Crystal Palace Logo Crystal Palace 1 - 3 Everton
Half-time: 1 - 3
Everton Logo
FA Carling Premiership 97/98 - Game 22
Saturday 10 January 1998
Selhurst Park, London
Att: 23,311
Newcastle United (FA Cup) Ref: Gerald Barber Chelsea (h) 
1997-98 Fixtures & Results League Position: 15th Premiership Results & Table
Crystal Palace: Dyer (pen:17) Thomas Brolin
EVERTON: Barmby (3), Ferguson (14), Madar (38) Mickael Madar
  LINEUPS Subs Not Used
Crystal Palace: Crystal Palace: Miller, Edworthy, Gordon, Roberts, Linighan, Dyer, Rodger (Bent, 62), Hreidarsson, Emblen (Boxall, 46), Fullarton, Brolin. Nash, Quinn, Ginty.
EVERTON: Myhre; Thomas, Tiler, Short, Bilic, Ball; Grant (71 Farrelly), Barmby, Speed; Ferguson, Madar (75 Cadamarteri (84 Thomsen)).
Unavailable: Parkinson, Branch, Watson, Hinchcliffe, Williamson, McCann, O'Connor, Ward, Phelan (injured); Barrett (suspended); Southall (on loan).
Gerrard, Oster.
  Yellow Cards Red Cards
Crystal Palace: Rodger.
EVERTON: Ball, Bilic, Tiler, Short(?)

Jon Pender Up for it
Jenny Roberts Starting to show some signs of life
Paul Tollet Sunday will be interesting...
THE SUNDAY TIMES Madar makes his mark as Everton take their chances
by Dave Thomas
THE TIMES Palace in dire need of home comfort
by Michael Henderson

ELECTRONIC TELEGRAPH Home help required down at the Palace
by Clive White
SOCCERNET Link to SoccerNet Match Report
CARLINGNET Link to CarlingNet Match Report

Up for it
Jon Pender
This was our best away performance for so long I can't remember.  Everyone looked up for it and no one had a poor game.

Madar looks like he has the experience we need to get the best out of Big Dunc and Barmby certainly benefitted from playing behind the two main strikers. Madar also looked keen and strong and had a good debut.

My Man of the Match vote would go to young Michael Ball who had an excellent game.  His positioning was good and he tackled and hassled brilliantly.  When coming forward he looked very composed and never panicked.  He made some great runs off the ball into space in the 2nd half but the ball wasn't played to him.  It was good to hear Howard Kendall singling him out for praise on Radio 5 Live also. All I can say is the if Hinchcliffe is worth 3M then Bally should be worth double that.

Craig Short again had a good game and always looks dangerous when he brings the ball out of defence at speed.  Tiler was very solid but Bilic commits himself and goes to ground too quickly, which is why he picks up so many bookings.

My only concern on the performance was that we defended too deeply in the second half, often a problem with Kendall's teams.  It didn't matter today, but against Wimbledon, say, it would have been suicide.  Palace were poor today and we would have been better off keeping the pressure on them throughout the second half.

Finally, a pat on the back to the Everton support today which was first class from start to finish.  It makes a great difference when we're all in good voice positively behind the team.  It was also good to see so many of the players acknowledging the support at the end.  It looked to me as though Myhre is certainly one of the lads.  He looked as happy as us at the end and didn't seem to want to leave the pitch.

Starting to show some signs of life
Jenny Roberts
A well deserved victory for the Blues lifts them to 15th in the table. The match began well, with Barmby ending his goal drought to score in just the third minute. Craig Short cut through the Palace defence like a hot knife through butter to pass to Ferguson. The Scot's dummy set up Barmby to coolly slot home his first goal of the season.

Just a handful of minutes later, Tony Thomas ran down to the corner flag to provide a Hinchcliffe-like cross for Ferguson's head. Ferguson needed no second invitation to add to his growing goals record for the season.

Down at the other end, on a rare Palace attack, Dyer was dubiously brought down for a penalty by Bilic. He took the penalty himself, and although Myhre was not far from saving it, Palace were (on paper) back in the game. But they never looked sufficiently dangerous to threaten Everton. Dyer was the only player who could cause problems for the stable Everton defence, which welcomed back the experience of Short and Bilic.

