Half-time: 0 - 0
FA Carling Premiership 1998-99 Game 23
Saturday 30 January 1999
Goodison Park, Merseyside
|« Ipswich Town (h) [FAC 4]||Ref: Graham Barber||Derby County (a) »|
|1998-99 Fixtures & Results||League Position: 15th||Premiership Results & Table|
|Nottingham Forest:||Van Hooijdonk (51')|
|LINEUPS||Subs Not Used|
Myhre, Ball, Unsworth, Barmby, Hutchison, Grant (62' Dacourt),
Materazzi, Oster, Ward (62' Branch), Dunne, Cadamarteri (46'
Unavailable: Collins, Bilic, Short, Ward, Williamson, Phelan, Parkinson (injured); Gerrard, (on loan); Spencer (in transfer limbo).
|Nottingham Forest:||Beasant, Rogers (90' Porfirio), Hjelde, Stone, Gemmill, Johnson, Darcheville (86' Bart-Williams), Palmer, Van Hooijdonk, Stensaas (81' Armstrong), Harkes.||Crossley, Freedman.|
|Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|Nottingham Forest:||Darcheville (33'), Harkes (43'), Stensaas (59'), Johnson (72'), Van Hooijdonk (78').|||
|REPORTS BY EVERTON FANS|
|Steve Bickerton||In a word... Pitiful.|
|Richard Marland||Ominous signs that relegation beckons|
|THE SUNDAY TIMES||
Van Hooijdonk repays Forest with vital goal
by Dave Hannigan
Forest reincarnated as a team
by Dave Hadfield
Positive Palmer has Forest firing again
by Dave Hadfield
Atkinson delivers early
by Stephen Wood
Van Hooijdonk hands Atkinson first victory
by David Horridge
|OTHER INTERNET REPORTS|
|THE DAILY POST||Link to Daily Post Match Report|
|THE ECHO||Link to Liverpool Echo Match Report||
|THE GUARDIAN||Link to Football Unlimited Match Report|
|SOCCERNET||Link to SoccerNet Match Report|
|CARLINGNET||Link to CarlingNet Match Report|
|In a word... Pitiful.|
A day which began with more optimism than I ought to have been exhibiting
ended with me being brought down to earth with a resounding thump.
Pre-weekend reports that the starting line-up would be the same as that which began the game against Ipswich (barring the replacement of the injured Cleland with Dunne) proved correct, with the bench playing host to Simonsen, Dacourt, Watson, Branch and Bakayoko.
The first topic of conversation as people arrived in the stadium, was the extra wide nets which were on show. First thoughts were that we had had a special dispensation from the FA to count near misses, provided they hit the extra netting, rather than goals. This proved to be false hope, however, as the extra width was removed just before the game got underway.
They had been erected in response to a recent court case which had gone against a club (Huddersfield?) where a young spectator had had his arm broken by a shot which missed the goal during the warm up. Here at Goodison, of course, its perfectly safe to remove them during the game as there's less likelihood of an attempt at goal during normal play than there is during the warm up. Or am I just getting cynical?
Half time arrived and it was still 0-0. What's that you say, what about the first half? I'm still wondering myself. Ward had a shot blocked when it would have been simpler to score, Oster showed terrific skill and hit a fine shot only to see it saved superbly by Beasant and Carlton Palmer shone like a beacon. Why do donkey's play so well when they play at Goodison? Maybe we should have signed him when we (allegedly) had the chance last season, or is my cynicism showing again?
The second half saw Cadamarteri replaced by Bakayoko, from the start. The pitch looked to be in poor condition down the Goodison Road side as a result of the poor weather we've been having over the last few months, thought not as bad as it had looked at the midweek Youth Cup game. Danny had lacked both balance on the poor surface or any semblance of control. He deserved to be replaced. Suddenly a ball loose just outside the Forest penalty area, Materazzi thumps it, great save Beasant! Ball goes down the other end, defence all at sea, Van Hooijdonk smashes it beyond Tommy... stunned disbelief... Forest lead!
