Everton Independent Research Data


ABOVE: Mikel's return inpires Moyes' men ahead of crucial clash
1st October 2007 Daily Star
By Mark Ogden
Spanish playmaker Arteta, back to full fitness after an ankle ligament injury, ran the show as Everton climbed to fifth spot with goals from Joleon Lescott and Steven Pienaar. And with Everton facing Uefa Cup elimination if they fail to score against Ukrainian outfit Metalist Kharkiv on Thursday, boss David Moyes admitted that the former Rangers star is hitting form at exactly the right time. He said: “Mikel is important to us and he did well for us. “He made a difference and he played a lovely ball for Pienaar to score the second. “He has creativity in his game, and that is certainly something we have been missing. “He is able to take the ball and give us composure, but he also has the ability not to give the ball away. “He hasn’t done that so well recently, but he certainly showed what he is about today.” Everton skipper Alan Stubbs also paid tribute to Arteta and the impact he made on the side against Gareth Southgate’s men. Stubbs said: “It’s a big week for us and there is no better way to start it by getting three points. “There is no substitute for class and Mikel is a very important part of our team. When he is not playing, it shows.” Moyes was forced to pair Yakubu and James McFadden up-front after losing England hitman Andy Johnson with a groin injury. But Johnson’s six-month goal drought has rarely looked like coming to an end this season and his absence actually worked in Everton’s favour, with Yakubu and McFadden linking well. Former Middlesbrough striker Yakubu would have been desperate to prove a point to the Teessiders after jibes from Riverside chairman Steve Gibson that the Nigerian’s performances nose-dived last term. And Yakubu struck an early blow against Gibson when he played a major role in Lescott’s seventh-minute opener. The burly frontman out-jumped his marker to head Arteta’s corner goalwards, but defender Jonathan Woodgate brilliantly headed off the line. However, centre-half Lescott was quickest to react and he nodded the loose ball into the net from close range to claim his fourth goal of the campaign.
With Phil Neville and Phil Jagielka winning the midfield battle for the home side, Everton had the platform to go in search of a second goal. However, Yakubu wasted a golden chance to score his first goal at Goodison when he inexplicably headed over from Leighton Baines’ cross. It was a let-off for Boro and they almost made Everton pay when Luke Young set up South Korean striker Dong-Gook Lee on 26 minutes.
Former Charlton man Young clipped in a dangerous cross from the right and Lee headed it with power – but he could only direct his effort against the crossbar.
Despite their lead, Everton were clearly nervous, having failed to win any of their three previous home games, but they were unlucky not to double their lead on 33 minutes. The impressive Arteta tried his luck from 25 yards and his shot took a heavy deflection which sent the ball towards the top corner, but Mark Schwarzer somehow managed to palm the ball behind for a corner. With so many chances going begging for Everton, the only consolation for Moyes’ men was that Boro just didn’t look capable of making them pay for their misses. Mido didn’t look interested, while Lee tried his best but simply failed to show that he has what it takes to succeed in the Premier League. The lightweight striker flashed a shot wide from 20 yards early in the second half before his frustrations boiled over when he earned a booking for clattering Lescott from behind. Everton just needed another goal to put the game to bed and it finally came when Pienaar rounded off a classy four-man move to score on 58 minutes. Pienaar, on a season-long loan from Borussia Dortmund, helped start the move when he back-heeled McFadden’s slick pass to Arteta on the left flank.
And the South African midfielder then burst into the penalty area to latch onto Arteta’s return before guiding the ball into the far corner of the net and beyond the helpless Schwarzer. That made it game over for Boro and it was obvious that boss Southgate had thrown in the towel as well when he hauled off Mido and Lee before sticking centre-half David Wheater and rookie Tom Craddock up front to see the game out. The tactical switch said it all, really, and you have to fear for Boro. Unless they find a goalscorer fast, it’s going to be a long, hard season. Southgate said: “We had enough chances to come away with something, but we didn’t take them and we have paid the price. “You can talk about missed chances, but, at the end of the day, the bad luck is down to us and we have to roll our sleeves up and move on. “The game against Manchester City next week is now clearly an important match for us.”

Everton 2, Middlesbrough 0
Oct 1 2007
by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
DON’T read anything into the smallest Premier League crowd at Goodison Park of David Moyes’ reign – just look at the identity of the opponents. Fixtures with Middlesbrough could never be described as glamorous and judging by the attendances they have been getting at the Riverside, it’s clear that their style is as much a turn-off for Teessiders as it is on Merseyside. Why, then, Sky chose to subject the nation to this humdrum ensemble, only they will know – surely you would close your curtains if Middlesbrough were playing in your back garden? – but, happily, those who turned up or tuned in were given ample entertainment. Yes, you guessed it, the return of Mikel Arteta saved the day and another magnificent individual performance helped inspire David Moyes’ side to three richly deserved points at the start of a hugely important week. The majority of 31,855 fans will have gone home happy. Out of sorts in a couple of games before he wrenched his ankle ligaments in training, Arteta came back in the kind of irresistible form that makes watching him a privilege – in this form, he is most likely to be the man who salvages Everton’s UEFA Cup dreams. “There is no substitute for class,” noted Alan Stubbs before handing Arteta another bottle of man-of-the-match champagne to add to his already enormous collection. “He is a very important part of our team and when Mikel isn’t playing for us, it shows.” Absolutely. It is no coincidence that Everton failed to muster a single shot on target of note against Aston Villa seven days ago and they huffed and puffed their way to victory over Sheffield Wednesday in the Carling Cup. True, it would take a generous stretch of the imagination to say that the Toffees played with a free-flowing swagger against Middlesbrough but it was a significant improvement on recent offerings and one that could just augur well for the future. Few would dispute that Everton have been off colour during these past couple of weeks but there were signs at Hillsborough that they were beginning to get their act together again and they reaffirmed that opinion here. Though Middlesbrough had gone close early on, when George Boateng just failed to divert Dong-Gook Lee’s through ball, it proved only to be a brief scare as within 60 seconds of that the Blues had taken the lead. Steven Pienaar’s persistence won a corner that Arteta clipped in to the danger zone and while the excellent Jonathon Woodgate cleared Aiyegbeni Yakubu’s header off the line, Joleon Lescott was in the right place at the right time to nod the ball in. Considering it took him until April to get off the mark in a Blue shirt, Lescott is rapidly making up for lost time and if he could double his current tally before the season ends – not an inconceivable notion – his value to this team would be immeasurable. Not since Derek Mountfield in the 1980s have Everton had a goalscoring central defender and while it is premature to make such comparisons, it would be terrific if he could develop into that kind of player. It should have been the foundation from which they built a healthy lead but Middlesbrough are nothing if not stubborn and there were gasps of relief just before the half-hour when Lee headed Luke Young’s cross against the bar with Howard stranded. With the atmosphere horribly subdued – it was so quiet at times that passers-by on Goodison Road would not have known a match was taking place – it needed something or someone to shake things up. Cue Arteta. A run and shot before the break gave a sign of things to come and afterwards he led the charge; how Middlesbrough’s long suffering supporters must yearn to see a player with Arteta’s flare and grace give them something to shout about. As Everton had the game’s three sharpest attacking minds in Arteta, Pienaar and James McFadden it became a matter of when, not if, they would find another way through and it arrived in glorious fashion on 58 minutes.
McFadden, surging forward with purpose, waited and waited before supplying Pienaar, who in turn rolled a fabulous pass with the outside of his foot to Arteta. He then repaid the compliment with a similar pass and Pienaar applied the coup de grace. Job done. Had Leon Osman been fit, Pienaar would more than likely have started this fixture from the bench but he grasped the opportunity presented from his third consecutive start with both hands and deserved his reward. The rat-a-tat-tat of the Premier League might taken some adjusting to for this elfin midfielder but what Pienaar lacks in size he makes up for with skill and courage and the European experience he gained with Ajax and Borussia Dortmund will be vital this week. Given that Middlesbrough showed zero ambition to attack or make a decent fight of things, it was slightly disappointing that Everton did not administer a morale-boosting thrashing yet, nonetheless, there are plenty of positives to take from this game. A first clean sheet in Premier League combat was particularly well received – Everton’s success in recent times has been based on them being hard to beat – while a number of players are starting to come back into form. However, the shoots of recovery need to keep growing in Ukraine on Thursday, the most important and significant game since Villarreal came to Merseyside in August 2005. The way Everton saw their European dreams dashed back then still grates and it would be a calamity if all the hard work of the past 12 months unravelled in Kharkiv; the knock-on effects of failing to reach the UEFA Cup group stages are not worth thinking about. Moyes has the players in his squad to salvage the situation and they should make the trip in high spirits; produce a result and performance like this one, then, and the travelling party will return feeling even better.
Man of the Match
Mikel Arteta, A constant thorn in Boro's side, never stopped prodding and probing for an opening. Normal service has been resumed

Everton 2, Middlesbrough 0 (D, Post)
Oct 1 2007
Ian Doyle at Goodison Park
IT wasn’t the perfume of those celebrating Ladies Day that led David Moyes to detect a change in the air at Goodison. The return of the talismanic Mikel Arteta was reason enough for the Everton manager’s confidence fortunes could be about to turn in his team’s favour as they enter a potentially season-defining week. Arteta’s artistry, much missed during his fortnight on the sidelines with a foot injury, helped dispose of Middlesbrough yesterday to secure the Goodison side their first home victory since the opening-day triumph over Wigan Athletic. But the shrill of the final whistle had barely dispersed when thoughts began to focus on the impending UEFA Cup clash with Metalist Kharkiv in Ukraine on Thursday night. Everton have to at least score to secure progress to the group stages of the competition and avoid a third successive early European elimination in arguably their most important game since the journey to Villarreal two years ago. Arteta scored that night, and the Spaniard remains by far the most creative influence among Moyes’s armoury, the man most capable of unlocking the most miserly of defences. It was a point underlined twice yesterday, Arteta delivering the corner that led to Joleon Lescott’s seventh-minute opener and later rolling the perfect pass for Steven Pienaar to score his first goal for the club. Small wonder the standing ovation the Spanish schemer received on his substitution during injury time; those supporters know a result on Thursday night may depend on one moment of magic from the mercurial midfielder. Like Arteta’s return, this victory was timely for Everton, further building on the confidence taken from the midweek Carling Cup victory at Sheffield Wednesday. Having seen successive league defeats to Manchester United and Aston Villa check the momentum of the early weeks, they are now back up to fifth place. Of course, Arteta alone can’t shoulder the creative burden. Moyes, therefore, will have been encouraged by Pienaar’s gradual integration, the South African capping his best display in a blue shirt by putting the finishing touch to an expertly-crafted move in the 58th minute. Pleasing too was a first Premier League clean sheet of the season obtained by a defence aided by the reassuring presence of Alan Stubbs at its heart, the veteran making his first league start in more than a month. Centre-back partner Lescott also continues to make waves further upfield. His goal was his fourth of the campaign – all from set-pieces – and curiously makes the 24-year-old Everton’s leading goalscorer. That it was witnessed by the lowest Premier League attendance at Goodison under Moyes was down more to the fact only 350 Middlesbrough fans made the journey to Merseyside than any protest at Everton’s current form. In truth, while an improvement – certainly in terms of chances created – on recent outings, Everton are still short of their early-season showings. Phil Jagielka and Phil Neville doesn’t convince as a central midfield pairing – injuries admittedly largely forcing Moyes’s hand in that regard – while there’s plenty of room for improvement from Yakubu, the club record signing substituted midway through the second half against his former club. Boro had been upset by what they perceived as a series of lacklustre, disinterested performances from the Nigerian during his final months on Teesside, Riverside chairman Steve Gibson in particular voicing his disapproval. A subsequently irked Yakubu wasted a golden opportunity to ram the words back down Gibson’s throat on 19 minutes yesterday when, after clever play from Arteta played Leighton Baines into space, the Nigerian headed the resultant cross over when unmarked in front of goal. It was that kind of afternoon for Yakubu, who had retained his place alongside James McFadden in attack with Andrew Johnson sidelined by a niggling groin problem. Both Arteta and Tim Howard returned to the starting line-up having recovered from their respective foot and finger injuries, with Moyes making four changes from the team that won at Hillsborough. Arteta didn’t waste any time demonstrating his class as Everton went ahead in the seventh minute. After Pienaar earned a corner on the left, the Spaniard swung a trademark set-piece delivery into the area and, although Jonathan Woodgate did well to head Yakubu’s effort off the line, the ball fell invitingly for an alert Lescott to nod home.
Middlesbrough may well have then folded. Instead, the visitors contributed to a surprisingly eventful first half and could consider themselves unfortunate not to go in level at the break. Even before going behind, George Boateng’s heavy touch prevented him from lobbing a Dong-Gook Lee pass over Howard and into the net, the ball instead dropping the right side of the post from Everton’s point of view. Another chance went begging soon after Lescott’s opener, Mido heading down inside the area for Gary O’Neil, who turned away from Alan Stubbs but shot weakly with Howard saving low to his right. And Boro came even closer on 25 minutes when a Baines misjudgement allowed Luke Young to reach the byline and cross for Lee to thunder a header against the crossbar. Goodison sighed collectively in relief; it was a bad miss. That narrow escape stirred Everton into finishing the half the stronger, Boro goalkeeper Schwarzer clutching two shots from Arteta and a McFadden header while Pienaar nodded Tony Hibbert’s cross over from a central position. Boro continued to probe after the interval but Everton made the three points safe with a splendidly-worked goal on 58 minutes. McFadden, enjoying his 50th Premier League start, showed good strength to fend off a challenge before finding Pienaar. The South African then flicked the ball with the outside of his foot wide to Arteta who, after briefly toying with the Middlesbrough defence, passed nonchalantly inside for the incoming Pienaar to roll the ball beyond Schwarzer from 10 yards. Middlesbrough racked up four bookings – Fabio Rochemback cautioned presumably for being completely hopeless – but Everton’s second goal knocked any remaining fight out of the visitors. It allowed Moyes’s side to ease off during the final quarter, reserving their energies for Thursday’s venture into the Ukrainian unknown. With Arteta back and flourishing, Everton can now smell victory.
MAN OF THE MATCH. Mikel Arteta. He’s the best little Spaniard that Everton supporters have ever known
EVERTON (4-4-2): Howard; Hibbert, Lescott, Stubbs, Baines; Arteta (Carsley 90), Neville, Jagielka, Pienaar; Yakubu (Anichebe 62), McFadden (Yobo 76). Subs: Wessels, van der Meyde.
MIDDLESBROUGH (4-4-2): Schwarzer; Young, Woodgate, Wheater, Taylor; O’Neil, Boateng, Rochemback, Downing; Lee (Riggott 72), Mido (Craddock 62). Subs: Jones, Cattermole, Hines. BOOKING: O’Neil and Lee (both fouls), Mido (persistent fouling) and Rochemback (dissent).
REFEREE: Mike Riley.
ATT: 31,885.
NEXT GAME: Metalist Kharkiv v Everton, UEFA Cup first round second leg, Thursday 7.45pm

Everton fans iron will!
Oct 1 2007
Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
THOUSANDS of miles, hundreds of pounds and a knife-edge game is nothing to the hordes of Everton fans making British football history this weeks. The routes have been painstakingly planned, credit cards pushed to their limit and now up to 1,500 Blues are expected to travel to Kharkiv, in the Ukraine, to watch their team in the Uefa cup clash on Thursday. It is believed Everton will be the first British team to play FC Metalist Kharkiv at their 30,000-seater Metalist stadium. Everton face a tough task in the second-leg of the qualifying tie after a dismal 1-1 draw at Goodison Park. But that has not stopped supporters who spent an average £500 to make the roughly 1,500 mile journey to the Ukraine’s second largest city. Ian MacDonald, of the Everton Independent Supporters Association, said: “I don’t think even Michael Palin would fancy this trip. “Our lads are going by planes, trains and automobiles to get there. “It’s an unknown quantity because no other British side has been. “It will be like going to the moon. I want to take a blue flag and plant it in their town centre because it was one of the furthest away ties we could have been given. “We will be there to give 100% backing to our team and be good ambassadors for our city.
“Many fans will be paying for the trip for a long time but it won’t matter if they get the right result. “We can only hope that we get the same level of commitment and passion from the team.” Mr MacDonald, from Crosby, is flying from Liverpool JLA airport to Katowice in Poland. He will then get a train to nearby Krakow where he will join a coach full of Blues to make the 16 hours cross-border trip to Kharkiv. Other supporters have booked flights to the Ukrainian capital Kiev and then plan to get a train to Kharkiv or make the five-hour drive. Most are getting to Kiev via Riga in Latvia, Munich and Amsterdam. An Everton spokesman said: “Despite the fact that we drew a team from Ukraine we knew the following in the away leg would be enormous. “David Moyes and the players have gone on record saying how important the supporters are to them and no more so than during what will be a very important game after the disappointing first leg.”
Did you know?
KHARKIV is the second largest city in Ukraine.
Lying in the north east of the country it boasts a population of 1,461,300.
It has an underground rapid-transit system, and the city’s Freedom Square is the third largest city square in Europe, and the fifth in the world. The city’s attractions include the Uspensky cathedral, Militia museum, Pokrova cathedral and T. Shevchenko gardens.
The local currency is the hryvnia.
ECHO essentials
Hello - (vee-TAH-yoo)
My name is - (moJE imJA)
Nice to meet you - (DOO-zheh prih-YEM-noh po-znah - YOM-ih-tih-syah)
Please - (pROshu) or: (bud' laska)
Thank you - (DYAH-koo-yoo)
Yes - (tahk)
No - (nee)
Excuse me (gettingattention) - (peh-reh-PRO-shoo-yoo)
I can't speak Ukrainian well - (yah ne hoh-voh-RYOO [doh-breh] po oo-krah-YIN-sko-yoo)
Do you speak English? - (vih hoh-vo-RIH-teh an-HLEE-sko-yoo?)
I need your help - (po-mo-ZHEET meh-NEE, bood LA-ska)
It's an emergency - (tse DOO-zhe ter-MEE-no-vo)
I'm lost - (yah za-hoo-BI-vsyah)
I need a doctor - (me-nee potree-ben lee-kar)

'Now let's seal Euro tie'
Oct 1 2007
by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
STEVEN PIENAAR today promised failure is not an option as Everton’s players aim to deliver the result that will transform their season. The Blues’ UEFA Cup dreams are hanging in the balance but South African international Pienaar is confident back-to-back victories over Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough are just the tonic needed ahead of their trip to Ukraine. Pienaar believes Metalist Kharkiv - who hold an advantage thanks to the away goal they scored at Goodison Park last month - might be lulled into a false sense of security. If that is the case, he is adamant Everton will capitalise. He has seen a determination building in the dressing room and remains confident Everton can salvage the situation by getting the victory that will take them through to the group stages. “European football is always different and, like you saw in the first leg, teams like to play at their own tempo,” said Pienaar. “If we fall into their tempo, it is going to be a long night for us, so we have to go there and be very disciplined. “If we are disciplined and organised, then I’m sure we can get a couple of goals. I remember playing in a similar game for Ajax against Brondy. We drew 2-2 in Denmark and thought we had one foot in the Champions League group stages.
“But they scored early on and we realised it wasn’t going to be easy. We needed to stay focused and in the end we got the result. Kharkiv are possibly going to be relaxed and, if they are, we have got to make sure we punish them. The last time was so disappointing but the guys have learned from that experience. “We are so hungry and it is every player’s dream to be involved in European competition. “We won’t be going to Ukraine to relax. We believe we can get a result and we believe in ourselves.” Pienaar, who moved to Goodison on a season-long loan from Borussia Dortmund, enjoyed his best afternoon in a Blue shirt against Middlesbrough, scoring the crucial second goal and showing he is adjusting to the hurly burly of the Premier League. He added: “We needed a win before the UEFA Cup game and it is good for confidence. We’re up into fifth place now and it has been a great week for the team. I hope we can keep on winning now. “It was a big moment to score my first goal at home and a very good feeling. It was my first goal in more than a year. It’s been a long time coming so I am very happy. The build up was great – the supporters come to see good football and we have to make sure we give it to them. “I feel much more settled. I am still getting used to the style of the game over here. I am used to it being much more controlled. “It’s fast here with a lot of long balls but it’s only a matter of time before I’m ready.”

David Moyes praises Mikel Arteta return
Oct 1 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES hailed Mikel Arteta’s sparkling return from injury after the Spaniard inspired Everton’s return to the top five. Having missed the last three games with ankle ligament damage, normal service was resumed against Middlesbrough as Arteta had a say in creating the goals for Joleon Lescott and Steven Pienaar that secured the 2-0 victory. The Blues, not surprisingly, have missed Arteta’s guile and creativity during his absence but he looked in tip-top shape yesterday at Goodison Park and will have a major role to perform when they travel to face Metalist Kharkiv in Ukraine later this week. “Mikel is able to take the ball and gives us a composure,” said Moyes. “Not only that, he can eliminate players, play in the middle of the park, go past them in wide areas and can pass it as well. “He has an ability to not give the ball away and keep it, and sometimes that means we can earn free-kicks as he does very well at getting his body between the ball and the opposition. “He gives us creativity on the ball. He can nurse it or take it for a run. He creates chances for us and he was able to do that here. “We’ve struggled a little bit. We’ve missed our players with flare. Getting Mikel back has made a big difference.” Boosted by their Carling Cup victory over Sheffield Wednesday, Everton kept a second consecutive clean sheet and gave Moyes the impression that his side are starting to come back into form.
Though they rode their luck on occasions – Boro might have scored twice during the first half – three points allows them to go into the Kharkiv game on a high and Moyes hopes the confidence will be there to get a result to take them into the UEFA Cup group stages. “All the games are hard and, by hook or by crook, we needed to get a result,” he said. “We got it and we got a clean sheet, which made the job easier. We created chances but Middlesbrough did as well. “I’ve got to give them credit for that. But I’m pleased we got the three points. “There are a lot of games in the Premier League at the moment where teams are not playing particularly well but getting results. “We are a little bit like that right now but hopefully that will change.
“It’s the start of a big week for us. We got through in the Carling Cup in midweek and got a result here. “If at the start of the season we’d have been offered the points we have now, we would have taken them. “Expectations have risen, not just from the supporters or the media, but from me as well. “Maybe I’m too critical because I want us to play really well, and I’ve been disappointed we haven’t done that at times.
“I want us to play well and win well, and if we can’t play well then I want us to win, and I think we did that again. “We’ve given ourselves a steady start in the Premier League and we have to try and build on that. “In the first leg we were disappointed, but we can’t let it affect us.” Alan Stubbs also acknowledged that the return of Arteta helped Everton get back on track. “There is no substitute for class – he’s a really important part of the team,” Stubbs said. “When Mikel is not playing it shows in the team. “But it’s the same in every team, when you haven’t got your big name players playing you miss them.” And he added: “We knew it was the start of a big week today. “There’s been a bit of a lull lately, our performances have not been to the standard we wanted and we’ve not been picking enough points up. “But we dug in today and fully deserved the three points. “We dropped off to preserve the 2-0 win and the clean sheet instead of going for a third which would have killed it. “But the way the results have been going it was a matter of getting the win – the clean sheet is a bonus.”

Jose Baxter effort sees record maintained
Oct 2 2007
Academy Football
by Chris Wright, Liverpool Daily Post
JOSE BAXTER’S fifth goal of the season was enough to maintain Everton under-18s start to the season as they won 1-0 at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday. The Bootle-born striker scored the only goal of the Premier Academy League match after just four minutes when he headed home Eunan O’Kane’s cross. But Wolves hit back and had plenty of possession, but they didn’t create too many chances. Neil Dewsnip’s side did well to collect the three points and on the counter-attack they had several chances to increase their lead. Jay McCarten had a header cleared off the line following free-kick. While substitute Kieren Agard hit the bar and also saw another headed effort saved. And Lewis Codling almost added a second as well. Dewsnip was again delighted with his side’s display and to maintain their unbeaten run after seven matches. He said: “After we scored early on, we played some good counter attacking football, which is a kind of rhythm we seem to have got into. There was a great work ethic and the lads were very well organised. “There are a lot of positives at present. So far we are still unbeaten, the lads are confident and very upbeat.” Dewsnip said: “Jose (Baxter), Lewis Codling and Kieren Agard have all scored goals this season and maybe that is the difference to this time last year. We were playing well, but weren’t winning because we score really. But we have scored this year.” Everton will bid to continue their unbeaten start to the campaign when they welcome Manchester City to Netherton this Saturday (kick-off 11am). City have almost an identical record to Everton and are unbeaten, having scored 25 goals and won six of their seven matches, including a 3-2 derby victory over Manchester United at the weekend. Dewsnip said: “The games between us and Manchester City are always competitive whatever the circumstances, but I suppose with both sides being unbeaten it adds a bit of spice to the game.” EVERTON U18s: McEntagart; Stewart, Rodwell, Barnett, McCarten; O’Kane, Kinsella, McCready, Krenn (Agard 65); Baxter (Sheppard 88), Codling. Subs: McCardle.

Joleon Lescott: Let’s put on a Euro show
Oct 2 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
JOLEON LESCOTT today vowed Everton will not make the same mistakes which have already jeopardised their UEFA Cup dreams. The Blues need to beat Metalist Kharkiv in Ukraine on Thursday evening - or secure a high scoring draw - to progress to the group stages. But Lescott has made it quite clear that he and his team-mates expect to put on a much better display. Kharkiv sprang a surprise with the quality of their play at Goodison last month and Lescott - who grabbed his fourth goal of the season in Sunday’s 2-0 win over Middlesbrough - admitted that Everton did not pay them enough respect. However, there is little chance of that happening again and Lescott - scorer of Everton’s first leg goal - says the only thing the squad are interested in is delivering a much-improved performance to clinch a place in next Tuesday’s draw in Nyon. “We didn’t show them enough respect when they came here for the home leg and we will definitely be going there with a different mind set to get the job done,” said Lescott. “The most important thing is to get a clean sheet and a win. Hopefully we can do that. “The main thing (from Sunday) is that we kept a clean sheet. They probably should have scored a couple and we rode our luck but the important thing was to get three points. “We’re up to fifth now, which is good but the week before Middlesbrough wasn’t that great. “But we picked up a clean sheet at Sheffield Wednesday and the first one in the league was massive.” Lescott’s header at the weekend took him to within one of equalling his best tally - achieved with Wolves in season 2001/02 - and his knack of being in the right place at the right time has also been noted at a higher level. England head coach Steve McClaren called Lescott up to his squad for last month’s Euro 2008 qualifiers with Israel and Russia and, with John Terry doubtful for the games with Estonia and Russia, he is sure to be considered.
Lescott, however, is keeping his feet firmly on the ground. “I’m only one short of my best ever total and there is a long way to go yet,” said Lescott. “I’m feeling quite lucky at the moment. I’m confident and the ball seems to be falling to me in the right places. I’m just there to put it in. “Mikel put a great ball in and Yak caused trouble, so I was delighted when the rebound fell to me. “Mickey is an awesome player, to be fair. We can give him the ball under pressure and when he is out injured, he is a big miss for us. Him and Steven go well together. “I’m just focusing on the next game and then maybe I will get into the squad. “Everyone wants to play for their country and I am no different. If I can get into the next squad, who knows what can happen?”

Metalist tie can make or break the season
Oct 2 2007
by Mark Lawrenson, Liverpool Daily Post
EVERTON had a tough time of it when they were last in Europe two years ago. They got two shocking draws and even they even the best referee in the world couldn’t save them when Pierluigi Collina did them out of a goal against Villarreal in the Champions League. If they get knocked out on Thursday, however, there will be no excuses this time. Everton will only have themselves to blame. Metalist Kharkiv is a much kinder draw and Everton got the penalty decisions in the first leg that should have put the tie to bed. They missed those chances on that occasion but they can’t afford any missed chances in the return leg in Ukraine. Because it really is a season-defining game. It sets you up for the next few months of the season if you make the group stages of the UEFA Cup. There’s nothing worse than being out of a competition by early October because it leaves you feeling flat and you know there’s one chance of a trophy gone already. There might not be a lot of money in the UEFA Cup but the extra income from those games is always handy. And, more importantly, still being in Europe can also help attract new players in January. That’s why it is so important Everton go there and win. They might need a lucky break to get it, but let’s face it, they’re long overdue one of those. But going out of Europe won’t just leave the fans feeling empty, the players will be mightily disappointed too. things that attracted Yakubu – especially after his run to the UEFA Cup final with Middlesbrough a couple of years ago – to make the move to Goodison. So there’s every incentive for Everton’s top players to produce a performance and if ever it was needed it will be on Thursday. Certainly if Arteta puts one in, Everton have a great chance of going through. He’s almost to Everton what Steven Gerrard is to Liverpool – in America he would be called the franchise player, the one you build a side around. Just look at the difference he made when he came back on Sunday against Middlesbrough. If he is that influential against Kharkiv you can’t see Everton not getting the away goal they need to go through. To that end, I can see David Moyes sticking with the team that beat Boro even if Andrew Johnson does get over his groin strain. At the moment, you have to keep James McFadden in there because he is in form and looks one of those players likely to produce something out of the blue, which could be so vital in a tight European game. It seems to have hit home with him that he needs to make more of an all-round contribution rather than just flitting in and out and producing fleeting moments like he has done in the past. Now that he’s getting to grips with that responsibility, I think the confidence boost of keeping his place in the starting line-up will help him no end. So if the key players perform, hopefully Everton will get the result they need. Kharkiv may have surprised a few people but that’s one of the funny things about Europe. You play a team in the first leg and think they’re good but you’ve only had one look at them – come the second leg a lot of teams turn out to be not as good as you thought they were. Not that there’s any room for complacency, far from it. This is the game where Everton have to give it their all, otherwise all the celebrating at getting into Europe in the first place will have been for nothing.

Nigel Martyn: Mikel Arteta magic can turn up trumps
Oct 2 2007 by Nigel Martyn, Liverpool Echo
AFTER falling at the first hurdle twice two years ago, it would be a calamity if Everton suffered the same fate again in Kharkiv on Thursday evening. So much hard work went in last season to secure a place in Europe, but a disappointing evening at Goodison has left things hanging in the balance. This time, though, I don’t believe Everton will suffer more heartbreak. Yes, we find ourselves in a sticky situation, but things are not as bleak as some would envisage and the win against Middlesbrough has teed things up nicely for what will be for many a trip into the unknown.
After all, the score at half-time is only 1-1 and there is absolutely no need for Everton to go out with all guns blazing from the start; patience is a virtue and the one quality that will be needed above anything else in Ukraine. Man for man, Everton have a much stronger squad than Metalist Kharkiv with players – notably Mikel Arteta –who are capable of turning games upside down. If the lads keep their cool, I see no reason why they won’t progress into the UEFA Cup group stages. Games like these in Europe are fraught and Kharkiv will try every trick in the book to upset Everton’s rhythm, but whether it will be staying down after tackles, taking their time at set pieces or cynical fouls, they will be desperate to gain the upper hand.
But, don’t forget, Kharkiv will have to do their share of pressing. There is no way they can think about defending for 90 minutes and if Mikel can reproduce the magic he showed against Middlesbrough, then the game will be there for the winning.
Quite simply, Mikel was awesome on Sunday afternoon and Alan Stubbs summed it up perfectly afterwards when he quite rightly observed that there is no substitute for class. He is the real deal, the man who can unlock a defence in the blink of an eye.
Maybe Kharkiv will try and man mark him, but he is clever enough to outwit defenders who pay him close attention. The quality of his delivery from set pieces more often than not causes panic. Provided he is pulling the strings, Everton will always have a chance. So, while the nightmare that was Bucharest may still be in some minds, it should not be forgotten that we went to Villarreal and produced a magnificent performance against the odds although, unfortunately, we did not get the result we deserved. There was nothing gung-ho or kamikaze about what we did in El Stadio Madrigal Stadium two years ago, and if the lads keep their heads, the better quality will come shining through to secure progress. Fortunately, Everton are blessed with a number of wise heads in the shape of Phil Neville and Stubbs.
They will both have important roles to ensure keeping things on an even keel.
As long as they do that, the heartache of two years ago will be banished completely.
Blues must beware Viduka and Smith threat
ASIDE from a trek to Ukraine, the fixture list has also presented another hefty journey for Everton’s squad this week and two players I know very well will be determined to cause havoc. Newcastle United swooped for my old Leeds team-mates Mark Viduka and Alan Smith this summer and they are likely to become increasingly influential figures for Sam Allardyce. Viduka is a forward who you can never take your eye off for a split second and I would say he’s as good a target man as any in the Premier League. He’s got a fabulous touch and knows how to score. That’s not something you could really say about Smithy, and his lack of threat in the penalty area probably cost him a move to Goodison Park. When I first moved to the club, David Moyes was very keen on signing him and when he asked my opinion, I said ‘Yes’ straight away.
He’s got a terrific engine, great ability and his determination to fight for lost causes is something that makes him a popular figure with supporters. If he had moved to Everton, I’ve no doubt that he would have become a crowd favourite. If you mixed his work ethic with, say, Aiyegbeni Yakubu’s goals, you would quite possibly have the complete centre-forward. But how much would that type of player cost? What is certain is that Everton will have to keep both Smithy and Viduka under close wraps.

Everton Res 1, Middlesbrough Res 3
Oct 3 2007
Liverpool Daily Post
DESPITE a bright start Everton Reserves lost 3-1 to Barclays Premiership Reserve League Northern Section leaders Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium last night. It was the third defeat of the season for Andy Holden’s side. But things had looked bright early on as Steven Morrison’s 25-yard effort was saved by keeper Brad Jones after 12 mintues. Striker Kieran Agard also went close but it was the home side who took the lead on 36 minutes. John Johnson headed past Everton keeper John Ruddy from close range. Just four minutes into the second half Middlesbrough doubled their advantage. A through ball saw Ben Hutchinson put pressure on Everton defender John Irving and as he attempted to clear the danger he put the ball into his own net. Just six minutes later Stephen Thomson sealed the points for Boro when he volleyed home. Substitute Lee Molyneux tapped in with 11 minutes left, but it was no more than a consolation for Everton.
MIDDLESBROUGH RESERVES: Jones, McMahon, Hines, Williams, Grounds, Owens (Goulon 67), Johnson, Smallwood (Franks 79), Bennett (Corker 67), Thompson, Hutchinson.
EVERTON RESERVES: Ruddy, Densmore, Boyle, Irving, Dennehy, Harpur (Downes 70), Morrison, Vidarsson, Jutkiewicz, Agard (Molynuex 54), Kissock.
REFEREE: John Wigglesworth.
ATT: 258.

Andrew Johnson hands Blues Euro boost
Oct 3 2007
by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON’S UEFA Cup hopes received an early boost today as Andrew Johnson was given the green light to travel to Ukraine. The Blues’ £8.6m striker missed Sunday’s 2-0 win over Middlesbrough with a groin problem but has responded to treatment and joined the rest of David Moyes’ squad at John Lennon Airport this morning. Also among the travelling contingent was Leon Osman, who, like Johnson, was ruled out last weekend with a similar injury but is in contention for the second leg tie with Metalist Kharkiv. Though it is too early to say whether Johnson will return to the starting line-up, the England international will be straining at the leash for another crack at the Ukrainians after missing two penalties in the first leg at Goodison last month. Whoever Moyes selects for duty in the Metalist Stadium will need to score a goal if Everton are going to progress to the group stages but record signing Ayegbeni Yakubu is confident the strikers will deliver. “We are under pressure because we don’t want to concede goals and we are going to go there and give everything,” said Yakubu. “The guys have worked so hard for 11 to 12 months to get into Europe. “We don’t want to be out of this competition so soon. We want to win trophies, we want to get into the group stage. This is the players’ dream. I don’t think we should be worried because we have good players. “We had chances to win the game here but the luck did not go for us. If we score a goal early on, the game will become open. We have the players to do that.” Kharkiv have won both their domestic fixtures since their first meeting with the Blues and are slight favourites to cause a huge upset but Yakubu, who played in the 2006 UEFA Cup final with Middlesbrough, feels Everton will flourish if they are patient. “I am not scared about going there,” he said. “I believe we will get a result. If we have a good attitude, we will be fine. I have played in Europe with Middlesbrough and European football is difficult because there is no contact.
“It is different from the Premier League as you need to use your brain more. You don’t just rely on strength. I said to the players that it looks easy when you see these teams playing on television. “Kharkiv are a good team and they can pass the ball.
“It would be a great feeling if we could do it here. It was a great feeling to get to the final with Middlesbrough. “I want the guys to feel that, too. When you are there in the stadium and you see that trophy, it is unbelievable.”

Smoke and lose your season ticket
Oct 3 2007 by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
FOOTBALL fans who flout anti-smoking laws were today warned they could be stripped of their season tickets. Tough new rules mean supporters caught lighting up at Goodison and Anfield could be ejected from the ground. Both clubs said they would confiscate season tickets as a last resort if supporters ignored warnings.
Fans were thrown out of Goodison and had their season tickets confiscated for smoking during the Blues’ home match against Middlesbrough on Sunday.
Liverpool stewards also ejected a supporter out of Anfield for ignoring stewards who told him to put his cigarette out. Fans of both clubs have complained about people smoking in toilets. The clubs must abide by the ban on smoking in public places and face heavy fines if they do not adhere to the new laws. Liverpool’s stadium head of operations Ged Pointon said Anfield became a non-smoking ground on June 1, a month before the national ban . “The main thing is getting the message across. We are using the match day programme, website, club magazine and over the PA, which can be heard in our toilets. “From the next game, if fans are found smoking they will be ejected from the stadium and, if they are a season ticket holder, they will risk losing it. “The vast majority of supporters have supported the ban very well so far, but people have got to be fair to the club, themselves and their fellow fans.” An Everton spokesman said the club also has a zero-tolerance stance. “The people smoking should appreciate not only that it affects the other people around them but is putting the club in jeopardy of prosecution. “There were some supporters ejected from the ground on Sunday because of this and we will be meeting with them to decide on our next step.
“The club will take people’s season ticket away if they persist in smoking.”

ABOVE: James McFadden
4th October 2007
Daily Star
Everton secured a place in the group stages of the UEFA Cup as a battling second-half
They looked on their way out of the competition at the break in front of a passionate home support in the Ukraine. But goals from Joleon Lescott, James McFadden and substitute Victor Anichebe sealed a big win for David Moyes' team. Metalist had the advantage of an away goal and expectation was high among the home support, and Lacha Jacobiya immediately found space on the edge of the area but lofted his effort over the bar. Goalkeeper Tim Howard was called into action after 15 minutes and did well to parry a shot from Edmar to safety, but Metalist took the lead on the night and 2-1 on aggregate through Edmar in the 21st minute. Everton were rocked by that goal before McFadden weaved his way forward on the 20th minute, however his efforts failed to test the goalkeeper, and a minute later Jakobia stung Howard's fingers with a shot from distance. McFadden was determined to turn things and was unlucky to see a sweetly struck shot from 25 yards find the roof of the net in the 41st minute - but the game took a different complexion in the 48th minute when Lescott pulled Everton level. He swept the ball in from almost on the goal-line after Pienaar had delivered the cross, but their hopes of building on that strike lasted only four minutes - Hicham Mahdoufi scored from the rebound after Devic's effort beat Howard but came back off the post. Moyes switched things around in the 63rd minute bringing on striker Anichebe for Phil Jagielka to give support to McFadden and Ayegbeni Yakubu with Everton desperate for a second goal. Everton showed their battling qualities to draw level on aggregate in the 72nd minute when Anichebe released McFadden and he swept the ball home after a quick turn and shot. And Anichebe sealed a fine victory by taking advantage of a defensive muddle two minutes from time.

The Jury
Oct 4 2007
How should the Blues approach tonight's game?
Liverpool Echo
I WOULDN’T like to sensationalise the importance of tonight’s fixture, but the right result could be the catalyst for our season. Confidence is growing at Goodison and we all want this season to be a memorable one. The wrong result tonight is unthinkable.
Lessons should have been learnt from the first leg, and David Moyes will fancy his side to have enough in the locker to get the job done. It’s vital we start off positively and keep it tight at the back. If we pass the ball, create space and frustrate the Ukrainians then I can see us dominating the tie. Too many long balls were pumped into the box a fortnight ago, but with Arteta returning and back to back wins and clean sheets the Blues should be confident enough to take the ball further up field and release McFadden and Yakubu. We have nothing to fear and the Blues should progress into the group stages. But Everton never do things the easy way - life is never boring being an Evertonian.
David Wallbank, Huyton
AFTER two good wins, Everton should travel to Ukraine with confidence of progressing through to the group stages of the UEFA Cup. Two clean sheets have also helped give our defence confidence. It will be a tough game though as Metalist Kharkiv will be no pushovers. We must approach the game with caution and our priority must be keeping it tight at the back and keeping a clean sheet. The calming influence of Stubbs at the back is important. With the return of Mikel Arteta, we have got the creativity to break Kharkiv down, but we must be patient as it does not matter when we score. James McFadden has started to get a couple of goals and is worth a start in the team alongside Yakubu with Johnson better off on the bench. It’s going to be a tense night for all Evertonians in Ukraine, but let’s be positive and roar the lads on to get us through to the group stage and have a proper European tour this season!
Lee Molton, St Helens
IT SEEMS difficult to believe at this stage of the season but the Blues must now face up to what will be our most crucial game for years and probably the most important in David Moyes’ entire career. If we are serious about getting back to "the top" of English football and bringing in quality players in the future, we simply have to beat Metalist tonight. The question is, how should we go about it? There are many permutations and we have to play safe for the first 30 minutes- but if it’s not looking good after that, Moyes will have to be uncharacteristically positive in his approach. For me, that means giving serious consideration to playing Neville at right back, Lescott at left back, pushing Baines further up the left to provide a further attacking outlet. There has to be a place for Carsley. Up front, McFadden and Yakubu should start but every player must have total self belief because we really can win - and, frankly, we really have to.
Mike Williamson, Chester
EVERTON and the UEFA Cup?
I was thinking of writing a book, ‘Here We Go Gathering Cups In May’ or ‘The Road to Bucharest’, but it would have been an incredibly short book, like ‘Tolerance’ by Jim Davidson, or ‘Humility’ by Jose Mourinho’.
I don’t want to make any predictions, but here’s how the action might unfold . . .
2 mins: Corner, Phil Neville scores with a great header past . . . Tim Howard - 1-0.
48: Joleon Lescott clears the ball, it balloons off Andy Johnson - 2-0.
80: Victor Anichebe is sent off for breathing heavily on a defender.
81: A platoon of riot police escort David Moyes from the stadium.
90: Tony Hibbert sends in a pinpoint cross, Phil Neville drills it into the top corner from 25 yards out - 2-1.
92: Corner: Tim Howard heads in - 2-2.
We wouldn’t be Everton if we didn’t trip over a box of matches and then vault a 10 foot wall. The magpie will be playing for us.
Richard Knights, West Derby

Defining moment of the Moyes era
Oct 4 2007
Blue Watch
by Mark O'Brien, Liverpool Daily Post
RIGHTLY or wrongly, it feels as if David Moyes faces something of a defining moment tonight when his Everton team face Metalist Kharkiv in the Ukraine. It’s the nature of competitive sport, and particularly lunatic football, that all the good things that a manager, chairman or player does are quickly forgotten or at least taken for granted; all that ever matters is the last result and the next one. The nature of Moyes’s reign at Goodison is that he has raised the base-level standards of what is acceptable at the club. He often talks about expecting a certain level of performance from the players, the understanding being that if he gets that then the results will automatically follow. It seems to work on the whole and over the length of the season, Everton’s hardworking, consistent approach tends to pick them up a few more points than most of the clubs with similar resources. It’s the big, one-off games that seal legacies though, and although Moyes has enjoyed famous league victories over Manchester United and Liverpool, everyone is aware that his sides have too often come up short in the eye-catching cup encounters. In fairness, he’s had some bad luck in that over-anxious referees cost Everton vital goals in Villarreal and at home to Kharkiv, but he must question his own approach to those continental encounters as well. In the home legs in particular of Everton’s European ties under Moyes the team have been far too anxious and keyed up from the first whistle. Instead of being patient and asserting their control on the game they have been far too eager to try and bludgeon their opponents into submission in the opening half an hour. If anything, that approach seems to galvanise the away side and eventually give them confidence as Everton start to run out of steam and the fans get restless. We certainly need to see a more studied approach in Kharkiv. Everton must go there, assert their authority and demonstrate why they are the highly paid team from one of Europe’s top leagues. Most importantly they need to retain the ball better than they did in the first leg, and indeed better than they did against Middlesbrough on Sunday. Having Mikel Arteta back in the side is obvious a huge bonus, but he can’t be expected to carry the fight alone. Indeed, having seen the treatment that some of the Kharkiv players seemed willing to dish out at Goodison, the Spaniard needs to make sure he doesn’t get his legs kicked clean off out there. We need other players who are comfortable on the ball too, and to that end Moyes must be thinking about recalling Lee Carsley to the centre of midfield. The Irishman is no Michel Platini, but he’s not afraid of the ball and offers more to the team when in possession than either Phil Neville or Phil Jagielka – two players with admirable attitudes but who look more comfortable when the opposition are in possession. Up front, the only automatic choice seems to be James McFadden. The Scot looks more likely to score than Andy Johnson and works harder and wins more balls in the air than Aiyegbeni Yakubu. It’s also quite clear during games that he is the one player that Arteta passes to without a second thought. Just watch. It’s a big night then for everyone connected with the club. They’ve made it hard for themselves, and the fallout will be far-reaching should they fail to make it through, but we all know by now that that is just the Everton way.

