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ToffeeWeb Season Diary

Season 2009-10


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October 2009


News Headlines & Features

Stalemated potboiler
Everton 1 - 1 Aston Villa
31 Oct - On a day that saw the resurrection the 3pm Saturday game at Goodison Park, it was something of a classic English league ding-dong that ensued in the gathering Goodison twilight. Everton were strengthened by three returnees from injury but a goal either side of half-time, both at the Park End and eerily similar in execution, from Bilyaletdinov and Carew, ultimately settled the match, which threatened to boil over at times in the second half after a fairly tight first. Bily was sent off 2 mins before the end for a rather poor studs-up ankle-breaker on Petrov; Cuellar joined him minutes later for a deserved second yellow, as Everton dropped another two points, but at least stopped the losing streak.

Everton vs Aston Villa
Match Preview
31 Oct - On a frightening run of five games without a win and still without their star performers in midfield, Everton have a Halloween date with Aston Villa at Goodison Park this weekend. Louis Saha, Steven Pienaar, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov and Joseph Yobo will undergo late fitness tests but Leighton Baines should be back after missing the last three matches with a calf injury. KO is 3pm.

A thesis by David Kennedy, Ph D
The Division of EFC into Hostile Factions...
29 Oct - For true students of the origins and early history of Everton FC, what could be better than a really in-depth original treatise on the subject? That should be Thesis... as in Ph D Thesis. David Kennedy gained his doctorate at Leeds University's School of History back in 2003... the topic: The Division of Everton Football Club into Hostile Factions. No, it's not a study of this website, but a detailed historical analysis of the great split of 1892 and historical development of both clubs as organized professional football developed on Merseyside up through 1914 and the start of the First World War. Thanks to the British Library, anyone can download this 40MB behemoth [pdf] free of charge (in exchange for some registration details after you login). Perfect reading for those long winter nights...

Win tickets to Everton vs Aston Villa
PLUS get a FREE £20 bet
28 Oct - Paddy Power and ToffeeWeb have teamed up and come up with 10 pairs of tickets for this weekend's match versus Aston Villa! To be in with a shout of winning the tickets, which will be available for collection at Goodison on the day, all you have to do is be 18 years of age or more and sign up and place a £10 bet with Paddy Power through this link before midnight GMT on Thursday! To sweeten the deal even further, Paddy Power are awarding you with a free £20 bet once you open a new account through this link, deposit and bet £10! Best of Luck to all involved and Come on you Blues!

Tottenham too strong for patched-up Blues
Tottenham Hotspur 2 - 0 Everton
27 Oct - In a game that had a distinctly predictable air about it, an Everton side again stretched thin by injury was dumped out of the Carling Cup by Tottenham. An even and otherwise uneventful opening gave way to a spell of Tottenham pressure after half an hour, though and after Robbie Keane had poked a shot off the post, Tom Huddlestone rammed home a left-footer after 33 minutes to give Spurs the lead. Everton rallied in the second half as best they could but when Sylvain Distin was adjudged to have brought down Robbie Keane 10 minutes after the break, a penalty was awarded. Tim Howard saved the Irishman's kick but, after a goalmouth melée, Keane prodded home a second.

Tottenham Hotspur vs Everton
Carling Cup Preview
27 Oct - A gruelling spell of four games in 10 days continues with a trip to White Hart Lane just two-and-a-half days after the bruising defeat to Bolton at the Reebok Stadium on Sunday afternoon. David Moyes could again be without an entire team's worth of injuries but may opt for a few young faces even if some or all of Baines, Yakubu, Bilyaletdinov and Heitinga recover from injury in time.

Blues fightback killed off late by Klasnic
Bolton Wanderers 3 - 2 Everton
25 Oct - Everton came back from two goals down to level a bruising encounter at the Reebok Stadium but a patched-up defence that lost John Heitinga to injury with 10 minutes left couldn't prevent Ivan Klasnic from ramming home an 85th-minute winner for Bolton. Two more soft goals had gifted the Trotters a 2-0 lead but glorious strikes by Louis Saha and Marouane Fellaini changed the game. And when Dan Gosling raced clear in a three-on-one counter-attack but failed agonisingly to slide it square to either of two open Blues shirts, a gilt-edged chance went begging. A cruel loss for a team stretched to the limit by injury and fatigue.

