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Season 2005-06


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March 2006


News Headlines & Features

Valente out for four to six weeks
Injury news
30 Mar - While it seemed that most players were finally clearing the treatment room after what has been a difficult season (if partly self-imposed) for injuries, David Moyes has received another blow regarding Nuno Valente, who had really been doing well in the team.? His thigh strain is expected to keep him sidelined for four to six weeks ? effectively writing off the rest of the season, leaving Naysmith and Pistone to vie for the left-back slot.

Goalkeeper Crisis
Fans Comment
28 Mar - With Richard Wright taking it in the neck for some questionable decision-making at critical moments during the derby last Saturday, many have vowed that he should never again play for Everton. Dutch Schaeffer takes time off from his mailbag roile as staunch defender of all things Moyes to examine what our options are when it comes to solving this goalkeeper crisis.

All too predictable
Fans comment from Steve Hogan
26 Mar - Perhaps the most gauling thing about yesterday is how it laid bare all the inadequacies that hold Everton back from becoming a top club again, despite this year's form-topping run of results.  Our mailbag is bursting with anguish and pain, and finger-pointing as to where the fault really lies.  And sadly, many have turned once more to highlight the failings of our manager, David Moyes.  This letter from Steve Hogan seems to cover most of the points being made.

Liverpool 3 - 1 Everton
No advantage taken of Gerrard gift
25 Mar - Referee Phil Dowd must have misread the instructions on the brown envelope, booking Gerrard for kicking the ball away, then for scything down Kilbane. OFF! ? and a glorious chance for Everton. But all they got were half chances as more cards and no football punctuated the first half... until Neville inexplicably headed past Wright to give Liverpool an unwarranted lead. Thanks very much, said Garcia, minutes after the break, when he lobbed Wright with ease. Tim Cahill pulled one back but Kewell executed the final blow after Van der Meyde came on... and then got sent off, with seven other Everton players getting yellow cards. What a disaster! Match report by Lyndon Lloyd

Four weeks off 30!
Latchford book launch approaching fast...
23 Mar - 30 is the story of Bob Latchford?s 1977/78 season, a pictorial journey detailing each and every goal that the Everton legend scored on the road to a ?10,000 prize from the Daily Express. With a unique insight into the strikes from the man who Evertonians thought could walk on water, plus extracts from match reports of the time, 30 is a must for any football fan who remembers the England centre forward in action. Bob?s team-mates from that memorable campaign have added their memories to the book, which also includes recollections from some leading names in the English game including Sir Trevor Brooking, Trevor Francis and John Motson. For more information on Bob and the book, or to pre-order your copy for just ?20 visit www.boblatchford.com

Butterflies
Nick Armitage Column
22 Mar - It's fast approaching: the tension is building and the knots in the stomach seem to twist and turn that much more...? Yes, it's the Anfield derby on Saturday, and Nick Armitage has butterflies as he looks forward to what might for once be a more memorable visit to the tin-mine ? although as we all know, that formbook means nothing.? Big Dunc is through with his punishment; will he play?

Barcodes sniffing after Moyes
Silly Season starts early this year
21 Mar - This really should rank as nothing more than one of those annoying rumours, but today everyone is buzzing about the prospect of Newcastle United making a run at Everton manager David Moyes for the position recently vacated by one Graeme Souness. An unprecedented joint denial was subsequnetly issued, with Bill Kenwright saying: "I know David Moyes. I know Freddy Shepherd. The story is fabrication and total nonsense - it should be discounted immediately." Newcastle United Chairman Freddy Shepherd added: "Bill Kenwright is one of my closest friends in football, and I have phoned him this morning to say that Newcastle United have not approached David Moyes, will not approach David Moyes, and wish him and Everton Football Club only the best of success."

Keeping up the pace
Season Comparsion update
20 Mar - Steve Flanagan's occasional look at Everton's record by way of a direct comparison, per opponent, with the same games last season, reinforces how well the team is doing to redress the balance following that abysmal earl-season run of defeats. Since the Goodison derby, Everton have won 26 points out of a possible 33, meaning that we are now just 10 points off the pace of last season ? a remarkable statistic given the fact that we had fallen to 18 points off last season?s pace after that derby match.

