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Sinclair (56') (0-0)  
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West Ham v Everton:
Prior League Games
 Overall  
 West Ham 20
 Everton 16
 Draws 12
 Premiership
 West Ham 2
 Everton 3
 Draws 3
 Last Season:

West Ham 0-2 Everton


 

Despite an impressive display against Leeds at the weekend, Tobias Linderoth was relegated to the bench and replaced by his compatriot Niclas Alexandersson, who scored in Everton's 2-0 win in this fixture last year.

Thomas Gravesen and David Ginola again had to be content with places on the bench while Jesper Blomqvist was awarded the wide-left berth and Lee Carsley partnered Scott Gemmill in central midfield.

The opening exchanges were scrappy but Everton started reasonably enough, forcing two corners in the first quarter of an hour and providing Kevin Campbell with a shot that was charged down by Repka.

For the home side, the pace of Frederick Kanout was an ever-present threat and he led a quick counter-attack on 18 minutes but was denied by a superb saving challenge by Lee Carsley.

Two minutes later, Kanout fed Sebastian Schemmel in the area whose deflected shot hit the bar and flew over with Steve Simonsen beaten.  Not long afterwards, di Canio was the recipient of another Kanout layoff and his shot also went over off an Everton defender.

A relatively conservative Everton were not without their own chances.  Carsley had the first effort on target saved by David James before Blomqvist broke into the area but curled wide and over.

However, West Ham continued to carry the greater threat and Simonsen had to be alert to save well from Trevor Sinclair on 32 minutes.  A minute later, di Canio was again the danger man, chipping just over the bar.

For the Blues, Blomqvist was by far the more enterprising and he had a good opportunity to score right on half time but put his shot the wrong side of the post.

Everton were unchanged at the beginning of the second half but were nearly a goal down within seconds of the restart when Simonsen mis-kicked badly and Pistone had to clear for a corner.

10 minutes later they were 1-0 down when Joe Cole's shot deflected off Sinclair and flew in past Simonsen to put the Blues in deep trouble.  Gravesen, Linderoth and Ginola began warming up immediately as Walter Smith at least appeared to be thinking of making some changes.

His hand was forced minutes later when Kevin Campbell limped off with what looked like an aggravation of his already-strapped up left knee and the Everton captain was replaced by Ginola.

Six minutes later, Linderoth and Gravesen replaced Alexandersson and Carsley in a double substitution as the manager played his remaining cards as the Blues' quest took on the air of a cup match.  Unfortunately, the team failed to rise to the urgency of the situation with familiar impotence in the final third.

With time ebbing away, the Hammers introduced Richard Garcia for Schemmel and then Jermaine Defoe for Kanout just a minute after the latter had fired into the side-netting.

 



M A T C H    F A C T S
 Sports Match Info  
  FA Premiership 2001-02, Game 29
7:45pm  Wednesday 6 March 2002
Upton Park, East London
Referee:  Barry Knight
Att:  29,883
Position: 15th
Line-ups Subs not used
West Ham James; Pearce, Dailly, Repka, Winterburn; Schemmel (78' Garcia), Cole, Sinclair, Labant; Di Canio (c), Kanoute (82' Defoe). Hislop, Minto, Kitson.
Everton: Simonsen; Pistone,Weir, Stubbs, Unsworth; Alexandersson (66' Gravesen), Carsley (66' Linderoth), Gemmill, Blomqvist; Radzinski, Campbell (60' Ginola). Gerrard, Clarke. 
Unavailable:  Ferguson, Hibbert, Naysmith, Pembridge, Watson (injured); Nyarko (on loan). 
Playing Strips Formations
West Ham: Claret & Blue shirts; blue shorts; claret socks 4-4-2
Everton: Royal Blue shirts; white shorts; blue socks.  4-4-2
  Yellow Cards Red Cards
West Ham:   --
Everton: Blomqvist (38') --


Premiership Scores
Tuesday
Arsenal   1-0 Derby 
Blackburn   3-0 Aston Villa
Sunderland   1-0 Bolton
Wednesday
Chelsea   3-2 Fulham 
Leeds   2-0 Ipswich 
Sotton 1-1 Middlesbro
West Ham 1-0 Everton 
Liverpool   1-0 Newcastle 
Man Utd 4-0 Tottenham
Saturday
Leicester   1-1 Charlton 


