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 FA Premiership (37); Goodison Park, Liverpool; Saturday 8 May 2004; 3:00pm
  Ferguson (70')
 
 
Attendance: 40,190
Halftime: 0-1

Facts
Reports
Djorkaeff (15', 88')


Referee: Paul Durkin
 

Match Summary

Duncan Ferguson returned for the penultimate game of the season with Radzinski dropped to the bench (for his profligacy in front of goal?).  Leon Osman retained his place in midfield, with Linderoth and Carsley on the bench. 

Everton started brightly with good work from Osman, Rooney and Ferguson, whose strike after 5 mins was always rising over the bar.  Then Ferguson was set in the clear by Rooney but slipped just as he should have scored an easy goal.  Bolton went straight down the other end and Pederson should have scored.

Ferguson was then involved in a melee with the goalkeeper on the Bolton line but was blown by Durkin for pushing.  But it was Djorkaeff who opened the scoring with some good skill as he ran through the Everton defence and slotted the ball between Martyn's legs. 

Everton tried to play one more good move, ending when Rooney played a great ball in for Ferguson to swivel on — just wide.  Pistone then went down injured but stayed on after some extended treatment as Bolton's movement started to give Everton growing problems, with chances no longer coming their way for a large part of the first half.

A chance finally came when Osman set up Ferguson just before the break but his shot was straight at the Bolton keeper.  Everton looked pedestrian and flat in comparison to lively and inventive Bolton side.

Moyes was as unhappy with Everton's first-half display as the fans were, and made a couple of changes, including putting Radzinski on for the injured(?) Pistone, with Watson moving to left back and putting Rooney in the middle.  Carsley then came close with a header off good work from Osman.  Then Radzinski hit the post from a very tight angle. 

As Bolton shook off Everton's advances, a chip from McFadden was volleyed first time by Osman, just over the bar.  Great invention, but more accuracy needed... 

Then from a disputed throw-in, Everton stormed up the field, Rooney playing the ball to Radzinski who had real speed, Osman got involved and the ball broke to Ferguson who toe-poked it home from six yards.  Respect restored?

With the next break and Rooney's first-time sweep to McFadden, Ferguson was pulled down but Durkin actually gave an indirect free-kick next to the penalty spot for an illegal back-pass.  Rooney's drive was blocked on the line by the massed Bolton defence as Everton briefly pushed Bolton back, with Rooney driving the blues from central midfield.

But Djorkaeff then grabbed a winner that went straight through the Everton defence and squirmed past Martyn for an almost inevitable winner 2 mins from time, giving Bolton their fifth win in a row — and it's just 77 years since that last happened!  A typically embarrassing end for the home games of a truly embarrassing season from Everton. 

Moyes's response?  Bring on Kevin Campbell for the last 3 minutes of added time.  What is the point? 

With Spurs winning, Everton reach a new low for the season: three league losses on the trot, despite Moyes's increasingly feeble protestations that Everton would be doing their utmost to win these games — especially considering the small matter (NOT!) of £500k per Premiership place at stake.  That slips them to 16th and makes the end-of-season target the players seem to have selected — finishing 17th — all the more achievable.  Embarrassing?  You bet.

 


Leon Osman: A home debut for last week's goalscorer


Everton v Bolton:
Prior League Games
 Overall  
 Everton 36
 Bolton 7
 Draws 17
 Premiership  
 Everton 3
 Bolton 0
 Draws 1
 Last Season:

Everton 0-0 Bolton


Premiership Scores
Saturday 8 May 200
Man United 1-1 Chelsea
Birmingham 0-3 Liverpool
Everton 1-2 Bolton
Leeds Utd 3-3 Charlton
Leicester 2-1 Portsmouth
Middlesbro' 2-1 Man City
Southampton 1-1 Aston Villa
Tottenham 1-0 Blackburn
Sunday 9 May 2004
Fulham 0-1 Arsenal
Newcastle 1-1 Wolves
Wednesday 12 May 2004
Southampton 3-3 Newcastle
 


Finalé: This was the last game for Alex Nyarko, who's four-year work permit didn't match his five-year contract.

