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

[Season Diary]

January 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:

 January 2003

News Headlines & Features

McFadden Bid Rejected
30 Jan - Everton's cunning strategy of creative book-keeping as a way to bring in the players David Moyes needs to maintain his push for a European place seems to be failing as Motherwell have rejected a novel deal that could have brought their fiery midfielder, Jamie McFadden to Goodison.  Moyes offered the Scottish Premier side £100,000 to take McFadden on loan until the end of the season with a view to making the deal permanent in the summer.  This news follows rumours that Colin Healy (pictured) could be going elsewhere as Celtic reject Everton's bid of $150k and that Everton could sign trialist Collin Samuel instead before the transfer window closes tomorrow — although Moyes has said that it's unlikely there will be any new faces. 

Reserves beat Bradford 2 - 1
29 Jan - Everton Reserves took a two-goal lead over Bradford City during the first half of tonight's game at the Halton Stadium with goals from Leon Osman and Lee Carsley (pen).  Kevin McLeod received a straight red card for a challenge on the Bradford goalie, Nick Beach, which saw him leave the field on a stretcher.  Everton failed to take advantage in the second half, allowing Carricondo to score with an excellent free-kick past Simonsen in goal.7nbsp; But the win was enough to raise them three places to 7th in the FA Premier Reserves/U-21 League, Northern Section.

Watson secures first away win since November
28 Jan - Steve Watson was the hero grabbing two goals as Everton recorded their first away win since November and emphatically banished the spectre of relegation by breaking the 40-point barrier. The versatile Geordie, who was unsuccessfully installed as an emergency striker a year ago by Walter Smith, connected with a David Unsworth free kick on 33 minutes with a stunning scissor-kick to put David Moyes's side ahead. Six minutes later, he was on hand to fire home a second after Jussi Jaaskelainen had saved from Gary Naysmith. Watson almost grabbed his hat-trick in the second half but Jaaskelainen did just enough to save his close-range header. Bolton, who had had a few chances of their own in the first half, improved slightly in the second but didn't really threaten to overturn the Blues' lead until stoppage time when substitute Delroy Facey found the net in a goalmouth melee.

A week is a long time in football
25 Jan - The old adage holds true for David Moyes and his Everton squad, which was ravaged by injury and illness a week or two ago.  But most of the news is now good with Pembridge and Gerrard getting full games for the reserves last week; Linderoth and Simonsen are now off the injury list and presumably back in training.  Since Moyes has shown little inclination to mess around with winning line-ups, the chance of Leon Osman or new boy Ibrahim Said seeing action at Bolton on Tuesday could be slim, although you wonder what more someone like Osman has to do in order to be given a decent opportunity in the first team.

Osman hits hat-trick as Blues thump United
23 Jan - Everton's Reserves finally saw some action for the first time in over a month and the break didn't look to have done them any harm at all.  Steve Milne reports on promising midfielder Leon Osman, who made his senior debut as a last-minute substitute at Spurs two weeks ago, and hit a hat-trick tonight as the Blues' second string demolished Manchester United in Altrincham.  Ibrahim Said made his expected first run out in an Everton shirt alongside first-team regulars Niclas Alexandersson, Mark Pembridge and Lee Carsley.  New young goalie Iain Turner was on the bench as cover for Paul Gerrard. 

Edging closer to saftey
22 Jan - With 39 points in the bag, Everton have surely slain the beast of relegation, and there is one man who deserves the lion's share of the credit for this turn of events.  Fan Neil Wright wants to mark this momentous achievement by giving David Moyes on ovation when we do finally pass that psychological 40-point barrier — hopefully next Tuesday at Bolton.

Wei Feng to stay in China
20 Jan - Li Wei Feng will not be returning to Goodison Park as an Everton player after the Club announced that he will stay in China and join Shanzhen Jian Lia Bao (formerly Shanzhen Kejian, his previous club) following termination of his contract by mutal consent.  This brings to an end a strained relationship, with the player unable to make an impact with the team and unable to settle on Merseyside following the surprise sponsorship deal with Kejian that brought him to Everton last July.  At the time, it was strongly rumoured that he was "the wrong one", with the deal for Li Tie hurriedly being patched together to asuage Mr Moyes... alledgedly.

