Everton 0 - 2 Tottenham
Half-time: 0 - 0
FA Carling Premiership 97/98 - Game 16
Saturday 29 November 1997
Goodison Park, Merseyside
|« Chelsea (a)||Ref: Peter Jones||Leeds United (a) »|
|1997-98 Fixtures & Results||League Position: 20th||Premiership Results & Table|
|GOALSCORERS||Debut / Finale|
|EVERTON:||||Tiler / Southall|
|Tottenham Hotspur:||Vega (71), Ginola (75)|
|LINEUPS||Subs Not Used|
Southall, Ward, Short (Cadamarteri, 74), Bilic, Tiler,
Phelan (Hinchcliffe, 72), Farrelly (Oster, 65), Speed, Williamson, Barmby,
Unavailable: Parkinson, Grant, Branch, McCann, Watson, Gerrard, (injured).
|Tottenham Hotspur:||Walker, Carr, Wilson, Campbell (Scales, 44), Vega, Fox, Calderwood, Sinton, Nielsen (Anderton, 58), Ferdinand (Iversen, 78), Ginola.||Baardsen, Allen.|
|Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|Tottenham Hotspur:||Scales, Vega, Carr.||--|
|REPORTS BY EVERTON FANS|
|Guy McEvoy||Ho de hum...|
|Richard Marland||Brinkmanship: once too often|
|THE SUNDAY TIMES||
Ginola gem lifts Gross
by Joe Lovejoy
Fans jeer Johnson as crisis deepens
by David Maddock
Gross era dawns as Spurs eclipse Everton
by Clive White
|OTHER INTERNET REPORTS|
|SOCCERNET||Link to SoccerNet Match Report|
|CARLINGNET||Link to CarlingNet Match Report|
|Ho de hum...|
With the international break splitting the three away defeats it seemed an
age since we had last been at Goodison. It felt good to be back in
a large home crowd. There was understandable anxiety in the chatter
before kick off but it seems most there were keen to be able to get behind
the team after the recent bad run. Straight from kick off a loud chant
of 'Everton' swept round the ground, the team looked to respond and after
only seconds the ball was cleared off the line after a Ferguson header.
Both midweek signing were making home debuts, Ward at right wing-back, Tiler partnering Bilic as a centre back. Short was the third centre-back in the formation though had been given license to roam a lot further forward than usual and at times looked more like an out and out midfielder. Phelan was chosen ahead of Hinchcliffe on the left. Farrelly, Williamson and Speed made up our midfield. Barmby and Ferguson played up front. On the bench we had new goalie Myhre, Cadamarteri, Oster, Hinchcliffe and Ball.
The tactics seemed similar to those that could have got us something at Chelsea. It looked to be a return to basics, not trying anything to flash, contain and defend pressure and then hit fast on the break (ie, a bit of long ball). Whilst these may be admirable tactics when away, where you would be happy with a draw, it seems to lack a bit of ambition at home. Still, desperate times, desperate measures.
Like at Chelsea, the first half was a bit of a non-event. Both sides were so busy concentrating on not making mistakes that any adventurism was stifled. After the 25-minute mark, you could start to feel the vibe in the park turn back towards frustration. This mood was strengthened when the stewards started to sit right round the pitch in anticipation of the odd protester who needed a pop at Johnson. It looked strange preparing for a pitch invasion at such an early point in the game.
Tottenham's best chances fell to Ferdinand, but one thing that Everton did do well was hold the offside line and this caught him out time and time again. Everton's two best efforts went to Barmby (who took a verbal bashing all game from the Spurs fans). At one point he looked to have chipped Walker but the ball, as is our luck at the moment, found the crossbar instead.
It was light relief at half time when we were treated to Dixie Dean's 3-year-old great-grandson 're-creating' his ancestors 60th goal in front of the Park End. The little lad could only kick the ball about two yards at a time, but he got by far the loudest cheer of the day when the ball finally crossed the goal-line.
