like to work my team and earn success," said the Scot. "I think there's a little bit more pride in that route, but in saying that - I wouldn't say no to some of the millions if there's any going spare!" Moyes believes that while money can buy success - as in Jack Walker and his Blackburn side that won the Premiership in 1995 - it should be spent in a way that benefits everyone involved. He added: "Sometimes success can be bought and it seems that Chelsea are going to go down that route. It doesn't worry me too much, as long as it's done in the right way. "They've got a big investor and good luck to them. I just hope that in the years to come Chelsea don't falter because of it. "Sometimes when backers pull out of clubs, it's created all kinds of problems. But in the main, Chelsea supporters will be delighted." Meanwhile Alex Nyarko has been dealt a boost after his first appearance on English soil since April 2001.
The Ghanaian (right) had a run-out at Spotland on Tuesday in Everton's 1-0 success against Rochdale, almost 27 months to day since he vowed never to play for the club again following an altercation with an angry supporter on the pitch at Highbury. However, he received an excellent reception from the 500-strong Everton support and assistant boss Alan Irvine felt the night would serve him well as he attempts to rebuild his career at Goodison. He said: "I'm sure he'll be very happy about tonight. "I wasn't at the club when the incident happened, but I remember it well.
"It was obviously something that made life difficult for him - and it was pleasing for me also to see the excellent reception he got from the fans. I think he enjoyed the experience at Rochdale."
Nyarko replaced Tobias Linderoth as a half-time substitute, and Irvine added: "I thought he did well, especially when he first game on. He made a couple of really good passes. "I think it will take some time for him to get used to the pace of the English game again, because I think that it's played at a slower tempo in France. "But he's come in and slotted in well and we're pleased with him."

Blues may hijack McCann Villa move
By David Prior, Daily Post
Jul 24 2003
EVERTON could launch a last-minute bid to hijack Gavin McCann's £2.25million move to Aston Villa.
David Moyes' wish list of summer targets was set to be reduced yet further last night when Sunderland agreed the fee with Villa for the 25-year-old (left), who moved to the North East from Goodison Park five years ago. The deal now rests on McCann agreeing personal terms with David O'Leary's side, but were Everton to match or better the Black Cats' fee, Blackpool-born McCann may prefer a return to the North West. Moyes' own attempts to sign the player last week had been thwarted by Sunderland's £3m asking price. But now the fee is significantly reduced, and with Everton set to receive 25 per cent of it as part of the deal clinched when McCann left Goodison in 1998, the Blues may consider the deal to be much more within their price-range, particularly given Moyes' failure to bolster his midfield so far. Moyes said last week: "He's a player that I have made an inquiry about but at the present time the price that's being asked for him is too much.
"That's how it is but he is a player that we admire and it's true that we are interested in Gavin. I think everyone is trying to make some moves and we're no exception." Should McCann decide to see through his switch to the Midlands, there will be some solace for the Blues with a £2.25m fee generating around £560,000 for the Blues courtesy of the clause in McCann's contract. That extra sum in Moyes' limited summer transfer purse could persuade him to up their offer for Li Tie, who will return to China before the start of the season if Liaoning Badao refuse to drop their £1m price-tag. The Chinese international completed 90 minutes for Everton in Tuesday's 1-0 win over Rochdale but is no longer registered to play competitive games. Moyes believes the player is over-priced but his lack of success in the transfer market, together with the extra funds generated by a McCann deal, could now persuade him to stump up more money for the 25-year-old, who played more than 30 games last season while on loan.

Warning shot for Rooney
Jul 24 2003 Liverpool Echo
WALSALL new boy Paul Merson has warned Wayne Rooney he is in for a rough ride this season.
The veteran forward, who signed for the Midlands club last week on a free transfer, believes Rooney will find it harder to make an impression now he is such a big name. Merson said: "Everyone gets one free season when they first arrive on the scene but it is going to be a new ball game for Rooney from now on. When teams play Everton the message will be the same - make sure the kid is marked out of the game. "I think David Moyes is trying to do everything the right way with Wayne.
"I know everyone wants to see him doing well and playing for England but, at the same time, I feel he is being rushed along too quickly."

The end of friendlies
Jul 24 2003 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
DAVID Moyes intends to consign to history the use of the f-word amongst Everton's players and fans. And he believes Saturday's game against Rangers at Ibrox will reveal why. As Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson pointed out this week, Celtic "don't do friendlies". The Everton manager, himself a Glaswegian, is all too aware it is exactly the same story in the blue half of the city. And he would like Everton to adopt a similar reputation south of the border. He was brought up in Glasgow and spent his formative years as a footballer with the Hoops. So Moyes understands the passion for the game amongst Old Firm fans and is aware of their refusal to accept anything less than victory - particularly against English opposition - no matter how meaningless the match.
Everton's players will be provided with first-hand evidence of how seriously "friendlies" are taken north of the border when they take on Alex McLeish's men on Saturday. Moyes believes the fans on Merseyside share that same redblooded passion. But, after the disappointment of Tuesday's 2-0 defeat at Crewe, he accepts there is still work to be done before his side can claim to "never play friendlies". "We know what to expect on Saturday," admitted Moyes. "It will be Rangers' first game in Glasgow since they won the treble. "It will be a big day at Ibrox for those fans but no game is a friendly for Rangers or Celtic. "I would like that to be the way Everton are regarded when they play friendlies, although we have got a bit to go yet. "But Glasgow is a city like Liverpool. This is a city where football means as much as it does up there." It will be Everton's first meeting with Rangers in 40 years. But despite the long wait and the expectancy amongst the fans in Glasgow to see their treble heroes back at Ibrox, Moyes is remaining focused on his number one target - the start of the new season. "Rangers is just another build-up match as we prepare for the kick off against Arsenal," adds Moyes. "We are still in the early parts of our football work, although we are well on with our physical work. "From that point of view the pleasing aspect from Tuesday was that we have now been able to give most players 90 minutes. We have got a big squad here and I wanted everybody to have a match as soon as possible. "I was hoping to see a better performance, though. There is a lot more ball work to come in the next few days to work on that. "The quality of the opposition on (Saturday) will be superior to the sides we have played so far. It is a bigger step up for us and we are looking forward to it."

Blues deny bid for Gavin
Jul 24 2003 Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON did not make an 11th hour bid to snatch Gavin McCann from under the noses of Aston Villa. David Moyes admitted last week that the former Everton midfielder was a player who interested him. But the Blues still believe the £2.25m fee agreed by Sunderland with Villa for the 25-year-old is too much. Everton are entitled to 25 percent of the money from the McCann sale because of a clause in the deal which took the England man from Goodison to the Stadium of Light in 1998. If the player's move to Villa is concluded today the Blues will be entitled to more than £500,000 of the fee. McCann travelled to the Midlands last night to discuss personal terms and the transfer was expected to be concluded today. Moyes still has a £5m transfer kitty at his disposal but is determined to spend the money wisely. He admits that could mean Everton starting the season with Joseph Yobo as the club's only summer acquisition. Meanwhile, the manager has revealed Alex Nyarko will begin the new campaign some way down the midfield pecking order. The Ghanaian returned to Goodison last month after two years on loan at Monaco and Paris Saint Germain.
He still has two years left on his Everton contract and played for 45 minutes in Tuesday night's friendly victory at Rochdale. But Moyes has revealed Nyarko will not be part of his first team plans when the season gets underway next month. He said: "We don't really know anything about Alex.
"We have a lot of players here who have worked really hard and they will be given the nod ahead of Alex because he has only just returned. "He wasn't keen to stay at the club when he went out on loan two years ago but he is back now and we are giving him every chance to prove himself. But as a player, we know very little about him." Nyarko must now convince the manager of his ability and commitment during the remaining pre-season fixtures and for the reserves.

McCann off to Villa
Damian Spellman, Daily Post
Jul 25 2003
SUNDERLAND last night confirmed that Gavin McCann has safely negotiated the final hurdle of his £2.25million move to Aston Villa after passing a medical. Villa announced yesterday that the deal was done subject to the necessary fitness checks, and now the England midfielder has simply to complete the formalities to become a Villa player. A Black Cats spokesman said: "Gavin McCann has passed his medical at Villa Park and the clubs have now completed theagreement for the transfer of his registration to Aston Villa, with immediate effect for £2.25million. "The club extend their best wishes to Gavin at his new club." Sunderland revealed on Wednesday that they had agreed a fee with the Midlands club and granted them permission to talk to the Blackpool-born midfielder, and although Villa boss David O'Leary remained cautious, the deal has been tied up swiftly. McCann, who was linked with a return to Everton, becomes O'Leary's first signing - and the first of Mick McCarthy's big names to leave the club in an inevitable exodus following relegation from the Barclaycard Premiership at the end of last season. The Wearsiders had hoped to raise up to £4million from the sale of the 25-year-old, who cost them only £500,000 from Everton in November 1998, but eventually had to yield as they attempt to cope with their growing financial problems.
McCarthy has never hidden his admiration of a player whose form at the peak of Sunderland's Premiership charge briefly forced him into the plans of England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson.
However, he was philosophical as Villa, who have also been linked with Danish goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen, closed in on their man. "Everyone knows my thoughts on Gavin," he said. "He's a terrific player, one I'd like to keep, but it was impossible to do so. But good luck to him because he's a terrific lad." McCarthy is unlikely to receive much, if any, of the proceeds of McCann's sale with the club still deep in debt, but his departure will at least reduce the wage bill. However, that will need to come down even further before he is able to start the process of rebuilding his squad. Kevin Phillips, Sorensen, Michael Gray, Claudio Reyna and Tore Andre Flo, like McCann, had all lost their usual shirt number when McCarthy's squad list for the new season was announced yesterday, and the implications of that are not difficult to see. Meanwhile former England international Geoff Thomas has been diagnosed with leukaemia. The much-travelled former Crewe midfielder enjoyed his best years at Crystal Palace and Wolves in the 1990s and won nine England caps under Graham Taylor. Thomas said: "I have been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia and have been receiving treatment over the last three weeks which has improved my blood count. "All of this has been a huge shock to me and my family."

