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Confirmed: Everton's January Ins and Outs in full
The complete list of players Everton brought in and let go during January
1 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
The January transfer window has officially closed and Everton played a significant part in it. Here is the full list of players who came and went this month.
Morgan Schneiderlin (Manchester United)
Ademola Lookman (Charlton Athletic)
Anton Donkor - u-23s (loan, Wolfsburg)
Bryan Oviedo (Sunderland)
Darron Gibson (Sunderland)
Thomas Cleverley (loan, Watford)
Oumar Niasse (loan, Hull City)
Gerard Deulofeu (loan, AC Milan)
Nathan Holland - u-23s (West Ham United)
Calum Dyson - u-23s (loan, Grimsby Town)
Conor McAleny - u-23s (loan, Oxford United)
Tyias Browning - u-23s (loan, Preston North End)
Gethin Jones - u-23s (loan, Barnsley)
Conor Grant - u-23s (loan, Doncaster Rovers)
Leandro Rodriguez - u-23s (loan, Waasland Beveren)
Callum Connolly u-23s (loan, Wigan)
Antony Evans u-23s (loan, Morecambe)
Russell Griffiths u-23s (loan, Motherwell)
Delial Brewster u-23s (loan, Southport)
Steven Kinsalla u-18s (loan, Dundalk)
Everton's January transfers: The five players the Blues missed out on in January and why
1 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
The transfer window threatened to be active for Everton, really active. Ronald Koeman made clear his intentions to strengthen the squad even before the window began. But the Blues recruitment process somewhat petered out as the month wore on. Ademola Lookman joined from Charlton Athletic and Koeman finally got his man, Morgan Schneiderlin from Manchester United. It was an encouraging and exciting time for Blues, but nothing else came to fruition. Koeman let Bryan Oviedo and Darron Gibson link up with former Blues boss David Moyes at Sunderland. He also let wantaway striker Oumar Niasse try and reignite his career at Hull City. Tom Cleverley also joined Watford on loan while Gerard Deulofeu left for pastures new at AC Milan - but again only until the end of the season. So, what happened to everyone else? The busy transfer window and chaos at USM Finch Farm?
Memphis Depay
The ECHO learned the Blues suddenly pulled their interest in a permanent deal for the Manchester United winger, despite Koeman publicly courting him before Christmas. It was a strange one. And for all intents and purposes Depay looked a great fit at Everton - especially with the imminent outgoings of attacking players such as Deulofeu and Niasse. Everton's desire to bring the Dutchman in on a permanent basis waived, and United were unwilling to lease the player to a Premier League rival. He was eventually snapped up by Lyon for £16m.
Ishak Belfodil
Another one that burned brightly before fizzling out into nothingness. It appears the Blues boss went off the idea of bringing the Standard Liege forward - after first tabling a £10.4m bid for the player. Christophe Henrotay, the representative of Kevin Mirallas and former agent to Romelu Lukaku, was drafted in to help the deal but Everton had a change of heart. Agent reveals Everton's reasons for scrapping Ishak Belfodil transfer
Koeman meanwhile, had reportedly got wind of some negative intelligence on the Algerian - and the deal went off the boil. But for a long while, the Blues had a serious interest in the 25-year-old. He eventually agreed a new deal at the Belgian side.
Michael Keane
A late bloomer during the window. Everton always appeared a little light defensively and the Burnley centre-back cropped up as a potential target for the Blues. Koeman also alluded to the transfer, saying the 24-year-old was one of a number of players in that bracket which he would consider bringing to Goodison Park. But watch this space. The boss said if a deal wasn't available before the end of deadline day, it is a real possibility for the summer. But make no mistake, Everton will face much competition for the defender. Another perennial player linked with a move from the Liberty stadium. An attacking midfielder who could be a useful addition to the Blues' creative midfield. A move which huffed and puffed but never materialised. Swansea's new manager Paul Clement ensured his star man would not leave south Wales in January as he attempted a resurgence after their poor start to the season. A price of around £25m was initially touted, with West Ham United interested among others. But not for now. The summer? Possibly.Gylfi Sigurdsson won't be linking up with former clubman Ashley Williams - yet
Branislav Ivanovic A left-field one, but a name which gathered steam as the January window progressed. It coincided as talk of Phil Jagielka rejoining Moyes at Sunderland began circling. Ivanovic, two years younger than Jagielka, seemed a little bit of an odd choice. A sort of stop-gap until a more permanent signing could be made. And although the thought of the Blues skipper never seemed too serious, the speculation would not go away. But when Koeman kiboshed any talk of the 34-year-old leaving Goodison Park, all links with the Serbian faded away. He eventually left for Zenit St Petersburg on loan.
Everton January window comment: 'Koeman's cull keeps Blues lean and waiting for extra summer muscle'

Phil Kirkbride on why a quiet deadline day doesn't equate to failure
1 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Because although the Everton manager spent more than any other Blues boss in the history of the window, it was the number of players he let go that will define the last month. Koeman used January to not only spend the best part of £35m on two players, who have added quality in key areas, but also to trim the fat of the squad he inherited from Roberto Martinez. It was as if he came into the transfer window determined to tear up the final pages of that chapter in Everton's history. Seven Martinez signings now find themselves out on loan until the end of the season and all, with the exception of Brendan Galloway perhaps, will be working on the assumption they'll never play for the Blues again. As the clock ticked down, it seemed like time had prevented Arouna Kone becoming number eight on deadline day. Koeman cleared the decks at Finch Farm this month and is certain to finish wielding the axe in the summer. By the start of next season, Everton's squad will look unrecognisable to the one handed to him in June but, for now, this squad remains in a period of transition. On the pitch, Koeman's methods are starting to take shape, he added Morgan Schneiderlin and Ademola Lookman this month and there's a sense of momentum and change about the place. But for the full transformation, he still needs to add new players in a number of areas. Yet, the Dutchman was consistent throughout January that he was looking only for quality, not quantity, and that if the right targets were not available he would wait until the summer. Michael Keane, Thomas Delaney, a goalkeeper, a second striker and so and so on; the rebuild still requires work but, Koeman would say, patience as well. On deadline day it can often be in short supply - but Everton's good form of late will ensure the fog of fume that descended at the end of August is more of a light mist today. And having broken rank in a fit of public rage after the cup defeat to Leicester, challenging Everton's board to get a move on with Schneiderlin, Koeman has been relaxed since - he is unlikely to reflect on this window with disappointment, as he did the previous one. But, for some supporters, adding just two new faces in January will be seen as underwhelming. They will be asking Everton why they have not, at the very least, signed a new striker to offer support and competition for Romelu Lukaku? Or even added cover at left-back? Koeman's assertion that Enner Valencia and the young, and injured, Dominic Calvert-Lewin could fill the void will not have been what many wanted to hear. But the Everton manager cannot be accused of being anything other than consistent because after the club had made strides towards signing Ishak Belfodil, Koeman pulled the plug. He didn't feel he was good enough and so abandoned the transfer. Quality, not quantity. "I don't believe in a big number of players in the squad. I believe in a smaller squad and if you have a problem and need players to look around in the squad or under-23s," he said on Monday. And that squad is leaner than when he entered the window. Koeman will add muscle in the summer.
Everton transfer news: Michael Keane and four others Blues could sign in the summer
05:00, 1 FEB 2017UPDATED07:41, 1 FEB 2017
Liverpool Echo
Ronald Koeman has already said this highly-rated England man is a target, and that's unlikely to change when July comes around. Everton are reportedly interested in signing 18-year-old Feyenoord striker Ozancan Kokcu in the summer. Kokcu's contract with the Eredivisie side is up in the summer and the Blues are apparently going up against Spurs in the race for his signature The forward, who has been capped by Holland's Under-17 side, plays in the U19 team at Feyenoord, who have offered him a new contract. Kokcu has been invited to join Azerbaijan's senior team as he is eligible to play for the country through his parents, but is opting to stay with Holland at the moment. Kökcü's agent, Muzzi Ozcan, has spoken to several clubs about his client. Swansea were never going to let him go with their top flight survival hanging in the balance, but he could well move in the summer. Should that be the case, Everton are likely to be among the clubs offering him a move. There's no doubt he'd improve Everton's team; he'd improve most Premier League defences. And Koeman is certainly an admirer even if the reports of a £60m price-tag could give some of the interested teams food for thought. Would that bother Farhad Moshiri? Maybe not - but it remains to be seen if the Dutch defender would want a club in the Champions League. Everton have been linked with the England goalkeeper since last summer, and Koeman admitted he will consider adding to his options between the sticks after the current campaign ends. Whether Hart has done enough during his spell in Serie A with Torino to convince Koeman he is worth the mega-bucks salary remains to be seen. But his name is likely to come into the frame again.
Everton transfer deadline day - how the fans reacted: 'Good start, shocking end!'
How you reacted to the Blues' transfer window
05:00, 1 FEB 2017UPDATED07:59, 1 FEB 2017
Liverpool Echo
Just like that, another transfer window that went by. The early signings looked as though they would breed more, but it wasn't to be. Targets which Koeman had earmarked were not available last month, but it's not all doom and gloom. The Blues had a big clearout. Oumar Niasse, Tom Cleverley and Gerard Deulofeu all left on loan and Bryan Oviedo and Darron Gibson ventured up north to Sunderland on permanent deals. And some Everton fans were happy with the window. The ruthless edge of Koeman and his staff to get rid of the dead wood.
Everton fans fume over Sky snub on transfer deadline day

Other key clubs discussed but not the Blues
10:47, 1 FEB 2017UPDATED14:34, 1 FEB 2017
Liverpool Echo
An Everton fan was left fuming by Sky Sports yesterday after the Blues were seemingly snubbed by the broadcaster. As part of its rolling coverage of the day, Sky were looking at the most searched for clubs on social media. Everton were fourth, behind Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool but above Chelsea. However the presenter discussed every club except the Blues, with @blueboi1987 on twitter capturing the moment and saying "Who's number 4 on that list, Sky? Oh never mind." His tweet drew plenty of responses from fellow Blues fans, with @Adamdex saying: "They really dislike us, don't they. Even with Moshiri and Jim White being bezzies." Everton January window comment: 'Koeman's cull keeps Blues lean and waiting for extra summer muscle'
Ben Walker added: "They are gonna hate it when we take over the world!" and @DaleEFC saw it as 'further proof the kopites run things there.'
Is Stoke v Everton on TV? Plus everything else you need to know
Everything you need to know about tonight's big bet365 Stadium showdown
11:50, 1 FEB 2017UPDATED13:42, 1 FEB 2017
Liverpool Echo
What time is kick-off?
They can maul Manchester City on a mild afternoon in January. But can they do it on a cold Wednesday night in February at Stoke? We'll find out at 8pm tonight. It's not the Britannia Stadium anymore, though. Stoke City now play at the newly rebranded bet365 Stadium. Don't forget. When the Fun Stops, Stop!
How can I watch it?
Not live on TV. Or even BBC highlights. Yes, Match of the Day was screened last night. Not even the presence of the two Manchester 'giants' on the fixture list this evening has persuaded the Beeb to delay MOTD by 24 hours. Pffft. Evertonians pay licence fees too, dontcha know? BUT Sky Sports 1 ARE screening Stoke v Everton highlights at 10.30pm. If you can't wait until then, join Phil Kirkbride and Chris Beesley who will be painting pictures with their words in our Live Match blog, while EFC Editor Greg O'Keeffe and Kristian Walsh help out at Echo towers in Old Hall Street.
Who is the referee?
Craig Pawson is the man with the cards and whistle. He was in charge at St Mary's when Everton lost 1-0 in November, the only Everton match he has taken charge of this season. With 91 yellows and two reds in his 22 matches this season, he is one of the most card happy officials in the country. When Burnley entertained Middlesbrough on Boxing Day he showed 11 yellows, just a week after dishing out eight yellows and a red at Stoke v Leicester, his last appearance at the bet365 Stadium. Craig Pawson shows a red card to Leicester's Jamie Vardy during the Stoke City v Leicester clash at Bet365 Stadium on December 17, 2016
Who should I look out for in the Stoke team? Saido Berahino was Stoke's marquee January signing from West Brom - and he's enjoyed some good games against the Blues. The striker is not ready for a full 90 minutes having not played competitively since September but manager Mark Hughes says he is fit enough to feature. Peter Crouch, Joe Allen and Charlie Adam always get special, Reds reject, boos. While Xherdan Shaqiri enjoyed a particularly good afternoon at Goodison in December 2015. As previously mentioned, it's Everton old 'boy' Mark Hughes, although Sparky's spark had long since fizzled out when he when he wound down his career with 19 appearances and one goal during the Walter Smith regime at Goodison. It could have all been so different if he hadn't blazed wide a one-on-one in a Goodison derby match in April 2000. Yannick Bolasie is the only notable absentee, while Idrissa Gueye is back from the Africa Cup of Nations but won't be considered from the start just yet. Dominic Calvert-Lewin is also still sidelined. For Stoke, midfielder Ramadan Sobhi is still at the African Nations Cup, forwards Wilfried Bony and Mame Biram Diouf have now finished at the tournament but it remains to be seen if they are involved. Jonathan Walters, Geoff Cameron, Jack Butland and Stephen Ireland are still out. What happened the last time the sides met? A 3-0 win at Stoke almost exactly a year ago (February 6) was one of Roberto Martinez's last high points. A Lukaku penalty and goals from Seamus Coleman and Aaron Lennon had Everton 3-0 home and dry by half-time. Stoke were beaten 1-0 at Goodison in August thanks to an own goal - a win which was infinitely more satisfying than it sounds because it proved Everton were starting to learn the art of winning ugly again. Any other interesting stuff I should be aware of? The Toffs have started 2017 with three straight League wins - that's the first time they have managed that at the start of a calendar year since 2008! Seamus Coleman will make his 200th league appearance for Everton, if selected, and if Leighton Baines plays it will be his 359th appearance n all competitions - moving him ahead of 1966 FA Cup winner Brian Harris into to 21st place on the all time appearances chart. One goal for Big Rom meanwhile would take him joint second with Tim Cahill on Everton's Premier League scoring chart (he currently has 55). Only Duncan Ferguson has more.
What should I be betting on?
There have been five penalties in Everton's last six meetings with Stoke, home and away - three to the Blues and two were given to Stoke. Paddy Power offer 3/1 on a penalty to be given tonight.
Why James McCarthy deserved to survive Koeman's cull

Midfielder will be part of Everton's midfield argument
12:07, 1 FEB 2017
Liverpool Echo
RONALD KOEMAN has not been slow in ejecting his predecessor's most fanciful signings. Oumar Niasse, Tom Cleverley, Gerard Deulofeu and Leandro Rodriguez are all now playing their football elsewhere. While it is still unclear whether Arouna Kone, Roberto Martinez's first capture, has joined them. But James McCarthy survived Koeman's cull. And the Everton manager's explanation suggests it was not a short-term stay of execution. "Yes, Darron Gibson was allowed to leave because there was too much competition for him, but that's not the case with James McCarthy. I think he's a really good player and we need players like this for the future of Everton," he said. Newcastle United were interested in a deal - Koeman wasn't. And the flashback glimpses McCarthy offered in a celebrated home win over Arsenal in December and a 45 minute cameo against Liverpool underlined why. McCarthy can be an enormously influential presence. He just needs a run of fitness. Such was his influence on the team that the only match he missed from January to May 2014, a home game against Crystal Palace when he was left on the substitutes' bench to protect a niggling groin problem, was ultimately identified as the match which cost Everton fourth place. After seven successive league wins, a McCarthy-light Everton found themselves 2-0 down after 49 minutes. He was asked to come on in the 59th minute and provide a cavalry charge - and two minutes later Steven Naismith scored. It was too late. Palace won 3-2 and Arsenal snatched fourth. But McCarthy's value had been underlined. His energy, his controlled agression, his marathon running stamina and his superb pressing set a tempo which made Everton an irresistible force for much of the 2013/14 season. He even ended the season with a rare goal at Hull City. But an injury curse flared up the following campaign. After a near ever-present presence in 2013/14, McCarthy missed almost all of December and January with hamstring and groin issues. The same issue flared up at the same stage of the next season - and again McCarthy was missing for almost two months of the campaign. McCarthy lasted just three games of the Ronald Koeman regime - two of them starting as a right wing-back, before succumbing to injury again - this time aggravated on international duty with the Republic of Ireland. He was "massively overloaded" complained Koeman. He managed two-and-a-half matches in a row in December before the hamstring curse flared up again - but Koeman had seen enough. McCarthy has a future at Everton, provided he can find consistent fitness. The Everton engine room is now the most fiercely competitive department of the entire squad - McCarthy joining Gareth Barry, Idrissa Gueye, Tom Davies and Morgan Schneiderlin for effectively two places - provided Ross Barkley continues to operate further up the pitch. But Koeman clearly believes McCarthy can be part of that argument. He's a good judge.
Pick your Everton team to face Stoke - Barry, Gueye, Schneiderlin? All three?
Your chance to play Football Manager
14:35, 1 FEB 2017UPDATED16:48, 1 FEB 2017
Liverpool Echo
If it aint broke, don't fix it. And three league wins in a row isn't broke. Morgan Schneiderlin has played 16 minutes and then 31 minutes of Everton's last two matches - and it sounds like Ronald Koeman is going to play him from the start tonight. But I wouldn't. I'd leave well alone and stick with the XI which has won three league games in a row without conceding a goal. And that means starting Gareth Barry. It aint broke! Prenno's team (3-4-1-2): Robles; Williams, Holgate, Funes Mori; Coleman, Barry, Davies, Baines; Barkley; Mirallas, Lukaku. I'm going to be a tad controversial here, but I'm starting both of Everton's January signings. Morgan Schneiderlin should certainly come in at the expense of Gareth Barry, who to me looks like he is struggling to last beyond an hour these days. And I want to see more of Ademola Lookman too, a player who brings something different to the table - unpredictability, confidence and appetite. Stoke won't know a great deal about the teenager, so let's see if he can build on a couple of highly promising sub appearances by making an impact from the start here. He looks fearless and bright, and at this stage he will still be playing on adrenaline as much as anything. Other than that, the rest picks itself. And I'm expecting a Blues win.
Neil's team (3-4-3): Robles, Holgate, Williams, Funes Mori, Coleman, Davies, Schneiderlin, Baines, Barkley, Lookman, Lukaku.
Joe Rimmer - The £22m pound question It's time for Morgan Schneiderlin to make his first Everton start. It may be a little harsh on Gareth Barry, but you don't pay £22m to sit on the bench, do you? Other than that, why change a winning formula? Three at the back has been working a treat for Ronald Koeman, with Mason Holgate playing ever so well, enough to work his way into my Fantasy Football team. The formation also suits the likes of Ross Barkley and the exciting Tom Davies, who have performed well in midfield. Kevin Mirallas continues to support Romelu Lukaku up front, with Ademola Lookman a decent option from the bench.
My team: Robles, Holgate, Williams, Funes Mori; Coleman, Davies, Schneiderlin, Barkley, Baines; Mirallas, Lukaku.
Ian Doyle - He's been peeping at Joe's teamsheet Stoke City away on a Wednesday night. If you can do it there and then, you can do it anywhere. And this is the team Ronald Koeman should choose for the job this evening. Goalkeeper is a given, as is the defence. You don't want to go messing with that. Midfield is more interesting. There is no need to throw Idrissa Gueye back into the fray after his Africa Cup of Nations, especially with the embarrassment of riches at Koeman's disposal in central midfield. And that's where I'd have the one change, with Morgan Schneiderlin coming in for his first start at the expense of Gareth Barry.
Everton (3-4-2-1): Robles; Holgate, Williams, Funes Mori; Coleman, Schneiderlin, Barkley, Baines; Davies, Mirallas; Lukaku.
Now it's your turn ....
Seamus Coleman surprised by his own success as he closes in on 200th Everton appearance

The Republic of Ireland right-back has played 199 games for the Blues since signing from Sligo Rovers for £60k in 2009
15:36, 1 FEB 2017
Liverpool Echo
Seamus Coleman has admitted he never expected to become a first-team star at Everton as he closes in on his 200th appearance for the Blues. The Republic of Ireland defender was signed from Sligo Rovers for mere £60k back in 2009, and has firmly established himself as the Blues' first-choice right-back since moving to Goodison Park. Coleman is expected to be involved against Mark Hughes' Stoke on Wednesday night for his 200th Premier League appearance, and the Irishman admits that he never envisioned himself become an integral part of the side at Goodison Park. He told the club's official website: "To be honest, I didn't expect to see that many games. I always believed in myself but it was a big step coming over. "I took it one step at a time and all I wanted to do initially was get on the bench and then make an appearance for the first team. Pick your Everton team to face Stoke - Barry, Gueye, Schneiderlin? All three? "Then after that, I didn't really set any targets. It just kept rolling. "If selected it will my 200th Premier League appearance, which is a great honour considering I started late and coming from St. Catherine's and Sligo Rovers. It is a big deal." Coleman, who scored the winning goal last time out in the 1-0 win over Crystal Palace , is likely to form a back four alongside Mason Holgate, Ramiro Funes Mori and Ashley Williams.
Dixie Dean and Sir Stanley Matthews in the same Everton team? It almost happened
How Everton came close to signing Stoke's greatest ever player
1 FEB 2017
Liverpool Echo
As Everton prepare to face Stoke, the mouth-watering prospect has emerged of how the two clubs' greatest ever players could have teamed up. Back in 1938, Sir Stanley Matthews - then plain old Stan - submitted a transfer request and planned to leave the Potteries for good. At the time Everton headed the long list of suitors and were willing to pay up to £20,000 for the wizard of the dribble. Had they pulled off the transfer, Matthews would have been providing the crosses for Dixie Dean, who was still on the Blues books albeit nearing the end of a glittering career. The Blues were competing against a range of other clubs including Derby, Leicester, Wolves and Arsenal - but in the end, Matthews stayed with his hometown club. Around 3,000 Stoke fans packed into a meeting in the town, with 3,000 more outside, to demand the club kept their star man. Matthews changed his mind because of the strength of feeling. That wasn't Matthews' only link with Everton - no surprise given there were 30 years between his first game against Everton and his last, November 1933 to November 1963.
Can Everton do it on a cold winter's night at Stoke? Yes they can!
How Everton have fared in winter visits to The Potteries
16:56, 1 FEB 2017
Liverpool Echo
Yes, but can they do it on a cold December*/January*/February* night at Stoke? (*delete where applicable). It's the stock question asked of foreign footballers acclimatising to the peculiarities of English football - no winter break, more matches over holiday periods and cold, wintry conditions. It's always seems to be colder and windier in Stoke than almost anywhere else. And at 431 metres above sea level that's understandable.
But can Everton do it there?
Simple answer is, yes they can!
February 6, 2016 Stoke 0 Everton 3
It was cold, it was wintry - but Everton blew away The Potters with a first half display that was whirlwind in its velocity. Romelu Lukaku, Seamus Coleman and Aaron Lennon all netted before half-time in one of the last bright spots of the Roberto Martinez regime.
January 1, 2014 Stoke 1 Everton 1
It was cold, it was wet, it was downright miserable. But Everton got the New Year off to a solid start when Leighton Baines cooly converted a 92nd minute penalty. John Stones made his debut that day alongside Antolin Alcaraz - an unlikely pairing to do it on a cold, wet day in Stoke. But they did.
December 15, 2012 Stoke 1 Everton 1
It took a Ryan Shawcross own goal, but David Moyes' Everton claimed a point from a stadium which was becoming a Stoke City stronghold. The Potters hadn't lost a league match at home all season up til that point.
January 5, 2002 Stoke 0 Everton 1
Walter Smith was under intense pressure when The Toffees were handed a potential FA Cup banana skin at Stoke City. They held their nerve and an Alan Stubbs free-kick saved Everton's reputation, and Walter Smith's job. For a few months at least.
January 7, 1984 Stoke 0 Everton 2
Everton's greatest winter win at Stoke? It was the FA Cup third round, Howard Kendall was under immense pressure with fans leafleting Goodison Park calling for his sacking and a New Year's Eve goalless draw with Coventry seeing boos ring around a near deserted stadium. Kendall opened the dressing room windows to let the singing fands conduct his team talk ... and the rest is history!
Stoke City vs Everton LIVE - Schneiderlin starts as Koeman's men look to extend winning run
Join Phil Kirkbride and the team at the Bet365 Stadium for live updates as Everton face Stoke City
Liverpool Echo 01/02/2017
Ronald Koeman's Everton travel to the Bet365 Stadium this evening looking to continue their promising form in the Premier League. The ECHO's team of Phil Kirbride and Chris Beesley will be in Stoke to bring you live team news, updates and analysis from the game. Ronald Koeman has a fully-fit squad to choose from against Stoke, but Idrissa Gueye is expected to miss the game after arriving back from the African Cup of Nations earlier this week. For Stoke, new signing Saido Berahino could make his debut, while Wilfried Bony and Mame Biram Diouf have also returned from AFCON, but could still miss out. Ronald Koeman: "The team has really improved in terms of defensive organisation, I think we have improved in defending set plays - that was one of the biggest issues from last season - and that's because we've been working hard."
Stoke v Everton: who fans think should start Premier League clash

Is this the right team selection?
1 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
In  their last two Premier League matches including an impressive rout of Manchester City but tonight they aim to prove they can do it on a midweek evening at Stoke. The Blues travel to the bet365 Stadium, known for its difficult weather conditions to try maintain their recent form. Our writers have already given their thoughts on what they think the team selection should be, and fans have been using our team selector to voice their opinion on who should get the nod in the team. Conte's Chelsea charge is clearly rubbing off as the most popular formation has proven to be three at the back, with Williams, Funes Mori and Holgate taking their place in centre back positions. Clearly no room for club captain Jagielka who decided against a January move to fight for his place. Seamus Coleman and Baines still maintain their place in the side amongst fans, although they might have to do a lot of tracking back as most Blues have positioned them further forward. Both have proven to be effective full-backs in recent games. The arguably overloaded midfield also includes the continuously impressive Davies, an improving Barkley and new boy Schneiderlin. So if fans have their say, Gueye will have to mark his return from Africa Cup of Nations on the bench. In attack, Lukaku remains ever present and he is joined by fellow Belgian, Kevin Mirallas, who has just three league goals this season. Will this be the right starting XI to get the right result?

Stoke City v Everton Team News: Schneiderlin makes full debut as Gareth Barry drops to bench
Koeman makes one change from his last XI at Crystal Palace
By Phil Kirkbride
1 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Morgan Schneiderlin has been handed his first start since joining Everton.
The French international midfield plays alongside Tom Davies at the heart of the Blues' engine room against Stoke City tonight. Schneiderlin's inclusion is the only change Ronald Koeman has made from the side that saw off Crystal Palace last time out. Everton appear as though they are to stick with the back three that has served them so well with Ramiro Funes Mori, Ashley Williams and Mason Holgate protecting Joel Robles' goal. Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman flank the Blues' midfield axis of Schneiderlin and Tom Davies while Kevin Mirallas and Ross Barkley offer support for Romelu Lukaku up front. Gareth Barry drops to the bench to make way for Schneiderlin.

Stoke's Peter Crouch joins the 100 club but Everton take share of spoils
Stoke 1 - 1 Everton
Paul Doyle at the Bet365 Stadium
Wednesday 1 February 2017 Guardian
Last modified on Thursday 2 February 2017 00.50 GMT
It was an unsatisfying result for the hosts but there was much to admire from Mark Hughes's men, not least Crouch's goal after seven minutes, which brought up a Premier League century for the former England striker. The previous goal scored on this ground had been Wayne Rooney's record-breaking one for Manchester United in the 1-1 draw 11 days ago and, while this one may not be acclaimed as widely, Crouch's achievement deserves high praise. It was certainly greeted with a jubilant roar by the locals here and the player added to the merriment by trotting out his old robot dance routine, gratifying a social media clamour for him to do exactly that on joining the 100 goals club. His first one was 15 years ago, when he launched a fine career by scoring for Queens Park Rangers against Aston Villa. To be still a crowd pleaser at 36 is good going by anyone's standard. "It's a great story and a great moment for everybody who was here to witness it," said Hughes. "It was a special moment for him in his career. He's in a select group of players who's had a real impact at Premier League level and no one can take that from him." Crouch's hopes of reaching the milestone looked remote a couple of months ago as his career seemed to be petering out on the fringes of the Stoke squad. But after being cast back into the team a month ago he has discovered a hot streak and this was his fourth goal in his last six games. "He probably thought it had passed him by but he stuck at it and waited for his opportunity," said an approving Hughes. It was a fine team goal, too. Charlie Adam began the move by pinging a long ball over the visiting defence and into the path of Marko Arnautovic on the left wing. The Austrian sent a low cross to Crouch, who slotted into the net from close range. It was a smooth finish but Crouch joked that his robotic celebration suffered from rustiness: "I think I'll have to retire it. Weddings and parties only now." A more pertinent quibble could be raised against Stoke's finishing after that. They created several more chances and could have been decisively in front by half-time. Crouch could have made a start on his second century but spurned two decent chances. Joel Robles saved his header in the 23rd minute after a cross by Adam. And three minutes later a flick by Arnautovic presented Crouch with another opportunity but he lashed a low volley inches wide from the edge of the box. Adam, too, was playing as if still in his prime. On the half-hour the 31-year-old dribbled past three flimsy challenges and dinked the ball to Arnautovic, who was on his own at the other side of the box. Robles, more alert than any defender, charged out to block the ensuing shot. Everton, for whom Morgan Schneiderlin made his first start, barely threatened until the 39th minute, when they drew level thanks to a lucky break. Kevin Mirallas picked out Seamus Coleman on the right-hand side of the box and the Irishman tried to curl a shot into the net. That is where it ended up but only because Shawcross inadvertently helped it on its way, a fact that was made clear to all the officials only after consultation between the referee, Craig Pawson, and his assistant. The goal had initially been ruled out, seemingly because one of the officials thought the offside Romelu Lukaku had applied the telling touch. Despite being level at half-time Ronald Koeman was aghast at how frequently Stoke had penetrated his five-man defence, especially down the flanks. He switched to a 4-4-2 formation for the second half. That made his team more solid and, what is more, they were first to threaten thereafter, albeit via a long-range shot by Ross Barkley that Grant saved comfortably. Adam then tried one from even further out but Robles foiled his attempt to reprise the famous goal he scored from the halfway line against Chelsea two years ago. Seeking an edge Hughes turned to Berahino in the 67th minute. The £12m recruit from West Bromwich Albion nearly made the perfect debut by lobbing Robles toward the end but Funes Mori headed off the line. Tom Davies then tried to land a late suckerpunch but Grant tipped away his header with one hand. "Overall it was a fair result," said Koeman. "If you can't win, don't lose."

