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ToffeeWeb Season Diary

Season 2009-10

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February 2010


News Headlines & Features

White Hart Lane hangover
Tottenham Hotspur 2 - 1 Everton
28 Feb - Despite a stirring second-half performance, Everton could not fully recover from a poor first half that looked like a continuation of the defeat in Lisbon. A strange team selection saw Donovan and Bilyaletdinov dropped to the bench, Saha absent (injured), as Heitinga and Distin replaced the poor Yobo and Senderos in the back. But it didn't really work as a sloppy Everton slumped to two goals in the first half when it could easily have been four. Osman was pulled off for the second half, Jagilelka on in central defence, and Heitinga moved to midfield and Everton did get one back when Yakubu stabbed home a Rodwell header from a corner after the break. They should then have gone on to win, with Pienaar producing a poor shot when one-on-one with Gomes, and Donovan missing the open goal of the season. Clearly, it was not to be.

Tottenham Hotspur vs Everton
Match Preview
27 Feb - Everton travel to Tottenham for a match with significant ramifications for European qualification hoping to extend their Premier League winning sequence at White Hart Lane and atone for both their meek Carling Cup defeat last autumn and their disastrous performance in Lisbon on Thursday. Johnny Heitinga and Sylvain Distin are available again after missing the match against Sporting but Tim Cahill is still sidelined with a calf injury. KO is 1pm. [No full preview this week due to the site issues we're experiencing]

European dreams crushed in Lisbon
Sporting CP 3 - 0 Everton (4 - 2 agg)
25 Feb - Lisbon was once again the scene of misery for Everton as Sporting turned this Round of 32 tie on its head with three second-half goals. Joao Moutinho crashed a fortuitously-won free kick off the crossbar in a first half dominated by the Portuguese side as the Blues struggled to get out of first gear. They escaped again on the hour when Tim Howard blocked Moutinho's volley from point-blank range but after Steven Pienaar curled a shot the wrong side of the post, one of only three genuine attempts at goal all match, Miguel Veloso rammed home from the angle to transform the tie. Pedro Mendes doubled the lead when his deflected shot flew past Howard with 14 minutes left and as David Moyes's side pushed forward trying to fashion a goal that would have forced extra time, substitute Matias Fernandez wrapped it up on the counter-attack in injury time to seal Everton's fate. Report

Sporting CP vs Everton
Match Preview
24 Feb - Everton return to Lisbon on Thursday evening knowing that a clean sheet will see them through to the Round of 16 at the expense of Sporting whom they lead 2-1 from the first leg. Phil Jagielka is included in the squad for the first time since April and Philippe Senderos also travels, with David Moyes hoping the Swiss defender will be fit enough to deputise for the suspended Sylvain Distin so he doesn't have to pitch Jagielka straight into first-team action. Update: Joseph Yobo and Yakubu are expected to have last-minute visa issues resolved in time for the match. KO is 8.05pm with live coverage on FIVE.

Jagielka return foiled by the weather
Defender could be emergency cover in Lisbon
22 Feb - Phil Jagielka was set to end his recovery from a cruciate knee ligament injury with a return for the Reserves tonight but a frozen pitch at the Halton Stadium means he will have to wait a few days longer for his first competitive match since April last year. David Moyes has hinted, however, that he may be forced to throw Jagielka straight into the team in Lisbon on Thursday with John Heitinga cup-tied, Sylvain Distin suspended and Philippe Senderos struggling to overcome a back injury.

Young Guns embarrass Sir Alex
Everton 3 - 1 Manchester United
20 Feb - An audacious goal from Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, a well-worked second by Dan Gosling, and a wonderful solo effort by sub Jack Rodwell to cap a great team performance at the end sealed a tremendous victory for Everton over the other Champions Elect — Manchester United. It looked to be business as usual for Everton against a top 4 side when Dimitar Berbatov put them ahead on 16 mins after a bright start, but Bily's response 3 mins later was a superb game-defining moment as he lashed an unstoppable shot past the static Van der Sar. Everton missed some crucial chances to wrap up the game in the first half but broke the stalemate in the second when Gosling came on and scored from a classic Pienaar cutback to send Goodison delirious. The expected United onslaught failed to materialise and Rodwell's coup de grace at the end provided the perfect finish to a great game and a famous victory.

