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Everton 1 - 1 West Ham United

Half-time: 0 - 0

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FA Carling Premiership 2000-01 – Game #18
3 pm Saturday 16 December 2000
Goodison Park, Merseyside
Att: 31,246
« Manchester City (a) Ref: Clive Wilkes Charlton Athletic (a) »
[ Matchday Calendar ] League Position: 14th [ Results &  Table ]

Hero to Villan  

In recent matches against the eastenders, Everton have been working hard to redress the imbalance 'Appy 'Arry masterminded when he sold us a bill of goods in the form of Slaven Bilic, then Danny Williamson... and finally, charged us a good wedge for one of our own David Unsworth.  

But Everton were unable to continue an impressive run against the Hammers that has brought 11 goals in the last three games, with no reply.  It was always going to be a tall order after last week's dbcle at Manchester City... but this is football anything can happen on the day...  

Everton started brightly, with Stephen Hughes taking matters into his own hands with a couple of good shots early on.  But the fleeting glimpses of what once constituted lively, exciting, attacking, end-to-end English football soon gave way to today's all-too-common midfield morass.  

With no way around it, the Everton defenders resorted to going over the top in traditional route-one hoof-ball fashion.  Campbell won his fair share against the close attentions of a somewhat less than fair Stuart Pearce, but the lay-off balls were rarely picked up by Danny Cad.  

Which brings us to the headless chicken himself.  Fully involved... and fully ineffective.  He cannot beat his man, he fails to look up, he hardly ever looks for support.  So when something he tries actually comes off, it's a big bonus.  

The game was marred by poor weather leading to poor passing, although one good move ran right through the heart of the Hammers, with Pembridge blasting narrowly into the side netting.  

The second half was a continuation of the first, with the Hammers coming more into it, but Everton still having moments of promise.  Gravesen, was behind a few of them, with no cause ever given up as hopeless.  One nice move led to a corner as Campbell failed to get a clear header on goal.  And from Hughes' corner, a powerful Watson header flew goalwards.  It was going in, but Danny deflected it fractionally past the Hammer on the line, and was given the credit.

At 1-0, there was still no clear winner, with West Ham giving it everything, and Everton defending solidly... until Watson found himself doing the thing every coach has apoplexy over: dribbling along your own 18-yd line!!!  And the inevitable happened: Kanout pounced Goal. 

I'll say this for the Frenchman: what a contrast to Cadamarteri.  The problem with a headless chicken is it has no brain.  The striking thing about Kanout is that he has a footballing brain in abundance.  And the skill to match.

The only outfield substitute was Niclas Alexandersson, the disappointing midfielder who has flattered to deceive so far this season, finally returning after injury.  

The second substitution came in a what has become a rarity of the modern game: a sporting sacrifice where Di Canio admirably refused to take cynical advantage of an injury to Gerrard that left the troublesome Italian with almost an open goal.  

But Di Canio chose to catch the ball in his hands rather than head it into the net, and earned an instant ovation from the Goodison Park crowd, and at least a week of fawning praise from the fickle footballing press...  Simonsen came on for literally the last 10 seconds of the game.



EVERTON: Cadamarteri (75')
West Ham United: Kanout (85')
   LINEUPS  Subs Not Used 
EVERTON: Gerrard (92' Simonsen), Steve Watson, Weir, Hughes, Pembridge, Ball, Naysmith, Gravesen (86' Alexandersson), Gemmill, Cadamarteri, Campbell.
Cleland, Ferguson, Gascoigne, Gough, Jeffers, Nyarko, Pistone, Xavier (injured).
Unsworth, Moore, Tal.
West Ham United: Hislop, Stuart Pearce, Song, Ian Pearce, Sinclair, Lomas, Winterburn, Lampard, Carrick, Di Canio, Kanoute. Potts, Suker, Diawara, Tihinen, Bywater.
   Playing Strips  Formations
EVERTON: Royal Blue shirts; white shorts; blue socks. 4-4-2
West Ham United: Claret & blue shirts; claret shorts; blue socks. 4-4-2
   Yellow Cards  Red Cards
EVERTON: Cadamarteri (22')
West Ham United: Kanoute (29'), Lomas (78').
Sports.Com Detailed Match Stats and Full Match Commentary  