Cahill brace seals record win
Everton 4 - 1 Aston Villa
18 Mar - After a slightly shakey start, Everton surged into a fantastic two-goal lead. First McFadden powered home with excellent placement from a Beattie knockdown. ? Then Cahill finished off a McFadden flick that bounced along the goal-line and off the far post after a clever near-post back-header from Beattie.? Osman made it a perfect first-half scoreline with a very well-taken goal created by an intelligent cut-back from the very lively Arteta. ? A chance to repay Villa for the Boxing Day massacre, but the second half was a big disappointment, with Arteta retiring and Agbonlahor getting one back before Cahill lashed home a final goal on 90 mins, for Everton's sixth successive home win ? something they never managed before in the Premiership.

It may be curtains for Martyn
Harline fracture hastens decision
17 Mar - Nigel Martyn has been stunned by the news that he has a hairline fracture in a bone of his foot. He has been out of action since January and had been hoping to return soon but this news will put him firmly on the sidelines for at least the next six weeks and he is highly unlikely to play again this season. And that lay-off could be further extended as the goalie who has served Everton so well over the past 2? years is out of contract in June.

Moyes loses some perspective

15 Mar - David Moyes has not talked much in public about the dismal start to the season that came on the back of repeated failures in the transfer market. Here, he puts that awful spell down to a lack of confidence. But in this last line of the story, he crucial downplays Everton's fantastic history prior to the last 10 years: "Everton are considered to be one of the top six in the country, but if you look at the performance over the years they are probably a bottom-six club." Careful, Davey.. just how many years are you talking about?

[Apparently David Moyes was misquoted by Sky Sports (see our Mailbag); he did mean the Premiership.]

Four years and counting
Fourth anniversary for David Moyes
14 Mar - David Moyes celebrates four years in the Goodison hot seat todat ? no longer the poisiened challice; he can look back and see improvements dispite the ups and downs which he sees are an inevitable part of a manager's life in football. Significantly, he refers to feedback from the fans, and the need for an educated response to give them correct answers. But what better way to celebrate than with that excellent win over Fulham, a fixture repeating his first game with the Blues on 16 March 2002.

Kenwright restates his faith in Moyes
''I want this club to succeed''
13 Mar - On the back of a glorious win that featured two the best goals seen at Goodison in many a long year, Everton Chairman Bill Kenwright says that he at no stage considered sacking David Moyes, despite Everton's dismal start to the season. Moyes had a plan for recovery back in November, and he is ahead of that points total. "We are making progress but there is still a long way to go."

Beattie brace puts Blues back on song
Everton 3 - 1 Fulham
11 Mar - With Richard Wright back in goal, Joseph Yobo and Andy van der Meyde were on the bench but still no sign of Matteo Ferrari.? Everton started in determined fashion, carrying the game down to the Park End and the visitors' goal.? After 14 minutes, James Beattie was tripped for a penalty and he fired Everton confidently into a great lead.? Beattie made it two with a sublime finish, chipping the ball beautifully over Warner and into the top corner. After the break, it took a little while before McFadden sealed things with an absolute screamer of a half-volley. Everton relaxed after that, and a poor challenge from Hibbert gave sub Collins John a chance to pull one back from the spot.? But a great win for the Blues on the back of a truly excellent footballing performance. Report from Paul Traill.

Who needs strikers?
Pick of the Past ? a new feature
8 Mar - Everton's home record against this weekend's opponents Fulham in the Premiership is pretty good: four wins out of four, with most of the more unsavoury events against the Cottagers coming in the reverse fixture.? Fulham have not won away this season either.? In fact, Fulham have never won a league game at Goodison Park!? This link takes you back two years in our new Pick of the Past feature, to a game Everton had sown up by half-time... and none of the goals coming from strikers!

