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[Season Diary]

November 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:

 November 2003

News Headlines & Features

Pure unmitigated shite
29 Nov - The false optimism that came from 45 minutes of positive football against Wolves last week was blown away at The Reebok as Everton were embarrassed by an unremarkable but charismatic Bolton who beat the Blues for the first time in the Premiership.  An easy Frandsen header from a poor Martyn punch in the first half and a deflected Djorkaeff shot gave the home side a 2-0 lead inside 46 minutes while Moyes's pathetic outfit were restricted to a wayward Rooney lob, a 30 yard bullet from Alan Stubbs that flew wide and a long-range Nyarko shot as their only attempts to score.

Osman on target again
27 Nov - Pistone, Carsley and Gemmill all played for Everton Reserves last night, along with Clarke, Li Tie and Alexandersson. But it was Leon Osman who showed his mettle yet again with another match-winning performance, grabbing both goals for the Blues as witnessed for us by Steve Milne . And it was a performance that won glowing praise from manager David Moyes, with more than a few hints that he sees great potential for the 22-year-old, despite his injury setbacks and lack of height.

Hidden Agenda?
26 Nov - One Everton fan who is also a journalist has been concerned about a piece he read recently in the latest issue of The Evertonian. It seemed innocuous enough: Michael Dunford confirming that talks had taken place on the touchy subject of a sharing a ground with Liverpool FC. We reported last week that Everton had probably missed the boat and LFC weren't interested. But Martin Fricker is not so sure: he sees reasons to suspect a different ending to this particular saga...

Moyes's boys ease the pressure
22 Nov - Everton's players responded magnificently to the deserved criticism they have received in recent weeks by exploding into a 2-0 lead in the first 20 minutes against Wolves. Tobias Linderoth slid the ball through for Tomasz Radzinski after a quarter of an hour and the Canadian swept the ball in to make it 1-0. Three minutes later, Wayne Rooney's cross was met by Kevin Kilbane who looped a header for his first Everton goal. Wolves posed almost no threat beyond a close-range effort that Nigel Martyn saved well and the Blues strolled through the second half to earn three precious points.

The David France Collection
20 Nov - It has taken author David France many, many years to accumulate the amazing array of Everton items that now comprise this exceptional collection. Ill health means he can no longer maintain it and must sell. But it has been valued at around 500,000. Everton FC are due to make a decision this week or miss out forever on this singular opportunity to secure a unique assemblage of their own heritage. If you know your history...
Introduction by Ian MacDonald
Examine the full catalog

First Impressions
19 Nov - Time out from the frantic crossfire of modern football... Do you remember your first impression of Goodison Park? Your first experience of the Goodison Roar? Lol Scragg does. Vividly. And he captures it well for us in this little piece. One of the great things I recall was the spontaneous outburst of foot-stamping in those old wooden stands that would uniquely capture the mood of anticipation in the rising momentum of the game...

Rooney a different class
16 Nov - Wayne Rooney threw off any lingering cobwebs from his bout of the flu last week and notched up his game (and the hype) yet again among his peers, striking a great opening goal after just 5 minutes. He then set up Joe Cole with a sublime pass for England's second before 10 mins were up, after Denmark had equalized following good work from Tommy Gravesen. Rooney was withdrawn after 67 mins as England Man of the Match. So that's four Everton Internationals scoring and/or playing brilliantly for their countries over the weekend... What price Everton? Why can't they perform like this in a Royal Blue shirt? Over to you, Mr Moyes...

McFadden gives Scotland the edge
15 Nov - James McFadden scored the only goal as Scotland beat a profligate Holland 1-0 at Hampden Park in the first leg of their Euro 2004 playoff. Berti Vogts' side will take their slender advantage to Amsterdam on Wednesday hoping to secure their passage to the show-piece tournament in Portgual next summer.

The Honeymoon is Over
13 Nov - We didn't think it would happen under David Moyes well, not yet at least but Everton are back in the bottom three of the Premiership after a dreadful run of results and another worrying goal drought. Lyndon Lloyd ponders how the squad that were hailed as heroes for a seventh-placed finish in May has lost its way so quickly while wondering, based on the Blues' record in 2003, if it was all smoke and mirrors anyway.