Blues on the up
Icliverpool And Daily Post
Jul 25 2003
Blues on the up
I STILL think that Everton will do better than last year's seventh place finish. Reasons: Rooney will be a more accomplished player and displace Owen as England's main striker. Midfield will be strengthened by additions plus Nyarko and Graveson will have a key role to play. Duncan will be in the last stages of his contract and will play like a man possessed. Wright will show himself to be England's No 1 in time for the European Championships. Hibbert could accompany him and be England's right back. Yobo, after sorting out his contract issues, will again be invincible, Weir, Stubbs, Naysmith will be their usual reliable selves. We will also have young players like Osman, Mcleod and Chadwick burst through. Champions League qualification is what I predict.
Ajay Timothy, (via e-mail)
Rooney must stay
I GO along with those who say that Wayne Rooney must be retained at all costs. Remember the primary intention of the game is to win titles, cups and other silverware, not to make money for a select few. The game is about the fans; they put the money into the club. Without them, any blow-in could put in whatever amount, but if the support's not there, the success will prove transitory.
Adopt the ethos of selling those players that have the best hope of bringing us on-field success and we're on a one-way ticket to oblivion. Interest ultimately wanes and we may as well go and play 'Monopoly.'
Jim Sharp, Allerton
Davis worth it
DAVID MOYES has showed his ambition by staking most of his transfer kitty on one class player, Sean Davis. He showed last season that he is top Premiership class and would be a great buy for the Blues.
Let's hope we can persuade the Chinese to let us have Li Tie for another season-long loan and maybe step up our interest in David Healy, who is available for free.
Neil Houltram, St.Helens
A fair offer
WHAT, £5m for Sean Davis and it was rejected? Come on, Kewell only cost £6m and Kluivert is going for £1.2m! Why don't we go for somebody else? Okon from Leeds will be free.
Mark Laws, (via e-mail)
£30m is too cheap
EVERYONE has their price, but accepting only £30m for one of the most promising youngsters in the club's history would be doing ourselves a grave disservice. If the Russian wants him that badly, he will need to up the bid. I think we'd be stupid to take less than £50m for Rooney.
Dan Kempton, (via e-mail)
Game of patience
CALM down Blues! Yes we've bought noone at the moment but think of our squad - we bought Yobo outright, Nyarko, Osman, McLeod are all new midfield additions and Chadwick is now more integrated into the first team. I still think we need to buy at least one top playmaker, but I'm not overly concerned yet. Moyes is taking his time, why should we rush?
John Tarbuck, (via e-mail)

Blues tackle Power pack
Academy Football With Chris Wright, Daily Post
Jul 25 2003
EVERTON'S under-19s look to continue their excellent pre-season form when they entertain Parramatta Power tomorrow (kick-off 11am). Alan Harper's under-19s and the under-17s, with Neil Dewsnip in charge, are unbeaten and have yet to concede a goal in two games apiece. Harper's side won 1-0 last week against Winsford United and will look to carry on where they left off tomorrow.
The U17s beat Northwich Victoria 5-0 but they do not play until Monday at Netherton when they entertain Rochdale U19s (kick-off 12noon). Meanwhile Everton under-15s lost their grip on the Northern Ireland Milk Cup after a 2-0 defeat on Wednesday against Dundalk Schoolboys in the quarter-finals. The holders went down to goals from McArdle and Finan at Megaw Park in Ballymoney. The Blues had qualified for Wednesday's quarter-finals after beating County Londonderry 2-0 last Saturday, and Shamrock Rovers 1-0 on Monday at the University of Ulster, with a goal from Michael Johnson 20 minutes from time. They booked their place in the last eight with a 2-2 draw against Israel's Maccabi Haifa - after coming back from 2-0 down. Scott Phelan scored his second goal of the tournament from the penalty spot and with 10 min-utes left James Vaughan brought the scores level after a goalmouth scramble to also score his second goal of the week.
Everton beat Preston North End 4-3 on penalties last night in a play-off with John Paul Kissock grabbing the sudden death winner. The game finished 2-2 with goals from Johnson and Phelan.
And although Ablett was pleased with their efforts last night, he thought his side should have gone all the way in the tournament. He said: "I'm pleased with the way the boys bounced back after going out on Wednesday. "We're disappointed that we didn't beat Dundalk because the tournament was there for the taking. There was only one team who stopped us from winning the competition and that was ourselves. "We missed a number of chances and probably could have won all the games by high scores had we converted them. But at the age the boys are, sometimes that is what you get. It is something we can work on. We can all learn from the tournament."

Former Blue Ball out to end injury hell
By David Prior, Daily Post
Jul 25 2003
FORMER Blues star Michael Ball will put nearly two years of injury hell behind him when he lines up against his old club for Rangers tomorrow. The 23-year-old defender, who moved north from Goodison in 2001, will make his return in the Ibrox friendly. His comeback increases the Blues' chances of recouping more of the £6million transfer fee Everton technically received for the player, but in reality was largely dependent on appearances. So far he has been limited to just 11 of those, and cannot wait to renew acquaintances with his former employers as he relaunches his injury-hit career. "I suppose it's going to be weird that the game I come back in is against my old club, but I'm really looking forward to it," said Ball. "There will be quite a few familiar faces in the Everton side although a lot of the lads I used to know have left the club in the last few years. "They had a great season last year under Davie Moyes, but I just can't wait to get on the pitch and show the fans what I can do." The occasion also sees a first return for Duncan Ferguson to Ibrox since his days there in the mid-1990s, with Blues boss David Moyes hinting he may get a runout after an encouraging pre-season. "Duncan's worked hard in the pre-season and we're pleased that he's got himself fit and in a position to be selected and we want to try and keep getting as much football into him as we can," Moyes said. And Ball added: "I also hope big Duncan Ferguson plays. "It would be great to meet up with him again and I'm sure the Rangers supporters will be happy to see him too. "Big Dunc is a good lad. He lived near me in Liverpool. I had heard all the wild stories but he was fine.
"I've got a pile of family coming up for the game because it's Everton that we're playing and I'm making my return, so I'll need to get them all tickets!" Moyes has, meanwhile, revealed that Alex Nyarko has some way to go to convince he is worthy of a first-team berth. The £4.5m signing from Lens returned to Goodison last month after two years on loan at Monaco and Paris Saint Germain, after vowing never to play for the club again in April 2001. He still has two years left on his Everton contract and drew plaudits from assistant manager Alan Irvine after playing for 45 minutes in Tuesday night's friendly victory at Rochdale. He is not however expected to travel to Scotland with the first team squad. And Moyes admitted: "We don't really know anything about Alex. "We have a lot of players here who have worked really hard and they will be given the nod ahead of Alex because he has only just returned. "He wasn't keen to stay at the club when he went out on loan two years ago but he is back now and we are giving him every chance to prove himself. But as a player, we know very little about him."

Big Duncan will be like a new signing
Jul 25 2003 By Howard Kendall, Liverpool Echo
DUNCAN Ferguson returns to Rangers tomorrow as Everton step up their pre-season programme.
He will undoubtedly be looking forward to it, but he should not get too fired up. The main thing for Duncan is to get 90 minutes under his belt before the start of the new season. At the moment he is probably playing within himself. That's understandable. He has had a long run of injury problems and should not push too hard too soon. Pre-season is a gradual build up. The result at Ibrox is not important. Duncan will be happy to complete as many minutes as he can so that he knows he will be able to perform to his best later in the Premiership. I remember trying to sign Duncan when he was still at Dundee United, but the word was he was only interested in joining Rangers. When he got into their side he was playing wide on the left because Mark Hateley, Ally McCoist and Maurice Johnston were all ahead of him and playing well. If he can have an injury-free spell, Duncan will be like a new signing for the Blues. The same is true of Alex Nyarko. He played his first Everton game for two years against Rochdale in midweek. Like a player coming back refreshed after a long injury lay-off, his return could be a big bonus for the club - as long as his attitude is right.
Wayne can cope
WAYNE Rooney looked sharp at Crewe last Tuesday and was unfortunate not to get on the scoresheet. A number of people, including Paul Merson, have said that the young lad faces a tough season ahead of him - opposing teams now know all about him and will be looking to mark him out of games. But Rooney is too good to be concerned about that. It was the same with Alan Ball when he played for Everton. He was closely marked, but that did not stop him becoming a world class player. It's the same for Rooney.
Bonus from Gavin
ASTON Villa have made an excellent signing in Gavin McCann for £2.25m. Everton showed an interest in bringing the Sunderland player back to Goodison, but perhaps losing out on McCann will bring an unexpected bonus. The Blues will receive £560,000 if he moves to Villa thanks to a clause in his Sunderland contract which gives Everton a percentage of any sell-on. Maybe David Moyes has someone in mind and is thinking about using that money now McCann's move to Villa is complete.

