<%@LANGUAGE="VBSCRIPT"%> ToffeeWeb Season Diary, February 2003

[Season Diary]

February 2003

If it happened and it was Everton-related, it's right here in the comprehensive Season Diary.
Items are in reverse chronological order (more recent first). 

Navigate to previous months and seasons using the links directly below:

 February 2003

News Headlines & Features

Final Nail in the Kings Coffin
28 Feb - Everton's bid to build a state-of-the-art stadium and arena at Liverpool's Kings Dock is all but after Liverpool Vision, the regeneration agency heading up the project to redevelop the prime riverside site, announced its decision to press on with the development of a major exhibition, conference and entertainment arena without Everton's involvement.  The club lost its preferred-bidder status for the site at the end of last year and has been unable to secure the funding for their part of the project in order to keep the dream alive.  A statement issued this evening expressed the club's disappointment that they were not given until the end of March to the origianl comittment ofi £30M.  But increased construction costs would now be expected to raise Everton's share closer to £65M.  Comment from Peter Fearon.

I have suffered too much
28 Feb - Deeply troubled by the rigours of life in general, and the awful lot of today's professional footballer in particular, Alex Nyarko has managed to fall out with yet another cub.  He says he won't be playing for PSG, where he has been on loan all season, leaving Everton with the dilemma of what to do with his registration.  Is there a club somewhere between Dubai and China ready to offer him yet another chance to find happiness?

We've come a long way, Baby
24 Feb - It's been almost a year since David Moyes took Everton by the scruff of the neck and embarked upon a transformation that began with Premiership survival and what everyone Blue hopes will end with European qualification come May. 12 months leaves little time to abandon fears that it could all go wrong in the last 10 matches of the season — during which time we have to face all four of the teams above us — but there are reasons to be optimistic as we head into the final stretch.

Radzinski rocket snatches it in injury time
21 Feb - Tomasz Radzinski snatched all three points and turned a hitherto frustrating afternoon on its head with two wonderful goals in the last seven minutes. Having gone in at half time a goal down to Southampton's only real chance that James Beattie (who else?) converted by looping the ball over Richard Wright, Everton continued to throw everything at Antti Niemi's goal but were continually denied. On 82 minutes, however, Wayne Rooney delivered an inch-perfect cross that Radzinski powered home from six yards. Then, in the third minute of stoppage time, Thomas Gravesen broke through the middle, found Radzinski out wide and with nothing else on, the Canadian international picked his spot and smashed the ball into the top right hand corner. A fantastic finish to a pulsating encounter.

The man with plenty of competition
20 Feb - An interesting article on the icLiverpool site examines the record of David Elleray when refereeing Everton matches as he prepares to take charge of Saturday's game with Southampton. While the hated headmaster has a fairly lenient record officiating other teams, he has issued 10 red cards in 17 matches involving Everton over the years — 6 to Blues players — and almost all of them have been in controversial circumstances. He was the man who, harshly in hindsight, gave Wayne Rooney his marching orders against Birmingham in December. If he's trying to be the Everton fans' most hated ref, he has plenty of competition!

The King is Dead...
20 Feb - Paul Holmes has been one ot the most dissenting critics of the shameless spin the Club has spewed about Kings Dock over the years.  But he is moving on faster than most of us, looking to the next great venture that Everton really must make sure they do invest in: creation of a new state-of-the-art Youth Academy with facilities to match the best that their Northwest rivals can offer.  This piece gives background and insight on where we currently stand, and how important it is that Everton move forward with their published plans as soon as possible.

The Forgotten Men Return... Eventually!
18 Feb - Duncan Ferguson, who has thus far played no part in Everton's surprise Premiership campaign, will have to wait for his first competitive football since a brief appearance in the Worthington Cup win at Wrexham back in October after tonight's Reserves' game against Manchester City was postponed. The Scot has recovered from surgery to free a trapped sciatic nerve, thought to be the source of his injury problems dating back four years and not a rare blood disorder, but his comeback has been thwarted by the freezing weather sweeping the countrt at the moment. Along with Nick Chadwick and Tony Hibbert, who were also hoping for a run-out following groin surgeries, Ferguson will have to wait two weeks.

Child's Play
13 Feb - No, this is not another article about Wayne Rooney — although there is a connection. Phil Roberts takes a look at the possibilites and rationale for David Moyes to play some of the other up-coming youngsters currently sitting on their backsides becasue all the Reserves' games keep geting postponed. Now that our Premiership future is assured for our 101st top-flight season, the main risk appears to be losing a place in Europe.

