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ToffeeWeb Season Diary
Season 2005-06

Navigate to previous months and seasons using the calendar (right).


 September 2005

News Headlines & Features

Everton 1 - 0 Dinamo Bucuresti
29 Sep - A fantastic atmopshere at Goodison Park as the fans who did attend got well behind Everton and willed them on towards their Mission Impossible. But it took fully 30 mins of great attacking football from Everton before Ferguson, who was winning everything in the air, finally laid it on a plate for Tim Cahill who scored the first with a great diving header. But no more goals before the break... or after it as Everton failed to carry the fight into the second half (except for a stupid punch from Ferguson that should have seen him walk, and a horrible asssualt by Plesan that could have broken Arteta's neck). So, the end of the much-heralded Everton European Adventure. Report by Lyndon Lloyd

Ashes to Ashes
27 Sep - The contempt in which the game of cricket was once held by many in footballing circles has been completely turned around by The Ashes series. Stretching the analogy somewhat, Colm Kavanagh ponders what might rise from the ashes (and when!) of Everton's early-season promise, now that the full magnitude of the challenge ahead is brought home by our club's ignominious position at the bottom of the Table that Never Lies.

Where's the next 3 points?
26 Sep - Despite Wyness's poor delivery, he does have a point that it is far too easy for aggreived fans to start calling for Moyes's head as the solution to the current dire run of results.  Anthony Newel is one fan who has not reacted by jerking the knee but is taking the longer-term view as he summarizes the main factors that need to be bourne in mind as we mull over Saturday's depressing result.

Wyness backs Moyes to the hilt
25 Sep - Keith Wyness takes a pop at the fans who are now calling in louder and louder voices for David Moyes to be sacked (as reflected in our mailbag).  Labelling the current run of atrocious results a "blip", Wyness fully endorses the club's support of Moyes as the best manager the club could have. The Mirror includes an interesting claim that Bill Kenwright provided 20M to fund the manager's summer spending spree...   Hmmm... isn't that exactly the amount Man Utd have paid Everton to date for the services of Wayne Rooney?

Reshuffled Everton fall to Wigan
24 Sep - David Moyes rung the changes, the performance was improved but Everton just couldn't find the final touch to cancel out Damien Francis' 46th-minute goal... and when they did, Marcus Bent's strike was chalked off by referee Rob Stiles for a foul by Cahill. Neville replaced Hibbert and Osman and McFadden started together up-front but while the Blues had the better of the first half, Kilbane headed off the bar with their best chance. The visitors roared out of the gates at the start of the second half and scored straight after the restart and while Everton probed and pushed for an equaliser, a miracle save by Filan from McFadden and some poor refereeing decisions condemned them to a sixth successive defeat in all competitions.

He's got red hair...
23 Sep - Rob Fox tries manfully to ease the tensions ahead of tomorrow's massive "must-win" game [eerrrrr... what dire things will really happen if, God forbid, we don't actually manage to win? Er... don't go there please! Ed]. Rob once again (in his own inimitable fashion, attempts to use logic and reason to rationalize the inexplicable factors that have been compounded together to create what is our worst "bad run" in a long, long time. If you close your eyes, it's almost convincing... almost!

Evertonians in the trenches
21 Sep - "Would you want to be in the trenches alongside some of your fellow Evertonians?" That's the question posed by TW reader, Kevin Latham, who is baffled by some of the more extreme reactions to the current crisis by some Blues, particularly those who are calling for the head of the manager.

An oceanic gulf in class
19 Sep - As predicted, Everton succumbed to their seventh defeat in eight games as they were undone at their own set-piece game by an Arsenal side who were, as usual, vastly superior in all departments. David Moyes rang some changes but his side remain utterly impotent going forward, so when Sol Campbell scored two first-half goals from amost identical free-kicks, there was no way back for the Blues who didn't change their gameplan until the last half an hour. One win, one goal and, on this evidence, a long Premiership road in store. Paul Traill: Has anyone seen our spine?

