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[Season Diary]

August 2003

If it happened and it was Everton-related, it's right here in the comprehensive Season Diary.
Items are in reverse chronological order (more recent first). 

Navigate to previous months and seasons using the links directly below:

 August 2003

News Headlines & Features

'Standing still means going backwards'
31 Aug - In an interview in The People this weekend, David Moyes talks about his surprise at the overwhleming attention directed at Wayne Rooney, his acceptance that his second full season in charge is going to be difficult for both him and The Boy, and his expectations for the season ahead. Acknowledging that he might have to do it all again with the same squad, he nevertheless anticipates improving on 7th place. It serves as another reminder that Moyes is Everton's most precious asset and he should be backed to the hilt.

Sheer misery
30 Aug - In the battle of the haves and the have-nots, Everton's recent derby struggles continued as they were torn apart by the horrible red hordes.  Michael Owen scored twice either side of half time after a series of chances for Tomasz Radzinski went begging, and Harry Kewell capitalised on more defensive calamities with ten minutes to go to make it 3-0.  Everton, suffering badly from a lack of quality on the day, had never lost four consecutive home derbies; in their 125th anniversary season, they have now.  Report from Julian Cashen

Moyes lodges Ferguson bid
27 Aug - Everton have announced that they have made a formal bid for Rangers' midfielder Barry Ferguson after Blackburn Rovers apparently ended their interest in the player. Contrary to reports that David Moyes's interest in him had been scuppered by Bill Kenwright, it looks as though the club will make a last-ditch attempt to bring in a dynamic midfielder before Sunday's transfer deadline with a 6m offer.
Is he worth it? Vote now.

Rooney cracker earns a point
26 Aug - Another wonderful goal by Wayne Rooney salvaged a draw for Everton after indiscipline at the back resulted in two goals by Jason Euell from the spot and threatened to condemn the Blues to a second defeat in the Capital.  After Unsworth had brought Parker down in the area, Watson chipped Dean Kiely to make it 1-1 almost immediately.  The second half was barely underway when Yobo caught Hreidersson for Charlton's second penalty.  Midway through the half, though, it was wonderful control by Rooney and a blistering shot that levelled the scores once more.

Moyes won't take a risk on Davis
25 Aug - Sean Davis's much-publicised move to Everton is off after the midfielder failed the second part of a stringent medical today. The 23 year-old was set for a £5.2m transfer from Fulham before the transfer deadline but Everton's medical team were not convinced the player would be fit enough to justify signing him before 31st August, when the domestic transfer window closes until January. The anticipated termination of the move comes amid furious speculation that Moyes has turned his attention to Rangers' Barry Ferguson.

The Space Jam Effect
25 Aug - It is strange to consider that so few players who leave Everton ever go on to achieve much for thier new clubs, and often seem to enter a downward spiral to footbnall oblivion after, in some cases, being Players of the Year at Goodison.  Andy McNabb thinks there may be something in this Space Jam thing; Smith & Knox clearly had a way of sucking the talent out of their players...

Moyes's Boys off to a flyer at Goodison
23 Aug - Everton stormed to a magnificent 3-0 lead in the first home game of the season and although they took their foot off the pedal in the second half it was an impressive first win. After David Unsworth almost scored an own goal, Gary Naysmith latched onto a loose ball 20 yards out and lashed it into the net to score the Blues' first home goal of the campaign.  Then, after 20 minutes a great move ended with Unsworth... goal, in the same corner of the net as Naysmith.  Alan Stubbs rattled the post with a typical piledriver from a free kick before Steve Watson slotted home number three.  The sizeable lead wasn't enough for Moyes to give Osman a run out and Barry Hayles pulled one back for visitors.

No Plan 'B'
20 Aug - Everton have announced that they have shelved plans for a new stadium following the failure of the Kings Dock bid. Head of Communications, Ian Ross, said that while the club will continue to assess potential sites for a future move, efforts to find a new home for the club have been called off indefinitely. The news comes in spite of Bill Kenwright's assurances that a back-up plan was in place and that the cash for the construction of the new ground was 'ring-fenced' — the latter begs the question why, if those those monies exist, can't they be given to David Moyes's transfer kitty instead!

