Sheffield Wednesday Logo Sheffield Wednesday 0 - 0 Everton
Half-time: 0 - 0
Everton Logo
FA Carling Premiership 1998-99 – Game 10
Saturday 24 October 1998
Hillsborough, Sheffield
Att: 26,592
« Liverpool (h) Ref: Jeff Winter Manchester United (h) »
1998-99 Fixtures & Results League Position: 15th Premiership Results & Table
Sheffield Wednesday:
  LINEUPS Subs Not Used
Sheffield Wednesday: Pressman, Atherton, Jonk, Walker, Booth, Humphreys, Briscoe, Hinchcliffe, Thome, Alexandersson, Sonner. Newsome, Whittingham, Clarke, Sanetti, Magilton.
EVERTON: Myhre, Cleland, Materazzi, Watson, Unsworth, Ball, Hutchison, Dacourt, Collins, Ferguson, Bakayoko (70 Cadamarteri).
Unavailable: Dunne, Ward, Williamson, Phelan, Parkinson (injured); Branch, Bilic (not fully match-fit).
Gerrard, Grant, Ward, Milligan.

  Yellow Cards Red Cards
Sheffield Wednesday: Sonner.
EVERTON: Collins, Dacourt, Unsworth, Materazzi, Cadamarteri.

Stuart Roberts More like a Weather Report...
THE SUNDAY TIMES Bookings galore in drab deadlock
by Graham Otway
THE GUARDIAN Wilson in despair
by John Wilford
Everton a bit desperandum about nil
by Simon Turnbull
THE TIMES What you see is what you get
by Richard Hobson
ELECTRONIC TELEGRAPH Late Everton onslaught fails to produce reward
by Derek Potter
THE EVERTONIAN Link to the latest Match Report

SOCCERNET Link to SoccerNet Match Report
CARLINGNET Link to CarlingNet Match Report

More like a Weather Report...
Stuart Roberts
It was all going to be simple. I was off to Yorkshire at 8am in time to get to my mate's in Barnsley and cadge some lunch off him. Straight to the Five Arches for a couple of pints, and then stroll down to Hillsborough to watch our most convincing win of the season. In theory.

I pulled the curtains at 7.15 am and the sky was leaden. Bollocks thought I, it'll be Ok when I get past the M25. I also thought at various points, that it would be ok when I got past Leicester, Nottingham and Chesterfield. Two hundred miles is a long journey in pissing rain, and when you can't go faster than 50 mph it starts to become a little tiresome. After roadwork delays as well, I scrapped the plan to visit me mate. I got to Sheffield at about 12.40 and parked the car. I then started asking the way to the Five Arches.

I have discovered that if you ask directions in Sheffield, you will get one of two answers: 'Fuckin' 'ell, what you wanna go thiya for? It's miles!' or 'aye, carry on reet up th'ill, it's on reet hand side, burrits a fair walk a'll tell thee nah.' It was a bit of a hike, all uphill as well, and the rain was coming down the hill in torrents. Nevertheless, onwards and upwards, and I reached the pub, half-empty, save for the usual mix of early starters and locals.

After I took my leather jacket off, the locals didn't know which to glare at most, the sodden, dripping jacket or my equally sodden, dripping Everton shirt.

A quick glance out of the window confirmed my suspicions as well. It was still raining. It was about this time that my thoughts started to wander to the match, and in particular the fact that we had tickets in the uncovered section. I dismissed the thought with a carefree 'ah, it'll be fine by 3 o'clock'.

A fella in a T-Net sweatshirt walked past, an oasis of culture in the dessert of in-bred half-wits that seemed to frequent the pub. Turned out to be Chile John (top bloke), so I went over to sit with him and his family. A few of the Netley crew started arriving, looking slightly bedraggled and sorry for themselves. Liz complained that her fur coat was going to smell like a dead cat later. I resisted the opportunity to tell her it was too late.

I left the pub at about 2.35 and the rain was as hard as ever. Completely soaked again by the time I got to the ground, I decided to become philosophical about it. I couldn't get any wetter.

Yes I could. I went to take my seat in the uncovered section, and understandably, everyone was standing up. No cover or protection from the howling wind and sheeting rain, the water was dripping off my hair into my eyes, down my back, through my waterproof jacket into my ears and finally into my socks and pants. This is when the philosophical argument started to dissipate a tad. What made it worse was that the three or four thousand blues in the covered section thought it was quite amusing to see us standing there.

