Everton Independent Research Data


Blues bid to build on United victory
Academy League By Chris Wright, Daily Post
Mar 1 2002
EVERTON under-19s have the chance to extend their unbeaten run since Christmas to nine games at Wrexham tomorrow. The Blues superb 3-0 win over FA Premier Academy League leaders Manchester United last Saturday is just the latest in a string of fine performances. On the other hand Wrexham have generally found Academy life tough. The second division side's youngsters have found it hard competing with their Premiership counterparts and the Welsh club are relinquishing their Academy status at the end of the season. So the Blues, while not taking the Red Dragons lightly, will be hopeful of another three points. Academy director Ray Hall said: "We have now gone halfway up the table since the first four games when we were at the bottom. "Not that that matters, but we have maintained our unbeaten record since the start of the year.
"We are also starting to get goals now from areas other than the strikers - (Wayne) Rooney and (Michael) Symes. Craig Garside has chipped in with a few and they are coming in from midfield, which augurs well. And at the same time we are a meagre as ever at the other end. We very rarely let a lot of goals in." U19s coach Colin Harvey added: "The lads are showing signs of improving in their development and that's all you can ask. As long as they work hard and continue to develop we will be happy. "Wrexham are obviously one of the weaker sides but we don't look at it like that. We look at our own performance and as long as we perform well the scoreline doesn't really matter."
And on his strikers, Harvey added: "It's good that our main goalscorers are continuing to get goals and although others are chipping in I would like it to be spread around even more."
Central defender Steven Schumacher may return tomorrow. He is back in training after his knee injury and although the Blues will be careful not to rush the England youth international back too soon, they hope he can play some part at Wrexham. Alan Harper's under-17s are also at Wrexham and with just two matches left before the play-offs they look to stop a run of five matches without a win or a goal. Despite that sequence the Blues have been competing well against some of the League's strongest sides, including last week's 2-0 defeat to Manchester United. Ray Hall said: "The boys are improving and they keep learning. We had five U15s players on the pitch last week who are eligible for that age group for two more years. But the experience they are getting will stand them in good stead." U17s goalkeeper Alex Cole was kicked in the head in last week's match with Manchester United and was taken off after his eye closed due to the swelling. But he should be available for tomorrow's match.

Naysmith targeting Riverside comeback
Report By Jonathan Mcevoy, Daily Post
Mar 1 2002
GARY NAYSMITH is targeting Everton's FA Cup quarter-final tie against Middlesbrough on March 10 to make his comeback. Blues manager Walter Smith is resigned to being without the Scotland defender for Sunday's Premiership visit of Leeds United - but wants Naysmith back to bolster his squad's bid for Cup glory at the Riverside. The former Hearts man, 23, is undergoing intensive treatment on the ankle ligaments he damaged during Tuesday's 2-1 FA Cup fifth round replay win over Crewe at Gresty Road. Fears the versatile leftsided player had sustained a serious problem have proved unfounded, and Naysmith even has an outside chance of making the trip to West Ham next Wednesday. Goodison boss Smith confirmed: "Gary will unfortunately miss the match against Leeds, though we are hopeful he will be fit for the cup game at Middlesbrough." Smith is waiting to assess his striking options, with captain Kevin Campbell still a doubt. The 32-year-old faces a race against time to face Leeds as he nurses a tight calf. Smith is keen to partner Campbell with Tomasz Radzinski on Sunday - the pair scored in the midweek Cup win - and he will monitor Campbell's situation over the next 48 hours. Meanwhile, Wolves manager Dave Jones has hit out at speculation linking him with the Everton hot seat. He said: "I find the rumours distasteful. "I count Walter as a friend and it's embarrassing for both of us. "I'm not behind the speculation and don't even want to think about it. I am not going to Everton."

Still making life hard
Fanscene By Mark O'Brien, Daily Post
Mar 1 2002
IT'S been a week of mixed emotions. Satisfaction with a point at Anfield, joy at progressing through to the quarterfinals of the FA Cup and a little bit of frustration that we made life so difficult for ourselves at Gresty Road. Phil Thompson made the usual noises that come out of Anfield when they fail to win, especially against us. Apparently they dominated, should have won, so on and so forth.
They must just be the unluckiest team in the world if they deserve to win every game they play in but fate keeps conspiring to deny them. In truth Everton matched them for effort in midfield throughout and when Thomas Gravesen and Tomasz Radzinski were introduced we started to pose them a few problems, culminating in the Canadian's goal. Admittedly, once Emile Heskey came on, they pushed us back and deserved their equaliser. Any more than that would have been a travesty.
Buoyed by that result we went to Gresty Road pretty confident. Unsurprisingly we seemed to conspire to shoot ourselves in the foot. David Ginola had been pretty much anonymous when ostensibly partnering Kevin Campbell in the first half at Anfield. As a result most people expected him to drop to the bench when making way for Radzinski at Crewe. Instead we forfeited a midfielder to let the Frenchman wander. It was a disaster from the start and we were lucky that Crewe never took full advantage of their superiority in that first half where we looked as bad as we have all season. No mean feat. Luckily we saw a little sense in the second half: Gravesen came on, we adopted a normal 4-4-2 with all the players contributing and no-one being give carte-blanche to do as they pleased, a bit of Premiership class was allowed to show through and we totally dominated.
For the remainder of this season Ginola can play a useful part coming on from the bench if we're looking to snatch something in a tight match. Sacrificing the whole shape of the side to accommodate him is pure folly though. That lesson has surely now been illustrated clearly.
Anyway, we're still in the Cup and the Middlesbrough game is eminently winnable despite the loss of the influential Gravesen through suspension. Let's face it, we've got to the quarter-finals without playing anyone decent; at some point you're going to have to pull a good performance out of the bag against a Premiership side if you're serious about going to Cardiff. Before we get carried away with Cup fever though we have the serious business of saving our Premiership skins. Hopefully we can get on with that with a win over David O'Leary's faltering, yet still very dangerous, Leeds United on Sunday.

Blue 'spine' key to survival
Mar 1 2002 By Howard Kendall
WHAT are the priorities for Everton between now and the end of the season?
Having looked at the derby performance last Saturday and the FA Cup victory in midweek, I feel three things are absolutely imperative if the Blues are to pull away from the Premier danger zone and possibly enjoy the bonus of a run all the way to the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff.
1. Goalkeeper Steve Simonsen must maintain the excellent form that he has shown since forcing his way into the side.
2. Centre-backs David Weir and Alan Stubbs must stay fit and also maintain their form.
3. Striker Tomasz Radzinski must be out there on the park and not in the treatment room, providing the pace and movement up front that has been so sorely lacking.
All the talk of late has been about the flair players who are now available to Walter Smith.
David Ginola has come into the picture. Jesper Blomqvist arrived to suggest he could play a part. Of course, Paul Gascoigne has been offering a skilful alternative all season and has looked influential on those occasions when he has been used. Walter can go for the "Dogs of War" approach and battle his way out with people like Gravesen, Carsley, Gemmill and Pembridge ready to run all day.
I can't see him over-doing it with the flair players. I can see him possibly accommodating one of them in phases of important games because you need the ability to win matches as well as setting out your stall not to lose. But I have explained what I believe is more important. Everton's season will swing around the keeper, the centre-backs and striker Radzinski. The return of the little Canadian has been significant with two goals in two games. But his impact has been more wide ranging. We have been talking for weeks about the total lack of pace and movement up front.
Suddenly Radzinski is sprinting on to balls down the middle or into the corners that would previously have been claimed by a defender. This is taking the pressure off Everton because the ball is not coming back so often. And Radzinski's movement has had an effect on those around him, not least Kevin Campbell who scored that crucial winner at Gresty Road. Now the Blues face Leeds on Sunday. I said before the derby that the timing was good for Everton, coming between two crucial Champions League games for Liverpool. Again, I think the timing is right with Leeds coming to Goodison on Sunday after a midweek Euro clash. Certainly, the Blues need to start winning their home games, regardless of the opposition. With Radzinski back, they can match Leeds and grab crucial points, although a certain Robbie Fowler will once again be striving to steal the attacking limelight.

Post Soapbox
Mar 1 2002 IcLiverpool & Daily Post
It's Everton's Cup
EVERTON are going to win the FA Cup. I can feel it.
Because the chips are down in the Premiership, nobody expects us to achieve anything this season, but that is where we will come through as a dark horse. When we get past Middlesbrough I think we can beat anyone in the semi-final and therefore the final. Come on Blues - you can do it.
Dave Bagley, Kensington
Premiership fear
EVERYONE'S banging on about the FA Cup but I am deeply concerned about the Premiership.
It's all good and well having your 90 minutes of glory in cup finals but a club's progress these days rest on how well they do in the Premiership. Ideally, the FA Cup and Premiership security would be great but realistically I would forfeit the Cup for top flight status next season. Spark missing
IT was a fair result on Saturday against Liverpool but we still lack invention. Walter Smith should play Jesper Blomqvist down the left and David Ginola on the right with Thomas Gravesen and Tobias Linderoth/Scot Gemmill in the middle. However, our scoring problems cannot be solved with Kevin Campbell leading the line. He offers nothing in terms of mobility or aerial prowess.
T Hubberts, Skelmersdale
Don't doubt Tomasz
IT'S great to see Tomasz Radzinski back in the team. He certainly has been missed
Harry Webb, Dingle and gives us that much needed pace in attack as well as another dimension to the play with. Alessandro Pistone was great against Liverpool and linked up well with Radzinski.
It's good to see our better players returning from injury just when we need them.
Peter Edwards, Liverpool
Campbell a waste
WALTER SMITH is doing well, it's just certain players are a bit bone idle. Kevin Campbell, despite his goal against Crewe, is an absolute waste of space. Instead of mindless bickering, let's support the team to safety. Come on you Blues and as for you wannabe Evertonians, stop slagging the manager and concentrate on giving our team support.
Don McShane, Liverpool
Goodison worry
I REMEMBER Howard Kendall saying 'this will never happen again to this great club' when Everton survived on the last day of the season in 1998. While the Blues did well against Liverpool and beat Crewe, will Kendall's infamous phrase be heeded by the board? If they are not able to supply the club with the players we need then stand aside.
P Moore, Liverpool

Ginola: There's still magic in these boots
Mar 1 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DAVID GINOLA has urged Evertonians to be patient - after being hauled off at half-time in his last two appearances. The Frenchman, at Goodison until the end of the season, completed 90 minutes against Arsenal and Crewe soon after signing. But in his last two outings he has failed to get past the interval. Ginola feels, however, that he can still set Goodison alight in the remaining months of the season. "All I ask is that I am given a bit of time to get back to full fitness," he said. "I played two full games straight away after arriving at Goodison Park. "Yet before that I had not completed 90 minutes since playing in the InterToto Cup Final for Aston Villa last summer. "I spent a long time at a club where I was not given the chance to do anything special, so now that I have arrived at Everton I want to show everybody that there is still plenty of magic left in the Ginola feet! "When I left Villa Park the physio, Jim Walker, told me that with my body shape and strength I can play at the highest level for another two years. "I am looking forward to doing my best for Manager Walter Smith and his assistant Archie Knox because they seem to trust me and believe in me, and it makes such a difference." Ginola also spoke warmly about the reception he has received on Merseyside, from the Everton fans and his team-mates - but admitted the presence of a certain Paul Gascoigne means he has to constantly look over his shoulder! "The people on Merseyside have been great to me and I have also been given a very warm welcome by Paul Gascoigne," he said. "The best way I can sum him up is to say he is unpredictable both on and off the pitch. "He is a very talented player, and also a very entertaining person. He reminds me of life back in Newcastle because of his Geordie talk.
"Gazza keeps everyone on their toes, and I have to check my bag whenever I am in the dressing room. I also cannot go to the toilet without checking that there is no bucket of water on the door, waiting to drop on my head!" Ginola is looking forward to the prospect of helping Everton reach their first Cup Final for seven years. Tuesday's replay victory over Crewe means that Middlesbrough now bar the Blues' path from their 24th FA Cup semi-final appearance. "I have played in only one Cup Final in my English career, when I won the Worthington Cup with Spurs in 1999," explained Ginola. "It would be a dream to play in the FA Cup Final - especially against either Newcastle or Spurs! "I shall do everything possible to finish the season on a high and give the best of myself to Everton, but at the end of the day it is a team effort. "There is only one downside to my transfer to Everton, and that is the fact I have moved further away from my family who are still living in London.
"But it is only for an initial three month period and then we can have a great summer together.
"In any case, they are used to me being away now after I spent a year-and-a-half in Birmingham.
"Should I stay longer at Everton then I shall move my family up here and we can be together again.
"They are currently skiing in sunny France so that can't be bad!" Ginola is hoping for a sunshine end to his own spell on Merseyside, too.

Kev's high hopes
Mar 1 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON could be ready to unleash their first choice attacking duo on Leeds for Sunday's Premiership clash at Goodison Park. Manager Walter Smith is optimistic he will be able to retain a partnership between Kevin Campbell and Tomasz Radzinski which has yielded three goals from the last two games. Campbell has been receiving treatment since Tuesday on a calf injury he picked up in the FA Cup fifth round replay victory at Crewe and is winning his race to face David O'Leary's stuttering side. His chances of being fit for the visit of Leeds on Sunday were rated as very slim by Smith after Tuesday's Cup clash. But the striker has made a better than expected recovery.
Smith said: "Kevin is still receiving treatment, but he should be okay for Sunday. "That is good news because what we need is the chance for a pair of strikers to enjoy a run in the side together.
"That is something we have rarely had the opportunity to do this season and that was why I was so disappointed after the Crewe game. "At the time, it looked like Kevin would definitely be out for Sunday, but he has recovered well." Niclas Alexandersson has also recovered from a knock sustained in Tuesday's win and will be available for Sunday's game. Duncan Ferguson is another Everton forward who has been on the injury list. He is just a week away from being available for the first team once again, but Smith will be reluctant to rush the striker back into the team.
He added: "Duncan should be back towards the end of next week and maybe just before the tie with Middlesbrough. The important fact is that we have got recognised strikers available again.
"We don't have to rush Duncan back because we have other players available at the moment. He came back at the earliest opportunity earlier in the season and that was not an ideal situation.
"It is better that he now has time to get back to 100 per cent." Meanwhile, Sunday's opponents were knocked out of the UEFA Cup last night after losing 1-0 to PSV Eindhoven at Elland Road. The defeat has left O'Leary's side with only the Premiership left to play for. Leeds are without a win since New Year's Day.

We'll stop Fowler
Mar 2 2002 By Calire Gray, Liverpool Echo
ALAN Stubbs steps out at Goodison Park tomorrow aiming to prolong Robbie Fowler's Goodison misery. The Everton defender has shackled the world class talents of Thierry Henry and Michael Owen in recent weeks - and is looking to add the former Liverpool man's name to his list.
Fowler returns to Merseyside as a Leeds United player, looking for his first goal since New Years' Day. But despite his impressive record against the Blues at Anfield, the England striker has not enjoyed the best of times at Goodison Park. The boyhood Blue has scored just once there during his professional career, has been sent off, and last season missed a penalty at the Park End.
But Stubbs is well aware of the danger Fowler poses. "I'm sure he'll be back," he declared. "Robbie always seems to have done well against us, or scored against us anyway. That is something we'll have to try and take care of, and try and keep him quiet." Stubbs' central defensive partnership with David Weir won praise again last weekend following an impressive display in the Merseyside derby.
The Blues' backline has been breached just eight times in 2002 over a ten game stretch and Stubbs intends to keep that statistic as it is by the end of tomorrow's game. And the return of Tomasz Radzinski has helped the Blues to three goals in their last two matches. Leeds, on the other hand, have failed to find the back of the net in five of their last six games, leaving them way off the pace at the top of the Premiership. Kevin Campbell will be fit enough to return after taking a knock in Tuesday's FA Cup win over Crewe, and Niclas Alexandersson should also be fit. But Gary Naysmith will miss out after damaging ankle ligaments in the Gresty Road clash. Meanwhile Everton have completely sold out of their allocation of tickets for the cup tie with Middlesbrough.

Blues fan nets a US football scholarship
Mar 2 2002 By Claire Stoker, Liverpool Echo
GOING to university is a big step for most young people. but going all the way to America is a giant leap for one teenager. Mark Arnot has won a place at Cumberland university in Tennessee on a soccer scholarship - and he has never even been on a plane before. Mark, 19, from Rainhill, took an exam to get into the university and the scholarship will help with accommodation and tuition costs.
He said: "If I'm going to leave home, I want to do it in style. I'm a bit nervous, because I've never been abroad before, but I'm really excited about it all." Mark has been a keen footballer and staunch Evertonian all his life. Richard Burroughs, PE teacher at Rainhill high school, said: "If anyone deserves this, it is Mark because he's done all this through sheer effort and determination.
"He's done so much fund-raising for the school that he was an absolute asset and he certainly put the time in." Mark still has some important fundraising to do, because he needs money for books and living expenses, not to mention the odd plane ticket to America. He said: "I'll be able to play soccer all the way through my course, which is in physical education, but I'm still looking for sponsorship." Degrees in America are four-year courses and the actual chosen subject doesn't begin until the third year. Mark added: "It's very different from this country, because for the first two years you concentrate on maths and English - I want to be a football coach." Mr Burroughs is firmly behind the idea of an American degree. "It's a great idea, because it broadens your horizons and the sporting opportunities in America are far greater than here."

Carsley out to impress
Mar 2 2002 By Paul Walker, Liverpool Echo
LEE CARSLEY knows he must take every chance he has to make an impression for Everton - because he has been left out straight after each match he has played for his new club since his £1.9million move from Coventry. The combative midfielder has done nothing wrong . . . unless you count being cup-tied from his spell with the Sky Blues. He has had to sit and watch Everton's scramble into the FA Cup quarter-finals and will be left in the stands next weekend at the Riverside Stadium too when Everton take on Middlesbrough for a place in the last four. But the Ireland international has certainly impressed since arriving on Merseyside, and after watching Tuesday's cup replay win at Crewe he will be straight back in the firing line for tomorrow's home match against Leeds.
Carsley said: "It's been a stop-start problem since I joined Everton. I would like to be helping the lads in the cup but I can't, so I have to keep dropping out - and it will obviously be the same next weekend in the quarter-finals. "But they've done pretty well without me in the cup, and I hope that the lads go on to win it now they have got this far." For Carsley, though, the focus will remain inevitably on the struggle for Barclaycard Premiership survival. He said: "I intend to make the most of these couple of league games in the next four days. "It's nice to play week after week. It's frustrating for me - but the results have still gone okay for us in both competitions, and that can only breed confidence in the team as a whole. "The bottom line is that I'm back in the Premiership and enjoying every moment. I've been given the chance to play for a big club like Everton and I intend to make the most of it and grab the opportunity with both hands." Everton and Carsley will be facing a Leeds side hell bent on pulling themselves out of a run which has failed to produce a win since New Year's Day, and which saw their European dream go up in smoke in midweek when they went out of the UEFA Cup against PSV Eindhoven. Carsley said: "Leeds are coming to us off the back of an indifferent result in Europe, but they have everything to play for and they will have their hearts set on getting back into Europe next season. "They are a good team with great players and they will want to finish in the top four now and get back into the Champions League. "They are desperate to get things back on track; they've gone out of Europe and they'll want to rediscover their league form now even more." Everton are ready for the challenge, though, according to Carsley. "The cup replay win will give us the platform to improve even more and get ourselves away from the bottom of the table," he predicted. "The cup form must help us in the league. Winning games breeds confidence, and we are now starting to make a lot of chances. "Getting a point at Liverpool was a massive result for us. Looking back we even felt we had done enough to win the game. We drew with a team pushing to win the league and we held our own against them." Kevin Campbell is fit to continue up front, but Gary Naysmith is out.

Campbell will come good - Smith
Mar 2 2002 By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
WALTER SMITH insists Kevin Campbell can restore his Everton fortunes this season after paying the price for the Blues' striking shortage. The Goodison skipper has been declared fit to face Leeds United tomorrow after recovering from the calf injury suffered in his matchwinning FA Cup display at Crewe on Tuesday. And after a campaign-dogged by injury and loss of form, Smith believes the forward will thrive now that he is no longer shouldering all of Everton's attacking hopes.
"Tomasz Radzinski's return has taken the pressure off Kevin more than the goalscoring," said Smith, who also has Niclas Alexandersson available after an injury scare at Gresty Road. "It has been difficult for him recently because after coming back from a three-month injury lay-off he went straight back into a team that was without another recognised striker, so it was good for him to get the winner on Tuesday. It was much needed. "I would say the most important factor for him now though is getting a good run of games, as the last few games have shown we are a much better team when we can play two genuine strikers together." Campbell has come in for criticism from the Goodison crowd this season and Smith admits his decision to field the striker while short of fitness contributed to the situation. "Kevin's an experienced player so I don't think the criticism would affect him," he added. "The reason he wasn't hitting top form was because he was asked to come back without the proper preparation. "I knew what could happen and so did he, but sometimes you've just got to bite the bullet-and get on with it." With Duncan Ferguson targeting the Cup quarter-final at Middlesbrough as a possible return, Smith should have all three first-choice strikers available for the relegation run-in. And the Blues boss - without Ferguson, Gary Naysmith and Steve Watson through injury tomorrow - said: "If you look at the season overall, we were sitting in a reasonable position at the start of December on a decent number of points. But then we lost our strikers and, with playing regularly over the holiday period, that put a strain on our small squad.
"Hopefully our three genuine strikers can stay fit until the end of the season. That would be a huge bonus for us, but as well as having them back our results need to improve." Everton's bid for Premiership survival faces another tough test against David O'Leary's team, currently sixth in the table but facing their fourth season without a trophy under the Irishman after Thursday's UEFA Cup exit. Leeds have not won in the league since New Year's Day but the Blues boss believes their struggle was inevitable after last season's heroics. Smith said: "I'm not surprised they've found it difficult. After the Champions League last season and pushing to get back into it only to just miss out in fourth, they played an awful lot of high-profile matches. "When that happens to a club for the first time in a while it is bound to have a knock-on effect. It does affect players physically and they have had a lot to contend with this season. "Plus there is the mental pressure on players for the first time. It is difficult to continue it, but easier the second time around. Manchester United have shown it, and I experienced it at Rangers, that it is easier to cope the following season if you get back in."
Smith added: "But they still have players capable of winning matches from now until the end of the season. "We've had some good games with them at Goodison in recent seasons so hopefully Sunday's will be as good as them but we can get the victory rather than the draws we have done."
* EVERTON have now sold out of their 5,000 ticket allocation for the FA Cup quarter-final at Middlesbrough next Sunday.

Everton 0, Leeds 0
Mar 3 2002
EVERTON were frustrated as 10-man Leeds hung on to a goalless draw at Goodison Park.
The visitors were forced to play a man down for over an hour after Dominic Matteo received his marching orders for two bookable offences in the space of 10 minutes. Following a rash challenge on Tomasz Radzinski, the former Liverpool defender was shown red by referee Andy D'Urso for clattering Kevin Campbell from behind, leaving the Blues skipper prostrate on the turf.
Despite their advantage however, Everton could not break down Leed's resolute defence after Eric Bakke dropped back to cover in central defence. The Blues were unlucky not to get more from the game as a string of second half chances went begging. David Unsworth went close on two occassions but fired his attempts the wrong side of Nigel Martyn's post. The England Keeper also made a couple of good saves from Tobias Linderoth on the right before late substitute, David Ginola saw a left footed shot go agonisingly wide. The home crowd were up in arms after three penalty claims were waved away by D'Urso who struggled to control a scrappy stop-start match. However, if Everton are to secure Premiership safety, this is the type of scrap they need to be winning.
Before kick-off, most Evertonians may have settled for a point. But given Leeds' loss of form since the turn of the year, not to mention Everton's extra man, Walter Smith will rue the missed chances which failed to underline the Blues' stranglehold on the game.
Everton: Simonsen, Pistone, Weir, Stubbs, Unsworth, Blomqvist (Ginola 80), Gemmill, Linderoth (Gravesen 80), Carsley, Radzinski, Campbell.
Subs Not Used: Gerrard, Alexandersson, Clarke.
Booked: Radzinski.
Leeds: Martyn, Kelly, Duberry, Matteo, Harte, Smith, Batty, Bakke, Kewell, Viduka, Fowler.
Subs Not Used: Keane, Robinson, McPhail, Wilcox, Richardson.
Sent Off: Matteo (39).
Booked: Matteo, Smith.
Att: 33,226
Ref: A D'Urso (Billericay)

Everton 0, Leeds 0 (D,Post)
Andy Hunter Reports From Goodison Park, Daily Post
Mar 4 2002
AFTER a dominant display, i t was appropriate referee Andy D'Urso should release the outpouring of fans' fury with his final whistle. Refusing to make their way to the exits, supporters stood firm to call for heads to roll and were only pacified when the club chairman strode across the Goodison Park pitch to provide answers to their demands. Yet these were not the actions of a club on course for its latest brush with relegation and hovering only four points above the drop zone, but those with Champions League aspirations and a £96million squad. Clearly Everton are much calmer in a crisis than whatever constitutes one in Leeds. Level heads are likely to be the order of the day at Goodison Park over the final few months of the season as, despite another confident display that augurs well for survival, two points dropped against ten-man United was not the remedy Everton either wanted or deserved. Dominic Matteo's 39th-minute dismissal gave the Blues licence to pile the pressure on David O'Leary and relieve some of their own in the process. But they were left cursing more wasted chances and referee D'Urso's refusal to award three penalty appeals as the home win they desperately need to put some breathing space between themselves and the bottom three proved elusive once again. Walter Smith has consistently argued home form would determine Everton's chances of survival and, given their dismal away record of only one win on their travels all season, that is a sound assessment. Wednesday's game at West Ham has now assumed even greater significance than it already had. But for the main reason the relegation nerve-shredder is back in full working order at Goodison, you don't have to look any further than the Blues' results here. Since they last met Leeds on December 19 the Blues have collected three points from the following five away games courtesy of admirable draws at Aston Villa, Spurs and Liverpool.
But salvation has not come on home territory, where four defeats in the subsequent five home matches delivered the same tally until yesterday's annoying draw. Attempts to rectify that sequence saw Smith make four changes to the side that defeated Crewe in the cup against a depleted Leeds team suffering a similar catalogue of misery this year. For the first time since his shock arrival from the Midlands, David Ginola began on the bench as a more solid midfield attempted to stop the supply to Leeds' wealth of quality up front. With varying results.
A bright start and finish to the first half by Leeds demonstrated that despite the loss of key defenders through injury and the suspended Lee Bowyer, they still possessed the craft to pick gaps in the Blues' rearguard. But in between Steve Simonsen stopping low shots from Harry Kewell at either end of the opening period, both sides cancelled each other out in a game devoid of incident until the red mist descended over Matteo. Everton saw plenty of the ball, kept their disciplined shape as usual, but too often they delivered it high to Kevin Campbell and Tomasz Radzinski rather than utilise their movement as Michael Duberry and initially Matteo dealt comfortably with every home attack. Leeds fashioned the better openings and should have tested Simonsen only for former Kop idol Robbie Fowler to let their best one go astray on his first return to Merseyside since his £11m transfer. Scot Gemmill was criminally dispossessed in midfield and the visitors broke in numbers, with Mark Viduka releasing his strike partner in the box only to see Fowler overrun the final ball. Too often players in both blue and yellow were guilty of the same disease, although the match dramatically improved from a Blue perspective after the interval. Earlier Everton showed little craft going forward, with Jesper Blomqvist regularly too deep to provide the necessary service to his strikers, but created two decent chances either side of the game's initial flashpoint.
Ironically it was Matteo who hacked the first effort off the line, headed in by Alan Stubbs from one of Tobias Linderoth's accurate long-range deliveries, before raising Everton spirits with his own rush of blood. The former Liverpool defender escaped with a first-minute foul from behind on Campbell and two further indiscretions before finally receiving a card to match his shirt for a late challenge on Radzinski. But while the merits of that booking were debatable Matteo gave Andy D'Urso no alternative but to issue a second when he clattered through the back of Campbell ten minutes later.
Within seconds of his departure Gemmill's header picked out Radzinski in the box, but his toe-poke was straight at Nigel Martyn on a frustrating afternoon for the Canadian international.
At the opposite end Simonsen saved Everton in first-half injury time by blocking Kewell's 12-yard drive and then catching his rebound, but not surprisingly that was the last genuine scare the Blues keeper had to contend with until a David Unsworth back-pass in the 67th minute nearly set Fowler free. With their one-man advantage, Everton dominated the second-half play but found their finishing as frustrating as D'Urso's ridiculous leniency towards Leeds, which was so obviously an attempt to defuse the paranoia that everyone is to blame for the club's problems but themselves.
The same official dismissed three players when these sides met at Elland Road in May 2000 and could so easily have followed suit here only to produce a display that drew a savage attack from the dismayed Smith. Namesake Alan picked up an inevitable booking minutes after the restart but survived further punishment for three other fouls, while David Batty somehow escaped without even a word from the referee after a two-footed assault on Gemmill that left the Blues midfielder writhing in agony. The next card was in fact shown to Radzinski after a second penalty box collision that could have gone either way but saw the striker penalised for diving. After being held by Ian Harte as he chased one through ball, Radzinski then felt the full force of another Batty foul from behind as he raced to the byline. His reward was a yellow card as D'Urso encapsulated Everton's misery in front of goal. Blomqvist and Unsworth both dragged chances wide after gaps opened for them, while Linderoth latched on to a superb defence-splitting pass from Campbell but shot wide of the far post before two better efforts from the Swede forced Leeds into evasive action. Campbell's battling display was denied a matchwinner by a combination of Erik Bakke and Martyn while Ginola showed his worth as a late substitute with a 20-yard volley in the final minute that arched agonisingly away from Martyn's right-hand post. Even amid the late Everton anguish there was time for D'Urso to fittingly leave the game's lasting impression when he waved away the Blues' third and strongest penalty claim in injury time. A goalmouth scramble eventually fell into Radzinski's path inside the area but his efforts to reach the ball were denied by yet another clear foul from Batty.
As Smith correctly stated afterwards, D'Urso had already made up his mind not to take any firm action in the second half and left himself in the strangely familiar position of having both sets of supporters, players and managers wanting more than just a word with him at the end.
Ultimately, however, it was only Leeds and Peter Ridsdale who stayed behind for a chat. Evertonians are simply steeling themselves for more daunting confrontations.
EVERTON (4-4-2): Simonsen; Pistone, Weir, Stubbs, Unsworth; Linderoth (Gravesen 79), Gemmill, Carsley, Blomqvist (Ginola 79); Campbell, Radzinski. Subs: Gerrard, Alexandersson, Clarke.
LEEDS UNITED (4-4-2): Martyn; Kelly, Duberry, Matteo, Harte; Smith, Batty, Bakke, Kewell; Fowler, Viduka. Subs: Keane, Robinson, McPhail, Wilcox, Richardson.
BOOKINGS: Leeds' Smith (foul), Everton's Radzinski (ungentlemanly conduct). SENDINGS-OFF: Leeds' Matteo (second bookable offence).
REFEREE: Andy D'Urso.
ATT: 33,226.

Everton in China deal
By Ian Latta Daily Post Chief Reporter
Mar 4 2002
EVERTON Football Club is to set up a youth academy in China to search for the next generation of Goodison stars. The club is keen to recruit players from the Far East, which is seen as an untapped market for football. The academy would be run along similar lines to Lilleshall, the FA's flagship school of excellence. Everton owner Bill Kenwright has given the idea the go-ahead, which will make the Blues the first Premiership club to have links with China. Club officials have flown out for a two-week tour of four cities to look for a suitable site. They are also visiting schools on scouting missions to look at the best young Chinese footballers and bring them to Everton. China has a population of 1.3bn - many of them football fans - and is seen as a golden opportunity to promote Everton.
Everton's community programme director, Ted Sutton, who is on the trip to China, said: "This is a great opportunity for us. "Football is big in China but it still remains an untapped market as far as the Premiership is concerned. "No other club has done anything like this in the Far East - we would be leading the way and, from the commercial aspect, China is untapped." Mr Sutton has flown to China with Everton's chief recruitment officer, Phil Cannon and Derek Hatton. They will visit Guangzhou, Nanning, Shanghai and the capital, Beijing. Players picked for the academy would have school lessons in the morning with football in the afternoon. Those with the most promise would eventually be taken to Everton and coached alongside home-grown youngsters.
Everton, which has debts of £20m, is only expected to partfund the academy with the Chinese authorities footing most of the bill. Mr Sutton , who coached former Everton stars Francis Jeffers, Michael Ball and Danny Cadamarteri, added: "You get a feel when a player will make it, you can just tell. "We would never dream of bringing people over if we didn't think they could make the grade.
"There's no timescale but if we find all the building blocks are in place things could be up and running quickly. "But we are not rushing in. We can't put the good name of Everton to just anything, it has to be right." Although the Premiership is now regarded as a cosmopolitan league with stars from all over the world, Chinese players have yet to make their debut. Sun Jihai and Fan Zhiyi were the first Chinese professionals to play in the English football league when they signed to First Division Crystal Palace in 1998. The Chinese scheme comes as Everton are set to sell their training and youth academy to move to a new multimillion pound complex in Liverpool.
Club officials and council chiefs have been in recent talks over plans to build a world-class training base in the city. The former Lee Manor Community Comprehensive School in Childwall has been identified as a prime site. The move will be funded through the sale of the club's existing Bellefield headquarters in West Derby, a prime residential area, and its youth academy site in Netherton.
Manager Walter Smith identified the need for complete refurbishment of the training ground when he took charge in 1998 and is behind the scheme to unify the training sites. But little work has been carried out on the facilities since they were built in the 1960s while the £4m youth academy planned by former owner Peter Johnson has been shelved. Yesterday, Everton spokesman Ian Ross said: "We have made no decision and are looking at various sites."

Dithering D'Urso has Smith fuming
Comment By Len Capeling, Daily Post
Mar 4 2002
SO, did Walter Smith eventually get to see referee Andy D'Urso after the necessary 30-minute cooling-off period? The Everton manager threatened to do so during a post-match conversation that sounded like it was delivered through gritted teeth, or around a badly-tied gag. You could sympathise almost totally with the unhappy Smith after a performance from D'Urso that surely demands an explanation from referees supremo Philip Don. Chief among the questions to be answered would have to be how serial nark Alan Smith - guilty of a string of offences throughout the 90 minutes - didn't join Dominic Matteo on a red card. No-one will criticise D'Urso for the dismissal of the former Liverpool defender, who went right through on the eventually battered and bruised Kevin Campbell. It was a scything tackle that felled Campbell and left the official with no leeway following the centre-half's previous yellow-carded challenge on Tomasz Radzinski. No-one likes seeing players sent off but, having shown Matteo no mercy, D'Urso then proceeded to make up his own rules, mysteriously refusing to top off the booking already incurred by the reckless Smith.
Leeds may see it differently, may even insist on praising the striker for his tireless efforts in helping plug the gaps as Everton struggled to make the numerical difference tell. As manager Smith later cited six clear-cut instances of inconsistency - if not incompetence - by the referee, we can only assume that the normally well-buttoned Walter was referring to two penalty shouts and a chest-high lunge by David Batty on Scot Gemmill which threatened to give the midfielder a totally separate identity. Mind you, as another penalty claim ended with D'Urso promptly booking Radzinski for an alleged dive, it may well be that Walter had a much longer list of grievances with which to belabour a referee whose patent lack of understanding had police escort written all over it. Mr D'Urso might dodge further censure under cover of what could be hugely uncomplimentary reactions to a game that showed an equal level of unsteadiness and good judgment among players of both sides.
Everton can be forgiven, not being noted for fast, flowing football. But Leeds, with £100m worth of Premiership pretensions, will draw scant comfort from their afternoon's endeavours, apart from a steely resolve to scrape and scrap once their numbers were reduced. They clattered and cluttered, occasionally showed a touch of the thoroughbred with perceptive passes to Robbie Fowler and the off-colour Harry Kewell, but were not going to be beaten - even at the risk of reinforcing their image of being the most hated team in the land (David O'Leary's words, not mine). The anger of Goodison supporters was on simmer early as the Yorkshire bruisers bit deep into the midfield. To Everton's credit, they refused to wilt and what followed was a forgettable first 45 minutes. Matteo's departure broke into our slumbers as did the same player's earlier clearance off the line from an Alan Stubbs header. Later, the pacy Radzinski clipped the ball straight at Nigel Martyn after a Gemmill header and Steve Simonsen stretched well to make a double save from Kewell.
No t much flowed, though, and the break merely enabled O'Leary to stiffen the resistance, which meant we got a second helping full of breaks in play for collisions - accidental and otherwise.
In between the spite, the Blues did force themselves into shooting positions, but always on the angle and David Unsworth (twice), Jesper Blomqvist, and Tobias Linderoth all drove wide, amid expectations of the goal that might have afforded Everton a firmer grasp on the lifeline.
There was a mild attempt at a recovery from Leeds, with Mark Viduka, Alan Smith and Ian Harte all going close, and the otherwise inactive Steve Simonsen winning a close chase for possession with Robbie Fowler, who had a quietish afternoon. There was still time for a) further cries of anguish from Everton fans as Nigel Martyn blocked Kevin Campbell and substitute David Ginola put a closing shot into the crowd, and b) for the crowd to rise as one against the man who hopefully has hastened the use of video technology - step forward the inimitable Andy D'Urso. Jeff Winter, all is forgiven.

Smith blasts ref D'Urso as Blues suffer
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Mar 4 2002
WALTER SMITH launched a scathing attack on referee Andy D'Urso last night after Everton were held at home by 10-man Leeds United. The Blues boss was furious with the match official for waving away three penalty appeals by Tomasz Radzinski and accused D'Urso of deliberately shirking his reponsibilities following Dominic Matteo's dismissal. Former Liverpool defender Matteo was sent off for two bookable offences on a controversial afternoon that saw Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale reprimanded by Merseyside Police. But Smith believes other Leeds players should have followed his 39thminute exit after Alan Smith and David Batty both escaped punishment for a catalogue of fouls during the goalless stalemate. After a two-footed lunge on Scot Gemmill, Batty twice clattered into Radzinski in the area but the Blues striker, previously pulled back by Ian Harte, was booked for diving. And Smith, whose 15th-placed side are only four points clear of the drop zone, raged: "I've looked at the penalty incidents on video and it is difficult to argue against any of them.
"The referee refused to make any decisions in the second half after sending Matteo off because he didn't want to get involved in anything contentious. He totally opted out of any controversial decision." Smith continued: "I don't like to comment on whether players should be sent off, I prefer to see both teams finish the game with eleven men. But if Matteo deserved to be sent off then two other players should have gone as well. "The worst of it is that he refused to make any decisions above the innocuous in the second half. "To book Radzinski was just ridiculous after he had gone past the player and was denied a chance. "On another occasion he was through on goal but clearly denied an opportunity to score. That means the referee has two decisions to make, whether to give a penalty and send the man off because he was the last defender. "But he refused to do either and that was a major factor in the game. If we'd got the breakthrough from one of those we would have gone on from there." Smith admitted his main disappointment, however, was only drawing a game the Blues should have won. The Blues boss added: "We're disappointed not to have taken three points from the game because overall we warranted it. "The first half was even but once Leeds had Matteo sent off we were the better side. "We had one or two opportunities to score, and though we should have used the ball better in the final third we created a few chances and had legitimate penalty claims turned down. "In terms of delivering the ball into the box we could have done better but Radzinski was through three times and brought down three times so we didn't always get the opportunities we did create in front of goal. "We've had three difficult games now against Arsenal, Liverpool and Leeds and I've not been unhappy with the way we've played in any of them.
"Now we have a big game at West Ham on Wednesday." Merseyside Police, meanwhile, are to protest to the FA after Ridsdale approached the Leeds fans on the final whistle to appeal for calm following calls for the dismissal of head coach Brian Kidd during the game. Chief Superintendent Dave Willman confirmed: "We appreciate why he did it and there is no doubt it was well-intentioned, but it was also ill-advised. "A chairman's place is in the directors' box not on the terraces and we stressed that to Mr Ridsdale. We are not happy with what he did. "It might have gone down well with Leeds fans but it was a smack in the face to the Everton fans and it could have caused problems. "No police action will be taken against Mr Ridsdale but we will be writing to both clubs and the FA to outline our feelings. It's then up to them whether they take things any further.
"We will also be speaking to the referee for his views. "We don't want to see it happen again and I will make that point to the FA."

Everton 0, Leeds 0 (Echo)
By David Prentice at Goodison Park
Mar 4 2002
THERE was a note of triumphant pride in the tannoy announcer's tone when he proudly proclaimed at half time that "all the tickets for next Sunday's FA Cup quarterfinal have been sold." Such support deserves trumpeting. But no-one should lose sight of the fact that Everton have four Cup Finals between now and May 4 - and none of them take place in Middlesbrough. Home games against Bolton, Leicester and Blackburn have now been ringed in every Evertonian's must-win pad, together with a visit to Derby. That was the legacy of a goalless Goodison draw against Leeds yesterday which Everton came within a whisker of winning, but couldn't truly claim to have deserved all three points.
They could certainly claim the moral high ground, though. Leeds produced a performance of illtempered cynicism which harked back to days of old - a time when the name Leeds was never to be found separated from the adjective 'dirty.' They played for more than half the match with 10 men, after Dominic Matteo was rightly, if stupidly, sent-off. It could, and maybe should have been eight as Alan Smith escaped following a display equally as illdisciplined, and Andy d'Urso completely missed David Batty's full-studded lunge on Scot Gemmill. Ah yes. Andy d'Urso. The very name on the programme makes you shake your head in sadness at the loss of any chance of the players making the headlines. He absolved himself from any form of contentious decision-making in the second half. In addition to using the Horatio Nelson method of observation every time Leeds threw a late tackle in - holding his telescope to his blind eye and muttering 'I see no ships!' or something which sounds like that - he turned down three Everton penalty claims, booked Radzinski for diving at the second - then refused to award either a penalty or a second yellow for the Canadian.
The sight of at least one red card should really have come as no surprise. The truly awful excuse for a referee that is d'Urso produced three when these sides met at Elland Road two years ago - and has been responsible for 66 per cent of David Weir's early baths in this country. The Leeds fans voiced their disapproval of d'Urso this time, adopting the 'it's everyone else's fault but ours' mantra so beloved of their boss. But, in reality, it was the dismissed Dominic Matteo who should have been the recipient of their ire. Cautioned for one ill-timed tackle from behind in the 27th minute, he had previously escaped after another equally poor challenge earlier in the half. Kevin Campbell had been the victim each time, as he was on the third occasion when Matteo's interest in the game was prematurely ended. It was a rare talking point in a half that was occasionally intriguing, but never engrossing. Harry Kewell was twice denied by Simonsen at either end of the 45 minutes. The first was a comfortable save, swooping onto a drive that lacked conviction. The second was an absolutely imperative block with his feet after the Australian had raced into the Blues' penalty box in first half injury time. Everton's only threat came a minute before Leeds lost one half of their central defence. Linderoth, who had displayed a good range of passing throughout, hoisted a high cross from the right touchline into the box which Stubbs met with a looping header. Matteo hoofed it off the line, with his last meaningful touch of something other than Campbell's heels. Within seconds of the dismissal, Everton almost took advantage. Gemmill's pass found Radzinski in the space vacated by the former Anfield defender. The Canadian had to dig the ball out from under his feet, however, and punted a shot straight at Martyn. After the interval, Everton were largely in control, without ever carving out an gilt-edged chance. Tobias Linderoth's 67th minute shot that screwed across the face of goal was about as good a chance as was winkled out of the reshuffled Leeds' defence.
Radzinski tumbled after a challenge by Harte 12 minutes earlier, but d'Urso was probably right not to point to the spot then. In the 61st minute claims looked far more legitimate when Batty hauled him to the turf, but this time a yellow card for the striker was the outcome. The final claim came in the 91st minute when Batty again dragged Radzinski to the floor. But, having refused to accept any responsibility throughout the half, he was hardly likely to court controversy in the last minute.
The point earned from the contest edged Everton ahead of Bolton on goal difference, with the now traditional nerve-jangling run-in to come. Mothering Sunday on Teesside provides a welcome distraction, but that is all it is.
The important match comes up next at Upton Park on Wednesday. Now that is a cup-tie . . .
EVERTON (4-4-2): Simonsen, Pistone, Weir, Stubbs, Unsworth, Linderoth (Gravesen 80 mins), Gemmill, Carsley, Blomqvist (Ginola 80 mins), Campbell, Radzinski. Unused subs: Gerrard, Alexandersson, Clarke.
LEEDS UNITED (4-4-2): Martyn, Kelly, Duberry, Matteo, Harte, Smith, Batty, Bakke, Kewell, Viduka, Fowler. Unused subs: Keane, Robinson, McPhail, Wilcox, Richardson.
REFEREE: Andy d'Urso.
BOOKINGS: Matteo (27 mins) foul, Smith (50 mins) foul, Radzinski (unsporting behaviour).
SENDING OFF: Matteo (38 mins) second yellow card, tackle from behind.