Observatory Suite at The Valley
20 Aug - We have tickets available for an Everton FC hospitality event at the Observatory Suite during next week's game at The Valley.  Club executives see this as an opportunity to network with ESCLA members, London-based fans, and potential club sponsors.  The package includes:
  • Champagne Reception
  • Three-Course Meal
  • Complimentary Bar (Pre- and Post-Game)
  • Match Ticket
  • Programme
The price is 125 including drinks!  If you are interested, please complete our feedback form with your name and e.mail address by clicking on the above link.

Michael Ball Boy Blue
18 Aug - This interview with Michael Ball from yesterday's Sunday Times makes for compulsive if distressing reading. Confirming some of the worst practices that went on at Everton under the Smith & Knox regime, it shows how close Michael Ball came to having his career ended by pain-killing injections administered directly into the troublesome knee tendon that caused him problems in training.

What a Waste of Money
17 Aug - No, for once, its's not another rant from Colm Kavanagh: this litany of Big Dunc's failures comes courtesy of Jamie Jackson at The Observer. He has picked up on the resentment many now feel towards the Big Mistake, as a mysterious "Everton insider" spills the beans on how the giant swaggering pigeon-fancier is viewed inside the hallowed hallways of Goodison Park...

Size of Moyes's task starkly illustrated
15 Aug - The size of the task that David Moyes faces as he bids to elevate his side to European contenders was cruelly illustrated as 10-man Arsenal easily overcame a lacklustre Everton. Sol Campbell's 24th minute red card signalled the end of Everton's slender superiority and stung Arsene Wenger's side into action. They were ahead within 10 minutes thanks to Thierry Henri's penalty for an Alan Stubbs handball, and Robert Pires tucked home the Gunners' second in the 57th minute after Richard Wright had made a double-save. Tomasz Radzinski smashed home with 7 minutes to go to set up a grandstand finish but it never came. Instead, Li Tie was sent off for an innocuous second yellow card as the Blues struggled to match their expensive opponents.

Fulham accept Davis bids
14 Aug - Fulham have announced that they have had two offers for midfielder Sean Davis that are acceptable, one from Everton and one from Middlesbrough. The London club stated that they would give Davis permission to speak to David Moyes and Steve McClaren only after they have completed the signing of his replacement, Claudio Reyna, from Sunderland. Davis, who it is believed would favour a move to Goodison over The Riverside, is carrying an injury picked up in pre-season training so the delay will not unduly affect Everton's preparations for the match-up with Arsenal on Saturday.

Gearing up for the big kick off
12 Aug - With the 2003/04 season just days away, we at ToffeeWeb have a few things to get you in the mood for the big kick off. In association with, we're now offering Everton text alerts for your mobile phone so you can keep up with the latest scores on matchday no matter where you are. It's also a great time to have a flutter on Blues' title chances at BlueSq — sign up and you get a free £10 bet. Just click on the ad on the right of the page to get started. Finally, as well as regular Viewpoint articles, there is now a ToffeeWebLog that is updated every day or so with the inane ramblings of the Webmaster.

Can you hear me now?
11 Aug - Leon Osman continues to knock loudly at the first team door after grabbing a hat-trick in the Reserves' season opener at Bolton.  The 21 year-old picked up where he left off last season and guided the Blues to a handsome 4-1 win.  Andy Holden fielded a strong line-up that included Kevin McLeod, Niclas Alexandersson and Lee Carsley; reported new Youth Academy signing Patrizio Pascucci didn't end up playing. Alan Moogan was the other Everton scorer while Derek Niven was on target for Wanderers.  Report by Steve Milne.

Campbell out for a month
11 Aug - Kevin Campbell's hamstring injury will put him out of action for a month, just as the season is about to kick off. The blow plunges Everton into an injury crisis for the beleaguered strikeforce, with Wayne Rooney only on the verge of being match fit, and Duncan Ferguson suspended for three matches after his stupid elbowing against Villa. But David Moyes is at least expected to make his first new signing of the season: Patrizio Pascucci, the 17-year-old Italian trialist from Lazio who was deemed to be not good enough a month ago, will be given a two-year deal.

