Everton Logo Everton 2 - 2 Arsenal
Half-time: 0 - 2
Arsenal Logo
FA Carling Premiership 97/98 - Game 8
Saturday 27 September 1997
Goodison Park, Merseyside
Att: 35,457
« Newcastle United (a) Ref: Alan Wilkie Scunthorpe United (h) »
1997-98 Fixtures & Results League Position: 16th Premiership Results & Table
EVERTON: Ball (49) Cadamarteri (56)
Arsenal: Wright (32) Overmars (41)
LINEUPS Subs Not Used
EVERTON: Gerrard, Barrett, Phelan, Bilic, Watson, Ball, Stuart, Grant (70 McCann), Cadamarteri, Speed, Oster.
Unavailable: Parkinson, Branch, Barmby, Farrelly, Short, Allen, Williamson, Ferguson, (Injured); Hinchcliffe (Suspended).
Southall, Thomas, O'Connor, Thomsen.
Arsenal: Seaman, Winterburn, Vieira (Garde, 89), Bould, Adams, Wright, Bergkamp, Overmars (Boa Morte, 64), Parlour (Platt, 77), Petit, Grimandi. Anelka, Manninger.
Yellow Cards Red Cards
EVERTON: None. --
Arsenal: None. --

Guy McEvoy Young Hearts and Nervous Nellies
Jim Beglin BBC World Service report
Steve Bickerton Playing the Beautiful Game
Les Anderson I Was There!
Richard Marland The Kids Are Alright
THE SUNDAY TIMES Young guns peg back Arsenal
by Joe Lovejoy
THE TIMES Cadamarteri spells out defiance
by Mark Hodkinson
DAILY STAR Hair to the Throne
by Someone from the Daily Star
ELECTRONIC TELEGRAPH Cadamarteri helps justify Kendall gamble
by Alyson Rudd
SOCCERNET Link to SoccerNet Match Report
CARLINGNET Link to CarlingNet Match Report

Young Hearts and Nervous Nellies
Guy McEvoy

"Lambs to the Slaughter", "Boys against men", "Impending disaster".  Wherever you walked around Goodison on Saturday you could overhear the same phrases from snatched segments of conversation. The Ladbrokes queue was full of Season ticket holders "taking out insurance" against a massacre. This collective lack of faith in the blue boys was overwhelming.  It engulfed even those usually blindly optimistic.  No one I spoke to expected anything from this game.  I, like most, felt that my function in being there was simply to stubbornly go down with the ship.

The teams came out and the hopelessness of the task just seemed reinforced.  The difference in physiques between the teams was stark.  Arsenal looked like mature international athletes, whilst Everton looked like a boy-scout team.  The line-up forced upon us by the injury crisis seemed unlikely to produce any attacking threat against such an accomplished defence.  We were seemingly playing a make-shift 4-4-1-1. Cadamarteri was the loaner up front, Oster was floating behind him. Stuart, Speed, Grant, and Phelan took the midfield. Barrett, Bilic, Watson and Ball started in defence.

First Half

We the fans may not have had much faith in the line-up but, by God, they had faith in themselves.  The first half-hour was a joy to watch.  True enough, with the formation as it stood we never looked likely to score, but the football in midfield still humbled Arsenal.  The quality of our first-touch passing brought Goodison to its feet.  Six or seven first touch passes, each going straight to feet hit with such speed it was like watching the ball being knocked about a pin-ball table.

Eventually though, our valiant 'last stand' looked to be over.  All our good work through intricate play was undone with one fluent move straight off the Arsenal training ground.  Bergkamp played on Wright, Wright beat Watson, Goal.  It looks so bloody simple when Ian Wright does it.  Only when you see it again on TV can you appreciate the perfection of his first touch that gave the opportunity for such a clinical strike.  Ian Wright has many imperfections, the most significant being scoring against Everton with disturbing frequency.  One day though, I'll be telling my grandchildren how I was privileged to see him play.  If only we'd got him two years ago.

Following the goal, Arsenal dug in whilst heads were down and Everton's youthful confidence drained.  They could have had another two, but fortunately only picked up the one.  Wright played the ball through, Overmars was quicker than Gerrard and so stabbed home the second.  So, despite the promise we had shown, the feeling at half time was still the same -- a Doomsday prophecy about to be completed.

Second Half

Kendall had little to play with substitution-wise but managed a re-shuffle with what he had on the pitch.  The obvious swap was switching Phelan and Ball around, the more risky gamble was to turn into a 4-4-2 by pushing Graham 'Play Anywhere' Stuart up front as a partner for Danny, and shifting Oster over to the right wing.  Simple tinkering and it worked a treat.

In no time at all, Phelan hurled in a cross, Stuart headed it on and charging in with a well timed leap beating Seaman was Ball with his first senior goal.  The early goal was crucial, the confidence we had started the game with was instantly restored and suddenly Arsenal looked vulnerable to a more attack-minded Everton formation.

It swept across the crowd as the stone-set doubts started to drift away.  There was a buzz back at Goodison. The buzz reached an even higher level with the equaliser.  Everton won a free kick on the edge of the box.  Stuart drove it powerfully but it struck a body in the wall and fell loose. Cadamarteri realised it was at his feet, he looked to stumble -- I thought he had the ball caught between his legs -- but with a cool head he side stepped right, then buried it past Seaman high into the net. Goodison erupted.

From then on, we may even have snatched it.  Some of the football we were playing was exhibition stuff.  All our youngsters were keen to show their tricks.   Grant with a thirty-five yard pile-driver, Oster with inability to be shaken off the ball, Cadamarteri with one shimmy in a dribble that turned Adams inside out.

