<% Dim oMRTCs, oMRTRs, strSQL set oMRTCs = server.createobject("ADODB.Connection") oMRTCs.Open "Driver={Microsoft Excel Driver (*.xls)}; DBQ=" & Server.MapPath("/season/06-07/data") & "/premtable.xls;" strSQL = "SELECT * FROM [Summary$] ORDER BY Pos, Team ;" Set oMRTRs = oMRTCs.Execute(strSQL) %> ToffeeWeb: Season 2006-07 - Everton 1-0 Bolton
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Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool
Premiership
 Saturday 18 Nov 2006; 3:00pm
Arteta (60')
Half Time: 0-0
 
Attendance: 34,417
Fixture 13
Referee: Uriah Rennie

Match Summary

To compensate for the loss of Tim Cahill, David Moyes moved Joseph Yobo to right-back with Lescott and Stubbs in the middle, and Valente on the left, allowing Phil Neville to return to midfield, with both Beattie and Johnson up-front; presumably 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1.  No Simon Davies there was word of an ongoing injury but Andy van der Meyde gets a chance to figure from the bench, where keen young strikers in the shape of James Vaughan and Victor Anichebe will be chomping at the bit.  James McFadden completes his two-match suspension for giving his opinions to Graham Pool.

For Bolton, surprisingly no Kevin Nolan, who's wife is giving birth, but a somewhat familiar faces in the shape of Idan Tal, who left Everton for a better life in sunny Spain four years ago, and of course Gary Speed, who no longer seems to attract the acrimonious jeers of previous visits.  The game got going after a minute's silence for Royal Marine Ben Nowak, an Evertonian with connections to the club and the Academy, who was killed in Iraq.

An early free-kick from Arteta came to nothing and Bolton broke strongly to threaten the Everton goal.  Campo had a pop that was wide as they surged forward relentlessly.  But Johnson did well at the other end and set up Osman for a header that was off target.  Beattie made a good start, getting well involved, and earning another free-kick in a good position.  Arteta swung it in but Ben Haim got to it ahead of Lescott.  Bolton broke quickly again and it needed more good work by Valente to deny Anelka.

Dangerous free-kick just outside the Everton area when Stubbs had his arms over Davies who was backing into him.  But Carsley stopped it in the wall.   Neville was booked for a mistimed challenge on Diouf. Tal's delivery nearly deceived Howard.  Carsley, Beattie, Arteta, Johnson and Osman combined well in a nice move that ended with a Jaaskelainen interception as the game finally livened up a little on 25 mins.  Beattie's glanced header flew wide form a good Arteta corner.

Beattie won another free-kick, off which Osman won a corner, and from that the bal came back to Arteta who cut in and shot well at Jaaskelainen, who saved with his feet and scrambled it away for another corner.  Arteta then played in Johnson with a beautiful ball, and he tried to play in Beattie but it didn't come off.  A good spell for the Blues ended as Davies and Campo very nearly scored at the other end, and that saw the pendulum swing again Bolton's way as Everton seemed to get a bit panicky.  But a good chance came right on the break, when Beattie set up Yobo but the centre-half sliced his shot badly.

A fairly even half overall, with both sides having periods of possession and some half-chances.  More of the same in the second half, David, or will you do something to change the game and make Big Sam think?  No, is the short answer to that no-brainer.  Everton came out brightly and pushed Bolton back, but still no results form some good build-up play.  At the end of this spell, Idan Tal had a pop at the other end but Howard watched it go wide.

Everton were playing some good football going forward, but looked very vulnerable to the lively Bolton counter-attack. But a break by Everton saw Mikel Arteta advance and (taking advantage of some wonderful off-the-ball movement from Johnson to draw the Bolton defenders away) unleashed a superb 25-yard screamer that shot into the net.  Fantastic!

Johnson won a corner, and Arteta swung over another excellent corner that Stubbs should have buried but put wide.  At the other end, Speed was allowed to advance and fire on goal, Howard pushing it wide.  Everton broke again, but were not quick enough to really take advantage.

Anelka and Diouf looked like they would pull one back but failed in the final execution after carving the Everton defence apart.  It was end-to-end stuff as neither side seemed to accept the game was over, with 15 minutes left. But Moyes decided to act, with James Beattie given great applause as he was replaced by Victor Anichebe.