Everton 3 - 0 Bologna
10 Aug - After Bologna's arrival from Italy was delayed by technical difficulities with their plane, and the kick-off was put back to 5pm, Everton got off to a good start with Radzinski netting after 19 mins. But Campbell was withdrawn after just 11 mins, giving Chadwick a chance to impress, which he did with a well-created second goal. Pembridge added a third five minutes into the second half, in front of a rather poor crowd of just 13,624.

Treading Water
9 Aug - With virtually no money to spend and a domestic transfer market that remains over-priced, David Moyes has been unable to bring in any new faces this summer to build on last season's success.  That surely means that consolidation in the top half of the Premiership will remain the primary focus in the club's 125th Anniversary season while we all secretly hope that the young guns for whom we've been clamouring for the past year can light a fire under a pedestrian midfield and inspire us to another unlikely challenge for European qualification.  Lyndon Lloyd takes a look at the prospects for the new season in his annual preview.

Young guns stake their claim
8 Aug - Nick Chadwick and Leon Osman found the form that pushed them to the brink of the first team at the end of last season as they scored the goals in an Everton XI's 3-1 win over League of Wales side TNS. Chadwick grabbed the first two goals and Osman made the game safe with the Blues' third, while Richard Wright came through his first 90 minutes unscathed after recovering from a shoulder injury. All three should be in contention for a place in the squad to face Arsenal next weekend.

Show me the Money!
7 Aug - No, this is (thankfully) not another knee-jerk plea for action from the Everton Board on behalf of David Moyes... Peter Fearon instead is responding to the idea floated earlier this week that fans should cough up 1,000 each into a new transfer fund for the Club. Peter asks a lot of good questions and puts up four ideas for sustained improvement in the Club's revenue streams.

The White Pele
6 Aug - Forget the doom and gloom of some meaningless pre-season losses... Instead, spend five minutes reading this superb piece prepared by Jon Gard as a record of some brief moments he spent talking to Colin Harvey. This man is Everton to the core. It's his testimonial on Sunday, against Bologna at Goodison Park. What better way to salute a humble king amongst Everton legends than getting yourself there and saying your thanks in person to the White Pele.

Roda JC 2 - 0 Everton
5 Aug - A number of players were missing from the Everton squad playing Roda JC tonight in Holland but, nevertheless, many players who you would expect to be first choice on August 16th turned out in a 2-0 defeat.  Radzinski and Campbell drew another blank up front while Moyes made good use of his substitutes, but couldn't prevent a third successive friendly loss.  First-half goals by Soetaers and Cristiano were enough for the Dutch hosts.

4 Aug - Defying speculation that such events were extinct by virtue of their extreme rarity, Duncan Ferguson has scored the opening goal for an Everton XI that beat Southport in a Liverpool Senior Cup tie at Haig Avenue tonight. The other goal was scored by Nick Chadwick, who was later substituted by Italian man of mystery (as in "Why is he still playing for us?"), Patrizio Pascucci.  Everton now progress to the semi-final stage.  Click headline for a report by Steve Milne.

Does Moyes need some extra backing?
3 Aug - Patrick Hart summarizes the thinking that is backing up an increasing feeling of frustration amongst Evertonians as each week passes without significant progress on team strengthening. Yet it was David Moyes himself who said this just two short months ago:
We dont have many players out of contract, which means theyll be staying at the club. Well work with them as much as we did do last year and hopefully get the best out of them.
"A lot of them showed what they were capable of last season.
"It's going to be difficult to match our finish next season. Most people would think it is going to be tough but that is our objective. No squad has improved as much as we have in one season and our next job is to get even higher. But there is no reason why we can't do that.

Preston NE 1 - 0 Everton
2 Aug - Will David Moyes be worrying about another disappointing friendly defeat (evidently, yes), close on the heels of the poor display at Dundee United midweek, despite the manager selecting a fairly strong line-up to face his old club Preston North End today? Kevin Campbell partnered Tomasz Radzinski up front, Li Tie got another run-out in midfield despite being no closer to becoming a permanent signing, and Steve Simonsen was between the posts but they could not stop the home side getting the plaudits thanks to a scrambled goal by Richard Cresswell just after half-time.

Moyes threatens to gets tough
1 Aug - David Moyes was none too pleased with the performance of some of his players in the lacklustre loss to Dundee United at Tannadice on Wednesday.  He says that some players "ruled themselves out" of tomorrow's game at his old club, Preston.  Pre-season games results don't matter? But the way you play obviously does!