Mickey Blue Eyes 'Appy 'Arry's 'Appy Christmas
Colm Kavanagh Two steps back
ELECTRONIC TELEGRAPH Di Canio catches mood
by Trevor Haylett
THE SUNDAY TIMES The perfect gent
by John Aizlewood
THE TIMES Di Canio's good deed prompts mixed feelings
by Oliver Kay
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 'Appy 'Arry's 'Appy Christmas
Mickey Blue Eyes

Incessant rain.  Forgive the bad pun but doesnt it piss you right off?  Theres no reason why we should expect a good game of footy in these conditions.  Yet, stoic to a man and woman, we do.  Nobody ever makes allowance for the effects of weather in a Brit footy match.  And Im no exception.  Were all as mad as a drunk ostrich. 

There was a good pre-match gathering of cognoscenti in the Black Horse.  Remarkable isnt it how opinions can vary as widely as the gauge on your barometer this winter.  Only the innocent can sit in the middle, head swivelling as verbal tracer flashes across the top of emptying beer glasses.  Otherwise you sit at the end or with your back against the wall and empty a magazine at your opponent.  

Theres no time for niceties here la. Kill or be killed and NEVER let the pot girl take yer glass until its empty.   Or until a true gentleman like Fogsy tells her in consummate unassuming style, Its alright, gerl.  It isnt beer left in it.  Its a gob I couldnt keep in.  Nice one, Fogsy. Ill recommend you to Tarantino next time I see him.

So to the match.  Seven minutes before the kick off and GP was half empty.  At the time of writing I dont know the gate but eventually it looked as though it hadnt reached thirty thousand.  Which warning the club better address even allowing for Christmas and the incredible head long rush for your average punter to indebt him/herself up to his bollocks and her, erm, navel.  

I believe this represents the season which might well break a lot of patience, let alone wind.  Fans arent exactly saying enough is enough but they are beginning to look and sound tired of what they see.  Much more of it and we may well get a quiet haemorrhage.  Anybody who blames them isnt living in the real world.

Me, Im a foot soldier like everybody else who turns up week-in and week-out to puzzle at Smiffys latest team selection.  No point asking me why it happens, it just does.  Pretty soon well have found a suitable replacement for Dunneys Weekly Howler:  Smiffys Weekly Rubik.  

This time, for some reason, The Gravedigger played and Alex Nyarko was AWOLwell, not much different there, then, ey, not really.  Im also thinking of running a competition called Find The Yozzer.  I know every time I look around the pitch he doesnt seem to be there.  H G Wells, eat yer heart out, la!

The latter observation looked decidedly catty in the first five minutes because said Yozzer got in two first class efforts on goal.  On a less propitious opening they might have startled a passing constable or a duck in Stanley Park lake.  But Shaka (why the FUCK was the lad lumbered with that name?) Hislop was up to it.  This stark assault on our aesthetic sensibilities soon passed.  Gaugin was replaced by Andy Warhol and/or Piet Mondrian.  Oh well.  Nice while it lasted.

Then the game settled down to more instantly recognisable midfield mediocrity and eventually Arrys Boys got themselves back into the game.  There were of course liberal helping hands from ourselves.  Chief amongst these was The Gravedigger, who now cuts an apparent hapless figure wherever he plays.  Mark Pembridge or Scott Gemmill would win the ball and give it to him.  There was something uncanny in the way he managed to immediately transfer possession to a gleeful Ammer.  In a week where there has been much talk of a peaceful transition of power here was the clearest example you could wish for.  That he went to the right wing was only fitting. The doors on your right! I shouted at one point.

A minor compensation was the way Bally looked like he was completely involved, gesturing, encouraging, tackling well and making a lot of good short passes.  This has probably ensured he plays in goal next week.

