Everton Logo Everton 0 - 2 Southampton
Half-time: 0 -1
Southampton Logo
FA Carling Premiership 97/98 - Game 12
Sunday 2 November 1997
Goodison Park, Merseyside
Att: 29,565 — Live on Sky TV
« Coventry City (a) Ref: Alan Wilkie Blackburn Rovers (a) »
1997-98 Fixtures & Results League Position: 17th Premiership Results & Table
Southampton: Le Tissier (24), Davies (54)
  LINEUPS Subs Not Used
EVERTON: Southall, Barrett (67 Phelan), Hinchcliffe, Short, Williamson, Watson, Stuart, Speed, Ferguson, Cadamarteri (67 Branch), Oster.
Unavailable: Parkinson, Grant, Farrelly,
Allen, Thomas, Gerrard, Bilic, Barmby (Injured).
O'Connor, Ball, O'Toole.
Southampton: Jones, Dodd, Benali, Monkou, Lundekvam, Le Tissier (Slater, 75), Oakley (Neilson, 83), Hirst (Basham, 87), Davies, Richardson, Palmer. Taylor, Charlton.
  Yellow Cards Red Cards
EVERTON: Watson, Short, Phelan. --
Southampton: -- --

Guy McEvoy The depths to which we have now sunk
David Catton What a way to waste a Sunday
THE TIMES Le Tissier rises early to end false dawn over Goodison
by Oliver Holt
DAILY STAR Kendo boo boys
by Matt D'Arcy
ELECTRONIC TELEGRAPH Kendall's baffled by return to bad habits
by William Johnson
SOCCERNET Link to SoccerNet Match Report
CARLINGNET Link to CarlingNet Match Report

The depths to which we have now sunk
Guy McEvoy

For the second consecutive week, congestion on the M6 meant that I needed every last second to make the game in time.  This time I had the added excitement, whilst driving foot to floor, of the exhaust hanging off, and my fan belt screaming away towards the end of the journey.  I also had a half-mile sprint to the ground to arrive just as the referee blew for kick off.  What unfolded in front of me then turned out not to have been worth a single bead of my sweat.

A fortnight earlier Everton had seemed to finally fit together all the pieces of the jigsaw.  It beggared belief on the afternoon that this was the same eleven men facing Southampton as had so convincingly thumped our neighbours.

First Half

The most forgettable first half of the season was watched by the Sky TV cameras and a small crowd that managed to muster up less atmosphere than you'd get at your average ladies international hockey match.  Passion, commitment, vision and flair were all conspicuous by their absence.  Everton weren't even playing in first gear, in fact it looked like they hadn't yet turned on the ignition.  Amongst the catalogue of purposeless passing and half-hearted hustle, Southampton hit us on the break.  Despite four defenders tracking back with him, Le Tissier was able to meet a long deep cross and have a free header into the goal.

We deserved to be down at half time but nearly snatched an equaliser right on the death.  Ferguson met a header well and guided it against the bar.  The margin between success and failure in football is a tight one and so for the second time in two games, Ferguson was foiled by but an inch.  It was the only time in the game Everton looked like making the score sheet.

Second Half

The second half was an improvement, by which I mean we shifted up from abysmal to merely dire.  Again the midfield provided little bite, the defence looked unconvincing with a stream of fluffed clearances, and the forwards looked unwilling to take on any responsibility.  Malaise was eating away at the team like a cancer.  True enough Hinchcliffe and Short looked like they at least wished to play, but in truth it was the rest of the team's poorness that highlights their frankly average displays.

Perhaps the key difference between this performance and the week earlier at Coventry was John Oster's inability to get himself into the game.  Last week he had been the catalyst who had forged our best chances, he had been the man who was willing to stand up and take responsibility to make things happen.  This week it just wasn't going his way.  Kendall was desperate to get him into it and had him switch wings with Stuart three times, but it just wasn't happening for the youngster.  Without him getting it together we had nowhere else to look for ideas.  A sad indictment on our current team.

