Copyrighted by James Smith © 2010





Liverpool vs Everton the friendly derby? Remembering EVERY red card between the two in Premier League history
We take a look back at those fixtures to see exactly which player has received their marching orders
By Peter Whalen
1 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
No other fixture in Premier League history has produced more red cards than the Merseyside derby.
This fixture has produced a staggering 22 red cards since the 1996/97 season - one of which was an FA Cup clash. Everton have collected 14 of those in comparison to Liverpool's eight. We take a look back at those fixtures to see exactly which player has received their marching orders.
1996/97 - Everton 1-1 Liverpool (Fowler, Unsworth)
Nine derby games go by, then BANG all of a sudden two dismissals in one game. David Unsworth left a heavy challenge on Robbie Fowler, before both players started throwing punches at one another. They were both banned for three matches. Was this a blip or was this setting the tone for the future? The latter it would seem.
Robbie Fowler, Liverpool and David Unsworth, Everton are sent off by referee Stephen Lodge for fighting
1999/00 - Liverpool 0-1 Everton (Westerveld, Gerrard, Jeffers)
Another derby, another scrap. Francis Jeffers and Sander Westerveld appeared inspired by Fowler and Unsworth as they started a punch up of their own. They were both dismissed, with Steven Gerrard also seeing red for a waist-high challenge on Kevin Campbell.
2000/01 - Liverpool 3-1 Everton (Gravesen)
It was a bad day at the office for Everton and Thomas Gravesen with the midfielder shown red at Anfield.
2000/01 - Everton 2-3 Liverpool (Biscan)
Igor Biscan was sent-off in a five goal thriller following a late challenge on Unsworth.
2002/2003 - Everton 1-2 Liverpool (Weir, Naysmith)
David Weir picked up a second yellow card for tripping Gerrard, and then shortly after, Gary Naysmith joined Weir for an early bath for a foul on El Hadji Diouf.
2004/05 - Liverpool 2-1 Everton (Baros)
Milan Baros seeing red didn't stop Liverpool picking up all three points. This incident would be the start of a chapter that would see a number of dismissals in future Merseyside derbies.
2005/06 - Everton 1-3 Liverpool (Arteta, Neville)
Phil Never committed a second bookable offence after fouling Mohammed Sissoko. Fan favourite Mikel Arteta also saw red for a senseless foul on Liverpool's Luis Garcia.
Arteta being sent off... vs WBA
2005/2006 - Liverpool 3-1 Everton (Gerrard, Van der Meyde)
This year certainly didn't lack drama. A moment of madness from Gerrard (kicking the ball away) then a bad challenge on Kevin Kilbane, resulted in a red card. Van der Meyde also headed for the tunnel after a stray elbow in an aerial challenge.
2007/2008 - Everton 1-2 Liverpool (Hibbert, Neville)
Tony Hibbert's work was done for the day as he brought down Gerrard with the midfielder bearing down on goal. Neville then picked up a red card as he handled the ball in the closing stages.
2008/09 - Everton 0-2 Liverpool (Cahill)
The Australian had his afternoon cut short after a mistimed tackle on Xabi Alonso.
2008/09 - Everton 1-0 Liverpool (Lucas)
It was Everton who progressed in the FA Cup as Lucas Leiva was also sent off.
2009/10 - Liverpool 1-0 Everton (Kyrgiakos, Pienaar)
Sotirios Kyrgiakos earned a deserved red card after a lunge at Marouane Fellaini. Steven Piennar underwent the same fate as frustration proved to get the better of him.
Referee Martin Atkinson shows a straight red card to Liverpool defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos against Everton
Referee Martin Atkinson shows a straight red card to Liverpool defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos against Everton
2011/12 - Everton 0-2 Liverpool (Rodwell)
Jack Rodwell was sent off by referee Martin Atkinson in what looked like a legitimate tackle on Luis Suarez. The red card was later subsequently rescinded.
2015/16 - Liverpool 4-0 Everton (Funes Mori)
Ramiro Funes Mori produced a horror tackle on Reds striker Divock Origi - arguably the worst ever tackle in a Merseyside derby.

Everton look to the future - but Liverpool must ensure they continue to remind them of their past troubles at Anfield
Blood Red: James Pearce on how Liverpool must continue inflicting Anfield woe on Everton to keep top four hopes alive
ByJames Pearce
1 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Evertonians were recently given a glimpse of a potentially bright future with the announcement of the £300million plans for a new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock. Liverpool's mission at Anfield on Saturday afternoon is to ensure that their neighbours can't shake off the painful reminders of the past. History is on the Reds' side heading into a mouthwatering contest which will go a long way to defining both clubs' season. Unbeaten in the last 13 derbies, Liverpool are enjoying their best run against the Blues since they went 15 matches without defeat between 1972 and 1978. Everton's current 16-game winless streak at Anfield in league visits in their most barren run ever. In those 16 matches, the Blues have scored just eight goals. Liverpool have won the past five Anfield derbies by a combined score of 12-1.
The faces may have changed but since the hapless Roy Hodgson oversaw a shambolic defeat at Goodison in October 2010 the Reds' dominance in this fixture hasn't. There have been plenty of occasions since when Everton have crossed Stanley Park full of hope but repeatedly they have crumbled under pressure. Psychologically, Liverpool have the edge. There was little between the teams at Goodison back in December when Sadio Mane's last-gasp strike settled a scrappy game.
Fortune favoured the brave after Jurgen Klopp brought on Daniel Sturridge in search of a winner.
Victory was also testament to Liverpool's fitness levels as they grew stronger at a time when the hosts started to wilt. Everton were left to curse their inability to take advantage of the Reds' sloppy first-half display. Back then Liverpool, still dreaming of maintaining a title challenge, moved 14 points clear of Ronald Koeman's men. Now that gap stands at just six points. Everton took some major strides forward under Koeman at a time when Klopp's Reds faltered. The Blues' only league defeat since the clubs last met came at White Hart Lane. The prolific Romelu Lukaku maybe unsettled but he's on course to land the Golden Boot and Ross Barkley has hit a purple patch. Joel Matip, who will be making his derby debut, will be vital in nullifying their threat. This fixture always matters but both clubs' involvement in the battle for European places adds extra spice to their 228th meeting. The outcome at Anfield on Saturday will have major repercussions for the rest of the campaign. Everton's recent revival has given them hope not only of launching a late push for the Champions League spots but of leapfrogging the Reds. The Blues have only finished above their neighbours on three occasions in the three decades since they last won the title. A Liverpool victory would effectively end talk of a shift in the balance of power on Merseyside. Klopp's side would be looking up in pursuit of second placed Spurs rather than over their shoulder. The Reds will have the perfect launchpad for the run-in having played their final fixture against top-seven opposition. A first home defeat to Everton this century would be deeply damaging. Not only would the Blues move to within three points of Liverpool but Manchester United and Arsenal would also be celebrating. It would be a disastrous start to a pivotal week with the midweek visit of Bournemouth followed by a tricky trip to Stoke. The timing of the derby straight after the international break isn't ideal and injuries have depleted both line ups. But the Reds can hardly use the absence of Adam Lallana as an excuse when Everton are without Seamus Coleman, Ramiro Funes Mori and Morgan Schneiderlin. Much will hinge on the ability of Brazilian duo Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino to lead the charge for Liverpool after their gruelling assignments in South America.
The stakes are high. Liverpool must ensure that Everton depart with a familiar sinking feeling.

How Everton should line-up against Liverpool: Another Derby start for Valencia?
ECHO writers pick their Blues team for Anfield clash - now you can do the same
By Chris Beesley
1 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
So Morgan Schneiderlin will be joining both Seamus Coleman and Ramiro Funes Mori on the sidelines for the Merseyside Derby but just who should Everton manager Ronald Koeman pick?
The Dutchman is hoping to become the first Blues boss since Walter Smith 17-and-a-half years ago to taste victory at Anfield. There are plenty of big calls for the Blues boss as head takes his side across Stanley Park. Who comes in at right-back or should he switch to a three man defence with wing-backs?
Should veteran Gareth Barry slot in for Schneiderlin in the anchor man role and what about Romelu Lukaku's supporting cast? Kevin Mirallas and Dominic Calvert-Lewin have both been among the goals or could Ademola Lookman spring a surprise?
Here's what some of the ECHO's sportsdesk had to say:
Phil Kirkbride: Gueye can do a job at wing-back
The absences of Seamus Coleman and Morgan Schneiderlin are major blows to Everton.
And the latest set-back suffered by James McCarthy only compounds matters.
Mason Holgate is the natural choice to replace Coleman but the 20-year-old has looked more comfortable playing as part of a back three.
But then who plays as a right wing-back?
Idrissa Gueye or Tom Davies could both do a more than adequate job in that role, even if it is far from ideal. Gareth Barry is the obvious replacement for Schneiderlin, Ross Barkley may need to play a slightly deeper role while Enner Valencia, though a late returnee from international duty, should get the nod to partner Romelu Lukaku - mainly for his work-rate and pace. My team (3-5-2): Robles; Holgate, Williams, Jagielka; Gueye, Davies, Barry, Barkley, Baines; Valencia, Lukaku.
David Prentice: I'm worried about too many kids in the derby cauldron
Dominic Calvert-Lewin was so, so close to getting a derby debut.
But I'm worried about too many kids in the cauldron of a derby - and Tom Davies has to start.
So I've gone for Enner Valencia, who was excellent in the Goodison derby and who has scored in two of his last three outings from the subs bench. Holgate is the natural replacement for the unfortunate Seamus Coleman. My team (4-2-3-1): Robles; Holgate, Jagielka, Williams, Baines; Gueye, Barry; Davies, Barkley, Valencia; Lukaku.
Chris Beesley: Blues will hope Barry's nous outweighs his lack of pace
So much for Morgan Schneiderlin donning the gloves and boxing clever - Ronald Koeman has now said that the French midfielder has been KO'd before even entering the ring at Anfield and will not take part.
Blues will then be hoping that the nous that Gareth Barry's vast experience provides therefore outweighs the veteran's lack of pace for such a high-tempo fixture. Whether Koeman chooses to stick with a flat back four or switch to three centre-backs, Mason Holgate seems to be the natural choice to slot in for the stricken Seamus Coleman. Kevin Mirallas has produced some decent displays in this fixture in the past but after playing over an hour for Belgium on a draining trip to Sochi during the week, I'd be tempted to stick with Dominic Calvert-Lewin. After all the youngster netted last time out and like Mirallas who converted a penalty against Russia, he was also on target for England Under-20s on Tuesday against Senegal but only had to go as far as Brittany. My team (4-3-3): Robles; Holgate, Baines, Jagielka, Williams; Barry, Gueye, Davies; Barkley, Calvert-Lewin, Lukaku.
Joe Rimmer: Calvert-Lewin will give Reds defence something to think about
It's time to be brave. Ronald Koeman said as much in his pre-match press conference.
There's certainly no reason to be afraid of this Liverpool team.
True, Everton have plenty of injuries. But I have faith in the youthful Mason Holgate to perform in place of Seamus Coleman and the experienced Gareth Barry to do a job in place of Morgan Schneiderlin.
Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin celebrates scoring his side's first goal I've a feeling Tom Davies could have a huge part to play in this derby, and he plays alongside fellow local lad Ross Barkley behind a duo of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Romelu Lukaku. There's something I like about Calvert-Lewin, he's young, confident, strong and aggressive - and he will give the Liverpool defence something to think about.
And perhaps distract them from the danger that is Romelu Lukaku. My team (4-2-3-1): Robles; Holgate, Williams, Jagielka, Baines; Gueye, Barry; Davies, Barkley, Calvert-Lewin; Lukaku.

Everton's Matty Pennington set for shock Merseyside derby start
Mason Holgate and Dominic Calvert-Lewin also poised to line up for Blues at Anfield this afternoon
By Phil Kirkbride
1 APR 2017 Liverpool ERcho
Matty Pennington is in line to start for Everton in today's derby at Anfield.
The 22-year-old defender has impressed Ronald Koeman of late and looks set to form part of the Blues' back three against Liverpool. Young striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin is also set to retain his place in the starting line-up as Everton go looking for their first win across Stanley Park in 18 years.
Koeman has been forced into a tactical re-think after the Everton squad was hit by a series of injuries in the lead up to the game. Seamus Coleman suffered a season-ending double leg break playing for the Republic of Ireland last week, James McCarthy was injured in the warm-up of the same game and Ramiro Funes Mori may need surgery on a damaged knee. Morgan Schneiderlin, carrying a calf injury picked up against Hull City earlier this month, has also been ruled out. And with Koeman looking likely to play a 3-5-2 system against Liverpool, Pennington is in the frame to take Mori's place alongside Ashley Williams and Phil Jagielka. Mason Holgate is also ready to replace Coleman at right wing-back while Calvert-Lewin, having scored the opener against Hull, is in line to keep his place.

Jamie Carragher on Neil Taylor's tackle on Seamus Coleman - '99% of players do it'
Carragher has given his take on the tackle that broke Coleman's leg
By Joe Rimmer
1 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Jamie Carragher has given his take on Neil Taylor's horror tackle on Seamus Coleman , saying that almost all players are capable of something similar. Carragher points out that while Taylor's tackle on Coleman was reckless - and the former Liverpool man says the Aston Villa defender should be ashamed - he believes that it is the sort of challenge plenty of players have attempted in their careers. Writing in his Daily Mail column , Carragher said: "It's something I always wanted to do. To this day, I am still sent pictures on social media of collisions I had in derbies with Steven Pienaar and Phil Neville. When the tone needs to be set and the crowd need to be revved up, nothing is better than a big, shuddering tackle. "We all think the same. Remember Roy Keane's comments before the Republic of Ireland faced Wales. He said he wanted to see his players 'hit' those from Wales. It reminded me of what Hughie used to tell us during our Academy days. "Yet it also shows why the comment 'he's not that type of player' is nonsense. We are all that type of player. I'd say 99 per cent of footballers have made challenges as bad as Taylor's — or even worse — at some point in their careers. They were just lucky no bones were broken." In fact, Carragher believes that when the whistle sounds to kick-off today's Merseyside derby, players will look to 'rattle the bones' of their opposition. He added: "We all winced at the footage of Neil Taylor's reckless tackle that left Coleman requiring surgery to fix his right leg, which was broken in two places. We feel deep sympathy that his season has ended in such a dreadful fashion, when he was in excellent form. "But when the game begins at 12.30pm, Coleman's plight will be put to the back of all minds and Reds and Blues will say two more words: hit him." "Besides a goal in the first minute, the thing Liverpudlians and Evertonians want to see from their players in the opening exchanges is a challenge to — in the words of my old youth coach Hughie McAuley — 'rattle the bones'."

Liverpool vs Everton team news - Dejan Lovren and Lucas Leiva start for Reds
Marko Grujic among the substitutes as injuries force Jurgen Klopp to shuffle his pack
By James Pearce
1 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Lucas Leiva and Dejan Lovren will start for Liverpool in the 228th Merseyside derby against Everton at Anfield. Long-serving Brazilian Lucas has got the nod to replace the injured Adam Lallana in midfield. The 30-year-old, who will be appearing in his 17th derby, will play in the holding role with Emre Can operating further forward alongside Gini Wijnaldum. The only other change to the Reds side which drew 1-1 with Manchester City prior to the international break is at the back. Jurgen Klopp has opted to pick Lovren ahead of Ragnar Klavan. Lovren hasn't played since the draw with Chelsea at the end of January. The Croatia international was hampered by a knee injury and since returning to fitness last month he's been behind Klavan in the pecking order. However, Klopp has decided the time is right to hand Lovren a recall alongside Joel Matip at centre-back. LIVERPOOL: Mignolet, Clyne, Lovren, Matip, Milner, Lucas, Can, Wijnaldum, Mane, Firmino, Coutinho. Subs: Karius, Klavan, Moreno, Alexander-Arnold, Grujic, Woodburn Origi.

Everton fans in bullish mood ahead of 228th Merseyside derby
The Reds host Ronald Koeman's Blues on Saturday lunchtime looking to claim a Premier League double
By Paul Gorst
1 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
The 228th Merseyside derby is fast approaching - and Everton fans are ready for the trip to Anfield!
The Blues are looking to avenge December's crushing, last-gasp defeat to Liverpool when they make the short trip across Stanley Park on Saturday lunchtime. Everton are also attempting to end a painful winless run that stretches back to September 1999, and Ronald Koeman has insisted the Toffees have nothing to fear. It's 18 years since Everton last won at Anfield - so where are that 1999 team now?
Everton manager Ronald Koeman put his reading glasses on to issue a pre-prepared statement on James McCarthy and Ireland "It's a new season, a new game, a new manager by Everton and I don't know why [there is fear]," said the Dutchman on Friday. "I heard a little bit about the last two seasons of Everton that maybe they were too afraid to play against Liverpool. "Why do you need to be afraid to play against Liverpool? I don't understand that." Such bullish statements seemed to have worked on the Blues' fanbase, and while some have traditional pre-match nerves, plenty are heading to Anfield in bullish mood.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp send message to stricken Everton star Seamus Coleman
The Blues right-back suffered a horrendous leg break last month during the Republic of Ireland's friendly with Wales
By Paul Gorst
1 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has reserved a special mention to Seamus Coleman after the Everton star's season was ended by a horrendous leg break last week. The Republic of Ireland right-back was taken immediately to hospital for surgery on a double leg break after a tackle from Wales' Neil Taylor on March 24. Coleman now faces an arduous road to recovery, and ahead of the 228th Merseyside derby on Saturday lunchtime, Klopp sent the Irishman a get-well soon message.
"I would like to pass on my regards and best wishes to Seamus Coleman, who due to very unfortunate circumstances is not available to play today," Klopp wrote in the match-day programme notes.
"I do not know him personally, but as a football supporter I love his character, his positive approach to the game and his commitment to his club. "There is a lot to admire about this player and it is his personal qualities that will help him as he recovers from this setback and returns to the game."
The Everton defender faces at least six months on the sidelines but was said to be in better spirits almost a week on from the horror challenge. Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill said: "I think he's doing much better now. It's not something you're going to get over in 24 hours, 36 hours. He's in much better spirits. "It's encouraging to see. He's very positive, which I knew he would be. It's a tough injury. Could he get over it? If anybody can quickly, then Seamus can do that."

Confirmed Everton team ahead of the Merseyside derby with Liverpool - youthful line-up for Blues
Ronald Koeman puts his faith in a youthful side for the 228th Merseyside derby
By Phil Kirkbride
1 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Matty Pennington has been handed his first start of the season as Ronald Koeman makes two changes for today's derby at Anfield. The 22-year-old will line up as part of a three-man Everton defence as they chase a first win here in 18 years. Dominic Calvert-Lewin keeps his place in the side after scoring against Hull City and will partner Romelu Lukaku in a 3-5-2 formation.
Koeman has been forced to shuffle his pack following injuries to Seamus Coleman and Morgan Schneiderlin who had started the last game against the Tigers. Joel Robles starts in goal for the 13th straight game and has Ashley Williams, Phil Jagielka and Pennington in front of him. Mason Holgate, as expected, comes in at right-back with Leighton Baines on the opposite flank. Everton's midfield comprises of Idrissa Gueye, Tom Davies and Ross Barkley. Calvert-Lewin and Lukaku are up front.
Everton XI: Robles, Holgate, Williams, Jagielka; Pennington, Gueye, Davies, Baines; Barkley, Calvert-Lewin, Lukaku Subs: Stekelenburg, Kenny, Barry, Lookman, Mirallas, Valencia, Kone

Jurgen Klopp can't contain anger as Everton's Ross Barkley escapes red card in Merseyside derby
The Blues midfielder was given a yellow for a high challenge on Dejan Lovren in the first half of Saturday's derby
By Paul Gorst
1 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Jurgen Klopp's anger was visible to all inside Anfield after Ross Barkley escaped a red card in Saturday's Merseyside derby. The Everton midfielder went in high on Dejan Lovren in the first half, and was perhaps lucky to escape a straight red, with referee Anthony Taylor opting to only caution the England international. And the decision to book Barkley left Liverpool boss Klopp literally hopping with fury on the touchline. The German raced well outside the confines of his technical area and was typically demonstrative as he fumed at Taylor's decision. Sadio Mane gave the Reds the lead on eight minutes, as he picked up where he left off from his match-winning performance in December's derby.
Everton's Ross Barkley protests his innocence after a challenge on Liverpool's Dejan Lovren during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool Matthew Pennington, who was making his first start under Ronald Koeman, restored parity for the Blues after Liverpool failed to deal with a corner. However, a moment of Brazilian brilliance from Philippe Coutinho gave the Reds the lead once more before the break. Barkley was given a yellow for his challenge on Lovren (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Mane was taken off with a suspected ankle injury, and his replacement, Divock Origi, slammed in a third on the hour mark to it 3-1. That was how it stayed at Anfield as Liverpool recorded their first Premier League double over Everton since Kenny Dalglish's Reds in the 2011-2012 campaign. Everton's 18-year winless run at Anfield goes on, with Klopp becoming the first Liverpool manager to win his first three Merseyside derbies.

Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho quick to send Everton to derby defeat
Paul Wilson at Anfield
Saturday 1 April 2017 Observer
Liverpool kept up their top-four hopes with a second victory of the season over Everton, who were unable to rise to the occasion or even show much of a hint of their recent league form. Both sides found themselves depleted after the international break, but in Matthew Pennington and Dominic Calvert-Lewin Everton threw in two players with barely a dozen appearances between them and no experience of Anfield. Liverpool were in control from the start and, truth to tell, won without having to be at their best. Jürgen Klopp paid a classy tribute to Séamus Coleman in his programme notes and though Everton were missing other players, notably Morgan Schneiderlin and Ramiro Funes Mori, it was the patched-up right side of the defence where the unlucky Irishman normally operates that Sadio Mané exploited to give Liverpool an early lead. After evading a Tom Davies challenge Mané carried the ball across the edge of the Everton area, and Mason Holgate and Matthew Pennington managed to get in each other's way in their attempts to close him down. The two defenders were also obscuring the view of Joel Robles, so that when Mané hit a crisp low shot through Pennington's legs an unsighted goalkeeper was down too late to save it. Robles did rather better in preventing Philippe Coutinho extending Liverpool's lead midway through the first half, leaping to get a strong hand to a goal-bound shot. Even then the ball looped up and over the goalkeeper and would have gone in but for Phil Jagielka tidying up on the line.
Everton were not being overrun; they were holding their own in midfield without managing to set Romelu Lukaku or Ross Barkley free up front. The Liverpool defence was coping well enough with Everton's limited attacking threat until the visitors equalised from a set piece, Pennington drilling home from close range for his first goal for the club after Jagielka had got his head to a Leighton Baines corner.
The Everton supporters tucked away in a corner of the Anfield Road end celebrated noisily, only to be silenced within three minutes when Coutinho succeeded in what he had been trying to do earlier and sent a curling right-foot shot into Robles' top corner. As soon as the Liverpool forward got away from Idrissa Gueye it was clear he was going to try his luck, and though Pennington and Ashley Williams both recognised his intention neither was able to get to him quickly enough. For a Merseyside derby the first half was unusually open and entertaining, though two Everton players went into the book before the interval. Davies mistimed a challenge on Mané, while Barkley, who had already been spoken to for a foul on Emre Can, went over the top after showing too much of the ball to Dejan Lovren, catching the defender on the ankle when he had no chance of retaining possession. Barkley seemed in danger of allowing his frustration to get the better of him once again – he has previous against these opponents – though it was an innocuous looking collision between Baines and Mané that resulted in Liverpool have to make the first substitution. Mané hobbled off and Divock Origi came on, to put himself on the scoresheet with virtually his first touch. Such was the opportunity presented by the Everton defence, with Williams and Jagielka both missing in the middle, that Origi could hardly miss. Invited to beat Robles from the edge of the area the substitute confidently did exactly that. There were further bookings for Williams and Can but with the result not in doubt the rest of the game passed off relatively peacefully. It might have been different had Everton pulled a goal back, but when Holgate had the opportunity from a Baines cross he headed tamely over. Lukaku might have done better, though the story of Everton's afternoon was that the Belgian was hardly in the game. Everton can always rely on their neighbours to put any hint of a revival into perspective. Cue (to the tune of For He's a Jolly Good Fellow) "You haven't won a trophy since 1995".

Liverpool 3-1 Everton: Reds continue unbeaten run against Toffees
April 1 2017 Belfast Telegraph
Liverpool strengthened their grip on Champions League qualification by effectively ending the top-four aspirations of Everton, whose woeful run in Merseyside derbies continued. The Blues have not won at Anfield since 1999 - their last victory of any sort in the cross-city encounter was almost seven years ago - and despite lofty ambitions going into the game they never looked like actually ending that sequence.
First-half goals from Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho, sandwiched between a debut equaliser for Matthew Pennington, were followed by substitute Divock Origi's clincher to make it 3-1 as Jurgen Klopp extended his 100 per cent derby record to three wins, the only manager in the club's history to do so.
The six-point gap which had given Everton, who had lost once in 12 matches since the December derby at Goodison Park, optimism before kick-off now looks an insurmountable one. Ronald Koeman, whose argument with Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill over the treatment of James McCarthy saw him sign off his Twitter response 'From the master tactician', was forced to switch to a back three after injuries on international duties but it never looked coherent. Mane took immediate advantage, starting how he finished at Goodison where he scored an added-time winner, with a superb individual effort after just eight minutes. Having exchanged passes with Roberto Firmino close to halfway the Senegal international set off on a diagonal run which had defenders backing off enough for him to steer a left-footed shot across Joel Robles, who by favouring his near post left a lot of room to his left. The Everton goalkeeper was almost further embarrassed when he palmed Coutinho's shot up and onto the crossbar, a warning Everton did not heed when the Brazil international once again cut back onto his right foot to curl a shot inside the same post on the half-hour. In between Pennington, on his first appearance of the season, had scrambled home Everton's only shot on target in the first half after Liverpool failed to deal with Leighton Baines' corner. The visitors were fortunate to get the interval with 11 men on the pitch as a pumped-up Ross Barkley somehow managed to escape a caution until the 39th minute when, after two previous reckless challenges, he was lucky to only see yellow having gone over the top on Dejan Lovren, back in the side for the first time since the end of January. Defender Ashley Williams may yet face retrospective action, however, after appearing to stand on Emre Can in an earlier tussle in an encounter which had the sort of feistiness associated with a fixture which has witnessed 21 red cards in 49 previous Premier League meetings. Mane's departure to a potential knee ligament injury early in the second half was a major blow for the hosts but any respite for Everton was short-lived as his replacement Origi swept home Liverpool's third with a first-time shot from Coutinho's pass less four minutes after coming on. Liverpool seemed content with their lead so Everton were given a touch more freedom but teenager Dominic Calvert-Lewin had their last chance and should have done better with his close-range header after Simon Mignolet did well to parry Mason Holgate's deflected shot.