Match Facts
 Everton   (4-4-2; 46': 4-3-3)
 Blue shirts, white shorts, white socks
 Bolton Wanderers   (4-4-2)
White shirts, black shorts, black socks
  Martyn
Hibbert
Yobo
Weir {c?}
Pistone (46' Radzinski)
Watson (90' Campbell)
Osman
Nyarko (46' Carsley)
McFadden
Ferguson
Rooney

Subs not used: Wright,
Linderoth

Yellow Cards: Weir (31'),
Carsley (77')

Red Cards: —


Unavailable:

(Injured:) Gravesen, Gemmill, Kilbane,
Li Tie, Naysmith, Unsworth
(On Loan:) Chadwick, P Gerrard,
Symes
Jaaskelainen
Hunt (82' Barness)
Thome
N’Gotty
Charlton
Nolan (85' Gardner)
Campo
Okocha
Pedersen (65' Frandsen)
Djorkaeff
Davies

Subs Not Used: Poole,
Stelios,

Yellow Cards:

Red Cards: —
 
Match Reports

2003-04 Match Reports Index


Everton Web Sites
ToffeeWeb Match Summary
EvertonFC.com Match Report
When Skies Are Grey Match Report
Blue Kipper Match Report
Everton Fans' Reports
Simon Sez Match Report
Paul Traill Reverberation
Jonathan Martin Here in my pocket
Links to Other Media Reports
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
Liverpool Echo Match Report
Daily Post Match Report
Premiership Table
Pos Team Pts
1 Arsenal 87
2 Chelsea 76
3 Man Utd 72
4 Liverpool 59
5 Aston Villa 56
6 Newcastle 55
7 Bolton 53
8 Charlton 50
9 Fulham 49
10 Birmingham 49
11 Middlesbrough 48
12 Southampton 47
13 Blackburn 43
14 Portsmouth 42
15 Tottenham 42
16 Everton 39
17 Man City 38
18 Leicester 33
19 Wolves 33
20 Leeds 33
After 12 May 2004


Match Preview

Well, here we are. The last home game of the season and, impossibly, it's a sell-out as the long-suffering Goodison faithful show up in droves to see out this disappointing season with nothing to play for except pride... and maybe a couple of Premiership places (I'm not going to mention the reward money available for every place gained this time because it seems the players don't care — and why would they; money for players means competition for places!).

The boys will be sporting the new 2004/05 home strip which does away with the retro collar of last season and steers clear of the strange square neck of the "100 Seasons" kit of two years ago. Pleasingly, we're back in white socks. Presumably tomorrow will be the last time we see Kejian on the front of the Royal Blue jersey as their sponsorship deal is up this summer.

Safety may be assured but David Moyes is keen to win both remaining games and end the season on a high, something the Blues haven't done since missing out on UEFA Cup qualification by 7 minutes 1995/ 96.

He is unlikely, therefore, to be too cavalier, but it would be a major surprise if Leon Osman wasn't handed his home debut after scoring on his first senior start last week. Thomas Gravesen and Kevin Kilbane are out of contention and Lee Carsley's display at Molineux might have ruled him out as well, leaving a toss-up between Alex Nyarko and Tobias Linderoth if Steve Watson is passed fit.

James McFadden will likely start on the left again, with Radzinski and Rooney up front. At the back, Alan Stubbs could play some part after recovering from a lengthy spell on the sidelines if he can displace David Weir, but Gary Naysmith has undergone surgery on his troublesome groin and will not feature again this season.

Bolton come to Goodison fresh from a 4-1 victory over Leeds United that condemned the Yorkshiremen to the Nationwide League and preserved Everton's top flight status. They can also do the "double" over the Blues following that horrendous display by Moyes's men at The Reebok in the reverse fixture.

If that wasn't enough incentive for them, the Trotters are also chasing their highest league placing for 44 years despite being favoured for the drop this season.

So, with nothing really at stake (oh, please can't I mention the Premiership prize money?) this one will be all about whether or not the players care enough about the crap that the fans have had to endure this season to finish the home league programme off in style.

I imagine we'll know by 6pm on Saturday.

