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ToffeeWeb Season Diary

Season 2009-10

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November 2009

News Headlines & Features

All guts but no glory
Everton 0 - 2 Liverpool
29 Nov - Everton lost the league Goodison derby for the third successive season but they'll wonder how after dominating proceedings and being thwarted by the officials and Lady Luck for the best part of 80 minutes. Liverpool took a 12th-minute lead thanks to a horrible deflection of Mascherano's shot off Yobo but Bilyaletdninov swept wide with the goal at his mercy with the chance to level in the first half. Reina's double-save from Cahill and Fellaini proved to be a pivotal moment in the second half and an error by Yobo that allowed Kuyt to turn in the rebound after Howard had saved from Rieira handed the Reds an underserved second with 10 minutes left. Much, much better from Everton but another defeat keeps their recent run of poor results going.

Everton vs Liverpool
Match Preview
28 Nov - Everton and Liverpool meet in the Goodison derby this Sunday as both sides look to arrest their respective poor run of results. The Blues welcome Marouane Fellaini and Diniyar Bilyaletdnov back after suspension — along with John Heitinga, the Russian is in the frame to make his Merseyside derby debut — but Louis Saha is again a doubt with a calf injury and Jack Rodwell will have a late fitness test on the groin he strained against Hull City in midweek. Kick off is 1.30pm with live coverage on Sky Sports 1.

Kenwright: “Kirkby chapter is closed”
Chairman reiterates need for investment at Everton
27 Nov - Bill Kenwright officially took Everton's proposed move to Kirkby off the table today by declaring that, "the chapter is over and the book is closed." The Chairman said the Board will "regroup, reassess and consider all options available to us [at Goodison Park] and possibly elsewhere," while reiterating that "the club doesn't currently have a chairman or a board in a position to... stabilise, improve and expand... the finances of the... club."

Destination Kirkby Rejected
Communities Secretary confirms decision
26 Nov - Communities Secretary John Denham has confirmed reports yesterday that he has rejected Destination Kirkby, the Tesco-led regeneration scheme that includes a proposal for a new stadium for Everton, following a public enquiry. Denham cited concerns over the possible harmful effects on the "vitality and viability" of local communities. "We'll review the decision and the reason for the rejection... with our commercial partners," said Everton CEO Robert Elstone. "Before that we won't know precisely what our next step will be."

Nightmare at the KC
Hull City 3 - 2 Everton
25 Nov - Everton's hopes of starting an important week with a vital win were scuppered by an awful first half hour in which the home side roared into a 3-0 lead on the back of some dreadful defending for at least two of the goals. Stephen Hunt scored the first after being the only one to react to a good parry by Tim Howard. A direct free-kick from Andy Dawson made it 2-0 and that was followed by a deflected drive from Dean Marny. After serious damage to the Tigers' China Teaset at half-time, Everton got back in the game with an own-goal from Kamil Zayette, and a penalty when the same player fouled Saha, who converted with apomb. Everton played better in the second half (could they have played any worse?) but it was not enough and a miserable midweek defeat means goodbye to that precious game in hand... and goodbye to any chance of overtaking Liverpool on Sunday.

Hull City v Everton
Match Preview
24 Nov - Everton play the first of three games in the space of a week that could make or if not break then seriously affect their season, starting with a trip to Hull City tomorrow night. Having being pencilled in yesterday to play some part in Sunday's Merseyside derby, Steven Pienaar is now regarded as having a chance of figuring at the KC Stadium after resuming training this week but Leon Osman remains sidelined and Phil Neville's surgery further delays his comeback. Marouane Fellaini is suspended, as is Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, who serves the third of a three-game ban. Kick off is 7.45pm.

Pienaar could hand Moyes selection boost
Midfielder resumes training this week
24 Nov - Steven Pienaar is nearing the end of a protracted recovery from a knee injury he sustained eight weeks ago at Portsmouth and could even play some part in tomorrow's match with Hull City, though he is more likely to figure in Sunday's Merseyside derby. The South African returns to training this week but David Moyes is cautious about his chances of playing against Liverpool: “Steven is the only one who is near coming back. He will hopefully train this week and we’ll take it from there." Phil Neville is definitely out, though, after going under the knife on his knee this week.

