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[Season Diary]

September 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:

 September 2003

News Headlines & Features

Duo reunited in mini-derby defeat
29 Sep - Everton's most successful striking partnership of recent years was reunited this evening at Chester City's Deva Stadium in the mini-derby which Liverpool won by a single second-half goal. Francis Jeffers and Kevin Campbell led the line for Everton for the first time since the Prodigal Ears left for Arsenal but their reunion was disrupted by Peter Clarke's 24th-minute dismissal for a second bookable offence. Campbell dropped into midfield to cover Alex Nyarko who moved into defence and it was Nyarko who was adjudged to have fouled Florent Sinama-Pongolle in the area, allowing the Frenchman to score from the spot on the hour mark. Diao was then sent off for punching Jeffers but the Blues couldn't find an equaliser.

Watson hat-trick fuels Blues rout
28 Sep - David Moyes appears to be working his motivational magic again as Everton stormed to a 3-0 lead at half time on the back of a commanding performance in the first 45 minutes. James McFadden was offering plenty of creativity but it was Thomas Gravesen and Duncan Ferguson who combined to set Steve Watson up for the first. The Geordie then fired in from 40 yards out before Ferguson met a Tony Hibbert cross to head home the third. 7 mins into the second half, Watson nonchalently flicked past Paul Robinson to complete his hat-trick, allowing the Blues to stroll through the remainder of the second half.

In recognition of Duncan Ferguson
27 Sep - Duncan Ferguson is finally fully fit again, and his contribution to the Everton cause should be recognized and acknowledged, says Nick Armitage. Nick feels that a lot of the bile vented against the Big Man as he languished in the treatment room has been unfair to say the least.

Campbell returns for Reserves
25 Sep - Kevin Campbell's return to match fitness took a big step forward when he played for Everton Reserves at Sunderland on Thursday and headed home an equalizer for the Blues after Sunderland went ahead inside 2 minutes.  In goal for the home side was Thomas Myhre, while the Everton side featured Li Tie, Alex Nyarko, and a number of youngsters, with defender Laurence Wilson getting a rare chance outside of the Academy.  Alan Moogan grabbed a second for Everton before half-time and the Blues held on for an impressive victory.

Blues stroll to Cup victory
24 Sep - Everton neatly side-stepped the Carling Cup banana skin posed by Stockport County with a convincing 3-0 victory on the back of a scintillating debut by James McFadden. Duncan Ferguson opened the scoring from the penalty spot after 24 minutes after Tony Hibbert had been felled by Rob Jones. Then Nick Chadwick atoned for an earlier miss by slotting home on the stroke of half time. 10 minues into the second half, a wonderful McFadden run from inside his own half ended with a toe-poke to Ferguson who tapped in from close range to seal the Blues' passage the to the 3rd Round.

Team Changes Urgently Needed
23 Sep - Is David Moyes fielding the right team? Well, every Evertonian has opinions on that issue, of course. Matthew Barry has written in with his take on who should play where and how his preferred XI should line up. Playing Kilbane and McFadden as wide men? If Walter Smith was dead, he'd be spinning in his grave at the prospect! But I do like the thought that McFadden could bring us back fond memories of Andrei Kanchelskis banging them in from midfield. He scored 16 goals in 1995-96 better than any season with Man Utd. What wouldn't we give for that kind of midfield contribution today?

Europe looking a very distant prospect
21 Sep - On the back of an appalling first half display, Everton succumbed to their third defeat of the season and allowed struggling Middlesbrough to earn their first win of the campaign.  Joseph-Desire Job knocked in a Malcolm Christie cross in the sixth minute to score the only goal of the game before both sides had goals chalked off by referee Wiley; first when Queudrue headed off the bar and over the line and then when Wayne Rooney's goal was disallowed for a non-existent foul.  Late on, Duncan Ferguson had a trademark set-piece header cleared off the line but despite a much improved second half, the Blues couldn't find the equaliser.  One positive was 12 terrific minutes by James McFadden who made a strong case for starting in place of Kevin Kilbane next week.