Long travels must be made to count
Oct 4 2007
by Nick Smith, Liverpool Daily Post
THERE are few longer excursions Everton could have been handed in the UEFA Cup first round draw. But eastern Ukraine is virtually on the doorstep compared to the millions of miles away the celebrations at the end of last season will seem if they fail to progress to the group stages here tonight. The euphoria of securing a place back in Europe with a 3-0 home victory over Portsmouth in May was, admittedly, slightly tempered by the uneasiness of those Evertonians still wincing at the thought of what happened last time they tentatively stepped on to the continent. It was soon eroded by a robust summer of squad strengthening during a fruitful transfer window which closed on the same day that a relatively generous draw against previously unheard-of Metalist Kharkiv was pulled out. Optimism was high again. That was until two weeks ago when the Ukrainians brought those initial fears back to the surface with the 1-1 draw at Goodison that makes it do-or-die tonight Because if Everton don’t win the second leg or fail to force a scoring draw, the excursions of that relentless drive towards the top six will all seem to have been for nothing. From cracking open the champagne to drowning sorrows in neat room-temperature vodka in less than five months. But positives can bloom from the roots of such dejection – like players being so desperate to avoid it they give their all to make sure they do so. Centre-back Alan Stubbs is one you wouldn’t expect anything less from in what will be his last game before he turns 36 on Saturday. And the veteran has revealed the first leg, despite Everton conceding a home goal and failing to capitalise on home advantage, is actually breeding some encouraging confidence in the ranks. “If anyone needs confidence, you only have to look at that first leg and the circumstances of it,” said Stubbs, who missed the first leg through injury but played his part in Sunday’s 2-0 win over Middlesbrough, Everton’s first in the Premier League for a month. “It makes me think we’ll be okay. We didn’t play well at Goodison but I never thought they were going to score. “It was just our mistakes that cost us and we should have come away from that game winning 3-0. “But we know more about them now. We can work on their strengths and weaknesses and that gives us confidence.” The perceived home advantage Everton have to crack is of no concern to Stubbs either.
This is despite the fact that they will have to win on foreign soil for the first time since the 1995-96 season, when they thawed an icy reception in Reykjavik on their way to an aggregate triumph in the old Cup Winners’ Cup – the only European trophy Everton have lifted, back in 1985. That 12-year drought has more to do with inexperience than anything else, as they have only actually played away in Europe three times since then. But just the experience, albeit at times a harrowing one, of the first leg a fortnight ago, gives Stubbs further optimism that Everton are over the worse and can avoid a first-hurdle fall in a European competition for the third time in three seasons. “We’ve had a lull but we’re out of it now and that’s why it was important to out in a good performance at the weekend,” he added. "We haven’t played to the standards we’ve set ourselves but we’re getting closer to that now. We’re up to fifth in the league. “It’s a shame we had our lull and there was some edginess in the crowd during the first leg – the players could sense that. “But we’ve come through, we’re still in it and know we can get the result we need.” The result in question is a victory of any kind or a score draw higher than 1-1, an outcome which would force extra-time then perhaps penalties. But Everton have to score and a timely return to fitness of Mikel Arteta can only help towards that aim. The Spaniard’s absence was painfully felt as without him, his club-mates failed to threaten Aston Villa 11 days ago in a 2-0 defeat. That scoreline flipped round into Everton’s favour when Arteta returned against Boro on Saturday, something which Stubbs was quick to recognise was no coincidence. But he’s also wary that they can’t just rely on one man to help them survive their venture into the unknown tonight – and extend what could be his last chance to take on European opposition. Stubbs said: “You always miss class and Mikel is one class player. “But he still is only one player. On form he makes us tick and he will be important on Thursday but there will be another 10 players out there with him. “They will be just as important because it is going to be a tough game and everybody needs to be on form. “Personally, it will be great to play because I’m really enjoying my football and doing something I always wanted to do, play for Everton. “If I wasn’t enjoying it now then I never would be.”

David Moyes: Don't throw away European dream
Oct 4 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES today urged his side to seize the moment and not let a glorious opportunity pass them by. The manager is desperate to take Everton into the UEFA Cup group stages but, at present, that dream is hanging in the balance after drawing 1-1 with Metalist Kharkiv at Goodison Park two weeks ago. But, buoyed by positive results in the past seven days against Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough, Moyes is in confident mood ahead of this evening’s game in Ukraine and believes his players can salvage the situation. And if they get the result to secure a place in next Tuesday’s draw, Moyes feels that the experience of being in Europe will allow Everton to prosper and aide them in the next stage of their development.
“I think we need to have a run in Europe,” he said. “It’s something that we worked really hard to get last year and we want to make sure that we have a real go at it.
“I’m hoping that we can get through because, if we do, then we will all gain from the experience and I think we will get better. We need to put the hoodoo of Bucharest behind us. We can only try and prepare the players the best we can. “I think we are a better team now and our style has changed and we have got players who have improved us. Players like Steven Pienaar, Yakubu and Tommy Gravesen will give us an extra dimension. “If we can get through this game, they will become more and more vital as we go along. But, first of all, we have got to make sure that we get through. Losing (two years ago) had an impact on us but that is all water under the bridge now.” Both Andrew Johnson and Leon Osman – who sat out Sunday’s 2-0 victory over Middlesbrough with groin injuries – took part in a light training session at the Metalist Stadium last night and are in contention to start. Johnson, in particular, will be desperate to face Metalist after missing two penalties in the first leg and – if he plays – Moyes has confirmed that the England international will be considered to take a spot-kick if Everton are awarded one. “I will probably ask Andy to take one,” Moyes confirmed. “The first game changed after the first one he took. But the one he took was no worse than the one that was saved. They both had the same degree of infringement. “I just hope that we can continue in good form. We have been pleased with the last couple of good results we have had. I just hope that you will see a much better Everton side than the one that played two weeks ago. “We are enjoying being in Europe and we just hope that we can stay in a bit longer. We know it will be tough.”

Cool heads are key - Phil Neville
Oct 4 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
HAVING once been greeted by the sight of a cat asleep on his bed in a ramshackle Moldovan hotel, there is little Phil Neville has yet to experience in continental football. Numerous Champions League campaigns with Manchester United, added to a raft of England caps, inevitably mean that Neville has seen the weird and wonderful side of trips around Europe with club and country. From all the memories, though, there is one that takes particularly high rank; walking out into Estadio Madrigal two summers ago to be greeted by a battalion of Evertonians baying for success is something Neville will never forget. It was at that moment Neville realised he had joined, in his words, ‘a special club’ so the disappointment of falling at the first hurdle in both the Champions League and UEFA Cup in his first year at the club was a bitter pill to swallow. Not surprisingly, he has no intention of going through that again. So while the locals here in Kharkiv are anticipating a giant-killing following Metalist’s 1-1 draw at Goodison Park a fortnight ago, there is a mood of defiance in Everton’s camp. Experience tells Neville there is no need for David Moyes’ side to go out all guns blazing and he believes that as long as he and his team-mates keep cool heads, the 1,500 Blues who have made the trip to this outpost in Ukraine will be amply rewarded. “It’s simple,” said Everton’s skipper, who made his European debut in 1996. “We just have to win the game. We have got a lot of experience with players who have played in European competitions and we have got to make sure we utilise that experience. “The game is for 90 minutes. You don’t win the game in the first ten minutes and we have just got to make sure that we go out there and play better than we did in the first leg. The European nights were the main reason I joined Everton.
“The Champions League was exciting a couple of seasons ago but it ended far too quickly. My aim last year was to help the team to get back into Europe. I love the European nights. There’s something extra special about them. “The aim now is to make sure that we get into the group stages and that we have great European nights back at Goodison Park. We went to Villarreal and took 6,000 fans, which was incredible. That’s how important it is to this club.” One man who will understand the sentiments behind Neville’s comments is Everton’s elder statesman and lifelong fan Alan Stubbs for whom, ironically, tonight’s game could be his first for the Blues in Europe. After recovering from illness and a knee injury, Stubbs was drafted back into action for last week’s Carling Cup tie at Hillsborough to bolster a shaky defence. Draw your own conclusions but clean sheets followed against Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough. “Pure coincidence,” Stubbs responded, snuffing out the idea as quickly as he thwarts raids on Everton’s goal. “The most important thing is that the team has started winning again and it was important we had a good performance to take into this game. “We have been in a bit of lull recently and performances have not been up to the standards we have set ourselves. I think we are starting to get a little bit closer to what we are about, though.” Stubbs agrees that Mikel Arteta’s return from injury was the catalyst for Everton’s play recapturing its pizzazz and that the Spaniard will have a significant part to play tonight if Everton are going to qualify for the group stages. But, then again, similar sentiments apply to each member of the travelling contingent. Watching them in training last night, it was quite evident they have no intentions of suffering a fate similar to the one in Bucharest two years ago and Stubbs sees no reason why Evertonians should be panicking. “You will always miss class and Mikel is our one real class player,” said Stubbs. “When he is on his form, he makes us tick. I think he is going to be very important for us but there are going to be another 10 players just as important. “It is going to be tough. We know that. But when you look at the game at home, we did not play well yet we should still have come away with a 3-0 win. We should take confidence from that. I’m still pretty confident we’ll go there and get a result. “I never thought they were going to score against us, only if we made a mistake. Our nervousness cost more than anything else. We know more about them now and we know their strengths and weaknesses. We have been working on them.”
Moyes will not name his side until just before kick-off but it is likely that Stubbs, who turns 36 this Saturday, will be involved. No prizes for guessing what he wants for a birthday present. “A win would be a lovely, wouldn’t it?” said Stubbs with a wry smile. “I’m really enjoying my football at the minute but I’m playing for Everton, which is something that I always wanted.” Safe to say, though, that he will be enjoying things much, much more if the result he anticipates arrives tonight.

Blues fans on the night train
Oct 4 2007 by Neil Hodgson, Liverpool Echo
TRAVELLING Blues fans have experienced an epic adventure just to attend tonight’s Uefa Cup first round second leg clash with Ukrainian side Metalist Kharkiv.
Some of the Goodison faithful have been travelling for 24 hours to see their heroes try to win their way into the league stage of the competition after a disappointing 1-1 home draw two weeks ago. Mark Jones, 26, from Norris Green, flew from Liverpool with six mates at 6.30am yesterday and arrived in the Ukraine’s second city only this morning, via a connecting flight from Riga to Kiev and the overnight train to Kharkiv.
“About 200 fans tried to get on the overnight train. Me and a mate had to share a carriage with two Ukrainians, sleeping in bunk beds, but didn’t notice we were moving at all. We got a great night’s sleep and it was nothing like the Midnight Express we thought it was going to be,” he said. And despite not finding a hotel, the lads managed to dump their bags and began the search for a park to gather en masse and put up their flags and banners. Early this morning, they found their way to Freedom Square, the third largest city square in Europe and the fifth in the world, where, under the steely gaze of Lenin, they proudly unfurled their Croxteth colours.
Mark added: “We’re hoping for the right result tonight, then it’s back the way we have come, but we’re stopping off for a night in Riga on the way.”

Metalist Kharkiv 2, Everton 3 (Echo)
Oct 5 2007
Everton win 4-3 on aggregate
by Dominic King in Kharkiv
STANDING on the touchline, covered in mud with speckles of blood dotted over his white shorts, Phil Neville had barely digested the evening’s events when he was asked about the importance of Everton clearing their first, treacherous European hurdle.
“I think we played everything down before the game but everyone knew what was riding on this tie,” offered Neville, who looked as if he had been to hell and back. “This was one of the biggest games this club has had for a long time.
“We didn’t play as well as we could but in European nights like this you need guts and determination and I think we showed it in abundance. It was make or break for us. I really felt that. We have failed too often at the first hurdle and we had to show our worth.” Absolutely. An evening that could have turned into a footballing catastrophe ended with Everton celebrating one of the most famous victories in their recent history; in truth, the significance of beating Metalist Kharkiv is immeasurable.
That David Moyes and his squad find themselves in the pot for Tuesday’s group stage draw was thanks to them mixing sheer bloody mindedness with a smattering of class. It’s also quite likely that fear played a part in this stirring comeback, too.
Having trudged off the field at half-time trailing to a bright and inventive Ukrainian side who acquitted themselves magnificently, Everton were on the brink of capitulating like they did in Bucharest two years ago. Had that happened, the impact such a defeat could have had on the campaign did not bear thinking about; Everton imploded the last time they were knocked out of the UEFA Cup and it would not have been unreasonable to think the same would happen again. Just imagine everything you had worked so hard for over the past 12 months, something you had put your heart and soul into, being snatched away from you in the space of 180 wretched minutes. Defeat would have utterly demoralised this bunch of players. Now, however, the situation is completely different. Dragging themselves off the canvas and making the most of some good fortune, Everton must surely take the confidence from this compelling episode to make a success of the season. While it made enthralling viewing, from a coach’s point of view, some things will have left Moyes squirming. Prowling around his technical area like a caged tiger, Moyes ran a mixture of emotions from deep despair to overwhelming elation, but he was never more animated than when the home side attacked. During a first 45 minutes when they never looked like scoring, Everton trailed to a goal by Edmar and were fortunate not to concede a couple more. The most frustrating thing for Moyes was the fact that his one real creative talent, Mikel Arteta, saw little of the ball. Shoulders sagging, head bowed, the Spaniard growled his displeasure at team-mates after every misplaced pass but he was not the only one. Quite simply, the body language of several members of the starting XI was all wrong; the moment Edmar had fired the hosts in front, some jabbed fingers in the direction of those who were perceived to be out of sorts, others gesticulated wildly. Mercifully, the half-time whistle brought a chance to regroup and whatever was said during the interval worked as Everton emerged to show they were everything they hadn’t been beforehand. With Bucharest in their minds, they did not dare fail.
In situations such as this, leaders of men emerge and Everton had a few in the ranks to save the day. Alan Stubbs, once again, was a colossus in the centre of defence, behind him Tim Howard berated anyone who dared err. Neville, well versed in these type of games, patrolled the right flank as if it was his private property, while on the other side, an express train named Lescott derailed anything that came into his zone and motored forward whenever possible - it must be noted, nonetheless, that Leighton Baines was desperately unlucky not to start. Since arriving from Wolves, he has consistently proved himself to be top class and if he keeps playing like this, it is a case of when, not if, he receives his first England cap. What’s more, he’s also the Blues’ leading scorer. Lescott’s tally for the season stands at five but he is unlikely to have grabbed one as important in his career than the effort he diverted in from close range on 48 minutes. That was the moment belief came flooding back in the ranks and it provided enough of an impetus for them to shake off Hisham Mahdoufi’s sucker punch by mounting a fabulous late rally that would ultimately win them the game. Pivotal to that outcome were James McFadden, whose glorious shot from 25 yards proved a hammer blow to Metalist’s ambitions, and the deeply impressive Victor Anichebe. All pace, strength and muscular aggression, his cameo might well be good enough to earn him a place in the starting line-up on Sunday when the Toffees travel to Newcastle in the Premier League. He took his goal with a maturity that belied his age and he will be a huge asset to Everton for many years if he keeps progressing at this rate; it was hugely encouraging, then, to hear him report afterwards that he still has everything to prove. You could also say the same about Everton in Europe. A better side than Metalist would have killed this contest off when the chances arrived but let’s not dwell on that. This, simply, could be one of the most significant moments of Moyes’ reign and the demons of Bucharest have been well and truly exorcised.
Metalist Kharkiv: Gorainov, Obradovic, Gueye, Mdrakovic, Mahdoufi, Rykun, Sliusar, Edmar (Zeze 90), Bordian (Nwhoa 84), Devic, Jacobiya (Danilau 73). Subs (not used) Tlumak, Davydov, Svitlichnyi, Kostyuk.
Everton: Howard, Neville, Yobo, Stubbs, Lescott, Arteta, Osman, Jagielka (Anichebe 63), Pienaar, McFadden (Hibbert 89), Yakubu (Baines 78). Subs (not used) Wessels, Carsley, Valente, Jutkiewicz.
Goals: Edmar (21) 1-0, Lescott (48) 1-1, Mahdoufi (52) 2-1, McFadden (73) 2-2, Anichebe (88) 2-3.
Referee: John Hyyta (Finland).
Attendance: 27,500

Metalist Kharkiv 2, Everton 3 (D,Post)
Oct 5 2007
Everton win 4-3 on aggregate
By Nick Smith at the Metalist Stadium
EVERTON won’t be concerned that they found little time for sight-seeing during their stay in Ukraine because they didn’t need to visit Kharkiv’s colossal Freedom Square to see a big empty space opening out in front of them. This very prospect faced them last night when they twice went behind both on the night and on aggregate in the second leg of their UEFA Cup first round tie with Metalist Kharkiv – a whole winter with nothing more exotic to look forward than Luton Town in the Carling Cup and the same old Premier League routine. But then the men who have re-invented themselves with remarkable starts to this season totally changed the face of Everton’s – Joleon Lescott with the first equaliser early in the second half, James McFadden with the second crucial away goal 17 minutes from time. The despair of earlier strikes by Edmar and Hicham Mahdoufi that put the energetic Ukrainians in the ascendency was then firmly consigned to the history books when Victor Anichebe steadied himself to clinch a stirring 4-3 aggregate win in the last minute. It climaxed a night of almost unbearable tension that was perfectly in keeping with the agony Everton have suffered on their way to the ecstasy of making the group stages they so embarrassingly missed out on two years ago. Their failure to close out the tie in the first leg at Goodison seemed catastrophic – even more so when they made such a wretched start to their attempts to make amends last night. And although this never looked like being a Dinamo Bucharest-style thrashing, an exit would have been no less disappointing given the optimism that coursed through Goodison when these sides were paired together a month ago. On paper, it seemed well- placed. Ukraine has produced some decent footballers – even Andriy Shevchenko was one once – but most play abroad and Metalist failed to contribute any players to their country’s 2006 World Cup squad. They had played in Europe once before after winning their domestic cup in 1988 but this is their first campaign on the back of league position, following an unprecedented third-place finish in last year’s league. Such pedigree means that, while there are never easy games in knockout football, Everton would have missed a glorious chance – the type that should be taken when fifth in the Premier League meets fourth in the Ukrainian equivalent. That they made hard work of it matters not this morning because the fact is, they now have four guaranteed group games – effectively a cup run in itself. And whoever is grouped with Everton in the draw for the group stage, it’s certainly going to produce the most games David Moyes has played in one cup competition since he took over the Goodison reins almost six seasons ago. Plenty to look forward to then – but reflecting on the events of last night isn’t quite so appetising. Even before kick-off Everton’s night didn’t get off to the best of starts when, after a late bid to recover fitness following his groin strain, Andrew Johnson failed to get the all-clear and couldn’t even make the bench. Leon Osman did get over a similar injury, however, to take his place in a midfield that was designed to give Everton the creative edge they needed to claw back an away goal. This meant Phil Neville moving to right-back while Joseph Yobo’s return saw Joloen Lescott move across to replace Leighton Baines on the left of a back four that was shaken up a bit – but not half as much as it was when Metalist got to work on them. The warning signs flashed up with barely a minute gone when a timely Alan Stubbs tackle denied Lacha Jaocbiya a clear run on goal – but just moments the striker did get away only to blaze high and wide. All of which signalled a nervy start by Everton, who badly needed a spell of possession to help them regain some composure in the super- charged atmosphere the sold- out Metalist Stadium generated despite being one-quarter building site while Euro 2012- dictated improvements are in progress. But spurred on by the crowd, Metalist continued to dictate the play, moving the ball through midfield towards the lively forward players with far too much ease and speed for David Moyes’s liking. One of their early neat interchanges almost brought the opener for Edmar on the 16th minute but his attempts to place the ball in the corner were thwarted by Tim Howard’s outstretched left hand. A fine save and by no means the only time he touched the ball in that unsettling opening period. In fact, it came as little surprise when he was picking it out of his net after 21 minutes, the American being left hopelessly exposed once again by team-mates who hadn’t heeded the warning of Edmar’s first foray beyond them. This time the Brazilian was played through the middle by Valentyn Sliusar and had enough time to pick his spot and slide the opening goal past Howard into the corner. The size of Everton’s task wasn’t much altered by Edmar’s goal – they still had to score as they always had to – but there was little evidence on the pitch that it was likely to happen and certainly nothing to suggest they wouldn’t concede more. Attacking-wise, James McFadden, clearly fed up with being asked to tame aimless long balls, dropped deep to try to create some mayhem himself and one surge resulted in Everton’s first attempt at goal in the 28th minute.
As for strike partner Yakubu, he hadn’t had a kick up to this point and when he did get near the ball he was completely crowded out by defenders who stood as sturdy as the town’s statue of Lenin statue and every bit as dominant. Everton managed to settle down somewhat towards the end of the first half and Osman should have nodded Pienaar’s cross into the net rather than into Goriainov’s hands. McFadden then did well to create some space for another shot but it sailed over. But overall, the game a pattern that simply killed any slim chance Moyes’s men had of sustaining some kind of attacking rhythm and one that they had to change drastically to ensure the following 45 minutes wouldn’t be his side’s last of their European campaign. And this is where – as he has on an oddly high a number of occasions this season – Lescott came in. Everton came out for the second half showing far more urgency in the first two minutes than they had in the previous 45, and proved that under a bit of pressure Metalist could melt. The home side made a hash of trying to clear a free-kick and after Arteta teed up Pienaar, his shot was turned in virtually on the line by Lescott for his second of the tie and, remarkably, his fifth in all competitions this campaign. For Metalist, however, this was merely an inconvenient diversion on their maiden voyage in the UEFA Cup and the dangerous Devic immediately set about steering them back on course. He prodded narrowly wide almost immediately after Lescott scored but It took the Kharkiv side just four minutes to go back in front when Devic again took advantage of not being closed down to strike the base of the post. With Howard flustered, he could only then stand and watch Mahdoufi steal in to slot the rebound past him. Although their defending was pretty much a lost cause, the tie still wasn’t given that at 1-1 Everton would still have preferred an extra away goal to avoid extra-time and – given what happened a Goodison – the dreaded prospect of penalties. The difference now, however, was that they needed that second goal to avoid another painful early exit and Moyes recognised the fact by bringing on Victor Anichebe for Phil Jagielka, thus ditching any defensive thinking from his midfield. And it was McFadden who produced the moment the travelling Scousers craved with his third in three games, turning in Anichebe’s ball from the right to put Everton in pole position in the tie for the first time since the first leg so cruelly turned against them. Devic and Edmar missed further chances to give Metalist the lead again but their desperation to remain in Europe left them prone to a counter-attack, which Anichebe ruthlessly took advantage of when he chased a long ball and rounded Goriainov. The 19-year-old almost seemed to be showboating as he prolonged his finish – but when you’re finally getting to prolong an Everton stay in Europe, who cares?
METALIST: Gorainov; Obradovic, Gueye, Mahdoufi; Rykun, Sliusar, Edmar (Zeze 90), Bordian (Nwhoa 84), Devic, Jacobiya (Danilau 73). Subs: Tlumak, Davydov, Svitlichnyi, Kostyuk.
EVERTON: Howard; Neville, Yobo, Stubbs, Lescott; Arteta, Osman, Jagielka (Anichebe 63), Pienaar; McFadden (Hibbert 89) , Yakubu (Baines 78). Subs: Wessels, Carsley, Valente, Jutkiewicz.
REFEREE: John Hyytia (Finland)
ATT: 27,500
NEXT GAME: Newcastle United v Everton, Barclays Premier League, Sunday 3pm.

Some questions still need answering
Oct 5 2007
Fan Scene
By Mark O'Brien, Liverpool Daily Post
WHERE do you begin after a night like that? If Everton had failed to make it through last night then there would have been a long inquest and some searching questions asked about the players and David Moyes. Well, despite the relief and the jubilation that have greeted the result, maybe those questions still need answering. In the first half the Blues made the yellow-shirted Metalist look even more like Villarreal, the way they allowed them to walk through the midfield and expose Alan Stubbs and Joseph Yobo at the back. For long periods Stubbs looked finished as a player; Yobo like he’s never started. Even the first half in Bucharest wasn’t as bad as that. A second-half collapse like the one a year ago in Romania didn’t look out of the question at the interval either. Thankfully we got out of jail thanks to Tim Howard, Joleon Lescott, James McFadden and Victor Anichebe. It was far too close for comfort though, and although we all accept it’s only by facing adversity that you have the drama that makes football so infectious, you have to worry about how Everton are going to cope if they come up against some opposition that people have actually heard of in the group stage. Lessons have to be learned, as we are unlikely to be so lucky again. In the league as well as in the UEFA Cup we still need to settle on our best team and formation and then make the opposition worry about us, not vice versa.
It obviously doesn’t help when you pay millions for the likes of Aiyegbeni Yakubu and Phil Jagielka only for them to be, on what we’ve seen so far, not as good as the players already at the club. Maybe it seems a bit po- faced, getting all aerated after a glorious fightback that will live long in the memory, but for too long that performance was painful and embarrassing. However, we are through, and that’s the main thing. Continued participation in Europe means there’s still the prospect of a bit of romance and mystery during the rest of the season. Many more games like these two against the impressive Kharkiv though, and many Evertonians will start to wonder whether the strain on their hearts is worth it!

Just the start of what may be roller-coaster ride
Oct 5 2007
UEFA Cup Comment
by Ian Doyle, Liverpool Daily Post
DAVID MOYES entered a defining moment of his Everton reign last night with a simple message from the travelling supporters: “Failure is not an option.” With painful memories of the last adventure abroad still fresh in the mind, the Goodison faithful travelled east to the Ukraine unwilling to accept their team were about to allow a European campaign slip through their fingers once again. Having been given unprecedented backing in the summer on the strength of Everton’s UEFA Cup qualification and with the ghosts of those previous European horror shows still loitering around Goodison, last night was an important victory for Moyes. Typically, though, his team had to do it the hard way. Although sharing the same shocking all-yellow kit, Metalist Kharkiv have nowhere near the pedigree of Villarreal, Moyes’s nemesis of two years ago. Nevertheless, Everton were seemingly intent on placing Metalist on the same pedestal as the Spanish side. During the first leg, the Ukrainians were thankful for Andrew Johnson’s penalty howlers. Last night, it was Everton’s porous defence, usually their most valued asset, that did most to keep Metalist in the tie. While Everton were playing only their 51st game in Europe – contrast that to the 49 of neighbours Liverpool under Rafael Benitez alone – there was sufficient European and international experience in their line-up to have avoided the nerve-shredding events of last night. Moyes the manager, however, is not yet as qualified, and perhaps Everton’s travels abroad during the past two years have been as much a learning experience for the Scot as anyone else. Certainly, his decision to employ Phil Jagielka and Leon Osman at the heart of a standard 4-4-2 formation backfired, the pair overrun by a Metalist midfield whose close, accurate passing made it all too easy to cut through the visitors. You wonder what Lee Carsley, a driving force in the team that earned a top-six place last season yet who curiously remained on the bench last night, made of what was happening. It was only when Moyes replaced Phil Jagielka with Victor Anichebe that the tide began to inexorably turn. The striker had been a nuisance to Metalist a fortnight ago, and his presence unruffled the Ukrainian defence sufficiently for James McFadden to net the crucial second away goal before the Nigerian secured victory on the night with a coolly-taken late strike. The contribution of both goalscorers was integral, as was Joleon Lescott, whose stock is again rising after a shaky start to the campaign. The defender, operating at left-back, was by some distance Everton’s finest defender and equalised Edmar’s first-half opener with his fifth goal of the season – maintaining his position as the club’s top scorer. Yes, Everton rode their luck and yes, perhaps Metalist had been underestimated, a mistake that cannot be repeated whoever the Goodison outfit face in the next stage of the competition. The lack of any decent cup run has been a major omission from Moyes’s Goodison CV. Now the Everton manager and his players have the chance to benefit from the exposure to four UEFA Cup group games. If last night’s evidence is anything to by, it’s sure to be a roller-coaster ride worth catching.

David Moyes: UEFA win one of my best nights yet
Oct 5 2007
By Nick Smith in the Ukraine, Liverpool Daily Post
DAVID MOYES revealed that last night’s thrilling UEFA Cup triumph was up there with the best moments of his career.
Everton fought back after going behind twice to Metalist Kharkiv and secured a 4-3 aggregate win to go through to the group stages of the competition. Moyes’s side failed to get past the first round two years ago when they were crushed 5-1 by Dinamo Bucharest away and couldn’t claw back the deficit in the second leg at Goodison. And the manager admitted that he was still haunted by the crushing disappointment of that early exit when similar heartbreak seemed on the cards last night
“This night certainly ranks up there with my best,” said Moyes. “Bucharest and the disappointment of that night was in my thoughts so I really, really wanted to get through. “But the first round of every competition is always difficult no matter what it is and it proved to be tonight. “I was worried at half- time because in the first half we didn’t play well and they caused us lots of problems – they were actually a very good side over the two legs. “It was a really good game of football. They were better than average and passed it really well so we’re really pleased to get past them.” Moyes also hailed progress in Europe as something that can give the whole club a lift for the remainder of the first half of the season. Everton now enter the group stages with a guaranteed four further games and their opponents will be revealed in Tuesday’s draw. But Moyes is confident that the barrier his side overcame in Ukraine last night will stand them in good stead to make an impact on the continent. He added: “Europe is something we have all been wanting to go through in, as much for the club and the fans as anyone else. “It’s a chance for more games and I think we’ll be good for Europe this year, especially if we continue to fill grounds like we did in the first leg and we had 1,500-2,000 here tonight and that was a big boost for us.” Victor Anichebe scored the clinching goal in the last minute to give Everton a 3-2 win on the night, but they were already going through on away goals by that stage. Earlier, Joleon Lescott continued his surprisingly prolific start to the campaign with his fifth of the season to make it 1-1 after Metalist had gone in at the break 2-1 up on aggregate. Then after going behind again, James McFadden scored his fourth club goal of the season to add to the two vital strikes he has netted for Scotland in their Euro 2008 qualifying campaign. “James is in the type of form where, if he gets a chance like that, you think ‘he can score here’,” added Moyes. “It was a good strike and he got it in off the post into the bottom corner.” McFadden believed his effort is on a par with the memorable strike for his country that defeated France in the Parc des Princes last month. “It’s nice to score goals when it means as much as it does tonight, it’s extra special,” he said. “In terms of importance, this is up there with the goal against France. It’s a long time since Everton have been in the proper stages of any European competition, so it’s up there alongside it.” He added: “It as tough game but we had the belief and we knew we’d score goals. “It was a bit shaky at times but we got the right result at the end. “I don’t know what was up with us in the first half. They came out and had a go and scored and it gave them a lift. But we regrouped after half-time and showed a phenomenal spirit. “I think we were a bit lucky tonight but you need luck in football. And in the end we’ve won 3-2 away from home and that’s great result whoever you play against in European football. “We’ll have to play better in the group stages, but it’s a nice habit to have to not perform at the level you have and still win games,” he added. Andrew Johnson failed a late fitness test on his injured groin and didn’t make the bench for the game, with Moyes now assessing the striker’s fitness ahead of Sunday’s trip to Newcastle. The draw for the group stage of the UEFA Cup takes place next Tuesday in Nyon, Switzerland.

David Moyes: I want to be a great Everton leader
Oct 5 2007
Jubilant David Moyes revealed his driving ambition to be a “great Everton leader” in the wake of the club’s elevation to the UEFA Cup elite. Boss Moyes was talking just hours after bringing his squad back from Kharkiv in the Ukraine, where Everton had achieved a remarkable 3-2 second-leg win in their UEFA Cup qualifying tie, 4-3 on aggregate. Having seen his team lose out in the Champions League and UEFA Cups two years ago, Moyes clearly cherished the moment. He now attempts to revive tired bodies and minds in time for Sunday’s Barclays Premier League trip to Newcastle, but with the knowledge that Everton will be in Tuesday’s group stages draw in Nyon, Switzerland. Moyes said: “There is nobody with bigger expectations for this club than me, and yes, they have been raised over recent years which means there is some pride and relief that we have finally made this next step up to European level.
“The supporters, too, have those expectations and it is up to us to meet them. But I expect David Moyes to be managing teams in Europe, I expect to have winning teams and good footballing teams. “That is my job. If you want to be a great leader then you have to have big expectations and I want to be a great leader of a great football club.”
He added: “We have been trying to bring it back to a high level. It is more than six years or so without any real success here. “We are just trying to get this club back on a proper footing for a club of this size. I believe there will be a bigger and better Everton in the future, this is only the start. “We got very close to it two years ago. We are a big club and not in Europe. In perspective we have only got through the qualifier, we have not won anything. “We have not done anything. But this is the beginning of where we want to go. Blackburn, Bolton, Middlesbrough have all been in Europe and reached cup finals. We have had to get over this first hurdle.
“We have not managed that in the Champions League, UEFA Cup and our own cups. We have had three top-seven finishes in five years, so this is the next step.
“My relief was probably because of how the supporters felt after we lost in Bucharest, it hurt them and it hurt me. It took me and the team a long while to get over that disappointment, so I was well aware that getting knocked out of Europe can effect your league form. “That was why it was important. They gave us as many problems as Arsenal, Manchester United or Chelsea. That is why it was a great result.”
Everton will give a late fitness test to striker Andrew Johnson, who missed the win over Metalist Kharkiv with a groin injury. And Moyes says: “The mood in the camp is not surprisingly, excellent. Very confident, we had a long trip back from the Ukraine and have not had much sleep but everyone is raring to go again. “We now have to prepare a side in just a couple of days, for Newcastle on Sunday. “But the confidence will carry us on. We have won three games now in a week and we want to build on that. Starting at Newcastle. “The draw is on Tuesday and there are some pretty good teams in there, but we will concentrate on Newcastle and wait to see who we get in our group now. “The boys are tired, but I am not too bothered about that. The games coming quickly can work in your favour because everyone is still on a high.
“We did not play to our best, but we dug out a result and that showed that we have great courage and determination. “Metalist are a good side, they gave us as many problems as anyone in the Premier League has done, but we were able to change tactics and that showed a flexibility.”

Rhapsody in blue for fans
Oct 5 2007 by Luke Traynor, Liverpool Echo
HUNDREDS of Everton fans painted Kharkiv blue after a rollercoaster night of European football. Fans descended on the Ukrainian city to roar the Blues into the group stages of the Uefa Cup with a 3-2 win against Metalist. One fan’s witty banner read: “Ukraine, U-saw, U-conquered while another read ‘Can someone ask Michael Palin how we get to Kharkiv’. Members of the Everton London Supporters Club decorated an old Russian tank in the city centre with flags. Neil Moss, 26, from Formby, said: “At half-time, everyone was shell-shocked and there were loads of lads with their head in their hands. “There wasn’t much time for a drink afterwards as we headed straight for the airport. Let’s hope we get teams a bit closer to home in the group stages.”

Lescott goal knack just so invaluable
Oct 5 2007
by Howard Kendall, Liverpool Echo
JOLEON LESCOTT is heading for an elite group of Evertonians.
‘Double figure defenders’ have been in short supply, not just at Goodison, but in football generally. But with five goals already – and the season only just into October – Lescott has every chance of breaking into that group. I’ve been fortunate enough to both play with and manage other members of that goalscoring defenders’ union. We used to call my old team-mate, John Hurst, ‘The Magnet’ such was his ability to attract the ball in the penalty area, while Derek Mountfield’s record was remarkable.
Their ability to score goals regularly was invaluable. Lescott was equally impressive at both ends of the field last night, but I was surprised that David Moyes chose to make so many defensive changes. Having just kept successive clean sheets for the first time this season, he chose to move Phil Neville to right back in place of Tony Hibbert, recall Joseph Yobo alongside Alan Stubbs, and push Lescott out to left-back in place of Leighton Baines. The last thing I expected was to see the Blues juggling a department which had been solid. The defence looked shaky for a spell, but eventually settled down, while there were other good things to enjoy. James McFadden can be frustrating, but there is no doubt he has the ability to conjure up a goal from nothing, as he did so dramatically and decisively last night. Victor Anichebe’s introduction also provided a refreshing change and he is pushing his claims for a regular starting place. With matches coming thick and fast he will get more opportunities.
It’s ironic that one of those opportunities could be against Villarreal, who will join the Blues in the draw for the Group stages. We can now look forward to that draw next Tuesday – and a few more goalscoring appearances from Joleon Lescott.
Stubbs vital to cause
AN interview with Alan Stubbs caught my eye as the defender suggested that it was purely coincidental that Everton had kept two clean sheets with him back in the team. I beg to differ. While many people gave Mikel Arteta man of the match against Middlesbrough, I thought Stubbsy was outstanding and he’s playing in a manner that makes it almost impossible for him to be dropped. Just like David Weir, he is a model professional and while their legs do not move as quickly as they did in their prime, the brains are still as sharp as ever. He’s as important to Everton as Mikel Arteta.
Dida’s role a disgrace
CELTIC have taken swift action by banning the supporter who encroached the pitch during Wednesday night’s game with AC Milan for life. It was probably the only decision they could have taken, but I think it would be safe to say that Dida’s role in the incident was nothing short of lamentable. I am not defending or condoning the supporter’s actions, simply pointing out how poorly the Brazilian acted. Though there was contact, it was, at best, minimal and it was absurd that Dida needed a stretcher to take him off with an ice pack welded to his face, having initially given chase to the fan. Might I suggest that the ‘injury’ is not as bad as he made out. If a player had done what the supporter had and been sent off, I would have wanted to see Dida receive a three-match ban but it could just be that there was something sinister behind his actions. There is every chance he thought that the game might be replayed if he made a scene; how convenient, especially when AC Milan were deservedly losing and only got back into things thanks to a debatable penalty. Hopefully the incident won’t detract from what was a splendid night for Celtic and they have given themselves a chance of qualifying for the knockout stages.

Blues’ Euro lift-off
Oct 5 2007
by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON are on a learning curve in the toughest classroom in football. And their dramatic victory in Kharkiv gives them four more chances to add to their sparse European knowledge. On last night’s evidence they need to cram for all they’re worth.
Everton are still rookies in the very different arena of European football, and it shows. The Blues got it as wrong as they possibly could over two legs against the European virgins of Metalist Kharkiv. But they still squeezed through with character, courage and a flash of sublime brilliance from the eternally enigmatic James McFadden. Until he wheeled like a dervish to add another entry into his own personal Goal of the Month competition, Everton were crashing out of the UEFA Cup again. Victor Anichebe’s wonderfully willing cameo added a degree of reassurance which had never looked likely for the previous 88 minutes. If Everton are to become the accomplished European performers their fans crave, they must learn from experiences like last night’s. And the UEFA Cup’s unwieldy group format gives them the perfect opportunity to do just that. At least there were signs they are learning. The disastrous 4-3-3 experiment from the first leg was happily axed, but the Blues still looked lightweight in the middle of the park and allowed a slick and tidy Kharkiv side to penetrate far too often in a worrying first 55 minutes. Joseph Yobo, an experienced international defender, endured a night to forget, although it might not be coincidental that the absence of another international with tons of continental experience was glaring. Lee Carsley waited 13 years to add to the experience he gained in the Anglo-Italian Cup with Derby County – but with him left on the substitutes’ bench last night it looked like the 79 minutes he enjoyed in the first leg would be the beginning and end of his European club football career. Everton missed his understated positional sense and the experience gained from 29 Republic of Ireland caps. Yet they ultimately overcame those deficiencies with a display of immense character. The haunting memories of Bucharest were never too far from the surface. But the Blues kept them just about submerged as they dug in, the admirable Alan Stubbs leading by example – and Joleon Lescott shining like a beacon. Next Tuesday’s draw gives then both further chances to enjoy European football. The group stage format means that Everton will not be subjected to the unique cut and thrust of home and away ties, and that could be a good thing. David Moyes needs to learn about the peculiar pressures and demands of European football as much, if not moreso, than his players. This win could prove a turning point in his Everton career. Last night’s match really was that important. But for McFadden’s stunning 72nd minute strike the message boards would have been in meltdown overnight, the phone-ins red hot tonight and the letters pages chock full next Wednesday (or whenever the Post Office go back to work) with criticisms of Moyes’ tactical naivety. Instead the Blues boss will eagerly anticipate showdowns with teams of the calibre of Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, Anderlecht, Hamburg and old rivals Villarreal. Their fate, if they perform as they did for last night’s opening hour, does not bear thinking about. But the Blues showed they are quick learners. Evertonians have long bemoaned Moyes’ inability to deliver a decent cup run. Now they have four European matches to look forward to this autumn, plus a tie in the last 16 of the Carling Cup they will be heavily backed to win. Oh, and Tim Cahill and James Vaughan are racing back to full fitness. It’s a good morning to be an Evertonian. Their fans should savour the experience for as long as they can.

Hero Victor Anichebe in dreamland
Oct 5 2007
EXCLUSIVE by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
VICTOR ANICHEBE was on cloud nine today as he basked in the glow of scoring “the dream goal” that he feels will kick-start his and Everton’s season. But while the Blues’ matchwinner reflected on his role in the performance which secured Everton a place in the UEFA Cup group stages, he has promised not to rest on his laurels after acknowledging the hard work starts now. The Nigerian international has made relentless progress in the past 18 months to become one of Everton’s frontline strikers, yet Ayegbeni Yakubu’s arrival at the club has meant Anichebe has been limited to a bit part role. However, he hopes last night’s cameo in the 3-2 victory over Metalist Kharkiv has provided David Moyes with a timely reminder of his talents. “The most special moment in my career was scoring my first Premier League goal against West Brom,” Anichebe beamed. “That set me off. But I have dreamt about scoring a goal like this for such a long time. I can’t even describe my feelings. “Hopefully now I can kick on. It gives me so much belief. “I’ve got to try and forget about it now though. Other people could just rest on this but I won’t. No chance. “I need to use this as the thing that pushes me forward a bit more. “Newcastle is a big game and we’ve got to come back down to earth quickly. We’ve got to have a good performance to go into the international break and, all being well, we’ll get a good result.” Everton rode their luck at times to register a third win in three games, but Anichebe feels they deserved a slice of good fortune and can now look forward to next Tuesday’s draw knowing they will reap the benefits in the long run.
“It was a crazy night,” he said. “We were under a lot of pressure and it was tough throughout, but it was so good to get the result. It was also good to get a goal, but the whole team deserve credit. “To come here and beat them was just something else. They were a good side and many people thought we would just walk all over them. They are actually one of the best passing sides I have seen for a long time. The fans were very passionate. “They made it hard for us but it turned out to be a great night. It’s so important to be in Europe. The experience you get can only make you a better player. Hopefully, it will do me and the team the world of good.”
Anichebe was arguably the calmest man in the Stadium when he notched his second goal of the campaign, but there was good reason why he twisted and turned his way around Oleksandr Goryainov. “I was going to take it past the keeper,” he said. “Then I thought about taking it on my left foot but we had a shooting session in training on Wednesday and I missed one in a similar situation. “I’d hit the bar with my left foot but I thought ‘no chance!’ and just cut back inside. “In the end it worked well but it’s over now and I’ve got to look for the next challenge.”

It's right up there with the best roars David Moyes
Oct 5 2008 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES has savoured some special occasions as Everton manager but admitted last night’s stunning victory in Ukraine comes close to surpassing them all.
Having urged his side to seize the moment ahead of their second tussle with Metalist Kharkiv, Moyes feared a below par first half display would lead to consequences similar to the experience in Romania two years ago. Then, of course, Everton were thumped 5-1 by Dinamo Bucharest which led to their UEFA Cup dreams being shattered, and that experience still rankles the manager,but he feels this performance has enabled them to erase that scar. It may have been a close run affair - Moyes was fearing the worst when his players trooped in at half-time a goal down - but he hailed the strength of character that saw them turn the situation around and feels they got their rewards. “It’s right up there,” said Moyes. “I hadn’t mentioned Bucharest to the players beforehand but it was certainly in my thoughts. I remember the Disappointment of that night and I wanted to get through. The draw was tough but we have had a lot like that. “I thought Metalist were a very good side and they showed that over the two legs. The lads never gave in even though we had to change things around a couple of times. We kept going even when we went 2-1 down.
“It didn’t change a lot in that we had to score a goal and we brought Victor Anichebe on. He made one and scored one. It was one of those nights when you think something special might happen. “I was worried at half-time. I didn’t think we had played well in the first half, especially in the first 25 minutes. They caused us loads of problems but it was a real good game of football. They were technically very good and passed the ball well.” Anichebe was terrific when he replaced Phil Jagielka early in the second period and helped change the flow of the game but the goal that fired optimism was scored by a man whose reputations continues to grow at a staggering rate.
Joleon Lescott enjoyed another fine evening in a Blue shirt and his adaptability allowed Moyes to spring a huge surprise by naming Leighton Baines amongst the substitutes rather than his customary position on the left. “We were touch and go whether to start with Victor,” said Moyes. “He caused problems in the first leg and we thought that might be the case again.”

We will thrive on fixture congestion - David Moyes
Oct 6 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES has swept aside suggestions that fixture congestion will compromise Everton’s ambitions and backed his side to thrive on the increased workload.
Getting through to the UEFA Cup group stages means that the Blues will now have to juggle the demands of playing on Thursday and Sunday, while their involvement in the Carling Cup could bump up the numbers of games they face. Moyes, though, is relishing the opportunity and he wants his players to show at the first opportunity – at Newcastle tomorrow – that they are ready for commitments that a European campaign brings. “We know how it comes Thursday-Sunday in this competition and we know we have to do that so that’s why we’ve tried to get a bigger squad,” said Moyes.
“Hopefully over the next couple of weeks we’ll start to see the return of Tim Cahill, James Vaughan and possibly Tommy Gravesen. So by the end of the international break there’s a good chance we will be much closer to getting everyone in the squad back fit.” In recent seasons, Everton would have struggled to meet the demands owing to a lack of bodies but the return of Cahill, Gravesen and Vaughan will give Moyes increased attacking options and he thinks they will have a galvanising effect on their team-mates. “I feel that we’re getting through without feeling that we’ve hit top form yet,” he added. “There’s been signs in the last couple of games that we’re beginning to get a little bit better but we know that we are still looking to get to what we consider as fully on song. “The win will be a big boost because something we’ve never really done well is get through the first round of a cup competitions. “I’m looking forward to the challenge we’ve got. The players are buoyant. We’ve prepared very well, the trip away was done first class from start to finish and, but for a delay on the way back, it couldn’t have gone any better to plan.” As bullish as Moyes is about the trip to St James’ Park, he is expecting a tough time from Sam Allardyce’s side, who have been consistently inconsistent so far but are capable of causing problems for anyone.
“We hope preparations help us,” said Moyes, who is again likely to be without Andrew Johnson. “It’s already helped us get one result and hopefully it will help us towards getting a result against Newcastle. “It’s always a difficult game up at Newcastle and we expect that again. We’ve won three games in a row now and this will be a big game to make it four in a row so we want to try to do that.
“I think Big Sam took that job because he sees an opportunity to turn the club around and Newcastle is a big animal to tame - but he is capable of that.”