We switch to 4-4-2 as Grant and Ward are withdrawn in favour of Dacourt and Branch. It gets lively as Barmby has a dust up with Johnson and they both end up with yellows. Bakayoko misses a couple, so does Branch. Rhino blasts an overhead wide, Materazzi plays up front. We run around like headless chickens. Four minutes added on, extends to seven as Forest make tactical substitutions and players go down injured. The whistle goes. Forest win away! We still can't score at the Gwladys Street end. We could have played all week and never scored!
Man of the match: Graham Barber the referee, who despite booking quite a few players (though only one in blue), had more about him than any other official I've seen this season. You were expecting an Everton player - forget it. It was the most dispirited performance I've seen for a long time, epitomised by a woeful performance from Don Hutchison.
Team Performance: Pitiful!!! We lost to a team of no-hopers who I'm convinced, on this performance will go down. Where does that leave us? At this rate I suggest we start looking at a derby match with Tranmere next year. Or is that my cynicism again?
|Ominous signs that relegation beckons|
Well ,if it wasn't already obvious that we were struggling then there is
no escaping that fact after today's performance. We were playing the team
bottom of the table, a team with no wins in 20 games; to get turned over
by a team like that tells the whole story. Forest were always going to pose
a modicum of threat, a new manager, a couple of new players, but that shouldn't
have disguised the fact that we should, and could have beaten them with something
to spare. That we didn't has ominous overtones for the remainder of the season.
As already anticipated, Walter kept faith with the team which beat Ipswich last week that meant no return for either Dacourt or Bakayoko, they lined up on the bench alongside Steve Simonsen, Dave Watson and Michael Branch. To remind you, this meant that we lined up with a back five of Ward, Dunne, Materazzi, Unsworth and Ball, a midfield trio of Hutchison, Grant and Barmby with Oster and Cadamarteri up front.
The first half was a curiously lacklustre affair. We played OK even if we did cede rather a lot of possession to Forest. We passed it quite neatly at times and were never really in any difficulty at the back. We even managed to fashion at least two excellent chances, typically we missed them both. It was a poor half for us but at this stage I wasn't unduly worried, I just felt that we needed to step it up a gear and show a bit more urgency in order to get something out the game.
Walter switched things around at half-time, bringing on Bakayoko for the ineffectual Cadamarteri. However, the switch didn't make any discernible difference. We continued to be the more dangerous, dangerous is probably the wrong word but relative to Forest that's what we were.
On 51 minutes though we had one of those phases of football that we seem rather prone to. One second we were on the attack, Marco tried a shot from distance, at first I was tutting as it was from so far out, however he caught it beautifully and it was destined for the bottom corner. Beasant had to scramble across to make the save. He saved it but couldn't hold it. A scramble ensued from which Forest were suddenly breaking down our right flank. It soon became apparent that we were getting out-numbered, Marco was out of it having made the shot, Ball had gone AWOL and only Unsworth and Dunne seemed to be back. They both went towards the man with the ball, this left Van Hooijdonk and someone else all alone down the left, the ball was played in to Van Hooijdonk and he made no mistake. 1-0, and our worst fears realised.
We still had plenty of time to put things right. No-one though had any confidence in the team doing so. For a little while we were all over the place and were mighty fortunate not to go further behind. Gradually though we managed to gain a little momentum, not that we were exactly overpowering Forest. Our inability to hold up the ball, get a passing game going and threaten was, yet again, shown up. Too often we relied on the long hoof (who said that that was solely Dunc's fault), it wasn't part of any tactical plan it was a case of nobody having any better ideas.
With 30 minutes to go Walter made the final throw of the dice. Branch and Dacourt came on for Ward and Grant. We reverted to 4-4-2, Dunne went to right back, Oster went to right midfield and Branch went up front. Dacourt did make a bit of a difference but it wasn't enough. There were chances, Barmby drew a fine diving save from Beasant, but mostly our attacks were thwarted by people wanting too many touches, or by simply failing to hit the target.
By the full-time whistle, the ground was half empty. That's how much belief the crowd had in the team's ability to secure an equaliser. Forty minutes we had had to put things right, we were clueless and never deserved to get anything...