Snippets & Rumours

Martyn on board
31 Aug - Bill Kenwright promised money would be spent before tomorrow's deadline so you can't accuse him of lying now that an astounding 500,000 will be spent on 37-year-old goalkeeper, Nigel Martyn (subject to a medical).  Questions will be asked whether spending the cash outweighs the usefulness of Steve Simonsen...

Moyes confirms Carew interest
29 Aug - Everton have confirmed that they are interested in Valencia's towering striker, John Carew, who is also a target of Rangers. David Moyes has until 5pm on Monday to bring in the new faces he is searching for.

Gerrard heads to Bramall Lane
29 Aug - Paul Gerrard has joined Sheffield United on a three-month loan after falling to third in the pecking order at Goodison Park.

Rooney targeted by refs?
27 Aug - David Moyes plans to complain to the FA's chief ref, Philip Don, about the way referees are picking on The Boy booked in two out of three games so far...

Trialist heads to Goodison
27 Aug - It seems as though Rennes midfielder Philippe Delaye has been on trial at Blackburn this week and he's now on his way to Bellefield after Graeme Sounness decided not to persue his interest.

Youth teams start with wins
23 Aug - Everton's youth teams started with wins against their respectieve opponents from Aston Villa, 3-1 to the Under-17s, and 1-0 for the Under-19s.

Bellefield replacement by 2006
21 Aug - Knowlsey planning officers have recommended that plans for Everton's new soccer academy in Halewood be approved next week, subject to Everton adopting an emergency plan in the event of leaks from a chemical plant next door.  Everton hope to start in 2004 and finish by the summer of 2006 "at the very latest."

Gravesen has 'outside chance'
20 Aug - Thomas Gravesen has an outside chance of being fit for Saturday despite picking up a knee injury in Denmark's 1-1 draw with Finland. (Will we see Leon Osman against Fulham if he doesn't make it then?). Elsewhere, Tobias Linderoth was sent off as Sweden crashed 2-1 at home to Greece. Pembridge and Naysmith were in action for Wales and Scotland, respectively.

Everton Res 2 - 4 Newcastle Res
20 Aug - Wayne Rooney scored his first ever goals for Everton Reserves (yes, hard to believe, but true nonetheless) but could not prevent an adverse scoreline against the Barcodes in the first reserves game at Haig Avenue.

Manchester City game on PPV
20 Aug - The home game against Kevin Keegan's Manchester City originally scheduled for 6th December has been put back to Sunday the 7th at 2pm for live screening on Premiership Plus.

Davis talks delayed again
20 Aug - Claudio Reyna's demands for a pay-off from Sunderland are delaying his move to Fulham, with obvious consequences for the Sean Davis deal. It actually suits Everton who want to spin things out as late as possible so that the injured midfielder can pass his medical.

Boomerang is back
19 Aug - Alex Nyarko is on his way back from China after failing to agree terms for a loan deal before their transfer deadline tomorrow. And Moyes is not happy that he took 2 weeks out there, wasting time that could have been used to hawk him around to other potential suitors.

Davis situation close to resolution
19 Aug - According to the Echo, Everton's Head of Communications, Ian Ross, says that the Sean Davis deal will be "cut and dried one way or the other within the next 36 hours" after Claudio Reyna's tax issues were apparently resolved and his move to Fulham all but tied up.

Rooney set for Reserves run-out
19 Aug - Wayne Rooney will be named in the team for Everton Reserves' home game against Newcastle United on Wednesday as he bids to build up his match fitness after an injury layoff.

McLeod signs for QPR
18 Aug - In a definite "Moyes knows best" move, Kevin McLeod has been allowed to join QPR for 250,000. Let's hope the money is used for someone who will improve the midfield.

24-hours to decide
17 Aug - Alex Nyarko is close to a decison on a loan spell with a club in the Far East... but only until December.

Blues draw Stockport at home
16 Aug - Everton will play Stockport County at Goodison Park in the second round of the Carling League Cup. The tie will be played the week commencing 23rd September.

McLeod set for QPR
15 Aug - Fans hoping that Kevin McLeod could provide some much-needed width to the Everton team this season will have to pin their hopes on McManaman after the club accepted a £300,000 offer for the 22 year-old from QPR. McLeod is in London today discussing personal terms.

