Everton Independent Research Data


David Moyes warning for Everton ahead of Europa League clash
Oct 1 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
David Moyes - Europa League 300
DAVID MOYES today challenged his squad to prove they can make light of Steven Pienaar’s absence – then warned them to underestimate BATE Borisov at their peril.
The South African midfielder has been Everton’s outstanding performer so far this season but misses tonight’s Europa League game in Minsk due to a knee injury.
Pienaar is one of nine senior first team players who Moyes will be without here in Minsk and Jack Rodwell is included in that figure after developing ‘flu-like’ symptoms. But as much as he knows that Pienaar and Rodwell’s undoubted influence will be missed, Everton’s manager is refusing to dwell on those he has left behind.
Knowing that a win against BATE would put Everton in control of Group I, he has urged those who have travelled to ensure Pienaar is not missed by getting a positive result. “We have got an awful lot of young players with us and we are short of numbers for this game but that’s something we will deal with,” said Moyes.
“Steven has been very good for us and Jack was probably due a bit of a breather but whenever we have lost anyone in the past, someone has always stepped forward.
“Mikel (Arteta) and Steven are really important players and they help us keep the ball well but now I want to see someone step up, take control and give us good possession.” BATE lost their opening game 2-0 against Benfica and have failed to win any of the games they have played in the Olympic Stadium in Minsk.
Moyes, though, is taking nothing for granted this evening and has seen enough of the Belarusian champions to know they have players who can cause problems.
They also have recent experience of the Champions League – last season they were in a group that contained Juventus, Real Madrid and Zenit St Petersburg – and will be anything but pushovers. “We watched them against Benfica and they are a decent side with a lot of energy,” said Moyes. “They are very good going forward and can cause problems. “In this group, I see Benfica and BATE as the main threats. We’d like to get something from the game but I can’t stress enough how much a really tough game this is for us. “How far can we go? The first thing is to try and get through the group. If anyone is coming here thinking ‘BATE who’ then they are in for a big shock.
“They are a good side and they will want to be showing that in this game. They are champions of their country and look like they are going to be champions again.
“They played in the Champions League last season and though they didn’t win many, we know how they did against Juventus and that tells us everything.”

Leighton Baines confident Everton will see off BATE Borisov in Europa League
Oct 1 2009 Dominic King Liverpool Echo
blues will see boris off
IT says everything about the confidence currently sweeping through Everton’s squad that the biggest worry they had heading east yesterday was negotiating passport control. While obtaining the necessary documentation to enter Belarus has, for some, proven to be a headache ever since the Blues itinerary for Group I was published – it was equally fraught at the airport – the game against BATE Borisov should be less problematic. Buoyed by a sequence of four consecutive wins that began two weeks ago with the 4-0 thrashing of AEK Athens, all the signs are pointing towards Everton getting into the stubborn mindset that sees them grind out good result after good result. Relishing a workload that carries them from one game to the next, there is no chance of Everton treating the Europa League as lightly as certain other clubs have or will; as far as David Moyes and company are concerned, the more they play, the merrier they are. During the past two seasons, you see, some of Everton’s best football has been produced during the middle of hectic sequences, so it is no surprise to see Leighton Baines rub his hands as he considers the prospect of so many ‘three game’ weeks. For though the signs have been encouraging, Baines – who can always be relied upon to give an honest opinion – insists this Everton squad has plenty of scope for improvement; what’s more, he thinks they will need to show it here in Minsk.
BATE might not be a household name but they are certainly capable – they drew with Juventus twice in the Champions League last season – and Baines knows nothing other than a professional job will see the Blues through. “We have got to be confident,” he said following a typically intense training session in the Dynamo Stadium. “We have started winning games. “Okay, we are not going to kid ourselves on and try to tell everyone we are playing great football because we are not.
“But when you are in the kind of groove we are in, you believe more and more.
“We take great heart from what we are doing. We’ve had a great start to the group by beating AEK and we want to get as many points on the board as soon as we can.
“If we get three points from this one, we would fancy ourselves in all our home games. “That would give us a great chance of getting the job done early and a Benfica win against AEK would also do us the world of good. “This is a trip into the unknown and we don’t think that it is just cut and dried that we’ll win or that everything will be hunky-dory. “We had a tough game in Sigma, while Kharkiv was a big shock two years ago, so we are more than aware it is going to be a big test.” It helps, though, that the defence has been functioning so smoothly and shown no signs of struggling to come to terms with Joleon Lescott’s sale to Manchester City; if anything, they appear to be getting stronger. Baines was a particularly close ally of Lescott both on and off the pitch and he would have felt his departure more than anyone at Goodison Park but the fact that he talks so enthusiastically about Lescott’s replacement says everything.
Sylvain Distin has barely put a foot out of place since his £5.5m move from Portsmouth and Baines is expecting to see another imperious display when the Frenchman takes to the field against BATE. “Sylvain has been brilliant since he has come in,” said Baines, who is poised to make his 79th appearance for the Blues here.
“The clearest marker of how well he has done is the fact that Joleon’s name hasn’t been mentioned – that’s the biggest tribute to Sylvain. “He has slotted in and done the job without any fuss. “If we had been struggling at the back, all the talk would have been about Joleon leaving and it would have been a big hangover. “We all know what a top player Joleon is but it has been ever so smooth. Everyone has just come in and settled down; I’m sure it has helped that Sylvain is so experienced but you still have to do it when it matters – but that’s exactly what he’s doing.” After a fraught summer, coupled with a stuttering start to the campaign, things have finally settled down at Goodison thanks to results in the past month and another two victories before the next international break would be a huge tonic There is, understandably, a frustration that the final round of World Cup qualifiers will again stop Everton in their tracks but Baines takes heart from the fact that it will be all systems go when the season resumes on October 17. There are a lot of games to come, with us being in two cup competitions as well as the league,” said Baines. “There is also going to be a fair bit of travelling involved but you ask any of the lads and they will all tell you the same thing. “We wouldn’t have it any other way. That gives us our rhythm. “You only have to look at the way we played during the season when we ended up getting knocked out by Fiorentina; the constant quick turnaround of games suit us. “If you look back to before the transfer window closed and have a look at the squad we have got now, it’s completely different. We’ve got lots of options and it’s full of quality. There is no doubt that the squad is good enough to cope with the demands.”
EVERTON (probable) 4-5-1: Howard; Hibbert, Yobo, Distin, Baines; Gosling, Osman, Cahill, Fellaini, Jo, Bilyaletdinov.
BATE (probable) 4-2-3-1: Veremko. Yurevich, Shitov, Sosnovski, Bordachov. Likhtarovich, Pavlov. Stasevich, Krivets, Nekhaychik. Rodionov.
Belarus new boys a champion hurdle
* FC BATE Borisov was formed in 1973 and play their home games at the Borisov City Stadium
* The club are currently managed by Viktor Goncharenko
* BATE is an acronym of Borisov Works of Automobile and Tractor Electric Equipment and was founded when part of the Soviet Union
* The club was re-established in 1996 in independent Belarus, since then, BATE have won the Belarusian Premier League five times and are the current champions
* Last year saw BATE beat Valur, R.S.C. Anderlecht and Levski Sofia to become the first Belarusian team to qualify for the group stages of the UEFA Champions League.
* Notable former BATE players include Alexander Hleb (Arsenal,Barcelona), Vitali Kutuzov (AC Milan, Sporting CP, Parma, Pisa) and Yuri Zhevnov (FC Moscow, Chelsea).
* BATE’s last league outing saw them win 3-1 at Granit Mikashevichi on Sunday. Midfielder Sergei Kivets has found the net on 13 occasions this season.

The Jury: Everton fans on the Pompey win and the Europa League clash in Minsk
Oct 1 2009 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON rode their luck at Fratton Park last Sunday, and welcomed three points that in previous seasons gone by we would have missed out on. Playing badly and winning is a sign of good team isn’t it? Saha’s cool finish proved the difference and it’s clear that Louis will score more often than he misses, being injury free will guarantee more goals than the six clocked up already this season. I myself will be making the trip to Belarus and I am looking forward to tonight’s Matchday 2 clash in Minsk. FC Bate will be difficult game, they have lost only twice in nineteen games and proudly sit top of the Belarus Championship. But what a fantastic opportunity we have this evening to secure a front running spot in our group. With two home Premiership fixtures following tonight against Stoke and Wolves our ultimate aim is to continue this great run.
ANOTHER away win for the Blues at struggling Portsmouth has lifted us into the top half of the table and just a few points away from the top six. It was a solid erformance with the defence and Tim Howard on top form, these games can always be difficult against teams fighting at the bottom. It certainly made the long trek home easier.
The performances over the last three weeks or so have been very good. The form of Louis Saha has been very good and he is looking a class striker for the Blues. With the Yak coming back to fitness, the Blues have two very good strikers with Jo as a back-up. It’s back to Europe for the Blues tonight with a trip into the unknown.
We should be able to get the points to put us in a very strong position at the top of the group ahead of the eagerly anticipated trip to Benfica.
DAVID Moyes was right to suggest that we were not at our best against Portsmouth but the three points were all that mattered. The improvement must not now lose its momentum and with a home game against Stoke next up, we have a chance to put the bad start to the season well and truly behind us. However, the manager urgently needs to address the Cahill/Fellani issue once and for all. Whilst Fellaini brought valuable goals last year, the impact on Cahill has been noticeable and his form is patently not what it was. The simple fact is that Cahill produced the best form of his career in the tried and tested 4-5-1 line up but has struggled to repeat that since Fellaini’s arrival.
The return of Arteta is still some time away and with injuries to Neville and Pinnear to ponder, Moyes must find a way of getting the best out of Tim. Three points on Sunday must be gained – hopefully, with some flowing football along the way.
IT is hard to really assess what we can expect from BATE Borisov tonight, as they are mostly unknown. There really are no easy games in European football, and especially when travelling away to eastern Europe. It is the home games that are most important to win, the win over Athens has given us a great start, so long as we win our other home games, a point in Minsk should be a very acceptable result. Louis Saha will be missed though, he is on fire at the minute so hopefully Jo or Yakubu can fill his boots.
It will also be interesting to see if Bilyaletdinov gets another run out. He is still adjusting to this league, but his set piece delivery is quality, and when he settles should be an excellent signing. Sylvain Distin has already proved to be an inspired signing, providing us with the kind of leadership we sometimes lack at the back.

BATE Borisov 1 Everton FC 2 - final whistle Europa League match report
Oct 1 2009
EVERTON shrugged off the loss of 10 first team players to record a superb victory in the Europa League in Belarus thanks to Tim Cahill’s goal 13 minutes from time.
In the process, David Moyes’ side have taken a massive step towards securing a place in the next stage after their second successive win in the group. Cahill capped a superb comeback after Marouane Fellaini had hauled the Toffees level in the 68th minute with his first goal of the season. It was no more than Everton deserved after Joseph Yobo became the latest casualty because of a thigh injury. In his absence Tony Hibbert was drafted in alongside Sylvain Distin in central defence - and hardly put a foot wrong. Hibbert had to look alert in the 12th minute when Maksim Skavysh skipped away and got in a crucial challenge. Everton almost took the lead a minute later with Diniyar Bilyaletdinov left cursing his luck. The Russian winger saw his powerful 20-yard shot come back off the post after Ayegbeni Yakubu had carved out the opening. BATE responded and made the breakthrough with Dmitri Likhtarovich scoring a goal out of the blue, latching onto a loose ball 30 yards out and thumping a shot high over goalkeeper Tim Howard. That got the home crowd going and gave BATE an early boost - they lost their opening game to Benfica. Everton almost drew level in the 26th minute when Yakubu released Cahill inside the six-yard box - but the Australian midfielder failed to get a decent connection and his effort was deflected wide. The Australian was left shaking his head in frustration after failing to take a clear chance. Everton again pushed forward in the 37th minute and Fellaini laid the ball back to Leon Osman, skipper on the night, but his effort was blocked.
BATE, who drew twice with Juventus in the Champions League last season, then found themselves on the back foot though three minutes later. It needed a timely clearance from Igor Shitov to prevent Yakubu from racing clear on goal, then Osman got clear inside the area after 54 minutes but his shot was scrambled to safety.
Three minutes later Jo peeled away from his marker and got on the end of a cross from Yakubu. However his soft header was easily taken by the goalkeeper.
BATE were not content to sit on their lead, however, and kept pushing forward at every opportunity. Aleksandr Pavlov steadied himself outside the area in the 61st minute but sent his shot wide of the target, before Yakubu was hauled back for moving into an offside position three minutes later following a pass from Gosling.
The Nigerian questioned the decision and it look as though he had a point.
Everton drew level in the 68th minute when BATE failed to deal with a Leighton Baines free-kick. Fellaini got on the end of it at the far post and found the corner of the net. Everton went ahead in the 77th minute after a swift counter-attack that stunned the hosts. Bilyaletdinov headed the ball on and Cahill sprung the offside trap before hoisting a shot over the goalkeeper. It was a remarkable turnaround by Everton and testimony to their fighting spirit after such an indifferent first half.

1st October 2009 Daily Star
By Kevin Francis
SYLVAIN Distin has helped Everton boss David Moyes to get over the loss of Joleon Lescott. The £5.5m arrival of Distin coincided with the controversial switch by Lescott to Manchester City for £19m. But, since Lescott left, Moyes and Everton have not looked back, with Distin’s superb form at the heart of the defence very much a main ingredient. Distin faces BATE Borisov here tonight in the Europa League, with the Merseyside outfit trying to make it five clean sheets on the trot. It’s the kind of consistently solid defensive work that had Moyes saying: “Every clean sheet is an achievement because it gives you a chance of winning. “It is something we have been very good at over the years. We had 19 in the Premier League last season, so if you are going to have success you need those clean sheets. “Obviously, the Premier League is the place where you want to get them but two of ours have been in Europe and the Carling Cup. “But obviously I would like to get more in the Premier League.”
And he is delighted with the form of Distin, adding: “He has settled in very well and he would admit to the fact that he has found it quite easy to join in. He was the one who I hoped, when he arrived, would come in and settle without it being too big an upheaval.” Distin will again form a central defensive partnership with Joseph Yobo as Everton chase their second group win on the trot. Moyes said: “Distin and Yobo are a brand new partnership in the centre of our defence. Would I have expected them to click straight away? Probably not. “Hopefully, the more games they play together, the more understanding they will get – and hopefully they will get better.”
Everton keeper Tim Howard admits the defensive solidity is a major factor in Everton’s successes this term. Now he is hoping for more of the same tonight and said: “We want to get another good result. “Football is crazy and, though the modern game is about scoring goals, we are determined to keep it airtight at the back. When we do that, we give ourselves an unbelievable chance of winning games because we are really good at attacking set-pieces. “If we keep things at bay, we always have a chance of nicking a goal. Our strikers have been our fire, so we want another blank”
Striker Louis Saha misses tonight’s match through suspension after being sent off in the win over AEK while Steven Pienaar is ruled out with a knee injury and Jack Rodwell suffering with flu.
BATE BORISOV: Hutar; Baga, Shitov, Rzhevsky, Bordachev; Stasevich, Pavlov, Valadzko, Nekhaichyk; Goaryan, Skavysh.
EVERTON: Howard; Baines, Yobo, Distin, Hibbert; Cahill, Gosling, Osman, Fellaini; Yakubu, Jo.
Ref: Pavel Cristian Balaj (Romania).

BATE Borisov 1, Everton 2: Depleted Blues fight back to land Europa League
Oct 2 2009 by Chris Beesley, Liverpool Daily Post
DESPITE being without at least 10 first team players against BATE last night, a second-half comeback from Everton ensured the wheels did not come off in their European adventure against a former tractor works side. As a former centre-half himself Everton manager David Moyes could be forgiven for being tempted to dust off his own boots in European competition this season. A thigh injury sustained in training the night before the game at Minsk’s Dinamo Stadium has denied the Scot of stand-in skipper Joseph Yobo, leaving new recruit Sylvain Distin as his only recognised player in central defence. Issues with Joleon Lescott during his final days at Goodison Park ensured that Moyes had to use Phil Neville as an emergency centre-back for the 4-0 home win over Sigma Olomouc in the play-off round and the loss of the Nigerian international meant that the manger was forced to move 5ft8in Tony Hibbert over as a makeshift partner for Distin when youngster Dan Gosling also out of position at right-back like he was in the club’s previous Europa League outing against AEK Athens. When all of Moyes’s options are available he would have an embarrassment of riches at the heart of his back-line with Yobo and Distin joined by reigning Player of the Season and England international Phil Jagielka, John Heitinga who has been capped by the Netherlands almost 50 times and Lucas Neill, a vastly experienced performer both with Premier League clubs and Australia. Unlike the travelling Press men who were subject to a hat-trick of security friskings by over-zealous Belarusian security guards in between departing their bus and taking their place in the media centre – complete with stern examination of a tin of boiled travel sweets in one briefcase – Everton’s squad took the coach directly from the hotel a mere Tim Howard goal-kick away from the Dinamo Stadium but who could blame them for wrapping their players in cotton wool given their continued appalling record with injuries. The visitors who were already without the ineligible Heitinga and suspended Louis Saha from last Saturday’s trip to Portsmouth also were without South African Steven Pienaar who sustained a knee injury at Fratton Park.
A sheer lack of numbers also meant that Moyes switched to two up front with Ayegbeni Yakubu partnering Jo for only his second start since a nine-month injury lay-off. All this left Everton with an unrecognisable bench with teenager Jose Baxter of all people the most experienced performer in an Everton jersey ahead of James Wallace and Kieran Agard who both made their debuts as substitutes earlier this season while none of Carlo Nash, Shane Duffy, Hope Akpan and Shkodran Mustafi had yet played in a competitive match for the club. Given the Visa complications of fans travelling to the former Soviet republic which bears the greatest resemblance to the former regime, a substantial number of supporters made the trip to Minsk – both from the home side’s home-town of Borisov – 50 miles from the capital plus Merseyside and there was also a flag for the ‘Russian Toffees’ placed next to a banner that read “Everton FC Garston” in the away end. Despite the hosts’ swift counter-attacks being cheered on by an enthusiastic crowd it was Everton who looked the more measured of the two sides in the early stages. Tim Cahill warmed Sergei Veremko’s gloves in the first minute with a pop shot but the first real chance came when Yakubu threaded the ball through to Diniyar Bilyaletdinov who cut inside from the left, fired across goal, but struck BATE’s left-hand post. However, the visitors – who had kept four consecutive clean sheets leading up to this game – were stunned on 16 minutes. Pavel Nekhaychik escaped down the left flank and as Everton failed to clear their lines properly, BATE’s 31-year-old captain Dmitri Likhtarovich – who had averaged less than a goal every two seasons over his 15-year career – let fly with an unstoppable 25-yard screamer that gave Tim Howard no chance as the American was beaten for the first time in over six-and-a-half hours of football. Everton then switched to a 3-5-2 formation with Gosling pushing forward to a more natural wide midfield role but further goal-scoring opportunities before the break were then at a premium with the only attempt at an equaliser coming via a close range Cahill effort which was deflected wide following a Yakubu knock-down. With the heavy rain lashing down on the open bowl of the Dinamo Stadium in the second period, both sides struggled to create openings. Yakubu, a player who was criticised early in his Everton career for a supposed lack of work-rate, put in a real shift up front as he started for only the second time since his return from injury. Forced to drift wide, the Nigerian found himself on the left-wing when delivering a lofted cross to Jo but his Brazilian strike partner’s header tamely looped into the grateful arms of Veremko.
Despite understandably still lacking a degree of match-fitness, Yakubu always possesses a scoring threat and he looked set to pull the trigger on 69 minutes only to be clinically scythed down by Igor Shitov who received a yellow card for his challenge. Justice was done though from the resultant free-kick as Leighton Baines lofted the ball across the BATE area to Marouane Fellaini at the back post and the Belgian midfielder found himself unmarked to nod in his first European goal for the club. With the Belarusians rattled, Everton pressed forward and were rewarded again on 77 minutes as Cahill gambled on reaching a well-placed header by Bilyaletdinov and dinked the ball over the advancing Veremko into the BATE net.
Having taken the lead Moyes soon decided to give Yakubu a breather and introduced Agard into the fray for only his second appearance after the youngster had been blooded as a late substitute in the Carling Cup tie at Hull eight days earlier.
There were still a couple of anxious moments to endure as BATE continued to press forward but a rasping effort from Yurevich was tipped around the post by Howard as Everton clung on to keep themselves in great shape in Group I ahead of their back-to-back clashes with Portuguese giants Benfica.

BATE Borisov 1 Everton 2: Blues on Europa League highway to heaven
Oct 2 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
MISERABLE weather, difficult circumstances, terrific result; ‘Highway To Hell’ boomed out on the stadium speakers in Minsk last night but Everton took a giant step on the road towards the Europa League’s knockout stages. We have seen on numerous occasions in recent years Everton show the ability to thrive in adversity and, once again, that outstanding quality proved crucial as they took a stranglehold on matters in Group I. It could have been so different. With so many familiar faces staying at home, falling behind to an early thunderbolt in conditions that bordered on a monsoon could have prompted certain teams to throw in the white towel. Not Everton. Though BATE Borisov gave it their best shot in the Belarusian capital, it was their misfortune to come up against the Blues in one of their more obdurate moods – from an early stage, it was quite clear that they were only going to leave with three points. Winning, you see, is breeding confidence and five successive victories in this latest sequence of fixtures has ensured the memories of a difficult summer have been thoroughly expunged; what’s more, they will continue to go from strength to strength.
Not surprisingly, David Moyes headed home in high spirits, satisfied that another European job had been well done, and the only thing that is likely to improve his mood further is when the club’s treatment room starts to clear. Moyes is normally upbeat before these jaunts, relishing the opportunity to pit his wits against different opposition, but he was a little more guarded as he travelled here – not surprising given that he was forced to do without nine senior players. So to then be robbed of Joseph Yobo at the last minute – the Nigerian tweaked his thigh in training – was even more frustrating for the manager and, not for the first time, left Everton facing a huge task going into a fixture that was fraught with danger. It’s all very well saying that the Blues are at their best in times of adversity but surely the time has come for Moyes to enjoy a sustained period when he doesn’t have to worry about plugging round holes with square pegs? Yobo has been a huge figure in recent weeks, recovering from a shaky start to the campaign to show the Rolls-Royce qualities in his game.
Clearly thriving with the responsibilities that come from being a captain, Yobo would have been an influential presence last night but, then again, so would Louis Saha (suspended), Steven Pienaar (injured) and Jack Rodwell (ill). But, as Moyes had pointed out during his pre-match briefing, one man’s absence offers the opportunity for another to stake a claim and few would have begrudged Tony Hibbert his chance.
Forced to take a back seat since John Heitinga arrived at the club, some have quietly suggested that Hibbert’s days as a regular starter are now a thing of the past and, to some extent, they might be right. He is, though, Evertonian to the core, and despite being asked to play as a central defender for the first time in a senior game, there was never any doubt about Hibbert rising to the task. A typically robust challenge on Maksim Skavysn after 10 minutes, whipping the ball off his toes when the midfielder was poised to shoot, showed his wellbeing. Calm, composed and reading the game immaculately, Hibbert looked as if he had been playing alongside Sylvain Distin all his life. He was Everton’s star man. Ironic, then, that Everton went into the break trailing, despite keeping their hosts comfortably at arms length. That they trailed was down to the fact BATE’s one shot on target was an absolute thunderbolt, one which raced past Tim Howard and into the roof of the net before the American had even realised what had happened.BATE captain Dmitri Likhtarovich became the first player in almost 400 minutes to beat Howard and he has probably never struck a ball more cleanly or accurately during his career. Everton, though, should have been in front moments before that but the ever impressive Diniyar Bilyaletdinov struck the woodwork after being set free by Ayegbeni Yakubu, while Tim Cahill squandered the kind of chance he puts away with his eyes closed. Even when BATE held advantage, they were significantly inferior and Everton’s patience was rewarded when Marouane Fellaini headed in Leighton Baines’ precise free-kick. The goal came after Moyes had made a subtle tactical change, switching Jo and Bilyaletdinov and pushing Cahill forward and that reaped the desired rewards when the Australian did what he does best. Sensing their might be an opportunity to cause mischief as a counterattack developed, Cahill carried on running until he slid in to divert a bouncing ball over Sergei Veremko to give Everton a lead they would never squander. And with AEK Athens toppling Benfica, it turned out to be the perfect night.
BATE BORISOV (4-2-3-1): Veremko; Yurevich, Shitov, Sosnovski, Bordachov; Likhtarovich, Pavlov; Stasevich, Krivets, Nekhaychik; Rodionov
EVERTON (4-4-2): Howard; Gosling, Hibbert, Distin, Baines; Cahill, Fellaini, Osman, Bilyaletdinov (Baxter 90); Jo, Yakubu (Agard 79).
Goals - Likhtarovich (16), Fellaini (69), Cahill (76). Bookings - Krivets, Osman, Agard.

Everton FC star Tim Cahill dedicates winning goal in Europa League tie to Tsunami victims
Oct 2 2009 Dan Kay Liverpool Echo
Tim Cahill dedicates his winner in Borisov to tsunami victims EVERTON star Tim Cahill has dedicated his winning goal in the Blues' Europa League win over BATE Borisov to the victims of the Samoan tsunami. The Australian sealed Everton's 2-1 win with a looping effort 14 mintes from time in Minsk and appeared to mimic rowing a boat in the aftermath of the goal. He said today, "Everyone knows about the Tsunami in Samoa and it affected the village where my family comes from, which is a place that’s very close to my heart. "I had the chance when I was a kid to play for Samoa and I spent a lot of time there. "I go back there quite a lot and help the kids with shoes, clothes, kit and things like that. I’ve done some soccer clinics there.
"It’s been devastating out there. I have spoken to my mum’s sister and a few other members of the family who had to find areas of higher ground because their homes had been so badly affected. My grandparents are from an affected village and it’s where my mother grew up. "It has hit me very hard because I believe so much in family values and origins – hence my tattoo when my Samoan grandmother died – and they have sent me photographs showing how bad it is out there. "Some people are now staying in tents with plastic sheets over the top of them. They’re just trying to deal with it and they are trying to arrange a mass funeral for all the people who have died. "I am working on something now, which might take a bit of time, to try and help out. I’ve got some great sponsors in Australia and a lot of people there want to help out. "I will start some sort of appeal. "When I first heard about all this I didn’t realise how big and how bad it was but when I did, I was determined straight away to try and do something to help. "If I could leave training for a week and do some aid work, I’d do it but obviously I can’t do that. "However, I can put people in place to help but it’s not something that will happen overnight.

Tim Cahill praises Everton FC spirit after BATE Borisov victory
Oct 2 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
TIM CAHILL today hailed the fighting spirit of “the best” Everton squad he has played in after another memorable night in Europe. The Blues made the trip to Minsk without nine senior players and then lost stand-in skipper Joseph Yobo with a thigh strain in the build up to last night’s Europa League clash with BATE Borisov.
That made no difference, though, as Cahill’s late opportunist strike capped a stirring comeback in filthy conditions to give Everton a 2-1 win against the Belarusian champions. Having taken maximum points from their first two Group I games, Everton are firmly on course for the knockout stages and Cahill believes this could be an adventure that ends up running and running. “You can’t buy what we have got here,” said the Australian talisman. “We keep doing it year after year. We’ve had thin squads but we work together and come through adversity. “We all play really hard for this club and it is brilliant to be a part of it. When injuries (like the one to Yobo) come up, we just deal with it. “Results like this are the pinnacle of what we do. This is the best squad that I have ever played in and the most competitive, as everyone is battling for places. “So while we had a thin squad (against BATE), we still put out a very decent team and one that was capable of getting a result. “We are nowhere near being qualified yet but you can‘t ask for anymore than two wins from two games; playing in Europe is massive for everyone here. “Personally I thrive to play in these games; every year you give yourself a goal to where you want to be and a lot of players here are thankful to be at this club.” Tony Hibbert was the man called upon to fill the void left by Yobo but despite never having played as a central defender before, he emerged as Everton’s star performer. It has been a difficult start to the season for the club’s longest serving player, given that he has seen his place taken by John Heitinga, but Cahill was delighted to see Hibbert give a timely reminder of his talents.
“Hibbo came in and he is someone that a lot of us look up to,” said Cahill, who scored seven minutes after Marouane Fellaini restored parity and abandoned his trademark punching of the corner flag celebration and instead made a paddling movement dedicated to the Samoan tsunami victims. “He is under-rated but he is one of the most important players at the club. We were solid with him and Sylvain Distin at the back. He was exceptional. “Though it might not have seemed the case, the start to the season was good for us. We knew we could only get better, the gaffer knew we would get better and we are happy.” Beating BATE extended Everton’s winning sequence to five games and now attentions turn to Stoke City, who arrive at Goodison Park on Sunday. “It will be another tough game,” added Cahill. “It will be very physical but we have found an aggressive, high-tempo competitiveness.”

When Liverpool FC legend Bill Shankly apologised to Everton FC
Oct 2 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
NO-ONE ever took offence at Bill Shankly’s merry one-liners, did they? Delivered with a twinkle in his eye and tongue firmly in cheek, surely they were intended – and received – as a bit of harmless fun? I’ve always had my doubts, especially after a conversation many years ago with that redoubtable Evertonian Jimmy Gabriel.
But further evidence has just emerged that Shankly’s lacerating wit wasn’t always so well received, especially across Stanley Park. It can be found on the truly outstanding Everton Collection website – a vehicle devoted to referencing and publicising every single item of the David France Collection. There are programmes, letters, pictures – and most fascinatingly, every single page of every single boardroom minute book at Goodison Park from 1887 to 1964. And it’s here that you’ll find yourself wasting more time than you ever thought possible on a website devoted to football memorabilia. On March 5, 1963, an entry read: “A letter of apology was read from Liverpool FC for the critical statements made to the Press recently by their manager Mr W Shankly.” There is, frustratingly, no more information. Was it the “two teams in this city” jibe? Or the “anything off the top” barber’s shop joke? Damn. I’ll have to waste more time now digging back through the newspaper articles also contained on this encyclopaedic website. Anybody ready to log on to www.evertoncollection.org should ensure they have nothing else pressing to attend to for several hours.
Newspaper reports, it seems, have always caused consternation. In October 1892, there is the entry: “Johnny Holt complained about Nuggets appearing in the papers about him and the use of the name Daddy Holt. Resolved the Secretary write to The Express and Football Field re-same and that we all do all in our power to remedy the matter.” Presumably Mr Holt, an England international nicknamed the Little Everton Devil, was getting long in the tooth and did not take kindly to newspapermen pointing out his advancing years. And there are other gems. “It was reported that Bingham (note the schoomasterly use of surnames only) had asked for a loan to purchase a newsagent and sweets business,” goes a 1962 entry, followed by the reply: “The type of business he had in mind was not considered a favourable one.” Sweetshops were clearly a controversial issue in the swinging sixties. So were electrical devices. In 1964 chairman John Moores’ careful hand had written: “It was argued that a suggestion to install a large illuminated scoreboard was not practicable.” closely followed by the item: “Agreed to ban use of radio sets on the ground.”
Together with the admirable lfchistory.net, the Everton Collection website is a splendid addition to cyberspace. Just be prepared to waste lots of time.

Duncan McKenzie’s lightweight delivery
Oct 2 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DUNCAN McKENZIE was dubbed a frothy, lightweight sort of footballer – all flicks and not much substance. By calling his autobiography “The Last Fancy Dan” it’s an accusation he doesn’t distance himself from. Sadly it’s reinforced by some irritating errors. Chris Nicholl didn’t score twice in the League Cup final replay of 1977. Brian Little’s double is etched like a scar on the heart of every 40-something Evertonian.
And Leighton James did not supply the ammunition for a future Everton strike partnership of Latchford- McKenzie (page92). That was Dave Thomas.
There are two chapters on his time at Everton – which for £17.99 is pretty lightweight.

Howard Kendall: Peter Reid will help Stoke
Oct 2 2009 Liverpool Echo
ONE of my old sides, Stoke City, will arrive at Goodison on Sunday – complete with Peter Reid as their assistant manager – and provide a stern test. I was surprised Reidy took the job as a number two after managing the Thailand national side. When you’ve been a number one making the big decisions it is hard to step back down again.
But I’ve no doubt Tony Pulis will be delighted to have him on board. Reidy was great as a player for our dressing room and as big a character off the pitch as much as on it.
I know from talking to Peter that Pulis has developed a system which kept Stoke up last season and which he will insist his players stick to all season. Rory Delap’s long throws are of course their most famous weapon but he’ll also have them well-drilled and organised, particularly at set pieces. The Blues might have to be patient on Sunday and not get frustrated if it takes time to make the breakthrough. Hopefully it will come and give Everton three good points to keep us moving up the league.

David Prentice: Tony Hibbert needs to score now for Everton FC
Oct 2 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
TONY HIBBERT has been called many things during his 230-match Everton career.
But never a match-winning centre-half. The five feet eight inch full-back deserved that accolade last night though. Not an obvious choice to fill in for the injured or unavailable Jagielka, Yobo, Rodwell and Heitinga – heck, he wasn’t even an unlikely choice – Hibbert produced a monumental display at the heart of a reshuffled and rearranged rearguard. It’s been a difficult few months for Hibbert. Hauled off at half- time in a Cup final, he’s been sent off in the Czech Republic, seen a bid for one full-back fail then another swoop for an international right-back succeed. But the character which he has shown throughout his various travails means that Johnny Heitinga won’t be walking into that right-back role at Goodison Park. All Hibbert needs now to complete a roller-coaster year is a goal. “Hibbert scores we riot” was one of the funnier banners at Wembley in May. There’s even a Facebook site now dedicated to the achievement. It reads: “Tony Hibbert made his debut for Everton in 2001 and eight years later has STILL not scored a goal for them!! This is a truly stunning record and this group aims to bring together all the people of the world who are prepared to smash the place to pieces come the day Tony does eventually hit the back of the net.”
I still remember the reaction when Terry Darracott (176 appearances, no goals) came as close as he ever did to netting against Norwich. Not a riot, but not far off.
So come on Tony. Pop one in on Sunday!

Howard Kendall: Nothing timely in Jack Rodwell’s flu bug
Oct 2 2009 Liverpool Echo
ONE or two people suggested before last night’s game that the fact Jack Rodwell was missing through illness might not really be such a bad thing for the lad.
The theory went that because he is so young and has played so many times already this season, then maybe a short break - albeit one enforced by a flu bug - could actually be timely. But I simply don’t see it that way. You can tell Jack just loves playing. Yes, he has been thrust into the spotlight at an early age but he has thrived in it and has proved he is capable of handling it. As well as his obvious abilities, I am impressed with Jack’s atttude and his character. Some youngsters, once they get a pro contract or start to catch the eyes of a few people, can let it quickly go to their heads. But there has been absolutely no sign of that with him. He’s got a great temperament and has been a big asset this season in our midfield. I know or one two people feel that maybe he might one day end up as a centre back. But I’m not sure he has quite yet developed the strength you need in that role and anyway he has been doing so well in midfield that any potential switch seems way off the agenda now. The other thing is that getting experience in Europe is great for young players making their way in the game. You learn so much from playing in an entirely different environment and getting that under your belt early on can only benefit both player and club in the longer term. So for all those reasons, I don’t subscribe to the theory that a dose of flu will give Rodwell - a local lad who the fans love to see doing so well - a beneficial break. Young he may be. But Jack’s got the legs and the talent to cope with it all as far as I can see. Missing games will be the last thing he wants or needs, I’m sure.

2nd October 2009 Daily Star
By Kevin Francis
DAVID MOYES last night hailed his depleted Everton team after they claimed pole position in their Europa League group. Goals from Marouane Fellaini and then Tim Cahill saw off the challenge of a very adventurous Belarus outfit who could so easily have won against the Merseysiders. It was a hard-earned victory, after trailing 1-0, which left boss Moyes saying: “It was really pleasing because we were without so many players and only fielded one central defender. “We had no other senior players available and it was a really resilient performance that, in the end, got us the result.
“To win away from home in Europe is very important. We hope that our home form will now help us as well. “We are in a good position and we would like to try and stay there. Now it might make some of the games easier in the campaign ahead now that we have got the points early on.” It was a battling win for a makeshift Everton outfit in which Tony Hibbert had to play a sole central defensive role in a team deprived of many regulars through injury, suspension and ineligibility. Cahill grabbed the winner in the 77th minute after new signing Dinivar Bilyaletdinov had headed the ball to his feet in the penalty area. Earlier, Fellaini had claimed his fi rst goal of the season in the 67th minute to equalise after an attack minded BATE outfit had taken the lead. On a national note, thank goodness that England have already qualifi ed for next year’s World Cup, as at least half-a-dozen members of the BATE team will be in the Belarus national side that England face in a qualifying match at Wembley later this month. They certainly look like giving England plenty to think about. They really did that last night as they pulled out all the stops and attacked at every conceivable opportunity. BATE took the lead after 16 minutes when the normally reliable Aussie Cahill only partially cleared a cross. Home team skipper Dmitri Likhtarovi- ch took full advantage of the opportunity and hammered a fierce kick past keeper Tim Howard. But Everton pulled themselves back into the game to claim a memorable European victory that will clearly boost them in the games to come in this competition. EVERTON: Howard, Gosling, Hibbert, Distin, Baines, Osman, Cahill, Trelaine, Bilyaletdinov (Baxter, 88), Jo, Yakubu (Agard, 78).
Subs: Nash, Duffy, Wallace, Mustafi , Akpan.


