Everton Independent Research Data


Man Utd 1, Everton 0: No shame as Blues falter
Feb 2 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
HAVEN’T we been here before? A trip to Manchester, television cameras, a proud unbeaten record and one clumsy tackle – it all sounds so familiar. But while Everton left Old Trafford with broken hearts when they last visited in December 2007 after Steven Pienaar had a late aberration, on this occasion there could be no grounds for mounting an argument that they were hard done to. Mikel Arteta may have been the fall guy here, needlessly clipping Michael Carrick with an outstretched leg to give Cristiano Ronaldo a chance he was never going to miss, but the truth is that after so much effort, the Blues ran out of steam. Having worked like Trojans at Anfield twice in the space of six days, then almost derailing Arsenal last week with a performance which had the momentum of an express train, the energy, zip and enthusiasm was noticeably absent from their play. Normally, that would be the signal to issue some sharp words on these pages. What’s more, there are no harsher critics than those who pay good money to travel the length and breadth of the country to see Everton in action. But, this time, rather than go in all guns blazing and throw accusations around that David Moyes’ players had let everyone down, it made sense to take a look at the bigger picture before offering a ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’. Yes, it was disappointing that Manchester United were not made to work harder to collect three points and it was frustrating that Edwin van der Sar had the luxury of effectively being a spectator as he set a new Premier League clean sheets record. There may have been a couple of bright individual performances – Leighton Baines, for example, was outstanding, while Tim Howard and Pienaar also excelled – but, as a collective, Everton were a little lethargic. Old Trafford is one of the biggest pitches in the Premier League, a huge expanse that takes an enormous amount of effort to cover, and the simple truth is that Everton did not have the legs to cause problems for a defence that just doesn’t concede goals. “The players have been terrific but we dipped a bit below the energy levels we have shown in recent matches,” Moyes noted afterwards.
“I don’t think we deserved to get anything out of it. United were the better side.”
When, however, you consider some of the battles in which Everton have been involved in the last two months – and how few options Moyes has had at his disposal during that period – it was, perhaps, inevitable there would be a blip somewhere.
Better, you will surely agree, that it came at Old Trafford as opposed to when Liverpool arrive at Goodison Park on Wednesday evening for an FA Cup replay that could really light the blue touch paper on this campaign if Everton are successful.
If anything, this game simply told us more about Alex Ferguson’s men rather than the Toffees. Having come up against last year’s top four in the last five weeks, the final destination of where the title ends up should be easy to see. To use a horse racing analogy, United have effortlessly taken up the running, moving at a pace well within themselves, while their challengers are flat to the boards, trying desperately to keep in touch. This race for the title is, in many ways, a repeat of last year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup with United assuming the role of the winner Denman, a great big brute who broke the spirit of his rivals once he poked his nose in front. They aren’t for catching.
No disgrace, then, in losing to a team with a strike partnership valued in the region of £60m, the most expensive defender in world football, not to mention the best player on the planet, in its starting line-up. That it took a penalty – a stupidly given away penalty – to separate them could suggest to some that Everton were unfortunate but, in truth, it really wasn’t the case. Arteta, who looked out-of-sorts for much of the game, was the culprit, possibly panicked into making a desperate attempt to pilfer the ball off Carrick’s foot, but all he managed to do was bring the impressive England international down. Ronaldo, of course, did the rest, knocking his kick from 12 yards straight down the middle, but it was the only thing that beat Howard all evening and his reaction to conceding suggested he should have saved that, too. One mistake at Anfield apart, Howard hardly put a glove out of place during the nine-match unbeaten run and he did everything in his power to stretch that sequence into double figures – as Ji-Sung Park, Carlos Tevez and Ronaldo all discovered. Possibly inspired by the return to his old stomping ground, the American was terrific and had it not been for his efforts, United might well have been out of sight before they took the lead. His worth to this Everton side should never be underestimated. Yet, ironically, his efforts were not enough to make him the Blues’ top performer – that honour went to Baines, who defended stoutly and, at times, gave Gary Neville a chasing when trying to launch attacks. Joseph Yobo might be fit again, but Baines’ patience and persistence has been rewarded and it is hard to see how Moyes could even think about making a change to a back four that is in perfect working order at present. The same could not be said of the team as a whole on this occasion, but this episode will quickly be forgotten if Everton do what they have tended to after losing this season. The Blues have an excellent record of getting back to winning ways straight after a defeat and the most recent reverses – at Wigan and against Aston Villa – were followed up with memorable efforts against Tottenham and Manchester City. So, if the vim and vigour returns 48 hours from now, there is every reason to believe Everton can do the same again. Beating Liverpool is the best tonic for reviving heavy legs.

I’m still so proud of my players insists Everton boss David Moyes
Feb 2 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES believes Everton lost to the champions in waiting after their nine-match unbeaten run came to an end at Old Trafford. Cristiano Ronaldo’s first half penalty may have separated the teams at the final whistle, but Moyes accepted that the Blues, who were feeling the effects of a strenuous run of games, were second best throughout. It was, however, still a useful exercise in measuring how far Everton have come in recent weeks – after draws with Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal, United were the only members of the top four who enjoyed a relatively stress-free time.
And Moyes felt compelled to hand Phil Jagielka and Joleon Lescott more glowing praise, after describing their performances in the stalemate with Arsenal as being “out of this world”. “You try to find ways of stopping them and attacking ourselves,” said Moyes. “But you look at it and, at times, I was saying ‘it’s nearly impossible’. It’s very difficult and you’ve just got to hang in there sometimes. “United have had some fantastic teams in the past but Alex (Ferguson) is the one who sees them daily (to compare this one with others). They look very solid and will be hard to overtake.
“Chelsea, Liverpool, Villa and Arsenal will all make it difficult for them. I don’t think anyone will let them run away with it. All those teams are too proud to do that.
“A lot of teams come here and play damage limitation. But as for Jagielka and Lescott, those two centre halves at the moment, as a partnership, are probably the next best after (Rio) Ferdinand and (Nemanja) Vidic.” Everton never made Edwin van der Sar work, as the Dutch goalkeeper extended his run of not conceding a goal in the Premier League to 1,122 minutes, but their attacking edge should be honed by the imminent arrival of Jo from Manchester City. Moyes, though, was quick to pay tribute to the men who have worked so diligently while his senior strikers have been out injured and brushed off Ferguson’s suggestion that he “had not received enough recognition” for his work. “I might have had top strikers and not done as well as we’ve done, so it’s okay saying David Moyes has done the business,” he said. “I certainly appreciate it but it’s a compliment to the players really. “They deserve it because they are the ones who have been playing out of position. We don’t have the resources to buy the centre forwards that we would like, so the players have had to dig deep. “I don't think you can be intimidated or concerned by the opposition, you have to work with what you have got and try to make it work. I’d love £200 million to spend but 90 managers out of 92 don’t get it. “Not everyone can be lucky enough to have the big money. “At many clubs you simply don’t know if you’ll get a chance to play next time. But it’s one of the attractions of playing for Everton that you could get a game most Saturdays as long as you're playing well enough.”

New arrival Jo delighted to be at Everton
Feb 2 2009 Dominic King
EVERTON experienced a quiet end to transfer deadline day with the signing of Brazilian striker Jo their only incoming deal. The 21-year-old passed a medical and trained with his new team-mates at Finch Farm this morning and will give David Moyes some much needed striking options. He joins on loan until the end of the campaign from Manchester City and while his spell at Eastland was not fruitful – 18 appearances yielded three goals – Jo is hoping for better fortune on Merseyside.
“I am very happy and pleased to be here,” said the man who will wear Everton’s number 11 shirt. “I have known about the interest of Everton since the beginning of the year and I'm happy to be here. “I hope to score as many goals as I scored in Russia but I am well aware that the Premier League is a tough league.” Once the Jo deal was wrapped up, Moyes explored the options of making another addition to his squad – he wanted a wide player with pace – before the window closed at 5pm but there were no suitable deals to be done. There was, however, one departure from Goodison Park. Reserve striker Lukas Jutkiewicz has joined League Two side Huddersfield Town on loan until the end of the campaign in the hope of securing some much-needed first team experience.

David Moyes eyes more deals as Jo signs for Everton
Feb 2 2009 Dominic King
EVERTON today wrapped up a deal to bring in Manchester City striker Jo – then set about the task of attempting to make further additions to their squad. David Moyes would, if possible, like to bring in a wide player with pace and has been weighing up a number of options but any deal he may do depends on getting someone of the books first. That, however, does not mean he will be cashing in on any of his top names – ideally he would offload one of those who have been on the fringes to free up some space. One man, though, guaranteed to sign before the window shut at 5pm was Jo, who was due to train with his new team-mates at Finch Farm for the first time today.
Moyes has been an admirer of the Brazilian international for some time and initially tried to sign him in the summer after he watched him star for CSKA Moscow on a scouting trip last April. The Blues were ultimately out-muscled financially by City – who paid a fee in excess of £20m – but Jo failed to set the world alight at Eastlands and only scored three goals in 18 appearances. He will not be eligible to play in Wednesday night’s FA Cup replay against Liverpool, as his last appearance for City came when they were beaten in the third round by Nottingham Forest.
But Jo won’t have to wait long for his first appearance in a Blue shirt, as he should be included in the squad for next weekend’s home tussle with Bolton Wanderers.
Before that, of course, is the eagerly-awaited date with Liverpool and Everton will be attempting to bounce straight back from their weekend defeat at Old Trafford.
It was the first time in nine matches that Moyes’ side have lost and the circumstances were particularly frustrating, as Mikel Arteta gave away a needless penalty which Cristiano Ronaldo converted. Given something similar happened last season when Steven Pienaar tripped Ryan Giggs, it was no surprise that Moyes’ players were deflated. Everton, though, had claims for a spot-kick of their own after Joleon Lescott was hauled over by Rio Ferdinand late in the second half but Phil Jagielka was pragmatic about the situation. “It was a bit of a needless penalty but they controlled the game and we didn’t really cause them as many problems as we would have liked,” said Jagielka. “We weren’t really sure what happened when Michael Carrick went down but it was given, they scored and it’s disappointing that the same thing happened as last season. “Should we have had one? Let’s be honest, you’re not going to get them here and you’d be fortunate to get them at home. There’s no point complaining about it.”

NIGEL MARTYN: Everton will find the fizz to keep FA Cup hope alive
Feb 3 2009 by Nigel Martyn, Liverpool Echo
ANOTHER week, another huge game – the stakes have been high in recent weeks but tomorrow night they will reach a new level. An FA Cup replay with Liverpool under the floodlights at Goodison does not need any building up and I’ve no doubt it will be a fabulous occasion but there is a question every Evertonian will be asking : how do we get through it? The dynamics surrounding the tie have changed slightly since the initial meeting at Anfield; we failed to win either of our two subsequent games, while Liverpool will be full of hope after their last-gasp win over Chelsea. Perhaps, though, the extra day’s rest we have enjoyed since playing at Old Trafford on Saturday will be in our favour and while that performance lacked a bit of fizz, I’ve got no doubts it will return in time for the final instalment of this trilogy. It would be terrific if it turned out to be a game full of thrills and spills, but the best thing for Everton would be to keep things relatively tight and then hope to nick a goal from a set-piece. There is no point in going gung-ho from the first minute and leaving ourselves susceptible at the back because, love them or loathe them, there is no disputing Liverpool have got the kind of players who could cause us problems. What the Blues have to do, then, is find the right blend; you have to be able to make the early tackles count and get a foothold in the game but, at the same time, you’ve got to express a certain amount of caution, too. Should the Blues find the balance, a place in round five is within their grasp.
But, personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if extra-time was required to separate the sides and if it is still level pegging with 10 minutes to go, that’s when you throw everything at making a breakthrough as neither team would want a penalty shootout.
While it would be terrific theatre for neutrals, it would be absolute disaster for both teams; nobody would want the match settled that way. Yes, the high of winning would be incredible but the ramifications of losing don’t bear thinking about. Maybe there has been some practising on the training ground but no matter how many times you take a penalty there, nothing prepares you for the white hot atmosphere of a cup tie. Fingers crossed it doesn’t get that far.

NIGEL MARTYN: David Moyes right to take a gamble on Brazilian Jo
Feb 3 2009 by Nigel Martyn, Liverpool Echo
THE jury may be out on Everton’s signing of Jo but no doubt David Moyes was right to take the ‘gamble’. He has not hit the heights with Manchester City but coming to a club where team spirit is so important might just galvanise him ; it might be an idea to get him moved over to Merseyside quickly, too. City paid a bundle for him and he is obviously a player of talent, so I would certainly refrain from dismissing him as an expensive flop; what’s more, his scoring record for CSKA Moscow was outstanding, so he could easily come to life here. Big, strong and powerful, Jo was the type of player we needed - we have been crying out for a centre-forward to take some of the weight off Tim Cahill’s shoulders. It would nice, then, to see him get up and running straight away against Bolton on Saturday.
Let’s get radical!
MIKE RILEY will never be described as the most popular referee in the country nor could he ever lay claim to being the best. Never in a month of Sundays was Frank Lampard’s challenge on Xabi Alonso a red card and it will have irked people more that he seemed to smile as he brandished it. It was a preposterous decision but here’s an idea to make these mistakes happen less – why not follow the lead of tennis?
Surely there are grounds for introducing a rule where the captains of each team can challenge one contentious decision each. It would only be for major decisions such as penalties, dubious goals or fouls when there is a break in play but it would stop poor decisions. Or is that too much like common sense?

Blues can get Jo fired up – Moyes
Feb 3 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES today claimed a thriving and united squad can help Jo light the blue touch paper on his Premier League career. The Brazilian international became Everton’s only signing of the transfer window yesterday when he agreed a move from Manchester City until the end of the season. Jo was Mark Hughes’ first purchase last summer when he left CSKA Moscow in a £19m deal but ultimately failed to make a significant impression at Eastlands. Moyes, though, is convinced the 21-year-old can be a hit and hopes the Blues’ famed team spirit will help Jo show why he was recently rated Europe’s hottest property. “We looked at him last year but we weren’t sure it was the right thing for us to pursue in the end,” said Moyes of Everton’s new number 11. “The truth is that it hasn’t worked for him at Manchester City and there could be a couple of reasons for that, such as it takes time for some foreign boys to settle in.
“He might also have found the Premier League a bit of a struggle but we’re happy to give him a chance and it would be great if he could show the form he did in Russia.
“The players we have got here will make it easy for him to settle and he will have the support of everyone to ensure he gets back to his best.” Returning to a physical peak might take time, as Jo has not started a game since City played Paris St Germain in the UEFA Cup on December 3. He only made 18 appearances at Eastlands, scoring three goals – the last of which came in a 6-0 thrashing of Portsmouth in September – but Moyes has faith in him.The manager watched Jo train for the first time with his new team-mates at snow-covered Finch Farm yesterday and was pleased with what he saw.
Now Moyes feels it is a question of rebuilding Jo’s confidence before he asks him to fill the void left by long-term injuries to Ayegbeni Yakubu and James Vaughan.
“We understand the reasons we have been able to get him and I suppose some people will say we are taking a gamble, but he is a £20m-rated player,” Moyes said.
“The early signs are encouraging. It’s never easy on your first day at any new club and we have only had a brief chance to look at him on the training ground. “It’s going to take a bit of time to get ready for what we want from him. Maybe he needs to find some confidence and self-belief again. “We are not too desperate at this minute, He can work himself up so he’ll be ready when he gets his opportunity and then show us what he can do.” Jo, who is ineligible for tomorrow’s FA Cup replay with Liverpool, should go into the squad for Saturday’s home game against Bolton and can’t wait to get going. “I have known Everton's interest since the beginning of the year,” said Jo, whose career began at Corinthians. “I’m happy to be here. I hope to score as many goals as I did in Russia, but I am well aware how tough the Premier League is.”

Blues can get Jo fired up – Everton boss David Moyes
Feb 3 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES today claimed a thriving and united squad can help Jo light the blue touch paper on his Premier League career. The Brazilian international became Everton’s only signing of the transfer window yesterday when he agreed a move from Manchester City until the end of the season. Jo was Mark Hughes’ first purchase last summer when he left CSKA Moscow in a £19m deal but ultimately failed to make a significant impression at Eastlands. Moyes, though, is convinced the 21-year-old can be a hit and hopes the Blues’ famed team spirit will help Jo show why he was recently rated Europe’s hottest property. “We looked at him last year but we weren’t sure it was the right thing for us to pursue in the end,” said Moyes of Everton’s new number 11. “The truth is that it hasn’t worked for him at Manchester City and there could be a couple of reasons for that, such as it takes time for some foreign boys to settle in.
“He might also have found the Premier League a bit of a struggle but we’re happy to give him a chance and it would be great if he could show the form he did in Russia.
“The players we have got here will make it easy for him to settle and he will have the support of everyone to ensure he gets back to his best.” Returning to a physical peak might take time, as Jo has not started a game since City played Paris St Germain in the UEFA Cup on December 3. He only made 18 appearances at Eastlands, scoring three goals – the last of which came in a 6-0 thrashing of Portsmouth in September – but Moyes has faith in him. The manager watched Jo train for the first time with his new team-mates at snow-covered Finch Farm yesterday and was pleased with what he saw.
Now Moyes feels it is a question of rebuilding Jo’s confidence before he asks him to fill the void left by long-term injuries to Ayegbeni Yakubu and James Vaughan.
“We understand the reasons we have been able to get him and I suppose some people will say we are taking a gamble, but he is a £20m-rated player,” Moyes said.
“The early signs are encouraging. It’s never easy on your first day at any new club and we have only had a brief chance to look at him on the training ground. “It’s going to take a bit of time to get ready for what we want from him. Maybe he needs to find some confidence and self-belief again. “We are not too desperate at this minute, He can work himself up so he’ll be ready when he gets his opportunity and then show us what he can do.” Jo, who is ineligible for tomorrow’s FA Cup replay with Liverpool, should go into the squad for Saturday’s home game against Bolton and can’t wait to get going. “I have known Everton's interest since the beginning of the year,” said Jo, whose career began at Corinthians. “I’m happy to be here. I hope to score as many goals as I did in Russia, but I am well aware how tough the Premier League is.”

Victor Anichebe on his way out of Everton
Feb 4 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON will offload Victor Anichebe in the summer after he was ordered home from training. The Nigerian striker disrupted his club’s preparations for tonight’s FA Cup fourth round replay with Liverpool after a spat with manager David Moyes.
Anichebe had asked Moyes on Monday evening, shortly before the transfer window closed, whether he could move to Hull on loan. With no time to bring in a replacement, Moyes was unable to facilitate the request but it is understood that he explained the situation amicably to the 20-year-old. However, Anichebe reported for training yesterday morning claiming he had an injury and effectively ruled himself out of the game with Liverpool. That, not surprisingly, infuriated the manager – who has been trying to juggle a striker crisis for the past two months – and he told Anichebe to leave Finch Farm. Morning reports of a foul-mouthed bust-up between the pair are well wide of the mark, as are suggestions that Anichebe was marched off the premises by two members of the club’s medical staff. Also inaccurate is the claim that Anichebe had “a huge row” with Moyes’ assistant Steve Round and that he “flatly refused” to get ready for training.What it is clear, though, is the overwhelming sense that Anichebe has let his manager, team-mates and supporters down on the eve of the most important fixture of the season. He has dismayed some of his colleagues with the attitude he has shown over the past month and has, on more than one occasion, let it be known that he wanted a move away from Goodison Park. Since making his debut in an FA Cup tie with Chelsea in January 2006, Anichebe has made 83 appearances for the Blues but only 25 have been from the start. He has scored 11 goals, the last of which came against Stoke City on September 14. Moyes, meanwhile, has promised a much improved performance tonight as Everton seek to secure a fifth round tie against either Aston Villa or Doncaster. Alan Wiley will referee the game at Goodison – for which there are still a limited number of tickets available at the box office – and Moyes hopes he gives Everton a fair crack of the whip. “We are whole-hearted but when you get players lying on the floor and waving their hands suggesting cards and the referee is missing challenges, it’s very hard. But we will keep going. We won’t be provoked by it,” said Moyes. “Hey, we’re no angels ourselves. We admit that. But there is always a bit of fairness required. “I think Liverpool have had an awful lot going for them. We will be disciplined but, more importantly, we will keep doing what we have been doing. These boys have been very good of late. “We thought we had a penalty kick (in the tie at Anfield) when Steven Pienaar was tackled from behind. Was it much worse than the one Mikel Arteta gave away at Old Trafford?
“There are moments in games when you think it could have gone for you but it doesn’t and that’s it. “There’s been a few incidents but there you go,” he added.

Everton v Liverpool: Leighton Baines hoping FA Cup history repeats itself
Feb 4 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
SECONDS out, round three. While some feel Everton are set to land a knockout blow after rolling with the punches at Anfield, Leighton Baines is in a different mindset.
Having sized one another up during two games inside six days on the other side of Stanley Park, the Reds and Blues will slug it out tonight until this FA Cup fourth round replay reaches a definitive conclusion. Many Evertonians think the hard work has been done in bringing Liverpool back to Goodison Park and an outcome similar to when Dave Watson powered in a header back in February 1991 is on the cards.
Baines is too young to remember that contest – his first real FA Cup memories are of the Blues beating Manchester United at Wembley 14 years ago and Eric Cantona’s volley to settle the 1996 Final – but is hoping history repeats itself. However, it is easier said than done. Liverpool showed signs they are coming back into form when seeing off Chelsea on Sunday afternoon and will not relinquish their place in this competition without a fight. Nor will Everton. Eager to atone for a slightly lacklustre display at Old Trafford, David Moyes’ squad have been rubbing their hands in anticipation at the prospect of going head-to-head with their old foes but are all too aware that only the best will do. “There wasn’t too much disappointment,” said Baines, as he weighed up the connotations of losing a nine-match unbeaten run. “We did okay against United without playing as well as we have done over the last few months but a big game around the corner quickly focuses your mind. “We are all desperate to play against Liverpool. We did well in the first game at Anfield but we were just a bit below that level in the Cup match; hopefully, though, we’ve done the hard part in getting them back to Goodison. “But anyone thinking this is going to be a formality, should think again. It’s not. No way. It’s actually been a few derbies now since we won, so we certainly aren’t thinking that just because we have got home advantage we are going to win. “That’s a million miles from being the case. We know it’s going to be a tough game; they are a good side with good players and we have got to do what we did at Anfield – and probably a bit more – if we are going to get through.”Though they may not have caused United too many problems as an attacking force, there was little wrong with Everton’s defending in Manchester, as shown by the fact it took a silly penalty to break down the back four. Baines, of course, has played a key role in helping Everton's rearguard action improve and maintained his terrific form, first by putting the shackles on Ji-Sung Park then attempting to cause havoc with Steven Pienaar down the left flank. Ultimately, that combination couldn’t find a breakthrough but the aspect from which Baines took most encouragement was that even when United had a lead, they were never able to relax as the Blues attempted to prod and probe for an equaliser. “We are always in games at the minute,” said Baines, who will make his 50th appearance for Everton tonight. “We’ve had some really tough assignments over the last couple of weeks and we’ve been in every one right until the last seconds. “You wouldn’t be surprised, either, if we went and nicked a goal at the death. The players are always thinking that and we always believe that someone can pop up when eeded to get us a goal – Tim Cahill is usually the likely man to do it. “The one problem at the weekend was that we didn’t create enough. We kept some good possession and tried to engineer something but it was just disappointing that we didn’t put them under too much pressure.” Fail to cause problems for Liverpool as an attacking force and it will, in all likelihood, mean Everton face a blank weekend when the fifth round takes place, but Baines won’t entertain that idea. He vividly remembers the day when, as a 10-year-old, he went to Wembley with his father to watch Paul Rideout score the goal that secured the Blues’ last piece of silverware and would love another trip to the capital as a player.
But before that fantasy can become a reality, Liverpool must first be beaten and Baines believes a positive result might completely transform the shape of this absorbing campaign. “A cup run could ignite us,” said Baines. “If we manage to get past Liverpool, it might just spur us on. It’s been a while since we had a good run in this competition and we want to put it right. “You couldn’t put into words what it would mean to win it, from the chairman right the way through to the manager and the supporters. Before we can start to think about that, there’s a hell of long way to go.
“But if we can just get ourselves into the next round, we will put ourselves right in the mix. There would be the possibility of a big game against Aston Villa. It’s all to play for, really, and we’re looking forward to it. It’s exciting to be involved in.”

David Moyes salute to 'world class' Everton defensive duo
Feb 4 2009 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON manager David Moyes has touted Joleon Lescott and Phil Jagielka for further England honours after describing the defensive duo as “world class”.
Moyes believes the two players will not let the national team down if boss Fabio Capello names them in his squad to face Spain in a friendly next week.
Moyes insists their partnership is second only to Manchester United’s pairing of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.“I have got two world class centre halves, ” he said. “They are playing out of their skins.“I look around the country and Vidic and Ferdinand are the best partnership. But after that, I think our two are the best pairing.
“They have been consistent, reliable and they are growing in confidence as well.
“If they get chosen (for England) they will do everything they can. International football is different but they are doing very well for Everton.”Moyes believes his side can make home advantage count against Liverpool tonight after the last two meetings finished all-square.He said: “We got good draws at Anfield. Liverpool found it hard to break us down.“Although we are playing well, I feel we can do much better. If we can improve then maybe it will see us into the next round. Everyone wants to win the FA Cup but you have to earn the right to do so by overcoming lots of good teams.”
On-loan striker Jo will miss the replay as he is ineligible after playing for Manchester City earlier in the competition. He could be handed his debut on Saturday against Bolton.

Everton 1, Liverpool 0: Night dignity and style paid its rich reward
Feb 5 2009 Dominic King
SO it is true what they say: if you do things with dignity and style for long enough, eventually you will get your rewards. Everton versus Liverpool in the FA Cup’s fourth round may have been the draw that nobody wanted but the result every Blue craved was delivered in the most dramatic fashion last night to fuel dreams of a trip to Wembley. There is a chance, however, it has done much more. Too many big occasions during David Moyes’ reign have been tinged with heartbreak and frustration, mainly in Europe, but at last we have a major contest that deservedly ended with Evertonians smiling. Actually, make that beaming from ear-to-ear. While Goodison Park may have been racked with tension as these two old foes went head-to-head for the third time in the space of 16 days, few could argue with the final result.
Never mind that entertainment was sorely lacking in a desperate first 45 minutes, forget the fact Liverpool’s chances effectively vanished when Steven Gerrard hobbled down the tunnel; simply savour an ending that appeared to be plucked from the realms of fantasy. Had it been suggested beforehand that both Andy van der Meyde and Dan Gosling would provide the defining moment of this engrossing tie, there is a good chance you would have been laughed out of town. Fantasy, though, became reality.
What’s more, an irony will not have been lost on every revelling Evertonian; having listened to Rafa Benitez grumble that Moyes had used “10 men behind the ball” at Anfield, it did not go unnoticed he was the manager actively preparing for penalties.
Fortunately, that nightmare scenario was avoided thanks to a decisive intervention from Gosling in extra time, a young man rapidly making a name for himself at Goodison – Victor Anichebe, a penny for your thoughts. This could, quite easily, have been a thoroughly miserable match analysis; the build up to the game was almost ruined by Anichebe’s ridiculous behaviour at Finch Farm on Tuesday morning, a clear example of somebody putting themselves ahead of the team. Anichebe will live to regret his decision and no matter how much contrition he shows in the next few days, it is not going to be enough to get himself back into the good books of his colleagues or Moyes; out of control egos have no place on this journey. It only takes an incident of such nature to unsettle sides – just look at how England have fared down the years after back page revelations on the morning of a match. So it should be heartening, then, to see how easily this group can move on and focus. Without focus and determination, they would not have been able to get a draw at Anfield minus their complete strike force and midfield magician, nor would they have been able to rouse themselves here for an extra 30 minutes after a wearying run of assignments.
As the seconds ticked down in extra time, seemingly taking us ever nearer to a penalties, the mind could not help but wander back to those shattering nights against Villarreal and Fiorentina when massive opportunities were ripped from Everton’s hands. Another Fiorentina, for example, would have been too much for some to take and one shudders to think what might have happened to the direction of the campaign had Liverpool been victorious via the lottery of a shootout from 12 yards.
Now, thanks to Gosling, a fresh momentum has surely been added; his 118th minute strike must leave Everton’s players feeling they have taken another step nearer to closing the gap with the top four and reaffirmed the faith in their abilities.
Everton will definitely play better than they did here in the future and it would be wide of the mark to say this was their best effort of the season. It wasn’t. Moments of inspiration and genuine skill were all too scarce from both sides. But who cares? The only thing that mattered was chiselling out a positive result and the men on duty obliged with the same relentless appetite for work that has served them so well in the past couple of months. Once again, the back four were magnificent and it is becoming increasingly difficult to find the superlatives for their form; there is no finer English central defender playing at present than Phil Jagielka. He requires an operation before Saturday’s game with Bolton – Fernando Torres needs to be surgically removed from his back pocket – but surely he will be considered for England duty next week? For the record, the three men alongside him have also played their part. In midfield, an express train named Neville derailed Liverpool’s attempts to pass through the middle, ably supported by Mikel Arteta and Leon Osman, who, with better fortune, would have settled the contest in normal time but saw his shot strike a post. When Marouane Fellaini departed from the action nursing an ankle injury, Gosling’s fresh legs were instantly noticeable and his emergence from the fringes has been one of the most pleasing strands recently. Apart from a big engine, Gosling also has his share of skill and the composure he showed to take a cross down under pressure before dispatching a shot past Pepe Reina – Liverpool’s star man alongside Jamie Carragher – had the hallmark of quality. And what of the man who served up the chance? There is no logical reason why van der Meyde has such a following on the terraces, given some of his escapades in recent years, but finally he has provided a moment of sheer delight. Moyes was brave to send him on for the second period of extra time, as the decision could easily have backfired, but it paid off. With Liverpool stretched following Lucas’ sending-off, the Dutchman had time to pick out his man. He never disappointed. What followed after the ball hit the net can best be described as an explosion of joy, the happy ending that this evening of high drama demanded to ensure the next few days are spent in a haze of delight. Long may it continue.
EVERTON (4-5-1): Howard; Hibbert, Jagielka, Lescott, Baines; Osman, Arteta, Neville (Van der Meyde 107), Fellaini (Gosling 53), Pienaar (Rodwell 60); Cahill.
LIVERPOOL (4-4-2): Reina; Arbeloa, Skrtel, Carragher, Dossena; Kuyt, Alonso, Lucas, Riera (Mascherano 80); Gerrard (Benayoun 16), Torres (Babel 101).
Bookings - Cahill(19), Pienaar (43), Neville (48), Lucas (50), Alonso (89), Hibbert (113)
Sent-off - Lucas (76)
Goals - Gosling (118)
Attendance - 39,178
Referee - Alan Wiley (Staffordshire)

Bill Kenwright: This Everton team can rank with the best
Feb 5 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
OVERJOYED Bill Kenwright hailed the spirit that has enabled the Class of 2009 to take a special place in his affections. Everton’s chairman is well known for wearing his heart on his sleeve and was typically animated after David Moyes’ side knocked Liverpool out of the FA Cup last night. With more than a half century of watching the Blues under his belt, Kenwright is well placed to make comparisons with past sides.
And he believes the 1-0 win over the Reds has provided further proof that the current squad are going places quickly. “I was brought up on the team of Nobby Fielding, Dave Hickson and Jimmy Harris,” said Kenwright. “Then we went to Roy Vernon and Bobby Collins. “After that there was the great threesome of Harvey, Kendall and Ball and we went onto ‘Super Latch’ and those boys. But this team, really, is something else. “They are capable of getting up there with the greats. I love this team as much as any team that has played for Everton. They just never give up. “We lost (Marouane) Fellaini, we lost (Steven) Pienaar and you think to yourself ‘how are they going to get through this?’ but they always do. They just carry on going.” Aston Villa now stand between Everton and a first FA Cup quarter-final since 2002, and, after an exacting month, victory could not provide the club with a better tonic. “This game was so important,” Kenwright said. “This game was our season. We have done well against the good teams and you can see that we are closing the gap. “They are doing it with no cushion behind them. It’s like they are on a safety rope but nothing ever fazes them or the manager.”

DAVID PRENTICE: Boys’ own stuff proves Everton are growing up
Feb 5 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
FOR 118 tension wracked minutes, both sets of supporters laid claim to ownership of the city. Dan Gosling’s dream goal means that, for six months at least, it will belong to Everton. When a Cup tie is this ugly, this poor – only one statistic will ultimately be remembered. And a 19-year-old kid from Devon provided it. From such a beast of a football match, Gosling’s winning goal was a beauty. The history of the Merseyside derby is sprinkled with unlikely matchwinners. Last night Everton provided two of them. Gosling dominated the headlines, but don’t underestimate the part played by Andrew van der Meyde. With the dread spectre of a penalty shoot-out looming – Rafa Benitez was already drawing up his list of takers – both managers had turned to their maverick Dutchmen for a piece of unpredictability. While Ryan Babel disappeared up another blind alley, Andy van der Meyde managed to pick out a cross of stunning quality, totally out of character with the rest of the match. Unable to reach a level of fitness which would see David Moyes trust him with a start, an extra time period against opponents debilitated from the effects of defending with 10-men for three-quarters of an hour was custom made for him. And he produced. Dan Gosling’s decision to run away to the left touchline to celebrate meant the winger couldn’t even make it across the pitch to join the piley on – although he did manage to spark an unseemly set-to by belting the ball into the crowd. But that’s Andy van der Meyde – always likely to make something happen – even if it’s just raising his manager’s blood pressure. David Moyes was one of the calmest men in a rocking stadium when Gosling struck, but his sense of focus was matched by the youngster himself.
Just a minute after he’d written his name into derby folklore, Gosling found himself on the edge of the Liverpool penalty area with another shooting opportunity.
With only seconds left he could have been forgiven for firing another hopeful effort at Pepe Reina’s goal. He thought about it, but then a wave of responsibility swept over those young shoulders and he controlled, turned and sensibly kept possession by playing the ball all the way back to Tony Hibbert. It showed a maturity which indicates the youngster is ready for even more exposure in this emerging young side.
Everton haven’t finished a derby with so many youngsters in their line-up since caretaker boss Dave Watson turned to Michael Ball, Michael Branch and Richard Dunne more than a decade ago. Two of that trio were worth several million pounds to the club. Jack Rodwell and Dan Gosling look like they may prove even more valuable to the Blues’ cause. Across the park, Rafa Benitez will be counting the cost of a miserable evening for his side. Losing his skipper to a hamstring injury was a crushing blow, but it still might not have proved fatal had Lucas not displayed his knack once again of conceding cheap and needless free-kicks. Last week it cost his side two points. Last night it forced them onto the back foot. Both fouls, on Mikel Arteta and Joleon Lescott, were needless and unnecessary. And it handed the advantage to the home side. They pressed and pushed, but a breakthrough looked unlikely until the old timer and the young wannabe combined. Evertonians haven’t celebrated an extra time strike with such fervour since Adrian Heath stretched his neck in the last minute of a Highbury semi-final. That winner took Everton into a first FA Cup final for 16 years. It’s been 14 years now since the Blues last graced that stage, and last night’s victory only carried them into the last 16. But it keeps their season enervatingly alive, and added further fuel to the theory that the Blues are coming of age against the big-four. David Moyes’ men have now come agonisingly close to beating Chelsea and Arsenal at Goodison Park, they’ve come from behind to hold Manchester United and have now beaten Liverpool.
With Aston Villa currently fourth, they will have to display that ability to compete with the top four again a week on Sunday. But this team is rapidly maturing now.
Both sets of fans cried: “The city’s all ours!” But it’s the Blue half who will bounce around it with a spring in their step this week.

