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Derby County 1 - 0 Everton

Half-time: 1 - 0

Everton Logo
FA Carling Premiership 2000-01 – Game 21
3 pm Monday 1 January 2001
Pride Park, Derby
Att: 27,358
« Coventry City (h) Ref: Alan Wiley Watford (a) »
[ Matchday Calendar ] League Position: 16th [ Results &  Table ]
Duncan Ferguson The postponement of Everton's match v Leeds United provided a brief respite for Walter Smith's beleaguered squad, which continues to be ravaged by injuries and a viral infection (not flu) that is working its relentless way through the uninjured players.  All of EIGHT players were again sidelined for this critical match with Derby who started just one place lower in the Premiership, and 2 points behind.  

Alexandersson started upfront alongside Duncan Ferguson in yet another bizarre team permutation by Walter Smith, who spurned both Tal and Cadamarteri.

Everton began brightly with a couple of quick corners in the first minute, but the game soon settled down into a fairly even contest, although Derby played some good early moves.  After 17 mins, Steve Watson hit the bar with a header off a corner.  Soon after, Gravesen made a poor mistake to let in Burton, who streaked away to score.  Little of merit in the rest of the first half, which Everton finished in disarray, lucky not to go two behind.

Another fine start by Everton after the interval saw two great shots by Weir and Moore, and great saves to match by Poom, who went on to deny everything Everton could throw at Derby.  Despite some personnel changes by Walter Smith, the match inevitably drifted away from Everton, who now fall to 5th from bottom well and truly in the relegation dogfight. 



Derby County: Burton (21').
   LINEUPS  Subs Not Used
Derby County: Poom, Riggott, Carbonari, West, Delap, Higginbotham, Eranio (67' Kinkladze), Burley (41' Murray), Johnson, Christie, Burton.  Martin, Mawene, Oakes.
EVERTON: Myhre; S Watson, Weir, Ball, Naysmith; Gemmill, Gravesen (46' Unsworth), Pembridge, Nyarko (46' Moore); Alexandersson (78' Tal), Ferguson. 
Unavailable: Gascoigne, Gerrard, Gough, Jeffers, Pistone, Xavier (injured); Campbell, S Hughes (ill).
Simonsen, Cleland.
   Playing Strips  Formations
Derby County: White shirts; black shorts; white socks. 4-4-2
EVERTON: Royal Blue shirts; white shorts; blue socks. 4-4-2
   Yellow Cards  Red Cards
Derby County: Carbonari (16'), West (45')
EVERTON: Gravesen (32'), Nyarko (42'), Weir (75')
 Sports.Com Match Stats  


David Catton Happy New Year
Mickey Blue Eyes Apocalypse Now
ELECTRONIC TELEGRAPH Burton rewards Derby's true grit
by Timothy Collings
THE TIMES Poom looms large as Everton lose their grip
by Richard Hobson
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 Happy New Year
David Catton
The current mess with the trains at least gave me one bit of relief today there was a delayed train at Derby Station when I arrived there from Pride Park so here I am at home just one hour after the game finished.

The game?  Business as usual, Im afraid.  Everton pressed in the first few minutes but couldnt score; Derby capitalised on a sloppy bit of work by Gravesen and scored.  They then resisted everything Everton produced in the ensuing 70(+6) minutes.  It wasnt that Everton were awful; they were just not good enough.  Slow to the ball, late in the tackle, no guile, no game plan, they contrived to make Derby look dangerous when they got possession.

Gravesen and Nyarko were never in the game and, as both had managed to get themselves booked, they were substituted at half-time.  Unsworth and Moore replaced them but made no appreciable difference to the teams performance.  

Myrhe had little to do; a couple of catches, a push over the bar and one opportunity to pick the ball out of his goal.  Watson, Weir and Ball at the back were not especially troubled by Derbys attackers but there was always a feeling that they would crack if Derby did put a move together. Weir was rightly booked in the second half for a dreadful lunge across a Derby attacker. Last season that might well have been a red card from some of the referees we endured. 

Besides the mid-fielders mentioned, Gemmill and Pembridge also played; neither did much.  Alexandersson looked reasonably perky, spending the first half pushed up alongside Ferguson and the second on the wing when Moore came on to play up front.  Tal replaced him with about 12 minutes left and he won a few throw-ins trying to beat his opponent, otherwise he might have stayed dry in his tracksuit.  