Faddy shines as a shooting star
Oct 6 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
JAMES McFADDEN tends only to deal in the currency of spectacular when it comes to scoring goals, but ask him which type of finish gives the most satisfaction and his answer will leave you surprised. Given he has developed the happy knack of finding the net with efforts that are invariably contenders for goal of the month– think Charlton Athletic, Lithuania and France – you might expect him to say left-footed howitzers. Not so. Having burst onto the scene four years ago with a series of havoc-wreaking displays on the left flank, McFadden has matured into a centre forward and longs for a concerted spell through the middle for Everton so he can master the art of poaching. That time might be coming soon. One of the Blues’ more consistent performers this season, the Scotland international grabbed the crucial second equaliser during Thursday night’s win over Metalist Kharkiv that secured their place in the UEFA Cup group stages. It was his all-round performance, however, that impressed just as much as the rocket he sent scorching past Oleksandr Goryainov.
A constant menace throughout, he possesses a trickery and unpredictability to make even the most accomplished defender look foolish. Yet McFadden knows the shimmies and shuffles will count for nothing if he does not start adding tap-ins and scruffy efforts to his repertoire. No wonder, then, the 24-year-old would be more than happy if his next goal was handed to him on a plate. “Every goal you score is special,” he said. “A tap-in would be good enough for me. “I’ve been playing as a centre forward and that’s where I like to be. If I can start getting goals, it will suit me, it will suit the manager and suit the team. “There is always going to be competition. Sometimes you get lucky and you get a goal. “Maybe you haven’t been playing well and you nick a goal that keeps you in the team. Or maybe somebody gets injured and it gives you a chance. “You’ve just got to make sure that you are ready to take your chance. The last three or four games I have done all right but hopefully I can get better and stay in the team. My confidence is high at the moment. “That’s mainly because I’ve been scoring goals and because of my performances. Scoring goals, any goals, gives you the most confidence, as well as winning games. “But, as long as the team are winning, I’m happy.” As determined as he is to make improvements to his game, though, there was no disguising the elation McFadden felt about coming up trumps at the most vital moment. But he is finding it more and more difficult to pick out the strike which means most to him. Naturally, his experience in the Parc des Princes for Scotland last month holds particularly high rank but he suggests that Thursday night’s – given what was riding on the game – might just hold sway “It’s right up there,” said McFadden, whose five starts so far this season have yielded four goals. “Club football is where your business is supposed to be. At the end, Victor scored to secure it but I got the goal which had got us through. “It was a very important goal but I’d like to get a few more if I can. A win like this can give us the belief to go on from here.
“In the first half, it looked as if we were going to do what we have sometimes done in the past – roll over and die. “But we fought back and got the win. We deserved it on overall play, but on spirit and determination, we definitely deserved it.
“I don’t think we were overawed. They just had a good start and we didn’t. So we got in at half-time and corrected the problems. “Victor came on and made a massive difference. But that’s what he does for you. He puts himself about and he deserved everything when he came on. “I told him at half-time that he was going to play a big part as I felt it was set up for him. “I fancied my chances, too. It’s those balls. They fly everywhere. We’ve watched videos of them and we knew that we would get goals.
Attentions now turn to tomorrow’s trip to Newcastle United, a challenge which looks a lot less formidable than it did on Thursday evening and Everton will make the journey in high spirits. Should they be able to extend their winning streak to a fourth game, it will transform the start they have had to the campaign and McFadden believes the win in Ukraine might just be the spark which lights the Blue touch paper.
“Hopefully we will look back at this fantastic result as the pivotal moment of the season,” he said. “Now we can push on as we are riding high in the league.”

Lescott flying high to secure a bright future
Oct 6 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
FLIGHT LS6745 was speeding through the skies across Europe early on Friday morning and at the front of the aircraft, David Moyes was deep in conversation with Joleon Lescott. As had been the case two years ago when Everton were returning from Bucharest, the manager was studying a DVD of his side’s UEFA Cup tie but on this occasion there was no need to perform a harrowing post-mortem. Predictably in high spirits after Everton had dramatically sealed their place in the competition’s group stage by beating Metalist Kharkiv, Moyes could be seen pointing at the screen and nodding enthusiastically towards Lescott. No surprise. Since he moved to Goodison Park from Wolves in June 2006, Lescott has proved to be a revelation and his display in Kharkiv was simply further proof that Everton have a defender of the highest calibre on their hands. While Leighton Baines was desperately unlucky to miss out on a starting place in Ukraine, the fact that Lescott was able to switch from central defensive mode into that of a left-back with aplomb was a testament to his ability.
Charging up the flank whenever possible to give Everton’s attack a physical presence, he never forgot his duties at the back and was invariably in the right place at the right time to make important interventions. That standard of performance will not come as a surprise to Evertonians - after all, Lescott has risen to every challenge that he has been set on Merseyside – but it surely won’t be long before he is being talked about nationally. As was the case when Mikel Arteta dismantled Tottenham in August to spark days of media coverage advertising the Spaniard’s talents, it will only need Lescott to play well in a game down south for the same thing to happen.
And, who knows, it could even be next weekend. Steve McClaren is a confirmed admirer of the 25-year-old - he has already handed him an England B cap - and, as expected, named him in his squad for the Euro 2008 qualifiers with Estonia and Russia. Of all the English central defenders who are available to McClaren, how many more are in better form than Lescott at present? How many offer the same threat at set-pieces as he does or can come close to matching his tally of five goals?
With injuries forcing McClaren’s hand in the last round of qualifiers to pick a team - and an in-form team at that - as opposed to a bunch of individuals, surely Lescott must come into contention to face Estonia and Russia? Moyes would never consider offering McClaren any pointers about whether he should or should not be picking his players but from what he has seen of Lescott these past few months, he believes he is ready for the next challenge. “I know that he is a central defender and that is where his future lies, but when he has been asked to play left-back, he has been terrific,” said Moyes. “You can see his pace and strength and I hope that he can continue in the form he has been in. “Joleon has been someone that has stood up and been counted in every game. We are delighted with him. “He settled in quickly when he arrived here and basically got himself up and running straight away. “We were delighted when he got his call up (last month) and we believe he can only get better.” Sentiments with which every Evertonian would concur. Having cost £4m, Lescott’s outstanding displays have consistently made a mockery of that price tag and his effort in Kharkiv confirmed he is still very much on the upgrade. Steve McClaren take note.

All change on fixture front after Euro delight
Oct 6 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
EVERTONIANS will be doing everything they can to huddle around television screens and computers on Tuesday morning when the UEFA Cup draw is made in Nyon – and there is potential for the Blues to renew some old acquaintances.
Among the 40 clubs waiting to discover which group they will end up in are Bayern Munich, Villarreal and Panthinaikos, all names that conjure up a wide range of memories for Blues young and old. But while the identity of the four clubs who will be paired alongside Everton are shrouded in mystery for the time being, one thing is certain and that is a number of fixture changes will need to be put back by 24 hours in the Premier League. They are the trips that had been scheduled to Derby on October 27, Chelsea (November 10), Portsmouth (December 1) and the home game with Fulham on December 8. You may have also noticed that December 19 is set aside for UEFA Cup football on fixture lists, but Everton will not be involved in that round of matches if they beat Luton in the Carling Cup fourth round, as the quarter-finals of that competition are scheduled for the same evening and take precedence.

Barry Horne: Can we all give Moyes credit he deserves?
Oct 6 2007 by Barry Horne, Liverpool Echo
I WASN’T in Ukraine to witness Everton’s passage into the group stages of the UEFA Cup, but I did watch it on television. As a result there’s a danger that you get a distorted view of the match and become influenced by comments you hear and read afterwards. The comments on Thursday, to me, seemed unnecessarily negative, because there were plenty of positives to come out of the match.
It was a fantastic second half performance by the Blues, thanks to the subtle changes David Moyes made at half-time in pushingplayers - particularly Joleon Lescott - further up the pitch. No-one expects this current team to scale the heights of the great mid-80s side, but getting through to the group stages of the UEFA Cup represents tangible progress. People who view David Moyes’ reign at Everton in a positive light – hands up – can add that statistic to other positives like the average age of the squad, the number of quality players at the club, the size of the squad and results against the top teams. Mark Hughes will be desperately disappointed that Blackburn didn’t improve on last season’s showing in Europe, but by qualifying for the group stages Everton have improved on what they did two years ago. David Moyes should be congratulated for that, and those congratulations should be unqualified.
Two years ago people were saying Villa-who, after Everton were knocked out of the Champions League qualifying round? Villarreal turned out to be one of the most talented teams in the Champions League reaching the semi-finals. Metalist Kharkiv could well have turned out to be just as much a surprise package this season.
We’ll never know because Everton knocked them out, but Shaktyar Donetsk and Dinamo Kiev’s performances in the Champions League this season, plus a teamsheet sprinkled with 28, 29 and 30-year old internationals, suggests Everton might just have claimed the scalp of a decent Ukrainian outfit. The win will give a massive boost to confidence for the rest of the season, and that is something to celebrate.

Those special days when the goals flew in
Oct 6 2007 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
PORTSMOUTH and Reading turned the clock back last weekend, to the days when clean sheets were rarer than hen’s teeth.
This week’s top 10 focuses on Merseyside’s double figure thrillers.
Mail your own favourites to daveprentice@liverpoolecho.co.uk
1 TEN goals, a manager ‘escorted off the pitch’ by the referee, chaotic scenes in and around Goodison Park - and “a blind man, a boy and a man minus a leg making their exit into the players’ tunnel” - no wonder Everton's 1935 FA Cup classic against Sunderland was described as “one of the most thrilling in the history of the Cup.”
Early on, one of the corners of the ground broke through, and “a blind man, a boy and a man minus a leg were seen to make their exit into the players’ subway, but by degrees the crowd was replaced in its proper position.”
Perhaps most bizarrely in a game featuring 10 goals, however, was the absence of Dixie Dean from the scorers’ list.
2 REDS boss George Patterson gambled on youth against experience – and was richly rewarded after Dixie Dean had opened the scoring at Anfield.
Reds winger Harold Barton hammered a hat-trick as 50,000 fans witnessed a classic.
3 JIMMY Harris scored a hat-trick, and still finished on the receiving end of Everton’s record defeat. But the Daily Post’s Leslie Edwards wrote: “If Everton had taken their chances as avidly as Spurs the score might have been 10-7.”
4 “THE result of five goals each is rather unique in the history of football and it certainly constitutes a record at Owlerton,” understated the local press after a remarkable match. Leading 5-4, Sandy Young tried to waste time by booting the ball into the crowd. “The referee noted the incident and allowed extra time, and this half-minute meant all the difference between victory and a draw” as Wednesday levelled at the death.
5 “THE game of football, like that of life, has many compensating advantages. Few of those sturdy supporters of the Liverpool Club can possibly have contemplated as they withstood the pitiless downpour, what a rare football treat was in store for them.”
Not a sparkling intro in the Edwardian Daily Post, but a sparkling football match, made all the more enjoyable because United came to Anfield as league leaders. Bill McPherson scored a hat-trick as the Reds achieved a “noteworthy achievement in the annals of the Liverpool club.”
LIVERPOOL 7 CHELSEA 4. September 1946
6 TOMMY Lawton was among the striking stars who ran out at Anfield in the first post-war season, but it was Billy Liddell who claimed the honours, scoring twice – one direct from a corner. The Reds had been limbering up for the new season in the States and “victories in America seem to have given Liverpool to progress by constructive football.” They ended the season as league champions.
7 EVERTON fired a statement of intent when they ended the season with a crushing win. “Ipswich have just been crowned champions, but I doubt if even they would claim to possess the glittering brilliance of this Everton side,” wrote Horace Yates. Twelve months later Everton won the title.
8 FEW witnessed a bizarre match at Roker Park. “Sunderland beat Liverpool 6-5 in a remarkable game which many people said should not have been played owing to the fog that swept over the ground giving the referee little chance of deciding vital factors,” explained the Post.
9 THE Daily Post described Everton’s win as “remarkable“, but perhaps it wasn’t that remarkable. The previous season the Toffees had chalked up 7-1, 6-4, 7-0 and 9-1 (twice!) scorelines. They went into the Wednesday match on the back of a 5-1 win over neighbours Sheffield United, and in the weeks which followed put eight past Newcastle, seven past Chelsea and nine past Leicester. Dixie Dean scored five that October day against Wednesday . . . and Everton went on to win the title.
10 REFEREE John Key had a howler in Tranmere’s Zenith Data Systems Cup tie. He awarded Newcastle a fiercely contested penalty kick two minutes from the end of extra-time, which Mick Quinn converted, then allowed five minutes of time added on until John Aldridge could get into the Newcastle box and fall over! He promptly awarded a spot-kick, Aldo levelled to complete his hat-trick, and Rovers went on to win a penalty shoot-out.

Newcastle 3, Everton 2 (Echo)
Oct 8 2007
by Dominic King
ONE European hoodoo has been smashed already this season, now the time has come to crack another. In qualifying for the UEFA Cup group stages at the expense of Metalist Kharkiv, David Moyes ended Everton’s 12-year wait to win a continental tie.
But now the manager is faced with correcting another problem - and an alarming one at that. This was the sixth consecutive defeat the Blues have suffered immediately after a European game under Moyes and if they keep making the kind of mistakes that tripped them up St James’ Park yesterday, that maddening sequence will continue. That Everton find themselves out of the top five today is not because they had jaded limbs or tired minds or they were suffering the effects of a midweek trip to Ukraine and back. Quit simply, they shot themselves in the foot. Three times. When he watches the DVD of this tussle with Newcastle, Moyes will see in Technicolor glory a catalogue of errors. From Joleon Lescott’s poor clearance to Leon Osman’s weak header and Michael Owen being left fatally unmarked. Not good enough. Sam Allardyce has never needed a second invitation to indulge in a spot of self-promotion but to listen to him talk afterwards was as if Newcastle had played with the flair and swagger of Brazil in the 1970s. Utter hogwash. Things were made easy for them. Add into the equation that Andrew Johnson will be sidelined for a month and a bad day at the office suddenly became a wretched one. This was not the way Evertonians buoyant from the performance in Kharkiv envisaged going into the international break. Far from it. With form and fatigue playing a part in his selection process, Moyes made four changes and it was not a surprise to Lee Carsley take Phil Jagielka’s place and return to partner Phil Neville in the middle of midfield. It has been a difficult start for Jagielka on Merseyside and he will need no reminding that his last two performance against Middlesbrough and Metalist were below the standard of which he is capable. While Lescott, Tim Cahill and Andrew Johnson - all plucked from the Championship in recent summers - made flying starts to their careers in Royal Blue, Jagielka is still waiting for take off. As soon as he acclimatises, his time will come. A game of this type, though, brings out the best of the dependable Carsley and you only have to go back three seasons to remember the terrific free-kick he scored on this ground to secure a point for Everton. That, incredibly, is one of only two positive results the Blues have had on Tyneside with Moyes in charge and it was to be expected that Newcastle would exert early pressure but twice in the opening exchanges Carsley was in the right place to make headed clearances. Once they settled down, Everton tried to go about their business with panache, the confidence gained from the heroics in Kharkiv clear to see. Certainly there was much more to like about their style than Newcastle’s. But they almost took the lead from an old-fashioned up and under on 13 minutes when Tony Hibbert hoisted a ball into the and Victor Anichebe edge out Shay Given to divert a header towards goal; Claudio Cacapa needed to take drastic action to clear. Having popped up with the strike that rubber-stamped progress into the UEFA Cup group stages, Anichebe fully deserved to start for only the second time in the Premier League since the visit to Reading on August 18. With Ayegbeni Yakubu looking anything but an £11.25m striker so far - this is one man who would certainly have reaped the benefit of an Everton pre-season campaign - Anichebe could now have a real opportunity to prove his worth. True, a few edges still need polishing - for one he must stop petulant back chat to referees - but there is little wrong with his skill or courage. He also knows how to score; only a terrific tackle from Cacapa stopped him doing so here. More on that later. Given the way the game was being fought out, there was always the suspicion that an error, just as much as a flash of brilliance, would lead to the deadlock being broken and so, maddeningly, it proved as Newcastle poked their noses in front just before half-time. When Alan Smith surged into the box, the danger looked to have been averted by Lescott but, inexplicably, he only scooped his clearance into Nicky Butt’s path, who took the chance to finish in style. A rare mistake from a normally unflappable performer. The look on Moyes’ face as he marched down the tunnel at half-time left no doubt that he was exasperated with what had been offered up and it was only to be expected changes would be made. Cue Johnson took over from Michael Owen. Johnson’s pace, movement and unquenchable appetite for hard work make him a defender’s worst nightmare and he served no notice of his intent within seconds of the re-start when scampered to retrieve what many would have perceived to be a lost cause. Failing to heed the warning, Newcastle succumbed to the moment that has been threatening to happen since March 18 as Johnson bundled his first goal since that much celebrated winning strike against Arsenal in spring. A sweeping move down the left saw Anichebe receive possession and play in the habitually impressive Leighton Baines. True to form, his cross found it’s target and Johnson did the rest. Sod’s law that he will now be missing for a month. That should have been the signal to go on and pinch all three points but the game changed when Cacapa hurled himself in front of Anichebe’s thunderous drive on 80 minutes and Newcastle made the most of that. First Emre - how horribly bitter the irony that he should be involved in a game turning incident - struck from 25 yards after Osman had erred, then Owen pounced to wrap things up. There was no consolation to be taken from Shay Given’s late own goal. So, then, Moyes and his players must stew on this result and there is no doubt they will have to watch this video nasty in preparation for Liverpool’s visit on Saturday week.
Hopefully, shock treatment will jolt these calamitous errors out of them.

Newcastle 3, Everton 2 (D,Post)
Oct 8 2007
by Christopher Beesley
THE post-match toasts at St James’ Park were reserved for a previously injured England striker who had made a scoring return off the bench. But unfortunately for Evertonians, Andrew Johnson’s first goal of the season was eclipsed by a Michael Owen header which proved to be the match-winner. Johnson’s return to the goals was also tempered by news that he is now to undergo an operation on an injured ankle which, for the time being at least, denies him the chance to build up some momentum in the scoring charts as well as preventing him from adding to his derby tally at Goodison. Last September, Johnson struck twice in front of his beloved home fans in his first game against Liverpool in the royal blue of Everton but with the former Crystal Palace man expected to go under the knife today, he is now set to miss the October 20 showdown against Rafael Benitez’s side. Like many strikers, Johnson thrives on confidence and finding the back of the net for the first time since March will no doubt have provided a welcome boost. A cult hero ever since he was swamped by jubilant Evertonians after his debut on a balmy July afternoon at Gigg Lane last year, Johnson has always enjoyed a special relationship with the club’s supporters but while a mutual affection remains strong, the goals had dried up since he struck the winner against Arsenal back in March. And even this one proved to be all in vain –it levelled Nicky Butt’s first half strike but Emre and Owen struck late before Shay Given’s own goal proved scant consolation. Hence, for the second time in four days, Everton were involved in a five-goal thriller – but this time the final scoreline went the other way and any good fortune they had in the UEFA Cup deserted them on their Premier League return. Thursday’s victory in the Ukraine could prove to be a massive turning point in Everton’s fortunes and the long-term aspirations of the club – at least the unthinkable concept of another first round exit has been avoided – but now that David Moyes’s side have earned themselves games against at least another four continental clubs this campaign, they now need to ensure they can cope with the all-important Premier League fixtures that follow their UEFA Cup exploits to safeguard their hopes of returning to Europe next season. Numbers wise, Everton still possess one of the top-flight’s smaller squads and Moyes has to carefully shuffle his pack after taxing trips, with this game at St James’ Park coming less than 60 hours after his squad landed at John Lennon Airport. The manager made four changes to the side that started in Thursday’s 3-2 victory at Metalist Kharkiv. Tony Hibbert and Leighton Baines were restored at right and left-back respectively, Lee Carsley returned in central midfield and match-winner Victor Anichebe came in up front. Phil Neville moved from right-back to central midfield and Joleon Lescott from left-back to centre-back, the two positions they have occupied for the majority of the season to date. Dropping to the bench were Phil Jagielka, Leon Osman and Ayegbeni Yakubu. Alan Stubbs was not included in the squad while Andrew Johnson was named as a substitute after missing the UEFA Cup first round second leg match through injury. Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce made three changes to the side that lost 3-1 at Manchester City eight days earlier with Jose Enrique and Abdoulaye Faye replacing David Rozenhal and Steven Taylor in defence while Claudio Cacapa came in for the absent Mark Viduka, allowing Alan Smith to operate in a more advanced role. Everton survived an early scare when Alan Smith exploited Obafemi Martins’s pace by playing a pinpoint ball between Joseph Yobo and Lescott but despite getting ahead of the latter, the Nigerian striker failed to show composure in front of goal. The visitors almost took the lead in bizarre fashion when a misplaced cross from the right by Tony Hibbert proved an awkward take for Given. The Irish keeper was beaten to the aerial ball by an Anichebe header and Faye twice had to clear off the line. The end-to-end start to proceedings continued at the other end as Charles N’Zogbia pushed up from the left-hand side of midfield and let fly with a low drive which Howard tipped around his post for a corner kick. Newcastle continued to threaten throughout the first half and Lescott had to stretch to deflect an Alan Smith shot wide after the England international had been played in by a Martins lay-off. Everton’s luck ran out on 42 minutes. Leighton Baines and Steven Pienaar got in a tangle under pressure from N’Zogbia, allowing Smith to centre and although Lescott was able to get in to intercept, he was unable to get any power on his clearance and seemed to scoop the ball out of the area rather than whack it away from danger. Nicky Butt brushed off Everton skipper Neville to control the loose ball and executed a perfectly-placed finish over Howard’s head to get one over on a couple of his former Manchester United team-mates. A goal just before the interval, especially if you’re playing away at Newcastle, is never great for morale and could easily lead to a second half capitulation for teams lacking in strength and character. However, after coming back to win after twice staring into the abyss against Metalist, Everton rolled up their sleeves at the start of the second half. And, in a similar scenario to Kharkiv, they soon pulled themselves level. Anichebe drove forward on 53 minutes and picked out the overlapping Leighton Baines down the left flank. The former Wigan player, who has been a shining light during his early days at Goodison following a summer switch from the JJB Stadium, pulled back an inviting cross for substitute Johnson, who had only been on the field for eight minutes after replacing James McFadden,and the England international beat Enrique to the ball to side-foot home from close range for his first goal of the season. Intriguingly, left-back Enrique, who was making his first Premier League start after signing from Villarreal, was recruited by Allardyce when Baines chose to return to his native Merseyside ahead of pulling on a black and white striped jersey but that will remain an unimportant footnote to this goal for Baines and particularly Johnson, who you always felt just needed a goal to kick-start his season. The goal should have also kick-started Everton’s ambitions for winning this game and for the majority of the second half they dominated proceedings. It looked like their efforts could be rewarded when substitute Osman picked out Anichebe on the right-hand side of the Newcastle penalty area but while it looked like a golden opportunity for the youngster, he was unable to show the same composure that fashioned his midweek goal when a slight hesitation allowed Cacapa to close down both his initial shot and a rebound. The missed chance ultimately proved costly as a sensational 86th-minute strike from Emre restored the home side’s lead. Fellow substitute Owen had already fired a warning shot when he cut inside Hibbert and forced Howard into a fingertip save low around his right-hand post. However, just as they were with Newcastle’s first goal, Everton were again punished for failing to clear their lines properly. An Osman header out from Owen’s right wing cross looked to have averted any danger but the ball fell straight to the feet of Emre – already an unpopular figure with Everton after his row with several of their players at Goodison Park last season – and the Turk drilled in a deadly accurate drive past Howard. You’d have thought that would be game over but a further two goals – one at either end – followed in the closing stages. With Everton chasing an equaliser, Owen escaped his marker Yobo to head in an Emre cross from the left. A two-goal victory would have flattered the hosts and Everton got some scant consolation two minutes into stoppage time when a left-wing cross by Mikel Arteta was deflected towards his own goal by Smith and a flapping Shay Given could only knock the ball over the goal-line at his back post. A funny end to a thrilling game but still nobody was laughing in the visitors’ camp. It would be harsh to describe this defeat as a European hangover but if Everton are going to sip champagne on Thursday nights with the continent’s elite then they’re going to have to keep their vision clear at the weekend when stomaching some Newcastle Brown Ale.
NEWCASTLE (4-4-2): Given, Beye, Enrique, Faye, N'Zogbia, Butt, Cacapa, Geremi (Rozenhnal 87), Smith, Milner (Emre 74), Martins (Owen 74). Subs: Harper, Taylor.
BOOKINGS: Butt, Smith.
EVERTON (4-4-2): Howard, Hibbert, Baines, Yobo, Lescott, Arteta, Neville (Yakubu 89), Carsley, Pienaar (Osman 74), McFadden (Johnson 46), Anichebe. Subs: Johnson, Jagielka, Osman, Yakubu, Wessels.
REFEREE: Martin Atkinson (West Yorkshire).
ATT: 50,152.
NEXT MATCH: Everton v Liverpool, Barclays Premier League, Saturday, October 20 12.45pm.

ABOVE: Andy Johnson
8th October 2007 Daily Star
Everton striker Andrew Johnson will undergo surgery on his ankle after being withdrawn from the England squad for the Euro 2008 qualifiers against Estonia and Russia. The 26-year-old came off the bench to drag his side back into their clash with Newcastle at St James' Park with a 53rd-minute equaliser but manager David Moyes revealed after the game that he will have an operation - he had surgery on his other ankle last season - and will be out of action for up to four weeks. "It is a big blow for Everton. We have known for a while he has had a problem with his ankle and he has also been carrying a groin injury, which kept him out recently," said Moyes. "With the international break, unfortunately for England, it is probably the best time to get his ankle sorted now. " He added: "We just know he has got a problem and Andy wants it sorted, so we have to get that done." The news capped a frustrating day on Tyneside for the Toffees, who fell behind to Nicky Butt's 42nd-minute strike after seeing the Magpies squander a series of earlier opportunities.
Johnson arrived as a half-time replacement for James McFadden and dragged his side back into the game within eight minutes as Newcastle lost their way. However, Emre smashed home a 25-yard drive four minutes from time before Owen deflected in the third off his shoulder and the underside of the bar at the death. There was still time for Everton to reduce the deficit when Shay Given could only help Mikel Arteta's deflected cross into his own net in injury time, but the points were safe. Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce said: "Michael came on and won us the game, and you can see the importance of him. "It would have been a disaster for us had a fluke goal for Everton in the 92nd minute got them something."

Johnson suffers derby setback
Oct 8 2007
by Chris Beesley, Liverpool Daily Post
EVERTON’S derby preparations have been rocked by the news that Andrew Johnson is set to miss their clash with Liverpool as he goes under the knife for an ankle operation today. Johnson ended a scoring drought which had lasted for more than six months yesterday when he netted in Everton’s 3-2 defeat at Newcastle United. The £8.6million striker had failed to find the net since his winner against Arsenal at Goodison Park back in March but a lively second-half display at St James’ Park seemed to indicate that he was returning both to form and to fitness having been out of the side since the 2-0 reversal at Aston Villa a fortnight ago.
Johnson’s 52nd-minute strike cancelled out Nicky Butt’s opener just before the interval but further goals from fellow substitutes Emre and Michael Owen put the hosts in control before Everton netted a consolation, when Shay Given could only push a Mikel Arteta cross into his own net during stoppage time, The loss saw Everton drop from fifth to ninth, with Sam Allardyce’s side leapfrogging them in the table. But with neighbours Liverpool next up at Goodison in 12 days’ time, the loss of Johnson is a major setback. Everton manager David Moyes said: “Andrew Johnson will be out for probably three-to-four weeks. It’s a big blow for Everton. We’ve known for a wee while that he’s had a problem with his ankle. “He’s also been carrying a groin injury but unfortunately for England, it’s probably the best time to get his ankle sorted now. “He looked lively when he came on, you could see what we’ve been missing.” With no games until the derby, Everton will now turn their attentions to tomorrow morning’s draw of the UEFA Cup group stages in Nyon, Switzerland (11am).

Andrew Johnson will fly back - Phil Neville
Oct 8 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
PHIL NEVILLE today backed Andrew Johnson to return from ankle surgery “better than ever” after the striker finally ended his goal drought. Johnson was booked in for an operation this morning to rectify a problem in his right ankle and, according to Everton manager David Moyes, is expected to be out for “three to four weeks”.
But it is not connected to the injury he suffered last season. The England international missed the final three matches to remove a bone growth on his left ankle and required eight weeks of rehabilitation over the summer before he was given the green light to return to training. While admitting it is a huge blow, Neville believes Johnson will be able to rest easy during his spell on the sidelines after he scored for the first time since March 18 in yesterday’s 3-2 defeat at Newcastle and expects him to come back with a bang. “The positive thing is that AJ has gone away with a goal under his belt,” said Neville. “He has needed a goal and ever since the game against Kharkiv, he has been desperate to put things right. He really deserved it yesterday. “He has been playing with this injury for a few weeks and now that he has got a goal, he can relax a bit.
“It is a shame that he is going to miss out on playing for England but the important thing is for him to get right for Everton and get himself 100 per cent fit.
“His workrate in the past few weeks, even though he has been carrying this injury, has been a shining light to all our forwards. “It has never dwindled and it was only a matter of time before he got back among the goals. “It just needed a ricochet or something like that to get him going again and you could see the relief when the goal went in. “We were absolutely delighted for him and I’m sure that he can come back better than ever.” Johnson’s goal apart, it was a frustrating afternoon for Everton on Tyneside and Neville – his side’s top performer – knows silly errors need to be cut out if the Blues want to remain pushing for a place in the top six. “People were asking about tiredness but that wasn’t the problem,” said the captain. “This is an exciting time for the lads and we want to be playing in big games. “It’s something new and we went to Newcastle in high spirits. “I thought we played well in periods but we have ended up being undone by lapses in concentration. “The same thing happened against Manchester United and, to an extent, against Aston Villa, too. “We have got to eradicate them. The defining moments went Newcastle’s way but they are not a better team than us. “In the second half, we looked like the team who were going to win it but we have made mistakes again.”

We paid price for mistakes – Moyes
Oct 8 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON’S start to the season has been compromised by defensive errors, and David Moyes was left to rue three more yesterday as his side were beaten by Newcastle United. While the Blues could not repeat the efforts that had taken them into the UEFA Cup group stages at St James’ Park, Moyes felt there were periods, particularly in the second half, when his side’s play deserved more. Ultimately, though, Everton were made to pay for failing to do the basics properly at the back and Moyes could not hide his displeasure at the manner of the three goals they conceded, particularly the crucial late efforts from Emre and Michael Owen. “I thought in the second half we nearly deserved something out of it but we just couldn’t quite get there,” said Moyes, who completely reshuffled the defence that had been on duty in Kharkiv, bringing Tony Hibbert and Leighton Baines back in and resting Alan Stubbs.
“In many ways, the game was similar to the one at Aston Villa. We made mistakes. The first goal was really poor. I don’t know how many people gave it away, didn’t block it or didn’t clear it. “The second was a good strike by Emre but we should have blocked it before it came out to him. There were one or two phases when we never got near the ball. “When Victor Anichebe had a chance, we looked more likely to get something and the game may well have changed on that. I didn’t think we played particularly well in the first half but we got better in the second half.”
Predictably, much talk after centred on Owen’s reappearance eight days after surgery to repair a groin problem but Moyes was bitterly unhappy that the England striker was handed the perfect tonic ahead of the Euro 2008 qualifiers with Estonia and Russia next week. “I was surprised,” said Moyes. “It’s very quick to come back from an operation. Then again, if everyone has made their mind up that he is going to play for England, he’s obviously going to have to play some part for Newcastle. The goal we conceded to him was terrible.” Though a Shay Given own goal gave Everton a slight chance to come back in injury time, their efforts were to no avail and Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce knew exactly what separated the two sides. “Michael came on and won us the game,” said Allardyce. “It would have been a disaster for us had a fluke goal for Everton in the 92nd minute got them something. “Happily, that fluke goal did not cost us anything in terms of points and we won the game 3-2, and that is the importance of Michael Owen’s chance finishing the opposition off.”

Unbeaten record ends for Everton
Oct 9 2007
Academy Football
by Chris Wright, Liverpool Daily Post
EVERTON under-18s lost their first game of the season as Manchester City won the Premier Academy League Group A top-of-the-table clash 1-0 at Netherton on Saturday. In a close match Neil Dewsnip’s side failed to maintain their unbeaten start despite having a few chances to at least take a point. City scored what turned out to be the winner just before half-time when they picked up on a loose ball and went on to fire past Everton goalkeeper Michael McEntagart from 20-yards.
Early in the second half Everton came close to an equalise, Eunan O’Kane firing narrowly wide, while substitute Kieran Agard shot over the bar with another effort. At the other end Australian keeper McEntagart saved from a free-kick and Cory Sinnott cleared off the line to keep Everton in the match. However, in the end City claimed all three points to stay top of the table. Coach Dewsnip was disappointed, but was pleased with his side’s performance. He said: “They started very well and all credit to them. They played well and had a couple of half chances, but didn’t really threaten us. Ironically just after we got a foothold in the game we made a very poor passing error in the middle of the field and they ran through and scored. For much of the match it was ‘even-Steven’, but we missed two great chances. “We are disappointed to lose, but it was a match between two very organised teams with chances at a premium.” Dewsnip added: “It was just a good standard youth game and a great advert for Academy football. Hopefully some players from either side will come out of that eventually. “Hopefully in the future our players will experience that – big games like that – and they can learn for it.” Everton will look to get back to winning ways following their first defeat of the campaign when they at Crewe Alexandra this Saturday (kick-off 11am).
EVERTON UNDER-18s: McEntagart; Stewart, Molyneux, McCarten, Sinnott; Krenn (Agard 60), Rodwell, O’Kane, McCready (Sheppard 80); Baxter, Codling. Subs: Stubhaug, Rodwell.

Everton discover UEFA Cup group opponents
Oct 9 2007
By Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON have been handed an intrguing task in the UEFA Cup group stages following today’s draw in Nyon.
The Blues must face AZ Alkmaar from Holland, Russian side Zenit St Petersburg, Larissa - the Greek club that shocked Blackburn Rovers in the first round - and German outfit FC Nuremberg to secure a place in the last 32.
Venues for the fixtures, which will be staged on October 25, November 8, November 29 and December 6 have still to be decided but David Moyes will know that the draw could have been infinitely more demanding.
Alkmaar have been regulars in the UEFA Cup and were quarter-finalists last season. Managed by Louis van Gaal, one of football’s most astute coaches, they have been in the group stages four times in the past five years.
Nuremburg’s name will bring back memories for supporters of a certain vintage, as the Blues faced them in the same competition in 1965 and beat them 2-1 on aggregate with Jimmy Gabriel scoring the decisive goal at Goodison Park.
Larissa are something of unknown quantity but they do have Ibrahima Bakayoko, who signed for Everton in the summer of 1998 from Montpellier for £4.5m and scored seven goals in 28 appearances before joining Marseille.
Zenit St Petersburg, who secured their place in the group stages after beating Standard Liege, complete the line-up and while they may not have too many household names, they are coached by the wily Dick Advocaat, who was once Glasgow Rangers manager.
Everton's UEFA fixtures (subject to change)
October 25 Larissa H
November 8 Nurnberg A
December 5 Zenit St Petersburg H
December 20 AZ Alkmaar A
UEFA Cup draw in full
GROUP A: AZ Alkmaar, Zenit St Petersburg, Everton, Nuremburg, Larissa.
GROUP B: Panathinaikos, Lokomotiv Moscow, Atletico Madrid, FC Copenhagen, Aberdeen.
GROUP C: Villarreal, AEK Athens, Fiorentina, Mlada Boleslav, Elfsborg.
GROUP D: FC Basel, Hamburg, Stade Rennais, Dynamo Zagreb, Brann.
GROUP E: Bayer Leverkusen, Sparta Prague, Spartak Moscow, Toulouse, FC Zurich.
GROUP F: Bayern Munich, Bolton Wanderers, Braga, RS Belgrade, Thessaloniki.
GROUP G: Anderlecht, Tottenham, Getafe, Hapoel Tel Aviv, Aalborg.
GROUP H: Bordeaux, Austria Vienna, Galatasary, Panionios, Helsingborgs.

Leighton Baines sets out derby ambition
Oct 9 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
LEIGHTON BAINES today set his sights on helping Everton bounce back to winning ways in the biggest fixture of them all – the Merseyside derby. The Blues dropped down five places to tenth in the table following Sunday’s 3-2 defeat at Newcastle United and Baines feels they only have themselves to blame after making a couple of “silly” mistakes late in the game. However, Baines is refusing to dwell on that result, particularly as Everton had shown in the three games prior to their trip to Tyneside they were starting to run into some form and he is confident that will be the case after the international break. Everton return to action on Saturday week against Liverpool at Goodison Park and Baines – who again was one of his side’s top performers at St James’ Park – is counting down the days until he gets his first sample of a derby atmosphere as a player. “I have been looking forward to that one since I came here,” said Baines. “I knew when the fixture was before I arrived because it’s one that everybody looks out for. “It is going to be a great game and one myself and all my family are looking forward to. Everybody is a bit down because we lost the game and we were coming here looking to get a result. “It has been a decent week, we have got wins and are in a reasonable position. “It was important that we got through in Europe so there is no need to be too down hearted. “I think ultimately we have got to be positive and look forward. “We have got some time off, so time to work on a few different things with the lads that are not going away on international duty.
“Hopefully, we can get a few more good results after the break.” If they are going to get back to winning ways at the first attempt, though, Baines knows the time has come for Everton to rediscover their defensive means. Last year they kept 14 clean sheets in the Premier League but, this season, nine games have only yielded one shut-out.
“Ideally you want to go into the break on the back of a win and if we had won everybody would have been over the moon,” Baines added. “But we have not got that. We conceded two (poor) goals and we are disappointed with that. “Maybe you could say it was a lapse in concentration. “The first goal was sloppy and there were occasions where it could have been stopped before it went in. “The second goal was a good strike but the third one was free header which should not have happened.”
* Meanwhile, Everton have confirmed their Carling Cup fourth round tie against Luton will take place on Wednesday, October 31. Kick-off at Kenilworth Road is at 7.45pm.

Nigel Martyn: An invitation I just couldn’t turn down
Oct 9 2007 by Nigel Martyn, Liverpool Echo
THERE is always a bit of trepidation when Chris Woods’ number flashes up on my phone but I couldn’t have been more thrilled to hear from him on Saturday morning.
With Everton facing Newcastle on Sunday, they took the opportunity to train at Leeds United’s Thorpe Arch complex beforehand, and Woodsy asked me if I would like to drive over and see everyone. I did not need a second invitation. Retiring from football in June 2006 was one of the hardest decisions I have had to take in my life.
Even now, it is still frustrating that I can’t do the one job in the world I love more than anything else. Though my ankle is getting better, I’ll never be able to kick a football properly again. For a short period on Saturday, however, I was tempted to give things another whirl as David Moyes offered me the chance to take part in training to give Tim Howard a breather ahead of the trip to St James’ Park. Sadly, I had to take the sensible decision and refrain. However, it was still absolutely terrific to be back among the lads again, even if it was only for a few hours. My son Thomas went with me and the gaffer had him involved in training too, carrying water bottles and equipment for the players – he was almost as happy as his dad. I stood with Woodsy and watched Tim Howard and Steffan Wessels go through their paces. Then, as is always the case with Everton, I watched the pre-match ‘old versus young’ game and it is clear to see that the manager has signed some terrific young players.
Seeing them in such close quarters allows you to get a better opinion of a player’s capabilities and I was taken aback by the standards of those who have come in since I left. When I was at Everton, these games were always close affairs but the young lads have got the edge now. Saturday’s game ended with the oldies being beaten 6-1 and Ayegbeni Yakubu helped himself to a hat-trick – he was being marked by the Gaffer, mind you. And there was certainly no suggestion that they were feeling the effects of the midweek UEFA Cup journey to the Ukraine. Having taken all that into account, I fully expected the lads to get a result against Newcastle. But the goals we conceded were so out of character and it was bitterly disappointing that we couldn’t sign off with a fourth consecutive win before the international break. That Newcastle won was not down to them out playing us by any means, they simply profited from a couple of mistakes and the manager will be looking to ensure such errors are eradicated as quickly as possible. The win over Metalist Kharkiv should provide a huge injection of confidence for the next phase of the campaign and there is certainly sufficient ability in the ranks to ensure Everton are a factor in the top six. All that is required is for the silly errors to be eradicated.
Anichebe is making rapid progress
EVERTON’S strikers have been the subject of much discussion this season and it looks like plenty is going to be heard of Victor Anichebe from now on.
Although he is still very young, the 19-year-old has terrific physical presence and showed last week against Metalist Kharkiv that he is improving at a rate of knots.
His influence in the second half helped swing the game back in Everton’s favour.
Victor was only just knocking on the door of the first team when I was at Goodison Park and really the best he could hope for back then was to be involved in training with the squad. But it was quite clear to see that he had a future ahead of him.
He had terrific strength for such a young boy and it was only to be expected there would be a naivety to his play yet, slowly but surely, David Moyes and Alan Irvine are polishing the rough edges, while reserve coach Andy Holden has played a big part, too. People will compare him with Ayegbeni Yakubu for obvious reasons but I don’t see any reason why Victor can’t go on to become a top striker in years to come.
He is playing well at the minute and I’m sure he’ll be a tremendous asset for Everton.

October 10 2007 Daily Star
Where I come from is a poor area with a lot of drugs and gangs. I know the life and the background of the people.
By George Scott
EVERTON midfielder Steven Pienaar was saved by football from a life of drugs and crime. The South African grew up on the mean streets of Johannesburg and could easily have joined one of the many local gangs. Many of his friends did just that and moved into a life of drug taking and violent clashes with rival mobsters.
Pienaar, 25, admitted last night: “Football helped me keep away from trouble. A lot of my friends were sucked into that kind of thing. In life there you don’t get the same opportunities. I was fortunate to play soccer.” Pienaar also has his mum Denise to thank for bravely shielding him from the trouble at their door by forcing him to go to school. And that led to him being spotted by a local School of Football Excellence that helped him carve out a new life. He said: “Where I come from is a poor area with a lot of drugs and gangs. I know the life and the background of the people.
“I was fortunate because my mother was a strong woman and we always had to read our books and concentrate on school.” Pienaar had a successful spell in Holland with Ajax, playing in the Champions League, before a move to Borussia Dortmund saw his career stall. He joined Everton on loan in the summer and wants to shine in the Premier League like his best pal Benni McCarthy at Blackburn. Pienaar added: “I want to establish myself in the Premier League and to make my move permanent. At the moment I’m just here on loan, but it’s not in my mind that I’m here on loan. “I’m here to play football and fight for my place and it’s up to me to make it permanent by showing I deserve to be here.”

Everton Res 2, Man City Res 0
Oct 10 2007
Liverpool Daily Post
EVERTON Reserves earned a creditable victory against a much stronger Manchester City side at the Halton Stadium in the FA Premier Reserve League Northern Section under the watchful eye of manager David Moyes. Former Everton defender Michael Ball and Sun Jihai were in the visitors’ line-up as Andy Holden fielded a young side. A first half of virtually no chances went by, with a few long-range efforts at both ends the only notable action. The second period was better and Everton began to control the game with John Paul Kissock in particular making a nuisance of himself on the left-wing. Aidan Downes had a couple of shots saved by Kasper Schmeichel in the City goal but eventually his persistence paid off. On the hour mark a long free-kick was headed down by Lucas Jutkiewicz for Downes to cleverly move to one side and finish well. Everton then made a couple of substitutions. One of them, Kieran Agard, was in the right place at the right time to slide the ball home on 78 minutes. Sam Williamson nearly caught out Everton keeper John Ruddy with a cross-cum-shot but apart from that City failed to trouble the shot-stopper.
EVERTON RES: Ruddy, Densmore, Boyle, Irving, Dennehy (Molynuex 89), Rodwell, Morrison (Agard 74), Vidarsson, Jutkiewicz, Downes (Harpur 74), Kissock. Subs: Jones, Molyneux, Spencer.
MANCHESTER CITY RES: Schmeichel, Logan, Williamson, M Ball, Breen, Jihai, Ethu, Grimes, Evans, Dabo (D Ball 79), Clayton (Daly79) Subs: Mentel, Vidal, Marshall.

Guide to Everton’s UEFA Cup opponents
Oct 10 2007
by Ian Doyle, Liverpool Daily Post
AE LARISSA home October 25
Coach: Georgios Donis
Colours: Dark red
LARISSA have already caused a stir in this season’s UEFA Cup by eliminating Blackburn Rovers in the first round.
They qualified for the competition following a shock 2-1 win over Panathinaikos in the final of the Greek Cup last season.
It had been an otherwise disappointing season for Larissa as they finished just one point above the relegation zone in the Greek Super League. As recently as 2003, they were in the third tier of competition after going bankrupt. But they then secured back-to-back promotions to return to the top flight. Skippered by former Newcastle defender Nikos Dabizas, their most well-known player to Evertonians is striker Ibrahima Bakayoko, the Ivory Coast striker brought to Goodison by Walter Smith for £4.5million in 1998 only to be sold the following year after scoring just four times. Larissa, managed by former Blackburn winger Georgios Donis, are currently in mid-table, although the start of the Greek domestic league was postponed for a month due to the summer fires in the country.
1.FC NURNBERG away November 8
Coach: Hans Meyer
Colours: Red and black
NURNBERG qualified for the UEFA Cup by virtue of lifting the German Cup, which ensured a first European campaign since 1988-89 and was complemented by a sixth place finish in the Bundesliga. Nurnberg have won the German title nine times, but have been a perennial yo-yo club during the past 40 years and share the record for having been relegated from the Bundesliga the most times.Nurnberg’s key players include Czech midfielder Tomas Galasek, Slovakian forwards Marek Mintal and Robert Vittek, and Greece striker Angelos Charisteas, who scored his country’s winner in the Euro 2004 final against Portugal.
Nurnberg’s 46,780-capacity easyCredit-Stadion was a venue at last year’s World Cup in Germany, England’s 2-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago one of five games held at the stadium.
Hans Meyer’s side are struggling in the Bundesliga this season and currently stand next to bottom with just one win in nine games.
Coach: Dick Advocaat
Colours: Blue
THERE’S a Dutch connection to another of Everton’s group opponents, Zenit St Petersberg. The appointment of Dick Advocaat in May 2006 ushered a new cosmopolitan era at the Russian side, with the Dutchman joined by players such as compatriot Fernando Ricksen, formerly of Rangers, and Turkey star Fatih Tekke. Slovakia, Ukraine, Argentina, Croatia, Belgium, the Czech Republic and Norway are also represented in the squad, while Advocaat has also signed Kim Dong-Jin and Lee Ho from South Korea, the country he coached at last year’s World Cup. Zenit’s best performance in Europe to date is a quarter-final appearance in the UEFA Cup in 2005-06, when they were beaten by eventual winners Sevilla. Squad number 12 is reserved for the Zenit’s fanatical supporters, who are referred to as the 12th man. Zenit finished third last year to qualify for the UEFA Cup. And with the Russian league operating outside the winter months, they currently head the table with just four games of the current season remaining.
AZ ALKMAAR away December 20
Coach: Louis van Gaal
Colours: Red and white
AZ qualified for the UEFA Cup by virtue of their third-place finish in Holland last season – but they’d be forgiven for not celebrating that fact. Ahead of the Dutch Eredivisie on goal difference before the final round of fixtures last season, AZ lost on the last day of the season and PSV Eindhoven took the title. That disappointment was compounded when Ajax won the play-off for the second Champions League spot. AZ, led by former Barcelona coach Louis van Gaal for the past two seasons, reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup last season and the semi-finals in 2004-05. Key players are Brazilian marksman Ari, Croatian goalkeeper Joey Didulica and highly-rated Italian striker Graziano Pelle. However, AZ – who play at the 17,023-capacity DSB Stadion – have underwhelmed this season domestically and currently stand in mid-table.