Everton are closing the gap says David Moyes on a ‘great’ night
Feb 5 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES believes his emerging young side is closing the gap on the Premier League’s big four – and last night’s famous FA Cup victory was another step towards that ultimate goal. “We’ve done well against Chelsea and Arsenal, we’ve drawn against Manchester United and now we’ve beaten Liverpool,” said the Blues boss.
“This result ranks very highly because we’ve had to play Liverpool in three games now and we’ve done well because they are a good team. But that shows where the Everton players are just now. “I think we’re getting better, but I also think we’ve still got a long way to go. Everybody knows what the difference is – it’s the amount of money those clubs have spent compared to ours – but it’s not something we harp on about. “I didn’t think either side played awfully well tonight, but I thought we did enough to get in front and we deserved the result tonight.” Moyes paid tribute to his rock solid central defensive pairing who produced another impeccable performance: “The two boys at the back you could trust at the moment with your life, they’re playing so well.” But he also paid tribute to youngsters Dan Gosling and Jack Rodwell. “For two young boys to get on in an FA Cup replay like that is great, but it says just as much about the other players that we’ve got. “We’ve had injuries, and we got injuries during the game tonight. At the end of the day we were looking around to see what we could actually change and it was the young boys who came on.
“If there’s any young boys out there who want a game, we’re not far away from giving them one. “I wasn’t sure if Fellaini was going to start the game. He was a doubt and had an injection to allow him to start. “But he was struggling and it was noticeable that he wasn’t comfortable, then Pienaar got an injury. “I just thought the youngsters were the right ones for the job. They had the energy. There were some decisions to make, but I didn’t think they were massive decisions at the time. “In my mind I thought as though it looked like it was going to penalties. Once they were down to 10-men I thought we dominated the game a little like Liverpool did in the game at Anfield. “But in the end we got the goal which mattered and saw us through.” Moyes added: “It’s a proud night, but there’s more to come. We’ve enjoyed that one and will move on and look forward to the next game now. “The cup draws haven’t been kind to us, drawing Liverpool and now Aston Villa. We don’t win the cup tonight, but there’s a lot out there who will feel like that, It was a great night, a great performance and a great show of character from the players to get us the result.”

‘Tosh’ has the world tapping in to Everton
Feb 5 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
IRELAND, on to St Louis, a stop-off in Indiana, up to Ottawa, down to Kuwait before jetting out to Los Angeles – it’s all in a month’s work for Tony Farrell.
While those destinations may seem more in keeping with the itinerary for a presenter of holiday programmes, for Farrell – or ‘Tosh’ as he is universally known – it is the norm as he continues to preach the word behind Everton’s ‘International Way’.
Back in September 2005, Farrell had the idea to put Everton’s Academy on the Internet to see if any clubs or organisations around the world would pay to tap into the coaching methods that the Blues use every day when training their scholars.
Every aspect was covered and it was something that former chief executive Keith Wyness threw his weight behind, as there was recognition that Everton could tap into unchartered waters and become more of a global brand. The object was create long-term and mutually beneficial relationships with clubs around the world, so that Everton could create a permanent presence in a particular market, and the results have been better than anyone could have envisaged. Having started by linking up with Ontario Soccer Association in Canada, Everton have now added 12 clubs in America, one in Norway, another in Cyprus to their portfolio and plans are afoot for link-ups in India, the Middle East and South America. Not surprisingly it means that Farrell spends more time in the air than he does at home in Liverpool but the more people who pick up on the Everton Way, the greater the chances it will help the club in the future. “The last month has been a bit of a whirlwind,” said Farrell, who is fast accruing more stamps in his passport than Alan Whicker. “But, in that time, we will have come into contact with 2,500 coaches. That’s the cycle. But it’s so exciting.
“Wherever I am invited, I show people what we do and it’s up to them to decide whether they want to take it or leave it. But – touch wood – everywhere we have presented, it has been bought. “Now we have had an invitation to Brazil from Careca (one of Brazil’s greatest strikers). I met him at a conference in Canada and he told me that the kind of stuff we are doing would be really appreciated. We are setting dates to go there in April.” The ‘Everton Way’ is based on the core values of the club and though some people may have been dubious about how much it would catch on when first mooted, there have been more and more interested parties. Ultimately, the aim is to swell Goodison Park’s coffers and hopefully unearth a future star who may one day be good enough to play under David Moyes. But Farrell and his department go about things in a quiet way. “We have been working under the radar, as a lot of clubs have gone into the international market and tried to put a programme out there,” said Farrell, who describes himself as a “youthful” 50-year-old. “While it’s commercial and we are making money out of it, we have gone in with a ‘coach and player’ philosophy. It was a little bit difficult to sell initially as people were saying ‘we’ve heard all this before’. “But suddenly now the same people can see that we are here for all the right reasons. The associations and organisations that are coming on board are getting bigger, too. For example, we are starting to help the Illinois Youth Soccer Association. “They have got 85,000 members and we are helping them with their Olympic Development Programme. That organisation has adopted ‘The Everton Way’ philosophy and that alone will be worth £50,000 to the club. “Ontario is massive for us. The membership there is 450,000. Now if we can help develop the coaches, that will help develop the players. We are meeting all aspects of the club and people are becoming familiar with the Everton brand. “Now we have got 12 clubs in the USA, one in Norway, one in Cyprus; we consult with the Indian Football Association, which is based in West Bengal and we are in Canada and there will be a television programme aired there shortly.” That, in itself, is quite an achievement. Football – or, to give it its name across The Pond, soccer – might be growing in popularity and this show could help sway a new generation away from more traditional sports like ice hockey and baseball. “It is an Everton coaching philosophy, aimed at kids of 12 and under,” Farrell said. “It’s going out prime time from mid-February and it will run for about eight months, which is fantastic. “There has got to be something in the message that we are sending out. We are the only club in the world to put our Academy online but we are fast gaining a reputation as good practice. “What we ultimately hope is that these relationships end up finding us good players. We hope the fan base broadens and we are going in for all the right reasons. There are a lot of commercial avenues for the club to exploit.” And that, inevitably, means that Farrell’s expeditions are unlikely to be ending any time soon.
Vital mission to find new talent
BEFORE Tony Farrell started jetting here, there and everywhere, he had a significant role to play at Everton’s Academy. He arrived at the club in 1997 – having previously spent three years working with the FA – and has been fortunate enough to coach some of the club’s brightest talent. Wayne Rooney, James Vaughan, Victor Anichebe and, more recently, Jack Rodwell and Jose Baxter have all come through the ranks and Farrell says it was easy to spot their quality early on. Now he hopes to be able to identify players who may well follow in their footsteps in years to come.
“We have had Wayne, Victor, Vaughany, Jack, Jose, and James Wallace,” said Farrell, who first started coaching at Marine. “They have all been in that programme. I suppose I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time. “I’d like to think that I have done my bit with them. You tend to be able to see who the most likely to make it are going to be. Are we going to bring players over to the Academy? I certainly hope so. “They are the goals that we are trying to achieve. Attendances at the conferences we put on continue to improve. But I just love coaching. When I’m not travelling, I still coach here.”

Everton striker Lukas Jutkiewicz targets loan debut
Feb 5 2009 by James Pearce, Liverpool Echo
HUDDERSFIELD Town manager Lee Clark is hoping to finally tie up the loan signing of Everton striker Lukas Jutkiewicz. The Blues have already announced that Jutkiewicz has made the switch to the Galpharm Stadium until the end of the season.
However, the paperwork has yet to be completed and approved by the Football League – meaning he couldn’t play in Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw with Hartlepool. Clark said: “I couldn’t even put a striker on the bench. It’s all right talking about lacking firepower and I’ve tried to rectify that. “When you create chances like we are and do not end up with the goals that we should have it becomes more and more frustrating.
“I think if I’d had a natural goalscorer from the first day I walked in here we’d be sitting in a top six position.” The 19-year-old could make his debut for the League One club at Bristol Rovers on Saturday. Jutkiewicz has been on the fringes of the Everton squad this term, making one substitute appearance against Sunderland in December. Since arriving from Swindon in the summer of 2007, he’s been a regular for the Blues’ reserves and has also been out on loan at Plymouth. Jutkiewicz joins fellow reserve teamers John Paul Kissock and John Ruddy, who are on loan at Accrington Stanley and Crewe.
LEE MOLYNEUX has forced his way into Southampton’s first team but the former Blues youngster saw his afternoon end early in their 2-2 draw with Swansea.
The 19-year-old left-back suffered the first dismissal of his professional career after he was sent off seven minutes into the second half of their Championship clash.
Molyneux had already been booked in the first half and then handed a warning for shirt tugging before he jumped into a tackle and went straight through the back of Andrea Orlandi and picked up a second yellow. As a result he sat out Tuesday night’s 2-1 defeat to Sheffield United. Molyneux ended his long association with the Blues last month when he signed a two and half year deal with the Saints.

Blue Boys: Everton hero Dave Watson provides Canaries insight
Feb 5 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON have received a helping hand ahead of tonight’s FA Youth Cup tie – from a man who knows all about lifting silverware. The Blues entertain Norwich City in Widnes tonight, with a place in the quarter-finals at stake. And League and FA Cup winning captain Dave Watson has been able to give the young Blues an insight into what they can expect at the Stobart Stadium. “Dave is youth coach at Wigan and they played Norwich in the third round,” explained Academy Director Neil Dewsnip. “I’ve had a chat with Dave and he’s helped us out which we’re thankful for. “We know Norwich are a good side. They beat Chelsea last weekend so we know they have quality and it’s down to how our lads perform.” With Goodison Park being used for last night’s FA Cup replay and again in use on Saturday, the tie will be staged at the Stobart Stadium in Widnes. “The boys have played there before so they know what to expect,” added Dewsnip. “It’s a disappointment we can’t use Goodison but we’ve only got Liverpool to blame for that for equalising at Anfield!” The Blues will head into the clash with confidence soaring after last weekend’s derby day victory over Liverpool. The young Blues triumphed 3-2, thanks to some deadball expertise from Nathan Craig and Thomas McCready. “With a coach by the name of Kevin Sheedy offering his advice, I’m not surprised we produced some real quality from our set pieces,” added Dewsnip. McCready put the Blues ahead after 15 minutes with a stunning 20 yard free-kick from the left side of the box. But the Reds hit back to level and then take the lead, Lauri Dalla Valle scoring each time. James McCarten levelled before the break, and the match winner arrived 15 minutes into the second half when a Nathan Craig corner landed superbly on the head of Shane Duffy – who planted the winner past Reds keeper Dean Bouzanis. “I was very pleased with the victory,” added Dewsnip. “I said beforehand it might not be a typical derby with both teams having big Youth Cup ties to look forward to, but when it was 2-2 after 40 minutes I thought ‘I’ve got that wrong.’ But in the end it was an excellent victory.” Tonight’s Youth Cup tie kicks off at 7pm, with the winners drawn at either Newcastle or Manchester City.
youth profiles
Name: Nathan Craig
Born: 25/10/1991 - Bangor
Position: Midfielder
The promising Welshman has been on Everton’s books since he was 12.
Having progressed through the ranks he was offered a place as a first-year scholar in the summer of 2008. Craig is a dead ball specialist and has become a regular in the under-18s team this season.

Everton FC and Liverpool FC fans unite for Phil Easton
Feb 5 2009 by Luke Traynor, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON and Liverpool fans last night united in a salute to broadcaster Phil Easton.
Thousands of supporters gave a standing ovation during the FA Cup replay at Goodison Park for the radio presenter, who died suddenly on Monday.
A picture of the 59-year-old was relayed on the stadium’s big screen, while Blues announcer and Radio City DJ Simon Ross, who worked with Mr Easton, spoke of his continuing legacy. At half-time, rival fans put aside their differences to pay tribute to the presenter, whose music show The Great Easton Express was an institution.
Mr Easton was also a huge Reds fan and worked as the PA at Anfield for several years. A spokesman for Everton FC said: “We thought it would be a nice gesture after the tragic loss of Phil. “He was a professional, a great lover of Merseyside football and very highly thought of.” It is expected Liverpool will follow with a tribute of their own at their next home game, against Manchester City on February 22. Today stars from the music world recalled how Mr Easton helped launch their careers.
Writing on his website, legendary Whitesnake frontman David Coverdale said: “I share your sorrow, Liverpool. “We have lost a lovely man, a true friend, a great personality and a huge supporter [of Whitesnake] from the very beginning.” Coverdale played at the ECHO arena last year, when he paid tribute to Mr Easton and his pioneering music show. Anfield stadium announcer George Sephton, who has worked at the Reds’ home for 38 years, also remembered his friend. He said: “Recently, Phil and I worked as a team, with me up in the match control room and him at pitchside. “I have to say it was a pleasure and a privilege to work with him.” Mr Easton, a presenter with radio station CityTalk, left his studio at about 9am on Monday. He later suffered a brain haemorrhage at home in Crosby. He leaves wife Fran, two sons, Dan and Ben, and daughter Zoe. luketraynor@liverpoolecho.co.uk

Feb 5 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
l Signed from Plymouth in January 2008 for £500,000 down, with a further £500,000 after so many appearances.l He made his debut, aged 16 years 310 days, on December 9, 2006 against Hull City.l In March 2007, he trained for a week with Chelsea.l Gosling was included in the England Under-17 squad for the 2007 European hampionships in Belgium. England finished second.l Gosling has made five Everton appearances – Everton have won four, drawn one, scored seven goals and conceded just one.

I knew I'd score roars Everton derby hero Dan Gosling
Feb 5 2009 Dominic King
DERBY hero Dan Gosling was on cloud nine today as he relived the moment his pre-match prediction came true. The Everton midfielder had spent much of the build-up to last night’s FA Cup replay with Liverpool telling friends that he fancied his chances of getting on the score sheet. But not in his wildest dreams could Gosling have expected those words to be so prophetic, as his 118th minute strike clinched a 1-0 win and set up a fifth round clash with Aston Villa on Sunday week. Gosling, who only celebrated his 19th birthday on Monday, is now assured of a place in derby folklore, but that is likely to take some time to sink in, as he is clearly still overwhelmed by the experience. “It’s all bit blurry at the minute but the feeling I have is absolutely unbelievable,” said Gosling, who came on as a 53rd minute substitute for Marouane Fellaini. “But it’s not just for me. It’s for everyone connected with the club. Over the two ties, I think we deserved it. The lads have been great and it was a great occasion to be a part of. “All week I had been saying to people that if I got on, I was going to score. Honestly! I always know that if I’m on the pitch, I’ll get a chance.
“I just try to get into those positions and with the quality of players here, you know there is always a possibility that something will pop up. Thankfully that happened last night.” Signed by David Moyes from Plymouth in a £1.2m deal last January, Gosling broke into Everton’s team at Christmas and marked his home debut with a goal in the 3-0 win over Sunderland on December 28. He was given a standing ovation by his team-mates in when returning to the dressing room that day, but the celebrations after sending the Blues in to the last 16 were on another level and Gosling hopes the future will bring more of the same. “Moments like this make the hard work worthwhile,” said Gosling, who made his first team bow in the 1-0 win at Middlesbrough on Boxing Day. “I’m really enjoying it. “This is a great team to play for, the fans are brilliant and the manager has been great. The standing ovation was a bit louder this time! All the lads congratulated me but I’ve no doubt that had it been anyone else, they would have got similar treatment. “We’ve got to make sure we follow this win up against Aston Villa now. We’ve got a good chance of progressing and, hopefully, winning something. “We don’t want any slip-ups like when we last played them but hopefully we can get a great result. There’s no better feeling than getting a last minute winner. We’ve got to use that to our advantage.”

Everton FC Kirkby stadium inquiry: Transport plans under attack
Feb 5 2009 by Richard Down, Liverpool Echo
OPPONENTS of Everton FC and Tesco’s £400m stadium and shopping plans for Kirkby have again criticised transport plans. Keep Everton In Our City (Keioc), Kirkby Residents Action Group (Krag), Kirkby Traders Association (KTA) and Kirkby Liberal Democrats said the proposal’s travel ideas “failed miserably”.
They spoke out as they summarised their case at the public inquiry into the Destination Kirkby project. A planning inspector is considering proposals for a 50,000-seater stadium, Tesco superstore and shops. Tony Barton, representing Krag, said: “The travel plan miserably fails to meet any decent standard of sustainable travel. “Why? Because this is the wrong location for this sort of development.
“Unless additional services can be provided, which would have to be funded by the applicant, rail capacity falls to 2,000 for Sunday and evening kick-offs. “This is a significant deficiency.”
Opposing councils will present their closing statements tomorrow.

Culture Secretary Andy Burnham blasts ITV’s missing Mersey derby goal error
Feb 6 2009 by Tina Miles, Liverpool Echo
CULTURE Secretary Andy Burnham was among passionate Everton fans who missed the late winner because of an ad break blunder on ITV. A number of ITV regions and digital channels only returned to the game after Dan Gosling’s strike. The cabinet minister, who is also responsible for media and sport, was able to sympathise with complaints from other MPs and fellow Blues fans. Mr Burnham said: “These things happen, but why do they always happen to Everton? “Most Evertonians suspect there is a Liverpool conspiracy in the media and for a while we thought our worst fears were realised. “But I accept entirely that this was due to human error and nothing more. “ITV have apologised and I said ‘just make sure it doesn’t happen again’.”
The teenage goal scorer’s mum also missed the goal. Hilary Gosling, 44, was at home in Devon watching the match on TV, with her daughter Leanne, 21 and Dan’s step-dad Sean Houlahan. She said: “When the pictures came back, all the Everton players were on the ground. I said ‘I think that’s Dan at the bottom of the pile. “Then the commentator said Dan had scored and we all went mad.”

Penalties nightmare as Blues youngsters suffer cup exit
Feb 6 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
THERE was a tale of two goalkeepers at Halton’s Stobart Stadium last night, as Everton’s youth team fell victim to the curse of the penalty shoot-out. An Adam Davies error gifted Norwich City an equaliser nine minutes from the end of extra time in their FA Youth Cup fifth round tie as the sides finished deadlocked at 1-1, then in the dreaded shoot-out Canaries’ counterpart Declan Rudd decisively saved three spot-kicks. It was a devastating blow for the young Blues. After 90 goalless minutes, a thunderbolt free-kick in extra time from Lee McArdle looked to have given the Blues victory. But Davies allowed a weak Tom Adeyemi shot through his legs to usher in the shoot-out. With Jose Baxter and James Wallace in the Blues’ line-up, there were chances in normal time for the Blues to make progress. But a lively visiting team also struck the woodwork twice in an end to end encounter. A moment of class gave Everton the lead after 102 minutes. McArdle’s free kick from 22 yards flew like a rocket past Rudd, but Everton’s ecstasy was followed by agony in the shape of the Canaries’ equaliser. James McCarten opened the scoring for Everton in the shoot-out, but Bidwell, Duffy and Baxter all had their efforts saved by Rudd.
EVERTON: Davies, McArdle (Kinsella 110), Barnett, McCarten, Duffy, Akpan, McCready (McAleny 87), Wallace, Codling (Powell 62), Baxter, Bidwell.

YOUNG DUO ready for new mission
Feb 6 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
DAN GOSLING and Jack Rodwell could be given an immediate chance to build on their derby heroics tomorrow against Bolton as Marouane Fellaini has emerged as a major doubt. Everton’s club record signing has been nursing an ankle problem and hobbled out of the 1-0 win over the Reds, giving Gosling his chance to shine.
He captured the headlines by scoring the only goal, but the assured role Rodwell played when he replaced Steven Pienaar did not go unnoticed and he is firmly in David Moyes’ plans. Moyes, as always, will not make any decisions until the last moment but there is a good chance that one of the youngsters – if not both – will line up against Gary Megson’s side. One man who will certainly be involved is Phil Neville, who has overcome the tightness in his hamstring that forced him to be substituted on Wednesday night. Not surprisingly, the captain was delighted with that result and believes the performance was a perfect riposte for those who had suggested Everton were a negative team. “Everything we did tactically over the three games against Liverpool was spot on – despite what some people might say,” said Neville.
“I thought the comments after we played at Anfield in the Cup we’re a smoke- screen. Maybe they were trying to provoke a reaction out of us, attempting to play mind games. “But they never had any chance of sucking us into that trap. We half-treated Wednesday as if it was an away game, played with control and we were comfortable.
“This is a different Everton – one that plays the game, not the occasion. The manager’s belief beforehand changed everyone’s outlook and we got exactly what we deserved.” Despite feeling the effects of a run that has seen them play five times in 16 days with more or less the same team, Neville is confident of another bold show tomorrow. And his reasons for optimism stem from the way he saw his colleagues behave at Finch Farm yesterday after their efforts of the previous night.
“I’ve never been one to get too carried away by big results during my career and it’s important that we put this behind us quickly,” said Neville. “Yes, it was great yesterday and we had a good laugh with ‘Goose’ about his goal, but the last time we beat Liverpool (3-0 in September 2006) we spent ages talking about it. “What pleased me most yesterday in training was that the main focus was on recovering and then beating Bolton. We know we have got bigger challenges ahead than Liverpool.”

Young Everton FA Cup heroes Dan Gosling and Jack Rodwell ready for new mission
Feb 6 2009 Dominic King
DAN GOSLING and Jack Rodwell could be given an immediate chance to build on their derby heroics tomorrow against Bolton as Marouane Fellaini has emerged as a major doubt. Everton’s club record signing has been nursing an ankle problem and hobbled out of the 1-0 win over the Reds, giving Gosling his chance to shine.
He captured the headlines by scoring the only goal, but the assured role Rodwell played when he replaced Steven Pienaar did not go unnoticed and he is firmly in David Moyes’ plans. Moyes, as always, will not make any decisions until the last moment but there is a good chance that one of the youngsters – if not both – will line up against Gary Megson’s side. One man who will certainly be involved is Phil Neville, who has overcome the tightness in his hamstring that forced him to be substituted on Wednesday night. Not surprisingly, the captain was delighted with that result and believes the performance was a perfect riposte for those who had suggested Everton were a negative team. “Everything we did tactically over the three games against Liverpool was spot on – despite what some people might say,” said Neville.
“I thought the comments after we played at Anfield in the Cup we’re a smoke- screen. Maybe they were trying to provoke a reaction out of us, attempting to play mind games. “But they never had any chance of sucking us into that trap. We half-treated Wednesday as if it was an away game, played with control and we were comfortable.
“This is a different Everton – one that plays the game, not the occasion. The manager’s belief beforehand changed everyone’s outlook and we got exactly what we deserved.” Despite feeling the effects of a run that has seen them play five times in 16 days with more or less the same team, Neville is confident of another bold show tomorrow. And his reasons for optimism stem from the way he saw his colleagues behave at Finch Farm yesterday after their efforts of the previous night.
“I’ve never been one to get too carried away by big results during my career and it’s important that we put this behind us quickly,” said Neville. “Yes, it was great yesterday and we had a good laugh with ‘Goose’ about his goal, but the last time we beat Liverpool (3-0 in September 2006) we spent ages talking about it.
“What pleased me most yesterday in training was that the main focus was on recovering and then beating Bolton. We know we have got bigger challenges ahead than Liverpool.”

Jo aiming to bring Brazilian samba beat to Everton
Feb 6 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
IT’S the morning after the night before and, one by one, Everton’s derby heroes are dragging their aching limbs back into Finch Farm. For those who were involved in the pulsating tussle with Liverpool, recuperation is the order of the day and after reporting for duty, the only strenuous thing they are asked to do is a light swim and a plunge into the ice baths. But while those who put their bodies on the line for 120 minutes to secure a place in the FA Cup’s fifth round are entitled to take it easy, the situation facing one Evertonian at the Halewood training retreat is markedly different.
Jo – or, to give him his full title, João Alves de Assis Silva – became David Moyes’ only signing during the transfer window on Monday, when he agreed a short-term loan deal and was drafted in to bolster the Blues’ depleted forward line. A difficult spell at Manchester City, though, means that Jo’s physical condition is out of sync with his new colleagues and, as a result, extra hours are required with Everton’s fitness coaches to get him up to standard. Unfortunately, there are some individuals who would turn their noses up at the prospect of hard work, but this Brazilian is not in the least bit fazed. Invigorated by the challenge that faces him, Jo is ready to put in the hard yards in his bid to prove a point. “I’ve been training hard and physically I feel well,” said Jo, who is hoping to make his debut against Bolton Wanderers at some point tomorrow. “It’s up to the manager. If I do not start, it doesn’t matter. All I want to be able to do is make a contribution.” That comes as no surprise. Signed by City in a deal from CSKA Moscow that cost more than £20m last summer, Jo’s stay at Eastlands was anything but happy, with many quick to dismiss him as an expensive flop after 18 appearances yielded three goals. Already, however, there is a feeling that this switch to Goodison Park could be completely different. Impressed by the way he has been treated by Moyes and players alike, the man from Sao Paolo is anxious to make up for lost time. “People have not seen my best yet,” he said. “It didn’t work out how I wanted at City but, with the way things are looking here, I’m sure I can start scoring goals again. The idea is for me to stay relaxed and play the best that I can. I need to repeat what I did for CSKA. “When you arrive at a club and you have the confidence of the manager, you feel a lot of tranquility and you can play at a much higher level. That’s not just for me – it’s for every player. I think I will get better.”
Moyes, clearly, feels that will be the case. After all, he considered spending a club record fee to bring the 21-year-old to Goodison on a full time basis after watching him dazzle in a Russian league game last April. A tally of 44 goals in 77 appearances for CSKA made Jo, who has been capped three times by his country, one of Europe’s hottest properties and if he can scale those heights again, Moyes will have pulled off another coup. “The support was incredible,” said Jo, who looks every inch the modern footballer in that his clothes are designer and he sports an expensive jewel in each ear. “They will you on and want you to run that little bit further. They are desperate to win and that touched me. “I know that I have joined a club with a great tradition. I have not played yet but the noise on Wednesday made it feel as if I was on the pitch. It was a very pleasing night and the reception I got at half-time was special. “Now I just want to be happy again. I want to be able to show that through scoring a lot of goals and my performances. People will realise that my first six months (in England) were just my adaptation period. “I did not expect to be made so welcome. This club has very good foundations. If it doesn’t work out, I will go back to Manchester City. I left a lot of friends there. But on arriving here, I felt the vibe was much better and I’m ready for the challenge.” Brazil, of course, is famed as a nation for churning out great strikers and now Jo, who spent a decade progressing through the ranks with Corinthians, is aware that question marks hang over him, he has no intentions of letting down the rich tradition. “When I was a young boy my idol was Ronaldo,” he said. “In Brazil, we call him ‘The Phenomenon’. I’ve had the pleasure to meet him and when I did, I told him I had followed his career since I was a child and that he was still my idol. “I was not ashamed to tell him this. He gave me special advice. He told me to remain patient and have determination as it always repays you in the future. I will always keep those words close to my heart.” And if he does discover the Midas touch once again, Evertonians will find a place in theirs for him.
Born - Sao Paolo, 20th March 1987
Clubs - Corinthians, CSKA Moscow, Manchester City, Everton (loan)
International caps - 3
Honours - Russian Premier League (2006), Russian Cup (2006, 2008), Russian Super Cup (2006, 2007), Olympic Bronze Medal (2008)

Masters Football to return at the ECHO Arena
Feb 6 2009 by Kevin Core, Liverpool Echo
A STAR-STUDDED line up of footballing greats will take to the pitch when the Home Nations Masters 2009 comes to the ECHO arena next month. The tournament, on Wednesday, March 25, welcomes some faces well known to Merseyside who are now keen to make an impression at the seniors event. Former Liverpool and Everton midfielder Don Hutchison makes his debut for Scotland Masters and returns to play in Liverpool for the first time since 2000. He said: “The lads who played in the Merseyside Masters last year at the ECHO arena said the atmosphere was electric.
“I’m looking forward to pulling on the Scotland shirt and finding out for myself.”
Phil Babb, another former Liverpool player who played 128 games for the Reds between 1994-2000 takes his place in the All-Ireland squad. He said: “It’s an amazing venue. “Playing here and defending our title in such a great footballing city, is going to be fantastic.” Both Hutchison and Babb join a star-studded provisional line up of footballing legends contesting this year’s Home Nations Cup, which include Ian Rush, Ray Parlour, Mark Walters, Michael Thomas, Lee Sharpe, Stuart McCall, Gordon Durie, Clayton Blackmore, Mark Kinsella, Owen Coyle and more.
Some of the line up may be subject to change nearer the event date. Tickets are on sale now. To book, go to www.liverpool.com and click on ‘buy tickets’, log on to www.accliverpool.co.uk or call the Echo arena box office on 0844 8000 400.
Tickets are £12 for adults and £7 for children under 16 and are subject to a handling/booking fee. news@liverpoolecho.co.uk

HOWARD KENDALL: A dream come true for Everton's Dan Gosling
Feb 6 2009 by Howard Kendall, Liverpool Echo
HAVING knocked out Liverpool the Blues should have the belief that they can go all the way in the FA Cup this season. We’ve been talking about having a decent Cup run and getting to Wembley for a number of years and this now represents a great chance.
Obviously everyone is euphoric after Wednesday but the Blues have to come back down to earth and ensure they don’t disappoint in the next round against Aston Villa because that’s another tough tie. I remember when we beat Liverpool 1-0 in the second replay in 1991 we were all on a high but then got knocked out by West Ham in the next round. The Blues have to ensure that history doesn’t repeat itself.
There’s no doubt Everton deserved to go through on Wednesday. They always looked the more likely to score, especially after the sending off, but I thought it was a nothing game. Very little happened in either penalty area but in the Cup getting through to the next round is all that counts. I was sitting next to Bruce Grobbelaar and we both agreed we couldn’t see either side scoring. In fact so little was happening Bruce reckoned he could have played out there! Steven Gerrard going off injured so early in the game just highlighted what he means to Liverpool. He’s so influential and they missed him badly. It’s not fair to talk about anyone being a one-man team but if that’s the case anywhere then it’s at Liverpool. Everton are a real team with no outstanding individuals but everyone working for each other. You can’t say that about the Reds.
Phil Jagielka was outstanding at the back and he helped ensure Fernando Torres was never a threat. It was a dream come true for Dan Gosling to score that late goal. It will make him a hero with the fans and no matter what he goes on to achieve he will always be remembered for that.
Giving youth a chance
IT was great to see David Moyes put his faith in two young lads on Wednesday night.
Dan Gosling got all the headlines for his late winner and deservedly so but Jack Rodwell is also an exciting prospect. I’m really pleased to see youngsters given that kind of opportunity at Everton because it’s becoming quite rare in the modern game.
Everyone looks at the transfer market and the January window, but progressing is not just about going out and paying big money to sign players. There’s a lot of pressure on managers these days to produce immediate success, but what’s the point in having an academy if you aren’t going to give young lads a chance? Developing your own talent is crucial and the attitude at Everton is absolutely brilliant. * EVERTON return to Premier League action at home to Bolton tomorrow and I’m expecting a very different game to the derby. Bolton are scrapping for their lives and Gary Megson has got them well organised. They have a direct style and will rely a lot on set-pieces with Kevin Davies a big threat. I’m sure the Everton defence and goalkeeper will have a lot more to do that they did against Liverpool and we will be under more pressure.

DAVID PRENTICE: Victor Anichebe must learn from Everton hero Dan Gosling's example
Feb 6 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
IT is to be hoped that Victor Anichebe’s TV wasn’t one of the sets cursed by ITV’s commercial breakdown on Wednesday night. Because the young Everton striker could have learned a very valuable lesson from watching what he missed at Goodison Park.
While Goodison rocked to its very foundations, Anichebe was hopefully sitting at home dealing in some quiet introspection. But for an ill-judged outburst on the eve of the Cup tie, Anichebe would have been involved at Goodison. It might even have been his name, not Dan Gosling’s, flashing on that scoreboard. Except he believed he was bigger and better than he has so far shown. Anichebe, we are led to believe, demanded a move to mighty Hull City just hours before the transfer deadline. His manager, quite understandably, could not facilitate that request. The player’s response, it seems, was to pout, posture and turn up the following day saying he was injured.
Everton have had their problems before, with young strikers thinking they can run before they can walk. Danny Cadamarteri and Francis Jeffers exploded into Evertonian consciousness with a much greater impact than Anichebe. But each faded dramatically from the scene. Cadamarteri is now on his eighth club, Huddersfield, and hasn’t celebrated a goal since November 2007, 32 games ago. Jeffers is now at Sheffield Wednesday, his seventh club. And his goal last month against Charlton was his first since last January. Both could have been Goodison heroes, instead of footnotes in the club’s recent history. Anichebe drew short of issuing a public apology on the club’s official website. But he at least had the good grace to admit he was “embarrassed” by the revelation of his actions. Now he must knuckle down and try to prove he is good as he thinks he is.
A clever twist of the psychological screw
MIND GAMES are supposed to be the sole preserve of top four team managers.
When Alex Ferguson opens his mouth or Rafa Benitez opens a sheet of A4, it’s because they are employing cute psychology. When Jose Mourinho moaned or Arsene Wenger whined, it was a calculated bid to inflict damage on opponents. But for anybody else outside the top four, it’s just a statement. But there are lessons at least one manager in the top four could learn from David Moyes’ twisting of the psychological screw this week. He delivered just a couple of sentences ahead of Wednesday night’s FA Cup replay, aimed squarely at Alan Wiley. “I think Liverpool have had an awful lot going for them,” he said. “We are wholehearted, but when you get players lying on the floor waving their hands suggesting cards and the referee is missing challenges, it’s very hard.” It was similar to the appeal he made before another refereeing bete noir, Steve Bennett took charge of the 200th derby match in 2004. Everton won that match, too. Did Mr Wiley and Mr Bennett read those words? And were they influenced? We’ll never know, but the fact that Everton were victorious each time suggests the pre-match reminder didn’t do his team’s chances any harm? It’s not just the Scot from up the road who can do mind games.

Leon Osman a perfect role model for Everton FA Cup heroes Dan Gosling and Jack Rodwell - David Moyes
Feb 7 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES has urged Dan Gosling to follow Leon Osman’s example if he wants to forge a successful career at Goodison Park. Everton’s manager is thrilled with the progress 19-year-old Gosling has made, especially the goal he scored to knock Liverpool out of the FA Cup on Wednesday. But Moyes also knows bigger challenges lie ahead of Gosling, set to make only the second start of his Everton career against Bolton today. That’s why he hopes Gosling will tap into Osman - who has gone to make 188 appearance for the Blues since graduating from the Academy - for advice during his formative years. “What Dan and Jack Rodwell have got to do now is show me they can do it consistently,” said Moyes, whose side are aiming to do the double over Bolton. “They will get given their time for development to come through. They won’t be judged quickly. But they have got to keep stepping up and they could look to the likes of Ossie. “If they are not playing Premier League games, they have got to be able to hack it. When I was a young lad, I was in Celtic’s team at 18. It’s rare for that to happen now. “But it doesn’t mean they can’t go on and hold their own. I’ve got to say that Dan and Jack held their own for the hour they were on in midweek.”
Gosling’s strike against Liverpool has thrust him into the spotlight but Moyes has been taken with the way the midfielder has handled everything so far.
“There is no fear in his play,” said Moyes. “He just wants to go out and express himself. That has shown in his enthusiasm as a young man. You could see what it meant to him.” While Gosling is only starting out with the Blues, Osman is now one of the senior members of Moyes’ playing staff and returned to form on Wednesday.
With better fortune, Osman might well have been the man who sent Everton into the fifth round - his shot struck a post - and Moyes has hailed his attitude and application.
“A lesser player may have got disheartened at an early age,” Moyes pointed out. “But Andy Holden has groomed Ossie and Tony Hibbert to be tough boys and never give in. “If they are going to get something, it comes from good, honest hard work. Both Ossie and Hibbo are examples of that.”

BARRY HORNE: Fans can feel proud of their Everton heroes
Feb 7 2009 by Barry Horne, Liverpool Echo
MOST football fans, over the course of their career, hobby, affliction or whatever else you want to call following a football team, experience more disappointments than highs. Those lows are all relative, of course. A high for a Carlisle fan could be staying in the Football League on the last day of the campaign, while a low for a Manchester United supporter may be only landing one trophy in a season. But generally football fans suffer. Which is why it’s so enjoyable to be a Blue at the moment as Everton have a team that delivers. They may not be delivering highs in terms of historical success – but in the last month you can say you are proud to be an Evertonian.
The manager and his threadbare squad have carried themselves impeccably during a five-match sequence of incredibly tough tests. After the FA Cup tie 10 days ago David Moyes talked about the dignity of Everton FC, and that statement has rarely rung truer than in the last few weeks. In an era when managers constantly bleat about players being tired, Moyes has used the same nine players in five incredibly tough fixtures. He has kept going back to the well, and those players have responded magnificently.
With this manager and those players, you get some old fashioned values and a sense of decency and fair-play – not to mention a fabulous work ethic. Not for these players histrionics with referees, waving imaginary yellow cards or rolling around with apparently severe injury only to run off the moment a free-kick is awarded.
These values are a reflection of the manager and it’s no coincidence this Glaswegian boss has assembled a British based squad with old-fashioned values. Brits like Tony Hibbert, Phil Jagielka, Joleon Lescott, Leighton Baines, Phil Neville, Jack Rodwell, Dan Gosling and Leon Osman have been joined by a pugnacious Aussie with a winning mentality. Not only is the feigning of injury not encouraged at Goodison, it is frowned upon. It is not so long ago since I played when men like Roy Keane, Paul Ince and Dave Watson would do anything rather than admit they were hurt.
I am guessing that David Moyes looks into the character of players before he makes a signing and tries to fill his squad with players who have that sort of mentality.
It’s no coincidence another British boss is having a wonderful season based on a similar model It is coincidence, however, that his team will come to Goodison Park for the fifth round of the FA Cup in a tie which is a throwback to the halcyon days of the competition.
Passion and pace of a classic derby
UNLESS you were an Everton or Liverpool fan, you wouldn’t have considered Wednesday night’s Cup replay to be much of a spectacle. But if you were involved with one team or the other, you couldn’t have failed to be immersed in the passion, the pace and that frantic nature of the tie. Once again Lescott and Jagielka were immense, but I have to say that the other two centre-backs on show – Jamie Carragher and Martin Skrtel – were also magnificent. The night also represented a quantum leap forward in the career of Jack Rodwell. People in the game have known about him since he was 14, which has created a lot of pressure on his young shoulders, but on Wednesday I thought he came of age.