Loan Star McBride fires Everton to victory
18 Jan - American marksman Brian McBride continued his sensational start to his Everton career by scoring both goals as the Toffees came from behind to beat struggling Sunderland and earn their first win of 2003. Richard Wright returned in goal; Weir back as captain. Everton made a great start to this game, with numerous chances being created in the first 30 mins, including Watson hitting the post, but no goals so far...  And then the inevitable, as Kilbane scored totally against the run of play.  The second half started with Sunderland again attacking but it was Everton who suddenly applied a total onslaught to the Sunderland goal, with McBride scoring two vital goals inside 6 mins as some tremendous pressure finally paid off.

Wayne Rooney signs 3-year contract
17 Jan - The big Friday-evening announcement from Goodison Park: Wayne Rooney's contract negotiations have finally been concluded and the boy wonder has signed a potentially lucrative professional contract for 3 years — the maximum allowed for a 17-year-old.  It was actually a double celebration as Everton's superb young full-back Tony Hibbert also signed a new 3-year contract with the club.

Club confident of putting Rooney deal to bed
16 Jan - Everton Chief Executive, Michael Dunford, is confident that negotiations over Wayne Rooney's professional contract will be done and dusted by the time he makes his next first-team appearance. The 17 year-old striker is suspended until the trip to Charlton Athletic on 8th February, but Dunford says that talks with Proactive, Rooney's new agents, have made encouraging progress and that he will have put pen to paper by the time that game comes around.

Goalkeeper situation uncertain
15 Jan - Everton currently have four unfit goalkeepers, after Espen Baardsen revealed that he was troubled with a hip injury during is less-than-stellar Everton debut.  Richard Wright's scan on his injured knee revealed he may need surgery if the inury doesn't settle down, while Iain Turner is expected to sign for Everton later this week, although that may depend on the outcome of the tribunal ruling on an appropriate fee.  Paul Gerrard is back in training and could be ready to face Sunderland on Saturday but David Moyes will give Wright every opportunity to prove his ability to play.

Defensive errors cost Moyes's men dear
12 Jan - A much-improved performance by an injury and suspension-ravaged Everton side was unforgivably ruined by calamitous defending that gifted a hat-trick to Robbie Keane and allowed Tottenham to perpetuate their hold over the Blues. After taking a 10th-minute lead through debutant Brian McBride, the Blues fell behind twice to Keane goals but managed to pull level again through Steve Watson and Tomasz Radzinski as the game took on thrilling proportions. But, with the defence arguably at fault for all four goals — not helped by a nervy performance by Espen Baardsen after Richard Wright had injured his knee in the pre-match warm-up — Keane capitalised on a dreadful error of judgement by Alan Stubbs to smash in the winner with 6 minutes left.

Everton close to tying up Healy deal
10 Jan - Republic of Ireland international midfielder Colin Healy could become an Everton player within the next 48 hours after his agent revealed that the two clubs were close to a deal. The fact that the story has been posted on the Official Everton website lends creedence to the belief that the club will sign the Celtic midfielder before the transfer window closes at the end of the month. Healy's agent, Mel Stein, while questioning his client's decision to leave a club as big as Celtic says, "if you are going to go anywhere then Everton is a good move for any player". Celtic's decision on the Blues' £150,000 offer could be announced today.

More background on Rooney's contract
8 Jan - This article in The Guardian seems to provide a balanced and informed assessment of the issues that are currently holding up finalization of a contract between Everton and Wayne Rooney's representatives at ProActive Sports Management.  Everyone sounds committed to reaching agreement but the reported gap in salary offered and requested appears to be rather large...

