Everton Independent Research Data


More new signings due for arrival at Goodison
By Ian Doyle, Daily Post Jul 1 2005 EVERTON return for pre-season training this morning - with David Moyes anticipating a clutch of further new arrivals before the start of the new campaign.The Goodison manager was back at his desk at Bellefield yesterday in preparation for what he believes will be a busy few weeks of transfer incomings.Moyes has already splashed out £8.5million this summer on bringing midfielder Simon Davies and centre-back Per Kroldrup to Everton.And he is hopeful there will be more signings ahead of his team's Champions League bow in August, with the Scot closing in on as many as five targets - two of whom could join the club on their pre-season trip to Austria next week. "I am confident that we will have more new faces - hope-fully they will be here before we go to Austria next week," said Moyes.
"I don't want to put a timescale on anything in case we can't meet a deadline but I hope to have at least a couple more new players in place by next week." One player who won't be arriving at Goodison is Inter Milan midfielder Emre Belozoglu, with Moyes having ended his interest in the Turkey international. However, the manager has admitted he has not ruled out a move for Italian defender Matteo Ferrari, who has been offered on loan by his club Roma. "He is a player we have watched, but he is just one of a number of players we are looking at at the moment," said Moyes.
The transfer window reopens today with Alan Stubbs, Alessandro Pistone and Steve Watson now free agents. Stubbs has been linked strongly with a move to Aston Villa while Pistone is expected to return to Italy and Watson has had talks with West Bromwich Albion.

Naysmith set to return
By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Jul 1 2005
GARY NAYSMITH is pencilled in for a return to full training at the end of the month. The left-back, who signed a new three-year contract last month, underwent an ankle operation in May and has spent the summer recuperating."He is making relatively good progress but we tend not to hurry these type of injuries," said Head of Physio Mick Rathbone."I am anticipating he will probably spend the first four weeks of pre-season with the medical staff and hopefully ease into training towards the end of July."Everton will discover today who they will face in the semi-finals of the FA Premier League Asia Trophy, which is being held in Bangkok, Thailand later this month. Manchester City, Bolton and the Thai national team are the other sides involved.
Sky TV are also due to announce their schedule for televised Premiership games until the Christmas period, with Everton bracing themselves for numerous fixture changes.

Your chance to win the new Everton kit
Daily Post
Jul 1 2005
EVERTON have unveiled their new home strip for the 2005-06 season - and teamed up with the Daily Post to offer 10 signed kits in our easy to enter competition. The new kit, designed by Umbro, can be pre-ordered by supporters today to ensure they receive it in time for the official launch date of Monday, August 8, which is just ahead of the first leg of Everton's Champions League third round qualifier. The 2005-06 kit stays loyal to the traditions of the club, with the royal blue shirt incorporating a thin blue collar, a white spiked colour flash detail under the arms and a new logo from main partner Chang. But it is not just the appearance which is eyecatching. Umbro have utilised the very latest sportswear technology to ensure players are more comfortable than ever when they take to the pitch. Key new features include better ventilation for the players with the latest fabric drawing moisture away from the body. Further details can be found at evertonfc.com, the megastore or the club's mail order hotline - 0870 442 1878. To win one of the new kits - signed by a player of your choice - all you have to do is answer the simple question: Name the designers of Everton's new kit Send your answers, complete with name, address, daytime telephone number, size of kit required and the name of the person you would like to sign your kit to: Daily Post sports desk, Everton kit competition, PO Box 48, Old Hall Street, Liverpool, L69 3EB.

Jul 1 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON plan to honour the most successful manager in the club's history with a testimonial match. The Blues have agreed to award Howard Kendall a benefit match at a "mutually convenient" date.. It is exactly 20 years since Kendall guided the Blues to their best ever season - claiming the club's first European trophy, the League Championship and reaching the FA Cup final. On the eve of their historic Champions League campaign, it is a fitting and appropriate announcement. The decision was at the instigation of Chairman Bill Kenwright. He said: "Howard has never been formally recognised for his achievements at Everton, both as a player and manager, and we felt that this coming season was an appropriate opportunity to do that. "No firm date nor opponents have been agreed - that depends on David Moyes' and the first team's commitments - but we are committed to the principle of Howard having a testimonial match." Kendall himself said: "Naturally I'm honoured and delighted by the news. "Hopefully we can sit down and sort a date out some time soon." The testimonial match will not be until much later in the season, with Everton already committed to a pre-season programme and midweek dates up until Christmas taken by European commitments.

Moyes resigned to losing trio
Jul 1 2005 Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES has conceded that his trio of contract rebels have probably played their last match for the Blues. The Blues reported back for pre-season training today, without last season's skipper Alan Stubbs, near ever-present fullback Alessandro Pistone and utility player Steve Watson. Boss Moyes said: "I wasn't expecting to see any of those three today. We set a deadline for them to respond to our contract offer a month ago, and we haven't heard anything since." The Blues' boss also confirmed that his transfer market search would now include a left-back and a right-sided player. The door is still ajar for any of those three to defences Stubbs is believed to be interesting Championship side Wolves, Watson has had preliminary talks with West Bromwich Albion while Pistone is still negotiating with Serie A side Lecce. The Blues' boss is keen to introduce players to his squad quickly, after adding £5m defender Per Kroldrup last week and £3m midfielder Simon Davies last month. But he refused to confirm or deny a morning newspaper report linking Manchester United striker Louis Saha with a year-long loan switch to Goodison. Old Trafford officials, however, say they have had no contact from the Blues.

Putting on style - but is it Per for the course?
Jul 1 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
CALL me old fashioned, but I always liked my centre-halves to look like they had had a serious disagreement with a wrecking ball. Which is why the sight of Everton's new £5m defensive capture posing on the back of the ECHO this week, all blond hair, benign smiles and statements of stylish intent, made me just a teensy weensy bit uneasy. Per Kroldrup might well be the best back four ball player at Goodison since Marco Materazzi was back-heeling goals and bending free-kicks around defensive walls. But I much preferred the nononsense approach of the solid and reliable Dave Watson. In the old days, men like Chris Nicholl, Jim Holton, Larry Lloyd and Kenny Burns carried around scar tissue like a badge of courage - because they were prepared to put their head in where it hurts to prevent a goal. And their reputation as defenders of uncompromising reliability endures some 30 years later. Even the effortlessly elegant Alan Hansen carried a scar the length of his forehead. The last memory of the undeniably skilful Materazzi, however, was of the six feet four inch Italian sat sobbing uncontrollably against a Goodison advertising hoarding, after being harshly redcarded. This is not to say you need a face like a robber's dog to be a decent defender. According to the ECHO branch of Kevin Ratcliffe's fan club, he was as much of a heart throb as he was the heartbeat of Everton's last title-winning side. But Kroldrup may need to learn that the Premiership is not the place for fancy dans. Let's hope it's not a painful lesson.
Agents calling the tune
FURTHER evidence, if any were needed, that in the world of the football agent it is the tail which now wags the dog. Kevin Kilbane signed a new contract extension at Everton this week. But, in order to physically put pen to paper, Kilbane had to travel to agent Paul Stretford's plush Wilmslow offices to do so. Has Stretford developed an aversion to Merseyside since his court case with local boxing promoter John Hyland? Now that his Scouse cash cow plays at the other end of the East Lancs Road, does he not feel the need to visit Bellefield so frequently? Or, are some agents more powerful than the players they are paid to represent? Maybe Kilbane simply fancied a mid-summer's drive in the Cheshire countryside. Yes, that must be the answer, musn't it?

Trust in Moyes
Jul 1 2005 Post Soapbox, icLiverpool & Daily Post
Trust in Moyes
THE Goodison messiah has spoken, so rest assured David Moyes will deliver on his promise of "hopefully four new faces next week." We can all speculate who these players might be, but one thing is for sure they won't be any mercenaries or pretty boy superstars here for the short-term.
Moyes is not into short fixes just to sell a few tops; he wants to build a team for the future so let's just relax a little and look forward to the coming weeks
Mick Edwards, Liverpool
Quick defence
I WAS gutted to see that Scott Parker chose the Magpies over us, even with Champions League football. It is good to see Per Kroldrup in for a decent price while Matteo Ferrari would be a good loan signing as he is a quick player. I understand how hard it must be for Moyes, though. It will be easier to get play-ers next year if we are in Europe again.
Andrew James, Bootle
Loan arranger
I'D LIKE to see us use loan signings more often before we purchase a player. Granted this will not always be possible but we have a few examples: Yobo, Arteta, Li Tie, McBride, Rodrigo etc.
It proves the point that you don't know what the season ahead holds but the option to release or sign the player is a big advantage, especially as we aren't guaranteed European football. Loan signings are usually looking to get away from their old club and their wage demands are not extortionate. Unlike the situation with Arteta, where we should have already agreed wage demands for his transfer before his loan.
Gary Smith, Liverpool
Mikel misery
I THINK the way in which Everton have handled the Arteta saga is outrageous. He wants to sign, Moyes wants him, fee agreed, Arteta within wage structure. Where's the problem? If we lose him then it's our own fault.
Mike Jones, Wirral

Bring on Liverpool in qualifier, says Bent
By Ian Doyle Daily Post Staff
Jul 2 2005
MARCUS BENT wants Everton to be handed the chance of eliminating holders Liverpool from the Champions League next month. David Moyes's side returned to pre-season training at Bellefield yesterday in preparation for their first European campaign in 10 years. And confident striker Bent has admitted to having already set his sights on meeting and beating Liverpool in the European Cup.
Everton could draw their neighbours in the third qualifying round of the Champions League should the Anfield side see off first TNS Llansantffraid and then HB Torshavn of the Faroe Islands or FBK Kaunas of Lithuania. And Bent said: "Let's get Liverpool and go all out and try to achieve some more.
"Now it's time for us to get back to work and try to achieve something this season. "To try and work on it and get a lot of confidence from it - we need to push on and hopefully do well in the Champions League." Everton finished above Liverpool for the first time since 1987 last season to secure fourth place and a berth in Europe's premier club competition after a 35-year wait. New £3.5million signing Simon Davies was among the players reporting for training yesterday along with midfielder Li Tie, who has been given the all clear to resume full training after an injury-ravaged 18 months on the sidelines. Per Kroldrup is expected to join up with his new team-mates next week before Everton - who have refused to comment on reports linking them with a loan move for Manchester United's Louis Saha - fly to Austria for a training camp. And manager Moyes said: "It is great to get back to work. I am ready to go again. "It could be one of the biggest seasons in our history and we have to try and prepare for it right. Today is the first day of that. I think we all enjoy getting back to work. We enjoy our holidays because at the end of the season you are tired. But when you have been away for six weeks you begin to get the urge to get into it again." Steve Watson, meanwhile, could yet be back at Goodison for the start of the new campaign. The 31-year-old is now out of contract and had been expected to join West Brom. But he has stalled talks in the hope of being offered a new two-year deal by Everton. Everton are to award Howard Kendall a testimonial, believing the time is right to honour a man who oversaw the most successful period in the club's history.
Kendall enjoyed three spells in charge, initially between 1981 and 1987 during which time the club were crowned as old first division champions in 1985 and 1987, won the FA Cup in 1984 and the Cup Winners' Cup a year later. Kendall returned in 1990 for three seasons and again in 1997 for one season, taking charge of 502 matches overall. Chairman Bill Kenwright said: "Howard has never been formally recognised, both as a player and a manager, and we felt that this season was an appropriate opportunity. "No firm date nor opponents have been agreed - that depends on David Moyes and the first team's commitments but we are committed to the principle of Howard having a testimonial match." A happy Kendall said: "Naturally I am honoured and delighted by the news. Hopefully we can sit down and sort a date out some time soon."

Valencia pair in Moyes's sights
By Richard Williamson, Daily Post
Jul 4 2005
EVERTON manager David Moyes is ready to strengthen his squad further ahead of the club's Champions League bow. Goodison Park officials are preparing a bid to land a double signing from Spanish side Valencia. Moyes is lining up a move for both Mohamed Sissoko and Emiliano Moretti in a deal which could be worth up to £5million. Sissoko is a 20-year-old midfielder who was actually brought to the La Liga side from Auxerre by then manager Rafael Benitez. Now at Liverpool, Benitez is believed to have wanted Sissoko as part of any deal that would have taken Milan Baros to the Spanish club. Born to Malian parents, he represented France at under-21 level, before a change in rules freed him to play for Mali at the 2004 African Cup of Nations and also in the Athens Olympic Games. He scored 50 goals in two seasons with the youth team at Auxerre. He is described as elegant on the ball and biting in the tackle, with a wide range of passes. Italian-born Moretti is a 24-year-old left-back who was brought to the club by Benitez's successor, Claudio Ranieri, from Bologna. However when the former Chelsea manager found himself out of a job, Moretti, who has a reputation as an excellent man-marker, also saw first-team opportunties restricted. Moyes is keen to continue his squad building ahead of the third qualifying round of the Champions League, which bookends the opening game of the new Premiership season, having already landed Simon Davies and Per Kroldrup. Everton continue to monitor Newcastle striker Craig Bellamy. Although Bellamy has indicated he will join up with pre-season training at St James' Park today, manager Graeme Souness insists Bellamy's days at Newcastle are over. Celtic manager Gordon Strachan is keen to turn last year's loan spell for Bellamy into a permanent move, but neither club was confirming reports that a deal is close last night. Goodison Park remains Bellamy's preferred destination if he opts not to make the return to Scotland. Meanwhile Alan Stubbs is expected to join Aston Villa this week on a two-year deal.

Magpies tight-lipped on Bellamy's move to Celtic
Jul 4 2005
By Chris Roberts, Daily Post
NEWCASTLE and those close to Craig Bellamy were tight-lipped on reports yesterday that the striker was on the verge of completing a permanent move to Celtic. Speculation suggests the Glasgow giants were close to agreeing a fee with the St James' Park club to land the Wales international, who finished the season with them on loan. Magpies manager Graeme Souness is desperate to offload Bellamy, who has also attracted the interest of Everton and other clubs, but they are giving very little away. A spokesman said: "I know that Craig is expected back at St James' Park on Monday but we are not prepared to comment on any speculation at the moment." Celtic manager Gordon Strachan believes Bellamy wants to wear the Hoops on a regular basis but his agent Steve Horner was also refusing to shed light on the situation. Strachan is also hoping for a quick resolution having been assured by Bellamy that Celtic Park is his preferred choice. He said: "Craig wants to come here compared to the other offers he's had. It depends what you want to do in life. "Do you want to play for a club with a fantastic atmosphere and history and the chance to play in the Champions League? If you thrive on that, then this is the place to be. "We will just see over the weekend how things pan out. He is going back to Newcastle but we will try our best. The budget determines who we bring in.
"I have spoken to him regularly. We are discussing the best way to bring Craig here and we will keep doing that." Strachan has made Mo Camara and Jeremie Aliadiere his first signings for Celtic and he has also hinted that he could also bring in Southampton goal-keeper Antti Niemi - although he was reluctant to give too much away at this stage. The Finland international and former Rangers and Hearts star worked under the Scot at St Mary's. But Strachan is also expected to cross swords with his former chairman Rupert Lowe again. "I wouldn't like to put any figures on it because if I have got to work with Rupert again I wouldn't like to give anything away to him," he concluded. "You don't want to give your hand away in poker."

Moyes confirms Valencia swoop
Jul 4 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON are hoping to land a pair of Rafael Benitez's old Valencia recruits. Mali midfield star Mohammed Sissoko and Italian left-back Emiliano Moretti were both taken to Spain by Benitez in 2003 - Sissoko from Auxerre and Moretti from Parma. Now Moyes is hoping to lure the duo to Merseyside for a combined fee of £5m. The Blues have been in negotiations with Valencia for the past week and Moyes said today: "I can confirm we are trying to bring them both to Everton. I don't want to say much more than that, but I am hoping to conclude both deals quickly." Sissoko, a French-born 20-year-old midfielder, was linked with a move to Liverpool in May. His agent, Arturo Canales, said: "Benitez has been following him through the season." But Moyes now hopes to make Sissoko and left-back Moretti the latest additions to his Blues squad. Sissoko was snapped up from Auxerre, where he was a junior player. Valencia had to pay the French club 1m Euros in compensation. "I came to Valencia as a defender but over time I have adapted to playing in midfield," said Sissoko. He has even played up front for Mali, but it is in midfield that Moyes sees the player's long term future. Moretti is a left-back who has also played in central defence. A member of the Italian under-21 team which won the European Championship in 2004, he is 25 and started his career with Serie C1 side Lodigiani Calcio before being snapped up by Fiorentina in 2000. He joined Juventus midway through the 2001-02 season for 2.8m euros, played eight games, then was loaned out to Modena before joining Parma. Valencia paid 3m euros for his services in 2003. Everton and Manchester United, meanwhile, will kick off the new season at Goodison Park at 12.45pm.
Sky have confirmed that the Blues' opening match will be a curtain raiser for the entire season on Saturday, August 13.

Blues to be TV stars on opening day
Jul 4 2005 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON will kick off the opening day of the new season on August 13 - and Liverpool will close it.
Both the Mersey giants have been chosen for Sky TV coverage on the first Saturday of the 2005/06 season. Everton's clash with Manchester United will kick-off at 12.45pm, with Liverpool's trip to Middlesbrough being put back to 5.15pm. Everton's first two Premiership games will be screened, with the following week's trip to Bolton put back to Sunday, August 21.
Saturday 13th August - Everton v Man United (12.45pm) PPV; Middlesbrough v Liverpool (5.15pm) PPV
Sunday, 21st August - Bolton Wanderers v Everton (2pm) PPV
Sunday, 18th September: Liverpool v Man United (12noon)
Monday, 19th September - Arsenal v Everton (8pm)
Saturday, September 24 - Birmingham v Liverpool (12.45pm)
Saturday, 1st October - Man City v Everton (12.45pm) PPV
Sunday, 2nd October: Liverpool v Chelsea (4pm)
Sunday, 23rd October - Everton v Chelsea (4.05pm)
Saturday, November 5 - Aston Villa v Liverpool (12.45pm) PPV
Saturday, 19th November - West Brom v Everton (5.15pm) PPV
Sunday, 27th November - Everton v Newcastle (2pm) PPV
Sunday, December 11 - Man United v Everton (4.05pm)
Saturday, December 17 - Sunderland v Liverpool (5.15pm) PPV
Monday, December 26 - Liverpool v Newcastle (3pm) PPV; Aston Villa v Everton (5.15pm)
Wednesday, December 28 - Everton v Liverpool (8pm)

Signing Bellamy would be great - Davies
By David Prior And Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Jul 5 2005
SIMON DAVIES believes Everton should have no fears about bringing controversial striker Craig Bellamy to Goodison. The 25-year-old winger was formally unveiled yesterday, alongside fellow new signings Per Kroldrup and John Ruddy, having moved for £3.5million from Tottenham. Manager David Moyes is understood to be weighing up a firm approach for Newcastle frontman Bellamy, who had informal talks on Merseyside on Sunday and has been given the week off at St James' Park to sort out his future. Bellamy has established a bad-boy reputation owing to his much-publicised bust-up with Magpies manager Graeme Souness last season, but Davies insists his Wales international team-mate would bring a great deal more to his new club. "He's the kind of player that shows the calibre of player Everton are trying to bring in," said Davies.. "I know Craig very well and if the club could get him he would be a great acquisition for the club. People just jump on the bandwagon sometimes. "That's not to say he hasn't done things wrong sometimes, and I'm saying he gets picked on, but he definitely has been treated harshly in the press. "I'm not sure what happened at Newcastle, but he's a good lad to have in the squad. "He's bubbly and just wants to win so much and that's the be-all and end-all really. "Sometimes that over-spills but there's nothing wrong with that, he just needs to curb it a bit." Moyes yesterday refused to be drawn on his interest in Bellamy, but did confirm that Everton were close to completing a deal to bring Valencia duo Mohamed Sissoko and Emiliano Moretti to Goodison. "We have an interest in both of the players and we are close to a deal with Valencia for them," said Moyes. "We are looking to bring in a few more players. I'd liked to have had one or two more in by now. We have been pushing quite hard on things this summer and have been trying to make things happen." Of new signings Kroldrup and Davies, Moyes added: "We hope they are signings for now and the future." Moyes added: "We are trying to build a team here. Both Simon and Per are good ages. "It will add competition to the squad which we need. Simon is a versatile player and Per can play in a number of positions along the back." Moyes reiterated that funds are available to facilitate further transfer activity, with more new arrivals expected before Everton's Champions League campaign begins on August 9-10. "I have only spent what we have earned last season," said the Everton manager. "I have not gone to the bank for any money.
"We sold two play-ers last season who I did not want to sell and we earned more prize-money than we had budgeted for. "I have a good board and they have given me back what we have earned. We have got a chance now to spend more money." However, at present it looks unlikely that Mikel Arteta will be returning to Goodison for the new season. Everton have agreed a £1.8m fee with Real Sociedad for the midfielder, but there appears to be no break in the stalemate over personal terms.
"Arteta's wages are a bit steep for what we can afford," admitted Moyes. Steve Watson is also certain to be playing elsewhere come August after resuming talks with West Bromwich Albion.
"Steve Watson looks as though he is finished with us," added Moyes. "I would have liked all three players (Watson, Alan Stubbs and Alessandro Pistone) to have stayed but I understand the reasons for them wanting a longer contract."

Davies relishing fresh challenge at Goodison
Jul 5 2005 By David Prior, Daily Post
HEROICS on the European stage are something Simon Davies knows all about. Three years ago, it was his goal against Italy that paved the way for perhaps the greatest night in Welsh football's recent history, the 2-1 Millennium Stadium victory over the Azzurri giving them an ultimately fruitless shot at European Championship qualification. Ironically, Davies's goal that night was set up by one Craig Bellamy - who went on to claim the stunning winner - and it is a not unrealistic prospect to expect both players to be reunited at a club level by the end of this week. Davies would certainly relish that opportunity. For now, though, he's relishing the chance to kick-start a career that at one time seemed destined for greatness. 'A fresh challenge' was the overriding message conveyed by his opening press conference yesterday, and the sense of anticipation he obviously feels at being able to embark on a season without the burden of injury. Injuries, from shin splints to mystery viruses, have dogged the 25-year-old's progress in the last couple of years and he is perhaps hoping that a change of scene can engender a change of luck. "I was ready for a new challenge," he insisted.. "I'd had five years at Tottenham, I'd been stop-start with injuries and I just felt a change would help me. "I've got to the bottom of all my injuries, my shins had been problem for a year and a half and I haven't had a proper pre-season for two years so I'm just looking forward to getting through this one." The chase for Davies did of course begin considerably earlier than May, when his £3.5million fee was eventually agreed. David Moyes had liked the pacy winger for some time and made a formal approach in the January transfer window. Injury - that mystery virus,, something Davies now assures was "blown out of proportion" - prevented any deal going through then but Moyes was determined to get his man. "Once it nearly happened in January I couldn't stop thinking about it then and I was thinking about how exciting it would be for a new challenge," added Davies. "The fact Everton were interested in January at a time when I was injured showed they had faith in me and it was a big factor towards my decision to come here. The manager made it known he wanted to bring in a right-sided player and I am just honoured to be here. "I came and spoke to him and he spoke to me about all the players he was trying to bring in and how ambitious he was and he just sold it to me straight away. "But my mind was already made up by then, and as long as I passed my medical I was dying to sign. "I was very happy at Tottenham and I was under no pressure to leave. They asked me if I wanted to go and when I said yes they were brilliant and just said all the best."
And of course, that decision was made all the easier by the opportunity for more heroics on the European stage - something Tottenham could not offer the ambitious Davies. Everton's qualification for the Champions League has patently made them a more attractive proposition for the likes of Davies and Per Kroldrup, the talented Udinese centre-half who also signed in at Goodison yesterday.
"The club are on the up and getting in the Champions League, and you don't get that chance at many clubs so that's a major plus," said Davies. "Everyone's gearing up for the qualifiers, and if we can get through that then it could be a great season. It would also be great to finish fourth again, but it will be harder as teams get stronger but we are getting stronger too. "Last season everyone expected them to get relegated so to finish fourth showed how great the team spirit was and how well the players did. "It was a great achievement to hold out throughout the whole season." Champions League football was not the decisive factor for Kroldrup, given Udinese's surprise qualification through Serie A, but it's a measure of Everton's inflated stock that he chose Goodison as the appropriate platform for the next stage of his career. The Dane said: "I have had four very good years in Italy but I have been thinking for a while it was time to try something else. When Everton came in with their offer I was really happy to join the club. "It is a big challenge for me to try and adapt my game for the Premiership and I am really looking forward to it. "This is a strong club with ambitions and a powerful group which manages to work together. "That is a positive sign and I think it will be easy to settle into life on Merseyside - the lads have been very kind to me." Both Davies and Kroldrup already know one thing for sure, however - there are no short-cuts with David Moyes.
"It's been very hard," admitted Davies. "I've been here three days and it's very physical. The manager wants to get us as fit as possible, and I'm looking at getting through it. "It's a lot more physical than at Tottenham, they do more build it more around fitness and I'm just getting used to it to be honest. But I'm sure six weeks down the line I'll be reaping the rewards."

Ruddy prepared to wait to make mark
Jul 5 2005
By David Prior, Daily Post
JOHN RUDDY wants to carve a name for himself in Goodison history - but the goalkeeper is willing to wait. The 18-year-old checked in at Everton yesterday having signed from Cambridge for £250,000 at the end of last season. Ruddy, however, is under no illusions as to his place in the Goodison pecking order - with Nigel Martyn, Richard Wright and Iain Turner all ensuring he is unlikely to see any first-team action this season. "The move was massive for me and I am looking forward to the whole experience," he said. "Looking around the stadium makes you realise the history the club has got and how much I want to be a part of that. I want to be able to make my mark at the club. "I have got a four-year contract and development is necessary but if I do that at the rate I have done in the last few years then I can't see any reason why I can't be pushing the keepers all the way. "There is a lot of competition but that can only be good for me. "With the experience the other three keepers have got, I can only learn from them and maybe slowly but surely sneak past them!"

United fixture to open season
Jul 5 2005
By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
EVERTON will kick-off the new Premiership season when they host Manchester United on Saturday, August 13. David Moyes's fixture against their fellow Champions League qualifiers has been chosen by Sky TV for their first pay-per-view game of the season, with a 12.45pm kick-off. Everton will be shown live a record 10 times before the New Year. And with Sky Super Sunday matches worth £340,000 each and Prem Plus games £250,000, it will bring close to £3million into the Goodison coffers. European Cup winners Liverpool also begin their league campaign live on television, when new boy Boudewijn Zenden returns to former club Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium in front of the pay-per-view cameras on Saturday, August 13 at 5.15pm. Other highlights include Everton's trip to Arsenal which has been moved to Monday, September 19 and will be shown on Sky (8pm) while Liverpool's home game against Chelsea is now on Sunday, October 2 (4pm, Sky TV).
The Goodison derby on Wednesday, December 28 will also be shown live on Sky Sports, with an 8pm kick-off.
EVERTON: Sat Aug 13 v Man Utd (H) 12.45pm PPV, Sun Aug 12 v Bolton (A) 1.30pm PPV, Mon Sep 19 v Arsenal (A) 8pm Sky, Sat Oct 1 v Man City (A) 12.45pm PPV, Sun Oct 23 v Chelsea (H) 4pm Sky, Sat Nov 19 v West Brom (A) 5.15pm PPV, Sun Nov 27 v Newcastle (H) 1.30pm PPV, Sun Dec 11 v Man Utd (A) 4pm Sky, Mon Dec 26 v Aston Villa (A) 5.15pm Sky, Wed Dec 28 v Liverpool (H) 8pm Sky.
LIVERPOOL: Sat Aug 13 v Middlesbrough (A) 5.15pm PPV, Sun Sep 18 v Man Utd (H) 12pm Sky, Sat Sep 24 v Birmingham (A) 12.45pm PPV, Sun Oct 2 v Chelsea (H) 4pm Sky, Sat Nov 5 v Aston Villa (A) 12.45pm PPV, Sat Dec 10 v Middlesbrough (H) 12.45pm PPV, Sat Dec 17 v Sunderland (A) 5.15pm PPV, Mon Dec 26 v Newcastle (H) 3pm PPV, Wed Dec 28 v Everton (A) 8pm Sky.

Snap up Arteta
Post Soapbox, icLiverpool & Daily Post
Jul 5 2005
Snap up Arteta
I DON'T like the fact that some people are blaming Mikel Arteta for forcing Everton to break their pay-structure because he wants slightly more then £30,000 a week. We were prepared to offer Parker £40,000 and Emre slightly less, so why not offer the same to Arteta since he has some advantages over those players. He has already proved that he fits into the team and he is young. Offer him a five-year deal and we'll have a class player for a reasonable fee. He has ambition.
Ste Jenkins (via e-mail)
Worth the wages
SO Arteta wants £33,000-a-week - he deserves it. He was our second best player at the end of the season. Both Kevin Campbell and Big Dunc were getting that much last season, so why not pay someone who will be playing every week and who also takes set-pieces? This guy wants to play for us. A pacy left winger and forward are a must.
Ian Robinson (via e-mail)
British backbone
IF IT was up to me, I'd snap up Keiron Richardson and Matthew Upson for Goodison Park. Then concentrate on either Craig Bellamy, Louis Saha or Roy Keane. A backbone of British-based players with a smattering of foreign flair, that is the winning formula.
Peter Farrell, Widnes
Quick off mark
IT WILL be sad to see Alan Stubbs go, but here's a thought for all the fans who have been on Duncan Ferguson's back for years - it only took him seconds to agree on a year's deal.
Elin Jones, Bangor
Charity worker
DUNCAN Ferguson must be getting close to 10 years service. I bet if he was offered a testimonial he would make sure Alder Hey and the hospices in the region got the money. Although he'd keep it quiet. His work for charity is hardly mentioned because he doesn't shout about it. He really is "Once a Blue, always a Blue", not like some.
Sean James, Thornton

Baggies closing in on Watson
Jul 5 2005 Daily Post
Steve Watson has signed for West Brom
WEST Brom are closing in on Everton utility player Steve Watson. Watson was at Albion's training ground yesterday for talks with manager Bryan Robson over a possible switch to The Hawthorns.
The Albion manager is also "hopeful" of tying up the signature of Birmingham midfielder Darren Carter by the end of the week with the clubs having agreed a £1.6million fee. Watson, 31, is out of contract with Everton. Meanwhile Chris Kirkland has admitted the World Cup "is in my mind" as he strives to rebuild his career with West Brom.

Blues' Taylor bid turned down
Jul 5 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
TRANMERE have rejected a second Everton offer for defender Ryan Taylor. The Blues made an initial enquiry a month ago, which was dismissed out of hand, but went back in with an improved offer yesterday described as "very attractive." Once again, however, Rovers have knocked back the bid.
The Prenton Park board is believed to value Taylor at around £1m - but Blues boss David Moyes does not put the 21-year-old in that bracket yet. The Goodison manager is in no hurry to increase the offer, and is in no mood to rush in with a firm bid for Newcastle striker Craig Bellamy either.
Moyes met Bellamy for a second round of informal discussions on Sunday night, but is still not ready to make a formal offer. Newcastle reported back for pre-season training yesterday, but Bellamy was told to extend his summer break by a further week. Everton remain in pole position to snap up the striker, but his demand for £50,000 per week personal terms does not fit in with the Blues' pay structure. Everton hope that the extra week to ponder his future will see him reduce his demands.
The Blues are not expecting news from Valencia on their double swoop for Mohammed Sissoko and Emiliano Moretti until later this week. Blues officials are unconcerned by quotes on the Mestalla club's official website that both players want to stay at Valencia. The sticking point at present is the fee to be arranged for the pair. Valencia are holding out for in excess of £5m and clubs are still talking. Everton's squad jetted out this afternoon to Austria for a five-day training camp.

Colossus who stood out as a future star for Everton
Jul 5 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
WHEN David Moyes first clapped eyes on Per Kroldrup, both were ambitious young rookies.
Moyes was a young Preston boss studying for his pro licence, Kroldrup a raw but talented centre-half still finding his feet after a transfer from Copenhagen to Udinese. But the classy collossus lodged in Moyes' mind. And he concluded a three-year watching brief when he signed the six feet four inch Dane for £5m last week. "I went to Udinese three years ago with my pro's licence when Roy Hodgson was there and noticed Per then. I have been keeping a sideways eye on him ever since,"confirmed the Everton manager. "I was a little surprised we were able to get him, but we did. The Premiership is new to him and hopefully he will be able to get up to speed. But he is an international defender who has great experience from his time in Italy." Kroldrup was a success in Serie A, spending four years at Udinese and establishing himself as a regular in the Danish national side in the last 12 months. But he watched English football regularly back in Denmark, and had always dreamed of a move to the Premiership. "I have had four very good years in Italy and I have been thinking for a while that it was the time to try something else," he said. "When Everton came along with this offer I was really happy to join the club. "In Denmark we all watch the Premiership every Saturday afternoon. So I have been following it. "I spoke to Thomas Gravesen a few weeks ago and he was certainly an influence on my decision. I spoke with him a couple of times and he only had positive things to say about the club. "Udinese had a similar sort of season to Everton. Everyone was pretty much surprised by our success in Italy and I think it was the same here. "This is a strong club with ambitions and a powerful group of players who really work hard together, which is a very positive sign." Despite his experience in Italy and in international football, Kroldrup is aware there are big differences between Serie A and the Premiership which he will have to contend with.
"I think I will settle well," he added. "Everyone has been very kind to me already. I have to work on my game and work on the training to adapt my game to the English style, but I think I will manage.
"To try and adapt my game to the Premiership is a very big challenge for me and I am really looking forward to it. "Tommy told me about the fans' passion here at Everton. This is a new thing for me. At Udinese, I played in front of 20,000 people. Here, it will be 40,000 every week, so I am looking forward to it. "In Italy it is much more of a tactical game. In England it is a lot of pressure all the time which the fans love to see. That is the big difference between Italy. "I know that I am here as a defender and defending is my priority, but I like to pass the ball as well and find one of my own men." Kroldrup has set no short term targets at his new club, other than to settle in as quickly as possible. But his compatriots have proved the most adaptable of all nationalities to the Premiership, with international teammate Gravesen Everton's most enduring foreign player. "Scandinavian players give everything every time we are on the pitch, just like English players," added Kroldrup.
"I think that's the main reason Scandinavian players seem to settle better here and hopefully I will be the same. "I would love Everton to have a season like last year, but obviously we know it will be difficult. "We will do our best and see what happens, but I am looking forward to it," he added.

Blues fan cleared over football riot
Jul 5 2005 Liverpool Echo
AN Everton supporter has been cleared of taking part in Merseyside's worst football rioting.
Michael Butler, 21, of Gladstone Road, Seaforth, was charged with threatening behaviour during rioting which followed the Manchester United game at Goodison Park last February, which marked Wayne Rooney's first return to the club. The case against Mr Butler was dismissed under the Magistrates Act 1980 following a three-hour trial at Liverpool magistrates court.

Celtic to weigh up raid on Everton
By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Jul 6 2005
CELTIC were last night linked with a move for Everton midfielder James McFadden. Reports in Scotland suggest new Parkhead manager Gordon Strachan will make an enquiry about the 22-year-old, who switched to Goodison from Motherwell for £1.25million in September 2003. Everton manager David Moyes arrived in Austria with his squad for pre-season training camp last night and was unavailable for comment. But a transfer back north of the border could appeal to McFadden, who has struggled to make a sustained impact during his time on Merseyside. The Scot has made only 28 starts and the same number of substitute appearances over the last two seasons, scoring just three goals. Everton landed in Graz yesterday evening without Joseph Yobo and Tim Cahill, who have been given extra time to rest after their summer international exertions. Moyes had been hopeful of including Valencia pair Mohammed Sissoko and Emil-iano Moretti in the travelling party, but will have to wait until later this week to dis-cover whether the £5m offer for the duo has proven successful. Tranmere yesterday rejected a second Everton offer for Ryan Taylor, with the Prenton Park board valuing the player at around £1m. Moyes believes that is too high a fee for a 21-year-old untried in the Premiership, but remains confident a compromise deal can be brokered. Another long-time target, Mikel Arteta, has insisted he is in no rush to leave Real Sociedad as talks over a permanent move to Everton continue to falter. A fee of £1.8m has already been agreed with the Spanish side for the midfielder - who spent the second half of last season on loan at Goodison - but his wage demands are proving excessive. And Arteta said yesterday: "It would be a lack of respect to say that I am disappointed to return to Real Sociedad. "At the moment I am a Real Sociedad player and I still have three years on my contract with the club. "I will carry on here unless something that is good both for me and for the club happens. We will have to see what happens." Meanwhile, new signing Per Kroldrup could make his Goodison debut against his former team-mates after it was revealed Everton will play Udinese in a friendly a week before they begin their Champions League campaign. Organised by the Everton Former Play-ers' Foundation (EFPF) as their bi-annual testimonial match, Moyes's side will face the Italian Serie A outfit on Wednesday, August 3 at 8pm.
Admission prices for the game will be £10 while hospitality, priced at £30, is available by calling the Testimonial hotline on 0151 520 2362. This entitles the ticket holder to a seat in the exclusive areas, a free match-day programme, plus complimentary tea and coffee before the game and at half-time.
The game will be preceded by a special match between "Latchford's Lions" and "Snodin's Snarlers", which will begin at 6.30pm and will see Bob Latchford play on the hallowed turf at Goodison for the first time in more than 20 years.
* EVERTON youngster Patrick Boyle has signed his first professional contract with the club.
The 18-year-old Scottish youth international has penned a one-year deal after making regular appearances in Everton's reserve team last season.