McCann was brought on for the magnificent Grant towards the end.  Everton saw the game out having done more than enough to deserve their draw.  It's a nice feeling giving a standing ovation to a team as they leave the pitch, something we too rarely have chance to do at Goodison.  This, for once, was a hard-earned point.

Individual Performances

  • Gerrard 7 - Looked solid all game, the one exception perhaps being the second goal, otherwise looked a sound choice.
  • Barrett 6 - Flashes of the defender we know he can be but, in a team playing an out-right passing game, his weaknesses were exposed.
  • Watson 6 - You just never felt comfortable that Dave could deal with Wright in the same you could with Slav.   Watson seems to be losing his aura... that is a tragedy.
  • Bilic 7 - Solid enough, still not as dominating as he was in the early stages of the season but then I suppose this was against the best strike-force in Britain.
  • Ball 7 - Competent at left-back, accomplished in midfield.  Another valuable versatile squad member.
  • Phelan 6 - Don't think Terry looked at all settled in the midfield role.  Much better in the second half after the swap with Ball.
  • Stuart 7 - Made a real difference when he moved forward in the second half; he gave Everton a much better balance because poor Danny on his own was a bit much.
  • Speed 7 - Tireless effort.  Good all round performance, left the flair stuff to the others and played the simple game he does so effectively.
  • Grant 8 - This was Everton playing the way that best suits Grant.  Aside from his passing, his continued bite in the challenge should dispel the light-weight tag.
  • Oster 6 - As always many glimpses of his talent.   Not sure he managed to integrate himself with the team that well though today.
  • Cadamarteri 8 - A hard afternoon's work rewarded with a good goal.  If this young lad can keep his confidence we may finally have someone who can aim for the twenty goal a season mark!
  • McCann 6 - Settled to his role well, though I'd rather Grant had stayed on (maybe Grant had picked up a knock).

BBC World Service Report
Jim Beglin

After half an hour, Howard Kendall would have been well pleased with the first 25 minutes of his weakened Everton team's lively performance but during the break, he was faced with the task of lifting his players.

That was due to a scintillating 15-minute spell from the Gunners -- easily the best of the match, in which Bergkamp found Wright for the opener, and then Wright played in Overmars for the second, and an interval lead that flattered them.

Not surprisingly, Evertonians feared the worst after the break, as their youngsters faced all the experience of the leader's back five, but how they responded!

Indeed, two 17-year-olds helped Everton level. First, center-back Michael Ball tucked away a free header, and then the tireless Danny Cadamarteri hit the roof of the net, both goals coming within 11 minutes of the interval, amidst a period of sloppy visitor's defending.

Arsenal were rattled. Everton went looking for a winner, and the passion and committment of their young side filled the Goodison faithful full of hope.

Arsenal however settled things, and through Bergkamp, threatened a winner themselves. But it wouldn't have been just. On this form, the only way is up for Kendall, but his opposite number, Arsène Wenger won't have been best pleased.

I Was There!
Les Anderson

A day full of the threat of a rout started badly enough when my mate couldn`t get his car started.  After the magic fingers had done their work and got the car going, we were off.  The talk turned to the match, we all hoped we`d acquit ourselves well and with a bit of luck maybe even steal a draw.  Nothing could prepare us for what was about to happen.

Entering the ground a few minutes after kick-off (thanks Steve), the atmosphere was already a notch or two higher than I`ve experienced in a while.  Taking my seat and gathering my composure, I was struck immediately by the speed of the game, and the fact that Everton -- yes, Everton -- were running Arsenal ragged.

Oh joy of joys ! Young Squid and Johnino had the highly rated and very experienced Arsenal defence in panic.  Joy as Tony Grant showed Arsenal's midfield what a class player can do. This was too much to comprehend.

My tip for the title were on the back foot for over half an hour.  A team of internationals were getting a lesson in football from Everton's youth system.  Then, with two chances came two goals and Everton's dominance looked to be wasted.  We had reverted to type, and the half-time talk turned to how many we`d get beaten by.

But the script for this one wasn't written by Everton's usual script writer, -- oh no, we'd been loaned Man Utd's script-writer for the day; pushing Stuart up front had the desired effect.  I feel I must add at this stage that I would have liked to have seen Stuart pushed forward a lot earlier, when we had all the play in the first half, young Caddy was giving Arsenals defence such grief that a fellow attacker would have created a lot more openings and maybe have seen us get a much-deserved goal.

The team started the 2nd half with the same passion and commitment that they had started the 1st half.  A cross from Phelan at the Park End... a knock back across goal... and we'd scored.  A lot of strangers found themselves getting hugs and kisses at this stage.  Not having a very good view of the goal, being in the Street End. The word went round that Micheal Ball was the scorer.  We were back in it and the youngsters grew in stature by the minute.

Barely given time to finish celebrating, a second goal by the new George Weah, and the fans went ballistic. Time to pinch myself and ask the question, is this really the Everton I know and love?  It was, and god it felt good!

Slowly, Arsenal forced their way back into contention and a quick break always threatened. Arsenal had shown in the first half why their forward line is so highly respected, but it was not to be... A missed sitter for Ian Wright and a ballooned effort from Petit failed to trouble Paul Gerrard.

Alas, a winner just would not come. Maybe it wasn't Man Utd's script writer after all.  The final whistle and relief from both sets of fans.  Make no mistake, this was an excellent performance from Everton's kids and senior pro`s. Not being there will raise questions of why we're so happy with a draw; being there will raise the reply that it wasn`t a draw, it was a performance of a team that looks capable of winning things.

A happy roar greeted the news that Liverpool and Man Utd had both gone down on their travels and the happy masses left Goodison with a new-found confidence in their team.