Lyndon Lloyd



Report

First half (in spells) we did pass it around quite neatly and tidily though we failed to create any real gilt-edged chances — more half-chances that could have come to something; similar in the second half really.  It did bring a bit of cheer to see a group of young Everton players playing it around with good passing; it was just a cutting edge we were lacking.

There didn't look to be that much between the teams in all honesty — despite our respective placings.  Bolton did have more of an edge when on the attack; it is something that will have to be learned and improved on — but hey, what's new there?!

We all know Yobo needs a strong centre-half leader alongside him and frankly the defending for their first goal was awful — all too typical of some of our defensive calamaties this season — with Djorkaeff dancing through to slot home.  It's one thing not to want to concede penalties but that doesn't mean you let the opposition waltz through without a hint of a challenge.

Hibbert was let down a couple of occasions by his crossing, but he made some timely interventions and good tackles for the most part. 

Pistone was also guilty of quite a few misdirected headers and passes and, pilloried though he is by some, Naysmith and Kilbane had built up a decent understanding between them down the left side — something Pistone and McFadden obviously haven't had time to work on — so that side was a bit more disjointed than in other performances this year.

Watson had one of his poorer games for us today: too often caught out drifting into the middle, leaving the right midfield and then Hibbert exposed time after time.  Though he does work hard, the fact is he isn't good enough anymore.  Like Carsley, he now stands as a beacon of Walter's era — both look too slow and cumbersome against swift midfields that move the ball forward, and they inevitably slow down our attacks as well.  Solid he may be but Watson is not the player for us in the right midfield berth.

Next to him in the first half we had three other midfielders who did look to play and do something constructive when they had the ball at least.  Where we have failed time and again this season is getting midfielders past our forwards into the opposition penalty area whenever the chance arises.  Today we had two players there in McFadden and Osman, who will probably go on to do this role for us, hopefully, but the need for the infamous steel in the middle was again shown today.

Nyarko didn't do that badly overall, and does look to play a decent ball when possible, but today was a day when the pros and cons of Nyarko were demonstrated in equal measure.  Decent passer but not someone who is going to drive forward or get really stuck in when it's needed.

McFadden did well at different times of the game but does need to look up more and search out other options rather than hanging onto the ball.  At least he does look likely to create or do something on the ball when he has it.  I think his game would be improved or his options improved at least by another midfielder making surging runs into the area.  Faddy did show a good example of vision when he sent a long ball down the left for Radz to chase and beat their keeper to, but he toe-poked it wide when he should really have done better from the position though it was a tight angle.

Upfront frankly Ferguson was a waste of time today — he didn't make too many efforts to really win the ball either aerially or on the deck and every pass was backwards; never forwards or really constructive.  As ever, he was straight off at the whistle and I'm not sure if he was out again for the players circuit of the ground (lap of honour just doesn't seem appropriate really!). 

Ferguson certainly didn't deserve to be the one to score our last home goal of the season — shame that honour didn't befall Martyn when he went up for the corner in injury time!

Rooney had one of his in-and-out games and ended up getting frustrated at times, sometimes at the wrong person too.  On one occasion, he blasted McFadden for not passing to him when everyone in the ground could see Rooney was marked heavily by two Bolton players and was not an option.  Strange to see him dropped back virtually onto the defence in the second half and a lot were mystified by that — but how many times have people moaned about Moyes not doing different things or trying different options?  And then moaned their collective arses off when he does and they don't work out?

Spare a separate word for Osman who probably deserved Man of the Match for taking his opportunity to give a decent showing.  He rarely gave the ball away and when he did he didn't hide and looked to get it back straight away.  And he was always looking to make something happen on the ball, like last week with the ball through to Rooney which led to the *ahem* challenge on Paul Jones.  He, like McFadden, would benefit hugely from having players surge on into the area ahead of him. 

Osman was Unlucky with a couple of strikes and certainly worth looking at more regularly.  One person behind made the obvious comment about his height and then of course at half time on came Alan Ball as part of the greatest ever team to a rapturous reception — funny how his lack of height wasn't an issue?  Not that Osman is his playing equal or anything but if he's good enough does it really matter?  He certainly didn't look out of place at all and hopefully we'll get a better chance to see what he can do next season — may be a possibility of trying him on the right wing??