Ambitious Everton may have great Dane again
By David Prior, Daily Post
Jul 6 2005
PER KROLDRUP was not perhaps the instantly recognisable name some Evertonians were hoping for in this summer of pre-Champions League anticipation. But then those same Evertonians weren't jumping with glee when a certain Thomas Gravesen arrived from Hamburg five years ago. There's every evidence to suggest, however, that the newest Dane at Goodison Park can follow his countryman to similar heights - and establish the kind of presence at Goodison that ensured Gravesen's departure to the Bernabeu last season was so keenly felt. Certainly, the communication between both players over the past four weeks has been instrumental in Udinese's dominant centre-half moving to Merseyside. True to the good-natured manner of his move to Spain, Gravesen continues to do a service to the club he himself served so well and helped in no small part to last season's fourth place. "I spoke with Tommy some time ago," the 25-year-old Kroldrup said. "At the last national game I spoke to him and he only has positive things to say about the club. "Tommy told me he'd had five very good years here." "Everything about the club is very ambitious, and he told me they have great people in every position, whether it's the trainer, the manager or even the medical people. He also said it was a good city and a good life to live here. "He said a lot of positive things but the main thing was the ambition. It's always more difficult to have success after a season like last year but that's the target for us. "Obviously it was very important. It is always helpful to talk to a guy who you know about a club like this. "I think Danish players are like English players. Always give everything when they are on the pitch. "I think that is a key element of the game here in England." Udinese's progress last season completed the kind of revival that almost matched Everton's. Having finished fifth from bottom of Serie A as recently as 2002, Luciano Spalleti's side secured fourth place - above such luminaries as Roma, Lazio and Sampdoria - and so like David Moyes's men claimed the final Champions League place available. It was a remarkable achievement, and a first for the 109-year-old club. The club's pride was demonstrated when having already secured qualification, all the play-ers wore t-shirts emblazoned with the Latin slogan 'Habemus Champions' during their last game of the season against AC Milan. Coach Spalleti was headhunted by Roma soon after. Kroldrup sees an obvious parallel between his new club and the one he has left behind. "At the start of the season everybody thought we would fall away after three or four months, a bit like they thought Everton could not keep up their run," he said. "So it really was very impressive the way they kept it going in that way in the Premiership. Like Udinese, team spirit was the key factor." Moyes first spotted Kroldrup's talent three years ago, while completing a coaching qualification at Udinese, and the close eye he has kept on him since has obviously convinced the Scot he has a man whose game can transfer well to the Premiership. The defender added: "I've always wanted to play in England, it's one of the major leagues in the world, and it's a big challenge for me to adapt my style to the English style. "Like in Italy there is every week a good striker ahead of you, here there is van Nistelrooy, Henry and Rooney. "I had four years in Italy, and every game is very tactical but in England the fans want more action and there's a lot more pressure when you're on the ball. There's probably more balls coming in so that obviously means more work for me!" The Champions League stage is impatiently awaited by Kroldrup, but he's already been aware of a perhaps even more nerve-wracking arena considerably closer to his new home. "Obviously I've heard of the rivalry with Liverpool from Gravesen. He said playing at Goodison is an incredible feeling and that playing against Liverpool and hopefully winning is even better." Do that, and his relative anonymity would soon be over.

Watson relishes new test at Albion
By John Curtis, Daily Post
Jul 6 2005
STEVE WATSON is relishing the chance to reactivate his career at West Brom after turning down the offer of a new one-year contract with Everton and a crack at Champions League football. Watson admitted he was becoming fed up of being viewed as a jack of all trades at Everton, filling in at various positions but then being relegated to the substitutes' bench once players had recovered from injury. The 31-year-old has put pen to paper on a three-year deal and joins Darren Carter and Chris Kirkland in moving to The Hawthorns. Albion manager Bryan Robson has finally secured Watson's services after narrowly missing out when in charge of Middlesbrough when the player moved from Aston Villa to Goodison Park. Watson said: "I had a great five years at Everton. They are a fantastic club and I have no axe to grind with them but sometimes it is just time to move on. "It was getting to the stage where I was filling in for people all over the pitch and then when everyone was fit I was going back to being the perfect substitute. "I did not want to get back in that mode and just thought it was time to move on. "It was still a tough decision to make. It was a tough summer. It would have probably been easy to stay there and try and get in the team for the Champions League.
"But at my age, 31, a one-year contract was not what I was looking for - and when the contract offer came it was also pretty late on. "It came after the season had finished and by then you are starting to think it will never arrive and you begin looking at the prospect of moving. "Two or three clubs came in, but I spoke to Bryan Robson in June and I just felt really wanted from the start. I also spoke to Kevin Campbell, who was with me at Everton. He came here in January and had nothing but good things to say." Watson becomes Robson's third signing after capturing midfielder Carter from Birmingham and Kirkland on loan from Liverpool.

Bellamy no closer to St James' exit
Daily Post
Jul 6 2005
FRUSTRATION was mounting on Tyneside last night as Craig Bellamy's departure from Newcastle failed to gather pace. Both Everton and Celtic have been given permission to talk to the 25-year-old Welshman with Aston Villa also making a concerted effort to lure him to the midlands and Blackburn maintaining an interest. Villa manager David O'Leary is back from his holidays today and will attempt to persuade Bellamy that salvation lies in Birmingham, while it is understood he has some misgivings about the Everton option after his talks with David Moyes.

Blues in talks with Valencia
Jul 6 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
VALENCIA officials will meet this morning to discuss Everton's offer for Emiliano Moretti and Mohamed Sissoko, but in appears that the Spanish club are willing to do business. Everton originally offered £5m for the duo. Sissoko himself, however, may now cost £5m alone, with Moretti costing a further £2m. Valencia also want a buy-back clause on midfielder Sissoko, which Everton are happy to comply with. Valencia sporting director Javier Subirats said today: "We would accept losing Moretti but we would establish a clause with Sissoko whereby if Everton chose to sell him within two years we could buy him back for the same price we sold him. "We know that Sissoko needs to play more matches, but we know he could end up being a great player." The Blues hope that the meeting will confirm Valencia's willingness to part with the pair. Everton, meanwhile, are firming up their pre-season programme with the visit of Serie A side Udinese to Goodison Park on Wednesday, August 3, now confirmed as part of the Per Kroldrup transfer. The clash will be the bi-annual fundraiser for the Everton Former Players Foundation. Admission will be £10, with hospitality packages available for £30 on the testimonial hotline 0151 520 2362.
This will buy a seat in an exclusive area of the ground, free programme, plus complimentary pre-match and half-time refreshments. The game will be preceded by a special exhibition clash between Latchford's Lions, featuring Bob Latchford, and Ian Snodin's Snarlers at 6.30pm. Scottish youth international Patrick Boyle, meanwhile, has signed his first professional contract with the Goodison club. The 18-year-old, who was a regular for the Blues reserve team last season, has penned a one-year deal.

Watson in Albion switch
Jul 6 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
STEVE WATSON is the first of Everton's three remaining contract rebels to find a new club.
The versatile defender has joined West Brom on a two-year deal, but spoke glowingly of his time at Goodison. "I had a great five years at Everton," he said. "They are a fantastic club and I have no axe to grind with them, but sometimes it is just time to move on. "It was getting to the stage where I was filling in for people all over the pitch and then, when everyone was fit, I was going back to being the perfect substitute. "I didn't want to get back in that mode, but it was still a tough decision to make. It was a tough summer. It would have probably been easy to stay there and try to get in the team for the Champions League. "But at my age, 31, a one-year contract was not what I was looking for - and when the contract offer came it was also pretty late on. "It came after the season had finished and by then you are starting to think it will never arrive and you begin looking at the prospect of moving. "Two or three clubs came in with good offers, but I spoke to Bryan Robson in the middle of June and just really felt wanted from the start. "I also spoke to Kevin Campbell, who had been with me at Everton. He came here in January and had nothing but good things to say about the club." Watson has moved on a free transfer - and Albion manager Robson revealed he had tried to sign the player before, when he was in charge of Middlesbrough. "Steve has great experience and will be a valuable addition to the squad," he explained. "He's a player I always admired."

Ruddy hopes learning curve can continue to rise quickly
Jul 6 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
JUST two months ago John Ruddy was in goal for a team sliding out of the Football League. Now he's at a club in the Champions League. But meteoric journeys are something the 18-year-old goalkeeper is used to, because four years ago he had never even played in goal! Everton snapped up the six feet two inch teenager for £ 250,000 from Cambridge United. The fee effectively staved off the threat of liquidation for the Conference-bound club, and also secured a highly promising keeper for the Blues - who revealed that he is still learning the art of goalkeeping. "I've only been a goalkeeper for four years so it's been quite a big journey to where I am," said Ruddy at a Goodison Park press conference this week. "I was playing for a Sunday League side and it folded. I was playing outfield at the time and I just thought I'll give it a go in goal. "You get to the age where you think nothing is going to come of it, but I started playing in goal for another Sunday League side and then I was picked up by Cambridge. It just moved on from there." In a summer of transfer sagas and stalled deals, it was also reassuring to hear Ruddy's reaction to Everton's interest in him. "It was just a matter of saying yes," he declared. "I wasn't going to negotiate because, with all due respect to Cambridge, you couldn't get a worse situation than going out of the league. "Everton were the only club which tabled an offer so I didn't have to choose between clubs but I don't think I've made the wrong decision joining them. "You could say this is just a little different to the Abbey Stadium experience! The facilities don't quite match up to this. "Just walking around the stadium and looking at all the photos on the walls, and thinking that I'm going to be part of that, is remarkable really.
"My immediate target is just to get my feet under the table. I've got a four year contract and obviously the gaffer has told me I need to develop. But if I develop in the way I have over the last few years and I don't see any reason why I can't be pushing the keepers here all the way." Ruddy already has considerable experience for a goalkeeper of his age. He was a regular for Cambridge throughout the whole of last season, and he admits that coming to terms with less regular football will be tough. "I played regularly last season so it will be difficult to adapt to not playing every Saturday at 3 o'clock, but I can't complain given the club that I'm going to!" he added.. "Even in the reserves the football will still be of a higher standard. "It's just a stepping stone to where I want to go, which is the highest part of the game. "There is great competition for places here amongst the goalkeepers - with Nigel Martyn, Richard Wright and Iain Turner, which is only good for me.
"I can learn from all of them and maybe sneak past them . . . slowly but surely! We've even got Chris Woods as goalkeeping coach - that's three England internationals and a Scottish under-21 international, you can't get much better than that. "The experience I will get from them is second to none. "I'm just looking forward to it. It's a wonderful opportunity for myself and I just want to grab it." Ruddy has already set his sights high. His hero was Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel, and he dreams of winning his first international cap for his country. "I looked up to Schmeichel," he went on. "His presence and his domination of his area was incredible. "He's a marker really and to reach that sort of level would be a dream come true. "As for England. Yes I hope to emulate Nigel one day and play for England. I've been told I have the potential. "The gaffer thinks I can improve otherwise he wouldn't have brought me here. But he's also made it clear how hard I've got to work."

Aufhauser handed chance to impress Moyes
By David Prior Daily Post Staff
Jul 7 2005
DAVID MOYES will use Everton's Austrian training camp to take a close look at Grazer AK midfielder Rene Aufhauser. The 29-year-old Austria international will spend the week with the squad as Moyes weighs up a formal bid. Everton have kept a close eye on Aufhauser, who played against Liverpool in a Champions League qualifier last season, for some months. Although the player is rated around £2million, Moyes would be confident of substantially reducing that figure with cash-strapped Grazer should he wish to follow up his interest. Nigel Martyn, meanwhile, is preparing himself for a punishing schedule as Everton build towards the new campaign. The goalkeeper, 39 next month, is working hard with coach Chris Woods as David Moyes's side begin their pre-season training in earnest at their Austrian camp. And Martyn admits no player will find the next five weeks an easy ride as the squad look to regain the fitness required for their first debut assault on the Champions League. He said: "It worked for us last year and we're looking forward to getting the hard work done this week. Woodsy will give us a good doing over this week but not just for one week. "It will go on for the next five or six weeks. But, yes, I am preparing myself for a few hard sessions this week.
"It's Chris's stuff and he knows what we need. He was a top, top goalkeeper so he knows what he's doing. I look forward to these weeks because we all know that it's work that we've got to get done.
"We've been off for six or seven weeks and although we keep ourselves ticking over, it's obviously not the same. You do need to get back into it and a good pre-season is vital for that." One new face in the goalkeeping department at Goodison is John Ruddy, a £250,000 close season capture from Cambridge, but Martyn insists the teenager will have no trouble settling in with his new team-mates.
He added: "We had bits and pieces with him last year and he got to know us. The goalies here are a friendly bunch and that's made it easier for him to settle in. "He's a smashing lad even though he's a bit quiet and shy at the moment, which is understandable because he's at a new club and it's a big move for him. "It will be a bit nerve-wracking for him because I remember doing the same thing myself when I moved from Bristol Rovers to Crystal Palace. It does take a little while to settle in but he'll be fine. "Iain's (Turner) done this a few times now and I'm sure he'll help John along because they are rooming together."

Reds out to hijack Sissoko transfer
Jul 7 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
LIVERPOOL are set to hijack Everton's swoop for Mali midfielder Mohammed Sissoko. And in a crushing double blow for the Blues, Craig Bellamy has agreed to sign for Blackburn. The Reds made an offer for Sissoko last night, after boss Rafa Benitez was alerted by Everton's interest in a player he had under his wing at Valencia. And the Blues fear that they could now miss out. They also look set to miss out on Bellamy, who has agreed a flexible one-year deal with Blackburn - which allows him a getout clause if he is not happy with Rovers' progress at the end of the season. Given the terms of the transfer, the Blues may not be too disappointed to miss out on the striker. But boss David Moyes will be devastated to lose Sissoko to the Reds. The Blues thought they had a 5m euro deal wrapped up early this week. But Liverpool's interest has caused the player and his club to think again.
Everton still hope they can persuade both Sissoko and Italian left-back Emiliano Moretti to move to Goodison. But they will now have to rely on Moyes persuading the player that his opportunities for first team football would be much greater at Goodison than Anfield. Benitez brought Sissoko to Spain from Auxerre as a teenager, paying a 1m euro compensation fee. And he has tracked his progress since he became Liverpool boss last summer. A highly versatile performer who has played up front for Mali and right-back much of last season, Sissoko is rated as one of the most promising midfield talents in Europe and is still only 20. Austrian international Rene Aufhauser, meanwhile, will train with the Blues this week during their training camp in Styria. Moyes admitted he wants to add several more faces to his first team squad, but is not frustrated yet that only two new signings have arrived. And he compared the situation to last summer, when the club was torn apart by boardroom unrest and the high profile departures of Wayne Rooney and Tomasz Radzinski. "We are not as equipped as I would want to be at this present time," he admitted "but we are certainly in better shape than this time last year. "We have a lot more to look forward to, but if we get the same results as last year I'll settle for it." Moyes added: "We are hoping to land one or two more before the season starts, that's for sure. "Ideally we want them in before the Champions League deadline, but also to get them integrated with the lads and give them some pre-season games. "There's a lack of availability of players and also a lack of quality that clubs are looking for - unless you have the top money to buy the very top players. "Nevertheless we will do our best to get what we need in."
* A dinner to mark the 10th anniversary of Everton's Disabled Supporters' Association and the first anniversary of their Football in the Community charity will be held in the Alex Young Suite tomorrow. Some tickets are still available on 330-2259.

My Everton future is just champion!
Jul 7 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
SIMON DAVIES has a two word answer to any Tottenham fans querying the decision to turn his back on a club which turned him from lower league prospect into an international midfield star. Champions League. The Welsh winger joined Everton for £3.5m last month, becoming David Moyes' first signing of the summer. And his motivation for moving north from London was crystal clear.
"If you ever get the chance to play in the Champions League you have got to take it," he declared.
"The fact that we have got a great chance of being in the Champions League proper this season is a great motivation. "It's a great competition. I've watched it every year since it started and it's really exciting. If we can get into it there should be some great nights to look forward to. "The Champions League is the biggest competition in football - outside the World Cup and the European Championship. "We've got two hard games to get through, but all you want is that chance to get there and we have that chance. "I've had a look at who we might draw and it's daunting. There's some big teams there already. With a bit of luck we'll get an easier draw - TNS would be nice! Whoever we get will be difficult, but we have a chance of getting there which is great." The Everton fans are already relishing the prospect of one of Europe ' s big names coming to Goodison Park this autumn - and Davies admits that the Blues' fans also played a part in his decision. "Whenever I have played at Everton before, the fans have been really, really passionate," he added.. "If Everton had good spells in the game they really got behind the team and it is one thing I have always remembered. I am hoping I can go there and be part of a winning team and have that crowd behind us. "It's not that the Tottenham fans aren't passionate, you just notice an extra buzz at Goodison when things are going well. "It's going to be great to be part of that." Davies' arrival on Merseyside almost happened halfway through last season, but the move was put on hold for six months.
"It nearly happened in January, but it didn't so I just got my head down and played for Tottenham until the end of the season," he said.. "Once Everton expressed an interest in me in January I just couldn't stop thinking about it really. The chairman was as good his word. He said if I still wanted to go in the summer I could and when I spoke to him he just wished me all the best and thanked me for being here. "It's a good club. I've got a great relationship with the fans, great relationship with a lot of players and I have some really good friends down there. But you can't stay too long at one place.
"As soon as I knew the interest was there again from Everton I had no hesitation at all about moving.
"It wasn't that unsettling. I knew the clubs had been talking in January but I knew they hadn't agreed a fee so until that is done you don't get a chance to make up your mind. "I was just getting back into the team again after injury and that showed Everton had faith in me which was a big factor when they came back in again in June." Unlike some signings, Davies does not profess to be a boyhood Blue; his childhood heroes were not Anders Limpar and Andrei Kanchelskis - and he has never stood on the Gwladys Street terrace. But he was present when an Everton captain last lifted major silverware - at Wembley Stadium in 1995. "Yes, I went to Wembley in '95," he confirmed. "Who did I support? The Blues, of course! "One of my coaches at the time had a couple of tickets he couldn't take. I was only 15 so me and my friend went along. It was a great day." Davies also kept close watch on Everton's fortunes last season and, like the majority of the Premiership, was stunned by the Blues' revival.. "I was surprised at what Everton achieved last season," he admitted. "They were most people's tip to be struggling, not that I paid too much attention to that, but as soon as they got into fourth position everyone admired the way they did it and they stuck in there until the end of the season. It was a fantastic achievement." That fourth place finish was achieved despite the seemingly annual occurrence of home and away defeats by Spurs. "Yes, Tottenham always seem to do well here," he smiled "but we - that's Everton - are very fit, very strong and tough to play against and hopefully we will bring in even more players to strengthen the squad. "It's an exciting time to be here. You arrive here and know you have to do your best to impress. Being bought for a bit of money just gives you that bit of impetus to go out there and really get the best out of yourself. "The lads have taken me in really well. They're a great bunch but the manager told me that and there is a great team spirit around here. "It's going to be a really great few months for me and the Blues fans. I can't wait."

Moyes moves to seal Valencia double deal
By Ian Doyle Daily Post Staff
Jul 8 2005
EVERTON are poised to reach a successful conclusion in their pursuit of Valencia duo Mohamed Sissoko and Emiliano Moretti. David Moyes left the club's training camp in Austria yesterday and was believed to be on his way to Amsterdam to meet the pair. And Sissoko's agent has said his client is on the brink of joining Everton after dismissing claims of a late attempt by Liverpool to hijack the £8million double deal. The Mali international is expected to arrive in Merseyside within the next few days to undergo a medical before sealing his part of the transfer. "The transfer of Sissoko to Everton is practically finalised," said agent Jose Segui. "There are only some small details to resolve and then the medical of the player." Of interest from Anfield, he added: "Liverpool and Benitez have asked about the player's situation in the past, but have not made a proposition." Valencia have resigned themselves to losing the 20-year-old, who has been deemed surplus to requirements by new Mestalla coach Quique Flores. The Spanish side had been keen to insert a 'buy-back' clause in the transfer which would allow Valencia to re-sign Sissoko for £5m if he was to depart Goodison within two years. But the player's agent has revealed that will not be part of the deal. He added: "The decision to allow Sissoko to leave is down to the new coach. He (Sissoko) did not enter in his plans for next season." Everton manager Moyes is hoping that he has also persuaded Italian left-back Moretti to follow Sissoko to Goodison. Confirmation that Moyes missed out on Newcastle United striker Craig Bellamy came yesterday when the troublesome Welsh international moved to Blackburn Rovers. However, it has been claimed that Everton are "80-90%" toward agreeing a deal for Austrian international Rene Aufhauser. The 28-year-old Grazer AK midfielder is currently training with Everton in the Styria region of his homeland and the player's representative Frank Schreier believes a deal will be a formality should Moyes give the green light, despite interest from Fulham.
"With both clubs, I would say it is 80-90% done," said Schreier. "Fulham say they might have to wait to sell a player before he can join, but Everton need only decide on yes or no." Meanwhile, Everton have been drawn against the Thailand national team in the first game of this month's FA Premier League Asia Trophy in Bangkok. The match will get the tournament July 20 at 6pm local time which is 11am British time. Manchester City and Bolton Wanderers, the other two teams involved, will play at 8.45pm local time with the winners of both games meeting each other in the final three days later. "It is an exciting prospect for us," said Everton assistant manager Alan Irvine. "It is obviously a team we have never played before and there will be a large crowd inside the stadium. "It will be a good experience and we are looking forward to it but we must remember that it is a cup competition and we will be doing out utmost to progress to the final."

Osman delighted with new Goodison arrivals
By David Prior, Daily Post
Jul 8 2005
LEON OSMAN has welcomed the new faces at Goodison - even though his place is likely to therefore come under threat. Should Valencia midfielder Mohammed Sissoko complete a likely move to Everton, David Moyes will have brought in four new faces over the summer, with Simon Davies, Per Kroldrup and John Ruddy having been formally unveiled earlier this week. Further arrivals are anticipated as Everton build toward their Champions League debut, and for Osman, who last month committed himself to the club for a further three years, the increased competition for places can only a good thing. "That's never a problem," he said. "We're all looking forward to new faces coming in because we all know that competition for places can benefit the club. "We didn't have too many numbers last season and towards the end of it quite a few of us were really feeling the effects of that. "If we are going to play more games this season due to European football then we'll probably need more numbers to come in." Osman's team-mate Lee Carsley, meanwhile, admitted the players were relishing their pre-season break in Austria as they regain full fitness ahead of the new campaign. The Republic of Ireland midfielder said: "It's a bit different from what we are used to back at Bellefield. For instance, when we're here we have to ride a push-bike to training. "It will be tough because there are no short-cuts during pre-season. But it's also a chance for us all to spend some time together - which will be good for the new lads. It will show them what we are like as a group.
"We work really hard and it shows the new lads just what tempo we operate at. "When you only get six weeks off you're never likely to lose that much fitness but we were that fit last year anyway that we are in good shape. "We were all given a programme to stick to over the summer and you can see that the lads have stuck to it." On his side's increased profile this summer, the midfielder added: "We seem to have been in the papers a lot more than usual but there is always people guessing about who's coming."

Bellamy is no great loss
Jul 8 2005 Post Soapbox, icLiverpool & Daily Post
No great loss
SO Craig Bellamy will sign for Blackburn. Trouble-maker anyway, so no great loss. Time to set our sights on a real striker like Robbie Keane. Proven goalscorer wherever he has gone. Bellamy would have been a waste to a team who work for each other.
Jim Jeffries (via e-mail)
Missed target
WHILE I was never particularly happy with the idea of Bellamy signing, I can't but help finding myself annoyed that we have lost another big target. Depressing times on the transfer front.
Ian Wright (via e-mail)
Striking snip
I SAY £4.75m for a quality striker like Bellamy is a snip. Forget the reputation he has, name me a player with a bit about him who has ever got on with Graeme Souness. He's a quality player and once again dithering Everton have missed out. This has 1996 written all over it - we had money and people wanted to join us. We bought Gary Speed early on then no-one else. This is the season to buy, not next January, not next summer, now.
Phil Holmes (via e-mail)
Euro opportunity
I'M NOT that bothered about Bellamy the player, but it's the principal that a club like Blackburn are prepared to out-bid us in the salary department. How can our club be an attractive proposition to quality players if we are only prepared to pay comparatively low salaries compared to other clubs in the Premier League.
This opportunity in the Champions League might not come around for another 20 years. We need to bring in some quality which would give us a better chance to get in the money-spinning fourth round.
Danny Smithers, Liverpool
Budget too tight
I HAVE always been optimistic about David Moyes and any proposed transfer targets, but how many potential targets have gone to lesser clubs because we won't budge on our wage structure. If all your first and second potential signings opt to go to the likes of Blackburn, where does that leave Everton? Third and fourth choice targets won't improve the team.
Tony Jones, Garston

Great expectations are weighing heavy
By Mark O'Brien Everton supporter, Daily Post
Jul 8 2005
OF THE many challenges facing Davd Moyes and his Everton players this season, fulfilling the raised expectations of supporters is going to be the biggest. It wasn't difficult this time last year, as anything better than relegation was seen as a bonus. It's a similar scenario with the summer transfer dealings. The manager came out of the blocks quicker than most and made his interest known in two established names, Scott Parker and Mikael Forsell. However, when neither deal materialised, for differing but equally legitimate reasons, it was inevitable that fans would feel somewhat disappointed. Setting aside Forsell, who is a really good player but represents a huge risk for Birmingham City, the situation with Parker typifies the market that Everton are now trying to operate in. As Moyes has stated, there isn't an overabun-dance of quality available, so what little there is commands a premium. We keep hearing about the new financial realities of the Premiership, but still we see players who have achieved very little in the game, the likes of Parker, Emre and Craig Bellamy, demanding huge wages. And while it's a little frustrating to see Moyes's targets end up elsewhere with that European qualifier looming large on the horizon, it's right that the club remain resolute in their dealings. After all, it wasn't so long ago that the contracts of two veterans at the club were referred to constantly as 'millstones', so it would be madness to saddle ourselves with more deals that we cannot realistically afford to pay. Mikel Arteta's another case in point: Real Sociedad obviously don' think he's worth the money he's on, and despite his positive impact at Goodison last season, Moyes obviously thinks he needs to be more realistic, too. With all this talk of the players who haven't signed, the new players who have been brought in have been overlooked. Spurs fans say that Simon Davies has never been the same player since his serious injury, but the fact remains that he played a lot of games for Martin Jol last season in a squad that was packed with midfielders. As for Per Kroldrup, very few people have heard of him, but for Moyes to go and pay £5 million for a defender he must seriously rate him. Expectations for the Dane then, like for everyone else in blue this season, will be sky high.

Boyhood Evertonian looking to shoot down Liverpool
By Mark Currie, Daily Post
Jul 8 2005
THE last time striker Lee McEvilly played at the Racecourse he won two penalties and also scored against Wrexham as his then club Rochdale romped to a 5-2 victory against Denis Smith's side.
Tomorrow, the 24-year old Everton fan hopes to make his debut for the Dragons against European champions Liverpool before going on to spearhead the club's assault on their forthcoming promotion campaign. "It would be a great way to start my Wrexham career," the ex-Burscough striker said yesterday after completing his first training session with his new Wrexham team-mates.
"I only got back from a holiday in Las Vegas in the early hours of Wednesday, so I'm still feeling a bit jet-lagged but I would really like to play at some stage in the game. "Coming from Liverpool, although I'm an Everton supporter, would make it a special occasion and the prospect of turning out in front of a big crowd is also exciting." McEvilly, who arrives at the Racecourse after a 12-month spell with Accrington Stanley, was targeted by Smith almost as soon as last season came to an end and the manager has high expectations of his new acquisition. "Accrington have released him, although they will get a percentage of any sell-on fee," said Smith. "He's signed a 12-month deal but hopefully we'll be able to hang on to him for longer than that. "I was impressed with him when he was at Rochdale because he looked to be a handful. I think that will suit us. "If Lee does as well for Wrexham as he's done for his other clubs, I will be really pleased."

Blues set for Istanbul
Jul 8 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON could be on their way to Istanbul - as the Blues are ready to add an exotic fixture to their pre-season programme. Talks are at an advanced stage for a friendly match against Fenerbahce on Saturday, July 30. The Blues hope to confirm the fixture in the next few days, but boss David Moyes is already looking forward to a clash against the Turkish champions who include Brazilian star Alex de Sousa and former Liverpool striker Nicolas Anelka in their squad. "Fenerbahce will be in the Champions League this season and should offer us an excellent test," said Moyes. The Blues kick off their pre-season preparations against Austrian junior side FC Gamlitz on Sunday, then travel to Motherwell the following weekend before their Asia Cup excursion. Moyes is keen for his players to get used to the prospect of playing matches around Europe as preparation for a hoped for Champions League campaign. The Blues' boss is still hopeful of adding to his squad before the qualifying round draw is made on July 29, but reports today that they are on the brink of landing Valencia pair Mohammed Sissoko and Emiliano Moretti are premature. Despite comments from one of Sissoko's numerous agents claiming otherwise, Liverpool are still in the hunt for a player taken to Valencia from Auxerre by Rafael Benitez. Spanish newspaper Marca claimed today that Everton and Valencia had agreed an 8m euro deal for both players and agent Jose Segui said: "The transfer of Sissoko to Everton is practically finalised." Blues officials, however, claim that is premature and that a deal has still to be agreed. Liverpool put a bid in for Sissoko on Wednesday, after Everton believed they had secured a 5m euro deal for the player. Moyes flew to Amsterdam yesterday to meet Sissoko and try to persuade him that he would enjoy more first team opportunities by choosing Goodison ahead of Anfield. Meanwhile, the Blues are baffled by claims from the agent of Rene Aufhauser that a deal was "80-90 per cent done" for the player. The Austrian is training with the Blues at their Styrian training camp this week and Wyness said: "The manager has not yet told us whether he wants to progress with a deal or not. We are poised to move if he gives us the go-ahead." The Blues, meanwhile, have been drawn to face the Thai national team in the first game of this month's Asia Cup competition in Bangkok. The match will kick off at 6.00pm local time in the Rajamangala Stadium (11am UK time). Manchester City will then face Bolton at 8.45pm, with the winners of each game meeting three days later. "It is an exciting prospect," said Blues' assistant boss Alan Irvine. "It is obviously a team we have never played before."

Osman relishes new battle
Jul 8 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
LEON OSMAN would welcome more new faces at Everton this summer - even though his own first team place is already threatened by the arrival of newcomer Simon Davies. The little Everton midfielder was excellent in his first full Premiership season, making 35 appearances and scoring a number of crucial goals. But he accepts that the club's success will create even more competition for places in the coming campaign. And he is actively encouraging boss David Moyes to spend.
"That's never a problem," he said, from the club's training camp in Austria. "We're all looking forward to new faces coming in because we all know that competition for places can benefit the club. "We didn't have too many numbers last season and towards the end of it quite a few of us were really feeling the effects of that. "If we are going to play more games this season due to European football then we'll probably need more to come in." Osman is now widely regarded as one of the more senior members of the squad at Everton and is one of a handful of players who has made the journey right through from the youth ranks. And, like the youngsters who travelled with the first team squad to Styria this week, Osman was given the opportunity earlier in his career to travel on occasions with the first team and believes it was a real benefit as he made the transition from schoolboy to senior. He added: "It makes a change, me being older than a lot of the players on the trip. It's good for the kids to get some experience like this. "You definitely need to get used to this type of thing, especially with us being in Europe this season. Hopefully, we'll be doing it a lot more. "When I was in the youth team it was great to be training with the first team and to be in and around the first team players. I'm sure the young lads over here now are feeling the same."
The youngsters in Austria are being put through just as demanding a schedule as the seniors.
Osman added: "We've done a football session and a running session on our first full day. The sessions are tough but we expected that. "Coming over here to Austria is always tough because the idea is to really begin the preparation for the new season. "This is where we get the real base of the fitness. We do long distance running and this week is a major part of pre-season training. "You've had six weeks away from it all but it doesn't take more than a session or two to get it back and we're all starting to find our feet again now and we're looking forward to pushing on."
* Everton's clash with Udinese on August 3, is an Everton Former Players Foundation Testimonial game. Tickets are priced at £10 cash at the turnstiles on the day. Lounge tickets are available at £30 each on 0151 520 2362 with credit or debit card.

Why waiting game will pay off for Moyes
Jul 8 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON Football Club haven't kicked a ball since May - so they are still the fourth best team in the Premiership. Last time I looked, they were still in the Champions League, David Moyes is still the manager of the year and Tim Cahill still the most sought after newcomer of last season. They have replaced a 34-year-old centre-back with one nine years younger, swopped a 30-year-old utility player for a 25-year-old Welsh international - and waved goodbye to a left-back who managed one full season's football in the four he spent at Goodison. Oh, there's still five weeks until the season starts - and there's still a big transfer kitty available.
So why all the whingeing?
The Echo sports desk resembled an Old Hall Street branch of The Samaritans yesterday, with anxious Evertonians calling from all points north, south, east and west. And I'm struggling to understand why. News that a spiky little viper of a forward had agreed to spend maybe a whole year of his career at Blackburn - unless they fail to live up to his sky high expectations that is, in which case he'll be touting his services elsewhere again - was greeted like Goodison had burned down. The Echo's revelation that Liverpool had joined Everton in the chase for Mohammed Sissoko's signature was like a death in the family. Both pieces of news were undoubtedly disappointing. But no more than that.
Certainly not a case for a repeat of the angst, indignation and upset which was displayed exactly 12 months earlier. In the summer of 2004, Everton Football Club was a case for concern and angry reactions appropriate. Not now. It should perhaps be pointed out that Craig Bellamy scored a grand total of 11 league goals for Newcastle - in his last TWO seasons. And that nobody outside of Rafael Benitez and David Moyes had even heard of Mohammed Sissoko a month ago. With the best will in the world, if Bellamy was happy to choose Blackburn over Everton, footballing ambition was clearly never really his primary motivation. There was a similarly outraged reaction when Dean Saunders chose Anfield ahead of Goodison 15 years ago. In the end, that proved a lucky escape. Only time will tell whether the loss of Bellamy proves likewise. The phrase Dithering Davie has been used more than once this week. I believe David Moyes' transfer policies deserve praise, not condemnation.
He feels that offering one player £20,000 per week more in wages than everyone else in the dressing room would upset the carefully cultivated team spirit he helped construct last season. He believes that same stance would place the club on a precarious financial footing for the future. And he believes that paying more than he believes a player is worth is bad for the future of the game.
I'm not a hundred per cent certain he is right. I think there is a case for paying exceptional players exceptional money, like Scott Parker. But I certainly wouldn't be so bold as to suggest the Blues' boss has got it wrong. Because all he has to do is point at last season's table. If Everton are struggling in the lower reaches of the Premiership in October and battling in the UEFA Cup, rather than the Champions League - criticism may be justified. But not now, not on July 8, when Everton are still the fourth best team in the Premiership.

Beattie's pledge to repay support
By David Prior, Daily Post
Jul 9 2005
JAMES BEATTIE believes he still has the fans' support as he vowed to put a difficult start at Goodison behind him. The 27-year-old striker has struggled for form and fitness since his £6million move from Southampton in January and claimed just two goals in a disappointing nine appearances so far. But he is confident a good pre-season - which has started with this week's tough training camp in Austria - will enable him to convince the doubt-ers he can be a success at Everton. "I will try to put last year behind me," said Beattie. "Obviously the move to Goodison was a massive move for me and it has been brilliant the way I have been accepted in the city and by the fans. "I think the supporters are still behind me. I have met a lot of people in Liverpool who are saying everyone is behind me. A lot of people have been making excuses for me but I am not one to make excuses. Hopefully with this pre-season behind me I can start to show people what I can do. They probably know what I can do but after last year and the way they stood by me, I think I owe them something." The England international is certain the goals will start to flow once his fitness returns. He added: "When you get fit you will start scoring goals and that is what I will do. "Then if I can stay injury free, then I won't have to worry about goals because they will come. "I have always said that when I am fit and start playing football for Everton Football Club then I will have no problems whatsoever and I will be playing as well as I have ever done." Kevin Kilbane, meanwhile, has admitted Everton need to bolster their numbers before the new season arrives. Everton have made some progress in the transfer market over the summer, with winger Simon Davies, defender Per Kroldrup and goalkeeper John Ruddy all signing and Valencia midfielder Mohamed Sissoko thought to be close to a move.

Three players - Steve Watson, Alessandro Pistone and Alan Stubbs - have not returned for the pre-season however, and Kilbane said: "We need bodies before the start of the season and I think that when the season starts and the end of the transfer window approaches there will be maybe more players coming in. "I'm sure the manager is not going to bring just anyone in though. "He'll be studying their background and the type of character they are. "The way we are thinking now is that last season is over and we've got a big season ahead of us. We've got some big games coming up and we've got to be ready for them. "When the transfer window started we all expected it to be busy but that hasn't been the case. There have been a couple of big transfers that go through during the summer but there haven't been that many players moving around. "You look at the fixtures and the Manchester United match is already at the back of your mind as you start to do the pre-season work."
* EVERTON will visit Istanbul as part of the pre-season preparations after confirming a July 30 encounter with Fenerbahce. The club will also send an Everton XI to Welsh side Connah's Quay Nomads in a friendly next Thursday evening.

Valencia 'decide to sell Sissoko to Liverpool'
By David Prior Daily Post Staff
Jul 9 2005
LIVERPOOL have hijacked Everton's move for Mohamed Sissoko, the Valencia midfielder's agent claimed last night. The Mali international had seemingly been on the verge of a £3million move to Goodison having met manager David Moyes in Amsterdam yesterday. However, the lure of Anfield manager Rafael Benitez - who signed the versatile 20-year-old from Auxerre when at the Mestalla two years ago - appears to have brought about Sissoko's late change of mind. His agent Jose Segui said: "Valencia have taken the decision (to sell to Liverpool) and Momo is happier now." Should the news be confirmed it would represent a further setback in the transfer market for Moyes, who had hoped to convince Sissoko he stood a better chance of first-team opportunities at Goodison. So far this summer he has been unsuccessful in attempts to bring Craig Bellamy, Scott Parker and Italian midfielder Emre to Merseyside. The Scot is desperate to add to his current tally of three new signings, and speaking from the club's training camp in Austria yesterday said: "We are hoping to land one or two more before the start of the season, that is for sure." Another Liverpool target, Luis Figo, was also close to a deal last night as Real Madrid appeared ready to relax their demand for a £2million fee.

Vaughan on target as Everton kick off season in style
By David Prior, Daily Post
Jul 11 2005
JAMES VAUGHAN claimed a hat-trick as Everton opened their pre-season campaign in dominant fashion last night. The striker, 17 on Thursday, helped David Moyes's men to a 9-0 win as they coasted home against Austrian junior side FC Gamlitz. Twenty-two players in all were given a run-out in the friendly, which closed Everton's tour of Austria, and also saw a goal for new £5million signing Per Kroldrup. Alongside Vaughan, Marcus Bent and James Beattie (penalty) also hit the target, while there were also encouraging strikes for Academy starlets Lawrence Wilson, Paul Hopkins and Victor Anichebe. Long-term injury absentee Li Tie, meanwhile, played the full 90 minutes to suggest he is finally ready to resume his Goodison career. Moyes was satisfied with the work-out, although the scoreline only became comfortable - having been just 2-0 at the interval - when some of the youngsters came on. He said: "All the boys went about their job fine. It took us until the second half to get the goals we wanted, though if we had taken our chances we would have scored more. "But it was what we wanted. It gave the players an hour running around."
The Scot added: "We wanted all the boys to get a touch and we are grateful to the side we played for giving us that opportunity. "It was warm, so they got a good sweat on. We were also able to get the younger players on and it was nice to see them get some of the goals."
EVERTON: Martyn (Turner 59 (Ruddy 80)), Hibbert (Wynne 59), Weir (Hughes 54), Kroldrup (Harris 69), Kilbane (Seargeant 63), McFadden (Hopkins 69), Osman (Wilson 46), Li Tie, Davies (Wright 63), Bent (Vaughan 54), Beattie (Anichebe 59).