The only thing truly surprising about Southampton extending their lead was the quality of the goal.  Kevin Davies tore through our defence single-handed and delivered a well-placed driven shot past the helpless Southall.

The remainder of the game saw little else from the Blues.  Oster and Stuart swapped wings yet again (to zero effect).  When that again didn't work, Branch was brought on for Cadamarteri (the only remote threat in the team), and Phelan was brought on for Barrett.  Stuart again moved back to right back and Phelan played in front of Hinchcliffe on the left with Oster shifting back over to the right one more time.  It did bugger all good.

Frustration for me peaked when, with us two-nil down and deep into injury time, we were still 'making the easy ball' in circles all the way back to the keeper with not a single player willing to put their head on the line and take responsibility.  The final whistle brought with it the loudest noise from the crowd on the day, that of furious booing.

The only thing that softened the blow was that on the journey home (car exhaust still flapping about), Radio 5 kindly gave us a half-hour program about the Everton team in the 1985 Season.  Once past the nostalgia though, the program underlined the depths we've now sunk to.

Individual Players

  • Southall 6 -  Picked the ball out the net.  That was it really.  Looked pissed off with proceedings which is nice, at least that shows he's bothered unlike most.
  • Barrett 6 -  Took a lot of stick round me but in truth was no worse than anyone else.
  • Watson 5 -  Fluffed way too many clearances.  What has happened to his composure?
  • Short 7 -  His average performance stood out a mile compared with the mediocrity around him.  Again showed his usefulness with the ball at his feet.
  • Hinchcliffe 6 -  Had his moments but every time you felt he was starting to take the game by the scruff of the neck and lift us, he'd fade right back out of it again.  Distinct lack of quality crosses.
  • Williamson 6 -  Roll on the day we get a fit Tony Grant.  If it is this lad and Tony who are going to be battling for a nod, I know where my faith would lie.
  • Speed 6 -  No leadership whatsoever. Get that captain's armband off him and hopefully we can have him back to the player of the season displays we got with consistency last year.
  • Oster 5 -  Worst game yet for Everton.  No problem with his effort or his ideas, or what he was trying to do – it just wasn't happening for him and his confidence was clearly shaken.  It was like being stuck in a time warp two years or so ago and watching the same set of players one game when Limpar played well and the next when Limpar was out of it.  Let's hope he gets himself back together soon.
  • Stuart 6 -  Like Barrett, he took his share of stick despite being no worse than anyone else, swapped positions at least five times.
  • Cadamarteri 6 -  Didn't go for him today but he still managed to look the most obvious threat in the team – which made the substitution a bit mysterious.
  • Ferguson 6 -  I was getting so frustrated with him by the end.  When the ball is obviously coming his way, he springs into action and looks great – but when a play looks like it isn't incorporating him (and this may not come across on TV) he just stands there and lets the game pass him by.  How many loose balls could he have got to had he been trying?!  Bloody annoying.
  • Branch 6 -  A swap of one striker with pace, passion, commitment and a good strike rate for another striker with pace, passion, commitment and a poor strike rate did not seem to me to be the most tactically astute move.
  • Phelan 7 - Came on and tried, but it was never going to be enough.

What a way to waste a Sunday
David Catton

On Sunday morning, breakfast-time discussion centred around the need to win against Southampton; this would confirm the mini-roll which started with the derby victory, continued (albeit in subdued fashion) against Coventry and the extension of which was necessary to provide a cushion for the three away games which follow.  It's early in the season to be talking about 'six pointers' but here was one game which could justifiably be referred to in this way was the consensus.

After a diversionary train ride form London, we took a taxi with Prof Preston to The Netley and I met a few fellow ToffeeNetters.  I can't say the pint of bitter I had was memorable but on a dank and dreary day I was slowly realising that we should have stayed in bed on the morning of Sunday, 2 November 1997.  We arrived in our seats in time to see the squad doing a reasonably energetic warm-up – memo to the team: forget about my previous complaints about the lack of urgency displayed on these occasions.  It became apparent that any energy possessed by the squad was squandered by all the arm waving and running back and forth well before the match began.

