Everton Independent Research Data


Everton FC: Eidur Gudjohnsen not for us say Blues
July 1 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON are one of three Premier League clubs who have shown interest in signing Barcelona striker Eidur Gudjohnsen, claims the Icelandic striker's father, Arnor.
But the Blues insist that Manchester City striker Jo and Sheffield United's Kyle Naughton are the only players they have made official enquiries for this summer.
The list of players linked with moves to Everton this summer reached epidemic proportions today, with Gudjohnsen's name joining latest links Lonik Cana, Alex Hleb and Marcus Berg, along with old favourites Michael Bradley, Jose Antonio Reyes and Stephane Mbia – and the outlandish suggestions of Jermaine Pennant and Ismaël Bangoura Gudjohnsen's dad, Arnor, said: “I think that Eidur will leave Barcelona, but I am not sure where he will end up playing next. “There are many possibilities open to him . Apart from Aston Villa, Fulham and Everton, there are also clubs in other European countries that want him.” But while Everton officials say they are still negotiating with Manchester City over a possible loan deal for Jo, Kyle Naughton is the only other player they have actively pursued. Now 30, Gudjohnsen does not fit the make up of a David Moyes target – and with reported wages of £70,000-a-week he would have to take hefty pay-cut. Everton striker, Yakubu Aiyegbeni meanwhile, has disclosed plans to set up a football academy in his native Nigeria. Yakubu, who is progressing well from the Achilles injury which abrutply ended his Everton season last November, said: “The academy will be based in Lagos and Abuja. I want to get young players off the streets and help them develop better as footballers.
“Talent abounds in Nigeria, but we need to direct these youngsters properly and professionally. “It will be my own little way of giving back to the system that gave me the breakthrough before I left for Europe.” Yakubu starred for Okumu Oil of Benin and Julius Berger of Lagos before he moved to Israel, from where he transferred to England. Yakubu may have formed the idea for an academy after talking to team-mate Joseph Yobo. The Blues defender runs a scheme to help the less fortunate in his oil-rich Rivers State. Reports, meanwhile, suggests Sam Allardyce could try to resurrect the career of free agent Andy van der Meyde. The Dutchman was a resounding flop during his four years at Goodison, but is still just 29, and the Blackburn boss has a proven track record for coaxing the best out of international stars considered to be past their sell-by date.

Phil Jagielka back for pre-season training next week - Everton FC latest news
Jul 1 2009 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON defender Phil Jagielka is desperate for company at Finch Farm next week, after admitting the long, lonely rehabilitation from his cruciate knee ligament injury was “starting to get to me.” The Blues report back for pre-season training next week, minus players like Steven Pienaar, Tim Howard and Joseph Yobo who have been given extended breaks following international commitments, but Jagielka has been working on his own for the last few weeks. Jagielka suffered the injury in April against Manchester City, which kept him out of the FA Cup final against Chelsea and is set to sideline him until November. But he is at least relishing the chance to integrate with his team-mates in the final few months of his rehabilitation, which he is expecting a progress report on in four weeks’ time. “Everything is on schedule,” said Jagielka. “It’s a long process which is starting to get to me a little bit but I’ve got to keep smiling. “The rest of the boys will be back in soon enough and they will have some stories and a bit of banter to keep me going for another month or two.
“I’ve seen the Yak around plus Bainesy and Victor (Anichebe) have popped into the training ground as well but when everyone is back taking the mickey out of each other I’m sure the days will go a lot quicker. “I’m still looking at November. I go to see the specialist in about four weeks and he will give me an idea how it is all doing.”
As well as concentrating on repairing the damage to his knee, Jagielka, who swept the board at last season’s Player of the Year awards, is also faced with the prospect of rediscovering his athleticism. “I can’t kick balls yet but it’s a case of getting the knee right and not doing too much too soon,” he added. “With the muscle waste my body hasn’t been used to doing too much. “I have to get my body used to being an athlete again and need to build up the strength in my knee.” Former Everton centre-back Derek Mountfield, meanwhile, believes that Blues boss David Moyes is the perfect man to help the club move forward and become one of English football’s top names again. “Every year David Moyes raises the bar a little bit more and last year he did it again,” he said. “He has to make sure the players are ready for it this season, if that means dropping some players and new ones coming in then so be it. “David Moyes has a job to do and that is to take Everton to the next level. “This year we have to finish fifth again and reach another Cup final and maybe even win a trophy.
“We’ve done very well on fairly limited resources. Moyes has been very frugal in the transfer market, he’s brought in some quality players for not very much money.
“Nowadays the market dictates that the average player is £10million or more but I’m sure he will bring players in that will strengthen the team.” Mountfield, who was a member of the most successful team in Everton’s history, also remains hopeful that Moyes will not be forced into selling some of his best players this summer, with some wealthy vultures reportedly hovering over some members of his squad. “Joleon Lescott is being linked with Manchester City and Arteta is as well. We have to keep those players, they are the future,” Mountfield added. “You don’t sell your best players, you use them to build your squad around. Over the past few years we have proven that we can play a style of football that consistently gets results and our best players are vital to that.”

Lars Jacobsen on his Blackburn challenge
Jul 1 2009 Liverpool Echo
BLACKBURN’S new recruit, Lars Jacobsen, is relishing the challenge that lies ahead at Ewood Park. The Denmark right back, 29, has signed a two-year contract following a season with Everton. However his progress on Merseyside was hampered by a dislocated shoulder early in the campaign. Jacobsen said: “I got off to a poor start and was out for half the year. But I fought back and played six matches. “I am really looking forward to the next two years. It is going to be a good experience for me.
“The Premier League is the the biggest in the world. Everyone wants to play there and I am no different.” After signing for Everton last season, Jacobsen missed most of the campaign through injury and ended up making just five appearances, with the first start in a Royal Blue jersey coming as late as March.

Everton aiming to price Joleon Lescott out of Manchester City move
July 2 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON are trying to price Manchester City out of the market for their coveted England defender Joleon Lescott. City have made it known they will not offer any more than £15million for Lescott. Everton hope that their refusal to entertain any fee short of £20m will see the player stay at Goodison. But now City are aiming to push the player into asking for a transfer, with a salary offer in the region of £80,000 a week – double Lescott's present Everton deal. City were encouraged when Lescott offered a non committal response to questions about his future when asked after England’s recent World Cup qualifier against Andorra. But the Blues are hopeful that the likelihood of an extended run in his favoured central defensive position – with Phil Jagielka missing until November and Leighton Baines outstanding for the second half of last season at left-back – will see him stay at Goodison. Lescott made 14 appearances at full-back during 2008/09, a position in which he is equally accomplished as centre-back, but from Boxing Day onwards played all bar two matches in his favoured berth. The only matches he missed were when he was rested for the visit of West Bromwich Albion, a decision which ended an incredible run of 129 consecutive appearances, and ironically the visit of Manchester City to Goodison.
Everton believe that Glen Johnson’s £17m transfer to neighbours Liverpool is a marker for their £20m valuation of their six-cap England international.
David Moyes does not want Lescott to leave, and negotiations for the year-long loan of striker Jo from Manchester City have been conducted without Lescott's name being involved. The fear is that City's ability to offer a staggering pay rise may be too much for Lescott to ignore. The Blues, meanwhile, are preparing to start pre-season training next week, with manager David Moyes back on Merseyside and expected to open the new club shop Everton 2, LiverpoolONE tomorrow.

Jack Rodwell's debt to Everton boss David Moyes
Jul 2 2009 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON midfielder Jack Rodwell believes manager David Moyes is the man to guide him through the next stage of his career. The 18-year-old graduate from the Toffees’ academy made a significant first-team breakthrough last season, scoring his first senior goal in the FA Cup against Fulham. Rodwell gained valuable experience as England finished runners-up in the European Under-21 Championships in Sweden and now he hopes to step up a level when the 2009/10 campaign kicks off.
And Moyes is the man who has helped him the most so far. “He’s been amazing.
"He’s a great gaffer to have - he’s helped me a lot because I’m young,” he said.
“He puts his trust and faith into the youngsters as you’ve seen over the past years, which is good for me and good for the youngsters coming through at Everton.”

Everton confirm pre-season friendly at Bury
Jul 2 2009 Liverpool Echo
Everton have confirmed they will face League Two side Bury this month.
The friendly clash, set to take place on Friday 10 July, will be the first prestigious game of Bury's 125 anniversary season. With a 7.45pm kick-off, it will be the first opportunity for fans to see David Moyes' men in action this season. The game will be one of Bury's first since the disappointment of missing out on League One promotion after a defeat to Shrewsbury in the League Two play-offs. Everton captain Phil Neville said: "I think everyone knows about my links to the club and it will be a pleasure to go back there. "I'm sure it will be an enjoyable day but it also represents the first game of what is a very important pre-season for us." Last time Everton met the Shakers, was in the pre-season of 2007. The Blues were 1-0 victors in that game courtesy of a goal from debutant Lukas Jutkiewicz. The Toffees will also play Rochdale, River Plate, the MLS All-Stars, Blackpool, Coventry and Malaga this pre-season.

Everton FC fan Chris Foy to referee FA Community Shield
Jul 2 2009 by Paul Snowdon, Liverpool Echo
THERE will be at least one Evertonian at Wembley Stadium after all in next month’s FA Community Shield. Refereeing the clash on Sunday, August 9 between Manchester United and Chelsea will be St Helens official Chris Foy.
Foy, 46, was first appointed to the Select Group Referees list in 2001 has previous experience officiating at Wembley. Foy has not refereed an Everton match, apart from friendlies, since 2002 when he declared his interest. Back in March, he took charge of the Carling Cup final between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.
He also refereed the 2007 FA Trophy final which was the first competitive final played at the newly-designed stadium. Foy said: “To receive any appointment off the FA is always fantastic, no matter what competition it is in, as it always gives you a thrill. “So to be given the responsibility of refereeing the Community Shield this year is a wonderful opportunity for me. “It’s an honour to receive it and I’m really looking forward to what should be a smashing game of football.”

Everton FC stadium buy-up of Kirkby town centre begins
Jul 2 2009 by Richard Down, Liverpool Echo
Knowsley Council will agree in principle to use compulsory purchase orders to buy up Kirkby town centre
KNOWSLEY council will set the ball rolling on a mass buy-out of Kirkby town centre next week. The move comes four months ahead of a final decision on Tesco and Everton FC’s £400m scheme for the town. The council claims the buy-out will save time and money if the secretary of state approves the stadium and superstore plans. But opponents said they were astonished at the timing and extent of the new orders.
KNOWSLEY is paving the way for Everton FC’s proposed move to Kirkby by fast-tracking compulsory purchase orders on the whole town centre. The council’s cabinet will agree in principle plans to snap up the entire town estate at a meeting next week.
The mass buy out, underwritten by Tesco, will only go ahead if the controversial £400m plans for a supermarket and stadium south of the town centre are approved by the secretary of state. But despite this decision still being four months away Knowsley is pressing ahead – to the astonishment of opponents. Executive director of regeneration Nick Kavanagh said: “Due to the lengthy timescales that would be involved in any CPO process, this report is being considered now, at the highest decision-making level we have, in order that if a positive planning decision is reached, land can be assembled to allow for the Destination Kirkby regeneration project to be delivered as quickly as possible.” The CPO will only be used if Tesco fails to persuade land-owners to sell. But a report to the cabinet by council chief executive Sheena Ramsey said: “While positive discussions have taken place with the key landowners within the proposed CPO area regarding the acquisition of their interests, significant delay in acquiring those interests could be prejudicial to the delivery of the project.” Tony Barton, of Kirkby Residents Action Group and 1st4Kirkby, claimed the move suggested the council was prepared to force through the CPOs no matter what.
Knowsley Council will agree in principle to use compulsory purchase orders to buy up Kirkby town centre
He said: “The nightmare scenario for Kirkby residents is for Tesco to own the land both north and south of Cherryfield Drive to do with it as they wish, or not do anything with it, as the case may be. “And this is clearly what our council is hell-bent on achieving for Tesco, regardless of the residents' and traders' objections.”
Leader of Knowsley’s opposition Cllr Ian Smith said: “The way the council is carrying on makes you believe they know something about the decision that no one else does. “It looks like the map is going to be swept clean and for those born and bred in Kirkby this must be a distressing state of affairs.” The council report to the cabinet from chief executive Sheena Ramsey admits there is likely to be plenty of objection to the buy up and possibly a second public inquiry into any CPO. This could hit ultimately cause further delays to the scheme. The council also announced this week it has handed Tesco 19 hectares – the size of 19 football pitches – to the south of Cherryfield Drive as part of the same project. Opponents have long argued the land is being sold off far below its real value.

Everton boost as Manchester City chase Chelsea's John Terry
July 3 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
MANCHESTER CITY have had a £30m bid to sign John Terry rejected by Chelsea.
Everton hope the news means City have started to look elsewhere for defensive reinforcements after their refusal to entertain any bids for Joleon Lescott.
City made an approach for the England captain last season, but returned with a formal offer during recent talks between the two chief executives Garry Cook and Peter Kenyon. However, Chelsea confirmed last night: “We have completely rejected an offer from Manchester City for John Terry. “It was made clear to City, for the second time following another approach last season, that we would not entertain any conversation on the subject. We would like to make clear that John is not for sale.”
City had made it known earlier this summer that Everton's England defender, Lescott, was high on their transfer wish list. But the Blues made it clear that suggested bids in the £15m range would not be entertained. Promising Leeds youngster Luke Garbutt, meanwhile, sparked overnight transfer speculation, by telling pals on his Facebook website that he is to sign for Everton today! Friends of the 16-year-old left-back have posted Good Luck messages to the youngster. One asked “You playing for Everton?” to which he replied, “yeye im off on fri,” followed by further messages of support and Good Luck. Reports in Yorkshire had already claimed that Everton were interested in luring the teenager to Goodison. The highly-rated defender impressed for England under-17s during the recent European Championships. Garbutt scored in the 1-1 draw with the Netherlands and also featured in the group clash with the hosts, while being named as substitute for the final game with Turkey. There was no official comment from Everton. Everton, meanwhile, will stage a Shareholders Forum in the Marquee at Goodison Park on July 15, in the absence of any formal AGM this year. Under the terms of the Companies Act 2006 it is no longer a requirement for a private limited company to hold an Annual General Meeting. But the Blues insist they still want to give their shareholders an opportunity to air their views in front of the chairman Bill Kenwright, chief executive Robert Elstone and manager David Moyes. The decision means that Everton will not be staging an agm this year

DAVID PRENTICE: Words come easily for Everton target Stephane M'Bia
July 3 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
THE saga of Rennes’ midfielder Stephane M’Bia and Everton’s alleged interest has been almost soap operatic. In the best Campbells and the Tates tradition, here’s what you missed last year. August 12 2008: Mbia is bouncing with enthusiasm. “Everton’s offer is too good to refuse. "I cannot leave on bad terms, despite the lure of the Premier League. "I am caught in the middle. It is not easy when everyone has been so kind to you.” By August 19, Stephane was still optimistic: “I haven’t changed my mind, I want to join Everton.” But by August 23 he was getting a little desperate.
“We are still in contact. I hope now that Rennes will accept to enter into negotiations with this English club. I don’t want to let this chance go by.” The transfer window came and went, and with it, so did Stephane’s enthusiasm for Everton.
September 8, 2008: “Everyone knows there are clubs that are after me, that is not new. Arsenal made contact in the last hours of the past market but the club did not want to let me go. I have decided to stay here against my wish.”
But 12 months on, and Mbia’s Royal Blue leanings seem to have been revived.
June 5, 2009: “I am keen to join them because, if what is reported is true, they have said that they want me and value me as a player.” June 18, 2009: “I have already told Rennes of my desire to leave but they have the final say … They know and understand my position.” June 29, 2009: Mbia belatedly decided to let his lawyer do the talking. Ralph Isenegger, said: “We are in talks. It is a draw between Marseille and Everton so far. But Stephane would love to work with Didier Deschamps, even if David Moyes is an excellent coach too.” The final words belong to an internet mischief maker, but seem to sum up the whole saga. want me, and Arsenal do too, so I’m waiting. I want to play for Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea. Chelsea is my favourite. If Manchester, Everton or Arsenal come for me, I will go. It’s all very, very good. So I’m waiting.”

Yakubu determined to fire on all cylinders for Everton FC in pre-season
July 4 2009 by James Pearce, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON striker Yakubu has vowed he will be back firing on all cylinders for the start of the new season. The 26-year-old has been out of action since he ruptured his Achilles tendon in the Blues’ 1-0 win at Tottenham last November. However, the Nigerian has worked tirelessly to regain his fitness and insists he’s ready to play a full part when pre-season training starts on Monday. “I’m getting better every day and at the moment things are great,” he said. “It’s been a tough time and very frustrating but I knew there was nothing I could do about it. “I knew it was going to take seven or eight months and I’ve been waiting for the day I could start playing again. I’ve had great support from everyone at Everton. I’ve been training so hard and the physio has been wonderful to me. “I’m running well now and there’s been no reaction or setbacks. I’m looking forward to pre-season and I feel like I’m new to the team.
“By the start of the season I will definitely be ready and I’m confident I can get back to where I was before the injury.” Yakubu, who has scored 26 goals in 52 starts for the Blues since he was signed for £11million from Middlesbrough in August 2007, is determined to help Everton build on the achievements of last season.
He could only watch from the sidelines as despite a lengthy casualty list David Moyes’ side finished fifth in the Premier League and reached the FA Cup final.
“The players did so well last season,” he admitted. “They were fighting for each other and the spirit in the team was very good. “It was unbelievable to have a team with no strikers and a key midfielder in Mikel Arteta out injured still finishing fifth and getting to the Cup final. “It was a great season and you have to give credit to the players. “We know it’s going to be difficult to beat what happened last season but the players set a standard and we have to keep playing at that level. “We have to keep doing it and with the players we have plus some new players coming in we can do it.
“With people coming back from injury the squad is going to be stronger and I believe it will be a very good season for us.” Yakubu was speaking at the official opening of the club’s new store ‘Everton Two’ at Liverpool One yesterday afternoon.
He was joined by boss David Moyes, Blues legend Graeme Sharp and hundreds of Evertonians for the launch. It marks Everton’s long awaited return to the city centre following their partnership with new retail partner Kitbag. Yakubu said: “The shop looks great and it’s wonderful to see so many fans. “On the pitch we’ve made a lot of progress over the past few years and with the new shop at Goodison plus this one in the city it shows the club is also making great progress off the pitch.”

Everton FC pre-season plans kick-off at Bury
July 4 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON'S competitive pre-season preparations will kick-off next Friday night – just four days after training begins at Finch Farm. After the cancellation of the tour to Ghana, the Blues will now meet more prosaic opposition in the shape of League Two side Bury at Gigg Lane. The friendly clash will be the first prestigious game of Bury's 125th anniversary season. With a kick-off time of 7.45pm, it will be the first opportunity for fans to see David Moyes' men in action this season. The game will be one of Bury's first since the disappointment of missing out on League One promotion after a defeat to Shrewsbury in the League Two play-offs. Everton captain Phil Neville, brought up in Bury, said: “I think everyone knows about my links to the club and it will be a pleasure to go back there. “I'm sure it will be an enjoyable day but it also represents the first game of what is a very important pre-season for us.”
Last time Everton met the Shakers was in the pre-season of 2007. The Blues were 1-0 victors in that game courtesy of a goal from debutant Lukas Jutkiewicz. The Toffees will also play Rochdale, River Plate, the MLS All-Stars, Blackpool, Coventry City and Malaga this pre-season.

Royal Blue: Everton FC signing Anton Peterlin is living the American dream
July 4 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
HOT news for frustrated Everton fans eagerly awaiting the Blues’ first signing of the summer. They’ve already made one! American midfielder Anton Peterlin flew into Merseyside this week to put pen to paper on a one year deal – two months after the Echo reported his signing following a 10-day trial. And he’s both excited and thrilled by his big chance. “I’m not sure how often such miracles happen, but I will not squander this opportunity,” he declared. Goodison was still gripped with FA Cup fever when the 22-year-old’s capture from Ventura County Fusion was announced – and largely overlooked. Fusion play in the fourth tier of US football – the Premier Development League – but boss David Moyes declared: “Anton really impressed myself and the coaching staff with his attitude and undoubted ability.” Moyes wasn’t anywhere near as impressed as the player himself, though. During his 10-day trial in March, Peterlin watched Everton’s FA Cup quarter-final against Middlesbrough and enjoyed a brief introduction to life in Liverpool. “It’s a cliché to say, but it really is a dream come true,” he said. “I’ve always aspired to play at the highest level.
“My experience in the UK was amazing and eventful. Once I arrived in Manchester and drove to Liverpool I realized that I had been given a great opportunity.
“Almost immediately, I watched Everton play Middlesbrough in the FA Cup quarter-finals. The game was fast paced and the fans were terrific. Everton won, 2-1, with two great second half goals. That game set the mood for the rest of the week.
“The week I was there was great to play with some great names like Phil Neville, Tim Cahill, Tim Howard and that’s just to name a few. “Their poise on the ball was terrific and they demand the highest level out of your play every time out. “It was terrific. In addition, they worked hard on and off the ball and were direct and very skilled.
“ I was especially impressed with Neville’s completion rate and Louis Saha’s shot accuracy. He is a natural finisher, him and Jo included. “Everton was especially good to me and showed great class and respect. The level of play was faster and demands were higher than what I had experienced before, but it was not overwhelming and I knew that I could rise to the occasion.” Peterlin was recommended to Everton by Fusion coach Graham Smith, a former West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper.
Said Smith: “Moyes put him immediately with the first team and Anton did not look out of place. For eight days, he applied himself tremendously well.” Because of British employment laws and eligibility rules, usually only top US internationals can sign for Premier League clubs. But Peterlin, born to Danish and Slovenian parents, holds an EU passport as a dual Danish-American citizen. “I trained with Everton’s first and reserve teams,” he went on. “Already with the reserve team, I had to compete with some of the best players in the world. Although it took some time to understand their accents, by the end of the week I was feeling quite comfortable. Their attitude and respect towards football were amazing. I was stepping into another world. “It was different than American training. It was directed at pressure, pressure, pressure. Very concentrated. Very organised. I was so in love with it.” Peterlin is a holding midfielder and relishes the role. “It’s not a glamour position,” he admitted. “I get my joy when we clean up dirty little messes and get into scraps. “What do I think about being a PDL player moving to the Premier League? “Simply put, it is great. “Although there are excellent players and teams in the PDL, I feel that I have entered a new level with Everton.”

Royal Blue: Criticism of Everton FC's Steven Pienaar doesn't add up
July 4 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
FORMER South African centre-half and one-time Leeds United statue Lucas Radebe has slated Steven Pienaar for failing to “step up” in the latter stages of the Confederations Cup. Radebe clearly engaged mouth before brain when he accused Pienaar and midfielder Teko Modise for going missing. “They were badly needed by the team in the later stages when things became a lot harder, but they did not step up,” he declared. For the record Pienaar's South Africa finished the tournament in fourth place and he was voted man-of-the-match for his performance in the semi-final with Brazil.