Half-full or half-empty?
7 Jan - Phil Turner runs the rule over the season so far and tries to weigh the positives against the negatives in reaching some conclusion about the success of the Moyes Revolution, a little over half-way through the season.

Moving a few steps forward...
6 Jan - The cataclysmic events of the weekend have caused many fans to focus on the limitations of the current Everton squad, which currently features almost an entire team laid up with illness or injuries, and the effect of suspensions on the way.  Everton fan Andrew Presly has composed this review of where we have got to so far this season, the new faces we are likely to see, and how far they may take us come May.

Not the end of the world
5 Jan - Yes, it was a very bad result.  But it is not the end of the world.  The ToffeeWeb Editor looks back at some of the complex emotions that surround such a setback, and how they can seduce us into the wrong kind of thinking — about the players, the team, the manager, and the brief transfer window that some now see as the new panacea.

Everton join the ranks of the humiliated
4 Jan - David Moyes suffered his biggest reverse as manager of Everton after his injury-and flu-ridden outfit chrashed to a disastrous FA Cup Third Round defeat at Gay Meadow and ensured that the eyes of the nation will be on the Blue half of Merseyside this weekend for all the wrong reasons.  Kevin Ratcliffe's struggling Third Division side made all the early running and Richard Wright had to pull off a string of saves before the Blues finally woke up and went close through Radzinski and Carsley.  Then, a free kick given away by Gravesen was curled home by Nigel Jemson to make it 1-0 at half time.  Niclas Alexandersson replaced the yellow-carded Thomas Gravesen at the interval and it was he who looked to have saved the tie with a goal on the hour mark.  But, with two minutes left, a Woan free kick found Jemson and he beat Wright for the second time to seal the shock of the round, and Everton's most humiliating Third-Round exit ever. Paul Gregory sent in this report.

Lacking Performance in the Engine Room
4 Jan - With Brian McBride, Ibrahim Said and Iain Turner all due to sign for Everton within the next 10 days, David Moyes is taking great strides towards the kind of squad depth he will need in his bid to keep the Blues in the top five of the Premiership. However, as welcome as those signings are, the worrying lack of any midfield flair on the horizon is disturbing. Will the boss be addressing what is potentially the team's biggest weakness before the transfer window closes?

Huff and puff barely enough
1 Jan - It took the Blues just 6 minutes to take the lead when Rooney split the City defence with a great ball for Steve Watson to convert.  Mark Pembridge had a similar 18-yard effort blocked and Wayne Rooney, on from the start, fired just over.  But City drew level through Everton's nemesis, Nicolas Anelka after a poor error by Richard Wright.  Campbell and Yobo were subbed at half-time, and Gemmill later replaced Gravesen but nothing seemed to inspire a listless Everton.  And with 9 mins left, the seemingly inevitable disaster happened when Foe headed past Wright.  But a desperate 4 mins of added time saw Everton finally, undeservedly, equalize through Radzinski.


Snippets & Rumours

Etherington stalls on Goodison switch?
31 Jan - Reliable sources suggest that David Moyes lodged a successful bid for Tottenham's Matthew Etherington but the player felt he had too little time to make the decision ahead of the transfer deadline.

Eriksson will not be rushed
31 Jan - He's been suspended for four games but that hasn't stopped the country's choice jurnos and pundits writing about him and shoving him under Sven's nose...  But thankfully it appears the England manager will not be rushed into an early international debut for Wayne Rooney.

Club decide against Intertoto Cup
30 Jan - David Moyes and the Everton board have agreed that the club will not be applying for entry to the Intertoto Cup this summer.

Gerrard to Portman Road?
29 Jan - Paul Gerrard may be an Ipswich player by the end of the week, if Joe Royle makes the move to re-purchase his favourite goalie.

Everton are 2nd best "First Half" team
29 Jan - The success of the David Moyes revolution is illustrated in these statistic tables, especially in terms of first-half performance and results against the Premiership's lesser teams.

Joe-Max back at the Rev
28 Jan - Joe-Max Moore has rejoined the MLS side, New England Revolution (Boston, MA) after his three years with Everton came to an end last month.