Two weeks away...
11 Feb - Colm has been hidden in his Corner for ages, ruminating quietly on all things Everton.  But now he's come out fighting, and the long-lamented figure of Duncan Ferguson is his target.  Ignoring inconvenient realities — such as a contract of employment and an undiagnosed sciatic nerve problem that has laid Big Dunc so low for so long — Colm weighs in with a blistering tirade that will have Bill Kenwright's ears stinging...  Maybe Colm's just missing Walter and Archie?

Moyes leaves it too late
8 Feb - After a lively start in which both sides were restricted to long-range efforts, Charlton took the lead through Kishishev.  Wright had saved but the Blues defence failed to react quickly enough.  Wright was the busier 'keeper and he had to be at his best to deny Claus Jensen and then Scott Parker as the home side threatened to extend their advantage.  For Everton, Radzinski had a good chance saved by Kiely.  Right on half time, Alan Stubbs was stretchered off and Joseph Yobo came on to replace him.  In the second half, the Blues stepped up the pressure and it paid off when Radzinski fed Brian McBride and the American whipped home the equaliser.  But a mistake by Li Tie allowed Lisbie to take the advantage again before Rooney finally came on with just 6 mins remaining.  A superb shot from him flew fractionally over the bar in the last minute, leaving us wondering what might have been if he had got on the field a little earlier.  Reports by Paul Gregory and Julian Cashen..

Mr Consistency
6 Feb - No one has started more games or scored more goals in the Premiership for Everton this season than Tomasz Radzinski and, along with Master Rooney and Joseph Yobo, the Canadian international has been one of the Blues' biggest success stories in a tremendous season thus far. ToffeeWeb pays tribute to the Everton No. 8, forgives him for his glaring misses and underscores his importance in David Moyes's attack.

45 points from 26 games
3 Feb - As Everton consolidate 5th place and look to get ahead of Chlesea into 4th, Phil Roberts has found another way to measure the success David Moyes is achieveing. It seems Everton have not had so many points from so few games since the heady days of 1987-88, and the reign of Howard Kendall.

Radzinski deepens Lilywhites' misery
1 Feb - Two second half goals — a penalty by David Unsworth and a trademark Tomasz Radzinski strike — were enough to earn Everton a third successive victory and deepen the gloom at Elland Road.  As expected, David Moyes named an unchanged line-up but there was little evidence in the first half of the guile and spirit that engineered Tuesday's win at Bolton.  Early in the second half, though, Radzinski missed the best chance of the game thus far, sliding the ball wide with just Paul Robinson to beat.  The profligate Canadian international atoned for his miss, however, in spades.  First, he won a penalty when Danny Mills bundled him over and Unsworth scored from the spot.  Ten minutes later, he found the net himself after racing onto a Li Tie throughball and firing home to make it 2-0.  The result is, obviously, Everton's first "double" over Leeds since 1951.


Snippets & Rumours

Chadwick on loan at Derby
28 Feb - Everton have agreed a one-month loan deal with Derby whereby Nick Chadwick will (hopefully) get some good playing experience with the First Division outfit.

McMahon throws teacup at Hills
27 Feb - John Hills, once of this parish, has come in for some hefty stick from Blackpool Manager Steve McMahon — also once of this parish.  The defender, who spent a fruitless two years on Everton's books, has rejected a new deal and will now be relased come the summer.

Reserves lose at Newcastle
27 Feb - Eveton Reserves finally got a much-needed run-out at Newcastle tonight after their games over the past month have been postponed.  Duncan Ferguson played alongside fellow recoverees Tobias Linderoth and Nick Chadwick, with marginal first-team squad players Carsley, Alexandersson, Said all getting to play.    But they could not prevent the Blues form losing 1-0.

Goodison Park - worm's eye view
26 Feb - This BBC website provides you with an interactive view of Goodison Park from the perspective of a worm on the centre-spot — a worm that turns and has bionic zoom vision which gets really blurry if you go too far...

Rodrigo's window gets ever smaller
25 Feb - David Moyes has dampened expectations that Juliano Rodrigo will be back in first team action anytime before April. Having been assessed by the club's medical staff, the Brazilian is in great physical condition but is "a few weeks" away from playing competitively.

Hibbert comeback stalls
25 Feb - Tony Hibbert's hopes of returning to action soon have been dashed after he suffered complications in his recovery from hernia surgery.

Club offer compensation
25 Feb - Everton have offered to reimburse fans who booked travel arrangements for the friendly with Benfica in Paris between 10:30am and 5:30pm yesterday despite the fact that it appears to have been Benfica's fault for the game's cancellation.

