Everton 5 - 0 Sunderland
Half-time: 3 - 0
FA Carling Premiership 1999-2000 Game 19
3 pm Sunday 26 December 1999
Goodison Park, Merseyside
The biggest crowd of the season at Goodison Park provided a rousing welcome
back to one of their old favourites, Peter Reid, for only his second visit
as manager of the highly successful Sunderland team. Reid brought back
a young player he stole from Everton for a mere £500,000. Goalscoring
midfielder Gavin McCann is now
rated at £3M.
A nice move with Unsworth and Pembridge set up Hutchison who scored well
after 15 mins. Then Hutch made it two with a stunning 25-yd strike.
And to top off the first half perfectly, Richard Gough did some great work
to set up Jeffers who slotted home the third. Great stuffing by Everton!
Despite a brave attempt by Peter Reid to inject some attacking force
into the Sunderland team at half-time, Everton continued
to make chances in the second half, and Pembridge scored his first goal
for Everton after 60 mins.Campbell rounded off the day with a nicely taken
goal to make it FIVE! Take that, Peter Reid! (Sorry, la!)
Hutchison (16', 25'), Jeffers (41'), Pembridge (62'),
Subs Not Used
Gerrard; Unsworth, Weir, Gough, Dunne; Barmby (73'
Cleland), Hutchison, Collins, Pembridge; Campbell,
Jeffers (73' Moore).
Unavailable: Xavier, Gemmill, Ward, Williamson
(injured); Branch, Myhre, Phelan (on loan); Bilic (in
limbo); Parkinson (retired); O'Kane (transferred to Bolton
Wanderers) Grant (transferred to Manchester City).
Watson, Cadamarteri, Simonsen.
Sorensen; Bould, Butler, Makin; Schwarz, Roy (37' Williams),
McCann, Summerbee; Kilbane, Quinn, Gray (46' Reddy).
Marriott, Rae, Oster.
Royal Blue shirts; white shorts; blue socks.
Red & white shirts; black shorts; red socks.
Kilbane (35'), McCann (40')
With Santa arriving earlier than anticipated on Christmas Eve, resplendent
in white hair and dark rimmed specs, I was now able to look forward to a
Christmas which might someday be one of those that stay in the memory for
a long time.
The festive spirit had been conspicuous by its absence in the run up, but
the 24th is as good a time as any for it to arrive in all its glory. Christmas
Eve was to be a night without P's (though my bedtime predilections will not
be regaled here for all and sundry to snigger and guffaw over) shadow hanging
over it. Boxing Day at Goodison promised to be a day to remember with Billy
boy paraded before an adoring public.
All it needed to join in the celebration was to be able to get to the ground
on time. No such luck. I was still at home at twenty to three, saying goodbye
to dallying relatives, who'd been told earlier, "You're out by 2, I've got
a match to go to." Did they listen?
I still got there though to hear the strains of "Z Cars" playing as I made
my way to my seat. Mind you, I wasn't alone in the tardiness department;
it seems Billy boy got caught up in the late rush too no longer the
bridesmaid, he took the bride's prerogative to turn up 12 minutes late for
the wedding... and what a wedding awaited us. Even the groom's family got
warm applause with chants of "Peter Reid's an Evertonian" and a rousing reception
for the returning Gavin McCann.
The first few minutes were a typical cut and thrust, bluster and bravado
opening, both sides trying to make something of tricky conditions
drizzly rain, bit of a swirling breeze Sunderland by hoisting the
ball long to all elbows and legs, Niall Quinn and us fairing not much better,
though at least trying to hit it for runners, of which there were plenty
on the day.
Early on we had a few chances to make something of promising openings but,
as with the Exeter game, the expectation was much better than the delivery.
Yet there was a confidence about the movement on the pitch. The midfield
seemed to be pushing forward a bit more than of late, the distribution was
much better and there was a general feeling that Sunderland's league position
belied their real talents. They were there for the taking.
