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Tottenham 2 Everton 2: Premier League match report

Tottenham 2 Everton 2: Sigurdsson rescues stuttering Spurs from disastrous defeat as top-four race hots up

PUBLISHED:

14:59 GMT, 7 April 2013

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UPDATED:

15:15 GMT, 7 April 2013

A late equaliser from Gylfi Sigurdsson rescued Tottenham from a crucial defeat but the pressure to reach the top four regardless continues to grow.

Emmanuel Adebayor had given the home side a first-minute lead from close range before through Phil Jagielka's equaliser and Kevin Mirallas' excellent finish rivals Everton had taken a second-half lead.

With the crowd getting anxious and time running out, Sigurdsson popped up with the all-important equaliser though Tottenham may still view it as two points dropped.

Early opener: Emmanuel Adebayor scored in the opening minute

Early opener: Emmanuel Adebayor scored in the opening minute

Match facts

Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Caulker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Parker, Dembele (Huddlestone, 45), Sigurdsson, Holtby, Dempsey, Adebayor

Subs not used: Friedel, Naughton, Assou-Ekotto, Livermore, Ceballas, Carroll

Goals: Adebayor 1, Sigurdsson 87

Everton: Howard, Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Mirallas, Osman, Gibson, Heitinga, Barkley (Jelavic, 52), Anichebe

Subs not used: Mucha, Stones, Duffy, Oviedo, Hitzlsperger, Naismith

Goals: Jagielka 15, Mirallas 53

Ref: Andre Marriner

Att: 36,192

Click for the latest Premier League table, results and fixtures

More to follow…

The equaliser: Phil Jagielka equalised for Everton in the 15th minute

The equaliser: Phil Jagielka equalised for Everton in the 15th minute

Three points: Thanks to Kevin Mirallas, Everton were only minutes from an important victory

Three points: Thanks to Kevin Mirallas, Everton were only minutes from an important victory

Battle: Spurs' Michael Dawson and Everton's Victor Anichebe were competing throughout

Battle: Spurs' Michael Dawson and Everton's Victor Anichebe were competing throughout

Famous guests: Paul Gascoigne and Gary Mabbutt were present at White Hart Lane

Famous guests: Paul Gascoigne and Gary Mabbutt were present at White Hart Lane

Classy: Moussa Dembele has been one of Tottenham's best players this season

Classy: Moussa Dembele has been one of Tottenham's best players this season

Pivotal: Sigurdsson's equaliser could yet be the difference in the Champions League race

Pivotal: Sigurdsson's equaliser could yet be the difference in the Champions League race

Remaining Premier League fixtures

TOTTENHAM

Apr 21 Man City (H), 1.30pm
Apr 27 Wigan (A), 3pm
May 4 Southampton (H), 3pm
May 12 Stoke (A), 3pm
May 19 Sunderland (H), 4pm
TBC Chelsea (A)

EVERTON

Apr 13 QPR (H), 3pm
Apr 16 Arsenal (A), 7.45pm
Apr 20 Sunderland (A), 3pm
Apr 27 Fulham (H), 3pm
May 4 Liverpool (A), 3pm
May 12 West Ham (H), 3pm
May 19 Chelsea (A), 4pm

David Moyes: We"re contenders in the race for Champions League after Stoke victory

We're contenders in the race for Champions League, insists Moyes with rivals firmly in his sights after victory over Stoke

By
Carl Markham, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

21:02 GMT, 30 March 2013

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UPDATED:

21:03 GMT, 30 March 2013

Everton manager David Moyes believes his side are still well in the reckoning for Champions League qualification after a 1-0 victory at home to Stoke.

The match was decided by Kevin Mirallas' scintillating 70-yard run and finish in the first half and built on the morale-boosting win over champions Manchester City a fortnight ago.

It lifted the Toffees to within four points of fourth-placed Chelsea and, with Tottenham in third to play next week, there is further opportunity to put a dent in their rivals' chances.

Form: David Moyes' side recorded their third straight league win on Saturday

Form: David Moyes' side recorded their third straight league win on Saturday

'I am nearly as pleased with that result as I was with the one against Manchester City a fortnight ago,' said Moyes, whose side had not beaten the Potters since October 2010.

'We have not got a great record against Stoke so it was great to get over the line.

'It is great that we are going into April and people are still talking about Everton having a chance of a Champions League spot.

'Okay, it is a big call and a long way away but we are in with a chance and what we will try to do is finish as high up the table as we can.

'We believe we are in there. I don't think we have ever been out of it.