Five to four and 'Altogether Now!' followed by 'Z Cars' greeted the teams.  The sense of expectation at this moment was the most exciting part of the day.  What followed was dire.  There was no shape, no purpose, no apparent commitment and, inevitably, no result.  For only the third time in forty-five years, I left before the final whistle.  I didn't want to boo the team off the field myself and I didn't want to hear the boos of the disillusioned fans, besides which there was just a chance we could catch the 18.10 train from Lime Street.  I heard the final whistle jeers just as we reached County Road and started to look for a taxi.

Unfortunately, I have retained some memories of the match.  Southall had virtually nothing to do except pick the ball out of the net twice.  He did this extremely well, I have to say, because on both occasions the ball was soon back in the centre circle for the kick-off.  His goal-kicks were mostly accurately aimed at Ferguson who jumped well but largely ineffectively.  Later in the game, some of his clearances were directed towards Oster, reminding me of the days when Neville would hopefully punt the ball towards Cottee and Beardsley – and with similar effect.

Before the game, I was taken to task for my negative comments about Ferguson by a ToffeeNet subscriber who sits behind me. (Steve Kirkwood who normally sits next to my wife and me was not in his usual seat today – I hope you managed to miss the game, Steve.)  On today's performance, I rest my case.  Duncan reminded me of one of those stupid big dogs that you exhaust by pretending to throw a ball for it to chase.  The dog runs off in anticipation as you draw back your arm and when nothing happens, it stops, looks back at you and then you pretend to throw the ball in another direction whereupon the dog goes off in that direction – but all to no purpose.  At least he tried.

Speed was awful, Oster lamentable, Hinchcliffe poor, Barrett (well even Howard thought he was worth sacrificing by substituting him), Stuart was never in the game, Watson was slow and cleared the ball anywhere but to an Everton player, Short was probably the pick of the bunch.  That leaves the Danny's Williamson and Cadamarteri.  Well, I noticed Williamson in the first few minutes but then he vanished from my consciousness.  The other Danny was easily held by the Southampton centre-backs as his naivete showed.  Branch and Phelan came on but too late and they had nothing different to offer it seemed.

The crowd watched the tragedy unfold largely in silence. Compared to the derby it was like being in a morgue. "You're not singing any more," wailed the Southampton chorale to the Everton fans at the Park End. How true.  I've ordered my tickets for the Blackburn, Villa and Chelsea games. Oh dear...

Le Tissier rises early to end false dawn over Goodison
by Oliver Holt, The Times

IN THE murk of a dank Merseyside afternoon, the jeers echoed around Goodison Park again yesterday. After the euphoria of their win over Liverpool a fortnight ago, a victory that promised to herald the start of better things, the despondency and disillusion that has been the staple diet of every Evertonian in recent seasons invaded again as they slid to an ignominious defeat against Southampton.

The assuredness and passion of that triumph over their near-neighbours might have led some of the home supporters to expect a repeat of the 7-1 rout that Everton inflicted on their visitors from the South Coast last season, but instead they were outfought and outplayed by the team managed by their former player, Dave Jones.

The win, courtesy of a rare header from Matt Le Tissier and a brilliant individual goal from Kevin Davies either side of half-time, was characterised by long periods of drudgery, misplaced passes and ineffective long balls pumped towards Duncan Ferguson.  It lifted Southampton over their victims to sixteenth in the FA Carling Premiership and suggested that some sort of renaissance may indeed be beginning at The Dell.

Until they paid Sheffield Wednesday £2 million for David Hirst two weeks ago, Southampton had shown every sign of competing with Barnsley for the privilege of being the whipping boys of the division.  The presence of Hirst, though, who looks a player rejuvenated, appears to have given his new team fresh belief and yesterday they were superior in all departments.

Carlton Palmer, in particular, was outstanding at the centre of the visitors' midfield.  He ran and tackled tirelessly, he broke up one Everton attack after another and was a constant threat when Southampton broke forward with pace and incision.  Davies got the man-of-the-match champagne, but it should have been Palmer's bottle.

