|Sander Westerveld - Goalkeeper|
A goalkeeping crisis prompted David Moyes to go for experience, at the special dispensation of the Premier League, rather than risk fielding teenager John Ruddy — his much-vaunted "future England Number 1" who kept a clean sheet against Blackburn when being forced to substitute for the red-carded Iain Turner after just 8 mins.
As soon as the situation became clear, Everton applied for permission to bring in another keeper on temporary loan, outside of the transfer window. Mart Poom was first choice, but Arsenal finally put paid to that when they figured out he could not be re-registered for the Champions League, should they need him for that competition later in the season.
And there was simply no chance that David Moyes would risk playing a game with only the 19-year-old prodigy between the sticks, no matter how well he had done before a passionate Goodison crowd. "It is no reflection on John that I have brought Sander in," said Moyes. "John has great potential and did very well when he made his debut and he has got all the attributes to be a top keeper. But we just needed someone with that bit of experience."
"We had no option once Arsenal decided that they were not going to let Poom go," Moyes said. "That was late [Wednesday] afternoon, so I had to ring three or four managers.
"We need a keeper with experience, no matter what, because we could not have gone to Newcastle with only John Ruddy, so I had to get someone and Sander fitted the bill.
"He has played in the Premiership before, so knows what it is all about, but he won't have any time to settle because he will make his debut against Newcastle."
Westerveld is still remembered at Everton for a brawl with Francis Jeffers when he played his first derby game in September 1999:
“I don’t know if this move is going to be a strange one for the fans, but I didn’t hesitate for one minute when the manager phoned me,” Westerveld said. “It’s football and you have to think about yourself sometimes, not about emotions or difficult situations. I have been a red and now I’m a blue. All I can do is do my best and hopefully the fans will back me up. I don’t think the fans ever forget, but if you play well, they make your time easier.”
The Dutchman, who won the FA Cup, League Cup and Uefa Cup with Liverpool in 2001, went straight into the team at St James’ Park, and conceded two goals despite a positive performance from Everton. It was the same story the following week at West Ham, although Everton pulled off a rare draw... and that was it. Richard Wright returned the following week and was preferred by David Moyes, despite the obvious nervousness he conveys to the Everton defence.
And the brief Everton career of Sander Westerveld was over.
Last updated by
Michael Kenrick, March 2006