Days like these are few and far between, I take great pleasure in being able to say "I was there".  If turning points do actually exist, I hope this is it.  Until the 26th of November, I see no reason why we can`t gather a full set of points and see the lads up there amongst the shakers and movers. I live in hope.

Team Ratings

  • Gerrard: 6,  Adequate.  Given time the next Nev, as long as gob-shites in the crowd get off his back.
  • Barrett: 3,  Very poor.  Contrary to what you may think, I've always had a lot of time for Earl, but yesterday's performance was a stinker. Bye Earl!
  • Phelan: 7,  Great surging runs down the left flank and some good interplay with the midfielders.  A more than adequate replacement for Hinchcliffe.
  • Watson: 6,  Struggled at times with the pace and movement of Wright and Bergkamp, but we knew this would happen didn`t we?  Won everything in the air though, and probably gave the youngsters a bit more confidence.
  • Bilic: 6½,  Composed performance against THE in-form strike-force of the moment.  A lot of good stuff started with big Slav bringing the ball out of defence.  For one horrible moment the ground went quiet when he went down after a challenge, but he got up and carried on. A building block for future glories.
  • Ball: 6½,  A great game from one of our more promising youngsters. In midfield and defence he never looked out of place.  He'll have a few of the more senior pro's looking over their shoulders.  Looks like a great utility player until we find a settled position for him.
  • Grant: 8,  My man of the match.  Ran the show in the first half.  Tackling was superb and his distribution was even better.  If HK sells this lad I`ll.... I`ll.... er ... I won't be very happy, put it that way.
  • Stuart: 7,  Ran and harried all game.  Graham has a great engine and I think he's slowly adapting to his wing back role.  It may even turn out to be his best position.  Played a more forward role in the second half and helped create a few more problems for Adams and Bould.
  • Oster: 7½,  This lad has everything on his side.  Confident to the point of being arrogant.  Not fazed by the quality of opposition and willing to run at defenders all day long.  He is brilliant and will only get better.
  • Cadamarteri: 8,  Superlatives and clichés don`t do this lad justice.  If you see Adams and Bould in such a state again this season it will be because they are having an off-day.  I can`t think of the words to describe him so I`ll leave it to your imaginations, but its enough to say that I'm glad we didn`t buy Ravanelli.  Young Danny may never have got his start.  And 2 goals in 3 games shows that he has about as much respect for Premier league defence`s as he has for their counterparts in the Pontins League.
  • Speed: 7½,  Those of us that said the armband was too much of a burden for Gary must now be force-fed their words.  He grows in stature with every game I see and he leads by example. The Everton captaincy was destined for Gary and on recent performances, he's showing that he is more than capable of bearing it with distinction.  Covered every blade of grass and chased every lost cause. I'm surprised he didn't run a furrow into the Goodison turf.
  • McCann: 6,  To be fair to young Gavin, by the time he came on for Granty, the crowd was in such a frenzy that it became to difficult to really watch the game.  Suffice to say he gave a good account of himself and will get a number of run-outs this season to add to Everton's burgeoning treasure-chest of youngsters.

The team as a whole showed the meaning of the word team-work and the senior players all led by example. Barmby, Ferguson and Hinchcliffe will all be that little bit more worried this morning and that can only be a good thing.  

I must give a mention to referee, Alan Wilkie. Unobtrusive, let the game flow and allowed it to become the spectacle that it was.  If only all refs were this good.  Evertonions everywhere can take a lot of comfort from this game. It may or may not be a turning point all I know is that I feel sorry for those blues that didn't make it.

The Kids Are Alright
Richard Marland

What a roller-coaster of an afternoon!  From the sheer dread of the game and what Bergkamp was going to do to us, to the pleasant surprise of how well we started, to the sheer horror of the 20 minutes during which Arsenal tore us apart and finally the delight of coming back from 2 goals down with a performance of some character.  I came away from the ground feeling somewhat drained and veritably buzzing with the excitement of it all -- an all-too-rare experience coming away from Goodison these days.

The team, under the injury-induced constraints that Kendall was working with, showed no real surprises. Gerrard kept his place in goal, we had a flat back four of Barrett, Watson, Bilic and Michael Ball, a five man midfield Phelan wide left, Grant and Speed in the middle, Stuart wide right and Oster with a free role behind the lone striker -- Cadamarteri. On the bench we had Southall, O'Connor, Thomas, Thomsen and McCann.

First Half

We started off very brightly.  The youngsters showed that they are all good footballers, with good technique and good passing ability.  Grant, Oster and Cadamarteri were all particularly prominent early on as we took the game to Arsenal with some vigour.  Oster in particular was showing some delightful touches and giving the Arsenal defence something to think about.  We didn't have too much in the way of clear goal-scoring opportunities but for the first 15 to 20 minutes we definitely had Arsenal on the back foot.

It was wonderful stuff to watch, there was good passing, good movement and the crowd was right behind them.  There was one point in which we got ourselves out of a tight corner in defence with about 8 passes strung together, the crowd positively purred with delight.  This was the sort of stuff that we used to take for granted, it was good to see it at Goodison again.

After such an unexpectedly positive start you almost knew what was coming next -- an Arsenal goal.  Bergkamp picked up the ball just inside our half, advanced on goal before releasing the ball to Wright, who evaded Watson and buried the ball past Gerrard. That was all it took, a little hesitancy in midfield and defence, a bit too much space for Bergkamp and Wright, and bang.

The goal was harsh on the team and we started to fall apart.  We were soon 2 down, another fast break, Wright released Overmars and he just beat Gerrard in a straight race for the ball to nick it past him.  I've watched the goal on Match of the Day and feel that Gerrard should have done better.  The ball was in the box, so he could use his hands, in a situation like that the goalie should always be favourite as he can use his whole body to block the ball.

