Football: Hapless Everton turn to Amokachi

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The Independent Online
Manchester City 4

Rosler 56, 80, Walsh 61, 63

Everton 0

Attendance: 19,867

DANIEL AMOKACHI, the 21-year-old Nigerian World Cup striker, completed his pounds 3m move to Everton yesterday and on this evidence he cannot come a day too soon.

The signing was confirmed by Mike Walker after he had seen his side thrashed by Manchester City, three of the four goals coming in a seven-minute spell of the second half. Amokachi, who scored twice in the World Cup, including a 30- yard piledriver against Greece, had spent Thursday and Friday agreeing personal terms before moving from Club Bruges and Walker must have been grateful he did not give his new purchase the chance to see just how poor Everton were yesterday before he put pen to paper.

Walker described the performance as 'not acceptable for this club. Once we went 2-0 down we were a shambles. If the players cannot cope then we will have to do something about it'.

If Walker wanted an illustration of the value a foreign striker can bring to a club in trouble then City's Uwe Rosler demonstrated it perfectly. Brian Horton's cut-price Klinsmann has struck a productive partnership with Paul Walsh, which threatened to break the deadlock even before they combined successfully in the 56th minute, Walsh screwing back a cross for the German to head home. Rosler's headed flick and Steve McMahon's unselfish pass allowed Walsh to walk the second past Neville Southall and a flowing move engineered by McMahon and Nicky Summerbee saw Walsh score spectacularly as Everton's flimsy defence disintegrated.

Rosler matched Walsh's two goals with an equally good strike 10 minutes from time, Gary Flitcroft carving out the opening with a glorious through ball that emphasised his growing influence now that he is fully fit once more, but Rosler's chip past the advancing Southall was immaculate.

After the trials of his first 12 months in charge, Horton has seen his side score seven goals in two games at Maine Road this season. But the next year, if Horton's nerves can stand it, will not all be as straightforward and pleasurable as this. McMahon and Flitcroft will rarely be allowed to dominate midfield as completely as they did in the second half yesterday and Walsh and Rosler will not find many more disorganised defences.

Even more noticeable was Everton's depressing absence of any thrust or urgency up front. Two balls flighted in the general direction of the six-yard box by their one substantial summer signing, Vinny Samways, in the first half were the sum total of their threat.

Tony Cottee was substituted before the end and will not have been consoled by Walker's striking transfer activity. Everton supporters, however, may feel differently.

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