Back to the serious stuff. As soon as both teams came out there was a gut feeling that Everton were going to made to pay for their inability to take the lead. Spurs seemed to shift up a gear and but for poor finishing would have gone ahead sooner. Everton's attack meanwhile seemed to dry up completely. With the tide obviously turning, I found myself lowering my hopes to us somehow clinging onto a draw.
I didn't see the goal when it came, I was actually watching the Spurs fans at the time as they'd just given us a tuneful version of "Grand old team to play for" (a much more swingy beat then ours or the Celtic version). Anyway, whilst my eye was on them instead of the game, they suddenly erupted. I didn't need to look back towards the Street End to know what that meant. Apparently they'd put a free header in, I'm glad I didn't see it.
Hinchcliffe came on for Phelan, but that did no good. Ginola, who had been the biggest, diving, moaning bastard all game suddenly decided to turn on the class and scored a fine individual goal. "Johnson Out" swept round the ground, not perhaps the best chant to inspire the team (probably would've been better to save it for the final whistle) but a predictable reaction, I guess.
Kendall then brought on Oster and Cadamarteri and completed my sense of Deja Vu with Wednesday's Chelsea match.
After the game, people left very, very slowly. 'We want Johnson Out' again rolled round the ground. You could see real concern etched on the faces of many seasoned Evertonians. I toddled off and queued up for my Leeds ticket then walked up Goodison Road. There were still people hanging about, so I went back in through the Gwladys entrance and by my reckoning about seven hundred stuck it out for over half an hour with various imaginative ways to chant abuse at the chairman. Eventually, we were asked 'for the good of the club' to leave by the police. Then 'asked' became 'told'.
Everton has the feel of a club in crisis. What price three points?
|Brinkmanship: once too often|
Well, what do you say after a result like today's? Personally I'm still
numb with the shock of it all. Although I was hardly shouting it from
the rooftops, I really fancied us for today. Despite the three consecutive
away defeats, I thought that there had been enough in them
particularly the Chelsea game to give us cause for cautious optimism.
There was also the matter of the peculiar game of brinkmanship the team seems
to be playing with us seemingly every time we really need a victory
we manage to get our collective act together to secure it.
From the ultimate in brinkmanship at The Wimbledon game, through Joe Royle's first derby match, and then through games last season like Notts Forest, Tottenham and of course this season against Liverpool. These were all games where I felt it was imperative that we win, and win we duly did. Maybe we just went to the brink once too often.
It had all started so promisingly as well. Yet another large crowd had turned up and was very supportive of the team. As to the team selection, I felt that Kendall had got it spot on. Tiler and Ward came in for their debuts and the seemingly indestructible Neville Southall was there again. The only surprise was the omission of Hinchcliffe.
We lined up with three centre-backs Bilic, Short and Tiler, two wing backs in Ward and Phelan, a midfield trio of Farrelly, Speed and Williamson and Dunc and Barmby up front. To my mind this seemed to address a number of our problems a lack of strength in central midfield and a lack of width. This seemed a formation to provide us with that.
We started the match at a thunderous pace. Within the first minute, Barmby won a corner and from it Dunc had a header cleared off the line. For five or ten minutes we were rampant, everyone looked positive and bright Barmby was back to being the Barmby who first arrived, Dunc was well fired up, even Williamson looked energetic and positive.
However, the goal this early pressure called for didn't come and Spurs started to steady their ship. It soon became clear that they were very organised, very disciplined and very committed, and they were also able to cause us problems at the back through Ferdinand and Ginola.
As Spurs gained parity with us, all our old failings started to reappear. The width promised by Ward and Phelan never materialised both played too deep and tucked in too much. The midfield trio started to lose the midfield battle and we again looked vulnerable at the back. A few half chances started to fall to Ferdinand and Ginola and the nett result of the first half was a relatively even contest. Half-time came and it was still 0-0, however I wasn't too disappointed. Yes, we had looked fairly ordinary and pedestrian but I thought that a half-time sort-out would improve matters.
