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 FA Premiership (9); Goodison Park, Liverpool; Sunday 19 October 2003; 3:00pm
 
 
 
Attendance: 35,775
Halftime: 0-0

Facts
Reports



Referee: M Messias
 

Match Summary

Wayne Rooney was suspended and Tomasz Radzinski had a thigh strain so David Moyes's line-up saw Kevin Campbell and Francis Jeffers reunited once more in attack.

The Good:  Though Southampton had the greater share of possession, Everton created the better chances.  Watson's close-range header, Faddy's angled volley that went wide with the goal at his mercy, and SuperKev's turn and shot, Kilbane's screamer from a counter-attack could easily have clinched it.  Some of the interplay when we did have the ball (between Jeffers, Campbell, Watson, McFadden and Gravesen) were pretty good.  Slick one-touch play, almost?  We managed to control Beattie pretty well on the whole, since the rest of their team can't really score to save their lives.

The Bad:  Our midfield pressing and general closing down of the opposition, or lack of it, still worries me a lot.  Southampton were able to find so much time on the ball, and we made them look a better team than they were.  It became so bad at one point, when we were unable to clear our channels, and Southampton kept coming back at us, that Martin Tyler was saying sarcastically but matter-of-factly, 'It's backs to the wall for Everton!'.  I think this has to do with discipline in keeping the defensive shape.  Yes, the midfield are the main culprits, but in the pressing game, the whole team is involved.  Once a player is caught out, the shape is broken and the effect nullified.

The Ugly:  Gravesen had his typical enigmatic performance.  He was caught out many times, lost the ball often, wasted a glorious free kick opportunity, and wasted a good goalscoring chance when he went one on one with Svensson.  He then combined well with Watson on the right flank and delivered a few dangerous balls into the box, one which Faddy connected with.  It is so frustrating to watch, and I think many of us get on his back because of his attitude as well.  He think he's made it already.  Well I beg to differ.  I think he has great ability but is far from turning that into a meaningful contribution in a game.  He must improve, but I think the addition of a 'bossing' midfielder like what Keane does for Manure, and Vieira does for the Arse, will help him remove some defensive burden.  I think Davis is good.  Strong physically, and can pass.  Hope we have the money and hope he signs.

Player comments:

  • Naysmith  It's quite sad that he has failed to make much progress.  Wasn't much different from Unsie today.  Lost count of his hopeful/hopeless punts down the line.  I think it's something all full-backs do.  He made a crucial tackle on Beattie. In comparison, Unsie offers more defensive solidity, positionally and strength-wise, whereas Naysmith gives us more mobility.
  • SuperKev  Given that this is his first league game in a while, I thought he did pretty well.  This Southampton defence is no slouch.  Svensson had the better of him in the air, but mostly SuperKev held the ball up well and laid it off superbly.  That backheel in the first half was nice to see.  No complaints about his work-rate.  When Southampton were having too much of the ball at one stage, he tracked back and did a great slide tackle, winning the ball.
  • Jeffers  The lad did well and looked up for it, especially in the second half when he fought hard to win possession back.  One of the things I was concerned about when he moved back, was his attitude.  Back at Everton, back at home, among mostly forgiving supporters, might give him too much of a comfort zone, where he might just believe his little bit of talent will prove sufficient, thereby failing to live up to his potential.  Much like Big Dunc ending up as a waste of money as well as a deadweight you can't get rid of, preventing new players from coming in. I'm sure Moysie won't allow that of course, but we'll see.

Looi White from the People's Forum

 


Li Tie:  Time to get back
 into the team?


Everton v Southampton:
Prior League Games
 Overall  
 Everton 25
 Southampton 5
 Draws 6
 Premiership  
 Everton 8
 Southampton 1
 Draws 2
 Last Season:

Everton 2-1 So'hampton


 

Premiership Scores
Tuesday 14 Oct
Birmingham 0-0 Chelsea
Saturday 18 Oct
Leeds 0-1 Man Utd
Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea
Fulham 0-0 Wolves
Man City 6-2 Bolton
Middlesbro 0-1 Newcastle
Portsmouth 1-0 Liverpool
Sunday 19 Oct
Birmingham 0-0 Aston Villa
Leicester 1-2 Tottenham
Everton 0-0 Southampton
Monday 20 Oct
Blackburn 0-1 Charlton
Tuesday 21 Oct
Fulham 2-3 Newcastle
 