It's not often you see people applauding players round on an end of season lap whilst booing at the same time... which some did.  Moyes looked irate on the pitch — and rightly so — pretty much summing up everyone's mood on in the ground.  Having seen those post-match comments that is about as spot on and straightforward as anyone can put it.  It's time he was backed so he can get his own team here and we can finally see if he is our saviour. For the little it's worth, I still have faith in the guy; we won't find better and we have to do as much as we can to get where he wants us to be... or at least where he can take us.

Moyes In — Board Out!

Simon Sez

Reverberation

I bought my ticket then a spare one emerged the next day.  Bloody great!  Could have saved my money and watched that crap for free. Nevertheless, the spare was there so thought I’d take a mate of mine (from Bolton) along to experience Goodison Park.  Well I don’t think he’ll be coming back for a while!  A very poor performance yesterday in what really should have been the third win in a row, but instead it’s quite the opposite.

The drive down the M62 was drizzly, and we were in the pub watching Man Utd while a load of Bolton hooligans sung racist songs about the origin of Ryan Giggs's father (?).  The rest turned up.  Most of the chat was about the hike in prices for the coming season.  Not being a season ticket holder anymore I guess it doesn’t affect me as much as others, but the general feeling was: We're not happy!

So it was on to the match and we turned up just as they were kicking off.  The blues were all shirted up in their new kits.  Surprised but glad to see Ferguson starting; otherwise it was just as you were pretty much, with McFadden slotting in on the left.

We started relatively brightly, Ferguson being the main threat, but slipping at the vital moment with one good chance and fizzing a 25 yard effort high and wide.

It didn’t take long for Bolton to settle, though.  And while Martyn never really had much to do, Bolton were the better side for most of this one.  Their goal coming quite early with I think Okocha (class!!!) slipping in Djorkaef who beat Hibbert, Weir couldn’t get the ball and with Martyn grounded it was well, and inevitably tucked in by the Frenchman.  “Get goal Side Hibbert” and “Your shite you Hibbert” reverberated around me.  Felt quite sorry for Hibbert as he trudged forward after that to restart.  Why has he become some people’s whipping boy?

Bolton took control from there for the first half, with Everton doing very little.  It was the kids who shone for me:  McFadden with some fantastic dribbling and Osman trying his earnest in the middle.  Yobo was class at the back also.  It’s unbelievable to think he’s the same age as Hibbert.  But Everton didn’t take the game back to Bolton and didn’t make life hard for them whatsoever.  I remember one incident when Pistone had loads of time but still let the ball bounce.  Still had loads of time and headed it out of play.  Rubbish!

This seemed to ignite a lot of tension and you could see it in the players as they tried to battle to no avail.  Nobody seemed to want the ball to come towards them and you could see why in the cauldron.  It really was tense.

I couldn’t wait ‘til half time and what a relief.  It was pleasing to see the legends on the pitch at half time.  A bloke nearby said to stick on Sheedy, ball, Reid and Stevens now and they do a better job.  I don’t think he was wrong.

Second half and two changes at the break: Carsley on for the injured Pistone (really!) and Radzinski on for Nyarko.  I think we needed Radz on.  This meant that Rooney was deep into midfield and Watson reverted to left back.  Not ideal but Moyes limited with options due to his injury list.

Much better in the second half and Carsley twice came close inside the box, but that was about it from Lee.  He looks like a player lost with confidence shattered, and nobody wanting to give him the ball.  Needs pre-season methinks; either that or a transfer.  After that Ferguson’s knock down found Osman on the volley who snatched at it a little and the ball fizzed wide. 

The game then went a bit scrappy and niggly before a slice of fortune came our way for a change.  Some fella tried to take throw for Bolton.  He completely spooned it up however and the ball bounced about a yard in front of him onto the pitch.  It should have been a foul throw and our throw-in.  Instead, the ref let him have another whirl.  This time he pretty much threw it straight to us.  The ball was played to Dunc who, instead of turning on the half way line and running forward, played it backward to Rooney.  The crowd moaned at Dunc while the ball got played to McFadden who made a great run down the wing and crossed it in.  Osman touched it and Ferguson slid in to tuck it home.  Queue chants of “Duncan, Duncan Ferguson”.  Oh the fickle the football fan!