Ferguson was at his statuesque best.  Frequently knocked or pushed over by the Derby defenders, he won little in the air and when he did get his header, the ball fell anywhere except to an Everton player.  His movement was all off the ball and to negligible effect.  In short, he posed no threat whatever.  Unfit in every sense!

As I try to fathom where Everton go wrong, the only conclusion I reach is that the teams tactics(!) are directed at negating the strong points of the opponents in the current game.  If successful, it means that Everton can stifle their opponents and there may just be a chance of a breakaway goal.  Unfortunately, if the opponents score first, the mountain is all too often too high or steep for this collection of players to climb.  The result of this approach is that games involving Everton are never entertaining and I resent that bitterly.  I was brought up on a different diet and I miss the excitement.  Bluntly, the current Everton is downright boring and frustrating to watch.

It doesnt matter if this erudite analysis is right or wrong, however; the results on the field are self- evident.  The only thing that matters in the next few weeks is whether Walter Smith is a Mike Walker or a Joe Royle.  Poor old Mike was content to let Everton drift along, presumably prepared to contemplate a year or two out of the Premier League while rebuilding the team, Norwich fashion.  Joe, when he arrived, was having none of that and pulled the team off the bottom of the league by instilling some pride and guts in the players.  

Looking back, although Joe Royle had manifestly lost his way, his departure was probably premature so getting rid of Smith and his coaching staff at this time could be suicidal.  Time and tide do not wait, however; so if Walter does care, I hope he will show it and soon.  If he doesnt care, I hope hell do the decent thing and move out while theres time for someone (anyone!) to grab the players by the scruff of their collective necks and string a few results together.  At present, I fear doom at Watford and Spurs picking up their first away win of the season as our immediate future.

Oh yes, a Happy New Year to all and sundry...

   Up to Reports Index ]
 Apocalypse Now
Mickey Blue Eyes

Back in Blighty after a couple of civilised weeks in La Belle France.... missing the Charlton and Coventry games, and not missing in the least the commercial lunacy of an English Crimbo, mobile phones or any of the other useless paraphernalia.  Back a couple of days and then New Year and an inevitable hangover which banged around in me head like a stone in a tin can.  Oh yes, it was all happening.  

A roaring fire in rural Brittany with family and friends listening to John Williams play Cavatina and other tender beauties, with good food and good wine my idea of heaven on earth.  Why spoil it with the madness of a New Year bash?  Dunno really...  Its probably because Im English.

Everyone knows were the only modern Europeans who think a good time means getting so much bad alcohol inside you that you cant stand up.  Difficult to imagine a Yates Wine Lodge anywhere else in Europe but I dont suppose it will be long delayed, not when McDonalds long ago managed to smear Rome with its ugly and unwanted logo, and near the foot of the Spanish Steps at that.

I exclude the Irish from this because theyre civilised enough to exclude economists from their cultural life and they write better English than we do.  I exclude the Jocks too because they have the good sense to trash London every couple of years, thus saving provincial England an awful lot of time, effort and slammer ennui.  I wont bother excusing the Taffs; anybody who organises a maul with an egg shaped ball deserves the wrath of Odin.

So... The Bus set off for Derby with a full load of murderous hangovers and sombre expressions.  Recent results have taken their toll.  And who is to blame them?  It would take a saint or a congenital idiot to shrug off the dangers of our latest dance on the trapdoor.  I said earlier in the season, and I still hold to it, that I dont think well have fortune on our side this time.  Or Chelsea, who saved us twice before when we should have disappeared through the trapdoor at the end of a noose.  That kind of good fortune simply cant go on.  We have used up enough luck to last us for the next decade.  If we get sucked into yet another relegation fight, were done for.

The fans, wonderfully loyal, are showing signs of genuine weariness at the grotesque spectacle.  Carping and sniping is on an upward curve.  And though they have long earned the right its a quite useless waste of time.  So is all this keep the faith nonsense.  Anybody who turns football into a triumphalist tribal religion is an inadequate moron who deserves all the derision he gets when events go against him.  Its a game, thats all, full of ups, downs, glory and despair but just a game for all that.  Its a parody of life, not a metaphor, a small imitation of something much, much larger.  You can love The Beautiful Game very much but still keep it in its proper place.

And so to the game: a pathetic spectacle between two pathetic teams.  A sure indication of the kind of schtook were in is that we were the worst of the two.  Oddly enough we had more chances than they did and might even have won had not Poom produced three or four first class saves.  But we wouldnt have deserved it.  Honestly, its a waste of time trying to describe our so-called team pattern because we didnt have one.