In the lower section of the covered stand, there were about 60% of the seats empty. This section was obviously reserved for the Wednesday family members, but it wouldn't have been difficult to stick them on one side and us on the other side would it? Steve Allinson, Liz and the others turned up about 3.10, looking thoroughly pissed off. Steve had some bin-liners with him, which was a great bonus for everyone around him apart from me. They were too small to go over my shoulders so I gave mine to the grateful inebriate from Saint Helens who was stood next to me.

The game wasn't memorable. Watson and Materazzi were very solid, Ferguson was back to his infuriating laziness and Bakayoko must think we play every game in a hurricane. I forgot Collins was there most of the time, and only Dacourt really stood out in the midfield. Sheffield Wednesday without Carbone and Di Canio are at best a bunch of journeymen, and at worst a team we should have swatted aside without compunction. It was not to be, but Bakayoko brought out a good save from Pressman (of whom I think highly) and Unsworth missed with a good chance near the end, but we nearly lost it when Cleland cleared off the line in injury time.

The highlight of the day was the Everton fans being able to shut the bloody Sheff Wed band up by singing the words: Shitty ground, shitty ground, shitty ground to the tune they were playing – the other one, not the Grand March from Aida. The Yorkshire brethren didn't know quite what to make of this, so they were by-and-large silent. And still the rain fell. In fact, apart from a spell of about 20 minutes in the second half, it hadn't stopped raining for at least nine hours.

The final whistle went, and as we squelched out of the ground, I shed a little tear for Guy McEvoy out there in sunny Alice Springs. I bet he misses all this!

I got back to the car, stepped on the accelerator and was home by 8.40 p.m., and I reckon I was dry by the time I reached Luton. Incidentally, it was somewhere round then that it stopped raining as well.

Of course, the bottom line is that I would do it again tomorrow, which is why tin-pot outfits like Sheffield Wednesday can get away with treating their customers quite so atrociously.

Ratings from Nick in Coventry

  • Myhre – 6 Needs to stop hoofing the ball long for Duncan. If he persists then I see Simonsen coming in for him despite all these clean sheets.
  • Unsworth – 6 Played badly first half, and I would have taken him off but redeemed himself second half. If he could improve his fitness and like Myhre play less long balls would be back to his best in a blue shirt.
  • Watson – 6 Commanding performance. Had me worried once or twice, and with a fully fit Slav, I'd relegate him to the bench. However he still has something to offer as a player and more as a coach.
  • Materazzi – 7 The controlled aggression of ths Italion Stallion has been one of the biggest plusses of the season so far. He is the replacement for Waggy we've needed for so long. I am sure he will one day be looked upon in the same way as Wags and Ratters before him.
  • Cleland – 6 Disappointing. He looked nothing as special as I'd expected. He seems better suited to life as a wing back than a full back. Not to say he had a bad game, just not a good one.
  • Ball – 5 Bally's worst game for a long time. Walter seems to have boobed by moving him to midfield. He was anonymous first half and even more so after the break.
  • Collins – 6 Another assured if not magnificent performance from John-boy. A great defensive player at the moment, but where's all his flair and skill gone???
  • Dacourt – 8 Signed as a defensive midfielder this lad is the genuine article. My man of the match, and was unlucky to be booked, but then so was anyone shown a yellow card.
  • Hutchison – 7 Worked his socks off for the cause, and never looked like giving up. Whilst at the same time, he is just not a good enough player for Everton Football Club's first XI. Don's yellow card takes him to a one game suspension and we will miss him. It may give a chance for Walt Disney to do something magical and give Granty a game or maybe try Michael Branch or Danny Cads on the right. We need to try something there that's a dead cert.
  • Ferguson – 6 Lost a lot more headers than normal, but still won loads. Had a couple of great runs, but to be honest I could never see him scoring.
  • Bakayoko – 6 One great shot saved him from being ranked alongside Bally with a 5. But that said I put his performance down to his lack of match fitness. Hopefully a few first team run outs and reserve team games should see him right. Then maybe we'll see him at his best. Trouble is with Man Utd at home next Sat, and Arsenal away the following Sunday I'm not sure if I'd play him.
  • Cadamarteri – 7 Looked more dangerous than either Baka or Dunc, but still never got a decent shot in on goal. Maybe trying him out wide right will give him a new lease of life. I just hope he doesn't end up like Barlow MK-II.

Bookings galore in drab deadlock
by Graham Otway , The Sunday Times
HILLSBOROUGH provided several conversation pieces, the least interesting being the quality of a match that stretched Everton's unbeaten run to nine games and provided Wednesday with a valuable point in their bid to move away from the lower reaches of the Premiership.

