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Blackburn Rovers Logo

Blackburn Rovers 2 - 1 Everton

Half-time: 1 - 0


Everton Logo
Pre-season 2000 Friendly #2
3pm Saturday 29 July 2000
Ewood Park, Blackburn
Att: 10,808
« Dundee Utd (a) Ref: Eddie Wolstenholme Preston North End (a) »
[ 2000-01 Matchday Calendar ]
 MATCH SUMMARY
Lots to ponder for a deliberative Walter Smith as he considers the problems created by a rag-bag of players who are still failing to gel on the field.

New signings Niclas Alexandersson and Alex Nyarko featured in this one along with Thomas Gravesen and Paul Gascoigne, but Alessandro Pistone was not risked due to an ankle injury.

The match was anything but friendly, with Blackburn and Craig Short (!) determined to prove a point against the still-rusty Premiership "giants".  Matt Jensen gave them the first-half lead, with only Thomas Gravesen doing anything worthwhile for the Blues as the defence was all over the show.

Wholesale changes again at half-time saw a more determined Everton performance but that man Jansen struck again inside 2 mins, fooling the new Everton "goalie", the very poor Steve Simonsen with a simple header (Tommy, please don't go!).  

Then the match flared up when Thomas Gravesen went mad with a series of very tough tackles that earned him a yellow card.  He and Nathan Blake then squared up to each other, the Ref deciding that the abrasive Danish hardman was to blame, and off he went.  (Check out the video at BRFCS - 4.8MB .mov file). He risks missing the first three serious matches against Leeds, Charlton and Derby making this one a bit of a sick joke.  [Note: on appeal, the direct red card was reduced to a second yellow card, and a one-match ban Ed.]

Danny Cadamarteri made the scoreline slightly more respectable after 56 mins, with an easy chance.


  

 MATCH FACTS
   GOALSCORERS  
Blackburn Rovers: Jansen (15', 47')
EVERTON: Cadamarteri (56')
   LINEUPS  Subs Not Used
Blackburn Rovers: Filan, Curtis, Bjornebe (45' Taylor), Flitcroft, Short (45' Harkness), Dailly, McAteer, Dunn (39' Johnson), Blake, Jansen, Duff. Ward, Ostenstad, Carsley, Broomes, Kelly.
EVERTON: Gerrard (46' Simonsen), Xavier (72' Jevons), Ball (46' Unsworth), Gough (46' Dunne), Weir, Pembridge (60' Gemmill), Alexandersson (46' Nyarko), Gravesen (60' Sent Off!), Jeffers (45' Moore) S Hughes (46' Cadamarteri), Gascoigne (46' M Hughes).
Unavailable: Pistone, S Watson, Cleland (injured); Myhre (in limbo)
Milligan, Degn.
   Playing Strips  Formations
Blackburn Rovers: Blue & white shirts; white shorts; blue & white socks. 4-4-2
EVERTON: Yellow shirts; blue shorts; yellow socks. 4-4-2
   Yellow Cards  Red Cards
Blackburn Rovers: Blake (51').
EVERTON: Gravesen (48'). Gravesen (51')

  

 MATCH REPORTS
 REPORTS BY EVERTON FANS
Boose Distinctly Mediocre

Dave Tickner Gravesen Bites Yer Legs!
Sunil's TV Report Duncan the Dismayed
 NEWSPAPER REPORTS
PA SPORTS Gravesen was provoked
by Paul Walker
THE DAILY POST Link to Match Report
by Paul Joyce
THE TELEGRAPH Gascoigne's thunder stolen by Gravesen
by Trevor Haylett
 OTHER INTERNET REPORTS
EVERTON FC Link to Match Report

 
 Distinctly Mediocre
Boose
 
An unsurprisingly mediocre affair... although the fact that Blackburn's season starts a week earlier than Everton's probably (hopefully!) accounts for the better understanding and fitness that they seemed to posses.

The first goal was, as has been reported, taken very well by Jansen who looked lively and dangerous throughout and caused the Everton defence some uneasy moments with alarming regularity.