FC Gamlitz 0, Everton 9 (Echo)
Jul 11 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
WITH David Moyes scouring the transfer market for new, experienced strikers, Everton's young guns fired a statement of intent to their manager. The Blues opened their pre-season programme with a stroll in the Styrian sunshine against Austrian amateur outfit FC Gamlitz. And youngsters James Vaughan, Victor Anichebe, Lawrence Wilson and Paul Hopkins weighed in with six of the nine goals.
The run-out was little more than a leg-stretcher for the Blues' party, who had been worked hard during their six days in Austria. But it gave the youngsters in the travelling party the opportunity to impress the watching David Moyes. "We wanted all the boys to get a touch and we are grateful to the side that we played for giving us that opportunity," he explained afterwards. "It was warm, so they got a good sweat on. We were also able to get the younger players on and it was nice to see them get some of the goals. "All the boys went about their job fine. It took us until the second half to get the goals we wanted, although if we had taken our chances we would have scored more.
"But it was what we wanted. It gave the players an hour running around." Everton did as they liked against the willing, but limited Austrians, but with goalkeeper Zemljic an enthusiastic shot-stopper they had to wait until the 21st minute to score. Marcus Bent broke the deadlock, dispossessing his marker and finishing comfortably, after Blues debutants Per Kroldrup and Simon Davies had both gone close. Nigel Martyn also had to make an impressive stop from a long range snap-shot by Hal Jok as he showed his evening wasn't entirely filled by sunbathing. In addition to the new boys, Li Tie put his injury problems firmly behind him with a full 90-minute run out, which also included a couple of shots narrowly wide of the target. The Chinese international hadn't worn a first team jersey since January 7, 2004 - and last night's run around was a symbolic outing for him. Everton's second goal came after 38 minutes, James Beattie laying an early claim to penalty-taking duties when he converted after Kroldrup was fouled. Lee Carsley and Duncan Ferguson have both accepted the responsibility in recent seasons, but Carsley is still recuperating from a knee injury while Ferguson was on the sidelines last night, so Beattie grabbed an early opportunity to demand the duties he used to enjoy at Southampton. Bent, Beattie and Osman were all close to adding further goals before the break, but the visitors had to wait until three minutes into the second period to score again. With the youngsters all being given a run- out, teenager Wilson took the opportunity to score his first senior goal -just two minutes after arriving on the pitch as a replacement for Osman. Kroldrup duly made it 4-0 with a glancing header in the 64th minute and four minutes later the lively Vaughan netted the first of his hat-trick by skilfully skipping past the keeper to net. The youngster went on to notch a 16-minute treble, producing a cracking shot on the turn then adding another fine finish six minutes from time, this time netting with a header from close range. Anichebe showed that Vaughan isn't the only young striker with eyes on a first team future when he opened his senior scoring account in the 87th minute - and with the Austrians flagging, strike-partner Hopkins added one of his own in the 90th minute to complete the rout. It was a comfortable opener for the Blues, who will now face a more strenuous workout this weekend at Scottish Premier side Motherwell.
FC GAMLITZ: Zemljic (Gaube Markus 85), Krainz, Puntipan, Gaube Manfred (Gsellmann 23), Matya, Pressnitz (Posch 23), Tomand, Glavninger, Uekrep, Maljok. Unused Subs: Resch, Jalothy, Haas.
EVERTON: Martyn (Turner 59, replaced by Ruddy 80), Hibbert (Wynne 59), Weir (Hughes 54), Kroldrup (Harris 69), Kilbane (Seargeant 63), McFadden (Hopkins 69), Osman (Wilson 46), Li Tie, Davies (Wright 63), Bent (Vaughan 54), Beattie (Anichebe 59).
Attendance: 283
Referee: Mr H Adalbert
SCORERS: Bent (21 mins), Beattie (38), Wilson (48), Kroldrup (64), (Vaughan 68, 75, 84), Anichebe (87), Hopkins (90).

Moyes eyes Johnson and Davis
Jul 11 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON will turn their attentions towards London after suffering a double snub in the transfer market last week. The Blues will focus on Crystal Palace striker Andy Johnson and Spurs midfielder Sean Davis, after missing out on Mohammed Sissoko and Craig Bellamy. But boss David Moyes will not comment on any potential deals after Liverpool's late swoop snatched Sissoko away from his clutches and left him simmering. The Blues had agreed a £3.5m fee for the Valencia midfielder and were ready to negotiate personal terms, when the Reds made a £5m offer. The player himself made it clear he preferred a move to Anfield and the opportunity to join forces with former coach Rafael Benitez once again, and Everton were left high and dry. The Blues may now try to revive interest in an old target, Sean Davis. The midfielder failed a medical after Everton had agreed a fee with Fulham two years ago. He subsequently joined Tottenham, where he has since made 16 appearances.
Striker Andy Johnson, meanwhile, fits Moyes' bill as a willing, enthusiastic front-runner and he is anxious to stay in the Premiership following Palace's relegation last season. Selhurst Park chairman Simon Jordan has made it clear he will stand in Johnson's way, but the player met with Palace officials at the weekend to outline his desire to leave - and subsequently missed a training session following the talks. Tottenham are also keen on the player who won his first England cap last season, but Liverpool's pursuit of Peter Crouch means that it would be a straight duel between the Blues and Spurs. Moyes is anxious to accelerate moves for several players this week, but Goodison officials do not anticipate Paul Scholes being one of those moves. The Manchester United midfielder was linked with a move to Everton in the Sunday press, but his name has not been mentioned at Goodison. Everton are back at Bellefield tomorrow following their six-day training camp in Austria, preparing for their next friendly match at Motherwell on Saturday.

Blues are pipped at race day
Jul 11 2005 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON narrowly missed out on their first trophy of the season - at the hand of Premiership new boys Wigan Athletic. The newly promoted club came out on top as football and racing joined forces for the Paddy Power-backed 'Football Furlong' meeting at Haydock Park. All horses in the six races carried the colours of Premiership teams, each club having three runners throughout the afternoon.
With points awarded on the basis of 10 for a win down to one for 10th place, Wigan just pipped the Blues by one on 25 points with Aston Villa, Chelsea and Manchester United in joint third on 21.
The trophy was presented by Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso, who said: "I've been to Chester races before, but this is my first time at Haydock. I've enjoyed it, but I ' ve backed only one winner!"
Wigan got off to a flying start in the Paddy Power Supports NSPCC Handicap, which went the way of their representative, Peopleton Brook (4-1). Milton Bradley's sprinter beat Conjecture by a short head under a strong ride from Neil Callan. Wigan doubled up when David Allan, who has a good record for Lynda Ramsden, brought the Yorkshire trainer's Along The Nile (4-1) home half a length in front of Whitethorne in the paddypowercasino.com Handicap. A couple of jockeys found themselves yellow carded, however - Royston Ffrench was suspended for three days for using his whip with excessive frequency and with a degree of force on Conjecture, while Warrington rider Paul Hanagan was stood down for a day for careless riding on Whitethorne. Hanagan had better luck a little later when notching a 47th winner of the season on the 8-1 shot, Instructor, in the Chelsea colours. Philip Robinson has struck up a successful partnership with trainer Clive Cox this season, and they teamed up with Kostar, who was sporting the Everton silks, in the paddypower.com Handicap. Alchemist Master has had his problems, but Richard Whitaker produced him ready to win the Paddy Power Dial A Bet Handicap under Dean McKeown in the colours of Middlesbrough, while Tony Culhane landed the concluding Paddy Power Congratulates Liverpool Champions League Winners Handicap on Keith Reveley's Let It Be (7-2), representing Birmingham City. But he was another to pick up a suspension, this time one day (July 21) for using his whip with excessive frequency.

Defender positive despite setbacks
By David Prior, Daily Post
Jul 12 2005
JOSEPH YOBO is relishing the prospect of Champions League football despite Everton's recent frustrations in the transfer market. The Nigerian international reported back for pre-season yesterday one week on from his colleagues having played a World Cup qualifier only three weeks ago. Manager David Moyes will return to his Bellefield desk today after their training camp in Austria and attempt to make some further headway in the transfer market. The recent failures to sign Craig Bellamy or Mohamed Sissoko, together with the decision of Scott Parker and now Emre to opt for Newcastle and not Goodison Park, have ensured a frustrating time for the Scot. But Yobo was eager to remain focused on the positives yesterday and what promises to be an exciting campaign ahead. He said: "This is the biggest season for Everton for a long time because of being in Europe and where we finished in the league. "Everybody is going to be looking at us so we have got to make ourselves proud again. "With the team we have got and the management we can make it through the qualifiers to play in the group stages. That is very important. Personally, I am very excited about playing in Europe. "It has been a short summer however it is good to be back playing and it is good I am not injured and ready to return to action. "Because I have trained over the summer with my country I am not too far from my match-fitness." The squad will fly to Bangkok on Sunday for the Asia Cup tournament, which will be followed by a friendly in Turkey against Fenerbahce and then a home match with Italian side Udinese on August 3. Everton, meanwhile, have selected the three players who will train at their academy as part of their sponsor-ship deal with Chang. The trio, who were picked from 200 hopefuls and are all aged 17, are Sakkarin Chanyotha, Naruepol Arromsawad and Ronnachai Rangsiyo. Academy coach Ray Hall said: "Ronnachai is a good forward and can play quickly with both feet. "Naruepol is very fit, a good passer of the ball and is dangerous when he gets the ball. Sakkarin is an outstanding left-footed player and is very elegant." The three will spend nine months at Goodison.

Present tense
Post Sopabox, icLiverpool & Daily Post
Jul 12 2005
MIKAEL FORSSELL wanted to join Everton, but the medical team advised against it. Momo Sissoko, who may have a brilliant future, is just that... one for the future. And we haven't got £5million to gamble on someone who may or may not develop. We need players for the present. Craig Bellamy only wants to only play up front and would not have been versatile enough for the team, enough said.
Sean Thornton (via e-mail)
Costly delay
EVERTON have slipped up again. Penny-pinching delays on transfers have cost us again. Why does it take us 10 days of negotiation for nothing and Liverpool get our man in a couple of hours.
William Ellery (via e-mail)
New signings
THE return of Gary Naysmith, Li Tie and James Beattie after their injury problems of last year have strengthened the squad. I totally agree we need a few more players, but let's not do a Southampton and get in a huge list of useless players. If we haven't made progress by the end of the trade period then we might moan - but until then trust in the Moyes-iah.
Harry Southern (via e-mail)
Gazumped again
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE football can't be as much of a lure as people think; at the end of the day money talks. I still think we should go for Keiron Richardson and Matthew Upson, then pick up a centre forward. Either Louis Saha on loan or any from Robbie Keane, Dean Ashton and Andy Johnson. Hopefully any signings can be tied up before we get gazumped again.
Barry Peters, Widnes
Loose talk
I DO wish there where more tight lips around Goodison Park about players we want to buy, but I suppose their agents open their mouths and that is what scuppers the deals in most cases. We want players who want to come to Everton, not the ones hanging out for what they think will be a better deal.
Kevin Norbury (via e-mail)
Goal concern
WE certainly need additional strength in the back division, but my main concern is whether Everton will be able to score enough goals. I do not believe that any team will be able to achieve a repeat of Everton's relative success last season by scoring so few and letting so many in. I do hope Everton will not be fighting for survival for I would hate to see David Moyes having to relinquish his managership. Seal a deal with Mikel Arteta, Andy Johnson and two skilful full backs immediately.
Roger Jones, North Wales

Blues in search for new left-back
Jul 12 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON have a three-week deadline to land a left-back - or risk kicking-off their Champions League campaign with either Kevin Kilbane playing out of position, or an untried youngster. The Blues have received the latest in a line of crushing transfer blows when Valencia decided not to sell full-back Emil-iano Moretti, because of an injury to another player. With Gary Naysmith currently recovering from injury and Alessandro Pistone out of contract and seemingly bound for Lecce, the Blues do not have a fit, experienced left-back in their squad. Kilbane started Sunday's friendly match against FC Gamlitz in that position, while teenager Lawrence Wilson came on later in the match. The deadline for signings to be eligible for the qualifying round of the Champions League is midnight on August 4. The deadline for the tournament proper is September 1. Boss David Moyes confirmed this morning the Blues were currently not in negotiations with a view to any imminent transfer deals - but that he still wanted reinforcements in several positions. Left-back is now likely to become a priority, with midfield and striking options also necessary. Crystal Palace striker Andy Johnson has now come under David Moyes' microscope, but the Blues boss believes Palace's likely £7m fee significantly over-prices a player who has only enjoyed one prolific season in the Premiership. The Blues were back at Bellefield today following a successful six-day training camp in Austria. They have been joined by defender Joseph Yobo and player of the season Tim Cahill, who were both handed extended breaks following lengthy international commitments at the end of the season. The Blues go to Motherwell on Saturday, before jetting off to Bangkok on Sunday to take part in the Asia Cup competition.

Benitez the factor in Sissoko move
Jul 12 2005 By Chris Bascombe, Liverpool Echo
MOHAMED SISSOKO today revealed the prospect of teaming up once again with Rafael Benitez helped persuade him to turn down Everton. The Mali midfielder is expected to finalise his move to Anfield in the next few days after completing his medical. Everton thought they had secured a deal to take the 20-year-old to Goodison but Sissoko, who played under Benitez at Valencia, says that once Liverpool entered the race it was an easy decision to make. He said: "I understand that the Everton fans are angry but I am going to be happier at Liverpool. I'm sure they will give me a hard time in the derby match. "I appreciated the Everton offer but I was not convinced about everything.
"And when Rafa Benitez appeared, it made my mind up. I could never turn this offer down. If Rafa was not Liverpool boss it might have been different."

Win Everton Three of the Best DVD
Jul 12 2005
IN A season that has seen the Blues's Champions League dream become reality, three unforgettable home wins stand out head and shoulders above the rest in an outstanding season. Experience this hat-trick of the most awe-inspiring victories that all Evertonians will never forget in a new DVD - and here is your chance to win one of 10 copies!
Everton v Liverpool - FA Barclays Premiership Saturday 11th December 2004
A record-breaking crowd at Goodison witnessed the blues triumph 1-0 over their fiercest rivals Liverpool in the 200th Merseyside Derby. Lee Carsley is the name that will go down in History as the match Winner, but in truth, the entire team did Evertonians all over the world proud.
Everton v Manchester United - FA Barclays Premiership Wednesday April 20th 2005
David Moyes's side proved they were up where they belong as Duncan Ferguson scored a fantastic goal to send everyone inside the ground into blue heaven. This was one of THE big nights at Goodison park and the three points took Everton one step closer to the promised land.
Everton v Newcastle - FA Barclays Premiership Saturday 7th May 2005
The win that guaranteed fourth place in the Premiership and with it a place amongst Europe's elite in the Champions League. A goal in each half from both David Weir and Tim Cahill secured the vital three points and ended a perfect season in style, as all Evertonians left Goodison Park singing "Champions league were having a laugh!"
Everton Three Of The Best is available from the Club Megastore from 2nd July and all good retailers from 11th July priced at £15.99 on DVD

Everton DVD winners
Jul 12 2005
HERE are the lucky winners of our recent competition to win a copy of the 2004/05 season review DVD, "Champions League: We're Havin' a Laugh!". They all correctly answered that Everton finished in fourth place in the Premiership: Jim Rudge, L31; Mark Orford, L14; Mark Jacobs, Wigan; John McNeill, L18; Paul Stevenson, Munich; Luke Dunford, London; Mr P Jones, L31; John McGrath, L12; Andy Roberts, Flintshire; Frank Linford, Ellesmere Port. Everton Season Review 2004/05 is available from the Club Megastore from and all good retailers priced at £15.99 on DVD. Running time 126 minutes approx.

Martyn tipped to thrive on young competition
By Paul Walker, Daily Post
Jul 13 2005
EVERTON expect veteran goalkeeper Nigel Martyn to benefit from the challenge to his place from a clutch of young pretenders. Manager David Moyes has two young goalkeepers eager for a first-team chance, while Richard Wright - 27 and eager to revive his England chances - poses the most immediate threat to Martyn's first-team spot. The 38-year-old Martyn starts the campaign as first choice but faces competition from England Under-19 star John Ruddy and Scotland Under-21 keeper Iain Turner. Ruddy is 18 and Turner 21. Everton hope for a heavy workload this season, with Champions League commitments on top of their domestic schedule, but goalkeeping coach Chris Woods - the former England number one - expects Martyn to be able to cope. "I don't think Nigel has lost anything despite his ageing years," said Woods. "With all the young lads I think it's pushing him on even more. I think he's improved unbelievably since he's come here." Martyn joined from Leeds two years ago, and his form since arriving at Goodison Park has been a significant factor in Everton's improvement, leading to last season's notable fourth-placed finish. "Consistently over the season he was one of the top two or three keepers," said Woods.. "There's a great spirit amongst the keepers despite the fact that only one of them can get in. I think we're very lucky with the goalkeepers we've got, and the personalities." Ruddy and Turner are for the future, while for Wright and Martyn the immediate focus is on the senior side. "They've known each other for a while, they get on really well together and realise that there's only one position," said Woods. "There's a bit of banter where one might say: 'I hope you're not doing too well', or 'I hope you drop this one'.
"I think they mean well to each other but I suppose they've got to be selfish as well because there's only one person who can play." While manager Moyes has good choice in the goalkeeping department, he has experienced a tough summer in the transfer market. In recent weeks Scott Parker, Craig Bellamy, Mohamed Sissoko and now Turkish international Emre have been targeted but opted to go elsewhere. Now Valencia have decided not to sell fullback Emiliano Moretti because of injuries in their squad. It means Moyes, who has lost Alessandro Pistone on a free transfer and has Gary Nay-smith injured, is struggling for a left-back as the season approaches. Everton face Mother-well on Saturday and travel to Thailand on Sunday for the Asia Cup, before facing Fenerbahce on July 30 in the Ataturk Stadium. Their only home friendly will be on August 3 against Udinese. Moyes insists the club are not in transfer negotiations over any player, but he will need to solve the left-back problem and used midfielder Kevin Kilbane there in last weekend's friendly against Gamlitz in Austria. The deadline for signings to be eligible for the third qualifying round of the Champions League is midnight on August 4. The deadline for the tournament proper is September 1.

Wigan expected to snap up Goodison target Taylor
By Nick Hilton, Daily Post
Jul 13 2005
TRANMERE full-back Ryan Taylor is expected to sign a long contract with Wigan Athletic today.
Tranmere manager Brian Little says he is 99 per cent sure a transfer agreement with the newly promoted Premiership club will go through following hours of negotiations yesterday. Little was not in a position to put a price on the deal but a fee worth around £1m, rising to £1.25m, could be changing hands. Wigan manager Paul Jewell made his move after Tranmere rejected an offer from Everton believed to be in the region of £500,000 for the 21-year-old prospect. Norwich City have also been tracking Taylor's movements. The transfer of the most sought after player on Tranmere's books should release funds for Little to strengthen his squad for the forthcoming League One campaign - provided there are no last minute hitches over the deal today. But Little made it clear that he does not expect to spend any transfer proceeds on transfer fees. Any new arrivals at Prenton Park will be free transfers. Little said: "The deal is 99 per cent of the way there. I think there was a little hitch along the way but I'm expecting things to go ahead. "It's a shame it wasn't done one hundred per cent but if it all goes through then we wish Ryan well. It's not for me to announce what the fee might be but it's acceptable to both parties." Little added he would "be very surprised", if he was not given some funds to strengthen the squad provided the deal goes through. He added: "I may be able to get one or two more people in but we won't be spending money in terms of transfer fees."

Blues agree deal for Arteta
Jul 13 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON have finally agreed terms for Mikel Arteta's permanent transfer from Real Sociedad.
The Blues have been haggling over a deal for the Spanish midfielder since he enjoyed a successful loan spell at Goodison last term. But both parties finally reached agreement last night and a deal is expected to be announced in the next 24 hours. The Blues will pay around £2.6m to Sociedad for a midfielder who made a significant impact during his period on-loan last season. It will also provide a much needed boost to the Blues squad numbers, with left winger Kevin Kilbane currently bracing himself for a stint as an emergency left-back. Everton are short of options in that position, with Gary Naysmith recovering from injury, Alessandro Pistone having rejected the club's contract offer and the move for Valencia's Emiliano Moretti breaking down. Blues boss David Moyes has conceded that it may take time to attract more new faces - certainly before the Champions League deadline of August 4 - but says he has the personnel to cope. "Left-back is a problem at the moment," he admitted "but Kevin can play there and we do have one or two other options." They could include Tony Hibbert switching flanks or giving youngsters like Lawrence Wilson more senior exposure.
The Blues' boss is anticipating more signings, although not imminently, but has welcomed Chinese international midfielder Li Tie back into the first team fold following long-term injury. Tie played his first senior match for 18 months in Austria on Sunday and said afterwards: "I was happy with my performance in the first half and during half-time the manager walked up to me and asked if was okay to play more. I told him that I definitely was. "I've finally finished my first match. I am so happy. It has been really tough for me over the last 17 months. I think I'm now starting to get there. The match was my first match after getting injured in February 2004 and it is a special match for me.
"I know there's still a long way to go, but this match was just the very first step on the road." David Moyes, meanwhile, has dismissed links with Czech international striker Marek Heinz. Everton's pre-season friendly against Fenerbahce, meanwhile, will take place in the stadium where Liverpool claimed the European Cup in May. With building work taking place at the Turkish champions' Sukru Saracoglu ground, the 80,000 capacity Ataturk Stadium will be used on Saturday, July 30 for Everton's visit.

Kilbane set for new role as Blues shuffle pack
Jul 13 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
KEVIN KILBANE is bracing himself for a stint as an emergency left-back. Everton are short of options in that position, with Gary Naysmith recovering from injury, Alessandro Pistone having rejected the club's contract offer and the move for Valencia's Emiliano Moretti breaking down. Blues boss David Moyes has conceded that it may take time to attract more new faces - certainly before the Champions League deadline of August 4 - but says he has the personnel to cope. "Left-back is a problem at the moment," he admitted "but Kevin can play there and we do have one or two other options." They could include Tony Hibbert switching flanks or giving youngsters like Lawrence Wilson more senior exposure. The Blues boss is anticipating more signings, although not imminently, but has welcomed Chinese international midfielder Li Tie back into the first team fold following long-term injury. Tie played his first senior match for 18 months in Austria on Sunday and said afterwards: "I was happy with my performance in the first half and during half-time the manager walked up to me and asked if I was okay to play more. I told him that I definitely was.
"I've finally finished my first match. I am so happy. It has been really tough for me over the last 17 months. I think I'm now starting to get there. The match was my first after getting injured in February 2004 and it is a special match for me. "I know there's still a long way to go, but this match was just the very first step on the road." David Moyes, meanwhile, has dismissed links with Czech international striker Marek Heinz. Everton's pre-season friendly against Fenerbahce, meanwhile, will take place in the stadium where Liverpool claimed the European Cup in May. With building work taking place at the Turkish champions' Sukru Sara-coglu ground, the 80,000 capacity Ataturk Stadium will be used on Saturday, July 30 for Everton's visit.

Dithering has cost us
Jul 13 2005 Echo Letters, icLiverpool & Liverpool Echo
Dithering has cost us
DAVID Moyes bemoans the difficulties of playing the transfer market, but the problems we are experiencing come from the manager's dithering. Just make up your mind and then go after the target with the intention of signing him. Sissoko is going to be one of the greats and every time you watch him, you will know he's wearing red because you messed around. You are a great manager and motivator, but poor at recruiting players - get someone with experience to help you before you blow your credibility.
Laurie Giles, Everton
Blues must spend big
I'M not a doom and gloom merchant, and like all true Evertonians I was delighted with our performance last season. However, I feel it was a complete waste of time unless we urgently examine our transfer policy. For a start we need to keep our mouths shut about prospective signings until they are signed. We also need to start splashing the cash urgently on at least six quality players. If we don't then it could be a very long season.
Ben Howarth, Fazakerley
More class is required
I THINK it's obvious from last season that we are crying out for some flair in the team. With Arteta seemingly gone, we've got nobody who can play with the ball. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the work ethic of last season, but Nil Satis Nisi Optimum! I want to hand over my money to see a left winger turning on the style and nutmegging Gary Neville. How many times were you frustrated with watching long balls fly nowhere near Bent's head last season?
Ian Proudlock, London
We need to keep cool
WILL everyone stop panicking and moaning. We have just had our best season league wise for 16 years so don't start being unrealistic about who we should buy. We missed out on Parker because he wanted more money and as for Bellamy he is an idiot are these really the type of players we want?
Sissoko, who is he? Has anyone seen him play? So why let it bother you that they signed him? History tells me that signings they make ahead of us tend to backfire, Collymore? We must consolidate this season and not bankrupt ourselves on the back of one good season.
Tony Williams, Ellesmere Port
Moyes stick is rubbish
ARE Everton 'fans' actually turning against Moyes? What's all this rubbish about him dithering?
Forsell fails a medical, Parker and Emre chase money, while Sissoko wants to play for his former boss. Moyes has not dithered so back off and get behind the team. Any other man in charge and we'd be 'looking forward' to avoiding relegation. Instead, we're in the Champions League.
Steve Roberts, Kirkdale
Get Arteta back again
I DON'T understand this Arteta business. If you can't buy him, why not just take him on loan again?
Kieran Richardson would be good for Everton, so would a good left-back like Quedrue from Boro or Bernard from Saints.
Jonny Maher, Liverpool

Arteta to join Everton after lowering pay demands
By Paul Walker Daily Post Correspondent
Jul 14 2005
MIKEL ARTETA is set to finally become an Everton player after reducing his wage demands.
His current club Real Sociedad have compromised on the original fee of £2.8million to allow the deal to go through and the former Barcelona youngster will sign as soon as he completes a medical.
The Basque club have financial problems and ever since Arteta's six-month loan spell at Goodison Park finished at the end of the season, Sociedad have been keen to sell the competitive midfielder who made a major impact as Everton qualified for the Champions League. But because Arteta, 23, was demanding around £33,000 a week, Everton have been stalling on the deal. However, Sociedad are believed now to have agreed to sell for around £2.2m while Arteta's cash demands have dropped below £30,000 a week, allowing Everton some flexibility on the package. It is believed Sociedad were never the obstacle, with the former La Liga runners-up willing to negotiate, but Arteta's demands prevented a deal being done. Arteta is now due back on Merseyside for a medical, which will ease manager David Moyes's problems in the transfer market. The former Rangers star could well be signed in time to join the squad for Saturday's friendly at Motherwell and is also likely to be on the plane on Sunday when Everton set off for Thailand and the Asia Cup.
Sociedad announced the breakthrough in the negotiations with a statement that said: "Talks between Real Sociedad and Everton for the transfer of Arteta are very advanced and we can say that the agreement will be reached in the next few hours. "Everton have asked the player to travel as soon as possible to Liverpool to pass his medical in order to conclude the transfer. Real Sociedad have accepted that and Arteta will not travel to Korea with the rest of his team-mates for the summer tour." Over recent weeks Moyes has lost out on Scott Parker, Craig Bellamy, new Liverpool signing Mohamed Sissoko as well as Turkish midfielder Emre, who is joining Newcastle. So finally completing the Arteta deal will be a weight off Moyes's mind. Everton officials hope the deal for Arteta will go through in the next 48 hours. Chief executive Keith Wyness said: "Talks with both Real Sociedad and Mikel Arteta have gone well and are continuing. "We are hopeful of reaching a satisfactory conclusion within the next 48 hours or so."

Moyes refuses to bend
Jul 14 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES will refuse to bend his financial principles - even if it means he must use the players who carried Everton to the fringe of the Champions League, to push them over the line into the lucrative group stages. The Blues have added just two new faces to their first team squad since finishing fourth last season - midfielder Simon Davies and defender Per Kroldrup. And Moyes has warned it will be difficult to add any more before the decisive Champions League qualifiers in August. "We will be making signings - but the group of players we have at the moment will be the group we are looking to get right for the Champions League games," he said. "It would be very difficult for players to come in now and settle in time for the qualifiers. "We are looking, but there's not much about at the moment. I won't bring in mediocrity. Unless the players we are buying are better than we already have here, what's the point of bringing them in?" Moyes also explained that he would refuse to change his self-imposed financial restrictions. The Blues' boss has steadfastly refused to stretch on his own financial limits - and as a result has seen Scott Parker, Emre Belozoglu, Mohamed Sissoko and Ryan Taylor all move elsewhere, while he decided against a move for Craig Bellamy after meeting with the player. "Everton haven't been in the top 10 for a long time and we need seasons like that regularly if we are going to compete for the top players," he explained.
One player the Blues have landed, however, is Mikel Arteta - finally set to become an Everton player after reducing his wage demands. Real Sociedad have compromised on the original fee of £2.8million to allow the deal to go through and Arteta will sign as soon as he completes a medical.
The former Rangers star could well be signed in time to join the squad for Saturday's friendly at Motherwell and is also likely to be on the plane on Sunday when Everton set off for Thailand and the Asia Cup. Meanwhile, Everton have denied that they have made an offer to Brazilian midfielder Anderson Silva da Franca.

Sissoko: Why It had to be Reds
Jul 14 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
LIVERPOOL'S new £5.6 million capture Momo Sissoko today admitted that he came within a whisker of signing for rivals Everton - and paid tribute to Rafael Benitez for changing his mind. The Mali international, who was unveiled at Melwood today, said: "It was close, but I opted to sign for Liverpool. "It was a decision I made on my own and I believe it was the right decision. "The motivation for me was the manager. He was the manager who got me into the first division in Spain and I have great respect for him. "The motivation to join Liverpool came from him. I appreciate the way he works, the motivation he has and the ambition he has." Sissoko, 20, admitted he expects an uncomfortable reception from disappointed Everton supporters in the city. "I am sure it's going to be tricky," he said. "But for me that's not really a problem. I am a Red man and I am happy. "I am here to learn from the players who are already here, like Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso. "I was at the match last night and I was pleased with what I saw. The team played well, passed the ball well - and as for Steven Gerrard, he's a great player."

Blues bid for haul of fame
Jul 14 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON Football Club has joined forces with the grandson of the club's most famous chairman - to try to secure the future of the most historically significant collection of football artefacts ever assembled. A charitable trust was launched at Goodison Park today - by Blues' chief executive Keith Wyness, former director Lord Grantchester and true blue PR guru Tony Tighe - with the aim of securing the unique David France Collection. The Blues have pledged £250,000, while Lord Grantchester has donated £100,000 towards the total cost of £800,000. The remarkable collection has been described by Graham Budd of Sotheby's as having "no match anywhere in the football world. It's a unique record of Everton's history - possibly a history unparalleled by any other club."
Grant MacDougall of Christies added: "It is the most comprehensive collection of memorabilia I've had the good fortune to catalogue. The collection consists of unique medals, contracts, international caps and jerseys, rare programmes, official club ledgers, cigarette cards, Victorian season tickets and even tender documents for the construction of the original Anfield Stadium.
The collection has been conservatively valued at £1.2m. But owner Dr David France is keen for his life's work to go on public display on Merseyside. Established by trustees, Lord Grantchester, grandson of former Everton chairman Sir John Moores; Keith Wyness, chief executive of Everton FC and another True Blue Evertonian, Tony Tighe, the Everton Collection Charitable Trust aims to secure the collection for future generations. The Trust is launching an appeal to generate the funds required to acquire the collection, including several fundraising initiatives that will be run over the summer and the start of the 2005/2006 football season. Lord Grantchester, who first brokered the deal with David France, commented: "This really is a once in a lifetime opportunity to secure a unique and fundamental collection of memorabilia, which will educate and preserve the history of Everton so that it is accessible for generations to come. "If we are successful in our appeal The Everton Collection will be owned by Evertonians and the people who contribute to this worthwhile charity." It is intended that The Everton Collection will be housed in the Liverpool Record Office where it will be available for public research and that working in partnership with the record office, National Museums Liverpool will regularly select items from the collection to feature in their rolling programme of exhibitions and displays. Liverpool Record Office aims to collect archives and local studies materials which are of relevance to and reflect the history of the whole community, to store, preserve and conserve these for present and future generations, and to ensure the widest possible awareness and use of the archives. National Museums Liverpool is England's only national collection based outside London. By the terms of this special partnership The Everton Collection would be on loan to these major public institutions in order to unlock additional resources and to ensure greater public access to the Collection. Lord Grantchester added: "Our partnership with the Liverpool Record Office and National Museums Liverpool is the perfect solution to our desire to preserve the collection and allow Evertonians, football fans and the people of Merseyside and beyond to be educated on Everton FC's history and relevance to the community over the last 127 years!"
Star exhibits of the David France collection
1) The two volumes of Everton ledgers that deal with the split of 1892 which created a new football club . . . Liverpool. The collection contains 29 volumes, covering the period from October 1887 to May 1964, which chronicle all the weekly scheduled and emergency meetings of the early management committee and the later board of directors.
2) The itinerary from the first overseas tour in 1905 to Austria and Hungary. It took three weeks by sea, train and horse and cart!
3) 1888-89 volume of bound programmes, which span the first year of the Football League. Everton was the first club to distribute programmes detailing team line-ups. The collection includes around 6,065 programmes covering games between 1886 and 2001 - plus the earliest one for Everton v Newton Heath (later to become Manchester United).
4) The 1886 tender for the building of Anfield detailing all the specifications including those for the stand and fence. The tender includes costs of £74.50 for the grandstand and £34.62 for the fencing, which was later reduced to £34.30.
5) A pre-league letter from Aston Villa inviting Everton to play at their ground - handwritten by Villa's secretary.
6) Season tickets from Stanley Park, Priory Road and Goodison Park. The earliest known season ticket in the collection is from 1881/82. The collection includes a consecutive run of 11 season tickets/members' cards from 1881 to 1892 and features 1883/ 84, the first season at Anfield, 1888/89 the inaugural League campaign and 1890/91, the first championship-winning season.
7) The earliest known photo of Everton, taken in 1881, a short time after St Domingo's changed their name to Everton.
8) Dixie Dean's first medals from the Blackpool Hospital Cup, and his last medals from the Central League - when he had been dropped to the reserves. There are 40 medals covering major competitions won by Everton between 1890 and 1985.
9) The first League Champion-ship medal. In 1891 the Football League did not make awards to players, so Everton produced the original medals. The medals, each shaped like an eight-point star, feature a gold liver bird inset and cost £2.60.
10) The letter relating to the signing of Alex Young and George Thompson from Hearts.
Dr David France
Dr France is a passionate Evertonian and the enthusiastic founder of the Everton Former-Players' Foundation. Now relocated to Vancouver, Canada, David was born and raised in Widnes and during a lifetime following Everton home and away, started to compile his vast collection in 1977.
Although based in the States, David travelled to auctions across the UK in search of the more elusive items and, as a consequence, spent a small fortune. It has taken 25 years for David to assemble the collection. David is a Chemical Engineer, qualified accountant, and holder of a Masters Degree, PhD and an MBA.

Everton set to reward Cahill with new deal
By David Prior Daily Post Staff
Jul 15 2005
EVERTON look set to reward Tim Cahill for his influential first season at Goodison by offering the Australian a bumper new deal. The 25-year-old cost just £1.5million when he signed from Millwall last summer but coped outstandingly with the step up to the Premiership. Cahill's incisive attacking play and eye for goal established him as a regular in David Moyes's side as Everton mounted their surprise turnaround in league fortunes. And now club officials are looking to tie the Sydney-born midfielder - whose current deal expires in 2008 - to an improved contract that will substantially increase his £17,000-a-week package. Chief executive Keith Wyness yesterday confirmed that the club were considering "several" different packages by way of reward for Cahill, whose 12 goals from mid-field made him Goodison's leading marksman last season. Everton also hope to conclude contract negotiations with two more stars of the 2004-05 campaign, Tony Hibbert and Lee Carsley. Both players' represenatives are in talks with the club, and Wyness dismissed claims defender Hibbert had rejected Everton's first offer. "We're still in dicussions," said Wyness. "There's nothing rejected and we've been talking quite amicably." Wyness also sought to allay supporters' fears over the lack of progress made by the club in the transfer market this summer. Despite their lucrative qualifi-cation for the Champions League, only Tottenham's Simon Davies and Udinese's Per Kroldrup have moved to Merseyside so far, while three players - Steve Watson,, Alessandro Pistone and Alan Stubbs - have either gone or are going. Further approaches for Scott Parker, Craig Bellamy, Emre, Momo Sissoko and Ryan Taylor have been unsuccessful, but Wyness insisted a rigid pay ceiling was not to blame, as has been suggested by some. "That's a myth," he said. "We have our own valuation that is not constrained by any artificial ceiling. "In certain cases our valuation was more than what some people considered to be our artificial ceiling. It revolves around what we believe is a fair value for the player. "We understand that we're going to have to go up to bigger numbers for certain players and we've no problem in doing that, as long as it matches our valuation. "People have said 35 grand or 40 grand, but there is no number that we adhere to and are religiously sticking to. If our valuation doesn't match what the player wants, we're not going to pay him."
Wyness blamed the increased influence of agents and an increasingly crowded marketplace for Everton's poor fortune. "It's been slower than we'd expected and hoped for," he added. "We're supporting the manager as much as we can but things sometimes don't materialise as you'd wish to.
"It's been a very difficult window. More than ever I'd seen the power of agents than ever before, in both a negative and positive way. They're playing a more pivotal role in transfers than ever before. We're just got to adjust to it and handle it. "There are so many different things that go on in terms of these deals and sometimes you have to accept that it happens. There's more clubs competing for the top players now, and we always knew we were going to be in a very competitive environment.
"Certainly the Champions League gave us an edge but only a slight edge. It's no doubt a tick in a box that a lot of clubs don't have, but it was never going to be a deciding factor." He added: "There is still plenty of time left in terms of the league season. You hope'd over the next week or two things will really start to move." Manager Moyes, who takes his squad to Scotland this weekend to face Motherwell before Sunday's flight to Thailand for the Asia Cup, is refusing to panic despite his side's lack of resources. He said: "We will be making signings, but the group of players we have at the moment will be the group we are looking to get right for the Champions League games. "It would be very difficult for players to come in now and settle in time for the qualifiers. "We are looking, but there's not much about at the moment. I won't bring in mediocrity. Unless the players we are buying are better than we already have here, what's the point of bringing them in?" One who will join before the weekend is midfielder Mikel Arteta, who had a medical yesterday afternoon and is expected to complete his £2.2million move from Real Sociedad.

