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Everton FC off launch pad with draw at Chelsea
Published : 06 Dec 2010 07:50:00
HE once worked for the RAC, so it was somehow fitting that Jermaine Beckford provided the emergency help which should get Everton's broken-down season motoring once again. The striker's late equaliser at Stamford Bridge could almost have been scripted, after a week which saw his ability to thrive at the top level of English football questioned repeatedly. But back on home turf, the London boy's headed goal against the club that rejected him as a youngster hinted that perhaps he will find a more permanent home in Merseyside after all. Beckford missed a hat-trick of chances against West Brom as Everton slumped to that hideous 4-1 home rout, but he buried the one that mattered this time around to show that he, and his team-mates, are ready to start atoning. David Moyes has been at Everton for more than eight years, and before this, his 400th game in charge, he admitted a worry that some of his players may have become overly familiar to his fire-brand motivational techniques. How does he instil the right level of fear of failure into seasoned pros who have heard it all before from him? But his concerns proved unfounded, as the players responded to his rage at their listless defeat by the Baggies with a completely re-vitalised performance. Stamford Bridge is fast becoming an unlikely happy hunting ground, and Everton repeated their never-say-die heroics of last season when they earned a point with a 3-3 draw. Admittedly, Carlo Ancelotti's champions were not at their best, particularly in the second half, but if Everton can maintain these levels then their hopes for a top six finish could become more than just a pipedream.