Pembridge, who seemed, like Worsel Gummidge, to have his thinking head on
today, was racing down the left, taking on the defence, as though he knew
what he was doing. Backed up by the tireless Unsworth, he had probably his
best game in the Royal Blue. Having failed to deliver with an earlier cross,
though, much of the same was expected when a ball from Jeffers, wide on the
left, found him in space on the left edge of the box. He scuffed his cross,
I believe, but who cares, when it fell invitingly for Hutchison to slam the
ball home from 15 yards. If Pembridge meant it, I apologise, but I can't
believe he did. But what a finish! Scoring against the Mackems must have
been pure delight for Geordie Don.
After that it really was a case of how many. They did make Gerrard work for
one save in that half, but that's all I remember. We just harried and pressed
and played exquisite stuff all over the park. The second was a case in point.
A scrap in midfield and we fail to get an advantage from a play-on by the
The play was called back and Unsworth delivered the ball menacingly into
the box from the dead-ball. Bould headed it away into no-mans land, but Don
was there again, following up for the second ball unlike in any other game
this season. Smack, 25 yards, the net bursts and Goodison erupted.
Could it be that Don sees a new contract looming, with three wages trimmed
from the bill in the last two weeks and a new leader at the helm? What better
time to deliver a class performance? Hutchison 2 Mackems 0.
It really was a demonstration of just how good we should aspire to be every
week. A majestic run from Gough, surging forward from his own half, beating
two men and delivering an inch perfect pass to the right foot of Jeffers.
Franny strode forward and hit the ball unerringly past Sorenson in the Sunderland
net. 3 - 0 and game over. It could have been more by half time.
The second half was a procession with Pembridge making his way onto
the scoresheet. It had been a terrific move which had ended with Campbell
being denied by the legs of Sorensen. The ball fell to both Hutchison and
Jeffers. On another day there'd have been a quick chat amongst them about
who should strike the ball as a defender nipped in and took the ball away,
but not today. Franny took control and seeing Pembridge coming in at the
far post, drilled the ball across the box, inch perfect for Pembridge to
sidefoot the ball home. 4 - 0 and coasting.
Barmby and Campbell were the two who had deserved to score at this point
and Campbell finally got his breakthrough three quarters of the way through
the game. What a goal to break a non-scoring sequence! Hutchison passed the
ball to him as he waited back to goal on the edge of the box, two defenders
in close attendance. A quick flick between the unexpecting pair, a swivel
of the hips as he danced through the gap and a sweet strike as the ball found
the goal. 5 - 0. Up went the chant..."1-2-3-4-5 Nil!" all around the ground.
Barmby was next to find the net, or so we thought as two excellent efforts
went unrewarded. The second was a goal all the way and as we started to celebrate
a defender nipped in and touched Nick's neat chip over the keeper around
the post. Then the goal of the game. A great move as the ball was delivered
out of defence. It made its way to Jeffers who, 35 yards out, tore down on
the Sunderland goal, with defenders still to beat. And beat them he did and
drove the ball, with a terrific strike, into the net. Yet the flag was up
for offside. How? When? I couldn't believe it. Maybe someone in the Bullens
Road could elucidate?
After that it calmed down and we reshaped as the unfortunate Barmby was replaced
by Joe Max-Moore, who took to the field for his home (league) debut. Strains
of "U-S-A" were heard as he was welcomed onto the pitch. We also saw Cleland
replace Jeffers as Walter decided to bolt the door and stick with five. But
still we could have made it six.
As the final whistle went the standing ovation was reserved for the boys
in blue and not the gutsy lads in red and white stripes, as it had been in
midweek. If the banner dangling from the Upper Gwladys Street Stand ("Bill,
You're Our Hero") was a sign of our increased hopes for the future, the display
on the field showed that even the players may have been lifted by the news
from the boardroom.
Peter Reid IS an
I finally conceded defeat and got out of bed.
The bright light half awakens me, the annoying ring tone of my phone completes
the job ....
"Ste, me ma's givin' us a lift be here in twenty" was the main gist
of the phone call. Nice one, I've just got up, I'm not dressed, not clean
and I'm starving.