Ref ducked out of big decisions
Mar 4 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
WALTER SMITH launched a controlled, but nevertheless withering attack on Premiership official Andy D'Urso last night. The often controversial referee dismissed Leeds' Dominic Matteo and booked Tomasz Radzinski for diving in a goalless Goodison draw. But it was the decisions he did not give which angered the Blues' boss the most. "If you look at it overall, and I have had time to look at the incidents on video, it's difficult to argue against us not having been awarded three penalties," said Smith afterwards. "The referee just refused to make a decision in the second half of the game.
"After sending Dominic Matteo off he didn't want to get involved in anything controversial. He was quite happy to give innocuous decisions, but anything remotely controversial he didn't want to know about. "If he had refereed properly he would have made different decisions. I don't like commenting on players being ordered off. I prefer both teams to finish with 11 players, but if Dominic Matteo was to be sent off then there were two other incidents where players should have been sent off as well." Smith did not specify, but one of those incidents was almost certainly a high and reckless lunge by David Batty on Scot Gemmill, which failed even to earn a free-kick.
The other may have been Smith referring to one of his own players. "The booking for Tomasz Radzinski was ridiculous," he said. "He is past the last defender and had an opportunity to play the ball across the box when he was brought down. "But if that was worthy of a yellow card, the referee has two decisions to make from the penalty appeal after that. "He must award a penalty and send off the defender because he was the last man, or he must send off Tomasz. He has refused to do either. "If we had got the breakthrough from either of them we could have won the game."
There was some consolation for Smith, though, after a point which took the Blues back above Bolton Wanderers on goal difference. "We are getting most of our players back now and that is giving us the biggest boost," he explained. "We have a big game at West Ham on Wednesday, then a break for the FA Cup. "When we come back after those two games we should have our whole squad matchfit, barring any fresh injuries, and that is giving us as big a boost as anything."

Angry Smith faces FA fight
Mar 4 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON will fight an FA charge in Birmingham tomorrow - just 48 hours after being punished by another poor refereeing performance. Blues' officials must answer charges of failing to control their players during the December 8 clash at Fulham - when David Weir was sent off by rookie referee Phil Dowd. But Walter Smith will travel to the Midlands fuming at the latest display by a Premiership official. Smith launched a withering attack on Andy d'Urso following yesterday's goalless Goodison draw with Leeds. The referee dismissed Dominic Matteo in the 38th minute, but Smith was angry he failed to show further red cards or award one of three penalty claims. It was the latest incident of Everton feeling victimised by Premiership officials. Rookie referee Phil Dowd was taking charge of his first Premiership match when he dismissed David Weir and Barry Hayles in the December clash.
Both sets of players squared up in an ugly melee, and the FA could take punitive action in the form of a fine. Dowd later rescinded the red card awarded to Hayles and hasn't taken charge of a top flight game since. "We intend to fight the FA charge," said Smith. "At absolutely no time did any of my players adopt an aggressive posture during that incident. The free-kick was actually awarded to us." The Blues, meanwhile, have dismissed a report that Everton are poised to set up a Youth Academy in China. The club's Football in the Community Officer, Ted Sutton, has accepted an invitation to study the work of Chinese clubs, but it is wildly premature to suggest an Everton Academy in China will immediately follow. "We have no plans whatsoever to set up an Academy in China," said Blues spokesman Ian Ross. "Ted Sutton has accepted an invitation by the Chinese authorities to see how things operate over there. "They will exchange views and ideas. That is the sole purpose of his visit."

Cup won't affect our focus - Weir
Report By Paul Walker, Daily Post
Mar 5 2002
SCOTTISH star David Weir claims desperate Everton are not being distracted by their FA Cup run as they fight for their Premiership lives. But the key defender admits the team are confronting "the dreaded R word" daily, and must win the battle in their own minds if they are indeed to avoid relegation. Tomorrow they face West Ham - a team they have already beaten 5-0 in the league this season - in a match that will have a huge impact on the top flight futures of both clubs.
And after a rock-solid display in the contentious 0-0 draw with Leeds at Goodison Park on Sunday, Weir said: "Of course the 'R' word is mentioned in the dressing-room. It's there and you have to face it. "We are not shirking that, but we have to think we are better than that and start to look towards higher positions in the table and believe we can attain them. "A few points on the board now will ease the problem and show that we are not a relegation side." Everton, who face Middlesbrough next Sunday in the FA Cup quarterfinals, will travel to Upton Park having lost just two of their last 11 matches since their cup run began. Weir believes the side's good cup form has rubbed off on their league performances and is confident they can continue the run. He said: "The priority now is going to West Ham and doing well. That's become a massive game now for us and that's what we will be concentrating 100 per cent on. "The Cup isn't a distraction for us, considering the position we are in.
"You want to play in important games and big matches, quarter-finals and the like, and any success breeds confidence." And Weir pinpointed the club's improved defensive displays since their good run started with FA Cup third round success over Stoke in January, when boss Walter Smith's job looked to be on the line. Everton have conceded just seven goals in the 11 games since and Weir added: "We've had another clean sheet against Leeds, this time against a quality side, so we have to use that to our advantage. "That's the sort of form we can build on and it should also give us all confidence." But Weir accepts that Everton should have made more of their numerical advantage on Sunday when Leeds were reduced to 10 men following Dominic Matteo's sending off.
Weir said: "On the balance of the game we should have won, but a point at this stage of the season isn't too bad. "We have to look at it in terms of keeping the gap between us and the bottom three, but we would prefer to look in the other direction and say we are closer to the mid-table group.
"Leeds have quality players, and even though they are on a bad run you just look at the ability of the lads they did put out on the pitch and you know they are good and a draw for us meant a lot of hard work." And of the ill discipline in the game he added: "There were some bookings and a red card, but I don't think it was ever going to get out of hand. "It's the stage of the season when we are desperate for points and Leeds were desperate for points and you know people are going to put their foot in. "There were a few penalty decisions that didn't go our way and we don't seem to be getting that bit of luck we need. Hopefully it will come soon."

Rooney double tames Dragons
Academy League By Chris Wright, Daily Post
Mar 5 2002
WAYNE Rooney hit a double to stretch Everton Under-19s' unbeaten run in league and cup to nine matches this year. Colin Harvey's side ran out comfortable 3-1 winners at Wrexham at Saturday in the FA Premier Academy League. But despite dominating for much of the match, the Blues had to wait until the second half to open the scoring. Within five minutes of the restart the game was effectively over after a quickfire double from Everton's 16-year-old striker. England U17 international Rooney volleyed the opener on 47 minutes and then two minutes later stabbed home through a ruck of players after a corner to take his total to 18 in all competitions. Midfielder Alan Morgan scored a stunning third for Everton on 55 minutes as his 25-yard volley flew into the top corner. The Blues looked to be heading for another clean sheet but the Red Dragons youngsters hit a late consolation goal in injury-time. Harvey said: "It was a very poor first half performance; the passing wasn't up to scratch and we needed to change it. It was just one of those performances, but Wayne popped up with two quick goals at the start of the second half and the game changed.
"We played much better in the second half and Alan Morgan scored a spectacular volley.
"The only disappointment was to lose a goal so late but overall the lads did okay." Central-defender Steven Schumacher returned after injury to play the last 20 minutes. Scot Brown took a knock against Wrexham and was taken off as a precaution. The midfielder will link up with England - along with team-mate Rooney - for their UEFA U17s Championship qualifiers against Scotland tomorrow and against Lithuania on Sunday. Alan Harper's U17s keeper, Alex Cole, is going through a torrid time at present. He was kicked in the face last week and replaced by schoolboy Craig Gallagher. And on Saturday he was sent off for handling outside the area as the Blues lost again, 1-0 at Wrexham.
Cole was shown the red card five minutes into the second half and again Gallagher came on, this time for forward Morgan Jones. The Blues did have chances to equalise, notably when Jack Flood hit the woodwork twice.

Smith keen on Duncan
By Jonathan McEvoy, Daily Post
Mar 5 2002
DUNCAN FERGUSON is eyeing a quick return to action - with the help of a crash fitness course.
Everton manager Walter Smith wants the striker back for his relegationhaunted side's Premiership run-in. But Smith's eagerness to fast-track the big Scot's recovery is tempered by experience earlier in the campaign when Ferguson was rushed back before he was completely ready and subsequently suffered fresh injuries. The Goodison boss said: "Duncan's in training and I'm hoping he can come back to playing at a level where he will give us a run of games towards the end of the season.
"Because of our injury situation at the time he was brought back when he was not fully fit, as we had to do with Kevin Campbell, but that caused him other problems. "Hopefully we can alleviate that this time round. He could be back for the FA Cup game (against Middlesbrough on March 10) or for the league game after that against Fulham." Ferguson's season has been blighted by a succession of injuries and he hasn't played since the 2-1 home defeat to Ipswich Town on February 2 after damaging hamstrings in both legs. The 30-year-old has made just 11 league starts this season as Smith has struggled for striking options. The recent return of Tomasz Radzinski to partner Campbell provided a timely boost and Ferguson's imminent availability is a further help to the Blues, who aim to improve on a record of four goals from their last 11 games. Gary Naysmith will travel with the squad for tomorrow's clash at West Ham but a decision on whether to play the Scotland defender will be delayed until the morning of the game. Naysmith damaged his ankle ligaments in the FA Cup fifth round replay win over Crewe last week while Steve Watson and Mark Pembridge are still on the injured list. Everton, meanwhile, will today answer FA charges of failing to control their players during the Premiership match at Fulham on December 8 when David Weir was redcarded. The hearing will be held at Birmingham.

So how local are our clubs' fans
Mar 5 2002 By Scott McLeod, Liverpool Echo
WHEN Liverpool won the treble they were dancing in the streets of Oslo. At least, that is what Evertonians would have you believe. It is one of the favourite pastimes of football fans - deriding the core support of their fiercest rivals. But is there any truth in it? Where are the statistics to back up the suggestion that all Everton fans come from Liverpool? Where is the proof that the majority of fans who make the trek to Anfield for every game do so from outside Merseyside? An in-depth report commissioned by the FA Premier League has revealed some answers. And on the face of it, both clubs have a similar proportion of local fans and long-distance followers. The report reveals that 50 per cent of Liverpool's fans live within 10 miles of Anfield, just four per cent less than the Blues. When you take into consideration Anfield's increased capacity, the number of local fans for home games at both clubs is very similar. One in seven Liverpool fans travel from outside Merseyside, whilst for the Blues it is one in 10. But the report points out: "On Merseyside the 'local' club tends to be Everton, where 73 per cent of fans are locally born in comparison to the 57 per cent from Liverpool. None of this means, however, that Liverpool lack local support." It is very similar to Manchester, where 74 per cent of City's fanbase is locally born, compared with United's modest 43 per cent. United also have a large following from outside Manchester. Indeed, the gags about United fans travelling up from London for every home game are not too far wide of the mark. One in three of their season ticket holders travel over 50 miles to get to Old Trafford and take more than two hours to get to the ground. But what does set Merseyside apart from Manchester and the rest of the country is the passion for the game. There is no doubt at all that the most devoted fans in the country live in and around Liverpool. Is football the most important thing in your life? Thirty-seven per cent of Evertonians answered yes to that question. And they were closely followed by Liverpool's total of 32 per cent. The two clubs top the Premiership in terms of devotion to the cause.
Stadia becoming middle grounds
THE middle-classes are taking over football.
The glamour of the Premiership has brought millions of pounds into English football but it is also in danger of putting the game beyond the reach of those who have provided the core support for more than a century. In 1997 19 per cent of Premiership fans earned more than £30,000.
In just four years that percentage has risen to 35 per cent.
* GOODISON PARK is a male bastion.
Only six per cent of Everton season ticket holders are female. That is four per cent down on 1997, giving Everton the dubious honour of being the most male-dominated crowd in England's top flight.
That is in stark contrast to the female following at Leicester, where one in four season ticket holders are women. Indeed, in London the affluent are no longer the minority in Premiership grounds.
Chelsea, not surprisingly, boast the wealthiest fans with 62 per cent earning more than £30,000.
But whilst Ken Bates is filling his pockets, Tottenham, West Ham and Arsenal are not far behind.
By contrast, 73 per cent of Everton's fans earn less than £30,000, which is second only to the fans of Sunderland.

Gazza's not for sale
Mar 5 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
GAZZA'S going nowhere. That was the message from Goodison Park today after ambitious Burnley lined up a bid for Paul Gascoigne to bolster their Division One promotion push. The Clarets have offered to take over Gascoigne's contract until the end of the season. But despite failing to select him even as a substitute in Everton's last three fixtures, Walter Smith said: "Paul is staying put.
"We have had a few enquiries about his position recently. But it has been agreed between Paul and myself that he will remain at Everton until the end of the season. "We will talk about his future then." The Blues have only just seen their squad restored to a near full complement of players.
And Smith does not feel his squad is sufficiently well-equipped to lose another midfield player for the vital run-in. Steve Watson and Duncan Ferguson are currently unavailable for selection, but are back in training, while Mark Pembridge is nursing another strain. Gary Naysmith, however, is a surprise inclusion in the first team squad which travelled to London today. The Scot has made a quicker than expected recovery from an ankle injury and will be given a late fitness test ahead of tomorrow night's match at West Ham.

Cup run must take back seat
Mar 5 2002 By Kevin Ratcliffe
THE FA Cup will always be a very special competition to me. But I'm afraid that for the next six weeks or so the cup will have to become very low priority for the Blues. In financial terms, there is absolutely no comparison with winning the Cup and staying in the Premiership. The short term cash boost of winning in Cardiff may be helpful, but the long term consequences of relegation would be catastrophic. That is why Everton must concentrate all their efforts on collecting league points, as quickly as possible. The sooner the Blues can string together three wins the better, and the good thing is I think they are quite capable of doing just that. Supporters are becoming, once again, understandably agitated. But personally I don't think there's a need to panic yet.
Basically the Blues need four wins to haul themselves up to 42 points, which should be enough to ensure safety. And there are enough winnable matches left on the fixture list. If you look at home games against Bolton, Leicester, Blackburn and Fulham, trips to Derby and Southampton - not to mention tomorrow night's visit to West Ham - and there is enough points potential for the Blues to survive without having to worry about the awful scenario of going to Arsenal on the last day of the season needing a result. But the one worrying thing is that points rarely come when you expect them to. If they were being absolutely honest, not many Evertonians would have expected us to come through a trip to Anfield and a home game against Leeds unbeaten. But we did and we can build on that. The longer we can keep the game at 0-0 tomorrow the more chance we will have of winning. The home crowd becomes anxious, that is transmitted to the players and they begin to snatch at chances. That is pretty much what happened at Goodison Park on Sunday, but I think that game could prove to be a turning point in the season. Fans may point to the nonpenalty awards and say that we have missed out on a chance of a vital win. But equally Harry Kewell has missed one good chance and right now we just don't know how important that point gained may be.
Personally I think we should stay up with comparative comfort, but I'd feel a lot more convinced if we could get some points on the board quickly. Three points tomorrow night would be a tremendous start.
Goal statistic a great tribute to ace Weir
SATURDAY'S Pink Echo threw up a startling statistic.
The highest scoring Scot in the Premiership this season is David Weir. And his nearest challenger is Duncan Ferguson. The nation which produced goalscoring giants like Denis Law, Kenny Dalglish, Andy Gray and Graeme Sharp (well, I couldn't leave either of those two out, could I?) now has a defender and an injury plagued striker as their goalscoring standard bearers in the Premiership.
It just shows how severely Scotland has been hit by the influx of foreign players to Britain.
If you look at their top two sides, Celtic and Rangers, there's only one Scottish striker between them, and even Billy Dodds isn't a regular in the Rangers line-up. Even Wales have a more recognised strikeforce with John Hartson, Craig Bellamy and Ryan Giggs all capable of scoring goals.
It's sad how Scotland has suffered - but also a tribute to the goalscoring prowess of Davey Weir this season that he stands alone as the top striking Scot.

The Evertonian: out now
Mar 5 2002
DAVID Ginola an Everton player...? No one would have believed us if we said that a month ago.
The Frenchman arrived at Goodison in a blaze of publicity and has had time to settle in and get his first taste of his new life in royal blue. He gives The Evertonian an exclusive interview on his new move and what he hopes to achieve at Goodison. From his early days learning the game on a beach in the south of France to his views on the English press, Ginola opens his heart to the club's official monthly magazine. We've also got a giant pull-out poster of David that's a must for his fans. And Evertonian readers have the chance to win one of the French star's sweatshirts if they can come up with an original Ginola chant. This and lots more in the April edition of the Evertonian. In your shops now, priced £1.20. Lee Carsley: It's easy to for Set about our other new signing in the wake of Ginola's arrival, but the Irish international may be just as significant to Walter Smith.
Cardiff dreaming: That's Tomasz Radzinski, who has made a timely return to goalscoring form. The Canadian tells us about his FA Cup dream as the vital quarter-final tie with Middlesborough looms.
Nic the TV star? Did you know that Niclas Alexandersson once starred in a Swedish soap opera? Our Scandavian winger answers 20 questions. On the comeback trail: That's Steve Watson who is making a return from injury. The popular Geordie tells us about his lay-off and how he is itching to get back into action. I'm sorry: Thomas Gravesen issues an apology for fans for his recent press comments and assures Evertonians that his future lies at Goodison. PLUS: Lowdown on Youth Cup stars; the Blues bosses in the hotseat; Jesper Blomqvist the ice hockey star; the players we could have signed; win an Everton anorak; give us a Gazza soundbite...

Blues hit by fine after fracas
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Mar 6 2002
EVERTON go into tonight's Premiership clash at West Ham £25,000 lighter after being found guilty of disorderly conduct by the Football Association. The Blues were yesterday called to a disciplinary hearing in Birmingham to answer charges of failing to control their players during a brawl towards the end of December's 2-0 defeat by Fulham. David Weir and Luis Boa Morte were both sent off by rookie Premiership referee Phil Dowd after the incident and although cleared of the main charge, which carries a £250,000 fine, the Blues did not escape the lesser charge. It does not impact on the £50,000 suspended fine Everton have over them for their poor disciplinary record last season.
Chief Executive Michael Dunford, who was at the hearing along with Sir Philip Carter, Walter Smith and Weir, said: "We had a fair hearing and although we are disappointed with the outcome we have to accept it." Fulham were fined £30,000 and warned about their future conduct, and are considering an appeal. Weir, meanwhile, has come in for fulsome praise by manager Smith for his outstanding partnership with Alan Stubbs at the heart of the Blues' defence. Smith paid a total of £250,000 to bring the pair to Goodison from Scotland and last night said: "I think they stand comparison with the best central defensive partnerships in the Premiership. "I'm pleased for them. They are similar characters - quiet, unassuming lads and they deserve a great deal of credit for the way they are playing. "There has been chopping and changing within the team generally and with the full-backs as well, but they have remained very steady and have played a big part in bringing solidity to the team overall." Their partnership will be tested at Upton Park tonight where the Blues go in search of three vital points to ease their relegations fears. Everton thrashed the Hammers 5-0 at Goodison in September but the Blues boss believes they face a different proposition now.
Smith added: "We played very well against them here but their poor start to the season is well behind them and Glenn Roeder has done well to turn things round there. "They have shown a steadiness and West Ham will provide a test for us there. They've got one of the best home records in the league. "They've only won two games away from Upton Park but they haven't conceded many goals at home. "But we are settling down a bit now and some steadiness is coming back into out play. Hopefully we can cause them problems as well." Smith is without the injured Mark Pembridge, Duncan Ferguson and Steve Watson tonight and will give Gary Naysmith a late fitness test after the Scot's quick recovery from ankle ligament damage.

Gazza's going nowhere
By Paul Walker, Daily Post
Mar 6 2002
PAUL GASCOIGNE has been told he will stay an Everton player until the end of the season as the Merseysiders plot their escape route from another relegation battle. The former England midfielder has been the subject of more than a dozen enquiries about his availability - with first division Burnley confirming their interest - but Everton boss Walter Smith has dismissed all speculation about the player's future. He insisted that he wants the 34-year-old as part of his squad for the dual bid of relegation survival and Sunday's FA Cup quarter-final clash with Middlesbrough. Everton face a crucial trip to West Ham with Gascoigne in their squad, even though he has not been in the side for the last three matches. That period has coincided with the arrival of Lee Carsley, David Ginola and Tobias Linderoth while Smith now has virtually all his stars fit, apart from Steve Watson, Duncan Ferguson and Mark Pembridge. Smith said: "Paul is staying put. "We have had a few enquiries about his position recently, but it has been agreed between Paul and myself that he will remain at Everton until the end of the season. We will talk about his future then." Gascoigne's contract runs out in the summer and it remains to be seen whether he will leave for lucrative deals in the Middle East or the USA or be given one more year at Goodison Park. Although it now seems likely that a tentative decision has been made that Gascoigne will leave, Smith has no desire to lose his talents just yet.
Gascoigne is unlikely to start at West Ham, where his old friend Glenn Roeder had also been linked with signing him, although he is now no longer interested. But Everton could have ankle injury victim Gary Naysmith involved just a week after sustaining what was initially considered to be a serious problem. Everton, who have lost only two of their last 11 games and conceded just seven goals in that run, desperately need their second away Premiership win of the season against a side they have already beaten 5-0 this term, and who they have beaten at Upton Park in the last two seasons. Smith said: "Things are beginning to settle down with more consistency of performances. We hope we can continue to improve on the consistency levels of recent games because we haven't been conceding too many goals ourselves. "We have only won once away in the league and we have to improve on that. It's a contrast with last season when we picked up quite a few away victories.
"We have picked up a couple of good results at West Ham in the last couple of seasons and let's hope we can do that again." And Smith believes having Kevin Campbell and Tomasz Radzinski together again up front, after both suffered long injury problems, is just the boost Everton need.
He added: "Having them together has given us a better formation and shape, and it's helped everyone to play better and be more solid. "We have done well in three games against top sides Arsenal, Liverpool and Leeds of late, but we have to step up to another level. But that will come as more and more players regain their match fitness. "We haven't shown signs of nerves and have been steady over the last few league games. "Everyone will look at the situation that sees us playing many of the teams below or around us in the next few weeks, and that should give us the incentive.
"The points are so close between the 10 bottom clubs, so everyone is striving for the same thing, but we are coming back to what was our early-season form and that I believe will be a great advantage."
THE FA have confirmed they will be taking no action against Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale following his decision to confront angry fans in the wake of Sunday's goalless draw at Everton.
United's 2,000 supporters rounded on their head coach chanting derogatory songs and Ridsdale left the directors' box after the final whistle to demand the fans stop the tirade against Kidd.
Merseyside police, however, were not impressed with Ridsdale and although no action was taken, he was reported to the FA, with chief superintendent Dave Willman claiming his decision to speak to Leeds supporters was "ill-advised." Ridsdale subsequently apologised and as far as the FA are concerned the matter is now closed as they are satisfied his actions were intended to calm fans.

Roeder's got reunion blues
By Mike Sinclair, Daily Post
Mar 6 2002
EVERTON visit Upton Park tonight with September's 5-0 victory over the Hammers as a confidence booster. And West Ham boss Glenn Roeder admits that he would still rather not see too much of former team-mate Paul Gascoigne - even though he managed just eight minutes of the Hammers' Goodison Park thrashing before leaving the field injured. Roeder, who played with Gascoigne at Newcastle and went to Italy as his ' minder' to help him settle in at Lazio, said: "He got injured that day and didn't play too much of a part but we still got whacked 5-0 and need to put the record straight. "Paul is now coming up 35 and he still has performances in him but like any 35-year-old I think he will be the first to admit you can't play like you did at 25. "When you get to 35 you just enjoy every game because you never know if it's going to be your last one. I would prefer he didn't play." The Hammers go into the game on the back of a 2-1 defeat at Aston Villa and Roeder is anxious to get back to winning ways to avoid being dragged back into a relegation scrap.
Everton are hovering dangerously above the relegation zone, just three points ahead of third-from-bottom Blackburn. But in a tight division, where a couple of defeats could see any of the 10 teams in the bottom half dragged back into the relegation dogfight, they are only five points behind 13th-placed West Ham. Young midfielder Richard Garcia admits the Hammers need to recover some lost confidence after Saturday's disappointment. He said: "We have got a bit of thinking to do about our game - everyone in the dressing room was down on Saturday but we have to pick ourselves up and look forward to Everton now. "To concede so late is always disappointing and the lads feel we have let the points slip away, but I thought we were the better side and should have had something."
Garcia made only his second full appearance for West Ham at Villa Park and is hoping to take full advantage of his first-team opportunity. He added: "It was another game under my belt and hopefully there will be a few more to come this season. "I enjoyed it a lot better in the second half when I was playing centre midfield." West Ham will be strengthened by the return of French striker Frederic Kanoute, who missed the Villa game through illness, while John Moncur, ruled out on Saturday by a knee injury, is still battling to be fit.

I hope Gazza doesn't play
Mar 6 2002 Liverpool Echo
WEST HAM manager Glenn Roeder talks to his old pal Gazza on the phone a couple of times a week but he will be happy not to see him at Upton Park tonight - at least not on the pitch.
For Roeder appreciates the damage that can still be inflicted by what remain of the sublime skills of Paul Gascoigne. And as England's most naturally talented midfielder of a generation winds down towards retirement, Roeder has no wish to be the recipient of one final reminder of his ability when Everton visit Upton Park. Gascoigne has not been a regular in Walter Smith's starting line-up recently and Roeder said candidly: "I would prefer he didn't play." The West Ham boss, who played with Gascoigne at Newcastle and went to Italy as his 'minder' to help him settle in when he joined Lazio from Tottenham, knows that Gazza would take great pleasure in providing him with one last blast. "Paul is now coming up to 35 and he still has performances in him but like any 35-year-old I think he will be the first to admit you can't play like you did at 25. "When you get to 35 you just enjoy every game because you never know if it's going to be your last one," said Roeder.
Gascoigne, he admitted, did not play too much of a part when Everton inflicted a crushing defeat on his side at Goodison Park earlier in the season. "He got injured that day and didn't play too much of a part but we still got whacked 5-0 and need to put the record straight," said the West Ham boss.
If he is privy to Gascoigne's future plans, Roeder is too good a friend to be indiscreet, but he said: "He tells me has a couple of options. Dubai, America and Australia have been mentioned but in an ideal world I would think he would rather stay here." Those options will not include a link-up with Roeder who says a move to take Gascoigne to Upton Park is definitely not on the cards as he looks to strengthen during the summer.

Gravesen aims for Hammer blow
Mar 6 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
THOMAS GRAVESEN hopes to turn his season full circle at Upton Park tonight.
The last time the Dane faced West Ham back in September, he scored arguably Everton's goal of the season in a 5-0 rout. A well publicised fall-out with manager Walter Smith, plus a mysteriously-enduring injury problem, means he hasn't started a game since Boxing Day. But with Tobias Linderoth still not up to full match fitness and Niclas Alexandersson out of form, he could claim a starting place on Everton's right flank tonight. He has come on as a substitute in the last three matches, and Gravesen said: "It was important for me to get on in those games. "I feel that I played well when I came on the pitch and I am just satisfied to get some playing time again. "Now, I'm just fighting to get back into shape and I believe that I will probably regain a regular place in the side again. I'm hopeful about my future at Everton." The Blues have lost only twice in 11 games, but last night's wins by Blackburn and Sunderland have left them staring down the barrel at the bottom of the Premiership. Smith said: "West Ham have built their season on a terrific home record, one of the best in the Premiership, and Glenn Roeder deserves a lot of credit for that after having a sticky start to his managerial career at this level. "We know we face a tough task, but we are defending well, too, and that will be put to the test at West Ham. "We hope we can continue to improve on the consistency levels of recent games because we haven't been conceding too many goals ourselves. "We have only won once away in the league and we have to improve on that. It's a contrast with last season when we picked up quite a few away victories. "We have picked up a couple of good results at West Ham in the last couple of seasons and let's hope we can do that again." He added: "West Ham were going through a sticky spell when we beat them 5-0 earlier in the season. But we played very well that day, and our early form this season was like that."
Smith will give Gary Naysmith a late fitness test before naming his side, but if the Scot is declared fit he will line up on left midfield. Scot Gemmill and Lee Carsley are expected to continue in the centre.
Frederic Kanoute returns for the Hammers, while John Moncur faces a late fitness test.

Catalyst Rooney guides Under-19s
Mar 6 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
NOT for the first time this season, striker Wayne Rooney was the catalyst for an Everton revival last weekend. The Under-19s' Academy clash with Wrexham was meandering along to an unsatisfactory conclusion, until the young forward struck twice in three minutes. Everton finally took hold of the game when Alan Moogan lofted a 25-yarder into the top corner to clinch another three points for the youngsters. "It was a poor game and a poor performance until we scored," said coach Colin Harvey. "We never really got going. It was just good to get the win." After a scrappy opening half, the Toffees struck with three goals inside eight second half minutes, then stabbed in a second from a cornerkick two minutes later. Alan Moogan added Everton's third in 55th minute, while the Robins scored a consolation in injury time. The Under-19s have five Academy fixtures remaining this season - a rearranged clash with Blackburn and games against Derby County, Huddersfield, Newcastle and Sheffield Wednesday . . . plus the small matter of an FA Youth Cup quarter-final at Goodison next Tuesday. The Under-17s ended their North-West Academy section fixtures with a 1-0 defeat by Wrexham. Goalkeeper Alex Cole was sent-off for handling outside his penalty area and the Blues could not overcome the numerical deficiency, despite Jack Flood twice hitting the woodwork.
FA Under-19 Youth Academy: Everton 3, Wrexham 1.
Scorers: Rooney 2, A Moogan. Team: Pettinger, Colbeck, Crowder, Garside, O'Hanlon (B Moogan), A Moogan, Brown (Schumacher), Beck, Symes, Rooney (Martland), Carney.

West Ham 1, Everton 0 (Post)
Mar 7 2002 Jonathan McEvoy Reports From Upton Park, Daily Post
WHEN the potentially soothing trip to a favourite haunt goes wrong, you know you are in trouble.
And, this morning, no one needs reminding that Everton are. They arrived at Upton Park chasing a third successive win over West Ham, having scored seven goals without reply in their last two meetings with these firm friends from East London. But a goal - albeit with an element of luck - from, or more correctly off, Trevor Sinclair nine minutes into the second half leaves them ensconced in the relegation mire with nine games of an increasingly nerve-racking campaign to go. Again the Blues paid for a poor display, characterised by the lack of a creative spark even during the patches when their constructive approach play merited more, which leaves them with a paltry - and telling - haul of four goals from their last 12 league matches. And the growing anxiety is be etched even more graphically after Kevin Campbell was forced out of the game with ankle ligament trouble moments after Sinclair's goal. You don't want to be without your captain when you sit a mere point off the bottom three - having played a game more. Another cursed injury to the forward line is the last thing Everton need. Having laboured all season without some - or occasionally all - their strikers, Walter Smith was looking to draw a line under those woes. With Tomasz Radzisnki and Campbell still in the process of working off their ring rust and building up understanding in their on-off partnership, this latest setback is another reason for the sound of alarm bells to be heard ever more loudly ringing out at Goodison. Athin squad is always prey to the vagaries of injury problems and now the medical reports on Campbell and Duncan Ferguson, on a crash fitness course in a bid to return for a run-in, will assume crucial significance in the coming weeks. It was by no means a thriller at Upton Park and it wasn't until the 15th minute that the crowd was awoken from an understandable slumber as Paolo Di Canio initiated a quick counter-attack for the home side.
The Italian set Frederic Kanoute, back after illness, off down the right flank. He side-stepped Alessandro Pistone and charged down on Steve Simonsen's goal, but Lee Carsley arrived from nowhere to produce a perfectly-timed tackle to whip the ball away from the striker's feet.
Moments later Simonsen was given another fright when Kanoute turned provider for Sebastian Schemmel, a onetime trialist at Goodison during his days at Metz. He unleashed a powerful shot but the ball ricocheted against a Blue shirt and mercifully on to the top of the net. Di Canio forced Simonsen into the first, of his few real, saves of the night. Having wriggled around Pistone, the mercurial Italian's shot dribbled into the hands of the relieved keeper. Neither side created many clear-cut chances at all, with Everton's early efforts restricted to a thunderous Carsley shot from 20 yards and Jesper Blomqvist, who grew in confidence as the first half progressed, carving out a path on goal but the end product, with his weaker right foot, cleared the crossbar. Sinclair's ambitious long-range effort flew straight at the Blues 'keeper and Di Canio - the great entertainer not wanting to be outdone in the spectacular goals department by Dennis Bergkamp - saw his effort drift agonisingly over. Finally, Everton showed some ingenuity and guile in and around the box when Niclas Alexandersson chipped the ball in for Campbell. The striker's header lacked power and direction and David James gathered without fuss. Simonsen had to be alert the other end to smother the ball at Joe Cole's feet as the little midfielder scampered on to Kanoute's weighted pass.
Everton ended the first 45 minutes with their best move of the half. Radzinski, starved of meaningful service hereto, linked well with Blomqvist but the Swede screwed his low shot disappointingly wide of the post. The Blues' failure to penetrate the home guard with quality balls was proving a problem, with crosses - and the odd throw-in - failing to beat the first man, as a lack of cutting edge undermined their efforts. Yes, Everton were intermittently passing the ball reasonably well in the middle of the pitch and defending resolutely, but the required rapier thrust was woefully blunted.
What's new? Blue hopes of extending their hex over the Hammers - with Blackburn winning on Tuesday night to illustrate just how close Smith's team are to the relegation zone - were certainly heightened. How valuable a win on their travels would be for Everton, and not only for the points. Their belief in ever being able to take three points away from Goodison must have been dented by a failure to achieve the said feat since way back on August 18 at Charlton. And their hopes of pulling off victory against Glenn Roeder's team were decisively dimmed when a fortuitous deflection put the Londoners in front on 56 minutes. Cole tormented Pistone before making space and firing in a low shot. Simonsen surely had the effort covered but Sinclair, who nothing about it, diverted it with his head beyond his reach and into the corner. It was just the cruel twist Everton could do without in their predicament and left them facing a Herculean task to wrestle their way back into the game.
And six minutes later, when skipper Campbell added to their woes by limping off with an injury, it only got worse. He received treatment on the pitch but couldn't carry on, as Smith brought on David Ginola for the striker. Smith reshuffled his pack in a bid to find the winning hand, bringing on the abrasive Thomas Gravesen in place of Scot Gemmill and Tobias Linderoth for fellow Swede Niclas Alexandersson. Everton refused to lie down but still the lack of real penetration left them empty handed, while eight minutes from time Kanoute bulged the side-netting as the Hammers went close to grabbing a second. It was Kanoute's last involvement. He made way for youngster Jermain Defoe as if to underline the difference in scope of attacking options between the two sides. For the record, it was Everton's first defeat to West Ham in seven games. Now, why can't you get a floodlights failure when you need one?
WEST HAM: James, Schemmel (Garcia 80), Dailly, Pearce, Repka, Winterburn, Sinclair, Cole, Labant, Kanoute (Defoe 82), Di Canio. Subs: Hislop, Minto, Kitson.
EVERTON: Simonsen, Pistone, Stubbs, Weir, Unsworth, Alexandersson (Linderoth 68), Blomqvist, Gemmill, Carsley (Gravesen 68), Campbell (Ginola 63), Radzinski. Subs: Gerrard, Clarke.
BOOKINGS: Everton's Blomqvist and Pistone. REFEREE: B Knight. ATT: 29,883

Campbell facing Cup KO
By Jonathan Mcevoy, Daily Post
Mar 7 2002
KEVIN CAMPBELL is almost certainly out of Everton's FA Cup quarter-final tie at Middlesbrough on Sunday. The striker limped off with ankle ligament damage during last night's damaging defeat at Upton Park. Campbell, 32, received treatment on the pitch before being withdrawn from the action on a miserable night for the Blues. Trevor Sinclair's deflected goal in the second half drops Smith's team further in the relegation mire, just a point off the bottom three. Smith, who made no excuses for his side's below-par performance, said: "I think Kevin has injured ligaments in his ankle. He's very doubtful for the Cup game but we will have to wait 24 hours to fully assess the situation."
He added: "We deserved to lose to a goal like that for the way we played. We did not play as well as in recent games. The game didn't really reach a high level and more importantly we didn't. That's my concern. "Losing to that sort of goal was typical of the game. They looked the more likely side without really making many chances. "Neither keeper had much to do and the fact we didn't really test David James is disappointing for us. We have played better against better sides. We've played Leeds and Liverpool recently and we've equipped ourselves well over the period without getting a lot. "Tonight we didn't do that. "West Ham have one of the best home records in the league and they have not conceded many goals here. It is not an easy place to come to and get a result.
"But if you look at the way it went, if we had set ourselves better we could have done better.
"It was our own fault that we lost and not down to the way they played." Smith confirmed Duncan Ferguson is making good progress from a leg injury. The Scot has an outside chance of playing at the Riverside on Sunday, as Smith reviews his threadbare striking options after Campbell's latest setback in an injury-hit campaign. Of his top line strikers only Tomasz Radzinski is currently fit while defender Alan Stubbs, who took a knock last night, is expected to recover for the Cup clash...

West Ham 1, Everton 0 (Echo)
Mar 7 2002 By David Prentice At Upton Park
FIRST the good news. By the law of averages, Everton are due to score a Premiership goal again when Fulham visit Goodison Park on March 16. The bad news is that Everton's Premiership plight is now so acute that a landslide of strikes is required to banish the ever growing threat of relegation.
And the Blues are back down to one fit forward again. This was supposed to be the week that the Premiership reverted to type. Arsenal won by their favourite scoreline, 1-0. 'Dirty' Leeds lived up to their age-old tag, and Liverpool buried Newcastle under another avalanche of goals at Anfield.
But Everton are nothing if not contrary. Historically Upton Park has always been kind to The Toffees.
This was the venue where Nick Barmby scored the first hat-trick of his league career. It was where Paul Kitson was pushed reluctantly forward to take a penalty kick to clinch a hat-trick of his own; he missed and let Everton back in to draw 2-2. And it was where even the hapless Mike Walker managed to engineer the only away win of his Goodison career. But last night The Hammers got lucky with a fluke-goal to end a stalemate which rarely looked like being broken. Trevor Sinclair was the fortunate recipient, but had absolutely no knowledge of how he scored it. Joe Cole's drive from the edge of the penalty area appeared to be comfortably covered by goalkeeper Simonsen. But the ball struck Sinclair's torso and deflected horribly into the opposite corner of the net. Then to compound the misery Kevin Campbell limped gingerly off just seven minutes later with the latest injury to afflict Everton's fragile forward line. A four year cycle appears to follow Everton's relegation battles. In 1994 and 1998 they survived on the final day. But on those occasions they finished their fixture list at Goodison Park. In 2002 they go to Arsenal on decision day.
It's not being overly pessimistic to suggest Everton will have to be safe before that daunting trip. Simply realistic. Home games against Fulham, Bolton, Blackburn and Leicester are now absolutely crucial. There is now no room for error. Everton didn't make many mistakes last night, but the lack of penetration was painful. Kevin Campbell endured the kind of night that screamed crisis of confidence, while Tomasz Radzinski was peripheral. Everton's only attacking threat came from Jesper Blomqvist's bursts inside from the left, but he faded long before the end. West Ham were only marginally brighter, but that was enough to chisel out the one goal which was always going to be enough against a side which has now recorded a pitiful four goals in 12 Premiership outings.
The first 45 minutes contained enough invention and action to keep those with a vested interest in the outcome entertained, but for the passing observer it would have been fairly mundane stuff.
The home support mustered a few boos at the half-time whistle, but neither side had done enough to deserve to break the deadlock. Everton's best option was always the lively thrusts of Blomqvist down the left. One right-footed effort in the 23rd minute flew far enough wide for David James to wave lazily at it. But another intelligent effort on the stroke of half-time was much closer.
The Swede linked up well with Radzinski before drifting along the edge of the 18 yard line, then cutting a shot back from the direction he had come. If James was taken by surprise at the shot, he was relieved to see the bal roll a foot wide. Everton had started brightly, passing the ball crisply. The Hammers' first threatening moment came when Everton over-elaborated and let in Schemmel to crash in a shot off Stubbs and loop narrowly over the crossbar. Di Canio also saw an effort deflected narrowly over, while Campbell connected with a stooping header which lacked conviction and drifted into David James' arms. West Ham came out after the interval with a drive and a purpose which had been absent from their first half football, while Everton seemed strangely sloppy.
Di Canio hurried Simonsen into a hurried clearance against his legs just seconds after the restart,
although the goalkeeper wasn't helped by some indecisive defending. Then the home side forced a succession of corners. The goal came in the 56th minute, and most worryingly for Everton was their failure to react positively. A mazy dribble by substitute Gravesen which was ended on the edge of the penalty area was about as close as Everton got to troubling James. Indeed only another Hammers' bid for a sportsmanship award prevented a possible second goal. Trevor Sinclair chose not to take advantage of Alan Stubbs lying prostrat in the Everton penalty area with only two minutes remaining, and rolled the ball out of play to let the stricken star receive treatment.
The home fans predictably howled their displeasure - until Saint Paolo himself stalked over to preach his belief in sportsmanship ahead of the pursuit of material pleasures like goals. Evertonians used to be famous for their sportsmanship. But right now they'd tell you to shove it if it meant they could celebrate a Premiership goal. It's sadly come to that kind of desperation . . . again.
At least there's the distraction of the FA Cup on Sunday.
WEST HAM UNITED (3-5-2): James, Dailly, Pearce, Repka, Schemmel (Garcia 80 mins), Sinclair, Cole, Labant, Winterburn, Di Canio, Kanoute (Defoe 84 mins). Not used: Hislop, Minto, Kitson.
EVERTON (4-4-2): Simonsen, Pistone, Weir, Stubbs, Unsworth, Alexandersson (Linderoth 68 mins), Gemmill, Carsley (Gravesen 68 mins), Blomqvist, Campbell (Ginola 63 mins), Radzinski. Not used: Gerrard, Clarke.
REFEREE: Mr B. Knight. BOOKINGS: Blomqvist (38 minutes) foul, Pistone (90 minutes) dissent. ATTENDANCE: 29,883

No Big Dunc to the rescue
Mar 7 2002 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
EVERTON will not ask Duncan Ferguson to mount an FA Cup cavalry charge on Sunday, despite Kevin Campbell being almost certainly ruled out of the quarter-final tie at Middlesbrough. The Blues' skipper limped off in last night's 1-0 defeat at Upton Park with ankle ligament damage.
That leaves Tomasz Radzinski and Joe-Max Moore as the only fit senior strikers at the club.
But despite having been back in training for 10 days, the Blues will not ask Ferguson to make an early comeback. "Duncan is getting near to full fitness again," said Smith "but the weekend may be a little too early for him. "Kevin has damaged a ligament in the back of his ankle and we won't know how bad it is until it has settled down. But he already looks doubtful for the Cup game on Sunday."
Ferguson is in the middle of an intensive fitness rebuilding programme, designed to prevent him breaking down with a new injury during the run-in to the end of the season. After playing the first seven games of the season, he has started only seven of the next 27 with a variety of problems.
Everton's problems at the bottom of the table increased after last night's defeat at West Ham - and manager Walter Smith had no complaints. "We deserved to lose the way we played," he said after locking his players in for half-an-hour. I don't think we played nearly as well as we have done in recent matches. "I don't think we played well at all and losing a goal like that was typical of our night. "Neither keeper had a great deal to do. Steve Simonsen had a few driven straight at him, but David James had very little. We deserved no better than we got." Alan Stubbs was also limping at the end, but Smith reported he had taken a bang on the shin and should be fit for the weekend.