Dundee United eye McLeod?
25 Feb - Following reports that he'd be taking a couple of Everton youths on trial, Dundee United manager Ian McCall is apparently interested in signing Kevin McLeod who is still unable to find a place in Everton's first team squad.

UPDATE:  Paris friendly is off
24 Feb - Everton are warning supporters not to make travel plans for Paris on 10th March after Benfica unexpectedly pulled out of the scheduled friendly in the Stade Charlety that Michael Dunford had confirmed only this morning.

More and more of Moyes
24 Feb - Not so much a match report from the Daily Mirror, more another page in the bulging portfolio celebrating what David Moyes has done in less than a year at Everton.

A fact of life this season
24 Feb - Len Capeling in the Daily Post points out a glaring fact of life this season ... we've missed far more clear chances in front of goal than we should have. Something that could cost us dear come May!

BBC Goal of the Week
23 Feb - It doesn't take a genius to figure this one out.  Tomasz Radzinski's blistering injury-time winner takes the Beeb's accolade, no worries.

Oh Tomasz
23 Feb - David Moyes lavished praise, but also kept things in perspective when talking about Tomasz Radzinski's performance against Southampton yesterday. "Sometimes he's 10 out of 10, and other times he's two out of 10. He had chances, he kept going and he was a threat all the time. But then he missed a couple and you think 'Oh Tomasz'."

Player of the Month
23 Feb - Time to announce January's Player of the Month, and the fact that this is his first such accolade is testament to the transformation he has undergone since David Moyes took charge.

The Dock is Dying...
21 Feb - Despite more upbeat spin, Everton appear to be softening up the fans for an admission that the Kings Dock project is not going to happen.  To save face at the club, they are hiding behind a meagre £15M increase in the stadium construction costs.  A 10% rise after 2 years of "due diligence" and "commercial sensitivity" is hardly a surprise, surely? 

McBride's 'better half'
20 Feb - Brian McBride is featured in the 2003 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition together with his wife Dina who is a regular model for the magazine. Now, would you extend your stay in England another year knowing she was back in the USA?!

2 young blues have Tannadice trial
20 Feb - Dundee United are giving trials to two Everton youngsters this week with a view to permanent signings. Manager Ian McCall is not at liberty to identify either player at this stage.

The next Rooney on board?
20 Feb - It hasn't officially been confirmed, but both The Sun and the Tribal Football website suggest that Everton have signed Wayne Rooney's 12-year-old brother, John, on a 3½-year Academy deal.

Clarke off on loan
20 Feb - Defender Peter Clarke has gone off on a second loan spell, this time with Port Vale of the First Division. The deal is only for one month, mainly due to the postponement of Everton's reserve games.

Chelsea trip on PPV
19 Feb - Everton's return to Stamford Bridge on Easter Monday, 21st April, will be televised live on Sky Premiership Plus — and possibly the usual channels worldwide. Kick off remains 3pm.

Baardsen departs
18 Feb - Espen Baardsen's brief association with Everton will be over at the end this week. The Norwegian made just one start after signing for free in January and that was his nightmare deputising for Richard Wright at former club Tottenham in the Blues' 4-3 defeat.

Blues must aim for Top 6
18 Feb - With Arsenal and Chelsea being drawn against each other in the FA Cup 6th Round, only the top 6 in the Premiership are guaranteed European qualification at the end of the season.

Rodrigo: I'll be playing soon
18 Feb - Brazilian midfielder Juliano Rodrigo says he'll be back playing sooner than everyone thinks. He certainly doesn't have much time to prove to David Moyes that he's worth keeping for another year.

Walter wouldn't mind returning
17 Feb - Don't worry he doesn't want to come back to Everton. No, Walter Smith says if the right offer came up he would love to get back into football management in general. He was speaking at an awards ceremony in Scotland where he was picking up something on behalf of Paul Gascoigne.

The other Li scores for China
17 Feb - Li Weifeng, the player David Moyes didn't want and who eventually went home, scored China's first goal in two months against Estonia. It was China's first victory under new coach Dutchman Arie Haan.

Death threats for Dunc intruder
17 Feb - The Evertonian inmates at the Liverpool prison where Carl Bishop, the would-be thief who broke into Duncan Ferguson's home recently, is housed have not taken kindly to either his attempted burglary of the Scottish striker's gymnasium or his desire to sue Big Dunc for assault. He has been moved to the prison's 'A' wing for his own protection.

