Everton Logo Coventry City 4 - 1 Everton
Half-time: 2 - 1
Coventry City Logo
Coca-Cola Cup 97/98 - 3rd Round
Wednesday 15 October 1997
Highfield Road, Coventry
Att: 10,087
Sheffield Wednesday (a) Ref: Steve Dunn Liverpool (h)
1997-98 Fixtures & Results 2nd Round Coca-Cola Cup Results
Coventry City: Hall (6) Salako (33, 59) Haworth (62)
EVERTON: Barmby (16)
  LINEUPS Subs Not Used
Coventry City: Ogrizovic, Shaw, Burrows, Williams, Breen, McAllister, Salako (Boland 84), Lightbourne, Hall, Haworth, Nilsson. Soltvedt, Ducros.
EVERTON: Gerrard, Short, Hinchcliffe, Bilic, Stuart, Williamson, Watson (Ball 71), Barmby, Ferguson (Cadamarteri 71), Oster, Speed.
Unavailable: Parkinson, Grant, Branch, Farrelly, Allen, Thomas (Injured).
  Yellow Cards Red Cards
Coventry City: None. --
EVERTON: Bilic. --

Kenny Griggs Oh Dear, Oh Dear, Oh Dear!
Wesley Coles Distinct Lack of Committment
THE TIMES Kendall dismayed by Everton's failings
by Russell Kempson
ELECTRONIC TELEGRAPH Salako finds target to shoot down Everton
by William Johnson
PRESS ASSOCIATION Bankruptcy Looms for the Big Earners
SOCCERNET Link to SoccerNet Match Report
CARLINGNET Link to CarlingNet Match Report

Oh Dear, Oh Dear, Oh Dear!
Kenny Griggs

The biggest surprise of the whole night was that it took Coventry an hour to score their four goals. They should have been four up within the first three minutes. Two clearances off the goal line, a good save from Gerrard (oh dear) and one fluffed shot -- all within the first three minutes!!

I took my daughter for her first Everton game, probably her last, though I think she enjoyed the experience. Everton were incredibly inept in every department. Coventry were incisive and eager. Their first goal after 9 minutes was a good one, but woeful defending left Marcus Hall so much space and time that he could bring the ball down (not easy on the slippery pitch) and smack it past Gerrard (oh dear) with his wrong foot.

After 15 minutes, Everton decided to move into the Coventry half and the shock was so great that we all now have ricked necks and my body is facing the wall but my head is looking at the keyboard as I type... The ball was played by Williamson to Hinchcliffe whose shot was whistling towards the corner flag before Barmby dived at it and in it went. Laugh? We should have been five or six down at this stage and here we were level!! With all the Evertonians (1,000 or so?) now singing, my daughter made her first shrewd observation of the evening,

"The Everton supporters sing a lot when we score don't they?"

The euphoria of not getting the deserved slaughtering lasted about another twenty mins or so and Everton started to play the ball around without actually planning to move into Coventry's half at all. Every time Coventry got the ball they all moved forward in swift incisive movements and nearly always threatened. (This is Coventry we are talking about here, not a top of the table side -- which shows how inept we were.)

After thirty-odd minutes, Everton played Ray Wilkins crab football for about two minutes and even advanced as far as the halfway line, before Speed started to get a nose bleed, being so close to the opposition goal, and dawdled on the ball. Robbed from behind, a swift pass up field, Leith (something) shoots, Gerrard (oh dear) thinks about saving it but instead of pushing it wide, manages to take all the pace off it so that Salako didn't have to break stride before tapping home.

A couple of minutes later, my daughter made her second shrewd observation of the evening,

"The Everton supporters swear a lot don't they?"

In the second half things began to change. Instead of missing all their early chances, Coventry decided to score them. Salako, lobbed Gerrard (oh dear) from outside the box, and a poor back pass from Bilic was ignored by everyone except in a Sky Blue shirt and one of their players won a 30/70 ball in Gerrard's (oh dear) favour before rifling under his body. Oh dear!