Stunning: Kevin Mirallas ran 70 yards before slotting the ball past Asmir Begovic to give Everton the lead

Stunning: Kevin Mirallas ran 70 yards before slotting the ball past Asmir Begovic to give Everton the lead

Congratulations: Mirallas celebrates his wonder goal with team-mate Victor Anichebe

Congratulations: Mirallas celebrates his wonder goal with team-mate Victor Anichebe

'We are hanging in there and are underdogs in terms of getting it, but we have those teams to play and we will go and give it a go.

'We have been close all season, we have matched most teams this year so we will try to do it again.
“Spurs are in a much stronger and healthier position than us, but we have been there or thereabouts most of the season and we'll not be too far away.'

Moyes was grateful to Mirallas' sixth goal of the season, but only his third in the league, for securing the three points.

'It was a great individual goal,' added the Scot.

Sublime: Kevin Mirallas (centre) was praised after his 'great goal secured all three points for the Toffees

Sublime: Kevin Mirallas (centre) was praised after his 'great goal secured all three points for the Toffees

'Sometimes against Stoke that is what you need, an individual who can take on people and thankfully he did it from about 70 yards out.'

Stoke have now won just once in 12 league matches and are only four points above the relegation zone despite their 13th-place position.

'I thought the last two away games, Newcastle and here, we have deserved something out of the game and it is just disappointing,' he said.

'You can't fault the players' commitment. I thought we played some good football at times and I don't think the players get the credit for the football we do play.

'We had chances but the disappointing thing is we haven't put them in the back of the net.

'I have been managing for a long time. I know for a fact, in our fifth year in the Premier League, our performances have been much better than the previous four years away from home but we haven't got the results.

'It has been that sort of season for us where we've been closer to winning games and being in games than we have before.

'What we need more than anything is a break – or to play badly and win a game.'

Oldham 2 Everton 2 – match report: Matt Smith scores equaliser

Oldham 2 Everton 2: Substitute Smith strikes again to force replay against Toffees

PUBLISHED:

19:55 GMT, 16 February 2013

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UPDATED:

20:07 GMT, 16 February 2013

Matt Smith scored late in the day to secure a replay at Goodison Park against Everton.

The 6ft 6in substitute nodded home from a corner in the fifth minute of stoppage time to tie things up.

The Latics had looked as though they were heading out after Victor Anichebe and Phil Jagielka had scored after Oldham's Jordan Obita had opened the scoring in the 13th minute.

Raucous: Matt Smith sent in the leveller to force a replay against Premier League opposition

Raucous: Matt Smith sent in the leveller to force a replay against Premier League opposition

Rising above it: Matt Smith heads home the last-gasp equaliser

Rising above it: Matt Smith heads home the last-gasp equaliser

MATCH FACTS

Oldham: Bouzanis, Brown, Grounds, Mvoto, Wesolowski (Furman 66), Tarkowski, Croft, Obita (Simpson 77), Iwelumo (Smith 61), Barnard, Baxter

Subs not used: Cisak, Byrne, Winchester, Millar

Goal: Obita 13, Smith 90

Everton: Howard, Baines, Jagielka, Distin, Neville, Gibson, Osman, Pienaar (Oviedo 79), Fellaini, Jelavic (Duffy 90), Anichebe (Mirallas 46)

Subs not used: Mucha, Heitinga, Hitzlsperger, Naismith

Booked: Neville

Goals: Anichebe 24, Jagielka 48

Referee: Phil Dowd

More to follow…

Flying: Phil Jagielka is mobbed after scoring Everton's second goal

Flying: Phil Jagielka is mobbed after scoring Everton's second goal

In the lead: Jagielka (centre) nods home from a Kevin Mirallas corner to put Everton a goal up

In the lead: Jagielka (centre) nods home from a Kevin Mirallas corner to put Everton a goal up

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Leveller: Victor Anichebe (centre) celebrates with his team-mates after bringing Everton back on terms

Leveller: Victor Anichebe (centre) celebrates with his team-mates after bringing Everton back on terms

Joy: Jordan Obita celebrates after putting the home side in the lead early in the match

Joy: Jordan Obita celebrates after putting the home side in the lead early in the match

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50-50: Lee Barnard (right) goes head-to-head with Everton's midfielder Marouane Fellaini

50-50: Lee Barnard (right) goes head-to-head with Everton's midfielder Marouane Fellaini

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Coming together: Chris Iwelumo (left) competes for the ball with Jagielka (right)

Coming together: Chris Iwelumo (left) competes for the ball with Jagielka (right)

Salute: Former Oldham manager Paul Dickov waves to fans of his old club from the press box

Salute: Former Oldham manager Paul Dickov waves to fans of his old club from the press box

