Everton 3 - 1 Manchester City
Half-time: 2 - 0
Pre-season 2000 Friendly #8
3pm Saturday 12 August 2000
Goodison Park, Merseyside
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Joe Parkinson's Testimonial
The day belonged to 1995 FA Cup hero Joe Parkinson, who came on for the final 15 mins as a nice token gesture for his last appearance in the Royal Blue shirt in front of the fans who only belatedly recognized his value and importance to Joe Royle's mid-90s side.
And Goodison was looking the best it has in years. A new badge on main stand with lettering "Welcome to Goodison Park the home of Everton FC"; all seats in Lower Gwladys replaced with brand new ones. And the red running track round pitch is now blue!
New signings Gravesen, Gascoigne Watson, Pistone, and goal-scorers Alexandersson and Nyarko all made their first showings at Goodison Park for Everton; Weah starred for Joe Royle's Man City but Wanchope was away on International duty with Costa Rica.
Alexandersson's first goal was a nice chip from edge of the box but his second was a bit scrappy. He went off injured soon after with an injured ankle. Nyarko's goal was a sexy back-heel after bringing ball under control beautifully. This lad is Class!
Wright-Phillips pulled a goal back with a header against an almost non-existent defence (and contender for shortest ever person to head a goal against Everton – shorter than Steve Stone!).
Weir went off injured near the end too. Parkinson played last 15 minutes in place of Nyarko. And what of George Weah? He was impressive for the first 10 minutes, but non-existent after that. Ex-Toffee Tony Grant remained on the City bench.
With thanks to SteMc
|EVERTON:||Alexandersson (10', 25'), Nyarko (48')|
|Manchester City:||Wright-Phillips (61')|
|LINEUPS||Subs Not Used|
Gerrard; Pistone, Weir (87' Dunne), Unsworth, S Watson;
Alexandersson (38' Gravesen), S Hughes (46' Gascoigne), Nyarko (75'
Parkinson), Pembridge; M Hughes (46' Moore),
Unavailable: Campbell, Cleland, Gough, Xavier? Myhre (injured).
|Simonsen, Ball, Gemmill.|
|Manchester City:||Weaver; Edghill, Tiatto, Wiekens, Howie; Prior, Horlock, Haaland, Weah; Dickov (Wright-Phillips 55), Kennedy.||Crooks, Johnson, Whitley, Grant, Wright.|
|EVERTON:||Yellow shirts, Blue shorts; yellow socks.||4-4-2|
|Manchester City:||Red & black shirts; black shorts; red & black socks.||4-4-2|
|Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|REPORTS BY EVERTON FANS|
|Warrington Blue||Bloody Hell!|
|Steve Bickerton||The future looks bright...|
Niclas the grateful
by Paul Andrews
Nyarko sends City an early warning
by Joe Lovejoy
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by Phil Redmond
|BBC SPORT||Link to Match Report|
|FOOTBALL 365||Link to Match Report|
Just got back from Joe's do – great reception for the man and he came on
with 14 minutes remaining. All right, so City were pants – they'll
struggle in the Premiership on this display – but as far as we were
concerned, what a difference to previous pre-campaign feelings!
Make no mistake about it, this is not the team of the last few seasons. There's some real class and depth in the midfield and even the journeyman like Pembo seem inspired. No more headless chicken / sheer graft only / lump it up stuff. Even if the Big Yin comes back, there are too many new, experienced and mature players in this squad to let the old style dictate.
Do not worry any more about backward steps. Walter Smith has made some excellent signings. I know this may sound a little naive and expect to be reminded of chickens not to be counted or told to 'wait-and-see', but all you can do is compare with what you've been used to in previous incarnations.
Quite honestly, it was astonishingly different. Alexandersson – off at half-time after scoring two – reminded me of Tricky Trevor. He will score a dozen or so I hope; he was balanced, classy and thoughtful... and he can cross well too.
Gravesen (on just before the break) played some amazing balls with the outside of his foot – really solid a la Joey Parkinson himself, and very skilful with it.
Nyarko scored an amazing back-heeled goal which NOBODY saw coming – the gasp from the Gwladys Street End was incredible. He gets stuck in and passes well, too. When he and Gravesen get together properly, it'll be something, I can tell you!
Gazza (second half only) enjoyed himself, and nearly scored with an excellent free kick. He looked leanish and fairly fit too. Excellent vision and, but for two or three appalling linesman decisions, would have put Pistone / J-MM / Pembo through on the left.