Is hard work really enough?
12 Nov - While admiting that he is unable to account for the poor display by his players on Monday night, David Moyes has made it clear that he believes the solution to their problems lies in "extremely hard work."  This is worrying.  Amidst unspoken rumours about backroom unrest that no-one will admit to, surely the team needs inspiration, tactical structure, and improved organization to build on the basic skills we know these players possess. 

Everton reach new low under Moyes
10 Nov - Could it get much worse? A first-half performance that was indescribably bad on a par with the worst we ever suffered under Smith. You can only weep in sympathay for the vociferous 6,000 Blues fans there who were stunned into silence by Everton's incomprehensible ineptitude. Yes, they improved in the second half, but couldn't find the cohesion to rescue the game beyond a tantalizing consolation goal from Radz at the start of the second half. That kept Evertonians cruelly on tenterhooks, believing against all hope they could at least draw level. Such seems our destiny in this lousy Premiership.
Report by Lyndon Lloyd

Davis does a U-turn
7 Nov - Sean Davis has plunged the furtive hopes of an Everton revival in the New Year into turmoil by committing himself to Fulham, thereby probably ending any likelihood of reviving his much-touted transfer to Everton in January.  This will surely come as a huge blow to the efforts of David Moyes to improve Everton's midfield.  And it is hard not to wonder how much Davis's decision is reflective of the current gap between the teams in the Premiership?

Osman on target again
4 Nov - It was Leon Osman who was again the hero for Everton Reserves on Tuesday night, scoring a late winner for the second string as they stole three points from Middlesbrough. Unsworth, Alexandersson, Chadwick and Jeffers were in the team, with Chadwick scoring the opening goal for the Blues.

Unsie faces contract dilemma
4 Nov - A sign of the times, indeed. David Unsworth, a loyal servant of the club, who has six months left on his existing contract, has been offered only a one-year deal and a cut in pay. Unsworth has made it clear that the pay-cut is not the issue: it's only getting a one-year offer that hurts as the Club hedges its bets after learning the lesson of giving silly long-term deals to ageing stars.

W R Dean Classic Print
3 Nov - The website is making a final offering of their limited edition high-quality wide-angle photo-print of a classic Dixie Dean image: the Everton legend, ball in hand, leading out the Toffees at Highbury for the game against Arsenal in the first game of the 1936-37 season. The print run is limited to 500, and they are being offered first through Everton websites for 15 each.

Plucky Blues left to rue missed chances
1 Nov - David Moyes could have no complaints in the first half at Goodison Park as his side took a breakneck game to high-flying Chelsea and could have gone ahead twice inside the first couple of minutes as Radzinski and Kilbane narrowly missed. Alex Nyarko, a surprise starter, thundered 30-yard drive off the crossbar midway through the half after Jeff Winter had turned down appeals for a penalty when David Weir appeared to be hauled down in the area. Wayne Rooney had a couple of efforts before being presented with a gilt-edged chance but his attempted chip of the 'keeper drifted over. Minutes into the second half, Adrian Mutu undid all the Blues' good work by knocking the ball home to break the deadlock. Everton pressed to level the game and with 8 minutes left Jeffers missed with a header from barely 4 yards out.


Snippets & Rumours

Moyes admits to sorry display
30 Nov - A lack of heart and desire; the inability to win the individual batles on the field... those are the reasons Moyes gives for yesterday's abysmal display.  But Evertonians remain concerned about the unspoken indications of deep unrest behind the scenes. Has Moyes lost the players? His methods are clearly not working any more. Can there be any hope of him motivating these work-shy millionaires to perform for their club?

ESA Discussion Forum
29 Nov - Everton Shareholders Association are holding a Discussion Forum for Association members who wish to participate in recent inititatives with the Club. Guest Speaker: Andrew Hosie, EFC Commercial Manager. Monday night at 7pm in the Joe Mercer Suite.

Rooney talks to The Mirror
28 Nov - The Mirror carries what it claims to be the first in-depth interview Wayne Rooney has given, with the focus more on his England career than his faltering efforts in a blue shirt. But Wayne does say this: "I have got to keep learning and listening every time I join up so I come back to Everton a better player." 