Everton FC's Jon Woods has true blue club ancestry
Jul 4 2009 Liverpool Echo
JON WOODS is a born and bred Evertonian . . . he had no choice. Everton’s unsung deputy chairman can trace his Royal Blue blood line back even beyond the cradle, to the club’s pioneering days as a founder member of the Football League.
Because the Blues’ director is a direct descendant of Dr James Clement Baxter, the equally unsung hero who was hugely influential in the early growth and development of the club. Those family ties mean that Everton is the only one of the Football League’s original 12 clubs still with direct links to their founding fathers – and it is a link of which Woods is justifiably proud. “I’ve always known I was related to Dr Baxter. It was just something I’ve never been asked about until now,” he explained.
“Dr Baxter had three children – two sons and a daughter – and the daughter was maiden aunt to me. . . . and yes, it’s something I’m proud of. “I’ve always been an Evertonian, it’s the blood in my veins. And I’m pretty confident that none of the other 12 founder members of the Football League have direct descendants of their original founding fathers in the boardroom today. We are a club built on heritage and history and I’m tickled pink to be part of it ” Dr Baxter is one of the stars of Everton’s rich football heritage. He was the man who stood firm alongside George Mahon when a fractious split tore the club apart more than a century ago and led to the creation of Liverpool. Where Mahon was a leading figure in the local Methodist community, Baxter held the same esteem among the city’s Catholics. He was educated at St Francis Xavier College and became a physician of some renown amongst the local Irish community. He also made a name for himself in the world of politics and represented the Liberal Party on the City Council from 1906 to 1920. During his association with Everton he was to hold several positions from medical advisor to director and chairman but his biggest contribution came when he joined forces with Mahon when the fight with John Houlding came to a climax in 1892. With the destiny of the club relying on a move away from Anfield, and the clutches of John Houlding, money was needed to build a new ground on the recently acquired plot of land on Goodison Road, called Mere Green. The finances needed for the building work were raised in various ways and along with money already held by the club the ground was ready for the start of the 1892-93 season, but the club had stretched itself to its limits. George Mahon knew that a poor season could seriously damage the stability of the club, this is when Dr Baxter stepped in. He advanced Everton £1000 in the shape of an interest free loan and asked for no security, thus establishing the club’s future.
At a stormy AGM on June 5, 1895 George Mahon resigned as the club’s chairman and reluctantly Dr Baxter took over the leadership. He was relieved to later find out that his old friend had been induced to resume his position. Baxter’s interest free loans allowed Everton’s Victorian pioneers to start again at Goodison Park and construct a stadium which quickly became recognised as the best in the land – and it was his guidance as chairman which established Everton Football Club as one of the early giants of British football. “Obviously I have no personal memory of him,” added the Blues deputy chairman who, like his ancestor has backed the blues both on the terraces and through his private funds, “but I’ve done some research which I’ve managed to add to with the help of few family reminiscences. “He had a practise in Robson Street, near Anfield. He had three children, two sons and a daughter, who was maiden aunt to me. “I do recall his daughter, my aunt, going to matches when I was a child and the police closing off the street so she could be dropped off at the main entrance! “I’ve always been an Evertonian – I had no choice really, did I? – I first started to go to Goodison Park in the 1950s and I have vague memories of the old main stand with coal fires. “I joined the board in 2000, largely through being in the right place at the right time.” Brought up in his native Liverpool, Mr Woods founded the computer-entertainment firm, Ocean Software, which became a global success.
He is a friend and staunch ally of chairman Bill Kenwright – and between them they have seen the Blues establish themselves as a top six side in the Premier League and last season reach their first Cup final for 14 years. He continues to live just 40 minutes from the stadium his ancestor helped build and never misses a game – “Bill calls being a Blue an addiction, for me it’s a family one,” he says.

Unsung deputy has Royal Blue blood
Jul 4 2009 Liverpool Echo
JON WOODS is a born and bred Evertonian . . . he had no choice. Everton’s unsung deputy chairman can trace his Royal Blue blood line back even beyond the cradle, to the club’s pioneering days as a founder member of the Football League.
Because the Blues’ director is a direct descendant of Dr James Clement Baxter, the equally unsung hero who was hugely influential in the early growth and development of the club. Those family ties mean that Everton is the only one of the Football League’s original 12 clubs still with direct links to their founding fathers – and it is a link of which Woods is justifiably proud. “I’ve always known I was related to Dr Baxter. It was just something I’ve never been asked about until now,” he explained.
“Dr Baxter had three children – two sons and a daughter – and the daughter was maiden aunt to me. . . . and yes, it’s something I’m proud of. “I’ve always been an Evertonian, it’s the blood in my veins. And I’m pretty confident that none of the other 12 founder members of the Football League have direct descendants of their original founding fathers in the boardroom today. We are a club built on heritage and history and I’m tickled pink to be part of it ” Dr Baxter is one of the stars of Everton’s rich football heritage. He was the man who stood firm alongside George Mahon when a fractious split tore the club apart more than a century ago and led to the creation of Liverpool. Where Mahon was a leading figure in the local Methodist community, Baxter held the same esteem among the city’s Catholics. He was educated at St Francis Xavier College and became a physician of some renown amongst the local Irish community. He also made a name for himself in the world of politics and represented the Liberal Party on the City Council from 1906 to 1920.
During his association with Everton he was to hold several positions from medical advisor to director and chairman but his biggest contribution came when he joined forces with Mahon when the fight with John Houlding came to a climax in 1892. With the destiny of the club relying on a move away from Anfield, and the clutches of John Houlding, money was needed to build a new ground on the recently acquired plot of land on Goodison Road, called Mere Green. The finances needed for the building work were raised in various ways and along with money already held by the club the ground was ready for the start of the 1892-93 season, but the club had stretched itself to its limits. George Mahon knew that a poor season could seriously damage the stability of the club, this is when Dr Baxter stepped in. He advanced Everton £1000 in the shape of an interest free loan and asked for no security, thus establishing the club’s future. At a stormy AGM on June 5, 1895 George Mahon resigned as the club’s chairman and reluctantly Dr Baxter took over the leadership. He was relieved to later find out that his old friend had been induced to resume his position. Baxter’s interest free loans allowed Everton’s Victorian pioneers to start again at Goodison Park and construct a stadium which quickly became recognised as the best in the land – and it was his guidance as chairman which established Everton Football Club as one of the early giants of British football. “Obviously I have no personal memory of him,” added the Blues deputy chairman who, like his ancestor has backed the blues both on the terraces and through his private funds, “but I’ve done some research which I’ve managed to add to with the help of few family reminiscences. “He had a practise in Robson Street, near Anfield. He had three children, two sons and a daughter, who was maiden aunt to me. “I do recall his daughter, my aunt, going to matches when I was a child and the police closing off the street so she could be dropped off at the main entrance! “I’ve always been an Evertonian – I had no choice really, did I? – I first started to go to Goodison Park in the 1950s and I have vague memories of the old main stand with coal fires. “I joined the board in 2000, largely through being in the right place at the right time.” Brought up in his native Liverpool, Mr Woods founded the computer-entertainment firm, Ocean Software, which became a global success.
He is a friend and staunch ally of chairman Bill Kenwright – and between them they have seen the Blues establish themselves as a top six side in the Premier League and last season reach their first Cup final for 14 years. He continues to live just 40 minutes from the stadium his ancestor helped build and never misses a game – “Bill calls being a Blue an addiction, for me it’s a family one,” he says.

Everton FC's first game at Bury just four days into pre-season training
July 6 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES’ Everton squad is ready to hit the ground running this pre-season.
The Blues first teamers will report back in three stages to prepare for the 2009/10 season – with a competitive friendly match organised just four days after training kicks-off. Some senior players arrived at Finch Farm today for a series of fitness tests, before leaving for a short training break in Scotland. The Blues will spend four days north of the border, before returning on Friday for the opening pre-season friendly at Bury. The match forms the curtain-raiser to the League Two club’s 125th anniversary season. It will be The Shakers’ first game since the disappointment of missing out on promotion after losing to Shrewsbury in the League Two play-offs, and Everton’s first match since the FA Cup final disappointment.. Everton skipper Phil Neville, raised in Bury, said: “I think everyone knows about my links to the club and it will be a pleasure to go back there. “I’m sure it will be an enjoyable day but it also represents the first game of what is a very important pre-season for us.” The Blues will field a number of youngsters, with players involved in end of season clashes, like England defender Joleon Lescott, not due to return to training until next week, while Steven Pienaar, Tim Cahill, Tim Howard, Jack Rodwell and Joseph Yobo have been given a further fortnight’s rest after their exertions in the Confederations Cup, European under-21 Championships and World Cup qualifiers. Sources in Manchester, meanwhile, suggest weekend reports linking Paul Scholes with a move to Goodison seem far-fetched. The Manchester United stalwart, 35 later this year, has a year remaining on his Old Trafford contract and is expected to see it out. The Blues will field a number of youngsters, with players involved in end of season clashes, like England defender Joleon Lescott, not due to return to training until next week, while Steven Pienaar, Tim Cahill, Tim Howard, Jack Rodwell and Joseph Yobo have been given a further fortnight’s rest after their exertions in the Confederations Cup, European under-21 Championships and World Cup qualifiers. Sources in Manchester, meanwhile, suggest weekend reports linking Paul Scholes with a move to Goodison seem far-fetched. The Manchester United stalwart, 35 later this year, has a year remaining on his Old Trafford contract and is expected to see it out.

Philip Carter 'excited' by Everton FC transfer plans
Jul 6 2009 Liverpool Echo
THE man who smashed the British transfer record as Everton chairman believes supporters can be “excited” about the club’s transfer plans this summer.
Sir Philip Carter sanctioned a £2.2million outlay for Tony Cottee in 1988, when Everton beat off competition from Arsenal to sign the West Ham striker and top the previous British record of £2m when Paul Gascoigne left Newcastle for Tottenham.
Now Goodison life president, Carter says: “I think it’s quite an exciting time. As a previous chairman, I always found it exciting when you were looking for new players that the manager had identified. “When you secure them, you have a new element in your team. “The work that goes on with the manager, the chairman, the chief executive and the board is quite considerable. The hard thing at the moment is the money that is needed to secure these transfers. “It’s difficult because you see that they are paying £80m for Ronaldo, so the prices are increasing for the top players, so what David Moyes has done in identifying players at an earlier level and spotting the potential is tremendous.” But Carter admitted it was easier to sign players during his first tenure as chairman from 1977 to 1991. “From the point of view of what a player can now demand, they can make demands for things other than just their salary,” he added. “From that point of view, going back 20 years it was a much simpler job in those days.”Everton are still waiting to bring in their first significant purchase of the summer, but teenage full-back Luke Garbutt completed his move from Leeds over the weekend – days after telling the world he was heading to Goodison on his Facebook website! Everton Academy director Ray Hall, said: “It’s one of the highlights of the season. “Every year you see the hopes and aspirations of the young players and their families. “This is about the new group and hopefully we’ve got one or two players that the followers of Everton can be proud of. “Some of the players that have been through this process are now world stars and household names. “I just hope that some of these boys take the opportunity that’s available to them,” he said. Joining Garbutt in completing their their induction for Everton were: Adam Cummins, Jake Bidwell, Connor Roberts, Luke Dobie, Tom Donegan, Zac Thompson, Ryan Watson, Femi Orenugu and Daniel Murphy.

Everton FC boss David Moyes to hit the ground running with squad
July 6 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES’ Everton squad is ready to hit the ground running this pre-season.
The Blues first teamers will report back in three stages to prepare for the 2009/10 season – with a competitive friendly match organised just four days after training kicks-off. Some senior players arrived at Finch Farm today for a series of fitness tests, before leaving for a short training break in Scotland. The Blues will spend four days north of the border, before returning on Friday for the opening pre-season friendly at Bury. The match forms the curtain-raiser to the League Two club’s 125th anniversary season. It will be The Shakers’ first game since the disappointment of missing out on promotion after losing to Shrewsbury in the League Two play-offs, and Everton’s first match since the FA Cup final disappointment.. Everton skipper Phil Neville, raised in Bury, said: “I think everyone knows about my links to the club and it will be a pleasure to go back there. “I’m sure it will be an enjoyable day but it also represents the first game of what is a very important pre-season for us.” The Blues will field a number of youngsters, with players involved in end of season clashes, like England defender Joleon Lescott, not due to return to training until next week, while Steven Pienaar, Tim Cahill, Tim Howard, Jack Rodwell and Joseph Yobo have been given a further fortnight’s rest after their exertions in the Confederations Cup, European under-21 Championships and World Cup qualifiers. Sources in Manchester, meanwhile, suggest weekend reports linking Paul Scholes with a move to Goodison seem far-fetched. The Manchester United stalwart, 35 later this year, has a year remaining on his Old Trafford contract and is expected to see it out.

Everton FC on brink of season long loan for Manchester City striker Jo
July 7 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON are on the verge of wrapping up a season-long deal for Jo.
The Brazilian striker has travelled with the Everton squad to Scotland for a four-day intensive training camp and now seems certain to stay at Goodison Park for the next 12 months. He was at Finch Farm yesterday morning to undergo a series of fitness tests before returning later in the afternoon for the trip to St Andrews. Goodison officials have been negotiating with their Manchester City counterparts and Jo’s advisors in recent weeks and have now ironed out terms. Jo enjoyed a successful spell on Merseyside in the second half of last season, scoring five times in just 11 starts to help the FA Cup finalists finish fifth in the Premier League. Given that the 21-year-old endured a miserable spell at Eastlands, he made no secret of his desire to stay with Everton and now his wish has come true. His release from City has been made easier with Mark Hughes having signed Roque Santa Cruz from Blackburn this summer, as well as pursuing deals for Barcelona’s Samuel Eto’o and former Manchester United striker Carlos Tevez. Everton do not have the funds in place to make Jo a permanent member of their squad just yet – he cost City more than £18m last summer when signing from CSKA Moscow – but he will provide competition for places up front.
Blues boss David Moyes – who is also close to wrapping up a deal for American midfielder Anton Peterlin – will now set about making further additions.
The key difference between this season and last, though, is that the squad has a much more robust look to it and Moyes will be able to field a relatively strong team for the first game of pre-season at Bury on Friday night. Phil Neville, Tony Hibbert, Carlo Nash, Leighton Baines and Jo could all start at Gigg Lane, along with Leon Osman, who is happy to return from his summer break. “It’s good to be back,” Osman said after checking in at Finch Farm yesterday. “It’s been nice to have a break and recharge the batteries but now the hard work begins again. “It’s also great to see all the lads who are here again – everyone’s happy to be back and the banter’s in full flow already. “Now we’ve just got to focus on being ready for Arsenal and what will hopefully be another successful season for us in the coming campaign.”

Kieran Agard signs two year deal at Everton FC
July 7 2009 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON have tied one of their brightest young prospects to a new two year contract and were today on the verge of confirming their first signing of the summer.
The FA Cup finalists were back in pre-season training today, and are expected to confirm the signing of 22-year-old American midfielder Anton Peterlin.
But they have also secured 19-year-old reserve striker Kieran Agard on a new two-year contract. Agard has progressed through the Bluers’ ranks after joining from Arsenal as a 16-year-old, and was named on the bench for the first team on three occasions last season. Agard was prolific for the under-18 side after his arrival and soon moved into the reserve squad, and he was the second string’s player of the season last term. The pacy frontman travelled with the first-team squad to Switzerland last summer for pre-season training and now has the chance to stake his claim again.
He said: “I’m absolutely delighted. “Two years is a good amount of time to show what I can do and hopefully I can give the manager food for thought. “It was great to be named the Reserves’ player of the year last season and I’ve had time to go away and reflect with my family on the good bits and bad bits of my progress. “I know what I need to do and I’m looking forward to it.”Peterlin is expected to be the next signing to be officially confirmed. He said: “I am not sure how often miracles happen, but I will not squander this opportunity.” Peterlin impressed on a 10-day trial last season, when he was able to attend the FA Cup victory over Middlesbrough. Joining from Ventura County Fusion for a nominal fee, he is expected to complete the details of a one-year contract. Fusion play in the fourth tier of US football - the Premier Development League - but boss David Moyes said: “Anton really impressed myself and the coaching staff with his attitude and undoubted ability.” Peterlin added: “The trial period I was there was great. “To play alongside some great names like Phil Neville, Tim Cahill and Tim Howard was an experience. “Their poise on the ball was terrific and they demand the highest level out of your play every time out.” Everton’s youngsters and non-internationals were back in training today, with those on international duty, like England’s Joleon Lescott and Jack Rodwell not returning until next week, while the Blues other international stars like Tim Cahill, Tim Howard and Steven Pienaar given a further fortnight. Moyes took the squad to Scotland for a training camp near Edinburgh yesterday, and an Everton Eleven will play at Bury on Friday night.

Everton FC season ticket sales pass 24,000 mark
July 8 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON have smashed their projected season ticket sales figures.
The Blues had hoped to sell 23,700 seats but with 38 days still to go before the start of the new campaign, that figure is now close to 24,000. Given that last year’s total sale was 23,220, club chief executive Robert Elstone, says he is thrilled with the figure, particularly in the current financial climate. However, he has promised the hard work has not stopped - and hopes there will be even more seaosn tickets snapped up before the big kick-off against Arsenal on August 15. “We had already beaten last year’s figure, so to go beyond our target is very pleasing,” said Elstone. “I have said time and time again that season ticket sales are our bread and butter and we will continue to push to get numbers as high as possible. “Full stadia is what the Premier League is all about and it is the aim of the team on and off the field to ensure that Goodison Park is as busy as possible each time we open the turnstiles.” Everton, meanwhile, have once again been linked with a number of potential transfer targets, most notably Standard Liege’s flying midfielder Steven Defour. The Belgian international caused Everton problems when the sides met in the UEFA Cup last season but suggestions that a £13m bid has been made are wide of the mark. Though Everton are pursuing a number of options, the only concrete inquiries have been for Manchester City striker Jo and Sheffield United full-back Kyle Naughton. Jo will continue to train with Everton’s squad at their retreat in Scotland as he awaits his season long loan move to be officially confirmed. The situation surrounding Naughton, however, is much more complex because Sheffield United have demanded a hefty transfer fee, believed to be around £6m. Naughton was the Blades’ Young Player of the Year last season but he is not yet 21 and has only made 50 appearances in the Championship.
But he remains someone who is high on David Moyes’ wish list and the Everton manager is in the market for a right-back, as he has just allowed Danish international Lars Jacobsen to join Premier League rivals Blackburn Rovers.

Hamburg midfielder Shkodran Mustafi signs for Everton FC
July 8 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON have completed the signing of talented German teenager Shkodran Mustafi – much to the dismay of his club Hamburg. The 17-year-old agreed a move in principal from the Bundesliga side in May, but the formalities have now been completed. The German defender has signed a three-year deal and travelled with the senior squad to Scotland for a pre-season training camp. “We really tried to keep Shkodran at our club, but when there is a club from England coming up we are unable and unwilling to compete financially,” said Jens Todt, the head of Hamburg’s youth academy. “It is tough to accept, but it will not destroy us. We are just hoping this is not going to happen too often again.” But the player himself, who is a German Under-17 international centre-back, said: “It’s a very nice feeling. “It’s one of my dreams to play for a Premier League club and that dream has come true for me.
“I had three good years at Hamburg but now this is a new chapter. It was a hard decision to leave home but it’s another country, another language and I’m looking forward to it. “I hope I have a good start and I can learn to improve on my weaknesses. Then I hope I can move through the reserves into the first team and get a chance to prove myself. I feel like I will get that chance here.” Everton will pay no transfer fee, but FIFA training compensation will be applicable.
Mustafi is a centre-half of Albanian descent and is expected to link up with Andy Holden’s reserve squad once pre-season is completed. Everton chief executive Robert Elstone, meanwhile, has confirmed that the Goodison club is negotiating for an extension of Manchester City striker Jo’s loan after the Brazilian’s spell last season.
He said: “We’ve had a conversation with City over the options available and discussions will continue.”

Everton FC’s strike ace Louis Saha will shine next season says Blues No2 Steve Round
July 9 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
Louis Saha is congratulated for his FA Cup final goal STEVE ROUND today hailed the attitude of Everton’s ‘forgotten’ striker that could turn him into their most potent weapon. Louis Saha ended last season creating a small slice of history when scoring the quickest FA Cup final goal but circumstances since then mean he has has hardly been mentioned. Jo’s imminent arrival, the pursuit of Michael Owen and Yakubu’s return to fitness following a ruptured achilles have all been topics of conversation - but few have spoken about what a big pre-season could now do for Saha.
Round, however, has been impressed by the enthusiastic way the Frenchman has gone about his business in Scotland this week and hopes it is the start of big things to come.
“Louis has come back in really good shape,” said Round. “It’s clear to see he has worked hard during his summer break and that’s something he’s done of his own accord. “It looks as though he means business and we are very pleased with his progress; all being well, the next few weeks will do him the world of good.
“This time of year is so important, as it is not just fitness work that is important – it’s the mental side of the things as well. “When you have been through a David Moyes pre-season and shown the right attitude to come out of it on the other side, then it stands you in good stead for anything. “The manager tests you and stretches you to the limit, so if Louis can come through and get that basic fitness under his belt, it will be ideal for everyone.” Saha has endured many fitness problems in recent years and his first season on Merseyside was disrupted when he suffered a serious hamstring injury in a 1-0 win at Tottenham last November that sidelined him for three months.
But, in reality, he was playing catch up from the moment he arrived from Manchester United after sustaining a calf problem last summer and, as a result, he never really hit top gear. There were, however, flashes of brilliance – notably goals against West Ham, West Brom and Chelsea – and Everton’s assistant manager is adamant Saha will flourish if he puts in the hard yards now. “Louis is a very popular member of the squad and he has everybody’s respect – but that’s not just at this football club,” said Round, who expects Saha to play some part in tomorrow night’s opening friendly at Bury. “He is proven at the highest level. “You have to remember it was only three years ago that he would have played in the World Cup final but for picking up a booking in the semi-finals. “That tells you the kind of quality he has got.
“He is a player who can change a game in a flash and we hope he can show his very best.”

Leeds winger Fabian Delph’s Everton FC move gathers pace
July 9 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON’S hopes of signing Fabian Delph have been given a boost after Leeds boss Simon Grayson indicated that he would be willing to do business. Delph is one of the hottest young prospects outside the Premier League and the Blues have been monitoring his progress for some time. What’s more, the added attraction for David Moyes is that Delph has ticks in all the right boxes in terms of criteria for a potential signing in that he is young, brimming with potential and British. However, Everton are just one of a number of top flight clubs who covet the 19-year-old who was named Leeds’ Young Player of the Year last season and had scouts flocking to Elland Road with his exciting performances. As yet, Everton have not made an official bid but they will be heartened by Grayson’s revelation that Leeds would be willing to do business if they get an acceptable offer for the England Under-21 international.
“Until someone comes in with hard cash and there’s an offer on the table, then that’s a decision we will eventually have to make,” Grayson said. “There have been lots of enquiries, but we want to keep hold of the player. Then again, every player has got a price. Manchester United got a good price for Cristiano Ronaldo. “No-one expected him to leave six months ago, but in football that happens. Fabian is a talented player and you can’t get away from the fact there are going to be some Premier League clubs enquiring about him. “But he’s under contract and any decision on players leaving the football club has got to be the right decision for us and the player as well.”
Phil Neville, meanwhile, is adamant that the Premier League is still the place to be despite Real Madrid’s extravagant and spectacular summer recruitment policy.
Florentino Perez’s return to the Bernabeu as president has coincided with Madrid spending unprecedented levels of cash to sign Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo but Everton’s skipper believes that football in this country will continue to flourish.
“It’s all because of one man and one man’s wealth that players are going to Real Madrid,” Neville said. “Real Madrid are spending money but I still believe the Premier League is the best, the most exciting, the most honest, the most entertaining and we can be proud of that.”

Everton FC fixtures changed for TV coverage
July 9 2009 By Dominic King
EVERTON’s games on the opening weekend of the new Premier League season have been re-arranged for television coverage. The Blues' home tussle with Arsenal will now kick-off at 5.15pm on Saturday, August 15 so it can be shown on ESPNThe first Merseyside Derby of the new campaign also features in a raft of changes for both clubs and will be covered by Sky Sports, with a 1.30pm kick-off time on Sunday, November 29. Not surprisingly, Liverpool's fixtures against Chelsea (October 4, 4pm) and Manchester United (October 25, 2pm) have also been moved but there is a shock for Evertonians in that their away trips to Fulham (September 13, 1.30pm) and Portsmouth (September 26, 12:45pm) have been given new kick-off-times to accommodate the cameras.
New dates - Everton
Saturday August 15 - Arsenal (h, 5.15pm) ESPN
Sunday, September 13 - Fulham (a, 1.30pm) Sky Sports
Saturday, September 26 - Portsmouth (a, 12.45pm) Sky Sports
Saturday, November 21 - Manchester United (a, 5.15pm) ESPN
Sunday, November 29 - Liverpool (h, 1.30pm) Sky Sports

Bury 2 Everton FC 1 - pre-season starts with Gigg Lane defeat
Jul 10 2009 By Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
MUCH has changed in Bury since Everton last visited Gigg Lane to start their pre-season preparations two years ago. For instance, Danny Boyle, the town’s pre-eminent film director, has become an Oscar winner; top band in the area Elbow released the critically acclaimed album ‘The Seldom Seen Kid’, while local glamour girl Suzanne Shaw won Dancing on Ice. Fascinating stuff, you will agree. Evertonians who look forward to a trip to this part of Greater Manchester, though, are only interested in one thing, namely the affairs of David Moyes’ team; in fitting with Bury, much has changed with them of late, too. When the two sides last met on July 14, 2007, and the game was settled by a solitary Lukas Jutkiewicz goal, Everton had only just secured a place in the UEFA Cup again and had a squad that was still in transition.
Fast forward to the present day and the party that Moyes took to Gigg Lane – even withstanding injuries and summer holidays – had a much more polished look about it and few would dispute their reputation as a club has dramatically improved.
Poised to embark on their third consecutive European adventure and having played in the FA Cup final just 41 days earlier, Everton’s star will, all being well, continue to ascend and this quaint venue was the perfect place to kick-off the 2009/10 campaign.
While the trip to Ghana that had been arranged would have been an eye-opening experience, not to mention a lucrative one, the timing of it never really sat easy and there could have been adverse ramifications at a later date. Every member of the travelling party would have needed jabs for yellow fever, while a long-haul flight after four days intensive training in Scotland would not have been ideal for aching muscles – nor would a game in sweltering heat. Happily there were no such concerns from travelling 40 miles down the M62 and, coming at the end of the training camp in St Andrews, it was the ideal exercise to ease Moyes’ players back into the swing of things. The first half went exactly how Moyes would have wanted. Although Bury started off with plenty of enthusiasm, Everton’s superior class soon began to show and they started creating accessible chances for the twin strike force of James Vaughan and Louis Saha. Vaughan’s choice of boots might have been open for debate – they were a sickly shade of red – but there was nothing wrong with his attitude and he almost made the breakthrough on 12 minutes when firing Dan Gosling’s through ball against the legs of Bury goalkeeper Wayne Brown before six minutes later he clipped the top of the crossbar with a chip from 18 yards. However, it was left to Saha, who had impressed during the four days spent in St Andrews, to break the deadlock when he found space in a crowded penalty area to flick Leighton Baines’ cross past Brown with a deft header on 22 minutes. That advantage should have been doubled on 36 minutes when Baines was again the provider but this time Jose Baxter somehow missed from one yard when the ball got stuck between his feet. That gave the hosts a lift and they almost snatched an equaliser just before the interval when Ryan Lowe forced Carlo Nash into action, the goalkeeper making a flying save to beat out a fierce drive. Not surprisingly, wholesale changes were made at the interval, but what was not envisaged was the complete turnaround that followed in the second half.
With a number of young reserve players on the pitch, Everton let their guard slip; Lowe and Efte Sodje took full advantage of poor marking to score two goals in six minutes and thus ensuring Everton begin pre-season with a defeat. Nobody of a Blue persuasion, though, will be panicking.

