Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool Premiership  Saturday 28 August 2004; 3:00pm  
 Osman (2', 70')   Half Time: 1-1
  Dobbie (7')  
 Attendance: 34,510 (Fixture 3) Referee: P Walton

Match Summary


Wayne Rooney: Will the off-field furore surrounding his future prove to be a
 damaging distraction?

Amidst all the furore surrounding Rooney's future, Everton need to play a game of football at Goodison Park against West Brom.  Pistone comes in for Naysmith, who is suspended for one game after picking up double-yellow cards in last week's game.

Everton started the game in determined fashion and were ahead inside 2 minutes.  A nice looooong throw from Gravesen, flicked on by Kilbane and there at the back post was the diminutive figure of Leon Osman who powered a lovely header across Russell Hoult and into the corner of the West Brom net!  Nice one, Leon!

West Brom responded in similar vein but Yobo was up to although three quick corners worried Everton, with Greening and Kanu the main threats, and on the third Scott Dobie managed to scramble through and nod it in. 

It was clear West Brom were not going to just role over as the game developed into a lively and open pattern with action at both ends of the field.  Leon Osman was in with another chance that flew fractionally wide.  Bent had a couple of chances too, in one he stole the ball but had trouble getting the ball onto his right foot.

An planned protest by distraught Everton fans who want Wayne Rooney to stay was thwarted by a rather simple mechanism: EFC stewards not allowing people who leave the stadium at half-time to come back in! 

Bent got another chance earlier in the second half but his header was tame and another opportunity missed as Everton failed to maintain the momentum of the first half and were worryingly unable to make their chances pay.  After a flat 20 mins, Moyes decided it was time to shake things up, bringing on Duncan Ferguson in place of Kevin Campbell.

But a free-kick on the edge of the West Brom area was  whipped in superbly Carsley and it was Leon Osman once again, standing in front of Hoult, who flicked another header perfectly past the West Brom goalie in a lovely-worked move straight off the Bellefield whiteboard.  Go LEON!!!

An important win at an extremely difficult time for Everton and Evertonians, consolidating the improvements David Moyes has clearly made — despite the supposed loss of 17 players! 

Michael Kenrick

> Match Facts
> Match Reports
 
Premiership Scores
Saturday 28 Aug 2004
Blackburn 1-1 Man Utd
Aston Villa 3-2 Newcastle
Chelsea 2-1 Southampton
Everton 2-1 West Brom
Man City 3-0 Charlton
Middlesbro 2-1 C Palace
Tottenham 1-0 Birmingham
Norwich 1-3 Arsenal
Sunday 29 Aug 2004
Bolton 1-0 Liverpool
 
Premiership Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Arsenal 12
2 Chelsea 12
3 Bolton 9
4 Tottenham 8
5 Middlesbrough 7
6 Aston Villa 7
7 Everton 6
8 Charlton 6
9 Man City 4
10 Fulham 4
11 Liverpool 4
12 Man Utd 4
13 Birmingham 4
14 West Brom 3
15 Southampton 3
16 Newcastle 2
17 Norwich 2
18 Blackburn 2
19 Portsmouth 1
20 Palace 1
After 29 Aug 2004
 
Everton v West Brom:
Prior League Games
 Overall  
 Everton 39
 West Brom 14
 Draws 14
 Premiership  
 Everton 1
 West Brom 0
 Draws 0
 Last Meeting:

Everton 1-0 West Brom 


Match Facts
 EVERTON (4-4-2)
 
Blue shirts, white shorts, white socks
WEST BROM (4-4-2)
Red shirts, dark blue shorts, red socks
Martyn
Hibbert
Yobo
Stubbs {c}
Pistone
Osman
Gravesen
Carsley
Kilbane
Campbell (61' Ferguson)
Bent

Subs not used:
Wright, Watson, Weir,
McFadden

Yellow Cards: 


Red Cards: —


Unavailable:

(Suspended:) Cahill, Naysmith
(Injured:) Rooney, Li Tie
Hoult
Scimeca
Robinson (65' Moore)
Gaardsoe (23' Albrechtsen)
Purse {c}
Greening
Johnson
Gera (58' Haas)
Dobie
Clement
Kanu

Subs Not Used:
Kuszczak, O'Connor

Yellow Cards:
Scimeca (62')

Red Cards: —

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Match Preview

Against the backdrop of the Wayne Rooney saga and the potential disappointment in the loss of the Blues' jewel in the crown, it's easy to forget last weekend's superb result at Crystal Palace and the enormous moral boost it represented to David Moyes's men.

But while the off-field controversies rage, West Bromwich Albion come to Goodison on the back of a solid start in their return to the Premiership with three consecutive draws.