Phil Neville: Everton won't dwell on FA Cup win over Liverpool
Feb 7 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
MOMENT enjoyed, time to move on. While the glow of dumping Liverpool out of the FA Cup is keeping many Evertonians warm, the dressing room mood is much different. It would be easy for David Moyes’ players to dine out on the fact they have become the neighbours from hell once again and some supporters will remain on a high regardless of what happens against Bolton Wanderers. Anything less than three points, however, will leave Moyes and players harbouring dark moods for much of the next week and it is easy to see their thinking: why do all the hard work when you fail to take advantage of less demanding assignments? There might have been a time when Everton slipped up immediately after a big win but Phil Neville believes that trend is being bucked and he, for one, will be looking for further evidence of that today. Though he knows unfashionable Bolton will make things ultra difficult with their physical approach, Everton’s skipper picked up on something significant as his team-mates warmed down at Finch Farm on Thursday morning. Rather than spend time chattering about what had happened in the past, all eyes were fixed firmly on the future and the experience of five headline grabbing fixtures in 16 days is something he feels has helped focus minds. “We are learning lessons all the time,” said Neville. “Just look back at the game against Chelsea - everyone was delighted with the draw but it would have meant nothing had we slipped up against Middlesbrough.
“Thankfully, we didn’t and we went up there and won. Now we have beaten Liverpool, what good will it do us if we don’t follow up with good results against Bolton and Aston Villa in the FA Cup? None. “We might have been a little apprehensive before the first of the three games with Liverpool and some people won’t have been looking forward to them or thought to themselves ‘we don’t need this’. “But they have done us the world of good. We ignored the side shows that went on beforehand and remained focus on winning games. That’s what we have to do now right the way through to May.”Only time will tell if a silver lining will be put on the campaign but one thing for sure is the determination to qualify for Europ again after the all too brief dalliance last autumn.
The UEFA Cup is the likeliest route they will have to follow to achieve that goalbut Neville will not give up his dream of leading Everton back into the top four, even if he accepts it would be a miraculous achievement.
First things first, however. Simple statistics show that two draws and a defeat in their last three Premier League outings have checked the Blues’ charge up the table slightly and the former England international knows that needs to be put right.
What’s more, he’s confident they will. Many will wonder whether the squad can stand another gruelling physical encounter so soon after Wednesday’s battle but Neville feels there is an impetus behind Everton. He expects them to make it count.
“We have been on an unbelievable stretch and each game we’ve played has seen us pick up more belief,” said Neville, who walks a disciplinary tight rope today as he - like Mikel Arteta, Joleon Lescott and Mikel Arteta is on four yellow cards.
“That Arsene Wenger said he saw us as a live threat to the top four says an awful lot for how far we have come,” he added. “We battered them in the second half and should have got more than a point; we deserved to beat Liverpool in the Cup and were good value for our draw with Chelsea. The only game where we haven’t sustained a spell of pressure was at Manchester United. “I think we have earned their respect because everyone of those teams played their strongest starting line-up against us. If there was ever a time when they thought they could take it easy against us, it has long since gone. “We’ve now got to take that momentum and use it to our advantage for the remainder of the season. We are in a great position and the quality of the squad is there for all to see but it is still going to take a miracle for us to get into the top four.
“But we won’t for a minute stop believing or trying. People will worry what effect Wednesday may have on the Bolton game - they might expect us to slip but our momentum will carry us through.” Moyes - whose side beat Bolton 1-0 when they last met at The Reebok in October - has fitness worries over Marouane Fellaini who scored the winner that night - and Steven Pienaar. Fellaini is unlikely to make it meaning Dan Gosling making his second start, while new loan signing Jo is set for his debut to bolster Everton’s strike force.

DOMINIC KING: Victor Anichebe a letdown over selfish attitude
Feb 7 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
WHAT do you think will have hurt most – the dressing down from David Moyes, the startling back page headlines, or the sight of Dan Gosling scoring the winning goal?
It could, quite easily, have been the best week of Victor Anichebe’s life but, instead, a point will come in due course when he will look back on events of the past few days and wonder exactly what he hoped to achieve. At this point, for the record, it is worth having a quick recap on what was reported in national newspapers and what actually happened between Anichebe and Moyes in the run-up to Wednesday night’s season-shaping FA Cup clash with Liverpool. Anichebe did not tell Moyes to “**** off”; he did not have an angry bust-up with Steve Round; he did not “flatly refuse” to take part in training and he was not escorted from Finch Farm by two members of Everton’s medical staff. He was sent away by the manager – whose attacking options have been depleted for the past two months – after turning in for training on Tuesday morning, claiming he had an injury and effectively ruling himself out of the fourth round replay. In normal circumstances, that would seem pretty harsh and drastic action on Moyes’ behalf. But the situation is put in a completely different light when you consider that less than 24 hours earlier, Anichebe had a transfer request turned down. The Nigerian told Moyes shortly before the window closed on Monday that he wanted to go to Hull City on loan. Had Everton been able to land Schalke’s Kevin Kuranyi, there may have been a chance to facilitate that request. But with no time to find a replacement, Moyes explained the situation amicably and told Anichebe he would look after him in the summer. Moyes might be a strict disciplinarian but always, no matter what, endeavours to give his players the very best treatment. Once you let him down, however, there is little, if any, chance of winning back his favour, and Anichebe’s attitude recently has failed to impress. If anything, it has been a cause for constant exasperation. Had he been inclined, the 20-year-old could easily have made giant strides over the past two months. Injuries to Ayegbeni Yakubu, Louis Saha and James Vaughan provided Anichebe with a gilt-edged opportunity to get the run of games he has been striving for. Instead, he has complained of a twinge here and strain there. Yet some would have run through a brick wall to get the chance to start 11 big games.
Anichebe did that only four times and came off the bench a further four.
In that period, Tim Cahill set an example of what playing as a centre forward is all about, running himself to a standstill, doing whatever he can to help the team and putting any personal issues aside. It would be wrong to say that he has played his final game for Everton, as it is understood Anichebe has been repentant in the time since the story of the row emerged, apologising to Moyes and his team-mates.
With Yakubu and Vaughan out for the remainder of the campaign, Moyes would not cut off his nose to spite his face, and that’s why Anichebe will continue to be in and around the squad until the final game of the season in May. After that, the exit door will be left wide open for him. Monday was not the only time during the window that Anichebe asked if he could leave Everton, where he is amply rewarded financially, and if he really feels that way, that is his prerogative. But he must remember one thing: Wherever he ends up will be one, possibly two or even three steps down from Goodison, and you can guarantee his eyes will be opened. Do Hull City have a training ground like Finch Farm? Do Hull City have nights like the Blues experienced against Liverpool? How many European campaigns have Hull City been involved in?
While Everton’s players cavorted on Wednesday and supporters revelled in beating the Reds, Anichebe, who spent the evening at home, will have had a glimpse into the future. One wonders if it was as rosy as he thought.
Pompey switch another raw deal
THEY wonder why attendances are dropping! Sky have made the latest changes to the Premier League fixture schedule and given Evertonians a real treat. The game at Portsmouth on March 21 has been shifted from a 3.00pm kick-off back to a start time of 12.45pm to accommodate the television cameras, but scant regard has been given to the supporters who intend to make the trip. If it wasn’t bad enough that Boxing Day involved a near 300-mile round trip to Middlesbrough when no public transport was available, anyone wishing to get a train to Portsmouth will have the pleasure of a 6.00am start from Lime Street, with two changes. Those who intend travelling by road are almost certainly going to have to set off at a similar time and, while fuel prices have dropped in recent months, it is not going to be a cheap day, particularly when a ticket for the visiting enclosure will set you back £34. Everton have one of the best sets of travelling supporters in the Premier League, and out of devotion a number will make that trip to the south coast next month. Wouldn’t it be nice, though, if their feelings were taken into account just for once?

Everton 3, Bolton 0: Midas touch Moyes’s Jo gamble pays off
Feb 9 2009 by Ian Doyle, Liverpool Daily Post
ON HIS way home from Goodison Park at the weekend, David Moyes would have been forgiven for popping into the newsagent to chance his arm on the lotto.
After all, it seems the Everton manager possesses the Midas touch at the moment.
It was his decision to send on young Dan Gosling and the lesser-spotted Andy van der Meyde that sealed a momentous, magnificent FA Cup derby win against Liverpool.
And on Saturday, there was early evidence his magic powers have already started to work wonders on new loan signing Jo. The Brazilian striker has been a misfit at Manchester City since arriving in England last summer, netting just once in the Premier League back in September with his only other goals of an 18-game spell coming against Cypriot minnows Omonia Nicosia in the UEFA Cup.
Yet, inside the first 90 minutes of his initial six-month Everton stay, Jo managed to treble that top-flight tally and also earn a penalty to leave a significant early calling card. Clearly, the best things come to those who wait. Moyes has been a long-time admirer of Jo, having tracked the 21-year-old from his goal-laden time at Russian side CSKA Moscow. But with Jo having cost City £18million, it’s likely the Everton manager may have to start playing the EuroMillions to help facilitate any possible permanent deal for the striker in the summer. It would be foolish to pass sweeping judgements on one outing, yet already Jo appears more at ease with English football than at any point during a miserable seven months at City. Certainly, the smile has returned to his game. The player himself admits the camaraderie among the Goodison squad has instantly made him feel at home on Merseyside, a feeling of togetherness that has been conspicuously absent at Eastlands this season. Would Jo have benefited from signing for Everton in the first place? Tall, languid and with characteristically Brazilian close control, Jo will, at least temporarily, provide an extra dimension to the attacking arsenal already on the Goodison books. Of course, with all of those forwards injured anyway, having a natural striker to call upon was something of a rare luxury for Moyes at the weekend. And Jo will hopefully ease the pressure on Tim Cahill, who has been filling the breach superbly up front during the past two months, although the Brazilian is ineligible for the FA Cup. A few early sighters, particularly a shot dragged harmlessly wide after being sent clear by Cahill’s header, indicated Jo was demonstrating the understandable rustiness of someone who had started just one game in almost three months. But in one neat turn and explosive burst of pace inside the area five minutes before the break was enough to announce his arrival and tempt Bolton Wanderers full-back Andrew O’Brien into a foul, allowing Mikel Arteta to convert from the spot. Better was to come four minutes after the interval with a flash of skill that had Goodison purring in appreciation. Phil Neville floated a long ball up towards Jo on the edge of the area, and, in one fluid, quickfire movement, the striker plucked the ball out of the air, turned away from centre-back Gary Cahill and thrashed a left-footed volley underneath Bolton goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Injury time saw the icing on the cake when, after referee Peter Walton adjudged Mark Davies to have handled Gosling’s right-wing cross inside the penalty box, Jo was handed the responsibility to beat Jaaskelainen from the spot.
And to think Moyes believes Jo is still weeks away from full match sharpness. Enough Goodison careers have already been buried under the weight of expectation encouraged by a promising debut, but the initial portents augur well.
The cause of Jo and Everton was helped by the fact that Bolton were, to put it mildly, absolutely pathetic; only Middlesbrough on Boxing Day have performed anywhere near as badly against Moyes’s men this season. It made for a comfortable afternoon for Everton – not something that has been said often at home this season – a deserved reward after the extra-time endeavours of midweek and a schedule that saw them emerge from five successive games against the Premier League’s leading lights with just one defeat. Even without the injured Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar, Everton were dominant from as early as the third minute when, after Leon Osman released Leighton Baines down the left flank, Cahill somehow contrived to slice the left-back’s teasing low cross wide from barely three yards. With Arteta pulling the strings, there were plenty of other chances for Everton to secure a great margin of victory. Joleon Lescott thrashed a shot that was deflected wide, Phil Jagielka glanced an Arteta corner against the crossbar and Gary Cahill produced an outstanding block to deny Osman. Gosling, handed a starting role on the back of his derby heroics, was again dangerous and only a point-blank save from Jaaskelainen prevented the youngster heading home a Baines free-kick at the far post. Bolton rarely troubled Everton, with Tim Howard only once forced into meaningful action to parry Matthew Taylor’s angled drive midway through the second half. The visitors had little success up against a backline for whom Jagielka’s continued imperious form earned a richly-merited call-up by Fabio Capello to the England squad for Wednesday’s friendly against Spain in Seville. Few full-backs can deliver a cross with the accuracy Baines is consistently producing at present while even the perennially unsung Tony Hibbert was afforded a chant from the Gwladys Street faithful. Since losing at Arsenal in October, Everton have now been defeated just three times in 20 games, conceding only 11 goals in that period while keeping 11 clean sheets. Their league position of sixth has remained constant for some time, and while it is clear that Moyes’s side have the measure of most in the Premier League, that top-five place is likely to be tantalisingly out of reach, if only for this season. But, as Everton and Jo discovered on Saturday, some things are worth waiting for.

Everton 3, Bolton 0: Team spirit and a touch of class
Feb 9 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
IT’S the little things that a manager does which give you the best idea of how a season is shaping up. Kevin Keegan’s televised explosion when Newcastle United chased the title in 1996 showed a club on the point of meltdown, while the sight of Arsene Wenger loosening his tie and losing his sang-froid in 2003 confirmed Arsenal’s championship hopes were over. Alternatively, few will forget Jose Mourinho swaggering into Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2004 and proclaiming he was a “Special One” before guiding Chelsea to a runaway title triumph. Unfortunately, the biggest domestic prize is not on Everton’s agenda this year but if proof were needed that this campaign has been turned on its head, it arrived four minutes before the end of their latest victory. When another aimless clearance from Bolton’s defence was making its way out of somewhere near the halfway line, David Moyes took a couple of steps back, set himself and proceeded to deliver a perfect cushioned header down the wing. Playing to the gallery? Possibly. A sign of total confidence? Definitely.
Either way, it was a moment warmly received by the vast majority of the Goodison Park crowd and ensured that Moyes’ name was lustily sung at both ends of the ground. Had the Blues been in the middle of a scrappy run of results or not playing with belief, there would have been absolutely no chance of Moyes engaging in something so light-hearted, so the fact he did gives a clear impression of his current state of mind. But can you blame him for enjoying the moment? Through to the fifth round of the FA Cup and sixth in the table, Everton are unrecognisable from the ensemble Moyes infamously said “were not ready to win Premier League games” back in August. If there may have been fears in some quarters that the effort put into 120 minutes against Liverpool four days earlier would take a toll, they were totally unfounded as Everton seized the initiative immediately and took three points in a common canter. Admittedly, Bolton were utterly wretched – arguably the worst visiting side at Goodison Park all season – but it was the manner in which Everton dismantled them that warmed the heart on another bitingly cold afternoon.
From the moment Leighton Baines scampered down the left wing on to Leon Osman’s inviting pass and fizzed in a cross that first Tim Cahill and then the lively Dan Gosling failed to get a foot on, there was only ever going to be one outcome.
Superior in every department to the visitors, Moyes even had the added bonus of seeing his latest signing Jo give a debut performance that will have left anyone who had previously seen him play in the Premier League wondering if it was the same man. Giving Everton a physical presence and a focal point up front, the Brazilian grew in stature the more he saw the ball, showed flashes of outstanding quality and walked off the pitch at the final whistle as a hero, with two goals to show for his efforts.
Take nothing away from Cahill, who has been magnificent since Ayegbeni Yakubu, Louis Saha and James Vaughan were injured, but he would be the first to admit that leading the line does not come naturally. Cahill is the type of attacker who likes coming from deep and causing mischief that way, even though he has been more than happy to carry the fight to opposing central defenders – Jamie Carragher and Martin Skrtel would certainly testify to that. Jo, however, is a completely different type of individual and while he occasionally helped his team-mates out at the back, his primary concern was causing as much trouble for the visitors’ rearguard as possible.
As you can tell from the scoreline, it was mission accomplished. Brought down for the penalty which started the ball rolling, Jo’s afternoon got better and better, the stellar moment being his opening goal – a twist and finish that screamed ‘Copacabana’.
Is there such a thing as hapless Brazilian forward? On this evidence, you would have say to ‘no chance’ and while he needs to prove that this display is not a flash in the pan, Jo could not have wished for a brighter start to life in these parts. Perhaps the key to unlocking that ability is camaraderie and spirit. Jo was overwhelmed when he walked into the dressing room after Liverpool’s FA Cup hopes had been extinguished.
He was taken aback as his new colleagues celebrated the moment. His esteem for them will have grown further after Phil Neville gave him the responsibility to take the second penalty of the game, every outfield player coming to celebrate after he smashed his effort from 12 yards past Jussi Jaaskelainen. With two goals and an assist, you would think that would have been enough for him to be labelled the game’s top performer but that particular honour went to the man who goes by the title of ‘the best little Spaniard’. When in this type of imperious form, Mikel Arteta is a player you would happily pay money to watch after a long week in work, dictating matters with the poise and grace of an orchestral conductor. An emphatically dispatched spot-kick has taken his tally for the season up to six and should he avoid injury and suspension between now and May, the challenge must be for him to get into double figures – he’s certainly playing well enough to do it. The standing ovation he was afforded when Moyes brought him off moments before the final whistle was thoroughly deserved, as was the one bestowed on the team shortly after Jo applied the gloss. Three goals, three points, no problems. Bolton may well have been dreadful but it was the manner in which they were seen off that should leave everyone at Goodison Park feeling so confident. There is a definite swagger to the way they are going about their business, possibly even an arrogance and that is no bad thing. The more a side grows in belief, the more likely it is to get results. And that, of course, is just what’s needed at this stage of affairs. dominicking@liverpoolecho.co.uk

DAVID PRENTICE: Everton welcome key to bringing stardust out of Jo
Feb 9 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
IT'S been a long drawn out process for Everton to get a Brazilian into their starting line-up. A 25-year process. For a football club which once basked in the description School of Soccer Science, a footballer from the home of the step-over and the banana free-kick seemed a logical step. Except there always seemed to be an obstacle in the way. Nunes never got further than the back page of the Daily Post in the early 80s.
When Mirandinha was pulling up trees on Tyneside, his fellow international vowed to follow him to England – and even dedicate his first Everton goal to the memory of John Lennon. Sadly he never even made it across the Atlantic. A decade later a man named Muller did actually arrive at Goodison. But the bright scarlet blazer should have aroused suspicion even before his tax demand hit Jim Greenwood's desk.
He was back on a flight to Sao Paulo inside 24 hours. Then there was Rodrigo.
All Hollywood smile and an apparent liking for surfboards, he did actually make it onto a football pitch at the outset of David Moyes' managerial career – four times, all from the bench. With Brazilians renowned for their set-piece expertise, fans licked their lips when he came on and demanded a free-kick at Maine Road, but those bottom lips wobbled when his effort went out for a throw in. An admirable experiment, a cruciate knee ligament injury sustained on a Bellefield training pitch ensured it ended disastrously. So Jo didn't exactly have a sparkling heritage to follow.
David Moyes had his doubts, too. He would have preferred to build the player’s fitness and confidence for a couple of weeks before letting him loose, but injuries and attitude problems gave him little option. He needn't have feared. This Brazilian was a revelation. Two goals and a run which invited a penalty-producing tackle is an excellent return in anybody’s book. So how could a player clearly not wanted at Manchester City suddenly sparkle at Goodison Park? The answer lies in the all-including attitude of the group of players Everton possess. Jo was made to feel welcome. He was encouraged. He was cajoled. And in Tim Cahill he had a superbly selfless partner prepared to put in tons of hard work to help the new boy look good.
There were numerous examples of a instant partnership blooming, not least when Cahill’s deft header released Jo for a one-on-one run minutes before half-time.
From such a capitalist sport, there is a real socialism at work. When Dan Gosling’s cross was handled by Mark Davies with effectively the last kick of the game, there was a scramble for the ball. But skipper Phil Neville demanded that Jo be given the responsibility to crank up his confidence just another notch. Everywhere you looked around this Everton side there were players willing to do that little bit extra for each other. Leon Osman has endured an in and out spell recently, but the moment when he produced a lung-bursting run and an injury-inducing leap – purely to prevent Andy O’Brien clearing a ball downfield – was admirable and indicative of this whole squad’s attitude. The quality of Everton’s football in the opening 45 minutes was both inventive and surprising. After the dogfight of Wednesday night, it was as if the shackles had come off. Everywhere you looked there were energetic and enterprising displays. Everton’s admirable centre-backs have commanded much of the attention in recent weeks, but that shouldn’t detract from the outstanding efforts from the men either side of them. Tony Hibbert has enjoyed an excellent run since he returned from injury, while across the pitch Leighton Baines has been a flashback to a relentlessly raiding left-back of yesteryear. Baines has the upright running style of Mike Pejic, a man who won four full England caps until Joe Mercer swopped him for Alec Lindsay because he, apparently, “didn't smile enough.” If Baines was scowling a little on Saturday night it would have been understandable, after Wayne Bridge was selected by Fabio Capello for England after just four Manchester City starts. But Blues fans won’t be worried about their players being ignored by international bosses if it leaves them free to build on their outstanding club form. The visit of Aston Villa next weekend now promises to be a Titanic clash. Jo is sadly ineligible. But there will be plenty of other players willing to step in and do their bit. The boy from the Brazil might have grabbed the headlines this time. But it was the boys all in it together who are the reasons behind this outstanding Everton spell.

David Moyes on new Everton star Jo: You ain’t seen nothing yet!
Feb 9 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES watched loan star Jo enjoy an Everton debut to remember then promised: “You ain’t seen nothing yet”. The Brazilian striker became Everton’s only arrival of the transfer window when signing a contract until the end of the campaign following a wretched spell with Manchester City. However, Jo looked a different man against Bolton Wanderers, as he scored twice – once from the spot – and won the penalty that enabled Mikel Arteta to get the ball rolling on a thoroughly deserved 3-0 win. Moyes had been worried that Jo’s fitness might be in question, given that he had played so little for City, but those fears were quickly dispelled, as he completed 90 minutes for the first time since October 20. The manager, though, believes this is only the start for a man who cost City more than £20m when left CSKA Moscow last summer and reckons he will be a different proposition once he is up to ‘Everton speed’. “I’m hoping to get a lot more out of Jo, I think he’s got a lot more to do that I want,” said Moyes. “But given the one game I’ve got to be really pleased with what he’s done. “He’s not had an awful lot of work with the first team players. He had a light training session on Friday and I knew then with injuries to some players that he would have to start the game. “I’d have preferred to probably have broken him in a bit longer, but I’m glad I put him in because he certainly had a positive impact. I don’t know, it never worked for him at City but he’s had a very good opening game, that’s for sure.”If there have been question marks about the togetherness of City’s squad, the same could not be said of Everton’s unity and Moyes’ players welcomed Jo with open arms when he arrived at Finch Farm for the first time last Monday. And it was clear to see that he had struck up an immediate rapport, as skipper Phil Neville made a point of letting him take the second penalty. “I think the players have made the job of him settling in really easy,” Moyes explained. While Jo caught the eye and Mikel Arteta exuded class, Phil Jagielka celebrated his call to the England squad for this week’s friendly against Spain in Seville with another masterly performance. “As far as consistent central defenders go there is no more consistent at the moment,” said Moyes.

Jo: ‘I can shine with Everton stars’
Feb 9 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
JO today hailed the “magical players” who can help ensure he rediscovers his goal touch on a permanent basis. Everton’s new boy from Brazil enjoyed a dream debut in Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Bolton, scoring twice and winning the penalty that set the wheels in motion. He looked a different player from the one who had struggled so badly with Manchester City, and his link- up with Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta, in particular, gave hope for a bright future. Arteta rammed home the first spot kick of the afternoon to crown a fine individual display and – as someone who speaks Portuguese fluently – he will have a role to play in helping Jo settle. And the 21-year-old is in no doubt that he, Arteta and Cahill can help ensure results as good as this one become the norm in the remainder of the campaign. “I have no doubt that working with Tim and Mikel will help improve my game and make me a better player in the long run,” said Jo. “They are magical players and you could see that from their performance against Bolton. They made things a lot easier for me and helped create a lot of chances.
“Mikel is an excellent technician and Tim did so much work. But I have to say that all my team-mates helped me out against Bolton. Everything was beautiful from the start.
“I had forgotten what it was like to walk off the pitch at the end of a game feeling so good. Things really could not have gone any better for me and I am delighted.”
Jo was keeping up a tradition of Everton strikers scoring on their debuts – he became the fourth in four years after James Vaughan, Andrew Johnson and Ayegbeni Yakubu – and showed no signs of lacking fitness. David Moyes had been concerned beforehand Jo might struggle, as his last appearance for City came on January 3, but the player was quick to thank his new manager for a show of faith. “The fans, the players, they all did their bit to make me feel welcome,” said Jo. “I have felt at home here from the first moment. The spirit was as good as they told me. “To score two goals on my debut makes it the best welcome I could have hoped for. The manager put a lot of trust in me and I had confidence. “He does that with players. You could see it when he put a 17-year-old (Jack Rodwell) on against Liverpool and a 19-year-old (Dan Gosling) scored the winner.” Blues skipper Phil Neville made a point of handing Jo the responsibility of taking the spot-kick. “Phil told me it was my prize for everything I had done and I deserved another chance to score,” he said.

Tim Howard: Why I won't set targets - Everton latest
Feb 10 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
TIM HOWARD has no intentions of setting himself an end of season clean sheet target – for the fear of “bad karma” wrecking his plans. Everton’s in-form keeper recorded his ninth shoutout of the domestic campaign in Saturday’s 3-0 thumping of Bolton Wanderers and has 13 games left to equal the Premier League best of 15 which Neville Southall set in 1995/96. Howard has come agonisingly close to matching that tally in the two years he has been at Goodison Park but his ambitions were wrecked on the final day by Didier Drogba in 2006/07 and again last season by a Michael Owen penalty. So even though the American is pleased with how things are ticking along, he is refusing to tempt fate and will not consider emulating the great Southall until much later in the day. “The defenders in front of me are making it so easy at the moment,” said Howard, who is currently with the United States team in Columbus for their World Cup qualifier with Mexico. “Early in the season, we weren’t on the same page and we couldn’t click. We were giving up chances and then giving up goals.
“But in the last few weeks we’ve been limiting that and I’ve been able to make some saves. The chemistry and communication is really good. We’re all on the same page.
“Targets? No way. It’s bad karma to start talking about that. We just hope the clean sheets keep piling up then in the last few games of the season, we’ll really look to do it.” While Howard’s form goes from strength to strength, similar sentiments apply to Mikel Arteta, who scored his sixth goal of the season on Saturday. He has thrived since David Moyes switched him to a more central position and Howard feels the extra responsibility is bringing the best out of the Spaniard. “The manager has always given the five midfielders a bit more freedom to chop and change positions and I’ve been used to seeing Mikel on the wing,” said Howard. “But recently he is starting to do everything from behind the ball. He’s been able to get his head up and play and pick people out. “He’s been magnificent for us. I think he feels that pressure and relishes the challenge. He’s getting better and better.” Meanwhile, Joao Moutinho – the Portugal midfielder whom Everton pursued vigorously last summer – has hinted he would like a move to England at the end of the season. Sporting Lisbon are ready to cash in on Moutinho, who has entered the final year of his contract and will allow him to leave if a suitable offer is received. “What is going to happen next? Moving abroad is an option,” said Moutinho. “I am aware that Everton are interested in me. I must say they are a good club and Nuno Valente has told me good things about them.”

NIGEL MARTYN: Why Goodison stage is set for a classic FA Cup encounter
Feb 10 2009 by Nigel Martyn, Liverpool Echo
THINGS don’t get any easier – but does anyone else get the impression that it is the bigger, the better for Everton? Having scaled one peak to knock Liverpool out of the FA Cup, the Blues are going to have to do it all over again when they lock horns with Aston Villa in what promises to be the tie of the fifth round on Sunday. Goodison Park will be packed to the rafters and I fully anticipate it will turn out to be a classic encounter, as the two sides could not be in any better form. Don’t be surprised if there is a scoreline similar to the one when they last met in December. This time, though, I – like every other Blue – will be praying we come out on top if it turns into a five-goal thriller, as the feeling persists that the winner of this meeting will end up going all the way to Wembley. Only time will tell if this can be our year but why not dream?
There comes a point during a cup run when suddenly everything clicks into gear and I’ve no doubt that feeling will have engulfed Everton’s dressing room six days ago.
You could see from the manner in which they brushed Bolton aside on Saturday how confident the players are just now and there will be a hunger to show the result against Liverpool was not a one-off. Bolton would have been rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of facing an Everton team that had been to war for 120 minutes three days prior. But, in reality, they could not handle our pace, power and passion.
To secure that quarter-final spot, however, we might have to raise our game another level; after all, Villa’s away record makes for astonishing reading. Suddenly they have sneaked under the radar to become title contenders. I don’t see them pushing Manchester United but they could easily keep tabs on Liverpools. Make no mistake, they are a top side. Martin O’Neill is a terrific manager and he has bought shrewdly to get players in like Emile Heskey and Brad Friedel – a keeper whom I admire greatly – to mix with the emerging crop of youngsters. Villa’s credentials are there for all to see but so are Everton’s. The last few weeks will have taken a physical toll but the time to be tired is when you are lying on a beach in June; one big effort on Sunday, then, could make the summer even more enjoyable.
Countdown in title race looks a cracker
THE quest for silverware will take precedence this weekend but the final few months of the Barclays Premier League season promise to be particularly enthralling.
Aston Villa may have taken poll position in the battle to break up the top four’s stranglehold on the Champions League places. But I wonder what the odds are against the Gunners and Chelsea actually missing out on a place in next year’s competition?
I’m not for one moment saying that will happen. Despite enduring a dip in form, they remain excellent sides and you would expect them to see the job through.
But that won’t stop Everton, for one, from snapping away at their heels.
David Moyes is getting more out of this bunch of players than any other manager in the division could and you can see that team spirit helped Jo get his career off at Goodison Park to the best possible start. Things are looking good at the minute and while some will worry that eventually such efforts may catch up on them, I don’t see that being a big problem. The players are thriving right now. Long may it continue.

Victor Anichebe back as Everton reserves are sunk
Feb 11 2009 Liverpool Echo
VICTOR ANICHEBE made his return to action as Everton Reserves suffered a last-gasp defeat in the North East.The striker, who officially missed the victories over Liverpool and Bolton with a knee problem, pulled on a blue shirt for the first time since infuriating boss David Moyes with his antics before the transfer window closed.
Anichebe lasted just over an hour before making way for Conor McAleny.
Everton’s first chance of the night fell to Jose Baxter but his effort was saved.
Anichebe went close after taking advantage of an awkward bounce in the box but his effort was cleared off the line. With Seamus Coleman making a solid debut at right-back, Andy Holden’s side looked solid defensively. In a relatively uneventful second half the hosts barely troubled keeper Iain Turner but the Blues were undone by a 90th minute winner. James Cronesberry found the net with a 20-yarder past Turner and then at the other end it took a stunning save from David Knight to deny the Blues an equaliser.

Everton's Mr Reliable - David Moyes tribute to Tony Hibbert
Feb 11 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES today paid Everton’s ‘Mr Reliable’ a glowing tribute as he saluted his outstanding form. Tony Hibbert is the only member of the current squad who played in Moyes’ first game in charge against Fulham in March 2002 and still remains at Goodison Park. It says much for the esteem in which Moyes holds the right back that he tends to play him whenever he is fit, and that was proven when he pitched him in for the game with Chelsea before Christmas, even though he had spent two months on the sidelines. Hibbert excelled in that 0-0 draw and his form has maintained an upward curve since, which has compelled Everton’s manager to give the 27-year-old a deserved pat on the back. “I think he has risen to the challenge,” said Moyes. “Hibbo has been one of the ones who has been with us all the way. There is competition and he knows that. “He is having to keep stepping up to the mark, so does Leon Osman. But those two boys, for me, are part of the brickwork here. “They are our equivalent of Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, if you want to put it that way. They are local boys and know what is required. “Hibbo’s reliability is the thing. There are some times when we have changed it around. We might have needed a bit better going forward. “But defensively and in terms of reliability, for me he is someone that you can hang your hat on. The young boys should be looking at him. Hibbo has been great for us.” Had injuries not intervened over the last couple of years – Hibbert has suffered medial ligament damage and a ruptured groin, among other things – he would, in all likelihood, have made far more than his current total of 212 appearances.
He has not always enjoyed great popularity in the stands but Moyes believes Hibbert’s attitude and professionalism have enabled him to keep meeting new challenges head on. “He got in at an early age, he hung in there and even when he wasn’t getting a game, he was always around the place,” said Moyes, preparing his side for an FA Cup fifth round tie with Aston Villa this Sunday. “It’s the same for Ossie. He had to go on loan a couple of times early in his career. There are a couple of routes you can take but you have got to keep stepping up. “When you leave the Academy and you come up to train with the reserves, you have to show that you are good enough. “If you are a reserve team player and you go to play with the first team, you have to show that you should be there. “What happens as a young player is that you get a little bit of leeway. But eventually you start to get judged like everyone else and you have to keep stepping up.” Tickets – starting at £29 for adults and £14 for juniors – are still on sale for the Villa tie. They can be purchased online, by phone or from the Park End box office.

Everton star defender Phil Jagielka ready to help England cause
Feb 11 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
PHIL JAGIELKA is ready to become England’s jack of all trades if it helps him win the second cap of his career against Spain tonight. Everton’s in-form defender has hardly put a foot out of place this season and has excelled in a central position, first alongside Joseph Yobo and, more recently, Joleon Lescott to catch the eye of Fabio Capello. The Italian handed Jagielka his first taste of international football last May, when he called him up to England’s squad for the friendlies with the United States and Trinidad & Tobago – against whom he won his only cap during a 3-0 win in Port of Spain. However, Jagielka is adaptable and has played as both a right-back and central midfielder during his career – he even had a spell in goal for Sheffield United once – and is more than happy to fit in wherever if it means he gets some minutes on the pitch in Seville tonight. “Obviously, when you’re coming through the game you just want to play in whatever position is available,” said Jagielka. “But to establish yourself at the top level you have to be less a jack of all trades and more a master of one. “If there are other positions, I’ll still play there. But I’m happy that I’ve been able to find a consistent run as a centre-half. I had a little bit of a taster with England last season and my form has not been bad at club level, so it's always nice when you get recognised and called up for the seniors. “My debut in Trinidad was a brilliant moment, especially to get half a game as well. It wasn't just five minutes on the pitch. It was fantastic and something I’ve always wanted to do.” Before Jagielka signed for Everton, Steve McLaren had spotted potential and picked him for a ‘B’ team game against Albania at Turf Moor in May 2007 and he knows that hard work eventually reaps its reward. “Matthew [Upson] and Joleon [Lescott] have both done really well,” said Jagielka. “They’ve both earned four or five caps each in the last year at centre-half. “Matthew has been playing really well and scored a goal in his last appearance. He is playing well for his club and the chances he has had at international level he has taken with both hands.” Capello, meanwhile, will be looking for further improvement from his squad against the European champions and hopes England will perform with the same kind of zest they showed when beating Germany 2-1 in Berlin last November. The last time these two countries met was at Old Trafford two years ago when an Andres Iniesta goal gave no reflection of Spain’s dominance. But if England were to turn the tables, they will, in all probability, be close to favouritism for the World Cup. “We want to see players who have no fear and plenty of confidence,” he said. “This is a very important step for me. We have to play against all the teams in the world convinced we can win. “When we played against Germany, I knew which position we were in. Now I don’t and we have to recover it.” James Milner and Carlton Cole are two of the more interesting options available to the England coach. Cole will probably only start if Emile Heskey fails to overcome an ankle problem which prevented him from training on Monday. In addition, David Beckham stands on the brink of a history-making 108th appearance, which would take him alongside World Cup-winning skipper Bobby Moore as the most capped outfield player in England history. Beckham should play some part given Capello will make plenty of changes. As a former club manager with Juventus, AC Milan and Real Madrid, Capello realises the annual February friendly is hardly timed ideally, coming just before the resumption of the major European competitions and at a time when the Premier League is taking shape before the long run-in. So he did not need to take any calls from worried managers hoping he will take it easy. The Italian intends to use all his substitutes, many of them at half-time, to ensure no-one returns from their England assignment too tired. In return, Capello expects his club counterparts to adopt a lenient approach ahead of the key qualifier against the Ukraine in April, next October’s return meeting in Kiev and the clash with Croatia a month earlier, games which will determine whether England reach South Africa next year. “I’ve never been compromised and I have never given a compromise,” said Capello. “I know the problems for the clubs because I was one. I can help them and I hope they help me.”