Bolton Wanderers vs Everton
Match Preview
24 Oct - One of the last places you want to go when you're battered and bruised is the Reebok Stadium to face a physical Bolton but that's the test ahead of injury-ravaged Everton this weekend. Pienaar is still ruled out; Baines, Bilyaletdinov, Yobo and Osman are doubts; but Johnny Heitinga and Lucas Neill are back in contention to provide options in defence. KO is 1:30pm

Stadium of Darkness
Benfica 5 - 0 Everton
22 Oct - An Everton team decimated by injuries was put to the sword in devastating fashion by Benfica who had their beleaguered guests playing for pride by the time the eighth minute of the second half had elapsed. Javier Saviola scored the only goal of a fairly even first half but a second-half blitz just after the break saw three quick and sickeningly simple goals from Cardozo (2) and Luisao transform the game. Missing 12 first-team players, David Moyes's side were, a Saha shot off the post aside, utterly impotent at the other end and Saviola wrapped it up seven minutes from time with the fifth. BATE's win over AEK Athens in the other Group I game means the Blues are second in the group on six points. Full report

Benfica vs Everton
Europa League Group I Preview
22 Oct - David Moyes has yet more selection headaches for what is, on paper, his biggest test in Europe since the defeat to Fiorentina two seasons ago as the Blues take on Portuguese giants, Benfica in the Estadio da Luz this evening. Joseph Yobo, Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar are ruled out through injury, while John Heitinga and Lucas Neill are ineligible, leaving the manager with just 12 senior players from which to draw. Kick off is 6pm BST with live coverage on ESPN.

Moyes sees red over fixture list
Forced to play a weakened team
20 Oct - David Moyes is throwing a hissy fit over having to play "three games in 72 hours"... [shurly shome mishtake?], all because of the Arsenal-Liverpool Carling Cup tie being televised next Wednesday, forcing him to play a weakened side, thus devaluing the competition and short-changing its sponsors... who twice refused to allow Everton's Tuesday tie against Spurs to be rearranged. Heaven knows how he's going to cope when Everton qualify for the Champions League!

Improvement will be slow
Moyes cautious in predicting recovery
19 Oct - Moyes is worried that his side's stuttering form could continue for some time. With long-term casualties Phil Jagielka, Mikel Arteta and Phil Neville not expected to return until next month at the earliest, and Johnny Heitinga and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov still finding their feet, Moyes has reason to be concerned. "I think the recovery might be longer this season because of the late recruitment and the players who were out all summer. Yakubu is just beginning to get back. As a team we're not performing to where we should be." — David Moyes.

Bily to the rescue
Everton 1 - 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
17 Oct - After a dismal first half from his favoured 4-5-1 formation without Pienaar's flair, David Moyes acted early to rectify his mistake bringing off Hibbert for Yakubu at half-time and switching to a more attacking 4-4-2. But the Blues still laboured and it was a soft goal from Wolves 12 mins before time that livened up the stupor. Good work by Jo set up Bilyaletdinov to salvage a point but there is no excuse for squandering the other two, at home, against mediocre opposition, for the second match in succession.

Everton v Wolves
Match Preview
17 Oct - With the pause in the season provided by the international break comes another conjested part of the calendar as the Blues gear up for the first of four matches in 10 days. Newly-promoted Wolves provide the opposition this weekend but while Joseph Yobo is back after recovering from a thigh strain, Steven Pienaar remains doubtful with his bruised knee. KO is 3pm.

Fellaini cleared to play Wolves
No case to answer
15 Oct - The Belgian FA did lodge a request with Fifa, asking them to implement the so-called five-day rule against Everton regarding Marouane Fellaini's failure to appear "for whatever reason" in Wednesday's game against Estonia. However, Fifa have denied the request and confirmed to Everton that there is no case to answer and Fellaini will not be prevented from playing against Wolves on Saturday (wisdom teeth notwithstanding).

Jagielka starts ball work
Match-fit by mid-November
14 Oct - Phil Jagielka has been cleared to resume training after six months on the sidelines with a cruciate knee injury. The 27-year-old required surgery after rupturing his left knee against Manchester City in April. He is expected to come into first-team contention by mid-November. "The surgeon will not let a player go into any type of contact work for at least six months then you have to add on time to build up fitness and play in a few reserve games. So you are looking at over seven months for a quick comeback," says physio Mick Rathbone.