Still some way to go...
Season Comparison ? updated
6 Mar - After being a massive 18 points down on last season's efforts at one point, Everton have been making steady progress when comparing each fixture with the corresponding result from last season, but still need to make up 12 points, with just 10 games remaining.  Steve Flanagan provides the analysis...

Just sign here
An imagined effort to get Robbie Keane
5 Mar - Rob Williamson has allowed his mind to wander a little, on the news that Robbie Keane has signed his life to Spurs for another four years, and seems unlikely to be enterataining any further thoughts about joining Everton. Perhaps the deliberations with David Moyes might have gone something like this...

Blues battle back twice to earn a point
West Ham United 2 - 2 Everton
4 Mar - Everton twice came from behind to earn a creditable draw at Upton Park against 8th-placed West Ham. An 18th-minute Leon Osman strike canceled out an opportunistic Marlon Harewood goal, but Dean Ashton nabbed a classic strikers's goal from nothing to put the Hammers ahead again in a very lively game. Everton were rewarded for their efforts by a terrific goal by James Beattie who lobbed Shaka Hislop with aplomb with 19 minutes left.

Shareholders? Annual Dinner
Some tickets still available
2 Mar - Everton Shareholders? Association Annual Dinner will be held on 18 March in the Alex Young Suite, Goodison Park.  In recognition of the 125th FA Cup competition and the 100th anniversary of Everton?s first triumph, the theme is the FA Cup ? which will be there is all its glory ? together with members of the 1966, 1984 and 1995 cup-winning teams. Tickets are ?35.

Everton slide out of Senior Cup
Everton 2 - 2 Tranmere Rvrs (aet; pens: 5-6)
1 Mar - A young Everton Reserves/Academy side failed to progress in this season's Liverpool Senior Cup, a trophy they won last year, when they finally succumbed to Tranmere Rovers 5-6 on penalties after extra time. Each side had scored two goals by half-time, with Victor Anichebe and John Paul Kissock on target for the Blues, but neither side could do much more in the second half or in extra time, and so the tie was decided through the lottery of penalties.

 

Snippets & Rumours

2006/7 Season ticket incentive
31 Mar - The club have announced that fans can buy their season ticket for next season at 2005/6 prices if they purchase within the next 14 days.

Set your VCR/DVR
31 Mar - ESPN Classic (channel 442 on Sky Digital) is broadcasting the 1985 Cup Winners' Cup Final between Everton and Rapid Vienna at 10 p.m. this coming Monday.

Where was it going?
31 Mar - Well, I'm not entirely sure... but see if you can figure out just what Alan Thomson is talking about in this mystical Fans Comment item. Maybe it will resonate for somebody...

More consultation on ground move
31 Mar - Keith Wyness promises yet more consultation with the fans on sorting out a new ground for Everton. "I understand the soul of football fans, I am one myself. We do not want to regurgitate another bowl. We'd have to do something special for Everton, and we have to make sure the site had the right type of feeling." ? in which case, just get on with it, Keith: and be judged on the results!

Improvements off the field
30 Mar - Ian Doyle provides a more substantial and balanced interview with Everton CEO Keith Wyness in today's Daily Post.

Get your Podcast here!
30 Mar - The ASSE Podcast ? the fabulous hilites of alt.sport.soccer.everton brought to you in glorious mp3... Does anyone still bother with Newsgroups?

What happend to 24/8?
30 Mar - Keith Wyness believes the way the club is now being run will attract new investment ? something Bill Kenwright has been seeking in vain "24 hours a day, 8 days a week" for the last five years.

Far and Away
29 Mar - Colm Kavanagh provides his unique take on the current tenor of things Everton.

Reserves struggle against City
28 Mar - Everton Reserves ended up on the wrong side of a five-goal thriller(!) against Manchester City, with Hopkins and Kissock getting the goals, while Pistone only played the first half.

Pistone in Reserves tonight
28 Mar - Alessandro Pistone continues his recovery from a bad knee injury with another run-out for the reserves tonight, against Manchester City.

No appeal for VdM red card
28 Mar - Everton have decided not to appeal against Andy van der Meyde's derby red card at Anfield.