In fact, Blackburn created by far the better chances in the first half with Paul Gerrard making several really impressive saves.  I was quite impressed with Ball and Gravesen (of whom more later) but the rest, I'm afraid, were (at best) rather anonymous.

Gascoigne did a lot of running and on several occasions showed good vision in seeing available passes but, more often than not, seeing them was not enough; it would have been better if he had accurately executed them!  However, in his case its early days and I saw nothing which made me think he was out of his depth or even that he cannot, from time to time in the future, reproduce some of his old form.

Alexandersson was completely anonymous.  He made himself available frequently but received so little of the ball, was unable to make any impression.  I cant remember Xavier (right back) passing to him, ever!!

Stephen Hughes continues to worry me.  He regularly misplaced passes, won very few tackles and seemed to me, to be the main culprit of the "Its only a friendly, I can't be arsed" philosophy.  I hope this lad makes it, but the doubts in my mind are increasing. Gough and Weir looked fairly secure and Pembridge gave his usual 100% effort, with occasional good results, but generally just not good enough for a regular place in the starting eleven.

Francis Jeffers was more or less isolated in attack; ran a lot, received little service and basically, was hardly involved.

Gravesen; now here is one to watch.

From the first minute, he threw himself into tackles, snarled at everyone and anyone and was the most influential player on the pitch, by a distance.  His passing was generally accurate and he seemed to cover box to box with ease.  Maybe that is indicative of his advanced fitness level but nevertheless, I couldn't help noticing him.

HOWEVER, his style will definitely get him into big big trouble come the start of the season.  I was surprised he didn't get booked earlier in the game with several, err, full-blooded tackles and the Blackburn fans loudly (well quite loudly for 6,000 of them) booed him from early on in the first half.

He struck me as being very enthusiastic and one to raise the others' tempo, but one can only hope that he will quickly learn to calm down a bit.  In my opinion, his sending off was a bit harsh, but I can't say I was surprised.

He was initially booked for what must have been the tenth mistimed tackle and then promptly threw himself into another one.  A bit of a melee ensued during which he kicked out at a Blackburn player.  He did not connect with anyone and I thought it was more of an idle swing of the leg rather than a deliberate violent conduct.

However, walk he did.  By this time though, we were two down and having made so many changes at half-time, we looked all at sea.  Of the replacements worth mentioning, Nyarko seemed OK.

He actually went to centre half after the reshuffle following Gravesen's exit and seemed assured enough and during the fifteen minutes or so when he operated in midfield, looked hard working, comfortable on the ball and an all round good egg.  Mark Hughes went into midfield and actually looked quite good I thought and Danny played his right wing, eyes shut, head down role with usual consistency.

He worked back frequently, usually just as Everton were looking dangerous in and around their box but to be fair, did get one or two decent crosses in and sometimes, even when a yellow-shirted Everton player was in the area. I don't think he will ever learn, but he seems a nice lad and tries hard.

Oh, he also scored a goal.

Unsworth, for me will be remembered only for giving the ball away consistently and, on one occasion, bursting through the static defence, rounding the centre half (Craig Short) dummying the keeper and from about three yards out, right in front of the Everton fans, bringing the ball nicely onto his right foot, (yes, right foot!) and, err... let's not go there, eh?

Gemmill came on for Pembridge with about 20 minutes to go, or at least that's what the announcer said.  I'm not so sure.  In either case, I don't think he troubled the launderer.

Overall, considering it was only the second pre-season game I suppose they were alright... just about.  The ground was about an eighth full on three sides and packed to capacity on the other.  No change there then.


 
 Gravesen Bites Yer Legs!
Dave Tickner
 
There were nearly more Evertonians than home supporters at Ewood Park today.  

Gascoigne did a lot of running while he was on the pitch and to say that he was 'red faced and puffing' after 16 mins is a load of bollocks, which aptly describes Radio Lancashire's commentators.  He sprayed a lot of good passes about and also lost the ball at times, but I was more than happy with his display. 