The next five minutes is wasted deciding whether to get ready and knock at
me mates for the aforementioned lift, or to sod them all and get the bus.
Being a lazy bastard I start to make some sort of a shape.
Suitably clothed and reasonably clean I venture into the kitchen for a quick
bite, only to find a half-eaten turkey filling the fridge.
Now if I'm out of line here, fine but I'm sure most people will agree with
me that turkey is crap, dry, tasteless and so god damned ugly it should be
illegal. A turkey buttie was the last thing I could be bothered eating.
Anyway, round to my mates and we're off to the match.
Boxing Day is a bit special in footballing terms, the terraces are usually
full regardless of opposition, probably a combination of no work, socialising
and money given from the day before. The atmosphere then usually benefits
because of the increased numbers, and then there is the match itself. For
some reason, defence's get in the festive mood and a bag-full of goals are
scored... today was no different.
Peter Reid brought his team to Goodison, lying third in the premiership,
everyone's surprise package of the season so far (© Sky Tv)
The teams were read out and I was shocked but nicely surprised at the lack
of Kevin Phillips in their line up, I predicted a 5 or 6 nil win to the lad
behind me, purely in jest... Wish I'd put a fiver on it now, though!
Not a lot, surprisingly was being said about the Kenwright news, a single
banner declaring luvvie to be our hero, and one low chant from the scally
regions of the Gwladys, were two of very few references to the whole affair,
maybe a case of lets wait till he's actually paid before getting carried
Anyway: the football. Well errrmmm from the off we closed down, we passed
well, we worked hard, we moved and we thought about our football a
bit like the two goals at Watford, only for a full 90 minutes.
Hutchison got two, the second of which was an excellent shot from outside
the box that left many wondering why he doesn't do it more often. Jeffers
got one, after a great pass from the returning Richard Gough. Pembridge got
one more about him later and Super Kev Campbell added the fifth
with a great turn in the box and a tidy finish on the stretch.
Pembridge. Well, I hate this bloke. He has the pace of a dead duck for starters,
he passes bizarrely to the opposition when under no pressure and his crossing
ability is not the highest. Today, however, he worked hard, made plenty of
space, set one up and scored another, he almost got a second, but that'd
have been too much surely. As I said earlier, I hate this bloke, but
hats off to him today he had a great game.
It could have been more goals than the 5; Jeffers had one disallowed for
a debatable offside, and should have scored a second himself after the keeper
flapped at a cross, and Barmby was unlucky on more than one occasion. When
he was subbed for Joe-Max Moore, he deserved it. Barmby looked knackered
after a hell of a second half where he didn't stop and was all over the pitch,
working hard, and playing well, a definite contender for man of the match.
Joe-Max himself could have had two. With the first one, better control or
a first-time shot might have opened his account, the second he seemed to
lack fitness when bearing down on goal and went down under pressure from
the defender scrambling back.
All in all it was an excellent performance with many plus points: Campbell
and Jeffers back in the goals, Pembridge best performance for us ever, Gough
and Weir re-united again and not to mention a 5-0 win.
Over the coming weeks we have a decent chance of picking up some points,
Bradford, Leicester, Southampton, Wimbledon etc do not stand a chance against
a team that plays like this. Hopefully the confidence gained from this win
will gain us a pot full of points against these teams.
The news of Walter signing a new contract, rounded of a perfect day in the
Everton FC supporting land, lets just hope we can maintain this level of
performance for a month or so and keep well clear of the relegation fight.