Everton striker Louis Saha closing in on Aston Villa FA Cup return
Feb 12 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
LOUIS SAHA is hoping to give David Moyes a welcome selection headache this weekend by making his long-awaited return to Everton’s squad. The Blues’ number nine has not been sighted since he was stretchered off during the 1-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur on November 30 with a hamstring problem. It was initially hoped Saha would only spend two to three weeks on the sidelines but further scans showed he had suffered serious damage to the muscle. Results, of course, have not suffered during the Frenchman’s absence but Moyes is eager to get Saha back involved as soon as possible and it could even be on Sunday. Having had a short spell of convalescence in France, Saha has been training at Finch Farm for the past few weeks and has made good progress. With Jo cup-tied, Moyes could do with having another striker in his squad and though Saha is unlikely to play from the start, he could take a place on the bench. If so, Tim Cahill will be deployed as Everton’s lone striker and will face Villa in high spirits. Cahill helped Australia secure a 0-0 draw with Japan in Yokohama yesterday and the Socceroos only need to beat Uzbekistan in Sydney on April 1 to secure their place at the 2010 World Cup finals. “It’s a great result,” Cahill said. “They’ve had five weeks preparing, we’ve had two days. We will take that result – and I’m sure they will too.” He is not due back at Finch Farm until tomorrow, nor is Tim Howard, who starred for the US in their 2-0 win over Mexico in Columbus last night. Howard made crucial saves when the game was all square and he, too, stands on the verge of booking a ticket to South Africa. “It always helps when you have the opportunity to make a save,” he said. “It gave everybody a little lift and was a bit of a warning shot. If you can make the save in that situation then everybody is on their toes again. We need to take it one game at a time. Every game is massive. “We don’t have the luxury of looking ahead. The most important game is the next one, obviously, and in the next series of games there are two back to back. “We need to go away from home and pick up some points and then come back and protect our home field.”

We only want what is best for Everton - KEIOC
Feb 12 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
DAVE KELLY and Colin Fitzpatrick come from different backgrounds, but a contentious issue has led them to form an unlikely partnership. Though both match-going Evertonians, they never knew each other until attending a couple of meetings over the Blues’ proposed move to a new stadium in Kirkby. From that point they became familiar and ended up on nodding terms. Now, almost two years on, they are two of the main figures behind the movement Keep Everton In Our City (KEIOC), and have spent much of the period since compiling a counter argument as to why they believe the Destination Kirkby Project is flawed. Given that Everton have had a legal team devoting countless man hours to the Public Inquiry that ended last Friday following nine weeks of evidence, many would assume that KEIOC have had something similar. Not so. While both men hold down full-time jobs – Kelly works for the Transport and General Workers Union, Fitzpatrick is a local businessman – they, along with Dave Woolford (vice chair) Cathy Johansen (secretary) and Brian Gould (treasurer) have invested every bit of spare time and energy into a cause in which they passionately believe. “If we did not have flexible jobs, it would have been impossible for us,” says Fitzpatrick. How, then, have they been able to stand up in an unforgiving arena and address the Inquiry with confidence? “The big advantage is the degree of expertise that we have been able to call upon,” said Fitzpatrick. “We belong to one of the biggest gentlemen’s clubs in the world that has members from any number of professions. There were plenty of people we could tap into.” For those who are unaware, KEIOC was formed, to use their own words, by a “concerned and disillusioned faction of match-going Evertonians who had sat through and watched as the debacles of the Kings Dock, NTL and Fortress Sports Fund unravelled before them”. Their objections over relocating to a site in Kirkby are based around the fact the proposed new ground would be nine miles away from Liverpool city centre, which, they believe, throws up serious ramifications. Among other things, they say it will impact on Walton’s economy and feel there are flaws in the way the new stadium will be financed. What’s more, they argue that the signing of an exclusivity deal with Tesco prevented other sites in Liverpool’s city boundaries from being considered.
KEIOC, however, are not an organisation without critics. Some have labelled them fanatics who are allowing nostalgic feelings to stand in the way of progress, but Kelly – chair and spokesperson – is quick to counter that claim. “We have great arguments within the group,” he points out. “We have never said Goodison Forever. We are not Luddites. We want change passionately, but Goodison can be redeveloped.
“Liverpool is the best city in the world for music and it’s the best city in the world for football. What we don’t want is to go back to 1892 and be in the situation of tenant and landlord again. “I have spoken to a number of impartial, independent experts and they don’t believe Kirkby is a strong option for us. “I have got to make it clear that if we do go to Kirkby, I will continue to go. I just feel the whole plan is inappropriate.”
If, in their opinion, Kirkby is no good, what is? Everton chief executive Robert Elstone gave a presentation at the EGM last September which showed that it would be neither practical nor make financial sense, but Kelly insists there is an option.
“I believe that if we end up in Kirkby we will no longer be in control of our own destiny. I don’t see us owning the ground. The ideal one, for me, would be the Bestway site. I think that would be manna from heaven.” KEIOC have spent a lot of money to show on their website “a glimpse of the future” – it is an artist’s interpretation of possible technical solutions using an animated 3D virtual tour.
It shows a redeveloped Goodison Park and the development of the Scotland Road Loop site in Everton. That is their idea of nirvana but, as Everton do not possess a billionaire benefactor, who would pay for it? Kelly, for one, believes Bestway could again provide the solution. “They are one of the biggest companies around with a multi-billion pound turnover,” he said. Given that Bestway have never – to public knowledge – shown an interest in investing in Everton, that will have to remain a dream for the time being. Now it is a case of waiting to see what Secretary of State Hazel Blears decides after digesting all the evidence that has been provided, and all Fitzpatrick hopes is that Everton end up with the kind of stadium he remembers from his childhood. “The first time I went to Goodison Park was April 1966,” he said. “I was in total awe as an eight-year-old. I remember looking around and thinking that this was going to be a ground that held World Cup matches in. “It was clearly the best ground in the country at the time. Will we ever be able to say the same about Kirkby? I don’t think it’s going to be a world class stadium that has potential. “If we leave our spiritual home, we have got to make certain it is right. We all know that Bill Kenwright wants what is best for the club. We all want an exciting new era for the club – we don’t want to be aspiring to mediocrity. “I don’t want to go to Kirkby because Everton belongs in this city,” said Fitzpatrick. “Everton’s support is predominantly from Liverpool, Wirral and North Wales. I want what is best for us.”

The Jury: Everton fans on the latest Goodison talking points
Feb 12 2009 Liverpool Echo
THE FA CUP has to be our priority now, as it has simply been too long since Everton won a trophy. We have progressed so much under David Moyes, and a trophy is the final thing we need to complete our resurgence from the misery of the 90s.
It will be tough the way Villa are playing, though, but our own form is impressive, and the defence is now at their best. Jo will be missed after such an impressive debut last week. Hopefully, Fellaini will be fit to replace him and support Cahill in a formation that has served us so well in the absence of strikers for so long this season.
Revenge is the feeling – after the gutting, undeserved defeat to Villa in the league – to put right our last meeting with Villa in the FA Cup. Their quarter final victory in 2000 robbed us of a Wembley semi final against Bolton, and I would love to get them back for those two horrible days.
IT’S been easy to spot Evertonians this week – like members of a brain-washed religious cult, with broad smiles across their faces. Many have spent years in denial, afraid to come out, the love that dare not speak its name, fearful of the reaction of workmates, neighbours and relatives, a persecuted minority, living in the shadow of the Reds. If anyone was going to spoil the celebrations it would have been Bolton, with their chief party pooper, Kevin ‘play the man not the ball’ Davies. All credit to the players for another great performance. In the cup matches you have to rely on passion and commitment, so once again we’ll need the Park End to ‘suck the ball into the net’. and let’s hope Dan Gosling has a great career, rather than being a two-hit wonder like that other West Country boy, Mike Trebilcock. There was a fantastic atmosphere during the Liverpool tie, so as the Kirkby inquiry grinds towards its conclusion, my conclusion is that I don’t want a Tesco Extra Value Stadium. We can’t give up on this city.
IT has been a pleasure watching Everton lately and I expect this feeling to continue during Sunday’s cup clash with Villa. It’s a massive game for the Blues and, without adding unnecessary pressure on David Moyes or the players, a win on Sunday would put Everton in a strong position to win the competition. I hope Everton can retain possession and play with confidence and style, pushing Villa to their limit.
The Toffees played some outstanding football against an awkward Bolton side last weekend, and I think special praise should go to Tony Hibbert, who looks so confident, strong and fully fit, surpassing his best ever form. Leighton Baines looks a great player, too. Fabio Capello could have named an Everton back four this week, and they would not have let him down.
Michael Drummond, Speke
YET another fantastic performance against a Bolton team who were full of confidence. With 120 minutes played against our neighbours in midweek, I was expecting a jaded performance. But, like a number of times this season, the pessimist was wrong. Jo deserved his goals and I had full belief that he was going to do well. Moyes doesn't track a player for 18 months that doesn't have something about him!
Hopefully, his fitness will improve and we will see more goals from him.
Our defence deserves a pat on the back. Jagielka is arguably the best centre back in the Premier League at the moment and Baines has taken his chance well.
Sunday will be an interesting game. We are owed a win against Villa after the undeserved defeat a few months back. Fingers crossed we show the spirit of the derby.

BLUE BOYS: We’ll bounce back from cup exit pledges coach
Feb 12 2009 by James Pearce, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON coach Neil Dewsnip is backing his under-18s to bounce back from their FA Youth Cup heartache when they entertain Wolves at Finch Farm on Saturday.
The Blues saw their hopes of glory dashed last week when they lost 3-1 on penalties to Norwich City after battling out a 1-1 draw. Defeat was tough for his players to take but Dewsnip is confident he will get the right response at Finch Farm. “It’s not been difficult to lift the lads,” he insisted. “Of course they were really disappointed to get knocked out but young people are quite resilient and they’ve picked themselves up.
“A lot of them played for the reserves on Tuesday night. They’ve put that Youth Cup defeat behind them and are up and running again. “There’s still a lot to look forward to this season, added the Everton coach. “We’ve got a lot of points to play for and a lot of the lads are looking to establish themselves in the reserves as the season progresses. “They are all chasing the standards set by Jack Rodwell and Dan Gosling who have done so well on first team duty this season.” After a goalless 90 minutes, a stunning free-kick from Lee McArdle looked to have given the Blues victory against Norwich. But an error from keeper Adam Davies saw Tom Adeyemi's weak shot made it 1-1 nine minutes from the end of extra time. In the shoot-out visiting keeper Declan Rudd saved penalties from Jake Bidwell, Shane Duffy and Jose Baxter.
“The pitch was very difficult for both teams which meant the level of football wasn’t what I think both teams would have hoped for,” Dewsnip added. “We had something like 10 excellent chances to score and they had two. “It was a similar problem to what we have had all year – one of not scoring enough goals. “We were very solid at the back and after a wonderful free-kick from Lee in extra time we were hopeful of going through. “But a real unfortunate mistake by our goalkeeper got them level. It is something he will probably never do again in his career, but he will learn from it.
“In penalties you win a few and lose a few. Unfortunately we lost this one.”
James Wallace is likely to miss Saturday’s game through injury after picking up a knock playing for the reserves at Middlesbrough on Tuesday night.
Name: Lee McArdle
Born: 20/01/1992 - Liverpool
Position: Defender
THE youngster has already been at the club for eight years, having joined at the age of nine. McArdle played for Wales in the Victory Shield last season and scored a cracking 40-yard free-kick. He again displayed his liking for the spectacular in Everton Under-18s’ first pre-season friendly last summer when he lobbed the Carlisle goalkeeper from inside his own half. McArdle made his debut for the Reserves aged just 15 and aims to establish himself as a first choice in the Under-18s in the future.

Terriers’ new boy Lukas all set for Yorkshire derby day debut
Feb 12 2009 by James Pearce, Liverpool Echo
LUKAS JUTKIEWICZ is set for a baptism of fire at Huddersfield Town after finally getting the green light to start his loan spell. The 19-year-old striker’s move from Goodison was held up while the paperwork was processed but he is now in line to face Leeds in Saturday’s West Yorkshire derby. Town boss Lee Clark has praised David Moyes for his help in securing Jutkiewicz’s services. The Everton manager allowed the former Swindon player to train with Town while the deal was still being finalised. Clark said: “The fact that he’s been training with us since the wheels were first set in motion for the loan move the Monday before last is a real bonus.
“He’s been able to get used to us and us to him, and I’d like to thank David Moyes for his help in that. “Lukas has enjoyed getting to know the rest of the players, and I like what I’ve seen of him. He offers us something a bit different.” Jutkiewicz has already played in all four divisions of the English game, having made his Premier League debut for Everton against Sunderland in December. That followed appearances in Leagues One and Two for Swindon and in the Championship during a loan spell at Plymouth last season.
Young Blues suffer defeat
EVERTON duo Jack Rodwell and Dan Gosling played for England Under-19s in Tuesday’s friendly with Spain. The young Lions suffered a 3-0 defeat in front of an 8,000-strong crowd at Bournemouth’s Dean Court. Rodwell played the full 90 minutes for Brian Eastick’s side, while Gosling was in action up to the hour mark.
Meanwhile, Segundo Castillo was in action for Ecuador in their international friendly with England Under-21s in Spain. Ecuador scored three second half goals to clinch a 3-2 victory over Stuart Pearce’s side. The Everton trio have now returned to Merseyside ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup fifth round clash with Aston Villa.

Everton chief Robert Elstone comes out fighting over Kirkby stadium move
Feb 13 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON chief executive Robert Elstone today “came off the fence” about the Blues’ proposed move to Kirkby – and launched a withering attack on the “double standards” of Liverpool City Council. The government inquiry into the new stadium project ended last week and Elstone admitted that Blues officials had “bitten their lips” during the 11-week process. But now the inquiry has ended, the chief executive has come out fighting in a detailed blog on the club’s official website. Elstone declared: Kirkby is the only viable stadium option for Everton. Redevelopment of Goodison Park is a financial non-starter Chairman Bill Kenwright is not “in it to make a quick buck.” Liverpool City Council have been guilty of “double standards.”
And the council corroborated with KEIOC on a report designed to influence the club ballot on the ground move. Elstone declared: “The club is more convinced than ever that for the foreseeable future, Kirkby is the only viable stadium option for Everton Football Club. “Despite fanciful and extravagant claims to the contrary, I would urge you not to believe that we can build a new stand at Goodison without major risk and substantial cost. “Not to believe we can build an expanded new stadium on the Goodison site without a time-consuming and uncertain ‘land grab’ and a significant, unachievable price tag. “And not to believe there is an alternative site within the city boundaries, that comes with the financial support that makes it even remotely viable and deliverable. “We might not want to hear it, but no credible evidence was presented in support of these schemes. Not one of these stadium options is real.”
Elstone added: “Off our own back, we do not have the financial wherewithal to build a new stadium. “We have battled with this problem for well over 10 years and it remains the case that we will be unable to build a new stadium unless it is substantially funded by third party support. “There are no magical funding strategies and the club has not been myopic or unimaginative on funding options. “Please don’t believe that 30-storey, five-star hotels will pay our bills; that we can re-name Goodison Park and raise the millions generated by a new site; and that we can find 10,000 Evertonians willing to invest £23,000 each (or 100,000 fans and £2,300) to raise the £230m we’d need, on very optimistic estimates, to build an expanded Goodison. “Again, not what we might wish to hear but no credible evidence was presented in support of these funding schemes. Not one of these funding options will meet our needs.” The chief executive also hit out at the campaigners striving to keep Everton within the city boundaries. “Contrary to an extraordinary statement by KEIOC, this is not about Bill Kenwright ‘making a turn’ on his investment,” he said.
“The chairman has always made it clear that all he ever wants, and has ever wanted, is for the club to grow in stature for the sake of its players and staff, but most of all, for its fans. “Kirkby has never been about the chairman ‘making a quick buck’.”
Elstone also pointed out how the inquiry revealed that Liverpool City Council had been guilty of double standards in their dealings with Everton and Liverpool.
Council officials had attacked Everton’s ability to fund Kirkby, despite confirming it had never seen proof of funding before granting Liverpool FC’s Stanley Park permission. Council planners agreed with Everton experts that there is no viable and deliverable alternative site within the city boundaries. KEIOC’s witness agreed that a report by HOK (the company which constructed the Millennium Stadium) on the Bestway/Loop site was, timed to influence the Kirkby ballot and that its ‘persuasive’ content – drafted in 48 hours – was concluded in collaboration with Liverpool City Council and KEIOC’s architectural adviser. Elstone concluded: “During our 10 year search, it might be argued that we have identified potentially more attractive sites but, of course, none have been viable; Kirkby is. “Kirkby is a deliverable, modern stadium, sited within the ‘Greater Liverpool region’ (with an ‘L’ postcode and a 0151 STD code), that will make a significant, positive difference to our club, and to our future.
“Kirkby is a high specification stadium that will take us off the bottom of the stadium league table, position us at the right end and, even better, 40% of the cost is picked up by someone else. “It will make a material difference to the manager’s spending power and, accordingly, a significant difference to our ability to compete at the highest level.
“In reality, there is no choice.”

Cinema trip puts Everton FA Cup hero Dan Gosling in the picture
Feb 13 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
RED carpets are laid out to greet the arrival of a new star, so it was fitting that Dan Gosling realised how much things had changed on a trip to the cinema.
If Everton’s midfield hero was unaware of how popular he had become after scoring the goal which dumped Liverpool out of the FA Cup, it quickly became apparent as he lined up to buy his ticket to see ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’. While Gosling was minding his own business, his arrival had caused quite a stir and soon every Evertonian in the vicinity wanted their picture taken or an autograph from the man of the moment. Some footballers would have taken umbrage at such a scene unfolding, but for Gosling it was an overwhelming experience and one he thoroughly enjoyed, which was more than he could say for the film. “It wasn’t the best,” was the verdict he delivered with an innocent smile – Brad Pitt might be getting mixed reviews, but Gosling’s efforts since breaking into Everton’s first team have earned him some serious critical acclaim. Bursting with enthusiasm and energy, the 19-year-old might have been thrust on to a new level since, but it is clear to see he has a level-headed approach to the situation and is determined to enjoy it. “It’s so nice because it’s people recognising what you have done,” he said. “They’ve been happy for me and it’s been so humbling. Plymouth is a small city and there is only one team down there, so I’d get recognised every now and again. “But up here there’s obviously a lot more people. You’re on a bigger stage altogether and you have to get used to it quickly. But I know that I’ve got experienced team-mates who will help me if I need anything. They’ve been great to me. That’s the part of the reason that we have been doing so well – everyone helps each other out, the work ethic is great and everyone wants to win. That helps the younger lads coming through to keep it going.”
Not surprisingly, his television remote control has been in almost constant use since the dramatic end to that fourth round replay, but it is says much for this young man that he has not allowed himself to get too carried away in public. As was the case after he scored on his home debut against Sunderland at the end of December, Gosling savoured the moment yet he also knew there was no time for standing back and admiring his work. Everton’s campaign, after all, is gathering pace and it will require another big, collective push in order to get the better of Aston Villa this Sunday and secure a place in the FA Cup quarter-finals. “It’s all sunk in now,” said Gosling. “But really it was a case of having to move on the next day, as we had a big game against Bolton to prepare for. I did, so did all the rest of the lads and we got a great result for it. “Obviously I’ve watched the highlights a few times since. It was a great moment – not just for me, but for the team as well, and I’m sure I’ll still be watching it in months to come. We want to make sure it continues.” With Steven Pienaar absent again this weekend, Gosling should be given another opportunity to shine and he showed his efforts in the derby were no fluke six days ago with a sprightly effort against Bolton that might have yielded another goal. “I was happy after the game but it had nothing to do with how I played,” he said. “The only thing that mattered was the team getting three points to try and stay on course for the Champions League or the UEFA Cup. That’s the aim. “The last penalty? I crossed it and wanted to take it, but Jo is a £19m player, he’s a striker and you’ve got to have respect for the senior players. It was only right that he took it and it was great that he buried it.”
Like a number of his colleagues, Gosling spent the early part of the week on international duty – he and Jack Rodwell played for England’s Under-19s on Tuesday against Spain in Bournemouth – but since returning to Finch Farm, the focus has firmly been on Villa. Nobody needs reminding how the last meeting between the sides ended in December but Gosling, who will have an entourage of family members in the stands for the tie, is eager for the roles to be reversed come the final whistle.
“It’s going to be a great day and a great atmosphere,” he predicted. “If we get the right result, I’m sure there’ll be a few more wild scenes at the end. We just want to make sure everyone goes home happy. “It’s going to be a hard game, but anyone you meet at this stage of the competition is going to give you that. Home advantage will be massive for us but, saying that, Villa came up here not long ago and beat us 3-2.
“It’s got nothing to do with getting revenge. “We’ve just got to make sure we put right what we did in the league. If we do that, hopefully we’ll have a great chance of getting into the next round.”

HOWARD KENDALL: Everton's confidence key to FA Cup joy
Feb 13 2009 by Howard Kendall, Liverpool Echo
TWO of the Premier League’s in-form teams go head-to-head in the FA Cup on Sunday but I have no hesitation in predicting a home win. If all goes according to plan, Everton versus Aston Villa should be a game to savour and while I’m respectful of the job Martin O’Neill has done in the Midlands, I honestly believe it will turn out to be the Blues’ day. Why? The reasons are there for all to see. When the sides last met in December and Everton suffered the heartbreak of conceding that goal in the dying seconds, the confidence they went into the fixture with was nothing like it is now. True, Tottenham had been beaten the week before, but we were just stirring into life when Villa arrived at Goodison Park - this time we are flying. As long as lessons were learned after that game - and I’ve no doubt they will have been - home advantage will prove crucial. Keep things tight and a place in the last eight beckons. That said, it won’t be easy. Far from it. Villa’s away record has been phenomenal and the pace they have pouring forward means Everton’s defenders will have to be on their toes.
Some people may wonder how Phil Jagielka will react following Wednesday night’s game in Seville but, as far as I see it, he’s got nothing to worry about - one stray pass should not be the cause for lost sleep. He’s been fantastic for Everton and Fabio Capello ought to have kept him on for the first 15 minutes of the second half. One hopes he does not dwell on the incident, as Jagielka has been a rock. Provided there is no adverse reaction, I’ve got visions of it being another memorable afternoon for the Blues in the Cup - and, all being well, O’Neill’s record of never having lost at Goodison will come to an overdue end.

DAVID PRENTICE: Mersey derby reaction shows change of Everton attitude
Feb 13 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
ONLY one result will resonate in Evertonian minds over the past fortnight.
But last weekend’s win over Bolton was more significant than many might think.
When Everton clinched an unlikely fourth place finish in 2005, David Moyes took his men out on the lash. They promptly lost 7-0 at Arsenal. When they put three goals past their near neighbours in 2006, they followed up with a home draw against lowly Wigan. But when they beat the Reds in this season’s FA Cup replay, the response was somewhat different. “This is a different Everton – one that plays the game, not the occasion,” said skipper Phil Neville. “Yes, it was great and we had a good laugh with ‘Goose’ about his goal, but when we beat Liverpool 3-0 we spent ages talking about it. "What pleased me most yesterday in training was that the main focus was on recovering and then beating Bolton. "We know we have got bigger challenges ahead than Liverpool.” It was a big club’s attitude. An attitude Ryan Giggs underlined last weekend after becoming the only player to have scored in every Premier League season. It was a goal to talk about for years to come – but Giggs merely shrugged and looked ahead to the next game. And it’s the same kind of attitude Everton showed last weekend. It was suggested in some quarters Everton over-celebrated their derby success. The scoreline against Bolton barely 64 hours later says otherwise.
The Blues are growing up and a seemingly routine 3-0 win over Bolton was a greater indicator of their progress than many think.

Everton-Aston Villa cup classics that have bridged the years
Feb 14 2009 by Michael Kettiros, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON v Aston Villa is the most played fixture in top flight English football.
The two clubs also boast a rich Cup heritage. Participants in the only English cup final to require three games to resolve – the 1977 League Cup trilogy – they have also met in a League Cup semi-final (1984), an FA Cup final (1897), an FA Cup semi-final (1905) – and five post-war FA Cup ties. This week’s nostalgia slot features those famous five cup ties . . .
February 28, 1953 Aston Villa 0 Everton 1
DAVE HICKSON had been the blood-stained hero of the Blues’ fifth round win over Manchester United, returning to the field with his head heavily bandaged to score the winning goal. In the quarter-final he was at it again, as then Second Division Everton upset their top flight rivals at Villa Park with a 75th minute strike from the centre-forward. In front of 60,568 fans, Everton were in control for large periods and always looked the more likely to score. The single goal margin flattered the home side, as Everton hit the woodwork three times, on top of two goalmouth clearances by Villa.
Fifteen thousand travelling fans were reported to have made the journey to the West Midlands, with a small section swarming onto the pitch at the full time whistle.
Everton went on to face Bolton in a Maine Road semi-final, but a 4-3 victory sent Bolton to Wembley where they went down 4-3 to Blackpool in the ‘Matthews Final.’
February 14, 1959 Everton 1 Aston Villa 4
HICKSON was on target again six years later. But while Everton were back in the top flight, this was a St Valentine’s Day massacre. Just a week earlier, Johnny Carey's boys had swept aside Charlton 4-1 in a fourth round replay – but things didn’t go to plan this time around. Villa took the lead through Ron Wylie after just nine minutes, and with versatile midfielder Brian Harris carrying an injury, Everton went in at half-time 3-0 down. Hickson clawed one back for the Toffees five minutes into the second half but it was Wylie who put the final nail in the coffin – completing his hat-trick on 63 minutes.
January 13, 1973 Everton 3 Aston Villa 2
The Goodison faithful witnessed another goal rush in the third round tie as Everton disposed of a Villa team trying to scramble out of the Second Division.
Villa sprung a surprise by dropping veteran striker Andy Lockhead, who had been voted Midlands footballer of the year the previous season, but with Howard Kendall and Mick Bernard working well in midfield Everton took the lead on 16 minutes via Rod Belfitt. Villa were level three minutes later, but Mick Buckley and Joe Harper gave the Blues a 3-1 half-time lead which they held to set up a fourth round visit from Millwall. That tie didn’t go nearly so well . . .
January 7, 1978 Everton 4 Aston Villa 1
THIS was arch-villain Clive Thomas’ first visit to Goodison Park since his controversial Bryan Hamilton moment nine months earlier. The Welsh referee awarded a penalty to the Blues and sent off Villa’s Leighton Phillips – but still wasn’t forgiven. Andy King inspired Everton to victory with a long-range strike in addition to goals from Bob Latchford, Duncan McKenzie and Trevor Ross. To complete an action-packed game, Villa defender Leighton Phillips was sent off two minutes from time. The Blues were unable to carry their cup momentum into the next round as they went down 3-2 to Middlesbrough at Ayresome Park.
February 20, 2000 Everton 1 Aston Villa 2
WITH the Blues just one game away from Wembley – the semi-finals were staged there in 2000 – it was Everton’s Norwegian number one who grabbed the headlines after Walter Smith’s men lost 2-1 in a heated quarter-final. Blues fans would argue that both Steve Stone's 16th minute header and Paul Merson's 46th minute shot could have been dealt with more decisively by Thomas Myhre. Evertonians had clung to a succession of pre-match signs. There was the Cup Final being played on May 20 – the date Everton last lifted the trophy, Bolton providing the semi-final opposition – just as they did when the Blues last beat Villa in a Cup quarter final, and they had a home record matched only by Manchester United. Walter Smith’s side won all the first half battles, passed the ball efficiently and effectively, but found themselves facing a 2-1 half-time deficit. Villa went on to reach their first FA Cup final for 43 years, where they lost to Chelsea and Roberto Di Matteo.

David Moyes pays tribute to three of his key Everton players
Feb 14 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES paid tribute to his three Amigos who have helped turn Everton’s season around. Midfield maestro Mikel Arteta, classy defender Joleon Lescott and reliable goalkeeper Tim Howard were described by the Blues boss as “keys to how we changed things around.” All three will be instrumental to Everton’s FA Cup hopes against Aston Villa tomorrow, but Moyes believes their influence has been far reaching this season. “I think Joleon Lescott, Mikel Arteta and maybe my goalkeeper as well are three of the keys as to how we changed things around,” he said.
“Those three came right back to the form which we showed for most of last season.
“Joleon has showed real consistency and there’s been a maturity about him which maybe I’ve not seen before. “He might have got upset at being moved from centre-back to left back at times – not upset in terms of shouting and bawling – but it might have affected his game, but now he’s mature, relaxed and comfortable about the situation because he can do both roles equally well.” Moyes also believes that England defender Phil Jagielka will react positively to the criticism he has received for his part in Spain’s first goal in Seville on Wednesday night. “I was the first person to ring him up and tell him he made a mistake. We don’t hide that here,” said Moyes.
“But if you’re going to say that, you also have to say he bailed England out twice in the first 30 minutes when other players made mistakes. “You have to say that in the first 30 minutes Jagielka was arguably England’s best player, so we say things how we see it – but he earned his place by his performances in the Premier League and I think his manager stated he will pick people in form. “Phil held his hand up – but that’s what happens.”

BARRY HORNE: Stunning show to make Evertonians feel proud again
Feb 14 2009 by Barry Horne, Liverpool Echo
LAST Saturday I wrote about how good it was to be an Evertonian at the moment – because of how the team was coping with an unprecedented run of injuries to its strikers, and how they were conducting themselves through a punishing series of fixtures. Then they went and gave us something else to be proud of with a wonderful display of attacking and imaginative football against Bolton – certainly as good as anything we have seen during David Moyes’ tenure. Gary Megson claimed afterwards that Bolton made it easy with their substandard display, which has some relevance, but nevertheless they are still a Premier League side whose confidence was high after beating Tottenham the previous weekend and who had scored as many goals away as Manchester United! Everton didn’t even allow them a shot on target until the game was effectively won. That was due in part to the continuing excellence of the Blues back line, but also to the manner in which Everton started the game. It would have been easy to kick off the match complacently, or even a little tentatively after the demands of the FA Cup replay just a couple of days previously. But the Blues flew out of the traps, pinned Bolton back and played some excellent football – and as a result any tiredness the players might have been feeling was soon forgotten. It made for another afternoon for the fans to feel proud of their players once again.
Attitude is key in Villa showdown
I HOPE Everton adopt exactly the same attitude tomorrow as they did against Bolton last weekend – for what promises to be an old fashioned humdinger of an FA Cup tie.
Both managers have similar attitudes to the FA Cup – they want to win it, and both have sent out strong starting line-ups from day one in the competition. Both bosses seem to have similar attitudes to squad rotation, and both appear to prefer to buy British whenever possible. Hopefully a full Goodison Park will provide the atmosphere which will be a catalyst for another storming encounter. It will be another big test for Everton’s defenders. They have collected plenty of plaudits in recent weeks, deservedly so, but their concentration and athleticism will come under extreme scrutiny once again. Villa are masters of lulling teams into a false sense of security.
They let you play in their half and let you believe you are doing well against them, then suddenly Gabriel Agbonlahor and Ashley Young are bearing down on your goal with extreme menace. But Everton are good enough to overcome that – and certainly good enough to go through. * IT may be a case of ‘if my auntie was my uncle’, but if Everton had made even an average start to the season, they would be breathing heavily down Chelsea’s neck at the moment and closing in on a Champions League place for next season. Dropped points against Premier League strugglers Blackburn, Portsmouth and Newcastle – all at Goodison – and Hull City away proved to be costly. But it is also a tribute to how well the players have recovered from that start to be in the position they currently are.

Victor Anichebe back in from the cold - Everton FC latest
Feb 14 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
VICTOR ANICHEBE has been called back in from the cold for tomorrow’s fifth round showdown at Goodison Park – as a fresh wave of injuries threatens to derail Everton’s FA Cup ambitions. Marouane Fellaini has been ruled out with “a small crack in his back”, Steven Pienaar is suspended and Louis Saha’s anticipated comeback has been put on hold as boss David Moyes is forced once again to juggle his resources. But Anichebe will be considered for his first appearance in a fortnight after his fall-out with the manager. “He’ll be back in the squad and he’ll be considered,” said Moyes. “He’s back in the fold, fit – and because he’s fit he gives himself a chance of playing and being involved. “We’ve got men missing and we do have one or two knocks and injuries behind the scenes, but I’m not trying to make anything of it. “I want to give the players who are doing so well and the players who have come in for them, the confidence to carry on the job they’ve been doing.
“Every club has injuries. We’ve not made much of not having centre-forwards, we’ve got on with the job, and if we’re without a few this week then I’ll try and get on with it and put the people in who I think can play.” Fellaini’s injury is the latest blow to hit the Blues. “I don’t think it’s a fracture,” added Moyes. “ It’s just a small crack but it’s not something that’s going to need six weeks. “It’s just a case of him feeling right – and you have to remember he actually played with it in a couple of games, but he just couldn’t do it any longer because it was so sore. “He just needs healing time.”
The absence of so many high profile names – Yakubu and James Vaughan are still long term absentees – means that youngsters like Dan Gosling and Jack Rodwell could be called upon again. Moyes says he has no fears about using either or both.
“You are always concerned about young players, but I think the one thing about Dan Gosling and Jack Rodwell was the composure they showed when they come on in the Liverpool game. “You couldn’t come on in a more intense period of a game, when it could have swung one way or the other, but they came on and showed great composure. “So that gives me a great feeling that I can trust them because if they can come on in that game then they can do it in any games.” The Blues boss is considering recalling Joseph Yobo for his first start this year and switching Leightin Baines to left midfield – and he added: “Joe is an outstanding player who has been waiting for his opportunity. Don’t forget that he was part of the defence which started this run but got a hamstring injury in the Chelsea game and kept him out.”

