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[Season Diary]

April 2004

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:

 April 2004

News Headlines & Features

Feeling Blue
29 Apr - It's not as bad as the title sounds: Paul Traill takes a look at some aspects of David Moyes's management and suggests some things that could have been done a little differently.  He then provides a brief analysis of the impending losses to the squad as the players reach the end of their contracts, both this summer and next.  Bringing in new faces is obviously a critical task for Moyes; how he will accomplish this effectively with minimal financial resources available remains to be seen...

Accentuating the positives
27 Apr - Our recent articles slamming Everton for the manner of the season-ticket price hike have caused Everton fan Stuart Mann to say: Let's be a bit more constructive... but he ends up going over much of the same ground in terms of where we are as a club, what has brought us to this point, how important Rooney is to our future, and why haven't the Board sanctioned a Rights Issue.

Welcome to Collinwood
27 Apr - The brash manner of Club CEO Michael Dunford's announcement, signalling substantial increases in season-ticket prices for next season's fayre on offer at Goodison Park, has got many people's backs up.  Paul Holmes takes a long hard look at the pattern of continuing decline and financial mismanagement that underlies the latest body-blow to faithful Evertonians.

We have had enough
25 Apr - Here at ToffeeWeb Towers we get plenty of flak for being "negative", but it is with some reluctance that we have agreed to publish this heartfelt rant by a frustrated Evertonian who has obviously reached his personal breaking point.  Kenney Sweeney runs the Mid-Chesire Supporters Club but it doesn't help his case against increasing season ticket prices when he starts off by calling someone (it's not quite clear who exactly) a 'moron'.  Still, it will probably strike a chord for many...

Stead's sucker-punch floors lacklustre Everton
23 Apr - Precious reward money is slipping away each week with seemingly little concern among the Everton players as Blackburn leapfrog the Blues to reach 40 points. Both sides had headers from corners tipped behind in the first quarter of an hour before Everton lost chief playmaker Thomas Gravesen to injury. Just before half time, Joseph Yobo forced a save from Friedel, Stead forced another acrobatic stop by Martyn and Linderoth made a miracle clearance off the line before Radzinski's shot was palmed around the post and Watson's volley from the corner was deflected narrowly wide. The Blues had marginally the better of the second half but weren't good enough overall and were sucker-punched with 10 minutes to go, Stead heading in the decisive goal.

Money too tight to mention
22 Apr - As Everton crawl closer to safety at the end of a truly dismal season, Colm Kavanagh wonders again about the moribund finances that bind us hand and foot, while we see Club luminaries like Paul Gregg and Lord Grantchester listed among the nation's richest. Is there perhaps another way to shake things loose?

Fox in the box?
21 Apr - Daniel Fox, one of the few Youth Academy players to be retained for the coming season, was on hand to fire home a quick free-kick in the reserves game against Birmingham City at Southport on Tuesday evening.  Richard Wright (in goal) was the only senior player on the field as the youngsters from the Youth Academy were given more match practice while a handful of normal reserves players are away on loan.

Looking to the Future
20 Apr - There is a player in the First Division earning rave reviews from his manager and whom the fans are praying will stay... and he is ours. Faced with the prospect that Leon Osman could be sold on to Derby County without ever having been given the chance to prove he can make the Premiership grade with Everton, Lyndon Lloyd breaks the extended silence in his Comment column to put forward the case for building for the future with our young stars like Osman, James McFadden and, of course, Wayne Rooney.

Everton and the woodwork frustrate Chelsea
16 Apr - Everton ground out the draw they came for with a committed if sometimes desperate rearguard action as Chelsea were booed off at the final whistle by their disgruntled supporters. Frank Lampard floated an effort off the crossbar in the first half and shot against the post in the second as the home side threatened to make the crucial breakthrough. And Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink could have scored from one of four gilt-edged opportunities, but it was Everton who had the clearest sight of goal when Wayne Rooney was denied with a point-blank save by Ambrosio. Rendered impotent by another miserable display by Gravesen and reliant on a towering performance by Yobo, Everton were fortunate to earn a point but grateful nonetheless to halt a sequence of defeats at Chelsea's hands.