Everton FC sign Jo on season-long loan deal
Jul 10 2009 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON have signed Brazilian striker Jo on a season-long loan from Manchester City. The 22-year-old spent five months on loan from Eastlands at Goodison Park last term, and after a week of discussions, the former CSKA Moscow player - an £18million signing for City last summer - will spend the next 12 months with the FA Cup finalists. Everton were hoping to complete the final paperwork for Jo to play tonight in the club’s first pre-season friendly of the summer at Bury. Jo scored five times in 12 appearances for Everton last season, but his future at City was put in doubt by the arrival of Roque Santa Cruz from Blackburn last month. The loan deal was initially agreed last weekend and the player travelled to Scotland with Everton for a training camp this week. Everton’s other two summer signings, midfielder Anton Peterlin and defender Skhodran Mustafi, have both received international clearance to feature against Bury. Everton have also confirmed that they will go to tribunal to agree a compensation package with Leeds for the transfer of 16-year-old Luke Garbutt.
Leeds chairman Ken Bates is annoyed by the player’s departure from Elland Road and will demand “full compensation”. Everton have held discussions with Leeds and the Premier League following the youngster’s switch to Goodison earlier this month.
Everton insist they have acted within the rules, but Garbutt will not feature for the club until the issue is resolved. The Toffees have also been given permission to hold talks with Sheffield United full-back Kyle Naughton after a £4.5m fee has been agreed between the clubs.

Everton FC close to deal for Sheffield United's Kyle Naughton
Jul 10 2009 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON are closing in on a deal to sign Sheffield United’s Kyle Naughton.
The Blues have been tracking the exciting right-back all summer but their attempts to bring him to Goodison Park had been frustrated by United’s high valuation.
They had slapped a £6m price tag on his head but, with Aston Villa also stating their interest in Naughton, talks have taken place in the past few days to thrash out terms.
Once an agreement is in place - and it is understood the clubs are not far apart in terms of valuation - Naughton will be given the opportunity to speak to Everton and the 20-year-old could soon find himself following the route Phil Jagielka took from Bramall Lane to Merseyside. Despite Villa’s interest, Everton have long been at the head of the queue for Naughton’s signature and boss David Moyes will be hopeful that his pursuit is about to reach a successful conclusion.

Assistant boss Steve Round backs youngsters at Bury: Everton FC latest
July 10 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
STEVE ROUND has challenged Everton’s Boy Blues to seize the moment when their pre-season campaign begins tonight. With a number of senior players either coming back from injury or still on holiday, the side David Moyes sends out at Bury this evening (kick-off 7.45pm) will have a youthful look to it. That, of course, was the case last year when Everton opened up with a game against FC Sion in Switzerland but there a number of spin-offs from playing so many youngsters so early.
Both Jack Rodwell and Dan Gosling graduated from that fixture to play key roles later on in the campaign and now opportunity will knock for the likes of Jose Baxter, Kieran Agard and James Wallace – and Round hopes . “We have still got a few lads who have got to come back from injury – the likes of Mikel (Arteta) and Yak are making really good progress – but the squad is in good shape,” said Round.
“We have had a lot of the young lads with us this week and it has been a great experience for them to be around and see how far they have got to improve if they want to play for us. “There will be times when they find it tough but they only have to look at what Jack and Dan did last year to see what can happen.
“We will get a chance to have a good look at them, as I wouldn’t imagine that anyone will play the full 90 minutes at Bury. This is the first game of a long five weeks.”
With bigger tests to come at the end of the month, notably against top Argentinean side River Plate and the MLS All-Stars, Moyes won’t be turning the screw too soon.
His assistant, though, believes the outlook of the squad means those who spent the first part of the week training in Scotland will want end it with a satisfactory result at Gigg Lane. “The attitude and focus this week has been excellent but you always know that the motivation within this team to try and do better and be as good as they can be is spot on,” said Round. “Training has been very intense. We’ve been having sessions three times a day, starting off with a run around the golf course and finishing with a run up the sand dunes in the afternoon. “As good as the facilities at Finch Farm are, coming away to a place like St Andrews is ideal, as we can control when the lads are working, eating and resting. “So it might seem a little unconventional to have a game four days after coming back and we certainly won’t be expecting too much in terms of technique. “But it is better to have a run out like this than just having a game on the training ground and I’m sure Bury will want to give us a good work out.”

Phil Neville praises David Moyes' pre-season fitness regime: Everton FC latest
July 10 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
PHIL NEVILLE believes David Moyes’ intensive pre-season fitness regime will mean Everton hit the ground running for the new campaign. Blues make history against Arsenal on August 15 as the first Premier League side to host a game screened by ESPN. Before then, though, the squad will be put through the mill in a bid to get everyone fully attuned for a big opening performance. Preparations started this week when Moyes took a party to St Andrews and will be stepped up tonight in the first friendly at Bury. And Neville feels the hard yards now will reap rewards.
“It’s been tiring,” he said. “This my 16th pre-season and in a funny way they get a little bit easier because you know what to expect. “You know at the end of the day you're still going to be breathing. When you’re young, you think ‘I’m not going to survive another day.’ “But I have to say the four pre-seasons I’ve had at Everton have been the hardest of my career. The boss loves testing his players, pushing the boundaries. “He knows come the end of the season if you get through one of his pre-seasons you'll handle whatever’s thrown at you.” Neville will start at Gigg Lane tonight in a game also likely to see a first senior start for keeper Carlo Nash.
He signed on deadline day last August but was a frustrated spectator as Tim Howard played every minute of every game. With the American not back from holiday until the end of the month, Nash has his chance and hopes to play at Goodison Park next season. “The main factor is Tim’s fitness,” said Nash. “Obviously he’s No 1 and I just have to wait for a chance.”

Everton FC fight Premiership rivals to sign Kyle Naughton
July 11 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON are ready to fight off late interest from Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur to sign Kyle Naughton. The Blues have agreed a £5m fee with Sheffield United for the exciting right-back and personal terms have also been finalised but just when club officials thought they would be in a position to make an announcement, attempts have been made to hijack Naughton's signature. Both Villa and Spurs made contact with United and the player's advisors yesterday afternoon in the hope of being able to turn his head away from Goodison Park. Despite this unhelpful development, however, Everton remain in pole position to take Naughton from Bramall Lane.
United officials have noted the success Phil Jagielka has enjoyed on Merseyside since making a similar move in July 2007 and it has been impressed on the 20-year-old how many chances he would get if taking the same path. Naughton was told by United last night that they would not stand in his way after agreeing that fee with Everton and he subsequently played just 11 minutes as a late substitute in their friendly against Floriana in Malta. One man who is now officially an Everton player is Brazilian striker Jo. He completed the formalities of his 12 month loan from Manchester City in time for him to play in last night’s pre-season friendly at Bury, which ended in Everton losing 2-1. But assistant manager Steve Round was far from disappointed and said: “We were quite pleased with the first half performance and we created a number of chances but then we lost it in the second half. We made a lot of changes and put on a lot of young players and we could not quite keep up the momentum. “Credit to Bury as they are a good side. They came back strong and got a couple of goals but it’s the week that we are most pleased with not the game. The boys have worked incredibly hard, doing three sessions a day every day. It’s all about building. “There were a lot of positives and there was some intelligent play to create some chances in the first half so we are far from disappointed.”

Royal Blue: Spenders yet to blow open the transfer window
July 11 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
ANOTHER summer, another curious transfer window – astronomical figures are being spent yet hardly anyone seems to be moving. Unless you support a club that has vast reservoirs of cash to dip into, like Manchester City and Real Madrid, you will have noticed that comings and goings have actually been few and far between.
True, Manchester United have managed to bring in three players for various amounts – Michael Owen might have been free yet his wages mean he did not come cheap – while Sunderland are trying to spend but to no avail. Meanwhile, perennial cash-splashers Tottenham continue to be linked in gossip columns with exotically sounding names but just because they are threatening to make expensive signings does not mean they are on the cusp of greatness. Then you have Everton. Since the FA Cup final defeat, supporters have been scouring papers and websites on a daily basis to see if David Moyes is linked with a famous name who will arrive on Merseyside for a club record transfer fee. Before the window closes at midnight on August 31, that might happen but the reality at this stage is that Moyes is concentrating on transfer policy that makes both financial and football sense. With 20-year-old Kyle Naughton on the verge of arriving at Goodison Park from Sheffield United and 19-year-old Leeds midfielder Fabian Delph high on his wish list, Moyes is continuing to recruit, young, talented British players. Cardiff midfielder Joe Ledley (22) is another player who has been discussed and watched at length and he would also fit the bill, if Everton decide to make their interest in him concrete. When he first arrived at the club in March 2002, Moyes inherited a squad that had too many 30-somethings and very few saleable assets but the transformation over the past seven years means that now the opposite is true. If, as expected, Naughton joins the squad’s average age will be lowered once again and, granted he makes the anticipated development, it’s safe to say, Everton will not lose any of the £4m they plan to invest in him, if he were to ever move on. It’s all very well having a massive kitty at hand like the one Mark Hughes has at Eastlands but look at the signings he has made this summer and ask yourself this – will City get their money back on anyone he has bought? The Abu Dhabi United group who have invested heavily in City say they are in it for the long run but just imagine if they decide to pull the plug – the resulting fire sale would leave astronomical deficits. In contrast, the methodical way Moyes and Bill Kenwright have gone about their business means Everton have come back into pre-season in good shape. Yes it would be marvellous for Moyes to go out and lavish £20m on one player but there is no guarantee such an exorbitant price tag would guarantee top draw performances – you only have to look at Dimitar Berbatov to appreciate that.
With Mikel Arteta and Ayegbeni Yakubu also working hard to recapture their fitness, there is no desperate need for Everton to be scouring Europe’s divisions in the hope of bringing someone – anyone – in. Having steered them to an FA Cup final against the odds, Moyes has confidence in his squad and with a couple of sensible additions like Naughton, they are likely to take high rank again.

Jo is another loan move that has paid off for Everton FC manager David Moyes
July 11 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
Jo is another loan move that has paid off for Everton FC manager David Moyes
IN an age where it is almost impossible to find a transfer that can be classed as a bargain, being able to move swiftly and successfully for loans has become a must.
Thankfully for Evertonians, David Moyes has proven himself a master of that particular trade and it will be fascinating to see if his latest acquisition can tread the same successful path as many of his previous loanees. Jo – or, to give him his full title, João Alves de Assis Silva – will be an Everton player for the next 12 months now that terms have been agreed with Manchester City, having caught the eye during a brief spell at the club last season. Yet when he arrived on Merseyside in February, there was a deal of scepticism and some felt that the Brazilian was only drafted in to make up the numbers while Louis Saha and James Vaughan battled back from injury.
Not for the first time, though, a player who had moved to Goodison Park on temporary basis ended up making favourable headlines – he scored five important goals – and Jo’s story is similar in many ways to a number of his team-mates.
Take Mikel Arteta. Now the undisputed darling of the Gwladys Street, when Arteta was drafted in during the transfer window of January 2005, he had much to prove and, quite possibly, much to lose. Only five months earlier, Arteta had been signed by Real Sociedad to fill the void created by Xabi Alonso’s move to Liverpool but things turned sour quickly for the San Sebastien native in his home town. A change in management, coupled with a knee injury, saw Arteta lose his place and fall out of favour but given a new platform to express his talents and a coach who had total faith in him, he started to flourish and a permanent deal was quickly secured.
Sentiments which also apply to Steven Pienaar; Borussia Dortmund would have been happy to let the South African sit in the stands for the remainder of his contract in 2007 but Moyes saw something in the midfielder and was prepared to take a chance.
As we have seen during the past two seasons, Pienaar has seized the opportunity in spectacular style and there is little doubt that he will once again have a major role to play in the new campaign, following his superb end to the one just gone. Yes, there have been a couple of loans that have not worked out – Matteo Ferrari showed glimpses of class but was injured too much, while Thomas Gravesen also struggled for fitness. But, in the main, Moyes tends to strike gold and even Manuel Fernandes, for all his sulking and scowling off the pitch, made an impact after arriving from Portsmouth in the winter of 2007, helping the Blues qualify for Europe.
Arguably the most successful of all Moyes’ bargain buys is Tim Howard; Neville Southall casts a huge shadow over Everton goalkeepers but this American has proven in the last three years that he is more than capable of establishing his own dynasty.
So what is it, then, that turns other people’s waifs and strays into thoroughbreds when they accpet Moyes’ invitation to join Everton? Clearly, personal motivation plays a part – Howard, remember, had enjoyed early success with Manchester United and was eager to show that he was anything but a one season wonder. Then, of course, there is the renowned spirit and camaraderie in the dressing room, those who had been unloved elsewhere are suddenly welcomed with open arms and made to feel special once again. Perhaps the biggest factor of all, though, is the way Moyes treats the men he chooses to represent Everton; yes he is a strict disciplinarian, not the kind of man who would dish out praise for the sake of it, but he is forever thinking about his players’ needs. Whenever and wherever the Blues travel, Moyes wants what is best for them, right from the pitches they train on, to the food they eat and the beds they sleep in – everything is designed to improve performance. Marry all those factors together and it’s no surprise that those who have lost form invariably find their stride again in Royal Blue and skipper Phil Neville – who has also enjoyed a renaissance on Merseysude – thinks the same will happen to Jo.“I was really impressed with Jo last year,” said Neville, who roomed with the 22-year-old during a mid-season break in Marbella in April. “The first time I trained with him I saw unbelievable quality for such a young player. “He looked like he had everything in his locker. There were question marks before he came here, but everyone at Everton appreciated his quality and he’s really enjoyed the camaraderie in the team. If you’re happy off the pitch, you’ll be happy on it.” With Moyes not able to dip into a bottomless pit of cash to recruit players this summer, it’s quite possible that Jo won’t be the only man who joins Everton on temporary basis but, as history shows, that is no bad thing.
“It’s very difficult to find a loan player who is going to improve a side that finished fifth in the Premier League,” said Moyes. “The problem is whether you decide to bring someone in for numbers who aren’t of the quality required or do you wait to see if somebody of a better quality becomes available.” It is no easy task finding someone who can boost numbers and improve quality all for the price of a loan fee but history shows it can do done – don’t be surprised if Jo becomes the latest in long line of successful loan rangers.

Royal Blue: Injury free Louis Saha is so precious to Everton FC cause
July 11 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
“IF you speak to people who have worked with him, they will tell you he is a top centre forward. “What we need to do is get him out there. If I can get him out 20 times a season, that would give us a chance of winning 20 games.” They were the words of David Moyes on August 29 last year when he was discussing what Louis Saha might be able to do for Everton over the course of the season. Unfortunately, a couple of injuries prevented him from hitting top gear but there were signs towards the end of the campaign – notably against West Ham, Fulham and Chelsea – that all the talent is there. He signed off last year with a devastating strike in the FA Cup final and though it wasn’t enough to win the trophy, it was a goal that showed Saha might yet fulfil expectations and be a true Everton number nine. Reports from Scotland this week suggest Saha has trained superbly and provided he gets through the next month without a hitch, Moyes will have a world class striker on his hands for the opening day against Arsenal. It is impossible to put a value on how much a good pre-season is worth but if Saha can get that, there is every reason to believe he will show supporters why his team-mates refer to him simply as ‘King Louis’.

Everton FC fury after Blades’ U-turn over Kyle Naughton
July 13 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON officials were in shock today after Sheffield United staged an astonishing about turn that has threatened Kyle Naughton’s dream move to Goodison Park.
As revealed in Saturday’s ECHO, the Blues had agreed a £5m fee with United and personal terms with the right-back but were rocked by late interest from Tottenham and Aston Villa. However, United had released a statement on their official website confirming that they had agreed a deal with Everton and indicated they wanted Naughton to go to Merseyside, given the success Phil Jagielka has enjoyed since he made a similar move in July 2007. Everton were anticipating that Naughton would arrive on Merseyside for a medical over the weekend and were confident of being able to have him on board for next week’s trip to the United States. But Spurs subsequently made an improved offer to Bramall Lane’s money men that has dramatically changed the landscape. United are now refusing to talk with Everton – nor will they let Naughton speak to anyone at Goodison – because of Harry Redknapp’s late attempt to hijack the deal. Not surprisingly, Everton’s hierarchy are furious with United’s conduct, as they genuinely believed Naughton was on his way to sign for them. Though hugely frustrated by United’s volte face, Everton still hold the trump card in the fact that Naughton, who played his last game for the Blades in their 1-0 win against Floriana in Malta on Friday, has made it clear that Goodison is his favoured destination. Blues boss David Moyes, meanwhile believes Jo can take his form up another level after the Brazilian international starts his second loan spell at the club. The 22-year-old played in Friday night’s 2-1 defeat at Bury after his registration from Manchester City came through and Moyes expects him to prove his worth once again. “I thought in the six months he was with us from January that he contributed and helped us,” Moyes said. “He’s still young and getting used to the Premier League, so hopefully we can get the same return of goals which he showed in the period he was with us before. “I think he had a difficult time when he was at Manchester City – it’s not easy settling in to the Premier League but we’ll give him an opportunity to do that “Obviously because we’ve been able to get him for no money, and bring him in on loan, it makes him attractive to us. “I know he enjoyed his period here and I think because of that, he’s looking forward to another.”

Everton FC's Dan Gosling gunning for Euro glory with England Under 19's
July 13 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
DAN GOSLING is dreaming of returning to Everton as a European champion after he broke away from the club’s pre-season preparations today. It was at this time 12 months ago that Gosling started to catch the eye in a Blue shirt and his development took a huge step forward when he travelled with David Moyes’ squad to Chicago and Denver but he will travel in the opposite direction summer. He has been called by England Under-19s for the European Championships in Ukraine and is expected to play a key role in the Group B games against the host nation, Switzerland and Slovenia. Gosling, of course, made a name for himself by scoring arguably the most celebrated goal of last season – the winner in the FA Cup fourth round replay against Liverpool – and would have loved the opportunity to build on that when Everton travel to the USA for a training camp next Monday. However, the chance to represent his country and get his hands on a winner’s medal has softened the blow and Gosling hopes success in Eastern Europe will be the perfect way to tee him up for the new campaign. “I’m going to miss the tour but I’ll keep in touch with the rest of the lads and find out what is going on,” said Gosling. “The key for me is make sure my fitness levels stay good. I would have loved to have gone with the lads but you can’t turn down England and it is a great honour for me to be involved. “I’m not too downhearted and hopefully we can go to Ukraine and win the tournament then I’ll come back for the first game of the season.” Gosling was one of almost 20 players who were involved in Friday night’s friendly at Bury and he looked sharp in patches before coming off midway through the second half. He had earlier been involved in an encouraging first half work out when Everton took the lead through a Louis Saha header but wholesale changes after the break saw the Blues lose their momentum and end up losing 2-1 after goals from Ryan Lowe and Efte Sodje. “All the lads had worked hard all week and it was a very tough game as Bury played very well but it was all about us working on our fitness,” said Gosling. “I always try to get forward and get a couple of chances but Louis got the goal and, on another night, Vaughany could have had a hat-trick but it will come. “Louis looked really sharp and he’s a great player to learn from – he always helps you out and tries to look after you. With a bit of luck, his goals will help us out. “It would have been nice to get a win but there will definitely be more to come. All the lads look sharp and that’s because the gaffer worked us hard in Scotland. “We came through the paces well and looked good; nobody was too tired and the first week of pre-season is always enjoyable.”
Though reserve players were mainly involved in the second half, Jo made his first appearance since signing a 12-month loan deal and Gosling said: “Jo is a top player.
“He’s a great addition to the squad and hopefully he’ll score goals for us again.”

Bury 2, Everton 1: Everton kick-off friendlies with defeat in a ‘game of two halves’ at Bury
Jul 13 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Daily Post
EVERTON’S pre-season campaign began with a defeat at Gigg Lane on Friday night but nobody of a blue persuasion will be panicking. The first half went exactly how David Moyes would have wanted. Although Bury started off with plenty of enthusiasm, Everton’s class soon began to show and they started creating accessible chances for James Vaughan and Louis Saha. Saha, who had impressed during the four days spent in St Andrews, broke the deadlock when he found space in a crowded penalty area to flick Leighton Baines’s cross past Wayne Brown with a deft header on 22 minutes. Not surprisingly, wholesale changes were made at the interval, but what was not envisaged was the complete turnaround that followed. With a number of young reserve players on the pitch, Everton let their guard slip; Ryan Lowe (64) and Efte Sodje (70) took full advantage of poor marking to score two goals in six minutes.

Everton looking for Mikel Arteta and Yakubu injury boost
July 14 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
STEVE ROUND believes Everton’s preparations for the new campaign are poised for a substantial lift – when Mikel Arteta and Ayegbeni Yakubu return to training.
Everton’s midfield talisman Arteta and leading striker Yakubu have spent the summer battling to overcome injuries that curtailed their involvement last season.
Both stayed at Finch Farm last week – along with fellow long-term absentees Victor Anichebe and Phil Jagielka – to undergo further treatment on their respective cruciate and Achilles injuries while the rest of the squad went to St Andrews. However, that decision has reaped rewards and it’s likely that Arteta and Yakubu will both have done some running and ball work sessions before the end of this week with the main group. It is still too early to say when they might be seen in a Blue shirt again – of the pair, Yakubu is closer and could figure in a game during the US tour – but they are clearly making outstanding progress. That has led Round to hail the way they have knuckled down to the task of recapturing their best but, equally, he knows it is just as important not to push any buttons too soon. “Mikel and Yak aren’t full time training just yet but they will be taking part in some sessions over the next week,” Round confirmed. “That’s a big positive. We have to be a little bit careful because they have both had very serious injuries. “We are pleased with their progress and the attitude they have shown to get back to this stage has been absolutely tremendous.”
Everton, meanwhile, will not be bullied into raising their bid for Sheffield United full-back Kyle Naughton after Tottenham’s attempts to hijack the deal. Spurs have muddied the waters by making an £8m bid for the 20-year-old and United’s other promising full-back Kyle Walker and Blues officials are still enraged by the turn of affairs that has seen the Blades refuse them permission to speak Naughton.
Everton have strict principles when it comes to conducting transfer business and are still stunned at how, having agreed a £5m deal with United, they appear to have been frozen out. Harry Redknapp now appears to be favourite to land Naughton but Everton hope the player’s ambition will see them win the day.

