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 Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool Friendly   Saturday 7 August 2004; 3:00pm
 Gravesen (pen:33')
 Kilbane (55')
Half Time: 1-2
  Kovacevic (18')
Nihat (31')
 Attendance: 11,156 (Fixture 7) Referee: Mark Halsey


Match Summary

> Match Facts
> Match Reports

The preparations for the coming season have been far from ideal up to this point, with some promising scorelines against Pachuca and Sheffield Wednesday.  But the paucity of Everton's aging defence is there for all to see as Everton return at last to Goodison Park for the final pre-season fixture before it all kicks off in earnest next weekend.

Thomas Gravesen and Kevin Kilbane: Scored the Blues goals in a 2-2 draw

Everton went behind after 20 mins when Kovacevic headed cleanly past Martyn, and it could easily have been two a few minutes later when Gary Naysmith was forced to clear off the line.  Nihat then picked up the ball and went on a mazey run before firing home a low shot that fizzed past Martyn. 

Tomas Gravesen got one back fro Everton from the penalty spot after Kevin Campbell had been brought down.

Real Sociedad swapped out their entire team at half-time, bringing on eleven subs for the second half. 

Kevin Kilbane equalized with the best move of the game after great work from McFadden and Watson to set him up for the goal.   Ferguson then came on with two other subs and the game wound down to a stroll in the summer sunshine as both sides settled for a draw.


Match Facts
EVERTON (4-4-2)
Black shirts, shorts & socks
Blue/white shirts, white shorts, blue socks
Martyn (Wright 68)
Hibbert (Pistone 56)
Stubbs {c}
Yobo (Weir 68)
Gravesen (Ferguson 68)
Campbell (Bent 56)

Subs Not Used:
Chadwick, Clarke,
Bosnar, [Osman*]

Yellow Cards:

Red Cards:


(Injured): Rooney, Li Tie, Osman*
(International Leave:) Cahill

Riesgo (Lopez 46)
Da Silva (Labaka 46)
Xabi Alonso (Zubiaurre 46)
Brechet (Jauregi 46)
Karpin (Gabilondo 46)
Kovacevic (Alkiza 46)
Arteta (Barkero 46)
Lopez Rekarte {c} (De Paula 46)
Nihat (Mikel Alonso 46)
Uranga (Xabi Prieto 46)
Garrido (Estefania 46)

Subs Not Used:

Yellow Cards: 

Red Cards:

Match Reports
Sheffield Wednesday (A)      2004-05 Match Reports Index     Arsenal (H)
 Everton Websites
 ToffeeWeb Match Summary Match Report
 When Skies Are Grey Match Report
 Blue Kipper Match Report
 Everton Fans' Reports
 Colm Kavanagh Matchday Report
 Links to Other Media Reports
 Liverpool Echo Match Report
 Daily Post Match Report

Match Preview

The preparations for the coming season have been far from ideal up to this point, with some promising scorelines against Pachuca and Sheffield Wednesday.  But the paucity of Everton's aging defence is there for all to see as Everton return at last to Goodison Park for the final pre-season fixture before it all kicks off in earnest next weekend.

The future of Everton has to be with youngsters like Tony Hibbert, who really needs to learn how to cross the ball. Hopefully, Moyes has focused on such ideals in the run-up...   Joseph Yobo, who has missed the last two games, returns to action, hopefully to plug some of those gapping holes.

The Club will still be burdened by the likes of Duncan Ferguson for one more season; he starts on the bench.  *Although named as a substitute, Osman was in fact being rested due to a groin strain.  Li Tie is still on the road to recovery after sustaining a shin fracture last February.  And Wayne Rooney has at least a month of recovery and progressive training before he will be ready to play.

Matchday Report

Christ, that was a warm one in Liverpool.  Sweating cobs.  Always nice to catch a "game" at Goodison though this one resembled more of a lethargic kickabout in the heat I most certainly would not have appreciated wearing black in that heat!  Ah well, breaking sweat will have been a novelty for some of our lads over recent months do them no harm....

It's ridiculous forecasting that the end of the world is nigh after a game like this or equally predicting we're Champions League bound.  Kilbane and Gravesen were central to what little creativity we had on offer.  McFadden still hasn't found what he's looking for (a right leg) and Campbell huffed and puffed.  Carsley was Carsley, breaking up what play he could, the sort of effort that generally goes unappreciated by the watching eye.

Defence?  Oh God... must we?  If the declaration last week was "Houston We Have A Problem" then that problem has now returned home to base: Alan Stubbs.  The QE2 turns quicker than Stubbsy.  Holes aplenty in what we laughingly call a defence.  We have been warned.  Emergency surgery drastically required right across the back four allowing for poor Yobo's class being a cut above.  Oh dear.....

Oddly enough, was that Dicky Gough playing at the heart of Sociedad's defence?  Could've sworn it was him!

Their two goals were softer than a newborn's arse Moses couldn't have done a better job parting our defence.  "HELLO - come on in, welcome to Goodison".  Shit, one down.  Within a minute it could've been three one stupendous save from Nigel Martyn (who looked like he'd got his hair sheared at Crufts) and then a clearance off the line (from Naysmith).  We were ragged but, hey, it's only a kickabout in the sun.

Our visitors doubled their lead, with ease, before half-time and you could see heads dropping.  Some shouts of "Sack the Board" from the Gwladys Street were amusing as there was hardly anyone sitting over in the Director's Box!  You could see Bill Kenwright seated alone in his usual seat, but he looked lonely there.  No Phil Carter beside him to reminisce about days of old and Dave Hickson.  The deck of cards continues to crumble....