Joel Robles was woeful but Romelu Lukaku is the real letdown for Everton
Everton player ratings from Greg O'Keeffe after Blues lose 3-1 to Liverpool in the Merseyside derby
By Greg O'Keeffe
1 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Joel Robles 3
The negatives: pretty much everything else. Rooted ponderously to the spot for two of Liverpool's goals, his kicking was pretty woeful throughout too.
Leighton Baines 6
Tried to link-up with Ross Barkley and his deliveries offered flickering moments of incision.
Ashley Williams 3
Shocker. Didn't get a block in on Sadio Mane before his opener, horrendously ill-positioned and flat-footed before Origi got the third. He was slow and vulnerable throughout whenever Liverpool came at speed.
Phil Jagielka 7
Everyone worried his lack of pace would be cruelly exposed but in fact he turned the clock back with a powerful display. Won his challenges and put his body on the line with some crucial blocks. Strong leap and header to create the opening for Penninton's goal too.
Matthew Pennington 4
Difficult afternoon for a promising defender. Criminally allowed Coutinho to come inside onto his right foot too often with damaging consequences. Even his goal, as alert and confidently taken as it was, couldn't atone for a tough afternoon when he was thrust onto this stage by necessity.
Mason Holgate 5
Another young man who will use this experience to come back stronger in the long term. In the short-term his distribution was disappointing and he was part of a vulnerable right-sided disaster zone, especially in the first half. Got forward gamely enough though and unlucky not to score with a deflected second half effort.
Idrissa Gueye 5
A litany of poor decision making in the first half. Dived in and didn't win the ball before Mane struck and his passing was uninspired all game. Gave us nothing in an attacking sense and simply being busy and getting about the pitch wasn't enough today.
Tom Davies 5
Booked early on amid the blood and thunder, he wilted as the game wore on and ultimately it passed him by. The maelstrom effected his decision-making which was perhaps understandable. Offered little as an attacking threat.
Ross Barkley 5
He tried to take the game to Liverpool in a physical and attacking sense. He tried to lead by example and make this the Barkley Derby. He just couldn't do it. Too frequently his final ball went awry, his key decision was forced by the heat of battle. Underwhelming.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin 5
A bright start faded away as the contest trudged towards its all-too predictable conclusion. Physically he was no match for Liverpool's back line and gave Matip and Lovren little concern.
Romelu Lukaku 4
First the mitigation. Yes he was starved of service, yes he was isolated. You can understand his frustration about that because it's not the first time. But what did he do to rise above those challenges like a top player must? Did he have a shot? Did he produce an outstanding moment on the rare occasion he got the ball in a decent area? Nope.
His slack first touch was a motif of the first half while the Blues tried to build attacking momentum.
So disappointing.
Gareth Barry (Davies, 66) 6
Helped re-assert some control of the possession battle.
Enner Valencia (Pennington, 67) 5
Thankless task as Liverpool went into cruise control. Ran about a lot and tried to stretch them at least.
Kevin Mirallas (Calvert-Lewin, 82) 6
Lively and alert . One twisting run had Liverpool's defence scrambling but the shot was high into the Anfield Road.

Cruel lesson as youthful Everton slump to Merseyside Derby defeat
Blues woeful run at Anfield continues with 3-1 defeat
By David Prentice
1 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Ronald Koeman's bold youth policy backfired in the 228th Merseyside derby as derby debutants Matthew Pennington, Mason Holgate and Tom Davies were given a cruel lesson. Goals from Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho and substitute Divock Origi wiped out Matthew Pennington's first top flight goal, celebrated with relish at the Kop End as Liverpool completed a derby double.
No manager has selected more teenagers in the Premier League this season than Koeman, four youngsters making 29 appearances before this afternoon. But while Pennington enjoyed the ecstasy of a first Premier League goal at the Kop End to level Sadio Mane's spectacular eighth minute strike, he was comprehensively outwitted by Coutinho just three minutes later as Liverpool quickly restored their lead.
Substitute Origi effectively sealed the win midway through the second half just three minutes after replacing Mane. The solitary bright spot for the Blues came in the 19th minute. Young defender Matthew Pennington hadn't featured in an Everton line up since last May, let alone score a goal, but he was the beneficiary when Leighton Baines' first corner of the afternoon created panic in the Liverpool penalty area. Jagielka headed on, Ashley Williams challenged Coutinho inside the six yard box and the ball broke loose for a gleeful Pennington to pounce. He celebrated with the relish of a young man who had never scored a top flight goal before. But Everton rarely came as close again. Dominic Calvert-Lewin, another youngster selected for his first derby start, had an opportunity to reduce the arrears with a header from Baines cross but planted his effort over the crossbar.

Ronald Koeman says Martin O'Neill statement was laughable
Everton boss: 'I face something unfair and really bad informed. It's about laughing'
1 April 2017 Irish Times
Everton manager Ronald Koeman says that his spat with Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill had no impact on his team's 3-1 defeat to Liverpool on Saturday. Earlier this week the Everton boss claimed that James McCarthy was not fit to feature at the Aviva Stadium for last week's qualifier against Wales, despite being named in O'Neill's starting line-up. "James, as a strong (person) decided to play for his country, so when asked if he was fit to play he said he felt he was, and he was selected to start the game by the Ireland manager who, in my opinion – in this instance – was not protecting the player," Koeman said during his press conference on Friday evening. O'Neill responded by branding Koeman the "master of the blame game". Claiming that McCarthy, who has not actually played for Ireland since October 9th, 2016, was only afforded 11 days off after the European Championships before returning to preseason training with the Premier League club. Asked if the comments had been a distraction ahead of the Merseyside derby at Anfield, Koeman said: "No, no of course not. My first job is preparing the team.
"I face something unfair and really bad informed. It's about laughing. I'm really serious. My answer was that James McCarthy got three and half weeks of holidays and not 11 days.
"If you react, please at least be well informed about the whole question."
The defeat means that Everton have not won at Anfield since 1999 — their last victory of any sort in the cross-city encounter was almost seven years ago — and despite lofty ambitions going into the game they never looked like actually ending that sequence.

Ronald Koeman criticised for post-Merseyside derby Liverpool rant and for claiming football is 'a man's game'
Koeman's post-match interview led to a claim that football is 'a man's game' as he criticised the behaviour of Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp
by Jack de Menezes
April 1 2017 Independent
Ronald Koeman's claim that football is 'a man's game' caused controversy after the Merseyside derby Getty Ronald Koeman landed himself in the centre of a sexism storm after claiming football is "a man's game" in a post-match rant against Liverpool following Everton's 3-1 Merseyside defeat. The Everton manager, who has also been involved in a back-and-forth row with Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill this week, was evidently angry with how Sadio Mane's injury was treated, along with the behaviour of the Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp. Koeman was also on the defensive after a nasty tackle from Everton midfielder Ross Barkley saw the England international booked for planting his boot studs-first on Dejan Lovren's ankle, a challenge that infuriated Klopp and the rest of his backroom staff.
"It's part of football," Koeman said of the challenge from Barkley. "I saw also some tackles from Lucas and that's all about football, but we don't make a show like the bench of Liverpool about faults, what happened on the pitch. We're different, we're more into the game and not about what happened with referees, linesmen and tackles. It's football, it was a hard but fair game and that's football.
"I don't like coaches from the bench the whole time shouting to referees, to linesmen and to make a big show about tackles... because it was one tackle and they were crazy, and even [when] they did not need a physio on the pitch. It's not what I like, it's a man's sport and your behaviour has to be like that."
Koeman's claim immediately raised eyebrows, given the rise of women's football across the globe, and a number of social media users criticised the Dutchman for his comments as well as his admission that he was "proud" of the performance despite the 3-1 defeat. t comes after a difficult week for Koeman, having seen Everton defender Seamus Coleman ruled out for at least six months after breaking his leg while on international duty, as well as engaging in the public spat with his Irish manager, Martin O'Neill. O'Neill was critical of Koeman's use of midfielder James McCarthy at the start of the season following the 2016 European Championship. It triggered a response from Koeman on Twitter, in which he denied O'Neill's accusation of mis-treatment and mocked the use of the term "master tactician" that O''Neill used this week. "James McCarthy began his pre-season three and a half weeks after Ireland were knocked out of the Euros. From the master tactician," Klopp wrote.

Liverpool 3 Everton 1: Hosts dominate Merseyside derby and edge up to third in Premier League
Everton's woeful run against the Reds continues
By Carl Markham
1 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Liverpool strengthened their grip on Champions League qualification by effectively ending the top-four aspirations of Everton, whose woeful run in Merseyside derbies continued. The Blues have not won at Anfield since 1999 - their last victory of any sort in the cross-city encounter was almost seven years ago - and despite lofty ambitions going into the game they never looked like actually ending that sequence.
First-half goals from Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho, sandwiched between a debut equaliser for Matthew Pennington, were followed by substitute Divock Origi's clincher to make it 3-1 as Jurgen Klopp extended his 100 per cent derby record to three wins, the only manager in the club's history to do so.
The six-point gap which had given Everton, who had lost once in 12 matches since the December derby at Goodison Park, optimism before kick-off now looks an insurmountable one. Ronald Koeman, whose argument with Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill over the treatment of James McCarthy saw him sign off his Twitter response 'From the master tactician', was forced to switch to a back three after injuries on international duties but it never looked coherent. Mane took immediate advantage, starting how he finished at Goodison where he scored an added-time winner, with a superb individual effort after just eight minutes. Having exchanged passes with Roberto Firmino close to halfway the Senegal international set off on a diagonal run which had defenders backing off enough for him to steer a left-footed shot across Joel Robles, who by favouring his near post left a lot of room to his left.
The Everton goalkeeper was almost further embarrassed when he palmed Coutinho's shot up and onto the crossbar, a warning Everton did not heed when the Brazil international once again cut back onto his right foot to curl a shot inside the same post on the half-hour. In between Pennington, on his first appearance of the season, had scrambled home Everton's only shot on target in the first half after Liverpool failed to deal with Leighton Baines' corner. The visitors were fortunate to get the interval with 11 men on the pitch as a pumped-up Ross Barkley somehow managed to escape a caution until the 39th minute when, after two previous reckless challenges, he was lucky to only see yellow having gone over the top on Dejan Lovren, back in the side for the first time since the end of January. Defender Ashley Williams may yet face retrospective action, however, after appearing to stand on Emre Can in an earlier tussle in an encounter which had the sort of feistiness associated with a fixture which has witnessed 21 red cards in 49 previous Premier League meetings. Mane's departure to a potential knee ligament injury early in the second half was a major blow for the hosts but any respite for Everton was short-lived as his replacement Origi swept home Liverpool's third with a first-time shot from Coutinho's pass less four minutes after coming on. Liverpool seemed content with their lead so Everton were given a touch more freedom but teenager Dominic Calvert-Lewin had their last chance and should have done better with his close-range header after Simon Mignolet did well to parry Mason Holgate's deflected shot.

Dejan Lovren on Ross Barkley challenge - Liverpool defender refuses to condemn despite 'some nasty tackles'
Jurgen Klopp was furious on the sideline but referee Anthony Taylor only produced a yellow card, much to the German boss' anger
By Kristian Walsh
1 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Dejan Lovren has refused to condemn Ross Barkley for his rash first-half challenge after a bad-tempered Merseyside derby. But the Croatian did admit to Everton putting in "some nasty tackles", much like they did at Goodison. The Blues midfielder caught the Liverpool centre back with a high foot on his shin in an attempt to win a loose ball, leaving Lovren writhing in agony. Jurgen Klopp was furious on the sideline but referee Anthony Taylor only produced a yellow card, much to the German boss' anger. Back in December, when the Reds won at Goodison, Barkley was also criticised for a challenge on Jordan Henderson, which yielded a yellow card by official Mike Dean.
"Listen, I don't want to talk about this now," he told Sky Sports. "It's over.
"You can expect it in the derbies, things like this happen. There will be headlines about that, I will leave that with our manager. "We saw it already. Last time there were some nasty tackles, it was this time also, but it's part of the game." Liverpool strengthened their grip on a top four place with a 3-1 win over the neighbours after goals from Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho and Divock Origi. Matthew Pennington had briefly equalised for the visitors, but their winless run at Anfield is now extended to 18 years.
The result also sees the Reds move into third, with Lovren confident his side can continue their push to qualify for the Champions League. "We still have eight games left, we just need to be calm and take as many points as possible because the big sides are facing each other and we've already done that.
"Now it's on us." On Romelu Lukaku, the Premier League's top goalscorer, the defender paid tribute to his team-mates for keeping him quiet. The Belgian failed to register a single shot on goal in a frustrating afternoon for the 23-year-old. "Lukaku is a top striker," he added. "He's scored many goals this season and it's always quite tough to play against top strikers. "We did a great job defending altogether, not just me, well done to everyone."

Everton boss Ronald Koeman slams Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool staff after Blues lose the Merseyside derby
The Blues boss was far from happy with the behaviour of the opposite bench
By David Prentice
1 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton boss Ronald Koeman has criticised the behaviour of a member of the Liverpool backroom staff who wanted "eight red cards" for Everton players at Anfield today. Koeman, after expressing "pride" in his side's performance during the 3-1 defeat, asked that the Reds bench "behave a little bit more."
Asked whether Ross Barkley was fortunate to escape a second yellow card in the first half he said: "Maybe you are right that Ross Barkley deserved two yellows, but if I watch the Liverpool bench, and one Liverpool coach – not the manager but one of the coaches – the referee would have to show eight red cards to Everton. "Please behave a little bit more. "Making that show, I don't like that."
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp replied: "In Gernany it's nicer because we sit together (in the post-match press conference) and he says something then I react. It's different here. He didn't say anything to me and we shook hands after the game. "My boys are fine. They are really good boys and if you meet them you would know that. "We wanted all the players to leave the pitch without injuries but sometimes you can't avoid injuries in football."

Everton legend Peter Reid slams Blues' Merseyside derby performance - 'They are a million miles away from the top sides'
Reid disagreed with Koeman's assessment that Everton played well in the 3-1 defeat at Anfield
By Joe Rimmer
1 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton legend Peter Reid says the Blues are a 'million miles away from the top sides' after watching Ronald Koeman's men lose 3-1 to Liverpool in the Merseyside derby. Reid was speaking on Sky after the game, and he criticised Everton for losing the battle to Liverpool at Anfield. He said: "Everton didn't turn up. Forget about tactics just win your individual battles. "Lukaku was distinctly average. I don't think there was enough blue shirts there wanting it. If you haven't got that you'll get beat. Liverpool deserved to win, Everton were very poor. "I said before kick off you need to come and stand up and get an improvement - Everton are a million miles away from the top sides. That's where they are."
Following the game, Everton boss Koeman said he was proud of his side's display, saying the Blues stopped Liverpool from playing their usual game. He told Sky: "I think the final result is not reflected in our performance. They have some quality players we conceded too easy the second and the third. Started by our mistake and we were punished. Overall we can be proud of how we played and how we made it difficult for Liverpool. "That is how we like to play. "We made it difficult for Liverpool. They had to play the long ball. It was not the Liverpool what we know because Everton did well." Reid disagreed with the Everton boss, he added: "I wasn't watching the same game. I don't mean that disrespectfully. I thought Liverpool were much the better side. "I respect his opinion but I don't agree with it."

'Clueless and chaotic' - Everton fans react to Merseyside derby defeat
The wait for an Anfield win goes on after a disappointing defeat to Jurgen Klopp's Reds
By Paul Gorst
1 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton 's 18-year winless run at Anfield goes on after a disappointing 3-1 reverse to Liverpool in the 228th Merseyside derby . A string of injuries robbed Ronald Koeman of the chance of fielding his strongest lineup, with the likes of Ramiro Funes Mori, Morgan Schneiderlin, Seamus Coleman and James McCarthy all ruled out. Koeman subsequently named a youthful-looking lineup with six players aged 23 or under, and an inexperienced side struggled to contain their neighbours. Sadio Mane picked up where he left off in the December derby by netting inside eight minutes after converting with a low effort.
Blues boss Koeman raised eyebrows by picking Matthew Pennington for his first start of the season, but the young defender repaid his manager's faith by restoring parity just before the half-hour mark.
However, Philippe Coutinho regained the lead for the Reds before the break.
Divock Origi made it 3-1 after coming on a substitute in the second half, and the Blues struggled to carve out anything in the way of clear-cut chances. Here's how the Toffees fans reacted to Saturday's defeat.
There's been nothing in this. But Everton have gifted Liverpool three goals. No surprise with so many youngsters on #EFC
— Matt Jones (@MattJFootball) April 1, 2017
Us away at Chelsea,Spurs then today show just how far behind we are.
Especially at the back, where we've been clueless & chaotic #derby
— Joe Scott (@litanyoftittery) April 1, 2017
Good to see Robles making an effort for the goals
— Paul Cotterill (@cotters84) April 1, 2017
Bigger picture!
We're in April, that's our 2nd defeat this year with a patched up side.
9pt gap EFC & LFC, not 29 some pundits think it is.
— Tony Scott (@Tony_Scott11) April 1, 2017
Pity we never seen the real EFC we've all witnessed this year.
Weirdly enough, doesn't hurt as it used to.
Improving but not quite there yet
— Tony Scott (@Tony_Scott11) April 1, 2017
Important the players don't think this season is over, regardless of what we think. Learn from the mistakes and don't hide at United #EFC
— Ben Grounds (@Ben_Islington) April 1, 2017
Our big players don't turn up for the big games and that is why they are at a team in 7th. Everton are in 7th as they need more quality #EFC
— Ell Bretland (@EllBretland) April 1, 2017
Ross's head went and wasn't good at all. But he tried God bless him, he really did. Lukaku: not so much ...
— Niall Scott (@citywaster3am) April 1, 2017
Liverpool haven't won this game, #Everton have lost it. When will we ever learn!
— Ronnie's Blues (@Rons_Blues) April 1, 2017
Incredible club, great squad, very good team, we just need to sort the mindset.
Keep smiling my fellow blues! #EFC
— Mark Thomas (@dixiedeansboots) April 1, 2017
Fair result, no complaints.
Far too many injuries for EFC too cope in a big match.
Felt for EFC youngsters, big players didn't back them.
— Tony Scott (@Tony_Scott11) April 1, 2017

Liverpool 3-1 Everton: Reds continue Toffees'
April 1 2017 The Scotsman
Liverpool strengthened their grip on Champions League qualification by effectively ending the top-four aspirations of Everton, whose woeful run in Merseyside derbies continued. The Blues have not won at Anfield since 1999 - their last victory of any sort in the cross-city encounter was almost seven years ago - and despite lofty ambitions going into the game they never looked like actually ending that sequence. First-half goals from Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho, sandwiched between a debut equaliser for Matthew Pennington, were followed by substitute Divock Origi's clincher to make it 3-1 as Jurgen Klopp extended his 100 per cent derby record to three wins, the only manager in the club's history to do so. The six-point gap which had given Everton, who had lost once in 12 matches since the December derby at Goodison Park, optimism before kick-off now looks an insurmountable one. Ronald Koeman, whose argument with Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill over the treatment of James McCarthy saw him sign off his Twitter response 'From the master tactician', was forced to switch to a back three after injuries on international duties but it never looked coherent. Mane took immediate advantage, starting how he finished at Goodison where he scored an added-time winner, with a superb individual effort after just eight minutes. Having exchanged passes with Roberto Firmino close to halfway the Senegal international set off on a diagonal run which had defenders backing off enough for him to steer a left-footed shot across Joel Robles, who by favouring his near post left a lot of room to his left. The Everton goalkeeper was almost further embarrassed when he palmed Coutinho's shot up and onto the crossbar, a warning Everton did not heed when the Brazil international once again cut back onto his right foot to curl a shot inside the same post on the half-hour. In between Pennington, on his first appearance of the season, had scrambled home Everton's only shot on target in the first half after Liverpool failed to deal with Leighton Baines' corner. The visitors were fortunate to get the interval with 11 men on the pitch as a pumped-up Ross Barkley somehow managed to escape a caution until the 39th minute when, after two previous reckless challenges, he was lucky to only see yellow having gone over the top on Dejan Lovren, back in the side for the first time since the end of January. Defender Ashley Williams may yet face retrospective action, however, after appearing to stand on Emre Can in an earlier tussle in an encounter which had the sort of feistiness associated with a fixture which has witnessed 21 red cards in 49 previous Premier League meetings. Mane's departure to a potential knee ligament injury early in the second half was a major blow for the hosts but any respite for Everton was short-lived as his replacement Origi swept home Liverpool's third with a first-time shot from Coutinho's pass less four minutes after coming on. Liverpool seemed content with their lead so Everton were given a touch more freedom but teenager Dominic Calvert-Lewin had their last chance and should have done better with his close-range header after Simon Mignolet did well to parry Mason Holgate's deflected shot.

Everton manager Ronald Koeman insists he was 'proud' of display in derby defeat
Blues boss bristles when told his side never got going
By David Prentice
1 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Ronald Koeman insisted he was "proud" of his side's performance in the 228th Merseyside derby, despite a 3-1 defeat which may have been even wider. The Blues boss gave three youngsters their derby debuts and also started with Dominic Calvert-Lewin for the first time in a derby.
Afterwards he was defiant. Asked for his assessment of the match, a journalist added: "You never really seemed to get going, in the first half especially." He bristled: "Huh. If you start with a question like that, we can stop. Because if I mention that as the manager of Everton that I am really proud about my team, then your question is a different world. "What pleased the manager is how we played today.
"We had a gameplan, tried to press them. We made it relly difficult. We came back after an unlucky goal, a good goal but an unlucky goal between the legs which is always difficult for the goalkeeper. I think we controlled the game. "It was a face to face game in the first half. We came back at 1-1 and we conceded too easily the second goal. We accept the quality of Coutinho, his finish is great. "But the best period of the game was where we controlled the game after half-time. We had some chances and then we made a mistake and they punished us for that mistake in our ball possession. "We got some good open chances, two or three chances, and if you see the stats it is really close.
"The final score is not, but we need to learn. "Compare both teams, We had four boys playing aged 22 and less. You need to learn from this but I am proud how we played." Koeman then underlined his willingness to blood youngsters. Three players were making their derby debuts in Mason Holgate, Matthew Pennington and Tom Davies, while Dominic Calvert-Lewin's only previous experience of the fixture had been a late substitute's cameo in December. The Blues boss added: "I am not afraid to put them in. We played how we like to see Everton play. "The young players were not the key. Liverpool also missed some good players but they still had top quality players and the young boys can be top quality players. That is the difference. The other players have the experience but to get that experience you have to play. Our young boys deserevd to play. "If you get players back from international duty you need to change. We didn't change our game plan but we changed Holgate instead of Coleman and Pennington instead of Funes Mori and we played how I like to see Everton play, which is why I'm proud of our team."

Jurgen Klopp responds to Ronald Koeman criticism over touchline antics
Afterwards Everton boss Ronald Koeman criticised the behaviour of one of Klopp's coaching staff for asking for "eight red cards"
By Neil Jones
1 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Jurgen Klopp refused to be drawn into a war of words with opposite number Ronald Koeman after Liverpool's Merseyside derby win over Everton at Anfield. The Reds prevailed 3-1 after a hard-fought 90 minutes, with goals from Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho and substitute Divock Origi securing the win.
The game saw just four yellow cards in total, although referee Anthony Taylor could be accused of leniency having punished reckless challenges from both Ross Barkley and Ashley Williams with only bookings, when many would have issued a red card. Afterwards Everton boss Ronald Koeman criticised the behaviour of one of Klopp's coaching staff for asking for "eight red cards".
But the Liverpool manager was in no mood to hit back in his post match press conference.
"Obviously we couldn't influence anything, even when we were loud!" he said. "I have said it before. In Germany it's nicer (between managers). We sit together here. If he would say something I could react, and the same for him. "He (Koeman) didn't say anything to me, we shook hands after the game. It's not
"My staff is fine, really good boys if you would meet them one time! They are involved in the game, don't ask for anything that is not right. "Sometimes we have the tinted glasses, but sometimes it is clear. In a game like this, we want to be hard, wanted all the players to leave the pitch without injuries.
"In football you cannot avoid all injuries. But a few of them, you can avoid." Klopp lost goalscorer Mane to injury early in the second half after an accidental collision with Leighton Baines, though appeared incensed when Barkley, in particular, escaped a red card for an over-the-top challenge on Dejan Lovren in the first half. "It's not my job to speak about this," he said. "The problem is if I create the story with my sayings, it leads with 'Klopp says....' "If you want, it's a problem. Then speak about it. If I say something, people know only 'oh Klopp was not happy with something' and that makes no sense.
"Nothing to say from our side. If you saw something, write about it."