Perspective
28 Mar - As the dust starts to settle after Saturday, Nick Armitage puts the derby defeat in perspective.

Stubbs calls for a clampdown!
27 Mar - Defender Alan Stubbs has called on the FA to get tough with the increasing number of players who pressurise the officials into booking players. "It has crept into our game lately. It is a foreign thing. They have brought a lot of good things to the game but the (playacting) is something that we don't want." Not so sure it's a 'foreign thing' as Stubbs intimates - it's been going on for years!

Mandatory ?25k fine
26 Mar - To add insult to injury, given the gulf in class is primarily related to money, Everton are being fined ?25k by the FA for having six or more players cautioned in yesterday's derby.

Moyes rues missed opportunity
25 Mar - Reding between the lines of his after match comments, it sounds like David Moyes was as frustrated as anyone that his players responded so poorly to Gerrard's early dismissal.

Arteta will not play
25 Mar - Mikel Arteta misses today's derby match after failing a late fitness test, due to the back injury he is carrying.  Kevin Kilbane plays in his place.

Moyes looks for a better showing
24 Mar - David Moyes talks about the challenge facing his players in Saturday's Anfield derby.

Top in 06
23 Mar - Everton sit proudly atop this Premier league table, based on games played since I Jan 2006.

Arteta denies Reds leanings
23 Mar - Mikel Arteta has made it plain that he would never contemplate joining Everton's local rivals Liverpool. "No way... I'm really honest in saying I'm not going there. Definitely not."

Weir looking for Everton to perform
23 Mar - David Weir talks about the transformation of Everton since the last derby and says "It is important in this game that we go out and give a performance."

When skies ARE blue ? for now
23 Mar - Chris Marks gives us his take on the season so far, and Everton's position of relative strength as they head into the final stretch.

G14 wracked by fear
22 Mar - Anyone interested in the future of European football should read this scathing analysis of the G14 pariahs, by Martin Samuel in The Times.

Best Centre-Back Partnership
22 Mar - Talk in the ToffeeWeb Mailbag has focussed on the question of which centre-back partnership should we employ. ToffeeWeb?s resident statto provides some numerical evidence. See also: our poll on this subject also reveals our readers' feelings.

Now for the Arteta Conspiracy
21 Mar - News today that Milkel Arteta has a back problem and has not trained this week feeds right into the conspiracy theory aired at the weekend that he would miss the derby because he will be transfered to Liverpool during the summer. Is this how it starts?

Pistone in action for the Reserves
21 Mar - Alessandro Pistone is expected to play for Everton Reserves against West Brom this evening, as he progresses on the long road of recovery from a bad knee injury.

Westerveld heads off home
20 Mar - Sander Westerveld completed his temporary loan spell at Everton by sitting on the bench for the Aston Villa game; he has now returned to Portsmouth.

Onward and upward
19 Mar - Everton registered their biggest goals haul of the campaign and moved into the top half of the table as they demolished an inexperienced Villa side. Match report by Lyndon Lloyd.

Marks out of 10
19 Mar - Dutch Schaeffer provides his rather uniform Marks out of 10 for yesterday's players, most of whom were 7s or 8s ? even the MotM! ? and nothing for Killa Kilbane!!!

Teammates
19 Mar - In this entertaining Windows Media Video clip, James Beattie talks about some of his teammates...

Real Progress
18 Mar - Favourable results from adjacent teams in teh Premiership mean Everton jump two places into ninth on the back of today's win ? the biggest of the season. And that's the first time in Top Ten, as our League Progress chart shows.

Moyes full of praise
18 Mar - David Moyes was full of praise for the way his boys performed today to redress the balance against Aston Villa this season, despite a jittery spell in teh second half.

Vidarsson suffers a clash of heads
18 Mar - Young Everton player Bjarni Vidarsson had to go to hospital when he clashed heads after 15 mins of today's Youth Academy Under-18 game with Sheffield Wednesday that Everton won 2-0 with goals from Steve Morrison and John-Paul Kissock.

Valente has a thigh injury
18 Mar - Nuno Valente was ruled out of today's game against Aston Villa with a thigh injury.

