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Gary Naysmith

Ipswich v Everton:
Prior League Games
 Ipswich  36
 Everton 19
 Draws 13
 Ipswich  3
 Everton 3
 Draws 1
 Last Time:
 Ipswich 2-0 Everton
Second-guessing Walter Smith's team selections is never easy, and today's attacking line-up was no exception.  It appeared to be an unusual 3-4-3 formation taking the field, with Campbell, Ferguson and Radzinski in attack!  Just two central midfielders Pembridge and Alexandersson with wingbacks Watson and Naysmith overlapping from the back... maybe that makes it 5-2-3?

Unfortunately, the adventurous approach did not translate into inspiring football, as the first half dragged with neither side able to impose themselves.  Everton made two or three good efforts on goal, but again failed to make them count.  Some nervous moments came before the break, as Ipswich pressed hard and Everton were on the back-foot, defending desperately.

The break seemed to do Ipswich a lot more good than Everton.  The early stages of the second half were nearly all Ipswich with Magilton firing just wide, and Xavier nearly scoring an own-goal. 

Everton weathered the storm, and finally structured a decent attack, the final ball from Radzinski asking just too much of the lumbering Campbell.  Moments later, Campbell was through on goal off a Ferguson header with a glorious chance to score but he could not hit the target.

The match finished 0-0 despite both sides giving it a good go in the second half.  The papers will report that Ipswich dominated, but Everton Campbell squandered numerous guilt-edged chances to wrap this one up.  The silver bullet was left lying in the Portman Road tractor tracks.

M A T C H    F A C T S
  Match Info  
  FA Premiership 2001-02, Game 8
3:00pm  Saturday 13 October 2001
Portman Road, Ipswich
Referee: Clive Wilkes
Att: 22,820
Position: 10th
Line-ups Subs not used
Ipswich  Sereni, Makin (46' Wilnis), McGreal, Venus, Hreidarsson, Wright (76' George), Holland, Magilton, Reuser, Stewart, Armstrong. Branagan, Counago, Naylor.
Everton: Gerrard; Weir, Xavier, Pistone; Watson (54' Stubbs), Alexandersson, Pembridge (67' Unsworth), Naysmith; Radzinski, Ferguson (84' Tal), Campbell. Simonsen, Moore.
Unavailable:  Cleland?, Gascoigne, Gemmill, Gravesen (injured); Nyarko (loan) 
Playing Strips Formations
Ipswich  Blue and white shirts; white shorts; blue socks 4-4-2
Everton: Silver shirts; dark blue shorts; silver socks. 3-4-3; 4-3-1-2; 4-4-2; 5-3-2
  Yellow Cards Red Cards
Ipswich --
Everton: Xavier (49'), Pistone (71') --

Premiership Scores
Bolton  0-4 Newcastle
Charlton  0-0 Middlesbro
Chelsea  2-0 Leicester
Ipswich  0-0 Everton
Liverpool  1-1 Leeds
Southampton  0-2 Arsenal
Sunderland  1-3 Man Utd
Aston Villa 2-0 Fulham
Blackburn  7-1 West Ham
Tottenham  3-1 Derby

Premiership Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Leeds 18
2 Arsenal 17
3 Man Utd 17
4 Aston Villa 15
5 Newcastle 14
6 Chelsea 13
7 Liverpool 13
8 Blackburn 12
9 Bolton 12
10 Sunderland 12
11 Everton 11
12 Tottenham 11
13 Charlton 9
14 Middlesbrough 8
15 Fulham 7
16 Ipswich 6
17 Southampton 6
18 Derby 5
19 West Ham 5
20 Leicester 5
 After 15 October 2001
M A T C H     R E P O R T S
Everton Web Sites
ToffeeWeb Match Summary Match Report
When Skies Are Grey Match Report
From The Terrace Match Report
Blue Kipper Match Report
Everton Fans' Reports
Strum Blue The one that got away
Paul Collyer Match Report
Featured Media Reports
The Sunday Times Everton rue missed chances
Links to Other Media Reports
Electronic Telegraph Match Report
BBC Sport Match Report
FA Premier Match Report
Sky Sports Match Report
Sporting Life Match Report
SoccerNet Match Report
The Observer Match Report
The Guradian Match Report
The Independent Match Report
Liverpool Echo Match Report
Daily Post Match Report

Match Preview

The international break was supposed to have given Walter Smith the chance to bring his squad up to almost full strength.  However, both Scott Gemmill and Paul Gascoigne have been ruled out, and now Tommy Gravesen has been declared doubtful after he came back to Bellefield with rib injuries.  