Match Facts
 Everton   (4-4-2)
 Blue shirts, white shorts, blue socks
 Southampton   (4-4-2)
Red & white shirts, black shorts, white socks
  Martyn
Hibbert
Yobo
Weir
Naysmith
Watson
Carsley (63' Linderoth)
Gravesen
McFadden (65' Kilbane)
Campbell
Jeffers

Subs not used:  Wright,
Unsworth, Li Tie

Yellow Cards: Carsley (11')

Red Cards:


Unavailable:

(Suspended:) Rooney
(Injured:) Ferguson, Gemmill, O'Hanlon,
Osman, Pistone, Radzinski, Simonsen

(On Loan:) Gerrard, Alexandersson
Niemi
Dodd (c)
Lundekvam
A Svensson
Higginbotham
Fernandes (54' Prutton)
Telfer
M Svensson
Delap
Beattie
Ormerod

Subs Not Used: Jones,
Hall, Tessem, Griffit

Yellow Cards: M Svensson (35'),
A Svensson (81')

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
Lyndon Lloyd Match Report
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
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Match Preview

After the shambles that was White Hart Lane we are back again this season in need of a home win.  The two situations where this has happened to far, against Fulham and Leeds, we have come out all guns blazing and blown the opposition away in the first 30 minutes.

Southampton, however, are a class above the aforementioned two, despite spending far less in the last few years.

In a very quiet way, Gordon Strachan is building a very good side at St Mary's.  Bolstered by the Premiership striking abilities of Beattie and the recently signed Phillips, they have a competent midfield with the added ability of Fernandes and an organised back line supported by the excellent Niemi.

There is very little to chose between the two sides. Last season saw a 1-0 defeat at theirs and the epic 2-1 win (2 late Radz goals) at Goodison.

The suspension to Philips certainly gives us a boost and the travelling that they had to do to Steau Bucharest (where they crashed out of the UEFA Cup) suggests that we should have the edge.

Our team news is difficult to call given the groin injuries sustained to Stubbs and Ferguson (also a touch of flu) and the abject performance at The Lane.

Naysmith and McFadden showed great promise down the left for Scotland and you have to feel that they should start meaning Unsworth reverts again to the bench.

If Stubbs is fit he seems certain of starting but will Wright prise Martyn from between the sticks?

Suspension to Rooney and the injury to Ferguson means that Campbell may start his first game of the season alongside Radz with Jeffers on the bench he must be itching for a chance to show his undoubted abilities.

It will be close but our need should push us to 3 points I'll be watching this live on Sky with my new born son (my first) so here's hoping that this is the young Evertonian's first league victory!

2-0

BlueForEver

Lee Doyle


Dismal Everton are going nowhere

Whatever magic David Moyes was able to work last season to get a collection of also-rans to gel into an outfit that rocketed into the top six and stayed there until the last day of the season has clearly worn off this campaign. Despite showing flashes of what they capable of most notably the 4-0 drubbing of Leeds Everton have made a disappointing start to the new season and, on the evidence of this dismal display against Southampton, it's not going to get better any time soon.

Gordon Strachan was forced to field a vastly under strength side for the Saints, who came to Goodison on the back of three successive defeats in all competitions. They were, you might say, ideal opposition for the Blues to get back to winning ways after a miserable result at Tottenham a fortnight ago. However, all the home fans got was more concrete affirmation of their team's utter dearth of consistent central midfield talent Thomas Gravesen is capable of so much more than the lazy distribution and lack of tackling interspersed with the odd spark of brilliance and inability to make anything of set pieces.

Moyes was no doubt thankful to have some depth of squad in the attacking department with Tomasz Radzinski ruled out with a calf injury, Duncan Ferguson suffering from a chest infection, Wayne Rooney suspended and Nick Chadwick taking a knock playing for the Reserves. That left the manager with just Francis Jeffers and Kevin Campbell who started up front, reuniting what had been a deadly partnership under Walter Smith.

Elsewhere, Alan Stubbs' groin strain meant that David Weir started in central defence and at left back David Unsworth was wisely dropped in favour of Naysmith. Between the posts, Nigel Martyn kept his place despite Richard Wright's return to fitness.