Blue Heritage Plaque for Anfield
28 Jan - Everton have presented Liverpool with a nice Blue Heritage Plaque commemorating the fact that Anfield was Everton's home from 1884 to 1892.  Just one problem: where are they going to put it?

Wright will suffer through the pain
28 Jan - In a worrying development that has presaged the demise of a number of previous Everton players, reports today indicate that Richard Wright will put off any operation on his injured knee until the end of the season so that he can carry on playing in goal for Everton.

Samuel and Miller arrive
27 Jan - Falkirk players Collin Samuel and Lee Miller have arrived on Merseyside for five days of training with Everton but there are no indications as yet that this arrangement between David Moyes and his good friend, Falkirk manager Ian McCall, will lead to anything permanent.

Falkirk looking for £500k
27 Jan - Falkirk have reportedly slapped a price tag of £500k on free-scoring Trinidadian striker Collin Samuel...

Jeffers can become a great goalscorer
26 Jan - So says Arsene Wenger about the young Everton prodigy who scored 2 goals for Arsenal on Saturday, his 22nd birthday, but has otherwise been used sparingly (and injured) for much of his time with The Gunners.

Under-17s lose to Man City
25 Jan - Alan Harper's Under-17s suffered an unlucky defeat at league leaders Manchester City with the Under-19s game called off.  Steve Milne was there to watch and report.

Samuel grabs a hat-trick
25 Jan - Collin Samuel, one of the young Falkirk players who is headed down to Bellefield next week to train with the Blues, scored an excellent first-half hat-trick against Hearts in a great 4-0 Scottish Cup upset.

BlueBlood star item of the week
24 Jan - The latest must-have item up for auction by the BlueBlood charity is a 2002/03 home shirt signed by a host of Everton legends. You know it makes sense... click here.

Moyes prepared to sell McLeod?
24 Jan - The Daily Post claims that David Moyes would allow Kevin McLeod to leave Everton — for a fee — after rejecting a loan move that would have taken the 22-year-old Everton Reserve to Rotherham for the rest of the season.

Xavier joins Galatasary
24 Jan - Former Everton player and itinerant virus host Abel Xavier has gone on loan from Liverpool to Turkish club Galatasaray.

Hibbert targets February return
23 Jan - Impressive home-grown defender Tony Hibbert has pencilled the televised clash with Southampton on 22 February in as his target date for first team availability as he recovers from a hernia operation.

Jurietti transfer collapses
23 Jan - Monaco's Franck Jurietti says he had a three-day trial at Everton but there was not enough money to make the transfer happen.  Either that or he just wasn't good enough for David Moyes?

Baardsen stays for another month
23 Jan - Buried in yet another conflicting article on Mr Joseph Yobo — this is at the icLiverpool website — is the news that Everton are extending the short-term contract of stand-in goalie Espen Baardsen for an extra month.

But Yobo says: No problems at Everton
23 Jan - Joeseph Yobo tells Nigerian radio that there is no reason for anyone to be concerned about his contract at Everton.  Except the agent who negotiated it: he is "not very strong" and his services have been dispensed with... Oh, and the BBC report he is about to sign a new one — before the end of January... or before the end of the season.

Why Yobo was unhappy
23 Jan - In what it describes as a "shocking revelation", kickoffnigeira.com reports that the reason Joseph Yobo was unhappy about the completion of his transfer to Everton was that he didn't get a signing-on fee. His brother blames Yobo's ex-agent and Yobo himself for the oversight.

Blues to resume chase for Healy
22 Jan - As the negotiations between Martin O'Neill and Celtic rumble on so does the saga surrounding Colin Healy's proposed move to Everton. The icLiverpool site report that David Moyes will make a final push to seal the deal before the transfer window slams shut.

Moyes looks at Falkirk agreement
22 Jan - David Moyes travels to Falkirk in Scotland tomorrow to discuss plans for some of Everton's youngsters to join the Bairns on loan in exchange for the trials of Collin Samuel and Lee Miller next week.