Team 5 For the most part we were organised and defensively sound however as an attacking force we are virtually non-existent. We had a number of good chances but failed to take any of them, 3 goals in 12 home games tells you the full story and it will be the thing that, if left unchecked will send us down.
Man of the match - No-one really deserves it but probably Dunne did as well as anyone.
|Van Hooijdonk repays Forest with vital goal|
|by Dave Hannigan, The Sunday Times|
THE restorative powers of a goal was the story of the day. Up to the 51st
minute when Pierre Van Hooijdonk scored what turned out to be the winner,
Nottingham Forest had looked ponderous, disorganised and short on confidence.
After the goal they were transformed, exuding cockiness and coherence. By
contrast, Everton deteriorated as the game wore on, their inability to improve
on their dismal record of three home Premiership goals all season seeming
to weigh heavier and heavier on their minds.
In handing debuts to Carlton Palmer, John Harkes and Stale Stensaas, Ron Atkinson had given the Forest side his own imprint and his faith in all three was rewarded. If Harkes and Stensaas contributed solidly to the victory, Palmer was the platform on which it was built. Playing at the heart of the defence, the former England international gave a performance that his manager later described as "immense".
For the opening 45 minutes, a period dominated by the home side, Palmer was the rock on which several attacks perished. Time and again, Danny Cadamarteri struggled to find the extra gear to take him clear of the 33-year-old. The Everton striker's best moment came in the fourth minute when he took the ball around Dave Beasant but, having gone wide, he could only tee up Tony Grant to balloon his shot over.
The crowd's indignant reaction spoke volumes for Everton's predicament. Going into this game, it had been 239 minutes since their last Premiership goal, and as they moved into their fifth and sixth scoreless hours, the discontent of the home support grew more vocal. Given the slapstick nature of some of Everton's attacks and the fact that this failing has dragged them back into the relegation battle, it was difficult not to sympathise.
Midway through the first half, Nick Barmby latched on to a mis-hit shot by Don Hutchison, but having rounded Beasant he failed to register a shot on goal. Eventually, he slipped the ball back to Mitch Ward, who shot wide off a defender. Soon after that, John Oster turned in the box and unleashed a fierce drive that the ever vigilant Beasant did well to palm over.
Those cameos apart, Everton were too quick to hump hopeful balls towards Oster and Cadamarteri a futile tactic given the slight build of both men and the imperious form of Palmer. Their best work came when Hutchison and Grant stroked the ball around on the floor, but such moments were too few and far between to ever lift their performance or this game above the mediocre.
Having offered only a fleeting threat during the first 50 minutes, Forest burst into life all at once. After Beasant had pushed away a Marco Materazzi drive, the visitors broke with purpose. The attack culminated in Alan Rogers setting up Van Hooijdonk and the Dutchman took full advantage. The goal invigorated Forest, and in quick succession Jean-Claude Darcheville and Steve Stone went close to adding to their tally.
It took the introduction of Michael Branch and Olivier Dacourt to stiffen Everton's resolve. Having regained some of their early brio, Ibrahima Bakayoko, a half-time replacement for Cadamarteri, Branch and Barmby all drew smart stops from Beasant during the frantic closing stages. But with the crowd greeting each spurned opportunity with more and more derision, the home side could not deprive Forest of their first Premiership victory since August 29.
"I've been at Wembley when there've been trophies in the dressing rooms and it's not been like that one today," said Atkinson later. If the ebullience was predictable, the job in hand remains enormous.
|Report © Times Newspapers Ltd|
|Forest reincarnated as a team|
|by Dave Hadfield, The Independent on Sunday|
A REPLANNED defence and a goal from their semi-detached striker Pierre van
Hooijdonk brought Forest the result that will give them new heart for their
Ron Atkinson put three of his new signings into a new back four marshalled quite superbly by his old favourite, Carlton Palmer. They will face sterner tests than this, because there is nothing in football more impotent just now than Everton's attack at Goodison, but this could be the start of a serious stab at avoiding the drop.