Everton did the double over Gary Megson's side two seasons ago and victory again over the Baggies would prevent a fourth consecutive home defeat. Indeed, the Blues haven't picked up a single point at Goodison since mauling Spurs 3-1 back in April.

Tim Cahill is back from his Olympic adventure with Australia but serves the third and final game of the suspension he picked up playing for Millwall last season. In his stead, Lee Carsley is likely to partner last week's hero Thomas Gravesen, with Leon Osman and Kevin Kilbane out wide.

In defence, both Joseph Yobo and Alan Stubbs appeared to come through the Selhurst Park test unscathed and Moyes probably would have named an unchanged back four ahead of Nigel Martyn were it not for Gary Naysmith's suspension following his red card last weekend. Alessandro Pistone will likely replace the Scot at left back.

Up front, Kevin Campbell has apparently shaken off the knee injury that forced him to retire from the action midway through the second half last week but he remains an uninspiring choice when James McFadden's unpredictable talent is available. Nevertheless, it would be a surprise if he didn't start if passed fit.

Obviously this is another must-win game, particularly with Manchester United — and with our dreadful record against them one of the clearest portents of doom at Old Trafford — looming on Monday. And if Moyes's boys perform the way they did at Palace last week, they should win comfortably. If the week's events and any protests from the stands don't prove too big a distraction.

Lyndon Lloyd


Matchday Stats

This will be the 145th meeting between Everton and West Bromwich Albion in all competitions, and the 73rd at home.  This match will be the 3rd meeting in the Premier League, and the 2nd at Goodison Park.

Everton's full record against West Brom is:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

2

2

0

0

3

1

Division One

130

50

31

49

220

219

Division Two

2

2

0

0

4

2

FA Cup

9

4

2

3

11

7

League Cup

1

0

0

1

1

2

TOTALS:

144

58

33

53

239

231

Our record at Goodison Park against West Brom is:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

1

1

0

0

1

0

Division One

65

37

14

14

143

83

Division Two

1

1

0

0

2

1

FA Cup

4

3

1

0

8

2

League Cup

1

0

0

1

1

2

TOTALS:

72

42

15

15

155

88

The last match between the sides was on 12 April 2003 when goals from David Weir and Kevin Campbell cancelled out a goal from Balis.  The last match between the sides at Goodison Park was on 23 November 2002 when a 35th minute Tomasz Radzinski goal gave Everton their sixth consecutive Premier League victory and their fifth consecutive 1-0 scoreline.

There have been 9 Everton hat-tricks in all matches against West Brom, however, the last one was scored by Alan Ball in Everton's 4-0 victory at Goodison Park on 28 September 1968, with Colin Harvey getting the other goal.  The most famous Everton "hat-trick" against West Bromwich Albion was Jack Southworth's 6-goal haul on 30 December 1893 which still stands as the highest number of goals scored by an Everton player in a single match.

Southworth's 6 goals helped Everton to their biggest victory against West Brom, with Jack Bell getting a seventh as Everton ran out 7-1 winners.  West Brom's biggest victory came almost 30 years later on 24 November 1923 at The Hawthorn's which they won 5-0.

The most common victory for Everton against West Brom is shared between a 1-0 victory and a 2-1 victory which have both happened on 11 occasions of Everton's 58 wins.  West Brom's most common victory is 1-0 happening 9 times in Albion's 53 victories.  The most common draw between the teams is 1-1, which has occurred 15 times in the 33 draws between the sides.

Everton's record for 28 August is:

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Premier League

3

0

1

2

1

4

Division One

13

1

4

8

10

23

League Cup

1

1

0

0

2

0

TOTALS:

17

2

5

10

13

27

This is the first time that the sides have met on this day.  The last match Everton played on this day was the first meeting between Everton and Birmingham City in the Premier League in 2002 when a last minute David Unsworth goal secured a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park.

Charles Menham was born in Bromley on this day in 1896.  Signed from Northern Nomads during the 1925-26 season, Charles made just 3 appearances for Everton before returning to his former club later in the same season.

Also born on this day in 1975 was Gareth Farrelly from Dublin.  Gareth signed in July 1997 from Aston Villa before moving on to Bolton Wanderers in December 1999.  During his time at the club Gareth made 21 appearances and 9 substitute appearances, whilst scoring 2 goals.  The first of these was against Scunthorpe United in the 1997-98 League Cup whilst his other goal was one of the most important in the club's history in the final league game of the same season.  Gareth scored in the seventh minute in Everton's 1-1 draw with Coventry City, whilst down in London Chelsea defeated Bolton Wanderers thus ensuring Everton stayed in the Premiership on goal difference!

