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Lee Carsley: Everton FC revival on the cards after massive Crystal Palace result
1 February 2015 liverpool Echo
By Lee Carsley
You cannot underestimate just what a big result that was for the Blues
What a massively important three points that was for Everton FC at Crystal Palace.
You cannot underestimate just what a big result that was for the Blues and hopefully that will now be the start of a significant upturn in fortunes for us.
It was crucial to begin brightly against a Palace side that have been buoyant since Alan Pardew returned to the club but the early goal settled everybody down and helped calm the nerves.
Palace are a well-organised outfit and they’re always a major threat with the way they get the ball and bodies into the box, putting a lot of pressure on your defenders and goalkeeper.
But our lads coped well with everything that was thrown at them and while there were a few scrambles at times, they generally looked fairly comfortable when dealing with things and they all kept their heads. There was increased pressure on the team given that they’d just come back from that trip to the Middle East – look what happened to Manchester City in the FA Cup – but several of them looked like they’d benefited from their time away. Gareth Barry in particular looked like a bit of a break had done him good. Playing in my old position I know what it’s like for him at this stage of his career. Maybe he can’t play as effectively as he would like to week-in, week-out, but he showed that he’s still one of the best in the business in that role he knows so well.
I always thought he looked better when he’s got James McCarthy beside him – and vice versa to be fair – but he appears to have recharged his batteries after the time out since the last game.
At the other end of the scale there’s Romelu Lukaku who at 21 is still learning the game.
Ultimately as a striker with a big price tag he’s always going to be judged by his goals and he’s now into double figures. Even when he’s not playing great, he knows where the back of the net is and he’s helped a lot by having Steven Naismith alongside him to shoulder a lot of the workload.
I’m just hoping that this crucial win can prove a springboard for Everton to start climbing the table now. Of course next up is the Merseyside Derby and it should be a great game.
Given that we’ve got this result behind us there’s no reason why we can’t go into that match thinking we can win it. I was really excited when Samuel Eto’o came to the club and was looking forward to seeing the impact that his arrival might have on the younger players at the club.
For whatever reason it didn’t work out right. Roberto knows the state of the squad at the minute and probably feels it’s in good shape in terms of the bodies that he’s got there.
Given that one player has gone out it would be nice to see another striker come in. I don’t think so much the problem was the game-time that Samuel was having rather the impact he was having on games. He scored four goals in 20 games so that’s probably not as great as he’d have wanted it.
Physically he’s probably not the player that he was a few years ago but in the games that I saw him I always thought he was okay. But when you’re seeing someone first hand close up each day and the sort of influence he had in the changing room maybe he’s better off moving on if he wasn’t happy.
It’s a bit of a slower tempo over there and the lifestyle is probably better for him in terms that he might get to spend more time with his family. I wouldn’t like to dwell on it though. It’s the ones coming in rather than going out that I’m concerned with.
There are still plenty of options there.
It’s just important that the ones who get moved up the pecking order have a go now and try and force their way into the team in the coming months. Blues fans will only boo you if it’s merited by displays I’m not too sure about all this talk of a need for a united front at Everton.
Ultimately when you’re paying money to watch a game you’re more than welcome to have your opinion whether good or bad. One thing Everton fans do is stick by their team but they let you know when they’re not happy just as they do when they are happy so you know where you stand with them. You’ve got to listen to what the fans want because they put the players and the manager on such a pedestal last year they couldn’t do anything wrong.
Now they’re being questioned a bit.
I’d say everyone is still 100% behind the manager and the support never wavers but they’ve still got an opinion. If you’re not happy with stuff you’ve got every right to be frustrated and there’s not a right way to show your frustration. If you’re not happy, you’re not happy and it’s as simple as that.
When things are going well you know about it. It’s always been the same.
I had loads of good times at Everton but I had some bad ones too.
You have to take the rough with the smooth like getting beat 7-0 at Arsenal and 5-1 at Manchester City in the last game of the season. When we were booed it’s because we deserved it. It’s frustration and there’s nobody more frustrated than the players because it’s only them who can do anything about it and you have to give the fans something to cheer about with that energy and commitment and they’ll respond to that.
January never a great month to add to squad
January is always a tough period to try and buy a player to strengthen the squad. There are more panic buys than at other times of the season.
You have to be careful who you bring in and how it affects the dynamic of the squad.
Most of the players we brought in at Everton in January were bit-part players apart from Mikel (Arteta) who was more or less a straight swap for Tommy (Gravesen, who had gone to Real Madrid) and had a real impact.

Everton FC Transfer Gossip:
Liverpool Echo 1 February 2015
By David Prentice
Transfer stories and speculation from the media and the worldwide web
ROBERTO MARTINEZ has stressed there is unlikely to be any transfer movement at Goodison Park - in or out - before tomorrow’s deadline.
But that hasn’t stopped the Sunday papers, the media at large and the worldwide web from speculating.
Here are the names out there today ...
Former Tottenham defender Vedran Corluka, currently playing for Lokomotiv Moscow, is reported to be “in Everton’s sights.” The Mirror first carried the story on December 27, with the quote: “Vedran is excited at the possibility of coming back to England,” from the Croatian’s advisor Chris Nathaniel. But the story has resurfaced with a bid of around £4million reported to be enough to tempt the Russian club to sell. West Ham United, West Bromwich Albion and Hull City are also linked with the 28 year old. According to the Daily Mail, Tottenham are ready to make a late move to lure Kevin Mirallas to White Hart Lane, with Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid lurking to make presumably even later moves. It was only 10 days ago that Roberto Martinez revealed his “special affection” for Mirallas, adding: “Kevin is in a long term contract. We know that in the media that whenever someone is doing a good job they always try and move him away quickly and make some headlines!”
But The Mail headlines still claimed Spurs had tabled a £3m offer.
They did add: “Such a sum is seen as far below his value by Everton, but a £5m fee and the possibility of Aaron Lennon heading the other way could tempt Roberto Martinez.
“White Hart Lane chief Daniel Levy is thought to be after a cheap deal, yet a hardball negotiation stance may allow the likes of Dortmund and Atletico Madrid to move ahead of them in the running.”
Spurs might have to brace themselves for an even more “hardline stance” than £5m, while Aaron Lennon has already joined Hull City on-loan. The London Evening Standard claims that Spurs are more likely to move in the summer for Mirallas.
A story in Portugal has hinted at a new target for the Toffees.
Newspaper O Jogo indicated that Everton scouts travelled to Portugal to watch Braga play Moreirense 48 hours ago, with Braga’s Rafa Silva the centre of their attention.
Earlier this month, A Bola claimed that Southampton were preparing an offer for Silva - who has a €20 million release clause in his contract.
Here Is The City website suggested: “If a deal for Silva can be wrapped up before the close of this transfer window, the Toffees may be willing to sanction Mirallas’s departure to Spurs. Rather than waiting until the summer with a player who is clearly unhappy at his current situation, Everton could allow the Belgian winger to leave, knowing that they have a direct replacement in 21-year-old Silva, who would likely give his all playing for the side in his debut Premier League season.”
File under speculative.
And finally, and Everton fans forum reports that Ukrainian winger Yevhen Konoplyanka has declared that he wants to play in the Premier League and try his hand there next, “which will be music to the ears of Everton and Spurs fans as their clubs seek his signature.”
Speaking to his club Dnipro’s youtube channel the winger declares that he was close to signing for Liverpool in a previous transfer window but would like the EPL to be his next move.
“Yes, Roma was interested in me, and I refused them. Perhaps they will be disappointed but that’s life and that’s football, some agree with decisions and some do not. Now the clubs agree. Last time with Liverpool it was the opposite, I wanted to go there but my club did not agree. My goal as a child was to play in England, its a strong league and I want to try my hand there.”
Not this January though, Yevhen.

Crystal Palace 0 Everton FC 1 verdict: Phil Jagielka silences doubts over leadership
1 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
SUNDAY VERDICT: Phil Kirkbride praises the Everton captain after a difficult few months for the Blues
The issue of leadership has been a thorny one at Everton FC of late.
As the Blues waded through their worst run of league form for a decade they appeared to be failing their character test. Too easily were Everton slumping to defeats. Too easily were too many players appearing to give up. And all too quickly. But what had been a team problem quickly became a personal one. Kevin Mirallas decided to usurp Leighton Baines as penalty taker against West Brom and his subsequent miss prompted an outpouring of rage. Fingers were pointed at Mirallas, Roberto Martinez but then at Phil Jagielka. As the conspiracy theorists said the penalty debacle was the latest sign of a fractured dressing room they began to question Jagielka’s suitability to be captain of Everton. But after having his abilities as a leader doubted Jagielka went to Crystal Palace and showed that he is still made of the right stuff. The Blues needed their skipper to be strong, resilient and to ensure they had a rock solid centre after being such a soft touch of late.
Jagielka provided all of that and more. He led a united front and, maybe, because Everton were in such desperate need of a win, the skipper’s efforts felt colossal. After the numbers were crunched we learnt that Jagielka won three quarters of his tackles, won four out of seven headers and made 16 clearances yet you left Selhurst Park feeling like he’d won everything.
It made you wonder whether his captaincy at Goodison is undervalued and whether the criticism has been undue. Either way, Saturday was a timely reminder of his mettle.
Roberto Martinez recently spoke about Everton having to go “back to basics”, well, this was an old school centre-half’s performance from the captain. The kind Jagielka relishes.
And the type Everton needed because a win was so desperately needed.
Beforehand, Martinez had said Palace were more than a team that lumped balls into the box but Everton were forced to deal with countless crosses. The challenge Jagielka and the Blues backline will face against Liverpool this coming weekend will be different, of course.
They will have to deal with the pace of Raheem Sterling and the movement of Daniel Sturridge and less of the direct approach Palace took, but their performance was a confidence booster.
It wasn’t always pretty but the Blues were effective and, bar a few opening wobbles, they always had them at arms length. The closest the home side came was quickly after Romelu Lukaku had bundled the Blues in front. Dwight Gayle nipped in ahead of Joel Robles but Jagielka was the last line of defence and hooked the ball away. It set the tone for his and Everton’s day. They were not to be denied. By a matter of inches the ball stayed out but Everton have known all too well about the fine margins this season and how they have often fallen on the wrong side of them.
The skipper’s salvage job felt a watershed moment. In the game and, maybe, in their season.
Confidence has been brittle of late and who knows what impact an immediate equaliser in front of a raucous Selhurst Park would’ve done for the Blues self-belief. Now Everton are looking forward to the derby instead of fearing it. Jagielka’s heroics reminded some of the day Alan Stubbs did similar on the same ground over a decade ago to deny Andy Johnson. Behind at the time, Everton went onto to win that game and, as one report said, it helped “lift the gloom” around Goodison. It turned out to be some season after that. The lofty ambitions Martinez set out at the beginning of the season have been forced to be revised. It has been the bottom three, and not the top four, that has been preoccupying Blues fans of late. Everton haven’t solved all of their problems with one win in south London but Saturday’s victory at least offered relief and hope for the final third of the campaign. The game also cemented the belief that Jagielka and John Stones are by far and away the Blues best centre-half pairing. Debate continues to rage over Everton’s best combinations elsewhere on the pitch but the answer is crystal clear at the back.
The alliance of Jagielka’s experience and Stones’ fearlessness and class works for the Blues. The brawn and brains, so to speak. And in Stones, who was not far behind the standards set by Jagielka at Selhurst Park, they have a future captain of this club. His critics say he needs to work on the basics of defending. He did little wrong at the weekend but Jagielka is the perfect mentor for that.
But as Stones continues to learn and grow, the same can be said of Jagielka.
This season has been one of searching questions and, at times, acute scrutiny.
He does not fit the prototype of a Martinez defender. Jagielka is not that smooth operator who is comfortable carrying the ball out from the back and delivering defensive splitting passes.
Stones fits that mould far more comfortably and his threaded through-ball for Steven Naismith was a thing of weighted beauty, but he too looks at his captain with admiration.
Saturday was a huge game for Everton and Jagielka delivered a performance fitting of the occasion.
He’s proved himself a derby hero once already this season and after this performance Jagielka look in the mood to lead the way again.

Samuel Eto'o suffers five goal mauling on Sampdoria debut
1 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By David Prentice
SAMUEL ETO'O suffered a five-goal mauling on his Sampdoria debut today.
The Cameroon striking legend who left Everton for Italy last week saw his new side demolished 5-1 by Torino in the Stadio Olimpico.
Eto'o, who also suffered a 6-3 hiding when he made his Toffees debut against Chelsea in August, came on for the final 20 minutes with his new team already trailing 3-0.
Fabio Quagliarella scored the second hat-trick of his career for Torino.
Quagliarella hit the net twice in the first half, including a penalty. The 32-year-old earned a third goal off a quick counter later in the second half and substitute Amauri put the game away 10 minutes after. Bruno Peres added a goal in stoppage time to ensure the biggest win over Sampdoria in Torino’s history. Pedro Obiang scored the lone consolation goal for Sampdoria.
Torino dominated the game from the beginning, registering 18 shots in total. Torino's former Liverpool goalkeeper Daniele Padelli had next to nothing to do for the majority of the match, and he did not have to make a single stop after the first 45 minutes.

Merseyside Derby you are the player game - become a Liverpool FC or Everton FC hero
1 February 2015 Liverpool echo
By Neil Macdonald
Run out for Everton FC or Liverpool FC in our special game ahead of the Merseyside Derby at Goodison Park
Any Liverpool FC and Everton FC fan has grown up dreaming they could play in the Merseyside Derby. Now you can, thanks to the Liverpool Echo's new game.
We've created a choose your own adventure game for the big match, where you are the new signing for Liverpool or Everton - an attacking midfielder. In the game there is just 20 minutes to go when you're brought on at Goodison Park to win the match for your team - or lose it!
All you do is read each page to see what decision to make at a key moment before clicking on the links at the bottom of the page - like the ones below - to continue the match.
After each click, you can see where your decision takes you - you could be the Merseyside Derby hero or get a red card. And when you reach the final whistle, your performance will be assessed in special videos by Liverpool FC writer James Pearce for the Reds or sports editor John Thompson for the Blues. You can even replay the game to get a better outcome for your side - if only we could do that in real life! So good luck and here's to a great Merseyside Derby!

Naismith looks forward to a "feisty" Goodison derby
1 February 2015 Liverpool echo
By David Prentice, Philip Kirkbride
STEVEN NAISMITH admits the build-up to this week’s derby would have been difficult had Everton not won at Crystal Palace. But after a 1-0 victory at Selhurst Park the Blues are relishing the visit of Liverpool to Goodison on Saturday – and the Scot is predicting a “feisty” affair.
Everton ended a run of eight games without a win thanks to Romelu Lukaku’s goal inside two minutes in south London on Saturday. The Blues had not won since the middle of December and found themselves slipping closer to the relegation zone. But the win has offered Everton some breathing space and left the squad with renewed confidence ahead of the weekend’s 5.30pm kick-off. “It probably would’ve been tougher if we hadn’t won at Palace because it would’ve been another game on the bad run we were on,” Naismith said. “But we believed going into the game that we could win it. “If you look at the first-half of the campaign the biggest thing has been individual mistakes. And that’s not one player not being good enough, it has just been individual errors that has cost us. “In the past we have maybe got away with those mistakes but have been punished for every single one this time. “That was the biggest thing but the win at Palace does set the derby up nicely and we’re going into it full of confidence and fresh after a break.”
Everton and Liverpool shared one of the most thrilling derby matches of recent times at Goodison last season. A breathless game finished 3-3 and though Naismith believes the Blues were “sensational” that day he says the players were disappointed with just a point.
Naismith is expecting another high-octane match on Saturday – but hoping for three points this time. “It will be feisty affair as always and it will be a battle first and foremost,” said Naismith.
“When one team gets on top in that they generally win the game and can dictate play but with us being at home and with the crowd behind us, that is definitely an advantage for us.
“We were disappointed to only get a draw in last season’s game at Goodison because we played sensationally well and hopefully we put on another performance like that.”
Goodison has not been the fortress it was last season for Everton and Naismith says the players are conscious of rebuilding that fear factor at the Old Lady. “It is something we’ve all not been happy with this season, the way we’ve not picked up as many points at home as we should have,” he added. “But it is something we definitely feel confident about and when you have the crowd behind you there are not many better places in the country.”

Ghana cruise to Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals at Guinea’s expense
• Ghana 3-0 Guinea
• Everton’s on-loan Chelsea striker Christian Atsu scores twice in Malabo
• DR Congo player hit by medical truck in quarter-final win
Sunday 1 February 2015 The Guardian
Christian Atsu scored two goals and Kwesi Appiah added another to help Ghana advance to the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations for the fifth successive time with a 3-0 victory over Guinea in Malabo. Atsu, currently on loan at Everton from Chelsea, put the Black Stars ahead in the fourth minute after a backheeled pass from André Ayew. Appiah, who recently ended a period on loan from Crystal Palace to Cambridge United, scored Ghana’s second a minute before the interval, controlling a horrible defensive mistake from Baissama Sankoh and beating the Guinea goalkeeper, Naby Yattara. Atsu then made the result safe with his second in the 61st minute, whipping in a cross-shot from the right which drifted in. To complete a miserable night for Guinea, Yattara was shown a red card in injury time for a foul on the former Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan. The defender Abdoulaye Cissé played in goal for the final seconds.
Ghana will face the host nation Equatorial Guinea in the semi-finals on Thursday in Malabo.

I wouldn't swap Romelu Lukaku for anyone in the world says Everton FC boss Roberto Martinez
1 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Chris Beesley
Blues manager believes the Toffees' record signing doesn't get the credit he deserves after scoring winner at Palace
Everton manager Roberto Martinez says he wouldn’t swap Romelu Lukaku for anyone in the world after the striker netted the winning goal in a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace.
The Belgian’s second-minute strike ended the Blues winless run that had stretched over the previous eight matches. Martinez said: “He’s always got that clinical finishing on him but he’s only 21 and sometimes you forget how many experiences he’s already enjoyed at a young age.”
“We wouldn’t swap Rom for anyone in the world.” The goal put Lukaku at Selhurst Park in double figures for Everton in the current campaign with his goals tally of 10 one better than his figure at this time last season. Martinez said: “I don’t think that he gets the credit he deserves. Romelu is a joy to work with. “When he came back from the World Cup I don’t think he was physically capable of being himself but he never shied the responsibility, he wanted to be there and put himself on the front line. “He’s a young man. Probably once people can see what he does consistently he’ll get the credit. “I think he’s been very consistent with his play. He’s been getting stronger and better in every game. “Now in the last three weeks is the first time that he’s been at his very best from a physical level. “The way he is he needs to be at that level. The power, the pace that he shows.”
The win at Palace was Everton’s first since they beat QPR on December 15 and Martinez admitted he’d learned more during this difficult period than he had last season when he steered the Blues to a club record points haul in the Premier League. He said: “You do learn more about your players at these times. Not just the players but the whole football club. “The fans too, they have been incredible. From the outside when you get bad results people are quickly criticising you or highlighting things but our fans have been incredibly supportive. “At Palace they travelled in big numbers and that made me aware that we’ve got a very special football club that can achieve a lot.
“It’s true when you face adversity you learn a lot more from each individual. The reality is that I think this period has got us ready to try and kick on again.” Martinez added: “You learn as a manager that you need to concentrate on what you can effect. If you start believing in everything you read maybe I wouldn’t be able to speak to my wife last season because I’m feeling too big-headed whereas now I’d have been slitting my veins every time I walk into the house. “I’ve been very fortunate to have been involved with football clubs that allow me to work and you’re going to get through difficult periods but you cannot lose sight of what you need to do tomorrow to effect the next game.”
One of the criticism labelled at Everton in recent weeks has been an accusation of a lack of steeliness but Martinez was pleased with our his side coped with Palace’s aerial bombardment after taking an early lead. He said: “It was a really difficult game, we wanted to be ourselves. Once we scored the first goal which came from a really good move from open play that you would associate with Everton it was the kind of game where the home side could get you exposed and they were trying to hit us on the counter-attack. “It made it a game where you had to be professional, we had to be able to defend that ball that drops into the box and there were a lot of bodies there.
“I thought it was vital for us to keep a clean sheet if we wanted to win a football game.
“Maybe if we’d have scored a little bit later it might have been a more stylish performance but it was about scoring and then managing the game.”

A derby win will make us superstars says Everton captain Phil Jagielka
1 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By David Prentice
Wins has come at just the right time says skipper
Everton captain Phil Jagielka hopes his team can end next week as “superstars” after finally ending a long winless run at Crystal Palace on Saturday.
The Blues edged a tight and tense 1-0 victory in south London to claim their first win since mid-December. And with a Merseyside derby looming next weekend ahead of a trip to Chelsea and a return to Europa League action, Jagielka knows the morale-boosting win at Selhurst Park was something the squad needed. “The way things go, especially in football, we tend to build people up very quickly and shoot them down just as quickly,” he said. “That is the same with us. The manager and the players. We have taken a lot of stick but people pay a lot of money to come and see us play. They are allowed their opinion, we understand that and we know that is the nature of the beast. We will keep going for as long as the season goes. “You are superstars if you win, although a 1-0 win doesn’t make us superstars yet. But a victory next week against Liverpool might.
“There is still a long way to go in the season, we have got a lot of confidence in this squad but when you are not winning games or picking up three points that gap gets smaller and smaller.
“We know we have got a difficult run coming up and as players you cant help to look to the future and know you have to start winning sooner or later. “With the squad that the manager has got here that we shouldn’t be looking over our shoulder but we are not stupid enough to think that we are too good not to.” Jagielka believes the win at Palace on Saturday has come at just the right time for the Toffees. “We have got a win that has been long overdue and hopefully we can go on a run,” the England defender said. “Not many of the boys would have needed a lift going into the derby but it wouldn’t have been nice going into it if we hadn’t have got the win.”

Man Utd transfers: Everton eye deadline day move for Januzaj
1 February 2015 Manchester Evening News
By James Robson
Roberto Martinez wants to tie up a loan deal for the forward - but it will take Januzaj to push through a move
Everton want Adnan Januzaj in a deadline day deal.
But the Belgian international will have to inform Manchester United of his desire to leave if he is to complete a loan move to Goodison Park. Roberto Martinez is a firm admirer of the 19-year-old, who has struggled to establish himself under Louis van Gaal. And the Everton manager is ready to test United’s resolve by making a late move for the starlet. Martinez would like Januzaj to provide a mid-season boost to his side’s flagging campaign. But even if he cannot pull off a deal on Monday, he will renew his interest in the summer - targeting a permanent transfer.
He knows it will require Januzaj asking for a move, if he is to have any chance of luring him away from United in this window. Van Gaal is adamant the versatile forward will not be allowed to leave midway through the campaign - blocking Paris st Germain's attempts to take him to France.
But there remain major doubts over his long-term future. It is understood the deal will now hinge on Januzaj’s own desire to leave Old Trafford or whether he believes he can force his way into Van Gaal's plans. He started only his fifth Premier League game of the season against Leicester on Saturday - showing glimpses of the quality that made him one of the most sought-after prospects in Europe last term. But he faces a battle for regular first team football with Angel di Maria and Juan Mata ahead of him in the pecking order at United. With Van Gaal set to spend heavily again in the summer - with Gareth Bale among his targets - Januzaj's opportunities may be further limited.
It is a measure of Januzaj's lack of action this season that he complained of cramp during the game against Leicester. "I haven’t played too much, so it was good to get 90 minutes," he said. "I was tired and had cramp in the last 15 minutes, but I knew I had a job to do."
United could yet try to use him as a make-weight in a deal for PSG defender Marquinhos.
The £35m-rated Brazilian has been linked with a move to Old Trafford as Van Gaal looks to make top class additions to his rearguard.

Goodison cop it ahead of Merseyside derby
MERSEYSIDE police are set to legally challenge a decision not to move Everton's derby showdown with Liverpool to an earlier kick-off amid concerns of a risk to public safety.
Evening Express Sun, February 1, 2015
By Paul Joyce
Next Saturday's clash between the rivals is scheduled to kick-off at 5.30pm after the City Council's licensing committee agreed at the end of last week not to amend the Ground Safety Certificate for Goodison Park.
However, Merseyside Police will appeal against that decision in a magistrates' court tomorrow, just five days before the game. It is the first time in 15 years the proposed kick-off time for the derby has been 5.30pm on a Saturday and the match has been elevated to a Category C fixture with a high risk of disorder. Police believe it should be played at lunchtime with a kick-off time no later than 2pm.
They voiced reservations about the game, which is being televised live by Sky Sports, since the kick-off was first announced, but had to wait until the licensing committee met last Thursday.
There will be double the number of police support units that are normally at the ground, paid for by Everton. Everton will have 430 club stewards together with 50 agency stewards, who will be focussed on higher risk areas, working at the game and could implement an alcohol bans.

GDS technology saves Everton, and us, from argument
Sunday 01 February 2015
As Dwight Gayle’s clever flick over Joel Robles’ shoulder began to enter the Everton net Phil Jagielka athletically hooked it clear. Crystal Palace appealed for a goal, Everton played on, and so, after a few seconds, did referee Roger East. And that was it. Two seasons ago East might well have signalled a goal, and even had he not the arguments would have raged for the rest of the game and beyond. But the Goal Decision System indicated that the whole of the ball had not crossed the line.
It was marginal. Nevertheless, everyone accepted it. “I knew immediately,” said Alan Pardew, Palace’s manager, “as the linesman told me his watch [which is linked to GDS] had not said ‘goal’.” Though there were still 85 minutes to go, Palace would go no closer to cancelling out Romelu Lukaku’s early opener. “You want the right result,” added Pardew. “If it had been late in the game I think it would’ve hurt even more. We had plenty of time to try to create a goal after that. It’s amazing it took so long to get to goal-line technology, but it’s there now and it works.”
Roberto Martinez, his Everton counterpart, said: “There are leagues in Europe that do not have this technology. I think we should be pleased we play in a game where those decisions do not become problems any more.” The technology has quickly become part of football’s furniture. Saturday’s deployment passed without comment until this correspondent asked the managers about it.
This raises the question, why stop at goal-line decisions? The use of video evidence will come. There is too much money at stake for it not to. And referees, like cricket umpires, will support it.
The biggest errors in most matches cannot, however, be eradicated by video because they are made by the players. Palace’s worst came in the second minute when John Stones was allowed to pass through their midfield and defence to feed Stephen Naismith, whose cross was pushed into Lukaku’s legs by Julian Speroni. And, thanks to GDS and Everton’s solid defending, the scoring was done.