Mediocrity continued from Everton. Kendall bought off Duncan and Watson for Ball and Danny, at which point a dangerous cross was sent into where DF had been waiting all night. Goal kick. My daughter made her third and final shrewd observation of the evening'

"It looks as if Philip (our 7 month old son) has just been sick down that linesman's back"

The final whistle was a relief.  There were curious scenes on the pitch then.  Kendall stormed off the bench and made all the players and subs stand in the centre circle whilst he wagged his finger at them all.  He was not a Happy Howie!  He then seemed to make them walk towards the Coventry goal with their heads bowed low.  Craig Short had enough of this and stormed towards the tunnel.  One of the Everton players ran to try to get him to come back and swallow his medicine but he wasn't having any of it and eventually they all dawdled down the tunnel. I bet there was some soul-searching in the dressing room.

Not for us the luxury of telling mates at work that Everton didn't take the game seriously, the team that started is probably the team that Kendall wanted to start the derby with. I dare say there will be changes.

It was dire. It will improve on Saturday, I am sure. What is the point in playing hundreds of John Barnes style square passes when you don't ever intend to go forward?  I'm not in favour of the JR long-ball to DF strategy, but there has to be a happy medium ground.

Marks out of 10

  • Gerrard (oh dear) 5 If you have ever seen Mr Bean on the top diving board at the swimming pool sketch, this will give you an idea of how Gerard (oh dear) comes off his line. Fumbled a few crosses but made a few saves all the same. Can't really blame him for all of it though.
  • Stuart 6 The usual
  • Bilic 5 Must wonder what he has done...
  • Watson 5 Should take distribution lessons off the GPO rather than Earl Barret
  • Short 6 Worked hard, but clumsy on a wet pitch. I'll be interested to see if HK forgives him for not taking his punishment on the chin, and picks him on Saturday.
  • Speed 5 Captains should lead by example. 2nd Lieutenant of the Don't Really seem to Care Brigade.
  • Oster 5 A Private in the above Brigade.
  • Hinchcliffe 5 Hope Glenn Hoddle was down at RELATE rather than Highfield Rd.
  • Barmby 7 Not just because of his goal, looked keener than the rest.
  • Williamson 5 Ineffectual, but tries to play good football.
  • ???  4 Can't even remember who else was on the pitch -- give him a 5 anyway - Oh, hang on!  It was Duncan -- Field Marshall of the Brigade. It took the substitution to make me realise that Ferguson was playing. Give him a 4.

Distinct Lack of Committment
Wesley Coles

We had a strong side out there tonight and we were outpassed and outran by a side who's fans should never have been given the chance to sing the songs they sang about our once-great club.

The inspirational stars of our team are off form; until HK instills some confidence into them, we are going to really struggle...

After-Match Incident

Howard Kendall kept the players on the pitch at the final whistle -- he was apparently  telling them to 'warm-down'. At this, Short is believed to, have started walking off, with Bilic chasing after him and dragging him back.  He brought back Dunc who had started to go down the tunnel, and then shouted and pointed to the Coventry End (clearly pissed off), and the players began to trudge off towards the Coventry End... Then they all stopped, Gerrard and Speed started to take their shirts off.  Speed and Bilic seemed to have a shouting match with Kendall and started to walk towards the tunnel, which Kendall clearly told them not to do.

Kendall then walked off and the players followed him (which I don't think HK wanted them to do). Only Gerrard, Oster, Cadamarteri, and Ball appeared to stay, but Adrian Heath then made them follow the others back in.

I don't know what to make of this... but Howard Kendall gave a partial explanation in his press conference:

Kendall said he went on to tell the players to warm-down, which Speed and Barmby were doing, and that Short told him that he doesn't usually do these exercises.  At this point Heath told kendall that some fans were on the pitch so Kendall decided to lead the players off the pitch.

Kendall then went on to say that that was HIS version of what happened and that the journalists would have to accept it, -- which suggests that there was a lot more really going on... Sad times indeed.