Watson struggled against Kennedy to start with but got the measure of him later and had a useful game.
Pistone looked really skilful in the warm up but in the match he was a little less than sharp... though he improved in the second half and made some useful runs – we'll see better from him I'm sure. Franny made some telling runs and his pass for the first goal was superb.
Summing up: I can't see us struggling against the Coventry / Charlton / Derby sides this season. There's far more chance of somebody doing that something SPECIAL! This is the quality that we've lacked in recent times.
A note of caution: As expected, we will not be strong enough without cover for Kevion Campbell Franny & J-MM are too similar... whereas Kev & Franny with THIS midfield is something to look forward to!. But we have made HUGE strides towards finally becoming a decent Premiership squad with these new boys and I remain much more hopeful than in many years.
What was most revealing to me was the inordinate number of rather puzzled "Bloody Hell – we haven't seen THIS kind of stuff fer a few years" expressions on the faces of so many fans around me! It got almost dreamlike in its intensity at times. We are just not used to this kind of stuff are we...???
Well done, lads! Well done, Walter!!! This has certainly whet the appetite for more. Chins up, Bluebellies!
|The future looks bright...|
Anticipation levels were high as I had been delighted by the reports I'd
read of our performances on our travels, when the first-choice payers had
been selected. Now it was time to see them in the flesh and a test
against Premiership opponents as a final preparation was going to allow some
reasoned assessment of our potential for the forthcoming season.
Looking at the line up, it struck me that there were no pangs of regret for those missing from last year. Its the shirt that counts, not the players. Its the dedication to the shirt while its being worn which is the measure of the player. Joe Parkinson, the former Manchester United supporter who now loves Everton with a passion, was a player whose contribution will never be forgotten. He lost his career for the shirt. He became a "what might have been" as a result of his injuries and it was now time to pay him our respects and show our gratitude. But his efforts while he wore the shirt will still see him measured as a great, no matter how short his career.
So, on to the game.
It was a tame affair overall, not a facsimile of a full-blooded Premiership clash – more a shadow of one. Next week's opener at Leeds will be the proof of how well the side is gelling together, but there were indications in this match that there is plenty on offer for the forthcoming campaign.
City were the quickest out of the blocks, with George Weah looking a class above everybody around him in the City side. He was thoughtful and nimble, belying his years and caused both Unsworth and Weir problems in the opening few minutes. But once they got to grips with him he posed little threat. This was good news really as its an indication, perhaps, that the partnership in the centre of defence, especially without the marshalling of Gough, can cope with exceptional talent.
Speed of movement though is not as forceful a weapon in Weah's armoury as once it was, so I'm left a little concerned that against real pace up the middle we still look exposed. Speed of thought makes up for lack of pace in many circumstances: Davey Weir definitely has that in abundance, and Rhino just keeps on trying, no matter what the circumstances.
Added to this lack of pace as we chased back, we still have a keeper who's so slow at coming out that a yawning gap appears between him and his defence. But what a shot stopper! Twice, Gerrard denied City before we laid them to rest.
The first goal came from nowhere. A ball from defence found Jeffers in the middle of the City half. Whether he called for the ball or not I don't know, but Alexandersson appeared behind Jeffers' marker and in space. Jeffers hit a perfect reverse lob over the defender and Alexandersson did the same over the advancing City keeper, Weaver. 1-0 and a terrific goal!
During the preamble to the goal, Nyarko had shown flashes of exceptional skill. Control, tackling, distribution, tracking back. He has the lot. What a buy!
Alexandersson doubled his tally shortly afterwards and again Jeffers was the provider as he slipped the Swede free to coolly slide the ball past Weaver. He can cross the ball too. Width on the right, a midfielder who can score, memories of Kanchelskis.... well, nearly. Another bargain, methinks.
On the left there were promises of understanding developing between Stephen Hughes and Alessandro Pistone. Pistone seems to be not quite the all-round defender and I can see why he hasn't displaced Maldini in the Italian national squad, after early promise. His tackling isn't quite so cultured, but he recovers quickly and gets back into position well. He looks a useful acquisition.
Steve Watson on the other side looks rather less cultured; a little more agricultural, but equally effective. Probably a better tackler than Pistone but less mobile. I think on this performance I'm happy enough with him.
At this stage its still too soon to read Walter's mind and see where his selection problems will lead him next weekend. Mark Pembridge again showed determination and aggression aplenty. A tireless work horse, he gets through his work almost unnoticed. He may be high in Walter's thoughts next week as he comes to terms with Gravesen's absence.