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Close one: Leon Osman tries to hold off the challenge of Oldham's James Wesolowski

Close one: Leon Osman tries to hold off the challenge of Oldham's James Wesolowski

Looking on: Both Everton and Oldham staff watch the match from the edge of the pitch at Boundary Park

Looking on: Both Everton and Oldham staff watch the match from the edge of the pitch at Boundary Park

Shame: Cash-strapped Oldham told player not to swap shirts at the end of the match

Shame: Cash-strapped Oldham told player not to swap shirts at the end of the match

Sam Allardyce calls for instant replays

Big Sam calls for instant replays after referee blunders mar Everton clash

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 23 December 2012

Seeing red: Allardyce

Seeing red: Allardyce

Sam Allardyce has called for technology allowing managers to appeal decisions instantly during matches to be introduced and blasted senior figures in football for their ‘antiquated’ approach to the game.

West Ham and Everton will on Monday appeal against the straight red cards given to Carlton Cole and Darron Gibson by referee Anthony Taylor for similar challenges on Saturday.

Both players were sent off for raised feet but neither Allardyce nor David Moyes agreed with the decisions.

The referee’s actions were considered so poor even the home fans booed when Gibson was shown the second red card in injury time.

But it had a much greater impact on West
Ham who went ahead through Cole’s early strike but lost him in the 67th
minute. Three minutes previously Victor Anichebe had headed Everton
level and the numerical advantage helped the away side nick the game
through Steven Pienaar’s scrappy winner.

When asked if he would like a system similar to cricket or tennis where they can appeal decisions instantly and have replays looked at and decisions overturned, Allardyce replied: ‘Yes – the technology today means it’s done in less than two minutes at the absolute most. We used to have two TVs in the dugout. It used to be a big help with referee decisions.

Harsh call: Carlton Cole is given his marching orders

Harsh call: Carlton Cole is given his marching orders

‘The only way to make it better for us all is to bring technology into it. I’ve always said two or three challenges would be in our favour if we were allowed it. Forget about Platinis who are antiquated. I know they’re in strong positions and they affect the game, but they’re not doing us any favours by not allowing technology into the game. They affect the result. There’s 65million coming next year [if we stay in the Premier League].’

Allardyce spoke to Taylor after the match, an official he complained about to Premier League referee chiefs in 2010 when he was managing Blackburn Rovers in a match against Fulham. The Hammers boss watched replays of the incidents on a laptop straight after the match but Taylor could not review his decisions.

And Allardyce said: ‘Unfortunately [the referee] hasn’t got that privilege so it’s hard for him. He can only go from what he can remember from a split decision. It’s very difficult for him to explain why he did it and what he saw.

Double trouble: Taylor also sent off Everton's Gibson

Double trouble: Taylor also sent off Everton's Gibson

‘The referee’s should have their own laptop in their room. Then he could have a better discussion about decisions. And then move. But at the end of the day you can go and see him and it’s not going to make any difference.’

West Ham were already short of options in attack before the match and Allardyce is now relieved their Boxing Day fixture against Arsenal is postponed due to a planned Tube strike.

The 58-year-old added: ‘I haven’t got a team to play Arsenal, so it’s worked out all right in the end. We’ll count up the bodies [today], do no training and see how packed the medical room is. Losing Cole him for three games would be a severe blow which we can’t cope with.’

THE APPEALS PROCESS

HOW IT WORKS IN TENNIS…

Players can make three unsuccessful
appeals per set and get an extra one if it goes into a tie-breaker. They
have to appeal straight away to the umpire and Hawk-Eye replays
accurately a virtual version of what happened. If an appeal is
successful, it does not use up their quota. Out of the four major
tournaments only the French Open does not adopt the system because the
ball leaves marks in the clay.

HOW IT WORKS IN CRICKET…

The umpire Decision Review System was
first introduced in 2009 and allows both teams to make two unsuccessful
reviews of incidents per innings. A third umpire then watches video
replays and has access to technology, including Hawk-Eye, to make a
decision. Regardless of appeals the umpire can also refer to the third
umpire at any time for assistance.

HOW IT COULD WORK IN FOOTBALL…

Each manager could be allowed three
unsuccessful appeals per match, with an added appeal if a game goes into
extra time. A manager would have to appeal the decision straight after
it happened and the referee – who is already connected to the other
officials in the match with microphones and headsets – could refer to
another official with access to video replays and technology.

West Ham 1 Everton 2 – match report

West Ham 1 Everton 2: Two off as Pienaar strikes to send Toffees fourth

PUBLISHED:

16:53 GMT, 22 December 2012

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UPDATED:

17:23 GMT, 22 December 2012

Referee Anthony Taylor was the pantomime villain in West Ham and
Everton's final match before Christmas as two needless red cards spoilt
the latter's victory at Upton Park.