Everton in Crisis
17 Sep - Yes, we have of course been inundated with letters and fans comments since Thursday night. We have worked our way through most of the shorter items, which you can read in the Mailbag. The ones that are not there are unfortunately the longer articles that take so much effort for you to write but take more time for us to go through. We will be scanning these over the weekend with a view to publishing them in the Fans Comment section, so please bear with us.

Broken Blue
16 Sep - Chris Dunbar says it's now all over for him, although he initially claims it's not really about last night's incomprehensible scoreline from Bucharest.  But it is clear that the underlying angst is driven by "The negativity of Evertons tactics and spirit as a club [which] shone like a beacon of ineptitude" as the team crumpled in a pathetic second-half display.  Holding on to core fans like Chris will be a tough task this season...

What a waste
15 Sep - Everton's European road has all but come to an end as an awful second half performance allowed Dinamo Bucharest to rampage to a 5-1 lead that renders the second leg in a fortnight's time almost academic. The Blues started brightly but were once again caught for pace on the break when Niculescu scored on 28 minutes. A minute later, however, Everton were level when Joseph Yobo headed home a free kick. David Moyes's side, who showed virtually no threat from anything other than set plays, fell apart in the second half. Niculescu's deflected cross was steered home by Zicu, Florentin Petra's powerful drive made it 3-1 with 20 minutes left, and substitute Bratu fired home twice to leave the traveling Blues fans' European dream in tatters.

Speke No Evil! Book A Rest?
15 Sep - Chaos at John Lennon International airport earlier this morning with news that 194 Evertonians, all traveling on an official club package to this evening's UEFA Cup tie in Bucharest, were left grounded due to the company chartering their flight, Air Scandic, going bust. Life's never simple being an Evertonian! The club will refund the bookings.

Long wait for Van der Meyde
14 Sep - Evertonians have been clinging to the hope that the new stars who have yet to figure will turn things around after a pretty awful start to the season. But there was more bad news on Tuesday as David Moyes revealed to The Independent that his star midfielder from Inter Milan, Andy van der Meyde, will not be seen in action for at least a month as he contuinues to recover from a groin operation.

Andy Gray gets it right for once
13 Sep - Much of what he writes in the Echo is rubbish (which is why we very rarely link to it) but for once, Andy Gray has got it right regarding the 4-5-1 formation and what it is doing for the also-rans who don't have the players needed to execute it well.  He also highlights a growing concern and that is the significant effect that the negative football it creates is having on the fans.  But, as far as Everton are concerned, David Moyes has demonstrated 4-4-2 is simply a disaster waiting to happen, so nothing is likely to change any time soon...

Dour Everton give fans little to cheer
13 Sep - All too often so far this season, the tone of the upbeat articles in the local Merseyside press has been condescendingly anodyne as they relentlessly search for the positives to the point of crass stupidity.  So this starkly honest analysis of the Portsmouth debacle by Joanne Lewis comes as something of a shock... but let's have more of it, please.  Sugar coating does nobody any good.

Adventurous Pompey get their just rewards
10 Sep - Everton's miserable start to the season continued with their fifth defeat in six games thanks to a single second-half goal that earns Portsmouth their first win at Goodison in 50-odd years.  The visitors had much the better of the first half and Silva, Diao and Lua Lua all went very close while David Moyes's side couldn't muster an effort on goal until 40 minutes gone when Arteta's fabulous free kick was saved by Ashdown. The Blues were better in the second half and Ferguson had an effort cleared off the line before Pompey punished them at the other end.  Chasing the game, Moyes threw on three attacking pllayers and while Ferguson had another header saved, substitute Beattie flashed a header wide and the home side also had a couple of penalty claims turned down, in truth, Moyes's team didn't deserve the points.  Paul Traill's Report

Vaughan needs knee surgery
9 Sep - David Moyes confirmed another injury shocker for Everton with the news that Jamie Vaughan will be out of action for 6 to 8 weeks after a knee problem was diagnosed as cartilage damage that will require surgery. Vaughan twisted his knee playing for the England U-19 team, and will now join a long line of Everton players in the treatment room.