Up front, SuperKev was well and truly snuffed by a big centre back somebody told me was named Ian Pearce.  Danny did his level best to break through but, as usual, never did.  Ill give this to Danny: he has you on the end of your seat wondering which fucking way hell go.  But since he doesnt appear to know either, somebody like owl arse Stuart Pearce can just wait to stick a knee in him at the required height and hes out of it.  Its years since Ive seen such a maddening player.  In my part of the Lower Gwladys Street End, grown men can be seen tearing off large areas of scalp and tossing them into the air, though I might be mistaking this for the steak-and-ale pies.

Chief feature of the first half was the unceasing efforts of Kanout to play basketball and wonder why the ref questioned his right to do so.  How he didnt get booked remains a huge question to rival the one currently under consideration in Florida.

And so the staccato first half wound to an end with large proportions of the ground already queuing at the bar, one desultory eye on the TV monitors and the other making sure the servers didnt stick their thumb in the Bovril.  Anyone who wants to know why the English will always be completely useless at service could study footy ground bars with profit.  The strident cry of, Whos next? could be heard all over the place.  Venture to tell the questioner that they're PAID to fucking KNOW who's next and you get looked at as though youve just arrived from the planet Zog.

In the second half, Arry must have got as pissed off as the rest of us because he sent di Canio onto the left wing where he proceeded to run Stevie in circles.  Not very difficult this since we all know he has one foot nailed to the floor most of the time anyway.  A steady stream of wicked crosses and corners homed in on Paul but to everyones amazement he went for and got most of them.  

Paolo is of course his own worst enemy.  I have seen some temperaments in my time but Ive never seen one like a spaniel.  Youre constantly unsure if hes going to cry, stamp his foot or swerve one into the top right hand corner.

Our goal came late on in the Street End after the ball pinged around in the box and went out for a corner. Yozzer punted it up into the air and Stevie bulleted it in from just outside the box and Danny got a head on it close in.  This brought the entire bench out from both sides with everybody gesturing formations, switches and pointing to various parts of real estate which the players seemed unaware of.  This might be understandable where visiting players are concerned.  Ours havent got the same excuse since weve been playing on a steadily reducing area for the last three years.

Their equaliser came when Stevie tried a wonderfully innovative dribble across the right hand edge of our penalty area and lost it in a scramble of Ammers who couldnt believe their luck.  Kanout smacked it home without hesitation from about ten metres.  I say innovative but actually The Gravedigger had tried something similar about three minutes earlier and di Canio hit it narrowly over.  Nice to see Stevie learns his lessons well.

In the last minute, with the Ammers pressing for a winner, Paul sprinted out of goal left side and went down badly outside the penalty area.  While he was on the ground, and with the goal wide open, the ball got crossed to an unmarked Paolo who well, cynical you isnt gonna believe THIS immediately pulled it down with his hand sos Paul could get immediate treatment.  The entire ground looked like itd been buggered with a brass loofah before breaking into a storm of grateful applause.  Paul got carted off, Simonsen whey hey came on and the ref blew his whistle for the end of the game.

So now weve got another injury.  Oh well.

On the way out, two lads behind me swapped opinions.  One said, That Di Canio was amazin the way he did that wasnt he?  Had a good game too.  There was a pause while his mate gathered up his articulation before replying.  Yeh. Another pause.  Twat of a game though.  Bang on la, bang on.

Outside, the rain had virtually disappeared and it was quite chilly.  The crowd dispersed quickly. Come the New Year, how many will be back?

   Up to Reports Index ]
 Two steps back
Colm Kavanagh
I thought we made a great start, and we could well have been a goal to the good in the opening minutes, with Stephen Hughes going close.  From early on, you had the impression that West Ham were there for the taking.  If we could pinch an early goal we could possibly go on to hammer three or four past them... It wasn't to be as the game deteriorated into a dour encounter. 

We look toothless as an attacking force at present.  No wonder that Francis Jeffers remains our leading player in efforts on goal (according to the Carling Opta boffins).  Where was the creativity?  Has it disappeared with the inches removed from either side of the pitch?  