Half time couldn't come soon enough and it was a relief to reach it at 0-2.  Despite the late reverse the crowd gave the team warm applause as they left the pitch, they had appreciated the good football they had shown and realised that the 0-2 scoreline flattered Arsenal.  During the half-time interval the talk was of damage limitation, we should have given our lads a bit more credit.

Second Half

Kendall made a couple of switches at half time, Stuart went up front with Cadamarteri, Oster went to the right side of midfield and Ball and Phelan swapped positions -- Phelan to left back, Ball to left side midfield.  The switches and half time talk obviously did their trick as we regained our composure after the nightmare of the last 20 minutes of the first half.

Before long we were right back in the game.  A cross from Phelan was headed back across goal by Stuart and Michael Ball arrived at the far post to get in a good downward header which eluded Seaman. 1-2 -- game 0on!  The goal was just what was needed, it lifted the team and the crowd.

The equaliser wasn't long coming.  We had a free kick just outside the box, the ball was touched to Stuart whose shot was blocked, it fell to Cadamarteri in the middle of a crowded penalty area.  He took the ball, made some space for himself and found the back of the net with a right foot shot.  It was an impressive piece of finishing, he still had quite a bit to do when he received the ball and he executed it superbly.

This was brilliant stuff, the crowd was in full voice as we more than held our own against the might of Arsenal.  Both sides had chances to take the match as play swung from end to end.  Gavin McCann came on for Tony Grant (I assume Grant had a knock as it was a like for like substitution and Kendall made a point of applauding Grant off the pitch).  This now meant that we had four teenagers on the pitch, and, like the others, McCann wasn't overawed and showed that he had the same understanding of the basics of the game as the other youngsters.

Full time came and the team left the pitch to a standing ovation.  The ovation was deserved, apart from the fifteen minute spell when Arsenal scored they had been magnificent.  They had passed well, played good football, and shown commendable spirit to come back from two goals down against a side as experienced and resilient as Arsenal.  A hugely encouraging afternoon -- The Kids Are Alright.

  • Gerrard 6  Not called into action too much.  A couple of very good stops, felt he should have done better with their second, one dodgy headed clearance which gave Parlour the chance to chip him -- it went just over.
  • Barrett 5  Against the good technique of the youngsters he looks horribly out of place.  His defending was OK -- one great tackle in the second half -- but the rest of his game looked poor.
  • Watson 5  Like Barrett, he now looks out of place.  His lack of pace gave Wright his goal scoring opportunity.
  • Bilic 7  Another quietly effective performance.  This man does not look out of place in any company.
  • Ball 7  Astonishing maturity for a 17-year-old.  He ended up one-on-one against Bergkamp a couple of times and came out on top.  I read somewhere that the coaches reckon that he could be the best player of all the youngsters coming through -- on a performance like this I could well believe that.
  • Stuart 5  Continues to struggle.  I still feel that his biggest problem is confidence and a lack of a settled position in the side.  He only played in two totally different positions today.
  • Grant 7  Thought he was excellent.  His passing hasn't reached the heights that it did in October last year but still pretty good.  Surprised to see him substituted -- let's hope it was a slight knock.
  • Speed 8  Another good, solid performance.  He is growing into the captain's position.  My man of the match.
  • Phelan 7  Another solid, hard working performance from Terry.
  • Oster 6  Was very good early on, clearly enjoyed the free role he was given.  Some of his touches were breathtaking. Fell away somewhat after that and was never as effective wide right.
  • Cadamarteri 8  Another excellent performance -- didn't do anything noticeably wrong.  Did very well for his goal, and stood up to the physical battering that Steve Bould dished out to him.  The boy looks to be a star in the making.
  • McCann 6  Not on too long but long enough to show that he is yet another youngster of huge potential.  This was my first look at McCann and I was impressed, his touch, vision and passing were all good.

Team 7  An excellent performance, some delightful passing and guts and character on show as well.  Lacked a bit of a cutting edge up front, Dunc could have had a feast on some of the crosses that went in, as someone said to me "Now, why can't they play like that when Dunc's there?"

Playing the Beautiful Game
Steve Bickerton

All the pre-match hype was about the attacking force that was Arsenal.  A solid back four built on 10 years of stability -- that bastion of Everton-ness, Sky Sports (in last night's Sports Centre) even failed to mention that the boys in blue were even setting foot on the park today such was their preoccupation with all things red.  So we were to be lambs to the slaughter, with a debilitated attack, an even weaker midfield and a defence that falls to pieces looking at its own shadows.  Looked good for an avalanche of goals for the Arse' then!

The programme notes from Inchy seemed to indicate that a surprise might be in store, indeed the pre-match interviews with young Cadamarteri and the less young Stuart on TV Everton seemed to indicate that they were up for it too.  You never know.  Its a funny ole game!

The team selection was almost a case of 11 fit men and true. Gerrard in goal with a back 5 of Barrett, Bilic, Watson, Ball, Phelan; a midfield made-up of Stuart, Speed, Grant, Oster; and Cadamarteri slogging it out upfront.  Boys against men.  The subs bench consisted of Southall, O'Connor, McCann, Thomas and Thomsen.

First Half

The game started at an electric pace. Cadamarteri ran after everything that came forward, the midfield buzzed with a collective purpose and we looked as though, finally, we had found a pattern.  Everybody was making a contribution, with the back five looking assured, the midfield creative and competitive and Danny making a nuisance of himself and showing delightful touches too.  

Such was Danny's endeavour that Bould and Adams looked worried every time they were in possession and had Danny charging down on them.  His pace and speed of thought are a major addition to our attacking potential.  The crowd purred with delight as we saw flashes of the School of Science, the ball played from foot to foot, first time balls hitting their mark and Arsenal chasing after shadows.  