There's no need to panic - Reid
By Richard Williamson Daily Post Sport Editor
Jul 15 2005
PETER REID sat in the stands at Goodison Park yesterday looking out over the pitch he graced with such distinction - and reflected on the club's past, present and future. The dynamic midfielder, such an influential figure on the trophy-winning years of the 1980s, was back on his old stamping ground to mark the launch of a new charitable trust that has been formed with the intention of buying a unique collection of Everton memorabilia. Evertonian Dr David France amassed a staggering 10,000 pieces that reflect the club's unique history and the Everton Collection Charitable Trust will now endeavour to raise the funds needed to bring it permanently to the city. It is a move that has been welcomed by Reid, who said: "Everton is a club with such tradition, stretching right back to 1888 as one of the found-ers of the Football League, while the number of years the club has spent in the top flight reflects its signficance to the game. It has been described as the People's Club, and rightly so. But then it always has been." Everton's story may stretch over more than 125 years, but the former England international believes the club is facing one of the most pivotal matches in its history in the coming weeks. The sustained efforts of David Moyes and his players last season were rewarded with fourth place in the Premiership, and with it the club's first appearance in the Champions League.
Success in the third qualifying round in August will open the door to the riches of the group stages, an opportunity Reid believes they cannot afford to let slip. "Those European ties will be the biggest in the club's history because it is so important to the continued progress of the club that they win and climb into the group stages," he said. "Everyone has celebrated the fact that David Moyes and his players had a fantastic season last year. "But they all know the hard work starts now to build on what they have achieved. Being involved with the great names that play in the group stages would be marvellous for the club, while the financial impact would also be important. "Football is a great sport, but we know it is a business as well. And to play at the highest level you need to have the finances to bring in the best players." Moyes has been working hard this summer to do just that, but at the moment the number of targets secured for the new season is outweighed by the ones that got away. Added Reid: "Obviously Evertonians are going to be concerned, as would anyone who wants the club to do well, and disappointed that there are not more new faces yet. But on the positive side Simon Davies is a useful acquisition and Mikel Arteta's decision to stay is important for the team. "There is the prospect of a lot more big games for Everton this season and I am sure David knows the areas he would like to strengthen his squad in. But there is no need to panic.
"I know as a former manager that there are times when you are under pressure to do something in the transfer market, but you have got to be careful not to bring in the wrong players just for the sake of it. "It is important you stick to your list of targets and keep to your transfer policy and I am sure David is working on bringing in the kind of quality he wants. Everton have shown a tremendous team spirit that keeps them going and David will want to keep that intact. "I would like to see another striker in the squad. Everton have shown they are capable of scoring goals from around the pitch, with the likes of Tim Cahill and Leon Osman chipping in, but a player who can contribute 20 goals a season up front will make a big difference." Reid believes Everton have done a good bit of business in persuading Arteta to lower his wage demands so he can complete his move from Real Sociedad after an impressive spell on loan at Goodison. "I watched him against Manchester United in the cup and thought the game was a bit quick for him," recalled Reid. "But he picked up his pace as he adjusted to the Premier-ship and looks a decent footballer who gives Everton creative options." Everton's bow in the Champions League was achieved after they emerged from a tumultuous summer, which saw boardroom wrangling and the sale of teenage sensation Wayne Rooney. But Reid believes the sale of the Croxteth youngster was in the best interests of all concerned. "It was something that had to happen for all parties involved," he said.. "Wayne Rooney is a fantastic footballer, one of the best of all time. He may now ply his trade elsewhere, but he is still an Evertonian at heart. "When you are the best footballer at a club - and that is with no disrespect to anyone at Everton - there is a lot of pressure on. And when things were not going right I think Wayne got frustrated. He is now playing with even more internationals around him and we saw how it helped him last year. "But David Moyes, his staff and players did a fantastic job last season. For us to be talking about Champions League football is a tribute to those efforts." And the prospect of a return of great European nights to Goodison Park leads Reid to reflect on a memorable night from the past, when a rampant Everton beat Bayern Munich on the way to winning the Cup Winner's Cup final in 1985. Looking round the ground, he spies St Luke's church through the gap between the stands in the corner away to his left. "There were people watching from there," he recalled.. "In terms of atmosphere I have known nothing like it. I have played in World Cups and in big international matches, but nothing compares to Goodison in full swing on a night like that."

Trust aims to give France's unique collection a permanent home in the the city
By Richard Williamson, Daily Post
Jul 15 2005
EVERTON hope to be able to leave a legacy for the future - from the depths of their past. In a period spanning more than 25 years, Evertonian Dr David France has assembled a remarkable collection of 10,000 pieces linked to the club's history. Ranging from letters to medals, programmes to photo-graphs, Dr France's endeavours have been rewarded with a tangible chronicle of the history of the club from the days before the split with Anfield to the modern era. Now the Everton Collection Charitable Trust has been launched to buy the unique memorabilia and give it a permanent home in the city. The target is to raise £800,000 by the autumn to secure the collection. Everton have started the ball rolling with a donation of £250,000 while former club director Lord Grantchester has contributed £100,000. Now trustees of the Trust are looking to raise the rest of the money in a variety of ways, including support from the business community, a collection at the opening home Premiership game against Manchester United and a dinner. The intention is to house the collection in a number of different places in Liverpool - and to make it as accessible as possible to those who want to see its contents - while adding Everton's existing momentoes will result in around 15,000 pieces being available for display. Discussions are taking place with both the Liverpool Record Office and National Museums Liverpool for the storage, maintenance and display of the collection, which has been valued at around £1.2million. Lifelong Evertonian Tony Tighe, one of the trustees alongside Lord Grantchester, grandson of former Everton chairman Sir John Moores, and Keith Wyness, the club's chief executive, said: "We are hoping to use the expertise of the Records Office in looking after these kinds of archives while the museum's knowledge in displaying material should allow us to ensure that the maximum number of people get to share in this collection. "We hope to use it for educational purposes and give people the chance to make the most of it. This is a club of many firsts, from underground soil heating to shirts with numbers on their back, and we want people to be able to share in that." Lord Grantchester added: "We do not want to the collection to be lost to us or broken up. "We also believe that it should not be locked away, never to be seen again, but with our partners to make it available as possible." Dr France, founder of the Everton Former Player's Foundation, has picked out a number of his own favourites from the collection, which were highlighted at yesterday's launch. These range from the club ledgers that cover the years from October 1887 to May 1964, the intinerary from the first overseas tour in 1905, the 1886 tender for the building of Anfield, a first team photo from 1881, Dixie Dean's medals and the oldest player's professional contract from 1890. Donations can be made to the Everton Collection Appeal by calling 0871 789 6089.

Bring back Ball
Post Soapbox, icLiverpool & Daily Post
Jul 15 2005
Bring back Ball
I CAN'T believe some people are criticising David Moyes. How fickle can fans be? Under his management, we have finished seventh and fourth. Mikel Arteta is a quality signing and gives us a fantastic midfield in Tim Cahill, Arteta, Leon Osman, Kevin Kilbane, Lee Carsley and James McFadden. We just need to buy Michael Ball back from Rangers, and Andy Johnson from Palace.
Dave Smith, Runcorn
Go for Owen
EVERTON need to capture a class player to give us a boost for the new campaign. While probably a pipe-dream, Michael Owen must be worth pursuing. The guy's roots and family are in the area, he was a boyhood blue, and is not playing as often as he should in Spain. Liverpool have now got enough play-ers for two teams.
David Owens, Liverpool
Decision time
NO-ONE is questioning or accusing David Moyes of not doing a good job last year or putting us in a good position. What I do question is whether he will waste a once in 20 year opportunity to put Everton back on the map by missing out in the transfer market. We've got to take this opportunity in a decsivie manner.
Keith Brown (via e-mail)
Johnson fits bill
IF anyone had asked me a year ago how we would get on in the 2004-05 season, I - and most of you - would have said that Everton would do well just to stay in the League. Remember the Arsenal game when they played us off the park - loads of doom and gloom. We may have lost a couple of good players and Alessandro Pistone, but David Moyes has brought a couple of good ones in. There are some tremendous young players coming through the system so it's not all bad news. Okay, we need a left-back and a striker but there's still time to sort that out. I still think we should go for Andy Johnson.
Mark Bernard (via e-mail)
Bargain buys
WHY ON earth are some people having a go at Moyes? He might be a bit too cautious in the transfer market, but then again if you look at the players he's brought in for peanuts (Bent, Cahill, Martyn, Kil-bane) you realise he hasn't done so badly after all.
Henry Bishop (via e-mail)
Mikel magic
FINALLY we've got Mikel Arteta. Well done, Moyes. Best signing of the summer. Now let's go and land a decent left-back and a better left midfielder.
T Leybourne, Liverpool
Deal on cheap
THINK about it, Moyes has played a blinder by waiting to sign Arteta. He's got him for less money, paid two months less wages and has shown just who's the boss. Another thing, if we are struggling for defenders, surely we should be keeping Alan Stubbs for a year?
Paul Smith (via e-mail)
Beat Souness
WE had better get this David France collection bought quickly, before Graeme Souness decides he wants it.
Stan Thomas (via e-mail)
Rising stars
ARTETA'S a class signing. He is younger and better than Tommy Gravesen, who he has essentially replaced. We need reinforcements but not at any cost. I wish people would get off Moyes's back and try remembering when we'd pay over the top wages to falling stars like David Ginola! That now seems like a distant nightmare.
John McArdle, Liverpool

McFadden must keep to high road
By Mark O'Brien Everton supporter, Daily Post
Jul 15 2005
AFTER Everton's youngsters dismantled FC Gamlitz quicker than a bunch of hooded ASBO kids with a Nissan Micra, the Blues face a slightly sterner test tomorrow when they visit Motherwell.
For James McFadden it's an opportunity to revisit the ground where he is considered almost a living legend; the one where he built the glittering reputation that earned him his move to Everton.
Motherwell fans, who have fond memories of growing rat-tails at the back of their hair in honour of the Scottish international, are often mystified when, in response to their queries about their former idol's form, they get a lukewarm response from Evertonians. Most of them genuinely expected him to take the English Premiership by storm, but sadly that hasn't been the case. And while the rumours about McFadden being loaned out or part-exchanged, can probably be dismissed, the coming season represents make or break in terms of his Goodison career. Another player who has had less time to make an impact, but whose price tag means he will be under even more scrutiny is James Beattie. In TV montages of Premiership goals he features regularly in a Southampton shirt, smashing home all manner of screamers, but it's difficult to reconcile the free-scoring forward in those clips with the dejected looking figure who has struggled so mark-edly since his £6million move.
He has insisted that a lack of games and match fitness due to injury is to blame for his below-par performances, and David Moyes has agreed, but with a full pre-season under his belt he will have no excuses. Hopefully he will hit the ground running and start scoring goals, otherwise the doubts that were bubbling under at the end of last season will start to surface again. Every season is tough for Everton it seems, whether they're battling away at the top or the bottom, but with the added pressure of the European games, of which we hope there are many, there are going to be even greater demands than ever on the squad. Therefore a winger with magical skills and the ability to unlock stubborn defences would be invaluable, as would a 20-goal-a-season centre-forward for that matter. So, with new signings seemingly proving difficult to come by, it would be nice for us to discover that we already have both on our books.

Connah's Quay 0, Everton Res 3
Jul 15 2005 Liverpool Echo
A YOUNG Everton reserve team coasted to a comfortable 3-0 win at Connah's Quay Nomads last night. Icelandic midfielder Bjarni Vidarsson was on target, together with skipper Mark Hughes - while a triallist opened the scoring with the game only two minutes old. Ten of Nomads' starting XI had played against Tranmere Rovers just 24 hours earlier and the Welshmen were understandably tired, but it was still an effective run-out for the young Blues. There were also a couple of smart stops from Scottish under-21 goalkeeper Iain Turner.

Wright to turn up heat on Martyn
Jul 15 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
RICHARD WRIGHT will travel to Motherwell, aiming to pile the pressure on golden oldie goalie Nigel Martyn. Wright has suffered most from the wonderfully consistent form of the 38-year-old veteran - losing his place to the Cornishman and being limited to bit-part appearances over the past two seasons. But he warned today he is not ready to simply sit back and pick up his wages. "Some people say players are here for the money. That's definitely not me. I want to play football as simple as that," said Wright. "I've been playing regular football all my career so it's been frustrating not playing. "The pre-season friendlies probably have a little more significance for me because whenever you get in the team, especially myself, I have to make sure I try and do it, try and perform as best I can and try and give the manager a little bit of a headache. “The amount of games that we're going to be asked to play will give openings to other players . . . and I keep reminding Nigel Martyn that he's not getting any younger! "That does give me hope for the future, but if get that opportunity I have to make sure I take it. I had that opportunity last season and didn't take it well enough. I know what I can do and I believe in my ability. "When you go onto a pitch and you've been playing regularly you don't think as much about things. I just think I needed a few more games to settle down and start playing and enjoying my football." Another Evertonian desperate to play at Fir Park is former Motherwell striker James McFadden. The Scot has a slight knee strain, but is hoping to be fit enough to play. But boss David Moyes has moved to play down speculation linking McFadden with a permanent move to Rangers. Moyes said: "James is not a player we are interested in losing. "He has terrific ability. He knows and we know that we just need it to come to the fore more regularly." Mikel Arteta will undergo his medical today, but may not receive clearance in time to play at Motherwell. He is expected to travel with the squad to Thailand which leaves on Sunday.

Blues must bag group spot - Reid
Jul 15 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON legend Peter Reid believes next month's Champions League qualifiers will be the most critical matches in the club's history. Reid was keen to celebrate the club's past at yesterday's launch of the Everton Collection Charitable Trust, set up to raise the £800,000 it will take to buy Dr David France's collection of club memorabilia, but it is Everton's future that concerns him most.
With David Moyes having missed out on several transfer targets, Reid underlined the importance of boosting the current squad. He said: "The Champions League qualifier is the most important game in the club's history. It is, it really is --because that's what the game's about now. Win this tie and everything opens up for Everton. "It is worth so much money and we must get into the group stages. "That's why we need new players and that is why David Moyes is working so hard to get them here. "We've celebrated the fourth place which was a fantastic achievement, but as a football club from my point of view Everton have got to kick on." Reid has warned that the squad needs both greater quantity and quality. "I think David's done brilliantly," he added. "The only thing I would say is the further you go in Europe, the more games you have to play - and you don't need to be an Einstein to know you need to improve your squad. David Moyes knows that. "Like everybody, I read the papers and see that he has been trying to get certain players in but has been pipped at the post.
"But without telling David how to do his job, I've got to say that to play at this level, with the amount of games you have to play and the speed of the games, I think we all know that we need to improve.
"But it's got to be quality as well as quantity. There's no use getting a certain amount of quality in, getting injuries and then the lads who come in aren't good enough. "When I played the squads were smaller. Now, when you look at the likes of your Chelseas and Manchester Uniteds, even Liverpool over the road, you have more than two full teams in their squads. "That quality of player is very, very difficult to get. So David has a very hard job on his hands." Reid knows this summer's recruitment will play a significant role in Everton's efforts to stay in the top six on a year-in, year-out basis.
"Now David is trying to get to a different level and that is always the hardest thing," he said. "But that is part and parcel of the redevelopment of this club, we've been there in the past and we need to get there again."

Win tickets to Blues v United
Jul 15 2005 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON are launching a new fan membership scheme ahead of the club's most eagerly awaited Premiership season. The new 'Evertonia' scheme is for supporters of all ages and will replace ABlue and JBlue, which have run over the last three years. To mark the launch the ECHO has joined forces with the Blues to offer fans who express an interest in joining Evertonia via the ECHO before July 30, the chance to win tickets for the first game of the season against Manchester United - as well as the opportunity to join the players at the training ground. There are five pairs of tickets available to the winners selected from fans who register their intention to join Evertonia by returning the form below to: Everton Football Club Box Office, Goodison Park, Goodison Road, Liverpool. L4 4EL.
The Evertonia scheme will provide supporters with a chance to get match tickets before anybody else. Dawn Farrelly, Everton's Tickets and Membership Marketing coordinator, told the ECHO: "Evertonia offers essential benefits that we know fans want - like ticket priority. "It is now more crucial than ever to ensure fans get tickets for the home games, by becoming a member of Evertonia you will get two week ticket priority over non-members." Evertonia also offers members the chance to go to Everton Reserve and Everton Ladies home games for free. Full details about all the benefits of Evertonia are available on www.evertonfc.com/ Membership costs £19.99 for adults and £9.99 for juniors (under 16s).

Legends' support for Trust launch
Jul 15 2005 Liverpool Echo
PETER REID was one of a trio of Everton legends who returned to Goodison Park yesterday to attend the launch of the Everton Collection Charitable Trust. Howard Kendall and Brian Labone also lent their support to the launch of the Trust, which has been set up to try and secure the £800,000 funding necessary to buy the unique collection of artefacts, medals, letters and other ephemera surrounding the history of Everton Football Club. Christie's have conservatively valued the collection at £1.2m, but vendor, Dr David France, is an ardent Evertonian and wants the collection to remain on Merseyside for supporters to enjoy. "The sum that the trust has agreed represents a significant discount," said Blues' chief-executive Keith Wyness "given what we have seen in the market place recently. "The fans ask 'if you know your history' - and that would be a much more resonant boast if we could acquire this collection." Everton have contributed £250,000 towards the ultimate target, with former director Lord Grantchester donating £100,000. Lord Grantchester added: "This gives us an unrivalled opportunity to bring home Everton's past."
* To donate to the Everton Collection Appeal, call 0871 789 6089.

Duo want to be dressed to the nines
Jul 15 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
JAMES BEATTIE wants the number nine shirt at Everton . . . badly. But there's grim news for the Blues' new bleach blond. So does Duncan Ferguson. The scowling Scot already has Everton's most symbolically significant number etched on his arm - and wants the squad version on his back once again. But David Moyes had news for them both this week. When asked of his plans, he shrugged: "I haven't decided yet. I might give it to the new striker I bring in!" delivered with just enough of a twinkle to suggest he only might have been kidding. Perhaps he should throw down a pre-season challenge - whoever gets the most goals gets the jersey. Might liven up an otherwise mundane afternoon at Motherwell.
Rafa denies shady deal
EVERTONIANS irritated by Liverpool's capture of Mohammed Sissoko from under their noses, may be slightly reassured by comments alleged to have been made by Rafael Benitez when he originally brought Sissoko from Auxerre to Valencia. "I wanted furniture to build my team," he said "but all they bought me was the lamp shade." Benitez has since explained that it wasn't Sissoko he was referring to with his lamp-shade link. But he would say that, wouldn't he? Feel better now, Blues? No, didn't think so.
Blues should get Ball back
THINKING out loud time. Everton are desperate for a left-back before the Champions League qualifying round deadline of August 24. Glasgow Rangers have a full-back available - capped by England, who would cost nothing, and who loves Everton Football Club so much he once had the club crest mounted on the side of his house. And he's still only 25. Michael Ball for an Everton return anyone?

Stephen on the ball to launch Croxteth Country Fair
Jul 15 2005 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON disability footballer Stephen Carson will help launch Myerscough college Croxteth Country Fair this Sunday. Completing his National Diploma in Football Studies, Stephen has never let disability hamper his ambition to play football and has completed his Level One coaching badge.
As well as finding out about the college, visitors can enjoy landscaping, flower arranging, birds of prey, motor-sports and arboriculture displays and a children's funfair. The fair is 11am to 5pm. Admission to the park is free.

Arteta: I always wanted to stay
Jul 16 2005
By David Prior, Daily Post
MIKEL ARTETA insisted he never thought of leaving Goodison despite the lengthy saga that finally culminated with him signing a five-year deal yesterday. The 22-year-old has been locked in negotiations over his wage demands since Everton decided to seek a permanent agreement with the Spaniard after an impressive four-month spell on loan from Real Sociedad. Eventually, the La Liga club dropped their asking price from £2.8million to £2m, while Arteta lowered his weekly wage demands from £33,000 to around £27,000. The former Rangers midfielder, however, claimed he'd never been in any doubt about where his future should lie. "I am so delighted," said Arteta. "I have been waiting for nearly two months. There have been so much speculation about where I was going but my mind was always with Everton. "That is why I have been waiting and now I am so, so happy because this is what I wanted. I have signed for five years here and I want to help this team to grow, work very hard and do something very, very good next season." Arteta will go straight into the Merseysiders' squad for the Asia Cup in Thailand next week. He could also figure in the friendly at Motherwell today. He added: "I have signed for five years here and I want to help this team to grow, work very hard and do something very, very good next season. "We have got a very long season ahead and a very important one. I want to start working hard for the team. We are going to Thailand on Sunday and I just want to settle in quick. "Manchester United on the first day of the season is an extra motivation for us. The atmosphere is going to be unbelievable." He added: "I was very surprised by the club, the people and the fans when I came here. What we did last season was so very important."
* Tickets for the Everton v Udinese game on August 3, an Everton Former Players' Foundation Testimonial, will be available for £10 cash on the turnstile on the day. Lounge tickets (£30) are available by telephoning 0151 520 2362, 9am - 10pm with credit or debit card.

Agency calls for shared stadium
Jul 16 2005 By Larry Neild, Daily Post
THE region's leading regeneration executive last night called on Liverpool and Everton football clubs to build a joint stadium. Steve Broomhead, chief executive of the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), believes the debate should be re-kindled following a decision that public funds could not be used on a new ground for Liverpool FC. Following his comments, Everton FC's chief executive last night said he would be prepared to take part in fresh talks to explore the idea.
Liverpool have participated in previous talks, but the club has always maintained a view that a joint ground would not be supported. However, the spiralling cost of a new home at Stanley Park could force Liverpool to look again at its strategy. One source close to the debate said: "While the discussions about public funding have continued, the costs of a Liverpool ground have spiralled and possibly put a single-use ground out of reach. A lot of people were wondering how soon the shared-ground debate would reopen." Making his comments about a shared ground, Mr Broomhead said: "The principle of a shared ground is worthy of consideration. We have promoted such an idea for some time and the ball is firmly with the two clubs. We at the NWDA have made very clear our view on this issue. "I have also made it clear that the NWDA will not put any public funding into what would be a commercial scheme for Liverpool FC. "Our view has been that we will be considering grants for the regeneration of the Anfield and Breckfield area of Liverpool, but we are not going to pay towards what will be a private car park for the club." Mr Broomhead's new call comes after an influential property conference in Liverpool discussed the ambitious idea of a joint stadium on the waterfront at Central Docks. Mr Broomhead added: "The business case for a joint stadium is as clear as before and there is a lot of sense in the clubs sharing a ground. "The Anfield and Breckfield area needs to be regenerated and we are reaching make your mind up time." Liverpool's victory in the European Cup Final is likely to put the prospect of a joint ground even further off the radar map, with the club eager to reap the financial benefits of its winning streak in Europe. Everton fans are said to be split 50-50 on the question of a shared stadium. The biggest question will be the ownership arrangements should a joint stadium ever get off the starting block. Everton FC chief executive Keith Wyness said: "We will be happy to engage in a debate but a lot will depend on what level of funding is made available." Everton's view is that, to make a shared ground an attractive proposition, the public funding bodies, NWDA, the UK Government and European funding, would need to offer far more than the amounts suggested so far. Sums of between £60m and £100m would need to be put on the table. Mr Wyness added: "It seemed there was a drive by the Government to drive forward shared facilities, using Everton and Liverpool as an opening gambit on the debate. There seems to be little appetite around the country for a shared ground. You never hear of talk about, say Arsenal and Tottenham wanting to share a new ground. We would be the first of not many to go down this road." The big advantage of a new debate is that fans will have the prospect of a new ground shared by the clubs, or face the prospect of make-do and mend improvements to the existing grounds. Mr Broomhead added: "This does need to be seriously debated. I was speaking at a business event in Liverpool this week and, when I mentioned the need to look at the principle of a shared ground, there were many nods of approval. The business case is strong, but it is up to both clubs to decide. I would say, though, that we will not put public money into a wholly commercial operation such as a football club." Several weeks ago, the NWDA announced that public funding of around £22m for the club would not be forthcoming. Within days Merseyside Objective 1 Committee is expected to decide on whether it will pay £9m in European funding to Liverpool FC. Liverpool FC already has planning permission for a new stadium at Stanley Park. A revised plan would have to be submitted for a joint stadium. A spokesman for Liverpool FC said: "Our position remains unchanged."

McFadden is staying with us, insists defiant Moyes
Jul 16 2005 By Paul Walker Daily Post Correspondent
EVERTON manager David Moyes last night assured Scottish international James McFadden his future lies at Goodison Park. Moyes' men warm up for their Premier League Asia Cup trip to Thailand with a friendly at McFadden's former club Mother-well today. The 22-year-old, who has had a difficult time at Everton after his £1.25million move almost two years ago, will play at Fir Park after Moyes moved to end speculation from north of the border that McFadden could be a target of both Celtic and Rangers. "James is not a player we are interested in losing," said the Scot. "He has terrific ability. He knows and we know that we just need it to come to the fore more regularly." A succession of niggling injuries restricted the Scotland international to just 13 starts last season.
But he will be on the plane on tomorrow when Everton depart from Heathrow for next week's prestigious Cup tournament in the Far East. Their first match will be on Wednesday against a Thailand XI. Bolton face Manchester City in the other semi-final, with the final and third-place play-off next Saturday. Everton chief executive Keith Wyness cannot wait to witness the reception Everton will get in the Far East, where they are sponsored by Chang beer and have academy links.
Wyness said: "It's exciting going to Thailand for the Asia Cup, it gives us the chance to get used to the travelling that goes with football at the top level. "The flying, the hotels, the organisation. "The whole experience will give us a good idea of what it will be like when we start playing in the Champions League. "All that is an important part of modern football and going to the Far East will be invaluable experience for them all. "The lads, I'm sure, will be stunned by the level of support in Thailand for us and English football. "There's a huge level of interest in Everton.
"From the moment the players set foot off the plane to the moment they leave, they will be stunned by how they are received and how Everton is growing in support in Thailand. "We aim to make it a real blue country." Everton hope to have new signing Mikel Arteta on the flight to Bangkok.
The Spanish midfielder has had his medical after a £2.2million fee was agreed with Real Sociedad to make last season's loan spell permanent. They still need international clearance for Arteta and hope that will arrive before they leave on Sunday, but the player is still expected to travel with the squad and could well play in the tournament if clearance arrives later. The Merseysiders will unveil new signings Simon Davies and Per Kroldrup on the trip while they are still smarting over losing out on a succession of targets, the latest being new Liverpool capture Mohamed Sissoko, amid claims that the leaking of their interest prompted Reds boss Rafa Benitez to snatch the player from them. Wyness rejected such claims, adding: "We have tried to keep our targets under wraps, but in this industry there are so many people prepared to talk about deals there is not really much you can do to stop information getting out. "Be it agents or clubs, it is impossible to stop."

Malpas backs Scot
Jul 16 2005
Daily Post
JAMES MCFADDEN is being backed to make the grade in the Premiership with Everton by his former coach at Motherwell Maurice Malpas. McFadden will be back on familiar turf this afternoon when Everton take on Motherwell at 3pm in a pre-season friendly at Fir Park. Malpas says: "James was a young lad when he left us. It was a big jump and I think he is still learning. "I have seen him when he has come on as a substitute a few times and did really well. I don't think it will be too long before he starts to establish himself as a first team player." Malpas, number two at Motherwell, hopes Everton manager David Moyes gives McFadden a taste of the action in front of the Fir Park faithful.
Says Malpas: "James still keeps in touch with some of the boys here so he has not forgotten where he started out. "He did well when he was at Motherwell. The crowd liked him and he liked the club so I'm sure there will be plenty of banter between them."

Motherwell 0, Everton 0 (D,Post)
Jul 18 2005 By Nick Hilton at Fir Park, Daily Post
THE SUBURBS of Glasgow are a long way to travel from Merseyside for a pre-season friendly and then leave 10 minutes early. So it was just as well the Evertonians saw something that made the trip worthwhile before they darted out of Fir Park. His name is Per Kroldrup. The Everton following at Motherwell on Saturday was 2,000 or so strong, an impressive turnout for the middle of July.
No doubt Everton's remarkable performance in confounding the Premiership odds last season - still fresh in the memory just a couple of months on - brought many north of the border to take a first look at the team shaping up for the European Champions League challenge this season. Those who made the early dart did so after Kroldrup, the Danish international who signed last month, was withdrawn in the 80th minute. They had seen enough to suspect that the £5million Everton paid Udinese for the 25-year-old is money well spent. On an afternoon when Everton's performance could be described as composed and measured, Kroldrup was more composed and measured than almost everyone on the pitch. The 6ft 4in blond-haired centre back was in control of most of the traffic that went into the Everton penalty area until he was withdrawn to warm applause from supporters of both teams. He was always strong, quick and comfortable on the ball and powerful in the air. One game is no basis to establish a judgment on a player. There will be time enough over the four years of his contract for that. But Kroldrup did not look like a man dipping his toes in British football for the first time. The Dane has, after all, spent the last four years playing a very different kind of game in Italy. He made the adjustment seamlessly here. Everton rarely looked as if they would concede a goal to a Mother-well team who enjoyed a notable campaign of their own last season. Terry Butcher's team finished in the Scottish Premier League top six, no mean feat when you consider the financial problems the club has been grappling with for the last few years. Motherwell are significantly further advanced in their preparations for the new season than Everton. This was their third game in five days. They start the SPL campaign at the end of the month with an all-ticket home game against Celtic. Yet they looked no sharper than Everton and significantly the visitors finished the game strongly, pressing hard for a goal to reward their territorial dominance.
There was no sign of heavy pre-season legs here. Only the finishing lacked a little sharpness. The afternoon was set up for returning local hero James McFadden. The young man is so well thought of in the town by Motherwell supporters that the poster hanging in the lobby of the main entrance to the ground did not look out of place. It read "Prize draw, win signed Everton shirt belonging to the one and only James McFadden". McFadden's dad was invited to pick out the winning ticket at half time. Butcher made the point in his programme notes that the £1.25million transfer fee Motherwell collected from Everton in 2003 played a significant part in 'saving the club from extinction'. Butcher added: "Faddy will always be a legend at this club." McFadden, wearing the captain's armband for the day, was cheered whenever he ran close to the home supporters. The Scottish international did not steal the show but he turned in an energetic performance that suggests he might be able to fight his way out of the shadows and into the first team more often in the coming season. He was doubtless encouraged by manager David Moyes's insistence over the weekend that he can build a future at Goodison Park. Everton moved the ball about smoothly from the start with James Vaughan demonstrating pace and determination down the right and Marcus Bent showing strength through the middle. But they created little in terms of scoring opportunities until Leon Osman crashed an 18-yard shot against the crossbar in the 38th minute. Everton made three substitutions at the interval and three more during the second half. Mikel Arteta, a half-time replacement for the industrious Li Tie, looked particularly sharp in view of his lack of training and preparation during the days when his transfer from Real Sociedad were under negotiation. The Spaniard was the driving force behind Everton's strong showing in the final quarter of the contest. Vaughan, finding himself in space from a cross by Joseph Yobo, volleyed over from 10 yards before substitute Duncan Ferguson headed a left wing corner by McFadden just wide of the far post. Then McFadden came within a few inches of scoring a goal that would have been popular with both sets of fans when he seized on a 81st minute pass from Arteta and fired a 20-yard shot just wide of the left-hand post. Young substitute Christian Seargeant blazed wide from a good opportunity set up by McFadden, who also provided a cross for Ferguson to hook wide. Motherwell's best moment in response came in the 61st minute when Jim Paterson's cross from the left found Scott McDonald unmarked. But his header from eight yards lacked the power to trouble second half goalkeeper Richard Wright.
MOTHERWELL: Marshall, Craigan, McDonald, Leitch, Foran, O'Donnell, Paterson, Hamilton (Clarkson 78), Quinn, Kinniburgh, Keogh (Fitz-patrick 64).
EVERTON: Martyn (Wright 45), Hibbert (Weir 45), Kroldrup (Wynne, 80), Yobo, Kilbane, Cahill (Seargeant 75), Osman, Li Tie (Arteta 45), McFadden, Bent, Vaughan, (Ferguson 56) Subs: Hughes
REFEREE: Mr Iain Brines.
NEXT GAME: Thailand v Everton, Asia Cup, Wednesday, 11.45 BST

Heatwave may force rethink over Thai trip
By Nick Hilton in Bangkok, Daily Post
Jul 18 2005
EVERTON may have to re-schedule the daily timetable of their visit to Thailand this week to keep preparation for the next season up to speed. Coaching staff are prepared to switch training sessions in Bangkok to first thing in the morning and last thing at night if necessary to beat the extreme heat forecast for the area. Everton want to put in a full week's work on the training ground as well as playing two games in the FA Premier League's Asia Trophy on Wednesday and Saturday. Their planning is based around a demanding start to the new season with European Champion League games and a testing Premiership opener against Manchester United. Assistant manager Alan Irvine admits Everton are concerned about a local weather forecast for 35 degrees C of heat during the days and the threat of thunderstorms. Irvine said: "We have a plan for the week but whether we are able to do it is another matter. "We are sure it's going to be very hot out there. We have had a look at the forecast and it's going to 35 degrees for next week. "How long we will be able to train remains to be seen. "We have to be careful. We have two games to play. We are not there for that long in the light of the travelling time. "We hope we will be able to get a lot of good work into the players but we may not be able to get as much as we would like to. "We will pick and chose when we go training. We have the use of the training facilities 24 hours a day and transport 24 hours a day and we will make use of that flexibility. "We can train in the evenings and early morning." Everton took the entire first team squad and a number of youngsters on the long journey to the Far East yesterday. The party will be travelling for the best part of a day before arriving at their hotel in Bangkok. They are drawn to play the Thai National team on Wednesday and meet either Bolton or Manchester City on Saturday. The journey home begins the following day. Everton supporters had their first look at the team preparing for the new season in a goalless friendly at Motherwell on Saturday. The game at Fir Park was notable for a commanding performance at centrback by Everton's £5million capture from Udinese Per Kroldrup. Irvine said: "I thought Per played well. He has got better with each training session and game he has played for us. He's settled in very nicely. I think for a start it's significant there is no language problem with the Scandinavian players. They have a similar mentality to British players. As characters, they tend to be steady and reliable." Irvine said it had been the decision of manager David Moyes to give the captain's armband for the day to Jamie McFadden, who made an emotional return to the club where he made his reputation as a young player. Irvine said: "Faddy was struggling with a knee injury a few days ago but I knew he wasn't going to miss this game. It was a big occasion for him. He got a great reception which we expected and he did a lot of good things. We hope this is going to be the season when he really breaks through strongly." Irvine was relieved to report no casualties from the Motherwell game.
He said "It was our first run out and the main objective was to get some match fitness for the players. "We created a lot of chances and we might have scored a few goals. But the most important thing is we came through without any injuries. Getting an injury was a big worry for us because we have a small squad as it is and don't want to lose another player or two." Meanwhile, Inter Milan's Francesco Coco and Matteo Ferrari of Roma are the latest Italian defenders to be linked with a move to Everton.
* EVERTON missed out on another potential signing over the weekend, according to Spanish striker Javi Guerrero, who has left Racing Santander to join Celta Vigo. The frontman revealed he had turned down an offer to move to Goodison. Guerrero, 28, said: "Everton's offer was the best offer moneywise but I wanted to stay in Spain. "I'm sure I would have adapted to the English game but I have to think about other issues."

McFadden is happy to see old friends
By Nick Hilton Daily Post Correspondent
Jul 18 2005
EVERTON striker James McFadden was delighted with the reception he got at his former club Motherwell in the goalless draw at Fir Park. The Scottish international was made captain on his return to his old stomping ground for the pre-season friendly and was applauded before, during and after the match by the supporters who used to hero-worship him. And although he could not inspire the Merseysiders to break the deadlock, McFadden said: "I had some great times here and I was a bit emotional at the end. "I had a good relationship with the fans and hopefully it will continue.
"It was a nice honour to be made captain, it was a good feeling for me and it was a good day all round, even though we didn't win. "It was a tough match and I am just pleased we didn't get beat."
The Everton striker even kept up the tradition he had when he was a Motherwell player of going over to special needs youngster Steve Raeside to have a chat at the front of the main stand before the game started. McFadden brushed the gesture off by saying: "I usually go and see the wee man, it is something I do so I kept it up." Motherwell assistant manager Maurice Malpas was not surprised with the show of affection from the home supporters for McFadden. He said: "You would expect that type of reception. James was a hero here and a lot of the boys still keep in touch with him. "I think a lot of the fans look for Everton's results after ours so you would expect him to get a good reception. "I only had him for six months here but I enjoy that type of player. He stepped up to the big league with Everton and hopefully he will do well." Everton's assistant boss Alan Irvine laughed off growing speculation that McFadden could return north of the border to either Celtic or Rangers. He said: "We have not received any offers from anyone. James is ready to have a good season for us." Irvine denied his players thought a trip to Motherwell would have been an easy afternoon's work. He said: "We hoped there would be goals but we certainly didn't expect a lot of goals. "It was our first serious game after having a couple of easy friendly games."

Meanwhile Motherwell midfielder Richie Foran says he thought better of tangling twice with Duncan Ferguson. Ferguson, 33, came on as a second-half substitute and showed he had lost none of his fire when he soon had Foran in a headlock after a challenge in the middle of the park. Afterwards Foran laughed: "The fans were screaming at me to get him back but I wasn't tempted. He just growled at me. But it's all part and parcel of the game."