David Moyes pleased as UEFA Cup draw curtails team’s travels
Oct 10 2007
by Ian Doyle, Liverpool Daily Post
DELIGHTED David Moyes was relieved Everton had avoided any long-distance travelling following yesterday’s UEFA Cup draw.
The Goodison outfit have been placed in Group A alongside Dutch side AZ Alkmaar, Russia’s Zenit St Petersberg, German team FC Nurnberg and Larissa of Greece. With each team only playing the others once, the group games are split between two home and two away ties. And the computerised fixture schedule has favoured Everton who, having trekked to the Ukraine to defeat Metalist Kharkiv in the previous round, will not be asked to make the arduous trips to Russia or Greece. Instead they open the group stage with a home game against Larissa on October 25. It is followed by a trip to Nurnberg on November 8, a home clash with Zenit on December 5 and a final match away in Alkmaar five days before Christmas. And Moyes in anticipating a huge travelling support for the games in Germany and Holland. “I’m quite pleased, it’s a decent draw,” said the Everton manager. “And now that the games have come out, we’re not travelling too far and it’s great for the supporters that they’ll be able to get to the games relatively easily. “To play the Greek team and the Russian team at home is much easier than travelling there. The travel is an issue for the players as well as the supporters, you want to limit the amount of travelling you do. Having a lot of supporters travelling to Holland and Germany will make a difference. It made a difference in Kharkiv, that was fantastic.”
Three of the five teams will qualify for the knockout stage in the new year, and Moyes admits the difficulty posed by Metalist in the first round is an indicator of the standard of opposition Everton can expect next. “How the games will go? Who knows,” said Moyes. “We were given a massive test by Metalist so you can never say there is an easy game now, and you don’t expect any easy games. “All the teams in the group stage are going to enjoy this, as we are. It’s the experience we want. We want to make sure we are one of the three teams. We’re looking forward to it and excited by it. We’re already trying to make arrangements to see the teams and plan the way we do things over the next few weeks.” Like his manager, Goodison centre-back Alan Stubbs is pleased with the combination of fixtures facing Everton, and is confident of progressing through to the final 32. “I think we can go a long way,” he said. “I think the way the draw has been made – the games we have got at home are probably the ones we wanted at home. “We know we are a tough team to beat at Goodison Park and if we can go and get anything away from home in terms of draws or wins it would be a massive help for us. “We will be looking to win at home and at this stage a few wins can more or less guarantee you a place going through.” Of their group opponents, Everton have faced only Nurnberg before in a competitive encounter back in 1964-65 in the first round of the old Inter-Cities Fairs Cup – the predecessor to the UEFA Cup – when a solitary second-leg goal at Goodison from Jimmy Gabriel earned a 2-1 aggregate success. AZ manager Louis van Gaal, a former coach of Barcelona said: “It is a stronger group than in previous years, but it’s not so strong that we are without a chance,” he said. “I find the diversity of the clubs very nice – it’s good that we play the last game against Everton in Alkmaar. There we can put possible mistakes right again.”

David Moyes set to receive triple fitness boost
Oct 10 2007
by Ian Doyle, Liverpool Daily Post
DAVID MOYES could be handed a triple fitness tonic this week – after discovering the latest stage of Everton’s European adventure yesterday. Tim Cahill, Thomas Gravesen and James Vaughan are all poised to take the next step in their return to fitness. Cahill is set for a scan in the hope of being given the green light to resume full training as he recovers from the foot injury that has dogged him since March. The Australian missed the final three months of last season with a broken metatarsal and has since been sidelined again after suffering damage in the same area of the foot during the Goodison friendly with Werder Bremen in July. A recovering Cahill was last month given the go-ahead to begin running. And if the news from the latest scan is similarly encouraging, the midfielder could be in contention for a dramatic comeback in the Goodison derby against Liverpool on Saturday week. Both Gravesen and Vaughan are expected to return to training this week having been sidelined with knee and shoulder injuries respectively. Gravesen, who has made just one substitute appearance since arriving on a season-long loan from Celtic, has been absent since taking a knock in training and subsequently required fluid to be drained from his knee.
Like Cahill, the Denmark midfielder may also force his way into the reckoning for the derby, although the game will come too soon for Vaughan. The striker was ruled out until November at the earliest after sustaining a dislocated shoulder in the pre-season friendly at Preston in July. And given Vaughan’s history of injury problems, Everton have no intention of rushing him back into action. Meanwhile, yesterday’s draw for the group stage of the UEFA Cup handed Everton a tricky task to qualify for the last 32. Moyes’s side have been placed in Group A alongside Dutch side AZ Alkmaar, Zenit St Petersberg of Russia, Germany’s FC Nurnberg and Greek outfit Larissa. The five teams will play each other once – two games at home and two away – with the top three progressing to the knockout stages. Everton begin at home to Larissa on Thursday, October 25 before travelling to face Nurnberg on Thursday, November 8. They then entertain Zenit on Wednesday, December 5 before finishing with a trip to Holland to play Alkmaar on Thursday, December 20. The fixture schedule could cause a headache for the Goodison side. Should Moyes’s men beat Luton Town in the Carling Cup later this month, the quarter-finals are due to be held on the same night as the home game with Zenit. The Carling Cup game would then most likely be brought forward to November. But if Everton were drawn in the last eight against Chelsea, Arsenal or Liverpool, Champions League commitments would mean the tie almost certainly being held over until 2008.

David Moyes plots route to UEFA Cup glory
Oct 10 2007 By Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES was today plotting a lengthy run in Europe after Everton were the beneficiaries of a "pleasing" UEFA Cup draw. Everton’s reward for beating Metalist Kharkiv in the qualifying rounds was being paired with crack Russia side Zenit St Petersburg, Larissa - the Greeks who shocked Blackburn Rovers - AZ Alkmaar and FC Nurnberg. Given some of the tasks they could have faced, Moyes was relieved to finally receive a slice of fortune from a cup draw and was particularly pleased that Everton have avoided two potentially gruelling journeys. Zenit St Petersburg and Larissa will come to Goodison Park with Everton’s itinerary being completed with two short hops to Holland and Germany, and Moyes believes that will be of huge help to his squad’s ambitions. "I am quite pleased," said Moyes. "It is a decent draw now that the games have come out as well. "The travelling isn’t too far and it is great for the supporters because they will be able to get to the games quite easily.
"The Greek team at home and the Russian team at home is much easier than travelling there. "Travelling is an issue for the fans and the team as well. You want to limit the amount of travelling the players have to go through. It can be tiring. "How the games will go, who knows as we were given the maximum test by Metalist so you can never turn around and say there is an easy game. "We know all the teams are going to enjoy being in the group stages - like us. "It is the experience we want and we know three teams qualify, so we have to make sure we are one of those. "The support we had in Kharkiv was fantastic and for so many fans to go so far was great to see. That kind of support is very welcome." The dates that were originally pencilled in for the games on October 27 (Larissa home), November 8 (Nurnberg away), December 5 (Zenit home) and December 20 (Alkmaar away) will stay as they are, but that could mean a knock-on effect for the Carling Cup. Provided Everton get past Luton Town, the date of a potential quarter-final will have to be re-arranged - at present it clashes with the Alkmaar game - and if they happen to be paired against a side in the Champions League, it would not take place until the New Year, as matchday six of that tournament takes place on December 11/ 12. That, though, is a concern for the future and at present Alan Stubbs is savouring the prospect of progressing through to the UEFA Cup’s last 32 and he feels the draw has given them an outstanding chance of doing so. "I think we can go a long way," said Stubbs. "I think the way the draw has been made - the games we have got at home are probably the ones we wanted at home. "We know we are a tough team to beat at Goodison Park and if we can go and get anything away from home in terms of draws or wins it would be a massive help for us." "We will be looking to win at home and at this stage a few wins can more or less guarantee you a place going through."

Blues are looking Bak to the future!
Oct 10 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
THE draw for the the UEFA Cup group stages has left David Moyes and his players with a number of intriguing tasks and Everton correspondent DOMINIC KING takes a closer look at the teams who now stand between the Blues and the last 32.
IBRAHIMA BAKAYOKO may recognise the venue, but the Everton team he will face later this month will bear no resemblance to the one in which he played nine years ago. Back in season 1998/1999, Bakayoko was signed as the striker to shoot the Blues out of their malaise but, for one reason or another, that never happened; when he left for Marseille, the prospect of Everton playing in Europe again were on the leaner side of slim. How things change. Victory over Metalist Kharkiv last Thursday has provided Everton with a chance to take that development as a club a stage further, and it is a challenge which David Moyes is relishing. Yesterday’s draw at UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon has handed Everton assignments against Bakayoko’s current employers Larissa, AZ Alkmaar, Zenit St Petersburg and FC Nurnberg and each one will be gleefully received by supporters, players and management alike.
The next stage in the club’s development, of course, is to get into the group stages of a different European competition but for now, the UEFA Cup will do and Moyes believes the experiences they have between now and Christmas will certainly help.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge we’ve got,” said Moyes. “The win in Kharkiv was not as significant as some might make out. Let’s be fair, we’ve only won a UEFA Cup qualifier. My ambitions are to go and get to a final. “So if that was the height of what I thought was the top then it wouldn’t be very high. To put it into perspective, the importance of the game was that we wanted to get through. I think the future will be a bigger and better Everton and it's always been my goal to try and help the club do that. “Not just because we’ve got through the qualifying stages of the UEFA Cup but also because it’s Everton back in Europe – we don't look like a side which has struggled fifth or sixth bottom of the league, which it certainly was not too long ago.”
AZ Alkmaar
Manager: Louis van Gaal
Key players: Maarten Martens, Boy Waterman, Graziano Pellè
Beat: Pacos De Ferreira 1-0 (h: 0-0/ a: 1-0)
THOUGH they have not made the best of starts to the new Eredivise campaign, it would be dangerous to underestimate any side which is managed by the astute Louis van Gaal. True to form, van Gaal - who took Ajax to the summit of European football in 1995 and is one of Europe’s most decorated coaches - has been busy shaping together a young side that plays with pace and vibrancy and they have been regulars in the UEFA Cup for the past four seasons. Last year, Alkmaar disposed of Newcastle United en route to the quarter-finals and only missed out on a Champions League place after they were beaten 4-2 on aggregate by Ajax at the end of season play-offs in May. Changes have been made since then - leading strikers Shota Averladze and Danny Koevermans were sold during the summer - but van Gaal’s insistence that his side play attacking football means they will be difficult opponents.
So while they do not boast many household names, there is no shortage of talent; in goal, Boy Waterman played a major role in helping Holland retain the Under-21 European Championships in June and the Brazilian forward Ari spearheads their attack. Typical of so many stadia in Holland, Alkmaar’s DSB Stadion home possesses a terrific atmosphere despite it’s limited capacity - a full house is just over 17,000 - and the night Everton travel to Holland should be one of their more lively trips.
FC Nurnberg
Manager: Hans Meyer
Key players: Angelos Charisteas, Tomás Galásek, Lars Jacobsen
Beat: Rapid Bucharest 2-2 on away goals (h: 0-0/ a: 2-2)
THIS should have been the season when Nurnberg made a sustained attempt to break up the established German order of Bayern Munich, Bayer Leverkusen and VFB Stuttgart but they could not have got off to a more disastrous start. Last year’s winners of the DFB Pokal - the German Cup - are currently second bottom of the Bundesliga and in danger of becoming detached after winning just one of their opening nine games, which is completely out of context for the way things have gone under Hans Meyer. Since he took over from the magnificently named Wolfgang Wolf, Meyer has galvanised the fortunes one of Germany’s most traditional clubs and only Bayern Munich have won more Bundesliga titles. Having scraped through to the group stages by the skin of their teeth - Zvjezdan Misimovic’s goal enabled them to sneak past Rapid Bucharest - Everton need not make the trip to the easy-Credit Stadion, which was a venue during the 2006 World Cup, in fear. That said, they still have some excellent players - Angelos Charisteas scored Greece’s winning goal in Euro 2004, Tomáš Galásek numbers Ajax among his former clubs, while Moyes had a look a Danish right-back Lars Jacobsen last season - and will not make things easy.
Nurnberg also have some of the most passionate supporters in Germany - every home game this season has been a sell-out and they will be out in force again when Everton make their first trip to Germany since they played Munich in 1985.
Manager: Georgios Donis
Key players: Ibrahima Bakayoko, Cleyton, Marcelo Sarmiento
Beat: Blackburn 3-2 (h: 2-0/ a: 1-2)
SPRUNG one of the biggest shocks of the knockout round when they toppled Blackburn Rovers but are already early favourites to end up Group A’s whipping boys. The Brazilian forward Cleyton is the man of whom most will be expected if Larissa are to have any chance of progressing - he scored in both legs against Blackburn - but it will be intriguing to see Ibrahima Bakayoko at Goodison Park again. True, he failed to set the world alight when he arrived in 1998 and it was no surprise when he was sold to Marseille barely 12 months later but he did score two vital goals - ironically at Blackburn - to help Everton beat the drop. That alone should ensure he receives a generous ovation.
Zenit St Petersburg
Manager: Dick Advocaat
Key players: Anatoliy Tymoschuk, Fernando Ricksen, Fatih Tekke.
Beat: Standard Liege 4-1 (h: 3-0/ a: 1-1)
THE undisputed dark horses of Group A and Everton will be thankful they do not have to make a long and taxing journey to St Petersburg in the depths of winter.

Sponsored by Gazprom, one of the biggest gas companies in the world, Zenit are now viewed as Russia’s richest club and are expected to usurp the traditional super powers in Moscow to become Russia’s leading club. Managed by the vastly experienced Dick Advocaat, a man who has coached at the highest level for many years, Zenit made things difficult for Bolton Wanderers when they played them at the same stage of the competition two years ago and only lost 1-0 at the Reebok Stadium. They have, though, improved significantly since then. Technically gifted and awkward to play against, Advocaat has added quality to his squad in the shape of Ukrainian captain Anatoliy Tymoschuk and Dutch midfielder Fernando Ricksen. Up front, Fatih Tekke - who was linked with a move to Goodison Park in January 2006 – has a record for scoring goals consistently and there is little doubt Zenit will be a danger to all in Group A. Moyes, no doubt, will want Everton’s fortunes wrapped by the time they arrive at Goodison.

The jury
Oct 11 2007
What is your reaction to the UEFA Cup draw?
Liverpool Echo
THE UEFA Cup draw couldn’t have been kinder to Evertonians with trips to Germany and Holland on the horizon.
The cost of flights to Nuremberg and Amsterdam were more surprising than one of Rafa Benitez’s bizarre team sheets, though, as prices spun out of control. Come the group stages, Zenith St Petersburg will be much more threatening than any of our other opponents.Two wins in the group and it’s the knockout stages, and from there it’s whichever team wants it most on the day.
Away from home Everton should revert to the 4-5-1 formation where Tim Cahill breaks from deep and scores lots of crucial goals for us. It will be a massive boost to have him back in action. So the European adventure continues, and who knows what will happen. We could even end up crossing Stanley Park to play our neighbours in the knockout stages! TONY SCOTT, Walton
THE main feeling to come out of the UEFA Cup draw is that things could have been a lot worse.Larissa may have knocked out Blackburn in the last round, but they are still the lowest ranked side in the group.Facing them at home in the first game gives us a huge advantage to make a good start.It will, of course, be interesting to welcome striker Ibrahima Bakayoko back to Goodison.
Zenit St Petersburg could have been a terrible away trip in a really tough environment, but the fact that we have drawn them at home, while only having to travel to Germany and Holland, could well put us in a good position to go through to the next stage.
Nuremberg and Alkmaar will be tough trips no doubt, but with three teams qualifying from the group, if we win our two home games that could be just enough to ensure we march on. DEBBIE SMAJE, Upholland OF all the teams we could have got, we couldn’t have got a better draw. On paper, we should walk the group, however, this is Everton! Whenever we come across a team we should beat convincingly, it doesn’t happen. You only need refer to the Bucharest and Metalist games to prove this, therefore Everton must learn from their mistakes quickly. We don’t have two years to prepare for our next European game now; we only have around two weeks, so consistency is vital. Furthermore, the team need to take games in their stride – stop panicking and start to relax more instead of throwing all they’ve got at the opposition at kick-off. However, we cannot just focus on the UEFA Cup, we have to consider the league, Carling Cup and, if we progress in Europe, come January, we also have the FA Cup, so staying injury free is a must. With Cahill, Gravesen and Vaughan due back soon, I see no reason why we can’t be considered as good candidates for silverware. MICHAEL DRUMMOND, Speke THE UEFA Cup draw may look to have gone in our favour, but it’s important that we don’t get ahead of ourselves. We can count ourselves extremely lucky to even be in the draw and not too many of us would have expected to be hearing that when we were first paired with Metalist. The shocking performance in the Ukraine will be an important lesson for the manager (don’t employ untried long ball tactics against a side that matched us all over the pitch in a serious fixture). Moyes’ decision to leave out Leighton Baines was a poor one. The performance against Middlesbrough should not have merited Alan Stubbs with a start against Metalist when Baines has been one of our top performers all season.
Rash decisions have to be left at home if we are to progress. We can’t afford to experiment with unused game plans against teams we know very little about.

Better be Faddy if you fancy a flutter on Scots, says Naysmith
Oct 13 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
JAMES McFADDEN has come up trumps for Gary Naysmith once already during Scotland’s giddy push for Euro 2008 and he is backing him to do the same again this weekend. Everton striker McFadden has been the centre of attention this past month after scoring a number of spectacular goals for club and country, most notably thumping left-foot efforts against France in the Parc des Princes and Metalist Kharkiv in the UEFA Cup. Having spent four years sharing a dressing room with him at Goodison Park, Naysmith – now of Sheffield United – knows only too well the kind of pyrotechnics McFadden is capable of producing and backed that belief with hard cash when Scotland played Lithuania five weeks ago. Recuperating from an injury that had sidelined him for a month, Naysmith had spoken to a disgruntled McFadden the night before that game and reassured him that he would still have a role to play even though he was starting from the bench. Placing a wager on McFadden to be the last goalscorer, his old pal came up trumps with a terrific strike but another bet three days later meant he missed the goal that has put Scotland within touching distance of a place in Austria and Switzerland. “I watched the France game at home,” said Naysmith, taking up the story. “I had put a coupon on for the night and turned over to check the other scores when I heard Gordon McQueen shout ‘Goal!’. Like the majority of people, I couldn’t believe it. No, I didn’t back France! “Faddy did win me money on the Saturday, when I backed him to be last goalscorer, so he got me my money back. Of course, I knew what Faddy was capable of. I knew he was disappointed not to start against Lithuania and was a bit down. “But I said to him on the phone that he was always going to be brought on, no matter the what circumstances. He came on, looked the part, and has taken that into the France game; not just the goal, he had a hard task on his own against one of the best defences in the world. “His confidence was up from the Saturday game and he hit a shot that he maybe wouldn’t have hit if he hadn’t scored on the Saturday. He’s got a lot in the locker and is a very important player for Scotland and Everton.” Not surprisingly, Everton’s number 11 is riding on the crest of a wave at the minute and having proved the scourge of Kharkiv in Ukraine nine days ago would love nothing more than to repeat the feat against their national side. “Hopefully I can do it again,” said McFadden. “I’ve got a couple of big games to look forward to. My confidence is high at the moment. That’s mainly because I’ve been scoring goals and because of my performances. Scoring goals give you the most confidence ever. “And everybody is on exactly the same wavelength, the players share the same mindset as the fans. We know we can deliver for Scotland You’ve got to believe you’re going to win every game and we all share this belief now.” Naysmith ended his seven-year stay at Goodison in the summer, dropping down to the Championship in order to secure regular first team football. With his old club ready to embark on a European adventure and well positioned in the league, does he have any regrets? “Not at all,” he replied. “I needed to play every week and it wasn’t happening at Everton. I know that if I don’t perform well at Sheffield United, I’ll be out the team but I felt I had a better chance of playing. I was coming to Scotland squads and felt a bit short but not through injury.
“I hadn’t been picked for Everton so that was hard. International level is a step up and its more difficult if you are not playing for your club. Sheffield United are a big club, I get to work with Bryan Robson and Brian Kidd and haven’t had to move house so it has worked out for me.” Another former Blue, meanwhile, is hoping to put the gloss on a terrific career by helping Scotland qualify for a first major tournament since 1998 but David Weir knows his dreams are threatened by a player who is now earning a living on Merseyside. “You only have to look at the standard of their players and the results of their club sides to realise we can’t take this game lightly,” said Weir, a veteran of 269 Everton appearances and 58 Scotland caps. “Ukraine are full of quality and there’s no way this is ever going to be a pushover. “We realise as a team we can't just turn up and expect to win – that’s been shown in the past. We’re not at a stage, I don't think anyone is, where you expect to win. Andriy Shevchenko and the lad at Liverpool Andriy Voronin are exceptional talents and we’ll need to watch them closely.”

When the case for the defence is non-existent
Oct 13 2007 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
RAFA BENITEZ and David Moyes were united last weekend . . . in the shared belief that dodgy defending cost their clubs dear. Maybe they’ll think differently when they cast their eye down this list of proper defensive howlers.
1 THE bare statistics say Everton 1, Manchester United 0 . . . Frank Stapleton own goal. The reality for the 20,542 who watched the 1985 Screen Sports Super Cup group match was infinitely more colourful. Stapleton had enjoyed an outstanding match against Gary Lineker as an emergency centre-half, so good that when Lineker lobbed a shot over Gary Bailey and the ball was heading for an exposed Gwladys Street net, he didn’t try to boot clear. Frank caught up with the ball and tried to trap it sweetly with his instep. But he shinned it into the unguarded goal.
2 IT was the FA Cup goal which spawned several songs, all classics. From the lilting strains of Dean Martin’s Amore: “Whose the twit (ahem) at the back who’ll get Houllier the sack? That’s Traore!” To the more uptempo disco classic: “He just can’t, he just can’t, he just can’t control his feet!” Attempting something imaginative inside his own six yard box, Traore could only hook the ball past the bemused Jerzy Dudek.
3 YOU don’t have to score an own goal to commit a defensive howler, ask poor old David Unsworth and Marco Materazzi. The future World Cup winner played his partner into trouble in a relegation showdown at the end of the 1998/99 season, and Unsy compounded the error by passing straight to Benito Carbone. The little Italian said Ciao!
A few minutes later Materazzi offered a Carbone-copy, another disastrous backpass, another easy finish for the Sheffield Wednesday striker.
4 LIVERPOOL boasted a world class keeper and an even better striker in the 1970s – but you wouldn’t have thought so at Hampden Park in 1976. Scotland’s Dalglish twisted and turned, then unleashed a powderpuff shot that trickled towards his future team-mate. Maybe it was the lack of pace on the shot which kidded Clem, as the ball sneaked apologetically through his legs and barely crossed the line.
5 IT wasn’t immediately apparent what he’d done wrong at Wembley, but Howard Kendall was furious with the little winger. Brought on as a substitute in the 1986 Charity Shield for his Everton debut, he enthusiastically chased around for 15 minutes . . . happily ignoring his manager’s signals from the dug-out. He couldn’t ignore the number which was subsequently held up, however . . . his own.
6 IT was arguably the greatest own goal of all-time . . . the afternoon that Gary Sprake readied himself to throw the ball to Terry Cooper, spotted Ian Callaghan edging towards the full-back – and tried to pull the ball into his chest to abort the action.
Instead he tossed the ball over his shoulder and into the Kop goal. It is said, that referee Jim Finney asked Jack Charlton what had happened and what he should do.
Jack dryly replied: “I think the silly so and so has thrown it in his own net; you’ll have to give a goal.” During the break, the home club’s disc jockey waggishly featured Des O'Connor’s number one hit of the time, ‘Careless Hands’, and The Scaffold’s ‘Thank U Very Much.’
7YOU could perm any one from four of Everton’s equalising goals in the famous 4-4 draw in 1991 . . . but maybe it was Tony Cottee’s second, the goal which Jan Molby and Glenn Hysen both dummied, that finally pushed Kenny Dalglish over the edge.
Just 48 hours later he had resigned.
8 IT was the pass which turned a Cup Final. Leading 1-0 and looking comfortable against their rivals for the League and Cup double, Stevens tried a sloppy pass down the Wembley line . . . but gifted possession to Liverpool’s most creative player.
Jan Molby took ruthless advantage, threading the ball through for Rush to equalise.
The Reds went on to win 3-1.
9 NOT all back-passes are hair-tearing moments. When Peter Reid hustled Kevin Brock into an ill-advised pass back in January 1984, Everton’s entire season was about to turn. Adrian Heath took advantage and scored a priceless equaliser.
The moment has gone down in Everton folklore.
1THEY could be the longest range own goals of all-time.
At least Mick Lyons didn’t have TV cameras to worry about at Anfield when he lobbed into his own net from 25 yards in 1979.
Ronnie Whelan, however, had his Old Trafford carbon copy captured for posterity . . . leaving his face greener than his shirt.

Sky’s the limit in kids’ bid to help Nev charity
Oct 13 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
DASHING between locations by helicopter is something that only jockeys do. But Phil Neville is aiming to raise cash for a worthy cause by taking to the skies next month. Everton skipper Phil and his wife Julie are patrons of the New Children’s Hospital Appeal and the charity hopes to raise £20m to help build a state of the art facility in Manchester that will benefit children all over the north west.
One of the initiatives designed to raise funds is ‘Not Bothered Day’ which will see children ditch their uniforms for a day – on November 14 – for a £1 donation and every school that takes part has a chance to win £1,000 worth of adidas sporting equipment. “Not Bothered Day is a great opportunity for children to have fun, ditch their school uniforms and help a great charity at the same time,” said Phil.
The winning school will also be visited by Phil and Julie to say thanks for their efforts, and pupils will be given a chance to take part in a question and answer session with the England player. Any schools in Merseyside who want to take part can ring 0161 276 4522 or fill in a registration form by logging on to ww.newchildrenshospitalappeal.co.uk

Credit due as Goodison aims to pack in crowds
Oct 13 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
PLAYING in Europe often provides clubs with a chance to hike up ticket prices and squeeze every last penny out of supporters by launching new kits or any range of tacky souvenirs. But while this column has poked fun in the past at some of Everton’s marketing decisions, it is only right that the club is given a pat on the back for its decision to keep admission prices down for UEFA Cup games at Goodison Park with Larissa and Zenit St Petersburg. With entry to the stadium costing season ticket holders £15 (concessions £5) and rising slightly to £20 (£10 concessions) on general sale, the Blues should get close to a capacity crowd for both fixtures and ensure a vibrant atmosphere. Given that the pressure is off slightly, the tension and anxiety which was almost tangible when Metalist Kharkiv visited last month should disappear and allow Evertonians to create their own special European nights. The draw could not have kinder - Everton have been spared any lengthy trips and the teams they have been pitted against are certainly all beatable - and two home victories would all but guarantee their place in the competition’s last 32. All beng well, they will get the crowds to match. Tickets are on sale exclusivly to season ticket holders untilWednesday (October 17) before they go on general sale and are available either from the Park End box office, by calling 0870 442 1878 or by going online.
Everton haveconfirmed kick-off times and dates for the Premier League fixtures affected by their European involvement; the away games against Derby and Chelsea take place on Sunday 28 October and Sunday 11 November. Both matches kick-off at 2pm.

It’s sad to say bye to Bellefield
Oct 13 2007 by Barry Horne, Liverpool Echo
VERY few clubs have training grounds that are instantly recognisable by name.
Everton and Liverpool, however, buck that trend. Bellefield and Melwood are known throughout British football. Bellefield was built when Everton were known as the Mersey Millionaires and it was a modern, state of the art complex.
Sadly its doors closed for the final time last week and Everton have moved on to a new, state of the art facility in south Liverpool. While Bellefield fell behind the times in recent years, it still leaves a host of fond memories. Many ex-players recall Yogi the Bellefield dog, the assorted groundstaff and the canteen staff who gave the place a wonderful charm. Certainly the collection of colourful characters who used to congregate at the training ground every morning were legendary. Whenever a new manager was appointed they were generally waiting at his desk to greet him!
But now it is time to move on. Bellefield has served Everton FC well and it will always evoke many happy memories.

Scotland 3-1 Ukraine
Miller 3, McCulloch 10, McFadden 69; Shevchenko 24
The feelgood factor that Scottish football was basking in before today now risks reaching go-crazy status following a victory over Ukraine that brings the Tartan Army ever closer to the Euro 2008 finals. Early goals from Kenny Miller and Lee McCulloch put the home side ahead but a 24th-minute strike from Andriy Shevchenko led to moments of high excitement and teeth-gnashing tension before James McFadden - him again - triggered wild celebrations by sealing three precious points in the 69th minute

' Title not going to Anfield' - Alan Stubbs
Oct 15 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
ALAN STUBBS claims Rafa Benitez is still no closer to ending Liverpool’s 17-year title famine. Stubbs l is counting down the days until the derby at Goodison Park on Saturday and given Everton could draw level on points with their neighbours this weekend, Stubbs is suitably motivated and would love nothing than to help get the three points. Still bristling from Benitez’s comments after February’s meeting at Anfield when he referred to Everton as being a “small club”, Stubbs hopes those words come back to haunt Liverpool’s manager, who he feels will miss out on the Premier League title once again. “Of course the derby means as much to Liverpool as it does to Everton,” said Stubbs. “If it doesn’t, they have a big old problem. If you’re not really that bothered about winning against your local rivals, maybe you should be looking at yourself. “We don’t see ourselves as a small club, not at all. If they feel they are that much bigger than us, they should have been getting better results. Like winning the League. When you spend that much money, £40-50m, you would expect to be closer than they have been. “That’s what Liverpool fans would say if you asked them. We beat them 3-0 – and you don’t get a result like that by luck.” Stubbs, Everton’s man-of-the-match in February’s Derby, is quick to point out that he respects the job Benitez has done since he took over from Gerard Houllier in 2004 but still does not think Liverpool have enough ammunition to be crowned champions.
“I do think Manchester United will win it and Arsenal will be the serious challengers this year,” he said. “United are already right up there without having hit top form yet. Arsenal used to rely on Thierry Henry too much. “Without him the onus is on the young players and they have been inspired by that. The thing about Liverpool is that I don't know if he (Benitez) has found his best team. I don't know if he has found the balance he's looking for. “He keeps saying he will pick players who are looking good in training. I think sometimes you get training-ground players who don't do it in a game. And sometimes you get players who aren't good in training but are much better in a match situation. “Benitez has done a good job since he arrived but a lot of Liverpool fans are getting disgruntled. They want to be challenging but have seen them getting draws at home to teams they think they should be beating because he has been resting players. “I hope he picks the wrong team against us although for me, in Steven Gerrard they have the best midfielder in the world.”

Frankfurt Ladies 2, Everton Ladies 1
Oct 15 2007 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON LADIES suffered their second defeat in the Women’s UEFA Cup as they lost 2-1 to former champions Frankfurt. Mo Marley’s team can still qualify for the quarter-finals but they have a mountain to climb. The Blues were looking to bounce back after opening the second phase with a 2-1 defeat to Rapide Wezemaal on Thursday. But their preparation was poor as a number of mix-ups in the team hotel meant the Blues didn’t get a proper pre-match meal and the kick-off time was moved forward two hours at short notice. Despite all the setbacks, the Blues had the best possible start. England midfielder Fara Williams opened the scoring after just three minutes but just before the half hour mark former World Player of the Year Birgit Prinz levelled. The Blues had chances to take the lead but they couldn’t take them and two minutes into stoppage time disaster struck when substitute Conny Pohlers stole the points. From a corner, Pohlers found space at the far post and was left free to prod the ball home. Disappointed and deflated by the late goal, the Blues must now pick themselves up for the final group game tomorrow against Valur Reykjavik.
“We’ve played well since we’ve been out here, but we’ve got nothing to show for our efforts, ” said Everton coach Keith Marley. “I think if we win 4-0 against Valur we should be through.” Everton kick off their match against Valur at 6.30pm tomorrow.

Now Lee Carsley looks to World Cup qualifiers
Oct 15 2007 Liverpool Echo
LEE CARSLEY is ready to spearhead the Republic of Ireland midfield into the 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign. It was after considerable debate Carsley finally returned to the international scene 12 months ago following a three-year absence.
The Everton midfielder retired from international football in 2003 as he chose to focus on his club and family at the time. But despite the fact Ireland are virtually guaranteed to miss out on next summer’s Euro 2008 finals, the 33-year-old Carsley has no intention of hanging up his Republic boots again. “I’m just taking it game by game to be honest, but I enjoyed the game,” said Carsley following a fine performance in the goalless qualifying draw with Germany in Dublin. “I’ve always said if I’m playing well at Everton, then I don’t see a reason why I can’t continue. “My old club mate David Weir is still playing for Scotland, and he is 37. “I’m not saying I’m going to carry on to that age, but I feel good, so I’m going to keep going.” One of the reasons is Carsley can see the progress that has been made over the past year under manager Steve Staunton. Although Staunton’s name was booed by a large number of supporters towards the end of the interval as it was announced over the tannoy as the answer to a quiz question, Carsley believes the signs are encouraging for the next campaign. “It was a great display against Germany, something we needed,” he added. “All in all we are happy with our work, and disappointed not to have won.”

‘Lescott will win plenty more caps’ - Phil Neville
Oct 15 2007
by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
PHIL NEVILLE today hailed Joleon Lescott’s graduation from rising star to full England international and predicted his cap against Estonia would be the first of many. Having been one of Everton’s most consistent performers since his move from Wolves in June 2006, Lescott’s progress was rewarded on Saturday as he came on as a substitute during England’s 3-0 win over Estonia.
And he might not have to wait long to make a second appearance for his country - Ashley Cole is out of Wednesday’s qualifier in Russia and Lescott is in contention to fill in at left-back. Neville and Reading’s Nicky Shorey are also vying to start but Everton’s skipper has no doubt that Lescott will prove a more than able deputy if Steve McClaren opts to use him in the Luzhniki Stadium. “You get your rewards for hard work and I was absolutely delighted for Joleon when he came on,” said Neville, who was capped for the 59th time against Estonia. “He’s been terrific for us ever since he came here and fully deserves to be in the England squad. He is improving all the time and it wouldn’t surprise me if Steve McClaren is thinking of starting with him against Russia. It’s a massive game but I’ve got no doubt that Joleon would pass the test. “He’s quick, strong and powerful - a proper athlete. He’s got great talent and composure and basically he has every attribute you want going into a big game. He certainly wouldn’t let anyone down if he is selected. “I love playing for my country and everyone wants to be involved in these occasions but if Joleon was selected ahead of me, I would be absolutely made up for him. He is going to win a lot of caps and is going to become an increasingly influential player for Everton.” Lescott was thrilled to win his first cap. “It was great, it’s always been an ambition of mine to represent my country and I've done that now,” he said. “The crowd were exceptional and the boys made me feel easy, Joe Cole especially. He was showing for me all the time and talking to me, so it was a great experience.” If England win on Wednesday, they will secure a ticket to Euro 2008 and Neville would have a chance of featuring in his fourth European Championships. Neville said: “We go there looking for the win and we are on a high after five consecutive 3-0 wins but Russia still have a chance of qualifying and they will see this as a big opportunity. “We have just got to make sure we do a professional job in Moscow.”

Lee Carsley looks to a long playing record with Irish
Oct 15 2007
by Ian Parkes, Liverpool Daily Post
LEE CARSLEY is ready to spearhead the Republic of Ireland midfield into the 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign. It was after considerable debate Carsley finally returned to the international scene 12 months ago following a three-year absence.
The Everton midfielder retired from international football in 2003 as he chose to focus on his club and family at the time. But despite the fact Ireland are virtually guaranteed to miss out on next summer’s Euro 2008 finals, the 33-year-old Carsley has no intention of hanging up his Republic boots again. “I’m just taking it game by game to be honest, but I enjoyed last night,” said Carsley following a fine performance in the goalless qualifying draw with Germany at Dublin’s Croke Park. “I’ve always said if I’m playing well at Everton, then I don’t see a reason why I can’t continue. “My old club mate David Weir is still playing for Scotland, and he is 37. “I’m not saying I’m going to carry on to that age, but I feel good, so I’m going to keep going.”
One of the reasons is Carsley can see the progress that has been made over the past year under manager Steve Staunton. Although Staunton’s name was booed by a large number of supporters towards the end of the half-time interval as it was announced over the tannoy as the answer to a quiz question, Carsley believes the signs are encouraging for the next campaign. “It was a great display against Germany, something we needed,” he added. “We had a few chances, and I can’t remember Shay (Given) making any great saves, or them having any clear-cut chances. “All in all we are happy with our work, and disappointed not to have won. But everyone wants to do well, especially for the manager, and Germany would have been a fantastic scalp.
“But like he (Staunton) says, we are building, and hopefully this is another positive step forward. “Against a top-quality side, last night’s result gives us a lot to look forward to.” Germany duly claimed their place at next summer’s Euro 2008 finals but for only the second time in nine Group D qualifying matches they dropped points, and on another night the scoreline. The Republic now need to win their final two matches against Cyprus on Wednesday and then Wales next month, while hoping the Czech Republic lose all three of their remaining matches. hey had the best opportunity of the game, but captain Robbie Keane could not squeeze his shot home. Stephen Kelly and Charlton’s Andy Reid, fit after shaking off an ankle injury, combined to set up Keane. But the Tottenham striker saw his shot from a tight angle blocked by Jens Lehmann, the goalkeeper out of favour at Arsenal but still first choice on the international front. The best German chance prior to the interval arrived in the 37th minute, with Steve Finnan clearing off the line a near-post header from Christoph Metzelder. Ireland should have taken the lead in the opening five minutes after the break. Their initial opportunity was fortuitous as Carsley, booked in the first half and who will now miss the home game with Cyprus on Wednesday, hung up a cross to the far post from a short corner that had a back-tracking Lehmann scrambling to tip the ball over the bar. Then Keane beat the offside trap, but with only Lehmann to beat, the Republic’s all-time 31-goal leading scorer fluffed his attempted chip from 12 yards into the welcoming arms of the keeper.

ABOVE: Fernando Torres
16th October 2007 Daily Star
Liverpool striker Fernando Torres is confident he will be fit for Saturday's Merseyside derby clash with Everton. Torres suffered a thigh injury in training with Spain last week and was initially expected to be out for eight to 10 days, but the former Atletico Madrid man is determined to make his derby debut. "I intend to be fit for the Everton game on Saturday. I don't want to miss out on the derby, because it is such an important game," the Reds' club-record signing told The Mirror. Torres is now undergoing fitness work at Liverpool's Melwood training headquarters in a bid to be fit to face the Toffees. Liverpool spokesman Ian Cotton said: "Fernando has been assessed by the club's medical staff and underwent a scan which confirmed an adductor injury. He will now undergo intensive treatment at Melwood."

ABOVE: Mikel Arteta
16th October 2007 Daily Star
Mikel Arteta's agent is not surprised by reports that Real Madrid are interested in the Everton midfielder. Arteta has been in superb form for David Moyes' side this season and the Spanish press are linking him with a return to his homeland as Real coach Bernd Schuster looks to shake up his squad at the Bernabeu. The midfielder's agent Inaki Ibanez told Spanish sports newspaper Marca: "No-one from Real Madrid has come to us. But it is normal that a great club is interested in Arteta because he is doing very well."

Rally call to Blues over stadium
Oct 16 2007
by Nick Coligan, Liverpool Echo
CAMPAIGNERS trying to stop Everton FC leaving the city boundaries will address a council meeting tomorrow. Members of the Keep Everton In Our City (KEIOC) group will make their case at Liverpool town hall during a full meeting of the council. A speech by KEIOC spokesman Dave Kelly will precede a possible debate about the public agreement between council leader Warren Bradley and opposition leader Joe Anderson to work together to “secure Everton’s future within the city’s boundaries”. Cllr Anderson will call for a meeting with officials to discuss the club’s formal position regarding Kirkby and Liverpool sites, what its land requirements are and what help it would need to redevelop Goodison Park.Mr Kelly said: “We believe this meeting could be Everton’s most important fixture of the season. “The public gallery at the town hall will be open tomorrow night, so we would urge every Evertonian interested in the ground issue to attend.”

Kieren Agard leads way as Crewe derailed
Oct 16 2007
Academy Football
by Chris Wright, Liverpool Daily Post
IF there were any worries about how Everton under-18s would react to their first defeat of the Premier Academy League season they were answered in emphatic fashion with stunning 5-0 victory at Crewe Alexandra on Saturday.
Neil Dewsnip’s side saw their unbeaten start ended by North West group leaders Manchester City last week but they bounced back in superb fashion with two goals from Kieren Agard and others from Jack Rodwell, Louis Codling and Lee Molyneux put them back on track. Everton were 4-0 up at the break as Everton ran riot. Twice they had efforts cleared off the line and they also struck the woodwork. Londoner Agard opened the scoring within a minute when James McCarten headed back across goal for the striker to score. Then England youth international Rodwell quickly added a second following a free-kick from Danny Redmond. Codling fired in his fifth goal of the season with an excellent 25-yard shot. And Everton added a fourth when left-back Molyneux rifled in a low left-footed free-kick from 25 yards into the bottom corner. Everton continued to create chances throughout the second half and could have at least doubled their goals tally, but in the end they could only add one more soon after the break, through Kieren Agard. Dewsnip was naturally delighted with his side. He said: “It was a great performance. I was very, very pleased with the mentality, but I have to say I am not surprised by it. They are a smashing set of lads. The defeat (against Manchester City) hurt them, but motivated them. “We had numerous chances right throughout the game and could have scored even more, but what was just as pleasing was we defended correctly and kept a clean sheet.” Everton will aim to continue their form when they welcome Blackburn Rovers this Friday evening (kick-off 7pm). Striker Codling was taken off as a precaution last week after getting a knock, but Everton are hopeful he will be fit.
EVERTON U18s: McEntagart; Stewart, Molyneux, McCarten, Sinnott; Rodwell (Akpan 70), O’Kane, Redmond, Krenn (McCready 70); Agard, Codling (Powell 45). Subs: Stubhaug, Baxter.

Real Madrid interest in Mikel Arteta 'normal'
Oct 16 2007
Liverpool Echo
MIKEL ARTETA'S agent is not surprised by reports that Real Madrid are interested in the midfielder.
Arteta has been in superb form for the Blues this season and is being linked in Spain with a return to his homeland as Real coach Bernd Schuster looks to shake up his squad at the Bernabeu. The midfielder's agent Inaki Ibanez told Spanish sports newspaper Marca: "No-one from Real Madrid has come to us. But it is normal that a great club is interested in Arteta because he is doing very well." The 25-year-old has also been linked to Chelsea and Real Zaragoza in recent weeks.

Nigel Martyn: Blues desperate to prove derby point
Oct 16 2007 by Nigel Martyn, Liverpool Echo
TENSION levels will increase by the minute in the run up to Saturday’s derby game and it’s clear to see Alan Stubbs is pumped up for the occasion. No wonder. I only had the privilege to play in a handful of this city’s local tussles but each was an unforgettable experience and the one victory in which I played – back in December 2004 – was one of the pivotal moments en route to us finishing fourth.
Once again this weekend, there is plenty at stake but – not that it wouldn’t have been the case anyway – you can rest assured that my old team-mates will be running themselves into the ground as this is the first meeting since Rafa Benitez’s infamous ‘small club’ remark. It would be nice to think that the Liverpool manager’s comments were lost in translation but he is a clever man and it’s clear that there was obviously a hidden agenda and when players as proud as Alan hear comments like that, it gets their backs up. I notice Alan never pulled any punches in a interview he did at the weekend about Benitez and Liverpool’s title prospects and will have known exactly what he was doing when giving them; he will also know, though, the best way of making Benitez pay for those comments – on the pitch. After seeing the wheels come off slightly before the international break, Benitez will be desperate for Liverpool to get a win – as much for his own sanity as anything else – but Everton need the points just as much and you just know the atmosphere will be absolutely electric.
As was the case in 2004 and last year, David Moyes will be telling his squad just how much impetus can be gained from beating Liverpool and there is no reason why the players he selects should walk out worrying. Quite the opposite. There will be a real belief among the lads that they can get something, even if they will be viewed by many as underdogs going into the game; they’ve taken great pleasure in upsetting the odds before and can do it again. I remember the first derby in which I played at Anfield in January 2004; nobody gave us a hope but we played well, stuck to our tasks and secured a 0-0 draw but we felt a bit aggrieved that we didn’t sneak a winner, as Jerzy Dudek made a couple of good saves. A lot of people afterwards gave me the man-of-the-match award and I made one of the best saves I ever did playing for Everton from Steven Gerrard but the only satisfaction I got from it was the knowledge that I had played my part in the performance. I hadn’t been at the club long and I felt I owed the manager and supporters a performance as he had rescued me from rotting in the reserves at Leeds, while I’d been given tremendous backing by the fans, even though I’d turned down a move to Goodison a few years earlier. The feeling in the dressing room afterwards was fantastic but it was topped when we beat Liverpool the following December and I hope it’s an emotion all the players involved on Saturday will be feeling around 3pm.
Faddy gives Moyes headache
EVERY time James McFadden pulls on a Scotland shirt he seems to do something spectacular but will his heroics secure him a starting place in the derby?
Of course his confidence will be going through the roof at present and let’s hope he scores another for Scotland in Georgia tomorrow evening but the fact that Faddy has been involved in such high-profile games might just count against him.
Only David Moyes knows the answer to that but he will be delighted that Faddy is giving him such selection problems; unpredictable and capable of brilliance, he is a match-winner and getting better all the time. Maybe he can become Everton’s ace in the pack too.
Lescott is worthy of plaudits
I’LL never forget Gary Lineker telling me that my name had lengthened after I had made my international debut in 1992 and Joleon Lescott will now appreciate those sentiments. Every time he is talked about now it will be as “Joleon Lescott of Everton and England” and he fully deserves to have won his first cap. He is going to be a terrific central defender in the next couple of years but if he can pick up a few caps at left-back as well then all the better. Hopefully it will be the first of many.