No contest at Everton's Theatre of Pain
Manchester United 3 - 0 Everton
21 Nov - Everton have made a decent fist of their attempts to get something at Old Trafford in the last couple of seasons but there was no pretence that they occupy the same echelon of the game as United this time around as they were easily brushed aside. Darren Fletcher's moment of quality gave the Red Devils a 1-0 half-time lead and though the Blues were markedly better after going 4-4-2 after the break, Michael Carrick took advantage of plenty of space to side-foot home a second. Then, Valencia's low drive from the angle deflected off Leighton Baines and over Tim Howard to complete David Moyes's misery. All too predictable, unfortunately... Full report

Manchester United v Everton
Match Preview
21 Nov - Everton must travel to Manchester with a squad still decimated by injuries to key players. Steven Pienaar, Leon Osman and Phil Neville are thought to be close to returning but none are likely to start, while Diniyar Bilyaletdinov is suspended, further complicating the Blues' task of winning at Old Trafford for the first time since 1992. KO is 5.30 with live coverage on ESPN.

Mikey making progress
No set return date
19 Nov - Talking about his injury on EvertonTV, Mikel Arteta says, “There have been a few problems, a few setbacks, it has been a hard period for me but sometimes you can avoid problems and sometimes you have to take it the way it comes. There was no explanation for the infection, they have had three cases like that in 35 years and the surgeon does thousands of operations a year." Mikey confirms he is happy at Everton and can see playing out the rest of his career with the Blues.

Kirkby Land Deal Questioned
The mysterious Ł52M shortfall
17 Nov - Questions are being asked of the European Commission regarding the 'cross-subsidy' of Ł52M being the valuation and transfer of 48.6 acres of prime development land in Kirkby that are being gifted to Tesco plc for the Destination Kirkby project. Knowsley Liberal Democrats: "[R]equest that the Commission consider if the use of state aid applies in this instance, and whether a public body may be giving a gratuitous advantage of state resources to a private company - Tesco plc - to subsidise the construction of a new football stadium as part of a retail redevelopment."

Stay at home, Jack
Rodwell needs to be playing
16 Nov - The best option for Jack Rodwell right now is to stay at Everton and get priceless first-team game time every week, says Sam Wallace in The Independent. But it seems the main reason for him saying this now is so Jack Rodwell can be an even better, more developed, well rounded player when (not if) he does eventually move on to play for one of the Sky Four or Five...

Feed Bily and he will score
Everton winger's brace gives Russia slender advantage
15 Nov - Diniyar Bilyaletdinov scored both of Russia's goals yesterday evening as they took a 2-1 lead in their two-legged World Cup 2010 qualification play-off match with Slovenia. A late goal by Nejc Pecnik handed Slovenia a lifeline for the second leg after the Everton winger had grabbed a goal in each half. The second leg is on Wednesday in Celje. Yakubu and Joseph Yobo are already in line to appear in South Africa next summer after Nigeria booked their place by coming from behind to beat Kenya in Nairobi.

Dick won't forget Fella foul
13 Nov - Belgium boss Dick Advocaat has not forgotten or forgiven Marouane Fellaini for getting his wisdom teeth extracted: "I still think it was very strange for him to make an appointment like that, and miss a World Cup game, because it was a very important week for Belgium. That is still clear in my mind, and I will remember it. Fellaini did not do a good thing for me. Sometimes, these things can happen in football, but, in my opinion, it was not appropriate conduct for a player with a national team."

Anichebe the latest to suffer
Growth on knee needs surgery
11 Nov - It seems the bad news regarding Everton players recovering from serious knee problems is set continue, with this latest revelation buried in Mick Rathbone's injury update blog not attracting too many headlines: "I am going to London tomorrow with Victor Anichebe to get his knee looked at. He’s had some complications after his injury. The pin was rubbing in his knee so it was removed but now he’s got a growth of bone on his knee." While perhaps not a "setback", it must undoubtedly delay his recovery for at least a few more weeks... and therefore is a setback.

Blues bag precious away win
West Ham United 1 - 2 Everton
8 Nov - Everton ended a run of seven games without victory by plundering another three points from Upton Park. Louis Saha, making a very welcome return to the front line, broke the deadlock after 27 mins when he swept home from 20 yards and when Dan Gosling rammed home a second 19 mins into the second half, it looked like job done. But the Hammers hit back within a minute when Tony Hibbert somehow sliced an attempted goal-line clearance into his own net and Zavon Hines twice fired wide when put clean through in the last 20 minutes as the Blues held on in a nervy finale. Report

West Ham United vs Everton
Match Preview
8 Nov - WInless since the start of October, Everton will be hoping to repeat last season's smash-grab raid at Upton Park when they play West Ham this afternoon. Diniyar Bilyaletdinov starts a three-match ban and further diminishes the threat from midfield but top-scorer Louis Saha, who grabbed two goals in this game last season, could return if he passes a late fitness test. KO is 3pm.