Motherwell 0, Everton 0 (Echo)
Jul 18 2005 By David Prentice at Fir Park
THE weight of expectation which will follow Everton this season could be gauged by the away end at Motherwell's Fir Park on Saturday. More than 2,000 travelling fans had ventured north of the border to watch football's equivalent of a Horlicks festival - the pre-season friendly. Most stayed until the finish, too, despite the fact that the afternoon's most impressive performer, defender Per Kroldrup, had been substituted 10 minutes from time. First impressions of classy centre-halves can be sometimes misleading. Slaven Bilic looked like a cross between Franz Beckenbauer and Ruud Krol (if you don't know, ask your dad) when he purred through his Everton debut against Crystal Palace in 1997. He went on to become the Blues' most banned player, in an age when Olivier Dacourt could collect a yellow card almost every 90 minutes. Everything Kroldrup did on Saturday was classy and calculating - his control instant, timing of tackle outstanding and aerial ability the equal of an admittedly diminutive Motherwell attack. The Dane started alongside Joseph Yobo in a pairing which had pace to spare. The duo also like to play football a bit, too - they will have Goodison purring one minute, frantic the next, at times next season. They were flanked by Tony Hibbert and Kevin Kilbane, the midfielder slotting seamlessly in at left-back, with a midfield four of Osman, Tie, Cahill and McFadden ahead of them. The quartet was tight and tidy, but even on Saturday's brief evidence it was clear that using the wonderful Cahill in a midfield four significantly reduces the occasions he can arrive late in opposition penalty boxes. Everton's most telling first half threat came from the boot of Leon Osman. After 38 largely uninspiring minutes he collected a Marcus Bent flick a couple of yards outside the Motherwell box, waited for an overlap down his right, checked left instead and crashed a fierce drive against the face of the crossbar. With James Beattie and Simon Davies at home nursing slight knocks, young James Vaughan was given an opportunity up front and he showed enough pace and intelligent movement to suggest he can build on last season's success.
Around the Lanarkshire ground, The Fir Park hoardings were almost Calvinistic in their anti-smoking zeal. The slogan "Keep cigarettes away from the match" ran the entire length of one stand roof, while other messages proclaimed " Smoking Stinks " and "Smoking Kills." The Scots weren't quite so zealous when it came to anti-bullying messages. Cahill was bumped heavily from behind by Scott Leitch, and Bent was on the receiving end of several clumsy challenges from behind. One eventually earned a lecture for William Kinniburgh, and an edge was never far away from the game. That edge bubbled to the surface when Duncan Ferguson was introduced for Vaughan after 56 minutes - and immediately gripped Richie Foran in a headlock. "The fans were screaming at me to get him back," he said afterwards, "but I wasn't tempted." Wise man,, Mr Foran. Everton were always in control after the break, with Richard Wright not having to make a single save. But the Blues couldn't chisel out a goal. Yobo picked out Vaughan with a header, which he directed wide; Ferguson's header from McFadden's corner suffered the same fate; then the youthful drive of young substitutes Steve Wynne and Christian Seargeant down the right flank opened up a shooting chance for McFadden which the Motherwell legend drilled wide. Seargeant had a wonderful chance to break the deadlock seven minutes from time from McFadden's cross, but couldn't keep his shot down. Ferguson and Osman both directed headers wide of the target in a pressured Everton finish. Mikel Arteta made a bright impression as a second half substitute - and there were no injuries as Everton enjoyed their first meaningful run out after a stroll against an Austrian junior side and a behind-closed-doors game against Dundee United. This week's games in Thailand will offer a sterner test, but the Blues are moving in the right direction.
MOTHERWELL: Marshall, Keogh (Fitzpatrick 64), Craigan, Kinniburgh, Quinn, Foran, Leitch, Paterson, O'Donnell, McDonald, Hamilton (Clarkson 78).
EVERTON: Martyn (Wright 45), Hibbert (Weir 45), Yobo, Kroldrup (Wynne 80), Kilbane, Osman, Cahill (Seargeant 75), Tie (Arteta 45), McFadden, Bent, Vaughan (Ferguson 56). Referee: Iain Brines.

Dunc leads shirt race
Jul 18 2005 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DUNCAN FERGUSON will be Everton's new number nine - for a week at least. The Blues striker, who has the number tattooed on his arm, has been given the prestigious jersey for this week's Asia Cup competition - for the first time in seven years. But James Beattie, who also craves the famous number nine, will be keen to take it from him when the official squad numbers are announced later this pre-season. The news will be a massive boost to Ferguson, who lost the flagship jersey when he was sold to Newcastle in 1998. When he returned in 2000, Kevin Campbell was the Blues' number nine. Everton have taken a squad of 21 players to Bangkok, arriving early this morning. Richard Wright has not travelled for family reasons, giving an opportunity to Scottish under-21 keeper Iain Turner, but new signing Mikel Arteta was on board yesterday's flight. The Blues are not expecting any new faces to join them in Thailand, despite weekend reports claiming that Italian trio Simone Perrota, Matteo Ferrari and Francesco Coco were all on their way to Goodison. "They are names that we have talked about, but nothing more than that," said chief executive Keith Wyness today.
Inter full-back Coco was at Bellefield on Friday to train with the Blues, but no decision has been made on his permanent acquisition. Boss David Moyes met with Roma defender Ferrari a fortnight ago and decided not to press on with a transfer. The Blues are also irritated by reports that they have "missed out" on striker Javi Guerrero, who has joined Celta Vigo from Racing Santander.
"Everton's offer was the best offer money-wise, but I want to stay in Spain," said Guerrero. "I'm sure I would have adapted to the English game, but I have to think about other issues." Wyness, however, said: "I had never heard of Guerrero until I turned on my television at the weekend and read teletext." Juventus midfielder Stephen Appiah, who the Blues have watched in the past, is keen on a move to the Premiership following Patrick Vieira's arrival in Turin. Former Everton full-back Michael Ball was also at Motherwell on Saturday to watch the Blues' goalless draw. He would relish a return to Goodison, but David Moyes needs convincing the move would be right for the club.
Motherwell midfielder Richie Foran, meanwhile, admitted the Scottish Premier League side were delighted with their draw against Everton. "That was a great result. It was a great work-out," he declared. "To be fair they probably had the ball 70 per cent of the game, but in the second half we got a lot better. "It was also great for our fitness levels. They were a bit like Celtic and Rangers in the way they can keep the ball and they are great at working off the ball. "They always seemed to have a man over so we had to work twice as hard against them."

Everton arrive to tumultuous reception in Thailand
By Nick Hilton in Thailand, Daily Post
Jul 19 2005
EVERTON were greeted like movie stars when they arrived in Bangkok yesterday to begin a week-long, two-match visit to Thailand. Wherever they went in the Thai capital, from the airport, the hotel to the training ground, the Everton party were the focus of attention for hundreds of respectful but very enthusiastic Thai Everton supporters and the local media. Manager David Moyes said last night: "It was a tremendous reception but I really wasn't that surprised. "I came here in the summertime to have a look around and I knew right away then just how much football means to the people out here. "I also knew how many Everton supporters there are here - and I think that was proved when we arrived. "It was terrific for the players to see how many Everton supporters there are here." The celebrity status of Moyes and his team in this teaming city of six million people was confirmed within seconds of their Thai airways jumbo coming to a halt at the airport and again half an hour later at the Everton party's downtown hotel. Everton were given VIP treatment at the airport. But while they spared the formalities of passport control and shepherded from the tarmac straight onto a special coach, they were confronted by scores of photographers and TV crews.
The bus, decorated like a doll's house in pink and strawberry grapes, was pursued on the highway out of the airport into the city by cars loaded with camera crews. They filmed Everton's progress through the heart of the city where towers of concrete and steel rise up from ground level alongside shanty towns of single-storey shacks and ramshackle tenements made out of congregated iron and peeling timber. It is a city in which new wealth and historical poverty exist side by side.
Upon reaching their opulent hotel, the front entrance was besieged by more than 100 Thai Everton supporters almost all of whom were wearing the latest version of the Royal Blue first-team shirt with the name of the sponsor, the Thailand Chang Beer, emblazoned across the front. They were enthusiastic yet polite, staying behind crash barriers, and making light work for the security men and police. The fans screamed in excitement when the players emerged from the bus to start the walk into the hotel lobby. Inside staff lined up in a guard of honour while garlands of flowers were placed around the shoulders of every Everton man who entered. After the ceremonials Moyes quickly took his men for a training session in the 95 degrees heat - and indicated afterwards that he may have to cut back the original training schedule for the week here. Moyes said: "We are all a bit jet-lagged and tired so the workout was only a recovery session as much as anything else. "We'll have to decide how to use this week and whether we can do as much training as we originally planned.
"The facilities here for training are okay, they are not great. "We knew that before we came and obviously the heat and the humidity make it very difficult for some of the work we would like to do," he added. Moyes has brought several of Everton's walking wounded because he is keen to involve them with the squad and expose them to the enthusiasm of support for Everton in Thailand.
Simon Davies has a calf injury, James Beattie a thigh problem, Lee Carsley is recovering from a medial ligament injury and Gary Naysmith from an ankle operation. Even though Moyes is on the other side of the world to his Goodison base, he has not ruled out the possibility of doing transfer business this week - although he refuses to discuss names until deals are done. Chief executive Keith Wyness and chairman Bill Kenwright are keeping an eye on the shop, Moyes says.

Venture brings mutual benefits
By Nick Hilton, Daily Post
Jul 19 2005
EVERTON touched down in Bangkok last night on a mission to put footballing flesh on the bones of the strong links they have established in Thailand. They are links that already take them a significant step ahead of most Premiership rivals in tapping into the vast Far East market for the beautiful game. The week-long visit, much anticipated by the many millions who follow English Premiership football on TV in Thailand, is intended to satisfy both the on- and off-the-field agendas of the Everton party. Participation in the FA Premier League's Asia Trophy here this week should provide manager David Moyes and his squad with the right kind of physical preparation for the domestic and European Champions League campaigns that start next month. Bolton Wanderers and Manchester City are also taking part in the four team tournament. Appropriately Everton kick off the action with a game against the Thai national team at the Bangkok National Stadium tomorrow. Bolton and City play each other, also tomorrow with the two winners and two losing teams meeting in Saturday's final and play-off games. Moyes says: "The tournament should serve us well in our preparations for the new season." Meanwhile the men in the Everton party who brought business suits rather than training kit in their luggage on the marathon journey from Merseyside have important agendas with their Thai commercial partners. Everton recently signed a new three-year sponsorship deal with Chang Beer, part of the giant Thai Beverages group. It is understood to be worth significantly more on an annual basis than the £1.5million injection Everton received from an initial one-year agreement with Chang for the 2004/05 season. The most lucrative sponsorship deal in Everton's history has given them a valuable edge in one of the world's fastest expanding football markets. Europe is beginning to catch on. This summer Far East Asia will be bursting with top European clubs as never before. Global TV in the form of satellite, cable and dedicated football channels, has whetted the appetite of the region's vast population and the excitement of the Premier League and the glamour of the European Champions League are particular favourites. If these long distance followers can be turned into fans who purchase their favourite club's clothing and merchandise the revenue potential is obvious. From the UK alone Chelsea and Manchester United as well as Everton, City and Bolton will be playing friendlies in the Far East this month. Liverpool were lined up to play in Japan before qualifying commitments in the defence of their European crown obliged them to stay at home. Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Lyon and PSV Eindhoven are among more than a dozen of European football's finest spending pre-season time in the Far East.
United can be regarded as pioneers in the region. They began touring the Far East 10 years ago, at the suggestion of their then head of marketing Edward Freedman. United have been alternating between the USA and Asia every summer since and are due to play four matches in China this month. Freedman, now an independent consultant, says: "I think United stole a march on the others but it is still an area that is poorly understood by English clubs. It's haphazard. "They go there for the match fees and do nothing about marketing themselves before and after the tours. "The fees vary according to the status of the European club. United and Real Madrid are capable of negotiating more than £500,000 a game." Everton could well be earning that much for their two games in Bangkok. Their higher profile in Thailand means they are almost certainly earning significantly more than City or Bolton. Freedman adds: "It's an amazing market but not for short-term gain because you want to establish long-term partnerships." The way not to do it, as United and others found out in the past is by fielding teams without the club's most famous players. Everton's route was to establish commercial links to the Far East before touring. It began with a one-year sponsor-ship deal with Chinese phone company Keijan in 2003/04 during which Everton played a Premiership match against Manchester City that established a world record TV audience of 140 million, according to the broadcaster Sky Sports. The reason is that each side boasted a Chinese national in their team: Li Tie of Everton and Sun Jihai of City. It was hardly surprising therefore that Everton found another Far East partner. Thai Beverages have been keen for Everton to make a pre-season tour since the name of Chang Beer was emblazoned across Everton's shirts at the start of last season. The relationship has given the leading beer brand in Thailand a foothold in the English drinks market. They are keen to expand into Europe. Everton's remarkable success in the Premiership last season, which brought the reward of European Champions League qualification has given Chang the opportunity they wanted to promote their product across Europe and beyond. As with many sponsorship part-nerships in the world of sport the brand name on the shirt has little to do with the supposedly healthy lifestyle of the athletes in the team. It is the supporters and their pursuit of leisure who are the target. Just under a third of Thailand's 61 million population are drinkers, making the country the world's fifth largest consumer of alcohol. The product has been modified for consumption in the West. Chang Beer sold in Thailand is strong, with a 6.4% alcohol content compared with the 5% brew sold in the bars of Goodison Park. Thai Beverages' deputy chairman Thapana Sirivadhanabhakdi says: "I am proud to say that Chang Beer on the jerseys of Everton footballers will no longer be confined to the British Isles but will be seen by all of Europe during the UEFA Champions League matches. "This points the way to ever greater success in our future together." Everton's chief executive Keith Wyness says: "As a club we continue to be leaders in terms of establishing a major foothold in the fast emerging Far East market." The lesson from the China link - that the inclusion of players in the squad from the sponsor's home country can generate spectacular levels of interest - has been taken on board.. As part of the deal with Chang, Everton welcomed three Thai youngsters to the Youth Academy this season. Sakkarin Chanyotha, Naruepol Arromsawad and Ronnachai Rangsiyo were chosen from 200 Thai hopefuls by Everton Academy director Ray Hall and coaches Phil Cannon and Mike Dickinson. Should any of them progress into the first team at Goodison they are liable to become the envy of millions of young Thais.
* Everton's visit to Thailand isn't intended to be just about football and beer. Representatives from all three Premiership teams competing in the Asia Trophy are to visit Phuket to meet some of the survivors of the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster of last December. Everton fans helped to raise more than £100,000 for the club's Asian disaster fund. With additional funds from Chang the money was used to build a school, houses and a football pitch.

Having a Ball
Post Soapbox, icLiverpool & Daily Post
Jul 19 2005
Having a Ball
MICHAEL Ball would come running back to Goodison, but we need to make a sensible offer. A good goal-scorer (Robbie Keane), left back (Ball) and another centre half (try Dunc) with some of the young lads coming on and we will be okay. Bring on "Athletico Lee-ver-pool" in the Champions League.
Jimmy Thompson, Liverpool
Nine lives
BIG DUNC should keep the No.9 shirt and James Beat-tie can have it next year if he proves himself. Let's forget about any more foreign signings. What about Andy Johnson (Crystal Palace), Roy Keane, (Spurs), Michael Ball (Rangers), Joey Barton (Man City) or Sean Davis (Spurs).
R Waring, Moreton, Wirral
Bond movers
EVERTON have got us all walking happily along Bond Street looking in the windows, before pulling sharply into Kwik Save car park to do our shopping! Move Duncan Ferguson out to take the club forward, while a £50-100,000 bid for Brian Deane will increase our goals tally and not affect the style of play in the short-term. The big money could then be used wisely to really beef up the squad and take us to the next level. Paul Dickov, Robbie Savage and Djimi Traore should all still be attainable at sensible money.
J Beckett, Halewood
Look to Koumas
CAN somebody tell me why we're not in the bidding for Jason Koumas? Great midfielder, good price, local lad and someone who would flourish under the management of David Moyes.
John Owen (via e-mail)
Urgent request
SO FAR Simon Davies, Mikel Arteta and Per Kroldrup have arrived, but three players have left us as well. We need a left back urgently and we're desperately lightweight in certain areas. I'm not happy with Richard Wright as No 2 goalkeeper as well. He's not in Nigel Martyn's class.
Terry Guy (via e-mail)

Moyes aims to take heat off players
Jul 19 2005 By Rob Brady, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES today stressed he would not let the distractions of Bangkok get in the way of Everton's preparations for the new season. The Blues face a tough start next month with the third qualifying round of the Champions League on August 9/10 followed just a few days later by the Premiership opener against Manchester United. But before then they have two matches to play in the Premier League's four-team Asia Trophy tournament in the Thai capital. Everton arrived yesterday to find the city sweltering in temperatures of 95 degrees. The Blues play the Thai national team tomorrow and will face either Manchester City or Bolton on Saturday before returning home 24 hours later. Despite silverware and pride at stake in Bangkok, Moyes is totally focused on getting his players in peak form for the start of the crucial games which mark the start of their season.
The manager said at a press conference for the Asia Trophy today: "I do expect competitive games here, but the conditions will play a part. "We are allowed to make up to eight substitutions in each game so I think we will all make use of that. "Winning is not the important thing. It's more important to get the players in the right condition. "We have an early start to the season with the Champions League and a difficult start to the Premiership. I'm interested in getting the players ready for that.
"We have to be match ready a week or so earlier than normal. The Premier League will always be our bread and butter. "That's the thing we want to succeed in most."

Blues' red hot Thai reception
Jul 19 2005 By Rob Brady with The Blues in Thailand, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON received a warm welcome in more ways than one when they arrived in Bangkok.
After a gruelling 11-hour flight the Blues were greeted by scores of Thai fans and 95 degree heat when they touched down at the city's Don Muang airport yesterday. Up to 100 local supporters, almost all dressed in the club's famous royal blue shirts, were waiting as the team arrived at the luxury Plaza Athenee hotel, which is to be their base during the seven-day trip. The crowd screamed with excitement as manager David Moyes and each of his players stepped off the bus. Moyes said: "It was a terrific welcome. I wasn't really that surprised. I came out in the summer time just to have a look around. I knew right away how much football meant to people out here and just how many Everton supporters there are. "That was proved when we arrived. It was terrific for the players to see so many Everton people out here. "Thailand is one of those countries that takes so much Premier League football and the players are as much household names out here as they are back home. "We had several hundred watching training." Just hours after arriving the Blues acclimatised with a light training session last night, but the fierce heat and high humidity remained a concern for the three Premiership teams who have made the trip. Moyes' side will play the Thai national team tomorrow at 5.45pm local time in the opening game of the Premier League's Asia Trophy tournament. That will be followed by the clash between Manchester City and Bolton Wanderers at 8.45pm. The winners of each match will face each other in the final on Saturday night. Earlier, there will be a third/ fourth place play-off between the remaining sides, ensuring each team will play two games during the tournament. The matches are being screened live back home, with Thailand six hours ahead of the UK. Moyes concedes Everton's biggest opponents during their pre-season trip to Thailand is likely to be the fierce heat and humidity. A mid-day temperature of 95 degrees will limit the amount of pre-season work the manager can out his play-ers through during the week-long visit.
Moyes is being careful to train them at the same time of day as the matches will be played.
"It does not feel quite as warm as it did in Houston last year," said Moyes, "but it is very hot.
"We cannot get away from that. We came off the plane and stretched the players out. We were all a little jet-lagged. "It was only really a recovery session last night. "I have not decided yet whether I will use this week to do quite so much training or not. The facilities here okay, they are not great, but we were aware of that before we came. "Obviously the conditions make it very difficult to do some of the work we would like to do, but nevertheless we are here to play a couple of games."
The Blues already have several stars on the treatment table. Moyes revealed: " Simon Davies has a knock on his calf, James Beattie has a slight thigh strain, Lee Carsley is still recovering from a medial ligament injury and Gary Naysmith had an ankle operation this summer. "We know Gary won't feature but we wanted to keep him part of the squad. One or two others are nursing blisters and a bit of soreness. "If I get the opportunity I will try to make sure all the players get games. This time of the season is about them getting fitness and match practice." The manager may be 6,000 miles from home, but he insists he remains active in the transfer market working to bring new signings to the club. He said: "With not being there it is sometimes not so easy, but I am sure Keith Wyness and Bill Kenwright will kep things moving along if there is anything to be done."

Flashpoint fears over Derby clash
Jul 19 2005 By James Glover, Liverpool Echo
POLICE are drawing up plans to head off violence from a Merseyside derby in the Champions League.
Everton and Liverpool could be drawn against each other in the third qualifying round of the competition and officers fear widespread trouble could be sparked over the two-leg clash.
They believe evening kick-off times for European fixtures could provide an added complication to what would already be a tense affair. Emergency plans could include drafting in extra officers from out-side the city centre and cancelling leave for police in the region. Police match-day commanders are already preparing for the first Merseyside derby of the season - scheduled for December - and they are now considering the possible impact of an additional two matches. Chief Superintendent Dave Lewis of Merseyside police said the contrasting way the rivals qualified for the competition could also prove a flashpoint. He said: "From a personal point of view, Everton drawing Liverpool would be a bad thing. "Everton have waited 20 years to get into the Champions League and some fans could say Liverpool got in through the back door last season while Everton earned their place.
"A lot would depend on the result of the fixture. "But if Liverpool were to knock Everton out after all that, the dis-quiet among Everton fans would be immense." The draw for the third round takes place at the end of this month. Matches will take place in August. The atmosphere between Blues and Reds fans has worsened in recent years and violence erupted after the derby matches last season. Police arrested 33 fans after the Anfield clash in March and officers came under fire from bottles and glasses as they tried to control crowds at the Stanley Park pub in Walton Lane.
A police horse also suffered a deep gash after it was hit by a missile thrown by supporters.
If the two clubs avoid each other in the draw, the force believes it should have no problems maintaining order when the two sides play home rounds of the competition in the city. Senior officers will fly to Holland in September to speak to police officers from other European countries to learn everything they can about sets of fans which could travel to Merseyside to cause trouble with fans of either Liverpool club.

Weir focused on not repeating mistakes of past
By Nick Hilton in Bangkok, Daily Post
Jul 20 2005
DAVID WEIR is experienced enough to know that the wave of optimism sweeping Everton towards the new season can contain some dangerous currents. A fourth-placed Premiership finish in May was beyond Everton's wildest dreams 12 months ago. That success means their preparations this summer take account of a first-ever campaign in the European Champions League as well as the domestic issue. The upbeat mood of the Everton party on a week-long pre-season visit to Thailand is unmistakable. But Weir hasn't forgotten the disappointment Everton endured two years ago when they went into the Premier-ship season in buoyant mood after finishing seventh - then struggled to avoid relegation. The Scottish international central defender is anxious to help ensure Everton don't encounter another crushing anti-climax by learning from what went wrong in 2003-04. Weir said: "There was plenty of optimism two years ago because finishing seventh in 2003 was a great achievement back then. "We all hoped it would be the start of something great but we had a bad season. "There was a lot of doom and gloom, a lot of things were negative a year ago. "We came through it and turned it around. I think we have to heed the lessons from that experience."
Weir believes one factor that enabled Everton to turn their fortunes around in such spectacular fashion last season was the one-step-at-a-time approach of manager David Moyes and his staff.
Weir said: "It's all about moving on but we are not going to do that by getting ahead of ourselves.
"We would love to have a long campaign in the European Champions League this season but first we have to qualify for the first round of group games. We're expecting a tough pairing when the draw is made at the end of the month. "A lot of our success last season was down to us taking things just one game at a time rather than worrying about what was around the corner. "Hopefully there will be more new challenges for us in the Champions League but I don't think we can take our eye off the next game." Weir is no stranger to playing his football on a foreign field for the Scottish international team. But the 35-year-old from Falkirk is tasting the experience of football in the Far East for the first time this week. Weir said: "Encoun-tering different styles of football and different experiences in travel is a good way of testing yourself and helping you improve. "We went to the USA last summer and it turned out to be a great tour. The pre-season work paid off. "Hopefully this tour will work out the same but it's obviously a different kind of place. "The plus side is that when you go away for this length of time as a group of players, you bond together. That can be a big help."
Weir is facing competition from a new source for the first choice centre-back spot with Per Kroldrup replacing the departed Alan Stubbs. The 25-year-old Danish international, a £5million signing from Udinese, made an impressive first showing in Everton's goalless pre-season friendly at Motherwell last Saturday. Joseph Yobo is also expected to mount a challenge. Weir said: "Per has got a good pedigree playing for Denmark and playing in Italy for four years. "So far in training he has done very well and I think he will be suited to the English game. Most Scandinavian players are. "I think he has the attributes to do well in the Premiership. "There will be three of us after two spots but you want good competition in every position. "Perhaps it would be good to have four centre-halves if we have to play a lot of games this season - and hopefully we will." Not that Weir is thinking about surrendering the first-team spot he held for most of last season. He said: "The new guy has got to try and take the place of the guy who is in there already. That's the name of the game. Football is all about earning your position in the team."

Top-half finish would still be progress - Moyes
By Nick Hilton, Daily Post
Jul 20 2005
EVERTON have become the team that proves the Premiership does not have to be entirely dominated by football's financial big hitters, David Moyes believes. The Goodison manager reckons rivals are now highlighting Everton's performance last season as an example of what can be achieved by a club able to make only a comparatively modest investment in their team. Moyes, speaking at the launch of the Premier League's Asia Trophy in Bangkok yesterday, admits Everton still have "a long way to go" before they can join the mega rich list headed by the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool. But as European Champions League qualifiers, Everton are enjoying star billing this week in Thailand where their tie-up with local brewer Chang Beer gives them an extra advantage in the region over tournament rivals Manchester City and Bolton Wanderers. Moyes told a gathering of Thai and British media: "The achievement of our players in getting to the Champions League last season was fantastic considering where we started from. It's given us something to build on. "We have a long way to go to catch the bigger teams but we made a good fist of it last season without having major resources. "It's encouraging for a lot of people. We are in an era when everyone (in the Premiership) thinks money is the solution and in the main I have to say it is. "We had to do it last year with very little to spend. "A lot of teams in the Premier-ship are in a similar situation to ourselves. That is why they can take a great deal of encouragement from what we did." Even the Manager's Manager of the Year was typically cautious about setting a daunting target for the coming Premiership campaign. Moyes said: "A manager's job is to raise expectations but we have to be realistic. "A top-half finish in the Premiership would still be an improvement on what we have been doing over the longer period." Moyes is ready to make full use of eight committed substitutes in Everton's opening game against the Thailand South East Asia games squad at the Bangkok National Stadium tonight. Manchester City and Bolton play each other later the same evening. The manager said: "The most important thing is for us to get the players in the right condition because we have an early and testing start to the domestic season."
* EVERTON'S home Barclays Premiership fixture against West Ham United, which has been postponed due to their involvement in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League on August 24, will now be played on Wednesday, December 14, kick-off 8pm.

Everton look to Ferguson for European guidance
By Michael Church, Daily Post
Jul 20 2005
0ShareEVERTON manager David Moyes will turn to Manchester United counterpart Sir Alex Ferguson for advice when he learns who his side will meet in the third round of qualifying for the Champions League. The draw will be made on July 29 as Everton embark on their first ever excursion into the elite competition. And Scotsman Moyes has already been in touch with his compatriot, whose team enter the competition at the same stage. "I have spoken to him (Sir Alex) once," said the former Preston manager. "I have been in contact with him regarding certain things. Whoever we draw in the Champions League I will be surprised if Manchester United have not faced them in recent years because they have been there. "It's a competition they have won and I'm sure he'll give me an idea of what to expect, right down to facilities and travelling and the way they have been successful in the past." Moyes, whose team face Thailand in the FA Premier League Asia Cup in Bangkok today, was touted for the role as Ferguson's assistant during his time with Preston. He has even been suggested as a suitable successor for Ferguson once he retires from his post at Old Trafford. But with the coaching climate having changed significantly in the time since Ferguson took over from Ron Atkinson at Manchester United almost 19 years ago, Moyes appreciates that the position of manager now is different to how it once was. Moyes said the continuing influx of foreign talent - to which Everton have added in recent weeks, completing the permanent signing of Mikel Arteta and picking up Denmark's Per Kroldrup - was making life more difficult for younger players coming into the Premiership. "The Premier League is a difficult league and is attracting a lot of the best players in the world," said Moyes. "At times it can be a struggle to get the younger players through because the level increases. "Some clubs can afford to buy the top stars and for your own younger players it's a big gulf for them to try and bridge that gap. "We can't all afford the top players so we have to work with the players you have and try and get the best out of them." One British player Everton have signed so far in the close season is Welsh-man Simon Davies, who was picked up from Tottenham. Moyes denied his club had attempted to sign Craig Bellamy, who recently joined Blackburn from Newcastle. "We didn't talk to Bellamy but we are looking to strengthen in two or three areas and are hopeful of getting that done before the season," he said.
"Mikel's going to take a week or two to get his fitness back."

Thailand U-23s 1, Everton 1 (Echo)
Jul 20 2005 by Rob Brady at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok
Thailand win 5-3 on penalties
EVERTON began their Asia Trophy campaign in the worst possible fashion as Thailand under-23s won 5-3 on penalties in Bangkok's Rajamangala Stadium. The game had ended 1-1, Thai midfielder Choeichiu putting the hosts 1-0 up midway through the first half, before Marcus Bent equalised just before half-time. The Thais missed a handful of chances to win the game inside 90 minutes, before eventually sealing a famous victory on penalties after Joseph Yobo missed the Blues' third spot kick.
Everton were up against the energy sapping heat and humidity as much as their opponents. David Moyes considered this game a pre-season fitness workout but had still put out a strong starting eleven, which included Kevin Kilbane as a makeshift left-back in the absence of the injured Gary Naysmith. The Irishman looked composed enough throughout the first half to suggest he could start the season in that role. Naturally the hosts looked far more comfortable in the conditions and pressed forward right from the kick-off. The policy paid dividends with midfielder Choeichiu catching the Blues' defence off guard after just nine minutes and releasing a powerful drive past Nigel Martyn into the top corner of the net to open the scoring. That stung the Blues into life and they should have pulled level inside two minutes. Good interplay between Leon Osman and James McFadden on the left flank allowed the Scot to swing in a cross for Duncan Ferguson lurking on the edge of the six yard box. The striker failed to make a clean contact with the ball, though, giving keeper Kosin an easy save. Everton continued to create openings and Marcus Bent was next to be denied by the Thai captain after more good work down the left from Osman, while Blues skipper David Weir also saw a close range shot blocked. Despite Everton creating several chances the lively Thai players remained a threat throughout the first half. Datsakorn tried his luck from 35 yards, forcing Martyn to palm away his shot. The loose ball fell for Suchao, who hit his effort into the ground and saw it bounce over the keeper and strike the far post. Everton who pulled level in the 45th minute when Bent coolly slotted past the keeper from inside the box after being put through by Osman. The Blues had a chance to take the lead immediately after the break but Mikel Arteta's curled free kick sailed a couple of yards over the bar. Datsakorn again shot from distance and the thousands of blue shirted Thai Evertonians in the crowd breathed a collective sigh of relief as the ball flashed just over Martyn's goal. Moyes replaced Li Tie with new signing Per Kroldrup after 53 minutes. The Denmark international slipped into central defence alongside Weir, with Joseph Yobo moving into midfield. Bent failed to convert two clear chances just before the hour mark to give Everton the lead. A mistake in the Thai defence released him on goal but he hammered his shot narrowly the wrong side of the far post. Within two minutes he found himself clean through again only for last man Saiwec to deny him with a great tackle just as the Everton striker was about to shoot. After 73 minutes Ferguson was replaced by Christian Seargeant. A looping cross from Osman was just an inch too high for Bent as he raced into the box while in a goalmouth scramble Yobo stabbed at the ball but saw his effort deflected round the post. The Thais staged a late cavalry charge to try and win the match in normal time. Substitute Teeratep Winothai, who spent last season training at Everton's Academy, fired just wide after breaking into the penalty area.
There was still time for Chakrit Buathong to skip past two defenders on the edge of the box, but Martyn pulled off a fine diving save to turn away his shot. After Chakrit had forced his way through the blue ranks Winothi should have won it at the death but he shot weakly straight at Martyn to take the game to a penalty shoot-out. After the game ended all square Thailand took the first kick of the penalty shoot out, eventually netting all five of their spot kicks. The Thais will now face either Manchester City or Bolkton Wanderes in Saturday's final. Everton will play the losers of today's game between the two Premiership sides earlier on Saturday.
Everton: Martyn, Hibbert, Weir, Yobo, Kilbane, Osman, Li Tie, Arteta, McFadden, Bent, Ferguson.
Subs: Turner, Vaughan, Hughes, Wynne, Sergeant, Kroldrup.
Referee: Mark Clattenburg, Tyne and Wear

Kroldrup has what it takes, insists Weir
Jul 20 2005 By Rob Brady in Thailand, Liverpool Echo
DAVID WEIR believes new boy Per Kroldrup has what it takes to be a success in English football.
The Scot is getting to know the Denmark international during Everton's pre-season trip to Thailand and he is impressed by what he has seen so far. Kroldrup, 26, helped unfancied Udinese claim a fourth place finish and Champions League qualification in the Italian top flight last term. The pair are expected to play some part today when the Blues take on the Thai national side in the opening game of the Premier League's four-team Asia Trophy tournament in Bangkok. Manchester City and Bolton Wanderers are the other clubs taking part. Weir said: "He looks very good. He obviously has pedigree. He has played for Denmark and has played in the Italian league for four years, so he is obviously a good player. From what I have seen so far in training and in the games he has played he has done very well. I think the majority of Scandinavian players have the attributes to do well in the Premier League. Per definitely looks to be in the same mould." Weir was a stalwart in the Blues back four last term alongside Alan Stubbs. The latter has moved on while Weir accepted a one-year offer to stay. Ironically, the Scot's place in the team could be threatened by Kroldrup's arrival if manager David Moyes opts for the relative youth of the £5m new man and Joseph Yobo, but a confident Weir welcomes the challenge. "You want competition for every position especially as we will be playing as many games as we are next season," he said.. "Doing well and trying to stay in the team, is what football is all about. Three or even four centre halves is what we need. I'm sure the manager is working to bring players into every position." Although the intense heat and humidity in Thailand restricts some of the pre-season work Everton can do, Weir believes it is still a worthwhile trip.
"Thailand is a new experience for us, but last year we went to America and had a great pre-season," he said. "I think it helped us during the season. Hopefully this trip will work the same. When you are away for a length of time you bond together and get to know each other. That can be a big help."

Moyes should splash out on Keane, Davis
Jul 20 2005 Echo Letters, icLiverpool & Liverpool Echo
I CAN'T believe we are getting knocked back by players I've never heard of. I think David Moyes should make a £9million bid for Robbie Keane and Sean Davis, get Coco and Olivier Bernard on a free and sign Andy van der Meyde and Henri Camara.
Andy Holland, Broadgreen
MICHAEL BALL would make an excellent left-back. He is better than Naysmith, while James Beattie will be a big success next season. We just need a partner for him and we are running out of time.
Shez Khan, Birmingham
MICHAEL BALL would not be a good investment! We sold the boy for a lot of money years ago and he has done nothing since. He left us on the verge of grabbing the England left back jersey, but now he can't get a club. Just because he's a Blue doesn't make him worth buying.
Kevin Stansfield, Childwall
A DECENT performance on Saturday. Motherwell were very competitive but we kept our cool throughout and kept the ball well. Kroldrup was superb!
Paul Brow, Fazakerley
IT IS a disgrace that we are not competing for some of the better players available. I am not concerned that we didn't sign Parker. I am talking about the shambolic way we have gone about pretending to sign big names when we have no intention of actually buying them.
Jim White, Birkenhead
HOW about Nathan Ellington? I know he hasn't proved himself in the Premiership but he banged the goals in last season in the Championship. Ellington is in dispute with Wigan about a new contract which runs out next summer, so we could get him on the cheap. He's strong, got pace, runs all day.
Adam Neylon, Knotty Ash

Caution the key for wary Moyes
Jul 20 2005 Rob Brady reports from Thailand, Liverpool Echo
EXPECTATIONS for the coming season may be high among Evertonians, but manager David Moyes has revealed he would settle for a finish in the top half of the table. A superb fourth place finish and Champions League qualification last term has whetted the appetite of the Goodison faithful, who are hoping for good times ahead, both at home and abroad in the new campaign. The ever-cautious Blues boss, however, has warned against fanciful predictions. "We don't set ourselves up like that," said Moyes. "All we have done is get into the qualifiers for the Champions League group. A manager's job is to raise expectations, but we are realistic. "We have a long way to go to catch the bigger teams. We made a good fist of it last season without many resources. "To be realistic, to get into the top half of the Premier League would have to be seen as an improvement over what Everton have done over a longer period. In the last three years, we have finished seventh, 17th and fourth. Finishing in the top half would not be a bad thing because there are a lot of sides trying to achieve that. There is no guarantee you will. It's a very difficult thing to do. "Getting into the Champions League was fantastic, given where we started from. It's something we want to try and build on.
"We have an exciting season ahead. I believe all the tickets are sold out at Goodison. You won't be able to get a seat for any of the games next season. That gives you an idea of how Evertonians feel about this team." The Blues' achievements last season showed it was possible to reach the Champions League without having millions to spend on play-ers - a fact Moyes clearly takes pride in.
"It's an encouragement for everybody in football," he said. "We are in an era where everyone seems to think money will always be the solution. "I have got to say that it is, but we had to do it last year with very little spending. That means most teams in the Premier League are in a similar position to us and that's where they take encouragement from. "It was an incredible achievement by the players last year. Anyone else who wants to do it now knows their team will have to do really well to make it happen." Everton were in action today against the Thai national team in the opening match of the Premier League's Asia Trophy in Bangkok.

Star stalker is detained
Jul 20 2005 Liverpool Echo
A STALKER who claimed to be Everton striker James Beattie's girlfriend has been detained under the mental health act. Police acted when the footballer, now on tour in Thailand, said he feared for his safety. The 36-year-old mother, who allegedly pestered the player at his old club Southampton, is believed to have turned up at pre-season training in West Derby and tried to follow him home.
Police are not pressing charges.