All too often the game was one of pinball in midfield, balls ricocheting off players everywhere.  One thing that did strike me early on was that Kanout looked like Paolo Wanchope.  But with a degree of strength, purpose and no little skill.  Yes, he did use his arms on more than one occasion but what a threat he proved himself to be.  It was to cost us dearly later...

I found myself increasingly baffled by Walter Smith's constant shuffling of the pack.  How many positions did Stephen Hughes play in the first half?  Thomas Gravesen?  Will Hughes now become a goalkeeper?!  Scot Gemmill remained anonymous for the entire game.  

Some of Davey Weir's distribution of balls coming out of defence was shocking.  Without thought.  He did it on numerous occasions.  But he's one of the sacred cows on the team and above criticism.  Ditto Tommy the Gravedigger. He was terrible on the day and once or twice left his calling card after a lunge.  It's going to hurt us at some stage of the season if he persists with tackling like that.  Be warned. 

Mark Pembridge evoked memories of Gareth Farrelly and the School of Aimless Shooting.  Arie Haan he ain't.  There was one move in the first half when Pembridge advanced into the Hammers' half.  The so-called West Ham defence parted like the Red Sea did for Moses Pembridge advanced...  The crowd rose...  Then Pembridge realised who he was and where he was.  Something didn't feel right and the moment passed a cracking goal-scoring opportunity not taken.  Have we a fear of shooting on sight?  Must we try to walk the ball into the net?

In the second half, I found myself increasingly frustrated with our defending.  Not the back four as such, but the team.  Where is the logic in eleven men being in or around our penalty box when the opposition have a set-piece?  Kevin Campbell, looking a pale shadow of his former self, was so often to be found standing on the arc of our penalty box.  Our furthest advanced player.  Now this happened again and again and again.  

Hello Walter... HELLO! 

If I can see it, if the people around me can see it, then why not you?  Keep him up on the half-way line on the off-chance that one of our big hoofs up the park remains in play and not in Row Z.  The lack of thought in our play at times was terrible.  I was extremely thankful we were facing a stale-looking Hammers side and not a quality one... We would have been torn to shreds!

The main talking point of the day was to be the actions of a certain Mr Di Canio.  I don't believe he would have scored myself but it was nice to see the Goodison crowd rise instantly in appreciation of fine sportsmanship.  Take a bow, Paolo.

Chant of the day?  Had to be the Hammers once again (as we don't sing anymore).  Their continuing whisper of "Sssssshhhhhhh" said it all really about our lot and our ground.  Too quiet by far these days...

So 1-1 it finished, two points dropped.  Frustration, the mood around Goodison.  We've taken, I think, not one but two steps back this season.  The team looks lost at the minute... but all it takes is one committed performance, and a win, to turn things around.  We can only hope that day comes soon as trouble ain't a million miles away... An eight- or nine-point cushion from trouble is not a comfortable one.  It's a potential problem that's best nipped in the bud before grave thoughts fester over the winter months................

   Up to Reports Index ]
The perfect gent
by John Aizlewood, The Independent

SPORTSMANSHIP is a rare quality these days, most probably it always was.  But one moment of sublime decency by Paolo Di Canio yesterday showed that it exists in the Premiership.  In stoppage time of this dull draw, Everton goalkeeper Paul Gerrard sprinted from his area and into Frederic Kanout, causing a knee injury.  As he lay prostrate, Trevor Sinclair, breaking no laws, crossed into the area towards Di Canio, who seemed likely to score.  The Italian caught the ball rather than play on.  The whole ground stood and applauded: not a response Di Canio has previously elicited.

"He's taken some abuse in his time," said Everton manager Walter Smith, "but you have to give him a great deal of credit for that."

"It was unusual wasn't it?" said a not wholly delighted West Ham United manager Harry Redknapp.  "I thought he was going to score.  It was good sportsmanship but you don't know if anybody would do it for us."