Moyes: It's my job
“We’ve had periods like this before”
7 Nov - "It's my job to get us winning, no matter who or what I have got. That's the job." — David Moyes now refuses to play the excuses card of injuries, lack of money, fixture congestion, and god knows what else that has been spouted to rationalize away a dreadful spell of results and equally poor performances in all competitions over the last month. "Ultimately the manager takes responsibility. My reputation was probably built on not having players and having to find certain ways of getting teams winning without many players in the team."

Another massive injury setback
Jags out for six more weeks
6 Nov - Just when you hoped we'd hit rock bottom regarding this crazy injury crisis, David Moyes reveals another injury setback today: Phil Jagielka will be missing for up to six more weeks. Jagielka was due to return to the training ground this week for the first time since suffering a cruciate knee injury seven months ago. But the England international underwent surgery on Wednesday after a tear in his cartilage.

Moyes needs to leave?
So says Tony Cascarino...
6 Nov - We've had the players who are too big for Everton... now it's the manager's turn according to this piece by Tony Cascarino: "Everton are a club treading water, but sooner rather than later they're going to start to sink. I don't see any progress, only the probability of decline." Which leads him to conclude that Moyes's reputation will decline if Everton have a mediocre few years and he will lose any opportunity to become the manager of a top four club if he doesn't leave Goodison Park soon.

Simply Outclassed
Everton 0 - 2 Benfica
5 Nov - Everton lost at home in Europe for the first time in four years as Benfica scored their sixth and seventh goals without reply against the Blues, a mark of their clear superiority in the two games between the two sides. Yakubu started up front but was starved of service throughout, his one and only chance coming from his own brilliant turn but, under pressure from Luisao, he fired wide. The visitors looked dangerous most times they came forward and twice profited from poor marking in the second half when Saviola and Cardozo found the net, though the latter was clearly offside. Everton briefly came to life once all was lost and Sylvain Distin was denied superbly by Julio Cesar from close range in the closing stages. Overall, though, it was more of the same depressingly toothless fare and they were no match for the quicker, smarter and simply better Portuguese outfit.

Everton vs Benfica
Europe League Group I Preview
5 Nov - Everton are hoping to serve up a cold dish of revenge and reclaim the top spot in Group I as Portuguese giants Benfica come to Goodison Park this evening. Still no sign of Steven Pienaar as David Moyes has to reshuffle due to the ineligibility of John Heitinga and Lucas Neill and the potential for Louis Saha to be restricted to the bench again because of a niggling calf complaint. Kick off is 8.05pm with live coverage on Five.

Fresh setback for Arteta
Complication described as “minor”
4 Nov - Mikel Arteta has suffered another setback in his bid to recover from a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament injury earlier this year after contracting an infection of the surgery site. The midfielder apparently had to have a "wash out" of his knee and David Moyes described it as, "a setback for him," and admitted that, "we can't say how long it has put him back." He was hopeful of returning to action next month.

Bily can do it
Guus Hiddink says “I told you so!”
4 Nov - Guus Hiddink has come out strongly backing his own assessment of Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, against the critics who questioned his ability to play in the daunting Premier League. The Russian coach claims, ''To all his critics, he has proved that he can not only make it in a familiar environment, but also in the most competitive conditions. All those who considered him a little slow and weak have had their reply. Diniyar is regularly scoring and making goals in the most uncompromisingly tough championship there is."


Snippets & Rumours

In trouble... but we're too good!
30 Nov - Captain Tim Cahill admits that Everton are in a lot of trouble at the edge of the relegation zone in the Premier League, but believes Everton are too good to be in this position.

Home comforts in FA Cup 3rd round
29 Nov - Everton got all they could hope for in the draw for the Third Round of the FA Cup with a home tie against lower-division Carlisle United.

We lack confidence
28 Nov - Perhaps not the best pre-derby prep talk: "You can encourage your players, praise them and make them feel better about themselves but ultimately that comes from inside the player" — Moyes clutching at explanations for a paltry one win in eleven games. Indeed, the manager's comments on the eve of the derby are verging on despair.

Searching for Plan B
27 Nov - After the failure of what he terms as a "marriage of convenience" between Everton and Kirkby, Paddy Shennan in the Liverpool Echo says now is the time for all parties to leave the recriminations behind and to talk with "everything on the table". Tony Barrett, meanwhile, argues on The Times blog that Liverpool and Everton Football Clubs deserve stadia of their own.