Of the other new boys on show, Nyarko looked very calm and composed in all he did, but I thought Alexandersson had a quiet game. Gravesen was intent on "biting everyone's legs" and I felt he was lucky not to be booked before he was.  I didn't see exactly what happened for the sending off, but Gravesen fouled Blake and was given a red card.  It then appeared that half the Blackburn team seemed to attack him and when the dust settled, the ref gave him a red and Blake got a yellow card.

Paul Gerrard made two or three FANTASTIC saves, which could easily have been goals, but I felt that, had he come off his line initially to catch the crosses, he wouldn't have had any saves to make. Oh yes, just before I forget, McAteer got a lot of stick from us and after one Blackburn attack finished, he pulled up a leg of his shorts to show us his arse!  

To sum up: a lot of good passing between players, but very little penetration in front of goal.  Sounds familiar, but I think we have a lot stronger squad than last year and the future looks good.


 
 Duncan the Dismayed
Sunil
 
Having seen very brief highlights on TV, I thought I'd pass on what I saw and what Duncan Mckenzie said about the game.

Jansen's first goal was a great strike from the edge of the box on his left side.  It curled over and away from Gerrard before dipping and nestling into the far right of the net, going in off the post.  A great strike!  Lets buy him!  It was the sort of goal that we'd like to see from our strikers!

The sending off of Gravesen looked extremely harsh.  He looks like a very competitive player, but was too eager on this occasion and kicked out aimlessly towards a Blackburn player.  But if the Blackburn players, particularly Nathan Blake, hadn't of reacted so aggressively, Gravesen surely would have got just a booking (was he already booked?) or perhaps a request from the ref to be removed.  It was a spur-of-the-moment kick in the general direction of the ball/player!  But never a straight sending off.  Typically stupid refereeing cos Blake got a yellow despite clearly raising his hands and pushing Gravesen away (Thomas didn't really react which is a good sign).  It was a FRIENDLY ref!  When Blake reacted, it didn't look like a "friendly" game.  Gravesen was probably just too keen to impress, and at least he's a hungry player :)

Jansen's second goal was a neat but firm header which went high into the corner, but the marking was poor and it was a soft goal to concede from a corner.  Simonsen was in goal by this time. 

Cadamarteri's goal came when he stroked the ball into the net with his left foot after the ball rolled out towards him, following a collision between an Everton player and a Blackburn defender.  The goalkeeper was a bit out of position and although there were a few defenders around it was an easy chance.  However, he did well to get there first and remain calm enough to finish.  It's always nice to see a young player score.

Duncan McKenzie, commenting for Sky TV, basically said :

  • Gazza looked slow and gave the ball away 99% of the time, but did well to not react to a few bad challenges 
  • Everton were very poor overall and one-paced 
  • "Very defensive" (then mentioned Alexandersson and Gravesen) 
  • Blackburn had many chances, especially after Gough went off 
  • Jansen had a great game

But what DM missed was that these initial games are primarily to gain fitness, so lets not get too worried yet!  He's obviously not an optimist!


 
 Gravesen was provoked
by Paul Walker, PA Sports
 
Everton boss Walter Smith is to lodge an appeal against any ban on Danish star Thomas Gravesen who was sent off in todays friendly defeat at Blackburn.  Gravesen was dismissed by referee Eddie Wolstenholme after a crazy few minutes in which he had been involved in clashes with Damien Duff, Nathan Blake and Garry Flitcroft before wildly kicking out at another Blackburn player.

Smith said: There was no doubt he should have been booked, but after that initial incident he was not the instigator of the problem. He was then the victim of the aggression. 

Everton claim Gravesen was punched in a melee of angry Blackburn players before he was eventually sent off.  But the Dane who had also committed the first-half foul that saw David Dunn limp out of the fray committed a late tackle on Duff, a wild lunge at Jason McAteer and was then involved in a pushing match with both Flitcroft and Blake before he eventually kicked out following another tackle.

Rovers boss Graeme Souness, who in his old playing days had a reputation as a hardman, said: I dont think the boy can really complain.  If he plays like that in the Premiership hes in for an interesting 12 months. 

It is believed by Everton that Wolstenholmes reasons for dismissing Gravesen will be contradicted by the match video.  