I half expected a change at half-time but that didn't happen. I wasn't too concerned at that; I felt sure that Ward and Phelan would be instructed to provide more consistent width and that would greatly improve matters. Alas, that didn't really seem to happen and we once again didn't seem to have any ideas of how to break down an organised Tottenham rearguard.
As the half progressed, Kendall started to change personnel. First Oster came on for the disappointing Farrelly, then later Hinchcliffe came on for Phelan. However, these were just personnel changes, there was no change in formation so our problems of a lack of penetration and a lack of width stayed with us.
Not long after the changes the unthinkable happened Tottenham scored! We had already had one large-scale warning which we hadn't heeded Scales won an unopposed header from a corner which fell to Vega all on his own in front of goal, incredibly he headed over. Take Two came from a cross from Ginola it was flicked on by Ferdinand and was met by Vega all on his own in front of goal. He looked suspiciously off-side but, having already had the benefit of a trial run, this time he made no mistake. Goodison was almost literally stunned, yet again our failure to deal with crosses had undone us.
Tottenham, and in particular Ginola, were now buzzing and the second goal wasn't long coming. This time it was a Ginola solo effort. He took on Mitch Ward on the outside, got goalside of him and advanced before beating Nev with a powerful rising shot. It was poor defensive play by Ward and rather indicative of the respect we gave Ginola throughout the game.
The second goal started the exodus of Everton fans and also brought on Cadamarteri and at last a change in formation. Unsurprisingly it was a central defender who was taken off, surprisingly it was Short, who had put in yet another competent display. This meant that we reverted to a flat back four with Oster and Barmby going wide right and wide left respectively.
There were still 15 minutes left, and we did have a number of opportunities. Cadamarteri was lively and caused Tottenham some problems and had a number of decent long range shots none of which seriously troubled Walker. Our best chance fell to Dunc who won a header and powered it towards the bottom left hand corner of Walkers net. Walker produced a top class save to deny him.
Our "onslaught" rather petered out and there was no great belief from players or fans that we could get anything out of the game. Things were summed up for me by an incident in the dying minutes. An attack of ours broke down and Tottenham caught us two against two at the back. The defenders managed to hold them up whilst reinforcements arrived, and who was the first to arrive on the scene to nick the ball back? None other than Duncan Ferguson. Summed up his commitment and the absence of our midfield.
The final whistle was met largely by a numb silence. Yes there were "Johnson Out" chants mostly from the Street End but largely it was a stunned silence. I stood rooted to the spot for a full five minutes applauding Nev and Dunc off the pitch, and then just nothing. For the first time I was truly frightened of the prospect of relegation. Five straight defeats with a trip to Leeds coming up, ominous stuff.
Team 6 This wasn't a desperately bad performance. There was some fight, there was some passion. However, we lacked width and we lacked any kind of penetration from midfield. The defence looked reasonable solid, and our two attackers were our two best performers, which leaves the midfield. This I feel is still the major root of our problems.
|Ginola gem lifts Gross|
|by Joe Lovejoy, The Sunday Times|
DAVID Ginola is widely believed to be at odds with the spartan regime Christian
Gross is pledged to introduce at White Hart Lane. But the new coach
kept faith with the old dilettante yesterday, and was rewarded with a
man-of-the-match performance embellished with a goal of the highest class.
Ginola's strike, just under a quarter of an hour from the end, was entirely out of keeping for a low-grade match of minimal technical merit. Spurs deserved to win and end a sequence of four successive defeats, but talk of a revival will have to wait. Everton's poverty renders meaningful judgment of their opponents all but impossible.
The blue half of Merseyside has known nothing but top-flight football for 44 years, but the Goodison Park crowd was close to despair last night after another beating the fifth on the trot. A sit-in protest at the ground which lasted long after the final whistle had disgruntled fans calling for the resignation of the chairman, Peter Johnson. Outside, some 500 more gathered to express the same sentiments, and police reinforcements were called.