Everton vs Manchester United
Match Preview
20 Feb - Everton take on Champions Manchester United in the lunchtime kickoff today hoping to claim another scalp after burying their Chelsea hoodoo ten days ago. Tim Cahill joins Marouane Fellaini on the sidelines but John Heitinga is eligible again. KO is 12:45pm.

Cahill to miss crucial games
Damaged calf muscle
19 Feb - Everton could be without Talisman Tim Cahill for the remaining fixtures in February after he damaged his calf muscle in Tuesday's game against Sporting. The Australian is expected to find out the extent of the injury today but is ruled out of tomorrow's game against Manchester United and is expected to be sidelined for the return leg in Lisbon and the visit to Tottenham at the end of the month.

Pienaar: Goodison is my home
“I aim to play here for a lot longer”
17 Feb - Steven Pienaar has moved to dampen speculation that Everton face a fight to keep the talented South African at Goodison this summer because he has yet to sign an extension to his contract that expires next June. The midfielder says, "I feel this is my home. The supporters have always been good to me and I always give 100%. I definitely aim to play here for a lot longer, why not? Talk of moving is only rumours and I am definitely enjoying my football here."

Distin howler leaves Blues with slender lead
Everton 2 - 1 Sporting CP
16 Feb - Everton were five minutes from completing a job very well done in this Round of 32 first leg when a horrendous error by Sylvain Distin transformed the complexion of the tie. The Blues were ahead through a sublime Steven Pienaar goal in the first half and Distin's own strike off his nether regions three minutes into the second and Sporting were being well contained despite Izmailov crashing a shot off the outside of Tim Howard's post. But when Distin's heavy touch from an equally heavy pass by Jack Rodwell allowed Liedson to rob him and race clear, the defender clumsily brought him down in the box and was shown an inevitable red card. Miguel Veloso sent Howard the wrong way from the spot and scored what might be a crucial away goal in the final reckoning.

Fellaini to miss rest of the season
16 Feb - The BBC confirm specluation earlier from Sky Sports that Marouane Fellaini will miss the rest of the season with the ankle injury he sustained in the Merseyside derby at Anfield 10 days ago. "He has a very serious injury and needs an operation so he will be out for six months," said David Moyes, who compared it to the injury that has ruined Robin van Persie's season at Arsenal. The Blues' loss was compounded later this evening when Tim Cahill limped out of the action against Sporting Lisbon with an apparent calf injury.

Everton vs Sporting Lisbon
Match Preview
16 Feb - Everton face down Lisbon opposition under the Goodison lights this evening for the second time this season with the visit of Sporting with a much stronger Blues side hoping to banish the memory of a 2-0 Group I defeat to Benfica in October. Johnny Heitinga is cup-tied while Marouane Fellaini and Victor Anichebe are injured and there is apparently a doubt over Philippe Senderos but Joseph Yobo is fit again and Steven Pienaar is back from suspension. KO is 5:45pm with live coverage on ESPN.

Fellaini scan delayed again
12 Feb - Further scans to determine the extent of the damage to Marouane Fellaini's ankle have been postponed again because the swelling to the midfielder's ankle remains so severe. The Belgian was due to see a specialist in London earlier this week but the trip was ruled out due to travel problems but today's rescheduled appointment has also been put back. "We have put Fellaini's appointment back until the swelling goes down a bit more," David Moyes said. "We don't want to speculate until then."