No wisdom for Big Fella's teeth
Belgian FA invokes 5-day rule
12 Oct - Another one of those ridiculous club-v-country flare-ups appears set to deny Everton the services of Marouane Fellaini in the next Premier League game against Wolves at the weekend. It all revolves around the Belgian's wisdom teeth, missed dental appointments, agreements with the manager — who then changed his mind — and denials by the club... apparently. Just another reason to despise international football...

King Louis near-genius
Free from injury and scoring goals
12 Oct - David Moyes has been eulogising over the silky skills of and injury-free Louis Saha: “There are times Louis does things with the ball that are near-genius. He can do incredible things and when he does you realise how difficult it was for him when he was injured so often. He has proved that we were right to take a chance on him." Although we can count only seven goals so far this season... not eight.

Arteta back on track
Six more weeks
9 Oct - Mike Arteta's long recovery from a serious knee injury seven months ago is now back on track after the 'blip' that saw some stitches in torn cartilage come lose, which required some minor surgery last month to fix. He has been doing a lot of rehab work in Spain and Mick Rathbone feels confident that he is looking good for a return to full training in around six weeks (end of November, not the end of October, as is implied in this Daily Post story).

Coleman back from the brink
Blister turned very nasty
7 Oct - Seamus Coleman appeared for the Reserves again after being laid low for three months while he recovered from a blister that became infected (with MRSA?) and left him with a gaping hole in his foot. He had the blister when he was part of the senior squad flying out to Seattle for Everton's mid-summer jaunt in the USA. Strong antibiotics were followed by surgery as the infection threatened his career, but he now appears to be fully recovered.

Bily needs time to adapt
Six months or even next season
6 Oct - David Moyes has warned it may take Diniyar Bilyaletdinov some time — six months to a year — until he produces his best football in the Premier League. That's despite him having already played a major part in creating six goals for his new teammates in just six appearances. “His delivery is good, he’s a nice passer and he has a nice feel in tight areas. It’s just getting him used to the intensity of the Premier League,” says Moyes.

Not enough in the tank
Everton 1 - 1 Stoke City
4 Oct - After a grueling trip to eastern Europe, maintaining winning form in the Premier League proved a step too far for Everton as Stoke effectively stonewalled them, even taking the lead just after half time. A point was rescued by a super goal from Leon Osman minutes later, but Everton were unable to finish a number of promising chances they had to gain the upper hand and breakdown the stubborn giants from the Potteries, despite switching to 4-3-3 for the last 15 mins, with Saha, Jô and Yakubu on the pitch. Full report

Everton vs Stoke City
Match Preview
3 Oct - Joseph Yobo and Steven Pienaar are the big doubts for David Moyes as he prepares for the visit of Stoke City. Yobo is awaiting the results of a scan on the thigh he injured in training on Wednesday while Pienaar is still recovering from a severely bruised knee sustained at Fratton Park last weekend. Louis Saha, Lucas Neill, Johnny Heitinga and Jack Rodwell are available once more, though. Kick off is 3pm on Sunday.

Beleaguered Blues turn tables on BATE
BATE Borisov 1- 2 Everton
1 Oct - Tony Hibbert was forced to make a star turn as a makeshift centre-half and Jô had to battle through the second half despite leaving the field on a stretcher at half time as Everton pulled off an unlikely but no less precious win in Minsk. A thigh injury to Joseph Yobo meant that David Moyes could just about cobble together a senior starting XI but after Diniyar Bilyaletdinov had been denied by the post, Likhtarovich thundered an unstoppable shot from 25 yards past Tim Howard to give BATE the lead. The Blues seemed to be drfiting to defeat in the second half when, suddenly, Marouane Fellaini found himself unmarked to head home the equaliser from Leighton Baines' free kick. Then, Bilyaletdinov set up a chance for Tim Cahill and he slid in the pouring rain to loop in what would prove to be the winner after the Blues withstood a late surge by the Belorussians to hold out for victory. The result means that Everton have won five on the bounce and retain their 100% record in the group while Benfica went down 1-0 in Athens.

BATE Borisov vs Everton
Europe League Group I Preview
1 Oct - Everton are in the previously unfamiliar surroundings of Minsk for their second Europa League Group I fixture against BATE Borisov of Belarus this evening. David Moyes is shorn of two more of his best players in the form of Steven Pienaar (bruised knee) and Jack Rodwell (flu) and will have few options when naming a starting XI of first-team regulars. Kick off is 6pm BST with live coverage on ESPN in the UK.