'Can he do more when he doesn't score?' - Jamie Carragher questions Romelu Lukaku's Everton output
Lukaku didn't have a shot during the Blues' 3-1 defeat to Liverpool in Saturday's Merseyside derby
By Paul Gorst
1 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Jamie Carragher has questioned Romelu Lukaku's Everton output when the 21-goal striker fails to score.
Lukaku is currently at the top of the Premier League's scoring charts having become the first Blues player since Gary Lineker in 1986 to score over 20 league goals. The powerful Belgium international netted four goals in March to scoop the Player of the Month on Friday, but after watching the Blues hitman fail to register a shot in Saturday's 3-1 defeat to Liverpool, the Sky Sports analyst was unimpressed. "The one question against him is the performances in the big games, and that's the big thing with Romelu Lukaku," said Carragher. "When you look at him, he's just a goalscorer, and it's not the worst thing, but he just wants goals Lukaku. Can he be a massive problem to defences like Didier
"You can't criticise if he doesn't score every week but put yourself about a bit! Can he dominate a back four? "Can he be Everton's best player on the pitch when he doesn't score? It's all about goals with Lukaku. He gets a lot, but can he do more when he doesn't score?"
Lukaku's goal in the 3-2 defeat to Tottenham last month saw him overtake Duncan Ferguson's tally of 60 to become the Blues all-time leading scorer in the Premier League era. The Belgian's double in the 4-0 win over Hull on March 18 also saw him become just the fourth player in Premier League history to score 80 goals before the age of 24, joining Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney.

Everton analysis - Merseyside derby shows gulf in class remains between Blues and top four
Plus, Greg O'Keeffe on Romelu Lukaku going missing, where reinforcements are needed and Koeman's Martinez impression
By Greg O'Keeffe
1 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Just six points separated the sides before kick-off today, but the ensuing contest suggested a gulf in class. A result would have put Ronald Koeman's men hot on the heels of the top four, but in hindsight the Blues performances away at the top four this term should have tempered any heady day-dreamers.
Both teams were hampered by injuries to key personnel, but only one found a way to rise above it.
That's not to say Liverpool were excellent. They didn't have to be. Everton abandoned any pretensions at climbing out of their 'Ground Hog Day In Hell' rut at Anfield during a disastrous first half. The Blues form coming into this derby had indeed been impressive. But once again it's irrelevant. Blue-nosed scribe Brian Viner said it best. 'They say the form book gets ripped up in derbies. Depressing how it's always, always Everton's that goes first.' In the past the sobering reality was that the Toffees have simply had inferior players to their rivals. That's no longer completely the case. But this lunchtime their big performers went missing, while Liverpool's stood tall. It was ever thus. Another irate Blue, Peter Reid, summed it up afterwards as he frothed at his beloved club's inability to truly challenge at the top.
"That's where Everton are at the moment. They're a million miles away...."
A million? Maybe not quite. But the gap is wider than we cared to believe.
Another season, another white-wash across the park.
It might be predictable but it doesn't get any easier
It didn't take long for the jokes to start.
No sooner had Romelu Lukaku sloped off the Anfield pitch, the meme-makers were sharpening their wits. 'MISSING,' went the first, above a photograph of the Belgian striker pouting in his car. 'Have you seen this man? Last seen 18/03/2017 in the Walton area, any information please contact Bill on 0151 556 1878'. Savage sure - but incorrect? It's tough to disagree with the infuriated Blues who squinted in the sunshine at the Anfield Road, searching for a glimpse of the Premier League's top goalscorer doing something constructive and concluded he'd vanished. It's true that he was isolated. Fair to insist he was largely starved of decent service. But this is a player who essentially considers himself a level above Everton. A performer who believes he should be gracing the Champions League. It's true that his goal-count suggests he could shine in Europe's top club competition but what about today? Don't the truly top players make things happen through force of will or sheer inspiration - even when inhibited tactics or supply? Lukaku wasn't alone in capitulating today but he was the most notable absentee. Ronald Koeman must answer for a system which failed to supply his star man. Long balls aren't the most effective way of harnessing his prowess. But Lukaku can't hide from an afternoon in which he failed to produce a single shot on target. Derby defeats - as familiar as they are for Everton - still prompt knee-jerk assessments. But it's not wounded pride or irrational dismay behind the feeling that this defeat emphasises the extent of strengthening required in the summer. Koeman must bring in Michael Keane or a central defender of that ilk to bolster an ageing, crumbling backline. It was Ashley Williams, ironically only recruited last summer, who reinforced that this afternoon. In midfield too the Blues need extra attacking threat. They were toothless in a forward-thinking sense in that department. Only Ross Barkley from a three of him, Tom Davies, and Idrissa Gueye, managed a shot at Simon Mignolet; and that effort was straight at the Belgian. Koeman insisted he was proud of his side afterwards but he's ruthless and, so far, refreshingly free of the delusions harboured by his predecessor.
Spare a thought for Matthew Pennington.
Thrust into the white-heat of derby battle as a matter of necessity, he experienced a roller-coaster of emotions from low, to high, and back down again. Complicit in a shambolic first goal, he responded by grabbing an equaliser before once again being taught a painful lesson by the speed of movement of Coutinho. Not helped by the blundering Ashley Williams, Pennington was left chasing shadows.
They're cruel games derbies - always so for the loser but especially when your first time produces such fluctuating fortunes. He had to be kidding. At best erecting a diplomatic screen to protect a flattened young team which must head to Old Trafford in a few days. Ronald Koeman plucked a few riffs from the Roberto Martinez playbook with his post game assessment. He was proud of them, he said. They controlled and created some good chances, he said. "We played how we like to see Everton play," he said. It's one thing closing-shop and keeping your criticism in the dressing room, but another being quite so bullish after such a woeful display. The injuries were always going to be detrimental to Everton's hopes, but Koeman - even with the desire to protect his players - should be wary of misjudging the mood of fans who had seen with their own eyes how second best their team had been.

Ross Barkley misses his moment to shine as Everton midfielder does little to push his England claims in Merseyside derby
By Ian Herbert
April 1 2017 The Independent
It was Ross Barkley's attempt to spin a ball around Lucas Leiva and make some progress beyond him into the Liverpool area which spoke for his contribution to a day which deepened the psychological chasm Anfield has become for his team. Running behind Lucas and collecting it was a feat well beyond Barkley so he ran into the 30-year-old Brazilian instead and plunged theatrically to the turf. The referee was not remotely interested and Lucas protested about the pantomime. It was a fine afternoon for the Liverpool player, who ended it in a bear hug with his manager, but he should not exactly been an immovable object for a 24-year-old with designs on a regular starting place in the England team. By half time, the sum total of Barkley's contribution by had been four fouls, one speculative shot, no legitimate tackles and no interceptions. This was the week when Barkley allowed it to be known that he considered his latest omission from the England team to have been a substantial injustice. Those kinds of noises-off feel ill-judged at the best of times and they certainly demand a big club performance to follow them up, though this kind of derby performance was certainly not what those behind the Ross for England campaign had in mind. His touch was generally heavy, his reactions generally slow and when it came to challenging or closing down, Barkley always seemed to be a second or so behind the pace of the game. Some contributions did begin to materialise for 15 minutes or so after the break, as Liverpool began the second half indifferently. A 55th minute shot from the edge of the box and a run across the same space a few minutes later, holding off three challenges to release an advancing Mason Holgate. But there was not much for the player's interior mind to hold on to as he trudged around the centre circle on his own, at the end. The capacity to be "really smart but also emotional", as Jurgen Klopp described the necessary derby quality after the 3-1 win, was not there, either. The game was 17 seconds old when Barkley made an eye-watering statement of intent – an illegal challenge on James Milner. Emre Can felt the Englishman's studs before they were also planted into Dejan Lovren's left ankle and earned Barkley the booking that had seemed to be coming. Any moral outrage about this should be tempered by an awareness of the occasion and all that it has brought down the years, yet even Ronald Koeman did not deny, when it was all over, that Barkley could have been dismissed. "Maybe he deserved two yellows for two tackles," the Dutchman said. His reluctance to defend the player was surprising given the uncharacteristic and rather ridiculous air of denial the Everton manager exuded in the aftermath – presumably his means of protecting the youngsters he had thrown in and who had suffered. Never mind Gareth Southgate's reluctance to field Barkley; Koeman will take some persuading if he does not summon something consistently better than this. He has certainly looked like a player of class, once again, in the right-sided role the manager has found for him in the past few months, though his stellar performances have tended to be against weaker opponents at Goodison Park. His reversion to a central role here restored him to the kind of form which put him out of the team back in autumn. Overwhelming West Bromwich and Hull on home turf is one thing. Anfield is something different.
Compounding matters was the contribution of the individual to whom Liverpool look for a broadly similar size of contribution as Barkley. Sadio Mane brought the barrelling bursts we have come to expect of him and a finish of sublime quality: two derbies, two goals. Yet his contribution in the deep was just as significant on an occasion which demanded it. If a moment speaks for his own game then it came just before the interval, when Tom Davies was booked for fouling the Senegalese in Liverpool's rear. We'd just seen a heavy controlling touch from Sane at the time, yet he'd sprung off in pursuit of the ball and accelerated ahead of Davies to reach it, putting his side out of danger and Davies into trouble.
Barkley operated on a lower parallel. The game had five minutes to run when he ran across his own area, where he was promptly and comfortably dispossessed by Divock Origi. "It is always a bit different for the local boys in this Merseyside derby," reflected Koeman, whose cover-up showed how bad the whole business had been.

Everton captain Jagielka: 'We shot ourselves in the foot'
Blues skipper hurting after 3-1 derby defeat to Liverpool
By Phil Kirkbride
1 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Phil Jagielka was left frustrated after Everton 'shot themselves in the foot' against Liverpool in the 228th derby. Sadio Mane put the Reds ahead after eight minutes but Matty Pennington equalised at the Kop End just before the half-hour mark to stun Anfield.But Everton were level for us three minutes after Philippe Coutinho turned inside Pennington and fired past Joel Robles. Divock Origi added a third goal on the hour after Everton lost possession deep in their own territory. "After that it was important for us to get a goal quickly but we couldn't manage to do that. "Joel's not had too many saves to make other than the goals so I wouldn't say we were getting bombarded. They've got some very clever and gifted footballers so it is difficult at times. "We conceded early but showed good character to get back in but unfortunately a bit of naivety, showing Coutinho on to his right foot (for his goal).
"At 2-1 we were well in the game and we could have put them under a bit of pressure but unfortunately we shot ourselves in the foot. "It hurts going out there and losing a local derby. We won't be taking too many positives at the moment but we've got a big game coming Tuesday now."

Everton defender Matthew Pennington insists Blues lucky to have chance to atone for derby defeat
Everton travel to face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Tuesday
By Greg O'Keeffe
2 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton defender Matthew Pennington wants to put his difficult derby debut behind him by helping the Blues beat Manchester United. The 22-year-old scored his side's only goal during a 3-1 defeat by Liverpool at Anfield, and was later highlighted as being at fault for Philippe Coutinho's goal. Pennington was part of a youthful line-up for the injury-hit Blues, and the former academy star believes Tuesday's trip to Old Trafford represents a chance to banish the derby demons. He said: "Luckily we've got a game on Tuesday to bounce back and hopefully get a positive result there and keep moving up the table.
"It was a disappointing day in the end. We wanted the result for our fans and unfortunately we couldn't do that." Selection for Koeman's XI marked the end of a long comeback after a serious hamstring injury in pre-season. "That was the aim after my injury," he said. "To get back into the fold and hopefully to get a few games. Hopefully I can get a few more. "On Friday we did the team shape and I knew I was in the team then and had time to mentally prepare. Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho scores his side's second goal "(Tuesday) is very important. If we can get a positive result there we can keep the momentum going from there." Pennington admitted that Reds substitute Divock Origi's goal, to make it 3-1 to Liverpool, was a huge psychological blow for the visitors, who were already chasing the game.
He said: "We seemed to be playing well and it was a bit of a sucker punch really. It's hard to get back in when they're two goals ahead "Scoring was a very special moment but obviously dampened by the result "I'm proud to wear this blue shirt so to score a goal for the fans was a special moment."

Everton transfer rumours - Manchester United and Arsenal 'chase' Idrissa Gueye, Blues target Gunners defender
A round-up of transfer rumours and speculation from around the web
By Ian Doyle
2 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Just when Evertonians thought it might be safe to come out from under the sheets comes the rumour mill. And it's not a particularly welcome one. The Sunday Mirror today is reporting that Manchester United are sniffing around one of Everton's big success stories this season. One, indeed, that has swiftly become a huge favourite among Blues fans. Yes, last summer's arrival Idrissa Gueye is being tracked by United boss Jose Mourinho. Apparently. It's said the Portuguese is a big fan of the Senegal international, with his Old Trafford side reportedly looking to bolster their defensive midfield options for next season. The report also continues to circulate the rumour that Arsenal are pondering a move for Gueye. The Sunday Mirror also claim that Everton are among a gaggle of clubs wondering about Gunners defender Calum Chambers. The 22-year-old has been impressing on loan at Middlesbrough this season – well, until he picked up an injury – and is likely to leave Arsenal this summer for around £10m. Chambers was sold to Arsenal by Southampton while Ronald Koeman was in charge at the South Coast, although it was a deal done before he had a chance to work with the player. It's claimed West Ham United and Newcastle United are also keen on Chambers. Which is nice.

'Robles was like a dad in the back garden, letting the kids score'
The national media were unforgiving of Everton's error-strewn derby defeat
By Greg O'Keeffe
2 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
It doesn't make for easy reading.
The national media pulled no punches this morning when it comes to Everton .
Blues fans know full well how badly their side played during the latest defeat at Anfield, but just in case they didn't the other papers were suitably scathing with their assessments. Jonathan Northcroft in the Sunday Times was deeply unimpressed by the visitiors. On Divock Origi's third goal he writes: 'A good shot. But it was straight down the middle and Joel Robles, for a third time in the match, simply watched as a ball sailed into his net. 'Was this some bizarre homage to Alan Rough? Or an impression of a dad in the back garden, letting the kids score? Either way it rather typified Everton. They didn't lay a glove on Liverpool, not when it counted.' Jonathan was equally dismissive of Ross Barkley and Romleu Lukaku's contributions. He writes: 'When the offerings from Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku were so pitiful, given their reputations? When the equaliser was followed almost immediately by conceding again? When Robles was playing statues? 'The biggest contrast was between the No 10s. If Barkley played like a spiteful child, lucky to remain on the pitch after three bookable tackles in the opening 40 minutes, Coutinho played like the mature leader of his team. 'Age wasn't the difference (Barkley is 23, Coutinho 24), game intelligence seemed to be.' The Observer also noted Lukaku's lack of impact on the contest, as the striker failed to muster a single shot. 'Lukaku might have done better, though the story of Everton's afternoon was that Lukaku was hardly in the game,' writes Paul Wilson. 'Everton can always rely on their neighbours to put any hint of a revival into perspective. Ross Barkley protests his innocence after a challenge on Liverpool's Dejan Lovren 'Cue (to the tune of For He's a Jolly Good Fellow) "You haven't won a trophy since 1995".' Inspired by the presence of Liverpool fan Daniel Craig at the game, Steve Bates took a James Bond theme with his verdict. 'James Bond has come across a few villains in his time but Everton had a couple of their own on show at Anfield,' he writes. 'Watching celebrity Kop fan Daniel Craig has taken down his fair share of bad guys on the big screen.
So maybe he offered Everton boss Ronald Koeman a few tips on the best way to get himself out of a tricky situation with Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley as he left Liverpoolyesterday.
'Bond baddies usually threaten world peace or national security.
Actor Daniel Craig in the stands
'But if Koeman isn't careful the growing saga over the futures of Lukaku and Barkley will turn into a circus that's certain to destabilise Goodison Park...
'It's already a big talking point that has split fans, and after a day to forget for Lukaku and Barkley maybe those who are desperate to see the pair stay at Everton may well shift their position.
'The duo are Everton's crown jewels. 'But there was nothing sparkling about their performances yesterday as Liverpool strengthened their top-four hand with a comprehensive win over their depleted rivals. 'Considering Everton's shocking derby record after failing to win at Anfield since 1999, that's no great surprise.'

'Poor decision making, too many mistakes, a kid in the playground'
Gary Neville and Graeme Souness reflects on Ross Barkley's derby display
By Greg O'Keeffe
2 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Ross Barkley has been warned that his decision-making must improve by Sky sports pundit Graeme Souness. The Everton's midfielder's display during the Merseyside derby promoted heavy criticism from both Souness and Gary Neville, who fear he may never fulfil his potential. Barkley was not alone in producing a below-par performance as Everton lost 3-1, but the England international certainly received some of the most severe feedback. Souness said: "If I was playing with him, I would be falling out with him. Not every game; every five minutes. "He runs with it when he should pass it, he passes it when he should run with it. His decision making is poor in the extreme, and you can be kidded by him sometimes because he will do that: turn away from a couple of players and flash one over the bar." "He's got all the equipment to be a player, but I just see his decision making not improving. "And if his decision making doesn't improve, then he won't improve as a player.I see him as the kid in the playground.
"That's how he plays football to me."
See how we rated Barkley and his Everton team-mates here
Gary Neville has coached Barkley during his stint working with the England national team, and the former Manchester United defender also had some stark words for the 23-year-old. "Because I've worked with him for four years with England, I desperately want him to succeed and fulfill his talent and potential. I desperately want him to become the best player that he can be, the best player in the Premier League, but it's concentration (the issue)." "In the first half, his touch and tightness in control - which is usually pretty good - has got to be better, You haven't got time in the top games."
"Yeah, him over there. He just won't pick us!" John Stones and Ross Barkley chat to Gary Neville during the European Championships in France, when neither played a single minute.
John Stones and Ross Barkley chat to Gary Neville during the European Championships in France
Neville believes Barkley has plenty of room for improvement before he is fit to grace top competitions, such as the Champions League. "You think about Ross Barkley progressing into Champions League football potentially, or into the highest levels of international football when you have to operate in tight spaces," he added. "You think of Silva, De Bruyne, Coutinho, they operate in really tight spaces and receive the ball perfectly. "They know where they are, they make very few mistakes on the ball and Ross just makes too many mistakes in matches. He receives the ball and then gives it away.
"What happens next is that he gets a little bit frustrated with himself and in the first-half today, he was fortunate to stay on the pitch. "You look at that game today, Coutinho got man of the match and he (Barkley) has got to get to that level. He has got to get to that level consistently, he does it in flashes, but he has got to do it consistently on a week to week basis."

Romelu Lukaku take note - ambition is a two-way street
Everton's top scorer Lukaku simply hasn't done enough when it matters
By David Prentice
2 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Romelu Lukaku is a young man in a hurry.
He wants Champions League football - and he wants it yesterday.
He wants it so badly he has told Everton he does not intend to sign the lucrative new contract he has been offered. And he wants it so bad he has even offered up reasons why he hasn't put pen to paper.
"Some players that we could have got, that I knew the club could have got, and they didn't get," he complained. Then he pointed out the speed with which Manchester City transformed their on-field fortunes following Sheikh Mansour's arrival in 2008. "Vincent Kompany told me 'Rom, one summer I just came in and boom, boom, boom, boom… Robinho from there, that guy came in, this guy came in, this guy came in (clicking fingers) and then everyone was criticising them but at the end, they had League titles, FA Cup here, League Cups there." Everton, by Lukaku's thinking, aren't changing their fortunes quickly enough. The Kop didn't exactly summarise the striker accurately with their assertion that: "Lukaku's right, your team is sh***" but then derbies are rarely platforms for reasoned thinking.
Ambition, however, is a two-way street. Lukaku wants his Everton paymasters to be more ambitious.
But the Belgian himself needs show more ambition, too. Everton's top scorer simply hasn't done enough when it matters most to help his team-mates challenge for a Champions League place.
Romelu Lukaku celebrates with Everton fans as he scores the fourth goal against Hull City
Everton are a nailed on seventh-placed finish this season.
They have become experts at beating the teams you would expect them to beat this season – but they are novices against the teams above them. Lukaku has been magnificent against the rest - 21-goals already when he has looked an irrepressible force of nature. But against the best – Arsenal in December a solitary exception – he, like his team-mates, have fallen short. Lukaku has to accept his part in those failures. For the third time this season on Saturday he completed a 96-minute match without a solitary shot at goal. The other occasions he fired blanks were against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and Manchester United at Goodison Park. The very best strikers can change the direction of a match with a moment of unsupported genius.
Lukaku is the Premier League's leading scorer – deservedly.
He is improving season by season – but the one aspect of his game which needs improvement is changing games against the very best. Lukaku might argue that he can only improve by facing the very best week-in, week-out. Perhaps. But he has improved markedly during his four seasons at Everton and may be better served signing his new deal and committing his future to Goodison. Everton are intent on challenging for Champions League places in the very near future. Lukaku can help them get there.
And then he may become the player he thinks he can be.

Ronald Koeman failed in derby deflection game, he's best when he tells it straight
Greg O'Keeffe thinks the Everton boss took a rare misstep with his derby press conference
By Greg O'Keeffe
2 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Ronald Koeman's words have inspired, delighted, emboldened and reassured Everton fans.
The Dutchman's refreshingly straight-talking approach has won him many fans on Merseyside.
But in the Anfield press room after yet another chastening trip across the park, the Blues boss took a rare misstep. Asked for his assessment of the match, a journalist added: "You never really seemed to get going, in the first half especially." Koeman bristled and trained his dead-eyed glare on the reporter.
"If you start with a question like that, we can stop," he said. "Because if I mention that as the manager of Everton that I am really proud about my team, then your question is a different world.
"What pleased the manager is how we played today. "We had a gameplan, tried to press them. We made it really difficult. We came back after an unlucky goal, a good goal but an unlucky goal between the legs which is always difficult for the goalkeeper. I think we controlled the game. "It was a face to face game in the first half. We came back at 1-1 and we conceded too easily the second goal. We accept the quality of Coutinho, his finish is great. Ronald Koeman looks dejected during the Premier League match at Anfield "But the best period of the game was where we controlled the game after half-time. We had some chances and then we made a mistake and they punished us for that mistake in our ball possession. "We got some good open chances, two or three chances, and if you see the stats it is really close. "The final score is not, but we need to learn. "Compare both teams, We had four boys playing aged 22 and less. You need to learn from this but I am proud how we played." In the same press conference Koeman complained about the behaviour of some of the Liverpool coaching staff, who he believed attempted to influence the referee to caution Everton's players.
It was all deflection.
He didn't want to focus on yet another Everton defeat across the Park, when the Toffees were the inferior side from start to finish. Inferior - it bears repeating - to a largely average Reds display, lit-up chiefly by the brilliance of Philippe Coutinho. Koeman, you would add, is too savvy to let wounded pride motivate his words. It must instead have been a tactic, and ultimately it was ineffective if intended to shift the focus from his team. You didn't need a Uefa A coaching licence to conclude that most of his assessment of Everton's performance was skewed. Maybe the Blues boss was trying to protect his players with the visit to Old Trafford so swiftly on the horizon.
That would be understandable, but there were smarter ways to do it.
You can't kid Merseyside football fans. You can't tell them black is white, even if you're Ronald Koeman.
He need only ask his predecessor that delusional post-game summaries do not go down well.
Fortunately Koeman doesn't make a habit of this. He's too good a manager to repeat mistakes. Lose or draw the United game, he would be better to ignore the example of the Portuguese beside him in the dug-out and just tell it like it is.

Koeman has no regrets on derby youth policy
Everton manager says youngsters are the club's fututre
By David Prentice
2 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
RONALD KOEMAN insists he has absolutely no regrets about turning to youth during Saturday's chastening Merseyside derby defeat. The Blues boss, stripped of experienced seniors like Seamus Coleman, Ramiro Funes Mori and Morgan Schneiderlin, gave three players under the age of 22 their derby debuts. Matthew Pennington celebrated his first Premier League goal, but was also complicit in Liverpool's second goal scored by Philippe Coutinho, while Mason Holgate gave up possession for the Reds third scored by Divock Origi and Tom Davies was substituted midway through the second half.
But Koeman was unrepentant.
"All the young boys showed belief and confidence," he said.
"Of course for the third goal Mason cannot lose that ball but they need to learn. "I wasn't afraid to put the young boys in because they had the quality to play in the first team of Everton. "Of course if Seamus was okay then Holgate was not starting, but if you have those kind of problems don't be afraid to put young players in because they're the future of Everton. "I think they're really bright young players."
Everton's Matthew Pennington celebrates scoring his side's first goal during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool With Everton facing another testing trip on Tuesday night, this time to Old Trafford against Manchester United, Koeman says he will reassess his options. Only Aaron Lennon of the Blues' list of players unavailable for the derby has a chance of being added to the squad, but asked if he would turn to his youngsters again, Koeman said: "I don't know. Tuesday is a different game. We need to see tomorrow and Monday what our options are and make decisions."

