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ToffeeWeb Season Diary

Season 2009-10

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March 2010

News Headlines & Features

Gosling out for Nine Months
Cruciate curse strikes another Everton player
31 Mar - Dan Gosling has been ruled out for up to nine months after picking up a serious knee injury on Saturday. The midfielder ruptured his cruciate knee ligament after a clash with the the Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann in the closing minutes of the 0-0 draw, just a few minutes after coming on as a substitute. Mikel Arteta and Phil Jagielka suffered the same injury around this time last year and endured months of rehabilitation before making successful comebacks this season.

Jack happy with attacking role
Looking for 4th or 5th spot
30 Mar - Jack Rodwell has been talking to the Daily Post about his switch to more of an attacking role from midfield. It's a contrast from the defensive posture he was asked to provide earlier in the season and has seen him find the net against Manchester United and Hull City, in addition to setting up that killer second goal at Manchester City with some excellent football down the right channel before cutting the ball back superbly for Cahill to dummy and Arteta to fire home.

Whoever cries goes inside
An insight on Tiger Tim Cahill
28 Mar - An impressive video biography of Tiger Tim Cahill. The Everton and Australia talisman talks at length to Aussie cricket legend Steve "Tugger" Waugh about his football, his life, his ethos, and most importantly, his family, on this exceptional vignette from Australia's Channel 7 — a precursor to a much longer documentary on the player which will air in Australia on 3 April.

Chance after chance goes begging
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 - 0 Everton
27 Mar - Everton were left frustrated by Wolves for a second time this season despite dominating for large periods with some scintillating football and glorious interplay that saw chance after chance created. A lack of conviction by Leon Osman saw him squander three chances in the first half, the best of which coming in the fifth minute when he failed to beat Marcus Hahnemann from close range. Louis Saha cracked a shot off the bar and put a free header over, Steven Pienaar's volley deflected agonisingly wide and Tim Cahill couldn't get enough on an injury-time overhead kick to guide it over the line as Wolves somehow held out. It represents a missed opportunity for the Blues to steal a march on their rivals in the chase for Europe, particularly Aston Villa who lost 7-1 at Chelsea. Full report

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Everton
Match Preview
26 Mar - High-spirited Everton play a second successive away game with a visit to Wolves this weekend, looking to take another stride towards European qualification with a fifth away win this season. Tim Howard's thigh injury and a slight hamstring strain for Tim Cahill permitting, David Moyes may look to name an unchanged side hoping that his charges can overcome a Wolves side enjoying a decent run of form of their own. Kick off is 3pm. LIVE FORUM

Superb Everton douse City fire
Manchester City 0 - 2 Everton
24 Mar - Everton snuffed out Roberto Mancini's Champions League-chasing side with an exemplary away performance, grabbing a precious win with a goal in each half to become the first team to win at Eastlands for almost a year. Mikel Arteta laid a short free kick back to Leighton Baines who clipped the ball towards the 6-yard box and Tim Cahill did the rest, heading home after 32 minutes. Then, as City laboured to break down a stubborn black wall and Cahill had chipped agonisingly wide, Jack Rodwell broke down the right, turned his marker and laid the ball back superbly for Arteta to sweep home the game-killing goal with 5 minutes left. That represents the double over City for Everton who truly look the real deal now with the bulk of the team back fit.

Manchester City vs Everton
Match Preview
23 Mar - Everton make a midweek trip along the M62 to Eastlands hoping to become the first team to beat Manchester City on their own turf in the League this season. Louis Saha is fit and may start, while Victor Anichebe is in the squad after a scan revealed no damage to his hip and kidney region following a collision with Bolton's Paul Robinson on Saturday. City will be without ex-Blue Joleon Lescott. Kick off is 7:45pm.