2nd October 2009 Daily Star
STOKE striker Ricardo Fuller is Tony Pulis' only serious injury concern ahead of Sunday’s trip to Everton. The Jamaican international played no part in last weekend’s defeat by Manchester United after damaging his groin against Blackpool in the Carling Cup. James Beattie will be ready to face one of his old clubs after recovering from knee and ankle injuries and Liam Lawrence should also be available after undergoing a course of injections for a persistent back problem.
Team (from): Sorensen, Huth, Shawcross, Abdoulaye Faye, Collins, Lawrence, Whitehead, Delap, Whelan, Etherington, Kitson, Beattie, Tuncay, Fuller, Simonsen, Higginbotham, Pugh,

2nd October 2009
EVERTON defender Joseph Yobo is a doubt for Sunday’s visit of Stoke after he missed the Europa League victory over BATE Borisov with a thigh injury.
Midfielders Jack Rodwell (illness) and Steven Pienaar (knee) did not travel to Belarus but manager David Moyes is hopeful both will recover in time to face the Potters.
Defenders John Heitinga and Lucas Neill, ineligible against Borisov, and Louis Saha, serving a European suspension, all return.
Provisional squad: Howard, Yobo, Baines, Distin, Hibbert, Heitinga, Neill, Cahill, Rodwell, Pienaar, Osman, Yakubu, Jo, Fellaini, Nash, Bilyaletdinov, Gosling.

Everton FC star Maroaune Fellaini hit by teething problems
Oct 3 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
Marouane Fellaini scores in Borisov 300
MAROUANE FELLAINI has been playing through the pain barrier at Everton this season – after throwing off his reputation for being a Premier League pain in the neck.
The distinctive Belgian picked up his first booking of the season at Portsmouth last weekend – in his 10th appearance – compared to last season when he was booked five times in his first eight matches and finished with a dirty dozen yellow cards.
And boss David Moyes revealed yesterday that Fellaini has been playing in considerable discomfort for the past month. “He’s struggling just now,” said the Blues boss. “He’s due to have both his wisdom teeth taken out on Monday and he’s been playing with an infection for three weeks now. “He’s done well for us. He’s been on antibiotics for three weeks and we asked him to just hang on. “Sure there are bits of him which are disappointing at times, but there’s other bits when he has a big affect on games. “I always said that this was probably going to be his hardest time. He made an impact in the Premier League and scored, what was it, 10 goals as a newcomer?
“But I always thought the second season might be harder.”On his improved disciplinary record, Moyes added: “We’ve told him we didn’t want him in as much trouble, but he’s only 22. “Marouane’s a Peter Crouch midfield player if you like. You can’t miss him. When you’re going for challenges and you’re trying to intercept things you’re always likely to run a risk. “But I don’t think there’s any real malice in him and this is the point we made. I think referees are more used to seeing him now. He got things given against him quite a lot last year which I thought were unfair and I think he did as well. “But I think he’s settled now and he’s maturing as a Premier League player.” Fellaini’s presence is likely to be important against Stoke City’s notoriously direct approach at Goodison Park tomorrow. Moyes will give late fitness tests to Joseph Yobo and Steven Pienaar, but Lucas Neill and Johnny Heitinga are both available to deputise at the back if required after being ineligible in midweek.
Louis Saha is also set to return after sitting out the midweek win in Belarus, while Jack Rodwell is expected to recover from a bout of illness increasing Moyes’ options even further. Tim Cahill, meanwhile, has explained his midweek goal celebration which was a tribute to the victims of the tsunami in Samoa. “Everyone knows about the tsunami in Samoa,” he said “and it affected the village where my family comes from, which is a place that’s very close to my heart. “I had the chance when I was a kid to play for Samoa and I spent a lot of time there. I go back there quite a lot and help the kids with shoes, clothes, kit and things like that. I’ve done some soccer clinics there. “It’s been devastating out there. I have spoken to my mum’s sister and a few other members of the family who had to find areas of higher ground because their homes had been so badly affected. My grandparents are from an affected village and it’s where my mother grew up.”

Plane sailing as Everton's Sylvain Distin calls for perfection
Oct 3 2009 Liverpool Echo
Plane sailing as Distin calls for perfection
SOMETIMES it’s impossible to prevent the gloss being taken off the perfect day and never was that more apparent than in Minsk airport early yesterday morning.
Having sailed through passport control and boarded flight BD7974, hoping for a quick journey home after their battling 2-1 victory over BATE Borisov, Everton’s squad were left puzzled as to why they had been left stranded on the runway for 45 minutes.
Then all became obvious. The man who should have driven the car that was supposed to taxi the aircraft out to its take off point had disappeared and, despite the crew’s best efforts, nobody was able to track him down. But when radio control were asked if things would be helped along with the production of some cash, as if by magic the man who had mysteriously shuffled off appeared in a flash, hopped into his cab and the wheels were set back in motion. Exhausted after a run of five games in 14 days, an unnecessary delay was the last thing Everton’s weary players needed but any great frustration had been extinguished by the fact that results have been outstanding.
Their efforts in the past fortnight have helped transform the dimensions of this season and sent optimism soaring but while many of David Moyes’ squad will be thrilled with progress, one man offers a different, refreshing point of view. Sylvain Distin has enjoyed an outstanding start to his Everton career but, like his new manager, he is not yet totally satisfied – and here’s the reason why. Distin, you see, is driven by the pursuit of perfection; he might have celebrated wildly at the final whistle in the Dinamo Stadium, after the Blues took charge of Group I, but the more he thought about Dmitri Likhtarovich’s thunderbolt, the more it irked him. So though he has taken great encouragement from conquering AEK Athens and BATE in Europe and beating Hull, Blackburn and Portsmouth on these shores, he is convinced there is plenty more to come. Where better place to start than against Stoke tomorrow?
“Great night? It’s been a great month,” said Distin, beaming from ear to ear. “Everything has been really good for me. We’ve only lost one game, we’ve hardly conceded any goals and the only time we lost was down to us; it wasn’t because we were outplayed. “It’s a great atmosphere, I’m happy to be living back in the North West and, bar the lack of sun, it is just perfect! I’m really enjoying it. The good thing here is if things go wrong, we talk about it together.
“It doesn’t need the manager to say something, we just do it ourselves. The more we play, the better we will become and this little break is going to come at the right time, as we have played a lot of games.
“But I am really looking forward to what is coming in the season. It’s weird, you know? We have won a lot of games but we conceded against BATE and I felt bad; we have got a winning mentality, so we are not just happy when we ‘only’ win.
“We want to win, to play with style and we don’t want to concede any goals; it’s hard to explain but you get addicted to the feeling; so though we won (on Thursday), we still conceded and started off badly. We don’t complain but we want 100 per cent.”
Possessing such a determined attitude explains why this imposing defender has settled in so quickly to life at Goodison Park following his £5.5m switch from Portsmouth and why he has been welcomed with open arms by a squad that prides itself on its unity. “We lost a lot of players this week and it was a blow to then lose Joe (Yobo) before the game,” said Distin. “But we don’t think about it. We just have to deal with it, as it is part of the job. I’d spoken with Louis before I had signed, so I knew about the atmosphere. “But I have to admit that since I have joined, I’ve been really impressed. We work hard but the staff are really good, the atmosphere is better than I thought it would be and we are now getting our rewards.” So good have results been during September that the events of the previous month, which included Joleon Lescott’s high-profile departure and that 6-1 drubbing against Arsenal, are now just a distant memory. Should the Blues see off Stoke, it would be the perfect way to sign off for the international break and Distin sees no reason why Everton cannot end up enjoying a campaign as fruitful as the most recent one which, of course, yielded a trip to Wembley. “We don’t just want to stop with a win against Stoke,” he pointed out. “We are looking further all the time. After the international break, we have got a few more important games and we want to keep correcting the situation.
“We have got the team here to have a really good season. I am not someone who sets any targets or makes predictions but I’m pretty sure that we can enjoy the season in every competition we play. “Even when I arrived, there was a calm assurance. We had lost a couple of games but nobody was moping around and wondering ‘when are we going to get some points’ because we had faith. “We knew things would work our way, we just had to work hard and wait for the new players to get integrated after they arrived. We have started to get to know each other and over the last couple of weeks, you have seen the difference.”

Time for Tony Hibbert to cause a riot at Everton
Oct 3 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
HIBBERT scores, we riot!” says the banner. But Goodison stewards shouldn’t fret. Now 230 games and counting, Everton’s stalwart defender hasn’t even looked like breaking the second longest goal drought in Everton history. Second longest, I hear you exclaim? You mean there was somebody who enjoyed a longer Goodison career without finding the net? There was – and no, it wasn’t Mickey Walsh or even Rod Belfitt. In fact Tony is in celebrated company when it comes to long runs without scoring. Hibbert still has another 47 appearances to go befoe he can claim the longest Everton run without a goal – and that record is held by one of the club’s greatest ever servants. Brian Labone made his Everton debut in March 1958 – and finally celebrated a goal on October 5, 1965 – a run of 277 matches. It was an important goal, too, earning a point in a 2-2 home draw with Blackburn. “This was a historic goal,” wrote the Daily Post’s Horace Yates. “If only for the fact that it was scored by Brian Labone in his 249th league game for Everton and it was the first time he had ever found the net. “Up came Labone for Temple’s corner kick and with a downward header of some power beat Else completely.” Manager Harry Catterick, however, wasn’t there to witness the historic moment. Taken ill on the morning of the match he was rushed to a Waterloo nursing home for an emergency stomach operation.
His reaction on hearing the identity of the unlikely goalscorer is, sadly, not recorded.
Like all good goalscorers, that strike sparked something resembling a run of goals.
Labone struck again five months later, again a pointsaver in a 1-1 draw at Burnley, before hanging up his shooting boots and going another 229 games without a goal.
At least Labone can say he enjoyed the experience of scoring a goal, though.
Jock McDonald, an inspirational Everton captain in the 1920s, made 224 appearances without celebrating even a solitary strike. Then there were the Balmer brothers.
A celebrated full-back double act from the Edwardian era, Robert made 188 appearances without a goal, while older brother Walter scored just once in his 331-game Everton career – from the penalty spot in a 4-2 loss at Nottingham Forest.
Other notable non-scorers included Eric Moore, 188 appearances without a goal from his debut in December 1949; Terry Darracott, 179 tough-tackling appearances without so much as troubling the opposition’s goalkeeper; Martin Keown, who enjoyed a 120-match Everton career without a goal, but did bizarrely crash in a left-footed screamer for England against Czechoslovakia during that time; and Ray Wilson, 154 appearances – no goals. Honourable mentions should also go to Kevin Ratcliffe.
The most successful captain in the club’s history may have collected more trophies than any other player, but despite playing in one of the most freescoring teams in the club’s history, he scored just twice. One was a matchwinner at Norwich, though, and the other was the clincher in an Anfield derby. Hibbert’s drought is all the more unusual because as a youngster he played in central midfield, possessed a fierce shot and regularly appeared on goalsheets. Proof, if ever any were needed, however, that bookies are tight, can be found in the first goalscorer odds for Everton’s match against Stoke City tomorrow. After 230 games, and no goals, you’d hope for something in the region of, say, 200-1 for Tony to score at any time during the match, wouldn’t you?
No chance. While you can find 66/1 for Hibbert to score the first goal at Goodison, the odds on him scoring during 90 minutes are a measly 20-1. Can’t see too many beating down the door to take that bet!
Big Duncan Ferguson back in the headlines
IN Search of Duncan Ferguson is published this weekend. Whether Scottish author Alan Pattullo was successful in finding the object of his desire is unclear, but from the advance publicity it appears that the Big Yin has finally got a sympathetic hearing from his homeland. Read on: “Ferguson has obviously got a few critics, but who else could change a game like he could? “Who else could put the fear of God up defences across the country? “Who else in the modern game would take a £15 grand pay cut to come back with his tattoo still proudly embedded in his arm? Nobody!
“Duncan is a legend, nobody has been worthy of the Number 9 shirt since!
“Long live the Legend that was DUNCAN FERGUSON!
“For those that had season tickets during the 90s and were too young to enjoy the 60s, 70s and 80s, this guy gave you heart to watch some of the worst football to grace Goodison. “There are too many classic Duncan moments to choose.
“All I can say is that Goodison has not been the same since he left and I don't think it ever will be.” If you’re a Big Dunc fan, In Search of Duncan Ferguson could be well worth a read. Published yesterday by Mainstream, it is priced just £9.99.
Ex-Everton player Mark Ward to tell his Football Story at the Bluecoat
MARK WARD will be telling his “Football Story” at the Bluecoat on Thursday October 15, as part of the Chapter & Verse Literature Festival.
An evening for football lovers of all shades, Ward is the author of ‘From Right Wing to B Wing’, describing his journey from the Premier League to a four-year prison sentence. Ward will appear with Jonathan Wilson, author of ‘Inverting the Pyramid’, a fascinating account of how football tactics have changed over time and around the world. The evening will be hosted by broadcaster John Keith and runs from 8.30pm- 9.45pm – £5/£3.

BARRY HORNE: Why Everton were just as impressive as Juventus
Oct 3 2009 Liverpool Echo
I was fortunate enough to be a co-commentator for the Bayern Munich v Juventus game in midweek. It was a collison of two giants of European football, both teams packed with top class players. The talent of Ribery and Robben were to the fore, but as the game progressed, what struck me was the resilience and self-belief of the Italians. Bayern Munich tore into their visitors and dominated the first hour of the game, but Juventus did not panic and did not flap. They stuck to their gameplan, eventually got themselves into the game and might have sneaked an improbable away victory. What was so impressive was that they clearly had great faith in themselves and in the way the coach asked them to play. This is true of all great teams.
By that I don’t mean teams which, through a combination of circumstances, have found a temporary streak of form, but teams who over a number of years have proved themselves to possess a certain stature and strength of will. Look at Manchester United’s performances at home and in Europe, and similarly Chelsea. Carlo Ancelotti’s side may have suffered a blip last week, but the fact that we know they will recover adds weight to the argument – and endorses the old cliche that form is temporary, class is longer lasting. I believe that Everton are developing that self belief and resilience. Once again we had a poor start to the season, but when we look back next May I am pretty confident that will prove to have been a blip. Our performance against BATE Borisov in many respects mirrored that of the Juventus performance I witnessed in Munich. For the first hour it didn’t look like there was anything in the game for us. But everyone in the team stuck to their given task, were disciplined and eventually turned the game on its head. That discipline depends on great faith in the manager, in terms of what he is asking the players to do, and how he has prepared the team. It also requires faith in each other. Throw into the equation last minute and long-term injuries and you realise that Everton’s performance against the European also-rans was every bit as impressive as Juve’s in the Allianz Arena.
Blatter dives headlong into new controversy
IN a quiet week when columnists are struggling for inspiration, more often than not Sepp Blatter will provide a talking point. And so it turned out when Mr Blatter not only admitted to having been a ‘diver’ as a player, but also seemed to condone the act of ‘simulation’. Only weeks after Blatter’s sidekicks at UEFA were ready to hang Eduardo out to dry for the heinous crime of avoiding an onrushing 14 stone goalkeeper, the self contradictory head of world football now seems to be saying that it’s an accepted and acceptable part of football. Just read the words he uttered.
“I know myself, I was always a striker. But it’s 50 years ago now – but I’m still a little bit of a striker. “We tried to dribble, but when we could not go through and someone put his foot there, what do you do? “You do a little bit more than you should have done. Is this so terrible? I don’t think so. At least it’s not so terrible that we should intervene after a match. “The disciplinary committee should not intervene on that. They should intervene on violent play.” No wonder Eduardo’s ban was overturned.

3rd October 2009 Daily Star
By Kevin Francis
EUROPA League goal hero Tim Cahill believes the current Everton squad is the best he has played in. The Aussie grabbed the late winner in Thursday’s 2-1 victory over BATE Borisov in Minsk and will be looking to do more damage when he lines up against Stoke at Goodison Park tomorrow. Having taken maximum points from their first two Group I games, the Toffees are firmly on course for the knockout stages and Cahill believes this could be a Euro adventure that keeps on running and running.
“You can’t buy what we have here,” said the Australian talisman. “We keep doing it year after year. We’ve had thin squads but we work together and come through adversity. “We all play really hard for this club and it is brilliant to be a part of it. When injuries come up, we just deal with it. “Results like this are the pinnacle of what we do. This is the best squad I have ever played in and the most compet-itive, as everyone is battling for places. “So while we had a thin squad against BATE, we still put out a very decent team and one that was capable of getting a result.
“We are nowhere near being qualified yet but you can’t ask for any more than two wins from two games. Playing in Europe is massive for everyone here. “Personally I thrive on these games. Every year you give yourself a goal to where you want to be and a lot of players here are thankful to be at this club.” Beating BATE extended Everton’s winning sequence to five games and now attentions turn to Stoke with confidence sky high. Cahill added: “It will be another tough game. It will be very physical but we have found an aggressive, high-tempo competitiveness.
“We might have been a bit soft at the start of the season but the manager questioned us, he asked to work harder and that’s what we are doing.”

3rd October 2009 Daily Star
By Dave Armitage
Liam Lawrence reckons war games buddy James Beattie will be a man on a mission at Everton tomorrow Beattie failed to live up to his £6m record buy tag at Goodison and had to set about rebuilding his reputation. Now he’s at Stoke, where he helped fire them to safety last season with seven goals following a cut-price move from Sheffield United. Lawrence reckons Beattie can prove a steal at £3.5m and that comes from a man who has quite literally been in the trenches with him. Colourful midfielder Lawrence even reckons Beattie is in danger of turning him into a homebird.
He said: “We play on the Xbox at night when the kids are in bed and we have a couple of hours to ourselves. “It might sound immature and pathetic but it keeps me going for hours! I have a bottle of wine and play that now rather than go out and get smashed with the lads! “It’s a cheaper night and I don’t get as much grief off the missus the next day. “Now I stop in and me, Beatts and some of the other lads have a free-for-all just killing each other. It’s the Stoke spirit I suppose.” Beattie would settle for hitting the target against his old club even though he says he has nothing to prove. Big things were expected of a player capped five times by England, but just 13 goals in 76 games meant he was moved on to Sheffield United. Lawrence added: “Me and Beatts are quite close. I’m sure he will be wanting to prove to their manager and staff that it was a mistake to let him go. “He’s quite touchy though, so I’d better watch what I say. “He’s big and strong in the air and he is the best finisher in training. His finishing really is excellent and he’s always reminding me of that, but that’s what he is paid to do.” A series of niggling injuries have made it a stop-start season so far for the big striker, but Lawrence believes his pal is set to hit a rich goal seam.
He said: “He’s not had a proper run really. He was on fire for us last season and it’s just a case of getting his confidence back.”

Everton FC 1 Stoke City 1 - final whistle report from Goodison Park
Oct 4 2009
Everton vs Stoke, EFC fans shield their eyes
STAND IN skipper Leon Osman's equalising goal extended Everton FC's unbeaten run to six games, but they were pushed all the way by visitors Stoke. Stoke were intent on attack, fielding former Blue James Beattie with Fuller while Matthew Etherington was taking on Hibbert at every opportunity. The winger’s first cross after just three minutes saw Beattie out-jump Leighton Baines before planting a firm header into Tim Howard’s arms. Everton’s response resulted in a couple of efforts blocked from Saha and Tim Cahill, before the Australian should have netted after 15 minutes.
Marouane Fellaini swung in a cross from the left, and Cahill ducked low for a header just six yards out, but Thomas Sorensen managed to clutch the effort at the second attempt. Howard, faced with a similar downward header a minute later at the other end from Fuller, also struggled to hold the effort cleanly. Everton were having more possession and forcing the issue, but Stoke defended well to force their hosts into long shots. Russian winger Diniyar Bilyaletdinov came more into the game on the left, and when he cut inside to fire in a rising shot, the ball crashed into Ryan Shawcross’ arm.
Referee Andre Marriner turned down the penalty appeals, the Stoke central defender having not moved his arms from his side. Fuller was booked for a 35th-minute tackle on Heitinga, and Rory Delap was lucky not to follow his colleague into the book when he tripped Baines in full flow. Osman then produced a fine snap shot on the edge of the box which Sorensen saw late but did well to turn over the bar. Diao was next into the West Midlands official’s book in an increasingly fractious game, for a foul on Baines, Heitinga lifting the free-kick wide. Stoke started the second period even more belligerently than the first, hounding Everton in possession. And they were ahead five minutes into the half when Etherington’s right-wing corner curled into the box and defender Robert Huth soared above Cahill to power home a header, his first goal since joining Stoke from Middlesbrough for £6million in the summer. The lead lasted just five minutes, however. Heitinga came forward from the back before exchanging passes with Osman who struck a fierce drive from the edge of the box that crashed into the net off the underside of the bar. Bilyaletdinov saw a shot saved by Sorensen, while Fuller failed to trouble Howard with a low drive at the other end.
With 15 minutes left Everton sent on two strikers, Jo and Yakubu, for midfielders Osman and Bilyaletdinov, Hibbert taking the captain’s armband. Stoke responding by replacing Diao with Whelan. It was a bold ploy by Everton, but one that could see them caught on the break. Fellaini and Shawcross were both booked with four minutes left for a clash in the centre circle. Stoke sent on Kitson for Fuller during injury-time.

Everton 1, Stoke City 1: Osman stokes up heat but Blues fail to crack Potters
Oct 5 2009 by Nick Smith, Liverpool Daily Post
THE praise was so gushing it’s a wonder the pages of the programme didn’t go soggy – both David Moyes and Phil Neville queuing up to pay tribute to Leon Osman for the way he has responded to being made captain. But it was a perfectly timed observation yesterday. Because while it’s the wearing of hearts, rather than armbands, on sleeves that usually makes the current Everton squad tick, it was Osman who certainly led by example with a wonderful equalising goal. Sadly, it was an example few were able to follow. Everton, despite conceding their first goal on English soil in the three weeks that have passed following defeat to Fulham, remain unbeaten since then.
But after being on top for the majority of this game, Osman’s quickfire response to Robert Huth’s towering header early in the second half was all they could manage on a deeply frustrating afternoon. Too many final balls went astray and as such, what chances were created were too sporadic to really pressurise the visitors. Moyes declared that his side played some of their best stuff of the season – but for it to not be enough against Stoke proves how difficult they make life. The Everton manager had bizarrely likened them to Barcelona in the build-up to this game but, in some ways, he has a point. If you’re not on your game against them, they’ll make your life hell.
However, unlike the Catalan giants, they do their damage by getting men behind the ball rather than on it. Still, it can quite often be just as effective a tactic.
It’s why Everton had to rely on so many efforts from outside the penalty area and in that instance it’s often a moment of individual brilliance that’s required – good job then that Osman provided it. Responding well in times of adversity is second nature to the current Goodison squad and after Huth headed in, they were behind for only four minutes thanks to Osman’s sweet left-footed curler from the edge of the box.
It had to be precise to beat the considerable reach of Thomas Sorensen and the fact that it went in off the underside of the crossbar only added to its artistry.
But Everton still had 35 minutes left to find another goal to make it six wins in succession and secure two extra points to take them level on points with Burnley.
That last stat perhaps sums up the struggle to build up momentum in the Premier League when Europa League group games, particularly those in Belarus, punctuate the schedule so relentlessly. But then there’s no point celebrating being in Europe if you’re going to complain that you have to travel. The failure to sustain pressure on Stoke in those latter stages, even with Yakubu and Jo joining Louis Saha in attack at this stage, perhaps proved that, despite the adaptability and endeavour of the squad, there are days that scream out for the creativity of Mikel Arteta and Steven Pienaar.
However, yesterday also demanded plenty of hard work and physical attrition – because that’s just what Stoke City do. More than just a long-throw freak show, they have the aura of seasoned Premier League campaigners and the naivety that traditionally gnaws at promoted sides was shaken off a long time ago.
Their ruthless mindset certainly belongs in the top flight, even if the quality of their football doesn’t. If that means Tony Pulis playing an extra back four on top of the one he’s already got, then so be it. There were some early flashes of the inventiveness needed to break down such stubborn resistance, mainly from the left side, but clear chances to break the deadlock were few. A decent one arrived at the head of Tim Cahill in the 17th minute from the boot of Diniyar Bilyaletdinov but his downward header was weak and Thomas Sorensen barley had to move to gather. No need for Cahill to get out his celebratory paddle – but it wasn’t long before Stoke appeared to be heading up a certain creek without one. Everton significantly picked up the pace towards the end of the first half and forced a series of heart-stopping moments in the City rearguard, such as Ryan Shawcross appearing to charge down a Bilyaletdinov drive with his arm. Andre Marriner, a referee who would clearly pass Alex Fergison’s fitness test, was well up with play to see it but he decided he didn’t need the breather of a penalty kick and Shawcross escaped. Most of the best work, however, came outside that seemingly impenetrable penalty area, thanks to the tidy work of Jack Rodwell, but with Marouane Fellaini and Cahill struggling for both space and inspiration, long-range efforts seemed the likeliest route to joy. Osman found that to be the case when he cut in from the left and sent a drive powering towards the top corner which Sorensen did well to tip over. The Dane wasn’t as fortunate the next time Osman sent one into a similar area, but by then his side were already ahead.
It was an open and shut case of Everton being guilty of not learning lessons from last season, when Shawcross flicked a soft header inside an unguarded post.
Although Tim Howard could have kept that one out, yesterday he was left rooted to the spot as Robert Huth, after shrugging off the minimal physical threat of Cahill, met Rory Delap’s corner to give his side a surprise, and somewhat surreal, lead.
It didn’t last long. Osman found time to have a little practice swing with his left foot which was sliced well wide, but from an identical position seconds later, he conjured up his second goal in the three games he has worn the skipper’s armband.
Another tame Cahill header was collected by Sorensen but as Stoke threatened to finish the stronger, Moyes threw on the reinforcements. Saha, returning from the suspension that spared him the midweek excursion to Belarus, looked as rusty as anyone, and not just because of the colour of the hair dye he uses. Jo and Yakubu joined him up front for a planned late onslaught – but it was more of a gentle prod.
Jo passed up a glorious chance to volley in with his weaker right foot but was far too optimistic in thinking he had time to control and shoot, thus he was crowded out.
Then Yakubu found himself racing clear of the defence but his lack of sharpness was exposed when, under pressure from a pursuing defence, he could only tamely sidefoot at Sorensen. An opportunity to him and others to get closer to a return to their usual selves comes with the international break and going into it on the back of six games unbeaten has to be seen as a positive. But it could have been so much better after a game that looked for long period like such a one-horse race.
Unfortunately, a Sea The Stars-style gallop over the finishing line was absent on this occasion.

Everton 1, Stoke City 1: Leon Osman's super strike raises Goodison Park roof
Oct 5 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
THE roof fell in at Goodison Park over the weekend. Happily for Everton, it was a literal, not a metaphorical collapse. Debris dislodged from the club's triple decker Main Stand on Saturday night saw the closure of Goodison Road overnight.
If it hadn't been for Leon Osman's laser guided left-foot,the Blues might have been coming to terms with the closure of another kind – their extravagantly compiled six-match unbeaten run. Stoke City are not a team you want to meet at the end of a gruelling run of six games in 17 days, even when you're scoring goals for fun.
But Everton made their job so much harder by committing a cardinal sin against one of the Premier League's most predictable units – they left a centre-back unmarked at a set piece. Tim Cahill appeared to be the man detailed to police Robert Huth–- a catchweight contest if ever there was one. But he gave the towering defender too much space to rise and plant a header beyond Howard. That made Everton's task so much harder, but it took barely five minutes to reply with a strike which said everything about the differing football philosophies of both camps. If Stoke's central defenders were all statuesque strength and power, in Johnny Heitinga the Blues had mobility and the ability to bring the ball damagingly out of defence. The selection of the Dutchman against a side so unashamedly route one might have been seen as a gamble, especially with the the more aerial option of Lucas Neill sat on the sidelines.
In the event it proved inspired. Heitinga defended solidly enough, no mean feat against the Bruise Brothers, but his ability to bring the ball out of defence constructively offered another attacking option. And With Stoke sticking rigidly to two banks of four, it was crucial in creating Everton's equaliser. Stoke's defence backed off and backed off as the Dutchman advanced out of defence towards their penalty area, allowing him the time to play a slick one-two with Osman.
The final pass gave the little midfielder just enough time and space to think about a shot, and his effort was outstanding. Ironically, the common pre-season perception was that Heitinga had been bought as a replacement for the Cup Final traumatised Tony Hibbert, with Osman also looking nervously over his shoulder.
But perhaps Yobo, Distin and co. might have unexpected competition after this performance. In the circumstances, a point wasn't a catastrophic result.
Everton had been aiming to win their sixth match in a row for the first time since their last title-winning campaign – although David Moyes might give you an argument otherwise. He claims the penalty shoot-out triumph at Newcastle early in his Everton career was a victory, giving him six of the best several years ago. We'll save the arguments about that for another day. Osman's exocet apart, there wasn't much else to remember this clash for. For a fixture first played in the Football League's inaugural season, Everton v Stoke City is not one of football's more historically significant occasions. Ask a Blue for his favourite Everton-Stoke clash and you might get a mention of a mazy dribble from one side of the pitch to another by Duncan McKenzie.
Or maybe Howard Kendall throwing open the dressing room windows at the old Victoria Ground. But they were both FA Cup ties anyway. Memorable league clashes between the clubs are few and far between, and this one followed the historical pattern. With Stoke sticking to two rigid banks of four behind the ball, Everton needed an early breakthrough. They did eke out one excellent opportunity just 15 minutes in. Marouane Fellaini's cross from the left was precise and inviting, just the kind of opportunity Tim Cahill devours like peanuts. But this time Cahill directed a stooping header from six yards straight at Sorensen. Otherwise opportunities were almost exclusively long range. Jack Rodwell fired one narrowly over, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov produced one sublime touch with his left foot then let fly with his right, only for the shot to crash into Ryan Shawcross, then Leon Osman's rising drive was palmed over one-handed by Sorensen. All it needed was a solitary lapse of concentration to give the visitors the lead, but even after Everton's quickfire reply chances proved just as hard to come by. Cahill had another headed opportunity, this time from Saha's cross, but again he headed too close to Sorensen. Then with 15 minutes remaining David Moyes went for broke. Jo and Yakubu were ushered on, Jo replacing Bilyaletdinov as a penetrative left winger, while Yakubu partnered Saha.
It was a bold move to leave so many strikers on the pitch, but the withdrawal of the wide-men left the Blues without the means to get the ball to them from wide areas.
In the build-up to the match David Moyes declared: "Some people get excited watching Barcelona play, but there's great excitement when Stoke are throwing it into the box. Everyone has their own ways." In the event neither way was good enough to force a winner yesterday. Just be thankful that the roof didn't fall in.
EVERTON (4-5-1): Howard, Hibbert, Heitinga, Distin, Baines; Osman (Yakubu 75 mins), Fellaini, Cahill, Rodwell, Bilyaletdinov (Jo 75 mins); Saha. Unused subs: Nash, Gosling, Neill, Agard, Baxter.
STOKE CITY (4-4-2): Sorensen; Faye, Huth, Shawcross, Collins; Delap, Diao (Whelan 76mins), Whitehead, Etherington; Beattie, Fuller (Kitson 91). Unused subs: Simonsen, Cort, Whelan, Lawrence, Tuncay, Wilkinson.
REFEREE: Andre Marriner.
Bookings: Fuller (34mins), Diao (41), Fellaini (84), Lawrence (84).
GOALS: Huth (49mins) 0-1, Osman (55) 1-1.

Leon Osman: Everton have become a Premier League 'scalp'
Oct 5 2009 Liverpool Echo
Everton goal hero Leon Osman believes the Toffees must come to terms with being considered a “scalp” for the less-fancied teams in the top flight. Everton discovered just how defiant Stoke could be at Goodison Park yesterday, when they had to battle back from a goal down to claim a point. It was Osman, stand-in skipper in the absence of Phil Neville and Joseph Yobo, who produced a captain’s performance and a fine 20-yard equaliser. Robert Huth had earlier headed his first goal for Stoke since his £6million summer move from Middlesbrough, and Everton discovered throughout just how much the Potters wanted to prove themselves against last term’s FA Cup finalists and fifth-placed side. Everton had won five games on the trot in all competitions, but they had to battle hard against Tony Pulis’ side, now in their second season in the Premier League and looking more than the long-ball outfit they were branded last term. Osman said: “Getting back into that top five for a European place is our aim, but it does not get any easier. Clubs like Stoke have spent money and the opposition is getting harder by the week. “And we are a target now. We have finished in the top five or so now for the last few seasons so teams fancy their chances and want to do well against us. “They come to Goodison Park intent on claiming the scalp of a big club now, that is what we have become. “They know they have to work hard, but they will step it up and raise their game. That makes it twice as hard for us to break them down. “It is now all about us finding that next level to be able to cope with such situations, people really want to beat us because of what we have achieved.”
Osman claimed his second goal of the season and 31st in his Everton career, but added: “Stoke are always difficult to break down, they were determined not to be beaten and they were very tough opponents. “We scored one goal, could have had another but it was disappointing we didn’t win. “I tried a similar shot to the one that I scored with a couple of minutes beforehand and it was a mis-hit and sailed wide.
“I was hoping for another opportunity to put that right, and it came very quickly afterwards. This time I did connect properly and it was a very pleasing goal to score.
“Stoke’s tactics were to make the game narrow, and they have so many tall players that just pumping the ball into the box does not seem to worry them.” He continued: “We still missed enough opportunities to have won. We were fine with our passing up to their area and then it seemed to break down. “And we cannot use the excuse of having been on a long trip to Belarus for a Europa League game earlier in the week. These things are tiring, but we just have to get used to it. “We want to be playing in such games in midweek and then more big games at the weekend, so if we want to play at that level we must get used to what it entails.” Stoke boss Tony Pulis believes his side have improved on last season, when they were seen as reliant on Rory Delap’s long throws and the high ball into the box. He said: “Our away form was poor last season, but apart from when we went to Liverpool and got battered, we have done better this term. “We got good away points at Birmingham and Bolton and now we have got another one at a very difficult place like Everton. “We have an international break now before we play West Ham at the Britannia stadium. They may be in the bottom three, but I watched them at Manchester City recently and they passed the ball really well. “If we turn up expecting a stroll in the park we will be in for a nasty shock.” He added: “We have improved on last season, maybe there was a bit of novelty value about us last season but this time around we are better than we were.
“We feel that and we have shown that, but if we want to do it consistently it is all about being consistent. There is no point talking about it if we don’t back it up with our actions. “Everton were so much better than us last season, but this time we seemed a bit more comfortable and were able to cope. “We are passing the ball, getting our head up. Some people don’t think we can do that, but I don’t give a damn about that because I know what we are capable of.”

Marouane Fellaini winning over match officials: Everton FC latest
Oct 5 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
MAROUANE FELLAINI believes he has finally won over referees in English football, despite picking up an undeserved second yellow card of the season against Stoke. The distinctive Belgian was booked by referee Andre Marriner at Goodison yesterday, despite nobody else in the stadium spotting an offence. But Fellaini believes the decision was an exception, after a traumatic debut campaign which saw him cautioned a dozen times and singled out on national television. “I don’t think I deserved the booking today, everyone could see that,” he said, “but it was only my second yellow card this season. “I haven’t changed my game. I’m still exactly the same player, but maybe I’ve become a bit wiser and maybe the refs know me a bit more now too. “What I have learned is that I used to pick up a lot of yellow cards when I was running back trying to stop teams on the counter attack. I would foul players trying to get back into the game, but I have cut that out.” Fellaini completed the full 90 minutes yesterday, despite a painful problem with his wisdom teeth.
The Belgian will undergo surgery today, before joining up with his international team-mates for a double-header with Turkey and Estonia. He has been playing with the problem for three weeks now and explained: “It has been painful. I got an infection in my throat which made it worse, but you get on with it for the team. “We should have scored one or two in the first half today. We put in a good performance in the first 45 minutes, but maybe we went down a notch in the second half.” Fellaini was used in a more regular midfield role, after recent outings supporting striker Louis Saha, and said he enjoyed the experience. “Jack (Rodwell) and I have a good understanding. We work really well together.” Injury plagued striker James Vaughan, meanwhile, has returned to Goodison for consultation over a knee injury, after his loan spell at Derby County was cut short after his first appearance. Vaughan, who is with the Rams until January 1, suffered a dead leg on his debut in the defeat by Crystal Palace and was an unused substitute in Tuesday's 6-1 thrashing by Cardiff City. Another on-loan striker, Lukas Jutkiewicz, has also had his fitness questioned by Motherwell boss Jim Gannon. Jutkiewicz hit the winner against Falkirk on Saturday and the Well boss said: “I've been surprised by his poor level of fitness and his match practice because he hasn't been injured in pre-season, he has just been under-used and under-trained.
“He has been unfortunate that we've been using him wide, which isn't his strength.
“So before we can make a judgement on him I felt we had to play him down the middle in his natural position where he can use his strength and mobility a little bit more. “I think he did really well, that was probably his best performance so far.”