DOMINIC KING: Jo can link up with a special breed of Everton heroes
Feb 14 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
STEVEN PIENAAR, Mikel Arteta and Tim Howard – can you name the one thing they have in common? Admittedly, it’s one of the most difficult questions you will ever be posed, but the thread which binds these men together is that they were snapped up by David Moyes initially on loan before going on to become Goodison Park favourites. Everton’s manager has proved a master of being able to unearth players who have either fallen out of favour at a club or lost their way before coaxing and cajoling them back to their best, and it appears he has repeated the trick with Jo.
After winning a penalty and scoring twice on his debut, some supporters have already been talking about when, not if, the Brazilian is secured on a permanent basis, while there have also some tabloid reports of Everton trying to negotiate a cut price deal.
To put it mildly, that is jumping the gun somewhat and there is a long way to go before Goodison’s top brass even begin to think about talking terms for the 21-year-old, no matter how encouraging the early signs are. There is little doubt that Jo’s first performance in front of his new audience was one to quicken the pulse, but he only has to look around the dressing room to see that one swallow does not make a summer. Pienaar, Arteta and Howard all enjoyed solid debuts for the Blues, but they only turned their stays on Merseyside into permanent arrangements by producing the goods time after time and Jo must now strive to achieve the same. When news filtered back to those who had watched Jo regularly in Manchester about his display against Bolton, the reaction was one of shock and surprise, as they had formed only negative impressions of him. Given the fact he was spotted out on Manchester’s social circuit at frequent intervals, they saw a player who was preoccupied with a different type of scoring and hitting the bar and was in no way worth £19m. Amazing, then, what a change of scenery can do. Jo’s first three days at Finch Farm were solid, if not spectacular, but the morning after Liverpool had been knocked out of the FA Cup it was as if a new man had arrived. Everything he did was with more effort, pace and intensity, there was an eagerness to listen and since that terrific debut, those who have watched him on the training pitches could not have spoken about him in more complimentary terms. As was the case with Marouane Fellaini, it is easy to see a price tag before you consider someone’s age but it was worth pointing out that these two men only received ‘the key to the door’ in the past 12 months. While 21 may be a significant age, few people are fully mature by then and when you consider that both Fellaini and Jo have had to do their growing up in a country that does not speak their language, you can perhaps gauge the difficulties they have faced. There is little doubt, however, that both have their best years in front of them and although Fellaini has signed a contract that will see him on Merseyside for the long run, only time will tell what happens with Jo. History shows that if a loanee does the business for Moyes, invariably he will secure a long-term stay at Goodison. Aside from assessing them as players, the manager also looks at their characters and it is not a coincidence that there are no bad apples in his squad. People raved over Manuel Fernandes when Moyes initially signed him. But he did not have the character or commitment to match his talent and that’s why all the stops were not immediately pulled out to secure a permanent deal. So while Jo has got off on the right foot, he would do well to remember what happened to Fernandes. Better, then, to follow in the footsteps of Pienaar, Arteta and Howard.
No Chile reception for Everton versus Everton
IT is only the second weekend in February but already thoughts are starting to turn to what Everton’s pre-season plans may be. News emerged from Australia this week that Perth Glory have put in a bid for a summer friendly but before anyone starts rushing to book flights Down Under it must be stressed that a number of other alternatives are being considered. There will, of course, also be a friendly at Goodison Park at some point, and while it is usually against a side with a rich European pedigree, we could end up seeing Everton play a home game against - wait for it - Everton! The Blues’ Chilean namesakes, CD Everton, are celebrating their centenary and some of their officials attended the 3-0 win against Bolton last weekend and were presented with a gift during the half-time interval. And the Chileans are hoping for a return to British shores in the summer after Antonio Boise, president of CD Everton, revealed talks are taking place about a friendly between the sides on Merseyside. “We received a present during half-time and the whole stadium applauded in an incredible way,” Boise told a Chilean newspaper. “We have also received a proposal to play a friendly match against Everton in England to help celebrate 100 years of our club. I will have more news on the matter in March."
Blues charity is so important to the Norwegians
EVERTON In The Community is widely considered the best football charity in the UK and a delegation from the Norwegian FA saw that at first hand this week.
They came over to see how they could implement some of the ideas that have proven so successful for EITC back in Norway and spent Wednesday looking at all aspects.
Aside from a visit to Finch Farm, they also saw the Healthy School Bus and a demonstration from the power-assisted wheelchair team

Andy van der Meyde's moment to savour on night of Everton FA Cup magic
Feb 14 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
AMID the scenes of delirium which engulfed Goodison Park as soon as Dan Gosling’s shot nestled in the corner of Liverpool’s net, a moment of great poignancy unfolded. As he raced over to join his celebrating team-mates, Andy van der Meyde stopped in his tracks, looked over to the bench, waved to David Moyes and, for a split second, waited. Without hesitation, the manager – beaming from ear to ear – returned the thumbs up. After so many injuries and so few appearances, finally van der Meyde – whose pinpoint cross from the right found Gosling in the danger zone – had reason for feeling he had made a significant contribution to Everton’s cause. Some would say it was the least he could have done. Others will simply dismiss it as too little, too late, and curse that the one-time Holland winger didn’t put himself in the position to show such quality on a regular basis. Van der Meyde, though, is the archetypal loveable rogue; an endearing character who continues to command a deal of affection from Evertonians. Fitting, then, on Goodison’s most romantic night of the season to date, he should produce a cameo to match. Whether he will be involved tomorrow – when the Blues go head-to-head with Aston Villa for a place in the FA Cup quarter-finals – only time will tell but, with Jo ineligible and Steven Pienaar suspended, van der Meyde should find himself in the 18 once more. But no matter how big or how small the role van der Meyde has to play, he is determined to make the most of the situation as he accepts come summer, when his contract expires, it will be time to look for pastures new. “To be involved in the Liverpool game was really unbelievable for me,” reflected van der Meyde, whose only previous experience of a Merseyside derby saw him sent off at Anfield in March 2006, five minutes after coming on as a substitute.
“I’ve been waiting for months and months, just working hard and biding my time. I always hoped I would play in that kind of game once more and it gave me great confidence when the Gaffer decided to put me on. It was such a good feeling.
“It has been a long time since I played but when I got the chance to pick out Goose, I knew I could do it. I’ve always been able to cross the ball and I just had to make sure I found him. I was so happy when he scored as we deserved to get through.”
While van der Meyde is not the lean, lithe winger of his days with Ajax and Inter Milan, he has been training regularly with the first team and, contrary to what some may think, there has been no bust-up with Moyes. “I don’t have any problem with the Gaffer and we get along fine,” said van der Meyde. “If you are not in the team and they are playing well, there is nothing you can do about that. You just have to keep your head down and work hard. “If the Gaffer had a problem with me, he wouldn’t have put me on against Liverpool. It has just been good to be a part of things again. In the changing room after we had got through, it was amazing – everyone was laughing, joking, celebrating. “It was what it is all about. Will I get more chances in the future? Who knows. Of course, I hope that I can play my part but we will see. The important thing for me is just to stay focused and be around if the Gaffer needs me at any time. I’ve got to try and help.” Had injuries not intervened, van der Meyde’s career on Merseyside would surely have taken a different path, but the truth is he started off on a bad foot – he arrived from Inter in August 2005 with a serious groin problem – and has always been playing catch up. Along the way there have been ruptured thigh muscles, badly gashed shins, severely torn hamstrings and a cracked ankle, but while he has spent much of his time on the treatment table, the 29-year-old has not been ignorant to the dramatic strides Everton have made. “I’ve had bad luck with injuries,” said van der Meyde, who has also suffered a number of personal traumas. “My contract finishes at the end of the season and if I stay here or if I go somewhere else, I have go to show that I can still do it. “The fact that we have got a small squad means everyone feels a part of it. I’ve been injury free for a long time and I want it to stay that way. Things are getting exciting for us. The Gaffer has done a great job to get us into this position. He will have us ready for Aston Villa. We are confident and all being well, we’ll get the right result.” And, if the scriptwriters have their way, maybe van der Meyde will be responsible for it.

Time to make that Mersey derby FA Cup triumph count
Feb 14 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
JOLEON LESCOTT has urged his team-mates to make their efforts of beating Liverpool count as they aim to secure a place in the FA Cup’s last eight.
Everton tackle Lescott’s boyhood heroes Aston Villa at Goodison Park tomorrow in the tie of the fifth round, looking to avenge the heartbreaking Premier League defeat they sustained on December 7. Lescott scored twice that afternoon – including one in stoppage time – but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Blues losing 3-2 to Villa.
Since then, though, they have turned the corner and go into this meeting as one of the country’s form sides. This contest was set up thanks to Dan Gosling netting in the 118th minute of the fourth round replay against Liverpool and while the memory of that triumph still brings a warm glow, Lescott is hoping for a similar feeling after Villa’s visit. “We’ve been training as hard as we can and it’s been good fun this week,” said Lescott, who was surprisingly not called up for England’s friendly in Spain this week. “Villa are a good side and have got the best away form in the league.
“All we can do is play our own game. “Cup ties are always different but our home form has improved recently and we are looking forward to it. “Saying that, we know it’s going to be a tough game but we aim to cause them as many problems as we can.
“It would be massive for us to get through. The last round was huge for us to beat Liverpool and our fans were so pleased with that. “But we don’t want to beat Liverpool and then get knocked out by Villa. “It’s going to be just as hard for us to get through.” Though he got into double figures last season, Lescott’s goal tally has not ticked over as frequently this time around and his current total stands at four, but he is confident there will be more to come before the end of the campaign.
However, his main priority is ensuring things stay tight at the back and he, Phil Jagielka and company will have to be on guard throughout tomorrow, as Villa possess an attack that is full of pace and power. “I’d take a clean sheet this time rather than any goals,” said a man who is poised to make his 127th consecutive appearance for Everton. “It would be nice to score, as Villa used to be my team. But I’ve got a job to do and we’ve got to make sure we get through. “Our main objective is always to keep clean sheets and limit the opposition to as few chances as possible. “If we can do that, we’ve got people like Tim (Cahill) and Mikel (Arteta) who can do their bit down the other end.”

BARRY HORNE: Stunning show to make Evertonians feel proud again
Feb 14 2009 by Barry Horne, Liverpool Echo
LAST Saturday I wrote about how good it was to be an Evertonian at the moment – because of how the team was coping with an unprecedented run of injuries to its strikers, and how they were conducting themselves through a punishing series of fixtures. Then they went and gave us something else to be proud of with a wonderful display of attacking and imaginative football against Bolton – certainly as good as anything we have seen during David Moyes’ tenure. Gary Megson claimed afterwards that Bolton made it easy with their substandard display, which has some relevance, but nevertheless they are still a Premier League side whose confidence was high after beating Tottenham the previous weekend and who had scored as many goals away as Manchester United! Everton didn’t even allow them a shot on target until the game was effectively won. That was due in part to the continuing excellence of the Blues back line, but also to the manner in which Everton started the game. It would have been easy to kick off the match complacently, or even a little tentatively after the demands of the FA Cup replay just a couple of days previously. But the Blues flew out of the traps, pinned Bolton back and played some excellent football – and as a result any tiredness the players might have been feeling was soon forgotten. It made for another afternoon for the fans to feel proud of their players once again.
Attitude is key in Villa showdown
I HOPE Everton adopt exactly the same attitude tomorrow as they did against Bolton last weekend – for what promises to be an old fashioned humdinger of an FA Cup tie.
Both managers have similar attitudes to the FA Cup – they want to win it, and both have sent out strong starting line-ups from day one in the competition. Both bosses seem to have similar attitudes to squad rotation, and both appear to prefer to buy British whenever possible. Hopefully a full Goodison Park will provide the atmosphere which will be a catalyst for another storming encounter. It will be another big test for Everton’s defenders. They have collected plenty of plaudits in recent weeks, deservedly so, but their concentration and athleticism will come under extreme scrutiny once again. Villa are masters of lulling teams into a false sense of security.
They let you play in their half and let you believe you are doing well against them, then suddenly Gabriel Agbonlahor and Ashley Young are bearing down on your goal with extreme menace. But Everton are good enough to overcome that – and certainly good enough to go through. * IT may be a case of ‘if my auntie was my uncle’, but if Everton had made even an average start to the season, they would be breathing heavily down Chelsea’s neck at the moment and closing in on a Champions League place for next season. Dropped points against Premier League strugglers Blackburn, Portsmouth and Newcastle – all at Goodison – and Hull City away proved to be costly. But it is also a tribute to how well the players have recovered from that start to be in the position they currently are.

Everton 3, Aston Villa 1
Feb 15 2009 David Prentice
EVERTON marched into the last eight of the FA Cup for the first time in seven years with an outstanding 3-1 defeat of Aston Villa at Goodison Park today.
The Midlanders' seven-match sequence of away wins was under threat from the monment Jack Rodwell crashed in his first senior goal after only four minutes.
And even though Villa swiftly levelled from the penalty spot, a perfect Mikel Arteta penalty and a 75th minute clincher from Tim Cahill gave the Blues a place in the quarter-finals for the first time since 2002. The last time these sides met in a minor Premier League classic, the Blues found themselves behind after barely 40 seconds.
Today it was their turn to snatch the early lead, just four minutes elapsed when Jack Rodwell crashed in his first senior goal. Everton had started brightly and purposefully, forcing Brad Friedel to claw away a couple of early corner kicks, but when Arteta flighted another dangerous set piece into the six yard box he was unable to get near Cahill’s flying header. It was midfielder Stiliyan Petrov who turned shot-stopper, thrusting out his right hand to block the ball on the goalline, but the Bulgarian was spared a red card when Rodwell raced in to crash the rebound into the roof of the net from an acute angle. Just like back in December, Villa responded with a lightning reply. Gabby Agbonlahor tempted Tony Hibbert into a tackle as he raced into the Blues penalty area and the Villa flier’s pace was just too much for the full-back.
Even then, however, Villa got lucky with the spot kick. With regular taker Gareth Barry suspended, James Milner stepped up and even though Tim Howard guessed right and got a firm hand on the ball it squirmed under him for the equaliser.
There were appeals for another penalty after 15 minutes when the ball struck a raised arm in the Villa penalty box, but it was Tim Cahill who was the offender and he was booked – a caution which will see him suspended for next weekend’s trip to Newcastle. There was even more penalty box action in the 22nd minute – but this time referee Atkinson did point to the spot. Victor Anichebe earned the penalty with a storming turn and run right at the heart of the Villa defence. The young striker – only back in David Moyes’ good books this week after their fall-out a fortnight ago – showed power and pace as he bore down on Friedel’s goal and the only way Sidwell could stop him was illegally. The Villa midfielder was booked and Mikel Arteta stepped up for the second week in succession to take the responsibility from 12 yards.
This time he waited for Friedel to move and dispatched a laser guided shot to the keeper’s right just inside the goalpost. Everton deserved their lead, but Agbonlahor should have equalised in the 32nd minute when he rose unmarked to meet Ashley Young’s cross from the left, but placed his header wide. Dan Gosling crashed one shot into the side netting, then Anichebe set off on another powerful run which ended with a left-footed shot back across goal and narrowly wide. It needed Tim Howard to preserve Everton’s lead on the hour when John Carew connected sweetly with James Milner’s low cross from the right. The Norwegian’s volley was true, but Howard’s spring to his right to fingertip the ball wide was outstanding. The game swung from end to end as Villa sought an equaliser and Everton endeavoured to wrap up the tie.
Baines crossed precisely from the left but Cahill’s soaring far post header was plucked out of the air by Friedel. Then Agbonlahor connected horribly with a volley which shaved the corner flag as it flew behind for a goal-kick. With 20 minutes remaining Milner found Steve Sidwell in acres of space with a cross from the right and Goodison head its collective breath. But while the midfielder had crashed an effort into the same net two months ago, this time he headed horribly wide. Ashley Young then had a clear shooting opportunity from 20 yards but miscued his effort, too, as Villa began to enjoy more and more clearcut openings. But just as Everton looked like they were beginning to creak, Tim Cahill opened up a two-goal cushion with 15 minutes remaining.
Everton’s football had been sharp and methodical despite Villa’s growing pressure and in the 75th minute they opened up Villa with a precise move down the left.
Baines’ pass gave Anichebe space to run into the Villa penalty box, his cross was missed by the diving Gosling at the near post but Cahill arrived at the far post to clip a right-footed shot back across the keeper and into the Gwladys Street net.
The Australian midfielder pointed to an armband as he ran away to celebrate, worn in tribute to his countrymen who perished in the recent bush fires.
EVERTON (4-4-1-1): Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Lescott, Baines; Anichebe (Yobo 87), Arteta (Castillo 91), Neville, Rodwell, Gosling; Cahill. Unused substitutes: Nash, van der Meyde, Jacobsen, Baxter, Wallace.
ASTON VILLA (4-4-2): Friedel, L Young, Knight, Davies, Gardner, Sidwell (Delfouneso 83), Milner, Petrov, A Young, Agbonlahor, Carew. Unused substitutes: Harewood, Salifou, Shorey, Guzan, Albrighton, Lowry.
Referee: Martin Atkinson.
Bookings: Hibbert (7 mins) foul, Cahill (15) handball, Sidwell (22) foul, Petrov (24) foul, Milner (55) foul, Rodwell (87) foul.
GOALS: Rodwell (4 mins) 1-0, Milner penalty (7) 1-1, Arteta penalty (24) 2-1, Cahill (75) 3-1.

Everton 3, Aston Villa 1: Goodison dreaming of prosperous future
Feb 16 2009 by Ian Doyle, Daily Post
MEMBERS of Everton’s last three FA Cup-winning teams were paraded during half-time at Goodison yesterday. But the jubilant home supporters exited the stadium harbouring only thoughts of a prosperous future. A riveting, raucous afternoon saw David Moyes’ side provide further compelling evidence they are capable of ending the club’s 14-year wait for silverware by earning a significant measure of revenge against Aston Villa. Having suffered the heartbreak of injury-time defeat when the Midlanders visited in December, Everton demonstrated the scale of their subsequent improvement by earning a first FA Cup quarter-final berth since 2002. Moyes has openly admitted his overall record in knockout competitions since arriving at Goodison almost seven years ago has left much to be desired. But having last season reached the semi-finals of the Carling Cup and made inroads in the Uefa Cup, the Goodison outfit are now only one step away from a first Wembley appearance since 1995 with the semi-finals to be held at the showpiece venue. The portents augur well. The last time Everton beat two Premier League teams in the FA Cup in the same season was that most recent successful campaign in the competition. And after memorably ousting neighbours Liverpool in the previous round, a second successive triumph against higher-placed opposition can only give Moyes’ men further encouragement. Certainly, the prospect of entertaining either West Ham United or Middlesbrough in three weeks will hold little fear. And why should it? Once more yesterday, Everton were asked to overcome the odds as a squad stricken by injury, suspension and ineligibility was further hampered by the absence of Leon Osman.
Moyes turned to his youngsters, and was again handsomely rewarded. Responsibility thrust upon them on the big stage, Dan Gosling, Jack Rodwell and Victor Anichebe all stepped up to the plate; none more so than Anichebe. The striker was making his first appearance since the ugly bust-up with Moyes on the eve of the replay against Liverpool, and his impassioned display, similar to that against the Anfield outfit in the Premier League meeting last month, suggests he retains the desire to make the grade at Goodison. Anichebe’s barnstorming run earned the penalty from which Mikel Arteta restored Everton’s first-half advantage after Rodwell’s opener was equalised by a James Milner spot kick, before the Nigeria international created the clincher for Tim Cahill. Cahill’s goal, which he later dedicated to the victims of the Australian bush-fires, was richly deserved after another selfless shift up front. It epitomised the home team’s efforts. Villa contributed hugely to an entertaining game, but Everton simply wanted it more. At the back, Phil Jagielka shrugged off his slip-up in Seville with England while Tim Howard played through the pain barrier of a thigh injury sustained while on international duty in midweek. But yet again the standout was Arteta, the Spanish schemer continuing to revel in a central midfield role from which it will be difficult for him to be displaced. Having fallen behind after just 34 seconds when the teams last met at Goodison in December, Everton ensured it was Villa that were this time caught cold by forging ahead after four minutes of a rip-roaring first half which began at breakneck speed and rarely paused to catch breath. Arteta’s inswinging corner from the left was met by a powerful Cahill header that was cleared off the line by the fist of Stiliyan Petrov into the path of Rodwell, who thrashed home the rebound to open his Everton account. Referee Atkinson considered the goal itself punishment enough for Villa, but would Everton have been better served by Petrov being dismissed, a penalty awarded and the chance to play 86 minutes against 10 men? The result rendered the decision irrelevant, but it remained a talking point between the managers afterwards. Indeed, it was from Petrov’s through ball four minutes later that Gabriel Agbonlahor raced into space and was upended by Tony Hibbert inside the area for a clear penalty. Howard almost kept out Milner’s spot kick, but the ball squirmed under his body and over the line. Remarkably, Milner became the first visiting player to convert a penalty in the FA Cup at Goodison since Bill Shankly in 1946. Everton, though, responded in a positive manner and were awarded a spot-kick of their own midway through the half when Anichebe’s direct run at the heart of the Villa defence was ended illegally by Steve Sidwell just inside the area. Arteta did the rest, sending Brad Friedel the wrong way from 12 yards. Gosling then struck an angled shot into the sidenetting but Everton breathed a huge sigh of relief 12 minutes before the break. Left-winger Ashley Young, the most potent outlet for the visitors, swung in a dangerous cross but an unmarked Agbonlahor, instead of heading home from less than six yards, mistimed his leap and sent the ball wide off his shoulder.
Everton were then indebted to goalkeeper Howard on the hour when the American dived at full stretch to his right to brilliantly palm behind an improvised John Carew volley from Milner’s right-wing cross. Friedel then clutched a Cahill header at his near post from a Leighton Baines delivery, but Everton’s play grew increasingly nervy as Villa fashioned further chances to equalise, Sidwell nodding a free header wide and Ashley Young slashing off target from 20 yards. And the home side capitalised on such profligacy 14 minutes from time when Anichebe’s cross with the outside of his right foot from the left was missed by Curtis Davies, allowing the unmarked Cahill to finish beyond Friedel at the far post. So ends the proud record of Villa manager Martin O’Neill, who had never lost in 11 previous visits to Goodison as a player or manager. There was to be no sting in the tale for Moyes’ side this time. Instead, a continuation of a story Everton want to extend until the last weekend in May.

Everton 3, Aston Villa 1: The stuff of new legends
Feb 16 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
ONE game from Wembley, three wins away from immortality; the remarkable turnaround in Everton’s season is heading relentlessly towards a date with destiny.
Everton is a club with a tradition that few of their top flight rivals can match and you only needed to look at some of the giants who walked onto Goodison Park’s pitch at half-time yesterday to appreciate that. Members of the FA Cup winning sides of 1966, 1984 and 1995 were given a thunderous ovation by supporters who allowed themselves a moment to wallow in nostalgia, but perhaps it is time for this current squad to etch their names indelibly in the history books. West Ham United or Middlesbrough stand between Everton and a place in the semi-finals, which will be staged once again at the home of English football. In current form, you would have to say a trip to the capital beckons on Easter weekend. There is no harm reflecting once in a while on great victories from days gone by but, in order to progress, it is important to concentrate on achieving new goals in the future. Bringing the famous old pot back home on May 30, then, must be on Everton’s agenda. While some supporters will have arrived at Goodison yesterday fearing that a crippling injury list would scupper their hopes of beating Aston Villa, the unity and determination that David Moyes has instilled in his players ensured those fears proved unfounded.
Making light of losing Marouane Fellaini and Leon Osman in the build up to this fifth round clash, the Toffees conjured up a quite remarkable performance, one that left certain observers struggling to articulate the moment. “If players are judged in the pride of wearing the jersey, this current team cannot be beaten,” said delighted chairman Bill Kenwright. “There is something about this bunch, no matter what you throw at them, they just want to give you more. “It’s difficult to say what exactly sums them up – their resilience, their passion; it’s what football is all about. “It’s what football fans come to see. They come for pride in wearing the jersey. That team out there? I don’t think it’s ever been surpassed.” He has a point. Just cast your mind back to the beginning of the campaign when Blackburn Rovers arrived on Merseyside and, to put it bluntly, made an Everton team that was heavily reliant on youth look second rate. Lesser squads would have folded after that, many more would have thrown in the towel after being knocked out of two competitions before the first weekend in October. But, somehow, the Blues have performed an astonishing salvage operation.
Villa have been the fashionable side to follow this year, with neutrals taken by the way they have pushed their way into the top four with a squad made up largely of Brits that plays fast, counter-attacking football. Shame their crass supporters let them down. But are they really that much better than Everton? On the evidence we have seen in two games this season, the answer, most definitely, would have to be ‘no’ – there could be absolutely no complaints about the final scoreline here.
From start to finish, the men in Royal Blue jerseys ran further, pushed themselves to greater physical limits and showed just how determined they were not to let all the good work of beating Liverpool earlier this month unravel. As was the case when they met in the Premier League nine weeks ago, there was an explosive start but, on this occasion, it was Everton who produced the pyrotechnics and took the lead when Jack Rodwell rifled a shot high into the roof of the Park End net. Dan Gosling – bright as a button once again – grabbed the headlines after ending Liverpool’s interest in the Cup, so it was fitting that another member of the junior ranks maintained that theme.
Rodwell is a month short of reaching adulthood, but there is a maturity about the way he does things on the pitch which belies the digits on his birth certificate. He was immense, his sensible use of possession and confident tackling particularly catching the eye. Then there was Victor Anichebe. Had Leon Osman not damaged his stomach muscles in training last week, the best he would have been able to hope for was a place on the bench, but opportunity knocked. “Regarding what you may have heard about Victor Anichebe, we keep our business as private as we possibly can,” Moyes, referring to that much-publicised spat prior to the fourth round replay, wrote in his programme notes. “He has had an injury and in some ways has been badly advised. But he is back in the squad and I hope he can play a big part in the team between now and the end of the season.” If the reaction when his name was read out just before kick-off was anything to go by, clearly the majority of the crowd had forgiven and forgotten. Equally, it would have been futile to harbour a grudge given the magnitude of the task in hand. He responded magnificently. His body language was better, he acknowledged his team-mates rather than chastised them if a pass in his direction went askew and the work rate which some have criticised was noticeably improved.
Most significant of all, though, was the fact his play had an end product.
Brought down for a penalty which Mikel Arteta dispatched to give Everton the lead for a second time, Anichebe also provided the pass which Tim Cahill slotted to finish the contest. When he deigns to performs like this, Anichebe looks capable of playing a role in Everton’s future and the standing ovation he received at the death was fully deserved. The challenge now is to do it on a regular basis. Should he want guidance, Anichebe need only look to some of the older members of the dressing room, all of whom were colossal in ensuring that Everton reached the last eight for the first time in Moyes’ reign. Cahill must surely be the hardest working forward in the division, Phil Jagielka was impeccable, Tim Howard’s fabulous save from John Carew summed up his efforts, while Phil Neville and Arteta led by example in the centre. That quintet have played huge roles in Everton’s about turn and that has ensured their popularity.
Wouldn’t it be nice, however, if in 10 years time they were feted for winning silverware? Thankfully, that dream remains alive and well.

DAVID PRENTICE: Victor Anichebe has perfect response to Everton critics
Feb 16 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
ACTIONS speak louder than words. So if sorry seems to be the hardest one to utter, Victor Anichebe found the perfect way to make up to his manager at Goodison Park yesterday. The truculent teenager positively screamed an apology for his recent misdemeanours with a performance which harked back to the powerful front-running displays of last season’s UEFA Cup run. And the standing ovation which resonated around the ground when he was finally replaced a couple of minutes from the end showed it was graciously accepted. Anichebe was exceptional. If he had a point to make, he made it eloquently. The deft touch and penetrating run at the heart of the Villa defence in the 22nd minute not only yielded a match-turning penalty kick, it gave Villa’s defenders something to occupy their attention all afternoon.
He went close again with a left-footed shot back across goal which flew narrowly wide, and delivered the fatal blow to Villa’s FA Cup ambitions with the 75th minute cross for Tim Cahill to convert. His future Everton ambitions now clearly depend on how he responds to being left out of future first team squads – because when everyone is fit and available, this is some Everton squad. This wasn’t just about Victor Anichebe, good though his performance was. This was another monumental squad effort. There was an air of apprehension around Goodison as the teamsheet revealed that the Blues’ injury list had finally reached crisis proportions. Marouane Fellaini, Steven Pienaar and Louis Saha’s absence we already knew about. But adding Leon Osman’s name to that lengthy list seemed to be one injury too many. And that was before we’d even learned of Tim Howard taking to his bed clutching an icepack on Saturday night. But the kids were alright. Actually that’s a ludicrous understatement.
The trio of youngsters were outstanding. Anichebe added purpose to his power, Dan Gosling was bright and penetrative, then there was Jack Rodwell. It’s astonishing to consider this teenage colossus is still only 17 years old. His level of maturity, decision making and tactical awareness comes from a man of many years experience.
It’s an open secret on Merseyside that the clubs on either side of Stanley Park coveted his services as a junior footballer – and when Everton won that particular battle there was a widespread gnashing of teeth over at Melwood. It’s easy to understand why.
His goal was a clinically finished conversion of a difficult chance. It gave him a place in the record books as Everton’s youngest FA Cup goalscorer in Goodison history, putting a promising 17-year-old called Thomas Lawton in the shade. But he looks capable of creating many more records for himself in the years to come.
It’s been suggested around Finch Farm that central midfield might not even be his best position. If that’s the case, he must be an awesome centre-back, because the assurance and composure he exuded throughout this tensest of ties was exemplary.
With players in this squad as bright as this trio – and James Vaughan still to come remember – it’s difficult to know just how far the Blues can go. They were given a glimpse of possible future glories at half-time, when stars of three FA Cup winning sides of yesteryear strode, shuffled and limped, depending on their vintage, onto the pitch with the famous old trophy itself. If any superstitious souls feared that was tempting fate, they were left gnawing fingernails by a positive Villa start to the second half. But the Blues rode through it and finally wiped away any apprehension with Tim Cahill’s late clincher. That ensured a tension-free last 15 minutes, which wasn’t always the case in this fifth round tie. When James Milner fortuitously drilled a penalty-kick equaliser under Tim Howard’s body there was just a frisson of fear around the stadium. At least Milner’s strike ended that staple of pub bores for the past 63 years. Who was the last player to score a penalty against Everton at Goodison Park? The answer, bizarrely, was Bill Shankly with Preston in 1946. But that changed, just, when James Milner squeezed his seventh minute strike just under Tim Howard’s dive. Everton’s reaction was outstanding – as it has been ever since Villa stole a dramatic victory here back in December. Since then Chelsea and Arsenal escaped by the skin of their teeth from Goodison Park with draws, Liverpool were sent packing, and now Aston Villa’s long unbeaten run away from home has gone begging.
It was another memorable afternoon for Blues fans – tainted only slightly by the abhorrent behaviour of the visiting Villa fans who celebrated the fact that Joleon Lescott had been involved in a road traffic accident as a child. It was sickening stuff, and satisfying that they were sent home despondent. But let’s not end on a negative.

Tim Cahill's Everton goal tribute to Australia bush fire victims
Feb 16 2009
TIM CAHILL pointed to the black armband he was wearing as a sign of respect to those who have been affected by the bush fires that have ravaged his native Australia the past week. “I dedicated the goal to the people who have lost their lives in Australia in the bush fires,” he said. “It has affected all the Australian national team and puts everything into perspective. “I’m just really happy I can put something back.”
He added: “This is a massive win for us. This is what we play for. People say finishing inside the top four is a big task but this cup is amazing and we want to achieve something special.”

David Moyes hails Everton's 'ice man' Tim Howard
Feb 16 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES paid a stirring tribute to his goalkeeper who played through the pain barrier to steer Everton into their first FA Cup quarter-final for seven years.
Tim Howard made a crucial stop from John Carew with Everton holding grimly on to a 2-1 lead over Aston Villa. But Moyes revealed the American nearly didn’t make it after returning from international duty against Mexico with a knee injury.
“Tim Howard came back with a terrible injury from America and really he had no chance last night,” said the Blues boss after the game. “But credit to him. He went to bed with a big ice-pack thing on his leg, then he woke up this morning and said he would have a go. “He made a crucial save, so he’s the one who deserves the credit today, Tim Howard as well as the rest of the boys, because he dug in.”
Moyes was delighted with his side’s display. “It was an excellent performance against a really good Aston Villa team who have gone seven or eight games unbeaten away from home – and you could see why because they had opportunities as well. But overall I was really pleased with how we played. “Anichebe played really well. He did that against Liverpool two weeks ago as well at Anfield, so what he needs to do is show it consistently. “He needs to get a run of form, he needs to keep himself fit and if he does that we know we have a player on our hands. “He’s an exciting young player, like the other ones who played today and I thought he caused them some problems. “I thought today was the toughest I was going to have to pick.
“With Osman, Pienaar and Fellaini out I thought it might just have been one game too many for them. It just shows you how wrong I am and how good they are.
“We had Dan Gosling, Victor Anichebe, Jack Rodwell coming in and I wasn’t sure how we were going to get a blend and a balance to the team. How to get a structure within what we had available to us, so credit the players. They adapted and they are playing so well at the moment. “Mikel Arteta, the boys at the back, Tim Cahill was outstanding at centre-forward today he really was, then there was the likes of Victor Anichebe and Jack Rodwell, so before you know it you’re talking about a really good team performance “But I’m certainly not getting carried away and making any stupid suggestions. The league’s my priority and all I’m thinking about now is getting myself ready for Newcastle. “That’s the dour Scotsman in me, but they’ve had a pat on the back. But they should be excited because they’re playing well at the moment.”

David Moyes joy as Everton land home FA Cup draw
Feb 16 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES got the home tie he craved in yesterday’s FA Cup quarter-final draw. The Blues will entertain either Middlesbrough or West Ham on the weekend of March 7/8, after the Premier League rivals replay their fifth round tie on Tuesday, February 24. The sides drew 1-1 at Upton Park on Saturday, and manager Moyes said: “We have been paired with another Premier League team but at least we are at home, which is what we wanted. “At this stage of any competition there is no such thing as an easy draw but our home form of late has been very good and we are playing with a lot of confidence. “All our focus right now is on our next two Premier League games and we will start thinking about the Cup again when it comes around.”
Ticket prices for the quarter final will be confirmed within the next 24 hours and sales will commence later this week. The Hammers haven’t been drawn at Goodison in an FA Cup tie since 1963, when the Londoners won 1-0, although the teams did meet in the 1990 quarter-final – again after Everton had disposed of neighbours Liverpool – and the 1980 semi-final, both ties won by the Hammers. Should Middlesbrough prove successful, it will give Everton the opportunity for revenge after the Teessiders put the final nail in Walter Smith’s managerial coffin at Goodison with a humiliating 3-0 surrender in the 2002 quarter-final. The clubs also clashed in two lengthy ties in 1988 and 1990. A fourth round tie in 1988 took three games to decide, then two years later a third round tie took another three matches to settle – the Blues going through each time in a second replay. In 1978 Everton were beaten in a fourth round clash at Ayresome Park, and in January 1971 beat Boro 3-0 in front of 54,857. The other quarter-final ties kept all the remaining ‘big-four’ clubs apart. Manchester United’s reward for demolishing Derby yesterday is a trip to either Fulham or Swansea, Chelsea, winners in 2007, must travel to face the winners of the replay between Blackburn and Coventry, while Arsenal play last year’s losing finalists Cardiff in their fourth-round replay tonight and should they prevail, would meet Burnley in the fifth round on quarter-final weekend. Awaiting the winners of that clash would be either Hull or Sheffield United, who drew 1-1 at Bramall Lane on Saturday.
Arsenal seem to meet the Blades in cup competition on an annual basis with the north London side demolishing their opponents 6-0 in the Carling Cup earlier this season.
However, Premier League side Hull are favourites to go through having home advantage for the replay.

NIGEL MARTYN: Team bonding has played a key role in Everton success
Feb 17 2009 by Nigel Martyn, Liverpool Echo
WHEN people ask me what is the secret to Everton continually churning out good results against the odds, I simply tell them to watch what happens after every goal we score. No matter who applies the finishing touch, the reaction is the same – a mass of Blue shirts running to celebrate with one another, everybody sharing the joy. Never do you see one individual looking to milk the moment on their own. Other teams might have stars, but we have the special ingredient that enables us to keep winning when many expect us to falter. You could call it a siege mentality, but there is something more than that and you can tell by the bond the players have developed. I know from experience that there is no place for egos in the dressing room and regardless of whether you are a senior member or fresh into the team, you get treated the same and that helps you pull together when times are tough. Nobody is so big that they are beyond having the Mickey taken out of them and those who may feel a little unsure about things when first arriving are soon cajoled out of their shell. It’s so vital when you get to this stage of the campaign and the intensity increases. Make no mistake, the odds were stacked against us when Aston Villa arrived at Goodison Park on Sunday but never at any stage did we look like slipping up after Jack Rodwell had rifled us into the lead. Further efforts from Mikel Arteta and Tim Cahill never flattered us.
It was just so pleasing that everything came together. Rodwell and Dan Gosling caught the eye, Victor Anichebe came back with a performance that showed, perhaps, he had realised the error of his ways, while Tim lead the line with typical gusto.
You can see that the FA Cup means a lot to them and the lads will now start to fancy their chances of going all the way, particularly after the quarter-final draw saw us paired with either Middlesbrough or West Ham United. If I could pick our opponents, I would have to choose Middlesbrough but all we could have asked for was home advantage. Now it’s a case of making sure it pays. And there is every reason for believing this group will do that.
TIM CAHILL faces a ban at Newcastle on Sunday but that might not be a bad thing to be looking long term. Sure, we will miss his energy, enthusiasm and goal threat at St James’ Park, but there is a reason for believing he might just benefit from having a weekend with his feet up, as he has certainly put in the miles these past couple of months. Given he is such an important player, you would hate to see him pick up an injury due to the effects of fatigue, and while the squad is not bursting with options, there are players who can come in and deputise. Tony Hibbert will also be missing but regardless of us being without key personnel, I still believe we will have too much class for Newcastle and would anticipate that we will pick up another good results on our travels. The schedule recently might have been hectic but because results have been good, the general condition of the squad won’t be so bad – it’s not like a few years ago when older players like myself, Alan Stubbs, David Weir and Duncan Ferguson needed extra days to recover. You can see this bunch is in tip-top shape and while it is never easy travelling in the Premier League I’d be confident of us collecting another positive result.
CERTAIN clubs have again been too eager to pull the trigger when things get tough.
If you have the right man in charge – like Everton have with David Moyes – it really pays to be patient. And no club is feeling that more than Newcastle, who made a terrible mistake sacking Sam Allardyce.