Campbell tipped for early return
Report By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Mar 8 2002
KEVIN CAMPBELL last night received mixed news on the ankle injury that compounded Everton's midweek misery at West Ham. The Blues striker is definitely out of Sunday's FA Cup quarter-final at Middlesbrough after being carried off during the 1-0 defeat at Upton Park that heightened relegation fears for Walter Smith's side. Campbell arrived at Everton's Bellefield training ground on crutches yesterday to increase concern the club skipper was set for an extended spell on the sidelines. But Blues boss Smith confirmed scans of Campbell's ankle ligament injury have revealed no serious damage and that he could be back to face Fulham in the Premiership on Saturday week.
Smith said: "An X-ray has given Kevin the all-clear, although we will have to wait a few days for the injury to settle. He will miss the game with Middlesbrough, but fortunately for ourselves there doesn't look to be any major problems." Campbell's absence at the Riverside, however, adds to the striking problems that have plagued Everton's season and sent them sliding towards the Premiership drop zone. The Blues have won only once in their last 13 league outings, scoring a meagre six goals in the process. With striker Duncan Ferguson still midway through an intensive rehabilitation schedule designed to keep him fit for the relegation run-in and Danny Cadamarteri now at Bradford, Smith only has Tomasz Radzinski and Joe-Max Moore available from his senior strikers this Sunday.
Alan Stubbs is expected to be fit after taking a blow to his shin against the Hammers but Steve Watson and Mark Pembridge are certainly out with Scottish international Gary Naysmith a doubt with an ankle problem.

Cup can lift our spirits - Ginola
Report By Neil Silver, Daily Post
Mar 8 2002
DAVID GINOLA is hoping his Everton team-mates can lift the spirit in the camp this weekend by reaching the FA Cup semi-finals. But the flamboyant Frenchman has admitted he would swap an FA Cup winner's medal for a guaranteed place in the Premiership next season. Everton went down 1-0 at West Ham on Wednesday thanks to a deflected goal, and they are now just a point off the relegation places. To add to their woes, skipper Kevin Campbell suffered ankle ligament damage and is doubtful for Sunday's FA Cup quarter-final at Middlesbrough. "When you are in our position in the table you do not get a lot of luck, and West Ham's goal was typical of the way things are going for us at the moment," said Ginola. "An added blow was the injury to Kevin because we already have a few injuries and we don't have any more fit strikers. "The mood is a bit down but we know we can lift it by getting the right result on Sunday. "If we can reach the FA Cup semifinals then it will give the team a lift, and if we can go all the way it will be fantastic. If you are having a bad season, then anything positive is a nice distraction and will cheer you up. "But I think we would all swap winning the FA Cup for a guaranteed place in the Premiership next season." Ginola said Everton needed to remain strong psychologically and have the selfbelief that they can beat the drop. He added: "We are in a difficult position but we have to believe we can stay up because if we don't have faith in our ability then there is no point going out on the pitch to play football. "We must be very strong and try our best to save the club from relegation." Meanwhile, Bristol City have become the latest club to show an interest in Blues midfielder Paul Gascoigne. City boss Danny Wilson revealed he has been in contact with Everton to enquire about the possibility of taking the former England star to Ashton Gate on loan. Wilson said: "A phone call was made to check on Paul's availability. It has gone no further than that, but Everton are aware of our interest." City chairman John Laycock is equally keen to secure a loan deal for Gascoigne, and added: "The drawing power of Gazza would be guaranteed to boost crowds so we would be looking at a major return from gate receipts. "We knew some First Division clubs were also chasing him, but we wanted to make Everton aware of our interest. That has been done and who knows what will happen in the future." The 34-year-old has not been included in the last four Everton squads and has attracted interest from a number of clubs. Nationwide League teams such as Burnley and Darlington are monitoring the situation, while Gascoigne is also believed to have had offers from America and Dubai..

Who can save the Blues
Fanscene By Mark O'Brien, Daily Post
Mar 8 2002
WELL there's one myth put to rest. Despite our form suggesting otherwise many people were saying that we'd get a result at West Ham simply because we always do well there. It looked like the players believed it as well as their performance did very little to give fate a helping hand.
Admittedly Trevor Sinclair's winning goal was extremely fortuitous, but the fact remained that Everton simply had no reply. The plain truth is the team as a whole are not scoring goals. Walter Smith said we deserved to lose to the Hammers because we didn't play as well as we have been lately. Yes, we did deserve to lose. No, we have not been playing well lately. There was a programme on in the week where the chairmen of Charlton Athletic and Plymouth Argyle swapped places for a week. The go-getting Addicks boss made many salient points about the old-fashioned way Plymouth was run, but the one that stood out the most was when he continually told the people who run the club that they had to lose their 'Oh, we're only little Plymouth' mindset.
He could have been talking about Everton. We're desperate for points, we play at home against a struggling Leeds who are reduced to 10 men for almost an hour, we fail to create a goalscoring opportunity of note yet it's their fans who almost riot! Their demonstrations, and Peter Ridsdale's attentionseeking reaction, were comical and crass yet it highlights the difference in expectations.
Anyone else would have gone for the jugular and picked up three points. Instead we get a performance which was described as 'steady' and the manager only bemoans the fact more Leeds players weren't sent off. This is relegation form. How are we going to get out of it? Your guess is as good as mine. Let's face it, we're not going to suddenly turn into a side who pass and move intelligently and attack as a unit between now and the end of the season; that sort of thing takes time and effort on the training pitch. As ever we're reduced to hoping-that a couple of individuals will be able to rise above the morass and snatch us the wins we need for survival. Kevin Campbell and Duncan Ferguson have done it in the past, will injuries permit them to repeat those feats? It seems unlikely, especially given the way Campbell limped off at Upton Park. Tomasz Radzinski perhaps? Or maybe Thomas Gravesen. Or are we simply clutching at straws? All we have left is another myth like the West Ham one - we'll get out of trouble, because we always do. If you want an indication of how low most Blues feel at present you only have to look at the fact that a day out in, of all places, sunny Middlesbrough is being viewed as almost therapeutic, a bit of light relief!

Academy League By Chris Wright, Daily Post
Mar 8 2002
EVERTON under-19s will be looking for a perfect ten tomorrow when they face Derby County at Bellefield (kick-off 1.30pm) in the FA Premier Academy League. Colin Harvey's young side go looking for their 10th match unbeaten in league and cup since Christmas but they will have to do so without leading scorer and talisman Wayne Rooney, plus midfielder Scot Brown. The 16-year-old striker has hit 18 goals in all competitions this season but he is currently away with England U17s.
Rooney played for an hour, before being replaced by Liverpool's Mark Smyth in England's 3-1 win over Scotland on Wednesday at Bristol City's Ashton Gate. The Everton forward set up the first two goals, while team-mate Brown came on as late substitute for Manchester City's Lee Croft. Both will again be involved in Sunday's second UEFA U17s Championship qualifier against Lithuania at the same venue. Everton will look to fellow forward Michael Symes, who has scored nine times this season, to provide the goals and hope the midfield can chip in again, as at Wrexham when Alan Moogan scored a stunning 25-yard volley. But with influential centraldefender Steven Schumacher back in action after injury, the Blues are capable of continuing their run and putting in a morale-boosting performance ahead of their FA Youth Cup quarter-final clash with Nottingham-Forest next Tuesday at Goodison Park. Colin Harvey said: "It would certainly give our confidence a boost going into the Youth Cup with a win. "The lads have been playing well since Christmas and we need to keep that going. We go into every match hoping to win and tomorrow will be no different.
"But we will be without one or two players so some of the U17s will come in. Damon Martland played last week and he's played before. He's a good little player." Academy director Ray Hall added: "It would be nice to keep the run going to the end of the season but it is the improvement that you are looking at. We said earlier in the season that it is performances and development that matters and if you get that side right the results tend to go hand-in-hand with it. "It was nice to see Steven Schumacher back after his lengthy layoff last week, but with him replacing Sean O'Hanlon, it meant we didn't have an U19 player on the pitch. It is an U19 league so our boys are showing they can handle the physical side and technically they are improving as well." The knock-on affect of having basically an U18s side playing each week has been the excellent run that same side has had in the Youth Cup. Hall added: "It certainly helps when you are playing every week together. It is obviously a limited effect because the boys at other clubs are all full-time so they would train together. But it does help in terms of the team's shape." Alan Harper's U17s end their league schedule tomorrow against Blackburn at Netherton (11am).

Touchline ruleacts against players
Mar 8 2002 By Howard Kendall
IF there is a new rule in the game that smacks of stupidity then it is the one that forces players to go to the touchline after they have been injured. It has always irritated me and the folly of this particular guideline to referees was rammed home last Sunday when Everton played Leeds.
Kevin Campbell, receiving the ball on the edge of the box, was scythed from behind by Dominic Matteo. It wasn't the defender's first rash challenge and he was sent-off by referee Andy D'Urso.
Campbell, having been denied an opportunity to exploit a pass into a dangerous central area just outsidethe box needed treatment. When he got to his feet, D'Urso pointed him towards the touchline. It meant that Everton had their centre-forward and therefore one of their main goalscoring threats taken out of the equation when the free-kick was subsequently taken. He could only step back onto the field when play resumed. Can you explain the logic of this to me? Firstly, Campbell was the one on the receiving end of a tackle that was deemed bad enough to warrant a red card for the defender. So why was the striker and his team effectively punished with this little bit of red tape that simply does not make any sense at all. Of course, this can work against a team in a defensive situation. A centre-half making a fair tackle on an attacker is injured as the ball is deflected out for a corner. The physio comes on and the defender receives treatment. He gets to his feet and, again, is sent to the touchline, unable to return until the corner is launched into the box.
This penalises the defending team for no apparent reason whatsoever. They lose a towering figure as a potentially dangerous corner is taken, even though that individual is not guilty of any foul play. Can you understand it? I can't.

Blues need to go in search of a fresh saviour
Mar 8 2002 By Howard Kendall
EVERTON find themselves in a desperate situation near the Premier danger zone.
The main problem is the lack of goals. Now Kevin Campbell is very doubtful for the Cup clash at Middlesbough. Duncan Ferguson is still unavailable. Possibly a loan move is the answer, even though the in-coming player would have to come from the First Division or abroad with such temporary arrangements banned between Premier clubs. So the Blues now find themselves in exactly the same position they were in when they signed Campbell from Trabzonspor for the relegation fight of 1999. They needed a goalscorer and Campbell arrived from his Turkish exile to fire the Blues away from the drop. But were can Walter Smith turn now? Ironically, Evertonians will look at Liverpool's acquisition of Niclas Anelka which has been a massive bonus, especially with the on-going concerns over Michael Owen. Of course, Everton would be looking to pay over a full contract what Liverpool are probably paying to Anelka until the end of the season. It highlights the gulf between the clubs right now. Is it any wonder Blues' fans are totally frustrated and fearful about the drop. I think Everton can get out of it, not least because the other clubs down there are also struggling to score goals. But single points could be the difference between staying up and going down and the West Ham defeat was a real blow in that respect, especially as the winner came off an agonising deflection.

We'd swap a cup final for safety
Mar 8 2002 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
ALAN STUBBS is an Evertonian.
It's not just a terrace chant, it's a well known fact. Which is why the Everton defender can understand the unusual situation the club's fans will find themselves in on Sunday.
The Blues are taking a small army of more than 5,000 fans to Teesside for an FA Cup quarter-final which in normal terms would be the highlight of the season. But with Everton's proud 48 year tenure of the top flight now under increasing threat, it has become almost an irrelevant sideshow.
"The cup's only special if you're safe in the league," said Stubbs. "It goes without saying we'd all swap a Cup Final place for Premiership safety. "Sunday is going to be a difficult game to focus on. People have been coming up to me and saying they're not really that bothered about Sunday, the League's more important. "I can understand that, but the players have to look at it both ways. "If we don't play well Sunday confidence is knocked even further, but if we do we can start to build our confidence levels again to take into our next game. "That's what we have to do." Stubbs knows possibly better than anybody at Everton what Premiership safety means to the fans. He has stood on the Gwladys Street terrace and watched the Championship trophy being held aloft.
His friends and family are supporters who share his sense of growing anxiety, but he does not accept that he feels the pain more acutely than his team-mates. "It would be easy to say that. But I don't want to come out and say that because I'd like to think that everybody here takes it as badly as I do," he said. "If they don't then maybe they should do. But I'm pretty sure that they do. "Thursday wasn't an easy day. Life is easier when you win. "The second half at West Ham was particularly disappointing because the game was there for the taking. "It was unfortunate to lose to a goal like that but you always find that things are ready to hit you below the belt when you are down at the bottom and that was a sucker punch. "But we still had enough time to get back into the game and didn't do anything. "That was the most disappointing thing. Sometimes we say we don't have enough possession, but on Wednesday we did and never created enough clear chances to score.
"They were all half chances where you are hoping someone will score rather than knowing one's going to go in. "We need to pick up it's as simple as that. "We have to be more consistent in our performances. "That's our main priority. If the FA Cup helps us in the league then great, but at the moment we are totally focused on the league. "If Middlesbrough players hear us talking like that they will probably think 'great' because they've pulled five points clear of us now and will go into the game full of confidence. "But we've got to start somewhere and there's no better place to do that than Sunday." Stubbs will have friends and family amongst the travelling Everton support and he went on: "It's disappointing that the fans are having to concentrate more on us staying in the Premiership than a possible cup final place, but we have to lift ourselves and give them something to cheer about. "I know we've sold our entire allocation - because I tried to buy two and was told they'd already sold out! - and we need to repay their loyalty. "At the moment it's gloomy but we can't let that affect us."

Gazza to the rescue
Mar 8 2002 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
EVERTON will turn to FA Cup talisman Paul Gascoigne on Sunday, to add the creative spark which could take The Toffees through to a record 24th semi-final. The Blues go to Middlesbrough plagued by one of their worst goal droughts of recent years. After reaching November as one of the Premiership's most prolific sides, the Blues have registered just four goals in their last 12 league games. But in the FA Cup it has been a different matter, helped by Gascoigne's promptings.
The 34-year-old was outstanding against Stoke City and Leyton Orient in earlier rounds, but has not even made the substitutes' bench for the last four games. But he is expected to return to the starting lineup at his former club, as Walter Smith desperately seeks inspiration from somewhere.
In truth Smith's hand has been forced by a lengthy list of injured or unavailable stars. Thomas Gravesen is suspended and Lee Carsley cup-tied, while Kevin Campbell, Duncan Ferguson, Steve Watson, Mark Pembridge and Gary Naysmith have all been ruled out through injury. That will leave a trans-Atlantic strikeforce of Canadian international Tomasz Radzinski and American star Joe-Max Moore, with Gascoigne supplying the bullets from midfield. "Our options have been reduced," said Smith, "and Paul will come into contention." Ironically Gazza has been the subject of bids for his services this week from Burnley and Bristol City. But he is eager to prove he can still perform on a Premiership stage. He was the catalyst behind Tottenham's FA Cup triumph in 1991 and would love to bow out of English football this summer with another appearance in an FA Cup final.
Kevin Campbell will definitely miss the quarterfinal tie, but the long term news on his ankle injury is reassuring. "The X-ray and the scans have revealed no serious problems," said Smith. "He will miss Sunday but hopefully won't be missing for much longer than that." Duncan Ferguson will not be risked at The Riverside Stadium either. Everton will be roared on in Teesside by more than 5,000 travelling fans, while the home side is struggling once again to sell their entire allocation.
Previous rounds against Manchester United and Blackburn have been watched by little more than 20,000 fans, as Boro supporters have protested against ticket price increases.

Ginola future looks bleak
Mar 9 2002 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DAVID GINOLA has been axed from Everton's squad to face Middlesbrough tomorrow, raising fears that his shortlived loan deal could be over after just four outings. The Frenchman has been allowed to return home to London, after Walter Smith decided he wasn't needed for the trip to Teesside.
The decision, taken with both Kevin Campbell and Duncan Ferguson on the injured list, suggests Everton have admitted to themselves that the Ginola experiment has failed. The winger enjoyed a lively debut against Arsenal a month ago, was ineffective against Crewe and then hauled off at half time in his next two outings at Anfield and Gresty Road. He hasn't started a game since.
Smith had an amicable meeting with the player yesterday, who then left for his London home. He did not storm out of Bellefield. Everton initially signed an agreement for Ginola to stay at Goodison until the end of the season, but that may now be revised. The Blues have seven players injured or unavailable for tomorrow's FA Cup quarter-final - and Ginola's failure to force his way into the squad even in those circumstances surely spells the end of his brief Blues' career.

Riverside warning to Blues
Mar 9 2002 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
PAUL INCE has turned the pyschological screw ahead of tomorrow's FA Cup quarter-final - by saying teams are now "scared" to travel to The Riverside Stadium. Despite plunging attendances on Teesside --Sunday's televised tie will again be below capacity - Middlesbrough have suffered only one defeat in five months at home. And skipper Ince says: "Teams are scared about coming to Middlesbrough again. "We're in the quarter-finals of the Cup and pushing upwards in the league. That isn't a bad season when you've got a new manager in charge." And despite a record of only 16 goals in their last 20 games, he insists Middlesbrough are far from dull. "That is unfair," added Ince. "It winds me up that we are labelled an unattractive team. We know when we are playing that it might not be the best of performances, like against Leicester, but against West Ham we put in a very good performance and got nothing. "Results are still the most important thing for us, but it is unfair of critics to simply say we are unattractive. "We have always been solid. The gaffer has got us very organised and we have an excellent defence and a solid midfield in front. "We have a solid base and we are creating chances, but we are not taking them and then you supposedly get dull games because we are not sticking three or four past teams. "We've had our critics, but look at this club last year. We've struggled over the last three years but we have done a lot better this year."
Middlesbrough have appealed to their stay away fans to get behind them tomorrow. A spokesman said: "We want our fans to make it a sell-out and a great atmosphere." But only 21,000 fans turned up for the fifth round tie with Blackburn - 12,000 under capacity - while less than 20,000 watched the previous tie against Manchester United.

Unsworth looking for history to repeat itself
Mar 9 2002 by Andy Hunter, Daily Post
EVERTONIANS may be sick to the stomach of recent history repeating itself at Goodison Park but could still be persuaded to accept a replay of 1995. That year Joe Royle's relegation-threatened side capped survival with a week to go with the club's last major honour, the FA Cup at the expense of Manchester United. David Unsworth is the sole survivor from that Everton side, likely to be involved tomorrow, but despite obvious links to the past is more concerned with the club's immediate future. The Blues' defender said: "The FA Cup would be great but for this club at the moment it's all about survival, that's the most important thing. It's a similar pattern to when we won it in '95. "We were struggling against relegation all the way through the season but we ended up by beating Manchester United at Wembley. I'd take that now. "If any of the players here don't realise we are in a dogfight in the league, they certainly need to be made aware of that because there's no getting away from it. "But the Cup is a great chance to rescue our season, but we must get it right in the league too. "If we can get ourselves into the semi-final, who knows what will happen? It happened in '95 when nobody gave us a chance against Spurs but we turned them over and then went on to do the same to United." He added: "If we don't believe we can do it again there's no point coming into work every day. "We have to believe we can do it and we must come together as a team now more than we have ever been. "We must roll our sleeves up, dig in and fight until the end of the season. It's the only way. "We need a major lift now. On the back of two decent performances against Liverpool and Leeds the West Ham game was a big disappointment for us.
"It was a poor performance and a bad result. We need to put that right straight away.
"We have got some massive, massive games coming up in the league and we have a fight on our hands - a relegation fight - and if people and players think we don't have such a fight they are going to need a slap in the face because we are in it now and we have to do something about it.
"And the only way is that you must roll your sleeves up and get stuck in and give it everything until the end of the season. A good cup win now would help."

Middlesbrough v Everton FA Cup sixth round
Mar 9 2002 by Andy Hunter, Daily Post
GOAL-KEEPERS, as the football saying goes, are a strange breed. Which is perhaps why Steve Simonsen is so impatient for points after waiting an age to make just one. Everton ' s FA Cup quarter-final at Middlesbrough tomorrow should be the highlight of the season thus far for a side not in Europe or the title race. And no doubt the noise from the 5,000 travelling Evertonians will suggest as much come kick-off. After Wednesday's woeful defeat at West Ham magnified the Blues' relegation fears, however, the FA Cup now stirs as much romance for those fans as a midnight rendezvous in an Afghanistan cave with Ann Widdecombe. Simonsen may not share in the gloom that has enveloped Goodison this week but remains realistic enough to know that league victories now count for far more than cup conquests. Even so, he's determined to crown his debut season as Everton's first-choice stopper with the FA Cup run his prolonged wait for his chance deserves.
Simonsen said: "It's a big cup game for us but obviously we'd sacrifice a cup run for a safe position in the league. On the other hand it would be a great day out if we can progress and we'll be doing our utmost to make sure that happens for the fans and for the players as well. "This is definitely a game we can win if we have a bit more luck in terms of goalscoring." The Blues keeper will be watched by a host of family and friends from hometown Sunderland at the Riverside and he admits: "Newcastle are the biggest rivals but obviously with Middlesbrough being the other team in the North East I always want to beat them as well. "We should've done that earlier this season but came away with a 1-0 defeat." Had Walter Smith's summer search for a new keeper borne fruit Simonsen could well have been playing in a second division derby between Wigan and Oldham today rather than preparing for a cup quarter-final. But the departure of Thomas Myhre to Turkey and Paul Gerrard's axe have transformed the former Tranmere man's Goodison career, and he's seized the chance to show why the Blues agreed a £3.3million deal for his services more than three years ago.
"There was supposedly interest from Wigan in the summer and over Roy Carroll as well, but I didn't know too much about it to be honest," said Simonsen. "But I hadn't resigned myself to leaving Everton. I never wanted to. "I was always happy to stay and prove to everyone I was here to experience the Premiership. That's why I held on as long as I did. I always felt I could do it and I wanted to prove to everyone I could do the job at the highest level. "People expected a lot when I first arrived because of the fee but that was nothing to do with me. I just wanted to come and do my best whether I was plunged in straight away or, if not, I've still got plenty of years ahead of me.
"I was only a young lad when I arrived at the club and there were already two very good goalkeepers here in Thomas Myhre and Paul Gerrard. They were both in good form at the time and it was going to take a lot to dislodge them from the team. "When it goes on that long though there are always times you think to yourself it might never happen, but it was just a case of getting my head down and working hard because the law of averages says one day your chance will come.
"I didn't seek reassurance from the gaffer, I had family and friends telling me just to stick at it because my chance would come to show everyone what I could do. "It was just a case of being patient and when Thomas moved on that moved one block out of my way and then fortunately the gaffer gave me my chance and I replaced Paul Gerrard." Simonsen added: "I never doubted my own ability. I'd played for England under-21s and was in Tranmere's first team for a season so you don't go from being a half decent keeper to a bad one overnight. "My belief was always there but it was a case of getting in the side. "If I wasn't going to be given the chance I would have been quite willing to move on but that wasn't the case. The gaffer made it clear I was part of his set-up and that was the reassurance I needed. "Fortunately I had a few decent performances when I first came into the team, kept a few clean sheets, and that gave me a boost as well. "Since then things have gone OK with a few more clean sheets along the way but what we really need now is to push on and get out of the relegation zone." Confidence may not be flowing at Goodison after just one win in 13 league games but the Cup, Simonsen believes, should generate the fighting spirit now desperately required to pull Everton out of danger. "We're all disappointed to be down there but we've got to stick together now to get ourselves out of it," he explained. "We've a lot of big games coming up and if we win our home games we should be OK. There's no time to be feeling sorry and it's good we've got this big game so soon after West Ham. "We've got to look forward and hopefully put things right in the next few weeks and at Middlesbrough."

Simonsen happy to sacrifice Cup glory for League safety
Mar 9 2002 by Paul Walker, Daily Post
IN THE midst of a relegation dogfight, Everton at least know they have a couple of rocks battling for the cause. They are being labelled the best cutpriced central defence in the top flight - and now Everton's double act of David Weir and Alan Stubbs are going to have to prove it in the FA Cup.
A relegation fight hangs over Everton's bid to reach the semi-finals, which for some is a welcome distraction from the perils of the Barclaycard Premiership season. Somehow Everton have managed to haul themselves into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup at Middlesbrough tomorrow. And one more solid defensive display from a pair that cost just £250,000 between them could see the Merseysiders just a step from the Cardiff final. The worrying defeat at West Ham on Wednesday has only heightened the pressures, but nobody can point a finger at Weir and Stubbs who have overseen just eight goals conceded in the last 12 games. Whatever else has gone wrong with Everton this season, it has not been in the centre of defence. Boss Smith can only be thankful they are around.
He said: "I think they stand comparison with the best defensive partnerships in the Premiership. "I'm pleased for them. They are similar characters: quiet, unassuming lads and they deserve a great deal of credit for the way they are playing. "There has been chopping and changes within the team generally and with the full-backs as well, but they have remained steady and have played a big part in bringing solidity to the team overall."

Smith: We can win the Cup
Mar 9 2002 by Andy Hunter, Daily Post
WALTER SMITH believes Everton can lift the FA Cup this season as he bids to make it third time lucky at Middlesbrough tomorrow. The Blues boss has twice been beaten at the quarter-final stage since arriving at Goodison Park but insists this season's competition could signal the end of the club's seven-year wait for a trophy. Smith, set to hand Paul Gascoigne a recall against his former club, has seen the spectre of relegation return to the club this week after Wednesday's dismal defeat at West Ham. But he views the FA Cup as the best chance to lift the Goodison gloom as the Blues bid to avenge their New Year's Day defeat at the Riverside and take their place in the semi-finals for a record 24th time. Smith said: "I honestly think it's realistic that we can win the cup this season. We've got to hold out that hope. "You look at the competition over the last few years and it is true that the sides that have won it have been those teams at the top of the league. "But at the same time you always have a chance. "A lot of the top teams have gone out of the competition now but there is Arsenal left. But they have to go to Newcastle and are playing half a team, so you look at it and think we've got a chance against the rest. "That's not meant to be a depressing message but the fact is success in football is directly related to the amount of money you spend. "You are not going to be challenging for the Premiership without spending money so the cup gives the other sides, sides like ourselves, their only realistic chance of success." Pressure is mounting again on Smith after a league run of only one win in 13 games that has left the Blues hovering above the drop zone.
And he admits Everton's league plight remains the ultimate concern. "I accept that sometimes the message I have got for the fans is not very optimistic," added Smith. "But what do the fans want to hear? "Do they want a manager who will say 'I will take you into Europe', only for the fans to have their hopes dashed because it's not possible. "Everton don't need that approach just now. They need a realistic viewpoint and a platform to go forward." Smith continued: "My realistic ambitions in my time here would be to get a few solid and respectable positions in the league."
Smith's familiar selection problems will return for tomorrow's clash at the Riverside where seven senior players are sidelined. Duncan Ferguson, Kevin Campbell, Mark Pembridge, Steve Watson and Gary Naysmith are all out through injury, while Lee Carsley is cup-tied and Thomas Gravesen is suspended. And that opens the way for Gascoigne to recreate his cup talisman role after being overlooked for the last four Everton fixtures. Smith confirmed: "Paul will come back into the team. I hope he can give us a lift. "In recent weeks we've had a big squad and you've got to be fair to everyone. Now Paul will get his chance on Sunday and I'm sure we'll get a good response from him.
"Maybe there is an element of psychology in bringing him back. He is coming towards the end of his career, the spotlight is on this game and there is a wide audience for it. "These are the sort of things that can inspire him. I hope so." 83 days to go: Brazil left-back Nilton Santos made 83 appearances for his country between 1949 and 1963. Although no relation to Brazil colleague Djalma Santos, he was equally outstanding. He made his international debut just a year after signing for his only club, Botafogo of Rio. Santos enjoyed powering forward in support of attack, a tactic which surprised opposition and made Brazil such a delight to watch. Santos was a World Cup winner in 1958 and 1962 as Brazil defeated Sweden and then Czechoslovakia to claim the crown. In the finals of '58, Santos scored in the opening 3-0 win against Austria and then played in every game as Brazil marched to glory. Santos was a regular once again in '62 and once again did not miss a game as the Brazilians triumphed. He was a player immensely respected by team-mates and officials and he led the player delegation which, in Sweden in 1958, crucially persuaded coach Vicente Feola to call up his Botafogo teammate, match-winning right-winger Garrincha.

Middlesbrough 3, Everton 0 (Post)
Mar 11 2002 Andy Hunter Reports From The Riverside, Daily Post
EVERTON'S sponsorship deal with Cream must already be in the bag after their season turned sour and clotted at the Riverside yesterday. But never mind talk of the Liverpool superclub riding to Everton's rescue in the summer. Not even the Grafton would want any association with Goodison Park after this latest embarrassment lurched Everton and their manager Walter Smith into fresh turmoil. A third FA Cup quarter-final defeat for the Blues boss is hard to take without it coming courtesy of the most spineless, shambolic performance he will have witnessed at the helm, and one which sent a new wave of despondency through the Everton ranks. In a repeat of their last visit to Middlesbrough, defeat left the Everton fans demanding Smith's head before a Cup victory helped relieve the mounting pressure. Now the reverse is imperative if the club are to stay in the Premiership as, on this form, they are fast approaching chucking-out time. Middlesbrough have provided a valuable benchmark for Everton's decline this season. No, make that disintegration.
A comfortable win over Steve McClaren's side back in August when spirits were high was followed by a scrappy defeat for a depleted side on New Year's Day. Now, as we approach the tailend of yet another forgettable season for the Blues, this humiliation highlighted the fact they are now falling apart at the seams. Absentees again never helped Smith's hand before kick-off, especially with David Ginola back at home in London after refusing to sit on the bench for a third game running. So much for proving your detractors wrong, although it does beg the question why was he signed when that was the role he was brought in for? Either way, there were simply no excuses for the woeful display that was an insult to another travelling Everton army who, yet again, were the only admirable quality on display for the Blues. And that is where the pity lies today. Nowhere else. Everton's 5,000-ticket allocation was snapped up in days by fans more preoccupied with the trauma of relegation than the release of the FA Cup, but who nevertheless came and offered the full vocal support the team needed to inspire a record 24th semi-final place. Compare that with Middlesbrough, who had averaged 16,000 for three home ties in the FA Cup this season against Wimbledon, Manchester United and Blackburn and are now heading for only their second appearance in the final four. No wonder the three-goal blitz inside seven miserable minutes proved the final straw for those who had not snapped under previous provocations. Initially it seemed their passion would be reciprocated by the players when they purposely strode to the visiting section to show their thanks before kickoff. But we were all fooled. The game began and the Blues delivered one of the lamest 45-minute displays in living memory. Given the fierce competition there is for that title, that's some achievement. Only Everton's impressive defence inspired any confidence early on thanks to a flyweight attack that couldn't even control the ball and midfielders that appeared to be meeting each other for the first time. So when the backline self-destructed it was game and FA Cup run over. Until Steve Simonsen's blunder the match had lived down to the pre-match expectations of two poor sides cancelling out, although Middlesbrough's quicker passing and movement up front always gave them the edge. Robbie Mustoe's header was saved by the Blues stopper and Peter Clarke scooped away another dangerous Noel Whelan cross although the home side's best hope seemed the series of free-kicks they were awarded around the visitors' area. At the opposite end, however, it was difficult to see exactly what Everton's attacking policy was, four months after a lack of creativity first became a problem, other than the lofted pass straight through to opposition goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer. The Blues never came close to a chance before the break and their abject performance got the slap- stick punishment it deserved in the 35th minute, although no-one in Blue saw the funny side especially with hounded ex-Liverpool skipper Paul Ince a key figure.
Along punt by the midfielder appeared a comfortable one for Alessandro Pistone to guide back to his keeper. Fatefully, Simonsen had come careering off his line to collect and with no shout either given or heard, the keeper could only parry the Italian's header into the path of Whelan, who rolled the ball into an empty net. Given Everton's awful strike rate this immediately presented an uphill task.
Within eight minutes it was the proverbial mountain to climb and given the amount of rubbish strewn all over the pitch - no, not the litter - the Blues had no chance. Two minutes after the breakthrough Boro broke and struck again. Calamity was again the by-word. Joe-Max Moore was brushed off the ball as Everton attempted a firm response - okay then, an attack - and Whelan strolled through the static Blue ranks to pick out Alen Boksic unmarked on the edge of the area.
The Croatian's chip over Simonsen was goalbound until Stubbs somehow headed it against the bar, but even before the Blues dared think they'd escaped, Szilard Nemeth reacted quicker than anyone to head the rebound home. Punch-drunk and on the ropes, the knockout blow came in the 42nd minute with the scorer, Ince, merely adding insult to the considerable injury felt by those Evertonians behind the peppered goal. Boksic found space yet again as Everton waited for an offside decision that never came, and though Simonsen parried the striker's shot, it fell perfectly for the Boro captain to slot home and spark cartwheel celebrations in front of those who'd baited him.
Rightly infuriated, a handful of Blues fans were escorted out of the stadium while the rest somehow resisted their natural urges to follow them and stayed on for more punishment. It never came, thanks to a belated double substitution and half-time reshuffle that halted the embarrassment but not the inevitable exit. Nick Chadwick replaced Moore and immediately provided the presence in attack the Blues were so obviously lacking before his arrival. The youngster also sparked a handful of chances that if converted would have restored hope but merely papered over the many cracks.
Fellow sub Niclas Alexandersson reacted slowly to Chadwick's flick in the box but still got in a shot saved by Schwarzer, while Tomasz Radzinski wasted two excellent opportunities to salvage some pride when put clear by his new strike partner. It was all to no avail, and when not even the reward of a Cup semi-final can inspire enough fight, Evertonians have every right to fear the impending battle for survival. Often it would be some consolation to suggest things cannot get any worse than this. In Everton's case, however, they quite possibly will.

Bad, bad, bad and bad for sad Blues
Comment By Len Capeling, Daily Post
Mar 11 2002
ANOTHER day, another humiliating performance from a team that likes to say shambles.
A disastrous seven-minute spell - which saw Middlesbrough score three simple goals - effectively sent Everton spiralling towards another psychologically shattering defeat. Sadly, for the other 83 minutes of the match, they hardly looked threatening and the terrible damage done to their already shaky confidence could further undermine their chances of avoiding banishment to the first division.
Rumours that Everton fans were streaming away before half-time have yet to be confirmed, although it wouldn't be the first time in a sorrowful season when the strain has become too great.
No-one would blame any of the departed, because this was as near the bottom of the barrel as it gets. Bad, bad, bad and bad. Uninspired from the start, their nervous hopes lashed to a painfully static 3-5-2 system that suited nobody except Middlesbrough, Everton rolled the ball about with all the carefree abandon of the colour blind. For a while - with Middlesbrough just as sterile - it looked as though we could safely nod off, awakening hours later to find the score still nil-nil and the stadium emptied of spectators. Well, we were wrong. One uncertain nod of Alessandro Pistone's head to an aimless long hoick from Paul Ince - who had embraced Paul Gascoigne at the start - swiftly changed the Everton script from dull to dire. The ball failed to reach the equally hesitant Steve Simonsen and the dashing Noel Whelan said, "I'll have that," and trundled the gift into the net. A team less brittle than the Blues might have shrugged that off as a setback. After all, Steve McClaren's men pose as limited an attacking threat as Everton themselves. So one down with nearly an hour left to play was a situation surely salvageable. Wrong, twice over. Seven minues later all those fairytale fantasies had been swept away by a collapse of such proportions that, without more ado, Boro fans could celebrate reaching the semi-final. There have been a number of low points during Walter Smith's Goodison reign, but three-nil ahead of the first orders for Bovril and hemlock will take some scrubbing from the roll of dishonour. Unless, that is, a season ticket to the first division is also on the horizon. Some straws - shredded from overuse - will undoubtedly be clutched at by the club's beleaguered directors. We were better second half, they'll bleat. Tomasz Radzinski and Niclas Alexandersson might have scored, they'll yelp. Substitute Nick Chadwick showed an appeitite for battle that wasn't always shown elsewhere, they'll sniffle. True, but, alas, too late to change things. Like getting an avalanche warning just as the snow comes crashing down on your head. The fact is that this was a match which should easily have been within Everton's capabilities, a draw away followed by a home win. But as soon as you saw the 3-5-2 - a shape that doesn't suit them because they haven't a wing-back worth the name - the doubts flooded in. It didn't take long to completely unravel. As soon as Nemeth knocked in the second goal - after Alan Stubbs diverted Alen Boksic's clever chip on to the crossbar - and a Simonsen parry from Boksic gave Ince a tap-in - the Blues got compacted into 5-3-2, or was it 5-4-1? Whatever, they were in disarray. A devastated Walter Smith rang the 4- 4- 2 emergency number at half-time, bringing on Alexandersson and Chadwick for Tobias Linderoth and Joe-Max Moore. Musical chairs were played with the defence.
For a while there was more zip and a couple of chances were snatched at and fluffed as Boro keeper Mark Schwarzer saw serious action for the first time. But, as ever, it petered out. Much too comfortable, Middlesbrough sat back, picked off the runners and, a couple of spirited interventions from Chadwick apart, put themselves a step away from the Wales Wembley with a competent defensive show, orchestrated by Gareth Southgate. Next week they face Liverpool and will have to be better than they were here. But then they didn't have to be anything special to beat an Everton team which was threadbare wherever you looked. At the bitter end, Paul Gasoigne swapped shirts, embraced every Miidlesbrough player in sight, as if saying an emotional goodbye to all this.
Whether Everton also say goodbye to what passes for the high life remains to be seen.
However, many more performances like this one and the Premiership will slip away, like the iceberg from the fatally holed Titanic. Fulham next week. Three points needed, or else. . . Bring your prayers with you. They may be needed.

Blues aim to be the cream team
By Chris Brown Daily Post Staff
Mar 11 2002
EVERTON Football Club is lining up a sponsorship deal with Liverpool nightclub Cream.
The Blues are expected to lose their current backers, One2One, at the end of the season after five years. They have been locked in talks with Cream, the nightclub and record empire, which was founded in Liverpool city centre. Its owner, James Barton, is a big Everton fan.
Cream is already a global brand with a number of clubs around the world, an annual festival, merchandising and a record label. The club, which started as a low-key event nearly 10 years ago, has rapidly expanded in size and earned the name of a "superclub". Now nightclub bosses are looking to venture into the high-profile world of the Premiership. Everton have been searching for major sponsors and the youth-oriented marketing of Cream would be a coup for the club. Last night, Cream's owner would not confirm any further details. Mr Barton said: "We have been in discussions with Everton Football Club but no further decision has yet been made." Any deal could be for either a year or five years and would start at the beginning of the new season. Cream has remained tightlipped on whether any deal with the relegation-threatened club is conditional on them staying in the top flight. Everton's head of marketing, Andy Oldknow, said: "I can say that we can confirm that we have been in talks with Cream which are currently continuing, although the club are currently looking at a wide variety of options for sponsorship." Everton fan Keith Wilson, a member of Bluewatch supporters club, said: "Before we got One2One, I wrote to the club saying we need to get Jaguar because it is a local company. Cream is local so that's good." The Blues have previously had difficulties with shirt sponsorship. The club's sponsors, Danka, pulled out of their deal in 1997.
The American photocopying firm took the option to pull out of their five-year contract with the club after only two years. It is unclear when a decision will be made on who will be the new strip sponsors, but the new season is only six months away. Last night, one Everton source claimed some of the club's hierarchy were wary of forming a link with a nightclub. Football clubs can generate multi-million pound deals from such sponsorship. In February, 2000, Manchester United signed a recordbreaking deal with the mobile company Vodafone. The fouryear deal is estimated to be worth £30m. Cream once famously banned Paul Gascoigne from visiting the club as a tonguein-cheek gesture, "for his own good". At the time, the club said: "We realise the temptations that Cream could be for Gazza and with his recent off-field activities we thought it best if Gazza remained fit and at his best for the team. The only dancing we want to see from Paul is into the opposition's box."

Smith: I'm Staying
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Mar 11 2002
WALTER SMITH vowed to stay on and lead Everton's fight for Premiership survival after their FA Cup humiliation at Middlesbrough. The Blues boss faced fresh calls for his departure from visiting fans enraged by their side's dismal 3-0 capitulation in the quarter-final tie at the Riverside.
But despite his side's latest poor performance and slide to wards the relegation zone after just one win in 13 league games, Smith insisted he would not walk away from Goodison Park.
"The fans' reaction was understandable," said the Everton manager, whose side's hopes of reaching a record 24th FA Cup semi-final were shattered by three-goal blitz in seven first- half minutes.
"It was a disappointing result and we are in a bad run at the moment, but I will soldier on.
"I have done so before and I will do it again. I will not walk away. " When you are going through a spell like we are going through people will criticise. It comes with the territory, especially at a club like Everton where expectations are higher than perhaps other clubs in a similar situation.
"But there are no complaints about that. We just have to handle that as best we can."
A dreadful mix-up between Alessandro Pistone and Steve Simonsen gifted Noel Whelan Middlesbrough's opener in the 35th minute before Szilard Nemeth and former Liverpool captain Paul Ince compounded the Blues' misery. Smith admitted Everton paid the price for a naive display as they now face a fight for their Premiership lives. He added: "We chased the game after we fell behind and we had enough experienced players out there to know they should have steadied the game down. "I thought we had been the better side before we gifted them their goals and that effectively killed the game. "This is the third time in the four years since I've been here that we have gone out at the quarter-final stage. "That is what bothers me at the moment. Our position in the league will bother me tomorrow morning. "It is going to be a grim struggle for a lot of clubs at the wrong end of the table between now and the end of the season, not just us. "We have experience of fighting relegation before and I hope that will stand us in good stead." The Blues boss also defused reports of a bust-up with David Ginola, who was left out of the travelling squad after just six appearances for Everton since his shock arrival from Villa Park. "I wasn't going to use him and said he could go home for the weekend," confirmed Smith. "He didn't storm away and there wasn't even so much as a Gallic flourish. He will be back for training on Tuesday."

Middlesbrough 3, Everton 0 (Echo)
Mar 11 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
THE two most dreaded cliches in football settled over Everton Football Club like a shroud last night.
A gut wrenchingly feeble FA Cup exit at Middlesbrough leaves them to concentrate on the League . . . again. Then the anguished reaction from an army of more than 5,000 frustrated, fraught and fearful fans suggests another vote of confidence is due. The last one, shortly before Everton's FA Cup adventure began, read more like a job advert than backing for Walter Smith. The next pronouncement from the Blues' board - after a disjointed 3-0 exit at the Riverside - could well be the real thing. Despite the heartfelt cries of "We want Walter out," from those stoic souls who steadfastly refused to slink away in disgust before the final whistle, there will be no managerial change at Everton until the summer at least. The reasons are clear, if misguided. Firstly, the board may want a scapegoat handy just in case the unthinkable does happen and Everton do go down - someone to shield them from the collective responsibility which should be accepted for the frail state the club currently finds itself in. Then there's the fact that the clutch of ex- Evertonians the board will presumably look no further than, have more pressing priorities elsewhere.
But this is all assuming that the Blues board has a long-term strategy in place. There is no evidence to suggest that this is the case. Walter Smith might have had a strategy in place for this clash, but it backfired spectacularly. With options reduced, yet again, by injuries and unavailability, he asked Paul Gascoigne to turn back the clock for the third time this season in the FA Cup. His winder jammed, and Gazza rambled through the game looking every one of his well-lived 34 years. But he wasn't alone. Everton handed three goals on a plate to a team whose memory of such a goalscoring feat is a dim and distant one. They never looked like even conjuring up one in reply until it was far too late. There were some Everton performances to admire yesterday, approximately 5,000 of them - but the manner in which those supporters' dreams were exploded once again left them understandably bitter. The Everton team ran to those fans before kick-off to salute their support. Tomasz Radzinski ran to them afterwards, too, this time presumably to apologise, but in between they were let down shockingly. Middlesbrough, a side so unattractive they can't even come close to filling their home ground for an FA Cup quarter-final, romped to a 3-0 victory. For 35 minutes there was nothing in the match. Everton were unambitious, but comfortable . . . until a goalkeeping blunder plucked straight from Paul Gerrard and Abel Xavier's jointly penned book of gaffes.
Like a motorway accident you can see coming but can't do anything to avoid, the Everton fans sat frozen in horror beyond the goal as Steve Simonsen recklessly careered off his line in pursuit of a ball he had no reason to chase. Alessandro Pistone was comfortably in command of Paul Ince's over-hit ball down the middle of the pitch, until he nodded it back to where he expected his goalkeeper to be. Simonsen had advanced ill-advisedly on top of the Italian - and the resulting collision left Noel Whelan with the simplest tap-in of his football career. The manner in which the Blues selfdestructed after that, however, was shocking. They chased the game like headless chickens, and just 60 seconds later their cup had effectively run dry. Dispossessed cheaply with their entire midfield unit in attacking positions, Everton suddenly found themselves with four Boro forwards facing two defenders. Alen Boksic was played in on Simonsen's goal, lofted a delicate chip under the goalkeeper's crossbar - and Stubbs performed heroics to touch the goalbound effort on to the woodwork. But there was enough Boro back-up in the box for Nemeth to touch a goal in as easy as Whelan's before him. Blue heads didn't so much sag as be sliced from their shoulders - and the third goal was the football equivalent of twisting the knife and tossing salt in to the wound.
Just seven minutes after the floodgates had opened, Boksic broke clear again, his shot was palmed out by Simonsen and Paul Ince - a man taunted mercilessly by the travelling support - gleefully touched in the clincher. Everton reshuffled at the interval, as they had to. They reverted to a 4-4-2 formation, brought on the youthful verve of Nick Chadwick and began to take the game to Boro for the first time. But the game had already gone - and even then they couldn't reward their suffering supporters with the consolation of a goal. Niclas Alexandersson was played in by Chadwick and saw his shot blocked by the sprawling Schwarzer, then Radzinski took far too heavy a touch when he could have raced through. The Canadian did finally break clear on to another Chadwick prompt, but this time his left footed drive was parried by Schwarzer. David Unsworth's unmarked 73rd minute volley from a corner, which soared high into the crowd, seemed to sum up the afternoon.
In the end this Cup quarter-final may have signalled a series of Goodison goodbyes. David Ginola's brief flirtation with Royal Blue seemed to have ended even before kick-off. Paul Gascoigne's peripheral role throughout this tie will ensure he will be moved on this summer, too, and most significantly Walter Smith could follow him. Given the current state of the Goodison club, he would not be too distressed.
MIDDLESBROUGH (3-5-2): Schwarzer, Festa, Southgate, Queudrue, Stockdale, Greening, Ince, Mustoe, Nemeth (Marinelli 79 mins), Whelan (Windass 82 mins), Boksic ( Debeve 74 mins). Unused substitutes: Gavin, Crossley.
EVERTON (3-5-2): Simonsen, Clarke, Weir, Stubbs, Pistone, Linderoth (Alexandersson 45 mins), Gascoigne, Gemmill (Blomqvist 74 mins), Unsworth, Moore (Chadwick 45 mins), Radzinski. Unused substitutes: Gerrard, Cleland. Referee: Alan Wiley.
Bookings: Stubbs (20 mins) foul, Mustoe (54 mins) foul, Greening (79 mins) foul.
Attendance: 26,950.