Stoke City 1-1 Everton player ratings - Clever, cunning, cocky Davies stars but fellow youngster Holgate caught out
Chris Beesley was a big fan of Everton's new midfield maestro, with several others also impressing
By Chris Beesley
1 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Joel Robles 7
Very alert to come out and save from Marko Arnautovic twice. Had to deal with some difficult takes in the swirling wind but now looks far more of a commanding presence.
Mason Holgate 5
Really needed to be stronger when dealing with Arnautovic in the build up to the goal. His general play was sound enough but the youngster was caught out in that crucial moment and was taken off at half-time.
Ashley Williams 7
Marshalled the backline with assurance in testing conditions and made some crucial challenges and a saving header when the heat was on.
Ramiro Funes Mori 6
The man tasked with trying to stop Peter Crouch. Had his work cut out and was left in the veteran's wake for the early goal. Kept his head to nod off the line and deny Saido Berahino though.
Seamus Coleman 7
Bustled forward with regularity and his cross provided the equaliser in bizarre circumstances. Maybe should have been given an extra mark for giving Charlie Adam a verbal volley after the Scot went down theatrically under a challenge from Davies.
Morgan Schneiderlin 7
Neat and tidy, he settled in well when it came to filling Gareth Barry's boots. Willing to do the dirty work in front of the defence and cleared up most messes that came his way.
Tom Davies 8
Clever, cunning, confident to the point of being cocky. Some delightful touches from the teenager who promises much. Denied a headed goal late on by a great save by Lee Grant.
Leighton Baines of Everton is tackled by Phil Bardsley of Stoke City (Photo: 2017 Getty Images)
Leighton Baines 7
Some decent deliveries on a windy night. Included a good cross to Mirallas. With both Barry and Phil Jagielka out of the side he wore the captain's armband and led by example.
Ross Barkley 7
One of the Blues most creative influences and continues to be consistently impressive after his early season wobbles. Looks like he's building up a good understanding with Davies.
Kevin Mirallas 6
Tends to be more involved in the second striker role than when he's out on the wing but after some decent moments in the first half, he disappeared from view after the break.
Romelu Lukaku 6
Remains too isolated at times and found chances hard to come by. Like with Tom Davies' goal against Manchester City, a good job he didn't get a touch as he looked offside.
James McCarthy 7
After being linked with a move away since the summer, was told by his manager that he has a long term future at the club and looked determined to make an impression with some hard-running and tasty challenges.
Ademola Lookman 7
Almost scored with his first touch like against Manchester City and immediately looked more threatening than Mirallas.

Stoke City 1-1 Everton full-time report - Blues point not enough to close gap on Manchester United
Everton took share of the spoils after going behind to an early Peter Crouch goal
By Phil Kirkbride
1 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton were forced to settle for a point against Stoke City as they missed the opportunity to close the gap on Manchester United. Ryan Shawcross' own goal six minutes before the end of the first-half brought the Blues level after Peter Crouch had scored early on. Both sides pressed hard for a winner in the second-half with Lee Grant denying Ademola Lookman and Tom Davies, while Saido Berahino saw his lob headed off the line. Man United were held to a surprise 0-0 draw at home to Hull City, but Everton's own stalemate means the deficit between the clubs remains five points. The Blues went behind after just seven minutes when a long ball over the top caught out Mason Holgate.
Ref Craig Pawson is confronted by Ryan Shawcross after awaerding Everton's equaliser
Marko Arnautovic charged down the left wing and slid in Crouch who tapped home from seven yards out to make it 1-0. Ronald Koeman's improved after going behind but initially had found clear cut chances hard to come by. And had it not been for Joel Robles, Everton would have been 2-0 after the unmarked Arnautovic was found by Charlie Adam. But as the Spanish keeper raced from his line to smother his shot. Robles would repeat the trick on the stroke of half-time as Arnautovic was put in by Crouch but was denied for a second time. That second save from Robles kept the game level after Everton had managed to draw level six minutes before the break. The goal was initially ruled out for offside but after consulting with his assistant, referee Craig Pawson decided that Seamus Coleman's cross had gone in off Ryan Shawcross and not Romelu Lukaku. The home fans were furious with Pawson, whom they booed off at the break, but the official was right to overrule his assistant's decision.
Koeman made a change at the break, bringing on James McCarthy for Holgate, and lining the Blues up with a back four. Ademola Lookman went close for the Blues, forcing Lee Grant into a fine save just seconds after coming off the bench, while Tom Davies' diving header four minutes from time brought an even better save out of him. Lookman's follow up shot across the face of goal without any Blues player able to get a touch. At the other end, Stoke new-boy Saido Berahino had his lob headed off the line by Ramiro Funes Mori.

Stoke City 1-1 Everton - The game in 12 tweets as Blues defence concerns but teenage duo raved about
How Everton fans reacted to the 1-1 draw against Stoke
By Kristian Walsh
1 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton earned themselves a battling 1-1 draw with Stoke City, keeping them in touch with the top six.
After Manchester United's draw with Hull, the Blues remain just five points away from sixth, and bang in contention to gatecrash the European qualification spots. Peter Crouch put the home side ahead but a controversial own goal - disallowed at first, before being rightly given by the referee - from Ryan Shawcross saw Ronald Koeman's side share the spoils. In an even game, Tom Davies impressed yet again, with Ademola Lookman offering a vibrant cameo from the substitutes' bench. Both Davies and Lookman would go close in the closing stages but it wasn't to be, with the Blues making do with a point.
Schneiderlin in, Barry out was a popular choice...
Great starting XI @Everton against Stoke. C'mon you blues #COYB
— Simo (@andysimo5) February 1, 2017
Nailed on Crouch would get his ton against Everton. Far too easy.
— ToffeeWeb (@ToffeeWeb) February 1, 2017
Peter Crouch is one goal away from 100 PL goals.
— EFC Feelin Blue (@EFCFeelinBlue) January 30, 2017
Mid-way through the first half. Everton are belatedly in the game but it's mostly been an exercise in frustration so far.
— ToffeeWeb (@ToffeeWeb) February 1, 2017
Mason Holgate is having a nightmare
— Steve Johnson (@stevejohnson95) February 1, 2017
Funes Mori - shocking
— Tony Scott (@Tony_Scott11) February 1, 2017
That linesman should be running the line in the Business Houses League.
How did he not see Shawcoss put it into his own net from there?
— Tony Scott (@Tony_Scott11) February 1, 2017
@Everton strange one
— Callum (@GakaEFC) February 1, 2017
Lookman has done more within 10 seconds of coming on than Mirallas did all game.
— Tony Scott (@Tony_Scott11) February 1, 2017
Can't get much closer than that. Great save bt Grant from Davies, Lookman smashes it across the face
— ToffeeWeb (@ToffeeWeb) February 1, 2017
Always seem to give us a game at their gaff Stoke. Think we sorted ourselves out in the 2nd half but couldn't snatch the win. Lookman sound.
— Everton Aren't We (@EvertonArentWe) February 1, 2017
Great window apparently getting no striker @EvertonArentWe
— Koeman (@KoemanIsABlue) February 1, 2017

Stoke City 1-1 Everton analysis: 'Seamless Schneiderlin, tough lesson for Mason & Joel can handle it'
Chris Beesley mulls over Everton's draw
By Greg O'Keeffe
1 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Lee Carsley likes to crow about how Everton had to break their transfer record to replace him in the shape of Marouane Fellaini. Like Morgan Schneiderlin, the big Belgian also made his first Blues start at Stoke, back in 2008 when the visitors fought back to win a thrilling contest 3-2 and saw David Moyes sent to the stands. Although not without drama, this was far less of a classic but the ex-Manchester United man slotted in with ease. The role of a defensive midfielder is often unfairly simplified to that of a mere 'water carrier', but Ronald Koeman recognises its worth and that's why he splashed the cash to the tune of £20million plus to bring in his former Southampton player. In a similar vein to Carsley, Gareth Barry has been one of the Blues great bargain buys but he's also having to be replaced by an expensive recruit. On this showing it's money well spent though as Schneiderlin instantly formed an impressive shield in front of the defence.
Blues Brothers continue to blossom
A couple of local lads and lifelong Evertonians living the dream to boot, Ross Barkley and Tom Davies seem to possess a certain understanding in the Blues midfield. After being up and down like a yo-yo before the turn of the year, Barkley is now settling down to his most consistent run of good form for several months and it's not just down to the change in formation but the presence of his new 'bezzie'.
Ross Barkley and Tom Davies
Unlike Barkley, who has sometimes seemed burdened by the weight of expectation, Davies, whose trademark rolled down socks exemplify his care-free nature, just seems to enjoy himself; and in doing so he also helps take some of the pressure of his older team-mate.
A strong Scouse heart to the side that has the potential to beat for many years yet.
Steep learning curve for Holgate
You've got to grow up fast in the Premier League and although Mason Holgate is very much one of Everton's bright young things, he endured a difficult time here. Ronald Koeman is obviously a big admirer of the rookie, who followed John Stones from Barnsley to Goodison, blooding him in his first game as Blues boss against Tottenham back in August but as we all know, the Dutchman is ruthless when he needs to be and he gave Holgate the hook at half-time in Stoke.
The 20-year-old is a fine athlete but he's still learning the game at the highest level and it appeared to be men against boys when Marko Arnautovic brushed him aside with ease in the build up to Peter Crouch's goal. A tough lesson but one he can come back stronger from.
Joel handles the occasion
Can they do it on a cold Wednesday night in Stoke? It's the perennial question asked of foreign imports to the Premier League – and goalkeepers aren't excluded. With the infamous winds swirling around the stadium and the home fans whipped up into a frenzy, this was one of the English top flight's most testing environments for a visiting custodian. Robles couldn't do much about Peter Crouch's early opener but from then on he dealt with everything that came his way.
Much has been made of all the so-called Roberto Martinez 'deadwood' that Koeman has offloaded this month but the Spanish keeper continues to improve with every game he plays. A number two choice for most of his career, he's always had to deal with adversity and he could have crumbled after falling behind Maarten Stekelenburg, one of Koeman's trusted performers, at the start of the season.
In the long-term you'd expect Everton to target a more high-profile number one but a big part of the reason they passed on snapping up a new face to provide added competition between the sticks in the New Year transfer window is the increasing steadiness of the man from Getafe.
Will Everton's new stadium be different to this? You bet!
There's no more Rule Britannia in Stoke, the Potters home which this year turns 20, has of course been renamed the bet365 Stadium. Like many of the teams who have 'graced' it over the past two decades, the ground is functional rather than fancy.
A general view of Stoke City's bet365 Stadium
They're actually planning some extensions now - but at present those gaping open corners not only provide spectators with views of passing traffic, but enable those perennial gusts to infiltrate the pitch and impact on play. A generation on from the first wave of new grounds in England, Everton will be hoping that their replacement for Goodison Park proves a rather different kind of arena – especially if it's built on the preferred site for many on the banks of the royal blue Mersey. Everyone is eagerly waiting to see what Dan Meis can dream up, but surely it will be far more inspiring than this.

Stoke City 1-1 Everton The Verdict: 'Character, fight, strength and quality from the bench...but was it an opportunity squandered?
Phil Kirkbride can't argue with Everton's draw even if United result adds frustration
By Phil Kirkbride
1 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Within the confines of Stoke City's blustery, battle-ground of a stadium this had to represent a decent point for Everton. Having started the game as poorly as they did, having foolishly handed the initiative over to the hosts and having rode their luck, emerging from this with a draw was a decent return.
Ronald Koeman saw things he liked, things he didn't. He made changes beforehand and during but at the end of a well matched tussle, he ruled that 1-1 was a fair result. Set against the result at Old Trafford, however, and many will see this as a missed opportunity. Had Everton been able to capitalise on their improved second-half performance at the bet356 Stadium, had goalkeeper Lee Grant not brilliantly denied Tom Davies, then the Blues would have closed the gap on Manchester United, who were held to a surprise draw at home to Hull City. But then Koeman wasn't about the start bemoaning what might have been, not after a first-half where Everton were second best, where they needed the quick reflexes of Joel Robles to keep them in it and a slice of good fortune to draw them level.
In the context of the 90 minutes at one of the sternest away trips in the division, drawing in such fashion is not a result to sniff at. Character, an ability to fight back, strength, being in a position where quality can be added from the bench and a look of a side now built to last the pace, are all aspects of this performance to hold onto. Too, Everton's new smooth operator Morgan Schneiderlin, Tom Davies' maturity, Ademola Lookman's electricity or Robles new-found sense of reliability, should not be overlooked. But. United dropped points. But. Everton were lucky not to be dead and buried inside half an hour. But. They needed referee Craig Pawson to overturn the decision of his assistant. Koeman's assessment afterwards probably summed up the feelings of all supporters. A well earned point. An opportunity squandered. A team still in transition. A side that is starting to raise expectations again after a good run. Not many lasting conclusions can be drawn from this. Everton got their point through Ryan Shawcross' own goal six minutes before the end of the first-half – a "lifeline" Mark Hughes called it - after Peter Crouch had profited from the Blues' lethargic start. Both sides pressed hard for a winner in the second-half with Grant denying Lookman and Davies' diving header, while Saido Berahino saw his lob headed off the line late on. Crouch's goal was the 17th away goal Everton have shipped in the league this season – and few have been as softly conceded. A long ball over the top caught out Mason Holgate, Marko Arnautovic charged down the left wing and slid in Crouch, who tapped home from seven yards. Everton improved after going behind but, initially, had found clear cut chances hard to come by and had it not been for Robles, they would have been 2-0 down. Charlie Adam slalomed through a sea of Blues defenders before finding the unmarked Arnautovic but the Spanish keeper raced from his line to smother his shot. Robles, in the form of his Everton career, would repeat the trick on the stroke of half-time as Arnautovic, put in by Crouch's deft flick that took three Everton players out of the game, was denied by the rushing Everton keeper. That save kept the game level after Koeman's side had only moments earlier found a way back into the game. Their equalising goal was initially ruled out for offside but after consulting with his assistant, referee Pawson decided that Seamus Coleman's cross had gone in off Ryan Shawcross' knee, and not Romelu Lukaku. The home fans were furious with Pawson, they booed him off at the break, but the official was right to overrule his assistant's decision and award Everton's leveller. Whether the Blues deserved the break is debatable. Stoke had been the better team but were guilty of wasting the chances. Koeman made a change at the break, bringing on James McCarthy for Holgate, and switching from a back three to a back four. Everton's defensive shape was poor in the first 45 minutes, Ramiro Funes Mori often being pulled this way and that, and the gaps between the back three were far too big.
Stoke were having a field day.
But the half-time switched tightened Everton up and McCarthy, chasing lost causes like a man who has been told he has a long-term future at the club, added energy to their midfield. Lookman, another to be brought off the bench, went close within seconds of coming on, shimmying his way into space before forcing Grant into a fine save at his near post. At the other end, Stoke new-boy Saido Berahino had his chip cleared off the line by Funes Mori in a rare moment when Everton's back four were breached but, by the end of the game, it was the home side breathing the heaviest sigh of relief. Koeman's side kept plugging away and from Coleman's superb cross, Davies flung himself at the ball, connected with a diving header but watched in disbelief as Grant clawed the effort out. Lookman flashed the follow-up across the face of goal with Davies inches away from getting a touch that would have pushed it over the goal-line. Would Everton have deserved the win? Probably not. A draw was about right, even if some might find it underwhelming given events elsewhere

Koeman and Hughes clash over Everton equaliser after referee accused of 'caving in' to pressure
Koeman was pleased with how his side battled back from the setback of Peter Crouch's early goal and felt they were good value for their point
By Chris Beesley
1 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Referee Craig Pawson "caved in" to pressure from Everton's players for the Blues equaliser in their 1-1 draw at the bet365 Stadium claims Stoke City manager Mark Hughes. The goal initially appeared to have been disallowed after the assistant referee raised his flag for offside but after consultation between the officials, Pawson allowed the effort to stand as Everton striker Romelu Lukaku who was stood in an offside position did not touch the ball which was deflected into his own net by home captain Ryan Shawcross from Seamus Coleman's cross. Former Everton striker Hughes said: "I don't know, in my view it's offside when the ball is played by his team-mate. "It's obviously hit Ryan [Shawcross] on the way through. He's [Romelu Lukaku] is in an offside position and he makes a movement when the ball goes passed him. "My view is that if you make a movement then you're distracting the keeper and you're in his eye line. "If you're a keeper you have to wait until the ball goes across the player before you can react. The Welshman added: "In fairness to the referee he got surrounded by a lot of Everton players and really he should be a little bit stronger in my view and made the decision and got on with the game. "As it was, he caved in a little bit. Having heard what the guys said, I think the linesman said he flagged for offside because he thought Lukaku had touched the ball. "Clearly he didn't but even so I still think he was offside." Hughes' Everton counterpart Ronald Koeman admitted it was a difficult decision for the officials but insists they eventually made the right call. The Blues boss said: "It's difficult, I can understand how the people of Stoke, even Mark [Hughes] were disappointed because it was strange. "First everybody expected that it was offside. Finally once I watched a clip it's easy, it's a goal and was the right decision from the referee.
"It took time and I think it was difficult to understand."
Koeman was pleased with how his side battled back from the setback of Peter Crouch's early goal and felt they were good value for their point. He said: "Maybe I was frustrated at the end but overall it's a fair result. In the first 45 minutes we maybe had the better ball position but really the clear chances were for Stoke and there were good saves from Joel. "The second half was better but it's always difficult to have a good defence against Crouch because of the long balls. "Overall we did well defensively. In the second half we had to maybe be a bit more clinical in our ball position, we lost some stupid balls in the midfield. "I thought we played some good football and everyone knows it's a difficult place to come and if you can't win don't lose. It's good." Koeman switched from three centre-backs to a flat back four at half-time by replacing Mason Holgate with James McCarthy and explained his decision to alter the shape of his side. He said: "First of all I thought we had space to play but they had two, maybe three big chances out of the first half, even against five defenders and that wasn't good.
"I saw reasons enough to change the system and to put James in the midfield and we controlled the midfield a bit better."

Koeman happy with Schneiderlin on first Everton start - but warns midfield no place is safe
Koeman says he could change the make-up of Everton's midfield for this weekend's fixture with Bournemouth
By Phil Kirkbride
2 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Ronald Koeman insists that no midfielder's place is safe in the Everton team as competition for places hots up at Goodison. The Blues will welcome back Idrissa Gueye from Africa Cup of Nations action in time for Saturday's game at Goodison with Bournemouth. Gueye returns to Everton with the club having spent over £20m on Morgan Schneiderlin and following the emergence of Tom Davies, who has started the last four league games. Schneiderlin was handed his first start for the Blues against Stoke City last night with Gareth Barry named among the substitutes. James McCarthy, who was the subject of interest from Newcastle and Aston Villa last month, came off the bench at half-time in the 1-1 draw.
Koeman was pleased with Schneiderlin's display but says he could change the make-up of Everton's midfield for this weekend's fixture with Eddie Howe's side. "Morgan was good," Koeman said.
"I know him and that's the performance that he can give the team, really strong and comfortable on the ball. "He can even play in a different position than he did today, more offensively, but we know we have big competition in midfield and the best will start for each game and it could be different for this Saturday." Everton trimmed their midfield options during last month's transfer window by allowing Tom Cleverley to leave on loan to Watford and selling Darron Gibson to Sunderland. The Blues also attempted to prise Thomas Delaney from Werder Bremen but their offers were rejected.

Why Everton new boy Morgan Schneiderlin believes Stoke draw can become a 'great point'
Blues midfielder glad to be tired after first start - and is eyeing win over Bournemouth
By Ian Doyle
2 FEB 2017 Liverpool Ech0
Morgan Schneiderlin has challenged Everton to turn their draw at Stoke City into a "great point" with victory over Bournemouth this weekend. The Blues came from behind to avoid defeat in the Potteries on Wednesday night when a Ryan Shawcross own goal shortly before the break cancelled out Peter Crouch's seventh-minute opener. Ronald Koeman's side are now unbeaten in six Premier League games to remain in touching distance of sixth-place Manchester United. And £20million signing Schneiderlin – making his first start for his new club – believes the visitors demonstrated character to overcome the early setback and the trademark difficult conditions. "We knew it would be a hard game, they are on a good run and are improving," said the French midfielder. "We conceded early but showed good character to get back into the game. We had a good spell with the ball and created some things, then they had the chance before half-time when Joel made a great save. That gave us some momentum for the second half. "But we could have done better in the second half. With the wind it was very hard to get high up the pitch. "This stadium has a reputation with the wind and we had the wind against us and we couldn't really attack up the pitch. But we had the chance and could have scored.
"It was a good point to get here. And if we get a good result against Bournemouth on Saturday then it will have been a great point." Everton were indebted to a clutch of impressive saves from Joel Robles to ensure they went in level at the break. And Schneiderlin said: "We have a great keeper. We knew before the game that he'd have to make some saves, and he did that. "It's a team effort. Their keeper made a great save at the end as well. "It's great for us that we didn't concede a second and came away with a point." Schneiderlin was making his first Premier League start since May and completed his first full match since September. And the 27-year-old expressed delight at being tired after match.
"I'm settling well," he said. "The lads have been brilliant with me. Obviously, the technical staff and everybody have made it easier for me. "I have the trust of everyone, so it makes me happy and I enjoy again my football. It was good to have 90 minutes and have that feeling again to be tired after a game."
Happy to be back gonna work even harder to give you more every match
— Morgan Schneiderlin (@SchneiderlinMo4) February 1, 2017
Happy to have made my first start for @Everton
Good point in difficult condition.. Now lets recover and be ready for saturday #coyb
— Morgan Schneiderlin (@SchneiderlinMo4) February 1, 2017

Everton what the papers say - 'This was such a disappointing effort after blitzing City and following it up with a win at Palace'
The national media believes it was an opportunity missed from a disjointed Blues at Stoke
By Ian Doyle
2 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton could easily have won at Stoke. They could easily have lost. Instead, of course, they drew.
It was one of those nights at the Potteries when any outcome could have been both readily accepted and fiercely debated. Peter Crouch's early opener was cancelled out by a Ryan Shawcross own goal shortly before the break to ensure the game ended in a 1-1 stalemate. But after some decent recent results, the suggestion from some is the Blues missed an opportunity. Dominic King, once of the ECHO and now of the Daily Mail, was among them. "This was such a disappointing effort from Everton," he said. "After blitzing Manchester City and following up with a win at Crystal Palace, a third consecutive victory would have propelled them into the mix for a European place but they were, for long spells, frustratingly disjointed. "They did, nonetheless, finish strongest and came within a whisker of snatching three points when Ademola Lookman wriggled free and smashed a drive that beat Stoke's Lee Grant but whistled across the face of goal." Gideon Brooks of the Express believes the sense of what might have been could be extended to both sides. He penned: "There was frustration for both sides on the night after Stoke let slip their lead when Shawcross deflected a Seamus Coleman shot into his own net and Everton failed to continue their decent run of four wins in their last five Premier League matches."
Koeman's decision to switch tactics at half-time – removing Mason Holgate and going to four at the back – was praised by a number of other observers.
Paul Doyle of the Guardian wrote: "Despite being level at half-time Ronald Koeman was aghast at how frequently Stoke had penetrated his five-man defence, especially down the flanks.
"He switched to a 4-4-2 formation for the second half. That made his team more solid and, what is more, they were first to threaten thereafter, albeit via a long-range shot by Ross Barkley that Grant saved comfortably." Paul Joyce, formerly of this parish and now The Times northern correspondent, scribed: "Ronald Koeman, the Everton manager, has instigated an improvement of late, but he will scarcely have been able to believe the slapdash manner in which his side conceded in the league for the first time in 2017. "One of the Dutchman's qualities is his willingness to rip up his blueprint and he dismantled his system at the break, whipping off Holgate for James McCarthy, while switching to a back four in search of solidity." Meanwhile, the efforts of Joel Robles in the Blues goal didn't pass unnoticed by David Maddock in the Mirror.
"Maybe it's something in the water on Merseyside but neither Ronald Koeman or Jurgen Klopp seem to be decisive on their goalkeepers," he scribbled. "At Goodison Koeman can't seem to make up his mind whether Dutch international Maarten Stekelenburg or Joel Robles is his number one. "Perhaps the two super first-half saves by Robles from Marko Arnautovic which prevented certain goals for Stoke will help Koeman give his Spaniard the nod."

Why Everton's Joel Robles was the real star at Stoke – and Romelu Lukaku was not
Fans and national media split over Blues' best performer but pretty unanimous in pointing the finger
By Ian Doyle
2 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
It's never easy going to Stoke.
Just ask all those who were struck in traffic on the A5000 heading up to the Britannia, sorry, Bet365 Stadium. So a 1-1 draw was a decent result for Everton. Not brilliant, but okay. Acceptable.
And that was reflected in the marks handed out by Chris Beesley, who was on ratings duty for the ECHO on Wednesday night. Chris saluted the "clever, cunning and confident to the point of being cocky" Tom Davies and handed him a top score of 8, followed by Morgan Schneiderlin, Joel Robles, Ashley Williams, Seamus Coleman, Leighton Baines, Ross Barkley, James McCarthy and Ademola Lookman on 7.
At the other end of the scale, Mason Holgate scored only a 5.
Everton supporters were largely in agreement, with Davies earning an average score of 7.9 and Robles next on 7.6
Holgate scored lowest on 5.2, but only lasted to half-time. Kevin Mirallas and Romelu Lukaku also failed to sparkle, with both players scoring lower than 6.
What you said
Tom Davies – 7.9
Joel Robles – 7.6
Morgan Schneiderlin – 7.1
Seamus Coleman – 7.0
Ademola Lookman – 7.0
Ashley Williams – 6.8
James McCarthy – 6.7
Ross Barkley – 6.6
Leighton Baines – 6.6
... but it was a tough night for Mason Holgate
Ramiro Funes Mori – 6.2
Romelu Lukaku – 5.7
Kevin Mirallas – 5.6
Mason Holgate – 5.2
What everyone else said Of course, other ratings are available. And the national media were pretty much unanimous on who they believed Everton were indebted to for their draw. The Mirror handed top marks to Robles with an 8, but were also impressed with Coleman, Williams, Schneiderlin and Baines, who all scored 7. The Mail do things by halves, and they handed Baines the top rating of 7.5 with a clutch of players behind him on 7. The Express were also on the Robles bandwagon by handing him an 8, while substitute McCarthy was among those who notched 7. Lukaku, though, was hammered with a 4. The Times, meanwhile, ranked Robles a top score of 8, with Schneiderlin and fellow new signing Lookman rating 7. Holgate and Lukaku scored only 5.

Everton receive cash windfall for Euro 2016
Blues have been handed £1.25m from UEFA for players involved in last summer's tournament
By Ian Doyle
2 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton were handed £1.25million from in financial payments from UEFA after Euro 2016.
The Blues scooped a windfall of precisely € 1,490m due to the participation of their players in qualifiers for the tournament and subsequently at the main event in France.
Everton sent seven players to Euro 2016 – Ross Barkley and John Stones (England), Romelu Lukaku (Belgium), Aiden McGeady, Seamus Coleman and James McCarthy (Republic of Ireland) and Shani Tarashaj (Switzerland).
UEFA pays compensation to clubs to make up for the wear and tear on their players and of course the fact that their summer rest period is so severely restricted. In the Premier League, Liverpool led the way in terms of financial payment, with Spurs were the only other side to break through the €3m barrier while Southampton earned more than both Chelsea and Manchester City. Juventus topped the European chart with €3.485m while in Spain Real Madrid earned €2.525m and Bayern Munich scooped €2.898m in Germany. UEFA makes a payment of €3,536 per match for each qualifier played by a player in a 12-game group and €4,307 for a 10 game group. At the tournament itself, payments are per day and start 14 days before the first match of the respective national team and finish the day after the team's last match.
A Category One club like Everton receives € 7,231 per day for the release of their player for the tournament. The payments do not only apply to Premier League but right down the football pyramid.
Tranmere received € 24,729.50 for the involvement of former goalkeeper Owain Von Williams in Wales qualifiers.
Premier League table on payments for Euro 2016
Liverpool € 3,394,511.33
Tottenham Hotspur € 3,066,138.48
Manchester United € 2,997,731.85
Arsenal FC € 2,463,222.34
Southampton FC € 2,094,099.34
Manchester City FC € 1,929,655.96
Chelsea € 1,759,479.75
Everton € 1,490,413.03
Crystal Palace € 1,462,685.95
Stoke City € 1,269,106.70
Leicester City € 1,234,158.25
West Bromwich Albion € 1,183,939.02
West Ham United € 1,142,549.36
Watford € 972,141.85
Sunderland €603,010.72
Burnley € 594,792.77
Hull City € 394,111.48
AFC Bournemouth € 291,977.24
Middlesbrough €16,486.33

Stoke 1 Everton 1: Not offside… but Craig Pawson should not have been bullied, says ref pundit
By PeteSmith
Stoke Sentinel February 02, 2017
Dermot Gallagher insists Craig Pawson was right on a technicality to change his mind about awarding Everton's equaliser … but poor in how he handled the incident. Former ref Gallagher was called on to analyse the controversial goal for Sky Sports this morning. Stoke were leading 1-0 when the visitors got the ball in the net when a Seamus Coleman cross was diverted home by Ryan Shawcross while Romelu Lukaku was poised in an offside position behind him. The linesman raised his flag and Pawson disallowed the goal only to overturn the decision after being surrounded by Everton players then consultation with his assistant. Gallagher said: "It doesn't matter if Shawcross only made his move because he was aware Lukaku was behind him, Lukaku wasn't interfering with play according to how the law is interpreted. He does not block the defender's line of vision and he doesn't make a movement to make a tackle. "What lets (Pawson) down is he should have ushered the Everton players away. He should have told everyone he would go to talk to his assistant referee and sort it out but he just stood there. That's what let it down and what led to comments afterwards (that he had caved in)."
Read more: Ramadan Sobhi pulls off Panenka to help Egypt reach African Nations final
The offside law, which was tweaked in 2015, reads: "A player is interfering with play when he makes an obvious action which clearly impacts on his opponent's ability to play the ball."

Is Seamus Coleman Everton's best-ever value for money buy?
Irishman celebrated his 200th Premier League appearance last night - but where does he rank?
By David Prentice
2 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
In case you've been living in a cave, in the Outer Hebrides, wearing ear muffs - you might not know that Seamus Coleman once cost Everton £60,000.
Yes, just SIXTY-THOUSAND pounds!
In comparative football terms, that's, well, a week's wages for an international right-back.
But eight short years ago - in January 2009, Everton outbid interest from Celtic, Birmingham and Crystal Palace for a promising teenager at Sligo Rovers. Coleman has ultimately made about 250,000 euros for his old club in add-ons and bonuses - but the initial outlay was that modest £60k.
Which begs the question, is he Everton's best value signing ever?
We take a look at some other contenders.
Seamus Coleman - £60,000
"60 grand, 60 grand, Séamus Coleman
60 grand, 60 grand, I say
60 grand, 60 grand, Séamus Coleman
Playing football the Everton way"
A top-class footballer who has now made 240 appearances for Everton, 200 of them in the Premier League, captained his country, scored 24 Everton goals from full-back and created countless more, including last night's assist for the equaliser at Stoke.
Seamus Coleman in 2009 during the Europa League match against AEK Athens
And he is a the subject of a catchy terrace chant.
Former Sligo team-mate Brian Cash captured Coleman's qualities perfectly in an interview with Dublin based The Journal this week. He said: "To be honest, I couldn't speak highly enough of him. He's genuinely a lovely fella that has worked his nuts off to get to where he is so he deserves all the success he gets. "When I watch him on the pitch now, he's the exact same guy I played with all those years ago. No bulls--t, all business, never in any trouble. Just a genuine good fella who is also a top-class footballer."
And great value.
Neville Southall - £150,000
Thirsty work for big Nev
Okay, £150k for a goalkeeper who went on to be considered as the best in his position in the world represents outstanding business in anyone's book. Big Nev joined Everton from Bury in 1981, made 750 appearances for the Blues, 91 for his country, won two First Division titles, two FA Cups - 11 years apart - and a European Cup Winners' Cup. The transfer fee wasn't overly cheap, the same summer in 1981 Tottenham signed England keeper Ray Clemence for £300,000. But Howard Kendall rated it his best bit of transfer business ever. And that's good enough for us!
Derek Mountfield - £30,000
Derek Mountfield didn't cost much
Howard Kendall was a master wheeler dealer in the transfer market - but Derek Mountfield rates as even one of his most astute purchases. A dominant, commanding centre-half - he also had an incredible eye for goal and in the double winning season of 1984-85 scored 14 goals, 10 of them in the league.
When he was sold to Aston Villa in 1988 for £400,000 Everton made a huge profit on their initial investment.
Peter Reid - £60,000
Another Kendall masterstroke. The Blues gambled on Reid in 1982.
They were cash-strapped, and Reid's once highly promising career had been plagued by injuries.
The gamble paid off spectacularly. He was the midfield driving force behind two titles, an FA Cup and a European trophy - picking up the PFA Football of the Year title in the process.
That's good value.
Tim Cahill - £1.5m
The Australian joined from Millwall in 2004 and immediately paid the club back, being Everton's top scorer and the fans' player of the season in his first year for the Toffees. In 2006 Cahill was named as one of the 50 nominees for the Ballon d'Or, breaking Everton's 18-year wait for a nominee.
When Cahill left the club in 2012 he had scored 68 goals in 277 appearances, more than paying back the £1.5m David Moyes paid for him eight years earlier.
Andy King - £35,000
Thumbs up from Andy King
Few had heard of the 19-year-old Cockney when he was snapped up by Billy Bingham from Luton Town in the spring of 1976. When he was sold to Queens Park Rangers four-and-a-half years later for more than 12 times that sum Evertonians had long since declared: Andy Is Our King!
A prolific midfield marksman, his tally included many spectacular strikes - including his most celebrated goal which earned a first Merseyside derby win for seven years in 1978. Such was the love affair between Everton and Andy King he returned for a second spell in 1982 in a straight swap for Peter Eastoe. He was still outstanding value.
Graeme Sharp - £120,000
Sharp arrived at Goodison Park from Dumbarton as a complete unknown in 1980, but left more than a decade later with only Dixie Dean ahead of him in the club's all-time scoring charts. He scored 160 goals in 446 appearances - just over £750 per goal.
That's great, great value.
Kevin Sheedy - £100,000
You all know what this is...
Ninety-seven goals in 369 appearances, not to mention even more high-class assists, Sheedy is a 24-carat club legend. He cost just £100,000 which is a steal - and when it's Liverpool you're ripping off that makes it even more of a bargain.
Nigel Martyn - £400,000
David Moyes rated Martyn his best-ever signing, and as manager who specialised in astute transfer business that speaks volumes. Martyn was a huge factor in Everton's Champions League qualification in 2004-05 and would have continued even longer but for injury ending a long and illustrious career.