Joel Robles, Romelu Lukaku, Ashley Williams - who was Everton's worst at Anfield?
Blues fans and the media point the finger in the same direction after derby defeat
By Ian Doyle
3 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Anfield hasn't been great to Everton this millennium.
And it certainly wasn't great for a number of Blues on Saturday after yet another dismal derby.
The 3-1 defeat to Liverpool effectively ended any lingering hopes of a top-four finish and has prompted an inevitable period of soul-searching. Well, that was after the inevitable period of fume.
Greg O'Keeffe provided the ECHO ratings for Everton's players at Anfield and he was really not happy with several players. Not so Phil Jagielka, who scored a lively 7 with the skipper largely absolved of blame. Leighton Baines and substitutes Gareth Barry and Kevin Mirallas were handed a 6.
The rest, though, were 5 or lower. And in the case of Joel Robles, Ashley Williams and Romelu Lukaku, that meant a desperately paltry 3. Everton fans agreed Jagielka was best on show, but only with a 5.9 average rating. Baines, Mirallas and Barry all came next while, at the bottom, Robles and Lukaku could only score a 3.
Time Line
What you said
Phil Jagielka - 5.9
Experience counted
Leighton Baines - 5.6
Kept his head
Kevin Mirallas - 5.4
Why not on sooner?
Gareth Barry - 5.0
Could have done a job earlier
Idrissa Gueye - 4.8
Some rash decisions
Enner Valencia - 4.7
Tom Davies - 4.7
Wasn't in it
Ross Barkley - 4.5
Needs to work on tackling
Mason Holgate - 4.3
Dominic Calvert-Lewin - 4.1
Barely had a look-in
Matthew Pennington - 3.7
Goal a rare high point
Ashley Williams - 3.1
Not great
Joel Robles - 3.0
Less great
Romelu Lukaku - 3.0
No shots
What everyone else said
Of course, other ratings are available. And the national media were a bit kinder to Koeman's men.
The Mail do things by halves, and they thought only Baines and Holgate were worthy of a 6, while handing Barkley and Lukaku a miserable 4.5. The Mirror were pleased with Gueye and Baines with 7, while Robles, Pennington, Davies, Barkley and Lukaku were handed 5. The Independent believe Jagielka was Everton's best with a 7, but stuck the boot into Robles and Lukaku with a 4. In the Daily Star, no Everton player scored more than 6 while the finger was pointed at Robles, who scored a paltry 3. Finally, the number crunchers at deduced Jagielka was best with a pretty high score of 8.16, followed by Barkley on 7.17. You may not be surprised to hear Robles was lowest with 5.64.

Inside Everton's plan to finance Bramley Moore Dock stadium
University expert says council is acting like a parent on a mortgage application
By Alistair Houghton
3 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton FC and Liverpool council have come up with a "cunning scheme" that will keep the bankers happy while delivering a new stadium – says a university finance specialist. Kieran Maguire, of the University of Liverpool's Management School, says banks could "flatly refuse" to lend £300m to a football club, but would be likely to lend to a local authority. And so, he says in his post on the university's website, the council is acting like a parent guaranteeing their child's mortgage application.
Mr Maguire, a lecturer in economics, finance and accounting, says that "in theory, everyone's a winner" from this deal, though there are risks.
Here's a closer look at what he has to say...
Bank could 'flatly refuse' to help
Many people have asked why Everton, backed by billionaire Farhad Moshiri, can't take out the loan itself. Mr Maguire spells out why. He said: "Imagine you are a bank manager, and you receive the following loan application: "Amount to be borrowed? Up to £300,000,000 "Purpose of loan? Sports stadium "How often is asset used? 20-25 days a year "Income of borrower: Operating losses of £114 million in last 10 years "Key risks: Could be relegated and lose 70% of income. The most valuable asset apparently wants to depart the business. "Would you lend to that business? "The above scenario is that of Everton Football Club and the proposed new stadium at Bramley Moore dock.
"Under normal circumstances a bank would either flatly refuse to lend, or charge a prohibitive interest rate. "So a cunning scheme is therefore required to keep the bankers happy." Everton football club major investor Farhad Moshiri and Bill Kenwright and Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson at Bramley Moore Dock on the waterfront for plans to provide Everton with a new stadium.
What is the cunning plan?
That plan, as revealed last month, will see the creation of a "Special Purpose Vehicle" that sits between Everton and its lender. Everton pays the SPV, then the SPV pays the lender – while taking an annual security fee of more than £4m that can be passed on to the council.
So why is the council getting involved?
As Mr Maguire explains, "The council are seen by the financial markets as a lower lending risk than Everton, and so can borrow money at a lower interest rate. They can pass on these interest savings to Everton. "What is being proposed is that the council therefore act as a guarantor for the monies required by Everton, in a similar way that parents might guarantee to a bank for a mortgage application in relation to their son/daughter."
'Everyone's a winner'...
Mr Maguire says that should give Everton lower repayments and give the council money.
He adds: "In theory, everyone is a winner". Mr Maguire points out that Everton's key revenue streams – season ticket sales, hospitality and naming rights – will be put into a separate bank account to minimise risk. The council gets first dibs on that money before the club, to ensure the loan gets paid.
Mr Maguire says: "This will minimise the risk to the council".
...though there are risks
Mr Maguire says there are some "unknowns"
He says there is a risk of a budget overrun, as happened with the new Wembley, while steel costs could go up if the pound falls against the dollar. The lecturer also says it is "not clear" yet how much Mr Moshiri himself would invest in the stadium project. Another obvious risk is relegation – though Mr Maguire points out Everton's proud record of top flight survival. If the worst did happen, the "parachute payments" Everton would receive would go into an account held by the council. That could be worth £50m in the first year.

Jose Mourinho hints at Manchester United team vs Everton
Man Utd vs Everton is the second Premier League fixture of the month for Jose Mourinho's side after the West Brom draw.
By Samuel Luckhurst
3 APR 2017 Manchester Evening News
Jose Mourinho has hinted Ander Herrera, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba could return to the Manchester United side against Everton on Tuesday. Herrera and Ibrahimovic served the final match of their suspensions in United's Premier League draw with West Brom while Pogba sat out the game through injury. Pogba, who suffered a hamstring strain in the Europa League win over FC Rostov over a fortnight ago, participated in a five-a-side training session for non-starters after the West Brom game and appeared to be moving freely. United are on a 19-game unbeaten run in the Premier League but nine of those have been draws and Mourinho has vowed to name his 'best team' for Everton's visit.
"Against Everton we are going to do what we tried to do today," Mourinho said on Saturday. "To try to play with our best team, and try to win the match.
"And after Everton, we go to Sunderland with the same perspective, and then after Sunderland, the Europa League comes, and then I don't know." United's inconsistent league form could compel Mourinho to rest regulars for Europa League games as United prioritise winning the trophy for the first time. "It's possible that you see me play in the Premier League with a team where I'm going to protect the players that I consider fundamental for the Europa League," Mourinho added. "But only, only if the results in the next matches put us in a situation where mathematically, it becomes almost impossible to do it. "I go with mathematics," he added. "Until it's impossible mathematically, we keep trying. Because this week is a week without the Europa League, we have nothing to think about the Europa League.
"This week is easy. From the focus point of view, it's easy. We have to play Everton, we have to play Sunderland, and in these two matches, we have to go for them thinking about the Premier League and nothing else. "After that match against Sunderland, then we have Anderlecht and the quarter-finals of the Europa League are very important for us. "We've had matches here with Zlatan that we drew. He lost [missed] a penalty in a game to win it 2-1 [against Bournemouth]. He lost chances like other people did too, so I cannot say now that if Zlatan and Mata played today [against West Brom], we win the game. I cannot say that. I cannot say that at all. "What I can say is that Jones and Smalling, they would not play better than Bailly and Rojo did. Pogba and Herrera could not play better than Fellaini and Carrick did. That I can say for sure." Possible United team vs Everton: De Gea Valencia Bailly Rojo Young Herrera Fellaini Pogba Mkhitaryan Martial Ibrahimovic

Tony Hibbert signs for unbeaten Sunday League side Hares FC - who lose
Everton stalwart makes frustrating start for Skelmersdale amateur team
By Jamie Lopez
3 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton icon Tony Hibbert made a comeback for unbeaten Skelmerdsale amateur team Hares - who promptly lost their unbeaten record in his first appearance! Hibbert, a stalwart of 328 games for the Blues, was drafted in by the South Lancashire League side after a nine-match winning sequence which included a staggering 21-0 victory. But with Hibbert included Hares lost 1-0 to rivals Clay Brow.
Hibbo, who famously never scored a competitive goal throughout his long career, has found grass roots football just as frustrating. The Huyton-born defender turned out for St Aloysius FC alongside his dad Paul last year, and former Tranmere Rovers players Kenny Irons and Ged Brannan in a Liverpool County FA Veterans' Cup game. A Premier League game under the lights at a sold-out Goodison and (left) the King George V playing fields where Tony Hibbert ran out for St Aloysius veterans That match went to a shootout and the man famous for never scoring a goal, stepped up and smashed his effort against the crossbar. He has since played three more games for Hares - and is still waiting to end his goal drought.
Renowned throughout his career as a no-nonsense, unflashy footballer who loved the game, Hibbert's willingness to muck in with the amateurs is endearing. He won't be building a reputation as a lucky charm any time soon, though.

Everton transfer rumours - Blues win race for Burnley defender
A round-up of transfer rumours and speculation from around the web
By Joe Rimmer
3 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton are weighing up a number of options as Ronald Koeman looks to strengthen his back-line this summer. The Blues have looked at Hull City's Harry Maguire and are also considering a move for Michael Keane.
And according to the Daily Star, the Blues have all but won the race for Keane. All but agreed a fee, a contract or anything else for that matter.. But the Star do claim that Keane has decided that Goodison Park is the destination that makes sense for him - despite reported interest from the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United. Burnley are said to want around £25m to sell Keane, with Everton only currently valuing the England international at £15m because he has just one year left to run on his current contract. Keane has just over one year to run on his current deal.

Everton can still make the Champions League - use our predictor to see how
Manchester United test is a huge fork in the road for European football ambitions
By Ed Walker
3 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton will be licking their wounds after Derby Day and hoping to ensure their charge for Champions League is not derailed. Old Trafford and Mourinho awaits for Koeman's men and he will need to gain something from the game to ensure 7th placed Toffees are still in the hunt. Arsenal sit a point ahead, United three points ahead and City in fourth are eight points away from the Blues.
Simply click whether you think each match will be a home win, an away win or a draw and our gadget will work out who will finish where. We're not recording the score though, so goal difference won't count if you predict teams drawing level on points. Have a go and see and see where the Blues end up, let us know in the comments below or tweet us

Stats which shows Ross Barkley is not going backwards
Everton playmaker has outperformed Liverpool counterpart Coutinho in several categories over the season
By David Prentice
3 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Ross Barkley was poor in Saturday's Anfield derby. Very poor. And assorted pundits weren't slow to let him know. Alan Shearer says he "felt sorry" for him, Ian Wright says he "needs to simplify his game" while Graeme Souness and Gary Neville felt he shouldn't even have been on the pitch after a lunge at Dejan Lovren. Opposite number Philippe Coutinho, however, was the name on every pundit's lips after his sparkling show. But the performance of the Everton playmaker also has to be put into context.
And a statistics chart has been published showing that Barkley has been one of the Premier League's standout number 10s this season - and in several categories has outperformed some stellar performers, Coutinho included. Barkley has produced more key passes per match this season than Coutinho, David Silva and Gylfi Sigurdsson. Despite Coutinho's goal creating pass for Divock Origi on Saturday, the Brazilian has still supplied one assist fewer than Barkley this season - and Barkley's overall figures throughout the course of the season are beaten only by four men: West Ham's Dimitri Payet, Tottenham's Christian Eriksen, Kevin De Bruyne at Manchester City and Arsenal's Mesut Ozil.
Barkley, like many of his team-mates, was disappointing on Saturday.
His and Coutinho's performances underlined the old football adage: You're only good as your last game.
But over the course of the season so far, Barkley has been very, very good.

Everton were not good enough but I was still really proud, says Ronald Koeman
• 'You need to look at the whole season, not just one game'
• Lukaku and Barkley were below-par, Koeman adds
By Andy Hunter
Monday 3 April 2017 Guardian
Ronald Koeman has defended his assessment of Everton's Merseyside derby display but conceded his team were "not good enough" to end their sorry run at Liverpool. The Everton manager raised more than a few eyebrows following Saturday's 3-1 defeat at Anfield when he claimed his team had controlled the game and he was proud of their performance. On Monday, when previewing Tuesday's visit to Manchester United, Koeman changed tack slightly as he admitted Everton were not at Liverpool's level and Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley were below-par throughout. But he reiterated his pride in the performance, explaining it was based on how an injury-hit squad and relatively inexperienced side reacted to his gameplan against a Champions League-chasing opponent. "I don't understand some comments but it is not important to talk individually after the game," said Koeman, who will have the same squad to select from at Old Trafford. "I know what we are doing. I know the problems that we had before the game after international duty. I knew that we would start with a really young team and that it would be difficult. "To compete against a strong team is always difficult but what I try to be is realistic about the situation, the team, the progress it is making and the project at Everton. It is one game and to draw conclusions from only last Saturday is not good. What I don't like is too much [talk] individually about the performance of the players because it's a team and every individual is part of that team.
"The team was not good enough but I was really proud. That's not to defend my team, no, it's because I am a manager who sees football realistically and who saw we have some problems. Some people have problems seeing that. It is easier to give your opinion in front of the TV without any responsibility. You need to look at the progress of the club and the team over the whole season, not just one game."
Koeman admitted that Lukaku, the Premier League's leading goalscorer, and the previously in-form Barkley had afternoons to forget at Anfield. "Maybe some players did not perform at the level they have shown in the last few games," he said. "I spoke to Romelu. He wasn't really sharp, he was tired and that can influence the performance of a player. Ross played in a slightly different position to the last few weeks. Of course he lost several balls in midfield instead of playing a bit faster and no dribbling with the ball, he needs to improve in that. But it is not fair to talk about one or two." The Everton manager also believes there has been a lack of perspective in the criticism of his team's latest no-show at Anfield. "We had six players aged 22 and younger in the squad, four in the team and two on the bench," he added. "Maybe it is important to see that instead of expecting a Champions League team. They will learn a lot from this game. If young players are developing and we have some other players with injuries then it is a good opportunity for the young players and the future of the club. Everybody talks about the academy of Everton and I am the right manager to give them opportunities because I am Dutch and not afraid to give young players opportunities." Koeman has confirmed he intends to visit Séamus Coleman at home in Ireland next week to help improve the defender's morale following a recent double leg fracture.

Everton boss Ronald Koeman plan morale-boosting Seamus Coleman visit
Everton manager said he will try and lift Coleman's spirits on visit
By Greg O'Keeffe
3 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton boss Ronald Koeman will visit Seamus Coleman at home next week to check on his state of mind after the horror tackle which ended his season. The Blues defender is recuperating at home in Liverpool at the start of a long rehabilitation process which could see him spend up to seven month on the sidelines. He broke his leg in two places in a challenge with Wales' Neil Taylor during the Republic of Ireland's World Cup qualifier in Dublin last weekend. Koeman was unable to provide any early estimate on how long the 28-year-old defender will be out for, but did say his psychological state is improving.
He said: "He is at home and of course day by day his mood will be better but that is normal
"Next week I will go to see him." Koeman provided separate updates on Everton's injured contingent and confirmed that the Toffees will be without midfielder Schneiderlin for the trip to Old Trafford tomorrow. The Dutchman will also have to make do without former Tottenham winger Lennon, who has not played since the middle of February.

Everton star Tom Davies signs new five year contract
18-year-old midfielder has agreed fresh terms
By Phil Kirkbride
3 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
The 18-year-old midfielder has agreed fresh terms which tie him to the club until 2022.
Davies was rewarded with a new deal in August after making his first-team breakthrough last season.
But the Everton Academy product has been rewarded with a new deal after a fine season in which he has made 16 league appearances for the Blues. And Ronald Koeman says it is important that the Blues continue to tie down the club's young talents. "It is important because I think at the moment he's that young player, maybe making the best progress in the last few months as young player, and if we can keep that kind of player I think it is a really good signal to everyone," he said. Davies was forced to bide his time under Koeman but has not looked back after starting against Southampton in the opening game of 2017. The West Derby teenager produced a memorable performance against Manchester City, scoring in a 4-0 win, and also has three assists to his name. "It means everything to me to get a chance to be in the Everton first team and to try to stay there," Davies said. "It's an unbelievable feeling.
"Everton has a long tradition of bringing young players through and the incentive has always been there for me to try to progress with the Club. "I used to look at Mikel Arteta and aspire to be out there playing alongside my heroes and, obviously, Wayne Rooney and Ross Barkley who came through the Academy here, too, have been inspirational figures for me. "Hopefully, young players in the Academy now can see how I have been able to progress and make my way to the Everton first team, just as Matty, Callum, Kieran and Jonjoe have also done, but we all know that the hard work doesn't stop because we want to be part of taking the Club to the next level as well. "We've had some big results this season and we're fighting for a European place in the Premier League and we want to help get Everton to where the Club needs to be and where the supporters want us to be. "People like Unsie have been great in helping me and other players to develop our game and become Everton players and it's a privilege to be playing under this manager with everything he's done and achieved in the game. I'm learning more and improving every day and I'm delighted to have been given this opportunity by the Club." Koeman believes Davies is the young player who has improved the most at the Club this season.
The Everton manager added: "It's a case of well done, Tom.
"He is maybe the young player who has improved the most in the last few months. He went straight into the team performing at a high level and has kept his feet on the ground. "We're really happy with his performances and, of course, proud. He's a young player and that's important for the rest of the Academy - to show you can make that next step like Tom did and, if that ends with a new contract, it's perfect. "I'm a manager who is not afraid to give young players opportunities at Everton and this is a club that puts a strong value on bringing players through. We knew that Tom was physically very strong but his spirit also is unbelievable - every day he shows that mentality that you need to get your chance in the first team."

Pilot on trial accused of flying as low as 400ft above packed Goodison Park
Alan Elliot had been paid to tow a banner with a message supporting Everton chairman Bill Kenwright
By Jonathan Humphries
3 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
A PILOT is on trial after flying as low as 400ft above Everton's football stadium while towing a pro Bill Kenwright banner. Alan Elliot, 68, had been paid to display the banner in support of the club chairman, reading "Thank you Mr Kenwright," above a packed Goodison Park on December 19, 2015. The pensioner, who runs aerial advertising firm, is on trial at Liverpool Magistrates' Court after being prosecuted by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) - the body responsible for regulating safety in British airspace. Elliot, of Leigh Road in West Houghton, Bolton, has denied contravening the Rules of the Air Regulations, by "flying over a congested area at a height of less than 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a 600m radius of the aircraft." He claims "dangerous" conditions forced him to break the regulations to avoid flying into cloud after being caught in sudden, severe weather conditions – an exception allowed under the law. Jonathan Duffy, prosecuting on behalf of the CAA, told the court Elliot flew "much less than and several times below 1,000 feet" shortly after the Blues kicked off against Leicester City at 3pm. Under questioning from defence barrister Derek Pye, Mr Elliot told the court: "The conditions were bad, it was difficult, I had my hands full controlling the aircraft. My sole concerns was maintaining visual references..I felt then and I still feel now I took the safest course of action."

Mr Elliot told the court he had been paid to make the trip by Everton fan Steven Brydon-Kenny, who wished to show support after banners had previously been flown over the ground calling for Mr Kenwright's resignation. The court heard his Cessna light aircraft took off from Blackpool Airport at 2.25pm, after a weather check suggested the possibility of poor conditions, although not to the extent the flight should be cancelled. He told the court: "I was flying in the direction I wanted to go and I could quite clearly see the lights at Goodison Park. What I could also see was that the weather behind me had turned very very dark, it closed in very black." Mr Elliot said as he was approaching the stadium he encountered "rapidly deteriorating" conditions with a "lowering cloud base and increasing wind speeds." He said that the weather prevented him from turning back around and heading back to Blackpool, and the route East to Stretton airfield, near Warrington, was initially also blocked by the dangerous conditions. But Mr Duffy suggested Mr Elliot could have flown towards the Mersey Estuary or to green spaces away from the 39,000 fans gathered at the stadium.
Video thumbnail, Top 3 news stories of the day: Shooting in Litherland, Sexual assault in Croxteth, Bus fares go up He said: "Was it a coincidence that the one place that you thought was the best place to avoid these potential dangers, was the very place that you were commercially instructed to fly to?"
Mr Elliot told the court he had "no intention" to display the banner and was merely using the lights of the stadium to keep his bearings. However, Mr Elliot's co-pilot Andrew Nicholls, also called as a witness, suggested the severe weather had not set in until at least part way through a successful orbit of the stadium. Mr Nicholls said: "(it set in) probably at the end of our first orbit, at least half way around our first one we began to feel it." Mr Duffy produced a screengrab showing tweets from Mr Nicholls Twitter account, which showed a picture of the stadium posted shortly after kick-off, with the caption "#Kenwright #banner #Goodison." Mr Nicholls said he may have used an old picture from a previous trip for the tweet but could not recall. The court heard the CAA was alerted to the incident by amateur pilot and Blues fan Peter Smith, who spotted the aircraft from his seat in the Paddock area of the Lower Bullens Stand. Appearing as a witness, he told the court: "My initial reaction was 'gosh that's low'. It was also noticed by a couple of people around me who have no interest in aircraft; my cousin sat next to me said 'that's low isn't it?" Mr Duffy asked Mr Smith what he estimated the height of the aircraft to be. Mr Smith replied: "I initially thought it was under 500ft, and considerably less than 500 feet."
The case is due to conclude tomorrow morning. (Proceeding)

Everton looking abroad for summer transfer targets
Ronald Koeman confirms Premier League experience not essential
By Phil Kirkbride
3 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Ronald Koeman says Everton will look abroad to sign players this summer - insisting Premier League experience is not essential in their transfer targets. The Blues are looking at Wayne Rooney, Michael Keane and Jordan Pickford but Koeman will also scour the international markets to boost their squad during the next window. Koeman has so far only signed players who have previously played in either the Premier League or Championship since taking over as Everton boss last summer. But he is adamant that Everton will cast their net wider from July as he looks to inject his squad with the quality that can see them challenge for Champions League qualification next term. When asked if his potential new recruits had to have Premier League experience, Koeman said: "Not in my opinion, it is not the most important, more important is if we sign players, the new players bring more quality to the team and even more competition in different positions of the team. "If it's someone from the Premier League that's good, he knows the competition, that's good, but can also be players from abroad. "If you are looking for some players in a position in a team you have a list, of course you have experience you know players better at the moment in the Premier than from outside, but if there is a player from abroad who makes the team better, then we sign that player." The Everton boss, backed up by director of football Steve Walsh, has made it clear that he would want to sign Rooney this summer. But when asked if he planned to hold talks with Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho following tomorrow night's game at Old Trafford, Koeman replied: "Why? We are interested in all the good players and that means every game...I like Coutinho of Liverpool, but I did not speak to club. I like David Silva but did not speak to Guardiola. "We will see what happens, I don't know."

Romelu Lukaku should be "embarrassed" by his performance against Liverpool
Analysing the derby defeat, Barkley's performance and Gareth Barry
By Michael Ball
4 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
But if I was him I would be embarrassed with that performance.
He lost near enough every one of his battles and so you can't moan about other players when you are not even doing the simple things yourself. This was a massive game, the one that means more to the fans than any other, and this was his chance to be a hero; make it the 'Lukaku derby'. But Everton's big player failed to show up and to not have a shot on target, against a defence whose weaknesses were known by everyone, is disappointing to say the least. It wasn't just Rom, of course, but we all expected much more from him. Koeman needed to act quicker at half-time Ronald Koeman's selection for the 228th derby surprised me but I didn't blame him for the players he chose. In many ways, I was actually fairly happy with the team and the way we were going to line-up. Ronald had to come up with something, conjure up the right tactics and get the Blues in a certain way and so I don't blame him for what he came up with. His mistake, however, was that he didn't change things soon enough when it clearly wasn't going right. We weren't at the races and going in 2-1 down at half-time was the perfect time to make a change but he wasted the chance. Jurgen Klopp had out-witted Koeman by setting Liverpool up to sit back, it was the opposite of what everyone expected them to do. I was also left frustrated by the fact we missed the opportunity to expose their biggest weakness: their defending from crosses. Our goal came from a cross into the box but I can't remember many other times we whipped the ball into the area and tested them. I felt sorry for Ross Barkley. That game meant more to him than the majority of players in the squad - maybe on the pitch. Ross will consider himself lucky to have stayed on the pitch after some of the challenges he put in but what I saw was a player trying - trying too hard. He couldn't take on Liverpool all by himself but there were times when it looked it he was attempting to because of the lack of support. There would often not be a royal blue shirt in sight, but at least Liverpool players swarming all over him. Sure, there were times when Ross' decision-making let him down but too many of his team-mates let him down.
Injuries were always going to weaken Everton
The injuries to Seamus Coleman and Morgan Schneiderlin were keenly felt, that's for sure.
Scheniderlin has started like a house on fire since joining from Manchester United in the January window and the worry was that we were going to over-use him. That over-use has come back to hurt us because he missed the Liverpool game and has been ruled out of the trip to Old Trafford tonight.
Schneiderlin had been playing so well, a lot of us looked at him and thought: 'I can't wait for the derby'.
I think we lacked not only his quality and direction on the ball but his leadership.
Everton made Lucas look brilliant on Saturday but what he also offered to the Reds was that he was constantly in the ref's ear, after every decision, he was always right by him, and it makes a difference.
I didn't see that from any Everton players. Coleman's absence left the Blues looking a little lost.
We are, if we're honest, a lob-sided team with the majority of our attacking play coming down the right but we didn't have that at Anfield. Everton didn't bottle this derby but they were very tentative.
Barry would be my pick for Old Trafford
I would think that Gareth Barry will come back into the side for tonight's game at Old Trafford.
There may have been an argument to start Barry against Liverpool but, as I say, I don't blame Koeman for his selection. Yet I reckon Barry will get the nod this evening because he'll offer greater balance and control in midfield and that will help Barkley. I also believe that Liverpool's first goal on Saturday would not have happened had Barry been in the team because he always picks up those positions on the edge of the area. But, again, I don't blame Koeman for his choice.