Latch launch
17 Mar - Bob Latchford's book, '30' will be launched with a special dinner at the Holiday Inn, Liverpool City Centre on Friday 21 April 2006. Members of the squad from the time will also be in attendance. Tickets, which include a four-course meal and a signed copy of the book, cost ?50, with a special offer available to those who have already subscribed to the book. Call the Everton Former Players' Foundation Hotline on 0151 520 2362 and visit www.boblatchford.com for the latest news surrounding the book and the man himself.

Serious knee problem for Vaughan
17 Mar - Evertonians will not be seeing anything of James Vaughan this season after it was confirmed that he is still having problems with his knee, despite having the cartilage removed in a December operation after he injured ligaments while training with England U-19s back in September.

Prentice provides a translation
17 Mar - David Prentice reprints some of David Moyes's speech this week on his fourth anniversary... and then provides a more direct translation of what he really meant to say...

And this is how it starts
17 Mar - Some Evertonians fear that our best players will be sucked away in the next transfer window, despite the usual protestations from the club. The saga begins with Yobo...

Turner in Scotland Future
16 Mar - Iain Turner turned out for the second half of Scotland Future's game against their Turkish counterparts on Wednesday night.

The James Gang
16 Mar - David Moyes talks about his hot striking partnership: James Beattie and James McFadden.

The name that strikes fear...
16 Mar - [Archived media article in The Times on the G14 from March 2006]

Half a game for Andy van der Meyde
15 Mar - Andy van der Meyde completed 45 mins for the Reserves against Aston Villa, but Villa came back with two goals after the break to trump Victor Anichebe's opener. Carsley & Naysmith played the full game, and John Ruddy was in goal.

Too Great Expectations
14 Mar - Some thinly veiled exasperation from Moyes regarding the fans who were unimpresssed by Everton's dismal form throughout 2005. They were clearly not "people who knew about football and how football clubs worked." That's telling us, Davey!

Arteta says he's happy at Everton
14 Mar - Mikel Arteta talks about playing for Everton and debunks the "conspiratory theories" on the internet suggesting he was unhappy: "I am at a club where everything is good. The atmosphere, the fans, I feel very good in the city and when you feel like that, you cannot help but coming into training smiling every day and know what is important in life."

Mikel: ''Absolutely Outstanding''
13 Mar - David Prentice points up the fabulous perfomance put in by Mikel Arteta, whom Alan Irvine describes thusly: "He was outstanding today, absolutely outstanding. He has been playing very well, but today was one of the best performances that I have seen for a long time. I don't know if he made a mistake all day. He was terrific from start to finish."

Wilson to extend loan
13 Mar - Academy player Laurence Wilson will stay on loan at Mansfield until the end of the season.

Beattie beaming
13 Mar - James Beattie and the rest of the Everton team are full of big smiles after their great performance against Fulham; James talks about those two super goals and the superb performance of Mikel Arteta.

Elegant Everton: new-found finesse
12 Mar - If the performance at West Ham and now this emphatic win over Fulham are anything to go by, Everton under David Moyes are finally maturing into an attractive, coherent passing side that can score beautiful goals. Match report by Lyndon Lloyd.

We're Safe! [ToffeeWeb Match Report]
12 Mar - Match Report by Paul Traill

Moyes ecstatic with his boys
11 Mar - David Moyes was obviously proud of the result, the superb goals, and the way his charges played in the Arteta-inspired 3-1 demolition of Fulham, noting that Everton perhaps should have scored more, and that his subs upset the flow of the game near the end.

Who's been our best manager?
11 Mar - There has been a lot of talk in the ToffeeWeb Mailbag recently about how good David Moyes is as a manager. Our brilliant statistician, Steve Flanagan, provides this numerate analysis in comparison with all of Everton's Premiership managers.

Stubbs playing for a new deal
10 Mar - Alan Stubbs is hopeful that Everton's improvement in form since he returned will pay dividends in terms of a new contract, but Moyes has stated such things won't be dealt with until the season ends.