Two observations:

  1. The pitch  Do you remember when Goodison Park was THE finest playing surface in the land?  Well, this pitch we have now is already showing signs of wear and tear.  It was cutting up down on the touchline Bullens Road side.  I can only presume that the Ground staff have less of a budget (what budget!) to prepare the pitch but it ain't a patch (sic) on what it used to be.  Those where the days....
  2. Thomas Gravesen's hot pants!  Mother of Gawd (high pitch voices please) how tight can they be?  Straight from a sleazy Copenhagen S&M den?  He's gone from the baggy to the ridiculously tight.  Paulo di Canio eat yer heart out mate.  I'm on the case, as we speak, trying to get to the bottom of this (sic).  One theory is that Gravesen wearing these ultra tight shorts means he no longer looks the spit of Carsley.  However, I think the real reason behind it all is that if Gravesen even thinks about wellying it from 30 yards out he'll end up splitting his kecks with the follow through!  Does this mean we'll get the benefit of a more focused Tommy for the season and not the headless chicken?  Hopefully!

Prediction for the start of the season up front:

It's Marcus Bent plus one.  Hardly rocket science but there yer go.  Bent looked impressive when he came on early into the second half.  I'd possibly start with him alongside James McFadden for Arsenal's visit next Sunday.  Home debut goals on the opening day of the season anyone?  We've had a fair few of those over the years...   Bent just might hopefully get off to a flyer next weekend when least expected.

Why, pray tell, are Everton so skint?

One possible reason occurred to me, in the MeagreStores (thankfully no longer looking as meagre as they once were) both in town and by the ground.

Firstly, why is it that most of these youngsters who work in these businesses (vital to the Club) seem to have not a clue about their job?  I'll start with Ranelagh Street bright and early - himself wanted the new Everton kit so in we went.  Picked up the shirt, socks and shorts and proceeded to queue for the name on the back - Kilbane for those still interested.  One hour later and I think they're just about to lovingly place the name Kilbane on the back of me kids new shirt.  I'd already noticed a slight panic amongst the staff at this stage - "We've got no O's left... and there's hardly a Y left either" mutters one member of staff to another.

Cue important looking geezer (ie, him with the keys and the "look at me I've got it down as an art form doing nowt and looking busy") scuttling off to some pokey wee hole out of bounds to the prying eye.  No joy; plan B comes into effect.  Out came a load of (already prepared?) "Rooney" letter transfers (not selling as well this year then or what young Wayne?) and they proceeded to nick an O here and a Y there.

Ah, time for my kid's shirt! "We've got no L's..."

Cue important looking geezer (repeat above scenario)...  Again, no joy.  Plan C comes into effect.  One of the girls takes out a load of (already prepared?) "Campbell" letter transfers (not selling as well this year then Super Kev?) and proceeds to nick a few L's.

After entering the store at 11.05am, we finally escaped at 12.35pm.  Phew.

Having said all that, great to see the number of new full kits on so many kids.  It looks ace and puts to bed the argument over white or blue socks. White socks win the day by a landslide they make the kit complete.  Kudo's to whoever designed this kit.

We went to the main MeagreStore (looking not so meagre it has to be said) after the game and had to bide our time in the queue outside.  Excellent, the tills must be ringing!  Keep this up and we might get the cash together to bid for a player on a free transfer!

Anyway, once we got in, like many other overseas Blues, I went about the place with total disrespect for my credit card's health.  T-shirts, curtains, duvet, football, books, mugs, accessories etc.....

Queued at the counter to pay the aisles that they've set up are a good idea, very much along the lines of your supermarket checkout. Plenty of small accessories around you as you shuffle along the queue to the till and I've absolutely no doubt they'll sell quite a bit of shite this way.  It all adds up, turning pennies into pounds and though it won't buy us a Zidane it all helps!  Anyway, to the till we eventually got. Young fella scans everything and then says, "26.98 please".....

The curtains alone cost 36.99 so I looked baffled and with a DILEMMA on me hands!!!

Do I smile and then slip off into the night with the bargains of bargains?  Or do I pipe up, "sorry mate...  think you've made a big mistake there and yer doing yourself (or more to the point, the Club)?"

Once the penny dropped, the colour drained from his cheeks.  Andy Hosie was only a matter of feet away, the place was packed and rightly or wrongly I didn't want to get the kid in trouble there and then.  Second time lucky for our troubled assistant and I was properly fleeced!  However, it does leave you thinking how often does this happen and that's without giving credit to some of the famous scouse/scally savvy out there!

Out at the airport later on, a lady passed a comment to me young fella about his new kit.  We ended up chatting about the game earlier as she was also a match-going Blue.  Mentioned the lark with the MeagreStore and she told me that a few months back she went in to buy a shirt for herself.  Ended up buying a different one as the one she wanted was, surprise surprise, "out of stock".  After trying it on at home she didn't like it so went back to the Store to exchange it. 

Turns out she'd received a discount when buying the item and after explaining all this she was given a total refund and the preferred shirt she'd wanted initially (obviously then "back in stock!").  Only when she got home did she notice that the total refund exceeded to price she'd initially paid.  So, she rang the Store, explained (to deaf ears) what had happened fearing someone at the Store would get into shit for having a balance deficit on their till. 

The response she received?  The Berlin Wall re-emerged with whoever supposedly listening not actually listening to what the woman was saying.  "You gave me more back than I paid for it!"  The message was eventually driven home.  The response? "Thank you for your honesty.  Because of your honesty we'd like you to keep the difference.  Thanks for highlighting this error."

Is it any wonder we're struggling for petty cash?

Colm Kavanagh

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