Moyes should splash out on Keane, Davis
Jul 20 2005 Echo Letters, icLiverpool & Liverpool Echo
I CAN'T believe we are getting knocked back by players I've never heard of. I think David Moyes should make a £9million bid for Robbie Keane and Sean Davis, get Coco and Olivier Bernard on a free and sign Andy van der Meyde and Henri Camara.
Andy Holland, Broadgreen
MICHAEL BALL would make an excellent left-back. He is better than Naysmith, while James Beattie will be a big success next season. We just need a partner for him and we are running out of time.
Shez Khan, Birmingham
MICHAEL BALL would not be a good investment! We sold the boy for a lot of money years ago and he has done nothing since. He left us on the verge of grabbing the England left back jersey, but now he can't get a club. Just because he's a Blue doesn't make him worth buying.
Kevin Stansfield, Childwall
A DECENT performance on Saturday.
Motherwell were very competitive but we kept our cool throughout and kept the ball well. Kroldrup was superb!
Paul Brow, Fazakerley
IT IS a disgrace that we are not competing for some of the better players available. I am not concerned that we didn't sign Parker. I am talking about the shambolic way we have gone about pretending to sign big names when we have no intention of actually buying them.
Jim White, Birkenhead
HOW about Nathan Ellington?
I know he hasn't proved himself in the Premiership but he banged the goals in last season in the Championship. Ellington is in dispute with Wigan about a new contract which runs out next summer, so we could get him on the cheap. He's strong, got pace, runs all day.
Adam Neylon, Knotty Ash

Thailand U-23s 1, Everton 1 (D,Post)
Jul 21 2005 By Nick Hilton in Bangkok, Daily Post
Thailand win 5-3 on penalties
EVERTON found that a pairing with the host nation was anything but an easy ticket into the final of the Premier League's Asia Trophy last night. David Moyes's team were grateful to finish level after 90 minutes of combat with a bright and sharp Thai team preparing for the South East Asia games.
In the interest of the tournament's structure the contest was settled with a penalty shootout in which Everton were beaten 5-3. The only miss of the competition by Joseph Yobo proved decisive. His side-footed kick was easily saved by the Thai goalkeeper. That means Everton will now contest the third and fourth playoff on Saturday against Manchester City after they were beaten 5-4 on penalties by Bolton. Everton were fully extended in coping with the sticky, sapping heat, with temperatures in the 90s and a Thai team clearly comfortable in the conditions. With several players left out due to minor knocks and blisters many of Everton's senior men had to battle through a gruelling ordeal. They had the opportunities to snatch a victory after Marcus Bent's 45th-minute strike equalised a spectacular eight-minute opener by Thailand's Phichitphong Choeichiu. But on chances created the home team were value for a success described by head coach Chanzit Polchivin "one we will remember for a long time to come". The Thai manager also pointed out: "The biggest issue was the conditions which made it very difficult for Everton." Everton found themselves thrown quickly on to the backfoot by the eager and energetic home side. The Thais' early goal illustrated the ability to make Everton look a little slow-footed in defence. Choeichiu burst into space in front of a hesitant defence and had the time and space to drive a powerful 25-yard shot into the top corner, beyond the reach of the diving Nigel Martyn. It could quickly have got worse for Everton.
They were opened up again in the 16th minute when Choeichiu dragged a first time shot wide from 15 yards. The first water-break gave Everton some respite from the oppressive heat. And the Premiership team, looking a little refreshed, created some scoring opportunities of their own.
When James McFadden delivered a sharp cross from the left, Duncan Ferguson was first to the ball with a shot from a dozen yards that Kosin Hathairattanakool did well to block with his body. Another run down the left by Leon Osman resulted in an early cross that Bent met with a first time volley, forcing a sharp save from the keeper. Everton survived a double letoff on 33 minutes when Martyn did well to push out a powerful 25-yard shot from Datsakom Thonglao and Suchao Nutnum stabbed the rebound beyond the goalkeeper and against the left hand post. Everton were able to reach the interval level thanks to a well-worked opportunist strike by Bent. Osman was the architect, wriggling into space through the middle to play the deftest of passes on the edge of the box for Bent to latch onto and poke past the advancing goalkeeper. The game was played in a curious atmosphere. The attendance of around 10,000 was clearly a disappointment to the event organisers and the early evening kick-off, before many had beaten the choking Bangkok rush hour traffic, kept the numbers down. The local branch of the Everton supporters' group,, who seemed to number a healthy minority in the stadium, kept up a musical accompaniment throughout the match on an electric organ and drums. Thonglao gave Everton another sharp reminder of the Thai threat when he flashed a 25-yard shot over on 52 minutes. It was the signal for Everton manager Moyes to make the first of his substitutions. A rare lapse at the heart of the home defence presented Bent with an opportunity to put Everton ahead on 58 minutes but the striker, left clear on the edge of the box, slashed his hurried shot wide. But the darting runs and nibble footwork of the Thai's meant Everton could never afford to drop their guard. They should have conceded on 80 minutes when Teeratep Winothai ran clear on to a long diagonal pass from deep but ran his shot wide of the right-hand post with only Martyn to beat. Martyn then had to produce an athletic save to deny the Thais an outright winner on 87 minutes when substitute Chakrit Buathong cut inside to drive an angled shot towards the far corner. The home side then created another excellent chance in injury time when Winothai fired straight at Martyn from 15 yards. For the record, Everton's penalty shoot-out spot kicks were converted by David Weir, James McFadden and Kevin Kilbane with Yobo missing the third kick.
THAILAND: Hathairattanakool, Mahawong, Pitafai, Samakrat, Saiwaew, Bunkham, Choeichew, Poolsap, Thonglao, Thongmaen, Sangondee. Subs: Taweekul, Koedpudsa, Chaisamak, Keelalay, Fuplook, Saingam, Inthasen, Winothai, Sukka, Buathong, Yodyingyong, Kongprapan, Nathasan, Bedtaku, Chutong, Nutnum.
EVERTON: Martyn, Hibbert, Yobo, Weir, Kilbane, Osman, Li Tie (Kroldrup 52) Arteta (Vaughan 65), McFadden, Ferguson (Sergeant 72), Bent. Subs: Turner, Wynne, Hughes.
REFEREE: M Clattenburg (Co Durham)
NEXT GAME: Everton v Manchester City, Asia Trophy third place play-off, Saturday 11.45am

Conditions no excuse for defeat, says Moyes
By Nick Hilton, Daily Post
Jul 21 2005
DAVID MOYES was unforgiving of his Everton side after they lost the opening game of the Asia Trophy to a young Thai national side in Bangkok last night. The Goodison manager would not accept the hot and humid conditions in mitigation for the performance, saying: "We did not play anything like we should do." Everton were beaten 5-3 in a penalty shoot-out after the first game of the tournament finished in a 1-1 draw, with Marcus Bent equalising on the stroke of half-time after Phichitphong Choeichiu had given the home side an eighth-minute lead. Everton, with thousands of their local fans in attendance to cheer them on, had to work hard to cope with the sharpness and movement of the Thai team. Moyes said afterwards: "We did not play well and I was disappointed with that. It was nevertheless an important fitness exercise for the players. "I would not blame the conditions. It was the Thais who did well, we did not play anything like we should do and I have no qualms about the result. "The Thais were a little bit unknown to us but they surprised us a little bit as well and all credit to them. "They were sharp and they were quick and they scored a very good early goal that made us chase them. We had some good chances in the first half and in the second to win, but we did not take our opportunities." Minor knocks and bruises forced Moyes to leave a handful of his senior players out of the action and that meant a hard night's work for many of the starters. Moyes explained: "We had five or six players who were not available so we had a few kids on the bench. The way the game was going we could not give the young boys a chance."
Moyes is hopeful that a few of the minor knocks will clear up by Saturday, when Everton contest the third and fourth place play-off game against Manchester City. Moyes added: "We will need to assess things over the next few days. We have Champions League and Premier League games coming up which are the most important thing. "Hopefully we can take a little bit of fitness for our players out of tonight. "But we were not sharp in the conditions and there are no excuses about that." Chinese midfielder Li Tie, a familiar face to the Far East crowd, came in for criticism from the Everton manager after a disappointing return to Asia following his 18-month-long injury absence.
"It was Li Tie's poorest game for us since he came back," said Moyes. "When the place stepped up, he never moved up with it."

Pistone may return to solve defensive crisis
By David Prior Daily Post Staff
Jul 21 2005
ALESSANDRO PISTONE is in line for a shock return to Goodison. The Italian full-back, 30 next week, is being strongly considered by manager David Moyes as the Scot's search for defensive cover continues to prove fruitless. Pistone's five-year career at Everton appeared to have ended when his contract expired at the end of June. The former Newcastle and Inter Milan man had rejected the club's one-year offer and looked set to sign a three-year deal with Serie A side Lecce. But that move has now collapsed, and Moyes is ready to tempt Pistone back to Goodison with a fresh two-year deal. The news is the latest evidence of Moyes' trials in the transfer market this summer. Despite his side's qualification for the Champions League, Moyes has been unable to attract the kind of players he had hoped. Scott Parker and Emre have both spurned the Scot's advances to sign for Newcastle while another target, Momo Sissoko, chose Liverpool instead at the last minute. Craig Bellamy and Ryan Taylor also plumped for other clubs ahead of Everton, while earlier this week Spanish striker Javi Guerrero claimed he had rejected against a move to Merseyside. Pistone, who featured in 33 of Everton's 38 Premiership games last term, originally joined in a £3million move from Newcastle in 2000.

Thailand U-23s 1, Everton 1 (Echo)
Jul 21 2005 By Rob Brady in Bangkok
"DON'T take your opponents lightly, that's for sure," quipped David Moyes in his post match press conference. Certainly none of us confessed to knowing too much about the Thais beforehand, but we were all in agreement afterwards that they had impressed far more than their illustrious Premier League opponents. But let's not be too harsh on the Blues. With a crucial Champions League qualifier and a Premiership opener with Manchester United looming large, it would have been madness to overstretch the squad chasing a meaningless trophy on the other side of the world. Commercial benefits aside, the best any manager can hope for from trips like this is to condition his players so they hit the ground running when the real action starts. That said, Everton created enough chances to have comfortably won what was a surprisingly end to end match given the oppressive heat and humidity. With James Beattie, Tim Cahill and Simon Davies nursing minor knocks alongside longer term injured Gary Naysmith and Lee Carsley, Moyes' options were limited. Yet Leon Osman, James McFadden and Marcus Bent linked up well to play some decent passing football in advanced positions, while Kevin Kilbane showed he is an able deputy short term for Naysmith at left back. It was in the centre of midfield where the Blues disappointed. Mikel Arteta showed only glimpse of the quality we know can shred defences, while Li Tie struggled to get to grips with the high tempo set by the Thais. He lasted only 53 minutes and at least his replacement Per Kroldrup looked solid at the back alongside David Weir, allowing Joseph Yobo to push forward in a bid to add some steel to midfield. The Blues embarrassingly fell behind as early as the ninth minute thanks to a stunning shot from Phichitphong Choeichiu, but they rallied to draw level just before the interval. A clever through ball from Osman released Bent and he neatly slotted under the keeper.
The striker had earlier spurned a volley after good work from McFadden and Osman, while Duncan Ferguson should also have scored from close range but failed to muster enough power to beat Kosin Hathairattankaool in the Thai goal The generosity continued. Bent capitalised on a mistake in the hosts' back line to break clear, but opting for power over accuracy he saw his shot flash just the wrong side of the far post. An opportunity to redeem himself arrived almost immediately when he went clean through again, but just as he was about to pull the trigger Kiatprawut Saiwec recovered to steal the ball off his boot. The Thais mounted a late bid to claim a famous scalp as Everton understandably tired in the heat. Teeratep Winothai, who last season actually trained at the Blues' academy, twice wasted golden chances, while fellow sub Chakrit Buathong was denied by a fine save from Nigel Martyn. In the end a penalty shoot-out miss by Yobo handed Thailand a place in the Premier League's Asia Trophy final on Saturday. Everton and Manchester City will fight for pride in the third place play off earlier that day. But whether Moyes' men had returned home with a silver cup or wooden spoon on Sunday does not matter a jot. The real business starts in three weeks' time.. Everton: Martyn, Hibbert, Yobo, Weir, Kilbane, Bent, Arteta, Li Tie (Kroldrup 53), Osman, McFadden, Ferguson (Seargeant 73). Not used: Turner, Vaughan, Hughes, Wynne.

Pistone in Blues U-turn
Jul 21 2005 By John Thompson, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES today moved to solve Everton's left-back crisis - by re-signing Alessandro Pistone.
The Italian defender looked as though he was set to leave Goodison after a five-year spell and return to his homeland. His deal expired at the end of June but officials have been working behind the scenes in an attempt to secure his signature. Pistone, who had been linked with a move to Lecce, today signed a new two-year deal at Bellefield, keeping him at Goodison until the summer of 2007.
The Blues have faced a major problem at left-back after attempts to sign a defender to fill the position fell through. Yesterday in Thailand midfielder Kevin Kilbane slotted into the role and it had been thought he may play there regularly in the coming season. But today's late change of heart by Pistone, whose appearances have at times been limited by niggling injury problems, seems to have solved the problem for the Blues. Assistant Manager Alan Irvine said: "We are obviously delighted that Alessandro is staying with us. He was offered a contract last season but chose not to take it.
"Fortunately for Everton he has now changed his mind." He added: "Hopefully he can have as good a season for us as he did last season." Pistone, who turns 30 next week, arguably enjoyed the best campaign of his Blues career last season, making 39 appearances. He will now start pre-season training but will not fly out to Thailand to join the rest of the squad in Bangkok where the Blues play their final match in the Asian Cup against Manchester City on Saturday.

'Really, we had enough chances to win the game'
Jul 21 2005 By Rob Brady, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES admitted he struggled to take anything positive from yesterday's defeat.
The Blues failed to impress in the energy-sapping heat and humidity of Bangok during a match beamed live to millions of Everton fans across Asia as well as back home in Britain. Afterwards the manager said: "We did not play well. I was disappointed with that. Nevertheless it was an important fitness programme for the players. I wouldn't blame the conditions. The Thai team did well and we didin't play anything like we should do. We have no qualms about the result." However, Moyes stressed that his priority is preparing his players for a testing start to the new season. They play a Champions League qualifier in three week's time (Aug 9/10) and a Premiership opener with Manchester United just days later. "You are always concerned as a manager when you don't win games, but we have a Champions League game and the Premier League coming up and that's the main thing," he said. "Hopefully we can take a little bit of fitness work from this." The Blues gave most of the senior players a 90-minute run out yesterday, something that was forced on the manager by injuries. "It wasn't the original intention to work the players for so long," he said. "We were very short on players. We had five or six not available for selection because of knocks and blisters, so we had a few kids on the bench. That certainly played a part in the result. There is a chance two or three of the players will be back for Saturday's game." Moyes confessed he did not know much about the Thai team before the match, yet felt it was his own side's poor finishing which ultimately cost them. He added: "Did they surprise us? A little. It was all a bit unknown. We didn't know too much about them. All credit to them. They were sharp, they were quick. The boy scored a good first goal which meant we had to chase the game a bit. Really, we had enough chances in the second half and even the first to win the game. We didn't take our opportunities."

No route back for defender Stubbs
By David Prior, Daily Post
Jul 22 2005
ALAN STUBBS will not be following Alessandro Pistone in resigning for Everton. Two months after steering the Goodison club into the Champions League, the former captain is training on his own having turned down the offer of a one-year extension to his previous contract, which expired at the end of June. Although he has been linked with Bolton and Aston Villa, the 33-year-old has yet to find a new club and is having to make his own arrangements to keep fit. Stubbs' advisors are in talks with other clubs and it is thought the tough central defender would extend his career at Goodison Park if he was offered a similar deal to that which Pistone has agreed. The Italian full-back yesterday signed a new two-year deal - as revealed by the Daily Post - having,, like Stubbs, initially rejected a 12-month contract. But Everton are unlikely to do the same for Kirkby-born Stubbs, having considered their initial offer extremely fair for a player who turns 34 in October. With Per Kroldrup having joined Joseph Yobo and David Weir at Goodison this summer, Everton also believe they are relatively well covered in central defence. Their desperate need for reinforcements at full-back, however, have led Everton back to Pistone. And yesterday the former Inter Milan and Newcastle defender said: "It is definitely good for me because it is a big challenge in the season coming with the Champions League. "I think it is a very good thing for me in terms of my career so I am happy about it. There was a point when I thought that maybe I would not be coming back. "But I have always been in contact with the club and always been in negotiations during the period. "I am happy that at the end we have reached an agreement because this is what I wanted from the beginning."
He added: "I said last season that this is where I wanted to stay because I have found a good club with good people and I was happy here. "It is good to be involved in a competition like the Champions League. I cannot wait, I am sure it is going to be a good season. "Finishing fourth was a great result. It would have felt like I had missed something not to play here this season after helping the side get fourth." Pistone will not be flown out to Thailand for the Asia Cup, where Everton face Manchester City on Saturday. Instead his first taste of pre-season action will be against Fenerbahce in Istanbul on July 30. The rekindling of negotiations with Pistone followed manager David Moyes being forced to field midfielder Kevin Kilbane as an emergency left-back in recent pre-season games, including the embarrassing penalty shoot-out defeat by Thailand's under-23 side in Bangkok on Wednesday. Everton assistant manager Alan Irvine said: "We are obviously delighted that Alessandro is staying with us. "He was offered a contract last season but chose not to take it. Fortunately for Everton he has now changed his mind. "Hopefully he can have as good a season for us as he did last season."

Beattie vows to grasp second chance and repay Moyes's faith
By Simon Stone, Daily Post
Jul 22 2005
JAMES BEATTIE has vowed to repay the faith shown in him by manager David Moyes after a turbulent first six months at Everton. Moyes splashed out £6million on the England striker in January believing he would score the goals that would steer Everton into the Champions League. Instead, the gamble looked like going disastrously wrong when Beattie was sent off for a headbutt on William Gallas in a home defeat to Chelsea, a brainstorm which earned the 27-year-old a three-match ban.
Even when he returned to action, Beattie failed to make an impression and found himself overlooked as Moyes returned to the trusted combination of Marcus Bent and Duncan Ferguson.
In the end, Beattie's problems did not fatally wound Everton's European aspirations. But when the new campaign gets underway with a mouth-watering Goodison Park opener against Manchester United on August 13, both Beattie and Moyes know it is time for the striker to deliver. "If things had gone wrong for Everton last season, I suppose I could have been blamed but the good thing about football is that you always get another chance to put it right," observed Beattie. "I had a difficult time to start with but I have never doubted my own ability. The manager stood by me, and so did the fans. "There is no middle road in football these days but I know people around the club want me to do well and hopefully I will contribute to another good season." Ironically, Beattie's most notable contribution to the Everton cause came at the home of his old club, when he grabbed the winner at St Mary's that contributed to Southampton's eventual demise. It was the type of goal Moyes is expecting more of this season as the Merseyside outfit attempt to prove their magnificent fourth-place finish last term was not a fluke. "James had a good goalscoring record in the Premier League prior to joining Everton and I do not see why that should change," said Moyes. The manager will hope to have Beattie in his starting line-up on Saturday when Everton bid to make amends for Wednesday's defeat to Thailand by beating Manchester City to secure third place in the FA Premier League Asia Trophy. "He had a difficult first year, which can be put down to a lot of things but we have brought him here to get us some goals and now it is time for him to stand on his own two feet and deliver the goods," Moyes added.. One thing Beattie will not be getting his hopes raised about is earning a recall to Sven-Goran Eriksson's England squad. The Swede does not apparently consider Beattie an international player, and with emerging talents such as Peter Crouch and Andy Johnson staking their claim for next year's World Cup squad, it would be a major surprise if Eriksson changed his thinking now.

Meeting challenge to match on-field success
By Nick Hilton, Daily Post
Jul 22 2005
IT isn't just Everton's footballers who face the responsibility of building last season's success. The return of the Everton name to the high ground of the English game and the European Champions League presents a challenge that also has to be met on the commercial field, according to the club's new deputy chief executive Robert Elstone. The former accountant and sports business specialist was handed the job by chief executive Keith Wyness. Elstone is in Bangkok this week to discharge his remit in the "day-to-day management" of Everton's business and commercial affairs. Elstone says: "This job is a big challenge because a fantastic platform was created by David Moyes and the players last season. "Qualification for the European Champions League put us back on the map and it's up to us to consolidate our position off the field if we can." One of Elstone's first tasks has been to pursue the business agenda of Everton's visit to Bangkok this week and develop the connection with the club's major sponsor Chang Beer, the major brewer in Thailand. Elstone says: "One of the reasons why Chang got involved with us is that Everton are part of English football's establishment. The history and tradition of the club I'm sure attracted Chang. "But status can be short-term. It can erode very quickly. "What we did last season from a playing perspective was to re-establish ourselves. The challenge from a business point of view is to make sure we cement that. To be successful on the field you have to be successful as a business these days. But the way to do that is to be within the parameters of what Everton Football Club is all about. It's a people's club." Elstone says he appreciates the sensitivities of many supporters who don't like to regard their club as a business and insists clubs cannot afford to regard fans simply as customers. "We are running a business but no means in an exploitative way," Elstone says. "If we began to think the only way we can increase our revenue is in an exploitative type of way we would fail. "At the same time like any business, such as Marks and Spencer's and Tesco's it's about keeping your customers or your fans happy and it's primarily about delivering on the field." The sell-out of season tickets for the coming Premiership campaign speaks volumes for the enthusiasm of Evertonians. Elstone says his own experience as a dyed-in-the-wool Castleford rugby league supporter serve him well when trying to appreciate the viewpoint of the committed fan. He says: "I was born in Barnsley and my father and grandfather were from just on the outskirts of Castleford. "They dragged me along to watch Castleford from an early age and that became a passion of my life. It still is. "Castleford have fallen on hard times, being relegated from Super League. "Experiencing the emotional roller coaster as a committed fan makes you understand about staying with the team through thick and thin. "What that gives me is an intuitive feeling for the relationship between the sports fan and his club.
"You can start to appreciate how that relationship can develop and be made to work better from the point of view of the club." Elstone went to work for the Rugby Football League after leaving behind, with some relief, the world of accountancy in 1995. He recalls: "Rugby league was going through a period of great change at that time. Super League was formed and the game moved to the summer. Those three years were a fantastic experience for me." Elstone went on to join Deloitte in consultancy services to the sports industry. He explained: "We had a range of clients across Europe, leagues wanting to be like the Premier League in England, European clubs wanting to be like Premiership clubs." He joined Sky Sports in 2000, working as a commerce and media agent on behalf of clubs such as Chelsea, Manchester City, Sunderland and Leeds, bringing in new sponsorship and media revenues. Upon rejoining Deloitte, Elstone's first assignment was to help Wyness prepare a business plan for Everton. Elstone explains: "That's when I got to know Keith. I worked very closely with him on that project and on the back of that I was offered the position at Everton, which I was delighted to accept." The deputy chief executive is already convinced of the significance of Everton's links to Thailand, established with their first sponsorship deal with Chang Beer last season and strengthened by a new agreement to cover the next three seasons. It is the most lucrative deal of its kind in Everton's history. Says Elstone: "The potential in South East Asia is enormous. "We know the Premier League is watched religiously on TV, no more so than here in Thailand. "Our relationship with Chang gives us a fantastic platform. "We want to make the fan base here come to life and make those supporters Evertonians for life. "It's a big challenge for us but also a great opportunity. "We have the potential with Chang to cement a much more meaningful relationship with the Thai fans. "The alternative, as many Premiership clubs seem to do, is to drop into this territory, play a game or two and then turn up again two or three years later and hope that helps cultivate a fan base. I'm not sure that it will." The inference is that English clubs have to put more effort on the ground here in the Far East. Elstone adds: "Our community and academy teams have already been out here. "We have commitments within the contract with Chang to come and run football clinics here four times a year. "These are ground-breaking activities that should help us build a firm base out here for

You helped rebuild our lives, tsunami villagers tell Everton
EXCLUSIVE by Nick Hilton Daily Post Sports Staff
Jul 22 2005
BAN Nam Khem, the Thai community rebuilt with the help of disaster relief donations from Everton supporters, said thanks to their friends from the other side of the world yesterday. They did so by greeting a group of visiting Everton footballers and officials like royalty on an afternoon of ceremony, celebrations and heartfelt gratitude. Members of the Everton party, on a day-long excursion from a pre-season tournament in Bangkok, were deeply moved by the warmth of the greeting from hundreds of villagers and smiling schoolchildren. Everton's assistant manager Alan Irvine said: "It was a very humbling experience. Evertonians will be delighted to see how much their contributions have meant." The Everton party, including Duncan Ferguson, James Beattie, Tim Cahill, Lee Carsley and Kevin Kilbane, deputy chief executive Robert Elstone, and Irvine, were escorted on a tour of the devastated surrounding area that suffered one third of Thailand's total casualties in the Boxing Day tsunami disaster. The tour concluded with a visit to Everton-Chang Village, a cluster of 50 new homes built by the Thai army on the edge of the Indian Ocean at the heart of the area where more than 1,300 people, out of a local population of 4,500, lost their lives seven months ago. It is here that much of the £100,000 raised by Evertonians last winter has been spent. Everton's Thai sponsors Chang Beer, part of the Thai Beverages Group, weighed in with an additional donation of around £35,000 that added two new football pitches and a science lab to the local school. The Everton party was also shown the place nearby where two large fishing boats were tossed hundreds of yards inland like toys by the force of the water. Now cleaned up and left where they were washed up, they stand as memorials to the dead. Irvine added: "Seeing all this makes you realise how fortunate we are in our lives back home. What has been a relatively small contribution by us is making such a big difference out here. "It is difficult to explain to people how bad the situation must have been here and how these people have recovered. "I don't know how they feel emotionally but it is remarkable what they have managed to get done in such a short space of time."
Elstone, the man with the job of strengthening Everton's links in Thailand through the commercial partnership with Chang Beer, made a speech of thanks for Everton's reception from the people of the village. He said: "Our contribution to the rebuilding of the village was the easy part. We can only salute the bravery and commitment of the people of the village and the army. Lieutenant General Lertrnt Rattanavanish explained that more than 1,000 Thai army engineers together with volunteers and technical students had been at work in the region. The Lieutenant General made a speech in his combat uniform but soon changed into a replica shirt bearing his name presented by the Everton party. The village had been chosen by the army as the location for Everton and Chang's donation.
Everton were the first Premiership club to set up a disaster fund two days after an earthquake in the Indian Ocean caused the tidal waves. Kantanit Sukontasap, Deputy Vice President for corporate marketing at Thai Beverages, said: "I would like to thank the fans of Everton. "They decided without hesitation to offer help to the Thai people in their time of need. "What we have built, with their money and the money added by Chang, 50 houses, two football pitches and a school lab is a pittance compared to the losses the people of the village have suffered. "Nothing in the world can repay those people in the village who have lost loved ones. "But at least we can do something to improve the lives of the people who will carry on living here." Chitdee Thongsum, Director of Ban Buang School said: "The football pitches mean a lot to the people in the area because there are nine schools close by and all the students will use them." Out of a local student population of 687 children in the area aged up to 15, Thongsum said 51 died in the tsunami, 47 became orphans, and 300 saw their homes destroyed. He also lost one member of staff. "I would like to thank the Everton fans for all their help. These facilities will be an inspiration for local children," he said.
Tourists starting to return as rapid reconstruction brings fresh hope to Thailand's devastated resort areas
EVERTON-CHANG Village is in the heart of Thang-Nga Province where the Boxing Day tsunami was at its most destructive. The steeply sloping beaches and coastline villages and resorts offered little protection from the wave which swept inland for almost a mile in places. On the road south to Phuket, where reconstruction has been most rapid, a police patrol boat still lies at the foot of a cliff, 1.2 kilometres in land from the beach. On the island of Phuket itself, 90% of the tourist infrastructure is reported to be back in place. But, at the north of the airport on the mainland, the evidence of the tsunami's terrifying power can be found in the muddy and desolate ruins of five-star beach resorts and back-packers' hideaways. Everton-Chang village is not yet completed, although construction progress has been rapid and families will be able to move into their new homes within a few weeks. Now local people are desperate to attract the visitors back. Thai people are being encouraged by big discounts on holiday packages and there is evidence that Europeans are returning in numbers. If their paradise beaches have to be shared with bulldozers and diggers for a little while longer, it is a small price worth paying. However, tourists from other parts of Asia may prove more difficult to attract. They fear taking a holiday alongside the ghosts of the dead.

Wrong signal given
Post Soapbox, icLiverpool & Daily Post
Jul 22 2005
Wrong signal given
I THINK re-signing players that have been released because they were not good enough sends out the wrong type of message. What would people think if Liverpool FC, the mighty European Champions, failed to buy Sissoko and resigned Biscan. It would be a travesty. However they are obviously having less trouble attracting decent players. This is hard to believe considering many people believe Everton are the best team on Merseyside. It would appear no-one has mentioned that to the play-ers on the market.
Mark Gibson (via e-mail)
Call Johnson
WITH JUST a few weeks to go before the 2005-2006 season, we all remain frustrated at the lack of arrivals into Goodison Park. Yes, we have missed out on good players but the fact is there are still quality players ready and waiting to be snapped up, which begs the question of why are we so dormant when there are potential quality signings still available? Any news on bringing Andy Johnson to Everton has gone unbelievably quiet, especially considering he's desperate to leave Palace, with Everton being his favoured choice. Give Andy a call so we can purchase a player that we need and one that desperately wants to join us!
Michael Gerrard (via email)
Missed chance
WE HAD an opportunity to build on last season's fortunate fourth place and get rid of the deadwood just like Liverpool are doing. They sign Pepe Reina, Bolo Zenden, Momo Sissoko, Peter Crouch, Mark Gonzales and Antonio Barragan. We have signed just two additions in Per Koldrup and Simon Davies to a squad so lacking in quality and then to cap it all, we go and re-sign Alessandro Pistone. In the second half of the season we won less points than West Brom and stuttered over the line for fourth spot. James McFadden, Li Tie, Pistone and Riochard Wright should all have gone. I am so disappointed in our transfer dealings and remember a lot of poor perfomances in the second half of the season. Unless we sign some quality we will struggle like we did from Xmas last season.
Dan Dooley (via e-mail)
Keen on Milan
EVERTON need a striker, maybe Milan Baros, Robbie Keane or even Nathan Ellington. He's been in top form in the Championship so why not?
Joe Abbott (via e-mail)
Bring back Ball
IF PISTONE has been resigned as a squad player, then that is fine, but Michael Ball should be brought back. I also think Alan Stubbs deserves another contract for one year, plus a one year option. Let's hope more signings are around the corner.
Richie Walker, Moreton, Wirral
Different option
NO problems with resigning Pistone. Not a lot out there apart from the various Brazillians, Italians and Koreans you've hardly heard of. Pistone's got a lot more about him than Gary Naysmith and he can play well on both flanks. Another squad defender and Robbie Keane would be nice, though.
Ian Sharp, Ormskirk
Laid back style
LAST season Pistone was consistent and although he makes mistakes at times, if he was that much of a liability would we have finished fourth? Is the reason he gets singled out because he is foreign? He has played five seasons and never moaned. Also, Italian players often look more laid back; it's a fact of football. Plus he can play anywhere in the back four.
Jon Fisher, Liverpool
Still waiting
I AM bitterly disappointed about the money situation. What's happened to the funding we were supposed to get this time last year?
Ian James (via e-mail)

TV captures Yobo's penalty waft in Asia
By Mark O'Brien Everton supporter, Daily Post
Jul 22 2005
WHEN Khalilou Fadiga took one short step and contemptuously dispatched his penalty into the top corner during the shoot out at the end of Bolton's Premier League Asia match against Manchester City, do you reckon that Joseph Yobo started pointing and declaring: "That's what I meant to do, honest." Because, man alive, the crucial penalty he took at the end of Everton's game against the Thai Under-23s - not even the full national team - was an utter abomination. Even Bradley Wright-Phillips' shocking, mile-high toe punt wasn't as bad as our Nigerian libero's kick. In fact kick is too strong a word for it. Perhaps, 'caress' or even 'waft' would be better. Because, let's face it, even if the keeper had dived completely the wrong way he would still have had time to get back up, dust himself down, light a cigarette, wave to his family in the crowd and then jog back across his goal, by which time Yobo's effort would have probably just about arrived, rather apologetically, at the line.
It's not just Yobo though, players insist on taking penalties in similarly ludicrous ways all the time. Why they do it is a mystery. What's wrong with just picking your corner, keeping your eye on the ball and then putting your foot through it? David Moyes should threaten to fine the next Everton player who attempts the chip, the stutter or the short run-up from the penalty spot, even if it is only in a friendly halfway around the other side of the world. Moyes said he was disappointed with the result and the performance. And despite the conditions and the slightly depleted squad, most people probably did expect to see a bit more Premiership quality on display from Everton, especially in terms of their passing. The fact that these sorts of games are being televised represents a little bit of a double-edged sword in that it gives the fans, hungry for some football, an early glimpse of the team in action, and there are undoubtedly financial plusses for the club too. On the other hand though, a poor showing can then result in a bit of unwanted pressure at a time when the onus for them should really be on fitness and experimenting with formations and line-ups. So, with that in mind, we should all remain rational, slightly detached and not take these results too seriously. A win against Manchester City tomorrow would still be great though!

Blues make transfer pledge
Jul 22 2005 By Rob Brady in Thailand, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON have pledged to step up their attempts to bring new faces to Goodison Park. Blues assistant manager Alan Irvine admits more signings are needed to boost squad numbers - and because Everton fear they will not be as lucky with injuries as they were last season. The pledge comes 24 hours after the club re-signed left back Alessandro Pistone on a two-year deal, adding to the list of arrivals including centre half Per Kroldrup, keeper John Ruddy, mid-field playmaker Mikel Arteta and winger Simon Davies. It may reassure supporters who remain concerned at seeing the club miss out on a crop of other targets including Scott Parker, Craig Bellamy, Emre and Mohamed Sissoko. Irvine, currently out in Thailand for the Asia Cup tournament, knows the Blues must have a big enough squad to cope with the extra demands of the Champions League. He said: "We are delighted Alessandro has come back. He made a huge contribution last season and will hopefully make a similar one for the next two years. "We obviously needed to bring in someone as an extra left back with Gary Naysmith currently injured. "Kevin Kilbane has filled in there but it would have been unfair to expect him to play there through the season when Gary was not available. "We are certainly not finished. We want to add more players to the squad. Last year we got lucky with a very small squad and did not suffer through injuries or suspensions. "We can't be that lucky again and hopefully we will have the extra demands of a number of European games. "We know we are going to lose players and we have to make sure we have the depth to cover. Look at Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United, and the size of their squads. Clearly they recognise the need for top quality cover." Everton play their final game of the Premier League Asia Trophy in Thailand against Manchester City tomorrow (kick-off 11.45am BST) before flying home the following day.
The Blues hope to have James Beattie (thigh), Tim Cahill (ankle) and Simon Davies (leg) back in contention for the match.

Plight of Thai village moves Blues stars
Jul 22 2005 By Rob Brady with the Blues in Thailand, Liverpool Echo
IN the area of Thailand worst hit by the tsunami the people are rebuilding their lives thanks to the generosity of Everton and their supporters. The club, its fans and sponsors Chang brewery donated £130,000 to construct 50 new homes in the devastated coastal village of Bang Muang - an hour's drive north of Phuket. The community has been named Everton Chang in recognition of the Merseysiders' contribution. The Blues have also established a soccer skills centre at Bang Muang's main school, where 51 children lost their lives and a further 47 were orphaned by the terrible events eight months ago. Assistant manager Alan Irvine and players James Beat-tie, Tim Cahill, Lee Carsley, Kevin Kilbane and Duncan Ferguson visited the village yesterday for the official opening of the football facilities. They were also given a tour of the surrounding area, which is being rebuilt by the Thai army. The Premiership stars were visibly moved as they witnessed at first hand the destruction caused by the 50ft wave smashing into the village. An estimated 1,500 people lost their lives and 1,200 houses destroyed by the tsunami in this area alone. Large fishing boats were forced up to 3km inland by the giant wave and army officers described how the vessels smashed everything in their wake, killing hundreds. They boats have been left where they came to rest as monuments to the dead. The Everton party was flown from Phuket airport to the village in army helicopters, giving them an unprecedented view of the full horror that took place last December. Wide stretches of the countryside, small villages and luxury seafront holiday resorts were all flattened by the tsunami.
Midfielder Tim Cahill said: "It puts everything into perspective being in a place where so many families were destroyed. You realise there is more to life than football. It is very impressive to see how the Thai people are putting everything back together again." Irvine added: "It was very important for us to come here. It is a very humbling experience to see that what we have done has been so appreciated. When we flew over we could see the devastation. It's terrific to see how the people have been able to rebuild so effectively." The people of Bang Muang were eager to show their gratitude and the Blues were given the VIP treatment when they arrived at the local school, where the soccer centre is based. It includes a full size pitch and five-a-side facilities. The players took part in a coaching session with the children. Jitdee Tongsan, director of the school, said: "The football field means a lot to the people in the community because within this area there are nine schools and the students from all these schools can use it. The people here love to play sports."
Kantanit Sukontasap, of Chang owners Thai Beverage, added: "I would like to thank Everton and the fans in England for offering help to the Thai people in their time of need. Chang is touched by their generosity." Meanwhile, manager David Moyes and players Nigel Martyn and David Weir spent the day at Phuket to see how people there were rebuilding after the disaster. The rest of the squad visited an elephant rescue centre and temples at Ayutthaya.

Footy star Barton strikes Blues fan 15
Jul 22 2005 By Michelle Fiddler & Tony Barrett, Liverpool Echo
FOOTBALLER Joey Barton was today being questioned over accusations that he hit a young Everton fan in a Thai hotel. Former Everton youth team player Barton, 22, now a midfielder with Manchester City, is understood to have been involved in a row with a group of between five and seven Blues fans at the club's team hotel, the Radisson, in Bangkok. A City club spokesman said Barton, who played in the England Under-21 team, had been out with the Everton team for a meal and had returned to the hotel at 2am (8pm yesterday UK time) with club officials and team-mate and former Everton defender Richard Dunne. The fans had been in the bar to attend a get-together organised by the tournament organisers. It is thought that some kind of incident took place in which a young Everton fan, believed to be aged 15, was slapped across the face. Everton, Manchester City and Bolton are all in Thailand for a pre-season tournament. A Manchester City spokesman said: "There was an incident involving Joey and Everton fans. The club is investigating. "Joey had been out for a meal with the rest of the squad and had been given permission to drink. "He returned to the hotel with a group of club officials and Richard Dunne. "We believe there was a group of between five and seven Everton fans, one of whom was a minor. "We have informed tournament organisers the Premier League and have been in touch with Everton." Barton was not detained or arrested after the incident. Everton FC said they would be issuing a statement later.
Making headlines off the pitch
MIDFIELDER Joey Barton is no stranger to making headlines off the pitch. In December, the Liverpool-born star was fined by Manchester City after he reportedly stubbed a cigar out in a team-mate's eye in a Manchester night club. The club fined him £100,000. In April he was involved in a car crash in Liverpool which left a pedestrian with a broken leg. He was questioned by police at the scene for 30 minutes but was not arrested. Earlier last year Barton won a legal battle to get a driving conviction over-turned by the courts. It was imposed after his Peugeot crashed into a car showroom window.

