Football is a game of better halves

By David Prentice on Jun 28, 08 09:57 AM in Journalists

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YAKUBU'S rather touching views this week on the value of being married to a good woman harked back to a different Everton era.

"I am just looking forward to bringing her home and having her by my side. It's unbelievable, the feeling," cooed the Blues' Nigerian striker after getting hitched

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But there was a time when an Everton player refused to pose for the obligatory signing snaps without the missus by his side.

Here's a quick trip down memory lane of the women who really ruled the roost.

Success is bitter sweet for debut boy Victor

VICTOR ANICHEBE'S first competitive start for Nigeria last weekend ended in a 2-0 win over Equatorial Guinea, but personal disappointment as a bad fall forced him off before half time.

The 20-year-old was handed his full debut in the Super Eagles' World Cup/African Nations Cup qualifier, partnering Everton team-mate Yakubu in attack.

However, the Lagos-born striker, who is set to join up with Nigeria's Olympic squad later this summer, lasted only 40 minutes after tumbling awkwardly during a challenge.

"I went up for a header and I fell down flat on my chest and I could barely move," said Anichebe, before admitting his struggle to adjust to Abuja's sweltering heat was a contributing factor to his discomfort.

"The weather was really bothering me," he confessed. "I think I need some time to get used to it, but I am sure with time I will be more used to the conditions [in Nigeria]."

In Anichebe's absence the Super Eagles secured a 2-0 win, courtesy of goals from Yakubu and Ike Uche. The result means Nigeria are the first side to make sure of a place in the final phase of the African qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

And despite his frustration, Anichebe was overjoyed with the efforts of his team-mates.

He said: "We won the game and that is important for our confidence."

Hibbo waits over knee op

AFTER an entire summer's rehab and recuperation, Tony Hibbert is still waiting to discover whether his knee problem needs surgery.

The right-back ruptured his medial ligaments in the penultimate game of last season at Arsenal, but he is now due to see a specialist.

"I'm hoping for the specialist to say that I won't need an operation, and I really want to just kick on from where I am now," he said.

"It's not like we've held back but we need to know the full extent of the injury before I can start training properly.

"When I did it it felt okay. It didn't seem bad until the result of the scan, which made it ten times worse when I actually saw what I had done.

"I ruptured my medial ligaments, so they've come completely off the bone at the top where the nerve endings are."

* COACH Pim Verbeek says he expects to have Tim Cahill back for Australia's final Asian World Cup qualifying round.

That's a relief to Everton seeing as it takes place next June!

"Timmy Cahill is available the moment he is fit and ready and that's the big question we have to wait for," he said.

"The final game is next June. He will come back."


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