"I've been in dressing-rooms at Wembley with a trophy in them and there wasn't an atmosphere like the one in ours tonight," said Atkinson. "Our biggest problem was knowing what to do when we won."
As they last did so in the Premiership at the end of August, that lapse of memory is understandable.
"We rode our luck at times," Atkinson admitted. "But when you contest and believe, you sometimes get your luck."
Forest needed a little of that precious commodity in the first half when another of their newcomers, Staale Stensaas, got in the way of Nick Barmby's goal-bound effort and when Dave Beasant made the first of his excellent saves from John Oster's rising shot.
Given Everton's monumental difficulties in creating chances, they needed to take one of those. Their failure left them vulnerable when Forest hit them on the break in the second half, Jean-Claude Darcheville racing down the left and Alan Rogers squaring the ball for the unmarked Van Hooijdonk to take as much time as he wanted to tee it up and score.
Van Hooijdonk's performance had been strange. At times he had looked barely interested and one inept touch and a volley into the ground from an almost equally inviting chance shortly before his goal had seen the Forest corner of the ground begin to jeer him. When he put away his fourth goal of his truncated season, however, the reception was rather different.
Forest could have gone two up on the hour when Steve Stone and Darcheville split the increasingly unstable Everton defence only for Thomas Myhre to get a boot to Stone's low shot. But an Everton side revamped by the appearance of Ibrahima Bakayoko, Michael Branch and Olivier Dacourt, hurled themselves forward in search of a face-saving equaliser.
Bakayoko had a header beaten out by Beasant and Barmby slid the loose ball across the face of goal. David Unsworth, thrown forward as an extra attacker, put an overhead kick over the bar, but Everton had their best chances of all in the six minutes of injury time that must have seemed an eternity to a side as desperate for a victory as Forest.
Beasant saved superbly again from Barmby and Bakayoko shot past a post, but Forest, anchored by a display from Palmer that Atkinson described as "immense", held on and Everton were booed off by the increasingly disenchanted Goodison faithful.
Losing at home to the bottom club represents the nadir of an already depressing season and, with three of the bottom four winning, the fear of being dragged into another relegation dogfight is real.
Their manager, Walter Smith, claims not to be fazed by that prospect. "Everton have fought relegation in five years out of the last six," he said. "That is the situation I started from."
But unlike Atkinson, Smith has been told that he has no money available with which to repair an ailing squad, not even for a desperately needed striker who could be relied upon for a few goals.
|Report © The Independent|
|Positive Palmer has Forest firing again|
|by Dave Hadfield, The Independent|
If a manager can rescue a situation by pulling a trusted talisman out of
the old bag of tricks, then Carlton Palmer is the likeliest man to do the
business for Ron Atkinson.
The new Forest manager's admiration for the player he has made his first permanent signing stops just this side of Mills and Boon. "The only people who know what a good player he is are the people who play with him and the people who work with him," he gushed after Palmer had added the people who try in vain to get past him to that list.
Atkinson may yet use Palmer in his more accustomed position in midfield but, in the absence of Steve Chettle, employed him instead on Saturday in the centre of a defence that also included two other newcomers, both on loan.
His strength in the air, his telescopic tackling and his reading of the game made the crucial difference for Forest as they won for the first time in 20 Premiership matches. On a day when two of their relegation rivals also won, it was a victory that was vital if the gap between them and the rest was not to reach yawning proportions.
Even more significant was that Forest seemed at last to have the stomach for the fight - something for which Palmer was largely responsible in the view of the person he calls the boss-man. "He walked into the camp from day one and gave the place a lift," was the boss-man's ruling on his contribution to morale. "But there were a lot of big, big performances out there and some big attitudes from our players. We rode our luck but, when you believe, you get your luck. Everton put us under a lot of pressure out there, but we survived and our keeper Dave Beasant pulled off some great saves. All I know is that if we keep playing like that we have half a chance of escaping relegation.
Of course, Palmer and his other new arrivals were fortunate to have opposition as toothless as Everton to welcome them to the relegation dogfight.