Chadwick still has Goodison Future
28 Nov - David Moyes insists that the loan move for Nick Chadwick to Milwall is for his own development given competition for places in the Everton squad, and reaffirmed that the lad should have a bright future at Goodison.

Everton may delay Gerrard move
27 Nov - Paul Gerrard's wishes to convert his loan spell at Sheffield United into a permanent deal may be thwarted by Everton's desire to hawk him in the January Sales.

Paying for Match Commentary
26 Nov - This weekend sees the introduction of charges for a service that has been provided free of charge by Everton FC for a number of years: from Saturday, fans will have to pay to listen to live match commentary over the Internet. ToffeeWeb Viewpoint .

Chadwick joins Millwall on loan
26 Nov - With first-team opportunities for the young striker limited, Nick Chadwick has been loaned to Millwall for a month.

Three players back from injury
26 Nov - As they recover from long injury lay-offs, Alessandro Pistone, Lee Carsley and Scott Gemmill are expected to play in tonight's reserves game against Wolves in Telford.

Big Dunc returns
26 Nov - Duncan Ferguson returned to Bellefield today and trained on his own as the rest of the players had the day off.  Exile ended, apparently...

New payment due for Ball
25 Nov - When Michael Ball turns out for Rangers against Stuttgart tomorrow evening it will trigger another 500,000 payment to Everton as part of his 6.5m transfer from Goodison. Of course, the cash will by-pass David Moyes and go straight into debt payments.

Simonsen vows to battle on
25 Nov - Despite the message sent by the club by the failure to offer him a new contract, Steve Simonsen says he is determined to prove to David Moyes that he is worthy of a new deal at Everton.

Moyes and Ferguson cease fire?
25 Nov - David Moyes has reached an "uneasy truce", as The Echo describe it,with Duncan Ferguson. However, the striker only made a brief appearance at Bellefield yesterday and didn't attend training today but wasn't expected to... Eh?

Blue in Zimbabwe
24 Nov - Taka Nyahunzvi has followed Everton for over 20 years from his native Zimbabwe, and while he has never been to Goodison Park, he feels the highs and the lows as keenly as any of us.

Capeling pulls no punches
24 Nov - Len Capeling is in his unsual uncompromising mood in his assessment of the performance against Wolves. He even manages a tasty side-swipe at director Paul Gregg's tight purse strings.

Wright facing permanent pain
24 Nov - According to today's Echo, the operation Richard Wright will undergo in the US this week may not cure the problem in his knee completely and he could face playing the rest of his career in pain when he kicks the ball.

Moyes admits it needed a rethink
23 Nov - David Moyes acknowledges that the depths plunged against Blackburn two weeks ago caused him to reconsider things he was doing with the team.  Nice to see him not shirking responsibility for what they do (or don't do) on the field.

Hall of Fame adds 3 Blues
22 Nov - Tommy Lawton, Alan Ball and Gary Lineker, three ex-Blues of unquestionable greatness although the latter spent just one season at Goodison and barely seems to remember it were honoured today with induction into English football's Hall of Fame.

Preki still a star
22 Nov - Preki is still doing the job at 40!  The Kansas City player is the first to earn the Most Valuable Player award in Major League Soccer for a second time.  And he edged out... John Spencer!  Surely the MLS can't be that bad?

Fans want Osman to get his chance
22 Nov - 94% of ToffeeWeb readers who voted in our recent poll said that it is high time Leon Osman was given a crack at the first team to show whether or not he is better than the under-performing shower ahead of him.

Player of the Month: October
22 Nov - The voting was close... very close! In fact, just 0.7% separated the winner the first of Moyes's summer signings to pick up the ToffeeWeb PotM accolade from the unlucky runner up for the month of October.

PFA getting involved
21 Nov - Gordon Taylor is hoping to help resolve the dispute between Duncan Ferguson and David Moyes, with the player currently barred from training.

Gazza admits mistake
21 Nov - Paul Gascoigne now reckons he was a tad hasty when he left Everton in protest at the sacking of "a fantastic manager" Walter Smith (stop laughing at the back!).

