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[Season Diary]

February 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:

 February 2004

News Headlines & Features

Relief as Blues win at last
28 Feb - Tomasz Radzinski came off the bench to break the turgid deadlock at Goodison Park with a 78th-minute header and Thomas Gravesen atoned for a largely dreadful display by sealing the win with a cracker 5 minutes later as Everton picked up three points for the first time in 2004. After an hour of tedium that was really only punctuated by two great saves by Nigel Martyn to deny a revived Aston Villa, Rooney picked out Radzinski with a great cross and he beat Sorensen at the near post. Then, Gravesen ran through the guts of the Villa rearguard from deep before lashing the ball past the 'keeper earn a vital win and allow the Blues to capitalise on favourable results elsewhere.

Investment in Everton: The Way Forward
26 Feb - Click the above link to open up a .pdf file that contains Steve Allinson's absorbing and remarkable vision for the future of Everton Football Club, off the field. It's a fantastic prospect mobilizing the hundreds of thousands of Everton fans in Liverpool, the UK, and around the world, to get them involved in the running of the Club as owners. Discuss this here.

Sentimental Value?
25 Feb - Are we weighed down by the shadows of past Everton glories?  Are we forever hoping to see reincarnation of our old heroes manifested in the current squad?  That is Gareth Holme's contention, which he applies to the aging players of today he sees as David Moyes's favourites who should quite simply be put out to grass.

Ossie's Dream
24 Feb - As Colm Kavanagh considers our plight and the impending struggle to avoid relegation, his thoughts are drawn to the possibility of having a new player come in to revitalise our moribund midfield. A lad full of potential, a lad who has an eye for scoring goals and is getting fullsome praise at his current club. A lad who's name is already on our books! But No, says Davie: he's too small. And don't even think of Alan Ball!

Two points tossed away at St Mary's
20 Feb - Desperately needing three points, Everton threw away two of them by allowing Southampton to make a dramatic comeback late in the second half. 2-0 up and coasting at the break on the back of a commanding first half performance that demanded more than the goals by Rooney and Ferguson, Moyes's men were pegged back to 2-1 by Kevin Phillips' goal just before the hour. However, when Rooney smashed home his second with 12 minutes to go, the win looked secure. But Linderoth fouled Prutton in the area on 81 minutes and Beattie beat Martyn from the spot, before substitute Fabrice Fernandes unleashed a wonder strike than canoned in off the post in stoppage time to earn the home side an undeserved share of the spoils.

Investment in Everton: The Celtic Trust
18 Feb - Getting the fans fully involved in and committed to the financial business of their football club is seen as the preferred long-term solution to the woes we are now experiencing. What can Evertonians learn from the experiencs of The Celtic Trust, established to rescue the Old Firm club from near oblivion and revitalize its fanbase? Ian Macdonald provides his detailed views and commentary on the second part of the special forum put on last week by Everton Shareholders Association. (Note: .pdf file needs Acrobat Reader) Discuss this here.

Not for sale... unless...
17 Feb - In response to yet more rampant Rooney rumours, David Moyes has reiterated the mantra that the Young Man is not for sale.  Unfortunately, one key quote in the story is enough to strike fear in every Evertonian who has witnessed the previous sale of our best players from Tommy Lawton to Alan Ball when business dictates: "Unless I am told differently by the Board of Directors there will be no players leaving that I want to keep at the club." Evertonians must impress on Bill Kenwright and the entire Board that this Club will be finished if Rooney is forced out.  Nothing less.

The Curse of Walter still Lingers
16 Feb - Seb Hasslett provides a prospective analysis of the current squad, linking the incipient lameness back to its primary source: the legacy of Walter Smith's profligacy in the transfer market. David Moyes will continue to be hamstrung by this 'curse' for a few more seasons... assuming he will still be here! Let's not forget either that Walter Smith became a very rich man as a result of his tenure at Everton.