Everton FC transfer gossip: Martinez eyes Januzaj, Defrel link, Spurs throw Lennon into Mirallas deal
2 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Peter Guy
Roberto Martinez to make late deadline day move for Manchester United's Adnan Januzaj
Everton FC transfer news today sees Roberto Martinez looking to sign Manchester United's Adnan Januzaj in a late deadline day deal. But the Belgian international will have to inform Manchester United of his desire to leave if he is to complete a loan move to Goodison Park.
Roberto Martinez is reportedly a firm admirer of the 19-year-old, who has struggled to establish himself under Louis van Gaal. And the Everton manager is ready to test United’s resolve by making a late move for the starlet. Martinez would like Januzaj to provide a mid-season boost but even if he cannot pull off a deal today, he will renew his interest in the summer - targeting a permanent transfer. He knows it will require Januzaj asking for a move, if he is to have any chance of luring him away from United in this window. Van Gaal is adamant the versatile forward will not be allowed to leave midway through the campaign - blocking Paris st Germain's attempts to take him to France.
Tottenham are aiming to sign Everton's Kevin Mirallas before tonight's 11pm transfer deadline, and are willing to include Aaron Lennon as part of the deal. Mirallas has just 18 months remaining on his contract, and Mauricio Pochettino is keen to bring the winger to north London as he looks to make a surge for Champions League qualification. According to the Daily Mail, Spurs have already seen a £3million bid rejected by Roberto Martinez's team. Reports suggest Martinez is holding out for £5m as well as Lennon, and it is understood that Daniel Levy is now ready to sign off on the bid.
Finally the Italian media are suggesting Everton sent scouts to watch the league game between Cesena and Lazio to monitor Cesena winger Gregoire Defrel. TMW have revealed that Everton scouts watched the 2-1 Cesena victory with Defrel on hand to score his side’s first goal in their shock win over the bigger Serie A club from Rome. The 23-year-old played the full 90 minutes and Everton may make a late bid to sign him before tonight's transfer deadline.

Heading to Liverpool for the Merseyside derby? Check out the LFC and EFC themed rooms at Malmaison hotel
2 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Kirsty McHale
Ahead of the big clash at Goodison Park this weekend, we took a nose around the Kop Suite and Toffee Shop rooms on offer at the Malmaison Hotel
It's the highlight of the Liverpool sporting calendar, as Everton and Liverpool prepare to take each other on in the 224th Merseyside Derby at Goodison Park this weekend.
Whether you're Red or Blue, when you're heading to Liverpool for the weekend, or even if you want to mark a special occasion for the footy fanatic in your life, there's a suite at the Malmaison hotel waiting just for you. The Kop Suite and Toffee Shop rooms at Malmaison Liverpool on the Waterfront are For the passionate Liverpool fan, the Kop Suite is a Reds haven. The room comes with a large lounge where you can relax on the L-shaped sofa as you watch the plasma TV, or enjoy the panoramic views over the River Mersey and Liver Building. The bathroom also has a TV in the wall, so you can enjoy the soaps as you lather up in the double-ended wooden tub.
Down the corridor you will find the "playroom", which has a foosball table, so you and your friends can recreate your favourite Merseyside derby moments from the past.
There's also a Technogym for the health-conscious, or if you're feeling a little lazy, you can relax in the comfortable armchairs and take in the river view. Meanwhile, for the Blue half, The Toffee Shop suite has a spacious lounge with a plasma TV and iPod dock, but the floor-to-ceiling windows providing stunning views of the Liver Building and the River Mersey should be all the entertainment you need. What's more, the walls are adorned with iconic images from the Blues' history.
The bedroom has a King "team" bed, ensuring a perfect night's sleep. The en-suite bathroom has an oval-shaped bath and walk-in monsoon shower, as well as the other Malmaison special touches.

Everton FC Transfer Window - the goalkeeping options open today to Roberto Martinez
2 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Neil Jones
The Deadline Day stoppers who could be on the Blues' shortlist
While the rest of the country goes deadline day crazy, on the blue half of Merseyside things look like being a little quieter.
At this stage, it seems unlikely that there will be any major business done by Everton, with Roberto Martinez insisting that January is not an ideal market for “finding solutions.”
Still, there could be some activity at Finch Farm today. The ECHO understands Martinez may look to add a goalkeeper to his squad before the 11pm cut off, providing the right deal comes up.
* Click here to see our transfer window deadline day live blog
“We are a little bit weak in that area,” the Catalan said earlier this month. “It is something we will assess.” Though Joel Robles’ form has picked up since then, Tim Howard remains sidelined, and with questions about his own form pre-dating his injury. Everton’s other available keepers are Jindrich Stanek and Russell Griffiths, two 18-year-olds who have trained with the senior side this season, but who boast little or no first-team experience.
A new arrival, then, should not be ruled out.
Where, though, could Martinez be looking? Here, the ECHO assesses some potential keeper signings for the Blues...
Jack Butland (Stoke City)
A player who has long been on Everton’s radar, dating back to his Birmingham City days.
The 21-year-old’s ascent has not been as swift as some anticipated over the past two years – he was, after all, part of England’s squad for the 2012 European Championships – but few doubt his talent.
With Asmir Begovic firmly ensconced as Stoke’s regular first-choice, and experienced cover available in Thomas Sorensen, a loan move for Butland would certainly not be out of the question in January. Indeed, the youngster has already spent time at Championship high-flyers Derby County this season, making six appearances for Steve McClaren’s men.
Tall, strong and good with his feet, Butland’s positional work is considered by many to be his biggest weakness, but at 21 there is bags of room for development.
Alex McCarthy (QPR)
At 25, there must come a time when the Guildford-born stopper shakes off his ‘young gun’ tag.
Many expected that when McCarthy joined QPR from Reading last summer, this might be the season it happens. So far, though, there has been just one Premier League appearance – a 3-2 loss to Liverpool in October – and McCarthy has been forced to watch on as Rob Green continues to be first choice.
Still, he is rated highly by many within the game. McCarthy has good stature, fine reflexes and agility, and has enough Premier League experience from his Reading days. The trouble is, he might just be exactly what QPR need in the second half of the season.
Jonathan Bond (Watford)
Currently competing with Butland for the first choice spot with England U21s, Bond is behind former Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes at club level, at a time when he should be looking to establish himself as a first-teamer. The 21-year-old has had a taste at Watford, as well as during loan spells with Bury, Dagenham and Forest Green.
Hardly ideal preparation for a club like Everton, granted, but he’s well thought of within the national team system.
Neto (Fiorentina)
Out of contract next summer, the 25-year-old Brazilian has been widely linked with a January move away from Italy, with a number of Premier League clubs reportedly interested.
Neto boasts a solid record this season, with the Viola one of the meaner Serie A sides around. His contractual situation would also mean his asking price would not be as prohibitive as it would with other targets.
Guillermo Ochoa (Malaga)
The flag-bearer of the YouTube generation, the Mexican was one of the standout goalkeepers of last summer’s World Cup, but has struggled at club level.
A move from French side Ajaccio to La Liga outfit Malaga has not worked out as of yet.
Ochoa didn’t play his first competitive game for his new side until December, with Carlos Kameni very much first choice at La Rosaleda.
Agile, quick and dynamic, though with erratic tendencies, Ochoa is an interesting option. Whether he’s the right one is another matter entirely.
Orjan Nyland (Molde)
Tentatively linked with the Blues late last year, the 24-year-old has 10 caps for Norway, and is rated as one of the best ‘keepers to emerge in the country for years.
Those who have seen him say he has strong reflexes and shot-stopping capabilities, and can use his feet well. Though the difference between the Norwegian Tippeligaen and the Premier League is night and day.
Shay Given (Aston Villa)
Few boast more Premier League experience than the Irishman, though his first-team career has tailed off significantly in recent seasons.
Behind Brad Guzan in the pecking order at Villa, Given has made just two league appearances in two years, spending part of last season on loan at Middlesbrough.
Still deemed a top professional, however, it is not unthinkable that the 38-year-old could still do a job, short-term, in the top flight.
Brad Friedel (Spurs)
Another golden oldie, Friedel too is third-choice at his club, behind Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm. He is also one of the finest goalkeepers, outside the elite, to have graced the Premier League.
Then again, his relationship with fellow American Tim Howard might mean this one is a bit, well, you know...

Samuel Eto'o leaves Sampdoria training camp after refusing double training
2 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By David Prentice
Former Everton star's Sampdoria switch starts badly
SAMUEL ETO’O is reported to have left Sampdoria’s training camp today after refusing to do double training - just hours after losing 5-1 on his debut at Torino.
And there are even reports that the Cameroon striking legend could tear up his Sampdoria contract.
Eto’o left Everton last month after just four months on Merseyside.
But he departed with a glowing tribute from Blues boss Roberto Martinez.
“We thank Samuel for his efforts and for bringing his know-how to the team,” he said.
“He passed on some of his terrific experience to all of the young players in particular. On behalf of all Evertonians, we wish him well for the next chapter in his career.”
But that next chapter has not started well.
Italian sports correspondent Tancredi Palmeri, a CNN and Gazzetta Dello Sport contributor, tweeted today: “Eto’o refused to do double training today with Sampdoria and left the training camp. This is going down well.” And now footballitalia have reported that Eto’o could be set to tear up his Sampdoria contract, just six days after signing. The former Everton striker is believed to have walked out of training after refusing to take part in a double training session.
Coach Sinisa Mihajlovic imposed the double workout as punishment for his team’s display in a 5-1 defeat to Torino yesterday. Now, Calciomercato is reporting that the Blucerchiati are desperately seeking to patch things up between Coach and player, otherwise Eto’o’s contract will be terminated with immediate effect. That would mean the Cameroonian couldn’t sign for anyone else until the summer, having played for Everton already, and made his Samp debut yesterday
Eto’o came on for the final 20 minutes of Sampdoria’s 5-1 mauling by Torino in the Stadio Olimpico.
Torino dominated the game from start to finish, registering 18 shots in total.
Torino’s former Liverpool goalkeeper Daniele Padelli had next to nothing to do for the majority of the match and did not make a single stop after the first 45 minutes.

Everton FC strikers headed for Cardiff City loan
2 February 2015 LiverpoolEcho
By Phil Kirkbride
Young Blues close to sealing short-term move to Championship side
EVERTON FC pair Conor McAleny and Matthew Kennedy could be heading out on loan to Cardiff.
The Championship side want to take the Blues youngsters to south Wales on a short-term deal.
McAleny has made just one senior appearance for the Blues this term, playing in the Europa League dead-rubber against Krasnodar. The 22-year-old from Whiston travelled to Qatar with the Everton squad last week but now looks set for a spell with Cardiff. Kennedy, meanwhile, recently returned from a successful loan spell at Hibs. The 20-year-old spent six months with the Scottish club and scored once in 16 appearances. Kennedy was managed by former Everton captain and under-21s coach Alan Stubbs at Easter Road and impressed during his time there.
Now he and McAleny will have the chance to pick up some game time at Cardiff.

Man Utd transfers: Van Gaal blocks Everton swoop for Januzaj
2 February 2015 Manchester Evening News
By James Robson
Roberto Martinez wanted to sign Belgian teenager on loan - but will have to wait until the summer to resurrect deal
Manchester United have ended Everton's hopes of signing Adnan Januzaj in a deadline day deal - insisting the Belgian international will not be allowed to leave Old Trafford during this transfer window. It means Roberto Martinez will have to wait until the summer at least to land the 19-year-old. The Everton manager wanted Januzaj to boost his side's disappointing campaign.
But Louis van Gaal refuses to let the teenager leave on loan, despite only using him sparingly this term. The United manager has also blocked Paris St Germain's attempts to sign the versatile forward during this window. It was understood that Januzaj would have had to ask for a move for a loan deal to go through. He started in the Premier League for only the fifth time this season in Saturday's 3-1 win against Leicester - and is expected to hold onto his place for tomorrow's FA Cup fourth round replay with Cambridge. Van Gaal has now challenged him to prove he can be a part of his long-term plans by producing his best form on a consistent basis. The Dutchman said: "He has a lot of talent, but you have to perform that talent in the matches. And also in the training sessions because I am not making the line-up - the players themselves are making the line-up."
Former United captain Gary Neville believes Januzaj will now be given the chance to convince Van Gaal that he has a future at the club. "Adnan Januzaj has to prove himself," he told Sky Sports News. "I thought this season would be a really good one for him. "I thought Louis van Gaal would view him as his type of player - a winger, technically gifted. He showed glimpses last season with real fantastic performances. "I think that you'll see him play a few games over the next few weeks. Louis van Gaal will be finding out about him. "I certainly didn't think they'd allow him to go to another club during this period, no."

Referee announced for 224th Merseyside derby
2 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
Anthony Taylor will take whistle in Saturday night kick-off
Anthony Taylor will referee the 224th Merseyside derby.
The Cheshire official will take charge of Saturday night’s game at Goodison Park.
Taylor has refereed games involving Everton and Liverpool before but this will be his first time handling a derby clash. The 36-year-old has officiated 22 times so far this season and has issued 90 yellow cards and four reds. Those four dismissals have come in his last nine games.
Taylor has refereed Everton’s game at West Brom and at home to Aston Villa and West Ham United in the FA Cup. The Greater Manchester ref has officiated two Liverpool games this term; the Reds defeat to Chelsea and the win over Burnley. Phil Dowd, meanwhile, will referee Liverpool’s Tuesday night game with Spurs. And Jonathan Moss will officiate the Blues game at Chelsea on Wednesday.

Former Everton favourite Tim Cahill quits New York Red Bulls
2 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Chris Beesley
Reports in China tip the ex-Blues midfielder for a switch to Shanghai
FORMER Everton favourite Tim Cahill has left Major League Soccer club New York Red Bulls.
The ex-Blues midfielder, who helped Australia win the AFC Asian Cup for the first time on Saturday by defeating South Korea 2-1 after extra time in his home city of Sydney, still had another season to run on his $3.5million per year contract with the US club but the deal has been cancelled by mutual consent. Reports in China say the 35-year-old is on the verge of completing a move to Shanghai Shenhua. Known as ‘The Blue Devils’ Shenhua finished ninth in the Chinese Super League in 2014.
Cahill netted 68 goals in 278 games for Everton between 2004-2012 and despite finding the net 12 times in the 2013 campaign for Red Bulls, he struck just three times in 29 outings last term.

Snods: Qatar break did Everton good... now derby will be the real test
2 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
by IanSnodin
Blues columnist believes Palace boost could not have been timed better
There were plenty of questions being asked about Everton last week. They were answered emphatically at Selhurst Park. And with the derby just around the corner, the timing could not have been any better. A lot of fans were pondering the wisdom of going away to Qatar for warm weather training after such a poor run of form. I know they spent a lot of time working on things on the training pitch. But the evidence from the game at Crystal Palace is perhaps it helped more with their team bonding. To be honest, I’d imagine there were some words said among the squad when they were away. They’d have spoken about being in a tricky situation. They’ll have known there were one or two things that needed to get out in the open. Hopefully they aired any disagreements and put things right. Certainly, the win at Palace showed an improved mentality. They were playing for each other for the full 90 minutes.
We really rolled our sleeves up to get a result.
It was a fantastic win. Most neutrals would have had it down as a home win given the recent results of the two teams, with Palace unbeaten since Alan Pardew had taken over and always difficult to beat at home. When you are desperate for a win, you don’t really care how it comes about as long as you get those three points.
A scrappy win will do. And it was a scrappy goal that secured it.
Of course, we then had to defend for 88 minutes. But we limited Palace to only a couple of chances and had the best chances in the second half. There’s no better game than a home derby against Liverpool. It’s a massive one for the fans. They’ll be up for it on Saturday, absolutely no question about it. The intensity, rivalry and atmosphere is second to none. Our players have had a little bit of stick off the home fans this season, but you can bet Evertonians will be completely behind them at the weekend.
It means so much to them. There is nothing better than beating Liverpool.
I can tell you from being a player, when the fixtures came out you’d look for the derby and want to play in them. But you were also apprehensive as you knew what it meant to everyone in the city.
You didn’t want to be the person who made the mistake to cost your team the win.
So Everton will need to be brave on Saturday.
That said, it won’t be easy. I’ve been impressed with Liverpool recently, they have got their spark and energy back and are playing well. Last season’s Goodison derby was a thriller, but I’m not fussed about it being 3-3 again. I’m not bothered about entertainment value. Just give me a scrappy 1-0 win and I’ll be happy – just like every other Evertonian.
Roberto Martinez has a big dilemma over the return of James McCarthy.
If James is fit, then he plays. Even though he hasn’t played for several weeks, he seems one of those boys who doesn’t need much match practice. He’s too valuable to the team. He gives us energy and has a great will to win. So if McCarthy is back, somebody is going to be unlucky.
Muhamed Besic would be so unlucky if he didn’t play on Saturday. He is made for a derby, if he can keep his head. But Gareth Barry is experienced and can sit in front of the back four and protect all day long. It’s a tough choice. I’m glad I am not picking the team!
Rom responds to critics in right way
I was made up for Romelu Lukaku scoring the winner at Crystal Palace.
Like a lot of our players, he has come in for some stick from supporters this season.
Yet big Rom has now scored more goals now than at the equivalent stage of the previous campaign.
I’m not having a go at our fans. They have every right to criticise players, especially when things haven’t gone as we had expected. It’s the same at every club. Just look at Arsenal. They were getting grief off their fans, now those fans are right behind them. When a player gets stick, it may be deserved. But how they respond to it is key. And big Rom’s answer has been to find the net.
Robles has played in a Cup final... but derby is so different
Saturday will be the biggest game in the Everton career of Joel Robles.
Sure, the Spaniard played in the FA Cup final for Wigan. And while that is a massive occasion, the sheer intensity of a Merseyside derby takes some beating. Everton v Liverpool is played at 100 miles per hour and the atmosphere will be red hot. People on the streets of the city are already talking about it. Joel will see all of this and know exactly what it means. He just has to stand up and be brave, and I’m sure he has that in his locker. Joel has performed admirably and I’ve no qualms about him being in goal at the weekend.
A quiet window... but we have to trust in Roberto’s judgement
It was a pretty quiet deadline day for Everton – Aaron Lennon excepted - but I wouldn’t be too concerned. Roberto Martinez has been making noises for some time that there wouldn’t be a lot of action. He obviously believes we have a squad mainly strong enough to cope with the demands for the rest of the season. As a player, you like to see a couple of new faces every window because it helps freshen things up among the squad, even if it is someone who plays in your position.
At the start of the campaign, many of us thought we had a squad capable of challenging for the top four. It’s not quite happened and we have struggled of late, but we just have to get on with it.

Transfer deadline day: Aaron Lennon close to joining Everton FC on loan
2 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Tottenham Hotspur winger ready to sign in at Goodison for the rest of the season
Aaron Lennon looks to be joining Everton FC on loan.
The Tottenham Hotspur winger will sign for the rest of the season.
Stoke City and Hull City were among the clubs hoping to secure the 27-year-old but it appears that Lennon has chosen the Blues. Everton boss Roberto Martinez had ruled out signing a winger in the transfer window but has tonight swooped for the former England international.
Lennon has struggled to force his way into Maricio Pochettino’s plans at White Hart Lane this season and has made just 17 appearances. Lennon’s last outing for Spurs came on December 11 as a substitute in their Europa League match with Besiktas. Reports have suggested that Lennon’s move to Everton is with a view to making it a permanent transfer in the summer.

Why Aaron Lennon could prove a bargain for Everton FC
2 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Kristian Walsh
The Spurs winger is close to agreeing a deal with the Blues
ll was quiet at Goodison Park on transfer deadline day – until Aaron Lennon was targeted on loan by Roberto Martinez, with the 27-year-old close to moving to Merseyside.
Many fans had wanted the Blues to sign a winger – and Lennon is certainly that. Quick and direct, Lennon is very much a dying breed, a traditional wide man who likes chalk on his boots.
He hasn’t featured much in the Premier League this season, starting just three games and coming on as substitute in a further six. The Europa League has proven more his domain this season, with five appearances – and two full 90-minute outings. Because of that, his season is hard to judge. He has created one chance per appearance for Spurs this season, but has failed to register a single shot on target – with just two overall in his 276 minutes of league action. What could Lennon bring to Goodison? Here’s three reasons he could prove to be an astute buy. Everton finally have another Deulofeu: Lennon is all about pace, and his presence down the right-hand side can panic defences. Arguments can rumble on about how good he is in comparison to Deulofeu, but what can’t be disputed is how their styles are similar. Like the young Spaniard, Lennon’s presence will push defences further back, allowing the Blues to push further up the field – something they have missed a lot this season. He would provide a useful outlet, and a man to hit when looking to break quickly.
He does well when played regularly: With just nine appearances in the league, and 14 overall, little has been seen of Lennon this season. Because of this, it has been forgotten what Lennon was like when getting a proper run in the side. Some figures highlight how he works with regular playing time. In 2009/10, with 22 appearances, he scored three goals and made nine assists; in 2011/12, with 23 appearances, he scored three and set up five. His best season arguably came in 2012/13, scoring four and seven assists, after 34 league appearances. If he gets a run in the side, he could return to the form which had him in the England squad. Martinez could work wonders with him: Lennon has suffered in his career from managers who have seen him as nothing more than a pace merchant. Head down, cross in, hope for the best. The Catalan boss has shown how well he can develop players, and Lennon could be the next to benefit. Aiden McGeady has spoken of how his game has improved, especially tactically, under Martinez – Lennon, who has plenty of raw attributes, could be next in line.

Pacey and tricky Aaron Lennon will be big hit at Everton FC says Roberto Martinez
2 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Blues manager excited to capture England winger in season-long loan deal
Roberto Martinez believes Aaron Lennon’s “pace and trickery” will be a hit at Everton FC.
The 27-year-old Tottenham Hotspur winger has sealed a season long loan move to Goodison.
Lennon’s transfer is with a view to a permanent deal and Martinez is delighted to have secured the services of the former England man. “We all know what Aaron will bring to our squad with his experience and know-how, his involvement with England in two World Cups and the landmarks he has set in the Premier League,” Martinez said. “At 27, Aaron will be a really important asset to our squad and he will represent a real boost in terms of attacking options from now to the end of the season. His pace and trickery will fit in well at Goodison.” Stoke City and Hull City were among the clubs hoping to secure Lennon but he opted to join forces with Martinez and the Blues.
The Everton boss had ruled out signing a winger in the transfer window but swooped for the Leeds-born flyer before the 11pm deadline. Lennon has struggled to force his way into Maricio Pochettino’s plans at White Hart Lane this season and has made just 17 appearances.
Lennon’s last outing for Spurs came on December 11 as a substitute in their Europa League match with Besiktas.

Everton FC's Conor McAleny seals Cardiff City loan as Matthew Kennedy makes permanent switch to Welsh side
2 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Conor Grant is also being sent on loan to Motherwell in busy deadline day
And the 20-year-old winger will be joined in the Welsh capital by Conor McAleny who has tonight secured a loan until the end of the season.
Also Blue boy Conor Grant, 19, is to join Scottish Premier League outfit Motherwell for the remainder of the campaign. Kennedy recently returned from a six month stint Hibs where he impressed under former Blues captain Alan Stubbs. But tonight Everton agreed an undisclosed fee for the wide-man who has also had spells with Tranmere Rovers and MK Dons during his time at Everton. McAleny, meanwhile, is hoping to impress Roberto Martinez during his spell with mid-table Championship side Cardiff. The 22-year-old travelled with Everton’s first-team squad to Qatar recently for a warm-weather training camp. Grant was named on the bench for Everton’s Europa League dead rubber against Krasnodar in December but will now finish the season with Motherwell in the SPL. Martinez said: “For Conor McAleny and Matthew Kennedy, it’s a really exciting chapter in their respective careers. “They are ready to make a huge impact at first-team level and they are two players with terrific potential and a great attitude. “This will represent a unique opportunity for their development and forConor Grant it's a great opportunity too.”

Tim Cahill to join Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua after leaving MLS side New York Red Bulls
3 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Former Everton FC player said to have consulted Blues chairman Bill Kenwright before move
Tim Cahill is said to have consulted Everton FC chairman Bill Kenwright before agreeing to a move to China. The former Blues midfielder parted company with Major League Soccer side New York Red Bulls and has joined Shanghai Shenhua. Cahill said he spoke with Kenwright, Thierry Henry and David Moyes before making the decision. “I’ve taken a lot of good advice from very powerful men,” said Cahill. “I think it’s exciting. To be in demand and have these offers is special.
“I will make an impact in China, I promise you, on the pitch,” Cahill said. “When I go somewhere I’ll do it properly.” Cahill added: “I’m not only a footballer, I’m someone who’s an ambassador for their country. “To play in so many countries, I’m blessed. This will be massive for Tim Cahill.”

Aaron Lennon plans on "seizing this opportunity" after sealing loan move to Everton FC
3 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Spurs winger joins on loan for the rest of the season
Aaron Lennon has spoken about “seizing this opportunity” after sealing a loan move to Everton FC.
The Tottenham Hotspur winger has joined the Blues until the end of the season but the deal is with a view to being made permanent in the summer. Lennon, 27, has struggled for game time at Spurs this season under new manager Mauricio Pochettino, making just 17 appearances.
Everton swooped for the former England winger late on transfer deadline day and Lennon wants to repay the faith shown in him by Blues boss Roberto Martinez by making an impact at Goodison between now and May. “I’m really looking forward to seizing this opportunity at a club with such a history and with such great potential, too,” Lennon said. “The manager wants to play exciting, attacking football and I’m determined to make a big contribution over the remaining games.”

Aaron Lennon ready to handle "baptism" in Merseyside derby says Everton FC boss Roberto Martinez
3 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
But Blues will assess match fitness of winger after he sealed a loan move on deadline day
AARON LENNON is ready to handle the “baptism” of a Merseyside derby says Blues boss Roberto Martinez. But the Catalan says he will continue to monitor the match fitness of the 27-year-old before making a decision on his debut. Lennon sealed a loan move from Tottenham until the rest of the season on deadline day after Everton beat off competition from Stoke City and Hull City for his services. The Blues welcome Liverpool to Goodison on Saturday and Martinez believes Lennon has the experience to cope with the big occasion if called upon. But Martinez will assess Lennon’s fitness ahead of the weekend’s clash before making a call on his inclusion in the side.
“It’s not going to faze him,” Martinez said of the derby. “We need to see where he is physically and his match fitness. “He’s played a lot of games so far this season, to be involved in 17 games in this half of the season is a good return, and this is the sort of game he will look forward.
“It is the perfect baptism in our club to go into the Merseyside derby is a really interesting start.”
Lennon was the only piece of business from Everton on a quiet transfer deadline day.
The winger’s loan move is with a view to making it permanent at the end of the campaign and Martinez says he will have plenty to offer at Goodison. “He has terrific pedigree, terrific experience and real good understanding of the league and he’s going to have an impact straight away,” he said.
“He is someone who you don’t realise has the amount of experience he has already accumulated and he still at a very good age. “He’s already experienced two World Cups with England and he brings something really important to our squad straight away and he is very much a welcome addition.” Martinez added: “He has already reached huge landmarks in the Premier League and being able to adapt to different ways of playing. “He’s had a very interesting experience from that point of view but for us he is someone who can play on both wings with a lot of power and a lot of pace. He has incredible ball control, he has high speed and is someone who will fit in really well at Goodison and our fans will see a player that can take people on, that can be really exciting and is one of those players that gives you the impression that something is going to happen.”