But if there was ever a match in which Everton would have backed themselves to finally master the art of scoring goals at home, this was it; Forest had conceded more on their travels than any other side.
They had their chances, notably one blocked from Mitch Ward and one saved from John Oster in the first half and close calls from Ibrahima Bakayoko and Nick Barmby in a frenetic six minute stretch of injury time at the end.
But Everton's overall display did not merit a win and they were denied even the familiar scoreless draw by Pierre van Hooijdonk's goal five minutes into the second half.
It was richly ironic that a match dominated by the total commitment of Palmer should be won by a player whose interest in proceedings appeared so sporadic.
Van Hooijdonk's careless touch and a good opportunity fluffed shortly before his goal had triggered rumbles of complaint from the Forest fans; then he was given lavish time and space by Alan Rogers' square pass and all was forgotten, if not forgiven.
Those Forest fans had already been hailing themselves as "Big fat Ron's red and white army" before that breakthrough. Atkinson was brought in partly to engender that new optimism on the terraces. With Palmer as his lieutenant, he can maintain that same mood on the pitch, although the players might be encouraged to call him the boss-man rather than Big fat Ron.
|Report © The Independent|
|Atkinson delivers early|
|by Stephen Wood, The Times|
RON ATKINSON, the manager of Nottingham Forest, pranced around the executive
lounges in the main stand of Goodison Park before kick-off, shaking people's
hands, guffawing and recalling past trips to the North West as a manager
of various clubs. Walter Smith, the manager of Everton, still portrays the
look of a prisoner in his own home. If personalities bring anything to bear
on teams, the destiny of these two clubs is assured.
Since his return to the game, Atkinson appears to have become a parody of himself. His bonhomie, positive vibes and wisecracks seem to have been exaggerated with the label of "Red Adair" that has been pinned on him. Red Adair, the firefighter, has not become famous for failure, however, and, despite the delightful image that he embraces, Atkinson is undoubtedly the best man for this dirty job.
Perhaps he is proficient at making his own luck. Forest allowed Everton numerous opportunities to score their first league goal in five hours and 29 minutes, but, Everton being Everton, they succeeded only in making fools of themselves. It became, therefore, Forest's first victory since August 29 of last year, a remarkable run that still undermines the rest of their season.
The celebrations enjoyed by the visitors were rare indeed. Even Pierre van Hooijdonk, who scored the winning goal, was hugged. Atkinson said: "That sort of performance shows we've got some big-game players now, with big attitudes, who can compete and contest every game. They've sampled both sides now, and I will keep asking them which feeling they prefer."
The biggest attitude of the lot belonged to Carlton Palmer, the new signing from Southampton. He was magnificent in the centre of defence and, after Atkinson had singled him out for praise, Palmer repaid the compliment.
"There is no secret with the manager," Palmer said. "He can be lighthearted, which helps lift spirits, but when we are out on the training pitch, he makes us work hard. No disrespect to Dave Bassett [Atkinson's predecessor], but if Ron had arrived here six weeks ago, we wouldn't have these problems."
If Forest are upbeat now, thick gloom has returned to Goodison Park. Smith failed to betray his desperation when he said: "We're the only team who can take the ball round the keeper and still not score."
Everton must have been unbearable in their pre-season friendlies. Four points separate them from the relegation zone and, with not a penny to spend on improving his squad, their end-of-season programme will not do much to cheer Smith up. Forest face Manchester United and Chelsea next and still Big Ron can't stop smiling.
|Report © Times Newspapers Ltd|
|Van Hooijdonk hands Atkinson first victory|
|David Horridge, Electronic Telegraph|
RON ATKINSON offered Pierre van Hooijdonk the hand of friendship and the
big Dutchman responded with the goal that gives his new manager his first
victory. Atkinson went into his first match in charge he met the Forest
players only hours before their home game with Arsenal two weeks ago
with four new signings in his squad.
He played three of them in his back four, which gives some insight into his thinking, and Carlton Palmer, a £1.1M signing from Southampton, was the man of the match by a considerable distance with his exhibition as a central defender.