Smith on a knife-edge
Mar 11 2002 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
A GOODISON boardroom battle could decide manager Walter Smith's future this week.
Directors were divided following yesterday's humiliating FA Cup exit at Middlesbrough - with some feeling the time has come to bow to fans' pressure. There were chants of "We want Walter out!" during the 3-0 defeat, and a small number stayed behind after the final whistle to vent their feelings.
Deputy Chairman Bill Kenwright sat alone in the Riverside Stadium Directors' Box for five minutes, holding his head in his hands. He has fiercely supported Walter Smith in the past, but is coming under increasing pressure to act. The Blues today dismissed the possibility of Joe Royle returning in a short-term fire-fighting role. Smith insisted he was prepared to stay and fight on. Asked to comment on the crowd criticism, he said: "It comes with the territory. "You have to accept it," and asked if he intended to soldier on he added: "Most certainly. I have done before and I will do again.
"When you are going through a spell like we are criticism is always going to be there, especially at a club like Everton where expectations will always be greater than at other clubs in similar positions to ourselves. "There are no complaints from myself. That's to be expected. You have to handle it as best you can." The Echo has been inundated by angry fans today, calling for action. Eric Moonman, Chairman of the Everton Supporters of London and the Home Counties, and former Labour MP for Basildon said: "Now is the time for Walter Smith to depart. "I can't for the life of me understand why he is so doggedly staying on when his record is so abysmal. "In any other business or service operation the boars would have acted two years ago rather than to listen to Mr Smith telling them that he won't go. "The mood of the supporters in recent games is quite clearly very angry as the future looks bleak. "The consequence of dropping into a lower division will cut all TV revenue and Kenwright's dream of the King's Dock will be gone forever. "There is still time to change the mood and motivation by bringing in a caretaker/manager with a substantial bonus to keep Everton in the Premier Division. It certainly won't happen if Walter Smith remains."

We threw it away
Mar 11 2002 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
A DEVASTATED David Unsworth emerged from the wreckage of Everton's FA Cup shambles at Middlesbrough to urge his team-mates to lift themselves for their biggest match of the season.
Thoughts of an FA Cup semi-final vanished in seven catastrophic minutes at The Riverside Stadium, leaving Everton to concentrate on pulling away from the Premiership relegation zone.
And afterwards Unsworth, one of the few shattered Everton players prepared to speak, said: "Fulham is huge now, absolutely huge. "But we knew that anyway. All the games from here on in are massive games for us. "It's not an easy position we're in at all and it's going to take a big effort by every single player. "The players have got to stand up now and show they've got big hearts.
"I think the right effort has been put in by everybody. It might not seem like that, but I think so. The lads are together. "Maybe we can be together a bit more but we just have to dig in. There's no
easy formula. We have to show big hearts, go out there and give it everything." Everton were blitzed in a seven minute spell of shambolic defending and Unsworth added: "Gutted is the only word I can say. "I don't know about anybody else but I am absolutely devastated.
"We gifted them three goals in five minutes and it was game over. "Of course the Cup matters. We honestly believed we had a great chance. Although we find ourselves in a difficult position in the league the cup definitely matters. "The first one was a dreadful goal, the second one we gave it away in midfield and they broke away and scored. So it's 2-0, game over, and then they've got an easy tap-in for the third. "We've gifted them three goals in what . . . 10 minutes? "You live and die by your results and we haven't done great lately. We've had a couple of solid results against Liverpool and Leeds which you might have thought would be a springboard, but they weren't and we just have to pick our chins off the floor. "It really hurts at the moment, but you have to regroup, it's gone now and it's pointless feeling sorry for ourselves."

Simonsen backs beleaguered Smith
Report By Paul Walker, Daily Post
Mar 12 2002
GOALKEEPER Steve Simonsen has jumped to the defence of under-fire Everton manager Walter Smith, insisting the players should take the blame for the Blues poor recent run. Former Rangers boss Smith has endured calls for his departure after the Goodison Park club crashed out of the FA Cup with an embarrassing 3-0 defeat at Middlesbrough on Sunday. But former England Under-21 goalkeeper Simonsen - who was at fault for Boro's first goal in the quarter-final tie - insists the Goodison players should hold their hands up. The former Tranmere stopper said: "You can't blame the gaffer for the situation we are in - it's the players' fault. "Walter has been working all season, and for the previous-seasons, on a shoestring." Simonsen's remarks follow another day which has seen Smith once more subject to growing speculation about his future as Everton boss.
The goalkeeper is quick to accept the blame for Sunday's mistake and insists Smith should stay.
He said: "I shouted to Alessandro Pistone to leave the ball. With all the noise he didn't hear and he tried a header to me which went past me - and they scored. "We both knew what we'd done; it was just wrong decisions by both of us. We have to accept that. "The cup was massive for us and the fans - it would have been a great day out in the semi-finals. Now we have to concentrate on the relegation battle, with every game a cup final. "We are down there; we know it's a battle on our hands and we have to concentrate-on getting out of it. "But it's unfair to blame the gaffer. He's had a shoestring budget and lots of injuries. If anyone takes the blame it's us, not the manager. He's heard all this before; he'll get on with his job and work at turning things around for us. "I don't think he's under any great pressure to go, and I believe we should be okay here. We have enough talent to pull ourselves out of this."

Smith's on the brink
Report By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Mar 12 2002
BILL KENWRIGHT will spend the next 48 hours agonising over whether to sack Everton boss Walter Smith. Pressure on the under-fire Blues manager intensified after Sunday's FA Cup shame at Middlesbrough, which heightened fears Everton's 48-year stay in the top flight might be drawing to a close. Directors at Goodison are believed to be divided over the manager's position, with some convinced the former Glasgow Rangers boss should go immediately. Deputy chairman Kenwright has always been a staunch supporter of Smith and has resisted calls for the Scot's sacking in the past.
But after the side's pitiful performance at the Riverside on Sunday, Kenwright may be prepared to change tack as he decides how best to halt Everton's slide towards the first division. The Blues ' majority shareholder could pull the plug on Smith's four-year Goodison tenure ahead of Saturday's vital Premiership home game with Fulham. But with no immediate replacement lined-up and reports of former boss Joe Royle arriving as a short-term solution dismissed, the deputy chairman may wait until the summer when his options will be wider. With just nine games left to save Everton's Premiership life, Kenwright would find it difficult to prise possible targets such as David Jones, David Moyes, Gary Megson and Peter Reid away from their present positions. But it would seem Smith faces an uphill battle to hang onto his job long-term. Paul Gascoigne, meanwhile, yesterday accepted full responsibility for the team's cup capitulation and admitted their performance was unprofessional. The Blues midfielder, in tears at the end of possibly his final FA Cup match, said: "You don't lose an FA Cup quarter-final in 15 minutes like we did. "We let ourselves down and this was a massive game for this club. We had total control of the ball in the first 15 minutes but then they scored and instead of being professional we let a couple more in.
"The second half was very difficult; all they had to do was keep the ball and even though we had a couple of chances we had already lost it." Gascoigne has also been subject to speculation over his future after losing his place in Smith's squad but insists he will see out his Goodison contract.
He said: "Obviously the gaffer hasn't been playing me and there have been new lads coming in, so I have had to wait for my chance. "As for my future I am happy playing at Everton and will wait and see what happens when I speak with Walter at the end of the season," Gascoigne added.

Striker's so vital to Blues' cup bid
Academy League By Chris Wright, Daily Post
Mar 12 2002
NICK Chadwick fired Everton Under-19s to the FA Premier Academy League title this time last year. And the Blues are hoping their latest young star, Wayne Rooney, can do likewise in the FA Youth Cup this year. Everton host Nottingham Forest at Goodison Park tonight in the sixth round and the return from international duty of 16-year-old striker Rooney could be a big factor in the Blues' chances. The young striker scored twice for England in their 4-0 qualifying victory over Lithuania at Ashton Gate on Sunday, as Dick Bate's side qualified for the UEFA U17s Championship in Denmark in next month. Although it may be too early for the youngster to be thinking of first-team opportunities, Chadwick's rise through the ranks should act as a spur to all at the Blues' academy.
Without Rooney and midfielder Scot Brown, also involved for England, Colin Harvey's U19s lost 2-0 to Derby County at Bellefield on Saturday and with it their unbeaten record in 2002.
A lack of goal threat was a chief reason for the Blues' defeat and the return of the England duo should go a long way to putting that right against Forest. In a disappointing, goalless first half, the Blues failed to continue their recent good form that had seen them win seven league games and two FA Youth Cup encounters since the Christmas break. Derby's East Midlands neighbours Forest. meanwhile, knocked Everton out of last year's FA Youth Cup at the third round stage in a replay at the City Ground, and also beat them over two legs in last season's U19s play-off semi-final.
Add to that a 1-0 League defeat in Nottingham for the U19s in September and a 0-0 goalless draw at U17s level and it is easy to see why the Blues will determined to win tonight. Academy director Ray Hall said: "We will give it a good go and if the lads go about the job properly, that is all you can ask from them. Then the rest is up to good luck, a bit of good play and all that goes with a cup quarterfinal. "But they are quite strong and fancy their chances of going all the way and winning the competition this year. "They are packed with a lot of internationals, not just from this country but their captain, Eugene Bopp, is the captain of the German U18s." Should the Blues get through they would face a two-legged semi-final against either last year's beaten finalists, Blackburn Rovers, or Tottenham Hotspur. The first game would be at Goodison Park, probably at the end of the month.
Alan Harper's U.17s also lost again, 1-0 to Blackburn Rovers at Netherton. It brought to an end their disappointing league campaign with a sixth defeat in their finals seven matches. Hall said: "We actually started the game with six U15s players, which was the youngest side we have ever put out.
"But despite that, we are a bit disappointed not to have taken something from the game."
Harper's side will be hoping for better luck when they start their four-team play-off group fixtures this Saturday, at home to Arsenal.

EXCLUSIVE: Smith on the verge
Mar 12 2002 By David Randles, icLiverpool
WALTER SMITH is about to lose his job as manager of Everton Football Club.
The Board of Directors are expected to make a formal announcement later today which will see both parties relinquish their four-year association. Smith has been under increasing pressure from Blues fans following a run which has seen just one win in 13 League games, leaving Everton battling to maintain their 48-year top flight status. Club owner, Bill Kenwright has stood by Smith in the past but it is thought that Sunday's 3-0 FA Cup quarter-final capitualtion at the hands of Middlesbrough has sealed the boss' fate. With a return of former Goodison boss Joe Royle discounted by the club, Preston North End's David Moyes is favourite to take over with Gary Megson of West Bromwich Albion also in the frame. With only nine games of the season remaining, it is not clear if the new man will come in immediately to help Everton's fight against relegation. Walter Smith has stood firm against his critics in ascertaining he would not resign from his post as manager. Sadly for him, the decision could now be out of his hands.

Foolish to dump Walter
Mar 12 2002 By Kevin Ratcliffe
I WATCHED Sunday's game with as much shock, horror and disappointment as anybody.
I share the frustration and helplessness that all Evertonians feel. And I agree that the performance at Middlesbrough was utterly unacceptable. But I do not share the view that the only way forward is to change the manager now. In fact I would take the opposite view that it would be a foolish decision to make a switch at such a crucial stage of the season. No-one knows Everton's players better than the man who brought them to Goodison, and while Walter may have lost many of the fans he clearly still has the players behind him. It is asking far too much to expect somebody to come in and effect an improvement in just nine games. He would be faced with exactly the same problems as Walter, namely where to turn to for goals when Kevin Campbell and Duncan Ferguson are both injured. The big problem at Everton is the same as it has been for years - finance.
Everton's goalscoring hopes have been pinned on Tomasz Radzinski's shoulders this season - a player who cost £4.5m. Saturday's Goodison visitors Fulham spent £11m on Steve Marlet - and have won just one more Premiership match than the Blues. Whenever Walter Smith has had cash to spend, it has been in dribs and drabs but he shouldn't even be worrying about the prospect of losing his job now. He should be allowed to concentrate on getting Everton out of trouble. That will be a hard enough job as it is, without having to worry about whether he will still be there at the end of the week. The overwhelming priority must be beating Fulham on Saturday. The three points for a win system means the Premiership table can change dramatically with just two back to back wins.
That's asking a lot, of course, with only one first choice forward to select from, but Everton have to look at the positives right now and learn from the negatives. That means going back to a 4-4-2 on Saturday, which has worked reasonably efficiently in terms of keeping goals out this year - bring back as many dogged, battling players as possible like Lee Carsley and Thomas Gravesen, and get behind the side as much as possible. Clearly the absence of forwards like Ferguson and Campbell has hit the club hard - but I also think Mark Pembridge has been sorely missed, and that's not just a Welsh old boys' network at work. Pembridge was excellent at Crewe in the FA Cup tie, and it's when he is forced out through injury that you realise how much he is missed. Many people believe that the priority right now is to change the manager. Personally I believe the only priority is three points - and that is more likely with a man in charge who knows those players best.

Rooney to lead Blues Youth Cup charge
Mar 12 2002 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
WALTER SMITH will cast a covetous, but frustrated eye over his talented Youth Cup line-up at Goodison Park tonight. Focus of his attention will be Wayne Rooney , a 16-yearold striker he would love to add to his goal-shy first team pool. The young England striker may even have been given his first taste of the Premiership already - but for an FA rule which forbids schoolboys from playing senior football. Rooney doesn't leave school until Easter, so until then Walter Smith will be forced to watch in admiration from the stands. The youngster will spearhead Everton's forward line again tonight in an FA Youth Cup quarter-final against Nottingham Forest (7pm) - just 48 hours
after scoring twice for England under-17s against Lithuania. "It's asking a lot to expect a player so young to produce another matchwinning performance so soon after playing 90 minutes for his country," said coach Colin Harvey "but Wayne will give everything as he always does."
With centre-half Rob Southern already out injured and defensive partner Steven Schumacher struggling after limping off during Saturday's defeat by Derby, Nottingham Forest will start slight favourites tonight. But the young Blues have already shown considerable character in their run to this season's last eight - not least when they shocked West Ham at Upton Park back in November.
And they have Wayne Rooney. The youngster scored both goals in the 2-0 defeat of West Bromwich Albion in the fourth round, and added two more against Manchester City in the last round.
Another influential show tonight and Walter Smith could be counting the days until Rooney leaves school.

It's D-Day for Walter
Mar 12 2002 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
WALTER SMITH'S position as Everton manager will be decided in the next 24 hours.
Blues' owner Bill Kenwright has been considering Smith's position since Sunday's humiliating defeat at Middlesbrough. Pressure has been mounting with the Echo's switchboard jammed with Evertonians demanding action, radio phone-ins inundated with angry callers and Everton websites calling for Smith's head. Deputy chairman Kenwright could now be ready to take action.
The Blues have already discounted the possibility of Joe Royle returning in a short term fire-fighting role, while other potential targets like David Jones and David Moyes are still embroiled in a fight to get Wolves and Preston into the Premiership. Even out-of-work managers like George Graham have sprung to Smith's defence in the wake of growing supporter pressure. But Kenwright is anxious to placate the growing body of Evertonians demanding an end to Smith's four-year tenure as Blues' boss. Relegation rivals Blackburn and Ipswich meet tomorrow in a crucial clash and the outcome could plunge the Blues further into trouble at the bottom of the table.

Graham backs troubled boss
Mar 12 2002 By David Prentice Everton Correspodent
THE man many Evertonians want to replace Walter Smith, former title winning boss George Graham, has mounted a spirited defence of the under-fire Everton manager. And he has been joined by a band of Goodison greats. Graham, former boss of Arsenal, Leeds and Tottenham, has been put forward by some supporters as an ideal short-term solution if Smith is sacked. But Graham said this week: "Everton are a big club. They get capacity gates every week. They are at the wrong end of the table, but I don't think it is anything to do with the manager. I think Walter is excellent.
"Whoever the manager is at Everton, it is a massive task, because they need more quality players, and to get those players you need finance. "The injury to Kevin Campbell is a big blow. Walter Smith and the fans will accept that the injuries to key players has really hampered their season.
"They put in some good performances but because they have got no forwards they cannot finish teams off." Everton title winners Neville Southall and Gary Stevens also joined in a chorus of backing for the beleaguered boss. "Walter Smith should get a knighthood, not the sack," said Southall, now manager at Conference club Dover. "It's laughable that they're criticising Walter when he's spent £700,000 net over four years and got the club out of the mire. "To me it's a miracle Everton are still a Premier League side given what Walter's been able to spend." Southall's title winning teammate, Gary Stevens, agreed. "From what I understand Walter is still very popular with the players.
Everton are having a very difficult time and player power sometimes helps at these times.
"I don't think fans really appreciate what goes on but they made schoolboy errors (against Boro) and the match was over at half-time. "Changing manager at this stage of the season sometimes works, but it also sometimes fails. Someone has to galvanise the players and Walter is a man motivator. "Business is business I suppose but Kenwright is on Walter's side. "If you look back to some games recently, Everton have been unlucky but when you are one point from relegation the fans don't see that. "I think the fans are frustrated. It's the same story every year. If there was some improvement, so you are not looking over shoulder and at other people's results, they could say they are going somewhere. "The players haven't got the opportunity to express themselves, you almost go out hoping not to make a mistake at this point. Hopefully there will be a resurgence."

Smith Goes
By Andy Hunter, Chief Football Writer
Mar 13 2002
WALTER Smith's four-year reign at Goodison Park is at an end. The Everton manager has paid the price for the Blues' slide towards the relegation zone and Sunday's dismal FA Cup exit at Middlesbrough. He was sacked last night by owner Bill Kenwright - and will receive a £1m pay-off.
Everton are expected to officially confirm Smith's departure today, with Preston North End's promising young boss, David Moyes, top of their list as his replacement. A run of just one win in 13 league games has left Everton one point above the relegation places with nine games left. In the meantime, Smith's righthand man, Archie Knox, will assume control as caretaker boss ahead of Saturday's home clash with Fulham. The pressure on Walter Smith has been growing after a string of poor results threatened the club's Premiership status, after 48 years in the top flight.
Everton fans have been voicing their displeasure for many months, with the club switchboard and radio phone-ins inundated with angry callers.

Everton are on edge of abyss
By Len Capeling, Daily Post
Mar 13 2002
WHEN I suggested last summer that Walter Smith was viewed by the Everton board as the perfect fall-guy I expected a spluttering rebuttal. But no. For once, there was utter silence. As if the idea of having a ready-made scapegoat warmed them like tropical heat on a winter's day. Nine months on we can see why they need Walter to stand between them and an army of furious fans.
Better that the manager takes the abuse. Better that the manager acts as a human shield.
No, on this one, Walter is cast in the role of Bill Kenwright's favourite screen hero, Marshal Gary Cooper. Facing the mob on his lonesome, with the townsfolk - or directors - disappearing as fast as their little legs will carry them. The injustice of this has been highlighted before, here and elsewhere. Everton - and Walter - are imperilled because of failure by the hierarchy to think big enough on anything other than the new Kings Dock Theatre. The result of that paralysis was demonstrated on Sunday when one of the poorest teams to sport the Royal Blue couldn't put up the semblance of resistance against one of the Premiership's poorest sides. Shock was not the reaction. Despair was probably the main emotion - despair over a refusal by the club's leaders to act in the best interests of the team. Everton's problems run deeper, of course, than the present administration and, one FA Cup apart, the fans have suffered 12 years of their beloved side sliding ever faster towards the abyss. Walter has kept the club from bankruptcy while having to build a new team every season on the proceeds of the petty cash box. As a thank you for his efforts he finds himself walking the plank. He won't be surprised at that. Now, when he most needs a change of fortune, his mistakes are being magnified by lack of quality in a team that cost nothing to construct - and looks no better than it should be. It is this decision not to invest in what matters that finally threatens to undo Everton. Left with few options other than to bring in the occasionally unsuitable and the often unmanageable, Walter faced a battle that proved unwinnable. The directors must know that this is no way to run a club. No way to treat fans whose amazing loyalty since the days of Peter Johnson has kept gates well above the 30,000 mark. But don't take my word for it. Remember what former skipper Richard Gough said about Everton's latterday lack of ambition. Remember what Olivier Dacourt said about his reasons for leaving Goodison. Remember what present captain Kevin Campbell said about the refusal, at the highest level, to recognise the dangers of stripping the first-team squad down to a skeletal frame. Walter is a rough, tough guy. He will accept a measure of responsibility for mistaken tactics, for errors in selection. But what he shouldn't have to do is carry the entire burden. "What now?" asked an anguished Evertonian who rang me just after the final knell sounded at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium. I didn't have an answer. He did. Normally upbeat about the Blues, even when the firing squad was checking its gunsights, he confessed that for the first time in his life he felt Everton would go down. Escape after escape had previously instilled in him the belief that someone up there liked his beloved team as much as he did. But, after Sunday, he was wavering - and there were others like him. For example, the fan who rang Alan Green on Radio Five Live. He couldn't see where another goal - never mind a win - was coming from.
Droning out the remaining fixtures - Fulham, Derby County, Newcastle United, Bolton Wanderers, Chelsea, Leicester City, Southampton, Blackburn Rovers, Arsenal - he sounded like someone reading the last rites. He had good reason to be glum. None of those teams has nothing to play for.
One wants the championship, two have eyes on Europe, six need to save themselves from a fate as grim as Everton's. Little wonder, then, that Walter worried. That the supporters are mired in gloom.
And that Fulham at the weekend represents one of the biggest challenges in Everton's history - for Archie Knox, players and supporters. Be there, the future may well depend on it.

Players must take the blame - Stubbs
Daily Post
Mar 13 2002
ALAN STUBBS last night pointed the finger of blame, not at Walter Smith, but at the players themselves. The former Celtic defender said: "The situation is down to the players and nobody else. It should not be about Walter. "The players support him because he has had to work under appalling conditions. I know the fans are disappointed about the season, but it is down to the guys on the pitch." Stubbs believes that the players need to rally round in Everton's battle to stay in the top flight. "The gaffer can only do so much," he said. "Everyone has to pull their finger out.
"I am not saying there are people not trying but if anyone comes off that pitch having not given 100 per cent, they've let the gaffer down." Stubbs fears that Smith has paid the price for the way Everton's fortunes have dippped over the past decade. "The club is still suffering from what has gone on before here, yet the financial situation is not Walter's fault." Gary Stevens, the former Everton defender who later played under Smith at Rangers, fears Everton may have jumped the gun in sacking Smith. "I understand he is very popular with the players," he said. "Everton are having a very difficult time and player power sometimes helps at these times." Former Blues keeper Neville Southall said: "He deserves a knighthood not the sack. For your net spending to be £700,000 over four years is incredible."

Time runs out on Smith reign
By Andy Hunter Daily Post Chief Football Writer
Mar 13 2002
IN THE end it was a question of when, not if, Everton would call a taxi for Walter Smith.
But only time will tell whose sanity has been saved by Bill Kenwright's decision to end the misery of a growing mass of Evertonians - and the Scot himself - yesterday. Sunday's FA Cup debacle at Middlesbrough illuminated the worst fears of suffering fans that their club, now one season away from becoming the first to play 100 campaigns in the top flight, was in freefall to the first division.
Sharing the trauma of his fellow Evertonians at the Riverside, Kenwright buried his head in his hands on the final whistle but not in the sand, as Smith's sacking shows. With Everton's Premiership survival paramount, Kenwright - genuinely gutted at his latest curtain-call - has acted boldly with that in mind. If he succeeds and David Moyes, or whoever, treads the path to safety he deserves to be, and will be, applauded. But with nine games to go to save Everton's skin this is the managerial taxi-ride that screams only 'gamble'. If nothing else during four years of intense fire-fighting Smith has proven adept at keeping Everton up. Which is why all concerned would have been best served by a cull in the summer. While Smith the realist has kept Everton's head above water, other Goodison power-brokers have seemed more concerned with dreams for the waterfront. The entire episode is not a great addition to the former Glasgow Rangers' manager's CV or a bright chapter in Everton's history. But given a laughable total outlay of £700,000 over four seasons that is hardly a surprise. Since his arrival in 1998 the Glaswegian has spent most of his time balancing the books and trawling the bargain basement for players who could somehow match the aspirations of directors who refuse to accept success comes at a price. Now they will look to another miracleworker to achieve just what managers with the track record and experience of Smith, Howard Kendall and Joe Royle couldn't. And Mike Walker. Preston boss Moyes may be Everton's main target, and hopefully the man to inject new life into a decaying giant, but whoever steps into the firing line must do so without delay and with the total support from the board. Past experience does not bode well.
Smith was let down by Everton within months of walking into Goodison Park but, though determined to restore faded fortunes and more committed to the cause than many fans' accepted, the years spent banging his head against a brick wall ultimately appear to have taken their toll.
Everton's departing boss would no doubt dispute the charge, especially after vowing to stay and fight after Sunday's capitulation and calls for his head, but his motivation must have taken a hammering by the Goodison experience. When shareholders question the manager on his tactics to defend corner-kicks at the start of the AGM's open session rather than search for answers to Everton's financial plight and wealthy directors ask why there are so many players past their sell-by date at the club, to cite but two examples, despair surely overwhelms. And in the final months of his reign that appears to have spilled out on to the pitch with a run of form no-one can defend and Evertonians will hope Moyes can rectify. Having been tipped as one of English football's brightest young coaches by Sir Alex Ferguson, the Preston boss will have to live up to that tag in the deep-end of a relegation dogfight instead of working from a clean slate in close-season. The lure of the Premiership and the promise of new funds to spend at Goodison Park may tempt Moyes to accept the chance to become Everton's saviour. But any phonecall to the previous incumbent will hopefully be made after the contract is signed. Smith is no fool and knew what the result of one win in 13 league games would be for him. Equally, he is fully aware what years without sound investment or long-term planning would mean for the club. One of Smith's concerns was realised yesterday. The other now rests on this season's last roll of the dice from Bill Kenwright

Youngsters serve up a welcome boost in cup
Daily Post
Mar 13 2002
EVERTON'S Youth side came from behind to progress into the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup with a tremendous victory over Nottingham Forest at Goodison. The Blues were dealt an early blow when the visitors took the lead on 12 minutes. A corner by Jay Birch took a wicked deflection off Blues' defender Alan Moogan and shot into his own goal. Colin Harvey's side rallied well and went close with a great run and shot by the once again impressive Wayne Rooney. It was Rooney who brought the Blues level when Moogan's header came back off the bar and the young striker showed tremendous quickness of mind to score with an overhead kick. The visitors saw one of their most promising players Eugen Bopp sent off a minute into the second half for his second offence.
The Blues went very close to taking the lead on 55 minutes with Rooney's 35-yard shot hitting the bar. A minute later Rooney had a fierce drive blocked, but David Carney was on hand to fire home the rebound. Scott Brown saw a shot tipped over the bar by Andy Reid, but the night was soured when substitute Damon Martland was sent off three minutes into injury time with a straight red card for a nasty challenge on James Biggins. Everton now face Spurs in a two legged semi-final.
EVERTON YOUTH: Pettinger, Colbeck, Crowder, Moogan B, Garside, Moodgan A, Brown, Beck ( Martland 85), Symes, Rooney, Carney. Subs: Cole, Jones, Potter, Gerrard.

Blues confirm Smith's departure
Mar 13 2002 By David Randles, icLiverpool
EVERTON FOOTBALL CLUB have confirmed the departure of Walter Smith.
In a statement made by the club, the Blues have thanked Smith for his efforts over four years while stressing the need for the swift appointment of his successor. Club Press Officer, Darren Griffiths said: "The club wishes to thank Mr Smith for his service since his appointment in the summer of 1998. "The club has now begun the process of identifying and then appointing a new manager, something which, it is hoped, will be concluded as swiftly as is possible. "No further comment will be made until the club is in a position to name its new team manager." Following just one win in 13 league games, Smith's contract was terminated late last night. The former boss will receive a £1m severance pay-off. Preston boss, David Moyes is tipped as favourite to succeed Smith, while West Bromwich Albion's Gary Megson and Wolves' David Jones have also been linked with the vacant post.

What now for the blues?
Mar 13 2002 By Paddy Shennan, Liverpool Echo
WELL, thank God for that...I can now go back to Goodison Park.
And I know there are many other reluctant exiles who are also looking forward to returning to their spiritual home. The grim non-reaper of points has, finally, gone. All we need now is for a group of razor-sharp business brains - preferably born-and-bred Evertonians who have also recently won the lottery in rollover weeks - to move into the boardroom and we'll be laughing. You can, if you wish, spare a thought for Walter Smith. After all, there is a slight chance that he will be "disappointed."
But he shouldn't be. He was allowed to stay at the club longer than he should have been and will walk away with - and read this slowly - ONE WHOLE MILLION POUNDS.
Why shouldn't he? Good question.
Football, as we keep being told, is a business and Mr Motivator only accepted the contract the boardroom was foolish enough to offer. But there are still some romantics who roam this miserable, cynical Earth (most of them have Everton season-tickets) who have been saying, for months: "If Smith really is this great man of pride and dignity who only wants what is best for Everton FC, he would walk away - with his head bowed and muttering apologies." Still, that's football.
What now? A new face being brought with just nine games to go? Doesn't that spell relegation? No, it spells possible, perhaps probable, relegation. Walter Smith staying spelled certain relegation.
David Moyes? While a great many Blues will be rejoicing at Smith's belated departure, a great many Preston North End fans would mourn the loss of Davie Moyes (of whom his one-time mentor, one Walter Smith, once said: "I always thought he would do well for himself.") He's worked miracles at PNE and is known for finding and nurturing young, talented players and sending out teams to play neat, attractive and attacking football. Can't be coming to Everton, then, surely.

Why Smith was fired
Mar 13 2002 By Mark Thomas, Liverpool Echo
THAT WAS THEN: Walter Smith checks in back in 1998
WALTER SMITH survived at the helm of Everton Football Club for the best part of four stormy years.
He saw off one chairman and shopped in the bargain basements of European football to keep the club in the Premiership against mounting odds. But at times he frustrated the fans with his baffling tactics and team selections, and in the end paid the price for failing to win their hearts.
Smith was 50 when he took over at Goodison in the summer of 1998, the club's fourth manager in as many years under the tumultuous reign of the unlamented Park Foods tycoon Peter Johnson.
Everton signed him on a £2m, three year contract, snapping him up from under the noses of Sheffield Wednesday a month after he had stepped down as manager of Glasgow Rangers.
His Ibrox record was impeccable, 13 trophies in seven seasons. But he had also spent a cool £45m as he signed world stars like Brian Laudrup and Paul Gascoigne. He was given the green light to go on a spending spree at Everton, bringing in the likes of Olivier Dacourt, John Collins and Ibrahima Bakayoko. But he was unaware that he was also contributing to a £20m debt crisis.
That November, with the banks threatening to foreclose, Johnson sold the club's iconic centre forward Duncan Ferguson to Ruud Gullit's Newcastle United without informing his manager.
Smith is a quietly spoken man, leaving the ranting and raving to his more volatile number two Archie Knox. But when he fixes you with a stare, it speaks volumes. Now Peter Johnson was to learn the strength of the iron hand inside that velvet glove. Smith almost resigned on the spot, and was outspoken in his anger at Johnson's actions. In the end it was Johnson who left Goodison Park, stepping down as chairman to pave the way for Bill Kenwright to eventually take over as owner and deputy chairman. From the start, Kenwright gave his full support to Smith, giving him a two year extension to his contract on the day he announced the takeover following a 5-0 Boxing Day 1999 home triumph against Sunderland. Smith continued to wheel and deal, bringing back Duncan Ferguson, and signing a mixed bag of European players like the inconsistent Niclas Alexandersson, the injury prone Alessandro Pistone and the disastrous Alex Nyarko. But unlike most of his Premiership counterparts he has been forced to balance the books, unable to spend big on the kind of stars that could take the club on to the next level. And he has been unable to hang on to his own most promising recruits like Dacourt and Abel Xavier, or some of Everton's most talented home grown youngsters like Francis Jeffers and Michael Ball. The loss of the popular and highly effective Nick Barmby to Liverpool was a hammer blow to the pride and morale of Evertonians.
Smith bought experience, squeezing the last ounce out of the ageing legs of once world class players like Gazza, Mark Hughes, and Richard Gough. But on the terraces, there has been growing disenchantment at his reluctance to give youth its chance. Teenage centre forward Nick Chadwick has been terrorising defences in the reserves for a season and a half, but his first team claims have been virtually ignored despite an appalling series of injuries that have plagued the team's established strikers. In the second forty five minutes of last Sunday's shameful FA Cup quarter final against Middlesbrough, Chadwick came off the bench and forged a partnership with Tomasz Radzinski that looked as promising as any the club has fielded this season. There may be very good reasons for Chadwick being passed over, but you would not know them from Walter. Communication is not his strong point. His dour public face, his almost inaudible mutterings of "disappointment" at one on-field shambles after another, have not endeared him to the supporters.
Neither have his failure to explain strange tactical ploys and a perverse readiness to use good players out of position. In reality, those close to him say he is a warm, passionate football man with a ready sense of humour and a love of rock music, as likely to be spotted in the crowd at a Who concert as on a scouting mission to an away match. This week's messages of support demonstrate that he always had the backing of most of his players. Sadly, that side of Walter Smith has never manifested itself to supporters starved of success for too long and now staring down the shotgun barrel of relegation yet again. The chorus of "We want Walter out" that echoed around the Riverside stadium on Sunday was the signal that patience had finally run out among supporters who respected Smith but never really took him to their hearts. When Kenwright sadly turned his back on his manager yesterday, he was bowing to the inevitable.

Smith bids a sad farewell
Mar 13 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
WALTER SMITH emptied his Bellefield desk this morning and said his farewells. Then the Blues' boss made a brief, but dignified statement. "I am very disappointed by the way things have turned out," he said. "I wish everybody at the club the best of luck for the rest of the season and for future years, too. But there's not much more I can say." Smith is disappointed that talk of an alleged £1m pay-off has been leaked to the press. "We have not discussed compensation," he added. "I don't know where those stories have come from." He has also been advised by his lawyer to give no major interviews while the dust settles on his sacking. Smith flew down to London yesterday to meet Blues' deputy-Chairman Bill Kenwright, where he was told his contract would be terminated.
He attended last night's Youth Cup match at Goodison Park, primarily to discuss legal matters with Chief Executive Michael Dunford. He arrived at Bellefield at eight o'clock this morning, where he spent an hour emptying his drawers into a collection of black bin liners. Poignantly, the one object which remained was the solitary Manager of the Month award he earned during his second season in charge of the club. A procession of players filtered into his office to say their goodbyes, amongst them Paul Gascoigne who had reportedly threatened to quit Everton if Smith was sacked.
His future will now become a matter for the incoming boss to consider. Archie Knox will take charge of training sessions for the rest of this week, with the Blues' board hoping to have a new manager in place by the time Fulham arrive at Goodison Park on Saturday.

Blues make bid for Moyes
Mar 13 2002 By David Randles, icLiverpool
PRESTON NORTH END have confirmed that Everton have made an official approach for their manager, David Moyes. In a statement made this afternoon, the Lancashire club's acting chairman, Derek Shaw has said: "In my opinion, David Moyes is the best young manager in football at the moment and it is in our interests not to lose him. "David is training as normal with the players this morning but myself and Chief Executive Tony Scholes will be sitting down with him this afternoon to discuss the approach made by Everton." In an earlier statement Scholes delared: "David is doing an excellent job here at Deepdale and it is inevitable that his name will be raised in regard to many high-profile jobs. "However, he is the manager of Preston North End and we are proud that he wants to manage in the Premiership with this football club." However, the Lancashire club's steadfast position may just be a smokescreen for the inevitable as Scholes continued: "In any event, we will not allow David to leave unless an adequate compensation package is agreed."
Although Preston will inform Moyes of any approaches made for his services, the First Division outfit has scotched media reports concerning a clause in their manager's contract which enables him to speak to Premiership clubs. Scholes' comment regarding a compensation requirement however, may suggest the ball is in Moyes' court should he want to join the Blues. Since taking the reigns at Preston in 1998 - ironically, the same year Walter Smith joined Everton - Moyes has helped the club to two play-off finals and the Second Division Championship. Preston are currently in eighth spot in Division One, just 5 points off a play-off spot.

Blues make their move
Mar 13 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON will today make formal contact with Preston North End and West Bromwich Albion as they begin their search for an ambitious young replacement for Walter Smith. Highly-rated Deepdale boss David Moyes appears to be top of the Goodison Park wanted list. But Albion's former Everton midfielder Gary Megson is also in the frame. Everton will pull out all the stops to get the right man. With just nine games left and a crucial clash looming against Fulham, majority shareholder Bill Kenwright wants a swift resolution to his managerial search after formally parting company with Walter Smith today. An official club statement said: " Everton wishes to announce that its team manager Mr Walter Smith OBE has today left the club, his contract having been terminated.
"The club wishes to thank Mr Smith for his service since his appointment in the summer of 1998.
"The club has now begun the process of identifying and then appointing a new manager, something which it is hoped will be concluded as swiftly as possible. "No further comment will be made until the club is in a position to name its new team manager." Moyes has a clause in his contract that will allow him to speak to any interested Premiership party. But Everton cannot assume that they will get their man and will have to keep their options open on candidates like Megson, a former Goodison midfielder who has experience at Norwich, Stockport, Stoke and Albion. He is also rated as one of the game's most talented young bosses. Wolves manager David Jones is an obvious candidate but looks set to complete the task of taking the Midlanders into the top flight.
The main Premiership option is Peter Reid and it is understood that he would consider an approach from his former club. But he is less than a year into a four year deal worth a reputed £8m.
Majority shareholder and deputy chairman Bill Kenwright knows that the appointment will have to be absolutely right if Everton are survive the drop. But Kenwright took time out today to reflect on how difficult it was to part with a boss who managed with real integrity. He said: "Walter Smith was and is one of the most honest and honourable men in football. He brought a stability and dignity to Everton Football Club when it desperately needed it most. "Obviously today's decision was not taken lightly, but it was felt it was in the best interests of the club as it battles to preserve its Premiership status."

Moyes heads wanted list
Mar 13 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
I WISHED Walter Smith 'Good Luck' yesterday when it became apparent his future as Everton manager lay in the balance. Showing a shaft of humour many refuse to credit him with, he joked: "Does that mean you want me to get the sack?" It may have been gallows humour, but it also showed the poisoned chalice the Everton manager's job has become. Smith will quit his Bellefield office today saddened, frustrated, maybe even embittered - but there will also be a sense of relief at being relieved of what is fast becoming the impossible job. Smith has gone, but the same problems will still linger for the new manager, whoever that might be. Frustrated fans will point the finger and ask what Walter Smith has achieved during his three-and-a-half year tenure at Goodison Park.
He did not bring silverware to the trophy cabinet, not even Harry Potter could have conjured up that, but he did buy the Blues' time. By keeping Everton in the Premiership - during a period when he was the only Premiership manager to operate a transfer policy in the black - he bought the Blues' board almost four years of time. Walter Smith has brought a collection of ageing hasbeens and average wannabees to Goodison Park, and he has done so because there appears to have been no serious money to buy anybody better. True, he must hold his hands up for baffling formations and strange selections, but given the fragile and frail nature of Everton's first team squad, there have often been precious few other options remaining. The new manager will be faced with those same problems. Everton's injury list is always so acute because the squad is filled with so many players past the age of 30. And that situation will intensify, not ease, with the passing of time - unless fresh funds are made available to attract new, younger stars.

Players 'gutted' Walter has gone
Mar 13 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
BLUES defender David Unsworth said today that the players were baffled by the decision to axe Walter Smith at such a crucial stage of the season. There was collective disappointment and some anger at the club's training ground this morning. Unsworth said: "I'm speaking on behalf of the vast majority of the lads and we are absolutely devastasted. We can't believe that with the most important nine games of the season looming we have sacked our manager. "At a time like this we needed to pull together from top to bottom of the club, but instead we wake up this morning to read in our newspapers that we don't have a manager. "Everyone is gutted and we don't know what is going to happen at the weekend." Club captain Kevin Campbell also expressed his disappointment privately, but is gagged from talking to the press following recent interviews which have been critical of the Blues' board.

Walter Smith Factfile
Mar 13 2002
1948: Born Glasgow Feb 24.
1967: Joins Dundee United.
1979: Re-joins Dundee United on coaching staff after spell at Dumbarton.
1986: Becomes number two to Graeme Souness at Rangers.
1991: Takes over from Souness as manager to clinch title four matches later - a third successive championship.
1992: Rangers lift double.
1993: Rangers win treble of Scottish League, Scottish Cup and League Cup.
1994: Rangers take title by three points from Aberdeen and retain League Cup.
1995: Championship is won easily by 15 points. Signs Paul Gascoigne from Lazio.
1996: Third League and Cup double for Smith.
1997: Completes record-equalling ninth successive League title. Awarded OBE.
1998: Last season at Ibrox ends without silverware. Rejects offer from Sheffield Wednesday to sign three-year contract with Blues.
1998: On November 23 discovers that Duncan Ferguson was to be sold to Newcastle. May 16 - Everton finish 14th in the Premier League, seven points above the drop. December 26 - Signs twoyear contract extension, in Bill Kenwright's £20m takeover.
2000: May 14 - Finish 13th in the Premiership. July 17 - Signs Gascoigne. August 17 - Re-signs Ferguson for £3.75million.
2001: May 19 - Escape drop by eight points, finishing 16th.
2002: March 13 - After run of just one win in 13 league matches, and defeat in the FA Cup, Smith is sacked.

