Everton Independent Research Data


Wayne Rooney factfile
September 01, 2004
Manchester Evening News
1985: Born October 24, Liverpool.
2001: Progresses through the Everton Academy ranks and scores eight goals during the club's run to the final of the FA Youth Cup.
2002: August 17 - Makes Premiership debut in Everton's season-opening 2-2 draw at Southampton.
September 14 - Booked for first time in Everton's 2-1 victory over Middlesbrough.
October 1 - Scores first goals at senior level with two in 3-0 Worthington Cup win at Wrexham.
October 19 - Nets first Premiership goal with stunning late winner as Everton overcome champions Arsenal at Goodison Park.
November 3 - Scores the goal which beats Leeds at Elland Road.
December 14 - Scores one goal and sets up the other as Blackburn are beaten 2-1 at Goodison Park and Everton end a three-match losing streak.
December 26 - Receives first red card of his Premiership career at Birmingham.
2003: January 1 - Receives fifth yellow card in New Year's Day clash with Manchester City, adding a one-match suspension to the three-match suspension he would serve for being sent off against Birmingham.
January 14 - Football Association confirm Rooney will not be called into the England Under-20 squad for a tournament in the United Arab Emirates, much to the relief of Everton.
January 17 - Signs new deal to stay at Everton until the end of 2005-06 season.
February 8 - Named in 27-man England squad ahead of February 12 friendly international against Australia at Upton Park.
February 12 - Rooney becomes youngest player to win a full England cap when he appears as a second-half substitute against Australia.
March 23 - Scores in 2-1 defeat to Arsenal at Highbury. Called into the England squad for Euro 2004 qualifiers against Liechtenstein and Turkey.
March 29 - Comes on as a substitute for the final 10 minutes of England's 2-0 win in Liechtenstein.
April 2 - Named in starting line-up for crucial Euro 2004 qualifier against Turkey at the Stadium of Light and shines as England win 2-0.
April 10 - News emerges Rooney's family home in Croxteth was targeted by vandals who fired paint-filled pellets, which hit the wall and the family car on the driveway.
April 22 - Police advise Rooney on his future behaviour, but do not charge him over an alleged spitting incident which took place during the Merseyside derby defeat against Liverpool, in which nine-man Everton lost 2-1 at Goodison.
April 27 - Misses out on the PFA Young Player of the Year award to Newcastle midfielder Jermaine Jenas.
May 11 - Moyes claims Rooney has picked up a medial knee ligament injury in Everton's 2-1 defeat by champions Manchester United at Goodison Park on the final day of the Barclaycard Premiership season and will not be fit for England's friendly in South Africa.
May 12 - Rooney named in the England squad for the friendly against South Africa in Durban on May 22 but withdraws.
September 6 - At 17 years and 317 days becomes England's youngest-ever goalscorer with equaliser in England's match in Macedonia.
October 11 - Doubts raised about his temperament ahead of England's vital Euro 2004 clash against Turkey but keeps his cool on the pitch as Sven-Goran Eriksson's side secure 0-0 draw to qualify for Portugal.
October 24 - Celebrates his 18th birthday.
2004: May 17 - Named in England squad for Euro 2004.
June 5 - Scores twice before half-time in England's 6-1 rout of Iceland.
June 17 - Puts in one of the performances of Euro 2004, scoring twice as England beat Switzerland.
June 21 - Nets two goals in 4-2 defeat of Croatia as England qualify for the quarter-finals of Euro 2004.
June 24 - Is substituted after 27 minutes of quarter-final against Portugal with what turns out to be a cracked metatarsal.
July 5 - Named in UEFA's All Star squad of Euro 2004
July 6 - Offered five-year deal by Everton.
August 23 - '20million bid from Newcastle is rejected by the Goodison club.
August 25 - Everton reject '20million bid from Manchester United.
August 26 - Everton reject improved bids from Newcastle and Manchester United.
August 27 - Hands in transfer request to Everton.
August 31 - Arrives at United training ground for medical and the club confirm they have completed his signing just over four hours short of the deadline.

Ruud hails Rooney
September 01, 2004
Manchester Evening News
Ruud van Nistelrooy is excited at the prospect of forming a new Manchester United strike partnership with Wayne Rooney. The 18-year-old England star completed his move to Old Trafford last night in a deal which could ultimately be worth '27million to his former club Everton.
Van Nistelrooy, yet to feature for the Red Devils this season because of a hernia problem, cannot wait to play alongside such an "incredible player" as Rooney. "Everyone knows Wayne is an amazing talent and the thought of him pulling on a United shirt is frightening," he told the Daily Mirror. "He proved himself at Euro 2004 and I don't know many clubs who wouldn't mind him in their side. "He is an incredible player who has a huge future ahead of him. "To do what he has already done at just 18 years old is incredible. "Anyone who has seen him play knows what a talent he is. It really excites me to think he will be playing at United. He will be a great asset to the club and to play with him will be fantastic."

Rooney's Red delight
September 01, 2004
Manchester Evening News
Wayne Rooney is convinced that a move to Manchester United will help him achieve his dreams.
The 18-year-old England striker will be unveiled at a 1pm media conference today after agreeing a six-year deal. Everton could eventually secure '27million for arguably the nation's brightest talent following a day of intense negotiations between chairman Bill Kenwright and United chief executive David Gill. With the transfer deadline fast approaching, manager Sir Alex Ferguson finally got his man. Rooney said: "It was a tough decision to leave Everton, the club I've supported and played for all my life, but I'm excited to be joining a club as big as Manchester United. "I feel this can only improve my career, playing with top players in top competitions like the Champions League, and I can't wait to meet up with the team."
Ferguson is thrilled to have Rooney on board after competition for his signature from Newcastle.
"I am very excited, I think we have got the best young player this country has seen in the past 30 years. Everyone is delighted by this signing," said the United boss. Gill added: "We are delighted to have reached an agreement for Wayne. He will be a tremendous asset to Manchester United and undoubtedly has a bright future ahead of him." United released a statement to announce they had secure Rooney's signature with only hours to spare before the transfer window closed. It read: "Wayne has signed a six-year contract until June 30 2010. "The fee payable to Everton is '20million. Half is due now, with half due on August 1 2005. In addition there are contingent payments to Everton over the next five years up to a maximum of '7million, dependent on club success, the player renewing his contract and his appearances at international level. "Of this sum, '3million will be due to Everton provided Rooney remains registered to MU until June 30 2007."
Agent fees
United also revealed Rooney's representatives could receive as much as '1.5million. "Agents' fees payable to Proactive Sports Management Limited in relation to both the acquisition of the player and negotiation of his personal terms totalled '1.5million. "Of this sum, '1million is guaranteed, of which '0.5million is payable immediately and the balance over the following five years in equal instalments. "The remaining '0.5million will be paid in five equal instalments over the duration of Rooney's contract provided he remains registered to MU at the due dates for payment." The road to closure in the deal did have a sinister side, however. Rooney's representatives are ready to help police if they conduct an investigation into alleged threats made to Paul Stretford. Stretford, a director of Proactive Sports Management Limited (part of the Formation Group) was one of the key players in the transfer. In a statement, the company said: "Negotiations were carried out on behalf of our client by one of the company's directors Paul Stretford and his team. "The board would like to place on record its thanks to Paul Stretford and his team for the manner in which they have conducted themselves during what has been a difficult period. "Wayne Rooney has been the subject of a great deal of speculation surrounding the transfer and much has been inaccurate and sometimes malicious in its contents. "Partly as a result of this, Paul Stretford and his family have recently received a number of threats from misguided people purporting to be football fans, details of which have been passed to the police. "We will naturally co-operate fully with any investigation, which subsequently may take place."

Comment: Rooney still has plenty to prove
Paul Walker
September 01, 2004
Manchester Evening News
His explosive performances at Euro 2004 put him on the shopping list of every club that could afford him - and Sir Alex Ferguson finally signed Wayne Rooney yesterday. And the England striker will be looking to put what was actually a disappointing second season with Everton behind him. When a player bursts on to the footballing stage as a precocious 16-year-old, becomes England's youngest ever senior international and goalscorer and has worldly riches before he can even drive, something has to give. Rooney, now 18 and with his own sports car and posh house in Southport, struggled through his second first-team campaign for Everton. Sometimes brilliant, sometimes a little boy lost and frequently in trouble for petulance with referees, he had the same problems as most teenage boys growing up. The main difference was that Rooney had to do it all in the spotlight.
Everton's troubles were Rooney's troubles. Surrounded by journeymen, the youngster struggled at times. And it was only when he played alongside Steven Gerrard, David Beckham and Michael Owen, that the kid from a Croxteth council estate blossomed. It is fair to say Rooney played better for England than Everton and now he has decided he needs to be playing in a stronger team.
Manager David Moyes took some stick as he attempted to manage his rise to fame. He left him out a few times in a softly-softly approach to his football upbringing, and was criticised. He kept him in the side for too long and was told he was overusing the youngster.
Moyes could not win.
During the last campaign, however, Rooney slowly emerged as a more intelligent footballer, aware of the team and not just intent on repeating his wonder goal against Arsenal at every opportunity.
Moyes spent last season developing Rooney's game, his perception of other positions and his increased involvement in team play - and it came to fruition in Portugal. Rooney spent some time on the right of midfield, having to defend, and that is something he has added to his game that will only benefit him in the future. He has had to learn, and Moyes had to cope with the over-exposure of his boy star. Moyes said Rooney's speedy inclusion in Sven-Goran Eriksson's plans came too quickly, saying at the time that "if England are relying on a 17-year-old, then they have problems".
But the player had the nation's hopes on his shoulders when he limped out of the quarter-final against hosts Portugal. Everyone at Everton, management and fans, always felt Rooney was fast-tracked into the international arena to salvage England and Eriksson's reputations - rather than to develop him. Since bursting on to the Premiership scene, Rooney has spent much of his time acquiring the trappings of fame - houses, cars, pop-star friends and advertising endorsements - but that was always going to be the case with a youngster so quickly thrown into fame and money.
Moyes worked quietly on his game but, contrary to general belief, he has not been afraid to use him. Of Everton's five strikers, he was used in as many games as anyone last season. Moyes has ignored the complaints, opinions and accusations as he tried to control Rooney's advancement and the showbiz whirl that has inevitably come with it. Other kids of his age learn in junior games on a Saturday morning watched by half a dozen die-hard fans.
Rooney has had to learn his craft in the spotlight, and it does not always go to plan. But, as the weeks and games have come and gone, Rooney has looked more poised, more aware and more grown-up. He looked the finished article against France when he out-paced Mikael Silvestre and was brought down for a penalty in the opening game of the Portugal tournament. He carried England to the quarter-final with his inspirational performance against Croatia before injuring his foot against the hosts. `Your Country Needs Roo', `Roo-mania', `Roo-sult', `Roo's a Beauty' and `Wayne Making it Your Eu-Roo 2004' were some of the headlines screaming his achievements as he lit up the tournament. Despite not kicking a ball since he injured his foot against Portugal, Rooney has still been making headlines. His social activities have been creating front pages while speculation over his future has dominated the back pages. Sir Alex Ferguson joined the race to sign him and will take over from Moyes as Rooney's father figure in his development as a world class footballer.

Wayne set for baptism of fire
September 01, 2004
Manchester Evening News
WAYNE Rooney could be handed a Manchester United baptism of fire against his old Merseyside enemies Liverpool. The most expensive striker in Reds history never scored for the Anfielder's neighbours Everton in a derby. But putting that right would make the 18-year-old an instant hit for the Reds. United meet Liverpool in a TV blockbuster on September 20 at Old Trafford and the injured Rooney, signed last night for '29.5m, is on course to be fit for a sensational debut. Added to that is the fact that Rio Ferdinand's eight-month ban will be over and he could make his comeback in the same match. Rooney broke the metatarsal bone in his right foot in England's quarter-final defeat against Portugal at Euro 2004 on June 25. The immediate prognosis was that England's four-goal sensation would be out for 10 weeks. That sets Rooney's comeback target as Friday. Behind
But the striker is slightly behind that original schedule and began light jogging in training at Everton last week. His former club were expecting him to be back in action a fortnight this weekend.
That would mean Rooney, who misses England's World Cup qualifiers against Austria and Poland this weekend and next week, could be involved against Liverpool. Rooney's broke his fifth metatarsal - the bone on the outside of his foot - the same injury Gary Neville sustained against Bayer Leverkusen at Old Trafford in April 2002. That cost the defender his World Cup and he didn't return for the Reds for five months. David Beckham, however, broke his third metatarsal two weeks earlier than Neville but made the Japan tournament eight weeks later. Rooney and Neville's breaks on the outside of the foot need longer to heal to stand up to action. However, United's new buy's recovery is on course for that red-hot first appearance. And the Scouse teenager was welcomed to Old Trafford with a ringing endorsement from his new boss. "I am very excited. I think we have got the best young player this country has seen in the past 30 years," said Sir Alex Ferguson. Rooney, who will pick up around '90,000-a-week with the Reds, added: "It was a tough decision to leave Everton, the club I've supported and played for all my life, but I'm excited to be joining a club as big as Manchester United."

Neville excited by Rooney signing
September 01, 2004
Manchester Evening News
Gary Neville is "extremely excited" at the prospect of England team-mate Wayne Rooney playing for Manchester United. The United full-back has witnessed at first hand the impact Rooney has made at the highest level and believes his '27million transfer from Everton will only help the Old Trafford club in their bid to win more honours both home and abroad. "I am extremely excited by the prospect of a fit Wayne Rooney playing for Manchester United," said Neville. "In terms of his performances for England and in training, he has been quite spectacular. The two games against Turkey stood out for me." Rooney is still recovering a foot injury sustained at Euro 2004, where he was the undoubted star of the show for England. Neville told Sky Sports: "I just hope he can get fit and give us those type of performances. "I am not sure he surprised me with the impact he made at Euro 2004, he surprised me against (in the Euro 2004 qualifier) Turkey at Sunderland. "We had played against someone else (Liechtenstein as a substitute) on the Saturday but for probably the biggest England match for some time, he came in and took to it. At Euro 2004 I expected him to take to it."

Rooney: I know how to behave
September 01, 2004
Manchester Evening News
Manchester United new boy Wayne Rooney has insisted he does not need the advice of his new team-mates on how to behave. Rooney signed a '27million deal with the Old Trafford outfit yesterday to become Britain's costliest teenage footballer. The 18-year-old knows his move will only serve to intensify the media spotlight on him but, despite recent unsavoury revelations about his private life, he is confident he will cope. United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has already informed the England striker he must relocate from Merseyside even though the teenager currently lives only 30 miles from the Red Devils' Carrington training ground. And the fiery Scot will also remind Rooney of the high standards he expects of his players.
Ferguson pointed to the examples of Roy Keane, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and the Neville brothers as those to follow, although Rooney is adamant he does not need a lecture about the standards expected of him. "As a professional I know myself," he said. "No-one has to tell me how to behave on or off the pitch. I know myself, so there is not much more they can tell me. "I know the spotlight is going to be on me a bit more because I have signed for the biggest club in the world. "That will bring more pressure but I am big enough and strong enough to handle it." Rooney did however admit he may speak to Keane and Giggs about the pressures of becoming a United player. After a relatively poor start to the campaign, which has seen them pick up only five points from their opening four matches, United are looking to Rooney to lift them from their current mid-table position, even though it might be the end of the month before he is fit enough to make his debut after picking up a foot injury on Euro 2004 duty with England this summer. While the United fans have been largely joyous in their celebration of Rooney's arrival, the news has gone down less well on the blue half of Merseyside.
Already, the acrimony which accompanied Alan Smith's close-season departure from Leeds to Old Trafford has surfaced and Everton fans are fuming that a player they regarded as a hero and who has continually professed his long-time support for the club could leave them after just two years as a professional. "It is tough for the Everton fans because they have seen me come through and regard me as one of their own," said Rooney. "But I wanted to move on for myself and my career.
"There are a lot of things that happened behind the scenes that no-one really knows about and that made it more difficult. I don't want to go over them now and I don't think it was a case of Everton not wanting me to play for them. "I knew six weeks ago that I wanted to leave but the only way that would happen was if I put in a transfer request, so that is what I did." It was during his summer expedition in Portugal that Rooney was hardened to the prospect of leaving Goodison Park. Already frustrated by dressing-room chatter over the next Champions League campaign, Rooney felt his outstanding performances in Sven-Goran Eriksson's side ended any lingering doubts over his ability to compete with the very best. "After Euro 2004 I knew I could play with the top players and in the big tournaments," he said. "The Champions League is the biggest club tournament in the world and it was frustrating not being able to play in it. "I still regard Everton as a massive club, I've played for them for two years and have supported them all my life. If Everton had been in the Champions League it would have been a different matter. "But I wanted to further my career. It was time to move on and Manchester United is the right choice."

Reds reveal Rooney deal payments
September 01, 2004
Manchester Evening News
Manchester United this morning revealed how the contingent payments to Everton for Wayne Rooney will be structured in a statement to the Stock Exchange. Everton will receive a guaranteed '23million provided Wayne Rooney remains a Manchester United player until June 30, 2007.
The Toffees could earn up to an extra '7million over and above the basic '20million transfer fee as United announced the breakdown of payments. The additional money is payable if the following events happen over the next five years.
:: '1million if United win the Champions League.
:: '500,000 if United are runners-up in the Champions League.
:: '500,000 if United win the Premiership.
:: '250,000 if United finish second in the Premiership.
:: '150,000 if United win the FA Cup.
:: '1.5million if Rooney extends his contract with United.
:: '500,000 if Rooney earns 20 England caps in competitive games while a United player.
:: '500,000 if Rooney plays a further 20 times for England in competitive games while a United player.
Even if none of those things happen in the next five years the Toffees will receive at least an extra '3million, paid in '1million instalments on August 1 2006 and the same date in 2007 and 2008.
Everton have also negotiated a 25% `sell-on' agreement, under which they would receive a quarter of any excess sum over all amounts paid in this agreement.

Fergie: We couldn't miss out on Wayne
September 01, 2004
Manchester Evening News
NEW NUMBER EIGHT: Wayne Rooney with Sir Alex Ferguson
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson insisted his club could not afford to miss out on a player with such great potential as Wayne Rooney. The 18-year-old England striker completed his move to United in a deal potentially worth '27million to the Merseyside club just over four hours before the closure of the transfer window. Ferguson told Sky Sports News: "I've known his potential for a long time, but the way he has played in the last three years has been phenomenal. We could not afford to miss him. "The vibes I was getting from (Everton manager) David Moyes were that he wasn't for sale.
"Once we knew Everton were talking to another club then we had to do something. If Newcastle had not come in, we would not be here today." Asked when Rooney, who is recovering from a foot injury suffered at Euro 2004, will be back, Ferguson insisted it was too early to give a definitive answer. "Wayne is going for a scan tomorrow, but he's not far away. It's two or three weeks hopefully, he's doing some running and trained this morning, but we'll be better placed tomorrow."
Rooney himself admitted: "It's been a tough week for everybody connected with me. I made it clear I wanted to leave Everton and when I knew about the bid from United there was only one place I was going to go.
"I'm very excited. The players that play here are unbelievable, the club has fans all over the world and hopefully I can do well." Ferguson was asked if he thought the move - and the expected '50,000 a week salary - might go to Rooney's head. The Scot said: "We have a good reputation with players here. They are professional, we look after them well. "We first knew about Rooney a few years ago when we got a call from a senior player at United who knew something about him. He was too young then, but we showed an interest when he was 14. "I can understand the emotions from Everton fans. They regard themselves as a big club and I do. They are a great club and have great fans. But there is an opportunity to play European football for Wayne and Everton at the moment don't do that. "This club has big ambitions to do well all the time." Rooney added: "Over the last year I have matured a lot on and off the pitch. You have to because a lot of people are trying to bring you down. "You have to forget about all that and get on with your football." Asked if he felt he had betrayed Everton fans, the 18-year-old said: "I have supported them all my life and played for them for two years so it is more difficult. "I wanted Champions League football so Manchester United were the right club for me."

Timetable of Rooney's transfer
September 01, 2004
Manchester Evening News
June 25 - Rooney breaks his fifth metatarsal playing for England in the quarter-final of the European Championships against hosts Portugal.
June 26 - Everton physio Mick Rathbone reveals Rooney will miss the start of the season.
July 6 - Everton offer the teenager a new contract to become the highest-paid player in the club's history.
July 8 - Everton boss David Moyes asks Rooney to accept the deal at Goodison Park to "repay" the club he supported as a boy.
July 27 - Rooney receives the first negative reports about his private life and relationship with fiancee Colleen McLoughlin.
August 22 - The teenager is finally back in training, although he is only allowed to run with his team-mates.
August 24 - Newcastle have a '20million bid for the striker turned down.
August 26 - Manchester United enter the race to sign the England sensation and they match the bid - only for Newcastle to increase their offer to '23.5million.
August 27 - Rooney hands in a transfer request to club officials, saying it is "the right time to move on".
August 28 - United put in another bid - believed to be '25million - for the striker. Everton fans jeer their star man during the 2-1 win against West Brom.
August 29 - Rooney says he is "gutted" at the club's reaction to his transfer request.
August 31 - Arrives at Manchester United's training ground for a medical. A fee is agreed between United and Everton.
The deal is completed at around 7.20pm, with Manchester United paying Everton an initial '20million paid in two equal instalments and up to an extra '7million dependent on club success.

Moyes ready to splash cash in January sales
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Sep 1 2004
EVERTON will use Wayne Rooney's transfer fee plus fresh new investment to rebuild David Moyes's squad in January after refusing to rush into any deadline day panic buys. Bill Kenwright secured a £27million package for the former Goodison idol last night after 30 hours of intense negotiations with Manchester United chief executive David Gill. But there were no new arrivals before the midnight cut-off point as Everton resisted last-minute rush deals in favour of a long-term strategy when the transfer window reopens on January 1. Everton signed four players on transfer deadline day last year and Moyes, (pictured), despite the desperate need to bolster his threadbare squad, was reluctant to repeat that exercise again. Instead he is ready to bide his time until he finally has the budget to implement major improvements in January. By then Kenwright, who secured a £15m cash credit flow from billionaire retailer Philip Green last week, hopes to have a £20m investment from the Fortress Sports Fund in place. And Everton officials believe that - plus money generated by the Rooney sale - will help them alleviate the club's debt, rebuild the team and possibly pay for a new youth academy and training complex. Everton will receive an initial £10m up front for Rooney, who signed a six-year deal with the Old Trafford club worth an estimated £55,000-a-week - £5,000 more than he was offered by his boyhood club - to become the most expensive teenager in world football. Another £10m will be paid on August 1 next year, with £3m arriving if the striker is still a United player on June 30 2007 and another £4m based on performance and appearance-related targets. Everton are also guaranteed a 25% share of any future sell-on profits which would make the total deal worth £30m to the Goodison club if, for example, Rooney was sold to Real Madrid for a minimum £39m. That sum will ensure Moyes does not follow Rooney out of Goodison Park as he now has a genuine opportunity to compete with his Premier-ship rivals, albeit with new players only arriving from January next year. Everton were interested in signing Croatian captain Dario Simic on a year-long loan only for an Achilles injury to scupper any chance of a deal for the AC Milan right-back, while reports of a move for Porto striker Benni McCarthy were last night dismissed by the club. Moyes missed out on Liverpool pair Djimi Traore and Steve Finnan over the weekend after the centre-half was persuaded to stay at Anfield by Rafael Benitez and Everton would not meet the Republic of Ireland international's wage demands. But they are now planning for the long-awaited investment in the first-team squad when the window reopens in four months' time.

Once a Blue but now he's a Red
By Mark Hookham Daily Post Staff
Sep 1 2004
0ShareIT WAS the inevitable end to weeks of rumour and speculation. At exactly 7.23pm last night the Rooney camp sealed a £27m transfer with Manchester United. The deal will see Everton paid a guaranteed £20m with another £7m conditional on how long the striker plays for Manchester United and his new team's performance. An hour after sealing the transfer the teenage sensation --who once showed off a T-shirt to fans with the slogan Once a Blue Always a Blue - posed for pictures on the Old Trafford turf wearing the red strip of his new club. He told reporters: "It was a tough decision to leave Everton, the club I've supported and played for all my life, but I'm excited to be joining a club as big as Manchester United. "I feel this can only improve my career, playing with top players in top competitions like the Champions League and I can't wait to meet up with the team."
But Blues fans last night accused the England star of betraying his roots and turning his back on his boyhood club. Protest banners are expected to be on display at the team's next home game with many supporters' groups insisting the striker has been undervalued. Nick Williams, secretary of the shareholders' association, said: "It is staggering that the star of Euro 2004 has been given away for what is only a guaranteed £20m. "We had the best young player in Europe and we have given him away." Laurence Lee, chairman of the former players association, said: "I am not sure we will be helping him out in the future - we save that for the genuine former players who love the club."
Mr Lee, a city solicitor, believes Rooney has made a "massive error" in his career. He added: "I would have hoped we would have learnt from the mistake of Francis Jeffers who went to Arsenal from Everton, couldn't get in the team and ended up at Charlton. "He has left a club where he is the most important asset to one where he is just another player. "A lot of players have gone to Manchester United, not been able to fit in and then moved on." Steve Jones, editor of Bluekipper website, said: "This is simply terrible business. "During Euro 2004 Bill Kenwright (Everton chairman) said he would never sell Rooney. Then he said we would never sell for less than £50m.
"It seems we have bent over backwards to get it sorted for Man Utd." Rooney underwent a medical at Man Utd Carrington training complex shortly after 10am yesterday while Paul Stretford and representatives from the two clubs opened contract negotiations. After a full day of tense talks Man Utd agreed to pay a deal which included:
* An up-front payment of £10m
* A second payment of £10m next year
* A third payment of £3m if Rooney is still a Man Utd player in three years time
* £4m linked to his performance and appearances
* A 25% cut of any profit if Man Utd later sell the England star
* Rooney's estimated earnings will be £55,000 per week, £42,000 more than he earned at Everton. Rooney's agents, Proactive Sports Management Ltd, will take a £1.5m cut from the deal.
Last night it emerged Cheshire Police are investigating death threats made against Proactive director Paul Stretford. The Daily Post understands Mr Stretford has received between 30 and 40 threats sent by letter, e-mail and telephone. In some of the cases Mr Stretford's life has been threatened.
A spokesman for the agent said: "Paul Stretford and his family have recently received a number of threats from misguided people purporting to be football fans, details of which have been passed to the police. "We will naturally co-operate fully with any investigation, which subsequently may take place." Meanwhile, the teenager's new employers will be eager to protect him from further controversy. The last month has seen revelations of Rooney's sex life including caught on CCTV in a brothel. Dr Rogan Taylor at Liverpool University's football research unit believes Rooney will thrive at Manchester United. He last night said Old Trafford will be the best possible environment for the Croxteth-born youngster. He added: "It is good football sense and good commercial sense. The higher level of football he plays the better his game. "He has scored a couple of great goals for Everton but hasn't played brilliantly. "And yet when he pulls on an England shirt he plays out of his skin. And he believes he will be protected by manager Sir Alex Ferguson - who has previously nurtured young talents including Ryan Giggs and David Beckham. He added: "I expect he is the kind of player that Alex Ferguson really likes and I would expect him to take a significant interest in Rooney. "Rooney seems to be someone who likes to play behind strikers and at the moment the Manchester United midfield isn't exactly overloaded with quality. "I actually think Ferguson will have a big impact on his game. "He will also be able to look after him. His build is more like a middle weight boxer than a midfielder and there does seem to be a weight issue there. "Manchester will have specialists who will look after him from that point of view - although Everton have done a good job with that as well." Former Everton legend Kevin Ratcliffe last night said that the club's precarious financial position had made Rooney's sale "inevitable". He believes the club would have persuaded the striker to stay if it had not collected a debt of nearly £40m. The former club captain added: "Without a doubt the finances of the club has played a part. "I cannot see them winning anything for the next five years and that must have been a factor. "The club has not been successful on the field. "You can look to the early 1990s or the Peter Johnson era, or how many managers Everton have had in ten years. "The likes of Walter Smith or David Moyes have come into it at the wrong time really."

Rooney is the best in 30 years
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Sep 1 2004
SIR ALEX FERGUSON believes Wayne Rooney is the "the best young player this country has seen in the past 30 years" and, putting Manchester United's money where his mouth is, the Old Trafford manager could end up paying £1million for every one of those years to have him. Rooney's sad exit from Everton was confirmed at 7.23pm last night after six months of engineering behind the scenes - and fraught negotiations that left Bill Kenwright an emotional wreck - finally came to an end..
A day earlier, before Everton faced Ferguson's expensively assembled team at Old Trafford, United officials were confident to the point of cockiness they would complete the biggest transfer of the summer for a cut-price £20m. But the team left with just a solitary point and without the England number nine as Kenwright and David Moyes refused to give in to Rooney and Proactive's demands and sell for a reduced fee that would have had farreaching consequences for the club that reared this extraordinary talent. Now, amid the anger and accusations, they have at least secured a package that will rectify Everton's financial crisis at a stroke and, if further investment is forthcoming in the next few weeks or months, offer the chance of a fresh start for everyone at Goodison Park.
Although not the £50m Kenwright claimed the 18-year-old was worth amid the hysteria of Euro 2004, the £27m package - which makes Rooney the highest-priced teenager in world football - represents a decent return for a player who had vowed never to play for his boyhood club again.
And with a 25% share of any future sell-on profit, Everton stand to make the £30m they had always demanded. Astatement released by Manchester United last night confirmed: "Manchester United is delighted to announce that it has finalised an agreement with Everton Football Club for the transfer of Wayne Rooney. Wayne has signed a six-year contract until June 30 2010. "The fee payable to Everton is £20m. Half is due now, with half due on August 1 2005. In addition there are contingent payments to Everton over the next five years up to a maximum of £7m, dependent on club success, the player renewing his contract and his appearances at international level. Of this sum, £3m will be due to Everton provided Rooney remains registered to MU until June 30 2007. "Agents' fees payable to Proactive Sports Management Limited in relation to both the acquisition of the player and negotiation of his personal terms totalled £1.5m. Of this sum, £1m is guaranteed, of which £0.5m is payable immediately and the balance over the following five years in equal instalments.
The remaining £0.5m will be paid in five equal instalments over the duration of Rooney's contract provided he remains registered to MU at the due dates for payment." Those performance-related targets are believed to include a £1m payment if United win the Champions League, £500,000 if they finish as runners-up, £500,000 for 20 more England caps and the rest based on appearances.
As difficult as it will be to accept, Rooney will be officially unveiled as a United player at 1pm this afternoon. Last night the former Everton hero said: "It was a tough decision to leave Everton, the club I've supported and played for all my life, but I'm excited to be joining a club as big as Manchester United. "I feel this can only improve my career, playing with top players in top competitions like the Champions League and I can't wait to meet up with the team." Rooney arrived at United's Carrington training ground for a medical yesterday morning but the deal was only finalised hours before the deadline due to the hard bargaining between Kenwright and Old Trafford chief executive David Gill. United manager Ferguson had planned to land the teenage sensation on a cut-price transfer in January. But once Newcastle entered the fray, he was forced to exert pressure on his own PLC board to ensure his rebuilding process included the finest young talent in the game.
"I am very excited," said Ferguson.. "I think we have got the best young player this country has seen in the past 30 years. Everyone is delighted by this signing." Rooney is unlikely to make his United debut for another three weeks as he recovers from the broken metatarsal suffered in the European championship quarter-final against Portugal. England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson was one of several high-profile football figures who annoyed Everton this summer with comments that every manager should pick up the phone to try and sign the striker. And last night, as he prepared for the World Cup qualifiers in Austria and Poland without his Euro 2004 talisman, he insisted the transfer fee represented a fair valuation of Rooney's talent. Eriksson said: "When you are 18, you will go on to become much better and let us hope that happens with him. If he plays like he did in Portugal, then you must say he is world class. "I would say he is possibly the number one and, if not, then certainly amongst the best, that's for sure. "In Portugal there were a lot of circumstances for what happened but it did not help when Rooney came off in the quarter-final. He had started the game very well. He was very good at holding the ball up and gave the team time to come and support him. We missed that when he went off. "But I console myself with the fact that he should have a fantastic career ahead of him. I hear figures of £20-£25 million mentioned in terms of transfers. That's a sign that he is a great player. "I am sure virtually any manager would love to sign Wayne Rooney if he was offered to them. I could not see how many would say no. I don't think there would be many." He added: "He never shows any signs of being nervous or being worried about anything. I think he will always be a guy who keeps his feet on the ground. "He is the sort of lad who says, 'Give me a ball to play football.' That's the sort of thing that he wants to do. "He's very cold. I realised that when we played Turkey at home. I told him on the morning of the game, an 18-year-old boy, that he was going to start a vital match. "That could scare anyone but it didn't scare him at all. He just said, 'Okay' and when you are cold like that, you are not worried. "You are very confident of your own skill and that is very good. I had Baggio at the same age and he was also very confident but Wayne is even more confident."

Rooney will cope with pressure - McFadden
By Jon West In Valencia, Daily Post
Sep 1 2004
EVERTON'S James McFadden has tipped Wayne Rooney to make a success of his controversial move to Old Trafford. Rooney last night completed his much-anticipated switch to Manchester United, leaving McFadden as the youngest member of David Moyes' first team squad. And the Scottish international believes Rooney will cope with all the pressure that will come with his £27million signing. He said: "Good luck and all the best to him and his move. Everybody at the club is delighted for him and he will do well. "He will cope with it in the same way he copes with everything else. In the European Championships he was immense, which is amazing for such a young boy, although you wouldn't know that by speaking to him." With Moyes making no additions to his squad on deadline day yesterday, an extra burden of responsibility will fall on 21-year-old McFadden to live up to the expectation that surrounded his £1.5m move from Mother-well a year ago. McFadden had been linked with a temporary switch to Rangers as the minutes towards the transfer deadline ticked away.
He insisted the Rangers move had never been on the cards as far as he was concerned and that he had no desire to search for first team football elsewhere either. McFadden, who is in Spain to prepare for Friday night's international friendly in Valencia, has played just 45 minutes first team football for Everton this season - the opening day thrashing at home to Arsenal. A newspaper report had suggested Rangers manager Alex McLeish had been keen to borrow a player who is regarded as one of Scotland's brightest young stars. But McFadden said: "I don't think anything started any way, nothing happened apart from an article in a paper. "There was no approach to me, I don't think there was one to Everton. "The manager certainly hasn't told me anything and I have not been in contact with anybody." McFadden vowed to stay at Goodison Park and fight for his place.
He said: "I have not played and I don't think anybody is going to be happy with not playing but we have a good squad and I am enjoying it at the moment. "I am not interested in anything else at the moment. "I have got games for Scotland coming up and I am looking forward to them." Scotland's match on Friday is the final friendly before the World Cup qualification trail begins at home to Slovenia on September 8. Assistant manager Tommy Burns insisted McFadden's lack of first team football would not prevent him from being picked in forthcoming internationals. He said: "McFadden has never let us down. He has always been a player we can give the ball to. James at international level is guaranteed to create a bit of excitement so I wouldn't say there was any concern there. "He is as an exciting a talent as we have and someone we want to see on the pitch."

Cash can bring back good times
By Tim Roberts, Liverpool Echo
Sep 1 2004
FORMER Everton midfielder Peter Reid believes the Blues can now benefit from the sale of Wayne Rooney - despite the heartbreak of his departure. Reid admitted he was sorry to see the 18-year-old leave the club he helped to two championships in the mid-1980s. But he hopes the cash generated can be used to try and help the glory days return to Goodison. Reid's comments came as Manchester United today revealed how the Rooney payments will be structured in a statement to the Stock Exchange. Everton will receive a guaranteed £23million provided Rooney remains a United player until June 30, 2007. And the Blues could earn up to an extra £7million over and above the basic £20million transfer fee. "I think the money was too good to turn down," said Reid.
"If David Moyes gets the money and he can add four or five players to the squad I think it will be better for Everton. "It's unfortunate that he's left Everton, he's got to get on with it and that's football. "In the '80s Everton were a big side and had the resources to get big players.
"Hopefully the deal will be the catalyst for Everton to be like that again. "Good luck to the boy because he's a great player." Alan Hansen agreed the deal would be seen as a good move - even by Evertonians. The former Liverpool defender claimed: "Much will be made of such a fee being paid for an 18-year-old, and make no mistake there will be a massive weight of expectation on the shoulders of one so young. "But when the dust has settled, I believe this is a good move for all parties involved - Rooney, United and yes, even Everton."
* Ruud van Nistelrooy is excited at the prospect of forming a new strike partnership with Rooney.
Van Nistelrooy, yet to feature for United this season because of a hernia problem, cannot wait to play alongside such an "incredible player". "Everyone knows Wayne is an amazing talent and the thought of him pulling on a United shirt is frightening," he said.. "He proved himself at Euro 2004 and I don't know many clubs who wouldn't mind him in their side. "He is an incredible player who has a huge future ahead of him. "To do what he has already done at just 18 years old is incredible.
"Anyone who has seen him play knows what a talent he is. " It really excites me to think he will be playing at United. He will be a great asset to the club and to play with him will be fantastic."
Sven Goran Eriksson has no fears about Rooney coping with being the most expensive teenager in football history, and paid tribute to his ability to cope with pressure. "It doesn't seem to have an effect on him," said the England boss. "It certainly hasn't so far. "Wayne never shows that he is nervous or worried about anything. I think he will always be the kind of guy that keeps his feet on the ground. "He takes everything in his stride. I realised what he was like when I chose him to play against Turkey in the vital European qualifier the season before last. "It would scare anyone if you told them they were playing in such a match but Wayne, an 18-year-old boy, wasn't scared at all and we all saw the performance he put in on that night."

Reaction floods in to clubs' websites
Daily Post
Sep 1 2004
INTERNET messageboards for Everton and Manchester United fans were yesterday receiving tens of thousands of postings over Rooney's move. One Everton fan said: "I hide it under a brave face and pretend to be happy at his departure. But when I see the goals he has scored for us, and my signed shirt on my wall, it makes me so sad. "It seems a boy, always wearing an Everton shirt when he was a kid, can have his club taken away from him by money and agents." Rooney's agent, Paul Stretford, came under consistent attack with many blaming his management for his departure. Another message said: "We may be broke, but we won't be broken, even by a Rooney exit." Others, were more concilatory, however, even congratulating Rooney on being a great player. One said: "Why can't we be happy that one of our own has become a global sensation?" Many, though, strongly questioned the striker's loyalty, saying he had turned his back on his boyhood club or even disputed his playing ability with several bookings under his belt. One supporter wrote: "Sell for the best possible price and get players in who want to play for the club." Manchester United messages boards had an entirely different tone, with many worried over the details of the transfer and whether it would be completed in time, saying: "They're leaving it a bit late aren't they?" and "What are they waiting for?" Another Man Utd fan added: "For God's sake, fax the promised amount. Otherwise we're all going to look daft."

£27m man Wayne among the world's most high-profile teenage transfers
Daily Post
Sep 1 2004
Italian striker Cassano became the world's most expensive teenager when he secured a £20million move to Serie A giants Roma from Bari in June 2001. Financial problems have forced Roma to sell a number of star players but the temperamental Cassano and club talisman Francesco Totti are too precious to be sold.
Barcelona shelled out £16million for Luiz Nazario de Lima Ronaldo to sign him from PSV Eindhoven as a 19-year-old in 1996. After one season and 38 goals, he moved to Italy's Inter.
Barcelona paid £15million to Argentinian giants River Plate to sign Javier Saviola in 2001 when he was 19 years old. At the time, Saviola was the hottest young talent in South America and respected the world over.
Towards the end of last season the Madeiran winger began to demonstrate why Sir Alex Ferguson was willing to pay Sporting Lisbon £12.24million for his services. Blessed with tremendous technical ability and pace.
Coventry signed Robbie Keane from Wolves for £6million when he was just 19 in 1999 but only held on to him for a season before Inter Milan bought him for £13million after he had turned 20.
Newcastle took advantage of Leeds's relegation from the Premiership by snapping up 18-year-old midfielder James Milner for a bargain £5million.
Sir Bobby Robson invested £5million to take 18-year-old Jermaine Jenas from Nottingham Forest despite the attacking midfielder still being an unknown quantity. After settling quickly into life at St James' Park Jenas was handed an England call-up.
Porto quickly replaced inspirational play-maker Deco by signing highlyrated Santos star Diego for around £4.8million after their star player moved to Barcelona. The 19-year-old was inspirational in Brazil's Copa America success and won praise around the world for his mature performances.
Quaresma was given a ticket to the big time when Barcelona paid £4million for his services in 2003. But the 19-year-old's dream move from Sporting Lisbon went sour as his relationship with Barca boss Frank Rijkaard deteriorated.
Pennant caused a stir in English football when Arsenal forked out £2million for him when he was just 15. The Gunners beat a host of other clubs to his signature to take him from Notts County in January 1999.

The (very brief) life and times of Wayne Rooney, ex-Everton player
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Sep 1 2004
BORN: 24th October 1985
May: Scores his eighth goal in the run to the FA Youth Cup final in the first leg of the final against Aston Villa, celebrating by unveiling a t-shirt with the inscription: "Once a Blue, always a Blue"
Jun: Signs a three-year scholar-ship deal on leaving school
Jul 15: Scores on senior debut in 3-1 win over Austrian minnows SC Bruck
Jul 16: Scores three, makes three, in 10-2 friendly win over Austrians SC Weiz
Jul 23: Scores three in 6-0 friendly defeat of Queens Park at Hampden Park
Aug 17: Makes Premiership debut in 2-2 home draw with Spurs
Oct 1: Becomes youngest goalscorer in Everton's history with two goals in the 3-0 Worthington Cup second round win over Wrexham, beating Tommy Lawton's 65-year-old record by 153 days
Oct 19: Explodes on to the national stage with his first Premiership goal, a wondergoal from 25 yards which crashes in off the underside of David Seaman's bar and breaks Arsenal's 31-game unbeaten record in the process. And in the last minute too! Everton win 2-1. Rooney-mania erupts
Oct 21: Announced he won't be signing a three-year professional contract with Everton on his birthday after all due to a contract dispute between his old agent Peter McIntosh and new agents, Proactive. Confirms he will sign in December
Nov 3: Scores another sensational goal to end Everton's 51-year wait for a league win at Leeds
Nov 10: Called up into the England Under-21s squad for the first time
Dec 26: Becomes the youngest player to be sent off in the Premiership when David Elleray dismisses him for a late challenge on Steve Vickers at Birmingham
Jan 8: Agent Paul Stretford insists Rooney will sign for Everton despite reports of his contract negotiations being at "crisis" point over wages, agents fees and future image rights. Real Madrid and Inter Milan both reportedly interested in buying the first option on Rooney's future signature
Jan 17: Signs first professional contract at Everton. The three-and-a-half year deal - the maximum a 17-year-old can sign - includes unique image rights and is reportedly worth £13,000-a-week in wages. Set to be replaced by a new five-year contract when he turns 18
Feb 8: Called into England senior squad after just six Premier-ship starts by Sven-Goran Eriksson for friendly against Australia
Feb 12: Becomes youngest international in English football history when he plays at Upton Park aged 17 years and 111 days, beating the 124-year record held by James Prinsep, who was 17 years and 252 days old when he played against Scotland in 1879
Mar 23: Scores superb equal-iser in 2-1 defeat at Arsenal then named in England squad for crucial Euro 2004 qualifiers against Liechtenstein and Turkey, despite David Moyes's insistence he is not ready for a full international career
Apr 2: Becomes the youngest ever player to start an England game when plunged into crucial Euro 2004 game with Turkey. Delivers excellent display as England win 2-0 and Rooney-mania cranks up another notch
Apr 10: Rooney's family home in Croxteth targeted by vandals who fired paint-filled pellets, which hit the wall and the family car on the driveway
Apr 22: Police advise Rooney on his future behaviour but do not charge him over an alleged spitting incident which took place during the Merseyside derby against Liverpool, in which nine-man Everton were eventually defeated 2-1 at Goodison
Apr 27: Misses out on the PFA Young Player of the Year award to Newcastle midfielder Jer-maine Jenas
May 11: Picks up a medial knee ligament injury in Everton's 2-1 defeat by champions Manchester United at Goodison Park, ruling him out of England's friendly in South Africa
May 12: Rooney named in the England squad for the friendly against South Africa anyway, sparking furious row with club boss David Moyes who attends medical that proves the striker isn't fit to play
Jul 26: Injures ankle ligaments in pre-season friendly win at Rangers, and starts the new season not fully fit as a result
Sep 6: At 17 years and 317 days old becomes the youngest goalscorer in England international history. An equaliser against Macedonia in the Euro 2004 qualifier in Skopje beats the previous record held by Michael Owen, who was 18 years and 147 days old when he opened his international account in Morocco on May 27 1998
Oct 24: Celebrates 18th birthday with star-studded party at Aintree racecourse
Jun 5: Scores twice before half-time in England's 6-1 friendly rout of Iceland
Jun 13: Superb performance against France in the opening game of Euro 2004 overshadowed by two injury-time goals by Zinedine Zidane that send England to a crushing defeat
Jun 17: Gets England's Euro campaign back on course with two goals in the 3-0 win over Switzerland. Nation now officially adopts Rooney as its hero and his profile explodes into the stratosphere
Jun 21: Two more goals and a fabulous all-round display against Croatia secure England's passage to the quarter-finals. The hero is genuine
Jun 22: Sven-Goran Eriksson likens Rooney's impact on a major international tournament to that of Pele in the 1958 World Cup in Sweden
Jun 24: Breaks his metatarsal after 26 minutes of the quarter-final against Portugal. Without their talisman, England lose their way against the hosts and are ultimately knocked out in a penalty shoot-out following a 2-2 draw. Reports of a £40million move to rivals Manchester United or Chelsea intensify
Jul 3: Offends many on Mersey-side, Liverpool and Everton supporters alike, with the bizarre decision to sell his life story to the reviled Sun newspaper for £250,000
Jul 5: Named in UEFA's All Star squad of Euro 2004
Jul 6: Offered the highest contract in Everton's history, a five-year deal worth £50,000 a week
Aug 22: Experiences the sharp downside of fame as lurid revelations about his private life emerge in the Sunday tabloids
Aug 23: Tells David Moyes in a meeting at Bellefield he sees his future away from Goodison Park. Just a few hours later, a £20m bid arrives from Newcastle and is promptly rejected by Everton
Aug 25: Everton receive and reject an identical £20m bid from Manchester United, who have been linked with a move for the striker for six months
Aug 26: Everton reject improved bids from both Newcastle and Manchester United
Aug 27: Finally breaks silence over his future by submitting a written transfer request to Everton, citing the need for regular European football as his motivation to go
Aug 29: Attacks the club for stalling on his exit as anger over his transfer request results in vile graffiti being daubed on Goodison and terrace chants
Aug 31: Completes a £27m move to Manchester United at 7.20pm, bringing his senior career with his boyhood club to a close after just two years

Kenwright numbed by pain of sale
Sep 1 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
BILL KENWRIGHT admitted today he was 'numb' following Wayne Rooney's £27m transfer to Manchester United.The Goodison chairman was speaking for the first time in the wake of Rooney's departure."I feel numb," he told the ECHO. "But I got the best deal I could for Everton Football Club, simple as that."The deal was completed shortly before 7.30pm last night and will see the Blues receive £10m up front.A further £10m will be paid in 12 months' time, with the remainder based on Rooney's success at Old Trafford over the course of his six-year contract.Kenwright had been in round-the-clock negotiations with United chief executive David Gill following Rooney's transfer request which was submitted on Friday.With Kenwright having also secured a £15m cash credit flow deal with billionaire retailer Philip Green, the club suddenly finds itself £25m better off today. A significant chunk of that sum will be made available to manager David Moyes when the transfer window reopens in January.The Goodison chief resisted the temptation to make stop-gap signings last night, preferring to put faith in his in-form squad over the next four months as he targets the quality additions he can now afford.There were deals in place yesterday for Porto striker Benni McCarthy and Croatian defender Dario Simic. However, Porto pulled out of the McCarthy deal, while an injury to Milan-based Simic ended the proposed season-long loan.Meanwhile, Rooney was being unveiled as a Manchester United player today after putting pen to paper on a £55,000-a-week deal.Rooney said: "It was a tough decision to leave Everton, the club I supported and played for all my life. But I'm excited to be joining a club as big as Manchester United. I feel I can only improve my career playing with top players in top competitions like the Champions League."Ironically, Rooney's first appearance could be against Everton's Merseyside rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford on September 20.

Roo: I had to go
Sep 1 2004 By Scott McLeod, Liverpool Echo

WAYNE ROONEY was today officially unveiled as a Manchester United player, insisting he left Everton because he was frustrated at not playing European football. The teenager gave his first interview as a United player at a press conference with new boss Sir Alex Ferguson at his side.
Rooney said: "I made it clear I wanted to leave Everton. Once I knew Manchester United were in for me there was only one place for me. The spotlight is going to be on me more because I have signed for one of, if not, the biggest club in the world. "After Euro 2004 I made my mind up that I wanted to play for a bigger club. When you are sitting there and all the players are chatting about their clubs you want to be part of it and playing at that level. It was frustrating I couldn't achieve that at Everton. "There are a lot of things that have happened behind the scenes, but they will stay behind the scenes. It is difficult for Evertonians because I came through the club, but I want to move on for myself and for my career. "I think Everton always wanted me to play for them which is why the whole thing took so long. But over the last six weeks I made my mind up I wanted to leave and Everton were aware." Asked if he felt the Everton fans had been betrayed, the 18-year-old added: "I have supported them all my life and played for them for two years so it is more difficult. I wanted Champions League football so Manchester United were the right club for me." Ferguson admitted: "I can understand the emotions of Everton Football Club. They regard themselves as a big club and I do too. "When I spoke to David Moyes at the end of last season the advice was that he wasn't for sale. Once we knew Everton were talking to another club (Newcastle United) then we had to do something. "We could not afford to miss him." "I feel numb," Bill Kenwright told the ECHO today. "But I got the best deal I could for Everton Football Club." The deal will see the Blues receive £10m up front. £10m will be paid in 12 months, with the rest based on Rooney's success at Old Trafford.
With Kenwright having also secured a £15m cash credit flow deal with Philip Green, the club suddenly finds itself £25m better off. A significant chunk of that will be made available to David Moyes in January. There were deals in place yesterday for Porto striker Benni McCarthy and Croatian defender Dario Simic. Porto pulled out of the McCarthy deal, while an injury to Milan-based Simic ended the proposed season-long loan.

Kenwright numbed by pain of sale
Sep 1 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
BILL KENWRIGHT admitted today he was 'numb' following Wayne Rooney's £27m transfer to Manchester United. The Goodison chairman was speaking for the first time in the wake of Rooney's departure. "I feel numb," he told the ECHO. "But I got the best deal I could for Everton Football Club, simple as that." The deal was completed shortly before 7.30pm last night and will see the Blues receive £10m up front. A further £10m will be paid in 12 months' time, with the remainder based on Rooney's success at Old Trafford over the course of his six-year contract. Kenwright had been in round-the-clock negotiations with United chief executive David Gill following Rooney's transfer request which was submitted on Friday. With Kenwright having also secured a £15m cash credit flow deal with billionaire retailer Philip Green, the club suddenly finds itself £25m better off today. A significant chunk of that sum will be made available to manager David Moyes when the transfer window reopens in January. The Goodison chief resisted the temptation to make stop-gap signings last night, preferring to put faith in his in-form squad over the next four months as he targets the quality additions he can now afford. There were deals in place yesterday for Porto striker Benni McCarthy and Croatian defender Dario Simic. However, Porto pulled out of the McCarthy deal, while an injury to Milan-based Simic ended the proposed season-long loan. Meanwhile, Rooney was being unveiled as a Manchester United player today after putting pen to paper on a £55,000-a-week deal. Rooney said: "It was a tough decision to leave Everton, the club I supported and played for all my life. But I'm excited to be joining a club as big as Manchester United. I feel I can only improve my career playing with top players in top competitions like the Champions League." Ironically, Rooney's first appearance could be against Everton's Merseyside rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford on September 20.

He won't Roo the day say family
Sep 1 2004 By Nick Murton, Liverpool Echo
WAYNE Rooney's family today said the England star's controversial mega-money move to Manchester United was inevitable. The 18-year-old signed last night as angry Everton fans accused him of walking out on his boyhood club. But the striker's uncle, pub owner John Morrey, 52, said it was the best career move his nephew could have made. He said: "Wayne has a career to think about and what would have been the point in staying for another six months? What would have changed? Nothing. "There needed to be significant change, but it seemed unlikely to happen anytime soon - Moyes hadn't brought any players in. "As an Evertonian I am sad to see him go, but people seemed to be staking the future of the club on one young man's shoulders when it should be the board's responsibility." Rooney now faces a backlash from fans. Graffiti criticising the move has been scrawled on walls near Rooney's parents' home in Sand-field Park, at the club's Goodison ground, and at his home in Formby. Mr Morrey, who runs the Stanley Arms in Old Swan, added: "I think Evertonians were split down the middle on Wayne. Half wanted to cash in on him, the rest wanted to keep him. "But we need to build on Wayne's sale, we need this kind of cash boost to sustain the club." Rooney completed a medical at Manchester United's Carrington training ground yesterday before being unveiled as a United player at Old Trafford. He stands to pocket around £50,000 a week after his £20m transfer, a figure which could rise by another £7m dependent on team performance and the length of his stay.