Comments on the Players

  • Gerrard - Poor fella. At fault for three of the goals, very shaky on passbacks and crosses. Looked sluggish. Made one memorable save but look at the bloody scoreline!
  • Stuart - Shocking performance at right wing-back. He should never play there again. Ripped apart by Marcus Hall (obviously notorious for his amazing skills - NOT!).
  • Hinchcliffe - Coming back to fitness. Didn't let us down.
  • Watson - Time to step down. Distribution poor, lacking in pace had a hand in their final goal. Even Bilic was cursing him.
  • Short - Brilliant. Didn't lose anything in the air and won all his tackles. At least had the confidence to carry the ball forwards. Two moments of sheer defensive brilliance which spared our blushes in the first half.
  • Bilic - The worst game I have seen him play. Passed poorly, didn't bring the ball out, shocking backpass led to the fourth goal.
  • Speed - Is he unfit or something? Hardly in the game at all... didn't create any chances of note. Watch McAllister and learn!
  • Williamson - Played with spirit. Had plenty of shots which went close, and showed some inventive touches to keep possession. Had a good game.
  • Oster - Didn't see enough of the ball, but caused a moderate amount of problems for Burrows.  Still one of the night's best players.
  • Barmby - Ghost. Popped up to score with a deft diving header from a dodgy strike by Hinchcliffe, but disappeared and was extremely ineffective.
  • Ferguson - Poor display considering what happened when he did get the ball. No crosses for him to get onto, and even the clearances he lost. Kept possession well on the ground but didn't get a shot in, and he wasn't happy when he was substituted.
The two subs who came on were Cadamarteri for Dunc and Ball for Waggy. Both played OK but came on too late to be of any real importance to the result. The Coventry fans were impressed with young Squid, but asked why he started on the bench? Well, he was apparently suffering from the after-effects of a calf-strain sustained while playing for the England U-18 team in Yugoslavia last week, so he probably wasn't even fit!

Kendall dismayed by Everton's failings
by Russell Kempson, The Times

TWO seasons ago, when under the guidance of Joe Royle, Everton became known as "the dogs of war" because of their unremitting style of play. After defeat by Coventry City at Highfield Road last night, in an embarrassingly one-sided Coca-Cola Cup third-round tie, they acquired a new nickname. "More like the mongrels of mediocrity," one long-suffering supporter lamented.

Everton, now managed by Howard Kendall for the third time, were awful. And yet even at the final whistle, their humiliation was not complete. Kendall strode onto the pitch and asked his players to remain there. Most of them appeared bewildered, particularly Craig Short and Gary Speed, and the confusion ended only when they eventually trooped off.

"I wanted them to stay out there to warm down, as usual, that's what I was telling them," Kendall said. "It was then brought to my attention that there were some fans on the pitch so we couldn't do it. The players were worried about their safety." His explanation was unconvincing.

"It's not a big thing," he continued, "and I'm not prepared to dwell on it any more. Whatever needed to be said was said in the dressing-room." But he was clearly upset by such an abject display. "We made so many elementary mistakes," he said. "It hurts me to see such a performance and we can't carry on like that."

Even his most experienced players, such as Bilic, Watson and Speed, were unable to rescue the cause. Only Oster, 18, could have been satisfied with his contribution.

Coventry, who will play Arsenal in the next round, could have scored four times in the opening six minutes but had to settle for one goal, driven in by Hall from 25 yards. It was his first for the club in 61 appearances.

Everton somehow contrived an equaliser, when Barmby flicked in Hinchcliffe's shot with his head, but normal service was soon resumed. When Gerrard blocked Lightbourne's drive, Salako tapped in the rebound for his first goal in 13 months. Although Everton improved after half-time, they lacked substance and Coventry swiftly reasserted control.

After 58 minutes Salako cut inside Watson, glanced up and curled a delightful lob over Gerrard. It should comfortably win any goal-of-the-month award. Four minutes later, Haworth capped an encouraging debut by punishing Bilic for a poor back pass.

Report Times Newspapers Ltd

Salako finds target to shoot down Everton
William Johnson, Electronic Telegraph

AN IMPRESSIVE Coventry performance, which will do wonders for their annual battle for Premiership survival, emphasised how poor a team Everton have become. Howard Kendall's men, occupying one of the three relegation places in the League, had no option but to take the Coca-Cola Cup seriously yet were still comprehensively eliminated.

John Salako led the way for Coventry with two goals sandwiched between an early strike by Marcus Hall and a firmly struck fourth by Simon Haworth. Nick Barmby's opportunist header was scant consolation for an Everton side who defended throughout like novices.

Coventry set off as though they intended ripping apart the troubled Merseysiders and could have scored three times before Hall gave them what looked an inevitable lead after only five minutes, the left-winger cutting inside to take a Paul Williams crossfield ball to beat Paul Gerrard with a right-footed drive.

The Everton goalkeeper, who had already made a smart near-post save from Haworth, had been beaten in the opening seconds by Salako's flick, which Andy Hinchcliffe headed clear, and again when a shot from Williams was cleared off the line as Gordon Strachan's side took complete control.

