November 2008 Archives

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David Moyes marked his 300th game as Everton boss with a Barclays Premier League victory over Tottenham courtesy of Steven Pienaar's deflected winner.

Pienaar caused a delay at the start of the second half as he was wearing the wrong shirt - then six minutes after the restart he found the back of the net when his shot cannoned in off Vedran Corluka.

It was Everton's third win in a row at White Hart Lane and also meant a first home defeat for Spurs boss Harry Redknapp.

Both sides have aspirations of challenging the top four but Spurs, despite Redknapp's honeymoon period, are still in the thick of it at the wrong end.

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DAVID MOYES has admitted he will be shopping for loan signings when the transfer window opens for business in January.

Though Everton's squad is thin in terms of numbers, the chances of the manager bringing in permanent reinforcements are slim.

Having spent a club record £15m on Marouane Fellaini during the summer, as well as bringing in Louis Saha, Lars Jacobsen, Segundo Castillo and Carlo Nash, Moyes' kitty has run low.

DAVID MOYES had a first-hand view of Harry Redknapp's legacy on Thursday night - just in time to prepare him for his next meeting with the Spurs manager tomorrow.

Portsmouth's hosting of AC Milan was the showpiece occasion that Fratton Park has longed for for many years. Excitement, glamour, high drama - the only thing missing was the man who made it all possible.

Redknapp, whose Pompey side secured the FA Cup success that made the European dream a reality, switched to Spurs last month in an attempt to restore more glory to a chronically underachieving outfit.

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DAVID MOYES has reiterated his concerns about the size of his squad - and fears that he won't be able to improve the situation in the January transfer window.

The Everton manager takes his side to Tottenham tomorrow for his 300th game in charge with doubts over Louis Saha following a hamstring injury sustained at Wigan on Monday night, while Steven Pienaar has still not returned to training following a knee injury.

Tony Hibbert is also struggling with a thigh strain while Moyes has long-term worries over James Vaughan, who will be out until the New Year with a knee cartilage problem and Nuno Valente, who has just undergone knee surgery.

IF David Moyes cut a frustrated figure when watching Portsmouth tackle AC Milan on Thursday evening, he was not the only Evertonian left thinking what might have been.

Tim Howard, like the majority of his team-mates, spent that night wishing Everton had a similar occasion to look forward to, rather than spending the weeks leading up to the festive period kicking their heels in frustration.

During a season of terrific disappointments, nothing has hurt as much as going out of Europe and Everton have not really shaken off the hangover that defeat against Standard Liege induced. Apart from an exuberant 45 minutes against Manchester United, they have been unrecognisable.

FOR 20 minutes at least on Monday night I was heartened by what I witnessed at Wigan.

Everton looked bright, kept good possession and for a team playing away didn't look threatened.

But for the final 70 minutes I don't think any neutral could disagree that Wigan were the better side.

By Eddie O'Gara

AFTER several weeks of benefiting from the outrageously tight nature of this season's Premier League and shooting up the table in rapid fashion, it's now crunch time for Everton.

Ahead of the trip to Bolton a month ago David Moyes's side knew defeat at the Reebok could have put them into the relegation zone but less than a week later we were pushing for Europe.

Now, with trips to Tottenham and Manchester City plus testing home games against Aston Villa and Chelsea at Goodison Park which has been anything but a fortress this season all to come before Christmas, let's hope we don't drop back like a stone.

THERE is never a good time for bad news but the information which David Moyes delivered about James Vaughan this week was done so against an appropriate backdrop.

After an utterly wretched performance at the JJB Stadium, Moyes shuffled into his post-match press briefing looking as if he had the weight of the world on his shoulders and it was not hard to understand why.

If it wasn't bad enough seeing his team struggle to raise a gallop or string two meaningful passes together in a game they should have won, his dark mood was exacerbated by the fact that young Vaughan had suffered another injury setback.

NUNO VALENTE'S stop-start Everton career has hit another temporary halt after David Moyes confirmed the defender has undergone knee surgery.

The former Portugal international was signed by Moyes after a glowing recommendation from Jose Mourinho in August 2005 in a £1.4m deal from FC Porto.

Since then, though, Valente has been plagued by a number of fitness issues that have restricted him to making just 60 appearances for the Blues.

BLUES boss David Moyes looks ahead to the trip to White Hart Lane

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