Everton needed to batten down and hold the game, but the usual danger was evident that they would allow Bolton to press them hard in search of an equalizer.  Everton attacks became rarer and, when they did have possession, there was a distinct lack of support for the man with the ball, and possession as ever was squandered. Anichebe was somewhat unfairly booked after tackling well and getting a good piece of the ball.  Rennie was losing it at the end, with Arteta losing a good tussle and Johnson getting booked for something. 

Big Sam threw on some of his big buggers for a final aerial onslaught an a nervy ending for the Blues as Jaaskelainen came forward to head it wide but Everton held out to the end for a vital and very, very important win to put the Blues back on an upward track.

Michael Kenrick

Arteta magic gives Everton the edge

Everton produced the spirit and the commitment promised by David Moyes before last weekend's defeat at Aston Villa and overcame a Bolton side who were every bit as determined and physical as expected thanks to a magical second-half strike by Mikel Arteta.

The Blues may have ridden their luck on occasions in a frenetic but entertaining encounter in front of a pulsating Goodison Park crowd, but they were full value for the win that was secured as much by resilience at the back as it was by Arteta's moment of brilliance on the hour.

As expected, Moyes opted for a 4-4-2 formation in the absence of top scorer, Tim Cahill, and partnered Andy Johnson with James Beattie. Nuno Valente made a welcome return at left back, Phil Neville moved to central midfield and Joseph Yobo became the latest player to fill in for Tony Hibbert at right back. That meant a central defensive partnership of Alan Stubbs and Joleon Lescott.

The game started in predictabl fashion, with neither side able to settle into any kind of rhythm and the ball spending plenty of time in the air. Bolton had the first sight of goal with Ivan Campo brought down Stubbs's headed clearance before despatching a few yards wide and it into the crowd behind Tim Howard's goal.

Everton's first chance followed closely behind a minute later when Arteta's driven cross was met by a glancing Leon Osman header but Jussi Jaaskeleinen pluckes it out of the air before a slip by Stubbs at the back after good work by Valente almost let Nicky Hunt in but he couldn't capitalise for the visitors.

Pleasingly, neither side was afraid of getting forward and after a quarter of an hour, a lovely move ended with Valente, who was excellent throughout, crossing beautifully for Lee Carsley but he couldn't get sufficient purchase on the ball and ended up glancing it wide. Now Tim Cahill in that situation...

Another good Everton move a few minutes later saw Beattie chesting back nicely for Osman but as he advanced he either didn't pick up Carsley's intelligent run into the box or chose not to use him and the chance was lost.

Wanderers, always dangerous, almost stole the lead after 20 minutes, though. Neville, who, truth be told, had an awful game back in the middle of the park, was booked for taking out El-Hadji Diouf and when the ball eventually came back to Idan Tal on the right flank, his cross swerved in the wind and looked to be arcing back into the net before Howard took emergency measures. The American had to change direction mid-air and make an acrobatic one-handed save to divert it behind for a corner.

In contrast to last weekend, Arteta was on fine form and much more effective from set-pieces. A 22nd-minute free kick looking for Beattie forced a corner when Kevin Davies nodded it behind but when the Spaniard found the Blues' no. 9 from the resulting corner, he could only get a slight touch as it flew across goal.

And 10 minutes before the break, another Arteta corner was knocked back to him by Johnson but instead of sending it back in, he jinked into the area around his marker and unleashed a left-footer that Jaaskeleinen had to save with an out-stretched leg.

At the other end, meanwhile, Davies' aerial prowess was wreaking havoc in the Everton defence but it was with his feet with which he set up Campo with a free header seven minutes before half time but the Argentine made a mess of a great opportunity and headed embarrassingly wide of goal.

action photo
Stubbs on Davies: The Blues had their hands full with the striker all afternoon

Gary Speed came much closer four minutes later. Neville put Howard in danger with a back-pass and his hurried clearance went straight to Speed whose quick-reaction header looped over the 'keeper and bounced a few yards wide.

But it was the home side who had the last word in the first half when a throw from the right wing found Arteta and his chest back found Yobo but he sliced wide from the angle.

Parity at the break was probably a fair reflection of the first half proceedings. Everton had tried to play the better football but were guilty of squandering possession on too many occasions, Neville, Stubbs and Lescott being the chief culprits, while Sam Allardyce's men had caused problems in the air but generally lacked penetration from any other avenues.