Atkinson and Palmer, along with John Harkes on loan from America, were at Sheffield Wednesday eight years ago and Atkinson has never wavered in his admiration for the player he introduced to the game at West Bromwich.
Atkinson said: "Apparently the only people who think Carlton can play are those who work with him and play with him. He was immense today. We rode our luck at times but we refused to be weak-minded. If we had been we could have lost by three or four goals. Instead we got what we deserved."
The defeat sucks Everton towards the relegation battle they hoped they were skirting around and their problem is not hard to identify. In 12 home League matches they have failed to score in nine.
Everton twice might have snatched a first-half lead. When Nick Barmby beat Dave Beasant in a race for the ball he was unlucky to finish facing the wrong way. He sensibly left Mitch Ward with the opportunity to aim at an empty net but he put his shot against a defender for a corner. Then John Oster demanded a great save from Beasant with a shot on the turn from six yards.
Forest did not respond until just before the break with a tremendous shot by Staale Stensaas that rebounded off Thomas Myhre. Then Alan Rogers lifted the ball high and wide from the corner of the six-yard box.
Everton brought on Ibrahima Bakayoko, back from international duty with the Ivory Coast, after the interval but it was Forest who scored within five minutes. They opened up Everton's defence with a move that left Rogers unmarked in the penalty area and he swept the ball to van Hooijdonk, also unmarked. The goal was a formality.
Everton made two more substitutions and eventually managed to stage some dogfights in Forest's penalty area and, late in the game, created a couple of chances.
Beasant made a great save from Michael Branch before Bakayoko was offered the chance to snatch an equaliser when Oster put him clear but although he slipped the ball wide of the advancing Beasant, he also put it past the far post.
|Report © The Electronic Telegraph|
|FA CARLING PREMIERSHIP|
|RESULTS (Game 23)|
|Saturday 30 January 1999|
Blackburn Rovers 1 - 1 Tottenham Hotspur 29,643 Jansen 43 Iversen 61 Coventry City 2 - 1 Liverpool 23,056 Boateng 60, Whelan 71 McManaman 86 Everton 0 - 1 Nottingham Forest 34,175 Van Hooijdonk 51 Middlesbrough 0 - 0 Leicester City 34,631 Newcastle United 2 - 1 Aston Villa 36,576 Shearer 4, Ketsbaia 26 Merson 61 Sheffield Wednesday 0 - 1 Derby County 24,440 Prior 54 Southampton 3 - 0 Leeds United 15,236 Kachloul 31, Oakley 62, Ostenstad 86 Wimbledon 0 - 0 West Ham United 23,035
|Sunday 31 January 1999|
Arsenal 1 - 0 Chelsea 38,121 Bergkamp 32 Charlton Athletic 0 - 1 Manchester United 20,043 Yorke 89
|LEAGUE TABLE (after 31 January 1999 )|
Club P W D L GF GA GD Pts Manchester United 23 12 8 3 50 26 24 44 Chelsea 23 11 10 2 34 19 15 43 Aston Villa 23 12 7 4 35 22 13 43 Arsenal 23 11 9 3 24 11 12 42 Leeds United 23 9 9 5 36 23 13 36 Liverpool 23 10 5 8 44 28 16 35 Wimbledon 23 9 8 6 29 33 -4 35 Derby County 23 8 10 5 23 20 3 34 West Ham United 23 9 6 8 25 31 -6 33 Middlesbrough 23 7 11 5 32 28 4 32 Tottenham Hotspur 23 7 9 7 29 31 -2 30 Leicester City 23 7 9 7 25 27 -2 30 Newcastle United 23 7 7 9 28 32 -4 28 Sheffield Wednesday 23 7 5 11 25 23 2 26 Everton 23 5 9 9 13 25 -12 24 Coventry City 23 6 5 12 23 32 -9 23 Blackburn Rovers 23 5 7 11 22 30 -8 22 Southampton 23 5 5 13 23 46 -23 20 Charlton Athletic 23 3 8 12 26 37 -11 17 Nottingham Forest 23 3 7 13 19 41 -22 16