Thomas Myhre made a superb save to deny Dyer a headed goal, but because of the defence's performance was tested only occasionally. Madar scored on 30 minutes, but it was disallowed for off-side, taking the tally of goals that wouldn't count for Everton to three!

But Madar was always going to score, and the 33rd minute brought a cross from Grant, which he made the most of to put the ball past Miller in goal, and the game past Palace.

The second half was a disappointment in comparison to the first, but it brought Everton a much needed three points. Cadamarteri made a brief appearance as a substitute, only to be taken off after picking up an injury. At least he will have time to nurse his injury and to concentrate on getting back to full fitness, with Madar providing cover for him. The security of another striker could help Cadamarteri very much in his bid to prove himself as the best young prospect in the Premiership.

Tony Thomas should be made official corner and free-kick taker if Hinchcliffe's deal eventually goes through. His cross to Ferguson in the first half was beautifully placed, and as Barmby has looked unimpressive when taking corners, Thomas should definitely inherit the responsibility.

Kendall has said that there is a long way to go. There is, especially with games such as the one against Coventry scheduled for the last day of the season, and a Derby match at Anfield, with the Reds out to injure both our players and our pride (not that they will), but it seems that there are too many poor clubs below us for us to go down.

On paper, our side is one of the strongest down there. Kendall is trying to, and has made the players he has work with each other and for each other. The Chelsea squad is suffering with a flu epidemic, and have looked vulnerable in recent matches. We can beat that team. If we continue like this, then the side will not go down.

Sunday will be interesting...
Paul Tollet
After struggling through Croydon, and then spending 40 minutes parking the 'motor', as they say in this part of South London, I made my first visit to Selhurst Park.  And what a dump it is!  Having been to Wimbledon's old Plough Lane ground I can safely say this is a step down for them and I can see why they think Dublin/Milton Keynes/Wherever would be an improvement.

My ticket was with the Palace supporters to the right of the huge number of Everton fans in the Park Rd stand. We (me and my dad) were surrounded by Grant Mitchell look-alikes, and we thought it would be wise to keep reasonably restrained – which we were until Nicky popped in the first, at which point we leapt to our feet and pumped the air with our fists. The odd shout of 'F*****g sit down' were quickly muted as it became apparent that about a quarter of the people in the Palace 'end' were Evertonians. The Blues were everywhere. The Palace fans behind me said it was the best following for a none-London side so far this season.

I'm sure there will be a few full match reports that could far exceed anything I could write - so I will make a few observations.

Defence – We looked very solid against what was admittedly a poor attack, with Palace missing both Shipperley and Lombardo.

  • Bilic was in control and the back 5 had a great understanding given this was the first time they had played together. A rash tackle to give the penalty away, and a another card for dissent. For someone who is supposed to be super intelligent, he can be pretty stupid.
  • Tiler looks like a great buy (and didn't deserve his booking).
  • Short was inspired, actually looking to play the ball out of defence.
  • Thomas had the toughest jobs marking Dyer who is big, quick and tricky – he did a good job of this, and also made some good forward runs and crosses.
  • Ball also had a tough time against their right back Edworthy, who looked very good going forward. Overall, Ball was outstanding in defence and attack (and got into the Telegraph team of the week, I notice). On this form, Hinchey will not be missed.
  • Myhre looks the part. He is bloody huge and exudes confidence that you can tell the others feed off. He had very little to do, but what he did, he did well. He nearly got to the penalty and in the second half stood up to Dyer as he ran at goal, enabling him to hold his fierce shot without moving.

Midfield - a tough job for Speed and Grant both just back from injury and clearly not match fit, but they grafted hard, particularly Gary. He also should have scored in the first half with a cross shot just going wide. It was great to see Grant DEMANDING the ball, and bollicking Slav after another long clearance, when a 5-yard pass was on.

