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[Season Diary]

July 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:

 July 2003

News Headlines & Features

Dundee Utd 1 - 0 Everton
30 Jul - Everton were at Tannadice tonight for a friendly against Dundee United, and went down to a single goal by ex-trialist Collin Samuel he cost them just 100,000. Of the young guns, only Leon Osman started, but Nick Chadwick got a chance to push himself forward into the manager's field of vision when he came on in the 57th minute. Peter Clarke also came on after the break.Meanwhile, a very young reserves/youth side drew 1-1 at Rhyl, Patrice Pascucci scoring yet again. Why aren't we keeping this lad on, again?

Pushing the envelope...
30 Jul - David Moyes is quoted in today's Guardian suggesting that The Boy could make a quick recovery from his ankle ligament damage, and may even be ready for Everton's first game of the season down at Highbury on 16 August. Fingers crossed...

Rich pickings going begging
29 Jul - Well, how would you feel if a whole sector of keen young footballing talent was simply being ignored? Everton do not appear to be tapping into the prodigious wealth of latent footballing talent developing in the Emerald Isle. Yes, it's one of Colm Kavanagh's pet peeves... but hear him out; Duff for 17M??? Perhaps he does have a point.

Rooney out for a month
27 Jul - The good news is no sign of a fracture; the bad news is Wayne Rooney, who went over badly on his ankle yesterday after a challenge from Rangers defender, Bob Malcolm will miss the first few games of the Season. Rooney left the field strapped to a stretcher, but an X-ray and MR scan have shown that he has damaged ligaments unable to support the extra weight from all that pie and chips???.

Stubbs with last-minute retribution
26 Jul - The pace of Everton's pre-season preparations stepped up a few notches with a much-anticipated visit to Ibrox, the home of Rangers, Scottish treble winners. Simonsen started in goal, with Duncan Ferguson on the bench. Steven Thompson scored the opener for Rangers after 20 mins, but major concern after 36 mins when Wayne Rooney was stretchered off following a heavy late challenge. David Unsworth leveled things in the second half from the penalty spot. Li Tie then came on and scored a stunner inside a minute, but Mols equalized moments later. With virtually the last kick of the game, Alan Stubbs powered home a free kick to win bragging rights for the Toffees!

Not such good brothers
25 Jul - The Scotsman featured last week an upbeat article lauding the positive connections between Everton and tomorrow's friendly opponents, Rangers.  But Peter Fearon has taken his own look at the recent "links" between the clubs and concluded that the connections hardly amount to anything worth trumpetting.

McCann joins Villa
24 Jul - Aston Villa have secured the transfer of ex-Everton midfielder Gavin McCann for a fee of 2.25M, after there were largely unsubstantiated rumours that he might rejoin the Blues. The general concensus, however, is that he would be no better than most of the players Moyes already has at his disposal. Everton stand to make some money from the deal, with a 25% sell-on clause coming into effect.

Moyes not budging on Li Tie
23 Jul - Despite optimistic reports from the Far East, David Moyes is prepared to face down the Chinese club Liaoning Badao over their excessive valuation of midfielder Li Tie at 1.2M.  If they do not accept Everton's valuation believed to be around 1M then Li Tie will not be playing for Everton this season.

Split Allegiances, Split Fortunes
22 Jul - Pre-season preparations continued tonight with a pair of friendlies, one at Crewe and the other at Rochdale. The Everton squad was split into two fairly even groups, Rooney and Ferguson pairing up at Gresty Road, where the Blues went down 2-0, Radzinski and Campbell helping to take down Rochdale by a single Radz goal after Pembinho had missed a first-half penalty.

Do Not Be Held to Ransom
20 Jul - We've done our best to stoke the fires of transfer expectation by grinding the Rumour Mill to bring you every attributable snippet of speculative nonsense we could find. And it's all been to very little avail so far, with Everton fans showing increasing signs of disappointment at the thought that new faces may be limited to old faces (Yobo, Nyarko, Li Tie...). But Colm Kavanagh (With Age Comes Wisdom?) makes a plea for patience and lauds the refusal of David Moyes to go beyond his self-imposed bidding limits.