Reserves thumped by Wigan!
Everton Res 1 - 4 Wigan Athletic Res
23 Mar - On Monday night, Everton Reserves crashed to an embarrassing 1-4 defeat at home to Wigan Athletic who extracted some revenge for the 5-2 scoreline the Blues inflicted on them at their gaff back in November. Shane Duffy was the only Blue Youth to get on the scoresheet... and Youth was indeed the key, as Neil Dewsnip continued the Everton policy of fielding Academy players and youngsters, with none of the more senior fringe first-team squad being risked ahead of the huge challenge coming up on Wednesday at Eastlands. Iain Turner continued in goal, however, making up for much time lost through injury earlier in the season.

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda
Moyes laments what might've been
22 Mar - After steering Everton to a club record seventh successive home victory in the Premier League, David Moyes admits he is still tormented by what his improving side could have achieved this season. Moyes said: "What really hankers me is where we should have been and could have been... I think we've got really good potential, we've got a really good group of players here with a chance to kick on again... I think we're beginning to believe we're a good team now. In the past maybe we thought 'we can't quite get there' but wins against the top teams recently have shown that we're closer now than we've ever been."

Arteta's class shows up dogged Trotters
Everton 2 - 0 Bolton Wanderers
20 Mar - Everton battled hard through a long first half that saw the early departure of Anichebe, who should have scored on 5 mins. The determined Trotters refused to yield until Yakubu cleverly drew a last-man foul from Steinsen, and a red card from Wiley. Arteta deftly curled in the sweetest of free-kicks to open the game up with 20 mins left. Osman made the difference after coming on as the second sub and hit the bar before setting up the winner with a textbook pull-back for Pienaar in the last minute of normal time. The goal sealed a patiently worked and thoroughly deserved win against a doggedly determined and defensively solid Bolton side — Everton's seventh successive home league win, a feat not achieved in 20 years of trying, and hopefully a tangible sign of real consistency finally emerging from Moyes's eight-year stutter-step reign. Full report

Everton v Bolton Wanderers
Match Preview
20 Mar - Everton take on Bolton Wanderers in a nice 3pm kick-off at Goodison Park this afternoon. The Blues may have been the form team in the Premier League until they blew that two-goal lead at Birmingham last week but there can be no illusions of how difficult the task of beating Bolton Wanderers could be today. It would, however, extend that current winning home streak to an excellent seven consecutive games.

Coleman goes to Blackpool
19 Mar - Seamus Coleman has been signed on loan by Blackpool. Tthe Seasiders beat yesterday's loan deadline to sign Everton's young up-&-coming right back just as he was rumoured to be on the way to QPR.

While the move obviously increases his chances of getting first-team football, following on closely from the move of James Vaughan to Leicester City, it represents a voluntary depletion of David Moyes's already limited playing staff, with 9 games still left to hopefully fight for qualification to compete in next season's Europa Cup.

Donovan loan spell is over
US Star returns to MLS
14 Mar - Everton have confirmed Landon Donovan's loan spell has officially ended and he is returning to Los Angeles Galaxy. In recognition of a great relationship he developed with Everton's fans, he said, "I'm 28 years old now and I've played over 100 times for my country, I've also played a lot of league games in different parts of the world, but I've never met a fan base like this, either playing for them or as an away player. Forget about football for a moment, this is a experience I'll never forget."

Everton let Birmingham off the hook
Birmingham City 2 - 2 Everton
13 Mar - Tim Cahill returned to the starting line-up for today's game at St Andrews, with Everton once again failing to improve significantly on their away form in the rinal run-in of 10 league games. After a quiet start, Everton felt out their hosts and started to apply some pressure around 20 mins. Arteta played in Anichebe who scored a superb goal, soon followed by a beautiful chipped cross from Pienaar that Yakubu nodded home. 2-0! But Jerome soon pulled one back with a soft finish and then after the break, the Birmingham equalised when Gardner latched into Jersome's flick to fire from 18 yards. And that was pretty much it as Everton, for the most part, sank back into their shell. Donovan appeared for a farewell cameo but it was not enough to win all the points. Full report

Birmingham City vs Everton
Match Preview
13 Mar - 10 games left of the season and Everton turn down the final straight with repeat European qualification in their sights and Birmingham City, their immediate rivals in the chase for what may yet turn out to be three Europa League-qualifying spots, next up. Tim Cahill and Louis Saha may play some part but are unlikely to start, but Leon Osman is ruled out through injury. KO is 3pm.