So it was game on.  We came at Bolton then and a sweeping move from Radzinski made a Bolton defender tackle-pass it back to the keeper who picked it up at round about the six-yard box.  Now surely the free kick should have been at that spot — not 15 yards out!  Anyway Rooney hit it, it was blocked and we couldn’t force the follow up in.  Radzinski then beat the keeper but could only find the side netting.

The game gradually petered out with Bolton taking the sting out of it, and you always sensed they’d bloody score.  No surprise when Djorkaef slotted it in after fairly poor defending and with two minutes to go, Bolton were back in front.  Moyes threw Campbell on for the final fling but it was to no avail and we couldn’t get the goal despite a few corners and some aerial bombardment.

The final whistle was greeted by boo’s and Ferguson as always legged it straight off.  The team did a fairly pathetic attempt of a lap of honour and I’m intrigued to know what was said to Dunc in the dressing room to make him come sprinting back on and join them.  Probably something like ‘Get back out there or you sacked, club captain”  Moyes got a fantastic reception and looked very embarrassed as he lead his sorry looking players round the pitch.  The crowd sang, “Sack the board”.  Not quite the answer right now, no, but can very clearly understand everyone’s frustration.  Radzinski gave a big clap and a thumbs up the the Lower Gwladys.  Was that goodbye?

Well that’s it for another season.  Can’t wait for the next one!  I think Division 1 is calling Everton’s name out loud...

Ratings

  • Martyn: Little to do but did it well.  Brilliant.  8
  • Pistone: Get lost you waste of space.  Injured and disinterested again.  4
  • Yobo: Absolutely superb.  There’s a lot of talk about “what if we sell Rooney”, but what if we sell Yobo?  There’ll be a big hole in the defence.  8
  • Weir:  Usual Weir; just a little rusty.  6
  • Hibbert: Made some good tackles but crap distribution and was at fault for their first goal.  6
  • McFadden: My man of the match.  A constant threat.  Reckon he’s got a big season ahead of him.  8
  • Nyarko: Another one who I’d like to see the back of.  Will never fulfil his potential in a blue shirt.  5
  • Osman: tried hard and worked hard and did quite well. Not easy for him but played as well if not better than most. 6
  • Watson: Usual Steve, and did well when slotting in at left back. 7 
  • Ferguson: Statuesque and made little impact despite the goal. 5
  • Rooney: Forced to drop deep in the second half.  Did alright.  Seen him play better. Could be superb in a good team.  Unfortu8nately were not.  6
  • Carsley: Looks lost. 5
  • Radzinski: Please stay. 7
  • Campbell: Thanx, but I think it’s the end. 6

Til next time...

Paul Traill


Here in my pocket...

Here in my pocket I've got the story of the Blues...  Those of you old enough to remember Pete Wylie and the Mighty Wah from the early 80s will know the reference (if not, go to petewylie.com and click on Lyrics...).  Well, yesterday was the story of the Blues' season in a nutshell.  Good in parts, poor in others; enough chances to have won the game before the sucker punch of a late goal.

The team selection was interesting — though with the recent injuries, to be fair Moyes didn't have too many options.  The most interesting choice was in midfield with Osman starting in the middle alongside the Nark; Watson and McFadden out wide.  Up-front: Duncan and Rooney, with Radz on the bench.

For the first 10 minutes we played some really good, tight passing football (including one great move that saw Dunc flash the ball inches wide from a great Rooney cross) which was completely undone by some shocking defending.  Djorkaeff got the ball in the box over on the left with Weir, Hibbert and Watson around him.  Someone tackled him (Hibbert I think), he appeared to lose the ball then suddenly he reappeared in front of Martyn and toe-poked it past him.  Story of the season...