Jeffers' volte-face
15 Apr - Francis Jeffers has done an about turn and buried the hatchet with David Moyes in clear-the-air talks according to the Official Site. Faced with two months in limbo training with Everton's youth team, the 23 year-old striker has apologised for his outburst before the Spurs win on Good Friday and has been restored to the first-team squad. He is eligible for the Blues' final five games of the season, although how much part he actually plays after all the furore remains to be seen.

Moyes keen on Okocha?
15 Apr - Not normally inclined towards idle gossip, The Independent suggest that David Moyes is seriously interested in bringing talented midfielder Jay-Jay Okocha to Goodison Park on a free transfer next season. The Nigerian, whom Walter Smith is rumoured to have rejected as too old, too fat and too slow before turning around and signing David Ginola, is currently plying his trade with Bolton Wanderers and is out of contract in June. Despite Okocha's age (he'll be 31 in August), there is no doubt that he would add a desperately lacking touch of creativity frankly, it's the sort of move that should have been made in January last year. [More speculation in the Rumour Mill]

Martyn preserves valuable point
13 Apr - Nigel Martyn was the hero of the hour on his return to Elland Road as he pulled off a string of magnificent saves to deny his old team and salvage a draw for disappointing Everton. David Moyes reintroduced Wayne Rooney to the fold and he drove home from distance after just 12 minutes to give the Blues the lead. However, the home side found their stride again after half an hour, and Martyn had to make three amazing saves either side of half time before James Milner smashed home the equaliser with Everton floundering early in the second period. Leeds carried by far the greater threat after the interval, as Everton's midfield went AWOL as typified by a shocking display by Thomas Gravesen but Moyes's side held out to keep Leeds 3 points behind in the table.

Jeffers placed in limbo
11 Apr - Francis Jeffers has been shunted into a state of limbo by manager David Moyes after a misunderstanding regarding team selection for the Good Friday game that saw Everton slay a number of demons.  With Campbell injured, and Ferguson and Rooney suspended, getting 10 mins on the field was not good enough for Franny, who claims he was told he would start the match. After apparently refusing to play again for Moyes, Jeffers has sealed his own fate, since under the terms of a season loan he cannot play for Arsenal, and he cannot join any other club on loan this season, although Everton are obiged to continue to pay him and provide him with training facilities. See officious Club Statement. ToffeeWeb will be making no further comment on this matter... although we do have a Fans Comment from Koi Yu Ng.

Moyes's boys dish out revenge
9 Apr - Everything came together in fine style as David Moyes's Everton laid to rest a few annoying hoodoos with a scintillating first-half performance that carried them through to a first win in front of the cameras this season and a first defeat of Spurs in 7 years all on James McFadden's first start up front. After a quarter of an hour, David Unsworth popped up at far post to convert a Steve Watson flick-on to open the scoring and 7 minutes later, after McFadden had forced Gary Doherty into hacking him down, Gary Naysmith curled a beauty of a free kick past Kasey Keller. Then Joseph Yobo converted after Keller had spilled a set piece from the same place to make it 3-0. A more pedestrian second half yielded a solitary goal for the visitors by Stephen Carr... who promptly killed their momentum by being sent off for clipping the heels of the tricky McFadden.
Match Report

Young Reserves hold Leeds
7 Apr - A side of predominantly young academy players travelled to Wakefield and held Leeds to a goalless draw on Wednesday night.  Steve Simonsen was the only recognized senior name on the field, and he is still looking for a place to land in the knowledge that he will be released at the end of the season, along with a number of the other players.

Duncan Disorderly
5 Apr - By his admission of guilt for violent conduct against Steffen Fruend, and making an obscene gesture to Leicester fans, the FA has slapped Duncan Ferguson with a further four-match ban and a 10k fine that will hardly make a dent in his 35k+ weekly pay packet.  Nick Armitage is not impressed... although there is no decision yet on which games he will miss apparently this is in the hands of the Club, who could have the ban come into effect for the next four games, or the final four games of the season... or, by waiting until the last moment to appeal the decision to the FA, get the entire ban shifted into next season!

