Sheffield Wednesday Logo Sheffield Wednesday 3 - 1 Everton 
Half-time: 0 - 0
Everton Logo
FA Carling Premiership 97/98 - Game 9
Saturday 4 October 1997
Hillsborough, Sheffield
Att: 24,486
« Scunthorpe United (h) Ref: Paul Durkin Coventry City (a) »
1997-98 Fixtures & Results League Position: 18th Premiership Results & Table
Sheffield Wednesday: Carbone (78, pen:82) Di Canio (89)
EVERTON: Cadamarteri (84)
  LINEUPS Subs Not Used
Sheffield Wednesday: Pressman, Nolan, Pembridge (Hirst, 72), Walker, Whittingham, Carbone, Di Canio, Nicol (Briscoe, 66), Stefanovic, Collins, Magilton. Clarke, Oakes, Poric.
EVERTON: Gerrard, Thomas (86 Short), Bilic, Watson, Hinchcliffe, Stuart, Williamson, Speed, Oster, Ball (46 Barmby), Cadamarteri.
Unavailable: Parkinson, Branch, Grant (Injured); Ferguson, Farrelly (Recovering).
Southall, Barrett, Phelan.
  Yellow Cards Red Cards
Sheffield Wednesday: Di Canio, Carbone. --
EVERTON: Thomas, Gerrard. --

Guy McEvoy All to little noticeable effect
Adie Shortiemon That Confidence Thing Again
THE SUNDAY TIMES Wednesday late show dumbfounds Everton
by Martin Searby
THE TIMES Wednesday's woes eased by an Italian double act
by Michael Calvin
THE LIVERPOOL ECHO Sheffield Wednesday 3 Everton 1
by David Prentice
ELECTRONIC TELEGRAPH Carbone wins the struggle
by Derek Potter
SOCCERNET Link to SoccerNet Match Report
CARLINGNET Link to CarlingNet Match Report

All to little noticeable effect
Guy McEvoy

The feel good factor was back for the journey to Sheffield.  The last few games have shown enough good signs that my travelling companions and I for once genuinely expected something from an away game. Wednesday seemed to be drifting out of form just as we seemed to be drifting into it.  Confidence was high.

Despite the injury list, Kendall still had some difficult selection choices to make -- testimony to the improving breadth of our squad.  Gerrard was recalled to goal, Barmby stayed on the bench, Thomas started at right-back, Williamson came on in midfield, Hinchcliffe played left-back meaning Ball started in left-midfield. Danny Cadamarteri again started alone up front.

The blues brought with them a decent sized travelling support (though it was still the fewest we've sent down the A61 for at least three years).  The home side's support looked sparse in such a big stadium.

Everton came out wearing the away-strip shirt and the home-strip shorts and socks.  It clashed badly and we looked stupid.  Fortunately our fashion failure faded into insignificance when Wednesday came out and we got sight of Di Canio wearing the tightest shorts in the football league. Remember the shorts we inflicted on our players in the mid eighties?  These were worse.

What kills me is that it doesn't even look like they are the same as the other shorts in a smaller size, they are a totally different style. This means he must have gone to Umbro and asked them specially to make them for him.  Ponce!  You can imagine the sarcastic wolf whistles he got.

First Half

It's easier for me to carry on about teams' clothing than it is to describe the first half action. It was a truly disappointing display of supposedly top-class football.  Desperate attempts by the die-hards to get the crowd going after the obligatory first five minute spirited chants were never going to catch on as the sedative effect of the game took its grip.  The only noise sweeping through the crowd was yawns.  

The half was defined by terrible passing from both teams.  Watching loose ball after loose ball be picked up and then hoofed to somewhere in open space where it becomes another loose ball was tedious.  Our midfield couldn't get a grip.  Somehow we managed to snatch a chance throughout all this when Hinchcliffe broke free into the box but his shot wasn't sure enough.  Likewise, Di Canio found himself in space in our box and could well have done better.

Kendall seemed aware of the futility of persevering with the line-up and so, at the half-hour mark, Oster switched wings, Stuart moved up front and Hinchcliffe and Ball swapped places. A bold reshuffle showing Kendall recognises our problems. All to little noticeable effect, though.

Second Half

Another reshuffle at half-time proved more fruitful, Barmby coming on in place of Ball.  This surprised me as up to that point I thought the youngster had been the pick of our team.  Hinchcliffe returned to left back and Stuart dropped back to where he'd started the game to accommodate this.  For half an hour or so we finally started to play some football, not great mind, but we certainly looked better than our opponents.  More importantly chances came. Barmby had an effort brilliantly saved by Pressman, then he missed a long ball where any contact would surely have led to a goal. In an other attack, three good Everton efforts culminating in a powerful on-target volley by Stuart were agonisingly repelled in the space of thirty seconds.