Investment in Everton: Football as a Business
14 Feb - Ian Macdonald's summary of the recently held Shareholders Association Forum should probably carry a health warning as it will only heighten the fear and trepidation of Evertonians who struggle to understand our current plight. The first presentation by Joe Beardwood represents a very unwelcome dose of reality as far as the financial side of Everton FC is concerned. It is however, essential reading if you want to know some of the reasons why the Board of Directors (according to Ian) can do little more than they already have... although that point will always be contentious! (Warning: large .pdf file >1MB needs Acrobat Reader) Discuss this here.

Peter Clarke goes on loan
13 Feb - After having been consistently awful in his increasingly rare appearances for Everton, Peter Clarke has been shipped out on loan to Coventry for a month. Taken together with the current loans of Osman, O'Hanlon, Schumacher, Chadwick (currently injured) and Turner, it is clear that David Moyes has no intention of looking to play any Everton youngsters in the impending relegation scrap. So, with no money to spend and the transfer window closed, he must rely on the erratically inconsistent players currently at hand.

We are not happy
13 Feb - The titles of these three pieces say it all: As low as it gets, Who's to Blame? and Dj vu, Anybody? Plenty of aggrieved voices as Everton plunge inexorably toward yet another relagation battle, looking as bad as ever. Meanwhile, Matthew Barry backs up the concerns raised in the most recent Colm's Corner highlighting our desperate plight in the midfield and the inactivity of the Board.

Seventeen Long Years
12 Feb - Colm knows it is a bit of a knee-jerk after last night's dismal showing in Birmingham, but it needs to be said, time and again, until something changes for the better among the impotent custodians of this historic and once proud club.  Again we are laid low by poor on-field showings that are underpinned by a blinkered failure to act at a higher level within the Club.  In the 17 years since our last Championship, we've had just one Cup victory to savour.

Humiliation at St Andrews
11 Feb - The decision not to bolster the midfield in any shape or form during the transfer window is, just as our readers predicted, looking like a huge mistake as David Moyes's side shipped another three goals through their porous defence and created nothing in an embarrassing defeat by erratic Birmingham. It took Damien Johnson 10 minutes to score with an innocuous-looking effort that crept inside the post before Stan Lazaridis marauded through to blast home to make it 2-0. Five minutes into the second period, another appalling error by Alan Stubbs allowed Mickael Forssell to chip the ball in to put the game beyond sorry Everton's reach. Wayne Rooney's shot against the post late was the only bright spot for the travelling Everton fans.

Pride comes with a fall
9 Feb - It was a game of heartbreakning lows and very special exhilarating highs. Colm Kavanagh was there and he went through the ringer watching this one. His description, captured for Colm's Corner, focuses on the reaction of the players and their contribution to a memorable Goodison game.

Zinedine Kilbane
8 Feb - Well, perhaps the nickname is a little over the top, but there is no doubting the positive contribution that Kevin Kilbane has made to a struggling Everton team. Sebastian Hassett has prepared this feature article on the player who tied yesterday's game at 3-3 with that excellent equalizing header.

Crushed after stirring revival
7 Feb - Three goals down at home to United inside 30 mins and it looked like a rout was on the cards.  It could so easlity have been six for the Red Devils with Everton totally outplayed.  Men against boys.  But David Moyes made three changes at half-time and it was a totally different game, with Everton full value for their wonderful three-goal recovery.  But this was United we were playing, and the inevitable last-minute goal went the wrong way underlining that, whatever we seem to do, we just can't win.

You can only take so much of this
5 Feb - It is far better to be in the thick of things, amongst the noisy Everton away contingent, where the game is important but your experience of the unique atmosphere created is what really stays with you. So pity poor David Flynn, stuck in the Fulham stand all on his lonesome with time and space to actually watch how the players and the team are performing. Nothing to distract him from the abysmall quality of our football. Then you might sympathize when he says this was the night he stopped being a football fan.