It was a day resounding with history at Goodison Park, the final home match
of the Millennium, and the first match of the new (sic) regime. It was a
day that was crying out for a home victory, but could we trust the Blues
True, we came into the game with two straight wins but, as these were thanks
to two very scratchy performances against Watford and Exeter, we shouldn't
have read too much into that. The opposition also came with slightly headier
credentials than Watford and Exeter Sunderland were riding high in
the Premiership and, even without leading scorer Phillips, looked dangerous
Walter kept team changes to a minimum with the returning Richard Gough replacing
Alec Cleland. This gave us what I guess must be Walter's first choice line-up
of Gerrard in goal, a flat back four of Dunne, Weir, Gough and Unsworth,
a midfield of Barmby, Hutchison, Collins and Pembridge with Jeffers and Campbell
up front. Today's bench was Simonsen, Cleland, Watson, Cadamarteri and Joe-Max
With a full house and the typically sizeable, and vocal, Sunderland contingent,
the match was a fairly impassioned affair from the outset. As would be expected
of any team prepared by Peter Reid, Sunderland were committed, hard working
and physical. Fortunately we seemed to be prepared for this; with the likes
of Gough, Unsworth, Dunne and Hutchison on board, we weren't going to be
found wanting in the physical aspects of the game.
Without Phillips, the Sunderland game plan was a straightforward one: try
and take advantage of Niall Quinn's height. With his height he is always
going to be a handful; when he also spends much of the time pushing and holding
(and getting away with it), then he is a difficult man to play against.
Fortunately, in Gough and Weir, we had two players with the ability and nous
to combat him. Yes, he won his fair share in the air but Sunderland were,
for the most part, prevented from taking advantage of this.
With Quinn being handled well, Sunderland don't seem to have too much else
to offer other than hard work and industry. It became a question, then, of
whether we had the fire-power to capitalise ourselves. The early stages didn't
give too much indication of what was to come. We were more than matching
Sunderland but we weren't showing too much in the way of a cutting edge.
Fifteen minutes into the game, we started to change the face of the game.
A long punt towards the left corner of the box was picked up by Jeffers;
as he drifted wide, he controlled the ball before pushing it to Pembridge
in the box who helped it on to Hutchison in the penalty area. Don took it
with his right and found the bottom corner of the net. A neat finish to a
nice little move and 1-0 to us.
The second wasn't too long coming: Bould cleared a long-range free kick with
his head, the ball fell to Hutchison some way outside the box, he took it
first time on the volley and his shot screamed past Sorenson and into the
far corner. A goal from nothing and a quite wonderful strike from Hutchison.
This was far, far better than any of us could have imagined. We were more
than matching Sunderland and, after a relatively barren spell in front of
goal, we were starting to convert our chances again. With memories fresh
from Watford, we knew that this wasn't enough to make us truly comfortable.
Fortunately the team seemed to realise this and continued to press forward.
The reward for our continued enterprise came just before half-time. Gough
picked the ball up in the midfield area, he moved forward into space before
delivering a delightful pass for Jeffers to run on to, Jeffers took the ball
in his stride and beat the 'keeper conclusively. 3-0 by half time, wonderful
The early stages of the second half brought a predictable reaction from a
Sunderland team who had just had to face Peter Reid in the dressing room.
Without seriously threatening the goal they did bring the game to us for
about 10 or 15 minutes. We coped pretty well but you couldn't help wondering
exactly what would happen to us if Sunderland did manage to get one back.
Fortunately, before Sunderland could ask too many awkward questions about
our resolution, our fourth and game-clinching goal arrived. Campbell was
put through on goal his shot was saved by the 'keeper's legs and Franny
Jeffers picked the ball up outside the area. I thought he was going to go
for glory himself which would have been the wrong decision as the angle was
all wrong for him. Instead, he looked up and saw Pembridge unmarked beyond
the far post, he then played an immaculate pass across the face of goal,
cutting out the 'keeper and the entire defence and leaving Pembridge with
a simple tap-in. It was a lovely piece of awareness by Jeffers and shows
just what a special player he is going to be.
With the match won, it was party time. Sunderland were reeling and we seemed
to be creating chances at will. Jeffers had one ruled out on a marginal offside
decision, Nick Barmby had a couple of close calls. However, it was left to
Kevin Campbell to apply the coup de grace. He was found by yet another
defence-splitting pass from Don Hutchison; on the turn he dragged it into
his path before dispatching it past Sorenson. It was a truly wonderful finish.