We forced corners, made swift raids down the flanks with Oster in fine form flicking and chasing, tackling and harrying. Phelan was finding acres of room down the left and for 30 minutes we played them off the park. Oh how the crowd crowed!  A long ball from the back, Bergkamp turns, plays the ball into space as Wright peels away from Watson, Wright strikes the ball sweetly, Gerrard dives despairingly.  Everton 0 Arsenal 1.  Silence.

From that moment, we started back-pedalling.  Spaces appeared in the midfield that weren't there anymore and Overmars struck a second for Arsenal.  It got quieter.  The early confidence that had been so obvious just 0 minutes earlier was gone as we were back on our heels.  The avalanche had started... and you can't stop an avalanche. Unless, of course, you're the referee and you blow the whistle for half-time.

As HK3 delivered the team talk I tried to work out what had been the difference in that pulsating first half. The answer was, as always, confidence.  They had it in bucket loads, we had just found a little bit tucked away in the corner of the dressing room and used it up in the first half-hour.  Everyone had played a positive part in that first half, from Gerrard to Cadamarteri, all with varying degrees of success.

Grant had been tackling ferociously, spraying the ball around the ground, to feet, to chest, to players in blue. Oster and Cadamarteri had tantalised the Arsenal defence with their flicks, their pace, their fearlessness. Watson made a couple of gaffes allowing Wright to get away, Ball had looked very accomplished once he'd settled down and Bilic was just, well, Bilic.  Speed was everywhere, Stuart had run all over and Phelan had been tireless in his forward runs.  

Gerrard had had very little to do bar push away one ferocious shot from Bergkamp (I think) and pick the ball out of the net twice. And then there was Barrett. His tackling was good (when he wasn't standing off his man), his pace was excellent but his passing......That I decided was to be the core of the half-time talk. O'Connor on for Barrett and push it more often up the right.


No change at half-time as far as personnel were concerned, just a change in shape. Ball pushed forward into the midfield, Stuart played more in a advanced role (4-4-1-1).

Second Half

The result was immediate.  Ball picked up the play in midfield and pushed it out to Phelan overlapping on the left.  Phelan pushed on with Ball in support.  A fine cross (this bit is through the head of the guy in front of me who had now taken to standing -- so apologies if the names are wrong!), a flick from Stuart to the back of the box, Cadamarteri pushes it back across and (this I saw) Ball nods it past Seaman. Cue eruption!!

We surged forward again, playing the beautiful game.  A free kick on the left edge of the box.  The referee, hand raised for indirect, pushes the Arsenal wall back.  Speed lays the ball to Stuart who smashes the ball into the wall, it creeps through to Cadamarteri, a sweet turn, a deft chip, its over Seaman and into the back of the net. 2 - 2.  I've come over all dizzy... We could win this!

We battered them for the rest of the game, with a peach of a drive heading for the top left-hand corner from Grant, being his last piece of the action before being replaced by McCann for the last 15 minutes. What a game McCann had, chasing, tackling, distributing the ball with great aplomb to Oster in particular.  It all looked very good.  They were always dangerous on the break though.

Wright was away from Watson again, with just Gerrard to beat.  A fluffed shot and jeers from the Street End. Wright just stood there laughing, pulled his shirt over his head in shame and ran back to join the play.  The Street end joined in rapturous applause for this fine piece of sportsmanship.

And then it was all over.  A tremendous display.  A great game.  The promise of the last couple of games becoming more of a reality.  We could have won, we should have won.  A warm glow dwelt deep inside, a burgeoning feeling that we'd found our way consumed me as I walked away from the ground.

No cards for either side -- an excellent display of refereeing from Alan Wilkie.

Young guns peg back Arsenal
by Joe Lovejoy, The Sunday Times

THERE were a few cynical eyebrows raised last week when Arsène Wenger trotted out the old chestnut about there being no easy games in English football, but here was positive proof. Two-nil down against the League leaders, and deprived by injury of half a team, Everton were in danger of being overwhelmed, but instead dug deep and produced a marvellous fightback to salvage a deserved point.

The endlessly prolific Ian Wright scored his 12th goal in his past nine appearances against them, but Everton had a supercharged afternoon's most compelling personality in the slender shape of a young man some 16 years Wright's junior. At 17, Danny Cadamarteri is a big name only in the literal sense, but that is likely to change. The attacking prodigy who is qualified to play for five countries ­ England and the Republic of Ireland among them ­ was a real handful for some of the most accomplished defenders in the game and fully deserved the handsome second-half equaliser that earned Everton their draw.

Danny boy scored on his full debut against Barnsley eight days previously, but still spent the hours before kick-off here killing time with the apprentices. At the end of a game to remember, he was engulfed in Wright's avuncular embrace.

It was a better, much more competitive match than anybody had a right to expect. In a pell-mell second half it could have gone either way, and a breathless finale had Arsenal relieved to be still top of the League, their unbeaten record intact.

Everton's problems were exacerbated by a casualty list that would have made Lord Haig blanche. Barmby, Short, Williamson, Branch, Ferguson and Farrelly were all unavailable, injured, and Hinchcliffe was suspended.

"'Ere lads, do us a favour and keep it in single figures," growled a Stan Boardman sound-alike to a group of Arsenal fans as they wound their way through Stanley Park. Oh ye of little faith. Arsenal began confidently, knocking the ball around with crisp precision, but Everton hustled them to good effect and made progress of their own through the pacey Terry Phelan, pushing on as a left wing-back in an attempt to capitalise on Lee Dixon's absence, injured.