Everton boss Koeman on why he sought out Lookman after Stoke cameo
Lookman impressed during a second-half substitute outing in the 1-1 draw in the Potteries
By Phil Kirkbride
2 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Ronald Koeman has explained why he sought out Everton new boy Ademola Lookman straight after the final whistle at Stoke City. The 19-year-old came off the bench with just over 20 minutes to go at the bet365 Stadium on Wednesday night and came close to grabbing the winner. Lookman forced Lee Grant into smart save just seconds after coming on before he flashed a volley across the face of goal in the closing stages. Koeman was pleased with his impact but made sure to seek out the January signing after full-time to tell him what he did wrong. The Everton manager says Lookman must resist the urge to drop deep in search of the ball but instead stay high up the pitch and trust his team-mates to find him. "I'm pleased but today he dropped back too much in the time that he played," said Koeman.
Video thumbnail, Stoke City v Everton FC - The match in 90 seconds
"I told the boy after the game that we need him between the lines more in front of the midfield players.
"Several times he came back on the same lines as our midfield players. He needs to bring that speed and quality more up the pitch and he'll be more dangerous. "He's a young boy and he needs to learn. With game time he will improve but okay it's possible that in the next couple of weeks he can start because he's a quality player."

Seamus Coleman claiming Everton's equaliser at Stoke City
Everton's leveller went down as an own goal - but Coleman wants
By Phil Kirkbride
2 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Seamus Coleman is claiming Everton's equalising goal against Stoke City.
The Blues drew level six minutes before half-time when Coleman's cross took a deflection off the knee of Ryan Shawcross. Everton initially had the goal chalked off for offside, with the referee's assistant ruling Romelu Lukaku got a touch on Coleman's centre. But Craig Pawson overturned the decision and awarded the goal, rightly pointing out that the ball had come off Shawcross and not Lukaku. But Coleman, who scored the winner against Crystal Palace last month, insists it was a shot and that as it was going on target he should be given the goal. "I'm claiming it 100%," he said. "I've cut inside, hit a shot, just trying to get it on target with my left foot and from my angle it looks like it goes into the bottom corner. "Whether the keeper saves it is another thing but the rules are if it's going on target it's a goal. I know the camera angle isn't the best but I'm 100% claiming that one. "My goal – fifth of the season!" Should the Premier League's Dubious Goals Panel rule in favour of Coleman then he will have equalled his return from the 2014-15 season and only be two behind his best ever return of seven goals from the 2013-14 campaign.

From skipper to substitute - what future does Phil Jagielka have at Everton?
How does the veteran centre-back find his way back into the side?
By Phil Kirkbride
2 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Despite the gusts picking up speed, the rain stubbornly refusing to ease and the temperatures dropping, Phil Jagielka diligently stuck to the task of warming up. And as he watched the Everton defence hack the ball clear as Stoke City went in search of a second goal, the club captain stood and applauded.
Jagielka knew, even at that early point in the second half, that unless there was an injury or a late lead to protect, he wasn't going to get on the pitch. But Jagielka is not the sort to sulk and on Monday night, 24 hours before the transfer window shut, Ronald Koeman confirmed the long-serving centre-half would be sticking around to fight for his place. "No, no, no, because we need more than 11 players," Koeman said, when asked if the 34-year-old would leave. "I spoke to Phil and he accepts it – we spoke about his position and the need to fight like everybody who is not involved or starting because we need competition." What the manager didn't do was offer Jagielka any guarantees. When Koeman slammed the dressing room door shut at half-time at Stoke last night and announced he was making a change, Jagielka could have been forgiven for slipping his shin pads in and unzipping his tracksuit top. Everton's back three had been the bedrock of three straight league wins - and three clean sheets - heading into the game at the bet365, but against Stoke the defence was all over the place. What should have been a straight defensive line became more of a dog leg and the spaces between Ramiro Funes Mori, Ashley Williams and Mason Holgate were being exploited by Stoke. Koeman changed it at the break and decided to return to a flat back four. But instead of calling on Jagielka, he brought on James McCarthy into midfield, dropped Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines into full-back roles and took off Holgate.
Everton were far more solid after the break. Their midfield had more energy and bite while Peter Crouch's threat was nullified. "First of all I thought we had space to play but they had two, maybe three big chances out of the first half, even against five defenders and that wasn't good," Koeman explained.
"I saw reasons enough to change the system and to put James in the midfield and we controlled the midfield a bit better." So how does Jagielka get back into the starting line-up? Given the way the Blues conceded last night (or the way Joel Robles was exposed twice in the first half), it may not have felt like it, but they have a top-four defence. Only Chelsea, Spurs and United have conceded fewer league goals this season. Is it that straightforward that Everton's skipper is simply waiting on an injury or suspension to Williams? Williams was seen as the man brought to the club to partner Jagielka, not keep him out of the team, but however erratic Funes Mori can be, the left-footer offers balance. And Jagielka cannot have escaped Koeman's admission that Burnley's Michael Keane is on his shopping list for the summer.
Such is his character and professionalism that he is willing to grit his teeth and fight for his Goodison future. If called upon, he won't let anyone down. But when will the call come?

Seamus Coleman - 7 great Everton moments
As the Everton defender reaches 200 appearances here's several of the 60 grand star's finest moments
By Peter Guy
2 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Has there been a better Premier League bargain than Seamus Coleman?
It's certainly up for debate. What's unequivocal is Coleman's vitality to the Everton team since his arrival from Sligo Rovers in 2009 for a mere £60,000. It was scout Mick Doherty who recommended the former Gaelic footballer to David Moyes and the Blues saw off competition from Ipswich, Birmingham and Celtic in sealing a move to Goodison Park. Two hundred Everton appearances later, Coleman has cemented the right-back position, become captain of the Republic of Ireland national side with an additional 42 caps, netted 24 goals for the Blues and received the freedom of his home county, Donegal.
Not bad for a man born in the fishing port of Killybegs.
In timely fashion, here's 7 great moments from the 60 grand man.
1. His debut against Spurs in 2009
Aged 21, Coleman's League debut against Tottenham in December 2009 was to prove a man of the match display. After coming off the substitutes' bench he played a key role in both goals, helping the Blues come from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Goodison Park. With Joseph Yobo forced off after just 15 minutes, Coleman slotted in at right-back with Lucas Neill taking over in the centre of defence and soon the youngster sparked an unlikely comeback. His superb run - which was to prove characteristic for Everton- set up fellow substitute Louis Saha to pull one back. He was then instrumental in the build-up for Tim Cahill's headed equaliser as David Moyes' men rescued a point. Cahill led the praise for Coleman, saying: "He was fantastic - his attitude is one of the best things about him. "He never stops, works hard in training and loves being part of the team. As a captain I'm proud of him and he deserves it."
2. 2011 PFA Young Player of the Year Award
Coleman was a revelation in the 2010-11 season, playing 40 times for Everton and scoring six goals.
With numerous clubs hoping to pinch the youngster, he signed a new five-and-a-half-year contract with Everton before being nominated for the 2011 PFA Young Player of the Year Award.
3. Sixty grand Goodison chant
By now a firm favourite with Blues fans - his £60k price tag inspired this Gwladys Street anthem.
Feel free to sing along...
"60 grand, 60 grand, Seamus Coleman,
60 grand, 60 grand, I say,
60 grand, 60 grand, Seamus Coleman,
Playing the Everton Way... (repeat)"
4. His goal against Southampton in 2013
Coleman opens the scoring
Coleman's wonder strike against Southampton in 2013
Coleman's strike against the Saints typified his individual brilliance during another man of the match display. Picking the ball up on the right side he forged forward inside James Ward-Prowse and drawing defender Luke Shaw towards him. His quick burst of pace took him easily past Shaw into the penalty area before smashing an angled drive beyond Kelvin Davis into the far top corner. It was an astonishing goal few full-backs in the League are capable of, taking the 25-year-old to four goals in his last seven appearances.
Everton's Seamus Coleman goes up against Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey
5. Keepy ups and trickery against Arsenal in 2014
No words necessary for this. Bonus points for completely baffling Santi Cazorla.
6. The thunderbolt goal against Swansea in 2013
Arguably Coleman's finest goal for Everton so far was against Swansea in the 2-1 win at the Liberty Stadium. Having collected the ball from James McCarthy, he powered at the Swans defence before unleashing a fierce swerving shot which crashed into the right side of the net. Ross Barkley capped a hard fought win with a stunning free-kick. Coleman would ultimately go on to win player of the season at Everton.
7. Coleman makes it a Christmas to remember for young Blues fans
Seamus Coleman pays a surprise visit to deliver Christmas presents to Will McKenzie
Coleman surprised Everton-mad youngsters with an early Christmas present. The Blues full-back was invited into the Walton home of 11-year-old Will McKenzie, who was nominated to be the latest recipient of the club's BlueCrimbo Secret Santa campaign. Will was a Goodison season ticket holder with his dad, Stephen, but in April was left heartbroken when his "best friend" passed away from pneumonia. Despite the tragedy, the young Blue has shown courage and strength throughout and was chosen to get the special visit from Coleman and receive £1,000 worth of Everton gifts courtesy of the club's official retail partner Fanatics.

Everton View from the Gwladys Street - 'I wouldn't trade our midfield for anyone else in the league'
Everton fan Brian Foley (@foleysthoughts) files from across the pond regarding all things Blues during the past week
By Brian Foley
2 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
It was a pretty quiet transfer deadline day in terms of new signings. Are Everton right to wait until the summer to do their main business? I know that I was not alone in thinking the Toffees were going to have a rampant spending spree in January, that was until December hit. Once the young players (Davies, Holgate, Calvert-Lewin) started to integrate into the side on a regular basis, the need for reinforcements was dramatically reduced. These players not only gave the side much-needed depth, but also injected the side with some enthusiasm. No longer were new players needed to shake up the side. Instead of mentoring Tom Davies, Gareth Barry was now being pushed out of the line-up by him. That is a much better situation then going out and spending £8-10 million on a decent replacement who would address Barry's weaknesses (dynamism, recovery speed) but lack his strengths (passing, composure).
This new player would eventually be seen as a weak link in 6-8 months and we would question why he was signed in the first place. Koeman has decided to double down on his training and tactics to get the most out of the youth and not only still possibly reach our still achievable goals (5th? 6th?), but also give the young players the confidence they need to be relied upon even more next season when they be competing against the assumed Summer signings. So yes, I think they were right to wait.
Most of the business was with moving players on. Was it encouraging to see some of the 'dead wood' shown the door? It was extremely encouraging to see the old players move on. Gibson, Cleverley and Ovdieo all seem like solid professionals, but it was obvious they were never going to be part of Koeman's side barring a rash of injuries. This means they probably weren't exactly going 110% in training, normal for a player who knows they MIGHT get into the 18 but most likely will be watching from the stands or at home. These players no longer infest the foundation of our new team like termites, eating away from the inside out. Instead, training sessions for our VERY limited schedule the rest of the campaign will be intense as EVERY player knows they have a chance to be in the squad.
The draw with Stoke was frustrating. But results elsewhere meant it wasn't such a blow. Is a top-six place still a real possibility?
The draw at Stoke was a funny one.
If that draw had come immediately following our drubbing by Chelsea, it would have been seen as a positive response from a young side. New players cutting their teeth in the Premier League bouncing back from a tough defeat, Toffees fans would have been nodding at each other in agreement over the growth of the squad from previous seasons. However, since it came in the middle of a great run of form, this result feels like a letdown, or an opportunity missed. But look closer and there is A LOT you can take away and be excited about.
Joel Robles saves from Marko Arnautovic
First, we finally have a manager who can identify areas of weakness within a match, and more importantly has the confidence to make the changes necessary to give his side the best chance to win.
Whether it be Barry, McCarthy or Holgate, Koeman has shown no hesitation in admitting that his side isn't working and he won't pause before pulling someone. Out in Stoke on a miserable Wednesday, with a short turnaround to their next match, Everton teams of previous seasons may have pushed a little, but ultimately would have capitulated to the home side and tried to get momentum back. This side, however, seems to have developed a knack for never giving up, and while the draw feels like a bit of a letdown now, that is exactly the type of point we must learn to earn as we prepare for a future of battling for Champions League, where that point might be all the difference. So a little bummed? Sure, we didn't win. Disappointed? No, the team is maturing and the future is bright! Morgan Schneiderlin is already looking the part. And Idrissa Gueye is now back. Is midfield looking Everton's strongest position at present? I would go beyond saying that midfield is OUR strength, and say that we have one of the top three midfields in the league. The combination of Schnedierlin and Gueye is going to be a pairing that is only rivaled by Kante/Matic at Chelsea and Pogba/Hererra at Man U. Outside of those two pairings, I don't think anyone else will be within sniffing distance. The balance they provide each other is outstanding, and when you consider their 'backups' are Davies and McCarthy, two players who are stars in their own right, the depth is beyond enviable. Toss in Ross Barkley at the attacking spot, and Gareth Barry serving as overseer and wise elder, I wouldn't trade our midfield for anyone else in the league.
Three at the back seamlessly became four at the back on Wednesday. Is the hard work Ronald Koeman put in at Finch Farm on tactics now paying off? As I stated before, Koeman obviously has faith in his own methods and tactics, and it has shown in numerous matches. What is most impressive is that unlike a Conte, Mourinho, or Wenger who stick to one formation and get the most out of it they can, Koeman has shown a willing flexibility to line his side up in the way he feels will give them the best chance to win. Even if it isn't the same formation or tactics as the last match.
His hard work, and recruitment of players willing and able to carry out these varying tactics, has certainly paid off. I will add, however, that I get the feeling Koeman is more smitten with the work Unsworth has done with the youth sides than even he has let on. Knowing how to technically approach the game is one thing, but to be able to train and implement an ever-changing tactical approach while still executing those techniques is a whole other ball game. What Koeman has found out, and why he is so actively recruiting youth, is that the youth program will send players ready to integrate into the side with the correct level of professionalism and tactical awareness.
Bournemouth at home on Saturday - will nothing other than a win do?
I usually don't speak in hyperbole, but it we don't win this weekend the whole season was a total and absolute waste. No, just kidding. I do think we need a win, though. At this point, it is not only about finishing as high in the table as possible for Europe, but more importantly for summer recruitment.
Everton lost at Bournemouth back in September If we can point to the table at the end of the season and be above or right with a Manchester United, players will know they are coming to a club on the rise, and not a team full of dead weight and extra signings because they have the money. Instead, you can join a club with 13 players on the roster (give or take), earn playing time right away, and compete for Europe in the most popular league in the world. So yeah, a win is pretty important. Anything else will feel like a lack of response from the weekend.
Finally, anything else you'd like to discuss about the Blues?
I just want to remind everyone how far we have come. If you think back to last season about this time and the resignation Toffees fans had as they headed to Goodison. Sure, Romelu might have a big match and earn us the three points, but fans had no idea which team was going to show up, and most of the time didn't like the one that ultimately did.
Now, every match has a sense of optimism and wonder about it.
Who will start? How will they play? What will the formation be?
But you know what I don't find myself repeating to myself? 'I hope we don't embarrass ourselves'.
Because with Koeman at the helm, there is a new standard at Everton, and that standard is excellence.

Ratcliffe - Why Everton duo Schneiderlin and Lookman are really THREE new signings
Our ECHO columnist believes recent form and emergence of players has changed minds at Everton
By Kevin Ratcliffe
2 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
So the transfer window shut, and no further business was done at Everton.
At the start of January, if you said Morgan Schneiderlin and Ademola Lookman would be the only arrivals, there would be bedlam. But maybe results have changed the way we look at what needed to be brought in. Take Tom Davies. His emergence is definitely like a new signing, and meant we could let Darron Gibson go to Sunderland. Some of the young players in the under-23s impressed enough to convince the manager to let Bryan Oviedo go, too. We're doing well enough compared to a few months ago, so maybe that's changed the mindset with transfers. Sit back and see what develops in the summer, rather than splurging funds on players we aren't sure about. Look at the other lot across the park. They were doing well and everyone thought they didn't need a change. Now, they're struggling, and there's questions about why they're not signing this player and that player. If results change, mindset changes. That's what's happened at Everton. We thought we didn't need any, then we went on a terrible run and we all said we did, then we've looked at what this squad is producing and thought 'hang on'. We've gone on a bit of a run, we've been able to relax, assess the situation and think about getting the right sort of people in next summer. Davies has come in and set the bar, and he now needs to maintain that consistency. Alongside him, Schneiderlin has arrived and, apart from doing what he's doing on the pitch, ensured the other midfielders have upped their game. That happens sometimes. You bring a player of a certain position in, and his competition sees their place is in jeopardy, causing them to move up to the next level. In that respect, it's like two new signings. And, let's face it, there mightn't have been much in terms of incoming transfers, but a fair few left Goodison Park in January.
Darron Gibson has gone to Sunderland along with many other former Everton players I've mentioned Gibson and Oviedo, and they were two examples of players who just won't be getting game time under Ronald Koeman. Then you think of Oumar Niasse, Tom Cleverley, Geri Deulofeu...a lot of the peripheral figures are now gone. That could be as important as anything else. Players who aren't playing aren't happy. Then you get the players who aren't playing sticking together, and sometimes it doesn't set a good spirit. It's a hell of a balancing act, and it's one less problem for the manager now.
Looking up, not down
There was a game on Wednesday night, don't forget.
Just why the Premier League put fixtures on at the same time as deadline day, I don't know. It's never going to change and you'll be staggered at the viewing figures Sky Sports will get for that.
On the pitch, Everton did well. You look at a couple of months ago, we were going into them and losing them. Not any more. It's about turning losses into draws, and draws into wins. That's what we've done.
A couple of months ago, we would have lost that. We rode our luck first half, then we were unlucky in the second. Lookman came on and helped change that second half. It's the pace of him that's such an asset, as well as the fearlessness. He's a young kid and sometimes you have no fear. He was brought to have an impact, and he certainly is. He is one we didn't know too much about, and we didn't know how someone so young would cope with the step up, but he's adjusted really well. The draw keeps the Blues in contention for the top six, and it's nice to be looking up, rather than down. There's a good feeling around the club, and it's all about the last few results, isn't it? We're in a good position. Go on a good run and you never know. It will take something special to get into the top six, when you think of what you're competing against up there, and we're just at the start of our journey under Ronald Koeman.
But earlier in the season, I was looking at teams above us and thinking 'why are they above us?' - with the players we have, it shouldn't have been happening. Now, we're well clear of them.
You look up the table and you half expect the teams above us to be there, simply because of where we are in our development. That's no bad thing because it's better to look at results above you, rather than below you. You're looking at Manchester United dropping two points, and then you think 'so did we'. That's how you think now. Look, it's a funny season again. Chelsea host Arsenal and points will be dropped somewhere, Liverpool have Hull away, who are fighting for their lives. Manchester City have Swansea, which should be three points, Tottenham have Middlesbrough at home. Strange things have been happening, it's just for us to keep focus and hopefully they slip up. Donald's midfield dilemma

The manager will be earning his corn this weekend, let me tell you. You look at the midfield options he has now. Davies and Schneiderlin started against Stoke, but he can also call upon Gareth Barry, Idrissa Gueye and James McCarthy. It is the type of problem you want, and a real test of the manager. It's about what his gut feeling is, what he wants to do. It's a funny one with Gueye. He's been one of our best players but we've managed to go on this unbeaten run without him. That's football, I suppose.
He's just been over in Africa, and you don't know what that's taken out of him. Only the manager will know. I always say it is easier to pick a side when you're losing games than when you're winning them. If players are not showing consistency, it is obvious when it is time to put them back in.
It's another test for Ronald, it will be interesting to see the midfield he will pick.
They'll have to be ready, whoever it is. Bournemouth are going to come at us, make life as difficult as they can. They are what they are and we have to be prepared. If you don't match them, we'll have problems. Starting well is a must.

Yannick Bolasie back in the gym as Everton star continues long road to recovery
The £28m winger's season was cruelly curtailed back in December after he sustained a serious, long-term knee injury
By Paul Gorst
2 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Yannick Bolasie took a big step forward on the road to recovery on Thursday as he returned to the gym less than two months after suffering a long-term knee injury. The Everton winger had his season cruelly curtailed on December 4 after he sustained an anterior cruciate ligament injury in the 1-1 draw with Manchester United on December 4. Speaking last month at the Blues GM, manager Ronald Koeman said that the injury could keep the former Crystal Palace wideman on the shelf for 12 months.
Koeman said: "He's, at the moment, optimistic. It is a long-term injury, 10, 11, 12 months.
"He will come back, he has a strong mentality." However, Bolasie returned to the gym on Thursday as he pushed on in his bid to return to action. "The picture all Everton fans want to see @YannickBolasie fighting on his road to recovery. See our exclusive rehab interview soon!" tweeted @DressingRoomDJ on Thursday afternoon. Bolasie appeared in good spirits as he posted a video onto his Instagram account of him back in the gym. It's unlikely that the 27-year-old will appear this campaign, but his return to the gym will delight Koeman, who was prepared to shell out £28m to land him from Crystal Palace last summer.

Can you name every Everton player to make an appearance this season?
Ronald Koeman has used 26 different players this season
By Paul Philbin
3 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
There has been a lot of change at Everton Football Club this season.
With a number of new signings, a group of youngsters breaking into the first team squad and a number of players moving on from Goodison Park, the squad is very different to a year ago.
So far this campaign Ronald Koeman has used 26 different players in all competitions and with plenty of football left to play there could be a few more added to the list. But can you name them all?
Some of the answers are a lot more than others and there are a few that you could have totally forgotten about.

Everton Jury: Morgan Schneiderlin oozes class and Tom Davies has everything
Blues fans have their say on the current big issues at Goodison
By Dan Matthews
3 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Christopher Douglas, Old Swan: Schneiderlin oozes class and showed why Koeman was keen to sign him
After a quiet transfer deadline day we turned our attention to a trip to the very grim Stoke.
The result, after Peter Crouch scored his inevitable goal, was on reflection probably fair.
It was very wind but luckily we don't use that as an excuse at Everton. It was however typical Stoke, don't ever let the odious Mark Hughes let you believe he's revolutionised them they haven't changed a jot from Pulis ball. They hit it long repeatedly to Crouch and at times especially in the first half we didn't deal with it. They also kick anything that moves and when the ref doesn't deal with it your going to have problems with them. We may have even won it had the again impressive Tom Davies put his late headed chance away. Joel Robles has not always filled us with confidence but on recent form he may just have a chance of establishing himself as the number one, he was again excellent last night despite the wind.
The standout for Everton was Morgan Schneirderlin he oozes class and showed why Koeman was so keen to get him. We now look forward to Saturday and we should have no fears about Bournemouth, but with Everton nothing is ever simple.
Keep on keeping on.
Tom Davies missed a chance to win the game at the Bet365 Stadium
David Taylor, St Helens: I was wrong about Davies, he has everything
After a damp squib of a deadline day I half expected the Stoke game to end in a loss and the slight murmurings of discontent around lack of incomings over January to become more vociferous. As it turned out, a scrappy game with some moments of quality provided us with a point which we can take back home neither delighted nor disappointed with. With a bit more guile in the final third we should beat Bournemouth on Saturday, continue picking up points and be look set to take advantage of any slip ups from the teams above us. I have to be honest and admit I wasn't totally convinced that Tom Davies wasn't just a 'runner' who looked busy, threw some tackles in but wouldn't influence games enough.
Clearly it looks as though I was wrong and he is equipped with all the attributes to hold onto his place and continue to improve. He has major competition for a starting place though and I wouldn't be surprised if he is taken out of the team for a breather – I am pretty sure he would be really disappointed with this though (as would a majority of fans). If that late header had crashed into the Stoke net then the calls for him to stay exactly where he is would have been resounding. The strength of the u-23s, the youngsters holding down starting spots in the first team and the financial clout to add top class senior players raises hopes of an exciting period ahead for the Blues.

Everton loan signing Anton Donkor on the pain of his debut in English football
The German teenager made his bow in Everton under-23s win over Manchester United
By Phil Kirkbride
3 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Anton Donkor was 10 minutes away from hearing the final whistle on a successful first game in English football. But rather than feeling a sense of elation, having won a penalty and laid on an assist as Everton's second-string closed in on moving six points clear at the top, the 19-year-old was in agony.
"After 80 minutes I tried to tell the coach I had cramps in both legs but I had to get through it," he said.
With Everton's under-23s having used all their substitutes in Monday night's game with Manchester United, Donkor soldiered on until the end. After the game, showered, with the lactic acid having subsided and clutching a slice of stuffed crust pizza as reward for a job well done, he was able to reflect on the moment with satisfaction. Donkor's laidback demeanour suggests he will take it all in his stride.
"I enjoyed it a lot," he said. "I am thankful to play here at Everton and we won so it's a good start.
"It was hard because it's a long time since I've played 90 minutes but it was a good game.
"But it was hard because I had to do a lot of running."
Coach John Ebbrell said: "He got us up the pitch, he's exciting, he's well balanced, he runs with the ball well. "To be honest, I didn't think we'd get 90 minutes out of him, maybe if circumstances in the game had been different we could have brought him off. "But when you go to a new club, the way to win friends is to go and perform like that. "He was defensively sound, there are little bits we can still work on in the way we play - but that's normal as he's only had a few days with us - but we're delighted for him." Donkor says Ebbrell's instructions before the game at Leigh Sports Village were simple.
"He didn't say too much, he told me to be myself, play my game and get to the line," he said.
Having started on the left hand side, Donkor moved to the right in the second half but there's a feeling at Everton they could easily deploy him down the middle as well. "Both sides are good for me but I played on the left side in Wolfsburg so that is easier for me but I can adapt," he added. Speaking about the teenager's unflappable nature, Ebbrell said: "My experience of talented boys is that they know they are good so it might just be that. "The raw ingredients are exciting. "Normally, for players coming from abroad, it's the physicality and the speed of the game (that is the biggest challenge) but I didn't see too many problems there. "We are really pleased with how he performed and it's up to him, like all the players, and what they do with it and how they progress. "They have all got to kick on and keep developing but these are exciting times, I have to say."

Sunderland: Black Cats new-boy Darron Gibson says he had to get out of Everton
By Paul FraserNorthern Echo
February 3 2017
DARRON GIBSON has described how keen he was to 'get out' of Everton and join Sunderland, some 17 years after he almost signed for the Wearside club as a schoolboy. The Irish midfielder completed a pre-deadline day move to the Black Cats from Everton along with his Goodison team-mate Bryan Oviedo in a combined £7.5m deal. David Moyes, who signed them both during his days at Everton, will now monitor the pair's fitness and the signs are that they will figure against Crystal Palace tomorrow afternoon.
Gibson's only appearance so far this season was for Everton in the EFL Cup against Yeovil and he was only used sporadically last term too, so he is eager to make up for lost time. He said: "It is exciting for me because I have enjoyed training again in the last couple of days, which is something I have not enjoyed for a while. Hopefully I can get the games in now. "The manager here took me to Everton from Manchester United and in my opinion I played some of my best football under him for the first two years I was there. Hopefully I can do the same thing here." Moyes signed Gibson from Old Trafford five years ago and has already suggested he wants the attacking midfielder to effectively shoot on sight to help improve Sunderland's goals return. But the Londonderry-born 29-year-old could have been playing at Sunderland sooner. He said: "I have had a tough two years down at Everton, not playing, so I needed a new start. I needed to start to enjoy football again so I am pleased it has got done. "I nearly signed here when I was about 14 and I have been linked a few times in the last few years as well. Obviously it didn't happen, this time it did. I was coming over when I was about 12 on trial. It was the year Sunderland went down. That put me off and I signed for United instead!" This time, even with Sunderland rooted to the foot of the Premier League and five points adrift of safety, Gibson didn't have any concerns and Moyes was a major factor. He said: "I heard the rumours this time but I'd not had any contact with anyone. Sunday evening my agent rang to say it could be on, so I jumped in my car and here I am after it got done on Monday morning. "Having worked under David Moyes before that was a big influence. I needed out of there (Everton). There were a few options but nothing I fancied as much as this, it will be a challenge but I am looking forward to it. "I don't think you can do anything other than work hard in our position, obviously it is going to be tough but we have a good run of games against teams in and around us. "The game at the weekend is a massive game. Hopefully we can build on the game the other night. We were defensively solid and the manager set us well."
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Gibson, speaking at the top of Penshaw Monument where he was shown around by skipper John O'Shea, insists he is fit enough to play, even if his last first team outing in August. He said: "I was fit until I walked up these 1000 steps. I feel good, I have trained all season it's just games are different. Hopefully it won't take me long to get in the swing of things." Oviedo, who joined Gibson at Penshaw yesterday, has been granted his work permit and international clearance to figure against Palace as well. The 26-year-old has not played since November. The Costa Rican said: "I am so happy to be here, to have the chance to help the team, to play. It's a very good opportunity for me and I'll be working hard. "At Everton I didn't play as much as I wanted, sometimes and sometimes not. Here I should have more chances to play and I will do my best to help the team get out of this position. The manager told me he wants me to enjoy my football and help the team in every aspect." * Sunderland's 'Keep the faith' has long been a phrase synonymous with the belief and dedication of Sunderland's loyal support for years.
To recognise this as the season end draws closer, the club has joined the conversation. #keepthefaith hopes to encourage Sunderland supporters to come to the games in their numbers, wearing their red and white stripes.