Everton FC boss Roberto Martinez has no worries over the return of Daniel Sturridge ahead of the Merseyside derby
3 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Blues welcome Liverpool to Goodison on Saturday night
Roberto Martinez insists he is unconcerned by the scoring return of Liverpool FC’s Daniel Sturridge ahead of this week’s derby.
The Reds striker was sidelined for five months with calf and thigh injuries but marked his comeback with the Reds second goal against West Ham on Saturday.
Martinez believes Liverpool, who have won five of their last six league games, have found their “rhythm” but the Blues boss says his side hold no fear ahead of the 224th Merseyside derby.
Everton ended a run of eight games without a win with a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace at the weekend and Martinez is looking forward to a clash where there is “everything to play for.”
And he says he will not be making any special plans for Everton to try and snuff out the threat of Sturridge now he is back in the side. “You can only play with 11. People can focus too much on one player,” Martinez said about the return of the Liverpool frontman. “If they could play with 11 plus Sturridge then I would be worried. “They have real quality and when you look at the money they spent, over £100m, you are not going to get bad players in their squad.”
He added: “But we always enjoy going into derbies with everything to play for.
“It is a massive rivalry but a healthy one. “We have got some young players who can learn a lot in those situations." “Liverpool have found their rhythm and are probably in a system that suits their players and we will have to be at our best but we are looking forward to it.” Martinez is hopeful James McCarthy will be passed fully fit for the game at Goodison on Saturday night and says Ross Barkley will be refreshed having sat out with win over Palace. “As a team we have been very flexible this season and we have players who are getting close to full fitness,” said the Everton manager.
“Ross Barkley needed a rest on Saturday but is a very important player for us and James McCarthy is going to be fit very soon. Our squad is very strong and we need to get the players back.
“The derby is an important game but the weekend was probably even more important.
“Playing away from home against a team who has scored eight times in the three previous games, is always a difficult game. “Saturday was a great performance but now we move onto the derby.”

Everton FC says it can go ahead with controversial evening kick-off Merseyside derby
3 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Alan Weston, Helen Davies
Liverpool FC supporters' union Spirit of Shankly disappointed with police challenged to kick-off time
Everton FC has confirmed to the Premier League it can host the Merseyside derby at its scheduled kick-off time of 5.30pm on Saturday.
Merseyside police has launched what is believed to be an unprecedented legal challenge to bring the kick-off time forward to lunchtime, just five days before the game.
They are concerned that the timing would increase the risk of alcohol-fuelled disorder both before, during, and after the game, and that they do not have the resources to deal with it.
There will be double the number of police support units that are normally at the ground, paid for by Everton. The club will have 430 club stewards together with 50 agency stewards, who will be focussed on higher risk areas. Despite this, police lodged an appeal at Liverpool magistrates’ court against the decision of the Safety Advisory Group and Liverpool council to agree an evening kick-off for the hotly-anticipated match. Liverpool council’s licensing committee last week turned down a police request to bring forward the kick-off time to 2pm or earlier.
The move is being made despite the inevitable chaos it will cause for the fixture list to be changed at such short notice, as well as for fans’ travelling arrangements.
The Merseyside derby had originally been scheduled for a 3pm kick-off, but this cannot be shown live on television. It was changed to 5.30pm after consultations between the Premier League and Sky Sports, making it the latest time the Merseyside derby has been played on a Saturday.
Police said this increased the risk of alcohol-fuelled disorder because of the “excessive time” allowed for alcohol consumption by fans attending the fixture and by those seeking to view it on TV either locally to the ground or in the city centre.
The match at Goodison Park has been raised to a “Category C” fixture with a high risk of disorder.
The Premier League said that, for fixtures from December onwards, live TV matches are mostly confirmed on a month-by-month basis. The Premier League seeks to confirm live TV matches approximately six weeks prior to the start of the month in question.
LFC supporters' union Spirit of Shankly disappointed with legal challenge
Liverpool supporters’ union Spirit of Shankly says it is disappointed police are to mount a legal challenge to the kick-off time for the Merseyside derby.
The group has issued a statement saying fans have already made arrangements for a 5.30pm start to the Premier League clash between Everton and Liverpool on Saturday and problems will be caused if the timing is changed. A Spirit of Shankly statement said: “It is disappointing that the police have again sought a change, but more disappointing that such a change is being pursued at this late stage.
“Supporters of both sides will have made travel arrangements and plans for the day.
“Instead, they face uncertainty.” Any decision to change the kick-off time at this late stage would have big implications for televised games. The Merseyside derby is the second of two Premier League derbies to be broadcast live on Saturday, after the North London derby between Tottenham and Arsenal which kicks off at 12.45pm.
The Spirit of Shankly statement added: “It is our understanding, having taken advice, that there is very little supporters can do other than await an outcome. The reason for this would be that we are not an ‘interested party’ under the act which the police are taking this action.
“We find it incredulous that supporters are not seen as interested party. Once again, loyal and paying supporters are taken for granted and not even given the courtesy of being informed, let alone included in decisions that directly impact on them.”

Everton FC transfer gossip: Winston Reid swap deal for Distin, Orjan Nyland link, Januzaj summer move, Cahill's Kenwright call
3 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Peter Guy
Everton made late enquiry for Winston Reid as Hammers swooped for Sylvain Distin
Transfer deadline day may have passed but Everton FC have been linked with swapping veteran centre-back Sylvain Distin for West Ham's Winston Reid.
Everton defender Distin is out of contract at the end of the season and is the subject of interest from Hammers manager Sam Allardyce.
Reid is in a similar situation and Everton boss Roberto Martinez is hoping to shore up his defensive options. Sky Sports News' Alan Irwin said: "My understanding is that West Ham are very interested in taking Distin and, on the back of that, my sources are indicating Everton have made an enquiry about Winston Reid."
Players Everton have been linked with signing
Everton may have captured Spurs midfielder Aaron Lennon but they also reportedly attempted to sign Norway goalkeeper Orjan Nyland before last night's deadline.
Martinez said he wanted a goalkeeper in during the window and Norwegian media has reported that Molde, Nyland's agent, and Everton are in negotiations. Molde have just signed Sweden U21 'keeper Andreas Linde from Helsingborg, as a replacement.
Manchester United ended Everton's hopes of signing Adnan Januzaj in a deadline day deal meaning Martinez will have to wait until the summer at least to land the 19-year-old.
Louis van Gaal refuses to let the teenager leave on loan, despite only using him sparingly this term.
The United manager also blocked Paris St Germain's attempts to sign the versatile forward during this window. Finally, ex-Blues midfielder Tim Cahill has revealed that he spoke to Everton chairman Bill Kenwright and former Goodison manager David Moyes before he announced he'd join Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua. Tim said: "I've been on the phone to David Moyes, I spoke with Thierry Henry and also the chairman Bill Kenright at Everton and (Socceroos coach) Ange (Postecoglou) this morning. "I've made the decision purely because I've played in the Premier League and did really well and it was a massive compliment to get the phone calls I did last night and to speak to Moyes about possibly going to La Liga. "I've done the Premier League, I've done America. New York was amazing for me.. China is a growing market in football."

Merseyside derby kick-off time: Police set out reasons for launching legal challenge
3 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Helen Davies
Deputy chief constable Andy Cooke says an earlier kick-off would reduce the risk of alochol-fuelled problems
Brendan Rodgers and Roberto Martinez
Merseyside Police’s deputy chief constable has explained why the force took legal action to bring forward the derby kick-off time.
DCC Andy Cooke said the 5.30pm kick-off would cost an extra £50,000 for the hotly anticipated Premier League clash between Everton and Liverpool from 5.30pm to 2pm or earlier.
The application was withdrawn during today's court hearing after Everton agreed to increase segregation inside Goodison Park. The ECHO understands the police felt it important to make a stand against football matches being moved in favour of TV screening over public safety.
DCC Cooke said concerns centre around the fact a lot of people would be off work on a Saturday and would be likely to drink more with a later kick-off time.
He told the ECHO: “There’s plenty of evidence that the later the kick-off the more disorder we get.
“People in pubs across the city will be watching the game, a lot of them will be drinking for a long time prior to kick-off.” He said the force would need to put more police on duty for a 5.30pm kick-off at the ground at Goodison Park, in Liverpool city centre and across the region.
Merseyside Police can recover some of their policing costs for the derby game from Everton FC but thousands would come from taxpayer funds. Mr Cooke said: “The plan for a late kick off requires 254 police officers covering the area around the stadium, inside the stadium and also the city centre.
“The operation would be extended to 17 hours, which would result in valuable resources being displaced from their ordinary duties from across Merseyside. Additional resources would also be deployed to police licensed premises across the county. “The cost of that operation to date would be £78,500 and at least £50,000 of that would not be recoverable from the club. There is no doubt that the late kick off, to facilitate the match being played on live TV, would significantly stretch our resources.” The deputy chief constable added: “The vast majority of supporters on both sides are very well behaved but there is a minority who follow the football who set out to cause problems.”
He said Merseyside Police had made a request to the Premier League and Sky Sports, who are showing the match, for an earlier kick-off but this had been rejected.
Liverpool council’s licensing committee last week turned down a police request to amend the terms of the ground safety certificate to bring forward the kick-off time to lunchtime.
Police took their case to a magistrates hearing today, warning of how their resources could be stretched. Any decision to change the kick-off time at this late stage would have big implications for televised games. Mr Cooke said fears spanned a range of alcohol-fuelled problems from disorder in pubs and on the streets to an increase in domestic violence.
Asked if the force would be able to cope with a 5.30pm kick-off he said: “Yes, it will stretch our resources but we’re proud of the professional service we give to the community of Merseyside and we will as professionally as possible tackle whatever risks and challenges are presented in front of us. However it is an unnecessary risk.” He added: “We have always enjoyed good working relationships with both Everton and Liverpool Clubs and their respective supporters associations and in the run-up to the game this will continue. But again we must stress that the people who we are concerned about are not those genuine fans who actively support the clubs and join the supporters associations. “In previous seasons this particular fixture has never been subject to a 5.30pm kick-off, as we have always been able to liaise with the club and Premier League to ensure an early kick-off to avoid conditions that can place unnecessary demand on the emergency services.
“The majority of people who attend the derby game are generally from the Merseyside region and the later kick-off time gives some people, who are not necessarily true football supporters, the chance to take advantage of the early pub opening times and this can lead to potential disorder.
“In previous years we have had experience of policing 5.30pm kick-offs at both Goodison and Anfield, involving clubs from other areas, and these have not been without issue due to behaviour being affected by alcohol.” The Premier League clash had originally been scheduled for a 3pm kick-off, but this cannot be shown live on television.
This was changed to 5.30pm after consultations between the Premier League and Sky Sports, making it the latest time the Merseyside derby has been played on a Saturday.

Everton v Liverpool at 5.30pm is an 'opportunity for supporters to prove police fears were unfounded'
3 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Sean Bradbury
Watch David Prentice give his verdict on the decision to keep Saturday's Merseyside derby as an evening kick-off
The move to keep Everton v Liverpool as a 5.30pm kick-off is an 'opportunity for supporters to prove police fears were unfounded' according to the ECHO's deputy head of sport.
Merseyside Police had mounted a legal challenge in a bid to bring the time of Saturday's Premier League match forward. But the force withdrew their application this morning at a court hearing in Sefton. Reacting to the news, the ECHO's David Prentice said: "I'm personally very pleased that the kick-off time is staying the same. "It's an opportunity for both sets of supporters to prove that police fears were unfounded. "There was a spell certainly when derby match atmospheres were quite poisonous but in more recent years there has been an improvement.
"Some of the chanting from the terraces has been less objectionable and there have been less incidents after the games."

Merseyside Police withdraw Derby kick-off legal challenge
3 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By John Siddle
Magistrates court hearing called off after Everton agreed to "alter and improve" segregation arrangements
Merseyside Police withdrew their legal challenge to bring forward the Merseyside Derby kick-off time after an out-of-court compromise was reached.
The force mounted an appeal bid after Liverpool council’s licensing committee last week turned down a request to amend the terms of the ground safety certificate to bring forward the 5.30pm kick-off time to lunchtime. They said there was an increased risk of drunken disorder, with fans spending more time drinking before the televised match starts on Saturday.
Police chiefs said that would cause unnecessary risk, which would require increased policing, funded by the taxpayer. But a compromise between police, the council and Everton FC, was reached today at South Sefton magistrates’ court without the need for a judge’s ruling.
Re-read our blog from South Sefton Magistrates' Court on the hearing and its aftermath
Anne Whyte, representing the police, told the court that “a constructive approach has prevailed”.
She said that Everton FC, which is hosting the game, had undertaken to “alter and improve” segregation arrangements between fans from both clubs. She added that the council and police would agree to a “structured timetable” for the consideration of ground safety certificates issued for ‘risk’ matches in the future. It is understood that this resolution would enable the police to show a stronger hand to rebuff broadcasters wanting to show matches with added safety concerns, such as the derby, on weekend evenings in the future. Deputy chief constable Andy Cooke told the ECHO that the plan for the late kick-off will require 254 police officers covering the area around the stadium, inside the stadium and also the city centre. He said: “The operation would be extended to 17 hours, which would result in valuable resources being displaced from their ordinary duties from across Merseyside. Additional resources would also be deployed to police licensed premises across the county. “The cost of that operation to date would be £78,500 and at least £50,000 of that would not be recoverable from the club. There is no doubt that the late kick off, to facilitate the match being played on live TV, would significantly stretch our resources.”
As revealed by the ECHO earlier today, Everton confirmed to the Premier League it could host the Merseyside derby at its scheduled kick-off time of 5.30pm on Saturday.
There will be double the number of police support units that are normally at the ground, paid for by Everton. The club will have 430 club stewards together with 50 agency stewards, who will be focussed on higher risk areas.

Aaron Lennon joins Everton FC's list of 'big' little men
3 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Chris Beesley
New Goodison signing and other tiny terrors who graced the Blues
So it turned out that Everton’s big signing of transfer deadline day was one of the smallest players in the Premier League.
Diminutive winger Aaron Lennon is just 5ft 5in in his stocking feet – a full 15 inches shorter than Lacina Traore who Roberto Martinez brought to Goodison Park in the last January transfer window.
We look at the other tiny terrors who have turned out for the Blues over the years.
To qualify they have to be the same height as Lennon or smaller so ‘lofty’ 5ft 6in stars like Alan Ball, Peter Reid, Royston Drenthe, Jimmy Dunn and even Adrian ‘Inchy’ Heath are all too tall to fit under our bar.
Fred Geary
‘Goal a game’ Geary was Everton’s first big star at centre-forward in the pioneering Victorian era.
Unlike later Blues icons in the position, he was hardly a target man given his pint-sized 5ft 2in frame.
Quite probably the smallest ever player to turn out in the club’s first team, Geary, who was snapped up from home town club Notts Rangers, netted 86 times for Everton in 98 outings - including 20 in their first title-winning season of 1890/91 before crossing Stanley Park to help Liverpool win the Second Division Championship in 1896.
Alex Stevenson
Deceptively strong, inside left Alex Stevenson stood a mere 5ft 3in but was known as Goodison’s ‘Celtic Sorcerer’ either side of the Second World War.
After rising to prominence with the Dolphin club in Dublin he briefly turned out for Rangers, making a dozen appearances for them during the 1933/34 title-winning season.
He left Ibrox in January 1934 and remains the last Irish Catholic to have played for the Scottish club but went to turn out 271 times for the Blues until 1949, scoring 90 goals and winning the League Championship in 1939.
Johnny Holt
If Geary was an oddity as a vertically-challenged Everton centre-forward, Johnny Holt, who played centre-half for a decade between 1888-1898, was nicknamed ‘The Little Devil.’
Goodison stalwart Will Cuff remarked that Holt, who played 252 games for Everton and won a League Championship in 1891, was actually considerably smaller than his official ‘listed’ height of just 5ft 4in.
Holt, regarded as “without doubt one of the best half-backs in England” made up for his lack of inches with some crafty ways.
Club historian Thomas Keates remarked that he was: “an artist in the perpetuation of clever minor fouls. When they were appealed for, his shocked look of indifference was side-splitting.”
Bobby Collins
Goodison’s ‘Little General’ who arrived in September 1958 was just 5ft 4in and took just a dainty size 4 boot.
But there was nothing delicate about Collins’ play and the ‘Pocket Napoleon’ was famed for his ferocious style against much larger opponents.
After playing 147 games and scoring 48 goals for the Blues, Collins was controversially offloaded to Leeds United in March 1962 and three-and-a-half years later he returned to his former stamping ground with the Yorkshiremen where he was involved in the ‘Battle of Goodison’ in which the referee temporarily took both teams off for a ‘cooling-off period.’
Alec Troup
Mini marvel Troup, a mere 5ft 5in, set up the most momentous goal in Goodison history, floating in the corner kick in 1928 that provided the prolific Dixie Dean with a record 60th league goal of the season.
It was just one of many occasions that the Scot, who played 260 times for Everton between 1923-1930 scoring 35 goals, produced the ammunition for Dean who said: “Out of those 60 goals I scored, I must have scored 40 from centres by Troup.
“I think we had a perfect understanding and I think I have to thank him for more than anyone else for the part he played in scoring the goals I did. I’d rate him as one of the best wingers there’s ever been.”

Everton FC new boy Aaron Lennon's unwanted claim to fame
13:41, 3 February 2015
By Ian Doyle
Profiling Goodison's on-loan winger
IT’S a curious claim to fame Aaron Lennon perhaps wisely chooses not to shout from the rooftops.
As England slipped out of the World Cup in 2006, the winger became the first substitute for his country to then be substituted in a finals match.
Lennon replaced the injured David Beckham shortly after half-time of the quarter-final against Portugal, and was then sacrificed seconds before the end of extra time for Jamie Carragher to take a penalty in the subsequent shoot-out.
We all know how that ended up.
And in many ways, the whole episode encapsulates Lennon’s career.
While blessed with the talent required to grace such a lofty stage, there has always been a sense the winger has not quite made the most of his potential. A nearly man. But it wasn’t always that way. by Leeds scouts aged eight – was the youngest player to have his boots sponsored when he signed up with Adidas at the age of 14. Lennon was already setting records even before he became the youngest player to appear in the Premier League at the age of 16 years 129 days when coming off the bench for hometown club Leeds United at Tottenham Hotspur in August 2003.
Two years earlier, the winger – who was spotted After one goal in 43 appearances for Leeds, the club’s desperate financial straits meant he was moved on Tottenham for a paltry £1million.
Here, Lennon continued to blossom. He was nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year award for 2006 and 2007 but lost out to Manchester United duo Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo respectively. Lennon then starred in the 2008 League Cup final and helped Spurs beat Chelsea 2-1 – the only silverware of his career to date. He was a regular feature in the Tottenham team under successive managers and was named supporters’ player of the season in 2008-09, but in 2010 a poor run of form prompted speculation of a move to Aston Villa. The winger, though, stayed put. Yet there was a view that for every late winner against Liverpool, for every assist in the San Siro, Lennon was no longer progressing. He figured three times for England in the 2006 World Cup – each as substitute – and started twice in the 2010 edition in South Africa.
However, the winger has subsequently appeared only twice for his country, with the last of his 21 caps coming in the final 14 minutes of the Wembley friendly win over Brazil two years ago.
Lennon has always been hampered by a lack of end product, underlined by the fact that in 10 full seasons as a professional, he has never scored more than five goals, a figure he reached twice in 2007 and 2009.
Indeed, he has netted just twice since December 2012.
Now 27, Lennon was in the first Premier League starting line-up of new boss Mauricio Pochettino but has since seen his first-team opportunities dwindle. And with his career stalling after 364 appearances and 30 goals for Spurs – the club’s current longest-serving player – the winger has turned to Goodison to rejuvenate his game and, Roberto Martinez will hope, also Everton’s Premier League season.

Lots of clubs - only one choice says Aaron Lennon on his Everton FC switch
3 February 2015 iverpool Echo
By David Prentice
Winger says Everton was his number one choice
AARON LENNON has revealed he spoke to “a lot of clubs” on transfer deadline day, but had “only one choice.” The 27-year-old winger who has joined Everton until the end of the season, with a view to a permanent deal, explained that as soon as Everton came calling, his mind was made up.
“I’m delighted. It’s obviously been a tough start to the year for me, but I was over the moon when I got the call,” he said. “It was a hectic day yesterday and it was a busy weekend, too. I was speaking to a lot of clubs, a lot of managers, but this was the one I wanted.
“Finally, when I got the call from Everton, there wasn’t really a choice, I just couldn’t wait to get up here and I’m glad it was all sorted.” Lennon could be involved in Saturday’s Goodison derby and believes his style of play fits in well with Everton’s. He is also familiar with a number of the Blues squad from international duty. He added: “Everything about Everton made me excited to join. I’ve always liked the club, the way they play, the way the manager has got the team playing and the squad that they have – it was the most attractive to me and it was an easy decision for me.
“I’ve known Bainesy for a while, I also know Jags, Gareth Barry and I’ve met Leon Osman a couple of times from England as well. It’s good to know a few of them and they’ve only said positive things about the club. “I think it’ll help to know a few of the lads. Hopefully, they will look after me and I will settle in quickly.”

Aaron Lennon insists he is ‘excited to join Everton’ – despite appearances
• Winger completed deadline-beating loan from Spurs
• ‘Everything about Everton made me excited to join’
• Underwhelming official photoshoot goes viral online
• Transfer window: all the January ins and outs
• The Knowledge archive: footballers looking unhappy at official unveilings
The Guardian
Tuesday 3 February 2015
Aaron Lennon insists he was excited to join Everton from Tottenham on loan – despite a series of downbeat official photographs suggesting otherwise.
The 27-year-old winger – holder of 21 England caps – had been linked with various clubs after being frozen out at Spurs, but said there was “not really a choice” for him to make once he found out Everton wanted to sign him until the end of the season. Reflecting on the move, Lennon told the club’s website: “I’m delighted. It’s obviously been a tough start to the year for me, but I was over the moon when I got the call. “It was a hectic day yesterday and it was a busy weekend, too. I was speaking to a lot of clubs, a lot of managers, but this was the one I wanted. Finally, when I got the call from Everton, there wasn’t really a choice, I just couldn’t wait to get up here and I’m glad it was all sorted. Everything about Everton made me excited to join. “I’ve always liked the club, the way the manager [Roberto Martínez] has got the team playing and the squad that they have – it was the most attractive to me and it was an easy decision for me.”

Aaron Lennon 'over the moon' to join Everton on loan after 'tough start to the year' at Tottenham
03 February 2015 London Evening News
Updated: 16:59, 03 February 2015
Aaron Lennon felt there was "not really a choice" for him to make once he found out Everton wanted to sign him.
Transfer deadline day saw Lennon join the Toffees on loan from Tottenham until the end of the season. The 27-year-old winger - holder of 21 England caps - had been linked with various clubs after being frozen out at Spurs. And reflecting on the move he eventually made, Lennon told "I'm delighted. "It's obviously been a tough start to the year for me, but I was over the moon when I got the call. "It was a hectic day yesterday and it was a busy weekend, too. I was speaking to a lot of clubs, a lot of managers, but this was the one I wanted.
"Finally, when I got the call from Everton, there wasn't really a choice, I just couldn't wait to get up here and I'm glad it was all sorted. "Everything about Everton made me excited to join.
"I've always liked the club, the way the manager (Roberto Martinez) has got the team playing and the squad that they have - it was the most attractive to me and it was an easy decision for me." Martinez has indicated Lennon could be thrown straight into action in Saturday's Merseyside derby clash with Liverpool at Goodison Park. "We need to see where he is physically and his match fitness but he has been involved in 17 games in half of a season which is a good return," Martinez said. "He is a player that will look forward to these games and, from our point of view, it's the perfect baptism at our club - to go into a Merseyside derby is a really interesting start."It's not going to faze him."

Everton to pursue Manchester United midfielder in summer
3 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By David Prentice
Roberto Martinez keen to link up with England international again
EVERTON will pursue a move for Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley in the summer.
The 25-year-old is out of contract at Old Trafford at the end of the season and the Blues will be ready to make a swoop for the free agent. Cleverley is currently on a season long loan at Aston Villa and the West Midlands club are keen to make his stay a permanent one once the campaign is up.
But Everton would be favourites to land the former Bradford city youngster after Cleverley enjoyed a loan spell at Wigan Athletic during the 2010-11 season under Blues boss Roberto Martinez.
Martinez is a known admirer of the United academy product who made his England senior debut in August 2012 against Italy. The Everton manager had been scouring the transfer market in January to find a creative midfielder who could fill the void left by the injured Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar.
Martinez stressed his search was not urgent with Osman progressing well from a snapped tendon in his foot and the Goodison boss made no move, only bringing in winger Aaron Lennon on deadline day. Cleverley is seen as the ideal player to fit that brief but he would not have been eligible to play for Everton this season having already played for two Premier League clubs this term.
But Martinez is happy to wait and is set to move for Cleverly this summer.
Cleverley has come in for criticism for his performances at both United and Villa but the Blues boss believes he can realise his potential at Goodison Park. Reports surfaced on Monday that United were demanding Villa paid a transfer fee of £7m before the cut off point or risk having Cleverley recalled But no such situation materialised and the midfielder, who has made 22 appearances for Paul Lambert’s side, will remain at Villa Park until the end of the campaign.
However, Everton are then set to swoop and it has been reported that Cleverley is keen to work with Martinez again.

Everton FC want Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley in summer
3 February 2015 Liverpool eCHO
By David Prentice
Everton will pursue a move for Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley in the summer.
The 25-year-old is out of contract at Old Trafford at the end of the season and the Blues will be ready to make a swoop for the free agent.
Cleverley is currently on a season long loan at Aston Villa and the West Midlands club are keen to make his stay a permanent one once the campaign is up. But Everton would be favourites to land the former Bradford city youngster after Cleverley enjoyed a loan spell at Wigan Athletic during the 2010-11 season under Blues boss Roberto Martinez. Martinez is a known admirer of the United academy product who made his England senior debut in August 2012 against Italy.
The Everton manager had been scouring the transfer market in January to find a creative midfielder who could fill the void left by the injured Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar.Martinez stressed his search was not urgent with Osman progressing well from a snapped tendon in his foot and the Goodison boss made no move, only bringing in winger Aaron Lennon on deadline day. Cleverley is seen as the ideal player to fit that brief but he would not have been eligible to play for Everton this season having already played for two Premier League clubs this term.But Martinez is happy to wait and is set to move for Cleverly this summer. Cleverley has come in for criticism for his performances at both United and Villa but the Blues boss believes he can realise his potential at Goodison Park.Reports surfaced on Monday that United were demanding Villa paid a transfer fee of £7m before the cut off point or risk having Cleverley recalled But no such situation materialised and the midfielder, who has made 22 appearances for Paul Lambert’s side, will remain at Villa Park until the end of the campaign. However, Everton are then set to swoop and it has been reported that Cleverley is keen to work with Martinez again.