Cadamarteri was also in on the act twice getting himself into good scoring one-on-one positions but his final touch had deserted him.  The game looked destined to end nil-nil.

And then it all went Pear-shaped. Out of nothing, entirely against the run of play, Wednesday carried the ball into our half, took the ball wide, whipped in a cross which our defence seemed to just stare at, and Carbone guided the ball with a glanced header past Gerrard. We were fighting for three points one moment, fighting for one the next.

Moments later we were in it deeper. Di Canio advanced to the box Gerrard came out at him, the Italian tried to turn, Gerrard took his legs. I think I was the only Evertonian there who thought it was a penalty, sure the Italian made the most of the dive but that doesn't change the clear contact that Gerrard made. Two-nil.

Finally we got reward for our improved play when Cadamarteri continued his goal-scoring run when he slid in to connect with a low Barmby cross.  Hopes where dashed at the last though.  With every man forward chasing the game, with Craig Short brought on to show his heading skill, we were hopelessly vulnerable to the sucker-punch on the fast break.  Only Hinchcliffe had any chance of getting a tackle in on Di Canio but the Italian kept his head to complete a scoreline unreflective of game.

So we go into the international break with gloomy heads.  Two weeks of looking at a league table and fixture list that make very depressing reading.

Individual Efforts

  • Gerrard 6 - Culpable for the penalty, no decent saves spring to mind.
  • Thomas 6 - I remain completely unconvinced.  Better distribution than Barrett but is he a better defender? Can we not blend the two's best bits together?  We'd probably end up with something resembling John O'Connor.
  • Watson 6 - Another display that can best be described as "adequate".   The aura has gone.
  • Bilic 6 - Also competent but not commanding.  Luckiest man on the ground not to get booked.  He scissors kicked one of the Italians in the face, but Wednesday chose to take a quick free kick before the ref could book him and the ball then stayed in play so long that the ref forgot about it.  Incidentally, for the gamblers amongst you, 40-1 on him as first goal-scorer seem very good odds. He's always in there for corners, it seems only a matter of time...
  • Ball 7 - Thought he looked our most solid player for the first half.  As left back he was certainly the most assured head in defence.  Surprised to see him go off.
  • Hinchcliffe 5 - Massive disappointment.  Passing was poor, delivery was poor, three or four pointless unforced errors.  England man?  You wouldn't believe it.
  • Speed 6 - Guilty as the rest of the midfield of untidy, misplaced passes.   Under performed.
  • Williamson 5 - Worst game for us yet.   Still hasn't given us a showing to justify his price tag.  He's no Tony Grant.
  • Oster 7 - Lost his way a bit switching wings, but when he turned it on he was the momentum behind our more promising moves.
  • Stuart 6 - Changed position three times.  Wasn't settled.  Another player who'd caught the misplaced-pass bug.  Was unlucky not to score with a cracking volley from an Oster cross (curiously not shown on match-of-the-day).
  • Cadamarteri 7 - Still so exciting to watch.  Loves the crowd, punches the air at us to get us going, his hunger and passion and his "performance" (in the theatrical sense) put me in mind of Ian Wright.  Another game another goal, though his one-on-one misses proved costly in the end.
  • Barmby 7 - His arrival did herald Everton's best spell, got himself in a number of good positions and his finishing let him down.  There must be some question marks over his willingness to get back and muck in elsewhere on the pitch though.
  • Short N/A - only on for a couple of mins.

That Confidence Thing Again
Adie Shortiemon

I got to the ground at about 2.45 and, although we had most of one end and a corner, it was strangely quiet. There were enough people there to create more of an atmosphere but it just didn't happen. It can't be that everyone there had been wetting my mate's baby's head the night before?

The performance the team gave was not exactly poor but not dominant enough.  It was crying for someone in the midfield to put a foot on the ball, keep it on the ground and distribute it to one of our players.  People behind me were crucifying Speed when it was in fact Williamson who was making the mistakes.  Whether he is truly fit is another matter.  Speed at least looked solid and is getting more into the role of captain, talking to the ref when it looked like Gerrard might get sent off.

I agree with HK's post match comment about players believing their own hype because it certainly looked that way to me. I also agree with someone commenting today that we need a diving Italian too -- well, OK we don't need one but that was the difference between the teams.  At one point, the ref went to book Di Canio only to find he had already done so and put the card away again, how come this never happens to us?  I thought the penalty was another case of diving but having watched it again on MOTD I'm not so sure.