Moore to rejoin the Revolution
22 Jan - Joe-Max Moore is on the verge of returning to New England Revolution, the MLS side from which he joined Everton three years ago. The out-of-contract American international was released by David Moyes a month ago.

Toffeehater with a Vengance
21 Jan - London-based Everton fan, Charlie Martin, has every right to fear the inevitable, with today's news that Les Ferdinand has signed for West Ham...

Duncan's recovery is slow
21 Jan - Duncan Ferguson is stiffening up after training, and it is a concern for David Moyes, who feels the Big Yin's recovery is going slower than expected.  Big Dunc will not play in Thursday's reserves game with Manchester United.

Belated Match Report...
21 Jan - ... from Richard Marland.  Click the link for Richard's usual calm and clear analysis of the Sunderland game.

Cleland calls it a day
20 Jan - Former Everton defender Alec Cleland, released by the club last summer, has had to retire from professional football because of a persistent calf injury.

Where are you now, Walter?
19 Jan - The Scotsman has tracked down one-time Everton manager, Walter Smith, who was told by Sir Bobby Robson "You’ll never be a manager until you’ve been sacked three times."  So now we know...

Samuel and Miller from Falkirk
19 Jan - Everton are taking two Falkirk players, Collin Samuel and Lee Miller, on trial at Bellefield this week.

Everton link good for Keijan
19 Jan - Reuters News Agency reports that the Keijan mobile phone company in China is reaping the benefits of its ground-breaking sponsorship deal with Everton FC.

Rooney Autographed GP Photo
19 Jan - Your chance to get your hands on an exclusive photograph of Goodison Park, signed by none other than Wayne Rooney, is here! Proceeds go to the BlueBlood Foundation. It could be worth thousands in years to come.

New BlueBlood auction items
16 Jan - Signed stuff by Duncan Ferguson, Howard Kendall, Joe Parkinson, Graeme Sharp, Derek Mountfield, Ray Wilson and many more. Get yer bids in now — it all goes to charidee!

Marseille rekindle interest in Nyarko
16 Jan - With Paris St Germain looking increasingly unlikely to take up their option to make Alex Nyarko's loan move permanent, Marseille have once again expressed an interest in the Ghanaian midfielder.

Moyes denies move for Brazilian star
16 Jan - Rumours are rife that David Moyes has launched a late bid to sign Brazilian World Cup star Kleberson on another clever loan-to-permanent deal. However, despite the presence of another Brazilian already in the squad, Moyes has said that he will not persuing the deal at this time — although he did confirm that he had been looking at Kleberson.

Owls swoop for Kanchelskis
16 Jan - Sheffield Wednesday have signed the former Everton star Andrei Kanchelskis on loan until the end of season. He made little impression at Southampton, but did make a big impression on Guy McEvoy in this game against his new team way back in 1996.

Club to trial football loyalty card
15 Jan - Starting next season, Everton and Ipswich Town will become the first clubs to trial the TeamCard, a loyalty scheme whereby fans can earn points to spend at other retailers by buying match tickets, etc.

Duncan's been burgled again
15 Jan - He was burgled at his last place and he's been burgled again exactly two years and a day later at his new home. Duncan Ferguson restrained the burglar until police came and that burglar is now alleging he was assaulted during the confrontation. Police want to question the player about the incident.

Ally McCoist — new striker coach
15 Jan - Buried deep in this Independent article is the news that old Rangers pro Ally McCoist has has been invited to become the strikers' coach at Bellefield — for just one day!

Goodison to get a Guatemalan?
15 Jan - Planet Football, the current home of dubious transfer rumours, carries a quote from MLS hot-shot Carlos Ruiz claiming Everton are interested in him. However, the Guatemalan striker could struggle for a work permit.

Beijing duck anyone?
14 Jan - Given the choice between Burnley and Beijing, Paul Gascoigne has opted for the latter. He says, "I have trained really, really hard. This is an opportunity for me to get out of England, go over there and enjoy myself".