Moyes: Club needed stadium decision
27 Nov - David Moyes says that even though the decision over Kirkby wasn't the one the hierarchy were hoping for, the ruling may bring potential buyers to the table. "If there are any buyers out there — and Bill Kenwright has said if there is anyone he would be willing to speak to them and do business — this may well force them out of the woodwork." He also expressed his fondness for the Blues' current home: "I love Goodison and if I thought it could be fixed and put in the condition we want that would give me the biggest thrill. But maybe in the world just now the viable cost of it can’t happen."

Bily named player of the month
26 Nov - Diniyar Bilyaletdinov has been named Everton's player of the month for November October [note: The Official Site initially posted the month for which the award was given as November].

Elstone open to groundshare option
26 Nov - In the wake of the rejection of the Kirkby stadium proposal, Everton CEO Robert Elstone says he is keen to put the divisions over Kirkby to one side and that all options regarding the club's stadium dilemma will now be considered, including the feasibility of sharing a ground with Liverpool FC.

Moyes only partially blaming injuries
26 Nov - In his post-match comments last night, David Moyes refused to blame his side's 3-2 defeat to Hull on injuries alone, suggesting that it wasn't the players who weren't playing that was the problem. "A team should fight from the first minute, not the 45th," he said.

Your chance to meet Everton legends
24 Nov - Derek Temple will be at the Central Library this Thursday, 25th November, from 2pm to talk about his Goodison days, while Duncan McKenzie will be selling and signing copies of his new book on Saturday 5th December from 10am to 4pm. Both events are FREE and coincide with The Everton Collection exhibition.

Yet another surgery setback
24 Nov - Phil Neville is the latest Everton player to have their recovery from a knee injury delayed by the need to go under the knife. The midfielder was hoping to be back in action by Sunday's derby match but has now been forced to have surgery on the cartilage tear he suffered against Fulham and is not expected to be back for another three weeks.

Kudos for Everton's youth development
24 Nov - The Mail have concluded their latest debatable Top 50 list, this time running down their picks for the best teenage sensations of the Premier League era. Eight of the 50 were the product of Everton's youth system, including, of course, the player who came in at No. 1, Wayne Rooney.

Reserves draw with Sunderland
23 Nov - Jose Baxter missed a penalty but Everton Reserves salvaged a point in a 1-1 draw against Sunderland's second string at the Stobart Stadium thanks to Cody Arnoux's second-half equaliser.

Lukas on target
23 Nov - On loan at Motherwell, Lukas Jutkiewicz has found form of late, scoring five goals in his last seven outings, coinciding with a six-match unbeaten run. But he is uncertain what the future holds when his loan deal ends in January.

Moyes: “It's a hard one... ”
22 Nov - David Moyes had plenty to say... but really said nothing by way of meaningful post-match comment after he and his under-performing players meekly accepted defeat at Old Trafford yesterday.

Moyes denies any Rodwell contact
21 Nov - Not exactly reassuring... but Moyes insists there have been no offers from any club looking to sign Jack Rodwell: “We have had nothing. It is hard for me to turn round and say he will not be leaving, because I said I would not sell [Joleon] Lescott, but have we had any contact with a club, or are we sitting on an offer? No.”

No relief on injury front
20 Nov - The expected return to fitness of Pienaar, Neville and Osman appears to have been overstated, and now Cahill has been added to the list after returning from Oman with a groin strain. Howard and Rodwell should be fit, however.

Pip doesn't like Man City!
20 Nov - Phll Neville's seeming bizarre outburst about never managing Man City (where even the tomato ketchup is blue!) came in response to a question during a BBC Radio Manchester interview, "Is it true you nearly joined City, by the way?" Answer: "No! Never!" ... Click the link on this page to hear Phil Neville's interview.

Pienaar voted the best
20 Nov - Steven Pienaar was voted Player of the Year at last night's Safa Awards after a fantastic season for both club and country. He has been the standout player for Bafana Bafana in a horror year, and has also established himself as a key player for Everton.

Preki is new Toronto coach
19 Nov - Predrag (Preki) Radosavlijevic has signed a three-year deal to become coach at Toronto FC, where fellow ex-Blue Mo Johnston is the Director of Soccer.

No World Cup Finals trip for Bily
18 Nov - Diniyar Bilyaletdinov will not be joining any of his Everton team-mates fortunate enough to be representing their countries at next summer's World Cup Finals in South Africa. Russia were eliminated in the second leg of their play-off with Slovenia on the away goals rule this evening.