With the Bradford game came looming large, it was time to step off the gas.
Barmby and Jeffers, their work done, were brought off to be replaced by Joe-Max
Moore and Alec Cleland. The game was won and it was just a case of letting
the clock run down and celebrate a thumping good win.
Gerrard 7 Don't think he had a proper save to make. A few shaky moments
when he was slow to come and claim through balls that came into the box,
but nothing too alarming.
Dunne 7 Still not as assured as he looked prior to the Man Utd game
but still a good, hardworking performance.
Unsworth 7 Continuing an excellent season. He has been wonderfully
consistent this season.
Gough 8 After some initial shakiness he was his usual immaculate,
commanding self. His contribution to Jeffers' goal also shows that he his
more than just a basic blocker.
Weir 7 Better than of late, clearly benefitting from Gough's reassuring
presence, and ultimately an accomplished performance.
Barmby 7 Perhaps not as good as he has been of late but still plenty
of good moments.
Hutchison 7 Two goals and a wonderful pass to supply Campbell isn't
a bad afternoon's work. I left the ground thinking that aside from that he
hadn't done too much else, but having now seen Match of the Day and seen
the number of dangerous passes he supplied maybe he did better than I was
originally giving him credit for.
Collins 7 Lots of hard work and tidy play. Nearly played himself,
and us, into a trouble on a couple of occasions, but all in all a fine
Pembridge 7 His most effective performance for us yet. Supplied a
goal and a lot of industry.
Jeffers 7 A well taken goal and there could have been more. A good
all round display but I still think there is better to come from him.
Campbell 6 I've felt that he's been a little out of sorts of late.
Didn't seem to contribute too much today, but you have to give him credit
for a wonderfully taken goal. Maybe that will be the spark he needs to get
back to his best.
Cleland 6 Not on long, did OK.
Moore 6 Looked quite lively, but on his one chance got muscled out
of it rather too easily.
Team 7 A true team performance. Everybody played well without anyone
Man of the match Richard Gough a masterful defensive
Kenwright's £20M takeover deal
Steve Thomson, Electronic Telegraph
THIS rampaging display heralded a new era at Everton. Five goals without
reply against the third-placed club in the Premiership was the best possible
way to celebrate the £20 million purchase of the club by theatre impresario
Bill Kenwright and a two-year extension to manager Walter Smith's contract.
The precise details of the deal in which Jersey-based businessman Peter Johnson
hands over control to Kenwright have yet to be finalised but a basic agreement
has already been reached. Johnson's boardroom involvement at both Goodison
Park and Tranmere Rovers contravened regulations, and his decision to step
down after months of uncertainty will come as a mighty relief to the football
authorities and Everton supporters.
It was as if the shackles had been lifted not only in Everton's corridors
of power but also on the pitch, where Smith has been hindered by lack of
transfer investment while the ownership issue has been up in the air.
Don Hutchison, who hit yesterday's first two goals, made telling assists
for a couple more and gave an exemplary, all-round, midfield display. Kevin
Campbell, with his ninth goal of the campaign, Francis Jeffers, with his
sixth, and Mark Pembridge, with his first for the club, were also on the
Smith said: "Our performance in the first half was terrific. That set the
tone and that's as well as we played here this season."
Everton, in fact, are unbeaten at home, but former favourite Peter Reid,
the Sunderland manager, had never expected such a rude homecoming. "I'm from
just down the road and I never want to get beaten here," he said. "But we
got a bit of a battering today and lost the individual battles all over the
Sunderland were pushed on to the back foot from the outset but such was their
tenacious defending, veteran Steve Bould making several crucial interceptions,
that they seemed capable of weathering the early storm. When Everton did
break through in the 15th minute, it required an element of good fortune.
Jeffers gained possession on the left and fed the ball through to Pembridge,
whose scuffed attempt at a cross fell perfectly into Hutchison's path for
the Scotland international to stroke home into the bottom corner.
Ten minutes later, Hutchison drove in a spectacular, 25-yard volley following
a free-kick from David Unsworth.