It was Bolton, however, who emerged from the dressing room with greater purpose and Tal had Goodison hearts fluttering within five minutes of the restart when he fired inches wide with a superb volley. Then, Diouf twisted and turned Yobo inside out on the left side of the area before unloading a shot that was blocked by Stubbs.

With an hour gone, though, Everton regained the initiative in spectacular style. Arteta burst forward with the ball at his feet and as Johnson and Beattie pulled defenders left and right, the defence opened up before the Spaniard and he unleashed a rocket that flew into the top left-hand corner to send Goodison into delirium.

The visitors responded in typical fashion. Two minutes after Arteta's goal, Campo again went close when he headed a corner off the top of the crossbar and Tal found the woodwork himself a minute later when he was allowed spaced to measure a shot that he raked across Howard and off the far post. Davies, following up, blasted the rebound over the bar, much the home side's relief.

And after Stubbs had risen well to meet a corner but steered it across goal, Gary Speed despatched an Exocet from distance that was beaten away by Howard and Anelka threatened to break his scoring duck in the Premiership for the Trotters when his shot forced Howard to palm it across the face of goal where Valente blocked the attempted return cross from the byline.

For all their increasing desperation, though, Bolton didn't really threaten the Blues' goal again, that despite Uriah Rennie giving them every opportunity to do so with a series of awful decisions, thankfully none of them crucial.

Beattie was removed in favour of Victor Anichebe with 15 minutes to go and his power and tenacity ruffled a few feathers and almost created a couple of chances for Johnson and Allardyce made a couple of late attacking changes — Stelios for Campo and Vaz Te for Davies — but they were of no consequence as Everton had shut up shop.

action photo
Joseph Yobo: Overcame some early jitters at right back

Indeed, Moyes had such confidence in his defence that he had James Vaughan warming up ready to come in the closing stages and Arteta almost put another emphatic stamp on the game a minute from time with a direct free kick but his effort didn't have enough bend and bounced off the side-netting.

Honestly, there wasn't much between these two sides which, given their proximity in the table, wasn't surprising. And a harsh critic of Everton's performance would suggest that were it not Arteta's sublime intervention, this would have gone down in the books as an entertaining 0-0 draw. After all, while the Blues were much better in the attacking third than they had been over the previous scoreless games, they still lacked ideas and penetration at times and Johnson will have been frustrated by the fact that he didn't get a single clear scoring opportunity all game.

The home side's attitude, however, was first class and made for a pulsating contest between two sides who weren't afraid to get stuck in. That will have pleased the manager and it will stand the team in good stead going into back-to-back away games against the bottom and top sides in the table.
Lyndon Lloyd

Match Preview

There's little doubt the optimism that greeted Everton's electric start to the season has now evaporated on the back of a four-game spell without a win and three straight defeats in all competitions.

Andy Johnson has now failed to score in the last seven matches and top scorer Tim Cahill is out of action until well into the New Year after being caught badly by his teammate in Lee Carsley in last weekend's 1-0 defeat by Aston Villa, the Blues's first home league defeat so far this season.

So, with the prospect of a long, hard winter ahead, a worryingly thin squad and frustratingly cautious (financially realistic?) rhetoric on the part of the manager where the January transfer window is concerned, Evertonians could be forgiven for losing faith that this season is going to be all it promised two months ago.

Not exactly the frame of mind in which you would want to be playing Bolton, especially when you bear the scars from last season's 4-0 drubbing by the Trotters in this fixture in December last year.  That, in conjunction with a loss to West Bromwich Albion, a team later relegated, by the same scoreline, represented the nadir of the 2005-06 campaign and it sparked a New Year revival that almost carried David Moyes's side into the top half of the table.

The Blues will have hopes for a similar upturn in fortunes starting this weekend against Bolton.  Sam Allardyce's team faltered briefly at the start of the campaign, found their rhythm as they ascended to third in the table but have now slumped a little themselves in recent weeks.

But Everton will know what to expect because their style, along with their first team, hasn't changed much.  They are still the same direct, hustle-and-bustle outfit that has the ability to beat you on the ground with the likes of El-Hadji Diouf and Nicolas Anelka as easily as in the air with the likes of Kevin Davies.