Blues closing in on Moyes
Report By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Mar 14 2002
EVERTON are confident of unveiling David Moyes as their new manager tomorrow despite being caught up in a compensation wrangle with Preston. The Blues were yesterday granted permission to speak to the highly-rated Deepdale boss just hours after it was confirmed Walter Smith's Goodison contract had been terminated. Everton remain hopeful the 38-year-old will agree to replace Smith, who has spoken of the 'pain' and 'disappointment' of his sacking, before Saturday's vital Premiership clash with Fulham at Goodison Park. But first they must thrash out a compensation package with the first division club, who are demanding over £1million for Moyes' services. An Everton spokesman confirmed last night: "Preston North End have now given us permission to speak to David Moyes. "The question of compensation has yet to be agreed and settled." Everton deputy chairman Bill Kenwright added: "I have had my first conversation with him and we will be talking again." A Preston North End statement said: "All parties understand that any possible deal is contingent on the two clubs agreeing an appropriate compensation package, irrespective of anything David Moyes might agree personally." The Scot signed a new five-year contract with Preston last summer after rejecting overtures from West Ham and Southampton but has an agreement with his employers to allow him to talk with would-be Premiership suitors.
No compensation fee is believed to have been written into that new deal and Everton believed an offer of around £320,000 would speed up Moyes' release. Smith, meanwhile, has spoken of his sadness after his Goodison tenure was brought to an end by deputy chairman Bill Kenwright on Tuesday. The former Blues manager bade his farewells to the players at Bellefield yesterday and insisted there was no bitterness about the first dismissal of his managerial career.
"After nearly four years working at Everton there is a painful feeling on the morning after you learn you have to leave," said Smith. "Every manager faces the possibility of being asked to leave, but you hope it doesn't happen to you. But it has happened and I just have to face up to that. "At this stage it's very difficult to say that I've enjoyed it. There have been highs and lows, there's been a lot of good things and a lot of things I've enjoyed during my time here. "It hasn't been easy but overall you feel a sense of frustration, coupled with a level of disappointment." Smith added: "I'd like to wish everyone at Everton all the best and I hope that the club can gain the level of success that is necessary for them in the coming years. I don't know what the future holds at the moment, we'll have to wait and see. "It's rather early to be deciding what I'm going to do."

EXCLUSIVE: Everton get their man
Mar 14 2002 By David Randles, icLiverpool
DAVID MOYES has been unveiled as the new Everton boss less than 48 hours after the departure of Walter Smith. The 38-year old boss was top of the Blues hit-list once they made a decision to terminate Smith's contract on Tuesday night. His arrival from Preston North End comes as a timely boost before Everton's make-or-break Premiership clash at home to Fulham on Saturday.
The two clubs had been at loggerheads over a compensation settlement for the man dubbed by his former Chairman, David Shaw as 'the best young manager in football at the moment'.
At a specially arranged press conference, Moyes made a pragmatic interpretation of the job in hand before turning his sights to his first game in charge on Saturday. He said: "There are no easy jobs in football management. It's a big job here to avoid relegation, but I'm under no illusions - it's a difficult task." "I hope that come Saturday, I can install a little bit extra in Everton's play, there are always big crowds at Goodison and they can play a part. "I think I can get the best out of the players.
"I'm a manager who likes being on the training ground and it's up to me to improve the players as much as I can." Having agreed personal terms earlier in the day, Moyes has been offered a contract which will take in the remainder of the season and the next four years.

Moyes says YES
Mar 14 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON moved today to clear the final obstacle barring David Moyes' appointment as their fifth manager in 10 years. The Preston boss met with Chairman Sir Philip Carter and Chief Executive Michael Dunford last night and swiftly agreed personal terms. The only outstanding issue is the amount of compensation to be paid to the Deepdale club. Talks took place this afternoon hoping to quickly settle that issue. Moyes signed a new four-year deal only 12 months ago and the Lancashire club wants £ 1m and it is believed the Blues have offered £500,000. Clearly the gap can be closed.
Everton want Moyes in place as quickly as possible and will aim to reach a swift compromise.
Still unresolved is the position of Moyes' number two. Archie Knox was asked on Tuesday to supervise training for "a couple of days," but cleared his desk this morning and does not expect to be at Bellefield tomorrow - another sign of Everton's confidence. He was at Old Trafford with Walter Smith last night to watch Manchester United's Champions League draw with Bayern Munich, but insists that a report linking him with a switch to become Sir Alex Ferguson's number two again is " just speculation." Kelham O'Hanlon is Moyes' assistant at Preston, but he has quickly been installed as favourite to succeed the departing manager. Moyes should be at Everton by tomorrow, which leaves him just 24 hours to assess his new squad and send out a team to face Fulham in a vital Premiership battle. The good news for the incoming manager is that Duncan Ferguson joined in full training for the first time in weeks yesterday. He will be available for the must-win match, as will Thomas Gravesen and Lee Carsley, suspended and cup- tied respectively for last weekend's FA Cup defeat at Middlesbrough. Gary Naysmith is still out injured, however, while Kevin Campbell's fitness will be a last minute decision. Tomasz Radzinski missed training yesterday with a tight hamstring, but was fit enough to carry on today. Everton's Reserves travel to Bradford City tonight, with Alec Cleland and Idan Tal involved in the Pontin's League clash.

Blues close in on young Fergie
Mar 14 2002 By Ken Rogers
ONE of the brightest young managers in football was today on the verge of claiming the Goodison Park hotseat. The step-up from Preston North End to Everton will be a massive one for David Moyes (pictured), ironically an "apprentice" of the man he has now sensationally replaced - Walter Smith.
The 38-year old Scot played under Smith with Scotland's youth team. Don't ever argue with the the famous phrase that football is a funny old game. Nothing stands still in the great game, certainly not at the highest level. It only seems like yesterday that Walter Smith was winning the respect of the Goodison faithful when he put himself on a collision course with Peter Johnson over the Duncan Ferguson transfer to Newcastle. The manager refused to say that he had been involved in any way with a deal that opened a can of worms about Everton's financial predicament and it began the process that would ultimately see the chairman selling his majority shareholding to his board rival Bill Kenwright. Kenwright inherited a massive debt. That was the bad news. He also inherited one of the most honest managers in the game in Smith. They built up a very special partnership and I know how traumatic it was this week for the vice chairman when he had to pull the rug from under a man who had shown tremendous dignity throughout his spell in the Goodison hotseat.
This is how we should remember Walter Smith. He did not rant when he had to sell top class players to help balance the books. He did not go squealing to the press when it seemed there would never be an end to Everton's financial nightmare. He certainly never put any pressure on the man who finally ended his Goodison reign on Tuesday afternoon. The cynics will say that a reported six figure pay-off would encourage anyone to put up and shut up. But those who know Smith will understand that he was mature, measured and sensible - almost certainly too much so in the final reckoning.
Sometimes you desperately wanted him to publicly hammer players who had let him down; to jump up in the directors' box and stamp his feet; to explode in a press conference about his bitter disappointment. It was never going to happen. Walter Smith had seen it all and done it all in Glasgow. Nothing seemed to phase him. He remains a super hero at Rangers where a record equalling nine successive league titles thrilled Ibrox. He could never repeat his Scottish glory days on Merseyside But he appeared immune to panic. At least, that was the image that came across. Deep down, I know he suffered and fretted like every fan. And while he appeared very dour and unemotional on the surface, underneath he could be explosive. In the dressing room everyone knew who was boss. No one crossed him. Clearly, this is one of the traits that David Moyes picked up from Smith in his Scotland youth days. Last summer Moyes was involved in a very public pre-season brawl with a player who stepped out of line. When I asked a Preston colleague to describe his management style, he said: "He doesn't take any prisoners. He's like a young Alex Ferguson."
He will need this gritty style when he steps out at Bellefield where many of the individuals who let Walter Smith down have been bitching about his departure. If they had been half as aggressive at Middlesbrough last Sunday, maybe Smith would still be in the job. What is important now is that the new man learns from the lessons of his predecessor. If, as expected today, he completes his move to Goodison, he will be selecting from exactly the same squad of players that have plunged the Blues back into the relegation mire. Yes, the fans will want Moyes to be tough and inspirational. But this alone won't get Everton out of trouble. It's more important that he uses people in their right positions and in a tactical shape that they are comfortable with. This is where Walter Smith totally lost the plot, not least at Boro where Everton started with a left-back ( Pistone) playing at right-back; a young centre-back (Clarke) operating at leftback; a centre-back cum left-back (Unsworth) slotting in as a left sided midfielder; a left midfielder (Ginola) sitting at home twiddling his thumbs after being told to take the weekend off; a midfielder (Gascoigne) handed the most difficult of challenges in the middle of the park after being effectively written from the script for the previous four games.
Because of his lack of match practice he was never up for the pace of the tie. You cannot be Lord Lucan one minute and a football hero the next. And so Everton were hit by an FA Cup tidal wave that would engulf the manager. David Moyes, by simply playing to the strengths of his new players, could be rewarded with the extra 10 per cent that will pull Everton clear. Every Blue will desperately hope that is the case.

New boss will turn old boss for advice
Mar 14 2002 Liverpool Echo
WALTER SMITH will have one last task to perform, before he severs his links with Everton Football Club permanently. Blues' manager-elect, David Moyes, will turn to his old pal for a run-down on the players he could soon inherit. The two Scots' paths have crossed many times throughout their careers. They went head to head as managers for the first time in January 2000, when Preston came to Goodison Park in the fifth round of the FA Cup. Smith came out on top that time, but ahead of the tie Moyes spoke about their relationship. "I've known Walter for a long time," he said.

Young Blues look to get back on track
Academy League By Chris Wright, Daily Post
Mar 15 2002
AFTER Tuesday's FA Youth Cup win against Nottingham Forest at Goodison, Everton get back to FA Premier Academy League action tomorrow looking to bounce back from last weekend's defeats.
After a superb run since the start of the New Year Colin Harvey's under-19s lost their first League match in eight, 2-0 against Derby County at Bellefield last Saturday. They travel to the north east tomorrow to take on a Newcastle United side still smarting from a 5-1 drubbing by league leaders Liverpool last weekend. The Blues are sixth in the table at present and, with four matches left to play, it is unlikely they will rise any further with Crewe, one place above them, eight points ahead.
But Tuesday's 2-1 win in the Youth Cup, which set up a two-legged semifinal clash with Tottenham Hotspur, should provide a boost ahead of tomorrow's match. Last year's beaten finalists Blackburn lost 2-0 to Spurs at Ewood Park on Wednesday, while the Blues went through courtesy of strikes from Wayne Rooney and David Carney, after falling behind to an own goal. Alan Harper's under-17s finished second bottom of their north west section after last week's 1-0 defeat to Blackburn Rovers coupled with Bolton's 3-1win over Crewe. They now start the end-of-season play-offs in group two and open with a home fixture against Arsenal at Netherton tomorrow. It is sure to be tough as the Gunnersfinished second in their regional section just four points behind champions Tottenham.
And their pedigree in the FA Youth Cup means they will provide the Blues with a tough opener.
Coupled with two away fixtures to follow - at West Ham United on March 23 and at Nottingham Forest on April 6 - it is sure to be a tough group for Harper's young side to progress through to the quarterfinals. But it will again provide invaluable experience for one of the youngest sides in the Academy League.

We've chosen a real winner
Report By Andy Hunter Chief Football Writer, Daily Post
Mar 15 2002
FOCUSED, DETERMINED and straight to the point, David Moyes epitomises Everton's determination to save their Premiership skins by swapping managers within 50 hours. Now those same qualities have nine more games to ensure the Blues' £ 2million managerial exchange ensures the fortune of survival. The new Everton boss may be in at the deep end in his first taste of top-flight leadership but the tough apprenticeship that has earned the 38-year-old comparisons with Sir Alex Ferguson in four successful years at Preston North End has bred a much-needed winning mentality. And he is determined the impending relegation fight will not damage that reputation. "He thinks he's a winner and we know we've got a winner," said Blues supremo Bill Kenwright, delighted to have landed his main target for £1m just two days after telling Walter Smith his Everton days were over.
Moyes' first, and currently only, target for Everton is three vital points from tomorrow's Goodison clash with Fulham. And he admits: "I don't know how much can be done on a Friday before the game to influence the players but it is important they know a manager is in charge before the game.
"I will speak to them and tell them what I want. On paper the squad is as good as any in the division except the top few. It should work and we need to get things back on track. "It has been a difficult period for the club but as soon as I get a few wins I'm sure everyone will feel better. "My first aim is to ensure, come Saturday, that when the players run out in front of a big home crowd they make sure their public know last Sunday was not the Everton the people want." Moyes accepts people will question his experience for such a high-profile job and task. But he is equally honest about what he believes he can achieve at Goodison Park. "I had four great seasons at Preston where every year was connected with winning. I've come to Everton to continue that record," said Moyes, who could make Brighton striker Bobby Zamora his first target before the transfer deadline on March 28.
"The directors have told me what money is available and I will have to spend it wisely. Football isn't awash with money and it is my job to improve the players and get a side that people can be proud of. "The first target is to win on Saturday. It would be wrong of me to look beyond the next nine games but if I can get a few wins under my belt quickly then we can look to the future." Comparisons with Manchester United's Ferguson have been made and Moyes insists: "Sir Alex is a one-off. But I hope people will talk about us both in the same breath one day." But how would Everton's new manager describe himself to his new following? " I am young and relatively inexperienced," he admits. "But unlike many new managers now I feel I have served my apprenticeship with four wonderful years at Preston. "My apprenticeship started at Celtic and I have worked my way from there. A lot of people must wonder who is David Moyes. "I can guarantee I'll be a manager who will do everything he can to turn things around. I want the players to know what it is like to win again and we will try and play a brand of football people will enjoy. "But what Everton need more than most is stability and continuity. I think there has been a period where Everton have chopped and changed quite a bit. "First and foremost we have to make sure we stay in the Premiership, then build on that. "It won't happen overnight but Everton have given me the best opportunity I have had and I am going to try and grab it with both hands." Deputy chairman Kenwright believes he has concluded a traumatic few days with exactly the kind of manager required to rescue Everton's season. He said: "In his first press conference, all he would say was 'I'm focused on Fulham' - that is a great attitude and there are nine cup finals for Everton now." The Goodison board revealed the club's new refinancing package will make funds available for the new manager. Kenwright explained: "We have structured together a refinancing package - which is another way of saying borrowed money - and he knows the kind of money we have available. "Happiness is going out and spending £30million on a striker but we obviously won't be able to do that. "I know we've got a winner and it's up to me and the board to support the manager and hopefully enable him and the players to give the fans what they deserve." Kenwright's elation was obviously not shared by directors at Deepdale, who accepted the bright lights of the Premiership with Everton were too great for Moyes to ignore. Preston's chief executive Tony Scholes said: "David knows what we're about as a club and he has turned down offers from other Premiership clubs but the pull of 35,000-40,000 fans week in, week out at Goodison proved enough. "We're the victims of our own success in a way, but that's the way things are in football at the moment - the top clubs are able to take our crown jewels." Scholes admitted that although he was satisfied with the compensation package the clubs had agreed on, managers were generally under-valued in today's market. He added: "I'm happy with it in the context of what value managers have today, but I'd have to say if we'd got what we truly deserved for David it would have been a lot more. "David didn't want to leave us. He'd rather have stayed until the end of the season, but the pull of Everton was too much for us."
And the Preston chief paid a glowing tribute to Everton's new manager for the contribution he had made at Deepdale since joining the club as a player in 1993. Scholes added: "He did everything for the club, 24 hours a day. "We parted on good terms and if he ever comes back to the club he'd be very welcome. "David's the brightest young manager in the game today. He's thorough, hardworking, honest and deals with the players well - all the credentials a manager needs today.
"I'm sure he'll go on to become a very fine manager of Everton Football Club." Kenwright, meanwhile, paid a final tribute to the man at the centre of his hardest week in football, former boss Walter Smith. The Blues chief added: "He's a man with the kind of integrity you don't come across everyday. He's a man I admire very much. "It wasn't as difficult a decision in footballing terms - at the end of the day we wouldn't let friendship come into it. And to the end he behaved with an extraordinary dignity."

Staying Up
Report By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Mar 15 2002
DAVID MOYES vowed to preserve Everton's Premiership status as he swept into Goodison Park last night and proclaimed the Blues as the people ' s club on Merseyside. The Scot was officially unveiled as Walter Smith's successor at 7.30pm after a motorway dash to Preston by deputy chairman Bill Kenwright prevented the first division club calling the switch off. Everton agreed to pay North End a record £1million to release Moyes, who has signed a four-year contract and will be handed a £5m transfer kitty to help maintain the club's 48-year status in the top flight. Moyes, who met ex-boss Smith prior to becoming Everton's fifth manager in a decade, has just 24 hours to prepare the struggling Blues for the Premiership clash with Fulham. And despite the club's perilous league position the former Celtic defender admitted the lure of Everton was too strong to resist.
Explaining why he took the job at Goodison Park, Moyes said: "I noticed it as soon as I walked into the building and met the people. I am from a city not unlike Liverpool. "I was brought up amidst Glasgow Celtic and Glasgow Rangers and now I am in a city where football means as much as it does up there. "This is the people's club in Liverpool. The people on the street support Everton and I hope to give them something they can be proud of over the next few years. "I would be lying if I said it would be easy but you don't get these jobs when they are easy. "I am under no illusions about what a difficult task it will be but I am very positive and have great belief in what can be achieved here. "I would rather have the pressure at the top end of the table and hopefully before long that's where we will be." Moyes had resisted overtures from West Ham and Southampton last summer, plus a coaching role at Manchester United, during his four-year spell at Preston but admitted he accepted Everton's offer as soon as it was made. "It is a fantastic opportunity, something you dream about," he said. "I said 'yes' right away as it is such a big club and such a great opportunity.
"I have been linked and spoken with other clubs in the past but I was working with good people at Preston who let me get on with the job and I always said it would take a good offer and a big club for me to leave. When I heard Everton were interested I knew I was privileged to get the opportunity to manage a team that gets 40,000 people supporting it. There aren't many of those." Moyes added: "The main thing for me now is to ensure we stay a Premiership side. I need to have a quick look around before I make some decisions and bring in my own coaching staff." Smith's assistant Archie Knox cleared his desk at Bellefield yesterday and Moyes revealed he spoke to his predecessor about Everton before accepting the club's offer. The new boss revealed: "I had a meeting with Walter. I respect him greatly and was sorry to see him leave the club. "He is a very good man, a very honourable man, and someone I turned to for advice. He couldn't speak highly enough about Everton. He said it was a great club and encouraged me to take the job."

Hard graft starts now
Fanscene By Miles Shackley, Daily Post
Mar 15 2002
I TAKE it you've heard, then? Yep, after nigh on four years of keeping it tight at the back and holding out for the draw, Walter Smith's reign officially petered out on Wednesday morning, about 12 hours after I'd originally written this column. It wasn't that much of a surprise given our performances over the season as a whole. Socalled experts will quickly point to injuries, a lack of funds, and the fact that he was brought to the club under false pretences. Common themes occur in any article written about him. He's a nice man, and we were lucky to have him in charge. Blah de blah.
The most important point, the latter, I could argue until I was blue in the face, but I won't bother. Ultimately Walter bought the players, chose the tactics and picked the team. The buck has to stop somewhere and, while you can question the timing, the deed is done. The King is dead, long live the King. The week leading up to Smithgate was an immeasurably cruel one that saw two dreams crushed in the space of four days. After defeat at Upton Park last Wednesday mathematically put paid to any lingering hopes of qualifying for the Champions League as champions, our last shot at this season's big time evaporated in Sunday's televised FA Cup quarter-final. Middlesbrough presented one of the seemingly easier routes into the semi-final. Although currently enjoying a recent revival, especially at home, they have still only scored a mammoth one league goal more than an injury-ravaged, shot-shy Everton in the midst of a season-long goal drought. A draw was an eminently achievable result. Playing five at the back and our slowest midfield didn't help, but Boro were sportingly appalling and resisted our attempts to hand them the lead until they finally buckled under the strain and scored 10 minutes before the break. Must I talk you through the rest? Well, I'm not going to, watching it was embarrassing enough. Once again, we appeared to have no contingency plans for falling behind, and that was emphasised in the nature of our subsequent collapse. After the first goal went in, it looked only a matter of time before a second followed. We didn't disappoint. How many people just knew that Paul Ince was going to score before the half was done? He played for Liverpool. He calls himself The Guv'nor. He's not very good any more. Evertonians to a man hate him. Boro were attacking the end in which our fans had congregated. It had to happen. It's probably written in the Bible somewhere, if you look closely enough.
In truth, we were beaten from the moment Noel Whelan rolled Boro in front. We lost heart, we lost our discipline - alarmingly in defence, which had been our one rock in the last few weeks - and we frankly didn't look up for the fight. So it's a dismally familiar position we find ourselves in.
David Moyes will have to earn his crust, that's for sure.

Cottee hails swift move
Report By Ken Gaunt, Daily Post
Mar 15 2002
FORMER Everton striker Tony Cottee has saluted the club for acting quickly and decisively in appointing David Moyes as successor to the sacked Walter Smith. Despite initially being some way off Preston's valuation, Goodison Park chiefs agreed a compensation package for the services of the former Deepdale boss. And Cottee is delighted to see his old club move so quickly. He said: "I'm just pleased that the club has acted very swiftly. "I think the worst thing for Everton would be to go two or three weeks without a manager. "But they have made a positive step. "I really wish David well. They are still close to my heart. "He won't realise just how passionate the supporters are until he gets there - there are big expectations at the club. "I really do wish him the best. I just hope he's the man who can stop Everton from being relegated - it's going to be a very tough job. "The players will get a lift from the new manager arriving so quickly and hopefully they want to impress him."
But Cottee warned that Moyes faces a greater task than simply keeping Everton in the Premiership - and he expects the Scot to start rebuilding the club once the season is over. "It's probably a job he won't start until the summer," he said. "I expect him to dip into the transfer market, perhaps with loan players, before the transfer deadline." Brighton striker Bobby Zamora is high on Moyes' list of targets.

Lost talent left Smith struggling
Mar 15 2002 By Howard Kendall
EVER since Bill Kenwright ended Walter Smith's reign at Goodison Park, fans have have been looking at all the angles and coming up with a variety of reasons as to why it had to happen.
I've read about Walter's selections, his tactics and his style. Everybody has a view. Mine is possibly a little bit different. If I have had a concern, it has been about the departure of some of the bright young talent that has come up through the ranks . . . Francis Jeffers, Michael Ball, Richard Dunne, Gavin McCann and so on. In the main, they have been replaced by foreign signings and free transfer stars approaching the end of their careers. I feel this has been the big turning point for Everton. Instead of moving forward the club has been treading water. The Blues have been unable or unwilling to hold on to the nucleus of younger players who have forced their way into the picture and - in the main - expressed a real desire to play for Everton. I know Jeffers turned down a record offer to join Arsenal, but Ball wanted to stay. Some of the lads mentioned had one or two problems off the field, but look at what has been going on at Leeds. That has been much more serious but the Bowyers and Woodgates have not been sold. By all means top up your squad with an Alan Stubbs type. But don't lose the nucleus of your home grown talent, especially those who want to play for the club. Walter went public on people like Dunne and Ball when they stepped out of line. Was this a way of saying he did not fancy them or did he have to sell? I know Walter is a disciplinarian, but you can do it in-house. I remember Adrian Heath being late for training after a Christmas party. I sorted it out internally. He was fined and accepted it, getting out on the training ground and working hard. The way Ball and Dunne were dealt with in a very public way clearly unsettled them. I'm not condoning any player stepping out of line. I'm saying that you can deal with it in a different way.
As it turned out, Walter found himself replacing boys who had grown up at Goodison with people who did not have the same feel for the club. From what we have seen, some of them have not had the same passion. I hope the new manager nurtures and encourages the young men currently coming through. If they are good enough, hold on to them and look after them. Encourage them to want to stay and play. That was my logic when I sold the experienced Andy Hinchcliffe to Sheff Wed. I agreed to that deal because I had Ball in the wings, desperate to progress. I was delighted that a was able to bring through some home grown talent. They are the future of your club.

Boss hailed new Kendall
Mar 15 2002 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
DAVID MOYES strode into Goodison Park last night having been compared to Sir Alex Ferguson.
Sir Philip Carter, however, chose to call him the new Howard Kendall. The Blues' chairman dismissed comparisons with the most successful modern manager, instead preferring to speak of the similarities surrounding the arrival of the most successful manager in Everton's history.
"It is a little like the appointment of Howard from Blackburn Rovers in 1981," explained Sir Philip.
"Both are young, passionate managers who have served their managerial apprenticeship at Lancashire clubs outside the top division - and both are very ambitious. "I think everyone would be delighted if David could achieve half of what Howard managed, although it should be remembered that even Howard's first few years were difficult ones." But Sir Philip confirmed that a modest transfer pot would be put at the new manager's disposal. "From the financial point of view we have been putting in place a new financial package recently," he explained. "People seem to think that is simply about introducing a large amount of money into the place. It isn't. "It is about rebalancing the amount of finance that the club has, some of it changing from one bank to another and so on.
"But from that point of view I think we are in a stronger position than we have been for some time to actually support David and give him some strength in terms of rebalancing the squad, which may mean of course that people will be leaving the squad as well joining it." Moyes met his players for the first time this morning, but he already met some of the club's supporters last night.
A small group of Evertonians gathered outside Goodison Park's Stanley Park End offices to greet the new boss, and the Scot said it was the fans which convinced him to instantly accept the troubled post. "The people made me come here," he declared. "I am from a city not unlike Liverpool myself.
"I have been brought up with Glasgow Celtic and Glasgow Rangers and I am now in a city where football means as much as it does up there. I think I am joining a football club which is probably the people's football club in Liverpool. "The people in the street support Everton and I hope to give them something over the next few years that they can be very proud of. "You don't get jobs in football management when things are easy and I think we would all be lying here if we said that we didn't think it was a big job. "It's been a big job for all the previous managers and it will be no different for me, but it's one which I'm really positive about. "I have great belief in what can be achieved here, partly because of the people I am working for now, but we are under no illusions it's a difficult task we've got this season. "I would prefer not to be in this position. I'd rather have the pressure at the top of the league and I hope before too long to be able to say that here."
The new manager will have to hit the ground running at Goodison, meeting his new players just 24 hours before a vital Premiership clash against Fulham. "I just want the public to know that last Sunday was not the Everton that people here want to see and I will do the best I can to try to install that in the players by tomorrow. "I don't know how much I'll be able to do on a Friday to influence them in any way but I think it will be important for the players to see that there is somebody managing the club. I will speak to them and reassure them about myself and who I am.
"My priority is to win Saturday. I think for me to look any further than the nine games we have left would be wrong. "But if we can get two or three wins under our belt quickly and secure our position in the Premiership then obviously I can start making bigger plans for what I hope to do in the future.
"But for now all my focus will have to go onto Fulham on Saturday. "I spent four years at Preston where almost every season I was connected with winners and connected with winning, albeit not in the top league. "Now I have joined a top league I hope I can continue to say that.
"I have not come here to lose, I have come here to continue the record I've got and I hope that very shortly you will be seeing that around here." Moyes has already accepted he will be working under financial constraints. "We work hard on the training field and you only need to look at football generally now to see that there isn't as much money around as maybe there was a few years ago," he explained. "It's going to be my job to try and improve the players as much as I can, and hopefully get a side which people can be very proud of. "The directors have told me what will be available and as I have said I think money is dwindling in football, so any money I get I will have to spend wisely. But I will try to improve the team as best I can." As for the comparisons with Manchester United's manager, Moyes added: "I think that Sir Alex is a one-off and always will be. "I hope some day that people will talk about me in the same breath but at present I am young, relatively inexperienced but I have a good footballing background. "A lot of managers nowadays don't serve apprenticeships, but I feel I have served an apprenticeship. "I took over at Preston when they were in a similar position, albeit in a lower division, and in the four or five years I was in charge we were always pushing either for the play-offs or to win promotion. "I feel ready for the Premiership now. I am ready for the challenge and Everton is as big a club as I could hope to come to."

Fans urged to pull together
Mar 15 2002 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON fans left Middlesbrough last Sunday seething with discontent after a painful FA Cup quarterfinal reversal. They head to Goodison Park for tomorrow's crucial clash with Fulham in a much more upbeat mood following the capture of David Moyes. Kevin Nolan, deputy chairman of Everton Shareholders' Association, said: "We have nine cup finals between now and the end of the season. It starts with Fulham and all the members of the Everton family must work together to restore our damaged pride. "We must again pack Goodison to the rafters with loud and proud Evertonians. At the press conference to welcome David Moyes he used the same word again and again. WIN, WIN, WIN. "He described us as "the people's team" and we are. There are no divisions at Everton. We are all working with one priority, to restore our club to its rightful position.
"If you love Everton, make sure that your new manager, your team and your club, have your total support."

Vogts of confidence
Mar 15 2002 By David Prentice Everton Correspondent
EVERTON manager David Moyes will have Duncan Ferguson at his disposal against Fulham tomorrow. But the new Blues' boss will not be the only coach hoping to claim the long-term services of the injury plagued striker. Scotland manager Berti Vogts plans to watch Everton for the second time in 10 days. And afterwards he hopes to persuade Ferguson to end his international exile.
Vogts has already been successful in talking Paul Lambert out of retirement and will aim to add Ferguson to that list. Ferguson hasn't played since the home defeat by Ipswich six weeks ago and hasn't scored an open play goal in the Premiership all season. But his return from a hamstring problem is timely for the new manager, who looks unlikely to be able to call on Kevin Campbell, too.
Moyes revealed he has spoken to Walter Smith about the players he is inheritting. "I had a meeting with Walter," he explained. "I respect him greatly and I was sorry to see him leave the club because I wanted him to succeed. "He is a very good man and an honourable man and someone I have taken advice from. I asked him about Everton and he couldn't speak highly enough of the place.
"We had a chat, but obviously I have to assess the players myself. I know quite a few of them from playing Everton over the years and I have an idea about them." Smith dismissed a morning report, meanwhile, that he was ready to become Sir Alex Ferguson's number two at Manchester United. "Absolute nonsense," he rapped.

Gascoigne Goodbye
Report by Jonathan McEvoy, Daily Post
Mar 16 2002
PAUL GASCOIGNE will bow out of top-flight football next week by quitting Everton for Burnley.
The former England star has decided to join the first division club following Walter Smith's sacking, bringing an end to a two-year stint on Merseyside beset by personal problems and injuries.
Smith handed Gascoigne a Premiership lifeline by signing him from Middlesbrough and loyally stood by the controversial star as he battled drugs and booze addictions in an Arizona clinic last summer.
The 34-year-old turned down Burnley's initial approach a couple of weeks ago but this week's replacement of Smith with David Moyes has resurrected the free transfer. New boss Moyes, who takes charge for the first time in today's home clash against Fulham, spoke with Gascoigne yesterday in a bid to talk him round into staying - but the player has reluctantly called time on his colourful career at the highest level. Moyes said: "When I spoke to Paul he seemed a bit down and he was looking for something else. "He's got upset by a few things not to do with Everton and maybe feels it is right to play his football elsewhere." Smith became a father figure to Gascoigne when he was in charge at Glasgow Rangers before signing him from the Riverside in 2000. Gascoigne, who has been linked with moves to American club Miami Fusion and Dubai in the summer, rewarded Smith's faith by turning the clock back to produce some impressive displays. He will not be in today's squad.
David Ginola is also left out - and he faces a tough task to force his way into Moyes' plans.
The former Aston Villa winger was left out of the squad for last Sunday's 3-0 FA Cup defeat at Middlesbrough, sparking speculation his Goodison days are numbered. Former Preston boss Moyes was interested in signing Ginola, 35, while still at Deepdale but the Frenchman must now prove he can still cope with the pace of the Premiership. Striker Duncan Ferguson could return today after recovering from a double hamstring strain. H o w e v e r , striker Kevin Campbell, midfielder Mark Pembridge and defenders Gary Naysmith and Steve Watson are all injured. Moyes said: "I don't like talking too much about injuries. The important people are the ones who play on a Saturday."
Moyes, 38, conducted his first training yesterday and is determined to get off to a winning start.
He added: "I do want to take Everton to its rightful place - 30,000 fans watch us and I want to give them a good brand of football. But the first aim is to win against Fulham."

Everton 2, Fulham 1 (Post)
Ian Doyle Reports From Goodison, Daily Post
Mar 18 2002
THE stadium announcer said it all: "Welcome to a new Blue revolution". After one of the most traumatic weeks in Everton's recent history, Goodison Park opened its arms wide to embrace the latest man to undertake what has become one of the most difficult jobs in the game.
And if David Moyes was under any illusions as to what Everton Football Club means to its supporters, they must surely have been dispelled as he begins his first full week in charge at Bellefield this morning. The new Blues boss was afforded a tumultuous reception before Saturday's rollercoaster ride against Fulham by a support desperate for an end to almost a decade in the Premiership doldrums. And in the ensuing 90 minutes he will have realised the enormity of the job he has taken on - not so much in terms of the work needed to reinvigorate a side which has become accustomed to an annual relegation battle, but more the need to satisfy the craving of fans who deserve better than to be put through footballing Hell year after year. He could not have wished for a better start. The cheers had barely died down when David Unsworth cracked home the opener after 32 seconds, and when Duncan Ferguson added a second inside 13 minutes Moyes must have thought he was in dreamland. Cue reality. Thomas Gravesen's needless sending-off on 27 minutes brought Fulham back into the game, but the visitors only had Steed Malbranque's second-half goal to show for incessant pressure which frayed the nerves of Blues supporters and management alike.
It was typical Everton. And little wonder Moyes cut an emotionallyfrazzled figure come full time.
"I feel like I have been here six weeks, never mind two days!" he exclaimed. Like Blues fans, for Moyes the past week has been a whirlwind. While Everton's embarrassing capitulation at Middlesbrough was being beamed into millions of homes across the country, Moyes was digesting Preston's narrow 2-1 victory over Rotherham and planning their route to a second successive Division One playoff appearance. Then, after Walter Smith paid the price for the Riverside debacle, the call from Bill Kenwright came. Moyes was a wanted man - and within 48 hours of arrival he was guiding the Blues to their first Premiership victory since the defeat of Sunderland on January 12.
"It has been difficult," added the 38-year-old. "I was up really early at seven in the morning. I don't normally do that, but I'm really looking forward to getting a good night's sleep now and I'll sleep a lot better after the win!" He may have only been in the hot seat a matter of days, but Moyes is already making the right impression on Evertonians. Certainly, talk of the Blues being the "people's club" of Merseyside will do his standing no harm in the short term. Nor will his enthusiasm for building another 'School of Science' in preference to unleashing yet more 'Dogs of War' on a suffering Blues public. But in the meantime it is his more pragmatic sensibilities with which fans will be most encouraged. The spectre of relegation still looms large and Moyes is well aware that the commitment and character his players showed in abundance on Saturday will be the two key elements in keeping Everton a Premiership club next season. Indeed, the game proved a neat encapsulation of the Blues' season. An unexpectedly encouraging start fizzled out through a combination of bad luck and self-inflicted setbacks to leave the players hanging on grimly in the closing moments. Evertonians must hope the finale to this campaign echoes the ultimately successful conclusion to Saturday's storyline. It would have taken something special to upstage Moyes' triumphant bow, but referee Graham Barber tried his worst with a display of exasperatingly inept refereeing which left supporters calling the 'Thing from Tring' names of a more caustic nature.
Even the sending-off of Gravesen left a bitter taste. Replays later showed the Everton man had made minimal contact with Luis Boa Morte before the Portuguese star, noted for his uncanny knack of hitting the deck at any given opportunity, crumpled in a heap to the Goodison turf.
In the referee's defence, however, the Dane practically made his mind up for him with an earlier series of unwise challenges - his first booking was also for a foul on Boa Morte - particularly at a time when the game was seemingly won. Instead, Gravesen's expulsion changed what was heading for a comfortable victory into a desperate, backs-to-the-wall rearguard action. It could have cost Everton the game; that it didn't was down to an outstanding defensive display in which David Weir and Alan Stubbs were again gargantuan. Gravesen was one of seven players booked as both sides looked to have a few scores to settle following last December's unseemly free-for-all at Craven Cottage.
Everton lost that game 2-0, and within 13 minutes on Saturday they had reversed the scoreline as, swept forward on a wave of euphoria at Moyes' arrival, they tore into the visitors. Thirty-two seconds in, and they were ahead with a goal of such quality it seemed out of place from a team that had scored just four times in their last 12 Premiership games. Alessandro Pistone's throw was flicked on by Ferguson to Tomasz Radzinski, who laid the ball back into the path of Unsworth to volley home spectacularly from just inside the area. Twelve minutes later and the lead was doubled. Tony Hibbert's punt upfield looked routine for Edwin van der Sar to deal with, but the keeper dallied before striking his clearance against the onrushing Ferguson, who reached the loose ball first to side-foot home from an acute angle. Moyes had named Ferguson - who was reinstated up front after a sixweek injury lay-off - captain for the day, and he responded with what was his first league goal since August and his first Premiership strike in open play all season. And in front of new Scotland boss Berti Vogts, who will no doubt again attempt to persuade the striker out of international retirement. Two up, Everton were coasting. Then came Gravesen's indiscretion to prompt a nerve-shredding final hour, with the home side penned inside their own half and, at times, their own penalty area. Malbranque pulled one goal back on 52 minutes after side-footing home Barry Hayles cutback, while Steve Simonsen made resourceful saves to deny Malbranque and Louis Saha before the latter struck the Everton crossbar with a glancing header from Steve Finnan's cross.
However, due to a combination of resolute defending and Fulham's chronic lack of ruthlessness up front, the home side held on with the final whistle met with the same deafening cheers of joy as the pre-match presentation had been. Moyes will begin the most pressing matter of ensuring Everton's Premiership status in earnest this week, with Kenwright's promised if limited transfer kitty at his disposal before next week's transfer deadline. A striker remains the priority, but with Paul Gascoigne already gone and David Ginola seemingly poised to follow him, the Moyes era is already beginning to take shape. He could not have wished for a better start. Revolution may be a little premature. But evolution? That is the very least Evertonians expect.
EVERTON (4-4-2): Simonsen; Hibbert, Weir, Stubbs, Pistone; Carsley, Gemmill, Gravesen, Unsworth (Blomqvist 74) Radzinski (Moore 46), Ferguson. Subs: Gerrard, Clarke, Chadwick.
FULHAM (4-4-2): Van der Sar; Finnan, Melville, Goma (Ouaddou 46), Brevett; Boa Morte (Hayles 46), Malbranque, Collins, Legwinski (Goldbaek 78); Marlet, Saha. Subs: Taylor, Harley.
BOOKINGS: Everton's Gravesen, Unsworth and Moore and Fulham's Finnan, Malbranque, Brevett and Hayles.
SENDING-OFF: Everton's Gravesen.
REFEREE: Mr G Barber.
ATT: 34,639.

Delighted chief's relief
Report By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Mar 18 2002
NEW Everton boss David Moyes admitted he was a relieved man after seeing his Goodison career begin on a winning note. The 10-man Blues held on to secure a vital 2-1 victory over Fulham on Saturday. And Moyes said: "It was an incredibly tense game, and you could feel that around the ground. To hear the final whistle was a fantastic feeling. "The players came out of the blocks and were probably a bit sore after the result last weekend and it was noticeable that they cared and they went for it. "The players should take heart from digging in and working hard to stay in the game because there are going to be a few more games where we will have to do that this season.
"The players showed me their commitment, but it needed lots of good defending by all of them."
After going two goals ahead inside 13 minutes, Everton's cause was hampered by the 27th-minute sending-off of Thomas Gravesen for two bookable offences. "It was hard," admitted Moyes. "We couldn't get out of our own half in the second half. There aren't many teams that pass the ball as well as Fulham, so going down to 10 men against them was difficult. "The way Fulham play is the way I tried to get my Preston side to play, so it felt very strange to be the side who was having to shut the door rather than control the play. "Fulham's forward players are fantastic, but we limited them with our excellent defending." Moyes insisted Gravesen was unfortunate to be sent off, but added discipline would be a key area as he embarks on a new era at Goodison. "The players were fired up and wanted to make sure they were first to any loose balls," said the new Blues boss. "I've seen the replay of the sending-off and he doesn't make any contact with him, but I'll have a word with Thomas on Monday and tell him he should have been more careful after already being booked.
"I was hoping I could calm him down at half-time, but players should be able to work it out for themselves. "We don't want him to stop tackling, but the sending-off put us under a lot of pressure, particularly in the second half. At Preston, we had one of the best disciplinary records in the league during my time there and discipline is very much part of how we played on Saturday. "But I also want commitment and the players had to show that. There was maybe a little bit more than I would like, but I would rather have more than less." Duncan Ferguson - returning after a six-week injury lay-off - was named captain for Saturday's match and, under the watchful gaze of new Scotland boss Berti Vogts, he responded by scoring Everton's second and ultimately decisive goal.
Explained Moyes: "I made Duncan the captain because I felt we needed a rally cry and it would inspire the crowd and Duncan himself, and I think it did. "It was no disrespect to David Weir, who I thought was different class. Weir and Alan Stubbs were exceptional in making sure we kept our discipline in defence as we had to defend in our box a lot. "Duncan is an influence. Now we want him to finish the season and play the games that are remaining. "We need Duncan to get back to thinking this is his club again."

Just Great
Report By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Mar 18 2002
DAVID MOYES saw his career as Everton manager get off to the perfect start on Saturday - and vowed to build a side the club's success-starved fans could be proud of. The Blues ended a traumatic week by lifting themselves four points clear of the Premiership relegation zone with a 2-1 victory over Fulham. And new boss Moyes admitted he was taken aback by the ovation he received from the Goodison faithful before the match. "The welcome was quite incredible, especially when you think that there will be a lot of people in that stadium thinking 'who is David Moyes?'," said the new Blues boss. "When you come to a club, you want the crowd behind you, and to get 35,000 cheering, I got the impression every one of them was behind me and behind the team.
"I can see the passion here and the desperation. I felt it, I was in it among them. "I got the impression how desperate the fans are for success. I could almost sense them saying 'come on' - they want success. "They are passionate, and I wanted to show them I am passionate at making things better at this club. "I kept the players on the pitch after the game because I wanted to show the unity that we have here. It is not 'them' and 'us' - it is 'we' now. We are all trying to m a k e Everton better." Moyes added: "Maybe the fans are looking for a hero, but I hope it is the players rather than the manager. They are the ones that cross the white line and really I'm just very lucky to be the one who picks the eleven who will cross that white line. They are the heroes.
"I was once told that winning is important, but wanting to win is more important. And I want the players to realise that - we need to want to win every game. "The players are positive. They want to keep Everton in the Premiership and they want to be regarded as Premiership players."
David Unsworth netted the first goal of the Moyes era on Saturday after just 32 seconds before Duncan Ferguson doubled the lead inside 13 minutes with his first Premiership goal since August.
Thomas Gravesen was sent off soon after for a second bookable offence, and when Steed Malbranque pulled a goal back for Fulham just after the break, it sparked a fierce rearguard action from the home side which eventually ensured Everton's first league win in nine games.
"It was a dream start," admitted Moyes. "The first 30 seconds and the reception I had beforehand were sensational. "The last three or four days have been difficult but they ended in an Everton win, so I'll settle for that." It was the first time the Blues had scored two goals in a Premiership game since the 3-2 defeat at Leeds United on December 16, and Moyes added: "I'm hoping in time that I can get the team to play in a b e t t e r style, but when you are at the bottom you have to play with passion and commitment. The public demands that and we gave them that. "I can't make too many changes this season. We've only got six weeks left and it would be wrong to do that. But I'm hoping in time that we can pass the ball better. "I can't afford the players to see too many changes. I've come in at a difficult time and I have to try and do things that will help us get results and then in time if there is anything different I think we should be doing, then I can work towards that."
Moyes, however, was left disappointed by Paul Gascoigne's decision to follow Walter Smith out of Everton by joining Burnley on Saturday. The first division club have taken over the 34-year-old's contract until the end of the season when he will become a free agent. "I'm disappointed he has left," said Moyes. "I tried to talk Paul out of it, but his mind was already made up." Gascoigne claims an Everton "back-stabber" unsettled him during his final weeks at Goodison by spreading rumours about his relationship with his ex-wife Sheryl. Gascoigne said: "Someone at Everton has been stabbing me in the back. I have a suspicion about who it was. If the chairman wants to speak to me I'll tell him the truth."