West Ham made bid for Everton FC defender Sylvain Distin on deadline day
3 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Experienced defender was subject to interest from two clubs but stays at Goodison Park
WEST HAM UNITED were one of two clubs who made late bids to take Sylvain Distin from Everton FC on deadline day.
The Hammers wanted the experienced French defender to bolster their squad after injuries struck at centre-half. Everton boss Roberto Martinez has confirmed that “conversations” took place but says that was as far as any potential deals got. Distin, 37, is out of contract at the end of the season and it was reported that West Ham were willing to offer out-of-favour Winston Reid as part of the swap deal. However, West Ham co-owner David Sullivan claims it was a disagreement over the length of the contract that saw deals for Distin and Younes Kaboul fall through.
Martinez has described Distin as a “terrific servant” at Everton but as the defender enters the final few months of his deal, the Blues boss says it was only “fair” that the French defender be allowed to speak with other clubs.
The Catalan refused to name the two interested parties.
“There were a couple of clubs,” confirmed Martinez.
“It would not be right for me to put the names out but there were a couple of conversations and as you can imagine, Sylvain has been a terrific servant for Everton and he is out of contract at the end of this season. “So it is only normal and fair to have that conversation. At the end, Sylvain is an Everton player and that is the only thing that matters going forward.”
West Ham chief Sullivan said: “Our desire to try to bring in new faces was heightened by what happened at Anfield on Saturday, with all three central defenders suffering injuries.
“We prioritised that position and targeted two experienced Premier League defenders but could not reach an agreement with them over the length of their deals.” Distin returned to the Everton squad for Saturday’s win at Crystal Palace after spell out injured. But the veteran may now struggle to regain his place in the starting line-up following the form of Phil Jagielka and John Stones at the heart of Everton’s defence. “In the windows you will always get these situations that you have to consider and there were a couple of conversations but nothing developed from that,” Martinez added. “So the future is quite clear, Sylvain is part of our squad and from now until the next game all the players are fighting for their positions and Sylvain is no different.
“What’s important is that we have players who are ready to perform and players who are ready to bring a competitive edge to our squad. At the moment it is important we keep everyone fit and available. “Sylvain has played a lot of games so his experience is important to us and you always want players fit and competing for places.”

Former Liverpool FC and Everton FC stars help launch inaugural Run For The 96
3 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Andy Kelly
Route will take in 5km around Stanley Park with Goodison and Anfield as a backdrop
By Nick Hughes
Former Liverpool FC and Everton FC stars Alan Kennedy and Graham Stuart said they were ‘delighted’ and ‘extremely privileged’ to be taking part in the inaugural Run For The 96 5K in April to commemorate the lives lost in the Hillsborough tragedy.
The Run, a new legacy event, hopes to get as many people involved by running, jogging or walking the five kilometre distance around Stanley Park with Anfield and Goodison Park as the backdrop.
The run has the support of the Hillsborough Family Support Group and all proceeds will be split between each of the clubs’ charities – Liverpool FC Foundation and Everton in the Community.
Speaking at the launch event, both former players were light¬hearted about their involvement but serious regarding its purpose. Kennedy, famed for his scoring exploits in two European Cup finals, said: “I nominated myself, I’m not sure about Graham. I thought it was going to be Graham Sharpe but he’s turned up anyway so he’ll do.” Stuart believed he had been forced into the run by Sharpe and added: “It was an easy decision for me. It was either myself, Graham Sharpe or Ian Snodin and they’ve obviously bullied me – the youngest one – into a 5K run.
“The fittest one, I’d like to think it’s the fittest one.” No rivalry will exist between the former players, according to Stuart: “This is just me and Alan representing our football clubs, but more importantly the pair of us representing Liverpool as a city and us all coming together.
“Hopefully we’ll have hundreds if not thousands of people come to here, to Stanley Park on April 19 and run along with us [and] all stand together. “We’ll have a bit of fun, a bit of banter, a bit of camaraderie – and that’s what it’s all about because it’s raising awareness and money for a fantastic cause, one that touches all our hearts here on Liverpool.” A man for the big occasion, Kennedy remained tight¬-lipped about his training for the run: “We’ll have to make sure we’ve got everything right on the day. We don’t want to go too fast do we? We
don’t want to show everybody else up.”
“No, especially ourselves,” joked Stuart.
Both agreed that there would be no forfeit for the loser “because we aren’t confident enough.”
The former Blues midfielder added: “The thing to stress is that this isn’t about how quickly you can run 5K, this is about people coming along and if it takes you an hour, it takes you an hour, if it
takes you 20 minutes, good for you. “It’s about supporting the event, and that’s the most important thing.” Dom Williams, the man behind the Hillsborough to Anfield run which started in 2011 and an organiser of the run, said: “It’s a huge boost to have the support of Alan and Graham for the very first Run For The 96 5K. “There will be many Merseyside football fans thrilled to have the rare opportunity to run alongside the legends on this very special day.”
BLOB: Run For The 96 5K entry fee is £20 (£22 online). The entry fee will pay to stage and deliver all aspects of the event.
Find out more at or where people can enter online; download an entry form; download a sponsor form; or make a donation direct to the joint charity fund via Virgin Giving.

Lifelong Everton FC fan switches sides ahead of derby with Liverpool FC in the name of charity
4 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Helen Hunt
Raymond Moore from West Derby will be an LFC supporter for a month to raise funds for youth group
A lifelong Everton FC fan is swapping sides and supporting Liverpool FC ahead of derby day – in the name of charity. Raymond Moore, from West Derby, is saying goodbye to his beloved blue shirt just days before one of his team’s most important matches.
It is part of a series of challenges the 51-year-old is doing to raise funds for the youth and community group he runs in Southport. The difficult derby day task was set for him by Liverpool FC supporter, Ken Landon, who he met on holiday in Thailand, when Raymond asked for suggestions of a challenge for him to complete every month. But out of a planned 10K run in March; a Liverpool to Chester bike ride; a three peaks challenge and a Tough Mudder assault course challenge, he said switching shirts ahead of the derby day will be the most difficult.
Raymond, who has already completed the dry January challenge, added: “This is going to be harder than dry January, the 10K run, Liverpool to Chester bike ride, the Yorkshire three peaks, the Tough Mudder – which is going to be physically difficult. Mentally this will be the hardest challenge, wearing a Liverpool shirt.” Dad-of-two Raymond added: “It was a big Liverpool fan who said about supporting Liverpool FC for a month. It was his idea – it’s his fault. He’s been giving me a hard time on Facebook about it. “I play football, five-a-side every Friday with mostly Everton supporters, they said they’re not speaking to me and have told me under no circumstances to turn up on Friday wearing a Liverpool shirt. “I’m 51 so I guess I grew up with the tail end of Howard Kendall. My heroes were people like Kevin Sheedy, Peter Reid, Duncan Ferguson, Graeme Sharp, Kevin Sheedy, Neville Southall. “At the moment I like Besic (Muhamed Besic), he’s a good all round player, a midfielder. I have a bearded dragon called Eto (Samuel Eto’o) – although he’s just moved.”
Raymond is not attending the derby match this Saturday at Goodison Park because he would have to sit in the Liverpool supporters end and felt it was “unfair” to take up a seat which could have been used by a true Reds’ fan. He will, he promises, cheer for them, though.
He said: “I’ll be watching it and if Liverpool do score, I will cheer - I’ve promised and I always keep promises.” Raymond is doing his challenge for the Phoenix Community and Youth Project in Southport. The not-for-profit organisation helps young people train and get qualifications as well as providing a youth club drop-in the evenings.

Everton squad better balanced following transfer window, says Roberto Martinez
4 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Martinez says Everton must always strive to emerge from the transfer window stronger than the last
Roberto Martinez believes Everton FC are in a stronger position following the transfer window saying: “The squad is well balanced.” The Blues lost Samuel Eto’o to Sampdoria in January but added Aaron Lennon on loan from Tottenham Hotspur before Monday night’s deadline.
Martinez says Everton must always strive to emerge from the transfer window stronger than the last. But after seeing Eto’o cut ties with the club the Goodison boss still made it clear he was not planning any significant business. But before Monday’s 11pm cut off Lennon came in on loan from Spurs for the rest of the season and Martinez believes it has left the Blues in a better position.
“I do, because the situation of Samuel, we were always in a position where each window we were going to assess the situation,” Martinez said, when asked if he felt the squad was stronger than it was before the start of the window. “Samuel has been a real positive for us in the first-half of the season, scoring four goals and the influence he had in Europe. “We have now brought in Aaron Lennon who has got incredible experience and is at the peak of his powers as a player, at the age of 27. “And we have got Arouna Kone fully fit and Romelu Lukaku is fully fit and in great condition.
“So I feel the squad is well balanced and strong everywhere.” Martinez added: “Tim Howard is going to come back soon, James McCarthy is going to be available very soon, Darron Gibson is already in the squad and was involved in the 18 against Crystal Palace. “Now we are just trying to help Tony Hibbert, Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar to regain fitness and get back to where they can be pushing for a starting spot. “That is a very strong squad for me from now until the end of the season.”

On this day: Everton FC's Dan Gosling's leaves it late, very late, to knock Liverpool FC out of the FA Cup - and ITV miss the goal!
4 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Joe Rimmer
Gosling settled the FA Cup replay in the 118th minute - but ITV cut to a Tic-Tacs advert at the crucial moment
Roberto Martinez is preparing to lead Everton FC into the 224th Merseyside derby this week and Blues everywhere will be looking for any omen they can get that points towards a first win over Liverpool FC since 2010. So the fact that today marks six years since a famous victory over Liverpool under the Goodison Park lights. It was the day that Dan Gosling left it late, really late, to dump Liverpool out of the FA Cup - and put Everton one step closer to the final.
He left it so late, in fact, that ITV forgot that the game was still playing and cut to a Tic-Tac advert as the winning goal went in. Many fans around the country were left in suspense when the match cut to an ad-break - only to return as Gosling wheeled away in celebration.
Apart from the TV gaffe, of course, it was an ending so sweet for Evertonians - and one that the ECHO's Dominic King labelled: "plucked from the realms of fantasy".
David Moyes' men had secured a draw in the first leg at Anfield, with the familiar sight of Tim Cahill ghosting into Liverpool's six-yard box to set-up a replay at Goodison.
Everton edged the replay and had hit the post through Leon Osman in the first half, but despite seeing Steven Gerrard leave the field through injury and Lucas Leiva sent off late in the second half the match looked as though it was heading to penalties. But then, with just two minutes left on the clock, 19-year-old Gosling, on as a replacement for £15m man Marouane Fellaini, weaved his way past two Liverpool defenders in the box and curled a right-footed shot past Pepe Reina - sending Everton through to face Aston Villa in the fifth round.
Afterwards, Gosling said he 'knew' he was going to score the winner - as long as he got on the pitch.
“It’s all bit blurry at the minute but the feeling I have is absolutely unbelievable,” said Gosling.
“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.” Everton fans will be hoping the Toffees can send Liverpool back across Stanley Park with their tails between their legs again this weekend - and give Evertonians another "little lift".
Gosling is now plying his trade for Bournemouth in the Championship after leaving Everton in controversial circumstances to move to Newcastle. He scored against Liverpool again earlier this season - but couldn't prevent a 3-1 defeat in the league cup.

Everton FC hero Gary Stevens at centre of campaign to erect a statue in his honour
4 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Neil Jones
Goodison 80s favourite's deserves recognition in his hometown says Blues fan
An Evertonian is petitioning his local council to erect a statue of former Goodison favourite Gary Stevens.
Lifelong Blue Steve Vernon wants Stevens’ decorated career to be recognised with a monument in his home town of Barrow-in-Furness, and has launched an online campaign to make it happen.
Stevens made 293 appearances for Everton between 1982 and 1988, winning two league titles as well as the FA Cup, European Cup Winners’ Cup and four Charity Shields.
He later went on to land six Scottish titles with Glasgow Rangers, and won 46 caps for England.
Mr Vernon, whose petition currently has just under 200 signatures, says Stevens deserves to be honoured in Barrow, in the way that former Liverpool FC captain Emlyn Hughes has been.
Hughes has a statue in the town centre, as does former England rugby league star Willie Horne.
Mr Vernon told the ECHO: “I just think Gary is something of a forgotten man, even up here in his home town. “He was my idol growing up. “I watched him in that great Everton side, achieving all that he did, and I think he deserves some kind of recognition. “His career stacks up against Emlyn Hughes’ for example, and yet we rarely hear about Gary Stevens.” Mr Vernon said Stevens’ mother was aware of his campaign, having contacted him via Facebook. “She said she had told Gary about it and he shook his head in disbelief!” he laughed.
“I’ve contacted my MP, John Woodcock, about it but I haven’t had anything back yet. My thinking is that kids would look at a statue of Gary Stevens, see what he achieved, see that he was from Barrow-in-Furness and think ‘why couldn’t I do that?’
“He played in the local Barrow leagues before he went to Everton, it wasn’t like he was born a star.
“I had hoped to have had more signatures than I have at the moment, but I would urge all Blues to support this, and to help us honour a member of our last league-winning side.”

Roberto Martinez says Everton FC would never have allowed Kevin Mirallas to leave in January
4 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Neil Jones
Belgian winger was reported to be interesting Tottenham, but will stay at Goodison
Roberto Martinez insists Everton FC would never have allowed Kevin Mirallas to leave the club during the transfer window.
And the Blues boss believes Aaron Lennon’s “Premier League know-how” was a key factor behind his decision to sign the winger on deadline day.
Lennon sealed his loan move from Tottenham as the clock ticked towards 11pm on Monday, and was Everton’s only signing of the window. There was, however, strong speculation that Spurs had expressed an interest in taking Mirallas to White Hart Lane. Martinez, though, says that was simply never going to happen. “No, that was never even a consideration,” he said. “We worked really hard to try and get Aaron Lennon to Everton and that was the only deal we were focused on.
“I feel he is the type of player that can really fit into the way we want to play. We now have really good competition and when Christian Atsu comes back from the Africa Cup of Nations I do feel we will be strong in wide areas.” On Lennon’s arrival, Martinez added: “The wide player is someone who needs to be a specific one. “When you talk about wide players from abroad you have a real concern because by the time they get used to the pace, it can be difficult for them.
“I felt it had to be a very specific winger to fit into the club. If you are going to bring a foreign player then it is easier to do it in a central area. “As a wide player you need the physicality and know-how of the Premier League. At that time, Aaron became available quite late.
“As you know, the deadline day brings opportunities. Aaron Lennon is a player I have always admired from a distance and clearly this was a unique opportunity for us.
“Those things, you can’t really control how they develop. We are just pleased to get Aaron into the club.” Martinez has already stated that he would have no qualms about throwing Lennon in at the deep end in Saturday’s Merseyside derby against Liverpool, but says his first task is to get the 27-year-old back to enjoying his football, after a difficult last few months in London.
He said: “As a player you always focus on controlling the small fixture, getting in the team and enjoying your football and then everything triggers from that. “He has got the talent to play for England and he has the talent to finish his career strong. He is only 27. He made his debut at 16 and the way he has been learning season-by-season is a real strength of his.
“He is still in the prime time of his career. He is a perfect fit for our squad. We want him to enjoy his football and make sure we give him the platform to do that. “Even though Aaron cannot play in the Europa League I felt he gives us a chance to share the work in that area.
“It is a position where you always want to be fresh and playing Thursday-Sunday could be a but of a worry for us. Aaron will help.”

Everton FC's Christian Atsu ready to fire Ghana to Africa Cup of Nations glory
4 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Neil Jones
Winger can be the difference in semi final, says teammate Jonathan Mensah
Christian Atsu can fire Ghana to glory at the Africa Cup of Nations, according to teammate Jonathan Mensah. The on-loan Everton winger has been in impressive form for his country, and is set for a key role in tomorrow’s semi-final clash with hosts Equatorial Guinea, especially if Ghana’s talisman Asamoah Gyan fails to recover from injury. Atsu has struggled to establish himself at Everton since joining on a season-long loan from Chelsea. The 23-year-old has made just nine appearances for Roberto Martinez’s side, but Mensah believes he is a different player at international level.
The evidence was there as he scored a stunning goal as Avram Grant’s side secured a place in the last four with a 3-0 victory over Guinea in Malabo on Sunday. “The feeling is different when he’s playing for Everton,” Mensah said. “We just let him do what he does best, it’s a different team altogether. “This Ghana team doesn’t have a particular goalscorer, we all score if given the opportunity, that’s something that will really help us.” “We all know what Atsu can do, it really helps to have difference makers. He’s got a special role in the team, he does what he wants to do and he’s picking up from day one. “We’re just happy he’s on fire now and he’s going to help the team.”

Everton FC's Leighton Baines longing for a dream derby goal on Saturday
4 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Neil Jones
Goodison's England ace has not yet scored in 17 appearances against Liverpool
Leighton Baines is targeting a first Merseyside derby goal this weekend – and says it is up to Everton FC’s senior players to ensure cool heads are kept in what will be a red-hot atmosphere.
With 31 goals in total, Baines is one of the most prolific defenders in Goodison history. But in 17 games against Liverpool, the England defender is yet to find the net, and the 30-year-old says he would love to break his derby duck on Saturday. “Scoring would be amazing,” he said. “My mate mentions it to me every time a derby comes around – I normally get the text saying ‘a winner today would be nice’. “But just the win would be great for us, by any means. Jags (Phil Jagielka) scored a screamer at Anfield last time out and that was brilliant. We came away with a point from that so hopefully we can go one further this time.”With Tim Howard and Leon Osman expected to miss the game through injury, and Tony Hibbert and Sylvain Distin unlikely to start, Baines and Jagielka will be Everton’s two most experienced derby campaigners. And the left-back says it is important that players keep a calm head despite the added spice associated with a meeting with their city rivals.
He said: “It’s always good to have many players on the team who have got derby experience. We have got quite a few but we’ve also got young players who are experienced enough to keep a level head, approach it correctly and not get carried away. “There’s always going to be moment in the derby when it gets fiery and you have got to show that fight but be up for it in the right way.
“It doesn’t take much to do the slightest little thing and you can find yourself getting sent off, which gives the team an uphill battle from there. “It’s meant to be a competitive game but you have got to keep your composure as well.” Everton recorded a vital victory at Crystal Palace last time out, ending a run of eight games without a win. And Baines hopes they can build on that success and show that they have turned the corner, with big games against Liverpool and Chelsea to come in the next week. He said: “We needed it, really, so it was nice to get it in the bag. It was a good fighting performance, and hopefully we can build on it. “It was a tough game. Palace is a tough place to go and they’ve been doing well of late under their new manager. We were happy to get a goal ahead, and we had to defend well at times. Jags and (John) Stones were brilliant. “There is always a lot of excitement and anticipation around a game like this. It’s just nice that we’ve been able to get that win. Hopefully we’ve turned the corner now and we can start to build on it.”

David Moyes: Everton FC fans' reaction disappointed me when I returned with Manchester United
4 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Neil Jones
"I got Everton competing at the top end of the league with a mid-table budget."
David Moyes says he was “disappointed” with the reception he got from Everton FC fans on his first visit back to the club.
The former Blues boss was booed by supporters when he returned with Manchester United last April, despite spending 11 years as manager at Goodison. Moyes was sacked by United days after that game, but he told the new edition of FourFourTwo magazine that the reaction of Everton fans had left a mark on him. He said: “I wasn’t surprised, because I know how supporters react and I had left their club. But I was disappointed. “I got Everton competing at the top end of the league with a mid-table budget. I gave everything I could in trying to make Everton the best I could. It was a long process but we did it – my staff, my players and others at the club.
“We had some glorious nights at Goodison and the fans were superb. I’ve got huge affection for Everton, it was my life for over a decade.” Asked what the biggest success of his managerial career so far was Moyes, who is now in charge of Spanish side Real Sociedad, said: “Turning Everton into a club which beat the top clubs on a limited budget – and doing that despite selling exceptional players like Wayne Rooney, Jack Rodwell and Joleon Lescott.” Moyes also lists former Blues ‘keeper Nigel Martyn as his best Everton buy, and revealed that defeat to Villarreal in a Champions League qualifier in 2005 ranks among his most disappointing losses. “I took Nigel for nothing for Leeds,” he said. “But then Seamus Coleman cost £60,000 from Ireland, (there was) Leighton Baines, Tim Cahill, Mikel Arteta, Phil Jagielka, Steven Pienaar, Joleon Lescott, Sylvain Distin, Phil Neville, Kevin Kilbane, Tim Howard, James McFadden – all excellent players, and there were many more.
“I’ve had a lot of tough defeats. Had Everton got through against Villarreal it would have led to the club’s first appearance in the Champions League group stage, and the money that would have come with that would have made a big difference. “Losing the FA Cup semi-final to Liverpool (in 2012) not long before I left Everton was a huge disappointment too.”

Everton vs Liverpool: James McCarthy OUT of Merseyside derby after injury setback
4 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By David Maddock
Boss Martinez hoped to have the midfielder back from knee trouble for Saturday but a niggle detected in training means he'll miss another 2 weeks
Everton have been dealt a crushing blow with news James McCarthy is OUT of the Merseyside derby. The midfielder, described as ‘indispensable’ by Goodison boss Roberto Martinez, has had a setback in his rehab from a knee injury that has kept him out for the past month.
Republic of Ireland international McCarthy was back in training last week, and was in line to make his full comeback against visitors Liverpool on Saturday evening.
Merseyside derby records - 223 competitive matches since 1894
Liverpool winsEverton winsDraws
Source: Soccerbase
But after a niggle this week on the training ground, medics have suggested he will need further rest, and it will be another two weeks before he will be risked in first-team action.
That’s a huge blow for Everton, who have looked a diminished side in the absence of the midfielder, and Martinez was desperately hoping he could start in the derby.

Merseyside Derby you are the player game - become a Liverpool FC or Everton FC hero
4 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
Run out for Everton FC or Liverpool FC in our special game ahead of the Merseyside Derby at Goodison Park
Any Liverpool FC and Everton FC fan has grown up dreaming they could play in the Merseyside Derby.
Now you can, thanks to our new game.
We've created a choose your own adventure game for the big match, where you are the new signing for Liverpool or Everton - an attacking midfielder. In the game there is just 20 minutes to go when you're brought on at Goodison Park to win the match for your team - or lose it!
All you do is read each page to see what decision to make at a key moment before clicking on the links at the bottom of the page - like the ones below - to continue the match.
After each click, you can see where your decision takes you - you could be the Merseyside Derby hero or get a red card. And when you reach the final whistle, your performance will be assessed in special videos by our experts. You can even replay the game to get a better outcome for your side - if only we could do that in real life! So good luck and here's to a great Merseyside Derby!

Everton FC heroes visit patients at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in Wirral
4 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Helen Hunt
Graeme Sharp and Ian Snodin show their support for World Cancer Day
Everton FC heroes Graeme Sharp and Ian Snodin were at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre to help mark World Cancer Day.
The footballers went to the Wirral hospital earlier today to cheer up patients on the wards.
The local legends also took part in an educational workshop which was about the importance of a healthy lifestyle during cancer treatment and the role that diet and exercise can play in cancer prevention. Staff at the Centre rustled up some tasty smoothies to keep patients feeling fit and healthy during treatment while they were there. The session also covered the best kinds of exercise to take part in while receiving cancer care. Everton Football Club Ambassador Graeme Sharp said: “We’re proud to support The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre this World Cancer Day. It’s very humbling to come here and meet people who are facing such a difficult time in their lives but still stay so positive – and, of course, to see the fantastic work that the staff carry out every single day.”
With research to suggest that one in twenty cancers is linked to being overweight or obese, The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre says it is dedicated to educating Merseyside residents on the importance of diet and nutrition for cancer prevention, as well as helping patients maintain a healthy lifestyle during their cancer treatment. Dr Nicky Thorp, consultant at Clatterbridge, said: “Being overweight or obese doesn’t necessarily mean someone will develop cancer but with one in twenty cancers possibly being linked to lifestyle choices, it’s important that people know how best to look after themselves. Diet and exercise is so important from cancer prevention, right the way through the cancer journey, if someone does find themselves being diagnosed.”
World Cancer Day sees individuals, organisations, families and friends unite to raise awareness of cancer.

Peace statue heading for Merseyside derby
4 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Catherine Jones
All Together Now sculpture to go on show ahead of Liverpool v Everton game
Liverpool and Everton fans heading for the Merseyside derby this weekend are being given the chance to see the city’s Christmas Truce statue too.
The All Together Now sculpture – named after the song by The Farm – will be on display at St Luke The Evangelist from Saturday morning until February 14. Project leader Tom Calderbank said today: “This is another magical stage in our incredible journey. “We’re really looking forward to exhibiting at St Luke’s, and supporting their efforts to commemorate the lads from the area lost in World War I. “With the recent Anne Frank exhibition and their continuing WW1 remembrance projects, St Luke’s and Everton are a real beacon of peace right now, and ideal for us.” Ellen Loudon, priest in charge of the Goodison Road church, added: “It’s an honour to be part of this story.
“It’s a moving story that starts 100 years ago, and it is remembered today as a small sign of hope – a hope that the common good would triumph over man made boundaries and the brutality of war. The statue captures so beautifully that moment when a simple game of football and the sharing of Christmas gifts brought together deadly enemies. “Though, sadly, we know this story didn’t bring lasting peace, we still need to keep the hope of that Christmas Truce alive – and this statue is a beautiful way to bring fresh hope to a new generation. “This parish lost nearly 300 men in the First World War, so this statue of hope being here 100 years later is a fitting memorial to them.”
The Christmas Truce statue, created by sculptor Andy Edwards and backed by Castle Fine Arts, was unveiled in Liverpool last December, and spent Christmas in Flanders.