Taylor all but handed the Toffees three points and a place back in the
top four after controversially deciding Cole had left his foot in on
Leighton Baines midway through the second half.

Controversy: West Ham's Carlton Cole (L) was sent off for this challenge on Everton's Leighton Baines

Controversy: West Ham's Carlton Cole (L) was sent off for this challenge on Everton's Leighton Baines

Controversy: West Ham captain Kevin Nolan (C) appeals to match referee Anthony Taylor as he sends off Carlton Cole

Match facts

West Ham: Jaaskelainen, Tomkins, Collins, Reid, O'Brien (Spence 81), Noble, O'Neil (Maiga 58), Taylor, Nolan, Jarvis (Collison 88), Cole.Subs Not Used: Spiegel, Diarra, Moncur, Lletget.

Sent Off: Cole (67).

Booked: Maiga.

Goals: Cole 14.

Everton: Howard, Heitinga, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Osman, Gibson, Neville (Naismith 85), Pienaar (Oviedo 88), Jelavic, Anichebe (Duffy 90). Subs Not Used: Mucha, Hitzlsperger, Barkley, Vellios.

Sent Off: Gibson (90).

Goals: Anichebe 64, Pienaar 73.

Att: 35,005

Ref: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire).

Latest Premier League results, fixtures and table

The official evened up the red-card count in stoppage-time, finding Gibson guilty of a similar offence, having earlier angered Everton by chalking off Leon Osman's early header.

Cole gave West Ham a half-time lead and Victor Anichebe marked his Everton recall with his first goal for three months three minutes before Cole saw red, with Steven Pienaar making the man advantage count six minutes later.

Today's game was a test of how Everton and their opponents coped without their midfield heavyweights, with Toffees star Marouane Fellaini starting a three-match ban and Hammers talisman Mohamed Diame still out injured.

There certainly appeared to be a lack of drive from both sides in the opening moments and it was no surprise to see the first chance arrive via a set-piece in the ninth minute.

Baines delivered the type of devilish free-kick that is certain to keep him in the thoughts of bigger clubs with the transfer window looming, the unmarked Sylvain Distin nodding it into the ground and over the crossbar.

Baines produced another special three minutes later for Osman's disallowed goal, his corner headed home by one of the smallest players on the pitch but ruled out seemingly for Anichebe's block on Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Having yesterday called for clarification on “grappling” in the box, the irony surely could not have been lost on Everton boss David Moyes.

Up for it: Everton's Victor Anichebe equalised with a header

Up for it: Everton's Victor Anichebe equalised with a header

Cheers: Everton's Steven Pienaar (left) celebrates scoring the winner

Cheers: Everton's Steven Pienaar (left) celebrates scoring the winner

His players were furious and their ire only increased when Cole fired
West Ham in front two minutes later, the striker cutting inside the
recalled Johnny Heitinga far too easily before cracking in a low drive
from the edge of the box.

Heitinga continued to flounder and Moyes must have been ruing his
decision to switch Phil Jagielka to right-back in order to accommodate
the surprise return of Phil Neville from knee surgery, the Toffees
captain filling in for Fellaini.

The pace dipped again, although Osman almost provided a moment of
inspiration when Nikica Jelavic just strayed offside onto the
midfielder's through-ball.

Jelavic got his timing all wrong again four minutes after half-time when
a rare mistake from James Collins saw the ball ricochet through to the
striker, who could only send it straight at Jaaskelainen.

hIGH BALL: Everton striker Victor Anichebe (L) vies with West Ham United defender James Collins (R)

High ball: Everton striker Victor Anichebe (L) vies with West Ham United defender James Collins (R)

On the ball: Steven Pienaar takes on James Collins

On the ball: Everton's Steven Pienaar takes on James Collins

Gibson curled a free-kick narrowly wide and Everton continued to probe,
prompting West Ham boss Sam Allardyce to replace Gary O'Neil with Modibo
Maiga just before the hour mark, a move that almost paid off
immediately when the Malian scuffed Cole's cross wide.

And that was when it all went horribly wrong.

Maiga got himself booked for pushing Pienaar over in the 64th minute
and, from the resultant free-kick, the ball was worked left to the South
African, whose cross was glanced home brilliantly by Anichebe.

Three minutes later, Taylor made a the call that swung the game.

Cole hung his leg out in a bid to control a dropping ball and definitely
made contact with Baines but it looked anything but a reckless lunge.