Dream start
Comment By Len Capeling, Daily Post
Mar 18 2002
THE gush about the new Blue revolution was no surprise. We've heard i t all before. Many times. Many, many times. You can probably get it on DVD, along with the Hallelujah Chorus and a message from the saviour. Equally familiar was the ecstatic welcome for a clearly moved David Moyes. It was the same warmth that heralded the arrival of Mike Walker, Joe Royle, Howard Kendall and Walter Smith. Something to be savoured ahead of a cold snap. Less recognisable was the first furious 13 minutes when Everton established a two-goal lead, something they hadn't managed in the Premiership since crowds of shoppers clogged Church Street in search of Christmas goodies.
No wonder Bill Kenwright gave us his Whirling Dervish impression and the disbelieving pinched themselves to make sure they weren't in the wrong dream. Trespassing on someone else's paradise found. After the prison rations of recent times, this was expense account dining at the Savoy Grill. With the only danger being the onset of indigestion. A goal after 32 seconds? Was it possible? Yes...it was. It was even possible for the Goodison tannoy to announce the time as 27 seconds, thus inviting a spot of pushing and shoving at the Golden Goal payout window. David Unsworth threw the new boss his first sight of Premiership points with a crisp strike after a long throw from Alessandro Pistone, a header on from Duncan Ferguson and an intervention from Tomasz Radzinski.
Proof that the heavenly choir was humming Z Cars and not The Party's Over came when keeper Edwin Van Der Sar made his third and most dilatory attempt to deal with a simple back-pass.
Clearly auditioning for the Fabien Barthez part, he dwelled on the ball long enough for Ferguson to make him look silly before planting the ball into the empty net from a tight angle.
Goodison went berserk. Pacemakers were switched to char-grill and even serial sulkers managed to dredge up smiles from their memory bank. Nothing could spoil this moment of sheer enchantment. Or could it? Well, yes, it could. Fulham, outsnarled by Goodison's resurrected dogs of war and playing pretty patterns that got them nowhere, suddenly found themselves hauled back into the game by the stupidity of Thomas Gravesen, a tightrope walker with a nasty habit of falling over his own feet. Already booked for an unnecessary lunge on Luis Boa Morte, he crazily repeated the offence encouraging referee Graham Barber to send him off. Which he promptly - and quite correctly - did. From relative comfort - Unsworth and Carsley could easily have extended the lead - Everton were shoved as deeply on the defensive as they've ever been, the early 4-4-2 squeezed into 1-10 as Jean Tigana's men grabbed what can't have been must less than 70 per cent of possession.
Immediately, we were back in reality's chill grip, with Goodison swapping its previous glee for the deepest gloom as wave after wave of Fulham attacks washed on to an Everton team unable to do anything other than knock the ball away and hope it landed somewhere safe. For 60 minutes Fulham had all the moves, played all the football and created so little that you saw why they were facing five straight defeats. Steed Malbranque's goal was the game's classiest contribution and Goodison hearts quaked when Louis Saha headed on to the crossbar late on. But for all their territorial supremacy, they ran headlong into a Blue wall that refused to buckle, even though a few bricks were sent flying now and then. As ever, the bulk of the resistance came from veterans David Weir and Alan Stubbs with Scot Gemmill also to the fore when a body was required to deflect a shot or cross, Duncan Ferguson, miraculously restored to health, was also central to Everton's doggedness, serving as central midfielder and central defender when the onslaught was at its hottest. David Moyes won't have been too pleased that Everton used the ball so abysmally when Fulham's attacks foundered. But against that, the character shown by the tenacious 10 should augur well in the worrying weeks ahead. They will miss the intoxicating atmosphere of home, which did so much to keep them functioning when ragged lungs and exhausted legs cried out for respite.
Still, a good beginning for the new regime. Let's just hope that enough of Everton's opponents are as bereft of endproduct as a frail and fractured Fulham. Then we can all join in a conga around Stanley Park.

Stubbs: We wont go down
Report By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Mar 18 2002
ALAN STUBBS is convinced Everton are "too good to go down" to the Nationwide League.
The Blues defender was an outstanding performer in ensuring new boss David Moyes' Goodison career started on a winning note with a 2-1 victory over Fulham on Saturday. And the 30-year-old believes the players would have only themselves to blame if they fail to ensure the club's Premiership status for another year. "I honestly think we are too good to go down," said Stubbs. "I've heard that a number of times over the seasons from teams that have gone down and me saying that is no guarantee we will stay up, we need to go out on the pitch and prove it. "On Saturday, with the new manager and the crowd giving us a lift, it looked like we were a different team from the off. For the first 25 minutes we played really well and stopped Fulham from playing. "The win has taken us a step nearer, but we have some tricky games coming up against teams around us and they'll probably be twice as difficult than they normally would be. "However, if we win those games it will pull us further away from the relegation zone. "If we win our home games then we will be safe, so it is in our own hands." Moyes had been in charge for less than 48 hours after a tumultuous week behind the scenes at Goodison. But Stubbs revealed the former Preston boss had already made an impression in the dressing room. "He said one or two things before the game, but nothing that was going to make a dramatic difference," said the centre-back. "But you can see what he wants to do. You can feel from when he is talking that he is here to do a job and if you're not prepared to do it then this club is not for you." Stubbs also admitted Everton's players must take their share of the blame for Walter Smith's departure last week. "It's been odd," he continued-"I have a lot of Evertoniansas friends and they were mixed as to whether the manager should go or not, but I will always have a lot of respect for Walter because he gave me my chance to play for Everton. "It is a shame, and the rest of the players would probably say the same. You never want to see anybody get sacked but unfortunately that is the way in football - someone's gain is someone else's failure. It is a sad day when it comes to that. "No-one ever wants to see that happen especially given that many of the players will have been brought in by him and they should be fighting with every ounce they have on the pitch. "But what it comes down to is results on the pitch."

Everton set to beat Baggies for Tranmere ace
Report By Nick Hilton, Daily Post
Mar 18 2002
JASON Koumas spent the weekend pondering his future as rumours swept around Prenton Park that he is about to leave Tranmere Rovers for Everton rather than West Bromwich Albion.
Tranmere went public on Albion's £2million-plus offer for the Wales international midfielder last week. But Everton have been strongly linked with a move for Koumas since David Moyes succeeded Walter Smith as manager at Goodison on Thursday. I understand there has been contact between the two Merseyside clubs, although Everton last night denied any move was imminent, while Albion are keenly awaiting a response from Koumas to their offer of personal terms. Koumas, 22, has reservations about joining first division promotion chasers Albion, a move that would almost certainly oblige him to spend some of the working week living in the West Midlands.
A transfer to Everton would not tear him away from his close-knit family in Wallasey and would fulfil his ambition to play at a higher level. After completing what might well have been his final game for Tranmere in a goalless draw with Bournemouth on Saturday, Koumas said he was "still in negotiations and thinking about the future". Koumas has attracted Moyes' interest before. He kept close tabs on the youngster's progress at Tranmere while he was in charge at Preston North End.
Now he has funds available to help Everton in the battle to preserve their Premiership status and he knows the kind of price Tranmere are ready to accept for their most talented player. Tranmere boss Dave Watson, meanwhile, absolved his marksmen from blame as the goalless draw with Bournemouth at Prenton Park left their promotion hopes looking more remote than ever. After his side had been held to a sixth draw in eight games, Watson lamented: "If we can get quality balls into the box, we have strikers who can put those chances away. "But there is nothing they can do if the ball goes behind for a goal-kick or goes straight to the goalkeeper or to a defender. "We worked the ball into good areas to put crosses into the box right through the game but our final ball was terrible yet again. "We are working on it on the training ground and we are going to work on it some more."
Tranmere's ambitions of qualifying for the play-offs looked to be hanging by the thread of making up six points of ground on sixthplaced Bristol City over the final seven games of the division two campaign. The other teams in the play-off zone are threatening to move beyond Tranmere's reach, with fifth-placed Huddersfield now 10 points ahead.

Everton 2, Fulham 1 (Echo)
Mar 18 2002 By David Prentice
OPTIMISM was the new buzzword at a bouncing Goodison Park on Saturday - and it gripped everybody. From Golden Goal timers to tartan talismans, a wave of enthusiasm washed over a stadium which had witnessed frustrated resignation just a fortnight earlier. The man with the stopwatch got so carried away he slashed five seconds off the time of the opening goal. David Unsworth's sugar-sweet strike was undeniably quick, but it was more 32 seconds than the 27 officially given out. Then there was Duncan Ferguson, winning headers, taking throw-ins, heading off his goalline and even chasing down goalkeeper's clearances. His performance was excellent and hugely influential. But gasps of admiration and nods of approval around the stadium, were just as prevalent as disbelieving shakes of the head. It's a long time since we've seen Ferguson this committed, this driven and this exciting. Did it really take the arrival of a new manager and the psychological pick-me-up of the captain's armband to elicit such a reaction? Sadly the answer is in the affirmative. It will be a test of David Moyes' motivational skills to see if he can pluck other Braveheart performances like this one from the Scot's complex mind-set. But psychology is clearly a tool the new manager is adept at employing. When the roof almost came off Goodison Park at Graham Barber's final whistle, he swiftly blocked Ferguson's traditional early dart for the tunnel and sent him back out to join his team-mates and pay tribute to the outstanding support they had received. That crowd noise, as much as anything else, had helped Everton to the victory which was absolutely imperative to their Premiership survival hopes. And that is why Bill Kenwright's midweek gamble ultimately proved worth taking. Instead of an air of reluctant resignation around the stadium, there was enthusiasm. And when Everton were reduced to 10-men with more than an hour remaining, there was defiance, not fear. With minimal changes to the playing personnel - selected by coach Andy Holden - a new mood of optimism had swept Everton into a two-goal lead.
But what the new regime hadn't banked on was the old indiscipline of Thomas Gravesen. If we were being kind you'd say Graham Barber flashes cards faster than Paul Daniels, and even less humourously. Seven yellow cards and a red was a harsh return from a committed but malice-free football match. But the fact remains that Gravesen committed a foul just about worthy of a caution, right under the fussy official's nose - just 17 minutes after collecting another undeniably deserved booking. That reduced Everton to 10-men, punctured the purposeful approach they had embraced from the off and introduced us to an hour of training ground attack against defence. It was an understandable reaction. Jean Tigana's Fulham pass the ball crisply, swiftly and imaginatively, but Everton refused to give them any holes to exploit. They sat back resiliently and resolutely, and just about ground out the result they required. It was an ennervating afternoon. The roars which had greeted the new track-suited manager had barely subsided when David Unsworth sparked an even louder explosion of noise with a first minute goal. Pistone's throw-in was won in the air by Ferguson, Radzinski touched the ball back to the only man operating out of position, note, and he caught hold of a sugar sweet volley which ripped past Van Der Sar. The same combination might have made it two in the 10th minute, but Radzinski's touch was poor this time and he was forced to pass on responsibility to Unsworth who fired just wide. But in the 12th minute we were confronted with a rare moment. Duncan Ferguson not only scored a Premiership goal from open play, he did so by unselfishly chasing down a goalkeeper's clearance. Two-nil up and a 34,639 crowd vibrant, the champagne corks were loosening, but when have Everton ever done anything the easy way?
Gravesen had already been booked when Simonsen sprawled to block Malbranque's low drive, then a second over-exuberant challenge saw Barber flourish his 70th yellow card of the season and the siege begin. Ferguson importantly headed one effort off his own goal-line on the stroke of halftime, and Everton stoutly defended their goal for a further seven minutes after the restart.
Then Steed Malbranque stabbed in Fulham's lifeline after Hayles had wheeled away from Hibbert and pulled back a cross, but the Blues refused to buckle. They did creak - and came perilously close when Saha's looping header slapped the face of the crossbar with five-and-a-half minutes remaining, but for once even fortune smiled on the Toffees. David Moyes will now have a full week to work with his charges before the next cup final, at Pride Park on Saturday. But they will go there buoyant.
Before we get too carried away, though, winning Goodison starts for new Everton managers is not rare. Even the hapless Mike Walker walloped Swindon Town 6-2 on his Goodison bow.
The last Blues' boss who didn't manage a winning start was Walter Smith. But thoughts of the last Everton manager were miles away on Saturday. This was all about new starts, fresh ideas and bold impetus. If that proves enough to keep Everton in the top flight to celebrate their 100th season in England's most elevated echelon, Bill Kenwright will have got it right. By five o'clock on Saturday, though, most of Goodison Park had already made their minds up.
EVERTON (4-4-2): Simonsen, Hibbert, Weir, Stubbs, Pistone, Carsley, Gravesen, Gemmill, Unsworth (Blomqvist 74 mins), Ferguson, Radzinski (Moore 45 mins). Unused substitutes: Gerrard, Clarke, Chadwick.
FULHAM (4-4-2): Van Der Sar, Finnan, Goma ( Ouaddou 45 mins), Melville, Brevett, Saha, Legwinski ( Goldbaek 78 mins), Malbranque, Collins, Marlet, Boa Morte (Hayles 45 mins). Unused substitutes: Taylor, Harley. Goals: Unsworth (32 seconds) 1-0, Ferguson (13 minutes) 2-0, Malbranque (52 minutes) 2-1.
Attendance: 34,639. Referee: Graham Barber. Bookings: Gravesen (12 mins) foul, Finnan (26) foul, Unsworth (30) foul, Malbranque (30) unsporting behaviour, Brevett (38) foul, Moore (53) foul, Hayles (74) foul.
Sending-off: Gravesen (29 mins) second bookable offence, foul.

Moyes mucks in to boost Blues
Mar 18 2002 Everton Correspondent
DAVID UNSWORTH caught his breath after new manager David Moyes' thrilling introduction to Goodison Park on Saturday and declared: "What a difference a day makes!" Unsworth was one of the Everton stars who admitted to feeling distraught by the sacking of Walter Smith on Wednesday.
But it took only one training session from the new manager to re-energise the place. "I have to say that the feeling on Thursday was very, very low. It was probably as down as any dressing room I have ever been in after a managerial change. I have never seen that collective reaction before from so many players," explained Unsworth. "But on Friday we bounced straight back. Andy Holden took the training session and the gaffer joined in with us. We were zipping it about and we carried that on today. "I have never had a manager join in with us in the warm-up out on the pitch before the match, but I have a few pals who are Preston season ticket holders and they told me that's what he likes to do. "It was great and we produced a great reaction. "I am sure Walter and Archie will be absolutely delighted with the result today, but full credit to the new gaffer for it. The feel-good factor is back!" Unsworth, who crashed in the opening goal with barely half-a-minute on the clock, added: "We got out of the traps really, really well, played some good stuff in the first half-hour and were really together as a team. "It was a great start for us and we have got the right reaction today.
"Psychologically for me it was great to be in the new manager's first line-up. It was a great confidence booster. "I was left midfield and we all had individual jobs to do inside the team framework. If we can do that for the rest of the season I think we'll be fine." As for his goal, he went on: "I hit one of those a couple of weeks ago at the same end and it went out for a throw-in, but I caught this one just right. "Derby County next week is absolutely massive, but if we can get a win there we can start to enjoy the run-in a little bit more."

It's in the blood
Mar 18 2002 By David Prentice, Everton Correspondent
DUNCAN FERGUSON is hoping to make a brand new start to his Everton career - after discovering that his ongoing injury problems may have been prolonged by a rare blood disorder.
Ferguson has just returned from a fitness rehabilitation programme in Portugal, where he worked with a doctor recommended to him by Abel Xavier. The physician, using unorthodox techniques similar to that employed by the world renowned Hans Muller Wolfhart, discovered a bacterial disorder in Ferguson's bloodstream. They believe the problem meant the player was taking longer to shake off injuries and placed him on an intensive course of medication to clear up the problem.
Psychologically Ferguson looked more focused and committed on Saturday than for many months, when new boss David Moyes made him captain for his first game in charge. He produced a hugely influential display, also watched by admiring Scotland coach Berti Vogts. " He was the best player on the pitch," said Vogts, who paid a visit to the Goodison dressing rooms afterwards hoping to persuade the player to end his international exile. " I have been an admirer of his style, but this was his first game for a month and I cannot say if he will be in the next squad." Scotland play world champions France in Paris a week on Wednesday, but Ferguson is almost certain to decline Vogts ' invitation. Moyes, meanwhile, will start his first week's training with his new charges, intent on assessing the players he has inherited. The new Blues boss was quickly linked with swoops for Tranmere's Jason Koumas, Brighton's Bobby Zamora and Bristol Rovers' Nathan Ellington over the weekend. "They are all players I watched while I was at Preston," he explained "but my priority must be to assess the players I already have at my disposal before I begin to think about bringing in new bodies. "It's far to early to be talking about the transfer market."

Gazza happy at Turf Moor
Mar 18 2002 By Peter Entwistle Echo Reporter
PAUL GASCOIGNE revealed he has no reservations about dropping down to the Nationwide League after leaving Everton for First Division Burnley. Gascoigne joined the Clarets on Saturday after deciding to leave Goodison Park following the sacking of Toffees boss and close friend Walter Smith in the week. And after being given a standing ovation by the Burnley crowd, he watched from the stands as his new team-mates picked up three priceless points with a 2-1 win over Lancashire rivals Preston at Turf Moor. With Stan Ternent's men now up to fourth in the table and confidence riding high, he could soon find himself back in the top flight. The 34-year-old former England star has graced the Premiership, its Scottish counterpart and Italy's Serie A in his club career, as well as accruing 57 caps for his country. But he is more than ready for his new challenge and cannot wait to pull on a Burnley shirt on Wednesday in the Roses derby against Bradford as the Clarets' promotion push gathers momentum again. "Burnley are aiming to get into the Premier League and hopefully I can help them," said Gascoigne. "I've done it before with Middlesbrough two seasons ago, so I know what the First Division is all about. "The fans are absolutely outstanding here and deserve to be in the Premiership." Gascoigne's fitness has often been questioned in the past, but he has no worries on that score having made 23 appearances for Everton this season, and he is relishing his latest challenge in what could prove to be his final hurrah in English football. He will be a free agent in the summer and hasn't ruled out staying with Burnley, but he has also revealed two Premiership clubs are interested in his services and offers from both the USA and Dubai are also in the offing.
"I played against Middlesbrough last week so my fitness is ok and I think I've got plenty left in the tank," added Gascoigne. "The last couple of days have been a bit hectic, wondering where I would be going, but I've trained with the lads, enjoyed it, and I can't wait to get on the pitch.
"I'm looking forward to being with Burnley - it's a new challenge for me. "I'm here until the end of the season and I'll be speaking to the manager at the end of the season - it's up to him, he's the manager." Ian Moore and new loan signing David Johnson grabbed the goals that gave the Clarets their win.

Everton set to beat Baggies for Tranmere ace
Report By Nick Hilton, Daily Post
Mar 18 2002
JASON Koumas spent the weekend pondering his future as rumours swept around Prenton Park that he is about to leave Tranmere Rovers for Everton rather than West Bromwich Albion.
Tranmere went public on Albion's £2million-plus offer for the Wales international midfielder last week. But Everton have been strongly linked with a move for Koumas since David Moyes succeeded Walter Smith as manager at Goodison on Thursday. I understand there has been contact between the two Merseyside clubs, although Everton last night denied any move was imminent, while Albion are keenly awaiting a response from Koumas to their offer of personal terms. Koumas, 22, has reservations about joining first division promotion chasers Albion, a move that would almost certainly oblige him to spend some of the working week living in the West Midlands.
A transfer to Everton would not tear him away from his close-knit family in Wallasey and would fulfil his ambition to play at a higher level. After completing what might well have been his final game for Tranmere in a goalless draw with Bournemouth on Saturday, Koumas said he was "still in negotiations and thinking about the future". Koumas has attracted Moyes' interest before. He kept close tabs on the youngster's progress at Tranmere while he was in charge at Preston North End. Now he has funds available to help Everton in the battle to preserve their Premiership status and he knows the kind of price Tranmere are ready to accept for their most talented player.
Tranmere boss Dave Watson, meanwhile, absolved his marksmen from blame as the goalless draw with Bournemouth at Prenton Park left their promotion hopes looking more remote than ever. After his side had been held to a sixth draw in eight games, Watson lamented: "If we can get quality balls into the box, we have strikers who can put those chances away. "But there is nothing they can do if the ball goes behind for a goal-kick or goes straight to the goalkeeper or to a defender.
"We worked the ball into good areas to put crosses into the box right through the game but our final ball was terrible yet again. "We are working on it on the training ground and we are going to work on it some more." Tranmere's ambitions of qualifying for the play-offs looked to be hanging by the thread of making up six points of ground on sixthplaced Bristol City over the final seven games of the division two campaign. The other teams in the play-off zone are threatening to move beyond Tranmere's reach, with fifth-placed Huddersfield now 10 points ahead.

Gravesen's red card torment
Report By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Mar 19 2002
THOMAS GRAVESEN has revealed his torment over the red card that nearly got him off to the worst possible start under new Everton boss David Moyes. The Danish international's dismissal after just 27 minutes of Moyes' managerial reign punctured the Blues' storming opening against Fulham and left his team-mates desperately clinging on to a vital victory. Video evidence has since shown Gravesen's second booking for a foul on Luis Boa Morte was harsh, although the midfielder was yesterday-warned about his recklessness by the new Goodison chief. And last night Gravesen revealed: "I couldn't get a seat in the Main Stand so I ended up watching the rest of the game with a few of the reserve players in the players' lounge. "I was incredibly nervous watching us trying to hang on and I was so relieved at the final whistle. "I was worried that if Fulham had pulled it back I would have been the scapegoat. "The blame would have been on me and that was the last thing I needed after just getting back in favour at Everton. It would have been particularly worrying with a new manager who is just forming opinions about players." Gravesen will now miss the crucial home game with Bolton on Easter Monday. He added: "We looked at the incident again on video after the game and there was no contact, so the Fulham player didn't do me any favours by taking a dive. That's very frustrating, especially as a lot of people have had plenty to say about the way I play.
"People in Denmark are always saying 'You can't trust Thomas Gravesen to keep his cool'.
"It is something I've had to put up with but I do accept that I have to take care. Morten Olsen says that to me and if David Moyes says the same I will do my best to take it on board but it is a very physical game in the Premiership." Gravesen added: "I do accept what the manager says about being more careful but I'm glad he said he doesn't want to change my committed approach."
Duncan Ferguson has rejected the chance to return to the international fold with Scotland.
The Blues striker, who has been treated for a rare blood disorder that hindered his recovery from injury, met new coach Berti Vogts after his match-winning display at the weekend. But Vogts revealed: "I saw Everton's game against Fulham on Saturday and after the game I had a small talk with big Duncan Ferguson about whether he was prepared to play for Scotland. "But he is disappointed about the past and said that he cannot forget anything. "I respect Duncan, but I don't know why he can't forget. "He is young enough to learn more things and he must forget.
"But I wished him all the best and he told me that he wished me all the best and hoped that Scotland would qualify for the next European Championship." Potential Moyes' target Bobby Zamora, meanwhile, is believed to be on the brink of a £4million move to Tottenham.

Rooney to the rescue
Academy League By Chris Wright, Daily Post
Mar 19 2002
AFTER the highs of the FA Youth Cup win at Goodison last week, Everton under-19s continued their fine form in the FA Premier Academy League with a 3-2 victory at Newcastle United. The majority of the Youth Cup side played in last Saturday's defeat by Derby - their first loss in eight matches - but, with Wayne Rooney and Scot Brown back from international duty, Colin Harvey's side ran out deserved winners. After a goalless first-half, Newcastle took the lead just after the break. But Rooney scored twice, taking his total to 21 in all competitions and 15 for the U19s, to put the Blues ahead. On both occasions the 16-year-old hitman latched on to through-balls from Steven Beck and Brown to finish well. Midfielder Brown grabbed the Blues' other goal, his second of the season.
Everton were coasting at 3-1 late in the match but Newcastle were awarded a penalty for a rash challenge by Beck. And despite a fine save from goalkeeper Andrew Pettinger from the spot-kick, the Geordies scored from the rebound to set up a tense final few moments. But the Blues held on to make it just one defeat in their last 12 matches in league and FA Youth Cup. Ray Hall said: "The second-half performance was much better as the first-half was poor for both sides. "Their goal was a bit of a wake-up call for us and we started to play a bit better. "It was a poor performance last week (against Derby) but they got themselves going again. We got the lead and we got the win and we deserved it. But it was a bit closer in the end than it should have been." Alan Moogan, despite coming off for the U19s on Saturday with a knee injury, has travelled to join up with the England U18s squad for their friendly match in Italy on Wednesday. Alan Harper's under-17s unluckily lost their first play-off fixture to Arsenal 2-1 at Netherton. The young Blues played some great football and deservedly took the lead from a superb free-kick by Joey Jones mid-way through the first half.
In the second half Arsenal piled on the pressure and equalised from a free-kick as the Blues were lining up their wall. And the Gunners claimed the points with a late winner after a scramble in the Everton box. Academy director Ray Hall said: "Their staff said that we were one of the best sides that they have played this season. We finished the game with five U15 players and six U16s, so we were not only a year younger but two in most cases. It is great credit to the lads that they have stuck in and had a real go."
Everton's FA Youth Cup semi-final first leg with Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park will be played next Wednesday, March 27 (7.00pm).
The second leg will be at White Hart Lane on Wednesday, April 3 (7.00pm).

Red's Kop chorus joy as Everton sing the blues
Daily Post
Mar 19 2002
YOU'LL never sing alone at Anfield and now music experts say Liverpool's Kop chorus ranks fifth best in the Premiership Everton fans were left singing the blues. They came ninth. The league places are revealed in a survey for Premiership sponsors Barclaycard. Southampton are the champions with Bolton bottom. But Gerry Marsden, who sang You'll Never Walk Alone, disagrees with the final score. He said: "The professor must be a Southampton fan if he says they're the best singers.
"Liverpool fans are the best singers and the singing at Anfield is wonderful. We started the singing at grounds and are renowned for our singing across the world." "Everyone copied us just as everyone copied our style of football." Prof David Howard analysed recordings of fans singing and using the latest scientific sound equipment. He said: "The Kopites have excellent song choice and comfortable starting pitch. Some notes are very sharp, pushing the pitch up, which is where they lose points.
"Everton fans kick off with a consistently good starting pitch and tone, but throughout the 90 minutes there was often repetition and as a result their voices drift quite flat." John Mackin, co-editor of Liverpool FC fanzine Red All Over the Land, said: "The singing on the Kop has been better but that is down to seating splitting up fans."On our day our fans are the best singers in the world."
Phil Pellow, editor of Everton fanzine Satis? said: "I'm not surprised we're ninth, we've not had much to sing about the last few months." L A primitive instinct that helps animals defend their territory may be one explanation for the home advantage in football, scientists said yesterday.

Moy kind of guy
Mar 19 2002 By Kevin Ratcliffe
TEAMWORK: David Moyes rallies his new troops
REGARDLESS of Everton Football Club's current standing in English football, the manager's job at Goodison is still one of the biggest posts in the game. And while I was both surprised and disappointed Walter Smith's sacking - particularly the timing of the decision - I was delighted that the board turned to David Moyes. I know David well and admired the tremendous job he did at Preston under similar circumstances to those he will be operating on at Everton. But that's not the real reason I am so pleased the Blues' board turned to him. Like most people in the game I want to see young, British bosses flourishing. There is no doubt that the foreign coaches who have been introduced to the Premiership have enhanced it. They have brought new ideas, exciting players and a different outlook to the game. But no-one wants that to be at the expense of progressive young British coaches, and David Moyes fits perfectly under that heading. There are plenty of outstanding managers outside the Premier League, but I do believe there are none better than David.
He is a very good organiser, an excellent motivator and perhaps most importantly he is accustomed to operating on a tight budget in the transfer market. I read Sir Philip Carter's comments at the press conference to announce David's appointment, where he compared the situation to Howard Kendall's arrival in 1981. I can see what he is saying, but I dearly hope David doesn't have to go through what Howard experienced before he turned things around. Howard endured some awful pressure from the fans and the media, but that simply shows how huge the expectations always are at Goodison Park. David Moyes will have to learn to live with that, but I am sure he is more than capable of doing so successfully. I'd like to wish him the very best of luck for the future - and congratulate the Blues' Board for buying British!
Armband puts skip back in Dunc's step
DUNCAN FERGUSON'S appointment as captain on Saturday was a piece of psychology which paid off handsomely. Whether it's going to be long term or not we'll have to wait and see. Duncan has made it perfectly clear in the past that he refuses to embrace some of the aspects that come with being the captain of a modern football club. He won't talk to the media or even put his name to captain's columns in the matchday programme. But on the pitch he showed when Howard Kendall made him skipper that he is more than prepared to accept that kind of responsibility.
The decision paid off on Saturday, and there's no reason why the Blues shouldn't persist with it.
Providing Tomasz Radzinski remains fit, the likelihood of Kevin Campbell and Duncan Ferguson lining up in the same forward line is remote anyway. And if we continue to see the same kind of reaction from Fergie throughout the remainder of the run-in everyone inside Goodison Park will be delighted.

Big Dunc gets the nod
Mar 19 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES is set to say "Carry On Captain" to Duncan Ferguson, even though club skipper Kevin Campbell is ready to return to training. Ferguson was handed the armband for Moyes' first match in charge last weekend and responded with an inspirational performance. The first time Ferguson was asked to lead the Blues, in 1997, he responded with his first Premiership hat-trick and the most prolific spell of his Goodison career of seven goals in eight appearances. Last Saturday he scored his first open play Premiership goal of the season. "If it works for the team I will do it again," said Moyes. The new Blues' boss put his squad through double-header training sessions yesterday and today - and was delighted to welcome back Kevin Campbell and Tomasz Radzinski. Campbell trained normally after missing two games with a calf injury, while Radzinski trained yesterday after limping off during Saturday's defeat of Fulham. Gary Naysmith is also hoping to join in later this week after spending three weeks on the sidelines with a calf injury. Moyes is still getting to know the players he inherited and said: "I am learning little things about them all the time. "The more time we spend together the more I am picking up, and they are also learning about me." The first leg of Everton's FA Youth Cup semifinal against Tottenham, meanwhile, will take place at Goodison Park next Wednesday (kick-off 7pm).
The second leg is at White Hart Lane a week later, Wednesday, April 3, again kicking off at 7pm.
David Weir and Scot Gemmill have been named in Scotland's squad to face France in Paris next week, but Gary Naysmith's recent injury means he has not been selected.

Moyes in Goodison boost for Ginola
Report By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Mar 20 2002
GOING NOWHERE: David Moyes wants Ginola to stay at Goodison DAVID GINOLA has been told he still has a part to play in Everton's fight for Premiership survival under David Moyes. The flamboyant Frenchman was expected to follow Paul Gascoigne out of Goodison Park in the wake of last week's managerial switch. But after a meeting with the new Blues boss yesterday Ginola looks set to see out the remainder of the season with Everton - unless the club receive an offer for his services before next week's transfer deadline. Ginola faces a struggle to get back into the side after being overlooked for Moyes' first squad on Saturday and Walter Smith's final game in charge at Middlesbrough. But barring a transfer in the next seven days, the 35-year-old will now see out his Premiership days with the Blues. Gascoigne, meanwhile, has received a warm send-off from his former Goodison team-mates as he prepares to make his debut for new club Burnley against Bradford City tonight. Defender Alan Stubbs yesterday led the tributes to the veteran midfielder and indicated a lack of first team chances at Everton in recent weeks had triggered the free transfer.
"I was sad to see Gazza go," said Stubbs. "He is one of the biggest characters I have ever seen in a dressing room. "He is a great fella and he just loves football. When he wasn't playing he was so down it was absolutely unbelievable. "I've never seen anyone in the game like Gazza when he wasn't out there playing. It just shows what football means to him. "He's been low over the last few weeks and that was the only reason why he has gone. "He's trying hard to get his life back in order and I think he just feels that going to Burnley, where he will get the opportunity to play will help him." And Stubbs added: "He's not selfish. He has a massive heart and anyone who sees him play will recognise that. "I know he'll be on the phone wishing all the lads here the best of luck for the rest of the season and hopefully we'll bump into him next season in the Premiership if Burnley get promoted."
* EVERTON winger Jesper Blomqvist has been recalled to the Sweden squad after an absence of nearly three years.
Blomqvist is in a 23-man squad selected by joint coaches Tommy Soderberg and Lars Lagerback for next Wednesday's friendly with Switzerland in Malmo.

Swede dreams as Jesper earns call-up
Mar 20 2002 By Ken Rogers, Liverpool Echo
JESPER Blomqvist's football torment is now officially over.
The Everton winger spent two years on the sidelines at Manchester United with a knee in jury that looked as if it could end his career. Yesterday, Blomqvist was recalled to the Sweden squad for next week's game against Switzerland - the clearest signal yet that his injury worries are now firmly behind him. Blomqvist, signed on a free transfer by Walter Smith, is joined in the Sweden squad by fellow Goodison midfielders Tobias Linderoth and Niclas Alexandersson. But his elation at starring again at the highest level was matched by Thomas Gravesen's concern at being left out of the Denmark squad for next week's friendly at Landsdowne Road against the Republic of Ireland.
Gravesen, whose dismissal against Fulham last Saturday could have proved extremely costly, has been overlooked by the Danes. However, another Everton midfielder, Lee Carsley, will be in the Irish side as they continue their World Cup build-up. It seemed that every senior Everton midfielder was in the news today. New Blues' boss David Moyes has told David Ginola that he still has a part to play in the club's battle for survival. It was widely expected that Ginola would be following Paul Gascoigne out of the door, but now the Frenchman is set to see out the remainder of the season at Goodison, providing the Blues did not receive an offer before the transfer deadline. * Dates have been set for Everton's FA Youth Cup semi-final against Tottenham Hotspur. The first leg is at Goodison on Wednesday, March 27, with the return leg at White Hart Lane on Wednesday, April 3 ( kick-offs at 7:00pm).

Rooney warms up with a double
Mar 20 2002 Liverpool Echo
WAYNE ROONEY warmed up for next week's Youth Cup semifinal shoot-out by taking goals to Newcastle. Rooney grabbed two in a 3-2 victory for Everton's Under-19s, taking his tally for the season to 21 in all competitions. Coach Colin Harvey was disappointed by his team's first half performance - and straight after the interval Newcastle took the lead. But Rooney latched on to through balls from first Beck and then Brown to steer the Blues into the lead, then Scott Brown scored himself to make it 3-1. Necwcastle won a late penalty, but despite Andrew Pettinger's fine save the home team followed up to convert the rebound. "Andrew was let down by his defenders," said Harvey "but the win was deserved in the end." Alan Harper's under-17s deserved more when a late Arsenal strike at Netherton denying them a share of the spoils. A classy Joey Jones free-kick gave the young Blues a deserved lead, but The Gunners levelled after the break from a quickly taken free-kick of their own. A late scramble in the Everton penalty area saw the visitors snatch a winner.
"We finished the game with five under-15 players and six under-16s," said Academy Director Ray Hall "so it is great credit to our lads that they have stuck in and had a go." This Saturday Everton Under-17s travel to West Ham, while the under-19s take a break ahead of next Wednesday's FA Youth Cup semi-final first leg against Tottenham at Goodison Park.
FA Under-19 Youth Academy: Newcastle United 2, Everton 3. Scorers: Rooney (2), Brown. EVERTON: Pettinger, B Moogan, Crowder, Garside, O'Hanlon, A Moogan (Martland), Brown, Beck, Symes (Colbeck), Rooney, Carney. FA Under-17 Youth Academy: Everton 1, Arsenal 2.

Blomqvist's buoyant
Report By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Mar 21 2002
JESPER BLOMQVIST hopes his shock Swedish recall is further proof he is edging back to his best at Everton. The former Manchester United winger was handed the chance to stake his claim for an incredible World Cup call-up this week when he was named in the Sweden squad to face Switzerland. And after reviving a career that only last summer was on the brink of a premature end due to a serious knee injury, Blomqvist believes he is edging back to full fitness in time for the Blues' relegation scrap. "I actually don't remember the last time I played for the national team," said Blomqvist, who won 29 caps for Sweden before injury struck. "Everything is a bonus for me now but of course it is wonderful to be selected for the national team again. "I haven't talked much to the coaches but I have been made aware that I was in their thoughts. "Playing-wise things have gone really well. Now I have been training full out for nearly three months without problems.
"Just to be able to train and play again is truly fantastic. It's such a relief after the last couple of years." Blomqvist is out of contract at Goodison Park this summer and now has to convince new boss David Moyes he warrants an extension. And he admitted: "We have a tough job on our hands to stay in the top flight but I believe and hope we will manage it. "We have a good enough side to be able to do it and the new manager seems to be very good."

Gascoigne shocked at pace of game
By David Anderson, Daily Post
Mar 21 2002
PAUL GASCOIGNE could not believe how Bradford goalkeeper Alan Combe saved his free-kick to deny him a goal on his Burnley debut. Combe touched Gascoigne's right-foot curler away for a corner during the 1-1 draw at Turf Moor to leave the one-time England star dumbfounded.
Gascoigne quipped: "I don't know how the goalkeeper saved it. David Seaman would have let that one in. He really pulled off a fabulous save." Gascoigne, who has joined Burnley on a free transfer from Everton until the end of the season, admitted he had been surprised by the pace of the Division One game. The 34-year-old also confessed he is still unsure about one or two of his new team-mates' names. "I'd only played about one game in the last five weeks and it was a bit of a shock the pace of the game," he said. "It was quick and I'll have to adjust to that in the next couple of games.
"My object was to get my foot on the ball and knock it forward for - I can't remember his name - but he made some fantastic runs and that makes my job easier. "But all in all I really enjoyed playing with the guys today." Manager Stan Ternent feels Gascoigne will improve with games.
"I think Paul needs a little game or two," he said. "Paul had some beautiful touches and he's got class. If we can get a couple of games into him, he will be fine. "Their goalkeeper made a good save from his free-kick, but that's what he's there for." Johnson had given Burnley the lead on 20 minutes only for Claus Jorgensen to ruin Gascoigne's big night by equalising 12 minutes from time.

Moyes' boys raring to go
Mar 21 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES will select his first Everton line-up this weekend, with options suddenly opening up for every position. After watching the Blues beat Fulham last Saturday, just 36 hours after taking charge, Moyes has seen Kevin Campbell, Steve Watson and Gary Naysmith all return to training.
After being down to the bare bones just a fortnight ago, only Mark Pembridge is now on the long-term injury list. "I want to look at them all again in training before we make any decision," explained Moyes. "For some it's only been a couple of days back, but this will be my first selection.
"Andy Holden picked the team last week, and it was a big thing to get our first Premiership win for a while. Hopefuly that will improve our confidence. "It will take me probably from now until the end of the season to assess the squad and see what people are made of. "The next eight games will be a challenge for us, and I will have to look at people at the same time as sending a team out that wins every week." It seems unlikely that David Ginola will figure in much of Moyes' planning.
The Frenchman is under contract at Everton until the end of the season, but if the Blues receive an offer before next Thursday's transfer deadline they will let him go. Ginola's agent, Chantal Stanley, blasted last night: "It's unbelievable. I ' m very surprised because Everton begged him to come to Goodison Park. "They are trying to offload a wage packet. This is not about football."
Moyes said: "All the players here must work hard between now and the end of the season and if David does that I'll involve him." Young reserve midfielder Tom Kearney, meanwhile, has joined Danny Cadamarteri at Bradford City on a free transfer. Northern Ireland winger Damien Curran will have a trial for Cheltenham Town's reserve team today.

The people's city
Mar 21 2002 By Ken Rogers
THERE has been a lot of controversy over the past week regarding a statement made by David Moyes on the night that he was unveiled as the new Everton manager (pictured).
"We are the people's club," said Moyes. I don't know if someone put the words in his mouth to reflect the fact that the Blues have retained a remarkable support through years of football depression. If he was simply looking to forge an instant bond with a new army of fans it was Mission Accomplished. But I'm sure David did not realise that his words would provoke the red half of Merseyside. The perennial debate about which club has the most local fans is always simmering under the surface. Evertonians will claim that Anfield is awash with Scandinavian and Irish fans. Liverpudlians will argue that their average attendance is thousands up on their Mersey rivals and that therefore the local connection is at least as powerful, if not more so.
A survey conducted by the Premier League has failed to resolve the argument although the statistics are nevertheless intriguing.
Fans were asked how far they lived from their home ground.
* Within 10 miles: 54% Everton, 50% Liverpool.
* 11-50 miles: 35% both clubs.
As I said, Liverpool's higher average attendance means it is not so simple as to decide that the Blues have more "local" fans than the Reds. For instance, in the "within 10 miles" category, 54% of Everton's average home gate of 33,000 adds up to 17,820 while 50% of Liverpool's average home gate of 43,000 is 21,500. As is always the case with statistics, you can make them add up to whatever you like. What is unquestionable is that the city of Liverpool has more passionate fans than anywhere else in the country. The Premier League survey asked a simple question: How important is this club in your life at the moment? Everton and Liverpool topped the chart with 37% of Evertonians answering "one of the most important things" against 32% of Liverpudlians. Sunderland (30%) and Manchester City (29%) were third and fourth. Surprisingly, the seemingly Newcastle daft Geordies were eighth in this particular league table with Aston Villa bottom.
So can we state with conviction which is truly the " people's club" on Merseyside? Should we lose any sleep over it? What is clear is that Merseyside is the undisputed soccer capital of England, the people's football city. If any of you Manchester United fans write in to complain, I will simply tick you off in the Premier League statistical box that clearly proves that there are fewer and fewer genuine Mancunians attending Old Trafford games these days with an astonishing 33% of fans travelling in from 50 miles and more. Just a final thanks to David Moyes for the aside that sparked a city wide debate. Welcome to the world of super Merseyside fans.

Sandy 'off the hook' for that derby own goal
Mar 21 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
BROUGHT to book.
Former Goodison stars Gordon West and Sandy Brown finally settled one of the great Everton arguments of all time this week. "We've finally decided that Westy was to blame for my own goal in the derby match," said Brown. Sandy, who celebrates his 63rd birthday this weekend, netted one of the most famous own goals in Mersey soccer history in 1969. Gordon West was the goalkeeper the ball flashed past. The pair were reunited in Southport this week, where Brown is receiving respite care paid for by the Everton Former Players' Foundation. Team-mate Joe Royle and John Hurst joined them - and will meet up with other old pals at tonight's fourth Gwladys Street Hall of Fame dinner at the Adelphi Hotel. Special guest is a rare public appearance by Tony Kay, a championship winner with Everton in 1963 before his career was wrecked by the infamous soccer bribes scandal.
All profits from the dinner, which sold out 11 months ago, will go to the Former Players ' Foundation.

Blues revival - A smash hit
Fanscene By Neil Mckeown, Daily Post
Mar 22 2002
BETTER than Wimbledon. Almost as good as Wimbledon. Not quite as good as Wimbledon but still pretty damn good. The plaudits rolled in this week for David Moyes' first night smash hit matinee performance: a 2-1 thrashing of Jean Tigana's Eurocentric West Londoners. We're a hit! Arch luvvie and True Blue, Uncle Bill Kenwright, bounds into the Goodison players' bar, his face aglow with joy, his eyes a picture of hope and once-lost belief before sinking into his sumptuously upholstered vice-chairman's throne. The soothing waters of victory lap at his ankles. Success. But didn't anyone else think they were rubbish? Okay, so a tad harsh but a notmuchbetter-than-Fulham team would have buried Everton on Saturday. But maybe that's the point? If we had suffered a similarly idiotic dismissal a week earlier it would merely have been a matter of when the collapse took place. That's that new manager's magic for you. And what of Everton's young, dynamic new boss. What do we know about him? Well respected in the game, but then who isn't in the closed-shop of professional football, Moyes has gained a reputation for encouraging his teams to play football and actually get fit. The last bit could be key in reviving our fortunes. Everton's injury problems are now the stuff of legend: rumours of the black arts and human sacrifice at Bellefield are probably wide of the mark but no club can simply be unlucky with ailment over such a long time. A general lack of fitness would be a kind of explanation for the general poor health of the players. Plus, when was the last time Everton's long-suffering support enjoyed a late goal? A last-gasp, point-saving, match-winning rapier strike - the greatest thrill football has to offer (streakers excepted). Why do we never see that? Maybe they're tired. There were a number of impressive performances on Saturday - most notably Duncan Ferguson. It's too soon to talk about another Ferguson comeback-but he does seem to respond-to being captain. His effort was something else on Saturday. Ferguson's ability has never been seriously questioned - his focus has. Perhaps he sees the end of his career approaching and is beginning to realise that, apart from the money, the adoration of thousands and the sick leave on full pay he hasn't achieved anything yet. Enough of such talk. This is (another) new beginning. The new manager has had a full week to continue the deprogramming of the players and hopefully some old dogs will be hip to some new tricks. Just think, by the end of Moyes contract we might be referring to the last ten years simply as the lost years.