Nigel Martyn: Blues desperate to prove derby point
Oct 16 2007 by Nigel Martyn, Liverpool Echo
TENSION levels will increase by the minute in the run up to Saturday’s derby game and it’s clear to see Alan Stubbs is pumped up for the occasion. No wonder. I only had the privilege to play in a handful of this city’s local tussles but each was an unforgettable experience and the one victory in which I played – back in December 2004 – was one of the pivotal moments en route to us finishing fourth.
Once again this weekend, there is plenty at stake but – not that it wouldn’t have been the case anyway – you can rest assured that my old team-mates will be running themselves into the ground as this is the first meeting since Rafa Benitez’s infamous ‘small club’ remark. It would be nice to think that the Liverpool manager’s comments were lost in translation but he is a clever man and it’s clear that there was obviously a hidden agenda and when players as proud as Alan hear comments like that, it gets their backs up. I notice Alan never pulled any punches in a interview he did at the weekend about Benitez and Liverpool’s title prospects and will have known exactly what he was doing when giving them; he will also know, though, the best way of making Benitez pay for those comments – on the pitch. After seeing the wheels come off slightly before the international break, Benitez will be desperate for Liverpool to get a win – as much for his own sanity as anything else – but Everton need the points just as much and you just know the atmosphere will be absolutely electric.
As was the case in 2004 and last year, David Moyes will be telling his squad just how much impetus can be gained from beating Liverpool and there is no reason why the players he selects should walk out worrying. Quite the opposite. There will be a real belief among the lads that they can get something, even if they will be viewed by many as underdogs going into the game; they’ve taken great pleasure in upsetting the odds before and can do it again. I remember the first derby in which I played at Anfield in January 2004; nobody gave us a hope but we played well, stuck to our tasks and secured a 0-0 draw but we felt a bit aggrieved that we didn’t sneak a winner, as Jerzy Dudek made a couple of good saves. A lot of people afterwards gave me the man-of-the-match award and I made one of the best saves I ever did playing for Everton from Steven Gerrard but the only satisfaction I got from it was the knowledge that I had played my part in the performance. I hadn’t been at the club long and I felt I owed the manager and supporters a performance as he had rescued me from rotting in the reserves at Leeds, while I’d been given tremendous backing by the fans, even though I’d turned down a move to Goodison a few years earlier. The feeling in the dressing room afterwards was fantastic but it was topped when we beat Liverpool the following December and I hope it’s an emotion all the players involved on Saturday will be feeling around 3pm.
Faddy gives Moyes headache
EVERY time James McFadden pulls on a Scotland shirt he seems to do something spectacular but will his heroics secure him a starting place in the derby?
Of course his confidence will be going through the roof at present and let’s hope he scores another for Scotland in Georgia tomorrow evening but the fact that Faddy has been involved in such high-profile games might just count against him.
Only David Moyes knows the answer to that but he will be delighted that Faddy is giving him such selection problems; unpredictable and capable of brilliance, he is a match-winner and getting better all the time. Maybe he can become Everton’s ace in the pack too.
Lescott is worthy of plaudits
I’LL never forget Gary Lineker telling me that my name had lengthened after I had made my international debut in 1992 and Joleon Lescott will now appreciate those sentiments. Every time he is talked about now it will be as “Joleon Lescott of Everton and England” and he fully deserves to have won his first cap. He is going to be a terrific central defender in the next couple of years but if he can pick up a few caps at left-back as well then all the better. Hopefully it will be the first of many.

David Moyes backing for flying James McFadden
Oct 17 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES today backed James McFadden to bring his thrilling international form into the domestic arena and prove he is a “fantastic talent” once and for all.
McFadden will carry the hopes of a nation on his shoulders this evening when Scotland aim to take a step closer to Euro 2008 by winning in Georgia and, for a number of reasons, Moyes is hoping he can deliver. Given he has scored in each of Scotland’s last three qualifiers, McFadden’s performances for the Tartan Army have generated huge interest but Moyes is keen to point out that McFadden has been ticking along nicely for Everton, too. His goals have, among other things, helped Everton through to the UEFA Cup group stages and Moyes has seen a maturity to his game that suggests he is ready to have a profound impact for club and country.
“Faddy is in inspirational form at the minute for Scotland and is showing that he is a fantastic talent,” said the manager. “He is playing with great belief and he knows that when he goes up there, everyone is right behind him. “You can see that in his play. Everyone has trust in him. He feels that he can make a mistake but still get on with it and make a contribution. He played very well in the game on Saturday (against Ukraine) and hopefully he can do the same in Georgia. “I think we have already benefited from what he has been doing. It wasn’t the goal against France that really set him off, it was the previous match against Lithuania. He came on as a substitute and has not looked back.” McFadden threatened to do something similar last season but a catalogue of problems - including a torn hamstring, a needless suspension and a broken metatarsal - limited his chance to make an impact. He returned to training later than his team-mates this summer as he had to wait for his metatarsal problem to heal properly but Moyes has hinted that McFadden can expect to play more than a bit part role from now on. “When you play for a club as big as Everton, you have to play well all the time to be in the team,” said Moyes. “Faddy is starting to do that. He is the type of player who can have big moments for Everton to define matches. “He is showing that more consistently now and is doing it in periods of games. He is always thinking of things he can do differently. I can see a lot more maturity about him, especially the way he handles himself off the pitch and looks after himself.” Tim Cahill joined in withfull training for the first time earlier this week, as did striker James Vaughan and Moyes confirmed Thomas Gravesen’s knee problem is improving all the time.

Blues' derby debutants - from Leighton Baines to Steven Pienaar
Oct 17 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
TEN players could make their derby debuts at Goodison Park on Saturday.
Will they freeze in the intense Mersey derby atmosphere? Or will they be inspired by the experience? We analyse the derby day performances of Merseyside’s 10 potential derby debutants. LEIGHTON BAINES
THOUGH he has never played in a high-profile derby, Baines will not need any explanations about what he can expect in Saturday’s powder keg atmosphere.
Born in Kirkby, Baines might have grown up wanting to be Robbie Fowler - he has the same sweet left-foot - but there is no mistaking where his allegiances lie now.
Arguably Everton’s best performer of the season to date, he will be looking to build on the progress he has made since joining from Wigan Athletic and will relish the occasion. At the JJB Stadium, clashes with Manchester United and Bolton were as close as it got to being a derby and it seemed to bring the best out of him - he scored in both games against United last season. AYEGBENI YAKUBU
EVERTON centre-forwards who are new to Merseyside derbies have a habit of stealing the headlines and would it be a surprise if Yakubu repeated the trick this weekend? Andrew Johnson forever endeared himself to Evertonians with a double in the corresponding fixture 12 months ago, while the moment Duncan Ferguson towered above Liverpool’s defence to score his first goal for the club is ingrained in the Royal Blue psyche. It might be asking a lot for Yakubu to do likewise yet, looking through his record in England, it’s quite clear he enjoys playing in derby games and doing what he does best - scoring goals. During his time at Portsmouth, he found the net in a 4-1 drubbing of Southampton, while Yakubu also scored in two Tyne-Tees squabbles, including the winner for Middlesbrough at the Riverside against Newcastle last season.
THE hustle, bustle and helter-skelter pace of derbies can often take newcomers by surprise but, if Jagielka lines up on Saturday, he will know exactly what to expect.
A veteran of numerous Steel City derbies, Jagielka has experienced the highs and lows playing for Sheffield United against Wednesday. He has had an up-and-down start to life at Goodison Park but, one thing that can be assured with Jagielka is that he will be quite prepared to get stuck in during the frantic opening exchanges and won’t go missing if things get tough.
NOISE levels at Goodison Park this weekend will be cranked up to full volume but that is unlikely to faze Pienaar, who has played one of the most chaotic counters of them all. Tensions between Ajax - Pienaar’s first club - and Feyenoord mean the atmosphere in those games in Holland is never anything other than crackling.
Yet the little South African invariably thrived in this environment. Expect to see him do the same if selected.

Blues' derby debutants - from Leighton Baines to Steven Pienaar
Oct 17 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
TEN players could make their derby debuts at Goodison Park on Saturday.
Will they freeze in the intense Mersey derby atmosphere? Or will they be inspired by the experience? We analyse the derby day performances of Merseyside’s 10 potential derby debutants.
THOUGH he has never played in a high-profile derby, Baines will not need any explanations about what he can expect in Saturday’s powder keg atmosphere.
Born in Kirkby, Baines might have grown up wanting to be Robbie Fowler - he has the same sweet left-foot - but there is no mistaking where his allegiances lie now.
Arguably Everton’s best performer of the season to date, he will be looking to build on the progress he has made since joining from Wigan Athletic and will relish the occasion. At the JJB Stadium, clashes with Manchester United and Bolton were as close as it got to being a derby and it seemed to bring the best out of him - he scored in both games against United last season.
EVERTON centre-forwards who are new to Merseyside derbies have a habit of stealing the headlines and would it be a surprise if Yakubu repeated the trick this weekend? Andrew Johnson forever endeared himself to Evertonians with a double in the corresponding fixture 12 months ago, while the moment Duncan Ferguson towered above Liverpool’s defence to score his first goal for the club is ingrained in the Royal Blue psyche. It might be asking a lot for Yakubu to do likewise yet, looking through his record in England, it’s quite clear he enjoys playing in derby games and doing what he does best - scoring goals. During his time at Portsmouth, he found the net in a 4-1 drubbing of Southampton, while Yakubu also scored in two Tyne-Tees squabbles, including the winner for Middlesbrough at the Riverside against Newcastle last season.
THE hustle, bustle and helter-skelter pace of derbies can often take newcomers by surprise but, if Jagielka lines up on Saturday, he will know exactly what to expect.
A veteran of numerous Steel City derbies, Jagielka has experienced the highs and lows playing for Sheffield United against Wednesday. He has had an up-and-down start to life at Goodison Park but, one thing that can be assured with Jagielka is that he will be quite prepared to get stuck in during the frantic opening exchanges and won’t go missing if things get tough.
NOISE levels at Goodison Park this weekend will be cranked up to full volume but that is unlikely to faze Pienaar, who has played one of the most chaotic counters of them all. Tensions between Ajax - Pienaar’s first club - and Feyenoord mean the atmosphere in those games in Holland is never anything other than crackling.
Yet the little South African invariably thrived in this environment. Expect to see him do the same if selected.

Joleon Lescott will do us all proud says ex-coach
Oct 17 2007 by Our Correspondent, Liverpool Echo
WOLVES academy manager Chris Evans says ex-student Joleon Lescott will be a massive success if he makes his first start for England this evening.
Lescott, who made his international debut as a half-time substitute against Estonia on Saturday, looks set to be handed a first start by manager Steve McClaren at left-back, with Ashley Cole ruled out by injury. And Evans, who coached the 25-year-old as he came through the ranks at Molineux, said : “Joleon is the logical choice. Out of all the players available, I don’t think you could find a better player to fill the left-back position. “Having watched him since he was 12, I know him and I know what he can do. He will make his country, his manager and his family proud. “He has all the right qualities you want in a defender – determination, power, pace and a very steady head. He also has great experience and a very good pedigree. He has come through all the international ranks – youth, under-20s, under-21s – and now is ready to make his mark in the senior squad. “I can see him cementing a place in the first team for a long time. This is the biggest moment of his career and he has made me and Wolves very proud – all of Wolverhampton is behind him.” Lescott proved an almost instant success in the Premier League after injury robbed him of his previous chance to impress in the top flight. He missed the whole of the 2003-04 season after knee surgery, when Wolves were among the elite, and Evans added: “He has faced many hurdles in his career and has jumped over every one. “He is well respected among the England players and at Everton and Wolves – McClaren has done his homework on him.” With five goals this season, Lescott has proved to be invaluable for the Blues in both penalty areas and Evans believes he will be a useful weapon in Moscow.
He added: “He has always been a threat – he’s strong powerful and will cause any defence problems. “If we get a free-kick and the delivery is right, he will be a major threat and if he gets his head to the ball I can see him scoring. “And even if he doesn’t, he will take the defenders’ attention away so someone else will be free to have a chance to score.”

Valur Reykjavik Ladies 1, Everton Ladies 3
Oct 17 2007 by Our Correspondent, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON Ladies bowed out of the UEFA Cup yesterday despite a 3-1 victory over Valur Reykjavik in Belgium. After losing their opening two group games, Mo Marley’s team needed to win by a three goal margin to go through to the quarter-finals on goal difference. They also needed to rely on Frankfurt beating Rapid Wezemaal.
The Blues were awarded a penalty after 11 minutes but Fara Williams missed.
They finally took the lead seven minutes before half-time through Jody Handley.
After the break summer signing Natasha Dowie grabbed her first goal for the club before Handley’s second made it 3-0. But a goal from Reykjavik’s Katrin Jonsdottir just before the hour mark sealed the Blues’ fate. “The girls played their hearts out,” said Everton coach Keith Marley. “We couldn’t ask any more of them.”
Meanwhile, Everton players Rachel Brown, Rachel Unitt, Lindsay Johnson, Williams, Jill Scott and Handley have been called up to the England squad to face Belarus at Walsall in a European Championship qualifier on Saturday, October 27. It’s the first match the team will play since being knocked out of the World Cup at the hands of the United States last month.

Derby tickets held up
Oct 17 2007 by Luke Traynor, Liverpool Echo
THE post strike has hit distribution of tickets for this Saturday’s Goodison derby.
Everton FC assured fans they were monitoring the mail strike to avoid ticket chaos .
But Liverpool fans will have to pick up their tickets from the LFC ticket office.
Reds spokesman Ian Cotton said: “Because of the ongoing postal dispute we have taken the decision that every single Everton ticket will have to be collected, and we have communicated that to the people eligible for these tickets. “Our ticket office is open on Saturday morning, so even people coming from far afield can call in and then head to Goodison.” However, many Blues fans have yet to receive tickets through the post for Saturday’s game as the wildcat walkout in Liverpool remains unresolved.
Mark Palfreyman, 49, from Frodsham, bought his Bullens Road ticket over a week ago, along with tickets for his son and nephew, as part of the Evertonian fan scheme.
He told the ECHO: “When I bought it, I queried the situation and asked if sending them out would be affected by the postal strike. “He said it wouldn’t be a problem as everything would be sorted by then. Obviously, it hasn’t.” Today, an Everton FC spokesman said: “We still hope tickets will get through and we are in talks with Royal Mail. “If it become clear that tickets will not reach their destination we will make an announcement on the website. “We would ask fans not to panic. We understand their apprehension bearing in mind the tickets that went missing for the Metalist Kharkiv game.” If the strike does continue, fans could be asked to pick up their tickets at a pre-arranged time, and replacement may be issued.

The Jury
Oct 18 2007
Who will have the biggest influence in this weekend's Merseyside derby?
Liverpool Echo
I REMEMBER the banter between the supporters, the rapier like wit and humour. Liverpool had a left-back called Alec Lindsay, with a shock of white hair and a protruding neck, the banner read ‘Lindsay is a Turkey’. In another we had ‘Bobby Latchford Walks on Water’ by half-time the Kopites replied with ‘Latchford is a Duck’. Fans walking together across Stanley Park, everyone on the same coaches travelling to the Merseyside United Cup Finals. Why the poisonous atmosphere these days? There are better ways to express love for your club than through hatred and bile. Those Evertonians who spend all the game questioning the parentage of certain Liverpool players’ children? It isn’t big, it isn’t clever. The funeral of Rhys Jones showed there is more that unites us than divides us. The playing of ‘Z Cars’ at Anfield was a fantastic gesture. Let’s just stick to eating the lemons.
THE form book goes out of the window as we welcome our poor relations from across the park to Goodison. The question is, who will write their pages in derby day folklore? Yakubu is my tip, having started off with a couple of goals Evertonians will warm more to him after he bangs in the winner. Hearts on sleeves will make the difference – passion and determination is required if Moyes’s men want to secure local pride. We aren’t good enough to outplay Liverpool, but Everton haven’t spent the equivalent of a NASA space mission’s budget on assembling a squad who by their own admission have continually disappointed domestically. If Gerrard played in blue what would the difference between the sides be?
IT SEEMS hard to believe that a year has passed since that glorious sunny day at Goodison when dreams really did come true.
Since then, the Blues have improved overall as a team and there is definitely a touch more quality but will it be enough to beat a Reds team desperate to make amends for that result? Moyes must get his team selection right and with no AJ his first problem is who to play up front. There are genuine concerns about Yakubu but I believe he must be given an extended run before firm conclusions are drawn and if ever there was a game for him to prove his worth, this is it. McFadden has to partner him, while in the middle I just hope Gravesen can play some part alongside Arteta. If he can and we challenge for every 50/50 like our lives depend on it, we can pull off another famous victory. What a way that would be to respond to a certain somebody about our so called ‘small club’ status!
DERBY day is a big day for everybody in the city – a day when the form book can be chucked into the Mersey!
The Blues go into it with confidence after last season’s 3-0 blitz when Andy Johnson became a hero with the Everton fans. Could the Yak do the same thing? A goal in a derby and the fans will love you forever – just ask Duncan Ferguson!
We must go at them from the off and attack with two up front. Johnson being injured is a big blow but McFadden is on form and will cause a big threat. Liverpool will come with the intent of attacking so we have to get stuck in and win the midfield battle. If we do this, we have the front men in Yak and McFadden to get the goals. Derbies are usually fast and frenetic with not much football being played, so the chances that we do get we must take. Come on, Blues. Let’s continue our great recent derby form with three more points and give this ‘small’ club something to shout about in the city come Monday morning.

Tim Cahill hands Everton derby boost
Oct 18 2007
EXCLUSIVE by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
TIM CAHILL is ready to give David Moyes an eve of derby selection headache by making himself available for the first time this season. Everton’s influential midfielder has been sidelined for 12 weeks after re-injuring the fifth metatarsal in his left foot which he broke during a 1-1 draw with Sheffield United on March 3. It has been a long road back for the Australian international, but he was given the green light to start training properly on Monday and is itching to be involved against Liverpool.
Although Moyes will not make any decisions on his starting line-up until all his internationals have returned to Finch Farm, Cahill’s return to the squad has clearly given the manager a lift. “Tim started training on Monday and we are pleased to have him back,” Moyes, who hopes to get a run of five games in 14 days off to the best possible start, said today. “There is no doubt we have missed him since he’s been out. “He is a goalscoring central midfielder with drive and when you look at the goals he has scored for Everton in the past three years, he has been a big part of our success. “This a big period for us. We gave the players a few days off last week after a difficult period and gave them a chance to relax. From Saturday, we have a lot of big games and need them fresh.” Cahill has scored three times in six derby appearances, including the opening goal in last season’s 3-0 victory at Goodison Park, and there is a possibility he could be joined in the squad by Thomas Gravesen. The Dane has been limited to just 29 minutes of football since returning on a season-long loan from Celtic after an old knee injury flared up in training. He needed to have fluid drained from his knee but his rehabilitation has gone well, although Moyes may exercise caution with Gravesen. “Tommy has done a bit of training and we will keep monitoring him,” he said. “We have had to limit his involvement, but he is doing better.” In a further boost for Moyes, Andrew Johnson has reported back to Everton’s training base after undergoing an ankle operation last week in a bid to finally remedy his injury problems. With the surgery being a complete success, Johnson hopes to start some light jogging in the next few days and should be back in contention within the next fortnight, possibly for the UEFA Cup tie in Nurnberg on November 8. “AJ came back in on Monday and it is good to see him walking about,” said Moyes. “As long as the scans come back OK, he’ll be able to step things up a little bit and we are positive that it won’t be too long before he is back.”* EVERTON are urging all fans who have not yet received their match ticket for Saturday's derby to pick it up I n person from the Goodison Box Office during normal opening hours - 8am to 6pm.
The postal strike continues to cause problems and the club is anxious to avoid a massive walk-up of fans on Saturday morning who have still not picked up their tickets.

Rise and fall of Blue hero Danny Cadamarteri
Oct 18 2007
206th Merseyside Derby
by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DANNY CADAMARTERI’S career has followed a steadfastly downward slide since the explosive afternoon – 10 years ago today – that he dominated a Merseyside derby. But he still has the uncanny ability to make headlines. Just two weeks ago, Cadamarteri, now an older, if not noticeably more mature 28, marked his second home match for Huddersfield with a goal against Nottingham Forest. He jumped into the crowd to celebrate – and was promptly sent off for over-celebrating.
It seemed to sum up Cadamarteri’s career in microcosm – a heady rise followed by a spectacular fall. A decade ago today, the likeable, lively young Yorkshireman had the world at his feet. With four goals in five Everton starts, he was preferred to record signing Nick Barmby for a Merseyside derby in which Everton were massive underdogs. The next day’s Echo said it all. “A respectful handshake, offered before the final whistle, isn’t what you usually expect from a Merseyside derby match, but Neil Ruddock’s magnanimous gesture to substituted Everton hero Danny Cadamarteri was in keeping with the rest of an astonishing occasion. “The afternoon was summed up perfectly by the wag who sent Tales of the Unexpected booming out of the Goodison tannoy five minutes after the final whistle.” Tales of the Unexpected might well describe Cadamarteri’s fortunes from that point on. Fifteen minutes from time he had smuggled the ball away from Bjorn Tore Kvarme on the halfway line, darted purposefully towards the Stanley Park End goal, trademark dreadlocks flying behind him, cut inside Ruddock, ignored the better placed Duncan Ferguson and fired crisply past David James. All at the tender age of 18. A long-term contract predictably followed, together with comparisons with another precocious youngster emerging just across the park, Michael Owen. But while Owen scored a month later against Tottenham, then followed up with a hat-trick in a League Cup tie against Grimsby, it was almost a full calendar year before Cadamarteri – now minus the dreadlocks – troubled the scoresheet again. “I think I’d be the first to admit that I haven’t fulfilled my potential. When you’re down you’ve got to pick yourself up, and when you’re flying high you need to keep your feet on the ground. And I think that’s hard to do – you need people around you to help you do that,” he said recently, hinting at the reasons behind his sudden demise. Convicted of assaulting a woman and sentenced to 180 hours community service, he drifted away from Goodison and spent increasingly fleeting spells at a succession of Yorkshire clubs. Bradford, Leeds, Sheffield United, Doncaster and now Huddersfield all took his signature on a contract, as well as briefly Fulham, non-League Grays Athletic and Leicester City. His spell at Elland Road lasted months, after telling boss Kevin Blackwell he was “not a proper manager.” And the last two ports of call were seen as a platform to rebuild his career after a six-month ban for failing a drugs test – the stimulant ephedrine, which he insists came from taking DayNurse to combat a flu bug. After getting back into action at Leicester, he declared: “It’s definitely a great feeling just to be involved. It has been a hard time, but I’ve been fortunate enough to have good people around me to keep me strong. “They helped me keep my head and keep my fitness up. Now I have the opportunity at a club like this to progress and do well.” With all the setbacks that had gone before, a six-month ban was the cruellest of blows. “The first two weeks were a write-off. I was so gutted and it seemed like there was no light at the end of the tunnel,” he added. “It was a hard grind, but once I got my head round it – and my family were there to help me out with that – I got up every morning at 6am to do 30 miles on my mountain bike and it’s starting to pay off. “I can’t say it’s paid off yet because my ambition now is to do the best that I can and be worthy of a starting place here. “If I get an opportunity in this team then the hard work will have paid off.” Now aged 28, it was telling to hear Cadamarteri refer to himself on numerous occasions as a “young player”. In truth, he was a young player on that October afternoon in 1997 when he put Liverpool to the sword. He now has plenty of catching up to do . . . and is hoping to do just that at Huddersfield. A legion of affectionate Evertonians will wish him well.

'We must improve on derby triumph' - David Moyes
Oct 19 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES today urged his Everton squad to forget last year’s dazzling derby victory and concentrate on getting an even better result tomorrow. This will be the 11th time Moyes has led the Blues into derby battle and he is desperate to improve on his current record of two wins and three draws. Both those triumphs, though, have come at Goodison Park in the past three seasons and have come during campaigns that culminated in Everton qualifying for Europe. Moyes ranks the 3-0 drubbing of Liverpool last September as one of the highlights of his managerial career but he feels an even better performance will be needed this time. But as Everton go into another busy schedule, Moyes wants to see his players achieve greater consistency and hopes a win tomorrow will help them do that. “It was a good game last year but I have talked about the last one enough and I am looking forward to the next one,” said Moyes.
“It is not always the team that is playing best that gets the result. A derby is a difficult thing to weigh up. But let’s hope that we play well and get another good result.”
For the first time this season, Moyes is getting close to having a full complement of players available and it’s looking likely that Tim Cahill and Thomas Gravesen will return. And there is even a remote chance that James Vaughan – out since July with a dislocated shoulder – will join them in the near future. “Vaughany has started training again,” said Moyes. “It’s great to have him back as he is like a breath of fresh air. He doesn’t look as if the injury has affected him.” Tony Hibbert, meanwhile, is hoping Everton‘ hopes’s unique atmosphere at Goodison will inspire a performance similar to the one in the corresponding fixture 14 months ago. “A derby is a derby,” said Hibbert. “It’s different to your normal Saturday game. It’s hard to explain; you’ve only got to play in one to realise. “It means so much to the fans and to the local lads. Last year’s win was definitely one of the highlights of my career.”

Tim Cahill: I know what this derby means
Oct 19 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
IF Tim Cahill ever needs a reminder of how important this weekend of football is to Evertonians, he only needs to have a chat with the club’s backroom staff.
While the training ground may have changed, the buzz that comes with the build up to a derby match will never alter and Cahill – like the rest of his team-mates – have had it drilled into them in these past few days how wildly a win tomorrow would be celebrated. From the indefatigable kit man Jimmy Martin to chirpy masseuse Jimmy Comer, every player has been reminded by those behind the scenes that the blue half of this football-mad city expects three points to be delivered. For some foreign players, that psyche can seem unfathomable but Cahill is completely attuned to it; as he once lived next door to John Arne Riise, he knows what it is like not being able to set foot outside after a defeat or the endless gloating which follows a win.
Since arriving on Merseyside from Millwall in the summer of 2004, Cahill has immersed himself into all things Everton and, all being well, will be able to re-launch his career in the fixture he looks forward to more than any other. Too much Premier League football has passed him by since he broke the fifth metatarsal in his left foot on March 3 against Sheffield United and he is desperate to make up for lost time; if he can make an input that helps bring Liverpool down, so much the better. “I know the history of this game and I know exactly what it means to everyone here,” said Cahill, a player blessed with the knack of scoring goals from midfield. “Our kit man, the masseuse and all the young lads who help out all have the club crest tattooed on them.
“I know what it is like to live in the city. I was John’s next door neighbour. I’ve had the banter from Liverpool supporters and nice things said to me by Evertonians. But when you’ve scored three goals in derby games, you expect that. It’s part of the banter. “I know a lot of people who feel every single kick. You can’t play for this club unless it is in the blood. You hear so many stories of what it means to be an Evertonian and I can tell you every player relishes this game and is honoured to play for this football club.” Much has changed on and off the field at Everton in the seven months Cahill has been on the sidelines and, in his view, it is all for the better. Now he knows the onus is on the players to start producing the results that are expected of them. A strict rehabilitation programme meant Cahill has had more time than anyone else to get used to the new training facility at Finch Farm and while a few cosmetic jobs need to be done on the building, the Australian international believes it represents the new Everton. “I spent a few weeks at Finch Farm before the lads came up, using the all facilities, and it really is different class,” he said. “It’s unbelievable. I enjoy doing weights and swimming but the facilities do make a difference. “Bellefield has got history and I appreciate that. But when you go to somewhere new and try the state of the art equipment, I think it’s amazing. “It’s been a bit lonely there with just me and Matt Connery (reserve team physio) but I’m excited to train there. It just gives you an idea where Everton are going. “The first level was the new training ground, then it was the stadium, the next level after that was breaking the transfer record for Yakubu after getting AJ and Beats. It’s only getting bigger and better here.” Should Everton be able to reproduce the pyrotechnics which rocked Liverpool in the corresponding fixture last season, it would set them up perfectly ahead for the important tests they face between now and the next international break in four weeks’ time.
Games in the Carling Cup and UEFA Cup added to Premier League fixtures against Derby, Birmingham City and Chelsea will mean that every member of David Moyes’ squad has a role to play. “Watching from the sidelines, I have seen so much to make me excited. I have spoken to the gaffer a lot about myself and the team,” he stressed. “I’m under no illusions. I’m not expecting to walk straight back in. But I just want to be a part of it now. “The gaffer has created a squad and created players that will help the team. You look at our bench now compared to two years ago. It is really strong and that is the way it should be because players can’t get complacent.”
The twinkle in his eye which follows that statement signals, nevertheless, that he is ready for business and, having signed a new five-year deal in the summer, Cahill wants to play a part in Everton’s future. No better way, then, than to start a new chapter than in a derby. “Hopefully I’ll be like a new signing when I come back,” he said. “Everton is a club that I have a great bond with. I speak to the chairman on a regular basis. He is one of the biggest supporters that you could meet. Now you can see with the backing of Robert Earl and some of the other investors, these are going to be bright times.”

Howard Kendall: Derby stakes are higher than ever
Oct 19 2007 by Howard Kendall, Liverpool Echo
DERBY games are traditionally tense, tight affairs and I don’t envisage tomorrow’s encounter at Goodison Park being any different. Both sides are entering important parts of their respective seasons and whichever side ends up winning will receive the perfect boost ahead of what is a key week of European matches; the stakes, you could say, are higher than ever. I had a sneaky feeling before last year’s meeting at Goodison that Everton had the tools to upset Liverpool and there is little doubt the squad has improved since then, but if are to see a similar outcome, the defence is going to have to improve significantly. Too many times recently soft goals have been conceded and against a side of Liverpool’s calibre, you can’t afford to give any chances away and hope to get away with it. Concentration levels will have to be maintained throughout. I still think it’s right that the home side will start favourites - that’s always been the case in these games - and it will be intriguing to see who David Moyes decides to start up front, particularly now that Tim Cahill is close to returning.
If the manager decided to take the plunge and pitch him straight back in, the scope is there to alter tactics; you don’t have to play a rigid 4-4-2 and suddenly 4-5-1 becomes a potent option to combat Liverpool’s threat. Results in the Premier League have been up and down this season but Everton will have a couple of players returning from international duty in high spirts and that might just give them the edge; fingers crossed the right result follows.
Still hope for England
THE obituaries are being penned for Steve McClaren after England’s defeat in Russia but I don’t subscribe to the theory that hopes of qualifying for Euro 2008 are dead and buried. It will be difficult for Russia in Israel and I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if they came unstuck. As everyone has said, things are only decided after 12 games, not 10 or 11. What I would say, though, is that Paul Robinson’s time as England keeper must be coming to a close. He again was culpable for another goal and such mistakes have betrayed McClaren.
Blues have to move on
I MADE a trip back to the North East this week on business and part of my itinerary included a trip to St James’ Park. Given that was the place I started watching football and where I made my professional debut for Preston North End, it is a stadium that I will always hold in the fondest regard but it is now unrecognisable from when I last visited 10 years ago. What a difference and what a stadium. I’m told that there are plans to add another tier to one of the stands to take capacity up to 60,000 so Newcastle has a chance of staging a game during the Olympics in 2012.
But it got me thinking: if Everton have to move to get a facility like that, so much the better. Newcastle have been fortunate in that they have been able to build around St James Park and in an ideal world, Everton would be able to do the same.
That, however, is not going to be possible. When moving away from Goodison was first mentioned, I had my doubts but looking at St James’ Park simply reinforces that our wonderful old stadium is starting to date. Quickly. I was gobsmacked by what I saw up in the North East and it would be fantastic if Everton could have something similar in the not too distant future. It would be an enormous wrench to leave a stadium that has so many special memories but it seems necessary in order to progress.

David Prentice: A little bit of banter never hurt anyone
Oct 19 2007 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
RAFA BENITEZ called Everton a “small club”. Alan Stubbs responded with an equally caustic comeback. And it cranked up the derby match build-up quite nicely thank you. A bit of pre-match banter always used to be part of the derby experience, until it fell victim to the politically correct brigade who feared it was fuelling the deteriorating derby day atmosphere. If so, that’s desperately sad. Surely no-one takes offence at this kind of banter, do they? We dish out much worse to our mates both before and after derbies – and it’s an attitude to be cherished. I still smile at the memory of Roy Evans “Don’t mention the school of science,” barb, and Joe Royle’s memorable “Sounds like a few dummies have come out of the pram,” response.
Even more importantly, the two men at the heart of the spat smiled about it, too.
“How’s the dummy, Roy?” Joe quipped when they next met a few weeks later, before both dissolved into laughter. Shankly’s “Two teams in this city . . .” has rightly gone down into football folklore, as has the superbly contrived Anfield banner “Come in Agent Johnson, Mission Accomplished.” We do humour in this city better than most, and apart from the handful who trash city pubs after drinking more than their limited minds can handle, we also take stick in good heart, too. Whatever tomorrow’s result, hopefully there’ll be even more knockabout banter – dished out and taken in the right spirit. But which group of fans will be celebrating is anybody’s guess.
That old cliche about formbooks flying out of the window is wholly inaccurate.
The team in form is the team which generally triumphs. Everton ran out at Goodison last season with seven points from nine; Liverpool had drawn at Bramall Lane and had come from behind to beat West Ham. No-one needs reminding of the outcome.
The season before Liverpool won 5-1, 3-1 and 7-0 before they faced Everton at Anfield; they won 3-1. But neither side is in particularly vibrant form at present, so I’ll sit on the fence and predict a scoring draw. Off the pitch, I predict an even more imaginative battle.
Youngsters are priced out of football
THE closest I got to becoming a professional footballer were the days when I trod in Gary Speed’s footsteps. That wasn’t making flying headers, 20-yard volleys and still being super-fit at 38 . . . sadly. But, like Speed, I once had a paper round.
Kevin Ratcliffe’s house wasn’t on my round, unlike Speed’s. But Alan Hansen’s future missus used to mark up the papers. And the £2.15p that Redgate News handed over to me every week paid for a place on the Gwladys Street terrace (45p), return train fare to Bank Hall (21p) and a much prized programme (8p). I even had money left over for a Top of the Pops album or K-Tel’s Music Explosion.
New research has just revealed that a quarter of under-17 year olds have never attended a football match. The reason given was simple – they can’t afford it.
In an age when facilities in stadia are at an all-time high – and when the sport is enjoying a higher profile and greater publicity than ever before, the next generation of fans isn’t bothering with it. It’s hardly surprising. Two 16-year-olds I know bought tickets for tomorrow’s derby match. It cost them £38 . . . each. And Everton is one of the cheapest matchday experiences in the Premier League. Using the O-Level maths I just about scrambled, for a teenager to afford a place on the Gwladys Street today, he’d need a paper round which pays around £50 a week. Let me know if you find one – because I’ll do it – even at the age of 44 which, incidentally, is just 12 months older than the average age of the fan who sits in Britain’s stands. That’s right. The average age of a fan in Britain's stands is 43 years old. Those 40-somethings are the generation who first got the matchday habit when it cost them 45p a match. Today’s youngsters aren’t being allowed to pick up that custom. Supporters groups have warned that the sport is in danger of losing an entire generation of fans unless ticket prices are reduced, and for once they’re not crying wolf.

Mersey football supporters among best behaved in land
Oct 19 2007 by Ben Rossington, Liverpool Echo
THE number of football hooligans arrested on Merseyside plummeted last season.
New Home Office figures show a rise in the number of arrests for football-related trouble nationally for the first time in four years. But Liverpool, Everton and Tranmere Rovers have all bucked the trend and seen less trouble at their games.
For the season 2006/07, the Anfield outfit saw only 39 supporters arrested at league games and 25 as part of their short runs in both the FA and League Cups.
The previous season, when Liverpool’s run to the Millennium Stadium saw them secure their seventh FA Cup, 83 fans arrested at cup games, with 64 in the league.
Across Stanley Park at Everton, the Blues had 67 followers arrested at league games and only three during their four cup games. For the 2005/06 season, those figures stood at 70 arrests at league games and 86 in the cup. Over the water at Tranmere Rovers, the Prenton Park club had 17 arrests in the league and only two in the cup. The previous year they had 19 supporters arrested at League One games and 13 at various cup matches. Across all four football leagues and 92 clubs, nearly 3,800 yobs were taken into custody last season, a rise of 300 on the previous year. Leeds United retained the unenviable title of the club with the most banning orders, after an extra 30 were handed out in the year to take their total to 118. Cardiff City were second with 114, followed by Millwall (111) and Stoke City (102). Chief Supt Dave Lewis, football liaison for Merseyside police, said: "Our effective use of banning orders, alongside other forms of legislation, has led to the reduction in violent disorder and football related violence. In turn this has meant that the overall number of arrests has dropped as shown in these statistics. "These reductions reflect the tougher police approach to anti-social and disorderly behaviour likely to spoil match day experience for the vast majority of football supporters."
Fewer crimes recorded
CRIME on Merseyside has fallen to its lowest level since January 2001, new figures show. round 8,500 fewer crimes were recorded between April and June this year compared to the same three months in 2006. The figures also show:
* A reduction in violent crime by 29.4%, with violence falling to its lowest level on Merseyside since 2003. This is compared to a national reduction of 8%.
* The number of domestic burglaries has fallen by 14.5% on Merseyside, the lowest level since January 2001. The national reduction is 3%. * A reduction in the number of robberies by 14.5%, with the force achieving its lowest figure since January 2003. The national reduction is 9%. * Theft from motor vehicles has reduced by 21.8% on Merseyside. * Criminal damage has reduced by more than 21%, with 2,173 fewer offences and the lowest figure since January 2001. This compares with a national reduction of 10%.

ABOVE: Dirk Kuyt
20th October 2007 Daily Star
Liverpool staged a dramatic comeback with two Dirk Kuyt penalties to claim a famous 2-1 victory over Everton in the Merseyside derby. Liverpool, humiliated 3-0 in the same fixture last season, claimed revenge as Everton pair Tony Hibbert and Phil Neville were sent off. Both dismissals were for incidents that produced Liverpool's second-half penalties. Hibbert brought down Steven Gerrard in the box and Neville handled on the line. Everton had deservedly led at the break with a Sami Hyypia own goal, but after being reduced to 10 men for much of the second period - the second red card coming in the final seconds - they could not hang on for a draw. A Mikel Arteta corner was half-cleared to Alan Stubbs, who hooked it back into the danger area, where Phil Jagielka attempted to get in a shot and the ball cannoned off Hyypia's boot high into the net for an own goal on 38 minutes. However, a Yossi Benayoun ball out of defence gave Liverpool a lifeline. Gerrard set off down the left channel, stretching into Everton's half with Hibbert in pursuit. The full-back was always a yard behind and when the pair reached the box, the defender clipped Gerrard from behind and referee Mark Clattenburg awarded a penalty on 53 minutes. The official showed Hibbert the red card before Kuyt drilled home the spotkick. Everton could have had a penalty themselves when Steve Finnan manhandled Joleon Lescott in the box soon afterwards, but the claim was rejected. Neville was then sent off on 89 minutes for handling a Lucas Leiva shot on the line, providing Kuyt with his second penalty.
Everton finished the game complaining to Clattenburg that they should have had a last-ditch penalty for Jamie Carragher pulling down Lescott. He refused their claim and the official was booed off after being surrounded by home players.

20th October 2007 Daily Star
By Andy Townsend
EVERTON boss David Moyes may have spent big money on strikers but I believe he’ll be relying on his midfield for goals in the Merseyside derby today.
With Mikel Arteta down on set play duty, it could well be the Spaniard who gets the opener. He’s 16-1 with Better to score first. Better and Totesport make Everton 23-10 to win the live Sky game, with Liverpool 11-10 with BGbet and Better, and the draw is a best-priced 23-10 with Totesport. My gut feeling is that Liverpool will get back into the game, as they do have plenty of potential scorers. With Steven Gerrard almost a certainty to start, I’ll put him up to score the last at 9-1 with Better. I do feel this game will be a low-scoring draw (1-1 is 11-2 with Totesport, BGbet, Skybet and Better and 0-0 is 17-2 with Bgbet), but if pressed for a winner I would suggest it would be more likely to be Everton, so look at BGbet’s 8-1 on a 2-0 victory.

Why Howard would relish back-handed compliments
Oct 20 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
RAFA BENITEZ may have enraged the Blue half of Merseyside with his infamous “small club” jibe, but Tim Howard is hoping Liverpool’s manager finds himself suitably irked again today. While Benitez tried to deflect criticism from his side’s failings during that 0-0 draw in February, sending phone-ins and internet forums into meltdown, a number of Everton’s players actually took that barb as a back-handed compliment. Defending stoutly and refusing to buckle under pressure, Everton’s rearguard ensured Howard was barely troubled and the point secured at Anfield provided the impetus for David Moyes’ squad to launch a successful push for European qualification. Of course, Benitez’s comments rankled with certain Evertonians in the dressing room - note Alan Stubbs’ broadside earlier this week - but the wonderfully phlegmatic smile Howard flashes when asked for his own views suggest it was water off a duck’s back. Having taken four points out of a possible six from last season’s derby encounters, local bragging rights belonged to the Toffees, and Howard would be delighted if Benitez is grumbling after another feisty tussle as it will mean Everton are on the end of another favourable scoreline. “We got two really good results against them last season and we know what Rafa Benitez said,” Howard noted. “But if you’re level headed and look at your own performance, we all know we did a good job. Someone can try to take it away from us, but they won’t. “It’s right when you say that it's not something he would ever say if they had beaten us. I don’t think you need any extra incentive in a match like this and if he’s saying it again afterwards, then great. When people come out and say those type of things, it is a backwards compliment. “No-one needs any extra motivation but it would be nice if he’s saying we are a small club again on Saturday. But if we get a result and play well, it won’t matter what anyone has said. We will all be in the dressing room knowing what we’ve done.” It was in last year’s Goodison Park skirmish between these age-old rivals that Howard first gave the impression he would fill the void left by Nigel Martyn’s retirement, a fine performance being crowned when he spectacularly kept out Luis Garcia’s goal-bound volley. That performance suggested David Moyes - after a summer of healthy investment - had Everton moving in the right direction and it was the manager’s ambition which convinced Howard to join the Blues from Manchester United; it is not a decision he has ever regretted. Howard signed a deal not long after the Anfield derby that will keep him on Merseyside until 2012, but he knows the onus is now on the players to regularly deliver the results which will make them a fixture in the top six and beyond. “When I chose to come here I knew it would be on loan at first,” he said. “But I wanted to go somewhere where, if it worked out and I ended up staying, that was not a small club and this is not. It’s so rich in history and tradition and we all know how powerful it was in the 1980s. “When you look at the players we have here, we broke the club record for AJ last year, and again for Yak this time.
“That shows the ambition we have, and I’d say we have three or four really influential players. But we need to get the results as well, to take the next step.” Given he came within a whisker during the last campaign of equalling Neville Southall’s club record of 15 clean sheets in the Premier League, it is no surprise Howard is anxious to improve his current tally of two shut-outs. He is aware, though, that a busy afternoon awaits. Whoever Benitez chooses to spearhead his attack will be charged with avenging last September’s calamity and Howard - still recovering after dislocating his finger on international duty - would be grateful for every protection.
“The finger is still very sore. When the physio said that I’d be out for between four and six weeks, I looked at him as if he was crazy, but it’s been five weeks now,” said Howard. “I played on at the time because when the adrenalin is gong in a game it doesn’t kick in until after. “It’s been really difficult getting into a rhythm so far. You play with your national team all summer, then the season begins and it's all stop-start with internationals. “You have two games and then you're away again, and I don’t think the season really gets going until November. “But it’s very important to get a result on Saturday. A lot of teams have found it hard because of the stop-start nature, and there aren't too many who have put a run together. But this would be the perfect game to get things going again, whatever the fixtures are afterwards. “It’s tough to say whether it will be harder this time. They had a few chances at our place and more at Anfield, so they did create, but hopefully not this time.”

Legends night tickets on sale
Oct 20 2007 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
A TOP 10 of Merseyside derby stars will line up for a Legends Night at Yates Wine Lodge, Allerton Road on Tuesday, November 20. Memories, banter and anecdotes will be shared by Joe Royle, Howard Kendall, Ian Snodin, Graeme Sharp and Dave Watson from the blue half of Stanley Park, with the red responses from Brian Hall, Chris Lawler, Ian Callaghan, Dave Fairclough and Alan Kennedy. The evening will be compered by BJ Lawson, while comics Frankie Allen and Mark Lawley will provide the light relief. Tickets, which include a donation to the Alder Hey Imagine Appeal, cost £20 and include a buffet.
The evening starts at 6.45pm and tickets can be bought on 0151 724-3687 or from the Wine Lodge itself (424-7155).

We must repeat derby heroics
Oct 22 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES has urged his players to stick to the formula which served them so well in last season’s derbies as they being a run of seven games in 23 days.
During some meetings with Liverpool in the early part of his Goodison career, Moyes saw Everton blow their chances of victory by getting caught up in the emotion of the occasion and they picked up too many red cards. Last year, though, the Blues struck upon the perfect blend of silk and steel to defeat Liverpool at home and secure a fully deserved point in the return fixture at Anfield but the manager is aware more of the same will be needed today. Following the clash with their neighbours, Everton’s schedule is packed with important games and Moyes would love nothing better than to kick things off with another display like the one that secured a 3-0 win last September. “In the past maybe we have been a bit too impetuous and over the top but I think we got the balance right in the last couple of games,” said Moyes.
“Hopefully we have learned from those experiences. In the derby you have got to make sure that you are not found wanting. Those results gave us a lot of confidence and if we could get this period off to a good start that would be great.”
Having had a week to get settled into life at the new Finch Farm training facility, Moyes foresees a bright future for the club and, slowly but surely, he thinks a wider audience now have a better perception of Everton. “In five full seasons here, we have had three top seven finishes,” said Moyes. “That has been good. Yes, we have had a few years when it hasn’t been so good but when you are trying to change things significantly, you are not going to get it perfect all the time. “The financial level we have had here means there has been a restriction on how quickly we can do things. We are the only team who have broken the monopoly in five years. “But what has happened this year with the likes of Aston Villa, Manchester City, Blackburn and Newcastle, they have all improved. They have all become better sides and you might find the top four sides don’t win so many games as they did. “I think it’s going to make that race to be in the top 10 of the Premier League all the more harder. But as well as this now being my team, we now have a great new training ground and we are being discussed in a better light. “That’s no disrespect to anyone who has been here before me but we are trying to lift Everton back to the way they were in the 1980s when they were at the forefront of a lot of English football.”

