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Unsworth (28') (1-2) Peralta (11')
Holland (44')
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Everton v Ipswich:
Prior League Games
 Everton 11
 Ipswich 3
 Draws 11
 Everton 2
 Ipswich 1
 Draws 1
 Last Season:
 Everton 0-3 Ipswich


New signing Tobias Linderoth started on the bench as Everton begin a three-match home stand which offers the opportunity to pull clear of the looming relegation zone.

Young defender Peter Clarke makes his home debut after a solid game at Aston Villa in the week, David Weir, Paul Gascoigne, Jesper Blomqvist and Mark Pembridge were all available for selection again, but Tomasz Radzinski failed a fitness test on Friday so Smith had to call once again on the largely ineffective Campbell-Ferguson partnership up front.

The Blues started dismally and found themselves a goal down after only 11 minutes when Peralta fired home to put Ipswich in sight of a seventh win in eight league games.

Everton, with Paul Gascoigne back in the midfield engine room, lacked ideas beyond the tired reliance on the long ball to the so-called Bruise Brothers, but they were back in the game when the Ipswich 'keeper flattened Ferguson and referee Dunn awarded a penalty.  David Unsworth converted from the spot with aplomb to level affairs.

The goal brought Everton to life and two half chances went begging before Clarke was poleaxed in the area for what should have been another penalty kick but both linesman and referee failed to make the right call.

Just before half-time, the home side fell behind again when bad defending at Matt Holland's free kick allowed the Ipswich man to fire the ball past Steve Simonsen to give the visitors the lead at the interval.

If the first half was bad, the second was worse as both sides failed to produce anything of any real note.  Everton, lacking both urgency and seemingly any idea of how to claw their way back to level terms, showed nothing in attack with Campbell out of sorts and Ipswich content to let Ferguson win everything in the air and just clean up the flick-ons.

Linderoth came on at half time but lacking both match sharpness and experience of the Premiership, the game largely passed him by.  The introduction of Joe-Max Moore late on had little effect and the game petered out to a defeat that puts the Blues right back in the relegation melting pot, particularly given some of the results elsewhere.

M A T C H    F A C T S
 Sports Match Info  
  FA Premiership 2001-02, Game 25
3:00pm  Saturday 2 February 2002
Goodison Park, Liverpool
Referee:  Steve Dunn (Bristol)
Att:  33,069
Position: 14th
Line-ups Subs not used
Everton: Simonsen; Stubbs, Weir, Clarke (46' Linderoth), Unsworth (84' Moore); Gemmill, Gascoigne, Naysmith, Blomqvist; Ferguson, Campbell. Tal, Cleland, Gerrard.
Unavailable:  Alexandersson, Chadwick, Hibbert, Pistone, Radzinski, Watson (injured); Gravesen, Nyarko (on loan).  Debut (Sub):
Ipswich Marshall, Makin, McGreal, Venus, Hreidarsson, Wright (46' Magilton), Holland (c), Peralta, Clapham, Armstrong (56' Stewart), Bent. Sereni, Counago, Reuser.
Playing Strips Formations
Everton: Royal Blue shirts; white shorts; blue socks. 4-4-2; 3-5-2
Ipswich: White shirts; black shorts; white socks 4-4-2
  Yellow Cards Red Cards
Everton: Stubbs (88')  --
Ipswich:   --

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

Premiership Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Man Utd 51
2 Newcastle 49
3 Liverpool 49
4 Arsenal 48
5 Chelsea 43
6 Leeds 42
7 Aston Villa 37
8 Charlton 33
9 Tottenham 32
10 Fulham 32
11 West Ham 31
12 Ipswich 30
13 Southampton 30
14 Everton 28
15 Sunderland 28
16 Middlesbrough 27
17 Blackburn 25
18 Bolton 25
19 Derby 22
20 Leicester 17
 After 3 February 2002
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
Garry Sheils Disillusionment Reigns
Julian Cashen Loyal Supporters?
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 Sunday Times Match Report
The Observer Match Report
The Guardian Match Report
The Independent Match Report
The Times Match Report
Liverpool Echo Match Report
Daily Post Match Report

Match Preview

My old man's got a Combine Harvester ...

Oh yeah of little faith!  Away games against Spurs and Villa and we come away undefeated, despite on each occasion and against Villa in particular being devastated (again!) with injuries.