Defensive errors cost Everton dear
3 Apr - Everton's five-game unbeaten run came to an end at St James' Park as Newcastle ran out 4-2 winners, a scoreline that flattered the home side.  The game was barely 5 minutes old when Bellamy latched onto Shearer's flick-on and easily out-muscled Unsworth before slotting past Martyn.  Everton equalised 8 minutes later, though, through Gravesen.  A lucky bounce for Dyer put the Magpies ahead again before a bizarre Campbell backpass sent Shearer through one-on-one and he made no mistake.  Watson then had a legitimate goal chalked off for offside before Yobo popped up at the far post to head in the Blues's second.  But the grandstand finish petered out into a fourth for Newcastle when Unsworth blocked Bowyer's shot and Shearer had an easy task of notching his second of the afternoon. Belated match report.

What's all this about Loyalty?
1 Apr - The media-generated fuss about Sven Goran Erikkson daring to consider his own career has got David Flynn a little bit exercised.  In this piece, he takes a look at the quaint concept of loyalty as it applies in today's cutthroat world of football and concludes that the idea is feintly ridiculous.  Then again, there's only one David Unsworth...



Snippets & Rumours

Wayne expected to sign
30 Apr - Time for some (rather premature?) positive news?  Based on a tenuous quote from David Moyes, Evertonians are hereby assured that Wayne Rooney will sign a new five-year contract with Everton in the summer. 

Chadwick priced too high for Lions
30 Apr - Everton have placed a "ridiculous" price on Nick Chadwick, according to Millwall chairman Theo Paphitis, who was obviously hopeful of converting his loan spell at the Lions' Den to a permanent deal on the cheap.

McFadden has a different view
30 Apr - In this interview, James MacFadden clearly sees himself as a player for the present, and as a forward, not a winger.  But Moysey knows best...

Clarke played last game
30 Apr - Peter Clarke could not hide his disappointment at knowing that he has played his last game as an Everton player after captaining the Reserves on Tuesday.  Despite starring for England at all youth levels, he seems unable to make the grade in the Premiership.

Li Tie stays in China
28 Apr - Li Tie still seems a long way from a full recovery after breaking his leg in a training incident with the Chinese national team back in February.

McFadden impresses again
28 Apr - Jamie McFadden was once again very lively in his up-front role for Scotland, who lost narrowly in Denmark.  Gravesen did not play for the Scandinavians but Linderoth played 72 mins for Sweden in their 2-2 draw in Portugal.

Ferguson unlikely to play
28 Apr - Duncan Ferguson, who has missed the last six games through a combination of suspension and injury, is not expected to play against Wolves this weekend because of "doubts over his sharpness"!!!  Isn't that what the Reserves are for?   Didn't they play last night???

Reserves finish poorly
27 Apr - A young Everton side featuring Iain Turner in goal after he returned from loan with Chetser City could do little against Sunderland and went down by a 0-2 scoreline in the last Reserves game of the season.

Osman gets his debut!
27 Apr - David Moyes kindly sent us this message: "Thanks to you lads for your time and effort in producing a wonderful website. Everton supporters truly are a wonderful breed.  Here's the team for Saturday."  Well, we thought you'd like some good news...

26 Apr - Colm Kavanagh posted this eloquent missive to the ToffeeNet mailing list.  It covers a number of important issues surrounding the increase in season ticket prices.

Gravesen and Kilbane crocked?
26 Apr - Everton will probably be without two of their 'better' players for the season run-in, with Gravesen damaging knee ligaments and Kilbane pulling a hamstring.  Just what we need as we face Wolves and Man City...

U-17s in Playoff Final
24 Apr - Everton's youngsters won through 6-5 on penalties against Spurs following a tense 1-1 draw that went into extra time, with James Vaughan grabbing the equalizer right at the death of the semi-final playoff game for the FA Youth Academy Under-17s national title.

Radz is keen to stay
23 Apr - Tomasz Radzinski responds positively to the news that David Moyes sees him as one of Everton's key players, and will be looking to agree a contract extension before his current deal expires next year.

Gerrard a winner with Ireland
23 Apr - The Irish Under-18 team that includes Everton youngster Anthony Gerrard have won the Viseu Torunament in Portugal with one game to play after wins against Turkey and Portugal.

Moyes determined to deliver
23 Apr - David Moyes acknowledges the faith the fans have kept in him, and is determined to see the Club progress under his management, with new faces targeted for summer transfers.

Osman plays one more for Derby
21 Apr - Despite earlier reports, Leon Osman still has one more game to play for Derby this weekend at Burnley before his loan spell expires.  David Moyes has said firmly that Ossie is not for sale, but implied strangely that he wont be considered for any of Everton's remaining games this season.