David France interview
18 Nov - David France is interviewed and appears on the EPL Talk Podcast today which is available via iTunes and the EPL Talk website at

“We need our players back”
16 Nov - Tim Cahill is looking forward to getting some of his injured Everton teammates back of the Finch Farm treatment table to help share the workload: "We have lost our way a bit in the last few weeks, but now it's all about getting our heads down and just working. I think the hunger's there. We definitely are good enough — it's whether or not we can make it happen.'

Fellaini redeems himself
15 Nov - Hopefully, scoring on of the 3 goals in Belgium's win over Humgary at the weekend will have put Marouane Fellaini back in Dick Advocaat's good books

One more yella, Fella...
13 Nov - The Daily Post has figured out that Marouane Fellaini is currently on four yellow cards... which means his next yellow card will result in an automatic one-match ban for the following game.

Clough still wants Vaughan
13 Nov - James Vaughan is recovering from a knee injury that cut short his loan deal at Derby County last month, and is now approaching a return to full fitness. Derby boss Nigel Clough expects Vaughan will return to the Rams on loan in January.

Howard and Rodwell withdrawn
11 Nov - The USA national side has agreed to let Tim Howard sit out two friendlies scheduled for the current international break due to a foot injury. Jack Rodwell has also been withdrawn from the England U-21 squad because of a slight injury.

October PotM poll
11 Nov - If you voted in our latest poll, you may have noticed the results returned were from September's vote. The issue has been corrected but you'll need to re-submit your vote for October.

The Tony Kay Scandal
11 Nov - For those who may have missed it, this fascinating BBC docu-drama includes interview material featuring Tony Kay talking about the moment of foolishness that destroyed his football career when he agreed to bet on a game he was playing in for Sheffield Wednesday, two years before he joined Everton. It's available on iPlayer until Friday.

Gosling gets U-21 call
10 Nov - Dan Gosling has received his first England under-21 call-up to play Portugal at Wembley this weekend.

Five-Goal Reserves
10 Nov - Everton Reserves trounced their Wigan counterparts by an impressive 5 - 2 scoreline. Read this great report on the match prepared for us by Tom Owen.

Nine goals... only half fit
10 Nov - Sylvain Distin has revealed that Louis Saha, goal ace, is playing whilst nursing a calf strain. Can't be his left leg... Meanwhile, the French defender says that the team just has to battle on without their missing stars. "We can complain, but it does not get us more points or get us anywhere," Distin says.

We needed that one
8 Nov - Dan Gosling reckons Sunday's win at West Ham was ..."... a massive confidence booster. We've struggled in recent games and we need to get back up the table. Hopefully, we'll just carry on now and get a few more wins under our belt."

Moyes blames Europa games
7 Nov - "The more and more games you play in it, the more and more times you realise that some other managers have talked a lot of sense about the number of games in the Europa League. With the squads we have got, us particularly, it is very difficult to win Premier League games when you have got so many midweek games... we could look back and say that Europe has been a hindrance to us. I don't like talking that way. I have always wanted to talk positively about playing in Europe, we always want to qualify. But undoubtedly it could be having some effect on the domestic results we are getting now."

Moyes not blaming bad luck
7 Nov - Looking ahead to West Ham on Sunday, Moyes says: "We have had bad luck, but not all the time. We have to decide when it's luck and not just bad play. But we know we need to do better, and not rely on such things as luck. It can be about confidence, but that can change very quickly. A few of the lads are doing okay, but we need to play better as a team.''

Pip doing all he can
7 Nov - "It's hard to put into adequate words how good Phil Neville has been during the time he has been out injured. He's at the away games, on the touchline with them all, he's in the dressing room before and after and at half-time motivating and giving them advice. He is showing exactly what we know about him, he's a right good character and is in it for the team and not just for himself." — David Moyes

Royle: Johnson and I misread each other
4 Nov - Joe Royle describes to the BBC how his sudden departure from the Everton hotset in March 1997 was in all likelihood down to a misunderstanding between himself and Peter Johnson. The Goodison Great describes his 2˝ years in charge of the Blues, in which he saved the club from relegation and won the FA Cup, as the prime of his managerial career.

Humiliation hurts Moyes
4 Nov - David Moyes is determined that his side will restore their battered reputation when Benfica arrive at Goodison Park tomorrow after they thrashed 5-0 in Lisbon last week. Moyes said: "We do not use the word revenge but pride is at stake. We are hurting from the Benfica game and the result... We have to play much better than we did in Lisbon."

Bily out for three games
1 Nov - Diniyar Bilyaletdinov will miss the next three Premier League games — West Ham, Man Utd and Hull City — after getting a straight red card for a poor tackle on Villa's Petrov.

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