Kevin Blackwell
15th July 2009 The Daily Star
By James Dobson
Kyle Naughton is at the centre of a bitter tug-of-war between Everton and Tottenham.
Everton thought they had snapped up the full-back after agreeing a £6m fee with Sheffield United last week and ­being given the green light to discuss personal terms.
But after Spurs boss Harry Redknapp swooped in with a late counter-offer, the Blades pulled the plug on his ­proposed move by retracting permission for Everton to speak to Naughton. United had previously released a statement confirming they had agreed a deal with Everton and indicated they wanted Naughton to follow in the footsteps of Phil ­Jagielka, who has been a big hit after making the same move in July 2007.
Naughton, 20, was ­expected to travel to ­Merseyside for a medical – but instead went to Exeter to meet ­Redknapp, who is there for Spurs’ friendly tonight.
Redknapp is after ­Naughton plus his teenage team-mate Kyle Walker, 19, – who has made just six first-team appearances – in a £10m double deal. Everton boss David Moyes was left furious by United’s U-turn and ­contact was broken off between the two clubs. Naughton is thought to still prefer a move to ­Goodison Park though.
And Moyes now expects to be given permission to meet with the defender in an ­attempt to revive a deal for the England Under-21 ­international. But the situation is ­complicated further with Aston Villa also keeping tabs on developments. Villa boss Martin O’Neill has already told the Blades he will meet their asking price and loan him back to the Blades next season. The one thing that is ­certain is that Naughton will not be a Sheffield United ­player next season, after making 40 appearances for the club. Blades boss Kevin ­Blackwell is ­disappointed to be losing him. He said: “If you look at how well Kyle has done, you can see why he is the hottest property outside of the top flight. “We are faced with losing the best right-back in the Championship.”

Everton FC boss David Moyes set for talks with Kyle Naughton
July 15 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES was poised to meet Kyle Naughton today intent on making him Everton’s first summer signing. The Blues have made a significant breakthrough having endured a rollercoaster 48-hours in their attempts to the land the exciting full-back from Sheffield United. Tottenham had been hoping to hijack the deal and tried to gazump Everton with a bigger offer for Naughton on Sunday, even though Goodison officials had agreed a £5m deal last week. Harry Redknapp had wanted to sign both Naughton and his team-mate Kyle Walker but Everton are understood to have responded by making the same £8m offer. Naughton is desperate to move to Merseyside and, provided discussions go according to plan, he could even become an Everton player in time for the trip to America next week. The situation with Walker, however, is slightly more complex: Everton would be willing to sign him with intention of letting the 19-year-old return to Bramall Lane for a season-long loan.
Walker has only made two appearances for United – he also had a loan spell with Northampton last season – and would be considered as one for the future.
But he has been swayed by Tottenham’s advances and further discussions will be needed to thrash that situation out. At least Naughton now looks like being relatively straightforward, as he has seen the success Phil Jagielka has had at Goodison and how Moyes is not afraid to give young players a chance. Moyes, meanwhile, has seen his ranks strengthened by the return to training of Tim Cahill and Joleon Lescott after their extended summer breaks. Both those men were involved in World Cup qualifiers until the middle of June but they reported back to Finch Farm on Monday and could be involved in Saturday’s friendly at Rochdale. Should they return to the starting line-up at Spotland, Everton are likely to give a much more polished show than their second half effort against Bury last Friday. “The result last week made no difference to anything with our plans,” said assistant boss Steve Round. Everton will stage a Shareholders’ Forum this evening in the Marquee at Goodison Park. Start is 7pm prompt.

Everton FC dismiss Manchester City's £15m approach for Joleon Lescott
Jul 17 2009 By Dominic King
EVERTON will emphatically dismiss Manchester City's attempt to sign Joleon Lescott - after the Eastlands club made their first official bid today. It is understood that City have tabled a £15m offer for the England international, who they have been pursuing relentlessly since January. The Blues, however, have made it clear for some time they are not interested in doing business at that price - or any other - as David Moyes prepares for the new campaign. Moyes stressed at a shareholders forum on Wednesday evening that he will not be selling his best players - a point echoed by chairman Bill Kenwright - and Lescott falls into that category. He also said two days after the FA Cup final defeat to Chelsea that he had no intentions of trimming his squad and that view has not altered. Whether City take 'no' for an answer remains to be seen but this formal first bid is a sure sign that they will go all out to get their man.
Having seen moves for Chelsea captain John Terry and Barcelona skipper Carlos Puyol falter, Mark Hughes is determined to sign a top class defender and has long respected Lescott's qualities. But Everton officials will dig their heels in and will let their City counterparts know that Lescott is simply, not for sale.

Everton FC rumour mill: Cana chase is on; Torrejon deal; Scharner a target; Lorient full back chase; N'Daw transfer
Jul 16 2009
Cana battle is joined
Everton could go head to head with Liverpool for the signature of Lorik Cana according to reports in France. Cana is surplus to requirements at the Stade Velodrome after OM signed Stephane Mbia - ironically a player Everton were linked with themselves -from Rennes and is almost certain to move away. La Provence - the regional Marseille daily - reports on Thursday that Liverpool and Everton are now the most likely suitors.
Torrejon deal
Everton have made a late move for Espanyol full back Marc Torrejon, according to reports. The Blues are vying with Real Mallorca and Real Zaragoza for Spanish defender Torrejon. David Moyes is ready to pay £1.5million to the 23-year-old's club Espanyol.
Scharner a target
Wigan Athletic defender Paul Scharner is a target for Everton, should Manchester City push ahead with any move for Joleon Lescott. England international Lescott has been a target for the Manchester club, althpough Everton continue to reject the idea of a move.
Lorient defender chased
A three-way chase has been joined between Everton, Marseille and Bordeaux for Lorient defender Mickael Ciani. The young French full-back has been attracting rave reviews for his performances, although is expected to stay in his native land.
N'Daw move on
Everton could be on the verge of signing Nantes midfielder Guiranne N'Daw according to reports in France.
Monaco have abandoned their attempt to sign him, judging the £4 million price tag too high, leaving Everton, Blackburn, Wolves and Saint Etienne in the race.
David Moyes tips Phil Jagielka to return even stronger - Everton FC latest
July 16 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES is backing Phil Jagielka to return from his horror injury better than ever – as he reiterated his stance that Joleon Lescott will not leave Everton this summer. The club’s Player of the Year has not been seen in a Blue shirt since he ruptured the cruciate ligament in his left knee during a 2-1 defeat against Manchester City in April. Jagielka has worked hard all summer to recover and he received a boost when meeting the surgeon who carried out the operation yesterday. Jagielka has been given the green light to start some light jogging at Finch Farm under the eye of physio Mick Rathbone and is on schedule for a November return. That has given Moyes confidence there will be no lasting effects and he has clearly been bowled over by the power of Jagielka’s positive thinking. “It’s been terrible for Jags,” Moyes said. “It was terrible for everyone to take; we had reached the FA Cup final by beating Manchester United then had a good draw at Chelsea. “We then played a third game in six days against Manchester City and to lose Jags in that game was just dire. “He was distraught but, do you know what, he’s in absolutely incredibly shape just now; for the stage he is at in his rehabilitation, I don’t know if I’ve seen anyone better. It’s just incredible the way that he has come on.” Though the progress Jagielka is making is good, Moyes currently only has two fit senior centre backs fit for the start of the new campaign and does not intend to sell one to City. “I said at the end of last season that no players will be sold at Everton and I don’t feel as though I have to say any more than that,” was his emphatic message. Kenwright is currently trying to finalise Kyle Naughton’s move from Sheffield United to Goodison Park. “Things are ongoing, he hasn’t had his medical and he’s not an Everton player – yet,” said Kenwright.

Everton FC chairman Bill Kenwright’s concern at club debt
Jul 16 2009 Liverpool Echo
ROBERT ELSTONE is confident Everton will be able to build and sustain success after he announced a club record turnover at the first shareholders’ forum.
Though the figure of £79.7m is currently unaudited, Elstone confirmed that Everton are on target to surpass the tally 12 months ago of £75.7m by an impressive 5.3 per cent after the success they enjoyed on the pitch last season. With increases in the money they received from television broadcasters rising from £44m to £47m, as well as the money generated from cup runs (£7.5m from £6.8m) and commercial deals (£7.4m from £6.7m), it has been an encouraging year. There is, however, a worry attached: Everton’s debt has again risen but Elstone – whom Bill Kenwright labelled a “proper Chief Executive” – feels the foundations have been laid on and off the pitch to capitalise on the strides they have been made. “We are pretty confident at this stage that we will have record turnover,” said Elstone. “It’s very much down to playing performance. Well over 50 per cent of the figure is broadcast revenue and broadcasts are driven by league performance – finishing fifth in the league and being on live television 17 times makes a massive difference. “On-pitch performance has led to record turnover and on pitch affairs is what we are all about. We are delighted about it and David (Moyes) gives us every confidence that we will be able to sustain it and make progress.” The forum, which was staged in Goodison’s Marquee, replaced the normal AGM in the Alex Young Suite and there was a more convivial atmosphere compared to recent meetings that have ended up as spleen -venting exercises. There was no heckling of Kenwright when the chairman was on stage and the majority of questions that were posed to the manager and directors were sensible. “We felt it was right to do something in a more relaxed way,” Elstone, who never really had to deal with any questions on the thorny subject of Destination Kirkby, revealed. “We wanted to have a different feel to it, as we believed we would get more out of it. “It was about remembering what a great season we had, but it was also about listening to our supporters and getting feedback and I think the atmosphere that we created went a long way to making that happen.” Kenwright, as usual, spoke candidly from the heart on a variety of subjects, ranging from the record-breaking capture of Marouane Fellaini, the memories of an intoxicating surge to Wembley and his admiration for the job Moyes continues to do. But his most interesting comments were reserved for the subject of ownership, investment and debt in the Premier League and, as was the case at last September’s EGM, he stressed his desire to give Evertonians the billionaire he feels they deserve. Kenwright said: “I do not understand why football clubs have such big debts, it is a mystery. Our debt is a big debt and a worrying debt. year is going to be added to. Every summer it’s the same problem and the same worry. “David must think ‘every summer, how can I do it?’ He must be sitting there looking at these figures thinking: ‘They have given me nothing again and they want me to get into the Champions League’. “But we do manage to sustain the debt. We have a good bank and we have had to go to them again this summer. All we can do is borrow; that’s what we are doing to give David not nearly enough money to take a club that’s finished fifth even higher. “When I get the texts ‘saying are we signing Kaka or Messi?’ then of course I would love to make that happen, but the truth is we couldn’t even afford their wages. This football club needs money. I can’t go on like this every year because the pressure is far too great.” There has been much conjecture that Kenwright has rebuffed all bids to buy out his stake in the club but he pointed out: “There is no-one out there with the money we need. If there was, the last priority would be me.”

The many faces of Everton FC supporters
July 17 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
IT’S enough to make your heart go... well, perhaps miss a beat. After more than a century of labouring under the misapprehension that there’s only one Everton, it turns out that there are at least four. And like that scene from Monty Python’s Life of Brian, sometimes the boundaries become a little blurred. If you think the politics of the Judean People's Front, the Judean Popular People’s Front and the Peoples Front of Judea – “Splitters!” – were confusing, just check out the colourful history of Everton Football Club. Everton’s pioneering tourists who set sail for South America a century ago this summer sparked a whole host of imitators. And they flourished.
There’s the Chilean champions CD Everton, Club Everton of Argentina and Uruguay’s Club Atletico Everton. And an intrepid band of Everton shareholders visited all three this summer. John Shearon, Paul Wharton, Michael Durkin, James Asquith and Anne Asquith have just returned from a fact-finding mission to the southern hemisphere – which took in all three South American Evertons.
“We were shown incredible hospitality by all three – from the terraces to the board room,” said Paul Wharton “although in Uruguay and Argentina the two were pretty much one and the same!” The intrepid travellers began their epic journey in Chile – to watch CD Everton’s semi-final play-off clash with Universidad de Chile.
Links between the two clubs have been established thanks to the Ruleteros Society, a body of Blues fans on Merseyside who set up a group in 2002 to forge friendships.
In February a CD Everton delegation, led by President Antonio Bloise, was received at Goodison and presented on the Goodison Park pitch. The gesture was replicated on the return journey, with the Blues shareholders presented before the quarter-final play-off against Iquique at the Estadio Sausalito and presented with individual pennants commemorating the 1909 South American Tour. The group was also invited to attend the semi-final first leg, away at La Universidad de Chile, where Harold Mayne-Nichols, Chairman of the Chilean FA, along with Anne Asquith and Paul Wharton from the Shareholders Association presented President Antonio Bloise with tokens to mark the historic centenary. Everton chief executive Robert Elstone had commissioned an engraved silver-salver presented with an engraved crystal decanter set provided by Dave Hickson. To cap a memorable day, Argentine striker, Ezekiel Miralles, popped up in the dying minutes to head the Ruleteros into a first-leg lead.
Sadly Miralles was sent-off early in the decisive second leg and the Ruleteros lost the match 3-1 and went out 3-2 on aggregate. From Chile, the Blues’ band headed to Argentina and a meeting with Club Everton La Plata.

Jo praises his team-mates: Everton FC latest
Jul 17 2009 by Our Correspondent, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON’S on-loan Brazilian striker, Jo, has praised his new Blue team-mates for helping him pass a confidence test at Goodison. After a miserable spell at Manchester City last season, the forward arrived at Goodison and immediately rediscovered his touch in front of goal. After two goals on his debut against Bolton – when he was urged by skipper Phil Neville to step up and take a late penalty – Jo went on to score five goals in 12 appearances. The faith showed in him by David Moyes and his new team-mates helped him settle swiftly. “I think I started to find my best form last season when I moved to Everton, that is for sure,” he explained. “The last four months of last season I felt much more confident. They were much better than the first six months because I started playing and scoring goals and that gave me confidence.
“In my opinion it was the manager and my team-mates who helped me find that confidence. “They pass that tranquility and that confidence to you and that’s why I was able to find my best form.” Jo hopes that a continuance of that form this season will see him achieve a double target – to lift silverware with Everton and then help Brazil win the World Cup. The 22-year-old, who spent the first half of this year at Goodison on a temporary switch from Manchester City, last week agreed to extend that association for the entire forthcoming campaign. And the forward is confident Everton can provide the platform to kickstart his stalled international career and claim a place in his country’s squad for next summer’s World Cup in South Africa.
Jo has earned three caps since making his debut for Brazil against Turkey in June 2007 and although starring in their bronze medal-winning Under-23 team at the Olympics last year, has struggled to nail down a senior role. But after rediscovering his form under David Moyes following a miserable time since moving to City last summer, Jo is now convinced he can force his way into the plans of Brazil coach Dunga. “It is my aim to play in the World Cup so that was another reason for me to stay at Everton,” said Jo. “I know here I have more chance to be playing full-time in the first XI and scoring goals. “Only that way can I show the manager that I must be recalled to the national team.” Jo was ineligible for last season’s FA Cup run, but believes the Goodison outfit are primed to end their 14-year wait for a trophy.
“My aim is to take Everton as high as possible and challenge for the competitions we are involved in,” said the striker. “I want to score goals as well of course, because every striker wants to score goals and that’s what I love to do. “From what I saw last season, we have every chance to win titles this season. “We’re in the Europa League, the Premier League and there are other trophies we are involved in. We have a fantastic team, a fantastic manager and we are there to fight for it.” Meanwhile, Everton’s squad will be bolstered by the return of Yakubu for the forthcoming tour of North America. The Nigerian, who was been sidelined since November with an Achilles injury, will be among the party that jets off for the United States next week and could even play against either the MLS All-Stars on July 29 in Salt Lake City or River Plate in Edmonton, Canada four days earlier. Real Salt Lake midfield duo Kyle Beckerman and Javier Morales are the latest players to be announced in the All-Stars squad while Toronto striker Dwayne De Rosario has been replaced by Chicago Fire veteran Cuauhtémoc Blanco. Mikel Arteta won’t be on the trip, but Everton expect the Spaniard to be back in full training by the middle of next month. “The normal recovery period for a cruciate injury is six months,” said head of physio Mick Rathbone. “He’s hitting all his targets so at the end of August he should be available.”

ABOVE: Everton have turned down a bid for Lescott
17th July 2009The Daily Star
By Mauro Galluzzo for Dailystar.co.uk
THE battle for England defender Joleon Lescott went public today when Everton formally rejected a £15million bid from Manchester City. The Merseyside club’s defiance will only be fuelled by City executive chairman Garry Cook talking publicly about manager Mark Hughes’ admiration for the 26-year-old. Everton are desperate to hang on to their top players, having reached the FA Cup final last season and managed a second-successive fifth-placed Premier League finish. But they cannot begin to compete with City’s financial muscle and boss David Moyes will be determined to continue his seven years of painstaking progress at the club.
Cook was questioned about Lescott in Abu Dhabi yesterday en route to South Africa for the club’s pre-season tour, and rather than opt not to comment, he said: “Mark loves the player...he is a great player and Mark has always talked about investing in young, international talent.” On his arrival in South Africa today Cook declined to reveal the names of City’s future targets, but his comments 24 hours earlier will have certainly annoyed Moyes. Everton received the bid on Thursday, and this afternoon made their response, chief executive Robert Elstone saying: “As a club, we have publicly stated - as recently as Wednesday night - that we do not intend selling any players. “David Moyes’ primary focus is on building a squad so that we can continue to compete effectively in what is the most competitive league in world football.”
Cook’s declared interest in Lescott is in sharp contrast to boss Mark Hughes’ comments that “people can see we are trying to do our business in the correct manner and the polite way; we’re not trying to shout from the rooftops and throwing our resources in people’s faces”. Everton know that this is only the first skirmish in what could be a lengthy battle they do not have the resources to win. Lescott, who lives in the Manchester area, is believed to be interested in a move to a club with such vast wealth and ambitions. Although Everton have just announced record turnover of approaching £80million for the recently completed season, they do have a growing debt with Kenwright making it plain that the only way they can compete with the giants of the game is to acquire major outside investment. City will certainly be back with an increased bid, and an offer of wages for Lescott that are believed to treble his Everton deal. A bid of over £20million will test Moyes’ resolve to the limit, giving him a £15million profit on the £5million he paid Wolves for the Birmingham-born defender in June 2006.

David Moyes looks for tranfers after rumours Kyle Naughton move failed: Everton FC latest
July 17 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES is ready to scour the transfer market to boost Everton’s chances of success next season – despite an unconfirmed claim today he has lost the battle to sign Sheffield United pair Kyle Naughton and Kyle Walker. The Blues boss has made it clear he will be treating every competition the same in the forthcoming campaign as he looks to improve on last year’s FA Cup final appearance. Moyes was understood to be still fighting hard today with Tottenham to sign Blades stars Naughton and Walker, having already made a move in the transfer market this summer by signing Brazilian international Jo on a season-long loan. Today’s report saying Spurs have now won the race for Naughton and Walker has come as a surprise to Everton officials who were bewildered by the suggested twist. Naughton is known to have had his heart set on a move to Goodison – and it was hoped that he would have a medical at Finch Farm earlier this week after talks with Moyes. That has not yet happened – but the odds of Naughton being on board in time to join the rest of the squad for next week’s training camp in Seattle are now longer than before. Meantime, Jo is not going to be the only arrival at Goodison Park before the window closes as Moyes is well aware that he needs to boost numbers if Everton are going to find themselves in a position of playing frequent midweek matches. “We are going to try and build the squad up,” said Moyes. “If we are going to have a go this year, we are going to need numbers.
“One of the biggest problems you have when you play in Europe is the game you face immediately after you come back. “The game before and the game in Europe isn’t a problem – it’s when you come back from travelling that you can face problems.
“You can struggle in some league games and that’s where I have difficulties deciding whether to go with the same players who are tired or do you put in fresh ones. That’s why we really need to have a squad of players that are all of a similar level; we need more than just the same 12 or 13 who seemed to be playing last year. “My strategy has always been to win the next game. It has never changed and it never will and that’s why need to get some numbers.”

Everton FC physio Mick Rathbone doesn’t want a repeat of last season with serious injuries to several key players
July 18 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
IF EVERTONIANS have spent the summer dreaming that it will be ‘same again’ next season, one man at Goodison Park is praying there are no repeats. While 2008/09 will go down as arguably the most successful of David Moyes’ seven years on Merseyside, for Mick Rathbone it was, without doubt, the worst; four traumatic injuries to key players ensured there was not much reason for cheer in his office. Rathbone – or ‘Baz’ as he is universally known – has been Everton’s head physio since September 2002, having followed Moyes to Goodison from Preston, and occupies one of the most important roles on the backroom staff. Given he once, when manager of Halifax, worked 364 days in a calendar year – his one ‘break’ was spent with his family in Chester Zoo – Rathbone is used to busy schedules but there have been times these past 12 months when his workload has almost been intolerable. Having spent last summer nursing Tim Cahill, Leighton Baines, Mikel Arteta, Tony Hibbert and Andrew Johnson back to full fitness from serious ailments, Rathbone could have been forgiven for thinking that he would nothing more serious to deal with the odd hamstring tweak. What followed, of course, was something all together different; from the moment Steven Pienaar went down with a broken toe, the affable Rathbone was snowed under as one lengthy lay-off followed another. The nadirs came when Ayegbeni Yakubu, Mikel Arteta, Victor Anichebe and Phil Jagielka all suffered injuries that ended their involvement and few understood their pain better than Rathbone. But it is the ability he has to empathise with the stricken – and take away the boredom on the road back to full fitness – that makes Rathbone such a popular figure in the dressing room; he may see great heartbreak but his role is also a deeply fulfilling one. “It’s a bit like painting the Forth bridge,” said Rathbone. “One guy will go back into training just in time to shatter the ankle of the guy he tackles and there is his replacement in the medical room. “You can’t ever beat it but that’s the job; injuries will occur and they will occur more and more now the game is getting faster and the players are becoming stronger, so that side of the game is here to stay.
“There are good sides to the job but there is always that worry in the back of your mind; you see the likes of Jags, Yak, Mikel and Victor making good progress but then you wonder ‘will he be ok tomorrow and next week?’ “Last year was something I’d never experienced in 15 years; you would normally expect one bad one a season but we had four – and that was on top of starting the season with four or five long-term absentees, too. “But it’s the same everywhere else; to necessitate top performances on Saturday, you have to train the way you play and it’s tough. When I played, you could have basically got away with standing around during the week and then turned up for the weekend – not now.” Though the hours are long and the tasks sometimes thankless, his job is made easier by the attitude of the men who sit on his treatment table; while some at other clubs would need no second invitation to shirk the issue, Everton’s players are cut from a different cloth. “Mercifully, we had very few knocks towards the end of last season, apart from the main four and we just about got away with it,” said Rathbone. “But that was down to the mental strength of the players – if they had knocks, they were happy to play through it. “The ‘big’ four, though, were bad; we are close as a group and you couldn’t say which one was worse but I suppose the one that everyone looks at is Jags because of the circumstances of him scoring the penalty the week before that sent us to the FA Cup final. “That hurt. In terms of the medical side of it all, Yak’s was the worst. It was hugely significant. When I went to him initially, he said he thought he’d been kicked in the back of the leg, so I didn’t suspect a serious injury. “It was only when we got him back to the dressing room and took his boot off that we knew straight away what had happened. With Mikel and Jags, I could see from the second they went down what had happened. Players do not go down like that unless it is a serious injury. “But we do not allow them to wallow around when they are working their way back; we remind them that they are simple, orthopedic injuries and they will get over them; they still get paid, they are still famous and they do come back. You have to keep that in perspective.” And perspective is something that Rathbone has always had throughout his career in football; a full-back for Birmingham, Blackburn, Preston and Halifax, he always knew that he wanted to have career in medicine and contemplated becoming a doctor as a schoolboy. Once he hung up his boots, the now 50-year-old went to university to do a degree in physiotherapy and never looked back – perhaps his attitude of never settling for second best is what most struck a chord with Moyes. “I loved my time at Preston but it was a great opportunity to come here,” said Rathbone. “I used to be the man for all seasons there – I used to drive the bus to reserve games, play in the match and do physio as well – but now I head a staff of seven. “I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve worked hard to get to this position. I’m hungry to do well – just like David. I have seen him grow from being thrown in to his first game with Preston to where he is now and I’ve fully enjoyed watching his meteoric rise.”