Everton FC v Liverpool FC preview: Why Romelu Lukaku knows all about the importance of the Merseyside Derby
4 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Ian Doyle
Blues striker in the mood to reprise Goodison heroics
He was within seconds of being the matchwinner in one of the most memorable derbies in recent times.
Now Romelu Lukaku will be looking to go one better when Everton entertain Liverpool in the 224th running of English football’s most famous parochial spat. Ian Doyle looks at how the Belgian striker can once again make his mark in the Merseyside derby.
He knows all about the derby...
Lukaku may have been at Goodison for less than 18 months, but he is aware of the contrasting fortunes that facing Liverpool can provoke. The good came with his two-goal salvo on his derby debut in November 2013, an afternoon Lukaku declared as his “best experience in club football”.
The bad arrived a few months later when, in the Anfield return, Lukaku collided with team-mate Gareth Barry while attempting to prevent Steven Gerrard from heading Liverpool in front.
Lukaku departed on a stretcher and was sidelined for the next month. Everton lost 4-0.
The ugly, meanwhile, was in his most recent derby outing, a peripheral figure on the wing in September at Anfield as the Blues scraped an unlikely 1-1 draw thanks to Phil Jagielka’s late thunderbolt. Lukaku will hope the cycle returns to the start on Saturday.....
Lukaku loves playing against Liverpool...
Ever since moving to England, there’s something about the Reds – and facing Brendan Rodgers in particular – that brings the best out of the Belgian. Lukaku marked Rodgers’ first game in charge at Liverpool by coming off the bench to score the final goal in a 3-0 win for West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns. He was at it again in the return match, netting in the final minute as the Baggies recorded a rare triumph at Anfield. Factor in his brace at Goodison last season, and no wonder the Reds will beware the powerful 21-year-old.
Big Rom can scare Liverpool at set-pieces...
We’ll gloss over the fact Lukaku’s most recent set-piece goal was inadvertently directed beyond his own goalkeeper Tim Howard at Southampton. His sheer size and presence makes the Belgian a major danger at dead-ball situations, not least with Leighton Baines providing the ammunition.
Certainly, it was too much for Liverpool at Goodison last season, with the second of his two goals a powerful header in front of the Gwladys Street from a corner. Despite their improvement over recent weeks, the Reds still seem uneasy at set-pieces, with Lukaku likely to be urged to make himself a nuisance around goalkeeper Simon Mignolet. Indeed, he has won 40% of his duels in the Premier League this season – impressive for a striker.
Lukaku is known as ‘The Beast’ in some quarters. Everton will want him prowling on Saturday.
It isn’t just about the goals... With Roberto Martinez standing steadfastly by his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation, Lukaku has been asked to plough a lone furrow for much of the season.
Thankfully, his game is perfectly suited to the task, his imposing physical stature giving him, when on form, the ability to hold the ball up and bring team-mates into play, a key component of how Martinez wants his team to play. Of course, his pace makes him dangerous on the counter-attack, with the Blues at times criticised for playing a more direct game on occasion to capitalise on Lukaku’s pace and power. Lukaku has 10 goals in 31 appearances this season and fires off on average 2.8 shots ever Premier League game. But his total of three assists and a pass percentage rate of more than 75% show there’s more to his game.
He’s back in form – after a boot up the backside...
While Martinez insists his £28million striker isn’t one to require a kick up the backside, there’s no doubt Lukaku responded to being benched over Christmas. Restored to the starting line-up in the New Year, the Belgian’s injury-time equaliser in Everton’s FA Cup third round home tie with West Ham United halted a run of five successive defeats for the Blues.
Lukaku was back in the groove.
Impressive in the draw with Manchester City and scoring in the replay with West Ham, he shrugged off the frustration of West Bromwich Albion’s blanket defence to score the only goal at Crystal Palace last Saturday, earning Everton a much-needed first win in 10 games.

Everton FC to unveil tribute to Hillsborough 96 ahead of Merseyside derby
5 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Helen Davies
Memorial plaque to be revealed at Goodison Park ahead of the Merseyside derby between Everton and Liverpool
Everton FC will honour the 96 football fans who died at Hillsborough with a commemorative plaque at Goodison Park. Everton chairman Bill Kenwright and Margaret Aspinall, chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, will officially unveil the new memorial ahead of the Merseyside derby game between Everton and Liverpool on Saturday. The plaque will serve as a permanent tribute to the victims and their families. The unveiling will take place before the 5.30pm kick-off of the 224th Merseyside derby match. Speaking ahead of the ceremony, which will be attended by members of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, Ms Aspinall said: “This is a really lovely gesture from Everton, paying tribute to the 96 who lost their lives at Hillsborough. “I would like to thank Bill and everyone involved, not least the Everton fans who have provided great support to the families over the years.” The permanent tribute had been suggested to the club by supporters and Everton fan Stephen Kelly, whose brother Michael died at Hillsborough in April 1989. He said: “As an Evertonian who lost my brother at Hillsborough, I have always been grateful of the support from the blue side of the city. I hope that when Evertonians look at this they will feel proud of the way we’ve supported our neighbours.” Mr Kenwright paid his own tribute in front of the Kop in 2013 and when manager Roberto Martinez spoke emotionally on the 25th anniversary last year at Anfield he emphasised how “Everton remembers - we always will”.

Exclusive: Phil Jagielka backs Everton FC youngsters to thrive against Liverpool FC in Merseyside derby
4 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Kristian Walsh
Stones and Besic have been two to impress during Everton's upturn in performance
Everton FC captain Phil Jagielka has backed the Blues younger players to flourish in the 224th Merseyside derby – and has paid tribute to two of the club’s emerging stars.
Jagielka will lead his side out against Liverpool on the back of their first league win in 2015, a 1-0 win away at Crystal Palace – a victory which came after an upturn in performances in recent weeks, most notably against Manchester City and in their dramatic cup exit away to West Ham.
Having endured a difficult Christmas and New Year period, Roberto Martinez’s side have showed signs of improvement. The catalyst for that improvement has stemmed from the squad’s younger players, in particular, Muhamed Besic and John Stones. Besic has cemented his place in the first team after starting every game for the Blues this year, while Stones’ return to full fitness has coincided with just one goal conceded in three league games. Romelu Lukaku has also found form in recent games, capping it off with the winner at Selhurst Park, and Joel Robles has proven an able deputy for first choice goalkeeper Tim Howard. One player who has been missing, James McCarthy, is expected to return after a month-long absence through injury.
Jags on being an elder statesman...

With lack of years can come lack of inexperience. But while Jagielka – who is expected to play in his 15th Merseyside derby on Saturday - says senior players in the squad have a part to play in helping the younger players through the game, he also believes the current crop don’t really need it.
When asked if he felt responsibility, both as a captain and senior player, Jagielka responded: “There is a bit of responsibility. When I was coming through you had your Ossies, Hibbos and Tim Howard who had played in a lot of derby games. “These people can draw upon past experience and we now have people – me, Bainesy, Tim if available - who have been around for five, six years plus and played in a lot of derbies to try to give encouragement to the young lads.
“But they’re such good people and great lads, they don’t particularly need it, we’re there if we need it but I’d be lying if I tell you I had to babysit them at all. They get on with things really easily and it’s a testament to the young lads we’ve got.”
Jags on chatterbox Mo Besic...
Bosnian midfielder Besic has caught the eye since solidifying his spot in the Blues’ midfield with endless energy and intelligent use of the ball. The 22-year-old’s first league start came against Liverpool and he produced an excellent performance before his withdrawal after 80 minutes.
“Mo is probably a different character,” adds Jagielka. “Mo plays the way he plays regardless of it being in training or in the derby. He loves to get around, he loves playing, he wants to do everything right. On the pitch he’s always chatting away, he’s in the right place and super keen.
“Mo is a different kettle of fish to the English lads, or the lads who haven’t played in many derbies.”
Jags on his partner & John Stones...
Jagielka has recently revived his centre back partnership with Stones. At just 20, the Barnsley-born defender has already played four times for England, and was one of the Premier League’s breakout stars last season.
Stones missed two months of the season following an ankle injury sustained against Manchester United in October, but has recently revived his partnership at the back with the Everton captain. The pair were superb in the 1-0 win against Crystal Palace – their second clean consecutive clean sheet.
“It’s really enjoyable,” says Jagielka. “I’ve had a great relationship with Sylvain over the years and now it looks, in the future, John is going to be the mainstay. “He’s a great lad and I really enjoy his company both on and off the pitch, which helps – when you communicate, and you shout at each other, and do things on the pitch, to have a good relationship and feel as if you can cross boundaries on the pitch is really good. “I like to think I can help him along the way, as part of his learning curve, he’s always willing to listen and always tries his best – in his last two games, he’s got two clean sheets, he’s done really well. “He’s as keen as anyone out there to become a better player, and learn along the way, and this season has been tough for the team but the young lads will only benefit through the sticky patch.” That sticky patch has been largely borne out of poor defensive displays as a team, particularly earlier in the season. Despite a recent renaissance, the Blues have still conceded 34 league goals this season – just five short of last season’s overall total.
Jags on Saturday’s scoreline...
Since Roberto Martinez came to Goodison, derbies have been open games with plenty of goals – but while Jagielka isn’t expecting another high-scoring affair, he doesn’t care if it is as long as the Blues score more. “There used to be a lot more 0-0s or 1-1s,” says Jagielka. “Brendan has come in and played expansive football - Roberto has done something similar, but we were obviously too expansive when we lost 4-0, and we have to learn from those mistakes.
“I expect it to be a pretty up-and-at-them game, I expect both teams will pay the other a bit more respect attacking wise for the first half, I expect it to be exciting.
“I can’t see there being six goals in a game, but you never know, there will be a lot of quality out on the pitch, people that can change a game. And I don’t care if it’s 7-6 – as long as we come away with a win, that’s the main thing.”

How to watch Christian Atsu bid for African Nations Cup glory
5 February 2015
By David Prentice
On loan Everton winger Christian Atsu has been Ghana's go-to-guy in this season's African Nations Cup tournament. And now the Black Stars talisman is one game away from the final.
Ghana face host nation Equatorial Guinea in tonight's semi-final - and this is how you can watch the tie.
Ghana v Equatorial Guinea
When: Thursday, Live on ITV 4 from 6:30pm with 7pm kick-off or streamed on Eurosport Player with BBC radio covering the game. Where: Held at Nuevo Estadio De Malabo.
Form: Equatorial Guinea are unbeaten in the tournament so far, while Ghana lost their opening game to Senegal but have improved match by match culminating in their 3-0 quarter-final victory over Guinea. History: Ghana are making their fifth successive semi-final appearance, while this is a first last four appearance for Equatorial Guinea and the first ever fixture between the two sides having never met in AFCON, qualifiers or in World Cup eliminators.
Sky Bet: Ghana 8/11 Equatorial Guinea 9/2 Draw 9/4.

Everton to monitor James McCarthy's food, footwear and training to keep him fit
5 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By David Prentice
Everton to scrutinise key midfielder's nutrition and footwear
EVERTON will monitor James McCarthy’s training, nutrition and even his footwear in a bid to ensure that the influential midfielder does not have to endure the same kind of injury frustration which has hindered him for the past few months. McCarthy, almost an ever present last season, has been troubled by a hamstring problem since limping off 31 minutes into a Europa League victory in Germany last November. The Irish international is now fully fit and in the squad for Saturday’s Merseyside derby, but boss Roberto Martinez wants to take steps to ensure McCarthy has an injury-free run for the rest of the season. “James was in hospital yesterday having a scan to make sure that he is fully recovered and the scan showed that he is perfectly healed,” explained Martinez. “Now it is just a matter of adapting him to match intensity. I expect James to be available for the squad at the weekend. “It’s terrific news, but what is important is that we help James as much as we can in terms of his nutrition, footwear … anything which could have an affect in getting the tissues tired.
“He is a very young man still but he is a sprinter who plays in midfield so his tissues need to be well looked after. “But you get those situations at times and you pick up an injury which is a little bit of a problem to get rid of. “But we now expect James to be clear and fully fit for the rest of the season.
“I remember he recently played a full 38 game season in the Premier League which is difficult for a midfielder to achieve, but it’s not an issue. “It’s been a frustrating time this season because James is a very important player for us but I can see the injury is behind him now.
“We had reassurance yesterday and we are looking forward to seeing James back to his very best and finishing the season really strong.” McCarthy isn’t the only player Martinez hopes to have available for selection again very soon. Goalkeeper Tim Howard is back in training and ready for a return inside seven days, while Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar are also progressing well.
“Tim is training now and obviously it will be important to make the right decision,” Maertinez added. “He feels strong and he feels ready. “The Medical advice is give him another week to make sure he is fully healed and we don’t take any risks. “You need to be wary of any soft tissue injuries but it’s incredible how quickly he has recovered and how well he is doing in training. We are going to assess him over the next two or three days but medical advice is to give him seven more days before we see him on a football pitch again. “Osman and Pienaar are also progressing well. Both are at similar stages in their rehabilitation. They have been working outside on the pitch, they haven’t worked with the group yet but I expect them back soon.”

Everton FC's Kevin Mirallas says he is "ready for a new challenge"
5 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
But Blues boss Roberto Martinez says club are relaxed over forward's future
KEVIN MIRALLAS has been quoted as saying he feels “ready for a new challenge” - fuelling speculation he will leave Everton FC in the summer.
The Belgium international has been reported to have said that clubs including Atletico Madrid have made enquiries about his availability. Mirallas wants Champions League football and will weigh up his options at the end of the season but has refused to rule out staying at Goodison Park despite their disappointing league season. The 27-year-old, according to tweets from respected Belgian journalist Kristof Terreur who credits La Capitale with the interview, says he enjoys life at Everton but suggests he is could be tempted with a move to Spain. Everton boss Roberto Martinez insists Mirallas is happy at Goodison and says the club remain relaxed over his future.
Mirallas’ contract runs out in June 2016 but Everton have options to extend the deal by another year. “There have been offers and enquiries, but no real negotiations. January isn’t the ideal month for a transfer,” Mirallas is quoted as saying in the tweets. “I have never said I absolutely want to leave Everton. I like it over here, but I feel ready for a new challenge.
“I dream of playing in the Champions League next season. With Everton or with another club. I just have to see after the season. “Don’t forget: the 2015 Europa League winners will qualify for the following season’s Champions League.” ‘I’ll make a decision after the season. I like the PL, but Spain also tempts me. Atlético have enquired, but there was no offer.” Martinez has rubbished suggestions that Mirallas was close to leaving for Spurs in the January transfer window and says there are no worries over his future. “It is a story which has no substance at all,” the Catalan said of the Spurs links last month. “It was never an issue he would leave the football club in this window.
“His contract is longer term than people think because there are options involved. Kevin is enjoying his football and he is happy. Internally that has never been a worry.
“He is happy at the football club.”

Keep your Aaron! Everton FC boss Roberto Martinez pokes fun at fuss over 'unhappy' new boy Lennon
5 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Ian Doyle
I blame the photographer, jests Blues manager
Arriving at Goodison, Aaron Lennon declared he was “delighted” and “buzzing” to have made a loan move to Everton. However, the obligatory photographs of Lennon holding up a Blue shirt and pictured on the training pitch and inside Finch Farm suggested a different tale.
The on-loan Tottenham Hotspur winger didn’t look delighted. Or buzzing.
In fact, he appeared downright miserable. It was enough to send the world of social media into a frenzy over whether Lennon was actually all that fussed to be swapping London for Merseyside.
Roberto Martinez, though, knew what was wrong.
Glum Lennon? It was the photographer what done it.
“He’s very happy!” laughed the Blues boss when quizzed on the emotional state of his latest signing.
“I know a lot has been said about the picture but I will chase the photographer! I wasn’t happy about that. “I would blame the photographer. It’s their job to make him produce a nicer smile for the picture.” Martinez, of course, had tongue placed firmly in cheek when contemplating Lennon’s demeanour for the cameras. But he was deadly serious regarding how swiftly the new boy has embraced his fresh surrounds. “I saw a different face, I saw a focused face, someone who is ready to train and perform,” said the Blues boss. “It’s great to see how Lennon has adjusted to training. When you sign someone in January it’s very difficult to find someone who is up to speed with the league and up to speed with his match fitness “But Aaron is an incredible performer at this level. He has beaten some landmarks in the league already at this level and he has incredible international experience and he is ready to be in the squad this weekend which is quite rare.”
Nevertheless, Martinez has warned against expecting too much too soon from a player who spent much of the campaign out of the starting line-up at Spurs.
“We need to be a little bit cautious,” he added. “He needs to know how we play as a team and to understand certain footballing concepts which you need to know when you go into a new side.
“But he is going to be in the squad and I expect him to have a big influence but we have a lot of games in the next three-and-a-half weeks and he will have a massive part to play.”
And if he ends up at Goodison on a permanent basis, expect Lennon to put on a beaming smile for next season’s squad photograph.
Well, a smirk at least. Go on, Aaron. We know you love it really.

Merseyside derby isn't make or break for Everton FC, says Phil Jagielka
6 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Kristian Walsh
The Blues go into the game six points off the Premier League top half
Everton FC captain Phil Jagielka says victory in the Merseyside derby could prove a catalyst for the rest of the season for both players and fans – but it is not a “make or break” 90 minutes in the Blues’ season. Jagielka leads his side into the 224th Merseyside derby on the back of two consecutive clean sheets – but last Saturday’s win at Crystal Palace was just their second in 14 games in all competitions. Performances have improved over recent weeks to build optimism ahead of the derby at Goodison Park, but Everton still remain in the bottom half of the Premier League, six points from 10th and 12 behind Liverpool. A win over the Reds is always welcome, but Jagielka believes it is particularly important for the supporters after an inconsistent season.
“No matter how the season is going, when these games come around, if you can pick up a win it spreads a lot of cheer throughout the supporters,” said the captain.
“They’ve not had too much to get excited about in the league this season so we’re desperate to give them as much to cling on to - a victory, a good performance and some sort of result would definitely be that - and hopefully it would kick start us towards the end of the season, climb the league and push on in Europe.” Everton remain in the Europa League, where they face a two-legged tie against Young Boys this month, but sit closer to the relegation zone than the European places in the league.
The 32-year-old recognises how, before looking to climb up the table, the Blues have to build a bit of momentum and positivity as they enter the second half of the season.
Jagielka adds: “It’s not make or break. As far as points situation and where we are in the league, if we get a win it won’t change that much - but for team morale for us potentially kicking on in the second half of the season, it does become a massive game. “We have a couple of tough games after it, so it will be nice to keep that run going, keep the confidence going in the squad.
“A win would hopefully start to turn things around in a positive way and start looking forward to the remainder of the season instead of just letting it slip by.”
Manager Roberto Martinez was keen to dismiss claims injuries have curtailed Everton’s progress this season, but the club have been undoubtedly been unfortunate.
James McCarthy and Tim Howard could both be in contention ahead of Saturday and are just two long-term absentees. The Blues have also had to contend with injuries to first-teamers Seamus Coleman, John Stones, Steven Naismith, Ross Barkley and Kevin Mirallas at various points of the season But most of their injury worries have cleared up, just in time for their biggest game of the season – which can bring its own dilemma, the captain says. “It’s been frustrating as far as key people getting injured at key times,” admits Jagielka. “We know other clubs have similar problems – last year we were quite fortunate with that. “But as you can tell when it came to the transfer window, we weren’t looking to add too many numbers, we got Aaron Lennon in so that tells you the manager is quite happy with the squad he has and the fitness of those who have struggled to get game time. “We do look like we have a few numbers, sometimes it’s a good thing, sometimes it’s a headache for the manager – but he would rather have that, some important players are getting a lot of training minutes in at the moment and hopefully they have big parts to play.
“We need to climb this league, finish as well as we can, and we’re still in the cup competitions so there’s still a lot to play for, the manager has a job on his hands to pick the winning formula.”
A lot of focus in the build-up to the game has centred on Steven Gerrard, who will play his final Premier League Goodison derby. His relationship with Blues fans is well-documented and adds an extra layer to the game, but Jagielka believes it doesn’t give his side any extra incentive.
When asked if beating Gerrard in his final derby would give ultimate bragging rights, the captain responded: “Bragging rights would be nice full stop. Stevie has played his part in a lot of derbies over the years, and with him deciding to call it a day at Liverpool, it will be his last one against us.
"We have got a job to do to give the Evertonians a little bit of something to look forward to, but first and foremost, we will take a win, a good positive result regardless of what Stevie will be doing for them. “He’s been a talisman for a long time and it will be nice if he doesn’t have too much to play with on Saturday.”

Liverpool FC boss Brendan Rodgers: Everton FC fans will be glad to see the back of Steven Gerrard
5 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By James Pearce
Reds boss hoping for captain to shine in his final Merseyside derby
Brendan Rodgers believes Everton FC fans will be glad to see the back of Steven Gerrard as the Liverpool FC captain prepares for what’s likely to be his final Merseyside derby.
Gerrard has enjoyed a remarkable record in the fixture – scoring 10 goals in 32 games against the Blues. Unless the clubs go on to meet in the Europa League over the coming months, Saturday’s game at Goodison Park will be his last showdown with Everton before he heads to LA Galaxy this summer. “I’m sure they’ll be glad to see the back of Steven,” Rodgers said.
“He’s been an incredible player for this club. He has played in so many derbies and been outstanding in them. “He always wants to win for his club and it will be no different this weekend. He possesses remarkable quality and a focus to get the team a result.” Rodgers is hoping to taste victory at Goodison with Liverpool for the first time and he believes his players are ready for the challenge against Roberto Martinez’s men. “I’ve been involved in a few of these games over the past two and a half years and they’re wonderful to be involved in,” he said.
“They go so fast and are full of emotion. The quality of the football at times has been outstanding under intense pressure. “We’re playing well and we’re excited about going there. The Bolton game epitomised the spirit and togetherness in our squad. That allows you to go on and win games.
“Like ourselves, it was a difficult first part of the season for Everton. But Roberto is an excellent manager who has done really well there. “I think they had their first win in nine games at Palace last week. He will be working hard to find the solutions to get them back winning consistently. They are a good side and we will expect a tough game. “But the balance in our team is very good. At this moment in time we’re operating at a really high level, whether home or away, and there’s real confidence we can win the game. “It will be a new experience for some of our young players but they’ve been involved in derbies elsewhere. “This is the type of game you always look for in the fixture list. We should have the game at Anfield earlier this season and we hope to go to Goodison and put in a performance that enables us to win.”

Everton FC need cool heads in derby but Roberto Martinez won't ask Muhamed Besic to change
5 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
'Mo's incredible personality is going to make him an Everton great so you don’t want to change him or effect him in games like this'
Roberto Martinez has called for “cool heads” in the heat of the Merseyside derby battle - but insists he won’t ask Muhamed Besic to rein in his appetite for destruction.
The tenacious Blues midfielder will be one of the favourites to pick up the first booking in Saturday night’s clash at Goodison Park yet his manager is not asking him to hold back.
Martinez says asking the tough tackling Besic to curb his enthusiasm will be counter-productive and limit his influence against Liverpool this weekend. Instead the Everton manager will encourage the Bosnian to play his normal game but remind him, and the rest of the Everton squad, to remain level-headed at all times. “Mo has got an incredible personality and that is what is going to make him an Everton great so you don’t want to change him or effect him in games like this,” Martinez said.
“He needs to be natural, he needs to be himself and he is learning all the time. He is still a young man and has all the ingredients to enjoy these sorts of games more than anyone else because he is full-hearted and has a phenomenal approach to the game and, as you know, can tick any box as a footballer.” The Blues boss continued: “It is important to go into the derby understanding what it means but at the same time we need to go in with cool heads and play the game.
“It is important to get the feeling of what it means and the local players are perfect for that but all the staff and every member at Finch Farm gives you a clear indication of the game and we are all very much aware of that aspect. “But in the same manner we need to have cool heads and once the game starts we need to be very much clear on how to play the game and not get carried away with the emotions. “Being structured with what the team wants to do is important. I think it is more important that you don’t get cagey because of the event because it doesn’t allow you to express yourself as a footballer. “Everyone can keep their discipline in any moment but what’s more important is being able to perform at your best and that you can cope with the intensity of emotion that a derby brings.” Besic, who has picked up eight cautions in all competitions this season, has quickly established himself as a fan favourite at Goodison with a series of all-action displays.
The 22-year-old has impressed Martinez with the speed in which he has adapted to the rigours of the Premier League although the midfielder says Everton supporters will not see the best of him until next season. Besic was brought in from Hungarian side Ferencvaros in July for a reported fee of £4m. Martinez says they must wait until the end of the campaign before they can assess if the Bosnian was the bargain buy of last summer’s transfer window.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to look back and assess it in the summer,” the Blues boss said.
“You have to give it a season but I always felt he had all the attributes to be a proper, proper Everton player. “What has impressed me is the manner in which he takes every game and the way he learns and wants to get better. “He never, never shies away from responsibility, he will accept it. He has this team player mentality which is quite refreshing for a young man like him.
“I always felt he would be a very important player but he has adapted quicker than I expected which speaks volumes of his intelligence to be able to do that.”

Everton FC's Ross Barkley on the Merseyside derby: 'I live for big games like this'
5 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Blues welcome Liverpool to Goodison on Saturday night for 224th meeting
Ross Barkley is relishing the prospect of meeting Liverpool in the derby this weekend and said: ‘I live for these big games’.
The 21-year-old boyhood Blue is determined to help Everton FC defeat their rivals from across Stanley Park for the first time since October 2010. Barkley was in the crowd at Goodison Park that day and says playing against Liverpool has only heightened his love of the fixture.
“I can’t wait for the game,” Barkley said. “It’s going to be a massive game and its a big three points that we need. “Derbies mean everything. When the Blues get three points against the Reds obviously it’s great for all the fans, getting to put one over on them.
“My first derby was the 3-3 draw last season. The crowd are behind you and you need to put in a top performance because you are playing against your local rivals. “It’s great the way the fans are, wanting you to throw challenges in, get goals and that’s what I live for; big games.”
Barkley has friends from the Red side of the city but the lifelong Blue is set on making it a weekend for them to forget. “All my mates and family wish me well,” Barkley said.
“My friends who are Reds want me to do well but them to win, whereas my friends who are Blues want me to do well and us to win.” Everton head into the game having won for the first time in nine matches last weekend thanks to Romelu Lukaku’s goal at Crystal Palace.
“It’s going to be really important that we carry on our momentum,” added Barkley.
“We need to push on and get more points and keep the ball rolling.
“The lads at the back have really been putting in solid performances. They set the standards at the back to keep clean sheets and the attacking players, like Rom, have been doing well and we have got to try to put the ball in the back of the net.” Barkley concluded: “It would mean everything to win. I haven’t been on the winning side in a derby yet so I am really hoping I am on Saturday.”