Mikel Arteta: Why Jack Rodwell will be an Everton star
Feb 16 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
MIKEL ARTETA today hailed Jack Rodwell’s growing influence as the youngster prepared to commit his future to Everton for the next five years. Rodwell scored his first senior goal in yesterday’s 3-1 win over Aston Villa that secured a place in the last eight of the FA Cup but it was the maturity of his performance which impressed most.
Talks have reached an advanced stage about securing Rodwell, who turns 18 next month, on a deal until 2014 and it’s expected to be finalised within days. He has made a big impression since David Moyes gave him his debut in a UEFA Cup tie against AZ Alkmaar and Arteta believes the way Rodwell and Dan Gosling have played points to a bright future. “We have to give them all the credit,” said Arteta. “We talk to them, we try to help them when they are on the pitch with us because we know they have got talent. “When you have got talent, the rest will come. We have needed them to do it quickly and they have got to keep producing great performances. “But they did that against Aston Villa and they also showed great character. Dan scored in the last round and now Jack has done.” Moyes, understandably, was thrilled with Rodwell’s efforts and felt compelled to compare the Academy graduate as Manchester United’s Rio Ferdinand. “Sometimes he’s nearly horizontal he’s that laid back,” said Moyes. “He’s a real good boy, he wants to improve and he’s got a great manner in the way he goes about his job. “You can see that in his play. He’s the sort of player that many teams were all looking for and he’s young and has quite a bit to go in his development. “He’s comfortable on the ball and I think central midfield is where he’s best but maybe by the time he’s 23 or 24 he may be a top centre-half.
“I don’t know how Rio Ferdinand started his career but I think he started as a central midfield player and eventually moved back. He has a lot of similar qualities.”
Arteta, meanwhile, is hoping that the win over Villa can be the catalyst for Everton to go all the way to Wembley and says there is a growing confidence in the dressing room. The Blues’ reward for a fully deserved 3-1 triumph is a home date with either West Ham United or Middlesbrough and Arteta was delighted that once again they were able to thrive in adversity. “We want to take it game by game but this was a massive win for us,” said Arteta. “We have been missing a lot of players and it seems as if it has been like that for a season. “But the lads did really well. Every time we have difficulties, we try to do something different. We could be saying ‘we haven’t got this or that’ but we just go and win again. “It would be beautiful to get to the final but there is a long way to go and we just have to make sure that we keep our concentration.”

Everton boss David Moyes: ‘We’ll keep feet on the ground’
Feb 17 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES today claimed the level-headed way his players have reacted to a three-game winning spree has improved their chances of maintaining the sequence.
In the space of 10 days, Everton have strengthened their position in the top six and secured a place in the FA Cup’s last eight with victories over Liverpool, Bolton and Aston Villa. But while supporters have dared to dream the campaign is heading towards a glorious conclusion, Moyes has no intentions of making any bold declarations. Similarly, he believes the reaction in the dressing room to the latest triumph over Villa augurs well for the future and has taken great encouragement from the squad’s attitude. “We are certainly not getting carried away and I for one will not be making any stupid suggestions,” said Moyes, whose side face a trip to Newcastle this Sunday. “The league is my priority and the only thing we are thinking about at the minute is the game we have got next weekend. “As soon as we got in after the game on Sunday, my mind switched to Newcastle and I was thinking about who I have got available and what players will be back from injury.” Moyes will be without the suspended Tony Hibbert and Tim Cahill at St James’ Park and depending on how those who have been injured react to treatment, he may need to ask certain players again to fill in in unusual positions. But the manager has been thrilled with the response he has received when those requests have been made, something which has helped foster team spirit. “They have been very good,” said Moyes. “Whatever job they have been asked to do, they’ve all got on with it and done well. “They are all excited but there is a calmness as well. I’ve told them that we have got to keep moving onto the next game. “Me being a dour Scotsman means they get a pat on the back and a ‘thanks very much’ (after a win) but we then start looking ahead.
“But they should be excited. They are playing well just now, they are enjoying the football that they are playing.” One man certainly enjoying his football is Jack Rodwell, who scored the first goal of his Everton career and is poised to sign a new long-term contract in the next few days. He could have broken his duck in the second game of the campaign at West Brom only to see a header disallowed, but admits it was special to finally do it at Goodison Park. “Just to play for Everton is an honour,” said Rodwell. “I’ve had other chances (to score) and I’m glad it’s out of the way.
“Hopefully there is more to comen.”

Tim Cahill's Everton joy clouded by bush fire disaster in Australia
Feb 17 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
THE words were delivered calmly, the tone was measured but there was no disguising the emotion that lay behind them “Probably the hardest moments for us was being in Japan,” Tim Cahill reflected after a week of incredible trauma. “There were so many people dying while we were in the air and there was nothing we could do. Bodies are still being found now.” While the world watched in horror as deliberately started fires engulfed the Australian bush, claimed 189 lives and left 7,000 homeless, the nation’s footballers – Cahill included – had to keep their focus in Yokohama with World Cup qualification at stake. A 0-0 draw with Japan last Wednesday has put Australia within touching distance of the World Cup but it was clear to see after Cahill put Everton into the last eight of the FA Cup that his mind has been elsewhere these past few days.
Refraining from delivering his traditional ‘boxer’ routine after scoring against Aston Villa, Cahill simply stood in the corner, tapped the black armband he was wearing and pointed to the heavens. It was a small gesture made in Merseyside but there is no doubt how well received it would have been in Melbourne by a nation who regard this fiercely patriotic individual as an icon; you will not be surprised to learn he is already planning a fund raising dinner. That he was able to brush off jet lag and produce another wonderful performance for Everton on Sunday, just 72 hours after flying back from the other side of the globe, speaks volumes for the man but it is clear to see events in Victoria have taken a toll. “It was difficult in Japan,” Cahill explained. “We tried to deal with the disaster but you don’t forget about it; the mourning that is going on and the effect that it has had on the Australian team as individuals. “It’s not just the footballers; the army, the Prime Minister, cricket – every single sport – is involved in it in Australia. I’m always thinking about it. It’s hit me pretty hard and it’s one of those difficult situations. “Everyone back home is pulling together and trying to raise as much money as they can to help rebuild the state. Every single player wore the armband in tribute and we fight on. That’s what we do; we’re Australians and we fight together.” Fighting and battling is something Evertonians have become accustomed to seeing Cahill do, especially in the past three months when an unhelpful sequence of injuries has meant he has been deployed as the Blues’ lone attacker.
The manner in which he has performed - allied to that priceless ability of being able to pop up in the right place at the right time - has left his team-mates and manager David Moyes lavishing praise upon him. Youngsters like Dan Gosling and Jack Rodwell would do well to watch and learn from him whenever possible but Cahill believes they are doing just fine on their own at the minute and are thriving from playing in a united environment. “All the kids who have played, they aren’t kids any more,” Cahill said. “They have just stepped up and played. They relish the responsibility and are treated the same as us. That’s the best thing about this football club. You can even see it with Jo. “We welcome them with open arms. We try to play as a team and we don’t have any individuals; Goose and Rodders just need to keep playing football and the good times will come. They have had to wait for a chance but the Gaffer has known they were there. “In many ways, they were the pinnacle of the way that we played against Aston Villa. They showed such great spirit and even though we have so many injuries, we all pulled together to get the win. It’s never any different.
“I feel very privileged to play with this team. We all know what it means to pull on this jersey. We just go out there and give it everything that we have got; the Gaffer is very clever with the way he picks his players and the way he puts them in.”
While that goal took his tally for the campaign to seven, a fifth booking means that Cahill will be sidelined while his team-mates tackle Newcastle on Sunday looking to cement their top six position. But is there a chance of them adding silverware come May? Cahill is keeping his cards close to his chest but he does reveal the assignments they faced in the fourth and fifth rounds could come in handy. “The belief is just to work for each other and do the best we can,” he said. “If we take it a game at a time, that’s the best way. We never get ahead of ourselves here but we understand that beating Liverpool and Aston Villa can stand us in good stead.” dominicking@liverpoolecho.co.uk

Robbie Savage: My regret over missing out on Everton switch
Feb 17 2009
ROBBIE SAVAGE has admitted the biggest regret of his controversial career was not joining Everton. Savage is currently enjoying something of a renaissance under new manager Nigel Clough at Derby. But the former Wales international realises he does not have much more time left in the game and, at 34, is destined never to play for one of England’s big clubs in a career that has encom- passed spells with Leicester, Birmingham and Blackburn. And, while he does not look back in anger at many things, Savage wishes he could have joined Everton when he had the chance in 2003 and after he had moved to Blackburn a couple of years later. “I could have signed for Everton on two separate occasions,” he said. “The first time I thought the deal was done. I played a game for Birmingham at Newcastle and afterwards shook hands with everyone in the dressing room. “I was driving down to Cardiff with Gary Speed going to play for Wales when the manager (Steve Bruce) rang me and told me the deal was off because the price had increased from £3million to £4million. I was devastated.”
On the second occasion, loyalty to then Blackburn boss Mark Hughes won the day.
“Mark Hughes was my idol,” reflected Savage. “But I should have joined Everton because they are a massive club. “It is my biggest regret.” Savage has also come to terms with the fact he will never play for Wales again. His international career stalled on 39 caps in 2005 following the appointment of John Toshack as boss.

Everton Reserves 1, Liverpool Reserves 1
Feb 18 2009 Liverpool Daily Post
IT WAS honours even in the mini-derby at the Halton Stadium last night.
Andy Holden’s side had been looking to complete a club hat-trick of wins following recent victories for David Moyes’s first team and Neil Dewsnip’s under-18s.
It looked possible when Scott Spencer scored a freak opener midway through the first half, but the visitors hit back immediately with the unfortunate Hope Akpan heading in at the wrong end. With Jack Rodwell and Dan Gosling now fighting for first-team places and Lukas Jutkiewicz and John Paul Kissock away on loan, Holden was deprived of experience. It gave the bulk of Everton’s Under-18s side the chance to impress, alongside lone old-head Carlo Nash. Three minutes in a neat interchange between Liverpool’s Dani Pacheco and Gerardo Bruna fashioned an opening for Victor Palsson. The right-sided midfielder beat Carlo Nash but James McCarten was well positioned to hack off the line. Nathan Craig and Jay Spearing then took it in turns to lash speculative volleys off target. A neat backheel from Spencer allowed Craig to cross from the left, but when the ball eventually fell for James Wallace, Reds keeper Martin Hansen did well to smother. At the other end Dani Pacheco found Andras Simon unmarked in the box soon after but the save for Carlo Nash was simple. However, as the half-hour mark approached the strangest of goals gave Everton the breakthrough. Receiving the ball from Spencer following an injury stoppage, Martin Hansen contrived to miss-control and allow the ball to trickle across the line. But Everton’s lead was short-lived, Akpan glancing Pacheco’s free-kick into his own net just four minutes later. Luke Powell, handed a late start following Tom McCready’s withdrawal looked to keen to make the most of the opportunity, providing a constant outlet down the right. But the visitors continued to threaten, Pacheco cutting in onto his right foot early in the second half and fizzing a shot inches wide of the post. Half-time appeared to have galvanised the hosts and Eunan O’Kane saw a bullet header tipped onto the crossbar by Hansen. At the back the unfamiliar centre back pairing of McCarten and John Irving proved water-tight, while Seamus Coleman looked solid on his reserves home debut. Twice Irving went close from Craig set pieces as Everton continued to probe. But the game petered out, both sides tiring, and understandably so, given the nature of the occasion. And Tired legs perhaps accounted for late openings for either side. With four minutes remaining Simon produced a fearsome shot on the turn only for Nash to muster a stunning reaction save. It allowed Everton to launch a counter which resulted in the impressive Luke Powell hitting the upright – the woodwork forcing Everton to settle for just a share of the spoils.
EVERTON RESERVES: @Nash, Coleman, Barnett, Wallace, Irving, McCarten, Powell, Akpan, Spencer, O’Kane, Craig (Agard 72). Subs: Stubhaug, Duffy, McAleny, Kinsella.
LIVERPOOL RESERVES:@ Hansen, Mendy, Darby, San Jose, Kelly, Plessis, Palsson, Spearing, Simon, Pacheco, Bruna. Subs: Irwin, Bouzanis, Weijl, Huth, Flora.

Joleon Lescott: How I found my form - Everton FC latest
Feb 18 2009 EXCLUSIVE by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
JOLEON LESCOTT today promised to take his impressive form up another level as he thanked Everton’s coaching staff for helping him rediscover his missing spark.
The England international hardly put a foot out of place last season which led to a clean sweep of personal gongs at the club’s end of year awards. However, Lescott endured a major dip at the start of the current campaign and made a number of high profile mistakes as the Blues crashed out of Europe and the Carling Cup.
Since being switched to the centre of Everton’s defence, though, Lescott’s performances have dramatically improved and he has been a key figure in their renaissance. But he feels that might not have been the case had David Moyes and his assistants not taken him to one side for a much-needed pep talk. “I was very disappointed with my form at the start of the season,” said Lescott. “You always believe you can play well, but it wasn’t to be. “I had to get back to basics, start working harder in training and doing little extra things. It’s paying off and I’m pleased with the way I am playing. But I want to improve. It’s not nice when your form goes like that, when you are losing and you’re making mistakes. “It was hard to take and I needed to take a long, hard look at myself and the mistakes I was making. I sat down with the coaches and we talked about it. “They told me to just start concentrating more and get back to basics and it’s paid off. It was going wrong in a few games, not just one. “But the turning point for me was when we went to Tottenham and got a great result. I took a lot more confidence from that into the next game and it’s built up from there.” Lescott’s form has mirrored that of the team as a whole in that it has got better and better in the past two months. He is delighted Everton look a formidable unit once again. “We started off poorly but it was down to the whole team, not just the defence,” said Lescott. “Now we’re defending well and getting a lot of praise. “But it’s also a tribute to the rest of the lads, too. It was a combination of a lot of things at the start of the season. The team wasn't ready. It was the same for the strikers, too. “They weren’t scoring, and when that happens it’s up to everyone to chip in with the goals. Now we are all pulling together and we're a much harder team to beat.” The Blues, meanwhile, are still negotiating with Australian side Perth Glory about a potential pre-season friendly Down Under. As reported in Saturday’s Football Echo, the Blues could visit Australia this summer, but will only travel if they can fix up another fixture.

Everton Reserves 1, Liverpool Reserves 1
Feb 18 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
THE second mini derby of the season ended all square at the Stobart Stadium Widnes.
But while the scoreline was hardly memorable, a bizarre Everton goal will linger long in the memory. From a drop ball just outside the centre circle on the half-hour, after the Reds had put the ball out of play to allow Emmanuel Mendy treatment for a knock, Blues striker Scott Spencer sportingly kicked the ball back to Reds keeper Martin Hansen. In a scene straight from Question of Sport’s “What Happened Next?” the ball drifted towards the Reds keeper, who lost its flight completely, let it roll through his legs and into the net for the game’s opening goal. Liverpool’s equaliser couldn’t hope to be as dramatic, but it was still another unusual effort. Just four minutes later man of the match Dani Pacheco drilled in a fine cross from near the corner flag and Everton midfielder Hope Akpan flicked the ball into his own net for the equaliser. The stadium announcer credited Pacheco with the goal, but it was clear that Akpan had applied the final touch with his head. With Gary Ablett’s Reds trying to stretch the home side, with debutant Victor Palsson playing wide right and Gerardo Bruna starting on the left, the visitors started brightly. They almost took the lead in the opening minute, but Jay Spearing’s effort was cleared off the line. The Blues went close when James McCarten rattled the bar with a powerful header on 56 minutes, Hansen finger-tipping the ball onto the woodwork. Looking to introduce an extra dimension to their play, the Blues brought on Kieran Agard for goalscorer Nathan Craig with just under 20 minutes remaining. And he seemed to make a difference down the left flank. Liverpool continued to push for a winner, however, and Bruna came agonisingly close to scoring with three minutes to go. But Everton also threatened at the other end and Luke Powell rattled the post with a fierce right-footed shot seconds later.
EVERTON: Nash, Coleman, Barnett, Wallace, Irving, McCarten, Powell, Akpan, Spencer, O’Kane, Craig (Agard 72). Not used: Stubhaug, Duffy, McAleny, Kinsella.
LIVERPOOL: Hansen, Mendy, Darby, Mikel San Jose, Kelly, Plessis, Palsson (Weijl 75), Spearing, Simon, Pacheco, Bruna (Flora 89). Not used: Irwin, Bouzanis, Huth.

Chilean Everton off to a flyer
Feb 19 2009 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON de Vina del Mar - the Chilean football club founded by visiting sailors from Liverpool in 1909 – made a winning start to their Copa Libertadores campaign.
The competition, which brings together the top club teams from the South American region has a similar set-up to that of the European Champions league. An embarrassing mix-up in defence gave Everton a fortunate 1-0 win over Venezuelan visitors Caracas. A collision between goalkeeper Javier Toyo and Deivis Barone presented Everton striker Roberto Gutierrez with the easiest of goals in first-half stoppage time at the Sausalito Stadium. The result puts Everton top of Group 6, ahead of their trip to Mexico to face Chivas Guadalajara on February 25 in round two of the prestigious competition. The Mexicans find themselves with have one point in the group following their 1-1 draw with CA Lanus of Argentina. Elsewhere, Defending champions Liga de Quito of Ecuador got off to a fantastic start beat Brazilian outfit Palmeiras 3-2. in Group 1 of the competition.
FORMER Everton starlet Michael Branch has moved into coaching and taken over the reins at Australian League first division side Caboolture. The former England Under-21 striker, now 30, is a close friend of the Sunshine Coast side’s new head coach and fellow Englishman Paul Edwards and the pair has reunited Down Under.
“He’s developing as a coach and he also wants to put something back into the game,” Edwards said . “It shows the direction Caboolture wants to take as a club.
“I’ve arranged for Michael to come here, but the club has fully supported it.”
Liverpool-born Branch came through the Everton Academy and made his Premier League debut before being loaned out to a series of clubs including Manchester City, Birmingham and Wolves. The striker, who was once touted as English football’s ‘next big thing’, moved to Australia last year to develop his coaching. Sticking with the Aussie soccer theme, Jason Kearton has landed the goalkeeper coaching role at Logan United in Queensland. Kearton, now 39, spent nine years at Goodison and made just three appearances, playing understudy to Neville Southall.

Blue boys: Coach's super salute as Davies saves the day
Feb 19 2009 by James Pearce, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON under-18s coach Neil Dewsnip praised the heroics of goalkeeper Adam Davies after his side’s 2-1 victory over Wolves in the Premier Academy League at Finch Farm. The 16-year-old shot stopper was in fine form to ensure the Blues bounced back after their disappoin- ting FA Youth Cup exit to Norwich.
“Adam made three or four outstanding saves in the opening 45 minutes and without him we could have been dead and buried at half-time,” Dewsnip said. “After we went 2-1 up in the second half we were pretty comfortable, but then right at the end we made a mistake and gifted them a great chance to equalise. “We were indebted to another great save from Adam, who really did the team proud.” The Blues got off to a shaky start against the Midlanders and finally fell behind from a free-kick.
However, just before the break Luke Powell fired home an equaliser after a neat turn and right footed shot into the corner. In the second half the Blues grew in confidence and Conor McAleny hit the bar before James McCarten grabbed the winner on 70 minutes. Thomas McCready’s free-kick was nodded down by Shane Duffy and McCarten was on hand to score from close range. “It was a smashing result, but I’ve got to say Wolves played very well in the first half,” Dewsnip added. “It was the best Wolves team I’ve seen for a number of years and we had to show good resilience just to stay in the game. “We could have been more than one goal down and then we scored against the run of play at the end of the first half. “We got the boys organised at half-time and in the second half we were a lot better. “It really was a game of two halves as after the break we played well and had lots of chances.” The Blues are back in action on Saturday when they entertain leaders Manchester City at Finch Farm. Lee McArdle (knee) and Nathan Craig (back) are still struggling with injury and Dewsnip will leave it late before finalising his line-up. He said: “Our team was drastically changed last weekend as a number of the lads had played for the reserves against Middlesbrough. “We also had a lot of lads involved in the mini derby this week so we will just have to see what we’ve got. “The positive thing for me was that the lads got back on track after going out of the Youth Cup. “Youngsters tend not to dwell on setbacks for too long and it was pleasing to get the win. “We’ll need to be at our best against City as they are a decent side.”
Name: Aristote Nsiala
Born: 25/03/92 - English/Congo
Position: Defender
Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nsiala. Moved to Liverpool in 2002.
Joined the Everton set-up in 2007 and is now a full-time scholar.
The speedy defender is renowned for his strong tackling.

Jack Rodwell signs new Everton deal
Feb 19 2009 By James Pearce
EVERTON youngster Jack Rodwell has signed a new five-year contract at Goodison Park. The 17-year-old midfielder, who scored his first senior goal in last weekend’s FA Cup fifth round win over Aston Villa, is now committed to the club until 2014.
A product of the club’s Academy, Rodwell has made 13 appearances this season including seven starts. Manager David Moyes, who handed Rodwell his debut last season, said: “When we get good young players, we want to sign them up and keep them here. That's always the way that we have gone about it. “Jack has got a long way to go and it wasn’t ideal that we had to pitch him in at the start of the season - we threw him in at the deep end. “He played well in those games at times but we took him away from it for a while to give him a break and let him see what it’s all about.
“But when he came back in against Liverpool he looked really good and he made a big contribution against Aston Villa. The signs from him were positive.”

David Moyes: I'll protect Everton young guns
Feb 19 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES will stick to a tried and trusted formula to give Jack Rodwell the best chance of reaching his full potential. Fresh from scoring his first senior goal for Everton in last Sunday’s 3-1 win over Aston Villa, Rodwell is poised to put pen to paper on a new five-year deal. Blues boss Moyes has never shied away from pitching youngsters in to action if he has felt they are good enough and Rodwell – who turns 18 next month – has proven up to the task. But while Moyes is delighted with the progress Rodwell has made, he has stressed there will be occasions when he pulls him out of the firing line. Wayne Rooney and Leon Osman are two players who benefited from such treatment and Rodwell can expect to tread a familiar path. “When we get good young players, we want to sign them up and keep them here,” said Moyes.
“That’s always the way that we have gone about it. Jack has got a long way to go and it wasn’t ideal that we had to pitch him in at the start of the season; we threw him in at the deep end. “He played well in those games at times but we took him away from it for a while to give him a break and let him see what it’s all about. But when he came back in against Liverpool he looked really good and made a big contribution against Aston Villa. The signs from him were positive.” Apart from impressing on the pitch, the way Rodwell has handled himself since breaking into Everton’s squad has also caught the eye. Both he and Dan Gosling are aware of their junior position and Moyes is quick to emphasise that they are at a club where they can expect to have their feet on the ground. “We will never speak too much about them,” Moyes pointed out. “We would never build them up before it’s time and certainly do not allow them to believe any hype. “But Jack is a good kid and he is like Dan in that he has got his feet on the ground. We’ll be keeping a close eye on both of them to make sure they develop as we want them too.” Whether Rodwell will get chance to follow up his efforts against Villa at Newcastle this Sunday depends on how Everton’s treatment room looks in the next 48 hours. Leon Osman (stomach muscles), Steven Pienaar (hamstring) and Marouane Fellaini (back) will be given every chance to prove their fitness.

Goalkeeping great Neville Southall predicts more Everton glory
Feb 19 2009 by James Pearce, Liverpool Echo
NEVILLE SOUTHALL is in the midst of a relegation battle but the goalkeeping legend believes his old club will ensure he has some glory to celebrate this season.
The Blues’ record appearance holder is now based in Kent and is assistant manager of Ryman Premier League strugglers Margate. He works alongside ex-Wales boss Terry Yorath and the duo are on a mission to save the cash-strapped non-leaguers from the drop. It’s a tough task at a club which attracts gates of around 350 but Southall is loving the challenge. “It’s a different type of football but it’s really good fun,” he said.
“Terry asked me to join him after he took over as manager before Christmas. We play in blue which is a bonus and we’re having a really good go at keeping the club up.
“Whereas before lads were brought in from London on big wages now there’s no cash so it’s a case of using local young lads and trying to develop them. “If Margate lose and Everton win it’s not a bad day, but if both clubs win it’s a great day.”
The Blues’ progress in recent months has ensured the 50-year-old has had plenty to smile about. A run of just one defeat in 13 games in all competitions has seen David Moyes’ side climb to sixth in the Premier League and reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. That sequence has also included eight clean sheets and the former Wales shot-stopper has been delighted by what he has seen. He said: “I haven’t been back up to Goodison this season because of my work at Margate and the fact that it’s easier getting to China than Liverpool from where I’m living now! “But I’ve watched Everton on television a lot and been really impressed. “The back five have done exceptionally well - they never give much away. “I really rate Tim Howard - he’s very steady and a great shot stopper. “Phil Jagielka is also having a fantastic season and I was glad to see him get a chance for England against Spain. “I know he made a mistake for their first goal but it would be wrong for anyone to judge him on that because he’s been outstanding for Everton. “In midfield Mikel Arteta has the ability to produce something out of nothing and then Tim Cahill has done ever so well with some crucial goals up front.” With a home tie in the last eight against either West Ham or Middlesbrough to come on March 8, hopes are rising that the Blues will finally end their 14-year wait for a piece of silverware. Southall was a member of the last Everton side to lift the FA Cup in 1995 and he believes the current crop have got what it takes to go all the way. “Winning a trophy is long overdue and if anyone deserves one it is David Moyes,” he said. “The work he has put in at the club is phenomenal. He’s very methodical and well prepared and has the ability to get the best of his players. “He keeps them motivated and the players keep on producing for him. “I think this season’s FA Cup could be his best chance of winning a trophy.
“It’s still a magical competition and there’s no reason why they can’t go all the way now. “If Everton do win the Cup it would also be a reward for the patience Blues supporters have shown in the manager. They’ve seen the progress the club has made under David and stuck with him.” Moyes has worked wonders with limited resources at Goodison and Southall believes having fewer options than most Premier League clubs has actually benefited the Blues. “What I like about the current side is that there is a real sense of togetherness and camaraderie,” he said. “Sometimes having a small squad can work for you and there’s no doubt it’s working for Everton at the moment.
“Clubs with big squads tend to just flip players in and out of the side but David can’t do that. “He knows he only has 23 or 24 people and he has to get out on that training ground and work with what’s he’s got.” Similarly, Southall has never been afraid to get his boots dirty and these days his time is taken up with coaching at grassroots level. As well as his part-time duties at Margate, he goes into schools in Kent and is part of the ‘Sportiv8’ initiative which aims to use football as a way to get youngsters back into education. “It finds kids something they are interested in and it’s a really good scheme,” he said. “I do a football academy in two schools and I’m hoping to get another one off the ground. “The quality of the kids down here is immense and there are really good young players coming through. It’s an industrial area and football is a way out for a lot of them. “There’s a lot of potential at Margate and if they get the go ahead for the redevelopment it will be a cracking set-up. “I’ve told Terry I’ll be here until the end of the season and then we will just see what happens. My plan is to have no plan.” Southall enjoyed a record-breaking career in which his stunning reflexes secured his status as one of the greatest British keepers in history. He helped the Blues win two league titles, two FA Cups and the European Cup Winners Cup but when he looks back these days it’s not the silverware which means the most to him.
“Of course the major finals and medals were great but the older I get I’m more proud of the length of time I stayed at Everton,” he added. “At the time you don’t appreciate it because every season is always slightly different. When one finished you just started preparing for the next one. “But I spent 17 years at the best club in the best city in the world and not many people can say that.” Neville Southall was speaking as an ambassador of National Express, an official supporter of the FA Cup. For more information and to book your FA Cup travel visit www.nationalexpress.com

The Jury: Everton fans on the latest developments at Goodison
Feb 19 2009
Mike Williamson, Chester
EVERTON? Wembley? If you had mentioned those two words in the same sentence last October you would have been laughed out of Goodison but the turnaround in form since then is surely one of the stories of the season. Whether we actually get to Wembley is another question but it really doesn’t matter in the long run.
After all, look what happened after the 1995 win. What’s vital now is that the Board start planning seriously for next season and – somehow – find the funds to build on the platform that Moyes and his team have built. We have to learn from the lessons of last summer and start the season in a position of strength, rather than go through the same chaos and uncertainty again. For now, though, we can be proud of what the team and manager have achieved in the past three months. I have criticised David Moyes in the past but he has to take massive credit for putting such a big smile back on the face of every Bluenose!
Cole Fraser, Litherland
SUNDAY saw a great performance from the players. The result showed that we are a much better footballing side than Villa, who really didn’t look like taking anything from the game… even their penalty was lucky to go in! The draw looks good too, I fancy us to overwhelm either Boro or the Hammers in the next round. Victor Anichebe had a good game and if he can improve his attitude then he could become very useful for Everton. A great display from Jack Rodwell too, whose composure on the ball belies his age. I think he is good enough to play every week and that is a major complement. Looking ahead to the weekend, Moyes is going to have to swop and change the team around with the unavailability of some important players.
Jo will almost certainly lead the line and I have faith that he can score the goals in Cahill’s absence.
Lee Molton, St Helens
THE Blues march on in the FA Cup and are now just two games away from a Wembley final appearance. It’s great being a Blue at the moment! The draw has been kind to us too, so we could be appearing in the semi-finals with the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal. The Blues played really well on Sunday against a highly-rated Villa side with superb performances from Rodwell, Gosling and Anichebe, who has won the Evertonians over again. This is what we want to see, pride in the Blue shirt. Without some star players, the Blues played with passion and flair to keep us the Evertonians riding high on cloud nine. It is looking good for the future with so many players below the age of 25. It is also great to see players wanting to play even when they are injured – as in Howard’s case. The priority now must be the FA Cup as all Evertonians would dearly love a trip to Wembley and to see Phil Neville lift the Cup aloft.
Tony Scott, Walton
TO put into words what being an Evertonian is like at the moment is a very hard task to do. This fantastic current crop of young Everton players are putting a huge smile back on the face of every Evertonian in the city. I know it's unfair to pick out one individual player but Tim Cahill really epitomises what our famous football club is all about. His willingness, desire and passion for his royal blue jersey is astonishing and fully understands what our club motto is all about. No matter how much each Everton player cost us, or how much they earn, they all have the same spirit and togetherness that are 90 minutes away from giving us a much deserved trip to Wembley Stadium.
Jack Rodwell became the first player to score a winner at the new Wembley, so how fitting would it be for him to do the same in April.

David Moyes: I won't risk Louis Saha - Everton latest
Feb 20 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES today insisted he will not jeopardise Louis Saha’s long term fitness by bringing him back too early. Everton’s talented number nine has not played since damaging his hamstring in the 1-0 win at Tottenham on November 30 – an injury that has taken longer than expected to clear up. With the Blues squad stretched to the limit since, Moyes is counting down the days until he can let Saha off the leash.
The 30-year-old has sparkled in training this week and has put himself in contention for Sunday’s trip to Newcastle but the Goodison boss will not play Saha until he is convinced there will be no relapse. “Louis has got great ability and that has been there for everyone to see when he has played,” said Moyes, who is aiming to win on Tyneside in the Premier League for the first time as Everton manager. “We have done well during the period that he has been out but there is no doubt you miss having somebody who is a natural finisher to call upon. “It will be great to have him back again but I don’t whether it will be this weekend. “ It might be another few weeks before he is really ready to go again and we won’t rush him.” Prior to sustaining that injury, Saha had started to show flashes of the form that convinced Sir Alex Ferguson to spend £12.8m when signing him from Fulham in 2004. Saha turned a game at West Ham upside down with two goals in the space of five minutes and also was responsible for the header which beat Fulham in early November. “Nobody will have been more frustrated than Louis that he has ended up missing so many games during time in which we have done reasonably well ,” Moyes pointed out. “He will be glad to get around the place again. He has plenty of experience and will have realised that (the injury) was just one of those things. Now he has got himself back. “He is a terrific player and has shown that throughout his career. “He has got an ability to finish and score goals and hopefully he will do that for us when he returns.” One man who will definitely miss the trip to the North East is Tim Cahill, who serves a one-match ban, as does right-back Tony Hibbert. Cahill has run himself to a standstill in recent weeks and Moyes feels it maybe that this suspension turns out to be a blessing in disguise.
“Obviously Tim is not a player that we want to lose at any point in the season,” he said. “But it’s been hard for him in recent weeks, not least with having to play in Japan. “We will get on without him and hopefully we will play as well at Newcastle as we have done in recent weeks.”

Winning mentality is Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard’s way
Feb 20 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
FLYING beer cans and toilet rolls whizzing past your ear are some of the occupational hazards that come with being a goalkeeper when the USA take on Mexico. Whether it is in Arizona or the Azteca, Tim Howard knows better than most that there is no love lost between those two bordering nations, so it was understandable that he was a little apprehensive ahead of their recent World Cup qualifier. But that apprehension was nothing compared to what Evertonians felt when they heard Howard had been pole-axed by Rafael Marquez and had been left with a blow to his knee that cast a cloud over his ability to see out the season.
“It came out of nothing,” said Howard. “We were only leading the game 1-0, there was plenty of time to go and there was no sign it would happen. It wasn’t the worst game that I have seen in terms of all out brutality. “Anything goes and the fans fuel it. There are always a few tackles that leave you scratching your head.If you don’t come off the field with a knock against Mexico, there’s something wrong.” Cue much laughter. Howard may make light of the situation but when he boarded his flight back across the Atlantic, there were genuine fears that he had sustained a serious problem and being stuck at 35,000 feet did not help. Returning to Finch Farm less than 48 hours before the tie against Aston Villa, Everton’s medical staff had all but ruled Howard out of action but he defiantly insisted that sleeping on an ice pack might do the trick. It worked. He reported to Goodison Park fit for duty and ended up playing an integral role in knocking Villa out of the FA Cup – his save from John Carew was one of the best he has produced in a career on Merseyside that has spanned almost three years. But it says everything about the squad’s current frame of mind that he was prepared to play on one leg; such unity has enabled the Blues to put together a run that has seen them lose just three times since October. “I was pretty worried,” Howard admitted. “It blew up and when I was travelling all day and through the night on the plane, well that didn’t do it any good. I got back in the middle of the afternoon on Friday and got into rehab as soon as I could. “It was just a case of going to bed with an ice pack and hoping for the best. I knew how important the game was. The FA Cup is unique and you don’t get another crack at it. I wanted to play against Aston Villa and I knew how the injury situation was. “I didn’t want to be another number and I was desperate to be fit. It was worth it. Villa have had a really good season. We’ve had a really good season with a terrible start. “We have a load of respect for them but we stood toe-to-toe to them. We are pretty evenly matched and that’s why it made it such a big game and one that I wanted to play in no matter what.” Given the way things are progressing, there could be a few more games of such magnitude in which to play before the end of the campaign and there is little doubt that anticipation is growing in the camp. Compare that to how the situation was in August and September – had Everton picked up maximum points from their opening fixtures against Blackburn and Portsmouth at Goodison a challenge for a Champions League place would now beckon. Who knows? It might still. Should they beat Newcastle United this Sunday, they will continue to put pressure on the sides immediately above them and the new found winning mentality is serving them well. “You have to look forward,” said Howard. “We know what we are capable of and we realise things might have been even better if we had picked up a draw here or there. The start of the season is massive and for us to be in this position after that says a lot. “We have shown our resolve recently. We could have fallen into a trap against Bolton after beating Liverpool but all the players are aware of those traps. When we have these big ones, the players are coming back in and saying ‘we’ve got to kick on here’. “The big games harden your resolve. They have brought us together as a squad. We know what we want to do. We have solidified ourselves in the group below the Champions League places but now we want to kick on. “There has to be the mentality of if we win one game, we say ‘great’ and move on to the next one. The teams who win this league? That’s what they are all about. You need that mentality.”