Starting all over again
Jul 25 2003 Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
TWO years after leaving Everton, Michael Ball intends to use tomorrow's game against the Blues at Ibrox to kick-start his Rangers career. The talented defender has spent much of his time in the treatment room at Ibrox since leaving Goodison in a £6.5m deal. A series of knee problems have caused the extended absence, restricting Ball to just five league appear-ances since his move in August 2001. But, after two operations in Colorado and a lot of hard work in rehabilitation, Ball is finally back to full fitness. And he intends to prove it tomorrow, playing in front of the Ibrox fans for the first time in 19 months against the club where he began his career and which he supported as a boy. It is as if I am making my home debut again," admits the defender. "Everything has been going according to plan. I just need to test myself in these pre-season games and get my match sharpness back. "It is strange that my first game back at Ibrox is against Everton. "This is a tougher match than the other games we have played so far and I am looking forward to playing against the boys. "I have been back down to Liverpool a lot while I have been injured and I have watched the boys a lot. "It has been good being a fan again. A lot of the players in the side now were there when I was there and it was good to see them doing so well last season. "Now they are in the same position as us. There are a lot of expectations because of what we both achieved last year. They will be trying to build on last season, and that means going for Europe." That may well be a target for Everton next season but Rangers are already there. It is an exciting time for Ball, who had to watch from the sidelines last term while his team-mates secured an historic domestic treble. The defender has already been told by manager Alex McLeish he will be the club's left-back in the new campaign following the departure of the experienced Dutchman Arthur Numan. "This is a very big season for me," he adds. "I want to show the fans and the chairman why the club invested so much money in me. "Finally there is light at the end of the tunnel and I can't wait to be back playing first team football again. "I have had to be patient. I was fit again in time for the last six or seven games of last season but the manager decided to leave me out. "They were tense games because we were going for the title and he felt it would be best to allow me that extra time to get over the injury once and for all. "The gaffer hasn't pushed me and he has taken advice from the doctors to make sure my comeback works out. "It has been 19 months out, which is why I am looking forward to this game so much." Had Everton been able to resist the substantial offer from Rangers, Ball could have been lining up for Moyes' men tomorrow. But while the England international remains a keen Evertonian, he does not regret making the move to Glasgow. "I settled in very quickly up here," he reveals.
"I knew it was a big club when I signed but you don't realise what a great club it is until you come up here. "The training ground is magnificent, the fans are superb and the medical set-up is excellent. The club has its own doctors and they have been superb with me. "The club didn't just invest money to sign me, they have spared no expense to help me get over my injury problems and I want to repay them." Ball's father, along with 25 of the player's family and friends, will be travelling north for tomorrow's game to support the 23-year-old. Michael senior is also a devoted fan of Everton and remains a regular at Goodison. He is delighted his son's injury problems are a thing of the past. "He has been chomping at the bit to get back since April," revealed Ball senior. "It was hard for him when he first went up there because he had only just turned 21 and his first baby was only two months old. "Who knows, a few years down the line he could come back to Everton. I would love him to go back one day." For the time being though, Ball's focus is the new season and the challenge of living up to his price tag. "The squad is a bit small at the moment because so many players have left over the summer. "I know the manager wants to bring in another left-sided player because if I get injured there will be no cover. And we do need a bigger squad. "It is an exciting time for us. "We did well last season but the team has changed a lot and we need these games to gel as a side. "It is a new team, me included."

Roon will not Wayne
Jul 25 2003 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
EX-EVERTON star Michael Ball today tipped wonderboy Wayne Rooney to prove his doubters wrong - and overcome the difficulty of being a marked man in the Premiership. Boyhood Evertonian Ball (left), who left Goodison two years ago to join Rangers, plays his first game in Glasgow for 19 months tomorrow against Everton following a lengthy injury nightmare. He will be up against the hottest young property in European soccer and his old team-mates in the friendly at Ibrox. The Rangers defender has kept a close eye on Everton's progress over the last 12 months. And, like most people, he has been impressed by the quality of the 17-year-old striker. Said Ball: "Everybody is saying the second season will be much harder for Wayne, and that is the case." "In fact, the next 18 months will be tough for him because this is going to be his first full season as a regular in the side.The defenders who have already played against him will know his style and will be better prepared to play against him. "But I remember Michael Owen being in a similar position after he first came through and even when was having a hard time in his second season he still scored plenty of goals.
"It is a big season coming up for Wayne but he is good enough to cope." Everton will be without Lee Carsley and Mark Pembridge for tomorrow's prestigious Rangers clash. Irish international Carsley, who impressed playing on the right of midfield at Crewe in midweek, picked up a knee injury in training. Pembridge is suffering from a dead leg following the match at Rochdale on Tuesday.
Niclas Alexandersson is fit again after missing midweek games because of a thigh strain, while Tony Hibbert continues his return to match fitness after his hernia problems of last season. Glasgow born Moyes, who started his career at Rangers' bitter rivals Celtic, played down the intensity of the meeting. He said: "I have a lot of good friends at Rangers and I know Alex McLeish very well. It's a good pre-season game, the sort of game we would like to be involved in more often."

Return for Dunc
Jul 25 2003 Liverpool Echo
DUNCAN FERGUSON will make his return to Ibrox tomorrow, nine years after he left the Scottish giants. Everton boss David Moyes has confirmed Ferguson will be in the squad for the Blues' friendly against Alex McLeish's men. Ferguson left Ibrox to join Everton in a £4m deal in December 1994. But the striker made just 11 appearances as a substitute last season because of a string of injuries. The 31-year-old's inability to complete a full pre-season training programme was a key factor in his lack of action. But Moyes believes this season could be a different story for the striker.
He said: "Duncan has come back after the summer break and is looking much fitter. "He is involved in all the training and from that point of view I am delighted. He will feel much better for getting a good pre-season under his belt. "We are pleased he has got himself fit and in a position to be selected. We want to continue getting as much football into him as we can." That should mean at least a 45 minute run out tomorrow.

Rangers 2, Everton 3 (D, Post)
By Ian Doyle Reports From Ibrox, Daily Post
Jul 28 2003
DAVID MOYES was quoted at the weekend as saying if Wayne Rooney was allowed to leave Goodison Park, he would soon follow his star striker out of the exit. But the Blues boss will have to get used to life without the 17-year-old for the foreseeable future, however, after the youngster was stretchered off on an afternoon of mixed emotions for the Blues on Saturday. Rooney is facing a month on the sidelines, a price no-one inside Goodison would have been willing to pay for victory over the Scottish champions and the much-needed confidence boost it should bring. As is so often the case, it appeared innocuous when the teenager fell over the ball during the 36th minute of an uncharacteristically entertaining preseason workout at Ibrox. But the longer Rooney remained prone on the turf, the more concern grew. And the sight of the striker being strapped to a stretcher and whisked from the pitch will have filled all Evertonians - and England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson - with dread. With damaged ligaments in his right ankle, Rooney is now almost certain to miss the opening exchanges of the season and is facing a race against time to be fit for the first Merseyside derby of the season at Goodison on August 30. Ironic that for all the worries over him playing too many games and the effect it may have on his developing body, Rooney's latest injury setback could have happened to anyone. "He just put his foot over the ball and went over on his ankle," said Moyes. "There was no challenge on him." Pure bad luck. And it compounds Rooney's testing pre-season, in which he missed the opening two friendlies with a groin strain and has had tongues wagging due to the clear indication he has fully enjoyed his summer recess. With that in mind, Moyes would privately admit an extended spell on the sidelines is the last thing Rooney needs. Given his build and still-growing frame, the youngster is always liable to gain a little excess baggage. These things must be expected. But such is the national interest in Rooneymania, yesterday's newspapers were filled with stories not only noting Moyes' concern at the starlet's increased volume, but the startling news that the record-breaking England international has eschewed his local burger bar haunt for a Chinese restaurant in St Helens. As this reporter can vouch, the Blues boss can at least rest assured Rooney has good taste in eating establishments. With transfer incomings and the outgoings to finance them looking as unlikely as ever, injury to his most talented match-winner is a further kick in the stomach for Moyes as he seeks to build on last term's impressive achievements. Life without Rooney - for no matter how short a period of time - can only have a detrimental effect.
That said, the kerfuffle over the 17-year-old should not be allowed to detract from what was an encouraging performance from an Everton set-up still smarting from the midweek embarrassment at Crewe. Okay, so Rangers - missing the likes of skipper Barry Ferguson among others - were not at full strength. But with a Champions League qualifier on the horizon, this was the chance for the squad's lesser lights to prove their worth to Gers boss Alex McLeish. And as Moyes was at pains to point out before the game, there is no such thing as a friendly to the Glaswegians and urged his players to take on a similar mindset for the remainder of their pre-season campaign. With that in mind, the Everton team which started the game on Saturday contained nine players who have legitimate claims for a starting place in the Premiership opener at Arsenal in 19 days' time.
Yet it was from the substitutes' bench that victory was eventually earned from a surprisingly committed friendly workout which gave further evidence that Moyes' squad - particularly when fully fit - requires reinforcement and not wholesale rebuilding. Li Tie remains on the wanted list, but Moyes' determination not to pay over the odds has left the Chinese international's career in a state of limbo. His one-year loan deal expired, the midfielder has spent the pre-season officially on trial at Goodison as Everton and Liaoning Badao seek to reach agreement over a fee. But such is the perverse way the Blues often find themselves in, Li Tie may have unwittingly bumped up his price with a fantastic strike during an impressive 13-minute cameo appearance which set Everton on their way to a victory which always looked likely. The visitors had started the stronger, with Alan Stubbs firing a free-kick wide and the outstretched Tomasz Radzinski narrowly failing to reach Rooney's low centre. It was against the run of play, then, when on 20 minutes Neil McCann escaped the attentions of Tony Hibbert and crossed from the left for Steven Thompson to climb above Stubbs and head in low to Steve Simonsen's right. Thompson nearly repeated the trick from a Peter Lovenkrands centre minutes later, while Stubbs curled an effort the wrong side of the post after which the boisterous Hibbert was ordered to calm down by boss Moyes after one fiesty challenge too many. Radzinksi and Rooney were paired in attack for the first time since the FA Cup defeat at Shrewsbury Town in January, but the latter's early departure curtailed their partnership before Rangers goalkeeper Stefan Klos blocked a Steve Watson effort and clawed away a Stubbs header.
With Thomas Gravesen and Tobias Linderoth performing tigerishly in midfield, the Blues had enjoyed some good possession in the first half but were stymied by a lack of creativity and any natural width.
That changed after the break with the introduction of Niclas Alexandersson, Scot Gemmill, David Unsworth and later on Li Tie. Suddenly the Blues had a cutting edge, and once former Everton star Michael Ball had unwisely upended Radzinski following Gravesen's pass, Unsworth rattled home the equaliser from the spot on 63 minutes. The home fans demonstrated their appreciation for ex-Ger Duncan Ferguson when he entered the fray on 77 minutes, but within 60 seconds it was the 3,000-strong Everton support which was cheering when Li Tie raced down the right, exchanged passes with Alexandersson and moved into the area before thrashing a right-footed volley into the top corner. The lead lasted barely two minutes, though, when Shota Arveladze's shot was blocked and Michael Mols rolled the ball past Simonsen. But the Blues weren't to be denied, and when in stoppage time Alessandro Pistone was baulked by Maurice Ross on the edge of the area, a set-piece free-kick led to Stubbs - who as a former Celtic star had been booed throughout - finally getting his goal with a 20-yard drive which deflected in off Ball. A deserved win for Moyes' men, and one which should prove a shot in the arm as the build up to the new season continues. But once again it is Rooney claiming the headlines - this time for the wrong reasons.
GLASGOW RANGERS (4-4-2): Klos; Ross, Moore, Ball, Muscat; Capucho (Arveladze 46), Malcolm (Dowie 64), Nerlinger, McCann; Thompson (de Boer 73), Lovenkrands (Mols 58). Subs: Smith, McGregor, Burke, Gibson.
EVERTON (4-4-2): Simonsen; Hibbert, Stubbs, Weir, Pistone; Watson (Alexandersson 46), Linderoth (Gemmill 58), Gravesen (Li Tie 77), Naysmith (Unsworth 58); Rooney (Campbell 36), Radzinski (Ferguson 77). Subs: Gerrard, Clarke.
BOOKING: Everton's Pistone.
REFEREE: Mr S Dougal.
ATT: 28,000.