Kenwright still searching "24/7"
11 Mar - This article in the local press confirms that nothing seems to have changed Bill Kenwright's fruitless multi-year "24/7" search for a billionaire to invest in Everton. “The truth is Everton do need a billionaire” he says. “Of course that’s a stock phrase, but we do need major investment. One of the difficulties of being a chairman who has had to use money as wisely as he possibly knows how, is that it’s hard when you get bombarded, as I have been in the last three AGMs, with questions like “Why can’t we have what Newcastle have? West Ham? Portsmouth?” Solution: No more AGMs!

Battle to Keep Donovan is Over
US Star wants one more month...
9 Mar - Everton faced an uphill battle to persuade the MLS and Los Angeles Galaxy to lengthen Landon Donovan's loan spell, although the player made it clear he wanted to remain on Merseyside for another month. Under the terms of the 10-week agreement signed in January, Donovan is due to report for training in California on Monday 15 March but David Moyes and the player have made clear their desire for the American international to extend his stay to 15 April. However, Bruce Arena has reaffirmed his position and Donovan will leave after the Birmingham game this weekend.

Rampant Blues slaughter Hull
Everton 5 - 1 Hull City
7 Mar - Mikel Arteta really came into his own in this game, with Donovan oddly left on the bench. The Best Little Spaniard opened the scoring in the first half. This should have been added to with a penalty that was dispatched woefully by Yakubu and saved easily by Myhill. After that, of course, Hull equalized before Arteta's lovely second goal as Everton's superior class finally shone through. The third goal came in the second half and it looked like Arteta's hattrick off a tricky lob from the byelinebut it went in off Garcia for an own-goal. Landon Donovan came on for a final 20-minute home cameo and rounded it off in perfect fashion with an excellent finish for the fourth goal — a splendid leaving present. With Hull reeling, Donovan set up Jack Rodwell for the coup de grace that made this a real Big Win for the Blues... long, long overdue.

Everton vs Hull City
Match Preview
6 Mar - Everton hope to get their European challenge back on track when Hull City, winless on the road in 12 months, visit Goodison Park tomorrow. Phil Jagielka, Louis Saha, Leon Osman, James Vaughan and Philippe Senderos could all miss out with minor knocks and strains but Tim Cahill may return from a calf injury. KO is 4pm.

Could Donovan yet stay at Goodison?
Moyes keen but LA Galaxy stand firm
5 Mar - Hopes that Landon Donovan could remain an Everton player after the initially agreed loan term expires this month were raised today after David Moyes hinted in his pre-match press conference that he hasn't ruled out keeping the USA international forward: "It looks like all parties are keen. There's no guarantee yet, and I won't know that for a little while longer but there is a chance. But if we can make it happen, we would and if Landon wants to stay, which I think he does, we'd be really keen to keep him." Galaxy coach, Bruce Arena, says, however, "We're not interested. Landon will be back here March 15."

Positive reviews of Baines debut
4 Mar - Leighton Baines passed arguably his biggest test in England colours by garnering good reviews from the infamously merciless domestic press, though he had to shake off an early case of nerves before playing a crucial role in England's second goal. Most of the national dailies were positive regarding the Everton left-back's debut, with The Telegraph saying he "nailed his national audition", The Express saying he didn't look out of place at all, and The Guardian remarking that his was a "neat and efficient" performance.

Michael Foot Dies
Famous 1935 Ode to Everton
3 Mar - One of the 20th century's famous politicians, Michael Foot, ill-fated leader of the Labour party during the Thatcher era died today at the age of 96. A Plymouth Argyle fan he developed a soft spot for Everton after he arrived in Liverpool in 1934, for his first job as a shipping clerk. Impressed with Goodison, and the football that came straight from the School of Science, he wrote a poem on the Blues for the Daily Post in 1935, capturing his disappointment at Everton's defeat to Bolton in the FA Cup that year, and underlining the less impressive footballing fare available across the park...

