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Lowdown on Everton

Posted on 16 August 2002  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

When Spurs travelled to Goodison Park for our first away encounter of last season the pre-match pondering was very much about how our young rearguard would deal with the physical threat of Duncan Ferguson and Kevin Campbell.

Gary Doherty, Ledley King and the newly signed Goran Bunjevcevic provided the protective coat in front of Neil Sullivan - and how they stood up to the challenge.

Only a hotly disputed penalty denied Spurs a deserved win and the agony was compounded by the dismissals of Doherty - later rescinded - and Gus Poyet.

This time around the talk around Goodison will not be over the towering Ferguson but the fleet-footed and highly skilled youngster Wayne Rooney.

The 16-year-old is not exactly unknown to Spurs - his two goals at the Lane last season unhinged our FA Youth Cup bid at the semi-final stage. Later in the season Rooney was set to make his full Everton debut as substitute at Southampton, which would have seen him beat Joe Royle's record as the youngest Everton debutant (16 years and 288 days) but the blues were winning and manager David Moyes did not elect to make changes.

"I am more concerned about him becoming the best player in Everton's history, not the youngest," pointed out Moyes.

But no doubt we will all get plenty of chances to see the pocket dynamo in action at some point and he has already made quite an impression in pre-season.

Understandably, Moyes is particularly keen to protect the striker from over exposure, but realises he can't hold such a talent in reserve for too long.

"I don't want Wayne having any regrets because the management didn't try to help him," he added.

While Rooney is sparking the most anticipation in the blue half of Liverpool, Moyes has been fairly active in the transfer market, seeking to strengthen his hand in preparation for his first full season after replacing Walter Smith.

His most notable capture was Nigerian defender Joseph Yobo from Marseille, which was followed up by the recruitment of goalkeeper Richard Wright from Arsenal.

Brazilian midfielder Juliano Rodrigo is also trying to seal a permanent move to Merseyside, along with Chinese stars Li Weifeng and Li Tie.

But all eyes will be on the teamsheet come around 2pm on Saturday to see if Rooney is handed a licence to thrill. Our rearguard will once again be on alert, but this time to ensure that opening day does not provide headlines of the 'Wayne's World' variety.