<% Dim oCs, oRs, strSQL set oCs = server.createobject("ADODB.Connection") oCs.Open "Driver={Microsoft Excel Driver (*.xls)}; DBQ=" & Server.MapPath("/season/02-03/data") & "/premtable.xls;" strSQL = "SELECT * FROM [Summary$] ORDER BY Pos ;" Set oRs = oCs.Execute(strSQL) %> ToffeeWeb: Everton v West Ham United, Premiership Season 2002-03
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 FA Premiership (30); Goodison Park, Liverpool; Saturday 15 March 2003; 3:00pm
 
 
 
Attendance: 40,158
Halftime: 0-0

Facts
Reports



Referee: Mark Halsey
 

Match Summary

Goodison Park welcomed back Tony Hibbert,  who has not figured since the Anfield derby back in December, with Pistone making room as he suffered a knock in training.  McBride starts in place of Campbell but, apart from that, though, no other changes, which seems disappointing particularly for Leon Osman who is overlooked yet again in favour of the usual suspects in midfield.

Radzinski got in an early header off a Gravesen cross but it was straight at James, who launched a quick counter that nearly set up Everton nemesis, Les Ferdinand.  Then a free-kick that Stubbs drilled but it went for a corner after 5 mins as Everton pressed forward.

Gravesen combined well with Radzinski again but he could not get the ball past James as Everton kept probing with a serious of dangerous balls into the area in the first 15 mins.

But a stalemate then set in and a scrappy first half started to unfold, with little or no linking or flowing moves as both sides failed to hold possession or do anything meaningful with it.  In fact, it degenerated into a really poor exhibition for what is often hyped as the most exciting league in the world.

The second half desperately needed something, but David Moyes's inexplicable reticence with substitutions persisted as he failed to bring on Wayne Rooney at half-time.

An early scare for Everton as Stubbs nearly scores an own-goal, the ball rolling just wide of the post.  Radzinski was then blocked by Rebka fairly, said Mark Halsey.  Moments later, Ferdinand was through but Wright took the ball off his toe.  The threat of a triple substitution from Moyes suddenly seemed to raise the tempo, with Sinclair getting an open chance on goal that was saved well by Wright. 

Then the triple substitution: Rooney, Li Tie and Campbell given the responsibility to change the game.

Great goalmouth action with Radzinski first firing well and seeing it clawed away; then Rooney being blocked as they fought to get the game moving.  Rooney then took the ball down the side and beat Johnson well, threatening more to come...

Watson then tried to do a Radzinski but his shot was dreadful.  Campbell, Radzinski and Li Tie combined well but the shot from Li Tie was poor. 

The football was a lot better, but was it too little, too late yet again?  Hibbert's superb cross was headed just wide by Stubbs.  Campbell and Radzinski combined but Radz shot too early.  Rooney then trying to do everything, Gravesen to Rooney and his tight-angle shot was vitally deflected away for a corner.  12 mins left: pressure, pressure, pressure...

A welcome sight was Ferdinand coming off without scoring, but Everton still had everything to do if the fine words about the Champions League were not to be in vain.

Radzinski looked like he had hamstring problems but he stayed on as the minutes ticked away...  A final corner came to nothing.  Rooney and Gravesen then combined for what must be the last chance, but defenders have figured out already how to block the efforts of the young wunderkind.  

The game fizzled out to a very, very disappointing conclusion.  Goodbye Champions League.



Wayne Rooney: Given more time this week, but the Wonderkind was still unable
 to dodge the blocks 


Everton v West Ham:
Prior League Games
 Overall  
 Everton 33
 West Ham 9
 Draws 7
 Premiership  
 Everton 7
 West Ham 1
 Draws 1
 Last Season:

Everton 5-0 West Ham



Premiership Scores
Saturday 15 Mar
Aston Villa 0-1 Man Utd
Blackburn 2-0 Arsenal 
Charlton  0-2 Newcastle 
Everton  0-0 West Ham
Fulham  2-2 Sotton
Leeds  2-3 Middlesbro
Sunderland 0-2 Bolton
Sunday 16 Mar
Man City 0-0 Brum
Spurs 0-0 Liverpool 
West Brom 0-0 Chelsea 
 