Thomas looked shaky, he was caught out too often by both Di Canio and Carbone.  He also relied heavily on the offside decision and most of the time got away with it.  Waggy and Bilic were OK, not so good at chasing Ities though.  At half time, HK took off Ball (playing defence with Hinchcliffe in front of him) -- my view is that it would have been better to swap them round, but its not my decision to make.

Up front, Barmby at least tried to attack.  He had a couple of chances that he could have done better with but at least he was harrying defenders.  Cadamarteri should have done what Oster did against Scunthorpe and squared the ball instead of trying to do it all himself.  Barmby (?) was unmarked and would have just tapped it over the line.  It was also easier to score one of his other chances -- maybe he had too much time to think! Oster didn't seem himself, lost the ball and for once wasn't prepared to chase back.  There were a lot of high balls floated up from defence that the front-line couldn't cope with.  You know the sort, lump it up to Dunc... unfortunately he wasn't playing!  Gerrard looked relatively safe but apart from the goals didn't have much to do.

Overall the team performance wasn't that bad.  You don't change a bad team into good overnight.  My view is that they thought it would be a walk-over after whopping 5 past Scunthorpe on Wednesday but it wasn't, and they weren't willing to fight to make it so.  No one was willing to run at defenders which the game was crying out for.  I believe that if we had scored first it would have changed the whole game.  You could tell the longer the game went on that they didn't believe we could win it.  Its that confidence thing again.

Wednesday late show dumbfounds Everton
by Martin Searby, The Sunday Times

FOUR GOALS in the last 12 minutes gave a drab game a gloss and a result that could not have been anticipated as two out-of-form teams feinted and shadow-boxed.  Everton might have been three in front before Sheffield Wednesday scored but the suggestion that they were unfortunate brought a tart response from Howard Kendall, their manager.

"We don't deserve anything if we play like that," he snapped.  "We gave our travelling supporters nothing to shout about and that is very disappointing. Sometimes players make a mockery of your team selection and they did that today. We started in second gear and never got out of it."

The manager was clearly out of sorts and saw none of the good points in his team's play, notably the performance of Danny Cadamarteri, 18 next Sunday, who showed an intuition and talent well beyond his years.  It came as a shock when his shot cannoned back off goalkeeper Kevin Pressman and he missed the yawning net but, excusing him that, the rest of his play was deeply impressive.

Wednesday took the unusual step of holding a press conference 45 minutes before the kick-off so that Patrick Blondeau, their suspended France international full-back, could explain that an interview printed in L'Equipe, the French sports paper, was a pack of lies.  He is, apparently, quite happy with the way Wednesday are run, the manager and the city, all of which were heavily criticised in the piece.

On the pitch Wednesday struggled to express themselves with the Italian pairing of Paolo di Canio and Benito Carbone seemingly all froth and no ale.  That the pair should score all three goals in the final act makes criticism seem churlish, but it must be murder to try to play alongside them since they wander all over the pitch, rarely release the ball at the optimum moment and generally make things difficult for the players around them.

If they were in a five-a-side game they would no doubt be devastating, but too often their over-elaboration gave defenders time to recover on the bigger stage.  The rest of the Wednesday team produced individual performances as humdrum as the incessant, nerve-jangling dirge from the "band" accompanying them and were too often running up blind alleys.

Everton changed things at half-time with Nick Barmby coming on to give support to Cadamarteri, who had played a lone role earlier. Gary Speed and Barmby both missed excellent chances and the game looked a goalless draw until Lee Briscoe, coming on as substitute, burst down the left flank, clipped the ball back from the byline and the unmarked Carbone flicked home a header.  Di Canio created the second when he was pulled down by Paul Gerrard, the goalkeeper, and Carbone struck home the spot kick.  Everton replied when Cadamarteri scored his fourth goal in five games, sliding home Barmby's cross at the far post.

The coup de grâce came when David Hirst, another substitute who gave the Wednesday attack much-needed focus, clipped a ball through for Di Canio who, left in a one-on-one situation, made the most of it.

"I am very pleased with the win because this club has suffered right from the start but this is just one win, not even a swallow," said manager David Pleat.  "If you play in fear you're dead and we still have to get it right behind the Italians. But it was a much-needed victory and I'm very, very pleased."

Report © Times Newspapers Ltd

Wednesday's woes eased by an Italian double act
by Michael Calvin, The Times

ONE squeezes into the tightest pair of shorts since Pan's People pranced in hot pants on Top of the Pops. The other sports a hairband and runs with the gay abandon of Tinky Winky, the thinking man's Tellytubby. Both are resplendent in white boots, and respond to tackles with the dexterity of the corps de ballet.