The Big Interview: Darron Gibson on Everton frustration, David Moyes and finally signing for Sunderland
Darron Gibson (left) joins John O'Shea, Bryan Oviedo and Joleon Lescott in promotion Sunderland's Keep Sunderland Echo
February 3 2017
After two frustrating years on Merseyside, Darron Gibson is ready to try and rebuild his career on Wearside.
How pleased were you to get this move, Darron? You've been mentioned with Sunderland a few times over the years? "I was delighted. I have had a tough two years down there [Everton], not playing so I needed a new start. I needed to start to enjoy football again so I am pleased it has gone through.
"I nearly signed here when I was 14 and I have been linked a few times in the last few years as well. Obviously it didn't happen, this time it did. "I was coming over when I was about 12 on trial. It was the year Sunderland went down. That put me off and I signed for United instead. How did the move come about this time and what have your first impressions been? "I heard the rumours this time but had not had any contact with anyone. Sunday evening my agent rang to say it could be on, so I jumped in my car and here I am after it got done on Monday morning. "It is exciting for me because I have enjoyed training again in the last couple of days, which is something I have not enjoyed for a while. Hopefully I can get the games in now. "I know a few of the lads here, they are a good group of players here and hopefully we can get a couple of lads back." How big a factor was David Moyes in you coming in here? He's already said he's looking for you to shoot and add some goals... "The manager here took me to Everton from Manchester United and, in my opinion, I played some of my best football under him for the first two years I was there. Hopefully I can do the same thing here. "I will be shooting, if I can get far enough forward!" How do you assess the picture at the club? Obviously the table doesn't make for great reading... "I don't think you can do anything other than work hard, obviously it is going to be tough but we have a good run of games against teams in and around us. "The one at the weekend (relegation rivals Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park) is a massive game. Hopefully we can build on the game the other night (the 0-0 draw with Spurs). We were defensively solid and the manager set us up well.
"Defensively we were solid, it is something to build on. If we can get players back and have a few more options them I think we will be all right. How are you getting on fitness wise? And do you feel you can be that forward-thinking, creative midfielder SAFC have maybe lacked a bit ? "I was fit until I walked up the 1000 steps! I feel good, I have trained all season, it's just games are different. Hopefully it won't take me long to get in the swing of things. "Growing up at Manchester United and playing under Sir Alex Ferguson, I was taught to look forward, so I like to think I am quite good at that. Were there other offers and what made you go for Sunderland? "Having worked under David Moyes before was a big influence. I needed out of there. There were a few options but nothing I fancied as much as this. It will be a challenge but I am looking forward to it.

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe: We are wary of Everton's rich vein of form
The Cherries boss knows his side will have to be at their best to make it a league double
By Glen Williams
3 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe believes his side will have to be at their very best to counter Everton 's recent form. The Cherries saw the Blues off in a 1-0 win at the Vitality Stadium earlier in the season, but Howe thinks his side will face a much sterner test at Goodison Park this time around. "We were very good against Everton earlier in the season," he said. "The challenge is to do the same again, they're in a good vein of form. "Whenever you aren't getting the results that's when you need to regroup, refocus and dig deeper." The south coast side are winless in their last five games, including a shock 3-0 defeat to League One outfit Millwall in the FA Cup. In fact, Bournemouth have only won five games since their win over the Blues back in September. And things don't seem to be getting any better for Howe, as the Cherries' second-top scorer Callum Wilson was ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury yesterday. Everton have gained 10 points from a possible 12 since the turn of the year, netting nine goals. A win against Bournemouth would see Everton close the gap on Manchester United to just two points - until Jose Mourinho's side take on Leicester City on Sunday.

Darron Gibson: David Moyes was a 'big influence' in my decision to leave Everton
The midfielder moved to Wearside alongside Bryan Oviedo in a £7.5m move
By Daniel Matthews
3 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Former Everton midfielder Darron Gibson has said his experience playing under David Moyes at Goodison was a major factor in his decision to seek regular first team football at Sunderland.
The Republic of Ireland midfielder this week completed a £7.5million joint move to Wearside with Bryan Oviedo , having managed just five Premier League starts for the Blues since Moyes' departure in 2013.
Injuries and new managers had seen the midfielder slide down the pecking order at Goodison.
And Gibson said a desire to play regular first team football was the driving force behind his desire to leave Merseyside. "I have had a tough two years down there, not playing so I needed a new start," said Gibson. "I needed to start to enjoy football again so I am pleased it has got done. "I needed out of there. "It is exciting for me because I have enjoyed training again in the last couple of days, which is something I have not enjoyed for a while. Hopefully I can get the games in now."
Darron Gibson (R) and Bryan Oviedo pictured after the pair arrived in a double signing at Sunderland
The midfielder was signed by Moyes in 2012 and made 26 appearances in his first season at Everton.
But Gibson is yet to play in a Premier League match this campaign.
The emergence of Tom Davies and the signing of Morgan Schneiderlin had seen Gibson's chances of first team football reduced even further. And the midfielder said his previous experience playing for Moyes was a big factor in his decision to join Sunderland.
Darron Gibson has struggled with injury problems in recent seasons
"The manager here took me to Everton from Manchester United and in my opinion I played some of my best football under him for the first two years I was there. "Hopefully I can do the same thing here."
"Having worked under David Moyes before was a big influence." He added: "I nearly signed here when I was 14 and I have been linked a few times in the last few years as well."

Everton hero Tim Cahill on the Blues games he loved the most
Former Everton forward Cahill loved the passion of clashes with the Reds
By Greg O'Keeffe
3 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Tim Cahill wore his Royal Blue heart on his sleeve at Everton.
The more passionate and feisty the encounter - the more he loved it.
So it's little wonder that the Aussie Blues icon still counts Merseyside derbies as his favourite fixture during his time in the Premier League. Cahill , 37, appeared on Sky Sports in their Premier League World show, broadcast on February earlier this week and explained what he loved most about his time at Goodison Park. The Australia international spent eight years with the Toffees, and scored 68 goals in 278 appearances for the club. And reminiscing about his time on Merseyside, he highlighted the two games during the season which stood out for him most. "What I loved about the city was for those two games that we played each other during the season, everything would stop," he said. "The affect it would have on families that are red and's crazy. It's emotional, it's such a volatile environment to be in, and I loved it. "The only way you can upset a crowd, especially at Anfield, is by scoring. It's the best feeling ever. Anfield, Goodison Park, the derbies, it's all about fire."

Morgan Schneiderlin: Everton fans lived up to their reputation and I LOVED it
The new signing was blown away by the travelling support against Stoke City on Wednesday night
By Glen Williams
3 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Morgan Schneiderlin hailed Everton fans for living up to their reputation as he made his first start against Stoke City on Wednesday night. The Frenchman, who was brought in from Manchester United in a deal worth £24m, made two substitute appearances before being named in the starting line-up against the Potters. And it appears the travelling Evertonians did not disappoint the midfielder at the Bet365 Stadium. "The fans were brilliant," Schneiderlin told the club's website. "I loved playing in front of them. They were loud and they lived up to their reputation, so I'd like to say thank you for that.
"But it's just the start. I want to give a lot more, I can give a lot more and I will do that when I get into my rhythm and I'm sure we will accomplish some great things. "We know in the Premier League that every team is difficult, if it's Bournemouth or Manchester City. Bournemouth have plenty of qualities and will fight for their life, so it will be a hard game. Hopefully we will do the right things to win it."
Morgan Schneiderlin makes his presence felt against Stoke The 27-year-old has started his Everton career with a bang. His work rate, assuredness in possession and calmness alongside Tom Davies was a feature of Wednesday night's game. But competition for places has heated up since Idrissa Gueye 's return from the Africa Cup of Nations. Gueye, who was by far the Blues most reliable performer before the New Year, will be in line for a starting berth when Bournemouth make the trip to Goodison Park tomorrow. Schneiderlin made his debut against Manchester City in the 4-0 win at Goodison Park and Ronald Koeman 's side have gone from strength to strength since the result. He will now be hoping to make his first home start in front of the Goodison faithful this weekend. "It was a great atmosphere when we played City, a beautiful result and the atmosphere was amazing," he said. "Hopefully we can replicate that on Saturday and get the three points, which is very important to get high in the table.
"We'll have to see if I'm selected. The manager will make his choice and then we will see but I can't wait.
"The other midfielders and I have tried to link up and get to know each other in training. There's a lot of quality in midfield. Idrissa [Gana Gueye] is coming back again, so there will be plenty of competition, plenty of players for the position and the future is great for this football club. "It's nice to play with players like this, who play good football, who smell what you want and what you need from them. We're going to play more games and the more we play, the more we're going to improve."

Ronald Koeman nominated for January Premier League manager of month
Blues boss saw his side win all three league fixtures
By Greg O'Keeffe
3 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton boss Ronald Koeman has been nominated for January's Premier League manager of the month.
The Dutchman has been recognised for his side's upturn in form which saw them win all three of their top flight fixtures last month. Everton beat scored eight and conceded none as they beat Southampton 3-0, Manchester City 4-0 and Crystal Palace 1-0. The Blues have caught up ground on sixth-place Manchester United in the table, with the gap between the two sides now five points.
Everton's Seamus Coleman has been nominated for player of the month
The other three managers also nominated alongside Koeman are Swansea City's new manager Paul Clement, Mark Hughes - boss of Stoke City - and Tottenham's highly-rated Argentine boss Mauricio Pochettino. Meanwhile Seamus Coleman has also been short-listed to win January's Player of the Month award. He is up against Dele Alli (Spurs), Harry Kane (Spurs), Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) and Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea City).

Everton defender Mason Holgate on his toughest opponent, Tom Davies and how bad a manager he is
The Blues defender was speaking on the Fantasy Premier League show
By Glen Williams
3 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
We have all dabbled in the ever-frustrating world of the Fantasy Premier League.
The elation when an unknown star bags you a goal or utter despair when a player you've you've just substituted has a stormer. It gives football fans the chance to feel like a Premier League manager every weekend and share the joy, or desperation, of your chosen team's performance. But it seems as though one Everton player is trying his hand at management already – albeit in the Fantasy Premier League.
Blues defender Mason Holgate lifted the lid on his managerial tactics in a Q&A on the Fantasy Premier League show. The 20-year-old revealed which Everton player managers should select in their team, his most fierce opponent and just how bad he is as a fantasy manager.
Which Everton teammate would you recommend for the Fantasy Premier League and why?
"Davo (Tom Davies), because he would be good value for money."
Davies has stamped his authority on the midfield position since Koeman brought him in (Photo by Tony
"Not a lot... 5,000? [It's actually 300,000]
"That's more than I was thinking!"
Are you part of any Fantasy Premier League mini leagues?
"I've been in a few leagues with my friends and stuff like that. But to be fair I've never really had concentration for it. "The first half of the season I'm in changing my team every week. Then I forget about it for three or four weeks and my team would be bottom of the league."

Everton Football Director Steve Walsh gives his verdict on January business
Steve Walsh is exciting about prospect of Ademola Lookman
By Greg O'Keeffe
3 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton Director of Football Steve Walsh believes the club did "sensible business" during the January transfer window. The Blues signed Morgan Schneiderlin from Manchester United for a fee of an initial £20m fee rising to £24m, and 19-year-old forward Ademola Lookman from Charlton Athletic.
Wolfsburg forward Anton Donkor was also brought in on loan to play for the u-23s, with a string of players being allowed to leave Goodison Park. Koeman satisfied with January transfer business
And Walsh was very happy with the players recruited. He said: "We did sensible business, the right business. We got the right players in and one or two for experience. "Morgan Schneiderlin is a very experienced player, brings a lot of calmness to the team. His range of passing is excellent, he breaks up play – he's the perfect central-midfield player and exactly what we needed. "With Ademola Lookman we've got a real special talent on our hands. "Watching him in training with Romelu, his finishing is up there, left and right feet. "When he gets opportunities he's going to score some goals for us."

Everton boss Koeman: 'I'm relishing Gueye dilemma'
The Everton manager has a big call when it comes to selecting his midfield against Bournemouth
By Glen Williams
3 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton manager Ronald Koeman is relishing the tough decision of having Idrissa Gueye back in contention for a starting spot against Bournemouth. The Blues boss praised the Senegal international for being one of the team's best players before the New Year, which makes him a strong contender to come straight back into the starting lineup. Koeman opted to leave the midfielder out of Wednesday night's 1-1 draw with Stoke City, but his return only helps to strengthen the central midfield.
"First of all, Gana played the African Cup of Nations," Koeman said. "Gana was one of the key players before that time. He saw some new faces in the team and everybody knows at the moment we have five really good midfield players. "And it's always a tough decision for the managers, but I like it.
"Now I can look to really details what we need for tomorrow and put the best midfield on the pitch."
Koeman said he has already made his decision on who will be given the nod in the middle of the park against Eddie Howe's side. The Dutchman likes to make his decisions early to give his players the best opportunity to prepare. He must now choose from a quintet of Gueye, Morgan Schneiderlin, Tom Davies, Gareth Barry and James McCarthy to fill the centre midfield role.

Peter Robinson reveals trust he had in Everton official Jim Greenwood
Everton's first chief executive laid to rest in Southport
By David Prentice
3 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
FORMER Liverpool Chief Executive Peter Robinson has revealed the incredible levels of trust between himself and his Goodison counterpart Jim Greenwood. Mr Greenwood, the first Everton official to hold the title of chief executive, was laid to rest in Southport last week after passing away in a Southport nursing home at the age of 87. Mr Robinson said: "Jim had a host of admirers in football and we worked very closely together. "Whenever we had fixture clashes produced by cup draws we used to toss a coin for choice of date and we'd do it on the phone! "That's how much trust there was between us."
The funeral service was attended by Kenny Dalglish, Graeme Sharp, Colin Harvey, Graham Stuart, Kevin Sheedy, Peter Reid and Terry Darracott, amongst numerous other former players who paid their respects at St James's Church, in Birkdale during a poignant service. The eulogy at the funeral service was given by former Everton chairman and Walker Cup golf captain Dr David Marsh who described Jim as "a leader and one of football's great administrators."

Koeman "not impressed" by Donkor because he expected him to be that good
The loan signing from Wolfsburg had an impressive Everton u-23s debut
By Glen Williams
3 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton manager Ronald Koeman insists he was not impressed with Anton Donkor's debut against Manchester United U23s, despite the winger winning a penalty and assisting a goal. He was at Deepdale to watch his U23s take on United in Premier League 2 and was admittedly unimpressed with the club's newest addition. It appears Donkor is the latest player to feel the wrath of Koeman's exacting standards and the Everton boss pulled no punches on the German's first outing. "Impressed, not," Koeman said.
"Impressed is really something which you did not expect." The Wolfsburg loanee looked lively against Nicky Butt's side when operating down the left wing. Kone still at the club - 'Maybe he will play'
United right-back Matthew Olosunde struggled to keep pace with the Blues' winger – bringing him down for a penalty early in the first-half. Donkor later assisted substitute Bassala Sambou for the second goal, and again played the striker in for a second penalty for the Blues. "He did well in the first half, the whole team had it more difficult in the second half. "But I wasn't impressed. "I expect more from everybody."
It appears Donkor will have to churn out consistently high standards to earn his stripes in the Royal Blue of Everton. Koeman added the 19-year-old would continue to be part of the U23s set-up and occasionally join in with first team training. During the transfer window, the Everton boss insisted Enner Valencia provided enough attacking clout to cover Romelu Lukaku – should the Belgian get injured.
But Donkor, who can play in a number of forward positions, may still have a way to go before he can carve his way into Koeman's first team plans.

Everton have improved because of player departures, says Ronald Koeman
• Koeman believes squad has 'different spirit' following January clearance
• 'I see a different, stronger team and with the new faces' says manager
By Andy Hunter
Friday 3 February 2017 Guardian
Ronald Koeman has said Everton emerged from the January transfer window with a smaller but stronger squad. Everton made only two additions to their first team pool – Morgan Schneiderlin and Ademola Lookman – while clearing out a host of players deemed surplus to requirements, notably Oumar Niasse, Tom Cleverley, Gerard Deulofeu, Bryan Oviedo and Darron Gibson. Arouna Koné would also have departed but was unable to agree terms with Crystal Palace on deadline day and can go as a free agent in the summer. Though reduced in numbers, Koeman believes the quality and spirit within the senior squad has improved as a result of the January changes and must be demonstrated against Bournemouth on Saturday. "I am very satisfied," said the Everton manager, who criticised the lack of recruits following the FA Cup defeat by Leicester City. "First of all we had some players who did not have a good future to have any game time and they are now away from the football club. They like to have more game time and that is good. All footballers should want to play. "We have a smaller squad at the moment but enough numbers to compete and have competition. There is a different spirit now because all the players have opportunities to play and to be on the bench. It is good for team spirit that everybody is involved. We have been more consistent with results but what I like is that we have been more consistent on the training pitch. I see a different, stronger team and with the new faces the spirit is changing. Now the team needs to show it on the pitch." Everton are unbeaten in six Premier League matches but remain five points adrift of sixth-placed Manchester United.

'They thought they'd won it in October' - Tony Bellew aims a dig at Liverpool
The WBC cruiserweight champion is a huge Everton - and he couldn't resist a dig at the Reds when discussing his beloved Blues
By Paul Gorst
3 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Tony Bellew has aimed a jab at Liverpool 's faltering title bid by declaring: "They thought they'd won the league at the end of October". The WBC cruiserweight champion is well known Everton fan, and was discussing his beloved Blues in his weekly column for The Metro. And as he turned his attentions to Ronald Koeman's side, the Wavertree-born 'Bomber' just couldn't resist a dig at Jurgen Klopp's Reds, who won just one game in nine in January. He said: "There's a lot of change at the moment, but it's good times at the club. "Things can change of course, I mean Liverpool thought they'd won the league at the end of October. "Jurgen Klopp was the messiah and now all of a sudden he's the worst manager ever." Despite the putdown, Bellew branded Klopp an "amazing coach" and said the Reds manager would need time to adjust to playing in a league that has no winter break. Klopp was afforded the luxury of time off during the festive period during his time in the Bundesliga, and Bellew thinks the German will have to adapt accordingly. "It's ridiculous, really [criticism of Klopp]," he added.
"He's an amazing coach, but he'll need time to adjust to England. "Winter breaks, Premier League football, new players, new tactics – so many things change when an overseas manager comes here.
"Fortunate for us (Everton) we have a tried and tested manager, but Klopp is used to a different format." Bellew's next clash with see him go up against David Haye in an all-British heavyweight dust-up at London's O2 Arena in March.

Everton v Bournemouth: match preview
Friday 3 February 2017 Guardian
Everton have crept up the table and are seventh, having last been defeated on 19 December. The same cannot be said about Bournemouth who looked poor against Crystal Palace in midweek and are drifting towards the relegation zone. To make matters worse they are without Callum Wilson, who ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in training. Dan Brown
Kick-off Saturday 3pm
Venue Goodison Park
Last season Everton 2 Bournemouth 1
Referee Mike Jones
This season G12, Y37, R1, 3.16 cards per game
Odds H 8-11 A 21-5 D 3-1
Subs from Stekelenburg, Barry, Lookman, Jagielka, McCarthy, Lennon, Valencia, Dowell, Koné, Hewelt, Gueye
Doubtful None
Injured Besic (knee, 25 Feb), Calvert-Lewin (ankle, Mar), Bolasie (knee, Aug)
Suspended None
Discipline Y43 R1
Leading scorer Lukaku 12
Subs from Allsop, Federici, Jordan, Mousset, Gosling, Ibe, Arter, Mings, Ramsdale, Gradel
Doubtful None
Injured Daniels (hamstring, 13 Feb)
Suspended None
Discipline Y35 R2
Leading scorer C Wilson 6

Everton loan signing Anton Donkor on the pain of his debut in English football
The German teenager made his bow in Everton under-23s win over Manchester United
By Phil Kirkbride
3 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Anton Donkor was 10 minutes away from hearing the final whistle on a successful first game in English football. But rather than feeling a sense of elation, having won a penalty and laid on an assist as Everton's second-string closed in on moving six points clear at the top, the 19-year-old was in agony.
"After 80 minutes I tried to tell the coach I had cramps in both legs but I had to get through it," he said.
With Everton's under-23s having used all their substitutes in Monday night's game with Manchester United, Donkor soldiered on until the end. After the game, showered, with the lactic acid having subsided and clutching a slice of stuffed crust pizza as reward for a job well done, he was able to reflect on the moment with satisfaction. Donkor's laidback demeanour suggests he will take it all in his stride.
"I enjoyed it a lot," he said. "I am thankful to play here at Everton and we won so it's a good start.
"It was hard because it's a long time since I've played 90 minutes but it was a good game.
"But it was hard because I had to do a lot of running." Coach John Ebbrell said: "He got us up the pitch, he's exciting, he's well balanced, he runs with the ball well. "To be honest, I didn't think we'd get 90 minutes out of him, maybe if circumstances in the game had been different we could have brought him off. "But when you go to a new club, the way to win friends is to go and perform like that.
"He was defensively sound, there are little bits we can still work on in the way we play - but that's normal as he's only had a few days with us - but we're delighted for him."
Donkor says Ebbrell's instructions before the game at Leigh Sports Village were simple.
"He didn't say too much, he told me to be myself, play my game and get to the line," he said.
Having started on the left hand side, Donkor moved to the right in the second half but there's a feeling at Everton they could easily deploy him down the middle as well. "Both sides are good for me but I played on the left side in Wolfsburg so that is easier for me but I can adapt," he added. Speaking about the teenager's unflappable nature, Ebbrell said: "My experience of talented boys is that they know they are good so it might just be that. "The raw ingredients are exciting. "Normally, for players coming from abroad, it's the physicality and the speed of the game (that is the biggest challenge) but I didn't see too many problems there. "We are really pleased with how he performed and it's up to him, like all the players, and what they do with it and how they progress. "They have all got to kick on and keep developing but these are exciting times, I have to say."

Conor McAleny delighted to sign for Oxford United after uncertain transfer deadline day
February 3 2017 Oxford Mail
NEW signing Conor McAleny says he is thrilled to be an Oxford United player after enduring a nervy few hours on transfer deadline day. The 24-year-old signed on loan from Everton until the end of the season on Tuesday night – during the U's victory over Bradford City in the Checkatrade Trophy. McAleny was relieved for the deal to go through just 90 minutes before the deadline and is all set to be part of the squad for Sunday's derby clash at Swindon Town in Sky Bet League One. He said: "That's the third time I've moved on deadline day, but I didn't think it was going to get done to be honest. "I just had to sit back and wait and finally it came through, so happy days." McAleny only knew of United's interest a couple of hours before the quarter-final tie against the Bantams. The striker, who encountered a similar experience when signing for Wigan Athletic 12 months ago, added: "You're sitting there waiting on a lot of paperwork, thinking is it going to get done.
"There's a lot of waiting around.
"As soon as I found out, I had to drive to the Everton training ground and wait for the paperwork.
"I think it was done just after kick-off, so it was pretty late." McAleny is the fourth player to move from Goodison Park and in John Lundstram and Ryan Ledson was greeted by two familiar faces on his first day at United's training ground this morning. He said: "I've known John Lundstram since I was about 11, we're mates outside of football as well. Lego (Ledson), I know him as well, so I've been speaking to them for a few weeks and it's definitely going to help me settle in." McAleny added: "There's three months left of the season and I've just got to do what I can and that's work hard for Oxford United, so I'm ready to do that."

Everton fanatic Ric Wee back in Liverpool ahead of Blues' visit from Bournemouth
The Malaysian shot to stardom three years ago after having the misfortune of travelling over 6500 miles only to see his first game called off
By Paul Gorst
3 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton fanatic Ric Wee is back on Merseyside ahead of the Blues' visit from Bournemouth on Saturday .
Toffees fan Ric shot to fame somewhat three years ago after travelling over 6500 miles for his first Everton game - only to see it called off due to heavy winds. When Everton heard of Ric's misfortune, they set up a meeting with then manager Roberto Martinez and left-back Leighton Baines, as his dream of seeing the Blues live was finally realised against Manchester City. Ric's first visit to Goodison Park ended with a 3-2 defeat to City, but the Malaysian is back in the city as he prepares for another game at the home of his beloved Blues. "Today, @Everton Two. Tomorrow, Goodison. Good to be back at Liverpool City." he tweeted on Friday afternoon. After being spotted by an eagle-eyed fellow Blue at Lime Street Station, Ric tweeted: "Hey Rob. Yeap. Just arrived. "Thank you for your warm wishes. Glad to be back "home". Will be at Goodison tomorrow!" The visit from Eddie Howe's Cherries will be Ric's third game at Goodison Park, having returned for a 2-1 win over West Ham in November 2014.
Speaking about his bad luck after seeing the postponement of a match against Crystal Palace in 2014, Ric said: "When I first saw the notice I was absolutely gutted. I thought 'what must I do to watch a match?'
"But when I walked out of the suite and saw the debris flying on the pitch, I suppose it was the correct decision.
"I had no idea that my tweet was going around and somebody from Everton was looking for me.
"It's so surreal what has happened to me over the last 12 hours. "They took me to meet Baines, Naismith, Distin, Mirallas, Kone – it was really special."

Everton fans get chance to have their say on next season's kit
Umbro and Blues want supporters input on strips for next term
By Greg O'Keeffe
3 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Evertonians are being given the chance to influence the design of the club's kits for next season.
The Blues and Umbro have put fans at the heart of the design process, and invited them to take part in a survey on what is most important to them. It is the first stage of an extensive kit development process, which the club say will involve fans throughout. The survey gives Blues the opportunity to share thoughts on their favourite kits from the past 15 years - as well as their opinions on elements such as colours for away and third kits, trim, collar style and any logos or symbols for the 2018/19 season.
Thousands of supporters have already responded, and the blues say it is the biggest survey feedback they have received since the crest consultation. Scott McLeod, Head of Engagement at Everton said: "The choice of playing kits ahead of a new season is always a key decision. "The design process for all three kits gets underway at least 18 months ahead of the kit's release and we felt it was important that fans have the chance to be involved from the outset. This survey is the first part of a long-term collaboration aimed at ensuring fans remain at the heart of the process. "The results will give the design team at Umbro the opportunity to use the preferences of supporters as part of their kit development - and to get a clear idea on which kits and designs from the past still resonate with Blues.
"Engaging the fans in the process will help to produce kits that fuse the past, present and future of the club together. "Our fans are incredibly passionate and knowledgeable, and so giving them the opportunity to inject that passion and knowledge into the kit design process from the very outset is something we are incredibly pleased to be able to do. "Earlier this season we gave Evertonians the chance to design and vote for the unique motif that will adorn the neckline of the forthcoming 2017/18 kits. "That proved hugely popular with fans and so giving them the chance to get involved in the 2018/19 kit process at the very first stage is something we are delighted to be able to do." Supporters with a customer number will be emailed a questionnaire consisting of 26 questions that will take no longer than 10 minutes to complete.

Survey of Everton fans finds huge support for safe standing at stadium
Everton Supporters Trust carried out the survey of more than 1,400 Blues
By Greg O'Keeffe
3 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
A survey carried out by Everton Supporters Trust has found that 90% of fans questioned favour a safe standing section in the club's new stadium. More than 1400 Evertonians took the survey that was conducted online and on a one to one basis from St Luke's Church before home matches against Swansea and Manchester United. Of those that took the part 90% believe that a safe standing section should be introduced at Goodison Park or a potential new ground, and 92% agreed that supporters should be given the choice of whether to sit or stand at a match. Everton Supporters Trust Chair, Simon Magner said: "We conducted this survey in an attempt to get as many thoughts and feelings of Evertonians on a subject that is an incredibly emotive subject for football fans on Merseyside.
"The response to the survey was incredible, the fan-base has spoken and the results speak for themselves. "There is clearly a growing appetite nationally with similar results from similar surveys conducted by fan groups and Supporters Trusts up and down the country.
"We are encouraged by the attitudes of club officials with regards to Safe Standing.
"At the recent General Meeting one of our members was able to ask a question to the Chairman Bill Kenwright on Safe Standing and his response was that supporters would be consulted fully. "We have already started that process by asking our members and the wider fan-base their opinions on the issue and over 90% agree that a Safe Standing section should be introduced at Goodison Park or a potential new stadium, and that fans should be afforded the choice between sitting and standing when attending the match." Everton Supporters Trust now intend to provide the club with the results of the survey and continue the process of consultation over the issue, long with the City Council and MP's, whose support would be needed to pass any legislation that would be required to allow standing sections back in stadiums in the top two tiers of English football.

Royal Blue: January was a month to cherish but Blues must kick-on
Glen Williams with his take on how the Blues can capitalise on January
By Glen Williams
3 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
January was certainly a month to remember for Everton fans.
Two bright new signings, unearthing hidden gems and an imperious league run.
The ruthless transfer cull was also a breath of fresh air. Oumar Niasse, Tom Cleverley and Gerard Deulofeu were all sent out on loan and Darron Gibson and Bryan Oviedo joined Sunderland on permanent deals. David Unsworth sent out some of his U23s to utilise the loan system as well.
It also saw Ronald Koeman's plans finally being played out on the pitch.
A more structured defence, higher press and pacy attack.
And goals. Eight goals in three league games, and not a single goal conceded, brought Blues fans to their feet as they watched stern defensive displays compliment silky, flowing attacking football.
Starting with the demolition of Manchester City. Tom Davies's chip over Claudio Bravo after running the show for most of the afternoon was the first jewel in the crown against Pep Guardiola's side. Fans and staff would have known about Davies's capabilities well before the City game, but that day he announced himself on the wider footballing stage. A day where he stood up to some of the best in the league and shrugged them off with swagger. A confidence he has played with since. Ademola Lookman's dream debut followed suit. A nod to the future but also someone who can affect the squad now. A month which Blues fans will look back on with the fondest of memories. But it needs to be built upon. Anything other than that would do a disservice to just how good last month was. Starting against Bournemouth. Playing at Goodison Park against a team who have won only five of their last 18 games since they last played the Blues.
Koeman: 'I'm relishing Gueye dilemma'
Then Middlesbrough and Sunderland – both games which Koeman will eye as three-pointers.
The run-in is crucial, the challenge for those European spots to ensure the summer's transfer window starts efficiently is vital for the progression of the club. The manager made clear his intentions to attract a certain calibre of player to improve the squad. Subsequently, it seems, these players were not available this time around. So what is important is that the Blues put themselves in a position of power to make the summer as fruitful as possible. But until then each game must be taken at a time. Koeman's style of play is now imprinted on the players after six months on the training grounds of USM Finch Farm. Everton are now reaping the rewards for his eye for detail and meticulous preparation.
A team and system which is stifling attacks and unleashing their own. February must follow the ground work laid in the first month of 2017. The momentum can not afford to stop. The signs are there and Koeman has alluded to the high spirits and close-knit nature of this now streamlined squad. It is clear now that, going forward, each cog in the wheel becomes ever more important as the season draws to its climax.

Everton boss Koeman wasn't tempted to copy Jurgen Klopp when it came to AFCON star
Koeman was in no mood to race Idrissa Gueye back unlike Reds manager Klopp
By Dan Matthews
3 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Ronald Koeman has claimed he was never tempted to follow the lead of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and arrange a private jet to bring back Idrissa Gueye in time for Everton's draw at Stoke on Wednesday.
Liverpool flew Gueye's Senegal teammate Sadio Mane back from the AFCON in time for him to make a substitute appearance in their clash with Chelsea on Tuesday. But ahead of the visit of Bournemouth to Goodison, Koeman said he never considered including Gueye in his squad for the clash at the bet365 Stadium. "I don't believe in that because the player travelled and wasn't back on Tuesday morning," he said. "He was out for four or five weeks, he played and travelled and in my opinion you are not available for team selection on that Wednesday," he said. Cameroon's Benjamin Moukandjo (R) challenges Senegal's Idrissa Gueye during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final "If other managers think differently, okay, but it's not my opinion." Gueye did not travel back with his compatriot, instead arriving back on Merseyside later on Tuesday. Koeman joked that there should have been room in Liverpool's private jet to accommodate his midfielder before confirming that Gueye would be involved in this weekend's clash with Eddie Howe's side. "No we did not pay that [a jet]. I asked him why he did not travel with Mane!" Koeman said. "I think the private plane was for more than one person. We spoke to the player and said 'you need to be back Tuesday afternoon', have Wednesday off and start training on Thursday. He will be involved in the squad for Saturday."