The nippy Cadamarteri also tried his luck on the left, and Dixon's understudy, Gilles Grimandi, needed Ray Parlour's help to hold the line.

Busy and aggressive, if short on creativity, Everton conjured the first goalscoring opportunity, David Seaman saving overhead from Cadamarteri after Gary Speed had let slip a better chance by losing his footing inside the area.

A penetrative pass from Tony Grant sent Phelan scurrying to the byline on the left. He delivered a cross which Duncan Ferguson would surely have buried, but Cadamarteri is some six inches shorter and failed to do it justice. When Everton strung together half a dozen passes, the old School of Science erupted in rapturous appreciation. It does not take much to stir the blue blood.

Arsenal had to dig deep, but Parlour signalled their potential with a thumping drive from the 18-yard line. Then Dennis Bergkamp set up Patrick Vieira, whose volley was too close for Evertonian comfort. Having found their range, the Gunners hit the target. Bergkamp, with a typically intelligent, incisive pass, played in Wright down the inside-right channel and, having drifted away from his marker with expert ease, the great accumulator added to his tally with a crisp, low shot across Paul Gerrard, drilled right to left.

Nigel Winterburn threatened to repeat his spectacular winner against Chelsea, and suddenly the game had been transformed. Everton were in trouble.

It seemed that they had been removed from contention before half-time when Emmanuel Petit supplied Wright, who showed that he is much more than a finisher these days with a delightful flick which took Earl Barrett out of the game. Its timing and accuracy enabled Marc Overmars to beat the onrushing goalkeeper to the ball and lift it into the net.

Overmars was tantalisingly close to making it 3-0 with a shot from a testing angle on the left, and Everton needed to score early in the second half if they were to claw their way back into the game. They did. A cross from Phelan brought a bout of head tennis, with John Oster and Graham Stuart both having a nod before Michael Ball's purposeful plunge buried the ball firmly past Seaman, close from close range.

Amid Scouse bedlam, parity came after 56 minutes, with the help of a fortuitous deflection. Stuart's 25-yard free kick ricocheted off Arsenal's defensive wall and fell at Cadamarteri's feet, 12 yards out, where it became momentarily entangled. The young man was left with a lot to do, but how well he did it, stepping inside to his right before driving high and handsome past Seaman's flailing left hand.

It was anybody's game. With Gerrard stranded off his line, Parlour was just over with a long range lob and Bergkamp demanded a decent save from distance, but Everton were closest when Cadamarteri's dash down and cross from the right merited a better finish than the reaching lunge with which Stuart nudged it over.

Report © Times Newspapers Ltd

Cadamarteri spells out defiance
by Mark Hodkinson, The Times

CHILDREN have a sharp eye and a love of detail. While grown-ups will attend a match in a club shirt hanging loose over a pair of trousers, junior goes for the full kit; sometimes, in extreme cases, running to a pair of shinpads.

At 5.45pm on Saturday, such a young man was explaining something patiently to his dad, probably not for the first time. They were practically skipping through Stanley Park, still buoyed by a remarkable Everton fightback. "No, Dad, he's called Cadamarteri," the youngster said, exasperated. "Cada . . ." began his dad, and, then, stumbling over the vowels, retired unhurt. "I'll just call him Danny," he laughed.

Danny Cadamarteri, just 17 years old, has arrived in the FA Carling Premiership and, for all we are going to hear of him, the unusual amalgamation of letters that form his surname will soon be as familiar as Smith or Jones. He is a player, much like Michael Owen at Liverpool, primed for football hierarchy. Howard Kendall, the Everton manager, played him as a lone forward against the celebrated might of Arsenal's defence. Specifically, his markers were Adams and Bould, two players with more than 800 league appearances between them, not to mention nearly 28 stone.

Cadamarteri, on only his second full appearance, was distinctly under-awed by such football statesmen. When the ball fell to his feet, he ran at them with joyous glee and, when they offered a shin or instep, he skipped past, almost with a chuckle.

He possesses great skill and pace, but he also has a mastery of the subtleties that can take a career to learn. He can shift his weight cunningly to block a defender's path, or drop his shoulder into an opponent's chest with the requisite force to fend off the challenge while staying within the laws of the game.

Arsenal were ruthlessly efficient in the first half, with Wright scoring from a sublime Bergkamp pass and Overmars adding a second from close range. "Game over," announced a press box sage, expecting Arsenal to pull down the blinds.

After the interval, Everton found the incision to complement their approach play. Ball, another 17-year-old, scored just five minutes into the second half and Cadamarteri equalised six minutes later. He collected a loose ball in the penalty area and, while all around him fell into still life, he moved the ball from one foot to the other and placed it impudently beyond Seaman.

There were no more goals, but the match remained eminently watchable. The mixture of dashing skill ­- provided chiefly by the foreign players -­ allied to the fizz of youth and a desire by both teams to secure a win made for an unexpectedly high entertainment ratio.

Arsène Wenger, the Arsenal manager, felt his team's tiredness had contributed to an open game. "When you play so many games, this is a worry. We did not have the mental state today," he said. "I was impressed by the spirit of Everton, they did not give up. The crowd got behind them because they have so many young players."

At the final whistle, Wright embraced Cadamarteri, while the Everton faithful settled for the easy option and chanted "Danny"; they will clearly need more time to find a rhyming couplet to suit his surname.

Howard Kendall, himself a former teenage prodigy, was understandably cautious with his praise for his young team. "The lads did not look out of place. They will improve with games and I think we have a bright future here," he said.

Cadamarteri, although born in Bradford, has an exotic ancestry and qualifies to play for five different countries. It might well be prudent for one of Glenn Hoddle's underlings to stake an early claim with a judicious phone call. There will not be many Cadamarteris in the Bradford phone book.