Fashanu denies rigging matches
By Mark Hookham Daily Post Staff
Jul 28 2003
JOHN Fashanu last night denied allegations that he fixes football matches. The retired player's statement came after he was accused by a Sunday newspaper of taking £5,000 from its undercover reporters towards rigging a match. In his meetings with the journalists, he is said to have given pre-match information on one Liverpool-Everton game in return for £250,000 which was paid in to his Swiss bank account. Everton FC last night declined to say anything about the allegations. No one from Liverpool FC was available to comment. But later, when the former Wimbledon striker and recent star of ITV1's I'm A Celebrity - Get Me Out of Here was asked if he had fixed any matches, he told BBC Radio Five Live: "No, none at all, no." Fashanu said he had agreed to the meetings because he wanted to find out if the people who had approached him were journalists or from "the Mafia". He said he accepted the £5,000 - but took the cash to the police. He said he had met "three Indian gentlemen who knew nothing at all about football" but had wanted to discuss him taking a team of stars to the Middle East. At a second meeting, however, the men started talking about fixing matches. Fashanu, 41, insisted that he had kept his manager informed and had met the men with his legal adviser - whom he introduced as his "wife" - present. "When they actually started broking the subject of actually fixing matches, they were so, so direct. "These are people I've never met before in my life and had one meeting with and all of a sudden they're talking about giving people five thousand to 40 thousand etc, etc," he said. "As soon as money changed hands, I went straight to the police station, gave it all to the police . . . did a full statement - that was the same day as they gave me the money and in the evening they were still calling me. They didn't know. They believed I had given the money to football players." The News of the World says it stands by its story.
On Saturday, a spokesman for Scotland Yard said: "A 40-year old attended a North London police station at 9pm last night and made a statement to police. "As with any evidence or allegations brought to the attention of the Metropolitan Police, the facts will be assessed as to whether any investigation is warranted and will in any case be dealt with appropriately." Six years ago, Fashanu was cleared of match-fixing allegations in a criminal trial. There were two trials in Winchester in 1997. The first ended in deadlock and the second resulted in Fashanu, along with goalkeepers Bruce Grobbelaar and Hans Segers, being cleared of conspiracy. Businessman Richard Lim was also cleared.

Moyes feeling Li Tie doubts
Daily Post
Jul 28 2003
EVERTON manager David Moyes insists Li Tie's wonder-goal at Rangers has still not convinced him that the midfielder is a £1million player. The Chinese international netted his side's second goal in Saturday's 3-2 friendly win at Ibrox on an afternoon when Wayne Rooney was stretchered off with an ankle injury. He had only been on the pitch a couple of minutes before he beat home goalkeeper Stefan Klos with a sweetly-struck long-range effort. The 25-year-old spent last season on loan at Goodison Park from Chinese club Liaoning Badao in a deal that was substantially funded by the Premiership club's Far Eastern sponsors. That expired in the summer but the player came back in the hope of a permananent move, which is so far being held up by Moyes refusing to pay a seven-figure asking fee. He said: "I think the goal might help him in the way the supporters see him but I have said all along that Li Tie at the moment is too expensive. "I won't pay £1m for him. "I don't think that is his value - not in the current market. "He is a terrific player for us and I would like to keep him but I have got a limited budget and I will use it as wisely as I possibly can - that's what Scotsmen do. "I think they are trying to do something regarding the fee back home and they are much closer but at the moment if it was £1m then I wouldn't pay £1m." Moyes was pleased with his side's win, which was clinched in the final minute when an Alan Stubbs free-kick was deflected past Klos by former Everton defender Michael Ball. Moyes said: "I think it was not a bad pre-season friendly as pre-season friendlies go. "I thought it was a decent game with both teams having a go at trying to win. There were lulls in the game at times and the results don't matter but I would rather win than lose them."

Michael's having a ball again
Daily Post
Jul 28 2003
RANGERS defender Michael Ball has declared himself ready to become the answer to his club's injury crisis instead of being one its long-term victims. The former England international, who played once for his country before leaving Everton for Ibrox in 2001, has not kicked a ball in a competitive fixture for the Scottish champions since December that year. A serious knee injury put his Rangers career on hold after just 11 appearances and it was feared he might never play again. Those doubts have long since evaporated and Ball completed all 90 minutes of the 3-2 friendly defeat by his old club at Ibrox on Saturday, although while playing at centre-back and not his normal left-back berth.
It was a position Ball was already familiar with and he insisted he would be delighted to be handed it on a more regular basis. He said: "With David May and Emerson Thome not staying on the gaffer had a few injury problems so I stepped into centre-back with Craig. "I don't mind where I play. In my last season at Everton I played quite a lot in the middle next to Richard Gough and David Weir.
"We played a back three or a back four under Walter Smith so either way I am not bothered. I'm quite comfortable in both positions. "I'm just glad to be back. It's my first game at Ibrox for a long time and I just want, when the season starts, to get a good run of games, at least a dozen, and then I will know I am fully back and raring to go." It was not a particularly lucky afternoon for Ball however as he gave away a penalty and then, in the final minute, deflected an Alan Stubbs free-kick past his goalkeeper to hand his former club the victory. The penalty, which was converted by David Unsworth, had been the result of a challenge on Tomasz Radzinski and Ball admitted he had walked into a trap. He said: "I should have known better because he is very clever. He does that quite a lot. He just laughed when he stood up. You have to play to the rules and I pushed him a little bit."

Kids taken on school trip
Daily Post
Jul 28 2003
ANDY HOLDEN believes that the 1-1 draw with Conference side Leigh RMI was a footballing education for his young Everton side. The reserve team boss included no fewer than six under-19 players in his starting line-up who fared well against a hardworking Leigh team. Leon Osman gave the Blues the lead after 32 minutes, but Ged Courtenay's second-half header gave the non-leaguers a share of the spoils. Overall, Holden was pleased with the performance of his side, who enjoyed plenty of possession in their first real workout of the summer. "It was a good education for the youngsters," he said. "These places aren't easy to come to. A lot of their players are former professionals who have a lot of experience behind them. "Having said that, we started well and played some half-decent stuff on a poor pitch, but I always felt that we were giving silly free-kicks away and we always needed a second goal. "Alan Moogan was very naive and made a silly foul on the right hand side, the ball was punted in and the next thing the ball was in the back of the net. Then, with youngsters, they automatically go on the back foot, because I thought at 1-1 we still had a very good chance to win the game. "But it was a good learning curve for them and the senior lads in the side, such as Leon Osman, Nick Chadwick, Kevin McLeod and Sean O'Hanlon did well too."

Rooney ko for the big ko
By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Jul 28 2003
WAYNE ROONEY will miss the start of the Barclaycard Premiership season after it was revealed he suffered ankle ligament damage in the 3-2 win over Rangers. The 17-year-old striker was stretchered off after falling awkwardly in Saturday's friendly at Ibrox. Rooney immediately returned to Liverpool from Scotland for medical assessment. An X-ray revealed no break but a scan in Manchester yesterday morning confirmed ligament damage that will keep him out of action for a month. The injury will keep Rooney out of Everton's opening Premiership fixtures against Arsenal, Fulham and possibly the Blues' game at Charlton, leaving him a race against time to be fit for the Merseyside derby at Goodison on August 30. Rooney will also miss England's friendly against Croatia at Ipswich on August 20. Everton's head physio Mick Rathbone said: "Wayne had an X-ray in Liverpool on Saturday night and fortunately there was no obvious break. He has been for an MR scan this morning and visited a consultant who reviewed the information and confirmed the diagnosis as damaged ankle ligaments. He will return to see the specialist in 12 days' time and we anticipate that he will be out for around four weeks." Everton will now continue their pre-season preparations in Scotland without Rooney, who will undergo rehabilitation at the club's Bellefield training centre.

Meanwhile, Alex Nyarko seems set to leave Everton just four weeks after rejoining the club following two years on loan in France. The Ghanaian international has been given permission to speak to two clubs in China who are interested in signing the 29-year-old on a temporary basis until December.
Nyarko returned from France - where he had loan spells with Monaco and Paris St Germain - at the beginning of July eager for a fresh start under Moyes, and played in friendlies in Austria and at Rochdale. But he was left out of the party that travelled to Scotland at the weekend and his Everton comeback looks destined to be shortlived. "We have given Alex Nyarko permission to speak to a couple of clubs in China," said Everton's Head of Corporate Affairs and PR, Ian Ross. Ross added: "He has flown out to the Far East to meet with representatives. We expect to learn within two to three days whether or not he'll be joining either of them." The injury to Rooney put a dampener on a fine victory for the Blues on Saturday, who bounced back from their mid-week embarrassment at Crewe Alexandra to defeat Scottish champions Rangers. Steven Thompson gave the home side the lead before a David Unsworth penalty and a Li Tie cracker put the Blues ahead. Michael Mols equalised but Alan Stubbs won the game with a deflected injury-time free-kick. "As far as I'm concerned I thought it was a good pre-season friendly," said Blues boss Moyes. Both sides went for it, there were some good goals scored and plenty of incident. I thought we looked fit and we kept going to the end. "That's the way I want Everton to play in every game. I want us to play at a high tempo and I want us to entertain. I thought we gave good value." The winning goal was a particularly sweet moment for Stubbs, who as a former Celtic player had been barracked throughout the game by the Rangers support. Ironically, the goal was deflected in off former Everton star Michael Ball, but Stubbs insisted: "I'm claiming it! "I am pleased with the result. It is always nice to come here and get a result, and it is a great step forward for our pre-season. It was a real test for us in every department. "I was surprised by the Rangers fans. I thought my reception was a bit muted, which I suppose may have been a sign of respect from the fans!"