Duncan Ferguson is fit again and expected to make the trip to Portman Road.  And the recent form of Joe-Max Moore, scoring key goals for the USA, plus the impressive full debut by Tomasz Radzinski, present a fine poser for selecting the attacking options.  Look for Moore to be sidelined again and Duncan to be reserved as a super sub, with Campbell and Radzinski leading the line.

In midfield, an embarrassment of riches awaits... well, perhaps not.  Pembridge and Gemmill were gaining increasing recognition as the smouldering embers of what could become a midfield firestorm for Everton.  But with Gemmill, Gascoigne and Gravesen all potentially missing, things could be pretty thin in the middle for Everton.

If all three are missing, Smith may be forced to move Alexandersson back into the middle - despite a stellar performance against the Hammers in his natural wide role - and possibly employ someone like Tony Hibbert in right midfield.  Don't rule out him reinstating Stubbs to central defence and pushing Xavier or Unsworth into midfield alongside Pembridge either!

At the back, the surprise absence of both Stubbs and Unsworth two weeks ago coincided with a rare clean sheet against West Ham, with Xavier getting reluctant praise for his excellent performance.  But Walter might be expected to start some sort of squad rotation system here to ring the changes and keep people on their toes,  Even so, it would be very surprising to see Unsworth involved after the improvements in football that came about in part due to his absence.

Striker Alun Armstrong and central defender John McGreal both have back injuries and face fitness tests for Ipswich.

Last season, Ipswich were our bogey team, performing an imperious double over Everton as they bounded up the Premiership.  This season, they appear to be going through a bit of a lean spell.  Payback time?

The one that got away

by Strum Blue

It wasnt a game that will live long in the memory.  It was a solid performance and, given the goalscoring chances Everton created, a game we would have won had it not been for their goalkeeper.  Ipswichs best movements came down the flanks and, despite a few heart-in-mouth moments, Everton emerged with a point.

Like most people, I was wondering who would play up-front and was surprised Smith had gambled in playing Campbell, Ferguson and Radzinski.  The starting formation was 3-4-3. Early on there were a lot of misplaced passes (the silver kit perhaps?).

We were rather weak in midfield Naysmith seemed unsure of his role on the left all too often he got the ball and, rather than run with it or pass forward, he passed it frustratingly to Gerrard from the halfway line.  Despite their industry in midfield, Pembridge and Alexandersson were overrun and spent the first half chasing the ball with the consequence that Ipswich were able to spread the ball from one side of the pitch to the other at will.

Ferguson won plenty of the ball but there was no-one to take control of it and possession was lost.  Radzinski took a while to get into the game but looked more dangerous when he drifted in-field from wide right.

The two best Everton chances were an Alexandersson left-foot shot from the edge of the area which was heading for the corner before being tipped away by Sereni.  Campbell also had a one-on-one which the keeper saved and from which he should have done better.

Another incident of note in the first half was when Pistone tackled an Ipswich player near the halfway line in front of the dugout and the ball ricocheted unexpectedly into Archie Knoxs face!  Knox was clearly caught unawares and took a little while to recover.

The second half brought about a change of tactics.  Pistone was switched to right back, with Watson and Alexandersson in midfield.  Naysmith switched to left back where he looked more comfortable and was more effective.  Ferguson played deeper, with Campbell and Radzinski playing as out and out strikers.

Campbell had three good chances in the space of 10 minutes, all of which were clear cut and should have been converted.  Two were well saved and one went wide (in my view it should have been a penalty, as he was being tugged back).  He worked hard throughout the game and deserved to score.  One cant help but think if only he was 5 years younger...