Report © Times Newspapers Ltd

Hair to the Throne
The Daily Star

SEVENTEEN year-old superkid Danny Cadamarteri gave England skipper Tony Adams the runaround then told Glenn Hoddle: I'm all yours.

Everton's dreadlocked striker from Bradford, qualifies for England, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica and Nigeria. But after his goal completed his team's dazzling second-half fightback against the Premiership leaders, Cadamarteri flashed England the news they've been waiting to hear.

And it's a decision that could one day see Cadamarteri follow his idol, Arsenal striker Ian Wright, into the full England team. Hoddle has been so keen to snap up Merseyside's latest teenage sensation to link with Liverpool's Michael Owen -- also 17 -- that he's hardly been off the phone to Goodison boss Howard Kendall.

But when I put the crucial question to Cadamarteri as he stood clutching the man-of-the-match champagne he's not legally old enough to drink he told me Hoddle had won the race. "It's going to be England," he revealed. "This is where I was born, and hopefully I can bring some success to England if they want to involve me."

The youngster will now join the under-18 squad to play Yugoslavia in less than two weeks, when he's set to wear the three lions for the first time -- as stand-in for the suspended Owen.

After the League's meanest defence was beaten by two English kids -- Everton's opener was headed by another 17-year-old, local discovery Michael Ball -- Gunners skipper Adams admitted: "We were warned about both of them by Matthew Upson, who joined us from Luton and they proved him right."

Adams will be even less happy to hear that Cadamarteri is a Gunners fanatic, a lifelong supporter like his dad, who lived in London after arriving from Jamaica.  And his hero is Wright, Arsenal's record-breaking striker who makes a habit of terrorising Everton and who completed the youngster's day by going over to hug him after the final whistle.

"I can't believe what's happening. It's a dream come true and surely it can't get much better than this," said Cadamarteri.

"Ever since I was a young lad I've dreamed of even being just a few inches away from Ian Wright.  So to be out there on the same pitch, to score against Arsenal in a game where he was also on the scoresheet, was a great feeling.

"I saw Ian before the match and told him I was a big fan, both of him and of Arsenal. He thanked me and told me to go out, enjoy myself and have a good game. I think I did that OK.

"Afterwards he just pulled me over, gave me a hug and told me ‘Well done, you deserve it'. That's something I'll never forget." Arsenal blew the chance to open up a significant gap over Manchester United by losing their grip on a game they had by the throat.

Arsenal twice punished Everton for giving away possession in midfield, switching instantly into devastating counter-attacks launched by the class and power of Wright and Dennis Bergkamp.  First Bergkamp sent Wright clear to throw marker Dave Watson off his stride with a clever feint before firing his 15th goal against Everton in eight seasons. Then Wright sent Marc Overmars streaking clear and he calmly lifted the ball over the oncoming Paul Gerrard for his third goal of the week.

It looked done and dusted. But Kendall had other ideas as he reshuffled his pack, giving Cadamarteri a strike partner by moving Graham Stuart from the right wing and pushing Ball to left midfield from full back.

Arsenal were on the back foot as Everton, while maintaining the quality of their passing, this time attacked with more menace as they got more balls and more men into the Gunners' penalty area.  Three minutes after the break Stuart knocked Terry Phelan's cross -- which was nodded on by John Oster, another teenager -- across Seaman for Ball to head his first senior goal. The last time a Ball scored for Everton it was 27 years ago, his name was Alan!

From then on, Arsenal were rocking, trying to hang onto their lead against a side playing possibly its' best football for a year or more.  But that lead lasted only another eight minutes before Cadamarteri struck, just a week after claiming his first Premiership goal on his full debut against Barnsley.  Stuart's shot following a free kick spun loose off the defensive wall.  And the 17-year-old was first to react, showing tremendous poise and balance as the ball became trapped under his foot.

He calmly re-adjusted, proving he has such quick feet as he blasted a right-foot shot high into the top corner with Seaman and Co helpless at the speed of his movement.

EVERTON (5-3-1-1): Gerrard 6; Barrett 5, Bilic 6, Watson 6, Ball 8, Phelan 6; Stuart 7, Grant 7 (McCann 71, 6), Speed 6; Oster 7; CADAMARTERI 9. Subs: Goals: Ball 48, Cadamarteri 56. Ent: 8.

ARSENAL (4-4-1-1): Seaman 6; Grimandi 6, Adams 6, Bould 6, Winterburn 7; Parlour 6 (Platt 76, 5), Vieira 6 (Garde 90), Petit 6, Overmars 7 (Boa Morte 65, 5); Bergkamp 8; Wright 8. Ent: 7.

Ref: Alan Wilkie (Co Durham) 8. Weather: Mild, overcast.

Report © Express Newspapers

Cadamarteri helps justify Kendall gamble
Alyson Rudd, Electronic Telegraph

ARSENAL remain unbeaten and their credentials as championship challengers remain intact, but this exhilarating and quite delightful game was all about a rejuvenated Everton whose youngsters gave a performance to leave Goodison hearts bursting with pride and renewed hope for the season.

Arsène Wenger has his troubles, of course, but it must grate with Howard Kendall that, while the mere prospect of Dennis Bergkamp being suspended is greeted with banner headlines, Kendall's major injury and suspension crisis barely draws a sympathetic shrug.

Certainly, Everton's ranks were severely depleted at Goodison Park. Injury had claimed eight players who might reasonably have expected to see some action against Arsenal, including Nick Barmby and Duncan Ferguson, while Andy Hinchcliffe was suspended. In short, the Everton side were an excuse waiting to be exercised.