Everton boss Koeman more confident than ever that Blues can get Europe
The Everton boss has been galvanised by his January signings
By Dan Matthews
3 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton manager Ronald Koeman claims he is more confident than at any point this season that his side can achieve his target of European qualification. The Blues currently sit five points behind sixth-place Manchester United and nine points off the top four. Assuming Everton don't gatecrash the top six, to qualify for the Europa League finishing seventh would require Manchester United to win the EFL Cup and one of the sides above them winning the FA Cup. Despite spending over £30million on Morgan Schneiderlin and Ademola Lookman in the January transfer window, the Dutchman claims his target has not changed since the start of the season. But after adding new blood to a squad which has gone six league matches unbeaten, the Everton boss is more optimistic than ever that his side can catch the teams above them. "We have ambition [but] a target sometimes is difficult [with] a new manager, new faces during the season," he said. "My personal target is to reach something in Europe next season.
Ronald Koeman chats to Mason Holgate during training "That's my ambition but we'll see what will happen. Normally that means being one of the top six in the table and that is difficult. But we are on a good run at the moment and if we continue that run I think it's possible." "I'm more confident about the team because you need time to get what we want and for the players to know what we want. Of course, the changes we make in the team are all to have a stronger team." After an underwhelming first half of the season – which saw Everton win just one in 11 matches between September and December – many Blues fans had hoped for a host of new additions to their squad.
Video thumbnail, Everton boss Koeman: 'I'm relishing Gueye dilemma'
But after signing Lookman and Schneiderlin early in the window, much of Everton's transfer business involved seeing players leave the club. Tom Cleverley, Gerard Deulofeu, Bryan Oviedo and Darron Gibson were among the 18 Blues who secured loan or permanent moves out of Merseyside. But Koeman claims this imbalance did not come about because the club missed out on transfer targets.
And the Dutchman was reluctant to discuss where he would seek to strengthen at the end of season.
Darron Gibson (R) and Bryan Oviedo pictured after the pair arrived in a double signing at Sunderland
"No [transfers were] close because really early in the month we knew our targets were not possible for January," he said. "[And] I don't like to talk about what will happen. It's our team, our numbers, these are our players, we play football until the end of the season and we will try to win every game and get the highest position in the table until the end of the season. "I don't think it's respectful to the players to talk now about new transfers or the summer. My focus and the focus for the players is tomorrow and what will happen tomorrow and next weekend.

Everton set for Dubai warm weather camp later this month
Koeman will take Blues to Middle East after FA Cup exit meant an extended period of inactivity
By Greg O'Keeffe
4 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton's early FA Cup exit has prompted Ronald Koeman to take his side to Dubai for a warm weather training camp. The Blues boss will use the free weekend of February 18/19 to help bed in his clutch of new signings, and focus his side's tilt at the top six during their team bonding trip to the Middle East.
It will be the third time the Toffees have headed for the UAE around this time of year, after ex boss Roberto Martinez also took them to Dubai last term, and Qatar the previous campaign.
Everton FC's Ross Barkley posted this picture of Dubai The squad is likely to jet out in the week after their Premier League clash with Middlesbrough on February 11. Barring any possible behind-closed-door games at Finch Farm, they do not play again until 14 days later when they face Sunderland at Goodison Park on February 25.

Everton defender Seamus Coleman insists Premier League stars must learn to accept criticism
Blues right back says some players can be too precious at times
By Greg O'Keeffe
4 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Seamus Coleman insists players must be able to accept the rough with the smooth when it comes to critics. The Everton right back believes Premier League stars should be more broad shouldered in the modern era. Coleman, who has been nominated for the Premier League's January player of the month, says mental strength is key. He said: "I think nowadays players are too precious. If you have a bad game and someone highlights it in the paper or on TV then so be it, because that's the job we're in.
"We get paid a lot of money to do what we do. If you can't take criticism then there's something wrong. I think it shows a weakness in a player so if I don't play well, first and foremost I know I haven't played well. "If the manager highlights that I haven't played well then so be it, I've been used to that.
"I know every player is different but I can only speak for myself. I feel like I have to impress people and try to prove people wrong. "That might be because I've had to do it the hard way. It's the game we are in we are going to get criticised just like when we are going to get praised when we are doing well.
"You can't just take all the good and not take any of the bad, so you have just got to get the balance right and not be a baby about it."

Barry Horne: Everton's transfer business gives them a head start on next season
Blues boss Koeman has done well to offload senior pros who wouldn't be getting much game time
By Barry Horne
4 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
The transfer business done by Everton during the January window should set the Blues up for a big summer when it comes to Ronald Koeman finding new recruits. Across the Premier League it was one of the quietest January transfer windows on record but despite an absence of incomings on deadline day, Everton were still one of the busier clubs throughout the month. Koeman insists that he is happy with the business the Blues have done but at this time any manager at a stable club with a good relationship with the board and fans is going to say he's satisfied at this stage. If they don't then people are going to try and paint the situation in a different light and turn what you say into a negative. However, one thing that we have seen from Koeman ever since he first came through the door at Goodison Park is that he's not one to hold back with his comments and he tells it like it is. Therefore, if he did have a list of players that he wanted to bring in and he felt the club had let him down then he would say so. Personally I felt that we needed a few more new players to try and break into the top six but Koeman has done well in offloading several players who weren't part of his plans. Whether it's permanent deals like Bryan Oviedo and Darron Gibson or loans like Gerard Deulofeu, Tom Cleverley and Oumar Niasse, he's avoided the situation of having senior pros around the place who weren't getting a look in. Some of them might have been given the odd game between now and the end of the season but some of the youngsters can fill in instead. Such work gives Everton a head start on reshaping the squad for next season.
Madness of the Premier League seems to be affecting Klopp
For differing reasons I'm a big fan of Arsene Wenger, Jose Mourinho and even though I'm a lifelong Evertonian - Jurgen Klopp. However, all three of these top bosses have let themselves down with their touchline conduct of late. Wenger should know better but admitted that he'd behaved atrociously while Mourinho claimed he'd have been treated differently if he was someone else - which he would have been given that Klopp was left off for what he did to the fourth official. I love the way Klopp is generally, but I wonder whether the madness of the Premier League is affecting him.
Some of the statements he's come out with this week seemed very 'un-Klopplike'.
He remarked about how he is in a "completely different" situation from a fifth division manager.
I'd like to see him say that to Dean Keates at Wrexham - just because the numbers are smaller the feeling is still the same. People say that players are role models but so are managers. For a Premier League boss to say he can get away with such antics sounds very arrogant.

How Everton should line up against Bournemouth: Time to unleash Lookman
ECHO writers divided over whether to throw Gueye back in
By Chris Beesley
4 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
All of a sudden Everton manager Ronald Koeman has lots of options but who should he choose?
Idrissa Gana Gueye is back from the Africa Cup of Nations but will he go back in? Morgan Schneiderlin made his debut in the Blues engine room at Stoke on Wednesday so where does that leave Gareth Barry? Everton switched to a flat back four in the second half at the bet365 Stadium, is that the way forward or will Koeman continue with three centre-backs while is Ademola Lookman in line for his first start? Some of the ECHO's football writers have their say and so can you.
Greg O'Keeffe
It will be an interesting team selection from Koeman, who is virtually at full strength.
His midfield choice will get the most focus but I suggest he makes tweaks to his formation too. I would revert to a back four to allow for an extra attacking player. For me Ademola Lookman should get hid full debut too.
My team (4-3-3): Robles; Baines, Holgate, Jagielka, Coleman; Gueye, Davies, Schneiderlin; Lookman, Barkley, Lukaku.
David Prentice
Mason Holgate was the man to make way in midweek when Ronald Koeman switched from a defensive three to a flat back-four. I'd stick with the switch, but Funes Mori would make way this time from the start. It's tough on the Argentine, but Everton are starting to have plenty of options now so someone is always going to be disappointed. Others to be disappointed are Gareth Barry and James McCarthy, because Idrissa Gueye has to come back in alongside the quietly impressive Morgan Schneiderlin.
Mirallas and Davies would operate wider, while Barkley will continue behind Lukaku.
My Team (4-2-3-1): Robles; Coleman, Holgate, Williams, Baines; Mirallas, Gueye, Schneiderlin, Davies, Barkley; Lukaku.
Chris Beesley
First of all I'd switch to a flat back for like Everton did in the second half at Stoke - there's no need to play three centre-backs at home to Bournemouth. Then I'd restore Idrissa Gueye to the engine room alongside Morgan Schneiderlin to start working on a partnership that can become the Blues first choice for a long time to come. Further upfield, Kevin Mirallas had his moments in the Potteries but Ademola Lookman still appeared more threatening in the brief time that he was on the pitch so this could be the time for the former Charlton wonder kid to make his first Premier League start.
My team (4-3-3): Robles; Coleman, Williams, Funes Mori, Baines; Gueye, Schneiderlin, Davies; Barkley, Lookman, Lukaku.
Mason Holgate and team mates during an Everton training session at USM Finch Farm (Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images)
Ian Doyle
It's Bournemouth at home.
It's a chance for revenge after defeat on the South Coast back in September.
And it's not the afternoon for three at the back. Mason Holgate, who was hooked at half-time at Stoke City in midweek, can begin on the bench with a flat back four better suited for this game.
Idrissa Gueye can partner Morgan Schneiderlin in what is likely to be Everton's first-choice central midfield pairing for the foreseeable future, with Ross Barkley pushed further on to join Tom Davies in providing support for Romelu Lukaku.
And there's a first start for new boy Ademola Lookman. Deserved after his cameo at the bet365 on Wednesday night.
My team (4-2-3-1): Robles; Coleman, Williams, Funes Mori, Baines; Schneiderlin, Gueye; Lookman, Barkley, Davies; Lukaku.
Daniel Matthews
This is probably the game Ronald Koeman has been dreading and looking forward to in equal measure.
With Gana Gueye fit and available after the AFCON, the Everton boss has a a midfield dilemma to solve.
He has to fit five into two - or three at a push.
Tom Davies and Morgan Schneiderlin both impressed in the draw at Stoke. But how can you leave Gueye out after his form in the first half of the season?
I think Koeman would be unwise to mess with the 3-4-3 system which has brought such good results.
So I would be inclined to keep two central midfielders and name an unchanged side, meaning Gueye must start on the bench.
Gareth Barry and James McCarthy could struggle to make the squad, such is the strength Everton currently have in that area.
My team (3-4-3): Robles; Holgate, Williams, Funes Mori; Coleman, Baines, Davies, Schneiderlin; Barkley, Mirallas, Lukaku.
Glen Williams
It's a difficult one this week.
Mostly, and predictably, in midfield.
Idrissa Gueye finally comes back into the fray from the Africa Cup of Nations and, for me, pops straight back into the side. Someone who was so important to everything good at Everton before Christmas can not be left on the sidelines. Morgan Schneiderlin came in against Stoke City and impressed. Tom Davies continues to play with that swagger and elegance - and rightly so. He offers something the others don't. A diligence and doggedness, yes. But also an ability to dribble and get out of awkward places.
So for me, they start. Again it means the omission of Gareth Barry and James McCarthy, but that's an indicator as to how impressive this Everton midfield is. Romelu Lukaku starts up top but who alongside? I'm opting for Ross Barkley. Koeman needs to put his arm around him and give him carte blanche in the playmaking role - where he is at his most effective.
My team (3-5-2): Robles; Holgate, Williams, Funes Mori; Coleman, Davies, Schneiderlin, Gueye, Baines; Barkley, Lukaku.

Everton's Coleman nominated for Player of the Month
Blues defender in contention to receive EA Sports prize
By Chris Beesley
4 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton's Seamus Coleman has been nominated for EA SPORTS Player of the Month award for January.
The Blues ace is on a five-man shortlist alongside Tottenham pair Harry Kane and Deli Alli, Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal and Swansea City' Gylfi Sigurdsson. The Irish full back grabbed a match-wining goal and a further assist in January to help the Blues to a perfect month in the Premier League, winning all three of their games. Coleman was one of only three Premier League defenders to have both scored and assisted a goal last month, alongside Charlie Daniels and Gareth McAuley. The 28-year-old has proven himself as one of the English game's most attacking full backs having had the second most touches in the opposition box of any defender and both the fifth most crosses completed and chances created of any Premier League defender. The winner is determined from votes from three different parties: a select panel, the club captain of each Premier League team, and the public, whose choices are worth 10 per cent of the total vote.

When can Everton fans see Anton Donkor in action again?
Young Blues striker provided an assist and won a penalty on his debut
By Chris Beesley
4 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
With an air of mystery about him, Anton Donkor was arguably the most intriguing of Everton's January purchases. While Premier League fans know all about Morgan Schneiderlin who has graced the English top flight for five seasons and even Ademola Lookman was a familiar face after being courted by Ronald Koeman's side for several weeks before he arrived during the New Year window, Donkor's arrival seemed to come out of the blue. Snapped up on loan from Bundesliga side Wolfsburg, the 19-year-old, who has already been dubbed 'Big Donk' by some Evertonians, is scheduled to be back in action for the club's Under-23s side for their big game against Arsenal on Monday night.
The Premier League 2 match against the Gunners takes place at Southport FC's Merseyrail Community Stadium with a 7pm kick-off. Donkor provided an assist and won a penalty in his debut against Manchester United last Monday as the young Blues helped themselves to a 3-1 victory at Leigh Sports Village. The baptism into English football proved a gruelling experience for the Germany Under-20s international. He said: "After 80 minutes I tried to tell the coach I had cramps in both legs but I had to get through it. "I enjoyed it a lot. I am thankful to play here at Everton and we won so it's a good start.
"It was hard because it's a long time since I've played 90 minutes but it was a good game.
"But it was hard because I had to do a lot of running."
Anton Donkor challenges Liverpool's Connor Randall during the International Cup game at Prenton Park in September Coach John Ebbrell, who was deputising for David Unsworth on the night, was pleased with the youngster's efforts. The former Blues midfielder said: "He got us up the pitch, he's exciting, he's well balanced, he runs with the ball well. "To be honest, I didn't think we'd get 90 minutes out of him, maybe if circumstances in the game had been different we could have brought him off.
"But when you go to a new club, the way to win friends is to go and perform like that.
"He was defensively sound, there are little bits we can still work on in the way we play - but that's normal as he's only had a few days with us - but we're delighted for him." However, first team boss Ronald Koeman predictably proved to be a tough task master. Asked whether he was impressed by Donkor's debut, the Dutchman said: "Impressed, not. "Impressed is really something which you did not expect." "He did well in the first half, the whole team had it more difficult in the second half.
"But I wasn't impressed. "I expect more from everybody."

Everton fans respond to club initiative to help design kit
Blues supporters are being consulted for 2018/19 playing strip
By Chris Beesley
4 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Evertonians have been embracing the opportunity to have their say over the club's playing strip after the Blues launched their kit consultation questionnaire. Mo Maghazachi, Senior Press and Public Relations Manager, said: "The club have had thousands of responses and it is the biggest response to a club survey since the crest consultation." This week, the Everton fanbase was invited to take part in a survey on what is most important to them in an Everton kit. It is the first stage of an extensive kit development process and the club say they will continue to involve fans throughout. The survey gives Blues the opportunity to share thoughts on their favourite kits from the past 15 years - as well as their opinions on elements such as colours for away and third kits, trim, collar style and any logos or symbols for the 2018/19 season. Supporters with a customer number have been emailed a questionnaire consisting of 26 questions that will take no longer than 10 minutes to complete so if you haven't filled in your responses as yet – check your in box.

Jagielka refuses to moan about Everton situation
Blues captain is on the bench for Bournemouth game - but says he will wait for his opportunity
By Phil Kirkbride
4 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton captain Phil Jagielka insists he will never "moan" about being out of the side.
The 34-year-old is out-of-favour at Goodison with Ronald Koeman setting the Blues up with three at the back. Jagielka was linked with a move away in the January transfer window but Koeman insisted he was not for sale and says the skipper wanted to fight for his place. And writing in his programme notes ahead of today's game with Bournemouth, Jagielka confirmed that he is determined to keep working harder and believes he will get a chance again soon. "As for myself, it's obviously very frustrating not to be playing regularly at the moment but that's football and all I can do is keep working hard in training and wait for an opportunity," Jagielka wrote. "It's not my style to moan about my situation and I've been in the game long enough to know that things can change quickly." Jagielka has again been named on the bench for today's game, with Ramiro Funes Mori and Ashley Williams starting at centre back.

AFC Bournemouth: Cherries slump continues with Goodison Park thumping
Paul McNamara, Bornemouth Daily Echo
February 4 2017
CHERRIES ran into an Everton machine on Merseyside and emerged from it shredded – some second-half resistance not enough to prevent Eddie Howe's side sinking to a 6-3 defeat. The hosts tore Cherries to pieces before half-time, Romelu Lukaku opening the scoring in the first minute and on target again before the half-hour – six minutes after James McCarthy had scored Everton's second. Joshua King scored twice after the break to give Cherries' hope; hope that was dashed by Lukaku's third and fourth goals of the day. There was still time for Harry Arter to make it 5-3 – and further time still for Ross Barkley to bag a sixth for Everton. Howe had implored his team to take the fight to their opponents from the off here. At worst, Cherries would have been determined to prevent Everton, so formidable at home this term and entering this contest unbeaten in six Premier League games, from clicking into their groove early on. Whatever, the visitors' plans were blown out of the water inside the opening minute.
Cherries, sloppy in possession – Tyrone Mings and Dan Gosling the culprits – allowed Morgan Schneiderlin to snaffle possession high up the pitch. The Frenchman swiftly found Lukaku, who swapped passes with McCarthy – the midfielder supplying the return with a deft outside of the boot pass.
The build-up was good, then, the finish something else altogether, Lukaku, cutting in from the right, unleashed a howitzer of a left-foot strike that fizzed inside Artur Boruc's right-hand post. Cherries' number one stood no chance. The clock read 31 seconds. Set up with three at the back, a midfield flooded with bodies and designs on dominating possession, Cherries nevertheless saw little of the ball in the immediate aftermath of the opening goal – Everton's crisp, intricate passing everything Howe's team had wanted to impose on their hosts. Ademola Lookman, the Toffees' £12million teenager, drew gasps from the sold out Goodison crowd with a nifty piece of footwork that eliminated Arter from the equation at the edge of Cherries' box. The former Charlton player, however, thrashed his eventual shot past the far post. Some encouragement for Cherries arrived on the occasion of Jack Wilshere finally receiving the ball in a dangerous area. Collecting Andrew Surman's pass on the half-turn, as is his wont, Wilshere spied lone frontman King progressing in behind Ramiro Funes Mori. The pass into King was pure Jack Wilshere, perfectly weighted and asking to be hit. King obliged, but found Ashley Williams blocking the ball's path to goal. Any further cheer Howe's men would have gleaned from the way Marc Pugh effortlessly defeated Seamus Coleman on the left wing to deliver a cross headed clear by Leighton Baines, was soon replaced by the sense of foreboding that comes with falling two goals behind when the game is scarcely a quarter over. Lukaku was the architect this time, the powerful Belgian using his pace and strength to bustle clear of Pugh and Tyrone Mings on the right byline. The striker slipped the ball back for McCarthy, whose rather tame first effort came back to him off Steve Cook. Adjusting his feet smartly, however, the Ireland international nonchalantly steered the rebound over the line. Even Everton 'keeper Joel Robles making a hash of dealing with a Ryan Fraser corner could have resulted in the home team scoring again. The ball was scrambled clear, Lukaku then storming forward on the counter, before playing in Williams on the right wing – yes, centre-half Ashley Williams... it was turning into that sort of day for Howe's men. On this occasion Simon Francis came to the rescue, scampering across to take the ball off the Welshman's toe. The Cherries skipper, though, was entirely culpable when his team surrendered a third goal. Under little pressure on the right of defence, Francis directed a blind pass back towards his own goal. He might have been trying to pick out Cook, but instead sent the ball straight to Lukaku's feet. The Everton player gratefully accepted his gift, caressing his finish over the advancing Boruc and inside the 'keeper's left-hand post. And, very quickly, it was very nearly four.
Wilshere, this time errant in possession, underhit a low cross field pass towards Pugh,
Coleman was swiftly on the scene, stealing the ball and sending a pass over the top for Lukaku.
Boruc, though, was the forward's equal this time, haring from his line to prevent Lukaku from bagging a first-half-hat-trick. The Polish 'keeper then improvised to punch away Coleman's close range drive after the right-back's run into the box was located by Barry's quick free-kick from deep on the left. Cherries did make a fist of taking something from an otherwise desperate opening half in its final minutes.
Wilshere's bobbling 25-yard strike, after he'd been teed up by Arter's free-kick, deflected off the sole of Schneiderlin's boot and wide. And from Fraser's resultant corner, amid some optimistic handball appeals, Robles was forced into a diving save by Cook's strike, left-footed and dug out from underneath his feet. Howe sent on Brad Smith and Jordon Ibe for the second period – and the manager initially saw his team belatedly warming to its task. Wilshere had a shot diverted behind by Williams, Ibe's low delivery was hacked clear after the winger had executed a sharp one-two with Arter, while Arter himself tried his luck with a strike that flashed just high of goal. Cherries' pressure had an effect akin to prodding a bear with a stick, however. Barkley was allowed to latch onto McCarthy's return pass and drift forward unchallenged to unload a fierce strike that deflected wickedly up off the diving Cook and an inch past Boruc's right-hand post. Boruc then had to be alert to pounce in front of Lukaku after a Mings slip, the 'keeper having little time to congratulate himself before he was called on to pouch McCarthy's volley – sent on goal after Arter had headed clear Barkley's right wing free-kick. Nevertheless, those signs, directly after the restart, that Cherries had been stirring into life did not prove to be without foundation. Wilshere, with time to lift his head, spotted King ghosting between Everton centre halves Funes Mori and Williams. The Norwegian's control off his left thigh on Wilshere's pass placed him one-on-one with Robles. He did the rest immaculately, prodding right footed past the Spanish goalkeeper. Toffees boss Ronald Koeman was apoplectic. Howe stood, arms crossed, dispassionate. The Cherries boss soon had cause to become rather more animated, however. Fist, there was a let-off of sorts. Wilshere was robbed by Gareth Barry, who found Barkley on the right to square for McCarthy. Boruc's save from the Everton man's shot looped up and fell for Lookman, but the attacker hammered his effort into the side netting. Cherries, though, were a different animal now.
Pugh played in King down the left for a shot that Robles turned round the far post. And from the subsequent 70th minute corner, Cherries, apparently dead and buried until King's strike 11 minutes earlier, were right back in the contest. Fraser and Ibe exchanged pass, with Fraser then doing the exact same thing with Surman. The Scot finally crossed low, where he found King, a yard out, and netting his second of the afternoon, Goodison Park, in party mood during the first-half, was suddenly infected with nerves. So too, a clutch of the home players. Pugh twisted and turned before sending a shot off target from the left of the box, with Arter then denied by Robles' low save after the midfielder had bundled substitute Kevin Mirallas off the ball to advance and shoot. Arter came even closer when Fraser's consequent corner was cleared to him. His first shot hit a defensive body, his second was beaten away by Robles, diving to his right – and an increasingly significant factor in this game. If another goal was coming, the prevailing feeling was it would be in Cherries' favour. But, with Benik Afobe stripped and waiting to join the fray, Everton crushed any hopes of a visiting revival. The exceptional Lukaku, fed by Schneiderlin, ushered Coleman in on the right. Continuing his run into the box, Lukaku popped up at the back post and applied a terrific volleyed finish to Coleman's perfect delivery. Not content with his treble, Lukaku soon added a fourth. The star of the show in this instance was Barkley, the England international taking Lukaku's initial ball with his back to goal and executing an exquisite backheel that did for Cook and Mings - and, decisively, sent Lukaku in on goal again. The outcome, despite Cook's best efforts to recover, was never in doubt. And still that wasn't the end of it. Admirably, Cherries kept going. Arter drove into the box, collecting Afobe's pass to fire at goal. The ball hit Robles' chest, before taking another touch off Arter and clipping a post. He then had the simplest of tasks to knock the ball into an empty net. That moment gave Cherries enough incentive to keep pouring bodies forward.
So it was, then, that they were totally exposed deep into stoppage time when Funes Mori thumped the ball forward and found Barkley with a totally free run on goal. The attacker rounded Boruc, racing miles from his box and, with an air of arrogance, raised his arms before rolling the ball home. A crazy, crazy game of football. One in which Cherries at least displayed a touch of resilience. That the entire coaching staff and every player felt it necessary to traipse across and thank the travelling support, however, probably tells the true story of a chastening afternoon. That's 31 goals conceded in 12 Premier League games. Cherries are in a rut.
Everton (4-3-2-1): Robles; Coleman, Williams, Funes Mori, Baines; Barry (Holgate, 79), Schneiderlin, McCarthy (Davies, 61); Barkley, Lookman (Mirallas, 71); Lukaku
Unused subs: Jagielka, Gueye, Valencia, Stekelenburg (g/k).
Booked: Schneiderlin, Davies
Cherries (3-5-1-1): Boruc; Francis (B Smith, h-t), Cook, Mings; Fraser, Arter, Surman, Gosling (Ibe, h-t), Pugh (Afobe, 83); Wilshere; King.
Unused subs: Stanislas, Mousset, Cargill, Allsop (g/k).
Booked: Arter
Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire).
Attendance: 39,026

Romelu Lukaku scores four as Everton run riot against Bournemouth, a team now looking over their shoulder
Everton 6-3 Bournemouth: The Belgian forward was in irresistible form in a nine-goal thriller at Goodison Park
By Simon Hughes Goodison Park
The Independent February 4 2017
Simon Francis applied his hands to his head; a horrific expression extending across his face which probably revealed inwardly he was thinking, "Oh no, what have I done?" Eddie Howe stared into the middle distance. His assistant Jason Tindall, bowed, looked at the grass. Many of Bournemouth's players mirrored him. Half an hour gone at Goodison Park and, because of Francis's mistake, Everton were 3-0 up already. Considering Bournemouth lost convincingly at home to Crystal Palace in midweek, considering too Palace followed that result by being trounced by Sunderland – previously the Premier League's bottom placed team; you know where Bournemouth are at the moment: seven points above the relegation zone but looking like a team that could get sucked into it. Their defending has been awful at times this season and Howe tried to do something different here by starting with a back three instead of a back four. It was an experiment that did not work and one that lasted 45 minutes before getting scrapped. Though Bournemouth improved after the break – their attacking play very impressive in phases – when you defend terribly and Romelu Lukaku is around, you have endings like this. Lukaku scored four times for Everton. He is now the Premier League's top scorer and has been involved in 47 of Everton's goals since the start of last season. There was a peculiar subplot to his opener. On page 56 of the matchday programme, Gavin Buckland, Everton's historian, had compiled an article about early goals. 'There is the sense of the unreal when one is scored in the opening seconds,' he wrote. 'With no prior ebb and flow to the game, the crowd and players never appear fully prepared for the impact of the ball hitting the back of the net.' Having mentioned that the fastest Everton at Goodison Park in the Premier League era had been a David Unsworth thumper after 32 seconds against Manchester United, Buckland finished the piece with a warning. 'There has not been a faster goal by an Everton player since. You never know when the next one will be, so make sure you are in your seat in time to see the kick off today.' The opening 31 seconds went something like this: Joshua King conceded a free kick immediately after the first backwards pass from the Everton kick off; Seamus Coleman booted the ball up the wing; Dan Gosling got his pass to Harry Arter all wrong; Morgan Schneiderlin intercepted and fed possession to Lukaku. From there, there seemed much to do but Artur Boruc, the Bournemouth goalkeeper, was not prepared for what followed: a shot that flew past him, leaving everyone to ponder whether Buckland, who might claim some sort of involvement in the goal, is actually a modern prophet.
Everton had a new record. Bournemouth had a mountain to climb, a mountain that became bigger and bigger. By minute 30, Everton's victory was secure because they were 3-0 up and Bournemouth were making so many mistakes, it was embarrassing. James McCarthy extended Everton's lead at the second attempt with a bobbling shot that Boruc should have saved. Everton's third was the worst of the lot from a Bournemouth perspective, with Francis forgetting rule number one all defenders are taught as children: never pass across your own box; particularly if that box is situated in front of the Gwladys Street stand and the only person standing in it is Lukaku. For that, Francis was hooked by Howe at half-time and so was Gosling. Nobody would have predicted the pattern that came: Bournemouth dominating possession; scoring twice as they did through Joshua King. Everton's play became sloppy; Bournemouth were invigorated and an improbable equaliser nearly arrived, firstly through Marc Pugh's shot – when he should have chosen instead to supply Jack Wilshere; and then through Harry Arter, whose volley made Goodison a touch nervous. A Lukaku volley represented his hat-trick before Ross Barkley's back-heel released the Belgian for his fourth. Though Arter had appeared to make the scoreline slightly more respectable for Bournemouth, Barkley scored Everton's sixth by rounding Boruc and celebrated the goal the by raising his hands before he'd even released a shot. And finally, that was that.

Everton 6-3 Bournemouth full time report - Lukaku hits four as Blues go goal-crazy at Goodison
It was a day to remember for the Blues' talisman in front of a delighted Goodison
By Phil Kirkbride
4 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Romelu Lukaku scored four goals as Everton survived a second-half fightback to defeat Bournemouth 6-3 in an extraordinary game at Goodison. The Blues were 3-0 up at half-time and cruising towards victory but Josh King struck twice in 11 minutes to put the visitors within touching distance of an equaliser.
Lukaku scored in the 83rd and 85th minutes to restore Everton's advantage but Bournemouth kept going and scored a third in the final minute through Harry Arter. But Ronald Koeman's men saw out the four minutes of time added and added a sixth goal at the death as Ross Barkley went clean through, rounded Artur Boruc and slotted into an empty net. The win sees Everton close the gap on sixth-placed Manchester United to two points. Just 31 seconds had elapsed when Lukaku opened the scoring. Receiving a pass from Morgan Schneiderlin, the Blues' top scorer swerved in and out of the Bournemouth defence before firing a left-footed strike beyond the dive of Artur Boruc. Lookman nearly doubled the lead in the 11th minute, performing a Cruyff turn to open space just inside the area, but his low shot just went wide. Mid-way through the half, however, Everton did make it 2-0 when Lukaku shimmied his way into space on the by-line before cutting back for McCarthy who scored at the second attempt and wrong-footing Boruc. The third goal, six minutes later, arrived as a result of excellent pressing high up the pitch as Simon Francis was forced into a loose back pass that Lukaku gleefully lapped up before lifting the ball over the Bournemouth keeper. Seamus Coleman lashed a volley on target that Boruc was equal to but the Blues, often playing in third gear, were comfortable. Only in time added on at the end of the first-half did Joel Robles have to make his first meaningful, springing down to his right to palm out Steve Cook's effort. But Robles could do little 14 minutes into the second-half as the Cherries' perseverance paid off. Jack Wilshere floated a ball over the top and racing in between Everton's centre-halves, Josh King slipped the ball between Robles' legs to make it 3-1.
And 11 minutes later they reduced the deficit further as King grabbed his second, sliding in at the back post after Everton switched off at a short corner. The Blues endured some nervy moments as the visitors sensed an equaliser but their hopes of an equaliser were extinguished with two goals in two minutes near the end from Lukaku. On 83 he connected with Coleman's cross to volley home and make it 4-2 before racing onto Ross Barkley's backheeled through ball and finishing to make it 5-2. Harry Arter struck in the final minute to make it 5-3 but Everton responded in time added on as Ramiro Funes Mori's through ball sent Barkley clean through and he rounded Boruc, lifted up his arms in celebration and passed into an empty net to make it 6-3.