Bolton clash on TV abroad
21 Nov - Everton's battle of the bottom feeders with Bolton Wanderers next weekend will be screened on tape delay in the US on Fox Sports World at 2pm ET / 11am PT and on Canal Plus in Europe.

Player of the Month: October
20 Nov - Last call for votes for October's PotM. Voting closes Friday.

Ferguson no-show
20 Nov - Duncan Ferguson's Everton career seemingly hangs in the balance after he was not present at Bellefield for training today.

Squad Status updated
20 Nov - Our watching brief on the status of each first-team player has been updated ahead of this weekend's vital game against Wolves.

Holland 6 - 0 Scotland
19 Nov - Heartbreak for Scotland at the Amsterdam Arena. James McFadden's first-leg winner was wiped out as early as the 13th minute when Sneijder netted for Holland before Oijer put the home side ahead on aggregate after 32 minutes. Ruud van Nistelrooy rubbed salt into the wounds with a third and went on to score a hat-trick.

Ferguson bust-up
19 Nov - Rumours of a major bust-up between David Moyes and 'club captain' Duncan Ferguson on Monday are finally confirmed (why does it take two days?).

Ireland 3 - 0 Canada
18 Nov - Radzinski missed a sitter for Canada at Landsdowne Road, with Ireland running out 3-0 winners, and Kevin Kilbane coming on for just the last two minutes.

Everton Res 2-2 Aston Villa Res
18 Nov - A Francis Jeffers goal, his first for an Everton team since his return from Arsenal, and an own goal earned the Reserves a draw with Villa who scored with 53 seconds on the clock and levelled the game with 20 mins to go.

Rooney Party Pooper
18 Nov - Fan Paul Jones thinks the Rooney mystery lies in the lack of quality on the field around him at Everton, and says McFadden should start with him. Meanwhile, another fan (Len Capeling in disguise?) says "Never Again."

Andy's not right in the head
18 Nov - Andy van der Meyde, the winger whose wasteful shooting contributed to Holland's defeat against Scotland has branded his marker on Saturday, Gary Naysmith, a "Scottish fool" who played "like a blind man." These comments came moments after the Dutchman had fainted and hit his head against a speaker!

Blues rank 43rd in the world
17 Nov - Marcelo Leme de Arruda, a Brazilian scholar, has come up with a formula that takes into account the honours won by every club side in the world against the quality of the competition. He ranks Everton at number 43.

Spoils shared in Academy derby
17 Nov - Liverpool U-17s and Everton U-17s battled out a goalless draw in FA Premier Academy League at the weekend.

Groundshare now doomed
17 Nov - After pushing hard for the idea that most knew was a non-starter, the Liverpool Echo  is now predicting imminent failure for any prospect of a joint stadium.

Everton Comets win big
17 Nov - Desparate for any Everton success we can find, our Aussie friends are celebrating the achievements of some 14-year-old cricketers...

One game at a time
17 Nov - Ant McKeown thinks things are not quite as bad as they seem with the Everton team, and sagely advizes us to just look ahead one game at a time after he gives us 13 points from the next 5 games!

Life after McFadden's big move
17 Nov - The Scotsman examines life at Motherwell in the post-McFadden era and checks in with the Scottish international in his new surroundings at Goodison Park.

I wouldn't have it any other way
16 Nov - Everton fan Gary Keey reckons he is perfectly happy with the team's stuttering performance so far he loves the uncertainty of it all. Keep taking those tablets, lad!

Radz scores again
15 Nov - Tomasz Radzinski proved once again that he can still score goals, albeit a consolation at the end of a 5-1 mauling for Canada by the Czech Republic.

Carsley back in training
14 Nov - Lee Carsley is on the mend after sustaining a knee injury last month.

Board bashing
14 Nov - The team plumbs the depths of the Premiership and the knives come out...  Chris Peers thinks the Everton Board are responsible for bad communication, demotivation, and fostering uncertainty...

What to do about Rhino
13 Nov - There has been much hooplah surrounding the contract offer made to David Unsworth, but how do you think the club should have handled Rhino's future? Vote in the latest ToffeeWeb Poll.