After about an hour Palace had the run of the middle of the park – however, by then the job was done. One worrying aspect was that every time Brolin got the ball in the first half, Everton stood off him. I'm not sure if this was because he was the 'extra man' in midfield or because we were paying him too much respect.

Attack -

  • Madar looked either unfit or lost by the pace of the game, as he never really got into it. Despite the fact that he didn't do a great deal, his presence was felt and he added some balance to the forward line that I've not seen for a long time. He made his goal look easy.
  • Ferguson had a great first half – setting up Barmby (with a miscontrol that turned into an unintentional dummy) and finishing his effort as only Dunc can. He also made a great run which ended in a sublime pass for Barmby to chip wide when he should have scored – but I've got to say he doesn't look fit enough, as he was strolling around after about 70 minutes trying fancy flicks which didn't come off. He stopped chasing. Come on, Dunc – you have the ability to be the legend.
  • Barmby – Form is temporary, class permanent. As per other games in previous weeks, he ran himself into the ground. He made a lot of intelligent angled runs across the back four offering real options to midfield. HK seems to have given him what he wants – a free role behind the front two, and he is responding. He chased and scrapped the whole time, and the response he got from the travelling supporters was outstanding. He seems to have turned the corner in his application to the game, and his relationship with the fans. His response to scoring showed how much it meant to him. My joint Man of the Match with Ball. More of the same please Nicky.

On this performance, it is clear to me once and for all that we are not a bottom 3 team, and the Newcastle game came a week too early. But how good are we? Sunday will be interesting...

Madar makes his mark as Everton take their chances
by Dave Thomas, The Sunday Times
IT WOULD be easy to make two assumptions on the basis of this result.  The first is that Crystal Palace have failed to win at home in the League this season because they have defended badly.  The second is that this victory is the beginning of a climb out of the relegation mire for Everton.  No, the truth is more complex than that.

On his debut, the Frenchman, Mickael Madar scored Everton's third.  He was assisted by Nick Barmby and Duncan Ferguson, to make up an attacking trio that in terms of finishing and creativity was excellent.

Palace fielded Tomas Brolin, the former Leeds player, for the first time – unfit, unpaid, and on trial.  He was at the centre of all things good, while his defenders were responsible for all things bad.

A case in point was the first goal they conceded from Everton's first attack.  From deep inside his own half, Craig Short moved forward.  On and on he went, completely unmolested, until he released the ball towards Duncan Ferguson, who dummied and Nick Barmby swept the ball in.

Palace were somewhere between Brolin and Bruce Dyer getting it right or being on the end of a hammering. The latter was on the cards when Ferguson put his side two up, even if it had more to do with text-book approach play than bad defending.  Barmby fed Tony Thomas with the classic pass inside the full-back. Ferguson headed in.

In the meantime Brolin and Dyer were getting closer to getting it right.  After the Swede slipped his co-striker in on the wrong side of his marker, that marker, Slaven Bilic, brought Dyer down.  The same player beat the keeper from the spot.

Brolin was sometimes peripheral, but in an odd way.  Much of what he attempted failed to come off, yet he dragged enough defenders with him to deregulate Everton's lines.  Anyway, both defences were malfunctioning enough to give forwards hope.

Everton scored their third when, with everybody ready and set, Tony Grant launched a free kick into the penalty area.  The unmarked Madar scooped the ball in with his first touch.

Palace did not throw it all in, because they still had enough going for them.  If Dyer had died out a little, others in midfield had not and started reaching areas midfield runners are meant to reach.

Brolin played deeper and that complicated matters, but not because he was any less lively.  Something was lost further ahead as Dyer was left to fend for himself while Marcus Bent, another debutant, attempted to find his feet.

And those assumptions?  Palace, with the emphasis at home to monopolise matches, lack midfielders with the creativity and correct running from deep to open up opponents happier sitting back in numbers and breaking.  They have not conceded a drastic number of goals at home, so poor defending is not the reason for desperate home form.

As for Everton, they always looked shaky at the back against a trialist and another striker who with others fit might not make the team.  There is also a lot more coming and going to come at Goodison Park.  There is a way to go yet before Everton launch an escape act.