They were made to regret their failure to accept more of those early chances when Barmby scored from Everton's first serious attack, the former England striker launching himself at a first-time shot by Hinchcliffe from Graham Stuart's cross to head past a startled Steve Ogrizovic.

Coventry though, refused to be discouraged by the setback and restricted Everton to isolated chances in what remained of the first half before regaining the initiative through a simple goal by Salako.  It gave Coventry an interval lead they thoroughly deserved and it could have been by a wider margin, Hall following up his first goal for the club with another thunderous drive which was deflected for a corner.

The scoreline eventually did become an accurate reflection of the action, Coventry adding two more goals in rapid succession.  If Salako's earlier effort was routine, his second was exquisite, a chipped shot from the corner of the penalty area making the badly positioned Gerrard look embarrassed.

Gerrard shouldered a share of the blame when Haworth notched Coventry's fourth, a goal which best summed up Everton's appalling defending. Slaven Bilic's unwise backpass exposed Dave Watson's lack of pace and Haworth raced past him to slide a shot inside the near post.

Report The Electronic Telegraph

Bankruptcy Looms for the Big Earners
PA News

Coventry hit the Coca-Cola Cup jackpot at Highfield Road and left Everton staring at the prospect of another bankrupt season.   Two goals from John Salako and one apiece for Marcus Hall and Simon Haworth gave Gordon Strachan's Sky Blues their best strike return since Blackburn were hit for five in December, 1995.

And it handed Goodison boss Howard Kendall the massive task of lifting his underachieving big earners, who were dumped out of this third round tie with barely a whimper and also find themselves treading water in the Premiership's bottom three. Indeed, Kendall's frustration boiled over after the final whistle, when he seemed to have stern words with Craig Short as Everton's players trooped off without acknowledging their travelling fans.

Coventry were without the suspended Dion Dublin and injured trio Noel Whelan, Darren Huckerby and Paul Telfer, but rookie strikers Haworth and Lightbourne never gave the visitors a moments peace, while at the other end Duncan Ferguson and Nick Barmby looked bereft of both ideas and confidence.

True Barmby did lift Everton's hopes with a 16th-minute opener after Hall had fired home his first goal for the Sky Blues in glorious fashion after just five minutes, but that was his only telling contribution, while the ineffective Ferguson was substituted 19 minutes from time.

Indeed, the Merseysiders could have been dead inside the first 15 minutes. The tie was barely 45 seconds old when Paul Gerrard spilled David Burrows' long ball and with the Everton keeper grounded Salako chipped goalwards only to see Andy Hinchcliffe head away from under the crossbar.

Then a sweeping move downfield ended with Burrows firing in a mishit shot that fell perfectly for Haworth -- making his full debut -- only for Gerrard to make a superb block from the striker's 10-yard blast. Gerrard made an even better save from McAllister's corner, somehow scooping out Paul Williams' point-blank effort.

But the Sky Blues had to score -- and they did when Hall swept a sweet 25-yard shot high beyond Gerrard's right hand after controlling Williams' crossfield pass. It was the full-back's first goal in his 61st appearance for the club -- and with his unfavoured right foot. Lightbourne, linking up with fellow summer arrival Haworth for the first time, volleyed wide and then Salako was desperately unlucky when he met Hall's far-post cross with a forceful downward header that bounced off the turf and over.

Everton's only attacking contributions in the first 16 minutes were two woeful long-range efforts from John Oster and Gary Speed -- but then they were level. Graham Stuart crossed from the right and Andy Hinchcliffe came in from the opposite flank to scuff in a shot that also looked off target until Barmby threw himself forward to head home from six yards -- his second of a so-far frustrating campaign.

The equaliser had put a spring in Everton's step and suddenly they looked the team in control thanks to the midfield promptings of Stuart and Danny Williamson, who hammered one long-range drive into the chest of Steve Ogrizovic. But just as Coventry looked to be struggling they went ahead again on 33 minutes when Salako walked home his second goal of the season after Gerrard failed to hold Lightbourne's stinging drive.

And the Merseysiders were lucky to reach the break still in it, Hall seeing his volley deflected inches wide off the heels of Slaven Bilic and Lightbourne heading across goal rather than at it when it looked easier to score.

Everton stepped up a gear immediately after the restart, but their reliance on trying to find the out-of-sorts Ferguson with hopeful long balls was too predictable. Lightbourne almost put the Merseysiders out of their misery when he outpaced Dave Watson only to clip his shot wide, before two goals in two minutes did settle the issue.

