October 2008 Archives

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DAVID MOYES hailed Marouane Fellaini for "carrying us along" as his record signing scored the winning goal at Bolton last night.

The Belgian pounced in the last minute at the Reebok to give Everton their first win in nine games and a first Premier League success since September 14.

It was Fellaini's third goal in four appearances and, after his header rescued a point against Manchester United on Saturday, he ensured his team were able to capitalise on the confidence built up by that performance with a vital three points.

And on the contribution of the 20-year-old Belgian, Everton manager Moyes admitted: "We should have been the ones helping him. But at the moment he is carrying us along with his goals.

"So we have to give him a lot of credit for what he is doing just now, his goals are seeing us through.

THE temperatures may have dropped - but this harsh, biting season is beginning to warm up nicely for Everton.

And it's being fired up by the goals of Marouane Fellaini. The slow burner that has been his Everton career so far has finally sparked into life and he provided his team's first winning goal in nine games.

The Belgian has almost inevitably struggled to look like a £15m record signing since his move from Standard Liege. But suddenly, three goals in four games now make that look like money well spent and his last-minute header at the Reebok last night was priceless.

But perhaps even more encouraging for David Moyes is his first clean sheet of the season. And that - like the second half performance against Manchester United on Saturday - is something to build on.

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HIS team regained their appetite for a fight at the weekend. Now David Moyes wants Everton to start feeding the Yak again.

Yakubu returns to the scene of his Everton debut this evening intent on ending his longest run without a goal for the club since making a £11.25million move from Middlesbrough 14 months ago.

It took the Nigerian just 11 minutes to register at the Reebok Stadium to send Moyes's side on their way to a 2-1 victory at Bolton Wanderers.

Yakubu has underlined the wisdom of his then club record purchase by netting 25 goals in 51 appearances.

DAVID MOYES has challenged Everton to add impetus to their Premier League revival by rediscovering the mean streak on which his reign has been founded.

The Goodison Park outfit have been in vibrant mood since securing a morale-boosting 1-1 draw with European champions Manchester United at the weekend.

However, the result meant Everton have now gone 17 games without keeping a clean sheet - their worst record in almost 33 years.

Moyes's men travel to Bolton Wanderers this evening who, since beating Stoke City 3-1 on the opening day, have scored just six goals in nine games.

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DAVID MOYES has admitted that Tim Cahill's return from suspension has left him wrestling a major selection dilemma.

The Blues' talismanic midfielder is available for tomorrow's trip to Bolton after serving a three-match ban for the red card he received during last month's Merseyside derby.

In normal circumstances, Cahill would be expected to march straight back into Everton's starting line-up, but the improvement in Marouane Fellaini's form - plus the performance of the 11 who played against Manchester United on Saturday - has complicated matters.

Fellaini has scored two goals in his last three matches and filled the role that Cahill normally occupies, leaving Moyes mulling over whether playing both men in the same team might be too adventurous in certain games.

INSPIRATION or exasperation? Head man or head case?

Duncan Ferguson's football career has sparked more opposing views than perhaps any other footballer.

But he had a large and enthusiastic body of fans who remained devoted to his power and personality.

And his career has now been handed official endorsement with the release of a club DVD "Big Dunc - The Story Of A Goodison Hero."

Like the subject matter, the DVD has its controversial moments.

Every one of Ferguson's seven red cards - a Premier League record - is scrutinised and analysed, while the motivation behind the last one, a punch which floored Paul Scharner at Wigan, is revealed.

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SEASONS, we all know, can turn on the smallest thing and many people believe Phil Neville thundering into Cristiano Ronaldo did just that for Everton.

But, as a fully paid-up member of the goalkeeper's union, I would have to disagree and point to a moment in the first half of Saturday's tussle with Manchester United when the tide finally started to turn in the Blues' favour.

Trailing 1-0 and under the cosh, Nemanja Vidic rose highest to meet a Ryan Giggs corner and powered towards goal - happily he was denied by a quite brilliant save from Tim Howard and the rebound was cleared to safety by Phil Neville.

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DAVID MOYES is urging his strikers to share the heavy workload as Everton attempt to escape the lower reaches of the Premier League table.

Manager Moyes started Saturday's 1-1 home draw against Manchester United with both Louis Saha and Yakubu up front for the first time and both lasted until the final couple of minutes of a relentless contest.

With Yakubu often criticised for his laid-back approach and Saha still regaining full fitness following his long-term injury problems, the striking duo put in an encouraging shift as Everton showed signs of ending their winless run.

They go to Bolton tomorrow night hoping for a first victory in nine games - and Moyes is warning his forwards to forget about waiting for pretty passes into feet in the urgent search for Premier League points.

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I'VE already touched on the impact of Phil Neville's tackle on Cristiano Ronaldo elsewhere on this page.

But it wasn't just helpful to Liverpool in the way it shook up one of their title rivals - it was pretty damn useful to Everton as well.

I don't know how many important tackles Neville has put in during his career but that must rank up there. I would call it a 'season-adjusting tackle' for want of a sexier phrase!

The whole furore surrounding it seemed to knock United completely off their stride, while it had the opposite effect on Everton.

So much so, that although they finished with a 1-1 draw it actually felt like a win.

THE Football Association will take no action against Wayne Rooney for his badge-kissing antics at Goodison Park on Saturday.

Sir Alex Ferguson admitted he substituted Rooney for his own good at the weekend after the striker became increasingly frustrated during Manchester United's 1-1 draw with Everton.

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