Match Facts
 Everton   (4-4-2; 56': 4-3-3)
 Blue shirts, white shirts, blue socks
 West Ham United  (4-4-2)
White shirts, light blue shorts and socks
  Wright
Hibbert
Weir {c}
Stubbs
Unsworth
Watson
Gravesen
Gemmill (57' Li Tie)
Naysmith (57' Campbell)
Radzinski
McBride (57' Rooney)

Subs not used:
Gerrard, Yobo

Yellow Cards: Gravesen (44'), 
Hibbert (62')

Red Cards:


Unavailable:

Injured — Linderoth, Pistone
Unfit — Ferguson
On Loan — Chadwick, Clarke, Nyarko
James
Repka
Carrick
Sinclair
Defoe
Lomas
Pearce
Ferdinand (83' Dailly)
Johnson
Brevett
Cole {c} (87' Cisse)

Subs not used: van der Gouw,
 Breen, Moncur 

Yellow Cards:

Red Cards:
 
Match Reports

Everton Web Sites
ToffeeWeb Match Summary
EvertonFC.com Match Report
When Skies Are Grey Match Report
Blue Kipper Match Report
Everton Fans' Reports
Steve Milne Disappointing Blues Fail to Impress
Links to Other Media Reports
Electronic Telegraph Match Report
BBC Sport Match Report
4 the Game Match Report
Sky Sports Match Report
Sporting Life Match Report
SoccerNet Match Report
The Observer Match Report
The Guardian Match Report
The Independent Match Report
Liverpool Echo Match Report
Daily Post Match Report
Premiership Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Arsenal 63
2 Man Utd 61
3 Newcastle 58
4 Chelsea 51
5 Everton 50
6 Liverpool 49
7 Blackburn 46
8 Charlton 45
9 Southampton 43
10 Tottenham 43
11 Middlesbrough 41
12 Man City 41
13 Fulham 38
14 Aston Villa 35
15 Leeds 34
16 Birmingham 32
17 Bolton 29
18 West Ham 27
19 West Brom 21
20 Sunderland 19

After 17 Mar 2003



Match Preview

So, here we have it; the un-Happy Hammers at home.   Along with Villa (home) and West Brom (away), this game stands out as one of those where we now have to grab the 3 points.  We'll pick up points elsewhere too, but the enemy are starting to win a few now, and we must keep mixing it with Chelsea; this is a must-win!

A bald, thumping, Lee Carsley header was enough to confine West Ham to another home defeat back in October, and was part of the solid six-game winning run that saw the pride flood back into our beloved club.  That was no fluke; to be going into this match 4th in the table is testament to a great season.  However, as David Moyes reminded us recently, unless we finish with a flurry, there'll be a few 'what might have been' groans in the pubs on Walton Road on the last day of the season.  Seventh position just doesn't seem acceptable now.

The manager has respectfully stuck to the rule of keeping a winning team together but with us crucially failing to take all 3 points on offer at The Riverside 'red-hair-we-don't-care' has the option to change it around a bit.  I hope he does!

The big question is will The Moyesiah stick to one of his beloved Scottish prodigals, Gemmill, or go for a more energetic midfield duo fuelled by Gravesen and the battling Bruce Li?  I would certainly give this one to the Dane and Bruce, as Gemmill's patient approach would only ease the pressure on a still very youthful West Ham midfield.  I say Moyesy has to enforce his high-energy policy and stamp our game firmly on the away team from the first whistle.

This should also be the first home game for a long time where Kev will partner Radz from the off.  SuperKev had an indifferent appearance at Boro but at home I'd like to see their mix of cleverness and pace unleashed on West Ham's rocky defence.

Our own defence will need to stem the flow on Saturday.  It's not what I'd call dodgy not by a long way but goals at the right end are disguising a lack of clean sheets of late: we have conceded 4 and scored 4 in our last 3 games.  This is a key area of the park the ever-nimble Defoe can be a threat with the right service.  Yobo handled him well in October but is unlikely to be in the starting line-up yet again.

