February 2009 Archives

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With Mikel Arteta, Victor Anichebe and Jack Rodwell all added to their injury list, Everton were happy to welcome back Tony Hibbert and Tim Cahill from suspension against West Brom today, with Steven Pienaar and Marouane Fellaini both returning from injury.

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EVERTON striker Victor Anichebe could be out for the rest of the season.

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JUST when you thought it was safe to go back in the water - Everton find themselves drowning under yet more injury worries.

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THE back pages have been dominated this week by Aston Villa and Spurs' unusual approach to a European competition.

WHAT'S in a name? Plenty at Everton Football Club.

BLUES boss David Moyes on the Baggies' trip to Goodison

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LEON OSMAN believes the return of Louis Saha could be crucial to Everton's hopes of glory this season.

The French striker has been dogged by injuries during his first campaign at Goodison but made his comeback as a substitute at Newcastle last weekend.

Saha, who has scored three goals in eight starts for the Blues, hadn't featured since damaging his hamstring at Spurs in November but came through unscathed and is in line to face West Brom tomorrow.

"Louis could be massive for us over the next few months," Osman said.

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THE sight of Mikel Arteta being carried away on a stretcher at St James' Park was tough to take.

A scan realised the Blues' worst fears and supporters have spent the past week coming to terms with life without their Spanish playmaker for the rest of the current season.

Arteta's creative spark will undoubtedly be missed in the coming months but fellow midfielder Leon Osman insists Everton can overcome that setback.

The Blues have lost just one of their last 14 games in all competitions and the 27-year-old firmly believes they have got what it takes to keep their impressive campaign on track.

"Mikel is a player of the highest quality and any team would miss him," Osman admitted.

NOT since Tony Waddington claimed to have been "stabbed in the back" has an Everton v Stoke clash caused such rancour.

That was 34 years ago - when the single-minded Potters boss was furious the FA chose fourth-placed Everton rather than his own fifth placed finishers for English football's last UEFA Cup place.

But the football world was very different back then.

The FA still observed a bizarre "one club per city ruling" in European football.

THERE'S no doubt that losing Mikel Arteta for the rest of the season is a massive blow.

It's disappointing because I felt he was nearly at the top of his game.

We are really going to miss the quality of his delivery from set-pieces.

When Everton got a free-kick in a dangerous area you really fancied them to score with Arteta on the ball.

It's okay having height and good headers like Tim Cahill, Marouane Fellaini and Joleon Lescott but it's no good if the quality isn't coming in.

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