The visitors' response was hampered by the absence of hamstring victim Kevin
Phillips, who has scored 19 goals this season. His replacement Kevin Kilbane,
normally a wide player, was making his first start since his move from West
Bromwich. He looked oddly out of place alongside Niall Quinn and showed little
of Phillips' instinct for reading Quinn's flicks and knockdowns.
Everton's increasing assurance at the back received no better illustration
than the marauding run forward by 37-year-old Richard Gough which led to
the third goal. Gough, recalled after shrugging off a thigh strain, finished
it off with a slide-rule pass, sending Jeffers clean through to finish
The home team continued in rampant mood after the break and just past the
hour, Pembridge side-footed in after fine work by Hutchison, Campbell and
Jeffers. The rout was completed by Campbell, spinning cleverly on to Hutchison's
pass to stab in left-footed past Thomas Sorensen.
Everton's five-star performance heralds
by Derick Allsop, The Independent
Peace has broken out in the corridors of power and Everton look like a club
intent on declaring war on all comers to Goodison Park.
Sunderland had the misfortune yesterday of finding themselves in the wrong
place at the wrong time. They contributed to their own demise with
uncharacteristic charity, much to the dismay of their manager, Peter Reid,
once an inspirational player here.
He was a helpless bystander as Don Hutchison, the most influential member
of the current Everton team, effectively consigned Sunderland to defeat within
The Scotland international, who hopes Bill Kenwright's control of the club
will pave the way to the new contract he seeks, demonstrated the sublime
and ruthless streak of his nature with two stunning goals.
Francis Jeffers extended Everton's lead before half-time, and Mark Pembridge
and Kevin Campbell completed the annihilation.
Sunderland's task was scarcely helped by an injury which deprived them of
the services of their leading scorer, Kevin Phillips, but they had glaring
deficiencies in every department. Kevin Kilbane, assigned to support Niall
Quinn in the first half, was no more culpable than a fragile defence and
an overwhelmed midfield.
It would be hasty to suggest this result has scuppered any realistic prospect
of Champions' League football on Wearside next season, but tomorrow's home
match against Manchester United assumes ever greater significance for Reid
and his team.
Pembridge's lack of control spoiled a wonderfully flowing, incisive early
move by Everton. Barmby and Campbell combined to switch play from their own
half to space on the left, only for Pembridge to be muscled off the ball
by Nicky Summerbee.
Pembridge atoned for his carelessness in the 16th minute by playing a crucial
part in the creation of Hutchison's first goal. Again Everton found the left
flank fertile ground and Pembridge's low ball into the area arrived at the
feet of his captain, who placed it wide of Thomas Sorensen with absolute
Hutchison's second, nine minutes later, was dispatched with equal assurance
after Sunderland merely half cleared a free kick from David Unsworth. Stefan
Schwarz hesitated, Hutchison did not, striking the ball fiercely beyond
Sorensen's right hand.
Jeffers might have scored between those two goals. Instead he took the ball
too wide of Sorensen and all routes to colleagues were cut off by Sunderland's
The striker, presented with a club "Young Player of the Year" award before
the match, settled for a more direct course when Richard Gough, restored
to the defence, demonstrated his versatility with an exquisite through ball.
This time Jeffers, darting into the gap, shot past the advancing Sorensen
and Everton were three up.
Sunderland mustered only token responses in that one-sided first half, Quinn's
flicked header stretched Paul Gerrard and Schwarz warmed the goalkeeper's
hands from distance.
Most of their play floundered in midfield, where Everton's greater appetite
and superior craft denied them the scope to develop their familiar, efficient
and productive moves.
Reid sacrificed Michael Gray to send on Michael Reddy after the interval
in an attempt to salvage something from the seemingly hopeless cause.
Their plight could have been compounded after 54 minutes, when Chris Makin's
line of communication with Sorensen broke down and Jeffers was given a glimpse
of goal. He chastised himself for stabbing the ball wide.