Sunday Rumour Rubbish?
16 Feb - With around four months to go until the transfer window reopens, The People, as well as the more reputable The Independent, would have us believe that Everton are "ready to make a summer swoop" for Arsenal's Jermaine Pennant. This BBC article says the same, but is more interesting for its quotes on David Moyes and how he thinks Everton should have more points on the board by now!

X-rays diffuse X-rated tackle
14 Feb - When Alan Stubbs extracted himself from the X-rated Scott Parker tackle last Saturday, he thought he'd broken his leg. Doctors have now given him the 'all clear' and he is hoping to be back in the starting line-up against Southampton.

Fake tan jibe rubs ref wrong way
13 Feb - It seems referee Jeff Winter is more concerned about the fact that David Moyes called his tan a fake, than the latter's comments on his refereeing itself. He wants the FA to charge Moyes for something or other.

England's youngest
13 Feb - The plaudits begin. Wayne Rooney gave a performance worthy of the hype in his second-half record-breaking appearance for England against Australia at Upton Park. Mind you, after the pathetic first-half performance by the supposed 'seniors', Rooney's younger brothers would have looked good. The Guardian loves him too, and he's Player of the Week at UEFA.com.

Li Tie nobbles Ronaldo
12 Feb - Brazilian star Ronaldo failed to appear for the second half of the China-Brazil friendly in Guangzhou, after suffering a heavy tackle from Everton's Li Tie.  Li Wei Feng was also in the China team; the match ended with a 0-0 scoreline.

Moyes memorabilia for sale
12 Feb - Preston North End are selling off training kit worn by David Moyes last season. If you're in the market for smelly socks, towels and shirts you can read more in this Echo article.

Pistone: playing on confidence
12 Feb - Alessandro Pistone is currently playing some of the best football of his Everton career.  Mark English considers the impact of a new confidence inspired by David Moyes.

Shut up will you Gary!
12 Feb - Gary Naysmith thinks David Moyes would make a natural successor to Berti Vogts when the latter's stint as Scotland manager comes to an end. "I think he could do it and I would imagine he would like to do it," said Naysmith in an interview given to The Scotsman. Our headline sums up our feelings on that one!

Clarke in U-21s defeat
11 Feb - Everton's Peter Clarke played the full 90 minutes for England U-21s in Carrara, Italy as they went down 1-0 to the hosts. Ex-Everton youngster, Blackburn's Jamie McEveley came on as a sub for the last 20 mins.

Dunc's burglar banged to rights
11 Feb - The Beak has put druggie Carl Bishop inside for 4 years after he got caught by Duncan Ferguson raiding the Big Yin's gym and storage area at his Formby home.

Reserves postponed again
11 Feb - Everton Reserves will miss another game after the match-up with Birmingham CIty at Halton Stadium tonight was called off due to a waterlogged pitch.

Radzinski misses Libya game
11 Feb - Tomasz Radzinski will not be playing for Canada against Libya on Wednesday because of a bad back. He picked up the injury against Charlton on Saturday.

Still got room for Rooney?
11 Feb - Wayne Rooney has now reached Number 1 on the PlayerMeter at PlayerWatch.co.UK — making him the most talked-about player in the world at the moment. People talking about him include David Beckham, Rio Ferdinand, the BBC and Mark Pembridge.

Club still chasing Materazzi cash
10 Feb - Everton are consulting with a team of Italian lawyers as they try to get the £500,000 owed to them by Perugia from their sale of Marco Materazzi to Inter Milan. When the defender left Goodison in 1999, a sell-on clause was written into the contract.

Jeffers Interview
10 Feb - This interesting interview with Francis Jeffers appeared in the Sunday Times at the weekend.  Once a blue, always a blue?  Perhaps not for those Evertonians who continue to hold some kind of grudge against him.

Rooney's minder Beckham
10 Feb - Wayne Rooney has proved all season he doesn't need any help looking after himself on the pitch. Off the pitch, however, Sven Eriksson has decided the best person to shield him from all the publicity he is going to get by becoming the youngest England player ever is none other than Beckham. "I'm sure that David will look after Wayne Rooney. He does that sort of thing very well."

Aussie manager's concern for Rooney
10 Feb - Frank Farina, the manager of the Australian national team, voices his concern for the pressure being heaped on Wayne Rooney prior to the England game on Wednesday. "He's only 17 and he's being talked about as the future of English football. That's a lot of pressure to be putting on someone of that age."