'Ave it: Everton's Steven Pienaar, right, feels full force of James Tomkins

'Ave it: Everton's Steven Pienaar, right, feels full force of James Tomkins

To Cole's horror, Taylor thought otherwise, brandishing a straight red card.

The momentum was all with Everton and they completed their comeback six
minutes later, Osman's cross inadvertently played against Pienaar by
Kevin Nolan before trickling into the net.

Ten-man West Ham refused to concede defeat and Nolan almost made amends by volleying narrowly wide.

Several substitutions followed, including Jack Collison's first appearance of the season after knee surgery.

And just as the game was drifting towards the final whistle, it exploded into life in the dying seconds.

Jelavic sent a rebound wide from barely six yards and Nolan was unable to prod home after being played in at the other end.

And Gibson then saw red for an almost identical challenge to Cole's on
Mark Noble, although this one was slightly less debatable.

Kick it out protest is damaging for campaign – Neil Ashton

Neil Ashton: Player protests cause damaging divisions in the game

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UPDATED:

00:09 GMT, 22 October 2012

On Friday night the mobile phones of players across the country were buzzing as they swapped text messages: Who is in and who is out

Rio Ferdinand’s decision to abandon the Kick It Out campaign, in direct contravention of Sir Alex Ferguson’s instructions, is only one part of a growing discontent among some of the game’s leading black players.

It is a movement fuelled by a sense of grievance. On Saturday, Jason Roberts and players from Swansea and Wigan pointedly refused to wear T-shirts in support of the Kick It Out and Show Racism the Red Card campaigns.

Boycott: Anton Ferdinand refused to wear the Kick It Out shirt

Boycott: Anton Ferdinand refused to wear the Kick It Out shirt

On Sunday, their protest was joined by Anton Ferdinand, Nedum Onuoha, Junior Hoilett, Djibril Cisse, Alejandro Faurlin and Shaun Wright- Phillips, from QPR, and Steven Pienaar, Sylvain Distin and Victor Anichebe from Everton.

So how did it come to this Why are black players refusing to put on a T-shirt with a simple message, ‘One game, One community’, aimed at uniting football against racism

Chairman: Lord Ouseley

Chairman: Lord Ouseley

The refuseniks have certainly spread alarm among anti-racism campaigners. Ged Grebby, chief executive of Show Racism the Red Card, sent a desperate text message to those involved with the initiative on Saturday night.

It read: ‘Dear Team, Swansea and Wigan players have refused to wear our T-shirts today! This is a really backward step. We need to get the word out on what we do. Please forward this text message. This is a very serious threat to our work and the anti-racism movement.’

At the heart of the issue is Kick It Out, the body set up in England in 1993 with the brief to challenge discrimination and to provide an awareness programme across every level of the game.

Disillusionment with the organisation appears to have been bubbling away through a year scarred by the John Terry affair.

The Chelsea skipper’s triple punishment — a four-game ban, FA fine and club fine — for the unacceptable language he used towards Anton Ferdinand last October, has raised issues for black footballers.

Terry will be suspended for the visit of Manchester United on Sunday, but Kick It Out are being criticised for continuing their dialogue with Chelsea.

The organisation’s critics believe Kick It Out should have shunned the club when they announced that they backed the defender’s version of events and confirmed he would keep the captaincy.

To wear or not to wear: Everton's Steven Pienaar does not wear the Kick It Out shirt

To wear or not to wear: Everton's Steven Pienaar does not wear the Kick It Out shirt

Terry’s account was enough to secure a not guilty verdict in Westminster Magistrates Court, but the FA’s commission claimed his defence was ‘improbable, implausible and contrived’.

Some of the discontent is also directed at the FA, one of Kick It Out’s backers. This goes back to the reasoning given by England manager Roy Hodgson for leaving Ferdinand out of the Euro 2012 squad for ‘footballing reasons’.

The lingering suspicion among prominent England players is that it was more about avoiding the uncomfortable prospect of Terry and Ferdinand being in the same squad.

Other strands came into consideration as players pondered whether to support the Kick It Out and Show Racism the Red Card campaigns over the weekend.

Leading the boycott: Rio Ferdinand refused to support the campaign by wearing a T-shirt

Leading the boycott: Rio Ferdinand refused to support the campaign by wearing a T-shirt

Luis Suarez has never formally apologised to Manchester United left back Patrice Evra after repeatedly calling him ‘negrito’ during a fiery clash at Old Trafford last season.

Suarez, who served an eight-game ban and was fined 40,000 following the shocking incident at Old Trafford on October 15 2011, wore a Kick It Out T-shirt during the warm-up for Liverpool’s game against Reading.