Talking of dodgy defences... Gary 'I can't even tackle a rod' Breen finally played in West Ham's first team last weekend.  This ex-World Cup mercenary chose to openly snub an offer from us last summer and can't expect a Champagne reception.  Kev, Radz and a sell-out Goodison will be his living nightmare. 

And what will Glenn and Co offer going forward?

Firstly any manager that doesn't play Les Ferdinand at Goodison should be sent off for psycho-analysis.  Clearly, Sir Les is West Ham's best chance of scoring this weekend.  He only had his arm in a sling last time he scored here!  I reported in January that we might have to face the Goodison goal-grabber again, we'd just finished playing Spurs twice and he signs for West Ham; typical!  If he scores on Saturday, that'll be 16 goals against the Blues from one player a record!!  Roeder recently said "As for Les, I use the description that he has been a breath of fresh air especially to Jermain."  Does Defoe smell?

In all seriousness, the signals are that we welcome a poor team on Saturday.  They're not half the side that finished 7th last year and we stormed them 5-0 at home with Gravesen man of the match it was a true blue party!

The only bad omen is that there'll be no West Ham strikers left to catch their crosses this time round.  Stubbsy will have to nod them out because Special Agent Di Canio had another row with his manager.

Will the Hammers mirror a Sheff Wed freefall under Di Canio's curse?  And can EVERTON reside in that well-earned Champions League spot?  YES!

If the mental Dane and Bruce Li disrupt the potential of Lomas and Carrick, I predict 3-1 to the Toffeemen.  Scorers?  For us the 3 R's: Radz, Roon and Rhino (pen), with guess who scoring a late consolation for the Clarets.

Charlie Martin
(London Blue)



Disappointing Blues fail to Convince

Living down here in Ipswich, I get to see the Blues far less than I would like.  Needless to say, having witnessed the other 0-0 bore at Goodison this season against Bolton, I was present and not very correct again for an even more desperate display against Roeder's unhappy Hammers.

Line Up

Our league position virtually exempts David Moyes from criticism.  However, I was baffled by the return of McBride to the starting line-up and by the continued perseverance with Gemmill with the more accomplished Li Tie on the bench.  Good though it was to see Hibbert return, it looked a little soon; to be fair, the news of Pistone's surgery explains this change.  Otherwise, despite Moyes's apparent intention to freshen things up with a few changes, it was as you were.

First Half

Booked: Thomas Gravesen.  No further incidents to report.

Second Half

It was good to see the triple substitution take place early in the half.  This was a radical move on Moyes's part, and really does emphasise the utter poverty of the first-half display.

When we're poor, we can be very poor, and the limitations of the 'wide midfield' players being defenders and particularly when the full backs are the useless Unsworth and a half fit Tony Hibbert result in little or no threat down the flanks.  With Gemmill in the centre, there's not a lot coming through the middle either...  so we're reduced to hoofs in the direction of a striker.  With McBride's consumate inability to hold the ball up, that invariably means lost possession.

Anyway, the substitutes livened proceedings up, but even Rooney appeared to be having an off day, with his first touch deserting him on several occasions.

Probably the nearest we came to scoring was from a Stubbs diving header which went a foot wide.  Other than this, we were mostly restricted to long-range efforts which Calamity James dealt with comfortably enough.  Only a typical Radzinski effort, cutting in from the right, offered him a serious test.  On other occasions, our shooting was just woeful; Li Tie shanked one horribly of his shin pad when well-placed, and Watson made a poor effort at a finish, the ball hitting his standing foot after some good work to get into the position for the shot.

Really, that's all there is to be said about it.

Verdict

While others complain about fixture congestion, I'm sure our current form isn't being helped by the stop-start nature of our season at present and we have another two-week break looming...  Given the season we've had, and how far above expectations we've performed, this just goes down as a bad day at the office.  However, after maintaining a top-six position since November, it would now be a huge disappointment if the season were to end in anti-climax.  We go into a tough run in in pretty poor shape.  Moyes, however, will no doubt have had some strong words to say, and a game against the stuttering Champions has to be big enough to lift the players.

Let's hope for an unlikely double over the Gunners to keep us above the other lot.

Come on you Blues.

Julian Cashen



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