Vernon’s record is often ignored
Oct 20 2007 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
THERE’S Denis Law, there’s Jimmy Greaves . . . and there’s me.”
So said Roy Vernon, when he was asked in the mid-60s to name the greatest strikers of his day. But while the Law-man and Greavsie are lauded today as superstars of the sixties, Vernon’s name is often ignored. It’s an omission reader Tony Kelly wanted putting right. “He could dribble like Matthews, shoot like Charlton, and was quicker than Rush,” wrote Tony. “He could also put his foot in when needed.” Tony wasn’t alone in his recollections of Vernon. “Here was the perfect footballer,” recalled the Daily Post’s Len Capeling on learning of the Everton captain’s death in December 1993. “Balance, pace, flair, grace under pressure, he had the lot. “He scored 100 goals in 199 games and I probably saw 90 of them. They were always taken with a swagger.” Like the penalty kick in an FA Cup tie against Leeds. Vernon had been sent home from a tour of the USA for the first of what would prove to be numerous run-ins with Harry Catterick and had been taken off penalty-taking duties. Alex Scott was the reluctant replacement, and when he tentatively took the kick the Leeds keeper saved.
The referee claimed the keeper had moved, however, and ordered a retake.
Scott picked up the ball again but Vernon snatched it from him and while Scott stood open-mouthed placed the ball on the spot, took a couple of steps backwards and scored with his usual minimum of back-lift. It is unrecorded what Catterick’s view of the incident was, but it wouldn’t have been the only occasion Vernon had brushes with authority. A Welsh firebrand, he was sent-off early in his Everton career at Nottingham Forest, an incident which left an indelible mark on his memory.
He initially claimed he was “finished with football” after being harshly dismissed for a mistimed tackle from behind. “I am not at all surprised that I have been quoted as saying that I was finished, that I would find other ways of making a living,” he later told the Daily Post in a colourful and comprehensive interview which ran to more than a thousand words. “So beside myself with grief was I that I really was not responsible for the words I uttered. “When the referee pointed to the dressing room with the terse words ‘Get off’ I could scarcely believe it was happening. Yet I knew it was true, for though I tried to obey the order my legs were like jelly. To say I was shocked would be a gross understatement. My world simply disintegrated. As long as I live I shall never forget Nottingham - at 4.21pm on October 29.” The Post’s Horace Yates was certainly sympathetic. “If there has ever been a greater travesty of justice on a football field than this I am thankful I have not seen it. How the referee can even begin to justify his decision I do not know,” he wrote. But that was the low point.
There were plenty of high points in Roy Vernon’s Everton career, like the hat-trick against Fulham which clinched the League Championship in 1963 – taking him to 24 league goals, and just ahead of team-mate and striking partner Alex Young who finished with 22. In December 1964, three weeks after being fined for turning up late for training and carpeted for giving a Press interview, he was dropped for a trip to Spurs. A transfer request followed on New Year’s Eve and soon after Vernon joined Stoke City. His predatory powers were probably on the wane by this stage, but in the first half of the sixties he was one of the game’s greatest strikers. “Roy Vernon deserves to be remembered in his waspish pomp,” chronicled Ivan Ponting. “Built like a Biro but tough as rawhide, he was in his element in the penalty area, lurking like some dark assassin to deliver the deadly stiletto thrusts that were his trademark.”
There was Denis Law, there was Jimmy Greaves . . . and there was Royston Thomas Vernon.

Legends night tickets on sale
Oct 22 2007 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
A TOP 10 of Merseyside derby stars will line up for a Legends Night at Yates Wine Lodge, Allerton Road on Tuesday, November 20. Memories, banter and anecdotes will be shared by Joe Royle, Howard Kendall, Ian Snodin, Graeme Sharp and Dave Watson from the blue half of Stanley Park, with the red responses from Brian Hall, Chris Lawler, Ian Callaghan, Dave Fairclough and Alan Kennedy. The evening will be compered by BJ Lawson, while comics Frankie Allen and Mark Lawley will provide the light relief. Tickets, which include a donation to the Alder Hey Imagine Appeal, cost £20 and include a buffet. The evening starts at 6.45pm and tickets can be bought on 0151 724-3687 or from the Wine Lodge itself (424-7155).

Everton insider
21st October 2007 Daily Star
EVERTON hardmen Alan Stubbs and Lee Carsley could soon be prancing around in lycra, leggings and leotards trying to find their inner selves. For Goodison boss David Moyes is, it seems, a convert to the ancient art of yoga and is keen for his Premier League stars to bend into all sorts of impossible shapes to give themselves a matchday edge. Moyes has overseen the Toffees’ switch from their old training ground at Bellefield to a new complex at Finch Farm on the southern outskirts of Liverpool. And the impressive facility comes complete with the squad’s very own yoga room, which could soon be filled with grunting stars such as Joseph Yobo, Tim Howard and Tony Hibbert in weekly sessions. “David is a free-thinking manager and if yoga can give the lads an edge then why not try it?” said a Blue-nose source.
It can help with getting the mind right and is also great for strength and flexibility.
“The lads will look a bit odd in all the lycra gear, though, so they may just do it in their training kit to avoid having the Mickey taken out of them.” Everton stalwart Stubbs is embracing the new training ground – and even wants photos of sports legends from outside of football to adorn the walls and provide inspiration.
“Bellefield was very limited in space,” he admitted. “This new place has a yoga room, video room, hot and cold Jacuzzis, three physio rooms – everything people think you need for the modern game. “It will take time to develop character but the pictures are going up soon, which will help. Not just Everton pictures but sportsmen such as Tiger Woods who’ve have reached the top.”

Bitter taste left by Mark Clattenburg
Oct 22 2007
Mark McKenna, Liverpool Daily Post
OUR loveable friends across the Park fondly refer to us as ‘The Bitters’. Although I’d always distance myself from this title, the truth is it’s impossible to not feel bitter about proceedings in Saturday’s derby. The unavoidable and inexcusable fact is that the Red Sox would not have won this game without the assistance of the referee. Had Mark Clattenburg just got one decision wrong then you have to accept that referees make mistakes and “it all evens itself out over the course of the season”. However, in refusing two blatant pens for us, allowing Kuyt and Carragher to stay on the pitch and allowing Gerrard to change Hibbert’s yellow card to red, the bias shown by Clattenburg was there for all to see. Of course, Rafa had the answer to the penalty decisions and saw what the rest of us could not see… that Lescott was actually diving to try deceive the ref. That assertion is now up there with Houllier’s “Robbie was pretending to eat the grass” comment. Rafa’s lack of class and grace has quickly promoted him to the least respected manager in the league. Although despondent with the result and referee, I’m more than happy with our performance. Even when down to 10 men, we were still taking the game to Liverpool and creating chances. Yakubu was much more the player we need while Lescott was comfortably the best player on the pitch. While Clattenburg has now etched himself into Everton folklore alongside Clive Thomas, Graham Poll and Pierluigi Collina, with the games rapidly coming up we need to regain our focus. Adding Johnson, Cahill, Gravesen and Vaughan to the team will hopefully see us progress in the UEFA and Carling Cups while starting to move up the table… unless of course Mark Clattenburg is refereeing our games!

Everton 1, Liverpool 2 (D, Post)
Oct 22 2007
by Ian Doyle at Goodison Park
FORTUNE favoured the brave at Goodison on Saturday. Everton’s problem, though, was that such courage did not extend to the match officials. Having been convinced his team are closing the gap on their neighbours, David Moyes would be forgiven this morning for feeling there remain some ways in which Liverpool stand alone on Merseyside. Eventful even by normal derby standards, the weekend’s 206th running of the fixture contained enough controversy and talking points to make an average episode of the Jeremy Kyle Show seem tame in comparison. But when the dust finally settles, as Liverpool supporters cherish a sixth win in their last eight trips across Stanley Park, Everton’s fans are numbed by a mixture of disbelief, dismay and disgust at the performance of referee Mark Clattenburg. Maybe Clive Thomas has a new rival in the Goodison hall of shame. Certainly, Moyes and his players are convinced Clattenburg’s contribution deprived them of at least a draw from an absorbing encounter on Saturday. While there should be no genuine dispute over the penalties awarded to Liverpool and the subsequent dismissals of Tony Hibbert and Phil Neville, it was just about everything else Clattenburg did that provoked Everton’s outrage, the official refusing to reciprocate the red cards and spot-kicks that helped the visitors to victory. Evertonians will argue until their faces are as blue as their team’s shirts that matchwinner Dirk Kuyt shouldn’t have been given the chance to etch his name into derby folklore following an ugly 64th-minute lunge toward Neville. Clattenburg had earlier been right to reject appeals for a penalty after Joleon Lescott tussled with Steve Finnan. But, moments after Kuyt had tucked away his decisive second spot-kick in injury time, the referee again waved play on when the Everton man appeared to be manhandled to the floor by Jamie Carragher inside the area. On those two major decisions rested the outcome of the game. Had Clattenburg sided with the Goodison outfit on both occasions, there would have been few complaints. Instead, Liverpool made the most of their reprieve and, bolstered by a show of nerve and audacity on the field and in the dugout, ensured they continue to hold on to the shirt-tails of leaders Arsenal ahead of the Gunners’ visit to Anfield next Sunday. Such bold action came in the form of Kuyt’s calm conversion of both penalties and the decision of Benitez to risk the wrath of his critics by substituting skipper Steven Gerrard with 18 minutes remaining as Liverpool sought a winner. You could almost hear the jaws dropping around Goodison when the number eight was held up on the fourth official’s electric board. And while Benitez’s later assertion that Gerrard was playing “with too much passion” was perhaps somewhat lost in translation, the impressive, ultimately influential cameo from young Brazilian replacement Lucas emphatically vindicated the Liverpool manager. While Gerrard would be the first to admit his form remains below the standard Liverpool have come to expect, there were signs of improvement on Saturday, albeit on the right and later left flank as Benitez rotated his resources once more. And the captain played a significant role in altering the course of the game in the 54th minute, a lung-busting break from his own half on to an Andriy Voronin pass curtailed by a foul challenge from Hibbert narrowly inside the area which allowed Kuyt to send Tim Howard the wrong way from the spot. Irrespective of whether Clattenburg was initially reaching for a yellow card and whether any passing word from Gerrard may have changed the referee’s mind, the red card for the Everton man was the right decision. And instead of questioning the official, Moyes in this case should concentrate on how his team contrived to concede on a counter-attack from their own corner kick. The equaliser came at a time when Everton were imposing their authority on the game having been gifted the lead seven minutes before half-time when, in attempting to clear Lescott’s flick on from an Alan Stubbs cross, Sami Hyypia succeeded only in crashing a shot into his own net via Pepe Reina’s left-hand post. Lescott, pilloried in some quarters for his part in England’s downfall in Moscow last Wednesday, was the best player on the park on Saturday and a constant threat down the Everton left. With none of the injured players from either side available to return and Alvaro Arbeloa joining Liverpool’s crocked list, neither side were at full strength. And as is so often the case on derby day, industry outweighed artistry, the likes of Mikel Arteta and Yossi Benayoun on the periphery as both teams were at times betrayed by their indifferent form, particularly during an error-strewn first half. The opening 15 minutes belonged to Liverpool, Voronin firing a good opening at Howard from a Benayoun cutback, but Everton soon settled and the game became more balanced, Victor Anichebe and John Arne Riise trading chances before the goals either side of the interval. Hibbert’s departure understandably gave Liverpool greater space, Riise wastefully sending Kuyt’s cutback over the crossbar and Voronin soliciting a smart save from Howard. Then came Kuyt’s controversy. Having overran possession on the touchline, his feet left the ground as he launched into a reckless two-footed challenge that forced Neville to take swift evasive action. Clattenburg, possibly mindful the Dutchman had not shown his studs, brandished a yellow card; replays suggested the striker was fortunate to avoid red. And while Yakubu flashed a shot inches wide moments later, Clattenburg’s choice not to even the numbers meant Benitez’s side dominated the final half-hour. Voronin and the infuriating Sissoko both spurned great openings before substitute Jermaine Pennant – bringing belated width to Liverpool’s probing – prompted an opportunity for Kuyt that Howard diverted into that path of Lucas, whose shot was handled on the line by Neville. There was little else the England international could do, and the misguided jeers aimed at his direction as he trudged off would have turned to cheers had Howard got a firmer touch on the ball after guessing right with Kuyt’s penalty. As Everton’s players surrounded Clattenburg at the final whistle, the joyous sprint by Carragher towards the away support demonstrated how much this win meant to Liverpool following the humiliating 3-0 defeat on their visit to Goodison last September. Perhaps the rub of the green Benitez always insisted his team lacked that day was the significant factor this time around, although the manager could contend Reina didn’t have a genuine save of note to make all afternoon. If Liverpool do make a decent fist of a championship challenge, they may well look back on Saturday as pivotal moment in their season. For unhappy Everton, however, the game will long be remembered for the pivotal performance of one man.
EVERTON (4-4-2): Howard; Hibbert, Stubbs, Yobo, Lescott; Arteta, Neville, Jagielka, Osman; Yakubu (McFadden 78), Anichebe (Baines 84). Subs: Wessels, Carsley, Pienaar. BOOKING: McFadden (foul). SENDINGS-OFF: Hibbert and Neville (both professional fouls). LIVERPOOL (4-4-2): Reina; Finnan, Hyypia, Carragher, Riise; Gerrard (Lucas 72), Sissoko (Pennant 88), Mascherano, Benayoun (Babel 69); Voronin, Kuyt. BOOKINGS: Kuyt and Carragher (both fouls).REFEREE: Mark Clattenburg. ATT: 40,049. NEXT GAME: Everton v Larissa, UEFA Cup Group Stage, Thursday 7.45pm

Everton 1, Liverpool 2 (Echo)
Oct 22 2007
by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
IF, in the future, you ever need to show someone the embodiment of rage, you could provide no more fitting snapshot than that of David Moyes just before 3.00pm last Saturday afternoon. Having seen his Everton side denied the clearest penalty imaginable, Moyes raced onto the pitch, jumped up and down in disbelief, then proceeded to hoof a bottle of Lucozade the best part of 35 yards into Goodison Park’s Paddock Enclosure. No wonder. Blaming match officials for defeats is sometimes a convenient way of papering over cracks but, on this occasion, Moyes – and every other Evertonian – can rightly turn their ire on Mark Clattenburg for changing the 206th Merseyside derby. While there is no disputing that he got both Liverpool’s spot-kick decisions correct, to say he was wrong over the ones at the other end of the field is like saying members of KEIOC have slight doubts about moving to Kirkby. Only he will know why Jamie Carragher was not penalised for wrestling Joleon Lescott to the floor just after Dirk Kuyt had fired in from 12 yards, or why Kuyt was only booked for a tackle on Phil Neville which brought a new meaning to the term ‘Flying Dutchman’. “The decisions he has made happen in football; you sometimes get them or sometimes you don’t,” Moyes fumed. “But what we get in the last second of the game was a chance for it to be corrected and it was a result we deserved. “I’m more unhappy than I could tell you. We saw (Jon Obi) Mikel (of Chelsea) sent off at Old Trafford for two feet off the floor and there were two feet off the floor there. It couldn’t have been more obvious. There were simple decisions and he never gave them.” They were two absolute howlers, the kind that shape seasons and ruin weekends, and they provided further proof why men in Clattenburg’s profession are currently so vilified. No amount of apologising from him or his boss, Keith Hackett, will do any good. But before a vigilante group forms to pursue Clattenburg, it is worth noting in the cold light of day that he was not the sole reason why Everton ended up with nothing to show for their lung-busting efforts in what was yet another unsightly local squabble.
No. To put it simply – and possibly cruelly – for all their perspiration Everton let an out-of-sorts Liverpool side off the hook when they should have had them on the rack because of a lack of inspiration. In many ways, it was similar to Manchester United’s visit. That extra bit of class – the kind that would have ensured a slice of fortune just before half-time was fully capitalised upon – was missing. For all the possession Everton enjoyed before the break, and just after, how many times did Pepe Reina make a save? Given that the margin of defeat was so narrow and was inflicted so controversially, it may seem churlish to criticise, but Moyes and his players will know that when you are on top in games of this magnitude, superiority must be made to pay. Two points should have been the bare minimum that the Blues took off the champions and a Liverpool side who have delusions of grandeur if they think their title famine will end if they maintain this form. Yet, maddeningly, they have ended up empty handed. Of course Clattenburg contributed to this latest defeat but, once again, another defensive error allowed Liverpool the chance to establish a foothold in a game that appeared to be running away from them after Sami Hyypia comically sliced into his own goal. Ask yourself this: Leading 1-0 and having Liverpool penned back in their penalty area with a corner, how did two simple passes all of sudden leave Everton fatally exposed, a man down and back on level terms fighting an uphill battle? Just like they switched off against United, another momentary lapse proved to be so costly. It also means that Everton’s recent Premier League form figures have a rather lopsided look to them – four defeats in five games do not paint an accurate picture. As the dressing room tries to come to terms with this setback, few will be feeling worse than Tony Hibbert, who was first to receive his marching orders, but only Steven Gerrard and Clattenburg will know how much influence Liverpool’s captain had on that. After initially pulling a yellow card out, for the star-struck Clattenburg to then reach for a red once Gerrard had walked past him did the official no favours whatsoever, and exacerbated the fury Moyes was feeling. He was spared censure from the crowd as he trudged down the tunnel, unlike Neville, who followed Hibbert off in injury time for handling Lucas’ goal-bound shot after Everton failed to clear their lines. Irate members of the Main Stand fraternity labelled him, quite ridiculously, a disgrace. What was he supposed to do? Watch the shot go in? Clear with a diving header? Catch the ball on his chest then set up an attack by juggling the ball on his knees? He had been the game’s best midfielder in the first half and then defended with typical resolution once Hibbert had gone but, as it is in vogue to lambaste the captain for the slightest error, some will hold Neville culpable here.
That incident pretty much summed up an unpleasant afternoon as enmity spilled down from all sides of the pitch. Friendly derby? No chance. Some of the chants – and both sets of supporters were as guilty as each other – were revolting. There was a time you could go to these games and spend as much time laughing afterwards about the wit of the songs as you would talking about the action on the pitch. Not any longer. On the pitch it was fitful and fragmented, on the terraces it was foul and festering.
Thankfully, provided cup competitions don’t match these two tribes together, it will be another six months before we have to go through this ordeal again and, all being well, Everton will be in better form by March 29. And it must be pointed out that it was not all doom and gloom, either. Phil Jagielka and Ayegbeni Yakubu both enjoyed their best performances in a blue shirt, while Leon Osman got better and better as the game progressed. Then there was Lescott. His display at left back more than vindicated Moyes’ decision to drop Leighton Baines, as he galloped miles to defend and burst forward whenever possible to cause Liverpool’s defence countless problems. Unfortunately, his efforts went unrewarded and we all know the reason why, yet there is no point dwelling on that. Mistakes have happened before and will do so again. For the time being, Everton need to concentrate on eradicating those which are self-inflicted.

Phil Neville: 'Awestruck officials still ruining games'
Oct 22 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
PHIL NEVILLE today claimed “awestruck” match officials will continue to ruin big games with mistakes as he wrestled with the injustice of Everton’s derby defeat.
Everton’s captain has experienced the other side of the coin during his time with Manchester United and believes there are some Premier League referees who are dazzled by the reputation of football’s super powers. Mark Clattenburg’s decision not to award Joleon Lescott a penalty in injury time following his tangle with Jamie Carragher was just one of a number of things he botched up on Saturday afternoon but Neville wearily admits it won’t be the last time Everton are wronged. “I have been on the other side of things and you can see that some referees are awestruck when they deal with certain players and certain clubs,” said Neville. “But it’s never going to change. It’s been happening for 20 or 30 years and, unfortunately, we just have to get on with it.” Salt was rubbed into Evertonian wounds by the fact the scorer of Liverpool’s winning penalty was fortunate to be on the pitch and Neville was surprised Clattenburg failed to show Dirk Kuyt a red card for a challenge on him that he described as a “leg breaker”. “To be fair to Dirk Kuyt, he’s said it was a bad tackle and he is not a malicious player but the bottom line is that he should have been sent-off,” Neville pointed out. “We’ve had instances this season where players have been booked for the most trivial of incidents. “But when you see a leg-breaking tackle like that one receive the same punishment that’s when, as players, you get upset. We just want referees to be consistent. We have had officials come into our changing rooms this season and explain the rules. “Two feet off the ground is a red card. That’s why the players, the manager and our supporters feel so let down today. This isn’t asking for favouritism. We just want consistency and tackles like that to be outlawed.”
Neville, ironically, was sent-off in injury time for handling Lucas Leiva’s goal-bound shot and will now miss Everton’s trip to Derby County next Sunday, but he was stunned that Clattenburg did not award another spot-kick shortly after. “That was just the icing on the cake,” he said. “I’ve been a fan of Mark Clattenburg and referees have got the most difficult job in the world, so I’m not going to stand here and criticise him. All I will say is that he knows it was a penalty. “Games of that magnitude are defined by the smallest percentages and they never went for us on Saturday. It’s a bitter pill to swallow. I actually thought we played well and we can take pride from our performance. “As for the sending-off, it was just one of those things. I made a decision that I thought would help the team. If Tim had saved the penalty, it would have given us a chance of winning. We’ve got to move on.”

Why the Blues have a right to claim ref justice
Oct 22 2007 Liverpool Echo
IT was David Moyes’ last sentence, tossed over his shoulder as he trudged dispiritedly down the Goodison staircase, which was the most telling. “Did he go to Asia with Liverpool in the summer for the Asia Cup?” he queried. The question was rhetorical – and most journalists laughed. But the issue was a serious one. The ‘he’ in question was Mark Clattenburg, and Moyes’ comments added fuel to a growing fire that some referees are too close to some clubs to allow impartial decision-making. Mike Riley’s penchant for penalties at Old Trafford has been well documented. Last November, Mark Halsey was demoted to the Championship for urging supporters in Bolton’s matchday programme to “get behind Sam Allardyce and the boys as they seek a good result against Liverpool”. And Halsey, who had trained with Bolton and was subsequently never allowed to take charge of their matches, later admitted: “Most referees support a football club.” Clattenburg has never professed to supporting Liverpool, but his one-sided display on Saturday certainly suggested he enjoyed a closer relationship with Liverpool’s players than allowed for clear-headed analysis.
His poor decision-making ultimately affected the outcome of the 206th derby match.
And Moyes’ throwaway remark suggested many of those decisions were influenced by the time he spent with Liverpool on the plane to Hong Kong last July. Those of us who have spoken to and dealt with Dirk Kuyt, know him to be one of Liverpool’s most charming, affable and approachable players. As Rafa Benitez later declared: “He is not a player who would try and hurt an opponent.” Clattenburg probably knows that, too. Perhaps that notion flashed through his mind as he approached the Dutchman following his kung fu style flying kick at Phil Neville. What, according to the laws of the game should have been a red card, was down-graded to a yellow.
Then there was Steven Gerrard’s apparent influence. There is no doubt that Tony Hibbert’s challenge was worthy of a dismissal, but it was another decision the official appeared to have got wrong as he took a yellow card from his pocket.
Following Gerrard’s brief intervention, however, the official reached for his breast pocket and produced red. But the most alarming incident of the entire match came in the last seconds. Jamie Carragher is another hugely personable and likeable individual. So did a prior knowledge of his personality somehow influence Clattenburg that the Reds defender’s last minute wrestling of Lescott to the ground was a legitimate attempt to win the ball? Did the knowledge that Carragher had already been booked and might have to be red-carded flash through his mind?
It’s the only possible explanation for a decision so wrong it was laughable – an incident the referee enjoyed an unimpeded view of yet still failed to see.
Perhaps the non-decision was a symptom of another, wider malaise, regularly complained about by fans of teams outside the ‘big four’. Rafa Benitez enraged the blue half of Merseyside by suggesting Everton were a small club after the last Anfield derby. But it’s not just the Liverpool boss who holds that view. The spectacular media glare generated by bad decisions against Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool seems to make officials think twice before awarding decisions against them.
And Everton were the latest victims on Saturday. The decisions deflected from a derby match low on quality, high on controversy. A central midfield quartet of Neville, Jagielka, Sissoko and Mascherano treated the ball with an almost brutal contempt. Only Mikel Arteta and Yossi Benayoun attempted to caress it with anything approaching finesse. And both sides lacked penetration from their forwards.
Yakubu showed occasional flashes of flair, while Voronin twice got himself into excellent positions, but twice wasted the openings. Ultimately, Liverpool generated so many chances they could claim to have been worthy winners – without Clattenburg’s influence. But that influence was so wide-reaching, so pivotal, that it was only the referee’s name which was spoken of afterwards . . . again. And that's unsettling.

Dirk Kuyt should have seen Red - Alan Stubbs
Oct 22 2007 Paul Walker Liverpool Echo
PENALTY hero Dirk Kuyt admitted he was “a bit lucky” to still be on the pitch to fire Liverpool’s season back on course with a dramatic derby winner. in the 206th Merseyside derby. But the Dutchman insisted there was no malice in the two-footed aerial lunge at Everton’s Phil Neville that infuriated the home players and manager David Moyes. Kuyt had already scored one penalty when he hurled himself at Neville.
Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez insisted he was “trying to block the ball, not connect with the player,” and Kuyt himself claimed: “People saw the TV and said my booking looks bad. But I was just trying to make a tackle and I did not want to touch the player. “Maybe I was a bit lucky, but I never had any intention of trying to hit the player.” it was a yellow card and I accept that.” That didn’t not cut any ice with Everton’s veteran defender Alan Stubbs, who led the condemnation of the challenge afterwards. Stubbs said: “That was a two-footed lunge. If a player leaves the ground with both feet, that’s a red card, and he gets a yellow. “In the laws of the game if a player goes in with two feet and makes a lunge, and that is what it was, it’s a red.
“If Phil (Neville) hadn’t been so honest he could have been rolling around and trying to get him sent off.” It’s a two-footed tackle and that’s a red card offence.”
Stubbs was also furious with referee Mark Clattenburg after the game’s crucial turning point when Tony Hibbert was sent off for bringing down Steven Gerrard in the box – a penalty confidently put away by Kuyt 10 minutes before his flying tackle on Neville. Said Stubbs: “The referee went to book Tony Hibbert holding a yellow card. Their player (Gerrard) walks past him (the referee) and it’s changed to a red. Have a look at the replay, and see for yourself. “We saw the replays. That’s disappointing. We were 1-0 at half-time and on top. We had control of the game.
“The penalty changed everything. It gave them impetus and we were a man down. It was always going to be difficult after that with them having more of the ball and pressure. “But Tim (Howard) didn’t have any saves to make. We were under the cosh and wanted to see it out for a draw. I am as disappointed as I have been all season.”
“I suppose I sensed a red card. But the replays show he had the yellow and put it back in his pocket. It was a big call.” Liverpool’s injury-time winner came after Neville had handled a shot from substitute Lucas on the line, and this time referee Clattenburg had no option but to bring out the red card before Kuyt slammed home his second penalty. but there was still time for more controversy when Jamie Carragher appeared to haul Joleon Lescott to the ground as Everton’s nine men fought for an equaliser. deep into injury-time. Stubbs fumed: “If the referee looks at the decision again he will see the penalty appeal was right. Their lad had his arms all around Joleon. What was he supposed to do?”

Petition to ban derby referee
Oct 22 2007
Greg O'Keeffe Liverpool Echo
EVERTON fans have launched an internet petition calling for the banning of controversial derby day ref Mark Clattenburg from officiating at Premier League games. Blues supporters blame him for the defeat, during which he refused to award Everton a penalty in the final minutes of the game. He further angered Everton supporters by not sending off Liverpool striker Dirk Kuyt for a two-footed airborne challenge on Blues skipper Phil Neville. David Moyes was heavily critical of Clattenburg, who is highly rated by the FA, in his post-match interview. Now hundreds of football fans have signed the online petition which calls for the ban on Clattenburg. It says: “We the undersigned ask the Football Association to ban Mark Clattenburg for life from refereeing in the Premier League. He gave a penalty for a foul committed outside the box. “He gave a yellow card to the Liverpool player after his unsportsmanlike tackle on the Everton player, a tackle which according to the rules should result a direct red card. “And in the dying moments of the game he refused to give a penalty to Everton after an obvious foul on the Everton player inside the box.” Laura McDonald from Liverpool wrote: “He is a disgrace to the profession; even a half blind pensioner would have done a better job refereeing the match.” But one fan using the name of Reds legend Jan Molby, said: “Mr Clattenburg – you are a legend sir.”

McCarten’s magic enough for victory
Oct 23 2007
by Chris Wright, Liverpool Daily Post
JAMES McCARTEN’S superb 20-yard free-kick was enough to give Everton under-18s their eighth victory from 10 Premier Academy League games as they beat Blackburn Rovers 1-0 at Netherton on Friday. Neil Dewsnip’s side managed to grind out the victory despite not being at their best. McCarten struck with 20 minutes left, but it was also their defence which provided the platform for victory. Twice Danny Redmond cleared off his goal-line late on as the visitors put Everton under pressure.
Everton had a couple of half-chances from Jose Baxter and Kieren Agard, but in the end Redmond’s free-kick was enough. Coach Dewsnip said: “It was a really tough game and they were physically a lot stronger than us. But we held firm.
“The back-line of Sinnott, McCarten Stewart and Barnett were very strong. They gave them few chances and their only real one was when Danny Redmond kicked off the line twice in succession following a corner kick. “We showed great character and mental toughness to get the win. “It was amazingly different from the game the week before against Crewe where it was a really nice technical game of football. This was about mental qualities, about being mentally and physically strong and we survived.
“In terms of young players’ development that is a positive. With a bit of luck one or two of these are going to have to go into the darkest depths of Europe one day and you will need qualities that.” Everton aim to continue their form when they visit Stoke City on Saturday (kick-off 11am). Everton’s Jose Baxter and Adam Davies are both in the England under-16s squad for the Victory Shield match with Wales at Telford FC on Friday, November 2 and will probably miss the Liverpool game at Kirkby Academy the following day. EVERTON UNDER-18s: McEntagart; Stewart, McCarten, Sinnott, Barnett; Redmond, O’Kane, Akpan; Baxter (Krenn 85), Agard, Codling. Subs: Stubhaug, McCready, Davies, Sheppard.

Bungling and baffling – ref who opted out
Oct 23 2007
by Nigel Martyn, Liverpool Echo
WHAT an absolutely wretched weekend to put the cap on a bloody miserable week. If it wasn’t bad enough seeing England’s dreams suffer in the European Championships, the Rugby World Cup final slipping away and Lewis Hamilton’s F1 dreams being dashed, I’m still struggling to find an answer for Mark Clattenburg’s baffling display at Goodison Park. Mistakes like the one the Gosforth official made in the derby happen time and again in football matches but when they occur in the big games it makes it all the more difficult to stomach. They shouldn’t happen, but sadly, they do. I don’t think the controversy was helped, though, by the views of the opposition manager afterwards. In the main, Rafa Benitez comes across very well, but that most definitely was not the case with his comments. If anything, they proved to be incendiary. It seemed as if he was trying to rub salt in Evertonian wounds. A better appraisal would have been for him to come out and say the atmosphere was terrific, there was plenty of incident and how he was able to breath a sigh of relief at the end.
For Benitez to actually disparage Everton’s tactics, say Joleon Lescott dived and make other such remarks, lacked class and dignity. You would expect better of a man in such an important position. Add that to his remarks about Everton being a small club in February and it does absolutely nothing to improve relations between the clubs. It’s a sad state of affairs and the incident pretty much summed up a miserable afternoon. Much has been written and said about Clattenburg’s assorted errors and rightly so. If he was strong enough to award two penalties to the away team in a derby game, why didn’t he have the conviction to award another to the home side that was just as clear? Yes, he should also have sent Dirk Kuyt off, but to say that influenced the outcome is splitting hairs, as someone else could quite easily have scored the spot kick in the final minute, regardless of whether the flying Dutchman had been on the pitch. It was just so desperately disappointing that, once again, a derby match makes the headlines for wrong reasons, but not as disappointing as the fact that Everton were denied an opportunity to level the game when they should have been. Of course, you can’t say for certain that Everton would have scored had Clattenburg done his job properly. Pepe Reina is a very good goalkeeper with an outstanding record of saving penalties – but we should have at least been afforded that chance. The thing is, however, that a burning sense of injustice can be used to Everton’s advantage in the next few days. As a professional, when you have been on the end of a decision like that, you want to make amends quickly. If Liverpool had come across Stanley Park and annihilated the Blues 3-0, David Moyes might have had trouble lifting the spirts for the UEFA Cup clash with Larissa,but now – knowing the players as I do – they will be ready to run through walls to get the right result. Everton will rightly be favourites to get the group stages off to a flying start and I don’t envisage anything other than a home win. The players will feed off the energy from the crowd and will hopefully put a smile on everyone’s face. Heaven knows, Everton deserve a lucky break.

Stubbs: Our derby agony will drive us on in Europe
Oct 23 2007
by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
ALAN STUBBS today promised Everton will channel their derby day frustration into ensuring they get the UEFA Cup group stage off to a flyer. Few in Everton’s dressing room took Saturday’s defeat as badly as lifelong Blue Stubbs but he knows there is little merit in wallowing in self-pity following referee Mark Clattenburg’s bungling performance. Fortunately for David Moyes and his players, the chance to erase the memory of a wretched weekend comes around quickly as Everton play host to Greek side Larissa in the opening match of Group A on Thursday evening. Stubbs believes that if he and his team-mates replicate their efforts against Liverpool, they will get the right result but he knows that it is vital for Everton to stop a rot of four defeats in five Premier League matches as quickly as possible. “We have got to forget about the derby,” said Stubbs. “We have got a big game on Thursday and if we play the way we did from 15 minutes onwards to just after half-time, then I think we will be fine. “Our performance was much better against Liverpool. The result was obviously very disappointing and coming away from the derby with a draw would have set us up nicely for the game against Larissa. “We just have to dust ourselves down now and we have got a great game to lift ourselves up in. I wouldn’t have thought we’d lost four of the last five if someone had asked me that. I don’t think that’s a fair reflection.
“But we have just got to keep going. Things will turn for us. We never got the rub of the green against Liverpool. We feel as if we have been robbed but performance-wise the manager was quite happy with us and we look forward now to going into Thursday.” Derby ref Clattenburg, meanwhile, has not been suspended from Premier League duty, contrary to some reports. He is officiating in a UEFA Cup match in Moscow on Thursday, meaning he was not due to referee in the Premier League this weekend. Referees chief Keith Hackett also confirmed that Clattenburg then has a week long holiday that has been booked for some time, meaning it is likely he will escape the punishment handed out to Rob Styles for a mistake against Liverpool earlier this season. In August, Styles was stood down from the following weekend’s matches after admitting he awarded Chelsea an erroneous penalty at Anfield. Clattenburg has not yet owned up to any culpability for his errors at Goodison, although former referee Graham Poll, a man previously described by Clattenburg as his mentor, said: “Mark is very low after Saturday. How he reacts to this display will show us if he has what it takes to establish himself as number one.” Clattenburg, a Newcastle fan, set a post-war record by making his debut as a Football League referee at the age of just 25 when he took charge of Chesterfield against York City in 2000 and became a FIFA referee last year. But this is not the first time his decisions have come under the microscope. With no signal coming from an assistant he played on in the last minute of Manchester United’s clash with Tottenham at Old Trafford when United keeper Roy Carroll clearly fumbled Pedro Mendes’ long range shot over his own goalline in January 2005.

Everton legends gather to celebrate triumph of Rotterdam
Oct 23 2007 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON’S Class of ’85 is gathering next month to celebrate the club’s famous European Cup Winners’ Cup victory. The squad which memorably overcame Bayern Munich en route to a Rotterdam triumph over Rapid Vienna will assemble at the Adelphi Hotel on Wednesday, November 21, for a night of nostalgia and celebration.
With the modern day Blues preparing for Thursday’s visit of Larissa to Goodison Park in the UEFA Cup, skipper of that 1985 side, Kevin Ratcliffe, has drawn parallels with the two eras. Everton endured a titanic struggle before finally edging past the Ukrainian outfit Metalist Kharkiv last month. And in 1985 Everton were given their biggest scare of the entire competition by the Irish part-timers of University College Dublin. “Hopefully Everton can learn from the experience of those two Kharkiv matches, like we learned from the UCD game in 1985,” he said. Ratcliffe reflected: “It wouldn’t have mattered who we faced in that first round. “It was the first European club game for all of us and we dreaded making a mess of it. Everton’s record in Europe had not been good. “If we were edgy over there it was worse at Goodison. I was really uptight and Reidy even worse. We were terrified of being caught on the break and conceding an away goal.” Everton eventually scrambled through 1-0 on aggregate and Derek Mountfield added: “UCD came back over here knowing that one away goal for them could be all important. “I remember Nev made a smart save late on to keep it at 1-0, otherwise it would have been 1-1. It was probably the hardest two games we played all the way through the tournament.” From that point on Everton grew in confidence. Inter Bratislava were beaten home and away, Andy Gray was a hat-trick hero against Dutch side Fortuna Sittard, while the second leg of the Bayern Munich semi-final has become one of the most talked about games in Goodison history. Stars like Graeme Sharp, Andy Gray, Peter Reid, Kevin Sheedy, Trevor Steven, Paul Bracewell, Neville Southall and Derek Mountfield have all confirmed their presence at the Adelphi on November 21, along with the management of Howard Kendall and Colin Harvey. A three course dinner will be served to the backdrop of the Cup final victory over Rapid Vienna they helped mastermind. Billy Butler will compere the evening, with donations made to the Alder Hey Imagine Appeal from proceeds. Tickets cost £50 from 07747-011014, 07747-011015 or credit card orders to 07747-011013.

Mikel Arteta reaches Blues landmark
Oct 23 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
MIKEL ARTETA will gain entry into Everton’s ‘100 club’ on Thursday evening and he wants to mark the occasion with a morale boosting victory. The Blues’ Spanish midfielder took his appearance tally for the club up to 99 during Saturday’s frustrating 2-1 defeat against Liverpool but he will get the chance to banish the memory of that almost instantly when FC Larissa arrive at Goodison Park. That will be Everton’s first foray into the UEFA Cup group stages and playing in Europe was one of the main reasons Arteta signed a new-five year deal early this summer. Needless to say he is looking forward to the experience. But, as Metalist Kharkiv proved, there is no such thing in European football as a straightforward assignment and Arteta knows that if Everton show the slightest sign that they are off form, Larissa - Blackburn Rovers’ conquerors - will take full advantage. Arteta, however, feels the experience in Ukraine will stand Everton in good stead for this latest assignment and he hopes David Moyes’ side can get the result that will send them on their way to the next knockout phase.
“It was a big relief to get through in the last round,” said Arteta, who has more than repaid the £2.5m fee it took to sign him from Real Sociedad during his two-and-a-half seasons on Merseyside. “We knew that it was going to be tough against Metalist and when they started playing well it was like ’oh my God’. I think we were lucky as they had some chances and we were not playing football at all. “We were playing the ball up front and it was going straight through to their keeper, but in the second half, we got it together and started passing the ball around. That’s when we went in front.”
Aside from Larissa, Everton must also face Zenit St Petersburg at home, along with trips to Nurnberg and AZ Alkmaar to establish Group A’s pecking order before Christmas, and Arteta is wary of the threat each team poses. “Everyone has been talking about how good it is that we don’t have to fly to Russia,” he said. “But I have a lot of respect for all the sides. We know the demands of Europe are different but I can’t wait to play in the UEFA Cup again.” Whether being involved in regular European competition will improve his chances of being called into Spain’s national side, only time will tell, but Arteta is trying to put a brave face on the fact that that first cap remains so elusive. “I’ve not had a chance to talk to Luis Aragones,” said Arteta, a former Spanish under-21 international. “Obviously I would love to play for the national team. It is one of my strong desires. “I want to be called up to see if I am capable of playing at that level or not. What I have to do is try everything that I can to improve. I must wait for my chance and hope that one day it will come along.”

We won’t go far wrong if we play like we did against Liverpool
24th October 2007 Daily Star
By Chris Harper
Alan Stubbs wants more of the same from his Everton team-mates when they face UEFA Cup opponents Larissa – even though they lost against Liverpool at the weekend. Stubbs, 36, felt it more than most when the club he has supported since he was a boy lost to their great rivals in controversial style on Saturday. But now it’s a welcome return to European action tomorrow against the Greek side who knocked out Blackburn – and he’s relishing the challenge. Stubbs said: “We won’t go far wrong if we play like we did against Liverpool. “That is what we have got to look towards now. “It’s a big game and it’s what we all worked hard for last season. We go again. It’s as simple as that. We have got to forget about the derby and if we play the way we did from 15 minutes onwards to just after half-time, then I think we will be fine.”
Gareth Barry has been warned he could be rested by Aston Villa boss Martin O’Neill. O’Neill said: “I’m hoping to be able to give people a break. Gareth loves his football but the exertions of internationals and travelling can take its toll.”

Everton to rediscover sparkle – Tim Howard
Oct 24 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
TIM HOWARD believes Everton are ready to leave their indifferent form behind and recapture last season’s sparkle – starting tomorrow night against Larissa.
Having lost four of their last five Premier League games, the first match of the UEFA Cup group stages will provide a welcome distraction for the Blues and Howard is expecting a bold show at Goodison Park. What’s more, Everton’s hopes are likely to be boosted with the return to the squad of Tim Cahill, Thomas Gravesen and possibly James Vaughan, who have all been sidelined with serious injuries. The craft and guile those three provide has certainly been missed, but now that Everton are close to being at full strength again, Howard believes it will have a significant effect on results and hopes that proves to be the case against the Greeks. “It’s been a middle of the road kind of start,” said Howard, who is still feeling the effects of a finger injury he sustained six weeks ago. “We can’t get too optimistic about what we have done but we can’t get too down in the dumps either. “We have had a few key guys on the treatment table recently so hopefully when they come back fit and ready, we will be able to kick on from there. There is a lot of potential and ambition here but the beginning of the season has been hard. “Europe is so different. The aggregate scoreline always makes things difficult but I was always optimistic that we would qualify. I know AJ missed a couple of penalties in the first leg but the chances were there. “The draw has been good. There isn’t a whole lot of travelling, which is a benefit to us as we only have to go Holland and Germany. But when you get to the group stages, there are a lot of really good sides, so we won’t underestimate anyone.”
Phil Jagielka, meanwhile, has targeted a good result to set Everton on their way ahead of a crucial three weeks in which they have three Premier League games, two UEFA Cup matches and a last 16 Carling Cup tie at Luton Town. “The games come thick and fast now, especially this month,” he said. “The lads worked extra hard last season to get into Europe and we have worked hard to stay in Europe this season. We’ll be trying to continue that on Thursday.” Tickets for the Larissa game are on general sale from Evertonfc.com, by calling the dial-a-seat service on 0870 4421878 or from the Goodison Park End box office, which is open until 6pm tomorrow.
The cost is £20 adults, £10 concessions.

Game that induces grown men to act like kids
Oct 24 2007 by Tony Barrett, Liverpool Echo
“MOVE you! Get up your own end. You shouldn’t even be standing there, that’s our bit!” All that was missing was a Bonnie Langford-style screech. These words were not muttered by a seven-year-old kid in the street in some sort of childish territorial battle, they were shouted by a grown man in his 30s during Saturday’s derby match at Goodison. The reason for his ire? Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez had strayed into David Moyes’ half of the technical area at the side of the pitch. Moyes didn’t seem to mind, no doubt recognising it was just a bit of grass with an artificial boundary drawn onto it. But the rest of the Main Stand had to suffer the indignation of an angry fan who had spotted a “crime” and wanted everyone else to know about it. Maybe it’s as a result of tension and an overwhelming desire to get one over on your rivals but there is something about derby day which makes grown men act like kids. It’s nothing new, either. I can remember seeing a Liverpool fan refuse to give the ball back to Kevin Sheedy during one of my first Anfield derbies and Sheedy was forced to tell the referee he couldn’t play on because someone had his ball. Then you have the tit-for-tat war of words that starts in the build-up to the game and finishes about 12 months later. No perspective is allowed, no giving of ground and no olive branches held out.
You adopt your position according to which team you support and you stick to it, no matter if you know what you are arguing about is foolish or downright wrong.
But what chance have the players got when the managers are setting such a poor example? After the game both Moyes and Benitez let themselves down with the kind of jibes which do nothing but a disservice to themselves . Pressed about an Everton penalty claim in the dying seconds, Benitez suggested that the Blues’ Joleon Lescott had dived when clearly he hadn’t. He may have stumbled or fallen over and, in all probability, he may even have been fouled, but one thing Lescott quite clearly did not do was dive. Picking up on the playground theme, Moyes then informed the media that referee Mark Clattenburg had once travelled on the same plane as the Liverpool team, the insinuation being that he was too close to their players to be impartial in one of their games. For goodness sake. Both Clattenburg and Liverpool were going to the very same place for the very same purpose at the very same time and the sponsors who paid for the trip put them on the same flight. As conspiracy theories go, that one’s as weak as a Leon Osman tackle. Or, in the interests of impartiality, a Peter Crouch header. On Saturday I looked around the stands and saw literally thousands of children with their dads and the example they got from them was pretty shocking.
If the derby makes grown men act like kids maybe some of them shouldn’t bother going. Or at least have the decency to leave their children at home so they don’t end up acting as stupidly as them.

ABOVE: Tim Cahill
25th October 2007 Daily Star
Tim Cahill scripted his comeback to perfection with his first goal in almost a year as Everton secured a 3-1 victory in their UEFA Cup Group A opener against Greek outfit Larissa. On his first start since the beginning of March after a metatarsal injury, the Australia international midfielder opened the scoring with a delightful diving header in the 14th minute. It was classic Cahill and in the 50th minute his outstanding pass helped to orchestrate Leon Osman's brilliant clincher from 22 yards. A 65th-minute strike from Cleyton Alexandre Silva had home nerves jangling but substitute Victor Anichebe ensured Everton rounded off proceedings with a superb late third.
And with Thomas Gravesen also making a return to action after injury, Everton followers left Goodison Park encouraged their side can make a serious impression in the competition this season. After a shaky start, Everton drew first blood in the 14th minute. Osman and Mikel Arteta worked a quick one-two from a corner on the left and Osman's whipped cross was greeted with a diving header from Cahill which flew into the back of the net. It should have been 2-0 in the 21st minute after more good work from Cahill. Neat footwork from Steven Pienaar down the right flank allowed the South African to find Cahill with a short pass deep in Larissa territory. The former Millwall man could have shot but opted to pass to James McFadden, but his scuffed effort was easily collected by visiting goalkeeper Stefanos Kotsolis. Everton needed just five minutes of the second half to extend their advantage thanks to Osman's brilliant effort. The architect of the goal was Cahill, whose outstanding pass sent Baines clear down the left flank. He whipped in a low cross which Pienaar audaciously flicked into the path of Osman - who slammed the ball into the top corner from 22 yards. The Greeks pulled a goal back in the 65th minute after Lescott was dispossessed inside his own 18-yard box by Cleyton. The striker showed admirable pace to glide past the England defender, then Joseph Yobo, before striking a low shot past Tim Howard. That set the tone for a period of sustained Larissa pressure but Anichebe eased home fears in the 85th minute with a superb run and shot from inside the visiting penalty area to seal an ultimately comfortable win.