He has shown little remorse for the incident and even refused to shake hands with Evra during a pre-match ceremony in February.

Some professionals are also angry after Lord Ouseley, chairman of the KIO campaign, claimed multi-millionaire footballers did not need any assistance to deal with issues of racism.

He added that it was ‘ridiculous’ if the players refused to wear T-shirts at the weekend as a direct protest against the organisation. His comments were met with outrage by some.

There will be an interesting exchange on Tuesday, when Reading striker Roberts is scheduled to attend an educational seminar at the Madejski Stadium in support of Show Racism the Red Card. Roberts was a key figure in leading the weekend protests, and it is hoped a dialogue may develop that may bring campaigners and footballers together again.

Lord Ouseley, who was part of the initial Kick It Out project in 1993, faces a difficult task to win over Ferdinand.

If he fails, perhaps the recently mooted breakaway organisation representing black footballers may be a step closer.

Shirt watch

Shirt watch

Victor Anichebe says Christianity and his mother helped him through bad times

Anichebe reveals only his faith and his mother helped him through horror spell

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 20 October 2012

When you possess a physique like Everton's super-strong striker Victor Anichebe, it is hard to imagine falling prey to self-doubt and depression.

But the 24-year-old Nigerian international frankly admits only a strong religious upbringing and some choice words from his Mum kept him going during the dark times when one bad injury seemed to follow another.

Anichebe's return to goal-scoring form has mirrored Everton's excellent start to the season, which they hope to continue at bottom club QPR on Sunday.

Tough times: Victor Anichebe needed his mother's help

Tough times: Victor Anichebe needed his mother's help

But it hasn't always been like that for the 6ft3in striker, who grew up on Merseyside after his parents moved there from Africa when he was a baby.

He missed a whole season after suffering knee ligament damage against Newcastle in 2008, a further six months after injuring his other knee warming up in a pre-season friendly against Preston, and four months last year after tearing a groin muscle when on international duty for Nigeria in Madagascar.

'There were plenty of times when I was at a low ebb. To come back after 12 months, get injured again, and then again, I began to ask whether it was worth it,' he admitted.

'It's hard for people to know what really understand what it is like being injured. It is not just physical, it is mental too.

'You see your team-mates out there when you should be playing with them. Your friends and family tip-toe around, not knowing whether they should talk to you about being injured.

'I am a Christian but it was difficult to keep my faith at times. It was easy to think it is all rubbish and didn’t mean anything, but it does.

'My mum was supportive and said God had given me this ability so I should use it. She almost forced me to continue with my faith when I was in danger of losing it.

'If you stick with something, you will get through to the other side, and it got me through some hard situations.

'Steven Pienaar (Everton team-mate) also has his faith. I’m not saying that it makes you a great player, but it helps. It’s always nice to think you have that extra push behind you.'

As he chats about his beliefs, Anichebe appears the archetypal gentle giant. Yet he is no shrinking violet on the pitch, happy to use his power and aggression to unsettle opponents.

Faith: Anichebe is aided by his Christian beliefs

Faith: Anichebe is aided by his Christian beliefs

He was once criticised for a studs-up challenge on Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek during a reserve derby that attracted a lot of publicity on Merseyside. And he was sent off for a lunge on Manchester City's Pablo Zabaleta in December 2010, the last time City lost a home game.

'I don't need to go to the gym to lift weights and be big,' he reveals. 'When I come off the pitch, I am chilled, normal, not this aggressive person. Some people say too laid-back because I don't do enough. But I might be something else on the pitch.

'Look at boxers, you see them praying before a fight, and then they try to punch someone's head off. I am big and powerful, I use the attributes God has given me. I am not like Steven (Pienaar), where I will glide past players.'

Injuries have restricted Anichebe to only 40 Premier League starts since signing professional forms for Everton in 2005, the club he first trained with as a 10-year-old.

On the flip side, he has been used as a substitute 85 times by manager David Moyes – a club record. The signings of Belgian international Kevin Mirallas and Croatia's Nikica Jelavic means there is plenty of competition for places up front but that is something that appears to have inspired rather than deterred Anichebe, who has scored three goals already this campaign.

Tricky: Anichebe suffered racism in Ukraine

Tricky: Anichebe suffered racism in Ukraine

Rather than any opponent, the toughest experience Anichebe has had to overcome on a football pitch came early in his career when Everton played in a European game in Ukraine and encountered similar scenes to the alleged racism suffered by England under-21 players in Serbia last week.

'It happened before the game and was probably the worst thing I have ever seen in my life,' he said.

'I was walking around the pitch with the team and the whole crowd were doing big monkey chanting. It was like they were doing it synchronised, together – it was crazy.