Stadium talks 'fruitful'...
Cold water poured on Football Quarter idea
2 Mar - At high level talks with Everton CEO Robert Elstone and city council officials at Liverpool University yesterday, the Liverpool CEO made it clear LFC is committed to building a new £400m stadium in Stanley Park, despite its problems raising finance. The football quarter concept, as suggested by Keeping Everton in Our City (Keioc), was dismissed on the grounds that the £700m-plus price tag is unaffordable. But Liverpool Council leader Warren Bradley said the meeting was fruitful in helping draw up plans for a sports strategy for the city.


Snippets & Rumours

Reserves can't beat City
30 Mar - A young Everton Reserves side featuring mostly Academy players was unable to produce enough to beat Manchester City at the Halton Stadium on Tuesday night. But read our exclusive report from Tom Owen for all the scoop on these youngsters.

Vaughan still having issues
30 Mar - James Vaughan is still not getting much football, despite going on loan with Leicester City for that express purpose. The on loan Everton striker has played just 30 minutes of his loan spell at the Foxes since joining three weeks ago.

Arteta out with groin strain
29 Mar - Mikel Arteta was omitted from the squad for the trip to Wolves as a precautionary measure because of a niggling groin problem. Moyes said, "He's been carrying a bit of a groin strain for the last few weeks now and we felt we couldn't play him today."

Blues ready if rivals stumble
27 Mar - While observing that despite their poor start his side are just three points shy of where they were at this stage last season, David Moyes says that Everton could "come up on the blind side," down the final straight in the race for Europe, "but we need teams above us to falter, to really come apart."

Agency blacklists 70% of PL clubs
27 Mar - Everton and 13 other Premier League clubs have had their credit rating "suspended" by Riskdisk, a credit checking agency, according to a report in The Times.

Everton continue digital expansion
26 Mar - Everton's head of media and communications, Mark Rowan, talks to The Drum about the newly redesigned Official Site and the club's impressive expansion of their digital offerings to mobile applications for the Android and iPhone/iPod Touch handheld devices.

Stop Smoking matchday event
26 Mar - As part of the Goodison Park Premier League Health programme, there will be a stop smoking matchday event for the home game with West Ham on 4th April.

Mancini charged for touchline fracas
26 Mar - David Moyes has escaped censure for the touchline incident at Eastlands on Wednesday but Roberto Mancini has been charged with improper conduct for racing out of his technical area and barging into the Everton boss to get the ball off him.

Football Quarter Presentation
26 Mar - Following KEIOC's recent Goodison site visit with architects WCEC, Robert Elstone invited KEIOC into Goodison to deliver their “Past, Present and Future” presentation to the stadium team; also present were Labour Group leader Joe Anderson and Spirit of Shankly vice chair, Paul Rice. The two hour meeting was an opportunity for both sides to listen to one another and understand each other's position regarding the stadium. KEIOC have launched an online petition in support of the concept that can be found here.

The quest for fourth place
26 Mar - Everton have belatedly joined the battle to finish fourth and although they trail Liverpool, Aston Villa, City and Tottenham Hotspur, their form and remaining fixtures are such that they should not be ruled out. Only four months have passed since November, but Everton are a different proposition now the gloom that was threatening to sink their season has lifted.

More handbags in City Director's Box
25 Mar - Manchester City chief executive Garry Cook has been asked by Robert Elsone to explain a heated altercation with multi-millionaire Everton supporter George Downing that saw the simmering tensions between the clubs explode in a confrontation in the directors' box.

Joleon Lescott Blues
25 Mar - Trevor Powell has penned this little ditty in celebration of last night's consummate embarrassment inflicted by the excellent Boys in Black & Pink...