Rangers 2, Everton 3 (Echo)
Jul 28 2003 By David Prentice At Ibrox, Liverpool Echo
THE funereal silence which settled over the Blues' travelling fans, while Wayne Rooney lay prostrate on a stretcher, showed the importance Evertonians attach to his precocious skills. But the compelling evidence once again at Ibrox on Saturday was that Tomasz Radzinski is the forward Everton must wrap in cotton wool this season. The little Canadian, deservedly Player of the Season last time out, didn't score during the Blues' entertaining 3-2 triumph on the Costa Del Clyde - yes the sun shone warmly on Glasgow. But his movement, pace and energetic bursts reminded Evertonians just what they missed out on during the decisive eight match run-in to last season. From starting last term as a possible, Radzinski will kick-off the 2003-04 campaign as not just a probable, but a nailed-on certainty in David Moyes' first XI. But the identity of his striking partner remains more clouded - even in Rooney's absence through injury. The success of Wayne Rooney alongside the stylistically similar Michael Owen in an England jersey had many Evertonians dreaming of a Rad and Roon pairing in Royal Blue. The only time that partnership was used last season, however, was at Shrewsbury in the FA Cup . . . Moyes kicked off at Ibrox with the same pair, and until Rooney's 36th minute injury there were occasional signs that it could click. Inside the opening minute Rooney slid a delicately weighted pass into the Rangers' penalty box for Radzinski to dart onto, which took a sliding, saving tackle from Muscat to prod the ball back to his goalkeeper. Then in the 14th minute Rooney flashed a cross-shot across the Rangers' six yard box which Radzinski was inches away from connecting with. Both sides had threatened equally, before Rangers produced the first cross of genuine quality in the 20th minute. Neil McCann had already failed to deliver threateningly from a much easier position 60 seconds earlier, when he found himself double-banked on the left touchline.
This time he arched in a wonderful ball which received the finish it deserved from Steven Thompson's flying header. The centre-forward has been described in Scotland as a Duncan Ferguson Mark II, presumably because he came from Dundee United. The Mark I version was cheered loudly by his old Rangers' supporters every time he jogged along the touchline and when he eventually made his entrance, 14 minutes from time. Old Bhoy Alan Stubbs, however, was predictably booed every time he received possession, but went close twice with free-kicks which flashed narrowly wide, while Steve Watson saw Klos make a fine, instinctive save to parry his close range volley. While this latter period of play was taking place, Wayne Rooney was lying injured on the Ibrox turf. Caught up in a tangle with Bob Malcolm, he tried to move one-way, while his standing boot remained rooted where it was. The resulting trauma was sufficient to see a stretcher end his afternoon early and possibly postpone his season's start. Steve Simonsen juggled a ball to safety from Malcolm's free-kick - the sentimental choice would have been to let Michael Ball take it - before Stubbs yet again showed his desperate desire to get one over his old Glasgow rivals with a header from Gravesen's free-kick which Klos saved brilliantly. Only one half-time change apiece kept the game flowing in the second period, and Everton got back level in the 63rd minute.
Rangers somewhat desperately claimed afterwards that Radzinski had dived for a penalty kick - and even more harshly that he had a reputation for doing so. Given that Everton 'earned' just a single penalty from challenges upon him last season it was difficult to work out just where the evidence for this assertion had come from. Radzinski checked onto Gravesen's through pass, tempted Michael Ball into a tackle, and then darted again over the trailing leg. Think Michael Owen in an England jersey and you have a photofit image of the incident. For a pre-season friendly, Rangers went to inordinate lengths to distract David Unsworth - delaying the kick, asking for a substitution to be made before he could take it and even standing in front of the ball before he could run-up.
Unsworth was characteristically unfazed, clipping the ball neatly and precisely to his right while Klos dived in the opposition direction. Radzinski cut in again from the left and shot wide, and blazed another opening from the opposite channel high over the bar as he showed the problems his pace can pose. Then we had a conundrum. If Li Tie is still officially a Liaoning Bird player, does his beautifully buried 78th minute volley count as his first official goal for Everton? The Chinese midfielder had no doubt, after playing a one-two with Alexandersson and crashing a rising drive into the roof of the net. That might have been enough to win the match, but the Blues - well actually the Amber and Blues - Everton wore their best away strip since Ball-Harvey and Kendall shuttled intricate patterns around the midfield - went to sleep almost immediately and Michael Mols showed some neat sleight of foot to turn in the equaliser. The board to show two minutes of time added-on had already been displayed when Everton grabbed the match-winner - and neatly it came from Alan Stubbs. Pistone's marauding run was checked illegally on the edge of the penalty box, Michael Ball tried to close down Stubbs' shot but could succeed only in deflecting it beyond Stefan Klos and into the corner of the net. The negligible transfer activity around Goodison Park this summer had begun to affect Evertonian morale. But this victory against the Scottish treble winners was a timely shot in the arm. David Moyes is still trying to add a new face or two, but the old ones are beginning to show that last season's efforts may not have been the fluke they have been painted in some quarters.
GLASGOW RANGERS: Klos, Ross, Moore, Ball, Muscat, Nerlinger, Malcolm (Dowie 65), Capuco (Arveladze 45), McCann, Lovenkrands (Mols 58), Thompson (De Boer 73).
EVERTON: Simonsen, Hibbert, Stubbs, Weir, Pistone, Watson (Alexandersson 45), Gravesen (Tie 76), Linderoth (Gemmill 58), Naysmith (Unsworth 58), Rooney (Campbell 36), Radzinski (Ferguson 76).
REFEREE: Stuart Dougal.
BOOKING: Pistone (dissent) 73 mins.
GOALS: Thompson (20 mins) 1-0, Unsworth penalty (63 mins) 1-1, Tie (78 mins) 1-2, Mols (80 mins) 2-2, Stubbs (91 mins) 2-3.

Hunt for a striker
Jul 28 2003 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON manager David Moyes today confirmed he may move in the transfer market for a striker - as a result of Wayne Rooney's weekend injury blow. But the boost for the Blues is that Rooney may only miss two first team matches with what physio Mick Rathbone has described as a "sprained ankle". "I am told that Wayne will be missing for a month," said Moyes, "which leaves us short up front with Duncan Ferguson suspended for the first three games. "I may have to look at bringing someone in - if only on-loan - to tide us over. At present we will be going into the season with Kevin Campbell, Tomasz Radzinski and Nick Chadwick as our only available forwards, and we still have two weeks of pre-season to negotiate. It is a situation I will need to assess carefully." Moyes has already checked out the possibility of Brian McBride returning to Goodison following last season's successful loan spell. The USA hitman scored twice for his country last week and has figured well up in the MSL scoring charts this season. But with the MSL season not ending until October - when the English transfer window is closed - Moyes would have to sign McBride on a permanent deal now - and he feels that a quoted price of £500,000 for a 31-year-old is too high. The search for reinforcements has been made more acute by Rooney's weekend injury. "Wayne was tackled and went over on his ankle," explained physio Rathbone. "We took him back to Liverpool and he was X-rayed later that evening and there was no obvious fracture. "On Sunday morning he had an MR scan in Liverpool and saw a consultant in Manchester on Sunday lunchtime, who confirmed that there was no bone injury. "In basic, simple terms it is a sprained ankle, which means damage to his ankle ligaments and he will receive treatment at Bellefield. "We felt it would be better for him to be back at home with his family. Young lads tend to heal more quickly and Wayne is a naturally tough, robust individual so we are hoping his recovery may even be quicker than expected. "The consultant estimates he should be back playing again in about a month." That means Rooney will miss the opening day at Arsenal and possibly the first home match of the season against Fulham, plus England's friendly match against Croatia. But he could be ready to come back at Charlton on August 26, and should be available for the first Merseyside derby of the season later that week.
The decision to let Alex Nyarko travel to China, meanwhile, for discussions with two Chinese clubs - could give Moyes further flexibility in the transfer market. He is still desperately seeking new faces, and had Sunderland's American international Claudio Reyna watched last week. Nyarko has been at Everton just four weeks after rejoining the club following two years on-loan in France. The two unnamed Chinese clubs may be prepared to take Nyarko on-loan until December, freeing his wage from the Goodison bill. The Ghanaian has failed to sufficiently impress Moyes during his brief spell back with the Blues.

Li Tie still not worth £1m
Jul 28 2003 Liverpool Echo
LI TIE has not suddenly become a million pound player - despite celebrating his first Everton goal at Ibrox on Saturday. The midfielder, still technically a Liaoning Bird player while Everton try to negotiate a transfer fee with the Chinese club, scored the second goal of Everton's 3-2 win at Glasgow Rangers. But afterwards manager David Moyes declared that his own opinion of the player's worth had not changed. "That goal might help him in the eyes of the supporters," he said "but I have said all along that Li Tie is too expensive. "I will not pay £1m for him. That's not his value in my eyes in the current transfer market. I like him a lot. He is a terrific player and I would like to have him here, but I don't think that £1m is his value. "That's what Scotsmen do, get value for their money!" Everton chief executive Michael Dunford will continue to negotiate with his Chinese counterparts this week to resolve the impasse. Englishman Alan Stubbs, meanwhile, was celebrating a triumphant return to the scene of his old Glasgow derby games, after claiming a 91st minute winner and silencing the Rangers' fans who had booed him all afternoon. "I know it took a deflection," he smiled afterwards "but it definitely wasn't an own goal! "I have read somewhere that if you hit it on target and it goes in you can claim the goal as your own so I am claiming that one.
"It's always nice to get a goal, especially after we have played what we would class as smaller teams in Rochdale and Crewe. So to come here, play Rangers and get a result like that is a step forward.
"I was quite surprised by the reception I got. I thought it might have been worse than that," he added. "It was quite muted at times, but I am not complaining. Maybe it was a little mark of respect." Ex-Blue Michael Ball received a very warm ovation from the travelling Everton fans - as he continued his rehabilitation from the knee injury which struck almost as soon as he left Goodison for Ibrox. Playing at centre-half, Ball showed no ill-effects and said afterwards: "It was good to play against Wayne Rooney, but I was disappointed when he went off." But Ball was less complimentary about Rooney's strike partner, Tomasz Radzinski. "I should have known better," he grimaced "because he does that quite a lot. He just played to the rules, went over my leg and it was a penalty.