Everton's Romelu Lukaku hits four to floor Bournemouth in 6-3 thriller
Everton 6 - 3 AFC Bournemouth
Paul Wilson at Goodison Park
Saturday 4 February 2017 Guardian
Do not be fooled by the scoreline, this was not a Six Nations match, though if someone had thrown on an egg-shaped ball in the second half it would scarcely have been any stranger than some of the events already taking place on the pitch. This was a seesaw of a nine-goal thriller, with Bournemouth threatening the most unlikely of comebacks after being dominated for most of the game. Ronald Koeman believes Everton emerged stronger from the January transfer window, and for a hour they were too much for their lightweight opponents to handle. Romelu Lukaku, who ended up with four goals, was too powerful for Bournemouth's defence on his own. Yet the Everton manager was nowhere near as pleased with what he saw in the second half, for after establishing complete control and a three-goal lead the home side all but surrendered their advantage in losing their momentum after the interval.
Sportblog Jesus makes mark as Leicester hurtle towards drop – Football Weekly Extra Bournemouth went behind after 30 seconds, before most members of their team had managed to touch the ball, and for the rest of the first half they looked demoralised and resigned to a beating. If Eddie Howe made any plans to deal with Lukaku's threat they were in tatters in under a minute. The Everton striker merely breathed on the Bournemouth defence on the home side's opening foray and an obliging gap appeared. Cutting in from the right, Lukaku strode into it and beat Artur Boruc with a confident shot into the top corner. That did nothing to harm Everton's self-belief and swagger and Ademola Lookman almost made it two moments later, bamboozling Harry Arter on the edge of the area but sliding a shot narrowly wide. They went further ahead midway through the first half when Lukaku again made a nuisance of himself, this time by reaching the dead-ball line past some fairly shoddy defending by Tyrone Mings and Mark Pugh to turn a pass back for James McCarthy to score. If Bournemouth imagined things could not get any worse they were wrong. Under no particular pressure Simon Francis hit a risky backpass for Lukaku to intercept and score with nonchalant ease. They were lucky to turn around only three down. Seamus Coleman saw a shot saved just before the break and had Lukaku found Lookman to his left, instead of Ashley Williams to his right, when Everton went charging upfield against an undermanned defence, the young forward might have made a better job of finishing. "The first half wasn't pretty," Howe said. "We didn't handle the goals very well at all." Both sides looked flat at the start of the second half, though at least Bournemouth showed spirit in hitting back with what looked like a consolation goal. Everton gave Jack Wilshere too much space to weigh up his options and the result was a lofted pass that split the two home centre-halves and allowed Josh King to run through. While that did not seem too much of a worry, alarm bells began ringing when Pugh almost sent in King again two minutes later. Unable to break out of their own half, Everton conceded another when Ryan Fraser crossed for King to collect his second. For just a few minutes, during which Joel Robles had to beat out a goalbound effort from Arter, it looked as though one of the fightbacks of the season might be on. But Everton still had Lukaku, and when they reshuffled their backline and finally worked out how to get up the pitch again it was a relatively simple matter for the striker to play a return with Coleman and meet his cross for a hat-trick. With only seven minutes remaining that ought to have been that, yet an unpredictable script still had more twists. Lukaku scored a fourth, courtesy of Ross Barkley's clever backheel, before Arter deservedly got onto the scoresheet at the other end, collecting a rebound off an upright before tapping the ball in. The final goal went to Barkley, who rounded Boruc and raised his arms in celebration before stroking the ball into an empty Park End net. "It was a strange result after the half-time score. Our intensity dropped," Koeman said. "It was a great game for the fans, but not for me."

Everton 6 Bournemouth 3: Romelu Lukaku scores Toffees' fastest Premier League goal in Goodison rout
4 February 2017 • 5:18pm
Match Summary
Everton 6 - 3 Bournemouth
If Bournemouth could defend as well as they attack, they would not be where they are: seven points above the relegation zone and staring down, worrying what might happen. This was a very strange afternoon, indeed, at Goodison Park; one which ended up with Bournemouth on the receiving end of a Six Nations scoreline, albeit one that threatened to include a remarkable recovery from three goals down until Romelu Lukaku thrashed about, scoring his hat-trick and then his fourth of the game.
Bournemouth's prospects appeared dark within 31 seconds of kick off. As subplots go, the one attached to Lukaku's opener was an unusual one. The match-day programme included an article written by Everton's official historian, Gavin Buckland, on the subject of early goals, detailing that the quickest in the Premier League era at Goodison Park had been after 32 seconds when David Unsworth thumped a shot past Edwin van der Sar. "You never know when the next one will be, so make sure you are in your seat in time to see the kick off today." Buckland warned. What happened next? Everton went and broke their record. It was an avoidable one from a Bournemouth perspective because Dan Gosling's pass towards Harry Arter was desperately short and Morgan Schneiderlin, starting for Everton in a home game for the first time, nipped in to intercept. From there, Lukaku had much to do but his shot was magnificent and though Artur Boruc, the Bournemouth goalkeeper, did not seem prepared for it; it was so far in the corner and hit with such power, he was struggling from the moment it was released from Lukaku's left boot. It got worse and worse for Bournemouth. It was significant that by the start of the second half, Gosling and Simon Francis were not on the pitch any more. James McCarthy's bobbling shot had put Everton 2-0 up by the time Francis experienced a total meltdown; passing across his own box to assist with Lukaku's second goal. Though Joshua King reduced the margin of Everton's lead to one with 20 minutes remaining, the game took an even more chaotic turn: Lukaku scoring twice, before Harry Arter and then Ross Barkley made it 6-3.

Everton 6-3 Bournemouth player ratings: Sumptuous powerhouse inspires Blues
Who are Blues star performers in nine goal glut?
By Greg O'Keeffe
4 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Joel Robles 7
Little to do in the first half but earned his corn in the second with a string of crucial saves.
Seamus Coleman 7
The usual energy and composure from a defender reaching his best levels of consistency again.
Ashley Williams 5
Steady and solid in the first half but became ragged and sluggish as Bournemouth rallied and pierced the home defence all too easily.
Ramiro Funes Mori 5
Looked uncomfortable at times when Joshua King got at him and was caught ball watching and ill-positioned for Bournemouth's first. Picked Barkley out with a fine pass for his late goal but all too often he's a heart-in-mouth defender.
Leighton Baines 7
Vigorously involved in plenty of the attacking play and seemed galvanised by having a natural wide man in Lookman ahead of him.
James McCarthy 7
Seized the opportunity handed to him by Koeman with abandon. Like the player Goodison admired so deeply back in 2013/14. Deserved the fortune for his goal.
Gareth Barry 7
Did the scruffy, less glamorous work while taking a back seat in the ball playing stakes a bit to Schneiderlin. Decent though.
Morgan Schneiderlin 8
Oozes class and calm. Never wastes the ball in possession and must be a nightmare for the opposition when closing them down. Tired a little as the game wore on but still rarely looked out of his considerable comfort zone.
Ademola Lookman 8
Looks like he's played in the Premier League for years. Dangerous whenever he gets the ball with flicks and tricks to die for. His influence waned as the contest wore on and he tired, but that first half will linger long in the memory.
Ademola Lookman of Everton shoots during the Premier League match between Everton and AFC Bournemouth at Goodison Park on February 4, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Ross Barkley 8
Worked hard and continued his arc of improvement with some intelligent play. Used his strength well and timed his tough tackling to perfection in the first half.
Faded initially after the break but kept plugging away and his back-heel for Lukaku's fourth was delicious. His cheekily taken goal was just reward.
Romelu Lukaku 9
Four superbly taken goals, an assist and a sumptuous powerhouse performance. Lukaku was up for it from the first whistle, and kept his focus even as he became increasingly isolated and bereft of runners around him.
Tom Davies (McCarthy, 61) 7
His added zest enabled Everton to weather the storm.
Kevin Mirallas (Lookman, 71) 6
Helped stretch the Cherries as they piled on the pressure.
Mason Holgate (Barry, 80) 7
Rolled up his sleeves and got stuck into the Alamo of defending on ice which he was thrust into.

Everton 6-3 Bournemouth analysis - Ross' revival, revised targets and all eyes are on Lookman
Greg O'Keeffe reflects on a pretty good afternoon's work for the Blues at Goodison
By Greg O'Keeffe
4 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
All eyes were on him. Every time the ball arrived at his feet, not a soul dared look elsewhere.
Usually they clambered to their feet at the same time. Ademola Lookman is a special talent. On the teenager's full debut, Steve Walsh could have been forgiven for lighting a cuban and putting his feet up on the back of the seat in front of him, as the little winger he unearthed effortlessly showcased his considerable reportoire of tricks and flicks. He's no show pony though. He's intelligent, surprisingly strong and resilient. And quick. Wow is he quick. Witness the moment he left Bournemouth's Ryan Fraser, himself no slouch, for dead in a sprint down the flank which helped turn defence into attack in an instant. He's good at that, Lookman. He's good at everything. His influence waned as the Cherries made a game of it after the break, and his exacting manager will demand savvier risk taking.
Home where the heart is again
And so, in the end, Everton have surpassed their points total at Goodison Park during the whole of last season with seven home games remaining. When that imminent milestone was mentioned to Ronald Koeman recently he deadpanned it. Essentially: shows how bad you had it last term. This campaign has been markedly different in so many ways, but for ten chaotic minutes in the second half. Ten or so minutes when the calamitous defensive displays of 2015/16 did not seem so ancient history after all. A frenzied, ragged pattern of play emerged, as Bournemouth threatened to condemn Everton to a similarly confounding defeat as they did at their place last season. Ashley Williams and Ramiro Funes Mori grimly bought into the retro theme with some wild, ill-disciplined defending. Their pairing is a combination Koeman would be unwise to repeat All was well that ended well of course. But we could have done without the flash-back. At least Goodison is finally a triumphant place to be once more.
Ross' revival
Ross Barkley's body language sometimes gives him away.
At 6ft plus the strapping midfielder is hard to miss, but when things have gone against him he has occasionally faded into the periphery. Shunning the chance to take centre stage, run at defenders and remind everyone of his innate strengths. Scared into not trying things in case they don't come off.
That's why his goal, and the cheeky manner of his pre-celebration, was such a joy to behold.
It capped a performance which started so brightly, on and off the ball, faded a little in the final third but then peaked again thanks to his resilience and growing mental strength. He deserved that goal. He deserved the moment of showboating before he gleefully rolled it in, and he deserves to keep his place in an Everton midfield which has the most competition for places in a long time.
Rewind to the morbid aftermath of the Merseyside derby in December.
Everton were ninth and 14 points behind their local rivals. Talk of European qualification was reserved for the most wide eyed of dreamers, considering their side's previous two bottom half finishes.
But now, just 47 days later, it could be time to revise ambitions. The gap between the two sides is down to six, and the upwardly mobile Blues have new horizons opening up for them. They will have to defend far better than this to become credible contenders for an automatic European berth, but the manner in which Ronald Koeman switched tactics to get a foothold in this game; then switched again to stop it running away from them is encouraging.
Which way to the top six?
Park End Reprieve
Spare a thought for the Park Enders.
Especially those with less than 20/20 vision, because they've been largely restricted to watching the fireworks from afar at Goodison Park this season.
By contrast the Gwladys Street have been spoiled rotten; with all three goals against Southampton in front of them, three of the City routing, Ashley Williams' Arsenal winner and Leighton Baines' point-saving penalty against United. What have those hardy souls at the other end had to chew on? The bitter taste of that Sadio Mane heart-breaker in the derby and little else. So it went again today in that delirious first half. The irony that Bournemouth won the toss and forced Everton to switch to attacking the Gwladys for the first half won't be lost on the Park End. At least they had a greater share of the relief when Funes Mori completed a pass to watch. Finally they were treated to some enjoyment as this helter-skelter game unravelled. Three goals, some frantic attacking and a timely bit of value for money.

Everton 6-3 Bournemouth - the game in Tweets
Evertonians were loving it as the rampant Blues produced six of the best at Goodison
By Neil Jones
4 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton ensured a stellar weekend for their supporters, hitting Bournemouth for SIX at Goodison Park.
Romelu Lukaku alone was responsible for four of them, a performance for the history books from the Blues talisman - who is now the Premier League's leading scorer. Unsurprisingly, then, social media was awash with happy Toffees. The Saturday night plans just got a little wilder, we suspect.
Here's how the afternoon unfolded....
The team news sprung a few surprises...
@LivEchoEFC Davies dropped? Interesting.
— Josh Wilbert (@joshwilbert1) February 4, 2017
@LivEchoEFC @LivEchonews quality in abundance o the bench
— Kev Kinsley (@kevk45) February 4, 2017
@LivEchoEFC @LivEchonews strong team. Davies and Holgate at this stage won't be able to play every game so important that others get chance
— Ryan O'Hanlon (@RyanOHanlon1) February 4, 2017
But Rom ensured the perfect start...
⚽️ | What a start and what a goal by @RomeluLukaku9! #EFCmatchday
— Everton (@Everton) February 4, 2017
This is the @everton I know and love
— Maria (@maria_garrett) February 4, 2017
@Everton yerrrrrssssssss Big Rom Lad
— Alan (@AlanGorman2014) February 4, 2017
He's only been at EFC for 5 minutes, but not only has Lookman settled in he's already become a favorite with the fans. Magic in his boots.
— Ric George (@Ric__George) February 4, 2017
@Everton I heard a rumour that Z Cars was still playing when that ball went in.
— John Popovich (@jmpopovich72) February 4, 2017
And it just got better and better...
Thought the pressing was class first half. Barkley throwing solid tackles in as well.
— Everton Aren't We (@EvertonArentWe) February 4, 2017
HT EFC 3-0 up.
Everton pressing Bournemouth onto Queens Drive.
Everton lethal in attack.
— Tony Scott (@Tony_Scott11) February 4, 2017
@LivEchoEFC @GregOK Barkley, Barry, Williams all playing great.
— Gareth Bowring (@Garethbowz) February 4, 2017
The wobble came...
@LivEchoEFC @LivEchonews here we bloody go. Draw all over it.
— Paul Little (@Pablotweaks) February 4, 2017
@LivEchoEFC @LivEchonews we won't win now — Thomas Hill (@thomasjph_1) February 4, 2017
@LivEchoEFC #2 has been terrible today. Midfield looks like it has no energy. McCarthy shouldn't have come off, Gana needs to enter.
— Palmer Marinelli (@palmermarinelli) February 4, 2017
But that man was just irresistible today...
Lukaku now the 22nd top scorer in #EFC history with 78 goals in all comps, 1 less than Alan Ball.
In the Prem he's on 59, 1 behind Big Dunc.
— Steve Johnson (@stevejohnson95) February 4, 2017
Romelu Lukaku is the first #EFC player to score 16+ goals in 4 successive seasons since Joe Royle in 67/68-70/71
— Steve Johnson (@stevejohnson95) February 4, 2017
And then Ross added the icing...
You know you've had an outstanding match when you celebrate your goal before you've scored it . Unreal today @RBarkley20
— Anton Powers (@AntonPowers) February 4, 2017
Barkley was phenomenal, big tackles, all over the pitch, that back-heel assist & the celebration before his goal the icing on the cake!
— Peter Guy (@Getintothis) February 4, 2017
And then Oumar provided the cherry...
Boss the way we sent Niasse out on loan to take points off our rivals
— ToffeeTVEFC (@ToffeeTVEFC) February 4, 2017
People think Ross is celebrating his goal here.
He'd just heard Niasse scored.
— GrandOldTeam (@grandoldteam) February 4, 2017
— Bryler Durden (@patto1878) February 4, 2017
Dunno what's more inexplicable, that Everton game or Niasse scoring against Liverpool. These are strange days indeed.
— Peter Guy (@Getintothis) February 4, 2017
Leaving everybody happy...
That's why Koeman is the Everton manager and twitter isnt
— SarahEFC (@GingeVintage) February 4, 2017
Up The Toffees
— (@bluekippercom) February 4, 2017
Can't remember a season in the past when Everton have been 19 points ahead of the defending Champions in February.
— Gareth Jones (@photogareth) February 4, 2017
That Saturday night feeling
— ToffeeTVEFC (@ToffeeTVEFC) February 4, 2017
@LivEchoEFC @LivEchonews 13hours flight to London. 2 hour train ride to Lime Street. But 90 minutes at Goodison; special & priceless! #COYB
— Ric Wee (@ric_wee) February 3, 2017

Koeman hails 'world class' Lukaku after Bournemouth masterclass
Everton boss thrilled with striker after his four-goal Goodison haul
By Greg O'Keeffe
4 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Ronald Koeman hailed "world-class" Romelu Lukaku after his four goal tour-de-force against Bournemouth. The Everton striker fired himself to top of the Premier League goal-scoring charts with a clinical display of finishing that had his manager purring. Koeman admitted to some mixed feelings after his side almost conspired to let Eddie Howe's men back into the game at Goodison after being 3-0 up, but he had only unqualified praise for his centre forward. Speaking after the 6-3 win that saw the gap reduced between sixth-place Manchester United to just two points, he said: "He's a world class striker.

"He's improving but his quality he is showing everyday and in training is always there. "Maybe it is not so difficult in training but in a game, to be that clinical in finishing, he is one of the best. "I have the pleasure, everyday, to be on the pitch with him. He is always finishing in training but it is world class quality he has in scoring goals and that were really imporotant because to win the game today we needed to score at least four goals." Koeman refrained from being too critical of his players, preferring to highlight the impressive manner in which the visitors attempted to fight back. "It was a strange final result after half-time but we dropped a little bit our intensity but also a big compliment to Bournemouth who played good football in the second-half, made it difficult, played really offensively and we had difficulties to stop that," he said. "I am really happy that I changed the system to five in the back because at that time we got control back in the game and it made the difference." Koeman believes his side's victory was deserved, but said the three goals they conceded shows they are still a work in progress. "It was a really tactical game," he said. "They changed during the game and we did too and that made it really difficult for both teams. "I know that Eddie Howe is a good tactical manager who organises his teams well and it was difficult but we did a job. "It was a great game for the fans, not for me after half time but OK three points and six goals. We're in a good run. "If we learned from our mistakes it could have been 6-0. But now the critics can say we're still not as good as people expect."

Give him a locker' - Everton fans react to Oumar Niasse's winning goal against Liverpool
The on-loan Hull striker netted the winner for the Tigers as they beat Jurgen Klopp's side 2-0 on Saturday
By Paul Gorst
4 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Oumar Niasse scored his first Premier League goal to help Hull beat Liverpool 2-0 on Saturday - and Everton fans couldn't contain their delight. The Everton flop left Goodison Park in the January transfer window to join the Tigers on loan after failing to break into Ronald Koeman's side. Niasse made just two starts for the Blues after a £13.5m move from Lokomotiv Moscow in January 2016, and the forward spent his season with the Under-23s prior to his switch to the Tigers.
Despite an ignominious career at Goodison Park , Niasse is up and running with Marco Silva's side having netted a second in the hugely demoralising setback for Klopp's Reds on Saturday.
After seeing their own side beat Bournemouth 6-3 at Goodison Park , Everton fans hailed their former forward on Twitter as they celebrated a third win in four game for Koeman's side.
Someone start a justgiving page for a locker for Oumar Niasse
— Peter Mac EFC (@PeterJMacca) February 4, 2017
Never felt more like singing the Blues, when Everton win and Liverpool lose.
— Stephen Sherrington (@Ste_Sherro_EFC) February 4, 2017
Everton 6-3 Bournemouth....Hull and Niasse!!! 2-0 the RS!!!
— Ben (@benbluenose79) February 4, 2017
Please @RonaldKoeman give Oumar Niasse a locker even if he takes it to Hull just as a thank you present for todays goal. #Niasse #EFC
— Kev (@KevBlank9) February 4, 2017
He'd just heard Niasse scored.
— GrandOldTeam (@grandoldteam) February 4, 2017
4 goals for Lukaku. Premier League top scorer now with 16 goals....
...and Niasse has just scored against Liverpool. Everton fans right now
— TheODDSbible (@TheOddsBible) February 4, 2017

Everton forced me to rip up my gameplan, says Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe
Blues scored after just 31 seconds at Goodison
By Phil Kirkbride
4 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe was forced to rip up his Goodison gameplan after Romelu Lukaku scored Everton's first goal after just 31 seconds. And the Cherries boss says the Blues deserve credit for a "clinical" performance in front of goal after today's 6-3 win. Howe failed to hide his disappointment with his side's defending, however, as Everton were allowed to race into a 3-0 lead after just half an hour. Lukaku struck early, James McCarthy doubled their lead before Everton's top scorer added a third.
Bournemouth fought back in the second-half, making it 3-2 with 20 minutes to go after Josh King scored twice, before Lukaku fired a quick-fire double in the closing stages to re-establish Everton's lead.
Harry Arter bagged one in the final minute to make it 5-3 but Ross Barkley raced clear in time added-on score the Blues' sixth. "It wasn't pretty was it?" Howe said of their defending. "It's very difficult when you come here and defend like that. "The first goal has killed our preparation for the game but we had to deal with that. "We came out better in the second-half and we have to focus on that, the determination and effort to get back in the game but there is certainly a lot to learn from the game."
The Bournemouth boss added: "Today was individual errors, for sure. "It doesn't help, as we were by the end of the game, missing three of our back four, for any team in the country if you take our full-backs out of it, it is going to be difficult. "But still saying that, there are still good players on the pitch and we didn't handle the goals very well at all but you have to compliment Everton on their finishing and the clinical nature in front of goal."

What Everton's Romelu Lukaku must do to become a truly world-class striker
Alan Shearer believes the Belgian is well on the way to becoming one of the best
By Neil Jones
5 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Romelu Lukaku is well on the way to becoming a truly world-class striker, according to Alan Shearer.
But the Premier League legend has earmarked the area the Everton striker must improve in if he is to fulfil his huge potential. Lukaku's four goals against Bournemouth on Saturday make him the division's leading goalscorer, with 16 goals at a ratio of one every 125 minutes. For Everton he has 78 goals in 152 appearances, and now only Duncan Ferguson has scored more for the Blues during the Premier League era. Shearer, by far the Premier League's greatest marksman, was suitably impressed by the Belgian.
He said: "He's got all the attributes to be a top striker. Pace, power, good in the air, can score goals – at 23 years of age he's certainly getting there. "He has a good scoring ratio, and today he was just absolutely superb. He was clever, full of confidence, and gave the goalkeeper no chance. "His fourth is a brilliant goal, pace and power and a right foot finish. It's brilliant from Ross Barkley, and Lukaku is too quick, too strong for the defence. Brilliant. "The one thing that I think will take him to the next level is this; in the last three years, 30 times he's played against top six opposition, but only three goals.
"He's been in a struggling team at times, but if he can keep on improving then I think he can get there."
Shearer's fellow Match of the Day pundit Ian Wright, meanwhile, singled out Ross Barkley for praise – in particular for the manner in which he celebrated his goal (Everton's sixth) against Bournemouth.
Wright said: "I'm jealous because I never ever thought of doing that!
"But I'm pleased for him. I thought he had a fantastic game, and that sums up the confidence.
"He's done brilliantly, and I like the celebration. There's nothing wrong with that. Remember doing that when you were a kid at school? Taking it to the line, bending down and heading it in and stuff like that.
"I'm glad to see he's got the confidence to do that. He gets a lot of stick so you know what? Enjoy your moment."

'Everton's defence worries me' says Roberto Martinez
Former Blues boss also discusses Koeman's European ambitions at Goodison
By Neil Jones
5 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Roberto Martinez believes the defensive frailties that undermined his time as Everton boss are still to be corrected under successor Ronald Koeman. The Blues were thrilling in beating Bournemouth 6-3 at Goodison Park on Saturday – a result which keeps them in touch with the Premier League's top six sides after a good start to 2017. Everton had been in cruise control at Goodison, 3-0 up by half time and playing with authority. But two Josh King goals in quick succession put the game back in the balance before a late flurry added some gloss to the scoreline. The Toffees' defensive record was a source of concern during Martinez's three years at the club. During his final two seasons, Everton conceded 50 and 55 goals respectively. The inability to rectify those shortcomings would eventually cost the Catalan his job. Under Koeman Everton have been generally more solid – only three teams have a better record this season – but Martinez, speaking on Sky's Goals on Sunday, warned that the issues are not yet solved. He said: "I think as a fan you always want to see teams scoring goals and winning games. The only worry is that we had defensive frailties last year that cost us too many points. "It (was) almost, the performance was going the right direction, you were doing everything right and then one action, you look fragile. And I can see the same things now. Three goals yesterday. "First 30 minutes, I thought Everton were magnificent, dynamic, they took the opportunity, starting the game, they had doubts, Bournemouth changing the system and they were ruthless, clinical. But even then, at 3-2 Bournemouth looked like the team that would win the game." Martinez also discussed his time on Merseyside, which was brought to a premature end last May. And he believes that Koeman has the squad to compete for a European position in the future. The Belgium boss said: "I think when you become Everton manager you realise very quickly that it is not a normal football club, "The history and success the club has had in the past demands that the club has to be very close to silverware. You have to accept it. "You have two options, go into the realistic way, when I arrived we had the ninth budget along with Fulham and Aston Villa or in football you have to set the targets high and you have to be close to silverware.
"The disappointment is to be out of the domestic cups. We had two semi-finals last season, very close. You can learn and take it into the next season as a young player, there are key moments you have to control to get to a final. "The focus is now on the league, I feel they can take that opportunity. Ronald Koeman can look at Manchester United, Manchester City ahead of them, they are involved in Europe and that is a huge distraction. You're going to suffer in the league. You are not 100 percent every ninety minutes. "At Everton, try to use the situation, no distractions and the objective of Ronald Koeman will to try to get into Europe."

Speedo Mick's mad dancing video will give every football fan life
Hilarious footage shows him having fun outside Goodison Park yesterday
By Neil Macdonald
5 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton fans felt like dancing after yesterday's 6-3 thrashing of Bournemouth at Goodison Park - especially after the Reds were embarrassed at Hull. But this video shows at least one Blue was in high spirits before the game. Speedo Mick, aka Mick Cullen, was caught on camera dancing along with a drum band outside the stadium. Laura Jane shared the video with us via the Echo's Facebook page and said: "If you watch nothing else you have to watch this. I was crying laughing videoing it this is exactly how the world should be. "I have made public so share away and brighten up people's days all over."
Mick has become a familiar figure at Goodison Park and across the country as he raises money for charity. He is now in his second season of attending games clad only in his boots, blue Speedos, a scarf, goggles and a swim cap. His exploits include swimming the channel, hiking to Wembley and bearing the cold of Premier League grounds up and down the country come rain or shine.

Roberto Martinez on Everton, Barkley, Lukaku and Tom Davies
Former Blues boss enthused by Everton's gifted young trio
By Neil Jones
5 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Roberto Martinez believes Everton will benefit from a revitalised Ross Barkley "having fun" on the field once more. The Blues midfielder has been a player re-born in recent weeks, bouncing back from a difficult start to the season to re-establish himself as a key player in Ronald Koeman's side. Having looked shorn of confidence earlier in the campaign, Barkley's turnaround was captured perfectly during Saturday's 6-3 win over Bournemouth. Rounding Artur Boruc to score Everton's sixth goal in front of the Park End, the 23-year-old cheekily raised his arms in celebration prior to slotting the ball into an empty net. Martinez, of course, is one of Barkley's greatest supporters, having lavished him with praise during his three years as Everton manager. And speaking on Sky's Goals on Sunday programme, the Belgium boss said he was delighted to see the England man shining once more. Martinez said: "With Ross Barkley, I will always be biased because I love his talent, but to see young players developing, he is ready to make things happen for the team on a consistent basis. "He is effective when he is on the pitch when he is having fun. The quality that he has, the physicality combined with the technical ability that he has is quite unique. "You always want the perfect footballer and you want him to defend well, but when he has a smile on his face he is a very special talent. He became very important with us." Martinez added: "Tom Davies has an incredible future, too. Those two combining, they are as good as you are going to get in terms of young players." Martinez also discussed the form and potential of Romelu Lukaku, the player he made Everton's most expensive ever signing back in 2014. Lukaku, his talisman with Belgium now, is the Premier League's top scorer with 16 goals having scored four times against Bournemouth.
"That's why we made the investment," Martinez said. "It was time to get all the money together and not doing anything in two windows to get that calibre of player. That was at the age of 20. "At that moment we were trying to buy the player he could be, now at 23 he is that player consistently. "As a number nine you are not going to find a better finisher in world football. Without a doubt. The stats are there, you can compare them with the best in the game. "The big bonus of Rom is that as a number 9 he can run in behind, he has the power and the pace, he can beat you just with force. Then he has the talent, earlier in his career he played as a winger, and he has the quality. He is not an athlete running with the ball, he is a footballer running with the ball. "And then he is a finisher. All those elements, the variety, Rom can be anything he wants. He is still a young man. We love to build footballers up. But what you can see with Rom is that every year is getting better. "It has been a real well planned journey. I can see a big difference with Rom in the national team."

How did Ademola Lookman's first Everton start go?
Blues teenager had the crowd on their feet - and took his manager's advice on board
By Neil Jones
5 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Ronald Koeman had hinted at it, and he was prepared to take the gamble.
A month into his Everton career, and Ademola Lookman was in the starting XI - reward for three enterprising appearances off the bench and a host of effervescent showings on the training fields at USM Finch Farm. If the 19-year-old needed any further encouragement as to how highly he is regarded within the club, then this was it. A start, a Premier League start, selected ahead of Kevin Mirallas. Aaron Lennon, a veteran of almost 500 senior appearances, wasn't even needed for the bench while Gerard Deulofeu, once Goodison's great wide hope, has been deemed surplus to requirements and loaned out to Milan. Lookman has supplanted all three already. So how did the Londoner's full Premier League bow go? Neat and tidy Starting on the left of Everton's attack, Lookman was prominent during the first half in particular. Having been warned by Koeman for dropping too deep during the midweek draw at Stoke, it was clear that he was keen to stay higher up the field if at all possible against Bournemouth. His work on the ball was neat and tidy – he completed all but one of his 26 passes, with all but four coming in Bournemouth's half. Eleven of his passes went backwards, showing a degree of patience in possession, with seven going forwards. His average position placed him reassuringly close to Romelu Lukaku, ensuring the big frontman was not left isolated as has been the case too often in the recent and distant past. So he can keep the ball, excellent. What about doing something with it? Good news, too. Lookman's quick feet were in evidence from the first whistle – he plays with freedom and confidence, and Goodison responded to his positivity. He attempted seven take-ons, completing four – albeit only one successful dribble came in the Bournemouth half. Simon Francis, an experienced campaigner, stayed deeper than Brad Smith in the opposite full-back position, perhaps wary of Lookman's speed.
The former Charlton man attempted two shots, both off target, but failed to create a goalscoring chance. His impact undoubtedly waned after the break, and he was replaced by Mirallas 19 minutes from time, with the game evenly poised at 3-2. It was interesting at Stoke to see Koeman seek out the youngster immediately after the final whistle to administer some advice. It's something we have seen from Pep Guardiola in the past, and Koeman was clearly keen to get his message across. "I told the boy after the game that we need him between the lines more in front of the midfield players," the Dutchman revealed. "Several times he came back on the same lines as our midfield players. He needs to bring that speed and quality more up the pitch and he'll be more dangerous." So how did he respond? Well, he was willing to get his hands dirty for the team – he won both of the tackles he attempted – but tellingly he was keen to drift into the spaces Koeman had identified. He still alarmed his manager on one occasion – a wonderful showboating turn to take out two defenders drew delighted cheers from the fans but had Koeman standing with arms folded. Certainly, it was a dangerous area to try such a thing.
But it would be churlish to focus too much on that. Better, surely, to look at the immense promise being shown by the teenager. Say it with a touch of well-placed caution, but Everton look to have found one here.