Radzinski also created a chance when he cut into in the box from the right and shot with his left, which was well saved by Sereni, who was easily Ipswichs best player.  Overall, Radzinski made some good runs, although he looked a bit lightweight and was bundled off the ball a few times much to his frustration.  He looks better playing a central role up front and roaming, rather than a wide role and cutting in.

Stubbs came on for Watson and made some good passes from in front of the back four.  Pembridge was replaced by Unsworth which bought jeers from a handful of Everton fans.  Unsie played in central midfield and made a couple of good passes as well as running on the overlap a couple of times.

Towards the end of the game, Ferguson, who by now was clearly tired, was playing a rather static left midfield role.  I cant remember him having a shot on goal and he was mainly a peripheral figure, more often than not showing a poor first touch as well as being penalised for fouling an opponent (harshly in some cases).  He never really got into the danger areas either and I dont know how he is feeling given that fans werent chanting his name like Radzinskis and Campbells. 

Tal was eventually called into action far too late for my liking and it was too late for him to make an impact, but he was involved in a neat move in the 88th minute when Campbell could have won the points but he somehow put Naysmiths cross the wrong side of the post.  Somehow you just knew it wasnt going to be his day....

Gerrard didnt have a save of note to make throughout the game; although he didnt always catch everything cleanly, his handling was generally good.  Despite the large number of crosses Ipswich put into the box, he was rarely troubled.  His kicking wasnt quite so good.  One kick in injury time was particularly poor and clearly incensed Smith in the dugout.

The defence was solid.  Xavier and Weir looked good in central defence again.  In my opinion, Xavier made two good tackles for which he was penalised, receiving a yellow card for one.

The midfield badly missed a presence in Gravesen but overall I was happy we came away with something from the game.

Match Report

by Paul Collyer

Well it was nice to finally get to a game this season - even if there is an unwritten law that one's first game in aeons will always end in an uninspiring 0-0 or worse.....  

We started with 3 strikers, to the surprise of everyone - but I'm not too sure what exactly the formation was save to say Radz was lost in it.  The first half reflected that, but Ipswich were so poor we had the luxury of half an hour for the players to work out where they were playing.  

Kev had one chance when behind the defence but the superb Sereni was out quickly to block, while Niclas was unlucky with a 20-yarder that was turned around the post.  At half time someone sent me an SMS from his seat "Worst team I've seen all season" - I think he meant Ipswich but couldn't be certain.......  

Second half, we came out in a 4-4-2 formation.  Pistone went right back with Naysmith on the left.  Niclas went back to his favoured wide right berth while Ferguson took the left side (!!) with Pembo and Watson in the centre.  At least I think that's what it was, maybe Watson and Nic were the other way round, I dunno.  

Anyway, it helped, purely on the basis of reuniting Campbell and Radzinski as a pair.  Dunc caused some problems to Wilnis in the air for about 15 minutes before becoming peripheral.  Pembridge single-handedly ran our midfield while Magilton pulled the strings for them.  

Suddenly, a spate of pressure and we had two great chances.  The first, Campbell getting behind the defence but he poked it about a millimetre wide.  Credit to Sereni who was on top of him in an instant.  Secondly, and SO disappointingly, Campbell, 10 yards clear of the defence (Radz's pass) waited for Sereni to commit and when he didn't, Kev put an apologetic shot from an angle straight at the big keeper.  A great chance wasted although again Sereni did everything right.  

Then Watson was replaced by Stubbs due to injury.  Stubbs came into midfield and I think its safe to say it isn't his position.  More crucially, Pembo made way for Unsworth, whose wholehearted attempts to play the midfield role resembled Brett Angel playing the strikers role...  

And that was the turning point.  Ipswich got on top as we sat back.  We made one more chance in the last minute though, when Tal (on after 85' for Dunc) and Naysmith combined well to give Campbell a chance at the near post but he could only toe-poke it wide.  One of those days for Kev.  

So, we trundled out.  I met my Ipswich mate Giles by chance outside and he had thought Ipswich better in terms of possession but not chances, and he also commented that their fans had spent some time trying to decipher our formation.... Mmm.  