Matt Jansen scored two fine goals for Blackburn, with Danny Cadamarteri pulling one back for Everton who gave Paul Gascoigne another  45-minute run-out before he became one of nine second-half substitutions.  Gazza was involved in much of the play and seemed determined to have lots of possession, but squandered his only chance on goal when he wasted a clear 12-yard opening early on.  

Souness said: There has never been any doubt about Gazzas ability, and if he can maintain his fitness for the next 12 months hell do fine.  I certainly hope it works out for him.  His problems only seen to come when hes injured.  Nobody doubts his ability, but he wont be expected to play every match.  So far its not fair to judge him on just a couple of friendlies.

Report © PA Sport

 
 Gascoigne's thunder stolen by Gravesen
Trevor Haylett, Electronic Telegraph
 
 By Trevor Haylett at Ewood Park

PAUL GASCOIGNE was off the field when this friendly exploded into the kind of nonsense that some Evertonians feared would be an inevitable product of providing the former England international with a final Premiership resting home.

One more chapter: Gazza tries to find his form Thomas Gravesen's endeavours to impress on his second appearance since following Gascoigne to Merseyside saw him sent off early in the second half as Blackburn hung on to their victory.

There were one or two typically incisive passes from Gascoigne, but also evidence that his ability to run with the ball and keep foes at arm's length is a thing of the past. Two goals from Matt Jansen won the day for Graeme Souness's team with Danny Cadamarteri scoring Everton's reply.

First impressions were that Everton had signed two Paul Gascoignes. Gravesen, the 2.5 million signing from SV Hamburg bore a resemblance to the ageing Geordie in height and build and also in the way he tried to cover the midfield acres. The Danish international had a little less hair and little sign of Gascoigne's notorious sense of fun which manifested in an extravagant handshake with referee Eddie Wolstenholme and an exchange of banter. When it comes to playing the fool on a football pitch there can only ever be one Paul Gascoigne.

Gascoigne clearly wanted to be involved from the off, mindful perhaps that manager Walter Smith would continue the settling-in process with another abbreviated demand on his time. Gascoigne took the kick-off and in the fourth minute emerged in the penalty area to claim a clear scoring opportunity.

He had been involved earlier in the move but saw the ball work from Abel Xavier on the right to Mark Pembridge making rapid strides on the opposite wing, courtesy of Gravesen's sweeping long pass. The Welshman was adroit in his control and that gave him the time to roll the ball square to the advancing Gascoigne.

From a distance of just 14 yards it was the kind of chance he once would have put away with disdain but to the disappointment of the Everton contingent inside Ewood Park he scooped his effort high and wide as Jason McAteer moved in to make the challenge.

Gascoigne's neat first-time pass enabled Everton to threaten again through Francis Jeffers only for Christian Dailly to reach the floater from Michael Ball's trusty left boot a fraction ahead of him. Nevertheless there were signs that Blackburn's less patient approach carried the greater threat and they were ahead on 17 minutes when Matt Jansen pulled something spectacular from his vast store of instinctive brilliance. There looked nothing on for him as the young striker took possession just inside the left-hand corner of the penalty area but the left-foot drive packed enough pace and direction to defeat Paul Gerrard's best attempt to keep it out.

Niclas Alexandersson, another of the many summer arrivals at Goodison, was taken off along with Gascoigne at the break as Smith gave a first run-out to Alex Nyarko, a midfield enforcer from Lens in the Patrick Vieira mould.

The aggressive edge which had coloured Gravesen's contribution was a feature bringing increasing grievance to the followers of the home team as the second half got under way. In one particular bout of activity shortly after Jansen had headed Blackburn further in front, the combative midfielder tried and failed to win the ball in a series of challenges that succeeded in aggravating every man in possession.

With his last tackle, a high attempt to rob Garry Flitcroft, the referee's tolerance expired and he cautioned Gravesen. However that was not sufficient for Nathan Blake, who remonstrated with his opponent with a raised arm and the ensuing melee resulted in Gravesen receiving the red card and Blake a yellow.

Report ©
 
 
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