How Blues will cash in on Rooney move
Sep 1 2004 Liverpool Echo
WHEN the announcement of Wayne Rooney's departure came last night, the fee was publicised as £29.85m. This morning the talk was of £27m. So what are the actual figures, and how does it break down? Here are the details of the press release sent out from Old Trafford last night:
Unconditional fee to Everton . . . £20m
5% signing levy . . . £1m
Fees to ProActive Sports Management . . . £1m
Total . . . £22m
Contingent payments to Everton . . . £7m 5%
levy . . . £0.35m
Payments to ProActive . . . £0.5m
Total potential cost . . . £29.85m
The conditional payments are based on the occurrence of the following events during next five years. Here is the breakdown:
European Champions League winners . . . £1m
European Champions League runners-up . . . £0.5m
Premier League winners . . . £0.5m
Premier League runners-up . . . £0.25m
FA Cup winners . . . £0.15m
Player signs contract extension . . . £1.5m
Player earns 20 England caps in competitive games while at United . . . £0.5m
Player earns a further 20 England caps in competitive games while at United . . . £0.5m
Even if none of these events occur, Everton will receive £3m if the player remains registered to United until June 30, 2007.
The sum will paid in equal instalments of £1m on August 1, 2006, 2007 and 2008 if not already paid by above incentives.
If the player is transferred, Everton will receive 25 per cent of any sum over all amounts paid under the agreement.
The deal is worth potentially £27m to Everton.
For that sum to rise to £30m Rooney will have to be sold by United for at least £39m in order for the club's 25 per cent cut of the excess to equal more than £3m.

What is the cost of success for Wayne?
Sep 1 2004 Liverpool Echo
As Rooney signs for United, Jane Woodhead asks: has he made a huge mistake? THE fans who once called him a 'god' have got a new name for Wayne Rooney - 'devil'. And even if they do mean Red Devil, it's a harsh way to describe one of soccer's biggest heroes. But fans feel betrayed by Wayne Rooney, let down that the boy wonder is turning his back on his Scouse roots and going Mancunian.
The 'once a blue, always a blue' Everton fan and player has left the club where he made his name at both national and international level, and signed for the reds. So, is this the right move for the Croxteth kid who became a super-star? At the age of 18 is he really old enough and wise enough to know what is best for him?
* Dr Rogan Taylor, director of the Football Industries Group at the University of Liverpool, which carries out research into the game, believes only Rooney and the passing of time will provide the answer to our question. "If for him 'right' is making money, then obviously he has done the correct thing. "If playing at a high level is 'right' in Rooney's mind then he will have made the correct decision. "It is only really the future and Rooney himself who will be able to say if this is a good move." But Dr Taylor admits that Rooney does appear to perform better at a "higher" level.
"I believe most avid Everton fans would not argue with the fact that Manchester United plays at a higher level than Everton. "Professionally this has to be a good move for him. He will obviously be richer as a result. "Commercially this also has to be a good move for him. He is joining a big brand. Whether or not it is a right move depends upon exactly what Rooney wants both on a personal and professional level." "But Dr Taylor says despite all of his stardom, he does not believe Rooney will be another David Beck-ham. "The Beckhams are very rare. The only pretty faces on the buses in China are Michael Owen and Beckham. They have worked hard and have been very professional in developing themselves as a brand. I don't believe Rooney quite fits into this box. "Having said that Rooney probably is, or will be, a better player than Beckham." He adds that Rooney is already making a large amount of money from commercial activity. "Manchester United is certainly the best platform in Britain for him to do this if this is what he wants." And Dr Taylor believes the reaction of Everton fans is to be expected. "He is a local lad with a team which has been in some difficulties. You want all of your best players, especially a local supporter who turns out to be a world class player, to stay. "There will be those Everton fans who are disappointed but there will no doubt be another group which is saying 'this is fantastic, we are very grateful for the £27m'."
As Rooney signs for United, Jane Woodhead asks: has he made a huge mistake?

* Bob Pendleton, who spotted Rooney's talents when he was just eight and playing for the Walton and Kirkdale Junior Football League, says when he took Rooney into Everton Football Club just before his ninth birthday he always hoped he would go on to be a first team player and to play for England one day.

"It was the first time I had ever seen him play and I knew I could not let this moment pass by. I saw what he was doing on that day and I immediately took him down to Everton and I remember saying: "Don't let the boy go, sign him.

"He was just so natural on the ball and he scored goals. A large number of boys of that age just kick and run but Wayne was so alive on the pitch. He just did not give the ball away, when he got hold of it, he wanted it - he just wanted the ball all of the time - he was a natural.

"It is every scout's dream when you take on a boy that he will progress through the age groups and go on to the under-17s, under-19s, reserves and eventually the first team.

"With Wayne he was playing for the under-19s at the age of 15 and 16. Then he by-passed the reserves and went straight into the first team squad. Within months he was breaking into the first team and scoring that goal against Arsenal which was the point at which all of the country suddenly came to realise there was a boy at Everton called Wayne Rooney who was special. "After his first few games for England the world had its eyes opened to the young boy. "You certainly only get one Wayne Rooney in a lifetime." But exactly how that Wayne Rooney will be remembered and regarded is something we'll have to wait to see. Because whether he made the right move, at this point in his career, is a question only time will provide an answer to.
* Former Everton defender Derek Mountfield believes if Rooney had stayed, even for just one additional season, it would have enabled him to develop even further. Derek says: "There is no doubt that Wayne wants top flight and European football but he still has a lot to prove and another season would have given him the opportunity to do this." Derek also believes the news would have been better received by the fans if Rooney had spoken to them about his hopes and desires. "He should really have come out in public during the last two months and talked about his situation.
"A large number of Everton fans are very unhappy with the way the whole situation has been handled. Rooney has kept very quiet. "It is obviously a dream move as far as Rooney is concerned - I only hope he does not come back to haunt us in the future."

Wayne Rooney letters special
Sep 1 2004 Liverpool Echo
After Wayne Rooney's controversial sale to Manchester United, ECHO readers have their say . . .
THROUGHOUT last season it was abundantly clear to all right thinking and honest Evertonians that Rooney's heart was not at the club. Too many games went by with Rooney apparently going through the motions. Our opinion was backed up by the transformation in him when an England shirt was pulled on. We kidded ourselves that Wayne was better because Wayne was surrounded by better players. Nonsense! Wayne was better because Wayne wanted to play for England. Congratulations Bill Kenwright and David Moyes for forcing Rooney into telling the truth.
"The hardest decision of my life" Poppycock!! Everton Football Club will still be there when Rooney is history.
I, for one, am glad that the honour of playing for Everton will not be his any longer. Money may be able to buy Rooney's talents but it has cost him more.
Never again will he or his family be able to walk into Goodison and hold their heads up high. Never again will he feel welcomed by the fans. Nothing he can say or do will change that now.
Terry Craven, L4
SO, it's over. Our best asset sold-out for £10m and the rest on the drip. Will that be enough to even pay off our short terms loans/ overdraft and monies owed to other clubs? And just to top it off, all the fine words last week about £15m additional finance to help Moyes bring in other players before the deadline all seems to have come to nothing. We now fight through to January with the smallest squad in the league and without our one true star. Sickening!
Andy Gorman, via e-mail
IT'S a question of loyalty to me. Wayne could have been a current day Dixie Dean. I've tried to put myself in the same position; lifelong Everton fan playing for the club, adulation everywhere - including at international level, offered 50k a week and the captaincy. For me the choice is obvious. But the game has lost its way.
Graham, Australia
ALTHOUGH I am a Tranmere Rovers fan of many years, I thought that it was about time to put a football supporter's view on the saga of young Wayne's transfer. One of the reasons Wayne Rooney gives for wanting away from Goodison is his wish to play European football, also he believes moving to a bigger club will be better for his career. Without Everton he wouldn't have a career. Am I wrong or was young Wayne playing for England in the European Championships? Did I miss his transfer to a bigger club or was this achieved while he played for Everton? Have Everton short-changed 18-year-old Wayne on salary matters? Not to my way of thinking. He was offered £50,000 a week to stay. When are one of the big clubs going to call the bluff of these overpaid, egotistical socalled athletes and refuse to transfer them? Force them to play out their contracts and say goodbye to the agents who are sending football to an early grave. The sale of Rooney merchandise would more than make up for the loss of the transfer fee; and Everton and their fans would have the enjoyment of watching one of the brightest talents in Europe. If Wayne objected to this, put him back in the academy team until he stops objecting. It wouldn't be long before he became just another failed talent. The only other point I would make is the sooner football gets rid of transfer fees the better. Although it hurts to say, the American idea of free agency works. Most of the top players see out their contracts (those unhappy get traded for play-ers of equal ability or for several talented youngsters).
Add this to salary capping and it makes for a more equal competition.
Alan Hughes, Wallasey
WAYNE ROONEY expresses surprise at the reaction of Everton fans on Saturday. He may only be 18 but does he not understand how much he is letting the fans down? As far as the fans were concerned he had every possibility of helping to lead the club out of the predicament (financial and otherwise) and become as great a legend as Dixie Dean. But in the end he did exactly the same as Franny and then throws a strop because the fans disapprove. He and his agent have messed the club about for months and in fact never had any intention of signing a contract at Everton.
Matthew Ellis, via e-mail
BILL KENWRIGHT said he wanted to see Wayne Rooney playing up front with Alan Smith. Well, he's had his wish come true!
Mike, Neath
Agent influenced decision
IS it only me who believes there is more to the Wayne Rooney saga than meets the eye? To my mind, the devil of the piece behind all this is his agent. Why was it necessary to gag his parents who have been True Blues all their lives? Was it to stop them from letting Evertonians know what was going on? How much pressure has Paul Stretford (note the name - Stretford Road End!!) been exerting on the lad? To suddenly change from an Evertonian who had a fabulous offer to stay at the club he professed to love is beyond me. I'm sure that had he been able to make the choice without any greedy input from his agent he would probably have stayed. Nobody would have protected him, and nurtured him better than David Moyes. Let's hope he doesn't become another George Best or Paul Gasgoigne - two talents on a par with Rooney who weren't able to cope with the fame and fortune.
Roy Tandy, via e-mail
IT seems clear to me that Wayne Rooney has been completely manipulated by his advisors. Why else would a teenager whose dream was to play for Everton turn down £12.5 million over five years, the deal he was offered by the club? Instead he has let down, and alienated himself from, the majority of fans. Another Goodison great, Alex Young, earned £35 a week at Everton and became the Golden Vision. Wayne's kissed that chance goodbye.
R. Green, Bootle
I FIND it really hard to wish Wayne Rooney well after the way he shattered the dreams of every Evertonian with the way he left our great club. I sense the foul smell of agents at work or planned nobbling of our prize asset by players on England duty. As usual the real fans are let down by greed and power - words disguised as ambition and esteem. United have got a priceless jewel for the same money they got for David Beckham - who could not lace Wayne's boots.
James, via e-mail
WITH all due respect to all Evertonians out there, we need the money! Who cares if Wayne's turned to Manchester United. Deep down inside I think he's done the right thing for the club. Everton is bigger than one player. Good luck to him.
Lee, Salisbury
I HAVE got to say that I am very disappointed to see our boy wonder Wayne Rooney leave the club, however, not surprised. The lad is 18, and has the chance to play week in, week out with great play-ers in front of 68,000 fans, Champions League football, a significantly larger wage and a great manager like Alex Ferguson. What 18-year-old is going to turn that chance down?
Neil Houltram, St Helens

Rooney agent death threats
Sep 1 2004 Liverpool Echo
POLICE were today studying death threat letters sent to the agent of ex-Everton golden boy Wayne Rooney. Paul Stretford began receiving the letters, along with emails and telephone calls, when it became clear the striker was leaving Goodison Park. Rooney yesterday signed for Manchester United in a deal which could eventually top the £27m mark. The agency which Mr Stretford works for, Proactive Sports Management Ltd, is set to make £1.5m from the deal. Cheshire police said it had been made aware of the death threats against Mr Stretford and his family over the past week.
That information has now been passed to detectives in Warrington who are taking it "very seriously". A police spokesman said: "Mr Stretford has made us aware of these threats. "We are in the early stages of the investigation and detectives are studying the material." A Proactive spokesman said: "We will co-operate fully with any investigation."

Seeing red - feeling blue
Sep 1 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
AT 7.23pm last night the announcement came which every Evertonian had been dreading - Wayne Rooney had completed his transfer to Manchester United. As the graffiti outside Goodison so eloquently put it, he 'could have been a god but chose to be a devil' - and a red one at that.
But while Merseyside comes to terms with this new reality, David Moyes can begin planning how to spend the millions now at his disposal. There has been a lot of criticism aimed at the Goodison board in recent months, much of it justified. Had the club not dawdled over the offer of a new contract to the teenager last season his departure could, at the very least, have been delayed.
But when it became inevitable his days at Goodison were numbered, Bill Kenwright made sure Everton did not lose out financially. And he delivered, brokering a deal which made Rooney easily the most expensive teenager ever in world football. One club insider revealed last night: "Bill is driving them mad at United. He is standing firm and I don't think they are used to not getting their own way." In recent months Kenwright has faced the biggest tests of his time at the club. His £15m cash credit from billionaire Phil Green and the prospect of a £20m investment by the Fortress Sports Fund appears to have blown Paul Gregg out of the water. But that victory has been overshadowed by the Rooney saga. The desire of Kenwright and manager David Moyes to keep the player at Goodison was one of the key reasons in Trevor Birch's unexpected departure. The former chief executive believed there was business sense in off-loading the teenager. But for Moyes and Kenwright, the business side was not the priority. And that meant Kenwright was in the driving seat when it came to negotiations with United.

Saha welcomes Rooney arrival
September 02, 2004
Manchester Evening News
Manchester United striker Louis Saha has welcomed the arrival of Wayne Rooney at Old Trafford.
Rooney signed for United on Tuesday in a '27million deal, increasing competition for places up front.
But Saha, speaking ahead of France's World Cup qualifier against Israel on Saturday, believes the former Everton star will help United reclaim their Premiership crown. He said: "We must be a top team again as we were before, rediscover our supremacy and Rooney is going to help us. "Personally he will also allow me to improve my game and work harder, and when I start a game with Manchester United it will be even more beautiful."
Saha has also earmarked French Ligue 1 winners Lyon as the biggest threat to United in Champions League Group D, where they will also line up against Sparta Prague and Fenerbahce. The former Fulham striker added: "We must go through to the next round and finish first in our group. "Offensively Lyon scare us, last year they were extremely solid. "Of course they have lost Peguy Luyindula (to Marseille) and Giovane Elber (through injury) but they will remain our number one rivals. "They also snatched the services of Sylvain Wiltord and he will definitely be a great asset to them. "Our first match at the Stade Gerland (on September 15) will be important for us."

Newcastle Res 1, Everton Res 0
Sep 2 2004 Daily Post
EVERTON RESERVES went down to their first defeat of the season last night when they lost 1-0 to Newcastle United at Kingston Park. United striker Shola Ameobi had the first attempt of the game after nine minutes but he didn't strike the ball cleanly and it was blocked by Everton defender Peter Clarke. James Vaughan, operating on the right-hand side of midfield, had a lively first half for Everton and he provided Nick Chadwick with an opening on 25 minutes, but the striker curled his effort into the arms of the Toon keeper. Seven minutes later only a terrific save by Richard Wright kept out a Louis Guy shot after a slip by Clarke. Everton kept at Newcastle and Chadwick did very well to maintain possession on the edge of the box but Lawrence Wilson's low shot went wide. Wright was in action again just before the break when he made an excellent double save first from Ameobi and then from a Peter Ramage header. Everton almost took the lead 10 minutes after the restart when the impressive Chadwick hit the post with an angled shot from 20 yards. On 57 minutes Ameobi volleyed just over but on 68 Newcastle did break the deadlock when Ramage forced the ball home from close range. The Magpies finished the game the stronger of the two sides. David Edgar was just inches too high with a rifled shot from 30 yards and in the closing stages Ameobi hit the post.
NEWCASTLE RES: Caig, Gate, Cave, Ramage, Edgar, Smylie, Brittain, Webster, Guy (Bates 90), Ameobi, Marshall. Subs: Bartlett, Farman, Baxter, Deverdics.
EVERTON RES: R Wright, Wynne, Fox, Hughes, Clarke, Vidarsson, Vaughan, Wilson (Harris 57), Chadwick, Gerrard, Seargeant (Anichebe 72). Subs: Gallagher, S Wright, Kearney.

Rooney: It was my decision to leave
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Sep 2 2004
WAYNE ROONEY insisted it was his decision to leave Goodison Park as the angry backlash to his £27million departure to Manchester United intensified. Everton officials have been deluged by criticism from their own supporters for sanctioning the sale of their former hero despite Rooney submitting a written transfer request on Friday. Chairman Bill Kenwright plus fellow directors Paul Gregg and Jon Woods are braced for a fierce examination at next Thursday's Extraordinary General Meeting, called by the Everton Shareholders Association over the ongoing financial turmoil at the club and the failure to dissolve True Blue Holdings. Evertonians have also been infuriated by the lack of additions to David Moyes's threadbare squad before the transfer deadline, with the club now planning a major rebuilding programme from January 1. But it is the sale of Rooney that has provoked the strongest reaction, even though the striker yesterday declared he decided to leave his boyhood club six weeks ago in pursuit of Champions League football. "Everton always wanted me to play for Everton," said Rooney.. "That's why this deal took this long because they wanted me to stay but I wanted to move on. "I made my mind up six weeks ago that I wanted to leave Everton. Everton were aware of that. The only way I really could leave the club is if I handed a transfer request in, which I did. "There were a lot of things that happened behind the scenes which no-one really knows about. "I don't want to speak about that, there were a lot of difficulties. It is tough for Evertonians because I came through and they see me as one of their own.
"But I want to move on for myself and I see no better place than here." Rooney added: "After Euro 2004, I made my mind up that I wanted to play for a bigger club. When I went there, I knew I could play with the top players in big tournaments and I wanted to do that at club level. "When you are sitting with England and all the players are talking about we've got such and such in the Champions League on Wednesday and I want to be playing there." Everton have received £10m up front for Rooney, with £10m arriving next year, £3m if Rooney is still at United in June 2007 and another £4m based on performance-related top-ups. Yesterday Kenwright admitted: "I feel numb, but I got the best deal I could for Everton Football Club. Simple as that."

Rooney money brings club back from brink
Daily Post
Sep 2 2004
0ShareBusiness Editor Bill Gleeson assesses how the sale of Wayne Rooney to Manchester United has affected Everton's finances THE proceeds from the sale of Wayne Rooney together with retail entrepreneur Philip Green's £15m credit facility have substantially improved Everton's finances. Just a few days ago, the club was facing the possibility of administration within the next few months as it struggled to meet its debts and looked likely to exceed its agreed £5m overdraft facility with Barclays Bank. Everton owed around £43m to its banks and others just weeks ago. As well as the overdraft with Barclays, the club owes City institutions £30m and another £8m to other football clubs for outstanding transfer fees. Suddenly, however, the club has conjured up £25m of short term finance from the £10m payable immediately by Manchester United and Mr Green's contribution. The new money is enough to pay off debts due this season to other clubs and leave up to £12m for the manager to spend when the transfer window re-opens in January. By then, Everton should know if it is to get a further £20m of equity investment from the Fortress Sports Fund, run by Anton Zingarevich, in return for 40% of the club's equity. If Everton secure that money, they will be able to repay Mr Green and have £5m left over to take David Moyes transfer spending kitty to £17m. If the Fortress deal fails, Everton could be left owing £40m, even taking account of the Rooney sale proceeds. However the club could reduce that figure if they choose not to draw down all of the credit facility from Mr Green. That would save £7m. Indeed, the club can't spend any more on transfers until January, now that the deadline passed at the end of August. If no further spending takes place, it will leave Everton with total debts of around £33m. Given that £30m of this is long term debt, that leaves around £3m in overdraft owing to the bank, which is below the £5m limit. Crucial to whether this is enough of a margin for Everton to trade through the current season is the performance of Everton's operating cash flows and any time limits for repaying Mr Green.
The operating cashflows depend on how much Everton receive from ticket sales, merchandising and television money compared to what it spends on players' wages and other costs. Until recently, this has been running at roughly break even, but television revenues are expected to decline this year for two reasons. The first is that Everton finished poorly at the end of last season and that bad run of four games cost the club £600,000 for every place it slipped in the table. In addition, the latest television deal between BSkyB and the Premier League starts this season, and this is structured so clubs receive the lion's share of the money towards the end of the deal's three year duration.
To counter that, Everton has severely pruned its squad, with more players leaving than arriving at Goodison Park this close season. As a consequence the wage bill will be much lower. And it might be possible for Everton to get their hands on the second £10m instalment from Manchester United before it becomes due in little under a year's time. The club could arrange to borrow more money against it. James Dow, a director of Warrington-based corporate finance firm Dow Schofield Watts, said: "Everton can discount the second £10m due next August for in excess of £9m from the likes of City investment banks or even their existing bank, given the covenant of Manchester United. "The position of the club's finances is much better today than a few weeks ago, but a rosier scenario yet would have been to attract an equity investor during the summer based on the prospect of building a team around Wayne Rooney. "The sale of Rooney now has not enhanced Everton's prospects to potential equity investors." Mr Dow added he would not be surprised if Fortress lost interest.

Blame for departure goes beyond Rooney himself
By Andy Kelly, Daily Post
Sep 2 2004
SO FAR the only person prepared to shoulder the blame for Wayne Rooney's departure to Manchester United, if blame and not standard unethical football practice is the fairest description of his sad exit, is Wayne Rooney himself. Cast in the role of manipulated mercenary while his boyhood club bank a possible £27m for his talents and pull back from the brink of administration, the idol-turned-hate-figure added to the agonies of his fellow Evertonians yesterday when he admitted the man severing the emotional ties was him. Not Paul Stretford, despite his financial windfall and chief engineer's role, and not Bill Kenwright nor David Moyes, despite a confession from Rooney that not everything was how it has been portrayed behind the scenes. It was just him. Rooney faced up to a mass press conference for only the second time in his brief, but colourful, career yesterday and the contrast between his performances on a top table could not have been more stark. Or revealing.
Although no Martin Luther King in his oratories, gone was the nervous, one-word answers of January 2003 when he signed his one and sadly only professional contract at Goodison and later that Friday night, in his first ever one-to-one interview, told the Daily Post it would always be Everton and not the likes of Real Madrid who came first for him. Ah well, fooled again! Instead, this was a confident performance by a teenager who has been genetically modified over the past 18 months to handle superstar status. Post-Euro 2004, Rooney's career ambitions are more clearly defined than ever and his determination to fulfil his potential as one of the game's greats - at any cost - is obvious. It is that transformation that offers one of the more honest explanations as to why he has gone. "I made my mind up six weeks ago that I wanted to leave Everton and Everton were aware of that," said Rooney, top button fastened, yesterday. "The only way I really could leave the club is if I handed a transfer request in which I did. There were a lot of things happened behind the scenes which no one really knows about. I don't want to speak about that, there were a lot of difficulties. "It is tough for Evertonians because I came through and they see me as one of their own. But I want to move on for myself and I see no better place than here at Manchester United." Despite the "difficulties" - presumably the delay over a new contract offer, image rights payments and former chief executive Trevor Birch's desire to sell the striker - Rooney is adamant he left Goodison Park not because he was forced out but because it was what he desired. "Everton always wanted me to play for Everton," he revealed.. "That's why this deal took so long because they wanted me to stay but I wanted to move on." Guilt for the actual transfer of Rooney on Tuesday, therefore, should not be laid at Kenwright's door. Everton could always have said "no" to United's offer of course, but faced with a player who didn't want to stay at the club, whose price would diminish rapidly beyond the transfer deadline and crippling debts, that is an option straight out of fantasy land. The Goodison chairman should be applauded for dragging a £27m package out of United when everyone at Old Trafford had been certain of a below-£20m deal in January, only for Newcastle to upset everybody's apple-cart except Stretford and Rooney's. But where Kenwright or his fellow directors - past and present - do not escape blame is for presiding over the decline of a club that is now in such a state Rooney, rightly, could not see any possibility of achieving his ambitions with it. Putting on that old broken record again, Everton had to find fresh investment - from Russia or anywhere - when they just missed out on Europe at the end of Rooney's debut season in the Premier-ship. They didn't, and that is when the countdown to the teenage hero's departure commenced. Even the man himself admitted yesterday that he wouldn't be at Old Trafford if Everton were on the way to becoming genuine contenders again. "After Euro 2004, I made my mind up that I wanted to play for a bigger club," said Rooney.. "When I went there, I knew I could play with the top players in big tournaments and I wanted to do that at club level. "When you are sitting with England and all the players are talking about we've got such and such in the Champions League on Wednesday and I want to be playing there, it's the biggest club tournament in the world. "Everton are a massive club, I played there for two years. If Everton had been in the Champions League, it would have been a different matter." Kenwright has to rectify Everton's position with the Rooney money plus the proposed investment from the Fortress Sports Fund. It has to be a new start, otherwise the debts will soon creep up again and this time there will not be another £27m player to sell. As for Rooney, his fresh start has not been far from easy. Slaughtered by his former brethren, the subject of various artistry on the walls of Merseyside and, of course, having to tell his former employers and his proud Evertonian parents he wanted out. "They were both equally difficult decisions (telling Everton and his parents), but I have to do what is right for myself and my family," he said.. "It has been a tough week for everyone. I made it clear I wanted to leave Everton Football Club. Once I knew Manchester United were in, there was only one place I was going to go. I was very excited because of the players they have here, the team are unbelievable, they have fans all over the world. Hopefully I can come into the team and do well." The spotlight that has been on Everton these past two years will diminish throughout the national media now Rooney has gone. But it is sure to increase on the lad from Croxteth now he is a United player. Rooney has experienced the cost of fame in recent weeks with lurid revelations about his private life, but even with the presence of Sir Alex Ferguson and former boywonders such as Ryan Giggs now around him he insists he does not need to be told how to behave. He said: "The spotlight is going to be on me a bit more because I have just signed for one of the biggest, if not the biggest, clubs in the world. There is going to be a lot more pressure but I am big enough and strong enough to handle it. "When you sign for a club like Manchester United there are always pressures. I just want to go out and do my best for me and the club. "There are a lot of players with a lot of experience in the dressing-room, I went in this morning and there was Roy Keane and Ryan Giggs sitting there. If I need any advice, I can ask them. "I don't think the manager has to say anything to me. As a professional footballer, I know myself. No one has to tell me how to behave on or off the pitch." With that last sentence Ferguson whispered "well done" to his new £27m acquisition, who added: "Over the last year, I have matured a lot on and off the pitch. You have to because a lot of people are trying to bring me down. I just have to forget about things, get on with it and play football. "It has been difficult because I have supported Everton all my life, and having played for them for two years made it even more difficult. When Manchester United came in for me, I wanted to further my career, play in the Champions League, so Manchester United was the right move for me." And with that, he was gone, leaving behind disconsolate Evertonians and joining a Manchester United who have pinned all their hopes of a revival on the broad shoulders of a Scouser.

How Ferguson couldn't miss out for a second time
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Sep 2 2004
IT COULD have been worse for Everton, £25m worse in fact. Long before he was shattering Goodison records and playing on the biggest stage as an Everton player Manchester United wanted Wayne Rooney for just £2m. He was 14-years old. And yesterday, as he insisted the 18-year-old would be given the guidance to keep him on the back pages rather than the front, Sir Alex Ferguson admitted Rooney was the one talent he simply could not afford to lose. The arrival of Rooney is seen as a catalyst for a United team already losing touch with Arsenal and Chelsea in the Premiership and shorn of the invincibility they boasted only recently. And Ferguson said: "The fact that he is only 18 and could spend all his years as a pro at this club makes it a great signing. "The potential he has shown in the last two years has been phenomenal. I knew the potential years ago. He came up against our youth team. I got the call from my staff, 'we have seen a player, we had better do something about it'. "At that time, he was at Everton, didn't want to leave and he was too young anyway. But we showed an interest back then. He was 14. We were interested. "We feel at this club that we have really big ambitions to do really well all the time and that must interest any young player to come here. It is a strange twist of fate that if Newcastle had not come in we would probably wouldn't be here, he would still be at Everton. "Once we knew Everton were talking to another club, we had to do something. Manchester United could not afford to miss him. "It has not been easy for the lad. I can under-stand the emotions from Everton Football Club. They regard themselves as a big club and I do too. They are a great club. Fantastic fans. But Wayne has rightly pointed out that it was an opportunity to play in European football and Everton at the moment don't do that." Despite their obvious pulling power United had wanted to wait until January, when he would have been nearer the end of his Everton contract and cheaper, to land the England international. The world's richest club could not afford to pay over £20m this summer for Rooney, and the deal they finally agreed with Bill Kenwright will cut into next year's budget at Old Trafford and beyond. "We didn't think he was available," said Ferguson. "I spoke to David Moyes at the end of the season and he said he wasn't for sale. "I did wonder about the bid. I thought how can they afford it. But once it was established, David (Gill) and I were in contact, David then decided he should phone Bill Kenwright to find out the situation. We had some dialogue with him some months ago but nothing had been done since. I spoke to David Moyes. There was nothing happening. So when Newcastle made their bid, we had to activate our machinery to bring the boy to us."
The United manager, who has an excellent reputation for nurturing young talent, added: "Wayne under-stands, he's a young lad. The important thing is that Wayne is a major player in five years' time.. Not tomorrow."

Support Linnets to stay at Halton
Daily Post
Sep 2 2004
RUNCORN are calling on Liverpool and Everton fans to help keep the Conference North team at their current home. The club have launched an initiative called Linnet 500 aimed at maintaining their average home attendance above the 500 mark. That is the figure the club have calculated they need to ensure they can afford to extend their stay at Widnes's impressive Halton Stadium, which is also home to Widnes Vikings rugby league team. Runcorn entertain Worcester City this Saturday at 3pm and club officials are hoping that a Premiership-free weekend can help encourage local fans of both Merseyside clubs to show their support for the non-League side. Runcorn director Hedley Edwards said: "We are calling on Liverpool and Everton supporters, particularly the ones in the Halton area, to come and watch the club this weekend. "Maybe they can adopt us as their second club, particularly the local fans. "There are no Premiership games this weekend so it is the ideal chance for them to help out their local club. "It is also a chance for ground-hoppers to come and add the Halton Stadium to their list." He added: "We are only two promotions away from the Football League and it would be fantastic if we could keep playing at this impressive stadium."

Moyes backs Blues chief
Sep 2 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES has defended Bill Kenwright in the face of growing criticism towards the chairman from supporters. The club owner has become the focus of fans' anger in the wake of Wayne Rooney's transfer to Manchester United and Everton's failure to make deadline day additions to the squad. Moyes spent much of the weekend trying to put together deals for new faces, but they fell through for various reasons. The manager was forced to delay his step into the transfer market because significant funds were unavailable until late last week. However, Moyes has made it clear that the chairman should be commended for the work he has done in recent weeks, both in trying to keep Rooney at Goodison and raising the funds required to see off the challenge of fellow director Paul Gregg. Moyes said: "Bill has done everything regarding wanting to keep Wayne. Both Bill and I fought very hard but in the end we couldn't change that. "Bill has been working not only to try and get the best deal over Wayne, but also to come up with other finances. It has been a long time coming, but he has got it there now and everything he has done has been for the benefit of Everton Football Club. "Not one person can say he hasn't been working for the betterment of Everton." Kenwright spent much of the summer involved in a battle for boardroom control with Gregg.
Confirmation last week that he has agreed a £15m credit flow deal with billionaire retailer Philip Green ensured money would be available for Moyes. There remains a £20m proposal from the Fortress Sports Fund which could further bolster the coffers. The saga of recent weeks is expected to be the focus of an intense EGM at Goodison a week tonight. Moyes is unable to add to his thin squad until January, when he is expected to be given the green light to embark on a multi-million pound spending spree.

How many more mistakes will there be Wayne?
Sep 2 2004 By Tony Barrett, Liverpool Echo
WAYNE Rooney has no doubt needed the support of his family and friends during the last fortnight.
Revelations about the Croxteth youngster's private life were bad enough but then he committed the cardinal sin (on Merseyside anyway) of moving to Manchester United. His transfer capped a remarkable three months for Rooney in which he has gone from being the city's favourite son to being about as popular as Gary Neville. As graffiti popped up all over Liverpool condemning Rooney for what he has done and his hometown turned against him, at least he could content himself with the knowledge that he doesn't need the people of Liverpool anymore because he has new friends at The Sun. Remember The Sun? They pledged to defend Rooney's honour when he decided to sell his story to the most reviled paper on Merseyside. On July 7 at the height of Rooney-gate - that's the one where he danced with the devil rather than ladies of the night - The Sun hit back at the misery being heaped on their new columnist: "Wayne Rooney is one of Liverpool's finest sons. He and his fiancée Coleen are devastated by this affair and backlash. "A brilliant young athlete, a credit to his club, his city and his country, is being pilloried by the very people who should be hailing him as a hero." But little more than a month later and Wayne's halo had slipped after he spent the night at an Aigburth Road brothel. And in the weird and wonderful world of The Sun he was now fair game:
They printed every detail of their hero's visits to Diva's, including lurid allegations about his "off-field" performances. From hero to shame in two easy steps. From being a credit to his country to being a flop in bed in the time it took The Sun to realise it may as well give up on Merseyside as a lost cause. Just as Frank Bruno had gone from being a national institution to "Bonkers Bruno" after the former world heavyweight champion had suffered a nervous breakdown, Rooney's fall from grace left him at the mercy of those who had previously championed him. Suddenly he was being pilloried by the people who had hailed him as a hero just weeks earlier. If ever there was an "I told you so" moment it is this one. But being 18 perhaps Wayne should be given just the slightest benefit of the doubt. He has made the kind of mistakes every 18-year-old makes, well, some of them anyway, the difference with Rooney is he made them in the public eye. And as soon as he did that his new "friends" were only too happy to twist the knife. It could be the most valuable lesson he ever learns.
* ONE columnist this week wrote: "If Rooney's talent is to survive, then he will need to grow up rapidly. And that means leaving Liverpool's brothels, fast food and street football behind him."
Because there's none of that in Manchester, is there?

Blues' fan spells out his disgust at Rooney
Sep 2 2004 Liverpool Echo
THIS Everton fan made his feelings towards former Blues strike Wayne Rooney quite clear.
After Rooney signed for Manchester United, the fan replaced his fallen idol's name with "traitor".

Evertonians are still feeling the blues following the controversial move - despite the massive transfer kitty generated by his £27m transfer. This fan would have paid £10 to declare his feelings publicly on Rooney's departure. He was seen wearing the £35 away shirt, bearing official Premiership lettering and numbers, and Everton shorts and socks on a visit to Liverpool's Women's hospital.
* Vandals sprayed Die Rooney on the front wall of his house in Formby.

The Jury
Sep 2 2004 Liverpool Echo
'It hurts in the gut. I have to dry my daughter's tears and fumigate the house of 'Roo-mania' - Geoff Harrison FOR too long, Everton has been run as a gentleman's club and not a business and it's Mr Kenwright who has to shoulder the majority of the blame. I don't doubt he has put a lot into Everton, but his sound bites just don't cut it any-more and it is about time people realised that the only place Bill Kenwright is leading the club is into administration. Securing only £10m up front for the world's best young player should fill Bill with shame. Unfortunately it's just another example in a long line of Bill's failings. They are masters of spin at Goodison and until now have got away with it. Next week's EGM will see that put right and shareholders will want, nay demand, answers to their questions. There have been too many errors and too many Everton fans' hopes shattered. It's time for Kenwright to quit, before any further damage is done.
SUPPORTING a football team isn't rational. If it were, we'd all support Arsenal. So don't give me any rationale for Rooney's betrayal. My response and the response of many others is emotional. It hurts in the gut. I have to dry my daughter's tears and fumigate the house of 'Roo-mania'. I don't care about any of the conspiracy theories bandied around. Wayne Rooney left Everton because Wayne Rooney wanted to leave Everton. He is obviously a lad who gives in easily to temptation.
While I can't find it in myself to hate an 18-year-old, I also can't and won't criticise any Evertonian who gets emotional about it all. The feeling is akin to grief and everyone copes in their own way.
We dug deep at Man Utd on Monday. At what many may see as our lowest ebb, I was incredibly proud of both the fans and the team. For some people, 'once a blue, always a blue,' really means something.
'It hurts in the gut. I have to dry my daughter's tears and fumigate the house of 'Roo-mania' - Geoff Harrison DESPITE four excellent points picked up over the weekend, it was painful to hear the vitriol aimed at a misguided teenager. Amidst the spin, the greatest feeling is one of sadness that Wayne will probably never be revered as a legend to rank with the likes of Dean, Labone and Young.
Instead he will be regarded as another Kanchelskis or Jeffers - a talent that came, shone for a while and left under a cloud. Whatever the truth behind the move, it should never be forgotten that he provided a handful of moments that brought joy back to supporting Everton. It is now vital that the club's other main asset, David Moyes, does not feel he too needs to depart to realise his ambition.
Despite the promises, no new players have arrived and we can only hope that the committed but thin squad can carry on successfully until January, when the manager will hopefully be backed with money rather than empty words.
AUGUST is out of the way and despite all the problems off the pitch, I'm pleased with the seven points picked up so far. The displays given against Man U and West Brom over the weekend typifies the team sprit and steely reserve running through the squad and I'm sure this will be tested to the full over the next few months. However, staying positive, the increasingly impressive Osman, a good first dis-play from Cahill and the determination of Moyes will hopefully see us pick up points.
It is a bit worrying, however, that we failed to bring in any new signings. As for Rooney, well I've decided to treat him with the same contempt I feel he has shown to all Evertionians. Respect is something you earn, loyalty is something you show and adoration is not something you toss aside lightly. However, he has already shown his true colour by doing just that.

Beattie chase will be resumed in January
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Sep 3 2004
DAVID MOYES will renew attempts to bring James Beattie to Goodison Park in January as he looks to rebuild Everton post-Rooney. The Everton manager moved for Porto striker Benni McCarthy before the transfer deadline only for the European Champions to thwart the season-long loan deal.
McCarthy - Porto's leading goalscorer last season - could still be a target for Moyes when the transfer window reopens in January. But he is more likely to pursue permanent deals armed with £10m of the Rooney money plus the £15m already invested in the club and Beattie (pictured) is top of his agenda. Everton made a club record offer of just under £7m for the Southampton striker when Rooney submitted his transfer request on Friday only for St Mary's chairman Rupert Lowe to demand £8m. Goodison officials refused to meet Lowe's asking price, or rush into any last-minute deals once the McCarthy move collapsed as Moyes keeps faith with his inform squad. They know Beattie will be worth around £5m when he enters the final 18-months of his current Southampton contract in January and are prepared to rival Aston Villa, among others, for his signature then.
McCarthy, meanwhile, has hit out at Porto for blocking his move to Goodison Park just hours before the transfer deadline. The 26-year-old had agreed terms with Everton and travelled across South Africa, where he is currently on international duty, to the British Embassy to resolve outstanding issues over a work permit. But Porto reneged on a deal with Everton and McCarthy despite signing Brazilian international Luis Fabiano as his replacement. "The deal was done, everything had been agreed with Everton and then they (Porto) pulled the plug. I don't know why," McCarthy said.
"This was my chance to go. I don't understand why they did not let me go. "I've played my heart out for Porto over the last year and they told me that if I could find another club I could move because they had Derlei back and were signing Luis Fabiano." Moyes is short of firepower after losing Rooney, Tomasz Radzinski and Francis Jeffers from last season's squad. But despite the traumas faced by the club in recent months, and which came to a head with Rooney's £27m move to Old Trafford on Tuesday, the Everton manager insists Goodison is more united than ever and has been reflected in recent results. Moyes said: "Bill (Kenwright) has been terrific in his support and is desperate to see Everton do well. A big thank you to him and everybody else because it's been a difficult time for him as well. "The players have been really strong and so have the people behind the scenes on and off the field, as well as the directors. "I think recently you can see it. We're working hard together to make that happen because we know more than ever we're in the spotlight.
"We now have to show that Everton Football Club is a terrific football club and we have to remember that it's a privilege to play for them and manage them," he added.

Rooney's transfer fee 'crazy' - Benitez
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Sep 3 2004
RAFAEL BENITEZ has labelled the fee Manchester United paid for Wayne Rooney as "crazy".
The Liverpool manager, (left), who has revealed Real Madrid thwarted his attempts to sign Jonathan Woodgate and Fernando Morientes this summer, is astonished by the £27m package Everton secured from United for the 18-year-old. Rooney, ironically, could make his Old Trafford debut against Benitez's side when the rivals meet on September 20. But the Anfield coach believes the biggest transfer of the summer is out of step with the current state of the transfer market.
"Rooney is a good striker but I have to be sincere and what has been paid for him is crazy," said Benitez. "Manchester have made their decision but at times the market goes over the top."

Downbeat McFadden needs help says Bertie
Byjon West In Valencia, Daily Post
Sep 3 2004
SCOTLAND manager Berti Vogts has given Everton striker James McFadden a special pep talk in a bid to rebuild his confidence ahead of the World Cup qualifiers. The 21-year-old (left) is regarded as Scotland's most exciting attacking talent and has established himself as an integral part of Vogts' team.. But that is not the case at Goodison Park, where David Moyes has employed him for just 45 minutes this season in the opening day defeat by Arsenal. McFadden's rapid rise to stardom was based on some precocious displays for Motherwell, with Vogts affectionately dub-bing the player his "cheeky boy". But the player who thrives on confidence is lacking just that at the moment and Vogts is keen to rebuild his belief. He said: "Everton have played three matches and he has played in one of them, so that's normal. "I watched the match against Manchester United and Everton played with one striker, a big, tall, target guy. "I spoke to James in the morning about his situation and, maybe, he has lost a little confidence. "He has to live with his situation. Now he is playing for a big club in Everton. "He played in every match for Motherwell but, at Everton, it is different where there are a lot of other strong boys. "He is one of the most talented players in Scotland and now he needs experience. "But David Moyes spoke to (Scotland Under-21 coach) Rainer Bonhof when they met at a match and he told him he was fine with James." The Scots take on Spain in Valencia tonight in the final warm-up friendly before the first qualifier, at home to Slovenia next Wednesday.
Last month's Hampden Park clash with Hungary - who had been selected for their similarities to Slovenia - turned out to be a morale-denting 3-0 loss. But Vogts insisted his side's dismal second-half performance had been down to a misguided tactical change at half-time and he vowed not to panic again even if Slovenia take a shock lead. He said: "If we let in an early goal against Slovenia, I won't make changes like I did in the Hungary match. "I opened up my team too early and that was my fault. I am 57 yet, every day, I learn something - especially in Scotland when I read the papers."
Vogts again shrugged off enquiries about his own future. He said: "It doesn't bother me. It is better the pressure is on me than on my young boys. I can live with that. I ignore it. It is part of the job.
"You will have to ask Gordon Strachan what he thinks about it. I don't have any response."
Hearts goalkeeper Craig Gordon wins his second cap and Celtic's versatile Jackie McNamara has been handed the mid-field holding role. Malky Mackay returns to the heart of the defence following injury but fellow centre-back Steven Pressley is a doubt. Vogts explained: "There is a problem with Steven Pressley. "He could not train in the afternoon on Wednesday, but I hope he can play.
"I am also not clear at the moment who will play up front. "Paul Dickov has a problem and the most important game for me is Wednesday's. This is only a preparation match. "Kevin Kyle joined us, so he might get another opportunity." Another striker, Stevie Crawford, is likely to be rested after a hectic club schedule with Plymouth Argyle. Vogts is also hopeful goalkeeper David Marshall will recover from a thigh injury in time to rejoin the squad for the Slovenia game. He said: "It is not yet clear (about Marshall). On Tuesday, he was going for a scan, but I hope he can resume training."

Rooney must follow Ferguson's discipline
By Simon Stone, Daily Post
Sep 3 2004
SIR ALEX FERGUSON sympathises with the spotlight that will intensify around Wayne Rooney now he has joined Manchester United - but that will not stop the striker getting the hairdryer treatment if he falls foul of his new manager's strict disciplinary code. Although Rooney has not played a minute since he limped out of England's Euro 2004 quarter-final with hosts Portugal in June, rarely has a day gone by without him making headlines. Most recently, they have been to do with transgressions in his private life - the type that Ferguson simply will not tolerate. Even though he accepts times have changed mark-edly from the day he burst into a party Lee Sharpe and Ryan Giggs were hosting and ordered all the girls present to go home, Ferguson likes his players to have a controlled and stable family life. A refusal to conform to the Manchester United manager's standards was one of the major reasons behind the fall-out and departure of England skip-per David Beckham. Ferguson feels it is the pay-back required for his refusal to do anything other than defend members of his squad in public when they do something wrong and, should he fall off the internal disciplinary tight-rope, Rooney will experience his new manager's wrath. "It isn't more difficult for me to look after young players than it has been in the past, simply because in my mind things are black and white," said Ferguson.. "If I have to speak to a player about an issue, they are either doing the right thing or the wrong one. "What has changed is that it is far harder for the players now. "There is far more interest in the game from out-side the dressing room or the training ground. "There are more people waiting for autographs and, no matter where they are, they could be photographed at any time and can't do a thing about it. "Young players nowadays face tremendous pressures, there is no doubt about it but fortunately we have a pretty good track record at dealing with it." In Ryan Giggs, Roy Keane, Paul Scholes and the Neville brothers, Ferguson feels Rooney has enough examples in the United dressing room to learn from. Meanwhile, United chief executive David Gill has refuted suggestions the Old Trafford outfit have broken their strict financial code to land Rooney. The word coming out of the United camp all summer has been that the Red Devils could not afford to do a deal until January and even though the majority of the £27million they have paid Everton for Rooney is spread over time, they have still had to find £10million as an instant deposit. He confirmed that the £45million, 7,500-seater stadium expansion programme was going ahead as planned and backed his manager by claiming once Everton had indicated they were willing to sell Rooney, United had to make a move. "We do have plans and we always look at the financial outlook of the company," said Gill. "This deal proves we can move quickly if necessary. We have the financial strength and the cash revenues there to fund this deal. "It was a sound business decision and as a board we are comfortable with it. "Over the past few years we have invested heavily in the squad and the back-room staff. "Now we believe we have a squad that, in terms of age profile and ability, will stand us in good stead for the years to come."

Time to concentrate on the future
By Mark O'Brien Everton Supporter, Daily Post
Sep 3 2004
THE one time we take something from Old Trafford, namely a point, United go and spoil it by taking our best player in return. Depending on who you believe, Rooney's move to United was actually signed and sealed when the twinkle in his father's eye was spotted doing keepy-ups, but nonetheless the sight of him signing autographs for the Scouse-haters and posing in a red United shirt still had an overwhelming air of unreality about it. He apparently insisted on a move because he wants to play European football, alongside better players. Well, the Everton fans would love to watch better players playing European football too, but unfortunately upping sticks just isn't an option for them. So those fans will continue to pay to watch the side that is so bad that Rooney doesn't want to be any part of it, even for £50,000 a week. He belongs to the past now though, and Everton have to look to the future; over one and a quarter centuries of history does not come to an end because of an 18-year-old. It also seems somewhat ironic that the glorious club he is joining looks like a pale shadow of its former self. It's obviously only early days but the Blues have started with the same positive attitude they had two seasons ago, and their work-rate and aggression is winning back a crowd who felt so alienated by last season's lacklustre performances. And although teamwork is the key to our great start, special mention has to go to one player, Leon Osman, for his performances in the two games over the Bank Holiday weekend. His two goals at Goodison were invaluable - beating the likes of West Brom has to be our number one priority - but if anything his display at Old Trafford was even better. It's great to see him easing the creative burden that usually weights so heavily on Thomas Gravesen. That burden could become even lighter too if Tim Cahill's debut was anything to go by.

A good deal - or a disgrace? Your Rooney verdicts
Post Soapbox, Icliverpool & Daily Post
Sep 3 2004
United better?
FRANKLY, I think there are a lot of people not telling all of the truth all of the time. One of the distressing things about the whole affair is the widespread assumption that everything about MUFC is better than at EFC. Many of the players are, but this does not necessarily apply to the manager and coaching staff. Part of this assumption is that MUFC will somehow look after him better than EFC did. A dubious assumption. It's not a coincidence that the stories about Rooney's personal life appeared when they did.
Robert Balmain (via e-mail)
No heart
'ONCE a Blue always a Blue' eh?? The only real Blues seem to be the PAYING fans. Where's the heart in all this? Bill Kenwright needs to take a look at more proposals - we as supporters don't care who's in charge, as long as we have money and stability. It could be you Bill or some Russian, but as long as we can build and stay strong without financial worries then it doesn't matter. Come on, strike some deals.
Mike Stokes, Liverpool
Don't go David
DO not let agency self-interest and media machinations become an excuse for Wayne Rooney's volte-face. He knows what he is doing and he has decided to leave Everton. The one person who must stay is David Moyes.
Peter Murray, Liverpool
ROONEY'S gone and we're gutted. But we're left with a bigger problem - the board. Kenwright sanctioned the Ferguson/ Campbell contracts, signed Gascoigne, threw away the Kings Dock, told us Rooney wasn't for sale, then said he's worth £40-50m, then sells him for £10m-down, to the richest club in the world! Gregg doesn't seem to believe a word Kenwright says about his investors. Grantchester didn't seem to have a clue what Gregg was on about with his deal. Gregg stated publicly last week that there was no way we should sell Rooney and yet presumably sanctioned the move! And don't mention the Russians! Surely this can't go on.
Steve Bennett, Merseyside
Deal concerns
THE Rooney deal - it's not as good as one might think - only partial now,, plus the money is too late for Moyes until January 2005. So, it's another large dose of jam tomorrow. I'm made up for the lad, and in a way glad Everton had him to sell, it keeps the wolves from the door. But, I'm disappointed with the fact that none of the directors has come across with any new commercial money indeed.
And, while we are at it, the notion of a combined stadium should now be focused on as even LFC have realised the costs are escalating, a shared ground makes sense.
George Gibbons, Bootle
Long-term plan?
I SIMPLY cannot get my head around the financial situation at Goodison at the moment. Half the media is saying we were minutes away from going into administration whilst others are saying that we have a mortgage scheme in place that only costs us £2m a year (total £30m). So what is the real truth? Is the Rooney/Green/Samuelson money just another stop-gap? Does ANYONE at Everton have any long-term plans? What's happening with the new ground? What's happening with the direction of the club? Why are we not well-run like practically every other club in the league?
This is not on! We need a complete overhaul and need a full time chief executive that is going to talk less and act more. I hope the shareholders ask all the right questions next week because we need answers.
Barry Dwyer (via e-mail)
It's a great deal
GOING against the majority of comments so far, I really believe Bill has got us a great deal!
£10m is enough for Moysey to play with in January, and we'll get another £10m for new signings next season! A fresh transfer kitty for a change! The investment will all go to the bank I expect, plus we'll almost definitely get more cash for Wayne's achievements at Man Utd! PLUS we'll get 25% when he's sold to Real Madrid in a few years anyway. Great deal!
Tony Leese, Runcorn

Result for boy soldiers in great Rooney clear-out
By Mark Hookham And Charlotte Bailey Daily Post Staff
Sep 3 2004
EVERTON are to ship thousands of pounds worth of unwanted Wayne Rooney merchandise to a war-torn West African country to help child soldiers recover from the horrors of armed conflict.
Rooney memorabilia including lunch-boxes, pencil cases, vacuum flasks, T-shirts and posters are to be sent to civil-war ravaged Liberia. Everton's management decided to clear out its megastore of £65,000 worth of Rooney goods after the 18-year-old left Goodison earlier this week in a £27m move to Manchester United. The merchandise has been given to Catholic aid charity Cafod (Christian Aid For Overseas Development) which will ship the goods to Liberia in coming weeks.
It will be donated to children who have left armies and militia and are being helped to demobilise and rehabilitate from the horrors of war. Tim Allen, of Cafod's Liverpool office, said: "There are an estimated 14,000 children involved in the conflict in Liberia. "They include child soldiers and orphans of the conflict. The child soldiers are abducted, given guns and drugs and forced to go out and commit atrocities. "Education is really important for these children. They are on the frontline, and it is really difficult to bring them back and rehabilitate them into mainstream society.
"They love football and follow Everton and Liverpool and would be fans of Rooney." The demobilisation and re-integration project is run by Cafod's partner charity, Don Bosco homes. Director Allan Lincoln added: "The kids are passionate about football and are huge Rooney fans.
"Many of them have very little clothing so won't care what colour Rooney shirt they get. "For them, it is a wonderful feeling to know that there are people looking after and thinking of them. The educational materials Everton are sending us are also vital to our work." Rooney's departure was met with despair and anger among Blues fans who believe the striker has turned his back on his boyhood club. The move led to yobs daubing graffiti on walls at Goodison and near the footballer's home in Formby. Rooney shirts and merchandise were once the biggest sellers at the club's megastore. In November 2002, only weeks after the striker scored his first Premiership goal, nine out of 10 shirts sold at the shop had Rooney's name on the back. Club spokesman Ian Ross last night said: "Losing such a precious young talent was bitterly disappointing for everyone connected with Everton FC but by donating what is self-evidently redundant stock to such a worthwhile cause, perhaps good will come out of bad."

Osman form set to earn him contract talks
Sep 3 2004 By Scott Mcleod Liverpool Echo
LEON OSMAN is playing his way towards a new Goodison Park contract. The 23-year-old midfielder has netted three goals in six Premiership starts since making his full senior debut at the end of last season. He has made the right midfield position his own in the last month. And his performances have impressed manager David Moyes, who handed Osman a 12 month extension to his Goodison deal this time last year in order to give the Billinge-born playmaker the opportunity to prove he can hack it in the Premiership. Having established himself in the Blues' first team, Moyes is now expected to begin preliminary talks with Osman's representatives over a new deal for the player.
Osman's current deal runs out in 10 months. The fact he celebrates his 24th birthday three days after the final game of the season at Bolton means Everton would not be eligible for compensation if the player moved to another club at the end of his current deal. However, the playmaker, who has quickly become a favourite with supporters, is keen to remain at Goodison. The club have been made aware of the play-er's eagerness to secure a new deal and talks can get underway now the club's focus is no longer on the Wayne Rooney contract situation, the search for investment and the hunt for new players. Porto striker Benni McCarthy has revealed his disappointment at seeing a dream move to Goodison blocked by the Portuguese outfit. The South African international was eager to switch to the Premiership and had been targeted by the Blues following Southampton's refusal to discuss a deal over James Beattie. McCarthy said: "The deal was done, everything had been agreed and then they (Porto) pulled the plug. "I don't know why. This was my chance to go. I don't understand why they did not let me go. "I've played my heart out for Porto over the last year and they told me that if they could find another club I could move because they had Derlei and were signing Luis Fabiano." Moyes could renew his interest in the striker in January. However, his first target is likely to be Beattie. The Goodison chief is expected to have at least £10m available to spend from the first instalment of the Wayne Rooney transfer fee. Chairman Bill Kenwright is eager to ensure all of the Rooney cash is set aside for the manager's team rebuilding plans, with the £15m coming from Philip Green used to cover the club's debts.