Groundshare push from on high
18 Sep - Liverpool City Council are now wading in to the groundsharing issue, urging both Everton and Liverpool to attend preliminary talks to discuss the issue. And the carrot offered by the Council is the liklihood of substantial public funds (ring-fenced, no doubt) being available for such a development. Meanwhile, ToffeeWeb takes a look at the pros and cons of this emotive issue. Could the two clubs ever enter such a project as equal partners, either financially or politically?
Could you stomach ground-sharing with the dark side? Let us know in our latest poll!

Groundshare: Head vs Heart
17 Sep - At the icLiverpool Website, David Prentice gives a further ariring to the subject many Evertonians find it hard to come to terms with: the prospect of sharing a ground with Liverpool. He quotes the thoughts of Prof Alan Harding, who first gave us his views on groundsharing back in 2001. Intellectually, it may make sense for a host of reasons; but the emotional reaction to the idea represents the biggest barrier to be overcome. And if Liverpool get planning permission for their proposals submitted next month, it may be a dead duck for next 100 years.

Nyarko Piledriver
16 Sep - Alex Nyarko rounded out the scoring at Haig Avenue with a piledriver of a shot as a strong Everton Reserves side defeated an equally strong Manchester City side tonight. There were runouts for Unsworth, Weir, Carsley, McFadden, and Nick Chadwick who scored the first two goals, one from the penalty spot.

Wright out of action
15 Sep - Richard Wright will be out of action for "several weeks" as medics and physios ponder over the possible root cause of sporadic pain in his knee which comes only when he kicks the ball wrong. Sounds like nothing a good injection of steroids and painkillers wouldn't solve, surely? Exploratory surgery is being planned, but his recovery from that "will not affect the length of time he has already been instructed to rest the knee"(!). Unless, that is, they actually find something that is causing the problem?

Ferguson rescues Blues from refereeing madness
13 Sep - Referee Rob Styles took centre stage at Goodison, sending off players from both sides, flashing the yellow card with abandon, and awarding two penalties to Newcastle United (the second seeming to be a blatant dive by Olivier Bernard) and, finally, one to Everton with 3 mins left, which Duncan Ferguson scored with aplomb to earn a deserved point. Laurent Robert was sent off for two bookable offences in the first half and Gary Naysmith received his marching orders for bringing Keiron Dyer down as the last man 13 minutes into the second. Alan Shearer scored the resulting penalty. Tomasz Radzinski equalised a few minutes later before Alan Shearer converted his second spot kick of the day with 9 mins left.

Rooney Scores Again!
10 Sep - Wayne Rooney scored the second goal for England tonight after a nice set-up from his other Liverpool mate, Stephen Gerrard. Playing a deeper role obviously suits the lad far better; Rooney had an excellent game and was well involved both as striker and provider Why, he even made chances for Michael Owen, before leaving the field on 70 mins to a standing ovation from the Old Trafford crowd.

England U21 1 - 2 Portugal U21
9 Sep - Francis Jeffers and Peter Clarke started this must-win Euro U21 2004 Qualifier at Goodison Park, with Tony Hibbert on the bench. England fell behind after just 3 mins to a direct free-kick coverted by Quersma. Joey Barton equalized before half-time but Tottenham's Helder Postiga won it for the Portuguese with a suspected handball to eliminate England from the U21s Euro 2004.

Jeffers eyes scoring record
8 Sep - It will be a big moment for Francis Jeffers tonight when he runs out at Goodison Park an Everton player once more. But he will be wearing an England shirt, and hoping to beat Alan Shearer's goal-scoring record for the national Under-21 side if he can help steer them to a victory over Portugal. Peter Clarke and Tony Hibbert are also in the squad.

6 Sep - Wayne Rooney rewrote another page in the record-books when he struck a Hesky knock-down into the back of the Macedonia net to become the youngest ever goalscorer for England. Rooney had had a difficult first half against the East-Europeans, man-marked and unable to do more than the odd lay-off as England went behind to a Hristov gift off James's big feet.  Beckham eventually saved England blushes from the spot to seal the 2-1 win.

