Rooney's agent angry at pub name
By Kirsti Adair, Daily Post
Jun 2 2003
AN EVERTON fan, who named his bar after Wayne Rooney, has been criticised by the Everton star's agent for damaging the youngster's image. Ken Speed, who renamed his Sefton Arms pub Rooney's bar in March, reportedly had to remove all Rooney memorabilia after a visit by the 17-year-old striker's father and his agent. They said the pub was bad for Wayne's image as he was not old enough to drink. The pub, close to Everton's home ground, Goodison Park, had been decked out in the team's colours and plastered with pictures of the teenager. Mr Speed, 53, has said he was only paying tribute to a great player. He said: "There are lots of pubs named after footie players across the country, but they are usually called after them when their career is over or they are dead.
"I don't want this row too reach a point where Wayne is bothered by it - it could affect his game and that is the last thing I want." But Mr Speed said he wasn't sure about changing the name. Last night a barmaid confirmed that all the pictures had been removed. She said: "We used to have lots of pictures of Wayne all round the walls but they have all been taken down." Rooney's agent Paul Stretford said: "I am not going to say anything about this. We will handle these affairs in private."
Rooney is under starter's orders
By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Jun 2 2003
WAYNE ROONEY will take part in tomorrow night's England friendly against Serbia & Montenegro.
Sven-Goran Eriksson is ready to call on the Everton teenager after he was given the all-clear from the Blues' medical staff to play last week. Strike rival Emile Heskey of Liverpool will also play in the game at Leicester City's Walker Stadium - England's final warm-up match before the crucial Euro 2004 qualifier against Slovakia in Middlesbrough on Wednesday week. "Rooney and Heskey will both play, although not necessarily at the same time and not necessarily for 90 minutes," confirmed Eriksson. Rooney missed the friendly in South Africa 10 days ago after suffering a medial knee ligament injury in Everton's final-day defeat at home to Manchester United three weeks ago.
Since then, he has travelled with the England squad to their training camp in La Manga, where he continued his recovery until Everton passed him fit to play after tests on Friday. Meanwhile, the Blues have been handed the incentive to move into pole position in the race for Blackburn Rovers' David Dunn. Birmingham chairman David Gold has insisted that his club will not improve their £5.5million bid for the wantaway midfielder. Gold has warned that Birmingham "will not be held to ransom" in their pursuit of the former England under-21 captain. Rovers have already rejected their initial bid but Gold has made it clear that they will not be coming back in with a better offer.
Gold said: "We have pushed the boat out for Dunn but we won't be held to ransom. We think he is a top of the range buy and the offer reflects that. "We did it to try and steal a march on other clubs who may have been interested in signing David Dunn. "In the past, we may have been tempted to increase the offer. But football's business is not done like that anymore." Dunn is top of Blues boss David Moyes' summer wishlist, but while Everton can afford to pay the expected £5m transfer fee, the player's wages could be a sticking point. Gold added: "Prudence is the watch-word these days and I make no apologies for that. In the current climate in which offer for David Dunn should be very tempting. "If they think they are going to get that kind of money anywhere else, then good luck to them. Football is not awash with cash anymore."
Wayne's England chance
Jun 2 2003 By Rob Brady, Liverpool Echo
WAYNE Rooney will tomorrow be handed his chance to claim a starting place in England's crucial Euro 2004 qualifier against Slovakia. England manager Sven Goran Eriksson confirmed the Everton striker will figure in the friendly with Serbia & Montenegro at Leicester's Walker's Stadium.
Eriksson hinted he will rotate Rooney with Liverpool's Emile Heskey to decide the right strike partner for Michael Owen when his side face Slovakia at the Riverside Stadium in nine days time. The manager said: "Rooney and Heskey will both play, although not necessarily at the same time and not necessarily for 90 minutes." Rooney has been passed fit to play after the 17- year-old returned to Everton's Bellefield training ground to allow the club's medical staff to assess his knee injury.
The teenager suffered medial ligament damage in the final day defeat against Manchester United, a problem which prevented him travelling to South Africa with the national team. Everton physio Mick Rath-bone said: "We have checked Wayne out. He has trained and reported no reaction."
Meanwhile, the Blues could face a battle with Real Madrid to land Bastia's talented African youngster Mickael Essien. David Moyes is tracking the 20-year-old midfielder. Madrid are the latest club to be linked with the Ghanaian international, after Everton, Marseille, Lyon and Paris Saint Germain have all shown interest. The Blues must resolve the future of their Chinese midfielder Li Tie before his loan spell expires at the end of the month. Moyes would like to extend his loan for another year, but Chinese club Liaoning are demanding £1m for a permanent deal. Everton value him at around half that. Liaoning's general manager Cheng Peng Hui said: "We are hoping Li Tie will join Everton on a permanent basis, not another loan deal. Negotiations at this stage have been difficult but I'm confident we can reach an agreement."
Owen backing Rooney England partnership
By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Jun 3 2003
MICHAEL OWEN insists he can form a partnership with Wayne Rooney to shoot England to the Euro 2004 finals. The Liverpool striker will lead his country tonight in the friendly match with Serbia and Montenegro in Leicester. Owen is expected to link up with Rooney in attack at some point during the encounter, which is England's final game before the crucial Euro 2004 qualifier with Slovakia next Wednesday. And the 23-year-old - taking the captain's armband in the absence of the injured David Beckham - is confident that despite their similar styles, he can form a formidable partnership with the Everton teenage sensation. "I don't go along with people that say you can't have two players similar (in the same line-up)," said Owen. "It's all down to playing, to practising with them. Some partnerships click quicker than others. "If Wayne was to play then hopefully a partnership would be formed quickly. If it didn't it would work but it would take time." Owen started alongside Rooney in the Euro 2004 qualifier with Turkey in April before being forced off early in the second half through injury. And the Reds striker admitted: "I played with Wayne against Turkey but after 10 minutes I had a knock and I was never the same. I wasn't able to link and play the game I should have been able to play. "It was hard to get an understanding. But Wayne did well on a personal level." Even if they are not paired together this evening, England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson is expected to start with Owen and Rooney up front against Slovakia in Middlesbrough next week. That would mean no place for Owen's club partner Emile Heskey, although the £11million man is likely to begin tonight's friendly. "I've played with Emile for a long time now," said Owen. "I know how I play when he plays.
"He does a lot of the strength work, holding the ball up." Owen would be disappointed if Heskey did not get a good reception at Leicester, the club he left to join Liverpool in 2000. "He came through the ranks at Leicester and your fans should support you when you come through the ranks," he added. "He's helped them out financially which a lot of players would not do." Owen is confident England will try to beat Serbia and Montenegro but not at the cost of picking up injuries before the Euro 2004 qualifier against Slovakia. "There's always that tough balance in friendly games," admitted Owen. "We're going to go out and win."
Blues to suggest transfer change
By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Jun 3 2003
ALL CHANGE: Blues Chief Executive Michael Dunford heads a call for a change to the transfer market
EVERTON are ready to help spark a Premiership transfer revolution. The Blues will this week propose a change in the way the market works. Goodison officials believe that the current system leaves top-flight clubs in England at a disadvantage to their European counterparts. Under the present ruling, Premiership clubs have to pay half of the transfer fee when they officially sign a player, and the remaining amount 12 months later. On the Continent clubs can negotiate whatever payment terms they deem necessary, while the ruling Everton are proposing would see the Premiership fall into line with the Nationwide League in that transfer fees paid would be spread out over the length of the initial contract. Such a move would give clubs more flexibility and mean cash-strapped outfits like the Blues would have greater freedom to purchase players by not having to splash out on a huge chunk of the transfer fee the moment they buy a new player. Everton's resolution - which has the backing of other Premiership clubs - will be put forward later this week when the FA Premier League annual summer conference takes place. Chief Executive Michael Dunford said: "The feeling now is that the current system places clubs at a disad-vantage especially in the foreign market. "When you sign someone from abroad you can sign the player immediately and then negotiate whatever payment terms with the other club. "It is felt that it is rather unjust for clubs in this country to compete against that particular method." Birmingham City will propose another potentially more radical rule change which would see the lifting of the ban on Premiership clubs loaning players to each other. Dunford added: "As far as supporters are concerned this proposed rule change will have the biggest impact and I imagine that it will receive considerable support." Meawhile, Kevin McLeod has still to decide whether to prolong his Goodison career.
The 22-year-old winger is now out of contract and has been a one-year extension by the Blues.
McLeod was on loan at Queens Park Rangers towards the end of the season and is now free to talk to other clubs, although the Blues would receive a compensation payment should he choose not to stay at Goodison. Dunford explained: "Kevin has been offered a new one-year contract and received notification of that a few weeks ago. "He still has a couple of weeks to decide where his future will be and we await his decision. "David Moyes would ideally like him to stay, but Kevin being a free agent can look at his other options to see if his career is best placed somewhere else."
George Pilkington, David Carney, Robert Southern and Steven Beck have all been released by the Blues.
Home and Away
Icliverpool And Daily Post
Jun 3 2003
Cup of cheer
LET'S GIVE David Moyes a break. It would be a miracle if he could get even a decent player he wants given the financial status of Everton. I would be happy if we could finish in the same position next season and probably try to do better in the FA Cup.
S Williamson, Aughton
Tie up Li Tie
LI TIE is worth every pound of the £1million transfer fee being asked. Li played 28 games last season and did a lot to help Tomasz Radzinski, a fellow Canadian who has benefited from Li's many incisive passes. Everton faded in the last 10 games because both Radz and Li did not play.
Jason Davies, Vancouver (via e-mail)
Past sell-by date
DAVID MOYES' transfer funds aren't that limited! We've just spent £3.5m on Joseph Yobo and have another £5m at our disposal. At the same time the club have been working to pay off the massive debt that Bill Kenwright and co inherited. We should just be grateful that we're no longer a selling club like a few years ago.
Ian Campbell, (via e-mail)
WE ARE through tightening the belt and re-financing our debts, trying to put the club back on an even keel financially, but that does not mean that because we finished seventh we now have £20 million to go and buy a shed load of new players. Remember we have older players like Duncan Ferguson and Kevin Campbell on £25,000 plus per week. Until these are sold, or the contracts expire, we will have to limit our We are now paying the price for paying silly money to average players and paying off debts which we incurred under previous regimes.
Thomas Gray, (via e-mail)
Carrick fits bill
MICHAEL CARRICK at West Ham would be a good buy for Everton while Michael Brown and Jason Koumas may be a better bet than spending the whole £5million on David Dunn. Everyone moaning about the financial system at Everton should look at Arsenal. One of the best teams in Europe, they have the likes of Henry, Viera etc, and they have only got £10m to spend. The main problem with Everton and The Gooners is our stadiums. We make around £1m-£1.5m every home game, Liverpool £2m-£2.5m and Man U £4m-£5m. What a difference a good ground makes (just ask Newcastle).
Ryan Taylor, Liverpool
Shot shy midfield
I'D LIKE to see the Everton midfield filled with players who can have a shot on goal. Pembs, Gemmill, Li Tie seem a bit shot shy to say the least. Who is going to score the goals next year? Campbell? Ferguson? I don't think so.
Will Buckley, North Wales
Blues 'old guard' falls
Jun 3 2003 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON'S shareholders association committee has been sensationally booted out in a coup by a rival group. Only four of the 14-strong committee survived last night's rebellion that saw the old guard replaced by a new set of shareholders pushing a five-page "manifesto for change."
They are demanding that the club be more accountable to its shareholders. They want to isolate weaknesses seen in the club's admin and put their own people in. The Everton shareholders group was formed in 1938 and is the oldest of its kind. However, it controls only about 4% of the club's shares. Many new shareholders swamped last night's annual meeting and out-voted the old guard by 45 votes to 36 to force through the manifesto and new committee. Former chairman Kevin Nolan and deputy Richard Lewis were voted out, while stalwarts such as solicitor Laurence Lee and business guru Professor Tom Cannon stormed out in disgust at what they saw as an "ambush."
One shareholder, who asked not to be named, said: "It was a night of the long knives. It was very acrimonious and left a nasty taste in the mouth. It was disgusting. People like Kevin Nolan who have worked so hard for the club were just booted out with n o than ks whatsoever." Mr Nolan and Prof Cannon were unavailable for comment. The new chairman is John Sinnott, chief executive of Leicestershire county council. His deputy is Stephen Allinson, managing director of a systems development company. Mr Sinnott was in meetings today and Mr Allinson was unavailable.
Another new member is Everton independent supporters spokesman Ian McDonald, who said: "This is good for the club and good for the fans." The shareholders' association was seen in some quarters as a "comfy gentleman's club" in need of a shake-up and new blood. Everton spokesman Ian Ross said: "The shareholders association is a democratic body and they have seen fit to make changes, which is their perogative. "As a club we have always listened to our supporters, including the shareholders association, and that situation will continue."
Why Sven should take Rooney into extra time
Jun 3 2003 By Kevin Ratcliffe, Liverpool Echo
SVEN Goran Eriksson looks set to play Wayne Rooney in tonight's friendly with Serbia and Montenegro. But given the lad's recent injury problems, it would be wiser to leave him out.
The rest would give Rooney extra time to recuperate and ensure he is absolutely ready for the more important Euro qualifier against Slovakia next week. I know both England's and Everton's physios have assessed his knee injury and passed him fit, but Rooney has not played since the final day of the season. Up until last weekend, England were unsure whether he would be available for tonight's game, so he is lacking match sharpness. He has been able to step up his training, but that is nothing like playing in an actual game, let alone a competitive fixture. I would prefer Rooney to be held back ready for Slovakia. All-rounder should top Moyes' list EVERTON have been linked with a number of midfielders. Most fans agree it is an area of the Blues team that needs to be strengthened. They have players with the right work ethic, but they need someone who has a better standard of passing and can open up defences. There are very few of those available. One name that has been talked about is Blackburn's David Dunn, who appears to have had a fall-out with Graeme Souness. When that happens, a player often just wants to get out and play somewhere else. Blackburn are asking a fee in the region of £5m. That is an awful lot for one player, especially given Everton's limited transfer budget. Dunn is an attacking midfielder, the kind Everton are looking for, but the defensive side of his game sometimes appears to be lacking.
When you have not got a lot of money to spend, you have to go for an all-round player.
Hands are Tied
WITH his loan period coming to an end, Li Tie's Everton future is in doubt. The Blues want to extend his loan for another year, but his Chinese club prefer a permanent £1m transfer. When Li Tie first joined Everton it raised a few eyebrows, yet he went on to become a regular in the first team.
His main quality is his work-rate, which has been unbelievable, but perhaps he is not quite up to the physical side of the English game and he faded towards the end of the season. He is worth keeping on as a squad player and that is what David Moyes is looking to do while he tries to bring in a more creative midfielder. Everton will not want to spend a lot of money on a player who is unlikely to play that many games next season.
Moyes denies Dunn move
Jun 3 2003 By Rob Brady, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES today reiterated his interest in Blackburn Rovers star David Dunn. But the Blues boss has not had talks with the player or his club, despite reports in the national press that a deal was close. Dunn is one of the options Moyes is looking at to add more attacking strength to an Everton midfield that was short on goals last season. Moyes said: "He is one of several players we are interested in, but no talks have taken place." The 23-year-old England international has had a fall-out with Rovers manager Graeme Souness and wants a move away from Ewood Park.
Chelsea have also shown interest in the player, who scored eight goals for Rovers last season, while Birmingham have baulked at the £5.5m asking price. Meanwhile, the Blues reserves will not be playing at Halton Stadium next season. David Moyes has been unhappy with the state of the pitch and the club is searching for a new venue, possibly Southport's Haig Avenue ground. Everton's second string have played their home games at Halton for the last four years, but the stadium is also home to Widnes Vikings Rugby League Club and Runcorn FC. Michael Dunford, Everton's chief executive, said: "We need a top-class playing surface to play our reserve games on. We have been unable to reach agreement with Widnes and are actively seeking an alternative venue." Elsewhere, Everton are proposing a shake-up of the domestic transfer system. Premiership clubs currently have to pay 50 per cent of any transfer fee up front, with the balance due within 12 months.
On the continent clubs are free to negotiate more flexible payments - giving them a financial advantage. Everton prefer the system used in the Football League with fees spread over the length of a player's contract. Their proposal will be put to the Premier League's annual summer conference this week. Dunford said: "When you sign a player from abroad you can sign them immediately and then negotiate whatever payment terms with the other club. It is rather unjust for clubs in this country to compete against that." Everton are also backing a proposal by Birmingham City to allow Premiership clubs to loan players to each other. Currently loans are only permitted between Premiership clubs and lower league or foreign counterparts. Dunford added: "As far as supporters are concerned this proposed rule change will have the biggest impact and I imagine it will receive considerable support."
Ferguson banned for start of season
By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Jun 4 2003
DUNCAN FERGUSON'S hopes of re-establishing himself in the Everton first-team nosedived yesterday when he was banned for the opening three matches of next season. The Football Association ruled the Blues striker (left) guilty of elbowing Aston Villa midfielder Joey Gudjonsson during Everton's 2-1 victory at Goodison Park in April. Although referee Graham Poll did not spot the incident and subsequently failed to include it in his report, television cameras captured the clash between Ferguson and the Icelandic international. After the FA referred the incident to its video panel, the 31-year-old was charged. Ferguson pleaded not guilty to the charge and rejected the opportunity of a personal hearing, instead preferring to lodge his defence by letter, but the FA decided to slap him with a suspension for violent conduct. With Wayne Rooney, Kevin Campbell and Tomasz Radzinski all competing for a place in Everton's front line, Ferguson can ill afford another enforced spell on the sidelines. Meanwhile, boss David Moyes has denied reports the Blues have lodged a bid for Blackburn Rovers midfielder David Dunn. Birmingham City saw a £5.5m offer turned down by Rovers last week, and reports yesterday suggested Everton had made a move for the 23-year-old. But while Moyes continues to be in the hunt for the England under-21 international - along with Chelsea and Aston Villa - he insists no contact has yet been made. He is one of several players we are interested in, but no talks have taken place," said Moyes. Everton have sounded out Southport's Haig Avenue as a venue for their reserve games next season. The Blues have decided to end their stay at the Halton Stadium, which has hosted the club's second string home matches for the last four years. Moyes has been unhappy with the state of the pitch, which also hosts rugby league side Widnes Vikings and UniBond League outfit Runcorn Halton FC. Chief executive Michael Dunford said: "We need a top-class playing surface for our reserve games. We have been unable to reach agreement with Widnes and are actively seeking an alternative venue." The boom in interest at Everton has forced the club to consider introducing a cap on season ticket sales for the first time in the club's 125-year history. Officials at Goodison Park are forecasting sales will reach the 27,000 mark by the end of June - beating the club's previous best achieved in 1996-97. The club's decision to introduce a cap is based on a desire to have 10,000 tickets freely available on a match-by-match basis to non-season ticket holders. "We have already sold approaching 3,500 new season tickets in the first couple of weeks of sales and have about five or six hundred left," said Dunford. "If the sales continue as they are currently doing we will reach the 27,000 mark by the end of June and have to introduce the cap." No decision on a cap on season tickets will be taken until the June 21 deadline for renewals has passed.
Striker's £25,000 trees bill
Jun 4 2003 By Emma Gunby, Liverpool Echo
SOCCER star Duncan Ferguson is being forced to spend £25,000 - almost a week's wages - on trees.
The Everton FC striker wants to build a block of luxury flats and a detached house in the garden of his £2m Formby home. But council officials have demanded that he must agree to plant hundreds of trees if he wants permission for the development. The proviso is part of a Sefton council environmental drive. Duncan's neighbours in the exclusive area of Formby have launched a campaign to stop him building the flats. Planning bosses will meet tonight to decide whether to let the controversial development go ahead. His neighbours are planning to protest at the meeting. A 70-signature petition has already been delivered to the council objecting to the proposal.
John Moore, 64, said the flats will look over the back of his property in Firs Road, and could mean a loss of privacy and increased traffic. He said: "We feel our area is being decimated by people who are coming in, making a quick buck and then getting out again." If Ferguson does get permission then the flats could fetch around £250,000 each and the house up to £600,000. The £35,000-a-week star bought the land for £2.1m two years ago. Ferguson knocked down a five-bedroom house on the property in February, and lives with his wife and infant daughter in a smaller house on the site. Outline planning permission has been granted providing Ferguson agrees to pay £24,045 for the new trees.
Eriksson quiet on Rooney
Jun 4 2003 By Rob Brady, Liverpool Echo
SVEN GORAN ERIKSSON today remained tight-lipped about Wayne Rooney starting next week's Euro 2004 qualifier against Slovakia, but still hailed him the future of English football. The Everton star staked his claim with an other impressive display during last night's warm-up against Serbia & Montenegro at Leicester's Walkers Stadium. The 17-year-old replaced Michael Owen in the second half and was only denied his first international goal by a superb save from keeper Zilic in stoppage time. Eriksson was clearly impressed, but has refused to reveal whether Rooney will partner Owen in next Wednesday's crucial clash with Slovakia. The England coach said: "We will see. Rooney once again showed that he's a very good football player and I think he will be a great footballer.
"When you see young player s like Wayne Rooney, Joe Cole and Jermaine Jenas, you can see that the future is very good for England." Rooney needed treatment midway through the second half after a heavy challenge from Verdic, but Eriksson was confident he will be available for the Slovakia game.
"I would say it was a knock, not an injury, and that it's not too bad," he said. Meanwhile, Everton season ticket sales are on course to hit a new club record. The Blues anticipate demand will top 27,000 this summer, easily surpassing the 24,700 record of the 1996-97 season. The club may have to cap sales - for the first time in their history - to allow 10,000 seats to be retained for non-season ticket holders.