I'm sure money will change us - Yobo
Sep 3 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
JOSEPH YOBO is excited by the prospect of Everton having the financial clout to satisfy his hunger for success. The Nigerian international admits last season was the worst he has ever endured during his professional career. Like Thomas Gravesen, who made it clear in the summer he would resist putting pen to paper on a new contract until the club could prove its ambition matched his own, Yobo is eager to achieve success. And if that opportunity is not forthcoming at Goodison, there would be no shortage of takers for the defender's services. The fact he was the first name linked with Newcastle following Jonathan Woodgate's departure to Real Madrid underlined how highly the 23-year-old is rated among Everton ' s Premiership rivals. But, despite the departure of Wayne Rooney this week and the club's failure to land vitally-needed signings because of a delayed cash injection, Yobo is confident Everton's fortunes are about to be transformed. There has been the return of the 2002 spirit to the Goodison dressing room. And now David Moyes has in excess of £10m burning a hole in his pocket. A spending spree when the transfer window reopens in January will not only put a smile back on the faces of fans - it will be well received by Yobo, Gravesen and co.
He said: "The financial side is really frustrating because I want to be in a side that competes and two seasons ago we were competing. "Last season is the worst Everton have ever had. It is the worst season I have ever had wherever I have played. "I always try to enjoy my football, but it was the worst season you could imagine and now with the squad we have everyone is looking at us as underdogs. We have to fight back and regain the Everton pride. "When I first came to Everton from Marseille I found everyone very focused working together. We had that confidence that comes from winning early games. "We believed that when we went out there we were unbeatable and we finished seventh." The squad may have been significantly reduced since last season, but Yobo cites the bright start to this campaign as vital to the side's hopes of repeating that form. "Last season the pressure was on us, we knew it," he continues. "That pressure to do better pulled us down and we did not give our best. "At the start, this time last year, the atmosphere was very good because we knew what we had achieved - we'd done things like winning six games in a row - but we struggled to win back-to-back games and then the pressure really mounted." Maintain the current form, and that pressure will be avoided. And in January Yobo will be at the front of queue to welcome the cavalry.

Easy money for agents of fortune
Sep 3 2004 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
NICE work if you can get it. Here is a statement made by Manchester United on Wednesday: "Agents' fees payable to proActive Sports Management Limited in relation to the acquisition of Rooney and negotiation of his personal terms, totalled £1.5m." Given that United only lodged a bid last week, and that the player couldn't even begin to talk terms until a fee had been agreed, that's a million and half in wages for a couple of hours work. And if you're spluttering on your tea-time pint while you read that figure, at least it's significantly down on the £5m fee some sources claimed proActive were seeking should Wayne Rooney ever leave Everton. That statement began to suggest where at least some of the responsibility should lie for Rooney's exit. Wayne Rooney might have made the ultimate decision, but there were plenty of others who no doubt influenced him. Paul Stretford stood to lose a life-changing sum of money had Rooney decided to stay put, and quite a bit had he only decided to move in January. This is not to suggest he actively persuaded Rooney into leaving Goodison, but I'll wager any sum you like he didn't spend long arguing with Wayne when he told him he was thinking of a move. If the evidence of his £270,000 deal with The Sun is anything to go by, Stretford is not a man to let a few choice words from Joe Public get in the way of a nice little earner. And this was a considerable earner. Others who carry the can of responsiblity include Bill Kenwright. True, he did everything he could this summer to keep him at the club. But in the months and years before that he has failed in not making Everton a better run, more upwardly mobile football club offering better prospects of European football. The England internationals who whispered in his ear in Portugal also clearly paid a part. As did David Moyes's deteriorating relation-ship with the player - although if Rooney thinks the Everton manager is a humourless slave-driver, his reaction to the shrinking violet which is Alex Ferguson should be interesting. The one body which is utterly blameless in the whole affair is the Everton fan-base. They loved Rooney, adored his every touch, pinned their hopes, dreams and aspirations on his young shoulders - which is why they reacted so bitterly when he turned his back on them. The only consolation for them is that the club can no longer cry poverty when it comes to transfer dealings. Neither can Wayne Rooney's agent, but that's one of the more frustrating aspects of modern football.

Moyes haunted by past mistakes
Sep 3 2004 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
THE ghost of transfer deadline days past clearly haunted David Moyes on transfer deadline day present. Reading between the lines, it seems that the Blues' boss was tossed a number of names as the cut-off loomed - considered them, and cast them aside. Robert Earnshaw, Benni McCarthy, Jermaine Pennant, Steve Finnan . . . all were suggested, and declined. And at the back of his mind while he was knocking them back must have been one Francis Jeffers. His arrival on deadline day last season smacked of a decision made in haste. He joined a club already awash with strikers, rarely figured as a result, and left 12 months later making barely a ripple. Moyes did try to add to his squad on Tuesday - but players he did want - Dario Simic and Djimi Traore, were wanted elsewhere.
There were no new faces at Bellefield on Wednesday, but no suggestions that the Blues had acted in haste either. Past experience shows they could come to rejoice in that decision.

Pressure growing for share issue
By David Prior Daily Post Staff
Sep 4 2004
EVERTON supporters will press ahead with plans for a share issue at next week's Extraordinary General Meeting despite the recent influx of money from the Wayne Rooney transfer.
Goodison chairman Bill Kenwright secured a £15million cash credit flow from billionaire Philip Green last week and ensured a further £10m from the first instalment of Rooney's move to Manchester United. That would appear to put the club in an unusually robust financial position from which to bolster David Moyes' squad when the transfer window reopens in the new year. However Nick Williams, secretary of the Everton Shareholders' Association, believes the windfall could just as deservedly be swallowed up by stadium redevelopment, the building of the club's academy or the improvement of training facilities - or just by paying off the club's overdraft. And Williams says that means a share issue must be vigorously pursued at next Thursday's EGM in order to give supporters a greater say in the running of the club and the correct distribution of the funds. "We want a company business plan as to how this money is going to be spent," said Williams. "Not a wishy-washy, you-can-count-on-me statement. "There has to be growth on all sides and there's no reason why a rights issue can't help out. "A rights issue doesn't have to be a last-ditch thing - if people want Evertonians to be involved in the running of the club, then who better than the supporters themselves? "The money from Wayne Rooney is only a very small part of the overall picture," he added. "At the EGM we are going to be asking about how we are going to restructure and how we going to sort out everything out. "We've got a youth academy that needs starting - planning permission has already been given for that. "How do you make a judgment on whether to spend £7m on a striker or £7m on making sure the training facilities are good?" Williams continued: "There needs to be some sort of plan for genuine progress. "It will take time." Next week's EGM will give fans the opportunity to question the three surviving members of the board - Kenwright,, Paul Gregg and Jon Woods - over their future involvement in the club. Meanwhile Joseph Yobo will use the international break to try and shake off a persistent knee injury that has so far dogged his season.
The Nigerian defender, who was forced to miss the Bank Holiday draw at Manchester United, was due to link up with Nigeria for their African Nations Cup qualifier in Zimbabwe but has been forced out. "Joseph has had a problem with his right knee," head physio Mick Rathbone said. "After the games, he has suffered from a small amount of swelling in the joint. "It started when we came back from America. "It only affects him when he's jumping and it's stopped him from training for a couple of days, but rest seems to have cured the problem," he added. "Obviously, he has had scans and a knee specialist has looked at the problem. " Now he's going to have the majority of two weeks' rest and we're hoping it will be fine." Everton's other absentee from the game at Old Trafford, Thomas Gravesen, has recovered fully from his dead leg.

Rooney's plea to Everton faithful
Daily Post
Sep 6 2004
WAYNE ROONEY has renewed his pleas to Everton fans for understanding over his controversial £27million move to Manchester United. Sections of the Goodison Park support have reacted angrily to the 18-year-old striker turning his back on the club he supported. But Rooney said last night: "I hope the fans at Everton will one day understand my reasons for leaving. They were brilliant to me while I was there and it was tough making up my mind to leave. "Obviously there were going to be a few fans who wouldn't accept it no matter what - but their reaction hasn't spoiled my move."
Added Rooney, who could make his debut for United against Liverpool on September 20 and has ear-marked his international comeback as the Wales game on October 9: "To play for Everton was a dream for me as an Everton fan - but to think I have now joined one of the biggest clubs in the world and I am playing for my country every time. It's amazing. "It was a tough decision but I spoke with my agent Paul Stretford and told him what the situation was, where I wanted to go and let him get on with it. "I know it is difficult for the Everton fans because I have left but there were only three teams I would have considered leaving Everton for. I thought the time was right to come to Manchester United. "Once I knew they were interested there was never any doubt that I wanted to come here." Sir Alex Ferguson believes Evertonians should be grateful for the role Rooney played in keeping the club up last year. "Rooney's performances in the latter stages were the biggest reason they stayed up," he said.

Pouting Tomasz refuses fine
Sep 6 2004 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
TOMASZ RADZINSKI intends to fight a fine he was forced to pay before he left Everton, issued for saying Wayne Rooney should quit Goodison. Now at Fulham, Radzinski plans to contest the punishment at a hearing later this month. "I don't think it was a big outburst. It was just bad timing maybe and that's why I got fined," he said. "I thought it was really not fair to me after the service I provided to Everton for three years." Then Radzinski endorsed his earlier comments that Rooney was right to leave. "It is good for Wayne that he is leaving because he was becoming too big for Everton," he added. Radzinski was fined two weeks' wages by boss David Moyes for his out-burst in a national newspaper. "I'm not really bothered what he has to say," Moyes said today. Radzinski was in waspish mood ahead of his country's World Cup qualifier with Honduras. He also told the Calgary Sun the Canadian FA's failure to provide first-class flights for players was "lots of bull. They should stick their finger out of their ass. "We have examples of guys flying 24 hours in economy class, playing a game and going back to their club teams. It is just impossible to perform." He added that flying economy class "is just very, very difficult." Scottish international James McFadden, meanwhile, is still awaiting his first goal for Everton. But the winger is claiming his fifth in 16 appearances for his country. Spain skipper Ruben Baraja deflected a McFadden free-kick past his own goalkeeper during Friday night's abandoned international. But McFadden said: "I'm claiming it." Kevin Kilbane (Republic of Ireland), Gary Naysmith (Scotland) and Thomas Gravesen (Denmark) all came through 90-minute run-outs with no ill effects.

Rooney sets sights on Wales comeback
Sep 6 2004 Liverpool Echo
WAYNE ROONEY is targeting England's World Cup qualifier with Wales to make his return to international action. The Manchester United striker is three weeks away from a full recovery after breaking a bone in his foot but hopes to play at Old Trafford on October 9. "If everything goes to plan, I should be fit for that game," the 18-year-old said. "The thought of coming back to the England team in front of my home fans is amazing. I am desperate to get fit." Rooney limped out of England's Euro 2004 quarter-final defeat at the hands of Portugal in June and is unhappy about sitting out the current round of World Cup qualifiers against Austria and Poland. "It is desperately disappointing to be missing out on these qualifiers because they are so important to everyone," he added.. "But I just have to be patient. I watched the Austria game and I will watch the Poland game too. "But it is so frustrating when you can't be out there and pulling on an England shirt.
"I have spoken to a few of the lads and wished them the best but I really want to be there with them - not at home watching on TV."

True Blue Watson signs for Liverpool!
Sep 6 2004 By Tim Johnson, Liverpool Echo
LIVERPOOL SCHOOLS football has received a massive boost from former Everton skipper and Tranmere Rovers manager Dave Watson, who has agreed to play a leading coaching role in the new season. The ex-England star will become part of the coaching set up for the new under-14 Liverpool Boys team to be formed following trials later this month. "I represented Liverpool boys at primary and secondary school level and I just feel I would like to get involved and develop the youngsters," said the former Blues favourite. "I feel I have wide experience as a player and a coach to offer the lads something new and I also feel I could put something back in the game at grass roots level."
The "big man" will join a highly successful coaching team that already includes former Tranmere Rovers star Kenny Irons, who has helped guide the last three teams he has been involved with to English School Trophy semi-finals. "We are delighted that Dave is coming to join us," said team manager Tom Wyatt. "All the exprofessionals that help coach the teams have been a real help.
"They help to attract players from football academies and that could really help us in our quest to win the English Trophy for the fifteenth time. "I would like to thank the Stellar football agent Peter McIntosh for putting us in contact with Dave. The schoolboy trials will take place in the second, third and fourth weeks of this month." The other members of the Liverpool Under 14 coaching squad are: teachers Peter Phelan (Blue Coat), Tom Trafford (Alsop) and physiotherapist John Burnett.

No worries over Everton's Academy status
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Sep 7 2004
EVERTON'S coveted Youth Academy system will continue operating even though the proposed £5million training complex at Halewood has been delayed until 2007. Sub-standard facilities at the club's Academy in Netherton had raised fears the production line that has saved Everton from further financial turmoil over the past seven years would have to close. But the FA Premier League confirmed Everton have been granted an Academy licence for the next 12 months - as Goodison officials press ahead with the £5m plan to allay future concerns. "Everton have met the standards we require and their Academy licence has been granted," a Premier League spokesman said last night. Everton had hoped to move David Moyes's first team squad and their Academy teams into a state-of-the-art training complex in Halewood next year. That was to be funded by selling Bellefield, the current senior headquarters, to a residential developer only for Liverpool City Council to restrict future housing plans in certain areas - of which West Derby is one. Everton, however, are confident that obstacle will be cleared later this year, convincing the Premier League to maintain its Academy status but leaving their original proposal two years behind schedule. "Our facilities do not compare favourably with many of our contemporaries and that is why we are pressing ahead with plans to move to Hale-wood," confirmed Ian Ross,, Everton's head of communications. "The FA and Premier League are aware of this too and they know we are addressing the problem. We are committed to sorting this problem out. "The facilities at our Academy do not match the quality of the staff we have. Ray Hall and his team have done a fantastic job in producing a conveyor belt of talent not just for the Everton first team but for England too in Wayne Rooney, Francis Jeffers and Michael Ball. Now we have Leon Osman establishing himself on the Premier League stage too. They deserve the best and we are determined to give it to them. "There is no question of our Academy status being taken away. But for the delay in obtaining planning permission for Bellefield we would have been on track to open the new facilities in Halewood next year. As things now stand, it is more likely to be 2007 before the complex is completed." Youth Academy director Hall added: "Our Academy status is under no immediate threat. Having contacted the FA and the FA Premier League, I have had their assurance that our Academy meets with the minimum criteria needed for the continuation of Academy status. "We have a system and staff here at Everton, which is not only envied nationally, but also throughout Europe and the rest of the world. Our results in developing footballers are as good as any other club in the Premiership." Former Everton striker Tomasz Radzinski, meanwhile, has revealed he will challenge a fine he was given by the club before his £1.75m move to Fulham.
Radzinski was fined two weeks' wages for criticising manager Moyes and urging Rooney to leave Goodison Park in a national newspaper interview. But the Canadian international - who has now welcomed the teen-ager's departure to Manchester United - will contest the punishment at a Premier League hearing. "I don't think it was a big outburst," said Radzinski.. "It was just bad timing maybe and that's why I got fined. I thought it was really not fair to me after the service I provided to Everton for three years." He added: "I think it is good for Wayne that he is leaving because for a young guy with his talent and that great a media attention, he was becoming too big for Everton.
"Now, with his move to Manchester United, he will just be one of many, many stars in that team and I think it will help with his future career because they will leave him a little bit alone. "He can have a normal 18-year-old private life from now on." Manager Moyes refused to dwell on Radzinski's thoughts, saying: "I'm not really bothered what he has to say."

Get lost, Wayne
Post Soapbox, Icliverpool & Daily Post
Sep 7 2004
Get lost, Wayne
I, FOR one, am glad Wayne Rooney has gone - Everton can do without his circus troupe of followers and all the hype attached to him. The hysteria will get worse. What we really need are the steady, reliable guys like Joseph Yobo and young Leon Osman, who is looking better with each match.
I watch the reserves, too, and there's some likely looking lads on their way too, so it isn't all doom and gloom. Keep positive!
Janice Jones, Southport
Things are great!
THE Rooney transfer is annoying, but once agents get their claws into somebody then that is that.
On a brighter note, we have a long-term debt of £30million to be repaid at £2.25m per season - chicken-feed in the Premier League. We have money now to pay our overdraft and other clubs.
I believe David Moyes will develop an excellent team. He is the key person at Everton. The future now has potential. Evertonians should enjoy this and hope Wayne Rooney performs to his potential, except against Everton, as with skills like his he is a national treasure. Stop moaning, things have not been brighter for years!
Rob Jenkins (via e-mail)
NOW that England are struggling does Wayne Rooney want to change his citizenship to Brazilian to be with a team that has a chance of winning the World Cup?
Ajay Timothy (via e-mail)
Two will do
IF DAVID MOYES really is given £10m in January, I am sure two quality signings would make a major difference. Tim Cahill and Marcus Bent have already shown promise. Osman has been fantastic and James McFadden's time will surely come soon. There is quite a lot to be optimistic about.
Shirley Smith, Liverpool
People's power
FAIR enough, Everton fans have a few things to moan about (the finances, the board, Wayne) but this is the people's club and that pride will never die! We haven't got a bad squad and there are a lot of positives. Let's just hope we can get some contract talks going and hold on to our best players instead of letting them all go for free in the summer.
Sol Jones, Liverpool

Youri sparks Blues alert
Sep 7 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON could be set to move for former Bolton front man Youri Djorkaeff. The Blues are one of a host of clubs showing an interest in the former French international - who is now a free agent and can be signed despite the transfer window being closed. He left Bolton in the summer after failing to agree a new deal but is keen to remain in the Premier League. Blues chief David Moyes is aware of Djorkaeff's availability and is closely monitoring the situation, although the club has made no contact with the player's representatives. Agent Willie McKay said: "There has been plenty of interest in Youri from a few different clubs and anything is possible. "Youri is such a fantastic professional he could do a job in any Premiership side. "He has a number of options which we will look at over the next couple of days." Djorkaeff added: "I am naturally fit and I have been training hard in the south of France to keep fit. "I have instructed agent Willie McKay to find me a club in England because I feel I have two good years left in me. "I am missing playing in the Premier League and I feel I have a lot to offer to a club in England." Moyes was eager to add a number of new faces to his squad before last week's transfer deadline following the belated injection of cash from Wayne Rooney's transfer and chairman Bill Kenwright's £15m investment deal with businessman Philip Green.

However, a series of hitches and negotiations prevented the Blues bringing in any more new faces, with Porto's Benni McCarthy and Milan's Dario Simic among the targets that could not be secured.
With the next transfer window not open until January, the only players that can be signed are those without clubs. World Cup winner Djorkaeff, who turned 37 last week, is the most high-profile name on that list. He is attracting interest from a number of Premiership clubs but the Blues would be an appealing destination to a player who has been based in the north west for the last three seasons.
Meanwhile, Everton academy boss Ray Hall has dismissed suggestions the club could lose that status. There have been a series of reports suggesting the club's academy in Netherton does not meet FA standards. But the FA Premier League has confirmed an academy licence has been granted for the next 12 months as the club presses ahead with plans to develop a permanent base for both the senior squad and the academy at Halewood. Hall said: "Our academy status is under no immediate threat. "Having contacted the FA and the FA Premier League I have had their assurances that our academy meets with the minimum criteria needed for its continuation.

Everton Res 2, Middlesbrough Res 2
Sep 8 2004
Daily Post
EVERTON reserves still await their first victory of the season after four games after last night's draw at Haig Avenue. Despite not gaining the three points the Blues contributed to an eventful match which sprung to life in the dying minutes. Andy Holden's side did most of the pressing in the early stages but had to wait until five minutes from the break before Peter Clarke put them ahead with a superb header after Scot Phelan's corner. Middlesbrough's half time team talk seemed to work when they came out much the brighter side and levelled within four minutes of the restart, with Seb Hines firing past Sean Lake, who was deputising for Iain Turner. Despite the setback Everton continued to control the game and should have regained their lead when Eddie Bosnar nearly became the second Blues defender to score only to see his header cleared off the line by Peacock.
Boro looked to have stolen all the points in the final minutes when they took the lead through Daniel Graham's late strike. However just as all looked lost for the young Blues their manager's battling qualities showed through and Nick Chadwick produced a volley to level.
EVERTON RES: Lake,Wynne, Fox, Clarke, Bosnar, Phelan (Kearney 74), Seargent, Harris, Chadwick, Vaughan (Anchibe 46), Boyle (Fowler 78). Unused subs: Gallagher, Hughes.

Everton's unusual selection dilemma
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Sep 8 2004
EVERTON'S threadbare squad have presented David Moyes with an unusual problem ahead of Saturday's return to Manchester - a selection dilemma. Moyes, who has been offered former French international Youri Djorkaeff on a free transfer, was without Joseph Yobo and Thomas Gravesen when Everton produced their most impressive result of the season at Old Trafford on Bank Holiday Monday. Both are now fit to face Kevin Keegan's City this weekend, with Gravesen recovering from a calf problem to star in Denmark's 1-1 draw against Ukraine on Saturday and Yobo back in training following a persistent knee injury. Yet the form of their replacements against Sir Alex Ferguson's side has left Moyes with a welcome selection headache for the trip to the City of Manchester Stadium. David Weir and Alan Stubbs formed an impregnable central defence at Old Trafford while Lee Carsley and debutant Tim Cahill also impressed in the absence of influential midfielder Gravesen.
Moyes is loathe to drop those who delivered against United but with Yobo and the Dane in fine form this season the Everton manager has harsh decisions to take as he attempts to extend his side's unbeaten run to four games. Everton, meanwhile, are one of several clubs approached by former Bolton playmaker Djorkaeff's agent over a possible return to the Premiership. The 37-year-old is a free agent after leaving the Reebok at the end of last season and is therefore eligible to move despite the close of the transfer window. His Monaco-based agent Willie McKay revealed: "There has been plenty of interest in Youri from a few different clubs and anything is possible. "Youri is such a fantastic professional he could do a job in any Premiership side. He has a number of options which we will look at over the next couple of days." And Djorkaeff added: "I am naturally fit and I have been training hard in the south of France to keep fit. "I have instructed agent Willie McKay to find me a club in England because I feel I have two good years left in me. "I am missing playing in the Premier League." Having released Paul Gascoigne and David Ginola shortly after his arrival at Goodison Park, Moyes would be reluctant to sign another high-earning veteran. But the paucity of his first team resources could see him make a surprise move for the World Cup winner. Young defender Anthony Gerrard is set to join Accrington Stanley on a month's loan.

MDHC gives up on dream of shared soccer stadium
By Tony Mcdonough, Daily Post
Sep 8 2004
LIVERPOOL'S Central Docks looks certain to be redeveloped as a residential site after owner Mersey Docks and Harbour Company said yesterday it had all but given up hope of it being used for a joint football stadium. MDHC and English Partnerships, joint owners of the property, are putting together a master plan for the 90 acres of land which it will submit to the city council by the end of the year.
Mersey Docks chief executive Peter Jones told the Daily Post that now Liverpool Football Club's application for a stadium on Stanley Park had been approved, the joint stadium plan was effectively dead. He added: "The outline consent for Central Docks has always been predominantly residential with a bit of retail and a bit of commercial. Liverpool now has its consent for Stanley Park, so I think a shared stadium is no longer an issue. "The only circumstances in which it would become an issue again is if the Stanley Park scheme is called in by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister."

Statistics prove Martyn should be back as England's number one
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Sep 8 2004
PREMIER LEAGUE statistics have confirmed what Evertonians already knew - Nigel Martyn ranks way above David James in terms of the finest English goalkeeper in the top flight. The Manchester City stopper has been widely criticised for his Vienna howler when he let Andreas Ivanschitz's shot slip straight through him for a late equaliser in England's World Cup qualifier. And the Actim Index - the official player ratings system of the Barclays Premiership - ranks James behind Everton's Martyn and Tottenham's Paul Robinson as only the third best homegrown talent in the league. The system gives each player a rating according to how effective their performances are. Ex-professionals report on the action live at the grounds and boffins give the final rating after applying a mathematical formula.
The concept of the system is to give each player a rating regardless of which position they play in. Goals, shots on target, corners, fouls, offside, passes, tackles, blocks and clearances are all taken into consideration. Unsurprisingly, Thierry Henry is ranked the most effective player in the Premiership. The Arsenal striker's fantastic start to the season has given him a Actim Index rating of 1.39. Martyn is the top-placed English keeper with a rating of 0.58. The 38-year-old has not been in Sven-Goran Eriksson's plans since 2002 and is reluctant to return to the international fold purely to be a substitute, but his form has helped Everton to seventh in the Premiership and kept Richard Wright on the sidelines. The system does not just reward clean sheets, however, and reveals that the former England stopper's saves have been crucial to his side's promising start to the season.
Robinson is marginally behind Martyn with a 0.57 Actim rating - and, unlike Martyn, the Tottenham keeper has every chance of being James's long-term successor. The 24-year-old has been crucial to Tottenham's highflying start under new coach Jacques Santini. James' rating is only 0.41 after two defeats, a win and a draw for City. Norwich keeper Robert Green is also in the England squad but his rating is just 0.35. Put into context, Henry's 1.39 is the highest score so far and he accumulated 9.89 as the Gunners won the league last season. The statisticians at the University of Salford, who work in partnership with the Press Association, say Chelsea's Petr Cech is the most effective keeper in the league. Arsenal players feature strongly in the index after four games of the season. Jose Antonio Reyes, Dennis Bergkamp, Cesc Fabregas and Robert Pires join Henry in the top 10. The other leading players are Everton midfielder Thomas Gravesen, Henrik Pedersen, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Jay-Jay Okocha, and Olof Mellberg. No England players feature in the top 10.

Chadwick is focused on first team shirt
Sep 8 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
NICK CHADWICK has admitted Wayne Rooney's transfer to Manchester United has eased the frustration of failing to secure regular first team football. The 21-year-old striker netted the last minute equaliser for Everton's reserves in last night's 2-2 draw against Middlesbrough. But his focus is on securinga first team place. Rooney's departure, along with the sale of Tomasz Radzinski to Fulham, means his competition for a place is now down to Marcus Bent, Duncan Ferguson, Kevin Campbell and James McFadden. He said: "Of course my chances of a first team place have improved from last season because two international forwards have left the club. "But then on the other side of the coin that chance still hasn't come yet. Again, I have been a little bit disappointed with that, but it is just something I have got to keep fighting for. "I will keep working as I believe I will get in the first team and I will score goals."

Time to forget Roo
Sep 8 2004 Echo Letters
Time to forget Roo
LIKE many Evertonians, I was very disappointed to see Wayne leave - especially as I feel he is young enough to have given the club more time to try to turn things round. I do hope, though, that the reaction at the West Brom game was just frustration. Wayne's situation is not the same as Jeffers' and we should put the move behind us. The club must now resolve the financial situation fully, and not just in terms of a transfer budget for January, so that finance is not dictating everything the club is trying to do. Bill Kenwright may be passionate about the club but Paul Gregg is correct in saying that passion is not enough and I would urge Gregg to use all his business expertise/ enthusiasm to support the board. I also urge the board to address the stadium issue - either we move or we develop Goodison. We absolutely must not dither on this any longer. Finally, the fans must continue to get behind the team and attend as many games as possible to fill the ground and help the club's finances.
Mike Ellis, Huyton
I HOPED Wayne would have given Everton at least a year to improve, but to just walk away the way he has done is not the sign of a true Blue. Everton deserved a chance to improve with him, but that's not going to happen now. Everyone connected with our wonderful club needs to show resilience and stick together. We will return to former glories under David Moyes.
Phil Peel, Liverpool
IT'S nothing more than a joke when Wayne Rooney blames Everton and his agent Paul Stretford blames the media for the teenager's move to Manchester United. Stretford is clearly to blame for engineering the move but Rooney, for all the good in the lad, has become too big for his boots. He says it's clearly time to move on and to play in the Champions League - he should remember what happened to Francis Jeffers. Wayne has shown no respect for Everton during the summer and in leaving has shown no respect for the fans. Stretford's role in this won't be forgotten either.
David McMullen, Liverpool L3

WAYNE ROONEY will be hated by most Evertonians forever.
A so-called supporter of the club, he was offered the chance to play for it on a lucrative new deal and yet refused it - letting the club and the supporters down at a time when loyalty was needed.
Claiming he wanted to play in the Champions League is a poor excuse.
William Pickersgill, Liverpool L12
WAYNE ROONEY had the potential to be Everton's greatest player since the war, but now that potential will be realised at Old Trafford. I think he owed Everton another couple of seasons but that is for him and his conscience to consider. What I do hope is that this pathetic board of directors don't waste the transfer fee like they did with the money received over recent years for Francis Jeffers, Michael Ball and Richard Dunne. Kenwright might be an Everton fanatic but he is no businessman and he has been a disaster as a member of the Everton board and as the chairman.
Dave Abrahams, Liverpool L11
ONCE again the Everton fans have been let down - not just by Rooney's greed but by a pathetic board of directors. Manchester United not only ran rings around Kenwright but made the board look stupid. After insisting they would not let Rooney go for less than £30m, Everton then sold him for £10m now, another £10m in 12 months and the rest paid on ifs and buts. It's time the supporters demanded the resignation of the full board. The fans should boycott the club until they have got rid of all the directors and there is a new board to replace them.
Les Rigby, Prescot
AFTER a good weekend off, we need to get straight back into it at City. Keegan's side are no pushovers but neither are we, and it would be good to get revenge for last year's result. Another away win for the Blues would make us all believers so let's maintain our start to the season with a win at Eastlands. It's onwards and upwards from now on.
Eddie Hunter, via email

Chadwick saves point for winless wonders
Sep 8 2004 Liverpool Echo
A LATE Nick Chadwick volley earned a deserved point for Everton reserves - but the Blues are still searching for their first win of the season. The reserves' second home game of the campaign ended in a 2-2 draw at Haig Avenue after an eventful match which sprung to life in the dying minutes.
Everton did most of the pressing early on with Chadwick, Eddie Bosnar and Patrick Boyle all having chances. But the Blues had to wait until five minutes from the break before they got their reward.
From Scott Phelan's in-swinging corner, Peter Clarke rose majestically to head past Carlo Nash. Middlesbrough were much the brighter side after the interval, levelling within four minutes.
Blues goalkeeper Sean Lake could only beat away Graham's initial shot but Seb Hines was on hand to fire home the loose ball. Everton continued to control the game and should have regained their lead when Bosnar saw his header cleared off the line by Peacock. The experienced Colin Cooper marshalled the visitors' defence well, and Boro looked to have stolen all the points in the final minutes when they took the lead through Daniel Graham's late strike. But just as all looked lost for the young Blues, Chadwick produced his point-saving volley. It was only what the home side deserved as they made it three draws from four games.
EVERTON: Lake, Wynne, Fox, Clarke, Bosnar, Phelan (Kearney 74), Seargent, Harris, Chadwick, Vaughan ( Anchibe 46), Boyle (Fowler 78). Not used: Gallagher, Hughes.

Umbro's US kit deal
Sep 8 2004 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON kit makers Umbro have signed a distribution agreement with American athletic equipment giants Foot Locker. Under the agreement Umbro football kits, footwear and clothing could be sold in Foot Locker's 3,400 US stores.

Rooney story may stay untold
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Sep 9 2004
THE Everton Shareholders Association could be frustrated in its attempts to discover the background to Wayne Rooney's sale tonight. Rooney's controversial £27million transfer to Old Trafford last week - and how the payments are structured to Everton - is one of the issues concerned ESA members are likely to raise with Bill Kenwright, Paul Gregg and Jon Woods at their Extraordinary General Meeting. But they may be prevented from doing so under company law. Tonight's EGM at Goodison Park can only discuss points raised by the ESA in their original petition to the board.
And as that was lodged on July 23 - five weeks before Rooney's defection down the East Lancs Road - the Goodison hierarchy could choose to sidestep the controversial topic of the striker's sale.
Nevertheless, Kenwright - who could announce Keith Wyness's arrival as chief executive and confirm the £15million investment from Philip Green tonight - faces a rough ride from disillusioned shareholders over the failure to halt the club's financial decline since True Blue took control four years ago. The ESA are demanding an explanation from the three-man board as to why Everton are further in debt and were once again unable to provide David Moyes with a sufficient transfer budget this summer, has not addressed the stadium issue since the collapse of the Kings Dock plan, whether it has a long-term business plan and for the dissolution of True Blue Holdings.

Kenwright to face fans' flak tonight
By Mark Hookham Daily Post Staff
Sep 9 2004
EVERTON chairman Bill Kenwright will be grilled by frustrated shareholders tonight who will tell him to transform the club's finances or resign. The Extraordinary General Meeting will be the most important summit in the club's recent history and is expected to be tense and bad tempered.
It will be the first time that Kenwright will have faced shareholders at a mass meeting since he took up the club chairman's post in June. It comes a week after the Goodison board agreed to sell the club's prize asset Wayne Rooney to Manchester United for £27m. And it follows a fraught summer of public rows between former friends Kenwright and Paul Gregg, who have both put forward separate investment plans, neither of which have yet materialised. The club is still in debt and with a threadbare squad, despite receiving £10m up front from the sale of their teenage striker.
Even if it was to pay off its outstanding £8m debts to other football clubs, it still owes a securitized loan of £30m payable over 25 years. Three motions have been put down for the meeting with supporters demanding the board provide the following:
* A full account of why the club's finances are in their current state
* The short, medium and long term plans for providing cash for the team and a new stadium
* Personal commitments by the company directors to see through the plans
* Clarify how the club avoids a conflict of interest resulting from the club directors also being the directors of the True Blue Holdings consortium, which owns 72% of Everton's shares.
The notice for the meeting demands the board resigns if it fails to provide solutions to the current crisis. However,independent shareholders only own 28% of the club and are powerless to force the current board to stand down. It is also unlikely shareholders will be able to ask questions about Rooney's sale. The petition to hold the EGM, which was signed by 382 shareholders, was presented to the club on July 23. The meeting can only debate the motions outlined in the EGM notice, and is not allowed to debate events - such as the Rooney transfer - after the petition was handed to the club. Nick Williams, secretary of the Everton shareholders association, said: "We want to know how on earth we got to where we are. We want to see a strategic plan for turning the club around - something that covers a new stadium and youth academy." A spokesman for Evertonians for Change said: "The Everton Shareholders Association will hopefully succeed in doing what many have failed to do over the last 12 months, and certainly over the past summer, which is to get Everton chairman Bill Kenwright in front of a group of real Evertonians and ask him to account for his stewardship of the club." Shareholder Steve Jones, who edits the Blue Kipper website said: "Fans want answers to three things. "They want to know what the state of the finances are.
"The want to know what is happening with groundshare and they want to know whether its true that Everton conspired with Paul Stretford (Rooney's agent) to sell Rooney. I think Kenwright will get a walloping at this meeting. Fans have simply had enough." Everton last night declined to comment.

Maine stars left with just a supporting role
By Philip J Redmond Everton Supporter, Daily Post
Sep 9 2004
THIS Saturday sees a trip to the City of Manchester stadium, hopefully leading to a better result than the shameful 5-1 collapse there in May. It's not the first time something like that's happened though; Everton have a decidedly poor record against City down the years, particularly in Manchester. However, one game that sticks in my mind was a victory in September 1991 when Howard Kendall's 'mini marvels' edged out Peter Reid's City 1-0 and I spent the evening with two out-of-favour stars. The Blues had experienced a mixed start to the season, with impressive home performances offset by an apparent lack of confidence on the road. Champions Arsenal were swamped 3-1 at Goodison while Everton rolled over at Anfield to a Liverpool team at the height of its Graeme Souness-inspired transition. Partly as a result of that there were not too many takers for a Wednesday night trip to Maine Road, where City were going great guns. I went on my own and went in City's Main Stand. As is the case, when watching a match in enemy territory, I decided to keep my head down. All was fine until two smart looking men in suits sat next to me before kick-off. "Yikes," thought I, it's Peter Beagrie and Pat Nevin! I have to say the match was a hugely enlightening affair in the company of two players who, to be fair to them, seemed fully behind the team. It was interesting to see which players from both teams they rated. For the record, Colin Hendry was difficult to shake off and Andy Hinchcliffe didn't (in those days) realise how good he was. Both players thought they were on borrowed time at the club and Pat Nevin joined Tranmere a few months later. The game itself hung on two incidents. Firstly, Peter Beardsley capitalised on a Keith Curle slip to lob the Blues into the lead midway through the second half. Then, in injury time, Mark Ward handled needlessly and City bizarrely handed the penalty taking responsibilities to young debutant Michael Hughes. Thankfully the rookie lost his nerve and drove the spot-kick high, wide and handsome.

Goodison showdown
Sep 9 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON'S board of directors could face calls to resign when they are grilled by shareholders tonight. Goodison will play host to its first Extraordinary General Meeting for more than five years, with fans ready to urge the three-man board to transform the club's finances or quit. Bill Kenwright will chair a general meeting for the first time after taking over from Sir Philip Carter as Everton chairman in the summer. The EGM was called after more than 250 shareholders signed a petition which was presented to the club on July 23. The club's finances and the make-up of True Blue Holdings, the company formed by Kenwright and Paul Gregg to buy out Peter Johnson in 1999, are the key issues concerning shareholders. Everton is £38m in debt, although £30m of that debt is tied up in a long-term securitisation loan. But the Wayne Rooney transfer will not be open for discussion because under company law the meeting can only discuss points raised in the petition. The meeting will take place in the Joe Mercer suite at Goodison tonight from 7pm. Kenwright could use it as an opportunity to announce Keith Wyness' appointment as chief executive and confirm the £15m investment from the credit flow agreement with billionaire retailer Phil Green. There is also speculation that Tesco supremo Terry Leahy could be ready to step in to help Kenwright.

Meanwhile, Gary Naysmith is a doubt for Saturday's trip to Manchester City after hobbling off in Scotland's World Cup qualifier against Slovenia which ended 0-0.

All we are trying to do is lift Blues
Sep 9 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
LESS than three months after becoming chairman of Everton, Bill Kenwright will take charge of his first general meeting tonight. And it could prove the most uncomfortable night he has endured at Goodison since buying the club in 1999. It is Everton's first Extraordinary General Meeting for more than five years. It has been called by disgruntled shareholders who are questioning the ability of the board to run the club. A key issue for those fans is True Blue Holdings, the company set up in 1999 by Kenwright and fellow director Paul Gregg to buy out Peter Johnson. Professor Tom Cannon is an Everton shareholder and lecturer at Kingston Business School. He was the author of the motions which will be discussed tonight but insists he does not want the meeting to turn intoa shouting match. He said: "I am hoping Bill Kenwright - particularly Bill - takes the concerns of the shareholders at face value and says he and the board have learned from the mistakes of the last five years, and the 10 years before that. "We need to bring quality people in to run the club and to develop a strategy to turn the club around which will include talking to the fans. "We want to see them tell the fans how they are going to find money and dilute True Blue so other Evertonians can buy shares in the club. "I hope the board are contrite and constructive. If they do that, there could be a new beginning at the club. "But if they stick a metaphorical two fingers up to the shareholders there are solicitors and lawyers ready to ask questions about True Blue. "If the questions of the shareholders can't be answered, then they will be asked to step aside to make way for people who can." A substantial section of the club's small shareholders have become increasingly infuriated by the boardroom events of the last six months. Kevin Nolan is one shareholder with an alternative view. He says: "I would hope people make the EGM a constructive debate about taking the club forward, rather than an attack on the board. "The situation has changed an awful lot since the petition in June. All Evertonians should give the board time to readjust the company. "We have gone through a very difficult period of financial restraint which has now culminated in new financial investment from Bill Kenwright through Phil Green to the tune of £15m, along with £10m from the Wayne Rooney transfer, with a further £10m to come next year. "I think it is time that Evertonians stopped knocking each other out and worked together for the betterment of the club. "The meeting cannot really lead to any decisions in a real sense, but people can air their views and that is fair enough. I just hope any criticism is constructive rather than destructive." The motions raised by the shareholders could lead to a vote which would further undermine the board, now made up of just Kenwright, Paul Gregg and Jon Woods. But there is no chance of the boardroom split between Gregg and Kenwright swinging any vote. True Blue's 72 per cent will count as one vote, with the majority of True Blue shareholders required to vote against the petition. With Woods and Kenwright's combined holding in True Blue equating to a majority share, Gregg will be unable to influence a vote against his fellow directors. But Cannon believes if there is an overwhelming show of hands against the board from the small shareholders in any vote, it could provide a serious blow to Kenwright's leadership. He explains: "It would be humiliating to a person like Bill Kenwright if he sees that the majority of the people who own shares in the club have no faith in him. Des Pitcher left under those circumstances at the last EGM. "But if Bill says the board has learned and they will bring in new leadership, I believe he will receive a positive response."
What is an EGM?
THE legal definition of an Extraordinary General Meeting is: "Any meeting of a company's shareholders other than an annual general meeting (AGM). The length of notice depends on the nature of the resolutions being put to the meeting." Tonight's EGM was called because more than 20 per cent of members (382 people) of the Everton Supporters' Association signed a petition calling for it. The petition was delivered to Mike Chesterton, Everton's acting chief executive, by ESA vice-chairman Ann Asquith and secretary Nick Williams on July 23. The aim was to give fans an opportunity to question the way the club is run and to call for True Blue Holdings, which owns more than 70 per cent of the club, to be dissolved. It raised a series of motions, with supporters demanding the board provide:
* A full account of why the club's finances are in their current state.
* The short, medium and long-term plans for providing cash for the team and stadium.
* Personal commitments by the company directors to see through any plans.
* Clarification of how the club avoids a conflict of interest resulting from the club directors also being the directors of the True Blue Holdings consortium. The notice for the meeting demands the board resigns if it fails to provide solutions. It was signed at the peak of the public in-fighting between directors and fellow True Blue shareholders Paul Gregg and Bill Kenwright.
In the seven weeks since, Wayne Rooney's transfer and a credit agreement with billionaire Philip Green have boosted the club's coffers by £25m, with a further £10m due next summer and the possibility of £7m over the next three years based on Rooney's success at Old Trafford.
The EGM can only debate the motions within the petition.

The Jury
Sep 9 2004 Liverpool Echo
"If David Moyes can spend like only he can then we have a good future" - Ken Stewart WAYNE ROONEY has gone and the money - or part of it - is in the coffers. We now need to move on.
We cannot buy anyone until January so we'll have to pull together to build on our good start and hope for few injuries and suspensions. When the transfer window re-opens I think the club should go for some young players hungry to prove themselves - not ones who will be content to sit on the bench. We want honest pros in the Martyn/ Kilbane mode. I'd like to see Jason Koumas, Andy Reid and Forest's Michael Dawson or Wayne Routledge from Palace. They are young, quality players with full or under-21 international experience, in the positions we need strengthening. I'd also like to see a quality striker like James Beattie. He is a proven Premiership scorer. If he can score 15 to 20 goals at Southampton, I'm sure he could do it for us.
ROONEY could have been the icon of our beloved club and would have been one of, if not the, greatest player Everton ever produced. But he was lured away by the bright lights of, er, Salford.
Now it's over, we have £10m for the January sales, a further £10m for the summer holidays and maybe an extra £7m if he's good. It's a good deal - he's 18. If David Moyes can spend like only he can, we have a good future. His acquisitions have been of excellent quality - Joseph Yobo being the pick of the bunch. If he can persuade players of the Nigerian's ability to come to the School of Science, then let the good times follow.
"If David Moyes can spend like only he can then we have a good future" - Ken Stewart FORGET all about Wayne Rooney. The Everton board need to spend the money wisely by clearing some of the debt and bringing in quality players in January. Every season Everton have a debt, so it's about time they did something to clear it or at least half of it. Let's look at bringing in further investment and helping David Moyes, who has been 100 per cent committed to Everton when possibly any other man would have walked away. We have done brilliantly to get seven points from our first four games and have to get as many more as possible until the transfer window re-opens in January.
Hopefully we can stay clear of injuries and Leon Osman can continue his great run and sign a long-term contract. The atmosphere at Everton seems tremendous, especially with the results the players have produced recently.
THE togetherness evident in each of our last three matches has unfortunately been lost amidst much more exciting topics, such as delinquent teenagers, meddling agents and boardroom crises.
Ultimately, the only way to lift the gloom will be to continue to produce the goods on the pitch.

Fortunately, the man in charge of that aspect of our football club is extremely competent. No doubt Moyesy will be relishing the challenge and with serious cash in his back pocket for the first time since taking charge, this season could yet turn into a relative triumph. Whilst it would be dangerous to be ignorant of the many aspects of our club that need sorting out fast, it would surely do us all the world of good to start being a little more positive.

City go oriental for Toffees clash
September 09, 2004
Manchester Evening News
MANCHESTER City will have Chinese advertising adorning their Eastlands ground on Saturday for the first time as they look to cash in on a worldwide TV audience of 150 million for their Barclays Premiership clash with Everton. Interest in the game across the Far East is huge even though Everton's Li Tie will not play and fellow countrymen Sun Jihai may only make the City substitutes' bench. Chinese TV stations 'Chino Contract' and `Dragon TV' will both screen the match live, as will ESPN.

Kenwright: We didn't encourage Rooney sale
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Sep 10 2004
0ShareBILL KENWRIGHT has promised David Moyes "considerable" funds to spend in the January transfer window as he vigorously denied claims Everton instigated Wayne Rooney's move to Manchester United. The Goodison chairman answered a procession of hostile questions on Rooney's departure at last night's EGM even though, under company law, he could have avoided the controversial topic. It was revealed former chief executive Michael Dunford once held 40,000 shares in Proactive, the company formed by Rooney's agent Paul Stretford and who received £1.5million from United for his part in the transfer. But Kenwright dismissed claims Everton instructed Stret-ford to broker a deal for Rooney before his stunning exploits at Euro 2004. "We absolutely did not instruct Paul Stretford to sell Wayne Rooney three or four months ago," insisted the chairman. "For the last nine months, the manager and myself have been working tire-lessly to keep Wayne Rooney at Everton. "It is true that we discovered he wanted to leave three Sundays ago. David and I had been meeting Paul Stretford and Wayne for nine months. We were convinced until around two-and-a-half weeks ago that Wayne would sign the new contract that had been on his desk since July 6.
"Then a few Sundays ago David got a call from Paul Stretford saying he wanted to meet him the next day. We thought it was in connection with the problems he was having in the Sunday newspapers but it was that he wanted to leave the club." Kenwright also denied he failed to secure the best deal for Everton by agreeing to a transfer fee that only delivered £10m up front, with another £10m arriving next summer. He added: "I got the best deal I could. I spent four-and-a-half days in constant negotiation with Manchester United that saw the price rise and rise. I tried to keep Wayne Rooney at this football club but I wasn't capable of that. "We went to a tribunal system and were told that at the end of his contract in two years we may have got £12m-£14m for Wayne if he proved a test case. We wanted to keep him for those two years but he wanted to go." Manager Moyes also defended the Rooney sale and his chairman by rubbishing claims of a conspiracy between Everton and Stretford. "In the end the player wanted to go and you are going to have to trust me on that. Every day I am at this club I will tell the truth and that is it," said Moyes. Moyes continued: "We did everything possible, we scraped every penny out of the barrel to keep him and that is the truth. But he wanted to go." On Dunford's involvement with Proactive, amid claims several other Everton employees are also shareholders in Stretford's company, Ken-wright admitted: "It is true Michael Dunford had shares in Proactive. Once the board found out we instantly told him to get rid. There is nothing dirty about this football club." There was passionate support for Moyes throughout the EGM, as Kenwright confirmed However, the chairman accepted calls from shareholders not to divulge the exact amount to prevent other clubs holding Everton to ransom. "The figures I've been given by Bill will hopefully make a big improvement," said Moyes.. "We nearly got into Europe a year ago without any money but I hope with some investment in January and next summer we can make improvements and get there. "The most important players at the moment are the ones at the club but we are looking at what is available in January." Kenwright also revealed £700,000 is to be spent on improvements at the club's Youth Academy in Netherton while it continues with plans for a new training complex at Halewood. He said: "We will work hard to bring a new stadium to life. That is a promise. A leading Academy system is also central to our plans. At the moment we are considering having two Academies, one for six to 12-year-olds and another for teenagers as Manchester United and Arsenal do." The meeting ended on a sour note as one shareholder subjected an Everton official to a barrage of abuse as he left the EGM.

Shareholders promised long-term strategy
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Sep 10 2004
I am determined to finish the job we started four years ago - Bill Kenwright BILL KENWRIGHT bought precious time for himself and the Goodison board to transform Everton's fortunes at last night's EGM. The Everton chairman promised to deliver a long-term strategy for the club's finances, stadium and Academy plans at the next AGM in December. It was enough to satisfy the concerns of Everton shareholders who voted to accept Kenwright's answers to several key issues raised in a motion presented by Professor Tom Cannon. Here is how he did it .... THE shareholders of the Company express their deep concern at the current state of affairs in the Company - in particular the failure of the board to realise the resources to ensure that a club, which is one of the five most successful and one of the half dozen best supported in England, can compete at the highest level and match the achievements of previous generations. BILL KENWRIGHT: I totally agree with that. The directors of Everton Football Club have also been deeply concerned and have been working 24 hours a day to make the club successful again. We obviously haven't succeeded but it certainly hasn't been for the want of trying. PROVIDE a full account of the past expenditure and revenue issues which have led to the current situation in which the manager is alleged to say that we cannot compete for salaries with the likes of Bolton Wanderers, it is alleged that the Company cannot have any significant funds for signing players, and the stadium no longer lives up to its history as a world class venue or the ambitions of its supporters. BK: This is how we arrived at our current position: In 1997-98 Walter Smith spent £20m with monies raised through borrowing. Peter Johnson wanted £70m for his majority control, but lowered his price when it was clear there were no other offers.
I didn't have the money personally but desperately wanted to restore unity to the club, which makes tonight's EGM so ironic for me. When Peter Johnson left 80% of the club's turnover was spent on player wages, £20m out of £25m. We bought 71.8% of Everton for £22m but also had to provide £30m for a share issue. True Blue Holdings was just a vehicle to buy a controlling stake in the club, a stake no-one else wanted.
Our first big mistake was having only £22m and not £42m to spend as the money went straight into someone's pockets and not into the club. A deal with NTL was our safety valve, but that side of their business went bankrupt on the day we were to accept a cheque for £13m. The strategy of the board over the last four years and which has been pushed by me has been to give the manager every spare penny to strengthen his squad. This manager hasn't been given enough. The wage level is now way below that of other clubs. People compare the likes of Charlton and Birmingham with us but the fact is they were promoted to the Premiership with small wage levels and no baggage. Before player trading we have shown a £1m profit for roughly the last four years. But we have spent £47.8m on new players since March 2000 and received £33m. Agents fees and the 5% levy to the Premier League equate to another £4m. We have worked hard to remain competitive and to strengthen the squad. David Moyes will not put this club in debt and I am eternally grateful for that. We have had to do all this without any new capital injection. For 18 months we went cap in hand to the bank far too much so we arranged a £30m securitisation loan instead. Once the debts were taken care of the rest was swallowed up by replacing Walter and Archie with David and buying Lee Carsley, Tobias Linderoth and David Ginola.
We are now a middle income club that uses its money to stay competitive in the Premier League and I hate that. PRESENT to the EGM a strategic plan and related, achievable short, medium, and long term policies that will restore the Company's finances and provide resources for team building, stadium development, and other related issues. BK: The strategy has been to focus all our resources on the playing staff. My role has been to personally assist the manager in making that happen.
We will learn from our mistakes. This year is a hard year, a watershed year, the banks knew it and so did we. Once we get to the end of it, however, we finish several major contracts. We need to drive the revenue line if we are to compete. We recognise Goodison Park as the home of Everton and will improve the facilities here but long-term there has to be a stadium that drives revenue. We will never be tenants of a shared stadium with Liverpool but we do have to consider the commercial realities of sharing one. We will work hard to bring a new stadium to life. That is a promise. A leading Academy system is also central to our plans. At the moment we are considering having two Academies, one for six to 12-year-olds and another for teenagers as Manchester United and Arsenal do. We will develop Everton's brand as the People's Club. We welcome the formation of The Everton Council and invite shareholders to meet with us before three board meetings to discuss concerns. A share issue has been muted.
CALLS on all those in leadership positions at the Company, notably each individual Director, to commit themselves to use all means at their disposal to deliver these plans and related changes.
BK: Of course we commit ourselves. We don't get paid or take any expenses from the club and we acknowledge there has to be a significant change in the executive management.
DEMANDS that the members of True Blue (Holdings) Limited clarify the nature of their relationship with the Company - in particular the extent to which proper checks and balances have been set up to ensure that the interests of Everton FC are protected and conflicts of interest between the Company's interests and those of True Blue and its members avoided. BK: I can confirm we will be dissolving True Blue Holdings as soon as practically possible. Hopefully by the AGM in December.
FAILING that calls on the current board to stand aside for a new board and related appointments able to win the full support of the total membership of the Company and the wider support base.
BK: We only have one goal and that is to re-establish this club in its rightful place in the game.
If there was a Jack Heywood, a Jack Walker or a Roman Abramovich I would say we should go for it but I don't think there is one. We have a very good, committed board and my personal desire is to support the best manager in the country. I am determined to finish the job we started four years ago. I personally apologise that we haven't done it in the last four years, except for one season thanks to David Moyes, and we are working hard to bring it back. It isn't easy, it is painful and thankless but it is a privilege.