However, Everton's ranks will be bolstered by the potential debut of new £2.5M signing, Tobias Linderoth who is eligible to play but might not be involved for the full 90 minutes because of lack of match practice. In addition to the Blues' new No 22, early team news suggests that Linderoth's Swedish compatriot Jesper Blomqvist is fit again, as is Paul Gascoigne.  David Weir is back after missing the draw at Villa to be at the birth of his baby, but Tomasz Radzinski has failed a fitness test.

A win against Ipswich could well see us back in the top half which quite frankly we need to be because our next little run of games is an absolute nightmare.

The TractorBoys arrive with a strange run of form behind them.  Six wins in their last seven Premiership games has transformed their league position from dead and buried to midtable.  But their 4-1 defeat at home to 1st Division Man City suggests that the brittleness that led to them being at the foot of the table at Christmas may still be evident.

The signing of Marcus Bent (with goals in his last 6 games) and the return to fitness of Marcus Stewart seems to have breathed life into Ipswich's season and their 1-0 win against Fulham on Wednesday night was particularly impressive.

However, we owe Ipswich one!

Last season saw them batter us 3-0 at Goodison which was particularly galling (almost as shocking as Charlton's win by the same scoreline earlier this season).  At Portman Road they beat us with 2 late goals after Nyarko (who he?) was sent off.

Earlier this season we battered them at Portman Road and went away with a 0-0 drawline despite playing with Rads, Dunc and Kev.

So what of this game?

Difficult to say really as I haven't a clue what the Everton team will be!  I assume that David Weir will be back after his wife gave birth and the signing of Linderoth should help shore up the midfield. 

Hibbert's injury is very disappointing which means that we now have 3 fullbacks injured so Cleland gets one last hurrah before he leaves at the end of the season.

If we have close to a strong team out then this is a game we could and should win.  More to the point it is essential that we do.  Boro, Ipswich and Southampton have all picked up 3 points this week leaving us only 3 points off the relegation zone.  Whilst we have now picked up 5 points from our last 3 Premiership games the threshold has actually come nearer to us so we must use this home game to get back some form of comfort zone.

If Weir, Gazza and Blomqvist return and if Linderoth makes his debut, then we should be able to shut down the Ipswich attack.  Ipswich are weak down the flanks so Blomqvist could take advantage and maybe Danny Boy (Cadamarteri) could be used on the right flank which would give plenty of ammunition to Kev and Dunc.

2-0 is the prediction for this week and if the effort that has been shown recently is replayed here then it shouldn't be far off.


Disillusionment Reigns

by Garry Sheils

Everton came into this game after having a good run of results in January, including a nice 4-1 FA Cup victory against Third Division minnows, Leyton Orient which sees the Toffees through to a 5th round tie against Crewe Alexandra.  Ipswich Town, after a disastrous start, have turned their season around with the purchase of Marcus Bent, and had won 7 of their last 9 games, but suffered a disastrous 4-1 defeat to Manchester City at Portman Road last week.

With just 4 points separating 4 teams at the wrong end of the table, Everton's position of 12th was deceiving as just a couple of defeats could see them dragged into the relegation area.  Ipswich Town went into the game in 15th position, just one behind the Blues, so stakes were high as the teams ran on to the pitch today.

Everton started brightly and created two good opportunities, including a Duncan Ferguson header which should have put the Toffeemen in front.  Ipswich soon took control of the game, however, and it was apparent that even without Marcus Stewart, who was on the bench, Ipswich were a threat.  It was a great shot by on-loan Sixto Peralta that gave Ipswich a 10th minute lead.

Ipswich continued to press and could have doubled their lead with their slick passing.  A great first-half show of crossing from Jesper Blomqvist gave the blues a few chances, but the lack of movement from the Everton forwards meant that clear-cut goalscoring opportunities were few and far between.  However, on the 28th minute, Campbell was adjudged to have been fouled inside the box and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.  Duncan Ferguson stood aside and allowed David Unsworth to fire home with the equaliser.

They say there's nothing like a goal to lift a team and the crowd and that has never been more true than today when Everton created numerous opportunities, obviously lifted by the crowd who had been somewhat disillusioned up until then.  Unfortunately with a lack of invention from the Blues, and Gazza having a rare off-day, there was no spark from the Toffees.

Ironically, in a rare attack by Ipswich, a silly challenge by Paul Gascoigne led to a free-kick 25 yards from goal.  A six-man Everton wall was unable to prevent a clinical shot from Matt Holland from giving Ipswich a 2-1 lead.  Arguably Steve Simonsen should have done better, but he obviously saw it late.  The half-time whistle was blown just seconds later.