England 2, Serbia & Mont 1
Jun 4 2003 By Mark Bradley, Daily Post
AMID all the feverish excitement over the prodigious young talent of Wayne Rooney, the promise of a certain Joe Cole has been rather overlooked on the international stage. However, Cole, now something of a relative veteran at the age of 21, reclaimed the limelight with the winner in England's friendly against Serbia and Montenegro. With more than a passing impersonation of the absent David Beckham, Cole struck a memorable 25-yard free-kick to clinch victory with just eight minutes left. And it was just as well. For without that rare moment of inspiration amid the overall tedium, this friendly would have been remembered for just one reason. Not for Steven Gerrard striking a first-half opener to help continue the incredible statistic which means England have never lost in 17 games with the Liverpool midfielder in the side. Not for Serbia and Montenegro managing to equalise on the stroke of half-time through Nenad Jestrovic. Instead, for the use of an incredible total of 43 players - almost four entire teams - in this pale imitation of a serious international encounter. England goalkeeper David James was the one exception as he played the entire 90 minutes. And the greatest surprise was that he did not see the captain's armband as it passed from Michael Owen to Emile Heskey, then Phil Neville and finally to Jamie Carragher. At least, in the wake of the Football Association's appeal for good behaviour, the worst excess was a glut of paper planes being directed at the pitch. That, however, was more in response to the lack of any meaningful action on the pitch as Sven-Goran Eriksson learned little for the Euro 2004 qualifier against Slovakia on June 11. After all, for all of Cole's future promise after a dip in his international fortunes, he is hardly likely to start that game. Instead, the England coach bizarrely failed to test out Rooney, who still provided some much-needed second-half impetus, alongside Michael Owen.
And he persisted with his belief that Neville is an answer to the midfield anchor role, while keeping the talented Owen Hargreaves on the right flank. Otherwise, apart from no obvious injuries, the positive notes were few and far between, albeit mainly because the substitutions ruined the match as a meaningful encounter. England's litany of injury problems initially rather forced Eriksson's hand, although his selection of four central midfielders in a 'diamond' formation also handicapped their attacking options. For all of the workrate of especially Frank Lampard and Gerrard, England were again too predictable as it was left to Ashley Cole and Danny Mills to provide any width.
The Liverpool route one manual was also used, with Gerrard's deep cross nodded down by Emile Heskey, but Michael Owen was just unable to control the ball in time. It was some time before Gerrard finally broke the frustrating deadlock with a much-needed surge of inspiration on 34 minutes. Moving inside from the right, he burst through central midfield, played a one-two with Lampard, rode a tackle and slipped the ball to Owen before meeting the return cross with a first-time finish. It was an impressive move and Gerrard dutifully ran towards the centre-circle to celebrate rather than diving into the crowd. England did not even have the consolation of retaining their lead until the interval as their marking collapsed at a corner just before the break. Zvonimir Vukic's cross was met by Jestrovic and although Ashley Cole tried in vain to scoop the ball off the line, Jestrovic made sure as he followed up by forcing another shot into the back of the net. The interval was the cue for five substitutions by each team, with England bringing Rooney, Owen Hargreaves, Jermaine Jenas and Wayne Bridge into the action, while John Terry made his debut.
Rooney soon produced one surge of pace as he went round his marker only to place his cross far too close to the keeper. But having watched Rooney and Heskey for all of 15 minutes together, that was enough for Eriksson as on came Darius Vassell for Heskey. Indeed, as the substitutions then continued en masse, the crowd were gamely resorting to Mexican waves and attempting to throw those paper planes on the pitch. Rooney was still the centre of attention, producing another neat turn but shooting straight at substitute keeper Dragan Zilic. There were some sharp intakes of breath, emanating from Goodison Park as much as the England bench, when he then went down clutching his ankle after a tackle by Nemanja Vidic. However, Rooney carried on playing and responded with a rash challenge of his own on Nenad Brnovic, as the game finally opened up.
Joe Cole had a snapshot parried, while James tipped a long-range effort from Goran Trobok around the post. Finally, the West Ham midfielder provided the inspiration to curl home his free-kick and only the agility of keeper Zilic prevented substitutes Gareth Barry and Rooney from adding to the scoreline. Thankfully, a serious game finally awaits England next week in Middlesbrough.
About time too.
ENGLAND: James, Mills (Carragher 61), Southgate (Terry 45), Upson (Barry 85), Ashley Cole (Bridge 46), Phil Neville (Beattie 88), Gerrard (Jenas 46), Lampard (Joe Cole 61), Scholes (Hargreaves 46), Owen (Rooney 45), Heskey (Vassell 61). Subs: Robinson, Walker.
SERBIA & MONTENEGRO: Jevric (Zilic 67), Mirkovic (Nenad Brnovic 46), Didic (Darko Kovacevic 82), Stefanovic (Krstajic 50), Markovic (Njegus 67), Duljac (Boskovic 47), Kovacedic (Malbasa 46), Dmitrovic (Trobok 46), Sasa Ilic (Mijatovic 68), Zvonimir Vukic (Nenad Djordjevic 46), Jestrovic (Milosevic 74).
BOOKINGS: Serbia & Montenegro's Didic.
REFEREE: Paul Allaerts (Belgium).
Blues to finally cash in on Ball
Jun 5 2003 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON will finally cash in on former defender Michael Ball - almost two years after he left Goodison. The young defender's £6.5m move to Glasgow Rangers in August 2001 was based heavily on appearances, but Ball was stricken almost instantly by a cruciate knee ligament injury. Current Rangers' boss Alex McLeish has yet to see him play a competitive match, but confirmed today he will make Ball his first choice left-back next season. "He was champing at the bit seven weeks before the end of the season and if we had been comfortably clear in the league I could have introduced him," he said. "In fact he was close to being in the squad for the Cup final." Ball could figure when Everton go to Ibrox for a pre-season friendly on July 26. David Moyes, meanwhile, has topped another poll as Manager of the Year, but Wayne Rooney has been snubbed for Young Player of the Year for the second time. Sky TV organised an Interactive Fans' Poll last night, in which Moyes pipped Sir Alex Ferguson by one per cent of the vote. But after losing out in the PFA voting to Jermaine Jenas, Rooney received just 23 per cent of the vote last night to John O'Shea's 53 per cent.
Rooney's first Premiership goal against Arsenal, however, was voted third in the Goal of the Season category, behind Alan Shearer's spectacular equaliser against Everton at St James' Park and number one choice Ruud Van Nistelrooy's solo strike against Fulham.
Rooney's a big hero to the fans
Jun 5 2003 By Mark Bradley, Daily Post
SVEN-GORAN ERIKSSON has accepted that he will face a growing public clamour for Wayne Rooney to start next week's Euro 2004 qualifier against Slovakia. Eriksson revealed that 17-year-old Rooney had already reached "hero" status among many fans desperate for some urgency and creativity in the side, describing his quality as "incredible". The England coach held back Rooney until the second half of the friendly against Serbia and Montenegro as he had only just returned from a knee injury. That meant the Everton striker was unable to gain further experience alongside Michael Owen, with whom he also played for only a limited time against Turkey in the last qualifier.
However, Eriksson knows that he will once again face considerable pressure over the coming week to pick Rooney ahead of Emile Heskey. "I know that he's becoming a big hero among the fans and that's very fair. We'll see whether he starts. I don't want to tell the formation for next week yet," he insisted. Rooney may have been eclipsed by Joe Cole as the West Ham midfielder struck the winner at Leicester's Walkers Stadium, but he still provided far more penetration than Heskey. Eriksson remains an admirer of the more experienced Liverpool forward, who lost his place against Turkey, but admitted: "The quality that Rooney has is incredible. "The first time I picked him, I was asked why. I said that when he gets the ball, he makes things happen. Not every time but many times when he gets the ball, he can beat people, sees the pass or makes a shot." Eriksson accepts that the teenager inevitably still has much to learn, including how to control his temper as he responded to one foul on him by quickly exacting a measure of revenge with a similarly late tackle. "Of course, he still has a lot to learn as he's only 17 years old," said Eriksson. "You can't expect one 17-year-old boy to be a perfect young man in every sense. "I think he's shy and of course if you're 17 and the manager of a country wants to talk to you, it can't be easy so I never force him to do something like that." Cole, who is now 21, stands as a warning to Rooney that genuine natural talent is not necessarily enough to avoid a dip in form after making an impressive start to a young career.
After all, while the West Ham midfielder made his own England debut just over two years ago against Mexico at Pride Park, he has since regularly been made to return to the under-21 side for further experience. Cole has so far started just one senior game, against Cameroon before the World Cup, but Eriksson believes he represents the future of the team - as long as he learns to restrict his tricks to the final third of the pitch. "It's very individual. You never know what's happening physically and mentally. Coping with being famous is not the easiest thing in the world when you are young," observed Eriksson. "But Wayne Rooney seems very confident and keeps his feet on the ground so far." Cole is unlikely to start against Slovakia, given that Frank Lampard and Phil Neville appear to have done enough to convince Eriksson that they deserve another chance, while Paul Scholes and Steven Gerrard are assured of their places. "I think that Joe Cole's best position is just behind the front two although, at West Ham, he played everywhere last season," said Eriksson.
"That's been very good for him. He is one of the biggest talents we have. The only thing is that he needs to do his tricks in a certain place on the pitch." Rooney, however, is another matter entirely. Indeed, his only real handicap is a lack of experience alongside Owen, although Eriksson is not overly worried by that. "We could have done that, but we still have four practices left," explained Eriksson, who was not worried by the knock sustained by Rooney in Leicester even if Matthew Upson's dead leg must now be assessed. "John Terry and Wayne Rooney are coming back from injury and haven't had a lot of football work lately so we started with Emile Heskey and Matthew Upson," said the Swede, who substituted Owen and four other key players at half-time. "The five I took off, I want them to be fit next week. It's very easy to be injured in a friendly at the end of the season. Why force them to play 90 minutes?"
Hibbert in op woe
Jun 5 2003 David Prior, Daily Post
EVERTON defender Tony Hibbert has suffered yet more injury woe after being forced to undergo a second hernia operation in six months. The 22-year-old full-back struggled with injury for much of last season, missing three months after having one hernia operation at the start of the year. Despite resting the continuing problem, Hibbert went under the knife again yesterday. The 22-year-old started last season in the first team and played through to December before being forced onto the sidelines by the injury. He returned for the final handful of games but the problem has flared up again. The one piece of good news for Hibbert is that if everything goes well he should still be ready for pre-season training. Blues physio Mick Rathbone said: "Tony's problem has failed to settle down and he needed another operation. "We anticipate he will be ready for the beginning of pre-season training in July." Rathbone also reports that goalkeeper Richard Wright, who had a knee operation at the end of last season, will also be fit for pre-season training. Meanwhile, the club has confirmed that "a small number of supporters" have complained they have yet to receive their season-ticket renewal documentation, which was despatched prior to the last match of the season. The club has contacted Royal Mail, who are currently investigating the matter on its behalf, and says that any season ticket-holder not yet in receipt of their renewal documentation may call to the Park End Box Office and renew on production of the computer insert from the front of last year's season ticket book.
Our most exciting talent in years
Jun 5 2003 By David Prior, Daily Post
SIR GEOFF HURST has labelled Wayne Rooney "the most exciting young talent in years" - and claims the Everton youngster is blazing an inspirational trail for England's next generation of Premiership stars. The World Cup hat-trick hero Hurst believes Rooney's talent and desire ought to form the benchmark against which all ambitious youngsters can measure their progress. And after another dynamic appearance in England colours on Tuesday, Hurst insisted that expert handling by Blues boss David Moyes had ensured that 17-year-old Rooney's baptism in the international big-time had not come a moment too soon. He said: "Wayne Rooney is the most exciting young talent we've seen in years and his emergence is hugely exciting to both youngsters and people like myself who have been right through the game. "Wayne has proved that one of the key factors is to have the desire. If you have the talent and you have that competitive nature to be the best in anything then that coupled with some expert coaching can take you to the top. "The kids have something to aim at when they see a 17-year-old in an England shirt. When they're young they can't relate so easily to a 25 or 35-year-old - they see someone like Rooney coming through so quickly and they think 'I can do that too'." Hurst insists that while there are obvious obstacles standing in the way of young players at the top level, Rooney's elevation did not come a moment too soon. "Wayne has matured and is physically strong but I genuinely feel he was ready. Ever since he scored that goal against Arsenal it has been madness but that is part and parcel of the game he is in. "Each case is an individual one and there are many potential pitfalls, but I think we could see two years ago that Wayne was going to be ready." Hurst was yesterday casting his eye over the latest Rooney wannabes in Nottingham. Hurst is spearheading an ambitious drive by the Football Association and McDonald's to fund the training and deployment of 8, 000 new community-based, FA-qualified coaches over the next four years. Hurst, McDonald's Director of Football, inaugurated the first 15 graduates on the opening stop on the National Football Tour yesterday. Nottingham itself will see 180 qualified coaches come through the scheme within the next four years. Hurst insists such schemes which concentrate on five to 11-year-olds are vital if the British game is to roll more Rooneys off its production line. New Rooneys would be a bonus for the McDonald's scheme which Hurst is keen to stress is fundamentally about securing youngsters playing time in a safe and fun environment. Hurst added: "Wayne has proved that one of the key factors is to have the desire. If you have the talent and you have that competitive nature to be the best in anything then that coupled with some expert coaching can take you to the top. "There is an undoubted need for more qualified coaches at grass-roots level who can get kids back to the basics and give them time on the ball. "When I was a kid we used to play small-sided games in the street and that is essentially what this also is about - being able to give kids that time on the ball again. "I am still hearing stories about teachers taking kids out onto sports fields and being more concerned with the physical aspects." Hurst was joined in the scheme by National Football Coach Eric Harrison, the former Manchester United's youth team boss.
A season of two halves
Jun 5 2003 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
JIMMY SETTLE was the second Everton striker to top the country's scoring charts, in the second full season of the century. But while a remarkable scoring burst in the first half of the 1901-02 season was enough to give Settle the top scorer's title, his goals dried up after Christmas - and with them Everton's chances of their second league title. Signed from Bury, Settle was a classy inside-forward, celebrated for his ability to chisel out chances for others with his vision and defence-splitting passes.
His arrival had an immediate impact on Everton, who had not boasted a regular marksman since Jack Southworth had been forced to retire through injury six years earlier. Settle scored regularly, if not prolifically, throughout a 10 year Everton career - but in 1901-02 enjoyed a purple patch which was enough to install him as First Division top scorer. Below average height, he was lightning quick and he was out of the traps like a greyhound at the start of the 1901-02 season. He scored a hat-trick against Wolves in the second match of the season, Everton's first for four years, and when he struck twice against reigning champions Liverpool on January 11 his record stood at 17 from 20 games.
In the 16 League and Cup games which remained, he added just one more. A final tally of 18 was still sufficient to top the nation's goalscoring pile, but the staunched flow affected Everton's title momentum. From top at Christmas, they slipped behind Sunderland in the title race and despite victories over the Wearsiders home and away, finished second in the Championship - three points behind Sunderland. The title race of 1904-05 was even more galling, when Everton slipped behind Newcastle three days before the end of the season and lost the Championship by a point. But Settle was a member of the Everton side which exacted rich revenge in 1906, by bringing the FA Cup back to Merseyside for the first time. The Football Echo's Pen Pics ahead of that historic match recorded: "Settle is of the class of footballer without a commanding stature, but possessing a head almost an equal in utility of old Caesar Jenkins. "He was born in Millom, Cumberland, twenty-six years ago. In 1894 he went to Bolton Wanderers and in 1896-7 was signed by Bury, and threw in his lot with Everton in 1899. "He filled every position in the forward line with the exception of outside right. A capital shot and one of the most troublesome forwards to keep in check, he is a terror for his size."
Settle also played in the following season's final when the Blues lost out to Sheffield Wednesday and won six full England caps between 1899 and 1903. He also played for the Football League. When he left for Stockport County in 1908 he was just three goals short of his century for the club, in 269 appearances. Not a figure feted in club histories and Halls of Fame, he nevertheless made a significant contribution to Everton's early development - and in one commendable campaign was the leading scorer in English football.
Blues tie up date with Scottish champions
By David Prior, Daily Post
Jun 6 2003
EVERTON have confirmed details of a high-profile clash against Scottish champions Rangers as part of their pre-season programme, as revealed in the Daily Post last month. Alex McLeish's side, crowned Scottish Premier League champions after a thrilling battle with Celtic, will welcome the Blues to Ibrox on July 26. The first team squad will arrive back at Bellefield for pre-season training between July 3 and 9 and will then depart for a training camp in Austria. On July 22 Moyes will split his squad into two for games at Rochdale (kick-off 7.30pm) and Crewe Alexandra (7.45pm). On Friday, July 25 the squad depart for a week-long stay in Scotland where they will face the Gers for the first time in six years (July 26, 3pm). The Blues will then face Dundee United at Tannadice on July 30, before Moyes will return to his old club and a meeting with Preston at Deepdale (August 2, 3pm). Colin Harvey's testimonial against Italian giants Parma will conclude a busy preseason programme on August 10, kick-off 3pm at Goodison Park. Next season's preparations are already firmly in the mind of David Unsworth. The Blues defender is still hurting at missing out on UEFA Cup football on the last day of the season. But he has insisted that the Goodison men must move on and look to going one step better next season. What happened at the end still hurts every bit as much. It's still very disappointing," he said. "You look back the day after a game, or an event, and you have to take the positives and the negatives and move on from there. You can't dwell too much on anything in football. "We've had time to reflect now, recharge our batteries and we know if we can progress one stage further next year, we'll finish in a European place. It's a natural progression that we've got to make. It's a big step for us." Unsworth has been buoyed since the final-day heartbreak by the messages of support he has received from fans everywhere. "A few weeks have gone past now and I've taken a lot of heart from the fact that every supporter I've met has told me that it was a brilliant season," he added. "Although the supporters might be happy, the players and management weren't happy, because we knew we were better than seventh place. If we can better that finish next season, we'll have a European place. That has to be our aim." Meanwhile, Everton's hopes of transforming the transfer market will be debated today when the FA Premier League annual summer conference takes place. Goodison officials believe that the current system leaves top-flight clubs in England at a disadvantage to their European counterparts as under the present rules Premiership clubs have to pay half of the transfer fee when they officially sign a player, then the remaining amount 12 months later. On the Continent clubs can negotiate whatever payment terms they deem necessary. The Blues will propose that transfer fees should be spread out over the length of the initial contract.
Moyes eyes bid for Davis
Jun 6 2003 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON have confirmed that Sean Davis could become a summer transfer target - but only if Fulham drop a reported asking price of £6m. David Moyes is a firm admirer of the 23-year-old playmaker. But he also wants Blackburn's unsettled midfielder David Dunn and may opt for whichever club gives the most realistic asking price. He could not afford both players. Birmingham City have already tabled a £5.5m bid for Dunn, which was tossed out because only £3m was up front, while £2.5m was dependent upon the Midlands club remaining in the Premiership next season.
Blackburn were not prepared to gamble on this possibility. New Fulham boss Chris Coleman is believed to want at least £5.5m for his young midfielder, placing him out of Everton's price range.
Moyes is attending a management course this week - along with former Blues' boss Walter Smith - and no transfer movement is likely in the short term. Moyes, meanwhile, is bemoaning the loss of a glamorous pre-season double-header against both Glasgow giants. A fixture against Rangers on July 26 has been in place for some time, but the Blues had also been scheduled to play Celtic the following Thursday. But the Parkhead clash was dependent on Celtic becoming champions.
Their last-day failure means they must now play a Champions League qualifier on the date when they could have faced Everton. "Being an old Celtic player I would have loved to have played there," said Moyes. "It would also have been a wonderful test for us to face both Glasgow clubs in a week.
"But it wasn't to be and I was desperately disappointed both for Celtic and for us." Everton will now play Dundee United at Tannadice on Wednesday, July 30, at Preston North End on Saturday August 2 then Colin Harvey's testimonial against Parma on Sunday, August 10 at Goodison Park.
The Blues' first pre-season clash will be a double-header at Crewe Alexandra and Rochdale on Tuesday, July 22.
Sven urges Rooney to stay cool
Jun 9 2003
SVEN-GORAN ERIKSSON will caution Wayne Rooney to control his hot-blooded temperament ahead of next week's Euro 2004 qualifier against Slovakia. Rooney is hoping to be given a starting role in the game at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium, if Eriksson goes ahead with his natural instinct to favour the teenage striker ahead of Emile Heskey. Rooney was a substitute in the friendly against Serbia and Montenegro, although that was mainly because he was only just back in training after a knee injury. He made an impact after coming on, although he may have been booked had it not been a friendly as he responded to a Nemanja Vidic foul with a late tackle of his own on Nenad Brnovic. It was the sort of response that David Beckham might have produced before learning to harness his competitive instinct, while Rooney was also sent off last season at Birmingham for a twofooted tackle on Steve Vickers. While Eriksson does not wish to remove the passion from the teenager's game, he cannot afford to have any player sent off in an important qualifying tie.
"I normally talk about that before every game, especially a qualifying game, as it's very important that we have 11 players on the pitch for the 90 minutes," revealed Eriksson. "Every time you don't have that, you have a big handicap. I might talk to Wayne Rooney about it as well. "Everyone has a different character and temperament. It's the same with football players. You can never say that two are exactly the same. Some have very short fuses and others never get angry." Pausing to clench his fist to indicate Rooney's competitive streak, Eriksson added: "He is one of those, I don't know why, but you have to accept the character of the boy or the man." The Swede (pictured) added: "He doesn't have any fear to go out and play. Whether it's a local game or an international game, I don't think that matters to him. “He seems to be very strong in that way. The way he plays is very mature and he is a great talent. When you give Paul Scholes the ball, things happen. The same is true about Rooney. He is clever, can see things and is a good finisher. "Rooney and Heskey have quite different qualities. Heskey is strong, even stronger than Rooney, and is a better header. "But Rooney can play up front on his own but is very good when he drops a little and can turn, play in people, dribble or take a shot. "Off the pitch, I can't say that I know him very well. He's not one of the most talkative people I have ever met but you have to respect that. "But he always seems to be happy, has a nice smile and gets on well with the other players from Liverpool."