Hall happy with good Blues' progress
Academy League By Chris Wright, Daily Post
Mar 22 2002
RESULTS are paramount at firstteam level but further down the scale they can be misleading.
Everton under-17s are at West Ham United tomorrow for their second FA Premier Academy League play-off fixture after losing 2-1 at home to Arsenal last Saturday. And while the coaching staff and players go out to win every match, it is the marked improvement in performance that has been the key feature for Alan Harper's young side. Academy director Ray Hall said: "The lads were upbeat after the Arsenal match. They were obviously disappointed that having been in the lead for so long, they had it snatched away from them right at the end. "A lot of people think of it in terms of the first team but results really don't matter at this level. Noone will remember the U17s in five years time if none of them are in the first team." Giving away two or three years has been a contributory factor in the Blues losing. Hall added: "We have a very young side and three of our best U16s are with the U19s - Wayne Rooney, James Potter and Damian Martland - and three more U16s are injured so we are behind every side straight away. "We are a young side to start with but the more developed of our U16s are not available to us at present. "By all rights we shouldn't have run an U17 team but we did know that it would be difficult this year. The experience, in terms of results has been negative, but in terms of performance it has been a massive plus that can only benefit these boys. "Three U17s all play every week for the U18s and now a couple of U16s players have been getting a game. Half the U19 team is a very young side. "The one thing we can say about the Academy programme here is that we do push the boys quickly if we believe in them. Hall added of tomorrow's game: "We go to West Ham. We will make the journey on Friday, which is part of their learning process. Many of the boys won't have been away on a Friday to play on a Saturday.
"So it is another nice learning experience for them." Colin Harvey' s under-19s have no fixture this weekend due to the Easter break. It will give the Blues time to prepare for next Wednesday's mouth-watering FA Youth Cup semi-final first leg with Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park.
The U19s next match will be after the Easter break at Huddersfield Town on April 6. Midfielder Alan Moogan played for England under-18s in their 3-0 defeat by Italy in Bologna on Wednesday.

I'm staying a Blue
Report By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Mar 22 2002
DAVID GINOLA risks spending the rest of the season on the sidelines after yesterday turning down a loan move to West Bromwich Albion. The Everton winger rejected the chance to join the first division promotion-chasers after Blues officials agreed a deal to farm out the veteran after barely two months at Goodison. Boss David Moyes revealed earlier this week that he is happy for Ginola to stay at Everton, but added the Blues would not stand in his way if a club came in for him before Thursday's transfer deadline. But the French star baulked at a switch to the West Midlands until the end of the season, insisting he wanted to stay on Merseyside. However, it seems certain the 35-year-old has played his last game for the Blues. West Brom chief executive John Wile revealed: "We spoke to Everton about the possibility of taking David Ginola until the end of the season.
"Everton have had discussions with him and made it clear it is unlikely he will figure in their plans.
"But while Everton were quite happy with our proposal, the player didn't want to leave."
While Ginola is on his way out, Moyes could welcome a trio of stars back for tomorrow's crucial Premiership clash at Derby County. Kevin Campbell, Steve Watson and Gary Naysmith all returned to training yesterday and are fighting to be fit for the Pride Park clash - the first time Moyes will select the Blues' starting line-up. "I want to look at them all again in training before we make any decision," said the new Everton boss, who let Andy Holden pick the side for last Saturday's 2-1 win over Fulham. "For some it has only been a couple of days back, but this will be my first selection.
"It will take probably from now until the end of the season to assess the squad and see what people are made of." Meanwhile, former Blue Don Hutchison has called on Duncan Ferguson to end his exile from international football. The striker has not played for Scotland in almost five years after accusing the Scottish FA of a witchhunt against him. New Scotland manager Berti Vogts was at Goodison on Saturday to see Ferguson score as he captained the Blues to victory at Craven Cottage.
Vogts is keen to persuade Ferguson to return to the international fold. And West Ham midfielder Hutchison revealed Scotland's players are desperate for a change of heart from the striker.
"I'm sad that Duncan Ferguson remains unavailable," said the Hammers star. "I played with Big Dunc at Everton and have the utmost respect for him as a player. "In my opinion he is up there with Niall Quinn as the best target man in British football, so to have him unavailable for Scotland is a big blow to us. "All the Scottish players wish he'd change his mind and play again.

Blues got it right against ten men
Mar 22 2002 By Howard Kendall
FANS who watched the so-called 'Battle of the Alamo' at Goodison last Sunday have been asking me whether Everton were right to defend so deep for so long against Fulham with almost every player almost permanently behind the ball. The point being made was that it was impossible to gain any respite because every time a clearance was made it came straight back with Duncan Ferguson unable to get anywhere near the ball. On the same subject, I was also asked if it made sense to keep Ferguson on the field throughout after the dismissal of Thomas Gravesen and if it might have been better to get someone on with the mobility to try and get hold of the ball and hold things up.
I actually think Everton did exactly the right thing in the circumstances, especially against a passing team. Yes, there are many examples of ten men beating eleven. The side with the extra man often throws everyone forward, only to be caught on the break. In this particular game, the counterattack did not appear to be in Everton's mind, but you must look at the scoreline when Gravesen got his yellow card. The Blues were 2-0 up and that gives you a cushion to gamble and sit back.
Yes, there is always a chance that the opposition, given the freedom to storm forward, will snatch one which Fulham did. But I think Everton made the right call. The reason ten men often do quite well in these situations is that mentally they are immediately geared up to deal with the situation. Even nondefensive players feel they have to do that little bit more. That extra ten per cent effort goes a long way to "levelling" things out. But when you are up against a team like Fulham who play a controlled passing game, it's difficult to get the ball off them - even when you've got eleven men.
They retain their patient build-up strategy. If you accept that they will have the lion's share of possession, it is crucial that you get bodies behind the ball. It's equally important not to defend in your penalty area if you can unless the ball goes into deep and wide areas when you might have to fall into the box. The key is not to drop in too early and the priority is not to leave any holes at the back. When a side is constantly coming at you, it is actually a little bit easier to defend because the surprise element is taken away. The defending team is never caught short with players upfield. You are waiting for the next attack and never out of position. Of course, it is important when you win the ball to keep it as long as you can. If you keep giving it away quickly with desperate clearances which make it almost impossible for your attackers to get hold of it, you have to accept that the odd chance will fall to the opposition. If it had been goalless when Gravesen walked, it would have been very dangerous for Everton to adopt the tactics they did. But that two goal cushion meant that it was worth sitting deep and taking the chance. As for Ferguson and the fact that he couldn't get near any of the clearances. Clearly, Everton were punting the ball forward willy nilly. It would not have mattered who was on the field, they would have had difficulty seizing possession and holding the ball up. Even when Jesper Blomqvist was thrown on for a tiring David Unsworth, presumably to try and run the ball and keep possession on the left, he hardly touched it in those hectic final stages.
What was more important than Duncan chasing around to get on the end of the odd clearance was his defensive strength at set pieces. Understanding the situation, it was very important that someone like Duncan could clear the ball at the near post, leaving the likes of David Weir and Alan Stubbs to mark their big men. Emile Heskey comes back and does this for Liverpool. Graeme Sharp used to do it for me. Patrick Vierra is a midfielder, but his size and presence makes him crucial when Arsenal are defending at dangerous set plays. If you still think Everton got their tactics wrong and invited trouble, speak to any of the Fulham players who were trying to break the Blues down.
In the end it was a job well done and three absolutely crucial points in the bag. Skipper gamble spot on ANOTHER big talking point amongst Evertonians this week has been the captaincy. With Kevin Campbell still injured, Duncan Ferguson was handed the skipper's armband on his return at the expense of David Weir. I don't accept that Weir would have been upset as some have suggested. You cannot look at it in this way. Was there a chance that the change would have affected Weir's performance? Of course not. He has been rock-solid and you always know what you are going to get from him. More importantly, there was a psychological opportunity to send Duncan out feeling on top of the world on his return. I know how proud the big man is when he leads the team out. David Moyes would have been thinking: "Maybe this is an opportunity to get that little bit extra from a man who is already totally committed." It doesn't matter how small the bonus is, it makes sense to exploit it. I remember the first time I did it with Duncan. He went out and scored a hat- trick against Bolton. In this instance, he scored a crucial goal for David Moyes and then played his part part in the defensive battle to hold on to the lead. For me, the skipper change paid off and, as I've explained, this is no reflection on the outstanding David Weir.
Gazza gave his best shot
I WOULD like to pay a special little tribute to Paul Gascoigne who left Everton for Burnley this week.
Naturally the Everton hierarchy were worried about Gazza's reputation for coming off the rails when he first signed in. The player was told in no uncertain terms: "One strike and you are out."
He could have given no more in terms of enthusiasm and getting himself fit. He never let anyone down and the only surprise was that he was not selected more often. Gazza had a right good go and the Evertonians respect that.

Blues' £30m windfall
Mar 22 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON have formally announced the completion of a £30m refinancing package --giving David Moyes seven days to hunt for new blood. The long-term loan with Bear Stearns International, secured on future season ticket sales, will pay off Everton's overdraft and provide funds for a new training facility. But it will also allow new boss Moyes to add to his squad before next Thursday's transfer deadline. Chairman Sir Philip Carter said: "We are delighted to complete a deal of this nature, as it gives us longer term security of funding and means that we can continue the development of the business and give support to our new team manager." With several players recently returning to fitness, however, Moyes may wait until he has fully assessed his first team squad before adding to it. Only Mark Pembridge is now a long-term casualty, although Gary Naysmith suffered a reaction to his ankle injury in training this week and will not be considered for tomorrow's trip to Derby. Kevin Campbell is back in the squad, though. Everton have never won in four visits to Pride Park, while John Gregory's return to Derby as manager has inspired a revival which has seen three wins and a draw from six fixtures. he clash will have huge significance on the battle at the bottom of the Premiership, and while Moyes will select an Everton starting line-up for the first time, he may not make many changes from the side chosen by Andy Holden last weekend.
That will again see David Ginola left on the sidelines. The Frenchman yesterday turned down an offer to go on loan to West Bromwich Albion until the end of the season. Moyes said: "I met David and told him what I was trying to do in the short term and that was to introduce a good work ethic to the team and the players. "I want everybody to work for each other and if David wants to be part of that then that is fine by me and I would like him to be on board. "If he feels that he cannot do that or he doesn't want to do it then I want him to tell me, but at the moment he has been very positive."

Joe 90
Mar 22 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
JOE- MAX MOORE was the matchwinner last time Everton faced Derby County.
He scored in his next game too, at Leeds. But the American international had long since come to the conclusion that goals would not guarantee him a place in the Blues' starting line-up. Just five starts in the next 17 fixtures confirmed those fears, but a change of manager has added a newfound air of optimism to Moore's prematch pronouncements. "I have always tried to give everything I had, regardless of who the manager is," said Moore "and nothing will change in that respect.
"But this is a new opportunity for me, definitely. "I think everybody in the squad thinks that way. Everyone feels back on trial, so to speak, so there's an extra edge to the training sessions. Everyone's working hard trying to impress the manager. "I have had some good days against Derby in the past so hopefully that will continue. "I've managed a couple of goals against them at Goodison Park so hopefully I can go away and do it this time." Moore has already had 45 minutes to try and catch David Moyes' eye, but as one of 10 men fighting a rearguard defensive action against Fulham last Saturday opportunities to shine in the opposition penalty box were non-existent. "I was happy to be given the opportunity to get on for 45 minutes," he explained "but unfortunately it was all one-way traffic by then. "I wish I had done a better job at holding the ball up to be honest. I think I lost half of the balls that I touched because when I got there I was so tired at trying to close down I couldn't hold onto it. "If I get the chance I'll hope to do a much better job in the next few games."
With the World Cup looming - and Joe-Max an integral part of the USA squad - the striker whose goals against Trindad secured America's World Cup place must play a delicate balancing act.
After tomorrow's crucial relegation clash at Pride Park he will fly out for America's friendly international in Germany. That takes place in Rostock on Wednesday - and with The Toffees' Easter trip to Newcastle brought forward 25 hours for Sky TV screening, he will be unable to prepare properly for that North-East test. "I will probably try and get a flight direct to Newcastle," said Joe-Max. "It's a really good fixture for the USA, but the timing is not great to be honest.
"This is a vital period of the season for us. "On the back of the result we got last weekend there is more optimism around the training ground. "We can see oursleves getting out of it a little easier, than if we hadn't got that result. "But I was always confident we could do the job. I have said that all along. "We have the players to be at least in mid-table and hopefully by the end of the season that's where we will be."

Moyes: Don't expect miracles
Mar 23 2002 Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES has warned Everton supporters not to expect miracles in the battle for Premiership survival. Goodison Park reverberated last Saturday more than it has done in several seasons as Moyes was given a hero's welcome onto the pitch and then watched his new players take a first-minute lead on the way to a hard-earned 2-1 victory. It was heart-warming stuff to the success-starved fans watching in the stands, but Moyes has cautioned that any changes will take time.
He said: "We can't change things at this time of the season. It's difficult to make people any fitter as we've played nearly all the games, and hopefully the things we've been working on will start to work this week. "But even with five or six training sessions this week that's certainly not going to make things all right. "The feeling last week was incredible - it was such a high to become the manager of a club like this and receive the reception I got, and then within a minute you're a goal up and the place is alive. "The atmosphere at Goodison, people tell me, was as good as they've heard for many a year, so that's something the players need. "I'm not daft enough to get carried away, there's a lot of hard work to be done, and first and foremost we have to make sure we survive in the Premier League." Moyes said he enjoyed his first full week with the players and had already begun to do certain things differently. He said: "The important thing was the chance to get working with the players this week and get out on the field and do the things that really matter. "It's been much better, getting a chance to work with the players all week. "But to get to know Everton Football Club in one week would be impossible - you need a lot longer than that. "We've got seven or eight games left and we've got to make sure we win quite a few of them to make sure we survive in the Premiership. "We're going to try and implement one or two things which hopefully will be noticeable and I think it was noticeable last week," he added. "The club needs stability and there won't be too many changes from last week - if we do then we'll be doing it for what we think are the right reasons." Moyes praised the players' attitude in adjusting to the new manager after the sacking of Walter Smith. He added: "As far as I'm concerned this is my first game in charge and I'll start assessing things after the game - hopefully when we've got the points. "Their attitude has been A1, the way they've worked this week has been excellent, they've showed a lot of commitment in their training, every one of them has tried to do what we've asked them to do and that's all we can ask."
And the former Preston boss looked to the example of Derby boss John Gregory, his opposite number at Pride Park today. He said: "I hope I can have the same impact that John Gregory's had at Derby, because he's had a very big impact and they've won a few games and given themselves a real fighting chance of avoiding relegation. I hope my arrival here will do the same." One of Moyes' biggest early problems has been the future of outoffavour French winger David Ginola, and Moyes confirmed he had spoken to the 34-year-old this week. He added: "I've had some good conversations with David this week and we've been quite open with each other. David will train and we'll have a look and assess things. "At football clubs not every player will be treated equally unfortunately, but the players will be given every opportunity if I think they're doing well enough they'll be the ones who keep hold of the jerseys. "I said when I came that Everton are a club that should always be involved in the Premiership, but I think everybody's a little bit fed up with being involved at the wrong end of the Premiership. "We mustn't get complacent and we must make sure we keep the team in the division and it's a massive job to do that, let's not be kidding."

Derby County 3, Everton 4
Mar 23 2002 By Claire Gray at Pride Park
EVERTON raced into a three-goal lead at Pride Park this afternoon to give new boss David Moyes the perfect lift in his first full week in charge. David Unsworth scored his second goal in a week to give the Blues the lead, then a tremendous Alan Stubbs shot doubled the advantage. Substitute Niclas Alexandersson made it three before Branko Strupar pulled a goal back for the home side.
But Duncan Ferguson made it four- a superb shot from the edge of the box. Derby though hit back with goals from Lee Morris and Strupar. Moyes had the ideal start to his Goodison managerial career last weekend with a hard fought victory over Fulham. So phase two of Everton's bid to prise themselves out of trouble was put into motion at Pride Park this afternoon as they went in search of their first away win in the Premiership since the opening day of the season. The Blues boss (pictured) was forced into making one change to last Saturday's line-up with Alessandro Pistone struck down with a heavy cold. David Unsworth was pushed back to left-back with Jesper Blomqvist filling the gap in the left of midfield. Kevin Campbell was back in the 16 but there was no place for him in the starting line-up with Duncan Ferguson and Tomasz Radzinski continuing up front.
Derby were forced into handing third choice goalkeeper Patrick Foletti his full debut after losing Andy Oakes to injury, but the Rams were otherwise unchanged from the side that beat fellow relegation candidates, Bolton, seven days ago. This was a real six-pointer with eight games left to go and just four points and four places separating these two sides at the bottom. And it was a lively enough start by both sides. Paul Boertien teased his way past Blomqvist in the Blues 18-yard box in the opening minute before his run was snuffed out while a hopeful cross from County old boy Lee Lee Carsley had to be plucked from the air by Foletti with Ferguson in close attendance.
Derby had won three of their last six games under the management of John Gregory and their new-found self belief was evident in the opening quarter-of-an-hour as the ball barely left the Everton half. Brian O'Neil's fierce shot was charged down and Ferguson was forced to head clear Boertien's ninth minute corner at the near post. But Everton were comfortable. Thomas Gravesen unleashed a dipping volley on 12 minutes which Foletti smothered. Gravesen fired in another longrange effort four minutes short of the half-hour mark but the County keeper gathered comfortably enough.
The Blues were forced to reshuffle after Carsley took a heavy knock, with Niclas Alexandersson coming on in his place out on the right. While they were down to 10 men briefly however, Gravesen's teasing through-ball almost found its intended target of Tomasz Radzinski but former Manchester United defender Danny Higginbotham nipped in to pinch the ball from his feet as the little Canadian looked to profit. It came as something of a surprise when a goal came in the 37th minute - and to the delight of the travelling support it came Everton's way. A cross from the right into the Derby six-yard box was cleared but the loose ball found its way to Gravesen just outside the area. Rather than having a shot himself, the Dane slipped the ball through to UNSWORTH and the defender, who had opened the scoring this time last week with a gorgeous leftfooted volley, drilled the ball low past Foletti for his second in two games. Fabrizio Ravanelli tried to bring his team back level two minutes later when a free-kick was awarded 25 yards out but the Italian's attempt to find the back of the net was thwarted by the Everton defence. Lee Morris replaced Malcolm Christie deep into first-half injury time.
Half-time: Derby 0, Everton 1.
After the break, Luciano Zavagno was adjudged to have handled just outside the area and while the Evertonians behind the goal called for a trademark ALAN STUBBS piledriver, the big defender duly obliged, sending an unstoppable scorching drive passed Foletti Derby responded immediately by returning to the other end of the field where Kinkladze dug out a shot which meant Simonsen had to be alert too. Buoyed by the cushion of a two-goal lead, Everton simply gritted their teeth and surged back towards the Derby goal. Unsworth charged down the left flank, picking out Radzinski on the edge of the box who squared the ball across the face of goal with three blue shirts waiting in the area. The first, Scot Gemmill, missed the ball as did Ferguson behind him but with the goal at his mercy, ALEXANDERSSON (pictured) scooped his shot into the back of the net. Branko Strupar pulled a goal back, despite being on the pitch for only two minutes. But on 70 minutes, Everton's fourth goal came. Alexandersson stole the ball from Boertien and having skipped his way into the area unselfishly laid the ball back to Ferguson who cooly blasted the ball into the roof of the Derby net.
Who said Everton couldn't score goals? Higginbotham tried to eat into the Blues' lead on 74 minutes with a long range effort but was unsuccessful, although the Rams had to wait less than 30 seconds to celebrate their second of the afternoon. Lee Morris headed home from close range in what was becoming a thrilling second period. And then Strupar scored his second of the day after great work by Rob Lee to set up a thrilling finale. But Everton held on for the three points to make make it a perfect start to David Moyes' Blues career.
DERBY: Foletti, O'Neil, Riggott, Lee, Kinkladze, Ravanelli, Christie, Higginbotham, Zavagno, Barton, Boertien. Subs: Morris, Elliott, Strupar, Grant, Grenet.
EVERTON: Simonsen, Stubbs, Weir, Unsworth, Radzinski, Ferguson, Blomqvist, Gravesen, Gemmill, Carsley, Hibbert. Subs: Gerrard, Alexandersson, Campbell, Linderoth, Clarke.
Referee: Neale Barry

Derby County 3, Everton 4 (D, Post)
Mar 25 2002 Jonathan McEvoy At Pride Park, Daily Post
THE healing properties of David Moyes' hands have had a Lazarus-like cure on Everton's paralysis since he took charge 11 days ago. Now, he is learning that the job itself comes with a health warning.
"I thought I'd need the kiss of life a few times," he joked after his side survived a palpitating conclusion to claim their first Premiership away victory since the opening day of the season, thus moving them four points clear of the drop zone. Moyes is not fooled by the magnitude of his task at Goodison - where last-minute escapes from the hangman could have turned Harry Houdini green with envy in recent years - but he has already displayed the straight-talking approach and clarity of purpose which could finally restore Everton to permanent health. He's only been in charge for two games - and things have turned on their head, the Blues having scored six goals in two matches compared to two in the previous six. Some of the revival, or to use the club jargon 'revolution', can be attributed to the customary, short-term influence of a new man at the helm. But there are clear signs that Moyes' effect on the club will extend further than the knee-jerk reaction he has inspired in his players. He seems undaunted by the weight of Everton's history and, as he put it, has "miles and miles of ambition" to take the People's Club the "miles and miles" it has to go. He pressed the right buttons immediately. Handing Duncan Ferguson the captain's armband was a faultless psychological ploy. Questions remain about a player who, nearing the end of his eighth season in English football, has notched well short of 200 appearances, but the fact he has scored his only two goals in open play this season in consecutive wins over Fulham and Derby tells its own story. Yes, at 38, he can't remember Alex Young, the fair-haired idol of the Merseyside Millionaires during the 1960s, but the success-flushed side of the 80s still stands out in his memory. "They were a great side," he smiled. "I have a clear vision of that side. I want us to play in the same way. I want to entertain.
"And in the summer I will have to sit down to work on a strategy to take the club in that direction.
"We don't want to always be papering over the cracks and just staying up because some time you won't make it." The onus falls on the board to furnish him with the funds to fulfil his ambitions. Last week's refinancing package is a move in the right direction but more of the same is required.
It will take real investment if the Blues really want to provide Moyes with the platform to prove himself a worthy heir to the great line of Scottish managers. Fans don't want Everton trawling through the bargain bucket. But it will take time to turn around - after all, the club did not replace like for like when the 80s team broke up. The squad gradually downgraded, and that is a difficult problem to remedy. Moyes was quick to admit that victory at Derby contained no more than 10 or 15 minutes of the quality of play he hankers after. The points, though, were the only relevant concern. John Gregory has overseen his own rejuvenation at Pride Park and his side dominated possession in an instantly forgettable first-half. Neither side created much before Everton took the lead through David Unsworth, scoring his second goal in two weeks. Danny Higginbotham half-cleared to Thomas Gravesen, who pushed the ball out left to the advancing Unsworth and he drilled a low shot from just inside the area past debutant keeper Patrick Foletti. Coming eight minutes before half-time, it provided a boost for Moyes' men - who all season had only scored nine times away from Goodison. And it was especially sweet for Unsworth to puncture Gregory after the defender's less than harmonious departure from Aston Villa without playing a competitive game.
The Blues pulled further ahead six minutes into a second-half as diametrically different in entertainment value from the first as is imaginable, through Alan Stubbs. Luciano Zavagno handballed as Niclas Alexandersson latched on to Gravesen's incisive pass to concede a free-kick 20 yards out. Stubbs took the responsibility, threading the ball round the wall and through the eye of a needle with sledge-hammer force. Derby's defensive shortcomings were once more exposed two minutes later. Tomasz Radzinski crossed from the left, Scot Gemmill scuffed his shot from point-blank range, Ferguson missed the ball and Alexandersson turned the simplest chance over the line to notch the third goal. Derby refused to lie down and sub Branko Strupar gave them a lifeline, volleying home stupendously from 20 yards. Everton then restored their three-goal cushion. The jinking Alexandersson pulled the ball back for Ferguson who caressed the Blues' fourth into the top corner with the side of his left foot, sparking more celebrations on and off the pitch.
"Four-one to the People's Club," went the cry from the away fans - but their gloating was soon cut short as Everton paid for an inability to put their foot on the ball and slow the game down when they needed to. Derby's livewire sub Lee Morris hooked the ball past the largely-unemployed Steve Simonsen following Paul Boertien's out-swinging corner for 4-2. The excitement continued with Robert Lee seeking out Strupar with a laser-guided cross and the Belgian wriggled ahead of David Weir to bludgeon an unstoppable header into the net and set up a grandstand finish.
"Maybe I should retire now," said Moyes, beaming after taking six points from six.
In truth, with the relegation dogfight going down to the wire over the remaining seven games, there remains much work to be done.
DERBY COUNTY: Foletti, O'Neil, Riggott, Lee, Kinkladze, Ravanelli, Christie (Morris 45), Higginbotham, Zavagno (Strupar 54), Barton, Boertien. Subs: Elliott, Grant, Grenet.
EVERTON: Simonsen, Stubbs (Clarke 83), Weir, Unsworth, Radzinski (Campbell 57), Ferguson, Blomqvist, Gravesen, Gemmill, Carsley (Alexandersson 28), Hibbert. Subs: Gerrard, Linderoth.
BOOKINGS: Derby's Zavagno, O'Neill; Everton's Campbell, Ferguson, Hibbert.
REFEREE: Neale Barry.
ATT: 33,297.

Carsley facing fitness race
Report By Jonathan Mcevoy, Daily Post
Mar 25 2002
LEE CARSLEY faces a fight to be fit in time to rejoin Everton's relegation dogfight. The midfielder damaged medial knee ligaments as the Blues held on for a crucial 4-3 victory against Derby County on Saturday. Recent signing Carsley limped off in the first-half and will miss the Republic of Ireland's World Cup warm-up against Denmark on Wednesday. The 28-year-old's condition will be assessed this week but he could be sidelined for the next month of the run-in. New boss David Moyes was delighted with the result against John Gregory's strugglers - the Blues' second successive win.
But the manager deflected plaudits from himself, saying: "Praise for me is not the way I want it. The players are the ones who should take the credit. "I have not been here long enough to really influence them. I'm still learning their names. "The fans want to see committed players whatever-happens. After that, they want to see some better football but at the moment winning is the only thing that matters. "The players showed tremendous spirit and togetherness. At this stage it doesn't matter that the football is not the prettiest." Victory lifts Everton into 13th place, four points clear of the bottom three with seven games left. Moyes added: "When I came here my job was to make sure we stayed up. "We're working really hard towards achieving that, although let's not be kidded as to how hard the task is going to be because it's still a big job. "I knew when I came to the club that if we won our remaining matches then we would be okay, but let's be fair, we are always looking over our shoulder in the hope other teams slip up so that things can become a little smoother. "So we just have to get on and do our work. We've won away from home for the first time in the league since the opening day of the season, so that's a big plus for the players and something they will remember. If we keep going to the wire like this every week and we win, then I will take it, but if I have my way, then I'm hoping we are going to be able to control games and play much better. "But I've not even scraped the surface of what I want to achieve. All I've done is come in and done a little bit of work with the lads. The way I would like them to play will take a big turnaround and a lot of time out on the training field." Defender Alan Stubbs told how he watched Everton hold on for their nail-biting victory standing in the tunnel - because he couldn't sit down.
The diehard Blues fan was substituted seven minutes from time with the score precariously poised at 4-3 after injuring his pelvis area. He said: "All the questions come back to me from family and friends. I have to answer a lot of people asking what's going on? "It was a fantastic result. We intended to take all three points. It was a great opportunity and we did." Stubbs scored a venomous free-kick to make it 2-0 to go with Blues goals from David Unsworth, Niclas Alexandersson and Duncan Ferguson.

Derby County 3, Everton 4 (Echo)
Mar 25 2002 By David Prentice At Pride Park
1ON the record, David Unsworth will tell you his well publicised spat with John Gregory is ancient history. They've shaken hands, Unsworth has closed the book on the hurtful and incorrect jibes aimed at his wife by his all-too-brief boss and magnanimously agreed to forgive and forget.
And beneath that veneer of professional reticence? He still loves putting one over him.
Unsworth's length of the pitch celebration after scoring at Villa Park last season spoke volumes. He only celebrated for half the distance on Saturday, but the sentiment was exactly the same.
Gregory's psychological warfare backfired - a little like his decision to switch the tune the Rams run out to at Pride Park. Queen's 'One Vision' has been replaced by a live version of U2's 'Where The Streets Have No Name'. "It's more uplifting and inspiring," Gregory explained. David Moyes' methods of psychology are less subtle. "I just want everyone working as hard as possible for the team," he declared. The simpler strategy is working a treat - not that Moyes is unconscious to the usefulness of a little subtle suggestion. His mischievous assertion that Everton is the People's Club of Merseyside has been embraced as enthusiastically by the fans as it has aggravated their cosmopolitan neighbours. Quite appropriately, the Blues have staged a people's coup in their two matches under Moyes, showing incredible unity on and off the pitch. Bill Kenwright's gamble in deciding to sack Walter Smith with only nine games left can already be said to have paid off. There is still much to be done, but Everton are doing it together. It was nonsense to suggest Smith had lost the dressing room. But he had lost a large section of the support - and their reaction to the new regime has been almost as influential as the players'. The short-term benefit of wringing every last, inspirational ounce from the Scottish talisman is clear. The negativity which enveloped everyone connected with Goodison in the last, fateful days of Walter Smith's regime has dispersed.
In its place is Moyes' contention - spoken without arrogance - that he hasn't calculated how many points Everton need to beat the drop because he is accustomed to life at the top of the table.
Add to that, the Golden Vision he sees for the club. There is a vibrancy and an optimism in the stands now - and even the gut-wrenching anxiety of seeing a 4-1 lead become 4-3, then the time added on show FIVE minutes, couldn't puncture it. Everton are playing with selfbelief rather than blind hope, and it was a quality Derby couldn't match. The opening 37 minutes of the match were the footballing equivalent of knocking back Mogadon-laced Horlicks, with Night Nurse chasers.
Then Unsworth guided in a beautifully angled drive to break the deadlock and give Everton an interval lead. But even the adventure Moyes has introduced to his squad - goalscorer Unsworth was playing leftback - could not prepare us for a roller-coaster second half. It began with Alexandersson winning a free-kick on the edge of the Derby penalty area. Unsworth fancied his chances, but Stubbs insisted he could see a gap. It was the kind of gap only a ferocious strike of laser-guided precision could have picked out, but Stubbs produced exactly that. He should be told to take every free-kick within range of the opposition area in future. That came in the 51st minute, and three minutes later Everton appeared home and dry. Derby's defending was wretched, and after Radzinski had escaped easily down the left to steer a cross into the box, Gemmill and Ferguson both took unsuccessful stabs before Alexandersson steered in his first goal of the season. Dreams of a first away win since day one of the season were briefly dashed when substitute Branko Strupar crashed in a magnificently executed volley, but when Alexandersson again produced his usually well-concealed impression of a creative, dashing winger to tee up Ferguson for an equally impressive finish, the away section was in full voice. "Four-one to the People's Club!" was the gleeful chant, before it became 4-2, then 4-3 . . . with 10 minutes of normal time remaining. Everton finally discovered an element of assurance to see out that time securely. For The Toffees, the future is looking decidedly brighter. One more home win over Bolton on Easter Monday would leave them on the threshold of Premiership safety. Some people at Derby, however, seem to have already accepted their fate. "End of line clearance sale starts Monday!" trumpeted Pride Park's club TV network - and that was at half time.
DERBY COUNTY (4-4-2): Foletti, Barton, Riggott, Higginbotham, Zavagno (Strupar 54 mins), Kinkladze, Lee, O'Neill, Boertien, Christie ( Morris 45 mins), Ravanelli. Unused subs: Elliott, Grant, Grenet.
EVERTON (4-4-2): Simonsen, Hibbert, Weir, Stubbs (Clarke 83 mins), Unsworth, Gemmill, Carsley (Alexandersson 28 mins), Gravesen, Blomqvist, Ferguson, Radzinski (Campbell 57 mins). Unused subs: Gerrard, Linderoth.
GOALS: Unsworth (37 mins) 0-1, Stubbs (51 mins) 0-2, Alexandersson (54 mins) 0-3, Strupar (56 mins) 1-3, Ferguson (71 mins) 1-4, Morris (75 mins) 2-4, Strupar (80 mins) 3-4.
REFEREE: Neale Barry.
BOOKINGS: Zavagno (49 mins) handball, O'Neill (72 mins) foul, Campbell (78 mins) kicking ball away, Ferguson (82 mins) kicking ball away, Hibbert (85 mins) foul.

Unsy's salute to unsung hero
Mar 25 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
GOLDEN GOALS: Unsworth has scored twice in as many games
DAVID UNSWORTH explained the reasons behind his dramatic dug-out dash on Saturday - to pay tribute to an unsung Everton hero. After opening the scoring in an amazing seven-goal thriller at Pride Park, Unsworth ran half the length of the pitch to share the moment with coach Andy Holden.
"I was running to Taff," Unsworth explained. "He has done a great job for Everton, first in the reserves and now coaching the first team. "He's a really popular fella with the lads and I saw him out there celebrating, so I just ran to him." The strike was Unsworth's second in successive Saturday's, but he insisted he hadn't been given any special instruction to get forward more.
"It's funny how things work out," he said, "but I haven't been encouraged to get forward
"The lad Kinkladze is a great player on the ball, but the gaffer said he's not the greatest at working back and that would give Jesper and myself the opportunity to double up on Warren Barton.
"Tommy gave me a good ball and I just caught it sweet again. "I felt drained afterwards. At 3-0 and 4-1 maybe we should have been a little more professional in keeping the ball. "But credit to Branko Strupar. He's taken his goals great and in the end we have hung on. "I thought that 10 minute spell where we scored two goals we passed the ball really well. It's never a stroll in a Premiership game, but maybe we did take our foot off the pedal a little. "They got some impetus from the goals and it was a bit nervy near the end." The 4-3 victory was Everton's first away from home since the opening day of the season. It was also the first time they had won back-to-back Premiership games all season. But he stressed there was no magic formula. "We work our socks off in training at closing down," he explained. "It's a little like the Joe Royle and Willie Donachie days. "I'm not saying we're the dogs of war again or anything like that, but the work ethic is the same at closing people down as a team. "I think what you've seen in the last couple of games on the pitch is the same as we do in training."

Stubbs salutes 're-born' Fergie
Mar 25 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
ALAN STUBBS has saluted Everton's fit-again skipper Duncan Ferguson - and paid tribute to the mystery doctor who has helped him rediscover his fitness. Ferguson has been visiting a Portuguese specialist, recommended to him by Abel Xavier. The man discovered that he had a blood disorder which was contributing to his frequent injuries. A course of injections is helping to clear up the problem, and both the player and Everton are benefiting. Ferguson scored for the second successive match at Derby, and Stubbs said: "You can see the difference in him since he's been going to see this man he goes to. "He feels better in himself physically, and psychologically it probably helps, too.
"He was probably wondering why things were happening all the time to him and why he was picking up injuries as much as he did, but now someone is hopefully sorting it out for him he can see the benefits himself. And so can we." Ferguson was handed the captain's armband by new boss David Moyes, and Stubbs added: "Duncan's good for the lads before the game. He gets all the lads motivated. "He did that anyway, but now he's got the captain's armband he does it even more."
Ferguson will be available for Friday's trip to Newcastle, after resisting the latest overtures from Scotland to revive his international career. But the Blues will be sweating on the fitness of their three Swedes, two Scots and an American who are all away on international duty this week just a day and a half before the Premiership match at St James' Park. "It's not very helpful," said Moyes. "You could look at it that it gives us an extra day to prepare for the Easter Monday match, but there's not much we'll be able to do with them this week." Sweden are in action in Malmo against Switzerland, Scotland travel to Paris to face world champions France while America play a friendly in Germany. Lee Carsley will be pulled out of the Irish squad to face Denmark on Wednesday after limping off with a medial ligament damage at Derby - and is set to be out for two weeks.

Youngsters hungry for cup
Academy League By Chris Wright, Daily Post
Mar 26 2002
SEMI-FINALISTS are always the forgotten teams of football. But when Everton's youth side take on Tottenham Hotspur tomorrow in the FA Youth Cup semi-final first leg at Goodison they hope to leave a lasting impression. Colin Harvey's side have signalled their intent of trying to bring the Cup back to Goodison for the first time since 1998. The Youth Cup is always the stage for many youngsters and no-one has stood out more than Everton striker Wayne Rooney. Five goals in four Cup games have made the 16-year-old and England U17s striker one of the most talked about youngsters in football with 20 goals in total. But the Blues are not a one-man team and if Rooney's strike partner Michael Symes hadn't come up with an injurytime double at Upton Park in the third round the Blues' cup dream would have been over. A solid back-line contains England youth international Stephen Schumacher. And with a midfield quartet of England trio Alan Moogan, Scot Brown and Steven Beck plus Australian David Carney Tottenham will be stretched. But the Londoners have also had a fine campaign. Their U17s topped their FA Premier Academy League section and they beat last season's finalists Blackburn in the quarter-finals. The Blues will look to take a lead into next Wednesday's (April 3) second leg at White Hart Lane to give them a chance of meeting Aston Villa or Barnsley in the final. Alan Harper's under-17s lost 2-0 on Saturday at West Ham in the Academy League play-offs. Coupled with the 2-1 defeat to Arsenal in the first match, they can't reach the quarter-finals. They will complete their season with the final play-off group match against Nottingham Forest on April 6. It was Harper's side's seventh defeat in their last eight matches but he is not dismayed by the results. Harper has taken a lot of positives from the performances of his young side - many of whom are still schoolboys. He said: " Obviously people will remember the results in the short-term, but our aim is to look at the bigger picture and try to bring players through. "We are not making excuses and it has been said on many occasions that we have a young side, but I am confident that all the lads will be able to take something from the season."
* TOMORROW'S FA Youth Cup semi-final at Goodison will kick-off at 7pm. The upper Bullens and upper Gwladys sections are open. Admission is £3 adults and £1 concessions

Duncan is relishing captaincy
Mar 26 2002 By Kevin Ratcliffe
IT'S a strange game isn't it?
A fortnight ago Everton were struggling to find the back of the net. Now they've hit six goals in two games - and it's because the ball is finding its way into the box and there are players queueing up for it. Everton's third goal on Saturday was a perfect example of that. Tomasz Radzinski floated a ball across the face of goal and there were three players waiting for it. Okay the first two missed it, but Niclas Alexandersson managed to connect and they went 3-0 up. It's about people having the confidence to make those runs. The pleasing thing on Saturday was that the goals were coming from all over the pitch as well but you always like to see strikers score so it was good to see Duncan Ferguson finding his way onto the scoresheet. I said last week that handing Duncan the captain's armband for the game against Fulham had paid off handsomely - and it appeared to do so once again on Saturday. Sometimes people respond to being handed more responsibility and that certainly seems to be the case with the big man at the moment. As a manager you look for someone who can handle that responsibility because not everyone can. Duncan is proving that he is one of those who can and long may it continue. Unsie lifted by new boss
IT'S NOT only clubs, but also individuals that get a lift when a new manager comes in.
And David Unsworth will be well pleased about the impact he's made since the arrival of David Moyes. I was made up to see him get another goal on Saturday. That's two goals in two games and those strikes have helped his performances along. Unsie gets a little bit of stick from time to time.
That's often the case with homegrown players for some reason. If you remember it was the same for John Ebbrell when he was playing. Every credit must go to David for his contribution over the last two games. If you are scoring goals and winning then it is always going to help your self-belief. So often that can stem from an important save that a goalkeeper makes, or a crucial tackle from a defender. As a team and as individuals, you need the confidence that comes from winning games. You are always going to be a better player when your confidence is high, even if you are the best player in the world then it is going to lift your game. Everton have not been showing the sort of consistency that sparks that in recent months but two wins in two games will have done wonders for their confidence.
Going for the hat-trick
WITH the greatest of respect to Derby County, Everton have harder games coming up away from home between now and the end of the season. They have Newcastle on Friday and still have to go to Chelsea and Arsenal. It had been well documented that they had not won a league game away since the opening day of the season until Saturday, so just knowing they've ended that drought will help. But they went to Pride Park last weekend knowing they had to get a result and that will have helped them. The next step is to go on and try and make it a hattrick of victories with another three points at Newcastle on Friday, which would edge them even closer to safety. It would make life a lot easier if those points they so desperately want came sooner rather than later - and now they've broken their travelling duck there is no real reason why they can't repeat their feat of last year and win at St James. It was almost a year since Everton had secured back-toback victories in the league. I bet it's even longer since they made it three.

Manager's anger over 'lost week'
Mar 26 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES has hit out at Premiership fixture planners, after the decision to bring Everton's Easter clash with Newcastle forward to Good Friday. The game will kick-off at 2pm, at Sky TV's request, less than 40 hours after a series of international friendly matches. Everton will have five senior players on duty, plus Joe-Max Moore in action for the USA in Germany. David Weir, Scot Gemmill, Niclas Alexandersson, Jesper Blomqvist, Tobias Linderoth and IdanTal could all play 90 minutes on Wednesday night, then be asked to start again at St James' Park. "It's a lost week for us," said Moyes. "I can't really work towards the game in the way I'd want to and we can't work on other things I'd like to look at. "I accept that international call-ups affect most clubs, but only ourselves and Newcastle have been asked to bring our fixture forward 24 hours, and we have the three-hour journey up to the North-East to consider as well. "I won't see the majority of the squad until Thursday, when they'll have to get straight on a bus to go to Newcastle. I think the whole situation is a little unfair." Newcastle counterpart Bobby Robson is also furious at the decision, although Newcastle will only have two players in international action. Kieron Dyer is training with England, but will not be involved against Italy, Shay Given will only play 45 minutes for Ireland and Jermaine Jenas' match for England under-21s is on Tuesday night. The Blues have Steve Watson making his comeback for the reserves against Leeds United at the Autoquest Stadium tonight. Kevin Campbell is struggling with a hamstring injury.

Moyes keeping faith with Blues battlers
By Jonathan Mcevoy, Daily Post
Mar 27 2002
DAVID MOYES gave his Everton players a vote of confidence last night by insisting he won't plunge into any last-minute buys ahead of tomorrow's transfer deadline. The Blues boss is backing his existing squad to build on two successive Premiership wins and continue the climb away from relegation danger. A £30million refinancing package announced last week means there are funds immediately available to Moyes to bring new blood into Goodison. But he said: "I think the players we have got can keep us up. "I'm certainly not going to make any major signings. If anything, I'd have looked at loans but there is nothing planned. "If there is money I'll save it to spend in the summer. "At the moment I'm still getting to know the players, learning their strengths and weaknesses, and I've had to really focus on the first-team boys at the expense of the youth and reserve team. "I want to look at the players rather than make any rash decisions. "The players have shown me a great response. They are selfmotivated and very up for games. Look at the way they celebrated the goals at Derby - all the team celebrated together. It shows what it means to them."
Moyes, now in his second full week in charge since Walter Smith's sacking, has inherited a squad returning to near full-strength with seven of the run-in to play. And back-to-back wins over Fulham and Derby has pushed the Blues four points clear of the bottom three. Duncan Ferguson-has found his form since regaining fitness while Kevin Campbell has returned after an ankle ligament injury, allowing Moyes to shelve emergency plans to draft in a loan striker. He added: "When I came I worried about the fitness of the centre forwards. "In my mind I maybe felt that we may need to bring a striker in on loan, but at the moment they look as though they are still fit and fine. Long may it continue. "If we are going to get out of the situation we are in then we are going to need them fit. played a part on Saturday. Duncan has scored two goals in two games, Tomasz crossed the ball that led to the third goal and Kevin came on and had a couple of opportunites." Defender Steve Watson played 58 minutes of last night's 2-0 reserves victory over Leeds United as he stepped up his comeback from an ankle injury. Campbell has a minor hamstring complaint and his condition will be monitored ahead of Friday's visit to Newcastle. Gary Naysmith, Mark Pembridge and Lee Carsley are all on the injured list.
* EVERTON'S Premiership clash with Southampton at St Mary's Stadium on April 20 will now kick-off at 5.15pm.

Watson comeback
Daily Post
Mar 27 2002
STEVE WATSON made a successful return to action in Everton reserves victory over Leeds United at the Halton Stadium. The Blues defender, out injured since News Years Day, played nearly an hour before being substituted, with Friday's trip to his home town club Newcastle in mind. Everton continued their recent revival thanks to goals from Nick Chadwick and Keith Southern. Chadwick was on hand in the 15th minute to drive home a loose ball in the Leeds box to give the home side the lead at the break. Southern looped a header over United keeper Danny Milosevic after 79 minutes to secure the points which lifts Andy Holden's defending champions two places in the league.
EVERTON RESERVES: Gerrard, Cleland, Pilkington, Clarke, Valentine, McLeod, Watson (Eaton 58), Southern, Tal, Chadwick, Osman. Subs: O'Hanlon, Curran.
LEEDS UNITED RES: Milosevic, Farren, Newey, Bowyer, Richardson, Kilgallon, Burns, Johnson, Seth, Folan (Farrell 63), Johnson, Simon (Steins 78), Wilcox. Subs: Beach, Forrest.
REFEREE: Mr R Lewis.