Pascucci will not be staying
19 Jul - His goalscoring exploits against Austrian minnows have not been enough to pursuade David Moyes that Patrizio Pascucci, Everton's Italian trialist who came up through the youth system at Lazio, is ready for the big time. At just 17, he is considered to be a little out of his depth; seems a pity... great name, and good-looking (perhaps a bit too much like Ginola!) ... but we must Trust in Moyes.

The Mid-Nineties All Over Again?
18 Jul - The new season is still a month away but with pre-season well underway and the Blues' program of friendlies about to begin, David Moyes is showing little in the way of urgency in adding to his squad this summer. The thought of the same rag-bag midfield starting the new season is enough to send shivers down the spine but is it just down to an unco-operative transfer market and limited funds or is David Moyes resting a little too heavily on his laurels as Joe Royle did in 1995 and 1996?
A reader responds

Bad Goisern 0 - 7 Everton
17 Jul - Some of the Everton senior squad (apart from the Internationals) played in tonight's first friendly match against Austrian Second Division side Bad Goisern. Nick Chadwick scored a hat-trick, trialist Patrice Pascucci got two, while Kevin Campbell and David Weir were also on target. Niclas Alexandersson was substituted in favour of Leon Osman after just 14 minutes, presumably because of injury.  Report from Steve Milne.

Strange message from Moyes
16 Jul - "If Wayne Rooney wants a guaranteed starting position it won't be at Everton." not one of Moyes's smartest quotes, as he struggles yet again to lower the massive expectations surrounding this awsome talent, and to down-play the likelihood of too many starting roles for the youngster in the upcoming season.

Minor groin strain for Rooney
15 Jul - Everton's intensive training regime has had the unfortunate effect of producing an injury to Wayne Rooney's groin that has kept him out of training sessions for a day and a half. But David Moyes says it is not serious, and he should be back in full training in a day or two.

Off to Austria
13 Jul - The Everton squad have departed for a week of more intensive pre-season training at the Obertraun sports training camp in Hallstatt, Austria. In a stunning revelation, David Moyes admitted that "It is another part of the build-up to the start of the season." Moyes has taken the entire Premiership squad to Austria, together with 18-year-old trialist Patrizio Pascuscci.

If You Know Your History
11 Jul - Everton are publishing a new book to celebrate the club's 125th anniversary. Fans placing advance orders for the 160-page photo-feast (25 plus P&P) can have their name (or that of a more deserving Evertonian!) included in a Roll of Honour to be printed in the book when it comes out in September.

Bid for Davis Rejected
9 Jul - David Moyes probably expected little else when Fulham rejected out of hand his initial 3.5M bid (rising to 5M with add-ons) for Sean Davis.  Will Davis himself agitate for a move at a fee somewhere between this an the 7M asking price?  Or will David Moyes now turn his attention to Charlton's Scott Parker?

Thinking the Unthinkable
7 Jul - With the rumour of a 30M offer for Rooney from Chelsea's new money, many Evertonians will find it unpaletable to even begin to consider the faint possibility that, at some time in the future, Everton could face a real dilemma over the temptation to cash in on the raw and fantastic talent that is Wayne Rooey. Colm Kavanagh remains surprsingly calm and candid in his painfully realistic contemplations of such scenarios...

Rooney's agent under serious threat
6 Jul - That's what the wonderfully sensationalist News of the World would have us believe, with serious claims that gang families in London and Liverpool have been targeting Paul Stretford, the highly successful football players' agent. The story makes a big play about the Rooney connection, but the direct threats appear to be focused on Stretford at this time.

McLeod accepts 12-month deal
5 Jul - Saying that he was never going to leave Everton, Kevin McLeod has confirmed his acceptance of a contract extension that will expire in June 2004. Does the 22-year-old have what it takes to get into the senior squad pool on a reguar basis? At least David Moyes is prepared to give him a chance to prove himself.

Forgive and Forget as Nyarko returns
3 Jul - Well, that's the theme as Alex Nyarko reappears at Bellefield it's God's will, after all. Is his mind in better shape this time? You can read/listen to this interview at the official website and reach your own conclusions on that one... If David Moyes can get this man back on the field in a Blue shirt and playing his heart out for Everton, he truely will be the Messiah.