Before the game, thousands of dissident leaflets were distributed and there were T-shirts bearing the legend: "Free the Goodison 30,000." Appetites whetted during the summer by the courtship of Ince, Ravanelli and Ferdinand, Evertonians instead got Farrelly, Thomas and Oster. No wonder they are not happy. The consensus is that the manager, Howard Kendall, has been betrayed by the board, starved of the promised funds.
Both teams will now be hampered in their attempts to climb the table by the loss of their best defenders. Sol Campbell was having an injured shoulder x-rayed last night and Slaven Bilic is banned for five games, his fifth booking of the season coming on top of his sending-off at Chelsea in midweek.
It is barely six years since these two clubs were instrumental in the Premier League breakaway, as members of the so-called "Big Five." They should not expect too much sympathy from the disadvantaged majority they were so keen to cast adrift.
The Gross era began (Chris Hughton had been in charge for the Crystal Palace defeat) with five changes. Ginola wandered at will, to good effect, in maverick support of Les Ferdinand, in front of a four-man midfield which had ball-winners, Colin Calderwood and Allen Nielson, digging for possession. Shades of Gerry Francis.
Kendall deployed both his cut-price signings from Sheffield United, Mitch Ward and Carl Tiler, but the new-look defence displayed the same old frailties. Surprisingly, the player to make way for Tiler was none other than Andy Hinchcliffe good enough for England but not for the worst team in the League.
A predictably pell-mell start might have brought Everton the lead after only 40 seconds, when Nick Barmby's corner from the right was nodded down in the goalmouth by Duncan Ferguson, causing consternation in the Spurs defence. Craig Short's deflection wrong-footed Ian Walker, and it took a goal-line clearance by Clive Wilson to spare Gross the nastiest of shocks.
Midway through the first half, Calderwood took a free-kick from half-way and drove the ball straight into touch. It was that sort of game. Andy Sinton, characteristically busy on the left, drove over on the run and Ginola, shining like a beacon on the greyest afternoon, had a strong shot blocked.
The crowd, who had fallen into a sullen, apprehensive silence, were stirred at last when Barmby scampered through in the inside-left channel and clipped the top of Walker's crossbar with a dipper from 20 yards. But there were groans when Ferguson made a terrible hash of a routine chance.
Spurs gradually asserted themselves, as Ginola brought a good, low save from Neville Southall on his 750th appearance in the Everton goal, then featured in the attack which culminated in Sinton testing the keeper with a neat 25-yard chip.
Tottenham's welcome flurry should have been rewarded after 57 minutes, but when John Scales transferred Ginola's corner to Ramon Vega, close in at the near post, the Swiss defender contrived to head over at thank-you-very-much range. Vega did rather better with 20 minutes left, when he plunged in to score from a near-identical position after Sinton's left-wing cross had reached him via Ruel Fox's backheader.
Then Ginola came up with his moment of glory, and that was that. End of contest. Running from half-way, he evaded Ward on the burst before cutting in from the left and beating Southall at his near post with the sheer power of his bristling, rising shot. At 2-0 it was all over bar the shouting. The shouting in question being "Johnson out."
The scoreline was a "Gross injustice", Kendall said, still able to smile in increasing adversity. The butt of his pun was delighted, of course. "Excellent team spirit, everyone worked very hard," he barked. Gross "could not believe" that his chairman, Alan Sugar, had criticised certain players in the run up to the match. "I am in charge of the team," he said. He has a lot to learn.
|Report © Times Newspapers Ltd|
|Fans jeer Johnson as crisis deepens|
|by David Maddock, The Times|
HIS pale features fixed firmly downwards, Peter Johnson stepped tentatively
from the tunnel at Goodison Park. He was heading across the pitch,
away from the sound of supporters still demonstrating in the street. The
plan was for the Everton chairman to escape through a back entrance, avoiding
the anger of about 500 diehards who braved the evening drizzle to express
their desperation. He could not, though, avoid all confrontation.