ROYAL BLUE: Opportunity knocks for Everton FC striker James Vaughan
July 18 2009by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
PRE-SEASON, a time when hopes are high, dreams are launched and players set themselves targets for the months ahead. The six weeks from the start of July to the middle of August are the most important of the entire campaign for all players and it is hugely important for things to go like clockwork if dreams are to be realised later in the day. Nobody in Everton’s squad appreciates those sentiments more at this moment in time than James Vaughan. Ever since he sprang to prominence with a record-breaking strike against Crystal Palace in April 2005, big things have been anticipated from him but, bar a few lively cameos, those expectations, sadly, remain unfulfilled.
There are, of course, valid reasons, namely his travails with injury – they have been well documented and do not need to be dissected in fine detail once again.
Some were hugely unfortunate – the severed artery in his ankle at Bolton in April 2007 was followed by a dislocated shoulder in a friendly with Preston three months later – but the torment he has endured with his knees means that some are starting to wonder whether his potential will remain unfulfilled. He, clearly, is aware that certain observers will be entertaining such thoughts now and Vaughan will also know that a few may well feel it is a case of ‘when’ not ‘if’ he breaks down once again.
The next few weeks, then, are perhaps going to be the most important of his career – should he come through them without problem, as everyone hopes is going to be the case, the now 21-year-old will be teed up to start making proper progress.
Nothing would give David Moyes more pleasure than to be able to conduct an interview about Vaughan and not make reference to the fitness issues he has had, the football he has missed and the way his development has suffered – and nobody knows that more than the player himself. So it is heartening to see, then, that Vaughan has knuckled down impressively to the task of winning over the sceptics – he has trained impressively during the past two weeks, evidently kept himself ticking over during the five-week summer break and has shown the kind of attitude that Everton’s coaching staff had been looking for – he was excellent in the 2-1 defeat at Bury eight days ago.
It’s possible that the fear of seeing the dream of becoming a top Premier League striker slip away has factored into Vaughan’s thinking and if he harnesses that correctly, there is no doubt he will have a role to play. “I’ve missed a lot of football, so pre-season is going to be massive,” Vaughan acknowledged recently. “God willing, I’ll stay fit and try and get my place in the first team. I haven’t produced what I’m capable of and I just want a run of games to prove to myself that I can do it. I’m hoping I will be able to do a lot of good things for Everton. fans and manager. If I get a chance hopefully I’ll repay them.” If all goes to plan in the coming months, Everton will have a lot of games to play before Christmas, with the Europa League having been expanded and a possible Carling Cup campaign to juggle as well as Premier League business, so that means Moyes will need four strikers ready for action.
Louis Saha’s credentials are there for all to see, Ayegbeni Yakubu will add goals once he is fit again and Brazilian loanee Jo has the added motivation of trying to get into the squad for his country’s assault on the World Cup. Given that Victor Anichebe is still battling back from his own long-term knee problem, the way is clear for Vaughan – who has made just nine starts for Everton – to finally make up for lost time.
When he tried to do something similar 12 months ago, a stupid tackle and needless red card in Chicago put him on the back foot. On this occasion, Vaughan needs to use the trip to Seattle as launchpad – and show there is no need to send him out on loan.

ROYAL BLUE: Sky falls in on Vinny O’Connor’s night with Everton FC at Bury
July 18 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
ONE of the golden rules in television is never working with children or animals but Vinny O’Connor from Sky Sports News might wish to add another facet to that.
With Everton’s pre-season campaign starting last Friday night, Vinny was dispatched to provide live updates from the friendly with Bury but – given the layout of Gigg Lane – he was basically stood in with the home crowd. If it wasn’t enough that he had to put up with people making all kinds of hands gestures behind his back as he spoke to camera, the high jinks in the Press box, were just as bad. Ever the professional, though, he kept cool – that was until he was given the bum’s rush. Enough said.

David Moyes praises Everton FC supporters
Jul 18 2009 Liverpool Echo
David Moyes after the FA Cup Final defeat
DAVID MOYES has expressed his sincere gratitude for the backing he and his players received during last season’s charge to Wembley. The Everton manager headed off on his summer holidays almost immediately after the 2-1 defeat to Chelsea and was too disappointed to convey his feelings at the time. However, he has returned to work with a zest to push the Blues forward again and knows he can expect the loyal backing of Everton’s supporters. Moyes was bowled over by the noise made by the hordes who went to Wembley and hopes in time he will reward them with a piece of silverware. He said: “We were up against a side who were better than us on the day and it was just one of those things – we came up short. “But our fans did not. Everything they did on the day was first class – how they supported the team and how they behaved. “I thank them all. I haven’t said it openly yet but I just wanted to pass it on to everyone. “I’ve been lucky to have some really nice things said about me but I’ve got a terrific staff around me and we’ve got terrific players. “They are desperate to do well and they want to be part of success here.” Meanwhile, Everton playmaker Mikel Arteta has vowed he will not make the mistake of rushing back too early from injury. The Spaniard, who has been sidelined since tearing cruciate ligaments at Newcastle in February, is expected to return early in the new campaign but has been ruled out of being fit for the start of the season. The 27-year-old has now suffered three serious injuries to the same knee and says it is vital he is fully rehabilitated before throwing himself into first-team action. Arteta said: “It’s going well. It has been a long injury, six or seven months out, so there are always ups and downs during that period. “But it looks good and it’s reacting well to the treatment we are doing. Slowly, day by day, I know it is getting better and that makes me happy.
“You learn with this injury that the knee reacts differently every day. I’m doing everything, working six, seven, eight hours a day on my knee to get back as soon as possible. “Obviously I want to hurry but I know that is a big risk. I don’t want to set any dates, I just want to go day by day. “ If it’s the first game (of the season), it’s the first game. “ If it’s the fifth game, it’s the fifth game. It will be whichever it is.”

ROYAL BLUE: Curtain set to rise again on story of Everton FC legend Dixie Dean
July 18 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
DIXIE DEAN’S story is one that Evertonians of every age will never get tired of hearing, so it is fitting that the goal machine’s story returns ‘home’ next week.
The Dixie Dean Story, the stage show which has played to packed houses since its premiere last year, is now being staged at New Brighton’s Floral Pavillion, following successful productions at Liverpool University and in Crosby. Actor Steve Hazlehurst, who has won wide acclaim for his title role performance, once again plays the iconic Goodison and England star when the curtain rises later this week. Fittingly, Steve was born in the same area of north Birkenhead as Dixie, attended the same Laird Street school and even played centre forward in the school team. Written and narrated by broadcaster and author John Keith and produced by Gill Beattie, the story charts the remarkable life and career of Dixie from boyhood, through his glory years – not least the 60 goals in one season – to his death as a spectator at a Mersey derby match in 1980. Blues legend Derek Mountfield who made the same journey as Dixie from Tranmere Rovers to Goodison Park, will be guest of honour on the opening night and tickets are available (£12/10) on 0151 666 0000.

19th July 2009 The Daily Star
By Paul Hetherington
IT will be like old times for Peter Reid on Wednesday when the Everton legend takes on Liverpool. Reidy, a key part of Everton’s greatest-ever team in the 1980s under Howard Kendall, is now manager of Thailand, who play Liverpool in a pre-season friendly in Bangkok. But the former Manchester City and Sunderland boss believes he should still be battling with clubs like Liverpool as a Premier League manager.
Reid, 53, revealed in an exclusive interview with the Daily Star Sunday: “I love it here in Thailand and it’s been a good move for me but my ambition has always been to return to management in the Premier League. “And when I look back at my record – finishing fifth, fifth and ninth at City and twice taking Sunderland to seventh – I feel I belong there. “The problem for me was that with all the clubs I was at, I never had enough money to compete with the really top boys in the Premier League.
“When I look at what is happening now at one of my old clubs – City – and all the money they’ve got and the signings they are making, it’s incredible. It’s also fantastic for the fans. “Whether they can break into the top four – maybe next season will be too soon. I’d have some concerns about them at the back but they are trying to address that and have the resources to do it. “But Gareth Barry is a great signing and Stephen Ireland was magnificent last season. They’ll be an exciting attacking force at home, although they might have to change the system away from home. “One area they don’t have to worry about is in goal. I signed Shay Given on loan from Blackburn when he was 19 and he was one of the reasons for winning my first promotion at Sunderland. “He was one of the reasons Newcastle went down last season, when they sold him to City. For me, he’s up there with Peter Schmeichel for consistency in the Premier League.” Reid, an England World Cup player who also managed Leeds and Coventry, had to move to the football-fanatical Far East to get back into the game with the sort of challenge he wanted. He said: “I’m down to my playing weight and really enjoying spending most of my time on the training ground – something you can’t do as a Premier League manager, because of all your other responsibilities.
“It’s also a great experience to be an international manager and so far we’ve lost only three of my 15 matches and two of those were against Saudi Arabia, who are a strong side. “Clearly, there are language problems but I get out there and demonstrate what I want. I’ve learned a few phrases. “In Thai, shut down is ‘beep’ and shoot is ‘ying.’ So I spend the whole match beeping and yinging! “My No.2 is another Scouse lad – Steve Darby – and he’s been a big help because he’s been out here 12 years and understands the culture. “The Premier League is held in the highest regard out here – they adore it. “There will be a 45,000 full house for the Liverpool match and I’m delighted Rafa Benitez is bringing his team here.” Reid, who has already won the T and T Cup with Thailand and finished runner-up in the-prestigious Suzuki Cup, believes Liverpool will be even more of a threat to Manchester United this season.
He’ll watch the season’s dramas unfold from afar and in the meantime strive to win his “derby” with Liverpool – and improve even further on his impressive 53 per cent win record as Thailand boss.

19th July 2009 The Daily Star
By Paul Hetherington
EVERTON will want to pocket an amazing £30million from cash-rich Manchester City for Joleon Lescott. That’s TWICE the amount City offered last week for defender Lescott, who will be 27 next month. Everton’s chairman Bill Kenwright and manager David Moyes are both adamant Lescott – with three years on his contract – won’t be sold. The Daily Star Sunday understands Everton will only weaken if they get an offer of £30m – a British record for a defender – or if Lescott asks for a transfer. Everton feel if City are prepared to pay £30m for Chelsea centre-half John Terry, 29 in December, they will have to offer that much for Lescott, who was a £5m buy from Wolves three years ago. City, meanwhile, are prepared to wait for Terry, even though manager Mark Hughes wants to pair him at the heart of his defence with Lescott for the start of the new season on August 15. But new Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti said yesterday: “I am sure he will remain at Chelsea – 100 per cent sure.
“He has a contract for three more years.” City also believe they have made progress in their bid to sign Arsenal’s Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor for £22m.
Meanwhile, Nedum Onuoha’s future at Manchester City is in doubt as talks stall on a new contract. The England Under-21 international will be concerned about his position with Hughes wanting TWO new central defenders. Everton and West Ham are both keen on Onuoha, 22, who is rated at £5m, and Sunderland could also be interested. Both Everton and West Ham have central defenders being eyed by City – Lescott plus Matthew Upson, who could be an alternative target to England skipper Terry. That creates the possibility of the two clubs discussing swap deals involving Onuoha. LESCOTT helped Everton coast to an easy 4-1 win at Rochdale yesterday.
Toffees’ fans chanted his name throughout. Irish teenager Shane Duffy hit the opener, an own goal by Craig Dawson doubled their advantage and Jo later netted twice.
Chris Dagnall scored for ’Dale from the spot.

Rochdale 1 Everton FC 4 - Jo double ensures win for Blues
Jul 18 2009 Daily Post
A DOUBLE strike from Jo helped Everton recorded their first win in pre-season as they beat Rochdale 4-1 at Spotland. He was joined on the scoresheet by Shane Duffy and an own goal from Craig Dawson, with the league two team's goal coming from the penalty spot - Chris Dagnall netting after a foul by Marouane Fellaini.
It was a strong Everton team that took to the field, including man of the the moment Joleon Lescott and the returning Tim Cahill, and they took the lead from a corner kick, Duffy tapping in when the ball fell to him a few yards out after seven minutes.
The home team were growing in confidence, but a Leighton Baines free-kick led to Everton doubling their lead as Dawson fired into his own net on 24 minutes.
Although Rochdale hit back almost immediately, Tim Cahill hopefully gave Evertonians a taste of what they can expect this season when his through ball sent Jo racing clear. The Brazilian slotted home off the post for a well taken goal.
Rochdale continued to play their football though and gave Iain Turner some difficult moments in the Everton goal as the second half began. James Vaughan, Jose Baxter and Seamus Coleman joined the action after 60 minutes before Jo finished the scoring with an easy finish on 78 minutes, tapping past the home keeper.

Rochdale 1 Everton FC 4 - Dominic King's verdict
July 20, 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool
ANOTHER summer, another Everton friendly where the action on the pitch played second fiddle to a tale of transfer intrigue. The Blues may have stepped up their preparations for the new season by comfortably dismissing Rochdale 4-1 on Saturday afternoon but, frustratingly, the main subject of conversation among the travelling hordes was the future of one player. For Andrew Johnson last year, read Joleon Lescott today; now that Manchester City having finally gone public and confirmed their interest in the England international, we must now brace ourselves for a ‘will he? won’t he?’ saga. Judging by the amount of money they have thrown around since the end of last season, it can be safely assumed that City will be ringing Goodison Park’s power-that-be with an improvement on their initial £15m bid that was thrown out without hesitation on Friday. Yet they can ring, e-mail, fax or do whatever they want as the answer will continue to be the same – Lescott is not for sale and that is why David Moyes and Bill Kenwright should be applauded for taking such a stance. Given that Moyes’ transfer kitty hardly bursting at the seems, it would be easy to accept a colossal offer for a player who has come on in leaps and bounds since he arrived on Merseyside in June 2006. Where, though, would he find a replacement of similar quality who could slot in seamlessly to the heart of Everton’s defence for less than the fee City are offering and be ready for the start of the new campaign? Exactly. There is, however, another reason why Moyes won’t allow one of his most important players to leave and the evidence was there to see at Spotland; he knows they can make waves again in the coming months but to do that, he will need all hands on the pump. It would be folly to start making bold predictions just two weeks in to pre-season after beating a League Two side but the early signs augur well for what Everton are going to be capable of once battle commences on August 15. Yes, you would expect Everton to comfortably beat Rochdale 99 times out of 100 but it needs pointing out that Moyes has done very little technical work with his squad since they returned from their break two weeks. Punishing runs and long sessions in the gym have been the order of the day at Finch Farm which, in normal circumstances, should have meant heavy legs and aching limbs were unable to produce slick football. True, this was not Everton at their vibrant best but what impressed most was the way in which they went through the gears on occasions, sweeping their opponents aside in the manner that a contender for the Epsom Derby will brush past its galloping companion. “Before the game, the manager said let’s step up another gears and be a little bit more ruthless in front of goal and I think you saw that at the end of two very tough weeks,” his assistant Steve Round revealed. “The result was pleasing, as was the performance. “Next week in America will be another step up but we will now start to concentrate a bit more on the football side of things and we’ll also have the advantage of welcoming back some more seniors.” Once Shane Duffy had turned a James Wallace corner in at the near post after eight minutes and the lead was extended when Craig Dawson put through his own net shortly after, Rochdale’s hopes had all but evaporated. To their credit, they never let their heads drop and pulled one back when Chris Dagnall dispatched a penalty after being tripped by Phil Neville but that only jolted Everton back to life and Jo restored the two goal advantage with a sweet finish. Impressing throughout, the Brazilian almost had a second straight after the re-start when he skipped clear but his effort was cleared off the line by Nathan Stanton; compensation arrived on 79 minutes when he rolled a shot into an empty net after bursting through. All in all, it was a highly satisfactory exercise and the attitude of all involved was exemplary – particularly Lescott. We have seen in the past certain players refuse to play in these games after being the subject of transfer speculation. Lescott, though, simply got on with his job, chaperoned the inexperienced Duffy through the match and showed his quality, leading those in the away stand to serenade him from first whistle to last. They do not want him to go, nor do his team-mates or manager, but they also know that City will be back; mind you it won’t make difference so long as Everton maintain their stance – all the money in the world, remember, can’t buy something that isn’t for sale.
ROCHDALE (4-4-2): Arthur; Wiseman (Brizzell 80), Stanton (Brown 80), Dawson (Broomes 59), T Kennedy; Higginbotham (Woolfe 59), J Kennedy (Byrne 80), Jones, Buckley; Thompson, Dagnall.
Goals - Dagnall (29 pen)
EVERTON (4-4-2): Turner; Hibbert, Duffy (Coleman 61), Lescott, Baines; Wallace, Neville, Cahill (Vaughan 61), Fellaini; Jo, Saha (Baxter 61).
Goals - Duffy (8), Dawson (o.g 23), Jo (32, 79)
Attendance - 3,466

ABOVE: Joleon Lescott
20th July 2009
Rochdale 1 Everton 4
LEIGHTON BAINES has told Joleon Lescott: Stay with us to realise your Champions League dreams. Manchester City are preparing an improved offer after having a £15m bid for Everton star Lescott thrown out last week. But Baines reckons the Toffees can qualify for the Champions League quicker than big-spending City. The left-back said: “City are looking to fast forward into the top four and do it quicker than we can.
“But we are a close-knit bunch and that can give you the extra percent to get nearer the top, as opposed to just bringing in big-money players.”

Everton FC to bid for Swedish midfielder Rasmus Elms
Jul 20 2009 by Dominic Bonner, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON closed in on a deal for Swedish international Rasmus Elms today, as assistant manager Steve Round gave Jo’s flying start to pre-season the thumbs up.
The Blues flew out to America this morning for the start of a 10-day training camp with a near full strength squad and there could be an addition to the numbers very soon. Moyes is considering a move for Kalmar midfielder Elms, who was given a tour of Finch Farm last Friday with his family. Elms – a hard working 21-year-old with a ferocious shot – returned to his homeland over the weekend to await further news but it is understood a deal could be struck within 24 hours. One man already on board, though, is Brazilian striker Jo and his confidence is on a high after his two-goal blast in Saturday’s comfortable 4-1 win over Rochdale. Jo has impressed with the attitude he has shown in training since returning to the club and Round thinks he will make a big impact if the hard work continues. “I think Jo is starting to understand the ‘Everton Way’ – saying that, he hasn’t had much choice but to buy into it these past two weeks,” said the Blues’ assistant manager. “He probably doesn’t know what has hit him in training; but he is one that we are hoping will come through and realise his full potential. “It’s not there yet and it took him a long time to adapt last year but a good pre-season will ensure we see the best of him this season. “He is going to develop and hopefully – given the way this team trains and the way he has gone about his work – he could really come through and be a good player.” Having scored five goals in 12 appearances during a loan spell at Goodison last season, Jo is hardly an unknown quantity but Round believes he will show a different side to his game this campaign. He endured a well documented loss of form when first arriving in England from CSKA Moscow 12 months ago and only showed glimpses of his best on Merseyside. It is clear to see, though, that the tight-knit nature of Moyes’ squad suits him down to the ground and that is why Round expects the 22-year-old to flourish.
“A lot of centre-forwards are different characters and he is one that will thrive with a good atmosphere and the togetherness that we have here,” said Round.
“If he can realise his full potential, we will have a very good player on our hands. He is a young player and couldn’t help the price someone paid for him.”

Leighton Baines says Everton FC teammates want Joleon Lescott to stay at Goodison Park
July 20 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
LEIGHTON BAINES believes Joleon Lescott can fulfil his footballing ambitions with Everton if he stays at Goodison Park. The future of the England international is the subject of much speculation after Manchester City had a £15m bid for his services rebuffed on Friday. With money no object to City boss Mark Hughes, he will be back with an improved offer but Baines wants Lescott to stay and hopes the FA Cup finalists stand strong. Though City can offer Lescott a huge financial package, they are still a side in transition and Baines feels the foundations for success are, at present, stronger on Merseyside. “Joleon is one of the more important players in our side – we all want him to stay,” said Baines, who caught the eye in Saturday‘s 4-1 win at Rochdale. “To his credit, he put in a very good performance like he does week in, week out; he showed his mind is fully focused on what he is doing – there were no distractions. “We’re not that far away from the top four now and in a way City are looking to fast forward into that top four and do it quicker than we can.
“The funds they have got have not been available at Everton over the last few years but we’ve done things a lot steadier in terms of going forward. “City are looking to speed the process up and best of luck to them but at Everton we are proud of what we have done over the last few years. “We are a close-knit bunch and that sometimes can give you the extra percent to get nearer the top, as opposed to just bringing in big-money players.” One of Hughes’s biggest challenges next season will keeping a dressing room packed with big egos sweet and his position will be scrutinised if results do not come immediately. “We’re not worried about what is going on at City,” said Baines. “It’s actually quite interesting to see how they get on with it.
“With so many big-name players coming in, you have to think there is a lot of pressure on them to deliver this season.”

Everton FC strike travel wear deal with Sergio Tacchini brand
July 20 2009 by Neil Hodgson, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON FC has introduced a ‘lifestyle’ clothing collection in an exclusive deal with the Sergio Tacchini brand. The link-up creates a ‘sports meets fashion’ range and also establishes the Sergio Tacchini brand as the Goodison Park club’s official travel wear partner with a collection of track tops, woven pants, polo and tee shirts and holdalls. The dedicated range incorporates the club’s ‘Nil Satis Nisi Optimum’ motto throughout. Robert Elstone, Everton chief executive, said: “This announcement follows on from our successful launches for our new home kit for 2009/10 and our stores Everton One and Everton Two@ Liverpool One.” He added: “I know that our players really like the range of travel wear we are introducing and we are sure our supporters will love it, too.”

Everton set to bid for Swedish midfielder Elms
Jul 20 2009 by Dominic Bonner, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON closed in on a deal for Swedish international Rasmus Elms today, as assistant manager Steve Round gave Jo’s flying start to pre-season the thumbs up.
The Blues flew out to America this morning for the start of a 10-day training camp with a near full strength squad and there could be an addition to the numbers very soon. Moyes is considering a move for Kalmar midfielder Elms, who was given a tour of Finch Farm last Friday with his family. Elms – a hard working 21-year-old with a ferocious shot – returned to his homeland over the weekend to await further news but it is understood a deal could be struck within 24 hours. One man already on board, though, is Brazilian striker Jo and his confidence is on a high after his two-goal blast in Saturday’s comfortable 4-1 win over Rochdale. Jo has impressed with the attitude he has shown in training since returning to the club and Round thinks he will make a big impact if the hard work continues. “I think Jo is starting to understand the ‘Everton Way’ – saying that, he hasn’t had much choice but to buy into it these past two weeks,” said the Blues’ assistant manager. “He probably doesn’t know what has hit him in training; but he is one that we are hoping will come through and realise his full potential. “It’s not there yet and it took him a long time to adapt last year but a good pre-season will ensure we see the best of him this season.
“He is going to develop and hopefully – given the way this team trains and the way he has gone about his work – he could really come through and be a good player.”
Having scored five goals in 12 appearances during a loan spell at Goodison last season, Jo is hardly an unknown quantity but Round believes he will show a different side to his game this campaign. He endured a well documented loss of form when first arriving in England from CSKA Moscow 12 months ago and only showed glimpses of his best on Merseyside. It is clear to see, though, that the tight-knit nature of Moyes’ squad suits him down to the ground and that is why Round expects the 22-year-old to flourish. “A lot of centre-forwards are different characters and he is one that will thrive with a good atmosphere and the togetherness that we have here,” said Round.
“If he can realise his full potential, we will have a very good player on our hands. He is a young player and couldn’t help the price someone paid for him.”

Steve Round backing Everton young gun James Vaughan to shine
July 21 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
STEVE ROUND today predicted James Vaughan is ready to shake off his nearly man tag and finally become a “real force” for Everton.The 21-year-old has long been held in the highest regard at Goodison Park, ever since he became the youngest player to score for the club in April 2005.Since then, though, a series of dreadful injuries have thwarted his chances of progress, to the extent that Vaughan believes the next 12 months will be make-or-break for him. However, the early signs this pre-season are good and Vaughan has been able to train with the rest of David Moyes’ squad – who arrived in Seattle last night – as normal. That has led Round to claim Vaughan can be a major asset this year and hopes the intensity of training sessions over in the States will bring him on in leaps and bounds. “Vaughany never had the pre-season that everyone needs last year but he is going to get that this time and it is going to make a big difference,” said Round. “If he comes through it, he will be a real force for us. There is no doubting his motivation or his commitment and it is good to see that he looks sharp. “He is a tremendous player to work with; all we need to do is keep him fit and build that core up so he can stay in games for 90 minutes. The last two weeks have been a good start.”Had it not been for long-standing problems with his knees, Vaughan’s current total of 46 appearances and seven goals for Everton would have been significantly higher. His terrier like determination and refusal to give up on lost causes means he offers Moyes a different kind of threat up front and explains why the manager was so keen to play him whenever the chance allowed last year.
That is why Round – and everyone else at Goodison – is keeping his fingers crossed Vaughan does not have to pay any more visits to Mick Rathbone’s medical room for a very long time. “James had a stop-start season with injuries and one thing or another but we tried to get him involved again towards the end,” said Round. “When he came back from injury last season, he never really got a good run at getting himself fit. He was playing games, then we were having to rest him. “But he’s worked quite hard over the summer and hopefully is going to get a full pre-season under his belt now, which will do him the world of good. “We know what Vaughany can do. He is fast and physical and we know he can score if he gets the opportunity. “The big thing is keeping him fit then being able to get him match fit; there is a huge difference between the two.”