Report Times Newspapers Ltd

Palace in dire need of home comfort
by Michael Henderson, The Times
EVEN though the great day is two years off, it's touch and go. When the Millennium is upon us and Tony Blair invites Sir Michael Mouse and Lord Duck of Burbank to open the glorious Dome in Greenwich, will Crystal Palace have won a home game?

At the halfway stage of a season that still has the capacity to go sour, they have now failed to win one of their ten Premiership matches at Selhurst Park and, if they continue to defend as poorly as they did against Everton, they will struggle to win one of the remaining nine. However short of players they are, this was an awful performance.

In fact, it was a poor match, the kind that makes one wonder why, with all the money sloshing around, there are so few teams of real quality in this country. When Miljan Miljanic, the Yugoslav coach, referred two decades ago to England's "industrial football", this is what he had in mind, except that it might be more truthful to call it post-industrial, for the workers have achieved a financial liberation beyond their wildest dreams.

Last week, Andy Hinchcliffe, the Everton left back, was supposed to go to Tottenham Hotspur for 3 million. He would get a supplementary loyalty bonus of half-a-million smackers for not asking to leave (don't titter) and be paid 12,000 a week for the next three years. Hinchcliffe is a serviceable player, no more. It's a good job Ray Wilson is not around today, otherwise the noughts would roll on for ever.

That is too often the way of it with modern footballers. Clubs move heaven and earth to buy them and then discover that most can't even control a moving ball, or, in the case of Barmby, of Everton, that they can't put it in the other team's goal. As Tommy Docherty has observed: "Most of these players trap the ball further than I could kick it."

It is not unreasonable, surely, to expect professionals to perform with greater expertise than amateurs. It follows that players in the Premiership should, on the whole, perform more expertly than those in the lower divisions and, sitting at the top of this professional tree, the internationals should set exemplary standards. Why else are they paid so extravagantly?

One could say, if one felt generous, that Ferguson's feint, which allowed Short's pass to reach Barmby, who thereby opened the scoring in the third minute, was clever. Up to a point it was, though the marking that enabled Barmby to shoot his first league goal of the season was of schoolboy standard. It looked good because the defending was so bad.

There are those who would commend Ferguson's header from a Thomas cross nine minutes later. But when a player has as much time to steady himself, as Thomas had, and as much room as Ferguson had to do something he practises all week on the training ground, it was not exactly an impossible task.

Perhaps there are some who feel that Madar's sweeping-in of Grant's pass on 33 minutes, after Dyer had retrieved a goal for Palace from the penalty spot, was a smart piece of poaching. Again, the marking was so loose that the defenders must have thought the Frenchman had brought some contagious disease with him across the Channel.

Madar, making his first appearance for Everton, had a competent game alongside Ferguson, though the thunderous ovation he received when he left the field suggested a natty wing three-quarter had just raced half the length of the pitch to touch down between the posts. It goes to show, in these trying times for the club, that Everton fans will cheer anything. A Barmby goal, too! Send for the oxygen.

The Palace supporters, alas, did not have even that compensation. Brolin, the Swede, did them a turn by playing at the end of his first week on trial, and sent a header against the post before, understandably, he ran out of puff. Dyer looked busy in a brusque sort of way, but there is little finesse in this team and their situation is becoming desperate.

Report Times Newspapers Ltd

Home help required down at the Palace
Clive White, Electronic Telegraph
THE small matter of a half-million pound signing-on fee apart, Andy Hinchcliffe may yet live to rejoice in the breakdown of his move to Tottenham.  Certainly Everton looked a better bet for Premiership survival than Spurs on the strength of this performance even if the Achilles tendon injury which scuppered the England wing back's transfer prevented him being around to savour the moment here.

However, there were not many other absentees.  Captain Gary Speed returned from injury and may have ended speculation about his future, as for once sense was made of manager Howard Kendall's assertion that with everyone fit they are a force to be reckoned with.

Then again they were playing Crystal Palace, whose current injury situation is enough to make Spurs look the picture of health.  And this was Selhurst Park, where just three wins have been witnessed in the 21 games played by landlord and tenant.  Home form, as Premiership newcomers have increasingly discovered, can be an even bigger problem than away form in trying to establish a position among the hierarchy.