Moyes admits time running out for new men
By Michael Church, Daily Post
Jul 23 2005
EVERTON manager David Moyes believes it may be too late to bring in new players for the start of his club's Champions League campaign, which kicks off next month. Moyes, like so many other managers this summer, has struggled to add to his squad as the club prepares to embark on their first-ever foray into the Champions League and the Scot has all but ruled out any new recruit's involvement in the third round qualifier for the European competition. "Especially for the Champions League game, which is only two weeks, three weeks away, it's difficult to get players in now and get them ready and get them in the set-up and into the mode we've got," said Moyes.
"But we've still got time to get them ready for the Premiership starting, maybe not for the first game but certainly for the games after that. "So it is difficult and we would have liked to bring them in before but the market has been strange this year. But I'm still very hopeful that we will have two or three new players before the season." Moyes has made three signings so far this summer, picking up Simon Davies from Tottenham, Denmark international Per Kroldrup and Alessandro Pistone, making a quick return to Goodison Park after being released at the end of last season. Davies expressed his delight at joining the Merseyside club after a move north fell through in the winter transfer window. "I'm very happy to be here," said the Wales international. "I nearly came here in January and it didn't quite happen. I'm very happy and everyone has made me very welcome.
"I was looking for a change. Everton were doing so well and they were looking to bring me in. As soon as I knew I was excited. "I just want to fit in with the squad. They did such a great job last season and I just want to fit in and hopefully I can add to that. The squad's done amazingly and if there's anything I can bring then I'll do my best."

How raw Socceroo became real deal
By Nick Hilton In Thailand, Daily Post
Jul 23 2005
EVERTON are around 11 hours flying time away from Goodison at their base in Bangkok this week. That put Tim Cahill a lot closer to his roots than most of his team-mates. The Australian international midfielder is at home on either side of the world these days, a natural traveller in an era when the power of global television has put Premiership football at the heart of sporting cultures across the world. Everton's links in Thailand are testament to that power. The names and faces of the top players are as familiar to hundreds of thousands of people in this Thai city as they are on Merseyside. It was the same TV images of England's top-flight football 10 years ago that fired the imagination of Cahill as he was growing up in Sydney. The influence of the boy's English father Tim senior also drove him down a track that wasn't well trodden by his peers down under.
While the majority of schoolfriends were drawn towards the more traditional and popular Australian sports of cricket and rugby, Cahill kept his focus on soccer in the hope that one day, single-minded determination might pay dividends. Cahill recalled: "My dad instilled the passion for football into me. We watched the Premier League and the Spanish League on the World Soccer TV Show in Australia and it was my dream to be part of it. "But it was difficult. The biggest thing at first was to sacrifice time with my mates just to play football 24-7. I was training after school, doing everything I could to improve my game. "School is very important and my mum was hot on me getting my education. But my dad opened the doors for me to go after a career in football." There was only so far Cahill could progress in Australia. He said: "I played for the State team and in the National Soccer League for Sydney Olympic. That was the biggest club I could play for. "But my dad had a few contacts in the game in England." Those contacts included the former Nottingham Forest player Alan Batsford who set up the 17-year-old with a trial at Millwall. "Things flew from there," Cahill said. "I signed professional straight away. They must have seen something." What the Millwall coaching staff saw was natural ability allied to a fierce determination to improve and succeed.
"I was definitely a late developer on the physical side," Cahill said. "But because I tried so hard and worked so hard I got there. My game is all about the work ethic. "Even coming to a club like Everton I have not tried to set the world alight. It's about doing your job for the team first and foremost.
"From Millwall's point of view it was about nurturing and trying to make me a better player because I was quite raw. "The biggest thing was that I was a professional, training every day. And every day you train you either learn something or you become stronger. That's what happened to me."

Cahill immersed himself in the life of a young footballer in South London. Millwall, a comparatively small club with ambitions to grow were right in tune with the young man's mindset. He said: "People ask me why I went to Millwall and I tell them it's the best thing I ever did. It was all about learning my trade in the right environment." Over the next seven years Cahill, 25, learnt plenty, playing 250 first team games and scoring 60 goals from midfield. He played at Wembley aged 19, helping Millwall win the Division Two title in 2001. Then in 2004, the team managed by Dennis Wise, reached the FA Cup Final. Cahill scored the winner in the semi-final against Sunderland that took them to a date with Manchester United in Cardiff. Cahill recalled: "It was a massive time for me. We had a lot of good players who were bursting on the scene. The only thing we lacked was a 20-goal-a-season man." The Cup run also put Cahill in the shop window. He had declined previous offers to leave the New Den but Everton proved to be the right club at the right time. Cahill then made himself a virtual ever present in Everton's first team last season. "It's like I have not stopped playing football since I got here," he said. "I gave myself a chance, left room for mistakes and to learn things here. In the end I put pressure on the gaffer to play me. "It was when I was watching Match Of The Day last season that I realised I was going where I wanted to go. I used to watch it during my time at Millwall and of course I watched the football back in Australia when I was a kid. "But now I wasn't just watching Match of the Day, I was on it as well." The story of Everton's remarkable transformation was played out on Match of the Day as last season developed. Cahill said: "We got into fourth spot in September and from that time on we had to step up to the plate, defend our position for week after week. How did we do it? I think our recipe for success was that we had a team full of honest players who would run through a brick wall for each other and for the gaffer."
This season Everton and Cahill will confront higher levels of expectation from supporters as well as the challenges at home and in Europe. "The bar is always raised," Cahill said. "But we won't forget how we achieved success. We were realistic, approaching each game in the same way, whether it was Man United or Crystal Palace." With a Player of the Year accolade under his belt and a potential new contract deal to be negotiated, are the boyhood dreams of a soccer mad youngster in Sydney now fulfilled? "Not yet," he insisted. "Its started because I've had a great time in my career so far but there is so much more to learn and so much more to give."

Trio set to return to give Moyes attacking options
By Nick Hilton in Thailand, Daily Post
Jul 23 2005
THE selection options should open up for Everton when they play their second game in the Asia Trophy at Bangkok's National Stadium today. Everton contest the play-off final against Manchester City having lost the opening fixture in a penalty shoot-out to the Thai national under-23 team, who face Bolton Wanderers in the final. They are hopeful that striker James Beattie, Simon Davies and Tim Cahill, who missed Wednesday's game, will be available. Everton should at least have the flexibility to rotate senior players in the hot and humid conditions, a luxury that wasn't available to them over the 90 minutes of action against the Thais. Assistant manager Alan Irvine said: "On Wednesday we were limited to playing almost everyone who was fit. "We hope some of the play-ers who missed out them will be back. "We don't want players missing too many games because while we can do a whole lot of training it is games that give proper match fitness to the lads."
Beattie is overcoming a thigh strain he picked up before travelling to Thailand. Cahill twisted his ankle in training early in the week while Davies is shaking off a knee problem. But Irvine reported that neither Gary Naysmith nor Lee Carsley are expected to be in contention as they continue to have treat-ment for knocks. Everton at least gave themselves some extra cover for the left-back position in the coming season when they signed Alessandro Pistone. The 30-year-old signed a two-year agreement after taking some time over the summer to decide on his future. A potential move back to Italy and Lecce failed to mate-rialise but Everton were always keen to secure his services once again. A deal was settled on Merseyside while the majority of the first team squad were out in the Far East. Pistone said: "There was a point at which maybe I would not be coming back. But I have always been in contact and negotiations with the club and this is an outcome I wanted."
Irvine added: "We were in negotiations with Alessandro for a long time going back into last season.
"He made a huge contribution we felt last season and will again in the coming season.
"Obviously we needed to bring in someone as an extra left-back. Kilbane had to fall in to the left-back spot and we know that it is not his natural position. It would be unfair to ask him to play there whenever Gary Naysmith is not available." Everton manager David Moyes has made it clear he is still keen to add new signings to the squad before the start of the Champions League and Premier-ship campaigns. Irvine admits Everton can't rely on the good fortune that enabled them to negotiate a path through last season with one of the smaller squads in the Premiership. He said: "We still want to add some players to the squad. Last season we were lucky that we did not suffer through injuries and suspensions. "There was one period when we had four players who were one game away from starting a suspension and somehow managed to avoid losing three or four players at one time. We can't expect to be that lucky again and we would hope to have the extra players this season as we need to have a bigger squad. It's as simple as that."

Everton 1, Man City 1 (D,Post)
Jul 25 2005 By Nick Hilton in Bangkok, Daily Post
Man City win 4-2 on penalties
EVERTON gave their Thai following a more substantial and encouraging performance in the second game of the Asia Trophy in Bangkok on Saturday night. The penalty shoot-out that followed a 1-1 draw with Manchester City may have consigned Everton to a second consecutive defeat and bottom place in the four team tournament. But unlike last Wednesday's encounter with the Thai Under-23 team they did not come off second best against familiar Premiership rivals. Everton could claim, with some justification, that they did enough to win the contest over the 90 minutes. They recovered well after going a goal behind on 24 minutes to a strike from City's veteran summer signing Andy Cole. So much so that Everton controlled much of the play in the final hour.
James Beattie equalised from the penalty spot soon after half-time when City's tall central defender, Sylvian Distin, handled his header. Both Tim Cahill and David Weir had goals disallowed - for offside and climbing - and Simon Davies was denied a goal by the inside of the woodwork. Everton had struggled to cope with the pace and sharpness of the Thai team in hot and humid conditions which favoured the locals on Wednesday. But here the two Premiership teams were content to contest the game at their own pace. Both made extensive use of substitutes in the second half. A receding injury list enabled Everton manager David Moyes to make five changes and spare at least of some of his senior professionals a 90 minute workout. There were busy contributions from midfielders Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta, who each missed the Thai game. After some early wobbles a defence featuring new £5million Danish signing Per Kroldup looked solid and Beattie produced some deft touches up front. But Everton were once again out of luck in the penalty shoot-out. City goalkeeper David James saved two of Everton's first three spot kicks from Weir and Marcus Bent. So when William Flood made City's fourth successful conversion the contest was settled. Everton did not start well, giving City two scoring opportunities in the opening five minutes. The first was a clear-cut chance for Cole, who burrowed into the box from the right for a low shot that young goalkeeper Iain Turner managed to deflect out of danger with his legs. When Zizito Musampha flashed a 25-yard effort wide from a feed by Cole two minutes later, the alarm bells began to ring in the Everton defence. But they brought the game under control fairly effectively after that, so Cole's 24th-minute goal was an unexpected blow. Everton were undone by Musampa's pass, floated across the edge of the box to Trevor Sinclair, who squeezed a low cross in ahead of the challenge of stand-in left back Kevin Kilbane. Cole was first to the ball at the far post for a typical close-range finish. At least Everton found a positive response, taking a more thoughtful grip on the midfield and gradually converting possession into chances. They looked particularly effective raiding down the left where James McFadden and Leon Osman linked up encouragingly. When Mikel Arteta swept in a piercing shot from the left, Cahill met the ball with a well-timed header that forced James to save acrobatically. Osman, turning cleverly on a Kilbane pass on the edge of the box, fired wide and on the stroke of half time Cahill threatened to equalise twice. First the Australian was frustrated by an offside flag after heading in a cross from Arteta at the far post. Then a powerful shot from the edge of the box was smothered by the bending James. Everton's trail of near misses continued two minutes after the break when Simon Davies glanced a sharp right wing cross from the busy Cahill against the inside of the far post. But their luck changed for the better on 51 minutes when Beat-tie's header from a cross by Osman was handled by City defender Sylvian. It was an easy penalty decision for referee Mark Clattenburg. Beattie slotted the spot kick into the right hand corner of the net. Substitute Weir thought he had headed Everton into the lead when he nodded a right wing corner by Kilbane into the bottom corner of the net on 77 minutes. But the official ruled out the strike for an illegal challenge. So Everton's second game in succession finished as a 1-1 draw and the issue was decided on a penalty shoot-out. Everton's two successful conversions were by Ferguson and Kilbane. City scored four out of four through Bradley Wright-Phillips, Danny Mills, Ben Thatcher and Flood. The game saw Turner enjoy a full 90 minutes, with Moyes saying of the young goalkeeeper: "He did very well. If you look at the penalty kick situation David James's extra experience and understanding probably made the difference there. "He's an England goalkeeper and he made two terrific saves. Our young goalkeeper did not really get close to any of them." The tour represented an opportunity for Everton fans to see new signing Kroldrup in action and the acquisition from Italian side Udinese impressed with his calmness in defence and his ability on the ball. But while the Dane showed ability to play the ball out of defence, Moyes believes that, above all, Kroldrup and his defensive colleagues need to keep out opposing forwards. "First and foremost they have got to be defenders," said the former Preston manager. "That's what they're there for, to stop goals. "If he can add a little bit by being comfortable on the ball then that would be great but I brought him in to stop conceding goals and be part of some good defenders. "David Weir and Joseph Yobo have done very well for us."
EVERTON: Turner, Hibbert, Kroldrup, Yobo, Kil-bane, Arteta, (Ferguson 75), Cahill, (Bent 68) Osman (Carsley 58), McFadden (Weir 54), Beattie (Vaughan 86), Davies. Subs: Martyn, Hughes, Wynne, Seargeant
MAN CITY: James; Sun Jihai (Mills 72), Sommeil (Bischoff 72), Distin, Thatcher, Sinclair (Croft 72), Flood, Richards, Musampa (Jordan 72), Cole (B Wright-Phillips 72), Bermingham Subs: De Vlieger, D'Laryea, Ireland
REFEREE: Mark Clattenburg
NEXT GAME: Fernebache v Everton, Friendly, Saturday 6pm

Roma ruling threatens Moyes move
By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Jul 25 2005
DAVID MOYES is facing further potential frustration in his attempts to strengthen his Everton squad.
The Goodison manager has been considering a 12-month loan move for Roma defender Matteo Ferrari and a £4million swoop for teammate Simone Perrotta. But that now appears in jeopardy with the news Roma have failed to have their transfer ban overturned. The Sport Arbitration Court in Lausanne dismissed the Italian side's appeal against FIFA's decision to ban them from purchasing players in the next summer and winter transfer windows, following complaints made regarding their conduct in signing Frenchman Philippe Mexes. Roma are expected to launch another appeal in the Swiss civil court this week. But with the Serie A outfit currently unable to sign play-ers, they would be unlikely to allow anyone to depart an already under-strength squad. And that would force Moyes to again look elsewhere as he faces an increasing race against time to find reinforcements.
Everton returned from their pre-season tour to Bangkok yesterday, after having finished fourth in the FA Premier League Asia Trophy following their penalty shoot-out defeat against Manchester City on Saturday after a 1-1 draw. Everton will travel to Istanbul for a friendly against Fenerbahce on Saturday but Moyes has dismissed fears his players may become fatigued by the travelling. "I am not really concerned about any tiredness," he said.. "There is a good time after we come back from Thailand before we play in the Champions League." Meanwhile, goalkeeper Nigel Martyn has said the element of surprise could work in Everton's favour in their forthcoming Champions League campaign. Martyn was part of the Leeds United side that reached the semi-finals in 2001, after also having to start in the final qualifying round. "I have played in the Champions League before and we had to go through the qualifying phase as well," said Martyn.

Moyes is happy with tour schedule
By Nick Hilton, Daily Post
Jul 25 2005
MANAGER David Moyes insisted Everton's visit to Thailand has been a success on the playing front as the squad made the long journey home from the Far East last night. Everton drew both of their games in the Premier League's Asia Trophy but finished fourth after losing a penalty shoot-out to both the Thai National Under-23 team on Wednesday and Manchester City on Saturday. Moyes took encouragement from a much-improved Everton performance against City, in which his team looked much more the part of European Champions League qualifiers than they had done three days earlier. Moyes said: "We did not lose either of our games out here and worked on our fitness. Some people have been given a chance and bedded in. "We are in a transitional period as far as bringing players in is concerned. So the chance to be together and work together as a team has been good for us. "I was pleased with the performance on Saturday night and wasn't pleased with the performance last Wednesday against the Thais. "I could not fault the players against City; they tried to do the right thing most of the time. "Saturday was a better game. It may be that we were acclimatised more and the temperatures were not quite so high. Maybe we were ready for the game. "It was two Premier League teams so we both played at a similar pace. "The Thais probably surprised us with how quick and sharp they were, but overall it's a decent tour for us." Even so Moyes was disappointed by Everton's modest scoring return of two goals in the two games.
Moyes added: "We are a wee bit disappointed that we did not score more goals because we created quite a few opportunities in the two games. It's something we will try to work on; maybe we need a little bit of luck to change for us."

Fearns gets in the groove to see off young Everton
By Alan Prole, Daily Post
Jul 25 2005
SOUTHPORT'S pre-season build up finally took off with victory against a young side from Goodison Park. Not only was it their first win, after a draw at Witton and a home defeat against Shrewsbury, but they also scored their first goals. Both of them came from Terry Fearns, whose club record total of 33 last season played such a big part in helping them to win the Nationwide North title. Fearns, who had twice gone close in the early stages, was finally on target after 30 minutes when he climbed high to head a centre from the left by Kevin Leadbetter past Sean Lake, following a good build up by Matt McGinn and Steve Daly. Fearns added his second in the 41st minute, this time driving the ball home from close in after a powerful shot from Leadbetter had been spilled by the goalkeeper.
Despite being spurred on from mid-field by skipper James Harris and John Paul Kissock, Everton made little impression up front until near the interval when James Speare had to fling himself sideways to keep out a shot from Kissock. The visitors squandered some good chances after the break, notably from Paul Hopkins, whose shot from close-range beat Steve Dickinson but went behind off the bar. Near the end Hopkins also had a shot cleared off the line by Gary Pinch.
Southport are again in action tomorrow when one of their former managers, Ronnie Moore, brings a strong Oldham Athletic side to Haig Avenue. Everton reserve coach Andy Holden said: "It was a good work out. We played some great football at times. It was just a couple of lapses in concentration that cost us the game. Southport were a strong side and we only had young boys out, so it's definitely a good learning curve for them."

Everton 1, Man City 1 (Echo)
Jul 25 2005 By Rob Brady in Thailand
Man City win 4-2 on penalties
WHILE a pre-season trip to Thailand was always going to make most sense from a commercial perspective, Everton showed enough on the pitch to spread optimism among fans from Bangkok to Bootle. Although the Blues were defeated on penalties in both their Premier League Asia Trophy outings, the attacking play they showed bodes well for the forthcoming domestic and European campaigns. Certainly the display against City was an improvement on the encounter with the Thailand under-23 side last Wednesday, when David Moyes' men were still acclimatising to the intense heat and humidity of Bangkok. In the cooler rainy conditions seen on Saturday, there were some fine individual performances against Stuart Pearce's side. Clues as to David Moyes' preferred starting XI when the serious action starts, however, were still hard to find. In the first half the manager packed the midfield and deployed James Beattie as the lone striker. The 4-5-1 formation was a fluid one though, with Tim Cahill, Leon Osman, Simon Davies and James McFadden all eagerly pushing forward in support. The second half saw Duncan Ferguson and Marcus Bent arrive to take the load off Beattie, but whichever system was deployed the Blues created chances and had they converted a fraction of their openings in either of these two games, they would have won both quite comfortably. Against City, Davies and Cahill both hit the woodwork with glancing headers, while the Australian and David Weir saw headers hit the back of the net only to be disallowed by Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg. Everton's goal came via Beattie from the penalty spot on 51 minutes. Leon Osman's trickery down the right channel opened up enough space to swing a pinpoint cross on to the head of the former Southampton man. The striker's header was bound for goal but its path was blocked by the outstretched arm of defender Sylvain Distin. Beattie easily beat David James with the spot kick. That cancelled out the 25th minute opener from City new boy Andy Cole.
Trevor Sinclair weaved past Kevin Kilbane in the left back position and his low cross ran all the way through to the unmarked Cole at the far post. That was the only real mistake made by the Blues defence, which featured the central partnership of Joseph Yobo and Per Kroldrup. The back four tightened up considerably after that and young keeper Iain Turner did not have a serious save to make. Everton began to dominate their Premiership rivals. McFadden and Osman looked hungry for the ball throughout the trip and they again linked up well down the left side. The Scotland international's cross flew inches over the head of Beattie as the forward raced into the box, but the Blues remained in possession and Mikel Arteta's fine cross picked out Cahill making one of his trademark raids into the penalty area. His header was well beyond the reach of James, but cruelly came back off the woodwork. The Aussie had two further chances to score before the interval. Another deft Arteta pass exposed the City defence and allowed Cahill to head home, but this time he was denied by the linesman's flag. Within seconds he had another opportunity, but his low drive was well held by James. Shortly after the restart Cahill turned provider, swinging in a ball from the right that found Davies in a central position. His header had James beaten but the far post again came to the City keeper's rescue. Late on sub David Weir latched on to a Kilbane cross and was unfortunate to see his header ruled out, the referee indicating there had been a push on a defender during the build-up. Then an error from Micah Richards 25 yards out gave Beattie possession, but he elected to shoot early and his underpowered lob gave James no trouble. Just like the match against the Thais, this one went to a penalty shoot-out. Again it did not favour Everton. Weir and Bent were denied by fine saves from James, while City put away all their spot kicks. Despite the result, Moyes declared himself happy with the performance. The trip to Thailand can be considered a success on and off the pitch.
EVERTON (4-5-1): Turner, Hibbert, Yobo, Kroldrup, Kilbane, Davies, Cahill (Bent 69), Arteta (Ferguson 75), McFadden (Weir 55), Osman (Carsley 59), Beattie (Vaughan 86).

Cahill stuns Blues
Jul 25 2005 By Rob Brady, Liverpool Echo
TIM CAHILL stunned Everton today by rejecting the offer of a new contract. The Blues have been keen to reward the midfielder with new terms after he finished as the club's top scorer with 12 goals last season. Yet the Australia international, who was named Goodison's Player of the Year last season and who still has three years to run on his current deal, has been left unimpressed by what was brought to the table. The 25-year-old said: "I'm very disappointed we have not been able to agree terms. "I was keen to commit my future to the club, but it looks as though it won't be possible." Despite the player's reaction, Everton insist they remain in negotiations to keep Cahill at Goodison. Blues chief executive Keith Wyness said: "We have been in discussions with Tim Cahill and he still has three-years left to run on his current contract. "Talks will continue and we will continue to view all options open to us. "Tim did exceptionally well for us last season. He does have three years left to run, but we want him to stay with us for a long time." Cahill joined Everton from Division One side Millwall for £1.5m 12 months ago. David Moyes stepped in to give him his chance in the Premiership after a proposed move to Crystal Palace fell through when the Londoners refused to pay the player's agent a fee. Cahill's goals proved a key factor in the Blues finishing fourth in the Premiership last season, securing a place in the Champions League for the first time.

Beattie: I can be 'new signing'
Jul 25 2005 By Rob Brady, Liverpool Echo
JAMES BEATTIE believes he can be like a fresh signing for the Blues this season as David Moyes' search for new faces continues. The £6m striker is eager to put behind him a debut season marred by injury and a moment of madness against Chelsea. Beattie said: "I was speaking to a few people back in Liverpool and they were saying I could be like a new signing. They didn't see that much of me last season. "Since I came to Everton I have only made nine starts. That is not many. Everybody knows what I can do. I have shown it over the years. It's time to stop talking and get playing."
Beattie arrived at Goodison in January and scored his first Premiership goal for the Blues at his old club Southampton the following month. But just as he thought his season had clicked into gear he was red carded for head-barging Chelsea defender William Gallas in the next game. A three-match ban meant he did not play for Everton again for over a month. "It has been hard since I came here," admitted the 27-year-old. "It was a fantastic move for me and I wanted to show the Everton fans what I can do, but I kept getting stopped in my tracks last season. "I felt the goal at Southampton after eight minutes would have set me off on a long run, but the Chelsea thing happened and a few injuries hindered me." Beattie hopes all that is now in the past and he has set his sights on becoming one of the Premier League's top scorers this coming season. He said: "Any striker would set a benchmark of 20 goals a season. It's getting more and more difficult to achieve that, but I have done it once so there is no reason why I can't do it again. "If I can get a good pre-season under my belt and remain injury free I'm sure the performances and the goals will come." Meanwhile, the Roma pair of Simone Perrotta and Matteo Ferrari attracting interest from Everton are likely to remain in Italy. The Serie A club has failed to over-turn a ban on transfers imposed by Fifa following complaints about their conduct signing Philippe Mexes from Auxerre. Roma are unable to bring in new faces this summer and in the January transfer window. Everton had shown interest in taking defender Ferrari on loan and bringing midfielder Perrotta to Goodison on a permanent deal.

Finishing cost us, admits Moyes
Jul 25 2005 Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES admitted loose finishing cost his side victory in Thailand. The Blues created enough chances to have beaten both Manchester City and the Thai under-23 side in their two matches in the Premier League's Asia Trophy. Ultimately, though, they lost both games on penalty shoot-outs.
Moyes said: "We are a bit disappointed we have not scored more goals, because we have created quite a few opportunities in a lot of the pre-season games. "It's something we need to work on and may be a little luck at times could change things around. I would rather we miss the chances just now and keep the goals for the competitive games coming up." After the penalty defeat to Thailand under-23s, Moyes was pleased with the improvement his team showed against City. "It was a good performance, I could not fault the lads," he said. "Against the Thais we didn't have enough players available to make changes. We played them when they were probably more ready for the game.
"Against Manchester City the five or six players we had back available were the difference. It was two Premier League sides playing at the same pace. It was a bit cooler too. The players were still running strong at the end." Moyes also felt the trip to Thailand was a good team bonding exercise, particularly for the new signings. "It gave Per Kroldrup and Simon Davies a chance to settle in," he said. "We are in a transitional period bringing players in." And the Everton manager gave a favourable verdict on young keeper Iain Turner. "He did very well," said Moyes. "David James' experience and understanding were probably the difference in the penalty shoot out."

Barton's Man City future in doubt after Thai brawl
Jul 25 2005 Liverpool Echo
FOOTBALL star Joey Barton could be sold by Manchester City after a brawl in Thailand with a young Everton fan. The controversy surrounding the Huyton-born player intensified over the weekend after it was reported that the 22-year-old bit the finger of team-mate Richard Dunne when he tried to break up the fight. It is believed it could be the last straw for Barton, who had already been warned by City chairman John Wardle about his conduct. Barton has apologised, although he claims that he did not strike either the Everton fan or Dunne. However, he did admit to becoming involved in a heated debate with a group of football fans. He said: "There was no fight between me and Richard, but there was a verbal exchange with a group of supporters. I was struck by a supporter, which I reacted badly to, but I stress I didn't throw a punch at the supporter or Richard." Everton, Manchester City and Bolton are in Thailand for a pre-season tournament. Barton was fined £60,000 at Christmas after injuring reserve player Jamie Tandy with a lit cigar.

Talks go on to keep Cahill at Goodison Park
By Nick Hilton Daily Post Staff
Jul 26 2005
EVERTON insist talks are continuing as they seek to extend Tim Cahill's contract at Everton into a long-term commitment. The Australian international midfielder claimed yesterday he was disappointed he had not been able to agree the terms of a new deal to update an agreement running until 2008. Cahill, 25, said: "I am very disappointed that we haven't been able to agree terms. "I was very keen to commit my long-term future to the club, but it looks as though that won't be possible." However, chief executive Keith Wyness indicated that talks had not broken down.
He said: "We have been in discussions with Tim Cahill. Talks will continue and we will continue to view all options open to us." Supporters of the club will be surprised about how quickly a public rift has developed between a player who is still contracted to Everton for the next three seasons and the club, who were seeking to reward his efforts in his debut season on Merseyside. Cahill made a positive impact in his first season with Everton, following a £2million move from Millwall last summer. He contributed 12 League and cup goals and some impressively consistent performances as Everton earned a fourth-place finish and qualifi-cation for the European Champions League.
Wyness added: "Tim did exceptionally well for us last season. He does have three years left to run, but we want him to stay with us for a long time." Meanwhile, Tony Hibbert has put pen to paper on a new four-year deal. The full-back, 23, still had one year left to run on his existing contract.
The right-back, who made 40 appearances for Everton last season, said last night: "I had one year left on my contract and I wasn't expecting anything to happen until maybe the end of next year, so I was very pleased when the club came to me."

Privileged view of other lives
By Nick Hilton, Daily Post
Jul 26 2005
THE life of a top-flight professional footballer gives Kevin Kilbane a window on the world, an opportunity the Everton midfielder appreciates as a privilege. "I have been very fortunate," says the 28-year-old Irish international from Preston. "I have played all over the world, mostly in Europe but also in the USA, the Far East, Korea and Japan, for the 2002 World Cup," he adds.. "I've seen some amazing things." Among them was a visit three years ago to a plunging cliff in Saipan. "It was the spot where thousands of Japanese threw themselves over the precipice to their deaths in 1945 because they believed the invading American army were coming to rape and pillage," Kilbane says.. "It was very moving." But Kilbane confesses the images he witnessed in Thailand last week on the coastline that bore the brunt of the Boxing Day Tsunami will be with him for the rest of his days. He was one of five Everton players - Duncan Ferguson, Lee Carsley, James Beattie and Tim Cahill were the others - who made an excursion to Ban Nam Khem in the Phangnga region to visit the village rebuilt by the disaster relief donations of Evertonians. There were elements of excitement and adventure packed into the day, not least on a journey from Phuket Airport to the Everton-Chang village on Thai army helicopters - veteran machines used by the Americans in the Vietnam War.
But it was the overwhelming warmth of the greeting the Everton party received from hundreds of local people at Ban Bang Muang School, where new football pitches have been laid and the subsequent tour of the devastated coastal area that were most deeply affected. Kilbane says: "That day was an amazing experience, heartrending at times. When you saw the terrible things those people had been through and how happy they were to see us there to help in some small way, it was very humbling." "Humbling" was the word members of the Everton party reached for most often in the face of their encounters with the survivors from a community that lost at least a third of their number to the disaster seven months ago. The most potent images of the apoplectic scale of the destruction were the two fishing trawlers swept hundreds of yards inland by the force of the waves. They stood where they were washed up, cleaned up and left to loom over the surrounding streets and homes as monuments to the area's 1,300 dead. The Colonel of the Thai Army escorting the players explained how the boats, known as Blue Angel and Orange and Lemons, had crushed hundreds of people in their path as they crashed through the village. "How strange," Kilbane remarked at the time, "that the people should give these friendly names to such killers". Kilbane says: "We all saw those images of the Tsunami on TV over Christmas but being there and seeing it all up close, you could just imagine what it must have been like for them, with the water ripping through the village. "It will remain in my mind for the rest of my life and it's the same for the other lads on that trip." Foreign travel also brings its benefits on the pitch, Kilbane says. There were aspects of Everton's two games in Thailand, against the Under-23 national team and against Manchester City that were particularly useful. Kilbane says: "You certainly want to come into pre-season tour games to sharpen your fitness levels up. But you have got to learn something when you play every team. "We felt playing against the Thai team in the first match that the lads struggled to cope with the heat and humidity. "But we have got to learn to cope with difficult conditions.
"We can't be going at teams in the way we do in the Premier League because you get picked off in the heat. "It's especially important for us to learn to adapt now that we have the chance to play in Europe this season. "If we can progress into the competition, we could be encountering very hot conditions in places like Turkey and Spain. "The experience we had in Thailand last week should help us cope. We have to learn to adjust." For all of his domestic and international experience with Preston, West Brom, Sunderland and Everton, together with more than 60 international ppearances for Ireland, Kilbane will be enjoying his first taste of European club competition this season, at the age of 28. He says: "I'm fulfilling another ambition and the best thing of all is that it's in the European Champions League. I just hope we can go a long way in the competition." Kilbane owes his latest football adventure to Everton's performance in finishing fourth in the Premier-ship last season. The achievement confounded the bookmakers and Kilbane admits it went beyond the players' own aspirations. He says: "Everyone set out last season with the goal, first and fore-most of staying in the Premier League. We believed we could do that. If we did it early enough we thought we might be in with a shout of getting into Europe with a top ten finish. "But we exceeded all expectations. We showed what good team spirit and good team work could do. "I think as a squad we all upped our game a level. Then we had to try and maintain the standard we set in the early part of the season. "Our form probably tailed off towards the end of the season. But we were still capable of getting results in games when we needed them and that's what it's all about." Now the bar has been raised by the heightened expectations of supporters. The sold out signs will be going up at Goodison next season. Kilbane welcomes the challenge but is mindful of what can be realistically achieved by a club with a fraction of the spending power of Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal. He says: "We have to try and do better than we did last season. That might not be possible in terms of league position but we can improve by playing better. "We certainly have to aim to make that improvement. "We are the team now being held up as an example to others. "I recently heard Mark Hughes saying Blackburn would never be able to touch the big guns of Chelsea, Arsenal or Manchester United but they have wanted to do what Everton did."

Sort it out soon
Post Soapbox, icLiverpool & Daily Post
Jul 26 2005
Sort it out soon
I'M thinking, why would Cahill turn down an offer of a new contract? Either the offer was not good enough or he's got too big for his boots? Personally I think the first one. I can't see why if the contract was right he wouldn't want to stay. He's been with us a season, was our player of season, the club is going in the right direction, so I can only conclude the offer wasn't good enough.
That leads you to wonder what the offer was? I just hope it can be resolved with a further offer or some negotiating!
Brian Nesbitt, Wirral
Cahill riddle
NOW Tim Cahill's not signing a new deal. What's going on. Not only can't we sign new players, we can't keep the ones we've got! All you hear is how Tim wants to stay with us, but it doesn't seem like it's possible. Any idea what that means, anyone?
Sean Thornton, Wirral
Be happy
FURTHER unrest at Everton is not needed and our best player rejecting a new deal is a major upset.
Let's hope EFC go back with a better deal and get him signed up. If we want to go anywhere in this league, we need players like Cahill to stay and be happy.
Tricia Gayle, Liverpool
Striker light
LETS put Everton's friendly results into perspective. The games are more about fitness levels and sharpness. It looks as though the team is playing well, but David Moyes is the manager and he will know the weaknesses of the team. This left back situation will be looked at and I am hopeful a striker will be brought in to partner James Beattie. Another midfielder would not go amiss either.
Tony Smith, Garston

In recovery

EVERTON have upgraded with the addition of Simon Davies and Per Kroldrup, but many teams who finished below us last season have added more quality than us. Certainly anything less than a top ten finish would be failure in my opinion. If we got sixth place that would be genuine progress.
We were best of the rest last season - like it or not Liverpool fans - but to do that again would be unrealistic since we are essentially still a club in recovery.
Frank Black, Liverpool
Worth the risk
YES we all want Roy Keane at Goodison but I don't think that transfer will happen and that only leaves Andy Johnson - and he is not worth £6m. So where does that leave us? I've said it before and I'll say it again...at £3m Mikel Forsell was worth the risk.
Stuart Smith (via e-mail)

Blues stay optimistic over Cahill future
Jul 26 2005 By John Thompson, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON remain hopeful of completing a deal to keep Tim Cahill at Goodison for years to come - despite yesterday's shock news that contract talks. Cahill, Everton's Player of the Year last season, stunned the club and supporters when he pro-have stalled. claimed his disappointment over the contract hitch and said he could not now commit his long term future to the Blues. The club are understood to have offered the 25-year-old a significant wage increase - but his advisers believe he deserves more than he's been offered and are unhappy at what they see as unnecessary delays in reaching a new deal. It is being stressed that Cahill has never had any intention of leaving Goodison and has been prepared to agree a deal which could keep him at at the club for considerably longer than the three years he has left on his current contract. Neither the club nor Cahill were issuing any comment on the situation today. But Everton remain hopeful of retaining the services of the midfielder bought from Millwall a year ago by manager David Moyes. Meanwhile, Tony Hibbert has comitted his long-term future to the Blues. The 23-year-old defender has signed a new four-year deal to keep him at Goodison until 2009. Hibbert, who made 40 appearance last season, still had one year left to run on his existing contract that he signed back in January 2003 - the same day Wayne Rooney put pen to paper on his first professional contract. Hibbert has established himself as first-choice right-back under Moyes. Said the defender: "I had one year left on my contract and wasn't expecting anything to happen until the end of next year, so I was very pleased when the club came to me."

Cahill reassures Everton of his desire to stay
By Ian Doyle Daily Post Staff
Jul 27 2005
EVERTON have been assured that Tim Cahill does not want to leave Goodison. The midfielder held clear-the-air talks with manager David Moyes yesterday following the surprise revelation that talks over a new contract had stalled. Everton have offered the Australian a new long-term contract which is thought would increase his salary by 60%. But Cahill has been informed by his advisers to reject the deal, who believe the player is worthy of a more significant pay rise and are unhappy at what they perceive as unnecessary delays in negotiations. Moyes is understood to have been unhappy with the manner the story became public and had discussions with Cahill yesterday morning, when the 25-year-old reiterated his desire to remain at Everton. Cahill still has three years remaining on his current deal and Everton are keen to reward him for his outstanding contribution last season following his £2.5million move from Millwall. And despite the setback, Goodison officials remain confident a deal can be reached to secure the midfielder's long-term future at the club.
Meanwhile, James McFadden is expected to be fit for Everton's Champions League qualifier next month. The Scottish midfielder had to be substituted after suffering an ankle injury during the friendly against Manchester City in Bangkok on Saturday. But fears of any long-term damage have been allayed, with McFadden expected to be available for selection again within the next fortnight.
"James went over on his ankle but it is settling down quite well," said head of physio Mick Rathbone. "It has been a wee bit sore but he will be there or thereabouts in the next week or so." Everton have dismissed reports linking them with Inter Milan duo Andy van der Meyde and Edgar Davids. Davids is on the verge of joining Tottenham.