McFadden scores for Scotland
6 Sep - Jamie McFadden scored his first goal for Scotland in a 3-1 win over the Faroes after coming on as a second-half sub. "There were one or two touches out there no-one else can do." Radio Scotland. In other games, Lee Carsley is playing for Ireland against Russia, and Wayne Rooney will start up-front for England in Macedonia.

The Wayne Rooney Story
5 Sep - Rooneymania seems to be resurging in anticipation of another imminent England appearance for the Wonder Kid, so this new book hardly comes as a surprise, so early in the lad's still embryonic career.  Authors Harry Harris and Danny Fullbrock have put together 260 pages on our Wayne and his meteoric rise to fame; you can order it from Amazon, but there is no sign of it yet at the online Everton Megastore...

The Scottish Rooney?
2 Sep - According to former Motherwell player Greg Strong, the arrival of prodigious talent James McFadden at Goodison will make Everton one of the most watched sides in the Premiership in years to come. According to Strong and other commentators north of the Border, the 20 year-old is Scotland's answer to Wayne Rooney and David Moyes has effected a major coup by bringing to two together in such dramatic fashion apparently the 1.25m deal was concluded just 15 minutes before the transfer deadline and the player himself waived 50,000 to smooth the passage of the transfer.

Busy Moyes adds 4 new faces
1 Sep - Francis Jeffers is an Everton player again three years after his controversial departure for Highbury in a 10m move. Although the process began two weeks ago when the two clubs met on the opening day, it took until the last minute for David Moyes's desperation for a striker and Jeffers' aching desire to return to his boyhood club for the transfer to be sorted out. Jeffers joins initially for the remainder of the season at which point Everton can decide to sign him permanently. Also, exciting Scottish attacking midfielder James McFadden joins subject to a medical tomorrow, Kevin Kilbane has been picked up for 1m from Sunderland and Nigel Martyn arrives, as expected, for a nominal fee, believed to be 500,000.


Snippets & Rumours

Howard not looking to be boss
30 Sep - In this article in Sunday's Observer, Howard Kendall laments the impatience that surrounds Premiership football these days and explains that he has no interest in being a manager anymore... but he would consider an assistant manager role.

Moyes in bouyant mood
29 Sep - David Moyes was obviously very pleased with the Everton team performance on Sunday, and especially the response of Steve Watson.

Hattrick Hero
28 Sep - It's been an astonishing 3 years since we could celebrate an Everton hattrick, and who deserves it more than Steve Watson, whose transition from accomplished defender to lethal striker would appear to be complete.

Charlton at Home
27 Sep - Everton will play Charlton Athletic at Goodison Park in the Third Round of the Carling League Cup.  The match will be played on or around Wednesday 29 October.

Moyes needs a win
26 Sep - The visit of Peter Reid's Leeds side presents another important opportunity for David Moyes to turn the season around, but it seems he won't be relying on Jamie McFadden to do it on Sunday.

McFadden: Superb debut
25 Sep - Alan Irvine talks highly of the young Scot's first full match for the Everton first team. I wonder if David Moyes was equally impressed?

It's Official: The Peter Clarke Webpage
25 Sep - Peter Clarke is the first Everton player to get his own page on this newish website.  But don't click on the Everton Squad link as you won't be too impressed...

And if you know your history..
25 Sep - It's a good quiz question: What was the role of Earlestown in the early history of Everton FC?

Money is the lever
23 Sep - Liverpool City Council are using a 30M carrot to persuade both city football clubs to consider sharing Liverpool's planned new stadium.

Hope on the horizon
23 Sep - Everton's increasingly dismal start to the season could be reversed soon, following news that Scot Gemmill is finally back in training after tearing a hamstring in pre-season training,

Ground-share talks underway
23 Sep - The Official Site reports that representatives of Everton, Liverpool, the city council and the North West Development Agency are holding talks to discuss the possibility of the two clubs building a shared stadium.