Li Tie for free?
15 Aug - This story from China Daily  sheds some more interesting light on the make-up of the complex deal that enabled Li Tie's career to continue at Everton.

Moyes admits Jeffers interest
15 Aug - David Moyes admits on the Official Site that Francis Jeffers is a player he would consider bringing back to Goodison Park to address the current striker shortage and speculation is rife that he will approach Arsenal with a proposal of a one-year loan with a view to a permanent deal next summer.

Moyes aims high
14 Aug - "My aim is to win the championship with Everton, there is no point in going into a new season saying you would be happy with 10th place or something like that." Read the full interview at

Chapuis turns up, sods off
14 Aug - According to Everton, Marseille striker Cyril Chapuis arrived at Goodison Park this morning but immediately informed the club that he didn't want to go through with his trial after all.

Pre-Season in Samoa?
14 Aug - David Brand, the English-born head of the Samoa Football Federation, has said that Everton are negotiating a partnership with the Pacific island nation with the aim of developing the game there.

Another Davis bid rejected
13 Aug - Everton have had another bid for Sean Davis it looks a lot like the first rejected as Fulham want to play chicken with the transfer deadline...

Arsenal game on beam-back to GP
12 Aug - Everton's season-opener against Arsenal is going to be beamed back to the Jumbotron at Goodison Park on Saturday. Entrance is 5 for kids, 10 for adults — apologies for the erroneous prices we posted yesterday.

Gemmill out for Six Weeks!
12 Aug - Scot Gemmill has torn a thigh muscle in training and is set to miss the first six weeks of the season.

Li Tie finally signs
12 Aug - A complex deal for the signature of Li Tie on a three-year contract has finally been concluded by Everton, after months of negotiations that included a Chinese real estate company loaning money to the Club!

Rooney passes his driving test
11 Aug - As if David Moyes needed more worries for The Boy's safety, Wayne Rooney has just passed his driving test and got his first set of wheels, a Ford Sportka, presumably through some partnership with the car-makers his manager would no doubt prefer him to drive something a little more solid.

Campbell a doubt for season opener
10 Aug - Kevin Campbell will have a scan on the hamstring he damaged just 11 minutes into the friendly against Bologna to determine the extent of the injury.  He will surely be doubtful for next weekend's trip to Arsenal.

Jeffers sees Red
10 Aug - Changing the name from Charity Shield seems to have had an impact on Franny Jeffers, who saw red when he kicked out at Philip Neville in today's Community Shield game that Manchester United eventually won on penalties.

Nigeria insist on Yobo
8 Aug - Nigeria are expected to insist on the presence of Joseph Yobo in their squad to play a friendly against Japan just four days into the new season.  David Moyes is not happy...

Injured duo continue their recovery
8 Aug - Wayne Rooney has been given the go-ahead to resume full training as he bids to be fit in time for next Saturday's season opener at Highbury. Meanwhile, Richard Wright has been named in the reserves squad for tonight's friendly against Welsh league side TNS.

Marquee de stade
7 Aug - Everton have been given permission to erect a marquee outside Goodison Park near the Dixie Dean statue where they will offer VIP packages on matchdays in an effort to raise further revenue.

Carney with the Latics
7 Aug - After being released by Everton at the end of last season, Australian youngster David Carney is training with Oldham Athletic.

Moyes expresses goalie frustration
6 Aug - David Moyes is unhappy that both Paul Gerrard and Steve Simonsen have failed to impress him so far...

Borrows a bit bitter
5 Aug - David Burrows, once of Everton, belies his Liverpool origins with a right old moan at the state of football as retires from the game.

Fox Sports schedule Arsenal game
1 Aug - US-based Blues will get the chance to see the thus-far unchanged Everton take on the similarly transfer-shy Arsenal at Highbury on 16th August. The match will be screened "as live" at 12pm ET / 9am PT on Fox Sports World; coverage in Canada for 12:30pm is yet to be confirmed.

Don't Panic... DON'T PANIC
1 Aug - Steve Watson does a fine job of convincing everyone at the Daily Post  that there is no need to panic over Everton's lacklustre pre-season form and the absence of any new faces.  All very reassuring...


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