Everton talking point - Extraordinary Lukaku proving his world class credentials
Neil Jones on why the Blues' prolific Belgian stands comfortably among the league's finest
By Neil Jones
5 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Ronald Koeman is not a man prone to hyperbole. He also knows a thing or two about good footballers.
So when he calls a player "world class", you should pay attention. He means it. It is no surprise that Romelu Lukaku was the recipient of such high praise this weekend. As individual performances go, his against Bournemouth stands up against any at Everton in recent memory. He scored in the first minute and he scored in the last, and his four-goal total makes him the Premier League's leading marksman. Sixteen goals, at a rate of one every 125 minutes. In a league rich on attacking quality, the Belgian stands comfortably among the best. Some are quicker, some have better feet and greater subtlety, others can offer a more complete game. Few are more efficient than Lukaku. His shooting accuracy (64%) is better than Harry Kane, Diego Costa or Zlatan Ibrahimovic, better than Sergio Aguero, Jermain Defoe or Alexis Sanchez. He has more assists than Eden Hazard, more goals than anyone. World class? He can't be far off. Sure, there are flaws. Everton fans point them out on a weekly basis, it should be said. Koeman spoke at the beginning of this season of the need to press better and work harder, others note a tendency to find himself offside more often than is ideal. But numbers speak loudest for a striker, and Lukaku's are staggering whichever way you look at them. At Everton, he now has 78 goals in 152 games, better than a goal every other game. And this in a side that finished in the bottom half of the table in each of the last two seasons. In his club career, the record is 136 goals in 303 appearances. He started scoring at 16 and hasn't stopped since. He's got 22 in 28 games for club and country this season; a talisman. Saturday was his second hat-trick of the campaign, and showcased his full range of talents. "Unplayable," said Alan Shearer, one of the greatest goalscorers England has seen. His Bournemouth haul took him above Tim Cahill in terms of Everton Premier League goalscorers. He has 59, only Duncan Ferguson has more. The Scotsman's tally will be surpassed by the end of February, surely? Under-appreciated? Certainly in comparison with those two. Lukaku has never had the adoration afforded to a Cahill or a Ferguson. He's not what you'd call a bona fide favourite. He still divides opinion on the Gwladys. And this is the first player to score 16 or more goals in four successive seasons since Joe Royle in the 1960s. Tough crowd! Maybe he's seen as a transient presence, someone who will eventually move on and give his prime years to another club. But he's 23 now, he'll have been on Merseyside for four years come the summer. His contribution to the club has been significant, whatever happens.
You could argue that he's taken for granted, by supporters and media alike. Not many 23-year-olds score as freely, not many bring such a blend of physical and technical qualities. In a specialist position, Lukaku does a bit of everything. If Everton are as ambitious as we hope they are, then they should be doing everything to build around the big Belgian for the future. Koeman has already improved him, now he must give him greater support and better backup. The 'main man' role seems to suit him, but it'd be nice to take some of the weight off from time to time. Everton are fortunate that Lukaku is as durable as he is prolific. "I have the pleasure, everyday, to be on the pitch with him," Koeman said on Saturday. "He is always finishing in training but it is world class quality he has in scoring goals." And given the Everton manager's pedigree, who are we to argue?

Can Everton catch the Premier League's top six? The fixtures say they have a chance....
Blues' fixture list looks kind, so should we be revising ambitions at Goodison?
By Neil Jones
5 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
It has been a good start to 2017 for Everton.
Five league games, four wins, and steps in the right direction. January was kind to the Blues, offering hope for the rest of the season. "Time to revise ambitions?" pondered Greg O'Keeffe in his ECHO analysis after Saturday's rip-roaring win over Bournemouth. The assumption has been that Everton's battle is for seventh place, but should targets be set higher? Koeman's side are in form – one defeat in nine games – and suddenly the top six looks a little more reachable. Victories for both Manchester clubs on Sunday ensured that the gap remains at five points, but slip-ups for Arsenal and Liverpool add to the intrigue. Never mind the top six, there is congestion in the race for the top four, and Everton are on the coat-tails. Here's what is to come for the Blues, and their rivals, in the next seven weeks.
Everton's next five
Middlesbrough (away) – Saturday February 11
Sunderland (home) – Saturday February 25
Tottenham (away) – Sunday March 5
West Brom (home) – Saturday March 11
Hull City (home) – Saturday March 18
Looks promising. Boro and Sunderland are both in the bottom six, while home games with West Brom and Hull should hold little fear given the Blues' Goodison form.
The Tottenham game on March 5, the day after Tony Bellew's blockbuster fight with David Haye in London, should be a cracker for Evertonians. Spurs look the most likely challengers to Chelsea's dominance, but Everton should be able to keep themselves firmly in the top six/top four mix by the time the trip to White Hart Lane rolls around. Oh, and guess what the fixture after Hull is by the way? Yep, Liverpool. At Anfield. If they're both in the running on April Fools' Day, then hang on to your hats.
What about the rest?
Manchester United, fifth in the table and five points above Everton, have a busy February. They face Saint-Etienne in the Europa League and Blackburn in the FA Cup, and face Southampton at Wembley in the EFL Cup. Distractions galore, perhaps? In the league, Jose Mourinho's men have only one more fixture, at home to Watford on Saturday. A chance, then, for Everton to close the gap.
United went five points clear of Everton by beating Leicester on Sunday Liverpool slipped to fifth after their miserable, Oumar Niasse-inspired loss at Hull on Saturday. They haven't won a league game since New Year's Eve, and face Tottenham at Anfield next weekend. After that, Jurgen Klopp's side don't play until a trip to Leicester on February 27, and follow that up in March with games against Arsenal and Burnley (both home) and a visit to the Etihad to face Manchester City.
Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool have wobbled since the New Year
Arsenal also lost ground this weekend, losing comfortably at Chelsea, and face a Champions League tie with Bayern Munich later this month – as well as an FA Cup banana skin at Sutton United.
Manchester City have recovered from their Goodison battering to go unbeaten in four in all competitions. They went third after beating Swansea on Sunday, and next up face the Bournemouth side smashed for six at Goodison. After that it's Huddersfield in the FA Cup and Monaco in the Champions League, March bringing with it league games at home to Stoke and Liverpool, and away at Sunderland.
Gabriel Jesus has given City a lift
Tottenham are a point better off than City in second place, 10 clear of Everton. They have FA Cup and Europa League ties this month, against Fulham and Gent respectively, and also face a trip to Liverpool and a home game with Stoke in the league. March sees them host Everton, before travelling to Crystal Palace and hosting Southampton before the month is out.

Romelu Lukaku ranks his Bournemouth performance - 'It's in my top three'
Everton striker happy with four-goal haul - but eager for more this season
By Neil Jones
5 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
After the day Romelu Lukaku had on Saturday, it had to be asked.
After four goals, and a show-stealing display of "world class" quality – Ronald Koeman's words, no less – it seemed an obvious place to start. Where does this performance rank in terms of your best, Rom?
"It is in the top three, but not number one and two," came the reply. Everton's talisman, the Premier League's leading goalscorer, was not about to get too carried away. "It is third because my debut was the most important. To be a professional that was great. And then my first goal because that is when my life changed." That debut came in 2009, for Anderlecht against Standard Liege, 11 days after Lukaku's 16th birthday. "We were rivals," Lukaku remembers. "It was the game for the championship really. We were level with each other going into the game, it was a play-off game. "It was just after my birthday, just after my contract was legal. The manager gave me a chance and that was it."
Three months later came his first professional goal. His first full season ended with 19 in all competitions. He's not stopped since. He's the Premier League's leading marksman at the moment, the first Everton player to score at least 16 in four successive seasons since Joe Royle in the 1960s.
Not that wants all the credit, though. "I believe in my abilities but I believe in my team-mates," Lukaku says. "That is the most important thing. "If you don't believe in your team-mates then they are not going to put a shift in for you. I believe in them and they believe in me. If I can help them by scoring goals and they help me by serving me the ball then we can go a long way. "Football is a team sport, we want to win games. I'm pleased with how (Saturday) went and hopefully we can do it again next week.
Video thumbnail, Everton v Bournemouth: Match in 60 seconds "For me the most important thing is to make sure that the team ends as high as possible. We have to aim for the top six. We are really close. I have to deliver for my team. If the team performance is good and I can be a part of it then it is the best thing ever." It was notable to hear Koeman, a notoriously tough taskmaster, speak so openly about Lukaku's qualities after Saturday's game. The Dutchman is not one for the big statement, so his words carried weight. So too those of Alan Shearer, the Premier League's all-time leading scorer, who described the Belgian as "unplayable" after his Bournemouth masterclass. "I know how good I can be but you have to put the work in," Lukaku responds. "I'm willing to do it. "I'm never going to hide from any critic I get whether it is in the past or the future. This is something we have to go through as footballers. We are paid to perform and I just want to perform. "I want to do my best for the team and help the team win so that the club can get where it wants to be in the future." Admirable focus, for a 23-year-old. And with Lukaku firing, who knows where Everton might finish the campaign?

Why Everton's Romelu Lukaku won't make the same mistake as last season
Belgian striker on his form and the influence of manager Ronald Koeman
By Neil Jones
6 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Romelu Lukaku insists he won't repeat the mistakes of last season as he strives for perfection at Everton. The Belgian's four goals against Bournemouth at Goodison Park on Saturday took him to the top of the Premier League scoring charts. They also led to Ronald Koeman, his manager, labelling the 23-year-old as "world class" during his post-match press conference. For Lukaku it is a familiar position. His four seasons at Everton have yielded 16 goals, 20, 25 and now 17. He's the Blues' talisman, all right.
Not that it will stop him striving for better. And Lukaku is well aware of what happened last season, when all of his 25 goals came by March 12. Had speculation about his future, and strong interest from former club Chelsea, been a distraction? Possibly. But Lukaku is honest enough to admit his errors, and says he won't be making them again. "For me I'm just focused on this period of time," he said. "I don't want to look ahead too far. "That is the mistake I made last year. I was focusing already ahead and looking forward to things in front instead of the present. "Now for me it is just game after game, day after day. Improve, come in, do my job and then go home to rest, work again on my body to recover and make sure I can play the next game. It is day by day now." Lukaku says his relationship with Koeman will help on that front. The Dutchman has not been scared to demand more from his players, without exception. It's taken time, but his methods appears to be working. "For me it is just like when I came in (during the summer)," Lukaku says. "We had a chat for 20 minutes and it was good. We speak the same language because he speaks Dutch as well. It was really fluent. "We clicked from day one. He told me his ideas and I told him mine. He helped me. He showed me clips straight away of what he wanted me to do. We just continued from that. "From me it is just day by day now. I come in and do my job. Then the next day I come in and do it again. On my match day I have to perform and make sure that the team wins." Lukaku is only two goals shy of his tally at this stage last season, which was his best as a professional. And this while learning the ways of a new, highly-demanding manager.
"Work and dedication, I guess," he says. "I am a guy that works really hard at the training ground. I know that hard work will pay off. "Whatever the manager told me at the start of the season I just stuck to it. I believed in his philosophy of football and it helped me going forward. "You always have to keep your mind open to different things. That is what I'm doing. I trust the process that he wants to do with this football club. "For me it helps me as well. I'm delivering in whatever situations he wants me to play in. I'm really happy with the team first of all. We are playing well since the start of 2017 so we need to keep improving."
Koeman remarks on Lukaku's contract situation
As for his own improvement, Koeman believes it may not be possible to become a better finisher. But Lukaku is quick to give credit to his predecessor – and current national team boss – too. "It's about consistency I guess," he says. "For me it is not different to Roberto Martinez. They both helped me in different ways. I learn from them a lot of stuff. "I learned from Martinez about my movements, he taught me so much about that. The manager now is just helping me with the extra details, with the pressing of the balls and with my running off the ball and also the mental aspect of the game. "He wants me to be focused at any time because he knows with my finishing, if I have the ball in the last minute of the game he knows I can decide the game. Those are the sort of things he is helping me with."

Eddie Howe on Lukaku, and how Everton overcame his tactical masterplan
Bournemouth boss unhappy with his side's defending during Goodison defeat
By Neil Jones
6 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Eddie Howe admits containing Romelu Lukaku is a big ask for any defence – but believes Bournemouth made life easy for the Everton frontman at Goodison Park. Lukaku scored four times in Everton's 6-3 win on Saturday, the first of which came inside the opening minute. Howe admitted that blow – the quickest goal the Blues have ever scored in the Premier League – had forced him to rip up his entire gameplan, and the Cherries boss says he was disappointed with his side's defending against the Belgian.
"Lukaku played very well," he said. "His finishing was a real threat and very clinical - of the highest quality. But still I thought we were generous in the opportunities that we gave him. "He has the physicality the pace and a deadly left foot as well but I think from our point of view it was about minimising the opponent. "He has to deliver that final finish and I thought we afforded him too much room at times." Bournemouth were the first team to beat Ronald Koeman's side in the league this season, winning 1-0 at the Vitality Stadium back in September. But they were powerless to stop a rampant Blues from gaining revenge at the weekend, a task not helped by their slow start. "We couldn't believe it really," Howe said. "We have spoken about certain things and set up a certain way then it makes it very difficult from that moment onwards. "Naturally the players will think 'here we go again' in terms of our recent performances and the way we have conceded goals. From our perspective that is the first thing we have to address - which sounds easy - but is difficult with the amount of injuries we have had in that department at the moment." Howe had gone with a three-man central defence in an attempt to give his side solidity. Everton, for their part, returned to a back four having experimented with 3-4-3 in recent weeks. "Tactically the plan was to do something differently to nullify Everton's strengths," Howe added. "You can say on reflection it didn't work but our hands were somewhat forced with the injury to our two full backs. "I don't think we caved in. It was a difficult first half but we showed a lot of spirit second half to come back and the game was on a knife edge at 3-2. "We had a number of chances to equalise, their goalkeeper makes a number of good saves. The fourth goal was hugely significant because at that stage we still thought we could win the game."

Ronald Koeman gives his verdict on Ademola Lookman's first Everton start
Blues boss believes teenager will become a 'great player' at Goodison Park
By Neil Jones
6 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Ronald Koeman believes Ademola Lookman will develop into a "great player" at Everton.
And the Blues boss says the teenager will be given all the help and support he needs to fulfil his vast potential at Goodison. Lookman impressed on his first Premier League start against Bournemouth on Saturday, a tricky, positive presence on the Everton left. A month into his career on Merseyside, the 19-year-old is making a big impression. "The young boy has a lot of qualities," Koeman said. "He is clever. But in the first half he lost two actions that he took risks to play one against one in a part of the pitch that is not possible. "But I like that he's clever, he likes to play but he needs to adapt to the intensity of the game. He is not the most physical or strongest, and you need to play and move. He will be a great player, I am sure about that. "We will help and support the young boy, and we will give him game time to improve and develop the qualities of the player. Sometimes that can be as a substitute but (on Saturday) I let him start because I like to see he is that player. "I'm Dutch, it is not about age in football, it is about qualities in football!"

Why Ademola Lookman is loving Everton fans
Young forward has settled in well to life at Goodison - and says thank you to supporters
By Neil Jones
6 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Ademola Lookman has thanked Everton fans for helping him settle in to life at Goodison.
The teenager has made a good start to his Blues career following his £11m move from Charlton Athletic last month. After three promising appearances as a substitute, the 19-year-old impressed on his first Premier League start against Bournemouth on Saturday. His manager, Ronald Koeman , spoke afterwards of how the Londoner can go on to become "a great player" for the Blues, and Lookman says he is pleased with how well he is fitting in at his new club. "It's been brilliant to come to a club like Everton with the supporters here and how much history the club has is unbelievable," he said.
"The Evertonians have been brilliant since the first minute I walked in the door here. They've supported me so well and thinking back to when I scored my first goal (against Manchester City), the support was just crazy. I haven't had anything like it before and I'm just glad they've taken to me.
"The players here are quality and I'm just happy to be part of that and to be able to contribute to the team. I already feel like I'm improving every single day. I'm learning a lot from the manager, players and coaches here." Lookman revealed he had found out he was starting against Bournemouth on Friday, and offered an honest assessment of his performance. He said: "It was good to get my first start and to win 6-3 was fantastic. I found out the day before, prepared myself and I'm just so pleased with the result. "I think I did alright. I lost the ball a few times and I was at fault for their second goal so it's something I'll look back on and try to rectify." The England U20 international also says he will learn from the prolific Romelu Lukaku, as he strives to get to the Belgian striker's level. "He's so clinical, he just scores goals for fun and he's a great player to play with," Lookman said. "I can learn a lot off him. His finishing is unbelievable and I want to get to that level, too."

Five reasons why Romelu Lukaku CAN be the Premier League's top scorer this season
Everton striker tops the charts at present - here's why we think he can stay there
By David Prentice
6 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton hold a proud place in the history of English football's leading goalscorers.
No other club can boast more top scorers in top flight football than The Toffees.
Everton strikers have topped the charts 12 times since the Football League began in 1888. Dixie Dean and Tommy Lawton did it twice. Now Romelu Lukaku is following in their shooting boots, topping the Premier League's scoring charts with 16 goals after Saturday's four-goal Bournemouth blitz.
Romelu Lukaku took home a souvenir from Saturday's game....
But can he stay there?
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Diego Costa and Alexis Sanchez are all one goal behind Lukaku, with Jermaine Defoe and Harry Kane two goals back on 14. There's a historical reason why Blues fans will hope Lukaku can hold off Sanchez, Kane and Defoe. Arsenal, Spurs and Sunderland are all next behind Everton on the historical scoring charts. Gunners marksmen have topped the charts 11 times, Spurs strikers on 10 occasions and Sunderland eight times.
So can Lukaku maintain his Blue streak?
Here's five reasons why we think he can....
He's not just a home bird...
Lethal Lukaku plundered four goals during Saturday's romp. But he's not just a home bird. Everton have seven home games and seven away remaining this season – and prior to Saturday Lukaku had scored more goals away from Goodison (seven) than he had in home matches (five).
His first SIX goals of last season, in all competitions, were all scored away from Goodison too.
Some players famously perform best in home games – Georginio Wijnaldum has only ever scored at St James' Park or Anfield - but Lukaku doesn't need the roar of the Gwladys Street to ignite a goal rush.
His injury record...
At risk of tempting fate, Romelu is remarkably resilient.
He has played every minute of every one of Everton's last TWENTY matches – and only missed a handful of games in his Blues career through injury. Aguero, Costa and Kane have all missed matches through injury this season, but the injury lay-offs endured by Lukaku are remarkably few and far between.
One-track mind...
While Lukaku's challengers for the Premier League's golden boot are chasing goals in several competitions, Lukaku only has Premier League matches to focus on. Sanchez and Kane will have to juggle the demands of European football and the FA Cup, while Costa also has FA Cup football on his mind with a trip to Wolves in the fifth round. Lukaku will have plenty of recovery time inbetween matches as he targets the Premier League exclusively.
Kane is in form, but has Europa League and FA Cup distractions as well
Hot streaks...
Strikers always seem to score in bursts – and Lukaku currently has 10 goals in his last 11 matches.
But even more significantly, of Everton's next five fixtures two are against some of leakiest defences in the top flight.
And there's always West Ham...
Romelu Lukaku's record against The Hammers is truly, cruelly punishing.
The big Belgian has scored in NINE straight games against The Hammers in a genuine East London vendetta. He will be aiming to make it a perfect 10 on April 22 at The London Stadium.

Why 2017 has been kind to Everton so far - and long may it continue!
Blues have been in fine form since the turn of the year - can they maintain their good run?
By David Prentice
6 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
2017 is turning out to be a good year for Everton.
Well, if we ignore the FA Cup, that is.
League-wise, the situation is much better. If the Premier League table had kicked off on January 1, the Blues would find themselves in second place behind Tottenham, having played a game less.
With four wins and a midweek draw at Stoke, Everton have hit the ground running this year.
Gleeful Blues fans are also quick to point out that Liverpool would be way down in 15th place in the 2017 table. Since Everton resolved to start the New Year with a bang, no Premier League club has scored more goals (15) and no Premier League club has a better goal difference (+11).
Calendar year performances can be significant.
Everton endured an awful end to 1983, but kicked off 1984 in superb style.
They went on to become the top flight's best performing club in the calendar year and ... well, Blues fans who know their history know exactly how 1984/85 finished up!

Aiyegbeni Yakubu: Everything you need to know about the former Nigerian international
The former Premier League forward is reportedly undergoing a fitness
By Mantej Mann
6 FEB 2017 Coventry Telegraph
Former Everton striker Yakubu is due to report to Ryton this morning, ahead of a possible short-term deal with Coventry City. While his credibility in the game is undeniable, the 34-year-old will undergo a fitness test to determine whether he is ready to return to competitive football. The Sky Blues have failed to register a single goal in the last four league games, and with new loan recruits Michael Folivi and Charles Vernam injured, Russell Slade is desperately short of attacking options.
Yakubu, should he sign, could provide the quality and experience the Sky Blues are looking for.
Here's everything you need to know about the striker:
Where it all began
Yakubu was born in Benin City, Nigeria on November 22, 1982, where he began playing football in the streets without any shoes. He started his career at Julius Berger FC in Lagos before being loaned out to Portuguese club Gil Vicente.
First break
The Nigerian joined Israeli club Maccabi Haifa in 1998 for $300,000.
At just 19-years-old, Yakubu shot himself to fame after grabbing a Champions League hat-trick against Olympiacos in 2002. Later that season, he scored a penalty for the Israeli giants against Manchester United in the same competition.
England is calling
Harry Redknapp first introduced Yakubu to the English game when he signed the striker on loan for Championship club Portsmouth in 2003.
The powerful forward helped secure Pompey's promotion, and was subsequently awarded a permanent deal on the South coast, in a £4m move.In his first Premier League campaign, Yakubu finished on 16 goals, making him Portsmouth's leading scorer.
Move to the Riverside
Boro v Hull City at the KC Stadium in the 3rd round of the FA cup. 06-01-07. Yakubu and Hull City's Danny Coles In a £7.5m move to Middlesbrough, the highest fee ever paid for a Nigerian at the time, Yakubu helped Boro reach the 2006 UEFA Cup final in his first campaign.
Time on Merseyside
Yakubu joined Everton in August 2007 for a fee of £11.25m, which at the time, was the highest transfer fee ever paid by the Toffees. The forward started his spell at Everton in spectacular fashion after taking just 11 minutes to opened his account for the club at Bolton. He scored 29 goals during his four years at Goodison Park, before moving on to Blackburn in 2011 for £1.5m.
Dollar signs
After a stint at Ewood Park, he moved to Chinese club Guangzhou R&F in July 2012, on a three-year deal.
He made his Chinese Super League debut in a derby match with Guangzhou Evergrande, and grabbed a late winner to end their rivals' 34-match unbeaten record at home.
Return to England
The Nigerian striker returned to British soil after his contract ended in China, to sign for Reading in February 2015. The 34-year-old scored his first and only goal in an FA Cup win at Derby County to put the Royals into the quarter final of the competition. He was released after one season, and subsequently moved to the Turkish Super Lig after signing for Kayserispor in the summer of 2015.
Yakubu failed to register a single goal in Turkey, and since February 2015, he has only scored the one professional goal. Now a free agent, the former Nigerian international, who scored 21 goals in 57 appearances for his country, is currently looking for a new club. His notorious chant "Feed the Yak and he will score" could drown out the Ricoh Arena at some point soon.

Former Everton striker Yakubu on trial at Coventry City
Nigerian forward is hoping to win a contract with the League One strugglers
By David Prentice
6 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
League One strugglers Coventry are hoping that Yakubu's appetite for goals is still as strong as ever.
Ten years ago Everton fans regularly chanted: "Feed the Yak and he will score."
And Aiyegbeni Yakubu regularly responded.
A decade later, Coventry are hoping Yakubu can get the goals to fire the Sky Blues to League One survival. Manager Russell Slade, who revealed on Friday that a player with a 'big reputation' was due to report to Coventry's training ground on Monday, is understood to have invited the former Everton striker to the club - where he is set to undergo a fitness assessment with a view to offering him a short-term deal until the end of the season. Sources close to the Nigerian international say the 34-year-old is looking to resurrect his playing career after returning to the UK from a year in the Turkish Super League with Kayserispor. Yakubu played 60 minutes last summer for National League club Boreham Wood in a pre-season friendly against Reading, another of his former clubs. He was unable to get on he scoresheet as the hosts lost 5-0. He last played professionally for Kayserispor in 2016.
Yakubu was an £11.25 million record Everton signing in 2007 – and scored an 21 goals (15 in the Premier League) in his first season at Goodison Park.
Yakubu was the Blues' record signing in 2007
Following a ruptured Achilles tendon at Tottenham in November 2008 he failed to recapture his initial zip. He scored six goals in 2009/10 and just one in his first 15 appearances of 2010/11 before being allowed to join Championship side Leicester on loan. In August 2011 he joined Blackburn, but despite two goals on his debut against Arsenal he couldn't save Rovers from relegation and he left Ewood Park and headed to the Chinese Super League with Guangzhou R&F in 2012 before a spell in Qatar.
He then returned to England and joined Reading on a free transfer in February 2015 but managed just one goal in 11 games with the Championship club. He was released at the end of his short-term deal and headed off to Turkey for a year but has been without a club so far this season and is therefore available to sign on a free transfer.

Everton's Tom Davies up against Alli, Kane and Sanchez for Premier League award
Everton star shortlisted for PFA Fans' Player of the Month gong for January
By Neil Jones
6 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton youngster Tom Davies has been nominated for the PFA Fans' Player of the Month award for January. The teenager will compete with Spurs duo Dele Alli and Harry Kane, Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez, Stoke striker Peter Crouch and Swansea's Gylfi Sigurdsson for the award, which will be decided by a public vote. West Derby born Davies has been a revelation for the Blues since being brought into the first team by Ronald Koeman. The 18-year-old started all three of Everton's Premier League games in January, all of which were won. He netted his first goal in the 4-0 win against Manchester City, and followed that up with an assist in the victory at Crystal Palace. The shortlist was chosen by a panel, including Sky Sports pundits Paul Merson and Peter Beagrie, Mike Riley - general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials - and Malcolm Clarke, chairman of the Football Supporters' Federation. Voting closes at 6pm tonight with the winner announced at 10am on Tuesday.

Everton analysis - Why Watford was Koeman's turning point, and what he has changed since
How has the Blues boss got his side playing again after their autumn slump?
By Neil Jones
6 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
It was not a particularly aggressive confrontation, but the message was certainly clear.
Everton's players were making their way through the crowds at Watford Junction train station, preparing for a sombre journey north. Tracksuited and with heads bowed, their presence caught the eye of a group of Blues gathered on the platform. "Disgrace," remarked one. "Waste of space," called another. A third chose more industrial language. The scene would later be repeated, a couple of cans later, as the squad disembarked at Runcorn. Point made. Ronald Koeman's men had just been beaten at Watford, an abject 3-2 loss which extended a run of one win in 11 games. The promise of the opening weeks of the campaign was evaporating fast. Ronald Koeman was left searching for answers at Vicarage Road Back home, Koeman was left to reflect. His side had started OK at Vicarage Road but failed to capitalise on their hosts' nervousness. Watford were awful, if we're being honest, but in the end they won with a bit to spare. There were boos from the away end at the final whistle. Since then, though, something has changed. Ten games, two defeats, and suddenly Evertonians are looking up the league not down it. The fixture list offers hope that a tilt at the top six – or better – is not out of reach.
"We changed a little bit," Koeman has said. "After the Watford game the players showed really a good team reaction." But what has actually changed? Here are a few factors behind the Blues' winter improvement...
Some smart transfer business – in and out
January was not, in truth, the barnstorming month many had expected at Goodison.
Sure, Everton spent more than any other Premier League club – with the exception of Crystal Palace – but there were only two senior additions, not the four or five the club had initially targeted.
Those two have made an impact, though.
Morgan Schneiderlin looks a classy, solid presence in midfield (and will get even better as he returns to full match sharpness), while Ademola Lookman's skills, invention and mindset have been a breath of fresh air. Early days, but it looks like money well spent. New Everton signing Morgan Schneiderlin is welcomed by Ronald Koeman
Significant, too, were the outgoings.
It had become clear pretty early on in Koeman's reign which players were on borrowed time, and the cull came in January. Bryan Oviedo hadn't featured since Bonfire Night and was sold, while Darron Gibson's fitness issues meant he was never likely to be relied upon. Everton did well to get £7.5m (and maybe more) for those two. Tom Cleverley featured sporadically in the first half of the season, but is now on loan with Watford. Likewise Gerard Deulofeu, whose lack of consistency is now an issue for Milan, not Everton. Oumar Niasse, meanwhile, has finally got himself a locker – and a Premier League goal. Everton's business could have been better – they probably still need another forward, at least – but there was a reassuring ruthlessness about the way Koeman has streamlined his squad. Expect more of the same in the summer. Gerard Deulofeu learns that Koeman has grown sick of his inconsistency
Restoring Barkley, and finding a system that suits him It should have been a source of embarrassment for Ross Barkley that he was not selected for the game at Watford. Especially with James McCarthy starting in what was ostensibly the No.10 role. McCarthy struggled – he was much better when back in a more familiar holding role – and Barkley was called upon for the final 26 minutes. He wasn't great.
He's been better since, though. He was good against Arsenal, influential against Hull and Southampton, outstanding against Manchester City and Crystal Palace. His renaissance continued against Bournemouth. He's had enough stick this season, but the 23-year-old has come out the other side and looks to be finding his way again. His work rate is better, and Everton's re-jigged system is enabling him to see more of the ball in the areas that matter.
Trusting in Joel
It was a stroke of misfortune at the time, seeing Maarten Stekelenburg forced off during the second half of the Merseyside derby at Goodison. But the Dutchman's injury opened the door for his replacement, Joel Robles, and the Spaniard has grabbed his opportunity with both hands. Robles looks a more authoritative, commanding figure, and is playing with the confidence of a man who believes he is first choice. Everton have conceded just six times in their last seven league games.
Joel Robles saves from Marko Arnautovic
An injection of youth
For a manager supposedly averse to using young players, Koeman has not stuck to the script in recent months. His terse response to a question about Josh Sims at St Mary's seemed to confirm the narrative – the Dutchman isn't interested in the future, only the here and now. And yet a couple of weeks later, Dominic Calvert-Lewin was making his Premier League debut against Arsenal, aged 19. Tom Davies, 18, has emerged as a wonderful prospect in midfield, starting every game in January. Mason Holgate, 20, already has a dozen appearances, while 19-year-old Lookman was given his first start against Bournemouth at the weekend. Those players bring with them raw talent, but also a fresh, uncluttered mentality. The fans, often sceptical, have responded to the injection of youth.
Tapping into the anger
So there was anger after the Watford game – anger which Koeman said he could understand.
But Everton has always been a club that can channel its anger, and use it to its own advantage. Goodison is at its best when it is a bear pit, a place no opposing player would want to visit.
The Old Lady found her voice against Arsenal, and though the derby brought only disappointment, there were also signs of the aggression Koeman had demanded filtering from the stands to the pitch – too much of it, in Barkley's case. That has continued. In January, Everton outplayed a Pep Guardiola team and outfought a Sam Allardyce one. They still have some flaws, but they're more willing, more able to scrap than earlier in the season, giving them a platform to play from. One thing is for sure, they're unrecognisable from the rabble that kept its head down at Watford Junction.

Busy first week for Tyias

By Dave Seddon
February 6 2017 Lancashire Post
Simon Grayson is pleased with the way Tyias Browning has settled into the Preston squad since arriving from Everton last week. The right-back played his part in PNE's clean sheet at Barnsley, a game watched by his Everton Under-23s coach David Unsworth and Joe Royle who works as the Toffees' professional development coordinator. His debut had come at Cardiff last Tuesday, 24 hours after he joined on loan from Everton. North End manager Grayson said: "Tyias did well for us again. "He was up against a very tricky opponent in Ryan Kent at Barnsley, who has good feet and pace. "Tyias will only get better as he gets more games and gains more experience. The defensive display on Saturday was good. We limited Barnsley to very few chances. "With the number of goals Barnsley had previously scored, you would not have expected the game to finish in a goalless draw." Browning was brought in on loan on the penultimate day of the transfer window, predominantly as cover at right-back. PNE made their move for him as Marnick Vermijl has a hernia and Alex Baptiste is currently sidelined by a knee injury.
Vermijl returned to the bench at Barnsley, having not made the trip to Cardiff.
Grayson explained that the hernia was likely to prevent Vermijl playing two games in quick succession but he would be available if games were more evenly spaced out. Baptiste who injured his knee in training ahead of the FA Cup tie with Arsenal, is due back later this month. At the other end of the pitch, there was a change of approach with Simon Makienok and Jordan Hugill paired together in attack.
It was the first time they had started a league game together, although the pair did start August's League Cup win over Oldham. For Makeinok, it was his first start since the New Year's Eve clash against Sheffield Wednesday. "I thought Simon did okay – he and Jordan worked hard," said Grayson.
"Simon had trained well and waited patiently for his opportunity and I just felt it was right to start with those two. "We talk a lot about getting good service to the strikers and Paul Gallagher put a good ball into him in the first half, which Simon put too close to the goalkeeper."