For Everton, though, it looks as though it really is going to be a long, hard season battling against relegation. Danny Cadamarteri, such a revelation with five goals from his past seven games, was anonymous against Claus Lundekvam and Ken Monkou and the Everton midfield was second to everything.

"It is desperately disappointing," Howard Kendall, the Everton manager, said.  "Everybody was coming to the ground today expecting a pretty convincing victory, especially after the 7-1 here last season, but we were second to the ball and we were not strong enough.  We got some stick from the crowd at the end and the spectators were right to voice their disapproval.

"That sort of thing hurts.  It hurts the players and it hurts everyone connected with the club.  After the Liverpool game, they expected a good performance, but they did not get it.  Derby games are one-offs.  We lifted ourselves on that occasion, but looking at it today, it does not seem as though we can lift ourselves consistently.

"It is a concern, but people build up results like the derby.  As a manager, you do not think everything is rosy just because of one result.  Today, there were too many players who had an off-day.  We chased the game in the wrong manner.  It was long ball and people bombing forward.  We made it more comfortable for Southampton the way we tried to retrieve the game."

Southampton looked comfortable, too.  After a dull start, enlivened only by Cadamarteri's jinking run in the first minute that ended with a shot that whistled just wide, Southampton stunned the home crowd when they took the lead midway through the half with a goal that seemed to have everything.

It started when Palmer chased 50 yards across the pitch to stop Oster in his tracks with a beautifully timed tackle. He took two steps and sprayed a fine 40-yard ball out to Hirst on the right. Hirst took it down on his chest, waited for support to arrive in the centre and then picked out Le Tissier with a curling cross.  Le Tissier sneaked in behind Short and in front of Southall and nodded home.

Southampton nearly went further ahead in the 32nd minute, but Southall clawed Monkou's shot away with an acrobatic, right-handed save that belied his 39 years.  Then, on the stroke of half-time, Ferguson came close to equalising when he met Hinchcliffe's cross at the back post, but saw his header bounce away off the underside of the crossbar.

After the interval, Everton played with renewed vigour, but they missed another chance to equalise in the 53rd minute.  Again, it was a cross from Hinchcliffe that caused the problems, but when Stuart laid the ball back to Williamson, his shot was blocked by Jones.  It rebounded to Stuart but his effort bounced away off the goalkeeper, too.

A minute later, Davies, one of the heroes of Chesterfield's FA Cup run last season, sealed Southampton's victory.  He picked the ball up near the halfway line, shrugged off Oster and, as Oakley made a fine diversionary run, clipped a right-foot shot wide of Southall.

Everton poured forward after that and Williamson saw a 20-yard volley fly just wide of Jones's right-hand post in the 57th minute.  Gradually, though, as the luck failed to materialise, Everton heads went down and they appeared increasingly impotent.  By the end, Southampton's substitute attackers, Slater and Basham, were queueing up for chances in the box and Peter Johnson, the Everton chairman, was preparing himself for another rough ride back to the boardroom.

Report © Times Newspapers Ltd

Kendo boo boys
Matt D'Arcy, The Daily Star

FORMER Everton player Dave Jones turned up the heat on old pal Howard Kendall as the Saints exacted revenge for last season's 7-1 massacre at Goodison. Matt Le Tissier scored his first League goal of the season and fired the Saints to their fifth win in the five games he has played since his return from injury.

It was an even sweeter victory for the Southampton boss as he went back to his native Liverpool to see his side claim their first away points of the season after five straight defeats on the road.  This win lifted them out of the drop zone, plunging Everton back into crisis after their third home defeat.

No wonder the natives at Goodison are getting restless, booing their team and generally showing their disenchantment at a hierarchy which has failed to lead them to soccer's promised land.  Multi-millionaire club owner Peter Johnson was the target for protests from some fans disillusioned that pledges to bring in top quality new players haven't been fulfilled as the side drops back to joint third from bottom.