Moyes: We’ll only face 11 tonight
Oct 25 2007
by Nick Smith, Liverpool Daily Post
DAVID MOYES proved that his Merseyside derby red mist is still to clear last night as he launched another broadside at referee Mark Clattenburg’s performance. And the Everton manager is more convinced than ever that the injustice he and his players felt after Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Liverpool will galvanise them for the start of their UEFA Cup campaign tonight. The last time tonight’s Greek visitors Larissa landed on English soil earlier this month they had a 2-0 lead over Blackburn Rovers in their luggage, which eventually gave them the platform to complete their progress to the group stages at Ewood Park. But with the apparent intention of Moyes and his players to take their derby anger out on the next thing that stands in their way, then their next trip looks about as comfortable and assured as their striker Ibrahima Bakayoko used to when the ball came near him in the penalty area during his spell at Everton. Moyes is already confident simply because, in his first swipe at Clattenburg yesterday, he pointed out that “we will be playing 11 against 11 rather than 12 against nine.”
Then when waxing lyrical on the importance of the supporters’ role as the 12th man tonight, the Scot said: “We had a 12th man on Saturday but that couldn’t equal their 12th man.” He wouldn’t go as far to reveal the details of a chat he had with Clattenburg half an hour after the controversial Goodison clash, but it certainly hasn’t put Moyes in a more forgiving mood. However, it has given him a different approach to what he expects from Swede Martin Ingvarsson tonight and his fellow referees in the future – nothing. “I think it will make us stronger in the long term because we now know we cannot expect to get any decisions at all – because when you don’t the one we didn’t on Saturday you have to play all the time now expecting to get nothing,” said Moyes, referring to Clattenburg’s refusal to give a penalty in injury time for Jamie Carragher’s wrestling of Joleon Lescott. “But I think the positive is it was a game which was not decided by players but by a referee and the result was decided by a referee. “So we have to put that into consideration and put it in the right perspective and the right place. “Everybody at the time was amazed because it wasn’t even as if it was debatable. So from that point of view we will be moving on and we have moved on, but we will be much stronger now and not reliant on decisions from referees. If there’s one thing I’ve tried to do recently it’s to not be critical of referees and the other thing you have to look at is Everton’s disciplinary record is the best in the Premier League. “So if you take that all into consideration you would have to say ‘wait a minute here, they’re only shouting up because they feel they were wronged’ – and we were wronged. “We knew the injustice the minute we came off the field and it didn’t take us to see any videos, we knew immediately how bad it was. “I’ve since seen it a few times but I know the real story and what’s really gone on from the referee and his comments to me so if the FA really want to hear the real comments than I can explain them. “It was also witnessed by John Barnwell of the LMA so we know exactly what was said and what the referee’s thoughts were because I got a chance to speak to him 30 minutes after the game.” None of which has taken Moyes’s focus off tonight’s mission of getting the group stages off to a winning start. He might have to brush up on his knowledge on Larissa’s country, however – after searching for an equivalent to ‘bread and butter’ to explain the nature of Premier League to Greek journalists he opted for the Turkish delicacy of doner kebab before correcting himself and opting for Moussaka instead. It was all good-humoured banter and an indication that Moyes hasn’t let the events of the weekend prevent him enjoying the new experiences Europe has to offer. He won’t be laughing, however, if he fails to do his homework on the Greeks themselves and they have already shown what a dangerous unknown quantity they can be by knocking out a top six Premier League side in Blackburn Rovers in the first round. But then the opponents Everton were paired with at that stage were supposed to represent a kind draw too until Metalist Kharkiv emerged from the first leg at Goodison with a 1-1 draw. The situation was rescued on a nerve-shredding night in Ukraine when Everton had to come from behind twice before securing a 3-2 win and their first victory in Europe for 12 years. With that hoodoo lifted, Moyes expects tonight’s Goodison congregation to be less anxious in the relatively relaxed surroundings of an opening round-robin fixture – and it gives him confidence that feeling can rub off on the players. “We want to try and start the group well if we can and our intentions are to be positive and hope to get a good result on the night,” said Moyes. “But we mustn’t under-estimate them. They put Blackburn out who are a good side. “We have had really exciting games no matter who we’ve played here. Villarreal was a terrific game at home, and against Dinamo Bucharest we wanted to score as many goals as we could on the night. Then look at Metalist. We missed two penalties, so they have been pretty good and exciting games for the fans in Europe.” After the Merseyside derby you do wonder how much more excitement Moyes can take, so he would surely be better served by a straightforward and routine home win without much drama.
And the response of his players to the weekend theatre is giving Moyes plenty of encouragement on that score. He added: “We are delighted with the attitude of the players and the way, with the performance on Saturday, we seem to be improving. “We’re getting people back from injury so we’re beginning to feel as if we’re much stronger.”

Chance to hit back
Oct 25 2007
Liverpool Daily Post
WHILE these UEFA Cup games do have a disruptive effect on the league programme – Derby at 2pm on Sunday is about as miserable a time as you can imagine for a game – at least this game with Larissa will give us a chance to put the memory of last Saturday’s game behind us. Evertonians will tell you that we are used to seeing poor decisions go against us in derby games, but Mark Clattenburg’s old pals act with Liverpool’s senior England players was particularly hard to stomach.
It’s bad enough when a bad decision is made in a match where you are being battered, but that on Saturday saw the result handed to one of the most anaemic-looking Liverpool sides to come to cross the park in years. We beat a better side than that 3-0 a year ago. A good result tonight then is a must, as are three points at Pride Park, otherwise we might have to start looking a little warily at the bottom half.

David Moyes: Mark Clattenburg explanation not enough
Oct 25 2007
by Nick Smith, Liverpool Daily Post
DAVID MOYES last night re-iterated his disgust with Mark Clattenburg in the wake of his side’s Merseyside derby defeat.
The Everton manager revealed he spoke to the referee after the game and – without divulging details of the conversation – wasn’t satisfied with his explanations of the controversial decisions that led to their 2-1 loss to Liverpool. But if summoned by the FA to explain his after-match remarks, Moyes said he would be happy to see them and explain the details of his meeting with Clattenburg. Earlier this week the FA appeared unprepared to take action against Moyes for his criticism of the official and he didn’t hold back ahead of tonight’s first UEFA Cup group game at home to Larissa. Moyes, whose chief gripe was the turning down of a penalty for what appeared to be a clear foul by Jamie Carragher on Joleon Lescott in injury time, said: “We knew the injustice the minute we came off the field and it didn’t take us to see any videos, we knew immediately how bad it was. “I’ve since seen it a few times but I know the real story and what’s really gone on from the referee and his comments to me – so if the FA really want to hear the real comments than I can explain them. “It was also witnessed by John Barnwell from the LMA (League Managers Association) so we know exactly what was said and what the referee’s thoughts were because I got a chance to speak to him 30 minutes after the game.” Meanwhile, Lee Carsley is confident the players can recover from the blow of losing to close rivals Liverpool in such a contentious fashion. They are equally as keen as their manager to set the record straight against Larissa – but Carsley did deviate from Moyes’s line on Clattenburg by speaking up in support of the 32-year-old and said: “I think the fact it was a Merseyside derby didn’t help matters. “There’s more than just three points riding on the derby and I think that shows in the passion that comes across after. “I actually like Mark Clattenburg, I think he’s a good referee and one of our better referees but I think he’d be the first to say that he had an off day. And who doesn’t have an off day? “It’s one of those things and it’s gone now. It’s a setback and after a setback you look to take a positive step and it’s lucky enough for us that we’ve got a game now. “They will come thick and fast so the odds are if we do have a setback we’ll have a chance to put it right a few days later.” Tim Cahill is on target to be available for selection for the first time this season tonight after missing out on his comeback from a metatarsal break at the weekend. Moyes said: “He has done some training but the medical team didn’t pass him fit for Saturday’s game so we couldn’t use him. “He’s had another few days training although he’s not had any match practice. “But he’s been back in amongst the group for the last couple of week and Tim’s a bubbly character anyway and always keen to play.” fellow midfielder Thomas Gravesen could also be fit following his knee injury, the Dane having not featured since making the first appearance of his second spell back at the club at Bolton on September. James Vaughan, however, won’t make his long-awaited return from a broken foot because of a thigh strain. Meanwhile, Anderson de Silva has returned to Everton following his loan spell at Barnsley. Barnsley manager Simon Davey hoped to keep de Silva but the midfielder has turned down the opportunity to extend his stay in Yorkshire. He said: “Anderson has returned to Everton and will not be coming back. “He wants to fight for his place at Goodison Park.”

The Jury
Oct 25 2007
By Liverpool Echo
IT beggars belief how Mark Clattenburg didn’t deem Dirk Kuyt’s kung-fu effort as a red card offence, or Joleon Lescott’s mugging. It has been intimated that the referee shared flights with the Reds when they went on tour last summer – but the only thing that mattered on Saturday was him taking the necessary action when required. And, in Everton’s case, he didn’t.
We must have played well enough for Benitez to criticise his captain, saying he played with too much passion and not enough brain. As for Jamie "10 years an Evertonian" Carragher celebrating, he was more upset losing out to us last year than being beaten in a Champions League final. We Evertonians know where his priorities lie. If Everton show the same spirit and determination as they did on Saturday we should beat Larissa tonight. Moyes welcomes back Cahill, Gravesen and Vaughan too, so who knows what will happen in the next chapter of our season.
AFTER any derby defeat, especially one so crushing, the next game can’t come soon enough, but Larissa could be a really difficult one for us to get back on track. Like Kharkiv in the first round, I think many will be expecting us to win this game comfortably, and that can create pressure if we’re not ahead early on. Patience could be the most important factor for the players as well as the supporters. One player who came out of the derby looking like he was ready to really prove himself was Yakubu.
He has been criticised this season for his laziness but he showed exactly how dangerous he can be, even with the limited service he had when we were down to ten men. Elsewhere, Phil Jagielka has been struggling in midfield the last few games and undoubtedly Lee Carsley’s experience in the position could serve us better in the upcoming games.
ALTHOUGH we don't know a lot about our Greek opponents, it’s a game that I fully expect us to dominate.
Some people might see the players as being under pressure to perform, as we are up against a team that we are considered to be much better than. This simply isn’t true. We need to go out and play like we did on Saturday. If we do that we should beat Larissa.
As we will be without Tony Hibbert and Phil Neville for a while, I expect the manager will give somebody else a try in the right back position at some point during the game. Hopefully Tim Cahill will be able to make his long-awaited return from injury tonight which will be a real boost to the team. His work rate, creative flair and eye for goal have been sorely missed this season. Looking ahead to Sunday at Derby, a win would see us climb back up the table. If we are to achieve what we did last term then we have to pick up all three points at Pride Park. No excuses.
FRASER COLE, Litherland
YET again, we were beaten by a team who were poor, but we were punished unfairly by an awestruck and biased referee.
But it wasn’t the first time a referee has gone against us and I’m sure it won’t be the last. We all know that we played well enough to get a result and, therefore, I’m sure deep down Liverpool fans know it, too. There is no need to dwell in the past because it will only wind us up and keep that lot happy. Fortunately, we can erase the dreadful derby quickly with a win tonight.
The team will want to get off to a flying start in Europe so I would like to see an attacking line-up and, hopefully, Tim Cahill will make his long awaited first appearance of the season. However, Larissa seem to be on a high right now after their win against Blackburn so I’m sure they’ll be up for the game. Needless to say, this is the perfect game to get back to winning ways.

Bolton Reserves 0 Everton Reserves 1
Barclaycard Premiership Reserve League 24th October 2007 19:00
Everton reserves recorded a 1-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers. A goal from Lukas Jutkiewicz midway through the second half earned the Blues their second consecutive win of the season following the 2-0 victory against Manchester City last time out.
Andy Holden opted for a relatively young side with the notable exceptions of Nuno Valente and Andy van der Meyde.
In a game of seldom chances, Everton took the lead through Jutkiewicz. Following a neat flick on from Aidan Downes, the youngster volleyed home from close range. The experienced duo of van der Meyde and Valente completed an hour of the match at the Lancashire FA before being substituted. The Trotters piled on the pressure late on but some resolute defending saw the Blues edge home a narrow win

David Moyes set to call on Tim Cahill
Oct 25 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
TIM CAHILL is likely to be handed the chance of spearheading Everton’s UEFA Cup assault tonight, in his first game since March 3. David Moyes is toying with the idea of returning the influential Aussie midfielder to the Blues starting line-up, although the European tie has likely come too soon for Thomas Gravesen. Yet whoever the Goodison boss selects for duty – and a thigh strain precludes James Vaughan’s involvement – Moyes knows Everton will have to be on top form against ‘dangerous outfit’ Larissa. “They are a very, very good side with some good individuals. We have watched them and they play some good football,” said Moyes. “It is a very difficult group. All the teams have different reasons for wanting to succeed. “Alkmaar have been a success in Holland. Nurnberg are a good side while Zenit will be the strongest team. So it’s quite a tough group. “With one game at home and one away, you can never tell how it is going to go. “But our intention is to be positive. We've had some exciting games at Goodison Park and hopefully this will be the same.” Meanwhile, Moyes today challenged the Football Association to listen to his views as the fallout from Saturday’s stormy Merseyside derby continues. Though Everton’s manager is likely to escape censure for his comments about match official Mark Clattenburg, he would have no hesitation in mounting a case for the defence if a summons arrives inviting him to Soho Square. Moyes spoke to Clattenburg after the derby and aired his grievances regarding the penalty Everton never received in the last minute, as well as Tony Hibbert’s sending off. It has left a bitter taste in the mouth but Moyes hopes the episode can be put to bed and sees no better way to do that than by beating Larissa at Goodison Park as his players are desperate for the chance to right those wrongs.
“I think the positives will come from the fact that the result was not decided by players – it was decided by the referee,” said Moyes. “We have to take that into consideration and put it in the right perspective. “I think that everyone has accepted what went on and we are moving on and hopefully become much stronger because of it. “We now know we can’t expect to get any decision at all. Remember that Everton’s disciplinary record is the best in the Premier League. “We knew the minute we came off the field what had gone on and it didn’t need us to wait for any video to see what had happened. I know the real story. “I know what has gone on and I know what the referee’s thoughts were because of his comments to me. “So if the FA want to know the real comments then I can explain it to them. I know exactly what his comments were when I spoke with him 30 minutes after the game and it was also witnessed by John Barnwell of the League Managers’ Association. “ We were wronged. Definitely. But it will make us stronger. We had to play 12 against nine at one point in the game but hopefully we will get strength from it and the players will benefit from the experience.” * Everton are urging all supporters who have not received their tickets for tonight’s game to pick them up from the Goodison Road box office before 4pm.
If that time is unmanageable they can then be collected from the Bullens Road up until 6pm.

Why I’m happy to go with the flow - Lee Carsley
Oct 25 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
AS one of life’s chirpier souls, it’s difficult to imagine Lee Carsley ever throwing a tantrum, but he has found his patience stretched to the limit recently.
Having played in all bar 44 minutes of Everton’s 42 games last season, Carsley had become accustomed to being one of the first names on David Moyes’ team sheet and, not unreasonably, had expected things to follow a similar course this time around.
Not so. Though the campaign began as expected with three consecutive appearances, his substitution in the 1-1 draw with Blackburn on August 25 kicked-off a sequence where his appearances have been few and far between. With new signing Phil Jagielka being given the opportunity to prove his worth in the centre of Everton’s midfield, Carsley has only started three times since September 1 and supplemented that figure when he came on as sub in the win against Middlesbrough. A lack of action had, not surprisingly, left Carsley feeling increasingly frustrated and led him to contemplate confronting manager Moyes about where he stood. Then he took a look at the wider picture and decided otherwise. This evening’s UEFA Cup Group A clash with Greek side Larissa is the first of six games in 17 days for the Blues and Carsley is savvy enough to know that he will have a role to fill. “Am I playing? Don’t know. We’ve got this squad rotation going on at the minute so you’ve just got to go with it,” said Carsley with a mischievous grin. “I was about to have a bit of a moan to the gaffer about not playing. “But then I looked at it and saw that I had played 11 games already this season and three of those were internationals, so it’s not like I’m not playing at all. Everyone is playing their part. We have got a massive squad. “I’ve looked at the fixtures we have coming up in the next month and it’s basically going to be two games a week from now on plus another international. It’s something that a lot of the players here aren’t used to. “We haven’t played in Europe on a regular basis and we haven’t been used to squad rotation but the big picture is that as long as Everton are winning, we have all just got to roll with it.” Winning, however, is something Everton have been doing fitfully in recent weeks yet it is easy to sense the mood in the squad that somebody is going to pay – preferably Larissa – for Mark Clattenburg’s calamitous refereeing performance in the derby. But while the injustice still rankles with so many, Carsley is quick to point out that it is no good wallowing in self-pity for too long as that will only have an adverse effect. Better to concentrate on channelling their efforts into beating the Greeks. “The fact that it was a Merseyside derby did not help matters,” said Carsley. “There is more than just three points riding on the outcome of a derby. That shows in the passion that comes across afterwards. I actually like Mark Clattenburg. “I think he is one of our better referees but he will be the first to say he had an off-day. But who doesn’t have an off-day? We can’t dwell on it. It’s gone now. As soon as the whistle went it had gone. “You always want to give the referee your opinion but it’s just one of those things, isn’t it? It’s a setback so we have got to look to take a positive step now. We have got a game against Larissa and the games are coming thick and fast. “So the odds are if we do have a setback from now on, the chance to put it right will come a few days later and we won’t have to wait. That’s what we are looking forward to. We have done a lot of homework on Larissa and they look a good side.” Larissa, of course, disposed of Blackburn Rovers in the qualifying round so while little might be known of them, that result shows they are not a side to be taken lightly and Carsley feels lessons need to be learned from Everton’s most recent European experience. “They have got some good players,” he added. “They are going to come here and look at our stadium and they will enjoy playing here. There are a lot of good teams in the UEFA Cup. We got a shock when played against Metalist but we will be ready here.” Carsley, meanwhile, will be reporting to a new manager the next time he is on international duty following Steve Staunton’s sacking and he feels that the outgoing Republic of Ireland boss had a raw deal.
“I’m gutted for Stan,” said Carsley. “It’s never nice to see anyone lose their job but I think the manner in which he has lost his is poor. He is a young manager coming through. It’s difficult at international level as it’s not as if you can go out and buy players. “He never had much luck in that department. He should have had more time. The ideas that he was getting across to the players were good. We were unprofessional at times by letting in late goals. That’s ultimately cost him the job.”

What are Everton's prospects in the UEFA Cup?
Oct 25 2007 Liverpool Echo
IT beggars belief how Mark Clattenburg didn’t deem Dirk Kuyt’s kung-fu effort as a red card offence, or Joleon Lescott’s mugging. It has been intimated that the referee shared flights with the Reds when they went on tour last summer – but the only thing that mattered on Saturday was him taking the necessary action when required.
And, in Everton’s case, he didn’t. We must have played well enough for Benitez to criticise his captain, saying he played with too much passion and not enough brain.
As for Jamie “10 years an Evertonian” Carragher celebrating, he was more upset losing out to us last year than being beaten in a Champions League final. We Evertonians know where his priorities lie. If Everton show the same spirit and determination as they did on Saturday we should beat Larissa tonight.
Moyes welcomes back Cahill, Gravesen and Vaughan too, so who knows what will happen in the next chapter of our season.
YET again, we were beaten by a team who were poor, but we were punished unfairly by an awestruck and biased referee. But it wasn’t the first time a referee has gone against us and I’m sure it won’t be the last. We all know that we played well enough to get a result and, therefore, I’m sure deep down Liverpool fans know it, too.
There is no need to dwell in the past because it will only wind us up and keep that lot happy. Fortunately, we can erase the dreadful derby quickly with a win tonight.
The team will want to get off to a flying start in Europe so I would like to see an attacking line-up and, hopefully, Tim Cahill will make his long awaited first appearance of the season. However, Larissa seem to be on a high right now after their win against Blackburn so I’m sure they’ll be up for the game. Needless to say, this is the perfect game to get back to winning ways.
FRASER COLE, Litherland
ALTHOUGH we don't know a lot about our Greek opponents, it’s a game that I fully expect us to dominate. Some people might see the players as being under pressure to perform, as we are up against a team that we are considered to be much better than.
This simply isn’t true. We need to go out and play like we did on Saturday. If we do that we should beat Larissa. As we will be without Tony Hibbert and Phil Neville for a while, I expect the manager will give somebody else a try in the right back position at some point during the game. Hopefully Tim Cahill will be able to make his long-awaited return from injury tonight which will be a real boost to the team.
His work rate, creative flair and eye for goal have been sorely missed this season. Looking ahead to Sunday at Derby, a win would see us climb back up the table.
If we are to achieve what we did last term then we have to pick up all three points at Pride Park. No excuses.
AFTER any derby defeat, especially one so crushing, the next game can’t come soon enough, but Larissa could be a really difficult one for us to get back on track.
Like Kharkiv in the first round, I think many will be expecting us to win this game comfortably, and that can create pressure if we’re not ahead early on.
Patience could be the most important factor for the players as well as the supporters.
One player who came out of the derby looking like he was ready to really prove himself was Yakubu. He has been criticised this season for his laziness but he showed exactly how dangerous he can be, even with the limited service he had when we were down to ten men. Elsewhere, Phil Jagielka has been struggling in midfield the last few games and undoubtedly Lee Carsley’s experience in the position could serve us better in the upcoming games.

Larissa’s hopes may rest with Ibrahima Bakayoko
Oct 25 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
IBRAHIMA BAKAYOKO might not have been the most prolific of strikers during his spell with Everton, but that should not prevent him receiving a warm ovation tonight. If Larissa are going to spring a surprise at Goodison Park, much will depend on the Ivory Coast striker, who scored a handful of goals for the Blues in the 1998-1999 season after he arrived in a £4m deal from Montpellier. Bakayoko scored in the first leg of Larissa’s meeting with Blackburn Rovers and their manager, Georgios Donis, has revealed that his star striker has been counting down the days to his re-union. “He is going to enjoy the occasion,” said Donis, who also had a spell playing in the Premier League with Blackburn in 1996. “He is excited by the challenge, as we all are. It is going to be a great night. “We have watched Everton several times and they are very good side with a good coach. But our job is to come here and win and we will be trying to do that. This will be a completely different game to the one against Blackburn. “I remember coming here with Blackburn. The crowd at Ewood Park was always passive but here the supporters are so fired up. We drew the match and that was not memorable but the atmosphere was very special. I hope it will be again.”

Moyes set to call on Tim
Oct 25 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
TIM CAHILL is likely to be handed the chance of spearheading Everton’s UEFA Cup assault tonight, in his first game since March 3. David Moyes is toying with the idea of returning the influential Aussie midfielder to the Blues starting line-up, although the European tie has likely come too soon for Thomas Gravesen. Yet whoever the Goodison boss selects for duty – and a thigh strain precludes James Vaughan’s involvement – Moyes knows Everton will have to be on top form against ‘dangerous outfit’ Larissa. “They are a very, very good side with some good individuals. We have watched them and they play some good football,” said Moyes. “It is a very difficult group. All the teams have different reasons for wanting to succeed. “Alkmaar have been a success in Holland. Nurnberg are a good side while Zenit will be the strongest team. So it’s quite a tough group. “With one game at home and one away, you can never tell how it is going to go. “But our intention is to be positive. We've had some exciting games at Goodison Park and hopefully this will be the same.”
Meanwhile, Moyes today challenged the Football Association to listen to his views as the fallout from Saturday’s stormy Merseyside derby continues. Though Everton’s manager is likely to escape censure for his comments about match official Mark Clattenburg, he would have no hesitation in mounting a case for the defence if a summons arrives inviting him to Soho Square. Moyes spoke to Clattenburg after the derby and aired his grievances regarding the penalty Everton never received in the last minute, as well as Tony Hibbert’s sending off. It has left a bitter taste in the mouth but Moyes hopes the episode can be put to bed and sees no better way to do that than by beating Larissa at Goodison Park as his players are desperate for the chance to right those wrongs. “I think the positives will come from the fact that the result was not decided by players – it was decided by the referee,” said Moyes. “We have to take that into consideration and put it in the right perspective. “I think that everyone has accepted what went on and we are moving on and hopefully become much stronger because of it. “We now know we can’t expect to get any decision at all. Remember that Everton’s disciplinary record is the best in the Premier League. “We knew the minute we came off the field what had gone on and it didn’t need us “I know what has gone on and I know what the referee’s thoughts were because of his comments to me. “So if the FA want to know the real comments then I can explain it to them. I know exactly what his comments were when I spoke with him 30 minutes after the game and it was also witnessed by John Barnwell of the League Managers’ Association. “ We were wronged. Definitely. But it will make us stronger. We had to play 12 against nine at one point in the game but hopefully we will get strength from it and the players will benefit from the experience.” l Everton are urging all supporters who have not received their tickets for tonight’s game to pick them up from the Goodison Road box office before 4pm. If that time is unmanageable they can then be collected from the Bullens Road up until 6pm.

Everton 3, Larissa 1 (D, Post)
Oct 26 2007
by Ian Doyle, Liverpool Daily Post
THE fevered uppercut that concluded Tim Cahill’s trademark celebratory attack on the corner flag gave hint to the level of frustration the Australian released at Goodison last night. Greek outfit Larissa were on the receiving end of the midfielder’s knockout blow as Everton began their UEFA Cup group campaign with a deserved, if at times unnecessarily nervy, victory. Cahill has suffered almost eight months of injury torment since breaking the fifth metatarsal in his left foot at Sheffield United in March and then aggravating the injury during the pre-season friendly against Werder Bremen in late July. Everton have been a poorer team without the cut and thrust of the Australian’s breaks from midfield and, having so often proven the man for the grand occasion, it would have been remiss of Cahill not to mark his long-awaited return to action with a goal. Sure enough, the Australian popped up after 14 minutes to send David Moyes’s side on their way as they shrugged off any notion of a derby hangover. A truly special strike from Leon Osman five minutes after the break threatened to grab the limelight from Cahill before Everton made life difficult for themselves by gifting Larissa a path back into the game with Cleyton’s 65th-minute strike. Victor Anichebe continued his affinity with the competition by stepping off the bench to secure Everton’s victory in the closing moments. “Tell me ma to put the champagne on ice, we’re going to City twice,” sang the Gwladys Street faithful in reference to Manchester City hosting the UEFA Cup final next May. A bit premature, of course, but with Zenit St Petersburg and AZ Alkmaar having played out a 1-1 draw in the day’s other Group A game, Everton head to Germany to face Nurnberg in a fortnight two points clear at the top. With the perceived more difficult games to come, it was imperative Moyes’s men gained full reward against the team considered the weakest in the group. Larissa had eliminated Blackburn Rovers in the previous round, but with the format of the group stage meaning Everton were not required to travel to Greece, home advantage ultimately proved crucial. Any seething angst at what transpired against Liverpool at the weekend was channelled into a high-octane performance that demonstrated a growing maturity in European competition. There were some worrying moments when, as against Metalist Kharkiv, Everton became a little too excited for their own good when a touch more composure would have avoided the frantic final quarter that is becoming the norm for Moyes’s side in this UEFA Cup. Cahill’s return and the absence of an injured Phil Neville prompted a tactical rethink, the Australian operating in his favoured attacking midfield role in a team sporting five changes from the one controversially beaten by Liverpool at the weekend. With Thomas Gravesen emerging as a substitute in the second half for the tiring Cahill and both Andrew Johnson and James Vaughan closing on a return, the injuries that have hamstrung Moyes this season are now beginning to clear to reveal the competition for places the manager has craved. Certainly, a glance down the list of names on the bench last night showed Everton are returning to full strength at precisely the right time, this game the second in a potentially season-defining spell of seven in 23 days. It took Cahill only 14 minutes to mark his comeback with a goal. As ever, Arteta – making his 100th appearance for Everton – was the instigator, exchanging passes with Osman from a short corner before releasing the midfielder to cross from the byline for Cahill to nod home from six yards. Bursting with a mixture of joy and relief, the Australian unleashed a flurry of punches toward the corner flag between the Park End and the Main Stand; it was his first goal since netting in the 1-1 draw at the Emirates almost exactly a year ago. Cahill turned creator shortly afterwards, taking a clever Steven Pienaar pass and cutting back to James McFadden, who shot tamely at Larissa goalkeeper Stefanos Kotsolis. Larissa’s former Everton striker Ibrahima Bakayoko had been afforded a generous reception by the home crowd before the game, but on the pitch the welcome was somewhat less cordial, Bakayoko bowled over by a heavy collision with Joleon Lescott. With Arteta pulling the strings, Everton controlled the rhythm of the game and a 20-yard drive from Cahill brought the best out of Kotsolis, the keeper diving sharply low to his right to turn the ball behind. Larissa, though, were not without a threat of their own, particularly on the counter-attack where the pace and power of Bakayoko and strike partner Cleyton kept Lescott and skipper-for-the-night Joseph Yobo on their toes throughout. However, the only moment of relative consternation for Tim Howard before the break came when a Georgios Fotakis shot was deflected wide. Everton almost doubled their advantage two minutes after the interval when Lescott strode out of defence and played McFadden clear on goal. As he hared down on goal, the Scotland international had an age to make up his mind but succeeded only in clipping the ball against the outstretched leg of Kostolis. But Goodison had to wait just three minutes for the second goal – and what a goal. Cahill’s neatly crafted pass gave Leighton Baines space to maraud down the left flank and cut inside for Pienaar, whose clever first-time flick rolled into the path of the incoming Osman to arc a scorching right-footed drive beyond the rooted Kostolis from the edge of the area. That should have been that. But, this being Everton, a brief spell of madness at the heart of their defence midway through the half gave Larissa hope. Moments after Yobo had been booked after a mistake forced him to haul down Larissa substitute Christos Kalantzis outside the area, Lescott lapsed when bringing the ball out of defence from Howard’s throw and allowed Cleyton to muscle in, claim possession and prod home. Anichebe bludgeoned his way toward goal but was denied by the legs of Kotsolis, but Larissa began to push more and more players forward in search of the equaliser and Cleyton came close with a shot on the turn that drifted over. However, the visitors’ pressing need meant gaps began to open in their defence, and with five minutes remaining Gravesen nodded forward for Anichebe to chase, bouncing off two Larissa defenders before slotting under Kotsolis. It sealed the perfect start the their UEFA Cup group campaign. And with Cahill, Gravesen and the rest on the way back, Everton already have one eye on the knockout stages.

David Moyes hails Tim Cahill on scoring return
Oct 26 2007
by Ian Doyle, Liverpool Daily Post
DELIGHTED David Moyes hailed the return of Tim Cahill as Everton began the UEFA Cup group stage with victory last night.
Cahill netted just 14 minutes into his comeback game to send the Goodison outfit on their way to a 3-1 home win over Larissa of Greece. It was the Australian’s first senior appearance since breaking the fifth metatarsal in his left foot at Sheffield United in March, an injury he then aggravating during the pre-season friendly against Werder Bremen in late July. Cahill received a rousing ovation from the Goodison faithful midway through the second half when he was replaced by Thomas Gravesen, who was also making a return after seven weeks out injured. And Moyes said: “Tim does what he does, doesn’t he? That’s where we have missed him at moments. “The game was quite tight at different times and we needed to get a goal to change the game and we got that. Tim was the ‘Johnny on the spot’ again for us. “We’ve got competition for places. We still need to get Tim completely match fit and Tommy in the right condition for us, but it is positive tonight that we had them for parts of the game.”
Of the substitution, Moyes added: “I want to make sure we aren’t pushing Tim too much too soon. “We need Tim back as it allowed us to play a different way, as you saw tonight. He plays in a different role to anyone else I have at the club, and we haven’t had the previously this season.” Leon Osman doubled Everton’s lead with a fantastic strike five minutes after the interval, but a rare Joleon Lescott mistake allowed Brazilian striker Cleyton to pull one back for Larissa on 65 minutes.
Substitute Victor Anichebe’s late goal sealed the win, and with Zenit St Petersburg and AZ Alkmaar drawing 1-1 yesterday, Everton currently head Group A. “Our display was very good, and at times it was excellent,” said Moyes. “A moment of madness made us feel a little bit uneasy but overall we were happy with the performance. “We were a little worried at 2-1. We lost a poor goal and it gave Larissa confidence and it knocked us back for a little while. But I think we showed a bit more maturity playing in Europe tonight. We were more than comfortable at 2-0 up and I thought we scored a wonderful second goal, but we got a wee bit carried away at that point and did one or two silly things. “The third goal was a great goal by Victor. It was typical Victor and it’s what he has done in the UEFA Cup this season so far already.” Moyes believes the display was the perfect response to the derby disappointment against Liverpool on Saturday. “We’ve been in a good frame of mind because our performance at the weekend warranted a result,” he said. “We were confident going into the game tonight and for most of the game we showed that.
“It was an encouraging start to the group. Larissa caused us problems and can take a lot from the game. “We deserved the victory but I have to say that Larissa had moments as well. I saw their performances against Blackburn and knew they were more than capable of scoring a goal.” Moyes revealed that James McFadden had been substituted midway through the second half after complaining of illness, while Phil Neville was absent with a twisted ankle and is a doubt for Sunday’s trip to Derby County. Meanwhile, the row over Saturday’s controversial defeat to Liverpool rumbled on last night when Moyes hit out at the attitude of the Anfield side following the game and claimed the majority of people sympathised with Everton over the performance of referee Mark Clattenburg. Writing in the match programme, Moyes said: “Even though the result did not go for us, the players should have come away feeling like winners. “I have never known such widespread condemnation of a referee for his decisions in one game. “But some of the comments which came from the opposition I regarded as a total cop out. Here at Everton, I always try and give a fair assessment, whether the decisions have gone for us or against us. That is the way I will always do it.”

Star import Arteta basks in reaching Goodison milestone
Oct 26 2007
by Chris Beesley, Liverpool Daily Post
TIM CAHILL’S scoring return may have been the headline-grabbing story from last night’s UEFA Cup clash with Larissa but an expectant Goodison Park crowd cheered just as loud before the game when it was announced that Mikel Arteta would be making his 100th appearance in an Everton jersey. Since arriving at the club in January 2005 to fill the boots of an influential playmaker of a very different ilk, the Real Madrid-bound Thomas Gravesen, Arteta has established himself as arguably the most successful overseas player in Everton’s history. The Basque made his Goodison switch a permanent one during the summer that followed for the now ridiculously paltry fee of £2million – forget Kirkby this was Everton’s real ‘deal of the century.’ Arteta said after the game: “It was nice to win and 100 games is a good mark. “I hope many more games will come. I want to achieve much more with the club so hopefully this is the start.” The 1995 FA Cup win apart, Everton’s supporters were fed scraps by their ‘Dogs of War’ during the disappointing decade of the 1990s, twice having to avoid relegation on the final day of the season and sweating through several more near misses. During this period though, Everton’s muscular battlers were able to get the better of their gifted but often fragile ‘Spice Boy’ rivals from across Stanley Park through tactics of near physical intimidation in Merseyside derbies.
Ahead of Saturday’s 206th clash between the two rivals, manager David Moyes declared that he now felt that his Everton team were now becoming more capable of matching their neighbours with good football and no doubt the presence of Arteta was a major factor in this statement. Certainly until Tony Hibbert challenged Steven Gerrard for Liverpool’s first penalty, the hosts looked relatively comfortable. One foreign recruit who cost more than twice as much as Arteta when he arrived at Everton back in October 1998, Ibrahima Bakayoko, made his first appearance back at Goodison since he was sold to Marseille barely nine months later following a disappointing solitary campaign in the Premier League. Although he ultimately flopped under Walter Smith, the Ivory Coast striker was given a warm reception of applause by the home fans. Like many overseas imports to Everton at the time, Bakayoko’s stay was only a fleeting one and there seemed little chance of him or his fellow recruits from continental leagues racking up a century of games in a royal blue shirt. Marco Materazzi and Olivier Dacourt were hardly poor players – their subsequent careers in Serie A have gone on to prove that – but they too were joining Bakayoko towards the Goodison exit door at the end of the 1998/99 season. Bakayoko toiled as a journeyman pro around Europe while Materazzi became a World Cup winner but for better or for worse, the international brigade seldom stuck around back then. Having been with a footballing giant in Barcelona at a young age and having played for Paris St Germain in France and Rangers in Scotland, Arteta has already accumulated a wealth of experience across Europe but despite the regular interest supposedly being shown in him from suitors back home, he knows there probably won’t be another set of fans who idolise him the way in which the Evertonians do.
Spanish national team coach Luis Aragones may continue to overlook him but Arteta is a 21st Century throwback to the ‘School of Science’ days – I’m told the gait of his run even has similarities to that of Colin Harvey, the most creative member of Everton’s most lauded midfield combination, ‘The Holy Trinity’. The affection in which Everton’s supporters hold Arteta is also mutual. He showed a bit of class off the pitch at the weekend when he signed an autograph through the passenger seat window of his car when stopped at the traffic lights outside Goodison after the derby defeat. Last night might not have been Arteta’s most sparkling appearance for Everton to date – Leon Osman produced the most memorable example of technique with his finish for the side’s second goal – but there were still plenty of little gems when it came to flicks and fancy footwork to keep his admirers satisfied.
With Arteta having penned a new five-year extension to his contract during the close season in a similar deal to that signed by fellow midfielder Tim Cahill, Evertonians will already be licking their lips at the prospect of the San Sebastian-born magician, still only 25, reaching the 200-game landmark for the club. There will certainly be plenty more moments to savour if he does and a more regular participation in European competition will help Arteta to reach the mark sooner.

Everton 3, Larissa 1 (Echo)
Oct 26 2007
by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
TIM CAHILL has been a familiar face on billboards Down Under in recent years, endorsing a well-known breakfast cereal but an approach from a watchmaker may soon be on the cards. Why? Simple really. Few midfielders have the ability to pop up with goals like he does on big occasions and – with the most immaculate timing – he provided an emphatic reminder of his talents last night.
Whether it has been an FA Cup semi-final, a World Cup group match or myriad Premier League fixtures, time and again Cahill has delivered, so it was inevitable he would add a crucial goal in the UEFA Cup to his collection. That he should do it within 14 minutes of his return to club football, though, after six months on the sidelines with a twice broken metatarsal simply added to the theatre of Cahill’s long-awaited comeback yet it also reaffirmed another belief. As diligently and bravely as Everton have played since he was first injured against Sheffield United on March 3, for all they achieved in qualifying for Europe last season, they have been playing without the irreplaceable. When players return from lengthy absences, it is a cliché to say they can be like new signings; but in 65 action-packed minutes against AE Larissa at Goodison Park, Cahill showed he will have an enormous role to fill for Everton this year. His display was, without question, the highlight of an entertaining night at Goodison Park that saw David Moyes’ side get the latest phase of their UEFA Cup adventure off to a flying start but, encouragingly, he was not the only plus point. Emphatically exorcising last Saturday’s derby demons, Everton scored three goals, created plenty of chances and played arguably their best football of the current campaign to leave supporters already dreaming of heady evenings next spring. With AZ Alkmaar drawing in St Petersburg against Zenit earlier in the afternoon, this contest offered Everton the chance to seize hold of Group A – something another team in these parts appears incapable of doing – and, after a nervy start, that’s just what they did. It would, of course, be folly to suggest Everton have mastered the art of playing in Europe, but there certainly are more plusses than minuses to take into the next fixture against FC Nurnberg and, by then, Cahill should be almost up to full speed. If this was him looking rusty, though, it’s safe to say his goals tally will be ticking over frequently and regularly once he is in sync with his team-mates; as he showed here, you can set your watch by arriving on the end of crosses into the danger zone. Having shown signs of anxiety early on, there was a noisy sigh of relief when Mikel Arteta and Leon Osman worked an opening on the left with the latter crossing for Cahill to apply the coup de grace and give the Blues a lead they never relinquished. Not only was it the perfect tonic for the player, it calmed supporters and the manager, too. Judged by his programme notes, Moyes – who claimed Rafa Benitez’s post derby comments were a “cop out” – is still smouldering from those perceived injustices. Of course, his ire is understandable yet it could also be said to be futile. There are more important things to worry about than a pointless squabble with the neighbours and maybe this victory can prove to be cathartic for Moyes. Only a fool would really believe a side containing the creative brains and dancing feet of Arteta, Osman, Steven Pienaar and James McFadden would rely solely on taking the direct route. Just take the goal that should have settled the contest. Unlikely to be bettered at this stadium for quite some time, this was the Blues at their slick, quick and unplayable best and the antithesis of ‘launching it’. From Tim Howard to Cahill, the ball was shuttled into the path of Leighton Baines, who had galloped 50 yards to cross for Pienaar. One magnificent cushioned back heel from the South African later and Osman had a chance to shoot. How he took advantage. Not needing to break stride, he gleefully unleashed a guided missile from his right boot which sped past the hapless Stefanos Kotsolis before he had chance to react. Quite magnificent. Had it been scored by Arsenal, endless re-runs would now be on TV. It should have been the signal for Everton to shut up shop but, if anything, they were guilty of trying to play too much attractive football when the correct thing to do with a two-goal cushion would have been to take the sting out of the game. Maddeningly, a mix-up between Tim Howard and Joleon Lescott presented Larissa with a foothold when the Brazilian Cleyton held off captain for the night Joseph Yobo – Phil Neville was absent with a twisted ankle – to fire in. Another silly goal to add to the worryingly expanding list. Everton cannot afford to keep presenting their opponents with unmissable chances. It has cost them in the Premier League and nearly caused them to fall at the first hurdle in Europe. Teams more threatening than Larissa – who acquitted themselves with great credit – might have made the Blues pay, but it was encouraging, nonetheless, to see them go back through the gears. Victory was confirmed when another man back from a long-term injury, Thomas Gravesen, headed the perfect through ball to fellow substitute Victor Anichebe, who then showed terrific strength and composure to drill past Kotsolis. The idiosyncrasies of this stage of the UEFA Cup mean Everton can’t yet take anything for granted but, with three from five going through, they are now favourites to qualify for the last 32. Perform like this in Nurnberg and it will be job done. EVERTON (4-4-1-1): Howard; Hibbert, Yobo, Lescott, Baines; Arteta, Osman, Carsley, Pienaar (Stubbs 86); Cahill (Gravesen 65), McFadden (Anichebe 65).
Goals - Cahill (14), Osman (50)
Bookings - Lescott (30), Yobo (64), Gravesen (90)
LARISSA (4-4-2): Kotsolis; Marcelo, Dabizas, Kyriakidis (Lampropoulos 75), Venetidis; Gkalitsios (Venetis 78), Foerster, Fotakis, Facundo (Kalantizis 58); Bakayoko, Cleyton.
Goals - Cleyton (65)
Bookings - Dabizas (28), Calamities (90)
Referee: Martin Ingvarsson
Attendance: 33,777

We showed more maturity says Moyes
Oct 26 2007
by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES hailed Everton’s fluent start to life in UEFA Cup Group A and believes his players are rapidly adjusting to the demands of European football. As well as the Blues played to run out 3-1 winners against AE Larissa at Goodison Park last night, they nearly paid the ultimate price after conceding a goal Moyes described as “poor,” which caused concern. In truth, though, there only ever seemed like being one outcome once Tim Cahill marked his return from injury with a goal and the manager was thrilled by the manner in which Everton went about their business, especially in a period early in the second half. “Our display was very good and at times it was excellent,” said Moyes. “A moment of madness made us feel a little bit uneasy but overall we were happy with the performance. We were a little worried at 2-1. We lost a poor goal and it gave Larissa confidence. “But I think we showed a bit more maturity playing in Europe tonight. We were more than comfortable at 2-0 up and I thought we scored a wonderful second goal (through Leon Osman) but we gotcarried away then and did one or two silly things. “The third goal was a great goal by Victor (Anichebe). It was typical Victor and it’s what he has done in the UEFA Cup this season so far already.” If Everton were suffering any hangover from the Merseyside derby it never showed and Moyes hopes they continue in a similar vein for their next assignment, which is in a fortnight against FC Nurnberg. “We’ve been in a good frame of mind because our performance at the weekend warranted a result,” said Moyes. “We were confident going into the game tonight and for most of the game we showed that. “It was an encouraging start to the group. We deserved the victory but I have to say Larissa had moments as well. I saw their performances against Blackburn and I knew they were capable of scoring a goal.” Those are sentiments that also apply to Cahill and he did what he does best, getting on the end of a cross from Osman to mark his first appearance since March 3 in the best possible manner, and producing a performance that left Moyes singing his praises. “Tim does what he does,” said Moyes. “That’s where we have missed him at moments. The game was quite tight at different times and we needed to get a goal to change the game and we got that. Tim was the ‘Johnny on the spot’ again for us. “I want to make sure we aren’t pushing Tim too much too soon.”

Words of comfort in Lee Carsley’s comeback
Oct 26 2007 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTONIANS have been banned from using the C-word this season.
Until last night. Tim Cahill’s goalscoring return was celebrated with a relish which emphasises just how influential the little Aussie is to Everton’s fortunes.
But it was another player with the initial letter Cwho enjoyed an understated but equally important evening in the Blues midfield. David Moyes seems to have developed a blind spot around Lee Carsley in recent weeks. The Blues boss claimed earlier this season: “Results show that we’re a better team with Lee Carsley in our side than when he’s missing.” But after he underlined that claim in a start to the season which yielded three wins, a draw and a solitary defeat – all five games in which he started – he was rotated in favour of the two Phils in central midfield. Neville and Jagielka undoubtedly have their qualities, but the ability to consistently deliver a pass to a man in a blue shirt isn’t one of them. Ironically that other C-word, the ref who will hitherto be known inside Goodison as Clive Thomas’ love child, may be unwittingly responsible for Carsley enjoying back to back appearances in the Blues engine room for the first time since that flying start to the season. Clattenburg’s red cards mean that suspensions for Tony Hibbert and Neville will see Phil Jagielka almost certainly showing his versatility at right-back on Sunday at Derby, while Phil Neville will also be sidelined as a result of his goalline acrobatics last weekend (did some fans really criticise his actions afterwards?) Everton’s ball retention against an occasionally threatening Greek side last night was far superior than anything they showed at the weekend, while the second goal might have come straight from a School of Science video. If you squinted ever so slightly, it wasn’t such a leap of imagination to see Colin Harvey threading the ball down the touchline for Johnny Morrissey, his pass back-heeled by Alan Ball into Howard Kendall’s path - and his shot flying into the Gwladys Street net. Except this was 2007, not 1967 – and Cahill, Baines, Pienaar and Leon Osman were the pivotal figures. But even when the School of Science was passing exams with flying colours, there were midfield artisans who allowed the artists to paint their extravagant canvases. Men like Dennis Stevens, Jimmy Gabriel, Johnny Morrissey and Paul Bracewell were just as important as the Collins, the Youngs, the Harveys and the Trevor Stevens. Lee Carsley may not be as celebrated a star as that quartet which mixed class with the clatter, but he’s important to this current line-up. And it was as reassuring to see him back in the Blues starting line-up as it was Tim Cahill.