Leeds now sniffing a Li Tie deal
1 Jul - Li Tie's loan deal with Everton officially ended yesterday and he became a free agent, with no clear sign that Everton can secure a permanent deal for a reasonable price since Liaoning Badao want at least 1M for the Chinese midfielder. But is there really any meat to this Daily Post conjecture? Or are they doing their usual line of putting the frighteners up Everton fans, considering the importance of Li Tie to the Kejian sponsorship deal???


Snippets & Rumours

Rodrigo No-Go
30 Jul - Peter Reid has decided not to take on Brazilian midfielder Rodrigo, who's one-year contract with Everton was ruined by a knee injury.

Sounds familiar...
29 Jul - One-time Everton player, John Oster has made just seven League starts for Sunderland since joining from Everton in a 1M deal four years ago.

Cycling and Swimming
29 Jul - Wayne Rooney has been given a programme of cycling and swimming work to keep him in shape while his ankle ligaments heal.

Call for reinforcements
28 Jul - Nick Chadwick and Leon Osman have received the call to head north and bolster the Everton squad for their next friendly at Dundee United on Wednesday.

Nyarko flies out...
27 Jul - ... to China, and meetings with a couple of clubs who may be willing to take him on board at least through December.

Yobo class for Nigeria
26 Jul - Yobo played some classy football for Nigeria today as the Super Eagles beat Venezuela in a friendly. But it sounds like the marketing men screwed up: the game was played in Watford, in front of less than 1,000 people.

Liegh RMI 1 - 1 Everton Res
26 Jul - Everton reserves played to a 1-1 draw at Leigh, with Leon Osman getting on the scoresheet again.  Alex Nyarko did not appear in the squad, prompting more speculation about his Everton future...

About time too... or it would be!
25 Jul - Scotland's Daily Record reports that Duncan Ferguson could lose the Everton team captaincy after failing to prove his fitness this summer. David Moyes on the Official Site, seems to think differently about everyone's favourite money sponge.

Midfield injuries
25 Jul - Lee Carsley and Mark Pembridge are rated doubtful for tomorrow's friendly at Ibrox.  Joseph Yobo will miss the game due to an international call-up with Nigeria for a friendly against Venezuela on Saturday.

Nyarko slapped down
24 Jul - Build him up... then slap him down... Strange and possibly ominous treatment of the "unknown" African from the Everton camp. Nyarko will not be travelling to Rangers.

Lazy local jurnos wrong again
24 Jul - 40 Years since Everton last played Rangers?  That's what is reported as fact in tonight's Echo.  I wonder how Dave Watson feels about that, considering who were the opposition in his testimonial 6 years ago.

Belated Match Reports
21 Jul - Steve Milne has submitted an eye witness report on the two Austrian games, in Schwanenstadt (click the above link) and in Bad Goisern.

Brothers in Blue?
20 Jul - For those interested in history, this article from The Scotsman analyzes some of the connections between Everton and Rangers ahead of next weekend's friendly.

Insurance can be a hard game
19 Jul - This snippet from the Evertonian caught the attention of those cruel cynics at Private Eye.

SC Schwan 1 - 4 Everton
18 Jul - David Moyes rotated in the rest of his squad to give them a run out against SC Schwan Schwanenstadt of the the Austrian 3rd Division tonight and, thanks to goals by Tomasz Radzinski, Steve Watson, Patrice Pascucci and Feichtinger (o.g), they ran out 4-1 winners.  Report from Steve Milne.

Blue blooded Kitten
17 Jul - Liz McLarnon, fast becoming Everton's most vocal celebrity fan, has her Blue credentials featured over at BBC Sport. More famous bluebellies can be found here.

A reminder of the bad years
17 Jul - Mitch Ward, whose presence at Everton seemed to epitomize the dearth of talent that palgued the pre-Moyes era, has left Barnsley after three years.

McLeod's last chance
17 Jul - We pushed him long and hard last season, but to no avail as his performances in the reserves and at QPR went unrewarded... Will Moyes view the young Everton midfielder any differently this time around?