Mikel Arteta plea to Everton – spend big in the transfer market
July 21 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
MIKEL ARTETA has urged Everton to think big in the transfer market this summer – to give David Moyes the best possible chance of breaking into the Premier League’s top four. The Everton manager is hoping to tie up the signing of Swedish international midfielder Rasmus Elms from Kalmar for a FIFA compensation fee today – and has already advised Evertonians he will be shopping for Bosmans and loans. But Arteta wants to see his manager given the opportunity to attract more players like £15m Marouane Fellaini to Goodison. “We have to strengthen the team and at the moment we haven’t done it,” he explained in an interview with the club’s own official website.
“Jo’s a big name, but it’s not like a new signing because he was here before with us.
“David Moyes is really good at picking up bargains and he knows how to get 100% out of those players in training and in the games. “But that doesn’t mean a club like us should not have ambition to fight and try to get the top players because if he’s able to do that with good players, give him a chance with big, big names and we will see what we are able to do. “We are in the Europa League again, and when you have that experience, like last season, we need to be ready for that. “We can’t wait again until transfer deadline day. But at the same time the market is quite complicated at the moment because you have some very powerful teams buying top players at the moment. So we need to be calmt.” Arteta has been monitoring developments at Goodison closely this summer, recuperating from his freak cruciate knee ligament injury. And the popular Spaniard explained that the birth of his baby son Gabriel has given him an enormous psychological boost. “It’s a long injury – six or seven months,” he added. “And there are always ups and downs. But the work we are doing is going well and it’s nice to be back at Finch Farm. “I’ve done most of my rehabilitation, and I had the birth of my baby in this period, so it’s been quite a busy summer for me.” “It’s a little boy, his name is Gabriel, and we are so delighted. It’s the best thing that can happen to anyone. It’s a wonderful experience and it helps mentally as well, to see your missus so happy and behaving like a mum is a really good thing. It’s been a really important part of my rehab. “I don’t want to set any dates for a comeback, I just want to go day by day. You learn with these injuries in the knee that it can be different every day. I have had three injuries in the same knee, it wasn’t just the cruciate. I’m doing everything, working six, seven or eight hours a day to get back as soon as possible “But I won’t rush it because I know it was a big injury.
“I am improving slowly, day by day. It’s a long injury and it’s only been four months and one week at the moment. “But the lads are running really hard at the moment and I need to to catch them up.”

Everton skipper Phil Neville confident ahead of new season
July 21 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
IT’S always children who help you put things into perspective and few know that more than Phil Neville. By his own admission, Everton’s normally gregarious captain was not much fun to be around during his summer break, as the events of May 30 constantly gnawed away at the back of his mind. Try as he might to relax, Neville was unable to shake off the frustration of losing to Chelsea in the FA Cup final and found himself flashing back to the decisive incidents at Wembley. It led him to draw a conclusion that the campaign just gone had been a failure. Then, about a week before he was due to report back for training at Finch Farm, Neville had a spare afternoon and decided to pass the time by watching the club’s official end of season DVD with his son, Harvey. The more he viewed – and the more Harvey cheered every win – slowly but surely Neville’s mood started to change, so much so that by the time he had reached the end credits, his spirits had been well and truly lifted. Yes, the experience of walking up the 109 steps, past the most famous piece of silverware in the game to receive nothing other than a runners-up medal from Kofi Annan is unlikely to ever stop haunting him. That, though, is something he believes can be put to good use. While many on the outside will dismiss their chances this year, claiming the grand adventure has run its course, Neville has an entirely different school of thought thanks to that DVD. “If I’m honest, Wembley still rankles with me now,” he said, taking up the story. “The funny thing about football is that you remember the defeats in football more than you remember the good times but we have got to use what happened to our advantage. “The reason it stayed with me so long was because I honestly believed we were going to do it; we had done unbelievably well to get to the final and it hurt so much that we came up short when it really mattered. “Yes, we were playing Chelsea but I have got big expectations for this team. I had three-and-a-half weeks away in the summer but I just couldn’t stop thinking about Wembley. “I couldn’t forget the emptiness I felt walking up the stairs and not being able to get my hands on the FA Cup. I don’t think I ever will. “That probably clouded my view of the season but only when I got home I realised what we had done. “I had an afternoon with my son and we watched the DVD together. It was only then I realised we had every reason to be proud of our achievement and we have got to believe we can do the same – if not better – when we start for real again. “We climbed a lot of mountains last year and in some ways the challenge is going to be bigger again but we are a consistent side and are still improving; nothing we do should shock people.” Having touched down here in Seattle late last night, Neville and his team-mates were busy fighting the effects of jetlag at the start of a training camp that could well be the toughest they have been on during David Moyes‘ reign. Moyes invariably starts to turn the screw at this point in time, pushing his players to the limit in the heat of an arid North American summer, but they have never had to tackle teams like River Plate – who await in Edmonton – and the MLS All-Stars before. The quality of the teams they are set to face is a far cry from Neville’s first transatlantic trip as an Everton player in 2006 – back then it was Columbus Crew and Club America – but that, he says, reflects the progress that has been made in the intervening years. “The game against River Plate will be fascinating,” said Neville. “They are the biggest club in Argentina, they are sure to be technically gifted and it will be a very difficult fixture but one that we should enjoy.
“It’s a measure of the kind of pull that we have got now that we get asked to play in them; there will be a good crowd and it will set us up nicely for when we come back and have got to play in the Europa League.” If, however, they are going to flourish in that newly overhauled competition - and maintain their high ranking status in the Premier League – an influx of new faces will be needed before deadline day. Or will they? Neville, like every football follower, has been peeking through the transfer window, watching others make bids, while David Moyes has hitherto kept his powder dry, but he is not in the least bit concerned. “I think the market is dead at the minute and I don’t think there is need for any of us to start panicking,” offered a man who has made 178 appearances for the Blues since his £3.5m move from Manchester United four years ago. “We only need a couple of additions; what happened 12 months ago affected us all but it’s not going to be anything like that this year; we’ve got three big players to come back and the squad is in good shape. “The manager will only bring someone in if he feels they can genuinely improve us and if he does that – and I see no reason why he can’t – then we have got a fantastic chance to replicate what we did last season. “Manchester City are the only team spending, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are guaranteed success. We have got solid foundations in place here and that’s why I’m really excited about the new season. We are definitely on the right tracks.”.

Everton FC launch new points scheme for tickets
Jul 21 2009 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON will launch a new ticketing points system next season – which will means their most loyal fans qualify for tickets for the biggest matches. The scheme has been introduced following Everton’s run to last season’s FA Cup final and has been launched after discussions with fans’ groups. From next month, fans will be awarded points for every game they attend, with different points awarded depending on the attractiveness of the fixture. Season tickets and executive memberships will earn the most points – 200 each, while individual home match ticket purchases will range from five points to 25 points and will be determined by the attractiveness of the opposition, the level of competition, the date and kick off time and whether the game is live on television. Chief executive Robert Elstone said: “This new scheme we believe is as transparent as we can be. We all know that throughout a season demand will be high for certain matches and by allocating specific points it will allow us to reward those supporters with the most loyalty. “Our season ticket numbers to date already suggests there is a real appetite to come to watch Everton and we are anticipating increased demand for a number of matches in the coming season.” He added: “I do hope the scheme demonstrates that we do listen to our supporters and try to make the necessary improvements needed in order for there to be an open and honest way of conducting our business.” Supporters will be able to view their points history online via eTicketing and points are allocated automatically when a ticket/ membership is purchased. Points will be announced once each individual game is on sale.
* European away match tickets are not covered by this scheme. These tickets are only available if supporters are members of the European Travel Club.

Kyle Naughton race is over, admit furious Everton
July 22 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
Kyle Naughton
EVERTON were today reluctantly forced to admit they have lost the race to sign Kyle Naughton. Having spent the weekend fighting to secure the right-back’s signature from Sheffield United, it is now only a matter of time before Naughton is unveiled by Tottenham. The news will come as a blow to Blues boss David Moyes, who had made the exciting 20-year-old one of his top summer transfer targets. There has been much speculation since a report last Friday suggested Tottenham had wrapped up an £8m deal for Naughton and Kyle Walker but now this drawn out saga has reached its conclusion. Everton officials made attempts over the weekend to thrash out a deal for Naughton, who had spent most of the last month indicating that Goodison was his preferred destination away from Bramall Lane. They were furious, though, that it had even come to that as they were under the impression 10 days ago that Naughton would become their player. Sheffield United’s conduct has enraged Goodison officials and it is still scarcely believable that after issuing a statement on their website explaining why Naughton would be sold to Everton, he has ended up moving to Tottenham.
The Blues, after all, had agreed a fee and personal terms with Naughton and were expecting him to have a medical, only for Tottenham to come in and gazump them.
Moyes will now have to reassess his plans and there is no sign of any deals being done in the next 24 hours. Sweden international Rasmus Elm is on Moyes’ list of possible targets but no definitive decision has been reached about negotiating a deal with his club Kalmar. Reports that Lorik Cana – Marseille’s soon to be on the move captain – will be arriving at Goodison, though, are wide of the mark; the interest about him moving to Merseyside is all on his behalf. Meanwhile, Joseph Yobo is looking forward to getting back into the swing of things after he joined up with Everton’s squad for the first time this pre-season in Seattle. Nigeria captain Yobo had an extended summer break after playing for his country in a couple of World Cup qualifiers and he could get a run out on Saturday evening when Everton face River Plate in Edmonton. “It feels good to come back to meet up with the team after I have been away on holidays – it always does,” said Yobo. “It’s never easy to get back into training but it’s no pain, no gain and I’m really looking forward to what we can do in the new season. Everyone is focused. “We have been doing this for years as professionals, so we know what it’s about. We’ll see what happens on Saturday but it would be good to get some minutes under my belt.”

Tony Hibbert happy to fight for his future at Everton
Jul 22 2009 Liverpool Echo
TRAINING has finished for the morning and Everton’s players have returned to their plush base in the heart of Seattle in typically high spirits. David Moyes and Steve Round may have just put on a session that has pushed the squad to their physical limits but it’s clear to see they are a content bunch and do not have a care in the world.
You would be forgiven for thinking, however, that Tony Hibbert might be an exception to the rule; Everton’s longest serving player, after all, is not the biggest fan of these American training camps and sometimes struggles to cope with the intense heat. But there is another reason why you might expect his mood to be dark; Moyes’ summer long pursuit of Kyle Naughton, an exciting right-back, has led some people to speculate over about Hibbert’s long-term future. Certain individuals would have little hesitation in throwing a fit of pique about the prospect of someone coming into take their place but Hibbert – a veteran of 221 appearances for the Blues – is cut from a different cloth. Like his colleagues, he is also laughing and joking as he makes his way through the foyer of the grand hotel that they currently call home and it has got nothing to do with the news that Naughton is, in all likelihood, heading to Tottenham instead. He, simply, is looking forward to the opportunity to help Everton maintain the progress they have made under Moyes and, if anything, is bitterly disappointed that Naughton is heading to the capital as opposed to Merseyside. In Hibbert’s world, the team’s wellbeing will always come ahead of his own and that is why he wants Moyes to buy the best players available – even if it means the pressure on him to perform is cranked up. “The challenge is the same every year,” said Hibbert, welcoming the chance to sit for a minute in a comfortable chair. “When you play for Everton, you have got to show you deserve to be in the team and you have got to fight all the time to keep your marks up.“You look at the age of the players now coming through and that’s when it hits you that you are not one of the kids anymore; the talent that some of them have is unbelievable and in years to come, it’s only going to help the club.
“The gaffer was spot on to look at another right-back; that is always going to happen because if you want to be successful now, you need two players for every position and it’s good to see that Everton are being linked with these outstanding young players.
“I love the club, I’ve been here all my life and whoever gets brought in is only going to help us out, so why would I complain?” The reason why questions have started to be asked about Hibbert’s role in the team, of course, has everything to do with the uncomfortable – possibly torrid – afternoon he was subjected to in the FA Cup final.
Booked early on after getting his legs tangled with Florent Malouda, he was systematically targeted by Chelsea and often found himself with the French international and Ashley Cole doubling up on him to cause problems. Removed from the action at half-time by Moyes, few Blues inside Wembley were as disappointed as Hibbert that things ended up turning out the way they did but it says a lot about him that he is happy to relive the experience. “When the season finished, I got away as soon as I could and had a couple of holidays with my family,” said Hibbert. “But here we are again, back to work with the season not far off. It just goes by too quickly.
“How was I after the final? It was just one of those things, wasn’t it? We all went in to the game with the highest of hopes but we came out of it on a real downer. But you have to do everything you can to put it behind you as soon as possible. “Getting back to another final has to be the aim. Looking back, it was a nightmare to get booked so early and, to be honest, it rattled me. I love tackling, that’s what I base my game on, so straight away I was thinking ‘I’m not going to be able to tackle here’. “You just have to look at things in a positive way if you can; all the lads have got a lot of experience now and they know what playing in a final is all about and I’m sure it’s only going to help us in the long-term.”

ABOVE: Harry Redknapp
23rd July 2009 Daily Star
By Richard Lewis
Tottenham beat Everton to land Kyle Naughton yesterday – and bagged his namesake at the same time. Spurs manager Harry Redknapp swooped in a £10m double deal for Sheffield United full-backs Naughton and Kyle Walker, his first signings of the summer. But 19-year-old Walker will not even leave Bramall Lane for now, instead spending the season on loan with his old club to gain first team experience.
Spurs have decided not play in the Barclays Reserve League this season and Redknapp feels England Under-19 defender Walker will get more openings in the Championship. The Blades’ failure to win promotion to the Premier League last season has cost them their prize assets. But at least manager Kevin Blackwell can console himself with the fact that Walker will be part of the club’s new push for promotion. Blackwell said: “They are terrific young players with great futures ahead of them. “Harry is getting a couple of kids who are destined for stardom, that’s for sure. “I am glad to be getting Walker straight back on loan for a season because he can boost our promotion challenge while we can help him develop his game.
“Of course it is a blow to lose two of what was a very successful and consistent back four for us last season. “But I have nothing but praise for these two lads and I wish them all the very best at Tottenham.” England Under-21 star Naughton played 50 times for United last season, scoring three goals. He impressed in the Blades’ run to the play-off final and can also play in midfield. Naughton won a place in the PFA Championship Team of the Year and looked set for a move to Everton after a fee had been agreed. Redknapp will now step up his chase to land Portsmouth’s £12m striker Peter Crouch after he turned down a move to Sunderland.

Everton FC chief executive Robert Elstone dismisses Middle East takeover
Jul 23 2009
EVERTON FC chief executive Robert Elstone has today dismissed claims the club was close to completing a takeover deal with a Middle Eastern consortium.
Reports which originated in Abu Dhabi ex-pat paper, The National, suggested managing director of NVA Management, Chris Nathaniel, was in discussions with “a prominent Dubai businessman” over a proposal to purchase a controlling interest in Everton FC. In a statement released on the club’s website Mr Elstone revealed he had held talks with Mr Nathaniel a year ago but “that is as far as it went”, he said.
“Mr Nathaniel rang me this morning to apologise profusely for the piece claiming that he had been misquoted” said Mr Elstone. “I had one, brief meeting with Mr Nathaniel a year ago and that is as far as it went. To suggest that he is working for us – and that he is close to concluding any form of deal – is totally wrong,” he added.
Everton chairman Bill Kenwright told a meeting of the Club’s shareholders last week that the search for major financial investment was continuing but that nothing was imminent.

Leon Osman up for task as Everton unveil new away strip
July 23 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
LEON OSMAN unveiled Everton’s brand new away kit today – then predicted David Moyes will bounce back from the frustration of missing out on Kyle Naughton to deliver the signings that will maintain Everton’s progress. The Blues have been minor players in the transfer market so far, with only Brazilian international Jo returning on loan alongside a couple of junior players. And there was disappointment yesterday when Kyle Naughton – who had been a major target – ended up at Tottenham, while Goodison officials are still waiting to hear whether Rasmus Elm will accept their invitation to join. Osman has been watching these events unfold from afar, but has taken heart that Moyes is playing his cards close to his chest. “Over the last season or two, we’ve only tended to bring in one big signing – perhaps two at a push,” said Osman. “But if we continue to hold on to players and make those little additions, then it is definite improvement. "The progress we have made has got to be of benefit.
“It has got to help the gaffer out no end, as potential transfer targets can see the pedigree that we have got. What we have done over the last few seasons hasn’t been a fluke. “We have been consistent for four or five years and hopefully we’ll continue to do that. People looking from the outside should see this is a good place to play football.” Osman modelled Everton’s new black and pink away strip today, and while the kit is ultra-modern, the colours do have historical links which go back more than a century. When the Everton club was in its infancy it attracted players from a number of neighbouring clubs, who all came with their own kits. To avoid confusion club officials dyed all the strips black – but as that created a funereal appearance they added a bright scarlet sash. That led to the nickname The Black Watch. Robert Elstone, Everton's CEO commenting on the new range said, "We wanted to make a real statement with our playing strips this season. “It was our intention to reference the club’s past along with ensuring the designs had a contemporary modern feel.”
Everton will wear the new design for the first time at Coventry City on August 2. It is available to pre-order on line at www.evertondirect.com and will be in store at Everton One and Everton Two on August 6.

Lucas Jutkiewicz scores twice for Everton reserves at Burscough
Jul 23 2009 Liverpool Echo
STRIKER Lucas Jutkiewicz scored twice as Everton Reserves secured their second pre-season victory with a 4-1 win against Burscough last night. Kieran Agard and Lewis Codling were also on target in a comfortable win for the Blues. Shane Duffy returned from first team duty at Bury and Rochdale to start, while new recruits Shkodran Mustafi and Anton Peterlin were also called-up against the non-leaguers.
Everton took the lead through Kieran Agard just six minutes in, as the striker latched on to John Ruddy's goal-kick. Jutkiewicz stabbed home an Adam Forshaw cross to double the Blues' advantage six minutes from the break. Taking a comfortable 2-0 lead into the second half, Jutkiewicz added his name to the scoresheet for the second time on the hour. The hosts managed to pull one back with 20 minutes remaining, but the final word was with the Blues. Having scored in both of the Under-18s’ last two matches, Codling continued his impressive goalscoring form for the Blues' second string, taking the ball around the Burscough keeper and tapping home in the final minute of play. The result earned a modicum of revenge for Everton, after the non-leaguers sent them crashing out of last season’s Liverpool Senior Cup.
EVERTON Reserves: Ruddy, Garbutt, Thompson, Mustafi, Duffy, Craig, Akpan, Peterlin, Forshaw, Agard, Jutkiewicz. Subs: Davies, Kinsella, McCarten, Codling.

Jimmy Gabriel back in the Everton fold in Seattle
Jul 23 2009 Liverpool Echo
TO the majority of players being put through their paces in training last night, the old man who stood on the touchline, watching their every move intently, might have been just another keen spectator. As always, though, the reality was completely different.
Buried underneath a red baseball cap and a dark blue rain jacket was a true Everton legend. Jimmy Gabriel may now reside in this part of America but a huge part of him will forever belong to Goodison Park. And didn’t a number of the current coaching staff know it. Kit man Jimmy Martin greeted him with a bear hug, masseuse Jimmy Comer – who was named after Gabriel – took the chance to get a picture, while David Moyes stopped what he was doing when informed there was a special guest to give a warm handshake. Gabriel, of course, was part of Harry Catterick’s first title winning side in 1963 and also played his part in the never to be forgotten 3-2 victory over Sheffield Wednesday in 1966. In seven years as an Everton player, he made 303 appearances, scoring 37 goals. Though he left for Southampton in July 1967, he would later return to Goodison to act first as Colin Harvey’s assistant, before taking charge of the reserve team. Interspersed between those posts were two brief spells as caretaker manager. With all that in mind, it’s little wonder that Gabriel was so excited when he found out that the Blues would use Seattle as a training base before Saturday’s first friendly of this tour against River Plate in Edmonton. “It’s fantastic,” said Gabriel, as he watched Jack Rodwell fire out another inch perfect cross field ball. “I found out a few months ago that they were coming here and I’ve been counting down the days since. I see them on TV most weeks but you can’t beat this.
“I love watching Everton now. They play like Everton should. We always went out there and gave it everything we had got with a bang. “If we won or lost, whatever, the fans knew that we had come off the field leaving everything behind.
“It’s the same thing with today’s team and it’s fantastic to see. I think I would fit into that team. They all work hard, they all want to win; they don’t mind tackling and love passing. They play the typical Everton way, football as it should be. “I felt so sorry for them losing the final, as they had started so well. They got at Chelsea straight away but it was typical of Chelsea, grinding you down and coming back at you. We just fell that little bit short.” While there is no disguising how disappointing that defeat at Wembley was, Gabriel – a midfielder who, in his pomp, had the perfect blend of silk and steel – is quick to point out there were still positives to take. What’s more, he makes no secret of his admiration for the work that the current man in charge at Goodison has done. No surprise to learn, then, that he relished the opportunity to have lunch with Moyes at Everton’s luxurious downtown hotel “Last year was another step up for David and Everton,” Gabriel said. “They have been lingering for a bit in fifth or sixth for a while and are trying their hardest to get into that top four. “This is the first time I have ever had chance to properly meet him. “I was at a dinner in the Adelphi when we were celebrating the FA Cup win of 1966 a few years ago; he was there but he had to go and all I did was shake his hand, so this experience has been really special.”Having tapped into Moyes’ thoughts, what are his feelings about Everton’s chances this time? “I think we’ll do well again,” he predicted with a definite confidence. “It’s hard to break down the top four because they have got so much money behind them; they can go out and get players whenever they want. It’s going to be hard to break into that but, if we could, it would almost be like winning the championship. “Aston Villa might feel they have a chance of doing it but their chance isn’t better than Everton. It would be just fantastic to do it. “When you get into the top four, you can then win the league. You just have to get in there first. Sooner or later, please God, it will happen for us again and it would be great to see us back where we belong.” Now 68 and in great trim thanks to all the walking he does around his home town of Kirkland, life is treating the man from Dundee well and he and wife Pat love their current lot. That said, he gets a twinge from time to time that most people have pulled on a Royal Blue shirt get; the hankering to return to Merseyside to watch his beloved club in action remains and, clearly, it is something he will put right soon.
“Everton is in your blood – that’s what happens when you play for them,” he said. “Of course I think about Southampton at times, because I had five years there, but Everton was my big club. It’s where I won the league and the FA Cup. “I’m enjoying life here but there is always a part of you that misses home. When the season starts… I really miss that. “It was always a great thrill; yes you see it on television but it’s not the same. Nothing beats going to Goodison.”

David Moyes searches for back up defender - Everton FC latest
July 24 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES today revealed he is stepping up his search for a new defender – but not for the reason Evertonians have been fearing. Though Manchester City continue to covet Joleon Lescott, their pursuit of the England international is destined to be fruitless as Moyes has absolutely no intentions of selling. The only thing on the manager’s mind at present is adding to his numbers and bringing in a centre-half is top of the list of requirements. With Phil Jagielka still a long way from returning from injury, Moyes needs cover for Lescott and Joseph Yobo, meaning he and his scouting staff are scouring Europe for the right option. “We have got a decent team but we have a concern as we’ve only got two centre-backs at the club just now,” said Moyes, whose side face River Plate in Edmonton in the early hours of Sunday.
“That means I am going to have to add a central defender. It’s a priority – we don’t have cover at left-back either. “Joleon could cover for Leighton Baines but we just don’t have the options to do that at the minute. There is a shortage there as well.
“We don’t have Mikel Arteta fit, nor do we have Yak, Jags or Victor Anichebe and our numbers are dramatically down, so it’s something we need to address.”
Some supporters will worry that a situation similar to last season will occur but the difference between then and now is marked. Moyes, for starters, is relaxed and his mood has been boosted by the high standard of training this week here in Seattle and the attitude his players have shown. Moyes missed out to Tottenham for Kyle Naughton from Sheffield United earlier this week, but still believes Everton is hugely attractive to those on the move. “I’m pretty sure that players will be keen to come here,” he said. “I’m sure they will see a football club that has improved and will go on improving. “You only have to look at the squad we have got to see that the players have made progress, they are a hard working group and hugely determined.
“The market is quiet at the minute and only Manchester City seem to be buying big but I think that others will start buying before too long. “We know that we have got to add players. Yes, I would have liked them in before now – but I will definitely be adding to the squad as soon as the right one becomes available.” Moyes will have a near-enough full-strength squad to choose from against River Plate and the friendly is likely to see Tim Howard, Joseph Yobo, Jack Rodwell and Steven Pienaar given their first action of pre-season. “I’m looking forward to the game,” Pienaar said. “I played against River Plate when I was at Ajax and they have some good players and are a good team.”