Wei Feng in Chinese squad
14 Jan - Li Wei Feng, who has been back in China for the last two months recovering from a nose injury and training with the national team, has been included in the squad to face Brazil on 12 February.

FA diffuse Rooney rumble
14 Jan - The FA has reassured Everton that they won't be calling Rooney up for the World Under-20 Championship.  This article on the BBC website reveals that FIFA had threatened Rooney with a Premiership ban if he had been selected and not been released for England duty.

Moyes to look at Scottish duo
14 Jan - According to The Scotsman, Falkirk’s Collin Samuel and Lee Miller will have trials at Bellefield at the end of this month, with David Moyes presumably already thinking about close season signings.

Celtic test Everton resolve over Healy
13 Jan - Despite Everton's £150,000 bid and Colin Healy's desire to join the Blues, Celtic have insisted that the midfielder fly out to their mid-winter training camp in Florida. This suggests that they may be holding out for more cash; any deal could now be delayed 2 weeks.

No desert for Rooney
13 Jan - If Wayne Rooney is going to play in a World Cup, he is going to have to wait for the real thing. Everton have told the FA that they are not going to release him for the World Under-20 Championships in the UAE this Spring.

The FA want the boy
12 Jan - Everton could be without Wayne Rooney for five Premiership games in March-April including the derby at Goodison.  The FA intend to argue their point with David Moyes about including him in the England squad for the World Youth Cup in the United Arab Emirates from March 25 to April 18.

Here comes McBride...
12 Jan - A nice lengthy piece from The Independent previewing the arrival of Brian McBride as direct replacement (even down to the squad number!) for recently departed compatriot Joe-Max Moore.

Academy games off
11 Jan - Saturday's games at Crewe Alexandra involving Everton's U-17 and U-19 Youth Academy sides have been called off due to frozen pitches.

Greed has its price
10 Jan - Having turned down David Moyes's £4.5M offer for Mart Poom 6 months ago because they wanted £7M, cash-strapped Derby County have effectively missed out on £2.5M precious revenue by selling the Estonian to Sunderland for just £2M.

Dacourt moves on again
10 Jan - Terry Venables must be happy to finally have shipped out Olivier Dacourt, who is moving from Leeds to AC Roma on loan until the end of the season.

Polish midfielder on trial
10 Jan - The Independent suggests that 30 year-old Polish World Cup player Piotr Szierczewski played in a closed-doors game on Merseyside yesterday by way of a trial with Everton.

Player of the Month — December
10 Jan - The votes are in and we can reveal the winner of the December POTM poll.

Moyes keen to hang on to McLeod
10 Jan - In what hopefully bodes well for the near future, David Moyes recently turned down a request by Rotherham United to take young midfielder Kevin McLeod on loan until the end of the season.

Everton announce China tour
9 Jan - Everton will go to China later this year as part of their sponsorship deal with Kejian. The Blues will play one match in Shenzen and another in Hong Kong during a 10-day tour.

Iain Turner on his Everton move
9 Jan - In this article on new Everton Under-19s goalkeeper, Iain Turner, he proclaims: "You cannot really go wrong when guys like Chris Woods ... are looking after you and giving you advice."  And there's more in The Sun.

Ex-Blue on trial with St Mirren
9 Jan - Tribal Football report that 20 year-old midfielder Craig Penham, recently released by Everton, has accepted a trial with Scottish club St Mirren.  Don't tell anyone, but his real name is Craig Penman.

Blueblood auction items galore
8 Jan - Stuff signed by Gordon West, Fred Pickering, Graeme Sharp, Sandy Brown, Derek Mountfield, Derek Temple... the list goes on, and it all benefits the BlueBlood foundation so get bidding!

Healy still a possibility
8 Jan - Everton have confirmed that they are in negotiations with Celtic to bring midfielder Colin Healy to Goodison, either by the end of January or by the end of the season.