Gerrard backs Mersey duo to sparkle
By Mark Bradley, Daily Post
Jun 9 2003
STEVEN GERRARD tipped Michael Owen to break England's goalscoring and appearances records as he stated that the Liverpool forward could form a world-class strike partnership with Wayne Rooney.
Gerrard revealed that Rooney had already been working alongside Owen in training in the build-up to Wednesday night's Euro 2004 qualifier against Slovakia. He also disclosed his belief the 17-year-old, whom he has taken under his wing in the "five-star jail" of England's team hotel, could continue to make his mark on the team. However, it is Owen whom Gerrard insists can go on to break all manner of records as he prepares to become the youngest England player to earn his 50th cap at the age of just 23. "It's unbelievable. I think he's going to break all kinds of records with goals and caps. That just goes to show how world-class he is," said Gerrard. While Owen is still 29 goals short of matching Sir Bobby Charlton's goalscoring record of 49, and a full 75 caps short of Peter Shilton's mark of 125 appearances, he has plenty of time on his side. Asked if the his teammate could one day overtake Charlton, Gerrard replied: "Yes, I think so. I also think he's going to become a great captain for England. "David Beckham is 28 now so Michael is the ideal player to take over from him.
He's not just a great player but a great professional on and off the field." Owen and Rooney started up front together against Turkey and the signs are that their partnership will be repeated against Slovakia at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium. "They are both world-class players and Wayne has looking terrific in training," revealed Gerrard. "Him and Michael were together for certain parts of the shape that we worked on today and they're looking very good together. "When you see someone with Wayne's ability coming into the squad, it gives everyone a lift. I think the reason we played so well against Turkey was that he'd given everyone a boost. "We've got to give it time as they're young and haven't played together much, but if the manager keeps on playing them in friendlies and big games, I'm sure it'll develop into a top-class partnership." It was Owen who helped Gerrard first settle into the England squad and now his Liverpool team-mate is extending the same helping hand to Everton forward Rooney. "When you join in up at these get-togethers and you've got five or 10 days together in a hotel, it's a bit like a five-star jail," he explained. "You've got to get yourself out and play some table-tennis and pool and socialise as otherwise you can get lonely. You don't want that ahead of a big game as you want to get the team spirit going. "I think we get on quite well as we're from similar backgrounds and we live near each other, but he's a good kid. "When he first came in, he was quiet but now he's socialising with all the other lads and they respect him. "He's enjoying it a lot more now than when he first arrived. He is 17 but he's mature for his age and he not only looks like a man but acts like one too." Gerrard recalled: "Michael was a lot more experienced than I was when I came into the squad and he helped me out a lot. So I think that's why I'm trying to help Wayne a bit as well. "It just naturally happened but I did realise that it's difficult when you come into a big squad of players and you're just 17. You don't know anyone and can't really just knock on someone's door. "It's down to other people to help you out, as I'm trying to do to Wayne and Michael also did for me. You have to make sure he feels good and then we'll get the best out of him on the pitch."
Dunford warning to Blues support
By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Jun 9 2003
EVERTON supporters have been warned not to expect a glut of arrivals at Goodison Park this summer - despite the new-look transfer market. Premiership chairmen agreed on Friday to the Blues' proposal of spreading the cost of a transfer over the length of a player's contract, while top-flight clubs will now also be allowed to loan players to each other. It means clubs will have increased flexibility in the transfer market. And with David Moyes working within tight financial constraints, fans had hoped the new rulings would help the Blues boss as he looks to strengthen his squad, with midfielders David Dunn, Sean Davis and Mickael Essien all targets. But Everton chief executive Michael Dunford has admitted it would take time before clubs could take full advantage of the change. "I'm not certain whether it will specifically help Everton, it's just sensible for the Premiership as a whole," he said. "There's no hidden agenda as far as Everton is concerned about this. We're not all of a sudden going to go out and spend £10million pounds on players over extended payment terms. That's not what this is about." Dunford continued: "All clubs have to work within the frameworks of their cash flow provisions and we will continue to do that.
"It's simply a flexibility and facility that we haven't been able to enjoy since the Premiership was formed." The proposals - which were agreed to by 16 of the 20 chairmen in attendance - will put Premiership clubs in line with their Nationwide League and European counterparts. "It's going to take 12 months before we can tell if it's caused a different trend, if indeed, there is going to be one," said Dunford. "I think everyone in this country, particularly in the Premiership, would prefer to be buying from clubs within Great Britain and now the rules are such that we can compete favourably with the foreign market. It gives clubs flexibility. "I don't see the change regarding loan players or the change in the payment of transfer fees bringing a wholescale change in the transfer market."
Eriksson: Rooney can be new Baggio
By John Curtis, Daily Post
Jun 9 2003
SVEN-GORAN ERIKSSON has paid a glowing compliment to teenage striker Wayne Rooney - by tipping him to become as big a star as Roberto Baggio and Rui Costa. Eriksson worked with both Italian legend Baggio and Portuguese playmaker Costa in the formative years of their respective careers. Now Eriksson believes Rooney has already shown enough ability at his tender age to suggest he can go on and make as significant an impact as his career begins to flourish and he gets more experience under his belt. The England coach said: "When I think back to players I had at 17 who went into the first team, there was Baggio in 1980. I also had Rui Costa plus others and they all went on to to have very big careers. "I can't see any reason why Wayne Rooney shouldn't have the same sort of career, certainly of someone like Baggio - and that would not be too bad at all!
"You look at Pele at 17, when he won the World Cup with Brazil in 1958, and then if you look five years forward then you should be better at everything. "Something a coach can never teach a player is experience, whether it is in the Premier League or at international level. You have to gain that yourself through what happens in your career." The big question is whether Eriksson will start with Rooney in Wednesday's vital European Championship qualifier with Slovakia at the Riverside Stadium or prefer Emile Heskey. But he insisted that is is unfair to make direct comparisons between the two players vying to partner stand-in skipper Michael Owen, who will win his 50th cap against the Slovakians. Eriksson said: "Rooney and Heskey are different types of players. Rooney plays more than Heskey does. Heskey is a strong guy up there, fighting with the central defenders. They are quite different and have their own strengths." Rooney certainly impressed when operating from the start playing behind Owen in the crucial 2-0 win over Turkey in April. Eriksson said: "Heskey and Owen have also played in that role for us and, of course, Teddy Sheringham did it very well over many years. "It is important to have that type of player especially if the distance between the attackers and the midfielders is too big. "It is also important if you have to defend a lot - with the defenders and the midfielders - in that I never like to have two men up front who are isolated.
"You can keep one up there to keep two defenders occupied but the other one should try to look for space so that when we win the ball we can play it too him as soon as possible." England continued their preparations in unhindered fashion yesterday as the entire squad were put through their paces in a training session at Middlesbrough's Rockliffe Park complex. Birmingham central defender Matthew Upson confirmed his fitness by taking part in a second training stint in less than 24 hours.
Upson had suffered a dead leg when making his first start for his country in the midweek friendly international with Serbia and Montenegro. FA spokesman Adrian Bevington confirmed: "The good news is that all 23 members of the squad were able to take part in a full training session."
Wayne told not to be 'too macho'
Jun 9 2003 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
FORMER England captain Terry Butcher has warned Wayne Rooney about the perils of becoming "too macho" in international football. And he has urged Everton's thrilling young forward to learn from England strike-partner Michael Owen. Butcher believes Rooney should start in Wednesday's vital European Championship qualifier against Slovakia, but added: "Wayne's trying to stamp his mark on senior football, whether it's with Everton or England and sometimes you can get a bit too impetuous. You can maybe try to be too keen, too macho. "Rooney can maybe look at Michael Owen. He doesn't have to stick his foot in here or his shoulder in there against these defenders. He did it with his pace or his intelligence and Rooney can do just the same. "He doesn't leave his foot in or fight the physical battles against the big guys when there's no need to do it. That's just youthful naivety and exuberance and sometimes you can get carried away. "It's not necessarily a bad fault and if he is aware of it he will stop it." Despite becoming involved in several physical contests when coming on as a substutute against Serbia-Montenegro last week, Butcher believes Rooney has to start at the Riverside Stadium. "Wayne is a fantastic talent," he explained. "He has got pace, strength, a shot, he passes it well and always works hard. "He is a breath of fresh air and I'm delighted he has been given his chance to lead the line. He gives England a mixture. "I think Rooney should play against Slovakia rather than Emile Heskey, especially as they have very big defender s. I think Rooney would excite me more because of his movement and pace on a good pitch." Blues' chief executive Michael Dunford, meanwhile, has warned not to expect a summer spending spree at Goodison - despite their victory in initiating changes to the English transfer system last week. "I'm not certain whether it will specifically help Everton," said Mr Dunford. "It's just sensible for the Premiership as a whole. There's no hidden agenda as far as Everton is concerned about this. "We're not all of a sudden going to go out and spend £10m on players over extended payment terms. That's not what this is about.' "All clubs have to work within the frameworks of their cash flow provisions and we will continue to do that."
Home and Away
Jun 10 2003 Icliverpool And Daily Post
Waste the wasters
I DON'T understand the football establishment; they are worse than politicians. If I was not doing my job and was getting paid too much for it, I would have my contract terminated, so how come this doesn't happen at football clubs. Not only do we end up with long-term wasters but they have absolutely no incentive to perform. Duncan Ferguson was okay a few years ago but he's a liability now while Alex Nyarko is another drain. Can someone please tell me why they just can't be sacked?
Russ McGregor, (via e-mail)
Koumas the key
WITH THE money David Moyes has, I think he should get rid of the deadwood and try to get Jason Koumas and Michael Brown very quickly because our midfield lacks creativity
Steven Harte, Liverpool
Spread the cash
WE NEED to ensure that the money we have is spent wisely. We could get Jody Morris on a free and Matt Holland for £750,000, Trevor Sinclair for around £1.5-2m, which is his asking price, to provide much-needed width. Sign Jamie McFadden from Motherwell, who is available for £1m. They all come to about £3.5m. Ideally we need another centre-half to partner Yobo, which I would finance in part from any money left and from off-loading the likes of Alexandersson and Pembridge, who would both fetch £500,000 each. David Dunn would be a great idea but we can't afford to put all our eggs in one basket with the limited funds we have available.
Paul Dodd, (via e-mail)
WHY DOES Len Capeling have to knock (and be sarcastic) about Everton's suggestion to finance transfers with instalments? The idea's a good one in my view. After all, it gives more clubs a fair chance. The Premiership is getting boring anyway, with only the rich clubs winning every year. It also puts us on the same level with buying from foreign clubs. Moreover, EFC have to be realistic about spending. It's all very well saying spend, spend, spend but it didn't do the Reds much good last season. I reckon Davie Moyes will find a few more treasures like Yobo anyway.
John Byrne, (via e-mail)
Blues the priority
WHAT IS Paul Gregg's priority? Is it Everton? If not he should resign immediately as he has now seen fit to go ahead with his own proposal for Kings Dock. He should be putting the Blues at the top of his list.
Gordon Morris, Thornton, Liverpool
I'M SURE it's been suggested many times, but I think even at this late stage it should be reviewed i.e. Liverpool FC sharing a stadium with Everton FC. If Milan can do it, we could too. Now even more so with the announcement of our successful bid to be European capital of culture. The Stanley Park Stadium could be the best in Europe. The benefits are endless and I think it will be an opportunity missed if we don't do it now.
Chris Geraghty, St Helens
Support the cause
HERE WE go again. Another season ends and Everton 'fans' are champing at the bit to the players. Granted we had a very good season but it doesn't mean we're going to go out and start buying players like Ronaldo! I am more than happy to back ANY player in an Everton shirt - as long as they give 110 per cent. Let's not get too carried away here people, the fact is that we will have around 70pc-80pc of the same squad. So stop criticising and start supporting!
S Khan, (via e-mail)
TOTALLY agree with Len Capeling re the Everton financial situation. How can the club announce how much they have to spend when so many season tickets have been sold. David Moyes has the backing of all Evertonians; it's just a pity we couldn't give him £10million because I think he would get us in the Champions League. I fear, though, we are going to take a backwards step next season until some of our youth players come through. I hope it's not too far back for the sake of the board or they had better beware!
Paul Comer (via e-mail)
Wayne's our missing link
Mark Bradley, Daily Post
Jun 10 2003
GARETH SOUTHGATE believes Wayne Rooney can carve himself a role as England's link man. The Everton teenager is poised to start up front alongside Michael Owen in tomorrow night's Euro 2004 qualifier against Slovakia, having filled the role for a significant part of yesterday's training session.
While Liverpool forward Emile Heskey offers more as a target man and Darius Vassell is essentially a finisher, Rooney's likely presence would give the team more cohesion between midfield and attack.
Southgate insists Rooney can offers a solution to the team's often predictable long-ball game when Heskey is up front with Owen. The Middlesbrough man said: "Wayne came into the game against Turkey and played particularly well. "He offers a different style of play to Darius or Emile because of how he plays. He drops in deep and looks more of a Teddy Sheringham type of player, going deeper into midfield areas and linking the play very well. "Darius and Emile are possibly more comfortable further forward and don't have the attributes which Wayne has. It's a case of which style the manager feels is spot-on for which game." Eriksson, who has also used Heskey in training this week to keep his options open, still appears likely to make just that one change to his starting line-up. Otherwise, he appears set to keep faith with the 'diamond' mid-field formation which seems to suit the team's lack of natural width. That shift in tactics has, in Southgate's view, contributed to Eriksson becoming more hands-on and animated during training sessions. "Possibly he feels more relaxed with the players and, with changing the shape of the team slightly for the past few games, there are different tactical points to get across," he said. Owen is set to join England's 50-cap club at the age of 23, and Southgate is full of admiration for the Liverpool striker's achievement.
"It's staggering, a phenomenal achievement at his age, and I think that sometimes we overlook what Michael has achieved. "We are very lucky to have a striker like him and sometimes we take him for granted." Southgate, who is set to partner Matthew Upson in defence, can meanwhile only sympathise with the intense spotlight which is now trained upon Rooney at the age of just 17.
"I feel fortunate to have grown up at a time when there wasn't the intrusive spotlight on the way you grow up as a person," he admitted. "Maturing with the expectations of your country on your shoulders must be incredibly hard. "I guess that top players have had that spotlight right the way through but Paul Gascoigne was an exceptional talent and now most players' lifestyles are in the spotlight much more."
Rooney's mother barred fight career
Jun 10 2003 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
WAYNE ROONEY was steered away from the boxing ring to a football field, by the person who frightens him most. The young striker, who has shrunk away from nothing in his fledgling career so far, was warned by mum Jeanette to forget a career in the fight game. "My dad boxed for England," explained Wayne. "Some of my uncles and my cousins are boxers and one of my uncles has got a gym where I used to train. "I used to go to a boxing club for the training - I never actually had a fight. My mum wouldn't let me. She wanted me to concentrate on my football." Rooney was speaking in the latest edition of the official Everton magazine The Evertonian. And the Blues' star, tipped to start in England's Euro 2004 qualifier against Slovakia tomorrow, also admitted he gave Liverpool the "swerve" and turned his back on joining them -when he was just nine. The 17-year-old striker also admitted he was worried what the experienced England regulars would make of him when he was first called up by national chief Sven Goran Eriksson. Rooney said: "I was nervous about meeting them all, I wondered what they would think of me. "But David Beckham spoke to me and gave me some good advice which was very much appreciated. He's a big, big name. "And Sven helped me a lot to be fair, he pulled me to one side and had a little chat with me, which put me at ease." Rooney admits that the Liverpool players have also been a big help to him settling into the England set-up. He added: "Steven Gerrard has become a good friend off the pitch and the Liverpool lads are also great. I speak to them and Franny Jeffers (his former Everton colleague) more than anyone." But the true blue Evertonian also reveals how he turned his back on Liverpool while still at primary school. He said: "I actually had a trial for Liverpool. I was playing for Copple-house under-9s at the time and after the game I was approached by a Liverpool scout who i nvite d m e to Melwood. "I went along but after going there just once I got a phone call from Ever to n scou t Bob Pendleton. "It was the call I had desperately wanted and that was it for me. I gave Liverpool the swerve after that." Rooney also revealed the impact retiring Blues' coach Colin Harvey had on his career. "Colin Harvey's been great from day one," he declared. "When I eventual ly s tar te d training with him at Nether-ton he encouraged me and showed plenty of confidence in me. He works young players very hard and tells them as soon as they make mistakes, but that's what you need. He's a tough taskmaster. "He's someone I really look up to, as do all the other young players at Everton."
Harvey quits Blues
Jun 10 2003 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
COLIN HARVEY, one of Everton's most loyal and successful servants, will leave the club this summer.
The 58-year-old coach has finally been forced to bow to the physical demands he has placed on his body throughout a 40-year association with the club. Harvey's testimonial match against Parma on August 10 will be his farewell to the club he has devoted the majority of his career to. He has had both hips replaced and endured numerous operations during his time as a player, coach and manager at Goodison. In recent year s his mobility has degenerated, to the point where he is finding it increasingly difficult to move around the training pitch. "I had a revision on one of my hips a couple of years ago and I have been frustrated that I can't coach the way I wante d to," h e explained. "I have not been as mobile as I used to be and while it's disappointing it's pointless getting upset about it." Harvey has enjoyed four careers in one at Everton. One of the finest players to pull on a Royal Blue jersey, he made 365 appearances after famously making his debut as an 18-year-old in a European Cup tie in the San Siro Stadium. He then proved one of the most influential coaches the club has ever employed, his appointment as Howard Kendall's right-hand man acting as the catalyst to the most successful spell of trophy-gathering in the club's history. As a reluctant manager he guided the club to fourth, eighth and sixth place finishes plus an FA Cup final, before turning his expert hand to youth development. In that capacity he helped produce future England internationals like Wayne Rooney, Francis Jeffers, Michael Ball and Gavin McCann - reaching three FA Youth Cup finals in the process. "My spell as a player is undoubtedly the time of which I am proudest," he said. "Having watched the team as a boy, to then go on and win cups and championships playing alongside great players like Alan Ball, Howard Kendall and Johnny Morrissey was a dream come true. "I played for England as a result of playing for Everton and that's the time I look back on most proudly."
Everton suspend ticket sales
Jun 10 2003 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
EVERTON have taken the unprecedented step of suspending season ticket sales - as the club looks set to issue a waiting list for the first time in its history. Currently 24,000 Evertonians hold season tickets and with 4,000 sold already this summer the club has called a temporary halt. "The board hasn't yet made a firm decision on whether to cap season ticket sales at 27,000, but having sold over 4,000 new season ticket s already it was felt prudent that we should suspend the sale and create a waiting list," said Chief Executive Michael Dunford. "It won't be until the renewal period on June 21 that we shall be able to make a decision on whether we can sell any more season tickets. "If there are places available we will contact the people on the waiting list and offer them a seat." The club wishes to have 10,000 tickets freely available on a match-by-match basis for supporters who are unable to purchase a ticket. Any season ticket holder not yet in receipt of their renewal documentation may call to the Park End Box Office and renew on production of the computer insert from the front of last year's season ticket book. Alternatively fans may the club on 0151-330- so that arrangements can be made for new forms to be issued.
Dirty tricks fail to fool Carsley
Jun 10 2003 By Kevin Ratcliffe
LEE CARSLEY struck a blow for the good, old fashioned values of British sportsmanship at the weekend. That may sound strange after Everton's Irish midfielder was criticised for failing to return the ball to Albania after they had kicked it out to allow a player to receive treatment, but it's never-theless accurate. The wheel has turned full circle now, and players are feigning injury in order to waste time near the end of matches - which is, pure and simple, cheating. That's what Lee believed the Albanians were up to at the weekend, so he refused to play ball and simply carried on.
It's an aspect of the game which has spread in this country with the influx of foreign players and it has worsened every year. You have to accept that if you live by the sword, sometimes you will die by it - and that's just what happened to Albania at the weekend.
Budget still stands
THE changes to the British transfer market initiated by Everton make perfect sense, but I can't see them sparking a spending spree by the Blues this summer. Clubs still have to operate within stringent financial restraints if they are to survive, and Everton are keenly aware of those guidelines.
Their dealings this summer may have been granted a little more flexibility, but it doesn't make the pot of cash they have to splash any greater. The onus will still be on David Moyes to produce the same miracles he managed in the transfer market this time last summer.
Burn-out won't apply to Wayne
WAYNE ROONEY will play his final match of a packed debut season tomorrow night. Three weeks later Everton report back for preseason training. But Evertonians need not worry about the prospect of their brightest star suffering burn-out. Quite simply, boys of that age don't need any rest from football. The mental pressures are something quite different, but physically 17-year-old players can handle all the football you can throw at them. When I was that age, Colin Harvey used to give us a fortnight's holiday, then have us in every other day throughout the summer just to keep ticking over. It isn't just your fitness which erodes if you spend six weeks away from a football pitch, your touch goes too - although when your touch is as good as Wayne's that might not be so much of a problem! I know that David Moyes has given every Everton player his own personal fitness plan to follow over the summer - depending on whether they are involved in internationals or not - and you can imagine Wayne itching to start kicking a ball again once he's spent a week or two lying in the sunshine. The difficult job for Everton is not shielding Wayne Rooney from the physical pressures of football, but buffering him from the mental ones. So far they are doing a very good job, but it's not going to get any easier.
Blues on new alert as rivals eye Dunn
Jun 10 2003 Ian Doyle, Daily Post
EVERTON were on renewed alert last night after it emerged Birmingham City were back in talks with Blackburn Rovers over the transfer of David Dunn. Rovers rejected an initial £5.5million bid from Birmingham because only £3m was up front, with the remainder dependent on the St Andrews club's Premiership survival. But Birmingham are poised to up the initial payment to £4m - which has sparked the latest round of talks. "I can confirm we have talked to Birmingham again," said Rovers chief executive John Williams. "We rejected their first offer but we are talking again. No other players have been mentioned as part of any package." Dunn is at the top of Moyes' transfer wish-list, but while no contact has yet been made between the Blues and Blackburn, Everton will keep a close eye on developments. It is believed the player would prefer a move to Goodison, although Aston Villa and Chelsea are also reported to be in the hunt for the 23-year-old. Birmingham's determination to steal a march on their transfer rivals may force Moyes' hand, who must decide whether to spend the majority of his transfer budget on the England under-21 international.