Premiership Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Man Utd 61
2 Arsenal 60
3 Liverpool 59
4 Newcastle 55
5 Leeds 48
6 Chelsea 47
7 Aston Villa 41
8 Tottenham 38
9 Charlton 38
10 West Ham 37
11 Fulham 35
12 Southampton 35
13 Middlesbrough 35
14 Sunderland 34
15 Everton 30
16 Ipswich 30
17 Bolton 30
18 Blackburn 29
19 Derby 26
20 Leicester 18
After 9 Mar 2002
M A T C H     R E P O R T S
Everton Web Sites
ToffeeWeb Match Summary
EvertonFC.com Match Report
When Skies Are Grey Match Report
From The Terrace Match Report
Blue Kipper Match Report
Everton Fans' Reports
Robin Diabolical
Julian Cashen We were lucky to get Nil
Links to Other Media Reports
Electronic Telegraph Match Report
BBC Sport Match Report
FA Premier Match Report
Sky Sports Match Report
Sporting Life Match Report
SoccerNet Match Report
The Guardian Match Report
The Independent Match Report
The Times Match Report
Liverpool Echo Match Report
Daily Post Match Report


Match Preview

We visit Upton Park unbeaten in the last 4 games problem is, I can't quite remember when we last won a Premiership game...

The 5-0 hammering of West Ham early this season is beginning to take on a very surreal look, with the slightest concept of scoring four goals in 45 minutes looking increasingly dreamlike.

In last year's game at Upton Park we witnessed the emergence of Tony Hibbert who's extremely promising debut saw him get chopped in half by Stuart Pearce and earn the penalty that sent us on the way to a 2-0 win.  I think the loss of him and Steve Watson has been a genuine blow to us recently.

Whilst Clarke has done a sterling defensive job, he has carried little attacking threat.  Perhaps, in a few of the games where we have dominated possession, a more progressive fullback may have given us a better cutting edge and would certainly have stretched the opposition more.

On that basis, the news that we could have Naysmith and Pistone available for this game, and that Watson has resumed training, is promising.  I have heard very little about Hibbert's injury.

West Ham are not on the greatest run themselves.  Like us, they have been in the midst of some dreadful away form that puts pressure on their home performances.  Injuries are also biting on them with Carrick having been out for a while and The Don now likely to miss the next ten months!  However, they have won their last three at home and are unbeaten in their last seven home Premiership games.

Upfront, they have the talkative, media-crazy Di Canio with whom we have been linked in the particularly rumour-mongering press.  Di Canio has amazing ability but he has shown little this season let's hope he doesn't choose this game to remind us of what he can do...

Kanout missed Saturday's game against Villa personally, I hope he misses this one as his pace gives them a great outlet.  And young DeFoe would Smith be letting him play as much? is finding goals slightly harder to come by recently.

Joe Cole is quality but, too often, the end result of his play is disappointing.

And what about us?

Well the back line is functioning excellently.  The key to our survival is how fit Stubbs and Weir stay.  With those two at the back, I genuinely feel we will not lose that many.

Midfield?  Again, perm four from about eight!  I really want to see Carsley and Gravesen play together in the middle but Smith seems intent on sticking with Gemmill.  In which case, I would play Gravesen on the right and leave him to deal with Sinclair probably West Ham's biggest attacking threat.

Upfront:  Radz and Kev to go again.  Radz looks better all the time.  Kev quite simply doesn't and the return of Dunc (even given how poorly he has played this year), or the promised signing, is eagerly awaited.

I think this could be a good game.  West Ham are not blessed with pace at the back and, if their midfield forget the defensive duties, as they can do, I think Radz could get at them if he can develop some strength to hold the defender off, then he could become a little gem.

The Blues to sneak it one nil and, I must be crazy, Kev to hit that winner!

BlueForEver



Diabolical

by Robin

Tonight, we were diabolical.  I can't think of a stronger word without swearing.  The general concensus in the away end was that this was by far the worst EVER Everton performance that any of us and the 'us' spanned several generations have seen.  Think Crewe at home and divide the minutes of fluid attacking play by 10.  It was really, really bad.  

