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EVERTON PAST PLAYER PROFILES

Alessandro Pistone

Pistone
Squad number 23
Position Left Back
Joined 30 June 2000
Joined from Newcastle United
Signed by Walter Smith
Transfer fee 3M
Full debut v Leeds United (a),
19 August 2000
Contract duration 2 years
Contract expires June 2007
Final v Bolton (A)
21 August 2005
Left Everton Released
14 May 2007
Born Milan, Italy
Date of birth 27 July 1975
Height 5' 11"
Nickname(s) Sandro
Honours Italy U-21 international


STRENGTHS
Pacy
Stronng
Disciplined - few cards
Can be good crosser
Two-footed
 
WEAKNESSES
Highly injury-prone
Lacking in fight?
Tends to disappear


Soccerbase Datafile

Alessandro Pistone completed his surprise transfer from Newcastle to Everton in June 2000, almost unnoticed amidst the furore surrounding Nick Barmby's requested defection to Liverpool.   The 24-year-old initially joined Everton on a five-year deal, to provide much-needed cover at the left-back berth – where Michael Ball needed the competition in the hope of waking him up.

Pistone started out as a youngster with Vicenza, then a 3rd Division club in Italy, and rejoined them in 1995 after their promotion to Serie A.  He played only six times for Vicenza before returning to his native city, Milan, when he was snapped up by Internationale on a 4½-year contract.  

At Inter, he played alongside Gianluca Festa, Paul Ince, and Benito Carbone.  With 45 Serie A appearances for Inter over the next two seasons, and one goal, Alessandro became a mainstay in defence and played a major part in their run to the 1997 Uefa Cup Final, where they were beaten on penalties by Schalke. 

Alessandro joined Newcastle from Inter Milan for £4.3M in July 1997.  Principally a left-back, his versatility also allows him to play in other positions.  A former Italian Under-21 international playing for the Italians in the 1996 Olympics, he was strongly tipped for a full cap.  But Pistone fell out of favour at St James' Park when Ruud Gullit took over, and he didn't start a Newcastle game for 14 months, spending much of the 1998-99 season on loan with Venezia.  

He came back into favour when Bobby Robson became the Newcastle manager but was injured pre-season in game at Hartlepool in August 1999.  He appeared as a substitute in Newcastle's Worthington Cup defeat at Birmingham, and started a league game for the first time in 14 months when playing at home to Derby in October 1999, after which he managed to hold down a position on the left side of the defence.  However, he missed a large chunk of the 1999-2000 season after breaking his leg in a northeast derby match at Sunderland in February 2000, returning for the last three matches in May 2000.

Walter Smith said of his new signing: "I think Alessandro will be a tremendous addition to our squad.  He is a player I first saw when watching other players in Italy a few years ago.  He impressed me then.  He's a left back who likes to take part in the game and move up and down the pitch.  He's aggressive and I think will add to our game in that department."

But with the 2000-01 season hardly begun, Pistone was in trouble with injuries.  Then, against Bristol Rovers in September, he managed to injure his knee during the warm-up, was subbed after just 8 minutes, and needed an op that kept him out until the Southampton game in March.  His first start since Bristol then came against Manchester City in April where he was sent off for fighting with City’s Paul Dickov.  

He played 35 minutes of the Merseyside derby in April after coming on in the second half before signing off in a 4-1 defeat at Highbury and sitting out the end of the season with a 3-match ban.

Like many players, Pistone struggled for form during the latter part of Walter Smith's reign and while he enjoyed a new lease of life under David Moyes, his Everton career continued to be blighted by injury and, perhaps as a result, maddening inconsistency.

It wasn't until the 2004/05 season that the Italian put in something close to a season's worth of appearances when he turned out in 32 league games and helped the Blues to an unprecedented fourth-place finish in the Premiership.

Ironically, though, Pistone initially chose not to stay on at Goodison and rejected the one-year contract extension offered him by David Moyes in the summer of 2005. When a proposed move back to Italy with Lecce fell through, however, he found himself without a club. With Gary Naysmith out injured, Moyes eventually caved in to the Italian's demands for a two-year deal and Pistone re-signed for Everton until 2007.

Unfortunately, but perhaps not surprisingly, he was back in the treatment room just two games into the following season after he tore his cruciate knee ligament in an clumsy challenge on Henrik Pedersen at Bolton Wanderers. He eventually recovered but played no further part in the campaign.

Pistone's career in England has been blighted by the assumption that he lacks the heart to succeed in the Premiership. Indeed, there is a story from his days at Newcastle when he attended the annual Christmas party, where the tradition was to present each player with a gift that was meant to be symbolic of their character.... Pistone was presented with a sheep's heart!  Apparently, he was chuffed at first thinking it represented bravery, until someone had a word in his ear and told him it was to replace the non-existent one the players felt he showed whenever he played for the Toon! 

His style sometimes makes him appear lazy when this is just his relaxed Italian approach.  He's had some great games,  but if you're not consistent at the highest level you will get slated by both fans and media alike. 

Pistone's other main problem is he is very much a confidence player and the fans getting on his back — whether it's about his performances or his Latin temperament — does not help his cause at all.

And of course his third main problem is being injury-prone.  Stretched off against Bolton in August 2005, he struggled for almost two seasons to regain his fitness, and didn't play a single game for Everton in 2006-07 before being released st the end of his contract.

By Michael Kenrick and Lyndon Lloyd
Last updated May 2007


Everton Career
Season Squad
Number
League
Apps (sub)
League
Goals
Cup
Apps (sub)
Cup
Goals
Total
Apps (sub)
Total
Goals
2000-01
3
5 (2)
0
1 (0)
0
6 (2)
0
2001-02
3
25 (0)
1
1 (0)
0
26 (0)
1
2002-03
3
10 (5)
0
2 (0)
0
12 (5)
0
2003-04
3
20 (1)
0
3 (0)
0
23 (1)
0
2004-05
3
32 (1)
0
4 (2)
0
36 (3)
0
2005-06
23
2 (0)
0
1 (0)
0
3 (0)
0
2006-07
23
0 (0)
0
0 (0)
0
0 (0)
0
  Totals
94 (9)
1
12 (2)
0
106 (11)
1

Prior Club Record
Season Team Appearances (sub) Goals
1992-1995 Vicenza (Ita) 6 0
1993-1994 Solbiatese (Ita) *loan ? ?
1994-1995 Crevalcora (Ita) *loan ? ?
1995-1997 Inter Milan (Ita) 45 1
1997-2000 Newcastle Utd 45 (1) + 16 (1) 1 + 0


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