Anyway, back to the Station Hotel for beers before the police closed the bar at 6.30, due allegedly to some of the Ipswich "top boys" making an appearance.  Whatever that means.  So we got the train back to Liverpool St and got plentiful beers in before heading off for a curry and home.  

Player ratings:  

  • Gerrard 7 - good, better than I expected 
  • Watson 6 - average, off injured 
  • Pistone 6 - better in the first half.  He is fairly two-footed so can go right back but he's better left or centre for me 
  • Weir 7 - solid 
  • Xavier 8 - top defender who reminds me of Keown.  Wouldn't be surprised if he replaced him at Arsenal next season
  • Alexandersson - 6 - peripheral unless given his best role on the right 
  • Pembridge - 7 solid. Gravesen and Gemmill are both better though 
  • Naysmith - 6 average in first half, better at left back in the second 
  • Radzinski - 8 came to life after half time. He'll make the club a tidy profit come June...  
  • Campbell - 6 good movement, good in the air, just couldn't score on the day. 
  • Ferguson - 5 not fit. Should have been replaced by Tal after an hour, not 85 bloody minutes !!  

Everton rue missed chances

by John Aizlewood, Sunday Times

A FIRST clean sheet of the season for Ipswich Town, another step towards what Everton manager Walter Smith called "the road to consistency".  Kevin Campbell's profligacy and Matteo Sereni's quick wits ensured the visitors took the long road northwest without the three points their sometimes scintillating possession deserved. 

Ipswich, a pale shadow of last season's swashbucklers hover perilously above the relegation places.  They managed 51 crosses yesterday, yet aside from a brief period at the start of the second half, they never looked destined to score.

Faced with the luxury of being able to perm any two of his three main strikers, Smith went for broke, fielding Duncan Ferguson, Campbell and Tomasz Radzinski.

Initially, the trio made discordant music and when Everton created the game's first chance in the 18th minute, none were involved as Steve Watson headed Mark Pembridge's free kick just over.

Soon, though, they began to use their not wholly uncomplementary skills to sing from the same hymn sheet.  Radzinski, all speed and cunning; Campbell forging through the centre, and Ferguson, in argumentative, pernickity mood, had the aerial mastery of John McGreal.  By the half-hour, the visitors were in the ascendency.

With Finidi George relegated to the bench, Ipswich were short of flair.  Marcus Stewart and Alun Armstrong repeatedly lashed themselves upon the rock that is Abel Xavier.  Crucially, the home midfield formed neither a link to the striking pair, nor a bulwark against the marauding visitors.  Indeed, it took Town until the 43rd minute to threaten.  Paul Gerrard spilled Stewart's header following Chris Makin's cross from the right.  Armstrong, bereft of confidence, screwed what should have been a tap-in closer to the corner flag than the goal.

Ipswich came into their pomp immediately after the break. Martijn Reuser began to make inroads down the left.  Two heads-down, no-nonsense runs created chances for Jim Magilton, whose 20-yard dive whistled past the post and, moments later, for Matt Holland, who met the Dutchman's deft, low cross with an instinctive poke, foiled by Gerrard.

In the 55th minute Fabian Wilnis's cross sailed over Gerrard.  Reuser, unmarked at the far post facing only an empty goal, headed over.  Three minutes later, Armstrong collected a ricochet off Xavier, stumbled towards Gerrard and shot high and wide.

Once Town's storm abated, Everton assumed control again.  Radzinski's glorious through ball bamboozled McGreal, only for Campbell to prod the ball past the onrushing Sereni and the post.  The move of the game came seconds later as Everton's front three combined in thrilling fashion. Ferguson headed on a long punt, Radzinski swept the ball on first time.  Campbell, alone and five yards out, was thwarted by Sereni's block.

In the 88th minute, climaxing what was now a rare excursion forward, Campbell completed his hat-trick of misses, meeting Gary Naysmith's cross but steering the ball wide again.

Smith was sanguine afterwards. "I'm satisfied enough.  Both teams had chances but this was the right result.  For us, getting a draw here shows we're improving."

© Times Newspapers, Ltd

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