Andrei Kanchelskis played for Russia in their 2-2 draw with Brazil on this day in 1996 which is the only international appearance by an Everton player on this day.

Milestone's that can be reached in this game:

  • If Duncan Ferguson starts the match, it will be his 150th start for Everton in the league.
  • If Everton are defeated then they will have the unenviable distinction of setting a new club record for consecutive defeats at home in the Premier League.  The current run of three consecutive home defeats has matched the record set twice during the 1993-94 season!  The overall club record is a miserable run of 7 consecutive home matches set over the 1957-58 and 1958-59 seasons.

Steve Flanagan



The King is Dead

Travelling up to Goodison this morning, my main thought was what effect the events of the past few days would have on the team.  In many ways, this was an even bigger test than last week's excellent away win at Palace.  Would minds be on the job in hand (3 pts) or would they still be digesting the acres of press coverage that has been generated on the topic that every blue has dreaded but deep down knew was always going to happen.

The team was predictable — Pistone for the suspended Naysmith the only change.  We started extremely well.  Less than two minutes into the game, Kilbane flicks a Gravesen long throw (where did that skill come from?) to the backpost where the smallest man on the pitch, Leon Osman rose to head the ball back across the keeper into the far corner.  Shock, horror, the Blues take the lead!

Disappointingly, we immediately let West Brom straight back into the game.  The third of three quick corners left Scott Dobie with a header and he made no mistake planting it firmly past Martyn into the net.  Six minutes gone, 1-1.

The remainder of the first half consisted of a number of good chances that the Blues were unable to put away.  Osman put a carbon-copy header past the post this time, rather than inside it, Yobo had a superb header from a corner saved by Hoult, Campbell was put through superbly by Bent but it's a long time now since Campbell could outpace even the most pedestrian of centre-halves.  If only the roles had been reversed.

Second half brought more of the same... we had lots of possession without really looking like scoring.  West Brom were very poor... they look organised and work hard as a team but after the goal, I can' 't remember Martyn having anything to do.

Finally, Moyes did the decent thing and took Campbell off and brought Dunc on.  Immediately we looked dangerous.  Duncan put himself about, eventually niggling Darren Purse into fouling him on the edge of the box.  Carsley whipped the ball in hard and, guess who was standing on the edge of the 6-yard box to glance in his second header of the match, Prince Leon Osman!

We could and should have scored more.  Duncan had a header saved by Hoult, Bent had a run and shot deflected over the bar and one of the most obvious penalty claims of the season was amazingly turned down by ref. Rob Styles.

In the end, we relaxed a bit too much in midfield and, rather than than killing the game off, nearly let West Brom back into the game.

Ratings:

  • Martyn 6 - Had nothing to do so its hard to give him any sort of mark really.
  • Hibbert 4 - Really poor today.  He appears to have completely lost his confidence.  His first thought appears to always be to get rid of the ball, rather than take it on, beat someone and get in a good cross.  On this form, he's not a Premiership player.
  • Pistone 4 - Equally as poor as Hibbert today.  Full back is becoming a serious problem for Moyes...
  • Stubbs 6 - Started off poorly but improved in the second half.  However, he was only having to deal with a non-existent attack.  Monday will be a different story...
  • Yobo 8 - Very nearly my man of the match.  He held the defence together superbly.  Without him we might have been in bigger trouble.
  • Kilbane 7 - Lots of endeavour as you'd expect from KK
  • Carsley 7 - Played the holding role in front of the defence well.
  • Gravesen 8 - 8 for Tommy from me is going some!  This is what we pay him to do — but as of last season, we hardly ever saw.  He bossed the midfield, was everywhere, chased back (well, some of the time), won tackles and generally put himself about.  Maybe he's just trying to attract prospective buyers.  Don't knock it — enjoy it while we can.
  • Osman 9 - The second goal was the clincher for the MotM.  For those old enough and Welsh enough to remember King Barry John, Osman has a similar ability to ghost into areas completely unnoticed.  Time and time again he'd suddenly pop up in dangerous areas in the box, completely unmarked.  He might just be the new hero to replace you know who.
  • Campbell 6 - If we didn't already know it, today was just the confirmation that Campbell's time is up.  Bent playing him through was the defining moment - no-one got out of their seats since everyone knew that he wasn't going to get anywhere near the goal.  Taxi....
  • Bent 8 - My first sight of him and I'm impressed.  We've replaced Radzinski by a guy who's younger, stronger and who cost less.  Good business all round.  He worked extremely hard, eventually getting a standing ovation for some incessant chasing in the second half.
  • Ferguson 7 - Did more in 10 minutes after he came on that Campbell had done all game.