Owls first pre-season fixture
21 Apr - Everton will visit Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough on Tuesday 3 August 2004 in the first of a "packed" pre-season schedule to be announced by the Club.

Gerrard for Ireland!
21 Apr - Anthony Gerrard, Everton's only other senior Youth Academy player to be retained next season, flew out yesterday with the Ireland U-18 squad for the Viseu Tournament in Portugal.  Gerrard is eligible to play for Ireland through his mother's family.

Reserves play Birmingham today
20 Apr - Everton reserves will take on Birmingham City at Southport in a rearranged game, with Jeffers possibly getting a run out.

Tomasz and Thomas to stay
20 Apr - Although Everton are not doing anything official until the summer, David Moyes will offer new contracts to both Tomasz Radzinski and Tommy Gravesen.

Osman implored to stay
19 Apr - Leon Osman was implored by the Rams fans to stay on at Pride Park after he helped Derby County to a 5-1 win over Preston in the last home match of his three-month loan from Everton.  Has he learnt how to compensate for his diminutive stature?  Or will David Moyes give him away because he's "too small"?

Hardly the repentant one
18 Apr - Francis Jeffers does himself few favours with an 'explanation' that excuses his rash behaviour and strong words to manager Moyes last week as simply down to frustration.  Saying he still desperately wants a contract at Everton, he's lucky the manager is a lot more understanding than the fans who booed his appearance as a substitute at Chelsea.

Player of the Month: March
18 Apr - Following the pattern of back-to-back winner this season, your February pick Wayne Rooney has picked up the March Potm award as well. Results

Increasing debt is no solution
18 Apr - This piece in The Independent about the financial tribulations of Manchester City (the people's club???) puts the Everton Board's frugality into some context.  It would be nice to think all City's problems are down to the hugely overated Keegan but, as the rich get ever richer, the football also-rans seem destined to a perennial and increasingly painful struggle...

Moyes looking to add players
18 Apr - David Moyes recognizes the need to add quality and guile to the committment and graft his team usually plays with as he looks forward to the summer... but will the Board come up with any money for him?

Symes extends Crewe loan
17 Apr - Young Everton reserve striker Michael Symes, who is out of contract in the summer, will now stay at Crewe until the end of the season.

Chester win promotion
17 Apr - Chester City won promotion back to the Nationwide Third Division after four seasons in The Conference. With Everton's young Scottish keeper Ian Turner, who is on loan until the end of the season, they have been unbeaten in the 11 games he has played since joining them on loan in March.

Norwich fans still bitching
17 Apr - Norwich City fans, who have spent the last four months bitching and moaning about accusations of racist chanting against Joeseph Yobo, have been finally slapped down by the FA, who have told them there will be no appology coming from Everton.

Under-17s are into the semis
17 Apr - Everton's Under-17 Youth Academy Group A Champions overcame Leicester City in their Quarterfinal playoff with late goals from Hopkins and Anichebe.

The dirt on Franny
15 Apr - We knew it wouldn't take long for one of the media's 'investigative journalists' to unearth the true story about what went down between Francis Jeffers and David Moyes last week...

He's still only young...
15 Apr - Wayne Rooney is one of six nominees for the PFA Players' Young Player of the Year award.  Butt here are no Everton players nominated in the senior category.

Weir returns in Reserves win
14 Apr - A well-taken goal by 19 year-old Italian striker Patrizio Pascucci was enough for Everton Reserves to overcome Bolton Wanderers 1-0 at Haig Avenue this evening. David Weir saw action for the first time since serving his suspension.

Gemmill returns
14 Apr - Scott Gemmill has returned to Everton after Preston North End decided against a permanent deal, or a loan extension, in view of a knee injury the player is carrying.

Umbro in new shirt deal
14 Apr - As Everton's current kit deal with Puma is running out, news that the Club has struck a new deal with JJB who will supply all Club and other outlets with products made by Umbro.  The most "lucrative" deal in the club's history could be worth between 10M and 20M over 5 years.

Teen prospect lands Everton trial
13 Apr - Everton have invited 16 year-old Michael Coulson of Scarborough's centre of excellence on trial. The attacking midfielder was spotted by Goodison scouts and will play in the Blues' youth academy team against Liverpool on Saturday.