Moyes: I'm getting sick of it
22 Sep - David Moyes says he is sick of having to give his team a kick in the pants at half time after another dismal first half showing paved the way for defeat at The Riverside yesterday. He has vowed to do something about it.

Frustration for Osman
22 Sep - Leon Osman, who has been waiting for his first-team opportunity for months, was set to be handed a starting role against Stockport on Wednesday but will now sit the Cup game out over fears he has a cracked rib.

Liverpool will rebuff groundsharing
19 Sep - With Liverpool's plans for a new stadium in an advanced stage, it is claimed that they will be saying no to any consideration of groundsharing with Everton.

Wright: Miracle Cure!
19 Sep - Exploratory surgery has shown there appears to be nothing wrong with Richard Wright's knee anyway, so he'll now be resting it for a month.

McFadden pleases Moyes
17 Sep - Jamie McFadden's first appearance in an Everton shirt made a good impression on David Moyes, and may have persuaded the manager to consider the young Scot for first-team action sooner rather than later.

Simonsen thigh injury
17 Sep - Steve Simonsen is now sidelined with a thigh injury picked up in training, which explains why Iain Turner played for the Reserves last night.

Under-17s on a roll
16 Sep - Everton's Under-17 side maintained their excellent winning streak with a fifth successive victory, this time 3-1 at Derby, with goals from Michael Johnson, Andrew Fowler, and Paul Hopkins. Steve Milne was there...

McFadden expected to start
16 Sep - Everton Reserves entertain Manchester City at Haig Avenue, Southport, tonight, and Jamie McFadden, the young Scotland star who is "one for the future", is expected to play.

The New Duncan Ferguson
16 Sep - David Moyes believes there is a new swagger and determination about the Big Yin, inspired by the arrival of a bit of competition for places upfront.

Rooney OK to train
15 Sep - Wayne Rooney will not require a scan on the ankle injury that forced him out of Saturday's game. Boss David Moyes says it is just a sprain and he will monitored during training this week.

Niclas still doesn't get it
14 Sep - Niclas Alexandersson registers his unhappiness at not being played by David Moyes, putting it down to the style of play.  Yeah: perhaps Moyes prefers good versus bad, Nic.

Welcome back, Franny lad
13 Sep - Hopefully, only a few Evertonians still harbour resentment towards a True Blue who suffered more than most under the misguided rule of Smith & Knox.  Today, he's back where he belongs.

Wise words from the Old Man
12 Sep - Bobby Robson waxes lyrical about our Wayne, giving fullsome praise and a wonderfully accurate rundown of his abilities ahead of Saturday's Goodison clash.

The Moyes Revolution
12 Sep - That's the title of a unique personal diary covering every day of the first Moyes season at Everton, compiled painstakingly by Dutch Evertonian, Rob van Dijk. If you are at Goodison tomorrow, pick up a copy for 5 at the When Skies Are Grey stand at St Luke's Church.

Alexandersson joins West Ham
11 Sep - Sadly the Swedish midfielder has not been shipped off the wage bill because the move to Upton Park is only on loan initially for just one month but, hopefully, this will be the first step.

McFadden joins "cheat" row
11 Sep - New Blue recruit James McFadden has joined international team-mate Christian Dailly in branding the Germans as cheats for diving during yesterday's Euro 2004 Qualifier which Rudi Voeller's team won 2-1.

Rooney needs a media persona
11 Sep - Okay, so we may have been guilty of provocation regarding yesterday's Telegraph article about Wayne Rooney. Richard Ewart responds with a the viewpoint of an eminently sensible journalist.

Ferguson staying put
11 Sep - Joe Royle's attempt to get Duncan Ferguson in on loan at Ipswich Town has failed after his request was turned down by Everton.

Non-speaking role
10 Sep - Only in the Telegraph  would they make such a fuss about the protection Wayne Rooney is getting from the media...