Manchester United v Everton referee is Neil Swarbrick
Official ends eight month gap with Everton fixture
By David Prentice
4 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton will renew acquaintances with a referee they haven't seen since August at Old Trafford tonight.
The last time Lancashire official Neil Swarbrick took charge of a Blues match was at The Hawthorns on the second Saturday of the season. Everton beat West Bromwich Albion that day 2-1, with Kevin Mirallas and Gareth Barry on target. Preston-based Swarbrick will be in the middle tonight when Everton travel to Manchester United (kick-off 8pm).
Swarbrick only took charge of one Everton match last season, and again Everton were victorous, beating Bournemouth 2-1 in Roberto Martinez's final home match as Blues boss. Swarbrick was in charge of the FA Cup tie at Upton Park in January 2015 when Aiden McGeady's red card was complicit in the Blues eventual penalty shoot-out defeat - and he was also in the middle when Everton beat QPR 3-1 at Goodison Park in December 2014. This season Swarbrick has showed 100 yellow cards and two reds in his 27 matches.

Everton transfer rumours - Blues to compete with Milan for La Liga defender
A round-up of transfer rumours and speculation from around the web
By Joe Rimmer
4 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton are to compete with AC Milan for the signing of Villarreal defender Mateo Musacchio, according to reports in Italy. Calciomercato report that the Blues are Milan have both made enquiries as to whether the 'Yellow Submarine' would sanction the sale of the 26-year-old in the summer. Musacchio, an Argentinian international, has established himself as one of the most consistent defenders in La Liga since moving to Villarreal from River Plate in 2009.
He has made 183 appearances in Spain, scoring seven goals.
But he now has just over one year remaining on his contract, and could therefore be available for a summer transfer. Milan are said to lead the chase for his signature, but the Blues may hope that Musaccho's international team-mate Ramiro Funes Mori could perhaps convince the defender to move to Goodison Park.

Ronald Koeman can make Premier League history at Old Trafford
Everton manager looking for a Manchester United hat-trick
By Phil Kirkbride
4 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Ronald Koeman can make Premier League history tonight against Manchester United.
The Blues manager is looking to become boss in the modern era to win his first THREE games at Old Trafford. Koeman's Southampton side stunned the Red Devils in January 2015 when Dusan Tadic scored the only goal of the game before the Dutchman guided the Saints to a repeat performance just over 12 months later. Charlie Austin headed home an 87th minute winner as Koeman made it back-to-back wins at United. Everton head to Old Trafford this evening knowing that victory over Jose Mourinho's side will see Koeman make Premier League history. United's home form this season has been patchy at best with eight draws, including last weekend's 0-0 with West Bromwich Albion which drew jeers from their supporters. Mourinho's side have also only scored 20 times at home in the league this term – the fewest of any side in the top eight. Koeman said: "It is a great stadium to show your quality and to show that Everton is a good team and good football team and then we can make it really difficult for United. "Why not?" Koeman has already taken an Everton team to Old Trafford once and returned unbeaten - the goalless draw in August for Wayne Rooney's testimonial.

Everton on course to sell out every match in 2016/17
Everton on target for highest ever season ticket renewal figures
By Phil Kirkbride
4 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton remain on course to sell out every league game at Goodison this season for the first time in the Premier League era. And the increasing demand for tickets is fuelling belief that the club's proposed new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock could be bigger than the 50,000 capacity indicated in an official Liverpool City Council report. Everton are due to submit a planning application later this year with approval hoping to be gained by early 2018. All 15 of Everton's league games at the Old Lady this term have been sold out and club officials say the visit of Leicester City on Sunday is close to becoming the 16th. Home games with Burnley, Chelsea and Watford are still to be played for the end of the campaign but Everton are confident there will not be a spare seat left for any of those fixtures. The Blues have, for the first time, introduced a 'registration of interest' list for fans looking into the possibility of getting hold of a season ticket. Renewals of existing season tickets, the club anticipate, could reach a club-record high and the Blues believe demand could outstrip supply for the 2017-18 season, where prices will be frozen and, in some cases reduced. Everton are encouraging current season ticket holders to renew ahead of the 'Guarantee Your Seat Deadline' on Thursday. The deadline represents the last chance for current season ticket holders to secure their seat or risk losing it to those supporters who have registered their interest in a season ticket for next term. Richard Kenyon, director of marketing and communications, said: "There's strong demand for season tickets from those renewing and those registering their interest. "Renewals have been tracking above our predictions and above previous years since the day we went on sale. "With only a couple of days left now until the April 6th deadline we're confident we're going to have one of the highest levels of renewals we've ever had.
Everton in the Community chief executive and club deputy chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale with director of marketing and communications Richard Kenyon at Barcelona's Camp Nou Stadium after the Blues won the Outstanding Achievement Award at TheStadiumBusiness Awards "Team performance – particularly our results at home, good pricing and payment options, and a general feel-good factor have undoubtedly driven this, but the increasing scarcity of tickets is also having an impact.
"With every game selling out this season, fans appreciate that holding on to their season ticket or applying for one for the first time is the only way of guaranteeing a seat for the games next season.
"We've got a healthy number of fans on our pre-registered list, so there's also a really important message to existing season ticket holders - unlike in previous years, if they don't guarantee their existing place by 6th April, it's very unlikely that they'll be able to get any season ticket for next season - such is the strength of the numbers waiting to buy." When asked whether all fans on the pre-registered list will get a season ticket, Kenyon added: "We won't know for certain until the renewal window has closed. What I would say is that it's looking very likely that we won't be going on general sale with season tickets this summer, so if anyone who is interested hasn't registered yet, they need to do so quickly to be in with a chance."

How Everton could line up against Man United: Lookman to get a half?
Pick your team for Manchester United v Everton
By David Prentice
4 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
"You'll win nothing with kids," said somebody, some time.
Everton certainly couldn't win the derby - and while boss Ronald Koeman has no regrets about his Anfield youth policy - he's likely to make changes tonight. But who do you think the Everton manager will select? We asked our writers for their selections. Read what they had to say, and then have a go yourself.
Dave Prentice
This isn't being wise after the event. On Friday I wrote: "I'm worried about too many kids in the derby cauldron" - and picked Holgate and Davies as my only youngsters. I'm going for one less tonight.
Tom Davies has been a breath of fresh air this season but the occasional rest won't do him any harm - while Enner Valencia has done more than enough in his cameos recently to deserve a start.
Kevin Mirallas also looked like he was itching to get involved in his brief time on the pitch on Saturday. He also starts. My team (4-2-3-1): Robles; Holgate, Jagielka, Williams, Baines; Gueye, Barry; Mirallas, Barkley, Valencia; Lukaku.
Paddy Shennan
I'm really not sure of the formation, but this is my XI, - with Ademola Lookman to be introduced for Mirallas if he's done nothing by half time! My team (flexible formation): Robles; Holgate, Jagielka, Williams, Baines; Barry, Gueye; Davies, Barkley, Mirallas; Lukaku.
Joe Rimmer
An experiment with Everton's youngsters didn't work in the Merseyside derby on Saturday. So perhaps it's time to turn to experience. Morgan Schneiderlin's absence has hit Everton hard, and as he's not fit to return to his former club tonight I think the Blues could do with a controlling presence in the middle of the park at Old Trafford. So I'd give Gareth Barry the nod. I'd go back to four at the back, putting Mason Holgate at right back and dropping Matty Pennington to the bench. In midfield, Tom Davies can play off the right, Kevin Mirallas off the left and Ross Barkley behind Romelu Lukaku.
My team (4-4-1-1): Robles; Holgate, Jagielka, Williams, Baines; Barry, Gueye; Davies, Mirallas, Barkley; Lukaku
Ian Croll
Hindsight is a wonderful thing!
If Ronald Koeman had known before the Merseyside derby what he knows now, would he have selected the same 11 players in Everton's 3-1 defeat to Liverpool?
The answer is, probably not! But what choice did he have?
A blend of youth and so called 'experience' always seems like a recipe for success.
We now know that wasn't the case and unfortunately for Ronald, not much has changed in four days.
The Blues boss pretty much has the exact same squad at his disposal and he faces another daunting task of picking 11 players good enough to go to Old Trafford and get a result.
The big dilemma is for the formation! Koeman either sticks with five at the back or switches to a four.
On Saturday's evidence, it has to be the four. And this isn't purely down to a defensive point of view.
For all the criticism thrown Lukaku's way after his below par performance, he was without a doubt, starved of service. I believe that extra body in the midfield, closer to the front runners, will go a long way to making Everton look like an attacking threat, which we all know, was non-existent at the weekend. Pennington drops out, leaving a back four of Baines, Williams, Jagielka and Holgate. A midfield of Davies, Gueye, and Barkley, all of who were below par on Saturday, but deserve a chance to right their wrongs. A front three of Valencia on the right, Mirallas on the left and Lukaku up top should provide our top scorer with the back up he needs to shoot Everton to victory at Old Trafford. My team: (4-3-3) Robles; Holgate, Jagielka, Williams, Baines; Gueye, Davies; Barkley, Valencia, Mirallas; Lukaku.

Romelu Lukaku - I've improved everything at Everton and I want to make history this season
The former Chelsea man bagged four goals throughout March
By Kristian Walsh
4 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Romelu Lukaku believes he has improved everything about his game at Everton, as he aims to help his side achieve "history" this season. The Belgian striker is this season's Premier League top goalscorer with 21 goals, but came in for criticism for his performance against Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday.
The 23-year-old is preparing to take on Manchester United this evening with only a victory good enough to keep their faint hopes of Champions League qualification alive.
On a personal note, the striker is pleased with how his game has developed with the Blues, with Lukaku wanting to fire his side into the top four. "I think I've proven that I've improved every part of my game," he said. "I have always been scoring goals and now the quality of goals I am scoring is better. I can now create chances to score for myself, and I have scored a free kick this year too. "I have been scoring a lot more headers and my overall finishing has improved a lot. My overall play has improved but I want to give a lot more as I go through my journey in football. "Since a young age I have always believed in my ability. I always knew I could score goals, but it was the way I was scoring goals. I used to have one way of scoring goals but now I can score goals in multiple ways.
"I want to learn and improve, every coach I have had throughout my career has helped me. Sometimes I haven't had the greatest relationship with some coaches but I have always been grateful for what I have learned since a young age, because they've all helped me in my football journey." "I want to create history at the club. I want to push for a top four spot and I think we have to aim for this. Personally, I just want to improve and become a better player than I am today." Though quiet in the Merseyside derby, Lukaku's recent form saw him named Player of the Month for March.
The former Chelsea man bagged four goals throughout the month, with the quartet coming later on in games. When asked about his form, Lukaku, speaking to, said: "Hard work, continuous hard work and dedication. I give my best everyday in training and in games; this is the only way that I know how to play football. "I always want to win and that's the same with my teammates. At the moment we are doing really well and we need to continue like this. "Physically we've been working really hard this year and I feel my fitness levels have been improving throughout the year. "I ensure I am focused throughout the game whether that is making a chance for myself or receiving the ball from a teammate to score."

Manchester United v Everton team news - Two changes as Koeman names VERY young bench
The Blues boss has dropped Matty Pennington and Dominic Calvert-Lewin to the bench
By Phil Kirkbride
4 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Ronald Koeman has recalled Gareth Barry and Kevin Mirallas to the starting line-up for tonight's game with Manchester United at Old Trafford. The Blues boss has dropped Matty Pennington and Dominic Calvert-Lewin to the bench but called up Joe Williams to the matchday squad for the first time. Everton played with a back three at Anfield in the derby last weekend but have reverted to a back four this evening and look set to line-up in a 4-3-3 formation.
Joel Robles continues in goal with Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka, Ashley Williams and Mason Holgate in front of him. Barry, Idrissa Gueye and Tom Davies, fresh from signing a new long-term contract, start in midfield with Mirallas, Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku up front. Williams is in a Koeman squad for the first time and takes his place on the bench alongside Maarten Stekelenburg, Enner Valencia, Ademola Lookman, Jonjoe Kenny, Calvert-Lewin and Pennington. Everton: Joel, Holgate, Jagielka, A. Williams, Baines, Davies, Barry, Gueye, Barkley, Mirallas, Lukaku Subs: Stekelenburg, Valencia, Calvert-Lewin, Lookman, Pennington, Kenny, J. Williams

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's late penalty rescues Manchester United against Everton
Man Utd 1 - 1 EvertonPremier League Old Trafford
Paul Wilson at Old Trafford
Tuesday 4 April 2017
José Mourinho's cunning plan to qualify for the Champions League by winning the Europa event is going to come in handy if Manchester United continue playing like this. They have taken only two points from two successive home games and they needed a 94th-minute penalty to avoid defeat against a desperately unlucky Everton. This was a classy and convincing response from the visitors after their abject display in the Merseyside derby, while once again questions were raised about the ponderousness of United's attack. At this rate they are not going to instil much fear into Europa League opponents, though a certain amount of luck remains on Mourinho's side, otherwise it would not have been Luke Shaw's shot that brought about the last-minute spot-kick. According to Mourinho the left-back is not currently worth a place on the bench, never mind the pitch, but after coming on midway through the second half he was in position to pile on the pressure when the ball came his way with seconds to spare. His shot was low but on target, it hit the diving Ashley Williams on the arm rather than the head and Everton's outstanding defender had to make the walk to the dressing room as Zlatan Ibrahimovic stroked in the penalty. Though Shaw made the bench for this game, in spite of managerial reservations, Wayne Rooney did not. After appearing for a mere 16 minutes against West Bromwich Albion, United's erstwhile captain was omitted with what his manager described as "pain in both ankles". Whatever interpretation one wishes to put on that it would appear the 31-year-old's time at Old Trafford is drawing to a close, at a point when Ibrahimovic, already four years older, is claiming to be capable of carrying on for another two or three years. "I know the Premier League is begging me to stay," the Swede told BT Sport before the game. "I came here at 35 and everybody thought I was in a wheelchair, but the lion is still alive." Giving his opinions of the best strikers around in the Premier League Ibrahimovic mentioned Romelu Lukaku – "strong" – and Sergio Agüero – "good all round" – without mentioning himself. Modesty? Hardly. "Lions don't compare themselves with humans," he said, making a bid for the Eric Cantona award for talking the pith. Lukaku had a quiet game against Liverpool last time out and had been invited by Ronald Koeman to show his worth against United, who in turn struggled without Ibrahimovic in the goalless draw against West Bromwich. Ibrahimovic was the first to show up, powering through Mason Holgate's challenge in the opening minutes and forcing Williams to come across with a covering block, before a run from Lukaku at the other end took him past Marcos Rojo to be stopped by an Eric Bailly tackle on the edge of the area. These turned out to be mere preliminaries to Everton taking the lead in bizarre fashion midway through the first half. Kevin Mirallas had just brought the first save of the game with a shot from a narrow angle and, from the corner which David de Gea conceded, Williams sent a looping header vaguely goalwards. It was slightly awkward for Rojo to deal with, though there was still no apparent danger until, with his back to goal, Phil Jagielka stuck out a boot to reach the ball first and flick a shot through De Gea's legs. If West Brom's refusal to cross the half way line on Saturday irked Mourinho, the look on his face at the manner in which United fell behind suggested an even darker mood, though the United manager cannot have it both ways. Everton did more than cross the halfway line; they moved the ball around and played with a confidence that had been absent at Anfield, and the opening goal was a reward for their spirit and adventure even if it came as a gift from a generous defence. It was up to the home side to respond and they almost did on the half-hour when Joel Robles could not hold Daley Blind's free-kick and Ander Herrera's follow-up attempt skimmed the crossbar. Herrera brought another save from Robles before the interval but Everton also had their moments, particularly on the couple of occasions when Lukaku found himself able to run at Rojo. Mourinho sent Paul Pogba on for Blind in the second half, a switch that necessitated all manner of recalculations in the United back line, though at least the substitute got involved quickly, heading against the bar from Ashley Young's free-kick. There were predictable bookings for Gareth Barry and Ross Barkley as the game became a little overheated, with Young cautioned for the home side, and Mirallas was sensibly withdrawn before he could get into serious trouble. Young was pulled for the same reason, though sending on Shaw in his place was surely Mourinho's last desperate gamble. Ibrahimovic forced a close-range header past Robles from Herrera's cross but was brought back for offside, then Marouane Fellaini had a chance to score against his old club but hit his shot high into the Stretford End. Everton remained tight at the back and in control, while United remained short of ideas. Lukaku might have made the game safe had he looked up and found Barkley after another surging run past Rojo near the end; instead he went for glory and saw his shot charged down by Bailly. Shaw was not a conspicuous success until his moment arrived in stoppage time. Neither, it has to be said, was Ibrahimovic, who despite his rest was as slow and predictable as everyone else in red. The self-proclaimed mane man put a last-minute header over the bar with a chance to rescue a point and would have been as relieved as anyone else when United gained a shot at redemption from the unlikeliest source.

Phil Jagielka makes a mockery and Ashley Williams effort cannot be forgotten - ratings from Everton draw with Manchester United

Greg O'Keeffe runs the rule over a brave display at Old Trafford
22:11, 4 APR 2017UPDATED22:54, 4 APR 2017
Liverpool Echo
Joel Robles 7
Certainly played his role in the redemption effort. Brave, alert and some terrific saves.
Leighton Baines 7
Had his hands full with Jesse Lingard at times but did well. Had the potential to find Barkley in the channels but wasn't using it enough in the first half. Some crucial blocks near the end as his experience told.
Phil Jagielka 9
Wow. Every good quality we've associated with Jagielka throughout his long Everton career came to the fore in a pulsating display of defending that made a mockery of Father Time and provided a barrier United simply could not breach in open play. Tremendous.
Ashley Williams 8
A gargantuan effort for 92 minutes. Completely transformed from his derby showing. He was immovable, inspirational and marshalled the back line like the leader we expected him to be until that fateful last minute shocker.
Mason Holgate 8
Performed with the maturity and grace which has characterised most of his displays this season. A vital intervention to snuff out Ashley Young's first half cross and an equally strong second half.
Idrissa Gueye 7
His passing was poor again in the first half as the derby malaise lingered but recovered from that shaky start to remind everyone of his finer attributes. Nullified the threat of Pogba.
Gareth Barry 8
Solid and typically influential he helped take the sting out of the opening United onslaught and introduced the Blues as an attacking force. Increasingly important as United pushed and pushed late in the game.
Tom Davies 7
Loads of energy throughout and became more disciplined as the contest wore on.
Ross Barkley 7
Flattered to deceive in the first half but dragged himself into the contest through sheer determination and hard yards. Rarely delivered a killer pass but gave his all.
Kevin Mirallas 8
Bright, threatening and surprisingly tenacious. Why can't he play like this all the time? Some terrific runs that unsettled and stretched the United defence.
Romelu Lukaku 8
More dynamism in the opening 10 minutes here than entire game at Anfield. A response was demanded tonight and he delivered. Gave Eric Bailly a non-stop headache and kept plugging away from start to finish.
Matthew Pennigton (Mirallas, 67) 8
Got stuck straight into the rearguard battle and palpably strengthened it.
Dominc Calvert-Lewin (Barkley, 80) 5
Struggled to make his mark. Plenty of game running but his passing and link-up with Lukaku could have been better.

Everton cruelly denied win over Manchester United after last-gasp penalty - full-time report from Blues' 1-1 draw

Zlatan Ibrahimovic sent Joel Robles to wrong way to make it 1-1 and rescue a point for United and break royal blue hearts
4 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton were cruelly denied a win at Old Trafford after Manchester United scored a last-gasp penalty. The Blues led the game deep into time added-on after Phil Jagielka's first-half goal but Ashley Williams handled in the area with only seconds remaining to concede a spot-kick. Zlatan Ibrahimovic sent Joel Robles to wrong way to make it 1-1 and rescue a point for United and break royal blue hearts. Williams was shown a red card. Everton's fans stood and applauded their crestfallen players at the end of a match in which they restored pride in the wake of the weekend's derby defeat at Anfield. Williams was required to put in a last-gasp block to deny Zlatan Ibrahimovic inside the opening five minutes as the Blues wobbled in the early stages. But gradually, Koeman's worked their way into the game and mid-way through the half they took the lead. Kevin Mirallas won a corner after forcing David de Gea into a smart save at his near post and from the resulting set-piece Everton broke the deadlock. Williams nodded Mirallas' corner into the six yard area and Jagielka produced an improvised finish with his back to goal to send the ball in between de Gea's legs.
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 04: Ross Barkley of Everton reacts during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Everton at Old Trafford on April 4, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
United responded aggressively and came very close to an equaliser eight minutes after going behind. Ashley Young's goalbound free-kick was clawed out by a brilliant Joel Robles save and Ander Herrera could only turn the rebound onto the bar. Robles would later save well from Herrera but Everton were deserving of their lead at the break. United made a strong start to the second-half and soon hit the woodwork for the second time in the game when substitute Paul Pogba headed against the bar. A melee soon ensued after Mirallas was clattered by three United players - the home side were growing frustrated by Everton's stubborn display. Ibrahimovic thought he had equalised mid-way through the half but after squeezing a header underneath the dive of Robles, the effort was ruled out for offside. United piled on the pressure but Everton looked as though they were going to hang on for a first win here since December 2013 but referee Neil Swarbrick judged that Williams' handled Luke Shaw's strike and pointed to the spot.

'Organised, full-blooded, dangerous and competitive' - Verdict on Everton's draw at Manchester United

Cruelly denied victory as game finishes 1-1 but this was a performance Ronald Koeman could be proud of
4 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Now that was a performance to be proud of. And even though Everton were pegged back with only seconds remaining at Old Trafford tonight there was a reason why the away fans stood and applauded their crestfallen players. Well, a host of reasons in fact. Everything the Blues weren't in the derby at the weekend, they were here: organised, full-blooded, dangerous and competitive. United may have dominated the game, had most of the ball, peppered the Everton box with a succession of crosses but it took a rare, and maybe unfortunate, lapse to break the away side's stirring resolve in the dying embers of this game. Ashley Williams, in yet another lunge of his body in trying to block yet another shot, handled Luke Shaw's goal-bound drive and left referee Neil Swarbrick with little option but to point to the spot. Everton's Ashley Williams gets a red card during the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester
Given the way Everton had repelled everything United at thrown at them, you couldn't bet against Joel Robles saving Zlatan Ibrahimovic's penalty but it wasn't to be as the Swedish striker sent Everton's keeper the wrong way for the first time on the night. It was the 93rd minute and it was painfully cruel on Everton. Because it was clear they had been stung by the criticism levelled at them in the wake of the loss to Liverpool; it showed in their reaction, their determination, passion and attitude and was why the Blues in the far corner of Old Trafford didn't slump off in a despondent mood, but sang their names at the end and made a point of saluting their efforts. Everton, of course, are no longer in the business of taking solace from hard luck stories; this is a side, a manager and a billionaire investor who want to win, but they have to be heartened by this, if for no other reason, because the pressure was on to produce a reaction after what unravelled at Anfield. There was also the need to try and shift the growing perception that when the going gets tough away to one of the established elite in the division, they fold all too easily. That they were easy for those sides to play against, weren't competitive enough and couldn't be a threat. Manchester United's Ashley Young Everton's Mason Holgate confront each other during the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester
They were rock hard for United to play against, they were supremely competitive and they were a threat. Work, and serious investment, is still required with this squad if they are to properly bridge the gap next season as Ronald Koeman believes they can but that was the type of foundation he wants to build from, not what was served up across Stanley Park, however strongly he may protest This was also a better performance from Everton's manager as well. He never shies away from his mistakes and tweaked his formation and selection for this trip, reverting to a back four, recalling Gareth Barry and asking Kevin Mirallas to provide a line of support for Romelu Lukaku. Koeman, who was seconds away from being the first Premier League manager to win his opening three games at Old Trafford, was also back to his narky best; contesting decisions with the referee and fourth official, gesticulating on the touchline, going back and forth from his seat in the dugout. Romelu Lukaku of Everton shoots (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Sure he argued with the Liverpool bench at the weekend, rightly taking exception to their histrionics, but this was the Everton manager with his presence back. As you can imagine, Koeman was pleased with the Blues' performance yet his post-match thoughts were tinged with regret; he felt as though they wasted good chances on the counter-attack to add to Phil Jagielka's first-half goal and fully extinguish United's remaining threat.Ultimately they were unable to do so and were punished right at the death. For the first time this season, away from home against a side above them, they finished with more shots on target, but they couldn't find the second despite promising moments in the second period.
oeman also openly admitted that he was always far more confident in Everton getting a result here than at Anfield, given the differences in the way United and Liverpool set up. The pace of United's game, or lack of it, certainly allowed Barry to be a major influence here while Jagielka and Williams' strengths as old fashioned stoppers, if you like, came to the fore in the strongest way as they defended heroically at times. Headers, blocks, clearances, it was everything they do well. Being stretched and tested by speed merchants is when they look most vulnerable but they were comfortable – or as comfortable as you can be in any game at Old Trafford. But tonight was right up their street and it was doubly cruel that Williams was the one that cracked in the end. For the record, Koeman had no complaints about the award of the spot-kick. It hurt but he couldn't dis

Everton on road to redemption as Kevin Mirallas poses puzzler - analysis from Blues' hard-fought draw with Manchester United
Everton editor Greg O'Keeffe also discusses the use of youth and the problems with pressing
4 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
For Everton the Road to Redemption was the M62. The short journey across Stanley Park resulted in the usual dismay on Saturday, but the brief trip along the motorway tonight saw the Blues rediscover their spirit. It was nearly the perfect response. Close, but not quite close enough thanks to a moment of madness from an otherwise transformed Ashley Williams. But even if that split second melt-down cost Everton two deserved points, the proceeding 92 minutes will have gone some way to restoring this side's belief and momentum. Possibly just Phil Jagielka aside, each of the players in the away dressing room had a point to prove tonight. A demon to slay following Saturday. To a man they responded, and even if it will hurt to see that collective effort amount to a solitary point it must surely bode well for the season's remaining games. London's top four sides still prove unyielding, but at the Etihad and Old Trafford Everton have matched two local giants this term. Ronald Koeman is not the type to give much away. He'd certainly be the last to admit that outside criticism ever perturbed him. But when rumblings surfaced early in the season about his reluctance to blood Everton's younger players, you might wonder how much it stung. Since then, largely to impressive results and wide acclaim, he's been eager to select starlets such as Tom Davies, Mason Holgate and Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Nobody would suggest that policy overall hasn't been correct. But it's not always the right call to throw young players into the deepest deep ends; certainly when represented by an Anfield derby and United away. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but would Enner Valencia's greater experience have been the better option to replace the tiring Ross Barkley than Calvert-Lewin? The young striker is a real prospect but struggled against Liverpool, and looked shaky again at Old Trafford. Where a cool head and ball retention were required from his role as an outlet up front alongside a knackered Romelu Lukaku, he was rash and sloppy. hairdryer, but Kevin Mirallas will certainly get his cheeks reddened when Ronald Koeman direct some stern words in his direction on Tuesday morning. The Blues boss said he will speak with the forward about his petulance when withdrawn in the second half against United. Not the behaviour of a team player, was the Dutchman's verdict. But if Koeman rightly rebukes the Belgian for his mini meltdown, he could well soften it with praise for a committed display. The 29-year-old showed rare battling qualities; putting his body on the line to unsettle the hosts, especially when he was nearly chopped asunder by three United players incensed by his decision not to give them back a dropped ball. Finding a way to get Mirallas to perform like that every week may take some special man-management; something neither David Moyes or Roberto Martinez could ever quite manage. But it would be worth it. Koeman was candid enough to admit it. His Everton side have a problem with teams who press. Particularly those who press as vigorously as Liverpool and Tottenham. He said himself that he feels more comfortable dealing with sides that sit back. Was this then, a window into his thinking in the summer transfer market. A hint that he will seek defenders, and central midfielders who are comfortable enough on the ball in tight places to retain possession when being pressured by quick, powerful runners around them? Ashley Williams was a short-term option to steady a listing back line but the Wales skipper, and Phil Jagielka, are not ball playing centre backs. Koeman would be unlikely to indulge a John Stones, but 'a Virgil Van Dijk' - the next iteration of him rather than the Dutchman himself who seems bound for a Champions League club, may be prioritised. "If you cant win, don't lose" That was the Blues boss' sanguine conclusion here. Admirable given the frustration that must have been coursing through his veins. But he was right. The hurt of two points dropped will subside and as seventh place seems in the bag now, the three points Koeman's men remain behind United - still with those two games in hand - are enticing. You just can't write off the possibility, no matter how tall the odds, that subsequent twists and turns in this run in may yet see Koeman's men climb higher.