Committed and with an old score to settle
By Mark O'Brien Everton Supporter, Daily Post
Sep 10 2004
NO Everton supporter or player needs reminding of what happened the last time we visited the City of Manchester Stadium. A horrible 5-1 thrashing to the second worst team to survive in the Premiership last season was an ugly full stop at the end of a horrible season. The fans and the management alike questioned the commitment of the players, and we entered the summer with doubts hanging over the heads of just about everyone connected to the club. Yet here we are only a few months later, and more or less the same squad - minus some notable exceptions - appear as committed to the cause as ever and hopefully determined to lay some ghosts to rest. City are a strange side, liable to score a hatful of goals in a couple of games per season - usually against us - but like the majority of the sides in the Premiership their quality is spread pretty thin. Don't tell their fans that though, as many genuinely believe that last season was a blip. At least Evertonians are a bit more realistic in their outlook than the blues of Manchester. For instance, in the past we would have flinched at the sight of headlines linking us with a 36-year-old ex-Bolton strikers but nowadays the reaction to the stories that David Moyes is interested in Youri Djorkaeff has got many uttering the immortal words: "He could do a job." Hopefully that job is scoring goals for Everton, not performing in Parisian street theatre - he is surely the most French looking man alive and must have a stripy sweater, some white gloves and a beret in his wardrobe somewhere. Obviously parallels are going to be drawn between David Moyes's interest in Djorkaeff and Walter Smith's ill-fated dalliance with L'Oreal model David Ginola, but to be fair to the ex-Inter man he certainly looked sharp enough when scoring home and away against us last season. Marcus Bent's certainly going to need some support up front between now and January when, if you believe the rumours - and let's face it we all do when they're good ones - we'll be making a serious bid for James Beattie, who has apparently shown an interest in returning to this neck of the woods. Until any reinforcements arrive, though, let's hope that our current strikers find David James in as generous a mood as he was in Vienna last weekend.

Everton may be forced to leave
Sep 10 2004 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON could be forced to leave the city of Liverpool to find a new home. Blues' chairman Bill Kenwright revealed last night that a ground-share with neighbours Liverpool was the Blues' preferred option for stadium redevelopment - with a move from their 112 year old Goodison Park home now increasingly likely. But it is understood Everton would need to over-come massive obstacles to get ground-sharing back on the agenda. Failing that the Blues say they have four other sites earmarked, two in the city, two out. Liverpool have steadfastly insisted they are still committed to their own plans for a new stadium in Stanley Park. The Deputy Prime Minister's office is soon due to rule on whether to 'call in' Liverpool's plans for government scrutiny. While sources close to Liverpool City Council said today there are no suitable sites within the city boundaries for Everton to occupy. Blues' chairman Bill Kenwright revealed at last night's extraordinary general meeting of the club that: "Plan A would be a shared stadium. "Plan B would be one of four sites we are currently negotiating for, two of which are pretty concrete. One is inside the city, one outside." But director Paul Gregg added: "I think it's about time both clubs got together and backed a joint Merseyside project. "Not Everton, not Liverpool, but a project where both clubs can be totally independent of each other. "I agree we need a new stadium, but that will cost £100-150m at least, if we want something reasonable - and that would have to be community supported. "Everton Football Club can't afford it and I doubt Liverpool Football Club can afford it." Liverpool officials have met with their Blues' counterparts in the past to discuss the possibility of ground-sharing, but the Reds have always dismissed the notion. The Blues also confirmed that between £600,000 and £700,000 would be spent on upgrading the Youth Academy facilities at Netherton, because of the delay in the move to a new training complex at Halewood.

Moyes ready to spend
Sep 10 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES has vowed to splash the cash in January after being given a 'significant' transfer kitty.
Goodison chairman Bill Kenwright confirmed at last night's EGM that Moyes will have major spending power when the transfer window opens in January. The club has benefited from the £27m transfer of Wayne Rooney to Manchester United and is set to receive a further £15m from the first phase of an investment plan from the Fortress Sports Fund which Kenwright revealed last night would provide the club with a minimum cash boost of £30m. Kenwright would not confirm exactly how much money Moyes will get, but said: "He will have a considerable pot in January and in the summer." Moyes is expected to have in excess of £10m in January with a similar amount to spend next summer when the second instalment of the Rooney transfer fee is paid. It is a prospect the manager is relishing. He said: "We nearly got there a year ago without much money. I am hoping that with some investment and new players coming in January we can try and make improvements.
"The players we have got now are the most important ones but we are looking very hard at who will be available come January. The figures I have been shown by Bill Kenwright will make a big improvement.
"Quality is a big word.
Every football supporter says their club needs quality. We may not have the money to buy top quality but we will have the money to improve the squad and we will be looking to do that as soon as we can." Meanwhile, Kenwright confirmed he is ready to continue talks with Moyes over an extension to the manager's contract. Moyes has 18 months remaining on his current Everton deal.
He added: "David and I sat down before the Blackburn game at the end of last season and we talked about a new contract. "We were both very happy to talk about that, but we agreed that we wanted to get this summer over first."

True Blue set to dissolve
Sep 10 2004 By David Prentice And Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
TRUE Blue Holdings, the vehicle which owns 72 per cent of Everton Football Club, will be dissolved within months. And that will pave the way for £30m worth of new investment in the club. The dissolution of True Blue was one of the demands made by the Shareholders' Association at last night's extraordinary general meeting. And Blues chairman Bill Kenwright confirmed he was ready to accede to those wishes. "I can confirm we will be dissolving True Blue Holdings as soon as practically possible, hopefully before the next AGM in December," he declared.. "The deal with the Fortress Sports Fund is an absolute possibility and will hopefully be sewn up within the next few weeks. "They could end up owning 40 per cent of the club. "One of the gentlemen involved, Chris Samuelson, will be a board member and based in Geneva. "The new share issue will see the money go to the football club and not into somebody's pockets. The contract we have in place is for two share issues which will hopefully bring in £30m." It is believed that the Russian Zingarevich family are still one of the major investors in Fortress Sports Fund, but Kenwright dismissed suspicions about the credibility of the backing following a report in the investigative magazine Private Eye. "That is now the subject of a law suit," he said. "We have conducted all the necessary checks ourselves on the individuals concerned and they have come up A1 - and the bank conducts its own investigations which are just as exhaustive." As a result of the Fortress Sports Fund investment, the £15m cash credit line extended by retail billionaire Philip Green will remain untouched. "It is a type of bridging loan with no onerous responsibilities on the football club," explained Kenwright.
It was put in place in order to provide manager David Moyes with the ability to spend before the transfer deadline - but not used. On calls for the board to stand down, should they prove unable to satisfy the Association's requirements, Kenwright replied: "If you had a Jack Walker, a Jack Hayward or a Roman Abramovich I would say to you 'Go for it.' "I don't think those kind of investors are around any more, but I think you have a very good, very committed board here. "My personal desire is to support who I believe is the best manager in the country to continue the progress that he has started this season with a very, very small squad. "He has made us feel proud of the boys in blue again and we are here to support him. "I personally apologise that we haven't done it in the last four years, except for one season thanks to David Moyes, and we are working hard to bring it back. It isn't easy, but it is a privilege." A new initiative Kenwright aims to introduce is tri-annual meetings between members of the shareholders' executive and the board. He explained: "We will develop Everton's brand as the People's Club. "We also welcome the formation of the Everton Council and invite shareholders to meet with us before three board meetings to discuss concerns."

New man Wyness pledges to keep fans in picture
Sep 10 2004 Liverpool Echo
KEITH WYNESS was confirmed as Everton's new chief executive last night and vowed to improve communication with the fans. Wyness will get behind his desk at Goodison on September 20 after leaving a similar post with Aberdeen in July. After the mystery surrounding Trevor Birch's departure from the role less than seven weeks into the job, Wyness made it clear he would always be open with the supporters. He said: "When Bill Kenwright asked me if I wanted to come to the meeting, I thought it was a great opportunity. "I could have done it the easy way by meeting the press. I knew tonight was not going to be easy but I thought it would be indicative of months to come because there is going to be some tough decisions to make. "Everything I have done in the past has always had the fans at the core of it. "Over the coming weeks you will see changes in the way we communicate. I will tell it like it is, whether we like it or not. There is no point making promises.
"I just want to press ahead with making clear and realistic decisions for the club." Wyness, whose arrival at Goodison was delayed because his Australian-born wife gave birth to their first child less than a fortnight ago, also revealed his top priority will be finding a new home for the Blues.
"I am going to redouble the efforts on the stadium project," he added. "It is a complicated area but it was one of the biggest issues to do with the club. "Some of the actions will speak much more than the words. "With you, I share the ambition to make Everton the best managed club in the Premier League. I hope that will be legacy here. "I want to instill a culture of innovation and willingness to change. My priorities will always be viability and stability. "The only way we can grow is to be different and to try and lead the way with ideas. "It is also important to support the manager and everything the club does off the pitch should be targeted towards that aim. "I am here to support the manager and that is the key to how I will be operating. "I will be fighting the club's corner in the business arena. I've not been slow to voice opinions in the past."

Ball: Wayne deal shows stars' power
Sep 10 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON legend Alan Ball believes player power and agents are ruining football. The World Cup winner returned to Merseyside last night to attend a dinner at Goodison less than two weeks after Evertonians experienced echoes of Ball's own departure with the sale of Wayne Rooney to Manchester United. Like Rooney, Ball was the darling of the terraces. He was a star for England and had still not reached his peak. To this day, Ball is regularly confronted by Evertonians recalling the day he was sold to Arsenal for a then-British record £220,000 to ask questions about the reasons behind his departure. It is something he has warned Rooney to be ready for. Because, unlike Ball, it was Rooney and his advisors who pushed for the move. And it is the player power which prevented Everton keeping hold of their teenage starlet that has left Ball disenchanted. "I can understand the way the supporters feel about Wayne because of the way I have been approached over the years by hundreds of Everton supporters," he revealed. "But I was different because I didn't want to go. The last thing on my mind when I went into training that morning (in December 1971) was that I was going to be sold. "I said I didn't want to leave but I was told in no uncertain terms the club had agreed a deal. "This is totally different. Personally, I think Wayne should have been more loyal to Everton, given them at least another season and got them out of the dark times they are in.
"Then people would have said: 'Well, he has to go eventually because of the way he is performing.' But I think he has been led through the nose and agents are ruthless people. "There were no agents involved in my day. The club told you what were doing, where you were going and what wages you were getting. "When I was playing you weren't bigger than the club. But Rooney and his agent were bigger than the club." Rooney's switch to Old Trafford is not the only recent example of that power. Sir Bobby Robson was sacked by Newcastle after 'losing the dressing room'. And this week England's players refused to talk to the media following the victory over Poland because they were so angered by criticism they received after last weekend's 2-2 draw with Austria. Having turned his back on management in 1999, Ball does not envy the job of modern bosses. "I sympathise with managers like David Moyes because I don't think they can manage any more," he continues.
" They are managing players who don't like to be told off. Players are that wealthy now that they can say: 'What are you talking to me like that for? I don't need this, I can be off.' That is the most ridiculous thing happening in the game. "In my day you had a fearful respect of your manager and you got on with it because you knew he had the whip hand. "I saw the wind of change when I was managing at Manchester City and I just didn't like it. I didn't like the way the dressing room was becoming all-powerful. "If the game wasn't packaged so well by Sky people would sit down and look at what they are watching and ask questions. "Then you hear the classic phrase 'He has lost the players'. "They can be as bad as they want and a manager can't nail them because if he does, they don't like it. "No wonder they like Sven Goran Eriksson. He never shouts at anybody and he takes them to places like Dubai and La Manga. "Any man in the world would love a boss who didn't get onto him. But that doesn't mean he would do the business for him. "The situation with the England players the other night was an example. They were saying 'Don't criticise us' by refusing to do interviews. "I believe performance-related contracts would solve every problem in this country.
" If you are on a performance-related contract and things are going well the fans don't mind you getting big money. But they don't want to see people getting a fortune by sitting on their backside, waiting for the contract to finish so they can get a free transfer. "The game has got so much bigger, but it is not better."

Roo request out of blue
Sep 10 2004 Liverpool Echo
BILL KENWRIGHT refuted accusations Everton had been underhand in the transfer of Wayne Rooney to Manchester United. The chairman vehemently dismissed suggestions Rooney was pushed out of Goodison, and admitted the role of agents in football was something that concerned him and his fellow Premiership chairmen. When asked if Rooney had really wanted to leave Goodison, Kenwright responded: "David and I had been meeting Paul Stretford and Wayne Rooney for the past nine months. "We were absolutely convinced until two and a half weeks ago that Wayne would be signing the new contract which has been on the table since July 9. Then one Sunday two and a half weeks ago Stretford said he wanted to meet. "We thought it was to discuss the newspaper problems Wayne had been having. Sadly, it wasn't." Kenwright also admitted former chief executive Michael Dunford had 40,000 shares in Stretford's Proactive Sports Agency. He added: "As a board we were unaware that Michael Dunford had shares in Proactive. When the board found out we instantly said: 'Get rid of those shares', which Michael did." Paul Gregg added: "We have made representations to the Premier League that agents fees should be paid by players and not clubs."

Feud in the past - Gregg
Sep 10 2004 Liverpool Echo
PAUL GREGG confirmed last night that the feud between him and Everton chairman Bill Kenwright is now in the past. The club has endured a summer of turmoil which was one of the key factors which led to the call for last night's EGM. There has been a power struggle between the two major shareholders in True Blue Holdings, which owns 72 per cent of Everton. But Gregg conceded that both men remained focused on one common goal - improving Everton's fortunes on and off the pitch. He dismissed suggestions he was still pressing ahead with his own £15m investment plan, admitting he is now backing the Fortress Sports Fund proposal. "We want to see where we are with the Fortress investment fund," he told the EGM. "The fact we have decided to dissolve True Blue will broaden the share base. The capacity to control the club will be changed in order to give wider share ownership and we have appointed a new chief executive. "Everybody knows there has been a stand-up fight between us about how the club should be run but we share the same ambition for the club - we just had different views of how to get there. "What I was calling for in terms of True Blue has been achieved and that is a massive step forward."

Sincere Kenwright puts up good defence
Sep 10 2004 Liverpool Echo
BILL KENWRIGHT completed his last press call of his first club meeting as Everton chairman at shortly before half past ten. Then he received arguably the worst news of his whole night, from his driver.
"You've saved me something from the buffet? Great, I'm starving," he said, before adding "What? Chicken legs? I'm a bloody vegetarian!" That was the worst calamity to befall him on a night he admitted mistakes, answered most of the questions directed at him - and even won a vote at the culmination of the meeting that he had "answered all the issues raised in transparent fashion."
There were some angry moments, notably when supporter Frank Hargreaves accused Kenwright of telling him lies. "I get lied to on a daily basis by you," he declared. "This fella here (pointing to manager David Moyes) is putting up with the worst scenario a manager of Everton has ever had to put up with. I don't do etiquette, I do the truth. Get rid or do one." But instantly, shareholder Michael Sampson leaped to Kenwright's defence. "I feel that this document is an insult to Bill," he declared. Shareholders Association chairman Steve Allinson had asked for the tone of the meeting to be non-confrontational, and that was largely the case. The affection a large body of Evertonians still hold for Kenwright clearly shone through. And among the brick-bats and the recriminations, there were a few laughs and smiles - and even uproarious laughter when Kenwright unwittingly answered the wrong question. Fearing the loss of boss David Moyes, one supporter asked whether the board intended to wait until Berti Vogts had been sacked as Scotland boss before offering him a new contract - in the same way that talks with Wayne Rooney had started when it was too late.
Kenwright believed he was answering yet another Rooney question and declared: "There has been a £50,000 a week contract on the table since July 9." Moyes was the one figure who received overwhelming support from the floor throughout the two-and-a-half hour long meeting. New chief executive Keith Wyness was introduced, and received a warm welcome, there was a handshake between Paul Gregg and Bill Kenwright and a suggestion the two are now finally prepared to work together. But it was a night when Kenwright managed to convince the majority of the Association present that he is working diligently, and openly, for the good of the club. Not all were convinced. "Mr Teflon gets away with it again," murmured one, on the way out. But the only sticking point on a night of transparency was why Trevor Birch had left the club. That was one question Bill Kenwright steadfastly refused to answer, but otherwise he largely satisfied the most disgruntled Shareholders' Association a club chairman has faced in recent years. Even if he did go home hungry.

Board prepares Everton for sale
Sep 10 2004 By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
EVERTON'S board of directors paved the way for a £30m investment in the club last night by pledging to dissolve current majority shareholding group True Blue Holdings. Chairman Bill Kenwright satisfied shareholders' concerns at an extraordinary general meeting by announcing True Blue would disband to allow the Fortress Sports Fund to purchase a 40% stake in the club through two new share issues. True Blue - consisting of current board members Kenwright, Paul Gregg and Jon Woods - currently holds a 72%% majority stake in Everton and has been accused of preventing new investment in the debt-ridden club. But Kenwright, who unveiled Keith Wyness as Everton's new chief executive following the abrupt departure of Trevor Birch in the summer, confirmed True Blue would step aside once the deal with the Russian-backed FSF is in place. "I can confirm we will be dissolving True Blue Holdings as soon as practically possible, hopefully before the next AGM in December," said Kenwright,, who has seen True Blue lose £24m since taking control over four years ago. "The deal with the Fortress Sports Fund is an absolute possibility and will hopefully be sewn up within the next few weeks. They could end up owning 40% of the club. "One of the gentlemen involved (Chris Samuelson) will be a board member and based in Geneva. "The new share issue will see the money go to the football club and not into some-body's pockets. The contract we have in place is for two share issues which will hope-fully bring in £30m." Once the FSF package is completed Kenwright will remain as chairman while the £15m credit agreement recently secured from Philip Green will be returned to the billionaire retailer at no cost to the club. He explained: "We have a funding proposal in the pipeline but I was desperate to have money in place for David (Moyes) to spend before the transfer deadline. It is a cash credit line on which we pay no interest. It can be converted into shares in one year but it is only in place of the new investment we are working on. It is a type of bridging loan but with no onerous responsibilities on the football club. "I cannot say whether the money has come from Philip Green for confidentiality reasons but he has been an extraordinary support for the past three months." The Everton board revealed a shared stadium with Liverpool remained their preferred option and Kenwright said it was "not viable" to stay at Goodison. "Plan A for some is a shared stadium," said Kenwright;; "Plan B is one of four sites we are currently in negotiations over. We have two sites that are pretty concrete, one within the city and one that is not." Kenwright admitted True Blue had made mistakes but the board survived calls to resign after vowing to have short, medium and long-term strategies in place by the next AGM.
Fellow director Paul Gregg last night insisted he would not attempt to initiate his own investment plan at the club while the FSF investment is in place. Gregg, who has been calling for the dissolution of True Blue, said: "I will wait and see where we are with Fortress. "The very fact we have agreed to dissolve True Blue is what we wanted, it will widen the opportunity for any new investment."

Money must not be wasted
Sep 10 2004 Liverpool Echo
ALAN BALL has predicted a bright future for Everton - provided they spend the Wayne Rooney money wisely. The Goodison legend has been saddened by the Blues' lack of success in the last decade. But he believes that, despite losing one of the finest talents Everton has ever produced, David Moyes could be on the brink of transforming the club. "I just hope the people who have got the money handle it wisely," said Ball. "The window is closed now anyway, so they can't spend any of it. But they can put things into position and the most important thing in life when you are making big decisions is that if you snatch at it, you make mistakes. "But Everton can put things in place and make sure they get the right people. "The club cannot afford to waste whatever money is made available. "After losing Rooney, how they spend the money in January is crucial. They have got to be really good buys and the club can't afford to make mistakes."

'My book was family affair'
Sep 10 2004 Liverpool Echo
AFTER 37 years of marriage, Alan Ball said goodbye to his beloved Lesley this year. She passed away after a three-year battle against ovarian cancer. During her battle against the disease, the couple worked on a book of their life together. It was an emotional journey, but one Ball is glad he undertook. "It was my wife that persuaded me to do the book," he reflects. "When she was ill we had lots of time on our hands and she said she thought I should do a book so our grandchildren and our children can read it in the years to come. "We had marvellous times doing it and I am sure it helped her along the way. It gave us something to aim for. "We were also able to look back on our great memories, the places we have lived and the people we have met. It was a marvellous idea and at the finish we thoroughly enjoyed doing it. "We would set aside two or three hours and we would end up putting in five hours or a full afternoon, laughing about things. "I wouldn't have done it without Lesley. I didn't want it to be a football book, just about my life and our life. It was more for our family in future years." Alan Ball, Playing Extra Time is published by Sidgwick and Jackson and available now.

Cup-winners mementoes under hammer
Sep 10 2004 By Mike Hornby, Liverpool Echo
CENTURY-OLD FA Cup winners' medals awarded to Everton players Jack Sharp and Billy Scott are going under the hammer at auction in London. The 1906 mementoes, expected to fetch up to £5,000 each, mark the Blues' first FA Cup triumph when they beat Newcastle 1-0 at the Crystal Palace with a goal from Alex Young bringing the Cup to Merseyside for the first time.
Christie's auction house is not revealing who is selling the medals, which are 15-carat gold and inscribed with the players' names. Jack Sharp made more than 340 appearances in an Everton shirt and won two caps for England. However, he also won three cricket Test caps for his country and scored a century against Australia in 1909. He also opened a chain of sports shops well-known in Liverpool. Billy Scott was born in Belfast and was already an Irish international when he joined Everton in 1904. He stayed at Goodison Park for eight years. His younger brother, Elisha, played in goal for Liverpool. Two other medals, one presented to Scott after he played in the first Northern Ireland team to beat England, and another presented by the Irish Football Association are also being sold. David Convey, football memorabilia expert for Christies, said: "To have one of these medals is a rare find - but to have two at the same auction is exceptional. "We're expecting a lot of interest, especially from the Far East."

Law has a precedent for Faddy
Sep 10 2004 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
JAMES McFADDEN wants the deflected free-kick he took last Friday night in Valencia added to his Scottish international goals tally. Forgive my naivety, but wasn't the match abandoned?
McFadden should have been pointed in the direction of his compatriot, Denis Law.
In 1961 the Law-man scored a double hat-trick in an FA Cup tie for Manchester City against Luton. Then it rained . . . heavily. The match was abandoned because of a waterlogged pitch - and Law's goals never made the record books. He scored in the replayed tie, too, but even that consolation was snatched away when Luton scored three to knock City out. So don't feel too hard done by, James.
* A MESSAGE on Everton's official website last week, read: "Evertonfc.com's popular chat forum the Blue Room is under serious danger of being turned off if the current foul and abusive language persists."
So that's not why it was called the Blue Room, then?

Preview: Manchester City v Everton
Chris Bailey
September 10, 2004
Manchester Evening News
KEVIN KEEGAN will name an unchanged side for the visit of Everton tomorrow as City bid to win back-to-back Premiership games for the first time since Sunderland and Tottenham were despatched in April 2003. Midfielder Steve McManaman is missing with an Achilles strain, but as long as his international brigade show no ill effects from their World Cup exploits, the manager will send out the same eleven that thrashed Charlton 4-0 before the mini break. Frenchman Antoine Sibierski, unfortunate to be the man left out of the 16 for that game, is likely to return to the bench in the absence of Macca. "In a season you need a couple of good runs of seven or eight games unbeaten. That's what gets you in the top half and finishing in the European places," said the Blues' boss. "If you do what we did last season and fail to win two on the trot, then it becomes a long hard season. It is not just the points that matter but the momentum, and the fact that as a manager you can then send out a settled side. "Then if you want to change things when you are winning that is a great thing because it puts the onus on the player coming in to make sure he maintains the standard. Last season we just couldn't get any momentum going." After a slow start to this campaign, Keegan has been encouraged by the way his side clinically disposed of Charlton. "If we can reproduce the performance that we gave against Charlton then we can beat most teams at home," ventured the manager. "That's the challenge for us, to be consistent The key for us is when we get a goal up, to get a second one because when we do that we are a very, very good side.
"Last season we looked a good side when we had our backs to the wall but it was a strange season all around. "Now and again a club has a period when it doesn't play particularly badly but the results don't look good on paper. we had one of those last year. This year we may not play as well but end up with more points." Key opponent: Leon Osman. The rookie hitman has been proving to Toffees fans that there's more to Everton's young strikers than Wayne Rooney and will be hoping to build on his early season form.
Last season: Manchester City 5 Everton 1
Prediction: Manchester City 2 Everton 1

Ball may return to provide windfall
By Jon West, Daily Post
Sep 11 2004
RANGERS manager Alex McLeish has put Everton on alert after revealing that forgotten man Michael Ball could soon be back in the first-team picture. The Englishman has not started a game since April 24, clocking up just three minutes of action in the meantime. The left-back's lack of fitness is a factor but the main reason is that Rangers are keen to avoid triggering a £500,000 payment to Everton, who negotiated a clause-laden sale in the summer of 2001. The player's agent - former Rangers and Everton midfielder Trevor Steven - was unable to find his client a new club before the transfer deadline. Now his task is to strike a deal with Everton that would allow Ball to resume his stop-start Ibrox career. McLeish said: "It would be sensible but I don't know if anything has been agreed yet.
"It has been talked about and Trevor worked to try and get Michael a move before the deadline and now he's trying to reach some kind of solution. "Michael isn't fit enough to return at the moment and is doing a course of running."

Moyes to wait over Goodison contract
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Sep 11 2004
DAVID MOYES will not sign a new Everton contract until he is convinced his board have the investment and strategy to realise his own ambitions for the club. Bill Kenwright bought himself three months to prove his doubters wrong at Thursday's EGM when he revealed the club expects to have a £30million deal with the Fortress Sports Fund, a new financial structure and plans for a new stadium and youth academy in place by the time of Everton's next AGM in December. The Goodison chairman also revealed Moyes had been offered an extension to his current contract, which has two years left to run, after the home defeat by Blackburn on April 24 last season. But Moyes - who has been linked with the managerial vacancy at Ewood Park - wants to see the proposals realised before he commits to a new deal after being promised a "considerable" fund for January's transfer window.
The Everton manager said: "I got asked by Bill at the end of last season about a new contract. I have no problem with that but I wanted to see what the club's ambitions were as well and how we go forward before signing. "I want to see we are going to have a go at competing. I've stated many times that I want to have a chance to compete on a level playing field. "If we get that then it's up to me to do my bit. "I hope in the next week or so we will get around to seeing exactly what that is, then we can get around the table and make something happen. "It is nice to be mentioned (with Blackburn) but I am happy at Everton and unless people tell me otherwise this is my job and where I want to stay." Moyes, who has doubts over Gary Naysmith and Joseph Yobo for today's trip to Manchester City, received overwhelming support from shareholders at the EGM. And he admitted the backing of Evertonians had been the highlight of his arduous summer and a key factor in his commitment to the club. "I probably appreciate the support of the fans more than ever now," Moyes added. "If there has been one thing that has never wavered this summer it has been the public's support. "They have stuck with it. They've all had opinions on different things involving the club but they have not changed towards me. As I have always said, I want the chance to build a young team that gives us a real chance in the future. That has not changed." Moyes continued: "It was stunted last year but if we can get our plan up and running again we will have a chance, and it will be much easier to do with some money. "I knew from the start there wasn't much money but perhaps I didn't realise what the level of debt was behind that. "I want to see if we can get a plan, a strategy, together on the playing side and find out what improvements we can have. Things change quickly in football and it could be that in a year's time we are talking about Everton competing at the top again. These things do happen in football. "But I want to stress how terrific the supporters have been for me. I will never ever take that support for granted and I will keep working hard to earn their respect. "There were times in the summer when I found it difficult with so many things getting in the way of the team and on one or two days I got home thinking it was very tough. But never at any time did I think Everton Football Club wasn't where I wanted to be. This is a great club and a big part of that is the people around it." Moyes, meanwhile, confirmed he does have an interest in bringing 37-year-old Youri Djorkaeff to Goodison on a short-term contract. He said: "There are only one or two free agents about. Youri Djorkaeff is someone we have a bit of an interest in."

Optimistic Moyes hoping for fresh start at Goodison
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Sep 11 2004
DAVID MOYES'S experiences at Goodison Park suggest he should never believe a promise until it materialises in front of his own eyes. So when the Everton manager can talk of a new beginning for the tortured club, perhaps it really is time to untap that battered sense called "optimism".
Certainly there can be no better place for Everton to signal an end to recent traumas than at the City of Manchester Stadium this afternoon, the scene of a 5-1 defeat on the final day of last season that condemned the club to their worst ever points total and set the tone, Moyes believes, for a summer of despondency. Time, and December's AGM, will tell if the Fortress Sports Fund have flown to the rescue from Geneva, Brunei or wherever in Mother Russia they might be and whether Bill Kenwright and co have the stadium, Academy and business plans to show they really have learned from past mistakes. That is the least Moyes and Everton deserve. But for now, just the wait for tangible progress is a blessed relief to what has gone on before and the Goodison manager, promised "a considerable pot" for the next two transfer windows, is happy to embrace the change in mood.
"I hope it is a new beginning," said Moyes. "It has been a tough summer for us all mainly because of the disappointment of how we finished last season and how that season went. Things then went on at different periods of the summer, culminating in not having an awful lot of players or any real cash for players and then losing Wayne on deadline day. "I hope this is a new start for us all and we can move on. I hope there is now a sense of optimism. Maybe we have come through the rockiest waters and we are getting through to the other side; it has been tough for everybody. The players we've got here have started really well and not let anything bother them and neither have the management staff. "Now we need to try and get as many points on the board as we can by January when hopefully we'll have funds available to strengthen the squad. "I hope there will be a considerable amount available but I don't want a great deal of speculation around it because it is unfair on the players already at the club. If there is work to do we will to it quietly. "I'll have a meeting with Bill and the new chief executive to see what figures there are soon."
The arrival of a new chief executive on Thursday, of course, was another reason to believe Everton are now striding to put a dreadful summer behind them and build for the future. Former Aberdeen official Keith Wyness takes up his new post at Goodison on September 20 but has already made a firm impression at his new club, revealing at Thursday's EGM the tenacity and forthright nature that served him well in Scotland and will be needed on Merseyside as he deals with such issues as a new stadium and the Everton debt. "This is a great opportunity for me," said Wyness.
"I could have taken the easy route and held a press conference but I thought the EGM was the right place to start because it sets the tone for what is ahead of me. It is indicative of the tough decisions we face in the coming months. "Everything I have done in the past has been with the fans at the core. My ambition is for Everton to become one of the best managed clubs in the Premier League, to instill a culture of innovation and openness to change. "There will be changes in the way we communicate with fans. I will tell it like it is, whether people like it or not. We need a clear and realistic direction for the club, I am going to roll my sleeves up and get stuck in. My priorities are for the viability and stability of Everton Football Club. I have always supported the manager and believed that everything a club does off the pitch should be towards helping the manager.
"I will be fighting Everton's corner in every aspect of the game. I haven't been slow to voice opinions in the past and I will fight tooth and nail to get what I believe is right for Everton." He confirmed: "I will redouble efforts on the stadium project. That is a clear priority. If there is a feasible option we will be looking at it quickly but these things are not easy. However, I am focused like a laser beam on that because it is one of the biggest issues facing the club." Kenwright refused to go into the reasons why Wyness's predecessor Trevor Birch left Everton so abruptly in July, preferring to draw a line under the sorry affair. He said: "I am not going to go into the private reasons why he left. Trevor has been silent on why he left and he will remain so." Now Moyes wants to draw a line under the sorry affair of last season's humbling at City and show that, even with a threadbare squad that waited for new additions before the deadline and didn't get any, their fine start to the season can be sustained.

Manchester City 0 Everton 1
Dominic King
September 11, 2004
Manchester Evening News
MANCHESTER City's supporters rallied around David James on his return to Eastlands and he repaid their faith with a magnificent display but even he was powerless to prevent Everton taking all three points. Dropped from the England team after his well-publicised mistake against Austria last Saturday and the butt of some disparaging comments in certain sections of the media, James answered his critics in the perfect manner at Eastlands. Afforded a generous reception by the home support when his name was read out over the PA tannoy before kick-off, on four occasions in a scrappy first 45 minutes the 34-year-old came to City's rescue in breathtaking fashion. James was first called into action on 12 minutes when Steve Watson capitalised on a mistake by captain Sylvain Distin, who failed to intercept a through ball from the busy Lee Carsley. The Everton midfielder scampered through and unleashed a fierce drive but James was equally to the test, springing low to his right before plunging on Watson's follow up header. Better was to come, though, shortly after. This time, he denied Marcus Bent with a spectacular one-handed block. The striker looked certain to score when leaping to meet Carsley's free-kick but James made himself big to keep his goal intact.
He saved his best for last, however, shortly before the end of the first half. Everton once again sliced through the Blues' defence with Leon Osman skipping away. He had only James to beat but the England international responded spectacular. City were fortunate that James was in such good form because they were a shadow of the side that hammered Charlton 4-0 two weeks ago and did not deserve anything from a game they were comfortably second best in. Tim Cahill headed Everton into a lead they never looked like relinquishing on 58 minutes but the Australian international was sent-off straight after for taking his shirt off while celebrating. It was his second booking of the game. But even down to 10 men, Everton looked comfortable. City were all huff but no puff and never threatened to blow the visitors' defence down. City have now not won consecutive matches in the Premiership since April 2003.

Man City 0, Everton 1 (D,Post)
Sep 13 2004 By Andy Hunter at the City of Manchester stadium, Daily Post
MAYBE the time has come to start dwelling on what Everton have taken out of Manchester lately rather than tales of vice-versa. Four points is the tangible reward from two successive journeys down the East Lancs but a battling draw at Old Trafford and now a complete reversal of fortunes at the City of Manchester Stadium have done much more good than that. On the playing side, two fine away performances since the Rooney affair exploded have eased the pressures and fears of being labelled relegation fodder by so many. "This will alleviate the doubts," said the man who has recaptured the spirit of two seasons ago, David Moyes, on Saturday night. But the effect of these two displays has been even more farreaching than the dizzying heights of fifth, the whole football club is rediscovering its sense of pride and hope and, after a summer when both have been battered from pillar to post, their return is as well timed as they are fundamental to Everton's future. It is not over-stating the case to say many have been left totally disillusioned with both Everton and football by the constant setbacks that culminated in the engineered departure of their homegrown hero to Manchester United two weeks ago. Many still are. But days like Saturday, when each Everton player gave absolutely everything for the cause in the face of mounting odds, are what can bring them back to the fold. Talk of £30m investment packages, stadium plans and two new youth academies have generated the feeling of a fresh start at Goodison Park. And while they are essential to the long-term well-being of the club, it is the here and now that can shape it. Triumphing over adversity will become the motto for David Moyes, Bill Ken-wright et al if the investment and strategies are secured and the team maintains its excellent start to the season. It was certainly the tale of Saturday's victory over Manchester City, a display and result that suggested there really could be a new beginning for Everton after all. As the law of sod would demand, David James was a man possessed after being vilified for his Austrian clanger and then dropped from the England team. Three superb stops in the first half from Steve Watson, Marcus Bent and Leon Osman reminded every Evertonian why England is rarely of benefit to their club and added to the suspicion it was going to be one of those days. As did referee Steve Bennett, who made some extraordinary mistakes, managed to book two players for the same tackle when Lee Carsley and Joey Barton lunged into a 50-50, missed Claudio Reyna's horrendous challenge from behind on Alan Stubbs and plenty more before reducing Everton to 10 men as is his custom when their paths cross away from home. More of that later.
Yet through it all Everton, who would have been out of sight by half-time but for the City keeper, emerged victorious thanks to Tim Cahill's first goal for the club and a performance faultless in attitude and commitment. Rather than a new beginning, perhaps it is more accurate to explain Everton's fine start to the season as a return to the traits that took them to the brink of European football in Moyes's first full campaign at the helm. Hard work, tenacity, concentration, all characteristics that hauled this team above the Premiership's middle-tier in 2002-03 but whose decline last term led to a brush with relegation, made even closer by the final day 5-1 mauling on this ground. Of course Everton also had Rooney then to polish off dogged displays with a touch of magic. Without that, the onus is now even greater on those he left behind to scrap for every cause and to support every rearguard action, every attack. Cahill wasn't at the club when Everton produced such efforts on a consistent basis yet, in just two games in the Premiership, typifies that effort already. The Australian international produced another eye-catching display in the heart of midfield, where Watson and the tireless Carsley embodied the work ethic Moyes has always demanded from his teams, and also demonstrated the penalty box threat that served him well at Millwall. Having glanced one good opening wide of James's goal in the first half, from one of several dangerous set-piece deliveries by Carsley, Cahill made amends on the hour with a goal the watching Bob Latchford would have been proud of. Watson, Bent and Tony Hibbert combined slickly down the right that ended with a perfect cross from the by-line from the fullback, and the £2m summer signing timed his run with precision to ghost in at the back post and finally beat James with what proved to be the winner. "Tim looks as though he has played in the Premier League all his life," enthused Moyes afterwards. "He had a good chance in the first half, set up Ossie for a great chance after that, and then scored a very good goal himself. He had a great goalscoring record at Millwall and he will prove a real threat for us." Although Evertonians will now have to wait a while to see that threat for themselves. Having been booked for a first half clip around Barton's ear Cahill invited a second yellow card of the afternoon when he marked his goal with a Ravanelli-style celebration.
Under FIFA's new rules referee Bennett had no choice but to shatter the excitement with a red card and, for this instance at least, the match official was blameless. He applied the law, but this law is an ass. Taking one's shirt off may now be an offence but who does it actually offend? "Totally and utterly ridiculous," was Moyes's verdict afterwards and everyone in the game, even Bennett, agreed with his opinion. For the final half hour, therefore, the siege mentality Everton have turned to their advantage this season was in evidence on the pitch as City prodded and probed the visitors' defence but,, more often than not, could not even find a way past the opposition midfield. In stark contrast to James, Nigel Martyn had only one moment of trouble all afternoon when Alessandro Pistone's dreadful backpass forced him to win a sliding tackle with Nicolas Anelka at the expense of an injury. The Everton keeper was superbly protected by those in front of him, with Carsley and the rejuvenated Hibbert flying into challenges and appearing to win them all. On the full-back who has responded to talk of replacements being brought in this summer, Moyes reserved special praise. "There were pressures on Tony a few weeks ago," he said.. "But now his confidence is back, he's looking sharp and aggressive and is playing very well. "Maybe we didn't realise how low his confidence was to be honest, but he was excellent again for us today and it was a peach of a cross for the goal." Praise also goes to the manager for keeping faith with the side that delivered at Old Trafford despite the return of the in-form Thomas Gravesen from injury. "We played in a way to stifle Manchester United at Old Traf-ford and it worked," he explained. "It wasn't a difficult decision to stick with the same team. If you do well then you stay in, simple as that." Moyes spoke with genuine conviction on the eve of the game about how he hopes there really is a new beginning for Everton and that, in a year's time, the club "will be competing at the top level again. These things do happen in football". How right he was. Three weeks ago Everton's trip to Crystal Palace was billed as a relegation sixpointer; now they entertain Middlesbrough on Sunday with both clubs vying for the Champions League places! It's almost tempting enough to cry "Wayne Who?" Almost,, but not quite. This is just a start for Everton, albeit one that has exceeded all expectations bar those of Moyes, but the portents of doom are being swiftly replaced by a sense of unity and, whisper it quietly, optimism. "It's much easier to manage when you're winning than losing," said the Everton manager afterwards. "Wins breed confidence and when you are hearing and reading good things about yourself the spirit improves. "The game could not have worked out better for us, especially after what happened here last season. "I reminded the players of how they felt here last season, and today they showed they do care and they can all feel pleased with themselves. We walked out of here with our heads bowed last season and rightly so. Now we can walk out with our chests out and our heads held high." And looking down on 15 teams below.
MANCHESTER CITY (4-4-2): James; Mills, Dunne, Distin, Thatcher (Jihai 72); Wright-Phillips, Reyna, Barton, Sinclair (Sibierski 72); Fowler (Macken 62), Anelka. Subs: Waterreus, Bosvelt.
BOOKINGS: Barton (foul).
EVERTON (4-5-1): Martyn; Hibbert, Weir, Stubbs, Pistone; Osman (Gravesen 57), Watson, Carsley, Cahill, Kilbane (Naysmith 72); Bent (Ferguson 72). Subs: Wright, McFadden.
BOOKINGS: Carsley, Pistone (fouls).
SENDING-OFF: Everton's Cahill (two bookable offences)
REFEREE: Steve Bennett
ATT: 47,006
NEXT GAME: Everton v Middlesbrough, Premiership, Sunday, 3pm

Cahill annoyed with himself over red card
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Sep 13 2004
TIM CAHILL admitted he was more annoyed with himself than referee Steve Bennett for the ludicrous dismissal that marred his match-winning display at Manchester City. Everton's £2million summer signing received a second yellow card for celebrating his debut goal for the club by lifting his shirt over his head - a bookable offence under new FIFA rules adopted this summer. Both David Moyes and Kevin Keegan were united in their condemnation of the dismissal after the game, with the Everton manager admitting he didn't know exactly what the rule was while his City counterpart stated: "The game is going mad". But Cahill, who will now miss his home debut against Middlesbrough this Sunday as he serves a one-match suspension, admitted he should have known the rules beforehand and was just grateful his new team-mates held on to secure a morale-boosting victory. "It feels harsh to be sent off for that, it's hard to take," said the Australian international. "But that's the rules. I didn't know the rules. I thought you had to take your shirt off to get a yellow, but I've got to accept it. That's why they call us professionals. "I didn't hear what the ref said to me. I said I didn't take the shirt off, I lifted it over my head and put it back on. Obviously, it's a new rule. I'm going to have to go home tonight, get the rule book out and start reading it. "But I am more annoyed with myself than anything else for not knowing the rules as a professional. All I was thinking about was letting the lads down; they were down to ten men with 30 minutes to go. It would have been even worse if we hadn't got the result. "The main thing is staying on the pitch and trying to do a job for your team-mates, but they did a job for me. All I can say is 'thank you' to them.."
FIFA launched a high-profile campaign in the summer to clarify the new law, with posters sent to every Premiership club to put up in dressing rooms and at training grounds. But Cahill admitted he hadn't seen the posters after spending most of the summer on Olympic duty with Australia.
He added: "My summer has been a bit crazy. I signed for Everton then flew straight to Korea to join the Olympic team. "I've been away for six weeks, got back, trained for four days and made my debut, trained four days and played today. I didn't know the rule. "It was only my second Premiership match and my first goal. To come to a massive club like this, and to be playing in such a big game and score, meant a lot. "I'm paying the gaffer back and just happy to be part of it, but I'll have to tone down my celebrations." His harsh dismissal aside, the midfielder has made an immediate impact with two fine performances at Old Trafford and now the City of Manchester Stadium. And he admitted he is revelling in the opportunity to take his talents onto a higher stage.
Cahill said: "I haven't had a chance to think about stepping up a level, it's been sink or swim. I've always wanted the opportunity of playing in the Premiership, to play with better players. "I didn't expect to come in and feature straight away. I've signed for four years, I want to learn from the other lads. They've made it so much easier for me to play my football."

Bennett: I had to show Cahill second yellow
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Sep 13 2004
STEVE BENNETT admitted he had no choice but to dismiss Tim Cahill on Saturday - even though he had every sympathy for the Everton midfielder. Cahill was sent off by the controversial referee at Manchester City for pulling his shirt over his head to celebrate his match-winning header.
It was the Australian international's second booking of the game. And though David Moyes insisted Everton would appeal if a partial removal didn't warrant a yellow card, Bennett insisted the new FIFA guidelines gave him no option but to dismiss the £2m summer signing. He explained: "FIFA introduced the law in the summer. Every club has been given clear instructions and there was a poster campaign to show all the definitions. The removal of the shirt, either over the head or back of the neck or the complete removal is a yellow card offence. "Under the law there is no difference between taking the shirt off completely or just partially, it is a yellow card offence. I had no option but to send him off because it was his second bookable offence. "I have sympathy for him but I had to enforce the rules." Rival manager Kevin Keegan also expressed astonishment at the decision as Bennett showed Cahill the red card and afterwards admitted he feared for the game under the new, draconian laws. Keegan said: "It's just ridiculous, the game is going mad. I bet you there's some guy stuck in an office in Switzerland just making these things up to ruin the game. "The lad has scored a great goal for his new club, won them three points and wants to celebrate. What's wrong with that?
"To be fair to the referee he made it clear beforehand that anyone who took their shirt off had to be booked, but it's just madness. Taking your shirt off, having t-shirts with messages on or whatever, has become a bit of a ritual now. I feel very sorry for the lad, it's just stupid. There's no other way to describe it." Bennett has now shown three red cards to Everton on three seperate away games, to Moyes at West Bromwich Albion, Duncan Ferguson at Leicester and now Cahill at the City of Manchester Stadium. And Moyes said: "Maybe they should look into Steve Bennett's record with us. I turned around during the game to look at the people who judge the referees and I'd love to know what their report will be."

Making light of missing talisman
View from the stands by Simon Ryan Everton suporter, Daily Post
Sep 13 2004
LIFE without Wayne? Wayne who? That was the feeling of the fans as they left the City of Manchester stadium after a memorable win. However, it could have been a different story as a result of a comical decision by the referee to send off Tim Cahill for a fairly tame goal celebration in which he lifted his shirt over his head for the briefest of moments. This ludicrous decision cut short the travelling Blues' celebrations as Cahill wondered down the tunnel to the disbelief of the whole stadium. Everton were left to hang on for the remainder of the game but they showed the work rate and determination of the 'magnificent seventh' season that was sorely missing last campaign.
Moyes got it spot on again with his starting 11 and tactics. Leaving Gravesen on the bench and maintaining the 4-5-1 formation which worked so effectively against Manchester United made us difficult to break down. Early impressions of Cahill are good as he likes to get forward and doesn't mind putting a foot in either. Apart from the shaky Pistone who became a liability towards the end of the game, the whole team played well with a special mention to Lee Carsley. Yes, that was Carsley! He is much more effective in a midfield five and put in an impressive performance.
This win can now push us on. We definitely have a run of 'winnable' games coming up and we all know that a winning run can make the difference in what is a close league outside of the top three.
What can we take from this game? Another fine away performance, a confidence boost, the emergence of another scoring midfielder and our best-ever Premiership start.

Man City 0, Everton 1 (Echo)
Sep 13 2004 By Scott Mcleod at the City of Manchester stadium, Liverpool Echo
HATS off to Steve Bennett.
Thanks to the bungling decision-making of the jobsworth referee, the most rewarding result of the season was made even sweeter. It was his eagerness to follow to the letter the new FIFA ruling on goal celebrations which ensured a tough fixture was made even tougher. But that decision to dismiss Tim Cahill gave the Blues the ideal opportunity to dis-play the bucketloads of character and spirit they possess. They could not have asked for a more daunting set of circumstances in which to provide an emphatic response to those who questioned the side's make-up at the end of last season.
Everton's players still bristle at the suggestion they didn't give their all last year. The irony is that performances like Saturday's add weight to that suggestion. But last season is in the past. And whatever is fuelling them now, it is very, very welcome. There were seven survivors in the starting line-up from the team stuffed 5-1 at the City of Manchester on the final day of last season. Each one was outstanding on Saturday. Just as they have been since recovering from the opening day mauling to climb to fifth in the table. The players have given themselves a great springboard for the rest of the season. And they have done it in trying times. A lot has happened at Goodison in the four months since that notorious final day match - much of it unwanted. Boardroom disharmony, a lack of new arrivals, the departure of key first teamers, a shareholders revolt and the sale of Wayne Rooney. But somehow, in spite of all that, the team is now stronger than at any point in the last 18 months. And they had to be strong, thanks to Bennett. Cahill connected to a perfect Tony Hibbert cross to head in from close range shortly before the hour. He wheeled away in celebration, making a beeline for Moyes as he was mobbed by his delighted team-mates. He put the bottom half of his shirt over his face for a split-second. But that was enough for hawk-eye Bennett, who revelled in spoiling the party. Equally galling was that he was able to hide behind the rules. "There has been a poster campaign with the League Managers Association and the PFA in dressing rooms and it clearly shows that, as was seen today, pulling the shirt over your head is a yellow card offence. Also if you pull the shirt over your neck or complete removal," he told Match of the Day after the game. He looked like a rabbit in the headlights, as he had been for much of the afternoon. Yes, Bennett should be commended for coming out and clarifying the ruling. But that doesn't hide the fact the law is clearly an ass. And it does not excuse the referee for the rest of his performance. Even with the ridiculous new rules, Cahill would never have been dismissed had he not received his first yellow.
That caution was harsh in the extreme. He was battling with Joey Barton in the chase for the ball, with both men using their arms to try and lever a yard's advantage. Maybe the sight of Barton tumbling to the ground clutching his face as if he had been shot influenced the referee's decision.
But, for whatever reason, it was wrong. That moment came seconds after a crunching collision between Lee Carsley and Barton for a 50/50 ball had led to a free-kick to Everton but a caution for both players. What that was all about is anybody's guess. Maybe there is another new FIFA directive regarding the outlawing of good old fashioned tackling. But it wasn't just the ref who was making the Blues work for their win. David James was magnificent, as everybody knew he would be following the criticism he received last week. Sod's law, you see. But all those hurdles were overcome because of the side's endeavour. City simply couldn't match them. For all their possession, only a Sylvain Distin drive from distance was close to levelling the scores. Who would have thought that the absence of the hugely influential Joseph Yobo would have coincided with the first two clean sheets of the campaign - and away from home. David Weir and Alan Stubbs are never going to win any sprinting competitions. But, somehow, that didn't seem to matter despite being up against Nicolas Anelka. Clearly there is a lot to be said for having old, wily heads in the heart of your defence. And, just as Thomas Gravesen learned on Saturday, there is not going to be an automatic return to the side for Yobo when he recovers from the knee problem which has been niggling him all season. Gravesen had to settle for an appearance as a late substitute. And he didn't have the impact you would have expected from such a talented footballer because the momentum built up by his team-mates overshadowed his best efforts. The manager has rediscovered how to get the best from his players. And, in Cahill and Marcus Bent, he has also underlined what an astute judge of a player he is. He is renowned for being incredibly selective in the transfer market.
Sheer ability is not enough. He came close in the summer to signing a couple of highly rated midfielders from foreign shores. But he cooled his interest after meeting the individuals concerned. Moyes puts a lot of stock by a person's character. Bent and Cahill were not just signings made because they were within the club's tight financial budget - they were signed because they have the spirit Moyes wants in his team. Cahill's lung bursting runs from midfield ensured the 4-5-1 formation on Saturday was far less defensive than it could have been. And up front Bent did an excellent job of holding the ball up and posing a genuine threat to James' goal, forcing the England keeper into a stunning save midway through the first half. So impressive was Bent that when Duncan Ferguson replaced him late in the game he struggled to have the same influence on the side.
It speaks volumes for the player. Just as the result speaks volumes for the team.
MANCHESTER CITY (4-4-2): James; Mills, Dunne, Distin, Thatcher (Jihai 72); Wright-Phillips, Reyna, Barton, Sinclair (Sibierski 72); Fowler (Macken 62), Anelka. Subs: Waterreus, Bosvelt.
BOOKINGS: Barton (foul).
EVERTON (4-5-1): Martyn; Hibbert, Weir, Stubbs, Pistone; Osman (Gravesen 57), Watson, Carsley, Cahill, Kilbane (Naysmith 72); Bent (Ferguson 72). Subs: Wright, McFadden.
BOOKINGS: Carsley, Pistone (fouls).
SENDING-OFF: Everton's Cahill (two bookable offences)
REFEREE: Steve Bennett
ATT: 47,006
NEXT GAME: Everton v Middlesbrough, Premiership, Sunday, 3pm

Tim's ban up to ref
Sep 13 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
TIM CAHILL'S hopes of making his Goodison debut on Sunday rest with referee Steve Bennett.
Everton are not permitted to appeal against the Australian international's sending off at Manchester City because it was not a straight red card. The player received a second booking for pulling his shirt onto his head after scoring the winner. The only hope the midfielder has of seeing the red card rescinded is if Bennett reviews the incident and retracts the second yellow. The Blues were today in contact with referee chief Keith Hackett and will ask for Bennett to review his decision. Hackett told a gathering of Premier League managers at Elland Road before the start of the season that a celebration like Cahill's would not lead to a caution. And Law 12 of the International FA Board's list of fouls and miscon-duct states: "A player who removes his jersey when celebrating a goal must be cautioned for unsporting behaviour." Everton's position is being back by FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who has condemned the dismissal. But if Bennett does not change his decision there is no other means of appeal to prevent Cahill serving a one-match suspension in Sunday's home game against Middlesbrough. Meanwhile, manager David Moyes heaped praise on full-back Tony Hibbert for overcoming a lull in form. He said: "There were pressures on Tony a few weeks ago. But now his confidence is back and he is looking sharp and aggressive. He is playing very well. "Maybe we didn't realise how low his confidence was to be honest, but he was excellent again on Saturday."