Generous support but questions still remain
By Nick Hilton, Daily Post
Jul 27 2005
EVERTON'S dedicated fan base in Bangkok ensured a warm and enthusiastic reception for the team wherever they travelled around Thailand last week. Manager David Moyes and his squad were made to feel like they were in a home from home, while competing in the Premier League's pre-season Asia Trophy. The size of that fan base remained an unknown quantity however as Everton worked as hard on their business and commercial connections in Thailand as they did on the pitch.
Everton's sponsorship deal with Chang Beer, which is to run for the next three seasons, gives them an advantage over most Premier League clubs trying to tap into the Far East market. But they can't be sure of just how big that market is or how rewarding it could be. While the visit was self-evidently a success on the public relations and business connections fronts, attendances were disappointing. The Thai FA's officials claimed 30,000 attended Saturday night's double-header at the national stadium - Everton v Manchester City followed by Bolton v the Thai Under-23 side - looked to be generous to a fault. The actual figure appeared closer to 10,000 Even fewer people turned up to Wednesday's opening doubleheader. The Everton fans in the stadium included a few hundred from Merseyside and 2,000-3,000 locals. Given the local depth of knowledge and understanding of Premiership football, from its exposure on TV and in the media, the turnout to catch three English teams in the flesh was something of a letdown for the organisers. But that local understanding may have been at work. Thai people may well regard pre-season friendlies with the same lukewarm enthusiasm they receive in England. Everton's deputy chief executive Robert Elstone became a familiar face to the Thai fans who waited for a glimpse of their heroes in enthusiastic groups at the airport, hotels and training ground. Elstone said: "The week in Thailand showed us we have some very passionate fans out there who are just as committed and knowledgeable as our fans back home. "As to the volume of those fans and our ability to access and talk to them and develop relationships with them, we don't know for sure. "It proves to us the need to work in conjunction with Thai partners. "Chang Beer have given us a major platform in Thailand and it makes sense to talk to other Thai businesses and brands." A group of Chang representatives are due to travel to Merseyside next month. One subject on the agenda will be a Thai version of the official Everton website. Elstone said: "A fairly literal translation of the current English website won't do. It needs to be targeted to its Thai readership base and we may need a partner we can trust to help us do that."
One notable success last week was the launch of a venue for Evertonians in Bangkok to meet on a regular basis. It was set up by Chang at the Bar Retro in the National Convention Centre and scores of true blues from Thailand, Australia, Malaysia and the UK enjoyed a pre-match party on Saturday - at Chang's expense.

Moyes: We're ready to go up a gear
Jul 27 2005 By Rob Brady, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES will treat Everton's two remaining pre-season fixtures as dress rehearsals for the forthcoming Champions League qualifier. While the Blues eagerly await Friday's third round draw, they are stepping up their prepartions for the two friendlies against European opposition.
They face Fenerbahce on Saturday and Serie A club Udinese the following Wednesday. The first leg of the third round qualifer takes place on either August 9 or 10. The Blues fly out to Istanbul on Friday to face the Turks and then prepare for the visit of the Italians, who have also secured Champions League qualification. Moyes said today: "We are trying to give ourselves games which we feel are as tough as it comes in the lead up to the Champions League. "We will try to prepare for it in that way, but obviously it is still pre-season and it's difficult to re-enact that real thing. "We will try to make it as close to that as we can." Moyes says he has no preference as to who the Blues draw on Friday. "We'll wait to see how it goes. We are excited by the draw." With fans clamouring for more signings the manager insists he is still working towards strengthening his squad, but admits it has not been an easy task. The Blues have been linked with Inter Milan's Dutch winger Andy van der Meyde but the Blues boss is remaining tight-lipped on his targets. He said: "It is generally quiet. The availability of players is much less this year than in the past. "We are looking to add to what we have got and we are trying to better the players we already have here, which makes it doubly difficult." Everton have two injury concerns ahead of the trip to Turkey. James McFadden went over on his ankle against Manchester City and Li Tie is struggling after jarring his Achilles tendon.
* Former Tranmere star Jason Koumas has joined Cardiff on a season-long loan from West Brom. Koumas has long been linked with a move to Everton.

Tim should be on top money
Jul 27 2005 Echo Letters, icLiverpool & Liverpool Echo
TIM CAHILL should be the highest paid player at Everton as he is the best player. The worst thing to do would be to offer way less than Arteta and Beattie, but this is the Everton board we're talking about. They think they're playing hardball but this is pure disrespect. The damage is done now, but I think Cahill's a great lad and will get the big deal eventually and sign. It's just such bad management and if any big club decides they want him the door is now well and truly open for bidding.
Andy Devey, Liverpool
TIM CAHILL should get a bigger wage, but they should have waited for talks until the end of the year.
We have probably insulted him, but I just wonder whether all this is a ploy to see if we get some big offers for him. This would give Moyes some cash, as I don't believe the Everton board have the cash to spend. The board should put up or shut up and buy some players to show they mean business. Last summer and this summer all we have heard is hard luck stories. Stop shooting yourselves in the foot.
Richie Morrison, Moreton
IF we have offered Cahill 22k per week - as has been reported by some newspapers - it does not take much working out that he is going to reject it. It would appear very strange that we would be offering our best player inferior terms to lesser players. The board have done well so far in acquiring quality at sensible prices but this - if true - is a genuine mistake and needs to be resolved as soon as possible.
Ian Grey, Kingston
TIM CAHILL only being offered £22,000 per week - as has been reported - is a complete joke. You pay your best players accordingly. That man virtually secured us European football on his own last season with his goals and willingness to fight for 90 minutes of every game. Nobody seems to want to come to Everton and I guarantee if Cahill was to be at any other Premiership club he would be on no less than £35,000 per week.
Peter Archer, Wallasey
SURELY we cannot even be contemplating letting Tim Cahill go at any price. He makes the team work. I, for one, find it quite worrying what happens whenever he is not playing for some reason. We are just not the same team without him. I hate the idea of paying huge wages, but let's give him what he deserves, which would seem to be a lot more than he is getting now.
Liam Kennedy, Wirral
TIM CAHILL is the best player we have had in years. We should definitely give him an improved contract.
Danny T, Everton
EVERTON need Tim Cahill, so this is not the time to be overly frugal. We still need a good striker and a skilful and pacy left back. Please, Everton, do your damnest to fill these positionsss as soon as possible for the squad is relatively small and we need a strong and fit first team and reliable reserves.
Roger Hughes, Llanfairfechan
Pay hike just not warranted
TIM CAHILL was bought and a price was paid for his services. He was given a contract and rewarded a salary to perform those "tasks" as a defender, midfielder or forward. Why is it then, that he is entitled to a 100% plus increase in salary just for simply performing the said tasks? Players and agents in this modern day absolutely disgust me. Look at American Football. The top players earn "extras" in the form of promoting brands. They don't fleece their clubs and consequently the club's fans. The FA should stop this contempt and greed now.
Phil Smith, Lpl
TIM CAHILL wants a bigger wage but I say we should tell him where to go. I don't understand how some Blues say he deserves more 'because he was our best player'. He's just doing the job he's paid to do! Does anyone get a 100% increase in wages just because they've done their job? No.
Moyes should immediately withdraw the pay increase and make it clear that he'll bench Cahill for the next three years or sell him now for £10 million. That would be a tidy profit.
Tim Dexter, Bahrain

Unwanted draw has Moyes worried
By Ian Doyle Daily Post Staff, Daily Post
Jul 28 2005
DAVID MOYES has revealed his concerns at the unwanted prospect of his Everton side drawing neighbours Liverpool in the Champions League. The draw for the final qualifying round of the competition takes place at 11am tomorrow in Nyon, Switzerland, with the possibility of the Merseyside rivals being paired together the main talking point. Everton were nominated as the Football Association's fourth and final Champions League entrant after finishing above Liverpool in fourth place in the Premiership. But the Anfield side's victory in May's European Cup final against AC Milan led to UEFA altering their rules to accommodate the new holders in this season's competition.
Although ranked as top seeds, Liverpool were forced to begin their defence in the first qualifying round and have been stripped of country protection - the rule that keeps teams from the same league apart until the latter stages. The second qualifying round has yet to be completed, but Liverpool's 3-1 first-leg victory at Lithuanian champions FBK Kaunas on Tuesday has virtually assured their progress. And with Everton entering the competition in the final qualifying round and among the unseeded teams, manager Moyes has admitted his disappointment that UEFA's ruling could see his team's first appearance in the European Cup for 35 years threatened by their rivals from across Stanley Park. "I'm concerned about the draw, definitely," said Moyes. "I've got clear concerns about what might happen. Of course, the decision as to who is seeded or not is nothing to do with us.
"We can't influence who is seeded and who is not, but I do think that it's wrong that two clubs from the same country - the same city, even - could be drawn against each other in European competition at this stage. "You qualify for the Champions League in order to play teams from another country, not your local rivals. "You don't usually expect to get one from your own country, let alone your own city, but there is only one club which is exposed to the fact that Liverpool have not been granted country protection, and that's Everton. That's a fact." Even if they avoid been drawn against Liverpool, their unseeded status means Everton will have to overcome testing opposition to book their place in the lucrative group stages of the Champions League. While they cannot face Manchester United, the Goodison outfit could be drawn against Inter Milan, Panathinaikos, Rangers, Villarreal, Sporting Lisbon, Monaco, Ajax, FC Bruges, Werder Bremen or Rosenborg. Inter Milan would be a particularly unfavourable draw as they must play their next four home games behind closed doors after crowd trouble during last season's Champions League clash with rivals AC Milan, making a possible fixture significantly less lucrative for Everton and denying their supporters the chance of a trip to the San Siro. Meanwhile, David Weir has been named Everton's club captain for the new season in place of the departed Alan Stubbs.

Skipper Weir proud to lead
Jul 28 2005 By Rob Brady, Liverpool Echo
DAVID WEIR today spoke of his pride at being handed the Everton captain's armband. Manager David Moyes has appointed the veteran defender as official club skipper for the coming season.
Weir, Kevin Kilbane and James McFadden have all captained the side during pre-season, but the Blues boss feels the 35-year-old Scot's experience will prove invaluable. Weir said: "To play for a club like Everton is an honour, so to be named club captain is a fantastic honour. It's something that I hold highly. "There are a few people who have been captain recently. Obviously Alan Stubbs has left now, but he was a good captain. Everton have had a great tradition of club captains and hopefully I can add to that." It is actually the second time Weir has been appointed skipper by Moyes. He replaced Duncan Ferguson at the start of the 2002/03 campaign, but later Stubbs took over after the Scotland international was left out of the side. Now Weir intends to lead by example and help the club build on the success of last season. He added: "It would be ideal to lift some silverware as captain this season. That would be very nice. We had success last year so if this year we could take it on even further, that would be great." Howard Kendall has no doubts Weir is a fitting candidate to wear the captain's armband. The Goodison legend said: "A manager wants his captain to be consistent on the field, respected by his team mates and a good influence in the dressing room. "David Weir sets a good example both on the pitch and off it. He is very consistent. It seems the centre back partnership for next season will be David Weir and one other. "This is not just a reward for last season even though the Weir-Stubbs partnership was very consistent. It reflects the way he has performed all through his career."

Arteta homes in on Blues' Euro test
Jul 28 2005 By Rob Brady, Liverpool Echo
MIKEL ARTETA has warned that Everton must be unbeatable at home if their first Champions League campaign is to be a success. The Blues are keenly awaiting tomorrow's draw to discover who they will meet in the third round qualifying round. The first game is just a fortnight away. Safe passage through the two-leg tie would see them into the lucrative group stage where they will be sure to face some big names. With two Champions League campaigns already under his belt, Arteta knows what it takes to progress in the competition. The Spanish playmaker helped Paris Saint Germain to the second group stage back in 2000/01 and he was part of the Rangers side that faced Manchester United in the group phase in the 2003/04 season. Now the 23-year-old is relishing a return to the big stage with Everton. "I have the opportunity to play against the best players in Europe," he said. "We cannot lose the opportunity to play in a competition like this. "It is a very different game to the Premiership and the elimination stage after the groups makes it even harder. At home we need to be really consistent and take maximum points because away from home is always difficult. "I hope we can go far. Every year I look at these kind of games and they are the ones you want to play in. Last season I was part of a great moment for the club and I hope it continues this year." With his protracted £2m transfer from Real Sociedad now complete, Arteta is focused on repeating the impressive displays he put on while on loan at Goodison last term. "That's what I'm looking for," he said. "This year we have to prove that what we did last season was not a one-off, that we have the level it takes to play every game like that. "We are in four competitions and everyone must remain concentrated and fit because we don't have a big squad. Other teams are spending a lot of money so it will be difficult to have the same success as last year, but we have to try. "Our level of confidence is good and the team spirit is brilliant. We need to work as hard as we can in pre-season and start the season as well as we can."

Members' early ticket chance
Jul 28 2005 Liverpool Echo
MEMBERS of Everton's new Evertonia club can buy tickets for the opening Premiership game of the season against Manchester United before they go on general sale. The tickets will be on sale to members from Monday. Once the season gets underway tickets for matches will be available to Evertonia members two weeks before they go on general sale.
* Membership of Evertonia costs £19.99 for adults or £9.99 for under-16s. Further details are available on evertonfc.com.

We fear nobody, insists captain
By Richard Williamson Daily Post Sports Editor
Jul 29 2005
NEW Everton captain David Weir has insisted they have nothing to fear from today's Champions League draw. David Moyes's side took the Premiership by surprise last year to claim the fourth qualifying spot and defender Weir believes they are capable of repeating the feat against Europe's top teams. Unseeded Everton will be handed a tough assignment when the draw is made in Switzerland this morning, regardless of whether they avoid neighbours Liverpool or not. But Weir believes the team should look to their achievements of last season to provide the inspiration for the forthcoming campaign. "It is a massive achievement that everyone at Everton is looking forward to this draw and maybe it will only really sink in about what we did last season when we see our name come out," he said. "To finish fourth in the Premiership above teams of the quality of Liverpool was a huge achievement. "We are going to get a tough game and it will just be another challenge for us."
Weir added that the players will be fired up by the fact that many people are expecting them to fall at the first European hurdle. "Everyone is waiting for us to trip up and fall and that has got to be a motivation for us," he said.. "We need to get together and try and prove people wrong which we did last season." Weir will be watching the draw with even keener interest after admitting that he thought his Goodison days were over. The Scottish international had been linked with a move to Leeds as his contract at Everton ran down, but is delighted to have agreed a new deal with the club.
"There was definitely a time when I didn't think I would be here waiting for the Champions League draw," he said.. ''I always wanted to stay, but at one stage it didn't look as though that would be possible. ''I appreciate you have to leave sometime and so while the club is paying you, you should always do your best. If I wasn't around to get the benefit of what we achieved last season then I would have just accepted it as part and parcel of football. I would have been disappointed, but I wouldn't have felt hard done by. I have had an awful lot from football over the years and know how lucky I have been." Weir admits he wouldn't be unhappy if a Scottish name came out of the draw, but whoever Everton play they must give the fans something to cheer. "The Scottish lads would like a Scottish, although it looks like there is only going to be one in the third round, but we haven't spoken in detail on who we'd like," he added.. "We just want to get through for the fans because they have waited so long for this opportunity. "The fans have got a bit of pride back and we want to give them something to speak about. Everyone knows there have been difficult times here in the past, but hopefully now there is a brighter future ahead."
* EVERTON are reminding fans that next Wednesday's game against Udinese at Goodison is cash on the gate only. Tickets are £10 for all fans. The top balcony will be closed.

Euro giants will want to avoid Everton
By Paul Walker Daily Post Correspondent
Jul 29 2005
CHAMPIONS League newcomers Everton will be the club the big boys desperately want to avoid in today's third qualifying round draw, claims former Everton striker Graeme Sharp. Everton are rated 42nd-best in the competition because of their poor continental track record and are unseeded for the draw at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. But the Premiership's fourth-best side last term should be rated as the most dangerous wild card in the competition claims Sharp, who figured in the club's European Cup Winners' Cup triumph in 1985. "They really should be rated a big, big danger for anyone. Nobody wants to play English clubs in the tournament because of the quality of the league," Sharp said. "Everton finished fourth last season and many of their games would have been seen all over Europe. "Everton may be virtual unknowns as far as many clubs in Europe are concerned, but nobody will want to play them." He added: "Everton are not seeded, which makes them even more dangerous. Liverpool are seeded and are in the same draw and they won't want to be drawn against Everton. "And that surely will go for the other big boys. In the third qualifying round you are hoping for an easier passage than facing a club like Everton. "The players will really want to get through, many of them have never played in the Champions League. And the same applies to the fans. I can't see any big club wanting a tie at Goodison Park with the place packed out.
"Europe's big boys will look at Everton's record in the Premiership and won't fancy playing them one little bit. "Nobody dare underestimate them, they beat Manchester United and Liverpool last season and are really up for this one." Apart from Liverpool, Everton could be drawn against the likes of Ajax, Dynamo Kiev, Monaco, Rangers, Panathinaikos and Inter Milan from the seeded list of 16 - only Manchester United from that group cannot be drawn to play Everton Sharp added: "Everton have been virtually ignored, because they have no experience at this level it's easy to write them off.
"But a seeded club will want something a lot easier than playing Everton. Over two legs anything can happen." Everton manager David Moyes has already expressed his dismay that his side could be drawn against Liverpool, the European Cup holders having been stripped of their country protection in the draw. Everton could also face Rangers or Celtic, but it's now unlikely that the Hoops will figure in the next round after their 5-0 hammering by Artmedia Bratislava in the first leg of their second qualifying round tie. Nobody on Merseyside really wants an Everton v Liverpool showdown, certainly not the local police or either club's administrators who can see the prospect of close on £20million resting on the outcome, with the losers dropping into the UEFA Cup. Sharp said: "You can see it coming and it would be bad. UEFA don't want all these English clubs involved and if a Mersey derby happens there will be a few raised eyebrows, I'm sure."

Failure to reach group stages 'could cost £10m'
By Mike Mcgrath, Daily Post
Jul 29 2005
FAILING to reach this season's Champions League group stage would cost clubs a minimum of £10million, according to a report released yesterday. Celtic were humiliated 5-0 against Artmedia Bratislava on Wednesday and they appear unlikely to progress further in Europe's premier club competition, with manager Gordon Strachan becoming increasingly under pressure early in his reign.
After competing last season in the group stages - where they were guaranteed television money from their matches against Shakhtar Donetsk, AC Milan and Barcelona - the drop in income would have a significant affect on their season. Should either Liverpool or Everton fail to progress to the group stages they too would miss out on that much-needed income. Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said: "Entry into the group stages of the UEFA Champions League guarantees each club a minimum of over £6m in UEFA distributions from centrally negotiated broadcasting and commercial deals. "In addition, each club is guaranteed match-day income from at least three extra home games plus potential commercial bonuses meaning that total revenue per club is likely to be over £10m from the group stages alone." While Celtic's defeat in Slovakia was the second qualifying-round clash, Manchester United and Everton will be in today's draw in Nyon for the next round. Clubs in the hat could face defending champions Liverpool if Rafael Benitez's side successfully defend their 3-1 first-leg lead over Kaunas. "These qualifying games are financially the most important in the season for each of the three competing Premiership clubs," Jones added.
If all three clubs reach the group stages, they could generate up to £100m depending on their performance, which could be healthy for the Barclays Premiership if the money remains in country. Liverpool made an estimated £30m from their victorious campaign last season. Paul Rawnsley, a senior consultant in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, added: "Much of the additional Champions League revenue has limited direct associated costs meaning it is largely profit."

How the Champions League draw will work
Daily Post
Jul 29 2005
THE third and final qualifying round of the Champions League will see 16 teams go through to the group stage. The draw today will be divided into seeded and unseeded sides, with a seeded team drawn against an unseeded team. No club can play another side from the same national association apart from holders Liverpool, who have no 'country protection' after being given special dispensation to defend their trophy. They could play Everton, who are unseeded.
Seeded teams: Kaunas (Lit)/Liverpool (Eng), Manchester United (Eng), Inter Milan (Ita), Panathinaikos (Gre), Artmedia Bratislava (Svk)/Celtic (Sco), Villarreal (Spa), Sporting Lisbon (Por), Monaco (Fra), Ajax (Hol), Club Bruges (Bel), Anderlecht (Bel)/Neftchi (Aze), Rangers (Sco), Dynamo Kiev (Ukr)/Thun (Swi), Werder Bremen (Ger), Rabotnicki (Mac)/Lokomotiv Moscow (Rus), Rosenborg (Nor).
Unseeded teams: Slavia Prague (Cze), Real Betis (Spa), Basle (Swi), Wisla Krakow (Pol), Udinese (Ita), Partizan Belgrade (Ser)/Sheriff (Mol), Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukr), Malmo (Swe)/Maccabi Haifa (Isr), Everton (Eng), Shelbourne (Irl)/Steaua Bucharest (Rom), Dinamo Tbilisi (Geo)/Brondby (Den), Dudelange (Lux)/Rapid Vienna (Aut), Tirana (Alb) v CSKA Sofia (Bul), Debreceni (Hun)/Hajduk Split (Cro), Anorthosis Famagusta (Cyp)/Trabzonspor (Tur), Valerenga (Nor)/Haka (Fin).

Make a stand
Post Soapbox, icLiverpool & Daily Post
Jul 29 2005
Make a stand
BRIAN CLOUGH, at the time, said of the great Everton side of the mid-eighties: "The only thing that will stop this club from dominating English football for the next five years, is players' contracts."
Surprise, surprise, nothing has changed. Tim Cahill obviously wants to be on a par with, or better than Arteta's terms. Why can't we stand up to these agents? A contract is a contract and the player is legally obliged to play for us for the next three years. Bang him in the reserves for a couple of months. Gravesen soon came round to our way of thinking, when he was overlooked a couple of seasons ago.
Ernie McDonald, Claughton, Wirral
Hibbert example
PERSONALLY I think that Cahill has got a cheek! Yes, he had a great season, probably the buy of the season, but that is what he is paid to do. Look at Tony Hibbert, proud to wear a royal blue jersey and proud to sign a contract. So come on Tim, be consistent over a few seasons and then be rewarded.
Liam Smith, Rainhill
Wise choice
WELL DONE David Moyes for picking David Weir as captain. I had the pleasure of going on the stadium tour with Dave Hickson not long back (highly recomended) and he told me how much everybody respects him in and around the club.
Peter Lilley (via e-mail)
In at deep end
I WISH we knew how much Everton have to spend on new players. If the club's budget is small then we need to attract substantial investment. It would appear that we cannot compete with the important clubs in the Premiership. Without skilful players in each position we shall not succeed. Midfield seems okay, but we need more quality in the full-backs and certainly a proven striker to support James Beattie. You also need quality in reserve for next season is going to be extremely tough and only a large squad of good players will prove resilient.
Roger Welch, North Wales
Board's best
THE reason most of Everton's proposed transfers have not happened is because of greedy agents and footballers. It's got nothing to do with being poor in the transfer market.
What would most people have wanted? A Peter Crouch type signing? Or maybe Slaven Bilic? The people in charge of Everton are doing the very best for Everton FC. We have the backbone of a very good team, and the chance of taking part in five competitions.
Brian Cook (via e-mail)
Great escape
AFTER Amokachi and Bakayoko - I'm glad we avoided Sissoko. Davids is going to Spurs to retire.
If Parker didn't do it at Chelsea - why the fuss? Bellamy - no thanks. Let Newcastle and Boro do the panic buying and wage inflating. We have strengthened the squad with three quality signings, if you count Arteta.
Bradley Nolan (via e-mail)

Blues face trip to Spain
Jul 29 2005 By Dave MacBryde, icLiverpool
EVERTON have drawn Spanish outfit Villareal in the Champions League third qualifying round.
The first leg will be played at Goodison on August 9th or 10th, with the return leg two weeks later on the 23rd or 24th. The draw was made in Nyon, Switzerland earlier today, with the Blues squad congregated at their Bellefield training ground, where they watched the draw take place.
Villareal finished third in the Spanish Primera division last season, 19 points behind champions Barcelona. It was the club's highest ever positon in La Liga. The two teams have never met in a competitive fixture before. The Blues will face ex-Manchester United forward Diego Forlan, winner of this year's European Golden Boot, who finished top scorer in La Liga last season, scoring 25 goals.
It will be the Blues' first outing in Europe since their Cup Winners Cup campaign in 1995/96 when their progress was halted by Feyenoord. The Blues avoided Mersey rivals Liverpool which will be of some comfort to manager David Moyes, who had previously voiced his concern at the possible pairing. The draw in full FC Basel v Werder Bremen Artmedia or Celtic v Partizen Belgrade or Sheriff
Shakhtar Donetsk v Internazionale Shekbourne or Steaua Bucharest v Rosenborg Manchester United v Debrecen or Hajduk Split Malmo or Maccabi Haifa v Dynamo Kiev or Thun Everton v Villareal
FBK Kaunas or Liverpool v KF Tirana or Cska Sofia Sporting Lisbon v Udinese Valerenga or Haka v Bruges Dudelanga or Rapid Vienna v Lokomotiv Moscow Anderlecht or Neftchi v Slavia Prague
Anorthosis or Trabzonspor v Rangers Dinamo Tbilisi or Brondby v Ajax Real Betis v Monaco
Wisla Krakov v Panathinaikos

Judgement Day on tie nobody wants
By Mark O'Brien Everton supporter, Daily Post
Jul 29 2005
SO, Judgement Day is upon us. The whole city has been hanging on with baited breath for the Champions League qualifying draw, even though an awful lot of people see it as a foregone conclusion. Ever since Liverpool were awarded a goal that never crossed the line against Chelsea, through to the remarkable final and then the whole brass-necked political manoeuvring that saw the fifth-placed side in the English Premiership given Slavia Prague's seeding, it has seemed as if the two Merseyside clubs' destinies in this year's competition are inextricably linked. Despite the potential theatre that such a tie would represent, it is only something that the neutrals want to see. No supporter or member of staff of either club, despite what bravado might make them claim, wants something so important settled by playing two derbies. Having two per season in the league is bad enough. Most papers played up David Moyes's reservations about such an eventuality, but seemed to make less of the fact that Steven Gerrard agreed with him. Given the unseeded clubs that Liverpool could draw, Everton must represent their worst nightmare. Unfortunately for the Blues, though, there are numerous seeded sides they would like to avoid apart from the just the Reds.
Most notably Inter Milan, firstly because they are pretty good, and secondly, the away tie wouldn't even provide an opportunity for a bit of long overdue European travel for the fans, thanks to their firework-throwing Ultras and the UEFA ruling that has them playing behind closed doors. Given the rather fractious scenes off the pitch in Brussels the last time Everton played there, Anderlecht would probably be best avoided too, unless, of course, you like tear gas and water cannon. Ajax would be, like, far out, man, given Amsterdam's famous party atmosphere, but there are plenty of other potentially pleasant destinations though, for the fans at least, such as Portugal, Germany and Spain.
In terms of the football itself though, there aren't many sides left at this stage who look like pushovers - just ask Gordon Strachan.

Moyes' men face Villarreal, Reds wait for Sofia
Jul 29 2005 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON and Liverpool were both given tough European assignments in today's Champions League draw. The Blues will face Spanish side Villarreal in the third round of the qualifying stages as they attempt to make it through to the group stages for the first time in their history. Liverpool will come up against either Albanian champions FC Tirana or CSKA Sofia, of Bulgaria, if they come through the second leg against FC Kaunas. The Reds have a 3-1 lead from the first leg and are expected to proceed to the third round, where they are likely to face CSKA Sofia, who beat FC Tirana 2-0 away in the first leg. Everton's draw is likely to prove the tougher of the two with Villarreal one of the top sides in La Liga. Villarreal finished third in Spain last season, behind only Barcelona and Real Madrid, with one-time Manchester United flop Diego Forlan topping the Spanish scoring charts. The first leg of the third qualifying round will take place on August 9/10 with the second leg taking place on August 23/24. Both Everton and Liverpool came out of the hat first meaning they should both play the first leg at home.

Kenwright delight at being in big time
Jul 29 2005 By James Pearce, Liverpool Echo
CHAIRMAN Bill Kenwright saw Everton land Villarreal in the Champions League draw today and announced: "We're in the big time". The Toffees will host the Spaniards, who finished third in La Liga last season, in the first leg of the third qualifying round tie at Goodison Park. "They'll be two good games, but two tough games," Kenwright said. "A club that finishes up there in Spain just shows that Villarreal are very good and very tough opposition - but isn't it great that we are playing them? "As we were unseeded there weren't many games that we would say we fancied but we've got to go in and accept it as an opportunity to get into the group stages. "I was ticking the teams off as they came out and throughout the whole thing I was very nervous. "It was just great to sit there and see Everton's name up there. When we arrived there were two Everton fans waiting outside for autographs - they said they just had to be here. "This really is the big time for Everton. All I can say is that it's David Moyes' and everyone at Everton's miracle that we're here. As chairman and a fan of the club I'm privileged to be here. This is a day for the supporters." Former Everton duo Graeme Sharp and Trevor Steven admitted that Everton face the hardest prospect of the five British clubs involved in the draw. "It's certainly not going to be easy and it's one of the toughest ones they could have got," Sharp said. "Villarreal had a fantastic season last year and Diego Forlan scored a lot of goals. "But it's a fantastic day for Evertonians and they will be looking forward to it. There will be a bit of relief that they didn't draw Liverpool." Steven added: "It's going to be very tough but David Moyes knows what they have to do. They are going to have to be at their best from the first kick off.
"Being at home for the first leg is probably a good thing. If they can get a goal or two and keep a clean sheet then they can go there and try to defend it."

Moyes aware of Spanish threat
Jul 29 2005 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON boss David Moyes knows his side face a tough task to qualify for the group stages.
The Blues were drawn against Spanish side Villarreal in today's third qualifying round draw and Moyes said: "It's a tough game, but we are delighted we are in the competition after the hard work of last season. "Nevertheless we will go there and give the supporters a good couple of weeks out in Europe. "We know Spanish football well - it is very popular here and we all watch it - and we have started work on it now."

Parry relieved to avoid derby
Jul 29 2005 By James Pearce & Tony Barrett, Liverpool Echo
LIVERPOOL chief executive Rick Parry admitted his relief at avoiding rivals Everton in today's Champions League draw in Switzerland. Liverpool will face either Bulgarian outfit CSKA Sofia or KF Tirana of Albania in the third qualifying round while Everton must face Villarreal. Parry said: "Clearly when we weren't given country protection the conspiracy theorists were expecting it to happen (Liverpool to be drawn against Everton), but I don't think either club would have relished that.
"We've still got a job to do against Kaunas but after Tuesday we will start thinking about it. We've been to Sofia in the recent past and if we have to go there again then we will know all about them.
"It's about taking every game seriously and as professionally as we can. We're used to it now and we'll treat everyone with respect. "It's certainly better to be playing a team which has come through from the earlier rounds than someone who has come into it at the third qualifying round stage.
"But after seeing what happened to Celtic in midweek we can't take anything for granted. We've got to get to the group stages and that's the platform for us to build the season on." Reds boss Rafa Benitez confessed: "For us the draw could have been tougher, but we know that CSKA Sofia are a good team. "At the moment I would prefer to focus on Kaunas because only after this game is complete can we starting thinking about the next game. Former Reds midfielder Jan Molby said: "That should be okay for Liverpool. In the third qualifying round both games are going to be difficult, but when you look at the teams they could have got they will be quite pleased with the draw."
On Everton's draw, former Valencia boss Benitez added: "Villarreal are a very good team. I know them very well because when I was at Valencia Villerreal was our derby match. "They have many good players and they had a very good season last year. Two of their best known players are Diego Forlan and Riquelme. Forlan scored a lot of goals last season and Riquelme is a player who likes to work between the lines and is very creative. "But Everton are also a good team and it should be a very close game."

Old heads can see us through - Carsley
Jul 29 2005 By Rob Brady, Liverpool Echo
LEE CARSLEY believes the experience of Everton's international contingent will prove invaluable in the Champions League. The Blues are set to make their debut in the competition this season, but the midfielder insists they are far from rookies. Carsley has played for the Republic of Ireland 29 times, while his Eire team-mate Kevin Kilbane has 60 appearances under his belt. The likes of Joseph Yobo, David Weir and Simon Davies all boast dozens of caps, while keeper Nigel Martyn and playmaker Mikel Arteta have already played in Europe's top club competition. Carsley said: "Hopefully my international experience can help. I have played a lot of games at international level. It will probably be that kind of football in the Champions League - a bit slower with more build-up. "We have a lot of internationals in the team. There are a few who have played European club football. We have a lot of experience in the team." Carsley insists Everton must show respect to whoever they come up against and he would relish a crack at the cup holders Liverpool at a later stage of the competition.
He said: "We need to fear everyone, to be honest. We haven't played in the competition before as a squad. It's going to be difficult for us. We are under no illusions about that. "It would be nice to play Liverpool in that kind of competition. It would be fantastic for the fans, but not just yet." The Blues were flying out to Istanbul today ahead of their penultimate pre-season friendly against Turkish side Fenerbahce. David Moyes will use this game and the home match with Udinese next Wednesday as preparation for their Champions League third round qualifier, the first leg of which takes place in the second week of August, with the return a fortnight after that. Moyes' only injury concerns at the moment are Li Tie (Achilles) and James McFadden (ankle).

Everton look ahead to real test against Spaniards
By Martyn Ziegler In Nyon, Daily Post
Jul 30 2005
EVERTON avoided city neighbours Liverpool in the draw for the final qualifying round of the Champions League only to land equally-daunting opposition in Villarreal, one of the most impressive sides in Spain last season. While there may have been relief in UEFA's headquarters when the Merseyside teams were kept apart, Everton now face the toughest of challenges to make it into the group stage. Liverpool, with a 3-1 advantage over Kaunas in the second qualifying round, look to have an easier prospect against Bulgarian side CSKA Sofia, who are 2-0 up against Tirana. Chairman Bill Kenwright, however, refused to be down-hearted and promised squad reinforcements before the start of the season. He saidn: "Part of you feels we belong in this draw anyway and part of you feels it's a miracle by a miracle manager, and Evertonians feel great about that. "Looking at the seeded teams there were two or three that may have been easier but most of them pose the same difficulties, and that's why we were prepared to play Liverpool, too. "It wasn't a question of relief; if we were going to play Liverpool then we were going to play them. "We had decided that looking at the fact we weren't seeded there were only two or three clubs who you might say that might be easier. "A club that finishes up there in Spain must be tough opposition. Villarreal are a very good club - but isn't it great that we are playing them? "I think there will definitely be movement in the transfer market before the season and hopefully some before we play Villarreal - it would be an incredible amount of wasted hard work if we didn't get some new players in soon." Villarreal are new players on the Spanish football stage but their South American influences helped them to a best-ever third place in the Primera Liga last season. Coached by former River Plate manager Manuel Pellegrini, their chief dangerman is Argentina playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme, and even Manchester United's former striker Diego Forlan has proved himself, finishing the club's top scorer last season. Hard-tackling Italian midfielder Alessio Tacchinardi has also just signed from Juventus to strengthen the squad. Villarreal's general manager Jose Manuel Llaneza said: "We said beforehand a British team would be dangerous." Manager David Moyes says Everton's preparations for their Champions League bow will begin immediately. "It's a difficult game but obviously we are delighted that we are in the competition because we've worked very hard in the last year or two," he said..
"Hopefully we will give our supporters a good couple of weeks in Europe. "We will do what we can ahead of the game and start working on it now. Spanish football is very popular so the play-ers know a lot about it. We also have Mikel Arteta from Spain, who can help us as well." Liverpool's main reaction was relief that their lack of 'country protection' after being given special dispensation to defend their trophy did not land them with the most tense Merseyside derby of all time. UEFA have guaranteed that Liverpool will travel to Sofia or Tirana for the second leg on Tuesday, August 23 rather than the following day, with the Super Cup against UEFA Cup winners Lokomotiv Moscow on the Friday. Chief executive Rick Parry said: "The main thing was avoiding Everton, nobody wanted that, and we have been to Sofia in the recent past to play Levski Sofia so we know what to expect.

"We are relieved not to be playing someone right at the top of the list but it will be a long way to travel when we are playing the Super Cup in the same week but at least we are where we would have liked to have been. "As ever we will treat our opponents with respect but we are reasonably happy." The first legs of the final qualifying round will be played on August 9-10 and the second legs on August 23-24. Everton's match against Fernebache today is being shown on Setanta pay per view one.

Arteta's hope for friendly advice
By Richard Williamson Daily Post Sports Editor
Jul 30 2005
EVERTON midfielder Mikel Arteta is banking on some inside information from neighbours and rivals Liverpool to help the Goodison Park club reach the lucrative group stages of the Champions League.
Having avoided the defending champions in the draw for the third qualifying round, Everton will now face Spanish club Villar-real next month. And new Spanish signing Arteta is ready to turn to one of Liverpool's newest recruits to help them out. Goalkeeper Jose Reina arrived on Merseyside as a £6million signing from Villarreal and Arteta, who faced Reina last season in La Liga before his loan deal turned into a five-year contract, is ready to ask for his advice. Arteta said last night: "I have played in Spain against Reina, and know him. Now he is in Liverpool and I am going to speak to him about the game to see if he can offer any advice. "I will also try to use my knowledge from playing in Spain to help the team, so we can do the best we can and identify their weaknesses. But we just need to have confidence in ourselves and we cannot do anything else or worry about the matches."
Arteta added: "This is a tough one, it is going to be very difficult. We haven't been very lucky to be honest. Last year they had a great season and they have so many great players but there is a chance now of making it through. "We have to be prepared to play the best we can and then it is a case of seeing what happens. We need to make sure we play our game to the best of our ability.
"They like to play attractive football and they played the nicest type of football in Spain last year along with Barcelona. "They like to pass the ball and have good players in every position and international players." Arteta's midfield colleague Lee Carsley is hoping that the international experience running through the Everton side will stand them in good stead. The Irishman said: "Hopefully the international experience of the lads at Everton, including me, can help us in this difficult tie. "This sort of tie is more likely to be like international matches, a bit slower and with more build-up. "We have a lot of players in the team with international experience even if there are few here with European experience. "We haven't played in the competition before as a squad and it is going to be difficult. We are under no illusions about that." Chairman Bill Kenwright was in Nyon to witness the draw, and said: "We are just delighted to be here. This is where Everton used to be back in the '80s and now we are back." Kenwright added: "We just have to thank David Moyes, he is the miracle man who has got us to this stage and we must relish every moment." Chief executive Keith Wyness added: "From the fans' point of view I am pleased, but from the football side I believe it is one of the harder teams we could have drawn. They are very similar to us in that they had a very good season last year and performed better than they have done for many years." Everton watched the draw at their Bellefield training ground before flying out to Turkey, where they will play Fenerbahce tonight. The match will be in the Ataturk stadium, where neighbours Liverpool won their European crown. Moyes has injury concerns over Li Tie (Achilles) and Scottish international James McFadden (ankle) - but both players have travelled to Istanbul. But the team travelled without Marcus Bent who has an Achilles injury. Everton have only one more pre-season match before the first leg of their third qualifying round tie on August 9-10.
That is against Udinese next Wednesday, the Italian team were also in the same Champions League draw and face a tie with Sporting Lisbon. Picture: EVERTONFC.COM Simon Davies (left), Nigel Martyn and Marcus Bent (right) model the new Everton away kit at Bellefield

July 2005