Last-gasp draw was really painful admits Everton manager Ronald Koeman
'We didn't take the right decisions' when chasing second goals says Blues boss after game at Manchester United ends 1-1
4 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Ronald Koeman labelled Manchester United's last-gasp equaliser as "really painful" as Everton were denied a win at Old Trafford, Phil Jagielka gave the Blues the lead mid-way through the first-half and Koeman's side looked like they were going to hang on for the three points after a heroic display. But in the third minute of four added on at the end of the game, Ashley Williams handled Luke Shaw's goal-bound effort to concede a penalty. Williams was shown a red card and Zlatan Ibrahimovic sent Joel Robles the wrong way to make it 1-1 and break Blue hearts. Koeman was full of praise for Everton's performance, saying they did a "great job" defensively, but admits he rued their inability to score a second goal. "We lost two points," Koeman said "We did a really good job tonight, we controlled the game. Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho and Everton manager Ronald Koeman during the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester
"Maybe in the first 10 or 15 minutes United were the better team and there was that one open chance for Zlatan, they were really fast in the game. "But after that we really controlled the game, we defended well but we made some mistakes in the second-half. "After I brought Matty Pennington on we had some good defending and we had a lot of space in counter-attacking and we have to score the second because you have so much space and we didn't take the right decisions. "But even not scoring the second, I was still comfortable because we did a great job defensively. It is always tough against Fellaini, Zlatan, Pogba, tall people in the box. The team was really well organised defensively. "It is always then hard to take but, of course, it was the right decision to give the penalty. "But one minute more and you win the game and that is painful, really painful, because the boys did a great job and showed everything but it's one point and if you can't win, don't lose." When asked to explain the difference in performance from the derby to tonight, Koeman replied: "Because Man United play different to Liverpool." Then asked if United are easier to play against, compared to the Reds, Koeman said: "They have different systems, different pressing. "If feel myself more comfortable here than how Liverpool tried to press. "United are strong, they have individual qualities but it isn't a team who will, from the start: pressing, pressing, pressing. "They have a different system, still a strong team with good players but you get more time and you will have more ball possession and it's different."

Phil Jagielka dedicates Everton goal against Manchester United to Seamus Coleman
The 34-year-old marked the goal by raising his hands to the air, holding up three fingers on one hand and two on the other
By Kristian Walsh
4 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Phil Jagielka has dedicated his goal against Manchester United to team-mate Seamus Coleman.
The Everton captain opened the scoring at Old Trafford with a deft close-range finish, a goal which looked to be the winner until Zlatan Ibrahimovic's stoppage time equaliser from the penalty spot.
The 34-year-old marked the goal by raising his hands to the air, holding up three fingers on one hand and two on the other, signifying the Irishman's squad number of 23.
The centre back then took to Twitter after the game, writing: "Not the result we wanted but the goal is dedicated to @seamiecoleman23 Brilliant support from the away end."
Coleman is out for the foreseeable future after sustaining a horror injury on international duty last week, suffering a double leg break under a challenge from Wales' Neil Taylor.

José Mourinho criticises Manchester United's finishing after Everton draw
• 'It is obvious we don't score enough goals,' says Manchester United manager
• Ronald Koeman laments Everton's missed chances but pleased with showing
Paul Wilson at Old Trafford
Wednesday 5 April 2017 Guardian
José Mourinho has admitted that goalscoring is a problem for Manchester United and says he will take steps to improve the situation for next season. United's last‑gasp equaliser against Everton took their unbeaten record to 20 Premier League games, yet they have remained out of the top four through drawing 10 of them. "It is obvious we do not score enough goals," the United manager said. "We have the attacking players, we have the chances but we don't convert enough. I think we are second in the table for attempts on goal but third from bottom for the ratio of chances accepted. That says it all. I would happily sign up now to go 20 matches unbeaten next season, but to win more games we need to score more goals." Ironically Mourinho felt his side had scored a legitimate goal against Everton before the stoppage‑time penalty that salvaged a point, replays suggesting Zlatan Ibrahimovic's second‑half header was from a starting position level with the last defender and perhaps ought to have stood. "That disallowed goal was wrong but I am not unhappy with the linesman and I have told him so," Mourinho said. "I accept it was a difficult decision, but even after that we had chances, we hit the post, put a free header over the bar, we tried everything." Mourinho said he sensed his side were losing confidence in their attacking ability so he ordered them to be more direct against Everton. "You don't need so much confidence when you play that way, it's less creative and more mechanical. We tried to take a short cut by sending Marouane Fellaini to play up next to Zlatan." It took a while to work, though by the 94th minute Everton were unable to hold out against a constant battering. "It was painful to lose in the last minute like that because Ashley Williams did a great job," Ronald Koeman said. "We can't complain about the penalty. We made a few other defensive mistakes in the second half but we also created some good chances on the counter and couldn't take them. With a better final ball we might have had a second goal and three points." The Everton manager was pleased with his side's response to defeat in the Merseyside derby but not completely surprised. "United play a different system to Liverpool. They don't press as hard," he said. "I feel more comfortable playing against them than the way Liverpool try to press." United's all-important equaliser came when Williams handled a shot from Luke Shaw, of all people. Mourinho conceded the left-back had improved the team when he came on as a substitute, though still proceeded to be highly critical. "Because he was playing on my side of the pitch I was able to do his thinking for him, I was making every decision for him. At 21 years old he needs to have a better understanding and he needs to accelerate the process." Mourinho also revealed Marcus Rashford is low on confidence after not scoring since September but his approach to the forward is quite different. "The kid is desperate but he works and works and tries and tries," he said. "He is an amazing professional and the only thing he deserves from me is support."

Ronald Koeman will speak with Kevin Mirallas after Everton man's fury over substitution
"But in the way how he reacted is not a team, in my opinion, and I will speak to him about that with him."
By Phil Kirkbride
5 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Ronald Koeman plans to hold talks with Kevin Mirallas following his angry reaction to being substituted against Manchester United.
The Belgium forward was recalled to the starting line-up for the game at Old Trafford but was replaced with just over 20 minutes to go with the Blues 1-0 in front. Koeman decided to bring on Matty Pennington to bulk out their defensive unit but Mirallas was not happy about having to make way and made it clear as he walked off the pitch and took his seat in the dugout. The Everton boss understood that Mirallas would be disappointed at being subbed he admits he didn't appreciate the manner in which the 29-year-old made his feeling known. And Koeman says he will talk to Mirallas about the incident later this week at Finch Farm. "I can understand players, if you substitute them, that they are a little bit disappointed," Koeman said. "But in the way how he reacted is not a team, in my opinion, and I will speak to him about that with him."

Lukaku showed Williams disrespect says Martin Keown
Passion or disrespect? Pundits have their say on Williams-Lukaku
By David Prentice
5 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Former Everton defender Martin Keown has accused Romelu Lukaku of showing "disrespect" to current Blues defender Ashley Williams. The Blues duo argued on the pitch at Old Trafford towards the end of Everton's 1-1 draw with Manchester United. The Wales defender appeared to be urging Lukaku to work harder off the ball, but the Belgian hit back and put a finger to his mouth suggesting his team-mate should be quiet. Keown, now an analyst for BT Sport who televised the match live, said afterwards: "It's a lack of respect and without that in the dressing room we have nothing. "He is the most experienced player, Ashley Williams, in terms of how long he's played and he should be listening to him. "I wonder what was going on in that dressing room because I think there is bit of an undercurrent with Lukaku and Ashley Williams. "And I saw moments on the pitch when Lukaku is saying (holds his finger to his mouth) 'keep your mouth shut'. "When he (Williams) gets sent off I would love to be in that dressing room to find out what's happening. Ashley Williams played very well tonight and Lukaku, you have to understand, that brotherly love of 'I'm doing my best for you'. "But you wonder there if there is the makings of a bit of anger going because Lukaku is not holding on to that ball at times well enough, his decision making isn't quite good enough but he wants to point the fingers at the defenders when they don't do their job properly. It's quite healthy, let's be fair." Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand, also on the BT panel, said that arguing amongst team-mates simply showed passion.
"I like to see the passion and arguing between team-mates, there probably weren't many games in our careers when we didn't have an argument with a team-mate over holding the ball up or getting the defensive line up," he said. But Arsenal legend Ian Wright supported Keown in his assertion that Lukaku's reaction had been disrespectful. "You saw Lukaku shushing him," he said. "We've all had arguments with the forwards because they're not holding it up and you're not getting a breather and you shout back and swear and say whatever you say but for him to shush him like that, that's the kind of thing where you go in the dressing room and it's disrespectful. "You feel like 'don't shush me.' We're talking about an experienced defender and Ashley is obviously saying something of note. We know that he (Lukaku) is a big player in that dressing room because he scores the goals but Ashley Williams is saying something and he's shushing him - it doesn't look good." Ferdinand added: "That's not the camaraderie you need in a team to be successful. You need to be able to take criticism. If you're giving it out take it as well. I think men can do that and you've got to be a man in those situations."

Leon Osman says Ross Barkley hasn't kicked on since he was 18
"He keeps on making more wrong decisions than right decisions in a game"
By David Prentice
5 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Former Everton midfielder Leon Osman says has delivered a withering verdict on Ross Barkley's lack of progress. Osman, who made 433 appearances for the Toffees and scored 58 goals, told the BBC that his old team-mate has not "kicked on" since he was 18. Osman said: "He's got all the talent in the world but he keeps on making more wrong decisions than right decisions in a game. Having had four or five years experience now you would have expected him to learn to have started to make them right decisions more often than not, but as of yet we're all still waiting for that to happen."
Speaking to Radio5Live Osman added: "He's been playing in the first-team since he was 17-18. That's a long time to have been playing in the Premier League and not kicked on and not made that next step. It's worrying that he's still being talked about as a young player and 'give him time'."

Everton FC's Farhad Moshiri BUYS the Royal Liver Building
Billionaire now joint owner of world famous Liverpool landmark and its Liver Birds
By Alistair Houghton
5 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri has jointly bought the Royal Liver Building and its world-famous rooftop Liver Birds. And the billionaire behind Everton's new stadium plans says the deal for the city's best-known building shows his pride in Liverpool as a "thriving international city". The world-famous building was sold for £48m in February to a consortium led by international property group Corestate. Now the ECHO can reveal that Mr Moshiri, who bought his stake in Everton a year ago, was Corestate's partner in the deal.
It was the first time the building had changed hands since it was built in 1911.
Whenever he visits his new waterfront property, Mr Moshiri will be able to look downriver towards Bramley Moore Dock where Everton hope to build a £300m stadium . Corestate had already vowed to invest millions in the Royal Liver Building to attract new office tenants, as Liverpool is lacking in the top-class "Grade A" offices it needs to attract new businesses and jobs .
And Mr Moshiri says he is proud of the potential of the building and the city.
He told the ECHO: "I am delighted to have jointly acquired the Royal Liver Building, which is a world-class property in a bustling riverfront location. "Following my investment in Everton last year, I am confident in the prospects for Liverpool as a thriving international city and am pleased that I have been able to make this investment in such a landmark building with potential for further improvement."
The Royal Liver Building opened in 1911 as the home of Royal Liver Assurance. In 2011 Royal Liver was taken over by larger rival Royal London, which put the building up for sale last year.
Speaking to the ECHO in February to announce the deal, Corestate founder Thomas Landschreiber described the building as "crazy and unique". And he said: "The next step is to invest money and get tenants for the vacant space where we see a huge opportunity for Liverpool at the moment."

Phil Jagielka - Everton need to learn from Manchester United heartbreak
Captain admits Blues could have kept possession better
By Chris Beesley
5 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton need to learn from their last-gasp heartbreak against Manchester United says captain Phil Jagielka. The Blues skipper's first goal since May 2015 looked to be giving his side what would have been only their second victory at Old Trafford since their famous 3-0 success in the opening week of the Premier League era back in August 1992. However, they were denied the three points when Zlatan Ibrahimovic equalised from the penalty spot with virtually the last kick of the game after Ashley Williams had been sent off for handling a goal-bound effort. Jagielka said: "We knew we'd need to soak up some ourselves but unfortunately we weren't able to keep hold of the ball and see the game out and we could have controlled the game and kept the ball a bit better towards the end.
"When you come to a place like Old Trafford you need to try to keep the ball because they've obviously got some great players who can hurt you when they've got it. "Second half the performance was obviously good in patches in terms of defending but on the ball it's something we need to work on."
He added: "We do feel it's two points dropped, especially conceding so late, but it's something we need to learn from. "We put a decent performance in but we would've liked the three points.
"We're disappointed. Manchester United hit the bar twice and obviously put us under a lot of pressure but when you think you've just about seen it out, unfortunately they get a penalty and equalise really late on. "I thought we played some good stuff, especially in the first half, and I thought the game plan worked. We got players in good pockets and put them under pressure." Meanwhile, Jagielka was modest about his own deft finish that had put the visitors in front. He said: "It's the worst overhead side-kick volley ever but it went in so I'll take that. "It's been a long time coming and it's nice to have got one but it would've been nice to have got a winner."

'I think Rom is becoming an increasingly isolated player' - Everton fans react to Lukaku row with Ashley Williams
Blues supporters have their say on team-mates exchange at Old Trafford
By Chris Beesley
5 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Evertonians have been reacting on social media after Romelu Lukaku was accused of showing disrespect to his Blues team-mate Ashley Williams during the 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford.
The pair argued on the pitch late in the game as Williams appeared to be urging Lukaku to work harder off the ball, but the Belgian hit back and put a finger to his mouth suggesting his team-mate should be quiet. Former Everton defender Martin Keown said: "It's a lack of respect and without that in the dressing room we have nothing. "He is the most experienced player, Ashley Williams, in terms of how long he's played and he should be listening to him."
Everton's Romelu Lukaku chats with his pal Paul Pogba of Manchester United - the pair played
Here's what fans had to say on the ECHO's Everton Facebook page.
Michael Churchill Disrespect from Lukaku... especially watching Lukaku with his buddy Pogba at the end, obviously we don't know what was said but it appears he was slagging players off.... I think his ego has gotten too big, probably because Koeman is terrified to lose him, he plays 90 minutes in every single game, our entire tactics is geared for his game. Steve Torrens I think Rom is becoming an increasingly isolated player at the club, and that's purely down to his 'it's all about me' attitude. Maynard Hanna We need an on-field captain, a boss who everyone knows his word is law. No one opened their mouths when Labone or Ratcliffe were calling the shots. And the only one who should have been bawling his head off last night was our keeper telling Williams to get out of the road and leave the ball alone. RK will sort it. Raphael Mozart Lukaku's body language says it all. When he loses the ball he never chases back. He just struts about in a huff waiting for a pass back. If he had the right team mentality it could be a different ball game, pardon the pun. Paul Jacob I'd be more worried if there wasn't any of the reactions both players showed. Dave Moore Williams wasn't the only player to have a go at Lukaku. James McGreevy Well if Williams ends up having to get sent off because we don't have enough men defending because lukaku is elsewhere..... Well..... Chris Williams Both care, hence the reaction of both!
Awaden Keita Williams was wrong he is not the coach!
Paul Brixey Let Dunc sort Lukaku out.

Readers' reaction as Everton FC's Farhad Moshiri buys the Royal Liver Building
From Tony Hibbert tributes to blue Liver Birds, here's what you thought
By Peter GuyAlistair Houghton
5 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
ECHO readers have been reacting after Everton majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri has jointly bought the Royal Liver Building and its world-famous rooftop Liver Birds. The billionaire behind Everton's new stadium plans says the deal for the city's best-known building shows his pride in Liverpool as a "thriving international city". The world-famous building was sold for £48m in February to a consortium led by international property group Corestate. And readers have been reacting on Twitter and Facebook to the sensational news. Here's a selection of the best bits:
@wimpyking @LFCZA Breaking! Farhad Moshiri will replace the liverbirds at the Royal Liver Building with two statues of Tony Hibbert.
— Wio (@ColoWio) April 5, 2017
Show your colours
The liver birds are going to look great in royal blue!!#EFC
— James McManus (@mackie_j) April 5, 2017
@LivEchonews @Mellyb0bs The game dun changed..
— U S M (@Dr_EFC) April 5, 2017
— Chris Williams (@bigdog1608) April 5, 2017
People's club
@wimpyking @EvertonArentWe The City

Roberto Martinez unsure if Everton can hold on to Romelu Lukaku
Ex-Blues boss believes it is important to lose a player on your own terms if forced to sell
By Chris Beesley
5 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Roberto Martinez admits he doesn't know whether the Blues will be able to hold on to Romelu Lukaku but believes it's important to lose a player on your own terms if forced to sell.
Now coaching Lukaku with the Belgium national team, the Catalan brought the striker to Goodison on loan from Chelsea shortly after arriving at the club himself in the summer of 2013.
He later signed him on a permanent deal a year later for a club record £28million fee – smashing the Blues previous biggest outlay of £15million on compatriot Marouane Fellaini back in 2008.
Speaking to FourFourTwo magazine , when asked whether Everton can keep hold of Lukaku – who has not signed the lucrative new five-year contract offered to him – Martinez said: "It's difficult to say. What's important is that as a club, if you lose a player, you lose him on your own terms.
"Rom has doubled or trebled the initial fee that Everton originally paid for him."
Looking back on his capture of Lukaku, Martinez believes it was a landmark buy for Everton but he explains there are other factors in play as to whether it was his own best signing.
He said: "It depends what you consider the best signing. Victor Moses became a really special player with Wigan, Ashley Williams became captain at Swansea, James McCarthy and Gareth Barry were really important for me at Everton. "But Romelu was different – you were breaking all the established rules to bring him to the club. In my eyes, potentially, he was worth more money. We knew he'd become the player he is now." Although Martinez's sacking ahead of the final game of last season ended up costing his former employers more than £10million after they agreed the figure after an independent hearing in London – a clause in his contract had initially meant he was entitled to almost £12million – he insists there is no animosity between himself and Everton and he wants the club to end their long wait for a major trophy. He said: "When it had to end it's never an easy situation, but Bill Kenwright is a special chairman and I will never lose those relationships. "We achieved great things, and then I understood that Everton has to be close to silverware. "I had a great time and you keep your memories. There are things I see now that we put in place – with young players – and that gives you satisfaction.
"I hope they lift silverware very soon."
For the full interview see May's edition of FourFourTwo which is in shops now.

Everton's Kevin Mirallas divides opinion with his 'top snide' display
Blues winger might have been petulant but he was also determined
By Chris Beesley
5 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
An all-action night for Kevin Mirallas ended in frustration for the Everton winger as he reacted angrily to being substituted, but many Blues appreciated his spiky attitude with one applauding him for being "a top snide". Ronald Koeman revealed he'd be speaking to the Belgian about his petulant response to being withdrawn for the far more defensive-minded Matthew Pennington, stating that he felt the behaviour was not becoming of a team player. For better or for worse, since first arriving Mirallas has always adopted a rather single-minded approach. One of football's individuals with a licence to thrill, his natural instinct is to run directly at the opposition goal and make something happen himself.
The results can sometimes be spectacular but equally when the end product doesn't come off, Mirallas can prove a source of great frustration to team-mates and supporters alike. Fans won't forget, and some won't forgive, Mirallas for the way he wrestled the ball out of regular penalty taker Leighton Baines' arms in a home game against West Bromwich Albion in January 2015 and the incident of course became even more infamous by him hitting the post from the resultant spot-kick in a game that would end up goalless. However, he looked like a man on a mission at Old Trafford, possessing a fighting spirit that had been distinctly lacking from those in royal blue jerseys at Anfield three days earlier.
Mirallas' hard-running caused Manchester United's defence plenty of headaches but there was one incident in particular that riled the hosts as he steamed into what had looked like being an uncontested drop ball from referee Neil Swarbrick only to be subsequently flattened by Ashley Young before a resultant melee of both sets of players ensued. It appeared that a line had been crossed when it came to good sportsmanship and only Mirallas himself can explain his actions at that moment. But equally it typified an attitude from the player that he was going to do everything in his powers to try and get the result. While now almost routinely dispatching the lesser sides in the division who they are expected to beat, Everton continue to find it difficult against the Premier League's big boys, the exclusive club that they are attempting to break into. Was Mirallas, both in the drop ball and substitution flashpoints just displaying the determined attitude of a winner as opposed to a petulant brat?
A 30th birthday on the horizon this October for Mirallas represents a significant landmark as it does for all footballers, especially those like him who rely on explosive pace. Everton are trying to go a long way in a short space of time and the player himself may feel that the clock is ticking. Having already fallen out of favour under Koeman's predecessor Roberto Martinez, Mirallas will be determined to show that he is still capable of delivering on the big stage but equally he doesn't want to make an enemy of the current Blues boss, especially someone as formidable as the Dutchman. Whatever your take, it became clear to many that Everton looked worse off without Mirallas' presence on the turf and without the outlet of his runs on the counter attack they increasingly seemed to invite United on to them, culminating with subsequent late equaliser.

Here's why Liverpool FC are safe from Farhad Moshiri and a possible Liver Bird removal
Cheeky Blues fans suggested Moshiri should now remove the Liver Bird from all official Liverpool FC on Wednesday
By Paul Gorst
5 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Farhad Moshiri's purchase of the Liver Buildings has seen plenty of opportune Everton fans call for the immediate removal of the Liver Bird from Liverpool 's shirts. The world-famous building was sold for £48m in February to a consortium led by international property group Corestate, with Blues owner Moshiri acting as a partner in the deal. Moshiri told the ECHO: "Following my investment in Everton last year, I am confident in the prospects for Liverpool as a thriving international city and am pleased that I have been able to make this investment in such a landmark building with potential for further improvement." Immediately across social media on Wednesday, cheeky Blues fans suggested Moshiri should now remove the Liver Bird from all official Liverpool FC merchandise. However, Reds fans worried about the indignity of their greatest rivals removing the Liver Bird from their iconic emblem should fear not. The club won a court battle in 2012 to protects the its right to copyright over the Liver Bird across all kits, and merchandise. The Reds secured the trademark in 2010 after they attempted to clamp down on merchandise forgers. The club did a deal with Liverpool council so both could apply for different trademarks, the Reds in Europe and the council at the UK's Intellectual Property Office, although it is not clear if the council ever acted. So any attempts for Moshiri to follow through with the tongue-in-cheeks requests of Everton fans may fall short.