The remainder of the half, we just didn't play.  OK, Bolton had five in midfield (including Okocha, Campo and Djorkaeff) against our non-tackling four but we didn't really compete — story of the season....  With "the best midfielder in Europe" out injured, no-one was doing any tackling so we were pretty much overrun for the rest of the half.

About 30 mins in to the game, Pistone went down in a heap (story of the season...) just in front of the Bullens (and with a loud, audible cry).  After 2-3 mins of treatment he carried on but, for the rest of the half, showed absolutely no interest in being there.  He clearly thought he should have gone off but with no obvious option of who to fill in at left back, he had to stay on.  So for 15 mins he avoided the ball like the plague, didn't tackle anyone; in fact we'd probably have been better off with 10 men for that period.

Cue half-time and some positive action from Moyes.  Pist-off Pistone and the Nark were off; Radzinski and Carsley came on.  Watson went to left-back; Rooney dropped back into a midfield three with Dunc, Radz and McFadden a front three.  At last, we began to play again.

Rooney and Osman began to run the midfield (it was now effectively three versus five) and Radz began running at them from wide right.  Chances started to come our way: Radz hit the post from an acute angle; McFadden had two great runs down the left and should have crossed to any one of Dunc, Radz and Osman to finish but didn't; Radz had another half-chance wide out left when he rounded the keeper but hit the side netting from an acute angle. 

Eventually, Rooney won the ball in midfield, fed Radz with yet another inch-perfect long pass, he ran hard at the defence, slipped it inside to Osman who had appeared in the box, his shot was blocked to Dunc who finished with aplomb.

More chances to win it as we carried on playing good football but nothing to show for it — then the killer blow.  Three minutes from the end, Simon Charlton crosses from the left, no danger at all in the box, then suddenly Djorkaeff appears again from nowhere and glances the ball past Martyn again with David Weir doing a passable impression of a statue.  The final story of such a disappointing season.

Campbell was thrown on for the last 3 minutes to no effect and the last home game of the season was over, another poor performance.  Train timetables dictated that I couldn't stay for the parade — but, honestly, I wonder how many others bothered.  Actually, I wonder how many of the players were too embarrased to turn up...

So, performances:

  • Martyn - 6 - had little to do, Bolton had no chances and took two of them!
  • Hibbert - 6 - I thought he played really well today, defensively he was very solid, a couple of dodgy crosses apart.
  • Pistone - 4 - Can't say much more.  He's just too injury prone and won't play through any sort of pain barrier.
  • Weir - 4 - A shadow of his former self.  He looks like Campbell - the brain knows what to do but the legs can't get there.
  • Yobo - 6 - His usual accomplished self.  Needs a better partner tho'.
  • Watson - 6 - did reasonably well after being pressed into service at left back.  Got forward a lot in the 2nd half which he appears to prefer.
  • Nyarko - 6 - did OK in the first half but tackling is not his thing.
  • Osman - 8 - Very impressed with him.  He got better as the game went on.  Constantly looked for the ball, got forward more in this game than Gravesen has done all season.  If the management think he hasn't got it, then questions should be asked.  Why hasn't he been involved more?
  • McFadden - 7 - played well in the 2nd half but was guilty of hanging onto the ball when a good cross would have seen us score more goals.
  • Rooney - 9 - I thought he was a revelation in central midfield.  He could be Paul Scholes re-incarnated (well, Scholes of 5 years ago).  This is where his ability really comes through — he can spray the ball around, he looks for the ball and he can be aggressive when necessary.
  • Ferguson - 7 - First game back for a while and looked a little rusty.  Took his goal well and managed not to get booked.
  • Carsley - 5 - anonymous for most of the time he was on.  Linderoth sitting in front of the defence would have been a better bet.
  • Radzinski - 7 - ran his heart out and it was his run that made the goal for Dunc.

So, what's the story of next season, then?  I think the following will/should still be around:

Martyn;
Hibbert, Yobo, Stubbs, Naysmith;
Gravesen, Watson, Linderoth, Osman, McFadden, Kilbane;
Rooney, Radzinski.

That's the basis of a decent, mid-table team.  Look at the other mid-table teams and it compares well.  But it needs some fine tuning and a lot of application to go with it.

Jonathan Martin



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