As Johnson carefully picked his way through the field of mud that Goodison had become after a heavy downpour, a disaffected groundsman waved his pitchfork violently in the direction of the chairman and the burly minders surrounding him screaming at them to get off his pitch with such an intensity that a punch-up almost broke out.
It was a moment that encapsulated Johnson's lonely position at the helm of a club that remains rooted at the foot of the FA Carling Premiership. Defeat and a quite desperate one at that to a Tottenham Hotspur side in almost as much trouble induced a sit-in by thousands of supporters, followed by that more aggressive abuse in the street afterwards.
The taunts were cruel. "Where's the money gone?" they sang. Then: "We want Johnson out." Claims that the chairman sees Everton only as a way to make money have been accentuated by the purchase only of journeymen since Howard Kendall took charge as manager in the summer.
Yet Johnson denies the supporters' allegations, maintaining that he is committed to the Everton cause and that there is plenty of money to spend. His voice wavering with emotion at times, he said: "I won't walk away. Someone has got to sit here and make sure Everton get out of a difficult situation. We can't be left rudderless. There are people outside screaming 'Johnson out' as I speak, but someone has got to do the job. We are always talking about money. Nobody seems to ask any other chairmen if there is money to spend, but once Howard identifies a player he wants, we will do our best to buy him. There is money, but we have got to buy the right type of player. Of course we want world-class players; we tried to buy them in the summer when we went for Ince, Ferdinand and Ravanelli, but it's not that easy."
There is much work to be done if the supporters are to be appeased. Johnson and Kendall spoke of the difficulty of attracting "big-name" players, because in the words of the manager "what has happened at this club in recent years has made it difficult to attract the right type of players".
Tottenham have no such difficulty, yet they too have all the distress signs of a side that fears relegation. Indeed, Everton were the better side for much of the first half, hitting the crossbar through Barmby and having a Ferguson header cleared off the line.
But, as the game progressed, Spurs rediscovered a confidence that was not so much low as non-existent when the match started. It was as if a light was turned on just after the interval. David Ginola was the catalyst. He started the move on 72 minutes that saw Fox cleverly flick a Sinton cross into the path of the loitering Ramon Vega, for the Swiss to head firmly past Southall from close range. Four minutes later and the match was over as Ginola ran almost from halfway, leaving Ward in his wake, before crashing a shot into the roof of the net.
|Report © Times Newspapers Ltd|
|Gross era dawns as Spurs eclipse Everton|
|Clive White, Electronic Telegraph|
CHRISTIAN GROSS could not have asked for a more perfect start to his tenure
as Tottenham manager and to make it all the more idyllic his fellow Swiss,
Ramon Vega, was the one who led the London club out of the doldrums.
And just in case one was in any doubt about the foreign influence at White Hart Lane these days, David Ginola, the enigmatic Frenchman, secured the victory with a thrilling solo goal which must have mellowed even a renowned disciplinarian like Gross.
A rag-bag of a match was slumbering towards a goalless draw which would have suited neither team, least of all Everton, when, in the 72nd minute, Vega scored with a diving header, thereby making amends for a failure with an almost identical effort minutes earlier.
Four minutes later Everton were condemned to their fifth consecutive defeat while Spurs halted their own run of four failures when Ginola picked up the ball in midfield after it had been worked across the width of the field and with minimal resistance from Everton went on an arcing left-wing run which ended in a fierce left-footed drive past Neville Southall at the near post. No way for the veteran Wales goalkeeper to celebrate his 750th appearance for the club.
Expediency is the order of the day under Gross's new regime but his first selection as Spurs manager showed no particular distrust of flair, even if the brittle Darren Anderton only made it as far as the substitutes' bench. After all, Ginola was selected. Anderton was joined there, perhaps more surprisingly, by John Scales while in came Ruel Fox, Vega, Colin Calderwood, Clive Wilson and Allan Nielsen after Monday's home defeat to Crystal Palace.