It was the Merseysiders' lowest League gate for almost three years as the patience of their fans begins to wear out in the face of a series of false dawns, false promises and false hopes.

This was the less appealing face of Everton, in stark contrast to the stirring style of their decisive victory over arch rivals Liverpool two weeks earlier.  The game began with some promise for Everton as teenager Danny Cadamarteri wrong-footed the Saints' defence in the first minute, shooting just wide.

But after that it was downhill all the way as Ken Monkou held Everton's attack in check, ex-England man Carlton Palmer bossed midfield and £750,000 former Chesterfield striker Kevin Davies attacked with real menace.  Le Tissier's first League goal of the season gave Glenn Hoddle a nudge five days before the England squad is named to face Cameroon.

Southampton have won every game he has played since his return from injury, underlining his importance to the team.  Palmer's glorious crossfield ball after 24 minutes and David Hirst's measured cross allowed Le Tissier to dart in at the near post, beating Neville Southall with a header.

But top scorer Davies, only 20, always looked the greater threat as he claimed his seventh goal of the season with a glorious solo strike in the 54th minute.  Everton's defence backed off as he ran at them before brushing aside John Oster and shooting past Dave Watson and Graham Stuart inside Southall's left-hand post. It was all too easy for Southampton, whose biggest scare came in first-half injury time.

Scottish hitman Duncan Ferguson escaped Monkou, sending his header looping over Paul Jones but off the underside of the bar.  Jones made a fine double save from Danny Williamson and then Stuart in the second-half.  But Everton, without Slaven Bilic and Nick Barmby, who faces a hernia operation, never looked like getting anything out of this game.

They had three players booked as their frustrations with their own shortcomings boiled over.  And it could have been even worse if Southall hadn't produced a miraculous save to turn aside a stunning volley from Monkou.

If the win over Liverpool raised Everton hopes of surviving another relegation battle this defeat – and this miserable performance – have surely killed them as Kendall's men face another grim winter of discontent.

Report © Express Newspapers

Kendall's baffled by return to bad habits
William Johnson, Electronic Telegraph

SOUTHAMPTON, pointless on their Premiership travels until yesterday, proved comfortably superior to the same Everton combination who a fortnight earlier had made Liverpool look so inadequate in the Merseyside derby.  It is baffling to manager Howard Kendall and the Goodison faithful how Everton can go to such extremes in form so rapidly.  This was a fixture which presented an opportunity to ease relegation worries but instead it provided a businesslike Southampton with the chance to leapfrog two of their basement rivals, Bolton and Everton, into 16th place.

Matthew Le Tissier did precious little in a free role behind strikers David Hirst and Kevin Davies, but his one meaningful contribution changed the course of a match Southampton rarely looked like losing.  The enigmatic England player profited from loose Everton defending midway through the first half to nip between Craig Short and Neville Southall to meet Hirst's cross to the near post with an emphatic header.

When Davies added a superb individualistic second 10 minutes into the second period, the former Chesterfield striker brushing past John Oster and withstanding challenges from Short and Danny Williamson before steering a low shot past Southall, Everton were resigned to their fate.

It could have been more painful for the Merseysiders.  Southall made the save of the match to prevent Ken Monkou, magnificent in the heart of Southampton's defence, from capping his performance with a spectacular volleyed goal, while Carlton Palmer was unlucky to see an effort from a tight angle trickle wide and Davies hit the top of the netting with a clever lob which had Southall struggling.

Dave Jones, the Southampton manager, was unconcerned about the ones that got away as he celebrated a significant victory on a ground he used to grace as a player.  "I have always maintained that when we got all our players back we would start doing better," he said, referring to the desperate run of injuries he inherited at the start of his first Premiership campaign.

"The problem for me would have been if we had got everybody fit and still struggled. But I could not ask any more of them today."

Those comments contrasted sharply with those of Kendall who found himself, not for the first time since taking control of Everton for the third time, asking questions about the commitment of his players.