Why has Farhad Moshiri bought the Royal Liver Building?
Everton FC shareholder is investing in city's waterfront
By Alistair Houghton
5 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Farhad Moshiri may have been tempted to buy the Royal Liver Building because of its world-famous Liver Birds – but he's a businessman who will want to make money from the deal. And that, Mayor Joe Anderson says, is great news for Liverpool. Mr Moshiri teamed up with international investment firm Corestate to buy the building in February in a £48m deal. Mr Moshiri's role has only now been revealed.
The Royal Liver Building is an office block, and its owners make their money from letting out office space. Corestate said it bought the building because it believed there was money to be made in the Liverpool office market. Billionaire Mr Moshiri agrees. The Royal Liver Building is so much more than just an office block – it's a symbol of Liverpool. Mr Moshiri must have found it hard to resist the chance to take a stake in his adopted city's most famous building. After all, it had never been on sale before and it is, as he said, a "world-class property". But it's still a business deal – which is why he called it a "landmark building with potential for further improvement". Corestate has already vowed to spend millions on the building to attract new tenants. Its founder Thomas Landschreiber said: "The next step is to invest money and get tenants for the vacant space where we see a huge opportunity for Liverpool at the moment." The Royal Liver Building is one of Liverpool's Three Graces, alongside the council-owned Cunard Building and the privately-owned Port of Liverpool Building. Mayor Anderson said: "This is stating loud and clear that Liverpool is a city that has done well. Liverpool is a city where you can invest.

"It's great news for the building because it's going to bring more footfall. He's going to invest in the building. It's a landmark building. "It will also have an additional effect in that it will increase the value of the Cunard Building even further. "It's a massive statement of confidence not just in the waterfront but in Liverpool and it is to be welcomed." Liverpool council spent some £15m buying and renovating the Cunard Building. Mayor Anderson says Mr Moshiri's Liver Building investment also vindicates the council's decision to invest on the waterfront. He said: "It will also shut up any doubters who said it was a bad thing for Liverpool City Council to buy the Cunard Building. "When we as a city bought the Cunard Building, this building was about 20% occupied. Now it's about 80%, and we've got plans shortly to fill it near enough 100%. "We had a valuation done on this building that said it was worth £27m. We paid 10.4m for it." Bill Addy, chief executive of the Liverpool Business Improvement District company, said: "From my point of view it's a great sign of the performance of the city that people are investing in office buildings."

Everton's 'heroic' United display makes derby surrender more galling
Blues showed what they can do at Manchester United but were meek against Liverpool
By Chris Beesley
5 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
An Everton team that had surrendered so meekly at Anfield just three days earlier was suddenly galvanised into a heroic, battling unit at Old Trafford – but should any Blue really be surprised?
Although they'd had to weather a heavy bombardment from Manchester United after the break – the second half seemed to go on for hours – Ronald Koeman's side came within seconds of achieving a rare victory at the so-called 'Theatre of Dreams'. By the time Zlatan Ibrahimovic slotted past Joel Robles from the penalty spot, great swathes of the 70,000 plus Red Devils regulars had already left their seats to embark on their treks home. For over two decades, a period in which United have enjoyed their greatest period of blanket dominance of the English game, Old Trafford has proven to be a graveyard for visiting Everton sides. But on Tuesday night – leading at the break for the first time since August 1996 – the Blues came the closest they've ever been to adding to their solitary victory at the ground since the opening week of the Premier League era courtesy of Bryan Oviedo's strike in December 2013.
Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Everton - Old Trafford Everton's Bryan Oviedo (left) scores the winning goal during the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester.
Both individually and collectively though, Everton were unrecognisable from the sorry wretches who had capitulated yet again on their annual shortest trip of the season across Stanley Park.
As ECHO Everton editor Greg O'Keeffe observed in his Player Ratings, Romelu Lukaku showed more dynamism in the opening 10 minutes against United than he had done in the entire game with Liverpool.
Robles, whose positioning was exposed in stark fashion at Anfield as he appeared to be playing a game of 'musical statues' in which only he couldn't hear the tune for each of the Reds goals, played his role in the redemption effort being brave and alert while making some terrific saves.
Until his late aberration, Ashley Williams was completely transformed from his derby showing – immovable and inspirational he marshalled the back line like the leader he is expected to be.
While such displays offer encouragement for the future, they make the continued derby day whimper for Blues even more galling. Being played in quick succession, the games produced a strong sense of déjà vu to a couple of back-to-back fixtures against the same two clubs back in April 2012.
Five years ago, Everton were the toast of the football nation – including Kopites – when they gallantly held the mighty Manchester United to a 4-4 draw at Old Trafford. The result was credited with ultimately derailing Sir Alex Ferguson's side's title bid and from Durham to Devon hordes of neutrals rejoiced in patting the backs of the 'plucky' Toffeemen.
In their previous fixture, the Blues had lost 2-1 at Wembley to Liverpool in sickening circumstances.

This was supposed to be the time that Everton finally got it right on the big stage against their great rivals. The Reds – who would finish below them in the table that season – were in free fall. They'd lose seven of their last 12 games, a run that culminated with Kenny Dalglish being given the sack.
Luis Suarez is challenged by Phil Neville during the FA Cup semi-final on April 14 Yet despite taking the lead through Nikica Jelavic after a mix-up between Jamie Carragher and Daniel Agger, the Blues somehow managed to produce a greater rick through Sylvain Distin to allow Luis Suarez to equalise and then allowed Andy Carroll, who had been getting pelters from his own fans all afternoon, to net a late winner. And all this without laying a glove on Liverpool's third choice keeper Brad Jones.
Fast forward five years and Everton are still failing spectacularly when it comes to the fixture that means most to their fans.
The excuses are starting to run out.
The Reds derby day gladiators Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher who once provided a Scouse heartbeat to their side have both retired. There's no way that scorers Philippe Coutinho, Divock Origi or Sadio Mane, in his first season at Anfield, were more fired up or clued up for the fixture than Everton's local lads. Mane of course had also netted a last-gasp winner at Goodison back in December – the Blues only home defeat of the season to date in the Premier League but yet again a clash with the neighbours that they conspired to lose.
Farhad MoshirI conversation during the Everton General Meeting
Boosted by Farhad Moshiri's spending power and vision, Everton are looking to get away from being plucky also-rans. Despite their contrasting displays in their testing back-to-back trips to their traditionally two biggest North West rivals over the past week they ultimately fell short on both occasions. Perhaps an equally bold acquisition on the field akin to the purchase of the Royal Liver Building by Moshiri is what's needed to fully reshape attitudes this summer?

'Lukaku needs to be reminded about his responsibilities now and then'
View from the Gwladys Street with Blues fan Dominic Scott
By Dominic Scott
5 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
This week's View from the Gwladys Street comes courtesy of Dominic Scott (@DomingosDsco77) who despite now being a 'Scouse ex-pat' up the M6 in Kendal is a fourth generation Blue.
Can the result at Old Trafford still be seen as a point gained or is it two lost in the circumstances?
Definitely two points lost from the position we were in. We controlled the first half, kept them out for pretty much 90 minutes (give or take a bit of woodwork), could have scored on the break in the second half with some better decision making and should have held on.
Without the mistake from Williams we would be celebrating a hard won three points.
This is all part of our development though and I think a real top team would have finished that game off 2 or 3 nil ….so we'll have to wait until next year.
The game against United was certainly an intense battle but what did you make of Kevin Mirallas' behaviour plus Ashley Williams' seeming disagreement with Romelu Lukaku?
Kevin Mirallas always has that in his locker. I like that he cares but he can take it too far and it's not the first time he's made himself look a bit silly. I'm sure Ronald will have had some words. I think the Rom/Williams spat was what we want to see.
Everybody has their opinions on Rom but I'm pretty sure he needs to be reminded of his responsibilities every now, and again and maybe he was just wound up by Williams nagging him. These things happen all the time and it will have all been forgotten about this morning I'm sure.
It was certainly a rather different display to the one we saw at Anfield on Saturday. What do you think Everton's problem is with the derby? There is definitely a psychological barrier in the derby, but if I knew what the solution was I would have shared it with every manager since Joe Royle.We always seem to get either too wound up or too overwhelmed by the pressure of the game.
Liverpool Trent Alexander-Arnold and Leighton Baines battle for the ball
I honestly thought Ronald would be the man to keep everybody level headed but on this occasion it could have been that experience was lacking. We had a lot of young lads playing and maybe that meant the occasion got to them. I do think if we'd had some key players (Seamus Coleman and Morgan Schneiderlin) in the side it would have been very different.
Ronald Koeman has earned a reputation for being a straight-talker. How did you feel about him saying he was "proud" with the performance against Liverpool despite the result?
A lot has been said about this and it did come across as a quantum leap back to some of the 'phenomenal' Martinez statements. I believe he was trying to protect the confidence of youngsters that he knew he would have to call on again within a couple of days against United.
Ronald rarely speaks bull so maybe he was proud of them from his perspective, as he'd asked a lot of young players to play that simply wouldn't have been involved with greater squad depth/less injuries.
I think Ronald would have been better just keeping quiet myself.
Ashley Williams' sending off leaves the Blues with a selection dilemma at centre-back for the Leicester game. How would you shuffle the pack?
This is a really difficult one. I prefer 4-4-2 but we have limited options. Barry can play at centre half but a partnership with Jagielka would be seriously slow, particularly against Vardy. Kenny looks good from what I've seen of him but it will be a big ask to come in after so long away from the first team.
Pennington has looked shaky at best although I do think he will improve.
I'll probably get slated for this but maybe I'd go for a back three of the pacy Holgate, with Jagielka and Barry, and Baines and Kenny at full back - I don't envy the manager and this highlights some of the weakness of the current squad.
As someone who has a Blue Liver Bird on his Twitter picture, we've got to ask you what your thoughts are on Farhad Moshiri's purchase of the Royal Liver Building.
Ha, well I put that on there as a bit of a wind up for any Reds I stumble across, but it seems it was strangely prophetic. Personally, I think Farhad Moshiri taking ownership of the Liver Building is a shrewd business move, a massive vote of confidence in the city and also a great strategic acquisition that is part of his masterplan to re-establish the club as the premier club in the city and one of the biggest in the country. Our majority shareholder clearly has a plan and I believe that this is another indication that he is making a long term investment that will grow the club's stature, infrastructure and financial power providing sustainability and a competitive edge for many years to come. I also feel his investments, in particular an iconic Everton stadium on the waterfront, will also bring a spotlight on the city (a blue one of course!) and prove to be a catalyst for huge improvements city wide.
P.S. Moshiri is clearly not too bothered about rising sea levels!
What other business would you like to discuss?
I'm fed up of talking about Ross so I thought I'd mention another midfielder: Morgan Schneiderlin.
He has joined the team seamlessly and in my mind there is no coincidence that our excellent 2017 form coincided with him arriving at the the club.
Everton's Morgan Schneiderlin celebrates scoring
He constantly breaks up play and when he does his short and long range distribution is excellent, he has great vision and is one of those players that has a positive effect on everybody around him - Ross, Tom and Rom all benefit massively and the centre halves must appreciate the cover that him and the machine Gana provide. Morgan you have been missed in there last few games - come back soon.

Who Ronald Koeman could turn to without banned Ashley Williams
Blues boss has limited options following centre-back's suspension
ByChris Beesley
6 APR 2017
Liverpool Echo
Ashley Williams' suspension for Leicester City's visit to Goodison Park on Sunday means that Everton have just a single senior centre-back available for the game in the shape of captain Phil Jagielka.Williams, of course, was sent off in the dying seconds of the Blues trip to Manchester United on Tuesday, for handling a shot by Luke Shaw on the goal-line and Ronald Koeman isn't overly blessed with alternatives.While many are now relieved that Everton missed out last summer on target Lamine Kone given the Ivorian's underwhelming season at basement club Sunderland, a knee injury to Ramiro Funes Mori picked up on international duty for Argentina against Bolivia means that the Blues boss is currently lacking in experienced options at the heart of his defence.Back in the day, the Dutchman was a mean sweeper himself but short of dusting down his own boots at the age of 54, here's the options that he now must ponder.
The Comeback Kid
Despite his limited game time in top flight football – he's only started five games to date – perhaps it's a bit of a stretch to actually label Matthew Pennington a 'kid'.He'll be 23 in October – the same age that Kevin Ratcliffe was when he captained Everton to victory in the 1984 FA Cup final – and is only six months younger than former Blue John Stones.Warrington-born Pennington seems the most obvious candidate to replace Williams and he looked competent when he came into the side at centre-back in very trying circumstances late last season; in what proved to be the dying embers of Roberto Martinez's reign.Until last weekend he hadn't kicked a ball for the first team for 11 months though, since going off injured in the 3-0 win over Norwich City on the final day of the 2015/16 campaign.Although Pennington proved to be Everton's unlikely goalscorer at Anfield, the difficulties of being thrown in at the deep end against Liverpool told and he was withdrawn midway through second half after a trying time.His introduction at a similar period at Old Trafford coincided with a spell that the Blues found themselves under the cosh.
Safety in numbers
As we all know, Koeman isn't averse to switching to three centre-backs and if he's unsure about playing Pennington alongside Jagielka in the middle of a flat back four on his own, he may decide to go with an additional central defender.Jagielka, Pennington and Mason Holgate could form a trio across the backline with the Blues employing wing-backs.Although used in a wide position as part of a back five at Anfield, Yorkshireman Holgate has proven adept when operating as one of three centre-backs this season and could provide an extra insurance policy against the Foxes.The question then is with Seamus Coleman obviously out of the picture with a long-term injury, who could slot into the right wing-back role?Martinez intriguingly used winger Aaron Lennon as an auxiliary right-back for the League Cup tie at Reading last season but more likely candidates might be all-action midfielders Idrissa Gueye and Tom Davies.Moving either of them would deplete Everton's bite in the engine room but their loss could possibly be tempered by the return from injury of Morgan Schneiderlin.
Wise old head
If Schneiderlin does return to fitness against Leicester then his presence could help facilitate a potential move into the defence for fellow anchor man Gareth Barry.A versatile performer who has also operated at left-back and left midfield at various times in his long career, Barry has done a job for limited periods at centre-back for the Blues.At 36, he's no whippet but as all the best centre-halves know the first five yards are in the head and the former England international's instincts are still razor sharp.
How should Ronald Koeman look to solve defensive dilemma?
Barry is still something of a pup compared to the seasoned Dave Watson-Richard Gough partnership of back in 1999 while his southpaw status also would bring a degree of balance to the defence – so long as he's not left one-on-one with Jamie Vardy who after a barren spell earlier this season has now bagged seven goals in his last nine outings for club and country.

Everton's Idrissa Gueye says second chance under Ronald Koeman inspires him
Premier League's top tackler grateful for opportunity at Blues
ByChris Beesley
6 APR 2017
Liverpool Echo
The Premier League's top tackler Idrissa Gueye has cited Everton manager Ronald Koeman as his inspiration for handing him a second chance in the top flight.Gueye's first season in England ended in relegation with Aston Villa but his impressive personal displays – including finishing second in the Premier League tackling charts – caught the eye of the new Blues boss last summer.The Senegalese international made 186 tackles during the 2015/16 season to finish runner-up to N'Golo Kante on 218 whose all-action displays are largely credited with steering Leicester City to their surprise Premier League title.However this season, Gueye, who joined Everton after they triggered his £7.1million release clause, has moved to top spot in the tackling table.
Despite missing a month of the season while at the Africa Cup of Nations, the 27-year-old has made 115 tackles so far – 14 more than his nearest rival Kante.Gueye reveals that he relishes working under Koeman and said: "I am enjoying it very much because he helped me to stay in the Premier League and it's important for a player to give back."That's why I try to do my best on the pitch and help the team and give all I have for Everton. "The most important thing is the team and if everybody tries to give the best they have then we will become even better."With just a single point taken from their testing back-to-back trips to Anfield and Old Trafford in the space of four days, Gueye admits that it will be difficult for Everton to break into the top-six but he is determined to hold out for a European spot.Seventh place would be four positions higher than the Blues have finished for the previous two seasons and Gueye said: "We've done well. We train hard and we try to win every game."We play like a team and if we continue like that then we will see at the end of the season where we are."We all the time aim for the top places but that's not just us - our rivals are aiming for the same thing."We can only concentrate on ourselves, fight and work hard to gain a good position."

Everton hope for better fortunes under this referee from Chelsea thrashing
Bobby Madley also took charge of defeat at Bournemouth and demolition derby at Anfield
ByChris Beesley
6 APR 2017
Liverpool Echo
Everton will be hoping for better fortunes against Leicester City this Sunday under referee Bobby Madley.Madley will take charge of his first Blues game since the 5-0 thrashing at Premier League leaders Chelsea back in November.The West Yorkshire whistle-blower's only other Everton match this season was the disappointing 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth in September, while prior to that he was the man in the middle for another miserable occasion for the Blues as they were beaten 4-0 in a demolition derby at Anfield on April 20 last year.Ramiro Funes Mori and Ashley Williams challenge Pedro of Chelsea during the game at Stamford Bridge in November Before any pessimistic Goodison fans get too hung up on the Wakefield-born official being something of a jinx for their team, they did enjoy better fortunes under his watch earlier last season.He oversaw the 2-1 victory over Manchester City in the League Cup semi-final first leg and 3-2 success at West Bromwich Albion – the first occasion since 'that win' over Wimbledon in 1994 that the Blues had recovered from 2-0 down to secure three points.Madley, who at 31, is one of the Premier League's youngest referees – he was born in the same month as former Everton teenage sensation Wayne Rooney – has booked 116 players in 28 matches so far this season (a hefty 4.14 yellow cards per game) and has issued three sendings off.

Quiz: Can you name Everton's most subbed-off players ever?
There are some Everton players in this who might surprise you
ByChris Beesley
6 APR 2017
Liverpool Echo
he got the hook from Ronald Koeman at Old Trafford – along with a fair share of Evertonians – but just where does the Belgian feature on the Blues' all-time list of substituted players?Here's a clue – he's high up – and that's the only help we're giving you on our Everton most subbed quiz.Inspired by Steve Johnson's new section on his excellent website we've put together the top 20 Everton players who saw that their number was up but can you name them? Honourable mentions for those who didn't make the cut include current Blues winger Aaron Lennon who has been taken off in 22 of his 43 starts to date, and Li Tie who made way on 20 of the 36 occasions he was in the starting line-up.

Former Everton star Wayne Rooney really has got plenty of miles on the clock
The former Everton prodigy has got about a lot during his impressive career
ByGreg O'Keeffe
6 APR 2017
Liverpool Echo
It's official - Wayne Rooney really has got the most miles on his clock.The former Everton star - linked heavily with a Goodison return this summer - is England's most travelled player.Rooney, 31, has journeyed 243,959 miles during his playing career – over 16,000 per year.Online travel agency has produced a study comparing the distances superstar footballers travel during their playing careers, highlighting which players are most clinical (goals), which get in the most trouble (bookings) and which get paid the most for the miles they travel.The study looks at active superstars and retired superstars.Rooney has scored an impressive 13.12 goals per 10,000 miles travelled – that's more than the two best players in the world Ronaldo (10.64) and Messi (10.58)Robert Lewandowski is the most lethal traveller, scoring an incredible 21.13 goals per 10,000 miles travelled.Carlos Tevez, currently plying his trade in China, is the most expensive traveller, paid £1,339 per mile travelled based on current salary.

Is it time for Everton to unleash Ademola Lookman again?
ByChris Beesley
16:03, 6 APR 2017
Liverpool Echo
The last time Leicester City came to Goodison Park back in January for an FA Cup third round tie, Everton's new signing Ademola Lookman was paraded to Blues fans.But three months later - is the exciting young forward going to be confined to the sidelines again this weekend?Getting their business done early in the New Year transfer window, the nature of Everton's recruits contrasted sharply. Whereas Morgan Schneiderlin arrived from Manchester United as an established international and household name, Lookman, the teenage rookie from Charlton Athletic was very much an unknown quantity.Having made his first team debut for the Addicks just 14 months earlier, the Wandsworth-born prospect had already come a long way in a short space of time.The initial signs were full of promise though. We were told that Lookman had been sparkling in training at Finch Farm; and he was already impressing the seasoned pros among his new team-mates with his silky touches and blistering pace.Of course a dream debut followed as the kid from south London came off the bench to score just four minutes after entering the fray to seal a 4-0 victory over Manchester City.It was a magical memory that Lookman and indeed all Evertonians can always treasure but did such a spectacular start raise the bar of expectation a little high?Everton's Ademola Lookman celebrates scoring his team's fourth goal against Manchester City Lookman remains a developing player who is still very much a work in progress, especially at the highest level of the game.Before the Blues next match, manager Ronald Koeman insisted the club would ensure that their bright young stars like Lookman – and Tom Davies who also netted his first senior goal in the game with City – would be kept level-headed.He declared: "We must keep their feet on the ground. That is the most important thing."If we see young players are not focused on the game because they think they are now the big men in Everton then we will do something that keeps their feet on the ground."The impressive cameo from Lookman against Pep Guardiola's men clearly struck a chord with Koeman though who brought him off the bench again for the subsequent two matches, gradually providing him with increasingly longer run-outs of 18 minutes at Crystal Palace and 21 minutes at Stoke City.A big step then followed as Lookman was handed a first Premier League start for the home game against Bournemouth on February 4.Although he tired as the game wore on and was withdrawn on 71 minutes with the Blues clinging on to a 3-2 advantage after previously racing into a 3-0 lead (they would of course win 6-3 in a spectacular finish), the ECHO's Everton editor Greg O'Keeffe was full of praise.He handed the youngster an '8' in his player ratings and remarked: "Looks like he's played in the Premier League for years. Dangerous whenever he gets the ball with flicks and tricks to die for."Lookman would go on to be named in the starting line-up for three consecutive matches.Like all of his team-mates, after the goal bonanza against the Cherries, he was less potent in the stalemate up at Middlesbrough.Giving him a '6', the ECHO's Neil Jones wrote: "Grew into the game first half, but drifted right out of it after the break. Had a great chance on 69 minutes when played in by Barkley, but couldn't take it. Replaced by Lennon soon after.The display was enough to keep Lookman in the side but despite getting to know his new team-mates better during a warm weather training trip to Dubai he found things more difficult when David Moyes' Sunderland came to Goodison.Although Everton won 2-0, O'Keeffe observed: "Struggled to make anything happen but didn't stop trying. Will enjoy far better days at Goodison than this."Withdrawn on the hour mark for Kevin Mirallas against the Black Cats, Lookman received a '5' that day in the ECHO's player ratings and to date hasn't been seen in a royal blue jersey since.The fluctuating fortunes of all young players will inevitably wax and wane, especially as they embark on a steep learning curve like Lookman but for now it seems that Koeman is keeping his powder dry with the fledgling talent.Although he was in action for England Under-20s during the recent international break – having spurned the advances of his parents' country of birth Nigeria – Lookman has now been an unused substitute for Everton's last five matches.The return to fitness of another youngster in the shape of Dominic Calvert-Lewin also seems to have contributed to his lack of minutes; with the former Sheffield United player coming of the bench against West Bromwich Albion and Manchester United while also starting against Hull City and Liverpool – and indeed scoring against the Tigers.hile the Yorkshireman offers more of a physical presence, many felt that Lookman's fleet-footed nature would have provided an ideal 'like-for-like' alternative to Mirallas in the latter stages at Old Trafford instead.Certainly instead of increasingly sitting back and inviting on an increased number of Manchester United attacks that would culminate with the last-gasp equaliser.As the Foxes come to Goodison with their tails up – having enjoyed a six of the best 100% record in their half dozen matches so far under Craig Shakespeare's stewardship – Everton might need to utilise an option that brings them something a bit different.Be it from the start or as an impact substitute it may well prove to be the right time for Lookman to end his watching brief and return to the fold.