Middlesbrough vs Everton - Mike Dean confirmed as referee for Riverside Stadium clash
Blues travel to the Riverside on Saturday
By Phil Kirkbride
6 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Mike Dean will referee Everton's game at Middlesbrough on Saturday.
The Wirral official has endured a troubled season after being demoted to the Championship following a string of controversial decisions in December. But Dean has been promoted back to Premier League action in the past couple of weeks and will referee Everton for the second time this season. Dean was the man in the middle of the derby at Goodison. The game was his first in charge of either the Blues or Liverpool in over a decade. But Dean will take charge of Everton's game at the Riverside on Saturday (3pm). Since being relegated to the second tier, after drawing criticism for performances in games including the clash between West Ham and Manchester United, Dean was overseen Burnley v Leicester and Man City v Swansea. In Dean's 22 games this season, he has dished out five red cards and 93 yellows.

Why Everton must think big, which means players like Sergio Aguero
Former Everton star Michael Ball believes Blues must target players of Aguero's calibre
By Liverpool Echo
6 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
The Michael Ball Column
I was so excited on Saturday night that I put out the following tweet: "Am I dreaming that Everton will go after Aguero to play alongside big Rom and Lookman?" And while Manchester City will clearly not want to let a striker of Sergio Aguero's class leave any time soon, it was a tweet designed to highlight where we want to be at as a football club. We want to target that calibre of player. When players of Aguero's quality are not getting the quantity of matches they want we should try to snap them up.
We should learn from the mistakes City made in their transitional period when they came into a lot of money. We can look to our neighbours, look at the mistakes they made and learn from them.
City brought players in when I was there like Robinho and Elano, players designed to get them to a certain point. Then they had to go again, and then again.
Robhino was a notable signing for the then newly-rich City
They haven't done all that well in the Champions League, but they have still managed to get big players on board. It costs a lot of money but you have to dream, you have to attract that calibre of player - and once you have one or two of them the rest will follow. It costs a lot of money and you have to swallow a big hit. Whether we can sustain that I don't know, but if we do that then convinces other players like Romelu Lukaku to stick around and become club legends. We only have to look down the M62 to see how to do it - and how not to do it!
As for Aguero, he is a world class player.
He's not getting the game time he wants at the moment because Gabriel Jesus has come in like a house on fire, but we all know he will walk back into that side again because the level that Jesus is currently showing is not sustainable in England. Aguero has come onto the pitch for the last few minutes recently and had a chance straightaway. He is world class and any team would want him. So why not stick our name in the hat and give it a right good go? Lukaku would clearly relish a strike partner. Although when Rom believes in himself he doesn't need anyone! Every one of his goals on Saturday was different, which shows that when he is on form he is unstoppable. But if he isn't getting the service and has someone else around him to tire the back four out it can work for him.
Spreading the goals around
It was massively important to see two different midfielders getting on the scoresheet on Saturday.
Before the visit of Bournemouth right-back Seamus Coleman was our second top scorer!
He's now joint-second with Ross Barkley.
We need to spread goals around more and it was good to see Ross and James getting involved.
He got his shorts dirty early on, when it normally takes him about an hour or so! He rolled his sleeves up and got his reward with the goal. And I loved his goal celebration. I was a bit nervous when he put his arms out - but I just thought 'thank god it went in!' All we've been missing this season is more goals from around the park. And that was why it was so refreshing to see Ross and James McCarthy on target.
Sweet 16 THE last Everton striker to score 16-plus goals in four successive seasons was big Joe Royle.
Romelu Lukaku has now joined that rareified company.
It's a great stat. But it's also more of a worry as to what happens if he ever does get injured? We clearly need more quality in our striking areas. Having said that I like the look of Ademola Lookman very much. Nothing fazes him and he is learning when and where to do things.
He gets the crowd on his feet every time he touches the ball.
Morgan Schneiderlin also really impressed me, especially off the ball with his organising, shouting and getting in the referees' ear. He brought something which was missing and he and Gareth Barry complemented each other really well, especially on the ball with their little triangles. Joel Robles was massive on Saturday, too, and didn't deserve to concede three goals.
All in all it was an excellent afternoon to be a Blue!
Chasing down the Reds
We have one job for the rest of the season now the FA Cup has gone.
There is one job on the players' shoulders and that's to chase down Manchester United and Liverpool.
We need to put pressure on them.
It's out of our hands, but if we show what we're capable of and they slip up they will get nervous.
We're not going to get nervous because we're playing catch up.
We have a run of games against teams fighting for their lives, but we have the quality - and importantly the camaraderie and momentum, to carry on winning them. You can see by the players' celebrations on Saturday that the camaraderie is there. I think Ross took a headbutt from Ashley Williams during his goal celebrations. The players seem to be enjoying their football more. And long may that continue!

Everton 1-0 Arsenal: Broadhead grabs dramatic late win for Under-23s
Blues restore six point cushion at the top of Premier League 2
By Phil Kirkbride
6 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Nathan Broadhead's goal four minutes from time ensured Everton under-23s saw off Arsenal and restored their six point lead at the top of the table. The second-half substitute latched onto Kieran Dowell's pass and drove into the area before slotting calmly past Gunners' keeper Emiliano Martinez.
Second-placed Manchester City had closed the gap at the top of the Premier League 2 standings to four points with a win on Friday night and for long spells it looked as though the Blues would be forced to settle for a point in Southport tonight. Courtney Duffus blazed over from eight yards while the Blues were largely restricted to efforts from distance in tough conditions at the Merseyrail Community Stadium. But in the closing stages Broadhead kept his composure in a crowded penalty area to make it 1-0 and cement Everton's lead at the summit with just six games of the season to go. Arsenal, who had only troubled Blues' goalkeeper Mateusz Hewelt with shots from range, pushed for an equaliser in the time that remained but Everton stood strong to claim a vital win. The game also saw the return to competitive action of Sam Byrne for the first time since he suffered a leg break in March last year.

Everton u-23s 1-0 Arsenal comment: The kind of night in which champions are made
Gritty, tough, cultured and calm - young Blues grind out win to go six points clear at the top
By Phil Kirkbride
6 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
They say champions are made in the gym.
That they're made on the training ground, after hours and out of sight. But surely tonight, champions were made on a bone-chillingly cold evening, on a cut-up pitch and, in the end, amid dramatic scenes.
With six games of their season to go, Everton's under-23s hold a six point lead over Manchester City and though David Unsworth refused to get swept up in the significance of this win, even he had to admit their victory over Arsenal was "massive". In conditions to make lesser players shirk and shrink, the young Blues refused to give up on the hope of finding a late winner in Southport and with four minutes left, Nathan Broadhead collected Kieran Dowell's pass, drove into the area and calmly slotted past Emiliano Martinez. In celebration, the goal hero ran off to the nearest stand with his jubilant team-mates in pursuit. That there wasn't a soul in that part of the ground mattered not because the rest of Premier League 2 will have heard about what had just happened. The pace of Everton's title charge shows no sign of slacking off and not even on a pitch that sapped the energy from their legs, made passes harder to pick and running the hard yards that touch more difficult, could hold them back here.
Because what has underpinned their performances through the season is a rock solid spine, a strength of character and a winning mentality harnessed from this crop coming through the ranks together, collecting medals as they've gone. No wonder Unsworth's side have the best defensive record in the division, and by some distance too. They've shipped just 11 goals all season, three of which came in a wild game with Reading, and as Arsenal felt increasingly encouraged as the game wore on, still locked at 0-0, Everton's back four just stood stronger. Unsworth rightly plucked Matty Pennington out from a list of nominees for man-of-the-match as the 22-year-old turned in a remarkable performance; gritty, tough, cultured and calm. But that could be said of much of the Everton side throughout a tough evening when the messy surface, the wet, blustery and bitterly cold conditions, and the quality of the opposition, all conspired to make life extremely difficult for them. There was the sense, even before kick-off, that tonight would be a thorough examination of their title credentials and so it proved as they had to rely on their will and desire more so than anything else. The quality of the winning goal, the find by Dowell and the composed and classy finish from Broadhead, cannot be overlooked given the circumstances in which it arrived, but all good teams must do the dirty work as well, the nasty stuff and the graft. Led ably by Pennington they did all of that. Unsworth was also beaming with praise for Morgan Feeney alongside the star centre-half, Jonjoe Kenny, Matty Foulds and too Liam Walsh and Harry Charsley are worthy of mention. But by the end of the season, every member of Unsworth's squad should be worthy of praise because there's a more than decent chance that we'll be talking about them as title winners. Nights such as this are when champions are made.

Everton send scouts to Porto v Sporting - who could they have been watching?
Blues had representatives at the game - here are a few potential targets
By Neil Jones
7 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
The January transfer window may have closed rather quietly this time around.
There are some things that even Jim White can't polish. But at Everton thoughts have already turned to the summer. Director of football Steve Walsh and his team are already busying themselves for a big recruitment push in the close-season. Walsh and co have already identified targets who they feel can push Everton to the next level. The groundwork is being put in, contact being made, background checks being carried out. The search is global. And on Monday it was revealed in Portuguese newspaper Record that the Blues had scouts at the game between FC Porto and Sporting Lisbon at Estadio do Dragao on Saturday evening. The game, between the Primeira Liga's second and third best sides, ended 2-1 to Porto, thanks to two goals from debutant Tiquinho Soares. But who could the Blues have been keeping their eye on? Here are a few options...
Ruben Semedo
With Phil Jagielka dropping down the pecking order and Ramiro Funes Mori still to convince, it's no secret that Everton are in the market for a new centre back. Sporting's Semedo, at 22, is making a decent impression. Tall, aggressive and physically commanding, the Portugal U21 international still has some improvements to make in terms of his positional play, decision-making and use of the ball, but he's a good prospect. He's been linked with Southampton in the past, though he'd cost upwards of £15m.
Yacine Brahimi
A familiar name to Evertonians, the winger is back from AFCON duty with Algeria, and has been performing well with Porto since moving from Granada in 2014. A two-footed left winger, the 26-year-old boasts genuine pace and super-quick feet, though his end product can often be mixed. Everton looked at Brahimi last summer, but a deal worth around £35m never got over the line.
One to be revisited, perhaps?
Adrien Silva
A European Championship winner last summer, the 27-year-old Silva is a France-born midfielder who specialises in 'a bit of everything'. He can run, he can pass, he can get his foot in and he can nick a goal.
He was close to joining Leicester last summer, suggesting that Walsh has done a fair bit of research. He's a virtual ever-present for Sporting, and started every one of his country's knockout games at Euro 2016.
Gelson Martins
Another explosive winger, Gelson was born in Cape Verde and has enjoyed a stellar 18 months since his ascent to Sporting's first team. Small, nimble and with a love of dribbling, he has an air of Nani about him – in terms of his strengths and his weaknesses, you could say. Sporting tend to produce good wide players. The 21-year-old looks like the next cab off the rank.
Sporting's forward Gelson Martins (L) falls beside Porto's Brazilian defender Felipe during the Portuguese league football match FC Porto vs Sporting CP at the Dragao stadium in Porto on February 4,
Jesus Corona
Spotted the theme yet? Corona is a Mexican winger, 24 years of age and who boasts lightning feet, good pace and bags of skill. He's also got goals in him, and the ability to play off either wing. He moved to Porto after two years in the Netherlands with FC Twente, and he's already won honours with former club Monterrey, as well as his national team. In fact, he won the best young player award at the CONCACAF Gold Cup back in 2015.
Porto's Mexican forward Jesus Corona celebrates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Porto vs Leicester City FC at the Dragao stadium in Porto on December 7,
Bas Dost
Not the most elegant of footballers, but the big Dutch striker (he's 6ft 5in) is pretty effective.
He's scored goals wherever he's been – plenty in the Eredivisie with Heracles and Heerenveen, a fair few for Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga. And he's continued the theme since moving to Sporting last summer, netting 18 in 26 appearances. His buyout clause is a reported €60m. He's not worth half that, but he could be a handy signing for a squad which needs an extra centre forward.

Ronald Koeman was Everton's unsung hero against Bournemouth
Michael Ball on why Ronald Koeman was Everton's unsung hero on Saturday
By Michael Ball
7 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
I don't think many people have mentioned it yet, but Everton boss Ronald Koeman deserves massive credit for what he did on Saturday. There were times in the second half when we looked unfit and we couldn't get near Bournemouth. But the timing of Koeman's changes, and the decision to go back to a three in defence killed their momentum. It took our nervousness away a little and the two-minute break while the switches were made, and the subsequent formation change, saw us get back at Bournemouth again. That was all down to Koeman making the change at the right time because our hearts were in our mouths at the time. It was a Plan B, it worked and he deserves the plaudits.
It was also refreshing to see the starting line up - which surprised the majority of the people in the crowd - me included. We have been playing well with three at the back, but Koeman changed it in the midweek draw at Stoke and changed it again. I like the way he is planning game by game. He is keeping the opposition guessing and showing we can play both ways. We have our own style, but can tweak it to suit whoever we're playing. Mason Holgate and Tom Davies have both missed out and they will be frustrated. It's a reality check but it will help them. We all know kids can be inconsistent and being taken out of the limelight will help. It's part of modern day football. And it ensures they will be hungry in training and continue to knock on the first-team door - which is only good for results ultimately.

Everton youngster Anton Donkor finds it tough in second Blues game
German taken off after an hour in under-23s' game with Arsenal
By Phil Kirkbride
7 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
After that exciting debut came the difficult second performance from Anton Donkor.
The 19-year-old German, on loan from Wolfsburg, had been excellent in last week's win over Manchester United but struggled to produce an encore last night. Suffering with cramp, Donkor had wanted to come off early in Leigh seven days earlier but with three changes already made, he had to grin and bear it for the 90 minutes. Everton's new signing Anton Donkor in action for the under-23s against Arsenal at Haig Avenue in Southport. Photo by James Maloney On a bitterly cold night in Southport, however, Donkor was hauled off early as David Unsworth replaced him on the hour mark.
It had been a difficult evening for the powerful wide-man and, in front of the watching Erwin Koeman, where much of what he tried had come off against United, little he attempted against Arsenal did.
The pitch made life difficult for every player but Donkor was losing his footing more than most, the going was soft and he struggled to gallop anywhere near into impressive stride. If facing the Premier League experience of Carl Jenkinson wasn't a challenge enough, staying upright was another test for the teenager in unforgiving conditions as Everton's youngsters chased the win to restore their six point lead at the top of the table. Asked to play upfront for the first 15 minutes of the second-half, having started wide left in a 4-4-2 formation, Donkor worked hard but could not influence the game. And with Unsworth, notably, having to remind him of positioning and his off-the-ball duties, perhaps where last week showed us his potential, last night highlighted where works still needs to be done.

Will Liverpool still be ahead of Everton come the Anfield derby on April 1?
The Reds' next five fixtures will prove pivotal in their challenge for Champions League qualification
By Ian Doyle
7 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Managers and supporters look at the fixture list in different ways.
Fans instantly seek out the showpiece matches, the must-see games, and plan accordingly.
Those in the dugout, meanwhile, have a tendency to chop the season up into chunks.
Jurgen Klopp won't be any different. And for Liverpool, the next five games will prove hugely pivotal in determining whether they can realise their primary target of earning Champions League qualification.
Title talk, always somewhat fanciful, has been silenced by a poor run of form that has seen the Reds win just one of their last 10 outings. With cups no longer a concern, it has left Klopp's men to concentrate on winning back their place in the top four they lost at the weekend for the first time since September.
From looking ahead, Liverpool are now looking nervously over their shoulder at Manchester United and, yes, Everton. And here's what is to come for the Reds, and their rivals, in the next seven weeks.
Liverpool's next five games
Tottenham (H) – Sat Feb 11
Leicester City (A) – Mon Feb 27
Arsenal (H) – Sat Mar 4
Burnley (H) – Sun Mar 12
Manchester City (A) – Sun Mar 19
Georginio Wijnaldum celebrates his winner for Liverpool against Manchester City in December
If Liverpool are to rediscover their rip-roaring form of the autumn, now would be the ideal time.
Tottenham have only ever won six league games at Anfield but know a victory would put a mammoth seven points between themselves and the Reds – not a situation worth contemplating. Leicester, meanwhile, are enduring an horrific defence of their title, but are due pulling a performance out of the bag. There should be no complacency on that journey. The March 4 visit of Arsenal has all the makings of a proverbial six-pointer between two teams whose title aspirations have been dashed during the past week, while Burnley's dreadful away record should give Liverpool real encouragement.
Then there's the small matter of a trip to a Manchester City side who are showing signs of being rejuvenated – and, like Tottenham and Arsenal, are in the hunt for a top-four berth.
After that comes the small matter of an Anfield derby on April 1 against an Everton team who will hope they've chased down the top six by then after an impressive run of form in 2017.
What about the rest in the race for the top four?
Manchester United, sixth in the table and one point behind Liverpool, have a busy February. They face Saint-Etienne in the Europa League and Blackburn in the FA Cup, and take on Southampton at Wembley in the EFL Cup. In the league, Jose Mourinho's men have only one more fixture, at home to Watford on Saturday. March sees a home game against Bournemouth and trips to Southampton and Middlesbrough. Arsenal face a Champions League tie with Bayern Munich later this month – as well as an FA Cup banana skin at Sutton United. Their only league fixture in February is at home to Hull while in March, as well as travelling to Anfield, they are at West Brom and have a home game with Leicester.
Manchester City went third after beating Swansea on Sunday, and next up face a Bournemouth side smashed for six at Everton. After that it's Huddersfield in the FA Cup and Monaco in the Champions League, March bringing with it league games at home to Stoke and away at Sunderland, as well as that clash with the Reds. Tottenham are a point better off than City in second place, four clear of Liverpool. After Anfield, they have FA Cup and Europa League ties this month against Fulham and Gent respectively, and also face a home game with Stoke in the league. March sees them host Everton and then travel to Crystal Palace and entertain Southampton before the month is out. Finally, in-form Everton have a decent run of games, travelling to Middlesbrough away on Saturday and hosting Sunderland later this month, while in March the Blues are at Tottenham before home games against West Brom and Hull City. Anfield could prove pivotal for several reasons.

Steve Walsh tells how he identifies stars like Ademola Lookman and Idrissa Gueye
Everton Director of Football explains his scouting strategy
By David Prentice
7 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Steve Walsh has spoken about the brainstorming session he enjoyed with Ronald Koeman last summer which has helped him identify talent like Ademola Lookman and Idrissa Gueye. Walsh is Everton's first Director of Football, with a track record for unearthing outstanding stars like Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and N'Golo Kante. But he has revealed that before he started to scout future gems for Everton, he needed to discover what type of players Koeman preferred. He explained: "When I came to the club, the first thing I asked Ronald was 'how do you want to play?' We then got a board out and looked at formations and the type of players that he likes because unless I know the blueprint for the type of players that Ronald wants, then we'd all be wasting our time. "Fortunately we came together on that and it has worked very well. But there has to be that understanding between the two of us.
"The modern-day football manager has to manage the team and the situation at the club and it's very difficult for them. "Yes, they have a knowledge of players, yes, they watch a lot of games on TV and the opposition when we are playing them. But it's impossible for them to know everything. "Modern day recruitment is a collaboration between the manager and the recruitment staff at the clubs. And it's about trust. It's about being together." As well as quality, Walsh added that "character" was an essential ingredient in any players that he recommended. He told Everton's official club website: "Character is very important and you can find out a lot about players when you are watching them on the pitch. "It's not necessarily about what you do when you've got the ball, a lot of the time it's about what you do when you don't have it. "Are they prepared to roll up their sleeves and put a shift in for the team? Do they get back into the team shape and know their defensive responsibilities as well as their attacking prowess? "Then obviously you do your homework, you ring people who have worked with them before, and I speak to players who have played with them before, especially if they're experienced players and I trust their judgement. Basically, I try to find out as much about them as I can."

Why Everton striker Romelu Lukaku is no flash in the pan
Lukaku's goalscoring record is up there with some Everton greats
By David Prentice
7 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Romelu Lukaku scored his 13th goal of 2016/17 - 30-seconds into Saturday's enormously entertaining defeat of Bournemouth. Goals 14, 15 and 16 for the campaign swiftly followed. It meant that Lukaku became the first Everton player to score 16 goals in four successive seasons for the club since Joe Royle between 1967/68 and 1970/71. Elite company indeed. But then Lukaku has been rubbing shoulders with some seriously celebrated marksmen for some time. With 78 goals in all competitions for Everton, he is just one behind Alan Ball's Everton career tally of 79. With 59 Premier League goals he is also just one short of Duncan Ferguson's league tally for the Blues He eclipsed legendary names like Tommy Lawton, Fred Pickering and war hero Bobby Parker some time ago - and now he is closing on strikers like Derek Temple, Fred Geary and Alex The Golden Vision Young. With consistency to go with his quality, Lukaku has long since proved he is no flash in the pan.
Everton Flashes in the pan
Nikica Jelavic
Nikica Jelavic was Everton's flashiest flash in the pan.
When the Croat who specialised in one-touch finishes arrived from Glasgow Rangers in the winter of 2012, he hit the ground running. Like Usain Bolt. After scoring the winner on his home debut against Tottenham, he then hammered a remarkable 10 goals in 10 games during the 2011/12 run-in.
Evertonians sat back and eagerly awaited another goal rush in 2012/13.
It failed to materialise.
He managed just eight goals the following season - and only two the season after that.
Lukaku was the man Roberto Martinez turned to, to replace him. That didn't turn out too badly, did it?
Andy Johnson
Maybe it's unfair to label the speedy Johnson a flash in the pan, but the truth is that after six goals in his first seven Everton appearances - including two in a wildly celebrated Goodison rout of Liverpool - Johnson couldn't maintain that output. He ended the 2006/07 sesason with 12 goals in all competitions, a tally which had shrunk to 10 the following campaign. That summer he found himself on his way to Fulham.
Danny Cadamarteri
The autumn of 1997 was the era when the precocious talent that was Michael Owen was unleashed on an unsuspecting world. But across Stanley Park Everton thought they had discovered their own equivalent when the bullish, explosive, pacy young striker that was Danny Cadamarteri scored in his Premier League debut against Barnsley. The Yorkshiremen were involved in a relegation fight that season, but Cadamarteri proved he could do it against top sides, too, scoring in a Goodison draw with Arsenal and a famous Goodison derby defeat of Liverpool. Further goals against Scunthorpe and Sheffield Wednesday had Evertonians giddy with excitement, but that derby match goal was the youngster's last for more than a year. He continued to show cameos of promise, but it never really endured.
Kevin Campbell
Such was Kevin Campbell's impact on-loan from Trabzonspor in Turkey that Evertonians demanded the club sign him up permanently, despite the financial difficulties the Blues were going through in the tail end of the Peter Johnson administration. It was hardly surprising. His stunning burst of nine goals in five matches at the end of 1998/99 effectively kept Everton in the top flight. Campbell continued to enjoy spells of scoring form - but he could never match that glorious introduction to Evertonians.
Mike Newell
The gangly Scouse striker was a surprise hit in the autum of 1989.
A summer signing from Leicester he scored in seven of his opening eight matches of the season, to earn an unexpected call up to Bobby Robson's England squad and fired Everton to the top of the early First Division table. Neither club nor player could maintain the streak. Newell ended the season just scraping into double figures - and Everton finished the season sixth.

Everton's Tom Davies wins Player of the Month award
Davies had a terrific month in January with a goal and two assists
By Joe Rimmer
7 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Everton youngster Tom Davies has scooped the PFA Fans' Player of the Month award for January.
The teenager beat off competition from Spurs duo Dele Alli and Harry Kane, Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez, Stoke striker Peter Crouch and Swansea's Gylfi Sigurdsson to win the award, which is decided by a fans' vote. 58,000 votes were cast in the poll, with Davies claiming 25,045 votes - over double his nearest rival Alli, who claimed 12,560 votes. January was a breakout month for Davies. He started all three of Everton's fixtures, scored his first senior goal in the 4-0 defeat of Manchester City at Goodison Park and claimed two assists. West Derby born Davies was handed his debut by Ronald Koeman in September and has now made 10 appearances for the Toffees this term.

Here's why today is a landmark date for Everton
It's a curious 'on this day' for Blues fans
By David Prentice
7 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
February 7 isn't usually considered to be one of Everton's landmark dates. They did pull back a 3-0 deficit to Manchester United to draw level at 3-3 on this date in 2004, only to then go and concede a last minute fourth! And they did once win 7-0 at Charlton on this date too, but that was way back in 1932.
But the date does carry a big birthday coincidence - with Everton's oldest and youngest ever players both celebrating their birthdays on this date. Legendary goalkeeper Ted Sagar, a league and FA Cup winner during his mammoth 24 years as a player with the Blues, was born on February 7 1910.
At 42 years 282 days old when he played at Plymouth in 1952, he is Everton's oldest Everton footballer.
The youngest is Jose Baxter, who celebrates his 25th birthday today, and when he stepped off the substitutes' bench against Blackburn on the opening day of the 2008/09 season at 16 years 191 days young became the club's youngest ever footballer.

Everton defender Matty Pennington produces "one of the best" performances Blues coach has seen
Blues centre-half comes in for high praise after display in u-23s win over Arsenal
By Phil Kirkbride
7 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Matty Pennington delivered one of the finest centre-half performances David Unsworth has ever seen at under-23 level. The 22-year-old was instrumental in Everton's 1-0 win over Arsenal in Southport on Monday night as they restored their six point lead at the top of the Premier League 2 table. Pennington partnered teenager Morgan Feeney at the heart of the Blues defence and Unsworth hailed their performance in testing conditions as "massive". But Pennington, who has only recently returned from a hamstring injury that had kept him out since July, was picked out for special praise from Unsworth.
"I thought our back four, five including the keeper, defended amazingly tonight," the u-23s coach said.
"Matty Pennington, it was probably one of the best displays at this level I've ever seen - it was faultless.
"And Morgan Feeney is a better player for playing alongside him and it's great for Morgan, as a 17-year-old, to play with an experienced under-23 player because that will help his game, like Alan Harper helped my game when I was in the reserves. "Someone of that maturity to help him, to talk to him and I thought the two of them were outstanding. Jonjoe Kenny, brilliant, and I thought Matty Foulds had his best game in an Everton shirt.
"The lads in front of them were terrific as well.
"We always make a big deal about pressing and the team unit but I felt our two centre-halves tonight were massive." Everton lead the way in Premier League 2, six points ahead of Manchester City and with a superior goal difference with only six games remaining. Unsworth is refusing to get carried away but even he had to admit Nathan Broadhead's 86th minute strike felt significant. "It's a massive win on the bigger scale but the way we went about it, we always knew it was going to be tight because Arsenal are a good team," he said. "But it's a massive win and I'm so proud of the lads." "We tried two strikers tonight," he added. "Bass (Sambou) got his goals last week, Courtney (Duffus) has come into a bit of form as well, Sam (Byrne) is coming back and we know Nathan has got an abundance of ability with the ball at his feet. "It was always going to take that type of goal to win it tonight and we kept going and this side showed, once again, what great spirit they've got."

Thierry Henry reveals Romelu Lukaku's unusual nickname
But Lukaku's nickname is far from the most unusual at Everton
By David Prentice
7 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
BELGIUM coach Thierry Henry has revealed the unusual nickname he has for Romelu Lukaku, when the pair team up at international training sessions. Lukaku, who blasted four goals against Bournemouth at the weekend to soar to the top of the Premier League scoring charts, has scored 19 goals in 54 appearances for his country. But Henry's nickname for the Everton centre-forward has nothing to do with football. Henry revealed: "All the Red Devils want to learn. I call Romelu the lawyer. He discusses everything, even his socks. "It's important that people know that because sometimes they think the younger generation doesn't care enough." And Henry believes that if Lukaku maintains his thirst for knowledge he could get even better. "What does he need to improve?" added Henry. "Everything should be even better. But he's young. He'll keep getting better." Maybe he will earn a different nickname then?
Everton, meanwhile, have plenty of famous nicknames. Here's some well known monikers, and some not so well known.
The most famous of the lot. Everton's greatest ever goalscorer was christened William, preferred Bill, but was actually nicknamed Dixie. No-one knows exactly why. Some claim it as a corruption of 'Digsy', a schoolyard nickname given for his aggressive style in games of tag. But much more likely is that his dark crinkly hair and complexion which tanned very quickly reminded football fans in the 20s and 30s of folk in America's Dixieland.
As nicknames go, Alex Young's was grand. But then so was the footballer.
He oozed charisma - and while his deep-lying, graceful artistry was indeed visionary, his halo of blond curls were ceratinly golden. The nickname was so fitting it was even used for a seminal BBC Play for Today which featured Evertonian devotion to their idol.
From a grand nickname, to an inexplicable one. David Weir was nicknamed 'Peas' by his team-mates .... because Davey rhymes with 'peas and gravy'. No, we told you it was inexplicable. But it stuck. Defensive partner Alan Stubbs was much happier with the simpler 'Stubbsy.'
Back in the halcyon days of the 1980s, almost every Everton player enjoyed a colourful nickname.
Fearless forward Andy Gray was nicknamed Freddie, because he bore a passing remblance to Evertonian comedian Freddie Starr. Until his team-mates realised that Peter Reid also looked like the madcap comic. Simple. Andy was Freddie One, Reidy was Freddie Two. Or the other way around. No-one was really sure!
Simple really. Psycho Pat sounds almost like Psychopath, and Pat van den Hauwe was an, ahem, uncompromising defender and individual. He liked it so much it's what his autbiography was called.
Another easy one, Adrian Heath was small. So he was nicknamed Inchy, but boy did he pack some talent into that diminutive frame.
They liked their grandiose nicknames in the 60s, but this one wasn't given by the fans. Manager Harry Catterick used the phrase to talk about his indispensable skipper - and it stuck.
Ball Harvey Kendall, or was it Kendall, Harvey, Ball, were the only trio to enjoy a collective nickname. it was fitting, though, because their football was heavenly.
Graham Stuart is a cheery, chirpy cockney, so Diamond is highly appropriate. He also sparkled for the Toffess when it mattere most - his goals against Wimbledon in 1994 more priceless than even the biggest jewel.
When David Unsworth was on one of his surging runs forward, he was impossible to knock off the ball.Like a rhino's charge. Sometimes the best nicknames are the simplest.
Current Under-23 defender Antonee Robinson is nicknamed Jedi. We have absolutely no idea why. Can anyone help?

Everton loanee Gerard Deulofeu told to improve by AC Milan boss
Deulofeu at the San Siro for the rest of the season
By Phil Kirkbride
7 FEB 2017 Liverpool Echo
Gerard Deulofeu has been told he must improve - just three games into his loan spell with AC Milan.
The 22-year-old joined the Italian giants until the end of the season but coach Vincenzo Montella wants more from the Everton winger. Deulofeu fell out-of-favour at Goodison under new boss Ronald Koeman and sealed the switch to the San Siro last month. But Montella has already challenged the Catalan to "do a lot better" as Milan try and chase down the leading pack in Serie A. "He clearly has quality," Montella is reported as telling Milan TV. "He needs to grow in terms of being consistent during the game and he needs to be more decisive. He can do a lot better, and I'm convinced he will do a lot better."



























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

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