Howard Kendall: Aaron Lennon looks a good deal for Everton
5 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
by HowardKendall
Ex-Tottenham winger can make an instant impact in the derby
The January transfer window is a time when football clubs can make mistakes. Expensive mistakes.
Which is why I was happy with Everton’s deadline day move for Aaron Lennon.
He brings something a little different to the squad, we haven’t paid silly money for him and we haven’t taken a chance on someone unfamiliar with the Premier League.
Make no mistake this player is like greased lightning.
And what is important for me is that he has been at a big club like Tottenham for much of his career already. He won’t be fazed at joining Everton, he won’t feel like he is stepping up a level and hopefully he will be able to have an immediate impact. Whenever I brought new players in I would ease them in gently by introducing them from the subs bench. I don’t know whether Roberto has any plans to do that with Aaron Lennon, or whether he plans to drop him in at the deep end. And what a deep end! But Lennon has the experience to be able to handle a situation like a Merseyside derby, Roberto will just have to find out whether he has the match fitness after not starting a game at Tottenham for a month or so. Roberto caught us all on the hop a little but with a swoop for a winger, having said that wasn’t an area he was prioritising.
He also said that he was looking to bring a new goalkeeper in while Tim Howard was injured, which was something I didn’t agree with. Joel Robles has done well since he stepped in for Howard and his confidence could easily be rocked by reading stories in the newspapers suggesting his manager wanted to sign a replacement. If Roberto is looking to bring in a new keeper I think he should have perhaps kept those thoughts in house. But we do have one new face to look forward to seeing tomorrow – and I hope Aaron Lennon makes an instant impact in the derby!
Blues need to share the goalscoring burden around Romelu Lukaku has already scored one goal more than he did at the corresponding stage of last season.
And last season people said he was flying.
But the centre-forward needs more support from his team-mates in sharing the goalscoring burden.
The responsibility for finishing off chances has got to be shared around a team if you are going to be successful. And that means reliable finishers like Steven Naismith and Kevin Mirallas scoring more goals, Aiden McGeady adding more to his total and Arouna Kone, when involved, getting on the scoresheet. At the moment teams know that if they can stop Lukaku from scoring goals aren’t likely to come from many other sources. By this stage last season Seamus Coleman, Leighton Baines and Bryan Oviedo had all scored plenty of goals. Kevin Mirallas had pitched in with a few, Ross Barkley had scored four and even Gareth Barry had pitched in with a couple.
Teams didn’t know where Everton’s goal threat was going to come from next.
Everton need to get back to that kind of unpredictability to keep teams on their toes.
Romelu Lukaku’s first touch sometimes lets him down, but he often makes up for that with his finishing.
The goal he scored in Germany against Wolfsburg underlined that perfectly!
But he really does need more support in front of goal if Everton are going to recapture the form they were showing last season. Tomorrow would be a great time to start!
Handle Liverpool's pace and we'll do well in the derby
Pace is one of the most valuable qualities in a football team’s armoury.
And it is why Liverpool are doing so well at the moment. They have burning pace in their front line and it’s how we deal with that threat tomorrow which will determine how we fare in the derby.
But if we can handle that threat we can certainly get at them at the other end.
I just hope the match as a whole starts a tremendous pace. If it does we could have another classic like last season’s 3-3 draw. I don’t like slow build-ups, patient periods of passing and pedestrian play – certainly not in a derby match!

Phil Jagielka on THAT goal at the Kop end... and how he hopes Everton FC won't have to rely on him this time
6 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Kristian Walsh
Everton skipper salvaged a draw for the Blues with a stunning equaliser at Anfield in September
As captain of Everton, Phil Jagielka would be expected to be a vital cog in the pre-match hype machine. A shot of the armband around his bicep, a victorious beat of the chest, a passionate celebration from the skipper. But Jagielka’s contribution in the build-up to this particular game has focused on something rarely associated him – a 30-yard half volley into the top corner.
Four months after his dramatic stoppage-time equaliser at Anfield, the Kop goal surely still shakes. It was a moment Evertonians will never forget – but the Blues skipper isn’t expecting a repeat on such drama on Saturday, and hopes it won’t be needed anyway. “I haven’t been practicing (long-range efforts) - there’s not much point, it only lowers the confidence levels!” says Jagielka.
“It’s popped up again when these games come around and thankfully one went in for once, I hope the lads won’t be relying on me to put something similar out on Saturday.
“The boys have been doing really well, Rom has got into the goals again and we’re getting somewhere we need to be – so hopefully I won’t be depended on. “But I’ll still be coming up, if selected, for corners and set-pieces and I’ll still be trying to get a derby day goal.”
That goal sealed a 1-1 draw at Anfield, with the away side close to taking all three points when Gareth Barry’s flick was just wide. It was an excellent display of resilience from the Blues to finish strongly and get back into the game – something Everton can draw upon ahead of the home tie.
“I don’t know if it gives a psychological advantage but it gives us something positive to hang on to,” adds Jagielka. “If we had been beaten and not managed to get the draw, it would have left a sour taste in the mouth – as it was the points were shared and it knocked them back a little bit.
“It doesn’t give too much of an advantage but it’s a positive thing that it’s all to play for in this derby and we’re level pegging and hopefully we can get one over the line on Saturday.”

Resurgent Liverpool FC will be too strong but Everton will run them close, says Jamie Carragher
6 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By James Pearce
EXCLUSIVE: Kop legend wishes he was in the thick of it at Goodison on Saturday
Some 21 months have passed since Jamie Carragher brought the curtain down on his illustrious Anfield career. Since pulling on a Liverpool shirt for the 737th and final time in May 2013 the legendary centre-back has gone on to establish himself as a highly-respected TV pundit and analyst.
But come 5.30pm on Saturday evening he will be wishing he was away from the warmth of the studio. What Carragher would give to be part of the 224th Merseyside derby at Goodison Park rather than watching from afar. “This is the kind of fixture that makes me wish I was still playing,” Carragher told the ECHO. “It was always my favourite away fixture. The derby was always my favourite game. “Goodison always had something extra. We were always big favourites to win at Anfield against Everton. But at Goodison it was more of a 50-50 game.
“It was more on edge. Their players and their fans fancied their chances.
“With the atmosphere as well, you always felt that the world was against you. It was like going into the lion’s den. I loved it. “I’ve got some great memories of playing at Goodison, We had a fantastic record there and hopefully that will continue for this Liverpool side.” Carragher, who won 16 and drew nine of the 30 derbies he played in, believes Brendan Rodgers’ side are running into form at the perfect time. The Reds have taken 17 points out of the last 21 on offer in the Premier League - climbing to within four points of the Champions League spots. Carragher says his former manager deserves great credit for finding a formation which has improved Liverpool at both ends of the field.
“Liverpool are playing really well,” he said. “The Chelsea semi-final games were fantastic. If Daniel Sturridge had been fit two or three weeks earlier then Liverpool would have got through to the final. No doubt about that. “They’ve bounced back from that disappointment by beating West Ham and Bolton, and this upturn goes back to when the manager changed to three at the back.
“It’s been a revelation and has transformed their season. The system seems to suit the players there at the moment and results are going well. “It’s certainly got the best out of Philippe Coutinho. We’ve seeing the best of him now and they’re also looking much better defensively.
“Credit to the manager for thinking of something different and coming up with that system.”
Everton, who had endured a miserable eight-game winless streak, lifted the gloom with last weekend’s 1-0 victory at Crystal Palace. However, Carragher believes Roberto Martinez’s men will have their work cut out trying to contain the Reds. Rodgers must decide whether to unleash fit again striker Daniel Sturridge from the start or bring him off the bench.
“That was a massive result for Everton at Palace,” Carragher said.
“They had been on a really poor run. They will have taken a lot of confidence from that win.
“I really like John Stones. Since he came into the team they have tightened up a lot. He’s going to be a top player and he has made a big difference to them. “But Everton have had problems with conceding goals this season. And when you look at the attacking talent Liverpool have now, they look very threatening. “Brendan Rodgers has options. Whether he starts with Sturridge or Raheem Sterling up front, then he has the likes of Coutinho, Adam Lallana and Steven Gerrard as well. Sturridge coming back is a massive lift.
“Liverpool’s creativity is back and Sturridge should provide that finishing touch because that’s the only thing that’s been lacking.”
Another feature of Liverpool’s recent revival has been their new found defensive resilience. In their past eight matches they have conceded just four goals.
Mamadou Sakho and Emre Can have shone in a three-man backline alongside the long-serving Martin Skrtel. Carragher was critical of Can, who inherited the Bootle-born defender’s No 23 shirt, after he gave away a penalty in the Capital One Cup semi-final first leg against Chelsea but he admits the young German has put that error firmly behind him. “I just felt at the time he didn’t look comfortable in terms of the defending side of things,” Carragher said.
“I criticised him after the first Chelsea game but since then he’s been outstanding. He brings the ball out, he adds something and in a back three he will do less defending as he won’t get called upon as much, “You could say he’s proved me wrong over the last four games in terms of his defending. He’s not been caught out at any time. He was brilliant at Chelsea going forward and defending. Credit to him, he’s doing really well and he’s carrying on that proud tradition of the No 23 very well!
“As for Sakho, there were definitely questions asked about him last year. People weren’t sure about him and it was the same at the start of this season.
“You have to be honest, the manager probably wasn’t sure either because that’s why he went and spent £20million on Dejan Lovren.
“There’s no doubt that in the last six to eight weeks, Sakho’s been outstanding. He really impressed me against West Ham. He never shirked a challenge.
“It’s always difficult to play against them. We know what it’s like to play against Andy Carroll - he gave Emre Can and Martin Skrtel a whack, but he didn’t go near Sakho.
“Playing in a three suits Sakho. When you watch him he actually looks awkward so people automatically think he’s not good on the ball.
“But when you look at his pass completion rate his stats are very good. He’s in fine form.”
Sakho and Can are operating in front of a goalkeeper who is enjoying a new lease of life. Simon Mignolet was dominant once again in Wednesday’s dramatic FA Cup replay win at Bolton.
But Carragher says Saturday will be a tough examination for the Belgium international who has taken the first steps towards winning over his critics.
Rodgers’ men must deal with the threat of Romelu Lukaku, who scored twice against the Reds in last season’s thrilling 3-3 draw at Goodison.
“I’m pleased for Simon Mignolet,” Carragher said.
“It’s not been easy for him because he’s taken a lot of criticism – from myself included.
“When you are Liverpool goalkeeper there are a lot of questions asked and a lot of eyes on you. I think in the last 18 months he hasn’t quite made people fully believe that he will be a Liverpool No 1 for five or six years. “But if you look at his form over the past month or so, you would say he looks like a future Liverpool No 1 who could play for the club for a long time. He has looked like one of the best keepers in the league for the past five or six weeks. Long may it continue.
“Is this a purple patch or what we’re going to see consistently between now and the end of the season? There’s no doubt that he’s playing for his future. If he continues this form he could still be the No 1 next season but if he goes back to how he performed at the start of the season then Liverpool will be looking for another goalkeeper. “It’s a big test for him at Goodison. The crowd will try to target him and how he deals with set-pieces is going to be very important. Everton are a big team and they will look to put him under pressure. Hopefully Mignolet will come through it.”
Could you win the derby for Liverpool? Try our Merseyside derby you are the player game
Saturday will be Steven Gerrard’s 33rd Merseyside derby and barring a meeting between the clubs in the Europa League in the coming months it will also be the last time he locks horns with the Blues.
Carragher knows from all the battles they shared how a white-hot reception at Goodison always brings the best out of Gerrard.
“Stevie will want to go out with a bang,” Carragher said.
“He will be desperate to make his last derby one to remember.
“It would be lovely, wouldn’t it? He’s probably got it pictured in his head already – getting the winner in front of the Gwladys Street.
“I remember his first goal at the Gwladys Street end when he put his finger to his lips. Maybe we’ll see something similar again. That would be the fairytale ending for him.
“My last derby finished 0-0. Stevie will want more than that, especially with it being at Goodison.”
Liverpool are unbeaten in the last nine derbies and Carragher expects that run to continue with a narrow win for the visitors on Saturday.
“It’s not far off a 50-50 game,” Carragher said.
“I saw Everton play Manchester City at home a few weeks ago and even though they were in the middle of a bad run they played really well and could have got more out of it.
“It will be close on Saturday but I just fancy Liverpool to edge it with the form they are in and the attacking options they have. Liverpool to win 2-1.”

"A dirty day and a derby day" - On This Day in 1926
6 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By David Prentice
Goals rained in on the 1926 derby
ACCORDING to the Liverpool Echo February 6 1926 was “a dirty day and a “Derby” day.”
And it was also a day Everton and Liverpool shared six goals in a match threatened at one stage by a heavy mist which fell on Goodison Park.
A crowd of 45,000 gathered for the second derby of the season.
Six goals had been scored in the first clash, too, but on that occasion five of them were scored by Liverpool as the Reds triumphed 5-1 - Dick Forshaw celebrating a hat-trick.
An interesting comment on the relationship of the clubs could be found in the second paragraph of the Echo’s report. A correspondent with the pen-name Bee, reported: “The Everton club say that the shouting of the crowd last week was not due to the belief that Liverpool were losing, but was due to the fact that when the numbers were being put up they were at first held in such a way that word went round that Liverpool had succeeded. They are very keen to keep the club’s clean name.”
A note on the crowd was also illuminating. The famous band which follows the current England national team around, ‘entertaining’ other spectators with versions of The Grea Escape, are by no means pioneers.The Echo report pointed out: “In the crowd one noticed a new phase. Two banjoists were singing the latest rags, thus competing with the brass band which fortunately for them was on the Bullens Road side.”
Everton, kicking towards the Aintree end (as the Gwladys Street End was described in the report) scored after a minute through Bobby irvine,
Cyril Oxley levelled for the Reds 16 minutes later and after 22 minutes the redoubtable Dick Forshaw scored his fourth derby goal of the season. On the stroke of half-time, however “Just as the referee was getting ready to blow his whistle, the Blues equalised. Chedgzoy who, by the way, had put in some capital runs and centres shot past Scott following a determined Everton attack.”
In 1926 Dixie Dean was still a callow, yet talented, youth - and this was the occasion of the first of his record-breaking 18 league goals in derby matches. The Echo reported: “Fifteen minutes after the resumption, the Blues went ahead, the score being a sequel to good work between Troup, Chedgzoy, and Dean, the last named finishing the movement by getting his head to the ball and nobbing it skillfully into the net.” The report added: “It almost seemed as if Liverpool said to themselves; ‘If you’re going to score, so are we.’ And score they did a few minutes later, Forshaw getting the ball past Hardy from one of Hopkin’s centres. That was the end of the scoring.”
There was quite a prophetic statement about the young Dean.
“Dean is a dangerous forward near goal, as was demonstrated, and when he gets going needs some stopping,” reported Bee. But on this occasion, the honours were even.

Everton's derby heroes remind the Blues what the derby is all about
6 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Big Dunc, Osman, Hibbert, Royle and Unsworth whip up Blues squad
ROBERTO MARTINEZ says Everton FC’s derby doyens have been reminding the squad of the importance of facing Liverpool.
The Blues are gearing up for Saturday night’s clash at Goodison Park which will be the 224th meeting between the clubs. Martinez has revealed some of the club’s current and former players, who have played in countless derbies, have been very “vocal” this week as preparations intensify for the game.
The Everton manager says he will not need to offer any history lessons in the build-up to the 5:30pm kick-off with so many past and present Blues there to do it for him.
“I think the boys do that on a daily basis in the week leading up the derby,” Martinez said.
“Players such as Leon Osman, Tony Hibbert, are players who have been through many derbies and what it represents for the family at Everton and they have been very vocal on that.
“But we also have Duncan Ferguson, David Unsworth and we even have Joe Royle in the building. They are great characters that really influence the group during this week but I don’t think we need much reminder of what a special fixture it is and it is something we want to embrace.”

Everton's Merseyside Derby history - in numbers
6 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By David Prentice
Gavin Buckland looks at the stats ahead of the 224th Merseyside Derby on Saturday
This meeting is number 224 between the teams in all competitions, making it the record for the most-played fixture in English football
Everton have won 66 games and Liverpool 88 times, although the Blues had the upper hand in the fixture from the first game in 1894 to Liverpool moving ahead in 1982
Of those 45 have been in the Premier League, with Everton winning nine times with 19 defeats
Everton have won seven and lost nine of the 22 Premier League derbies at Goodison
Everton have not won the return derby since March 1988, when we won 1-0 at Goodison having lost 2-0 at Anfield earlier in the season
Since 1908, Everton have won only seven of the 32 Goodison derbies when it has been the return fixture between the sides
Everton have not won any of the last nine derbies since a 2-0 win at Goodison in October 2010
Only once in the Premier League era – in 2012/13 – have both derby matches been drawn in the same season
Saturday is the first February league derby at Goodison since the goalless draw in 1971
Everton have won the last two February derbies at Goodison in all competitions – the FA Cup replays of 1991 and 2009
There have been 26 red cards in the derby game – 17 for Everton and nine for Liverpool. However, there has only been one in the past five years – Jack Rodwell at Goodison in October 2011 – and that was rescinded
Everton have not been awarded a penalty in derbies since David Unsworth scored at Goodison in April 2003
Romelu Lukaku needs one more appearance to reach 100 in the Premier League, the Belgian has scored 39 times thus far. The Belgian has scored four goals in his last five league games against Liverpool
Lukaku has one more goals in all competitions (10) as he had at the same stage last season
The two Belgian internationals, Lukaku (6) and Kevin Mirallas (5), have been responsible for 11 of the 15 goals scored by Everton players in the past 16 games – Steven Naismith, Arouna Kone, Ross Barkley and Leon Osman are the others, with one apiece
The last hat-trick scored by an Everton player in the fixture was Dixie Dean’s treble at Anfield in September 1931
Saturday will be the first derby match where Tim Howard has not been in goal for Everton since March 2006 at Anfield. The American has featured in 20 derby matches in that time
If Aaron Lennon appears on Saturday, the winger will be the second Everton player to make his first-team debut in the derby this season, after Tyias Browning did so at Anfield. The winger has a 90th minute Premier League winner against Liverpool to his name – in Spurs' 2-1 win at White Hart Lane in November 2010
It would also be only the second campaign, after 1998/99, where Everton have had players making debuts in both Goodison and Anfield derby matches – Tyias Browning playing in the latter
Everton have won successive league fixtures once this season – against Aston Villa and Burnley in October
Saturday’s referee Anthony Taylor has taken charge of Everton eight times under Roberto Martinez. The Toffees have won six and drew two of those games, scoring 19 goals and conceding three
In that time Saturday’s referee has taken charge of six Liverpool games, with the Reds winning five, the exception being the 2-1 home loss to Chelsea this seasonThe Everton manager has won two and drawn five of 11 meetings with Liverpool

Watch footage from the Merseyside Derby in 1902 - the lowest attendance for an Anfield derby
6 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Chris Beesley
The story behind the lowest attendance in Merseyside Derby history
This Saturday’s Merseyside Derby at Goodison Park will be a sell-out – it goes without saying.
Whenever or wherever Everton and Liverpool play, it’s always in front of a capacity crowd.
The Blues home fits a shade under 40,000 these days while until it is extended, Anfield is restricted to 45,276 but back in the post-war boom days of attendances a record 78,299 crammed into Goodison to watch a 1-1 draw on September 18 1948. Back in 1967, over 100,000 fans watched in both grounds as Alan Ball gave Everton a 1-0 victory in an FA Cup fifth round tie with 64,851 in Goodison and a further 40,149 watching on giant closed circuit television screens at Anfield while six-figure crowds were also the order of the day for various all-Merseyside Wembley encounters during the 1980s. However, the lowest attendance for a Merseyside Derby is a paltry 18,000 for a league encounter on January 19 1901 but why did so few Scouse football fans turn up that day?
Anfield’s capacity remained around the 30,000 mark but there were 12,000 fewer spectators than the ground could accommodate for this infamous game played against the backdrop of terrible weather conditions and Queen Victoria’s death. The Liverpool Daily Post’s report of the game appeared 48 hours later on the following Monday with the headlines on the second edition revealing: “Her majesty regarded as passing away.” It was revealed that after 63-and-a-half years on the throne, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch was in “a comatose state” with sub-heads declaring: “Royal Family summoned” and “arrival of the Kaiser” (one of her grandsons).
Indeed Victoria would be dead by half past six the following evening, ushering in the start of the Edwardian era. Back on Merseyside, the torrential weather ensured thousands of fans stayed away from the big game, perhaps doubting what kind of spectacle it would be, whether it would be played at all or if it would finish. As the Post reported: “Played on the Anfield enclosure. The weather was terribly wet and not only spoiled the good football but the prospects of a record gate as well. As it was, about 18,000 spectators were present.” It must be noted that when Everton captain Jimmy Settle won the toss, he “set the Liverpudlians to defend the Oakfield-road goal” - remember the Kop had not yet been built! Everton ended up triumphing 2-1 in awful conditions thanks to a Jack Taylor brace with Jack Cox netting for Liverpool. The Post recalls how the game was almost abandoned in the second half but the sodden protagonists continued – possibly due to pressure from the spectators. “When the teams reappeared they were arrayed in dry, clean costumes and certainly they were required, for everyone must have been exceedingly uncomfortable prior to retiring.
“When the men toed the line Settle and Raisbeck were observed in conversation, and evidently discussing the advisability of abandoning the match, but the crowd loudly exclaimed, “Play the game!” and hostilities were resumed. “The ground became worse and it was very difficult for the players to keep their feet. As time wore on matters became more difficult than ever from a player’s point of view, the churned mud and water rendering anything like accurate play quite out of the question and luck necessarily played a prominent part in the game. “Twenty-two minutes after the resumption the referee and linesmen held a consultation as to whether the game should be proceeded with, in view of the terrible condition of the ground. The spectators were evidently in favour of the game proceeding, and the responsible officials, after a short conference, decided that the game should be played “to a finish”, this course finding favour with the vast majority of the enthusiasts present.” Meanwhile, the Liverpool Mercury’s correspondent painted a vivid verbal picture of the trying conditions. “Amidst a wilderness of slack and swamp, and a wholesome downpouring of rain, the elect of Everton and Liverpool foundered about for 20 minutes at Anfield and close on 18,000 ardent enthusiasts watched them go through the performance.
“A more dismal day for spectators and more trying conditions for the players could scarcely be imagined, and those of the spectators who clamoured nosily when a faulty move was made on the field might have had their ardour damped somewhat had they ventured from the comparatively long seclusion of the covered stands. “The soaked surfaces of the ground like a saturated sponge, clung to the men with more than a passing fondness; it held them in its glutinous grip, but varied the proceedings by allowing then to occasionally glint over its treacherous length, only to finally enshroud there with a musky covering that rendered the individual almost unrecognisable.”
This Saturday’s Liverpool forecast is for clear skies by the way. Understandably no footage of the 1901 Merseyside Derby quagmire exists but we have unearthed a short film of the return game at Goodison Park the following season on the British Film Institute website.
Rather than walk out side-by-side – which was a later Merseyside innovation – Liverpool emerge first in what appears in black and white to be darker shirts and it can be observed that some players are wearing ‘Snake belts’ on their shorts while one fan raises his umbrella in the air as Everton take to the field. Once the action gets under way, one Liverpool player hurts himself in an aerial challenge and subsequently is seen continually rubbing his head.

The derby ref who is a talisman for both teams!
6 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By David Prentice
Everton and Liverpool have both fared well with Anthony Taylor in charge
BOTH Everton and Liverpool have had cause to criticise tomorrow’s man in the middle, Anthony Taylor.
But in truth the derby match ref has been a lucky talisman for both teams throughout his career.
Taylor has taken charge of Everton eight times under Roberto Martinez. The Toffees have won six and drawn two of those games, scoring 19 goals and conceding just three. In the same time Saturday’s referee has taken charge of six Liverpool games, with the Reds winning five, the exception being the 2-1 home loss to Chelsea this season. Reds fans were unhappy with Taylor’s performance that day, the official ignoring a clear handball by Gary Cahill which should have seen Liverpool awarded a penalty. Brendan Rogers said: “We are not getting the good fortune. But that was not even good fortune. We should have had a penalty.” Earlier in his career Taylor also angered Evertonians when he showed a red card to midfielder Darron Gibson for dangerous play during a 2-1 win at Upton Park. The decision was later overturned by the FA.
Everton’s overall record under Taylor is played 14, won nine, drawn four and lost just once.
Liverpool’s is almost as impressive, played 12, won seven, drawn three and lost twice.
But the statistics also suggest that there will be cards tomorrow. In 22 matches that Mr Taylor has taken charge of this season he has shown 90 yellow cards and four reds for an average of 4.09 cards per game. Prior to this season Taylor’s average had steadily fallen from 3.69 yellow cards per game in 2010/11 to 3.12 the following season and 2.54 last season.
This season his average has dramatically risen - and his four red cards have all come in his last nine matches. There hasn’t been a red card shown in a Merseyside derby since Jack Rodwell was dismissed - a decision later overturned - in October 2011.
Totesport are offering an enhanced 5/1 that Saturday’s game will see one!
LIVERPOOL with Anthony Taylor in charge
Burnley away 1-0
Chelsea home 1-2
Crystal Palace home 3-1
Norwich home 5-1
Stoke away 5-3
West Ham away 2-1
Newcastle home 1-1
QPR away 3-0
Man City away 2-2
West Ham home 0-0
Wolves away 3-0
Sunderland away 0-1
EVERTON with Anthony Taylor in charge
West Ham home (FA Cup) 1-1
Aston Villa home 3-0
West Brom away 2-0
Cardiff away 0-0
Aston Villa away 2-0
Fulham home 4-1
Stevenage (FA Cup) away 4-0
Fulham away 3-1
Swansea away 3-0
West Ham away 2-1
Reading home 3-1
Chelsea away 1-2
Stoke away 1-1
Wigan away 1-1

Everton FC v Liverpool FC: The key derby battles
6 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Ian Doyle
Where the game could be won and lost
Emre Can v Romelu Lukaku
Having been dropped to the bench over Christmas, Romelu Lukaku has responded with some of his best football of the season. Free of the injury niggles and World Cup hangover that affected his opening months of the campaign, the Belgian has appeared more like his old self, terrorising defences with his pace and power and notching some important goals.
Liverpool FC know all about Lukaku having conceded two goals to the striker in the 3-3 thriller in this fixture last season.
Can, though, will be an unknown quantity to Everton FC, yet to make his derby debut.
The Germany under-21 international has been transformed from central midfielder to centre-back since Brendan Rodgers switched to three at the back.
He has earned growing plaudits for his performances, and while likely to be targeted by Lukaku, Can demonstrated against Andy Carroll last weekend he stand up and be counted against the toughest.
Everton’s bench v Liverpool’s bench We’re all told football is no longer an 11-a-side game but an 18-a-side game, with substitutes and the use of them playing as much a part as the starting line-up.
With question marks over Daniel Sturridge and James McCarthy, it could be that one or both are called from the bench, the former having netted a dramatic late equaliser last season having been introduced late on. There is likely to be plenty of experience on the Everton bench, with new on-loan signing Aaron Lennon – it would be a major surprise should he start – alongside Tony Hibbert, Sylvain Distin, Darron Gibson and Arouna Kone.
Liverpool, though, will point to the greater attacking threat, with Rickie Lambert, Fabio Borini, Jordon Ibe and Mario Balotelli all vying for a substitute role.
Ultimately, though, it will be down to how Roberto Martinez and Brendan Rodgers best utilise their available resource. After all, the derby has a habit of making a supersub a hero.
Seamus Coleman v Alberto Moreno
There may be a world of difference between their respective transfer fees, but the duo have similar jobs. Liverpool’s three-man defence has allowed Moreno to concentrate more on his attacking leanings as a marauding left wing-back, where he will be in direct opposition with Blues right-back Coleman. Coleman forged an initial reputation on his adventurous forward play but over time has improved his defending and has learned to pick and choose his times to advance.
The derby will be a time for cool heads and composure, and both teams will look to the flanks as an outlet given the expected hectic midfield skirmish. The head-to-head between Coleman and Moreno will be key to winning the battle out wide – and perhaps ultimately the match.