As usual, the misery stemmed yet again, for the umpteenth time this season, from midfield.  This must surely be the last time Smiffy will introduce The Gravedigger and Alex Nyarko into centre midfield, or preferably anywhere.  Sadly, neither of them have a clue how to play in Premiership footy.  An English winter is a long, long way from pre-season friendlies.  If we HAVE to play them, for fucks sake just stick them out wide, right and left, where they cant leave the centre of the defence under pressure.  Theres no point indicating the injury list either theyre both senior pros who should at least be making an effort.  Ha, if only.  They are so far out of their depth they should be wearing SCUBA gear.

Derbys first half goal was an excellent example.  Yet one more uneven Derby attack fizzled out down our right and the ball got scrimmaged (theres no other appropriate word) to just right of our penalty box, about 4 m out.  The Gravedigger won it and then promptly lost it to a half-hearted lunge.  It got knocked back across our penalty area where nobody seemed remotely interested in clearing it and Burton strode in unmarked and casually punted it low past Myhre.  I dont know who was more embarrassed, our defence, Burton or our usual legion of fans.  Shades of the mess against West Ham.

If anybodys looking for a crumb of comfort, they can find it in spasms of play by Nic Alexandersson and a slightly upbeat 10 minutes right at the beginning of the second half.  This spell coincided, surprise surprise, with the substitution of Gravesen and Nyarko by Unsy and The Little Yank.  If I ever end up in a trench again the latter lad is one I want with me.  I hope he knows how to throw grenades.

Ah, SHIT whats the POINT?  This lot have got relegation written all over them.  That, and self-pity.  Smiffy obviously hasnt got a clue how to motivate them.  Scott Gemmill and Mark Pembridge worked their socks off as usual but Smiffys Rubik had them playing wide, split up by Alex Nyarko.  Might as well open the gate and let the bulls in.  Its a safe bet Nyarko wouldnt want to try the run at Pamplona though, while Gravesen would be too busy trying to butt one to the ground.

At the end, for the first time in my life, I heard our away fans booing their own team.  It was a deeply unhappy moment.  But it was fair.  Derby are a mediocre team at best and we never even remotely looked like we had a clue how to beat them.  It was route one again to The Big Yin.  This was Plan A, B and C.

So now we are due to face Tottenham, Coventry, Middlesborough and Manchester United in the league.  Back in November we would have been rock-bottom if we hadnt beaten Bradford, Arsenal and Chelsea in successive matches.  At this rate theres every prospect that is precisely where well be on the evening of February 3rd.

And Watford in the Cup next Saturday?  Are you KIDDING?  I wouldnt back us to beat Gravesend and Northfleet United.

Ill be there of course.  I wont boo.  But Ill understand anyone who does.  Theyve earned the right.  If only the players and management would understand they have to earn their wages too.


   Up to Reports Index ]
 Poom looms large as Everton lose their grip
by Richard Hobson, The Times

AT THIS time of the year, sides previously in peril begin to move clear of danger while others, supposedly comfortable in mid-table, start to tread on quicksand . Wimbledon suffered last season and this time it is Everton who are moving towards danger while Derby County mount a revival.  Given a desperate injury list, Everton did not play badly yesterday, but they might come to reflect on the occasion as an opportunity missed, even though the failure to breach Derbys defence could hardly be blamed on poor finishing.  Everton did their bit.  So, unfortunately for them, did Mart Poom, the Derby goalkeeper.

In one period of ten minutes shortly after half-time Poom made four saves that Walter Smith, the Everton manager, described as magnificent.  We have not asked so many questions of an opposition goalkeeper all season, he said.  But the quality of his performance does not offer any consolation to us.

The most salient and brutal fact is that Everton have secured only one point from the past six matches and now sit two points away from the bottom three.  Derby have climbed above them, and forthcoming games against Tottenham Hotspur, Coventry City and Middlesbrough have assumed huge importance.

For Derby, victory represented a third success in five matches.  In that period they have conceded a single goal.  The defence of Taribo West, Horacio Carbonari and Chris Riggott, sewn together from three continents, has provided a solid base and Poom has confirmed himself as one of the most reliable goalkeepers in the FA Carling Premiership.

He is one of the best four in the country at the moment, Jim Smith, the Derby manager, said.  The fact that the defence has gelled has given him confidence to build on and he is producing what we always knew he could.  Earlier in the season we needed to score four times to get a result.