Sean Davis of Fulham and Mickael Essien of Bastia are alternate midfield targets. Meanwhile, Everton are on the brink of introducing a cap on season tickets for the first time in their 125-year history. The decision to halt new sales has been made because 4,000 new season tickets have already been sold and Everton are bracing themselves for the vast majority of their current 24,000 holders to renew their season tickets. Chief executive Michael Dunford said: "We have had to temporarily suspend taking new applications for season tickets. "The board has not yet decided on a cap of 27,000 but with 4,000 new tickets sold it is prudent to suspend sales and create a waiting list." Everton will wait for the June 21 deadline on renewals to pass before coming to a final decision on a cap. Dunford said: "This is a further indication of the level of support we can achieve here. It is going to be a new season tickets record and these are exciting times for the club."
Will Blues pass test to join Euro spenders?
Len Capeling, Daily Post
Jun 11 2003
MICHAEL DUNFORD is Everton's Mr Honesty - so when he says 'transfer cash, what transfer cash?' we stop and listen, even though it tends to tie manager David Moyes' hands even more tightly.
Everton's chief executive sounds like Gordon Brown setting out Five Goodison Tests when he cautions against anyone's wallet - least of all Paul Gregg's - being opened wide before Hell freezes over. Dunford is a key man here. He was the driving force behind Everton's successful push for transfer payments on the drip - a formula which appears to favour Premiership paupers. Until you read the small print and the exclusions. As I pointed out last week, this new method enables the cash-strapped to wheel and deal over incoming players. But if you're also a seller - as David Moyes is required to be - you need to offload for hard cash not the promise of small, useless amounts of money spread over five years or more. No good if the player you want costs £3m up front and you're offering six equal payments of £500,000. This is exactly what scuppered Birmingham's move for David Dunn. They offered what appeared like a generous £2.5m immediately, with the other half payable on the never-never. Blackburn want at least £4m as a down payment, which means that the new Premiership credit plan has already been holed below the waterline. Do Everton have the £4m that will remove brass-necked Birmingam from the list of suitors? Nobody knows, though you would guess not, despite the fact that supporters are pouring in to send season ticket sal es into the stratosphere. At least Michael Dunford is candid enough to indicate where Everton will never go - into territory inhabited only by Manchester United and Liverpool. Even on the drip, the Blues won't be in the market for the very special talents - a figure of £12m was mentioned. Everton cannot afford them. But can afford to contemplate building a £200m-plus stadium. What Moyes thinks about this blind spot is not known. Not yet, anyway. Given the Scot's record last season, the Board is gambling on the same again: loan deals, fire sale bargains and another Rooney or two coming through the ranks. Am I alone in thinking that the brightest young manager in the Premiership deserves better?
* TONIGHT we shall get our wish, a full 90 minutes - or near as dammit - for Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen. Sven never tires of telling us how highly he rates the young Everton sensation. He conjures up names like like Pele and Baggio, and the fledgling Gascoigne, to paint his picture of a truly Technicolor talent. And yet, despite all the luminous words, the England coach seems keen to keep Rooney and Owen apart, giving them one half each or persevering with the lumpen Emile Heskey when the nation hungers for this new dream pairing. Lots of work has gone into preparing the partnership on the training pitch. Now we need to see them together on the playing pitch.
A first international goal for Rooney - perhaps the winner - would send the Croxteth Cannonball's stock even higher. I'll settle for an impressive England win, a starring role for Owen and Rooney, and the first stirrings of a powerful alliance that will give the city on the river even more reason to shout the odds.
Rooney's tribute to retiring legend
Richard Williamson, Daily Post
Jun 11 2003
WAYNE ROONEY has paid tribute to Everton coach Colin Harvey, who has announced he is to end his 40-year association with the club. The former player, manager and coach is to retire this summer after finally being forced to call it a day on medical grounds. Harvey, 58, has been one of Everton's most loyal servants forging a link with the club that is unique in modern-day football. As a player he was plunged into the first team as an 18-year-old in the San Siro stadium against Inter Milan and went on to form part of one of football's most famous midfield trios - along with Howard Kendall and Alan Ball - as Everton lifted the championship in 1969-70. As a coach he was Kendall's right-hand man as Everton twice won the champion-ship in the mid-1980s. He then managed the Blues for three seasons, steering them to fourth, eighth and sixth and an FA Cup final appearance.
Most recently he has been in charge of the Everton under-19 Academy side, and has helped oversee the emergence of players like Michael Ball, Gavin McCann, Francis Jeffers and in recent seasons, Rooney. With the teenage Everton forward set to add to his England caps against Slovakia tonight, the player himself has no doubt about the influence of Harvey on his rapid rise to international stardom. "Colin Harvey's been great from day one," he said. "When I eventually started training with him at Netherton, he encouraged me and showed plenty of confidence in me. "He works young players very hard and tells them as soon as they make a mistake, but that's what you need. He's a tough taskmaster. "Everyone respects him and we all know what he's done as a player and a manager. He's someone I really look up to, as do all the other young players at Everton. In turn he's got respect for the young lads and he's determined to help them do well." Harvey admitted that the physical demands of coaching were becoming increasingly difficult. He has had both hips replaced but in recent years has not had the mobility he would have wished. "I had a revision operation on one of my hips two years ago and have found it very frustrating as I have not been able to coach in the way I want to and have not been as mobile as I wanted to be," Harvey told the Daily Post last night. Harvey's testimonial match against Parma at Goodison Park on August 10 will mark his farewell from the club. "It will give me an opportunity to see a lot of people, including the fans, and say thank you," he said. "I was born and bred in Liverpool and came from a family of Evertonians.
"I don't suppose anybody else has been invovled on so many levels with one club, but to me I was living the dream. "My fondest memories will be of my time as a player. I was very proud of the fact that I went from being an Everton fan to playing nearly 400 games for the club and being invovled in a side that won the championship." Harvey revealed that his biggest regret was not bringing any silverware back to the club as manager. "That was very frustrating," he said. "Although we finished eighth, fourth and sixth we did not win anything and that was something I had always done at every level I had been involved in. "We had come off the back of two championships and although it was a transitional period it was a big disappointment." Harvey explains his loyalty to the club in simple terms. "It works both ways and I have always been invited back to the club," he said. "I was a fan who wanted to play for the club and it was a dream come true to get that chance. Every department I have worked in I have enjoyed, although not winning anything as a manager was the most frustrating time." His work with the club's young players in recent years has laid down the foundations for future success under manager David Moyes, but in typical style Harvey plays down his involvment with the emergence of Rooney. "I think his mother and father should be taking the credit," he said, "but it will be nice to see how Wayne's career progresses."
Carsley set for Irish role
Neil Silver, Daily Post
Jun 11 2003
BRIAN KERR has promised to make changes to the Republic of Ireland team he will send out to face Georgia at Lansdowne Road tonight. Ireland beat Albania 2-1 in Dublin on Saturday to keep their Euro 2004 qualifying hopes on track, but it was not one of their more convincing performances and they needed an injury-time own goal to seal the Group 10 victory. Some of the players showed signs of tiredness in a match which came a month after the end of the English domestic season, and Kerr believes he must freshen things up for another "must-win" qualifier. "We won't start with the same XI we started with on Saturday," said the Republic boss. "Two games in such a short space of time is physically very demanding for the players - we have to consider that and it has to be part of the reason why there will be a change. "It has been a long season for everybody. Some players will feel they didn't play often enough, while others played very often, and that has to be a consideration." Kerr cannot finalise his team until today as he is still sweating on the fitness of Blackburn winger Damien Duff, who suffered a knee injury on Saturday. "Damien has come on and there is some improvement," said Kerr. If Duff fails to recover in time, Kerr hinted that Steven Reid was a likely candidate to replace him. The Millwall winger completed his own comeback from injury when he came off the bench against the Albanians. Everton midfielder Lee Carsley is likely to provide a bit more steel to midfield, with Aston Villa's Mark Kinsella making way. That leaves Kerr with just the decision of who will partner Robbie Keane up front. Wimbledon's David Connolly worked hard against the Albanians until he was replaced, while Keane's Tottenham team-mate Gary Doherty offers a physical presence instead.
Wot? No place for Paisley
Len Capeling, Daily Post
Jun 11 2003
THE marketing of The Beatles' albums since their acriminious parting and the assassination of John Lennon has been sensational. Yet in revamping the revered cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band they have overlooked an obvious candidate. I wouldn't argue with the nod towards to the sainted Bill Shankly and present-day icons Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen, but the omission of the greatest football manager of 20th Century is a glaring one. No-one did more than Bob Paisley to put English football on the world map with three European Cups and enough subsidiary silverware to blind even the most resolute invading army. The first time the LP stormed the charts the only footballer to be seen among the planet's shakers and movers was Albert Stubbins, the Liverpool centre-forward and boyhood hero of McCartney. This time round a space should surely have been found for the legendary Paisley, at a time when history seems intent on airbrushing him from the popular consciousness.
HOW DUFF SLIPPED NET
IF what Noel McCabe says is gospel, there may be a few red faces at Liverpool this morning. Dubliner McCabe - the man who discovered Roy Keane - once scouted for the Anfield club and, as part of his duties, sent three promising young Irishmen across to Melwood. Two were promptly returned, while the other felt Liverpool was too big a club for him. All ended up as full internationals.
According to McCabe, the rejected teenagers were Damien Duff, John O'Shea and Robbie Keane, which has to represent the worst bit of business done by Liverpool since they let Wayne Rooney scamper back to Bellefield at age nine. Duff will now cost Liverpool £12m to prise him away from Blackburn, yet, claims McCabe, he would have swum the Irish Sea to become a Kop hero. At least Gerard Houllier is spared a share in the mortification. All the knockbacks came before he joined the club to work with Roy Evans. JAMIE CARRAGHER may be dumbfounded by the siging of right-back Steve Finnan, but need have few fears about his own future. Carragher comes into the category of most valuable player for the Reds simply because he affords them cover right across the back line - remember the Goodison derby? - and can also play defensive midfield. Houllier won't want to lose such a wholehearted competitor, especially as the combative Carragher has an enviable reputation for seeing off potential rivals. By my reckoning, the England defender is 3-0 ahead on that score.
You can't give me credit for Wayne - Harvey
Jun 11 2003 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
COLIN HARVEY called time on one of the most unique and accomplished of Everton careers yesterday, but he refuses to admit to going out on a high. After a job description which encompassed - and excelled at - player, coach, manager and finally youth development guru, he could justifiably claim his final act as an Everton employee was to bring through the young superstar that is Wayne Rooney. But Harvey's reaction is typically blunt - and modest. "I don't think of myself as bringing Wayne through," he declared. "He is just a product of his parents. I don't want to get involved in talking about him too much, but the football side was always obvious to everyone. He's a very disciplined lad and was never a problem, never late and was just a joy to work with."
A little like Harvey in fact. One of the most respected, honest and genuine individuals at Goodison, it is an inability to conduct coaching sessions to the best of his ability which has forced his decision to retire. Three hip operations, coupled with decreasing mobility have forced Harvey's decision.
"I'm sure I will still find plenty of things to fill my time," he said. "I'll go to the gym every day for a start. I can't do anything which is weightbearing, but I can ride the exercise bike, which I've been doing for a few years and I'll keep that going. "Then once the season starts I'll try and get to whatever games I can and just try and let the leg settle down. "Coaching is all I'm really interested in and if I can't do it the way I want to do it I get frustrated. "I've always been very involved in sessions - maybe a bit too involved - and I've been getting increasingly frustrated so this seemed as good a time as any to call it a day." Harvey's farewell will effectively be the testimonial match he has been granted by the Everton Former Players' Foundation against Parma on August 10. He admits it will be an emotional afternoon. "I will probably be as nervous as I have ever been about going onto a football pitch," he admitted. "When you go on for matches you are involved in you know you are going out there for a reason which you can control. It will be nice to say 'Ta raa' because I haven't been on the pitch like that for years. "Even when I was sold to Sheffield Wednesday in 1974 it was midweek, so I didn't really get the chance to say a proper farewell. This will be my chance." And will there be a banner over the perimeter wall proclaiming "£70,000 is an insult to Colin Harvey - The White Pele"? "That's just incredible when you see people saying things like that about you," laughed Colin. "To me Alan Ball was the best club player I ever saw at Everton, but he helped me. It wasn't just his ability, it was his personality. He was ultra-competitive, and I suppose I am, so that used to rub off even more on me. "I couldn't get enough training. I always did more again when I got home with a smaller ball, probably because I thought I had to try and emulate him." Throughou t a decad e 's unstinting service as a player at Everton, he undoubtedly did.
Ivan Ponting's evocative 'Everton Player by Player' book regales: "Some Evertonians' achievements are reflected in the number of great games they played; it is more accurate to measure Colin Harvey's in terms of great seasons. "Never have the Blues been blessed with a footballer who combined technical excellence, long-term consistency and sheer open-hearted willingness to a higher degree than the undemonstrative, but monumentally resolute midfielder." Those displays helped capture a League Championship, an FA Cup and an England cap in the days when Alf Ramsey guarded them with a zealous jealousy. So did any one moment stand out? "There were two, really," admitted Harvey, "both of them goals. "I scored against West Bromwich Albion the night we clinched the title in 1970. I had caught the last 20 minutes of the day we clinched the championship the previous time seven years earlier and I thought then how great it would be to be involved in an occasion like that. "Surprisingly it wasn't a tap-in. It was an extraordinary one for me because I could do anything box to box, but once I got near the penalty area I got a nose bleed. "The other was the semi-final winner against Manchester United in 1966. Again I had seen Liverpool win the Cup the year before and had wondered what it would be like to savour a moment like that . . . and 12 months later I got the goal which got us there."
Keep up with Wayne - Macca
Jun 11 2003 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
EVERTON must match Wayne Rooney's ambitions or lose him, warns a player who himself left Merseyside in the pursuit of glory. Steve McManaman was a Liverpool player for almost a decade, winning FA Cup and League Cup winner's medals in 1992 and 1995. But Championship and European honours eluded him until he joined Real Madrid in 1999. A boyhood Blue himself, McManaman warned: "His career will be dictated by how well or how bad Everton do. It's as simple as that.
"If Everton reach the heights he should be reaching I think he'll stay there, but if Everton are mid-table and he's this superstar playing for a mid-table team, in the end he'll have to move on, it's just the way of life." McManaman gives his verdict in tonight's documentary Wayne's World, screened on Sky One at 10pm. He added: "He's only 17. I think for the next four to seven years, there's not a problem. He goes on learning and training at Everton and playing in the Premiership and he'll become a bigger and better player than he is now. "He gives as good as he gets. He's not this shy, timid l ittle centre-forward who comes across big centre halves and is scared. "I haven't seem anyone like him in that similar type of frame, at that age, in a long while." Rooney is set to start for England for the second time in tonight's European Championship qualifier against Slovakia, watched by club boss David Moyes. The Blues' manager is still monitoring the transfer market closely, but his interest in Celtic midfielder Colin Healy has cooled dramatically. Sunderland and Aston Villa are now favourites to sign the free agent, with Leeds United also expressing interest.
FA Cup hero and man of mystery
Jun 11 2003 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
THE third in our summer series of Everton Golden Boots concentrates on the feats of Alex 'Sandy' Young in the 1906-7 season. Young died in mysterious circumstances but there is no doubting his goalscoring prowess.
Here is his story.......
THE demise of Everton's original Alex Young is clouded in confusion. Some sources claim he was hanged following a case of sheep-rustling in Australia. Another says he ended his days in an asylum in Edinburgh following a manslaughter case. What remains indisputable, however, is that in his prime he was the master marksman of his day. He scored the goal which brought the FA Cup to Mersey-side for the first time in 1906 - and the following season, 1906-07, he was the English first division's leading scorer. Known as Sandy Young, the centre forward's 28-goal haul was then the highest total gathered by a Blues striker - and his memory is celebrated still at Goodison Park in the shape of an historic mosaic which hangs from the wall of the staircase leading, appropriately enough, from the Alex Young suite. The image of the player, wearing the old salmon pink shirt and navy blue shorts, was uncovered during renovation work at the Sandon Hotel in 1986. Originally used as changing premises for the Victorian Everton team, the pub was renovated and renamed The Picture House in 1986, when the magnificent mosaic was unearthed. Handed to Everton, its origins - like Young's own downfall - are unclear. A Daily Post cutting from December 1960 recalled simply: "Sandy Young emigrated to Australia after leaving Goodison Park and was involved there in a case of manslaughter." The cuttings from the days when he was at his peak were hardly more flattering.
The Liverpool ECHO''s pen pics in the build-up to the 1906 FA Cup final stated: "Sandy Young, the centre-forward, is a variable sort of man who plays one good game in three on average. He takes the bumps a centre-forward must inevitably expect smilingly and determination makes up for lack of skill at times." But he ensured his place in Everton history 15 minutes from the end of the final, when he smashed Jack Sharp's cross into the Newcastle net to bring the cup back to Merseyside for the first time. With Liverpool also champions that season it was a unique double for Merseyside. . . not for the first time. An open letter to Everton Football Club in Monday's ECHO read: "To Young, the popular song of Saturday was 'Sandy, he has won the cup and the cup to Everton was brought up !' which though not even a reasonably good parody on one of the Liverpool panto songs was good enough to be going on with for the hoarse throated enthusiasts. Your sins are forgiven you Sandy.
You stuck to those backs like a leech and easier opening than that which you snapped have many a time been missed. All honour to you. Your March and April revival could not have been better timed. You deserved to have a goal to your name for persistency alone. Sincerest handshakes Sandy."
If that was damning Young with faint praise, the praise dished out to him the following season was richly deserved. He scored on the opening day of the season at Middlesbrough, registered four more 48 hours later in a 9-1 slaying of Manchester City and was never overtaken again at the top of the nation's scoring charts. Particularly sweet was a brace in a 2-1 Everton win at Anfield - the home they had quit 14 years previously. Goalscoring feats had followed Young throughout his career. In one of his 11 matches for Slamannan Juniors, he scored seven goals in a famous 11-1 defeat of Bannockburn in the Stirlingshire Junior Cup. Shortly after he received an offer from St Mirren and signed. One season later he joined Falkirk, remaining there for another season.
He signed for Everton in the summer of 1901 and after a season in the reserves was promoted to first teamduty. His goalscoring record was unparalleled at Goodison until the emergence of Dixie Dean, scoring 125 goals in a 314-match career. Only Dean, Graeme Sharp and Bob Latchford scored more. But for one halcyon season, in 1906-07, he was the leading marksman in English football.
Not bad for a "variable sort" of Scot!
The day I missed catching up with an Everton great
Jun 12 2003
My first match - Tony Dodd, Wirral
AS A youngster I had no experience of football as my father was in the forces and we travelled abroad quite a lot. When we did eventually settle permanently on the Wirral, I was about 10-years-old. Until I went to secondary school I was completely unaware of the Saturday ritual of going to the game. It was not until about 1964, when I was 14, that I paid my first visit to Goodison Park. The group of friends I had were all Evertonians and every week I would here them raving about someone called Fred Pickering. It appeared to me that this guy was superhuman, judging by the way my friends described him the previous weekend. So it was that I decided to go and see this guy for myself. I have no recollection of who we played at Goodison that day or what the final outcome of the match was, but what I do remember, much to my disappointment was that Fred Pickering did not play and, in fact, never played at Goodison again so I never got to see him. It was the first match at Goodison Park, after, Fred put in his last appearance. Anybody able to jog my memory?
My next experience was my first European game at Goodison. We played Real Zaragosa and it was the second leg match (we had lost the first). With a group of friends we went over without any tickets and were queuing to get into the stands. All my friends managed to get in, but as I approached the turnstiles they were closed. There was then a stampede to get around to another turnstile and I got swept along with everyone else. Luckily I managed to get in, though had no idea where my friends had got to. The ground was heaving and it was a case of you picked your spot and couldn't move from it. Unfortunately for me I was stuck behind a giant of a man who, after 10 minutes of the game, lit up a foul smelling cigar and chain smoked for the whole of the game.
With about five minutes to go the score was still 0-0. At this point I decided that as I hadn't actually seen any of the game, being behind Giant Haystacks, and feeling rather sick with the cigar smoke, I would leave early to avoid the rush. It was at that point a substitution was made and a certain Sandy Brown was brought on. To this day I will never forget the roar I heard as I walked from the ground. Yes, Mr Sandy (I'll never forgive him) Brown had scored. I wasn't even in the ground, not that I would seen it if I had been, but it would have been nice to join in the singing that followed.
Unfortunately Sandy's goal was not enough and we lost the tie, but it is a game I shall never forget, for all the wrong reasons. You would think that my two "firsts" would have put me off Everton for ever, but I don't think two disappointments in more than 30 years is too bad. Thanks to a certain red-headed Scot it looks like the younger fans of today may get the chance to sample some of the great times at Goodison that we did back in the 60's. Keep it up Mr Moyes, you are fast becoming a legend.
Wayne earns a rest
Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Jun 12 2003
THEY came to watch the Golden Boys but it was the other Merseyside connection which proved England's saving grace last night. For all the talk of the dream ticket of Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney, it was the Reds striker and club colleague Steven Gerrard who instead emerged from the mire to drag Sven-Goran Eriksson's men a step nearer to Euro 2004. With it, they also helped demonstrate that, as Manchester United are willing to discover, there can indeed be life without the talismanic David Beckham. Yet it wasn't until Gerrard was freed from the shackles which ironically Beckham finds so constricting when playing for his country that the Liverpool man blossomed.