 

Snippets & Rumours

Moyes explains silence
30 Oct - David Moyes has revealed he chose not to address the media following Everton's Carling Cup loss against Tottenham on Tuesday in protest over about his side's fixture congestion. Playing three away games in six days is unreasonable; and Spurs had an extra day of recovery, which was unfair.

Saha the latest worry
29 Oct - In this rare injury update, it seems Louis Saha may have a calf injury that could keep him out of the Villa game while Yobo, Pienaar, Baines and Bilyaletdinov are all in with a chance of being declared fit for this massive game.

Moyes in silent protest
29 Oct - David Moyes refused to speak to the press after Everton's Carling Cup defeat at Tottenham in protest at his team's busy schedule. The Carling Cup tie was their third away game, and third loss, in six days after Thursday's Europa League match in Benfica and Sunday's game at Bolton.

Not just Everton's form that's scary
28 Oct - In preparation for Michael Jackson "Thriller Night" at Goodison Park (30th October, £20 a ticket)), the Grand Old Team Forum has served up a special look for Halloween, complete with some Ghosts of Everton Past. If you don't want to be reminded of the Mike Walker era, stay away!

iPhone App a big hit
26 Oct - Everton have launched an iPhone application that claims to provide lots of online services on the hugely popular Apple cellphone. You can download it for 59p/$0.99 from the Appstore... but the catch is that it needs another hefty subscription for full functionality — what about your EvertonTV sub, you may well ask...

Donzo hoping to realise his dream
23 Oct - Abraham Donzo, the 16-year-old Liberian transplant who won a trial with Everton on the Canadian TV show, Soccer Dreams, returns to Merseyside for a fourth and — likely final — spell to see if he has shown enough to earn a place in the Blues' Youth Academy.

Bilyaletdinov adds to injury woes
23 Oct - Diniyar Bilyaletdinov was withdrawn after an hour of the 5-0 drubbing by Benfica because of a thigh problem. "We will need to assess him when we get back as well," said David Moyes, who was without a full team's worth of senior players for the Europa League match. "I am not sure either yet who might be fit for the weekend."

The Birth of EFC
23 Oct - David Starsky was at the second talk by Peter Lupson, celebrating the opening of the Everton Collection, and has filed this report on the men behind the creation of Everton FC.

“We did our best”
23 Oct - David Moyes would not criticise his palyers after the disaster in Lisbon: "They did the best they could and as good as they could. I have only praise for them. Obviously tonight’s defeat was not what we wanted but I would like to play Benfica with my best side. It shows them (the youngsters) the level they have to play at to get to the top."

Amo twins in Academy trial
19 Oct - The twin sons of Everton 's FA Cup-winning hero Daniel Amokachi, Nazim and Khaled, have been undergoing trials Finch Farm, where they have been trying out with the Everton Under-13s for the past five weeks.

Reserves win at Bolton
19 Oct - With no senior players involved, reserve striker Kieran Agard grabbed the game’s only goal on 71 minutes but it was keeper Adam Davies who deserved the plaudits after pulling off a host of top-class saves to thwart Bolton Wanderers' second string.

Lescott spills the beans
17 Oct - In this this predictably one-sided account, Joleon Lescott himself expounds on some (but crucially not all) of the goings on between him and Moyes as the saga of his protracted transfer to Manchester City played out to its inevitable conclusion. Editorial Comment.

Everton Collection on TV
16 Oct - On Monday evening, the BBC One regional programme Inside Out North West will feature the Everton Collection. Jacey Normand has been talking to the project manager, Max Dunbar. The broadcast time is 19:30.

No Cahill... no chance
16 Oct - If Tim Cahill didn't exist, Australia would have to invent him. Rarely has a player become such a key component of a team. When the Socceroos need someone to drag them out of a difficult spot, up pops the Everton man to do what he does with unerring regularity for club and country — hit the back of the net, as he did on Wednesday night with the only goal in the 1-0 triumph over Oman.

Rhys Jones shirt a big hit
15 Oct - A special Everton kit launched to raise money for a charity in response to the murder of schoolboy Rhys Jones is the club's fastest selling pre-ordered shirt. Due to be unveiled on 29 October, the shirt will be available the next day. Each shirt will be individually boxed, numbered and presented with a certificate of authenticity and can be pre-ordered from the Everton website for delivery on 30 October. Pre-orders of the new shirt are currently three times more popular than the first-team shirt.