David Moyes praises courage of Leon Osman: Everton FC latest
Oct 5 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES last night praised the courage of Everton's point-saver Leon Osman, after the little midfielder scored a stunning left-footed goal to rescue a draw against Stoke. Osman struck from 20 yards, dipping a classy strike in off the underside of the crossbar after Robert Huth had given the visitors an undeserved lead. And afterwards his manager said: "Just before Leon scored he had another shot which went 20 or 30 yards wide, so he had a lot of nerve to try the same thing again because the crowd here can be unforgiving at times. "He took the same shot from the same position again, and this time put it in the top corner, so the boy deserves an awful lot of credit for the courage he showed today to come up and do that. Good on him. "Nobody's going to be the top boy every game, but just look at the contribution he's made over the years. He's been excellent." Following the arrival of Diniyar Bilyaletdinov and Johnny Heitinga for big transfer fees in the summer, Tony Hibbert and Leon Osman had been pinpointed by some supporters as the men most likely to make way. But Moyes explained: "I see Hibbo and Ossie as part of the brickwork here. I think they've been through it and they know exactly what they have to do. They very rarely let us down.
"They do the best they can in every game and you can't ask for any more. "I thought Ossie did terrific. he's been here since he was a boy, he's worked really hard and he continues to work hard to be at the club."But Moyes also had words of praise for Heitinga, who played a key part in the equalising goal. "I thought Johnny Heitinga played well today," he added. "He used the ball well from the back. We might need him to play in a few positions for us. "At the moment I'm waiting to see really how it develops with him and which way it goes, but we certainly needed a centre-half today.
"He's played a few times in midfield as well and my first thought was to introduce him as a midfield player but the way things have gone it's been elsewhere." Moyes added: "I didn't expect Stoke to come here and make it easy for us. "It was tough to try and break them down and get through, but they've done that to a few clubs away from home and if they get a goal it makes it doubly difficult. "We had the chances in the first half when I thought we played as well as we have for a while. We played some really good stuff then and created good opportunities. “I thought we did what we could without actually finishing it off." The Blues finished the match with strikers Louis Saha, Yakubu and Jo all on the pitch together, along with attacking midfielders Fellaini and Cahill. "We had a go," he said. "I don't know if bringing the extra strikers on made us any better. I thought the style we played just before that gave us better rewards. "We were a bit more frantic with the extra strikers on. "I don't think tiredness played a part. Yes, seven or eight played on Thursday night but that's going to happen if we want to be successful."

Everton's David Moyes - Best yet to come from Diniyar Bilyaletdinov
Oct 6 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
Diniyar Bilyaletdinov 300
RUSSIAN winger Diniyar Bilyaletdinov has already crammed six assists into his four Everton starts to date, but boss David Moyes believes it could be six months before Blues fans really see the best of the £9m signing. The left-winger’s fertile feet have already drawn comparisons with Goodison legend Kevin Sheedy, and Sunday’s performance against Stoke was the first time the Russian has started a game and not contributed a goal-making cross or pass. But manager Moyes is still urging patience with the 24-year-old. “In truth, it could be six months or even next season before he’s totally right,” said Moyes, “but the situation we’ve got at Everton means we’ve got to play him. "From that point of view maybe it will help him in the end. “I think the games that are coming up he will be more than likely put in, and he’ll have to pick up the pace a little bit. “The Russian boy at Chelsea (Yuri Zhirkov) will take a time to settle and get used to it, and it will be no different for Bily. “He’s showed some flashes of good play and some deft touches at times, but it’s the strength and the pace he’ll need to get used to.” After a hat-trick of assists on his debut against AEK Athens, Bilyaletdinov followed up with two more goal creating passes in the Carling Cup victory at Hull, then headed on for Tim Cahill to snatch a late winner in Belarus.
Moyes added: “The other thing is that he is a very conscientious worker in his position. He’s happy to track people back and go with people. He’s not poor in that department at all. “We’re just really getting used to him and his style and he’s getting used to the Premier League. “His delivery is good, he’s a nice passer and he has a nice feel in tight areas. It’s just getting him used to the intensity of the Premier League.”
Moyes hopes that Bilyaletdinov can help add a more creative edge to his side in the absences of Mikel Arteta and Steven Pienaar. “We’re certainly missing Mikel Arteta undoubtedly at the moment and we’re looking to add some more creativity into the team with Pienaar in it,” he added, “and if we can get Bily up to the speed of the Premier League I’m hoping that we will have a lot more of an impact also.
“But they’re all going to take time, those things are not going to happen immediately.”

Leon Osman prepared to scalp Everton's rivals
Oct 6 2009 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON goal hero Leon Osman believes the Blues must come to terms with being considered a “scalp” for the less-fancied teams in the top flight. Everton discovered just how defiant Stoke could be at Goodison Park on Sunday, when they had to battle back from a goal down to claim a point. It was Osman, stand-in skipper in the absence of Phil Neville and Joseph Yobo, who produced a captain’s performance and a fine 20-yard equaliser. Robert Huth had earlier headed his first goal for Stoke since his £6million summer move from Middlesbrough, and Everton discovered throughout just how much the Potters wanted to prove themselves against last term’s FA Cup finalists and fifth-placed side. Everton had won five games on the trot in all competitions, but they had to battle hard against Tony Pulis’ side, now in their second season in the Premier League and looking more than the long-ball outfit they were branded last term. Osman said: “Getting back into that top five for a European place is our aim, but it does not get any easier. Clubs like Stoke have spent money and the opposition is getting harder by the week. “And we are a target now. We have finished in the top five or so now for the last few seasons so teams fancy their chances and want to do well against us. “They come to Goodison Park intent on claiming the scalp of a big club now, that is what we have become. “They know they have to work hard, but they will step it up and raise their game. That makes it twice as hard for us to break them down. “It is now all about us finding that next level to be able to cope with such situations, people really want to beat us because of what we have achieved.”
Osman claimed his second goal of the season and the 31st in his Everton career, but added: “Stoke are always difficult to break down, they were determined not to be beaten and they were very tough opponents. “We scored one goal, could have had another but it was disappointing we didn’t win. “I tried a similar shot to the one that I scored with a couple of minutes beforehand and it was a miss-hit and sailed wide.
“I was hoping for another opportunity to put that right, and it came very quickly afterwards. This time I did connect properly and it was a very pleasing goal to score.
“Stoke’s tactics were to make the game narrow, and they have so many tall players that just pumping the ball into the box does not seem to worry them.” He continued: “We still missed enough opportunities to have won. We were fine with our passing up to their area and then it seemed to break down. “And we cannot use the excuse of having been on a long trip to Belarus for a Europa League game earlier in the week. These things are tiring, but we just have to get used to it. “We want to be playing in such games in midweek and then more big games at the weekend, so if we want to play at that level we must get used to what it entails.” Stoke boss Tony Pulis believes his side have improved on last season, when they were seen as reliant on Rory Delap’s long throws and the high ball into the box. He said: “Our away form was poor last season, but apart from when we went to Liverpool and got battered, we have done better this term. “We got good away points at Birmingham and Bolton and now we have got another one at a very difficult place like Everton. “We have an international break now before we play West Ham at the Britannia stadium. They may be in the bottom three, but I watched them at Manchester City recently and they passed the ball really well. “If we turn up expecting a stroll in the park we will be in for a nasty shock.” He added: “We have improved on last season, maybe there was a bit of novelty value about us last season but this time around we are better than we were.
“We feel that and we have shown that, but if we want to do it consistently it is all about being consistent. There is no point talking about it if we don’t back it up with our actions. “Everton were so much better than us last season, but this time we seemed a bit more comfortable and were able to cope. “We are passing the ball, getting our heads up. Some people don’t think we can do that, but I don’t give a damn about that because I know what we are capable of.”

Nigel Martyn: Brave and classy - goal fit for a king from Everton's Leon Osman
Oct 6 2009 Liverpool Echo
I SAT next to that famous old Evertonian Derek Temple at Sunday’s game – and like probably 30-thousand other Blues we turned to each other and mouthed ‘What is he doing?’ when Leon Osman lined up another shot, just minutes after he’d sliced one well wide. But Ossie knew exactly what he was doing. His shot was absolutely unsaveable. I wondered what he was doing because I’d seen Bilyaletdinov in a good position for a little pass in to his feet. But Leon had confidence in his ability, and more importantly the courage to forget about the shot he’d sliced. It’s that kind of attitude which David Moyes will have had in mind when he named Ossie as skipper in Phil Neville and Joseph Yobo’s absence. Ossie clearly cares about the club and wants to do well for the club, which is why I’ve never understood that concept of fans being less forgiving with local players. You would think that they would be able to identify more with one of their own, but sometimes it does seem that familiarity can breed contempt. When players come through the youth ranks it can be easy for fans to treat them a little less like superstars because they haven’t cost a big transfer fee.
But that underplays how much those local players care about their club.
I know Ossie certainly does and his value to Everton over the years is inestimable.
Thinking back to my time, the year we came fourth he must have contributed at least four or five goals which either won us matches or saved us points. And you just count the number of games he plays this season. He will make an important contribution again this season, of that I’m certain. Tony Hibbert is another in the same mould.
First and foremost he is a very good defender, which is why it wasn’t such a surprise to see him perform so well in an unfamiliar centre-back role last week. When Diniyar Bilyaletdinov and Johnny Heitinga arrived at the club in the summer the common perception was that Ossie and Hibbo would be the two players most under pressure for their places. Their character, however, will force plenty of people to think again.
Howard’s way may not be best option
STOKE made their intentions perfectly clear on Sunday when Jack Rodwell started the match so impressively. Tony Pulis’ reaction was to order James Beattie to drop back and stop the youngster playing. It’s a very destructive tactic, but very effective.
And Everton made their job even harder by conceding from a set piece. Down at Portsmouth the value of a player marking the back post was apparent when Leighton Baines saved all three points for the Blues with a goalline clearance. So I was surprised to see no-one filling that role on Sunday. It’s a personal thing of Tim Howard’s; he prefers players to be employed elsewhere in the penalty area and he likes a free run to attack the ball. I’d certainly never question Tim and it’s not a criticism, but Sunday was one of those occasions when we might have benefited from a man on the goal post at a corner kick.
New look Felli cuts out bookings
MAROUANE FELLAINI has tried very hard to reinvent himself this season.
And there are signs he’s doing a very good job of it. After picking up a ridiculous number of bookings last season he seems to have made a conscious effort to build a new reputation. There’s no doubt that referees were looking out for him last season.
And I noticed on Sunday that when Marouane won one vigorous tackle, the referee Andre Marriner waved play on and gestured that it was a good tackle. The fact that the ref almost seemed to be justifying his decsion was clear evidence to me that Fellaini did have a reputation. Referees are influenced by players’ reputations, there’s no doubt about that. When I was at Leeds Lee Bowyer used to suffer in the same way.
Fortunately Marouane seems to be going about reinventing himself the right way.
He’s not fouling persistently like he was last season and that’s been reflected in his much improved disciplinary record this season. That can only be good for Everton and Marouane Fellaini.

Lucas Neill: Tim Cahill is Everton's talisman
Oct 7 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
Tim Cahill and Lucas Neill 300
LUCAS NEILL today hailed the leadership qualities that have turned Tim Cahill into Everton’s goalscoring talisman. The Australians formed a friendship many years ago when they first started their professional careers in England with Millwall and were re-united when Neill joined Everton last month. But while Neill has only figured briefly for the Blues as he attempts to recapture his match fitness, Cahill’s influence has been needed in the wake of so many injuries. He popped up with the crucial goal in last Thursday’s Europa League win over BATE Borisov and Neill expects Cahill to significantly add to his tally before the end of the campaign. “It’s his timing and the impression he has on games,” said Neill. “Timmy can score the winner to get us back into a game or at a time when you don’t think there’s a goal coming.” This is Cahill’s sixth season on Merseyside and is now an even more influential figure in the dressing room than in the past. He has enjoyed being able to pass his experience on to the younger members of the squad and Neill says there is much more to his game than meets the eye. “For club and country he’s been amazing,” Neill adds. “Nobody sees all the work he puts in behind the scenes. He’s a fantastic professional and deserves all the plaudits he gets. “I’d like to think I could help with leadership also, whether that be through actions or mannerisms and words. I will be one of the guys helping out. “Tim is one of those leaders now, through actions and his desire to win. That can be important.” Neill should get the opportunity to get some much-needed minutes under his belt this weekend in Sydney, as he and Cahill are part of the Australia squad that will face Holland. They travelled Down Under with John Heitinga for that friendly but while the Dutch defender has had plenty of chances to get accustomed to Everton’s style, Neill is still finding his feet. However, the 31-year-old is looking forward to returning to Merseyside next week and being able to stake his claim for a starting place when the Blues face Wolves on October 17. “It’s an added bonus for me having Timmy here, a really close family friend, one of my closest in football and life,” said Neill, who had been a free agent for most of the summer. “If there’s anything here I don’t know then he’ll tell me straight away. But I’ve had no problems so far – it’s a real family club and that was the good feeling I had about coming here.”

Everton FC fans letters: Tim Howard one of the best in the Premiership
Oct 7 2009 Liverpool Echo
IF you look at the Premier League there are no real stand-out dominant keepers at the moment. There’s no one as good as Peter Schmeichel, Neville Southall, Peter Shilton etc. But Tim Howard is at least as equal to the rest – even Petr Cech has looked dodgy for the past couple of years. Joleon2
THE reason Everton Football Club is not progressing is because of misguided loyalty.
Tony Hibbert and Leon Osman are average players at best and if we could replace the right side so it was as effective as our left, we would have one heck of a team.
Stdomingo57 I GET frustrated with the lack of investment at Everton.
But we stand to be the only British-owned club in the Premier League the way things are going.
IT is going be hard for David Moyes when Distin, Yobo and Jags are all fit and playing well. That's when you need good and strong management, though, I suppose.
I know it's a cliche, but it is a good problem to have and not one we've had to deal with a lot lately. jezza
TONY HIBBERT was at his brilliant battling best last Thursday against BATE in our Europa League game in Belarus. I’m really pleased for him. It’s a shame he isn’t a bit taller then he could play centre-back all the time. Well done, Hibbo! Distin’s a class act, stepped into the team seamlessly and is a real solid player.
IT’S hardly a surprise that Steven Pienaar has been ruled out of the friendly internationals for South Africa against Norway and Iceland. As with most friendlies, the matches were not that important and I hope it gives Steven more time to get fully fit ahead of the Wolves game a week on Saturday. That won’t be easy and it’s vital we return to winning ways after only managing a draw with Stoke.
Having browsed through various forums it disappoints me that Tony Hibbert is predictably still being targeted as one of our supposed weak links. I’ve been highly critical in the past of Hibbo’s occasional complacency when there’s been no competition for his place. But there’s no doubting that this season, especially now his place is under pressure from John Heitinga and Lucas Neill, Hibbert has raised his game considerably. In the past couple of weeks he’s played on the right, on the left (both in the match against Hull) and down the centre and hasn’t looked out of place.
He was arguably man of the match when paired with Distin in Minsk.
All he needs now is to add the occasional 30 yard screamer to his game. Riot time!
Robert Beard, Walton

Everton FC Reserves 0 Manchester United Reserves 1
Oct 7 2009 by Our Correspondent, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON Reserves were beaten 1-0 defeat at the Halton Stadium in a match that saw the return of Blues defender Seamus Coleman from a foot injury and also saw United keeper Edwin van der Sar back after breaking his hand. Jose Baxter caused a moment of unease for van der Sar as his long-range free-kick forced an awkward catch right on the line after eight minutes. And an energetic Kieran Agard – evidently buoyed by his recent appearances for David Moyes' senior side – worked tirelessly up front. A commanding performance from captain Dan Gosling in the middle led to Academy scholar Adam Forshaw smashing a shot high above the crossbar.
But the final five minutes of the half presented a brief moment of nerves for Carlo Nash, who had to stretch to cover Matthew James' low shot at the far post, which narrowly travelled wide. United scored after 55 minutes when Federico Macheda found room to strike home with force. Baxter made way for Conor McAleny on the hour mark – a period which saw the Blues' back-line keep the United attack at bay.
Their control then provided opportunities for Agard to persist up-front, and the young striker gifted Everton a chance with 15 minutes to spare, beating his man to stretch a cross past a diving van der Sar but no man in Blue was there to capitalise of the Dutchman's miss. Zac Thompson was given his competitive debut with eight minutes remaining in place of Coleman, who received a warm applause from the 1,200-strong crowd

Everton striker James Vaughan rocked by new injury setback
Oct 8 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON’S injury-plagued striker James Vaughan has suffered more heartache.
The 21-year-old who joined Derby County on-loan in order to get more match fitness, tore a cartilage in only his second match for The Rams and has undergone surgery.
Everton physio Mick Rathbone believes the problem is not serious, but it is the latest frustrating setback for a youngster who has been tormented by a succession of injuries since he broke through in the spring of 2005. “If there is anything positive at all about it, it’s that this is a brand new injury – it’s not a recurrence of anything he’s had before,” said Rathbone. “James suffered a slight tear in his cartilage whilst playing for Derby a couple of weeks ago. It’s a very minor tear and James has been to London this week to have the cartilage trimmed. We hope that he won’t be out of action for too long.” When Vaughan scored against Crystal Palace in April 2005 he became Everton’s youngest-ever goalscorer, sparking hopes of an exciting new striking talent to follow in the footsteps of Wayne Rooney. In the four years since, however, he has made just 42 appearances thanks to a variety of injuries which included a severed foot artery, a dislocated shoulder in a pre-season friendly and a knee ligament injury on international duty with England Under-18s which suffered a series of complications.
But while the Blues have been disappointed by this latest injury setback, there was brighter news on both Joseph Yobo and Steven Pienaar. Midfielder Pienaar has withdrawn from South Africa’s international double-header, but Blues physio Mick Rathbone expects him to be fit for the visit of Wolves to Goodison Park a week on Saturday. “I would expect Steven to be there or thereabouts for the Wolves game.”
Joseph Yobo missed the matches with BATE Borisov and Stoke City because of a thigh strain suffered in training in Minsk, but he has already made sufficient progress to join up with Nigeria for their World Cup qualifiers. “It was so, so minor,” added Rathbone, “but if you do an injury like that the night before a game it doesn’t give you a lot of time to recover. “Joe has gone off with the Nigerian squad as they’ve got a very important game against Mozambique on Sunday and I think he will be fit for that.” Aiyegbeni Yakubu has also travelled with Yobo. There was also good news regarding Phil Neville, after a knee specialist confirmed it was unlikely the Blues captain will need surgery. “The surgeon has seen Phil twice now. He was 90 percent certain he didn’t need surgery on the first visit and now he is 99 per cent certain Phil doesn’t need an operation. You can never say never but the way Phil is going in his rehabilitation we’re happy he is going to do well,” said the busy Blues physio.
“He’s been on the bike today and the cross skier and he is telling me he is running tomorrow which was a bit of a shock to me because that is not in the schedule! But he is doing well and we are really happy with him.” Everton’s home fixture with Tottenham Hotspur, meanwhile, originally scheduled for 3pm kick-off on Saturday, December 5, has been selected for live television coverage by Sky Sports and has now been moved back to Sunday, December 6, with a 4pm kick-off.

The Jury: Everton fans give the views on Leon Osman taking the captain's armband
Oct 8 2009 Liverpool Echo
MOAN, moan, moan. For some reason the moaners target certain players. They’re the kind of fellas you hear on the moan-in, ‘No Jacko, I haven’t been to a game for 20 years.’ When Tony Hibbert was asked to play centre back against Bate he didn’t flounce out of the training ground and ask his agent to punt stories to the press, he just got on with it. MOTM. Ossie’s put on the captain’s armband and produced some great performances exemplified by that stunning goal against Stoke. MOTM.
They’re just honest professionals who love to put on the blue shirt and play for the club. Give them a break. We’ve ridden our luck in the last few games so no surprise that fortune turned against us in that Stoke game. Do they ever score from open play, or is that an oxymoron?
COLE FRASER, Litherland
I’M going to hold my hands up and admit that when Leon Osman was given the captain’s armband, in Yobo’s absence, I thought that there were more suitable candidates. However, although I haven’t noticed any notable change in the squad, there is no denying the honour seems to have worked wonders for our Ossie’s confidence Having come through an indifferent patch of form, he has looked a lot like the Leon of the memorable 2004/05 season. His work rate has been great and he really looks like he is enjoying his football at the moment. Tony Hibbert has also looked much better over the last couple of games. It has been a long time since we’ve seen the best of Hibbert’s ability and he has reminded us all that he can still do a good job club. Most of the players have improved since the season’s start.
WITH new faces coming into the team and a few due to come back from injury, there was going to be competition for places and Leon Osman, of all players, knew that.
First of all, you have Bilyaletdinov playing on the left, which would move Pienaar to the right where Osman usually plays. Then you have Arteta coming back from injury soon who also plays in the centre, along with Fellaini and Rodwell pushing for regular starts, so Leon had to show his worth now more than ever. I’ll admit, I do consider Osman a squad player and nothing more but his last few performances, particularly as captain, have been his best in two years. He has been scoring, getting into space and becoming a real presence in the side where last season he kind of faded in and out of games. Hibbert is in a similar situation where he is now in competition with Heitinga for right back but with Yobo’s injury, he has also needed to show his worth, which fortunately he has and long may it continue!
LEON Osman isn't one of my favourite players, I will have to admit, but if the lad plays well I'm the first to hold my hands up. He is capable of some sublime skill at times and great goals, but refuses to do it consistently which frustrates fans like me and many others. The left side of the team has a great balance to it with Steven Pienaar tracking back at every opportunity to help Leighton Baines out.
On the opposite flank Osman continues to leave Tony Hibbert isolated at times, evidence provided in the FA Cup Final. Would Osman get in any of the top seven sides in the country? Arguably no. So if we as a football club are to win a trophy or get in the Champions League, in my opinion if we put our best 11 out Osman isn’t in the team. Maybe I’m being harsh but it could be worse, we could have Lucas Leiva.

Everton youngster Seamus Coleman on comeback trail
Oct 8 2009 Liverpool Echo
YOUNG Everton full-back Seamus Coleman is desperate to make up for lost time this weekend – after recovering from a horrific injury which might have ended his career before it even started. The youngster played 82 minutes for Everton reserves on Tuesday night and is in the Republic of Ireland under-21 squad who attempt to revive their European Championship qualifying campaign. The Irish face Georgia at Tallaght Stadium tomorrow evening and Switzerland in Waterford next Tuesday. But for a long time Coleman couldn’t even consider kicking a football, after collecting a bizarre injury during Everton’s pre-season tour of the USA. He said: “It was just a blister which got infected and the infection nearly went to the bone. “According to the physios, it could have been disastrous. They didn’t tell me at the time, they told me after it was all all right, but it was quite serious. “They told me if I was maybe playing part-time football or on holiday when it happened, it could have been a lot worse.
“But they got to it in time.” After Coleman’s comeback for the Blues reserves on Tuesday night reserve team coach Alan Stubbs added: “Seamus’ return was the biggest plus. Were it not for his injury in the summer, he may well have been knocking on the door (for the first team) already. “I actually saw a picture of the injury the other day and it was horrendous. “He had a blister which led to an infection, which in turn led to a big hole in his foot, amongst other things. “Everyone at the Club is glad to see him back though and to see him playing again was good.” The defender, who turns 21 on Sunday, spent most of the pre-season tour of America in hospital.
Had the full severity of the infection been overlooked, Coleman’s career could have been in jeopardy. Everton physio Mick Rathbone said: “When we got off the plane in Seattle the doctor gave Seamus some strong antibiotics because the foot was sore but the infection started eating away quickly. “When the blister was operated on the surgeon explained Doctor Irving had probably saved the lad's career by acting so quickly.” Coleman played 82 minutes for Everton reserves as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat to Manchester United on Tuesday. His three month absence has stalled his progress – but now he is keen to play as much football as possible.
Ireland’s under-21s have taken just one point from their two games to date.
Last month’s 1-1 draw in Estonia followed a 3-0 home defeat by Turkey and Don Givens’ men need to start their points tally ticking over in earnest if they are to stand a chance of qualifying. Coleman said: “Definitely. We really need to get some points out of these two games. I know all the lads will be going out to win the two games.
“If we can do that, we will be sitting nicely again. “We do have a good squad of players and we haven’t won a game yet. But we have two games coming up in a week and hopefully we can win the two of them because we have a good enough team.
“It would be nice to qualify for it this year, so we really want to win the two games.”
The Donegal-born defender got his big chance in January when he made his move to Goodison Park from Sligo Rovers, only for the bizarre injury to set him back.

Leon Osman and Tony Hibbert relish Everton FC competition
Oct 9 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
LEON OSMAN and Tony Hibbert are relishing the increased competition for places at Everton this season – even though their own places may be threatened.
The two home-grown stars were pinpointed as the men most likely to make way when David Moyes splashed out around £15m in the summer on Russian midfielder Diniyar Bilyaletdinov and Dutch defender Johnny Heitinga. But both have enjoyed good starts to 2009/10 culimating in Hibbert’s outstanding performance in Belarus as an emergency centre-back and Osman celebrating his elevation to the captaincy with goals against Hull and Stoke. Osman explained: “Me and Hibbo are Evertonians and want what’s best for the club. We want the club to improve and the only way we’re going to do that is through competition for places and by getting better players.
“That’s only going to make us play better too. “All in all we need to bring players in and we need to bring quality players in to make us work harder for our places.
“Hopefully we’ll play well enough and show enough to keep us in the team, but ultimately we want the team to improve.” After a shaky start, Everton’s performances have improved dramatically with five successive wins before the home draw against Stoke last weekend. And Osman says the club still has European qualification as a minimum possible achievement. “We like to do things quietly here, stay under the radar and keep chipping away at things,” he explained. “Hopefully we can finish in a European slot again. “There are two or three clubs not in the top four last season who have been throwing cash around and they’ll be expected to get European qualification, but we’re the same. “We set our targets on European qualification as a minimum, but the great ambition for the club is to start winning silverware.” Blues physio Mick Rathbone, meanwhile, has delivered an encouraging fitness bulletin on eagerly awaited midfielder maestro Mikel Arteta. The Spanish playmaker suffered a setback in his rehabilitation last month and needed additional surgery, but Rathbone confirmed he had amazed specialists by getting over that “blip” so quickly.
Rathbone said: “Mikel looks good now though and everything is going well so let's just call what happened a minor blip.”

Louis Saha enjoying his football at Everton FC
Oct 9 2009 Liverpool Echo
LOUIS SAHA is playing football with a smile on his face again this season. After seven goals in his opening eight matches of the season – and just a solitary match missed through injury – the 31-year-old has a spring in his step once again.
It’s a world away from a time when he admits he almost quit football through depression, brought on by a devastating catalogue of 23 separate injuries in four years.
Speaking to French sports newspaper L’Equipe, he declared: “I can laugh now when I look back on that period. “But it is true to say that I was a depressive. “I was well aware that there was unease among team-mates and the United fans every time I made a comeback. They were worried that I would have a relapse – and I was even more concerned than they were.” Saha’s father, Vincent, reveals just how acute Saha’s fears were. “Louis phoned me when I was on holiday,” he explained. “He had just injured a hamstring at the end of a training session and it was the final straw for him. His knees had, for once, left him in peace, but another injury had cropped up elsewhere.
“He was disgusted and wanted to pack everything in. It was very, very difficult to persuade him to keep going.” Saha did keep going, and since his switch to Everton he has flourished. After an unbroken three month spell to close his debut season at Goodison, climaxing in a record-breaking 25-second strike in the FA Cup final, he enjoyed a full pre-season and has started the 2009/10 campaign in the kind of form which persuaded Alex Ferguson to spend £12.8m on securing his services in 2004.
Ferguson says he has no regrets selling Saha to Everton. “I’m really happy for him because he is a terrific player with plenty of ability,” said the United boss. “He’s almost the complete centre forward – two-footed, good in the air, quick, aggressive, powerful and with a marvellous shot – but he picked up too many injuries, and that made it frustrating for him and for us.” But those frustrations have now subsided and Saha feels like one of football’s survivors. “I have made a miraculous recovery,” he declared. “The fact that I am still out there on the pitch after having 23 injuries in four years, proves that I am mentally strong. “My goals are now not the most important thing to me. “I am just happy to be able to train like the other players, and feel the same way as them. “I am not where I was before, worrying about whether I was going to pick up another knock or not. In the past I felt I was different to all the rest – but that is no longer the case.” Saha stressed that his decision to quit Old Trafford was still a painful one. But he believes he made the right choice in deciding to move to Merseyside. “It was very, very difficult to leave United,” he added. “I thought about it a lot because I didn’t want to make any mistake with the choice of my new club.”
Ultimately Everton was the team he decided upon – and he has no regrets about his decision. “Frankly, I don't care about the goals,” he said. “What I enjoy is the training with the other players and having the same feelings as my team-mates and I don't ask myself if I will experience a new injury.”

Howard Kendall: David Moyes will welcome Everton FC squad choices
Oct 9 2009 Liverpool Echo
DECISIONS, decisions. David Moyes has never had a stronger squad during his seven years at Goodison Park but that does not mean all his problems are now solved.
If anything, the opposite is now true and David will be faced with an even bigger dilemma once those who have been injured are returned to full health; suddenly Everton have a surfeit of options. Having a strong starting line-up is one thing, it is another altogether trying to work out which faces fill which positions best and I would fancy that if you asked him now, David would find it difficult to name his best XI.
For starters, have a look at the wide areas of midfield; Steven Pienaar, Leon Osman, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov and Mikel Arteta can all operate on the flanks – if you can only pick two, who do you choose? Now move into the centre. Should you move Arteta in there once he is back in the groove following his long lay-off, how do squeeze Phil Neville, Jack Rodwell, Tim Cahill and Marouane Fellaini in as well?
Then you move forward to see that Louis Saha is firing on all cylinders but Ayegbeni Yakubu is close to being fully fit, while Brazilian Jo will also have designs on becoming a regular starter But to play with two strikers would then mean changing the system that has served the club so well and would also mean even more players having to sit on the sidelines – and to think we haven’t even mentioned the defence yet! There is no doubt that because of this Everton are in a strong position to move forward but it is going to take all of David’s man-management skills to keep those who suddenly finds themselves on the periphery sweet. Foreign players tend to accept they can’t play every game week after week a little bit more readily than British lads do but, rest assured, the lads at Everton will be desperate to be involved right now, given how results have gone in the past month. Had anyone said after the last international break that we would have won five games, made progress in two competitions and climbed the league, there would have been no arguments. Now it’s a case of building again when hostilities resume.

Howard Kendall: James Vaughan needs change of luck over injuries
Oct 9 2009 Liverpool Echo
POOR James Vaughan. Once again he finds himself in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, as his injury-jinx strikes for the umpteenth time. If ever a boy deserved a change of fortune then it is James, who has shown so much promise in the games that he has played but, for some reason, he just can’t stay fit and it is a major concern for all. David Moyes had the right idea to send him out on loan, as he needed regular football and I know for a fact that there were a number of clubs, other than Derby County, who wanted to sign him. Everything seemed to be going according to plan but, unfortunately, another operation has been required to correct another cartilage problem and you have to wonder how many times this can keep happening to him.
If there is one ‘bonus’, it is the fact that this is a completely different injury and not a recurrence, which would have been much more serious. But the bottom line is that this is another operation. How many more can he afford?

Everton FC's Steven Pienaar in tribute to rival Yakubu
Oct 10 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
NIGERIA coach Shuaibu Amodu is expected to ask Everton striker Yakubu to help fire his country to an unlikely World Cup qualification tomorrow. And the Blues striker has been handed a glowing tribute on the eve of a must-win match from clubmate and international rival Steven Pienaar. “Yakubu can score more goals than any other striker in the world. "If you look at his record, he's just an amazing goalscorer,” said the South African midfielder. “He’s worked really hard in his rehab and has got back (to fitness) quite early. "On his comeback (against Hull City), he scored so that just shows the type of player he is and it’s also good for the team to have a striker back who can score goals. “When you know you're going to be out for a long time, you have to be strong and you need all the support that you can get. I was always talking to him over the phone if I didn't see him, and just kept on encouraging him. "I've been through a long injury and I know how it feels; sometimes you can lose your head.” Pienaar believes that Yakubu’s goal ratio of one in every two starts for the Toffees stands comparison with any other forwards in world football. “Yakubu is definitely up there,” he added. “I had Ibrahimovic in my team, but Yakubu can score more goals than any other striker in the world.” Nigeria need goals this weekend, with coach Shuaibu Amodu insisting his side will be aiming for not just a win against Mozambique but a comfortable one, as he believes they still have a realistic chance of making it to next year’s World Cup finals. With just two matches left until the end of the qualifiers, the Super Eagles are in second place in the African Group B standings with six points, two behind Tunisia, and will need to win their remaining games while hoping Tunisia lose against either Kenya or Mozambique. “We are playing Mozambique, Tunisia is playing Kenya, and in football anything is possible,” said Amodu. “They can be surprised at home by Kenya but that is none of my business. My business is making my team ready for our match which we have to win;
“Not only do we have to win,” added Amodu, “we have to try and score as many goals as possible to improve our goal difference which may come into play later.”
With Super Eagles’ leading scorer, Ikechukwu Uche out injured, Yakubu has every chance of winning his 44th cap. Amodu refused to reveal whether Yakubu, scorer of 17 international goals for Nigeria, would start, but said: “Every player in this team can score goals; it is not something that is limited to strikers.”

‘Honoured’ Leon Osman is bouncing to captain Everton FC
Oct 10 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
‘Honoured’ Leon Osman is bouncing to captain Everton FC DAVID MOYES has chosen seven Everton captains during his seven seasons in charge of the Blues.
But few have accepted the armband with more relish than the latest. Leon Osman has been at Everton since his childhood. He has enjoyed Youth Cup glory – and heartache – scoring then picking up a cruciate knee ligament injury in the final. He’s been a key member of the only club to break the ‘Big Four’ stranglehold in recent years by finishing fourth, and he has walked out at Wembley with Prince Rupert’s Tower on his chest. But a Carling Cup tie at Hull City recently gave him his biggest honour yet.
Injuries to club captain Phil Neville and his deputy, Joseph Yobo, gave Osman an inkling that the captain’s armband was up for grabs. He explained: “Once the manager named the team I looked round and thought maybe it could be me. But I didn’t want to count my chickens. “He left it late until we were in the dressing room and we were all getting changed. He just mentioned quite casually ‘did I want to lead the team out?’ and I said ‘absolutely.’ “The night couldn’t have gone any better after that. We won 4-0 away from home and I got on the scoresheet. “It was a great night and personally it just seemed to give me a little bounce in my step that night. “It was definitely an honour to walk out first and lead the team onto the pitch – and then to have that team win 4-0 was a dream come true. “I don’t think I did anything different. I’m a talkative guy anyway and have quite a bit to say, but on that night there was quite a few quiet lads in the team so maybe I had to do a little bit more. “For the most part though, any Everton team you play in has quite a few characters and we seem to have more than one captain. Joseph and Phil are both captains, we have myself and there’s Tony Hibbert who has a lot to say for himself, Tim Cahill, then there’s Sylvain and Johnny Heitinga who have come in and are both big characters, so there’s enough in the dressing room and on the pitch. “There’s more to do off the pitch, looking after the players’ tickets and little jobs like that, but I’ll take those jobs all day long as long as I’ve got the honour of leading the team out onto the pitch.” Osman accepts that the honour is likely to be a temporary one. Club captain Phil Neville is making impressive progress from the knee injury he sustained at Fulham, while Joseph Yobo is currently fit enough to be away on international duty with his country, Nigeria.
“I’d love it to be a battle for the armband when Joseph’s available again, but I don’t think it will be,” conceded Osman. “Joe’s further up the pecking order than me and the armband automatically goes back to him. I’ll try and wait until I get my chance again.” The responsibility of wearing an armband can affect players in different ways.
Some freeze, some buckle under the responsibility, others are inspired.
The words spoken by manager David Moyes about the character Osman showed to score the stunning equaliser against Stoke last weekend suggests the midfielder is very much in the latter category.“After the first chance came along everyone knows I mishit it horribly wide and I went back thinking ‘come on, I’m better than that’,” added Osman. “Another opportunity came along a few minutes later and I didn’t actually think about it, it was just instinct. “Thankfully this one managed to hit the net.
“It’s right up there. I won goal of the season a couple of years back for the Larissa goal, but that one is certainly in the top three.” So is the memory of leading an Everton team out, an experience Osman hopes he can enjoy again in the future.
* OSSIE SAYS: Phil is a captain who leads by example, but he can also shout when necessary. He has a lot to say for himself! * OSSIE SAYS: Stubbsy was a bit of everything. He would shout at you and give you a kick up the backside if needs be.
* OSSIE SAYS: Kev scored that many goals in his time here that he was the first name on the sheet anyway. When he was the captain people were right behind him and he led us to a lot of victories. OSSIE SAYS: As you’d expect Duncan was a rousing type of captain, but he was pretty similar even when he wasn’t captain. Duncan was Duncan. He was a great character. Most people think that he led by shouting at people and going mad, but he didn’t. He led by his example on the pitch. It seemed to give him that extra spring in his step. His chest puffed out and it was like, ‘right, I’ll follow him anywhere’. He was that type of captain. * OSSIE SAYS: Joe is one of the more laid back skippers, but he’s been here such a long time he has the respect of the dressing room. What he says goes. * OSSIE SAYS: Peas was more of a laid back character. You’d go to him for advice and he’d take you for a little one on one if needed. Peas was a really strong character.