Last chance not enough
4 Feb - Francis Jeffers pounced again in injury time to save this FA Cup 4th Round tie for the second time in 10 days after a flash of magic by Junichi Inamoto from 25 yards had threatened to send Fulham through against an uninspired Everton. Despite a some bright moments either side of half time when Radzinski and Rooney were both perhaps guilty of poor finishing, the 3,500 travelling Blues had little to cheer as Fulham dominated until a rip-roaring final few minutes. First Jeffers went in bravely to head home the equaliser, then he missed, incredibly heading back across the face of goal from 2 yards out. Then the on-loan striker curled inches wide before the referee blew to signal extra time. 5 mins into the first period of extra time, Jeffers missed another sitter, lifting the ball over the bar with the 'keeper beaten. But Fulham regained the lead when they carved Everton open and Steed Malbranque squeezed it past Martyn.
Match Report.

Derby Day
2 Feb - The turmoil that derby day represents for an Evertonian is captured by Steve Allinson in this piece, where he makes the case against writing match reports, or even subjecting the game to any level of critical analysis on such unique occasions. There is only one thing that matters....


Snippets & Rumours

Internationals get a week off
29 Feb - Wayne Rooney, Tobias Linderoth and Tommy Gravesen have been granted a week off by David Moyes in recognition that they will be playing in Portugal this summer.

Player of the Month -- January
28 Feb - For the second month running, surprise package Kevin Kilbane has scooped the PotM honours, comfortably beating Nigel Martyn in the January voting.

Dunc's abuse row fizzling out?
27 Feb - After the FA talked to Duncan Ferguson yesterday about Luis Boa Morte's accusations of racial name-calling, it appears unlikely Ferguson will be charged with any crime for lack of evidence.

Where are they now?
27 Feb - On the night shift in Tesco.  That is Brett Angell's current job after being released by QPR last May.

The Dunford interviews?
26 Feb - There are a slew of articles on Everton finances, ground sharing, develeopment of Goodison, ticket prices, etc at the icLiverpool website today, with all seeming to feature quotes from Everton CEO Michael Dunford.

Swop deal: Mills for O'Hanlon?
26 Feb - Everton have had an offer accepted for Swindon's young defender Leigh Mills, with the possibility that Sean O'Hanlon may make his current loan deal permanent.

Don't Panic! ... Don't Panic?
25 Feb - Alan Irvine says "Don't Panic" just as David Prentice points out that 26 pts after 26 games is the lowest points total Everton have ever had at this stage in the Premiership... Eeeek!!!

Memorial Ground under threat
25 Feb - Liverpool City Council and private investors are trying to build an academy cum sports centre on Dixie Dean Memorial Ground the old Campfield on Heyworth St, L6.  It was given to the people of Liverpool by John Moores University and is used on a regular basis by local children and others including amateur football teams.  Local residents are against this proposal; a meeting will be held at Breckfield School, Hamilton Road, Liverpool tonight (Wednesday) at 8 pm all are welcome.

Police want United meet
24 Feb - The saga of the naughty Man Utd players drags on with Merseyside police wanting a meeting to disuss their behaviour with senior members of the Club.  Arrests can be only weeks away...

O'Hanlon extends loan
23 Feb - Sean O'Hanlon, who scored one and helped set up the other goal in Swindon's 2-0 win over Chesterfield, has had his loan spell with the 2nd Division side extended for another month.

Only Chelsea and Real Madrid
22 Feb - First he was "not for sale at any price"; then more simply "he's not for sale" Which changed to "unless the Board know something different..." and now David Moyes (of all people!), implies we would accept sufficent payment for Rooney from Chelsea or Real Madrid.  Just softening us up for the inevitable...

Osman extends Rams Loan
21 Feb - Leon Osman, who scored the winner for Derby today. is to extend his loan stay with the midlanders for another month albeit with a 24-hr recall clause.

Simonsen turns down contract
20 Feb - Steve Simonsen has turned down the offer of a one-year extension to his contract.  Faced with being third in line, he is looking for another club where he can play regular first-team football.

Li Tie broken leg confirmed
19 Feb - It has now been confirmed that Li Tie has sustained a fractured tibia from a bad tackle on the training field while away with China last week. He will now be out for the rest of the season.