Indeed, Davies and Anelka would appear to be the ideal foil in attack but as a partnership it hasn't provided the goals one would expect.  Davies only has two for the season and Anelka has yet to get off the mark... so you just know, as an ex-Red, that he'll get his first of the campaign against us!

action photo
Andy Johnson: His goal drought continued against Villa last weekend

Moyes's selection choices ahead of this game are severely limited by injury and suspension.  As Cahill is out, he will almost certainly revert to 4-4-2 with James Beattie and Andy Johnson up front, and Mikel Arteta, Leon Osman and Simon Davies in midfield.

The defensive line-up once again rests on the fitness of Nuno Valente — if he is not passed fit, Joleon Lescott will fill in at left back again and either Alan Stubbs (most likely) or David Weir will be asked to partner Joseph Yobo in the centre in front of Tim Howard.

With back-to-back away games — at Charlton and Manchester United — coming up before the end of the month, there's a lot riding on this game in terms of team morale.  A third-consecutive Premiership defeat would really have the alarm bells ringing; a morale-boosting win would, of course, set things up nicely for the trip to the strugglers at The Valley.

And perhaps no one needs to turn in a good performance than Beattie.  With both his goals so far this season coming from the spot and precious little evidence that he and AJ can function together as an effective partnership, the £6M man has everything to prove.  Of course, much depends on whether the midfield can provide him the service he and Johnson will require with Cahill out of the picture.

Lyndon Lloyd

Match Report

Bolton, on a blustery day, in winter... you just knew that this was going to end up as a scrappy one-nil, decided by a goal stabbed over the line after a huge goalmouth scramble.  Well, nearly right.

The day dawned one of those cracking winter days, cold, clear and crisp with a fair amount of frost to be scraped off the car before the long drive north.  Too long in bed meant there was only time for one pint in the Top House not a big problem seeing as the Cains was off so it was keg Tetley or nothing.

We took out seats as Z-Cars rang out, eager to see exactly how we were going to line up in defence.  Yobo, Stubbs, Lescott and Nuno Valente were on the teamsheet but just who would be occupying right-back in Hibbert's prolonged absence?  Would Lescott be at left-back with Nuno Valente moved across to right-back or, horror of horrors, would Yobo be pressed into service at right-back?  The latter was the answer.  Oh gawd.  Davies was unexpectedly missing from the Cahill-less midfield with Carsley and Neville being flanked by Arteta and Osman.  Beattie and Johnson completed the line-up.

Bolton went for a reasonably adventurous line-up upfront of Kevin Davies down the middle flanked by ex-Liverpool players Diouf and Anelka backed by a midfield of former Blues Speed and Idan Tal accompanied by 70s-porn-star-lookalike Ivan Campo (not that I have an encyclopaedic knowledge of such things, Ill have you know).

We started off kicking towards the Park End with the conditions perfect for a fast, flowing game.  Beattie, the subject of much abuse recently (and quite possibly on his way out of the club in the next two months) played the first 45 mins like a man possessed.  He was excellent, chasing everything, even seemingly lost causes.  His contribution to the first half was summed up by one cross from the right that was drifting past the far post and away from danger.  Beattie somehow managed a sort-of bicycle kick that connected with the ball and looped it back towards goal, nearly over the head of Jaaskelainen and across the line. it would have been an absolutely remarkable goal had it gone in.

Bolton attacked with their usual vim and vigour, getting balls forward quickly to one of the gruesome twosome (Anelka and Diouf) out wide with Speed and, occasionally Campo, arriving late to assist Davies.  Yobo was simply awful, in danger of turning a bad dream of a display into a complete nightmare. Every pass or header he made either went straight to a Bolton player or aimlessly out of touch.  When will the Goodison management realise that he is neither a full-back nor a central midfield player?  He is only a centre-back and will never be anything else.

Half-time arrived with both teams reasonably equal.  Campo had had an amazing chance, a free header about 12 yards out that he somehow directed towards the corner flag. Our best chance had been a shot by Arteta following a corner that he drilled low but straight at the Bolton keeper.