BARRY HORNE: Power of positive thinking at Everton
Oct 10 2009 by Barry Horne, Liverpool Echo
I WAS at Goodison Park last weekend and whilst we were all disappointed by the result, there was further evidence of the resilience I talked about last week.
Despite the poor return of a point from a home game, and the obvious shortcomings in the team, there was still a lot we could take from the performance. It is quite clear that Steven Pienaar has become a key player and his absence was a major reason why we failed to break down a very, very well organised and physical Stoke defence.
There was also the Arteta factor which again denies us incisive, visionary play.
But on the positive side, Stoke were restricted to one chance, Everton did dominate the game, Saha continued to build up his strength, Yakubu took another step on the road to recovery, Osman looked to be playing with confidence once again and Distin and Heitinga were both impressive. Most fans still went away disappointed, but if Tim Cahill scores one of those two chances, everyone goes away happy. Such is the margin between perceived success and disappointment. Two typically Tim Cahill type chances which he normally buries with his eyes shut don’t go in and it changes everyone’s perception. But no reason to worry. We can still have a good season.
Jack Warner is so out of touch
l EVERYONE knows that we live in a society which can be vacuous and celebrity driven. There are celebrities, then people who associate with them can become celebrities simply by association. But I thought that was the extent of the association.
That is, of course, until Jack Warner stuck his head above the parapet to proclaim that England would have no chance of staging the World Cup unless they trotted out some bigger and better celebrities. Let me get this straight. Having the best league in the world, plenty of magnificent stadiums, a fantastic infrastructure to our game and not having hosted the event since 1966 doesn’t come into it? For those of you who didn’t know, Jack Warner heralds from the footballing hotbed of Trinidad and Tobago. He is Sepp Blatter’s right hand man who, as we all know, appears to hate British football and would have the World Cup held in Africa every year if he had his way.

Everton FC’s James Vaughan will have to show his strength again
Oct 10 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
IT’S only six short months since James Vaughan’s beaming smile proved one of the iconic images of Everton’s FA Cup semi-final success at Wembley. Vaughan had been named on the substitutes’ bench for the showdown with Manchester United after a five-month absence. Not only did he come on for the final 20 minutes of extra-time, he demanded the responsibility of a penalty-kick in the ensuing shoot-out – and buried a laser-guided shot. He will need all the character and temperament he showed that afternoon to overcome the latest setback to his promising career. Vaughan has already endured more injury misfortune than any footballer should have to suffer in an entire career. A serious knee injury sustained on international duty with England under-18s was followed by a series of increasingly bizarre problems. How many players have been unlucky enough to sever an artery in a foot? Or dislocate a shoulder in a pre-season friendly? Or have a scheduled operation with world renowned surgeon Richard Steadman postponed – because the doctor had suffered a broken arm skiing?
Now Vaughan has undergone a cartilage operation, just two appearances into a loan move to Derby designed to give him more match-time. Physio Mick Rathbone articulated the glass half-full argument when he said: “If there is anything positive at all about it, it’s that this is a brand new injury – it’s not a recurrence of anything he’s had before.” But if Vaughan is looking for inspiration, he need only glance across the dressing room at Finch Farm. Louis Saha admitted this week that he suffered from depression after collecting 23 injuries in four years at Manchester United.
Saha’s father, Vincent, explained the level of his son’s distress: “Louis phoned me when I was on holiday,” he explained. “He had just injured a hamstring at the end of a training session and it was the final straw for him. His knees had, for once, left him in peace, but another injury had cropped up elsewhere. “He was disgusted and wanted to pack everything in. It was very, very difficult to persuade him to keep going.”
Saha himself added: “The fact that I am still out there on the pitch after having 23 injuries in four years, proves that I am mentally strong.” Vaughan proved his mental strength on a Spring afternoon at Wembley. Every Evertonian will hope his physical strength proves equally resilient in the months ahead. l DEPENDING on which source you choose to believe, Marouane Fellaini was sent-off by his international manager Dick Advocaat last week – for not taking to the field in red socks. The Belgian coach, nicknamed the Little General, had introduced rules to the squad before taking charge of his first training session. The entire squad reportedly entered the training pitch in red socks, but Fellaini had opted to wear white socks. Advocaat sent the Everton midfielder back to the dressing room to change. Fellaini’s reluctance to wear red might not have endeared him to his national coach, but it won’t go down too badly back here on Merseyside!
l ARCHIBALD LEITCH, football stand designer of the famous criss-cross patterns, has been honoured by entry to the 2009 edition of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. The entry reads: “Alongside cinema, football was another mass entertainment form of the early twentieth century. While the crowds focused on events on the pitch, their ability to do so in their hundreds of thousands owed much to the Glasgow engineer Archibald Leitch (1865–1939), who became Britain’s most prolific and innovative stadium architect creating grounds for, among other clubs, Rangers, Arsenal, Manchester United, Everton, Sunderland, and Aston Villa, with designs that remained in use until wholesale redevelopment in the 1990s.

Ex-Everton FC star Derek Mountfield to appear on stage in the Dixie Dean Story
Oct 10 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DEREK MOUNTFIELD, star of the most successful Everton era in history, will be on stage at St Helens Theatre Royal for one night only next month in the acclaimed show that tells the remarkable story of Goodison's greatest legend, Dixie Dean. Dixie's amazing haul of 60 League goals in 1927-28 stands as an enduring record in English football and the iconic centre forward's life and achievements are captured in compelling style in The Dixie Dean Story, which comes to St Helens on Thursday, November 19 after winning rave notices since it premiered 18 months ago.
Mountfield, who took the same route from Tranmere to win silverware with Everton in their great 1980s side, will be interviewed live on stage about the fabulous Dixie by the show's writer and narrator John Keith. " This show is a must-see production not only for Evertonians but for football fans everywhere, " says centre back hero Mountfield. " In fact, it's a great human interest story and when I first saw the show it was just eye-opening. “I'm only glad that as a defender I didn't have to face Dixie !"
Priced at £12, with £10 concessions, they are available from the Theatre Royal box office on 01744 756000 or via the theatre website www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com
Just William will do for Everton FA Cup-winning pioneer Balmer
LAST week’s lead article about Tony Hibbert caused a riot, namechecked a number of non-scoring Evertonians. Incorrectly, it seems, in one significant instance.
The niece of FA Cup winner William Balmer wrote to point out: “Unfortunately, you mistakenly called the right back from our first FA Cup win Walter, when in fact his name was William. It's not surprising that you made the mistake, as the official record had it wrong for many years too. That has now been rectified, as has the David France collection, who have promised to amend all references in due course.”
Only too happy to follow suit – William Balmer has a much better ring to it!

Dominic King: My new role having crossed Stanley Park
Oct 10 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
I’VE a fair idea what you’re thinking at this moment – having got shut of the bald, ugly one from the top of the page, what’s the hairy, ugly one doing in his place?
It might not sit easy with some that a person who has just spent four seasons covering the Blues now finds himself reporting on the day-to-day goings on at Anfield.
All I can say is that I will approach this role as diligently and with the same commitment as I did my previous role and hope to do as good a job as my predecessor. But if you are wondering why I’ve stopped covering one fine Premier League club, the answer is simple – you don’t say ‘no’ when your boyhood team comes calling, do you?

Everton FC purple Liverpool Unites shirt is fastest selling kit ever
Oct 12 2009 By Tina Miles
Purple Everton shirt
EVERTON Football Club’s new purple shirt - to support Liverpool Unites - has become the club’s fastest selling pre-ordered shirt. The Goodison Park club today announced pre-orders are running at three times the level of that of the new home strip. The shirt, which has already been worn by Blues manager David Moyes and midfielder Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, was introduced by Everton and its retail partner Kitbag Limited to support Liverpool Unites, which is the team’s charitable partner for the 2009/10 season . They want to raise £100,000 for the ECHO’s children’s charity, which helps thousands of underprivileged young people. Ray Evans, managing director of Everton’s retail partner Kitbag , said since the limited edition shirt was announced in the ECHO last week, evertondirect.com has been inundated with pre-order requests. He said: "When we launched the new Everton Le Coq sportif home kit in June this year we were delighted to break the club record for the best selling shirt launch ever from Everton Football Club. “However, we have been astounded by the response we have had from Evertonians since news of the shirt we have produced for the club's charity of the season was released. Pre-orders are presently running at three times the level of that of the new home strip. “This is fantastic news for Everton and Liverpool Unites." The shirt will be seen in public for the first time at a dinner at Club Everton, Goodison Park, on Thursday, October 29. It will be available the following day from Everton One, Everton Two and evertondirect.com. Liverpool Unites fundraiser Tom Woolley said: “The fact that this has become Everton’s fastest ever selling shirt is great news and really underlines the level of support Liverpool Unites has received from the people of Merseyside.” The shirt has had the backing of Melanie and Stephen Jones, whose 11-year-old son Rhys was shot dead in August 2007. Liverpool Unites invited the whole of Merseyside – Reds and Blues – to come together against gun crime. The purple shirt reflects the charity’s colour, which was born out of the city’s two biggest football teams coming together in the wake of Rhys’s murder. Tickets for the dinner are £100 per person or £950 for a table of 10, which includes a three course dinner and wine.

Everton defender Joseph Yobo's World Cup dream still alive
Oct 12 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
Joseph Yobo 300
EVERTON defender Jospeh Yobo proved his fitness last night – and kept his World Cup hopes alive, as Nigeria scrambled a 93rd minute winner against Mozambique.
But goalkeeper Tim Howard faces a transatlantic dash to make Everton’s clash with Wolves next weekend after the USA booked their World Cup place. Defender Yobo, who has missed the Blues last two matches with a thigh problem, returned to skipper his country in the Abuja National Stadium. Yakubu also started the must-win match for the Nigerians, but both were off the pitch when former Everton target Victor Obinna snatched an injury time winner. A ring-rusty Yakubu was replaced after 55 minutes, while Yobo was substituted in the 88th minute as Nigeria mounted a last ditch cavalry charge for a winning goal. They got one, meaning Yobo and Yakubu both still have a slener chance of making next summer’s World Cup finals.
Tunisia’s single goal success over Kenya means that Nigeria must win in Kenya next month, and hope Group leaders Tunisia lose at Mozambique. But goalkeeper Tim Howard will definitely be travelling to the finals next summer as USA beat CONCACAF group rivals Honduras in San Pedro Sula, 3-2. The Americans, however, have a final qualifier to play – now meaningless – against Costa Rica in the early hours of Thursday morning in Washington DC, which means the keeper will have little time to prepare for the visit of the Midlanders after dashing back across the Atlantic. It was a busy weekend elsewhere for international Blues, with no reported casualties. David Moyes will have been delighted that Lucas Neill played a full 90 minutes for Australia, captaining the Socceroos in their goalless draw with Holland on Saturday. Johnny Heitinga also played 90 minutes for the Dutch, while Tim Cahill was given a 45 minute run-out. On Friday night Jack Rodwell played 90 minutes for England Under-21s in their nine goal thriller with Macedonia, while young defender Seamus Coleman continued his comeback from a freak foot injury as he played 86 minutes of the Republic of Ireland under-21s’ draw with Georgia in Dublin.
Diniyar Bilyaletdinov did not feature for Guus Hiddinck's Russia who went down 1-0 in Moscow to Germany and must now negotiate a two-legged play-off to reach the World Cup finals. Yobo and Yakubu will return to Finch Farm now to prepare for this weekend’s Premier League clash with Wolves at Goodison Park.

Your chance to join Everton FC’s players for dinner where purple shirt will be launched
Oct 12 2009 by Tina Miles, Liverpool Echo
THE ECHO today gives you the chance to join Everton FC’s first team squad at the club’s charity dinner. The black tie event will launch the Blues’ new limited edition purple shirt, which was designed to support the ECHO’s Liverpool Unites charity.
The dinner will be held at Club Everton, at Goodison Park, on Thursday October 29, when the shirt will be unveiled before a select audience of 240 people. And we are offering two lucky readers the opportunity for them and a friend to attend the event. The winners will also receive a limited edition shirt. The dinner will officially kick start Everton’s fund-raising campaign for Liverpool Unites. The club and Kitbag Ltd, its official retail partner, hope to raise more than £100,000 before the end of the season for the children’s charity. Liverpool Unites campaigns to improve the lives of young people in Merseyside by inspiring them to break the cycle of crime and poverty.
The limited edition shirt was created to promote the club’s association with its charity of the season. The design will see an Everton crest on a purple shirt for the very first time in the Blues’ 131-year history and features the Liverpool Unites purple ribbon.
The colour, which represents the way Everton and Liverpool FC came together after the murder of schoolboy Rhys Jones, was adopted by Liverpool Unites when it was launched in 2007. The first £100,000 it raised was donated to the Rhys Jones Memorial Fund, which is hoping to build a community centre in Croxteth Park.
Liverpool Unites was then relaunched as a children’s charity to help more young people across Merseyside. Rhys’ parents Melanie and Stephen met with Blues manager David Moyes and midfielder Diniyar Bilyaletdinov to unveil the shirt at the Finch Farm training ground. Each shirt will be individually boxed, numbered and presented with a certificate of authenticity. The shirt will be first released on Friday October 30. It is already available on pre-order from evertondirect.com
Tickets for the Everton dinner cost £100 each or £950 for a table of 10. Ticket prices include a three-course dinner and wine. Call Tom Woolley at Liverpool Unites on 0151-285 8400 or email towoolley@liverpool.comm.

David Moyes hoping Everton will hit the heights
Oct 13 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES will ask his Everton squad to scale the heights when they return from the second international break of the season this weekend. The Blues went into the enforced break with an encouraging run of five wins and a draw from six matches – including back to back 4-0, 3-0 and 4-0 wins. But when the international stars regroup at Finch Farm on Friday, they will face a gruelling spell of seven games in 23 days – including tough away days at Benfica and Tottenham. But despite the run of five successive victories, Moyes said: “I don’t think we’ve reached the heights. I think we’ve got a good bit to go yet. “When you’re winning you can go from there because it brings more confidence to the players. “I can see the players getting more confident, a lot more belief coming into them. But we are trying to integrate one or two news players as well, who we’re having to find out about. Overall we’ve done okay.
“It’s important we try and keep the points ticking along in the Premier League. We don’t want to get too detached from the teams above us if we can help it.” The Blues get back to Premier League action with a home game against Wolves – with the only international stars still to play this week and give cause for concern being goalkeeper Tim Howard and Russian midfielder Diniyar Bilyaletdinov. Howard’s USA have already qualified for the World Cup finals, but still have a final qualifier to play in Washington against Costa Rica in the early hours of Thursday morning. Howard, however, said after the weekend’s 3-2 victory over Honduras which clinched qualification: “I feel like I’m in the prime of my career. “The thought went through my head this week that I certainly didn’t want to miss this opportunity. “It was important for me as an individual as most of these guys in here will tell you, young and old. But personally for me it was a chance I didn’t want to go to waste.”
Russia’s Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, who did not figure in the clash with Germany which cost the Russians any chance of topping Group 4, could figure in Wednesday’s final clash before the Play-Offs in Azerbaijan.

EMarouane Fellainiverton in row with Belgian FA over
Oct 13 2009 by David Prentice
THE Belgian FA is trying to block Marouane Fellaini from playing for Everton against Wolves this weekend. But the Blues insist they have done nothing wrong and are waiting for FIFA to make a ruling. The Blues’ midfielder believed he had an agreement in place with coach Dick Advocaat that if he played in Belgium’s win over Turkey last weekend, he would be released from tomorrow’s clash with Estonia in order to undergo wisdom teeth surgery. But Advocaat has refused permission for Fellaini to step down and has asked FIFA to apply their five-day rule. That ruling means any player missing an international fixture after being called up, without the permission of that country to do so – will be banned from playing any match for the next five-days. Everton are bewildered by the Belgium FA’s stance. “We released Marouane for both games and have complied with all our obligations,” Everton spokesman Ian Ross said. “He had an understanding with the manager that if he played on Saturday, he'd be released from the Wednesday game. "The manager appears to have changed his mind. “But this is a personal dispute between the player and the coach. Everton are not to blame and in our view there is nothing that can prevent Marouane from playing on Saturday against Wolverhampton.” Belgium have no chance of qualifying for the World Cup finals from a group long since won by Spain and the match in Estonia is a dead rubber But Belgium FA’s director general Jean-Marie Phillips warned: “Fellaini is called for the match with Estonia. If he decides not to come, he knows the consequences. “Mr Advocaat has asked that the FIFA regulations strictly apply and therefore Marouane may not play this weekend with Everton. “The coach has talked with Fellaini, but I do not know what he said – I would imagine that he tried to convince him that the operation could be done another time – but he obviously did not succeed. If FIFA decides in Everton's favour we will accept that.” Fellaini has been suffering from an infection in his wisdom teeth for weeks and has been playing in considerable pain. He has already put off the surgery several times.

NIGEL MARTYN: David Moyes will hope USA give Tim Howard a World Cup breather
Oct 13 2009 Liverpool Echo
I SUSPECT David Moyes’ transatlantic hotline will have been buzzing as soon as news reached these shores that USA had qualified for next summer’s World Cup finals. Of course the Blues boss will have been sending his congratulations to goalkeeper Tim Howard for reaching the pinnacle of every player’s career. But with Thursday morning’s final USA qualifier against Costa Rica now effectively a dead rubber – at least as far as the Americans are concerned – he will be making the polite suggestion that perhaps Tim could sit out this final match and maybe even return to England early. If Tim does play the final game of USA’s qualification campaign it gives him a very difficult preparation for Saturday’s visit of Wolves. Physically it will be a breeze. But mentally he will be tired. That’s a fact. Tim’s been in this situation before. When we played Fulham last month he played in Trinidad the midweek previously and had to dash straight back – and on that occasion he had the advantage of Everton’s game being played on the Sunday. This time he’ll have even less time to prepare – but for all footballers playing for your country is an immense honour and you won’t get many turning down that opportunity. In the past I’ve had managers say to me ‘Do you have to go? It’s only a friendly. Can’t you develop a niggle?’ But there’s nothing better than playing for your country. Tim will be desperate to play in every match, but Carlo Nash will also be eagerly keeping an eye on the situation hoping that maybe Tim will feel the time is right for a breather. Everton’s schedule over the next three weeks is certainly intense. The next three midweeks see trips to Benfica in the Europa League, a Carling Cup clash at Tottenham and then the return leg against Benfica – all important and significant matches. The manager will be asking Tim on a daily basis how he feels and there may well come a point when the gaffer will have to prioritise his competitions. But it will certainly help Tim’s cause if he gets a break on Wednesday night/Thursday morning. You can bet your bottom dollar that will be on David Moyes’ mind as he looks to this weekend.
There are too many matches in the Europa League road to Hamburg
IT’S just as well that Everton’s first team squad this season is looking stronger and more competitive than it has for years. Because if the Blues are going to win the Europa League they will have to play the equaivalent of half a season’s worth of football. A total of 19 matches have to be played in order to reach the final of the competition – and that’s a ridiculous amount of football. It’s unfortunate for Carlo Nash that Everton’s next match in the competition is one of their highest profile – the trip to the Stadium of Light in Lisbon – otherwise the manager might have been tempted to shuffle his pack a little. As it is, though, it will be yet another step along the long and winding road to Hamburg next spring. If Everton do get there, no-one can say they haven’t earned the right to play in a prestigious final.
UEFA must get a grip on the flare-up in Ukraine
THE weekend’s flare up in Ukraine left me wondering where the UEFA outcry was afterwards. We sometimes get a little paranoid in this country about the way we are perceived by UEFA and FIFA, prompted no doubt by comments from the likes of Jack Warner. But there’s no doubt that behaviour like what we witnessed in Dnipro on Saturday seems to be tolerated far more elsewhere. Ukraine is the proposed venue for the next European Championships. Spain, where there is a clear problem with racism, apparently have a better claim for the World Cup than England. Yet we are told that our World Cup bid is lagging because we haven’t called up enough celebrities!
I’ve been in a few hostile stadia before – most notably when I with Leeds in Galatasaray a few years ago – but I’ve never had flares tossed at me. Normally that kind of intimidation makes you think ‘Right, I’m going to stuff you for that.’
But regardless of how it motivates you it shouldn’t be an experience any player has to endure. Over to you now UEFA!

Everton physio bemoans worst ever injury crisis: Everton FC latest
Oct 14 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON physio Mick Rathbone has described the current crop of knee injuries at the club as the worst he has ever seen. But after last week’s positive fitness bulletin on Mikel Arteta, he explained that Phil Jagielka was also making excellent progress.
Arteta and Jagielka were two of an unprecedented five players all to suffer serious knee injuries at Everton this year. While their cruciate ligament injuries occurred in innocuous incidents, Victor Anichebe, Phil Neville and Steven Pienaar were all injured in tackles which angered the Blues’ backroom staff. “I have been a physio for 14 years and I have never known anything like this with so many serious injuries in one go,” said Rathbone. “Injuries are part of the game but to be hit with so many long term problems has been tough. “If you are having these injuries year-in year-out you would have to look at yourselves and ask what are we doing wrong? But this is just a one off. “You have to also take into account that the game is getting much faster. The players are getting stronger and therefore more powerful. “ The pitches now are also very firm which is starting to take its toll. So it's not just bad luck, there are other factors behind it.” With Arteta closing in on an eagerly awaited competitive return, Rathbone pointed out that Jagielka, too, was making excellent progress and has started kicking a ball again. “We are very pleased with Phil Jagielka. He is doing some good quality ball work now,” said Rathbone. “When we talk about the recovery time from a cruciate injury the absolute minimum is six months. “The surgeon won’t let a player go into any type of contact work for at least six months then you have to add on time to build up fitness and play in a few reserve games so you are looking at over seven months for a quick comeback.” Jagielka injured his cruciate on April 25, so the Blues would be hoping for a return to senior action by the end of next month.
Barring reactions or further injury, Jagielka could be back to full fitness by the time Joseph Yobo leaves for African Nations Cup duty this winter. The tournament, to be staged in Angola, runs from January 10 to 31. Everton’s latest knee injury victim, James Vaughan, meanwhile, will be out for six to eight weeks after having a cartilage operation. The striker sustained the injury on-loan at Derby County. He has now undergone surgery on his knee but faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines, although Rams boss Nigel Clough has not ruled out taking him back to Derby on loan when he has recovered. Clough said: “We’ll see how his rehab goes but he’s someone we'll certainly look to bring back in January if he's fully fit. “He got a dead leg against Crystal Palace and we are not quite sure if he did the injury in that collision or not, or whether it was an existing injury. “His injury was a big blow for us.”

Belgium boss Dick Advocaat wants Fellaini suspension: Everton FC latest
Oct 14 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
BELGIUM boss Dick Advocaat is heading for a major row with Everton, after vowing to push FIFA to ban Marouane Fellaini from this weekend’s Premier League game with Wolves. Belgium's chief executive Jean-Marie Philips revealed a fax would be sent to FIFA bosses in Zurich today, urging them to ban Fellaini from club football for the next five days after Fellaini took up a long-standing appointment on Monday to have wisdom teeth removed. Fellaini claimed he had an agreement with Advocaat to play against Turkey last weekend, a match the Belgians won, then miss tonight’s game with Estonia in Tallin. Neither team can qualify for next summer’s World Cup finals and the match is effectively a dead rubber. Fellaini has been putting off the wisdom teeth surgery for several weeks. Philips was adamant the decision would go their way.
But Everton are just as confident of winning the argument, after releasing Fellaini for both group games against Turkey and Estonia, and have argued it is a isunderstanding that is none of their doing. Speaking from Tallinn, Philips said: “We have received a response from Everton to the fax we sent them, but it makes no difference. We are sticking to our belief that we are in the right on this. FIFA will receive a fax from us in the morning, and the outcome should be that Fellaini will not be allowed to play on Saturday.” Everton are understood to have sought advice from the English FA and are convinced their 21-year old midfielder will be cleared to play against Wolves at Goodison on Saturday.

THE JURY: A good case for strongest defence
Oct 14 2009 Liverpool Echo
I WATCHED the Australia versus The Netherlands game with added interest given that Everton had three players on show. Tim Cahill, now fully match fit, was quiet – probably pacing himself for the World Cup game with Oman. The other two – Lucas Neill for Australia and Johnny Heitinga for the Dutch – played as central defenders and both performed admirably. Neill had a slow, nervous start, to be expected in his first top grade match in over four months. He grew in stature as the game progressed and showed the class that drew such admiring comments in the last World Cup.
Our Johnny at the other end showed strength in the air and on the ground, good positional awareness and his passing out of defence was crisp and accurate.
They have got to come into our team sooner rather than later on a permanent basis in Premier League games. I believe we have the nucleus of the strongest defence in the competition once they have a chance to gel together.
HAS the time come for a salary cap in the Premier League? Michel Platini recently sounded off about the rich clubs getting richer and how to help the clubs that don’t qualify for Europe every year. Now the head of Major League Soccer, Don Garber, has spoken of the benefits to that league of a salary cap. Six teams have won that league since it was founded. Since the Premier League was formed in 1992 there have been only four winners. Others involved in the Beautiful Game at a high level are beginning to speak out about a cap. How about the average fan?
SALARY caps are definitely needed and the sooner the better. Who needs more then £40,000 a week? It’s a sickening amount of lolly!Football is more and more about money; the playing field should be evened out. Football club owners should be held responsible for a club’s debts before being able to shed out millions on players.
I WATCHED our reserve game against Manchester United last Tuesday on MUTV and our lads looked toothless up front. We haven’t scored a goal for about four hours of football. Seamus Coleman looked a capable player. However, striker Kieran Agard looked like a weaker version of Victor Anichebe. We don’t have much strength in depth although the young American Cody Arnoux did OK.
IT’S important we pick up the three points against Wolves on Saturday given the next three matches after that are away from Goodison. After Wolves, we’ve got Benfica followed by an always tricky trip to Bolton a week on Sunday before we visit Tottenham in the Carling Cup. It’s just the way the fixtures have fallen but to come through the Benfica game with at least a draw would be great and give us a good dose of confidence in time for the games with Bolton and Spurs.
WHAT’S different about modern goalkeepers? Where are the Banks’, Jennings’, Shiltons, Clemences, Southalls and all the rest? Why have outfield players improved so much, but not goalkeepers? There must be a reason.
DESPITE his size, Tim Howard doesn't dominate the area like he should and is suspect with long range shots. He's still not the finished article.

Everton FC's Marouane Fellaini cleared to play against Wolves
Oct 15 2009 By James Pearce , Liverpool Echo
MAROUANE FELLAINI has been given the green light by FIFA to play for Everton against Wolves on Saturday. The Belgian FA had sought to invoke the ‘five-day’ ruling after the midfielder missed his country’s game against Estonia on Wednesday night. The 21-year-old played in Belgium’s 2-0 win over Turkey last weekend but then underwent surgery to remove a wisdom tooth. Fellaini believed he had the blessing of coach Dick Advocaat but Belgian officials claimed no such agreement was in place. They appealed to FIFA to enforce the rule which prevents players from playing for their club less than five days after missing an international game.
But FIFA have ruled that Everton have done nothing wrong. “The Belgian FA did lodge an appeal with FIFA asking them to implement the five-day ruling,” said Everton’s head of PR Ian Ross. “However, FIFA have contacted the club this morning to say that we have no case to answer and that we did comply fully with all necessary legislation. “We are delighted with the news as Marouane will be available for selection on Saturday.”

Wolves visit The Jury: Everton fans look ahead to to Goodison
Oct 15 2009 Liverpool Echo
WE face Wolves this weekend and a win will definitely paper over the cracks of a shambolic start to the campaign. Our squad is again equipped to claim fifth spot or better and more importantly now capable of finally collecting some much needed silverware under Moyes. Players like Tim Howard, Tim Cahill and Phil Neville are consummate professionals and the backbone of the football club who have a major influence on the dressing room. Our squad may be small, but it’s packed with talent when you mention the like of Mikel Arteta, Yakubu, Marouane Fellaini and Phil Jagielka. The emergence of the young talent at Goodison shouldn’t be overlooked either – the promise of Jack Rodwell, Jose Baxter and Dan Gosling should be the envy of most other Premier League clubs. I get the feeling David Moyes is now expecting his own players to deliver trophies, as he has put so much hard work into developing this squad with the limited resources at his disposal. An interesting few weeks awaits the Blues now; let’s hope we start off with three points on Saturday before we carry on with our European tour.
ALTHOUGH we have steadied the ship since the opening day nightmare against Arsenal, there is still a slight feeling of disappointment amongst fans about the way we have started. Perhaps our expectation levels are now higher than in years gone by or maybe the Stoke draw just knocked the wind out of us. However, it is still early days and with the likes of Yakubu and Arteta within sight of a return, we can be justifiably optimistic about the rest of the season. Arteta’s return simply cannot come quickly enough. Not only is he a joy to watch but Moyes will finally have to address the Cahill/Fellani issue and hopefully that will mean a return to the winning formula of Cahill playing just off the main striker. When all are fit, the squad will be the best the manager has ever had, with options all over the pitch. I hate Sunday games and cannot wait to walk up Goodison Road this Saturday afternoon!
THE general performance against Stoke wasn’t the best, but our unbeaten run has continued. It will need to carry on against Wolves on Saturday with a very tough week of three away games coming up in the 10 days after! Fixture congestion is one of those things that always divides opinion, and it has come up again with the trips to Benfica, Bolton and Spurs in the space of six days. I’ve always believed there is only such a thing as ‘too many games’ if you aren’t winning them. In our runs in the League Cup and UEFA Cup two seasons ago, we had a spell of around three months where it was rare we didn’t have two games a week. It is no coincidence either that because we were winning those games, the team looked more and more confident and kept on winning. With any luck, we can start another winning streak by beating Wolves on Saturday. A good performance will give us a lot of confidence going into that marathon next week.
IT’S off to sunny Portugal for Evertonians next week.
The planes will fly out to the tune of Z-Cars as singing Blues fans take over on Thursday. There will be plenty of banter, a few Everton songs and a drink or two before the Blues get the three points against Benfica. It promises to be a great night in Portugal; are the Portuguese ready for us? Phil Jagielka has stepped up his comeback and is only a month or so away from a return to the first team. It will be a great boost to have our best centre-back playing again. The Yak is looking good in his comeback already and will be a great asset with his goals, especially in the second half of the season. The game against Wolves should see us get maximum points to take us closer to the top six. An early goal would be nice to settle us down and hopefully lead to a couple more.

World Cup trauma for Everton's Joseph Yobo but Tim Cahill's a hero
Oct 15 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON defender Joseph Yobo has been left “traumatised” by his latest international experience with Nigeria. But clubmate Tim Cahill was celebrating after the Australian international’s uncanny radar for goals saved the Socceroos once again yesterday. Yobo was the Nigerian captain as the Super Eagles kept their faint World Cup qualification hopes alive with a last minute winner against Mozambique on Sunday. But disaffected Nigerian fans booed Nigeria’s national anthem even before kick-off in the Abuja National Stadium. “They booed everything we did. We should not be too surprised at this as they even booed their own national anthem before the match,” said Yobo, who is now back training with Everton. “I had just lost a cousin. We were very close and he spoke with me just before his death and we talked about how the team could qualify for the World Cup in South Africa. So you could understand how traumatised I was before the match.” Goalkeeper and international team-mate Vincent Enyeama was equally disgusted by the fans’ behaviour.
“They can boo the team – that’s their right as fans – and I admit that we deserved it,” he added. “But to boo your own country’s anthem is just criminal.” The Abuja National Stadium was deserted on Sunday as fans, who had jammed the same venue a month ago, preferred to stay away after the Super Eagles had failed to beat Group Two leaders Tunisia at home, handing the initiative in the group to the Tunisians.
In September, the 60,000-capacity stadium was packed full for the visit of Tunisia, but on Sunday less than 5,000 fans turned up as the Super Eagles laboured. Nigeria remain two points behind Tunisia in the standings. The final round of matches on November 14 will determine who qualifies, with Tunisia away to third-placed Mozambique, while Nigeria will be guests of bottom team Kenya. It was a different atmosphere Down Under, however, where Cahill salvaged Australia’s Asian Cup qualification campaign yesterday. Cahill scored deep in the second half to secure a 1-0 Group B qualifier win over Oman at Etihad Stadium, firing the Socceroos from bottom of the group to equal first. Cahill’s goal was his 18th in 36 internationals and his fifth in his past four Socceroos matches. Australia are equal on four points with Oman and also have an identical goal difference to the Asian nation. The top two teams in the four-team group qualify. The Socceroos endured a frustrating evening until Cahill struck, although clubmate and national team skipper Lucas Neill almost broke the deadlock earlier with a goalbound shot which thumped into Oman goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi’s head on the line and bounced away.

Loan star Jo: I wouldn't swop Everton FC for Manchester City
Oct 16 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON’S on-loan striker, Jo, says he has no regrets about swopping Manchester City for Goodison – even though the club he left behind has become one of the most talked about in world football. City’s big spending bid to gatecrash the top four has seen Mark Hughes’ men beaten just once this season, on their way to a current berth just five points off the summit. They tried and failed to land Kaka and John Terry, but did succeed in attracting international stars Gareth Barry, Emmanuel Adebayor, Roque Santa Cruz and Kolo Toure to Eastlands. But Jo does not feel like he’s missing out. “I plan to stay here for the long run,” he declared. “Since last season I have felt very, very happy here and very welcome. “I have a lot of respect for Manchester City but I am playing for Everton at the moment.” Joleon Lescott was a high profile departure down the East Lancs Road this summer, but Jo is delighted he made a switch the opposite way. “I feel cared for by everybody here and that makes me very happy,” he said. “I can say today that I am a fulfilled player. "I am 22-years-old and quite happy at the moment.”

Everton FC striker Jo: Why Louis Saha is a fantastic person
Oct 16 2009 Liverpool Echo
LOUIS SAHA has been labelled a genius by manager David Moyes this week.
But team-mate and some-time strike partner Jo has another six letter description for the French forward, one gleaned from the very first day he stepped through the entrance gates of Everton’s Finch Farm training complex. Mentor. With a career which already spans prolific spells with Corinthians in his homeland and CSKA Moscow in Russia, plus a frustrating time at Manchester City, it is easy to lose sight of the Brazilian’s youth. Still only 22-years-old, he has already packed a lot into a short career, but still appreciates a helping hand and a reassuring arm around his shoulder. The experienced 31-year-old French international Saha has provided that support. “He has been helping me since my first day here and he still helps me today,” said Jo. “He’s a fantastic person and a fantastic player. I don’t need to comment on his football because everyone knows he is a wonderful player. But he is also a fantastic person.” Saha’s sparkling form so far this season, coupled with the return to fitness of Yakubu, the proven goals record of Tim Cahill and the versatility of Marouane Fellaini, means that competition for striking places at Everton is more intense than ever. Only once this season has Jo started two successive matches – which coincided with him scoring his first goal of the campaign against AEK Athens, quickly followed by another at Hull City. But rather than bemoan the lack of opportunities, Jo is happy to fight for his place. “I think it’s quite cool,” he said – a 200 kilowatt smile lighting up his face – “because the more quality players that you have the better.
“We are in three competitions at the moment and the season is quite long, so the more quality players you have, the better.” It’s a mature reaction and one sure to improve his standing amongst Evertonians, not that he’s short of supporters amongst the Goodison fanbase. After all, Evertonians waited a long time to witness a Brazilian footballer at Goodison Park. Older fans will remember the ill-fated flirtations with strikers Nunes and Muller. Nunes never made it to these shores, but still managed to declare a willingness to dedicate his first goal to his hero, John Lennon.
Muller did, but only long enough to learn that Everton weren’t prepared to pay his wages tax-free. In 2002 an exciting midfielder called Rodrigo arrived on-loan from Botafogo, but only enjoyed four fleeting substitute appearances before his Everton career ended in the anguish of a torn cruciate knee ligament at the club’s old Bellefield training ground. Jo is unaware of Everton’s chequered history with Brazilians, but he doesn’t subscribe to the theory that just because he hails from the country of the step-over, the Rivelino banana shot and that Roberto Carlos free-kick, that he should be considered any different to a footballer from any other country.
“I think every football player, with minor differences, are more or less the same,” he said. “All footballers like to entertain and all footballers like to be happy,” he said. “I thank God I’m Brazilian too! But I like to play with happiness. “I think football should be played with a lot of happiness. “It’s like playing a game, but with a huge responsiblity on your shoulders.” After a Manchester City career when it appeared that the weight of the world – not to mention an £18m price tag was weighing heavily on Jo’s shoulders – the Brazilian arrived at Everton and immediately looked like that weight had been lifted. After an instinctive and enterprising flip and volley manouevre gave him a goal on his debut against Bolton, a last minute penalty award, with the game already won, saw captain Phil Neville hand the ball to Jo for an opportunity to add a second. Confidence soaring, he gratefully accepted the gift and followed up with further strikes in front of the Goodison faithful against Stoke and Wigan
“I can say today that I am a fulfilled player. I am 22-years-old and quite happy at the moment,” he added. Even the fact that his habit of scoring in front of the Goodison fans continued this season – although he did break his duck away from home in a Carling Cup tie at Hull City – is seen as a positive. “Every player likes to play in front of his own fans because when you play at home you feel more confident,” he explained. “We all know that it is more difficult to score goals away. But I enjoy it very much when I play at Goodison Park.” Motivation, enjoyment and the Brazilian philosophy of football explained with a smile on his face, all that remained was an explanation of the name, Jo. Around Finch Farm he is known as ‘Brazilian Jo’, presumably to differentiate from the Nigerian version, defender Joe Yobo.
But the title which appears on his passport is “João Alves de Assis Silva.”
So why Jo? “This comes from my first manager at Corinthians,” he said. “When I started playing football I said my name is Joao, but my manager said ‘that is not a name for a football player.’ “He abbreviated it to Jo and I have been Jo ever since.”
Ever since he arrived at Everton his career has been back on an upward curve again.
In World Cup year, he will be hoping that continues with Wolves the visitors to Goodison Park tomorrow. And he knows just where to turn for support.