Inevitably, the suspension handed to Paolo Di Canio for his infamous shove on referee Paul Alcock was the most aired, if only because in his absence Wednesday lacked the imagination to break down the visitors' defence.

How Di Canio would have reacted to the extreme provocation on offer yesterday can only be a matter of speculation, but if he was sufficiently fired up by the sight of a red card to assault Alcock, heaven knows how he would have coped with Jeff Winter.

The referee refused to make any allowances for the appalling weather, which produced a slippery surface on which it was almost impossible to time tackles and challenges within the laws of the game.

In 10 minutes in the second half, when the rain fortunately relented, Winter booked three Everton players – David Unsworth, John Collins and Marco Materazzi – for the most innocuous offences. He later sent a form into the press room on which they were described as "unsporting behaviour", but if anyone was guilty of that, it was the referee for failing to allow the game to flow in whatever limited way the conditions would allow.

Between the bookings there was very little goalmouth action. Ritchie Humphreys and Niclas Alexandersson battled consistently for Wednesday against the rock-solid partnership of Dave Watson and Materazzi, but had only Humphreys's off-target volley to show for the first half.

David Unsworth, unmarked in front of goal, wasted Everton's best chance when he volleyed wide from a Ferguson cross and Michael Ball shot across the face of the goal with only Kevin Pressman to beat.

Wednesday went close when Humphreys homed in on the rebound, the Everton goalkeeper had recovered his composure sufficiently to smother a low shot to protect a stalemate that had always looked on the cards.

Report © Times Newspapers Ltd

Wilson in despair
by John Wilford, The Guardian
A game that matched the weather – wet and depressing – saw Wednesday's problems increase and offered further proof that Everton are on the way back to respectability. So many Sheffield players under-performed it was embarrassing. They could be in deep trouble by the time Di Canio returns at the end of the year.

Everton looked significantly the better side and a late miss by David Unsworth should have given them victory. Without Di Canio, Carbone and Rudi, Danny Wilson is struggling to assemble a decent attack these days and makes no secret of his need of a striker.

The Owls have suffered a goal famine, scoring just twice in their last four league games. And Everton, who have developed a much tighter defence since the arrival of Walter Smith, hardly offered the prospect of instant relief.

The Merseysiders have high hopes that their Ivory Coast signing Ibrahim Bakayoko will take some of the pressure off Duncan Ferguson up front and he made a good early start putting Walker and Briscoe in difficulties with a headed through ball. And when Ball sent Ferguson racing to the byline Bakayoko was well placed but the big Scot put his cross too close to Pressman. Everton kept up the pressure and again Bakayoko was in the picture shrugging off Walker and firing into the side netting with Pressman beaten.

Under this pressure Wednesday could do little constructive. They had a moment of ambition when Hinchcliffe, playing against his old club, worked a good first-time ball to Briscoe and his centre skimmed across the Everton box without anyone making contact.

These days £75,000 doesn't buy you much in the way of Premiership talent but that's what Wednesday paid Ipswich for Sonner, who was making his home debut. He played alongside the Dutchman Jonk and was equally ineffective, though in Sonner's case he must be allowed him time to adjust.

After their early flourish Everton went off the boil and if Wednesday had been able to string more than two passes together the game might have developed some momentum. Myhre had little to occupy him and it was all too easy for Watson and Materazzi. Wednesday did manage a rare attacking moment, when Humphreys hit a hasty side-footed shot a yard wide. No wonder their manager is getting frustrated.

Bakayoko, who has a touch of the Wanchopes about him, was proving to be one of the game's redeeming features. He ran with the ball from his own half and finished with a shot that was heading for the top corner until Pressman pulled off an acrobatic save.

This roused Wednesday from their torpor and Humphreys used his left foot to threaten Myhre's goal with a shot a foot wide of the post. And Booth, who works hard to no great effect, was denied a shot from a couple of yards out by Materazzi's tackle.

In the closing minutes Ferguson hooked the ball across the face of goal, and how Unsworth's shot missed the net remains a mystery.

Report © The Guardian

Everton a bit desperandum about nil
by Simon Turnbull, The Independent on Sunday
There were no pushovers at Hillsborough yesterday. There was no Paolo Di Canio, of course, and no goals either. Both defences held firm as the rain lashed down in the first half. They held firm when the sun shone down in the second too. A rainbow appeared over the south stand but there was no pot of goals at either end.