While the visit of the Premiership leaders is not necessarily an occasion on which to field three players under 19, Kendall had no choice but perhaps also a sneaking suspicion that they would do as well as anybody.

Seventeen-year-old Danny Cadamarteri and Jon Oster, 18, both scored in Everton's defeat of Barnsley last week and generally lifted some sagging Everton spirits. Michael Ball, also 17, played alongside Dave Watson in central defence yesterday and exhibited a stunning level of composure. Twice in the opening 20 minutes he was left one on one with Bergkamp, and the Dutchman came off second-best both times.

Cadamarteri, possibly too young to hold Tony Adams in awe, began in fearless fashion and neatly sidestepped the Arsenal captain's challenge before losing possession to Gilles Grimandi.

Strange for a team to take its cue from one so young, but Everton began like a side with no inhibitions and put together in the eighth minute a move that was incisive and intelligent, involving almost all 11 players and resulted in a clear opportunity for Gary Speed. Sadly, Speed mis-cued his effort and fell in a bundle to the ground.

Shortly afterwards Cadamarteri pounced on to Earl Barrett's through ball, and although David Seaman was well positioned to deal with the strike, it showed promise - Arsenal's solid defence appeared to be struggling with the pace of the game.

Indeed, it took Arsenal 30 minutes to give Paul Gerrard an opportunity to show why he is being chosen ahead of Neville Southall. A fierce long-range strike from Ray Parlour would have beaten many another 'keeper - although had Patrick Vieira's blast shortly afterwards been on target, Gerrard might have been in trouble.

Perhaps it is the mark of potential champions that it took Arsenal only seconds to turn this glimmer of sustained pressure into a goal. Hot on the heels of Vieira's unsettling strike, Marc Overmars slid the ball through to Ian Wright, whose timing was perfect in rolling the ball under Gerrard's outstretched frame. It was Wright's 12th goal against Everton.

The home side lost the spring in their step and were rooted when Emmanuel Petit chipped the ball into the area and Wright beat the offside trap, only to shoot rather flamboyantly to give away a throw-in.

Then, four minutes from half-time, a by now completely dispirited Everton were crushed by Overmars' nippy run into the area, which saw Gerrard flounder at the Dutch winger's feet, leaving him with an open goal to make it 2-0.

However, five minutes into the second half Everton pulled a goal back. Terry Phelan crossed from the left and Graham Stuart headed the ball back across the face of goal for Ball to leap and head in his first goal for the club.

The youngsters were keeping their cool after all. Everton pressed and won a free kick which was taken by Stuart. The ball was blocked, ricocheted around the penalty area and fell at Cadamarteri's feet. He did not panic but nudged the ball this way and that and then unleashed a beautiful strike that left Seaman grasping thin air.

It was even more surprising than the first half-hour had been. This young and makeshift side possess resilience as well as endeavour.

Arsenal were looking unsettled once more and Everton were happy to try anything. Tony Grant's 25-yard volley seemed a ludicrous thing to attempt but he struck the ball almost too sweetly and it stuck to a relieved Seaman's glove. Even Wright seemed affected and fluffed a sitter.

Report © The Electronic Telegraph

RESULTS  (Game 9)
Sunday 28 September 1997
BLACKBURN ROVERS        0-0    COVENTRY CITY             19,086
Saturday 27 September 1997
ASTON VILLA             2-2    SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY       32,044
Staunton(32) Taylor(49)        Collins(26) Whittingham(42)
BARNSLEY                0-2    LEICESTER CITY            18,660
                               Marshall(55) Fenton(63)
CHELSEA                 1-0    NEWCASTLE UNITED          31,563
CRYSTAL PALACE          2-2    BOLTON WANDERERS          17,134
Warhurst(9) Gordon(19)         Beardsley(36) Johansen(66)
DERBY COUNTY            4-0    SOUTHAMPTON               25,625
Eranio(pen:76) Wanchope(79) Baiano(82) Carsley(83)
EVERTON                 2-2    ARSENAL                   35,457 
Ball(49) Cadamarteri(56)       Wright(32) Overmars(41)
LEEDS UNITED            1-0    MANCHESTER UNITED         39,952
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR       0-0    WIMBLEDON                 26,621

WEST HAM UNITED         2-1    LIVERPOOL                 25,908
Hartson(16) Berkovic(65)       Fowler(52)

LEAGUE TABLE (after 28 September 1997 )
Club                          P    W    D    L   GF   GA   GD   Pts
Arsenal                       9    5    4    0   22   10   12   19
Manchester United             9    5    3    1   12    4    8   18
Leicester City                9    5    3    1   13    6    7   18
Chelsea                       8    5    1    2   22   10   12   16
Blackburn Rovers              9    4    4    1   19    9   10   16
Leeds United                  9    4    1    4   11   11    0   13
West Ham United               9    4    1    4   12   14   -2   13
Derby County                  7    4    0    3   14    7    7   12
Liverpool                     8    3    3    2   12    8    4   12
Newcastle United              6    4    0    2    6    5    1   12
Crystal Palace                9    3    2    4    9   11   -2   11
Coventry City                 9    2    5    2    8   11   -3   11
Tottenham Hotspur             9    2    4    3    6   10   -4   10
Aston Villa                   9    3    1    5   10   15   -5   10
Wimbledon                     8    2    3    3   10   10    0    9
Everton                       8    2    2    4   10   13   -3    8
Bolton Wanderers              8    1    5    2    8   11   -3    8
Sheffield Wednesday           9    1    3    5   11   22  -11    6
Barnsley                      9    2    0    7    7   23  -16    6
Southampton                   9    1    1    7    5   17  -12    4
[Fixtures] [History] [Current Season] [Club] [Fans] [Home] [Top]
© Michael Kenrick 1997