'Everyone was spitting on me, so much it was like it was actually raining. I told the guards and they just laughed. I could see where the England boys were coming from last week.'

He also underwent a painful experience in 2009 when police questioned him as he looked into a jewellery shop window during a walk to help ease the boredom of being injured. Humiliatingly, the officers grabbed his crutches in case he tried to “escape”. They later apologised for the incident, which Anichebe believes was racially motivated.

If Anichebe continues his recent good form, he may have a difficult dilemma to make if Nigeria call him up for the African Cup of Nations in January.

Fine form: Anichebe has played well of late

Fine form: Anichebe has played well of late

A proud fan of the Super Eagles – and his parents have both returned to live in Nigeria – he is torn between helping out his country and showing loyalty to Everton after they have supported him.

'I love my country but Everton is what I am thinking about,' he admits.

'Everton helped me so much particularly when I was depressed about my injuries. They stood by me. They sent me away to America and to Belgium for rehab. I could look back at my injuries but it's better to forget about that stuff and be a man. As long as I am fit, I am good.'

Fifa 2013

Victor Anichebe was speaking at the Everton FIFA 13 Pro Player Challenge. Log on to www.youtube.com/EASPORTSfootball to see tournaments taking place across the country. EA SPORTS FIFA 13 is out now on all formats including PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360 and iOS.

Graham Poll: Everton and and Newcastle match marred by wrong decisions

Thrilling match marred by three bad decisions

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UPDATED:

22:53 GMT, 17 September 2012

Everton are the latest team to suffer from the slow introduction of goal-line technology.

Substitute Victor Anichebe's header hit the bar and TV pictures clearly show it then crossed the line, but assistant Ceri Richards failed to give the goal.

Well over: Victor Anichebe was not awarded a goal although the ball clearly crossed the line

Well over: Victor Anichebe was not awarded a goal although the ball clearly crossed the line

The fact Marouane Fellaini earlier had a goal wrongly disallowed for offside by Richards, when played on by Steven Taylor's trailing leg, only added to Everton's frustration.

Richards can understandably say he couldn't be 100 per cent sure the ball had completely crossed the line so couldn't give it.

But for the offside goal that doubt must work in the attacker's favour.

Assistants are instructed to give the forward the benefit of the doubt.

Referee Mike Jones couldn't be blamed
for his assistant's errors, but later compounded them by failing to
play a simple advantage.

Hatem
Ben Arfa broke and Steven Pienaar fouled him, but Ben Arfa still had
possession and lost the chance to build a great attack. Officials will
continue to make mistakes but must be helped with goal-line technology.

Why the delay

Hold up: Everton's Victor Anichebe puts the ball into the net, but his 'goal' was disallowed

Hold up: Everton's Victor Anichebe puts the ball into the net, but his 'goal' was disallowed

And another one: The referee failed to play an advantage, halting a decent Hatem Ben Arfa run

And another one: The referee failed to play an advantage, halting a decent Hatem Ben Arfa run

David Moyes fumes at Everton disallowed goals

We were robbed! Moyes rages at disallowed goals as Everton are held by Newcastle

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UPDATED:

22:22 GMT, 17 September 2012

Everton manager David Moyes was left to bemoan two disputed decisions by officials which cost his side the chance of victory at home to Newcastle.

Having seen Leighton Baines' opener cancelled out by Demba Ba just after half-time Moyes was aggrieved Marouane Fellaini had one effort ruled out for offside and Victor Anichebe's header was not spotted by linesman Ceri Richards despite appearing to cross the line.

Anichebe almost spared the officials with a goal with two minutes remaining only for Ba's second of the night to snatch a point for the Magpies.

Hold up: Everton's Victor Anichebe puts the ball into the net, but his 'goal' was disallowed

Hold up: Everton's Victor Anichebe puts the ball into the net, but his 'goal' was disallowed

Robbed: Anichebe's header is clearly over the line but the goal was not given by the officials

Robbed: Anichebe's header is clearly over the line but the goal was not given by the officials

'There are two goals missed so I can't get them back but you hope that the linesman has a look and sees how he missed them,' said Moyes, who spoke to the officials after the game.

'I had a word and said 'You've missed two goals' and it does affect the outcome of the game but what can I do about it

'I am sure the referee will have a look at them himself and see if he got it right or wrong – which we all know because we have seen it.

Robbed again: Everton's Marouane Fellaini scores but the Belgian was wrongly flagged offside

Robbed again: Everton's Marouane Fellaini scores but the Belgian was wrongly flagged offside

'Fellaini's goal was onside and if your job is to look along the line you hope the linesman sees if the ball crosses the line but we've seen many occasions where they don't get it right.