McFadden must leave, says Butcher
7 Sep - Okay, we at ToffeeWeb did not write this one either, so don't shoot the messenger here...  Yes, we could have ignored it, but we didn't. Motherwell manager Terry Butcher (who sold Jamie McFadden to Everton) is saying the kid needs to get out of Goodison and get back to Scotland, where he can be a big fish in a small pond, but it didn't happen in the last transfer window because Everton wanted a cool 1M over the odds...

All Hale No Pace
6 Sep - With deadline day now long gone, but the rumours of a move for Robbie Keane come January still doing the rounds, there's a rare twinkle in Colm Kavanagh's eye as he relishes the prospect of us bringing in one of Ireland's finest.  And there's some post-match analysis too as Colm gives his take on Everton's performances during a tough spell when results, goals and luck have mostly gone against us.

Merry-go-Round by Rob Fox
5 Sep - This article provides something of a tangential response to most of last week's shenanigans in the transfer market, or (more subtlely) to the reacations, expectations and outright demands of knowledgable Evertonians.  Rob Fox presents us with a modern-day parable about how things might, just might, be expected to pan out in the super soaraway Premiership...  Just hang on to your seats!

The blooding of Jamie Vee
4 Sep - James Vaughan is now a full member of the first-team squad, and David Moyes is talking of using him more a prospect that must excite every blue-shirted Evertonian at the game and watching on TV. There was no better sight last season than seeing Jamie score that classic poacher's goal on his debut, and Moyes admits the he already "livens things up" whenever he comes on. But Moyes hints that he will continue to take a cautious approach... or has he perhaps learned something that can be applied here from the Rooney experience?

Injury Updates
3 Sep - Reading between the lines of the upbeat injury updates for Lee Carsley and Per Krldrup that were being bounced all over the internet yesterday, it seems unlikey either of them will be fit enough to compete for first-team places in Everton's upcoming games against Portsmouth (next Saturday), Dinamo Bucharest (a week on Thursday) of Arsenal (the following Monday).  Beattie is probably an outside hope, while new signing Andy van der Meyde is out for a month.  Pistone and Naysmith round out the injury room with their longer-term problems, while Li Tie must still (presumably) overcome the terrifying fear of re-injury before he is of any use to David Moyes.

Falling Standards
2 Sep - Long-time reader Dermot Duffy is bemused and disappointed by the knee-jerk reaction of Lyndon's now-infamous "Falling short" article. By raising some good points regarding the recent coverage of Everton news and opinions provided on ToffeeWeb, Dermot has illicted responses from both the Webmaster and the Editor, who are both ready to draw a line under the summer madness that surounded the transfer merry-go-round and get down to the buisiness of seeing Everton do their best over the coming months in the Premiership and Uefa Cup.

Falling Short
1 Sep - David Moyes has methodically assembled what is potentially the best squad of players Everton have had for many, many years. But there is the nagging feeling that it will all count for nothing if there isn't someone up front who can put the ball in the back of the net. Everton's failure to sign a proven goalscorer by yesterday's transfer deadline is as mystifying as it is frustrating and with the Uefa Cup and our hopes for European qualification on the line, we have to hope that we don't count the cost of not finishing an otherwise impressive close-season rebuilding job.


Snippets & Rumours

Spineless, by Nick Armitage
30 Sep - Nick Armitage has some strong words to say about Thursday night's antics from the referee and the Romanian players.

Time to stamp out thuggery
30 Sep - David Prentice has a go at the football authorities who tolerate the kind of physical assaults perpetrated on the field of play by the likes of Mihaiti Plessan, who could have broken Arteta's neck.

Fans Comment: Bigger Picture
30 Sep - Andrew Edwards asks some difficult questions about the bigger picture of what David Moyes has achieved for Everton.