Moyes 10 — the guy played everything well, from a cool, calm pre-match interview on Football Focus to excellent organisation and motivation of the team today.

Overall, a good three points against a team that will be down amongst the dead men come May.  Just like last week, this was another 6-pointer that we had to win.

So, what of the future?  Unless a miracle happens, Wednesday will be Day One AR (after Rooney).  The king is dead..... long live the Prince !

Jonathan Martin

Leon lifts the gloom in Wayne's old world
Guy Hodgson at Goodison Park

The club crest that greets you as you enter Goodison Park boasts a motto that has had a hollow ring to it for nearly 20 years. "Nil Satis Nisi Optimum" it reads, "Only The Best Is Good Enough", and today even Evertonians normally too blind-eyed to recognise reality are embarrassed by the standards that implies.

The best? As Wayne Rooney, who can lay claim to being the most talented teenager in the world, prepares to leave Everton this week, the club should consider calling in a painter. "We'll have to make do with what we can keep" would seem an appropriate message.

They made do yesterday, gaining a win over West Bromwich Albion thanks to two goals from Leon Osman, but it was hardly the performance of thoroughbreds. Rather, Everton resembled a team scrapping for points against opponents likely to be with them at the wrong end of the Premiership table next May, a scenario repeated too often in recent years.

"The players and myself wanted to show how together we are here," the Everton manager, David Moyes, said as news broke that Manchester United had outbid Newcastle United's £23.5m bid for Rooney. "This is a great football club and it will go on long after I've gone and after any players or chairmen go. I've said many times this is the club for the people of Liverpool."

Moyes would not comment on the latest bid from Old Trafford, but it is he who will have to keep the club going forward on restricted means even if some of the Rooney money is made available to him.

It is hard times at the Goodison club who were once were natural inhabitants of England's Big Five and now, with boardroom battles and debts of £40m, would have to justify a place in the top 15. Most football institutions have to sell their assets at some time but it is usually the smallest of minnows who have their jewels prised from them before the youngsters have learned to shave.

Rooney, who seems likely to move to Old Trafford or St James' Park for a fee above £25m within the next 48 hours, is an exceptional 18-year-old but his decision to ask for a transfer from the club he has supported all his life is like the final admission the glory days, that were last truly enjoyed in 1985 and 1987 when they won the championship, are increasingly unlikely to return. Goodbye Wayne, hello mediocrity, and is that relegation on the horizon?.

"I am saddened and disgusted at the way fans have been treated over the last few years," a letter in the Liverpool Echo last night read. "I didn't think it could get any worse." Another was equally gloomy. "I plead with you not to sell. If Rooney goes, so does any hope or aspiration for Everton."

The mood was bleak at Goodison yesterday but, surprisingly, there were no demonstrations or banners before the kick-off. A police helicopter hovered menacingly above, but within the stadium there was a quiet resignation about a transfer that has moved quickly in the last few days but has been hanging over Everton ever since Rooney made a stellar impact for England at the European Championship in Portugal.

Events on the pitch showed almost as much acceleration because within seven minutes Goodison had witnessed two goals amid enough mistakes to last half a season.

The supporters kept their heads amid the swirl of emotions, which is more than can be said for the defenders from both sides. The first back four to go missing belonged to the visitors when they allowed Kevin Kilbane to win a header from Thomas Gravesen's second-minute throw-in and then disappeared all together when Osman arrived at the back post to aim a looping header over Russell Hoult.

Given the bad news that has been emanating out of Everton in recent weeks, it all appeared too good to be true, and so it worked out because Albion were level within five minutes. Jonathan Greening's corner from the right was met by a virtually unopposed header from Scott Dobie who rose at the near post to comprehensively beat Nigel Martyn. One man who does know how to use his head is Duncan Ferguson and it was the towering Scot's aerial nuisance that won Everton a free-kick and the winning goal after 70 minutes.

Albion's defence had not distinguished themselves with the first goal and they failed to do so again, leaving Osman alone on the penalty spot to divert Gravesen's free-kick in with his head.

It was not pretty but it was a win and it gave the home supporters enough heart for them to give vent to their feelings. "One greedy bastard," they chanted and you suspect there will be more of the same when Everton play their next match at, of all places, Old Trafford tomorrow.

Rooney, who once lifted his shirt to reveal the slogan "once a Blue, always a Blue" said that his decision to ask for a transfer had been the hardest of his life and, as an Evertonian, he will empathise with the difficult question his fellow supporters will have to make: should I watch a team who propose to bring in the Liverpool reject Djimi Traoré through one door as the wunderkind disappears through another? On second thoughts, maybe that is not a difficult decision at all.



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