Even before Di Canio's moment, the spirit of Christmas had descended upon Everton rather too early.  Mortified by his rearguard's festive gift of five goals at Manchester City last week - the worst result of any team under his stewardship Smith scrapped the players' fancy dress Christmas party in favour of extra training, before forcing his players to sit through a video of the Maine Road horror show.  Ultimately, though, with Richard Gough out until the New Year and Alessandro Pistone without even a provisional return date, only David Unsworth and knee injury victim Alex Nyarko were not given an immediate opportunity to make amends.

Eager to exorcise their demons, Everton began like a pre-Hatfield express train.  Within the first minute Stephen Hughes was smartly found by Mark Pembridge and his 25-yard drive warmed Shaka Hislop's hands.  Soon Hughes would again go close and Kevin Campbell would head Thomas Gravesen's corner wide.  Yet whenever the Londoners breached the halfway line, usually a result of Steve Lomas, Everton hit the panic button hard.

Di Canio and Kanout are probably too individualistic to truly gel, but Kanout had the measure of Michael Ball from the 14th minute, when he cheekily rounded him twice in the penalty area before shooting across goal.  Everton nullified Di Canio by bringing Hughes and Gravesen back from midfield.  The summery opening drifted into winter tundra.  Lomas lost his range, while Everton seemed relieved that their flimsy floodgates had not been breached.  They did, however, have the first half's best chance, in the 33rd minute, when Ian Pearce slipped while intercepting Scot Gemmill's through-ball. Stuart Pearce's saving tackle prevented a certain Campbell goal, but the ball fell to Pembridge on the edge of the six-yard box.  The Welshman almost broke the side-netting.

After the break, Everton briefly toyed with Hughes as a wide option.  West Ham began to impose order on a cluttered midfield.  Nigel Winterburn began to overlap along Everton's deserted right flank and Frank Lampard and Michael Carrick started to engage themselves.  In the 50th minute, Kanout hurtled through the inside right leaving Ball and David Weir trailing.  Only Steve Watson's headed interception prevented Di Canio scoring.

These were, however, moments of faux joy until the 74th minute when Everton sneaked a rare corner.  Hughes hit it high towards the back post, where it was met by a firm Watson header which brushed Danny Cadamarteri on its way past Hislop.  West Ham swarmed forward and equalised 10 minutes later when Watson intercepted a Di Canio pass in the penalty area.  Kanout robbed Watson, swivelled and fired past Gerrard.

"If we'd have been on the front foot, we'd have got three points," said Redknapp.

"I'm disappointed we let the lead slip," admitted Smith, "but after last week this performance was something I was looking for."

After that, though, there was only Di Canio.

Report Times Newspapers Ltd

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 Di Canio catches mood
Trevor Haylett, Electronic Telegraph

PAOLO DI CANIO'S demonstration of sportsmanship yesterday was remarkable in that he passed up the chance to snatch a late winning goal for West Ham with Everton's goalkeeper, Paul Gerrard, lying injured and out of contention yards from his area.

Trevor Sinclair's cross with seconds remaining found the Italian on his own in the area and with the chance to volley the ball in.  Instead, Di Canio, who two seasons ago was forced to serve a lengthy suspension after he pushed over referee Paul Alcock, caught the ball, pointing at the stricken Gerrard.  Rightly, Goodison Park rewarded him with sustained applause.

Defeat at that stage would have been especially cruel on an Everton side who drew a veil over their hammering at Manchester City by taking the lead through a Steve Watson header which appeared to brush Danny Cadamarteri on its way into the net.  With seven minutes remaining Frederic Kanout pounced on a Watson mistake to equalise.

There was a recall for Cadamarteri as Everton reverted to a two-man attack.  An obvious benefit was to be gained from trying to keep the ball as far away from their defensive domain as possible.

Stephen Hughes, another to be promoted from the substitutes' bench in the wake of last week's shambles, began with a first-minute drive that proved an early warmer for Shaka Hislop's palms.  The corner that resulted was then headed high by Watson.

West Ham countered with a spell that produced chances to shoot for Frank Lampard and then Kanout.  Neither could find the target, but the warning for Everton was evident should they push on too many men.