Everton stole Walter Smith from Wednesday in the summer and the Scotsman's team looked likely to pinch three points yesterday. They were impressively dominant before the break but were unable to make a breakthrough. For the seventh time in 10 Premiership matches this season they failed to score.

Considering their record at Goodison Park this season, it was some surprise that the Everton players took the field with an unchanged club motto on their shirts. "Nil Satis, Nisi Optimum" should perhaps be replaced by "Nil Nil Desperandum" or simply "Everton Nil."

For all their striking problems on the home front, however, Smith's team arrived in the Steel City with mettle evident from a unbeaten run of six Premiership matches stretching back to August. They also arrived with Ibrahim Bakayoko looking to ruffle the feathers of Wilson's Owls.

Lack of wing power was one reason Smith cited for Everton drawing their previous blank, when Bakayoko was introduced in the Merseyside derby eight days ago, but they made good use of Hillsborough's breadth in an enterprising start yesterday. Four times in the opening 10 minutes they stretched the Wednesday defence and fashioned clear openings. The best two fell to the hyperactive Bakayoko, the Ivory Coast international firing into the side netting from the edge of the penalty area and then obliging Des Walker to show his enduring class with a last-ditch covering tackle.

With Michael Ball and Don Hutchison pushed up on the flanks, Everton were short of numbers in central midfield, but Olivier Dacourt and John Collins made light of that disadvantage as they dictated the first-half flow. Dacourt was particularly outstanding, dropping deep to gain scraps of possession and advancing with assurance before feeding the ball to his attacking colleagues.

Wednesday, by contrast, were short of both clout and creative nous. It took them 35 minutes to make serious inroads into the Everton defence, though when they did they ought to have made it tell. Niclas Alexandersson's right-wing run and cross presented Richie Humphreys with what appeared to be the simplest of finishes. The burly striker, however, chose to complicate matters, side-footing wide.

Bakayoko was more accurate with his shooting four minutes into the second-half. Indeed, it took a fine flying save by Kevin Pressman to keep out the curling right-foot shot that the former Montpellier man despatched from the left angle of the home penalty area after dummying Walker. Wednesday, though, rallied with their first spell of attacking endeavour. Twice in four minutes Humphreys had opportunities to break the deadlock. He spurned them both, however, clipping a right-foot shot wide from 20 yards and meeting Andy Hinchcliffe's left-wing cross with a wayward header.

The contest petered out thereafter, though Wednesday could have won it injury time. Hinchcliffe hoisted a corner from the right, Andy Booth's header beat Myhre but John Cleland was on the line to hook it clear.

Report © The Independent

What you see is what you get
by Richard Hobson, The Times
LIKE a child ticking off the days towards Christmas, Boxing Day must seem a long time coming for Danny Wilson. Sheffield Wednesday contest eight more games before Paolo Di Canio is eligible again and when the contrite striker rejoins the side against Leicester City on December 26, he might still be the club's leading scorer with his three goals.

The absence of Carbone to injury accentuated the loss of the higher-profile Italian and, hard as Booth and Humphreys worked up front, they rarely troubled a solid Everton defence in which the poise of Materazzi stood out. The fact that the midfield showed little inclination to press forward in support did not help matters.

At least Wilson has strikers to return, however far into the future. What you see is what you are going to get with Everton. After two games together, it is too early to dismiss the partnership between Bakayoko and Ferguson, but the early evidence portends frustration. Ferguson cut a sullen figure and was clearly unenamoured by some of the decisions of his new colleague.

Bakayoko, though, provided the best moment of the match early in the second half with a fine, curling shot that Pressman did well to turn away. Ferguson received no change from the attentions of Thome. His presence invites the easy option, the long ball hit vaguely in his direction. With Dacourt and Collins in the midfield and the impressive young Ball on the left, Everton can do better than that.

Cadamarteri added pace if not direction to the attack when he replaced Bakayoko. A more alert striker than Ferguson might have converted one centre from right. However, Cadamarteri blemished his contribution with a booking for dissent, the 34th yellow card shown to an Everton player in 11 games this season.

Report © Times Newspapers Ltd

Late Everton onslaught fails to produce reward
Derek Potter, Electronic Telegraph
POINTS and goals continue to be elusive for two teams struggling to turn honest endeavour into a tangible reward. It was a frustrating match for both managers, as their teams slugged it out in atrocious conditions that tested the Hillsborough drainage system.