"Everton played it very hard. David Moyes has got them working hard and it was a good test for us."
For Evertonians concerned by the lack of new faces in the Blues' squad so far this summer, Rangers' boss Alex McLeish had some reassuring words. "I thought we did okay against what is a very strong Everton squad, when you see what level of substitutes they have," he said.

Fresh faces
Icliverpool And Daily Post
Jul 29 2003
Fresh faces
I THINK David Moyes really has to buy one or two new faces. It was wise to let Gavin McCann go to Villa as we'll get £500,000 from Sunderland. We should go for Jason Koumas and Michael Brown and maybe even offer Li Tie a contract.
David Sherbo, Kirkby
Blow the cash
HOW about blowing all our money on Juan Roman Riquelme from Barcelona? Maybe Emerson Thome from Sunderland on a freebie? He seems to have put his injuries behind him and my friends and I were staggered when he went from Chelsea for a pittance and we didn't bid. Lastly, get some squad players in on loan. Leicester have had the right idea. Best buy of the season so far - Brett Emerton at £2.2m: mark my words.
Alan McInnes, Liverpool
Waiting game
WE NEED to trust Moyes. If the fans had as much belief as he does, then there would be no problem. Additional players may be needed but what's the rush?
Mark Johnson, Liverpool
Lift the gloom
TOO much doom and gloom. Radzinski and Linderoth are returning after long-term injuries and we've been told the squad will be in better physical shape than last season. If everyone stays fit, our best XI will give every team in the Premiership a tough game. A home record like last season plus a few extra points picked up away from home will ensure another fine season. Of course we need some new midfielders to go a step further, but I trust the manager and I'm glad he has continued to devote himself to making better what we already have.
Ian Telfer, (via e-mail)
Go for Koumas
I DON'T understand why we don't go after Jason Koumas. He'd be a lot cheaper than any of our other targets and would prove just as good. He had a great season but I'm really worried that someone like Spurs will come in for him! We are in dire need of a midfielder with a bit of class. Sometimes it really hurts to watch the Toffees in action!
Eamo Byrne, (via e-mail)
Osman chance
IF WE'RE not about to sign Li Tie then why is he getting played in pre-season matches in place of the likes of Leon Osman?
Tom Roberts, Liverpool
Back the boss
NYARKO going is no loss, but with Rooney out for a month and Ferguson suspended it's back to the KC and Radz show with Chadwick as the only back-up. If Moyes is looking at Kilbane or Savage, it's become a joke. The Board should really pull their finger out.
Andy Dowd, Southport

Moyes set to step up Macca bid
By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Jul 29 2003
DAVID MOYES is ready to step up his pursuit of Steve McManaman - and has refused to rule Richard Wright out for the beginning of the season. The Blues boss has suffered a summer of frustration in the transfer market, missing out on David Dunn and failing to lure either Sean Davis or Scott Parker to Goodison Park. Now Moyes is prepared to redouble his efforts to bring McManaman back to the Premiership after a four-year spell in Spain with Real Madrid. McManaman will find out this week what future he has at the Bernabeu under new coach Carlos Quieroz. The former Liverpool star is likely to be informed he is surplus to requirements by the Portuguese boss, and thus spark a scramble for the 31-year-old's signature. Manchester City boss Kevin Keegan is also keen to sign McManaman but, as a boyhood Blue, Goodison Park is the winger's favoured destination. Moyes is working within tight financial constraints but is nevertheless confident he can thrash out a deal with McManaman, who is willing to take a huge drop in wages to return to England. The Blues boss has revealed he is also considering bringing a striker in on loan before the start of the season after Wayne Rooney was ruled out for a month. With Duncan Ferguson suspended for the opening three games, Moyes has only Kevin Campbell, Tomasz Radzinski and Nick Chadwick to call on in attack for the first fortnight of the season. "I may have to bring someone in, if only on loan, to tide us over," said Moyes. "It is a situation I will need to assess carefully." Moyes had made preliminary enquiries to re-sign Brian McBride on loan from the MLS, only to be told that with the MLS season not yet finished, he would have to sign the striker on a permanent deal for £500,000 - a price the Blues boss deemed too high for the 31-year-old. Moyes, meanwhile, is refusing to rule Richard Wright out for the opening game of the season at Arsenal on August 16. Wright has yet to feature in a pre-season game after injuring his shoulder when falling from a ladder at his Ipswich home earlier this summer.
However, the goalkeeper has been making good progress in training and Moyes is hopeful he will be available for the final friendly against Bologna on Sunday week. "He is not ruled out for the start of the season but we need to see that he has got a certain level of practice," said Moyes. "We know he has a chance but because of the nature of the injury we can't take too many risks with it. The target we have is that he will be ready for at least the last pre-season game, but we are not counting our chickens." Nick Chadwick and Leon Osman have been drafted into the Everton squad to face Dundee United tomorrow night.

Rooney ready to take the strain
Jul 29 2003 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
FALL GUY: Wayne Rooney will miss the start of the season DAVID MOYES hopes that Wayne Rooney's enforced break from first team football will produce a leaner, meaner version of the striker who terrorised Premiership defences last season. The 17-year-old star will be sidelined for a month after sustaining ankle ligament damage during Saturday's pre-season friendly at Ibrox. But the Blues boss hopes that the absence will give his young forward the chance to add to his fitness after the first summer break of his young career. "The injury will give him an opportunity to work on his general fitness for a couple of weeks - and give him a little bit more of a break from football which he needed after the amount of matches he played last year," said Moyes today at the Blues' Scottish training base, where they are preparing ahead of tomorrow's friendly against Dundee United.
"I would rather he was here training with us, but the medical staff we have will ensure that he works hard, and hopefully it will do him good. "He will do lots of cycling and swimming until he can bear weight on his ankle again, but he has done all the preseason work and got that behind him so he is already in good shape. I always felt he would take a little bit longer than the other lads because of his inexperience." Moyes, meanwhile, has denied that he was on the verge of signing Steve McManaman from Real Madrid - but admitted his interest in the player is still strong. "I have said all along that we have an interest in him but there is nothing imminent on that one," said the Blues' boss. While McManaman is prepared to take a significant cut on his £3m a year wages at Madrid - Everton would be prepared to offer £1m a year - the player has one year of his Real contract remaining and would want a sizeable pay-off. Until that issue is resolved, Everton cannot even hold talks with the player. Richard Wright, meanwhile, has completed his first real goalkeeping work after being kept out by the freak shoulder injury he sustained at home.

Nyarko must be off-loaded
Jul 29 2003 By Kevin Ratcliffe, Liverpool Echo
IF A PLAYER doesn't fit in with your plans then it makes sense to offload them at the earliest opportunity. David Moyes has had a month to assess the merits of Alex Nyarko and it seems the Ghanaian has been found wanting. The Blues have allowed him to go to the Far East to discuss the prospect of a loan spell with two clubs in China. It speaks volumes for the manager's view of the player, particularly when you consider a new midfielder has been top of Moyes' summer shopping list. On the face of it, the arrival of Nyarko provided a possible answer to the manager's needs. But if a player doesn't fit in with what you are trying to build then, no matter how suitable he may seem, there is no point keeping hold of him. Moyes accepts nothing less than 100 per cent from his players. He is fair to the people who are fair to him on the pitch. Nyarko played in the friendly against Rochdale last week. By all accounts he showed a few touches which betrayed the fact he is a talented footballer, but he did little else. His lack of effort could have convinced the manager that he isn't right for his team. And you never know. By sending Nyarko to China Moyes could have helped bring the permanent signing of Li Tie a step closer. The Chinese international is a player Everton are keen to sign - at the right price. The reason? He has talent but also works hard for the team.
Bad timing
WAYNE Rooney's ankle ligament injury is certainly nothing serious. But the timing of his lay-off could hardly have been worse. Players hate this time of the year. A lot of hard work has to be done in pre-season to make sure the players are physically prepared for the rigours of a new season.
That work is hugely beneficial. Missing four weeks at this stage of the club's preparations is far from ideal. It will mean Rooney needing longer to recover than maybe would be the case with the same injury at another time of the year. David Moyes will certainly look after the player's best interests.
But fans will have to appreciate the player cannot be expected to burst straight back into the side when he has recovered and be at his best. That will mean working on his fitness for the reserves.
In the meantime, Kevin Campbell and Tomasz Radzinski will now know they will be Moyes' striking partnership for the first three games of the season, provided they stay fit.
Perfect boost
PRE-SEASON games mean very little.
They provide a manager with the opportunity to gauge which of his players are sharp and ready for the season and which are in need of extra work on the training ground. But when you play a pre-season match at Ibrox and gain a 3-2 victory there are also psychological benefits. The morale lift of beating such a strong side on their own soil will serve Everton well. It was the perfect antidote to the below par showing at Crewe and will have pleased the manager, not because the result was better but because the performance was better.