Cahill sending off sparks FIFA probe
Sep 13 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
IT seems everybody inside the City of Manchester Stadium on Saturday was united in their condemnation of the decision that saw Tim Cahill dismissed for celebrating the only goal of the game - even referee Steve Bennett. But the match official was adamant that he had made the right decision under the letter of the law, saying: "I have sympathy for him but I had to enforce the rules."
That led defeated manager Kevin Keegan to conclude: "It is just ridiculous, the game is going mad.
"I bet you there's some guy stuck in an office in Switzerland just making these things up to ruin the game." Not surprisingly, his sentiments were echoed by David Moyes. "I turned around during the game to look at the people who judge the referees and I would love to know what their report will be." Staggeringly, even FIFA President Sepp Blatter decided to stick his oar in. "A referee should never expel a player just because he pulled his shirt over his head, he should just have a word with him. If you take off your shirt and wave it over your head that's a different matter." He claimed the ruling would be discussed and clarified at a FIFA meeting next month. But that is scant consolation for Cahill, who was admirably philosophical about the red card and the prospect of not now having the opportunity of making his Goodison debut this weekend. "It feels harsh to be sent off for that, it is hard to take," he admitted. "But that's the rules. I didn't know the rules. I thought you had to take your shirt off to get a yellow, but I have got to accept it. "I am more annoyed with myself than anything else for not knowing the rules as a professional. "All I was thinking about was letting the lads down; they were down to 10 men with 30 minutes to go. "It would have been even worse if we hadn't got the result. The main thing is staying on the pitch and trying to do a job for your team-mates, but they did a job for me. "All I can say is thank you to them. "It was only my second Premiership match and my first goal. To come to a massive club like this and to be playing in such a big game and score, meant a lot. "I'm paying the gaffer back and just happy to be a part of it, but I will have to tone down my celebrations." Moyes reserved no criticism whatsoever for Cahill and his part in the early departure. Instead, the Goodison chief sang the praises of a player who has made an immediate impact. "Anybody who has seen him and watched will tell you he has got a great scoring record and he will be a threat as he goes on," added Moyes. "He is a great lad with a great attitude and he has fitted right in straight away."

The new Everton boss who's game for a laugh
Sep 13 2004 Liverpool Echo
Chief feature writer Paddy Shennan enjoys an audience with Everton's new chief executive, Keith Wyness DON'T worry everyone, he hasn't got any shares in Paul Stretford's Proactive empire, and he intends to stick around longer than six weeks ... Keith Wyness, who officially takes up his role as Everton's new chief executive a week today, is a remarkable man in many ways. While living in Miami in 1992, he survived Hurricane Andrew - only to break his neck back in the UK when he slipped on one of the photographs he'd taken of the storm. Does this mean his nickname should be 'Lucky' or 'Unlucky' - or,, perhaps, 'Accident-prone'? "Lucky," says the cheerful 47-year-old. "Because I survived!" This man (the broken neck, incidentally, meant he was laid up for nine months) is a born optimist. I like him already. Keith - another claim to fame is his trio of performances on University Challenge in the late '70s (more of which later) - already has more than a fair idea of the enormous challenges which lie ahead. How come? Because he attended last Thursday's Extraordinary General Meeting, called by a distinctly disgruntled Everton Shareholders Association. So you're still here, Keith. Were you not tempted to run a mile? Or a million? Or fly back to your Aberdeen birthplace and current home (he recently left his job as chief executive at Aberdeen FC) and stay there? Forever? "No, what I saw at the meeting didn't take me back at all - I was expecting it," says Keith,, in an accent which is very hard to pin down. His family left Aberdeen for Solihull in the Midlands when he was 10, before moving to Southampton five years later (and he's also spent time in America and Australia). "It was corporate democracy in action, and it was good to see it. What came across was the passion of the people. So it was a good environment to come into, although I suppose I was thrown into the deep end." But will you sink or swim? Your predecessor, Trevor Birch, said he was here for the long-haul, but it turned out to be six weeks. Not going to happen twice, is it? "No. In fact, when I joined Aberdeen three years ago, the two previous chief executives had left in quick succession. And I'm looking forward to moving down here with my wife (Australian-born Danielle) and our baby boy (the wonderfullynamed Buster, who was born just a fortnight ago). Yes, it's a great name, isn't it?" the proud new dad adds. "I can imagine him as a striker, or a golfer ... (adopts commentator's voice) 'Now, on the 16th green, it's Buster Wyness!'"
Chief feature writer Paddy Shennan enjoys an audience with Everton's new chief executive, Keith Wyness But back to Mr Birch. Keith says: "I know Trevor, but I've not had the chance to catch up with him in detail. It has been a difficult situation over the last few months. At times, you don't know what's going to happen down the line, but I think the situation here is changing. "There are a lot of things I've done in business which have been around start-ups or big challenges. And I'm looking forward to this challenge. A lot of things are happening at the club which will start to coincide and allow us to move forward." Asked for his immediate impression of Everton Football Club, he explains: "It's just the hunger and frustration to get the club back to where it should be that comes through. Everyone is poised, waiting." In his first public address on Thursday, Keith vowed to improve communication with the fans: "We have got some ideas," he says.. "There are so many disparate groups - fanzines,, websites and so on. In Aberdeen, we looked at a fans' council or parliament.. That's got to be the way forward. We can't meet all our fans individually; there just isn't the time." And what of the Wyness personality? "Outspoken" is a word that cropped up more than once north of the border. Keith laughs - again- and says:: "That's the Glasgow media. Anyone outside Glasgow who says anything is outspoken! But certainly, I will speak up on an issue if it is appropriate. "I think innovative is a word I'd prefer to see used." After gaining a degree in industrial economics at Nottingham University - his University Challenge team beat others from Oxford and Leicester before bowing out to Belfast - Keith joined British Airways as a graduate trainee. He was with BA between 1978 and 1984, and his positions included press officer, doing the marketing for Concorde and helping to set up BA's executive club. Between 1986 and 1996 he was based in Miami, where he helped launch the Radisson Diamond cruise ship project, and was involved in an aborted attempt to buy Cunard. Then, between 1996 and 2000, he was managing director of The Olympic Club, a marketing venture for the Sydney Games of 2000 - then his hometown football club came calling. He describes himself as a "mas-sive football fan" - he has supported Aberdeen since childhood and later adopted an English team, although he doesn't want me to say which one (don't panic, it's not Liverpool). He also enjoys playing golf (he was down to a handicap of 10 and says it could have been lower, but for the previously mentioned accident). Keith also dabbles in screenwriting in his spare time, explaining: "I've finished two film scripts, but I won't be offering them to the chairman, Bill Kenwright - it's just a pastime." Approachable, affable and welcoming, Keith Wyness has already begun making friends and making his mark at Goodison Park - and he hasn't even clocked on yet. And although he didn't spend the short time we had together cracking non-stop jokes, he was funny and self-deprecating. So, Everton's new chief executive has a good sense of humour and relishes a challenge, does he? Whisper it quietly, but I think we could be in business.

Liverpool Echo comment
Sep 13 2004 Liverpool Echo
WE'VE seen some farcical decisions in football, but the ruling to send off Tim Cahill for baring his torso is up there with the best. The 'Laws' of the game say a player should be cautioned for removing a shirt. Cahill didn't. Instead referee Steve Bennett based his crass act on FIFA 'guidance' about interpreting the laws. And insists he had no choice. FIFA President Sepp Blatter says Bennett did have a choice. And promises FIFA will look into this nonsense at their next meeting. They better had, because football has just made a massive laughing stock of itself. Trouble is Cahill isn't laughing. Neither are Evertonians who have had victory soured by a suspension which must be overturned. Shame on Bennett, FIFA and the the FA.

Blues being buoyed by siege mentality
Sep 13 2004 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
IF Everton's players deserved huge criticism for their surrender against Manchester City on the last day of last season - and no one sent it their way more than me - then they should get nothing but praise for the attitude and commitment this season. Never moreso than in Saturday's hugely symbolic success at the scene of last season's 5-1 capitulation. The scene couldn't have been set more dramatically to show off their restored sense of pride in the Everton jersey. Down to 10 men, and effectively facing 12, they dug in to show off incredible reserves of character, resilience and determination. It was heart-stirring stuff. With talent like Anelka, Wright-Phillips and Sinclair on show, Manchester City boasted arguably the more creative forces. But that's nothing without desire and passion to match. And Everton's industry on Saturday was outstanding. Just as they were at Old Trafford, Weir and Stubbs were colossal. Lee Carsley is the paragon of an unsung hero, Marcus Bent a selfless chaser of lost causes. But they were all topped by Tony Hibbert - a man who endured a torrid afternoon at the City of Manchester Stadium in May. The cross he produced for Tim Cahill's matchwinner was magnificent, but it wasn't as good as the challenge he produced to deny Robbie Fowler with the scores still level. And that was indicative of his performance all afternoon. A performance replicated by the 13 other Everton heroes involved. David Moyes, the darling of the fans at present, was keen to deflect all of the praise onto his players afterwards. And he was right to do so. Their attitude all season has been exemplary. "Honesty and work-rate goes a long way in the Premiership," said David Weir - a player whose professionalism has never been doubted in this quarter. Maybe he was offering a gentle reminder to a couple of his more inconsistent team-mates when he added: "Although we've had relative success, we realise that we've achieved that because of how hard we've worked. As soon as we forget that or lose our honesty, we know we'll be in trouble." If some of Everton's players lost sight last season of that message, they appear to have absorbed it again. I can't apologise for that appalling afternoon of May 15. Only the players can do that. But I can apologise for doubting their character and professionalism. And do so now. This season's performances, so far, have shown that they are not prepared to take their responsibilites - and the rewards which come with them - for granted. If Everton have somehow drawn some kind of siege mentality from last season's criticism, perhaps we should be pleased. Sportsmen drawing inspiration from perceived media injustice is not without precedent. Colin Harvey pinned up a couple of newspaper headlines in the Anfield dressing room before a 1987 Littlewoods Cup tie. Everton had comprehensively lost there four days previously. They won 1-0. In 1982 Italy issued a "Silenzio Stampa" - and went on to win the World Cup, while a year earlier, a bitter background of media-player antagonism resulted in one of English sport's most cherished moments - Botham's Ashes. Maybe we should put the boot in more often. But that would be completely inappropriate at Goodison right now. Everton's players have performed with an openness and an eloquence which does them credit. And no one is happier to acknowledge that fact than me.

Why ref got it so wrong
Sep 13 2004 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
A MESSAGE for the appalling Steve "It's more than my job's worth to ignore the rules" Bennett.
You did not follow the rules. Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct of the Decisions of the International FA Board states: "A player who removes his jersey when celebrating a goal must be cautioned for unsporting behaviour." Cahill did not remove his shirt. He lifted it. I'll avoid the easy dig and just say maybe if you removed all traces of self-righteous indignation from your post-match interview, you might have received more sympathy. You didn't, so just as in previous matches involving Everton at West Brom and Southampton, you came across as a self-important 'homer'.

Man City v Everton: Player ratings
September 13, 2004
Manchester Evening News
JAMES: Bounced back in exemplary fashion. Three wonder saves 9
MILLS: His contribution in the final third not at its sharpest 6
DUNNE: Found Bent and the breaking midfielders a tough task 6
DISTIN: Shunted out to left back in a bewildering sequence of substitutions 5
THATCHER: Sacrificed in the second half reshuffle after a quiet first period 5
WRIGHT-PHILLIPS: Looked to have lost his edge and was never at his best 6
REYNA: Two World Cup games on the other side of the globe took their toll 5
BARTON: Never in the kind of commanding form that he had shown against Charlton 5
SINCLAIR: One shot in first half that troubled the crowd more than Martyn 4
FOWLER: Not a great day for Fowler who struggled with a lack of service 4
ANELKA: Threatened with his pace all afternoon but was fighting a lone battle 7
MACKEN (Fowler 64): Odd piece of link work caught the eye 6
SIBIERSKI (Sinclair 73): His attacking skills were needed much sooner 5
SUN (Thatcher 73): Made a difference with his input of energy 5
Not used: Waterreus and Bosvelt.
GOALS: Everton - Cahill (58).
BOOKINGS: City - Barton (45); Everton - Carsley (45), Cahill (45, 59), Pistone (51).
REFEREE: Steve Bennett (Orpington) 4

FA chiefs consider reprieve for Cahill
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Sep 14 2004
TIM CAHILL could escape suspension for his controversial dismissal at Manchester City after pressure mounted on the FA and Premier League referee chiefs to rescind his second bookable "offence".
FA officials insisted Steve Bennett was right to punish the Everton midfielder for pulling his shirt over his head under new FIFA guidelines last night, even though Sepp Blatter insists Cahill should only have been spoken to. Everton hope Bennett will review the decision and allow their new £2million signing to face Middlesbrough after making an official approach to Premier League refereeing chief Keith Hackett. But Hackett admits he cannot instruct Bennett until the FA and FIFA stop contradicting each other and clarify the issue following a meeting last night on law interpretation - when the Cahill situation was due to be discussed. Now that FIFA president Blatter has got involved, the authorities could view Saturday's sending off as sufficient punishment and allow Cahill to make his home debut on Sunday. Hackett said: "There is a meeting going on at the moment between the FA and FIFA on other things, but I would expect the Cahill situation to be discussed - and I am awaiting the outcome of that. "I do not want to say anything else at the moment, other than that the incident involving Tim Cahill and the caution, as well as Sepp Blatter's comments, have all been noted by me. We are awaiting the FA's reaction." Blatter insisted Cahill should not have been booked for his match-winning celebrations, a contradiction of a poster campaign in which various methods of removing or partially removing a shirt in celebration were defined as yellow card offences. Everton have claimed that during a meeting of the Professional Game Match Officials Board this summer involving the FA, Premier League, clubs and managers, the new ruling and the poster campaign were discussed - and that Hackett admitted the posters were wrong and should only have shown full removal of a shirt as an offence. Everton secretary David Harrison, who was present at the meeting, said: "Keith Hackett informed the meeting that the poster campaign was in fact wrong and he asked the members of PGMOB to manage the situation.
"There were only supposed to book a player if they fully removed their shirt during a goal celebration. "If the player acted in the same manner as Tim Cahill did at Manchester City, then the referees were asked to go over and advise the player but not issue a caution." Hackett admitted being "surprised" at Harrison's comments but declined to comment further. But Hackett did insist his organisation expressly reviewed the full range of offences during the summer and that partial removal was deemed a bookable offence by FIFA under the new rules - a view now contradicted by Blatter. Bennett could rescind his decision if advised by the FA or the PGMOB with Everton having no right of appeal for a dismissal for two bookable offences. The FA could view the sending off as sufficient punishment and not add a one-match ban. That decision could be taken within 48 hours.

Ruling bodies blame each other after shirty business
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Sep 14 2004
FOOTBALL was clear in its condemnation of Tim Cahill's ludicrous dismissal last night, although apparently still in the dark over why he actually walked. Refereeing standards are under scrutiny again after a weekend that saw Mark Halsey confess to being influenced by Arsenal players over a penalty award and Rob Styles booking Didier Drogba for diving to win a spot-kick at Aston Villa - only to rescind the decision yesterday. But it was Steve Bennett's decision to show a second yellow card to Everton midfielder Cahill at Manchester City that has sparked widespread disbelief, with referee chiefs, FA officials and even the head of FIFA all blaming each other for the fiasco. In accordance with FIFA regulations established to prevent crowd incitement, the Kent official dismissed Cahill for covering his face with his shirt after scoring his first Premiership goal for his new club on Saturday.
Afterwards the £2million summer signing from Millwall accepted responsibility for his dismissal, admitting that as a professional he should have known the rules. But yesterday it became clear he is not the only person within the game who doesn't. FIFA chief Sepp Blatter entered the dispute when he insisted "A referee should never expel a player just because he pulled a shirt over his head" - even though the sport's governing body had implemented the new ruling. Blatter's outburst spread confusion among refereeing ranks and forced Keith Hackett, the general manager of Professional Game Match Officials Ltd, to demand an explanation from the FA on how the law should be applied.
I'm not going to get into a battle with Blatter. He's made a state-ment and is the top guy in football - it's up to the FA to have a discussion with him to clear up what he said," said Hackett.. "Blatter obviously has a reason for making that comment. It is contrary to the law and the instructions given to us via the FA so the PGMOL are currently seeking clarification from the FA regarding these comments." But the FA last night insisted the rule was clear - and that Bennett was right to send off Cahill having interpreted the law correctly. The Football Association's head of media Adrian Bevington explained: "We do not want to give any reaction to what Blatter said but we can explain the directive over goal celebrations as set down by FIFA. "It is a universal interpretation of the directive, it is not just England going it alone." Professional Footballers Association deputy chief executive Mick McGuire believes FIFA will now have to reconsider their regulations or, at the very least, clarify them again with the FA. "There were posters put in dressing rooms advertising the new rule. But of course when you score a goal in the heat of the moment, it's a natural reaction to celebrate," said McGuire.. "When the adrenaline if flowing, and you've just scored your first goal in the Premiership, you probably won't remember the poster or the new rule. "The rule needs to be taken back to FIFA and they must respond with a more sensible approach because as it stands it's ludicrous. It's daft." McGuire believes the nature of Cahill's celebration was well within the boundaries of acceptability and declared the current FIFA regulations are draconian. "If someone takes off their shirt and throws it into the crowd then it could incite supporters and that sort of behaviour deserves to be punished," he said.. "But it is difficult to see how a crowd could become incited by player who has done nothing more than lift his shirt over his head. I really think FIFA have gone too far on this one. "This is a directive from FIFA which the Referees' Association has no option but to carry out. "It's difficult for referees because they're being told what they have to do, they can't apply as much discretion as we would like. "The rules change every year and this causes problems. Referees become easy targets for sending players off but sometimes they have no choice." McGuire admitted he was relieved Everton held on to beat City on Saturday - otherwise the fallout from the incident would have been far greater. He added: "The only good thing from this is the sending off didn't affect the game." Both David Moyes and Kevin Keegan ridiculed the dismissal after Saturday's game, and yesterday they received wider managerial support when Sam Allardyce said the ruling represented a complete lack of common sense. The Bolton manager said: "There are FIFA posters in dressing rooms telling players not to do this but just because it is a FIFA ruling doesn't make it right. It is a stupid rule but we have to stick by some stupid rules. "Cahill scored and spun away but we have to distinguish between reasonable celebrations and unreasonable celebrations. "You can't go around swinging the shirt round your neck but he didn't do that." Allardyce added: "It's getting sad if you can't celebrate. A bit of common sense is needed by referees."

As slick as a parrot
Daily Post
Sep 14 2004
Football has developed a language of its own. Now a book has been written about the game's ancient spoken traditions. David Charters talks you through it REPORTERS of the day observed that Julius Caesar was a gifted performer, though we have no knowledge of whether he was a wing wizard, a thrusting striker, a midfield dynamo, a defensive bulwark or a panther-like sentinel.
Anyway, it seems that during a merry interlude, early in his brief invasion of our land in 54 BC, young Julius enjoyed a game of pila pedalis (football) with some of the Roman officers and other ranks.
After all, the lads done well getting here. In the absence of an inflated pig's bladder, the gracious general decided that the head of a dead Briton would serve as a ball. Sadly, the name of the sponsor was not recorded. But those of a queasy disposition will be relieved to note the use of the word "dead" in the above sentence. Even so, we can safely assume that the watching natives felt as sick as parrots, watching the severed bonce of one of their own being hoofed from end to end of the beach by the invaders. But in football, as in the rest of life, you learn that you can't always trust the reports, a point taken very seriously by the England players, who refused to speak to the press after their 2-1 victory in last week's match against Poland. What is certain, however, is that Liverpool's Phil Thompson has been listed as the first footballer to liken his emotions to those of a parrot craving a tonic. On March 22, 1978, moments after Liverpool had been beaten by Nottingham Forest in the replayed League Cup Final at Old Trafford, Thompson told millions of bemused TV viewers: "I'm as sick as a parrot." The story is told in Peter Seddon's latest book, Football Talk, which also touches on Julius Caesar's experience of the beautiful game, whether apocryphal or not. Despite the groans which greets its usage these days, Seddon rather admired Thompson's original utterance, seeing in it both a sense of self-awareness and descriptive powers almost brushing poetry. "Have you studied many parrots lately?" asks Seddon.. "Shoulders hunched, heads bowed, staring dolefully at their own excrement." He is reminded of the Liverpool bench of last season on which perched Thompson as assistant manager - "the beaky nose, the shaggy nape", recalls Seddon, 48. "Phil Thompson, master wordsmith, we salute you," he adds. Football has developed a language of its own. Now a book has been written about the game's ancient spoken traditions. David Charters talks you through it Unhappily, Thompson is no longer employed in professional football. The trouble with the expression was not his, but endless repetition by others. Seddon wonders if Thompson may have borrowed the phrase from the playwright and adventuress Aphra Behn who, in 1682, was "melancholy as a sick parrot". He concludes, however, that it was more likely to have come from the vivid Scouse description, "as sick as a parrot with a rubber beak". This book achieves the unusual feat of being scholarly, deeply researched and entertaining at the same time. Everton does not escape the author's gleam. Seddon himself, a devoted follower of Derby County, who has, therefore, weathered the chilled drizzle of many winters, is drawn to the Blues' Nil Satis Nisi Optimum (nothing satisfies except the best), which he describes as the best-known Latin motto in football. These days, though, Seddon quotes the contributor to an Everton fans' website,, who suggested that it should now stand for, "ah well, that'll do". This is not a sentiment which would please Michael Foot, former leader of the Labour Party, who spent a brief time in Liverpool and expressed his devotion to Dixie Dean's Everton thus:
When at thy call my weary feet I turn
The gates of paradise are open wide
At Goodison I know a man may learn
Rapture more rich than Anfield can provide.
Everton is one of the few big provincial clubs to be named after a district rather than a town or city. Tranmere Rovers is another. "They (Everton) surely scored the biggest own goal of all time," writes Seddon. "Having had ample opportunity to adopt the name of the city itself, they chose instead that of the district in which their original headquarters was situated. "They were the city's pre-eminent club when along came a team of upstarts who promptly christened themselves Liverpool, achieving the pinnacle of single-namedom at a stroke." Evertonians, as modesty is their virtue, might reasonably point out that for the vast majority of their history, they have been more successful of the two clubs, though in the 1970s the Reds swept into the ascendancy. Liverpool is also the biggest club to use the name of its city without an addition like united, city, wanderers, rovers, albion and so on. This should make it a fine brand for marketing purposes. With the noble exception of Scotland's Hamilton Academicals, the best second names are now found in the minor leagues - welfare,, Gabriels, snooker, constabulary and ancients being among them.
SEDDON is the son of chartered accountant, Alick, who supported Bolton Wanderers. When the family moved, Derby County became the choice of the son. His great hatred is the word "soccer" which arose in the game like a boil on the skin of a movie actress - possibly as a corruption of the "association" in Association Football or, more probably, as a variation of the garment worn on the foot, socker. Seddon, who studied history at Leicester University has lived with Kate Ibbitson for 24 years. He was an estate agent/surveyor before taking up writing full-time. This is his seventh book.
"I thought let's have a look at language and let's have a look at football and see if we can get them to encounter each other somewhere along the way," he says. To this end he has studied the ancient origins of the game, before the formation of the Football Association in 1863. Football games, often violent and played over vast areas, developed in numerous old cultures, including those in China and America. This has given football a rich vocabulary. But despite global popularity, it is often dismissed quite briefly in reference books. "There are so many different tiers of football, but what a lot of people now refer to as football is the Premiership or the Champions League," says Seddon. "When you go to non-league matches, it is not at all like the Premiership. It is like travelling back in time.
"You get an idea of what football would have been like in the 1920s and '30s, standing on the railway sleepers and the cinder tracks. You can touch the player, hear the tackles and smell the liniment."
FOOTBALL Talk is published by Robson Books, at £12.99.
The things people say
IN ADDITION to "sick as a parrot", football has developed numerous phrases, many of obscure origin.
However, lunar leaping follows the parrot into second place. It is generally attributed to Alf Ramsey who said in 1962 as manager of Ipswich, "I feel like jumping over the moon", when his team won promotion to the First Division. Stuart Pearce of Nottingham Forest once saw "the carrot at the end of the tunnel". Radio Humberside's reporter Dave Gibbins followed the theme by noting a goalkeeper had sprung out "like an outgrowing radish really". But it was dear old Jimmy Greaves who opined that football was "a funny old game."

Moyes hopes for FA U-turn
Sep 14 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES is hopeful the FA will see sense over Tim Cahill and rescind the booking which is set to rule the midfielder out of Sunday's home game with Middlesbrough. The Blues are awaiting a response from the FA following the Australian international's sending off at Manchester City on Saturday. His second caution was for pulling his shirt onto his head following the only goal of the game. Moyes said: "Keith Hackett (the Premier League's refereeing chief) has confirmed to me that he did say at the start of the season, referees would not book players for that type of celebration.
"We went off that ruling and if he's the boss of the referees, I would think they would take their orders from there. "Sepp Blatter (FIFA president) is behind us and every manager is behind us.
"In fact, the only person we have not heard from is the Pope! "If the game on Saturday had gone against us and we had lost or drawn, we would have been even more angry. "There's a lot of things that have been said about us not knowing the rules. But we knew exactly what Keith Hackett had told us. "Everybody is aware that if you take your jersey off, you will get booked but we were told that what Tim did would not lead to a caution and that is where the confusion lies." The Blues must now await the response of referee Steve Bennett, who has the power to rescind the second yellow card. The FA could also rule that the player does not have to serve the one-game suspension, meaning he could play against Middlesbrough this weekend. A response is expected from the FA within 24 hours. If it is deemed that the suspension should stand, there is no means of appeal. Meanwhile, Moyes has confirmed Saturday's win was the most rewarding result of the season so far.
He added: "In a lot of ways it was because there was some psychological scars from our last visit.
"I think there was a lot of determination after the way the season finished and the players played very well and deserved the victory."

Pulling the bull over our eyes
Sep 14 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
LESS than two weeks after arriving at Goodison, Tim Cahill has not only become a fans' favourite, he has brought football's governing bodies to their knees. His red card at Manchester City has been universally condemned. The irony is that even FIFA President Sepp Blatter voiced his disbelief. Ironic because it has become clear Steve Bennett was simply applying FIFA's own law to the letter.
The full ruling makes it clear that 'doing a Ravanelli', as Cahill did, deserves a caution. It led the Professional Game Match Officials Board to publish a poster at the start of this season which, they claim, was pinned up in every training ground dressing room in the country. The fact it never made it as far as Bellefield is an irrelevance, because Cahill only arrived at Everton two weeks ago following a summer spent globe-trotting with the Australian national side. What isn't irrelevant is the fact that Keith Hackett, who is in charge of the Premiership referees, told Premier League bosses at a meeting at Elland Road before the start of the season he would be instructing the refs to use common sense, and to avoid cautions for 'the Ravanelli'. Everton secretary Dave Harrison was present at the meeting. "Keith Hackett informed the meeting that the poster campaign was, in fact, wrong and he asked the members of the PGMOB to manage the situation," said Harrison. "They were only supposed to book a player if he fully removed a shirt during a goal celebration." That view is shared by Law 12 in the Fouls & Mis-conduct of the Decisions of the International FA board. But it doesn't follow FIFA's draconian guidelines. Hackett has admitted being "surprised" at Harrison's comments. Maybe a little embarrassed is a better word. But what he told that meeting made sense. Blatter's backing for that view is a surprise. It has left Hackett scratching his head. "I'm not going to get into a battle with Blatter. He's made a statement and is the top guy in football - it is up to the FA to have a discussion with him to clear up what he said," said Hackett.. "Blatter obviously has a reason for making that comment. It is contrary to the law and the instructions given to us via the FA so the PGMO are currently seeking clarification from the FA regarding these comments." The problem for Cahill is that, while Hackett asked the Premiership referees to use their own judgement, Steve Bennett chose to strictly follow FIFA's rule because he is one of FIFA's own referees. But he didn't act in the spirit of the game. Mick McGuire from the PFA got it right when he said: "The rule needs to be taken back to FIFA and they must respond with a more sensible approach because as it stands, it's ludicrous. It's daft." It seems Cahill didn't just score the winner for Everton on Saturday, he championed a crusade. But it is a crusade which should have been championed by the FA and the likes of Hackett before a ball was kicked this season.
The rule
Clarification of Law 12: Yellow Card for removal of jersey (FIFA.com) Jun 22, 2004
FOOTBALLERS who remove their jerseys during post-goal celebrations are to receive automatic yellow cards. The modification to Law 12, which was approved last February by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), will come into effect from July 1, 2004. The IFAB, the body responsible for the Laws of the Game, decided to add a detail to Law 12 relating to 'Fouls and Mis-conduct', stating: "A player who removes his jersey after scoring a goal will be cautioned for unsporting behaviour." So as to avoid any ambiguities and facilitate the correct interpretation and application of the law, a player will be deemed to have removed his jersey - and therefore become liable for a caution - if the jersey has been pulled over the player's head, or if his head has been covered by the jersey. Under the section "Additional Instructions for Referees and Assistant Referees", the laws clearly state: "Removing one's shirt after scoring is unnecessary and players should avoid such excessive displays of joy." This decision was agreed on at the 118th Annual Meeting of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) on 28 February 2004 in London, and will come into effect on July 1 this year.

Blues football thugs are caged
Sep 14 2004 By Matt Slater, Liverpool Echo
A PAIR of Everton FC thugs have been put behind bars for their part in a city centre pitched battle with Sunderland supporters. After an investigation lasting three years, hooligans Mark Hughes and Alan Welsh are in jail for their part in the brawl. They were seen on CCTV footage punching Sunderland fans in Great Charlotte Street hours after the two teams had played at Goodison Park.
After studying the film Merseyside police football intelligence officers identified them as two of the key offenders and launched an investigation to track them down. Hughes and Welsh, both 29, pleaded guilty to affray during a hearing at Liverpool crown court. Welsh, of West Street, St Helens, was jailed for eight months and Hughes, of Knowsley Heights, Huyton, was jailed for four months.
Both were given six-year banning orders which means they cannot go into any football stadiums for that period of time. Merseyside police DC Ian Miller, from the force's football unit, said the convictions three years after the fighting showed how determined they were to catch hooligans.
He said: "Merseyside police have a very tough policy on football-related violence and we will catch those involved. "This happened right in middle of the city centre and caused a lot of disturbance.
"The CCTV footage was studied and we picked out those people we wanted to arrest over what happened. "We managed to identify these two men and they were then charged with affray and taken to court. "Merseyside police will not just let things go and the jailing of Hughes and Welsh shows that." The main player in the brawl has already been jailed after he was caught on CCTV clashing with Sunderland fans as he swung a sock weighted with a pool ball. John Rowson, 37, of Bryanston Road, Aigburth, was jailed for 15 months at Liverpool crown court and given a six-year banning order after pleading guilty to violent disorder .

New Blues chief to begin networking
Sep 14 2004 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON'S new chief executive Keith Wyness will be appearing at Everton's CBlue networking event in the Newz Bar, Water Street tomorrow at 6.30pm. Entry is £10 per person and free to CBlue members. Interested parties should contact Natasha Harris on 0151 330 2224 or e-mail Cblue@evertonfc.com The meeting is the first of three networking events for business executives and professionals. Law firm Powell Forman Kelly is one of the latest businesses to sign up for Cblue - securing a membership package which includes special rates and priority booking on hospitality and events, advertising opportunities, gifts and inclusion in the Cblue business directory and website. Powell Forman Kelly are hosting two further networking events jointly with Cblue on October 20 and November 24.

Blues duo for Roos
Sep 14 2004 Liverpool Echo
AUSTRALIA coach Frank Farina has named a host of Premiership stars in his provisional squad for next month's Confederations Cup qualifiers against the Solomon Islands. Middlesbrough striker Mark Viduka and Everton's Tim Cahill - both on target at the weekend - are included, alongside Brett Emerton (Blackburn), Harry Kewell (Liverpool), Stan Lazaridis (Birmingham), Lucas Neill (Blackburn), Tony Popovic (Crystal Palace) and Mark Schwarzer (Middlesbrough). Everton defender Eddy Bosnar is also in the 25-man squad, as is Rangers centre-half Craig Moore, who was transfer-listed as a result of his decision to represent his country at the Olympics. Socceroos boss Farina said: "It's a full strength squad. These are hugely important matches for us." The first leg is in the Solomons on October 9, with the return meeting three days later in Sydney.

Everton's blast for referee chiefs
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Sep 15 2004
EVERTON accused Premier League refereeing chiefs of acting unprofessionally last night after Steve Bennett refused to rescind Tim Cahill's ludicrous celebratory booking. The Kent official ignored criticism from the most powerful figure in the game, FIFA president Sepp Blatter, to insist he was right to book the Everton midfielder for raising his shirt at Manchester City under new FIFA rules.
Cahill must now serve a one-match suspension against Middlesbrough on Sunday and will not be eligible to make his Goodison debut until October. But although Everton accept the booking under FIFA guidelines they are adamant Keith Hackett, general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Board, told clubs an offence like Cahill's would not constitute a yellow card at a meeting on July 29 - a view verified by other Premier League clubs yesterday. Everton secretary David Harrison said: "We are extremely disappointed that it appears no common sense can be applied in this particular case. "How can Keith Hackett issue instructions and then his officials not carry them out and how can we be asked to co-operate? "We are trying to run a professional football club and yet the information and guidelines we are receiving from the PGMOB are far from professional.
"The referee refuses to change his decision because he insists he was applying the regulations put in place by FIFA. We did not dispute that. Everton's dispute is with what we were told at the PGMOB meeting in the summer." Manager David Moyes added: "Keith Hackett has confirmed to me that he did say at the start of the season referees would not book players for that type of celebration. "We know exactly what Keith Hackett told us. We went off that ruling and if he's the boss of the referees I would think they would take their orders from there."

Yobo: I've missed out on big moves
By Brian Page Daily Post Staff
Sep 15 2004
EVERTON'S Nigerian defender Joseph Yobo has believes that he "lost out on big moves" to the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United because of his commitment to playing for his country.
And the 24-year-old has conceded he is eager to leave Goodison as soon as his current contract expires. Yobo made his senior debut for Nigeria against Zambia in March 2001, and switched to Goodison Park from French club Marseille in May 2003 for £3.5million. And the 24-year-old has admitted he is only still at Everton because of his love for the national team. "A lot of people don't understand the sacrifices we players make to play for Nigeria," said Yobo.. "I have lost out on big moves because I play for my country. Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea have come to talk to me. "After we had agreed on terms, but at a certain stage, they ask me if I would consider quitting international football. When I say no, that's usually the end, otherwise, I would not be at Everton now. "I will continue to play for Nigeria as long as I can because I have benefited a lot from Nigeria and I have to give back to my country." Yobo also added that he hopes to leave the Merseyside club, who recently lost star player Wayne Rooney to Manchester United. He added: "I will leave here as soon as my contract expires. Players are refusing to come here while some others have left us because of all the troubles in Everton."

Yobo denies talk of Blues departure
Sep 15 2004 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
JOSEPH YOBO has moved quickly to dispel suggestions he wants to quit Everton. The Nigerian defender was quoted in an interview, saying: "I will leave here as soon as my contract expires. Players are refusing to come here while some others have left us because of all the troubles in Everton." But Yobo insists he hasn't given any interviews recently and is appalled by the suggestions. I'm very upset with what has been said. I haven't spoken to anybody lately. I'm just concentrating on being here. I'm happy here. I've signed for Everton," he declared. "I've always said I'm happy here. I've never talked about any other clubs. I'm very upset at the moment because I don't know where this is coming from. "At the moment I've got a contract with Everton and I'm happy here. This is just ridiculous. Are people trying to get at me? I don't know where the stories are coming from." Yobo is under contract at Everton for the next three years, but is adamant he has no intention of leaving. "Everyone knows I'm happy here," he went on. "I've always said I'm happy at Everton and at this moment we ' ve started well in the league. "I'm very, very frustrated because I don't know where this is coming from and I'd be very happy to know where the source is coming from. I want to say to the supporters that I ' m happy at Goodison. "Somebody wants to get at me. Somebody just wants to create some confusion somewhere. I love the people here and I want to stay here. "The spirit at Everton is good. The lads would know if I was the type of person who would say this. We are good friends off the pitch as well. It's all been created for it to come at this moment in time." Blues ' boss David Moyes, meanwhile, refused to get involved in a slanging match with referee Steve Bennett after the official refused to rescind his yellow card decision which led to Tim Cahill's dismissal on Saturday. The Kent official ignored criticism from FIFA president Sepp Blatter to stick by his decison to book Cahill for raising his shirt over his head. But while Everton accept the decision under FIFA guidelines, they insist Keith Hackett, general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Board, told clubs that "doing a Ravanelli" would not constitute a yellow card at a meeting on July 29. Everton secretary David Harrison said: "The referee refuses to change his decision because he insists he was applying the regulations put in place by FIFA. We did not dispute that. Everton's dispute is what we were told in the summer."

Cahill was spot-on - players should know the laws
Sep 15 2004 By Stuart Rayner, Liverpool Echo
OBVIOUSLY it's something I didn't know and a lot of players don't know - and obviously the gaffer."
Those were Tim Cahill's words on Saturday night after being sent off for the heinous crime of lifting his shirt onto his head against Manchester City. If the Everton midfielder had come out and said the law was a joke, it would have been hard to argue. Taking your shirt of or "doing a Ravanelli" is pretty naff,, but so is wearing white boots or peroxiding your hair, and you don't get booked for that.
When you see all the tackles from behind and two-footed lunges which go unpunished (such as Moritz Volz's stud-raking challenge on Thierry Henry on Saturday) now FIFA have jumped on something else in their bid to clean up the game, it makes you realise just what a petty little offence this is. If Cahill had said that of course he knew the rules but he just got carried away by the emotion of scoring his first ever Premiership goal, most people would understand that. But to admit he didn't even know what the rule was was as worrying as it was unsurprising. And the whole messy affair highlighted a wider problem. Football academies across the country should make sure every trainee footballer in their charge knows the laws of the game before they are handed professional contracts. Because they don't. You only have to listen to some of them being inter-viewed after matches, or to hear the pundits, all of whom are ex-players, discussing the laws.
Cahill gets paid more in a week than I, and most probably you, get in a year. So do his team-mates.
If you were taking home that kind of money each week, wouldn't you feel just ever so slightly guilty if you didn't know the rules you were meant to play by? David Moyes may have sat down at the start of pre-season and told his players what he would be expecting of them in this respect.
Cahill, having been on international duty at the start of the season would have missed this if that was the case. But the Australian midfielder made his Blues debut at the end of the last month. There has been ample time since to set him straight. No amount of talking would necessarily have been enough to stop Cahill doing what he did. Players should not be too harshly judged for getting a bit carried away at moments like that. Cahill had just scored his first ever Premiership goal and, as it turned out, the winning goal. And this was an important game for Everton, with their players clearly desperate to lay the ghosts of a shocking performance on their last visit to the City of Manchester Stadium. Instead, he fell foul of a ridiculous rule dreamt up by jobsworths. A rule which not even the president of FIFA, the man in charge of English referees, players, managers and the referees themselves are to agree on what exactly it means. But it's a side issue. Players must know the laws of the game. Every academy player should be made to sit a referee's exam, and every professional should have to sit a refresher course every couple of years. At the start of every pre-season managers should sit their players down and talk them through the law changes and new interpretations - after having made absolutely certain they've read and understood them themselves. And, above all, if posters are put up in every dressing room up and down the country explaining what players can and cannot do - as they have been for this new interpretation on goal celebrations - players should read them, ask if they don't understand them, and make sure every one of their team-mates do the same. It's a harsh way to learn your lesson, but the lesson must be learnt nevertheless.

Rooney was looking out only for himself
Sep 15 2004 Liverpool Echo & Icliverpool
RE the sale of Wayne Rooney to Man United: it is quite clear to any Blues fan that Rooney was thinking of nobody but himself by making the switch to Old Trafford. He and his agent have shown pure self-interest in pursuing the transfer, with little or no thought of the situation at Goodison.
The club acted generously, never complaining when asked to release Rooney for international duty, despite extra injury risks. Blues fans must now get behind Moyes and ask why, if all they were offering immediately was a down payment of £10m, did Everton deal with Manchester United?
They must also hope that without the 18-year-old megastar, the Blues can attract and keep Rooney 'wannabes'.
George Lowe, Ainsdale
Flying high
I STATED before the season started that 'out of the ashes Everton shall rise ' and so it has proven.
It would be great to see the Scouser Kevin Nolan from Bolton in our mid-field. He epitomises Everton's work ethics under the magnificent David Moyes. It's nice to see we are looking down on Wayne Rooney already.
John Connor, USA
Bizarre ref
WHY is anyone surprised at the actions of referee Steve Bennett - a renowned homer?
It is even more depressing when you compare him to top European refs like Pierluigi Collina.
Does anyone honestly believe Bennett would have been reprimanded if he had not sent Cahill off?
His other decision in giving Carsley a free-kick then booking him after being treated for his injury is just bizarre.
Paul Stone, Chester
Getting shirty
IT was a pleasant outing to the City of Manchester Stadium, until it was spoilt by that petty referee.
Even Sepp Blatter has come out and said the referee was wrong. The shirt removing should be allowed in games anyway - it's a treat for the girls. Only the lard boys (mentioning no names) should be made to keep their kit on! I'm not getting carried away just yet, but the team spirit is second to none, and I'm feeling quietly optimistic.
Janice Old, Southport
Feeling good
WHAT'S all this about bringing in James Beattie in January? He is one dimensional and vastly over-rated. Right now, if it ain't broke, don't fix it! We are not a bad side, we just lacked confidence last year. Things are starting to turn around. Other than the big two of Arsenal and Chelsea, we can hold our own with anyone this season.
B Willis, Crosby
Genius Moyes
ALL credit must go to David Moyes - that man is a genius.
Imagine what he could do with a kitty of £15m.
Andy Cummins, London

Reserve football should be seen as useful outlet
Sep 15 2004 By Stuart Rayner, Liverpool Echo
HAS reserve team football gone out of fashion? I only ask because on Monday, Rio Ferdinand is expected to play his first game for Manchester United after an eight-month ban. Not his first Premiership game, not his first first team game, his first game. It may not happen, of course, but how can the idea even be entertained? Managers will often bleat on that training isn't the same as playing and that it takes time for players to build up their match fitness after a long spell out, but they can't have it both ways. I always thought reserve team football was supposed to achieve two things: To develop youngsters on the verge of the first team, and to rehabilitate top players working their way back to full fitness. The second of these seems to be dying out. When big-name players like Patrick Vieira, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Juan Pablo Angel and - in the not to distant future - probably Wayne Rooney too, return from injury they seem to bypass a spell in the stiffs and head straight for the first team. Yet Wes Brown's woeful performances early in 2004 show the danger of plunging a player straight back into the cut and thrust of the Premiership with no recent match practice under the belt. This weekend he was in the same situation again. Djibril Cisse and Milan Baros - two of the Premiership's fastest strikers - should be rubbing their hands at the prospect of taking on a rusty Ferdinand at Old Trafford next week. It's about time managers stopped treating reserve team games as though they are "below" their stars and got back to basics.

Everton to offer Yobo new contract
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Sep 16 2004
DAVID MOYES hopes Everton will soon tempt Joseph Yobo to sign a new contract as he moved to allay fears the Nigerian international may leave when his present deal expires. Yobo has denied quotes attributed to him in a football magazine saying he has had offers from Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United and will quit Goodison Park at the end of his contract in 2007. Moyes is aware the 24-year-old will become a target for top clubs in the future. But he hopes to offer Yobo a new deal in the near future, with the proposed £30m investment from the Fortress Sports Fund plus the Wayne Rooney money hopefully transforming the club's fortunes and convincing the defender to stay. Yobo reaffirmed his commitment to Everton in a meeting with Moyes before training yesterday. And afterwards the manager said: "Joseph is more than happy here and in the future hopefully we will be sitting down and talking about a new contract rather than him leaving the club.
"Everybody here respects him as a footballer and as a person. He has got much better in his time here. "I remember saying when he came that young centre-halves make mistakes but will get better with age and time and that is certainly the case with Joseph. He is getting much better and is certainly a player I want here. After my discussions with Joe I do not see any danger of there being any change." Yobo insists he has not said he wants to leave the club, and claimed: "I am very upset with what has been said. I am just concentrating on being here, I am happy here. I signed for Everton and I have always said I am happy here and I have never talked about any other clubs." He added: "I do not know where all this is coming from but I am happy. I love the people here and I want to stay."
Yobo has missed Everton's last two games with a knee problem and faces a tough battle to regain his place against Middlesbrough on Sunday. Moyes said: "He is coming along. At a push he could have played against Manchester City but he has fluid on his knee and has been concerned with it. "But the performances of David Weir and Alan Stubbs have meant it has been easy to pick the same players and that is what we want. "We want competition for places. We do not have many but there are 17 or 18 players who at the moment are competing so well. "They're all up to full steam, there is lots of confidence and self-belief among them and we will try to keep that going for as long as we can." The Everton manager is refusing to comment on Steve Bennett's decision not to rescind Tim Cahill's second yellow card at Manchester City, which forces the midfielder to miss the Middlesbrough game through suspension. But Everton will seek clarification from the Professional Game and Match Officials Board on the issue of goal celebrations after comments made by general manager Keith Hackett in July. Moyes said: "Keith Hackett has confirmed to me that he did say at the start of the season referees would not book players for that type of celebration. We know exactly what Keith Hackett told us. "We went off that ruling and if he's the boss of the referees I would think they would take their orders from there."

Screaming Rooney in line for arts award
By Chris Brown Daily Post Staff
Sep 16 2004
A PICTURE of Wayne Rooney screaming has been nominated for a prestigious arts award.
The billboard sized print shows the 18-year-old star in an Everton strip roaring at a smaller image of himself. It is in the running for the £10,000 contemporary visual art prize for the North. Six artists and one duo have been shortlisted for the second Comme Ca Art prize, annually awarded for artists working and exhibiting in the North. The Rooney work, by artist Alan Dunn of Wallasey, uses social irritation and blinding rage as its inspiration. It is titled: "Folk who drive their cars at high speed through our city centres, folk who say they can't read when they can, folk who spout racist $@&*! in taxis." Mr Dunn created the piece in January, when it was shown at the Bluecoat Arts Centre in Liverpool City Centre. It was created when Rooney still played for his boyhood team, Everton FC. He has since signed for Manchester United. Mr Dunn, 37, said: "I do a lot of work involving football and it looked like Rooney's year would be this year, which luckily it was. "I like the fact that he has two sides to him, he is not a squeaky clean character." Originally from Glasgow Mr Dunn spent time in Chicago before spending the last 13 years on Merseyside. The other shortlisted artists include: Leo Fitzmaurice of Wirral, who works with "in your face" consumer packaging and promotional material.
Claire Turner, of Comme Ca Art, which has galleries in Manchester and New York, launched the prize to help bring the art, artists and galleries associated with the North-West, Yorkshire and the North-East to a wider audience. She said: "There is an exuberant attitude in the shortlist, resulting in an edgy, insightful confidence. It represents the D.I.Y ethos of the emerging community of artists based in the North." The winning artist will be announced at the closing celebration party for the Biennial on November 25. Meanwhile, more than 100 people headbanged to Beethoven in a rehearsal for a Liverpool Biennial show last night. In the courtyard of the Bluecoat Arts Centre, the volunteers took part in a live performance of artist Amanda Coogan's Beethoven, the Headbangers.

Dogs of War have too much bite for Boro
Post Past by Philip J Redmond Everton supporter, Daily Post
Sep 16 2004
THE Blues face a tough-looking encounter with high-flying Middlesbrough this Sunday. The last time the Teesiders arrived at Goodison in a similar position they were soundly beaten by Joe Royle's Dogs of war on Boxing Day in 1995. Newly-promoted Boro were doing well on their return to the big time. With the benefit of new chairman Steve Gibson's millions and the boost of their new stadium, Middlesbrough had been able to attract Brazilian maestro Juninho and England's then youngest hottest property Nick Barmby. As a result they went into the Christmas programme in the top four and looking good for a European challenge at least. Everton, meanwhile, after a shaky start to the season were beginning to run into the type of form that had won them the FA Cup the previous season. As a result, Goodison was packed as the Blues went about demolishing the highly-rated pretenders. In the first few minutes Joe Parkinson welcomed Juninho with the type of tackle that became his trademark. The little South American was subsequently anonymous. A few minutes later Craig Short set Goodison alight with a flying header to open his Everton account. By half-time the lead was doubled when the under-rated Graham Stuart scored from close range and Everton were out of sight when Stuart capitalised on a mistake from Boro keeper Gary Walsh just after the break.
The scoreline was completed by a typical Kanchelskis finish after he raced on to a Barry Horne pass and drove home with precision near the end. Boro were a well-beaten side and this game saw the start of a dramatic loss of form that almost led to a swift return to the first division. Everton, meanwhile, were galvanised by this impressive victory and a strong second half of the season saw them missing out on Europe only in the last five minutes of the season.

PSV star back on hit list
Sep 16 2004
By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON were today being linked with a fresh attempt to lure Dutch international Mark van Bommel to Goodison. Blues boss David Moyes made the midfielder a top summer target - and chairman Bill Kenwright met with PSV officials to discuss a possible £3m transfer. But the deal failed to materialise, with Van Bommel insisting he preferred to remain in Holland. However, the 27-year-old has emerged as a target once again after Moyes watched PSV in action against Arsenal in this week's Champions League clash at Highbury. Moyes has been promised a cash kitty of up to £15m for team rebuilding when the transfer window reopens in January following the sale of Wayne Rooney and the imminent completion of an investment deal with the Fortress Sports Fund which could provide the Blues with £30m. The Goodison chief is eager to significantly bolster his ranks, with Southampton striker James Beattie and Milan defender Dario Simic other names in the frame.
The tough-tackling Van Bommel would add to the manager's midfield options. Meanwhile, Joseph Yobo has insisted he was mis-quoted in an article which claimed he was ready to leave Goodison when his current deal expires in three years. Yobo said: "I am very upset with what has been said.
"I am happy here. I love the people here and I want to stay." The Nigerian international is satisfied that his ambitions can be achieved at Goodison following the club's recent cash windfall which is set to lead to squad rebuilding. However, there are no imminent plans to offer Yobo a new contract at Goodison because of the length of time remaining on his current deal. Meanwhile, FIFA are set to change their ruling on goal celebrations at a meeting next month following the controversy over Tim Cahill's sending off at Manchester City for lifting his short onto his head.

Hard work has only just begun
Sep 16 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON take on Middlesbrough on Sunday knowing the hard work has only just begun. Last weekend's outstanding 1-0 victory at Manchester City ensured that, after five matches, this is the club's best ever start to a Premiership campaign. The win took David Moyes' men to fifth spot on 10 points, surpassing the previous best of nine points achieved in both the 1992/93 and the 1993/94 seasons. In both those campaigns the side struggled after the bright start, gathering just three points and six points respectively in the following five matches. And yet two seasons ago, when the side came within a whisker of qualifying for Europe, there were just five points on the board at this same stage of the season. It is a timely reminder that what has happened in the last month has just been a start. But what a start. Since the opening day mauling at the hands of Arsenal, Moyes' men have not just remained unbeaten, they have improved with every game. This may be the smallest Everton squad that has ever started a Premiership campaign, but they are putting the sides of the past to shame on current form. And they have done it despite having to face the two most successful clubs in Premiership history in their opening five contests. According to the manager, it is the spirit within the squad which is the key. "It comes down to the players," he explains.
"They are the ones performing very well. We have got some good players not in the side at the moment but it shows that if you get there and do well enough then you will get a chance of staying in. "That is the way we used to do it, isn't it? "After Saturday's game it was a dressing room of high fives. "We have made a better start than the season before last when we just missed out on Europe. It is only a start, but it does alleviate a lot of the doubts. "If I knew why it didn't work last season we would have done something about it."

Moyes praise for backroom staff
Sep 16 2004 Liverpool Echo
DAVID Moyes has praised the work of the unsung heroes behind Everton's best ever start to a Premiership season. The Blues chief added to his coaching staff in the summer by drafting in Dave Billows from the club's Academy and Italian fitness coach Stefano Marrone from Turkish outfit Fenerbahce. "We made changes in the summer and brought in the two fitness coaches," he told the ECHO. "They have made a difference and brought in changes which have helped us.
"With their input and with Alan Irvine organising the pre-season training everything went really well and now we are seeing the benefits of that. "Both Dave and Stefano are the fitness coaches and will work as a team, but Dave will head up our Sports Science department and will be working behind the scenes to bring a team together. "They have both made a big difference, but a lot of that is also down to the players. We had some games last season when we didn't cover as much ground as we should have done but this season that has not been the case."

Record of Everton's Premiership starts
Sep 16 2004 Liverpool Echo
Sheff Weds (H) 1-1 Man Utd (A) 3-0 Norwich (A) 1-1 Aston Villa (H) 1-0 Wimbledon (H) 0-0
Southampton (A) 2-0 Man City (H) 1-0 Sheff Utd (H) 4-2 Newcastle (A) 0-1 Arsenal (A) 0-2
Aston Villa (H) 2-2 Tottenham (A) 1-2 Man City (A) 0-4 Nottingham Forest (H) 1-2 Blackburn (A) 0-3
Chelsea (A) 0-0 Arsenal (H) 0-2 Southampton (A) 2-0 Man City (A) 2-0 Man Utd (H) 2-3
Newcastle (H) 2-0 Man Utd (A) 2-2 Tottenham (A) 0-0 Aston Villa (H) 0-1 Wimbledon (A) 0-4
Crystal Palace (H) 1-2 West Ham (H) 2-1 Man Utd (H) 0-2 Bolton (A) 0-0 Derby (A) 1-3 FOUR POINTS
Aston Villa (H) 0-0 Leicester (A) 0-2 Tottenham (H) 0-1 Notts Forest (A) 2-0 Leeds (H) 0-0
Man Utd (H) 1-1 Aston Villa (A) 0-3 Tottenham (A) 2-3 Southampton (H) 4-1 Wimbledon (H) 4-0
Leeds (A) 0-2 Charlton (H) 3-0 Derby (H) 2-2 Tottenham (A) 2-3 Middlesbrough (A) 2-1
Charlton (A) 2-1 Tottenham (H) 1-1 Middlesbrough (H) 2-0 Man Utd (A) 1-4 Liverpool (H) 1-3
Tottenham (H) 2-2 Sunderland (A) 1-0 Birmingham (H) 1-1 Manchester City (A) 1-3 Southampton (A) 0-1
Arsenal (A) 1-2 Fulham (H) 3-1 Charlton (A) 2-2 Liverpool (H) 0-3 Newcastle (H) 2-2

Blues legends at fundraiser
Sep 16 2004 Liverpool Echo
A GALLERY of Goodison legends will attend at Whiston Labour Club on Wednesday, October 13, for an event in aid of the Marie Curie Appeal. Howard Kendall, Colin Harvey, Brian Labone, Gordon West, Roger Kenyon, John Bailey and Gary Jones, plus comic Mark Langley, are scheduled to appear.