Everton's Marouane Fellaini wins FIFA green light to face Wolves
Oct 16 2009 by Our Correspondent, Liverpool Echo
MAROUANE FELLAINI will be available to play for Everton against Wolves tomorrow, despite the Belgian FA’s appeal to FIFA. The Belgian authorities had sought to invoke the ‘five-day’ ruling after Fellaini missed the World Cup qualifier in Estonia following an operation to have a wisdom tooth removed. Under FIFA rules the world governing body can ban a player from playing for his club for up to five days after an international fixture “in the event that the player, for whatsoever reason, did not wish to or was unable to comply with the call-up”. However, FIFA have told Everton they had no case to answer. “The Belgian FA did lodge an appeal with FIFA asking them to implement the five-day ruling,” the club’s head of PR Ian Ross said.
“However, FIFA have contacted the club to say that we have no case to answer and that we did comply fully.”

David Moyes insists Yakubu will need more time to be back at his goalscoring best: Everton FC latest
Oct 17, 2009 by David Prentice
DAVID MOYES has warned that it may be months before Yakubu recaptures the goalscoring form he showed before his Achilles tendon injury last November.
Yakubu scored within 11 minutes of his first team return at Hull City last month.
But after almost 11 months out of action he has showed understandable signs of rustiness. And Everton boss Moyes warned: “We don’t know if it’s going to be right in a week or three or four months. “We’re not sure, but he’s definitely not at the level he was before he went out of the side. “It’s sharpness and balance that’s lacking.
“You don’t realise how many times you’re on one foot or the other, and if you rupture the Achilles it doesn’t have the elasticity back in it. “It sometimes looks like you’re not quite there in your reactive time.” The Blues boss pointed out that Yakubu’s overall fitness levels were good, but that match sharpness is now the issue.
The striker started for his country, Nigeria, in their crucial World Cup qualifier against Mozambique last weekend but was replaced early in the second half. He has started only two games for the Blues this season, but is in the squad for today’s visit of Wolves to Goodison Park. “Yak’s overall fitness isn’t bad,” added Moyes. “But with the injury he has had, he has surpassed what would be seen as the timescale for recovery. “But strangely enough if you look at people who have ruptured their Achilles in can take the same time again, even though you’re fit, before you’re back playing the way you were before. “It’s a really bad injury and could have been a career threatening injury undoubtedly. “We’d like to get Yak up to the level he was at before he was out. We don’t think he’s quite there yet, but it’s probably going to take time more than anything else. “Because Yak has missed so much football, to get him back sharp and right is what we want.”

Barry Horne: Alex Ferguson is out of order in Wiley whinges says Barry Horne.
Oct 17 2009 Liverpool Echo
I RESISTED the opportunity to comment on Alex Ferguson’s latest rant last weekend, because I felt the story had already been debated too much. But I have been amazed to see how much more mileage the outburst has had. And what has been most surprising are some of the comments from others. Gary Megson has been vociferous in his defence, claiming that Sir Alex had been hung out to dry. Then Henry Winter, a top, top journalist and someone I count as a friend, wrote a long article on the issue.
He claimed that Alex Ferguson was being treated unfairly, that hypopcrisy was at work and he was being shown a lack of consistency. Henry argued that Ferguson had been praised for the eulogy he delivered at Bobby Robson’s funeral, has been successful for many years and has produced attack minded teams. All of which is true.
But just because Alex Ferguson is a fantastic manager doesn’t mean he should be allowed to ride roughshod over authorities and regulations. If he were to be treated differently because he spoke well at Sir Bobby’s funeral then that would be inconsistent and hypocritical. The fact of the matter is, if anybody else had launched a blistering attack on a top ref they would be hauled over the coals. The attack on Alan Wiley was both personal and vitriolic, not to mention factually incorrect.
My initial reaction two weeks ago was to try and work out Sir Alex’s motivation.
Cynically I felt it might have been to try and put some distance between himself and a referee who is often rumoured to be too close to Manchester United and Alex Ferguson. But more likely is that Sir Alex was trying to detract from what, by even the staunchest Manchester United fan’s memory, was as poor a performance as they have turned in for some time. For all his many qualities, Sir Alex is never one to accept defeat or a bad display graciously. Steve Bruce was bold with his tactics, took the game to Manchester United and got his just rewards. Sunderland thoroughly deserved their point for a brave peformance. Alan Wiley did not deserve to be criticised in the manner he was.
Barry Horne: Everton keep completing their Mission Impossible
DAVID MOYES enters a very busy three-and-a-half week spell without the likelihood of Mikel Arteta, Phil Jagielka or Phil Neville returning to first team action.
Once more he has to ask the same small, hardy band of regulars to maintain their fitness and form under the severest demands of the game. There is no doubt that top level Premier League games, attractive Europa League fixtures and tough trips in the Carling Cup – sandwiched by high profile internationals – is as tough as it gets.
But the group of players that David Moyes has assembled keep reminding the world that it is not the impossible task some players and managers would have you believe.
It was disappointing that Everton did not beat Stoke last time out. But the performance was decent enough and there’s no doubt that a couple of wins against Wolves and Bolton in the next two Premier League assignments will send the Blues forward in good spirits. And by the time the next international break is out of the way there might even be the sight of some cavalry charging over the hill once again!

David Prentice: Why Everton’s Tim Cahill is key for club and country
Oct 17, 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
IF ever anyone doubted the importance of Tim Cahill to a team’s cause, a fleeting glance at yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald would quickly cast away those doubts.
“If Tim Cahill didn’t exist, Australia would have to invent him,” declared Australia’s oldest continuously published newspaper, before going on: “Rarely has a player become such a key component of a team. “It seems if Cahill doesn’t score, Australia often don’t. “When the Socceroos need someone to drag them out of a difficult spot, up pops the Everton man to do what he does with unerring regularity for club and country – hit the back of the net, as he did on Wednesday night with the only goal in the 1-0 triumph over Oman. “For coach Pim Verbeek, Cahill is not just a luxury, he is a necessity. “The Sydneysider did not play in Australia’s last match before their double-header against Holland and Oman, a friendly defeat against South Korea, when the Socceroos’ consolation goal was scored by defender Patrick Kisnorbo.
“But it was Cahill who did the damage against Ireland in Limerick in August, bagging a brace as the Socceroos won 3-0. He also got both goals on a far more important stage in June, when he netted twice in Australia’s 2-1 World Cup qualifying win over Japan, a nation for whom he has been heartbreaker-in-chief. “No Australian fan can forget the day in Kaiserslautern in the Socceroos’ World Cup opener against Japan in June 2006, when Cahill came off the bench to rescue Guus Hiddink’s men late in the game with an equaliser and then an 89th-minute strike that put Australia 2-1 up against the then-Asian champions. “He also rescued Australia the last time they played Oman in Bangkok in the Asian Cup finals, once more rising from the pine to snare a last-gasp leveller that kept his country in the tournament. Verbeek will doubtless spend the next eight months nervously checking the injury bulletins and praying that no misfortune will befall his key man. He could be forgiven for placing him in a glass jar and only allowing David Moyes, his club boss, to open it in emergencies.“Verbeek was asked what he would do without Cahill. ‘Pick another striker and hope and pray that he can do the same, but probably he can’t because Timmy is special, of course, that’s what we all know,’ he said. “ ’Sometimes he is invisible on the field, but this was a great goal, it was not an easy goal, of course. I saw it on the replay, he is so alert on goals like that. “A lot of players were probably not expecting that ball any more but he is always there on the right moment. It’s not the first time in his career. For us it’s always important.‘ “ Perhaps the key words in that glowing tribute were Pim Verbeek’s, when he talks about picking another striker.
Because when Cahill has been asked to play as an auxiliary striker this season, we’ve seen the same old Tasmanian fox in the box. But with Everton’s striking options now healthier than they’ve been for many years, he’s also been asked to occupy other roles which suppress his effectiveness in front of goal. He started the campaign as a holding midfielder, was pushed further forward against Wigan and Fulham, and was actually playing a right midfield role when he snatched that typically timely winner in Belarus.
There may well come a time in his career when Cahill is asked to play a more conventional midfield role. But there’s no doubt that at present, no-one plays that invisible man in the box role better than the little Aussie. Just ask his international manager.

David Prentice: Earl Barrett nails internet mischief makers
Oct 17, 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
EARL BARRETT was a welcome visitor back at Goodison last weekend.
Looking as trim as he did in his playing days, he was also able to nail one of those bizarre internet myths which sometimes pass into the public consciousness.
It started on the home of the internet untruth, Wikipedia. It has since been expunged, but the page history tool means you can still read the original entry, which ran: “In 2001 he famously appeared on Celebrity Stars in their Eyes as Marvin Gaye. He came fourth. In 2005, he starred in the BBC’s Strictly African Dancing as part of Africa Lives season. He scored a record low of six points and had to be escorted off stage by security as he reacted violently to the judging panel, which included Dave Benson Phillips and the Duchess of York.” “I’ve heard that Marvin Gaye story,” he laughed. “But you’ve heard me sing so there’s no way I’d have ever come fourth.
“As for the dance show, that’s just bizarre!”

Everton FC 1-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers - Match Report
Oct 17 2009
EVERTON boss David Moyes left Marouane Fellaini on the bench for today’s clash with Wolves at Goodison Park. The Belgian authorities had sought to invoke the ’five-day’ ruling after Fellaini, who played in his country’s 2-0 win over Turkey on Saturday, missed Wednesday night’s World Cup qualifier in Estonia following an operation to have a wisdom tooth removed. However FIFA assured Everton they had no case to answer and so Fellaini was available. Wolves had striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake making his first league start since the opening game of the season, when he suffered a hamstring injury against West Ham. Jody Craddock, Michael Kightly and Ronald Zubar all returned to the starting line-up. After three successive away defeats, Wolves set about trying to improve on that run with some decent early pressure.
Greg Halford’s long throw was a key part of the armoury, and when he launched one into the box after 10 minutes, Christophe Berra saw a shot charged down by Yobo.
Everton were struggling to get going, although Diniyar Bilyaletdinov had a shot blocked by goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey. But after 15 minutes, Louis Saha won a long ball from Sylvain Distin and set up Tim Cahill for a rising shot on the run that flashed over the bar. Then from a Bilyaletdinov corner, Saha headed just over.
Craddock needed treatment for a cut head, and returned to the pitch heavily bandaged with a clean shirt, now without a number. Wolves continued to cause Everton problems when they got the ball into the area, and Kevin Doyle produced a fine turn and shot from 15 yards which forced Howard into a save to his right after 28 minutes.
Kightly was booked for bringing down Leighton Baines a minute later, Everton now upping the tempo but still not creating much to trouble Hennessey. Wolves went close five minutes from the break, when Halford touched a pass to David Edwards, whose shot deflected off Ebanks-Blake and went wide with Howard flat-footed. Wolves went even closer a minute later when Doyle dummied Zubar’s cross from the right, and Ebanks-Blake rolled a shot inches wide. Striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, finally back in the starting line-up following a hamstring injury, saw one close-range effort deflect wide for the visitors, before rolling the best chance of the half wide from eight yards.
Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard needed to be at his best to keep out a Kevin Doyle effort, while Everton's only genuine chance of the opening period was a Tim Cahill drive that flashed over. Everton needed more punch up front and Moyes sent on Ayegbeni Yakubu to partner Saha, taking off Tony Hibbert at the break and pushing Heitinga to right-back. They also needed the ball delivered quicker and Baines responded within 60 seconds of the restart with an angled cross that Saha met with a downward header which was saved well by Hennessey at the near post.
Hennessey then made a fine point-blank save when Bilyaletdinov found himself clear on the right of the box following a Baines crossfield ball, the Wales goalkeeper bravely getting his body in the way. Wolves then took off Kightly, sending on Matthew Jarvis after 57 minutes, but it was Hennessey who was again outstanding, turning away a Saha drive at full stretch. Ebanks-Blake forced Howard into a plunging save before Yakubu broke down the left to see a shot flash across goal at the other end. A minute later former Everton forward Segundo Castillo came on in place of Halford. Edwards was booked for pulling down Baines three minutes later.
Everton sent on Brazilian striker Jo for Saha, but it was Wolves who grabbed the lead after 75 minutes through the increasingly impressive Doyle. He latched on to a long clearance from Hennessey straight down the middle and ran on to guide his shot wide of Howard.
Everton grabbed an equaliser after 88 minutes when Jo crossed from the left and Bilyaletdinov arrived on the far post to drive home his first goal for the club since his £10million move from Locomotiv Moscow. In injury time, Wolves substitute Stefan Maierhofer received a second yellow card for a foul on Howard and was sent off. Howard was also booked for retaliating. Intro: Russian winger Diniyar Bilyaletdinov grabbed his first goal for Everton with a late equaliser as Wolves finished with 10 men after substitute Stefan Maierhofer was sent off. Wolves looked like they were heading for their second away win of the season when Kevin Doyle netted his third goal of the campaign for the midlanders with 15 minutes left. But Bilyaletdinov rammed home the equaliser after 88 minutes before Austrian striker Maierhofer received his marching orders.

Everton FC's last comeback secures point against Wolverhampton Wanderers
Oct 17 2009
Everton 1 Wolves 1
Everton staged a dramatic late rally as Russian winger Diniyar Bilyaletdinov’s first goal for the club rescued a point against Wolves at Goodison Park. Wolves looked to be heading for a much-needed victory when striker Kevin Doyle put them ahead with his third goal of the season, after 75 minutes. Wolves goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey had earlier produced a string of fine saves to keep Wolves in the match, but with two minutes of normal time left the £10million Everton new boy struck with an equaliser.
Wolves ended the match with 10 men when substitute Stefan Maierhofer was sent off in injury time.

Everton 1, Wolves 1: Anxiety hanging in Goodison air after yet another misstep
Oct 19 2009 by Ian Doyle, Liverpool Daily Post
IT wasn’t too long ago that a late equaliser would have been met with widespread euphoria at Goodison. Yet any elation at the weekend among the Blue faithful was soon surpassed by relief that quickly made way for an overwhelming sense of disappointment. That their Wolverhampton Wanderers counterparts headed home with similar disgruntlement said much about an afternoon in which the fears of David Moyes again rang worryingly true. The Everton manager has made no secret of the concern his team were not properly prepared for the start of the new campaign.
A strong revival after the opening missteps against Arsenal and Burnley had perhaps lulled many into a false sense of security, but the performances that have bookended this month’s international break demonstrate Moyes’s anxiety as being well placed.
Saturday’s game began a spell of seven games in 23 days that will do much to shape the remainder of Everton’s season, with forthcoming engagements including a Europa League double header against Benfica and a Carling Cup trip to Tottenham Hotspur.
Moyes had already admitted his injury-hampered squad faces a huge challenge to cope with such a gruelling schedule. But it seems the team are also yet to come to terms with the increased levels of expectation that their progress over the past 18 months has engendered. How else to explain the jeers that rang out at half-time at the weekend following a dismal first-half performance, with even the final whistle eliciting a few grumbles from sections of the home crowd. Small wonder. As against Stoke City a fortnight ago, Everton struggled to find their rhythm against supposedly inferior opposition and fell behind before salvaging a point. For a team whose stated ambition is of at least replicating the fifth-placed finish of the previous two seasons, this is not good enough, the stony face of Moyes when Diniyar Bilyaletdinov sidefooted Everton back on level terms with just two minutes remaining speaking volumes. There remains much room for improvement. Indeed, Moyes believes it will take longer for the Goodison outfit to regain their top form compared to the previous campaign, when another slow start was followed by an impressive recovery.
With Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa all threatening stronger challenges than last season, it’s unlikely Everton will be given the same leeway as 12 months earlier to climb back into the European qualification places.
But with none of the long-term absentees expected to be available until after the latest raft of fixtures, Moyes must continue making do with the resources at his disposal.
It has meant much has rested on the shoulders of young Jack Rodwell in central midfield, the 18-year-old having appeared in all bar one of Everton’s games this season. Too much, admits Moyes. Understandably, that burden has started to weigh heavily on the teenager and he was a peripheral presence on Saturday, underlining why his manager regards talk of a possible place in England’s World Cup finals squad next summer as wildly premature. But Moyes claims there has simply been no opportunity to take Rodwell out of the firing line, leaving the youngster to do his growing up in the glare of the Premier League spotlight. In mitigation, Rodwell wasn’t the only Everton player below par on Saturday, with the demands of the recent international break contributing to a series of underwhelming performances from several more experienced colleagues.
None more so than Joseph Yobo, whose difficult week on and off the field was compounded by the error, under pressure from Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, in allowing a goal kick from Wolves goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey to drift over his head that gave Kevin Doyle the chance to put the visitors in front on 76 minutes.
Even the in-form Louis Saha struggled to make an impact, neutered by veteran Wolves centre-back Jody Craddock, who was only playing due to the illness of Michael Mancienne.
To be fair, Saha was offered only scraps to feed on during the first half, operating as a lone striker with a strangely timid Everton ostensibly starting with five defenders. In contrast, Wolves had two up front, and it helped the visitors enjoy the better of a low-key opening 45 minutes, Tim Howard parrying a Doyle shot and Ebanks-Blake screwing one effort narrowly wide. Everton, while rarely convincing, did create early on, Saha heading a Leighton Baines corner over moments after Tim Cahill blazed horribly over with just Hennessey to beat after the ball had broken off Saha from Sylvain Distin’s searching pass. Matters improved greatly once Moyes bolstered the attack by introducing Yakubu at half-time, with Saha soon twice testing Hennessey.
But Everton’s main threat increasingly came from Bilyaletdinov. The physical nature of the Premier League has evidently come as a culture shock to the slight Russian but such worries dissipate when the ball is at his feet. Bilyaletdinov drew a smothering save from Hennessey as he sought to convert a diagonal Baines ball, and it was his clever pass that gave Yakubu the chance to shoot wastefully across the face of goal.
The versatile Russian was deployed on both flanks on Saturday, and it was from the right wing that he ghosted in unmarked to slot home substitute Jo’s low cross from the left with just two minutes remaining after good initial work from Cahill. Bilyaletdinov’s debut goal in England, Everton will hope it is the first of many.
Wolves were reduced to 10 men during the closing stages when substitute Stefan Maierhofer, only moments after being booked for a foul on Cahill, tangled with Howard and was dismissed by referee Stuart Attwell. Howard, though, could count himself a touch fortunate for not also being red-carded for his uncharacteristic reaction of pushing Maierhofer to the turf by raising a hand to the back of his head. Moyes will have been pleased that, in the absence of many other usual traits from his players, the character and determination not to be beaten remains thankfully present.
But, as those traipsing out of Goodison at the weekend know all too well, it will take more than that for Everton to begin challenging among the Premier League upper echelons once again.

Everton 1, Wolves 1: Blues reach seven-match hitch
Oct 19, 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
TIM CAHILL stepped out at Goodison Park on Saturday with a stirring tribute ringing in his ears. “If we didn’t have Tim Cahill we’d need to invent him,” declared Australia coach Pim Verbeek last week. Everton have tried to reinvent their voracious six yard box hunter – and he appears to be suffering during the metamorphosis.
After asking him to play in a variety of roles this season, David Moyes said: “I see Tim playing higher up the pitch now than I do further back.” Ironically it was from a deeper position that Cahill played the beautifully weighted pass which split the Wolves defence and carved out the Blues point saver. In front of goal, however, the striker-come-midfielder -come-occasional wide-boy’s usually reliable range finder went awry for the second successive home match. “We just can’t keep missing those,” said Moyes. Cahill wasn’t the only culprit, although the left footed opening he skied over the crossbar was clearly the best opportunity Everton squandered. Louis Saha, Yakubu and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov all missed openings of varying quality. And just like their last home match, a team Everton expected to take all three points from escaped with a draw. Everton aren’t quite clicking at present.And while a seven-match unbeaten run is not to be sniffed at, a glut of missed chances in front of goal is placing demands for absolute perfection on their back-four – demands which those defenders currently don’t look capable of living up to. On Saturday, Joseph Yobo had one of those seasonal Yobo moments – bumping shoulders with Sylvain Ebanks-Blake when there was an aerial ball to be challenged for, and gifting Kevin Doyle the kind of chance he must have thought only existed in the Championship. It’s been a tough week for the Blues’ skipper. Part of the Nigeria team booed by their own supporters last weekend – even before they went out and beat Mozambique – he also suffered a recent family bereavement, then endured a clash of heads after just 10 minutes on Saturday. But he will hardly have time to breath out, let alone grieve during a fortnight which is set to place intolerable demands on the Everton squad. After the eagerly awaited trip to Lisbon on Thursday, the Blues jet back for an always bruising encounter at the Reebok Stadium on Sunday, followed by an insensitively scheduled Carling Cup tie just 48 hours later at White Hart Lane. It’s an intensive fixture list – and there are already signs that one or two individuals are getting stretched.
The previously immaculate Jack Rodwell endured a rare afternoon when his passing was off, while Louis Saha was another whose usually clinical finishing wasn’t quite on the button. There are a handful of bodies to come in, but not many.
The pre-match furore over Marouane Fellaini’s availability or otherwise was rendered largely meaningless when David Moyes elected to leave him on the substitutes’ bench, while Steven Pienaar isn’t far away from a first team return and Brazilian Jo came on to play a decisive role in creating Everton’s equaliser.
But while European ineligibility will rule out Johnny Heitinga and Lucas Neill in midweek, there was brighter news on Yakubu. David Moyes said on the eve of the match that “it might take one week, it might take four months before Yak is back to the way he was before his injury.” On Saturday’s evidence the former prediction looks most accurate. The Nigerian came on at half-time and instantly added impetus and drive to Everton’s laboured attacking efforts. He did drive one clear opening wide of the target with his left foot. But otherwise he looked a lot closer to the man who is Everton’s most regular goals provider than we may have dared hope.
Another goals provider, Tim Cahill, is also probably only a goal or two from a return to the form which has his international coach eulogising over his talents.
A consistent run in the same position may help. But given Everton’s looming schedule, that isn’t likely to happen just yet.
EVERTON (4-4-1-1): Howard, Hibbert (Yakubu 45), Distin, Yobo, Baines, Osman (Fellaini 77), Heitinga, Rodwell, Bilyaletdinov, Cahill, Saha (Jo 83). Unused subs: Nash, Neill, Gosling, Coleman.
WOLVES (4-): Hennessey, Berra, Craddock, Zubar, Elokobi, Henry, Halford (Castillo 66), Kightly (Jarvis 58), Edwards, Ebanks-Blake (Maierhofer 79), Doyle. Unused subs: Stearman, Keogh, Milijas, Hahnemann.
REFEREE: Stuart Attwell.
Bookings: Howard; Edwards, Kightly, Maierhofer.
SENDING-OFF: Maierhofer (92) second yellow card.

Everton FC goalkeeper Tim Howard admits he saw red against Wolverhampton Wanderers
Oct 19, 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
TIM HOWARD admits he saw red against Wolves on Saturday.
But the Everton goalkeeper never for a second thought that his last minute moment of rash retaliation would lead to a first red card in this country.
The American raised his hands to Wolves striker Stefan Maierhofer in time added on at Goodison Park and was relieved when referee Stuart Attwell decided a yellow card was sufficient punishment. “I know better than that but I was frustrated that he did what he did,” said Howard. “It’s not something I usually do. “But I was annoyed more than anything.” But the USA international, who has made 84 consecutive appearances for Everton, admitted he never expected to be handed an enforced break, even when the match official came towards him with a red card. “I wasn’t concerned when the referee came towards me because I think the boy made a meal of it really,” he added.
“I saw he had a red card in his hand, but I didn’t think it was for me.”
Wolves boss Mick McCarthy, however, believed that the Everton goalkeeper got lucky.“Their keeper Tim Howard is very fortunate not to be walking off the pitch too,” he said, after Wolves sub Maierhofer was dismissed in the same incident after being shown his second yellow in just 12 eventful minutes on the Goodison turf.
“My understanding is that when you raise your hands above neck high and use your hands to push someone either in the face or close to it, then that is a sending-off,” added McCarthy. “The red card was harsh, bordering on downright disgraceful to be honest. I felt the first tackle he put in (on Cahill) was a booking for the manner he went into the tackle. “But for the second yellow card he did what I would expect any centre-forward in the world to do and that is to run across the keeper’s path to stop him clearing quickly, that is all he has done.” Howard was an impressive Everton performer, despite returning from international duty with the USA only 24 hours earlier. “As I’m getting older I’m realising how to get myself back and ready,” he added. “It takes its toll – it’s hard, but I’ve found a way to just get myself ready between three o’clock and five o’clock and then I go home and collapse.”
On another disappointing home draw, Howard added: “We’re frustrated. I wouldn’t say there’s anything wrong, but going into these two games we were certainly looking to get six points and you would expect that from us. “We created so many opportunities and the disappointing thing is that we didn’t take so many of them.
“If you look at the Stoke game and this game, we deserved to win both. “It’s strange because the games before these two we scored a bagful of goals, fours and threes. But we’re creating chances, which is a positive. “If you’re not creating the chances you get worried.”

Everton FC’s bid to get men fit
Oct 19 2009 by Liza Williams, Liverpool
EVERTON FC has launched a project to help 18-35-year-old men get fit and healthy at Goodison Park. The Premier League Men’s Health project offers men information on health issues and training sessions. The services, which are free of charge, include a range of weekly exercises, regular health checks, expert support and a chance to meet sporting heroes. The New Football Pools have donated £89,000 to fund the three year project, run by the club’s charity arm, the Everton Foundation. The project compliments other schemes launched by the club to help families and children get active. The Everton Active Family Centre already offers a range of sports activities and advice, whilst holiday camps for kids offer football coaching sessions.
The club wants to tackle six health issues in Merseyside – cancer, mental health, obesity, sexual health, smoking and alcohol and substance abuse. Kathryn Dunn, Premier League Men’s Health Coordinator, said: “The Premier League Men’s Health project aims to tackle the significant health issues most affecting local men.
“The overriding aim of the project is to use the powerful brand of Everton Football Club as a vehicle to motivate and inspire hard-to-reach males in Liverpool, to make positive, healthy lifestyle choices. “Working closely with key regional partners in the health and exercise sectors, The Everton Foundation will help men exercise more often, understand lifestyle related health risks and to access quality intervention services.” The project is also supported by Liverpool John Moores University, which will offer research on the effectiveness of the initiative and assistance during the events. Phil Bell, from Litherland, has been benefiting from the club’s coaching expertise. The 28-year-old, who runs a city centre recruitment business, found working long hours in an office was impacting on his health and wanted to get fit.
He said: “I have been on the scheme for five weeks now and it has been great.
“You have one-on-one coaching and it is completely free. “I have been a member of a gym for three years but it is hard to find the motivation to go when you have been working all day. “In the first two years I think I went about five times.
“I do play cricket and football but wanted to do more and found about the Everton scheme. “I have been going to Goodison every Monday and they teach you to be realistic about what you can achieve, you go at your own pace. “My first major step was giving up smoking. “We do cardio work and resistance work, and then I try to carry on in the week on my own. “I have been going swimming before work once a week. “I think I will register for at least another six weeks and eventually carry on by myself.” Anyone interested in finding out more information about the initiative can either call 0151 530 5253, email kathryn.dunn@evertonfc.com or visit www.evertonfoundation.org. Everton and the ECHO are giving away five places at the club’s soccer schools for kids. This October half term the Everton Foundation will be running a soccer school between October 26 and 28, which offers quality football coaching.To help kids achieve their five hours of exercise a week, the Everton Soccer School is carefully structured to give children the opportunity to learn new techniques, enjoy the game, meet new friends and stay active during the school holidays.
A typical day at a camp includes a proper footballer's style warm-up, skill sessions, penalty competitions, and small-sided games. The camp runs from 10am until 3pm and is open to boys and girls aged five to 14 years of age and caters for all abilities.
Five places at the soccer school being held at Ridgeway High School in Prenton are being given away. Three days of activity normally costs £40.
To be in with a chance of winning, answer this question: Name one of the clubs in Everton’s Europa League Group? Send your answer along with your name, address, telephone number and email address to: suzie.myers@evertonfc.com
To book your child into the school, call the Everton Foundation on 0151 530 5253.

Everton FC fans spur Diniyar Bilyaletdinov on to more goals
Oct 19 2009 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON’S Russian winger Diniyar Bilyaletdinov admitted he wasn’t in the mood to celebrate on Saturday night – despite scoring his first Goodison goal with an 88th minute point saver. Bilyaletdinov struck with Everton trailing to Kevin Doyle’s 76th minute strike, but he said the memory of an earlier chance which had gone begging was playing more on his mind. “I am really disappointed because I should have scored when it was 0-0,” he said. “If I had scored that then maybe we would have won 2-0. It’s why I am not so happy that I did score.” Bilyaletdinov added that he hoped there was much more to come. “I hope so,” he said. “It’s just the beginning and I want to score more goals and create more moments because it’s my job on the pitch.
“I like the emotions in that stadium. People are crying, people are smiling, it’s very interesting for me and it is very energising for when you play there. “Today, without their backing and screaming, maybe we wouldn’t have scored. “I thank the fans for that noise.” Manager David Moyes was pleased with his Russian star’s contribution.
“A lot of our best attacking came through Bilyaletdinov, he played well and deserved his goal,” he said. “But I’m still finding where his best position is going to be. I’ve seen him play behind the striker, I’ve seen him play off the right and off the left. I think the thing is to try and get him into the pace of the game.” Bilyaletdinov, a summer arrival from Lokomotiv Moscow, played down both flanks on Saturday and was frequently seen venturing in-field as well. “I thought many of the chances we made were coming through him,” added the Blues boss. “I think he put Yak through down the side for a good chance, I thought we had moments where any chance we had, he was creating them.” Moyes is fully aware that adapting to a new country, a new club and a new league isn’t an overnight process. “It’s not easy, it takes time sometimes,” he added. “Because we’ve got a few people out injured, and others get pushed in, maybe we are expecting too much of them. “In the past, we’ve been able to bring players in at different times.” On the missed chances which cost Everton two more home points, Moyes said: “I am concerned, because I think that in the last two games, we’ve created enough chances to win both games quite comfortably and you just can’t keep missing those. “I will have to look and see what I can do. I think Stoke had chances last time out, Wolves certainly had chances today. “For us, Tim (Cahill) had a great opportunity early on, then we have a header (from Louis Saha), then we get through on goal (with Bilyaletdinov). “But I think a few weeks ago, we were scoring against Athens, against Hull and against Blackburn, so we had a period where we were scoring. It’s just that in this period we are not scoring. “We are not playing the way we would like, but we got a point regardless when maybe we didn’t think we were going to get one. “The goal we conceded I reckon I could have stopped. That is what is disappointing. It bounced over a defender and their man was in. Maybe I could have done something about that. “It is a lack of concentration against one ball up the pitch. I wish we could get into attacking situations as easily as that.”

Everton FC goalkeeper Tim Howard admits he saw red against Wolverhampton Wanderers
Oct 19, 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
TIM HOWARD admits he saw red against Wolves on Saturday.But the Everton goalkeeper never for a second thought that his last minute moment of rash retaliation would lead to a first red card in this country.The American raised his hands to Wolves striker Stefan Maierhofer in time added on at Goodison Park and was relieved when referee Stuart Attwell decided a yellow card was sufficient punishment.“I know better than that but I was frustrated that he did what he did,” said Howard.“It’s not something I usually do. “But I was annoyed more than anything.” But the USA international, who has made 84 consecutive appearances for Everton, admitted he never expected to be handed an enforced break, even when the match official came towards him with a red card. “I wasn’t concerned when the referee came towards me because I think the boy made a meal of it really,” he added. “I saw he had a red card in his hand, but I didn’t think it was for me.”Wolves boss Mick McCarthy, however, believed that the Everton goalkeeper got lucky. “Their keeper Tim Howard is very fortunate not to be walking off the pitch too,” he said, after Wolves sub Maierhofer was dismissed in the same incident after being shown his second yellow in just 12 eventful minutes on the Goodison turf. “My understanding is that when you raise your hands above neck high and use your hands to push someone either in the face or close to it, then that is a sending-off,” added McCarthy. “The red card was harsh, bordering on downright disgraceful to be honest. I felt the first tackle he put in (on Cahill) was a booking for the manner he went into the tackle. “But for the second yellow card he did what I would expect any centre-forward in the world to do and that is to run across the keeper’s path to stop him clearing quickly, that is all he has done.” Howard was an impressive Everton performer, despite returning from international duty with the USA only 24 hours earlier. “As I’m getting older I’m realising how to get myself back and ready,” he added. “It takes its toll – it’s hard, but I’ve found a way to just get myself ready between three o’clock and five o’clock and then I go home and collapse.”
On another disappointing home draw, Howard added: “We’re frustrated. I wouldn’t say there’s anything wrong, but going into these two games we were certainly looking to get six points and you would expect that from us. We created so many opportunities and the disappointing thing is that we didn’t take so many of them. “If you look at the Stoke game and this game, we deserved to win both. “It’s strange because the games before these two we scored a bagful of goals, fours and threes. But we’re creating chances, which is a positive. “If you’re not creating the chances you get worried.”

Everton reserves beat Bolton Wanderers after late Agard goal
Oct 20 2009, Liverpool Echo
KIERAN AGARD struck the winner as Everton reserves beat Bolton Wanderers to record their second win of the season. Agard pounced 15 minutes from time after half-time sub Cody Arnoux drove his cross low across the face of goal, leaving the striker to tap the ball into the net. But Agard wasn’t the Blues’ only hero – goalkeeper Adam Davies turned in an outstanding display between the sticks to preserve the three points as Bolton pressed for an equaliser late on. Everton’s second string are next in action against Liverpool in the mini Merseyside derby on November 3.
Everton: Davies, Coleman (Arnoux 45), Bidwell, Nsiala, Duffy, Forshaw, Peterlin, Agard, Baxter, Craig. Subs: Roberts, Akpan, McAleny, Codling.

NIGEL MARTYN: Draws for concernat Everton as points go begging
Oct 20, 2009. Liverpool Echo
YOU don’t ever take any game for granted in the modern Premier League. But there’s no doubt that Everton have just dropped four points against two teams they will have expected to have beaten. And the consequences of those home draws will only become apparent as the season progresses. We have now played a large percentage of what you would call our ‘winnable’ home games this season. And by failing to beat Stoke and Wolves we have placed extra pressure on ourselves to either pick up points away from home, or beat one of the leading teams at Goodison. The frustration of only drawing on Saturday was manifested in Tim Howard’s last minute outburst.
I don’t think for a second that it was tiredness making Tim grumpy when Stefan Maierhofer cut across him. I’m sure it was frustration at the way the game had been going. I was watching Sky Sports on Saturday and when they reported from Goodison Chris Kamara told us he fully expected Tim to be shown a red card. Fortunately it was only a yellow, which, given the run of fixtures Everton have looming, was a major relief. Despite the prospect of three games in just six days either side of this weekend, I am convinced that Tim will be demanding to play in every one. Every player should be wanting to play in every match, but in the case of outfield players there’s no doubt that you simply cannot recover 100 per cent just 48 hours after a match. The big concern is not just the impact that schedule has on the matches themselves, but the increased susceptibility to injury and illness that is created. It’s a part of the game that is often not considered. I remember coming back from England matches on many occasions and getting home at 3.30am or 4am, having been instructed to have a good lie-in by the medical staff. Which is fine – unless you have a family and children! I’d usually be up three or four hours later to take the kids to school, because you hadn’t seen them for a week, and end up feeling jaded.