Everton's need to shore up their defence was hardly obvious after their unfortunate defeat at Chelsea. However, so concerned was Howard Kendall with their propensity to concede goals from set-pieces the two penalties at Stamford Bridge surely hardly counted that he introduced new signing Carl Tiler into a three-man central defence alongside Slaven Bilic and Craig Short.
It was to the exclusion of Andy Hinchcliffe, thereby adding fuel to the rumour that he is on his way to less desperate places.
The atmosphere was extremely tense for a match played in November, and it was not until seven minutes before half-time that the Goodison crowd were given something to roar about, although they did appreciate the sight of their favourite, Ferguson, throwing Campbell over his shoulder to the ground - no mean feat.
Gary Speed, who for the most part seemed ill-suited to his role of provider-in-chief, managed to thread a well-timed pass through to Barmby, who cut inside Wilson to strike a dipping shot which clipped the crossbar.
On the stroke of half-time Campbell limped out of the match, probably the result of his wrestling match with Ferguson, to be replaced by Scales.
With 18 minutes remaining, a move instigated by Ginola saw the busy Andy Sinton put in a cross which Fox headed on and Vega finished off with another diving header. The rumblings of discontent in the Goodison crowd were immediately evident. Everton chairman Peter Johnson must have begun bracing himself for the demonstrations.
|Report © The Electronic Telegraph|
|FA CARLING PREMIERSHIP|
|RESULTS (Game 16)|
|Monday 1 December 1997|
BOLTON WANDERERS 1-0 NEWCASTLE UNITED 24,494 Blake (22)
|Sunday 30 November 1997|
ARSENAL 0-1 LIVERPOOL 38,094 McManaman(58) MANCHESTER UNITED 4-0 BLACKBURN ROVERS 55,175 Solskjaer(18,53) Cole(60) Kenna(og:85)
|Saturday 29 November 1997|
BARNSLEY 2-3 LEEDS UNITED 18,690 Liddell(8) Ward(28) Haaland(35) Wallace(79) Lilley(82) BOLTON WANDERERS 1-0 WIMBLEDON 22,703 Blake(89) CHELSEA 4-0 DERBY COUNTY 34,544 Zola(12,66,77) Hughes(35) COVENTRY CITY 0-2 LEICESTER CITY 18,309 Fenton(32) Elliott(pen:75) CRYSTAL PALACE 1-2 NEWCASTLE UNITED 26,085 Shipperley(67) Ketsbaia(45) Tomasson(63) EVERTON 0-2 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 36,670 Vega(72) Ginola(76) SOUTHAMPTON 2-3 SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY 15,244 Hirst(48) Palmer(55) Atherton(28) Collins(69) Di Canio(84) WEST HAM UNITED 2-1 ASTON VILLA 24,976 Hartson(18,48) Yorke(47)
|LEAGUE TABLE (after 1 December 1997 )|
Club P W D L GF GA GD Pts Manchester United 16 10 4 2 40 12 28 34 Chelsea 16 10 1 5 35 17 18 31 Blackburn Rovers 16 8 6 2 27 17 10 30 Leeds United 16 9 2 5 26 19 7 29 Arsenal 16 7 6 3 30 18 12 27 Leicester City 16 7 5 4 21 14 7 26 Liverpool 15 7 4 4 26 14 12 25 Newcastle United 14 7 3 4 18 18 0 24 Derby County 15 7 2 6 28 24 4 23 Crystal Palace 15 5 4 6 15 17 -2 19 Wimbledon 16 5 4 7 18 21 -3 19 West Ham United 15 6 1 8 20 25 -5 19 Bolton Wanderers 16 4 7 5 12 21 -9 19 Aston Villa 16 5 3 8 16 23 -7 18 Sheffield Wednesday 16 5 3 8 28 37 -9 18 Coventry City 16 3 8 5 13 21 -8 17 Southampton 16 5 1 10 20 26 -6 16 Tottenham Hotspur 16 4 4 8 13 22 -9 16 Barnsley 16 4 1 11 14 43 -29 13 Everton 16 3 3 10 16 27 -11 12