Everton FC v Liverpool FC: Three key questions ahead of the derby
6 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Ian Doyle
What are the main talking points before the 224th Merseyside derby?
Will referee Anthony Taylor handle the occasion?
Infamously, the Merseyside derby has seen more red cards than any other fixture in Premier League history – 20 players having been dismissed since 1992, with 11 coming in the last 20 meetings between the sides. It’s perhaps a sign of the modern era of officiating, as beforehand only six players has been dismissed in derby history. That said, both teams have managed to avoid a red in the last seven meetings, although that may be difficult with referee Anthony Taylor taking charge of the fixture for the first time. Lucas Leiva and Muhamed Besic be warned – Taylor loves to hand out the cards, brandishing 44 in his last nine games including four reds.
He’s always been at it, and not always correctly. In 2012, Taylor issued 10 in Liverpool’s win at Blackburn Rovers – including a red for hapless goalkeeper Doni – while later that year he sent off Carlton Cole and Darron Gibson in an Everton FC win at West Ham, although both were later rescinded on appeal. The Blues, though, will take heart from the fact they’ve lost only two of the 15 games where Taylor has officiated.
Can Steven Gerrard say a derby goodbye in style?
Whether it’s the abuse he regularly receives from Everton fans, the fact he is a boyhood Liverpool fan - or just his love of the big occasion, whatever it is, Steven Gerrard just loves playing in the derby. Loves it. It hasn’t always gone well – a couple of reds cards and some other debatable challenges blotting his copybook somewhat – but the Reds skipper has enjoyed far more highs than lows in the fixture. Only Ian Rush has scored more for Liverpool in the fixture than the 10 Gerrard has managed, although only two have come at Goodison, the last of which was way back in 2005.
Gerrard, though, will be determined to make the most of his final derby.
Don’t bet against the Reds midfielder leaving his mark on the fixture – one way or another.
Will Everton’s supporters rebuild Fortress Goodison?
Roberto Martinez would be the first to admit the Blues haven’t enjoyed the best of times on their own turf this season. Since beating Manchester United 2-0 in April, Everton have won only three of their 12 home Premier League games, the nadir coming with the Boxing Day defeat against Stoke City. Matters have improved since. While there was frustration in the goalless draw against West Bromwich Albion last time out, the rousing 1-1 draw with Manchester City in the previous home game saw Goodison rouse itself for arguably the first time since the August defeat to Chelsea.
And with the long wait for a victory having been ended at Crystal Palace last weekend there will be renewed hope and belief among the home fans. Liverpool will be confident having won five of their last six games. Goodison, however, will be ready for them.

Everton FC can rely on fans to recreate "electric" atmosphere, says Roberto Martinez
6 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Blues boss says Goodison derby last season ranks as the best atmosphere he's experienced at club
Roberto Martinez says Everton FC can “bank” on their fans creating an incendiary atmosphere for the derby.
The Blues boss says home advantage will count for a lot in the 224th meeting between the sides this weekend. Martinez ranks last season’s “electric” Goodison Park derby as the best atmosphere he has experienced at the ground. And now the Catalan wants the Everton faithful to help roar the Blues to a first derby win since 2010. Goodison has been a tense and edgy place at times this season but Martinez is confident the Old Lady will be nothing other than raucous on Saturday night – as it was in November last season when Everton and Liverpool shared a thrilling 3-3 draw.
“The opposition is a very good opposition and they are in a very good moment of form,” Martinez said of the Reds. “We all realise when you face opposition like that, they are going to come with a real attacking mindset and their form gets everyone ready for a very difficult game.
“But on top of that it is the derby and the atmosphere we created last season was phenomenal and is something we expect to use to our advantage. “So straight away, you are looking at the derby as a one-off fixture. “And I know we can bank on having that atmosphere with the experiences we had last season.” Martinez says in the three Merseyside derbies he has been involved, the home crowd have played a telling role.
“It can make a real difference,” he added.
“In every derby we have been involved, the home crowd have played a massive, massive role.
“When you go away from home you feel that disadvantage and looking at Goodison and the derby we had last season, that was the most electric and special atmosphere I have experienced in the ground and when that’s at full blast the energy levels in our players increase, every yard seems small and that is going to be a major, major part of our performance at the weekend.”

Everton v Liverpool FC: How Reds could equal number of wins the Blues have on their home ground and other key derby stats
6 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Andy Kelly
Liverpool statistician Ged Rea with some of the stories to look out for from Goodison
This Saturday's derby will mark the 192nd league meeting of Everton and Liverpool with the Reds having won 73 to the Blues 57. It is the most played derby in English league football.
At Goodison Park, Everton lead the way with 34 wins, Liverpool have 32 with 29 draws.
In all competitions, Liverpool have won 88 of the 223 meetings with Everton winning 66 and 68 ending all square.
In the Premier League Liverpool have won 19 with Everton winning 9 with 16 draws.
Should Liverpool win they will have won as many games at Goodison against Everton in all competitions as they have lost - 40-40.
The Reds have lost just 3 of the last 30 meetings in the Premier League home and away – all at Goodison and are unbeaten in the last 8.
Liverpool have won 4 of the last 7 league meetings at Goodison, losing once. They have scored at least twice in 11 of their last 14 league visits across the Park.
Home and away Liverpool have lost one of the last 16 league meetings – at Goodison in October 2010 to goals from Mikel Arteta and Tim Cahill.
Steven Gerrard could make his 33rd appearance against Everton - only Ian Rush (36) has played in more for the club. It will be his 30th league derby and only Neville Southall with 31 has appeared more for either club.
He has scored 10 goals in 32 appearances against Everton – only 3 men have ever scored more in derby history. Those 10 goals have come in 8 games and Liverpool have not lost any of them.
He has lost 5 of his 32 derbies against Everton in all comps and 4 in 29 in the league.
The Reds' captain next goal in any competition will see him equal Robbie Fowler's club tally of 183.
Gerrard could become the first Liverpool player since Fowler in November 1997 to score in 3 successive derby matches.
Only 3 members of the current Liverpool squad have scored for the club against Everton – Steven Gerrard (10 times), Daniel Sturridge (3) and Philippe Coutinho (once).
Daniel Sturridge has scored 6 career goals against the Blues with 3 coming in 3 games for Liverpool.
Steven Gerrard is one of only 2 players to be sent off twice in Merseyside derbies - Phil Neville being the other.
Brendan Rodgers has drawn both games as Liverpool manager at Goodison.
Liverpool have conceded 27 league goals this season - one fewer than at this stage of last season.
The last 2 Goodison derbies in the league have been drawn - the last time there were 3 successive draws was between 1974-75 and 1976-77.
26 players have been sent off in Merseyside derby history – 9 from Liverpool and 17 Everton players.
Only 5 players had been dismissed in the first 88 years of combat. The last 4 Liverpool red cards in league matches have come in games they have ultimately won.
There has not been a red card in the last 7 meetings in all competitions.
Steven Gerrard & Phil Neville are the only two players to be sent off twice in a derby
The last player to be sent off was Jack Rodwell at Goodison in October 2011 though that was later rescinded.
The last Reds player dismissed at Goodison in a league derby was Igor Biscan in April 2001.
The Reds have kept 3 clean sheets in a row in the league - the last time 4 in succession was the final game of 2012-13 and the opening 3 of the following campaign. February 2011 was the last time they kept 4 on the spin in the same season.
Liverpool have failed to score in only 3 of their last 32 away Premier League games.
The last league draw Liverpool were involved in away from home came last May at Crystal Palace.
The teams have met before once on this day with Liverpool winning 3-1 at Anfield 90 years ago.
The Blues have come from behind to win a derby only once since the war - that came in 1992 when Peter Beardsley scored the winner at Goodison.
Roberto Martinez has managed against Liverpool 11 times in his career, winning twice.
Everton have been awarded 7 penalties in post-war league derbies with 5 being scored and 2 missed. Liverpool during the same period have scored 11 of their 16.
All of Everton’s 9 Premier League victories over Liverpool have come in the first fixture of the season. The last time they won the second league meeting of a campaign was March 1988 at Goodison.
The Blues go into this game having won one in the last 9 in league and cup - at Crystal Palace last Saturday thanks to a second minute Romelu Lukaku goal.
Going into this weekend's games only West Brom (19) have conceded more goals at home in the top-flight than Everton and 5 others who have leaked 16.
Lukaku has scored 4 times in his 8 clashes with the Reds. The Belgian is the Blues' only league ever-present this season with 20 starts and 3 substitute appearances.

Trending Liverpool ECHO Mums' Club Valentine's Day Liverpool City Centre Hillsborough
6 February 2015 Liverpool echo
By Rob Pattinson
Blues and Reds fans to send message derby remains friendly after police bid to move kick-off time
Everton FC and Liverpool FC supporters’ groups will hold a joint show of solidarity ahead of the Merseyside derby – following police attempts to move the kick-off time.
The Blue Union and the Spirit of Shankly will come together outside Barclay’s bank on Church Street from 1-2pm on Saturday afternoon to send out a message that the clash between Liverpool FC and Everton FC is still the “friendly derby”. It follows Merseyside Police’s appeal against a licensing committee decision to turn down a request to amend the terms of the ground safety certificate to bring forward the 5.30pm kick-off time to lunchtime. The legal challenge was withdrawn on the day of the hearing earlier this week after an out-of-court compromise was reached between police, the council and Everton FC. The force had said there was an increased risk of drunken disorder, with fans spending more time drinking before the televised match at Goodison starts on Saturday.
Police chiefs said that would cause unnecessary risk, which would require increased policing, funded by the taxpayer. The supporters groups are now seeking to meet with Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy to discuss why the challenge was brought. Roy Bentham, of the Spirit of Shankly, said: “The world’s eyes are on us, and it’s put us under a bit of pressure. The message from us is to say that this is still a friendly derby and there’s nothing the authorities can do to change that. “The message from ourselves and the Blue Union is that there was no need for [the legal challenge] and hopefully this won’t happen again. “We haven’t seen any evidence that there will be more trouble for this game, and feel the fans groups should be the number one organisations to consult when these ideas are being hatched.” Dave Kelly of the Blue Union, said: “We may have tribal differences for 90 minutes but we continue to have an extremely good relationship with our colleagues across the park and we’re working together collectively for the greater good for both sets of fans. “Representatives of both fan groups attended a meeting with police last night and we told them if they have a problem with fans and fan behaviour perhaps they need to speak to the fan groups and engage with the fan groups.” The event on Church Street will also see a joint ticket price protest held by the two groups, which will be followed by a giant banner being displayed between the two sets of supporters at the match.

Merseyside Derby is bigger than the Cup final says Everton coach
6 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Not even FA Cup final can compare to derby says Blues No2
Everton FC assistant manager Graeme Jones says the Merseyside derby is the biggest game he has ever been involved in.
The Blues No2 has been Roberto Martinez’s right hand man through promotions, relegations, last day survivals and FA Cup final wins. But Jones, 44, believes none of those experiences matches the magnitude of the occasion when the Blues and Reds collide.
The former Wigan Athletic striker admits he was “naive” going into his first derby - 2013’s 3-3 draw at Goodison. “I’ve learnt that there is a lot of hysteria and emotion attached to the fixture,” said Jones. “I certainly feel a better assistant manager sitting here going into my fourth derby game than I did as a naïve assistant manager going into the first because I don’t think anyone can ever give you any indication or any guidelines of what a Merseyside derby is until you have experienced it.
“It’s like no other football match I have been involved in and we have done FA Cup finals, Survival Sundays and big, big matches – but the Merseyside derby is bigger than them all.”
Jones says he knows how much a first derby win since October 2010 would mean to the Everton fans but he says the players must detach themselves from the emotional side of the day.
“We know how much it means to the fans and in many ways we have to stay away from that emotion,” Jones said. “We need to be calculated and we need to be professional.
“We need to remember at key moments not to get involved in the hysteria and the rivalry. We need to do our jobs and the basics well. On top of the natural ability the players have, we want to put them in a position mentally for them to perform. That’s how sensitive it is.
“Every player has got a different character and personality. Gareth Barry is very different to Phil Jagielka who is different to Leighton Baines. They are very, very experienced people as footballers.
“But no matter who you are, you have to manage yourself on matchday anyway. You hope that with a bit of guidance, and also their experience, that everyone can be managed to a level where they can perform.”

Liverpool FC's Daniel Sturridge declares himself fit to start against Everton
6 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Chris Beesley
Striker wants to return to the side for the Merseyside Derby
Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has declared himself fit to start the Merseyside Derby at Goodison Park.
The Reds’ frontman was injured for the 1-1 draw at Anfield back in September but has scored three goals in his last two outings against Everton. Sturridge, who made a goalscoring comeback after five months out against West Ham last Saturday, said: “First and foremost I’m excited. It’s my favourite game, I love it. “The feeling in the city is completely different when you’re playing that game, the energy and everything. “I’m looking forward to it. Whether I’m going to play or not that’s the manager’s decision but I’m ready for anything the manager wants to do.
“I feel I’m ready to start but it’s down to the manager to pick the team.
“I’ve had a week and a bit’s worth of training as well as the two games I’ve come on in and played a part. “I’m looking forward to getting back into it, playing 90 minutes and performing as best as I can.” The game is expected to be Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard’s last Merseyside Derby match – unless the two rivals are paired against each other in the latter stages of the Europa League – and Sturridge admits that the skipper will be a big loss to the Reds when he departs at the end of the season. He said: “It’s hard to put your finger on one thing that Steven does. The way he plays with his passing, his leadership on the pitch. “He can score goals, he can tackle, he can do everything.
“Aside from that there’s the leadership qualities in the dressing room and at the training ground.
“There’s that respect from every player for what he’s done in the game and what he still does.
“There are not many players out there playing in the game who have achieved what he has.”

Steven Naismith says warm weather training camp helped clear Everton FC's heads
6 February 2015 Liverpool echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Blues spent six days at Aspire Academy in Doha and returned with a win at Palace
Steven Naismith believes Everton FC’s warm weather training camp has helped clear their heads.
The Blues jetted off to Qatar at the end of last month for six days working at the Aspire Academy in Doha. Everton returned from the camp with a 1-0 win at Crystal Palace - their first in nine matches - and left them looking forward to the Merseyside derby.
“The break let us realise,” said the Scot.
“Beforehand, there was that many games coming thick and fast that just you are just rolling into every game but we got time to look at where we have come in the last year and what we have got in the squad. “It definitely showed in the game.”
Naismith said it was manager Roberto Martinez who urged the players to remember the achievements of last season when they recorded a club record points total in the Premier League.
“It was led more by the manager urging us to look back at what we had done and what we had achieved,” Naismith added. “It was for us to remember that. We didn’t change too much of what we do, it was just for us to work hard and that little bit of rest helped as well, given how many games we’ve played of late.”

Mamadou Sakho: 'Everton is a special game - I'll never walk away from the fight'
6 February 2015 Liverpool echo
By James Pearce
Frenchman has turned Anfield career around after walk-out before Anfield game
The last time Liverpool and Everton did battle Mamadou Sakho’s Anfield career had reached its lowest ebb. Informed by Brendan Rodgers that he hadn’t even made the bench for September’s visit of the Blues, the raging £18million defender promptly stormed out. Dejan Lovren and Martin Skrtel were the manager’s first-choice pairing with Kolo Toure as back-up.
An apology from Sakho soon followed in the wake of the 1-1 draw but it was three months before he started another game. His prospects looked bleak but an injury to Lovren led to him earning a recall for the clash with Arsenal in December and he set about grasping his shot at redemption.
Since then the 24-year-old has been ever present in Rodgers’ three-man backline – making 12 successive starts and helping to transform Liverpool’s campaign.
He has cut out the errors which blighted his first season at Anfield and his commanding presence has helped the Reds tighten up. I wanted to play - to be disappointed was natural
Having watched the previous showdown with Everton from afar, Sakho is guaranteed to be in the thick of the action at Goodison on Saturday evening and it’s a challenge he’s relishing.
“The last derby was a bad moment for me,” Sakho said. “It was a difficult time. I felt bad. I was disappointed because I wanted to play. It is the same with all the players – we all want to play for the red shirt in big games. To be disappointed was natural. “Thankfully, things have changed for me. I am always ready to fight for the club and for the team. “I don’t know if I have proved I belong here as that’s for others to decide. But I am very happy at Liverpool and very happy with the team.
“I have two and a half years left on my contract and I’ve never said I wanted to go. My family is happy here and everything is settled for me, and I like being at Liverpool.”
We have to be at our strongest Sakho hasn’t faced the Blues since his arrival from boyhood club Paris Saint Germain in September 2013. He was an unused substitute for last season’s thrilling 3-3 draw at Goodison and then a hamstring injury meant he missed the Reds’ 4-0 win at Anfield.
He knows what this fixture means to the club’s supporters.
“The Everton game is special,” he said. “It’s one where we always have to be at our strongest. We have to be ready. We’re in good form and it’s a big game for us.
“I want to be an important player for Liverpool. I hope I am playing this time, but I am not the coach. I’ll continue to work hard and make sure I am ready but the coach has to do his job, and he will decide if I play or not.” The Paris-born defender of Senegalese descent is no stranger to having to fight to establish himself. Teenage tearaway combines talent with social conscience
He had a tough upbringing in the Paris neighbourhood of Goutte d’Or and the death of his father hit him hard. He joined PSG at the age of 12 but by his own admission he was a teenage tearaway. He was threatened with expulsion from PSG’s Academy before he finally knuckled down and established himself. His talent has always been combined with a social conscience. Soon after he arrived at Liverpool he volunteered his services as an ambassador for the club’s charitable foundation.
Even during a nightmare first half of the campaign, he insists he never lost hope that he would force his way back into Rodgers’ plans. “I never doubted I would come back. I never thought about leaving,” he said. “Yes, it was hard for me when I was left out and then I was injured for a long time. But one thing about me is that I have a strong mentality all the time.
I work hard and I fight hard “Whether it’s here at Liverpool or if I’m playing with the national team in France, it is the same. I work hard and I fight hard. “I never give up. I’ll never walk away from the fight because of my life before. When I was younger, my life was very difficult. I had to experience some very difficult times. And I think I have a good mentality because of that.
“I try to remain positive all the time, to think positive and to believe in myself.”
Sakho admits belief is coursing through Rodgers’ side as they prepare for the 224th Merseyside derby. Liverpool head for Goodison on a glorious high following Wednesday night’s dramatic 2-1 win over Bolton in the FA Cup. Sakho is dreaming of FA Cup glory but for now the focus is on beating the Blues and maintaining Liverpool’s push towards the top four.
“We are very happy because it was a strong performance from the team at Bolton,” he said.
“They made it a very difficult game for us but we kept going and got our reward. Over the whole 90 minutes we showed we were very focused, very concentrated on the job, and had great determination. “We won because of the character we have as we never thought for even one second the game was lost. Winning the FA Cup is a real objective. We have a good opportunity, but we need to remain calm. “The team is playing much better now, We are all together and we need to stay like this. “I’m happy to play but what’s most important to me is that the team is playing well with a very good mentality. It’s nice to be part of it.”

Everton v Liverpool: Was Jagielka's Anfield cracker the greatest Merseyside derby goal of them all?
6 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Chris Beesley
The ECHO's top ten of the most spectacular strikes in Everton v Liverpool history
Phil Jagielka's last-gasp blockbuster at Anfield in the last Merseyside Derby back in September was described by Everton boss Roberto Martinez’s as the best goal he’d ever seen ‘live’ and some have even gone as far as saying it is the greatest strike in the long history of the emotionally-charged fixture. That’s quite a bold claim and there’s no doubt Jagielka faces some stiff competition for that crown both from the Blue and the Red corners. It’s a debate that’s certain to spark great debate and everyone will no doubt have their own opinions on the matter but here are 10 crackers we believe are in with a shout – don’t forget to tell us your favourites that we’ve missed out!
Danny Murphy: April 19 2003, Everton 1 Liverpool 2
The lifelong Red from Chester was lauded by Kopites for his three winning goals at Old Trafford but he also hit a decisive strike at Goodison Park.
Murphy spoiled Everton boss David Moyes’ home derby debut with a superbly-placed 25-yard curler at the Park End into the top left corner of Richard Wright’s net.
Olivier Dacourt: April 3 1999, Liverpool 3 Everton 2
This game was eventually remembered for all the wrong reasons thanks to Robbie Fowler’s controversial goal-line sniffing antics after netting the Reds penalty equaliser but derby debutant Dacourt had fired Walter Smith’s struggling Blues ahead within a minute of the game starting with a spectacular strike that temporarily silenced the Kop. Liverpool could only half-clear a long throw-in from Michael Ball and the ball fell to the French midfielder outside the area. After taking a touch with his right foot to control it, he pinged an unstoppable effort over Sander Westerveld’s shoulder and into the top right corner.
Steven Gerrard: March 13 2012, Liverpool 3 Everton 0
Gerrard, who is set for his last ever Merseyside Derby this Saturday, has been the scourge of Everton down the years, netting 10 times against his local rivals. His free-kick earlier this season at Anfield would have been worthy of winning any game had it not been eclipsed by Jagielka’s even more dramatic late effort while many Reds and Blues will recall his first derby strike – or ear-cupping celebration – a blockbusting effort across goal in front of the Gwladys Street back in September 2001. But we’ve gone for the first of Gerrard’s hat-trick goals from when he single-handedly pulled the neighbours apart. Gerrard is well-known for his long-range blasts but he showed a more measured side to his footballing genius on this occasion. Everton probably thought they’d cleared the danger when Tim Howard saved from Martin Kelly and Sylvain Distin slid the ball out to the edge of the area but Gerrard used pinpoint precession to immediately plant an effort straight over everyone’s head and into the roof of the net.
Dan Gosling: February 4 2009, Everton 1 Liverpool 0
Gosling’s sensational late winner two minutes from the end of extra time in an FA Cup fourth round replay at Goodison Park is remembered more for those who missed out on witnessing it live rather than those who saw it.
The game was being shown on ITV but after almost two hours of goalless football, millions of viewers across several regions – including Gosling’s mum Hilary – were left stunned as the broadcasters accidentally cut to an advertising break for Tic Tac mints during the decisive moments - and when footage from the game resumed, Everton’s players were already celebrating with the teenage midfielder at the bottom of a pile of jubilant team-mates. The unlikely creator of the winning goal was Andy van der Meyde who made his most telling contribution in a Blues shirt by zipping in a cross from the right wing that Gosling took down exquisitely with a cushioned control at the back post before curling inside Alvaro Arbeloa and Jamie Carragher to place a dipping shot past Pepe Reina which just clipped the inside of the post on its way in.
John Barnes: February 20 1991, Everton 4 Liverpool 4

Another FA Cup replay at Goodison Park – this time in the fifth round – and on a night that rained goals, this pearler from Barnes stood out.
Peter Beardsley, who would go on and cross Stanley Park later that year, had already netted a memorable left-foot scorcher in this ding-dong affair before his team-mate with club and country struck this effort.
The game proved to be Kenny Dalglish’s last in his first spell as Reds manager and perhaps the Scot thought that if his team were still unable to topple their local rivals despite goals like these, then he’d gone as far as he could?
With the Everton defence tiring after 103 minutes of absorbing Merseyside Derby cup football, Barnes cut inside from the left wing and from a tight angle outside the area he somehow managed to beat Neville Southall, who was still one of the world’s best keepers at the time with a perfectly-placed long-range missile to put the Reds ahead for the fourth time on the evening.
Kevin Sheedy: April 25 1987, Liverpool 3 Everton 1
Despite going on to win major honours with the Blues and being regarded as one of the greatest players in Everton’s history, the Irish international never felt he was given a fair crack of the whip at Anfield before he crossed Stanley Park in 1982.
Therefore, when Sheedy planted this strike into the Kop his jubilation was understandable, even if his over-enthusiastic celebration was not.
The normally mild-mannered winger got himself in hot water with the FA for appearing to flick a v-sign at Liverpool’s fans but the goal itself was far more cultured as you’d come to expect from the dead-ball expert.
In a central position from 25 yards out, Sheedy had given Mike Hooper no chance with a trademark left-foot thunderbolt. And sent Blues fans briefly wild with joy.
Terry McDermott: April 23 1977, Liverpool 2 Everton 2 (at Maine Road)
In a year that Liverpool won a European Cup and League Championship double, this delicate chip in an FA Cup semi-final was voted BBC’s Goal of the Season.
For Evertonians, this game at Maine Road that finished 2-2 (with Liverpool winning the replay 3-0) will forever by marred for controversial Welsh referee Clive Thomas ruling out what would have been a winning goal for Bryan Hamilton. But Reds will always prefer to remember this piece of stylish play from their Scouse midfielder. Picked out by a low left-wing cross from Kevin Keegan, McDermott coolly executed a ‘Cruyff turn’ to see off the onrushing Mick Buckley before seeing keeper David Lawson off his line and delicately clipping the ball over his head with his left foot.
Stuart McCall: May 20 1989, Liverpool 3 Everton 2 (at Wembley)
What is it about Merseyside Derby crackers and the FA Cup?
The Blues flame-haired midfielder chose the biggest stage of all to grab this corker.
Introduced as a substitute just before the hour mark, the Yorkshire-born Scottish international was not content with merely netting a last-minute equaliser in normal time as he drew Everton level again in the extra period. With 102 minutes gone and Colin Harvey’s side trailing, Kevin Ratcliffe lofted a free-kick into the area towards centre-back partner Dave Watson who had pushed up.
Alan Hansen actually beat Watson to the header and nodded out of the area but having chested down, McCall dispatched a dipping volley past Bruce Grobbelaar.
Gary McAllister: April 16 2001, Everton 2 Liverpool 3
If not the greatest Merseyside Derby strike of all time, this was surely one of the longest.
With the Blues having battled back twice as goals from Emile Heskey (5) and Markus Babbel (58) were cancelled out by Duncan Ferguson (42) and David Unsworth (83 penalty) this Easter Monday encounter appeared to be heading for a draw.
But with just seconds remaining, veteran campaigner McAllister cannily spotted a gap in the home defence to somehow curl the ball through Everton’s two-man wall plus a packed penalty area to stroke the ball past the despairing lunge of Paul Gerrard.
The momentum from this last-gasp success helped galvanise Gerard Houllier’s men to capture both the FA Cup and UEFA Cup the following month in their ‘treble’ season.
Graeme Sharp: October 20 1984, Liverpool 0 Everton 1
Only Dixie Dean has scored more goals for Everton but Sharp once said that he reckons the sight of this Anfield Road howitzer sailing over Grobbelaar’s head will be the last thing he pictures in his mind before he dies. From John Motson’s iconic commentary to the ecstatic bespectacled Evertonian taking to the turf to celebrate, this goal will always be remembered in Merseyside Derby folklore. A lofted ball upfield by right-back Gary Stevens was expertly taken down by the Scot’s left foot to take Mark Lawrenson out of the equation before he unleashed a right-foot piledriver into the goal to hand the Blues a first Anfield Derby win since 1970 and signal a shifting of the tide in Merseyside football’s balance of power.