NIGEL MARTYN: Why Stadium of Light will be unforgettable experience for Everton
Rest is vitally important – as Everton are about to find out!
Oct 20, 2009. Liverpool Echo
IT’S more than 20 years ago now, but I can still remember Gerry Francis telling me during my Bristol Rovers days about one of the best arenas he had ever played in.
He was referring to a trip he’d made with England in the mid 70s, and the experience had never left him. Unfortunately it was a stadium I never got to play in.
But on Thursday Everton will get the chance to play at the Stadium of Light in Lisbon – and it’s an experience I hope they savour. The Blues and their fans have already shown how much they love the whole European experience. And a trip to one of the true cathedrals of European football should be a treat. It’s a colourful arena which is steeped in history – and I hope Everton can go there on Thursday and write their own little piece. The fans will enjoy it – and I hope the players do too!
White Hot test for Moyes’ boys at Tottenham
SEVEN games in 23 days is a gruelling run of fixtures. But I can tell you straight that the Everton manager will be no less demanding just because of the increased demands on the players. I think that David Moyes will almost certainly place greater emphasis in his own mind on the Benfica and the Bolton matches. But that doesn’t for a second mean he will be accepting any easing off at White Hart Lane next Tuesday evening.
It’s a tough ask, especially for the outfield players, but if you belong to a successful football club it’s a fact of life. Spurs away is a tough fixture anyway, but coming barely 48 hours after the always gruelling trip to Bolton, and against a club which does not field weakened teams in the Carling Cup, it becomes an incredibly testing assignment. But Everton’s squad is much better equipped these days to handle that type of test. Spurs will have an extra day to prepare – having faced Stoke on the Saturday – after having enjoyed a full week to prepare for that clash.
But ask any of the Everton squad if they’d swap places – the answer will be a resounding ‘no!’

Benfica Europa League trip will herald biggest Everton exodus in 25 years
Oct 20, 2009. Liverpool Echo
EVERTON will be backed by the biggest European exodus of Evertonians for 25 years in Lisbon on Thursday. The Blues have officially sold close to five-and-a-half thousand tickets for the eagerly anticipated trip to the Stadium of Light against Benfica. But many more fans are expected to travel independently and occupy home sections of the stadium – making it the largest away following since the successful European Cup Winners’ Cup campaign of 1985. The biggest number of away fans to leave Goodison since then went to Nuremburg two years ago. Everton officially sold their total allocation of 3,500 tickets for that UEFA Cup tie – but such was the appeal of the fixture thousands more were crammed into home sections of the stadium.
A huge army also travelled to Villarreal for the Champions League qualifier of 2005, but with the Stadium of Light boasting an official capacity of 64,500, effectively any Evertonians who want to make the trip will be able to do so.
Benfica warmed up for Thursday’s match with a 6-0 thrashing of Monsanto in the third round of the Portuguese Cup – taking their goals tally for the season to a remarkable 37 in 12 games.But while their domestic record includes an 8-1 win over Setubal, a 4-0 triumph at Belenenses and a 5-0 victory over Leixoes, in the Europa League they lost 1-0 at AEK Athens before an unconvincing 2-0 home defeat of BATE Borisov. The Portuguese named a much changed team for the Cup tie, but Blues boss David Moyes has admitted he won’t be able to make as many changes as he would like for the gruelling run of games over the next week. The Blues face Benfica, Bolton and Tottenham in the space of six days, and Moyes admits that while youngsters like Jack Rodwell need a rest, he will need to play through his tiredness. “If I had my way and we had enough bodies I’d probably want to give him a breather. He knows that,” said Moyes. “But it’s noticeable that we’re just a little bit short of people who we think could play in the centre. “You do expect a dip in form, but he’s done really, really well.” Another player who is demanding to play in all three games is goalkeeper Tim Howard. The USA international has made 84 unbroken appearances for Everton and said: “I think it’s important to play every game. When you look at goalkeepers like David James and Brad Friedel, Petr Cech and all the big keepers – these are the guys who play consistently well and it’s what I want to do. I do not want a break. “We’ve got a big week of games coming up, Benfica, Bolton and then Tottenham, but we’re capable.”

Steven Pienaar out of trip to Portugal - Everton FC latest
Oct 21, 2009. Liverpool Echo
EVERTON’S resources will be stretched to the limit in Portugal tomorrow night – after Steven Pienaar revealed his injured knee would not recover in time to make the trip to the Stadium of Light. With long-term absentees Mikel Arteta, Phil Jagielka, Phil Neville and Victor Anichebe not expected to return for another month - and James Vaughan also ruled out, Blues boss David Moyes had hoped to include his South African schemer after he had missed the last three matches with a knee injury.
But Pienaar revealed last night that the game could come too soon for him.
“I didn’t expect it to be this sore,” he said. “It just takes time though as it needs to heal on it’s own. A few of the fibres split in my ligament so I have to rest and do my exercises. “The Benfica match could be one game too soon but I am taking it day-by-day. At the moment I am struggling with running so I may have to wait until it feels stronger.” In Arteta’s absence Everton have relied heavily on Pienaar’s creativity, although Russian midfielder Diniyar Bilyaletdinov has stepped in with a number of assists since arriving from Lokotimov Moscow. Pienaar has been frustrated at missing out following a bizarre headbutt to the knee at Portsmouth. But with an intensive series of fixtures looming manager Moyes will not take any chances with the South African. “I spent the summer at the Confederations Cup and when I returned to Everton I wanted to work hard, stay fit and not pick up any injuries,” added Pienaar.
“Unfortunately though sometimes injuries happen in football and now I have to climb the ladder again to regain my fitness. I know I will then have to fight for my place back in the team.”

Everton FC fans letters: Formation not the right one to choose at home
Oct 21, 2009. Liverpool Echo
SO we go 4-5-1 at home against Wolves (Stoke the other week).
Saha did nothing on his own up front – not his fault at all. When we went 4-4-2 we created quite a few chances. No disrespect to teams like Wolves and Stoke but we should be going at them from the off, all guns blazing and putting them to the sword with our experience in the Premier League. We've got the players to do it, so why not?
Is it because David Moyes is too defensive-minded and sets his teams out not to get beaten, instead of going out for the win? I can just about understand going 4-5-1 away from home, but not at Goodison against the teams mentioned. bluewings2
SATURDAY’S result against Wolves was extremely disappointing on the back of the two points dropped against Stoke. Those matches should have yielded us maximum points and come the end of the season we could well rue losing those four points if that’s the difference between a qualification place for Europe or not.
Leighton Baines is spot-on. Like he said in an interview this week, we just cannot afford to give away any more points at home if we have any aspirations of finishing in the top five. Let’s try and make it Fortress Goodison again. CaptainBlue_Blood

Everton FC's Steven Pienaar out of Benfica Europa League game
Oct 21, 2009. Liverpool Echo
EVERTON’S resources will be stretched to the limit in Portugal tomorrow night – after Steven Pienaar revealed his injured knee would not recover in time to make the trip to the Stadium of Light. With long-term absentees Mikel Arteta, Phil Jagielka, Phil Neville and Victor Anichebe not expected to return for another month - and James Vaughan also ruled out, Blues boss David Moyes had hoped to include his South African schemer after he had missed the last three matches with a knee injury.
But Pienaar revealed last night that the game could come too soon for him.
“I didn’t expect it to be this sore,” he said. “It just takes time though as it needs to heal on it’s own. A few of the fibres split in my ligament so I have to rest and do my exercises. “The Benfica match could be one game too soon but I am taking it day-by-day. At the moment I am struggling with running so I may have to wait until it feels stronger.” In Arteta’s absence Everton have relied heavily on Pienaar’s creativity, although Russian midfielder Diniyar Bilyaletdinov has stepped in with a number of assists since arriving from Lokotimov Moscow. Pienaar has been frustrated at missing out following a bizarre headbutt to the knee at Portsmouth. But with an intensive series of fixtures looming manager Moyes will not take any chances with the South African. “I spent the summer at the Confederations Cup and when I returned to Everton I wanted to work hard, stay fit and not pick up any injuries,” added Pienaar.
“Unfortunately though sometimes injuries happen in football and now I have to climb the ladder again to regain my fitness. I know I will then have to fight for my place back in the team.”

Everton injury worries ahead of Europa League clash at Benfica
oct 21, 2009 James Pearces
JOSEPH YOBO is out of Everton’s Europa League clash away to Benfica tomorrow night and Leon Osman is a major doubt. Yobo didn’t travel with the Blues squad to Lisbon today due to a head injury he suffered in last Saturday’s draw with Wolves, while Osman is unlikely to feature as he has chipped a bone in his foot. Steven Pienaar misses the clash at Estadio da Luz as he continues his recovery from knee ligament damage. Club captain Phil Neville and defender Phil Jagielka, who are both sidelined by injury, have made the trip to Portugal to offer their support to the side.
Everton squad: Howard, Hibbert, Distin, Gosling, Baines, Coleman, Osman, Rodwell, Bilyaletdinov, Cahill, Jo, Saha, Yakubu, Fellaini, Nash, Wallace, Duffy, Akpan.

Benfica boss Jorge Jesus prays for a goal feast against Everton
Oct 21, 2009. Liverpool Echo
BENFICA boss Jorge Jesus is preparing for a flurry of goals at the Estadio da Luz when his team face Everton in the Europa League. Everton have won both of their Group I matches to emerge as the early leaders, however Benfica can join them on six points by making the best of home advantage this evening. Jesus knows Everton are proving prolific scorers in Europe, with a 4-0 win over AEK Athens followed by a 2-1 victory against BATE Borisov. Jesus said: “Everton will certainly play to win, so it will be a game with many goals. I hope they are mostly in favour of Benfica.”
Striker Javier Saviola is also optimistic about the prospects for the Portuguese giants.
“Benfica can do big things in Europe,” he said. “Everton are a difficult and tough team. We know that if we are not concentrated they will create problems for us.
“We are confident and know the importance of this match.”

Everton FC chief executive Robert Elstone: We can finance new Kirkby stadium
Oct 22, 2009. Richard Down.
EVERTON FC Chief Executive Robert Elstone maintained the club can foot the bill for a new stadium in Kirkby despite the recession. Robert Elstone’s words came as rumours circulate that the Secretary of State will announce his final decision at any moment. Mr Elstone said he remained confident the club would move in by 2012 if the Government ruled in their favour. A credit crunch has developed into a recession in the months since the Destination Kirkby public inquiry concluded.
At the nine-week public inquiry into Everton and Tesco’s plans to site a 50,000 seater stadium and a mega retail park on the edge of Kirkby, Mr Elstone said he was confident the club could meet its financial obligations. He said: "It is certainly the case that the funding model we had 12 months ago – which was the sale of Goodison Park, the sale of naming rights, the sale of Bellefield, support from other sponsors, funding from caterers and other suppliers, and inevitably an element of borrowing – all of that mix is harder now than when the plans were first put together. "We’re under no illusions that funding will be much harder in the present climate. But, we remain confident it can be delivered using the sources of funds we anticipated. "If we get a positive decision our first step will be to meet with our partners to explore all funding options. "At the same time we will move forward on naming rights. a powerful marketing tool proven by the Emirates stadium. "It will all be hard. But if we get naming rights in place then 2012 is very much deliverable." Opponents of the scheme continue to complain that Everton has never revealed its finances to public scrutiny and that Mr Elstone’s funding plans are vague. But Everton will not disclose its finances for commercial reasons. In an online interview with Everton blog site Bluekipper.com, he said: "It’s a matter of bargaining (with any prospective new owners) and no bargainer worth his salt gives away his position in advance. It just isn’t the way business is done."

Leighton Baines thinks Everton FC young stars are ready for Benfica test
Oct 22, 2009. Liverpool Echo
ANOTHER school of Everton young guns could be set to take a significant step forward in their footballing education tonight. But Leighton Baines, hardly an old hand himself at the age of 24, has a defiant message if the Blues have to turn to some of their less seasoned European travellers in the Stadium of Light this evening: "The kids are alright." With Everton’s casualty list reaching crisis proportions – 10 senior players have been ruled out of the Europea League visit to Benfica – manager David Moyes has only 12 senior stars left to choose from. And that means youngsters like Seamus Coleman, Shane Duffy, Kieran Agard, James Wallace and Jose Baxter could get the opportunity for an unexpected run-out in one of the cathedrals of European football. "The younger lads were introduced last season at times when we were down to the bare bones and were brought into the set up perhaps a little earlier than they otherwise would have been, but that’s worked out great for them and they did fantastic for us," said Baines. "It helped them mature quickly and they became important players and important members of our squad. "We faced similar problems last year when we had to play a lot of big games without some key players. We got a lot of success last year so it’s not something we can’t handle. "It speaks volumes for the character of the players here. We do muck in and help each other do each other’s jobs.
You don’t want to take away from the quality that we have here as well, because we have a lot of good players." One of those players, Jack Rodwell, could find himself facing a new role this evening. With Sylvain Distin the only recognised available centre-half, David Moyes could ask Tony Hibbert to reprise the emergency role he did so well in Belarus recently, or ask young midfielder Rodwell to drop back.
"Tony could do it again, while Jack Rodwell could also play there so I have one or two alternatives I can look into," added Moyes. Jack Rodwell became Everton’s youngest European debut in Alkmaar two years ago at the tender age of 16,and Baines added: "Jack doesn’t surprise us – on or off the pitch. "He’s a level headed lad with a lot of ability and I’m sure playing in the European competitions is going to stand him in great stead for future games because he’s a top player. "He deserves to play at this level."The players who are available to play trained at an empty Stadium of Light last night, and are relishing the opportunity of stepping out a much fuller arena this evening – with a huge travelling army of Evertonians expected in Lisbon.
"It’s a special stadium and a it’s a very big football club," added Baines. "Of all the games we’ve played in Europe so far, certainly this season, this is definitely the biggest game and it’s a big occasion. "To step out there in front of our travelling fans, which we’ll have plenty of, will be a big incentive for us and hopefully we can produce. "Obviously it was important for us to get off to a strong start. We’ve done that. We’ve got six points on the board so far and we’ve given ourselves a good opportunity to build on that and progress. "It’s funny because we’re unbeaten in seven, but sometimes we are a little disappointed – especially with the last couple of homes games and not being able to take maximum points from them.
"But there’s confidence to be drawn from the fact that we’re hard to beat."
Manager Moyes will hoping that proves the case tonight. Benfica’s goals return in their domestic league this season has been remarkable. They can count an 8-1 triumph, two 6-0 successes and a 4-0 away win in their League and Cup fixtures so far. But perhaps a glance at their Europea League returns so far place those results into a less daunting perspective. Benfica lost at an AEK Athens side well beaten by Everton, then scored a less than convincing 2-0 victory over BATE Borisov at the Stadium of Light. Names like Argentinian schemer Pablo Aimar, Portuguese striker Nuno Gomes and Brazilian defender Lusiaio command respect, but tonight could be an evening when Everton’s less familiar names grab their opportunity in the spotlight.

Colin Harvey tells Everton FC youngsters to enjoy first taste of one of Europe’s biggest stages in Benfica
Oct 22, 2009. Liverpool Echo
COLIN HARVEY has a word of advice for any Everton young guns who may be pitched into a daunting debut at one of the cathedrals of European football tonight.
"Forget the arena. Just enjoy the game." With Everton’s squad decimated by injuries and unavailability – Joseph Yobo and Leon Osman’s withdrawal means Everton will be without 10 senior players tonight – manager David Moyes is mulling over handing youngsters like Seamus Coleman a senior debut. "Yes. I think that there’s a chance that maybe a young boy will get a game tonight," said Moyes. "We don’t have Johnny Heitinga or Lucas Neill who could have played a variety of roles for us, so we might have to use one of the younger players." Everton legend Harvey famously made his senior debut in the San Siro Stadium in 1963 against European champions Inter Milan. He recalled: "The European Cup was the ultimate competition then and I only thought I was there to carry the skips. "But it was great management by Harry Catterick. He never gave me an inkling until the team meeting on the day of the match when he casually said ‘and Colin will come in at number eight.’ "I thought ‘Oh my God!’ went back to the hotel and lay there thinking about it. I did all right. "I’d never been to the San Siro and I’ve never been since, but I definitely intend to go one more time."Harvey, who is chief scout for Bolton, added: "I’ve been to the Stadium of Light one before, too, and it’s a magnificent arena. "But Benfica are not the force they once were. I would be disappointed if Everton didn’t get a result there. Portuguese football is not that strong these days." But Everton have huge problems to contend with. Joseph Yobo took a knock during Saturday’s draw with Wolves while Leon Osman had suffered a chipped bone in his foot and could be out for two to four weeks.
But manager Moyes declared: "We are really looking forward to the game. It’s a fantastic stadium and we know we are playing a side with good history in Europe and a well known football club." Moyes will be forced to choose a new skipper for the fourth time this season. With Phil Neville, Joseph Yobo and Leon Osman all ruled out, the curse of the armband could now pass to one of the two Tims, Cahill or Howard. "I have an idea of which way I’m going to go but I’ll make a decision tomorrow," said Moyes last night. "Joseph Yobo got a knock on Saturday and doesn’t feel that well. Leon Osman could have a chipped bone in his foot, there may be an outside chance he could play with painkillers, but if he can’t it could be two to four weeks to get right. We have no options. We’re all optioned out."

Benfica 5, Everton FC 0: Depleted Blues shot down in Lisbon
Oct 23 2009 By Ian Doyle
THE problem with continuously jamming square pegs into round holes is that you can’t help but eventually leave gaps. So it proved in Lisbon last night as Everton’s horrendous injury list finally caught up with them in devastating fashion.
Backed by the biggest European exodus of supporters in more than 25 years – more than 6,000 were present in the cavernous Estadio da Luz – the Goodison outfit crashed to their heaviest ever defeat in UEFA competition. It was humiliating. It was hurtful. But, sadly, it was not a surprise. Despite constructing a seven-match unbeaten run, David Moyes’s side had been unconvincing in recent home draws against Stoke City and Wolverhampton Wanderers. Benfica, in contrast, are one of the most free-scoring teams in Europe, netting a remarkable 36 times in nine domestic games.
Pit the in-form Portuguese against an Everton defence containing three players being asked to perform out of position, one of which was a debutant, and the end result was depressingly inevitable. Small wonder that Moyes had stated beforehand he would settle for a draw. Yet there was never any chance of that from the moment Javier Saviola volleyed Benfica into a 14th-minute lead. But for a string of fine saves by Tim Howard – the goalkeeper barely comprehending the second-half capitulation – the evening could have been a lot, lot worse. Already without 10 senior professionals through injury and ineligibility, Everton’s absentee list was lengthened further before kick-off when a calf problem forced out Leighton Baines. It meant a first appearance at left-back for 21-year-old Seamus Coleman, the Republic of Ireland under-21 international signed from Sligo Rovers in the summer. Coleman, though, is a right-back, a position filled here by midfielder Dan Gosling while Tony Hibbert reprised the central defensive role in which he so impressed in Belarus earlier this month.
Given the resources at his disposal, Moyes had no option but to make do and mend.
And Benfica took ruthless advantage, seeking to isolate Gosling and give Angel Di Maria the platform to deliver a magnificent performance, the Argentine winger influential in four of his side’s goals. As Moyes later admitted, Everton did not help themselves with some poor individual mistakes. But credit must go to Benfica for a vibrant attacking approach that reaped rich dividends. With a trip to Bolton Wanderers to come on Sunday followed by Tuesday’s Carling Cup trip to Tottenham Hotspur, there is simply no time for Everton to mope. But Moyes has a major task in dragging his demoralised troops off the floor, their famed character and resilience – qualities conspicuous by their absence last night – sure to be fully tested in the coming week. Having won their opening two group games against AEK Athens and BATE Borisov, Everton remain in a strong position to qualify for the knockout stages.
They will have an opportunity to gain revenge in a fortnight when Benfica visit Goodison, although Moyes expects few of last night’s absentees to have returned by then. Everton’s misery began early in Lisbon, with the home side taking just 14 minutes to capitalise on the uncertainty in the visiting defence. Luisao had already sent a free header wide from Saviola’s corner when a bout of concerted home pressure ended with Di Maria crossing deep from the left to the far post where Saviola had lost the attentions of Coleman to strike a volley that bounced in beyond Tim Howard into the opposite corner. For Coleman, this was a harsh introduction to the rarefied heights of European football. Moyes had warned his players to be wary of the Latin American threat of Benfica, and Di Maria emerged as the most prominent danger throughout the opening period. On 25 minutes, Di Maria skipped away from Tim Cahill – the Australian the latest to be handed the captain’s armband – and centred into the six-yard box where, in attempting to avert the danger, Distin almost sliced the ball into his own net. Luisao also had a shot blocked before Di Maria again slalomed down the left flank and crossed for Ramires to head across the face of goal. Despite living dangerously at the back, Everton enjoyed decent possession and started to wrest a degree of control in midfield. But it took Moyes’s men until the 33rd minute to fashion a decent opportunity, Yakubu teeing up Diniyar Bilyaletdinov for a spectacular 20-yard volley that flew narrowly off target. The same player worked space for another effort, and the strong end to the half gave Everton encouragement going into the second period. That all ended when Benfica struck three times inside five minutes to rip the heart out of the Goodison outfit’s challenge. The first, on 47 minutes, was a self-inflicted wound. A dozing Marouane Fellaini was dispossessed by Pablo Aimar, the ball was fed to Saviola and the Argentine sprinted into the area and crossed low for Oscar Cardozo to tap home. Barely 60 seconds later, Di Maria waltzed down the left to the by-line and lifted a cross for Cardozo to head in from barely two yards for his 12th goal in 11 games. Too easy. And it got worse on 52 minutes when an Aimar corner was glanced into the top corner by Luisao despite the best efforts of Gosling to clear off the line. Di Maria’s outstanding display was missing only a goal, and he came close with a curling effort that smashed against the crossbar and then stung the pals of Howard with a vicious drive. The Everton goalkeeper’s reflexes later denied Cardozo a hat-trick, while the woodwork prevented substitute Louis Saha notching a consolation late on. But Di Maria inevitably had the final word six minutes from time, latching on to a long ball behind Hibbert and crossing for Saviola to score.

Benfica 5, Everton 0
Oct 23, 2009. Liverpool Echo
DAVID Moyes saw his depleted Everton side spectacularly dismantled in the space of five second-half minutes at the Estadio da Luz tonight. Any hopes of a recovery in this Europa League match - after Javier Saviola had opened the scoring - vanished as Oscar Cardozo scored twice and Luisao added to the gains to put Benfica on the road to an emphatic victory. Saviola added a fifth goal - and despite the absence of 11 players, Everton boss Moyes must have been left bewildered at the way the Toffees caved in. In the process, Everton suffered their first defeat in Group I and their first in eight games in all competitions. Moyes was forced to field two youngsters at full-back, with Seamus Coleman making his debut on the left and Dan Gosling on the right. Everton were always chasing the game, and Luisao should have put Benfica ahead in the fifth minute when he headed wide following a corner from Pablo Aimar.
The home side made the breakthrough in the 14th minute with a superb half-volley from Saviola after a crossfield pass from Angel Di Maria split the defence.
Benfica were winning the majority of possession, but Di Maria saw his effort in front of goal turned away by an alert Sylvain Distin. Everton pushed up field in the 31st minute, but Marouane Fellaini headed wide following a corner from Diniyar Bilyaletdinov. Back came Benfica, and Nascimento Ramires headed across the face of the goal - with Di Maria supplying the delivery. Everton, though, were gradually beginning to threaten - and Bilyaletdinov thumped a shot wide in the 34th minute.
Then the Russian cut inside but failed to test goalkeeper Julio Cesar, sending his effort over the bar.Benfica launched a swift counter-attack in the 39th minute, only for Ramires to find the side-netting from an acute angle. Three minutes later, Bilyaletdinov found himself clear on the right. He was showing good initiative, but his decision-making was poor as he tried his luck on goal when there were other options - and the ball ran out of play . Everton made a shocking start to the second half and suddenly found themselves 3-0 down. Cardozo scored both at the back post, the first with a close-range finish in the 46th minute, the second a header 60 seconds later. Saviola and Di Maria set up the goals, and it was becoming a defensive nightmare for Everton without the likes of several experienced players.
Then Luisao increased their misery in the 52nd minute - extending Benfica’s lead to 4-0 after Coleman made a desperate but vain attempt to keep the ball out.
Three minutes later, Di Maria smashed a shot against the bar as Everton struggled to regroup. Then Di Maria tested goalkeeper Tim Howard from 20 yards.
Cardozo was finding acres of space down the right but sent a tame shot into Howard’s arms. However, the Argentinian brought out a fine save from the goalkeeper in the 66th minute when he somehow managed to block his effort. Benfica made it 5-0 in the 84th minute when Saviola got his second of the match after a cross from Di Maria.
Everton were chasing shadows, and the final whistle must have come as a huge relief to Moyes and his players - not to mention the 6,000 travelling fans.

Everton FC latest: David Moyes - We did our best
Oct 23, 2009. Liverpool Echo
EVERTON slumped to a record defeat in Europe but manager David Moyes refused to condemn his depleted side after a 5-0 thrashing by Benfica at the Estadio da Luz.
The free-scoring Portuguese team moved out of sight in this Europa League match with three goals in the space of six second half minutes. It was their heaviest defeat at this level since the thumping by Dinamo Bucharest in the UEFA Cup. Oscar Cardozo scored two of the goals with Luisao also on target in this spell against an Everton side missing 11 players. With Javier Saviola starting and finishing the scoring it was a gruelling test for full-backs Dan Gosling and Seamus Coleman on his debut.
It was the first time Everton had tasted defeat in Group I and they conceded top spot to Benfica as a result. Moyes, however, was keen to put a spin on the situation and said: “That was the best team we had tonight. I have got to say they did the best they could and as good as they could.“I have only praise for them. I have said to the players this is a different competition than the league, we’ve had two wins and one defeat. It is not too bad. “Obviously tonight’s defeat was not what we wanted but I would like to play Benfica with my best side. “They have a good attitude and showed their attacking qualities in the second half and capitalised on several mistakes we made in that spell and took their opportunities very well. “It shows them (the youngsters) the level they have to play at to get to the top.” Moyes singled out Benfica’s Argentinian midfielder Angel Di Maria for praise. He said: “I thought he was like an attacking full-back, more of a winger. He did so many good things. He would have given a proper full back tonight a real difficult game.” To add to Moyes’ injury woes, Russian winger Diniyar Bilyaletdinov ended the match with a strapping to his thigh and is doubtful for the Barclays Premier League match at Bolton on Sunday.
Moyes added: “We will need to assess him when we get back as well. I am not sure either yet who might be fit for the weekend.”

Everton FC to kick start boys’ interest in university
Oct 23, 2009. Liverpool Echo
EVERTON hopes to kick start boys’ interest in going to university.
Goodison Park is the venue for a English@Everton event on November 12 and 19 which will focus on literacy for boys. Around 100 pupils are set to take part in the workshops which will include writing football match reports and poetry in a bid to boost their GCSE results and encourage the participants to consider higher education

Howard Kendall: Carling Cup schedule is madness for Everton FC
Oct 23, 2009. Liverpool Echo
THE Carling Cup is not a popular competition and it’s no wonder that its organisers are not popular with David Moyes. It’s not very often Everton’s manager launches attacks as scathing as the one he issued this week but I thought his comments were spot on; what his side are being asked to do is absolutely absurd. Though players have never been fitter or better looked after than they are right now, it is asking the impossible of them to play on Thursday night, then Sunday afternoon and finish with Tuesday evening. Even a fully-fit squad would struggle to cope with such demands and its inevitable that performances will suffer; I know that from my own experiences in Spain when Atletico Bilbao faced a similar schedule. The strongest player in my team was a defender we nicknamed ‘Rocky’ and he would do anything for you but the only time he told me something was not on was when I asked for a cup game to be played on a Tuesday night after a league game on a Sunday. It was a foreign mentality but if it was prevalent more than 20 years ago, I dare say its still there now and there will certainly be players in Everton’s squad who are flummoxed by what is about to be asked of them. Of course it would be nice to have a run in the Carling Cup but it might not be possible now as David has always said – and rightly so – that the Premier League will always be the first priority and there’s no doubt he will have been thinking about Bolton last night. Gary Megson might have wanted to win the crowd over at The Reebok Stadium by playing with style but he has to revert to Sam Allardyce’s difficult to beat ways to keep them in the division.
Are they assured of their place now? No. They will always have a fight to keep out of the relegation zone but they do have a keeper of outstanding quality in Jussi Jaaskelainen and he’s been instrumental in their battle against the drop.
So even though Everton’s players are likely to be jaded at the Reebok, I’d expect them to still have enough to get a result – whether we will be able to say the same about Spurs is another matter entirely.

Liverpool Unites: David Moyes praise for generosity of Everton FC fans
Oct 23, 2009. By Laura Sharpe, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON manager David Moyes has praised the enthusiastic uptake of Everton Football Club's limited edition purple shirt. Since the ECHO officially unveiled the shirt, launched as part of the club's partnership with Liverpool Unites, pre-orders have been taken in record numbers. Everton, with the support of official retail partner Kitbag Limited, hope to raise in excess of £100,000 for Liverpool Unites, the club’s chosen charity for the 2009/10 campaign. Liverpool Unites was set up in the aftermath of the Rhys Jones tragedy in August 2007 with the aim of improving the lives of young people on Merseyside by inspiring them to break the cycle of crime and poverty. Moyes recently invited Steve and Melanie Jones, parents of Rhys, to Finch Farm to help launch the new shirt and is pleased at the positive reaction it has provoked. He said: "I am not surprised that the Everton supporters have really got behind the release of this shirt. I’m informed that a lot of money has been raised already and that’s all credit to our fans who are buying it. "It was good to see Steve and Melanie again when we had the photographs done – I have nothing but admiration for the strength they show whenever they do this type of thing. "The special pink shirt we’ve had in recent years was a big success and I am delighted that the same thing is happening again with the purple one." After reaching its initial goal of raising £100,000 for the Rhys Jones Memorial Fund, Liverpool Unites continues to raise money for this and other local charities and community groups across Merseyside.
During the charity's season-long partnership with Everton FC, Liverpool Unites has pledged to donate a percentage of all funds raised to the Rhys Jones Memorial Fund, which will be used to build a centre in Croxteth Park.

Benfica 5, Everton FC 0: Euro humbling is one to forget
Oct 23, 2009. By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON’S Europa League adventure is stretching their squad resources to breaking point. So is it worth it? The answer was forcefully delivered on the curving Coca-Cola Stand of the Stadium of Light last night, and in every other nook and cranny of this spectacular footballing stage. Everton and Evertonians love their European football.
Six thousand of them crammed into this famous football arena for the most eagerly awaited of their group games, but they were the only ones who performed.
It goes without saying they will have found nothing to enjoy from last night’s hammering. The only consolation is that the Europa League format means they will have other European opportunities to savour. Everton have had these European meltdowns before. But unlike the Dynamo Bucharest and Fiorentina hammerings, the group format of the Europa Lague means this result, though, humbling is not fatal.
But the major concern is the implications it will have on Everton’s looming fixture list. There’s no doubt Everton lost this on the treatment table. But there was no excuse for some of the wretched defending Everton produced. After their much publicised double figure casualty list, Everton endured one more blow on the eve of kick-off.
Leighton Baines’ injury made it a full first XI of senior stars either injured or unavailable – and handed a debut to young Irish defender Seamus Coleman.
The 21-year-old has only appeared on a senior substitutes’ bench once this season – and that only five days ago – yet here was stepping out at one of the most imposing arenas in world football. The parallels with club legend Colin Harvey were obvious.
The White Pele made his debut in the San Siro Stadium 46 years ago against Helenio Herrera’s Internazionale, and according to Harvey: ‘did alright.’ Seamus Coleman did alright too, but his lack of experience was glaring. Benfica’s 13th minute goal came at a far post guarded by him and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov. After the finger-pointing and the inquest had been concluded, Everton set about their task with vigour and only a lack of quality in the final third let them down. Yakubu, understandably, still looked a little rusty on occasions, while Jo produced on of his frustrating awayday performances when he threatened much, but delivered little. It was the Russian, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, who provided the brightest moments. He went into the encounter with the proud record as the leading provider for any team in the Europa League group stages, and he almost scored himself with two fierce long range drives which each whistled over. But that was in the first half, when Everton were moderately in touch.
In a horrifying seven second half minutes they sustained three self-inflicted blows and turned a night those fans were relishing, into one to forget. We’re still not sure in which position Marouane Fellaini is most effective, but last night’s display suggests holding midfield will never be one. He switched off fatally just 90 seconds after the break – and that proved enough for the excellent Di Maria to tee up a tap in for Cardozo. Damage done, he then ran around recklessly trying to undo the error, and Cardozo struck again. Luisao, shamefully unmarked most of the evening, helped himself to a downwards header – then Saviola stretched ahead of perhaps the only Everton player to emerge from this car-crash of a match with any credit, Sylvan Distin, to seal Everton’s heaviest defeat in European football. A Louis Saha shot on the turn which struck the post apart, Everton’s suffering supporters had nothing to cheer once Benfica’s colourful pre-match ritual had ended. The English football authorities have tried many things to entice fans out of pubs and into arenas early – marching bands, dancing minxes, stars from yesteryear. But Benfica have a nailed on incentive. Just release an eagle and let it circle for a few minutes before landing on the centre-spot. The Blues fans were in the ground early to enjoy that spectacle.
Several thousand Evertonians also remained behind long after the final whistle, perhaps in shock, perhaps soaking in the magnificent arena. But the songs they sung at least showed defiance, which is more than you could say for their team. What should have been a glorious night to remember became one to forget. It’s not often Evertonians can say ‘Roll on the Reebok Stadium.’ But the sooner this wretched night is erased from the memory, if not the record books, the better.
BENFICA (4-1-2-1-2): Cesar; Amorim, Luisao, Luiz, Peixoto; Garcia; Ramires, Di Maria; Aimar (Martins 68); Cardozo (Coentrao 77), Saviola. Unused subs: Quim, Pereira, Weldon, Gomes, Sidnei.
EVERTON (4-4-2): Howard, Gosling, Distin, Hibbert, Coleman, Cahill, Fellaini, Rodwell, Bilyaletdinov (Saha 60), Yakubu (Baxter 70), Jo. Unused substitutes: Nash, Wallace, Duffy, Agard, Apkan.
Referee: Nikolay Ivanov of Russia.
Bookings: Gosling (32) foul, Saha (75) foul.
GOALS: Saviola (13 mins) 1-0, Cardozo (47) 2-0, Cardozo (48) 3-0, Luisao (52) 4-0, Saviola (83).

Daniel Amokachi’s twin sons on trial at Everton Academy
Oct 24, 2009. By David Prentine
THE twin sons of former Blues favourite Daniel Amokachi, Nazim and Khaled, have been having trials at Everton's youth academy. “They have been trying out with the Everton Under-13s for the past five weeks,” Amokachi said.“Everything is going really well for the boys and we are all confident they will be considered good enough by Everton. “One of them is a very gifted attacking midfielder, while the other has taken after me, he is all power and heart. “But it is their decision to pursue a football career, and if they are considered good enough, I have no objection to their choice.”
The twins will not be short of inspiration after the warm reception their father received when he accompanied them. “They could not believe that many years after I left the club, the fans still have not forgotten about me," he smiled

Book your date with Duncan McKenzie at Liverpool Central Library
Oct 24, 2009. Liverpool Echo
THE eternally popular Duncan McKenzie will be appearing at the Liverpool Central Library (Hornby Room, 2pm) next Thursday, to deliver his own inimitable version of his colourful Goodison playing career. After signing for the club in 1976, McKenzie won over the Goodison faithful almost instantly – scoring two on his home debut against Birmingham and entertaining a crowd starved of flair with a series of tricks and skills. In total, McKenzie made 61 appearances for Everton, scoring 21 goals.
And he continues to entertain long after he hung up his boots. His stories of jumping over minis and throwing golf balls the length of a football pitch have gone down in history and are often recounted in his new career as an after-dinner speaker.
On Thursday, October 29, McKenzie will be talking about his Everton days at Liverpool Central Library to coincide with The Everton Collection exhibition.
There will also be an opportunity to ask questions and find out just how he managed to jump over that mini! The event is free but tickets are required and are available from the Library's Central Lending Help Desk (2nd floor) or by ringing 0151 233 5829.