They may be beyond parody, best suited to a fantasy football team fashioned by Mel Brooks, but fortunately for Sheffield Wednesday, Paolo di Canio and Benito Carbone are a natural double act.  They shared the three goals that saw off Everton, and dispelled the manufactured air of crisis at Hillsborough.

Di Canio has wonderful close control, even if his fondness for self-expression leads him into too many blind alleys.  Carbone has an eye for goal, and an awareness of space tainted by his theatrical temperament.  It may be rash to expect them to dominate a muck-and-bullets game in the depths of an English winter, but when confronted by adversity on Saturday, they responded impressively.

Everton have only themselves to blame for a defeat that obliged them to replace Wednesday in the relegation zone.  They were hesitant when the home side's lack of confidence was painfully obvious.

Howard Kendall, the Everton manager, was admirably dismissive of those who tried to woo him with tales of what might have been.  "If we play like that I expect nothing, and we deserve nothing," he said.  "Sometimes players make a mockery of your team selections. Believe it or not, we've got eight of them away on international duty next week . . ."

His scorn disguised the trauma of the last twelve minutes.  Carbone was unmarked when he headed in Lee Briscoe's left-wing cross, and then converted a penalty, given for Paul Gerrard's challenge on Di Canio.  The fleeting threat represented by Cadamarteri's opportunism at the far post was neutralised by Di Canio's astute finish, after he had skipped clear from the halfway line.

Report © Times Newspapers Ltd

Sheffield Wednesday 3 Everton 1
by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo

HOWARD KENDALL produced a more explosive reaction than anything his team could offer at Hillsborough on Saturday.  Everton had inexplicably lost a match they had largely controlled against a shaky and out-of-sorts side. And the Blues' boss was offered a convenient escape route in the post-match press conference.

"Do you feel a bit robbed there, Howard?" was the opening suggestion.

The response couldn't have been more indignant if it had been suggested the Everton manager harboured a secret obsession for the Spice Girls.  "Robbed? Not at all.  We play like that we don't expect anything, we shouldn't expect anything and we don't deserve anything," was merely the beginning of a sizeable kick up the backside to his beaten stars. The response caught everybody on the back foot.

Everton had been beaten, sure -- and the slump into the bottom three of the Premiership was alarming.  But the Blues had created chances, wasted them -- and looked much the better team until the final 12 minutes.  The problems were self-inflicted ones.

After an overly cautious opening against a team clearly drained of all passion and confidence, Everton started the second half brightly.  But they squandered chances.  For once, Danny Cadamarteri's golden boots deserted him.  With the score goalless he raced onto a Hinchcliffe through ball and immediately headed for goal. Confidence soaring after three goals in four games, he ignored the better placed Graham Stuart, hit the goalkeeper with his shot then placed a kind rebound high over the bar.

Showing commendable character he carved out another opening for Nick Barmby 60 seconds later, but this time Pressman saved well from a volley at an awkward height. After tossing away the best openings of the match, it was then the back four's turn to blunder.

Criminal marking allowed Carbone to dart in and guide a header beyond Gerrard, then three minutes later Gerrard gave the other Italian, Di Canio, the opportunity to fall over which he accepted for the match-clinching penalty.  The outcome had been as unexpected as the manager's reaction -- but at least Mr Kendall is aware of the problems he faces.  He kept his views on what those problems were private, but my belief is that Everton's balance is wrong in two crucial areas of the team.

Up front, Cadamarteri has been a vibrant addition to the Blues' squad, showing pace, enthusiasm and goal threat.  Despite his decisive miss, his performance at Hillsborough was probably his best so far in an Everton jersey.  But he's doing it alone.  Only once in his five starts has he partnered Duncan Ferguson - and on that occasion Everton won 4-2. The big Scot has been criticised in his absence in recent weeks.  But his stock will probably rise again following Saturday's result

Report © Liverpool Echo

Carbone wins the struggle
Derek Potter, Electronic Telegraph

TWO LATE goals by Benito Carbone, one a penalty, gave Wednesday an unexpected and welcome three points against another team struggling to pull away from the foot of the Premiership.  A fourth goal in five starts by Danny Cadamarteri in the 84th minute was poor consolation for an Everton team who missed chances of taking control.  Paolo di Canio scored the third in the last minute to give Wednesday a second win of the season at Hillsborough.  