Marooned on the right during a poor first half in which England could have easily found themselves three goals behind to the counter-attacking Slovakians, any creativity Gerrard could conjure was often stifled. But when switched into his preferred central midfield position after the interval, the Reds star produced the performance a rudderless England team were lacking, spearheading an absorbing comeback and delivering an inch-perfect cross for Owen to head the winner. Only an injury-time save from Miroslav Konig prevented Gerrard from applying the gloss finish to a shining second-half display. Both Liverpool and England have been guilty in the past of taking advantage of the player's willingness and versatility to play across midfield. But if his recent performances in both red and white have proved, if you want the best out of Steven Gerrard, he must play in a central position. Pre-match, Rooney had been lauded by pundits and team-mates as the man who could prove the key, a potential link man to play off Owen and form a bridge between midfield and attack. Yet for the most part it was the Liverpool striker who was forced to drop further back and scrap, his strike partner left alone up front and at times looking the 17-year-old international rookie that he is - a fact too many are too eager to overlook. Labelling Rooney as England's great new hope after just one full season as a professional is to heap the kind of pressure on the teenager that Everton boss David Moyes has been so keen to relieve. But while Eriksson would similarly take end product over hype, the Swede hardly helped matters with his utterings earlier in the week of history in the making whenever Owen and Rooney take the field together for their country. Needless to say, with the weight of such expectation on his young shoulders Rooney didn't and couldn't possibly deliver what the fans were screaming for. No matter. At such a tender age, we'll be hearing a lot more about the international exploits of Everton's bright young thing. And he could find no greater role model than his international colleague across Stanley Park. Within moments of Rooney's departure, Owen showed just why he is the youngest England international to win 50 caps. A slaloming run into the area drew a foul challenge and, after picking himself up, the Reds striker slotted home from the spot. And with 17 minutes to go, Owen was the man in the right place again to head home Gerrard's perfect pass. That's 22 goals for England's top striker now - yet seasoned Owen observers will have learned little new. He's been doing that for both club and country for six years now. Eriksson should take note of what WAS learned last night. Danny Mills is not a right-back of international standard, Frank Lampard is better than you might think and Owen Hargreaves needs a haircut - along with a regular place in the squad. So, for Owen and Gerrard go the plaudits. For Rooney, a well-earned rest. And for England, a summer sojourn in Portugal next year looks ever more likely.
Blues given award
David Prior, Daily Post
Jun 12 2003
EVERTON have become the first Premiership club to be awarded the prestigious 'Community Mark' for their Football in the Community programme. The Blues received the national standard for their work from Business in the Community, whose patron is the Prince of Wales. Everton's FITC scheme has 11 full-time staff delivering football-based community activities across Merseyside. The programme includes school coaching visits, football for disabled people (with six disability teams officially representing Everton), a 'Social Inclusion' programme working with 'at risk' youngsters, racial awareness projects, girls' football, residential courses and soccer camps. Around 50,000 children and adults take part each year. Everton FITC's Dave Connor said: "Everton has always worked hard through the Football in the Community scheme, giving something back to our community."
No Dunn deal yet as Blues watch on
John Curtis, Daily Post
Jun 12 2003
BIRMINGHAM City manager Steve Bruce has admitted that his bid to land David Dunn is far from being finalised - leaving the door open for a possible Everton swoop. Birmingham boss Bruce plans to battle on in his bid to land the midfielder from Blackburn, but Everton will be monitoring the situation closely. David Moyes is a keen admirer of the 23-year-old but has yet to make a move on the player. The Blues boss must decide whether to risk the bulk of his summer transfer kitty on the Rovers midfielder or pursue other targets. But with Chelsea and Aston Villa also watching developments, Birmingham are still the only club to come up with a firm offer. Blackburn initially rejected Birmingham's £5.5million club record bid because not enough of the money was offered up front. But as both clubs have reopened negotiations over the transfer, with Blackburn likely to accept a down payment of £4m and the remainder dependant on Birmingham's Premiership survival, Bruce is still keen on landing the player. Bruce said: "We made an offer to Blackburn which fell short of their valuation. "We've gone back in again and are talking to them and we're at a bit of a stalemate at the moment. "We'll keep monitoring the situation and see what develops over the next few days. "I think when you have a chance to bring in a player of David's quality you try and do all you can."
Rooney gets extra rest
Jun 12 2003 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
DAVID MOYES today resisted the temptation to say "told you so" after Wayne Rooney was substituted after just 59 minutes of last night's England triumph over Slovakia. But he did say that Everton's outstanding young striker would be given extra time to recharge his batteries this summer following an exhaustive first season in senior football. Moyes has stressed throughout Rooney's brief career that the youngster should not be over-played and he said: "Last night was another big step for Wayne in his career. "It's been a really long season for him and we now need to look after him and make sure he gets the opportunity to have a proper rest and recharge his batteries. "We won't ask him to report back for training for a full month. That gives him a week longer than the other lads who were not involved in international matches after the end of the season. "It's something we'll be doing with all the players who were involved in international games."
Moyes confirmed that Rooney had not suffered a recurrence of the knee injury which kept him out of England's recent trip to South Africa. We had a fax from England straight after the match which told us everything was fine," Moyes added. The Blues boss admitted the transfer activity was likely to be quiet at Goodison for a couple of weeks. "There isn't likely to be much happening until July," he said.
Fans view of a Goodison great
Jun 13 2003
COLIN HARVEY was one of the best players in Britain between 1966-1971, unlike many other great players of that era Colin never received the national acclaim he deserved. Those privileged to see him during that period saw a razor-sharp tackler, with tremendous vision, and lightning passing skills which made that era a wonderful time for the Blues. I remember Colin giving a flawless performance in the 1968 FA Cup semi-final win over Leeds at Old Trafford, when he outplayed Bremner, Giles and Hunter. I will also never forget the scenes of joy at Burnden Park, Bolton, when he swept us to Wembley in 1966. His part in coaching the Howard Kendall team of 1984/87 created one of the best teams in Europe. A truly great servant to Everton.
Peter Fisher, Kirkby
I HAVE supported Everton since 1956. It has been fantastic to see the commitment of the team under David Moyes but it is his coaching and that of Colin Harvey that has been the secret of our better performance this season. Can we now concentrate on developing all the other youngsters (as well as Wayne) and get rid of the deadwood - Ferguson, Alexanderson, the whole midfield, Pistone, Gerrard? We won the Youth Cup three years ago and not one lad is still with us. Let's coach Peter Clarke, Tony Hibbert, Leon Osman, Kevin McLeod and Nick Chadwick. Best wishes to Colin Harvey on his retirement. I still remember his San Siro debut!
Mike Balmford, Eccleston, St Helens
I WOULD like to pay tribute to Colin Harvey and to thank him for the many happy memories I have of witnessing his superb, effortless skills. He was a key member of the wonderful 1960s Everton team, the last pure footballing side to grace our shores until the recent emergence of Manchester United and Arsenal in this respect. I will also always remember the goal he scored as a youngster in our 4-0 win at Anfield. If I remember correctly in his first full season he only showed one slight flaw in his play in that his long passes tended to be overhit. However he quickly corrected this to become one of the most accurate passers, long and short, that I have ever been privileged to watch. In more recent years Colin has used his skills in a coaching role, a measure of his success being the large number of "his boys" that have graduated to win recognition by England at youth and senior level.
So Colin thank you for being such a loyal servant to the club we both love. Health and happiness in your retirement.
R Lawrence, Warrington
IT IS with deep regret that I find that Colin Harvey is retiring from coaching at Everton. As a player, coach, confidant, mentor and manager of so many players at Everton it will be hard to replace the knowledge and integrity of such a loyal servant. Every Evertonian should thank Mr Harvey for his service to the club and hope his aches and pains ease a little while watching the new crop of young players he has developed for the club in the next few years to come.
Rob Morrey (via e-mail)
COLIN HARVEY sums up everything that I love about our club. His attitude and committment is what sets EFC apart for me. Apart from the fact that he was one of the best footballers I have ever seen, he is a gentleman and a scholar of the game, fitting then that he dedicated his career to the school of science. Enjoy your retirement Colin, I think you deserve a knighthood.
Marc Jones (via e-mail)
COLIN HARVEY'S service to Everton has been magnificent. Surely there is a role for him in overseeing the development of the new Academy?
Michael Philips (via e-mail)
Blues losing 'soul of club'
David Prior, Daily Post
Jun 13 2003
ALAN BALL has described Colin Harvey's departure from Everton as "a big loss" to the club. Harvey this week announced he would be leaving the club this summer after a 40-year association as player, coach, manager and latterly academy coach. The 58-year-old cited decreased mobility owing to a series of hip operations for his decision, which was met with universal sadness and thanks for the contribution he has made to the Blues. No-one is perhaps better placed than Ball to do his legacy at Goodison justice, for it was the diminutive World Cup winner who was Harvey's mentor in the early days of his playing career. "To me Alan Ball was the best club player I ever saw at Everton, but he helped me," Harvey said this week. "It wasn't just his ability, it was his personality. He was ultra-competitive, and I suppose I am, so that used to rub off on me even more. "I couldn't get enough training. I always did more again when I got home with a smaller ball, probably because I thought I had to try and emulate him." The two went on to help bring glory to Everton, forming one of the all-time great midfield partnerships and steering Everton to their 1970 title-winning triumph.
And now Ball is fulsome in his praise for his former team-mate, claiming Harvey was the only person he'd want alongside him in the trenches. He said: "You don't get people with as much soul for the football club as you got with Colin. Everton meant everything to him, and even in the short time when he went to Sheffield, he was Everton through and through. "The thing about Colin was that you trusted him every time you went out on the pitch. You wouldn't have wanted anybody else in the trenches alongside you. "He had everything and gave everything for you - he would tackle for you, he would pass for you, he would be brave for you. "He was so consistent and a great lad. If the opposition team wanted to play football against him, he would play football, if they wanted a fight, they would give them a fight." Ball moved to Everton from Blackpool in 1966, only a month after England's World Cup success. Harvey's Goodison career had of course begun four years earlier, as an 18-year-old in a European Cup tie against Inter Milan. After 365 games in the Royal Blue shirt, he turned his hand to coaching, acting as Howard Kendall's right-hand man during the trophy-laden years of the 1980s. Harvey's own time at the helm in the late years of that decade are generally seen as something as a disappointment, although had those finishes of fourth, eighth and sixth - as well as an FA Cup final appearance - been delivered in the Premiership era, Harvey would have had Champions League and UEFA Cup qualification to reflect upon - hardly a failure. As Ball admits: "In football management people are never entirely happy with you, you can never please the supporters all the time. "He did as good as possible and was hurt when things didn't go so well." Just as valuable an input as anything that had come before, however, came in the latter days of his Goodison career. Players like Wayne Rooney, Franny Jeffers and Gavin McCann all owe a debt to Harvey, though modesty prevents him from admitting as much. So who best to leave it to then than Ball: "He knows his stuff and could coach youngsters and seniors alike. "He'll be a big loss and knowing the supporters as I do, they won't forget players like him."
Icliverpool And Daily Post
Jun 13 2003
Harvey the cream
IT is with deep regret that I heard club stalwart Colin Harvey is retiring from coaching at Everton.
As a player, coach, confidant, mentor and manager of so many players at Everton, it will be hard to replace the knowledge and integrity of such a loyal servant. Every Evertonian should thank Mr Harvey for his service to the club and hope his aches and pains ease a little while watching the new crop of young players he has developed for the club in the next few years to come.
A true Blue.
Rob Morrey (via e-mail)
In praise of Colin
COLIN HARVEY sums up everything that I love about Everton. His attitude and commitment is what sets EFC apart for me. Apart from the fact that he was one of the best footballers I have ever seen, he is a gentleman and a scholar of the game. Enjoy your retirement Colin. I think you deserve a knighthood.
Marc Shaw (via e-mail)
Time to learn
SO that was David Moyes' first season in charge and although he did well the honeymoon is over.
Everton failed to secure two measly points from the last two games to get into Europe and we lost it big time when we couldn't draw at home to Liverpool. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I would have played 10 defenders and forgot about the pretty football. The stakes are high when entry into Europe has a big cash bonus waiting for us. Hopefully, Moyes has learned from his first season and will be more tactically astute next season.
Ian Sumner, Welshpool
Get it Dunn, Blues
EVERTON fans were moaning all last season for a goalscoring, goal creating midfielder. David Dunn would walk into nearly every team in the Premiership, and I believe we should spend all our money on him. David is a defensive type player and although he is quality we have too many of the types in our midfield. For instance, I believe we haven't really seen the best of Tobias Linderoth and I think he could be one of the pivotal figures in our midfield. He goes about his job quietly but effectively and he can pass. He played very well during the World Cup for Sweden so maybe he will provide much-needed impetus for our midfield.
Kevin Unsworth, Liverpool
Don't doubt Tomasz
WHAT'S with all this talk of Everton selling Tomasz Radzinski - our most effective proven striker last season - for Francis Jeffers? Jeffers may have potential but he still needs to prove he can do it week in, week out and stay free of injuries. Personally I'd rather us stick with speedy Radz, a proven class act who actually wants to play for us.
Bill Prior (via e-mail)
EVEN though I am a big fan of Wayne Rooney and I think he will become one of the best forwards ever, I think Everton should cash in on him as he would bring us huge financial income and this could be spent on improving our midfield areas and attacking options. I know this won't go down to well with the Blues faithful, but I think it would be a good move financially for Everton.
Ben King, Liverpool
Keep patient with Rooney
Mark Bradley, Daily Post
Jun 13 2003
SVEN-GORAN ERIKSSON has pleaded for the nation to keep patience with Wayne Rooney as he warned of the dangers of heaping too many expectations on the teenager's shoulders. Eriksson was joined in his appeal by stand-in skipper Michael Owen, who warned that his strike partner's long-term development could otherwise be harmed. Rooney, 17, burst on to the international scene just over two months ago with a hugely impressive display on his first England start against Turkey in Sunderland. He found life rather harder in his second start, at home to Slovakia in Middlesbrough, when he was closely marked every time that he received the ball. Rooney was substituted after 57 minutes, being replaced by Darius Vassell, and it was only then that England managed to claw their way back into the game. However, Eriksson insisted: "It's very dangerous if we expect too much from Wayne Rooney every time as that is not fair. "I really hope he will not have any critics as he does not deserve them. He did good things and it's a learning experience. "In those minutes he was on the pitch, he learned more than in many Premier League games. "He is one of the biggest talents that I've ever had and I'm very happy that he is English. He will go on playing for us, for sure." Rooney was at least given a fair reception by the crowd when he left the pitch at the Riverside Stadium and Owen is urging England fans to maintain that patient attitude. "I thought Wayne did well. There's a lot of pressure on young players these days. Some can handle it and some can't, but he looks as though he is handling it really well," he added. "The crowd expect a lot of anybody. It wasn't that long ago when Joe Cole burst on to the scene and everyone was saying that he's the new Gazza. I'm sure that Joe will go on to be a great player but you've got to give people time.
"Wayne is also a great player but you have to be patient. I know that, the manager knows that and everyone in the camp knows that. But it's the outside that often doesn't seem to give people that patience. "If we're patient, we could have a fantastic player. But if everyone rushes him then it's not easy." Rooney and Owen still represent the future of England's strike-force, even if the stand-in England skipper is very much the senior partner. Indeed, there were only a handful of experienced players available in the side amid so many injury and suspension problems against Slovakia. However, Eriksson believes that his young team are still making progress, with a year now to go until the start of the Euro 2004 finals in Portugal. "We are progressing. If you see the age of the team, we had only David James, Gareth Southgate, Phil Neville and Paul Scholes who were over 25," he said. "I hope we can challenge at the Euro 2004 finals. First of all, I hope to qualify and then I hope they give us four weeks between the end of the season in England and the start of the tournament.
"It's extremely important that after the FA Cup final, especially if Manchester United or Liverpool are in it, they need a break." That familiar refrain was a cautionary note to end the evening as his appeal is set to fall on deaf ears. Otherwise, there is reason for hope for England as they finish a season in which, despite the low points of a home draw against Macedonia and a defeat by Australia, they have still lost just once and that in a friendly. Their qualifying fate remains in their own hands and, 12 months on, who knows what sort of impact Rooney could make on a major tournament - but only if he is given time to develop along the way. Meanwhile Frank Lampard is keeping his fingers crossed that his days as "a bit-part player" with England are finally at an end as he set his sights on being a key performer in the 2004 European Championships. The Chelsea midfielder produced his best performance for his country in the vital victory over Slovakia. That was the first time Lampard had completed an entire 90 minutes action for England nearly four years after making his debut in a friendly against Belgium at The Stadium Of Light. But more significantly, it was the first occasion Eriksson had trusted Lampard sufficiently to feature him in a competitive fixture. And only a shocking decision by a linesman, who wrongly ruled that Lampard was off-side, denied him a goal. Now the former England under-21 captain is hoping that he has shown Eriksson that he deserves to be in the side when everyone is available and not just when injuries and suspensions take their toll. The acid test will come next season when the likes of skipper David Beckham and Kieron Dyer are back in the fold for the next qualifiers with Macedonia and Liechtenstein. Lampard said: "I can definitely sit on the beach next week and be happy. I've had a good season really and put myself in with a good shout now with England."
McMahon keen to take Clarke back
Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Jun 13 2003
BLACKPOOL have signalled their intent to sign Everton's Peter Clarke. The Blues defender - who starred for England under-21s in their 2-0 win over Slovakia on Tuesday - spent a spell on loan with the Bloomfield Road outfit towards the end of last year. Tangerines boss Steve McMahon has revealed he would like to make the 21-year-old a permanent fixture at the club before the start of the new season. But he has admitted he will have to wait before making any move as Blues boss David Moyes is insisting Clarke stays at Goodison Park for the pre-season. "It is difficult because David wants to keep hold of Peter for pre-season games," said McMahon. "They need bodies, they need him to join in their pre-season. "He will play a few pre-season games for Everton and then we will take it from there, so it might be a last-minute decision with Peter as to whether he comes to the club. That's down to David and Peter." Clarke was on loan for three months at Blackpool last year and also had a short-term stay at fellow Division Two side Port Vale in February. Moyes, meanwhile, has revealed Wayne Rooney will be allowed a month's rest before reporting for pre-season training. The Blues striker was substituted during England's win over Slovakia on Wednesday, which signalled the last game of an exhausting first professional season for the teenager. And Rooney - along with the other Everton players involved in end-of-season internationals - will be given extra time to relax. "Wednesday night was another big step for Wayne in his career," said Moyes. "It's been a really long season for him and we now need to look after him and make sure he gets the opportunity to have a proper rest and recharge his batteries. "We won't ask him to report back for pre-season training for a full month. That gives him a week longer than the other lads who were not involved in international matches after the end of the season. "It's something that we will be doing with all the players who were involved in international games."
Moyes also reported Rooney had felt no after-effects from the knock he received at the beginning of the second half in Wednesday's encounter in Middlesbrough.
Happy for Colin
Jun 13 2003 By Howard Kendall
IF ever there was someone who deserved a testimonial, it is Colin Harvey. He was a tremendous player for Everton and a very thorough coach. Colin used to spend hours watching match videos and picking out key points. Then he would bring in the individual player and show them where they had gone wrong. Even after his hip operations, Colin was full of enthusiasm. He couldn't wait to get back to the training ground playing football and he even ran half marathons. Hopefully there will be a tremendous turn-out for his testimonial against Parma on August 10 in recognition of the service he has given Everton.
Be sure not to miss the post
DAVID JAMES came in for a lot of stick for the way England conceded against Slovakia. I have criticised him in the past, but on this occasion the blame he has received is unjust. The free kick that led to Slovakia's goal reminded me of an idea we introduced at Everton. In fact, it was suggested by Neville Southall. Just as the player taking the free kick started his run-up, one of our lads would drop back onto the far post. That gave the keeper added protection in case the ball got a touch from a forward or flicked off a defender. Neville felt it was necessary because he could not protect the whole of the goal. I'm not a great believer in the diamond formation Sven Goran Eriksson began Wednesday's match with. I don't reckon the players like it much either, especially those playing out of position. Wayne Rooney had a quiet game, but the whole teamgenerally played badly. You have to look at certain players such as Danny Mills, Darius Vassell and Matthew Upson and ask whether, technically, they are international quality.
Shake up will help clubs buy British
EVERTON'S proposals to shake up the transfer system have been taken up by the Premier League.
It means clubs can pay transfer fees in more manageabl e instalments, bringing them in line with how things are done on the Continent. Possibly that is one of the reasons why Premiership clubs have gone into Europe more and more in recent years to buy players. The new system is a sensible option and will help keep money in this country. Premiership clubs will also now be able to loan players to each other, allowing the likes of Everton to give their young players useful experience in the top flight.
Wayne needs time, says Sharp
Jun 13 2003 By Rob Brady
THE public expect too much from Wayne Rooney each time he takes to the football pitch, says former Blues striker Graeme Sharp. The Everton teenager tasted criticism for the first time following his subdued performance for England on Wednesday night. The 17-year-old failed to live up to the pre-match hype during England's 2-1 win over Slovakia at the Riverside Stadium. He was replaced within the hour by Aston Villa striker Darius Vassell. Sharp, believes too much expectation is being placed on the young-ster's shoulders, but Rooney will soon have his day in an England shirt.
The Scot, now Fans Liaison Officer at Everton, said: "Wayne has the talent to shine, but he still has a long way to go. People are expecting too much from Wayne. It's crazy. He is just 17. "He was not at his best against Slovakia. He cannot play at his best in every game. That's a fact of life for any player.
"Michael Owen and David Beckham sometimes have games like that. There are England players much older than Wayne who don't play well in every game. "Wayne never got the service a striker needs and he was tightly marked. Slovakia handled him very well. He is only a young lad and he is still learning on and off the pitch." England coach Sven Goran Eriksson was also quick to jump to Rooney's defence. He said: "The fans and the critics expect Rooney to be the best on the pitch every time he plays. But we can't forget that he is only 17. He has to learn. He is one of the biggest talents."