No serious damage to Arteta
29 Sep - Mikel Arteta is OK despite suffering a fit on the Goodison turf after being poleaxed in a sickening assault by Bucharest's Plesan. The Spaniard will remain in hospital overnight for observation but has, apparently, sustained no serious damage to his neck or back.

The Fandom of Finnish Evertonians
29 Sep - If, today of all days, you ask yourself why you are an Everton fan, perhaps this abstract from a study by the University of Jyvskyl could help [scroll down for the English version]. Harri Heinonen provides an in-depth sociological analysis and concludes that fandom is a kind of positive addiction, which does not cause pain [Uh?!?] but a kind of enjoyment of being hooked.

The Apologist by Rob Fox
29 Sep - Rob Fox gets personal in his assessment of the calls for time on Moyes's reign as Everton Manager.

Krldrup getting closer to fitness
28 Sep - Per Krldrup has returned to full training as he recovers from groin surgery so it should be only a matter of time before he makes his long-awaited debut for Everton since signing from Udinese in July.

Moyes: It's not impossible
28 Sep - David Moyes talks about Dinamo Bucharest in this BBC audio interview. Can the players perhaps relax a little? "Not with me as a manager, they can't relax."

Davies now a doubt
28 Sep - The hype tries to convey the message that the injury crisis which has contributed substantially to Everton's current problems is getting better, but the reality is that now Davies has picked up an ankle knock, and Carsley needs another operation on his troublesome knee.

Hibbert keen to play again
27 Sep - Tony Hibbert talks about his desire to get back in the team and prove people wrong about Everton.

Beattie to score from the bench?
27 Sep - James Beattie may be "rushed" back to the subs bench on Thursday night after only three days of training, as David Moyes searches for the goals needed to continue Everton's Eurupean adventure.

No major changes from Moyes
27 Sep - David Moyes is not promising any big changes will be made to get Everton out of the current rut.  He seems to think that doing what they did to finish 4th will work again.

Intelligent analysis from Prentice
26 Sep - While the local Merseyside papers still carry the empty platitudes of players who need still to shut up and perform, Dave Prentice sets himself apart with an accurate and realistic analysis of Saturday's game.

Could it get any worse?
25 Sep - Sadly, the answer is a resounding "Yes" as Everton slip to the bottom of the Premiership, thanks to a surprise away win for Sunderland at Middlesbrough today.  Crisis... What Crisis???

Blues handed 'Boro test
24 Sep - Just what we needed... a tough League Cup draw. Everton will play Middlesbrough at home in the Coca Cola Cup third round following this morning's draw.

Phil gives it back in return
23 Sep - Phil Neville throws back straight at Arsenal all the nonsense he's been subjected to this week, calling them for double standards and rejecting as insulting the ridiculous claim that he deliberately tried to injure Pires the pansy. Nice job, Phil!

Ferguson doubtful
23 Sep - Duncan Fergusdon has apparently been laid low with a back injury for most of the week and is doubtful for Saturday's game with Wigan Athletic.

Ruddy has gone out on loan
22 Sep - Reserve keeper John Ruddy has gone on a month-long loan to Walsall.

Cahill may be rested
22 Sep - David Moyes may act on his observation that Tim Cahill is jaded from too much football and travelling, and may rest him from Everton's upcoming games

Pistone under the knife
22 Sep - Alessandro Pistone has been in in Colorado where knee specialist Dr Richard Steadman has repaired teh cartilage in his problematic knee.  He will require a second operation to reconstruct his cruciate ligaments and will definitely be out for the rest of the season.

Player of the Month: August
21 Sep - A bit late because of a database issue we had with the PotM votes but we can finally reveal your pick for the month of August.

Stiffs beaten by 'Boro
20 Sep - A young Reserves side was beaten 2-0 at Middlesbrough this evening.

Salvation lies on the treatment table
20 Sep - There is a player who epitomises everything Everton aren't at the moment: pace, flair, creativity, purpose, entertainment, a desire to only go forward, and an eye for goal. His name is Andy van der Meyde.