Whatever it is that they put into the grass at Selhurst it certainly fails to give Palace the rub of the green – or their ground-sharing tenants Wimbledon come to that.  Even by Palace's standards, though, two goals down in 13 minutes to a side with one away win in 13 months to their record, was pretty poor going.

Another SE25 affliction, that to strikers (with seven of the club's eight injured their plight is even worse than the Dons) meant that manager Steve Coppell was obliged to give Tomas Brolin, who is on a two-week trial, a surprise debut.  But it was one of football's other forgotten men who made the first significant contribution.

The former England striker Nicky Barmby does not score many goals these days, as one might gather from the degree of celebration which heralded his third-minute goal, but it was the Palace defence who deserved to be held aloft for allowing Craig Short's cross to wriggle through to the unmarked Barmby.

Palace were particularly vulnerable to balls played in from either flank – Everton were not exactly foolproof in that respect either – and 10 minutes later Duncan Ferguson added a second with a classic towering header to Tony Thomas's cross.

Palace reduced the deficit within two minutes when Bruce Dyer scored from the spot after Slaven Bilic, on his return from a five-match suspension, had tripped him.  However, the Frenchman, Mikael Madar, making his debut, restored Everton's two-goal advantage when he was allowed to drift away from his marker to sweep home a cross from Tony Grant.

The home side gave Marcus Bent, a 300,000 signing from Brentford, his debut in the 62nd minute, coming on in place of Simon Rodger, but the substitution was to no avail.

Report The Electronic Telegraph

RESULTS  (Game 22)
Sunday 11 January 1998
Derby County
Sturridge (15, 40) Wanchope (88)
3 - 1 Blackburn Rovers
Sutton (87)
Saturday 10 January 1998
Overmars (60, 72)
2 - 1 Leeds United
Hasselbaink (69)
Aston Villa
Joachim (87)
1 - 1 Leicester City
Parker (pen 53)
Bolton Wanderers
0 - 0 Southampton
Nicholls (65, 70) Di Matteo (78)
3 - 1 Coventry City
Telfer (30)
Crystal Palace
Dyer (pen 17)
1 - 3 Everton
Barmby (3) Ferguson (12) Madar (34)
Redknapp (71, 84)
2 - 0 Wimbledon
Manchester United
Giggs (44)
2 - 0 Tottenham Hotspur
Sheffield Wednesday
Di Canio (1) Newsome (51)
2 - 1 Newcastle United
Tomasson (20)
West Ham United
Lampard (5) Abou (31, 52) Moncur (57) Hartson (67) Lazaridis (90)
6 - 0 Barnsley

LEAGUE TABLE (after 11 January 1998 )
Club                          P    W    D    L   GF   GA   GD   Pts
Manchester United            22   15    4    3   51   16   35   49
Chelsea                      22   13    3    6   49   22   27   42
Blackburn Rovers             22   11    8    3   39   24   15   41
Liverpool                    21   12    4    5   38   19   19   40
Arsenal                      21   10    7    4   37   24   13   37
Derby County                 22   10    5    7   37   29    8   35
Leeds United                 22   10    5    7   31   25    6   35
West Ham United              22   11    1   10   34   32    2   34
Leicester City               22    7    8    7   26   22    4   29
Aston Villa                  22    7    6    9   26   28   -2   27
Newcastle United             21    7    5    9   22   27   -5   26
Sheffield Wednesday          22    7    5   10   34   45  -11   26
Southampton                  22    7    4   11   25   30   -5   25
Wimbledon                    21    6    6    9   21   26   -5   24
Everton                      22    6    5   11   23   32   -9   23
Crystal Palace               22    5    8    9   21   31  -10   23
Coventry City                22    5    8    9   21   31  -10   23
Bolton Wanderers             22    4   10    8   19   33  -14   22
Tottenham Hotspur            22    5    5   12   19   39  -20   20
Barnsley                     22    5    3   14   19   57  -38   18

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Michael Kenrick 1998
Last updated: 10 Jan 98