First Williams and McAllister linked to send Salako scampering away down the right and he cut inside the struggling Watson before beating Gerrard with a perfectly measured chip. It was 4-1 two minutes later, Haworth driving his first goal for the club under Gerrard from a tight angle after Watson's lack of pace was exposed again when Bilic misplaced a pass.

It could have been even worse for Everton, Lightbourne clipping a shot against the post and Hall ramming his follow-up against the bar before referee Steve Dunn's final whistle brought an end to their agony.

But while Strachan was issuing fighting talk, Everton boss Howard Kendall was keen to dismiss it after seemingly being caught up in a final-whistle war of words with defender Craig Short. Goodison skipper Gary Speed came between the pair when it seemed Kendall had instructed his players to recognise their travelling supporters rather than troop off the pitch in disgrace.

But Kendall, somewhat unconvincingly, insisted: "I instructed Craig Short to join the rest of the players in a warm down after the game when Adrian Heath brought it to my attention that there were a few fans on the field.

"Gary Speed and Nick Barmby had already started their warm down but after seeing people on the pitch I decided to bring them all off for their own safety. There was no row. Whatever I said was said in the dressing room. That's all I am saying on the matter. You can write what you want to write on it, but I'm not going to dwell on it any longer."

However, Kendall now has his work cut out lifting Goodison's flagging spirits, with the weekend derby clash with Liverpool looming and the blue half of Merseyside disillusioned with life in the Premiership's bottom three.

Meanwhile, Kendall faces an unenviable task to try to lift Everton spirits before the weekend Merseyside derby clash with Liverpool. The Goodison club are already in the Premiership's bottom three, and Kendall said:

"Of course, after a performance like that I am very disappointed and I am very disappointed for the fans as well. We could have been 2-0 down in the first three minutes and defensively we were very poor all night. We can't carry on like that. We made elementary errors in defence and although we passed the ball well in stages we didn't hurt them enough."

Report PA News

RESULTS  (3rd Round)
Wednesday 15 October 1997
CHELSEA                 1-1    BLACKBURN ROVERS          18,671
Di Matteo(61)      Pens:4-1    McKinlay(47)  (After extra-time)
COVENTRY CITY           4-1    EVERTON                   10,087
Hall(6) Salako(33,59)          Barmby(16)
MIDDLESBROUGH           2-0    SUNDERLAND                26,451
Campbell(58) Hignett(90)
NEWCASTLE UNITED        2-0    HULL CITY                 35,856
Hamilton(47) Rush(83)
STOKE CITY              1-3    LEEDS UNITED              16,203
Kavanagh(pen:66)       (aet)   Kewell(69) Wallace(93,105)
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR       1-2    DERBY COUNTY              20,390
Ginola(22)                     Wanchope(27,71)
WEST BROMWICH ALBION    0-2    LIVERPOOL                 21,986
                               Berger(52) Fowler(89)
WEST HAM UNITED         3-0    ASTON VILLA               20,360
Hartson(9,81) Lampard(17)

Tuesday 14 October 1997
ARSENAL                 4-1    BIRMINGHAM CITY           27,097
Boa Morte(62, 108)             Hey(20)
Platt(pen:99) Mendez(113)                    (After extra-time)
BARNSLEY                1-2    SOUTHAMPTON                9,019
Liddell(26)                    Le Tissier(15) Davies(88)
BOLTON WANDERERS        2-0    WIMBLEDON                  9,875
Pollock(91) Beardsley(94)                    (After extra-time)
GRIMSBY TOWN            3-1    LEICESTER CITY             7,738
Jobling(58) Livingstone(72,78) Marshall(18)
IPSWICH TOWN            2-0    MANCHESTER UNITED         22,173
Mathie(13) Taricco(45)
OXFORD UNITED           1-1    TRANMERE ROVERS            3,878
Beauchamp(76)      Pens:6-5    Kelly(34)     (After extra-time)
READING                 4-2    WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS   11,080
Williams(og:33) Parkinson(34)  Bull(44,57)
Meaker(46) McPherson(54)
WALSALL                 2-1    SHEFFIELD UNITED           8,239
Watson(56) McGrath(og:87)      Borbokis(49)

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Michael Kenrick 1997
Last updated: 3 Nov 97