A half-time substitution saw new 2.5M signing Tobias Linderoth replace a poor Peter Clarke.  The second half was more of the same for Everton, who came extremely close in the 55th minute with a rare volley from Duncan Ferguson, but an increasingly depressed crowd saw Everton fail to invent anything special after that, and Ipswich were not a sight to marvel at themselves.  

Ipswich did create a few chances of their own in the second half including a second dangerous free kick which Mark Venus shot into Row Z.  When Joe-Max Moore replaced Scott Gemmill with seven minutes to go, he did manage a 30-yard shot which sailed over the bar.

The second half was a scrappy affair with few chances at either end, although Everton were lucky to escape conceding a penalty from an obvious deliberate handball inside the ball by Scott Gemmill.  Everton looked like a team who had never played together before.  The midfield suffered a lack of attacking options with both Duncan Ferguson and Kevin Campbell playing very static and not linking up very well. 

Scott Gemmill looked out of place on the left, and although he was substituted late on, a more sensible replacement would have been Idan Tal who may have provided some much-needed guile.  Overall, a very disjointed and tired performance from the blues, who are obviously missing players like Alexandersson, Radzinski and Gravesen 

If Walter Smith has money to spend, an attacking midfielder in the Paul Scholes mould certainly wouldn't go amiss.

Player Ratings

  • Simonsen 6  Didn't have much to do, but could have done better with the Ipswich free kick.
  • Clarke 5  Had an awful first half; as subbed at half time.
  • Stubbs 7  Another solid performance, pushed up well.
  • Weir 6  Made a few decent tackles, distribution could have been better.
  • Unsworth 6  A solid performance at the back, and a good penalty, but still can't resist hoofing the ball upfield.
  • Blomqvist 8  A nice display of crossing; a couple of howlers though.
  • Gascoigne 6  Not one of his better games; a couple of nice passes but the blues followers have come to expect more of him.
  • Gemmill 5  A poor game for him, arguably had a lack of options on the ball.
  • Naysmith 7  Great display of tackling, and got forward well.
  • Ferguson 7  One of his better games; won a lot of headers, however his link up play with Campbell wasn't brilliant.
  • Campbell 5  An awful performance; didn't make runs or read the play well at all.
  • Linderoth 6  Tried to get involved, obviously not match fit or gelling into the team yet.
  • Moore 7  Didn't have a lot of time to make a contribution, but wanted to get involved at tried to be creative.

Garry Sheils 

Loyal Suppoerters?

by Julian Cashen

Travelling to this match with two Ipswich supporters, I felt none of the usual sense of misplaced optimism.  I saw this as a must-win game for us, with Arsenal, Leeds and Liverpool lying in wait over the next three fixtures.  Meanwhile, with six wins in seven games, Ipswich were top of the current-form league.  

With the depleted squad showing its usual list of absentees due to injury, I found it hard to see how we'd get a result especially when it was announced very late on that Radzinski would be missing, meaning that we would be persisting with the lumbering hulks that are Duncan and Not So SuperKev.  Why can't the Club be more honest with supporters about the injury situation?  Rad was in the squad according to all available sources until Friday night.  Watson's 'knock' was supposed to have cleared up by the Orient match.  It's all part of the usual pattern of treating the fans as idiots.

Changing Formations

Exactly as happened last year in this fixture, we started poorly, Ipswich took charge, and we responded by changing our formation.  To go from 4-4-2 to 3-5-2 after 10 minutes of a match really does look like the tactics of desperation, and it is also an admission that it was Ipswich who were able to impose themselves on the game and us who needed to respond by changing things.  Being the home side of course, it should have been us forcing the pace and posing the tactical questions of them.

Anyway, we ended up playing most of the game with Simonsen in goal; back three of Stubbs, Weir, and Unsworth; wing-backs Clarke right Blomqvist left; centre three of Gemmill Gazza and Naysmith; up front, Ferguson and Campbell.

Given the resources available there can be few arguments with the line up, though my heart as ever sank to my boots at the sight of Unsworth on the pitch.  To be fair, he did his job defensively but, as ever, his distribution was characterised by 'passes' that were misplaced, sliced, or just aimless hoofs.

First Half

All the goals came in the first half but, other than that, there was little or no excitement.  Ipswich came out far stronger, the midfielder in front of the back three having all the time in the world to dictate the play and choose his passes.  They scored early, Clapham's scuffed shot?-cross? squirting to Peralta who simply stuck out a hopeful boot and it flew into the top corner.  Simonsen had no chance.