The second half continued pretty much the pattern of the first with a fair amount of huff and puff by both sides but with both goalkeepers rarely called on to make any appreciable contribution to the game.  Finally, after an hour, the deadlock was emphatically broken but not with the scrappy goal predicted beforehand.  The ball was played out of the Blues half by Carsley to Arteta wide on the right.  He picked up the ball and accelerated forward, beat one man, cut inside a second then, with his left foot, unleashed an amazing rifling shot into the top left-hand corner.

In response, Bolton upped the pace even more with Campo coming closest, clipping the top of the bar with a header from a corner.  Then Tal (I don't remember him doing this for us during his time at Goodison) drove forward and hit a superb shot to Howard's left that hit the base of the post and rebounded to safety.

Moyes replaced the excellent but tiring Beattie with Anichebe who put himself about to good effect for the 15 minutes or so he was on the pitch.  Bolton threw the kitchen sink (and Jaaskelainen) at the Everton goal but somehow we held out. Finally the erratic Uriah Rennie (at one point he penalised Arteta for being pulled back when bearing down on goal!?!?!?!) blew the whistle and the 34,000 people inside the Old Lady collectively blew out their cheeks in relief at an absolutely vital 3 points.

Performances:

  • Howard: 7 - Only had to make one serious save which did brilliantly to turn a wicked swirling cross from Tal behind.
  • Yobo: 5 - Five points for Joseph, 0 point for Moyes for picking him as right-back. His distribution is dreadful, he can't control the ball and he dawdles when in possession.  Frankly, my mum could do better.
  • Stubbs: 6 - Did OK
  • Lescott: 7 - He's class.  Rarely gets out of position or gets flustered when in possession.
  • Nuno Valente: 7 Again, he just gets on with the job of being a left-back.  Streets ahead of Pistone and Naysmith put together.
  • Arteta: 8 - Would have been MotM even if he hadn't scored that wonder goal.  Our only creative midfield player unfortunately.
  • Carsley: 6 - OK, did nothing well or badly
  • Neville: 6 - See Carsley. Considering the weak Bolton midfield, we should have been all over them but sadly we allowed them to by-pass it.
  • Osman: 6 - Good in flashes but became more ineffective as Bolton upped the pace.
  • Johnson: 7 - Ran his heart out as ever
  • Beattie: 8 - First half he was superb, second he tired. Second only to Arteta for the MotM.
     
  • Anichebe: 7 - Good substitution by Moyes. Victor put himself about to good effect replacing the tiring Beattie.

Jonathan Martin

Match Report

May appear here later

Author

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Key Links
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Match Reports
2006-07 Reports Index
< Aston Villa (H) Charlton (A) >
 Everton websites
 ToffeeWeb Summary
 Evertonfc.com Report
 When Skies Are Grey Report
 Bluekipper Report
 Everton fans' reports
 Lyndon Lloyd Report
 Jon Martin Report
 Other media reports
 BBC Sport Report
 4 the Game Report
 Sky Sports Report
 Sporting Life Report
 SoccerNet Report
 The Observer Report
 The Guardian Report
 Liverpool Echo Report
 Daily Post Report
EVERTON (4-4-2)
  Howard
  Yobo
  Lescott
  Stubbs
  Valente
  Neville :19'
  Osman
  Carsley
  Arteta
  Johnson :89'
  Beattie (75' Anichebe :87')
  Subs not used
  Wright
  Weir
  Van der Meyde
  Vaughan
  Unavailable
  McFadden (suspended)
  Cahill (injured)
  Davies (injured?)
  Pistone (injured)
  Naysmith (injured)
  Hibbert (injured)
  Boyle (injured)
 
BOLTON (4-4-2)
  Jaaskelainen
  Hunt
  Meite
  Speed
  Campo (84' Stelios)
  Pedersen
  Davies  (90' Vaz Te)
  Diouf
  Tal 
  Ben Haim (90' Faye)
  Anelka
  Subs not used
  Walker
  Fortune

 
Premiership Scores
Saturday 17 November 2006
Man City 3-1 Fulham
Arsenal 1-1 Newcastle
Chelsea 1-0 West Ham
Everton 1-0 Bolton
Portsmouth 1-1 Watford
Reading 2-0 Charlton
Sheff Utd 1-1 Man Utd
Middlesbro 0-0 Liverpool
Sunday 18 November 2006
Wigan -v- Aston Villa
Blackburn -v- Tottenham

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