Injured soldiers from red and blue halves of Merseyside say Everton FC programme kick started their lives
7 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Rhian Lubin
Ahead of derby the rival fans reveal football and exercise sessions helped them cope after forces
Two former soldiers from the Blue and Red halves of Merseyside have told how football kick started their lives after leaving the forces through injury.
Liverpool FC fan Phil Roberts, 54, and Everton FC supporter Dave Curtis, 28, have both served in the armed forces but had to stop because of suffering injuries in combat.
Ahead of Saturday’s Merseyside Derby they told the ECHO how Everton FC’s football themed Inside Right programme has helped them cope with daily life after leaving the forces.
Dave, an Everton supporter from Bootle, who is now married to wife Claire with a nine-week-old baby, Bella, said the programme has turned his life around.
The new dad, who was in the Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment, lost his friend in Afghanistan in 2009 after a suicide bomber drove into the back of their vehicle, but he survived.
The programme provides local veterans with an opportunity to participate in weekly football and exercise sessions at accessible community venues, regular competitions as well as wider training, education and employment pathways. He said: “The army was my dream. That day when I got blown up ended my career. I turned to gambling to cope and keep myself busy. But I’ve managed to get myself a job and now I’m working for Everton in the Community.” Phil, a Liverpool fan from Stockbridge Village, struggled since 1981 with an alcohol problem after leaving the forces. He said: “When I came out of the army there was no after-care for us. Once you’re out, that’s it. You suffer traumas and anxiety -which you don’t want to admit. I ended up drinking a lot to cope.”
He said the programme has helped him cope with post-traumatic stress disorder and now he is fit and healthy. Once ex-service personnel return home they can often struggle to readjust and the stress of making the transition from such a structured, highly disciplined lifestyle to civilian life can lead to a number of problems. Everton in the Community not only promotes physical activity but also offers veterans with the chance to gain accredited sport qualifications in football and boxing, alongside a range of other training courses in subjects such as counselling, mentoring, gym instruction, diet and nutrition, mental health first aid and personal development.
Phil said he has been “welcomed” to Everton’s support programme even though he’s a red supporter. The former soldiers both said they’re excited for the derby on Saturday and do not believe there will be much trouble. Dave said: “This is going to be my first derby. It’s going to be amazing. It’s a minority of people who might cause trouble. The majority it’s all banter. Everyone loves it.” Phil added: “The rivalry between Everton and Liverpool isn’t the same as other derbies. The winners will be football and the fans.”

Royal Blue: Romelu Lukaku has to end Everton FC's search for a derby talisman
7 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
...and John Stones and Luke Garbutt put in some extra training ahead of the big event
The job description is fairly straightforward yet the position remains unfilled.
Everton Football Club are looking for a derby talisman.
The successful applicant will be expected to help end a near four-and-a-half year wait for an Everton victory over Liverpool with a winning goal.
Benefits for carrying out this work to a satisfactory level will include the adulation of the Blue faithful for a lifetime. And the first shift starts today at 5.30pm at Goodison Park.
Ever since Tim Cahill waved goodbye to the club, Everton have been searching for his replacement.
The Australian jack-in-the-box scored five times in 12 starts against the Reds to make him Everton’s leading derby scorer in the Premier League era. As Cahill announced the latest destination on his world tour this week, his absence from this fixture was perhaps never more keenly felt.
Whatever the circumstance, with Cahill in the team Everton always felt like something could happen.
Now is the time for someone to pick up the mantle he left behind. The long-term answer is not going to be Phil Jagielka, the hero in stoppage-time at Anfield earlier this season.
Everton’s skipper, with a swipe of his right boot, rescued a point in front of a stunned Kop with a marvellous half volley. But the message for the captain this week was: ‘don’t rely on me to score’.
So who should Everton be relying on?
The obvious answer is Romelu Lukaku.
A club record signing, Lukaku is expected to deliver in big games, on the big occasions and in the crucial moments.
None come any bigger than when Liverpool are the opposition.
After an indifferent start to the season, one hampered by injury and confidence issues, has come to life of late. The penny appears to have dropped with the big man and his performance in the draw with Manchester City felt like a coming of age moment. Important goals in games with West Ham United and Crystal Palace have been reward for Lukaku’s improvements and he now has 10 for the campaign – more than at this stage last season when he was playing in a side brimming with self-belief, not one scrabbling round for it.
Now his journey brings him to the Goodison derby and to the Reds.
After being frozen out at Anfield earlier in the season in a wideman role, he will lead the line today.
Lukaku has previous against Liverpool, scoring four goals against the Reds in the Premier League, including two in last season’s thrilling 3-3 draw at the Old Lady.
A fifth would be massive. Everton showed shoots of recovery in the win over Palace last weekend but if they are to blossom into a revival then a result is needed this evening.
They’ll need a talisman for that. Lukaku: the job is yours if you want it.
John Stones and Luke Garbutt put in extra training at Everton in the Community event
John Stones and Luke Garbutt took part in extra training this as they took part in a circuit session with a group of young men from Everton in the Community’s Safe Hands programme.
The defensive duo spent time at the Everton Active Centre helping the participants during an exercise circuit as they work on improving their fitness as they prepare for the Liverpool Half Marathon in June to raise funds for the club’s official charity. At the end of the gym session, Stones and Garbutt sat down with the young men to find out more about their lives, how the charity has helped them and offering their own fitness and nutrition advice. After his time meeting the participants, Stones said: “I always enjoy getting out into the community and finding out more about the programmes that Everton in the Community deliver.
The lads we met today are a similar age to Luke and I and so it’s been great for us both to find out more about them and how Safe Hands has helped them. I always take a lot away from visits like this and hopefully these guys feel the same.”
Anthony Harden, Safe Hands Support Worker, added: “It was a great boost for the lads to meet John and Luke and have them take part in our session with them.
“They seemed to have a real interest in the work we are doing with Safe Hands and have given the lads some good advice as they up their training for the Liverpool half marathon.”
Launched in 2012 with funding from the Big Lottery Fund, Safe Hands is a five-year project that targets young offenders in the Merseyside area, aiming to help them integrate back into society after leaving secure care by offering them opportunities that they may never have considered as options before. The project works with young offenders prior to release with an individual support package introduced to help prepare them for the outside world. Once released, the participants undertake an extensive programme of activities to help integrate them back into society and build positive relationships with their communities. Sky's the limit - again - with that video ahead of the Merseyside derby
As one Evertonian offered up on social media: ‘Roberto won’t need to give a team talk, he’ll just show that video’.
The video in question belongs to Sky Sports and has been shared by many a disgruntled Blue online this week. As you press play, it promises to be Sky’s advert for their coverage of the Merseyside derby between Everton and Liverpool – a montage of fine derby moments to rev-up the anticipation ahead of the 5.30pm kick-off. Instead it leaves you with the impression that there aren’t two teams involved today but just one player. There is an undeniable sub-plot to this game in that this is likely to be Steven Gerrard’s last derby.
Blues need no reminding of the Liverpool captain’s impact on this fixture and – through gritted teeth at least – that he has been an exceptional player in the Premier League era. But Everton aren’t interested in sentiment and allowing Gerrard to walk away from Merseyside derbies with a win under his belt to fit in with some fairytale storyline.
In his typical polite manner, Martinez’s response was: “When we play the Merseyside derby at Goodison, we want it to be our Merseyside derby and that’s the only thing we are looking at.”
Too right. Shame Sky didn’t see that side of it.

Supporters' groups at solidarity demo: "This is a friendly derby"
7 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Olivia Rudgard
Red and Blue supporter groups come together in "poignant" demonstration
Everton FC and Liverpool FC supporters’ groups held a solidarity demonstration in advance of this afternoon’s derby. Representatives of the Spirit of Shankly Liverpool supporter’s group and the Blue Union Everton supporter’s group gathered outside Barclay’s on Church street.
Roy Bentham, from the Spirit of Shankly supporters’ group, said that it was important for fans to be included in discussions over ticket pricing and match times. He emphasised that fans should be able to relax and enjoy themselves before and after this afternoon’s match.
“We want people to enjoy themselves and go about their normal match routine.
“And in their post-match routine as well- when people go for a few drinks we don’t want them to feel like it’s any different from normal.” His comments were echoed by Blue Union representative Dave Kelly. Calling the demonstration “poignant”, he said: “I think it was interesting that the fans were coming together in friendship and union, and I’d rather present the derby as a friendly derby than one where we have to be kept apart.” The demonstration was also to promote a campaign to reduce high ticket prices for away supporters. The Football Supporters’ Federation campaign Twenty’s Plenty for Away Tickets is supported by both groups.
Fans held a banner reading “£NOUGH IS £NOUGH” to protest against escalating ticket prices, and presented a letter to a Barclay’s representative outlining their concerns about ticket pricing.
It comes after the ECHO reported earlier this week that tickets for Steven Gerrard’s final game are selling for as much as £2,000 online. Mr Bentham said: “We see the whole football cartel as being responsible. They’re all part of the same problem. “Barclay’s are one of the main sponsors and need to be supporting the fans because they’re feeding all these millions into the game. “Because the clubs and the premier league are saying they can’t do anything about it we’re going to the sponsors.
“We’ve has some success with the away ticket campaign and we want them to look at home tickets as well.”

Everton and Liverpool denied bragging rights in derby deadlock
Everton 0 - 0 Liverpool
The Guardian
Saturday 7 February 2015
This is likely to be remembered as Steven Gerrard’s farewell Merseyside derby, but not for very long and not for many other reasons. It was one of the more sterile encounters between the old rivals, with little quality on show and some of the big name performers in both sides failing to enliven the occasion.
Gerrard played the whole game, even though his display was among the ordinary ones, and while the ideal script demanded a final flourish from a player who has appeared in 33 of these dust-ups, the prosaic reality was that neither side produced anything exceptional. Reader, it was dull.
“A fascinating tactical battle,” Roberto Martínez called it, which was one way of avoiding the uncomfortable reality that the home side did not manage a shot on target until the 86th minute.
“We were clearly the better team,” Brendan Rodgers countered, offering some light fiction of his own. “It was only when we switched off for the last five minutes that they had an attempt on goal.”
Gerrard began in an advanced position in Liverpool’s front three, was booed as he took the field, cheered ironically when he passed straight into touch early in the first half, and booed at the end. Everton fans do not really hate him; they will just be glad to see the back of him.
It was a Gerrard free-kick that brought the first save of the game from Joel Robles, though the home side created the best opportunity of the opening quarter when James McCarthy broke up a Liverpool attack and fed Séamus Coleman, whose cross found Steven Naismith at the far post in more space than he possibly realised and a poor first touch cost him the chance.
Everton were beginning to wear Liverpool down by the mid-point of the first half, not creating a great deal but using their three defensive midfielders to stifle and keep their opponents pressed back. Liverpool have players who can break quickly on the counter, however, and it was a new addition to their ranks, Jordon Ibe, who almost broke the deadlock with a terrific shot from the edge of the area that struck a post. Just recalled from a loan spell at Derby, the 19-year-old runs with the ball in a manner similar to Raheem Sterling, or at least how Sterling usually runs. Here neither Sterling nor Philippe Coutinho had much to offer, as if their Cup exertions at Bolton in midweek had drained them. Nigel Pearson plays down drama after James McArthur touchline tangle
By half-time the game had settled into a sedate pattern, with both teams cautious and unadventurous. This fixture last season produced six goals, shared equally, but this was nothing like as open or attacking and there was little in the way of clear-cut chances. While Liverpool at least could claim a couple of attempts on goal from distance, Everton had barely tested Simon Mignolet by the interval. That almost changed at the start of the second half when the goalkeeper had to scramble to cover a Kevin Mirallas free-kick, though the ball was always going narrowly wide. With Coutinho feeding Sterling to bring a save from Robles at the other end, the contest showed signs of warming up a little in the second period, and Gerrard would have been on target with an ambitious overhead kick had Naismith not got his head in the way to divert the shot for a corner.
Rodgers sent on Daniel Sturridge with just over half an hour to go, shortly before Martínez introduced Aaron Lennon to see if the Tottenham loanee could add some pace and penetration. What the home side really needed was a way of bringing Romelu Lukaku more effectively into the game, but Ross Barkley, supposedly Everton’s most creative player, remained on the bench. Lukaku was a peripheral figure for much of the game, his frustration at a lack of involvement leading to him being repeatedly pulled up for offside. That in turn led to frustration on the terraces, because a £28m striker should not be regularly falling foul of the offside flag.
Mignolet left his line smartly to cut off Lukaku when the striker did manage to stay onside midway through the second half, shortly after Alberto Moreno had missed two half chances at the other end. The first came to his wrong foot after Ibe had done well to find him in the box, the second was a shooting opportunity from further out that he blazed high into the Park End. Jordan Henderson, Naismith and Muhamed Besic were all booked when the obligatory fracas broke out with 12 minutes left, raising the temperature slightly but not the overall quality. Finally, with only five minutes remaining, Martínez sent on Barkley, just after Rodgers had accepted Sterling was not having one of his better days and put on Rickie Lambert in his place. Barkley’s very first pass was a gem, inviting a shot from Coleman that Mignolet actually had to save. His second was pretty good too, sending Lennon to the byline for a cross the winger put slightly too close to Mignolet, who gathered it gratefully. For Everton it was a case of the best being saved until last, though by the grand standards this fixture has set over the years, the best of a mediocre meeting was nothing to write home about.

Everton 0 Liverpool 0: Ibe the main positive for Reds as Gerrard's last league derby ends in frustration
7 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Ian Doyle
Ian Doyle sees Brendan Rodgers' side struggle to find a way through against local rivals in forgettable 224th Merseyside derby
Steven Gerrard's Merseyside derby farewell ended in frustration as Liverpool were held to a goalless draw at Goodison. After the thrilling 3-3 meeting here last season, the 224th edition of English football's most-played local spat reverted to type with a hugely forgettable encounter.
Surprise starter Jordon Ibe came closest to breaking the deadlock when he struck the post with a 25-yard shot in the first half. But with Everton content to sit back and defend, Brendan Rodgers' side ultimately struggled to find a way through despite the second-half introduction of Daniel Sturridge.
Nevertheless, the Reds have now lost only two of their last 20 games and remain very much in the hunt for Champions League qualification with local pride intact. Rodgers named Ibe on the right wing in place of Lazar Markovic, one of three changes from the team that won at Bolton Wanderers in the FA Cup in midweek. For Ibe, recalled early from his loan spell at Derby County last month, it was only a second senior start for the Reds. And the 19-year-old almost marked the occasion with a goal during a tense first-half the visitors shaded. Early on, Philippe Coutinho was dumped on the turf by Gareth Barry 25 yards from goal and Gerrard's free-kick was turned over by Everton goalkeeper Joel Robles. Rodgers was then forced into a reshuffle on 16 minutes when Lucas Leiva limped off with a recurrence of the thigh problem that ruled him out of the Bolton game, Joe Allen replacing. But Liverpool were almost ahead a minute later, Sterling's deflected shot rolling into the path of Ibe at the far post but Robles smothered to save. Ibe was then within inches of the opener on 26 minutes when, out of nothing, he cut in off the right flank, sprinted beyond two Blues defenders then smashed a 25-yard shot against Robles's far post. With Everton happy to cede the initiative and pack midfield, the Reds enjoyed plenty of the ball but couldn't overly test a Blues defence that was without Leighton Baines. Simon Mignolet safely ushered a Kevin Mirallas free-kick wide moments into the second half, while Coutinho should have made more of a fortunate deflection that briefly left the Reds vastly outnumbering the home backline.
Sterling shot at Robles having been found in the area by Coutinho, and then almost caught the goalkeeper out at his near-post after another pass from the Brazilian. From the resultant corner, Gerrard's acrobatic goalbound overhead kick was deflected over by Steven Naismith.
Daniel Sturridge, introduced 11 minutes into the second half, had a shot blocked by Phil Jagielka on 70 minutes after Alberto Moreno couldn't connect properly to a low Ibe cross.
Handbags between Jordan Henderson and Naismith livened up the crowd just when it appeared the game was starting to peter out. Rickie Lambert, another substitute, shot tamely at Robles before, with three minutes remaining, Mignolet finally had a save of note to make, parrying a Seamus Coleman cross-shot after the Irishman was found by Ross Barkley.
But the outcome was clear long before referee Anthony Taylor blew his final whistle.
EVERTON (4-3-3): Robles; Coleman, Stones, Jagielka, Oviedo; Besic (Alcaraz 86), McCarthy, Barry; Mirallas (Lennon 59), Naismith (Barkley 85), Lukaku. Subs: Griffiths, Gibson, Kone, Browning. BOOKINGS: McCarthy and Oviedo (both fouls), Naismith and Besic (unsporting behaviour).
LIVERPOOL (3-4-2-1): Mignolet; Can, Skrtel, Sakho; Ibe, Henderson, Lucas (Allen 16), Moreno; Gerrard, Coutinho (Sturridge 56); Sterling (Lambert 82). Subs: Ward, Johnson, Lovren, Markovic. BOOKING: Henderson (unsporting behaviour).
REFEREE: Anthony Taylor.ATT: 39,621.

Everton FC 0-0 Liverpool FC: David Prentice's final whistle report after a Merseyside derby stalemate
7 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By David Prentice
The Toffees unbeaten run extended to six games
Everton FC extended their unbeaten run to six matches – penalty shoot-outs excepted – in a goalless Goodison derby.
Everton's best – and only – clear opening came five minutes from time when Ross Barkley carved out a chance for Seamus Coleman, well saved by Simon Mignolet.
But otherwise Everton's best work was defensive as they comfortably shackled Liverpool's in-form front three. Roberto Martinez sprang a couple of selection surprises – one welcome, one less so.
James McCarthy returned for his first start this year - and predictably hit the ground running, with an all action display … and a booking for a late challenge on Philippe Coutinho.
While Leighton Baines, who has been nursing a knee injury all week, failed to shake the problem off and was replaced by Bryan Oviedo. The central midfield axis of Besic, Barry and McCarthy, starting together for only the second time this season – the first was at Anfield – helped Everton to comfortably blunt Liverpool's fertile front three during an engrossing if uneventful first half.
The closest the Blues came to conceding in the first half was a mazy dribble and long-range snap shot from Jordon Ibe which took everybody by surprise and clipped the outside of the post.
But while Everton looked comfortable at the back they created little themselves.
Ross Barkley had been readied to come on five minutes before the interval, with Steven Naismith apparently ready to succumb to a painful and awkward tumble he had taken early in the match.
But the Scot soldiered on until half-time, started the second half and when the Blues first switch did come it was Kevin Mirallas who made way after 59 minutes for new loan signing Aaron Lennon.
By that point Joel Robles had blocked effectively from Sterling who had broken clear at an acute angle while Naismith diverted a spectacular Steven Gerrard volley over the bar with the faintest of touches from his head. Lennon's introduction revitalised Everton, his presence helping Coleman to find more space down the right hand flank, but the winger's most important contribution was to track back and block on the edge of his own penalty area. Just as the match appeared to be meandering to a dull draw Jordan Henderson unecessarily squared up to Steven Naismith after Besic and Ibe had tangled on the floor but extricated themselves without incident.
The ensuing melee ensured both players were booked, and the Goodison crowd whipped up into a frenzy. It took Ross Barkley's introduction five minutes from time to carve out Everton's first clear opening of the game. The young midfielder, eventually on for Naismith more than an hour after he had first seemed set to come on just before half-time, carried the ball down the left then split Liverpool asunder with a superb crossfield pass.
Coleman raced onto the ball, but his shot was blocked athletically by Mignolet.
EVERTON: Robles; Coleman, Jagielka, Stones, Oviedo; Mirallas, (Lennon 59) Barry, Besic (Alcaraz 85), McCarthy, Naismith (Barkley 85), Lukaku. Unused subs: Griffiths, Gibson, Kone, Browning.
LIVERPOOL: Mignolet; Can, Skrtel, Sakho; Ibe, Lucas (Allen 16), Henderson, Moreno; Gerrard, Sterling (Lambert 82), Coutinho (Sturridge 55). Unused subs: Ward, Johnson, Lovren, Markovic.

Everton FC 0-0 Liverpool FC: Phil Jagielka and John Stones are a defensive duo you can rely on and four other things we learned after the Merseyside derby
7 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By David Prentice
Everton kept their third consecutive clean sheet - but couldn't find a breakthrough in another derby stalemate Jagielka and Stones are a defensive double act to rely on
The Blues centre backs have now played the full 90 minutes together 11 times this season. Everton have lost none. In a season when Everton have underwhelmed so frequently it is a startling statistic.
Jagielka is the experienced and uncompromising, defender alongside Stones' more youthful and silky talents – but together they complement each other perfectly.
Everton have now kept three successive clean sheets and it is no coincidence that the Stones- Jagielka partnership has been at the heart of them. As a partnerhship they are blossoming.
Besic, Barry and McCarthy CAN play in the same midfield But it is no coincidence that Roberto Martinez has chosen both Merseyside derby matches to select all three of his spiky, combative defensive shields. Using the three modern day Dogs of War can smother a forward three as creative even as Liverpool's. But it asks an awful lot of the wide players to try and create.
Yesterday Everton didn't, sacrificing a clean sheet in favour of the adventure and creativity Roberto Martinez usually preaches. Ross Barkley only needs minutes to open up a defence
Everton's young midfield maestro waited a long time to get onto the pitch.
Stripped and ready for action five minutes before the break he appeared set to replace Steven Naismith, only for the Scot to shake off a neck problem. He eventually came on five minutes from the end, when he carved Liverpool open for the first time all evening with a glorious defence splitting pass. Simon Mignolet saved from Seamus Coleman's strike but it was the first real opening Everton had created. He then gave away possession cheaply a couple of times, but that naivety may well be worth indulging for moments like the one which briefly threatened a goal.
Roberto Martinez has a big decision to make in goal Joel Roles has improved match by match since stepping in for the injured Tim Howard. Sharp in his shot-stopping, he has shown greater authority too with every appearance. Tim Howard is now fit to return, but Roles has done absolutely nothing wrong to suggest he should step straight back down.
Christian Atsu may have to be patient
The on-loan winger from Chelsea has started just four matches since arriving at Goodison Park in the summer, but Aaron Lennon's impact in just 31 minutes since he landed from Spurs means that the Ghanaian may have to be very patient to see even more game time.
Lennon was bright, pacy – and even tracked back crucially to block one dangerous effort on the edge of his own penalty area.He looked like he can contribute this season … in the same position occupied by the unfortunate Atsu.

EVERTON FC VERDICT: Phil Kirkbride on an 'absorbing' Merseyside derby - and why John Stones called it just right
7 February 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
"We can stop anything Liverpool throw at us," Stones said - and stop them they did
Not for the first or last time in his Everton FC career John Stones called it just about right.
Amid all the pre-derby rhetoric, hype and hysteria the young defender offered the most accurate prediction of how events would unfold. “We can stop anything Liverpool throw at us,” he said this week. It pretty much summed up the tense and tight 224 Merseyside derby.
There wasn't much of the breakneck speed of last season's thriller at Goodison Park or the dramatics of September's tussle at Anfield but this was nevertheless an absorbing contest .
If the 3-3 draw in November of the last campaign felt like something out of the ordinary then this 0-0 draw felt like typical derby fodder as Liverpool, the more dominant side, were rebuffed and suffocated by an organised Blues. Everton still have the stomach for the fight
Roberto Martinez had spoken about this fixture being about two attack minded teams going head to head on the electrifying stage of a Merseyside derby but Everton's role was largely different to that.
But, maybe it had to be. Of all that has come from the wreckage of Everton's torrid and tumultuous run of form during the darkest of festive periods, it has been the proof that this side have fight.
We feared they had lost it. Lost that ability to refuse to accept defeat and no longer had that fearless mindset. Yet as this draw extended their unbeaten run to six matches, the Blues once again showed they know how to roll their sleeves up , grit their teeth and tough it out.
It's not what Martinez brought to Goodison. It's what he inherited, built upon and took on a journey to a record Premier League points tally. But it has been a quality the manager has been forced to rediscover.
Lack of attacking threat raises questions
There will be legitimate questions, however, over Everton's lack of attacking threat.
Where they looked capable of scoring at anytime in this game last season, it was a struggle to create chances this time around - Simon Mignolet only had one shot to save.
It came near the death when Ross Barkley, thrown on with five minutes left to inject intent to Everton's attack, laid the ball into Seamus Coleman's path and his shot was tipped away for a corner by the Liverpool keeper. It was shame it took the Blues that long to test the visiting goalkeeper and a regret that the Blues were unable to expose the obvious shortcomings of Mamadou Sakho who was decidedly dodgy throughout. Romelu Lukaku was ineffective for too long, Kevin Mirallas spent much of the game on the periphery and Steven Naismith's lung-bursting efforts went without reward. New-boy Aaron Lennon's debut was promising, at least. But, clearly, this is still Everton in their rebuilding phase.
Everton's defence kept Liverpool quiet
A derby victory, for the first time since October 2010, would have been marvellous, truly marvellous but the feeling at full-time was one of satisfaction. This is Everton taking it step by step, game by game but there is definitely something solid to build on. The derby, played among the usual backdrop of tension and nerves, was assessed as “grim” by outsiders but when you are invested in it emotionally, you see it more as gripping. Everton's defensive solidarity and organisation means they now have three consecutive clean sheets with the latest coming against the form side in the division.
Across Stanley Park they warned us of Raheem Sterling's threat, of the returning Daniel Sturridge and, of course, the swansong of Steven Gerrard.
It turned out that the Liverpool's emerging teenager Jordon Ibe was the one who came closest as he smacked the outside of the post following a bamboozling run.
Martinez has been asked many searching questions of late and the scrutiny over his defensive capabilities has been forensic. The Catalan has not delivered a definitive answer to those claims but Everton are starting to look far more solid than they were, that is undeniable.
John Stones, who shackled Sterling with ease, and Phil Jagielka – who produced a performance fitting of his role as skipper – picked up where they left off at Palace and served up another stoic display.
Midfield display nullified Liverpool's threat
Everton's midfield trio of James McCarthy, Mo Besic and Gareth Barry largely nullified the threat of Philippe Coutinho and Gerrard with a combination of industry, energy and tenacity.
And the odd tactical foul throw in for good measure as well. McCarthy's return for the first time since the end of December was the antidote to the worrying news that Leighton Baines would miss out through injury. His hunger was infectious and Barry, barring a wasteful spell early in the second-half, followed suit to show once more that he is clawing back his best form.
Besic, of course, needs to follow nobody's lead and it was the expectation that such a game would suit him down to the ground. That an evening billed to be solely about one man largely passed Gerrard by was, credit to the work of the Bosnian terrier. Typically, he was at the centre of the game's flash point as the 'friendly' derby became feisty. Tensions, tempers and frustrations boiled over near the end as Liverpool reacted angrily to Besic's tangle with Jordon Ibe.
Brendan Rodgers was incensed but as the melee erupted behind him, Besic casually sipped from a water bottle.
It all adds to his cult status at Goodison.
On a booking, Besic was withdrawn with five minutes remaining as Martinez let Barkley off the leash but brought Antolin Alcaraz on to shore up at the back. It was the period in which Everton went closest but Mignolet denied them another stunning finale. But as Stones said they would, the Blues also denied Liverpool.



























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