Bolton 3, Everton FC 2: Blues add to their own ordeal
Oct 26 2009 by Philip Kirkbride, Liverpool Daily Post
THEY say what does not kill you, only makes you stronger – but Everton are still someway off making a full recovery. Thursday’s 5-0 drubbing in Benfica, in mitigating circumstances, could have been a near fatal blow in one of the most testing, yet pivotal, weeks in Everton’s season. Three games in six days, which commenced in the Estadio da Luz, and an injury problem that can comfortably be referred to as a crisis, is the ultimate test of strength for David Moyes’ squad. Although the Europa League result will be one filed under ‘character building’, yesterday’s defeat at Bolton Wanderers will be looked on as a missed opportunity to revive a wounded squad.
Sunday’s 3-2 loss at the Reebok Stadium offered Moyes evidence of the shoots of recovery he will have craved, but it was a result in which self inflicted errors kicked them while they are down. Having clawed back a two goal deficit, Everton levelled in the second half with Marouane Fellaini’s solo goal but threw away all they had worked so hard to achieve. Everton were worthy of a point, their second half showing deserved as much, but the Premier League is an unforgiving world and mistakes will be punished. A lack of fighting spirit is something which can never be levelled at Everton under Moyes, the Benfica loss proved as much, however the trip to Lisbon also hammered home poor defensive errors will cost you. Though injuries meant yet another reshuffle of Everton’s back four, the experienced personnel should not have suffered from the early defensive jitters they did, giving Bolton a two goal head start and their winning goal. Only two minutes had elapsed when Tamir Cohen was left unmarked at the back post from Jlloyd Samuel’s cross, fortunately for Everton he planted the ball wide of Howard’s post. Another free headed chance went begging moments later as Kevin Davies leapt free to narrowly glance Matt Taylor’s in-swinging free-kick wide. For the centre back pairing of Sylvain Distin and Johnny Heitinga, picked together for only the second time this season at the core of Everton’s defence, it was an unsteady start and one which threatened to end Everton’s record of having not conceded in the opening 25 minutes in the Premier League this term. It came as little surprise when the run ended after 16 minutes after Lee Chung-Yong profited from Sam Rickett’s average cross into the area to slot Bolton into a 1-0 lead – an absence of a marker was glaring for all to see. At the other end, Everton were proving to be equally generous in the opening exchanges as the ball was gifted to the home side on countless occasions, wasting the few promising forays Everton mustered. With striker Yakubu absent because of a heel injury, manager Moyes was once again blighted by the absence of his most experienced players in this most trying of times. A lack of available wide men also forced Moyes’ hand in playing stand-in captain Tim Cahill on the left wing and wherever you stand on the debate over his best position, on the flank surely must come low on your list. Moreover, against opposition who pack the midfield with five players, his presence would be missed, in the first half especially. Indeed Louis Saha had to take it upon himself to breathe life into his side, a sublime slalom past Zat Knight and Chung-Yong fashioned half an opening and it gave the Goodison Park outfit a fillip, albeit a brief one. Just as the Goodison Park side were stirring from their slumber Fellaini was penalised for a foul on Davies. It was a decision which left Moyes glaring at official Phil Dowd but the ease at which Gary Cahill glanced home Taylor’s free-kick in the 26th minute will have left him fuming. Routine, direct and effective, it was everything Bolton are, summarised in one, all too predictable move, but of late it has been the undoing of Everton – luckily Saha was taking notes. For his endeavour finally reaped rewards on 31 minutes when Lucas Neill played a ball to his feet, which took Muamba out of the game, and with a drop of the shoulder, Saha engineered himself the room to fire past Jaaskelainen from 25 yards into the top corner. A delightful strike which maintained Bolton’s undesirable run of having not kept a clean sheet in the league this term.
Words from Moyes at half-time had the desired affect as Neill’s second pin point pass of the afternoon brought about Everton’s equalising goal, albeit from an unlikely source in untypical manner on 55 minutes. Fellaini found himself just inside the area with Cahill his marker; after an unconvincing first few touches, the Belgian international manoeuvred some room before lashing the ball past the Bolton goalkeeper – Fellaini’s afternoon up to and after that point was somewhat lacking but the ease with which he glided past Cahill made a mockery of the home chants calling for the defender to be given an England place. In fact it was his namesake Tim, who had the most telling contribution in the second half revival and it came as no surprise as the Australian began linking up with Saha and Jo upfront, Moyes’ men were far more potent. Unfortunately for all Cahill’s improvements, which allowed Jack Rodwell and Gosling more time and space in an increasingly open game, Jo and Saha failed to match the midfield’s gains with any threatening attempts on goal.
As Bolton weathered the Everton storm, they mounted one final attack on Howard’s goal and with the introduction of Ivan Klasnic, they went for the win.
The cruel irony which has plagued Everton of late, struck once more as Heitinga, who improved significantly after the horror of the first two goals, had to be substituted.
One would hope his presence on the edge of the Everton area would have aided the clearance of another set-piece Bolton ball when Croatian Klasnic smashed home from 15 yards to give Bolton their first home Premier League victory of the season.
Marking Wanderers manager Gary Megson’s second year in charge of the club, Klasnic also did his level best to make it a few days to forget for Everton.

Bolton Wanderers 3, Everton FC 2: Back to school time for Blues
Oct 26 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool
EVERTON showed character. Everton showed courage. Everton showed astonishing reserves of resilience and spirit. And they also showed the defensive naivety of schoolchildren. Which is why they ended up with nothing at Bolton yesterday.
Football, sadly, is like that. Bolton striker Kevin Davies pointed out, with some disgust, that Everton had snatched last minute winners at the Reebok in each of the last two seasons. This time it was Everton’s turn to suffer. And the reasons were obvious. Because they have forgotten how to defend. And what’s most difficult for the manager to solve is that it’s not one individual who is responsible week after week.
The number of simple, avoidable, easy to stop goals his side has shipped in recent weeks has been calamitous. From punts down the middle (Wolves), unmarked headers at corners (Stoke) to a whole gallery of howlers in Lisbon, they can now add three fresh failures at Bolton. There was a man left shamefully unmarked in the 18-yard box, a poorly defended free-kick from the halfway line – then a punt into the penalty area from the goalkeeper. None from the manual of impossible to stop strikes.
It’s hard to be too harsh, given Everton’s extreme circumstances at present.
Yesterday was the eighth successive game in which David Moyes has had to re-shuffle his backline – and even then he had to change it again when Johnny Heitinga gave that hand-rolling motion the second he hit the turf 10 minutes from time.
But David Moyes isn’t concerned about being harsh. He gave his players both barrels in a post-match dressing room inquest and said he expected much more.
Defensively, maybe. But he surely couldn’t have asked for much more from the majority of his players in terms of commitment. I say majority – we’ll come to the minority later. If Evertonians wanted to know what their players were made of, they found out after the Blues found themselves trailing after barely quarter-of-an-hour.
The goals had been coming from the first minute. Employing their eighth different defensive line-up in as many games, it was hardly surprising Everton leaked early chances alarmingly. This time Sylvain Distin and Heitinga offered a more familiar central defensive unit, while Tony Hibbert made his first appearance as a left-back for the Blues, and Lucas Neill his first start for the club at right-back. But in a carbon copy of the goal which sparked Thursday’s rout, JLloyd Samuel crossed from the left and found Everton’s far post markers missing. Fortunately Tamir Cohen is no Javier Saviola and he elected to head across goal . . . and wide. Two minutes later the more predictable Bolton goal source, a free-kick to Kevin Davies’ head, elicited another opening, but this time the centre-forward glanced his effort wide. But it wasn’t just in the left-back berth Everton were struggling to pick up their men. After 15 minutes Sam Ricketts charged damagingly down the right, crossed the ball through Hibbert and after Gardner miskicked, Chung-Yong Lee was left with so much time and space he might have adjusted his shorts, rubbed his hands and polished his boots on the backs of his socks before drilling decisively past Howard. When Gary Cahill rose higher than Distin to head Bolton’s second barely minutes later, a repeat of the Europa League rout looked likeliest. But Everton dug in. Two-nil down away from home, just 60 hours after landing back in the country from a chastening away trip – and an entire first team of senior stars out injured – they rallied to bring the scores back level.
The goal which started the fightback was a classic. It’s fair to say that of all the Blues’ summer acquisitions, Neill’s was probably the name which elicited least excitement, but he enjoyed an impressive debut. He threaded an excellent ball from his own half into Louis Saha’s path, and Saha did what he was doing so well earlier this season – he turned and curved a stunning shot beyond Jaaskelainen’s dive. Marouane Fellaini’s equaliser wasn’t quite as spectacular, but not far off. Once again Neill was the provider with a penetrative forward pass, and the big Belgian twisted the man who many believe can force his way into England’s World Cup squad next summer, Cahill, inside out, before firing high into the net. That knowledgeable old Blue, Joe Royle, suggested in midweek that Fellaini divides Evertonian opinion like no other.
If so, Jo is the other end of the spectrum. He polarises opinion – and none of it is particularly positive. Once again his contributions were sporadic at best.
He did curl the ball against the top of the crossbar in the first half, but in truth that effort looked more like an overhit cross rather than a considered attempt to score.
And he went down midway through the first half under a challenge which may well have yielded a penalty kick. Zat Knight undoubtedly used his arm to check the Brazilian’s progress, but the ease and the predictability with which Jo hit the turf all afternoon made it too easy for Phil Dowd to wave away the protests.
Fans who play that old pub game ‘name your best Everton team’ probably wouldn’t have Jo anywhere near it. But some might come up with the following 10 outfield players: Neville, Yobo, Jagielka, Baines; Osman, Pienaar, Arteta, Bilyaletdinov; Yakubu, Anichebe. All were unavailable to Moyes yesterday, which underlines the depth of the injury crisis the Blues are currently having to endure. One more name was added in the 80th minute yesterday, when Heitinga limped from the field.
At least Seamus Coleman came on in his more familiar position of right full-back, but for Everton it was just one reshuffle too many. Another free-kick, taken by Juusi Jaaskelainen, was poorly defended, and it was unfortunate that the ball broke to substitute Klasnic. But you make your own luck – and the Blues made none of it yesterday. He finished clinically. That was the second time in successive weekends that the Blues have conceded a goal from a goalkeeper’s kick – and of all the casualties he has to wait on, perhaps it’s Joseph Yobo and Phil Jagielka that David Moyes wants back most quickly. Either that or a job offer to that wily old defensive coach Don Howe.
EVERTON (4-4-2): Howard, Neill, Heitinga (Coleman 80), Distin, Hibbert, Gosling, Rodwell, Fellaini, Cahill, Jo, Saha. Substitutes: Nash, Duffy, Agard, Baxter, Wallace, AKpan.
BOLTON WANDERERS (4-5-1): Jaaskelainen, Ricketts, Cahill, Knight, Samuel, Gardner (Klasnic 64), Cohen (Basham 88), Lee, Muamba, Taylor, K. Davies. Substitutes: Al Habsi, Steinsson, M Davies, Basham, O'Brien, Robinson.
Bookings: K. Davies (30) foul, Gary Cahill (51) foul, Samuel (60) foul, Fellaini (63) dissent.
Referee: Phil Dowd.
Attendance: 21,547.

Clean sheets key for Everton FC defender Lucas Neill
Oct 26 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
LUCAS NEILL created a couple of goals on his Premier League debut for Everton yesterday. But the Australian defender says he'd happily swap a clean sheet for his assister act II. Neill played passes that created goals for Louis Saha and Marouane Fellaini, but the Blues still lost out 3-2 at Bolton. And afterwards he said: “I made an impact, but as a defender I pride myself on clean sheets and that's taken the gloss off it today. “But if I can keep chipping in with a couple of assists every game or so I'm sure we're in for a positive season. We've just got to keep things tight at the back.
“We got off to a start that wasn't to plan, but showed good character to get back into the game and I suppose the feeling then was that we were going to go on to win it, but a little bit of naivety and a couple of simple errors and you get punished at this level.
“What happened today is something we'll analyse and make sure it doesn't happen again.” Neill admitted that manager David Moyes had issued some harsh words in the dressing room but added: “Rightly so. But we'll take it on the chin. It was done in a positive way and there's a game coming up very quickly to try and put it right.
“It's a tough game but one that we want to win to get further in the cup. “We're just on a run at the moment where mistakes are proving very costly and it's only a matter of time before a bit of hard work turns that all around, the losses become draws and the draws become wins.” Neill made his debut after yet more injuries – this time Yakubu with a bruised heel and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov with a thihg strain – took Everton's tally of walking wounded to 11. And even before the end the resources were stretched yet further when Johnny Heitinga limped off. “I've made my league debut at least, but we've lost so it's taken the gloss off it. We'll go again. It's a long season and I'm sure we'll win a lot more than we'll lose,” added Neill. Manager Moyes, however, was clearly angry during his post match analysis. “We got ourselves back into the game but with 20 minutes to go we faded and that gave them an opportunity to put us under more pressure," he said. “There was a big moment in the game where maybe Dan Gosling should have scored but he is a young boy and he will learn. “And that's not the reason we lost. We didn't defend properly and we didn't do the things that stop you losing games. Because of that we have ended up losing it. They have been told – you don't play like that and play for Everton. “So it is up to them (the players) to sort it out now. I will help them and coach them and work with them – but at the end of the day they are the ones who cross the white line and they need to roll their sleeves up. “I'll protect them, I'll protect their performances. But if they don't do basic things like head the ball and defend set-pieces, then it is themselves they need to look at. Moyes added: “We didn't start brightly enough but I thought at times we played quite well.”

Everton FC manager David Moyes bemoans tired legs at Bolton
Oct 26 2009 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON manager David Moyes once again bemoaned tired legs as his side slumped to defeat at Bolton. Goals form Louis Saha and MArouane Fellaini enabled the blues to fight bakc from2-0 down but Ivan Klasnic’s late winner completed a bad week for Moyes, whose depleted squad were thrashed 5-0 in Benfica on Thursday night, “It was a long way to come from 2-0 down, but I thought we deserved to be back in it, that we had done enough,” Moyes said. “But we ran out of steam with about 20 minutes to go. We didn’t really have the personnel to make changes, but we’re not using that as an excuse – we should never have been 2-0 down, never have got ourselves into that situation. “I just told them (at half-time) to go on and win the game – I thought that it was there for us. “When we got it back to 2-1 I thought we were in the ascendancy for periods and I thought if we could do the same we would get another goal, which we did. “But when it got to 2-2 we stepped off it and ran out of energy.” Bolton boss Gary Megson praised the striking instincts of Klasnic after the Croatian hit his late winner. Klasnic came off the bench to give Wanderers their first Premier League home win of the season when he rifled the ball past Tim Howard with three minutes remaining. It was the 29-year-old’s first goal in English football and Megson said he was not surprised to see him get off the mark. “Ivan has just got one thought in his mind when he’s in there,” Megson said. “He had a shot just before that from about 20 yards when really he should have passed it to Chung-Yong Lee.
“But you can’t criticise forwards for doing that, that is what they are there for and him being that kind of personality was probably a good thing for us because he certainly wasn’t looking to pass when the ball dropped to him. It was a fantastic strike.”
Klasnic’s rise to Premier League match-winner is all the more remarkable given that he underwent a kidney transplant in 2007, but Megson insists the focus should be on his qualities as a player.
“I can fully understand people talking about this - he has had this kidney transplant and he’s come through,” Megson said. “But I think in time we’ll move on from that and just recognise that he’s a good player. “He doesn’t mention it at all. He doesn’t have any fuss and he isn’t treated any differently to anyone else, he just gets on with it .” Megson was delighted to see his team regain their composure and seal a victory he felt was long overdue, but warned his players that there were important lessons to be learned from the match. “We’d been knocking on the door” Megson said. “I don’t know if we would have beaten Liverpool with a full complement of players but we were 2-1 up there and I think we should have beaten Tottenham. “But should and could doesn’t get you too far. Today you have seen the good side of us and the bad side of us. “We should have been two goals up before we actually scored. Then we were two up, but we kept on playing the same way, without showing a little more patience.”

Lucas Neill: Everton FC must show character against Tottenham Hotspur
Oct 27 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
LUCAS NEILL has urged his depleted Everton troops to forget their injury woes and show the character to upset a wounded Spurs at White Hart Lane tonight.
Tottenham were beaten at home to Stoke on Saturday – and even though David Moyes could have 11 senior players missing again, the Australian defender believes the Blues can take advantage of the London side’s dented confidence. “Of course it’s a ridiculous schedule,” said Neill, as Everton faced up to their third game in six days. “But it is what it is. “Tottenham have lost a game at home so their confidence will be a little bit dented They will want to react well to that, but so will we to our defeat on Sunday. “I experienced an injury crisis like this not so long ago at West Ham. It’s about character, staying strong and those players that go out, whether they are playing in their usual position or not, doing their best for the team. “There are good characters here and I am sure that’s going to happen. “It is just about getting the confidence back now and the belief that we can win games. “It is important that we win at Spurs and get to the next round. “Cup runs breed confidence and always have a great atmosphere. Of course the club all want to get to another Wembley final and for me I want to get to my first. “Spurs are probably expected to win, but we feel we have got a good chance of upsetting them.”

Tim Cahill is Everton FC key man says Nigel Martyn
Oct 27 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
TIM CAHILL was Everton’s Carling Cup talisman when the Blues reached the semi-final of the tournament two seasons ago. The little Aussie was only just back from injury when he scored an extra time winner at Luton Town – a goal which earned victory in a tie which Everton had looked like losing, and kick-started a run which ended just one game from Wembley. Cahill goes into tonight’s fourth round tie with just two goals to his name this season, well below his usual ratio, and with a couple of uncharacteristic misses. But former team-mate Nigel Martyn believes he’s just the man to deliver another knockout blow. “Don’t worry about Tim,” he said. “He’ll finish in double figures again this season. I’m absolutely convinced about that.
“He had a great chance against Stoke and Wolves recently, but each time he probably connected with the ball too well. “I’d be more concerned if he wasn’t getting into those positions because then you could say he was jaded or something. “I wouldn’t even say it’s a confidence thing. He just needs a bit of luck – one to go in off his shoulder or something, and he’ll be flying again.” Ironically Cahill is one of the numerous players David Moyes will have to check on ahead of tonight’s tie after Zat Knight stood on the midfielder’s thigh on Sunday. The mounting injury list, together with the insensitive scheduling of the fixture – Everton’s third away game in six days – has left David Moyes seething. “My philosophy has always been to try and put out our best teams in whatever competition we enter, but I find a lack of respect we have been shown by the organisers of the Carling Cup really disappointing,” he rapped.
“That’s the support you get for trying to put out a strong side. If I were Carling I would question the people running the competition.” He added: “We have a lot of games coming up and things are difficult with selection. But I certainly enjoyed getting to the FA Cup final last season and I would love to do that again in this competition. “We will be trying our hardest to get through to the next stage, whatever team we put out. “We have been without some of our best players certainly for half of last season and now the start of this. Sooner or later, somewhere along the line it will take its toll in performances and some of the results.” Ayegbeni Yakubu (heel), Diniyar Bilyaletdinov (groin), Joseph Yobo (head) and Leighton Baines (calf) are the likeliest of Everton’s wounded brigade to be considered for the Spurs match, but the chances of all four playing are remote. Mikel Arteta, Steven Pienaar, Phil Jagielka, Leon Osman, Victor Anichebe, Phil Neville and James Vaughan are certainly out.
But Johnny Heitinga, who came off with cramp in the 3-2 defeat at Bolton, will return and Lucas Neill will be given another opportunity. Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp has urged his own fringe players to seize their opportunity to shine when he rotates his squad. With Jermain Defoe suspended and Aaron Lennon, Jonathan Woodgate, Ledley King and Luka Modric injured, Redknapp will give the likes of Roman Pavlyuchenko, Gareth Bale, David Bentley and Alan Hutton a chance to impress in the fourth round tie at White Hart Lane.
“It’s a good opportunity for them to play,” said Redknapp. “When the chance comes they have to take it.”
Pavlyuchenko has been behind Defoe and Robbie Keane in the pecking order and desperately wants regular games to enhance his World Cup chances next year, while right-winger Bentley and left-back Bale have failed to dislodge Lennon or Benoit Assou-Ekotto from Redknapp’s first-choice team. Redknapp stressed his team will still be strong, as Spurs seek to reach the final of the competition for a third consecutive season. They won it in 2008, a year in which Redknapp also lifted the FACup at Wembley with Portsmouth. “We take it seriously, but I have to play other lads that need a game and are working hard at the training ground every day,” he explained. “They need to get a game or two in them. “They played well in the previous rounds at Doncaster and Preston. Everyone else will be doing the same this week too – if you look at Arsenal or Liverpool on Wednesday it won’t bear much resemblance to Sunday. But I still want to win every game.
“We’ve been to the final for the last two years and we want to go back. We have a chance in this and the FA Cup.”

Everton FC to wear Liverpool Unites purple shirts at White Hart Lane
Oct 27 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON will swap Royal Blue for a purple reign at White Hart Lane tonight.
Everton have announced that they will wear their new limited edition purple shirt for the first time against Tottenham. According to club historians, it is the first time in the club's 131-year history that Everton will wear purple – the adopted colour of Liverpool Unites, Everton’s charitable partner for the 2009/10 season. The club, with the support of its official retail partner Kitbag Limited, hope to raise in excess of £100,000 before the end of the current season for the charity which campaigns to improve the lives of young people on Merseyside by inspiring them to break the cycle of crime and poverty. Everton defender Sylvain Distin said: “The lads really like the shirt and it is of course in aid of a great cause. We are looking forward to wearing it.”
Each of the limited edition shirts will be individually boxed, numbered and presented with a certificate of authenticity. The first release will be on Friday. The shirt is available on pre-order from www.evertondirect.com for delivery on October 30.

NIGEL MARTYN: TV influence has put an unfair burden on Everton
Oct 27 2009 Liverpool Echo
TONIGHT will be one of those nights when everyone has to stand up and be counted for Everton Football Club. But you know what? This club is very good at doing that.
It goes without saying that the schedule Everton have been asked to accept is hugely unfair. Unfortunately it underlines once again how influential the great God television is in football today. I was first given an inkling of that influence when I was on tour with England in the early 1990s. We were playing the USA and apparently we had to leave the dressing room exactly six minutes before kick-off to fit in with the TV’s advertising schedules. To ensure the players were ready, a TV executive knocked on our dressing room door and boomed: “Seven minutes and 30 seconds to live broadcast!” Then 15 seconds later he knocked again and shouted: “Seven minutes and 15 seconds to live broadcast!” The same rigmarole went on every 15 seconds until we were sorely tempted to slam the dressing room door shut and refuse to leave!
It just underlined how football now is governed by TV and its executives – and that’s why Everton have to play an important cup tie barely 48 hours after a gruelling league fixture. The TV companies want to screen Arsenal’s match against Liverpool on Wednesday – and the local police force won’t allow Arsenal and Tottenham to play at home on the same night,. Imagine if Manchester United were in the same boat. I’m sure Sir Alex would have plenty to say about the situation. It’s difficult, but it’s not impossible. Stoke went to Tottenham at the weekend and won and Everton have won at The Lane a couple of times in recent seasons. It certainly isn’t the bogey ground it once was for Everton teams in the 1990s. I’ll be interested to see who plays, but you can rest assured that the majority of David Moyes’ squad will be chomping at the bit regardless of how tired their limbs may be feeling. Adrenalin can carry you so far. The big worry, of course, is that tired muscles run the risk of sustaining even further injury. But all Everton will be worrying about at the moment is winning tonight. And they can!
NIGEL MARTYN: Benfica can expect fireworks from Everton in return leg
BEFORE last Thursday I was part of an unwanted record in Everton’s illustrious history. The club’s biggest beating in Europe prior to last week’s trip to the Stadium of Light was that awful night in Bucharest when DInamo defeated us 5-1.
That record went last week, and I can’t say I was relieved that it has passed on to another group of players now. But if I remember rightly, we were fuelled by a burning desire to put things right in the second leg – and we absolutely pummelled the Romanians. We scored an early goal, won the match, but couldn’t add to it. Quite how we only scored one that night I’ll never know. But I can guarantee Benfica will be faced by a similar sense of revenge next week. Last Thursday’s game was hugely disappointing. But I’ll wager there will be more than fireworks at Goodison Park on Bonfire Night when Benfica come to town.
SOMETIMES it can be soul destroying to be a goalkeeper. Tim Howard has just conceded eight goals in his last two games – and he couldn’t have done anything about a single one. But that’s a goalkeeper’s lot. Sometimes you will play a game where you drop every cross, your kicking is awful and you somehow still manage to keep a clean sheet – so you have to take the rough with the smooth. In hindsight Tim might look back and maybe wish he’d let Carlo Nash have a run-out in Lisbon last week, but knowing Tim he’d probably still have preferred to play!
There’s nothing he can do about what’s going on in front of him, other than concentrate on his own game. He can organise, he can shout and he can encourage – but when people aren’t stopping punts from opposition goalkeepers getting through to strikers there’s not much else he can do. Tim’s own game is pretty good at the moment, and he just has to make sure that his own confidence isn’t affected by the recent problems at the back. As soon as the manager is able to pick a more settled side I’m sure things will improve.

Harry Redknapp jealous of Everton FC Europa League campaign
Oct 27 2009 Liverpool Echo
TOTTENHAM boss Harry Redknapp insists Spurs would relish Europa League football next season. Even though he acknowledges extra matches in that competition have helped to leave Everton short on players because of injuries, Redknapp said: “You want European football – it’s important for everyone. “But when you’re not in it, it gives you more time to rest and prepare for the league games. “It can be very difficult with lots of competitions, but Fulham did well last week.” The key, according to the Spurs boss, is keeping senior players fit – which accounts for the Premier League defeat to Stoke at the weekend. “You need a Modric to unlock the door; Defoe would have scored; you need King; you lose Aaron Lennon,” he said. “That is four very important players not on the pitch – and they make the difference. “Gerrard and Torres make a difference to Liverpool; Rooney and Ferdinand at Manchester United; Lampard, Drogba and Terry at Chelsea. You need those key players. “Take Fabregas away from Arsenal, and they are not as good.” Redknapp confirmed Lennon’s ankle complaint and Woodgate’s facial injury will require scans, while King may return from illness for the match against Arsenal at the weekend.

Tottenham Hotspur 2 Everton FC 0 - final whistle match report
Oct 27 2009 By Neil Macdonald
TOM Huddlestone and Robbie Keane put paid to Everton's hopes of Carling Cup glory as they fell to a 2-0 defeat at White Hart Lane. Spurs reached the final of the competition in the last two seasons, winning it in 2008, and they are two ties from Wembley again after Huddlestone’s thunderbolt volley and Keane following up his own saved penalty. They still needed saves from Heurelho Gomes at the start of each half to extend Everton’s run of matches without a win to five. The visitors, wearing a purple strip for the Liverpool Unites charity, created the first chance after four minutes. Lucas Neill’s throw was back-heeled on by Marouane Fellaini and Louis Saha hooked the ball on target, only for Gomes to stretch backwards and tip over.
It was no surprise that Everton started well as their last three trips to Spurs had resulted in victories. Bentley had Spurs’ first effort when he cut inside Tony Hibbert on the right flank but dragged his left-footed shot well wide of Tim Howard’s goal.
Pavlyuchenko had their first clear-cut chance when Keane charged down Neill’s clearance - but the Russian blasted wide after racing through. He went wide again shortly after when he got on the end of Hutton’s low cross, with the full-back taking advantage of Bentley’s dummy after Wilson Palacios had spread the ball wide.
Keane got closer on the half-hour mark. Sylvain Distin twice made a total mess of clearing Benoit Assou-Ekotto’s ball over the top and Keane poked the ball onto the post. But Spurs were ahead in the 31st minute, seconds after they were defending a corner. Keane shifted the ball to Bentley on the right, his cross was missed by Pavlyuchenko but Huddlestone thumped the ball home with a left-footed volley.
Everton, after taking Saha off for Jo, were almost level immediately after the restart when Tim Cahill made a yard of room for himself and unleashed a drive towards the top corner that Gomes parried. The Brazilian also saved from Jo after Fellaini sent him through. Keane then had two opportunities, first when he unselfishly squared for Pavlyuchenko and then when he raced through and was denied by Hibbert’s last-ditch tackle. He eventually added the second in the 57th minute following up his own penalty, finishing off the total chaos that ensued when Howard saved his spot-kick. The American then denied Bentley and Keane again, Bale had a stab before the Spurs skipper smashed into the top corner. Everton believed they were still in the game and Fellaini forced Gomes into another save, this time with a low drive.
John Heitinga’s tackle denied Keane a second goal, while Hutton almost tarnished a fine performance with a risky backpass - but Gomes saved him from embarrassment.

Tottenham 2, Everton 0: David Moyes suffering more purple pain
Oct 28 2009 by Ian Doyle, Liverpool Daily Post
IT wasn’t just the shirts that were purple in the Everton dressing room at White Hart Lane last night. Even before kick-off, David Moyes was still seething at the decision of Carling Cup organisers to force his players into three crucial games inside six days.
And his mood would only have worsened as his exhausted, makeshift team slumped out of the competition against Tottenham Hotspur. Missing 10 senior players, this was always going to be a big ask for an Everton team imposed a ridiculous schedule by the fixture planners. That the Goodison outfit lost all three of their games during the last week suggests Moyes’s displeasure, initially voiced the previous weekend, was entirely justified. From enjoying a seven-match unbeaten run, Everton are now ensconced in the lower half of the Premier League table with perhaps their most likely route to silverware now closed. Unlike many other clubs, Moyes has always treated the Carling Cup with the greatest respect. A pity, then, that the same courtesy could not be afforded to his team. This wasn’t a beating in the vein handed out by Benfica in the Europa League last Thursday. Instead, it had more in common with Sunday’s loss at Bolton Wanderers, Everton once more ultimately undone by some uncharacteristically poor defending and individual errors, the backline having shipped 10 goals in those three defeats. No matter how Moyes mixed and matched his limited defensive resources, Tottenham found a way through too often, Sylvain Distin struggling desperately to keep the rearguard together. Defeats sap confidence, and even Everton’s renowned resolves of character and determination will be tested to the limit. It was inevitable a horrific injury list would catch up with a squad stretched to breaking point. But the most recent glut of absentees have arrived at precisely the wrong time, the failure of Louis Saha to emerge for the second half with a calf problem adding to the woe. Everton were not without their chances last night, and it was galling both of Tottenham’s goals – netted in either half by Tom Huddlestone and Robbie Keane – were scored within moments of the visitors spurning clear opportunities. But, even taking fatigue into consideration, Moyes will surely have noted certain players again falling well short of the standards they have set themselves during a previous 18 months of solid progress at Goodison. Jack Rodwell, though, could be absolved of any blame for Everton’s exit. Moyes has already admitted too much is being asked of the youngster this season as his squad’s injury concerns continue to bite. But here he was an influential presence in midfield, cajoling his team-mates and showing maturity beyond his tender years. For the first time, Everton were wearing the change kit of purple, the adopted colour of Liverpool Unites, who are the club’s charitable partner for this season. Both John Heitinga and Tim Cahill were patched up and thrown back into the fray after sustaining knocks in Sunday’s 3-2 defeat at the Reebok Stadium. And Yakubu returned in place of the disappointing Jo for only his fifth appearance since limping off this White Hart Lane pitch almost 12 months ago having ruptured his Achilles. Like Everton, Tottenham take the Carling Cup seriously having reached the final in the past two seasons. And while Harry Redknapp shuffled his pack, the Spurs manager could still start with almost £30million of forward talent in Keane and Roman Pavlyuchenko. Everton enjoyed good possession during the first half, but were consistently undermined by their slipshod defending. During a bright opening, Heitinga struck a free-kick into the wall from a decent position and Saha drew a good save from Tottenham goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes after meeting Marouane Fellaini’s flick-on with an improvised overhead kick. But there was no excusing Heitinga’s miss in the 28th minute, the Dutchman failing to connect with a free header six yards out from Dan Gosling’s left-wing corner. Three minutes later, Tottenham were ahead. Everton had already enjoyed a lucky escape when the overworked Distin twice made a hash of attempting to clear Benoit Assou-Ekotto’s diagonal ball and was then relieved to see Keane hit the post.
But Heitinga had no such reprieve for his part in Tottenham’s opener. David Bentley’s cross from the right should have been comfortably dealt with, but the Dutchman fatally hesitated and the ball found its way to Huddlestone, who smashed home beyond Tim Howard. Even before the goal, Everton were twice grateful for the lack of confidence shown by a woefully out-of-sorts Pavlyuchenko. When Neill’s clearance smashed against Michael Dawson, Pavlyuchenko was fortuitously put clear only to shunt his effort well wide of the target. Then Bentley’s clever dummy released Alan Hutton down the right – a constant source of joy for Tottenham – but his low cross was sidefooted wide by the hapless Pavlyuchenko. Everton came again after the interval, Tim Cahill warming the palms of Gomes with a stinging 20-yard drive. But substitute Jo, on for Saha, shot too near to the Tottenham goalkeeper after being put clear by Fellaini’s pass. And the home side doubled their advantage less than 60 seconds later. There was a touch of good fortune about the goal. Keane raced on to a Wilson Palacios pass, cut inside Hibbert and was upended by Distin for a clear penalty. Howard guessed the right way to save Keane’s penalty and bravely blocked Bentley’s follow-up, but after a tremendous goalline scramble in which Bale and Keane both had efforts blocked, the latter eventually fired in.
To their credit, Everton refused to give in, but no visiting player was on hand to pounce on the rebound after Gomes spilled a speculative Fellaini effort.
Tottenham, though, were the more likely to score again provided the ball was kept away from Pavlyuchenko, Distin brilliantly clearing a Bale effort off the line late on.
Moyes must hope some of his injured troops can return to the frontline for Saturday’s visit of Aston Villa. The cavalry is now needed more than ever.

Angry David Moyes leads Everton FC media blackout over fixtures
Oct 28 2009 by James Pearce, Liverpool Echo
ANGRY David Moyes led a media blackout in protest at Everton’s treatment by Carling Cup organisers after they bowed out of the competition at White Hart Lane last night. The Blues manager gave no interviews and ordered his players to keep their thoughts to themselves in retaliation to the gruelling schedule which forced them to play a third game in six days. Everton crashed to a third successive defeat as goals from Tom Huddlestone and Robbie Keane saw off the challenge from an injury-ravaged Blues side. Moyes was already without 10 first team stars and his mood darkened when Louis Saha limped off with a calf injury. The French striker will be assessed at Finch Farm today but he is a doubt for Saturday’s home league clash with Aston Villa. Moyes’ decision to impose a media ban was taken before last night’s game. In the build up to the match he had hit out at the decision of Carling Cup organisers to schedule the tie in the capital little more than 48 hours after his side’s clash with Bolton at the Reebok Stadium. With Arsenal’s tie against Liverpool being televised on Sky Sports tonight, London Metropolitan Police would not allow both games to be played on the same night Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp admitted he had some sympathy with Moyes, but said: “We all face problems with fixture congestion at some time. “Everton put their best team out tonight. They didn’t put a bunch of kids out. They had Fellaini, Saha, Distin, Cahill and Yakubu out there.
“Everton might say they only put out what they had, but I was the same. We only had what we had. Everybody who was fit was there tonight. “We were in the same boat as David. He wanted to win and so did we. He could have played five kids but he chose not to. “I haven’t got a squad as big as Everton. You go through their top players, there’s more at Everton that there are here. “We haven’t got a big squad. I’ve got four strikers and four central defenders, but after that I’ve only got three central midfielders. Most have six. We’re not overloaded.”

Everton FC fan letters
Oct 28 2009 Liverpool Echo
IF EVER there was evidence David Moyes needs more cash to invest then the Benfica and Bolton games provided it. The Everton squad is simply too small – we got lucky last season but our good fortune has well and truly dried up now. It’s high time Kenwright and the others on the board put some investment of some sort into the club so that we can buy players in the transfer window in January. Moyes cannot perform miracles forever and his threadbare squad is now running on empty. They need reinforcements and quickly.
John Pinnington, Kensington
EVERTON have badly missed the brilliance of Pienaar this season even more than the fans’ favourite Mikel Arteta. Had Pienaar been available then certainly the Bolton game would have had a very different result. My greatest concern at the moment is that he has not yet signed his contract extension, and with the World Cup fast approaching he is sure to attract clubs who would be looking to buy.
Tony Peters, Speke
I SEE Spurs have released details of their new ground, built next to White Hart Lane.
And yet Everton still maintain they cannot build next to Goodison Park.
How come Spurs are capable of doing it and Everton are not?
Jack Broad, Birkenhead
I AM writing to you with regard to David Moyes’ lack of tactical knowledge.
I feel he has taken Everton as far as he can and a new manager would be ideal, together with the new ground. If we are to rival Liverpool’s European record, he must go. I am sick of paying good money to watch rubbish like that served up on Thursday night. Come on you Blues.
Eddy Stuffing, L9.