Blues youngster follows Rooney route to success
Jun 13 2003 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
WAYNE ROONEY may finally have called time on an exhaustive debut season, but there is still one Everton footballer in competitive action - and tonight he faces Argentina. Defender Sean O'Hanlon is on England under-20 duty in Toulon, looking to bounce back from an opening 3-0 defeat by Portugal. This time last year Rooney was making a dramatic impact in the same tournament, and O'Hanlon hopes he can push his own first team chances at Everton by starring in the competition.
He played against Portugal on Wednesday, when a red-card for Birmingham's Darren Carter left England chasing shadows. England have selected a young squad with several players playing above their age group by as much as three years. With temperatures hitting 90 degrees and the games coming thick and fast, head coach Les Reed is relying on light training sessions, debriefing sessions and videos of the opposition to prepare. "The Portugal game is now gone and we cannot do anything about the game but we can do something about the next game," he said. "We will concentrate on the game and get the players minds' focused on that. Tournament play is very different and the games come every couple of days, which takes its toll both physically and mentally - especially with a young side." But Reed is looking forward to the Argentina game because it will be useful to compare the two teams who played against each other at under-16 level. "We played Argentina at Wembley at under-16's level. It will be interesting to compare how many players have come through for them and also for us. This tournament is a very good one because of the variety of opposition you get," said the manager. However, he has sounded a warning about England's ability to compete at international level in the future. "At the moment we are not giving our best players the experience of tournament play like this," he added. "We have to decide if we want to do the same or are we going to get play-ers turning up for their first tournament and it happens to be the World Cup."
Blues to miss out on Dunn
Richard Williamson, Daily Post
Jun 14 2003
EVERTON'S hopes of landing David Dunn look remote after Blackburn boss Graeme Souness claimed Birmingham had moved into pole position to sign him. The two clubs are close to agreeing a £5.5million deal, that will scupper any hopes of the Blues landing the 23-year-old. The England midfielder is Birmingham's top summer target and they have made a renewed bid to resolve the stalemate over his transfer fee to steal a march on their rivals for the 23-year-old's signature.
Dunn is still away on holiday in America and is not expected to return until the end of the month, but in the meantime Souness expects the two clubs to conclude their haggling over the payment arrangements. It is believed Birmingham will pay £4m up front and then spread the rest of the fee over an undisclosed period. They had originally offered an immediate payment of £3.5m.
Souness revealed last night: "Birmingham have come back in for David Dunn and the two clubs are close to a deal. We've had a few enquiries for David but Birmingham are the one club who has made a firm bid." Birmingham chairman David Gold confirmed the clubs were still in talks to reso lve their differences. "Negotiations for Dunn are ongoing and people are still talking," he said. "It's in the best interests of Birmingham to try and get a player of his quality at the right price and Blackburn, for their part, are trying to maximise their income." The midfielder had been linked with a move to Everton after it emerged he wanted to leave Ewood Park following a rift with manager Souness, but the club has yet to put in a firm bid. With Birmingham doggedly pursuing their target, that suggests Blues boss David Moyes may have other transfer options in mind or feels he may able to use his limited resources in a better way. He has also been linked with Fulham's Sean Davis, although a price tag of £6m could prove prohibitive, which could bring players like Sunderland's Gavin McCann into the equation. However even if the clubs agree a deal, Dunn has yet to discuss personal terms.
Souness, who also revealed that he hopes to wrap up a £1.25m move for Rangers captain Lorenzo Amoruso after he holds talks with the Italian defender within the next week, added: "If no deal is actually agreed with another club, he will have to take that on the chin and return to us." Souness, who also insists he expects to keep Republic of Ireland winger Damien Duff , despite interest from Liverpool and Manchester United, added: "We would have no problem with that because he is a very good player." Meanwhile Colin Healy, who was interesting Everton during the mid-season transfer window, is poised to team up with his former international manager Mick McCarthy at Sunderland. The Celtic midfielder has indicated his intention to sign after a round of talks yesterday, despite interest from Aston Villa, as Sunderland aim to bounce back from their Premiership relegation. It is thought Everton's interest in the Republic of Ireland star had cooled in any case, while the player himself was concerned about the competition for places in the midfield area at Goodison - a situation which had confronted him at Celtic.
Wright struck by jinx
Jun 16 2003 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
RICHARD WRIGHT has fallen victim to the bizarre injury jinx which only seems to afflict goalkeepers.
The Everton keeper was admitted to a hospital in Ipswich on Friday night, after suffering a "domestic accident" while visiting his parents. Wright was believed to have sustained a minor shoulder injury in a fall and was allowed home after being treated by staff in the accident and emergency department. Hospital spokeswoman Jan Rowsell said: "I can confirm Richard Wright did attend the accident and emergency department at Ipswich Hospital. "He had a minor injury which he received treatment for." Wright is not the first goalkeeper to sustain injury off the football field.
Former Chelsea goalkeeper Dave Beasant once ruled himself out of the start of a season after dropping a jar of salad cream on his foot, while Liverpool reserve Michael Stensgaard famously put his shoulder out while ironing. In recent seasons at Goodison, Norwegian Thomas Myhre - already recovering from a broken leg - broke a bone in his opposite foot climbing out of the bath, while last season Steve Simonsen broke his toe kicking a coffee table. The Blues, meanwhile, have confirmed reports that Northampton have made an enquiry about England Under-21 defender Peter Clarke.
The ambitious Third Division club has new millionaire backers and would love to lure Clarke to Sixfields. Blackpool, who took the player on-loan last season, are also interested in taking Clarke but Blues' boss David Moyes has yet to confirm whether the young defender can leave or forms part of his future plans.
Unlucky Wright to miss kick-off
By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Jun 17 2003
UNLUCKY Richard Wright is poised to miss the start of next season - after falling from his loft.
The Blues goalkeeper will be sidelined for between six and eight weeks after injuring his right shoulder in an accident at his Ipswich home. And boss David Moyes may decide to follow up his interest in Bastia goalkeeper Nicolas Penneteau as he prepares to enter the new season without his first-choice goalkeeper. Wright has separated the joint at the top of his shoulder and will be forced to rest for a few weeks before starting his rehabilitation. It continues a miserable summer for the 26-year-old, who underwent an operation on a niggling knee injury last month and missed England's end-of-season internationals as a result. Wright, along with Everton's head physio Mick Rathbone, visited a specialist in Suffolk yesterday following the incident on Friday evening, which led to the goalkeeper being hospitalised for minor treatment. And although no surgery is required, the nature of the injury means the player is unable to train properly and is likely to miss pre-season and the opening games of the campaign. Rathbone said: "Richard visited a shoulder specialist on Monday and was informed that the problem did not require surgical intervention. "But unfortunately a goalkeeper needs to dive on his shoulder and he will be out for between six to eight weeks, and that means he is a doubt for the start of the new season." Wright's injury will open the way for Everton's other goalkeepers to stake their claim during pre-season, with Steve Simonsen and Paul Gerrard the main beneficiaries. But Moyes may decide to make a move for 22-year-old Bastia shot-stopper Penneteau, who has been watched by the Blues in recent weeks. Everton would face a battle with Rennes for the Frenchman's signature. Meanwhile, Northampton Town have launched an audacious bid to sign Peter Clarke. The Blues defender has been the subject of transfer speculation this summer, with Blackpool having already signalled their intention of launching a bid for the 21-year-old before the start of next season. And now Division Three side Northampton have made a move for Clarke, who captained England under-21s in their victory over Slovakia last week. The Blues have rejected a £200,000 offer for the player, with Cobblers boss Martin Wilkinson claiming Everton are holding out for £500,000. Everton's Head of Corporate Affairs and PR, Ian Ross, said: "We can confirm that we have received an enquiry from Northampton Town for Peter Clarke. "But there is nothing further than that at the present moment." Blues boss David Moyes is yet to decide on Clarke's future, and is keen for the player to take part in the forthcoming pre-season programme.
But it looks increasingly likely Clarke, who made just one start under David Moyes last season, will leave Goodison Park before the start of next season - although it would be a surprise if the player agreed to join Northampton, who have just been relegated from Division Two. Northampton boss Wilkinson said: "We made a £200,000 offer for Peter and Everton have come back to us and said they want £500,000. "But that deal's not dead and we are still in negotiations with Everton.
"The Everton manager David Moyes has been very helpful and I am going up to see him later this week to talk about one or two other things as well." Clarke spent spells on loan at both Blackpool and Port Vale last season, with his only start for Everton coming in the FA Cup defeat at Shrewsbury Town in January.
Pool of talent
Icliverpool And Daily Post
Jun 18 2003
Pool of talent
MERSEYSIDE is about breeding talent not importing it. Why do you think the two England players up front are at Merseyside clubs? We all remember Beardsley and Lineker. Let's concentrate on bringing through more talent like Tony Hibbert for Everton, who Gary Neville and Danny Mills are clearly keeping his right back position warm for until next year. As for England I'd like to see Rooney take Scholes' position of attacking midfielder for one game behind Owen and Vassell.
Bill Jones, Liverpool
WE SHOULD play Wayne more often next season, and not as a sub, to build up his experience levels.
He was that good last season because he caught many by surprise, but now other teams know him very well and he will not enjoy such freedom. What about Totti or Viduka for Goodison?
David Smith, (via e-mail)
Major on Morris
DAVID DUNN is a good player but not worth £5m. And what would happen if he got injured and we had spent all our money on one player. Jason Koumas is a good player and I think for £3m he's worth it. Also Trevor Sinclair is worth a look, especially if he was going for £1-2m. On the strikers, I think Kevin Campbell had a good season although he does drift out of matches too often. Big Dunc, I still love the guy and it would be great if he could get back to his best form. But he needs to keep his elbows to himself and stay off the treatment room table! Another midfielder we should be looking at is Jody Morris. He's a free agent, which makes him a very attractive proposition. We should keep Li Tie. This was his first season in a new country/surroundings/ language/culture/club and he can only get better.
Trevor Tilley, (via e-mail)
Healy a hit
WERE YOU watching David Moyes? Colin Healy, young, talented, free and plays in midfield. Man-of-the-match for the Republic of Ireland the other week after only three starts for Celtic all year. Exactly what we are looking for!
Malcolm Watterson (via e-mail)
TO ALL those who suggest we should buy Totti, Stam etc. What about David Beckham? I am surprised no-one has mentioned him yet. Maybe the reason we have not heard much from EFC on transfers is because David Moyes is in secret talks with Goldenballs (or Posh). Knowing DM he'd probably insist that no players wear 'girly' alice bands, so perhaps we shouldn't dream of Beckham supplying the ammo for Wayne.
Michael Philips, (via e-mail)
Give us width
WE NEED two wide players on either wing and a creative player in the centre. I would have liked to have seen us buy Yakin (£0.75m) from under Liverpool's nose and play him in the centre with Graveson. On the right I would go for Pennant (£2-3m). On the left I would go for Seth Johnson of Leeds, who is very underrated and will be available at a knockdown price.
Dave Thompson, Everton
True test ahead
THIS COMING season will be a true test for us. It will show everyone whether the seventh place finish was a fluke or not. Is Wayne Rooney really all we think he is? Will the youngsters Chadwick, Clarke and Osman break through as Rooney has? If we can improve on last year and keep the momentum going into the season after, we have a real chance of silverware and Europe in 2004-2005 as many of the aging stars on large salaries will be gone by then and hopefully replaced by younger, aggressive home-grown talent. I don't think that Moyes should blow the entire £5 million on Dunn. He is doing the right thing by waiting. The players get cheaper each day. If he loses out on Dunn, he still has Linderoth, Li Tie, Carsley, Pembridge, Gemmell, Gravesen and Osman.
Not the ideal midfield but still a hard working unit that almost got us into Europe.
Adrian Jackson, (via e-mail)
Amokachi steps into new role
Jun 18 2003 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DANIEL AMOKACHI has embarked upon a new role after finally conceding defeat in the battle to overcome a knee injury. The former Everton forward has been appointed manager of the Nigerian Under-23 side. The Nigerian Football Association are keen to involve former players in their coaching set-up, and Amokachi's exploits in the 1994 World Cup finals are still fondly recalled in Africa. Amokachi will be given the task of leading the under-23s in the eighth All-African Games later this year. It is a step forward for Amokachi, still claiming to be just 29 in one recent report, after failing to establish himself at a series of clubs in recent years. After leaving Everton for Besiktas in Turkey for £1.75m in 1996, Amokachi sustained an increasingly troublesome knee injury.
A proposed striking partnership with another ex-Blue, John Spencer, at Colorado Rapids proved short-lived - as did trial spells at Manchester City and Emirates FC in Dubai. Fitness problems were the issue each time, although in 2001 Amokachi had declared himself "120 per cent fit" after he claimed a controverial Lagos church had healed him "spiritually." A maverick figure at Goodison, Amokachi's career highlight came at the World Cup finals in 1994 when he scored twice, including a spectacular long range strike against Greece. Those goals alerted the Blues, still reeling from the breakdown of the bid to sign Brazilian striker Muller, and Amokachi was enlisted at a cost of £3m.
Despite accusations of racism still being prevalent at Goodison, Amokachi was embraced warmly by the Goodison faithful - despite erratic form throughout his career. He scored on his home debut against Queens Park Rangers, struck twice as a substitute in Everton's famous FA Cup semi-final defeat of Spurs in 1995. And he claimed an FA Cup winners' medal a month later when he came off the bench at Wembley against Manchester United. He played a part in Everton's European Cup Winner's Cup campaign the following season, scoring a spectacular match-winner in Reykjavik - but was injured in the home leg when he was knocked unconscious. The final five games of his Goodison career produced his most prolific form - with three goals at the tail end of the 1995-96 season to help Everton finish sixth. Voted third in the African Footballer-of-the-Year rankings in 1994, his career never quite scaled those heights again. Now, as a manager, he will hope to nurture Nigerian talent of the future like Joseph Yobo.
Moyes waiting on transfer kitty
By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Jun 19 2003
EVERTON look set to miss out on Bastia midfielder Mikael Essien - as David Moyes continues to wait on the exact amount in his summer transfer kitty. The Ghanaian midfielde is poised to sign for Paris St Germain in a £5million deal following talks earlier this week. Blues boss David Moyes had earmarked the 20-year-old as a possible target as he aims to bolster his midfield options. But news of PSG's approach makes it unlikely Everton will follow up their interest in the player, who Bastia had hoped could move for as much as £6m. Such a price tag would almost certainly have ruled Moyes out of the running, although he has yet to discover exactly how much he will have to spend on reinforcements. A figure of £4.5m was reported last month, but five weeks after the end of the season Moyes has made no firm moves in the market. It has left the Everton boss unable to decide on his transfer strategy after having been linked with a number of players in recent weeks.
England international David Dunn remains a target despite his club Blackburn Rovers being on the verge of agreeing a £5.5m deal with Birmingham City for the midfielder. Reports in the North East yesterday suggested Moyes was preparing a £500,000 bid to bring Gavin McCann back to Goodison from Sunderland, while Dundee defender Zura Khizanishvili has also been linked. The Georgian international is reportedly also interesting Tottenham and Sporting Lisbon, and will return from holiday this weekend to sit down and discuss his next move with agent, Athole Still. Still said: "I think everybody knows now, there is already a firm offer from Glasgow Rangers on the table. But there are other clubs interested in him and it is a very important move for him. "He could very well finish up going to Rangers but he just wants to look at all his options by this weekend and then he will decide."
* ONE-TIME Everton target Steve Caldwell has signed a 12-months contract with Newcastle United.
Moyes inspires Felgate revolution
By Phil Casey, Daily Post
Jun 19 2003
AS an avid Arsenal fan, David Felgate is fond of using football analogies to describe his Herculean task as performance director of the Lawn Tennis Association. Players are compared to third division footballers dreaming of the Premiership, Arsenal legend Liam Brady is namechecked for his work with the FA Cup winner's Academy, and tennis coaches are compared to Everton manager David Moyes. Moyes is an example Felgate turns to time and time again to illustrate a point, so much so that, before long, it begs the obvious question. Does British tennis have its own Wayne Rooney somewhere? "Yes I hope we do," says Felgate, famous for being the long-time coach to Tim Henman but now several months into his daunting attempt to revive British tennis. “Now all we have to do is find him." And that of course, is the hard part. Many before Felgate have tried, and failed, to make Britain into the great tennis nation it once was and thinks it should be again.
Chief executive John Crowther admitted recently that the LTA had abandoned no fewer than 51 initiatives aimed at finding and nurturing the next generation of homegrown tennis stars.
Felgate has had enough experience of British tennis, from his own playing days to LTA coach and then personal coach to Henman, to know better than to make any rash predictions. "I think we lose sight, we keep looking for this Wimbledon champion," Felgate said. We expect to be a great tennis nation and football nation and cricket because we're British. That's something we need to learn to deal with. First let's raise the bar, out of that things improve and then come back to me next year and I'll have to come up with something else." Of the likes of Arvind Parmar, Martin Lee and Alex Bogdanovic, the players who currently occupy the second tier of the British game behind Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski, he said: "I can't believe our top guys can be ranked where they are. Even down to some of the guys ranked 500, I think they can be ranked higher.
Mersey giants' capital opener
Jun 19 2003 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON and Liverpool have been handed capital tests on the opening day of the new season.
Liverpool are at home to Chelsea, the side which ended last season on such a low note for Gerard Houllier's men, while Everton goalkeeper Richard Wright has been given the perfect incentive to prove his fitness with a trip to Arsenal. The earliest derby for a decade takes place at Goodison Park on August 30, while players and fans alike will be able to see in 2004 in more relaxed fashion with no games scheduled for New Year's Day. That's because the FA Cup third round is two days later on Saturday, January 3. Tranmere Rovers start their new Second Division campaign a week earlier than the big two, with a home match against Brent-ford on Saturday, August 9. The first home match of the new season at Goodison Park is against Fulham, while Boxing Day sees Everton go to Old Trafford. The Christmas fixtures have also been geographically kind to Liverpool, with a home match against Bolton on Boxing Day and a trip to Birminghamon December 28. The Reds' trip to Old Trafford, however, comes at a pivotal moment in the campaign - just four games from the end of the season on April 24. There will be no midweek Premiership football in the opening week, with a friendly international against Croatia on Wednesday, August 20 at Portman Road.
Goodison old boy reborn in the USA
Jun 19 2003 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
FORMER Everton winger Preki has been reborn in the USA - thanks to the rejuvenative powers of yoga. The Serbian star who played for Everton between 1992 and 1994 is presently top scorer in the American MLS, five days before his 40th birthday. Preki, christened Predrag Radosavljevic, has struck six times already for Kansas City Wiz this season - with New England's Taylor Twellman, 17 years his junior, trailing in joint second. And with three assists to his name too, Preki has 15 points in the system the Americans use to rate the league's most valuable players - more than anyone else.
"I'm just starting to do yoga and it has been the best thing in a long time," explained Preki. "If you can maintain flexibility, you can play as long as you want. To perform at the highest level, I'll do whatever it takes." Team-mate Chris Brown declared: "This is the best I've seen him play.
"He put in a lot of work in the off-season." But wife Trish is irritated by the constant references to her husband's age. Preki reaches the big 40 on Tuesday, and after watching him score twice in the final 18 minutes to salvage a draw against New England, Mrs Radosavljevic said: "I got so irritated watching that game on TV. They have to say: '39-year-old Preki' or 'He's playing well for being nearly 40.' I don't see why they can't just recognise him for being a great player." after starting out as a teenager at Red Star Belgrade, Preki played nine seasons in indoor football in the States for St Louis Storm, scoring 399 goals in 370 games and was that version of the sport's Most Valuable Player twice. Howard Kendall gambled on him making an impact in England, and despite an inconsistent spell there were a few flashes of inspiration, including a 25-yard free-kick equaliser in a relegation struggle with Oldhamin 1994. Following an even briefer spell with Portsmouth, he returned to America, where he has become an MLS legend. He is the league's all-time leading scorer with 238 points. In the USA goals and assists are combined to give a points total, and Preki's 71 goals and 96 assists is the highest ever. Brian McBride, loaned to Everton from Columbus Crew last season, has 50 career goals - including five this season to lie one behind Preki in this term's goals chart. Kansas City Star reporter Bob Luder wrote: "Preki's just playing the game as he always has - with a rock solid fundamental base, great creativity and field vision, and a left foot that can land a ball on a dime or put it in the net." The low point of Preki's American career came in March 2001, when he was 'traded' to Miami Fusion. Having given up on him being a 90-minute player at 37-years of age, Kansas off-loaded him - and unwittingly Preki rejuvenated his career. "That was one of the low points of my career," he admitted. "I never wanted to leave Kansas." He made his old club regret their decision with eight goals and 14 assists in 24 games for Miami, leading then-Fusion boss Ray Hudson to declare: "He's a magician with his feet and an entertainer. That's the mark of a true marquee player." Fortunately for Kansas, Miami Fusion folded in 2001 and Preki was able to return.
The year away helped fuel a fiercely competitive desire to reassert his quality. "When he came back, it was like he said: 'I'm going to show you last season wasn't a fluke'," said Wizards' coach Bob Gansler. "It wasn't the first mistake I've made and it won't be the last."
Ferguson to miss opener
Jun 19 2003 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON will be without one of their key players for the beginning of the 2003/04 season.
Duncan Ferguson's three match ban for his elbow on Joey Gudjohnsen in the Goodison clash with Aston Villa towards the end of last season means the striker's first game of the new season could be the derby. The Blues' fourth match of the new campaign will be against Liverpool at Goodison on August 30. Ferguson will miss the away trip to Arsenal, the opening home game against Fulham and a trip to Charlton. The striker was issued the three-match ban after undergoing trial by video for his clash with Gudjohnsen. The incident was not spotted by the match officials.