Everton FC’s Tim Cahill can’t wait to team up with goal provider Mikel Arteta
July 24 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
THE great double acts were never the same when one half was forced to go it alone, regardless of how hard they tried. Morecambe without Wise could never deliver the kind of laughs as the two did together, Lennon and McCartney’s greatest music was composed as a duo, while could you have imagined Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid with Newman but no Redford? It is something that Tim Cahill appreciates fully; try as he might to be Everton’s talismanic figure during the final third of last season, the spark that frequently enables him to explode in the opposition penalty area was missing; or, more accurately was injured. Though Cahill still ended the campaign as Everton’s joint top scorer with nine goals, he is right to wonder what that the tally might have been had Mikel Arteta’s knee not buckled beneath him at St James Park on February 22. Take a look at the statistics: Cahill’s career at Everton has seen him average roughly a goal every three games but in the 14 appearances after Arteta was carried off in Newcastle, the Australian only scored twice. Coincidence? Not if you listen to Cahill speak. He and the little Spaniard have a bond off the pitch that has enabled them to strike up a great rapport on it and when they are playing in same team together at the top of their form, Everton rarely, if ever, lose. So it will come as no surprise to learn that Cahill is counting down the days until his amigo is operating at full speed once more, the thought of those perfect crosses arriving into the box brings a smile to his face as we speak at the end of training here in Seattle. “Mikel is one of my best mates off the pitch and on it he is a massive provider of my goals,” said Cahill. “Let’s not make excuses but pretty much all the time when we are out there, he knows where I am without even looking. “I played most of last season with no wingers to cross the ball and my main aim is to have a player like Mikel in the team so he can find me; Stevie Pienaar is a great winger but he has different qualities to Mikel.
“Mikel is a player that would add to any team in the Premier League. He’s got such quality. “We could definitely have done better in the FA Cup final, it just seemed a bridge too far when we came to that game. “He’s coming close to his pinnacle now. He, Yak and Jags have all had serious injuries – the worst in their careers – but it’s all about how they are going to come back. “I speak to Mikel at length about looking after his body, as I know from my own experience. “I’ve told him to take care of the injury, not to rush it. It’s no big deal if you miss a match through injury; it happens all the time in football. “What’s important is getting the injury right and coming back at a high level to play in the Premier League again. “We do a lot of rehab and preparation work together; Mikel takes great pride in what he does and that’s why it’s great to work alongside someone like that.“He’s a credit to the team, he adds a lot of value and he needs to get back for us as soon as possible.” Poised to embark on the sixth season of his Goodison Park career, Cahill’s mood is bright and boisterous as he considers how Everton will surpass last year’s magnificent effort that ended with them losing to Chelsea in the FA Cup final. Many of his team-mates might have had to dwell on the disappointment throughout June, but he got the perfect antidote after scoring the two goals against Japan that secured Australia’s passage to the 2010 World Cup finals.
But, for the time being, Everton take priority and he believes that the signs look good as they prepare to go one step better in both the Premier League and the FA Cup, regardless of what some critics will say. “Being with Australia put things into perspective,” said Cahill. “Playing those games for my country helped me recover, as I would have needed to play another 10 games for Everton to make me feel better after what happened at Wembley. “I’m just so happy to be back with the team and I’m buzzing that my body feels really good. I can’t wait to get going. “The atmosphere is fantastic and you can see that in what everyone is doing in training. We’re ready to go again. “We had a great season but now it’s a case of building on it. I’m always trying to get onto another level. “We’ve got a big task trying to repeat what we did last season but if we improve as players, and add to the squad, it’s going to be exciting.
“I enjoyed the run out at Rochdale and we played some good football; training since has been hard with weights, sprints and endurance running. “But, in a weird way, I’m relishing the punishment, as I know I’m going to be fit for the start of the season.
“We’ve prepared well for the games against River Plate and the MLS All-Stars and they will set us up nicely for what we’ve got in front of us when we get back. We’ve got a vision – now it’s all about fulfilling it.” How, then, do they do that?
“If we can add quality to what we have got here and keep our own quality high,” he said. “I’m 29 and coming to my peak. I want to play in the Champions League and hopefully I will fulfil that here before the end of my career.”.

David Prentice: Mikel Arteta articulates Everton FC fans' fears
July 24 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
MIKEL ARTETA usually lets his feet do the talking – and when he does Evertonians pay attention. But when Everton’s best little Spaniard opens his mouth he can be equally as eloquent, too. You could almost hear the club interviewer choking on his questions as Arteta explained exactly what he thought about Everton’s summer transfer policy on the club’s official website. “We have to strengthen the team and at the moment we haven’t done it,” he said. “But we’ve signed Jo,” countered the man with the mic. Mikel countered like Cristiano Ronaldo in a Champions League quarter-final at the Emirates. “Jo’s a big name, but it’s not like a new signing because he was here before with us,” he rapped. The club man valiantly came back. “Yes, but David Moyes is really good at picking up bargains. You were a bargain, so was Tim Cahill and so was Joleon Lescott.” “If he’s able to do that with good players, give him a chance with big, big names and we will see what we are able to do,” said Mikel. “He knows how to get 100% out of players, but that doesn’t mean a club like us should not have ambition to fight and try to get the top players.” Point made. Nil Satis Nisi Optimum doesn’t have an easy Spanish translation, but Mikel Arteta understands the concept totally. And it’s why when Evertonians sing he’s the best little Spaniard they know, it’s not just his football they’re talking about.

Everton to loan young striker as Rasmus Elm bid hijacked
July 25 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON have taken Port Vale’s highly-rated striker James Lawrie on trial, while Dutch side Heerenveen have tried to thwart the Blues by bidding for Kalmar midfielder and Blues target Rasmus Elm. Lawrie, 18, already capped at senior level by Northern Ireland, does not fall into the category of first-team squad potential yet.
He will be assessed over the next few days with a possible decision on a transfer not likely until next week. Lawrie was involved in 26 games for Vale last season, the vast majority as a substitute, and is rated one of the best youth products at the Potteries club for many years. He made his international debut last month as a substitute against Italy, and Vale chairman Bill Bratt said: “Everton asked if they can have James for a week to see whether they would be interested. We cannot stand in his way and we wouldn’t want to. “Every young footballer wants to play in as high a level as possible, so he goes with our blessing and, hopefully, the lad will make it. “He has come through the ranks here and done his best for Vale, but he has to look to his career. We have to understand that.” Heerenveen, meanwhile, have had a bid for Kalmar midfielder Rasmus Elm rejected by the Swedish club. The 21-year-old is also interesting Everton but only Heerenveen and French club Valenciennes have submitted formal bids, neither of which met Kalmar’s valuation. Club chairman Johnny Petterson told Swedish paper Expressen: “I can confirm that only two clubs have made an offer, but they were both rejected. “Everton are also interested, but they haven’t made an offer yet. I expect more clarity next week.” The Blues take on River Plate in the early hours of tomorrow morning and David Moyes has urged his players to savour the experience of taking on one of world football’s leading names – so they are ready for business when it really matters. Everton will play their third pre-season friendly in the early hours of Sunday morning when they face top Argentinean side River Plate in Edmonton. With a European campaign to prepare for and another Premier League adventure looming, the manager wants everything in place for the big kick-off on August 15. That is why he will tell his players to learn as much from River Plate’s style as possible, so it stands them in good stead for challenges later down the line. “This is possibly going to be the best friendly we have played since I have been here as we know for sure they will have quality players,” said Moyes. “The hardest part will probably be the conditions as much as anything but I’m really looking forward to it and seeing how the players cope with different problems. “But it’s great for us to be involved in. River Plate are a world name in football. “It’s an important games for us to have, as the boys need to keep testing themselves against all manner of different sides and it’s what we need at this stage. “We have found it difficult in the past in games over here against MLS sides, as they are right in the middle of their season and the conditions suit them. “This time our preparations have been the same but I tell you what – I’d swap every result in pre-season for a win against Arsenal.”

Leighton Baines ready to step up for Everton against River Plate
Jul 25 2009 Liverpool Echo
A TOUGH week is about to become even more difficult, but that suits Leighton Baines down to the ground. Ever since they touched down in Seattle late on Monday evening, Everton’s players have been pushed to the limit of their physical capabilities, as David Moyes aims to have them cherry-ripe for the big-kick-off on August 15.
While the location may be exotic, the amount of shuttle runs, sessions of attack versus defence and long hours lifting weights in a state-of-the-art gymnasium, has made it quite clear to all that this is no holiday camp. In normal circumstances, the weekend would provide much needed chance to catch breath, but the chance would be a fine thing for the Blues, who have now crossed the border to play River Plate – champions of Argentina on 33 occasions – in Edmonton. Tonight’s opponents, one of the most famous names in world football, will provide a test that the likes of Bury and Rochdale could never muster and Baines is bracing himself for a busy evening spent haring up and down the left-flank. Don’t, though, expect to hear any complaints; this could be a huge 12 months for Baines. If he maintains last season’s progress, there is reason to believe he will challenge for a place in the squad that England manager Fabio Capello will take to the World Cup. From the moment that he reclaimed his place in Everton’s starting line-up last Christmas, Baines has barely put a foot out of place. And as he is only 24, it’s fair to assume there is going to be plenty more improvement in him.An opportunity to test himself against gifted Argentinians, then, will always be well received but, more than that, the former Wigan left-back thinks it is the kind of workout that Everton require with the new domestic campaign looming into view. “We face a couple of tough games now,” said Baines, who this time 12 months ago was fighting for fitness after undergoing ankle surgery. “But there has been a lot of training beforehand, hard sessions, but that is what we want the closer we get to the season. “We are going about things the right way. Trips to America are always enjoyable, as well as being hard. “We get a bit of free time and the lads get to bond, so it is always a vital part of what we do in pre-season. “After you finish training, it’s great for everyone to come back to the same environment. “You tend to spend a lot of time in each other’s rooms, the manager takes us out for a meal and it’s great to get all the new ones singing. “It’s just little things like that which help so much and it sets you perfectly for what is often a long season and it helps you get through the tough times. “That’s why we always come back in high spirits.”
Whether they will be in high spirits immediately after the final whistle tonight is open to debate. Cast a glance at some of the players who have pulled on that renowned white jersey with the red stripe and River Plate’s pedigree is that of a thoroughbred.
Alfredo di Stefano, Daniel Passarella, Mario Kempes, Gabriel Batistuta, Enzo Francescoli, Claudio Caniggia and Marcelo Salas are just a few names that every football fan will know – and a recent roll call is similarly impressive. Javier Saviola, Javier Mascherano, Roberto Ayala and Pablo Aimar all graduated from El Monumental and the squad that will face Everton is made up purely of Argentinians.
THIS is as far removed from Spotland and Gigg Lane as you could get. “We had a couple of good workouts before we came here,” said Baines. “The first few pre-season games are normally tough because you are coming into them on the back of a few weeks training, so nobody is feeling too fresh out there. “You know you are going to get a tough game when you come to the likes of Bury or Rochdale, but we did a lot better at Rochdale than we did in the first game at Bury. “We got some goals and we could all go away feeling a bit better about ourselves. “They certainly weren’t holding back with their tackles, and that’s what we wanted. “There’s no point in playing pre-season games and going through the motions, because that won’t prepare you for what you will face at the beginning of the season. “Now this is another step up. “You know that River Plate’s players are going to be technically gifted and will keep hold of possession for long periods of the game if you allow them, but we are just concentrating on ourselves. “It was positive last weekend to have Tim (Cahill) and Joleon (Lescott) slot in after a week’s training as if they had never been away; then you’ve got Jo who has looked particularly impressive, so I think that we are looking quite strong early.” While it is a friendly, one man in Everton’s ranks sure to be fired up for the encounter is Jo. Given the nationality of the opponents, this Brazilian will not need a second invitation to cause mayhem and Baines expects him to flourish both here in Cananda and in future. “We were really impressed with Jo last season and when there was a shout for him to come back, I think we were all keen,” said Baines.
“But the most important thing was that Jo was keen to come back himself. It says a lot about him.”

Blades behaviour in Kyle Naughton deal leaves a sour taste at Everton
July 25 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
THOSE who believe that football is a game with few honourable men, will have wearily shaken their heads again this week. The saga surrounding Kyle Naughton’s move from Sheffield United ended with him moving to Tottenham Hotspur even though a deal was in place for him to move to Everton some two weeks earlier.
How, you may ask, has this happened? Cynics will lay the blame squarely at the feet of the Everton officials who were negotiating the transfer and lambast the fact that there isn’t a vast reservoir of cash inside Goodison Park to stop such an eventuality happening. That, though, would be totally unfair, not to mention completely inaccurate. Make no mistake, Everton have been the victims of a gross volte-face and the anger they feel at seeing Naughton move to Tottenham is almost tangible.
Let us talk you through the story. David Moyes had identified the exciting Naughton as a player who he wanted to bring, told his board of directors and, for good reason, had confidence they would deliver. As is always the case these days, Sheffield United placed a certain price on Naughton’s head. Everton made their opening offer and discussions went from there; eventually they came to an agreement that deal would be £5m. While negotiations were going on, it was continually being let known that Naughton wanted to move to Merseyside, as he had seen the chances – and subsequent success – that Phil Jagielka had enjoyed after making the same switch two years ago.Attempting to gazump the Blues, they made an offer for both Naughton and Kyle Walker of £8m, but the intricacies of their deal somehow meant they made a big offer for Naughton. Confused? You will be. Everton intended to pay £4m down with another £1m to follow, whereas Tottenham wanted to pay the full £5m and then a further £3m for Walker. To get back into the race, Everton made the same £8m bid, valuing both players at £4m. Now here’s where it gets infuriating, Everton were never given permission to speak to Walker and United also stopped talking to them about Naughton after Tottenham had come to the table. Is that fair? Is that gentlemanly?
Purely in terms of finance, you might be able to see why Tottenham won the day, but ask yourself this; if you had agreed to sell your house to someone who had their heart set on it for £200,000, what would you do if another person offered £210,000?
Take the money and forget all about the first party? Or would you do what is right and enter into dialogue with them, explain the situation and then look to come to an agreement? The more you work in the football industry, the less you should be surprised about some of the things that go on but, having listened to Sheffield United bleat for two years about the Carlos Tevez affair, they have shown themselves for what they are – hypocrites. As for Naughton, the feeling remains that he has made the wrong choice; Harry Redknapp has a surfeit of full-backs and the 20-year-old might have to wait for some time before getting his chance. Of course, Redknapp could instead start a fire sale, get ride of the full-backs who he inherited and unleash Naughton early on; it might turn out fine for him – but, 12 months from now, he could be left to rue the day he never stood strong. A financial package was then put together that Naughton’s advisors deemed to be acceptable and, with things going smoothly, Sheffield United released a statement on their website saying why Naughton would be sold to Everton. Enter Tottenham.
Young Everton star comes under starters orders in USA!
THE innocence of youth is something that will always evoke a smile and an episode in the Cheesecake Factory a few days ago again proved that to be true. For those who don’t know, the Cheesecake Factory is a chain of restaurants that serves up single portions that could stuff an army. Given that they had burned up more calories on Tuesday than most of us do in a year, Everton’s squad had every reason to enjoy their visit to the Seattle branch. Especially when a younger member of the dining party was asked by an unfailingly politely waitress whether he was having an entrée.
The response: “No thanks, I’ll just have a starter then my main,” brought the house down. At least he was polite. This correspondent was running around a track when acid tongued kit-man Jimmy Martin appeared on the scene. “What are you doing that for lad?” he asked. “Why do you think?” I offered.
“No point,” came the reply. “You’d need a bacon slicer to get rid of that backside.”

Everton boss David Moyes a big admirer of David Beckham
July 25 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
WHILE Major League Soccer is not the retirement home it once was, the sight of David Beckham plying his trade out here continues to evoke the feeling ‘what a waste’. A large section of American fans have made it quite clear that they don’t care for Beckham but he is determined to battle on. Yes, he is being amazingly well rewarded and the climate in California is as close to perfect as you could get but shouldn’t he be playing in the Premier League? Beckham is a player who polarises opinion – you either love him or loathe him – but there is no doubt he has the quality to be competitive back in England again. Only Beckham knows what the future holds for him, but if he did end up coming back, David Moyes would certainly think long and hard about throwing his hat into the ring. Beckham the Blue? It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?.

Time to for Liverpool and Everton to retire their magic numbers?
Jul 25 2009 by Paul Snowdon, Liverpool Echo
IN LEFT FIELD this week, it's time to play the numbers game – and find out exactly why certain sporting individuals will be forever associated with a particular team...
HERE’S something for all you Everton and Liverpool fans to ponder as you wait for the new Premier League season to kick-off just three weeks today: Should the number 7 jersey be retired at Liverpool and the number 9 at Everton? In the case of the Reds, it’s difficult to name anyone better than Kevin Keegan and Kenny Dalglish who have worn the number 7 shirt with half as much distinction as those two players.
And in the case of the Blues, surely it would be a right and fitting way to remember their greatest-ever goalscorer not called Duncan Ferguson. I am referring, of course, to William Ralph ‘Dixie’ Dean who, as every Everton fan who knows their history is aware, wore that particular numbered jersey for the first time at the 1933 FA Cup final. Retiring shirt numbers is not a new fad, and unsurprisingly it has its origins in North America. There, all the major sporting teams in their big national games – American football, baseball, basketball and hockey – have seen the jersey numbers of players and coaches officially retired. Many of those individuals transcended their sports to be known thousands of miles away from their native shores.
For example, baseball legend George Herman ‘Babe’ Ruth had his iconic number three retired by the New York Yankees in 1948. Incidentally, Ruth wore that number as he was usually third in the Yankees’ famed batting order. Behind him, batting fourth in the line-up, was the great Lou Gehrig, whose own number four had been retired nine years earlier. The retirement of Gehrig’s number was shrouded in sadness as he had succumbed to a debilitating muscle-wasting condition Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – later known in North America as ‘Lou Gehrig’s Disease’ – at the age of just 37 in 1941. And it’s often been the case that teams have declared certain numbers unwearable again due to tragic circumstances. In England, for example, the shirt numbers of several players who have passed away have been set aside including the iconic six at West Ham United for Bobby Moore, 23 at Manchester City for Marc-Vivien Foe, 31 at Queen’s Park Rangers for Ray Jones, 14 at Wycombe Wanderers for Mark Philo and 25 at Hartlepool United for Michael Maidens. Across the soccer world, many other players have been recognised in this touching way, notably Honved who retired the number 10 in memory of legendary forward Ferenc Puskas, Inter Milan who retired the number three as a tribute to great full-back Giacinto Facchetti and Legia Warsaw who retired the number 10 to remember the fantastic Polish star of the 1960s and 1970s, Kazimierz Deyna. The story of the man whose number was the first to be retired in the National Hockey League is also one worth recounting.
Irvine Wallace ‘Ace’ Bailey played for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1926-1933. Bailey, who played on the right wing, was a fine goalscorer whose prowess in front of the net filled many a goal-tender with dread. In 1932 he capped a great year by helping Toronto triumph in the Stanley Cup for the first time in their history.
However, on December 12 1933, Bailey’s career came to a shuddering end.
In a scrappy encounter with the Boston Bruins, he was hit from behind by defender Eddie Shore and, crashing to the ice, fractured his skull. Shore was suspended for 16 games and tried for attempted murder, a charge for which he was acquitted.
Sadly for Bailey, he never played the sport again. He did recover, though, and lived to the age of 88 and was on hand to see his famed number six jersey retired by the Maple Leafs on February 6 1934. Happily, many other sportsmen have seen their numbers retired in great ceremonial occasions, such as basketball legends Michael Jordan and Larry Bird (numbers 23 and 33 for the Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics respectively) and American football heroes John Elway and Joe Namath (numbers 7 and 12 for the Denver Broncos and New York Jets respectively). There’s also an interesting fact concerning the retired number 48 jersey at the University of Michigan. The young student who once wore that shirt with pride for the college’s American football team was later to become the 38th President of the USA – one Gerald Rudolph Ford!

Everton star Dan Gosling's England Under-19 joy
Jul 25 2009 Liverpool Echo
DAN Gosling scored for England Under-19s as they kept their European Championship hopes alive with a second successive draw against Ukraine last night.
The Everton youngster made it 2-1 in the 51st minute after Henri Lansbury’s penalty had pulled England level but the hosts hit back 10 minutes later. The draw leaves England two points behind group leaders Switzerland and in all probability needing a win against Slovenia on Monday to reach the last four. Meanwhile, Motherwell have signed Everton goalkeeper John Ruddy on loan with the option of a permanent switch.
The 22-year-old has signed on at Fir Park until January 2010 and will compete with Michael Fraser for the number one jersey. Ruddy has kept his dreams of playing in the Europa League alive however – he joins in time to be registered for Well’s qualifier against Steaua Bucharest.

Southport 0 Everton FC 1 - Nathan Craig earns win for Blues
Jul 25 2009 By Philip Kirkbride
NATHAN Craig's first half goal was enough for an Everton XI to see off the challenge of Southport at Haig Avenue this afternoon In a somewhat low key pre-season outing for both sides, Craig beat Chris Lever to the ball to steer in Lukas Jutiewicz's deflected centre in what proved one of few chances the Blues would produce. Southport meanwhile will have walked off feeling a draw would have be a more fiiting result after being the more productive team upfront - Chris Simm in particular would have clutch of decent openings but failed to convert any of them in an off day in front of goal. Southport created the first clear cut chance of the half and mounted an early assault on the Everton goal - but did so having survived a scare.
Chris Lever was needed to put in a last ditch tackle six yards out to deny Lukas Jutiewicz a clear sight of Tony McMillan's goal after five minutes, but from the loose ball, Port broke with speed. Robbie Booth galloped down the right wing, fed Steve Daly inside the area but Iain Turner saved the Southport striker's effort. He would do the same with Chris Simm's strike one minute later as Southport started strongly.
Seventeen-year-old Zak Aley, the youngest player ever to sign a contract with Southport, forced Turner into another solid save with a viciously struck free-kick before Booth swapped wings, cut inside but shot wide in another flowing counter attack. For the Blues, Adam Forshaw made a lively opening to the contest, using his neat footwork to give the home backline constant threat, he flashed a shot marginally wide of the Sandgrounders' goal on 20 minutes. And, perhaps against the run of play, Everton took the lead when Nathan Craig stole in at the back post to fire in from Jutiewicz's deflected cross after 23 minutes. Following the opening goal, both sides tightened up at the back, goalscoring chances were thus limited but nontheless the game remained competitve and well fought. However Simm should have brought Southport level with five minutes of the half remaining. First he hesitated when one on one with Turner, allowing the keeper to smother, and then shooting tamely when McMillan's clearance put him through. The second half remained in similar fashion as to how the first 45 ended, high on effort but low on incident, though Craig's 56th minute volley whistled past McMillan's post in a rare attempt on goal. Adding to the scoresheet seemed highly unlikely and to reaffirm this Simm had a moment to forget. Played in from Barnes' ball over the top, the Port forward saw off the challenge of McGarten, rounded Turner but struck his shot against the foot of the post. It would prove as close as Southport would come to an equaliser.
Southport: McMillan, Moore (McGinn, 46), Lever, Flynn (c) (Marsh-Evans, 46), Gray, Barnes, Booth (Barratt, 46), Winn, Daly (Ellison, 65), Simm (Kilheeney, 68), Aley
Everton: Turner, Thompson (Mustafi, 55), Garbutt, Peterlin ((Lawrie, 60), McGarten, Duffy, Forshaw, Akpan, Jutkiewicz, Agard, Craig (Codling, 83).

The Daily Star
25th July 2009
EVERTON goalkeeper John Ruddy has joined Motherwell. The 22-year-old has signed a on a six-month loan deal.