Tottenham Hotspur 2, Everton FC 0: David Moyes' silence is defeaning
Oct 28 2009 by James Pearce, Liverpool
DAVID MOYES took a vow of silence last night but his face told a thousand words.
The fuming Everton manager’s fears that a third game inside six days would prove a step too far for his injury-ravaged side were realised as they tumbled out of the Carling Cup at White Hart Lane. Moyes’ decision not to face the media was his way of hitting back at competition organisers who had treated his club with such contempt.
How galling that a genuine opportunity to end his eight-year search for silverware was effectively wrecked by such an impossible schedule. After the thrashing at the hands of Benfica and the last-gasp agony at Bolton, a third successive defeat came in the form of capital punishment. The defensive frailties which have dogged the Blues this season proved to be their undoing once again. There was no questioning the desire or work rate but lapses in concentration by a makeshift back four were punished by a Spurs side eyeing a third successive final appearance. Fatigue undoubtedly played a part but there is no getting away from the fact that 10 goals conceded in three games is an alarming statistic. Just as they did at Bolton on Sunday Everton shot themselves in the foot. Things could have been very different had the visitors managed to convert a number of gilt-edged chances prior to goals from Tom Huddlestone and Robbie Keane. But they couldn’t find a way past an inspired Heurelho Gomes and ultimately bowed out meekly. The Blues had tasted victory on their three previous trips to Spurs but with their squad stretched to breaking point this was always going to be a tall order. Moyes was at least boosted by the return of Yakubu after he missed the weekend defeat at Bolton with a heel injury. In the only change to Everton’s line up the Nigerian striker got the nod ahead of out-of-sorts frontman Jo. John Heitinga and Tim Cahill both shrugged off knocks but the Blues were still without no fewer than 10 first team stars with Leighton Baines, Leon Osman, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, Joseph Yobo and Steven Pienaar ruled out along with long-term absentees Phil Neville, Mikel Arteta, Victor Anichebe, Phil Jagielka and James Vaughan. Moyes wasn’t the only one with problems as Spurs boss Harry Redknapp was without a host of injured stars including Jonathan Woodgate, Aaron Lennon, Peter Crouch, Ledley King, Luka Modric and Giovani dos Santos, while Jermain Defoe was suspended and Niko Kranjcar cup-tied. Redknapp made five changes from their weekend defeat to Stoke but such is the depth of the resources at his disposal that he was able to call up Alan Hutton, Gareth Bale, David Bentley, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Michael Dawson, who cost a combined total of £47million. Everton started brightly with strike duo Saha and Yakubu proving a real handful for Dawson and Sebastien Bassong, while Jack Rodwell stamped his authority in midfield and spread play intelligently.
Marouane Fellaini’s clever flick created an early opening for Louis Saha but Gomes was alert to tip his acrobatic effort over the bar. For 20 minutes Everton – playing for the first time in their limited edition purple kit in aid of Liverpool Unites – were the better side but they couldn’t sustain it. Passes started to go astray and Tottenham began to expose the visitors’ soft centre. Lucas Neill’s error gifted Pavlyuchenko a clear run on goal midway through the half but under pressure from Sylvain Distin he blazed wastefully wide. On the half hour the Blues enjoyed another major let-off as Distin made a hash of dealing with a cross from Benoit Assou-Ekotto but Keane’s shot came back off the post. Heitinga then failed to convert Dan Gosling’s corner after rising highest in the box and seconds later his night went from bad to worse.
The Dutchman failed to cut out David Bentley’s cross from the right and Huddlestone made no mistake as he lashed an unstoppable left footer past Tim Howard.
Buoyed by the breakthrough, Spurs stepped up a gear and started to get in behind the Blues with alarming regularity. Makeshift left-back Tony Hibbert and Heitinga were both booked for cynical fouls but Everton survived until the break without further damage. Saha failed to emerge for the second half due to a calf injury and Jo got his chance to impress alongside Yakubu. Initially Moyes got the response he was looking for as Cahill forced a flying save from Gomes. Hibbert had to produce a goal-saving tackle to thwart Keane after Huddlestone’s defence splitting pass but the Blues were still in contention and had a golden chance to equalise in the 56th minute.
Fellaini’s pass released Jo through the middle but the Brazilian failed to beat Gomes.
Seconds later the tie was over. Keane was upended by Distin’s mistimed challenge in the box and after a huge slice of fortune the Irishman netted Spurs’ second.
It was tough on Howard who dived expertly to his right to keep out Keane’s spot-kick and then reacted smartly to block the follow up. A goalmouth scramble ensued with David Bentley and Gareth Bale both denied before the ball dropped kindly for Keane to convert. To their credit, Everton didn’t throw in the towel with Fellaini testing Gomes again but there was no way back. And as the Blues threw caution to the wind the gaps at the back grew ever bigger with Keane and Pavlyuchenko both passing up chances to pile on the misery.
TOTTENHAM: Gomes, Assou-Ekotto, Bassong, Dawson, Hutton, Bale, Palacios, Huddlestone, Bentley, Pavlyuchenko, Keane. Not used: Button, Jenas, Naughton, Corluka, Dervite, Parrett, Kane.
EVERTON: Howard, Hibbert, Distin, Heitinga, Neill, Cahill, Fellaini, Rodwell, Gosling, Yakubu, Saha (Jo 45). Not used: Nash, Coleman, Duffy, Agard, Baxter, Wallace. Booked: Hibbert, Heitinga, Cahill.
REFEREE: Lee Mason.

Phil Neville says Everton FC cavalry is coming
Oct 29 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON captain Phil Neville has urged his depleted Goodison troops to hang on in, until the Blues can call in the cavalry to help salvage their season. David Moyes’ squad has been savaged by injury, with 11 senior players ruled out of the most gruelling run of fixtures of the season. The Blues have lost all three matches, after an encouraging seven-match unbeaten run prior to that. Neville is one of those players who has been struck down by injury, but he said today: “The next couple of games are about survival and getting results. “It is about hanging on in there, not getting too down then re-grouping on the international break.” Neville sustained knee ligament damage at Fulham in September. But the injury has responded well to treatment and the versatile skipper has already pinpointed a date for his return. “I feel as though I am letting the team down not being fit because we need bodies out there,” he said. “We need experience out there and I can't help. “As captain of the team I want to be out there. I have got to be patient though. This is a crucial time in my rehabilitation when I have just got to be patient and let nature take its course. “It is six weeks since I met the surgeon and he said I would have peaks and troughs and plateaus with the injury.
“The first three or four weeks I thought I would be back playing inside six weeks, but I have reached a plateau now and it is frustrating! I really want to be back training and helping the guys out. “I am hoping to be back for the Man United game. But you never know. “That would be eight weeks after the injury and the surgeon said it was a 12 week injury. It just depends on how it is healing and how it is progressing.
“I am back running now which is good so we'll take each day as it comes. In an ideal world I would love to be fit for the Man United game which is after the next international break.”

The Jury: Everton fans give their view on the Blues' recent dip in form
Oct 29 2009 Liverpool Echo
IT’S been a tough week for Evertonians with three games in six days and a lot of travelling too. The Benfica trip was enjoyable with plenty of Everton songs and beers in the main square in Lisbon in the afternoon. The game was one to forget though. The Blues have a chance next week to avenge this result and get the three points they need to stay in contention in the group. The cup game at Tottenham was disappointing too with Everton looking shaky at the back again. They are clearly missing creativity too with a lot of our attacking midfielders unavailable at the moment. We have a tough November ahead and we need to get back to winning ways as quickly as possible. We need to forget the injuries and pull together now for a tough home game against Villa on Saturday. A win will lift some of the gloom.
THREE straight defeats to Benfica, Bolton and Spurs, add to that the 10 goals conceded and it’s obvious Everton are in freefall. A cruel injury list is mainly to blame for the current plight, but certain players in my opinion have let the club’s fans down. Now it’s difficult to single out individuals, and after leaking goals for fun you might want to blame the keeper? But Tim Howard hasn’t really done anything wrong. You could blame the players put out of position like Hibbert and Cahill? But if you look at each goal conceded you can’t help but want to blame Sylvain Distin!
Distin is 31 and shows no signs of improvement. His Bambi-on-ice performances have proven my friends from Man City correct, who all warned me that he was awful. I will wait to be gladly proven wrong, but I feel I will be waiting a very long time.
ALTHOUGH it is impossible not to have sympathy over the injuries and the sheer bad luck we get at times, I am sick of hearing Moyes criticise the FA about having to play three games in six days. We aim every year to qualify for as many competitions as possible and if anybody needs to advise the manager that some new players might be needed each season to make sure we have enough strength in depth, then I’m up for a career change and I’ll write to Bill Kenwright now! Harsh? No, just brutally honest. We have endured two summers of silence from the manager and Board and we have to sit and watch whilst clubs who finished below us go about signing players who would surely come to Goodison – if asked. Once again, a major game now beckons on Saturday against Villa and we need to start the game at a high tempo, with Yakubu and Saha up front. Forget a draw, we must win and show the kind of resilience that seems worryingly missing at the moment.
SO our run of three away games in six days ended with three defeats, and three mostly pitiful performances from a squad stretched to it’s absolute limit. Sadly with confidence shattered all over the team, this could be just the beginning of the rut.
Tuesday night wasn’t a massive improvement on recent performances, but the biggest positive was Marouane Fellaini. He has for some reason been playing a deeper role lately, and not looking too great at it. But he moved forward in the second half especially against Spurs, and was our main attacking inspiration.
We are obviously lacking creativity at the moment, but Fellaini’s quick feet and quick brain are definitely our best option for unlocking defences with the players we have available at the moment. Attack is the best form of defence on Saturday

Everton FC's fixture jam is like Christmas
Oct 20 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
FOR Everton’s exhausted players, Christmas came early this week – but no-one was celebrating. Injured skipper Phil Neville likened the Blues’ schedule of three matches in six days to the traditionally frantic festive fixture list. And he insisted nobody at Goodison was using the intense schedule as an excuse. “People might say it's an excuse, but it is a fact,” he declared. “It is a bit like playing over Christmas where you play Boxing Day then two days later then two days after that. “It does catch up with you so at Tottenham we played really well again, we were in the game but when the second goal goes in I think it just knocked the stuffing out of us. “The last 20 minutes we looked a tired team again. We can't feel sorry for ourselves though, we've to pick ourselves back up. We have to face a massive team in Aston Villa. “They are probably our nearest rivals in terms of competing for fifth place. We have to win on Saturday; there is no question about it. We have to be mentally right and recover from the games we've just had.” Neville admitted he was at a loss to explain the current spate of serious injury being sustained by so many Blues stars – amongst them himself.
“It is strange at the moment,” he added “as the players aren't just picking up little hamstring tightness or calf strains. “We are picking up serious injuries like cruiciate knee ligament injuries. We have got three of them at the moment! “Victor Anichebe has got a serious knee injury; he's been out for eight months now. It is so disappointing because at the moment we've got 11 or 12 fit players and those players are working their socks off. “They are playing a lot of games in a short space of time, there's no recovery time for them and they are actually playing really well. They are just not getting their rewards at the moment. “We have just got to hang in there at the moment. It is about survival to the next international break, try and get as many points on the board as we can. Then we must re-group in the international break, hopefully get some players back and we can attack then up to the Christmas period.”
The Blues have been uncharacteristically conceding goals over the last few weeks, with manager Moyes particularly critical of the efforts at Bolton last Sunday when three were shipped. But Neville said: “The big problem is Heitinga and Neill can't play in Europe. That means we can't have a settled team, we can't have a settled back four and now Leighton Baines is injured so our back four has been swopped and changed the last few weeks which hasn't helped. “It would be nice to get some experie- nce back in the team now. I went to the Bolton game on Sunday and every player we had out was under the age of 25 but you need experience to win in Premier League games.”

Everton FC’s purple shirt goes on view at Goodison Park
Oct 29 2009 by Staff Reporter, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON’S new limited-edition purple shirt will be on view at Goodison Park tonight when the club officially launches its campaign forŠLiverpool Unites.
The shirt, which was worn for the first and only time at the Carling Cup match against Spurs on Tuesday, was introduced by the Blues and retail partner Kitbag Limited to help raise over £100,000 for the charity. The campaign will be launched at a prestigious black tie dinner to be held at Club Everton from 7.30pm.
Players such as Phil Neville and Phil Jagielka will be in attendance, as well as former players such as Graeme Sharp. Ayone who wishes to consider going to the event should call Tom Woolley at Liverpool Unites on 0151-285 8400 or email

Sir Philip Carter praises Everton FC captain Phil Neville
Oct 30, 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
SIR PHILIP CARTER has paid a glowing tribute to Everton’s injured skipper, Phil Neville, describing him as “absolutely essential” to the Blues’ cause.
The versatile midfielder-cum- defender has been sidelined since the trip to Fulham two months ago – and has targeted the visit of Manchester United next month for his comeback. But Everton Life-President Sir Philip believes Neville is the player the Blues have missed most during an injury crisis he describes as unprecedented in his time at the club. “Phil Neville is absolutely essential as far as the team is concerned,” he said. “It’s not just his ability on the field, it’s his influence in the dressing room, his direction. “When you see him now he is so anxious to get back and if you see him up at Finch Farm he is still talking to the youngsters, telling him what they need to do and helping them along. He’s still there on the line and at the game the other night he was there with his family. “The number of injured players we have is quite phenomenal. I can’t remember anything like it in my time at Everton. To have so many players on the injured list, and not just minor injuries, is incredible.
“The main problem as I see it of course is that it has really taken the heart out of our team. “It’s all very well to say we have a squad, but when we saw the game the other night we had some boys out. It was difficult all round. What we need are some experienced players back – that would give more heart to everybody.” The Blues are hoping that full-back Leighton Baines could be one of the walking wounded ready to return against Aston Villa tomorrow. Sir Philip added: “When you lose the number of games we have, for whatever reason, the next game becomes that much more important and Villa has always been a super game as far as we are concerned.
“But the difficulty this time is that if we don’t get one or two of our boys back then they’ll have a hard time of it.”

Why Blues miss Phil Neville so badly: Howard Kendall
Oct 30 2009 by Howard Kendall, Liverpool Echo
OF the lengthy list of injured Everton players currently unavailable to manager David Moyes, there’s one that sticks out in my mind more than any other. Phil Neville.
He may not be everyone’s cup of tea as a player, but the leadership and the tactical qualities he brings to the side are being sorely missed at present. Clearly the qualities men like Mikel Arteta bring to the Blues are being missed, but I think that Neville has more of an influence on the players around him than possibly any other player.
When you look at the side which played at Tottenham, there weren’t many youngsters on show. Jack Rodwell and Dan Gosling were probably the only players who you could describe as inexperienced. But there was no-one else out there to help everyone gel together. Sometimes a manager will give the captaincy to an individual to try and bring the best out of him – like the day I handed the armband to Duncan Ferguson and he went out and scored a hat-trick – but sometimes you give it to an individual because he brings the best out of others. Phil Neville is certainly in that category.
Everton do have other leaders in their squad. Lucas Neill is an international captain, but at the moment he is still trying to find his feet at a new club. He will be geting used to new tactics, new team-mates and a new system. At times like this you are more focused on getting your own performance right rather than worrying about other people. But once he finds his feet I’m sure he will start organising people around him.
Sylvain Distin is another experienced defender in exactly the same boat.
But the fact remains that the sooner Phil Neville is back pulling the strings for Everton the better. His consistency and his leadership qualities have undoubtedly been missed.
And that’s not something that fans, who for obvious reasons are pining for the return of skilful, creative players like Mikel Arteta and Steven Pienaar, notice.

Time to tilt balance back in favour of Blues says Howard Kendall
Oct 30 2009 by Howard Kendall, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON have just endured a a gruelling run of three games in six days, coming on the back of a hefty injury crisis. But hopefully the balance has just been tilted a little back in their favour with Aston Villa being taken to extra-time in midweek.
Villa had to get through extra-time and then the ordeal of penalties in their Carling Cup tie with Sunderland. The downside for Everton is that Villa won! It’s amazing how you don’t feel tired when you’re winning matches. It will be interesting to see who Martin O’Neill selects up front. John Carew has been keeping Emile Heskey out of the starting line up for much of this season, which surprises me. I’ve never been a big fan of Carew, but maybe Martin prefers the physical presence he offers for his talented wide men. Everton’s full-backs will have to be on their toes, but it will be nice to simply be back at Goodison Park again after three successive away games on the bounce.

Everton’s Phil Jagielka wants to use Aston Villa game as a launchpad to success
Oct 30 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
THIS time last winter Everton lost a tumultuous football match to tomorrow’s visitors to Goodison Park. It proved a launch pad for the kind of unbeaten run which sets up whole seasons. But not for the victors, Aston Villa. Everton were the team which rallied from that heartbreak to embark upon a stirring run of results. After the crushing disappointment of that last minute defeat to Martin O’Neill’s side, Everton dusted themselves down and lost just once in their next 23 games – a run which included a revenge victory over Villa and a first appearance in a Cup Final for 14 years.
Everton desperately need another springboard tomorrow, but this time with the platform of a victory over Villa. One man who featured in last season’s games but will not play tomorrow is Phil Jagielka but Everton’s player of the year is keeping his fingers crossed for his team-mates. He said: “The last couple of seasons we’ve not started as we would have liked for one reason or another, but we’d definitely like to win the game on Saturday to give us a springboard this time rather than lose it!
“We need to go on a decent run now. “We have lost a couple of games recently, but the morale in the camp is still quite high. “It just takes one good result, which will hopefully be on Saturday, to turn things around, and we have been known to go on these long unbeaten runs when we don’t lose many games – if any. “But that’s what we’ve got to do. We’ve got to win on Saturday and then climb up the table to where we feel that we belong.” Visitors to Goodison Park tomorrow should brace themselves for a lively afternoon. Everton’s recent clashes with Villa have been roller-coaster affairs. The game last December was a five-goal thriller, followed by a return visit to Villa Park which produced one more goal. The FA Cup tie sandwiched in between was positively humdrum, just four goals as Everton clinched a place in the quarter-final. Jagielka recalls that first Villa clash all too well. It was his backpass, a rare error in a consistently impeccable season, which let in Ashley Young after Everton had brought the scores level early in the second half. “I’m not sure why the games between us are so exciting,” added Jagielka “although I helped in that first game at Goodison by gifting them a couple of goals. “Obviously they like to play attacking football and have a couple of good wide players and forwards, and at the time obviously we had a couple of our more influential creative players like Mikel Arteta and Steven Pienaar playing really well.

Joleon Lescott says trophies, not money, behind Manchester City transfer
Oct 30 2009 Liverpool Echo
FORMER Everton defender Joleon Lescott says the acrimony from his move from the Blues still annoys him. After three seasons at Goodison Park, the England defender quit the club this summer after handing in a transfer request to push through a lucrative £22million move to Manchester City. The details of his transfer to Eastlands have been well-aired, but Lescott still feels hard-done-by from the fall-out which eventually saw Everton boss David Moyes drop him for a “poor attitude”.
Lescott said: “Moving to City was one of the best days of my life. It was not about the money, I remember hearing one of the coaches at Everton had said that about me. And I thought, ’How could you say that when you know me as well as you do?’.
“Believe me, I had a great contract at Everton. I didn’t need any more.
“But City represented a chance to achieve real success faster than it was going to happen at Everton. People talk about David Moyes maybe one day going to Manchester United, and that’s fine because managers can afford to wait.
“But as a player you do not have that luxury, and I felt I couldn’t wait. “I felt that when I joined City, that they were better equipped than Everton to finish fourth.
“I reached the FA Cup final with them last season, which was an achievement. The next step is to win a trophy, and I sense that feeling. “There are World Cup players here, winners here, and if we are all pushing in the same direction then we should achieve things.”

David Prentice: Sylvain Distin is better than Joleon Lescott!
Oct 30, 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
MARK HUGHES felt compelled to jump to Joleon Lescott’s defence this week, after critics continued to question the wisdom of his £22m outlay on a defender responsible for several City goals in recent weeks. David Moyes hasn’t needed to say a word about his £5m replacement. I recall watching Sylvain Distin giving a passable impersonation of a footballing Robocop five years ago for City at Anfield, and wishing one of our two clubs could afford to pay his then considerable wages.
Now, five years on, I’ve seen nothing to suggest that age has withered him.
He’s played every minute of every match since he signed from Portsmouth.
And if Everton were looking for men to step up to the plate in recent weeks, few have done so more than the formidable Frenchman. Sure, he had a ropy match in Benfica. But he wasn’t alone there. For me, Sylvain Distin has already proved an astute buy for the Blues.

Time for Everton FC players to step it up - David Moyes
Oct 31 2009 by James Pearce, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES has warned his Everton players to start delivering the goods or face the chop when the club’s injury crisis eases. The Blues go into today’s Premier League clash with Aston Villa at Goodison on a mission to end a miserable run of five games without a win. A lengthy casualty list has severely depleted Moyes’ squad but he is demanding a major improvement against Martin O’Neill’s side. “The players who are available need to stand up for themselves,” Moyes said. “A lot of them are playing out of position and doing jobs that are unusual for them but I can’t make excuses. “They've got to play better no matter where they play. We did it last year.
“We probably had our best spell last season when we had no strikers and people playing out of position so why should it be any different this year? I try not to look for excuses. I try to make people accountable for whatever job they do.” Moyes, who is hoping to have defenders Leighton Baines and Joseph Yobo back available today, insists anyone guilty of taking their place for granted will be in for a shock. “I would hate to think that was the way our boys thought but sub-consciously maybe there is an element of that,” he said. “And if that is the case they are going to be in for a fright when the injury situation changes. If we don't get performances out of them then ultimately they will be changed. “I'm like an elephant, I don't forget. I don't forget if people don't perform and let me down. “We all need to be on it. Everyone goes through spells when they are not playing well or lacking in confidence but I don't necessarily think that is us. We've have played okay in some of the games. The first half in Benfica we played well, we played quite well at Bolton with the exception of the opening 15 minutes and, while I wouldn't say we played well at Tottenham, we were never really out the game.” Moyes expects to have Phil Jagielka back in training next week and skipper Phil Neville is making good progress as he recovers from his knee injury. “Phil Jagielka will be in and around training in the next week or so,” Moyes said. “That is not to say he's back, but he will be able to get on the ball with the team probably next week. Then it will be a month of reserve games to get him up to speed. “Phil Neville has done unbelievably well to get as far down the line with his injury as he has done. It was an eight to 12 week injury but he's getting close. He's been in first every morning to try and get himself fit and is always the last to leave.”

Everton boss David Moyes wants to see sweet not sour on menu at Goodison
Oct 31 2009 by James Pearce, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES is desperate to avoid another Chinese takeaway tonight.
Over a month has passed since the Everton boss had that “Saturday feeling” of reflecting on a satisfying victory. In recent weeks he’s been left to ponder what might have been as he settles down for a night at home with his spring rolls. The Blues have gone five games without a win but Moyes is determined to end that run when his side face Aston Villa at Goodison Park today. “I used to talk about the Saturday night feeling,” Moyes said. “If you’ve won you can enjoy a meal with the wife and a bottle of wine if you fancy it. “The alternative is to pull the curtains and get a Chinese in and hope nobody sees you when you’ve lost. “There have been a few nights with the curtains drawn this season that’s for sure, but that’s football management. As a manager you want the positive Saturday night feeling more often. “There is pressure to get results. That is my job and there is nobody who hurts more than me, and nobody who examines himself more than me, when we don’t get them. “Whatever anyone thinks or says, I have already thought about it and tried to correct it.” Everton haven’t won in the league since victory at Portsmouth on September 26. They have slipped to 14th – closer to the drop zone than the European places – but Moyes insists he hasn’t lowered his targets in the Premier League. “It might well be that we finish mid-table but it would be wrong of me to have that as my ambition,” he said. “My ambition is to finish as high as I possibly can. That hasn’t altered. We are the kind of footballing side that could easily go on a run and I hope that’s about to start. “First of all I’ve got to get back to a side that is resilient and hard to beat, and much tougher to play against than we are at the moment. “I can’t see this season as a lost cause. Our points total is very similar to this time last year. I get the feeling people will see our season as a lost cause because of the improvement by Manchester City, Tottenham, Aston Villa and Sunderland, but I can’t. “Maybe, without knowing, we are in the process of building a new side. Maybe we are building again. The injured players might not be the same when they come back, who knows? We are in the throes of transition just now.”
The worst casualty list Moyes has ever experienced in management has undoubtedly contributed to their recent slump. Ten senior players were missing for Tuesday’s 2-0 Carling Cup exit at Spurs – the Blues’ third defeat in the space of six days.
Moyes hopes to have “one or two” back today but he is keen to keep the focus on those who are still standing. And he admits too many have slipped below their usual high standards. “We haven’t defended as well as we’ve done in the past,” he said. “Over the years we’ve been pretty solid and hard to play against. “I also think we’ve missed a lot of chances. We missed a few chances against Stoke to have won the game, we had one or two against Wolves and even against Tottenham the other night.
“It is at both ends at the moment. We are getting opportunities and not taking them, and we are not defending well when we’ve had to.” The gruelling schedule has hardly helped matters with little time available to put things right on the training ground.
Moyes said: “I’ll not make any excuses for it but where do you get the time between these last few games? “The back four in the last few games, with Tony Hibbert having to play at left back, is not the back four of the last few years. “If we can get back to a resemblance of normality I would hope that would give us some stability.”
Midfielder Marouane Fellaini has been the target of some fans’ frustration but Moyes believes there are signs of improvement from the Belgian. “I don’t think his form was great at the start but I think it has improved in recent weeks and he’s doing better in the games,” he said. “I know what people were saying after Benfica where he had a good first half but obviously you have to play well the entire game. “There are signs of his form coming back. He scored at the weekend and he got nine goals for us last season which were all very important. Him and Tim Cahill are vital to our goals tally.
“Tim had a few chances against Stoke too. They are both important to us and, strangely, they are both probably at their best when playing higher up the pitch and closer to the top end than the back. “Sometimes they can impact on each other. Right now we don’t have the option to make too many changes but I think we can play them together. Their best spell last season was when they both played together as unorthodox strikers.”

Everton legend Dave 'Cannonball Kid' Hickson celebrates 80th birthday
Oct 31 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
HE was described by a former correspondent of this newspaper as “soccer’s stormiest petrel.” Nowadays, Davey Hickson is more akin to a wise old owl – a Great Horned Owl obviously given his still impressive quiff – and last night he celebrated his 80th birthday in a surprise party staged at Goodison Park. Hickson is one of Merseyside football’s greatest treasures. Let us not forget he represented all three clubs of this city with passion and distinction, although there has never been any doubt where his heart lies. He is an Everton man from the tip of his trademark quiff to the toecaps of his shooting boots – which he was still pulling on only a decade ago in charity matches.
The visit of Aston Villa to Goodison Park today is both timely and appropriate.
Because The Claret and Blues have figured significantly in this particular Blue Blood’s Braveheart career. It was Joe Royle who first coined the phrase “Davey would often come off the pitch covered in blood....some of it his own.” And it was Hickson’s courageous display in front of nearly 78,000 fans, when he staggered back onto the pitch, blood seeping from a gashed eyebrow, to head a Goodison winner against Manchester United that set up an FA Cup quarter-final at Villa Park. Of course he scored the winner that day, too. As he did when Aston Villa provided the opposition for his Liverpool debut in November 1959, when Hickson scored twice.
That particular transfer made Nick Barmby’s decision to cross Stanley Park look like an afterthought. The Echo sports pages of the day were crammed – literally crammed – with letter, after letter, after letter. Here’s just a cross-section.
“If Hickson is allowed to leave Everton, there requires to be a shaking up of the board. If some of the other players put half Hickson’s zest into the game there would be bigger gates.” That one was signed by 60 Gwladys Street regulars.
Then there was: “So far as I am concerned, should he go, so do we!
“Everton will never be the same without Davey. If he goes to Liverpool I am sure many more will willingly pay 2s to Liverpool just to watch him.”
“I protest at the abominable treatment afforded Dave Hickson. Everton supporters know Hickson is not the best centre-forward in football, but of the centre-forwards on Everton’s books he is the best by far.” And: “You asked what a true Liverpudlian would think of Hickson coming to us. I can tell you. I only wish we had Hickson. We wouldn’t be in the second division today if we had got him when he left uddersfield.”
Finally, another Evertonian viewpoint. “On behalf of myself and my friends I must protest over Hickson’s treatment. We are disgusted and ashamed to think that anyone as loyal as Dave could be treated this way. To Hickson we say: ‘Don’t fall out of love with us supporters because if you go across the park you will not go alone.”
Hickson never fell out of love with those supporters, and those fans certainly never fell out of love with the man they christened the Cannonball Kid. That bond was advertised when Hickson once famously said in an interview: “I would have broken every other bone in my body for any other club, that’s how I look at it, you know. But I would have died for this club.” He gave us a scare a couple of years ago when he suffered a heart attack in the entrance foyer at Goodison Park. But typically he made a fighting recovery and is back at Goodison as a regular tour guide. He’ll be there again today, when two of his former clubs cross swords, so if you see him stop, shake hands and wish many happy returns to one of the gentlemen of Merseyside sport.
Half a lifetime after the prime of Dave Hickson, his name still leaps vividly from the pages of Everton history. An archetypal warrior centre-forward – a flaxen-haired, swashbuckler who captured the imagination of the fans like few others.
But also a humble and gentle man. Happy Birthday Dave!

BARRY HORNE: Sir Philip Carter so right to praise Everton skipper Phil Neville
Oct 31 2009 by Barry Horne, Liverpool
SIR PHILIP CARTER paid a glowing tribute to Phil Neville in yesterday’s Echo and rightly so. The Everton skipper has been missed while he’s been out and the sooner he’s back the better. Neville spoke out in the wake of our Carling Cup exit on Tuesday night. He expressed his obvious disappointment and spoke openly about his feelings during a difficult time, but he also praised his team-mates for doing their utmost in testing circumstances. Another player deserving of great respect is Tim Cahill, who because of the severe injury crisis and the strengths and weaknesses of the 11 men still standing has been playing out of position. He’s been asked to sacrifice the best part of his own game for the good of the team and has done so without complaint.
Many players like to play ‘off the frontman’ or as an attacking midfielder in a five-man midfield because they are a little short in one or more departments.
Either they lack pace, physical presence, athleticism or passing ability etc to play as one of two in central midfield. However, that’s not the case with Cahill. He plays just off the striker or as an attacking midfielder because he’s one of the best at it in the Premier League. In recent weeks, injuries have meant he’s been asked to play a more disciplined role in the centre which he has done more than adequately. Last Sunday I saw him play wide on the left and that’s a role he repeated in midweek. It’s a role many players find difficult and don’t enjoy. But, typically, Cahill just got on with it and gave it his best shot. His commitment to the cause was highlighted at Bolton when late on in the game he sprinted 60 metres chasing a lost cause to keep the ball in play. Cahill has been an inspiration to Everton for many years, but now he’s setting an example of a different kind with the way he’s doing what’s best for the team.
Cahill might not be showing the sparkling form we know he’s capable of, but he’s setting a fantastic example to the rest of selflessness.
Blues need to find a way past Dunne
IT’S been a traumatic week for everyone connected with Everton with three defeats very different in nature. Away to Benfica we were heavily beaten as our full-backs were exposed and bad defending cost us. At Bolton we started poorly, probably due to the late return from Portugal, but showed great character to come back only to concede a late winner. At Spurs we were never really in the game as a third match in six days took its toll. Only when we look back in six months will we be able to put those defeats in context but I’m confident it will be just another difficult period which Everton came through and progressed. The psychological damage caused is a concern and David Moyes’ biggest task is to maintain confidence and morale within a fantastic group of players. A victory over Aston Villa today would make that job a lot easier. If that’s going to happen we have to start well and the fans can play their part by really getting behind the players. To break this losing run the Blues will need to find a way past an Everton old boy and former team-mate of mine who is in outstanding form.
After serving Man City superbly, Richard Dunne has flourished since moving to Villa and has been producing the goods at both ends of the pitch.

True Blues appealing to the Everton family
Oct 31 2009 Liverpool Echo
WITH a surname like Wright, Formby postmaster Billy had to be a Blue.
(He’s far too young to recall Wolves’ flaxen haired hero of the 50s – but does remember the defender of the same name dumped by Howard Kendall for passing a fatness test). I often chat with Billy about the trials and tribulations of life following Everton. But football was put very much into perspective three years ago when wife Denise was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. She has remained unfailingly upbeat, despite two hip replacements, a vertobroplasty of the back and losing her hair three times (“the wigs are fantastic these days,” she joked). Typically selfless, her priority has been to raise awareness of the increasing incidence of multiple myeloma amongst younger people (Denise was 48 when diagnosed) and to raise funds for Myeloma UK.
She has organised a Charity Night to take place next Saturday, November 7 in Formby, which has long since sold out.But Denise wants raffle prizes to raise funds for the charity. If you can help in any way either pop into the Post Office on Liverpool Road, Formby, write to her at 13 Beechburn Road, Roby, Liverpool or call on 0151-480-4301.
Return of the Yak so good to see says Sharpy
GRAEME SHARP knows a thing or two about centre-forward play.
So it was reassuring to hear his views on Yakubu’s performance at White Hart Lane in midweek. With Blues fans desperate for any crumbs of comfort at present, Sharp believed the performance of the Nigerian international was the highlight of the match.
“I was delighted to see him back. His touch and his awareness meant he looked sharp and he looked strong,” he said. “He was the highlight for me personally. Also for him to get a full game under his belt at a place where he encountered a terrible injury last season was pleasing to see.” Now someone go and ask Sharpy about Jo . . . .

Everton FC 1 Aston Villa 1 - final whistle match report
Oct 31 2009 By Neil MacDonald
EVERTON drew their third successive home game 1-1 as John Carew came off the bench to equalise at Goodison Park. Diniyar Bilyaletdinov had opened the scoring for the hosts in first-half stoppage time, but Carew - who had replaced Emile Heskey at half-time - made it 1-1 within two minutes of the restart. Both teams finished the match with 10 men after Bilyaletdinov and then Carlos Cuellar were given their marching orders late on by referee Lee Probert. Everton made three changes to their first XI for the visit of Aston Villa in the Barclays Premier League this afternoon, with Leighton Baines, Joseph Yobo and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov all restored to the starting line-up after recovering from injury. Louis Saha dropped to the bench after picking up a calf problem, as did Dan Gosling, but there was no place in the squad for Tony Hibbert. Brad Friedel was named in goal for Villa to make his 200th consecutive league appearance after Brad Guzan had deputised at Sunderland in the Carling Cup on Tuesday, while Steve Sidwell returned to the midfield in place of Nigel Reo-Coker. Emile Heskey, who had made his first start since August at the Stadium of Light, retained his starting spot with John Carew on the bench once again, and Stephen Warnock was included in the defence despite suffering an ankle injury in the week. Everton and Villa matched each other all the way until the final weeks of last season in the race for fifth place in the table and again, there was little to divide the two teams in the opening stages. Sidwell wasted the first real opportunity of the game in the fifth minute, misdirecting his header across Tim Howard’s goal after Ashley Young’s cross had picked him out. Minutes later Ayegbeni Yakubu sent a cross into the Villa box which looked like it might dip under the bar, but the ever-reliable Friedel was on hand to tip it over. Marouane Fellaini tried a speculative effort from range on the quarter hour but Friedel made a comfortable catch and at the other end, Heskey was crowded out in the Everton box before he could make meaningful contact with James Collins’ long ball. Yakubu almost broke the deadlock shortly before the half-hour mark with a looping header from Heitinga’s lofted pass, but the striker’s momentum put too much on the effort and carried it over the bar. Fellaini then appeared to go even closer when his header was pushed round the post by the boot of Carlos Cuellar, but replays showed that the ball had already gone out of play before reaching the gangly midfielder. Villa had their best effort of the half soon after when Cuellar headed the ball across the area and Warnock met it with a volley, but the defender’s low drive went inches wide. But just as it appeared it would be honours event the break the hosts found a way through. A minute of first half stoppage time had elapsed when Cahill’s cross hit Yakubu in the box and fell right in front of the arriving Bilyaletdinov, who made no mistake in slotting it past Friedel.
The goal got Goodison Park rocking but just as it appeared as if Everton might be putting their recent woes behind them, Villa levelled. Carew was the goalscorer, making an instant impact two minutes after being brought on for Heskey as a half-time substitute. The Norwegian fired past Howard after the goalkeeper could only parry a shot from Gabriel Agbonlahor. David Moyes’ team looked rattled and, after Cahill had been booked for a rash challenge on Young, Stiliyan Petrov almost put Villa ahead from distance but his effort was deflected. With 20 minutes remaining, Saha was introduced for Everton in place of Fellaini to provide some fresh attacking impetus as both sides went in search of the winner. Cahill might have sealed it with six minutes left when he met Baines’ cross in the box, but the Australian connected as much with Warnock’s head as he did the ball, and Saha then controlled the ball on the edge of the area but sliced his effort wide. Bilyaletdinov was shown a straight red card for a late tackle on Petrov, and only seconds later Cuellar was also dismissed after collecting his second yellow card for clattering into Yakubu.































October 2009