Everton fixtures 2003/04
Jun 19 2003 By Dan Kay, icLiverpool
EVERTON have been handed a testing first month by the new season's fixture list, with a trip to Highbury to face Arsenal on the first day (August 16th) and a visit from fierce rivals Liverpool on the 31st. All eyes on the first day will, as ever, be on the Blues England sensation Wayne Rooney who starts his second season as a pro with two memorable goals against last season's runners-up already under his belt. Fulham are the first visitors to Goodison Park on August 23rd, and after a trip to The Valley to play Charlton Athletic, the Toffees will be aiming for their first derby match victory in nearly four years with manager David Moyes looking to inflict defeat on his Anfield counterpart for the first time since taking over the reins from Walter Smith. The Blues travel to Anfield for the return derby on January 31st. September sees attractive home fixtures with Newcastle (13th) and Leeds (27th), with awkward away games against Middlesborough (20th), Tottenham (Oct 4th) and Aston Villa (Oct 25th) on the horizon before the nights start drawing in. Wolverhampton Wanderers are the first promoted side to feature at Goodison when they travel to Merseyside on November 22nd, with a trip to the South Coast to face Portsmouth (Dec 13th) and the visit of Leicester City (Dec 20) on the cards before an absorbing Christmas programme. With no New Year's Day match this season Moyes' men visit Premiership champions Manchester United on Boxing Day and entertain Steve Bruce's Birmingham on 28th ahead of the return game against Arsenal on January 7th. There is no let-up in the early part of 2004 with the Anfield derby and the chance to avenge the costly last-day defeat to Manchester United (Feb 7th) coming in the space of a week at the end of January. As the business-end of the season looms, a comparatively sedate spell of fixtures in the early spring is broken by trips to Newcastle (April 3rd), Leeds (12th) and Chelsea (17th) and home games with Tottenham (10th) and Blackburn (24th) in the so-often critical month of April. There is the chance for some of the younger Evertonians to pay a first visit to Molineux when Wolves play host on the 1st of May, while the season concludes with a couple of North West derbies against Bolton (8th) in the last home game of the season and a final day game against Manchester City at the new City of Manchester Stadium (May 15th).
* Some of these fixtures are subject to change due to Sky TV and FA Cup fixtures.
FA Cup dates: First Round - Sat Nov 8th, Second Round - Sat Dec 6th, Third Round, Sat Jan 3rd, Fourth Round, Sat Jan 24th, Fifth Round - Sat Feb 14th, Sixth Round (Q/Finals) - Sat Mar 6th, Semi-Finals - Sat Apr 23rd, FA Cup Final - Sat May 22nd.
Kanu for Blues
Icliverpool And Daily Post
Jun 20 2003
Kanu for Blues
WE should sign Kanu from Arsenal. They appear desperate to get rid of him and are supposedly giving him a golden handshake to leave. The Nigerian international (pictured) oozes class and would give us the creativity and goals we lack. Linking him up with his chum Joseph Yobo would also be a good move for the club.
Ian Harper, San Diego
Leon's your man
JUST console ourselves that Gemmill, Pembridge et al will be out of contract next summer. We'll do okay next season, Rooney is like a new signing in a way. Any chance of giving Leon Osman a try Mr Moyes?
Chris London, (via e-mail)
GLAD to see that our run-in for next season is a bit kinder than last time around as that's what cost us our place in Europe. Hopefully we'll hold our nerve a bit better this time and not let the expectations get on top of us.
J Green, Liverpool
CAN'T wait for that derby match in August, it's about time we showed our lovable neighbours that their fluky win in April was just a flash in the pan.
Rooney's gonna get ya!
Andy Ellis, Aigburth
Gunner get you
ROONEY'S got Arsenal running scared. I reckon the first day is as good a time as any to go to Highbury and we can definitely turn them over. By the time we demolish the Reds in the derby we could be top of the table!
Joanne Greenbury, Llandudno
WHAT'S all this garbage about Holland, McCann, Dunn and Davis? Haven't we got enough rubbish in the midfield as it is?
P Lie (via e-mail)
Blues' tough test in capital
By David Prior, Daily Post
Jun 20 2003
RICHARD WRIGHT has been handed the perfect incentive for his new-season fitness battle - an opening day battle with old club Arsenal. The Everton goalkeeper damaged his right shoulder when falling off a ladder at his Ipswich home a week ago, ruling him out for between six and eight weeks.
Wright is likely to miss most of the Blues' pre-season fixtures, but the 2003-04 Premiership fixtures, which were released yesterday, have thrown up the perfect target for the 23-year-old. Everton face a daunting trip to Highbury on August 16, where Wright left two years ago to join Everton in a £3.5million deal. It will also present 17-year-old England striker Wayne Rooney with an instant chance to maintain his superb goalscoring run against the Gunners. Last season Rooney scored a 90th-minute winner in the Blues' 2-1 victory at Goodison Park, which ended the Gunners' unbeaten run, and he also found the net in the 2-1 defeat in the return fixture. Fulham will provide Everton's opening opposition at Goodison, while their second home game on August 30 will welcome Liverpool in what will be the earliest derby for a decade. At the other end of the season Everton have, on paper, been handed a decent run-in, with home games against Blackburn and Bolton sandwiching a trip to Premiership newcomers Wolves before Manchester City are the hosts for the last league game of the season. Meanwhile the club have dismissed rumours they have offered Oldham £1m for defender Fitz Hall. The highly rated 22-year-old was signed by the second division club from non-league Chesham 18 months ago for £20,000 and is reportedly attracting the eye of several Premiership clubs . ut Everton spokesman Ian Ross said: "It's completely untrue. We have not tabled a bid for anyone."
Wright time for Simonsen
Jun 20 2003 By Howard Kendall, Liverpool Echo
THE freak accident which left Richard Wright with a shoulder injury could open the way for Steve Simonsen to stake his claim for the goal-keeper's jersey. When I was Everton manager I was looking for a new keeper. I asked my scout Mervyn Day to find me the best young keeper in the country.
He replied: "He is over the road playing for Tranmere." Mervyn regarded Simonsen that highly.
Unfortunately Steve never got his chance in his early days with Everton, but whenever I've seen him play he has performed well. If Wright does miss pre-season and the start of the 2003/04 campaign, may be Steve will get his chance. David Moyes has been linked with Bastia's Nicolas Penneteau, but these days signing a quality keeper is not that easy. Arsenal and Manchester United are both looking to strengthen in that position. Years ago we had top class goalkeepers of our own. We were the envy of Europe. Now we have to look abroad for them. Becks will enjoy Spanish retreat
Preki still gifted
I SEE that Preki is currently the top scorer in American Major League Soccer - even at 39. I signed him for Everton 10 years ago from the American indoor league. He was initially here on trial, but he impressed me so much with his talent that I took a chance and signed him on a free. He was tremendously gifted. I remember him scoring a wonderful goal against Oldham at Goodison. He bent the ball in with his left foot from about 30 yards. Preki had the ability to go past players too, but he never really adjusted to the English game. He was too much of an individual. He reminded me a little bit of the Romanian Gheorghe Hagi, a player I almost signed on loan from Real Madrid, but we could not afford his wages. Even if he does not have as much running left in him, I'm not surprised Preki is topping the American scoring charts given his talent. I'm sure he can still find the back of the net given half a chance.
Aiming for a Rich reward
Jun 20 2003 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
RICHARD WRIGHT today spoke of his twin targets as he bids to recover from his bizarre shoulder injury in time for the start of the 2003-04 season. Everton's first Premiership fixture is at his old club Arsenal, then four days later England play an international friendly against Croatia at the home of his first club, Ipswich Town. The Blues keeper has both dates firmly in his sights. "The England games might come too soon but there is no way I am ruling them out at the moment," he said.
"My sights are set for the first game of the season for Everton and getting myself back in contention for England." Wright is currently recovering at home in Suffolk, after falling from a ladder and injuring his shoulder. His chances of being fit for the start of the new season on August 16 are rated "touch and go." Wright was left out of Sven Goran Eriksson's last England squad - after being selected for the international friendly against Australia in February - because he needed surgery on a long-standing knee problem. He has spent a large chunk of his close season rehabilitating and after admitting the missed opportunity of a third England cap was a disappointment, he accepts he had little choice. "I needed to get the knee done," he said. "I was suffering with it just after Christmas and I saw the specialist who told me that it wouldn't cause any long term damage if I kept playing.
"It meant I would be feeling a bit of discomfort and when I had the operation at the end of the season I knew that I would miss out on England. "They were aware of the situation and I would have loved to have been involved and maybe I had a chance of playing in one of the friendly games."
Kevin McLeod, meanwhile, looks set to turn down Everton's new contract offer. The player's agent, Neil Sang, said today: "He didn't get the deal he thought he should have, or deserved, and is now considering his options, of which he has a few." The 22- year-o l d winger finished last season on-loan at Queens Park Rangers, but first division Wimbledon and West Bromwich Albion are also reported to be keen.
Fowler's favourite shirt may give Kop blues
Jun 20 2003 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
ROBBIE FOWLER, the striker idolised at Anfield throughout the 1990s, has revealed his favourite football shirt of all time is an Everton one! Fowler, who makes no secret of the fact he supported Everton as a boy, confessed to Sky Sports that the shirt the Toffees famously wore in Rotterdam in the 1985 Cup Winners' Cup Final was his favourite. "My favourite kit is the Everton kit when they won the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1985," he admitted. "It was made by Le Coq Sportif and was blue with a white V at the neck. "Everyone knows I was an Everton fan as a boy and it reminds me of the time when I first started going to the games and when Everton were brilliant." I t was also the first Blues shirt owned by Wayne Rooney, the 17-year-old telling The Evertonian: "My first Everton shirt was the one we wore when we won the Cup Winners' Cup in 1985. My dad bought it for me on the day I was born. " Everton won the FA Cup in 1984 wearing the Le Coq Sportif strip, then the following season were one match away from an unprecedented treble - claiming the League Championship and the club's first European trophy.
Blues robbed of Yobo
Jun 23 2003 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
NIGERIA scraped into the finals of the African Nations Cup on Saturday - robbing Everton of Joseph Yobo for three of the biggest games of next season. The Super Eagles scrambled a 2-2 draw with Angola to reach the finals which take place in Tunisia between January 24 and February 14 next year.
That will rule Yobo out of the Anfield derby, Everton's home game against Manchester United, a possible fourth round FA Cup tie and a trip to Birmingham City. Yobo, who did not play in Saturday's match after reporting "a sore shin" in training earlier in the week, is a mainstay of the Nigerian side - operating in midfield in recent matches. Nigeria coach Christian Chukwu also rested other Premiership stars like Jay Jay Okocha, saying "players like Okocha told me that they had had a hectic season and would soon be joining their clubs for pre-season training, so they needed to rest and see their family. That is why I excused them." The move almost backfired with group wooden spoon side Angola taking a 2-0 lead and only a controversial penalty rescuing Nigeria. Former Blues' assistant boss Archie Knox, meanwhile, has been confirmed as Millwall's number two. Knox, who has been out of football since leaving Goodison Park with Walter Smith last March, said: "I'm really looking forward to returning to football. "The First Division is a very competitive league. You just have to look at the quality of the sides who went down from the Premiership last season to see that."
Icliverpool And Daily Post
Jun 24 2003
THE Blues don't have any money because we don't have a marketing strategy. Our stadium is antiquated and has little hospitality revenue, we have Big Dunc swallowing up money for nothing each week, Walter Smith squandered millions and Bill Kenwright (pictured) has obviously spent his Coronation Street money. We are a small club now.
Bob Jones, Stanley Dock
NOT only are we strapped for cash for who we can buy but also what we can afford to pay them. So forget Kanu etc along with all the other has-beens and never-will-bes being touted - we've got enough of them already! Surely on this basis Healy (on a free) must count as a better prospect than say McCann (however cheap) and player swops, if possible, for Koumas. But let's not forget about the returning Linderoth and about promoting our own youth - notably Leon Osman.
Ted Rogers, (via e-mail)
IF you look at what the manager is doing in building a team, then you see that the big money last year was on a good keeper and this year we have finally secured Yobo - a quality defender.
Up front we have Radzinski playing out of his skin and Rooney is like Harry Potter, you just can't wait to see the next instalment! So midfield would appear to be the next area to address and I would really like to see the Blues go for the boy Healy (right) from Celtic. He is young, eager for first team football, looks to have some quality and would be a new and hungry addition to the club.
Robert Murphy, (via e-mail)
WHY didn't Everton go after Matt Holland? What's going on with Colin Healy? We need some serious midfield quality before the start of the new season.
Terry Shields, (via e-mail)
We need cash
I WOULD like the board at Everton to put some of their own money into the transfer kitty.
We have millionaires on the board who sit there and watch as Kenwright hands Moyes £5million to improve the squad. The clubs who've just been promoted have more to spend then us. We need a media deal or a huge sponsorship deal. Just look what he did with less than £5m last season. How well we would do after he spent £10m? Champions League and more trophies!
I only hope that next season we can get one step further towards the top spot. You never know, the championship doesn't seem too far away; we just need more cash to get us there.
Ryan Barton, Everton
Blues' mega Ibrox clash
Jun 24 2003 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
EVERTON's first game against Glasgow Rangers for 40 years will be played out before a packed stadium - after the Scotish double winners announced today they will let their season ticket holders in for free. Rangers are now expecting more than 35,000 fans to watch the July 26 friendly, while Irish satellite broadcasting company Setanta are also bidding to show the match live on pay-per-view television. Everton will be allocated 5,000 tickets for the clash, which they confidently expect to sell, while Rangers will admit season ticket holders free of charge. The match will be Everton's first trip to Ibrox since they won a British Championship first leg there in 1963. Rangers usually offer free admission to season ticket holders for one friendly match every season, while Setanta are planning 12-hour Old Firm programmes on match days next season. "We are doing all we can to organise live coverage of the match against Everton," said Setanta spokesman Richard Sweeney. Everton play their opening pre-season fixtures four days before the trip to Scotland, a July 22 double-bill at Crewe Alexandra and Rochdale. They will follow up the Ibrox clash with a game at Dundee United on July 30. Former Blues' striker Phil Jevons, meanwhile, has been given the green light to renegotiate his contract at Grimsby in order to revive his playing career. Jevons joined Grimsby in July 2001 for a £150,000 compensation fee, plus £100,000 in appearance related fees - but the Mariners cannot afford to pay either the player or Everton. As a result Jevons was allowed out on-loan to Hull City for most of last season. Ever to n have responded to Town's request to renegotiate their fee, while Jevons has agreed to forfeit an appearance bonus. Town chairman Peter Furneaux said: "Phil Jevons wants to play football and he is prepared to negotiate a new contract with us."
Blues facing a tough opener
Jun 24 2003 By Kevin Ratcliffe
THE announcement of the new fixture list is always an exciting time for football fans. But Evertonians might have been left feeling just a little flat this summer. After the excellent season they enjoyed last time, it is very important for the Blues to make a solid start to the new campaign.
But early trips to Arsenal and Charlton, plus a Goodison derby match hardly offer easy pickings. Then there is the visit of a Fulham side desperate to impress a new manager. Much of the momentum for last term's hugely improved season was created during that early run of six successive Premiership victories. That put Everton ahead of the pack and meant they had only to pick up the occasional win to maintain their position. The value of a good start cannot be under-estimated, but of course you can never predict what may happen. You have to face a fixture like Arsenal away some time, so you might as well get it out of the way first before The Gunners start to gather any kind of rhythm. Evertonians groaned when the fixture computer handed them Manchester United on the opening day of the 1999-2000 season, just weeks after United had completed a remarkable treble. Everton earned a deserved draw that afternoon, which acted as a springboard for a good start and a solid season. The good thing about the summer is that everyone can dream. Here's to another Wayne Rooneyinspired display against The Gunners and another good start for The Toffees.
Mike's new mission
CONGRATULATIONS to my old Everton teammate Mike Newell on his appointment as new Luton Town manager. It just shows how quickly fortunes can fluctuate in football. Mike got Hartlepool to promotion last season, then was unceremoniously dumped. Now he's back in charge of a club who will harbour realistic ambitions of promotion from Division Two. Should be a lively clash on August 30 at Kenilworth Road . . . between Luton and Hartlepool.
Grounds for doubt
ONE of the strangest sights I saw throughout the whole of last season - was a Champions League semi- final where the away team didn't have to travel, and the home team scored and it counted as an away goal! I'm talking about the Milan clubs who share San Siro and met there twice. Ground-sharing plans by Hearts and Hibs have been unveiled in Edinburgh and Birmingham owner David Sul l ivan suggested sharing with Villa. I don't think Everton and Liverpool could ever share, nor would either set of fans want it. Italy seems to be the only country where such an experiment can work but it will remain a rarity in this country.
The Evertonian - OUT NOW
Jun 24 2003
THIS month's Evertonian features an exclusive interview with Wayne Rooney. From his trail-blazing Youth Cup scoring streak last season to his brilliant full England debut against Turkey, Wayne talks about his incredible rise to fame, his life-long passion for the Blues and his hopes for the future.
From one striking sensation to another, Kevin Campbell's admission to the select band who have scored 50 Everton goals is celebrated as is Harry Catterick's great first championship side of 1962-63.
There's a 'Rough Guide to Everton' focusing on Toffee landmarks around the globe to keep you company on your summer holidays while we also feature those who work behind the scenes at Goodison and Bellefield for whom the season never ends! We reveal some dressing room secrets from years gone by, Nick Chadwick reveals his hopes for a first-team breakthrough and there's a review of the memorable season just gone. You'll find this and much more in this month's Evertonian - what are you waiting for?
Richard Williamson, Daily Post
Jun 25 2003
INTERNATIONAL football is to return to Goodison Park for the first time since the 1966 World Cup finals. Everton have been chosen to host England's crucial Under-21 European Championship qualifier against Portugal. The showdown between David Platt's side and the talented Portuguese takes place on Tuesday, September 9. And Everton hope a successful occasion could pave the way for a full international to be played at Goodison Park as England continue to tour the country's grounds while the new Wembley is being built. Cheif executive Michael Dunford admitted: "We would like to believe that this game is, in some way, a precursor to a full international fixture at Goodison." England under-21 manager Platt is delighted to be bringing his team to Merseyside and is urging local football fans to back his side as they look to improve on their third place in Group 7 and end a run of five defeats against Portugal. He said: "Goodison Park is a fantastic stadium steeped in tradition and famous for its atmosphere. The crowd can play a big part in these matches and I hope that the local fans will turn up in force. "Portugal are an excellent team with outstanding individual talent. However, we have a lot of quality and experience in our squad and will go into the match knowing that we are still in control of our own destiny in the group." Everton defender Peter Clarke has the chance to be involved on his home ground and Dunford is also hoping the game is well received on Merseyside. He said last night: "We are absolutely delighted to be hosting what is a most prestigious and high-profile fixture. This will be the first competitive international game to be staged at Goodison Park since the 1966 World Cup Finals. "I am certain that the Everton public - indeed, Merseyside football-lovers in general - will throw their weight and their support behind this event." Meanwhile Chinese international Li Tie, has not given up hope of being in Everton's colours again next season. The 25-year-old spent last season on loan at Goodison from Liaoning Badao, but now the two clubs are split on his valuation for a permanent move. The Chinese club want in excess of £1m, with Everton unwilling to go past £750,000. A club spokemsan explained that talks were still on-going, with Tie's contract due to expire on June 30. However Tie is confident the cash wrangle can be settled. "I can safely say the negotiations are moving along quite smoothly," he said last night. "While I am not involved directly, I am confident my agent can iron out the details of the contract in due time." Tie believes he improved as a player over the course of the season and hopes he has blazed a trail for other Chinese players to follow. "Playing in Europe will not only help increase my body strength but, more importantly, being exposed to the tactics and higher tempo of games will definitely make me a better player," he said. "More Chinese players should go abroad should they get their chances. Only in this way can China improve. "My only wish is to continue playing abroad and, as I look back on a largely successful season in England, I have come to realise that overseas leagues are much more competitive, not only because of the intensity of the games, but also the way the professional manner in which they approach matches. "Overall , the playing standards are undoubtedly higher but it is what they do away from the pitch that had impressed me more." Port Vale have signed Everton defender George Pilkington, 21, on a free transfer.
Derby match switch
Jun 25 2003
THE Merseyside derby on August 30 will now kick off at 12.30pm. The Goodison Park showdown has been chosen to be shown live on Sky TV. It will be the first of three appearances on live TV for the Blues before Christmas. The home game against Southampton will now be on Sunday, October 19 (4.05pm) and the trip to Blackburn is moved to Monday, November 10 (8pm). Further fixture changes could follow after today's announcement of the pay-per-view schedule.
England delight for Blues
Jun 25 2003 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
EVERTON Chief Executive Michael Dunford has spoken of the club's delight after Goodison Park was chosen to stage a rare international match next season. The stadium will play host to England's crucial European Championship Under-21 qualifier against Portugal on Tuesday, September 9.
It will be the first international match staged at Goodison Park since Brazil played Japan there in the 1995 Umbro Cup. England haven't figured at Goodison Park since Northern Ireland were visitors in a 1973 Home International. Dunford said: "We are absolutely delighted to be hosting what is a most prestigious and high profile fixture. "I am certain that the Everton public - indeed Merseyside football lovers in general - will throw their support behind this event. "We would like to believe that this game is, in some way, a pre-cursor to a full international future at Goodison." England Under-21 boss David Platt, who has Blues' youngster Peter Clarke in his current lineup, added: "Goodison Park is a fantastic stadium famous for its atmosphere. "The crowd can play a big part in these matches and I hope they will turn up in force." Goodison Park famously staged a World Cup semi final in 1966, but in modern times has been overlooked in favour of Anfield for Euro 96, while their neighbours have also staged England internationals against Finland and Paraguay. In addition to the first batch of Sky fixtures, meanwhile, revealed in later editions of yesterday's ECHO, Everton's Easter Monday match at Leeds United has been put back to the following day, Tuesday, April 13 (7.45pm) at the request of the Elland Road club and the Yorkshire police. The game is not scheduled for live TV coverage.
Dream career was cut short
Jun 25 2003 By David Prentice
DAVID PRENTICE with part five of our weekly series on the Blues who made goalscoring history.