We managed one effort on goal all game.  That trickled 5 yards wide and James could've thrown several caps on it if he hadn't been so busy pissing himself at how shite we were.  Campbell had half a header at goal, but I'm loathed to call it an effort as it barely made the distance from 12 yards to James' hands.  That was it.

West Ham were shite that's the problem.  They were panicky and all over the shop, but the same problems that have bugged us all season were only too evident.  Lack of width, numbers & height in the box, pace, invention you name it, we lacked it.

We all know where the blame lies the Board are responsible ultimately for the 15 years or so of neglect granted but Walter Smith has signed, coached and picked this team and it's tactics and it's ALL wrong.  If you were there tonight, you wouldn't kid yourselves that he's been hampered by the board / injuries / bad luck, you'd have seen before your very eyes a clueless, dire football team.

Again, so many things team and tactically were wrong.  Gemmill tries and had a good second half to last season, but he's not good enough - certainly not as good as Gravesen and shouldn't start ahead of him.  It was crystal clear in November that we needed another forward to supplement KC, Radz & Dunc, but instead we've spent 3M on Carsley & Ginola, who are no better than what we have in positions where we're fairly well off.  That money should have been punted on someone we're now going into the last 10 games with Radz and nobody up front.

I was totally against getting rid of Smith before the end of the season, I felt that it would be too unsettling for the club.  Truth is, it can't get any worse than it is.  A new manager *just* might get that bit extra out of some of the players.  He *just* might recognise the desperate need to sign a forward tomorrow (something we've said on here since before Christmas).  He *just* might save us from the drop.  *Just*.

The situation is this.  We WON'T get anything at Arsenal, Newcastle or Chelsea - please don't kid yourselves on this one, we won't.  Which means we need to win at least 3, probably 4 of our last 5 games.  Anyone fancy a wager on that? I don't care that we do play Bolton, Leicester and Blackburn at home - we couldn't beat Crewe at home remember? We've also only got one striker left.

What I saw tonight left me angry, heartbroken and totally resigned to one unswerving fact.

We are shit and we are not good enough to stay up.  The only question that possibly remains is:

Are we bad enough to go down?

Cheers,

Robin



We were lucky to get Nil

by Julian Cashen

Everton travelled to West Ham last night for a crucial mustn't lose match. They lost.  This latest shameful embarrassment, at a ground where we traditionally do well, takes our record away from Goodison this season to a miserable one win, that on the first day of the season, with six draws and a humiliating seven defeats

Don't read on if easily offended!!

Women, children, those of a nervous disposition, Walter Smith apologists and those who believe the team should never be criticised, should stop reading here.  It gives me absolutely no pleasure to say that in my time as an occasional contributor of match reports this will be by some way the most scathing. Because, make no mistake about it, we were spineless, passionless, clueless.  

We wouldn't have scored a goal if we'd played all night and I can't imagine David James needed to bother with a shower after the game, so untroubled was he for the 90 minutes.  Nor, to be fair, were West Ham much better, their total fluke of a goal being a fitting way to settle a sterile match between two desperately poor teams.  This is what passes for entertainment in the nether reaches of 'the best league in the world' and my only consolation was that working in the City I had managed to get myself 'invited' to the game.  

For the fans who travelled down, and paid full price for their ticket (mine was 38) this performance was nothing less than an insult with virtually no incidents worthy of a cheer between kick off and the final whistle.  Supporters of both sides were reduced to applauding their defenders for adroit back passes, and at the end we had the unedifying spectacle of West Ham's two best players, Di Canio and Cole, wasting time by playing keep ball in the corner.  An absolute shocker of a match.

The Setting - The Boleyn Ground

West Ham are constructing a great little ground, without moving to a new site.  I was in a fine seat right on the half way line in the new main stand, with an excellent view of the pitch.  Unfortunately these new stands still totally fail to have adequate toilet facilities - why??? - and the change to the ground is totally at the expense of atmosphere, which could best be described as funereal.  No doubt most supporters have been priced out of going to the game, although the temporary situation of having the pitch some 20 or 30 yards from the stand hardly helps.