'I thought the offside goal was a goal from the touchline so I was surprised when it was ruled out.

'The other one you can't really tell but the reaction of the players was that they felt it was over and they are not usually far off the mark.'

Come on ref! Fellaini protests after his goal was ruled out for offside

Come on ref! Fellaini protests after his goal was ruled out for offside

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew, who had to watch from the stands as he served the first game of a two-match touchline ban, admitted Everton had been hard done to.

'The one over the line was definitely in,' he said.

'I have been saying all along that technology must come in and it has cost Everton a crucial goal tonight.'

Bad call: Play was called up for Steven Pienaar's foul on Hatem Ben Arfa but should have continued

Bad call: Play was called up for Steven Pienaar's foul on Hatem Ben Arfa but should have continued

West Bromwich 2 Everton 0: Steve Clarke wants Jonas Olsson to stay

Clarke hopes West Brom's superb start will convince Olsson to stay at Hawthorns

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UPDATED:

19:32 GMT, 1 September 2012

West Brom boss Steve Clarke hopes his side's flying start to the season will persuade central defender Jonas Olsson to sign a new contract.

Albion overcame Everton 2-0 at the Hawthorns thanks to goals from Shane Long and Gareth McAuley as they took their points tally to seven from the opening three games.

Saving grace: Jonas Olsson (left) blocks a shot by Everton's Victor Anichebe

Saving grace: Jonas Olsson (left) blocks a shot by Everton's Victor Anichebe

But it was Olsson, who is in the final year of his contract, who was voted the official man of the match.

The Sweden international is
guaranteed to remain at the Hawthorns until at least January with the
closure of the transfer window but Clarke hopes he will remain on a
long-term basis.

Seal the deal: Gareth McAuley nods in the second goal

Seal the deal: Gareth McAuley nods in the second goal

'It was very important Jonas stayed.
Anyone who has followed West Brom over the years, knows Jonas is an
integral part of team. He's crucial,' he said.

'I think keeping him is a statement from the club in that they have key players – but they don't have to cash in on them.

Cheers: McAuley (right) is congratulated after his goal

Cheers: McAuley (right) is congratulated after his goal

Breakthrough: Shane Long celebrates opening the scoring

Breakthrough: Shane Long celebrates opening the scoring

'It might be a risk but maybe if we keep winning matches it will make his decision easier to sign a new contract.'

Clarke was delighted with Albion's second-half performance and their flying start to his first managerial job.

Argy bargy: Yacob vies for the ball with Nikica Jelavic

Argy bargy: Yacob vies for the ball with Nikica Jelavic

Heads up: Jonas Olsson leaps to win the ball

Heads up: Jonas Olsson leaps to win the ball

'It was a good afternoon for us, It
was a good game for us. Everton came here in a good moment but we
arrived also in a good moment,' he said.

'I thought the first half was a bit
too cagey, too good teams feeling each other out. But in the second
half, when the game opened out a wee bit, I thought we were good value
for the win.

'It's been a good start. When you looked at the games we had (Liverpool, Tottenham, Everton) you thought it would be difficult.

Discussion: Tim Howard talks to Phil Jagielka

Discussion: Tim Howard talks to Phil Jagielka

Man in the middle: Marouane Fellaini

Man in the middle: Marouane Fellaini

'But seven points from nine is a good start and gives us something build on.'

Everton surrendered their 11-game
unbeaten league record stretching back to March and manager David Moyes
admitted he may have been too gun-ho in his approach to try and snatch
victory.

'I thought for probably the first
hour we had good control but we didn't do well enough in the final third
today and that was the reason we didn't win,' he said.

'I've got to say West Brom defended
very well. I made a change (Kevin Mirallas for Steven Naismith) to try
and go for it because I thought we weren't doing enough to score and in
opening up we conceded a goal from it.

'I probably should have stayed the
way we were and maybe come away with a nil-nil but I wanted to try and
win the game. We had enough of the ball to do that.

'But in the final third today we hardly crossed it, we hardly passed it well. But that's great credit to West Brom.'

Long converted a cross from Peter
Odemwingie for the opening goal mid-way through the second half. Then
McAuley wrapped up the points when he headed in a Chris Brunt centre.

Midfield battle: James Morrison gets the better of Leon Osman

Midfield battle: James Morrison gets the better of Leon Osman

Spit it out: Leighton Baines will not have been pleased with the result

Spit it out: Leighton Baines will not have been pleased with the result

Graft: Everton were seen off by a hard-working West Brom

Graft: Everton were seen off by a hard-working West Brom