BOBBY PARKER'S story might have been one of the most sensational in even Everton's proud history of goalscoring heroes. Instead it was one of the most tragic. Parker was a big, robust centre forward who joined the Blues from Glasgow Rangers in November 1913. He instantly transformed the Toffees from nearly men to champions with one of the most prolific goals-pergame ratios in the club's history. Then the Great War not only wiped his peak playing years from his professional record, but when he returned to Merseyside with a German bullet in his back - and despite attempting to continue his playing career - he was never as effective again. Parker was signed by the Blues after two below-par campaigns. Runners-up in 1912, they tumbled to 11th, then 15th in the following two seasons. In November 1913, Parker was snapped up from Rangers. He scored on his debut - a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park against Sheffield Wednesday. He celebrated his first hat trick three weeks later, in a 5-0 Boxing Day drubbing of Manchester United - and ended the season with an outstanding 17 goals in 24 appearances. But if that goalscoring burst was impressive, the spree which followed in his first full season at Goodison was incredible. Parker pilfered 36 league goals in 35 appearances in 1914-15 to take Everton to only their second League title. There had been little hint about the riches which lay ahead for Everton. A couple of useful wins over Spurs and Newcastle were followed by seven dropped points from a possible eight, as another season of struggle seemed on the cards. But then came the Anfield derby. Everton had not lost at the home of their fiercest rivals since 1899 - and on October 3, 1914 they extended that run with a sparkling 5-0 victory, Parker grabbing a hat trick. The result took Everton above Liverpool in the table for the first time that season - a position they did not relinquish. Parker's most prolific spell came midway through November. A hat trick at home to Sunderland was followed by all four in a 4-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday the week after. Parker then notched the winner in a 2-1 defeat of West Bromwich Albion and grabbed another hat trick when Manchester City were dispatched 4-1 at Goodison.
What makes Parker's exploits even more impressive is that they came when the offside laws stipulated that three players had to be between the player receiving the ball and the goal - not the two of today. For a time, Parker's spree left Everton on target for the double. Leading the title race, they also reached the semi finals of the FA Cup and were favourites to beat relegationthreatened Chelsea. An early injury to Harry Makepeace - ironic given that war clouds were looming all over Europe - in the days before substitutes, meant Everton had to play the majority of the match with ten men and subsequently lost 2-0. But they exacted ample consolation when they clinched the Championship with a 2-2 draw against Chelsea. Parker scored their second goal that afternoon to ensure he ended his first full season at Goodison as the League's leading marksman. It took his overall tally in a Royal Blue jersey to 55 goals in 65 games, and left Evertonians licking their lips at the prospect of further successes. The outbreak of War put an end to that. Even the Football ECHO could barely muster any enthusiasm for Everton's title triumph. The front page was dominated by drawings of the battle front at Ypres, with Everton's title win pushed to the back pages. Parker joined up and while he was fortunate to return home again after the Great War, he did so with a crippling injury. A Football ECHO report soon after the end of World War Two, 30 years later, recalled: "Bobby Parker today lies at his Dublin home, a cripple through a hole in his back - the last-but-one-war caused this. "Everton FC, to their everlasting glory, have never said a word about it, but I will tell you they have pensioned Bobby Parker all these years - a good deed done, without stealth or advertisement. "Bobby sends the directors neat little wooly favours as a gesture of his thankfulness." Whether the general public was una-ware of Parker's injury, or whether it was felt public morale would suffer after the appalling losses sustained during the War, is unclear. But the press were hardly charitable when he made his long-awaited comeback four years later . . . in December 1919 in an Anfield derby. Parker, predictably, scored - in a 3-1 defeat - but the Daily Post report the next day mean-spiritedly stated: "Parker was hardly a success."
The War had robbed Parker of his peak years - and with international football suspended, any sort of international career too. He added 11 goals - in nothing like the ratio he had previously enjoyed - and moved on to NottinghamForest. He finished his career as manager of Dublin club Bohemians, but Evertonians would always be left wondering what might have been.
Dunn to decide
Jun 26 2003
DAVID DUNN returns from holiday today to decide where his future lies. The Blackburn midfielder has been touted as a possible Everton signing for several weeks but Birmingham are thought to be favoured by the 23-year-old. Ewood Park chief executive John Williams yesterday revealed that one or two other clubs have shown interest. He added: "We don't want to lose him, but equally you don't want to stand in a player's way when he wants to leave."
Blues misfit heads back for pre-season
Jun 26 2003 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
ALEX NYARKO has been told to restart his Everton career next week - two years after he vowed never to pull on an Everton shirt again. Goodison officials have informed the Ghanaian midfielder that he will be expected to report back for pre-season training at Bellefield next Thursday. Blues' chief executive Michael Dunford said today: "We start paying Alex again on July 1. We have spoken to him and expect him to report for pre-season training on July 3." The Blues have received no enquiries for Nyarko, since he walked out on Paris St Germain in March, claiming: "I took that decision because I didn't trust that club any more." Nyarko famously quit Goodison in April 2001, after being challenged by a fan on the pitch at Highbury. He had cost £4.5m from Lens just nine months earlier, but with no club willing to make a permanent offer he joined Monaco on-loan for a year. The French club declined to make the move permanent and Nyarko then joined Paris St Ger-main on another year's loan. This time, Nyarko walked out, claiming PSG had reneged on a promise to sign him permanently. Sky, meanwhile, have added just one more Everton fixture to their list after the annoucement of the pay-per-view matches. The trip to Middlesbrough, originally scheduled for Saturday, September 20, will now be played the next day, Sunday, September 21 at 2pm.
Caught short on dream trip to see my beloved Blues
Jun 26 2003 My First Game - Gary Tan, Singapore
MILLIONS of Evertonians have walked through the turnstiles to cheer on The Toffees. Few would have had to travel the same distance as me to make it there. The journey started from Singapore, where I was born and bred. My wife had received a rather sudden instruction from her company to be posted in London for a couple of months. From the moment I heard the news, there was only one place on my mind - Goodison Park. Sure, I took the opportunity to visit a few places in Western Europe and spent a couple of days in London but for me, the highlight was always going to be THE GAME. Everton v West Bromwich Albion. Not the sort of game that would stir most people's imagination too much and in all honesty, having watched it myself, not one that will remain in most memories. For me though, this would always be the one, where I was in the stands, along with almost 40,000 others, cheering on the Blues. Staying in London, the day started early for me and my missus. A quick breakfast and a few quick steps later, I was on the train heading for Liverpool.
Along the way, a few Evertonians boarded and I will always remember the family of a dad and and his two young lads seated next to me. Where I am from, it would be hard to find Evertonians (one in maybe a hundred football fans). A family of Evertonians? It may be up to me to achieve that!
It was just fascinating for me to listen to them talk about school work, the game and Everton. (If Dad or son is reading this, my apologies for eavesdropping.) More Evertonians boarded and a few tips for the game were exchanged. As the carriage got "more Blue", I knew I was getting closer. All of us have been in a situation where everyone seems to know where they are and where they are going - except for you, of course. You can then imagine how I felt when I stepped out of the station.
It was still too early to head for Goodison so we spent some time shopping. It was strange to find only Liverpool's official merchandise store in the centre while Everton's own Megastore is nowhere to be seen. It's around 1pm and time to head for the game. This time, round, there is no need to bring out my map and try to make something of it. Just follow the rest and we'll get there was the logical conclusion we arrived at. Time to spend some pounds in the Megastore! The place was crowded and getting in/out was hard. Somewhere in the crowd, I heard someone remark "look, even the tourists are here now!" Everton were on a winning streak and much publicity was gained round the world and with Li Tie and the Chinese link, it is no surprise that he had drawn this conclusion. But no, sir. I am not here as a tourist to look around and take some pictures. I am here to support Everton, just like you. The feeling was incredible! The warm up (with Moyes leading), the pre-match celebrations that day and hearing the Z-cars theme blast from the speakers as the team came out will stay with me forever. As the game progressed, little did I realise that one of the biggest days of my life would also turn out to be one of my biggest regrets. Succumbing to the cold British weather, I had to leave my seat in the 34th minute and just as I stepped into the men's room... I spent the rest of the match praying with all my might, asking for one more goal. But this was the era of "1-0 to the Blues" and I had to satisfy myself with the hard-working display from the lads. Everton went third after the game and I went home. I don't know if I will ever get to watch another game at Goodison Park (or wherever the new ground will be) but I thanked my lucky stars that I had the chance to do it once. Looking back, I just wished it hadn't been so cold!
PFA monitor Nyarko return
David Prior, Daily Post
Jun 27 2003
THE Professional Footballers' Association have admitted they will be "closely monitoring" Alex Nyarko's return to Everton after it was confirmed the controversial Ghanaian international will return to the club next week. The Blues expect Nyarko, a £4.5million capture from Lens, to officially resume his Goodison career when he reports back to Bellefield on July 3 with the rest of the first team squad. Nyarko has not been involved for Everton since being confronted by an angry supporter on the pitch at Arsenal in April 2001. As a result of the incident, the 29-year-old vowed never to play for the club again and subsequently described his spell in England as "the worst time of my life". After the incident he was shipped out on-loan to French First Division side Monaco and then started last season with Paris St Germain, who had an option to secure his permanent services.
Financial problems at the Parc des Princes led to PSG eventually declining that offer and Nyarko eventually quit the club. And although attempts have been made to secure a deal for the player elsewhere, Nyarko will return. And Mick McGuire, deputy chief executive of the PFA, last night admitted they were concerned about what sort of reaction Nyarko would receive from the fans, hoping that "sense would prevail" and Nyarko could extricate from his contract easily. He said: "Obviously when the player returns we will make ourselves available to him and offer our support. We will certainly contact the club as well. "Clearly in this situation a solution isn't going to be found that suits both parties, so we hope there will be a sensible handling of the situation. "There is no point having him if he doesn't want to play there and in today's transfer climate Everton are not going to get anywhere near the amount they paid for him. "Everton are keen to protect their position but perhaps some sort of arrangement can be made. "It's not an easy one, and the lad is clearly desperate to return unless he can somehow turn over a new leaf and get the fans back on his side. "He's got an outstanding manager in David Moyes so you hope a solution can be arrived at."
Everton's Head of Corporate Affairs and PR, Ian Ross, yesterday said: "Alex Nyarko is expected to report back with other members of our first team squad on July 3. "After two years away from Goodison Park his loan spell ends at the end of the month when he will revert back to being an Everton player."
Smell the coffee
Icliverpool And Daily Post
Jun 27 2003
Smell the coffee
I THINK that some of you lot out there never managed to find the way to school. Wake up and smell the coffee - we aren't going to sign Totti, Aimar, Figo, Veron or any of these world-class players because we don't have the money, simple enough. We can't afford the wages or the fee and why would they want to miss out on Europe? Are you forgetting that we couldn't even afford Gary Breen's wages nine months ago? I suggest you wake up to reality.
Brissy (via e-mail)
WALTER SMITH may well have kept us up and balanced the books. Moyes too has had to operate under virtually similar conditions and using mostly the same players. Yet despite odd stutters (notably Shrewsbury, a reminder about just what he had inherited) in one season he gets them doing the business and us in a position, not just well clear of relegation, but actually nearly into Europe. Now that's good management!
Accept the debt
IT'S no good listing loads of players Everton should buy. The club is massively in debt. Businesses that pump big money into football clubs - and there are fewer and fewer of those around - will only do so with successful clubs. Remember how Kendall had to wheel and deal to produce that top side? Getting rid of the big earn-ers will help, but players like Ferguson going will not in itself turn Everton into a wealthy club. Everton, and Evertonians just have to accept the situation: there is no money, and act accordingly.
Moyes right to wait
WELL, well, well it is almost July and with the exception of the Beckham transfer nothing much has happened anywhere. Looks like Moyes was right again in not jumping the gun and spending his entire £5million right away. Players get cheaper every day so why pay inflated prices, which is not the Everton way, when you don't have to? July will be the month we spend our hard earned cash - maybe on Koumas, Dunn or Scott Parker (I hope). Whoever he chooses you know Blue Bill will support him however he can.
New York (via e-mail)
It hasn't got to be
GIVE Nyarko another chance? A whinger is always a whinger.
London (via e-mail)
Reds on march
GET real eh? We dont have a board that has the funds, or if they have, the desire to splash the cash. Stop the bleating and get behind the man who will do his utmost to get us back to the top.
Top Balcony Blue, Liverpool (via e-mail)
Blues can finish on a high
Jun 27 2003 By Howard Kendall
WHENEVER the new fixtures come out, I always look first at who Everton will be playing in the final weeks of the season. The opening games are not that important. We lost the first two matches of the 1984-85 season and still won the league. The last half dozen games are the most important. Next season Everton appear to have quite a kind run-in. Despite last season's success, the Blues don't seem to figure in any more live televised games. You can understand a club being pushed to the back of the queue if they are struggling for goals, but not when they have been hitting the back of the net regularly and possess a young sensation in Wayne Rooney. If Everton begin the new season in good form, that will demand extra coverage.
Real and president danger
THE turnaround in coaches at Spanish clubs is dramatic.
Vicente del Bosque won the league with Real Madrid, but did not have his contract renewed. At troubled Barcelona Radomir Antic clinched a UEFA Cup place on the last day of the season, but he's now been replaced by Frank Rijkaard. In this country it is unthinkable for something like that to happen to Arsene Wenger or Sir Alex Ferguson. In Spain a lot of it is down to politics. Club presidents are voted in by the fans every four years. If the new top man has differences with the existing coach, it is the coach who goes. Carlos Queiroz must be very well respected at Madrid. Perhaps David Beckham had a hand in it. I can't believe the England captain would have gone to the Bern-abeu without knowing who his manager would be. Personally I would rather be in Rijkaard's position at Barcelona. After the poor season the club has just had, there is much more room for improvement and the Dutch coach has a lot to aim for. The only way Queiroz can improve Madrid is by winning the Champions League. That is a hell of a burden - but looking at the quality in his squad, he has an excellent chance.
No grounds for new home
IT'S great to see international football returning to Goodison. There will be a great atmosphere for England's under-21 game with Portugal in September. It makes you wonder whether we should bother with a national stadiumjust for football. The old Wembley has gone. You can't replace its history. The atmosphere has been excellent inside the grounds where the national team has played. The England players really respond to it. I always felt that at Wembley some of the new boys were not able to cope with the surroundings. In England we have some massive league grounds now. There is no need to replace Wembley. Let's remember it the way it was.
Li Tie desperate to stay with Blues
Jun 27 2003 Liverpool Echo
LI TIE says he is confident of remaining an Everton player next season. The midfielder's loan spell has expired and his Chinese club Liaoning Bodao are seeking a £1m fee to make his Goodison stay permanent. But the Blues rate him at half that and the two clubs have been locked in talks for weeks. Li Tie, 25, said: "I can safely say the negotiations are moving along quite smoothly. While I am not involved directly, I'm confident my agent can iron out any the details of the contract in due time." The Chinese international believes he has really improved as a player since coming to England 12 months ago as part of Everton's sponsorship deal with Kejian. He is determined to continue his development in English football. He added: "Playing in Europe will not only help increase my body strength, but more importantly being exposed to the tactics and higher tempo of games will make me a better player. "As I look back on a largely successful season in England, I have come to realise that overseas leagues are much more competitive, not only because of the intensity of the games, but also because of the professionalism."
'Scally' gets town job
Jun 27 2003 David Triggs, Flintshire Chronicle
A REFORMED football hooligan has been appointed manager of Holywell Town. Everton fan Andy Nicholls, of Mold, was banned from Goodison Park last year following the publication of his book Scally: Confessions of a Category C Hooligan, in which he chronicles his involvement in two decades of football violence in Britain and abroad. But Nicholls, 40, this week insisted his days as a soccer thug are behind him and spoke of his determination to make a positive impact in his first season with the Wellmen. He said: 'Anyone who's read my book will know it deals mainly with things that happened in the 1980s. That's history now and, for obvious reasons, I don't go to Goodison Park any more. 'What's important to me is making a success of Holywell Town. I love challenges and see this as a big challenge. 'The club has had a couple of years in the doldrums but hopefully I can turn that around. I'll be looking to bring in one or two players but will also be giving the lads who played here last season a chance.' Nicholls, who hails from the Halkyn area, replaces Holywell's joint-managers Dave and Geraint Rowlands. The brothers took charge last September but the Well-men finished bottom of the Cymru Alliance. Holywell vice-chairman Alan Moore said: 'We wish Dave and Geraint well - they did as well as they could with what they had at their disposal. Vandalism at our ground last season meant revenue streams were hit and, all in all, it was a year the club would rather forget.' Mr Moore added: 'We've got no qualms about appointing Andy. I've spoken to him at length and I'm satisf ied about where he wants to take the club.' Nicholls was assistant manager to player-boss Gareth Thomas at Halkyn United last season and was previously manager of the all-conquering BA Feathers team in the Deeside Sunday League. Nicholls has drafted in ex-Halkyn centre-back Craig Knight as his assistant/player-manager. Scally has already sold about 16,500 copies in hardback and is due out in paperback in November. The autobiography proved a hit with readers, but officials at Everton were unimpressed and last October the club's full board of directors decided to ban Nicholls from Goodison Park for life. The former production manager now runs a sports promotion business from premises in Mold.
* Members of the public are welcome to attend Holywell's AGM at the town's leisure centre on Monday, July 7 (7.30pm).
Blues face ticket cap
Jun 27 2003 By Rob Brady Football Reporter
EVERTON are on the verge of introducing a season ticket waiting list for the first time in the club's history. The Blues' revival under David Moyes has created a record demand from supporters.
The club is expected to cap the sale of season tickets at 27,000, leaving thousands of unlucky Evertonians having to forma waiting list. Michael Dunford, the club's chief executive, said: "We are sifting through the new applications now. We are very close to the 27,000 mark and it is looking likely a cap will be introduced. "There are a lot of people wanting to change seats or add seats.
"That will create a waiting list. We are pleased with that because there are not many clubs selling 27,000 season tickets. A decision on the cap will be made next week." Everton had 24,000 season ticket holders last season. The club is confident of smashing the current season ticket sales record of 24,700 set in the 1996-97 campaign. The Blues' policy is to make 10,000 tickets available on a match-by-match basis, plus 3,000 for away supporters. Dunford added: "Imposing a cap is a decision we knew we would have to make. "It is a case of keeping a happy balance between the steady income of season tickets and making match tickets available to fans who are regulars but cannot afford a season ticket. "We want a good flow of supporters."
McLeod set for showdown
Jun 28 2003 By Rob Brady, Liverpool Echo
YOUNG midfielder Kevin McLeod is to hold face to face talks with manager David Moyes in a bid to resolve his Everton future. The 22-year-old is disappointed with the new one-year contract offered by the club after hoping for a longer deal. McLeod wants to know whether he figures in the manager's long-term plans or whether his future lies away from Goodison. Liverpool-born McLeod will hold talks with Moyes when the pair return to pre-season training next week. Michael Dunford, Everton's chief executive, said: "Kevin McLeod has not made a decision yet. He will sit down with David Moyes to discuss his future. The discussions will be about his footballing career and are nothing to do with finances." The winger has only made a handful of appearances for the Blues after graduating from the club's proclaimed youth academy and has options if he cannot secure first team football at Goodison next season. After a successful loan spell at Second Division Queens Park Rangers last season, he has attracted interest from a number of other clubs, including First Division West Brom and Wimbledon. Meanwhile, Blues target Colin Healy looks set to join Aston Villa on a free from Celtic. The midfielder was watched by Moyes last season. Rangers new boy Zura Khizanishvili claimed Everton were interested in signing him from Dundee before he moved to Ibrox.
The Georgian international said: "There was interest from Everton and a couple more English clubs, but I felt coming to Ibrox was the best option."
Blues issue McManaman move denial
David Prior, Daily Post
Jun 30 2003
EVERTON have scotched talk of a move for former Liverpool winger Steve McManaman. The Blues were reported yesterday as having been in talks with the 31-year-old over a return to Merseyside.
McManaman only played a bit-part role for Real Madrid last season and is unlikely to renew his contract when it runs out next year. McManaman, who moved to the Bernabeu from Anfield four years ago, is a boyhood Everton fan but a club spokesman affirmed: "There has been no contact between Everton Football Club and Steve McManaman." Any move for McManaman would, in any case, be fraught with obstacles. Chief among them is his considerable wage packet at Real - he would have to take a massive wage cut to move to Goodison. McManaman and his wife are also settled in Spain and could choose another La Liga club rather than face the upheaval that a return to England would bring. Boss David Moyes is also known to favour bringing in young players and McManaman would represent a potentially costly gamble. McManaman has also been linked with Manchester City.
Moyes: No Macca moves
Jun 30 2003 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
EVERTON manager David Moyes remains an admirer of some-time Real Madrid winger Steve McManaman, but insists no moves have been taken to lure the former Anfield star to Goodison.
The Blues were reported to have staged "secret talks" with McManaman over the weekend.
But Moyes, still on holiday with his family in the USA, said: "I would not say that Steve McManaman has never figured on a list of players we may be interested in, but we have certainly made no moves to sign him and would not anticipate doing so in the immediate future." Moyes would like to add McManaman to his squad, but has other targets who he considers to be a priority. If he can successfully fill the problem position of central midfield without exhausting his £5m transfer kitty, he may then turn his attentions back to Real Madrid. But Boavista defender Paolo Turra will not become a target. "We know of him, but there is no interest there," said Moyes. McManaman's reported salary of £60,000 per week would present the biggest obstacle to him joining Everton.
The player is believed to be willing to accept a considerable cut, but Everton have imposed a wage-cap of £20,000 per week. The Blues could get round that by offering a signing-on fee spread over several years, but that would eat significantly into Moyes' transfer funds. The Blues start preseason training on Thursday, but it will be a skeleton squad which reports back. Players involved on international duty after the end of the domestic season - including Wayne Rooney, Thomas Gravesen, Joseph Yobo, Gary Naysmith, Mark Pembridge, Lee Carsley, Peter Clarke and Sean O'Hanlon - have been given an extra week's break.