The Jury
Sep 16 2004 Liverpool Echo
"It seems with each game, another player steps forward to prove worth" - Stephen Shone HIP hip hoorah for referee Steve Bennett and his fine upholding of the Corinthian spirit of the rules of the game. Alright, whacking the football into the onion bag is a jolly satisfying feeling for players and 'speccies' alike, but for heaven's sake let's not get carried away and start jumping around like excitable continental chappies. I'm sure young Mr Cahill will realise that one index finger in the air is amply sufficient celebration for a score. He is a fine young footballer and will net on many more occasions, so we'll look forward to a restrained and relaxed response. I honestly think it'd be great if, when we score against Middlesbrough (and the way we're playing, we will) the players exchange handshakes and politely applaud each other. Let's see what the 'man behind the desk in Switzerland' thinks of that.
GEOFF HARRISON, 46, West Derby
FIVE games gone and a quarter of last season's points total already. Another impressive away performance was tainted only slightly by Cahill's stupid sending off. To his credit he has accepted it without whinging and put it down to experience. He has been very impressive, winning the ball and getting into the opposition box. It's good to see us playing the way we did when we finished seventh. The same grit, determination and never-say-die attitude is back. Hopefully by January there will be fresh legs to come into the team. The popular choice seems to be James Beattie, but I would prefer to see us signing a striker with real pace. We should be capable of beating Middlesbrough, but they can be hard to break down. I hope despite the small squad, Moyes takes the Bristol City game seriously. As Middlesborough showed, the Carling Cup can be an easy way into Europe.
ONCE again Everton's fine display in Manchester was slightly overshadowed, but this time by a jobsworth of a referee. The decision to book Cahill may have been correct under FIFA's rules. However, the referee's choice not to rescind the card especially after the comments of Hackett and Blatter, makes the rule even more ludicrous. As for the way Everton are playing, it seems with each game another player steps forward to prove their worth for the club. If the players continue to apply the same effort and commitment then I can see us picking up a few more points over the next four games. It's great to hear Moyes talk about optimism and the respect he has for all the fans. I just hope the board realise how important he is to the club and succeed in delivering their new "strategies" or the consequence this time will be far greater.
STEPHEN SHONE, 30, Wallasey
EVERTON'S season has started in superb fashion with only one defeat and an unbeaten away record. The praise has to go to David Moyes and the rest of the backroom staff. We've won two away games and finished them with 10 men on the pitch. Now that shows that team spirit and work rate has paid off with the team able to not let off-the-field antics affect their performances. The new 4-5-1 formation is proving to be a success, while Carsley has been a revelation protecting the back four and the work rate of Bent on his own up front deserves credit. It shows Campbell is past his best and even now the linesman beats him for pace. New signing Cahill looks like a top draw midfielder that would add a new dimension. Great goal but was sadly disrupted by the sending off. As for Kenwright, I would prefer he stayed, as he's someone the club can trust and has a good relationship with Moyes. Hopefully Everton can continue this great form as the season progresses.
BEN McGRAE, 16, Hunts Cross

Moyes praise for unsung Carsley
By David Prior, Daily Post
Sep 17 2004
LEE CARSLEY has not received enough credit for the part he has played in Everton's revival this season, according to manager David Moyes. The Republic of Ireland midfielder, (left), who will make his 50th Premiership start for the Goodison club against Middlesbrough on Sunday, has rarely hit the headlines with his nononsense, unflashy approach. But with his form from central midfield at the heart of the club's finest start to a Premiership season, Moyes says it is now time to recognise the importance of a player yet to miss a single minute of an Everton game this season. Moyes, who was at The Riverside last night to watch Sunday's visitors in action in the UEFA Cup, said: "He's gone about his job quietly, but effectively. "There are a few players in the side who maybe don't get as much praise as one or two others, but Lee is one who is deserving of plenty at this present time.
The 30-year-old has been suffering in training this week after picking up bad bruising following a challenge with Joey Barton at Manchester City last Saturday. But Moyes expects Carsley to battle on through the pain as Everton look to make it four wins from six games at home to the Teesiders. He added: "Lee hasn't missed a day's training. "He got a knock on the knee, but he hasn't missed training. That tells you a lot about him." Moyes has admitted he still has no idea why his team seem to have improved so much over the summer. "It is only a start, but it does alleviate a lot of the doubts," he said. "If I knew why it didn't work last season we would have done something about it."
He did however admit that the spirit within the squad at the moment was very high. Meanwhile Moyes has carried out a further scouting trip on Dutch international Mark van Bommel, fuelling speculation he may be one of the players brought in when the transfer window reopens in January.

Moyes praise for unsung Carsley
By David Prior, Daily Post
Sep 17 2004
LEE CARSLEY has not received enough credit for the part he has played in Everton's revival this season, according to manager David Moyes. The Republic of Ireland midfielder, who will make his 50th Premiership start for the Goodison club against Middlesbrough on Sunday, has rarely hit the headlines with his nononsense, unflashy approach. But with his form from central midfield at the heart of the club's finest start to a Premiership season, Moyes says it is now time to recognise the importance of a player yet to miss a single minute of an Everton game this season. Moyes, who was at The Riverside last night to watch Sunday's visitors in action in the UEFA Cup, said: "He's gone about his job quietly, but effectively. "There are a few players in the side who maybe don't get as much praise as one or two others, but Lee is one who is deserving of plenty at this present time.
The 30-year-old has been suffering in training this week after picking up bad bruising following a challenge with Joey Barton at Manchester City last Saturday. But Moyes expects Carsley to battle on through the pain as Everton look to make it four wins from six games at home to the Teesiders.
He added: "Lee hasn't missed a day's training. "He got a knock on the knee, but he hasn't missed training. That tells you a lot about him." Moyes has admitted he still has no idea why his team seem to have improved so much over the summer. "It is only a start, but it does alleviate a lot of the doubts," he said. "If I knew why it didn't work last season we would have done something about it."
He did however admit that the spirit within the squad at the moment was very high. Meanwhile Moyes has carried out a further scouting trip on Dutch international Mark van Bommel, fuelling speculation he may be one of the players brought in when the transfer window reopens in January.

Rules are rules, no matter how pedantic they seem
By Miles Shackley Everton supporter, Daily Post
Sep 17 2004
I HATE referees.
They're one step down on the evolutionary scale from traffic wardens and the guy who's worked in your office for 35 years and insists that toilet breaks should strictly speaking only be granted on receipt of a memo signed by the chief executive, stipulating nature of business. I'm not a big fan of Sepp Blatter either. FIFA's head honcho openly criticised the hapless Steve Bennett for his controversial sending off of Tim Cahill, seemingly oblivious to the fact that it's probably his signature on the bottom of the "Ways To Make Football Less Naked" memo that did the rounds prior to the start of the season. Keith Hackett, head of the Professional Game Match Officials Board, allegedly told referees before the season kicked off that celebrations of the sort Tim Cahill revelled in on Saturday wouldn't constitute a booking offence. FIFA's rules still say otherwise. The rule is clear. I checked, as I sometimes get time to mess around at work. You're not allowed to do what Cahill did. The law is an ass, but it's still the law and Cahill, as a professional, should know better. You live and learn, hopefully. It seems doubtful that Cahill will be making his Goodison debut on Sunday against European superforce Lokomotiv Middlesbrough, which is a shame as he looks like he's made a difference already. Shooting and scoring from an Everton midfielder? It's only a hair's breadth away from Total Football. Incidentally, if Middlesbrough win on Thursday, does anyone think that sides from the Eastern Bloc countries will refer to them as a "crack European outfit" - in their own language - the way the English media does when one of the English big guns get a Polish side that no-one has ever heard of? I don't. I have no doubt that Middlesbrough will provide a stern test. They've started very well and have the spine of a semi decent side, although they look better going forward than they do in defence. A decent result would suggest a genuine statement of intent for the season on Everton's behalf. Our next six games all look winnable on paper. You can insert your own cliché here. After a start that has exceeded most of our expectations it would be nice, and not wholly unrealistic, to imagine us going into October with a sizeable points buffer between ourselves and the make-weights in the dead zone. Just be careful how you celebrate it if it happens.

Moyes the talent spotter
Post Soapbox, icLiverpool & Daily Post
Sep 17 2004
Talent spotter
ALTHOUGH we have not been able to get anyone in with the Rooney money yet, I am excited about who may be coming to Goodison Park. David Moyes has shown he has an eye for a good player since coming to Everton, and his buys have been well thought out. Now he has some money to spend, it will be interesting to see if he can spot the same qualities that have made Kevin Kilbane and Nigel Martyn successes in players who cost a bit more. I think we should go for James Beattie and Alan Smith, because he won't get a game at United once Rooney is fit.
Ty Webb, (via e-mail)
No forgiveness
TO MR Rooney - anyone who hurts the club also hurts us deeply and you have certainly hurt the club. You tell us that it was hard making the decision to leave - big deal,, the bottom line is that you did. It seems like you made your mind up weeks before you went public. Tens of thousands of Evertonians will never forgive you for what you have done.
RH Lawrence, Warrington
Cinderella boy
TIM CAHILL has been Everton's Cinderella boy since he joined the club - he came out of nowhere, scored a fairytale goal and then was banished by the evil referee. Hopefully when he comes back he will continue this remarkable tale with more moments of magic, as well as helping us slay the red dragon across the park.
Danny Noonan, (via e-mail)
JUST like to say well done to Everton for their start to the season. I am a Rovers fan and think that amid all the speculation you have done the job. You don't need Wayne Rooney and I think his cash will come in useful for you. Just do us all a favour and finish above Liverpool this season!
Symeon Brady, Wallasey

Cahill Ban is lifted
Sep 17 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON have received the perfect boost with the news Tim Cahill's suspension is to be lifted.
David Moyes had resigned himself to being without the Australian international for the Goodison clash with Middlesbrough, after referee Steve Bennett refused to rescind the second yellow card dished out to Cahill for the goal celebration at Manchester City. However, following pressure from FIFA, Bennett reconsidered the matter, and was expected to bring good news to Goodison.
Speaking earlier today, Moyes said: "After Monday and Tuesday had gone we thought there was no chance and we received a letter confirming the suspension. "But we have heard the strong suggestion that the ban could be lifted." Cahill is likely to feature in an unchanged line-up as the Blues look to maintain their good start against Boro. The Blues played with just one striker against Manchester United and City and Moyes looks destined to stick with the same formation for Sunday's Goodison clash. He added: "We have found a way of playing that suits us at present, but I think we can alternate to play in a number of different ways. "That is good because it makes us more unpredictable and I will think about the best way of approaching Sunday's game. "Like Boro we are currently in a good position and we want to continue to take advantage of that. "It's good that our away form has improved, but we want to continue to gain as many points as possible from our home games."

Moyes is unleashing own version of Dogs of War
Sep 17 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
THE last time Everton enjoyed a start to a Premiership campaign anywhere near as good as this season's it took a final-day victory over Wimbledon to avoid relegation. Andy Hinchcliffe was part of the side which survived with a nerve-jangling 3-2 win at Goodison in 1994 despite gathering nine points from the opening five games. But he believes David Moyes' men have much more in common with Joe Royle's FA Cup-winning outfit from 1995. Now a radio summariser, the former England international points to last weekend's battling 1-0 victory over Manchester City as evidence.
"It was like watching the team we had under Royle and Willie Donachie," said Hinchcliffe, who spent eight seasons at Goodison in the 1990s. "We picked up the name 'the Dogs of War' because of the way we approached the games and the effort we put in. "It is good to see that spirit in the team again. You can see the players are responding to the manager. "A side can weather virtually anything if there is a unity within the squad and a faith in the manager. "They didn't stop running for him last weekend. And the fans have picked up on the change of mood. Supporters aren't daft.
"They spot very quickly when players are running further and putting in a little extra effort."
Which is why the fans quickly got behind Royle's 'Dogs of War' 10 years ago, delighted to see such a blood-and-thunder approach from a squad which had floundered so badly the previous season.

The 1993- 4 campaign had started so brightly, winning the opening three games with Howard Kendall at the helm. But he left midway through the season after his bid to sign Dion Dublin from Manchester United was blocked by the board and with the club's form dipping. Mike Walker was drafted in from Norwich but failed to impress the players or halt the slide. It took Royle's arrival the following season to galvanise the squad, winning the FA Cup just 12 months after the Wimbledon game saved the club from relegation. Hinchcliffe believes a similar transformation has taken place at Everton in recent months - although this time it has not needed a change of management.
"Uncertainty always has an impact on a side," explains Hinchcliffe. "When Howard went it affected the players. And then when Mike Walker came in there was a sense of 'Does he really know what he is doing?' "I remember after losing 4-0 at Manchester City Dave Watson told Mike that what we were doing in training wasn't good enough. "It came as a shock to Mike, but it was what we were all thinking. "This is no disrespect to Howard Kendall or Mike Walker, but Joe Royle and Willie Donachie seemed to put more thought into training. "It was very tough physically when Joe first came in but as players you could see an improvement straight away. "You soon become accustomed to working harder and doing different things if you can see the results on a Saturday. David Moyes seems to have tapped into that, which is hard to do. "But once you have cracked that you build up momentum because as players you are looking forward to training every Monday morning. "If players realise the work is benefiting them, they will keep on going no matter how tough it is. They stop thinking of training as some kind of punishment. "Moyes clearly understands his players and what makes them tick and he is getting the rewards now because of it."
As a result, last weekend's resolute display was a far cry from the game on the final day of last season. That improvement was achieved despite all the things going on at the club in recent months. "I remember speaking to people about the game against City at the end of last season and everybody was saying how appalling Everton had been," recalls Hinchcliffe. "But I was very impressed last weekend. The side had more energy than City but they were also mentally very strong after going down to 10 men. "That comes from the sale of players and the trouble in the boardroom will not get to a squad if they are happy with the work they are doing every day at Bellefield. "You don't get that spirit in a pub or on bonding sessions, the only way is by working with each other on the training ground and knowing each other as footballers. "I think people undervalue how big a thing that can be in a team. " You could have money like Roman Abramovich and hand pick the 11 best players in the world but if you don't have the right spirit the success won't follow. "From what I have seen so far Everton have got as good a chance as anybody of finishing in a very good position in the table. "They will finish in the top half of the table without a doubt."
Hinchcliffe ' s confidence is based on the knowledge that Everton's bright start will have been noted by opposition players. He adds: "When you are playing with the kind of passion and heart Everton are displaying right now other sides don't look forward to coming up against you because they know they won't get any time on the ball. "That is a reputation you can use to your advantage. "You can judge a side's confidence by the running they do when they don't have the ball and Everton are working tire-lessly for each other." Middlesbrough may not admit it, but they will have taken note. And they won't be looking forward to Sunday's visit to Goodison.

Insult to injury cause for concern
Sep 17 2004 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
THE news that Wayne Rooney may not be on the bench for Liverpool's trip to Manchester United on Monday, and may not even be ready for competitive action until October 16, should have sent at least a shiver of apprehension through Old Trafford. Because one thing Everton have proved very good at in recent years is losing players just before injury cut large chunks out of their careers.
John Ebbrell, Michael Ball, Francis Jeffers, Earl Barrett . . . all were players Everton off-loaded, then saw sustain serious, in some cases, career- threatening injuries. Indeed in Ebbrell's case, he managed just 45 minutes more of football - after a £950,000 move from Goodison - before an excruciating ankle injury ended his career prematurely. Following Slaven 'bad hips' Bilic and Danny 'One foot' Williamson, Everton were due a couple to redress the balance. And while I am sure no-one on Merseyside would wish that fate to befall Rooney (no, really), United's physio department may be just a teeny, weeny bit worried.

Plenty of life after Rooney - Stubbs
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Sep 18 2004
ALAN STUBBS believes Everton have already shown there is life after Wayne Rooney - and claimed the controversial transfer will be crucial to the club's long-term revival. Rooney's deadline day move to Manchester United capped a miserable summer for David Moyes's squad but they have responded with their finest ever start to a Premiership season. Fifth-placed Everton could leapfrog big spending Middlesbrough when the in-form teams meet at Goodison Park tomorrow (3pm).
And skipper Stubbs admits the departure of close friend Rooney has brought Moyes's threadbare squad even closer and determined to prove they were never a oneman team. "People got caught up in the Wayne thing," said Stubbs.. "It was very disappointing that he went, not just on a personal level but on a club level as well. "But I think now people are starting to sit back and look on it in a different light. We could end up getting 28, 29 or £30m for an 18-year-old. That is unbelievable.
"Liverpool got £8m from Real Madrid for Michael Owen and yet we have got about £28m for Wayne. I think that's a great bit of business that will help the club off the field and help turn the club around." It is not just the money banked from the Rooney sale that Stubbs believes will help Everton. The defender admits the media circus that surrounded just the one player at Goodison was a distraction during last season's brush with relegation, and the focus is now entirely on what the team delivers on the pitch. Stubbs revealed: "I don't think we have ever been a one-man team even when Wayne was in it. He had great talent that could win games for us but there is more to our team than that. "It is difficult though. Someone asked me if I thought Everton would go down with Wayne in the team and I said no. Then they asked if Everton would win the league with Wayne in the team and again I said no. We are sensible enough to know we are not going to win the league but with the money we can move on. "Wayne is in the past now and people are starting to talk about what we are doing on the pitch rather than what he is doing. "People concentrated more on Wayne than the team and as a club we all just want to move forward now. "There was a lot of "Will he, Won't he?" this summer which didn't help and now we've got money to spend in the transfer window and the gaffer will be looking to bring three or four new players in. "That bodes well for the club and it's up to us to keep it going until then so that, hopefully, we are in a position to kick on again in January." The defender added: "It wasn't that much of a distraction but now and again it didn't help. If he wasn't such a good player there wouldn't be a circus around him. "It was difficult for him to cope at times and the club did its best to keep him out of the limelight. That has passed on now and in some way a weight has been lifted and while I hope the media keep focusing on us I hope it's for what we do on the pitch." Barring a dramatic late change of heart from Steve Bennett Everton will be without the suspended Tim Cahill tomorrow. Rumours yesterday suggested Bennett was under renewed pressure from FIFA to rescind the midfielder's second yellow card at Manchester City – even though it was a booking under their guidelines. But Everton had received no notification from the FA as of last night. "All we've had is a letter from the FA upholding the ban," revealed manager Moyes. "There have been rumours but it's a bit late in the day as far as my preparations are concerned anyway."
* PETER CLARKE has joined Blackpool on a month's loan with a view to a permanent transfer. The defender, who has made 14 first team appearances for Everton, declined the club's offer of a one-year contract in the summer and is available on a free transfer.

Moyes 'surprised' by stunning start to season
By Paul Walker, Daily Post
Sep 18 2004
EVEN David Moyes is surprised by Everton's remarkable start to the season. After a summer of chaos and confusion in which star striker Wayne Rooney was eventually sold, the Goodison Park club have made their best start in 26 years and find themselves fifth in the Barclays Premiership. It is a position which has left Everton fans delighted and somewhat surprised. Moyes understands that reaction considering he has had precious little to spend while fourth-placed Middlesbrough - who visit Goodison tomorrow - have splashed out on a host of new faces. The Scot wants desperately to build on an impressive run of form which sees Everton unbeaten since the first day of the season.
"We feel good about ourselves and want to keep our players performing in the same fashion as in the recent weeks," said the Everton manager. "We have brought in only a few, we have let a lot go but there are still plenty here who two years ago were very close to Europe. "Last year we were nearly relegated but let's hope that this is the season we are going to achieve Europe even if it has been something of a rollercoaster." Moyes said: "I suppose our start has surprised me. I think we are still a side that people do not think we should be where we are. But the way we are playing, the self-belief we've got, means it would not surprise me if we continued that way."

Sharp: Hibbert embodies Everton transformation
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Sep 18 2004
IF THE City of Manchester Stadium was the perfect place for Everton to illustrate their transformation from last season then Tony Hibbert's was the performance that embodied it. In May, Hibbert's shell-shocked image as Shaun Wright-Phillips celebrated the fifth goal in City's final day mauling said it all for a team and club shattered by how the season had unfolded. Just four months later and the defender was exhausted again, following an inspired display that encapsulated the commitment of a side laying ghosts to rest, defying the odds and recording their second away win of the campaign to go joint third in the table. From start to finish the 23-year-old helped set the stage for a victory even Steve Bennett couldn't taint no matter how hard he tried. An expertly-timed tackle on Robbie Fowler in the seventh minute prevented Everton succumbing to a dreadful start and by the time stoppages arrived the sight of Hibbert - and Lee Carsley - throwing themselves in front of every shot and into every challenge had become so routine as to be taken for granted.
Not that David Moyes did. While espousing another fine performance from a team thriving in adversity, the Everton manager singled out the homegrown fullback for special praise, stating: "There were pressures on Tony a few weeks ago but now his confidence is back, he's looking sharp and aggressive and is playing really well." Moyes also admitted he hadn't realised how low Hibbert's confidence had sunk after a summer of uncertainty that saw Everton linked with several right-backs. None, of course, materialised. And it is another twist of football that the defender is now playing with such vigour as to suggest none were ever needed. Although Hibbert himself admits: "I was lacking a bit of confidence, maybe more than I thought at first. There was a lot of changing, I had been in and out of the team, and then I heard about a couple of lads who might be coming in who were right backs and all of that did get to me. "This year I've just got my head down, worked very hard in training and since I got my chance down at Palace I've enjoyed every minute of it. If you are enjoying your football that's half the battle and I am, it has helped my confidence and I hope it continues. "The manager hasn't said anything to me specifically but it helps just being in the dressing room after the wins we've had recently. The atmosphere in the dressing room has been unbelievable and no-one has to say anything to you when you're part of that, you just enjoy every minute of it the atmosphere says it all. "Everyone knows whether you've had a bad game or not but it's just nice to be winning again. We've got that winning feeling back, no-one has taken credit for it themselves, it has all been about the team and the spirit is better than ever." Perhaps it is because of the siege mentality that Everton have been forced to adopt this season that Hibbert, with his aggression, discipline and commitment, appears a natural for the task demanded by Moyes. There is definitely a feeling of us against the world at times," he admits. "The gaffer drummed that into our heads in pre-season. We all knew people had been writing us off, we read the papers and we knew people were not giving us a chance even before a ball was kicked and that has brought us all together, it has made us stronger. Now we've got to keep on showing them."
While relief is widespread at the start Everton have made to silence relegation talk Hibbert, with the painful experience of last season, is only too aware that this is just a start. But although Middlesbrough pose a formidable challenge at Goodison tomorrow the full-back believes the unity and atmosphere within Moyes's squad is now even stronger than it was when Everton were chasing Europe two seasons ago. He reveals: "I honestly think the spirit is better than it was two season's ago but it is still early doors in the season. Every one of the lads seems to be on form, we are playing some nice football as well as getting the results, and it's great to be a part of that. "There seems to be more togetherness than two seasons ago too. "Last season was just one of those things, bad seasons happen and it just didn't go for us, but I am enjoying this season a lot. It's great coming into training every day, there is a real buzz about the place and because we are winning it has lifted everyone at the club. The players, the staff, everyone is on a high and it is brilliant to be part of it." Early days of course, and in a business in which spirit sways at the outcome of one result no-one at Goodison is getting carried away. But just to have restored belief and confidence to their current levels given the events of last season and throughout this summer is a testament to the Everton squad's character. And Hibbert admits: "I don't know what you can put the change from last season down to, but it was a really good pre-season for us and after the way the previous season had ended that was very important. From day one of pre-season we worked hard together and we have taken that on. "Obviously it wasn't the best start against Arsenal, we knew it was going to be hard against a team full of world class players, but we refused to dwell on the negatives of that and it has just clicked for us since. "It's been a really good start and I have enjoyed it, the way we have been playing, the results and the spirit. I have enjoyed it a lot more than last season but when you are winning it's always better. "Everyone's spirits are up and the way we have been playing is a credit to the work the lads have put in on the training ground and taken into matches." He adds: "It's a long season, but we have made a very good start and if we keep it up we have a chance of repeating what we did two seasons ago, maybe even further." Now that would be some transformation.

Everton 1, Middlesbrough 0 (D,Post)
Sep 20 2004 By Andy Hunter at Goodison Park, Daily Post
BATMAN on the Palace, Bryan Ferry's son pursued through the House of Commons by a sword-wielding security guard in silk stockings, and Everton third in the table: the unlikeliest assault on the establishment is now complete. Like the Fathers 4 Justice campaign and the pro-hunting lobby before them David Moyes's men have shattered the hierarchy's closetted world, in Everton's case that of the Premiership elite, with little more than a fierce collective will to guide them. Moyes's side were meant to be gasping for breath at the bottom of the Premiership by now, surely, but through the indominitable spirit that has been forged out of a summer of setbacks today they sit proudly alongside the riches of the London set. And deservedly so. Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, the top of the Premiership pecking order has a fine ring about it for the Goodison faithful this morning.
Their team is in the Champions League fold on merit, although that does not lessen the sense of astonishment at what they have already achieved - Everton's best start to a season for 26 years.
Wayne Rooney's departure to Manchester United has not only brought the whole of Merseyside together, as will be the case if he's on the bench against Liverpool tonight, it has united the players he left behind in a resolve to prove they were never a one-man team as a deserved win over Middlesbrough illustrated superbly. Not only did they beat Steve McClaren's expensively assembled side with a goal from their only new signing on the pitch yesterday, £450,000 Marcus Bent, they did so with a performance that bore absolutely no relation with what was served up throughout last season when Rooney was in the team. It is not only commitment and organisation that has taken Everton so far so quickly this season, although both were again exemplary at Goodison Park. Moyes has every member of his threadbare squad playing confident, assured football and the 5,000 or so spectators who would have been drawn to this game by Rooney's presence a year ago missed a treat. A team without stars is shining. Everton brought their successful tour of Manchester home yesterday and an almost identical repeat of the performance that beat City, minus bare-chested goal celebrations and Tim Cahill as a consequence, proved too much for Middlesbrough to deal with.
While McClaren boasts the transfer budget Moyes has so far only dreamed of at Everton - and must become a reality in January - his side could not match the effort or invention of their hosts and should have been out of sight by the time their late rally arrived. Not that the home side had everything their own way or outclassed the Riversiders, but in terms of clear-cut chances Everton were vastly superior and should have scored several more. Again, a repeat of the defeat of Manchester City, although a return to the days of "1-0 to the Everton" that took the club close to Europe in Moyes's first full season in charge is satisfaction enough for now. For the third game in succession Everton were faultless in attitude and application, with Lee Carsley excelling in midfield once more and the central defensive pairing of Alan Stubbs and David Weir unbreakable, even for Mark Viduka and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink who had helped Middlesbrough to an average two goals per-game before their arrival at Goodison. But they left pointless and scoreless, with McClaren's post-match assessment "we were very unlucky not to get a result" drawing looks of incredulity even among the visiting press pack. The Middlesbrough manager believed his team suffered a European hangover after their UEFA Cup debut on Thursday, and right back Stuart Parnaby delivered a fine impersonation of an over-friendly drunk on a Saturday night, with his "you're me best mate you are" routine of throwing his arms around Kevin Kilbane every time the Everton midfielder touched the ball. In keeping with another inconsistent refereeing peformance, however, Howard Webb let him get away with it, booking Kilbane instead for an alleged elbow and allowing George Boateng to escape with just one yellow card following a series of histrionics that encouraged it. As well as poor officialdom, reminders of the City trip abounded in the Everton performance too. Again Moyes employed the five-man midfield so effective twice in Manchester but with Leon Osman in a more adventurous role floating behind Bent and revelling in it. Once again Everton were controlled and committed, and had enough opportunities to have spared themselves the agonies of defending another late barrage of pressure which Nigel Martyn handled comfortably. Osman crafted the first excellent opening in the seventh minute when, as he did all game, he made the most of the space in front of the Middlesbrough midfield and spread the play intelligently, feeding Kil-bane whose clipped cross to the far post gave Bent a free header directed straight at Mark Schwarzer.
Kilbane then met Carsley's inviting deep cross with a powerful header towards the top corner only for Schwarzer to react with a fabulous stop and the Boro keeper frustrated Everton again when he kept out Bent's low shot after he was played clean through by Thomas Gravesen. Three minutes after the restart, however, Bent finally delivered the cutting edge and Schwarzer was beaten.
The winner typified the Everton display: Carsley threw himself in the way of Doriva's shot, Osman provided the ingenuity to play Bent in behind Gareth Southgate and the lone striker beat the England defender for pace before lifting his effort over the advancing keeper and in off Queudrue's thigh. It was no more than the new signing deserved for another tireless display and now that's two more than Tomasz Radzinski has scored for Fulham. Until the final 20 minutes Middlesbrough's only threat had arrived from set-pieces around the Everton area, but they rallied well as the home side struggled to hold possession only for their defence to remain impregnable for a third consecutive game. Martyn just beat Joseph-Desire Job to Queudrue's tempting cross, Weir put his face in the way of a goalbound strike by substitute Stewart Downing and then a combination of Martyn and Osman foiled Ray Parlour and Downing in injury time. From the resulting breakaway James McFadden should have added a second, but having sprinted half the length of the field with only Schwarzer to beat he attempted to round the visiting keeper and tamely ran the ball into him instead. But he was spared any more agony seconds later and, in a further display of unity that extended to the post-match press conference, Moyes was soon in the middle of the pitch thanking each and every one of his players and accepting the salute of a delerious Goodison Park.
At this rate he will soon be at the Palace, and he will have an invite.
EVERTON (4-4-1-1): Martyn; Hibbert, Weir, Stubbs, Pistone; Watson (McFadden, 81 mins), Carsley, Gravesen, Kilbane; Osman; Bent (Ferguson, 74 mins). Unused subs: Wright, Naysmith, Yobo.
BOOKING: Kilbane (foul).
MIDDLESBROUGH (4-4-2): Schwarzer, Parnaby, Southgate, Riggott, Queudrue, Nemeth, (Doriva,45 ), Parlour, Boateng, Zenden (Downing ,59 ), Hasselbaink, Viduka (Job ,59 ) Unused subs: Nash, Cooper,
BOOKINGS: Boateng, Doriva, Parlour, Riggott
REFEREE: H Webb (Rotherham)
ATT: 34,087
NEXT GAME: Bristol City v Everton, Carling Cup second round, Wednesday 7.45pm

Stubbs: We will make critics eat their words
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Sep 20 2004
DAVID MOYES hailed the unity and attitude of his Everton squad yesterday as they celebrated their best start to a season for 26 years by beating Middlesbrough. Only champions Arsenal and big-spending Chelsea stand above Everton in the table today after Marcus Bent's second-half strike sent many people's favourites for relegation into third. Moyes believes the siege mentality adopted by his squad after last season's slump and a procession of summer disappointments is the key to Everton's remarkable form. And to underline that fact, he instructed captain Alan Stubbs to join him at the post-match press conference. The Everton manager explained: "I've brought Alan along because it's time for the players to do the talking. They are the ones doing it on the pitch and it is down to their attitude that we are third in the table. Their attitude was unquestionable today as it has been since the first day of pre-season." And Stubbs, whose superb partnership with David Weir helped record Everton's third successive clean sheet, said: "It is down to hard work and the determination of a great bunch of lads to turn all the crap that has been thrown at us into a positive.
"It has been like that since we came back for pre-season. There is a great spirit among this squad, we get on well together and we respect each other as professionals and that has helped us get the results on the pitch. "We've produced good performances as well as results and we have got the points we deserve. The spirit is like it was two years ago. We have 11 honest players on the pitch and before we even step out there we know what we are going to do. "We are playing well with a lot of confidence and our position in the table reflects that. This is our best start for 26 years but records don't mean anything at the moment. We will be judged on where we finish at the end of the season, not now, and we want to be talking like this on the final day of the season. "We may be a team without a big star but the players are stars in their own right. You don't have to be a top international player like Wayne Rooney to be a star. "Wayne is a special talent and in an ideal world he would still be here but he's not and we have to move forward. We aren't the first club this has happened to and we won't be the last but we are moving on and we can improve the squad even more in January. "There is no reason why we can't keep this going. We have played some good teams so far. A lot of people were tipping us to go down and it feels great to make them eat their words." Despite Everton's excellent start, Moyes admitted the team still had a long way to go to silence the doubters once and for all. He admitted: "It is satisfying after being written off by so many. We are not daft to say we are over it now, that would only be setting ourselves up, but we should take satisfaction from the way we have started." Both Moyes and Stubbs were united in their praise of matchwinner Bent. Moyes said: "If you are not going to work hard and run your socks off you won't be wanted at Everton and the rest of the players here will tell you that. "He now has a big audience at Goodison Park and the crowd will always accept triers. He had a few chances before he scored and he did manage to put the Middlesbrough strikers in the shade." And Stubbs added: "I'm sure any striker would say their hardest role is when you have to play up there by yourself and Marcus thoroughly deserved his goal today. That's exactly what I told him when we were celebrating."

Moyes' tribute to 'honest' players
By Paul Walker, Daily Post
Sep 20 2004
DAVID MOYES insists that the greatest satisfaction he is experiencing as Everton sit third in the Premiership is proving people wrong. For a club most had written off after a summer of internal crisis, Everton are certainly confounding the critics. Moyes said: "This is just going on and on, the players are doing their speaking on the pitch. It has been like that from the start of the season.
"The satisfaction I get is that we were written off by most people. We are not over it and I am not daft enough to say so because then you are just setting yourselves up. "The players and myself have had a long, hard summer and we have all suffered. "The only way we could put it right was when we came back to training. "The boys have been honest, and when you are that and do everything to the best of your ability then nobody can complain. That is what we are doing." Boro boss Steve McClaren did blame the demands of his side's UEFA Cup win over Banik Ostrava on Thursday for the defeat. He said: "Teams always suffer fatigue after a European game in midweek, it was a very emotional night for all of us and it showed in the way we started the game. "We did not play to our full potential in the first half, but I felt we got going after that and were very unfortunate not to get anything from the game. "But before the European game I told the lads that they will have to learn to cope with a league game straight afterwards. "We want to be in this sort of position so we must learn to handle that side of things better. "We weathered their storm and I felt that for much of the last half hour we were the better side and were going to win it, we just couldn't finish off our chances. "They worked very hard and were well organised, but we should have got something from the game."

Kenwright on brink of securing Fortress funding
Daily Post
Sep 20 2004
BILL KENWRIGHT is close to securing major new investment for Everton. Reports yesterday suggested an announcement could follow this week that the Fortress Sports Fund group of investors is ready to take an initial 29.9pc stake in the Premiership club. Geneva-based financier Christopher Samuelson is now said to be close to finalising details of the package which could go a long way to reducing the club's overall debt problem as well as releasing vital funds for manager David Moyes to use in the transfer market. It is believed the initial investment will be £12.8million, which effectively replaces the £15million guarantee from retail tycoon and Kenwright ally Philip Green. Fortress will have an option to enlarge its holding in the future to a controlling 50.1pc, with a further price tag of £17.2million. Samuelson has assembled around a dozen investors for the Fund, but they will not include Boris Zingarevich. The Russian was unhappy with the publicity that followed the revelation of his name as a major backer of the Fund. Samuelson describes himself as a committed Evertonian and has put some of his own wealth into the Fund. He is expected to take a place on the Everton Board, but part of the deal is that Kenwright will remain as chairman. Samuleson said other investors include Michele Saba, a private banker, Patricia German-Ribon, a member of the Aramayo mining family, Guy de la Tour du Pin and Emily Willi, two wealthy Europeans, and past business associates, Robert Steelhammer and Michele Miller. Others were involved, but he declined to name them. If the investment is completed it will represent a significant coup for Kenwright who has found himself under pressure from club shareholders, who successfully petitioned for an Extraordinary General Meeting earlier this month, and fellow director Paul Gregg, who had called for the dissolution of True Blue Holdings, the vehicle used to allow Kenwright to take over the club from Peter Johnson. Funds will also be arriving from the sale of Wayne Rooney to Manchester United, with £10million now followed by a similar amount in a year's time.

Security remaining tight at defiant Goodison
By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Sep 20 2004
SIX WEEKS ago, the mere notion of Everton against Middlesbrough being a top-of-the-table clash was about as laughable as Parliamentary security. Yet here we were at Goodison Park yesterday for a fixture in which the victors were guaranteed third place in the Premiership behind the already runaway leaders Arsenal and Chelsea. Steve McClaren's side have been tipped by some to continue their progress of last season in which the Carling Cup was captured and their squad bolstered by free-spending chairman Steve Gibson dipping into his deep pockets to bankroll the purchases - and the expensive salaries - of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Mark Viduka. But Everton? Fat chance, you would have thought, given a summer in which David Moyes saw his most saleable assets depart through the Goodison exit and was forced to rummage through the bargain basement bin while Bill Kenwright went cap in hand around the globe in search of financial backing as Paul Gregg and impatient shareholders sharpened their pens. The cavalry eventually did arrive in the form of a large stash of readies - some via investment,, most through the sale of Wayne Rooney - but too late for the ham-strung Moyes to make any moves in the transfer market. Spending that will have to wait until January. In the meantime, the Everton manager must work with the threadbare resources currently at his disposal which, save a couple of new faces, were largely responsible for last season's dismal Premiership showing. In the face of such adversary, so reputations are forged. And Moyes is demonstrating again why he was regarded as one of the finest young managers of his generation when he stepped in at Goodison more than two years ago. Even in this embryonic stage of the season, third place is more than even the most optimistic Evertonian could have hoped for. And it is no fluke. The opening-day whipping to Arsenal apart - and there was no shame in that defeat - Everton have performed with the purpose and passion so evident in Moyes's first full season in charge, never more typified than by their confident bagging of a goalless draw at Manchester United last month. They didn't have to be at such a high level yesterday to see off an ever-disappointing Middlesbrough side which, despite the alleged coaching talents of McClaren and the presence of perennial Everton nemesis Hasselbaink, are never the sum of their clearly talented parts, irrespective of any possible European hangover they may have been suffering. Employing the sole striker formation which proved so successful at Old Trafford, Manchester City and Crystal Palace, it nevertheless took a flare-up between George Boateng and most of the Everton midfield midway through the first half for the home fires to stir into action. With just one up front, Marcus Bent will be asked to shoulder the main striking responsibility - at least until reinforcements arrive in the New Year - and that burden seemed to weigh him down in an opening period in which he spurned two decent chances. "Marcus Bent is about as threatening as a balloon," wittered one ever-cynical hack as the second half started. Thirty seconds later the striker raced on to Leon Osman's throughball, held off the attentions of Gareth South-gate and lofted the ball over Schwarzer with more than a little help from the outstretched leg of Franck Queudrue for his first Goodison goal. Given Tim Cahill's sending off last week for having the temerity to bare his midriff, there must have been a temptation for Everton's players to celebrate Bent's winning strike with a cheesy smile, a friendly handshake and a hearty slap on the back. Alas, it was not to be. No matter. A late Boro rally gave the home side the opportunity to demonstrate their new-found resolve and defensive solidity and, this being Everton, victory would not be the same if a few nerves weren't frayed come the final whistle. The three points ensured Everton's best start to a season in 26 years and were greeted with the now customary celebration as if the Premiership itself had just been won. Mind you, after what they've been through in recent months, who can blame them? It might be stretching credulity - and heaping unnecessary expectation on players and management - to state if Everton can keep up this kind of form and remain injury-free, their supporters could well have something more tangible to cheer come May. But, as events this week in the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace have proved, stranger things have happened.

Everton 1, Middlesbrough 0 (Echo)
Sep 20 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
FALSE dawn or new beginning? The answer was pretty emphatic yesterday. Only Arsenal and Chelsea are above Everton in the Premiership table. The last time the club enjoyed a start to a season as good as this kids were riding Tomahawks and Starsky & Hutch were the top cops on the box. That was back in 1978, when Bob Latchford was the club's talisman in attack and hero on the terraces. Yesterday, there was a similarly robust figure leading the line. It was he who scored the goal which pushed the Blues up into third place and, for once, it wasn't Duncan Ferguson.
Marcus Bent still has a lot to do to become a cult hero with Evertonians. But he couldn't have made a better start to his Goodison career. After just six games he has already shown that he has the heart, guts and tenacity to make his mark on Merseyside. In the 70s, those qualities were everywhere in football - and in the 80s, for that matter. But in the modern game, where there are more nationalities plying their trade in the top flight than there are Heinz varieties, and where pace and flair are the watchwords, it seems the ingredients which made English football so unique are less prevalent than ever. Which is why Everton, Bent et al, have made such an impact in these opening weeks of the campaign. They possess the British spirit. And coupled with great stamina and a little good fortune the Blues are storming up the table. Steve Watson summed it up when he said: "A lot of the sides below us have stronger squads on paper and have spent a hell of a lot more money than us. But you can't buy the spirit that we have got here. "No matter how much money you pump into a club or how many play-ers you have got in the squad, it is difficult to get a great team spirit, which is what will get us by." Unlike Chelsea and Arsenal, Moyes spent just £2.45m in the summer on two players. Bent was one, arriving for a modest fee and with a CV which suggested he has never really made it at the top level. But he has exploded any such fears in a dramatic fashion by feeding off the passion, hunger and camaraderie which David Moyes has instilled in his squad. Those qualities frustrated Manchester United, choked the life out of Manchester City and overcame the not insubstantial challenge of Middlesbrough yesterday. It was that temperament which ensured this game ended in victory despite wave after wave of Boro attacks in the final 10 minutes. And it is that temperament which will ensure no side will take the threat of Everton lightly from now on. Yesterday demonstrated just how hard it is to beat this team now. If Boro were looking to shake off a hangover after the party atmosphere of their very first European game on Thursday night, Goodison was far from the ideal destination. They couldn't cope with the home side's boundless energy and bold formation. Bent may have been the only striker in the starting line-up, but with Leon Osman exposing the space between midfield and attack and Steve Watson and Kevin Kil-bane pushing high up the field on the flanks, the formation was much more 4-3-3 than 4-5-1. The Blues were brimming with confidence, passing the ball crisply and creating chances. As a result, Boro struggled to win possession or to escape their own half. It should have provided the Blues with a half time lead for only the sixth time in 32 home games. But Mark Schwarzer's strong display kept the score goalless. Instead, they had to wait until the 48th minute before finally breaking the deadlock. And it was a goal which encapsulated the whole performance - a swift attack crafted by neat midfield passing and rounded off by a brave, committed finish in the face of a robust challenge from Franck Quedrue. Leon Osman was the provider, releasing Bent from just inside the Boro half. He sprinted past Gareth South-gate like Batman past Palace security before seeing his deft chip over the advancing Schwarzer find the target, despite a last-gasp sliding challenge from Franck Queudrue. It was no less than Bent deserved. He works tirelessly. He has started the season excellently but, before yesterday, still only had one competitive goal as an Everton player. He somehow contrived to head straight at Schwarzer from six yards in the eighth minute. And when he did produce an effort worthy of grabbing the opening goal in the 44th minute his powerful half volley from 18 yards was brilliantly pushed around the post by the Australian. He certainly wasn't the only player frustrated by Boro's last line of defence though. Kilbane, whom referee Howard Webb seemed to take an instant dis-like to, sent a towering header from a Lee Carsley cross screaming towards the top left corner of the net after ghosting in at the back post. Schwarzer's one-handed reaction stop was outstanding. It merely added to Kilbane's frustration. Mr Webb felt it necessary to caution the Irish international in the 25th minute for repeatedly attempting to challenge for aerial balls using, of all things, his head. Quite right,too. George Boateng was so incensed by Kilbane's outrageous behaviour he earned a booking of his own for dissent after questioning the ref's decision to just give a yellow card. No doubt Tim Cahill was sat in the stands relieved to see that not all Premiership refs are over-fussy jobsworths. Thankfully, he didn't cost the Blues. And in the final 15 minutes they still had 11 men on the field to frustrate the visitors.
I don't think there was a single Everton player who didn't throw his body in the path of the ball at least once during that frantic finale. Such fearlessness has taken the side high up the table. Now they face the challenge of staying there.
EVERTON (4-4-1-1): Martyn; Hibbert, Weir, Stubbs, Pistone; Watson (McFadden, 81 mins), Carsley, Gravesen, Kilbane; Osman; Bent (Ferguson, 74 mins). Unused subs: Wright, Naysmith, Yobo.
BOOKING: Kilbane (foul).
MIDDLESBROUGH (4-4-2): Schwarzer, Parnaby, Southgate, Riggott, Queudrue, Nemeth, (Doriva,45 ), Parlour, Boateng, Zenden (Downing ,59 ), Hasselbaink, Viduka (Job ,59 ) Unused subs: Nash, Cooper,
BOOKINGS: Boateng, Doriva, Parlour, Riggott
REFEREE: H Webb (Rotherham)
ATT: 34,087
NEXT GAME: Bristol City v Everton, Carling Cup second round, Wednesday 7.45pm

Bent keeps revival in perspective
Sep 20 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
MARCUS BENT believes Everton's target should remain avoiding a relegation dogfight, despite netting the goal yesterday which pushed the side up to third in the Premiership. Bent has proved a huge hit since his signing from Ipswich for £450,000 in the summer. He has established himself as the club's number one striker, leading the line alone in the last three matches. And yesterday he netted the only goal of the game against Middlesbrough to move the Blues to within a point of second placed Chelsea and three points off Arsenal's tally of 16. But while Bent admits the side is brimming with confidence, he insists it would be wrong to get carried away. "The expectation is to do better than we did last year," he insisted. "It just so happens that we are doing very well at the start of the season. There is a long way to go, but if we can keep it up hopefully we can finish in the top half or even the top five. "But our main objective is to stay clear of the bottom three. I know we are a big club. We don't want to be talking about that and a lot of people think we don't deserve to be down there but things happen and sometimes things don't go your way. Thankfully, we are doing well so we don't have to think about that. "A lot of people have been saying things and there has been a lot in the papers, but in the end we have got to do a job on the pitch and that is what we are focusing on, nothing else. "We just want to have a good season. We are third in the league now and that is our best start for a long time, so the boys will be buzzing with that. "And the boys who haven't played will be wanting to get into the side, which makes it all exciting." Bent had set himself the target before yesterday's match of scoring his first goal at Goodison and he duly obliged. It rounded off a great day for the side and a good day for Bent, who reaped his reward for a committed performance - and for one of his Goodison pals. He explained: "It was nice to get my first goal here. I was quietly confident before the game. "Someone put a bet on me, although I am not going to tell you who, so that put a bit more pressure on me. So it was nice to get the winner."

'Defensive brilliance has helped us flourish'
Sep 20 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
STEVE WATSON praised Everton's unsung heroes in defence after yesterday's victory over Middlesbrough was secured with the help of the side's third consecutive clean sheet.

The Blues' defence was breached in each of the opening three games, with Arsenal smashing four in at Goodison on the opening day. But the resolute performance in the trip to Manchester United last month has inspired a turnaround in the club's fortunes defensively, with Alan Stubbs and David Weir forging a part-nership in the heart of defence and full-backs Alessandro Pistone and Tony Hibbert rediscovering their best form after an indifferent opening couple of weeks. Watson said: "We have got to be pleased with the start. We can take a lot of positives. Firstly, three clean sheets in the last three games from Old Trafford, City and this match. "The defenders have been brilliant and have been well protected. That is the kind of base we had two seasons ago and it has started that well this season. "It is good after a disappointing summer. There were a lot of negatives around the club and there were a lot of things that were totally out of the players' hands.. "But we still had to prove to everybody we are a good enough squad and everybody has played their part so far. "We were all bitterly disappointed with how we performed last season and I suppose the last game of last season summed up the whole campaign. "It was a case of going away, getting our heads around it in the summer and realising we are a lot better than what we showed last year. "Pre-season went well and everything was geared up to having a good start to the season. "Since Arsenal, we have responded brilliantly and we haven't looked back since. "Confidence is a massive thing in football.
"We have always had good team spirit but it was just a case of the confidence not being there last year. "And once you get in a bad run it is difficult to get out of it when you have a relatively small squad. Sometimes you can try too hard. "But this season the confidence is high. That comes from results and we have started well. The lads are buzzing."

Spirit is difference - and that's a fact
Sep 20 2004 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
IF statistically, last season's Everton team was the worst in 116 years to pull on the royal blue jersey, the current incumbents have suddenly become the best in 26 years. Both nonsense, of course. All both claims do is shows how statistics can be moulded to back up most arguments. After the shameful slump which yielded the worst points tally since centre-parts and droopy taches were all the rage, Everton can now boast the best points haul after five games since bubble perms worryingly caught on at Bellefield. What has changed at Goodison since the misery of May cannot be quantified. It has been a change of mindset, of attitude - something intangible which was present two years ago, but inexplicably went missing last season. The sight of skipper Alan Stubbs sharing the spotlight with his manager last night was heartening - after suggestions the players fell out of love with their boss the season before. That led to Everton's worst set of scores since league football began - and under-standably harsh words in the local press. The almost burning desire to shove those words down correspondents' throats has been welcomed. That local press actually enjoys reporting on a winning team. Two players whose enthusiasm and honesty is infectious have also helped. The perpetually-active Tim Cahill was unavailable yesterday - thanks to the perpetually-controversial Steven Bennett - but Marcus Bent was a wonderfullywilling lone front-man. Any deficiencies he may possess are more than overshadowed by his exemplary attitude.
And while the players quite rightly received all of the post-match praise, mention should be made of the manager's tactical tinkering. On paper, Everton went into a home match against Middlesbrough with just one solitary striker. But on grass, that often became a front four. Leon Osman operated intelligently behind Bent - and in the opening half-hour was a persistent thorn in Boro's side - while Kevin Kil-bane and Steve Watson pushed on decisively down the flanks. It was apt that the winning goal came from an Osman pass from deep, turned magnificently by Bent from little more than a half chance into a one-on-one opportunity. Not since Gary Lineker swept past Steve Foster in an FA Cup quarter-final replay at Goodison has a 40-60 ball been turned so dramatically into a goalscoring chance. And if the final touch went to Frank Queudrue, it would be a stony heart that deprived Bent of his first Goodison goal. It would be an equally hard heart that didn't lavish praise upon Everton's players for the turn-around they have affected at Goodison Park this season.

There may be lies, damned lies and then statistics. But who cares? Just take a long, lingering look at the league table and extol the virtues of hard work and honesty.

Happy to Stub out critics
Sep 20 2004 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON skipper Alan Stubbs is relishing making the critics eat their words. After a summer of turmoil, when many pundits predicted the Blues were favourites for relegation, yesterday's deserved 1-0 defeat of Middlesbrough ensured the club's best start to a season since 1978-9.
Manager David Moyes pointed to the siege mentality which has helped revive the club when he brought skipper Alan Stubbs to the post-match press conference. "I think it's time for the players to do the speaking," he explained. "They're doing it on the pitch. So I've asked them to do the talking.
"They've got themselves in a good position and it's down to their attitude which was unquestionable today, but has been since the start of the season and all the way through pre-season as well."
Stubbs added: "What do I put it down to? Hard work, a great bunch of lads - and turning all the rubbish that's been thrown at us into a positive. From day one of pre-season, basically, it's been like that. "There's a great spirit amongst everyone, we all get on really well together and we respect each other as players. When you do that you get results on the pitch. "We have got 11 honest lads who go onto that pitch and before we step out there we know what we're going to get. If we get anything more it's a bonus and there are a lot of lads playing with a lot of confidence at the moment." On the best season's start since 1978, Stubbs added: "I know we have started off well. The best start for 26 years? That's great. "But at the moment records don't really mean anything to us. We'll be judged on where we finish at the end of the season. "It's a record it's nice to have, but I'd rather be saying this (after the) last game of the season." And Stubbs referred to a far more recent vintage as the kind of season the Blues should aim for. It was only two years ago that Everton defied the critics to finish seventh, only missing out on a place in Europe on the last day of the season. "There's no reason why it can't be the same kind of season as two years ago. Absolutely no reason why not," he went on. "We've played some decent teams up to now. "Every other press man was linking us with going down. We were going to be the team that was one of the three. "It's nice to make you eat your words." Boss David Moyes added: "The satisfaction for me is that we were probably written off by a lot of people. Not for one minute are we thinking we're over it.
"I know the players and myself had a long, old summer and it was mainly because of the way we played and the way we finished the season. "So why should we not be quite pleased with ourselves now because we all suffered long and hard through those months? "The only way we could put it right was when we came back and to be fair to the boys they have been extremely honest in their work. "It doesn't matter what level of ability you've got, if you do it to the best of your ability nobody can complain - and everybody here, not just the players but the management, too - are trying to do it to their best of their ability."

Moyes confident of staying at the top
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Sep 21 2004
0ShareDAVID MOYES is confident Everton can cement their unexpected place among the Premiership elite once the proposed £30million investment in the club materialises. Goodison chairman Bill Kenwright is close to finalising a deal that will see Fortress Sports Fund purchase a 29.9% stake in the club for £12.8m, with the option of ultimately owning 50.1% for an extra £17.2m.
With £10m from the Wayne Rooney sale already in place Moyes will finally be able to compete with his Premiership peers in the transfer market from January. And while he is keen to deflect all the praise for Everton's third place position onto his threadbare squad the Goodison manager admits reinforcements will give the club a realistic chance of staying with the leading pack. Moyes said: "We have new investment on the way and hope-fully that will be tied up shortly. There will be finance available to strengthen the whole squad. We have only 19 outfield players. "Hopefully we can then get close to the top clubs. You need to spend money if you hope to have some success and that is the word I am getting at the moment. "If we get serious investment we have real chance of competing at a high level again. The team is doing well but we have a small squad and I hope to add to it." Sunday's defeat of Middlesbrough gave Everton their finest start to a season for 26 years. But Moyes insisted: "Our first target is to get to 40 points as that keeps you in the Premier League. If we do better than that, it would be great. "This has been a tough period for us but I am much more positive and optimistic about the way Everton are going than a few months ago. "That is down to self-belief, which is partly due to the players and the new investment to come. I can see Everton coming out of the doldrums." Alan Stubbs, meanwhile, believes a clear-the-air meeting instigated by Moyes this summer has transformed the atmosphere within the first-team squad and underpinned their remarkable early season form. Relations between manager and players suffered last term as Everton struggled to recreate the form of his first full season in charge. But Moyes asked his squad to air their grievances when they reported back for pre-season training. The defender said: "We had a decent chat in pre-season when we spoke about what went wrong, why things weren't going right and what needed changing. The manager organised it and just said to everyone to be honest and open about things. "To be fair to the gaffer he has listened to what was said. Things have changed and hopefully you can see that on the pitch now. "We had our say, it was mainly about little things that we felt could improve us. Everyone here welcomed the chance to be open about things."