More meaningless platitudes
20 Sep - The rut Everton seem stuck in is bad enough without the imperative to have a player deliver another string of platitudes, cliches and statements of the obvious to the local press along with the vacuous promise that things will be better in the next game. This time it's Marcus Bent's turn.  Just shut up and DO IT!

Time for a new gameplan?
20 Sep - Rather than just knocking the now ubiquitous 4-5-1 fomration, Robert Pullan has come up with a logical alternative that plays to Everton's current strengths.

Do you really want Moyes sacked?
19 Sep - In his latest Corner article, Colm Kavanagh takes to task the Evertonians who have called for David Moyes to be sacked, after just four league games.

European Tour You're Havin a Laff
19 Sep - This summer was the biggest opportunity we will EVER have to give ourselves a chance of competing with the 'top three' but as is always the case with Everton FC... WE BLEW IT BIG TIME!! So says Neil Vaughan.

Fans Comment special
19 Sep - We've finally caught up with the many Fans Comment submissions we received in the wake of the Bucharest debacle. Grab a cuppa and click here.

Bad luck and bad buys
19 Sep - It's pretty hard to argue with anything Tony Cascarino has to say about Everton and David Moyes in this article from The Times previewing tonight's Arsenal game.

No laughing matter
18 Sep - Brace yourselves... its going to be a long, hard season...

Carsley return for club and country
18 Sep - Lee Carsley is confident that his injury woes are almost at an end and claims he will be fit and available within the next two weeks.

Plane full of pain
17 Sep - It sounds like Louise Taylor of The Guardian may have been working undercover as a flight attendant on the return trip from Bucharest, with first-hand impressions of the anguish suffered by senior club officials, along with some bizarre controversy about the players' suits...

Shell Shock
17 Sep - Nick Armitage does remarkably well to avoid using very many bad words in his shell-shocked response to Thursday night's European debacle.

FSF put to bed
17 Sep - According to an article in Private Eye, Chris Samuelson he who was heading up the controversial Fortress Sports Fund investment proposal has abandoned his interest in investing in Everton. His next project: dog food.

The Shamans Blues
16 Sep - With plenty of painful feelings flowing our way from many more Everton fans (Mailbag), Colm Kavanagh gets a dose of solace and inspiration from an unlikely source... a voice from beyond the grave!

Talking the talk
16 Sep - It is perhaps crass to single out one player but what is most irksome about this kind of pre-match twaddle Phil Neville provided yesterday is that we have been innundated with it via the media since the beginning of the season and it means absolutely nothing.  As last night proved oh so painfully, it's walking the walk that matters on the field, on the night.

Moyes and Weir feel for the fans
16 Sep - David Moyes held his hand up and accepted it was his responsibility to find a winning formula after what he admitted was a terrible start to the season. But worryingly he seems to see it a fitness problem; Davie, it goes a lot deeper than that!

Pain and Agony
16 Sep - Our Mailbag is predicatbaly bursting with letters from fans who are struggling to come to terms with the abrupt and shocking end to Everton's much-vaunted European Tour 2005.

Those Icons: Our Centre-Forwards
16 Sep - In the dismal wake of last night's capitulation, Rick Tarleton takes a somewhat different and unexpected tack, looking back to the players who have defined the classic periods of Everton's historic greatness.

The X-Factor by Rob Fox
15 Sep - It is very long (of course) but if you want to read a salient intelligent treatise on Everton's current status, this is what you need to do: Ignore all the other yahoos in the press and on the various Everton forums, and just read this incisive analysis from our own correspondent, Rob Fox.

That old chestnut
15 Sep - The club-versus-country row comes to Australia with recent comments made by David Moyes concerning Tim Cahill's priorities ruffling some feathers Down Under.