Chadwick looking elsewhere
19 Feb - Nick Chadwick is prepared to leave Everton this summer if he doesn't get an unlikely extended run in the first team. He is out of contract this summer and, following an abbreviated loan spell at Millwall, he feels he will have to move away in order to play regular first-team football.

More heartfelt Rooney comment
18 Feb - Nick Said speaks for many Evertonians as he sums up our feelings about Wayne Rooney over at the Football365.com website.

Wayne Rooney for England
18 Feb - Wayne Rooney played 71 minutes in England's 1-1 draw in Portugal, while Kevin Kilbane and Ireland were goalless against Brazil, Tobias Linderoth and Sweden went down 2-1 to Albania, James McFadden and Gary Naysmith each featured in Scotland's 4-0 drubbing by Wales, and Thomas Gravesen helped Denmark beat Turkey 1-0.

Tommy Eglington, RIP
18 Feb - Tommy Eglington, an Irish International winger and key Everton player in the post-war years, has died aged 82.

Punch Drunk Love
18 Feb - Paul Holmes doesn't mince words as he provides a probing response to the issues reviewed in the first part of the ESA forum.  Of most concern is the contention that the Everton Board is blamelss for the current parlous predicament. 

Reserves beaten by Baggies
16 Feb - A reserves side including Scott Gemmill, Steve Watson, and Nick Chadwick who was playing his first game since recovering from hernia surgery after cutting short his loan at Milwall was unable to beat West Brown on their own turf, going down to a single goal from N'Dour.

Should he stay or go?
16 Feb - We said last time that the rumours of Rooney's impending departure would come with annoying frequency. This time, its the claim of a 25M move to Man Utd in The Mirror that has Nick Armitage's back up.

Living beyond our means
16 Feb - This piece by Andy Hunter in the Daily Post summarizes findings from the ESA Forum on Investment in Everton that we are featuring in detail this week.

Li could be out until the summer
15 Feb - Li Tie's shin injury is likely to keep him out of action for the rest of the season. The Chinese international's involvement in the first team this season has been limited at best.

Moyes to keep tabs on boozing?
15 Feb - In a reaction to last week's nonsense, David Moyes, according to The People, will insist on knowing where his charges are off to when they go boozing.

Wright recovery on track
15 Feb - Richard Wright is expected to get back into full training next week after recovering from the latest operation on his knee.

Player of the Month: January
14 Feb - January started well enough but tailed off disappointingly with our exit from the FA Cup. Nevertheless, there are a few candidates who might be worthy of the PotM accolade. Vote now.

Moyes: New offside law is rubbish
14 Feb - David Moyes has joined the growing ranks of managers disaffected with the new interpretation of the offside law that is causing so much confusion among managers, players and officials alike. There is now an online petition which fans can use to protest FIFA's meddling.

Li Tie suffers injury
14 Feb - Blues midfielder Li Tie has suffered a shin injury while training with the Chinese national side. Speculation that he has broken his leg is unconfirmed, with the Official Site saying that it will be 48 hours before conclusive tests are completed.

Super Eagles take 3rd place
13 Feb - Joseph Yobo was booked 10 minutes into the African Nations Cup Third-Place Playoff but Nigeria still went on to beat Mali 2-1 to finish third overall.

Weir absence costing us dear
13 Feb - Howard Kendall highlights David Weir's long injury layoff as a key factor in the Blues' recent run of poor results. Indeed, he and Joseph Yobo make up what is arguably the Blues' best defensive partnership and they've both been absent recently (although HK seems to favour Alan Stubbs).

FA to hear Dunc's denial
13 Feb - The FA have called Everton and asked for a meeting with Duncan Ferguson regarding the claim of racist name-calling made belatedly by Fulham and Luis Boa Morte.

More off-field nonsense
12 Feb - Wayne Rooney has been accused of spitting at a woman in the Manchester nightclub Ampersand when a group of Everton players were celebrating Kevin Campbell's birthday. Pro-Active Sports manager Paul Stretford says Wayne denies it and is entirely innocent; so does his mum!