DAVID PRENTICE: Senior Everton stars stepping up to make the difference
Feb 20 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
IF YOU swopped Yakubu for Anichebe, brought in Tony Hibbert for Nuno Valente and, say, went with Osman for Gosling, would Everton be a better side?
I suspect you wouldn't get many arguments. But those switches, with the notable addition of Tim Cahill, are the only differences from the Everton side which kicked off the season “probably not ready to win Premier League games” and the one which marched into the last eight of the FA Cup ending Aston Villa's long unbeaten run away from home. When David Moyes made that worrying statement on the eve of Blackburn’s visit to Goodison back in August, there were few raised eyebrows.
Because he was right. The Blues promptly lost to Blackburn, were pummelled by Portsmouth and slipped out of the UEFA Cup. But on Sunday Everton ended the Premier League’s most impressive away record, a few days after matching and then beating their title chasing rivals, adding on to the comfortable defeats of Bolton, Hull and Sunderland. And they did it with effectively the same personnel. Against Blackburn, Everton started with: Howard, Neville, Yobo, Lescott, Valente, Arteta, Jagielka, Rodwell, Baines, Osman, Yakubu. The starting line-up last Sunday was: Howard, Neville, Hibbert, Lescott, Gosling, Jagielka, Rodwell, Baines, Anichebe and Cahill. Clearly Jack Rodwell and Dan Gosling have gained more experience since August, but as Moyes said during that shaky start to the campaign: “We've got a lot of young players in the side, but it's not those players who are letting us down.”
The difference, for me, has been the way in which key figures like Joleon Lescott, Mikel Arteta and Leighton Baines have flourished in recent weeks. Lescott is looking more and more like the Rolls Royce performer who purred effortlessly through his first two seasons as a Premier League footballer, Mikel Arteta is living up to his chairman's colourful description as "La Vision D'Oro," while in Leighton Baines, Everton have a left-back who can comfortably follow the England international route of Newton, Pejic and Hinchcliffe. Of course the catalyst for it all is probably Tim Cahill, a man whose presence in the Everton starting line-up is statistically reflected in a greater numbers of Everton victories. While Everton's youngsters are quite deservedly collecting accolades by the bucket-load, it's the senior stars who have effected this dramatic turn-round of form.
Jo’s pen is a charity winner
GOING, going, gone! That's any kind of dignity at Everton – according to the e-mail pranksters who like to ping off missives to the Echo, and who eagerly jumped on the club's e-auction. For just £115 (the highest current bid) you can own “the exact pen” that Jo used to sign his Everton contract. It looked, according to the subject boxes of the emails, the actions of a “small club” – until you examine the small print.
“Some of the funds generated will go to charity, including the Everton Former Players' Foundation.” So while Everton auctioning off a pen to help fund Jo's wages may raise a smirk or two, a couple of worthy charities benefiting from the gesture is surely cause for celebration.
TV’s waiting game a cup shambles
AS the dust died and the hangovers healed on Everton's first appearance in an FA Cup quarter-final for seven years , Evertonians excitedly started to plan their March weekend. Actually 'planning' is a loose description because the draw for the last eight of the competition contained more 'ors' than Sir Steven Redgrave ever grappled with. And until the ties were cast in stone, TV couldn't decide which games they were going to cherry pick. Fifteen teams were actually pulled out of the drum on Sunday night.
But 72 hours later shift workers, fans who have to travel long distances and guys being hectored to go to our Chloe's christening, still had no idea when Everton might be playing – more irritating evidence of how TV runs modern football. * THE mini derby finished all square on Tuesday night. Happily, this time we don't have to play another one next week.
Jack Rodwell delight at new Everton deal
Feb 20 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
Jack Rodwell signs a five-year contract with Everton 250
EVERTON'S latest teen star, Jack Rodwell, has celebrated a new five year deal.
The Birkdale-born 17-year-old put pen to paper on a contract yesterday tying him to the Blues until 2013. And he declared: “I’ve been waiting for this for a long time, so I’m just pleased to get it signed now. “I’ve been here since I was seven, so it’s been 10 good years and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. “Obviously I want to become a regular starter for Everton, but it will take time and hard work so I know that I just have to keep working. "I’ve always set high goals for myself, but it is all happening very fast and that is probably because of the squad size. “I will just keep working.” Rodwell made his full debut on the opening day of the season against Blackburn, after a substitute appearance in Alkmaar last season gave him the honour of becoming Everton's youngest European player. He has now made 16 Everton appearances.
He added: “It means everything that David Moyes is showing faith in me but the manager has always said that he will give young players their opportunity. For myself and Dan Gosling to be in the starting 11 against Aston Villa in the fifth round of the FA Cup is great and it just shows what faith the manager has in us.” Rodwell opened his goal account for the Blues against Villa and said: “When the ball dropped I didn’t have time to think. It fell nicely for me and to be honest I would have been annoyed with myself had I not hit the target.”

Everton match switched for BNP
Feb 20 2009 by Ben Rossington, Liverpool Echo
POLICE have postponed an Everton home game because the BNP will be campaigning in Liverpool. The Blues were due to take on Stoke City at Goodison Park in a Premier League clash at 3pm on Saturday, March 14. But the BNP are due in town leafleting the city centre in the run-up to the European elections in June.
Merseyside police do not have enough officers to cover both events, so they asked the Premier League to put back the match 24 hours. It will now kick off at 3pm on Sunday, March 15. Blues fans reacted with fury to the move, having being told about the change only last week. Merseyside police were informed about the BNP plan in mid January. The BNP march is expected to attract anti-racism campaigners, and the police said they have to have a sizeable presence to keep the peace. There were also private concerns in the force about away fans mixing with the march because Stoke has nine BNP councillors. Ian McDonald, from Everton Independent Blues, said: “Why, at such short notice, have we been shifted out for the BNP? Goodison Park is full of people of every race, creed and colour – all with a love of Everton. “That is the type of situation the BNP will be protesting about. “I know 100 Blues from the Isle of Man who have had to cancel their trip because the match has been moved, and there’ll be hundreds more across the country in the same situation.” Simon Darby, BNP deputy leader, said: “It is a massive over-reaction. Why can these two events not co-exist? “It is an insult not only to Everton fans but also to us. It is a ridiculous thing to do.” But Chief Supt Steve Watson said: “The prime concern of Merseyside police is the safety of the visitors to the city centre and local residents. “We will facilitate lawful campaigning in such a way as to minimise any risk of harm or disruption to the public or local businesses. “There were several events scheduled for Saturday, March 14 which would have required intensive policing. “If they had all taken place at the same time it would have affected the ability to police those events effectively.”
EFC head of communications Ian Ross said: “It is a matter of public safety so we understand the police’s predicament. “However we don’t like rescheduling games at such short notice and this will certainly lead to a number of supporters being inconvenienced.” ben.rossington@liverpool.com

Everton FA Cup quarter final ticket details
Feb 20 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON'S FA Cup sixth round tie against West Ham or Middlesbrough will take place on Sunday, March 8, at 4.00pm. Tickets are on sale as follows:
Thursday, February 26: For season ticket holders and Evertonia Members; Friday, February 27: Displaced season ticket holders only*; Saturday, February 28, to Sunday, March 8: General sale. Currently, season ticket holders in the following areas will be displaced to accommodate the visiting support: Upper Bullens sections: UB2 rows A-S, seats 82 -111; UB3 - rows A-S, seats 112- 144; UB4 - rows A-S, seats 145- 154. The Lower Bullens sections: LB2 - rows A-O, seats 100-120; LB3 - rows A ∙ O, seats 121 ∙ 151. The Paddock sections: PK2 - rows 3-13; seats 75-95; PK3 - rows 3-13; seats 96-123. Once the outcome of the West Ham v Middlesbrough replay, scheduled for Wednesday, February 25, has been decided, Everton will confirm whether any of these seats will become available. Displaced season ticket holders will then have an opportunity to purchase an alternative seat, or reclaim their own seat on Friday, February 27. Payment from those season ticket holders who are subscribed to the AutoCup Scheme will be taken from Thursday, February 19. Season ticket holders will have the opportunity to purchase one additional ticket during their priority period (subject to availability). Tickets are priced at Premier League prices: Adults £29-£35, Juniors £14-£18 and OAPs £20. For this game an OAP price of £20 is applicable in all stands.

Everton heroes' fundraiser
Feb 20 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
A QUARTET of Everton heroes will be available for their views on all things Royal Blue on Friday, February 27 – to help raise money for the Everton Former Players' Foundation. Pat Nevin, Matt Jackson, Jim Pearson and Ronnie Goodlass will take part in a Q and A session in the Alex Young suite, following a meal. Tickets for the evening are £35 and are available from Foundation trustee Patrick Gaul on 07793-464200.

David Moyes salute for Everton skipper Phil Neville
Feb 21 2009 by James Pearce, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES has saluted inspirational skipper Phil Neville for the role he has played in Everton’s success this season. Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta have earned the plaudits for their heroics in recent weeks but the Blues boss believes the versatile 32-year-old deserves great credit for the way he has led the side. Everton go into tomorrow’s clash at Newcastle on a high after just one defeat in 13 games in all competitions but Neville has helped ensure nobody is getting carried away.
“Phil’s mentality and attitude at this present time are going completely unnoticed,” Moyes said. “He’s playing a major part in ensuring the team are right and making sure we go out on to the field in the right way and generally that we don’t get a step above ourselves. “He came from a club which wins things and he knows what has to happen.
“People are saying nice things at the moment but in truth as Phil will tell you that you don’t win anything just now. Phil has always been a great captain and he’s doing a really good job for us.” Moyes believes Neville has got what it takes to be a successful manager when he finally decides to hang up his boots. “I think Phil starts his coaching badges this year and that’s a good sign,” Moyes said. “Phil has got the attributes but top players don’t necessarily go on to become top coaches. “But he’s certainly got the attitude and commitment, and I’m sure he will be involved in football somewhere after he’s finished.” Moyes’ selection options are limited by one-match bans for Tim Cahill and Tony Hibbert. Marouane Fellaini (back), Leon Osman (stomach) and Steven Pienaar (hamstring) are set to miss out but on-loan striker Jo returns after missing the FA Cup tie and Louis Saha could make the bench.

Newcastle v Everton: David Moyes out to ensure Blues call the Toon
Feb 21 2009 by James Pearce, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES doesn’t have happy memories of his first trip to St James’ Park with Everton. It was March 2002 and just a fortnight after the Scotsman had taken over at Goodison when the Magpies inflicted the first defeat of his reign. Duncan Ferguson fired the Blues in front but Sir Bobby Robson’s side hit back to secure an emphatic 6-2 victory. St James’ has proved something of a bogey ground ever since with Everton’s last seven Premier League visits yielding just two points. The last time the Blues tasted victory there was courtesy of Kevin Campbell’s goal in October 2000 but Moyes is on a mission to end that hoodoo tomorrow. “We beat Fulham and Derby in my first two games and then went to Newcastle,” he said. “We scored first that day but ended up losing 6-2. I remember Bobby saying ‘for David Moyes that’s welcome to the Premier League’. And that was right. “But we’re enjoying the form we’re in at the moment. The players have got a lot of confidence and hopefully we can continue it. “We’ll go up there with the feeling we’re playing well and can win games but you have to earn the right in every game.” Since that hammering at St James’ nearly seven years ago, Moyes has provided stability at Goodison and transformed the Blues’ fortunes. In the same period the revolving door at Newcastle has seen Robson succeeded as boss by Graeme Souness, Glenn Roeder, Sam Allardyce, Kevin Keegan and Joe Kinnear. With Kinnear recovering from triple heart bypass surgery, assistants Chris Hughton and Colin Calderwood will take charge of team affairs tomorrow.
Moyes believes the relegation threatened Magpies have paid the price for their hiring and firing mentality. “It’s not my business and I’m sure their club have their own reasons why things had to change but you would have hoped somewhere along the line they would have said ‘wait a minute, we have to try to give someone an opportunity to make this job work correctly’,” he said. “At Everton we’ve been able to bed things down and you can see with the group of players we’ve got there’s a consistenty to them and an understanding. “Maybe because of circumstances here but also because of the level of success we’ve had it’s been easy for us to keep going. Newcastle have maybe expected a bit too much too soon.” Everton threw away a 2-0 lead and had to settle for a point when the sides met at Goodison back in October but Moyes believes his side now provide a different proposition. Back then the Blues were struggling for confidence and in the middle of an eight game winless run.
They had lost in the Carling Cup to Blackburn, been comprehensively beaten in the Merseyside derby and knocked out of the UEFA Cup by Standard Liege. This time they will travel full of belief after a run of just one defeat in 13 games in all competitions. “It was a frustrating afternoon when we played Newcastle at home but we were not in great form at that time,” Moyes said. “Since then I’ve seen some of the players really move on to the next level. “It’s made me think we’ve got five or six who can play at the top end and that’s given me great confidence. “We’ve gone about it quietly. I tend not to talk about injuuries and suspensions because we have to give confidence to the players in the team but the truth is we’ve missed quite a few players this season. “But it has given players opportunities and when you get opportunities you have to take them. Young lads like Dan Gosling and Jack Rodwell have certainly done that.” Moyes’ options are further limited tomorrow by one-match bans for Tim Cahill and Tony Hibbert, while Marouane Fellaini (back), Leon Osman (stomach) and Steven Pienaar (hamstring) are set to miss out through injury. On-loan striker Jo returns after missing the FA Cup tie against Aston Villa and fellow frontman Louis Saha could make his first appearance since damaging his hamstring in November.
Hibbert’s absence could mean a first team debut for Dane Lars Jacobsen.
Moyes said: “There’s a chance Louis could make the bench but I don’t see any other players returning. “Lars will be in the squad but with Phil Neville and Phil Jagielka we’ve got a few people who can play right-back. “It’s obviously a boost having Jo back because he scored two goals in his first game. “We don’t want to put too much pressure on him too soon but hopefully he can refind the form he showed for CSKA Moscow in our remaining games.”

Everton could be joining Tim Cahill in Australia
Feb 21 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
TIM CAHILL regularly makes globetrotting trips halfway around the planet to represent his country. But if negotiations, which are currently underway, prove successful, he could be joined Down Under by his team-mates next summer – with the Blues in talks about a coast to coast Australian excursion. Preliminary negotiations about a trip to the west coast of Australia were revealed here last weekend.
But there are also talks underway about a potential trip to the other side of that continent, too. Everton officials have suggested that a pre-season friendly against Perth Glory at the Members Equity Stadium could be possible if they could find a commitment from another club on the West coast. But according to reports Down Under, it is understood the Blues want to play another match on the other side of the continent, too, with Victorian reports suggesting Melbourne Victory are trying to claim the second match of the Toffees' tour. Sydney FC, however, who have not hosted a marquee friendly match since David Beckham's Los Angeles Galaxy came to town in November 2007 – are busily working on a plan to bring Everton to what could be a full house at the Sydney Football Stadium. “We've been discussing this with the club for the last three weeks, so we're a real possibility, too,'' Sydney FC chief executive Stefan Kamasz told the Sydney Morning Herald. “We'll be holding more discussions with the club's representatives, and hopefully we'll be able to come up with an answer by the end of the week. “We were approached by about half a dozen individuals, and to prevent any further confusion, we went directly to the club to find out what's happening. We understand the club have appointed an agent and we expect to be talking to him in a few days. “If we're hosting Everton, Tim Cahill's an incredibly important part of this, but I hope if they're going to play there they can win the FA Cup,'' Kamasz said. “To have a team like Everton, particularly if they're FA Cup holders and they've got Tim and their other star players there, it'd be wonderful.
“Given the direction the club wants to go in following the change in shareholding (the club will formally change ownership to Russian businessman David Traktovenko) the idea of us hosting a major English Premier League side would be consistent with what we're trying to do.”
Hero Gosling’s flower power
SINCE scoring the goal that dumped Liverpool out of the FA Cup, Dan Gosling has won himself a legion of new admirers and Valentine’s Day proved a particularly profitable occasion. When on club business at the Dutch Flower Shop in Childwall, the 19-year-old was besieged by autograph hunters. But, of course, there is no better way than to say things with flowers. So it was fitting Gosling left the shop with a huge bouquet of special blue roses and, if he carries on performing as he has been, it won’t be the last.
Savage no loss for Goodison
IT may or may not have come to your attention this week but the shrinking violet who goes by the name of Robbie Savage has been delivering a few pearls of wisdom this week. The man who has a tattoo of his favourite designer – Armani – etched on his arm, sports a haircut more befitting of a surfer on Bondi Beach and once drove a Ferrari that was the colour of custard has been in reflective mood. His career, you see, as a footballer is in its twilight and Savage – or ‘Sav’ as he prefers to be known – has been wondering aloud what might have happened had he made different decisions at certain junctures. “I could have signed for Everton on two separate occasions," he said. "The first time I thought the deal was done. I played a game for Birmingham at Newcastle and afterwards shook hands with everyone in the dressing room. I was driving down to Cardiff with Gary Speed going to play for Wales when the manager (Steve Bruce) rang me and told me the deal was off because the price had increased from £3million to £4million. I was devastated." On the second occasion, he chose Blackburn. "Mark Hughes was my idol," reflected Savage. "But I should have joined Everton because they are a massive club. It is my biggest regret." Safe to say neither David Moyes nor any Evertonian will share those sentiments. While there is no doubting Savage’s professionalism and application, ask yourself this – would you have preferred him or Lee Carsley? A man who simply got on with his job and eschewed any unnecessary headlines or the man who has the unenviable distinction of accruing the most bookings in Premier League history and was not averse to ostentatious shows of his wealth? The prosecution rests its case.
* DAVID MOYES met up with Denise Fergus recently, the mother of murdered Liverpool toddler James Bulger. Mrs Fergus is fronting the James Bulger House Appeal, which aims to raise £1m in order to create a safe place in the city where bullied children can study. Currently there are three Red Balloon Learner Centres in England (Cambridge, Harrow, Norwich) and the aim is to build a fourth in the name of the youngster who was killed in 1993. The Centres take children aged between 10 and 17 who have been bullied to such an extent that they are unable to attend mainstream schools.
Mrs Fergus is pictured at Everton’s Finch Farm training ground with David Moyes and her husband, Stuart.

BARRY HORNE: Everton's big hearted Cahill is no Tiny Tim
Feb 21 2009 by Barry Horne, Liverpool Echo
THE momentum that Everton have built continues to grow and grow.
The performance, character and mental strength the Blues players have shown in recent months has been nothing short of remarkable. And it culminated with last Sunday's comprehensive defeat of a much lauded Aston Villa side – a scoreline which in no way flattered the Blues. Joleon Lescott and Phil Jagielka, as they have been for weeks now, were outstanding. Mikel Arteta deserved all the plaudits which came his way for the quality of his display. But the two shining stars for me were players who were mentioned only in dispatches. Tim Cahill, despite playing on his own up front against two towering defensive presences, was outstanding. He gave Zat Knight and Curtis Davies a game they won't forget in a hurry. He battered the two strapping six-footers physically for 90 minutes and tormented them mentally. The pair must have come off feeling they had been playing against three strikers, not one who was giving away four or five inches and a couple of stone in weight to each of them. It was a remarkable performance. The other player who demanded attention was Jack Rodw ell. The composure he showed against wily and experienced campaigners like Petrov and Sidwell was outstanding. His decision-making was superb, he kept his passing simple yet effective and he showed what a good holding midfield player he is.
His statement that he wants to become a regular in the Everton first team should not be perceived as cockiness. It simply displayed a natural hunger to succeed – and an ambition which I think he will fulfil sooner rather than later. His next career challenge will be how he handles the occasions when he is not selected for first team duty.
Victor Anichebe did not handle that particular challenge very well, but you suspect that young Rodwell will not make the same mistake. Jack must have been delighted to sign his new five-year contract last week, but not as pleased, I suspect as his manager, David Moyes will have been.
Neville shows way to a bright future
ONE of the most stirring interviews I've read in recent weeks contained the words Phil Neville delivered after the FA Cup defeat of Liverpool. While the supporters were still celebrating a famous victory, the Blues skipper declared that they still had bigger and bolder challenges to overcome. He was spot on. Everton have had some big games during January and February, but clashes like that are the kind of occasions really big clubs must negotiate twice a week. Phil Neville has had 10 years of that kind of experience – and they are values and messages he is trying to instil into his Everton team-mates. The fact that he has been there, seen it and done it is of immense value to David Moyes. The FA Cup draw has given the Blues every opportunity to reach their first FA Cup semi-final for seven years. But before then there are two winnable Premier League games to negotiate. Using the kind of attitude Phil Neville is displaying, the Blues can win them both.

Newcastle 0, Everton 0
Feb 22 2009
Everton boss David Moyes faces an anxious wait after seeing Mikel Arteta carried off on a stretcher at Newcastle. Moyes, who is also hoping Victor Anichebe suffered no lasting damage in the two-footed challenge which earned Kevin Nolan a red card, was expecting the results of a scan on Arteta’s knee later this evening. Arteta was carried off after twisting his knee just three minutes into the game at St James’ Park, and Moyes admitted the initial reports were far from promising. He said: "We have not got all the news yet, but it is not looking particularly good news at the moment.
"He has gone back to Liverpool for a scan but we will wait until we get the final outcome before we can assess it." Whatever the prognosis, Arteta has already been missed as Everton failed to break down the depleted Magpies in his absence in a 0-0 draw. Newcastle were happier with the point after surviving more than half the game with 10 men. Nolan was deservedly sent off two minutes before the break for an ugly lunge at Anichebe which ended the striker’s participation. Nolan, who now faces a three-match ban having already racked up 10 yellow cards this season, later apologised to both the striker and Moyes. Moyes said: "It was a sending off and it was a bad tackle, but I have not known Kevin Nolan to be that type of player. "I hope he mistimed it. I have been a player myself and I don’t think I have ever gone out to hurt anybody. "But it was undoubtedly a red card, undoubtedly a bad tackle and we certainly have a sore boy in Victor Anichebe. "He (Nolan) just said sorry, so that was it, you move on." Nolan’s error of judgment came just as his side had worked their way through an early storm as the visitors threatened to take the game by the scruff of the neck. Steve Harper had to turn away Joseph Yobo’s glancing 19th-minute header and then block Jack Rodwell’s shot with his legs 10 minutes later, but it was Newcastle who created perhaps the best chance of the game 14 minutes before the break. Shola Ameobi flicked Ryan Taylor’s pass into Nolan’s path and he put Peter Lovenkrands in on goal. But as the home crowd rose to celebrate, the Dane poked his left-foot shot wide of the post. Nolan’s departure changed the shape of the game once again, and while substitute Jonas Gutierrez might have won it 17 minutes from time, the home side spent the bulk of the second half deep inside their own half, although with few genuine scares. Moyes added: "You can probably tell, I am really disappointed about Mikel, but I am disappointed I didn’t win a game which was an opportunity. "If you want to be right at the top, then when you get opportunities in football, you have to take them. "We had an opportunity today, without or without Mikel or Tim >fr 1,8<Cahill>fr 3,8< or Steve >fr 1,8<Pienaar>fr 3,8< or Leon Osman or Ayegbeni Yakubu." For Magpies boss Joe Kinnear, who returned home yesterday after undergoing a triple heart bypass last week, there was at least a positive result to aid his recovery. Caretaker boss Chris Hughton said: "I had a good conversation with Joe yesterday and he wished us all the best. "Probably from my side, the most important thing was that he was in good form. "He was back home and wished us all the best, and he will be delighted with this."

Newcastle 0 - Everton FC 0: Chance missed to end seven years of bad luck
Feb 23 2009 by Christopher Beesley, Liverpool Daily Post
IN ALMOST seven years of trying, David Moyes has yet to record a Premier League win at St James’ Park And despite losing influential playmaker Mikel Arteta shortly after kick-off, the Everton manager could be forgiven for thinking that Newcastle have never so much been ‘there for the taking’. Arteta’s knee injury is more likely to provide a worry over the potential loss of future Barclays Premier League points and any possible impact on an FA Cup run that has been gaining momentum and has brought Everton to within 90 minutes of a first appearance at the new Wembley Stadium. But even without the Spaniard’s influence, Moyes’s side’s control of the game against an already-depleted Newcastle educed to 10 men for more than half the match due to Kevin Nolan’s sending-off, will be regarded as two points dropped.
While both of these clubs would regard themselves as being big enough to be joining Aston Villa in challenging the current balance of power in the Premier League and have each broken into the top four in the not-too-distant past, their respective approaches to their appointment of managers are poles apart. Since Moyes suffered his first defeat as Everton manager with a 6-2 reversal at St James’ Park in March 2002, the Magpies’ team has been picked by nine different men. Joe Kinnear was in charge when these sides last met in October for a 2-2 draw at Goodison Park but his current health issues mean that Chris Hughton is now being employed in his second spell as caretaker. In the period of less than seven years since Moyes arrived from Preston North End and dubbed his new employers ‘The People’s Club’, the ‘Geordie Nation’ has also been led by Bobby Robson, John Carver, Graeme Souness, Glenn Roeder, Nigel Pearson (two spells), Sam Allardyce and Kevin Keegan. If any football chairmen are still in doubt over the benefits brought through the consistency of sticking with a manager and giving him time to mould a team then they need only take a cursory glance at Everton and Newcastle’s respective league placings during this time. Suspensions for picking up five yellow cards deprived Moyes of Tony Hibbert and Tim Cahill in this game which meant Joseph Yobo and the cup-tied Jo came into the starting line-up following the 3-1 FA Cup win over Aston Villa with Phil Jagielka switching to right-back. But while the Scot had a week to deal with those readjustments, all pre-match plans went out of the window just four minutes into the contest as Arteta, who has been majestic of late since his switch into central midfield, went down in agony following a challenge on Peter Lovenkrands – as so often seems to be the case in these occasions, the tackle seemed completely innocuous. As he had done in the FA Cup derby at Anfield earlier this month, Segundo Castillo was called upon to deputise but for all the Ecuadorian international’s battling qualities, he does not possess the same kind of creative streak as the Spaniard.
Everton put the early setback behind them to start pressurising the Newcastle goal and twice saw efforts cleared off the line.
In the Daily Post’s ‘Speaking With The Enemy’ column in the build-up to this game, Lee Ryder from sister paper the Newcastle Chronicle had raised a few eyebrows away from Tyneside by suggesting that the departure of long-serving goalkeeping saviour Shay Given would not actually prove to be a major loss. He suggested his understudy Steve Harper would now have been knocking on the door of Fabio Capello’s England squad had he been playing regular Premier League football at another club.
On this showing there certainly seems to be a significant amount of credence in this opinion as Harper made a superb palmed save to keep out Yobo’s goal-bound header from Leighton Baines’ right wing corner kick with Sebastien Bassong completing the clearance before denying Jack Rodwell a second strike in as many games by blocking the teenager’s shot with his foot, this time following a Baines corner from the left.
But while Everton were left ruing their inability to go ahead while they were bossing the game, Lovenkrands was guilty of an awful miss which prevented Newcastle hitting the visitors with a sucker punch when their guard was temporarily down, inexplicably shooting wide from close range after a neat passing sequence.
The home side’s January recruit from Wigan, lifelong Liverpool fan Ryan Taylor, curled a free-kick just over Tim Howard’s crossbar while Shola Ameobi had a goal disallowed for a far from subtle push on the American. Those moments stirred the passions of the home crowd but they became even more animated when another boyhood supporter of Everton’s neighbours to be brought in last month, Kevin Nolan, went through Victor Anichebe with a two-footed lunge. It’s often said that players should let their football do their talking and while Nolan was gracious in his words about the Goodison Park outfit in the pre-match programme notes declaring: “I’ve moved on from the love-hate rivalry that they (Everton and Liverpool) have. They’ve both got great sets of supporters and I want Everton to do well”, his challenge was far less diplomatic. Bolton official Lee Mason was in a perfect position to spot the infringement and showed the former Trotters captain an instant red card for the dangerous tackle, but in doing so incurred the wrath of large sections of the Newcastle supporters whose continued bias seemingly oblivious to the laws of the game means they view every decision against their team as being as black and white as their heroes’ jerseys. Anichebe attempted to hobble on for several minutes but Everton were eventually forced to make a second substitution before the interval as the Nigerian striker made way for Marouane Fellaini. Chances were at more of a premium after the break but with the advantage of having the extra man, Everton continued to control the play. Newcastle’s efforts were restricted to set-pieces and counter-attacks with Ryan Taylor forcing Howard to punch clear a wickedly in-swinging free-kick and Jonas Gutierrez lofting a shot over the bar after a fast break by fellow substitute Obafemi Martins which stretched the visitors’ defence. At the other end, Castillo blazed a shot over the bar while a Jo header landed tamely into Harper’s arms following a lofted cross by Rodwell. Jagielka, who was rock solid again despite being moved from central defence, saw a free-kick deflected wide while Louis Saha, who had been brought on for Dan Gosling with 16 minutes remaining as Everton attempted to snatch a win with an extra striker, curled a shot just wide of Harper’s left-hand post before teeing up Rodwell, whose effort was dragged wide seemingly by a save by the keeper although a goal-kick was given. It was a lively cameo from the veteran French striker, booed on his latest return to St James’ Park, and with Everton’s latest batch of fitness worries, returning squad members like Saha who had not figured since the 1-0 win at Tottenham in November could be crucial as Moyes attempts to keep up his side’s impressive run of results in the face of a crippling sequence of injuries.
But then again, they’ve risen to almost every challenge thrown at them in 2009 so far.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Harper, S Taylor, Enrique, Coloccini, Bassong, R Taylor, Nolan, Butt, Duff (Gutierrez 46), Lovenkrands (Smith 77), Ameobi (Martins 58). Subs: Krul, Cacapa, Geremi, Viduka.
EVERTON: Howard, Jagielka, Baines, Yobo, Lescott, Neville, Rodwell, Arteta (Castillo 6), Gosling (Saha 74). Anichebe (Fellaini 45), Jo. Subs: Nash, van der Meyde, Jacobsen, Wallace.
BOOKINGS: Fellaini.
REFEREE: Lee Mason (Bolton).
ATT: 47,683.
NEXT MATCH: Everton v West Bromwich Albion, Barclays Premier League, Saturday, 12.45pm.

Mikel Arteta loss a cruel blow for Everton FC
Feb 23 2009 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON boss David Moyes faces an anxious wait after seeing Mikel Arteta carried off on a stretcher at Newcastle. Moyes, who is also hoping Victor Anichebe suffered no lasting damage in the two-footed challenge which earned Kevin Nolan a red card, is waiting on the results of a scan on Arteta’s damaged knee. Arteta was carried off after twisting his knee just three minutes into the game at St James’ Park, and Moyes admitted the initial reports were far from promising. He said: “We have not got all the news yet, but it is not looking particularly good news at the moment. “He has gone back to Liverpool for a scan but we will wait until we get the final outcome before we can assess it.” Whatever the prognosis, Arteta has already been missed as Everton failed to break down the depleted Magpies in his absence. Newcastle were happier with the point after surviving more than half the game with 10 men. Nolan was deservedly sent off two minutes before the break for an ugly lunge at Anichebe which ended the striker’s participation. Nolan, who now faces a three-match ban having already racked up 10 yellow cards this season, later apologised to both the striker and Moyes. Moyes said: “It was a sending off and it was a bad tackle, but I have not known Kevin Nolan to be that type of player. “I hope he mistimed it. I have been a player myself and I don’t think I have ever gone out to hurt anybody. “But it was undoubtedly a red card, undoubtedly a bad tackle and we certainly have a sore boy in Victor Anichebe. “He (Nolan) just said sorry, so that was it, you move on.”
Nolan’s error of judgment came just as his side had worked their way through an early storm as the visitors threatened to take the game by the scruff of the neck.
Steve Harper had to turn away Joseph Yobo’s glancing 19th-minute header and then block Jack Rodwell’s shot with his legs 10 minutes later, but it was Newcastle who created perhaps the best chance of the game 14 minutes before the break. Shola Ameobi flicked Ryan Taylor’s pass into Nolan’s path and he put Peter Lovenkrands in on goal. But as the home crowd rose to celebrate, the Dane poked his left-foot shot wide of the post. Nolan’s departure changed the shape of the game once again, and while substitute Jonas Gutierrez might have won it 17 minutes from time, the home side spent the bulk of the second half deep inside their own half, although with few genuine scares. Moyes added: “You can probably tell, I am really disappointed about Mikel, but I am disappointed I didn’t win a game which was an opportunity.
“If you want to be right at the top, then when you get opportunities in football, you have to take them. “We had an opportunity today, without or without Mikel or Tim Cahill or Steve Pienaar or Leon Osman or Ayegbeni Yakubu.” For Magpies boss Joe Kinnear, who returned home on Saturday after undergoing a triple heart bypass last week, there was at least a positive result to aid his recovery. Caretaker boss Chris Hughton said: “I had a good conversation with Joe yesterday and he wished us all the best. “Probably from my side, the most important thing was that he was in good form.”

Everton's David Moyes has selection migraine at St James' Park
Feb 23 2009 Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES must have walked under a ladder swinging a black cat into a mirror.
What other explanation can there be for the kind of wretched luck that has dogged the Blues boss this season? Everton’s selection headache turned into a full blown migraine at St James’ Park yesterday. The sad sight of Mikel Arteta being led away on a stretcher after just three minutes was a bitter pill to swallow. A scan will highlight the extent of the Spaniard’s knee injury but Moyes’ initial reaction that it looks “bad” hardly instilled hope of a positive diagnosis. Arteta’s attacking guile was sorely missed as the Blues failed to break down a Newcastle side who were reduced to 10 men just before the break following the dismissal of new £4.5million signing Kevin Nolan. The former Bolton midfielder was rightly sent off for a shocking two-footed challenge on Victor Anichebe. The Nigerian, who had been so impressive in the FA Cup win over Aston Villa seven days earlier, bravely attempted to battle on but soon had to admit defeat and hobbled off. Toxteth-born Nolan held his hands up afterwards and apologised for the horror tackle but that will be of little consolation to vertonians.
With Arteta and Anichebe on the treatment table, the Blues were unable to make their numerical advantage count in the second half and ran out of steam. It was undoubtedly two points dropped on a frustrating afternoon in the North East but there were still plenty of positives to take from a largely uninspiring stalemate. Despite Moyes’ limited options in recent months, Everton have now suffered just one defeat in 14 games in all competitions and that was at Old Trafford. The Blues have kept nine clean sheets during that run and that defensive strength was evident once again as they thwarted the Magpies. Young midfielders Jack Rodwell and Dan Gosling rose to the challenge and cemented their reputations as exciting talents, while there was a welcome return from injury for substitutes Marouane Fellaini and Louis Saha.
Everton were already down to the bare bones for the 150th league meeting between the two clubs. Tim Cahill and Tony Hibbert served one-match bans, while Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar were ruled out by injury – joining long term absentees Yakubu, James Vaughan and Nuno Valente on the sidelines. Moyes was forced to make two changes to the side which beat Villa in the Cup at Goodison as Joseph Yobo came in for Hibbert and Jo replaced Cahill. Yobo was paired alongside Joleon Lescott with the excellent Phil Jagielka shifted to right back. St James’s has hardly been a happy hunting ground in recent years with the Blues having lost five and drawn two of their seven previous league visits under Moyes. Everton’s last league win on the ground came courtesy of Kevin Campbell’s strike in October 2000.
With that kind of record and in the face of such adversity, there were fears this might be a step too far for Moyes’ side. However, the qualities Everton have shown in recent weeks – resilience, passion and pride in wearing the Royal Blue shirt – shone through again. This group of players just roll with the punches and from the opening whistle they took the game to Newcastle. Inside 30 seconds Gosling burst menacingly towards the penalty box before dragging a shot narrowly wide. Even the agonising loss of Arteta soon after following an innocuous looking challenge from striker Peter Lovenkrands failed to dampen Everton’s resolve. But for the heroics of goalkeeper Steve Harper the Blues would have had the points wrapped up before the break.
Harper, who has spent so much time warming the bench in recent years, is clearly relishing the chance to showcase his expertise following the departure of first choice Shay Given to Manchester City last month and he almost single-handedly kept Newcastle in the game. He produced a great reaction save to keep out Yobo’s header from Baines’ corner and then later in the first half raced out to deny Jo after the Brazilian had latched on to Rodwell’s clever flick on. In between those two chances, the industrious Baines whipped in a perfect back post cross for Jagielka but the defender couldn’t divert his shot on target. Newcastle had started the day just four points off the drop zone and without a home win since mid-December.
With manager Joe Kinnear recovering from a triple heart bypass, caretaker boss Chris Hughton took charge but patience from the stands was in short supply.
Infuriated by Everton’s dominance, the home fans grew increasingly agitated with woeful striker Shola Ameobi the target for most of their ire. Even without Cahill, the Blues remain a threat from set-pieces and Harper saved his side’s blushes once again when he stuck out a boot to prevent Rodwell from converting Gosling’s corner.
For all the Blues’ endeavour, it was Newcastle who had the best chance of the first half. Lovenkrands found a gaping hole in the visiting rearguard and had time to pick his spot but with just Tim Howard to beat he blazed wastefully wide. Nolan’s reward for trying to chop Anichebe in half two minutes before the break was an early bath.
In fact his sending off could have been the second part of a Scouse double with former Tranmere player Ryan Taylor lucky to escape punishment earlier for a two-footed lunge on Rodwell. Fellaini replaced the injured Anichebe and at that point the stage looked set for the Blues to go on and boss the second period. They did possession wise but struggled to carve out any clear cut opportunities. In fairness the Magpies proved a much tougher proposition after the break. Yobo blazed over after the hosts had failed to clear Gosling’s corner, and there was an escape at the other end when Obafemi Martins’ pass released fellow sub Gutierrez but his chip failed to trouble Howard. Moyes went for broke by introducing Saha in place of Gosling and the Frenchman looked sharp on his first appearance since damaging his hamstring in November. Saha provided a touch of class when he effortlessly turned away from his marker but his 25-yarder flew wide. As the clock ran down the Blues were largely reduced to hopeful long range efforts and when they did find a yard of space in the box Jo couldn’t generate the power on his header to seriously test Harper.