Sheffield Wednesday have scored only twice in the last five Premiership games. Their manager, Danny Wilson, who is desperately seeking a striker to add to his squad, would be happy that his team survived a final onslaught when Everton's shooting was dismally inaccurate.

With only Nicky Barmby and Slaven Bilic missing, Walter Smith had been able to chose from the strongest squad available to him since he began the task of re-building a crumbling Everton team.

His chosen XI gave Wednesday a torrid time early on in a game played on a remarkably good pitch, considering the non-stop deluge. Some of the passing by both sides was crisp and penetrating with Ibrahima Bakayoko, the Ivory Coast international striker signed by Smith recently for £4.5 million, a lively threat.

Twice Bakayoko drove deep into the Wednesday defence, but the biggest early danger came from his partner, Duncan Ferguson. The big Scot swept forward, taking a pass from Michael Ball in his long stride, only to see his shot from a wide angle thump the Sheffield goalkeeper, Kevin Pressman, in the chest and go behind for a corner.

Everton were clearly intent on attack, despite their perilous position in the league table, which is mainly due to the four games they have drawn at Goodison Park, where they have yet to score a league goal.

Wednesday were also attack-conscious against a team with a defensive record bettered only by Arsenal and Villa. But Everton were in a mean mood, with veteran Dave Watson twice moving to the flanks to cut out serious threats.

It took Wednesday 35 minutes to create a decent chance. It came when Niclas Alexandersson slipped past Ball and found the unmarked Ritchie Humphreys, who sent his close-range shot wide.

The alarm bells rang again for Everton's defence shortly before half-time when Humphreys was the provider only for Wim Jonk to fire well wide of the target.

Soon after the restart, Jonk produced a delightful piece of skill of the kind rarely seen since his move from PSV Eindhoven in the summer. It enabled him to curl in an incisive cross from the left which flashed through the six-yard box, but the two waiting Wednesday players were not able to get a touch on the ball.

Everton then went close on the counter-attack, Bakayoko letting fly with a rising 15-yard shot which Pressman superbly pushed over the bar.

Report © The Electronic Telegraph

RESULTS  (Game 10)
Saturday 24 October 1998
Aston Villa  1                Leicester City   1        39,241
Ehiogu 68                     Cottee 35
Charlton Athletic  4          West Ham United  2        20,043
Tiler 29, Mills 73,           Wright 17,Berkovic 40
Hunt 87, Redfearn 90:pen     
Derby County  1               Manchester United  1      30,867
Burton 73                     Cruyff 85
Liverpool  5                  Nottingham Forest  1      44,595
Owen 10,38,71,77:pen          Freedman 18
McManaman 23
Sheffield Wednesday  0        Everton  0                26,592
Southampton  2                Coventry City  1          15,152
Le Tissier 24, Ostenstad 44   Dublin 60
Tottenham Hotspur  2          Newcastle United  0       36,047
Iversen 3,76 
Wimbledon  2                  Middlesbrough    2        14,114
Gayle 26,77                   Mustoe 24,Ricard 36
Sunday 25 October 1998
Blackburn Rovers  1           Arsenal  2                27,012
Johnson 64                    Anelka 35, Petit 39
Leeds United  0               Chelsea  0                36,292

LEAGUE TABLE (after 25 October 1998 )
Club                          P    W    D    L   GF   GA   GD   Pts
Aston Villa                  10    6    4    0   11    3    8   22
Manchester United             9    5    3    1   19    8   11   18
Arsenal                      10    4    5    1   12    5    7   17
Liverpool                    10    4    4    2   18   11    7   16
Middlesbrough                10    4    4    2   16   11    5   16
Chelsea                       9    4    4    1   13    9    4   16
Newcastle United             10    4    2    4   15   13    2   14
Tottenham Hotspur            10    4    2    4   12   16   -4   14
Charlton Athletic            10    3    4    3   17   14    3   13
Leeds United                 10    2    7    1    9    6    3   13
Derby County                 10    3    4    3    8    7    1   13
Leicester City               10    3    4    3   10   10    0   13
Wimbledon                    10    3    4    3   15   18   -3   13
West Ham United              10    3    4    3    9   12   -3   13
Everton                      10    2    6    2    6    6    0   12
Sheffield Wednesday          10    3    1    6    8   10   -2   10
Blackburn Rovers             10    2    2    6   10   14   -4    8
Nottingham Forest            10    2    2    6    7   16   -9    8
Coventry City                10    2    2    6    7   16   -9    8
Southampton                  10    1    2    7    6   23  -17    5

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