Pistone back in training
13 Nov - Alessandro Pistone is on the road back from yet another injury, having returned to full training this week. He will hopefully provide Moyes with the option of some much-needed class at full back.

Smith ready to jump back in?
13 Nov - Walter Smith has applied for his first managerial post since being sacked by Everton 18 months ago. He has put himself in the running for the vacant post at Bradford City.

Fantasy Football
12 Nov - Everton should sell Wayne Rooney now for 30m, he can spend 5 years on big money and then return to Goodison on a free transfer and play for his boyhood club at the peak of his career. Antony Melvin of has his head in the clouds, but we like the way he dreams.

Rooney will join England squad
12 Nov - So say the FA, who will raise young Wayne from his sick-bed if they have to in order to get him into the game against Denmark on Sunday.

A nervy path forward [Link fixed]
12 Nov - Some thoughts from Peter Fearon about changes that could be made to improve the situation for Everton on the field.

When the fire fades...
11 Nov - No longer the David Moyes we loved and idolized, reading between the lines he seems depressed and at a loss as to how he can change things, now that the "extrememly hard work" ethic has palably failed.  It's as if there's no fire behind those blue eyes any more...

Rooney in England squad
11 Nov - No surprise really that Wayne Rooney is included in the England squad for the friendly against Denmark, where he can shine as Gravesen does alongside better-quality players.... if he recovers from that bout of flu.

The New 'Poisoned Chalice'
10 Nov - Former Blue Peter Reid has been sacked as manager of crumbling Leeds United following a dreadful run of results that culminated in their 6-1 humiliation at Portsmouth on Saturday.

Flu hits Everton build-up
10 Nov - A bout of flu is going around the Everton training ground, with Li Tie and Alan Stubbs the latest players to be rated doubtful for tonight's game.

Moyes to Spurs
9 Nov - It must be true it's in The People! With no transfer kitty and a paltry salary of just 400,000 a year, Everton face "a grim battle to hold on to manager David Moyes". Ah... Sunday tabloid journalism. You've gotta love it, eh?

Youth Cup date set
6 Nov - An Everton Youth Academy team will travel to Coventry in the Third Round of the FA Youth Cup. The match will be played on Wednesday 3 December at Highfield Road; kick-off 7pm.

Big Dunc's respiratory problems
6 Nov - Duncan Ferguson was taken to hospital for overnight observation after he was coughing up blood on Monday. He was later discharged but is unlikely to be fit for Monday's game at Blackburn. Time to give up the smokes yet, Dunc?

An Interview with Howard Kendall
5 Nov - Relive the glorious 1980s through the eyes of the man who made it happen for Everton, manager Howard Kendall. Howie includes his early days at Preston North End.

Wright needs special attention
4 Nov - In a worrying development over his persistent knee problem, Richard Wright is set to meet the American knee specialist, Dr Richard Steadman on Wednesday.

A Week in Blue
3 Nov - Olly Wilkins reviews the damage and draws on the positives from our narrow loss to Chelsea last Saturday.

Tony Thomas jons Runcorn
3 Nov - Not a player who springs to mind when talking of past Everton greats, but Tony Thomas was a true Evertonian who got the biggest personal break when Howrad Kendall gave him the chance to play for the club he worshipped. Thomas now moves on to Runcorn.

Kenwright will find Davis money
3 Nov - Bill Kenwright has reiterated that Everton will do all they can, by way of creative financing to find enough money to secure the transfer of Sean Davis in January.

Gregg in favour of sharing?
2 Nov - Media hacks have grabbed on to a hint that Paul Gregg thinks a joint council-owned shared stadium would be a good idea for both clubs and the City of Liverpool.

Belated AGM Report
1 Nov - ToffeeWeb columnist Colm Kavanagh was at this year's Annual General Meeting for the shareholders of Everton Football Club Co Ltd, and has furnished this report on the evening's proceedings.

Now Weir is crocked!
1 Nov - After putting in a superb first half against Chelsea, Davey Weir had to retire from the fray with knee ligament damage that is expeceted to keep him out for four to six weeks.  Peter Clarke? Sean O'Hanlon?? he may still be recovering from hernia surgery.


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