Irish honours even
9 Sep - Kevin Kilbane again played well for his country in a 2-2 draw with Turkey. Ireland's last-minute equalizer was scored by someone called Richard Dunne.

Aston Villa Res 6 - 2 Everton Res
9 Sep - Without Duncan Ferguson, Everton Reserves fell apart in the second half at Aston Villa tonight. Steve Simonsen started in goal suggesting that Nigel Martyn could play against Newcastle on Saturday if Richard Wright is still not fit. Chadwick got both consolation goals for Everton.  Report form Steve Milne.

Big Dunc scores again!
8 Sep - But the opposition is 'only' Rotherham United, who gave some of the Everton squad a run-out in a rearranged practice match behind closed doors at Bellefield today. Dunc got two in a 3-0 win, the other being an own-goal by Branston.

Carsley misses Turkey game
7 Sep - Lee Carsely has returned to Everton for more match practice after Ireland's draw with Russia on Saturday. He will now miss the friendly against Turkey on Tuesday, but could be playing for Everton Reserves.

Yobo in Power Play
7 Sep - Joseph Yobo is the subject of an interview by Jamie Jackson in The Observer which tracks his origins as a striker in Nigeria, his move to France and his feelings on settling on Merseyside.

Other International action
6 Sep - Tobias Linderoth came on for Sweden after 65 mins and soon won a penalty for their 4th goal in a 5-0 romp over San Marino. Carsely and Kilbane played in Ireland's 1-1 draw with Russia at Lansdowne Road.

6 Sep - The previously untenable idea of Everton and Liverpool sharing a ground has been highlighted by accountants PKF and the NWDA.

Rotherham game postponed
5 Sep - The behind-closed-doors friendly was put off until Monday after the Rotherham team coach was stuck in heavy traffic on the M62 yesterday due to a massive lorry fire.

Alan Harper
5 Sep - We still have no idea why Alan Harper left Everton abruptly last Friday "by mutual consent", having only recently taken up coaching the Under-19s. Neil Dewsnip took his place in charge of the team for a game at Leeds today, that ended one apiece. Steve Milne reports.

England Under-21s held
5 Sep - Francis Jeffers and Peter Clarke played in England U-21's disappointing 1-1 draw in Macedonia. Tony Hibbert was on the bench.

Man charged in blackmail scandal
4 Sep - John Hyland of Woolton has been charged with attempting to blackmail the agent of Wayne Rooney, Paul Stretford. The Sports Interactive supremo received death threats but none were made against Rooney or his family.

Player of the Month
3 Sep - The first ToffeeWeb PotM vote of the season is now open. Who, in your opinion, was the pick of the bunch over the first four games? Vote now!

Inspiration or Desparation?
3 Sep - So much has been written and discussed about Everton's stunning burst of activity in the transfer market... well, here are some more thoughts from fan and match-reporter, Julian Cashen.

Moyes lines Davis up for the New Year
2 Sep - David Moyes has confirmed that he wants to sign Sean Davis at the 'earliest opportunity', which will be January when the transfer window opens again. A knee ligament injury scuppered his move a fortnight ago but the midfielder remains Moyes's top transfer target.

Everton Res 5-0 Wolves Res
2 Sep - Duncan Ferguson scored a brace for the Everton second string who steamrollered Wolves 5-0 at Haig Avenue. Patrizio Pascucci also found the net on his reserve team debut, while Sean O'Hanlon and Nick Chadwick grabbed the other two.  Report from Steve Milne

'Closed doors' friendly arranged
2 Sep - With the international break forcing the Blues to be out of action for two weeks, a friendly has been arranged with Rotherham to be played at Bellefield on Thursday.

Pembridge joins Fulham
1 Sep - Mark Pembridge has signed for Fulham in a 500,000 deal that could rise to 750,000 depending on appearances. The 33 year-old's contract was up next June so this is good business for Everton.

Looking on the bright side
1 Sep - In the Independent, Brian Viner has some twisted logic that actually makes it a good thing we didn't win on Saturday!


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