A victory a long time in the making
Everton 2 - 1 Chelsea
10 Feb - Bruised from Saturday's derby defeat and without a win over Chelsea in 10 years, Everton looked to have dug their own grave when they allowed the Premier League leaders to capitalise on their early momentum and conceded a soft goal to Florent Malouda after 16 minutes. Instead, the Blues came roaring back and Louis Saha powered in front of John Terry to plant Landon Donovan's corner past Peter Cech with an excellent close-range header. The Frenchman gave the Chelsea captain a torrid time all evening and Saha superbly atoned for a penalty miss in first-half injury time by chesting down Sylvain Distin's long ball and firing the winner past the 'keeper with 15 minutes to go. The inevitable Chelsea onslaught followed and Didier Drogba was allowed to shove Tim Cahill out the way and plant a header onto the crossbar before referee Alan Wiley found five stoppage-time minutes from somewhere to give to the Londoners but Everton hung on for Moyes's first ever win over Chelsea. Full Report

Everton vs Chelsea
Match Preview
9 Feb - Everton take on Premier League leaders, Chelsea, at Goodison Park tomorrow evening looking to bounce back from Saturday's demoralising derby defeat and the loss of dynamic midfield duo, Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar. Mikel Arteta is likely to start his first game this season and David Moyes could deploy Jack Rodwell or Phil Neville in central midfield to add some bite that was missing at Anfield on Saturday. Kick off is 8pm.

No news on Fellaini injury
Further scans were planned
9 Feb - Everton have kept a pretty tight lid on any meaningful news about the condition of Marouane Fellaini, whose ankle was badly injured by the two-footed lunge that got Stirios Kyrigaos of Liverpool dismissed with a straight red card on Saturday. The swelling probably still has to go down and is expected to reveal damage to his ankle ligaments that will keep him out of Everton's next Premier League encounter at Goodison Park tomorrow night.

Everton count the cost of Anfield failure
Liverpool 1 - 0 Everton
6 Feb - Desperate for a first win at Anfield in 10 seasons, Everton lost the first stand in a crucial month in the pitched battle of a Merseyside derby and, perhaps crucially, two of their best players to injury and suspension respectively. A particularly nasty first half yielded precious few chances but a red card for Kyrgiakos and a potentially serious ankle injury for Fellaini, who could easily have seen red too in a studs-up clash that was the nadir of an ugly contest. The second period was calmer but the Blues gifted Kuyt the winner when Howard flapped at a corner and the Dutchman nodded home. Sadly, Moyes's side came up well short in their attempts to break down a depleted Liverpool, their misery compounded when Pienaar was shown a second yellow for barging in late on Gerrard. Full report

Liverpool vs Everton
Match Preview
6 Feb - Everton begin what has been dubbed the "month of death" this weekend with a Merseyside derby clash with Liverpool at Anfield where — and no one needs reminding — they haven't win in 10 seasons. Form usually counts for nothing but the Blues will be confident going into David Moyes's 600th league match as a manager that they can deepen the gloom across the Park with a famous win. Kick off is 12:45pm with live coverage on Sky Sports.

Saha pens new Everton deal
“It feels like a family and I feel like a part of it”
5 Feb - Everton have now confirmed that Louis Saha has ended the uncertainty over his contract situation by penning a new two-year deal with Everton. The Frenchman would have been out of contract this summer and free to sign for another club but he didn't conclude any pre-contract agreement in the January transfer window, hinting that he might be happy to stay with the Blues.

Everton to stay at Goodison?
Redevelopment may be on the cards
4 Feb - Everton are looking again at the possibility of redeveloping Goodison Park but chief executive Robert Elstone remains optimistic over hopes for a new stadium in the city. Since plans for a £400million project, in conjunction with Tesco, at Kirkby were rejected, the club have been assessing their options and have commissioned an architect to have another look at the feasibility of working on the Goodison footprint.

Help collect Everton memories
Everton Collection's Oral History Project
2 Feb - The Everton Collection are launching an ambitious project that needs volunteers to help record and preserve people's Memories of Everton FC. Young, Latchford, Ferguson — all Everton heroes from the past. The Everton Collection Project is undertaking an oral history project during 2010 to record the treasured memories of supporters, former players and employees of Everton FC. The recordings will be archived and some will be made available on the Everton Collection website.