The Line Up

The Official Club website had spent Tuesday talking up Naysmith's chances of playing - needless to say he was missing.  Why do they continue to treat supporters as idiots? Anyway as ever my heart sank as Unsie was announced as left back - we're far better with Pistone left and Clarke right in my opinion. To be fair the selection of Alexandersson right and Blomqvist left could be regarded as a positive move, albeit one that failed to come off.  However, to my immense annoyance, our best midfielder, Tommy Gravesen, was left warming the bench while Gemmill and Carsley lined up in the middle.  Up front, Not So Super and Radzinski.

The Match

In an absolutely awful game, we had two half chances in the first half, both of which Blomqvist created for himself, cutting in from the left.  The first, he got over excited and blazed well over.  The second, he dribbled a pitiful effort past the post.  Other than that there is virtually nothing to say about the game other than it was settled by a scrappy fluke of a deflection about which Sinclair knew absolutely nothing but celebrated like he'd just scored the goal of the season.

Performances: Keeper and back four.

Simonsen had no chance with the goal and did what little he had to do with confidence and authority.  In front of him the back four were rock solid and easily neutralised the threat of Di Canio and Kanout.  The full backs, however, failed to get forward to support the wide men, and Unsworth - well, sorry, but I can't see how he gets in the side.  Like Paul Gerrard he has proved by numerous costly lapses over the years that he is not up to playing at this standard, but, again like Gerrard, it seems he will need to perform GBH on one of our own players to be finally dropped once and for all.

Midfield

This is where things are all wrong.  At last we have options as to whom to select but Smith's blind faith in some players - Gemmill - and his treatment of others, is baffling.  The Carsley situation is typical.  Bought presumably to replace Gravesen, who Smith hoped to force out - perhaps hoping that the players' similar appearance would cause fans not to notice - Smith is in the embarrassing position of sticking with the new signing while leaving our best midfielder on the bench - a shameful case of putting personal feelings before the interests of the Club.  

Meanwhile Linderoth already has the hallmarks of an Idan Tal type signing - starts in his first few games, now reduced to sub appearances playing out of position on the right.  Having bought him, Smith has apparently decided he doesn't fancy him.  On the right Alexandersson did absolutely nothing of any note prior to his substitution while Blomqvist had at least one or two bright moments.

As a unit however the midfield totally failed to function.  Carsley revealed himself as a Division 1 journeyman, neither tackling, nor working hard for the team, or making a decent pass all night.  Gemmill at least ran around a lot but never does anything creative.  Alexandersson proves game after game that he is not good enough, carrying absolutely no threat at all.  If Gravesen isn't in the team for the rest of the season barring injuries, it will be an absolute disgrace.  Who to choose alongside him is difficult but I'd go for Linderoth.  But for sure the midfield we had last night will just never produce enough chances for the strikers to enable us to win matches.  We need people who will get the tackle, win the ball, play a decent pass.  Last night nobody did any of these things.

Strikers

Devoid of service, our first choice striking combination was totally ineffective.  I like Radzinski, but he needs good passes into the space behind the defenders to exploit his pace.  He didn't get one decent pass last night.  He ran about a bit but he might as well have saved his energy for all the good it did him.  As for Not So Super, to be fair, he never had a sniff of goal but linked play reasonably; however the injury looked a serious one and frankly if he misses the rest of the season this will just save a lot of embarrassment.  The Captain's legs just seem to have gone and he is not half the player who burst onto the scene three years ago.  

As to Ginola, when he came on, he seemed to be on a mission to prove that it is after all possible to find a more ineffective front man than Campbell.  He was hopeless, and showed exactly why a shrewd manager like Gregory felt he was not up to the Premiership any longer.

Overall

A display lacking in spirit, endeavour, skill and imagination.  As even Smith has admitted, we got exactly what we deserved from a dog of a game which should have been eminently winnable.  All these players were brought to the Club by Smith, we had a near first choice line up, and produced this desperate offering. Smith can no longer abdicate responsibility and nor can Kenwright.  

After four years without the faintest hint of progress, the vast majority spent in the lower reaches of the league, Smith now has to go at the end of the season whether or not we stay up (I believe we will) with Davy Jones favourite to take over.  Supporters can only take so much and this performance was dross of the first order and a disgrace to the name and traditions of the Club we all support with such fervour.

 



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