Squad Numbers unchanged
16 Jul - The squad numbers for Everton's Premiership players remain unchanged from last season, with Alex Nyarko getting the Number 21.

Making the right choice
15 Jul - Espen Baardsen, possibly Everton's worst ever goalkeeper, has bowed to reality and decided to quit the game.

We should have done better
14 Jul - David Moyes is setting the bar higher for his players by confirming that they should have done better last season, and that there is no reasion why they shouldn't do as well, if not better, this season.

Vinnie signs for Walsall
14 Jul - First Division Walsall have signed ex-Everton midfileder Vinny Samways on a two-year contract.

Ablett is new U-17s coach
12 Jul - Following the retirement of Colin Harvey and the promotion of Alan Harper to coach the Under-19s, Gary Ablett has been appointed to guide the Under-17s in Everton's Youth Academy, who started playing pre-season friendlies today.

Milligan moves on
11 Jul - More confirmation that young Everton players who do not make the grade at Goodison rarely if ever do better elsewhere: Jamie Milligan, who left Everton two years ago to join Blackpool, was released by them for free and is now looking to drop down to Div 3 at Macclesfield Town.

Blomqvist goes home
11 Jul - Jesper Blomqvist, who had a poor season with Charlton after leaving Everton a year ago, has joined Swedish champions Djurgarden.

Moyes challenges back-up 'keepers
11 Jul - David Moyes has challenged Paul Gerrard and Steve Simonsen to impress sufficiently in pre-season so that he doesn't have to splash out for a stand-in for Richard Wright before mid-August. Also on the subject of players saving the club money, Niclas Alexandersson is apparently pushing his claim for first-team action.

Nyarko doing Okay
11 Jul - Alex Nyarko is settling in well and pulling his weight in training, says David Moyes.

18-yr old Italian trialist
10 Jul - Everton have a young Italian striker Patrice Pascucci on trial at Bellefield, a feature that Moyes says will be a common occurence this pre-season...

Li Tie returning to Bellefield
10 Jul - Chinese international Li Tie returns to Everton today but David Moyes insists that the club are no closer to brokering a permanent deal with Liaoning Bodao. The midfielder will train with the Blues for the time being rather than returning to China as he is intent on playing for a European team.

Reserves Fixtures Announced
9 Jul - A full list of fixtures for Everton reserves has been posted at the Official website, and no longer shows that Everton would be playing nine games in September.  Thanks for fixing that, lads!

Blues set Dutch Date
8 Jul - Everton have announced a pre-season game in Holland on Tuesday 5 August, against Rhoda JC of the Dutch First Division, KO: 8pm CET.

Blueblood Events Manager
8 Jul - Derek Mountfield has been appointed new Events Manager for Blueblood, the Everton Former Players Association.

Clubs ripe for a takeover
6 Jul - This article in The Independent  looks at other clubs that could be ripe for takeover by new investors, and includes Everton in that list, mainly because of Rooney and Moyes.

Deconstruction denied
6 Jul - Everton have dismissed reports that Chelsea have made a 30 million pound bid for Wayne Rooney. "There has been no contact from Chelsea," said Ian Ross, "and, as has been made clear many times, David Moyes is in the process of building a team at Everton, not deconstructing one."

Short-term deals for Young Guns
5 Jul - In addition to Kevin McLeod, five other young professionals on Everton's books have agreed 12-month contracts: Steven Schumacher, Leon Osman, Sean O'Hanlon, Michael Symes, and Alan Moogan.

No Parmesan! How about Bolognaise?
4 Jul - Parma have pulled out of Colin Harvey's testimonial but Bologna have stepped in as Everton's opponents on Sunday 10 August.

Branch to Bradford
3 Jul - Michael Branch, who is only 24, has moved to Bradford after failing to make the grade at Wolves.

Leeds game switched to Sunday
2 Jul - Everton will now play Leeds United on Sunday 28 September, kick-off at 3pm, due to concerns about a clash with the end of the Round the World yacht race.

Medical checkups for Blues
2 Jul - Everton players have been getting thurough medical checks at Liverpool University's School for Sport and Exercise Sciences... and SuperKev is talking of playing into his forties!


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