Dazzling??? Or inconsistent?
9 Mar - Cutting through the hype, Leon Osman has benefitted from a spell in the first team, with some impressive perfomances and a few goals after a faltering start... but he might need resting!!!

More from midfield
9 Mar - David Moyes has observed that his Everton players should have scored more goals from midfield.

Not a bad word to say
8 Mar - True to form, David Moyes has nothing but praise for one of his more mystifying summer transfers, Simon Davies: "He is a composed football player and he is technically very good on the ball." ? he just never seems to DO anything worthwhile with it!

Ferrari still a few weeks away
8 Mar - Matteo Ferrari is still some weeks away from a return to first-team action, with a niggling hamstring problem troubling him ever since he injured a nerve against Arsenal.

League Progress chart updated
8 Mar - If you like graphs, this one depicting Everton's upward progress since that awful start to the season is tarting to look a lot better!

No chance for AvdM & Vaughan
7 Mar - Andy van der Meyde and James Vaughan were set for reserves run-outs against Sunderland tonight [not Aston Villa, Dominic!] but the game has been called off due to a waterlogged pitch.

All down to Neville
6 Mar - It was all down to Phil Neville, according to this match report in The Times.

"My soul is at Goodison..."
5 Mar - Nice article in today's Observer Sports monthly supplement about Bob Latchford. Bob recalls his playing days at Goodison, remarking that "if you took that Everton team and put it in the era we have now, the fans would be jumping for joy." Indeed!

Pardew apologises to Neville
5 Mar - A silly non-story about West Ham manger Alan Pardew and Phil Neville manfully exchanging pleasantries on the touchline during yesterday's game.

Moyes eyes Old Firm challenge
4 Mar - ... eventually. A bit of a non-story and certainly not a surprising one, but The Herald quote David Moyes in desire to one day go "home" and manage one of the Old Firm clubs.

Yobo injury only 'slight'
4 Mar - David Moyes chose to rest Joseph Yobo at West Ham rather than risk aggrevating a 'slight' groin injury.

Moyes stalls on defender contracts
4 Mar - David Moyes is not going to make any decisions on new contracts for his defensive stallwarts, David Weir and Alan Stubbs, who will both be out of contract at the end of the season.

Academy player signs professional
3 Mar - Academy Under-18 and Reserves player Lee Molyneux has signed his first professional contract with Everton that runs through June 2008.

Beattie: still plenty to prove.
3 Mar - In the Liverpool Echo, David Prentice questions Beattie's claim that he has finally come good for Everton.

Jimmy Mac makes the grade
3 Mar - James McFadden has finally secured a regular place in the Everton first team, according to this piece from Sky.

Pistone set to resume training
3 Mar - Alessandro Pistone is set to return to training next week after a seven-month layoff recoverying from serious ligament damage to his knee, suffered against Bolton back in August.

Injury list set to decrease
2 Mar - Two of Everton's long-term injury cases have resumed training this week: Andy van der Meyde and James Vaughan, with another injury-prone player, Richard Wright, also taking positive steps towards recovery from his latest injury fiasco.  But none of them are expected to be ready for Saturday's game at West Ham.

Vote for your Player of the Month
1 Mar - Cast your vote for the player you thought was the Blues' top performer in February.

International round-up
1 Mar - Nuno Valente, Simon Davies and James McFadden all started for their respective countries in international friendlies tonight, while Kevin Kilbane came on after an hour for Ireland in their comprehensive 3-0 defeat of Sweden.

Li Tie in action also
1 Mar - Forgotten man Li Tie has been in action at the international level for China yet again, this time it was a 2-1 defeat to Iraq in a Group E Asian Cup qualifier played in Al Ain, UAE.

Beattie honking his horn again
1 Mar - Confidence is a wonderful thing, but I'd still like to be reading much less of this self-absorbed nonsense and much more about how many goals James Beattie is scoring for Everton.

A Polish site for Evertonians
1 Mar - How's your globalization coming along? Check out this nice-looking Polish site dedicated to Everton. Well... at least they have a good range of pics!

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