Deadline passes without incident
Moyes happy with two in, two out
1 Feb - Arguably the quietest (and demonstrably the cheapest) transfer deadline since the two-window system was put in place, certainly from Everton's perspective, passed at 5pm today without hint of further transfer activity at Goodison Park. Having brought in Landon Donovan and Philippe Senderos and seen Jô and Lucas Neill leave, it looks as though David Moyes decided not to pursue any more loan targets and will live with what he has now until the summer (though he will lose Donovan in mid-March).

 

Snippets & Rumours

Moyes dejected following Euro exit
25 Feb - David Moyes admitted that his side didn't deserve to progress to the next round of the Europa League and credited Sporting for being the better side throughout the Blues' agonising 3-0 defeat in Lisbon this evening.

Saha rewarded with French call-up
25 Feb - Louis Saha's recent goalscoring form has earned him a return to the French international fold. The striker has been included Raymond Domenech's 24-man squad to face Spain next week.

Everton finalise move for Swedish teen
25 Feb - Everton appear to have finalised this week the arrangements to bring 16 year-old Swedish prospect Johan Hammar to the Club in the summer after a fee was agreed with Malmo, at least according to Sky Sports.

Moyes: We're here to win it
24 Feb - David Moyes says that Everton are in Lisbon to win the second leg rather than rest on the laurels of a first-leg lead.

Donovan: Fans have been fantastic
24 Feb - Landon Donovan, who suggested yesterday that he expects to return to Everton at some point in the future after his current loan spell ends, says that he is been overwhelmed by the support shown for him by Blues fans since his arrival in January, which has peaked with an online campaign to keep him at Everton beyond next month.

Pienaar charged with drink-driving
23 Feb - Steven Pienaar has been accused of drinking and driving after being stopped in Liverpool city centre. The 27-year-old was arrested in the early hours of Sunday morning and was also charged with failure to comply with a traffic sign. He will be up before the beak on March 9.

Rodwell and Gosling get U-21 call
22 Feb - Jack Rodwell and Dan Gosling have both been called up by Stuart Pearce to the England U-21 to face Greece in next month's European Championship qualifier.

West Ham clash moved for TV
22 Feb - Everton's home game with West Ham United has been put back 24 hours to 4th April for live TV broadcast.

Duffy switches allegiences
22 Feb - Everton central defensive prospect Shane Duffy has surprised Northern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington by informing him that he would prefer to play his international football for the Republic of Ireland.

Upcoming EFPF nights
21 Feb - Have a great night and help our former players who deserve a helping hand now with two special evenings next month, first on 6th March 6th in the Alex Young Suite and then on 19th March at the Crosby Comrades Club.

Moyes: We're ready for Jack Rodwell
21 Feb - David Moyes is confident that Everton are good enough now to hold on to their brightest stars like Jack Rodwell in the face of increasingly covetous attention from the Premier League's biggest clubs.

Moyes's homegrown produce
21 Feb - Paul Hayward has written this nice piece in praise of David Moyes and his homegrown young players who dealt the crucial blows in yesterday's systematic demolition of Champions Manchester United at Goodison Park.

Saha feels he's back to his best
21 Feb - Louis Saha says that he feels his injury problems are behind him and he can now concentrate on Everton's push for European qualification.

Rodwell embarrassed by MotM award
21 Feb - Jack Rodwell admitted that he was embarrassed at receiving the man-of-the-match champagne after only playing the last few minutes of yesterday's barnstorming win over Manchester United. The 18-year-old scored a superb third to wrap up the points in the 90th minute.

Donovan still set for MLS return
21 Feb - David Moyes reiterated yesterday the likelihood that Landon Donovan will return to the MLS next month rather than extend his loan spell with Everton: "I think Landon would like to stay but at the moment it probably looks as if not."

David Moyes on Goals on Sunday
21 Feb - Update: David Moyes was to have been the guest of honour on Goals on Sunday, for the first hour of the show. However, we understand his plane was delayed and he did not make it.

Fan backs reclaiming the Liver Bird
18 Feb - "The Bird is Blue" is an expression you hear more and more among some Everton fans and Keith Wilson is one such supporter who believes that the famous Liver Bird emblem represents the whole of the City of Liverpool and should be included on both clubs' kits.