With so many chances, and the atrocious conditions brought on by torrential rain, the game could easily have been a high-scoring affair.  Instead, it was decided by one calm piece of finishing by Deon Burton in the twentieth minute.  Seth Johnson caught the ponderous Thomas Gravesen in possession with a searing challenge and fed Stefano Eranio, whose whipped ball in from the left was cleverly dummied by Malcolm Christie to leave Burton clear.

Four minutes earlier Steve Watson had headed against the Derby crossbar and Poom offered a taste of events to come by turning away the follow-up shot by Mark Pembridge, which was deflected by West.  From then until the 45th minute, when Christie misdirected a header and Rory Delap failed to turn a fierce cross by Eranio in to the empty Everton goal, the game was largely compacted in the middle third.

Gradually thereafter, the fact that Everton had not played on Saturday began to tell.  Derby, with tired legs, missed the presence of Craig Burley, who suffered a groin injury towards the end of the first half, and allowed too many balls to rain in on their own penalty area.  From one such delivery Weir headed powerfully towards the top right corner of the net, only to see Poom dive full length to turn it away.

A low shot by Duncan Ferguson was palmed wide athletically a minute later before Pembridge was denied in similar fashion.  Then, to crown the sequence, Poom blocked what appeared to be a well-placed, curling effort by Watson.

Never again could Everton convert their possession in to anything so tangible, and they were themselves fortunate not to concede a penalty four minutes from the end when Thomas Myhre clipped Christie as the striker went around his lunge.  Alan Wiley, the referee, would surely have pointed to the spot had Christie fallen.  Malcolm got punished for his honesty, Jim Smith said.

For his namesake much will depend on how soon the likes of Richard Gough, Kevin Campbell, Francis Jeffers, Abel Xavier and Paul Gascoigne return to fitness.  Walter Smith said: I cannot make any excuses, but we do need players back now.

Report © Times Newspapers Ltd

   Up to Reports Index ]
 Burton rewards Derby's true grit
Timothy Collings, Electronic Telegraph
SOME matches are won with style, some with luck.  This one, which led to Derby leapfrogging Everton into 15th place in the Premiership, was a triumph for true grit after Jim Smith's team lost their influential captain, Craig Burley, with a groin strain after 42 minutes.

It was Derby's eighth clean sheet in 11 games since Colin Todd was recruited as Smith's assistant to organise the defence, but owed more to the agility of goalkeeper Mart Poom, who made three outstanding saves.

Poom dived low to stop a deflection off Taribo West in the first half, when a Steve Watson header had rebounded off his bar, and then excelled when stopping a David Weir header and a Mark Pembridge drive in the second.

In the end, a 20th-minute goal, cleverly conceived and expertly taken by Deon Burton, proved to be decisive as Derby extended their recent improved run to one defeat in five games and only three in 11 Premiership outings.  Burton's winner came when Seth Johnson dispossessed Thomas Gravesen, Stefano Eranio crossed and Malcolm Christie stepped over the ball to give Burton the opening to fire his fourth goal of the season beyond Thomas Myhre.

Injury-hit Everton, in contrast to improving Derby, are now without a win in six outings and have been sucked deep into the relegation whirlpool.  On this desperate evidence, their problems may only be solved when some of their half-dozen injured senior men including Stephen Hughes, Kevin Campbell, Paul Gascoigne and Richard Gough begin to return.

Everton manager Walter Smith made two changes to the team beaten at home by Coventry on Boxing Day, bringing in Niclas Alexandersson and Alex Nyarko for Idan Tal and Danny Cadamarteri, while his Derby counterpart recalled the rested Horacio Carbonari for young French defender Youl Mawene to deal with the physical menace of Duncan Ferguson. Carbonari was the first of five men cautioned, for clattering into the Scot after only 15 minutes, but gave a controlled performance in the rest of the game.

"We were under tremendous pressure in the second half," said Jim Smith.  "We allowed them to play too many balls into our box."  It was a fair summary.  Poor Giorgi Kinkladze, a 66th-minute substitute for Eranio, was simply submerged by it all.

Most sympathy, however, should go to Christie, who was clean through after 86 minutes when, collecting a long clearance by Chris Riggott, he beat Michael Ball and evaded Myhre only for the goalkeeper to haul him down.  Myhre should have been shown the red card and Derby given a penalty, but instead they were consigned to a nail-biting finish.

Report © The Electronic Telegraph

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