To be fair, the change in formation, once we settled to it, brought us in to the game.  In particular Blomqvist is clearly a lot more comfortable on the left than on the right where he started, and came into the game, though too often his final ball was disappointing.  Duncan led the line well, an excellent early cushioned header into the path of Naysmith bringing a decent chance unfortunately it was on Gary's right foot, and while it didn't trouble the keeper, a few in the stands had to duck.  In midfield, however, we just gave them far too much room and surrendered the initiative too often as a result.

Then, we get into the match via a penalty.  From my seat it never looked a pen, and certainly after the match the Ipswich fans, who were well placed, said they expected Campbell to be booked for diving.  On the television however, it looked more like a penalty.  Anyway, to my dismay, up steps Unsie, and the keeper very nearly saves it, a strong hand on the ball diverting it from the bottom corner to the top.  But it's there, thank God, and we're at the races.

Then, just before half time, disaster.  A needless free kick conceded by Davey Weir in dangerous territory.  It's touched to Holland who blasts an unstoppable drive past Simonsen.  Just what we didn't need and completely unnecessary.  Why give away free kicks on the edge of the box?  Ipswich were fouling Dunc all game, but cleverly, always 40 yards from goal.  We don't display much awareness at times.

Second Half

We undoubtedly had more of the game in the second half, as well as a look at the new signing Tobias Linderoth (make a chant out of that if you can!).  However, other than a sweetly struck volley from Duncan that was straight at the keeper, we didn't really make a chance worth talking about.  Simonsen was equally a spectator as our back three coped well with the Ipswich front runners, and the game petered out into a desperate defeat with no urgency being shown by Everton to get back into it. 

You normally would expect a storming finish of relentless pressure, balls in the mixer, men thrown forward.  Not from this Everton team, whose idea of pressure was typified by Unsie' s attempted cross that hit the first defender, rebounded to him, only for him to unerringly find the first defender again.

The Team, The Crowd

The final whistle brought the now customary chorus of boos.  Frankly I'm sick of it.  I'm sorry to say I don't think Evertonians are the great supporters that we like to think we are.  The Club captain at the end of the match acknowledges the crowd's support and is greeted by a malevolent round of booing for his pains.  Even during the match, the atmosphere is that of a funeral parlour.  There is nothing from the crowd to lift the team, and more reactions like this and the players will come to dread home games. 

Given our away form, that really could spell disaster.  It's a lot to do with unrealistic expectations.  We expect to beat Ipswich, mainly because they are a 'small' club and we are a 'big' club.  What nonsense.  Ipswich are the form team; defeat to them is no disgrace, and booing the team after every poor result just shows Evertonians to be ungracious losers.

Although I think we need to be more supportive of the team, in mitigation, this was a desperate game.  Simonsen did little or nothing other than pick the ball out of the net twice.  Marshall in the Ipswich goal had an equally comfortable afternoon.  

Stubbs and Weir performed well at the back, while Duncan led the line well dropping short, getting the ball to feet, showing a good touch and a surprising range of passing.  On the minus side, Gazza showed that there is a big difference between humiliating Division 3 defenders and trying the same at Premiership level.  He was poor.  Naysmith did OK out of position while Gemmill tackled well but is not creating anything for us.  

Up front though, Not So Super is a mystery to me.  He just appears to be completely finished.  His touch has gone, what was left of his pace has gone, and he can't seem to get off the ground to head the ball.  What we do I don't know, other than to try and get him fitter in the Reserves once Rad is fit. 

Knowing Wally, however, he'll persist with Campbell out of sheer bloody mindedness.  Which is a shame as I'm sure the player wants to do well, but he simply hasn't got what it takes any more, and the crowd reaction will also sap what remains of his confidence.

One thing for sure though.  Six years ago, the dogs of war wouldn't have lost this game.  They'd have got among them harried them, and stopped their passing game.  When you need a scrap, this Everton team isn't up to it, particularly in the absence of Gravesen, arguably our best player.

Next Up - the Arse.

I'm afraid to say, I can't see any chance whatever of our getting anything out of this game.  Even with the suspensions they have, Arsenal are in a different league to us, and their away form is superb.

We need to show more stomach for the fight.  Our defence is strong so we may be able to stop Henry, and in the absence of Kanu and Bergkamp they may be lightweight coming forward.  If the Radz is back and plays alongside Duncan, we may sneak a goal. But I'm afraid I see us as losing this one, but possibly getting something out of Leeds and Liverpool.  The search for points is becoming desperate, and it's just lucky that there are others Blackburn, Middlesbrough looking in equally poor shape!!

Julian Cashen

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