Victor Anichebe ideal as lone striker
Oct 26 2007
by Howard Kendall, Liverpool Echo
IT didn’t take long for Tim Cahill to remind us of his goalscoring ability but his return to action has given David Moyes a welcome dilemma. If the manager is going to continue with the system he deployed against Larissa, there is only one man who I would be thinking of starting as the lone striker – Victor Anichebe. Once again, Anichebe used a game in Europe to showcase his talents, taking his goal superbly and working his socks off. He’s got a great physical presence, too, and that unsettles defenders. Maybe there was a question mark over his technical ability, but the two goals he scored recently have been very good and I think if we start with Cahill on Sunday at Derby then Anichebe will be the man to lead the attack. They were just two of the highlights from a satisfying night’s work, with Leon Osman’s fabulous second goal putting the icing on the cake. Things were a bit nervy after Larissa scored but Everton were full value for a win that puts them in command of Group A.It means the squad can travel to Germany in a fortnight knowing that a draw would be an excellent result, but the fixtures Everton have between now and then offer a chance to make real progress. Derby have started to tighten up at the back in the last few games but I would still expect Everton to have enough to beat them and go into the Carling Cup game at Luton on a high next Wednesday. It’s well known how much every Evertonian wants a cup run. There is a perfect opportunity in the next few days to get three important points and progress in the cup, too. Give Megson a chance GARY MEGSON appears to be in a precarious position already with Bolton’s supporters and that’s before he’s even taken charge of a match. Of course, eyebrows have been raised over his appointment as the man to replace Sammy Lee, but I just hope he is given a fair crack of the whip. Gary played for me when I was manager of Manchester City and is a good, hard working lad, but faces a very tough job. Success this year would be keeping Bolton up. Strange way to deal with Neville red card THERE is not a lot more that can be said on Mark Clattenburg’s performance in the derby, other than it is not one he will remember with any fondness. It’s best, then, for everyone to move on but it would be remiss of me not to look at it another way and I’d like to examine both the red cards Tony Hibbert and Phil Neville received. I have absolutely no complaints whatsoever about the decision to send either player off – they both had to go – but it’s the suspensions that I find most annoying, particularly in respect of Neville. At first, I thought Hibbert would get three games, but it is actually one, which is fair enough. But why Neville should also get the same is beyond me. Was a red card on the day not enough? Yes, deliberate handball deserves a red card, but if the penalty that is awarded is scored to go along with the team having to finish with a numerical disadvantage, surely that should be that? Suspensions imposed for an offence like that to me seem trivial.

Tim Cahill back with a bang
Oct 26 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
TIM CAHILL today spoke of his delight at banishing seven months of injury frustration with a goal on his “surprise” return to action. The Australian midfielder made his first start since March 3 in last night’s 3-1 victory over Greek side Larissa and ended a scoring drought of 362 days - his previous came at Arsenal on October 28 last year - with a diving header. With Zenit St Petersburg and AZ Alkmaar drawing, the win puts Everton in charge of Group A and leaves them on course to progress into the UEFA Cup’s last 32 but perhaps the biggest positive for Moyes was seeing Cahill come through unscathed. Bar a few expected aches and pains, Cahill was given a clean bill of health and having worked so hard to recover from a twice broken metatarsal in his left foot, he is hoping to make up for lost time now by repaying the faith that has been shown in him. “It’s been a long time coming but I can’t emphasise enough how happy I am for the team and the fans,” said Cahill. “Everyone works so hard for special occasions like this and being in Europe is the next stage for Everton.
“I’m just so delighted I got through everything fine. When the number was held up for me to come off, I had to do a double take as it’s been that long I’d forgotten what shirt I wear. “I was totally oblivious because I was enjoying myself so much.
“I’m a bit sore but that’s to be expected. I was just so shocked that I started.
“Larissa are a very good footballing team but we harassed them from the first minute. The lads have really come on and it was just a great team performance.
“There was a bit of pressure as you try to live up to what you have done previously. But every time you put the Blue jersey on, you just want to go out there and play well regardless of how long you have been out.” Suspensions to Phil Neville and Tony Hibbert this Sunday should present Cahill with another start against Derby at Pride Park and he hopes the win over Larissa will provide a kick-start to both his and Everton’s campaign. “I appreciate what the manager has said and I appreciate him starting me,” he said. “It was a big call to fire me back in straight after six months out. I’ve worked so hard to get myself right just to be back in contention.
“It’s just great to be thought of like that and a massive compliment. Now I want to progress to getting full fitness. “The goal was a bonus but Victor and Ossie scored great goals too and the thing for me was the team’s performance. “Derby have had a bad run but we have just got to take this result into that game. It’s full steam ahead now. “I just owe a lot to the medical staff for helping me out and I’ve just got to make sure I keep myself healthy.”

ABOVE: Comeback hero Tim Cahill
27th October 2007 Daily Star
By Kevin Francis
EVERTON’S comeback hero Tim Cahill is hoping that some protection money can keep him out of harm’s way. The Aussie midfielder made a goalscoring return after a three-month absence to help the Merseysiders defeat Larissa 3-1 in their opening UEFA Cup group game on Thursday. And he is hoping that he can reproduce that kind of form in tomorrow’s Premier League game at Derby, thanks to wearing new, specially-strengthened boots. They have been designed to lessen the risk of Cahill breaking a metatarsal in his foot – something he did against Sheffield United last March and once again in his pre-season comeback match against Werder Bremen.
But now he is back and determined to make up for lost time thanks to his new footwear. He said: “I have put a bit more protection on them to help me change my running style and transfer my weight away from the fifth metatarsal.
“They seem to be doing well but only time will tell. “They’ve had to stiffen the sole and shave the studs right down because the grounds these days are really hard and I’m just trying to find a happy medium.” Cahill, who received a standing ovation when he was substituted after 65 minutes against Larissa, said: “I was just really happy to complete some of the game. I was shocked to start but I’m just happy to be playing.
“It was a big ask for our manager David Moyes to throw me straight in after so long out. “But I’ve worked so hard to get myself right. It’s great to be thought of like that and I take it as a massive compliment.” After his heroics in Europe, Cahill hopes to continue his comeback at Derby, a game that brings back fond memories for Everton’s former Ram Lee Carsley. But he believes Pride Park does not strike as much fear into the hearts of opponents as the old Baseball Ground, where he played when he took County to the Premier League. He said: “When we came up, our first season back was in the old Baseball Ground and it was looking a bit wrecked at the time.
“I’m sure teams were coming to us and wondering what to expect. “I think they have done OK right now. Your first season back in the Premier League is always tough.
“They have had to perhaps have a go at the Premier League this time with one eye on the Championship in case it doesn’t go so well for them. “If they go down this time, they are not going to be in the same boat as they were a few years ago.”

Behaviour of Benitez was lacking in class
Oct 27 2007 by Barry Horne, Liverpool Echo
WHEN is a defeat not a defeat? When it’s a moral victory, of course.
After last Saturday’s debacle Everton could certainly claim the high ground following a match which was decided by two outrageous refereeing decisions. The Dirk Kuyt red card and the last minute penalty call were no-brainers. The other decisions Everton complained about weren’t so blatant. But everyone at Everton took it on the chin, decided to look forward and simply got on with things. That’s how it should always be. Unfortunately in this day and age that attitude is a rarity, as witnessed by the attitude of the manager on the other side of Stanley Park afterwards.
Rafa Benitez’s behaviour was, at best, ungracious and lacking class, at worst, arrogant. Benitez is simply the latest in a long line of custodians of a great football club in a great city. That football club is part of a rich tradition, and it’s part of a manager’s responsibility to help foster those traditions. One of those traditions is this famous fixture – and for those who are saddened by the deteriorating relationship between both sets of fans, comments like Benitez’s inflame an already volatile situation. How hard would it have been for the Liverpool manager to come out and offer words, no matter how trite, like: “Everton must be feeling hard done by,” or “Maybe we had a little luck.” It’s amazing how much tension can be eased with a few words like that. But to come out and deny what has just been witnessed by 40,000 fans inside the stadium and possibly millions nationwide is insulting.
Even the most biased of Liverpudlians admitted there had been an element of injustice at Goodison Park. His comments about Joleon Lescott specifically were appalling.
Lescott, as far as I can recall, has never been booked for dissent, is popular amongst his fellow professionals, is modest and has worked incredibly hard to get where he is.
To be accused of diving is, quite frankly, overstepping the mark.

6,000 Euro blues
Oct 27 2007 by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
THE travelling army of Evertonians heading for Germany is expected to be the biggest exodus of away game blues in 25 years. Up to 6,000 supporters are expected to make the journey to Nuremberg for Everton’s Uefa cup tie on November 8.
Fan groups predict it could be the largest number of travelling Evertonians since the club’s famous European Cup Winner’s Cup victory in Rotterdam in 1985.
Hundreds of supporters are also heading for the Bavarian city without a ticket for the game – hoping to buy one when they get there. Everton received 2,500 tickets, a slightly higher than average allocation of tickets from Uefa for away fans.
But, predictably, demand has greatly outstripped supply. Jim Connor, 29, a Park End season ticket holder, is travelling with eight friends – none with tickets.
Mr Connor, who lives in the city centre, will fly from London Heathrow to Munich then make the two-hour train journey to Nuremberg. He said: “The club has tried to be as fair as they can with the distribution of tickets but many of us have still missed out.
“It’s such a massive game for Everton and there is a lot of excitement about the Uefa cup. “We’re just hoping that we can get our hands on a ticket when we’re over there.
“Our other away opponents Alkmaar have only got a small capacity so we won’t get many tickets there. This could be the only chance for a good away trip.” Club officials advised fans without a ticket not to travel to Nuremberg. But spokesman for Everton fan club the Everton Independent Blues, Ian Macdonald, said the warning was likely to go unheeded. He said: “I think 6,000 fans could even turn out to be a conservative estimate. Almost every Blue I speak to is going or desperately trying to go.
“I hope there is a big screen or other facility for fans who can’t get into the ground to watch the match. This could definitely be the biggest away support since Rotterdam.”
Tickets for the game went on sale on at the Goodison box office on Tuesday. Demand was so high queues formed from the early hours and had sold out at close of business on Wednesday.
When Everton went pink in team line-up
Everton’s first team have posed in a kit guaranteed to raise eyebrows.
The bright pink shirts were produced by the club to promote Breast Cancer awareness week. Players posed in the distinctive limited edition shirts – and have raised more than £10,000 for the charity. The club also held a successful Ladies’ Day during their Premier League game with Middlesbrough in September. Everton's main partner Chang donated £5,000 to the cause. And £1 from every home match ticket was given to the campaign. During half-time at the Blues' 2-0 victory over Middlesbrough the successful Everton Ladies team participated in the Hit the Bar challenge which raised £1,000 courtesy of the club and JJB – the club's official retail partner.
And the shirts will be sold in the New Year with a contribution going to Breast Cancer Campaign.

‘So vital for us to stop giving away easy goals‘
Oct 27 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
GETTING better at the front, must do better at the back. You would have a thought after a performance which thrust Everton to pole position in UEFA Cup Group A all would be well in Mikel Arteta’s world, but he is not easily pleased. While most supporters headed home from Goodison Park on Thursday evening glowing after the Blues had scored three fine goals and played some terrific football against AE Larissa, Arteta was quick to sound a note of caution. Using the 4-5-1 formation that has proved so effective in the past, there may have been plenty to like about Everton’s attacking prowess but – once again – another silly mistake cost them a clean sheet.
Time and again this season, the Blues have gone to sleep at vital moments and, as a result, it has proved costly, with four defeats in their last five Premier League games.
As Arteta acknowledges, it is not good enough. Last year, Everton had the fifth most miserly defensive record in the top flight and such stability provided the foundations to launch an assault on the top six. This time, however, the only shut-outs they have had came against Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough. It is, Arteta agrees, something which needs to be rectified quickly and he sees no better time to start than the present. Tomorrow afternoon’s trip to Pride Park offers Everton the chance to get back to basics. But it is easier said than done. Derby County have had a difficult start to the season and are fighting for every point they can get, so if Everton are going to start making headway in the league again, staying strong at the back will be key.
“It was a very good result both in terms of the performance and for confidence against Larissa,” said Arteta. “We played some good stuff at times and scored three goals, so we can be positive going into the next game. “We have got Tim back, Tommy back – it’s looking good. Tim is such an important player. “I have a really good relationship with him and I know how hard it has been for him with so many injuries. He deserved the goal. “Now we need to start winning in the league. We want to be up near the top and playing much better. “We have got a lot of options around the team. We were disappointed about how we lost things against Liverpool. “Last year we had a lot of clean sheets and we need to start keeping clean sheets if we are going to have a chance of winning games. “We are not going to score three or four goals all the time. We can’t give these easy goals away. “It will be very hard against Derby. They have been preparing all week while we have had a game. They are in trouble and will want to get out of the position they are in, so it is going to be hard going there. “They will be aggressive but we want to go to win.” One man in Everton’s squad who will be particularly looking forward to the occasion is Lee Carsley. He started his career with Derby and made 166 appearances during a seven-year stay before joining Blackburn Rovers. The Rams, understandably, still hold a place in his affections. but like Arteta, his only interest tomorrow is helping Everton get three points and build on the positive display against Larissa. “I think they have done okay,” said Carsley. “Your first season back in the Premier League is always tough. “I was at Derby a long time and I hold them in great esteem. They are a fantastic club and I hope that they do well.
“When we came up, our first season back was in the Baseball Ground and it was looking a bit wrecked at the time. “I’m sure teams were coming to us and wondering what to expect. We were a very physical team. “Jim Smith had got us very organised and we were basically just smashing in to teams when we got them at the Baseball Ground. “We nicked points here and there and we did quite well. We carried that on to Pride Park. Obviously things have changed a bit since then.” Derby have only won one of their 10 games so far but that came on home soil against Newcastle and Carsley – so impressive on his return to action against Larissa - knows they will be out to make things as difficult as possible for Everton. “They have had to perhaps have a go at the Premier League this time with one eye on the Championship in case it doesn’t go so well for them,” he said. “If they go down this time, they are not going to be in the same boat as they were a few years ago. “I’m sure a lot of clubs will go down that road too. But they are going to be a tough team to play against at home.
“When you come back up, it is crucial that you win your home games.
“When you go away, you’re just trying to get a point wherever you can.”

This is my best crop yet, insists Blues boss
Oct 27 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES has paid his rapidly improving squad the biggest compliment possible as he described them as the best group he has worked with.
Everton have finished seventh, fourth and sixth in three of Moyes’ five full seasons in charge but he is confident the current crop – which consists of talents such as Mikel Arteta, Tim Cahill and James Vaughan – have the potential to surpass that.
But as the Blues prepare to travel to Derby County tomorrow, looking to build on Thursday night’s UEFA Cup win over Larissa, Moyes knows they will need to keep improving as the Premier League has become a fiercely competitive arena.
He is, however, confident that Everton will prove up to the challenge and Moyes believes the goal Leon Osman scored against Larissa gave a glimpse of the kind of football of which they are capable. “You get a lot of pleasure when you see a goal like that; good movement, interchanging of positions and we enjoyed it,” said Moyes. “Everybody was aware of where everyone else was and it was fantastic strike to finish it. “I want teams to win and style is important. Winning is the thing that will always matter but I want my teams to play with flair and excitement; to be competitive. We tried to play slickly and that showed in the players we used against Larissa.
“I feel this is the strongest group we have had. But what I will say is that the Premier League has become stronger. We know where we need to add one or two extras now. Hopefully we will do that at the right time. “The group that finished fourth were terrific collectively. They were never beaten, they were always in games and stuck to it. We’ve added a bit of flair to the team and we need to make sure we remain hard to beat.” Moyes, though, wants to see an improvement on his side’s clean sheets return and has demanded they cut out the mistakes which have gifted goals to the opposition in recently. “In Joseph and Joleon, we have got two outstanding individual defenders who would give anyone in the Premier League a run for their money, but at the minute, as a partnership, they are not finding it easy to get clean sheets,” he said.
“When Alan comes in, he is a calming influence. We have just been struggling conceding goals and the one from the other night was a real blip on what was an otherwise good performance.” With that in mind, it’s safe to say Moyes does not want a repeat of Everton’s last visit to Pride Park – they won a seesaw encounter 4-3 in March 2002 but he knows his old pal Billy Davies will have Derby revved up for the occasion. “It will be a tough game,” said Moyes. “They have got their own reasons for wanting the points but I am looking forward to it. “I went there in my second game as Everton manager and we won 4-3. I remember it well. “I’m good friends with Billy. We played for Scotland schoolboys together and travelled in the car together for a couple of years to Dunfermline. We’ve been friends probably since we were 14 and I’m looking forward to seeing him.”

ABOVE: Ayegbeni Yakubu
28th October 2007 Daily Star
Ayegbeni Yakubu grabbed his second Barclays Premier League goal for Everton as David Moyes' men heaped more woe upon struggling Derby - winning an uninspiring encounter 2-0 at Pride Park. Yakubu struck a low left-foot finish past Stephen Bywater in the 62nd minute to effectively wrap up victory for the visitors who had taken a 26th minute lead through Mikel Arteta. Despite a first league start for teenage prospect Giles Barnes and a rare second half appearance from record signing Robert Earnshaw, the home side never threatened to claw their way back for a point.
While it was a refreshing win for the visitors after two straight defeats, it was another damning indictment of the Rams' chances of avoiding relegation which on this evidence are extremely slim. The Rams had reason to start brightly having picked up their first away point at Fulham last time out, and Barnes' appearance from the start also gave the home fans cause for optimism. But Everton had their own impetus with Tim Cahill's first league start since March, and they would ultimately have the better of a dull first period in which neither keeper was unduly tested. With the Rams showing next to nothing, Everton snatched the lead in the 26th minute with a swift counter-attack begun by Phil Jagielka's long ball forward from the half-way line.
Yakubu played a clever dummy which caught out the home defence and gifted Arteta a clear run on goal, with the Spaniard taking full advantage with a low shot under Bywater. It was business as usual after the break, with Joseph Yobo inches away from extending Everton's lead in the 47th minute when he flashed a header from a Cahill corner inches wide. And the visitors secured the points after 62 minutes when Pienaar played a low ball into the Rams box and dismal defending enabled Yakubu to skip through unchallenged and hit a low left-foot shot past Bywater.

Derby 0, Everton 2 (Echo)
Oct 29 2007
by Dominic King at Pride Park
FOR those poor Evertonians who had the misfortune to be stuck in a preposterous post-match traffic jam outside Pride Park, take this as consolation: you won’t be going back there next year. Derby County might be a well-meaning, hospitable football club but few sides in the Premier League’s 15-year history have been as poor. Devoid of any quality, they will be steamrollered plenty of times before their inevitable return to the Championship. With that to be taken into account, you might say, then, there is not a lot to get excited about Everton’s clear-cut victory in the East Midlands yesterday afternoon, particularly if, as looks likely, Derby will be down before Easter. Not so. If the Blues are going to maintain their progress, they need to be dispatching sides tagged as ‘cannon fodder’ with the minimum of fuss, so with that being the case, David Moyes and his staff have every reason to be delighted with this performance. Never in any danger from the moment Steve Bennett blew his first whistle, Everton swatted aside Derby’s token resistance in the manner with which you would deal a particularly irksome fly. The only complaint was a ‘lack’ of goals. Had the Blues left with their winning margin being 4-0 or 5-0, there would have been few complaints, such was the gulf in class. No matter. In the end, two were more than enough and a clean sheet was also gleefully accepted on a satisfying afternoon.
Another question, however, has now emerged. Do Everton really need to play two strikers to become the potent force they are really threatening to be? Judging by the evidence of the last two matches, the answer has to be ‘no’. Everton may have had a successful time last season using an orthodox 4-4-2 system but the suspicion remains that they are much more formidable ensemble when spearheaded by a lone frontrunner. Four-five-one proved to be the magic formula three seasons ago when Everton defied the odds to secure a place in the Champions League qualifiers but, with the greatest respect to that group, the current crop is blessed with greater flair and ability. As that is the case, how could anyone perceive Everton reverting to a five man midfield as being negative? Nonsense. With Lee Carsley doing the dirty work, Tim Cahill, Leon Osman, Steven Pienaar and Mikel Arteta have gleefully accepted the licence to thrill. “I want teams to win and style is important. Winning is the thing that will always matter but I want my teams to play with flair, excitement and to be competitive,” Moyes said before this last fixture and his players are now practicing what he preaches. It was only to be expected that Derby - frantically trying to collect as many points as they can to aid their battle against relegation - would attempt to make things uncomfortable for the Toffees early on but their anticipated ambush never arrived. Shuttling the ball around with pace and panache, Everton were always moving a stride faster than their hosts and really should have been ahead within four minutes, when Leighton Baines skipped clear to pick out Arteta but his shot lacked conviction. Baines’ ability to change gear and get to the flank caused havoc again moments later but, again, the slick build-up did not get the finish it deserved. This time Cahill headed wide from six yards. Such a shame injury ended his involvement at half-time. Fortunately, Everton were not made to pay for those misses and took the lead just before the half hour with another wonderfully crafted strike. It might not have been as good as Osman’s against Larissa but it was still one for the purists.
Phil Jagielka slid a ball into the path of Ayegbeni Yakubu but the Nigerian fooled Claude Davis with a wonderful dummy which allowed Arteta to gallop away and crash a right-footed drive past Stephen Bywater. Everton had previously lost all six of their Premier League fixtures straight after a European contest under Moyes but Arteta’s intervention gave them ample belief they would end that hoodoo here. So it proved. Playing within themselves before the interval, they stepped things up after the re-start and another move of the highest class created the opening that ended this contest and perhaps the most encouraging aspect was that it was started and finished by Yakubu. Things have not gone quite how he would have hoped since he arrived on Merseyside but there have been clear signs in the past fortnight that he is starting to move smoothly into form, a bit like the team in generally, really. Showing great strength to hold off Davis, Yakubu picked out Osman, who in turn fed Pienaar, and maintained his charge to pick up the return pass, from the South African. Once he got into the box, there was only ever going to be one outcome.
Mobbed by his team-mates and serenaded by those in the visitors’ section, Yakubu’s beaming smile suggested a weight had lifted from his shoulders and it would not be the greatest surprise if his tally swells considerably in the next few weeks.
Moyes put an arm around Yakubu when he replaced him with Victor Anichebe late on and was clearly thrilled with his efforts.
Perhaps this will provide the lift-off for his career here.

Derby 0, Everton 2 (D,Post)
Oct 29 2007
by Christopher Beesley at Pride Park
DAVID MOYES returned to the scene of his first Everton away game five-and-a-half years on and while the verdict was the same – another victory for his side – the manner in which it was achieved was very different. Back in 2002, Everton executed a smash and grab 4-3 raid on a mad March afternoon. But this time they showed the pedigree the manager has since primed them for to cruise to a 2-0 success which was efficient if not spectacular and enough to keep their opponents at arm’s length.
A couple of well-executed dummies gave Mikel Arteta and Yakubu the goals on a day when Moyes was just never going to help out one of his oldest friends in football, Billy Davies. The pair have been pals since they first played in the same Glasgow county teams as schoolboys. Moyes went on to sign for Celtic and Davies for Rangers but they’ve followed similar paths since, both going on to manage Preston North End before realising their Premier League managerial aspirations elsewhere. In that first away outing for Moyes, his side defeated a Derby outfit who were already on their third manager of the season. The result proved pivotal in Everton’s revival that term, ensuring they stayed clear of relegation danger but ultimately the Rams were doomed.
Five-and-a-half years later as Moyes returned to Pride Park for the first time, much has changed at the respective clubs. Davies has got the club back in the top flight, succeeding where his predecessors had failed following half a decade of chopping and changing which saw the East Midlands outfit flirt with relegation to English football’s third tier amid a series of upheavals both on and off the pitch. Moyes, in contrast, who is now Everton’s longest-serving manager of the past 20 years, has been allowed to steadily assemble a group of players that he declared last week are the best he’s had since he came to the club – including the group that finished fourth in the Premier League in 2005. Although an up and down start to the season saw Everton go into this match just inside the bottom half of the table after four defeats in their last five Premier League games, they are now just four points adrift of a top-six spot. Instead of looking over their shoulders and fearing the drop as happened in too many Premier League seasons before Moyes’s arrival, Everton are sitting pretty in Europe as early leaders in UEFA Cup Group A and if they can avoid a nightmare at Luton Town on Halloween night this Wednesday, they will have progressed to the last eight of a cup competition for the first time in the Scot’s reign. But Moyes is hopeful that there’s still much more to come as he also conceded on Friday that he believes Everton should be doing even better. One of his blueprints for success when taking the job was a desire to bring in more young, hungry players who could play effectively in the high-energy style that both Moyes and the Evertonians demand. For the most part this has now been achieved with a fresh look to the squad as opposed to old stagers that tended to characterise the Walter Smith era and nine of the 11 players that started for the visitors were Moyes signings. Those who were already at Goodison, Lee Carsley and Leon Osman, incidentally both have Derby connections – the former started his career at the Rams and the latter was still waiting for a Goodison first-team breakthrough which would only come after a successful loan spell at Pride Park in 2004. For yesterday, Moyes made two changes to the side that defeated Larissa 3-1 on Thursday with Phil Jagielka replacing suspended right-back Tony Hibbert and restoring record signing Yakubu up front for James McFadden, who dropped to the bench. Davies made just one switch from the starting line-up for the Rams’ 0-0 draw at Fulham as Giles Barnes came in for Dean Leacock. Although Everton looked the more composed side in the opening stages, neither side were able to impose any kind of rhythm on proceedings until Mikel Arteta broke the deadlock on 25 minutes. Fresh from his goalscoring return against Larissa on Thursday, Tim Cahill almost struck another early goal when Leon Osman and Leighton Baines combined well on the left. Former Wigan full-back Baines overlapped in textbook fashion before delivering an inviting low cross only for the Australian to fire his shot straight into the arms of Stephen Bywater. At the other end, Jagielka, back in the side at right-back with both Tony Hibbert and Phil Neville suspended, did well to overcome an early booking when done for pace by Barnes, to push forward and create a couple of opportunities from out wide. The former Sheffield United man was playing alongside Cahill for the first time since his innocuous challenge left his then opponent with a broken metatarsal. The Mancunian utility man was innocent of any blame for the injury but still sportingly helped his future team-mate to his feet and was equally charitable on this occasion, whipping in a right-wing cross which Cahill headed wide. However, Jagielka was directly involved in Everton’s opener, collecting possession after his goalkeeper Tim Howard has displayed some delicate footwork to prevent the ball going out for a Derby corner kick. Fed by the American, Jagielka picked out Arteta with a well-delivered long pass, aided in no small part by a Yakubu dummy, and the Basque midfielder slotted past Bywater with a cool finish. Derby’s only real effort on target in the first half came soon after when Stephen Pearson burst through from midfield but his 25-yard effort was easily gathered by Howard. There was a sting in the tail for Everton just before the interval though as Darren Moore, a shall we say ‘uncompromising’ defender, went straight through Baines with a late challenge. The enthusiastic Everton full-back managed to hobble on until the break but did not emerge for the restart when Alan Stubbs entered the fray with Joleon Lescott moving to left-back. It was a controlled if unspectacular display from Everton in the second half as they cruised through the last 45 minutes, crucially doubling their advantage with a similar goal to their opener. Joseph Yobo, who has captained the side over the past couple of games during Neville’s absence, came close to scoring soon after the restart but headed wide of Bywater’s left-hand post following a left-wing corner by Arteta. The killer blow for Derby arrived on 62 minutes as this time Yakubu was the beneficiary of a team-mate’s dummy when Cahill’s step over the ball allowed the Nigerian to collect a pass from Steven Pienaar and calmly beat Bywater for his first Premier League goal since his debut at Bolton on September 1. Arteta went close with a late free-kick that sailed just over the bar but Everton were never in any danger or relinquishing their advantage. Afterwards, Davies admitted that his side were still a long way behind teams like Everton in squad development and quality and that’s a testament to what Moyes has been able to achieve in overhauling the fortunes of what was one of the Premier League’s great underachievers.
DERBY: Bywater, Mears, Davis, Moore, McEveley, Fagan (Howard 62), Oakley, Pearson, Lewis (Earnshaw 57), Miller (Jones 80), Barnes. Subs: Price, Leacock.
EVERTON: Howard, Jagielka, Lescott, Yobo, Baines (Stubbs 46), Arteta, Osman, Cahill (McFadden 86), Carsley, Pienaar, Yakubu (Anichebe 81). Subs: Wessels, Gravesen.
BOOKING: Jagielka.
REFEREE: Steve Bennett (Kent).
NEXT GAME: Luton v Everton, Carling Cup fourth round, Wednesday October 31, 7.45pm

Watch Yakubu hit goal trail - Joseph Yobo
Oct 29 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
JOSEPH YOBO has hailed Ayegbeni Yakubu’s return to form and predicted that Everton’s record signing is ready to embark on a goal spree.
The Nigerian international crowned an impressive personal display against Derby County yesterday with the second goal in a 2-0 win, having also played an huge role in the move that led to Mikel Arteta’s opener. Blues boss David Moyes sang Yakubu’s praises after the game and Yobo - Everton’s skipper at Pride Park - followed suit today as he revealed that his compatriot has been bitterly frustrated with the way things have gone for him since his £11.25m move from MIddlesbrough.
Yakubu had only scored twice prior to the game at Derby but the way he took his third goal for the club augurs well for the future and Yobo has no doubt that the 25-year-old will now show the sparkle that has made him one of the Premier League’s most prolific forwards. “Yak is a fantastic player,” said Yobo. “It’s been a bit difficult for him since he came here but it is always going to be that way when you come to a new club. You need time to settle in and I think he is starting to do that. “We know he is going to score goals and lots of them. The goal he scored against Derby was typical of him. He’s been disappointed because he hasn’t scored a lot but I’ve been telling him that if he relaxes, the goals will come. “He is a striker who thrives on confidence and hopefully the goal yesterday will give him that. I spoke to him a lot before he came here as he’s my mate. I kept telling him what it is like and he knew what he was going to face when he signed. “I told him it would take him a bit of time to adjust to the way we play. But Yak is a player who, if you give him a chance, will score plenty. He is going to score a lot of goals for us, I’ve no doubt about that. He’s getting better and better all the time.” While Yobo was thrilled to see Yakubu back on song, he also took great satisfaction in helping Everton register just their third clean sheet of the campaign and hopes they can now return to their miserly ways of last season.
“It was a fantastic result for us on the back of winning in Europe,” said Yobo. “We really needed a victory as we knew our position in the league and we needed to be making some progress. We knew Derby would make it tough for us but we did everything we needed to. “As a defender, you always want clean sheets. But the aim is always to make sure you win the game. We know that if we keep a clean sheet, we always have a chance of winning the game. We haven’t kept many so hopefully this is a new start for us.”

Everton’s resolve delights David Moyes
Oct 29 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON’S failure to keep clean sheets this season has been driving David Moyes to distraction but he was thrilled to report normal service had resumed yesterday.
Before yesterday’s trip to Pride Park, the Blues only shutouts in 14 matches had come at Sheffield Wednesday in the Carling Cup and Middlesbrough, so Moyes was thrilled with his defence’s efforts against Derby County. Other than a couple of routine saves, Tim Howard was pleasingly underemployed and Moyes – whose side kept 14 clan sheets in the Premier League last season – hopes it is a sign of things to come.
With Joseph Yobo – captain in Phil Neville’s absence – returning to form, there was plenty of positives to take from a contest which Everton ran out comfortable 2-0 winners and the manager hopes this performance can act as a catalyst for better things.
“We defended well and we never looked under a great deal of threat,” said Moyes. “We knew it would be a tough game as Derby were on a bit of an up after a good result last week but for a long period we were in control. “It was a good away performance by us and I would have easily taken that before the game. I have been talking about the defenders not taking chances and making sure they were no-nonsense. That’s exactly what they were. “I thought the two central defenders were really powerful, really strong and it looked as if it was going to be hard to get past them. Joseph has been here a while and we want to see him take more responsibility but I thought he played really well.” Inevitably, though, most talk afterwards centred on Ayegbeni Yakubu’s encouraging display after he scored the crucial second goal and played a significant role in the build up to Mikel Arteta’s opener.
That was only his third goal since moving to Goodison Park in an £11.25m deal before the transfer window closed but Moyes believes that he is starting to show signs of flickering into life. “What we know is when he gets through on goal, he doesn’t miss,” said Moyes. “What we want him to do is score the goals he did for Portsmouth and Middlesbrough. That’s what we bought him for and he delivered against Derby.
“It took the pressure off us. When it is one-nil, if you don’t get that second goal you can get a bit of a bombardment late on. But he also showed great intelligence for the first goal. It really was a great dummy. “He is a better footballer than I thought he was, more intelligent. He showed that with a couple of things he did. In Britain, what we like is seeing folk who work. People pay their money and they want to see skill and ability but we also want them to put their graft in. “That’s part of our culture. Yak did that and he got a standing ovation. We scored two well worked goals, really good play. We had opportunities and in the main, we kept them to very few opportunities.
Arteta, meanwhile, took as much satisfaction from the clean sheet as he did from scoring the goal that set Everton on the road to a win which lifted them back into the top half of the table. “It was a really important win and I was pleased to score,” said Arteta. “We scored two goals but it was good that we did not concede. We have got a lot of games coming up and we need to stay fresh, so our performance was good.”

Superb Everton destroy Stoke
Oct 30 2007
Academy Football
by Chris Wright, Liverpool Daily Post
GOALS in either half from Danny Redmond and substitute Scott Spencer saw Everton under-18s score their ninth victory in 11 matches in what has been a superb start to the season as they won 2-0 at Stoke City on Saturday. Neil Dewsnip’s side now face an intriguing Premier Academy League Merseyside derby at Kirkby in a game which sees two attacking in-form teams do battle.
After a battling 1-0 victory over Blackburn the previous week, Everton scored a more comfortable success. Despite a sluggish start the victory could have been by an even bigger margin in the end. Redmond opened the scoring with a fine shot from the left just before half-time. Then following a double substitution 10 minutes into the second half Spencer added to Everton’s advantage to seal the three points. At the other end Stoke’s only chance came late on when Everton’s Australian keeper Michael McEntagart saved superbly following a deflected effort. Everton now bid to add a derby win to their recent successes in which only leaders Manchester City have beaten them this season. Everton will welcome back Jack Rodwell this week. The Birkdale-born youngster was a second-half substitute as England U17s drew 0-0 with Portugal last week. Rodwell had scored in England’s 6-0 win against Estonia in Tallinn earlier in the week, and coupled with another a similar 6-0 over Malta, coach John Peacock’s side topped their group to go through to the Elite Round in the UEFA U17s championships qualifiers. Meanwhile Jose Baxter and Adam Davies are in Kenny Swain’s England U16s squad for the Victory Shield match with Wales at AFC Telford this Friday, while James McCready will be in opposition. None of them are likely to be available for Saturday’s derby. Hope Akpan and George Krenn, who both have ankle problems, are also expected to miss out.
EVERTON UNDER-18s: McEntagart; Stewart, McCarten, Sinnott, Barnett; McCready, Redmond (Sheppard 80), Baxter, O’Kane; Agard (Spencer 55), Codling (Powell 55). Subs: Stubhaug.

Victor Anichebe set for Everton cup call
Oct 30 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES today praised Victor Anichebe’s relentless development as he considers handing the striker a Carling Cup recall. Though he has been used largely as a substitute, that has not stopped the Nigerian international figuring in all of Everton’s 15 league and cup games since the start of the season and that sequence is likely to continue against Luton Town tomorrow. Blues boss Moyes has been short of options up front recently, with Andrew Johnson and James Vaughan both out injured, but Anichebe’s form has ensured their absence has not had too much of an impact.
The 19-year-old has already scored crucial goals against Larissa and Metalist Kharkiv in the UEFA Cup to show the big stage does not hold any fears for him and his form has been such that Moyes may ask Anichebe to shoot Everton into the Carling Cup quarter-finals. “Victor is doing really well for us,” said Moyes, who revealed that Vaughan and Johnson could be back within a fortnight. “Maybe it suits him better at the moment, coming off the bench and making an impact in games like that. He is getting better and better. “Victor has played a lot of games for us now. He has probably played as much as anyone this season and, to be fair to him, he has also got a few goals – the two he scored for us in Europe were absolutely vital. “He is beginning to develop and I can see more maturity in his play. Victor is a really good lad and he wants to learn. “What we are trying to put into him is that he needs to continue his work rate and keep listening.” Anichebe, who completed the scoring when Everton beat Luton 4-0 in the Carling Cup third round last season, signed a four-year contract extension earlier this summer and Moyes has now challenged him to maintain the consistency he has shown. “If he maintains that improvement, then he will become a really good young player,” said Moyes. “There is competition for places and it is only going to get stronger. We are going to have Vaughany and AJ back very shortly. “What we want to see is our strikers scoring regularly. You can have periods where your strikers will score in flurries but until we get Vaughany and AJ back, we haven’t got a full compliment but we are trying to give them all playing time at the minute. They’re all doing their best.” With a last eight place up for grabs, Moyes is unlikely to make too many changes at Kenilworth Road to the side that comfortably dispatched Derby County on Sunday but one man who will definitely miss out is Leighton Baines. He was substituted during the 2-0 win at Pride Park after twisting his ankle and, in Moyes’ opinion, the England Under-21 international faces “maybe a week or so” on the sidelines.

Nigel Martyn: Perfect chance to put record straight
Oct 30 2007 by Nigel Martyn, Liverpool Echo
CERTAIN managers see the Carling Cup as a chance to give some of the more inexperienced members of their squad some playing time. But there is no chance of David Moyes shuffling his pack tomorrow evening. It has been mentioned countless times that Everton’s record in knockout tournaments has been poor, but they have a real chance to correct matters now. If they beat Luton Town a quarter-final beckons and that is when belief and optimism in a dressing room begins to grow – and Everton’s players will be starting to think they can deliver. The atmosphere is going to be terrific inside Kenilworth Road and Luton’s squad will be thinking that they can spring a surprise. As long as we go about the task with the same professionalism and ruthlessness so evident against Derby County, class should tell. That is why Moyes will have no intentions of giving those players who are on the fringes a run out.
I’d expect a lot of Everton’s big guns to be involved against Luton and they will make their extra intelligence, fitness and quality tell. It would be terrific if the Blues could get into the last eight. If ever a club deserved a day out in a showpiece final it is Everton, and they are certainly starting to play with the belief that they can achieve something this year. Derby are short on quality but the manner in which Everton breezed past them was so pleasing. I don’t think it’s a surprise that they are flourishing now that the manager has reverted to 4-5-1. Some may see that system as being negative but how could you level that at Everton when they have players like Mikel Arteta, Leon Osman, Tim Cahill, Steven Pienaar and James McFadden involved? Having bought Ayegbeni Yakubu – a forward who loves the ball being played into his feet – it makes complete sense to have runners bursting forward from midfield. That formation has served so well before and will continue to do so.
When it is deployed against the teams in the bottom half of the table, you have the flexibility to attack them from all angles, while you have strength and stability in the ranks when you face the more attack-minded sides. Quite simply, it works a treat.
I would expect Everton to line up that way at Kenilworth Road. If they play with the style and panache that was so evident against Derby and Larissa, a place in the last eight will await. From there, who knows what might happen?
Cahill the complete performer
THERE is an old saying that you don’t appreciate what you’ve got until it’s gone – and that was certainly the case with Tim Cahill. Few could have envisaged how badly he would be missed when he succumbed to the curse of the metatarsal.
But now he’s returned, it is becoming more and more apparent how big a gap he left in Everton’s starting line-up. Tim has had a terrific drive and determination to succeed ever since he came to Everton and his ability to pop up with goals from midfield has been priceless. That, though, is not the only thing he brings to Everton’s team.
He has got remarkable energy levels – I’ll never forget him returning from one trip away with Australia and playing the following Saturday as if he’d spent the week recharging his batteries at home. And he never gives up. The goal he scored on his return against Larissa was so typical of him and when he is in that frame of mind, he is basically unplayable. Opposing central defenders have so much trouble deciding what is the best way to counter him. As long as he stays fit, he will significantly aide Everton’s push for success this year and provide the club keep moving in the right direction, players like him and Mikel Arteta will be around for a long time.
And his return could not have come at a better time. Apart from the Carling Cup, Everton have a few winnable matches in the Premier League, plus a trip to Nurnberg on the horizon. It could turn out to be quite a fruitful period.

Joseph Yobo fired up to end David Moyes’ five year cup famine
Oct 31 2007
by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
CUP competitions have been an endless source of frustration for Joseph Yobo during his career, but he hopes the time has arrived for a radical change in fortunes. Since he became David Moyes’ first signing during the summer of 2002, Everton’s record in knockout tournaments has, to put it kindly, been mixed; given that they have failed to make a quarter-final in that period, another way to describe it would be wretched. Maddeningly for Yobo, the situation has been similar at international level; for all the talent in their squad, Nigeria have underachieved recently as they failed to qualify for the last World Cup and were beaten by the Ivory Coast in the semi-finals of the African Nations Cup in 2006. No wonder, then, that Yobo feels enough is enough; now one of the more senior members of Moyes’ squad – he captained the team in Phil Neville’s absence for the wins against Larissa and Derby County – it is significant to hear his views on Everton’s progress. He believes the manager has assembled a group of players capable of mixing it with the best yet Yobo knows the only way Everton will prove to a wider audience that they are on the up is by collecting a pot or two on the way. So with a place in the Carling Cup quarter-finals awaiting the winner of tonight’s tussle between the Blues and Luton Town, Yobo feels the time has come to make a statement. A last eight spot is the very least of Everton’s ambitions. “It’s a huge honour and a big responsibility for me,” said Yobo. “I have been here five years and I am delighted to have been captain. But the most important thing is that we have won two games on the trot now and we want that to continue. “We know we have a good chance in this competition. I would love it if we could win a trophy here. Any trophy would do, if it was the Carling Cup, the UEFA Cup or the FA Cup, it just doesn’t matter. That is what we all want. We are doing our best in these competitions. “With the players that we have here, we should be doing well and we are trying to achieve something special if we can. That’s what we want to do. We have made a lot of progress but there is only one way to confirm that and that’s by winning a trophy. “We will try and do what we can. The most important thing is to keep showing the right attitude, keep working hard and doing our best on the pitch and, if we get a bit of luck in the draw, maybe we can go a little bit further. We’ll give it our all and see what happens.” Luton might be struggling in League One and their squad has changed significantly from when they played at Goodison Park in the third round of this competition last season, but there is no chance of Everton under-estimating their capabilities. With a record of eight wins from 10 games at Kenilworth Road since the start of the campaign – including Carling Cup defeats of Sunderland and Charlton Athletic – Luton are a match for anyone on their own turf and Yobo knows they will sense another giant-killing. But if Everton play with the same style and panache that saw them breeze past Larissa and Derby, their extra class should tell and, most importantly, keep the momentum going as they chase success on a number of fronts.
“We are looking forward to it and it will be a good challenge,” said Yobo. “No game is easy and Luton are going to fancy their chances. It’s a massive game for them and they will be giving everything they have got, but it is a massive game for us too.
“We played three big games in a week against Liverpool, Larissa and Derby but we have got to keep going. Hopefully we will play well at Luton and get the result that will continue our good form. We’ll give it our best and make sure we win the game.”
Another man who is desperate for Everton’s season to end with a silver lining is Mikel Arteta, who is battling to be fit after taking a whack to the back of his leg during Sunday’s canter at Pride Park. After going through a lull last month, Arteta has shown signs in the past 10 days that he is about to recapture his brilliant best – his goal against Derby was a step in the right direction – and the Spaniard is desperate to be involved at Luton. “We have been waiting for our quality players to come back,” said Arteta. “We have got Tim and Tommy back and we are starting to play some nice football. The manager might make some changes as we need fresh legs every game but we are all desperate to play.”

Thomas Gravesen in line for start at Luton
Oct 31 2007 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
THOMAS GRAVESEN is in line to make to his long-awaited first start since his surprise return to Merseyside as Everton bid to reach the Carling Cup quarter-finals tonight. With Mikel Arteta battling to overcome a calf problem, Blues boss David Moyes may be ready to turn to the eccentric Danish midfielder, now he has overcome the knee problem which kept him sidelined for five weeks. Gravesen made an immediate impact in his first appearance as substitute in the 2-1 win over Bolton Wanderers on September 1 but the only competitive football he has played since then was 25 minutes in last Thursday’s 3-1 defeat of Larissa. Moyes, though, is anxious to get Gravesen - who is on a season-long loan from Celtic - up and running again as his maverick qualities give Everton’s play an extra dimension and this evening’s tie against Luton Town presents the manager with an ideal opportunity. “He is a bubbly lad and his character is strange, to say the least,” said Moyes. “But it’s good to have him back in business as we are in an important period. He’s got a winning mentality and good experience and he can give us something different in midfield.
“The problem with Tommy is that he came here desperately in need of match practice and he then played for 29 minutes at Bolton when he first arrived. The idea was to get him a little bit more ready for the Premier League. “But he’s hardly played since then. He’s had no real match practice and he might be in a worse position because of that than when he came from Celtic. “He’s been out injured for month. He can make impacts in games, though. We want to get him back ready so that he can start games.”
Nuno Valente and Steffan Wessels are also in contention to start at Kenilworth Road but whoever plays, Moyes’ assistant Alan Irvine hopes the prospect of reaching the Carling Cup quarter-finals will spur Everton on. “Luton have a fantastic record at home and that proves it is going to be very difficult,” said Irvine. “We all know that it's a cup tie kind of ground, the crowd is right on top of you and it's very, very tight. It's a place where it's difficult to win. You have to go there and do well to win.
“We could be in a quarter-final and that’s a fantastic incentive. It’s a great opportunity in a competition where you can qualify for Europe. “I don’t know anybody that's not been happy at winning the League Cup. It'd be fantastic if we progress, and it's important we do as everybody is feeling a lot better.”

Keep us out of the loop!
Oct 31 2007 by Nick Coligan, Liverpool Echo
LIVERPOOL FC rejected a site which has been suggested for a new Everton stadium because it was “far too small” for their own plans. The Reds dismissed the Bestway location off Scotland Road, known as the loop, after being asked to investigate it by Liverpool council earlier this year. But the club described two other proposed sites for the Blues, off Long Lane, Fazakerley, as “likely to be viable”, even though much of the land is privately owned. The three spots were all offered to Everton by Liverpool council to try to convince them to abandon plans to move to Kirkby. Everton have repeatedly said the Bestway cash-and-carry site was not big enough, but anti-Kirkby campaigners believe it would be if the stadium were carefully designed.
Liverpool’s exhaustive search for a new home took in reviews of 22 sites before confirming their belief that Stanley Park was the best option. That proposal, involving a redesigned 60,000-seater ground, is recommended for approval by the council next week, as reported in the ECHO yesterday. A council report says: “During the course of this application, three sites within the city boundary had been identified as being potentially suitable for Everton should they wish to relocate from Goodison Park.
“The assistant director for regeneration rightly felt it appropriate that these three sites also be assessed by Liverpool in terms of their suitability as an alternative location for a new stadium.” The report says about Sotland Road: “The site is far too small to accommodate the proposed stadium, and there is no scope to assemble a larger site.”
But supporters of the Bestway scheme today reinforced their belief that the “loop” site could fit a 55,000-seater ground. Colin Fitzpatrick, secretary of Keep Everton In Our City, said: “I do not know what Liverpool were looking for at that particular site and in what depth they investigated. “Architects HOK Sport did a preliminary report for us and said a 55,000-seater could easily fit – we are talking about a bespoke stadium and looking at ideas like straddling the carriageways.” Evertonians voted in favour of moving to Kirkby in a summer ballot, and the club is now negotiating with Knowsley council and Tesco in preparation for a planning application. Bestway’s head of property, Malcolm Carter, said: “We can provide a site for a stadium that is almost the equivalent of what Liverpool are proposing, and what we have clearly outlined is that the loop genuinely offers an alternative home for Everton, close to their existing ground.”

October 2007