And if ya know yer 'istory
9 Feb - See how many of these tough questions you can get right in this unique pictorial Everton quiz, put together by Arklow's finest — Colm Kavanagh.

Moyes unhappy with referee
9 Feb - David Moyes was very unhappy with Scott Parker's tackle on Alan Stubbs. He was even more unhappy with referee Jeff Winter's response to the tackle - no free-kick, no booking - saying "Wayne Rooney was sent off for a challenge nothing like as bad as that a few weeks ago".

Wright and Rooney selected
8 Feb - Some obvioulsy solid leaks to the Press proved to be correct regarding Sven-Goran Eriksson's intentions for the friendly game with Australia on Wednesday.  Both Richard Wright and Wayne Rooney are in the squad, together with ex-Blue, Francis Jeffers.

Strong Rooney call up rumours
8 Feb - The Telegraph's Henry Winter (one of the better football journos) is reporting that Wayne Rooney could be called up by Eriksson to face Australia next week. The Times Online has a similar story. If capped, he will be the youngest England international in history.

Another signed shirt up for grabs
7 Feb - A 2001/02 away shirt signed by 32 Everton legends is the latest star item up for auction by the BlueBlood foundation. Click here for more information.

Wright for England?
7 Feb - A number of media sources are speculating on the possible return of Richarg Wright to the England set-up as Sven-Goran Eriksson prepares to name his squad to play Australia next week.

Li Tie to stay on longer?
7 Feb - David Moyes is looking at converting Li Tie's loan into a permanent deal, reflecting his confidence in a player who has figured in more of his starting line-ups this season than anyone else in the Everton squad.

Cleland plans coaching career
6 Feb - Having been forced to quit the game prematurely because of a calf injury (that was initially wrongly diagnosed at Everton), Alec Cleland tells the Daily Record  that he is hoping to rebuild his footballing career by moving into coaching.

Kanchelskis on the move again
6 Feb - And another ex-Blue, Andrei Kanchelskis, has left Southampton for Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal.

Houllier has lost the plot
5 Feb - The Evening Standard  hit the nail on the head with their astute analysis of the Liverpool manager's laughable defence of Steven Gerrard and that tackle and predict dire consequences for the Frenchman if the Reds finish lower than the Blues.

Samways released by Sevilla
5 Feb - Former Everton midfielder Vinny Samways has been released by Spanish club Sevilla after his proposed move to Cordoba collapsed, leaving the 34 year-old's career in limbo.

Gravesen content at Goodison
4 Feb - In an interview with a Danish newspaper, Thomas Gravesen says he is not perturbed by the fact that he hasn't been involved in recent games. "We are using the rotation principle... I'm fine with it," he says.

International call-ups
4 Feb - Gary Naysmith and Scot Gemmill have been included in Berti Vogt's Scotland squad to face Lee Carsley and the Republic of Ireland, while Thomas Gravesen has been called up for Denmark's meeting with Egypt for whom Ibrahim Said could feature.

Osman raring to go
4 Feb - The Cumbrian News & Star report on how Leon Osman's loan spell with Carlisle United and his form since returning to Goodison has put him on the verge of the Everton first team.

Reserves washed out
4 Feb - Tonight’s Reserve game between Everton and Sheffield Wednesday at the Halton Stadium in Widnes has been called off because of a waterlogged pitch.

Mr Personality
4 Feb - David Moyes has been named by the Liverpool Echo as the Merseyside Sports Personality of the Year for 2002.  Howard Kendall received the Dixie Dean Memorial Award.

More praise for Moyes
3 Feb - Three wins in a row and it's time for more paudits for the man in charge, although it will be another 6 weeks before he clebrates a year in charge as Everton Manager, despite this headline at 4theGame.

Justice done over Gerrard lunge
3 Feb - The FA have been rightly criticised for not applying consistent standards to similar incidents in recent weeks, but they have at least meted some appropriate treatment out to Steven Gerrard for his two-footed assault on Gary Naysmith in the Anfield derby, banning him for 3 matches.

A last glimpse of Gazza
2 Feb - The Observer Sport Monthly carries a long and ultimately sad article about Paul Gascoigne, with insights into the last year of his life that show how his brief Everton career crumbled alongside that of father figure Walter Smith.

Lee Miller on his training sessions
2 Feb - The Sunday Mail carries a nice interview with Lee Miller who talks about his brief spell of training with the Everton lads at Bellefield last week.

Carsley in Kerr's first squad
1 Feb - Lee Carsley has been named in new Ireland boss Brian Kerr's squad to face Scotland at Hampden Park on 12th Feb.