Watson in contention
Mar 27 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
STEVE WATSON played his first hour of competitive football since New Year's Day last night, and will go straight into contention for Friday's trip to his old club Newcastle. The defender played for 58 minutes of Everton reserves' 2-0 victory over Leeds, watched by manager David Moyes.
He will travel North tomorrow with the Blues sweating on the fitness of a clutch of international performers in action tonight. "We will need as many bodies available as possible," said Moyes.
"Easter is always a tough period anyway, without the added complication of international matches just a day-and-a-half before our first game. "I still believe it is very unfair to ask Everton and Newcastle to play so soon after the internationals, but there's no way we'll be thinking of going up there with damage limitation in mind. "I want a hundred per cent from everyone in every match and we will go up there trying to win." Lee Carsley and Mark Pembridge have already been ruled out of both Easter matches through injury, while Thomas Gravesen is suspended for Monday's visit of Bolton. Kevin Campbell is doubtful for Friday's match after tweaking his hamstring in training, but Duncan Ferguson's new-found fitness is flourishing. " Duncan's played every minute of both games and completed every training session since I've been here," said Moyes. "There's no problem with him." Tomorrow's transfer deadline promises to pass quietly at Goodison. Moyes has a transfer pot of £5m in place, but does not want to splash out for the sake of it. "I still need to assess the entire squad," he said. Potential striking target Bobby Zamora has dislocated his shoulder and will be out of action for three weeks, while midfielder Jason Koumas is still mulling over a move to First Division West Bromwich Albion. Moyes will be at Goodison Park tonight to watch the club's youth team in semi- final action tonight against Tottenham ( kick- off 7pm).
* Former Everton star Andy Hinchcliffe has announced his retirement from football following surgery on his left knee.

Rooney leads Youth charge
Mar 27 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
COLIN HARVEY has seen most things throughout his 40-year career as player, manager, coach and youth team mentor - but he can still be surprised. And since they upset West Ham at Upton Park back in November Everton's youth team has continued to surprise him. That was the start of a Youth Cup campaign which has reached the semi-final stage tonight, with Tottenham visiting Goodison Park in the first leg (7pm). "They've done incredibly well to get this far," said Harvey, "and if they can carry on with the same attitude they've shown already there's no reason they can't go all the way. "We don't know anything about Spurs, with them being in a different Academy section to us, but they have a large catchment area to select from and they're always a good quality side."
Everton's hopes will be spearheaded, once again, by hot striking prospect Wayne Rooney.
The 16-year-old left school last Friday, to give first team boss David Moyes food for thought.
As a school leaver he is now eligible for senior duties and Moyes will see him in the flesh for the first time tonight. Talk of a first team call-up for Rooney is not merely speculative. The previous regime had planned to name him as a substitute against Arsenal earlier this season, when they believed David Ginola's debut would provide a suitable diversion to deflect any publicity away from the youngster's inclusion. An FA rule barring schoolboys from playing in the Premiership spiked that opportunity. But Rooney still has between now and the end of the season to claim a prestigious slice of Goodison history. Any appearance would edge him ahead of Joe Royle as the youngest foootballer in the club's history. The last time Everton lifted the FA Youth Cup, in 1998, they were aided by another emerging striker in Francis Jeffers. He was a more seasoned 17-years-old then, with half-a-first team appearance under his belt. He made his full debut more than nine months after that, scoring his first senior goal a week later. Some observers are suggesting an even speedier impact for Rooney. See for yourself at Goodison Park tonight. The Upper Bullens and Upper Gwladys Street stands will be open, priced £3 adults and £1 concessions.

Koumas opening door for Goodison transfer
Report By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Mar 28 2002
JASON KOUMAS paved the way for a Mersey switch to Goodison Park last night when he rejected a possible £2.75million transfer to West Bromwich Albion. The highly-rated Tranmere midfielder was expected to move to the Midlands after agreeing personal terms with the Premiership promotion chasers on Monday. But a late change of heart has stunned Albion officials - and increased Koumas' chances of becoming one of David Moyes' first Everton signings. The new Goodison chief yesterday delivered a vote of confidence in his current squad by insisting he wouldn't rush into the market ahead of today's transfer deadline. But Koumas' decision to remain on Merseyside, with his girlfriend expecting their first child in less than two months, may see Moyes move for the Welsh international in the summer as he pursues young British talent. Moyes will today check on the fitness of the seven Everton players involved in international duties last night less than 48 hours before the Blues' trip to Newcastle. With Lee Carsley, Mark Pembridge and Gary Naysmith all out of the game at St James' Park, and Kevin Campbell struggling with a hamstring strain, the Blues boss can ill-afford further absentees as he bids for a hattrick of Premiership victories. Former Everton defender Andy Hinchcliffe, meanwhile, has been forced to retire from the game after failing to overcome a knee injury. The former England internationalnow at Sheffield Wednesday, has been advised to quit football after breaking down on his comeback from the knee operation he underwent in January. Hinchcliffe, 33, won the FA Cup and Charity Shield with Everton in 1995, plus seven England caps, before being sold to Wednesday in 1997. His current boss Terry Yorath said: "Andy's left foot was second to none. People didn't see the hard work he put in to getting back to fitnessthis season, and for his comeback to end after 15 minutes was sad."
* EVERTON are facing two successive pay-per-view weekends after a second Premiership fixture was rearranged yesterday. The Blues' home clash with fellow strugglers Blackburn Rovers has been switched from Saturday, April 27, to Sunday, April 28 due to television demands and will now kick-off at 4pm. The announcement comes just 24 hours after the kick-off time of Everton's trip to Southampton on Saturday, April 20 was changed to 5.15pm for pay-per-view viewers.
Meanwhile, Everton's rearranged reserve game with Blackburn Rovers will take place on Monday, April 22, at Morecambe FC with a 7pm kick-off.

Everton Youth 2, Tottenham Youth 1
Daily Post
Mar 28 2002
EVERTON will take a slender one-goal cushion to White Hart Lane for the second leg of this Youth Cup semifinal tie. A crowd of over 3,500 turned out to cheer the Blues' youngsters to a victory which should have provided a larger advantage to take to London next week. Wayne Rooney, who has scored five times in this season's competition so far, very nearly got them off to the ideal start after just 13 minutes when he saw a close-range effort saved by the 'keeper. It wasn't long before the home side did take the lead just after the halfhour mark. Brian Moogan's throw-in was knocked on by Rooney to David Carney at the far post and the Everton winger did well to hook the ball in from a difficult angle. The Blues were firmly on top at this stage and increased their lead five minutes later. Once again Rooney was the provider, despite minutes earlier taking a heavy knock. The promising youngster raced clear down the right before delivering a pinpoint cross for strike partner Michael Symes to finish past Rob Burch in the Spurs goal. The visitors came close to pulling a goal back three minutes before the break although it was Everton who contrived to force their own goalkeeper into action - a loose ball deflecting off a defender which needed intervention from Andy Pettinger.
Colin Harvey's side should have stretched their lead in the second half but instead allowed Spurs a lifeline when John Sutton turned and hit a 20-yard volley to halve the deficit. Rooney came close to restoring the Blues' two-goal advantage late on with a free-kick but saw his effort just go over the bar as it ended 2-1. The result leaves the tie wide open when the two sides meet again next Wednesday at White Hart Lane for the right to play either Aston Villa or Barnsley in the final.
EVERTON: Pettinger, B Moogan, Crowder, Schumacher ©; Garside, A Moogan, Brown, Beck, Symes, Rooney, Carney. Subs: Cole, Colbeck, Jones, Gerrard, Flood.

Ray's '66 medal makes £80,000
Mar 28 2002 By Nicky Tabarn, Liverpool Echo
RAY Wilson's 1966 World Cup winner's medal has sold for more than £80,000 at auction.
The medal was presented to the England and Everton defender after the historic 4-2 victory at Wembley against West Germany. It attracted an anonymous bid for £80,750 at the Christie's auction. Speaking before the auction, Ray, regarded as one of the best defenders in the world, said: "Although it is painful to part with my World Cup winner's medal, an object full of personal and national nostalgia, I have decided to sell it in order to financially provide for my family. "It has taken me a good few years to come to this decision, but I believe it is for the best and I hope my medal finds a worthy home. "Regardless of its ownership, it will always represent England on top of the world." Also under the hammer were nine caps belonging to Everton and England right-back Gary Stevens. Each of the caps fetched between £800 and £1,000 with the most expensive, from England's 2-1 win over Greece in 1988, going for £1,057. The most eagerly awaited sale of the 277 lots was Brazilian hero Pele's No.10 shirt from the 1970 World Cup, which fetched a phenomenal £157,750 via an anonymous bid, smashing all records. The record was previously held by Geoff Hurst whose 1966 shirt went for £91,750. A spokesman for Christie's said: "This has been the greatest football sale ever, with £450,000 raised for the entire auction. "We are absolutely delighted."

Nyarko returns - but nothing's changed
Mar 28 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
ALEX NYARKO has made a shock return to Goodison Park for a surprise meeting with new Blues' boss David Moyes. The Ghanaian midfielder vowed never to play for the Blues again following an infamous confrontation with a fan on the pitch at Highbury last April - and was loaned out to Monaco. But Nyarko made a flying visit to Goodison this week. He met chief executive Michael Dunford and manager David Moyes in separate meetings, after giving the club just 48 hours notice of his intention to jet over. "Alex still considers Everton to be his club," said Dunford, "and he wanted to meet the new manager. "David also wanted to see him, but the situation remains the same as it was when Alex first went to France. "Monaco have an option to make the loan deal permanent, but for that to happen we would want to secure what we consider to be a fair transfer fee for the player. "We will talk about that after the loan spell ends on May 4." Sources in France claim that Monaco have already agreed a three-year deal with the player, but no transfer can take place until the clubs agree a fee. Nyarko cost Everton £4.5m from Lens in July 2000 and made a bright start to his Goodison career, scoring a clutch of spectacular goals in pre-season friendlies, and a superb strike at Tottenham in the Premiership. But he soon became disenchanted with English football and looked increasingly disinterested during matches. At Monaco, he has played 23 games in Le Championnat, scoring two goals.

Everton swoop for Jason
By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
Mar 28 2002
JASON KOUMAS has been lined up to become the first signing of David Moyes' Everton reign.
The Blues are trying to clinch a deal before today's 5pm deadline. Koumas down a £2.75m switch to West Bromwich Albion yesterday in the hope that Everton would swoop this summer. But it appears he may be handed his dream even quicker. Tranmere are keen to secure hard cash now but Moyes has indicated he would prefer to wait until the summer before making any major decisions. It could be that Everton would seek an initial loan option as they assess the wider midfield picture. Equally 22-year-old Koumas has a two-game ban looming after collecting 10 bookings this season. Koumas, who won his second full cap for Wales in last night's friendly against the Czech Republic, was released by Liverpool as a teenager before flourishing at Prenton Park.
He has made 1 4 4 appearances for Tranmere, scoring 29 goals - one of them at Goodison Park in last season's shock FA Cup upset.

Moyes is realistic over Blues challenge
Report By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Mar 29 2002
DAVID MOYES' perfect Everton start has eased the relegation fear around Goodison Park but the new Blues boss admits his task grows more daunting by the day. The Scot breezed into Everton exactly a fortnight ago with the immediate aim of saving the club's Premiership skin and has so far delivered a flawless performance. But as he prepares for his biggest challenge yet against Champions League-chasing Newcastle this afternoon, the ex-Preston chief concedes the long-term target of restoring former glories at Goodison represents an awesome mission. Moyes is well aware of the huge step up he has taken into the Premiership but, as his Everton learning curve rises, the challenge that confronts the new arrival becomes clearer and more enticing. "I can't be kidded about how big and vast the job here is," said Moyes, looking for a hat-trick of triumphs at St James' Park today. "It's going to take a long time to get round and get to know everyone at the club.
"I've got to know the players a little better but I've had to let go to everything else going on around that. "It is daunting. Any manager going to a new club or anyone starting a new job in business would find their situation daunting. "And here your work goes on show every week so it's even more daunting. But it's something I always wanted to do and it's great to get the chance.
"It's like a player coming out of the lower divisions coming into the Premiership. You don't change what you are doing. You hope you have the quality and look to make the step up to a higher level."
Two successive victories since Moyes replaced Walter Smith at the Everton helm have lifted the gloom that was Goodison when the managerial switch took place. But Moyes is anxious for a reality check on the Blues precarious Premiership position and insists Everton are still in danger of being dragged back into the relegation dogfight. He added: "We can't get carried away. We need to pick up more points to get a safety target. The job has just begun, and the points we have (36) won't be enough to keep us in the Premiership. "These two games have maybe helped the players, but the work has not been done yet. Another two wins then would make it a lot better, and the sooner we get them the better. "I hope in time people will see a level of football I would like to play, and no doubt the supporters have enjoyed seeing six goals in two games. "But at the moment I am not thinking any further forward than keeping us in the division, and it is still a massive task."
After a debut defeat of Fulham, Moyes' Everton picked up their first win away from home since the opening day of the season against Derby at the weekend. Now the Premiership's newest manager is looking forward to going head to head with the division's most experienced boss, Bobby Robson.
Moyes said: "To win at Derby was a big lift for everyone. Now we have to make sure in other away games we are very hard to beat. "To go and pit your wits against a manager like Bobby Robson, and people like him, is excellent. It is something I always hoped I would do. "Let's be realistic about it; going to Newcastle is as tough as it comes. "Games like this are what the players should enjoy. They are on a good run but go there as underdogs with no pressure on them. "While I am here we are not going to talk about losing; we are always going to talk about winning and being winners."

Moyes is realistic over Blues challenge
Report By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Mar 29 2002
DAVID MOYES' perfect Everton start has eased the relegation fear around Goodison Park but the new Blues boss admits his task grows more daunting by the day. The Scot breezed into Everton exactly a fortnight ago with the immediate aim of saving the club's Premiership skin and has so far delivered a flawless performance. But as he prepares for his biggest challenge yet against Champions League-chasing Newcastle this afternoon, the ex-Preston chief concedes the long-term target of restoring former glories at Goodison represents an awesome mission. Moyes is well aware of the huge step up he has taken into the Premiership but, as his Everton learning curve rises, the challenge that confronts the new arrival becomes clearer and more enticing. "I can't be kidded about how big and vast the job here is," said Moyes, looking for a hat-trick of triumphs at St James' Park today. "It's going to take a long time to get round and get to know everyone at the club.
"I've got to know the players a little better but I've had to let go to everything else going on around that. "It is daunting. Any manager going to a new club or anyone starting a new job in business would find their situation daunting. "And here your work goes on show every week so it's even more daunting. But it's something I always wanted to do and it's great to get the chance.
"It's like a player coming out of the lower divisions coming into the Premiership. You don't change what you are doing. You hope you have the quality and look to make the step up to a higher level."
Two successive victories since Moyes replaced Walter Smith at the Everton helm have lifted the gloom that was Goodison when the managerial switch took place. But Moyes is anxious for a reality check on the Blues precarious Premiership position and insists Everton are still in danger of being dragged back into the relegation dogfight. He added: "We can't get carried away. We need to pick up more points to get a safety target. The job has just begun, and the points we have (36) won't be enough to keep us in the Premiership. "These two games have maybe helped the players, but the work has not been done yet. Another two wins then would make it a lot better, and the sooner we get them the better. "I hope in time people will see a level of football I would like to play, and no doubt the supporters have enjoyed seeing six goals in two games. "But at the moment I am not thinking any further forward than keeping us in the division, and it is still a massive task."
After a debut defeat of Fulham, Moyes' Everton picked up their first win away from home since the opening day of the season against Derby at the weekend. Now the Premiership's newest manager is looking forward to going head to head with the division's most experienced boss, Bobby Robson.
Moyes said: "To win at Derby was a big lift for everyone. Now we have to make sure in other away games we are very hard to beat. "To go and pit your wits against a manager like Bobby Robson, and people like him, is excellent. It is something I always hoped I would do. "Let's be realistic about it; going to Newcastle is as tough as it comes. "Games like this are what the players should enjoy. They are on a good run but go there as underdogs with no pressure on them. "While I am here we are not going to talk about losing; we are always going to talk about winning and being winners."

No stopping Duncan
Report By Jonathan Mcevoy, Daily Post
Mar 29 2002
DUNCAN FERGUSON returns to St James' Park today for the first time since rejoining Everton - on a mission to prove his Newcastle United critics wrong. The big forward was branded poor value for money by the North East club officials when he signed for the Blues in a £3.75million deal in the summer of 2000. But former strike partner Alan Shearer remains a fan of Ferguson and insists he remains the main threat to Newcastle's hopes this afternoon. "When Duncan is on his game he is unstoppable and unplayable," said Shearer. "Everyone in our dressing room is well aware of what he can do." Ferguson's second spell on Merseyside has been blighted by a series of injuries - but new Goodison boss David Moyes has shown faith in the 30-year-old talisman by appointing him team captain. He's been rewarded by Ferguson scoring a goal in each of the last two games, as the Blues started their climb away from relegation danger with crucial victories over Fulham and Derby.
"Duncan has shown that at present he can handle the responsibility of wearing the captain's armband," enthused Moyes, who saw an attempt to take Jason Koumas on loan until the end of the season rebuffed by Tranmere yesterday. "He has pride in doing the job and the way's he dealt with it is all we can ask of him. "Hopefully he will continue in the form he's in and the more games he plays the fitter he will become." Ferguson's return after seven weeks out with a double hamstring injury coincided with Moyes' arrival in the wake of the dismissal of Walter Smith. And the new manager is impressed by the Scot's attitude, saying: "People told me he ' d only trained for a few days but he has trained all the time so I see somebody who's relishing the challenge. "Long may that continue. "Duncan now sees this an opportunity to show me that he can be fit. If he can do that it will be a big bonus for us. "He's had help from a physical trainer which has helped him and mentally he's happier with the way he feels. "Having him available is a big thing for the club. "That wasn't always the case with Walter Smith. He had to play players out of position. I've come in and caught him at the right time. There's no reason for him to be injured." Newcastle boss Bobby Robson would not be drawn on the controversial departure of the striker, but said: "Duncan is fearless and fearsome. "When he is fit he is as good as any striker in the Premiership." Ferguson will partner Tomasz Radzinski in attack this afternoon after the hamstring injury Kevin Campbell picked up in training this week ruled him out of the travelling squad. Former Toon favourite Steve Watson is in the Everton squad for the first time since New Year's Day while another ex-Newcastle defender, Alessandro Pistone, will return after recovering from flu. Lee Carsley, Mark Pembridge and Gary Naysmith are all sidelined through injury. Victory today would propel Everton to 10th in the Premiership table, seven points clear of the relegation places. Last Saturday's thrilling 4-3 win over Derby brought the Blues their first Premiership win away from home since the opening day of the season. But Moyes, looking to extend his 100 per cent record, warned: "I know Newcastle are in with shout of making the Champions League so it is a big game for them as well. "We can't be kidded about how tough a task it is to go up there. But our self belief is coming back.
"Our togetherness can help. I won't talk about defeat while I'm manager here."
* EVERTON are urging supporters intending to buy tickets for Monday's relegation crunch with Bolton to do so as early as possible.
The Blues expect to have sold around 35,000 tickets by close of business tomorrow and will open the Box Office at 9.30am on Monday to speed ticket sales.

Power of positive thinking
Fanscene By Mark O'Brien, Daily Post
Mar 29 2002
DO you still keep pinching yourself to make sure it's all not some happy dream? Do you still fear that you'll wake up with your head in your muesli and the other two still in charge? There was always the risk that after the defensive heroics of the Fulham game that a trip to Derby - never our happiest of hunting grounds - could prove a bit of an anti-climax. A sign of the times is that we got a seven-goal thriller instead. As David Moyes said after the game - and what a joy it is to hang on the manager's every word - we didn't play great football throughout the 90 minutes but the attitude and application shown by the players was first class. Full-backs bursting forward and lashing in goals, players queuing up to knock home crosses and Duncan Ferguson looking reborn - we got the lot.
Obviously, it being Everton, we also got the risk of a mad collapse but in fairness Branko Strupar's goals were absolute-gems and following their third we never really gave them another sniff. In the dark days we would have fallen further and further back but, as it was, we continued to pose a threat ourselves and deterred the home side from committing everyone forward Alamo-style.
Great stuff. Basic, but still great. Everything Moyes has done and said since arriving has been spot on. He acknowledged the efforts at Derby but still stressed there's room for improvement. His decision not to run out and start lashing his transfer kitty around willy nilly is also reassuring and a great vote of confidence for his revitalised charges. How could they fail to respond to a manager who sounds like he knows what he's talking about and doesn't spend his whole time bemoaning the fact that he hasn't got the money to replace them? Confidence is so high among the fans that nearly everyone expects us to go and get at least a point at St James' Park today. And why not? Even if we do get beat - and unfortunately kids it will have to come at some point - we know it won't be for the lack of trying. A point at Newcastle would be great but a win against Bolton on Monday would be even sweeter. They already detest us because they still see it as our fault that they spinelessly capitulated at Stamford Bridge in 1998 while Gareth Farrelly was making history with his right foot at Goodison. It would be nice to send them down again, hopefully putting an end to their endless bleating and television replays of Nathan Blake's foul on Neville Southall at the Reebok.
What a difference two games make. We're going into matches believing we're not defeated before a ball is kicked and it's all down to the fact we're employing a manager who can organise and motivate his players. Why didn't someone suggest it sooner?

Never a good idea to rush your shopping
Mar 29 2002 By Howard Kendall
WE'VE just come through another transfer deadline day and I know how hectic that can be for a manager. Unless you have been chasing a particular player for a considerable spell, it can also be a dangerous time for a soccer boss. Suddenly you might be alerted to the fact that a club is prepared to sell a particular individual, possibly because they need the money to do something else.
You can find yourself operating against the clock and that is always an unsatisfactory way of doing business. There is a temptation to pay over the odds for the man you want. To dive in for the sake of it on deadline day smacks of panic and rarely works. I was snatched by Harry Catterick right on the deadline in the late sixties with Bill Shankly's Liverpool showing an interest, but both the Blues and the Reds had been following my progress for some time. I don't think Catterick looked on it as a gamble. He rarely made a mistake. I was given a choice by Preston: Travel with them to Plymouth or sign for Everton. It was an easy decision really! But many players would have been worrying today as difficult decisions loomed for them. Equally, many managers would have been wondering if that late deal really was the right thing to do. One swoop I was quite proud of was when Everton grabbed Dave Watson from Norwich City. It wasn't the traditional transfer deadline day, but we had to get his name on the contract before a 5pm Thursday cut-off to enable him to play on the Saturday. It reflected the chaos that often ensues close to the deadline. There were no problems with Dave's personal terms. But the distance between Norwich and Merseyside had us scrambling to get everything else agreed. Aston Villa kindly agreed to let us use their stadium as a meeting point. We actually finalised the deal just after the deadline and faxed everything off. I was about to invite all the photographers in and realised there was a big clock on the wall. I turned the fingers back a couple of minutes and the papers got their pictures of Dave signing "just before the deadline." More importantly, our new centre-half was available for the weekend. I also remember signing Andy Gray. Again, not a traditional deadline day deal, but a race against the clock just to register him for the weekend. He agreed terms and passed his medical, but we could not put everything in place in time to enable him to play on the Saturday. Wolves agreed to "loan" him to to us for a day. Not many people know he was still a Wolves player when he made his debut, but he was a Blue that Monday when we completed the formalities. What would have happened if he had suffered a bad injury while he was on 24-hour loan? Don't even go there. The point is, it is frustrating if you miss out because of a lack of time. But equally, acting in haste can prove costly. You can get dragged into a panic situation. Many people prefer the European system with a specific transfer window around the Christmas/New Year period. This apart, you start with a group of players and have to get on with it either side of the window. But British fans love all the speculation and intrigue that surrounds transfers. It is part and parcel of our culture. It's what makes the football world go round for supporters.
New boss Moyes finds himself in Magnificent position
PEOPLE are always asking me about players I bought and sold. I've been involved in some major deals involving top-class internationals like Gary Lineker and I've also bought potential.
Obviously when you bring somebody into the top flight from a lower division you always wonder if he can make the leap in class. One big disappointment was Alan Biley, one of my first ever signings for Everton. I did my homework on the Derby County striker. I played against him when I was at Blackburn before I joined the Blues as player-manager. One of my best mates at that time was former Derby keeper Roger Jones, who I had linked up with at Stoke. He knew all about Biley from his Derby days and confirmed my belief that he had talent and could become top class.
This was further confirmed by Ron Atkinson, who wanted him for Manchester United. Biley scored for us on a tremendous debut against Birmingham. He had this mop of blonde spikey hair and because of the likeness some people were saying that Big Ron had missed out on the new Denis Law. After a while I began to wish he hadn't! Biley never lived up to those early expectations.
Another who stepped up a level and didn't fulfil his promise was Warren Aspinall, who I signed from Wigan Athletic. I thought I had bought the new Mark Hughes. Funny how you liken players to greats and often set high standards for them, only to be bitterly disappointed. Warren was strong and held the ball up well. He had this streak in him and could score goals. He would have a good career at a lower level, but he couldn't step up a grade. At least I sold him on at a profit. There are not many times when you feel as if you've made a mistake and then make money on the individual concerned.
When I first came to Everton, the priority was to sort out a balanced squad. We had too many centre backs and no wide players. People often talk about the "Magnificent Seven" I signed early on and are critical of some of those deals, but it helped me achieve my first objective. Everton went from 19th to seventh. Most of them, like Biley, Alan Ainscow, Mickey Thomas, Mike Walsh and Mick Ferguson were soon moved on. Jim Arnold was a good keeper and allowed Neville Southall to develop and ultimately become a Goodison legend. The important thing was that they gave us the momentum to improve and that was the challenge. David Moyes is more fortunate in that he has good cover in most positions. He swooped on loan for Tranmere's Jason Koumas yesterday but he could afford to wait until the summer to make other key decisions. It's a sensible stance.

Fergie can keep the Blues up
Mar 29 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
FORMER England skipper Alan Shearer has targeted Duncan Ferguson as the man to fire Everton to Premiership safety. Shearer was a team-mate of Ferguson's at Newcastle - and lined up against the new Everton skipper at St James' Park today. He said: "When Duncan is fit and playing well he is unstoppable. "Everyone knows that in our dressing room. He is unplayable . . . absolutely unstoppable when he's on his game. "Everton are resurgent now. They have had two very good wins and while they are not completely safe yet, they have just about pulled themselves out of the mire." Ferguson has played a large part in that resurgence, scoring his first open play goal in the Premiership this season against Fulham a fortnight ago, then following up with another matchwinner at Derby last weekend. "We all know what big Dunc can do," added Shearer. "He will be fired up, but we should win because we have home advantage - although I'm sure Everton will have something to say about that. "We just hope Duncan has an off-day, because he will be revved up and will maybe think he has a point to prove. "We have a big problem on our hands with him and it's a battle we will have to win." Transfer deadline day passed quietly at Goodison, despite an Everton bid to take Jason Koumas from Tranmere on-loan until the end of the season.
The Prenton club refused the Blues' offer.
* Everton anticipate ticket sales for the Easter Monday game against Bolton at Goodison Park to have reached 35,000 by the close of business on Saturday. Supporters intendting to buy tickets on the day of the game are strongly advised to do so as early as possible. The Box Office will open at 9.30am on Monday to help cope with the demand.

Newcastle 6, Everton 2
Mar 29 2002 By David Randles, icLiverpool
DAVID MOYES received a harsh reality check as Everton fell to a crushing 6-2 defeat at St James Park.
This was the Blues' first defeat under their new boss as they failed to move into the top half of the Premiership, away from the relegation zone. A win would have elevated Everton into tenth spot, ahead of Middlesbrough, but depsite a 2-2 deadlock at the break, the Magpies took flight in the second half and stunned the Blues into submission. This was a must-win game for both sides, albeit for very different reasons. With Everton staving off the dreaded drop and Newcastle looking to sneak a Champions League spot anything other than a win was never going to be enough for either team. It was Everton however, who spelled out the early intent as Duncan Ferguson made it three goals in as many games to put his side in front after just six minutes. Two minutes later, Alan Shearer drew the sides level before Carl Cort made it 2-1 to the home side on the quarter-hour mark. Against the run of play, Niclas Alexandersson got his second goal of the week to make it all square at half-time. With the Toffee's enjoying much of the early exchanges after the break, they came unstuck on 59 minutes as Andy O'Brien toe-poked his first goal at St James' Park beneath the unfortunate Thomas Gravesen and beyond Steve Simonsen in the Everton goal. From here on in, it was Newcastle who took the initiative to pull away and hit Everton for six. The returning Steve Watson was exposed on more than one occasion by his old side as a Nolberto Solano brace was rounded off by an Olivier Bernard goal with two minutes remaining. The defeat leaves Everton in thirteenth place, four points above the black line of relegation. Last weekend, David Moyes told his fans not to expect any miracles. The superstitious may point to the fact that Everton's rise from the dead should be thwarted on Easter weekend. But where divine intervention was seemingly required under Walter Smith's doomed reign, Moyes will now point to the crucial requirement of three vital points against relegation threatened Bolton Wanderer's at Goodiosn Park on Monday.
Newcastle: Given, Hughes, O'Brien, Dabizas, Distin, Solano, Jenas, Dyer (Acuna 78), Robert (Bernard 74), Shearer, Cort (Lua-Lua 74). Subs Not Used: Elliott, Harper.
Everton: Simonsen, Pistone (Blomqvist 74), Stubbs, Weir, Unsworth, Alexandersson, Gemmill, Gravesen, Hibbert (Watson 30), Radzinski (Chadwick 74), Ferguson. Subs Not Used: Gerrard, Moore.
Booked: Watson, Pistone, Unsworth.
Att: 51,921

Newcastle 6 - Everton 2 (D, Post)
Mar 30 2002 Andy Hunter Reports From St James' Park , Daily Post
Newcastle 6 - Everton 2
SO MUCH for a Good Friday. Everton may have a new manager but their unerring knack of spectacularly puncturing the positives remains in full working order. Two successive wins under David Moyes had eased the relegation gloom around Goodison Park but amidst the exhilaration the Blues' boss continued to preach caution and realism. Now we know why. The precarious nature of Everton's hold on Premiership survival was graphically exposed at St James' Park yesterday as Moyes' unbeaten start at the helm came to a shattering end. The Blues were not the world apart from Newcastle that the scoreline suggests, but the six goals they conceded illustrated precisely why they languish in the lower reaches and how much of a task Moyes has ahead of him. At present the Scots' mission is all about fighting the relegation flames. But his nine-game learning curve faced a rude awakening in the North East and now, with Bolton to be entertained and beaten on Monday, he must ensure brittle belief is not broken as a result. One of the clearest lessons of yesterday's alarm call, known to everyone who has watched Everton this season, is the Blues' failure to handle pace. And in Newcastle's array of lightning attacking options from a freshfaced midfield they met their worst fears. Last week's result at Pride Park may have been much more comforting but at Derby, and now at Newcastle, Everton have struggled to last the distance after a bright, purposeful start. But with a few more fights still to be won before the Blues can breath easier they cannot, and will not, be allowed to ease up now. The Moyes era may be in its infancy but has already delivered more dramatic swings than Evertonians have witnessed all season. Fulham and Derby both dragged the Blues through the shredder, and fortunes fluctuated yet again at St James' Park in a first half that demonstrated their new-found confidence and ruthlessness, and a second half that exposed their vulnerability. An assured start by the visitors illustrated the belief two successive victories provide and their reward arrived after only five minutes thanks to the man who has spearheaded the Blues' revival under their new coach, Duncan Ferguson. Not only is the big striker training and playing regularly but the currency of goals are flowing too, even if his third in three Moyes' games owed more to fortune when he swung at a loose ball on the edge of the area and saw it spin out of Shay Given's grasp and over the line. That should have provided the platform for a solid away display. Instead, dozy defending saw Everton conspire to gift the game back to their grateful hosts.
Newcastle's equaliser seven minutes after falling behind outraged the new Everton chief as it arrived via the most basic route of a throw-in. Alan Stubbs lost and Alessandro Pistone watched Alan Shearer as he roamed into open territory. Once the former England hitman collected in the box there was only one inevitable outcome, and Shearer drilled the Geordies level into the far corner.
Though Newcastle were always suspect at the back, and Everton will rue not pressing home that fact more, their young, skilful midfield always had the capacity to slice through the Blues ranks and in three minutes they were ahead. Neither of Everton's starting full- backs enjoyed a productive afternoon, with Pistone having what is known in football parlance as a stinker, while Laurent Robert skipped past Tony Hibbert to deliver a quality cross Carl Cort expertly flicked wide of Blues goalkeeper Steve Simonsen. Until their resistence simply evaporated in the second half Everton remained a match for the Champions League chasers, adding to the mystery of why they did succumb so drastically after the break. Ferguson led the line immaculately, holding up possession and bringing others into play throughout even if the final ball often bordered on the woeful.
So too, thankfully, was the Newcastle defending and Niclas Alexandersson took full advantage to restore parity on 34 minutes. Sylvain Distin failed to clear Scot Gemmill's header, and the Swede never gave up a seemingly lost cause before stabbing the ball beyond the startled Given.
Deservedly level at half-time and bouyant, Everton took the game to Newcastle after the interval but just as they appeared to gain the upper hand more shoddy defending allowed Andy O'Brien to poke home a corner. That arrived on the hour, and was the signal for the Blues ' disintegration.
Led by the immaculate Kieron Dyer and Jermaine Jenas Newcastle stormed forward at speed and at every opportunity down the flanks. Everton simply couldn't cope. Pistone was left for dead by Dyer in the 71st minute as the England international latched onto Alan Shearer's return pass and laid the ball back for Nolberto Solano to sweep in the fourth. There was no response by Everton, although to be fair there was no time to deliver one as Jenas picked out Solano's run behind the Blues' rearguard and the little Peruvian turned the ball past the shattered Simonsen. The agony was not over yet though. With two minutes remaining the Newcastle substitutes showed pace is the key asset to Bobby Robson's side to combine and tear Everton apart for a sixth. Lomana Lua Lua raced past Steve Watson, back ahead of schedule after Hibbert suffered a new ankle injury, and from the by-line set up Olivier Bernard for the tapped-up Frenchman to tap in. As first defeats go, this was a shattering experience for Moyes who, on the plus side, has at least had the problems he has to solve graphically exposed. Now, however, they must be papered over when Bolton come to town.
Newcastle: Given, Hughes, O'Brien, Dabizas, Distin, Solano, Jenas, Dyer (Acuna 78), Robert (Bernard 74), Shearer, Cort (Lua-Lua 74). Subs Not Used: Elliott, Harper.
Everton: Simonsen, Pistone (Blomqvist 74), Stubbs, Weir, Unsworth, Alexandersson, Gemmill, Gravesen, Hibbert (Watson 30), Radzinski (Chadwick 74), Ferguson. Subs Not Used: Gerrard, Moore.
Booked: Watson, Pistone, Unsworth.
Att: 51,921.

Back down to Earth
by Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Mar 30 2002
DAVID MOYES insisted Everton will head into Monday's relegation crunch with Bolton high on confidence despite their shattering 6-2 defeat at Newcastle yesterday. The Blues manager's winning run was brought to an abrupt end at St James' Park where Everton conceded six goals for the first time in the Premiership's history. Duncan Ferguson's third goal in three games had given Moyes' men a fifth-minute lead as the Blues' survival hopes looked set for another lift against Bobby Robson's Champions League-chasing side. But four goals in a blistering final 30 minutes from Newcastle left Everton still in trouble ahead of the Goodison clash with Wanderers. "As soon as the lads came back into the dressing room I told them it was over and to forget about it," Moyes revealed. "We can't dwell on what has happened today. We have to be positive and we should be. We've won two out of our last three games and now we have Bolton at Goodison, which I'm sure will be packed. "The supporters knew the situation before I arrived and they are right behind the team in our fight to stay in the Premiership and they'll be right behind us on Monday. "We have taken six points out of nine, which for a team in the bottom half of the table isn't bad. Newcastle is a difficult place to come no matter who you are, but we gave it a go. "We had done well before this result and now we have to look forward to Bolton." Moyes admitted Everton had produced the best football of his Goodison reign at St James'. But he was furious with the Blues' defending and revealed the team's failure to match Newcastle's energy levels in the final stages was a concern.
The Blues boss added: "Strangely enough I thought we played better in parts today than in the games we've won. "For 60 minutes we worked hard and went toe-to-toe with Newcastle but their energy and pace was difficult to handle in the last 30 minutes. "Dyer's energy through the middle and their pace down the flanks made it hard for us, but for an hour we did very well. Their third goal came when we were having our best spell and it was a poor, scrappy goal to give away and to concede a goal from a throw-in as we did was ridiculous." On the Blues' display in the final third of the game Moyes added: "It is a concern. I want the players to play with a lot more energy and drive in the final 30 minutes. "Maybe it is down to fitness but we can't do a lot about it at this stage of the season. We've just got to remain positive and get enough points to stay in the Premiership."
Tony Hibbert faces another spell on the sidelines after he was stretchered off with an ankle injury on 28 minutes. And Moyes said: "It looks like a recurrance of an old ankle problem he had. That messed us up a bit because Steve Watson hasn't played for three months but had to come on. We are a little bit short in places."

Newcastle 6 - Everton 2 (Echo)
Mar 30 2002 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
BY his own admission, David Moyes is still learning about the Everton squad he has inherited. He has already learned that when they are good, they can be very, very good. Yesterday he discovered that when they are bad they are awful. Curiously Everton were both during a 6-2 rout at St James' Park that no-one saw coming. The Blues matched Newcastle for almost an hour, but when the home side's sprint kings stretched their legs, they simply couldn't keep up. All of the leading sides are sprinkled with sprinters. Some of the lesser ones, too. But pace is a quality notoriously absent from the Blues' squad. Tomasz Radzinski is about their only attacking player who can claim to be anything like quick, but he had an unsatisfactory afternoon, lacking in self-belief and conviction.
But even with the Premiership's most effective headless chicken, Craig Bellamy, injured, Newcastle can turn to speed merchants like Solano, Robert, Dyer and Lua Lua. And as Everton's legs tired in the last third, they ran riot. A fortnight ago, Everton were defensively tight, but just couldn't score.
As contrary as ever, they have now scored six in two away games, but conceded nine - and yesterday it was pace which undid them almost every time. Six-two was a painful crash-landing for David Moyes. But he was keen to accentuate the positives afterwards - and there were some. Good Friday is traditionally the day when God-fearing christians consume no meat. Duncan Ferguson keeps his religious philosophies, like everything else, to himself, but he came out like he had been chewing raw chunks of the stuff. With barely six minutes elapsed he had scored - for the third successive match, although if he was being utterly honest with himself he wouldn't have known how.
He swung a lazy right foot at a halfclearance from the Newcastle box, caught the ball on the top of his instep and watched it loop over a bewildered Shay Given, the goalkeeper's right hand merely helping the ball over his head and into the net. "When was the last time Ferguson scored three games in a row?" asked a press box inquisitor. "When was the last time he played three in a row?" came the reply which pointed accurately at the problems he has endured throughout his career.
With two full games under his belt, however, and maybe even more tellingly a captain's armband on his bicep, he produced the most compelling display of the target man's arts he has shown for a long time. And the correct answer to the question? Ferguson has never scored three games in a row for Everton. That strike gave Everton yet another lead at St James' Park. Four times they have scored first there in six seasons. They have won only two. Newcastle were back on terms inside six minutes.
An assist from a throw-in is rare, even more so when the throw is on the halfway line, but Everton's back-four fell asleep. Pistone led the chorus of snores and Shearer raced on to the tossed pass to confidently fire past Simonsen. A couple of minutes later Robert dashed down the exposed left and Cort found enough space between three blue and white jerseys to flip a sweet right-footer into the corner of the Everton net. The inability to contain a sprinter running at full flight down the flanks was an ominous portent for what followed. But if Everton's defending was sloppy, Newcastle's was far from secure either. Everton's equaliser arrived when Distin turned completely the wrong way on to Gemmill's header back into the box. Alexandersson profited to stab the ball past Given.
Everton had done well for 14 minutes after the interval, then Simonsen pushed a Dyer shot behind for a corner. The marking was slack, and O'Brien reacted quickest to poke Cort's header between Gravesen and Simonsen to give his side the lead for the first time. This time they never looked like relinquishing it. Pistone's frustration at his own below-par performance showed when he was booked for screaming at a linesman. Two minutes later he couldn't produce the same head of steam to keep up with the jet-heeled Dyer and he rolled the ball back for a simple Solano tap-in. Two minutes later, Jenas set up Solano's second - and the floodgates weren't just open, they were dangling off their hinges. Bernard completed the rout two minutes from time, with raw pace yet again opening Everton up. Lua Lua won his 50 metre dash against Steve Watson and rolled the ball back for another demoralising tap-in. In the end it was a grimly historic afternoon for Everton.
It was the first time since the formation of the Premiership they had conceded six. The atmosphere inside Goodison Park on Monday will ensure they won't be allowed to dwell on it. The manner of the defeat was distressing, but Evertonian realists will not have marked this fixture down as a possible three-points on their anxiously calculated relegation list. Bolton on Monday, however, is a different matter altogether.

NEWCASTLE UNITED (4-4-2): Given, Hughes, Dabizas, O'Brien, Distin, Solano, Jenas, Dyer (Acuna 77 mins), Robert ( Bernard 73 mins), Shearer, Cort (Lua Lua 73 mins). Unused substitutes: Elliott, Acuna, Harper.
EVERTON (4-4-2): Simonsen, Hibbert (Watson 30 mins), Weir, Stubbs, Pistone (Blomqvist 73 mins), Alexandersson, Gemmill, Gravesen, Unsworth, Ferguson, Radzinski (Chadwick 73 mins). Unused substitutes: Gerrard, Moore.
Referee: Graham Poll.
Bookings: Watson (43 mins) foul, Pistone (68 mins) dissent, Unsworth (89 mins) foul.
Goals: Ferguson (5 mins) 0-1, Shearer (12 mins) 1-1, Cort (14 mins) 2-1, Alexandersson (33 mins) 2-2, O'Brien (59 mins) 3-2, Solano (70 mins) 4-2, Solano (72 mins) 5-2, Bernard (88 mins) 6-2.

We should be Bobby Dazzlers
Mar 30 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES will try to rebuild his Everton team, using a plan laid down by master team-builder Bobby Robson. The Blues' boss watched his side torn apart by the pace and industry of Newcastle yesterday, then said: "Bobby said last week he wanted his side to be more like Arsenal. From Everton's point of view we'd like to get more like Newcastle. "I want the players to play with a lot more energy and drive. "We've fallen away in the last halfhour of our last two games. It may be a fitness thing, I don't know, but whatever it is we can't do an awful lot about it at this time of the season. "We need to wait until I can have a look at things and consider all things. Really all we are doing is remaining really positive with the players and trying to get us enough points to remain in the Premiership. "This has gone now and we are looking forward to Bolton." The 6-2 scoreline was the first time Everton had conceded six goals since the formation of the Premiership. But Moyes was keen to accentuate From Back Page the positives, including another goal from skipper Duncan Ferguson. He scored in the third successive match for the first time for Everton and his manager said: "Duncan's done great. He's got us another goal and he's leading well. I see him getting much fitter and stronger as the games are going on as well. "They told me he'd never trained two days in a row, but he's not missed a day since I've been here and I consider that to be a real positive.
"I think Duncan's taken a responsibility to try and lead the team and help them at this stage of the season." Moyes added: "To be fair we tried really hard for an hour today. The last 30 minutes was the real disappointment. "In parts of the game I thought we played better than in the games we have won, but in the last 30 minutes we got done for pace down both sides. "But we've taken six points out of nine and for a club in the bottom half of the league that's not a bad return. Newcastle would be a difficult place to come no matter what side you are." Moyes immediately started planning for the crucial visit of Bolton on Monday, without young full-back Tony Hibbert who suffered a recurrence of the injury which kept him out recently. Thomas Gravesen is also suspended, but Steve Watson came back and played for an hour, to add to the hour he played for the reserves on Tuesday.

Double injury blow
Mar 30 2002 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON suffered a crushing double blow today when defenders Gary Naysmith and Tony Hibbert were ruled out for the remainder of the relegation run in. Both full backs will require surgery to solve ankle injuries and will go under the knife next week. "It's a blow," said manager David Moyes. "But the squad we have here should be strong enough to handle it."




March 2002