Howard thriving at Everton
18 Feb - With his American heritage and time at Old Trafford, Tim Howard is the focus of ESPN USA's preview of Manchester United's visit to Goodison Park this weekend (the match will be carried live in HD to American audiences on ESPN2 early on Saturday morning) and he credits his experience with both clubs for the goalkeeper he is today.

KEIOC call for historic “football quarter”
17 Feb - Now renamed Keeping Everton In Our City, the campaign group who led supporter opposition to the proposed move to Kirkby have unveiled their vision for the future of Stanley Park: a history football quarter that would celebrate the history of England's most successful football city.

Cahill an early doubt for Saturday
16 Feb - Tim Cahill is a doubt for the visit of Manchester United on Saturday after hobbling off an hour into the win over Sporting Lisbon with a calf problem.

Youth Cup date at Ewood Park
13 Feb - Everton's Youth team will travel to Ewood Park on Monday 1 March for a quarter-final clash with Blackburn Rovers in the last eight of the FA Youth Cup. Kick-off: 7pm.

Site registration problems
11 Feb - We have located and resolved a problem with our membership sign-up form that was causing the page to simply refresh for some users without capturing any of the submitted details. If you experienced this issue recently, we invite you to try signing up again here.

Chelsea win: Landon's best memory
11 Feb - “I’ve always enjoyed playing at night under the lights and this will be one of the best memories in my career,” Donovan said in a statement posted to his public Facebook account. “Goodison was electric and we were fantastic. The loss to Liverpool is long past us now and I can’t wait for Tuesday night against Sporting Lisbon. Thanks to all the Blues supporters for another incredible atmosphere tonight. Sleep well; I know I will.”

Everton lose Women’s League Cup Final
11 Feb - Everton Ladies unfortunately lost the Final of The FA Tesco Women’s Premier League Cup to Leeds Carnegie at Spotland this evening by a score of 3-1.

Moyes not confident of Donovan stay
11 Feb - David Moyes hailed Landon Donovan's performance against Chelsea as the American's best since arriving at Goodison on loan but played down speculation that the player could stay beyond the original term of his loan deal from MLS side, LA Galaxy.

Bootle 2 - 4 Everton Reserves
8 Feb - Everton Reserves beat Bootle 4-2 in the Liverpool Senior Cup tonight, with goals from Karl Sheppard, James McCarten, Luke Dobie, and Lewis Codling taking them through to the semi-finals of the competition.

Moyes named Manager of the Month
5 Feb - David Moyes has been named the Barclays Manager of the Month for January after steering his side to an unbeaten record in the Premier League last month.

Everton squad top four quality
5 Feb - "We have got a really good group of players," said Moyes, ahead of this weekend's bif derby game. "We have a squad I think could have competed for a place in the top four — but obviously we have been working with half a squad for most of the year. We will just have to see what we can do in the second half of the season after a disappointing first half."

Young Blues march on
4 Feb - Everton's youngsters booked their place in the last eight of the FA Youth Cup this evening with a convincing 3-0 win at Preston North End who had beaten Manchester City and Sunderland in prior rounds.

Preston v Everton in Youth Cup
4 Feb - Preston North End tonight to book a place in the quarter finals of the FA Youth Cup. The U-18s face David Moyes's former club in the 5th Round of the competition at Deepdale on the back of an unbeaten run which started in October. Kick-off is at 7pm.

Donovan, Yanks spice up old rivalry
4 Feb - An American perspective that obviously focuses on the US dynamic to this weekend's derby, but it's highly prescient of Everton's current situation as it seeks to introduce the all-Mersey clash to any new Stateside observers who have come on board since Landon Donovan arrived at Goodison.

Fellaini happy at Everton
3 Feb - "I'm really happy at Everton. I have three years left on my contract and everything is going really well," says the 22-year-old Belgian. "I'm just focused on doing my best for the club. Doing my job here and doing what I'm being paid to do."



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