"Too many of them had an off day," admitted Kendall, in expressing his disappointment that the new wave of optimism at Goodison had proved short-lived.  "People built us up after a good result in the derby," he added. "But as a manager I did not think everything was rosy because of one result. I know there is a lot of work to do."

Kendall did not question the merits of Southampton's triumph but he maintained that Everton did not get the rub of the green when it was most needed.

A Duncan Ferguson header against the crossbar – one of the few aerial successes the Scottish striker enjoyed over Claus Lundekvam and the commanding Monkou – just before half-time supports that view, as does a scramble in the Southampton penalty area moments before Davies' clinching goal.  On that occasion Paul Jones, the Southampton goalkeeper, saved in rapid succession from Williamson and Graham Stuart but otherwise was called upon far too rarely for Everton's satisfaction.

He should have been tested when Danny Cadamarteri broke away early on but screwed a shot wide of the near post and he might have been extended if a Stuart drive at the end of another isolated first-half raid by Everton had not struck Lundekvam.

Jones otherwise was able to watch Everton's unconvincing threats drift off target.  His only other serious worry was when he dwelt on the ball long enough for Ferguson to put in a powerful challenge which could easily have seen the ball ricochet into the net.

Report © The Electronic Telegraph

RESULTS  (Game 13)
Monday 3 November 1997
WEST HAM UNITED         2a2    CRYSTAL PALACE            23,728
Hartson(55) Lampard(64)        Shipperley(19,45)
(Game abandoned after 65 minutes due to floodlight failure)

Sunday 2 November 1997
EVERTON                 0-2    SOUTHAMPTON               29,565
                               Le Tissier (24) Davies (54)

Saturday 1 November 1997
ASTON VILLA             0-2    CHELSEA                   39,372
                               Hughes(38) Flo(82)
BARNSLEY                1-1    BLACKBURN ROVERS          18,665
Bosancic(79)                   Sherwood(30)
BOLTON WANDERERS        1-1    LIVERPOOL                 25,000
Blake(84)                      Fowler(1) 
DERBY COUNTY            3-0    ARSENAL                   30,004
Wanchope(46, 65) Sturridge(82)
Sheringham(13,63) Cole(38)     Whittingham(69)
Nielson(og:19) Solskjaer(41,75)
NEWCASTLE UNITED        3-3    LEICESTER CITY            36,754
Barnes(pen:4)  Hamilton(45)    Marshall(12,32) Elliott(54)
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR       0-1    LEEDS UNITED              26,441
WIMBLEDON               1-2    COVENTRY CITY             11,201
Cort(28)                       Huckerby(17) Dublin(22)

LEAGUE TABLE (after 3 November 1997 )
Club                          P    W    D    L   GF   GA   GD   Pts
Manchester United            13    8    4    1   29    7   22   28
Arsenal                      13    6    6    1   27   13   14   24
Blackburn Rovers             13    6    6    1   23   11   12   24
Chelsea                      12    7    1    4   27   15   12   22
Leicester City               13    6    4    3   19   13    6   22
Derby County                 12    6    2    4   22   15    7   20
Leeds United                 13    6    2    5   16   13    3   20
Liverpool                    12    5    4    3   21   13    8   19
Newcastle United             10    5    2    3   12   13   -1   17
Wimbledon                    13    4    4    5   15   15    0   16
West Ham United              12    5    1    6   16   19   -3   16
Coventry City                13    3    7    3   10   14   -4   16
Crystal Palace               12    4    3    5   12   14   -2   15
Aston Villa                  13    4    2    7   12   19   -7   14
Tottenham Hotspur            13    3    4    6   11   17   -6   13
Southampton                  13    4    1    8   13   20   -7   13
Everton                      12    3    3    6   13   18   -5   12
Bolton Wanderers             12    2    6    4   10   16   -6   12
Barnsley                     13    3    1    9   10   36  -26   10
Sheffield Wednesday          13    2    3    8   18   35  -17    9

[Fixtures] [History] [Current Season] [Club] [Fans] [Home] [Top]
© Michael Kenrick 1997
Last updated: 3 Nov 97