Cahill saves Socceroos' bacon
14 Oct - Tim Cahill has once again proved to be Australia's hero, scoring the winner against Oman to put the Socceroos on top of their Asian Cup qualifying group. "That's what I'm there for, to put them in the back of the net," Cahill said.

Two months out for Vaughan
13 Oct - Confirmation that it will take James Vaughan at least another two months on the sidelines to recover from the latest injury to befall his blighted career.

The Immediate Future
12 Oct - With the Decision about Destination Kirkby about to be released, this article on KEIOC assesses the consequences of a positive outcome, Bill Kenwright's position as Chairman and further questions the role of Sir Philip Green. Mailbag Discussion.

Moses Barnett goes on loan
10 Oct - Everton Reserves player Moses Barnett has gone out on loan at Darlington for a month. The centre-/left-back has been with Everton since leaving Arsenal in 2007 but has not been involved yet with the senior squad.

Leitch honoured in ONB
8 Oct - Archibald Leitch, who designed the Gwladys Street and Bullens Road stands at Goodison Park (in addition to the original Main Stand, subsequently replaced), has been honoured with a mention in the 2009 edition of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Premier League paupers
7 Oct - Confirmation that Everton are owned by some of the 'poorest' rich people involved with Premier League football. This Daily Mail pictorial shows Bill Kenwright's wealth at £2-3M, and Jon Woods's at £5M as rather strapped compared with all their illustrious peers.

BATE Champions
7 Oct - BATE Borisov secured their sixth league championship trophy in Belarus (fourth in a row) with five games still to go following a 4-0 mauling of Naftan Novopolotsk on Monday.

Knee operation for Vaughan
7 Oct - This report claims that James Vaughan required an operation on his knee to repair a tear in the cartilage and now faces yet another spell on the sidelines. It is doubtful if he will be fit enough to resume his loan spell at Derby County, which ends in January.

Yobo and Pienaar on the mend
7 Oct - The Physio, Mick Rathbone reports that both Joseph Yobo and Steven Pienaar are on track to be fit for the Wolves game, and Phil Neville is improving with the news that he should not need an operation to fix his injured knee.

Baxter in drug arrest
6 Oct - Jose Baxter has been arrested on suspicion of possessing cannabis with intent to supply and having counterfeit money. The 17-year-old has been released on police bail after being arrested on Monday in the Kirkby area of Liverpool along with two men aged 29 and 34.

Moyes salutes "brickwork"
5 Oct - David Moyes paid tribute to two of his favourite players, stand-in captain Leon Osman, who blazed in the equalizer against Stoke, and Tony Hibbert who has been increasingly solid in defence this season a nd who took over the armband when Osman was substituted on Sunday.

Fellaini struggling
3 Oct - David Moyes has revealed that Marouane Fellaini has been suffering from an infection for the past three weeks and has been on antibiotics. He's also been having trouble with his teeth and will be getting two wisdom teeth extracted next week.

Vaughan back with knee injury
3 Oct - A knee injury that won't settle is the reason why James Vaughan has returned to Everton early from his loan spell at Derby 'for consultations'... after playing in just one game for the Rams.

Cahill looks to set up tsunami appeal
2 Oct - Tim Cahill says that he is working on initiating some sort of appeal for aid for the victims of the tsunami that hit the island nations of Samoa and Tonga. "I am working on something now," he is quoted in the Guardian, "which might take a bit of time, to try to help."

Benfica ticket news
2 Oct - Everton have announced that the club has been allocated 3,250 tickets for the Europa League match against Benfica later this month, priced at £19. To apply for a ticket you must be a member of the official European Travel Club and have accrued the required number of points which, tentatively set at 2 points.

Cahill celebration for Somoa victims
1 Oct - Tim Cahill has explained that his celebration for the winning goal against BATE Borisov was a tribute to the victims of the tsunami that devastated Somoa earlier this week. The Australian midfielder is half-Samoan and has family and friends on the Pacific islands.

Life and Crimes of Big Dunc
1 Oct - Today (or is it tomorrow?) sees the publication of In Search of Duncan Ferguson, a biography of the man/monster who rampaged around Goodison Park through the mostly painful 1990s. This work by author Alan Pattullo is a aptly subtitled, "The Life and Crimes of a Footballing Enigma". Mailbag Thread



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