Sunderland's reprieve was brief. Hutchison's delightful pass put Campbell
through and, although he was repelled, Jeffers provided Pembridge with a
simple fourth after 61 minutes.
Barmby's chip deserved a goal but Makin intervened. Campbell refused to be
deprived by Paul Butler and made it five after 72 minutes.
Reid admitted: "We've had a bit of a battering. They were on fire. They won
all the battles all over the pitch and we paid the penalty. We've got to
put that out of our minds. I'm sure we'll play better on Tuesday. We got
a mauling at Chelsea on the first day and it's how you react."
Kenwright acclaimed as Everton steal
by Stephen Wood, The Times
BILL KENWRIGHT was late for his own party, but while the entertainers of
Goodison Park were intent on making it go with a swing, there was no need
for recriminations. Feelings of frustration, insecurity and bitterness have
festered at Everton over the past 13 months, but the events of yesterday
served as a release on a collective scale.
Sunderland were nothing but compliant. Given that it occurred just 48 hours
after Kenwright, the self-styled theatre impresario, was informed that he
had succeeded in a bid for control of the club that he has supported all
his life, there will be a great temptation on one half of Merseyside to proclaim
a new dawn.
Certainly, Everton are crying out for one, but wild pronouncements can wait.
For the moment, Kenwright deserves the glow of satisfaction that the players
enabled him to indulge in. He has worked tirelessly and risked every aspect
of his livelihood to initiate the £20 million buyout of Peter Johnson's
68% majority shareholding. The deal values the club at approximately £30
million, and it should be rubber-stamped by January 25. If Kenwright's ownership
is as irresistible in practice as his appeal has been in theory, then Everton
cannot fail to prosper.
The problems have not vanished overnight, of course. They are still £15
million in debt, but the financial stability that Kenwright brings gives
them a chance of slowly chipping away at that figure probably via
a new share issue while lending them more clout in the transfer market.
Moreover, the harmony that Kenwright provides is priceless.
His assumption of power has pleased Walter Smith, the manager, so much that
it was announced last night that Smith had signed a two-year extension to
his contract, keeping him in charge until the summer of 2003. That news is
as welcome as Kenwright's success, for Smith has demonstrated that he can
produce a team capable of performing with vigour even in the most trying
Yesterday, Everton surpassed even that watermark. Kenwright took his seat
12 minutes into the game, just in time to to see two goals from Don Hutchison,
and one apiece from Francis Jeffers, Mark Pembridge and Kevin Campbell. Smith
was moved to describe it as "the best we have played in my time".
It completed an enjoyable Christmas for Kenwright. "I cried when I was told
I had succeeded," Kenwright said last night. "It has been a very difficult
year, because there was no guarantee that I would manage it. My mum still
thinks I'm mad, but I am a very happy man. We have no magic wand, but there
is hope for us now."
The only disappointment is that they cannot be met with Sunderland's raggedness
every week. To their credit, Everton showed no mercy in front of goal, with
Hutchison instrumental in everything they did. The Everton captain began
the scoring after 15 minutes, when his run from deep enabled him to latch
on to Pembridge's sliced shot and beat Sorensen, the goalkeeper. Ten minutes
later Bould's poor headed clearance was lashed past Sorensen from 25 yards
Four minutes before half-time, the visiting side stood still to allow Jeffers
to score. Just after the hour, Pembridge side-footed home from close range
before Campbell recorded the fifth goal after an exquisite turn.
Amid this jamboree of extraordinary Everton excellence, Sunderland never
seriously threatened to reduce the deficit, and it had nothing to do with
the fact that Quinn was not fully fit, or that Phillips's hamstring strain
had ruled him out altogether.
It was, in fact, their biggest defeat under the management of Peter Reid,
and it allowed Leeds United and Manchester United to gain further daylight
at the top of the Premiership. "We were well beaten by Chelsea on the opening
day of the season, but we reacted positively to it," Reid said. "Now we have
to put this to the back of our minds and start again." The opportunity comes
around quickly: Manchester United are the visitors to the Stadium of Light
Times Newspapers Ltd