'They have a hostile support'
15 Sep - "...and the fans get right behind the team from start to finish." Once upon a time Phil Neville would have said that about trips to Goodison! Now he's talking in advance of tonight's trip into the unknown, when Everton face Dinamo Bucuresti for the right to progress to the group stages of the increasingly complicated UEFA Cup.

Another sicknote for Beattie
14 Sep - 45 minutes in the Reserves proved too much for Everton's record signing James Beattie who "suffered a reaction" and will not play in the first leg of the crucial Uefa Cup tie with Dinamo Bucharest.

Chill Out
14 Sep - That's the advice from Nick Armitage, who is clearly under no illusions about the current run of bad form being exhibited by Moyes's boys.  "We may have taken a detour, but we're headed in the right direction." Classy!

Moyes looking forward to Bucharest
14 Sep - David Moyes shares his thoughts with the Liverpool Echo ahead of Thursday's vital Uefa Cup clash in Bucharest.

Ticketing Yet Again!
14 Sep - Ian Macdonald risks incurring more official wrath in this empassioned plea for sensible ticket arrangements to be put in place by the club. The current chaos is creating stress for all concerned and pushing fans away from the club they love.

Li Tie on target for Reserves
13 Sep - Li Tie banged in a great volley to give Everton Reserves the win over Newcastle after James Beattie played for the first half of the game at Haig Avenue on Tuesday night.

Update on Naysmith
13 Sep - Even the Official site is now showing some realism with regard to Naysmith's injury problems. He is being given a few weeks off while he is on antibiotics to give the latest surgical wound a chance to heal properly and will not be back in training until next month.

Uefa game on TV at Goodison
12 Sep - Everton will screen Thursday's game in Bucharest live on the big screens at Goodison Park: 10 at the gate.

Bucharest game will be different
12 Sep - Nigel Martyn expects Dinamo Bucharest to be more attack-minded than Portsmouth, whose lock-down approach stifled Everton on Saturday... doesn't exactly fill us with confidence, Nige!

Tony Grant back in for training
12 Sep - Tony Grant is back at Bellefield, training with the Everton players, after leaving Burnley at the end of last season.

Cahill needs a break
12 Sep - David Moyes is contemplating how he can revitalize Tim Cahill, who looks jaded and tired after jetting around the world to play for the Socceroos.

Now how hard was that?
11 Sep - Everton finally seem to have got it regarding tickets for the home leg of the Uefa Cup clash with Dinamo Bucharest a fortnight on Thursday. Season-ticket holders can call in by phone, they get priority, get to choose their own seat, and get a 5 discount! All they need now will be some decent football to watch!!!

Valente joins the walking wounded
9 Sep - Don't be too surprised if Nuno Valente's much-vaunted debut for Everton fails to materialise tomorrrow: he is another one carrying an injury. That would make it an incredible ten players listed as unavailable for tomorrow's game!

Ward guilty of drug-dealing
9 Sep - Mark Ward, who played for Everton in the early 1990s, will go to jail for a long time after pleading guilty to possessing cocaine with intent to supply.

Naysmith out for a while
8 Sep - This article in the Liverpool Echo carries no indications when Gary Naysmith is expected to fully recover from the third operation on his problematic ankle.

International Round-up
7 Sep - David Weir & Jamie McFadden starred in a good 2-1 win for Scotland in Norway. Kilbane played for Ireland against France to equal Pat Bonner's record of 34 consecutive competitive games for his country, and Simon Davies was on the losing end for Wales in Poland. While the fun game of the night was in Northern Ireland, England going down 1-0 and Rooney losing his cool, with Phil Neville an unused sub once again.

Sticking with 4-5-1
7 Sep - David Moyes makes a statement of faith in following the 4-5-1 formation, even if it means less exciting (more technical?) football.  It's what the big boys do...

When Skies Were Gray
7 Sep - Oh dear.., just when we were trying to encourage a rosy and positive outlook, Andy Gray, in his increasingly awful column in the Liverpool Echo chooses to talk up Walter Smith.  Our columnist Nick Armitage is not impressed.