FA await report on managers' tiff
25 Mar - The Football Association is to open an investigation into last night's touchline fight between Roberto Mancini and David Moyes, the managers of Manchester City and Everton, which resulted in both men being sent to the stands.

Motherwell trial for Americans
24 Mar - Midfielder Anton Peterlin and striker Cody Arnoux are on trial at Motherwell, with the prospect of becoming possible signings next season. The American pair, who have played in a few Everton Reserve games, turned out for Motherwell on Tuesday in a bounce game against Celtic, while Manager Craig Brown believes current loanee Lukas Jutkiewicz will return to Everton in the summer.

Coleman plays in Blackpool romp
23 Mar - Seamus Coleman helped Blackpool keep their Championship playoff hopes alive with a 5-1 demolition of 5th-placed Swansea at Bloomfield Road.

News feeds back online
23 Mar - If you're a subscriber to our RSS or Twitter feeds they're back up and running again. Please be sure to check, though, that your RSS reader is pointing at the correct URLs as both the News and Comment feeds have changed since our server move. You may need to delete and re-add both feeds. Twitter remains unchanged.

Neville harbours World Cup dream
23 Mar - Phil Neville still hasn't given up on the outside chance that he could be selected for England's World Cup squad this summer.

West Ham tickets on sale
23 Mar - Tickets for the home game against West Ham on Sunday 4 April at 4pm are on sale at the Park End Box Office, by calling 0871 663 1878 or logging onto Just £29 for adults, from £20 for OAP's and from £14 for Under-16s. Plus 10 loyalty points will be added to your customer number for attending this fixture.

Big Vic back in training
23 Mar - Victor Anichebe is still a bit sore from getting a knee in his side off a Bolton defender, but has been back in training and hopes to be in contention for a place against Manchester City in tomorrow night's big game.

No Lescott on Wednesday
22 Mar - Joleon Lescott is set to miss Manchester City's game against Everton on Wednesday after suffering a hamstring injury. Lescott — who was also injured for City's 2-0 defeat at Goodison Park in January — picked up the problem during the warm-up of the 2-1 Premier League win at Fulham.

Anichebe hospitalized
21 Mar - Victor Anichebe was taken to hospital for tests after falling awkwardly and ultimately being carried off the Goodison pitch early in the Bolton game yesterday. Moyes says it appears as if he got a knee in the kidneys.

MLS deal ends Donovan hopes
21 Mar - As expected, when the chips were down, Major League Soccer reached an agreement with the MLS players union yesterday, ending the prospect of a strike delaying the start of the US' domestic season — and, of course, Everton's hopes of bringing Landon Donovan back for an extension of his loan spell at Goodison.

ToffeeWeb Hosting Switch
20 Mar - We've just completed the migration of the site to new web hosts. Hopefully the only difference you will notice is improved performance and perhaps some broken images and pages on some of the less-trafficked areas of the site.

Villa (A) moved to 14 April
18 Mar - Everton's clash with Euro-qualification rivals, Aston Villa, has been moved back from the 10th the 14th of April because of the Midlanders' involvement in the FA Cup semi-finals.

Donovan touched by Everton
18 Mar - Landon Donovan became so enamored with Everton during his 10-week loan spell that he says that were he to come back to the Premier League — which could yet happen this season — he'd only return to Goodison Park.

Yakubu - Everton getting better
16 Mar - Yakubu believes the Toffees are getting better and better with every season that passes. David Moyes's side have been unlucky with injuries this term but are now almost at full strength once more as they try and finish the Premier League season strongly.

Vaughan joins Leicester on loan
11 Mar - Everton have confirmed that James Vaughan has joined Leicester City on loan, initially for one month. With David Moyes apparently favouring Yakubu, Saha and Anichebe, the 21 year-old should have a better chance of some good first-team football with the promotion-chasing Championship side.