Chadwick hoping to take his chance
David Prior, Daily Post
Jul 30 2003
WAYNE ROONEY'S enforced absence may been an untimely blow for Everton - but for one Blue it could just signal the opportunity he has been waiting for. Nick Chadwick, Everton's 20-year-old striker, has been a largely peripheral figure at Goodison since the 17-year-old prodigy burst on to the scene last season. It is easy to forget, though, that little over a year ago Chadwick scored in three consecutive home games in David Moyes' first days in charge. Injury meant that he could not continue his progression last year, with just one first-team appearance - Everton's final-day defeat to Manchester United - plus six on-loan games for Derby during March, to show for a desperately disappointing season. But with the ankle ligament injury suffered in the Blues' friendly at Rangers last Saturday likely to keep Rooney for at least the remainder of the pre-season - and with Duncan Ferguson also suspended for the first three matches - Chadwick is hoping to be given his chance.
"I would like to think I put forward more of a claim than being the only fit forward," he said.
"It is obviously disappointing for Wayne and everybody at the club because nobody likes to see anyone injured, but that's football. "I was injured last season, Wayne is now and Duncan is suspended for the first couple of games, so perhaps there is a little opening there. "I will have to wait and see. I don't know what the manager has planned for the start of the season and all I can do is work hard and play football." Having originally been overlooked by Moyes, Chadwick may now be given a run-out along with fellow youngster Leon Osman at Tannadice tonight when the Blues complete their mini-pre-season tour of Scotland with a game against Dundee United. "The gaffer pulled me and Ossie to one side and told us that we wouldn't be going to Scotland," he added.
"He thought it would be more beneficial if we stayed behind and got 90 minutes under our belts (against Leigh last Saturday) but there was a chance we could get called up if there were any injuries.
"With Wayne getting injured I suppose that has opened the door for us both and it is up to us now."
A reserve game at Rhyl tonight had been Chadwick's original destination, but Moyes' attacking deficiencies means he will now be getting invaluable experience with the first team. He added: "At this stage of the season it is obviously important to get 90 minutes under your belt but it is difficult to go to places like Leigh, especially when there are only a couple of you who have first-team experience. "It was disappointing not to come up in the first place but now I am here I hope I can get a chance on Wednesday and press my claims for a place. "I have done well in the pre-season games so far and I am looking to build on that and I am sure I can do a job. "I will always work hard but you have to take your chances when they come along. If it does come at the very start then I have to make sure that I am ready." Alessandro Pistone, meanwhile, is hopeful he too can feature more in the first team next term. Injury has severely frustrated the Italian's three-year spell at Goodison so far but he now believes he is fitter than ever. "That is what I am looking for - being fit for as long as I can," he said from the Blues' St Andrews training base. "Last year we had a good pre-season but unfortunately I couldn't participate in it all because I had to stop for a while because of injury. "I just want to finally have a season without any injuries and play as many games as I can. I think if that happens then I have a chance. "There are many, many games and the gaffer has told us that if we play well then we will keep our place in the side. "I think that is the right attitude. Everyone then has to give 100 per cent at all times in order to keep their place. "I just want to play as many games as is possible. "There is competition for places here now and that is normal. Last season was a very competitive season at the club, so I think this one will be the same. "We are preparing ourselves in a good way for the start of the new campaign. We are working hard each day and have been involved in some tough games over the past couple of weeks."

Wayne in the swim
By David Prior, Daily Post
Jul 30 2003
WAYNE ROONEY could be fit for Everton 's first game of the season, according to boss David Moyes.
The Blues manager has not ruled the 17-year-old striker out of his plans for the Premiership opener at Arsenal on August 16, despite initial estimates his ankle injury would leave him sidelined until at least the Goodison derby a fortnight later. Moyes said: "Hopefully the injury doesn't keep him out too much and I would say there's still an outside chance he could be available for the first game of the season. "It's quite a bad twist he's got and we expect him to be out for four weeks, but knowing the boy there's a chance he could be back much sooner than that." Such a quick return would represent a huge fillip for Moyes, who admitted he was considering bringing in attacking cover in Rooney's absence, with West Brom's Jason Roberts and Manchester City's Jon Macken the latest names to be linked with a move to Goodison Park. Moyes added: "We may need to look to bring someone in but at present hopefully there will be no more injuries in that department."
Rooney has been undergoing intensive rehabilitation in an attempt to speed up his recovery from the injury, suffered in a pre-season friendly against Rangers at the weekend. "He will do lots of cycling and swimming until he can bear weight on the ankle again," Moyes said. "But he has done all the pre-season work. He's got that behind him and is already in good shape. "I always felt he would take a little bit longer than the other lads because of his inexperience." Everton visit Tannadice tonight for their next pre-season friendly against Dundee United.

Savage makes Goodison vow
David Prior, Daily Post
Jul 30 2003
ROBBIE SAVAGE has put his future in Everton's hands by declaring: "There's no club I'd rather join."
The 28-year-old midfielder, Birmingham's player of the year last season, has been continually linked with a move to Goodison recently. Everton again firmly denied last night that any bid has been made for the Welshman, despite boss David Moyes having failed so far this summer in his attempts to bolster the Blues' midfield. But while Savage insisted he would be happy to stay at St Andrews, he admitted that "if Everton want me it's up to them". He said: "There's no club I'd rather join.
"I respect the manager at Everton but the bottom line is I am happy at Birmingham. "I love the manager and I get on with everyone at the club. "If Everton want me it's up to them to agree a price with Birmingham but until then I'm happy to stay at St Andrews. "If Everton do want me it must be because I have had a good season." Everton were close to capturing the Welshman's services when he left Leicester 12 months ago. Birmingham chairman David Gold, however, has restated his determination to keep the player in the West Midlands. He did though concede that, like Damien Duff and Blackburn, "every player has his price". Gold said: "We don't want Robbie Savage to leave Birmingham. He's a big favourite with the fans and I count myself as one of them.
"He is such a bubbly character on and off the pitch and the type of footballer the punters would want to be if they had the chance to play for their favourite team. I want to see commitment from my midfielders and Robbie has always given that from day one at Birmingham and throughout his career. "I don't welcome any bid - but I accept things like this go on in football. "I am not going to stand here and say there's no way we will ever sell Robbie because the fact is every player has his price - like Damien Duff. "Blackburn didn't want to sell him but you can get pushed to a point where you feel you have no choice."

Duncan has to get used to the bench
Jul 30 2003 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DUNCAN FERGUSON will return to where it all began for him tonight - but only as a substitute.
And it's a role the Everton striker may have to get used to. The Blues take on Dundee United at Tannadice (7.30pm), but even with Wayne Rooney injured the big Scot - who came off the bench eight times last season and failed to start a single game - is unlikely to start. "Duncan can't start the first three games of the season and that has been in my thoughts all the time while I am planning pre-season," said Moyes. "I have to act accordingly, and while Duncan will figure at some stage tonight he is not likely to start." The feeling is that Ferguson is no longer capable of completing a full 90 minutes at the tempo David Moyes demands from his team, and may be used increasingly often as a supersub. Nick Chadwick and Leon Osman have both been added to the Blues' squad for the match and could figure, but David Unsworth (blisters), Steve Watson (thigh strain) and Peter Clarke (back) are unlikely to be risked with an assortment of pre- season bumps and strains.
"It's just another part of the pre-season build-up," added Moyes. "I have watched the tape again of Saturday's match and was pleased with our performance." Ironically Dundee United have mounted a spending spree this summer, adding nine new faces to their squad, while Moyes is still waiting to make his first signing. He revealed today that he has moved closer to making Li Tie a permanent addition, but no other arrivals were near. "Martin O'Neill has not made any signings this summer either," he added, "and they could be in the Champions League. There isn't much quality out there at affordable prices." The Blues are close to reaching agreement with Liaoning Bird over Tie's transfer and hope to conclude negotiations over the next day or two.

Dundee Utd 1, Everton 0 (D, Post)
Jul 31 2003 David Prior At Tannadice, Daily Post
DAVID MOYES hates losing, he always tells us, but this dismal defeat will have rankled more than most. With the kind of ironic timing managers dread, the Blues boss, a striker or two light following Wayne Rooney's injury and Duncan Ferguson's pending suspension, saw his side lose to a player whose future was in his hands just seven months ago. Collin Samuel was invited to Bellefield on a trial last December after impressing with a burst of goals for Falkirk. He failed to impress the Scot - he would not be the last to claim that - and the 23-year-old from Trinidad and Tobago returned to the Scottish Division One side before being brought to Tannadice for just £100,000 three weeks ago.
Such is life, Moyes will no doubt shrug and say, and he will in truth be more concerned by a desperately uninspiring performance, even in the uninspired tradition of pre-season campaigns.
Games like this certainly whet the appetite for the season, not because of what they promise for the games that matter - starting in 17 days' time - but because once they are over there is one less 90 minutes' worth of tedium to sit through. United were barely recognisable from last season's miserable line-up - they finished second from bottom in the SPL - with boss Ian McCall having brought in nine players over the summer. Such rampant activity in the transfer market is in sharp contrast to Moyes, who is still to add to the permanent acquisition of Joseph Yobo despite a welter of names being linked in some form or other with the club. Moyes gave a start to 22-year-old midfielder Leon Osman, with Li Tie again given an opportunity alongside him to convince his sceptical boss to extend his Merseyside dream. But it was the experimental home line-up that began the brighter side on a typically dour night. It was also a moment of encouragement for Paul Gerrard in goal. From Barry Robson's corner, he expertly tipped Jim McIntyre's point-blank header over the bar. After a couple of shaky moments last week at Crewe, that will have done the 30-year-old the power of good. It was another seven minutes before Everton could claim a decent shot on goal, with Gary Naysmith's centre working its way through to Niclas Alexandersson. He touched the ball back for Li Tie who, after scoring in the victory at Rangers last Saturday, this time floated his shot too high to trouble Tangerines' keeper Paul Gallacher. The hosts were gradually seeing less of the ball but they should have scored after 20 minutes, Everton's defence again failing to deal with a corner from Robson. Had Alan Archibald made any sort of connection from the edge of the six-yard box, the Blues would surely have been in arrears. With Rooney's absence giving Moyes something of a headache on the striker front, he could have done with some cheer from one of the dwindling bunch still available for the August 16 Premiership opener at Arsenal. Sadly no such comfort arrived in the first half, at least, with Tomasz Radzinski spurning a couple of excellent chances, particularly eight minutes from the break when, after Scot Gemmill's through-ball, he rounded the keeper (pictured above) but could not find his feet in time to bury the ball into the empty net, Archibald eventually catching up with him and smothering the chance. And so it was, with the Blues unchanged for the second half, that the kind of ironic moment that so frequently seems to crop up in football duly arrived. Five minutes after replacing a fellow Trinidad and Tobago player called Jason Scotland, Samuel marked his home debut by tucking away Archibald's centre. This football-mad area of north east Scotland is no doubt not averse to the occasional blue word or two, but one suspects that for a few moments there was no coarser Scottish uttered in Dundee than that in David Moyes' immediate vicinity. Of course the real purpose of pre-season friendlies, such as last night's, is to experiment with formations and increase the fitness. Or at least that would be the one consoling thought for Evertonians to take away from a second half that was a disjointed, middle-third affair with few chances. Steve Watson, coming on after 57 minutes with Nick Chadwick and former Tannadice favourite Duncan Ferguson, called Gallacher into a rare stop four minutes later with a decent crack from 25 yards, but anyone hoping that would signify an upping of the pressure on the home goal was to be disappointed. Or at least once Chadwick had stubbed his toe into a gilt-edged chance to level after Watson had centred from the left byline. The hosts, indeed, could and perhaps should have increased their advantage before the end of the night, with Robson's 10-yard thunderbolt after a goal-mouth scramble only diverted away from goal by one of his own teammates' head. Everton did at least mount some kind of bid to save the night late on, with Osman's 86th-minute shot almost ricocheting in off a home defender. Even a generous six minutes of injury time from the referee failed to bring a Blue equaliser, and Moyes will have returned from his home nation last night with considerably more questions than answers, worryingly so with just three pre-season games left to contest, starting at Preston on Saturday. A miserable July night that convincingly doubled for mid November. For Everton's sake, let's hope this kind of performance remains a midsummer nightmare.
DUNDEE UNITED: (5-1-2-2) Gallacher; Jim Paterson (Duff, 64), Archibald, Scott Paterson, Griffin, Robson (Coyle, 70); McInnes ©; Kerr (Easton, 80), Miller (Bollan, 45); Scotland (Samuel, 45), McIntyre (Dodds, 45)
EVERTON: (4-4-2) Gerrard; Hibbert (Pistone 75), Weir (Clarke, 75), Yobo, Naysmith; Alexandersson (Watson, 57), Gemmill (Linderoth, 72), Li Tie (Gravesen, 72), Osman; Radzinski (Chadwick, 57), Campbell (Ferguson, 57). Subs: Simonsen, Stubbs.
ATT: 6,406

