August 20, 1900
The football served up to the Liverpool public last season at Goodison Park was certainly not of a very exhilarating character. It may have been that anticipations were based on too high a standard, but whatever the reason, it must be admitted that the results were of a most disappointing nature.
What appeared on paper a strong side, clever, and abounding in individual skill, proved, in actual warfare, a very moderate combination, and eleventh place in the League table was the result of their labours. The last match of the season produced the most brilliant exhibition of the year, demonstrating in no uncertain fashion that the team was capable of far better things than had been accomplished.
However, a new season, it is to be hoped, will bring with it a change in fortune, and, judging from the final match of last year, with the palpably weak points strengthened, Everton naturally expect an increased measure of success. Several of last year’s players have journeyed to pastures new. Wilf Toman, Bert Sharp, and George Molyneux flocking to Southampton, Ellis Gee to Notts County, whilst Wilfred Oldham will, unless some arrangement can be arrived at with regard to his residence, not be seen in harness at Everton this season.
The composition of the League team in the earlier matches will most probably differ but slightly from that which did duty when the curtain was rung down last season. Joe Turner will, of course, take the outside left position, and with Jimmy Settle, who, by the way, has been appointed captain of the team, ought to prove a powerful left-wing – one more in accord with the past traditions of the club.
Alex Macdonald, John Proudfoot, and Jack Sharp should, in conjunction with the above pair, provide an attacking force capable of holding its own throughout the arduous combats of the season. The half-back division will be materially strengthened by the accession of Tom Booth, of the Blackburn Rovers, whilst further behind great things are expected of Fred Halliday, who came from Crewe with a big reputation, as right back. Willie Muir, George Kitchen, William Balmer, George Eccles, Sam Wolstenholme, Joe Blythe, Walter Abbott and Dickie Boyle are all available for active service, and Green, late of Stalybridge Rovers, who participated in some of the closing matches last year, will no doubt be afforded another opportunity of proving his worth at half-back. In addition, several promising local players have been secured, and native talent will not suffer from lack of encouragement.
The Selection Committee, whose duty is was to choose the various teams, has been substituted by a reversion to the old order of procedure, and each member of the directorate will now have a voice in this matter.
Death has, however, been busy in their ranks, and following on the demise of Mr. John C. Brooks, comes the sudden decease of Mr. John Prescott, causing a loss to the club which can scarcely be overestimated. Another familiar figure will be much missed this season, for Mr. Cranshaw has resigned his position on the management of the club, the chairmanship of which has been assigned to Mr. Clayton.
All the players have put in an appearance at headquarters, and are in as fit condition as is possible at this period. The reserve team will again participate in the Lancashire Combination, in which they gained such a high position last season, the bulk of the players being again available.
The ground, with its splendid stand accommodation, is in capital condition, and all that is wanted to make the coming season successful, and to stir the public pulse to something approaching old-time excitement, is for the Everton team to demonstrate on the field the capabilities which the men undoubtedly possess. No more fitting opportunity could be desired than the present to obliterate the misfortunes of last season.
(Athletic News: August 20, 1900)