Everton boss Koeman got it wrong with derby selection and United substitution
Everton legend Kevin Ratcliffe's unflinching take on Blues recent games
ByKevin Ratcliffe
6 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
When I saw the Everton team sheet for the Merseyside Derby my heart sunk and my immediate thought was 'Advantage Liverpool.'I was very disappointed with Ronald Koeman's team selection and for me the manager got it wrong at Anfield.While there were injuries to the likes of Ramiro Funes Mori and Seamus Coleman, he still didn't have to put so many young kids in.Contrast that to the team he picked at Old Trafford, bringing in experienced pros like Gareth Barry and Kevin Mirallas.It was unfair on the young lads themselves and when you also throw the likes of Tom Davies into the mix who, although he has been playing regularly, is still only 18. It was too many.While you might not like to say so as a manager, the derby is different to any other away game and the selection made me wonder whether Koeman totally grasps this.I got a terrible feeling that he was treating the game like the massive occasion that it always is for the supporters.Maybe he thought that the young kids would know more about the fixture than some of the foreign players, but as I feared he got it completely wrong on the day and that of course reflects back on the manager.Matthew Pennington (left) and Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum battle for the ball When I looked at Liverpool's midfield compared to ours I knew that we would lose the battle in the middle of the park and that is always a key in these fixtures.It was a big chance for Matthew Pennington who hadn't played in the first team for over a year; and while he'll always have the memories of the goal that he scored, maybe it was too big of a game for him to be thrown straight back into after being out in the cold.
Mirallas should have been left on at Old Trafford
We rode our luck at times against Manchester United but the problems seemed to start after Kevin Mirallas was taken off.Koeman was trying to shut up shop but sometimes the best form of defence is to attack and that's something that Mirallas always gives you.Kevin Mirallas in action with Ander Herrera t always amazes me how he doesn't start more matches.Mirallas has got pace, he likes a shot, he's an obvious dangerman and he makes things happen.While he will also provide a bit of frustration at times, sometimes if he hasn'y touched the ball for a while he might try and impress straight away when a simple pass is a better option, that's always been the way with wide players.You've just got to try and get more good games than bad games out of them. People are always aware that Mirallas is there and he gives the opposition defence something to think about.
Lukaku needs to show his team-mates more respect
I didn't like the way that Romelu Lukaku seemed to be talking to Paul Pogba with his hand over his mouth after his incident with Ashley Williams and that sort of thing needs to be nipped in the bud.Lukaku needs to show his team-mates respect and that kind of thing should be kept within the walls of the dressing room.As for Williams' sending off, I was shocked with how deep he was.We were always taught to close the ball down from all angles but he wasn't doing that and instead was blocking the goalkeeper who might have got to the shot.His absence against Leicester certainly leaves Koeman with a selection dilemma now. Do you switch to a back three and have Phil Jagielka talking the two younger lads Mason Holgate and Pennington through the game?Ashley Williams gets a red card during the Premier League match at Old Trafford Personally I think we look more comfortable with a back four than a three. There are sometimes too many bodies with three centre-backs and you either get in each others way or end up not taking responsibility and leaving it to one of the others.What you do need in a three is balance and Gareth Barry would provide that on the left-hand side if he dropped back. We've seen that with the way that Ben Davies plays for Wales.

Top 10 potential opponents for Everton's first match at their new stadium
Who Blues could face in inaugural fixture at Bramley Moore Dock and why
By Chris Beesley
6 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
As excitement grows among Evertonians over the club's plans to move to Bramley Moore Dock, we asked Blues who they'd like to face in their first match at the club's new stadium.
A week on from Everton's funding plan being given the green light by Liverpool City Council and architect Dan Meis' latest fact-finding mission to the site we have drawn up a top 10 list of potential opponents based on both your suggestions and historical relevance.
Who from our list would you like to see Everton play in their first game at their new Bramley Moore Dock stadium?
1. Juventus
The European Super Cup that was never played.
Back in 1985 Everton qualified for UEFA's version of the Charity (now Community) Shield by winning the European Cup-Winners' Cup. The post-Heysel ban ensured that the Blues were unable to test themselves against Juve or indeed compete in the European Cup full stop in a season that climaxed with Steaua Bucharest being crowned continental champions. Nicknamed 'La Vecchia Signora' (The Old Lady) – which would provide a nod to Goodison – the Piedmontese outfit are Serie A's most successful club side and in 2011 they moved to their own new stadium which is noted for its steep stands and intimate atmosphere.
2. Bolton Wanderers
The Trotters might not be big box office these days but they were Everton's first ever opponents at Goodison Park for an exhibition game on September 2, 1892. Everton, wearing their new colours of salmon and navy blue stripes triumphed 4-2 on that occasion. An old-fashioned Lancashire Derby, Bolton would only have to travel 32 miles to the game from the Macron Stadium.
Having played each other since the Football League's inaugural season back in 1888, it's a rivalry which has endured with a bit of needle going back to the 1997/98 campaign when Everton stayed up in the Premier League at Bolton's expense and the 2013 FA Cup tie when irate Wanderers fans pelted snowballs at Tim Howard after John Heitinga's last-gasp winner – perhaps still reeling from the American goalkeeper scoring against them the previous year?
3. Nottingham Forest
Back in the last century when men were men and David Unsworth tackled his future Everton team-mate Kevin Campbell of Nottingham Forest like this In a similar vein to Bolton, this is a choice based on Goodison's pioneering days. The East Midlanders were the first League visitors to 'The Grand Young Lady' as she would have been then back in 1892. The game took place on September 3 – just a day after Bolton's visit – so it would seem Victorian club chiefs were less concerned about player fatigue. Those in the Everton squad might have been more irked given that they were held to a 2-2 draw by the Division One new boys who had taken relegated Darwen's place in the top flight.
4. Everton (Chile)
What about the 'other' Everton from South America?
Of course they have already made a pioneering trip to Goodison back in August 2010 when they were beaten 2-0 by the Blues in a friendly for the Brotherhood Cup.
Close ties have been built up between the two sets of supporters thanks to the Ruleteros Society and the original Everton have yet to make the return journey across Atlantic, Amazon and Andes to travel to the gambling resort of Vina del Mar. It's a shame they couldn't have done it on Roberto Martinez's watch. Whatever you thought of his management, he'd have been ideal for that public relations exercise and as a native Spanish speaker he'd have no doubt gone down a treat with the locals.
5. Bayern Munich
The Bundesliga giants provided the opposition for arguably Goodison's greatest ever night – the 1985 European Cup-Winners' Cup semi-final second leg and also have the same 'BM' initials as Bramley Moore. Back then they took the lead before the Blues recovered to triumph 3-1 with – as Howard Kendall predicted – the Gwladys Street sucking the ball into the net. What the Everton boss had not seen coming was an angry response from the visitors bench who complained: "Mr Kendall, this is not football." Despite a blunt riposte of Anglo-Saxon from the home dugout in reply, it did not prevent Bayern returning for the subsequent showpiece occasion of the Mercantile Credit Football League Centenary Challenge in the 1987/88 season which Everton also won 3-1.
6. Barcelona
One of the true behemoths of the world game and Ronald Koeman's former side – surely the Camp Nou legend could have a word with his old team if he's still in charge of the Blues when the new stadium opens – Barca would provide a huge draw as well as stiff opposition. Off the field, the two clubs have established close links with the Catalans inspired by Everton's Former Players Foundation, adopting a scheme in which their current superstars donate 0.5% of their wages to the Barcelona Former Players Foundation. Their respective veterans sides met in a Goodison friendly back in March 2007 but a heavyweight clash between the first teams would be something else. Barca's colours are also credited as coming from the Merseyside-born Witty brothers – Arthur and Ernest – who reputedly based them on those used by their old school, Merchant Taylors' in Crosby.
7. Celtic
Everton's Joe Parkinson tracks future Blue John Collins of Celtic in Neville Southall's testimonial at Goodison Park in 1995 With their huge band of vociferous travelling support, the Scottish champions are always a good bet for an friendly match. There is historical significance too with their Parkhead ground in Glasgow being inaugurated on the same day as Goodison making them the first joint purpose-built football stadia in the world. The Bhoys made their most recent visit to Everton in August 1995 when they provided a rapturous welcome for Neville Southall in his testimonial game which finished in a 2-2 draw between that year's English and Scottish Cup winners.
8. Roma
The club from the Italian capital are currently in the process of building their new home on the banks of the River Tiber, the Stadio della Roma. Inspired by the Eternal City's ancient Colosseum, the proposed stadium has been designed by none other than a certain Dan Meis.
9. Athletic Bilbao
Howard Kendall receives a guard of honour before his Goodison testimonial against Athletico Bilbao in 2006 A proud club of great tradition and heritage, Bilbao fans see themselves as a breed apart from the rest of Spanish supporters. The Basque club are also Howard Kendall's old team and in 2013 they moved into the new 'San Mames' stadium situated by the Nervion River which flows through the city.
10. Stockport County
Stockport County's Edgeley Park, the closest football ground to the River Mersey - but for how long?
Short of playing the good folks of amateur charity fundraising side, Bramley Moore FC – surely they could give a little exhibition before the main event – why would the Blues choose to play such lowly opposition? Now in Nationwide League North, The Hatters have suffered a dramatic fall from grace from back in 1996 when playing in what is now the Championship, they drew at Goodison Park against FA Cup holders Everton before being narrowly beaten 3-2 in a replay. However, pub quiz fans will recall that Stockport's Edgeley Park ground has since its construction in 1901 been the closest football stadium to the River Mersey – a boast it will relinquish when Everton move into their new home at Bramley Moore Dock.

'People have grown used to falling short and that is very sad for club like us'
Our Everton Jury on the derby, United and the Liver Building purchase
By Greg O'Keeffe
7 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
I have largely been avoiding anything football related the last few days whilst the dust settled on yet another embarrassing display in the Derby. It was a shambles. Only one or two players came out of it being able to say they performed anything more than a 5 out of 10. We have been so consistent during 2017 but yet again we fail to turn up at their place; those half and half scarves will have been flying off the shelves. Typically we then perform with much more composure and doggedness at Old Trafford but losing those two points at the death was galling, if not painfully predictable. During the game Lukaku's infamous reaction to criticism from Williams didn't look great and I have seen him do similar to Coleman and Lennon in the past – hopefully it isn't indicative of some cracks in team morale.
I am already looking to the summer and next season despite a lot of football between now and then to be played; I am sure transfers are lined up both in and out which will make our team stronger.
I hope those that want to leave go early and those that want to join replace them just as quickly. Regardless of the last week on the pitch I am optimistic for next season and I get a good vibe that we are going to be a much improved club on and off the pitch in the not too distant future.
Some things I want to see in the next week: blue paint being delivered to the Liver Building, Lookman to get a run out, a miracle cure for broken legs, Dan Meis to have a few too many and leak some Bramley Moore designs.
PAUL McALLISTER (Fazakerley)
The loss to Liverpool and the draw to United which felt like a loss have been very bitter pills to swallow. Bad luck had absolutely nothing to do with either result, it was simply not good enough from the players and the manager in both games. Neither of the two teams we've played in the past week and taken only a point from are anything great. Yet no one is angry we didn't kill them off when we had so many chances too or, in the case of the derby, not even managing to be competitive. Yes there was the usual frustrated grumbles but not the type of real anger a true winning club displays when they don't win.
Would Barcelona, the true definition of winners, be ruing their luck instead of demanding more?
Rafinha of FC Barcelona celebrates a goal
Would our neighbours across the park ever settle for spirited failure? Absolutely not, because those clubs have success ingrained into them and their supporters. The mentality at our club has to change if we're ever to make it Europe's elite table or end our trophy drought.
There's a reason we never win any big away games, because no one expects too deep down and no one is really hurt when we don't. People have grown used to falling short and that is very sad for club like us. My attitude as a supporter is that I demand my team win and I will never shrug my shoulders when they don't. Neither should any other Evertonian because we are not minnows just happy to be in this league, we are a true giant of English football. It's about time everyone starting thinking that way if we ever want to taste success again. This season is still on course to be end up finishing as a net positive but the main part of the rebuilding of Everton hasn't started yet. That begins in the summer when many of the relics of the past must be cast away both on and off the pitch to be replaced by bonafide winners.
The derby saw us perform exactly the same as we have in every Anfield derby since 1999. Yet again we failed to show up and even have a go at Liverpool. The players were awful but the manager has to take some responsibility for selecting youngsters and getting his tactics wrong.
The performance at Manchester United was fantastic, we defended solidly, controlled the game for large parts, and always looked a threat. Poor interplay between Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku meant that we were unable to beat a United side there for the taking.
The manager again needs to take some blame for us not holding on however. The strange substitution that saw Mirallas replaced with Pennington changing things to three at the back just invited pressure and we sat deeper and deeper. A positive however was the performance of Phil Jagielka and up until the 94th minute, Ashley Williams, who finally looked like the pairing we hoped for in the summer.
What should Evertonians make of the last two results after a fantastic 2017 thus far? Many saw those matches as the acid test for Everton's current level and that they were. Make no mistake, the games at Anfield and Old Trafford were a crossroads in our season and Everton choked. This is the greatest challenge that everyone at the club faces if they want to take serious steps towards dispelling the curse of being perennial nearly-men. To stop being a club that takes you so far only to let you down when it really counts.
I was disappointed to see the positive reaction from supporters in the aftermath of turning a win into a draw on Tuesday night. You'd be forgiven for thinking the manager was determined to give away the result based on the awful substitutions that he made. This wasn't the Manchester United of 1999 or 2007. They're the team closest to us and certainly no better than us. Yet we acted as though we'd just come away from the Nou Camp with a draw and an away goal. One thing that did lift the gloom this week however was the news that Farhad Moshiri is the new owner of the iconic Liver Building. It's unclear at this stage just what that means in relation to Everton but completely relocating the senior club in the city to the banks of the Mersey? It's a nice thought.
The birds are blue.

Everton fans to pay £20 for first trip to West Ham
Virgin Media to refund fans who pay more than £20 for match tickets
By David Prentice
7 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Any Evertonian travelling to the Blues' first trip to West Ham's brand new London Stadium on April 22 should pay no more than £20 for their match ticket. Virgin Media are supporting the Football Supporters' Federation's 'Twenty's Plenty' campaign. And as a result any fan who pays more than £20 will have the difference refunded by Virgin Media. As long as you're a UK resident and have a UK bank account to cash a cheque into, you can take part. "This is our way of making the brand stand out from our competitors, where we're firmly putting fans at the heart of the game and getting behind the issues they care about," said Kerris Bright, chief marketing officer at Virgin Media.
Kevin Miles, chief executive of the FSF, added: "The Football Supporters' Federation has a long-standing rally cry – Twenty's Plenty for Away Tickets. We're delighted that Virgin Media has helped make that a reality at many upcoming top-flight games." With away Premier League tickets capped at £30, fans will receive up to a £10 reimbursement from Virgin Media following their team's match. To apply for the money back fans are asked to visit the Twenty's Plenty page on Virgin Media's site where they can download a form and post it along with their ticket. A cheque will then be posted to them in the following weeks.
The offer is not an official part of the Football Supporters' Federation's "Twenty's Plenty" campaign? But Virgin Media have worked closely with the FSF on the promotion. How to sign up for Virgin's Twenty's Plenty offer.

Everton manager Ronald Koeman has no problem with Lukaku-Williams spat
'Finally I saw a reaction - I think we are too nice' says Blues boss
By Chris Beesley
7 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton manager Ronald Koeman insists that he has no problem with his players showing emotion on the pitch after team-mates Romelu Lukaku and Ashley Williams appeared to fall out during the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford. Lukaku seemed to be unhappy with the instructions Williams was giving him and afterwards he was shown to be chatting to Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba – his friend who he holidayed with last summer – while having his hand over his mouth. Koeman played down the spat though and said: "What I like to see is passion but they need to understand they need to support each other. "Finally I saw a reaction in this case because I think we are too nice together. You have to ask and you have to talk. Maybe sometimes you need to shout. "I don't have any problem with that because it's also an emotional part and the two boys have already spoken to each other and it's no problem.
"I like this because you need to do everything to win the game and after you can be friends – but not on the pitch." The Blues boss was less satisfied with his side's inability to grab a second goal after taking the lead through Phil Jagielka.
Koeman said: "We lost two points. If you conceded the goal in the last second it's always really painful.
"Yes they had chances, a goal that may or not have been offside, it's a call, but I think we had five or six big counter-attacking movements and we did wrong. "We did not even create a shot or a chance and in my opinion that's the key why we did not win the game. "There was a lot of space and the offensive side in the team was not what I expected to score more goals."
The Dutchman has been impressed with his captain's attitude though with Jagielka recently returning to the side having been dropped for several matches by his manager. Koeman said: "I'm really pleased. Phil had a difficult time when he was not playing because it's a different role but I asked him to still to be the captain of the team and I think he changed his mentality in that. "Of course he's normally disappointed if he's not starting but I think he's showing at the moment that's he still a really good, strong defender for the team."

Everton sweat on Morgan Schneiderlin's fitness for Leicester City visit
Blues boss believes consecutive home wins will put them in contention for top six challenge
By Chris Beesley
7 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton are still sweating on Morgan Schneiderlin's fitness but they can start thinking about challenging for a top six spot if they record maximum points over their next two home games reckons manager Ronald Koeman. The Blues have consecutive matches at Goodison Park against Leicester City this Sunday and Burnley the following Saturday. Although they are just three points below sixth place Manchester United and Arsenal in fifth, both those sides have two games in hand on them but Koeman believes that a couple of good results could see them in with a shout. He said: "We need to check tomorrow if Morgan Schneiderlin is available for the weekend. That decision we'll make tomorrow and the rest [injuries] is the same. "I expect if we get six points out of the next two home games then we will fight for the fifth and the sixth place. "With the injuries we had seven boys in the 18 aged 22 or younger but still we're fighting for European football. Maybe that's something for everyone to realise.
"If we finish seventh it's a really successful season but if we get more then fantastic."
After being threatened with relegation the year after being crowned Premier League champions, Leicester City head to Goodison as a revived outfit having won all six matches to date under caretaker boss Craig Shakespeare after Claudio Ranieiri's sacking. Koeman admits he's at a loss to explain their upturn in form but knows his side will be in for a stern examination. He said: "It looks like the Leicester of last season with all the strengths and the spirit. "I don't understand why it's such a big difference because it's the same players. Maybe the manager now is keeping the team more what it was last season but we expect a tough opponent." Everton will have to make an enforced change due to Ashley Williams' one-match suspension after being sent off for handling on the goal-line against Manchester United. Asked whether it will provide an opportunity for another of his youngsters to impress, Koeman said: "Yes, because we don't have more defenders. It's not so difficult then. "At the moment we needed too many and that's all about the injuries. "If I don't start with Gareth Barry last weekend it's because he's not 100% fit with his knee and I needed Barry on Tuesday. Maybe if you write something you need to know inside information before you criticise players or managers."
He added: "We changed players, we brought new players in, we brought young ones in.
"We have injuries at the moment that gives opportunities to young players and I think that's good to see finally what we need in the direction for next season. "I understand all the feelings of playing against Liverpool but it doesn't change the situation but I thought the players did a great job to react and it was a short time to prepare for the next game after Liverpool." Meanwhile, the Blues boss refused to be drawn into the situation of Ademola Lookman's international allegiance. The Londoner appears to be committed to continuing with England, who he represents at Under-20s level, despite being wanted by Nigeria – his parents' country of birth. Koeman said: "I think the boy by himself and the people around the boy need to decide what's for the best but I can't say something about that because it's a feeling from inside with the family."

Everton's total fees to agents revealed
Blues are the sixth lowest spenders in the Premier League
By Chris Beesley
7 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Only five Premier League clubs have spent less than Everton on agents' fees and four of them are in the bottom half of the table as the latest figures for top flight sides were released.
Between February 2016 and January 2017, the Blues handed over £5.1million to players' agents, a figure less than any other club in the top half of the table apart from eighth placed West Bromwich Albion who paid out £4.2million.
The only other teams who spent less than Everton were Swansea City (£4.3million); Burnley (£2.6million); Middlesbrough (£2.5million) and Hull City (£1.9million).
Overall fees paid by English clubs rose by 38% from £160million to £220million with the figures coming two years after the last full-year results (2014/15).
For the Premier League the figure increased from £160million to £174million with Manchester City being the biggest spenders (£26.3million) ahead of Chelsea (£25.1million) and Manchester United (£19million).
Other clubs' figures were as follows: Liverpool (£13.8million); Arsenal (£10.2million); West Ham United (£9.5million); Bournemouth (£7.4million); Tottenham Hotspur (£7.2million); Southampton (£6.3million); Watford (£6.3million); Crystal Palace (£6million); Sunderland (£5.8million); Leicester City (£5.4million); Stoke City (£5.4million).

Three-year-old Elijah to read out teams at Everton v Leicester on Sunday
Elijah is centre stage on junior fan themed day at Goodison Park
By David Prentice
7 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
A three-year-old Evertonian called Elijah will be announcing the teams at Goodison Park on Sunday ahead of the visit of champions Leicester City. The toddler captured the hearts of the nation when his dad filmed him reciting the Everton players' names from their numbers and posted the video on social media. Officials at Everton saw the video and invited the youngster to attend Sunday's match where he will have a special responsibility. Young Blues will take centre stage throughout Everton's home game against Leicester as the club hosts a special 'Junior Fan theme' matchday. In addition to three-year-old Elijah, Everton will also give eight-year-old Grace an access-all-areas pass, as she becomes the mini-matchday photographer, helping to take shots of her heroes emerging from the tunnel to the sound of Z-Cars. Another youngster who is coming up close and personal with his idol is Billy – mini-security – who will be escorting the Blues' Manager, Ronald Koeman, to his office as he arrives at Goodison Park.
The media team will see some added faces for the day, as 14-year-old James takes over as a mini-presenter – seeing him conducting interviews ranging from Club Ambassadors to matchday chefs, some of which will be streamed live on Facebook for fans to enjoy.
Supporters who follow the Club's Snapchat account (Everton) will also meet a young Blue, as Junior Fans' Forum regular, Nanci, takes the reins in the build-up to the game with behind the scenes exclusives. There is also a bespoke Junior Fan filter on the app, which Toffees in a one-mile radius of the ground can enjoy. Activity continues on the pitch ahead of kick-off, as three Blues become mini-officials, leading both teams out for the Premier League showdown and one youngster will also pull on a tracksuit to help prepare and take part in Koeman's team warm-up.
Sunday will be the fourth time that Everton has held a game dedicated to its junior fans. Commenting on the activity, Gill Derbyshire, Head of Fan Based Services, said: "We work hard to develop a range of fun matchday themes throughout the season but this is definitely one of the highlights of the campaign!
"It's so much fun for us to invite junior fans in to help on a matchday but it's also an incredible insight for them into their Club. We know that all of our mini-matchday will do an amazing job and we hope that Sunday is truly memorable for them!"

Everton manager Ronald Koeman on what really angered him at Manchester United
It wasn't Romelu Lukaku's war of words with Ashley Williams that riled Blues boss
By David Prentice
7 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Ronald Koeman has revealed what really would him up at Old Trafford on Tuesday night - and it had nothing to do with Ashley Williams or Romelu Lukaku. The Wales defender and the Belgian international striker were involved in a highly visible war of words towards the end of Everton's 1-1 draw with Manchester United, a spat which ended with Lukaku placing his finger to his lips and telling Williams to be quiet. But Koeman explained that he had no problems with players arguing.
"If I say they are too nice sometimes it is because they accept things which you cannot accept, even in training," he said. "Communication helps, and support and listening. "Of course you have some players in the team who have more experience and more responsibilities. "You can have, not a fight, but a discussion - but that's for after the game. "During the game we need to support each other."
Then Koeman explained what really riled him at Old Trafford.
Everton had several opportunities to punish Manchester United on the counter attack but wasted them all. As a result, with Everton defending a precarious lead, United were able to snatch a very late equaliser. Koeman explained: "The players were disappointed in the dressing room. Conceding a goal in the 94th minute is always painful. "But we had so much space in the second half to create more chances. It was really poor, really poor. "I showed them six or seven chances at least where we needed to create four or five chances out of that, and we didn't create one. "That's, in my opinion, why we lost two points." Lukaku was guilty of failing to look up on several occasions but Koeman insisted that the responsibility should be collective. "Not Romelu," he said. "It was (Kevin) Mirallas, it was (Ross) Barkley, it was Gana (Gueye), it was (Tom) Davies, and it was Rom. "It was Dominic (Calvert-Lewin) also. If he had kicked the ball between, Rom would have gone one-on-one with the goalkeeper but the final pass was really poor and the final movement was really poor.
Rather than point the finger of blame solely at Romelu Lukaku, the striker was just one of half a dozen Everton players that Ronald Koeman felt should have done better at Manchester United, including Kevin Mirallas, Ross Barkley, Idrissa Gueye, Tom Davies and Dominic Calvert-Lewin "Then there was the situation with Rom on the right hand side running with Rojo and the another defender closing the gap, but Ross was still not sprinting to be in the box. "If he is in the box and we play the ball it is one against one with the goalkeeper.
"We made mistakes like that.
"They had chances to score, okay, but we had chances too and I expect from my offensive players to create more chances out of the counter attacks we had." Despite the frustration with his side's attacking play Koeman is not expected to make many changes against Leicester on Sunday.
"I think that's the best way," he said. "Of course, sometimes you need to change because of injuries or suspensions but I prefer to have a team which is doing well, and if the team is doing well because the players are performing then there's no reason to change.
"I don't believe in making five or six changes per match. I don't believe in that."
Morgan Schneiderlin will have a late fitness test on his calf injury to assess whether he can face the champions. Koeman also had a dig at pundits who criticised his team selection for the recent Anfield derby, with eyebrows raised when he lined up with Mason Holgate, Matthew Pennington, Tom Davies and Dominic Calvert-Lewin. "At the moment we have needed too many youngsters," he said.
"That's all about the injuries. If I don't start with Barry last weekend that is because he was not 100 per cent fit, with his knee. And I needed Barry on Tuesday. "Maybe if you write something you need to know inside information before you criticise players or managers!"

Ademola Lookman's time will come again at Everton insists Ronald Koeman
Blues boss says he's been protecting his young star in recent weeks
By David Prentice
7 APR 2017 Liverpool Echo
Ronald Koeman says that Everton's young striking talent, Ademola Lookman, will get more game time in the closing weeks of the season - after being an unused substitute for the Blues' last five matches.
Lookman made an explosive start to his top flight career, scoring just three minutes after being introduced against Manchester City in January. That came just 10 days after he had signed from Charlton Athletic for £10m. The 19-year-old featured as a substitute in the following games at Crystal Palace and Stoke, then started three successive matches against Bournemouth, Middlesbrough and Sunderland.
Koeman, however, says his time will come.
"Sometimes a young player is up and down and sometimes it's about protecting the player," explained the Blues boss. "He has produced more than we expected when we signed the player and of course every training session here is intense. "The boy will come. he will get more minutes, he will get game time. "There are more players in front of him but it's not because he is not training well."




























April 2017 - Week 1 (1st - 7th)

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