Super subs
Sep 21 2004
Post Soapbox icLiverpool & Daily Post
Super subs
AS I was quick to be critical of the lack of use of substitutes last season I should congratulate David Moyes for better use of them this season. It keeps the people on the bench match fit by getting a chance and it also makes them feel more part of the team. Well done the fans as well for the great atmosphere - it makes the hairs on the back of your neck tingle when you hear Goodison like that.
Sean Childer, (via e-mail)
Third class
WOW, top three! It is something I always thought the team was capable of, but we still need a good cup run.
Darryl Curtis, Liverpool
So proud
WOKE UP this morning, a dull, cold, grey Monday morning, but was I down-hearted. Oh no. Third in the table! What a beautiful day. I'm not getting carried away because I know it's not going to be a breeze but I'm going to enjoy it for as long as possible. Well done Moyes and the lads, we are so proud of you all. Keep it going.
Joan Robinson, (via e-mail)
Lucky 13
TO ALL those predicting we would struggle: how do you like us now? All credit to the manager and players. There's a long way to go and it is just a good start but to have 13 points in the middle of September is a fabulous achievement.
Shiela Jones, Liverpool
Teach the refs
HAVING accessed and read the directive that Steve Bennett used to punish Tim Cahill, I have to say I'm concerned for any other unfortunate who crosses Mr Bennett's path. Why? The directive clearly refers to the removal of the jumper (as well as excessive celebrating). Cahill did not remove his shirt, he simply did what is regarded as "reconfigur-ing" the coverage of his shirt on his body. Why is this important or why should we be concerned about this bit of trivia? Simply because a player who is wearing long sleeves and who rolls his sleeves up during a match is guilty of the same crime and, in Mr Bennett's world, should be booked. It's time to instruct referees to apply the law, not their loose interpretation of it or the game will fall into a downward spiral driven by the varying moods of the officiating referee.
T Bernard, (via e-mail)

Weir form shows quality in squad
Sep 21 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES believes David Weir's return as a first team regular typifies the competition for places which has been the key to Everton's flying start to the season.Joseph Yobo has had to settle for a place on the bench for the club's last two matches after the Nigerian international's knee injury gave the 34-year-old Scot (left) the chance to start at Old Trafford.The Blues have not conceded a goal while Weir has been in the side, helping Everton gather 13 points from the opening six games to climb to third place in the Premiership.After starting the season with a squad of just 19 senior players, the form the side has shown has provided Moyes with an unexpected selection dilemma."Having Joseph Yobo on the bench shows that, despite the size of the squad, we have competition for places," said Moyes."We are in a good position because there are no real injuries at the moment."David Weir has come in and done great. He has been a really good centre-half for us in the last three games."Weir played just 12 times last season after sustaining a succession of niggling injuries.Moyes must now decide whether to stick with a winning side for tomorrow night's Carling Cup game at Bristol City.Duncan Ferguson, James McFadden, Joseph Yobo and Gary Naysmith are all pushing for starting places, giving Moyes the option of resting some of the players who gave their all in Sunday's win over Middlesbrough.That could mean a rest for striker Marcus Bent, who hobbled off with a bruised foot after netting the winner against Boro.Bent's first Goodison goal will not be taken off him. There were suggestions yesterday the dubious goals panel could look at the 48th minute effort because the striker's effort hit Franck Queudrue. But referee Howard Webb has given the goal to Bent.Moyes' mood has been further buoyed by the expected completion of an investment deal with the Fortress Sports Fund which is set to net the Blues £12.8m for 29.9 per cent of the club.There is also an option of a further £17.2m being ploughed into the coffers.Moyes added: "There will be finance available to strengthen the whole squad."Hopefully we can then get close to the top clubs. You need to spend money if you hope to have some success and that is the word I am getting at the moment."Meanwhile, the Blues are set to receive a further cash boost of £150,000 from Blackpool for defender Peter Clarke.He played in Saturday's game against Swindon and the Tangerines have now agreed a compensation fee for the 22-year-old, who came through Everton's youth ranks.

Martyn hails team effort
Sep 21 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
NIGEL MARTYN has praised the team ethic which has earned Everton three consecutive clean sheets and third place in the Premiership table.The Blues' keeper (right) has not had to pick the ball out of his own net since the 2-1 victory over West Brom last month.But he insists the credit should not just go to him or the defenders, it should go to the whole team."Keeping clean sheets is a team effort and something we have worked hard to achieve since the opening day of the season (against Arsenal), when we let in four," said the 38-year-old."We have worked hard on putting that right. I think togetherness and confidence has a lot to do with the results we've been getting recently. We have pushed out in the last few weeks, boosted by the results we have had."It is not just tactical improvements which have led to the Blues becoming so hard to break down.Martyn explains: "The spirit is excellent and it can be summed up by the last 15 minutes, when I think every player blocked the ball when Middlesbrough were coming forward."People were throwing their bodies in the way, clearing the ball with their head, their feet or anything else and it showed how hard we worked to preserve our lead."


End is in sight for Wright's year out
By Ian Doyle Daily Post Staff
Sep 22 2004
RICHARD WRIGHT is poised to make his first appearance in more than a year as Everton begin their quest for Cardiff this evening. The Goodison side travel to Bristol City for their second round encounter with manager David Moyes expected to rest current first-choice goalkeeper Nigel Martyn.
That would pave the way for Wright to make his first senior start since he was forced off through injury during the 2-2 draw at home to Newcastle United on September 13 last year. Although Moyes will take advantage of the opportunity to rest a number of other players, his assistant Alan Irvine is adamant Everton will not devalue the much-maligned knockout tournament. Irvine pointed to Middlesbrough's success in the competition last season as a catalyst for the Riversiders' good start to this campaign, with Boro also enjoying the added bonus of European football after lifting the Carling Cup. With Everton third in the Premiership table after their best start to a season in 26 years, Irvine also believes victory tonight is imperative to maintain the current feel-good factor around Goodison.
"The last thing we want now is a knock to the confidence we have at the moment," admitted the Scot. "We want to keep the momentum going and because of that this is an important game for us.
"We want to progress in a competition which could easily be won by a club like us and would then get us into Europe. "For just about every club out-side the ones in the Champions League, this is a great opportunity. "I would not devalue the competition. It is one which helped start the success Everton had in the 1980s when we got to the final in 1984. We didn't win the game, but it was the start of something special here. "There are so many reasons why this is an important game. We can't possibly look at it and say it doesn't matter and that we are concentrating on the Premiership.
"We have to make sure we do as well as we can in this tournament." Everton's only injury doubt is Marcus Bent, who has been suffering hamstring trouble since scoring the winner in the weekend victory over Middlesbrough. Tim Cahill will again be considered for selection after serving the one-match suspension handed to him for celebrating his winner at Manchester City 10 days ago.
Meanwhile, Everton have also agreed a compensation fee of £150,000 for 22-year-old youth product Peter Clarke, who moved to Blackpool on a month's loan last week and will now make the move permanent.

'New signing' starting to realise his potential
By Ian Doyle, Daily Post
Sep 22 2004
SQUAD improvement at no extra cost was the fantastical demand David Moyes was attempting to realise during the majority of a taxing summer for Everton. Yet while the Goodison manager was fishing manically into the bargain basement for the desired new faces, one of his previously unheralded charges was making the most of an unexpectedly profitable pre-season. And according to Alan Irvine, the emergence of Leon Osman has been akin to a new signing at precisely the right moment for both player and club. Not before time, it could be argued. Osman's talent has always been apparent but after a succession of early-career injuries and lengthy loan spells away from Everton, at 23 it seemed his chance may have passed. Then came an opening towards the tail-end of last season, and as players have slipped out of the exit and squad numbers dwindled so Osman has grasped his belated opportunity with both hands. It says something about the manner of his impressive progress in such a short space of time that the midfielder is among those Moyes is considering resting for tonight's Carling Cup second round encounter at Bristol City. "Leon has been a real bonus for us, without a doubt," said Irvine. "It's almost like a new signing. He was somebody who we hoped would come on, but the impact he has made is greater than maybe we or he anticipated. "I went and watched Leon play on loan for Derby and the year before when he was at Carlisle, and every time I saw him playing he was the best player. I had to keep on asking other people there whether I was being biased but I was getting feedback from people at the other clubs who were working with him and they said 'Yes, he's the best player'. "We felt that Leon was close to breaking through and he got a little taste of it towards the end of last season. Although the team wasn't doing well at that time, Leon was certainly keeping his head above water. "He then took another few steps forward during pre-season and he has had a great start to this season." Great is no exaggeration. After having marked his Premiership debut last May with a goal inside two minutes at Wolves, pre-season was equally fruitful and earned Osman a starting role against Arsenal on the opening day of the season.
He hasn't looked back, maintaining his first-team place throughout Everton's fine start to the campaign, the highlight coming at home to West Bromwich Albion where the midfielder's brace earned Everton victory and Osman his first goals at Goodison. Certainly his versatility has been an asset, with the youngster having been employed as both a conventional right winger and a support player to a lone forward. "He is a very talented player and has great technical ability, vision and awareness," added Irvine. "The one question mark people had about him was whether he could cope physically with the demands of the Premier League. "There was never any doubt about his courage because he is brave and tough, but he is not the biggest of lads and he makes up for that with his ability and understanding of the game. I was never worried about his physical attributes and attitude, but the worry was whether he could be quick enough and strong enough for the top flight. He has proven that he can." Irvine continued: "Leon is very strong mentally. What set him back initially was that he had a couple of very bad injuries early in his career and that delayed his progress. "It is pleasing he came back from that and it probably means he is more able to deal with things mentally." Everton will take a four-match unbeaten run into tonight's game at Ashton Gate, where they have twice emerged triumphant from cup games in the past 10 years. They were 1-0 victors in January 1995 on their way to lifting the FA Cup and also won 2-0 at the same venue four years later in the same competition. Both were tough encounters and Irvine is expecting more of the same against Brian Tinnion's men, who have hit nine goals in their last two home games although they were thrashed 4-1 at Bradford City at the weekend. "It'll be a hard game, particularly away from home," said Irvine. "I saw them at the weekend and while they lost 4-1 I thought the result was very unfair on them. They are a passing team, and have got some good experienced players and some good younger players. "Bristol City has always been a tough place to go to and I can't see our game being any different. They are a footballing team, and hopefully because of that it will be a good game to watch." Everton's good run has been forged on the back of three successive clean sheets, with the 4-1 opening day thrashing to Arsenal the only real blemish. "Two seasons ago, our run was based on being hard to beat and having players who could score some goals for us," said Irvine. "We've got to make sure we are again hard to beat, which is the start of any good run.
"You know that during the course of a game you will get chances and it is important that you take them. The foundation of that great run we had was six 1-0 wins in succession and we'd love that again. "We know we have made a great start but we know we could easily go on a poor run. We have to make the most of this confidence we have." Irvine also concurred with Alan Stubbs's view the sale of Wayne Rooney and subsequent comments on Everton's current standing in the game had engendered a fighting team spirit. Irvine said: "All the things that have been said about them and all that went on with Wayne as well has probably helped to galvanise the squad. "What people have forgotten is that Wayne developed playing with these players and we have been a bit disappointed at times in things that have been said. "Whenever Wayne played well it was always said to be down to Wayne Rooney's talent. When he didn't play so well it was seemingly because of the other lads around him. "That was a bit unfair. It wasn't Wayne's doing, it wasn't anything that came from anyone around him it was just the way people looked at the situation. That was unfair on the lads.
"What has happened is that it gives other people an opportunity to come in and do well, and that is what has happened." He's right. Just ask Leon Osman.

How Moyes almost managed Robins
By Alan Easel, Daily Post
Sep 22 2004
FOR David Moyes, Everton's Carling Cup visit to Bristol City represents a happy reunion. But if things had turned out differently, he may very well have been sat in the home dug-out this evening.
Moyes played more than 100 games for the Robins in the 1980s, and has revealed he was close to becoming their manager in 1999. He was willing to leave Preston North End to take over at Ashton Gate, but the job eventually went to Tony Pulis. "There are no regrets but I'd have liked the chance to work at City," said Moyes.. "My playing days there were among the happiest of my career.
"I'd retained such a feeling for the club that in my mind I was thinking towards taking the opportunity. "My interest was conveyed to the City board and I was ready to meet them when I got back from holiday. "It went as far as fixing up a hotel and a time when we could get together. I was even prepared to go there straight from the airport before driving home. "I was close to boarding my flight in America when I received a message to say they had decided to appoint Tony as manager.
"But there are no regrets because things worked out very well for me."

There's no pressure on us, insists Robins manager
By Alan Easel, Daily Post
Sep 22 2004
BRIAN TINNION insists the pressure is off his free-scoring Bristol City side when they face Everton in the second round of the Carling Cup tonight. The Robins have hit nine goals in their last two games at Ashton Gate and will be hoping they can condemn Everton to a second League Cup defeat in Bristol in the space of four years. The Toffees lost on penalties to Bristol Rovers in 2000 and despite them being third in the Premiership, Tinnion knows his players have an opportunity to cause an upset. "Everton have started the season excellently and are up in third place in the Premiership so we know it will be tough," he said.. "But the pressure is off us and we know we can go out there to enjoy it. "There are normally shocks at this stage of the cup competitions so it gives some of my players the chance to go out there and be heroes. There should be a big crowd and we are expecting a good night. "We want to pit our wits against the best players and we know they will be taking it seriously." Tinnion is expected to keep faith with the side which lost 4-1 at Bradford at the weekend.

Cup can be path to Europe
Sep 22 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
EUROPEAN qualification is now Everton's target for the season according to Alessandro Pistone.And if they can't secure it in the Premiership table, it will mean having to win a cup.Which is why the in-form side will not be taking Bristol City lightly in the club's opening Carling Cup outing tonight."The cup is not going to be a distraction," insists the Italian defender."We want to do well because for the fans, for the club and for us it is really important."What the club wants is European football. And if you can't achieve a European place in the league then you have to try through other ways. Winning a cup is one of those ways."It is always a possibility for a big club to trip up at this stage of the competition. We have to remember that they have played so many games already this season."They are playing three times a week every week, so it is a possibility. But we can't consider that prospect and we have to make sure we do as well in the cup as in the league."We won't be getting complacent."The Blues go to Ashton Gate on a high after climbing to third in the Premiership table thanks to Sunday's victory over Boro.But Pistone points out that good form is not always enough to do well in the cup."Sometimes you have to be lucky as well," he adds."Hopefully we can use this start in the league as a boost to try and do better and better."The chances of maintaining the current run of results has been helped by the return to form of an Everton defence, Pistone included.Sunday's win provided the Blues with their third consecutive clean sheet.After a shaky start to the season defensively, Pistone has been delighted. He continues: "It is a great sensation to be keeping clean sheets again. Two seasons ago we were winning many games 1-0."That can give you a great feeling and great encouragement to keep going because that means we are working well as a team."When you play so well in every part of the pitch it is a lot easier for defenders. Playing as a team is the key."Ironically, Pistone's place in the side could be under threat tonight if David Moyes decides to rotate his squad for the game.Gary Naysmith could be given a start, along with Joseph Yobo, James McFadden, Tim Cahill, Duncan Ferguson and Richard Wright.Wright is assured of his first start in more than a year after finding his route to the first team blocked by Nigel Martyn since returning from a long-term knee injury seven months ago.Marcus Bent is the only doubt after aggravating his hamstring during Sunday's win over Boro.

Stars can profit from Roon exit
Sep 22 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
ALAN IRVINE believes Everton's unsung heroes will get the credit they deserve now that Wayne Rooney is not part of the Goodison squad.The Blues travel to Bristol City for the second round of the Carling Cup buoyed by a flying start to the Premiership season which has seen them climb to third in the table.It is a run which has been achieved without Rooney. And it is a run which Irvine hopes will continue in the cup."We are obviously disappointed that Wayne has left because he is a top quality player and obviously we wish he was still here and part of our squad," said Irvine."But it proves that football is a team game. With everything that has gone on the players have decided to get themselves together to be strong as a team unit."All the things that have been said about them and all the things that have gone on with Wayne have probably helped to galvanise the squad."What people have forgotten is that Wayne developed playing with these lads and we were disappointed at times that whenever Wayne played well it was down to him, but whenever he didn't, it was because of the other lads. That was unfair."It wasn't Wayne's doing and it wasn't suggested by people around Wayne, it was just the way people looked on it."We certainly are not viewing it as a relief Wayne has gone."But it has now given other players an opportunity."After recording the club's best start to a season since 1978, it would be easy to be complacent going into tonight's Carling Cup tie against League One opposition, but Irvine insisted: "There is no chance of complacency."Bristol City will be really fired up for the game. But having said that, from what I have seen I would not call them an aggressive team. They are a good football team."Yes, we will have to compete with them because they will give everything, but we have got to make sure we understand they can pass the ball around, and if we are not in good positions they have players capable of hurting us. But from the other perspective, I am sure we will get an opportunity to play and we will have to make the most of that."We are looking at the possibility of making changes to the side. But the players that will come in, if we do make changes, will be first-team players."It certainly won't be a case of us playing a load of young lads. It will be players who have played in our first team many times and if that is the case it will be an opportunity for them."At this moment, when you are sitting on the sidelines watching the team doing very well you wonder when your opportunity is going to come. If this happens to be it for some lads then it is important they grab it."Everton have a good record in cup games at Ashton Gate, having won there in FA Cup ties in 1994-95 and 1998-99, while they beat City at Goodison Park in the same competition in 1968-69 and had a League Cup victory in Bristol in 1967-68.

Hibbo has true class
Sep 22 2004 Echo Letters

HAVING watched Everton's game against Middlesbrough I noticed Tony Hibbert is getting back to his best.I remember two young men signing their first big pro contracts with the media and Sky TV all watching Wayne Rooney.It seems that the true Blue that night and since has been Hibbo and not the other one.He's come through a personal confidence crisis to be better than ever.
Steve Allen,Harrogate
Message to old friend
IT'S excellent to see the Blues hitting the lofty heights. It's excellent too to see decreasing references to Little Lord Volde-mort (he who must not be named) in the better journalists' reports.I wonder if he or his advisers noted what his new-found Mancunian friends think of the inhabitants of Liverpool, as were recorded on United websites in the last few days.
Barry Black,West Derby
Moyes keeps me smiling
I SEEM to have a permanent smile after the start we've made thanks to David Moyes and the boys.Strange the season before last we played to the strengths of the whole team whereas last season we tried to play to the strengths of two who are no longer with us.Finally a tribute to a great manager and a fine man - Brian Clough. St Peter will have had an earful by now. Sadly missed.
John Hughes,

Bristol City 2 Everton 2, Everton win on pens (D,Post)
Sep 23 2004 By Andy Hunter at Ashton Gate, Daily Post
Aet, Everton win 4-3 on penalties
DEFYING expectations in the Premiership, living down to them in the Carling Cup, and yet joyous disbelief still clings to Everton today after they not only overcame lower league opposition in this competition but did so courtesy of a penalty shoot-out too.Wonders are not ceasing yet.David Moyes broke a 30-year shoot-out curse at Newcastle two seasons ago, only for it to return at the Riverside last season.And when Coca-Cola League One side Bristol City dragged them to another after an alarming collapse at the start of the second half last night not even their finest league opening for 26 years seemed able to protect them when Steve Watson became the second Everton player to miss from the spot.But misses by Leroy Lita and Danny Coles, who sent City's fifth thundering into the crossbar, gave Lee Carsley the chance to cover himself if not in glory, then the eternal relief and gratitude of his team-mates as they secured a third round place at home to either Leicester or Preston.Resilience and confidence had been instrumental in Everton's morale-boosting rise up the Premier League and both were conspicuous by their absence at Ashton Gate.Just how much self-belief suffered from last night's scare will only be revealed at Portsmouth on Sunday, with James McFadden's 84th-minute penalty miss, Tim Cahill's own goal and Gary Naysmith's torrid return likely to have an effect on at least three players.But the entire team need to rediscover its tenacity immediately after showing what even the slightest lapse in concentration can lead to as a comfortable two-goal lead disappeared inside four minutes against City, who almost joined the likes of rivals Rovers, Millwall, York and Oxford on Everton's endless League Cup Hall of Shame.Duncan Ferguson and Nick Chadwick, goalscorers at the same stage last year against Stockport, gave the visitors a first-half lead a side boasting three successive clean sheets and renewed vigour should never have lost.And while Bristol were ultimately indebted to the inspired Steve Phillips for keeping them in the tie, the City keeper producing several sublime stops at the end of normal time and extra-time, it was still galling for Moyes that his side's revival should be rudely checked in this fashion.Phillips was an immovable object as the game progressed, especially so when Jamie Smith tripped McFadden on the edge of the area with just six minutes remaining.It was a straightforward decision but astonishing to see the Scot, desperate for his first Everton goal and whose ebbing confidence was evident in his one-onone against Middlesbrough's Mark Schwarzer on Sunday, step forward to take it.Almost inevitably Phillips beat out the Scot's spot-kick down the middle, and then excelled himself to tip McFadden's headed rebound over.From the resulting corner Joseph Yobo thought he had won the game when he sent a powerful header goalwards only for Phillips to save again.Then, when he was beaten by Campbell's 91st-minute header, the referee awarded a foul for a push on City's man of the moment.Moyes may have the smallest squad in the Premiership and be desperate to lead Everton to a domestic cup final but still made six changes to the side that beat Middlesbrough on Sunday.Only Marcus Bent was unavailable through injury, a slight hamstring strain the consequence of his tireless efforts as a lone striker for the last three games, and with no other striker able to lead the line with both power and pace at his disposal the Everton manager had to abandon the successful 4-5-1 formation of recent weeks in favour of 4-4-2.Ferguson lacks the mobility to lead the line alone but for the first half at least he gave the City defence a constant aerial problem with James McFadden a willing support.And the new-look strikeforce repaid Moyes's faith with instrumental roles in Everton's 29th-minute opener.Ferguson instigated the move by feeding the lively Leon Osman on the left, and having cut inside he attempted a neat one-two with McFadden, but was thwarted by the outstretched arm of City centre-half Danny Coles.Referee Peter Crossley had no hesitation pointing to the spot, and the elder of the Scottish strikeforce stepped forward to stroke a powerful low penalty into Steve Phil-lips's right hand corner.Ferguson's successful spot-kick came at an opportune time for the visitors, who had just begun to lose the dominance they displayed in the opening exchanges.Moyes's men had come close to taking the lead after only seven minutes when Naysmith was ludicrously booked and ordered to retake a free-kick after striking his first attempt before the whistle.From the second attempt, this time taken by Ferguson, McFadden turned superbly on the right of the area and crossed low for Steve Watson to beat Phillips with a back-heel flick only for his effort to be cleared off the line.Bristol, 15th in the Coca-Cola League One (or for traditionalists, the third division), responded well to the early pressure although their opportunities were all restricted to testing Richard Wright from distance on his first start for a year, with Luke Wilk-shire closest when his effort deflected off Lee Carsley and onto the bar.The biggest setback for Everton in the first half was a groin injury that brought an early end to the impressive Osman's night, but even that only produced the immediate positive of a second goal as the visitors looked bound for round three.Osman's replacement, Nick Chadwick, was on the field less than three minutes when he demonstrated his unerring knack of being in the right place at the right time to double Everton's lead with his first touch, not just of the game, but of the season.Naysmith floated an inviting free-kick from the left into the area and the substitute striker stole in front of his marker to plant a fine header beyond the exposed Phillips.Game over? Not when it concerns Everton and the League Cup in any guise it takes.Bristol manager Brian Tinnion, whose FA Cup winner at Anfield in 1994 signalled the end of Graeme Souness's reign at Liverpool, clearly ordered his men to attack the Everton left from the start of the second half.With Naysmith on a booking and Osman's injury disrupting the visitors's formation it was an understandable ploy, but even Tinnion could not have expected the immediate, stunning success that brought his team level within eight minutes of the restart.Scott Murray was first to profit on the right when he found space in the 49th minute and drilled a wonderful cross into the six-yard box. It was a centre players hate to defend, and so it proved as Cahill attempted to clear and turned the ball into his own net off the underside of the bar.Worse was to come when Bristol, suddenly revitalised, drew level with their next attack four minutes later.Again Naysmith was found wanting as Christian Roberts brushed past him inside the area and crossed for strike partner Leroy Lita to pounce from an almost identical position as Cahill's unfortunate slice.Joseph Yobo was forced to dive full length to prevent Roberts adding a third when Wilkshire again got to the right-hand byline unopposed as Bristol began to resemble a third-placed team in the Premiership.That was the final straw for Moyes, who replaced Naysmith with Alessandro Pistone, Ferguson with Kevin Campbell, and saw his side finally reassert themselves to finish the game stronger.Campbell almost copied Chadwick and scored with his first touch when he chipped Phillips from 20 yards only for the keeper to recover with a finger-tip save in the 81st minute.For Phillips, that was just the start of a belated masterclass that foiled Everton at every turn.In extra-time he denied Alan Stubbs with another flying save at his back post, while Wright was called on to tip Lita's free-kick over in the dying moments.Only the City keeper triumphed in the shoot-out but not his team as Cahill, Stubbs, Campbell and Carsley produced fine spot-kicks to end a night of nerves on an unlikely high.
BRISTOL CITY: Phillips, Smith (Miller, 120), Butler, Coles, Hill, Murray, Doherty, Orr, Wilkshire (Heffernan, 100), Lita, Roberts (Fortune, 100). Subs: Gillespie, Brown.
BOOKING: Wilkshire (foul).
EVERTON: Wright, Hibbert, Stubbs, Yobo, Naysmith (Pistone, 69), Watson, Cahill, Osman (Chadwick, 42), Carsley, McFadden, Ferguson (Campbell, 80). Subs: Weir, Turner.
BOOKINGS: Naysmith (ungentlemanly conduct), Yobo, Chadwick (fouls).
REFEREE: P Crossley (Kent)
ATT: 15,264
NEXT GAME: Portsmouth v Everton, Premiership, Sunday 4.05pm

I never doubted we'd get through
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Sep 23 2004
DAVID MOYES insisted he had no doubt Everton would see off Bristol City's Carling Cup recovery last night despite being taken to a penalty shoot-out by the Coca-Cola League One side. Everton looked set for a place in round three when Duncan Ferguson and substitute Nick Chadwick gave them a comfortable first half lead at Ashton Gate. But two goals in four minutes at the start of the second half, plus an inspired performance by City keeper Steve Phillips, took the visitors to a nervous finale after James McFadden missed an 84th-minute penalty. But after Leroy Lita and Danny Coles missed in the penalty shoot-out, Lee Carsley stepped forward and booked Everton a third round home tie against either Leicester or Moyes's former club Preston with his side's final spot-kick. And Moyes said: "Our job was to come here and get through and that is what we have done so we have just got to be pleased we are through. I was always confident we would. "It was a hard game and all credit to Bristol who did well in the second half and made the game extremely difficult for us. "Obviously I was disappointed that we lost a two-goal lead. We should have been able to see that out comfortably but Bristol did well to get back into it and played some good football afterwards. "But, as I say, we did what we had to do. We are disappointed to have allowed them to get back to 2-2 but even so we could have won by four by the end of normal time. Their keeper made some smashing saves and we missed more chances that we really should have taken. "We should have wrapped the game up long before it went to a penalty shoot-out." Moyes, who made six changes to the side that beat Middlesbrough on Sunday, revealed Carsley was down to take penalties in normal time after Duncan Ferguson's withdrawal. But he said: "When people are confident and want to take a penalty then you can't go and blame them if they miss. Lots of people miss penalties. "Lee Carsley was down to take them after Duncan went off and took his penalty very well to win the game at the end, he tells me he's never missed one, but James wanted to take it and felt confident about doing so." The Everton manager added: "We decided to change things around a bit to bring players up to speed and we got what we wanted in the end. "Thomas Gravesen and Kevin Kilbane have both played a lot of internationals recently and Marcus had a slight hamstring strain." Leon Osman, meanwhile, suffered a groin strain last night, although the length of his absence will not be known until a medical later today.

Tinnion proud of his battling Robins
By Paul Walker, Daily Post
Sep 23 2004
BRISTOL City manager Brian Tinnion claimed he was "hugely proud" of his side after their Carling Cup shoot-out defeat by a relieved Everton. City had clawed back from two down to take the game into extra time, and had even led in the shoot-out before Everton recovered their poise and Lee Carsley netted the decisive spot-kick. But Tinnion was delighted with his side's display, saying: "When we were two down at the break I just told them to keep believing because they could get back into the game. "And that is what they did. We carved them open time and time again and we were the better side. There was a long spell when they just couldn't handle us. "We had the desire to get back into the game and I am hugely proud of them because of the way they came back like that. Everton are third in the Premiership and you could not tell the difference at times."

Manager may get Preston return
By David Prior Daily Post Staff
Sep 23 2004
DAVID MOYES could face another of his old clubs in the third round of the Carling Cup. After last night scraping past Bristol City, Moyes' employers back in the 1980s, Everton could now face a home tie against Preston, whom the Scot played for and went on to manage from 1998 until taking over at Goodison in 2002. First though the Deepdale side must get past Leicester City when their delayed second-round match is played on October 4. Liverpool, meanwhile, face a difficult trip to Millwall, with Dennis Wise, a survivor from Wimbledon's 1988 FA Cup triumph against the Anfield men, no doubt likely to relish another high-profile tie. Elswhere, Middlesbrough will begin their defence of the Cup against Coventry City. Manchester City landed one of five all-Premiership ties as they were drawn at home to Arsenal, with Bolton facing a home clash against Tottenham. The full draw is: Portsmouth v Leeds, Chelsea v West Ham, Middlesbrough v Coventry, Doncaster v Notts Forest, Newcastle v Norwich, Millwall v LIVERPOOL, Burnley v Aston Villa, Southampton v Colchester, Sheff United v Watford, EVERTON v Leicester/Preston, Charlton v Crystal Palace, Bolton v Tottenham, Bournemouth v Cardiff, Man City v Arsenal, Birmingham v Fulham, Crewe v Man Utd.

Bingham's Blues put end to Clough reign
Post Past by Philip J Redmond Everton Supporter, Daily Post
Sep 23 2004
THE sad death of Brian Clough this week brought back memories of a truly great career.
Ol Big 'Ead wasn't everyone's cup of tea - indeed he made many enemies in this city after his ill-judged and inaccurate comments about the Hillsborough disaster - but his record as a manager marks him down as a true great. In today's money-governed football world, it seems impossible that somebody could take struggling teams like Derby and Nottingham Forest and not only make them champions, but in Forest's case also champions of Europe. However, Clough's career wasn't all champagne and trophies, indeed 30 years ago he was going through a rough patch at Leeds and was facing the sack after 44 days, when Billy Bing-ham's Everton edged out the champions in a Good-ison thriller. In hindsight, Clough should never have gone to Leeds after Don Revie had taken the England job. He'd openly been critical of Revie's great side, saying they'd been succesful through cheating.
Bingham's Everton, meanwhile, were going well. A 42,000 gate and the Match Of The Day cameras were present and they saw Steve Seargeant score his one and only Everton goal with a long-range rive that Scotland goalkeeper David Harvey made a mess of. It was end-toend stuff and Alan Clarke quickly headed the champions level. By half-time though Everton were back in front after Mike Lyons headed a beauty. The game continued to ebb and flow after the break and Dave Clements scrambled a third for Everton before a fine individual goal by Terry Yorath made everybody sweat.
Everton moved into the top three, while champions Leeds continued to languish in the bottom half. By the following Saturday, Brian Clough's Leeds career was over and his personal standing was at its lowest point. However, Cloughie would be back before the decade was out.

Bristol City 2 Everton 2, Everton win on pens (Echo)
Sep 23 2004 By Scott Mcleod At Ashton Gate, Liverpool Echo
Aet, Everton win 4-3 on penalties
HOW many times in the last decade have Everton's hopes of a decent cup run been obliterated by self-destructive performances against inferior opposition?Oxford, Shrewsbury, Bristol Rovers, Port Vale, York, Tranmere . . . the names just trip off the tongue.And last night Bristol City went agonisingly close to joining the list.It took a penalty shoot-out victory to save Everton's blushes after the Blues had seen a 2-0 half-time lead disinte-grate in the space of eight second-half minutes.A deflected Scott Murray cross and a close-range strike from Leroy Lita proved the catalyst for an hour of doubt, worry and anxiety.The Blues finally used their get out of jail free card, securing victory in the penalty shoot-out. But now they must make sure they heed the lessons provided by this game.At half-time, defeat was inconceivable. But Everton were given a taste of their own medicine from a Robins side which just wouldn't lie down.Brian Tinnion's men showed heart, guile and tenacity to get back into the game.The same qualities have helped Everton overcome the odds to climb to third in the Premiership. And whatever competition the side enters, spirit must be present.Last night proved that beyond any doubt.Bristol really provided the Blues with a scare. By the 53rd minute, Duncan Ferguson's first-half penalty and Nick Chadwick's 44th-minute header two minutes after coming on as a sub had been cancelled out.And after clawing their way back into the game, it was a stunning performance from Bristol goalkeeper Steve Phillips which ensured David Moyes' men were made to sweat for their passage into the third round.He produced a string of fine saves, including a double to deny James McFadden following an 84th-minute penalty.It was Lee Carsley's emphatic penalty which secured a 4-3 shoot-out victory after two hours of deadlock.That ensured the best team on the night won.But that alone should not satisfy a Premiership side in a cup tie against Coca-Cola League One opposition. This game should have been won convincingly long before the end, despite a performance well short of what we have come to expect from the side this season.The start of the second half was the prime example. The Blues dared to think the result was in the bag after going two up. Bristol had other ideas, drawing level. Then Phillips came into his own.Chadwick went agonisingly close in the 65th minute, sending a shot from the tightest of angles rolling across the face of the goal with the goalkeeper beaten.The arrival of Kevin Campbell for Ferguson in the 81st minute had a dramatic impact.Within seconds he forced Phillips into a stunning tip over with a cheeky lob from 18 yards.It was not the last of the keeper's excellent stops.The Blues were given the perfect opportunity to secure victory six minutes from time when a foul by Jamie Smith on McFadden provided a penalty kick.McFadden stepped up ahead of number one choice Carsley to take it. Phillips was equal to it.Adding insult to injury, the keeper managed to tip McFadden's headed rebound over the crossbar.Then a Kevin Campbell header was ruled out for a foul on the keeper as extra-time beckoned.That bonus 30 minutes provided Phillips with further opportunities to show what he could do.He parried a Chadwick drive and produced a stunning one-handed stop to divert Stubbs' back-post header.But when the shoot-out materialised and individual character was the key it was the visitors who produced the goods. And this time Phillips couldn't save the day.He may have saved Steve Watson's opening effort, but he didn't get close to the others.Tim Cahill converted, so did Stubbs and Kevin Campbell, before Danny Coles blasted against the bar to give Carsley the chance to ensure the better side won.Justice was done, but the sight of the Premiership players modestly applauding the impressive travelling contingent, aware that they had failed to live up to expectations, told its own story.But if this close call proves a timely lesson for David Moyes' men, it could prove a watershed game in the club's season.
BRISTOL CITY (4-4-2): Phillips; Smith (Miller 115), Coles, Butler, Hill; Murray, Doherty, Orr, Wilkshire (Fortune 101); Roberts (Heffernan 101), Lita. Not used: Gillespie, Brown.
EVERTON (4-4-2): Wright; Hibbert, Stubbs, Yobo, Naysmith (Pistone 69); Watson, Cahill, Carsley, Osman (Chadwick 42); Ferguson (Camp-bell 80), McFadden. Not used: Turner, Weir.
ATT: 15,264.
REFEREE: Peter Crossley
BOOKINGS: Wilkshire; Naysmith, Yobo
PENALTY SHOOT-OUT: Murray scored 1-0, Watson saved 1-0, Lita missed 1-0, Cahill scored 1-1, Heffernan scored 2-1, Stubbs scored 2-2, Miller scored 3-2, Campbell scored 3-3, Coles hit bar 3-3, Carsley scored 3-4.
STAR MAN: Steve Watson. Never stopped running and didn't deserve to have shoot-out penalty saved.

Wright: Cup offers first team lifeline
Sep 23 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
RICHARD Wright intends to use this season's Carling Cup as a springboard to reclaim his position as Everton's number one keeper.The 26-year-old (right) made his first senior start for more than 12 months in last night's second round penalty shoot-out victory at Bristol City.And he was thankful for the penalty-taking prowess of his teammates for ensuring he will get another chance to shine in the third round.The former England international accepts that Nigel Martyn will return to the side for the trip to Portsmouth on Sunday.But after spending the last six months waiting for a first-team chance after recovering from a serious knee injury, Wright is eager to prove in the Carling Cup that he is ready to steal the place back permanently."It has been frustrating but I will just keep working hard and if I can keep performing in these one off games then I can give myself an opportunity," he said."It was nice to be back after 12 months back. Anybody who hasn't played for a while knows they need something to give them that little bit of confidence."But I have been working hard with Chris Woods and pushing Nigel has hard as I can and I have confidence in my own ability."It was very disappointing from my point of view to concede two."Fortunately, we had some great penalty takers and we were the better team."Despite the rivalry for the first-team place, Wright and Martyn are close friends.And the former Arsenal man has been delighted to see the 38-year-old performing so well since coming into the squad from Leeds last September.He added: "It has been a frustrating time, but Nigel has been playing well and if the roles were reversed I am sure he would support me in the way I have supported him."But I am still pushing him as hard as I can."David Moyes was made to sweat for victory at his former club last night, with the Blues progressing to the third round and the prospect of a home tie against Leicester or Preston following a 4-3 win on penalties.The game had ended 2-2 after extra time.Duncan Ferguson's penalty and Nick Chadwick, with his first goal of the season, had given Everton a half time lead.But a Tim Cahill own goal and a close range effort from Leroy Lita levelled the scores early in the second half. James McFadden had a penalty saved minutes before the end and the game went to penalties.Meanwhile, Gary Naysmith's representatives have opened negotiations with Everton over a new deal for the left-back.The 25-year-old defender, whose current deal runs out at the end of the season, is constantly being linked with the Old Firm but is eager to remain on Merseyside.

Bring on Preston roars Moyes
Sep 23 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES last night declared "Bring on Preston!" after the draw for the third round of the Carling Cup handed Everton a potential clash with another of his former clubs.Everton were taken to the wire by one of Moyes' old teams, Bristol City, in the second round last night, the Toffees eventually emerging 4-3 on penalties at Ashton Gate.Now they could face a home clash with the club Moyes left for Goodison Park, Preston, after they were paired with the Deep-dale outfit or Leicester City in the next round.Moyes said: "Now it could be me facing another of my old clubs. I was a player at Bristol City and now we could face Preston, the first club I managed, if they can get past Leicester."I hope they do. I like all my old clubs to be successful and it would be great to meet them in the next round," Moyes added..Bournemouth, who pulled off a shock win over Premiership Blackburn after a penalty shoot-out last night, will take on Cardiff at Dean Court.Middlesbrough begin their defence of the trophy against Coventry at the Riverside Stadium.Bolton, who Steve McClaren's side beat to win the trophy last February, will enter the competition with a home tie. Bolton landed one of five all-Premiership ties as they were drawn at home to Tottenham, 6-0 winners over Oldham Athletic last night.

Blues star Unitt won it for England
Sep 23 2004 Liverpool Echo
RACHEL UNITT'S first international goal gave below-par England their second win in five days against Holland in Tuitjenhorn.Everton left-back Unitt, winning her 36th cap, hit the only goal of the game in the 67th minute as England recovered from a poor first half to claim their seventh victory in 10 games against the Dutch, following Saturday's 2-1 success in Heerhugowaard.Unitt hit the only goal of the game after cutting in from the left and drilling a low shot from 25 yards which sneaked inside the far post.

The Jury
Sep 23 2004 Liverpool Echo
ARGUABLY the main beneficiary of David Moyes' summer transfer frustration was Leon Osman, and he was again outstanding against Middlesborough. So far this season he has proved to be a committed, creative influence and a goalscoring threat. Recent results have ensured that, for more optimistic Blues, the fortunes of Arsenal and Chelsea are currently of more interest than Crystal Palace and Norwich. Despite the nervy nature of the victory at Bristol City last night, it was good to progress while providing valuable match practice for the likes of Wright, Chadwick and McFadden. Looking to the future, the possibility of an imminent takeover, providing further funds to strengthen the squad, should be cautiously welcomed. However, a change of ownership has to produce a more professional, business-orientated club if we are to seriously challenge at the right end of league.
THE jury is still out on James McFadden and the young Scot's confidence must be very low. In the starting line up on the opening day, he was subbed at half time and we didn't see him again until Sunday's excellent win against Middlesbrough. He had a chance in that game to get his first goal and lift that particular weight off his shoulders but he had a long time to think about what he was going to do and in the end he failed to do anything. Last night against Bristol City he had another fantastic opportunity but a very poor penalty was well saved by the keeper McFadden has a lot of potential but then so did John Oster. There is no doubting his skill, so let's hope Moyes can work his magic and help him make the step up to Premiership standard.
SO far this season, every week has got better and we have nothing to fear going into the Portsmouth game. Everton are starting to have the belief we had two years ago.Last night's game at Bristol was a different test and at first it was going rather well. But when we come up against lower league sides who work as hard as we do, we struggle to find direction and enough creativity to get us through. Although the league is our main priority this season, it would be nice to have a good cup run. The Investment from Fortress Sports Fund should be completed soon, and we need to get big name players who would be proud to wear the Royal Blue of Everton. We need to act on the very first day of the transfer window. Nearly all of Moyes' transfers have been a success, it will be good to see what he wants come January.
MERELY surprising the critics will never satisfy David Moyes. It is evident that he craves the day when nobody raises an eyebrow about Everton sitting proudly in the upper reaches of the Premiership. While nobody can seriously contemplate us staying in a Champions League position for much longer, it is tantalizing to consider that, with wise investment, we may be witnessing a glimpse of a future that is brighter than anything we have endured over the past fifteen years. Far too optimistic an outlook for Everton surely? Well yes, probably, but you've got to make the most of it. The current run does feel similar to that of a couple of years ago, even down to a penalty shootout victory in the League Cup. Whilst it was not acceptable to lose a two goal lead against Bristol City, the final out-come will keep confidence in the camp high.

Scot still confident of ending goal drought
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Sep 24 2004
JAMES McFADDEN insists his confidence has not been undermined by a year-long Goodison goal drought and Wednesday's missed penalty at Bristol City. The Scottish international has yet to open his account for Everton following last August's £1.25million move from Mother-well, where he scored 32 goals in 70 appearances for the Fir Park club. McFadden had a glorious opportunity to score his first Everton goal in the Carling Cup when he won and took an 84th-minute penalty at Ashton Gate. But despite being foiled twice by City keeper Steve Phillips, McFadden - who assumed the spot-kick duties from Lee Carsley - is prepared to take one again and insists it is only a matter of time before he announces himself on the Premiership stage McFadden said: "I have been here a year now and it doesn't look like it is going to come after I missed a penalty and also a good chance but hopefully it won't be long. "It was a poor attempt for me and all credit to the goalkeeper, he has guessed the right way and he's saved it but that happens. "I have a good record with penalties. Up until that one there I had scored my last nine. "Hopefully if I get another chance then I will take it. It was a tough night and while I am ready to take another penalty I was just glad I wasn't called upon to hit another one in the shoot-out." Carsley's shoot-out winner has given Everton a third round home tie against either Leicester or Preston, who play their delayed second round match on October 4, after losing a two-goal lead against City. McFadden added: "In the end we made it very hard for ourselves and I was one of the culprits but we got the result we came for. "It was 2-0 and we were creating chances, but you are not going to get an easy game when you play lower league opposition." Everton, meanwhile, are not currently in the queue to sign John Hartson on a free transfer from Celtic when his contract expires at the end of this season. Hartson's agent, Jonathan Barnett, claims five Premiership clubs want the Welsh international if the Scottish champions do not open negotiations on a new deal soon. "There are a lot of clubs who have expressed an interest in John and Blackburn would be one of five in the Premiership we know who would want to sign him," said Barnett. But Everton are not among that list as David Moyes plans a £5m move for Southampton striker James Beattie in January. Moyes made a club record £6.5m bid for Beat-tie the day Wayne Rooney handed in his transfer request but refused to meet Rupert Lowe's £8m asking price. However, with just 18 months remaining on Beattie's contract in January, Everton hope to reach a compromise with the south coast club when the transfer window reopens.

Wright is still among the best in England
By Paul Walker, Daily Post
Sep 24 2004
RICHARD WRIGHT returned from the football wilderness to be told by manager David Moyes that he is still among the best goalkeepers in England. Everton and England's forgotten man played his first senior match in just over a year when the Merseysiders clawed their way through a penalty shoot-out at Bristol City to reach the Carling Cup third round. It has been a long, painful wait for Wright, who has spent 12 months sitting on the bench watching veteran Nigel Martyn produce top-quality performances to hold down the Everton number one spot. But Wright was given his chance by Moyes at Ashton Gate on Wednesday and reminded everyone of his ability with an assured performance in a highlycharged cup tie and is still "one of the best around" according to Moyes.

With the current worries about the England goalkeeping position and David James' recent woes,, Wright would be forgiven for feeling frustrated that he has been unable - until now - to show his credentials. Martyn will almost certainly return at Portsmouth on Sunday, but for Wright there was a shaft of light at Bristol City after a year in the gloom. And Moyes offered more encouragement, saying: "Richard looked very sound, he dealt with everything comfortably and he's a terrific goalkeeper. "I still think he is certainly in the top three or four England goal-keepers and should be around most squads. "And that would be the case had he been playing regularly. But Nigel Martyn's form has kept him out and that has caused him a problem because Richard hasn't been playing at the top level to get noticed." Wright, bought by Everton from Arsenal for £3.5million in July 2002, had two England caps when he arrived at Goodison Park with every intention of stepping from the Gunners' bench into the limelight. But in September last year, after a domestic accident upset his pre-season, he also suffered a knee injury which prompted Moyes to sign Martyn from Leeds, initially as cover. The 38-year-old has been arguably Everton's best player in the time he has been on Merseyside, which even prompted the prospect of an England return himself, if he had been prepared to accept a place on the bench behind James. But the Cornish-born star is reluctant to get involved with England at this stage of his career just as cover and prefers to leave the national side to younger men. One would be Wright if only he could oust Martyn from the first team long enough to impress Sven-Goran Eriksson. It has been bitterly frustrating for Wright, but Moyes has nothing but praise for the 26 year-old. He said: "He has conducted himself fine, he has worked really hard all the time and understands the situation. "His opportunity will come in time. I haven't had to do much encouraging with him, he is a good pro and understands the situation. There have been a few conversations, but not a lot. "The problem came when he was injured last season and we had to get another goalkeeper in. That was Nigel and his form has kept Richard out." Wright certainly did his bit to extend Everton's unbeaten run to five games and set up a home third-round tie with either Preston or Leicester next month. And Moyes has no doubts who he would like to welcome to Goodison, having been Preston's manager before his switch to Everton. Having eliminated Bristol City - where he spent two years as a player - Moyes said: "It looks like I'm getting the chance to face all my old clubs! "And obviously I would like it to be Preston who get through to face us, I like all my old clubs to do well."

'New Everton' must show City was blip
By Mark O'Brien Everton supporter, Daily Post
wins galore, triumphant penalty shoot-outs and the supporters encouraging struggling players instead of lambasting them. This really does feel like 'New Everton'. Some old, bad habits resurfaced during the second half at Ashton Gate on Wednesday but that slackness and lack of concentration aside, it's been a great week for the Blues as they continue their remarkably positive start to the season. The result against Middlesbrough certainly made a mockery of Steve McClaren's big summer spending spree as Marcus Bent upstaged the expensive, moody duo of Viduka and Hasselbaink. It was the sort of tireless team performance that is the hallmark of David Moyes's sides, but Bent deserves special mention for grabbing the crucial goal after missing a couple of far easier chances. Hopefully James McFadden will take note and work his way through the spell of poor form that he is enduring. The failed attempt at rounding Mark Schwarzer was indicative of his lost confidence, and worse was to come at Ashton Gate with that penalty miss near the death. Give him his due though: he wanted to take responsibility for the spot-kick when he could have easily left it for a team-mate. The Everton fans behind the goal also deserve some credit too, for applauding and shouting "head up" when he came over to take a corner, when in years gone by they might not have been so charitable. The sense of 'all for one, one for all' that the manager called for at the start of the season seems to have permeated the terraces as well as the dressing room. And long may that continue. With a squad as small as ours there is no doubt that a player as versatile as McFadden could play a crucial role in our season, so hopefully he can stay strong and start to show us the ability that made him such an idol north of the border and that we saw in glimpses when he first arrived at Goodison last year. A lot of people are just waiting for the wheels to fall off 'New Everton' but hopefully the indifferent display at Bristol City was just an aberration and we'll be back to our best on Sunday. Fratton Park is famously the only away ground where we won last season, so it would be nice if we could take another three points this time around and continue our twopronged push for Europe.

Get Parker
Post Soapbox, Icliverpool & Daily Post
Sep 24 2004
Get Parker
AS WELL as Dunc it's time to lose Campbell too. Gravesen is revelling in the current set-up so he may yet sign - but while hoping for the best we need to plan for the worst, so maybe a cheeky bid for Scott Parker? Time also to release Naysmith and Pistone and buy replacements for both Weir and Stubbs. It's a big job but Moyes looks well able for it.
Dave O'Neill, Oxton
Naysmith out
GARY NAYSMITH'S performance at Bristol highlights that signing a left-back should be our priority in January. He's decent going forward but defensively he's poor, Pistone's not that much better either. Also a striker should be signed as apart from Bent it looks like most of our goals are going to come from midfield.
Chris Sillett, Liverpool
Keep it up
IT'S the result that counts. Well done Blues - let's hope form, confidence and freedom from injuries stays a while longer. Pompey won't be any walkover but they offer nothing to fear either.
Helen Davies, Warrington
Lie-down needed
THIRD in the Premiership, a squad smaller than Alex Fergusson's charisma and now we're winning penalty shoot-outs. I'm off for a lie-down.
Amby Henderson (via e-mail)
Back Lee
IT'S funny how at most games there are always a few boo-boys on Lee Carsley's back. They don't respect the fact that when the team is up he seems to respond by doing the running of two men, covering at the back and stopping the flow of the opposition. So well done to him for stepping up to the brink on Wednesday and deciding the penalties.
Al Hough, Liverpool

Blues boss furious over penalty rule
Sep 24 2004 Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES has hit out at abuse of the penalty shoot-out rule he helped introduce.The Goodison chief (right) was angered by the decision of Bristol City security bosses to insist on Wednesday night's spot-kick decider taking place at the home fans end.A similar decision was taken by Middlesbrough officials before Everton's exit from last season's competition at the Riverside.Moyes believes clubs are taking advantage of the law change which allows security staff to veto the usual toss of a coin procedure which normally decides which end is used.That law was introduced after a controversial shoot-out in the 2001 play off semi final between Preston and Birmingham when Moyes was in charge at Deepdale.That incident brought to a head concerns over crowd behaviour and fair play.Said Moyes today: "The rule was supposed to be brought in so the toss of the coin still took place but that security officers could step in if it was not safe at one end."This is not sour grapes because we won but I was not happy with the situation on Wednesday."The decision was made prior to the game for security reasons but if Bristol have security issues with 15,000 people in the ground, what chance have they got of getting in the Premier League?"I was angry there was no toss of a coin because our fans paid the same money to go to the game."Added the Blues boss: "I was originally involved in the rule change, but I am not happy with the way it is now being used." Everton still managed to win the shoot-out 4-3 - Lee Carsley (left) firing home the decisive spot kick - to maintain their unbeaten run going into Sunday's Premiership trip to Portsmouth.Moyes could be without midfielder Leon Osman, along with Tony Hibbert and Tim Cahill, because of knocks picked up at Ashton Gate.Osman's groin strain makes him the biggest doubt and he is rated only 50-50.Meanwhile, forward James McFadden insists his confidence has not been hit by the penalty miss in normal time on Wednesday, which has left him still waiting for his first competitive Everton goal.He said: "I have been here a year now and it doesn't look like it is going to come after I missed the penalty and also a good chance. But hopefully it won't be long."I have a good record with penalties. Up until that one I had scored my last nine. If I get another chance then I will take it," McFadden added.