The Merseysiders continued to contrive half-chances, though they could not mask the lack of imagination that gripped them the closer they came to the 18-yard area.  They lacked width, especially down the right where Thomas Gravesen's leanings are towards the infield.

After 20 minutes he unleashed a hard ground shot which Hislop was behind all the way.  No fingers could be pointed at the Everton effort to which Mark Pembridge contributed a considerable amount.

The Welshman almost broke the deadlock before half-time when, having seen his initial pass to Kevin Campbell intercepted, he pounced on the loose ball only to hammer it into the side netting.

If Everton could make better use of Campbell's strength and control the afternoon promised to hold something of significance for them.  Similarly, one felt, West Ham's route to prosperity lay with the imposing figure of Kanout, who had the beating of Michael Ball when permitted space to turn and run at the Everton defender.

The Frenchman was presented with the best opportunity when, in the 63rd minute, the ball shot through to him at three-yard range following Nigel Winterburn's dash down the left.  Kanout seemed to be taken by surprised by the offering and could not apply meaningful contact.

Just before that, Gravesen took advantage when Di Canio contrived to lose possession.  His cross found Campbell, but the striker got under the ball and his header missed the mark.

Report © The Electronic Telegraph

   Up to Reports Index ]
 Di Canio's good deed prompts mixed feelings
by Oliver Kay, The Times

IT WAS always going to take something extraordinary to complete the final stage of his transformation from sinner to saint, but Paolo Di Canio achieved it on Saturday.  With one incredible act of sportsmanship he relegated his infamous clash with Paul Alcock to a mere footnote in his career.  

The West Ham United forward had Everton at his mercy when, in the final minute of stoppage time, with the Everton goalkeeper lying injured 20 yards from goal, Trevor Sinclair crossed to him on the edge of the penalty area.  Rather than volley the ball into the near-empty net, as a player of his technique surely could have done, Di Canio caught it in his arms and raced over to examine the extent of the injury to Paul Gerrard.

The outrageously Corinthian gesture earned Di Canio a moving ovation from the Goodison Park crowd, who rose to a man to applaud his actions, but attracted only bewildered looks from his manager, Harry Redknapp, and team-mates.  Steve Lomas, the captain, said: As skipper, I did go up to him and ask him what he was doing.  He just said it was a spur-of-the-moment thing.  You have to hold your hands up and say fair play to him.

Few players have had to deal with the level of notoriety that Di Canio earned while with Sheffield Wednesday.  His push on Alcock, the referee, brought him a 12-match ban in September 1998.  It seemed certain that it would be his last act in the English game, but instead it was merely the end of one ugly chapter in his life.  Invigorated by a transfer to West Ham, when nobody else would consider enlisting his services, Di Canio reinvented himself as a lovable rogue, even if his latest gesture did not seem to endear him to Redknapp as much as to the home team and supporters.

Walter Smith, the Everton manager, appeared to be more than grateful to the Italian for sparing his a team a third successive defeat. For a player who has taken a lot of abuse for some of his actions since he has been in England, he deserves an awful lot of credit for what he did, although maybe Harry doesnt think so, Smith said.  It was a nice thing to do with Paul injured, although the injury wasnt quite as bad as we first feared.  Hes just twisted his knee.

Di Canio declined to comment a superstitious type, he has vowed not to be interviewed while West Ham remain on an unbeaten run which now stands at eight matches but Lomas offered a further insight into Redknapps reaction. Scores level, last minute; the gaffer had a point.  How would Kevin Campbell have reacted?  The truth is you dont know how youd react until youre in that situation. Lomas said.

A draw was the right result for such an even contest, which never lived up to the expectations brought on by an exciting start.  After a couple of near-misses at either end, Danny Cadamarteri headed Everton in front in the 75th minute, but Frdric Kanout scored a fine equaliser after a mistake by Steve Watson.

Di Canio then ensured that an otherwise forgettable match would live long in the memory and that one of the games most complex characters will ultimately be remembered as a nice guy.  Who would have thought it?

Report © Times Newspapers Ltd
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