Nigeria out on penalties
11 Feb - Joseph Yobo scored from the spot during the penalty shoot-out that decided the African Nations Cup semi-final but it was Tunisia who triumphed 5-3, sending the Nigerians home broken hearted after the game had finished 1-1 after extra time.

Parliamentary Report recommends changes
11 Feb - Among them: A salary cap (try getting that past the meddling European Union!), a doubling of the Premiership TV money distributed to lower league clubs, levies on agents, clubs' budgets to be finalised two years in advance, and a greater commitment to 3pm Saturday kick-offs.

Norwich still want apology
11 Feb - As another illustration of how ridiculous things are getting, Norwich are still bleating about accusations of racist chanting in the FA Cup tie from over a month ago!  Can we please get back to football?

Fanning the flames of hatred
11 Feb - Martin Samuel in The Times speaks a lot of sense about the Man Utd abuse fiasco, and rightly concludes that it casts us as a Club in a very poor light.

Jacko still going strong
10 Feb - Hero from Everton's '95 Cup run, Matt Jackson is still going strong under manager Paul Jewel at Wigan Atheltic.

Amo backs the Big Yin
10 Feb - Daniel Amokachi has spoken out in defence of Duncan Ferguson over the allegations of racist name-calling made by Fulham's Boa Morte.

Police don't seem interested
9 Feb - The Police seem content to let the FA deal with the numerous complaints lodged by Everton fans about what they think was unacceptable behaviour on the part of Manchester United players. In other reports, the FA is said to be waiting for the police to do something....

This is getting ridiculous
8 Feb - The silly nonsense over United players making rude gestures may now come back to bite the club, with The Sun publishing a nice picture of a plastic bottle hurtling towards Ronaldo.

Ossie with last-minute equalizer
7 Feb - Leon Osman was the hero for Derby County when he rifled home a last-minute equalizer to salvage a point against Cardiff City in Division 1.

Ooo, Betty!
7 Feb - Those wicked Man United players might be in trouble with the FA if Everton can prove horror of horrors that they swore and made rude gestures at some Everton fans.  Is ths some new rule that obviously doesn't work in reverse?

Turner on loan to Chester
5 Feb - Young goalkeeper Iain Turner is going out on a month's loan with Chester City.

Fulham lodge racist complaint
5 Feb - Fulham have finally logded a formal complaint with the FA that Boa Morte was subjected to racist name-calling by Duncan Ferguson, who vehemently denies the allegations.

Alexandersson makes move now
4 Feb - Niclas Alexandersson has completed his move to IFK Gothenburg on a free transfer after languishng in Everton Reserves since he declined to extend a loan spell at West Ham last season.

Soccernet Team of the Week
3 Feb - Both Nigel Martyn and Tony Hibbert were selected for Soccernet's Team of the Week after their excellent derby displays.

Burley impressed with Osman
3 Feb - George Burley has been singing the praises of Leon Osman, who has impressed in midfield for Derby in the two games he has played so far during his loan spell.

FA not happy with Boa Morte
3 Feb - The FA want to know why, if Boa Morte's rascist allegations have any validity, they were not reported to the FA before appearing in the media.

Support and OTT gushing; a fine line
2 Feb - Bill Kenwright believes that Nigel Martyn, the Blues' hero at Anfield on Saturday, is the best goalkeeper in the world right now, but dreads a phonecall from Sven Goran Eriksson. Probably best to keep your thoughts under your hat then, Bill.

Schumacher at the Lattics
2 Feb - Previous England youth team captain Stephen Schumacher has failed to make the grade at Everton and will play a couple of trial games with Oldham Athletic this week.

Big Ron has a point
2 Feb - Ron Atkinson thinks that Wayne Rooney is wasted on the right and that Everton should employ him behind the front two if they don't want to break up the Ferguson-Radzinski partnership.

Now Houllier turns racist
1 Feb - Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier issued a shocking and blatantly racist statement about Britsh managers after he disagreed with Moyes over missed penalty calls: Every time we foreign managers play against a British manager ... they never acknowledge that they lost normally. Er, who lost???


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