Dinamo Bucharest ticket details
6 Sep - Details on ticket allocations and reservations for the way leg in Buchcarest next week have finally been sorted out, and season-ticket holders get priority.

Walter made my life hell
6 Sep - Okay, that's a bit over the top, but former Blues 'keeper Thomas Myhre claims that things went downhill for him at Everton after Walter Smith arrived.  The dignified Scotland manager later downplayed any sense of conflict.

Reserves match the first team!
6 Sep - Andy Holden's reserves travelled to play Bolton's reserves (wonder how many nationalities in that side!) last evening, at Leyland, and returned home with the spoils - a second win of the season secured with teenager Alan Kearney netting the winner as early as the second minute. Keeper John Ruddy made his debut.

Half Full or Half Empty?
5 Sep - After calling for more balance in our Mailbag, Gary Keey shows the way with this attempt to embrace what he sees as opposing views on the current state of the good ship Everton.

Naysmith facing third surgery
5 Sep - Gary Naysmith's bid to return to action has been hit by the need for a third operation on his ankle, this time to treat an infection picked up during the effort to remove a piece of bone from the injured area.

Classic Cup-Tie on US tv
5 Sep - For fans in the States who don't have the videotape, Fox Soccer Channel will show the classic FA Cup 5th Round tie between Everton and Liverpool that turned into a classic goal-fest in 1991. 1pm EDT / 10am PDT on Monday (Labor Day).

Walter singing Weir's praises
5 Sep - Walter Smith has lots of fine things to say about David Weir, the consumate professional, after his game for Scotland at the weekend, holding Italy to a very creditable 1-1 draw.

Kilbane has the 'flu
4 Sep - Kevin Kilbane is a doubt for Ireland's crucial World Cup Qualifier against France on Wednesday, having succumbed to a bout of influenza.

Share your views
4 Sep - The Deadline Day climax and aftermath saw us get a massive influx of diverse views and opinions from Everton fans last week.  The answer to this question from Tony Waring in today's mailbag may help you identify the best way for your thoughts to be heard.

England v Wales
3 Sep - Simon Davies played most of the game for Wales, but could not stop Joe Cole from sscoring the winner, while Phil Neville sat on the England bench, suggesting that he only got games for England when he was a Man Utd player...

Database Blues
3 Sep - What with all the stress and excitement of Deadline Day now been and gone, there was a little "operator error" that resulted in our databases getting overwritten, but we've recovered pretty much everything.  The massive mailbag from last week is not lost: it's archived here.

Falling short? Get real
2 Sep - A ToffeeWeb reader who identifies himself only as Glasgow Blue offers a full riposte to columnist Lyndon Lloyd's piece on the failure to sign a striker before the transfer deadline. He believes that it's all part of the five-year plan and that we should all sit tight and be patient.

The Waiting Game
2 Sep - In a well-written and nicely balanced piece, Mark Dunford describes his disappointment that the search for a striker came to nothing but also understands the challenge David Moyes faced in what he suggests was a seller's market this summer. For Mark, his biggest fears are for James Beattie for whom the pressure to deliver has only been intensified without another proven goalscorer arriving before the deadline.

Vote for your Player of the Month
1 Sep - The first five games of the season should give you plenty to mull over as you decide who was your pick of the players for August. Cast your vote today.

City (A) switched to Sunday
1 Sep - Everton have announced that, in consideration of the club's 'expected' participation in a Uefa Cup game against Dinamo Bucharest the Thursday prior, the away game against Manchester CIty slated for the end of the month has been switched to Sunday 2 October at the ridiculous kick-off time of 11:15 am!  Thank you Sky Sports, who will broadcast the game live on PPV.

Da Silva 'Arrangement'
1 Sep - Everton have secured some kind of deal for Brazilian Anderson Franca da Silva, who was released by Racing Santander but will continue to play in Spain for Malaga on loan (from Everton?). He hopes to qualify for an EU passport next year.

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