There's also the possibility that Alexandersson mightn't be available either. Having gone down heavily under a City challenge with an injury to his right ankle, he soldiered on. But eventually he went off to be replaced by Gravesen.
The first half, though belonged to Jeffers and Alexandersson, Franny again looking up for it, he ran the City defence ragged, but suffered from Campbell syndrome as he regularly found himself clear through but off-side.
Not so Mark Hughes. He worked hard in the first half. How he didn't score still beggars belief. He wrestled the ball from Howey, turned and hit a low shot, right to left across the City goal only to see it bounce off the foot of the left-hand post and along the line, across onto the right-hand post and into the hands of a relieved Nicky Weaver, just before Stephen Hughes could pounce onto it. The City fans, who up to then had derided his every contribution, were silent after that.
Half-time came with a 2-0 cushion for Everton. A useful show, but nothing startling.
The line up for the second half showed that Gascoigne had replaced Stephen Hughes and Joe-Max Moore had come on for Mark Hughes. An early corner at the Street End was fired across goal but the defence managed to clear, though only as far as Pembridge. The Welshman pushed the ball forward, back into the danger area, where it fell to Nyarko, back to goal. A quick back-heel and 3-0. Brilliant! Schoolboy defending but terrific awareness and excellent execution. You could tell by his celebration, though, that he couldn't believe it had worked. Three goals and all from midfield. Who needs a new striker??
Throughout the second half, we created opportunities and played the ball around effectively. Gravesen looks to be the business. He gets up and down the pitch, has skill, awareness and an ability to go past the opposition. At £2.4M, he looks a snip.
Gascoigne still has all the qualities that nearly made him the player he promised to be. He had time on the ball, a cheeky grin, a deft touch and the ability to do the unexpected. He's definitely not a whole game player though. 90 minutes of Gazza and I'd be seething. He needs to learn that the shimmy still works, but the pace isn't quite there. Defenders can catch him now . Better to shimmy and pass than shimmy and be caught... But maybe I'm just nervous about him. He sees things others can't and does things others don't – he's the ultimate enigma and, love him or loathe him, he is now one of us.
City's goal was a bit of a nonsense. Excellent build up from Everton but a ball from centre-midfield found Gravesen surrounded. As he tried to get the ball under control it was nicked from him, and City broke down the left. A Kennedy cross found the diminutive Sean Wright-Phillips (Ian Wright's sprog!) unmarked to head home past Gerrard. Wright-Phillips is fast and stands at around 5 feet 4 in his stocking feet. His pace did us down the middle as we failed to recover from the counter attack. Our height advantage mattered for nothing when there was no defender to mark him. A warning sign, perhaps.
The rest of the game came and went. Franny showed in flashes; Joe-Max was nearly on target; Pistone showed his attacking prowess. Davey Weir was the biggest worry as he went off near the end, following a collision with Weah. Substitute on this occasion was Richard Dunne.
The biggest ovation, however, was for the penultimate substitution as Alex Nyarko made way for Joe Parkinson. Rather more of him than in his glory days, but he was there. He mixed it a bit, just to show willing; you could see the desire on his face, but his lack of match practice showed. A glorious swan song though. A final run out at Goodison, a 3-1 win and the sounds of the crowd ringing in his ears "Ohh, Joey, Joey; Joey, Joey, Joey, Joey Parkinson."
But, for all he's the one we were there for, Joe represents the past. We have to look forward. It's my belief that we can look forward with confidence. Another year of progress beckons. The signings look more than useful and appear to offer more than those who've left. We've some to return from injury and more to be added to the squad in the next week or so. The future looks bright. No doom and gloom here. Bring on Leeds.
Man of the Match: Sentimentality rules my head – Joe Parkinson!
|Niclas the Grateful|
|by Phil Andrews, The Independent|
For two clubs who have lived too long in the shadow of more illustrious
neighbours, the result of this testimonial for Joe Parkinson was less
important than the indication it gave of their prospects of grabbing some of
the limelight themselves when the Premiership campaign begins on Saturday.
Conspicuous spending is the best way of keeping up with the neighbours, of course, and neither manager has been in any danger of letting his transfer kitty burn a hole in his pocket during the close season.
Of the new acquisitions on parade, Joe Royle's came with the greatest burden of expectation, but Walter Smith may prove to have the sharper eye for a bargain. Niclas Alexandersson, who abandoned ship when Sheffield Wednesday went down, did enough in 36 minutes to show that, whether or not Duncan Ferguson proves to be Everton's prodigal son, they have already found someone with a nose for goal.