Preston weigh up Gemmill loan
13 Apr - Preston North End boss Craig Brown has declared his interest in extending Scot Gemmill's loan from Everton which expires this week. The midfielder is carrying a slight knock but could be asked to stay at Deepdale for another month.

Player of the Month: March
12 Apr - It's here again, the PotM vote. Have your say on who you thought was numero uno in March.

Osman leads the way for Rams
12 Apr - Leon Osman, on loan from Everton, put Derby County ahead in the first half of a Division 1 relegation battle with Bradford, who included Micheal Branch in their line-up, with Danny Cadamarteri and Tom Kearney on the bench.  Branch could do little to prevent the Bantams from losing 3-2 and moving that bit closer to Division 2.

All Points North
10 Apr - In the All Points North Charity Challenge, four Evertonians will be attempting to visit all 42 Scottish football league grounds in 24 hours this coming July, and hope to raise at least 10k for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association and the National Kidney Federation. They need yotu support.

Moyes: Toughest season
9 Apr - David Moyes admits this has been his toughest season in management, and he has vowed to spend some time in self-examination before ringing the changes.

The Darkness comes to Goodison
8 Apr - Nothing new there, the darkness has plagued Goodison for the best part of 17 years! But we digress... Retro-rockers The Darkness have been confirmed among the list of music celebrities slated to play in the charity Soccer Six tournament at Goodison Park on 9th May which includes LibertyX, Phixx, Clea, Mark Owen and reputed Blue-belly Lee Latchford Evans.

Stubbs may need groin op
8 Apr - The niggling groin injury that kept Alan Stubbs out of the Newcastle game may need an operation in the summer; Stubbs will miss tomorrow's massive game against Spurs; defenders David Weir and Peter Clarke are still suspended.

Unsworth admits he is distracted
8 Apr - David Unsworth has admitted that not knowing where he will be playing his football next season has started to play on his mind. You don't say...

Pondering Ferguson's future
7 Apr - This is one of a number of similar rambling articles appearing in the press, bringing together every recent facet of the Ferguson saga, with a dash of salt from the "Everton Money-men" (Who?), suggesting that Big Duncan's Everton future could end sooner than his current contract.  But analyse it carefully and there is nothing in here we didn't already know... and Moyes is still keen to keep playing the Big Yin wearing the captain's armband to boot!

Carsley concentrating on Blues
6 Apr - Lee Carsley has requested that Ireland boss Brian Kerr not consider him for the forseeable future, so that he can concentrate on regaining his place in the Everton side.

Easter rest for Big Dunc
6 Apr - Everton have decided that Duncan Ferguson will serve out his four-match ban immediately, missing games against Spurs, Leeds, Chelsea, and Blackburn, thus giving him a chance to recover from his current injuries.

Schumacher loan ends dismally
6 Apr - After going on trail, and then spending a month on loan at Oldham Athletic, Everton youngster Steven Schumacher never even made it to the first team!

Cien Aos de Calidad
5 Apr - Que?  No, not 100 years in hell (although it sometimes feels like that...) this is the history of Everton in Spanish, thanks to the diligent efforts of the Ruleteros Society.  The official launch of the book takes place on Tuesday 6th April - 12:30pm, in the Dixie Dean Suite at Goodison Park.  All are welcome.

Gemmill a hit at Deepdale
5 Apr - After scoring the winning goal against Bradford that keeps Preston within chasing distance of a play-off place, there are hopes that Scot Gemmill will find a permanent home at Deepdale before his one-month loan from Everton expires next week.

Millwall make it to the final
4 Apr - Nick Chadwick sat on the bench as an unused sub for Millwall at Old Trafford today as they battled their way to the FA Cup Final with a 1-0 win over Sunderland, with John Oster playing well for the Black Cats.

McFadden says he's happy
2 Apr - Jamie McFadden's wonderful goal for Scotland has set all the rumour mill's grinding, with suggestions that Rangers will come snooping soon.  But McFadden insists he is happy in Everton Reserves and Moyes seems blissfully unaware of his ability to play as a striker; maybe he'll come off the bench at Newcastle and repeat this feat?

Shootouts, revisited
1 Apr - Our dedicated statto, Steve Flanagan, has rounded up some more details for what we believe is the definitive and only complete record of our club's dismal performance in penalty shootouts.


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