David Pleat, under mounting pressure to halt a serious decline on the pitch, did his best to smooth over an image-threatening tirade reportedly by Patrick Blondeau in the French sports publication L'Equipe.  Blondeau, signed by Pleat from Monaco three months ago, was sharply critical of Wednesday's tactics, discipline and training methods.  Pleat and the French defender called a news conference before the kick-off, when Blondeau said: "My family is happy in Sheffield and everything is good."

Pleat added: "It's all been a bit naughty and Patrick is denying it and it's not a very nice distraction. I have never had a problem with Patrick and he may have to consider legal action."

Suspension cost Blondeau his place in a defence that conceded four goals over two legs in a Coca-Cola Cup defeat by Second Division club Grimsby Town to add to the headaches of the Wednesday manager.

Both teams defended anxiously in the first half, Cadamarteri drifting into a threatening situation only o shoot over the crossbar.  Dejan Stefanovic missed with a header by a similar distance in a dreary struggle for supremacy.  The white boots of Italians di Canio and Carbone created the best openings after 35 minutes. But Wayne Collins angrily threw his hands in the air after failing to even hit the target as Paul Gerrard narrowed the shooting gap.

Nick Barmby replaced Michael Ball at the start of the second half, Howard Kendall, the Everton manager, obviously hoping for a repeat of his two-goal exploits against Scunthorpe in midweek.  Barmby teamed up with the ever-lively Yorkshire-born Cadamarteri as the front pair in an orthodox, if uninspiring 4-4-2 formation.

Neither team were able to produce the individual flair to score a much-needed goal to lift the game out of a depressing rut for both teams anchored so close to the bottom of the league table.  After an hour Andy Hinchcliffe's pass pierced the Wednesday defence, but Kevin Pressman blocked Cadamarteri's shot, with the young striker missing an unguarded goal from the rebound.  Pressman also made a stunning save to keep out an awkwardly bouncing volley by Barmby.

The Italian pair combined neatly to threaten a breakthrough after 67 minutes. Carbone's shot flew inches over the crossbar, with goalkeeper Gerrard well positioned to cope with any sudden deviation in the ball's flight.

Report © The Electronic Telegraph

RESULTS  (Game 10)
Monday 6 October 1997
LEICESTER CITY          1-2    DERBY COUNTY              19,585
Elliott(67)                    Baiano(21,62)
Sunday 5 October 1997
LIVERPOOL               4-2    CHELSEA                   36,647
Berger(20,35,57) Fowler(64)    Zola(22) Poyet(pen:85)
Saturday 4 October 1997
ARSENAL                 5-0    BARNSLEY                  38,049
Bergkamp(25,32) Parlour(45)
Platt(63) Wright(76)
BOLTON WANDERERS        0-1    ASTON VILLA               24,186
COVENTRY CITY           0-0    LEEDS UNITED              17,770

MANCHESTER UNITED       2-0    CRYSTAL PALACE            55,143
Sheringham(17) Hreidarsson(og:30)
NEWCASTLE UNITED        1-0    TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR         36,709
SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY     3-1    EVERTON                   24,486
Carbone(78,pen:82)             Cadamarteri(84)
Di Canio(89)
SOUTHAMPTON             3-0    WEST HAM UNITED           15,212
Ostenstad(54) Davies(65) Dodd(68)
WIMBLEDON               0-1    BLACKBURN ROVERS          15,600

LEAGUE TABLE (after 6 October 1997 )
Club                          P    W    D    L   GF   GA   GD   Pts
Arsenal                      10    6    4    0   27   10   17   22
Manchester United            10    6    3    1   14    4   10   21
Blackburn Rovers             10    5    4    1   20    9   11   19
Leicester City               10    5    3    2   14    8    6   18
Chelsea                       9    5    1    3   24   14   10   16
Derby County                  8    5    0    3   16    8    8   15
Liverpool                     9    4    3    2   16   10    6   15
Newcastle United              7    5    0    2    7    5    2   15
Leeds United                 10    4    2    4   11   11    0   14
Aston Villa                  10    4    1    5   11   15   -4   13
West Ham United              10    4    1    5   12   17   -5   13
Coventry City                10    2    6    2    8   11   -3   12
Crystal Palace               10    3    2    5    9   13   -4   11
Tottenham Hotspur            10    2    4    4    6   11   -5   10
Wimbledon                     9    2    3    4   10   11   -1    9
Sheffield Wednesday          10    2    3    5   14   23   -9    9
Bolton Wanderers              9    1    5    3    8   12   -4    8
Everton                       9    2    2    5   11   16   -5    8
Southampton                  10    2    1    7    8   17   -9    7
Barnsley                     10    2    0    8    7   28  -21    6

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Last updated: 12 Oct 97