Ruddy delighted with his stats
11 Mar - John Ruddy is enjoying a stellar season on loan at Motherwell and wasn’t slow to point out that his clean sheet against 
St Mirren on Tuesday was his 15th of the season. “I do like to keep track of my clean sheets... Ratio-wise, I think I had a better spell at Stockport when it was eight in 13 games. But this is up there and it also means more to me because it’s over a longer period.”

Pienaar dismisses move talk
10 Mar - Steven Pienaar has dismissed reports that he could leave Everton this summer: “I can’t say anything because I wasn’t approached,” said Pienaar, who has just over a year remaining on his current deal. From my point of view, I’m an Everton player and I don’t want stuff like that to distract me from what I’m doing. It is speculation. When you play well, there will always be talk of interest from clubs. I’m happy at Everton.”

Ruddy admits future lies elsewhere
9 Mar - John Ruddy has admitted that the pending arrival of Jan Mucha this summer is a clear sign that his footballing future lies away from Goodison Park if he is to keep playing at first-team level.

All Together Now...
9 Mar - Despite getting the cold shoulder from Liverpool FC, Everton and Liverpool fan groups will meet at The Sandon on 12 March to further promote the idea of a Football Quarter in Liverpool.

Pienaar gets 12-month driving ban
9 Mar - Steven Pienaar has been banned from driving for 12 months after pleading guilty to drink-driving. He was also fined £1,000 for the offence and ordered to pay a further £100 fine for failing to comply with a traffic signal.

Arteta happy with return to form
8 Mar - Mikel Arteta says he was delighted see the Toffees return to form following their 5-1 win over Hull City on Sunday. "We played some terrific football today," Arteta told BBC Radio Merseyside after securing the Blues' sixth successive league win at home. "We wanted to get back from both defeats last week and we have. We scored a few goals and I'm delighted. I've been out for a long time and I was expected to score a few goals."

Donovan: “There's a chance of staying”
7 Mar - Landon Donovan admitted in his post-match interview with Sky that there's a chance his loan spell at Everton could be extended. "We'll know more this week," the American said after scoring in the 5-1 rout of Hull City.

Champions League play-offs on hold
4 Mar - The proposal to add a play-off system to decide the winners of the fourth Champions League qualifying spot is on hold after the chairmen of the Premier League's 20 clubs decided not pursue the idea at this time.

Victory on Baines' first England appearance
3 Mar - Leighton Baines won his first England cap this evening and celebrated as his country ran out 3-1 winners in a friendly against Egypt.

Van der Meyde signs for PSV
3 Mar - Andy van der Meyde, arguably the biggest waste of space (and money!) on Everton's books this Century, has been snapped up by PSV Eindhoven, leaders of the Dutch League, on a two-year contract.

Donovan cannot understand how he missed
2 Mar - "It's hard to understand what went wrong. I felt like everything was right but then I looked up to see the ball had hit the side-netting. It's so frustrating because if we had scored then it's possible we might have gone on to win the game."

Young Blues KO'd in extra time
1 Mar - Everton's U-18s made the short trip to Blackburn this evening for the Quarter Finals of the FA Youth Cup and looked set to progress thanks to Shane Duffy's first-half header. An 80th-minute equaliser forced extra time, though, and Osayamen Osawe won it for Rovers in extra time.

William Dean remembered
1 Mar - Thirty years ago today, the legendary William Ralph "Dixie" Dean, passed away at — where else? — Goodison Park. Pause for thought to remember Everton's greatest ever goalscorer, easily one of the best England has ever seen.

Saha forced to pull out of friendly
1 Mar - Louis Saha has been forced to pull out of the French squad for this week's friendly with Spain due to the thigh strain he picked up in training last week.

Clubs set for stadium summit
1 Mar - Representatives of Everton and Liverpool Football Clubs will sit down with City Council leaders today to discuss various options for their respective stadium issues, including groundsharing options and KEIOC's "football quarter" idea.

Baines looking to seize England chance
1 Mar - Leighton Baines is hoping he'll get the chance to press his claims for a place in England's World Cup squad by making his first senior appearance for England this week.

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