The Swede's crosses from the right gave an uncertain City defence plenty to think about before he drifted inside to unhinge them twice in 15 minutes, chipping over the goalkeeper Nick Weaver and turning neatly to side-foot a second from an almost identical position on the edge of the box.
By the time he limped off with an ankle injury that may keep him out of Sweden's midweek international, Everton were already in control and other new boys were showing what they were capable of.
The former Newcastle full-back Alessandro Pistone looked poised in defence and dangerous on the break while the midfielder Alex Nyarko, signed from Racing Lens, showed a deftness of touch his gangling frame belies. But nobody would upstage Everton's best known newcomer on his Goodison debut.
Paul Gascoigne came off the bench for the second half looking slim, full of movement and demanding the ball, and made his presence felt almost at once. A surging run earned a corner, from which Nyarko put Everton further ahead with an audacious back-heel.
By now, Royle's return to Goodison had become thoroughly dispiriting. His own big-name signing, George Weah, showed a few early touches but will not thrive on such scant service, while Steve Howey's arrival from Newcastle did little to bolster a rickety rearguard. City scarcely troubled the Everton goalkeeper Paul Gerrard before the substitute Sean Wright-Phillips reduced the arrears with a header on the hour.
Royle may be ruing his failure to sign the Villa defender Ugo Ehiogu and keen to see if Paulo Wanchope, who missed this match on international duty for Costa Rica, can ignite a damp strike force. Smith said: "Alexandersson's goals showed that he can both provide and score and we are in good shape for the start of the season."
|Report © The Independent|
|Nyarko gives City early warning|
|by Joe Lovejoy, The Sunday Times|
PAUL GASCOIGNE and George Weah were the main magnets, depending on the fans'
persuasion, but the show was stolen by two less-celebrated summer signings,
Niclas Alexandersson and Alex Nyarko, who together gave the City defence a
painful reminder of the class gap that exists between the First Division and
Premier League. Alexandersson, bought from Sheffield Wednesday for
£2.5M, always looked a good player in his Hillsborough days, and reinforced
that impression here with two well-taken goals.
It was Everton's third, however, that gave the home crowd most pleasure, Nyarko backheeling the ball home from near the penalty spot after the City defence had failed to clear a Gascoigne corner.
Walter Smith and his coaches have high hopes of Nyarko, who cost £4.5M from Lens. It is the Ghanaian, rather than Gascoigne, who is expected to run their midfield this season. The Great Showman – or should it now be showboater? – of English football had to wait until the second half to get into the action and, despite one trademark free-kick, was never a major influence.
Of far more significance for the blue half of Merseyside will be the imminent return of their old favourite, Duncan Ferguson. Smith agreed terms with Newcastle at about £4M on Friday night, and the Scottish striker's transfer will be completed tomorrow, subject to a medical, taking Everton's close-season spending spree to £20M . Better days, indeed, for a club strapped for cash for so long.
Much is expected of both these resurgent giants, locally at least, the customary pre-season hopes and expectations fuelled by high profile signings in each case. As well as Alexandersson, Gascoigne and Nyarko, Everton paraded new full-backs, in Steve Watson and Alessandro Pistone, from Aston Villa and Newcastle respectively, and brought on Thomas Gravesen, the Danish international midfielder, who cost them £2.5M from Hamburg.
City, newly promoted, are determined not to go straight back down again, and are pushing the boat out accordingly. Weah, Steve Howie, and Alfie Haaland are among their new recruits, but it was never going to be their day.
Everton, the better side throughout, were firmly in the driving seat from the 10th minute, when Francis Jeffers' through-pass enabled Alexandersson to lift the ball over Nicky Weaver, the England wannabe goalkeeper's advance from his line succeeding only in stranding himself in no-man's land.
Jeffers, playing only because Kevin Campbell was unfit, and destined for the bench with Ferguson's arrival, was eager to make the most of his opportunity and soon set up Alexandersson for his second goal. Nyarko's cheeky-chappy finish made it 3-0 after 48 minutes, then Sean Wright-Phillips pulled one back on the hour from Mark Kennedy's left-wing cross.
The biggest cheer of the afternoon was reserved for the introduction, for the last 13 minutes of the match's beneficiary, Joe Parkinson.
The pugnacious midfielder, forced into retirement after losing a two-year battle with knee trouble, is some £200,000 better off as a result of his old manager, Joe Royle, bringing his team to Goodison for this well-supported testimonial.
|Report © The Sunday Times|