The first half was a scrappy and ugly affair for the first half an hour, with neither side able to settle into a pattern of cohesive passive football. Southampton were given the opportunity to start something as early as the second minute when Joseph Yobo jumped in for a premature tackle on Brett Ormerod who skinned the Nigerian on the touchline and David Weir had to be on hand to block his cross as he advanced dangerously towards the six-yard box.

Everton got their first effort on goal two minutes later when James McFadden received the ball back off Lee Carsley from a short corner and belted an effort goalwards from 20 yards that Antti Niemi did well to parry. Jeffers then had a snapshot from the edge of area that was, unfortunately, straight at Niemi before Campbell, who had been looking sharp, was found by a Tony Hibbert throw but his trademark swivel ended with him putting the Blues' best chance of the half just wide off his left foot.

Unfortunately, that close call did little to immediately spur Everton to greater things. Carsley was booked for late tackle on Ormerod, Weir had an absolutely awful shot that threatened the corner flag more than the goal and Gravesen, who was having a mare in terms of distribution, just couldn't finish a good move that ended with a Hibbert cross that the Dane just couldn't get a touch on in the six yard box.

While Everton seemed to carry the hint of threat because of Jeffers and Campbell's innate understanding, the Saints had their moments when they nearly broke the deadlock. Martyn had to make a 28th-minute point-blank parry from Ormerod who did well to engineer a shot in a crowded area and it was the former Leeds stopper at the centre of a comedy of errors a couple of minutes later when he came out of his area, made an awful hash of the clearance and Beattie lofted an effort toward goal with the 'keeper scrambling back but, thankfully, it drifted past the far post.

Then, Beattie was put through by a midfield on flick-on, but Naysmith did enough to put him off as he pulled the trigger and the England striker fired well wide. Michael Svensson was then booked for stamping on Campbell's heel before the Blues' number 9 had a chance after great work by Weir, who got to the byline and cut it back but Campbell was too far in front and sliced his shot back towards the edge of the area.

A couple of minutes later, Gravesen dinked a perfect ball through that dissected the Saints defence but although Campbell put the ball into the net, it was chalked off for offside with three Blue shirts in advance of the last man. Goalless at the interval.

The half time pep talk appeared to have benefited the visitors when Southampton burst out the gates in the second half with a series of shots and a header from Beattie that looped just over the bar.

Everton responded, though, and 8 minutes in they engineered a chance on the right with Watson and Carsley who crossed but when the ball squirted through to McFadden, the Scot shot across goal an wasted a gilt-edged opportunity to open his Everton account. Agonisingly enough for him, he put an almost carbon copy shot into the net 8 minutes later but the whistle had already gone for a foul by Carsley in which he injured his knee. Tobias Linderoth was brought on to replace the Irishman.

While Moyes's side had a propensity to drag their feet in the first half of games, today they were actually worse in the second half and this was not helped when the manager withdrew McFadden in favour of Kevin Kilbane on 64 minutes. McFadden, despite still finding his feet at Premiership level and learning when the release the ball as opposed to continuing a mazy run, was the most creative element in the middle of the park so the swap for Kilbane was a little puzzling, as it was at Spurs.

As the half wore on, a sustained period of Southampton pressure left Everton effectively playing on the break which Jeffers did midway through the second period but his only support came from Linderoth and Kilbane and it was the latter whom he found but the Irishman's shot was always rising over the bar. Minutes earlier, a great cross by Jeffers eluded everyone before it caught Watson by surprise at the far post and nodded wrong side of post.

Anders Svensson was then booked for holding Kilbane back, setting up dangerous free kick that Gravesen wasted in horribly predictable fashion, blasting high and very, very wide to the jeers of the Goodison crowd. Watson had the ball in the net soon afterwards, but the ref had blown for a foul by Gravesen.

All in all a desperately disappointing display by a pretty strong Everton line-up. In fact, apart from Alan Stubbs, it was virtually Moyes's first-choice line-up behind the front two and, for my money, Jeffers and Campbell looked the most useful players in Blue so it would be fruitless to point to that duo, partnering each other for the first time this season, to assign blame.

Moyes clearly has a problem on his hands. Almost all his first-choice players are fit and available but he cannot get them to play as a cohesive unit with the style of passing football he has promised he wants to introduce. If he has European aspirations, and we know he does, then he will know as well as we do that this was precisely the sort of game Everton should be winning in their quest to make it into the top six.

Lyndon Lloyd



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