Read "Football Crazy" for free
8 Jan - Terry Ravenscroft has made his award-winning novel "Football Crazy" (normally priced £17.95) available for all fans of football to read completely free. Click here and follow the link to "Football Crazy".

New loan target on trial?
7 Jan - Unsubstantiated reports suggest that David Moyes has offered a three-day trial to Monaco defender Franck Jurietti. The 27 year-old could sign on loan until May if he impresses.

POTM December — Last Call
7 Jan - The Player of the Month vote for December will be closing in the next couple of days. If you haven't voted for your choice yet, why not do so now?

Said gets his work permit
7 Jan - Ibrahim Said has been granted a work permit and should be available for selection against Spurs on Sunday, with Alan Stubbs now rated as doubtful due to a sprained ankle.

Stirling anger at Turner outcome
7 Jan - Stirling Albion player-manager Allan Moore has hit out at the token £50,000 offer Everton made for highly-regarded goalkeeper, Iain Turner.  David Moyes waited until the 18-year-old was out of contract to sign him and the matter now goes to a tribunal who will set the compensation fee.

Gerrard charged by FA
7 Jan - Liverpool's Stephen Gerrard has been charged with violent conduct after the FA viewed videotape of the disgusting two-footed lunge on Gary Naysmith in the Anfield derby.

Rooney has still not signed
7 Jan - Future earnings and the thorny problem of image rights are the sticking points that have so far prevented Everton reaching an agreement with Wayne Rooney and his agent that will enable him to sign a six-year contract with The Blues. Though this BBC article is much more positive on the matter.

Nyarko is staying in France...
6 Jan - ... at least until the end of the season, when his current loan deal at PSG runs out.  But the Everton website is strangely speculating that a lack of movement on a first option for a permanent transfer with an agreed £3M fee during the January sales window will mean the want-away Ghanain will have to come back to Goodison in May.

Reserves game is off
6 Jan - Everton Reserves were due to play at Newcastle today but the game has been called off sue to a frozen pitch.

Rodrigo is recovering well
6 Jan - The Everton website are relaying an e.mail from Juliano Rodrigo who reports favourably from Brazil on his recovery from knee ligament damage: he may be back in training by the end of the month.

McBride gets his work permit
6 Jan - The Department of Overseas Labour and Employment have granted a work permit for Brian McBride, which makes him eligible for selection against Spurs next Sunday.

Real Rubbish
6 Jan - Or at least that's what Everton's head of corporate affairs Ian Ross is saying on the BBC website about Real Madrid's supposed first opition bid on Rooney. "There has been no contact between the clubs", he says. So McManaman won't be coming either then!

Real want to tie up Rooney
5 Jan - A story in The People claims that Real Madrid would like to buy a committment from Everton that would provide a minimum £20M guaranteed fee should the youngster become available in the future...

Player of the Month
3 Jan - The David Moyes victory bandwagon may have ground to a shuddering halt during December but there are still candidates for POTM. Vote Now!

Big Dunc close to full training
3 Jan - Duncan Ferguson is getting close to resuming full training with the first-team squad after recovering from back surgery to free a trapped sciatic nerve.

New young goalkeeper
3 Jan - Iain Turner, an 18-year-old goalkeeper from Stirling Albion, looks likely to be the next David Moyes signing. He is having his medical at Everton and the BBC website is reporting that the deal could be finalised later today.

Mixed Emotions for Rats
3 Jan - Kevin Ratcliffe reminisces about his playing career at Goodison and how he has mixed feelings about tomorrow's F.A. Cup 3rd round match at Shrewsbury. He says, "This will be the first time I haven't supported Everton in a Cup tie".

McBride and Said deals agreed
2 Jan - Everton have secured agreements with Brian McBride and Ibrahim Said for loan deals that could bring both players to Goodison Park until the end of the season, as long as they can obtain work permits.

Wayne misses another game
1 Jan - A fifth yellow card for Wayne Rooney on New Year's Day means that he will now miss four games in a row.