Everton's Mikel Arteta will be out for six months
Feb 23 2009 By David Prentice
MIKEL ARTETA will be ruled out for six months after damaging the cruciate ligament in his right knee. The Blues received the worst possible news today about their creative midfielder, after he was stretchered off just four minutes into yesterday's clash at Newcastle. The Spanish star landed awkwardly after a seemingly innocuous challenge for possession with Peter Lovenkrands. He was rushed back to Merseyside while the match was still in progress for scans – which revealed the nightmare injury.
The diagnosis rules Arteta out for the rest of this season and means his is likely to miss the start of next season, too. It is the second serious injury the Blues have sustained in the past three months after Yakubu tore his Achilles tendon at Tottenham in November. Meanwhile, striker Jo insisted Everton could be proud of their efforts – despite failing to break down 10-man Newcastle. The Blues' run of three successive wins in all competitions was ended by a frustrating draw in the North East as they missed a glorious opportunity to close the gap on fifth-placed Arsenal. But with David Moyes' side severely depleted by injuries and suspensions the Brazilian believes Everton shouldn't dwell on the stalemate. The Everton manager’s problems deepened yesterday as Arteta was stretchered off with the knee injury and Victor Anichebe hobbled off after being the victim of Kevin Nolan's X-rated challenge which earned him a red card Jo said: "We played well but at the end of the game when we look back we think it's two points dropped. "Newcastle defended very well when they were down to 10 men. We did our best but it was very difficult to break them down.
"In the first half there was not much in the game but in the second half we pressed and pressed. "We tried for the goal and played some good football but we just couldn't score. "We still don't know the full extent of Mikel's injury but everyone is really worried for him. "He is a class player and it will be very sad if he's missing for a lot of games. "I can't believe how many players we have out and I've never seen anything like this. "I just pray nobody else gets injured but the good thing is that we have good players coming through. "It's also positive that despite having so many players missing we're still getting results. That just shows how much hard work goes in on the training ground and you can see the team spirit." The on-loan Manchester City striker was delighted to see Louis Saha come off the bench to play alongside him for the last 15 minutes. It was the Frenchman's first appearance for the Blues since he damaged a hamstring in November. "It was nice to see Louis come back," Jo added.

Everton FC's Stoke match back on original date after BNP rally is cancelled
Feb 24 2009 By Ben Rossington
EVERTON'S home Premier League match with Stoke City has been put back to its original date after the BNP cancelled a rally in Liverpool. The game at Goodison Park was originally set for 3pm on Saturday March 14, but was pushed back 24 hours when the BNP announced it was to hold a leafleting campaign in the city centre on the same day. With Huddersfield fans travelling to Tranmere, and Liverpool fans returning from their clash with Manchester United, police resources would have been at breaking point, so the game, with the blessing of the Premier League, was moved.
But now the BNP has called off its rally, the match will once again kick off at 3pm on March 14. Thousands of fans have been inconvenienced by the move and the club has said it will look at possible reimbursement for travel and accommodation expenses for those who have changed plans.

Peter Lovenkrands: Mikel Arteta can get back to best
Feb 24 2009 by James Pearce, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON midfielder Mikel Arteta will bounce back from his injury nightmare stronger than ever, according to former team-mate Peter Lovenkrands.
The Spanish playmaker is set to undergo surgery in Barcelona next week after scans revealed he ruptured the cruciate ligament in his right knee at Newcastle. Arteta is expected to be out for up to six months but Magpies striker Lovenkrands, who played alongside the 26-year-old at Rangers, is confident he’ll return to his best. “I was really sad to hear about Mikel’s injury,” he said. “It’s such a shame and I just hope he makes a speedy recovery. “We know each other well from our time at Ibrox together and I’m sure he will come back from this no problem. “Mikel is a strong character and will be determined to get back as soon as possible. There’s a lot of football left in him and he will return. “I’ve never had that kind of injury but it’s pretty common these days and people get back playing as good as new. I just hope he does the same because he’s a great player and a nice guy.” Lovenkrands was involved in the incident which led to Arteta suffering the injury. The Dane was left gutted when the extent of the damage became known. “We both challenged for the ball from a throw-in and our boots touched when we were in the air but there was very little contact,” he added.
“It was just one those freak accidents and I think the problem was that Mikel landed awkwardly and got his foot stuck in the grass. “I was surprised when he stayed down and then really sorry to see him taken off. “I was looking forward to catching up with Mikel after the game but because of his injury we didn’t get that chance which is a real shame.” Everton head physio Mick Rathbone says Arteta is already plotting his return to action. “He’s very down but he’s a mature guy and he knows that one of the hazards of being a top class sportsman is that you get injured,” he said. “He is somewhat philosophical and is already talking about getting back playing next season.
“We don’t wallow in it. We just need to get it operated on and get him back.
“He’s going to have surgery early next week in Barcelona. We use three surgeons – the best in Britain, the best in Europe and the best in America. Clearly it suits Mikel to use the Spanish guy and he is very happy with the choice.” Meanwhile, scans have confirmed that Victor Anichebe escaped serious injury following Sunday’s shocking challenge by Kevin Nolan. Rathbone revealed: “Victor has very bad bruising on his shin and on the outside of his ankle but we aren’t overly concerned about that.
“However, he has had a series of scans and appears to have strained ligaments on the outside of his right knee. It’s very sore and we’ve got to take a few days to let the area settle down.”

David Moyes says FA Cup glory is secondary to the Premier League
Feb 25 2009 by James Pearce, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES insists where Everton finish in the Premier League rather than FA Cup glory will be a true gauge of their progress this season. Everton’s march to the last eight of the Cup has raised hopes that the Blues will finally end their 14-year wait for a piece of silverware. Liverpool and Aston Villa have already been brushed aside and the Blues will discover their quarter-final opponents tonight when Middlesbrough meet West Ham at the Riverside. However, Moyes won’t allow the Cup tie on Sunday, March 8 to become a distraction and is determined to keep his players’ focus on the league. The boss wants his sixth placed side to turn up the pressure on Arsenal, who are just four points ahead of the Blues, starting with Saturday’s home clash with West Brom. “The route we are taking through the Cup is a tough one and it’s not easy to win any trophy,” Moyes said. “We’ve found it very hard in recent years because Liverpool, Arsenal, Man United and Chelsea have the same thoughts – they want to pick them up. “We’ve beaten a couple of top teams in one competition but there is no trophy to be won at this stage of the season and you have to keep your form going until May. “You can get a pat on the back at this stage but it means nothing if you don’t see it through. “I believe being a good league side is more of a show of what kind of team you are. It’s over 38 games and you have to show what you are all about.
“In the Cup you could get a cushy draw all the way through and win it. Does that make you a good team or a great manager? “I think you become a good team by consistency.” Meanwhile, Everton have received a double boost with the news that midfielders Leon Osman and Steven Piennar could return to face the Baggies.
Marouane Fellaini, who played through the pain barrier after coming off the bench at Newcastle, is also expected to be fit. Physio Mick Rathbone said “Fellaini’s fine. He’s got this little rib fracture and he’s got a little bit of discomfort but he’s a tough boy.”
Tickets for Saturday’s match are still available at evertonfc.com or by calling 0871 663 1878.

Everton FC's Mikel Arteta vows to bounce back from injury setback
Feb 26 2009 by James Pearce, Liverpool Echo
MIKEL ARTETA has admitted his heartache at missing the rest of the season but has vowed to come back stronger. The 26-year-old Everton midfielder, who ruptured the cruciate ligament in his right knee at Newcastle, will undergo surgery in Barcelona next Tuesday. Arteta is expected to be out for six months but the gutsy Spaniard is alre ady plotting his return. “It is very hard to take but these things happen sometimes and it’s difficult to understand," he said. "Maybe God challenges us to see if we are strong enough to deal with these things. "I’m positive and I’m going to work 24/7 to get back as quick as I can. “I’ve got some great things to think about. I’ve got a baby coming and I’ve got a target of coming back even stronger if I can." Arteta suffered the injury after an innocuous challenge from Peter Lovenkrands. He said: “As soon as Peter touched my foot a little bit my knee went in and I heard a click. "It was sore for two minutes but after I got into the car and started to come back to Liverpool I was saying that maybe it’s nothing. "I started thinking that I’d caused all this drama and it was fine. "It wasn’t swelling big and it wasn’t that sore - I was praying that I was going to be alright. "Then (physio) Matt Connery came in and said: ‘Mikky, your cruciate is broken'.”

Everton FC's Mikel Arteta vows to bounce back from injury setback
Feb 26 2009 by James Pearce, Liverpool Echo
Arteta insists the Blues have got what it takes to shine in his absence as they chase FA Cup glory and a top-five Premier League finish. “It’s a shame because the most important bit of the season is coming up and I’m going to miss it," he said.
"But I have got great faith in the lads and they’ll be behind me as well, which I really appreciate. "All I want now is for all the players and the fans to stay positive because we’ve still got really good things to happen this season. “I’ll have to stay in Barcelona for a couple of weeks to see the reaction of the knee. "I’m going to miss being around but at the moment I need to be on my own.” There was some good news for Arteta yesterday when he was named at the latest FA Cup 'Player of the Round'.
The Spaniard won the accolade for his heroics in the 3-1 fifth round win over Aston Villa. He received 68% of the vote with Chelsea's Nicolas Anelka second with 18%.
Meanwhile, Everton will face Middlesbrough in their FA Cup quarter-final at Goodison on Sunday, March 8 (4pm). Boro beat West Ham 2-0 in last night’s replay thanks to goals from Stewart Downing and Tuncay.

Everton FC season ticket price cuts a great deal for fans - Robert Elstone
Feb 26 2009 by James Pearce, Liverpool Echo
EVERTONIANS will pay less for their seat at Goodison Park next season after the club revealed season ticket prices for the 2009/10 campaign. The Blues have made reductions in all areas of the stadium and fans can save even more cash by taking advantage of the club’s Early Bird offer. From March 16 until April 18 supporters can save an additional 10% on the standard price, with a further £10 off for those who buy their season tickets on line. The most significant savings are for adults and juniors in the Family Enclosure stand with the club determined to make Premier League football more affordable for families. Prices start from £399 for adults and £149 for juniors.
Everton chief executive Robert Elstone said: “Pricing our season tickets is one of the key challenges we face, juggling the need to generate increased revenues with the requirement to maintain a genuine, ‘value for money’ deal. “This year has been particularly tough considering the economic conditions we have all been subject to in recent months. “We feel we have found the right balance in this year’s offering and I am confident, having benchmarked the new prices, our supporters will feel we are delivering a very good deal.” He added: “Key to the 2009/10 season ticket campaign is the savings we have been able to offer in the Family Enclosure. “We have recognised the need to offer affordable access to our younger supporters and we believe a season ticket offering Premier League football for less than £8 per game is outstanding value.” Fans will receive season ticket renewal and purchasing information from Monday, March 16. From that date supporters will be encouraged to buy online at evertonfc.com or in person by visiting the Goodison Park Box Office during normal opening hours. Season tickets will go on sale on March 16 with April 18 the Early Bird renewal deadline. The last home game of the Premier League season - May 16 - is the deadline for guaranteeing your seat. Everton have also announced two financing offers to help ease the burden on fans when it comes to paying for new season tickets. The Everton Credit Card will offer 0% interest on season ticket purchases for six months, providing supporters spend over £272 via the box office or online. This offer is open to existing card holders and new applicants.
Everton are also offering supporters the chance to pay in monthly instalments by direct debit. All supporters over the age of 18 who hold a valid bank account in the UK can apply and the scheme allows supporters to pay for their season ticket in four monthly payments starting in April/May. Elstone added: “During the planning stages we were extremely conscious of the need to offer cost effective ways to help fans pay for their 2009/10 season ticket. "We spent a great deal of time on this area and feel the end result are two attractive payment options which sit alongside the great new Family Enclosure deal, the Early Bird offer and our continued discounts for online purchases.” For further details visit www.evertonfc.com/seasontickets.
Early Bird 2009/10 (pre-April 18)
Top Balcony: adults: £482; under-16s: £238; 16 to 21 & OAPs: £297
Main Stand: adults: £512; under-16s: £267; 16 to 21 & OAPs: £327
Upper Gwladys: adults: £482; under-16s: £238;16 to 21 & OAPs: £297
Lower Gwladys: adults: £438; under-16s: £238; 16 to 21 & OAPs: £297
Upper Bullens: adults: £512: under-16s: £267; 16 to 21 & OAPs: £327
Lower Bullens: adults: £438; under-16s: £238: 16 to 21 & OAPs: £297
Paddock: adults: £482; under-16s: £238; 16 to 21 & OAPs: £297
Park End: adults: £527; under-16s: £267; 16 to 21 & OAPs: £356
Family Enclosure: adults: £399; under-16s: £149; 16 to 21 & OAPs: £297
(all prices £10 cheaper if bought on line)
Standard season tickets 2009/10
Top Balcony: adults: £536; under-16s: £264; 16 to 21 & OAPs: £330
Main Stand: adults: £569; under-16s: £297; 16 to 21 & OAPs: £363
Upper Gwladys: adults: £536; under-16s: £264; 16 to 21 & OAPs: £330
Lower Gwladys: adults: £487; under-16s: £264; 16 to 21 & OAPs: £330
Upper Bullens: adults: £569; under-16s: £297; 16 to 21 & OAPs: £363
Lower Bullens: adults: £487; under-16s: £264; 16 to 21 & OAPs: £330
Paddock: adults: £536; under-16s: £264; 16 to 21 & OAPs: £330
Park End: adults: £586; under-16s: £297; 16 to 21 & OAPs: £396
Family Enclosure: adults: £443; under-16s: £149; 16 to 21 & OAPs: £330
(all prices £10 cheaper if bought on line)
Match tickets 2009/10
Top Balcony: adults: £32; juniors: £16; OAPs: £20
Main Stand: adults: £34; juniors: £18; OAPs: £22
Upper Gwladys: adults: £32; juniors: £16; OAPs: 20
Lower Gwladys: adults: £29; juniors: £16; OAPs: £20
Upper Bullens: adults: £34; juniors: £18; OAPs: 22
Lower Bullens: adults: £29; juniors: £16; OAPs: £20
Paddock: adults: £32; juniors: £16; OAPs: 20
Park End: adults: £35; juniors: £18; OAPs: £24
Family Enclosure: adults: £29; juniors: £14; OAPs: £20

Louis Saha is key to Everton FC glory, says Leon Osman
Feb 27 2009 by James Pearce, Liverpool Echo
LEON OSMAN believes the return of Louis Saha could be crucial to Everton’s hopes of glory this season. The French striker has been dogged by injuries during his first campaign at Goodison but made his comeback as a substitute at Newcastle last weekend. Saha, who has scored three goals in eight starts for the Blues, hadn’t featured since damaging his hamstring at Spurs in November but came through unscathed and is in line to face West Brom tomorrow. “Louis could be massive for us over the next few months,” Osman said. “He got himself fit earlier in the season and scored some vital goals for us. He was getting into some great form but then he got injured. “It’s been disappointing for us as a team and for himself that he's been missing for so long. “But it’s great to have him back and hopefully he can have the same kind of impact now that he had earlier this season. There's no doubt that he's a class striker.” Osman is facing a race against time to prove his fitness for tomorrow’s Goodison clash as he battles to recover from a torn stomach muscle. However, Steven Pienaar is expected to return from injury, while Tim Cahill and full back Tony Hibbert will be available after suspension. Skipper Phil Neville and Joleon Lescott will be walking a disciplinary tightrope as the pair are both on four bookings. Tomorrow is the final occasion they could pick up a fifth and a one-match ban before the FA amnesty kicks in and the slate is effectively wiped clean. David Moyes may be tempted to take them out of the firing line with the FA Cup tie against Middlesbrough looming. Meanwhile, Russian champions Rubin Kazan plan to up their offer for Pienaar to £6.5million this summer. They made an approach in January which was rebuffed. Everton insist the bid will be futile.

Leon Osman: injuries will not ruin Everton FC’s season
Feb 27 2009 by James Pearce, Liverpool Echo
THE sight of Mikel Arteta being carried away on a stretcher at St James’ Park was tough to take. A scan realised the Blues’ worst fears and supporters have spent the past week coming to terms with life without their Spanish playmaker for the rest of the current season. Arteta’s creative spark will undoubtedly be missed in the coming months but fellow midfielder Leon Osman insists Everton can overcome that setback.
The Blues have lost just one of their last 14 games in all competitions and the 27-year-old firmly believes they have got what it takes to keep their impressive campaign on track. “Mikel is a player of the highest quality and any team would miss him,” Osman admitted. “He’s a massive player for us but we are not a one man team and there are a lot of people waiting to come in and fill the space. “I certainly feel we’ve got enough quality in the squad to still create chances and we’ve got the players to put those chances away. “With Mikel out I’m sure other lads will step up and deliver for the team. “We’re on a great run and we’re full of confidence at this moment in time.
“We’ve found confidence as individuals and as a team. When you’ve got that you feel you can accomplish anything. “It’s showing in our play and hopefully it will keep showing in our results.” Osman knows exactly what Arteta is going through.
The Academy product suffered a cruciate ligament injury in 2001 which threatened to dash his hopes of breaking into Everton’s first team. But he battled his way back to full fitness and is confident Arteta, who will undergo surgery in Barcelona next week, will do the same. “It kept me out for eight months and it’s a long, hard road with all the rehab but Mikel has certainly got the mental toughness to get through it,” he said.
“Obviously he was disappointed at first but now he’s very upbeat and good luck to him – I hope he can stay positive throughout. “It’s a serious injury but the way medical science has developed it’s an injury you can come back from.
“He will have the best surgeons and the best people possible to help with his rehab so hopefully we will see him back playing a lot sooner than eight months.”
Osman has had injury problems of his own recently with a torn stomach muscle ruling him out of the Blues’ 3-1 FA Cup win over Aston Villa and last weekend’s goalless draw at Newcastle. He hasn’t played since the 3-0 win over Bolton three weeks ago and faces a race against time to prove his fitness for tomorrow’s clash with basement boys West Brom at Goodison. “It was a blow to get it when I did because we were in a good run of form,” he said. “We had just played the difficult games against the top teams and were preparing for the Cup tie against Villa. “It happened in training. I was shoulder to shoulder with someone and then when I twisted I felt like I had been shot.
“Since then I’ve got my head down and worked hard with the physios trying to get fit.
“It’s improving all the time and I’m not too far away now. Hopefully I’ll make it for Saturday but if not then I’ll aim for the Blackburn game in midweek. “I hate missing games but the pleasing thing for me is that the team are doing so well and picking up results.” Next Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final date with Middlesbrough is looming on the horizon when the reward for the winners will be a dream trip to Wembley.
However, Osman insists the Cup remains far from the Blues’ thoughts as they prepare to take on the struggling Baggies. Everton trail fifth placed Arsenal by just four points and he wants to turn up the heat on the Gunners. “I know it’s a cliche but we always focus on the next match,” he added. “We’ve got two games before that FA Cup quarter-final and there are six points to play for. “We want to go into that tie in good form and with confidence high. The way we can do that is by winning our next two games. “Just because we’re in the last eight of the Cup it doesn’t mean we’ll be taking it easy in the league. We want to finish as high as we possibly can and we will give it our all.” Everton will be looking to complete the double over Tony Mowbray’s side tomorrow following a 2-1 win at The Hawthorns back in August. Osman opened the scoring that day and he has special memories of the last time Everton beat West Brom at home. It was August 2004 and Osman celebrated his first Goodison goals as he netted twice in a 2-1 victory. He said: “Any team fighting for their lives down the bottom are always difficult to beat. West Brom played some really good football against us at their place earlier in the season. They kept it really well but couldn’t get the goals and we managed to come away with the victory. “They will come to Goodison and try to knock the ball around and it’s up to us to try to break them down.
“I remember the last time we beat them at home. It was a great day. I would certainly take a repeat of that.”

David Prentice: How those boys in Blue stoked up a political storm for Everton FC
Feb 27 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
How those boys in Blue stoked up a political storm NOT since Tony Waddington claimed to have been “stabbed in the back” has an Everton v Stoke clash caused such rancour. That was 34 years ago – when the single-minded Potters boss was furious the FA chose fourth-placed Everton rather than his own fifth placed finishers for English football’s last UEFA Cup place. But the football world was very different back then.
The FA still observed a bizarre “one club per city ruling” in European football.
And Merseyside Police could handle 100,000 crowds without so much as an overtime demand. In 1977 Everton and Liverpool were both drawn at home in the FA Cup quarter-finals. They played on the same day, at the same time – and as far as I can recall, both ties passed off without incident. Monday’s Echo carried a news item about a Middlesbrough fan being fined for carrying a knife in his waistband (six buttoned Birmingham Bags meant plenty of room for concealed weapons) but that was a sad indictment of the 70s rather than the Mersey giants both being drawn at home.
I recall the trains from Bank Hall being a little busier, but not the Tokyo style face jams which can be witnessed on Merseyrail today. And the double-booking wasn’t even newsworthy enough for Monday’s Echo to carry a snippet from the police praising the fans for their fortitude. Because back then the bobbies appeared to operate a greatest good of the greatest number policy. But not any more. Now we have the madness of 40 political demonstrators inconveniencing close on 40,000 football fans – with Everton Football Club caught in the crossfire. March 14 was the scheduled date for a BNP march in Liverpool – anticipated number of marchers, around 40.
That was the same date as Everton were due to entertain Stoke City – anticipated number of spectators, around 40,000. Also on the agenda were a few hundred Huddersfield fans travelling to Prenton Park, and a few thousand Liverpool fans returning to Merseyside from Old Trafford. But it was the event attracting by far the biggest number of visitors which was asked to switch. The police originally asked the political party to switch the date, but they refused. Which is where all sense of reason seems to have broken down. Everton were told to switch to the Sunday – a decision hardly showing the greatest sensitivity to the greatest number. Everton, to their credit, grudgingly complied – as did their frustrated fans. Travelling Evertonians changed their travel arrangements, city-based Blues switched their work shifts and family-men rearranged the babysitters. Then the BNP cancelled their march. Of course Everton could have simply left their match on the rescheduled Sunday date. But, showing a desire to accomodate the greatest good of the greatest number, they switched the match back to the Saturday – and even agreed to reimburse fans not happy with the rearranged rearrangement.. The whole thing is a mess – initiated by the non-footballing boys in Blue.

Everton's fears over Victor Anichebe
Feb 28 2009 by James Pearce, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON striker Victor Anichebe could be out for the rest of the season.
The Nigerian suffered knee ligament damage after a shocking tackle by Kevin Nolan at Newcastle. However, swelling on his right leg means a full diagnosis hasn’t yet been possible and he will see a specialist next week. Anichebe will be sidelined for at least three to four weeks but there are fears the 20-year-old won’t play again this season. Boss David Moyes said: “Victor has got a bad injury from the tackle.
“He has got lateral knee ligament damage and there maybe some other damage as well which we won’t be able to clear up until next week. “His injury at the moment is probably keeping him out for three or four weeks but it could be longer.
“If it’s something more serious he could be out for the rest of the season. “It’s a blow for the lad because we had just got him straightened out a wee bit. He has played the last couple of games but we cannot seem to get him over two or three games in a row. “But this one is nothing to do with him because it was a horrendous tackle he received and the boy could have some bad damage from it. “At the moment we’re hoping it’s not too bad but we will know more next week.” Everton also look set to be without Jack Rodwell for today’s clash with West Brom at Goodison. The young midfielder has a thigh injury he suffered after a reckless challenge from Newcastle’s Ryan Taylor. Moyes revealed: “Jack hasn’t trained all week and looks like he won’t make the game because of that tackle. “It was a terrible tackle in the first five minutes which should have been a sending off.” The Blues boss is hoping to welcome back Steven Pienaar from injury but there are fitness doubts over Leon Osman and Louis Saha.
Osman has missed the last two matches with a torn stomach muscle, while Saha has a slight thigh strain. The good news is that Marouane Fellaini is fit to face the bottom club after coming through last weekend’s trip to Tyneside unscathed. “We will be carrying out fitness tests on two or three players on Saturday morning,” Moyes said.
“Pienaar has a chance of being fit, but Osman has less chance. “Saha has a little bit of a thigh strain and Rodwell is a big doubt but Fellaini is okay.” Tim Cahill and Tony Hibbert are available after serving one match suspensions. The Blues will be chasing a fourth successive home win in all competitions. Their recent form at Goodison has been in stark contrast to the struggles they endured earlier in the season. “I always said our home form would change,” Moyes said. “Goodison has always been good for the players and I knew it would be again.”

Everton v West Brom Match Preview: Moyes pays tribute to his patient defender
Feb 28 2009 by James Pearce, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON defender Leighton Baines has had to bide his time at Goodison Park this season. After starting the first three games of the campaign he lost his left back spot to the versatile Joleon Lescott. The 24-year-old spent most of the next few months warming the bench. Between the start of September and Christmas he started just four matches and mostly had to settle for brief cameo performances. However, since returning to the Blues line up in the 1-0 win at Middlebrough on Boxing Day he hasn’t looked back. When Baines steps out to face West Brom at Goodison today it will be his 13th successive start and that represents his best run in the side since he made the switch from Wigan just before the start of the 2007/08 season. Rock solid at the back and a threat going forward, the former England Under-21 international is showing the kind of form which persuaded boss David Moyes to shell out £6million for his services. "Leighton has done very well and has grabbed an opportunity when he has come into the side," Moyes said. "He knew when he joined Everton that it wasn’t going to be easy. When you come to a club like Everton you are never going to be able to command a place all the time because there’s going to be competition.
"What he found when he came in was that Joleon Lescott went to left back and became an England international playing in that position. "Leighton found it very difficult to get into the side but with a bit of patience and bit of perseverance he has done that. "He has done exactly what we knew he could do when we bought him from Wigan. "Hopefully he continues the form he has been in." Moyes is looking for the Blues to step up their push for a top five Premier League finish today and he insists the loss of Mikel Arteta for the rest of the season won’t halt their progress.
The Spaniard will undergo surgery in Barcelona next week on the cruciate ligament injury he suffered at Newcastle last weekend. "It was extremely disappointing for the boy," he said. "It was something of nothing – he just turned and felt his knee.
"I think right away everyone was aware there was a problem. "Mikel knows it’s a long road to recovery. He will be operated on hopefully next Tuesday and then will be on course to be back for the start of next season. "We can’t just dismiss Mikel because he’s such a good player but we’re certainly not going to dwell on it. We’ve accepted it and moved on. "There’s no doubt you will always miss a player of Mikel’s ability. But we thought that when we lost Yakubu and players went from strength to strength.
"I see no reason why the players we’ve got won’t do that again. The players have shown when anyone has been missing that whoever has come in has been really positive. The spirit amongst the lads has pushed them on and I’m sure that will happen again. "In truth that’s what I expect from them. I expect them to pick up the baton and carry it on without any looking back." Tim Cahill and Tony Hibbert are available after suspension but Victor Anichebe (knee) is definitely out and Jack Rodwell (thigh) is doubtful. Moyes is also waiting on the fitness of Louis Saha, Steven Pienaar and Leon Osman. "We’ve got plenty of injuries but so do other clubs and it’s not worth talking about," Moyes added. "We will have to carry out a few fitness tests on Saturday morning but whatever happens we definitely still put a really strong team out." Skipper Phil Neville and Joleon Lescott are on four bookings and another today would rule them out of next Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final with Middlesbrough. Moyes has yet to decide whether that will affect his selection.
"It’s something I’m aware of but it’s something I may or may not decide to think about," he said. "In the main that hasn’t been my style. We could cover for either of the two players if they were suspended so it’s not the biggest issue. "To be honest it depends what our numbers are like and who is available to us." The Baggies are bottom and have won just once away all season but the Goodison boss is taking nothing for granted. Moyes said: "West Brom are a good passing side and are desperate to get some results. "They have kept playing in their style and that is credit to Tony Mowbray. "They are making a fight of it and we are getting to the time of the season now when results are vitally important."

Barry Horne: Arteta injury is so cruel on dignified David Moyes
Feb 28 2009 by Barry Horne
JUST when you thought it was safe to go back in the water – Everton find themselves drowning under yet more injury worries. David Moyes, to his credit, has never complained once despite the myriad misfortunes which have beset his squad this season. The injury to Mikel Arteta, however, is the most galling problem yet.
The player had just emerged from an indifferent spell in his career to produce the kind of sparkling form which led to Bill Kenwright christening him La visión de Oro.
That indifferent spell could have been down to a number of factors – the niggling injury he suffered, possible rumours of a move back to Spain – that inexplicable loss of edge which can affect all players. The fact is Mikel had come through it and was playing really well, which is what makes the timing so frustrating. The only crumb of comfort for David Moyes is that Steven Pienaar looks set for a return today.
Despite the worries, despite the problems, we are still coping. I have seen West Brom several times this season and I’m confident we still have what it takes to secure three more points at Goodison Park this afternoon. On the occasions I’ve watched the Baggies their defending, quite frankly, has been appalling. They came up with a reputation as the best football team in the Championship and they have lived up to that mantle at times this season. But they lack threat up front and Jagielka and Lescott should be able to handle their attacking efforts, while their defending should give plenty of encouragement to Tim Cahill, Jo and co. Victor Anichebe’s injury, however, is a huge blow for the lad. Kevin Nolan’s tackle was particularly nasty and while he received publicity for his apology afterwards – you don’t apologise unless you have done something wrong – and there’s no doubt his challenge was a bad one.
It was only a few weeks ago that David Moyes said he was hoping to give him a run in the team – but clearly that can’t happen now. The only positive way of looking at the whole unsavoury situation is that Victor can consider himself fortunate not to be sidelined for the same period of time as the unfortunate Arteta.

Barry Horne: Everton must never be Euro sceptics
Feb 28 2009 by Barry Horne
THE back pages have been dominated this week by Aston Villa and Spurs’ unusual approach to a European competition. I hope there is no way that Everton would consider the FA Cup as being anything other than a competition worth putting our total efforts into. Our current league position – and the possibility of Manchester United winning at Wembley tomorrow to open up another European place – means that we should be able to mount a full-on assault on silverware without sacrificing a place in Europe next season. A home draw against Middlesbrough next weekend gives us every chance of progressing to what is a special day out. The step from quarter-final to semi-final is a huge one. You get a day out at a neutral ground – in this case Wembley – and the knowledge that you are only one step away from a Cup Final.
It’s a significant step – and I think I already know the answer when I wonder whether Everton will rest any players for next weekend’s quarter-final.

David Prentice: T-Bag joins the name game at Goodison Park as Captain Marvel Phil Neville gets a brand new title
Feb 28 2009 by David Prentice
WHAT’S in a name? Plenty at Everton Football Club. The Blues’ most famous player of all time was christened William – but he’ll be forever known as Dixie.
An ordinary Scottish name like Alexander Young became transposed into something rather more alluring . . . The Golden Vision. While Davey Hickson’s rumbustious front-running style meant he quickly became known as the Cannonball Kid.
It’s a trend which continues to this day. Everton captain Phil Neville has apparently been nicknamed T-Bag by his team-mates, because of his striking resemblance to the Prison Break character. Whether it catches on is open to debate, but the England midfielder was given the tag after Everton pals said he was the spit of the actor Robert Knepper. A club source said: "The lads started calling Phil T-Bag in training one day and it’s just stuck. Whether he likes it or not is another thing, he doesn’t seem to be making a fuss about it though. "He’d probably much prefer to be escape leader Michael Schofield being the captain of the side, but he’ll just have to settle for second best." Other nicknames among the first team squad are less entertaining.
, Rhino, Waggy, Diamond, Pieman, The Crell, LS, Stump, Bruno. Substitutes from: Village, Ted, Ridders and Bart Man. Manager: The Fox. Everyone instantly recognised their own name. Cat? You didn't need a second guess to work out that would have been goalkeeper Neville Southall (the author of the teamsheet).
But Floppy? That was the nickname Matt Jackson 'enjoyed', because of his laid back demeanour. Gary Ablett was the Ninja, for physical appearance rather than physical abilities – which could also explain why the well upholstered David Unsworth became Rhino. Waggy was simply a shortened version of Watson, while Diamond referred to Graham Stuart's cockney geezer status. Joe Parkinson's Wigan roots explained his Pieman nickname, but The Crell was more surreal. John Ebbrell's elaborate autograph apparently looked like The Crell, hence an instant moniker . LS is a little trickier to explain. Anders Limpar picked up that unfortunate title during his time at Arsenal under George Graham. Apparently the little Swede had a habit of irritating his boss – but while the L certainly referred to Little, the S was, well, a little more unsavoury. Let’s just say it rhymes with twit. Stump is a more obvious physical description of striker Tony Cottee – and Brett Angell was called Bruno because of his boxer’s nose!
The subs’ bench was altogether more entertaining. Gary Rowett, who was reported to be a little slow on the uptake, was quickly christened the Village Idiot, henceforth then shortened to Village. Barry Horne was Ted Striker from Airplane, Ridders a more obviously shortened version of Rideout (an opportunity was surely missed by not calling him The Devil), while Stuart Barlow looked too much like Bart Simpson to ignore. But back to today, where the backroom boys enjoy the best nicknames at Everton. Head of Media, Mark Rowan, has been called Baby D for years, because he looked like a smaller version of former Chief Exec Michael Dunford, while Kit Manager Jim Martin thought his days as Gonzo were long gone! Until now!

David Prentice: Jackson's delight at Baines' run for Everton
Feb 28 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
FORMER Everton defender Matt Jackson has spoken of his delight that Leighton Baines is getting an extended run at left-back in David Moyes' team. Jackson and Baines were team-mates at Wigan Athletic prior to Baines moving to Everton for £6m in 2007. "You only really get your fitness by playing 10 games consecutively and he's now done that," Jackson said. "He brings great attributes to the team and gives a real balance on the left." Jackson added: "He's a great young professional and I'm delighted for him as a mate and as an Evertonian that he's doing so well in the team now." Baines, who has suffered from a number of injuries since arriving at Goodison, found his opportunities limited at left-back last season due to the good form of Joleon Lescott. Lescott has featured more regularly at centre-half this season, in part due to Joseph Yobo's hamstring injury, which has opened the door for Baines. And after a series of impressive performances, Jackson believes that Baines has now made the spot his own. "He has good pace and is brave, obviously he's never going to be a six-footer so he adapts his game to suit," said Jackson. "I think he does absolutely fantastic. I played a lot of games with him at Wigan and never saw him in any trouble whatsoever in that left-back spot."

Chilean rookies suffer at hands of Mexicans
Feb 28 2009 by David Prentice
CHILEAN club Everton de Vina del Mar came unstuck in their second group game of the Copa Libertadores on Wednesday night. Everton, founded in 1909 by visiting sailors from Liverpool, find themselves in South America's premier club competition for only the second time in their history. After claiming three points in their first group game, Everton travelled to Guadalajara of Mexico in midweek where they were beaten 6-2. The Mexicans raced into a four-goal lead at the Jalisco Stadium with just 36 minutes on the clock. Everton pulled two goals back before Guadalajara completed the rout. The result moved the Mexicans to the top of Group 6 with four points, ahead of Caracas and Everton on three, and Lanus of Argentina with one point, after two games.

February 2009