Osman's vital to next 10 seasons
Sep 24 2004 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DAVID UNSWORTH paid tribute today to the confidence trick which has turned Leon Osman from a promising Premiership youngster into an integral Everton star.And he believes the Blues should tie the 23-year-old (right) down for the rest of his career.Unsworth will take his new Portsmouth side into action against first love Everton on Sunday. And he admits Osman is a player Pompey will ignore at their peril."I saw Everton last week and Ossie looked a different player to me. He was so confident," said Unsworth. "He hasn't just taken one giant stride since last season, he's taken a couple."Confidence can make a huge difference to a footballer. You can have all the ability in the world, but without the confidence to put that ability into practice, you won't be the same player."There's no doubt Ossie can play, and he seems to have found a role in the system Everton are using now where he can excel."I've read that the club is talking about offering him a new contract. They should sign him up for the next 10 years because he's going to be top-class."Unsworth had a close-up view of that ability last weekend, when he returned to Goodison Park for Everton's clash with Middlesbrough."I wouldn't say I've been surprised by the lads' start," he explained. "I fully expected them to get together as a group of players and say 'Come on. What happened at the end of last season can't happen again.'"It wasn't just the media pundits who expected us to get relegated, a lot of fans I spoke to were very concerned before a ball had even been kicked."I went to the match against Middlesbrough. We'd played at Blackburn on the Saturday and were playing Tranmere on Tuesday, so we stayed up in the north-west."I wanted to go on the Gwladys Street but all the tickets had been sold so I sat in the Main Stand instead and I enjoyed what I saw."All the lads worked their socks off and it was a display which reminded me of the way things were a couple of years ago."Everyone had a job to do and everyone did it to their best of their ability."I thought the back-four looked really solid. "But Lee Carsley was the top man. I've heard he's done well this season, but I watched the game against Middlesbrough and he was excellent."He's been helped by finally being played in his best position. Cars is such an honest lad he'll have a go anywhere you ask him to. But all he's ever wanted to do is play that central holding role, which is what Walter Smith bought him for."He also wanted to take penalties, but I used to bully him off them!"I don't think he's ever missed one. In one season for Blackburn I think he scored about eight."It's good that so many lads fancy their chances. Obviously James (McFadden) wanted the one at Bristol City, Duncan (Ferguson) had already scored one and Thomas Gravesen hasn't missed from 12 yards either."It's a bit like that here at Portsmouth."Harry's (Redknapp) told me that I'm on penalties, but Yakubu's about 60 yards further up the pitch and a bit quicker than me."I think he feigns temporary deafness whenever we ' re awarded one, although to be honest it would be a bit weird if I had to take one against Everton. I don't really know how I'd feel."Unsworth has slotted swiftly into life at Fratton Park following his summer transfer.His family has settled well on the south coast and he is enjoying his football.He admits it will be a strange experience facing his old teammates again - but not one he has not experienced before.Just a week after Howard Kendall sold him to West Ham in 1997 he was back at Goodison, lining up alongside Rio Ferdinand.He was on the losing side that afternoon, but is confident about his new side's chances on Sunday."All jokes apart, you put aside the personal thing on the day," he added. "It will be a tough game because of the system Everton are using at the moment."But we have a phenomenal home record and we think we can win."I just hope the best team on the day wins - and the sun shines! I remember the Everton fans getting absolutely drenched last season on the away terrace." That part of the ground is still not covered, so I hope it doesn't rain again because I know there'll be thousands of Evertonians down here."No doubt they will reserve a special cheer for a man who still holds a huge amount of affection for Everton Football Club.

Unsy's stock rises by game
Sep 24 2004 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
IN the words of the song, "You don't know what you've got till it's gone."And maybe, just maybe, Evertonians are now starting to think just a little more fondly about the man they loved to bait.It wasn't just James McFadden's missed penalty which made David Unsworth's absence so noticeable on Wednesday night, but Gary Naysmith's under-par performance.With Alessandro Pistone also failing to convince this season, left-back has been the only cause for concern for David Moyes in recent weeks.Unsworth has been rock solid in that position all season for Portsmouth, then showed his versatility by switching to centre-back at Tranmere on Tuesday and commandeering another clean sheet.His attitude and commitment would have slipped seamlessly into the current up-and-at-'em ethic.Let's hope Everton don't regret his departure on Sunday.

Quick dose of reality was the perfect preparation
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Sep 25 2004
HE may work, dress and play in an entirely different fashion to Everton's other new signings, but Keith Wyness's introduction at Goodison Park fulfilled every cliche of the Premiership football-er's debut. Baptism of fire, in at the deep end; not every chief executive would choose an Extraordinary General Meeting demanding answers and possibly blood for a dreadful summer to make their first public appearance or address. The 47-year-old made the call to face furious shareholders rather than the usual formalities of a press conference on the day his arrival was confirmed, an act that demonstrated his desire to confront the many serious challenges to come. It also meant that when he officially started his new role on Monday he was armed, not only with the full background to Everton's debt and stadium problems, but a clear idea of the source of Evertonian angst.

"It was great to get a cold bucket of water in the face, to get a quick dose of reality and see the stark reality of the situation here," admits Wyness. "I welcomed the chance to see it first hand, I knew there were a lot of issues to confront and it helped me get to see the strength of feeling and gauge what people felt were the priorities facing the club. "It was a good starting point and a good grounding to see the frustration level." Wyness starts at an advantage to his fellow executives in that he is immune from blame or accusations for the decisions and divisions that plunged the club, if not the team, into turmoil this summer. But he acknowledges any honeymoon period is likely to be brief given the amount of problems facing Everton, even with Fortress Sports Fund's proposed investment and the morale-boosting start of David Moyes's team. Wyness admits: "It will be like turning an oil tanker around. It won't be an quick fix by any means, many of the situations here have been engrained over a long period of time and it certainly won't be easy. "We need to change things fundamentally over time. First of all I need to look at the structures and the people involved. If you have the right people in place things can change and the club can move forward. "It is going to be a big effort to turn things around on our part. We need to have a bigger turnover, that's for sure. "There is the stadium, the debt and unless there is a pot of gold around the corner they are all long-term issues and will take a lot of hard work to address." Wyness was born in Aberdeen where he returned as chief executive in 2001 after a career that began with a degree in industrial economics from Nottingham University and includes time with British Airways and as the managing director of The Olympic Club, a marketing arm for the Sydney Games in 2000. His spell at Pittodrie, where he gained a reputation for challenging the Old Firm's monopoly of the SPL, will stand him in fine stead as Everton continue to explore the possibility of a ground share with Liverpool and put in place the structures to transform the club's standing on and off the pitch. When I started at Aberdeen I first of all had to stop the bleeding," said Wyness. "Then we had to improve the commercial side of the business which we did it in terms of sponsorship, but of course in football the team has an impact on that and when it loses it gets harder. "Both clubs share an important place at the heart of the community and have a special heritage, but have saw better days around 20 years ago. Both have had stadium issues that will have a big impact on their futures too. "The biggest difference down here is not so much the home attendance but the television revenues. There are many similarities but just a lot more noughts after everything in England. "We need to get costs under control and revenues up, it's as simple as that. Putting that into practice is the hard part." Wyness's first week at Goodison Park has continued the maelstrom of the EGM, a hectic schedule of meeting his new staff plus a series of assignments in the capital that augurs well for a club who lost his predecessor, Trevor Birch, after just six weeks. He added: "I always said I would stay at Aberdeen for three years. I wasn't sure what would come after that but the Premier-ship was always a big pull and I believe the chance to turn Everton around represents a great opportunity for a businessman. With innovation and hard work it can be done. "Fans are willing to accept a lot providing they see a will and a commitment to move their club forward. Nobody expects things to happen overnight but we have already started work on addressing the major issues here."

Have you spotted change in fortune?
By Jamie Edwards Everton Supporter, Daily Post
Sep 25 2004
IT SEEMS that becoming an Evertonian is akin to signing a contract which states you must be put through the emotional wringer as often as is conceivably possible. So hands up anyone who at 2-0 up on Wednesday night at Ashton Gate was thinking "Mmm, a nice easy stroll into the next round"?
Yes. I didn't think there'd be many of you. Typical of Everton to squander a good position against relative minnows before being humbled by our nemesis, the penalty shoot-out. Hang on! Sorry, I'm just so used to saying that, it's become second nature. Of course, penalties were necessary against Bristol City but for once we actually won. Surely if any illustration was needed for our change in fortune, then that's as good as any. Praise for David Moyes, then. He may have made what few changes he could make on Wednesday, but it was the team spirit which eventually saw us through.
That's been the main difference this season, never more so than last Sunday when Middlesbrough ended the game by throwing everything at us but the defence stood firm, with the creaking duo of Stubbs and Weir showing they aren't finished quite yet. Whether they can earn a new contract at the end of the season is debatable, but they certainly aren't doing themselves any harm. Not such great news on the injury front. Leon Osman will hopefully return quickly as he's been in fine form, but it's a bit worrying that Marcus Bent seems to have already ran himself into the ground, especially as that means Big Dunc might get a game. Shiver. Three Premiership clean sheets in a row will certainly be put to the test at Portsmouth tomorrow. Old 'Arry seems to have a good thing going at Fratton Park and we'll need to score at least twice to win because Unsy is bound to get a goal.
The five in midfield seem to be doing pretty well, but if Bent has to miss out I can't see anyone else being able to do.

Europe the key to Gravesen staying put
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Sep 25 2004
THOMAS GRAVESEN has told Everton he will only pledge his future to the club if they secure European football next season. David Moyes's side currently occupy the third Champions League place after a remarkable start to the season, their finest for 26 years. But they may have to stay in the European hunt all season to persuade the influential Danish international not to leave on a free transfer when his contract expires in the summer. Everton opened contract talks with Leon Osman and Gary Naysmith this week but Gravesen, linked with a return to former club Hamburg in the summer, could keep Everton waiting until the end of the season before announcing a decision on his future. The Goodison club still hope to convince the 28-year-old to sign by showing their ambition in the January transfer window. But David Moyes, who takes his in-form side to Portsmouth tomorrow with injury doubts over Marcus Bent, Osman, Tony Hibbert and Tim Cahill, said: "Thomas wants a chance to play in Europe and to go to a club that's playing in Europe. So we know what we've got to do to keep him. "That is how things stand at the moment. "We couldn't have made a better start to show that we are going in the right direction and will we do everything we can to try and stay there and push on. "I don't know if it is as black and white as Thomas only staying if we qualify for Europe but that is how it has been indicated to me. But we are in regular dialogue with Thomas and his people about his contract and as far as I'm concerned it is not a problem." The Everton manager added: "Me and Thomas have a good understanding. Of course we will keep talking to him about a new deal but we both know where we stand just now." Moyes, meanwhile, admits he is confident of extending his own Goodison future following discussions with chairman Bill Kenwright over the amount of money he will have to spend from January. The Scot was offered an extension to his current contract, which has two years left to run, at the end of last season but has confirmed he will not sign until new investment and structures that match his own ambitions for the club are put in place. But yesterday he revealed: "I've had a few conversations with Bill Kenwright now regarding the investment and I am quite hopeful and confident with the figures that have been indicated to me. "If everything that has been said will be there is there, then I am confident we will come to an agreement." Everton, who sent scouts to watch Icelandic winger Emile Hallfredsson in action this week, travelled to Portsmouth today with four unwelcome injury doubts. Moyes said: "I am not sure how Marcus (hamstring) and Leon (groin) are going to be. Tony Hibbert and Tim Cahill also picked up knocks against Bristol City but I am more hopeful about those two." Both Everton and Portsmouth are among clubs monitoring Hallfredsson, a 20-year-old who has impressed this season for Iceland title winners Hafnarfjordar. Rangers and Feyenoord are also interested in the left midfielder.

Portsmouth 0, Everton 1 (D,Post)
Sep 27 2004 By Andy Hunter at Fratton Park, Daily Post
THE finest compliment to pay Everton for their astonishing climb up the table is that they no longer haul the element of surprise with them.It will be unbelievable if the smallest squad in the Premiership remains on the coattails of Arsenal and Chelsea beyond winter and maintains a European position that will draw big talent to big investment and convince the likes of Thomas Gravesen they can find ambition not attrition at Goodison Park.But, for now, Everton have every reason to feel at home in the league's upper tier. And to feel comfortable too.David Moyes's team arrived on the south coast confident of becoming the first team since February to take three points from Portsmouth, played with the confidence of a top-three team and left with their third, deserved one-nil victory in succession.Had their assured display only earned a draw then attention would have diverted onto the absence of a Wayne Rooney or maybe even a Tomasz Radzinski to provide the finishing touch.Aptly, however, Tim Cahill's second winner in two consecutive away performances kept the focus where it belongs: on the remarkable collective will and energy that has confirmed the opening day drubbing by Arsenal was an exception and not the norm many had feared."We have never had egos in this squad," said Moyes afterwards, surely the Premiership's manager of the month for September. "I have got real good players and they know the best way for them to get results for Everton.So many in this squad are at the top of their game just now and if we can keep that going then who knows what will happen?"Certainly no-one expected this to happen, and with home games in store against Tottenham, Southampton and Aston Villa next month there is no obvious puncture on the horizon.But Everton have not got to third by getting ideas above their station, only a determination to fight for every point and prove the doubt-ers wrong, and the one-game-at-a-time cliché that could have been scripted for this team must remain their instruction.
Nigel Martyn has not conceded a goal in over seven and a half hours of football, a statistic that highlights the defensive resilience that has underpinned the successes of the last six games.And while statistics can be manipulated to support any argument, two stand out to underline just how impressive this season's transformation has been.When Everton won at Fratton Park on December 13 last year it was only their fourth league win of the entire campaign, giving them a total of 17 points. With September's fixtures completed this term they have 16 and five victories behind them, a fact to inspire even more confidence if any more was required.Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day was Cahill's straightforward, toned down, Charles 'Charlie' Charles celebration after heading his second matchwinner in two successive league appearances, a deserved outcome just as Everton's bright first-half performance looked to be petering out to a point.Despite the midweek jolt at Bristol City it was the confidence of starting the day still in third that had the biggest impact on Everton's play, most notably throughout the first half and when they finished the contest far stronger than Harry Redknapp's committed side.Composed in possession and always seeking the run into space, the visitors started like a team who knew they were in the Champions League zone on merit and who could rely on each other for tireless contributions.Moyes was without Leon Osman due to a groin strain but reverted to playing five across the middle even without the youngster who has blossomed in that formation this season. With his opposite number stringing three in the centre with Eyal Berkovic pushed further forward Everton had the freedom of the wings to exploit, with Kevin Kilbane especially prominent down the left.Everton's control of the first half forced Redknapp to sacrifice Berkovic at the start of the second half, but not before both sides had been foiled by the woodwork in a half that threatened plenty but was too often interrupted by injuries to truly capture the imagination.Not that Moyes will have been overly concerned at that. Of greater bemusement to the Everton manager would have been his team's continued ability to carve out the clearer opportunities in a game and their regular failure to take them. If the one-nils keep coming, however, he will learn to live with that consolation. Portsmouth were close to opening the scoring with two speculative efforts from distance in two minutes, Nigel Quashie forcing Martyn to scramble back across his goalline and save when his 20-yard drive took a wicked deflection off Alan Stubbs, then beating the Everton keeper convincingly from even further out only for his clean strike to hit the inside of the post and rebound clear.It was the visitors, however, who produced the finer football to engineer two excellent opportunities from open play, a few half chances from intelligent setpieces, and were left ruing a lack of penetration when the teams went in level at half time.Steve Watson was the first to exploit hesitancy in the Portsmouth defence when he read Kilbane's left-wing cross perfectly to give himself a clear sight of goal. And though he connected well, the Everton midfielder was too generous with the direction and put his volley against the outside of the post.In the 25th minute they fashioned an even better move and opportunity when David Weir's raking pass dropped over home right-back Andy Griffin and allowed Thomas Gravesen to burst down the left.His low cross beat Hislop and looked certain to give Marcus Bent his second goal in two games but, with a tapin beckoning, his marker Dejan Stefanovic stretched out a leg and somehow managed to hack the ball off his own goal-line.Amdy Faye and Yakubu both hit the side-netting when well placed before half-time and Everton's solid backline was tested further by the wound that forced Stubbs to retire at the break with four stitches above his eye.Bent, again a willing, relentless outlet for the Everton system, missed two good openings when Duncan Ferguson, brought on to reassert the visitors' control when Portsmouth finally began to threaten at the start of the second half, showed sound awareness of his partner around the area.And just when it appeared their edge would be rewarded with only a draw, Cahill displayed his uncanny ability to bring a regular supply of goals to his all-round work-rate.Referee Dermot Gallagher awarded Everton a free-kick for a shove by Diomansy Kamara on Tony Hibbert, which Lee Carsley floated towards the penalty spot. Cahill, having pushed and shoved his marker Andy Griffin to steal a yard of space, prospered when the full-back missed the flight of the ball and the Australian steared another fine header home.There was no danger to Everton's lead in the final 10 minutes as they showed a maturity to match their overall display and played out time with ease. No danger, no surprises, and now they have even opened up a spot of daylight on the chasing pack!"Of course it's a flash in the pan," said Moyes. But the flash is showing no signs of leaving just yet.
PORTSMOUTH (4-3-1-2): Hislop; Griffin, Primus, Stefanovic, Unsworth; Quashie, Faye, Berger; Berkovic (Lua Lua 46); Fuller (Kamara 68), Yakubu. Subs: Ashdown, Taylor, Cisse.
BOOKINGS: Faye (foul).
EVERTON (4-5-1): Martyn; Hibbert, Weir, Stubbs (Yobo 46), Pistone; Watson (Ferguson 56), Gravesen, Carsley, Cahill, Kilbane; Bent. Subs: Wright, Campbell, McFadden.
BOOKINGS: Cahill (foul).
REFEREE: Dermot Gallagher
ATT: 20,125
NEXT GAME: Everton v Tottenham Hotspur, Premiership, Saturday, 3pm.

Moyes: You can put your shirt on Cahill
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Sep 27 2004
DAVID MOYES saluted Tim Cahill's matchwinning instincts, attitude and goal celebration last night as the Australian international continued Everton's fabulous start to the season. The £2million summer signing from Millwall struck for the second successive Premiership away game to give Moyes's side a deserved victory at Portsmouth. Cahill was ultimately suspended as a result of his debut goal at Manchester City, when his shirt celebrations sparked an international debate over FIFA's new draconian ruling. FA officials prevented Steve Bennett from rescinding his second yellow card a fortnight ago to leave Moyes without the midfielder for last week's win over Middlesbrough. And after his triumphant league return yesterday the Everton manager was just relieved Cahill was allowed to savour his second matchwinning display. Moyes said: "Tim didn't know what to do when he scored. "I should have lifted my shirt over my head and ran around the pitch! It would have been great to see what the referee would do then! "Referees are being given all these things to clamp down on but the only ones that matter are bad fouls and crucial decisions. No-one's bothered about celebrations. "He was punished by little people sitting behind a desk who all hid behind each other and didn't want to come out and name the decision. "The referees know that as well. A lot went on behind the scenes and one wee man wouldn't come out and say it. And he is a wee man by the way." He added: "Tim was one of the best players in the first division with a great goalscoring record. It is always a bit of a gamble when you take a player like that but we've given him the opportunity and he's grabbed it. "You won't find a better boy to work with than Tim and he is helping with the team spirit just because he is such a great lad."

Winning's best thing for team spirit - Moyes
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Sep 27 2004
EVERTON'S deserved victory cemented their position in third on 16 points, but Moyes denied the departure of Wayne Rooney had allowed the team to flourish with a greater spirit. "Any team I manage has to be a team," he said. "I wouldn't have it if players acted like individuals but I would still rather have Wayne Rooney here today. "We have got good honest players and winning breeds spirit. This is a great start to the season. Now we just want an equally good middle and end!
"At this stage it is all about getting the points on the board, not the league position, but this has been an exceptional performance by the boys so far. "Football is not always predictable and we are just thankful to be doing so well just now. "The players are showing a great deal of hard work, spirit, discipline and organisation and long may it continue." Moyes, who lost Alan Stubbs to a head injury that required four stitches, added: "We only have 19 out-field players and played extra time in midweek but Portsmouth have a great home record, two good strikers and yet we limited them to minimal opportunities. Not many teams will come here and do as well as we did today." Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp thought the game was heading for a draw - but was not entirely surprised when Everton snatched the late winner. "It was difficult," he said. "We didn't play as well as we have played - but credit to Everton because they made it difficult. "It looked to me like it would be a draw; it was petering out. It looked like we were going to hit them on the break with (Diomansy) Kamara racing away, and then the referee gives a free-kick. "I always felt if we were going to concede a goal it would be from a set play. "They were stronger than us in the air - there's no doubt about that - and Cahill has that knack of arriving strong in the air for a small guy. We should have picked up better than we did." Redknapp admitted his playmaker Eyal Berkovic was shackled by Carsley - but he was impressed with Everton creating chances. "They did a job to mark Berkovic with Carsley to make it difficult for us - but they also looked dangerous first half. I thought they had good chances. "In the second half I thought we got to grips with it a bit more and looked more dangerous." The former West Ham manager was disappointed in defeat but is pleased with his side's start to the season. "We've got to pick ourselves us - we know we're not going to win every game. We always know it's going to be a tough season but we've played well enough in every game," he said. "We're going to have defeats but we have to look forward."

Victories leaving me in away daze
By Jamie Edwards Everton supporter, Daily Post
Sep 27 2004
OKAY, now this is just getting silly. After only one away win in the whole of last season, us long-suffering travelling supporters were facing the new campaign with a certain amount of trepidation, not least because early away games at Portsmouth and Crystal Palace aren't exactly the easiest places to get to. But what's this? Victory at Palace, followed by a draw at Manchester United, a win at Man City and now yesterday's victory at Fratton Park. We're not used to being up in third place, but hey, the view is great from here! We can even see that red team some way below us! I digress. Evertonians aren't stupid enough to think this is going to last so we may as well enjoy it while we can. But to be unbeaten away from home and already have more points on our travels than the whole of last season, that's some going for a team tipped to go down. And it's not been lucky, either.
Yesterday's game was in the style which we are becoming accustomed to, a strong defence and packed midfield nullifying the opposition while hoping to nick something at the other end either at setpieces or a counter-attack. And it was a free-kick that did the trick in a game that in all honesty we never looked like losing. Tim Cahill is looking an ever-tasty acquisition by David Moyes and his heading ability has already earned us six points this season. This time he managed to keep his shirt on, too. Whatever next? Well, with three winnable home games to come next month along with one of the easier away days at Norwich, it would be fair to say we could be in third for some time. Anything's possible!

Portsmouth 0, Everton 1 (Echo)
Sep 27 2004 By Scott Mcleod at Fratton Park, Liverpool Echo
THE side which travelled about as well as a bad Romanian wine last season now looks more at ease away from home than Judith Chalmers.Everton arrived at Fratton Park on December 13 last year still searching for their first away victory of the season and having chalked up only three successes in the previous 15 outings.They won that game - but it was the only victory on the road all season.It puts this season's start - and yesterday's result - into perspective. Having already secured their fourth win of the campaign after the 1-0 triumph over Middlesbrough, the Blues knew before yesterday's game that, whatever the outcome, they would remain in third.This match was about putting daylight between themselves and the sides below and maintaining the momentum which has been building so impressively.Maintain it they did. They fully deserved the victory, provided by Tim Cahill's 81st-minute headed goal.The fact this was Portsmouth's first home defeat since February underlines exactly how well the Blues are performing.David Moyes seems to have discovered the perfect balance between defensive resolve and attacking threat away from home.They have conceded just one goal in four away games. And they have frustrated their hosts at Selhurst Park, Old Trafford, the City of Manchester Stadium and now Fratton Park.A 1-0 scoreline suggests a tight game. But it doesn't tell the whole story.Bar a Nigel Quashie drive from 25 yards which hit the post, Nigel Martyn's goal was rarely threatened.David Weir turned back the clock to produce a defensive display reminiscent of his finest displays in a blue jersey.It should have provided the springboard for a far more emphatic result.But Everton squandered a host of good chances, only securing the winner via another cracking setpiece nine minutes from time. There may have been a hint of good fortune about the refereeing decision which awarded the Blues a free-kick midway inside the Portsmouth half after Yakubu had challenged Tony Hibbert for the ball.But there was nothing lucky about the goal. Lee Carsley produced yet another pin-point set piece to pick out Cahill at the back post.With the Pompey defence more preoccupied with the imposing presence of Duncan Ferguson, Cahill was able to dart in and power home a header into the far corner of the net. He didn't get shirty this time. He didn't have chance before being mobbed by his team-mates.The sight of all 10 outfield players joining in the celebration helps explain the biggest difference in the Blues this season.They are all pulling in the same direction. They are working for each other, making sacrifices for each other and Pompey simply could not live with them.But while a lot has been made of the side's workrate and tenacity in the opening weeks of the season, not enough credit has been given to the quality of their football.A side does not climb to third in the table because of effort, guile and brawn alone.The loss of Tomasz Radzinski and Wayne Rooney led to a misconception that the Blues had been left with a lack of craft. But such worries have proved unfounded.Thomas Gravesen is the key playmaker. But he is far from the only one in a midfield which possesses far more footballing ability than it is given credit for.They demonstrated that yesterday by out-playing a Portsmouth side which boasted a midfield including crowd-pleasers such as Patrik Berger and Eyal Berkovic.Moyes shuffled his pack for the midweek trip to Bristol City, providing six players with the opportunity to force their way back into the first team on a regular basis.And had the side built on their 2-0 half-time lead, rather than edging through into the third round via a penalty shoot-out, yesterday's line-up could have been different.Instead, the manager made just one enforced change from the team which over-came Middlesbrough at Goodison with a fine, battling performance last weekend.Leon Osman, who suffered a groin strain in the opening half at Ashton Gate, did not make it despite returning to training on Saturday.His place was taken by Cahill, whose bustling no-nonsense approach and willingness to bomb forward makes him an ideal fit in the versatile formation Moyes is favouring.
It asks a lot of the lone striker, which is why Marcus Bent (right) was not fit for the Carling Cup. But the former Ipswich man was back in the side yesterday after shaking off a thigh strain.And he produced the kind of marauding performance which under-lines why he has become such a key player for the Blues already.Away from home, it is vitally important that when you play the ball forward, it sticks. Duncan Ferguson struggled to fulfil that role at Bristol.Bent had far more joy yesterday. And it gave the midfield the confidence to support the lone striker.Cahill, Kevin Kilbane and Steve Watson were not shy in getting forward.But despite dominating the opening half, the Blues had nothing to show for their efforts at the interval.Watson went closest, ghosting in at the back post to guide a Kevin Kilbane cross onto the near post in the 13th minute.But Pompey also had to be thankful to Dejan Stefanovic for clearing off the line when it seemed a certainty Bent would grab his third Everton goal, while Shaka Hislop did well to gather a close-range David Weir header.Yet Everton still did not do as much damage as their running off the ball and the quality of their crossing promised.It did not get to the players, though. There is a confidence in their football which ensures they do not panic when they fail to take their chances.They just kept plugging away. And it was that constant pressure which eventually broke Portsmouth.And it will break plenty more sides before the season is out.
PORTSMOUTH (4-3-1-2): Hislop; Griffin, Primus, Stefanovic, Unsworth; Quashie, Faye, Berger; Berkovic (Lua Lua 46); Fuller (Kamara 68), Yakubu. Subs: Ashdown, Taylor, Cisse.
BOOKINGS: Faye (foul).
EVERTON (4-5-1): Martyn; Hibbert, Weir, Stubbs (Yobo 46), Pistone; Watson (Ferguson 56), Gravesen, Carsley, Cahill, Kilbane; Bent. Subs: Wright, Campbell, McFadden.
BOOKINGS: Cahill (foul).
REFEREE: Dermot Gallagher
ATT: 20,125
NEXT GAME: Everton v Tottenham Hotspur, Premiership, Saturday, 3pm.

Blues won't let bubble burst
Sep 27 2004 By David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES is backing his resurgent Blues to copy the class of 2002 - and maintain their storming start to the season.Two years ago Everton spent the entire campaign challenging for Europe, based on a run of five successive 1-0 wins in November.Yesterday's single goal success at Portsmouth was their third in a row and Moyes, (left), who must surely be favourite to claim the September Manager of the Month award, said: "There's a real similarity to two seasons ago in the way we're generating upward momentum."We need to keep that going now, like we did two years ago."You can sense that everyone knows what is required of them and they know what we need to do to get a good level of performance."We are near enough the same group of players, with the addition of one or two new faces here and there, so we see no reason why we can't carry on proving people wrong."Marcus Bent started the match as a lone striker again yesterday, but Moyes says it would be wrong to label his formation defensive."That's the thing which makes me laugh the most because we have changed the formation for each of the last three games." he explained."We played differently at Manchester City, changed things against Middlesbrough, with Ossie behind Marcus Bent and the wide men pushing on, then played differently again yesterday."For 35 minutes we had two strikers yesterday, and we also played 4-4-2 against Crystal Palace and West Brom."Tim Cahill is a goalscoring midfielder, Thomas Gravesen is a terrific, attacking player, while Kevin Kilbane and Steve Watson can always pop up in the penalty box."The only player who sits in is Lee Carsley to offer the defence some protection."The only negative note for Moyes yesterday was another booking for Tim Cahill, his third since his £1.7m switch from Millwall. The Blues' boss, though, was still fuming at the midfielder's ludicrous shirt-raising dismissal a fortnight ago at Manchester City."A decision was taken by some little people somewhere in the FA. Not one of them wants to stand up and put their name to making that decision because they all know it was wrong."Referees know it as well. There is no appeal for two yellow cards but, behind the scenes, there was a lot going on and there was a wee guy there who didn't want it to happen. And he is a wee man."It's easy for a referee to spot a player lifting his shirt, but the refs need to be spotting the bad tackles."They are trying to make refs look really busy - but nobody is bothered if someone celebrates. It is just part of the game."Cahill admitted he nearly raised his shirt again after yesterday's winner."I nearly did it again, but I thought 'No'. It's just one of those things where I had to be sensible," he said.."I didn't know what the score was with taking the shirt off, but it doesn't matter. We got the three points here today and I am really pleased for the team."It's good to be playing and scoring's just a bonus. We're getting together well as a group, there's great discipline and it's good to see from the lads and it's showing us how to get results."

Moyes points to clearest sign of improvement
Sep 27 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
IT is Everton's points total rather than their league position which has put a smile on David Moyes' face.Yesterday's 1-0 victory at Portsmouth provided the Blues with their third away win of the season and took them to within three points of leaders Arsenal.But the Goodison boss (right) is refusing to get carried away by the fact his side is currently third in the Premiership.He said: "It has been a good start to the season, but we are hoping for a good middle and a good end now as well. That is the plan."We have got a decent points tally for this time of the season and it is points that are more important than our league position just now."To get 16 points from eight games is an exceptional performance by the players."That is illustrated by the fact Everton did not pass the 16-point mark last season until this corresponding fixture - on December 13.And the Blues have already equalled their points total away from Goodison for all of last season.The key is the spirit in his current squad.Moyes adds: "Football is not always predictable. We are thankful for doing well and playing well."And it is the players who deserve the credit, as I have said many times. They are playing with a great deal of heart and spirit. They are organised and are doing all the right things."Long may it continue." Moyes refused to suggest the departure of Wayne Rooney to Manchester United had helped contribute to the new team ethic in the squad now the star player has gone."I think any team I manage has to be a team. I wouldn't have it if I thought players would rather be individuals."And if you ask me today, I would say I would still rather have Wayne Rooney."But what we have got is a group of honest lads. The biggest thing for spirit is winning. That breeds spirit and that is what the players have done."We have gone on a bit of a run now. We did this a couple of years ago and ended up well up the table, but we are not getting carried away and we know we have a long hard season ahead."We have 19 outfield players to pick from. And it is a great credit those players are doing as well as they are now."We have come to Fratton Park to a side which is very hard to beat at home and against two very good strikers who score well but we limited them to very few opportunities and that says a lot about our performance."

Kenwright close to agreeing £30m deal
By Ian Doyle Daily Post Staff
Sep 28 2004
BILL KENWRIGHT last night confirmed he is close to securing an investment of close to £30million into Everton. And the Goodison chairman and owner expects the finances to be in place in time for manager David Moyes to take advantage of the January transfer window. Kenwright has said the deal with the Fortress Sport Fund - headed by Geneva-based financier Christopher Samuelson - is near to being finalised, with the theatre impresario remaining as chairman. Fortress are expected to make an initial investment of £12m, which effectively replaces the £15m loan from Kenwright ally Philip Green. The Group will have an option to enlarge its holding in the future to a controlling 50.1%, with a further price tag of £16m. "Hopefully the money - possibly £28m, £29m will be available in January," said Kenwright. "Samuelson will join the board and the investment group will be part of the shareholding. I'll remain as chairman." He added: "I'm not going to state the amount of money David has got. "David knows the amount he has got and he is very happy with it. "We have to look at fresh faces in January and in the summer." Meanwhile, David Weir has warned his Everton team-mates not to get carried away by their superb opening to the season. Victory at Portsmouth extended the Goodison side's best start in 26 years and moved them further clear in third place, just three points behind leaders Arsenal. The result also meant Everton have now collected 10 points away from home - the same total they managed on their travels in the whole of last season. Moyes has insisted there is nothing to prevent his side continuing their present form if they maintain their current work ethic and attitude. And centre-back Weir, who has been revitalised this campaign, has echoed his manager's comments. "We still have a long way to go before it is on the same scale as a couple of years ago when David first arrived," said Weir.. "But we are enjoying it and we are realising what is getting the results and are trying to continue in the same manner.

"There wasn't a lot of football played, but you have to be prepared for days like this when you come to Portsmouth and they want to attack you all the time. "We can play good football and on some days we will but at the moment people are just concentrating on doing that bit extra to help others out in the team." Meanwhile Tim Cahill admitted that he considered pulling his shirt over his head in celebration again after scoring the winner at Fratton Park. The 24-year-old was booked for a similar salute after his first Everton goal against Manchester City earlier this month, his second caution of the game which led to his sending-off and sparked a worldwide debate on the punishment for over-exuberant goal celebrations. Cahill said of his goal at Portsmouth: "I nearly did it again but I thought to myself 'no'."

Right attitude
Post Soapbox, IcLiverpool & Daily Post
Sep 28 2004
Right attitude
WELL DONE to David Moyes, the players and backroom staff at Goodison for another away win and for the fantastic start to the season. Yes I do realise it's still early doors and that things could still go horribly wrong, but after the events of the summer, I would have considered it an achievement for the Blues to be anywhere out of the bottom three at this stage. To be in the top three is staggering. The reason (in my opinion) can be summed up in one word - attitude.
E Ruane (via e-mail)
The loan rangers
WHAT a fantastic start to season, let's hope it continues. Everton should consider trying to sign Johnson, Parker and Huth on loan from Chelsea in January, and sign permanently Emerton, Pennant and Beattie. These are young proven Premiership players and would strengthen the squad
Terry Melbourne (via e-mail)
Defend defence
I AGREE Everton need to find replacements in the long-term for Stubbs and Weir but as it stands Stubbs is playing class and I feel there is another two seasons left in the boys. I believe we should keep one of Naysmith and Pistone and get a decent left-back in to challenge. There was talk of Finnan and Traore before the window closed. Parker would be class. Maybe Bernard of Newcastle or scour the French league for some decent cheap players. I would still like to see Benni McCarthy arrive.
Rob Derrick (via e-mail)

Kenwright slams £30m war chest rumours
Sep 28 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
BILL KENWRIGHT today reacted angrily to claims David Moyes will be given £30m to spend in the January transfer window.The Goodison chairman (right) insists that comments made by him in a radio interview last night have been misinterpreted.He was discussing the subject of the imminent investment deal with the Fortress Sports Fund, confirming that the package could ultimately be worth £30m to the Blues.That has led to reports that Moyes will have a £30m warchest in January."You have to have serious hearing and brain problems to get that from yesterday's interview," Kenwright told the ECHO today."I said exactly what I have been saying for the last couple of weeks."We are in negotiations with the Fortress Sports Fund, and the investment will come in two trenches somewhere between £12m and £15m for the first trench with an option, at a later date, for another £15m."As I have repeatedly said, I am not going to divulge how much David Moyes will have to spend in the transfer window because we don't want to alert people."But David knows the amount and he is very happy with it."The first part of the deal with FSF, which the chairman says is close to being completed, will see the consortium led by Geneva-based financier Chris Samuelson buying a 29.9 per cent stake in the Blues.The second instalment will increase that stake to 50.1 per cent, although Kenwright will remain as chairman.Kenwright has already secured a £15m credit flow agreement with billionaire Phillip Green but is unlikely to access the reserve once the FSF funding is in place.The Blues have also received £10m from Manchester United as the first instalment of the £27m transfer deal for Wayne Rooney.But Everton's debts, running costs and plans for a new training ground and Academy complex in Halewood mean only a slice of the fresh investment will go into Moyes ' transfer fund.The manager is expected to have between £10m and £15m to spend in January.Confirmation of the FSF deal is also expected to lead to Moyes being handed a new long-term contract at Goodison. His current deal runs out in 2006.

Aussies call on Kewell and Cahill
Sep 28 2004 Liverpool Echo
AUSTRALIA coach Frank Farina has named a 20-man squad for next week's FIFA Confederations Cup qualifiers against the Solomon Islands.Liverpool winger Harry Kewell and Everton midfielder Tim Cahill (left) head a strong contingent of British-based players called up.The Socceroos boss said: "I have selected the best possible side for the matches."It is vitally important that we qualify for the Confederations Cup ahead of next year's World Cup qualifiers."The winner of the tie earns a place in next year's Confederations Cup alongside hosts Germany, World Cup holders Brazil, Argentina, Greece, Tunisia, Mexico and Japan.
British-based call-ups: Tim Cahill (Everton), Brett Emerton (Blackburn), Harry Kewell (Liverpool), Craig Moore (Rangers), Kevin Muscat (Millwall), Lucas Neill (Blackburn), Tony Popovic (Crystal Palace), Mark Schwarzer (Middlesbrough), Danny Tiatto (Leicester City), Tony Vidmar (Cardiff), Mark Viduka (Middlesbrough).

Ground share 'still possible'
Sep 28 2004 Liverpool Echo
RISING construction costs of the new Anfield could force Liverpool to team-up with Everton and share the new stadium, the Blues new chief executive said today.Keith Wyness (left) has already told Rick Parry, his opposite number across Stanley Park, that Everton are willing to talk about a shared future.But he told the ECHO: "We are not holding our breath for it to happen."Exactly 12 months ago, secret talks were held between the clubs over sharing a stadium after an offer was made by the Northwest Development Agency of up to £30m in state aid.But the scheme collapsed after cash-strapped Everton admitted it would struggle to find its share of the cost and Liverpool's own proposals for Stanley Park gathered pace.Mr Wyness said: "If it makes sense for both of us, we will talk."If the clubs decided to go ahead with a ground share, it could delay construction by up to two years.A planning application may need to be re-submitted and proposals reviewed in light of the fact that matches would take place weekly and often twice-a-week.

McFadden will find his way - Moyes
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Sep 29 2004
DAVID MOYES insists James McFadden will put his Everton frustration behind him and fulfil his undoubted talent at Goodison Park. The 21-year-old has endured a difficult year in the Premiership and is still waiting for his first Everton goal 13 months after his £1.25million arrival from Motherwell.
McFadden was handed only his second start of the season in last week's Carling Cup tie at Bristol City, where he missed a late penalty to win the game in normal time, but was back on the bench for Sunday's Premiership win at Portsmouth. The Scottish international has also been linked with Celtic and Rangers as he struggles to assert himself on the Premiership stage. But manager Moyes has not lost faith in the striker and believes he will have a key role to play in Everton's future. "The best thing for him is to keep playing, getting on with it and he will come out at the other end," said Moyes.. "I certainly haven't lost faith in him. He is Scotland's top player, he will get better and he will improve. "He has bags of ability and it is just really putting all that together. "A goal will help his confidence, but I will settle for him making or scoring them." Moyes continued: "His opportunities will come and he will have plenty of chances to show what he is about." McFadden made a fine start to his Goodison career but is yet to firmly establish himself in Moyes's high-flying side. But the Everton manager revealed the young Scot is putting in extra training in an attempt to rediscover the form that brought 32 goals in 70 appearances for Motherwell. Moyes, who is reported to be interested in Brighton left-back Dan Harding and Wigan's young defender Leighton Baines, added: "We all saw how good he was when he first arrived here and that hasn't gone away. "Maybe he is a victim of the standards he set when he first came, but he has had to change a bit also. "There has had to be more responsibility in his play because the players he is playing with are better. If it is not happening for you, you still have to be part of the team somehow. He is learning about that all the time. "He stays behind after training all the time and we have him out there on the pitches working with him. I have no worries about him."

Carsley's dedication has been key to success
Sep 29 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES believes Everton are benefiting from Lee Carsley's decision to take a break from international football.The 30-year-old (left) told Republic of Ireland boss Brian Kerr at the end of last season that he did not want to be considered for international duty in order to spend more time with his family and to focus his attention on playing for the Blues.That decision has paid off with the midfielder becoming increasingly influential for Moyes' men this season as they have marched to third place in the Premiership table.Carsley will continue in the midfield holding role against Tottenham on Saturday and will then have a two week break before the visit of Southampton while most of his team-mates are on international duty.Moyes said: "His decision probably has helped him."He's worked hard this season and he is a good person to have around the club."He has done well since pre-season and we have been very pleased with his early form."He is probably also benefiting from us not having a lot of players in the squad right now. He has played a lot of games on the bounce and you can see that in his form."He has done well defensively in midfield but he has great energy and has got himself forward as well, and he is capable of playing several different roles."Carsley started just 15 Premiership games last season.This term he has already chalked up eight consecutive starts, including seven in the league.Meanwhile, Moyes is confident James McFadden will overcome his current loss of form, adding: "The best thing for him is to keep playing, get on with it and he will come out the other end."I certainly haven't lost faith in him. He is Scotland's top player. He will get better and he will improve."

Grounds for change
Sep 29 2004 Liverpool Echo
Rebuild Goodison to boost capacity
IF Everton rebuilt the Park End 10-15 yards further back - and to a larger capacity - and the extra space was used to make Gwladys Street larger, we would have a new ground in a proven position with a capacity of 50,000-55,000 without buying any land.We should have done this in the first place rather than searching for cheaper alternatives. We've been talking of getting a new ground for years. I don't see any reason why the situation will be resolved by 2010.We can get on with rebuilding Goodison straight away, meaning that we could see our building costs and subsequent profits being reclaimed sooner.
It makes the venture more cost-effective in the long term.
Graham Thompson,Liverpool
YOU are all going to think I am mad but why don't we try and buy Anfield?We could throw in our old ground and LFC could do to that what they had in mind for Anfield. It makes good business sense.We would only have to paint the seats blue and get rid of the old signs - and we would be returning to our spiritual home! Just imagine, if we had stayed there we might have got the luck the Reds have had!
S. A.,Wavertree
Striking up a partnership
JUST wondering if anyone else noticed the good partnership between Marcus Bent and Duncan Ferguson?I've never seen anyone play up front with big Dunc and manage to get onto as many flick-ons as Bent!Really felt that the game tipped a bit more in our favour when they paired up - not that I think Moyes should change things around! It's a great attacking option.
Shane Gifford,
Desire and heart
It's got nothing to do with luck and everything to do with desire and heart.Everton have found the passion. We have played solid football and I, for one, am enjoying every moment.Thanks a lot to all the blue boys on the field and all the backroom staff. Make the doubters eat their words.Spurs this weekend. It's on live in Oz. Go for it, Blues. Good luck.
Eddie Hunter,Australia
Looking down
IT would seem the only thing the Reds can gloat about at the moment is the fact that their ground move looks promising in 2007.Well, the way both sides are playing, it will be that long before they manage to haul themselves up the table to anywhere near ourselves.
K. Jameson,Widnes
Up Pompey!
EVERTON were the better team and deserved the points. We shut Pompey out completely.You will see a lot of boring games on the telly this season - and Sunday's was one of those - but I don't care if we get played off the park as long as we win the game.
Peter Clarke,Wirral
Rock solid
GREAT start, Blues. No-one could have hoped for the upbeat performances after that Arsenal opener.I am sure other fans have noticed that the backbone of our terrific progress has been the defence.Four goals conceded in the first game - only two in the next six. But, overall, a great team show.
Mike Freeman,

League uphold fine on Radzinski
By Andy Hunter, Daily Post
Sep 30 2004
DAVID MOYES'S decision to fine Tomasz Radzinski two weeks' wages has been upheld by a Premier League tribunal. The former Everton striker had appealed to the Premier League over a £40,000 fine he was given before his £1.75million move to Fulham in the summer. Radzinski's reprimand followed an interview in a national newspaper in which he criticised manager Moyes's methods, transfer policy and urged Wayne Rooney to quit Goodison Park. And after taking the case to a tribunal at the Premier League's Soho Square headquarters yesterday, the Canadian international has been told the punishment was fair. Club secretary David Harrison said: "The club is pleased that the tribunal has endorsed the decision taken on this matter and it is hoped that this concludes the issue. "In these circumstances, we do not think it is appropriate to make any further comment."
Moyes, meanwhile, has saluted Lee Carsley's excellent start to the season and believes the midfielder is prospering from his decision to put his international career on hold. Carsley told Republic of Ireland manager Brian Kerr he wanted to concentrate on getting back into the Everton first team after a disappointing time last season. And the break has already benefited Carsley who has been ever-present in Everton's rise up the table. "His decision has probably helped him," said Moyes. "He is probably also benefiting from us not having a lot of players in the squad right now. He has played a lot of games on the bounce and you can see that in his form."

New charity status for Goodison scheme
By Richard Williamson Daily Post Sports Editor
Sep 30 2004
EVERTON have revealed their dream of launching the country's first Academy for disabled footballers. The idea forms part of a portfolio of initiatives to be launched as part of Everton's Football in the Community programme, which has now been established as a stand-alone charity.
Organisers hope that their new status will allow them to deliver a wider range of projects than ever before, with continuing support from the Premiership club. Community business manager Dave Connor told an audience of representatives of local community groups and business last night: "Our aim is to motivate, inspire and educate by harnessing the power of sport to improve the quality of life for all those within our community." While the programme will now be financially independent of the club, it will still be based at Goodison Park and intends to build on the work already carried out by the club while also forging new partnerships. Everton Football in the Community will work in a range of areas, including with the homeless, elderly, disa-bled and minority groups while also seeking to promote issues such as healthier lifestyles and crime prevention using football as a way of projecting a positive message. The club already has a pioneering disabled football section. They run eight competitive teams, including amputees, partially sighted and deaf, and were the driving force behind the creation of a north west league. Connor told the Daily Post that the idea of an Academy would allow them to reach even more people. "Different disabilities require different facilities and different playing conditions and if we can find the right kind of site to develop and the funding and resources to make it happen it is just one of the things we would like to achieve," he said. "It would be an opportunity to run more teams across the full spectrum of disabilities, for children and women as well. "But it is not all about football and our new charity status should allow us to grow while delivering a range of activities across Merseyside for the people of Merseyside."

Cottee earned his spurs with hat-trick
Post Past by Philip J Redmond Everton supporter, Daily Post
Sep 30 2004
THIS Saturday, Jacques Santini's improving Tottenham side come to Goodison. Games between the two have in recent years been generally tight and despite Spurs' media reputation of being a pure footballing side, they've regularly shut up shop when they've travelled to Goodison. As a result, Spurs have a decent record up here and last season's 3-1 Good Friday reverse was Everton's first win against The Cockerels for seven long years. One player who did enjoy playing against the North Londoners was fellow Cockney Tony Cottee. The little Eastender had announced his arrival with a dramatic debut goal for West Ham against Spurs in January 1983 and throughout his career enjoyed great sucess against The Lily-whites. However overall Cottee was a player who despite enjoying a good Everton career, never quite lived up to his billing as Britain's most expensive striker, after his move from West Ham in the summer of 1988. In his six-year Everton career, Cottee top-scored in all but one season, but spent long periods out of favour. He tended to score his goals in bunches and when he wasn't scoring tended to disappear, which often made him surplus to requirements during the generally frustrating late '80s to early '90s period. On his day though, he was top class and one such day came 13 years ago this weekend when Spurs came to town. The Blues had endured a mixed start to the season. One bonus had been the form of Peter Beardsley, who had lit up Goodison after his summer move from Anfield. Against Spurs a whirlwind performance saw Everton 3-1 up by the half hour. Cottee was on fire, banging in a hat-trick and also striking the bar. Beardsley made the first after springing the offside trap and although Gary Lineker quickly equalised, the result was never in doubt. Cottee's second was a penalty after Dave Watson was pushed in the box, the third another booming drive. The win took the Blues into the top half of the table and offered real promise. Unfortunately, much like Cottee's Everton career, it was never fully realised.

Nightmare nears end
Sep 30 2004
By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
LI TIE'S injury nightmare is almost at an end.
The Chinese midfielder (left) sustained a broken shin while on international duty with China in February.But on Monday he sees a consultant when he finally hopes to get the go-ahead to start full-contact training.Tie is a couple of weeks behind schedule.Manager David Moyes explained: "His shin has healed but it is the mobility in his ankle which has been the problem."He was kept in plaster perhaps longer than we would have wanted after suffering the break and because of that it took longer than it should to get him freed up."He is working hard but I am not sure when he will be available at the moment."Tie's Everton career has been at a virtual standstill since he signed a permanent three-year deal last August.The previous season he had started 30 matches whilst on-loan from Liaoning Badao. But after receiving a red card at Arsenal on the opening day of last season he started just five games before sustaining his broken leg on international duty.With the Blues' current first team squad limited to just 19 players, Tie would almost certainly have figured this season had he been available.He will be anxious to force his way back into the first team picture before the January transfer window reopens and David Moyes starts to spend his Wayne Rooney windfall.

Bosnar puts Socceroos career on hold
Sep 30 2004 By Scott Mcleod, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON'S Eddy Bosnar has turned his back on international football and launched a broadside at Australian coach Frank Farina.Bosnar, signed from Sturm Graz on a free transfer in the summer, insists he will not play for the Socceroos while Farina is in charge after learning via a text message he had not been selected for the squad for next week's World Cup qualifying matches.Bosnar (right) was called up for the first time by Farina last month for a 25-man training camp in London but was not impressed by the coach's approach.The 24-year-old said: "How can I respect a manager when he hasn't spoken two words to me? I have only seen him once in Sydney and the next time I saw him in camp he only said two words to me."I don't think any of them (the Socceroos players) have respect for Frank. I think that is a big problem."I don't wish anybody any ill will and I don't wish he gets the sack, but if I were him I would resign, to be honest."Bosnar did not make the 18-man squad for the two-match series against the Solomon Islands next week.Farina has revealed his disappointment at Bosnar's decision, insisting the former Graz and Dinamo Zagreb defender had only narrowly missed out.Bosnar has signed a one-year deal with the Blues but has not yet been included in a first-team squad by David Moyes.Team-mate and countryman Tim Cahill has been selected for the games against the Solomon Islands.Moyes admits the midfielder's international commitments are not ideal.He said: "There will be a lot of travelling involved. He leaves soon after the Tottenham game and is only back a few days before the game with Southampton. It is something for us to consider." * The recently-formed Everton Fans Council, made up of representatives from a number of supporters groups, will hold its second open meeting on Saturday at 11.30am.The meeting will take place in the upstairs lounge of Crofts Social Club on City Road and will include a visit and talk from new Goodison chief executive Keith Wyness at noon.The key issue of the meeting will be a discussion on whether Evertonians should form a supporters trust.Guest speakers will include Jacqui Forster of Supporters Direct, the government-backed body which has helped in the formation of more than 100 supporters' trusts in the UK..The meeting is open to all Evertonians.

Curbs no to Beattie
Sep 30 2004 Liverpool Echo
CHARLTON manager Alan Curbishley has ruled out a January transfer window swoop for Blues target James Beattie.The Addicks boss is reportedly a keen admirer of the Southampton ace, but although he will have money to spend during the winter, Curbishley considers Southampton's valuation of the 26-year-old to be too high.Curbishley has been critical of several of Charlton's early-season performances and is keen to add to his squad.He told a fans' forum: "We haven't spent all our money."There is still money there to be spent in January but it won't stretch as far as someone like Beattie."

The Jury
Sep 30 2004 Liverpool Echo
I'VE got a problem with Lee Carsley. And I'm not the only one. One national newspaper reported that Thomas Gravesen took the free-kick that resulted in Tim Cahill's goal. An understandable and often repeated mistake. The two midfielders do have a passing resemblance, but there was never much of a resemblance in their passing. If you weren't sure whether it was Carsley or Gravesen on the ball, you waited until they got rid of it. If there was a touch of class in the delivery, then, more often than not, it was Gravesen. Not any more. For me, the form of Lee Carsley typifies the change in Everton this season. He is performing brilliantly as a defensive midfield destroyer and the level of his passing can only be described as class. Journalists must get used to Everton now having two midfielders with a passing resemblance - and similar hair!
YET another away win. What a great start to the season - it shows what can be achieved with a bit of confidence, hard work and pride in the shirt. Wearing the white shirt away from home seems to have given us the self-belief of Real Madrid! We now have four winnable games in October before a harder November but if we keep playing well we could have 30 odd points by Christmas. This would help to attract players in January, which no matter how well we may be doing, is a priority as a few injuries and suspensions may really affect us. We need to take a leaf out of the book of teams like Arsenal and Man United, though, and keep quiet on the amount of money we have to spend - otherwise we will end up paying over the odds.
OUR best start to a season in 26 years, our best ever start to a Premiership campaign, third in the table with 16 points and it's only the end of September. "A flash in the pan" Moyes called it, tongue firmly in cheek and a wry smile on his lips after the match interview on Sky TV. But who cares? It may not last but it's fantastic to be an Evertonian. Moyes has got the players wanting to play for the blue shirt again and with pride. We know we're not the most skilful of teams but determination and passion is the best we can expect and we're getting it in abundance. We're even winning penalty shoot-outs again. With three of our next four games at home, plus a home draw in the Carling Cup, who knows what we can achieve, injuries and suspensions permitting.
SHOCKED? Yes. Made up? Too right. This is the team that are meant to be third from bottom not third from top. This isn't a side based around one man, this is a team based around spirit, commitment, luck and each other. When a certain someone was here we looked for him to do something all the time, almost forgetting that there were 10 other players on the pitch. We aren't the most pleasing on the eye and we don't play football like Arsenal or have the money of Chelsea. But we've conceded less goals than Arsenal and scored more than Chelsea, I love looking at the league. So will it carry on this way? Can we make the Champions League? Football is a game where things change overnight so why can't Everton make the top four? All that is in the way is 16 other teams.KEN STEWART, St Helens














































September 2004