Shearer backs Mersey duo
Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Jul 31 2003
MICHAEL OWEN and Wayne Rooney can lead England's attack for the next decade, according to Alan Shearer. The Newcastle striker, who scored 30 goals in 63 games for his country, has backed the Merseyside aces to spearhead the England strikeforce for at least the next two World Cups.
Shearer dismissed fears that the diminutive size of the Everton and Liverpool stars would prevent them forming a potent partnership. Instead, the Premiership player of the decade insists they each possess enough world class talent to compliment each other perfectly and terrorise defences all over the globe. "Wayne Rooney has the potential to be huge star," said Shearer. "I can't remember anybody coming on the scene so quickly and making such a huge impact. "Rooney and Michael Owen could well be the England pairing for the next six to 10 years." With Gerard Houllier predicting an "awesome" season for Owen this term, the pressure remains on the Anfield star to drive Liverpool's title challenge. And Shearer, in direct competition at St James' Park, is in no doubt the 23-year-old will continue to thrive on the responsibility. "I have lost count of the number of times people said to me Michael Owen's form was indifferent last season. But he still finished with 28 goals," added Shearer. "That's the standard he has set over the years and he is still only 23.
"There is a lot more pressure on Michael because if he is not scoring goals at Liverpool then not many people are. "At times he's underestimated because of the expectation that surrounds him."

Moyes' despair as Blues slip up
David Prior, Daily Post
Jul 31 2003
DAVID MOYES admitted most of his players "did not do themselves any favours" after Everton's poor 1-0 defeat at Dundee United. Despite their encouraging 3-2 win at Rangers on Saturday, the Blues turned in a performance that suggested much work had still to be done before their Premiership opener at Highbury two weeks on Saturday. To make matters worse for Moyes, the winning goal came from Tangerines' substitute striker Collin Samuel, who had been given a brief trial at Everton last Christmas. With Moyes himself short on attackers due to Wayne Rooney's ankle injury and Duncan Ferguson's pending suspension, it was added salt in the wound on a night the Scot made little attempt to gloss over. He said: "It was a 90 minutes' run around but we didn't take too much from it. There were defintely more things that I wasn't happy with than I was happy with. I think we tried to keep the ball, but we didn't create enough opportunities for the amount of possession we had at times. "Obviously we didn't start both halves particularly well; they started much better than us in both the first half and the second and that was where they got on top of us." Moyes made several second-half changes on a largely experimental night at Tannadice, but he admitted he was little closer to ascertaining his strongest XI. "What we're doing is we're giving everybody an opportunity and it's up to them to take the opportunity," he added. "There's a lot of players here who could probably consider themselves first team players and we're trying to get ourselves towards the players who we think should be starting. "But a lot of them didn't do themselves much favours tonight." On Samuel's deciding goal, Moyes said: "It was a terrible bit of bad play up the right and it should never have got to that stage but when it did, yeah fine, I'm pleased for the boy." Moyes meanwhile refused to comment on reports suggesting the Blues are close to agreeing a deal for Sunderland's Kevin Kilbane.

Dundee Utd 1, Everton 0 (Echo)
Jul 31 2003 By David Prentice At Tannadice, Daily Post
THERE are clearly a few slow learners in the Everton camp. The manager's mood was a few shades darker than pitch black following last week's friendly match reverse at Crewe. But just seven days later the Blues went and did it again. One-paced, lacklustre and blunt, they followed up a morale boosting win at Glasgow Rangers with a flat 1-0 reverse at Dundee United. And then faced a five-hour coach trip home. Happy Al's it would not have been. David Moyes' philosophy is that friendly matches should be contested with almost the same vim and vigour as the Premiership, and his terse post-match reaction spoke volumes. "There are a lot of players here who probably consider themselves first team players, but a lot of them didn't do themselves too many favours tonight," he snapped. "I wish I could just say it was a work-out, but while we ran around for 90 minutes we didn't do much right." Matters improved marginally with the introductions of first Watson and then Gravesen, but by then Everton had already conceded a lead they rarely looked like retrieving.
It was Sod's Law that a former Everton trialist should grab the goal. Former Falkirk forward Collin Samuel, who spent a fortnight at Bellefield during the Scottish midwinter break last year, slotted home from Archibald's cross five minutes after the interval to give a turgid match at least a statistical memento to remember it by. A curious ritual precedes the half-time interval at Tannadice. A large cardboard box, containing indigestible salty pies, is passed from one end of the enclosed press box to the other. Then another box containing tea follows, then another filled with milk and sugar.
The cardboard procession serves to obscure all view of the pitch, for which all concerned were grateful. Everton enjoyed plenty of possession, but with precious little incision. Leon Osman was given an opportunity to start in a left midfield role, and looked occasionally bright, but Scot Gemmill was the pick - without much in the way of competition. It said much for the lack of craft in the line-up selected to start that Joseph Yobo was asked to take a free-kick in a threatening position just outside the Dundee penalty box. He blazed it yards wide. Everton might have scored when Tomasz Radzinski burst onto Gemmill's pass, nudged the ball beyond his marker and skirted around the advancing goalkeeper. But before he could slot into an empty net he stumbled, and Alan Archibald got back to clear. The defender produced an equally important contribution five minutes after the break to create Samuel's goal as Dundee United - with nine new signings on show - overcame Everton, with no new faces to parade. The introduction of the perpetually willing Watson livened things up slightly. He chested a clearance down and unleashed a rising 20 yard drive which Gallacher spectacularly tipped over the crossbar, then darted down the inside left channel to cut back a cross which Chadwick hurriedly hacked back across the goal-mouth rather than at the unguarded net.
A succession of substitutions spoiled any flow after that, although Everton did come within inches of equalising in the 86th minute. Leon Osman charged into the United box and let off a slot which might have flown wide, until it cannoned off a defender, off the inside of the post and flashed back across a startled goalkeeper. Results, as we are continually told in pre-season matches, count for nothing. But performances do - and last night's was a stinker. David Moyes goes back to his former Preston employers on Saturday - and you can guarantee he will be demanding a considerable reaction at Deepdale.
DUNDEE UNITED: Gallacher, J. Paterson (Duff 63), Archibald, McInnes (Wilson 75), Griffin, S. Paterson, Kerr (Easton 80), Miller (Bollan 45), Scotland (Samuel 45), McIntyre (Dodds 45), Robson (Coyle 70).
EVERTON: Gerrard, Hibbert (Pistone 75), Weir (Clarke 75), Yobo, Naysmith, Alexandersson (Watson 57), Gemmill (Gravesen 72), Tie (Linderoth 72), Osman, Campbell (Ferguson 57), Radzinski (Chadwick 57).
Referee: Alan Freeland.
Attendance: 6,406.
GOAL: Samuel (50 mins) 1-0.

Gemmill aiming to prove Moyes wrong
Jul 31 2003 By David Prentice Liverpool Echo
EVERTON midfielder Scot Gemmill has spoken of his "hurt" at Everton's high profile hunt for a new midfielder this summer. And he admits that seeing the Blues linked with names like Sean Davis, Robbie Savage and Steve McManaman has spurred him on to try and prove boss David Moyes wrong. "I'd be lying if I said I didn't take it personally," he said after last night's 1-0 defeat at Dundee United - when he was one of the few Blues' stars to impress. "I can only speak for myself, and not for the other lads, but it hurts me. "I'm old enough to know it's part and parcel of the game and I suppose you have to hope it affects you in a good way and spurs you on to try and prove to the manager that you are still worth a place. "Without a doubt it's a negative for me, but I have to try and turn it into a positive, be selfish and think 'Right, I'm going to prove to him that I can still play.'
"It's all you can do rather than lie down and think 'Ah well!'" Moyes was very unhappy with his side's display at Tannadice. He said: "There were more things I was unhappy with than happy with.
"We tried to keep the ball, but didn't create enough opportunities for the amount of possession we had. "We didn't start either half well and it was at the start of the second half when they got their goal. "It was a terrible piece of play down the left hand side, but I'm pleased for Collin Samuel because he's a decent lad."

July 2003