Everton 0 River Plate 1 - pre-season match report
Jul 26 2009 Daily Post
EVERTON gave as good as they got against South American maestros River Plate, but were found wanting by a moment of individual brilliance on their pre-season tour.
Despite having several good chances, it was Ariel Ortega who scored the game's only goal with a delicate lob over Carlo Nash midway through the first half.
The canny playmaker burst through the middle of the Blues defence on 27 minutes, showing his class with a delicate finish that left Nash helpless. Blues fans in Edmonton will have been encouraged by their team's display though, with Tim Cahill and Jo going close. David Moyes handed first pre-season run-outs to Steven Pienaar, Jack Rodwell and Joseph Yobo, who captained the side with Phil Neville kept in reserve until late in the game. It was Pienaar who had the first chance, when he steered Jo's powerful cross wide of goal after five minutes. A couple of minutes later the on-loan striker drilled a low free kick straight at keeper Mario Vega, then Rodrigo Archubi headed powerfully at Everton's goal but Carlo Nash was down smartly to gather. Just after the quarter hour Matias Abelairas shot narrowly wide from very long range but then Tim Cahill had a great chance. Jo won possession down the left and his centre was met crisply by the Australian's right boot - but again Vega was equal to it.
As predicted by Neville earlier in the week, the game meant more than most friendlies, a fact highlighted by a skirmish midway through the half that involved Rodwell and Marouane Fellaini, as well as River's portly striker Christian Fabbiani.
After Ortega's goal, Archubi went close again before half time then Nash was lucky when he misjudged a cross - thankfully, Abelairas could only hit the post with the goal at his mercy. Everton began the second period promisingly as Jo collected Cahill's pass and rounded Vega before seeing his shot hit the side netting.
Leighton Baines placed a free-kick just wide ten minutes into the half and then the Argentines' Nicolas Donigo fizzed an effort wide from distance.
With 20 minutes left Neville, James Vaughan and Louis Saha were introduced from the bench, and Vaughan nodded an effort off the post with 12 minutes left - the referee blew for a foul on the keeper though. The young forward was then denied a possible penalty with five minutes to go, when he appeared to be shoved in the back as he attacked the ball in the area. Ref Mauricio Navarro wasn't swayed though and River held out.

Unlucky Southport edged out by Everton Reserves
Jul 27 2009 Liverpool Echo
EVERTON Reserves survived a tricky encounter with non-league Southport who were left to rue a number of missed chances. Blues winger Nathan Craig stole in at the back post to convert Lukas Jutkiewicz’s deflected cross for the only goal of the game on 23 minutes. It would prove one of few efforts Everton would have on the Southport goal in a low key pre-season friendly at Haig Avenue. However the Blue Square North outfit created sufficient openings to have at least earned a draw but were unable to convert a number of decent chances in either half. Although Andy Holden’s Everton started the game brightly it was Southport who carved out the early chances.
Steve Daly and then Zak Aley were both denied by goalkeeper Iain Turner inside the first 15 minutes. Despite Craig opening the scoring against the run of play, the home team continued to press Everton and striker Chris Simm hesitated when one on one with Turner. The second half was subdued as the pace of the game slowed.
Bradley Barnes’ long ball sent Simm through, fending off the presence of James McGarten to round Turner but struck his shot onto the foot of the post.
SOUTHPORT: McMillan, Moore (McGinn, 46), Lever, Flynn (Marsh-Evans, 46), Gray, Barnes, Booth (Barratt, 46), Winn, Daly (Ellison, 65), Simm (Kilheeney, 68), Aley.
EVERTON: Turner, Thompson (Mustafi, 55), Garbutt, Peterlin (Lawrie, 60), McGarten, Duffy, Forshaw, Akpan, Jutkiewicz, Agard, Craig (Codling, 83).

River Plate 1, Everton 0: David Moyes happy with Blues pre-season preparations
Jul 27 2009 Liverpool Echo
AND who said Everton would find it hard to get to another cup final this season?
Less than two months after they went head-to-head with Chelsea for the most famous piece of silverware in the English game, the Blues found themselves competing for a much bigger prize than the one that was on offer at Wembley. Now when we say bigger, it must be stressed, that we are only talking in terms of size. No matter how hard the promoters work, the Edmonton Cup will never be anything other than a pot that, once collected, is left to gather dust somewhere. But when you are a Premier League side that travels across the Atlantic to play a game, you have to be prepared to digest absurd amounts of razzamatazz and while Americans do it best, their cousins north of the border also know how to lay it on with a trowel. So while David Moyes and his players left their base in Seattle on Saturday morning thinking they were coming up against River Plate, the various billboards around Edmonton – not to mention a huge advert in the local paper – demanded they think again. This, we were led to believe, was actually more than just football. Much, much more. It was England versus Argentina; two historical enemies going head-to-head, fighting to the bitter end for a massive prize. You can draw your own conclusions as to what David Moyes made of it all – not least the fact that this proud Scot was named ‘England’ manager.
With the kick-off to the new Premier League campaign fast approaching, he had other things on his mind. Yet whereas 12 months ago he was smouldering and deeply concerned during the trip to America, his attitude to what lies in store for the coming months is more sanguine. Judging by a number of topics currently being discussed and debated on internet fans’ forums, it would seem there are concerns that the pantomime which was played out last summer and threatened to blow a hole in Everton’s ambitions is about to unfold again. With no major incoming transfers, as yet, and the squad more than 6,000 miles away from home, shutting themselves away from the eyes of the world, it’s easy to see why nerves are jangling in certain quarters.
The differences between then and now, however, are total and here’s just a few things to consider: Tim Cahill will be fit to start the season, Jack Rodwell is maturing into a huge talent, Louis Saha is beginning to look world class again and the squad is settled.
What’s more, there is no hullabaloo surrounding Moyes and contractual issues and Ayegbeni Yakubu – a man who guarantees between 15 and 20 goals – will soon be given the green light to play again, with Mikel Arteta not too far behind.
Rewind to the defeat Everton suffered against Chicago Fire at a similar stage of pre-season last July and it’s almost like looking at a different club; the anger that night was totally understandable. James Vaughan had been ridiculously sent-off at the end of a game when Everton – who 10 days earlier had lost to non-league Cambridge United – were outthought, outfought and outplayed, prompting Moyes to deliver a damning assessment. A couple of things clearly irked him here but, in the main, he had reason to be satisfied, as the game served its purpose. It was a good run-out against technically gifted opponents at the end of a gruelling week. River Plate’s star might have slipped after two fallow seasons back home, but the men from El Monumental were still a joy to watch and played like you would expect any Argentine team to. All subtle flicks accompanied by slick one and two touch passing, it will be no surprise to see some of the names on their teamsheet figuring prominently at next summer’s World Cup finals, notably the midfielders Matias Abelairas and Diego Barrado. Undoubted star of the show, though, was the man known simply as El Burrito. If ever there was a more inappropriate nickname, this is it. Referring to Ariel Ortega as a ‘Little Donkey’ is like saying Frank Sinatra was a glorified karaoke singer. Predictably this volatile character was involved in the game’s defining moment and the goal he scored midway through the first half would have graced any occasion.
It was so good that Everton’s bench nearly applauded it, too.

Boyhood Blue Carlo Nash chasing Everton dream
July 27 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
CARLO NASH has vowed to keep putting in the hard yards – in the hope that it will bring him a step closer to fulfilling his boyhood dream. Everton’s number two keeper joined on deadline day last August but had to wait until the early hours of yesterday morning to play his first competitive 90 minutes for the club. Nash was powerless to prevent a wonder goal from Ariel Ortega giving River Plate a 1-0 win over the Blues in Edmonton but the result did not spoil his experience. He grew up making pilgrimages to Goodison Park and admits to still needing to pinch himself from time to time that he is now on the playing staff. The outstanding form of Tim Howard, though, has left him an impatient spectator over the past 12 months but he hopes an opportunity will arise soon for him to put that right. “One of the benefits of having a small squad is the fact that the lads can play a lot and they can get to where they want to go a bit quicker,” Nash said today. “But for me it’s all about staying patient. It was just great to start this game and I would like to think that I will get a chance at some point this season.“I’m there to stay patient though; if my chance comes, great. But if it doesn’t, all I can keep doing is working hard in training and maybe the call will come.
“On a personal level, it’s just great to be here. I love it. If I hadn’t come to Goodison when I was a kid and seen Neville Southall I would never have taken up football.”
The Blues were due to fly down to Salt Lake City today for the final leg of their transatlantic tour, where they will play the MLS All-Stars. With Howard now back in full training, Nash will more than likely drop down to the bench again but that won’t colour his views of the last week. Moyes has gradually been upping his squad’s workload in training and Nash is adamant Everton will be a different proposition when they return home. “I really enjoyed playing but it goes without saying that I didn’t enjoy the result, even though we were up against a great team,” said Nash.
“It was just so pleasing to get 90 minutes. If things had gone our way, we might have got something out of it but it wasn’t to be. We got out of it what we could.
“The lads have worked very hard the last three weeks and we’ve had a tough schedule, particularly coming over here with the big time difference. “But we are going to continue to keep working hard because everything is just geared up to doing well on August 15 when it really matters.” Contrary to some reports, meanwhile, Everton have not agreed a £7m deal with Tottenham for Alan Hutton – nor are they in the process of trying to sign him.

Everton rumour mill: Blues eye Benfica ace, Serb striker eyed, Everton can break into top four - Ljungberg
Jul 28 2009
The latest Everton rumours flying around the internet
Blues eye Serb striker
Everton are keeping an eye on the situation of Serbian striker Milan Jovanovic according to reports in France. The Standard Liege striker has been linked with several moves away from the club although the 10 million euro price tag demanded by the Belgian side has been a stumbling block. The 28-year-old has only a year left of his contract however, and the Belgian club are thought to be prepared to cash in while they can.
(Fans Online)
Blues eye Marseilles midfielder >>>>>
The latest Everton rumours flying around the internet
Everton & West Ham Keen On Valbuena?
The rumours are coming in thick and fast in The Transfer Tavern as we hear that Everton and West Ham are tracking the playmaker Mathieu Valbuena at Ligue 1 outfit Marseille. The hacks at Le Parisien reckon the 24-year-old has stalled on a possible move to Zenit St-Petersburg and the two Premier League sides waiting in the wings.
New OM coach Didier Deschamps has told Valbuena that he won’t figure much this season at the Stade Velodrome, but his future remains up in the air.
Football Transfer Tavern
Ljungberg: Blues can break into Top Four >>>>>>>>>>>>>
The latest Everton rumours flying around the internet
Everton Can Breach The Big Four - Freddie Ljungberg
Freddie Ljungberg will play against Everton as a part of the MLS All-Star team, and he believes that the Blues can break the barrier of the 'big four'. He also thinks that Aston Villa and Manchester City are going to challenge for a Champions League spot during the forthcoming season. "Last season, you had Villa challenging for the top spots, and Man City have so much money," Ljungberg said in an interview with EvertonTV. "But Everton are always up there too, so it's going to be tight and it's good for the game. Manchester United have lost two good players and haven't really replaced them, so that could make it tighter at the top. The former Sweden captain then went on to praise a few Toffees who had a lasting impression on him during his nine-year stint in the Premier League. "Yakubu probably saved my neck once, I fell over him when challenging for a header but he held me like a baby to stop me falling. We have a bit of a special relationship,” he recalled. "I've played against Phil Neville a few times, but he was a Manchester United player so I'm not supposed to be too nice to them," he joked. "But he's done really well, he leads the team and plays hard." Ljungberg will line-up in the MLS All-Star team to face Everton on Thursday.
Blues eye Benfica ace >>>>>>>>
Everton table bid for Benfica star Yebda
Benfica midfielder Hassan Yebda has attracted an offer from Everton. The Daily Mail says Everton have bid £3.1m for Benfica Hassan Yebda, according to reports in Portugal. The 25-year-old Frenchman only joined the Portuguese giants on a free from Le Mans last summer but is unsure of his place at the original Stadium of Light.
Everton to bid for West Brom's Morrison
Everton are moving for West Brom midfielder James Morrison. The Daily Star Sunday says Everton boss David Moyes is ready to make a £4 million offer for the Scotland international. Morrison has also attracted interest from Bolton Wanderers.
Tribal Football

Yakubu back for Blues: Everton FC latest
July 28 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON’S preparations for the new campaign have been given a sizeable boost as Ayegbeni Yakubu has taken another major step towards a return. The Nigerian striker has spent much of the last week in America doing fitness drills with physio Mick Rathbone to strengthen the Achilles tendon he ruptured last November. But here in Salt Lake City in the early hours of the morning, Yakubu was involved in a proper practice game with the rest of the squad – and came through it with flying colours.
Though there is no chance of him being involved in the friendly with the MLS All-Stars, Yakubu has cleared another major hurdle on the road back. He is dreaming of playing against Arsenal on the opening day of the new Premier League season, but Blues boss David Moyes will want to get some practice into him first. That should come at some point next week, as Everton have three games – at Coventry, Blackpool and Malaga – in six days and Moyes will have to juggle his options. Given that he does not have a surfeit of options, Moyes is being careful not to stretch his players too far, too soon and with no new arrivals on the horizon, having Yakubu up and running again would be a major plus. Yakubu’s involvement in training, however, was offset by the fact that Leighton Baines and Steven Pienaar were put on the easy list after picking up knocks against River Plate. They joined Leon Osman (ankle) and Joseph Yobo (illness) in doing a light session, as Everton limbered up for their clash with the All-Stars. Phil Neville is looking forward to the meeting in the newly-built Rio Tinto Stadium and the skipper said: “It’s so important that we get another game against top class opponents. “We are playing a Europa League qualifier next month straight after we face Arsenal, so this is good preparation and we are looking to step up on what we did against River Plate. “I’m sure the MLS players will be a lot sharper than us at the minute, so it will be a good test to see how far we have come.” Everton, meanwhile, are relaxed about Steven Pienaar’s future after it emerged that talks over a new deal for the South African have been put on ice. Pienaar’s current deal runs out in June 2011 and he is wanted by Russian champions Rubin Kazan, but he hopes there will be a successful resolution. “It is seldom that both parties come to an agreement at the first attempt,” Pienaar said. “Coming to such an important agreement takes time. “We have only just started discussions and we will keep on talking until hopefully we get a deal that is right for both parties. “The fact that it is taking time does not mean I am unhappy at Everton but this next contract for me is obviously very important at this stage of my career. “I would like to play Champions League football again and hopefully that will be with Everton.”

Tim Howard not worried by the Manchester City factor: Everton FC latest
Jul 28 2009 Liverpool Echo
THERE is a theory that has been swirling around football supporters for so long now, it has become accepted as the norm. It goes like this. Rich benefactor comes into a club, gives manager free range to dip into his deep pockets and buy a number of expensive players then, 12 months later, everyone connected with said club is celebrating trophies – it is the blueprint for success for the impatient. But is it really so simple? Yes, Chelsea have flourished since Roman Abramovich breezed into Stamford Bridge six years ago, but what about the other clubs who have made huge investments during the same period of time? Perennial big spenders Tottenham, for example, have had flirtations with relegation and chopped and changed their managers in the blink of an eye; Manchester City are no nearer finding a semblance of order, while the least said about Newcastle, the better. Once again, though, we find ourselves in the middle of another Everton pre-season and nerves are starting to become frayed in certain quarters, as the usual suspects – aided and abetted by Sunderland – try to throw money around as if it was going out of fashion. Here in the mountains of Utah, where Everton are preparing for a game with MLS All-Stars in the early hours of Thursday, the situation has not gone unnoticed. As you would expect for a man who deals in clean sheets, Tim Howard has his eye on the ball. Thoughtful and engaging, Howard’s views are always worth listening to and now that he has racked up 133 appearances for the Blues, he is entitled to be considered as one of this group’s more senior members. Other clubs might have more money but for Howard, that does not matter one jot; none of those who are trying to usurp Everton have the same kind of foundations in place or can match their camaraderie and that is why he expects the status quo to remain. “I’m a firm believer that everyone can win the odd game,” said a man whose summer ‘vacation‘ last just three weeks. “But it’s when you start putting performances together, keeping clean sheets and getting on those long unbeaten runs, that things start to happen. “That’s us. We start off winning the odd game, we have a scrap but then it’s take off – you know where the goals are going to come from, you know that you are going to keep clean sheets and the last three years have been a good example of that. “People keep saying that we can’t do this and we won’t do that but it’s better not to listen to them; there are teams around us spending £50m but I just don’t buy it; I’m not sold one bit that that is the way to go forward. “The last three years, we’ve heard it over and over again. People say in the summer that we haven’t spent and they make their predictions in August; yet when May comes around, we are still the ones standing up tall. “That suits me. I just tend to go with the flow and think about us, nobody else. If we make sure that we do that, I’ve no doubt that we will continue to be tough to beat once again. This squad is in good shape.”In terms of physical condition, it is unlikely that they have ever been fitter at such a stage; the air in picturesque Park City – their current base – is painfully thin but you would never have guessed that anyone was struggling had you watched them last night.
Endurance runs were taken in everyone’s stride, sprints were finished with aplomb, while a competitive game of eight-a-side to finish the session even saw Tony Hibbert thrash in three expertly taken goals. Another couple of tough training sessions today should put them spot on for the clash with the MLS All-Stars at the Rio Tinto Stadium, but Everton will need to be at their best to get a result, if they are not to follow the example of Chelsea, Fulham and West Ham. The All-Stars are, in local parlance, “five and 0” when they have taken on a team from Europe or Mexico and they will field a strong team – including many of Howard’s team-mates from the national team – as they bid to extend their winning run to a six. “It’s a serious game,” Howard explained. “They’ve won every game they’ve played and we are going to have our work cut out. They will have a good team, the best players in our country. If we can get a result, it would be great. “I’ve had a little bit of banter with Landon and a few of the guys but not too much. We had a laugh about it when it was announced but there won’t be too much pride riding on the game – all we are bothered about is having a good performance. “Pre-season is always hard but all it is about is getting performances right. Once we start doing that, then it will put us into a high gear for Arsenal’s visit on August 15. We’re getting there all the time.” Sentiments which apply particularly to Louis Saha. If he transfers the breathtaking ability he is showing in training on to the stage that matters, Everton will have a world class striker on their books, as his old Manchester United colleague is aware. “Louis has a fantastic strike record and when he is fit and healthy, he really is one of the good ones,” said Howard.
“He is explosive, quick off the mark, hits the ball so hard and is good with both feet. He is top dog and I’m excited about having him on my team.”

Manchester United star Wayne Rooney’s TV show ‘Street Striker’ to film in Kirkdale
July 28 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
STREET STRIKER is coming to Liverpool on Thursday. The Wayne Rooney-fronted TV show which features young footballers trying to outperform in each other in a series urban football skills will stage trials at Powerleague in Kirkdale. The search to find the nation’s most skilful street footballers last season included youngsters trapping footballs thrown from multi-storey flats and then chipping them into a skip, dribbling lampposts and shooting into a moving bin-lorry! The show crowned 16-year-old Travis Beckford the winner in the first series. Successful players go head-to-head in front of Rooney. The best player this year will be crowned 2009s ‘Coke Zero’ Street Striker and win a chance to attend the 2010 World Cup Final. Rooney said: “I had so much fun taking part in the show last year. Everyone that took part really played their part and some of the skill on show was fantastic.” To enter, players must be aged between 14 and 18 and register their interest in attending one of seven trials being held throughout the UK. Entry details are available in full at www.cokezone.co.uk/streetstriker

Everton FC reject latest Manchester City bid for Joleon Lescott
July 29 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
EVERTON will rebuff Manchester City’s second attempt to sign Joleon Lescott – as they again stressed the England international is not for sale. It emerged last night that City were planning to make a £20m bid for Lescott today after having a £15m bid dismissed 12 days ago. That, though, has infuriated Goodison officials, who are bewildered that City want to play out their business in public rather than going through proper channels. City are clearly doing their best to turn Lescott’s head, with the publication of the vast salaries that are being paid to the players they have already signed this summer and the promise that they will more than double his current Goodison salary package. They have aggressively chased Lescott since before the mid-season transfer window opened in January and City’s executive chairman Garry Cook revealed at a press conference earlier this month why Mark Hughes covets him so much. But regardless of what City continue to do, Everton will not be bullied into selling one of the most important members of their squad – at any price. David Moyes stressed at a shareholders’ forum two weeks ago that nobody from the side who helped Everton reach the FA Cup final will be sold and that remains the case.
Everton might not have the biggest transfer kitty in the Premier League but there is absolutely no intention of swelling the coffers by offloading Lescott to City.
Both chairman Bill Kenwright and boss Moyes are united on the issue. Lescott has been a huge success on Merseyside since arriving in the summer of 2006 and was rewarded with an improved contract extension last March that runs until 2013.
Arsenal defender Kolo Toure is close to signing for City for £15million, but the completion of that move is not expected to end City’s pursuit of Lescott.

Everton FC manager David Moyes looking to break MLS record
July 29 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES has urged his players to end their American tour on a high – by inflicting a first defeat on the MLS All-Stars. Everton head home tomorrow after spending 10 gruelling days on the road but first they have a date with the best the MLS has to offer here in Salt Lake City. The last time the Blues ventured to these parts in July 2007, they struggled to cope with the altitude – not to mention a poor pitch – and were beaten 2-0 by Real Salt Lake. However, Moyes is hopeful that there will be a much more encouraging performance now, given the way his squad have been training in the mountains for the past two days. A number of Premier League teams have tried to beat the MLS on their own patch in recent years – including Chelsea and West Ham – but have failed. But that is just the type of challenge that Moyes relishes and he said: “Football is always about winning as far as I am concerned. “It breeds confidence. We finished fantastically well last season and we want to start the new season in that kind of form.“As soon as we get winning again, I will be happy. Obviously it’s about performances at this stage too, but we want to go into the new season in style.” The best players that MLS has to offer will be on show at the newly built Rio Tinto Stadium on the outskirts of Salt Lake City but Moyes is confident that whatever side he picks will give as good as they get and more.
“The MLS has improved greatly over the years since we have been coming here,” said Moyes, who has fitness concerns over Steven Pienaar and Leighton Baines.
“It is getting better and now so many of the clubs have their own stadiums, it has made a big difference. We were in Seattle last week and I was really impressed with what I saw. “It is going to be a difficult game. With the (American) national team doing well and so many players playing in Europe, it is enhancing the MLS and that’s why it’s improving. “They will want to put on a show. The MLS have had a really good record against foreign teams and whatever they have done in the past has worked for them. “They will give us a really good test but we will give them a really good test, too. We have got a team that is nearly full of internationals.”

Everton FC’s Jack Rodwell admits he is learning fast on American tour
Jul 29 2009 Liverpool Echo
IT happened in the blink of an eye, a move so quick that it took the breath away and left Jack Rodwell wondering what on earth had happened. For those who are unaware, the incident on which we are reflecting is the goal that Ariel Ortega scored for River Plate against Everton in Edmonton three days ago, a strike that deserved to a settle a game with infinitely more significance than a pre-season friendly. Seizing on a bouncing ball, Ortega dashed in behind Rodwell, skipped away from Joleon Lescott then, in the same movement, deftly chipped Carlo Nash from 20 yards.
In real time, the little Argentinian’s glorious play took no longer than a couple of seconds. However, it was still long enough for David Moyes to remind his talented young midfielder that there is no room for dithering in the kind of games that Everton will, all being well, be playing in during the new season. In fairness to Rodwell, the mistake – if you could call that – would not have been punished by an ‘ordinary’ player. It was just his misfortune that a genius happened to be lurking on his shoulder.
Still, it has helped teach him a valuable lesson. “Ortega is a legend, isn’t he?” said Rodwell, asking a question that needed no answer. “He showed what a player he is with some class touches but, if I’m honest, all their players were technically outstanding. It was a really good test. “The goal he scored was something else. It was only a mis-control in midfield then all of a sudden he was through and had scored.
“ It was so weird, something that you don‘t expect to happen. You just have to learn from things like that and it was a good test.There have been more open training sessions, press conferences and events in the run up to the game than you would expect for a Champions League final – but Everton’s squad members have taken it all in their stride. If anything, the demands have helped focus the mind and while the MLS have won the five games they have played against foreign opposition, it would be typical of Everton to blow a hole in that record and head back home on a winning note. “It’s been hard work and we’ve struggled to get our breath at times but it is good for fitness,” said Rodwell. “I’ve been thrown straight back in the deep end after my holiday with the 90 minutes against River Plate but it wasn’t a problem. “I feel very happy and the run out has done me a lot of good. Hopefully we get the same again out of playing the MLS; obviously I’m not aware of every player who will be in their line-up but Tim Howard has told me there will be some big names. “I know the likes of Landon Donovan and Freddie Ljungberg and the American fans are bound to get right behind the team, so it should make for a good atmosphere. We need this type of test when you think of the games we have in August.” As was the case last summer, Rodwell – who only celebrated his 18th birthday in March – is going to be heavily involved in the opening weeks of the new campaign but this time around, it won’t be out of necessity, it will be very much out of choice. Having bulked up over the summer and feeling assured of his place in the squad, Rodwell is starting to blossom and to watch him spray the ball around with unerring accuracy in training gives a real sense of optimism for the future. “I’m much more at home now,” said Rodwell. “I know the lads better, I just feel part of the set up. I think I’ve strengthened up a bit over the summer and feel a little bit quicker, so hopefully that will make me play better next season. “The targets are just to play in as many games as I can. I‘m happy to play anywhere for Everton but at the moment, I see myself as a midfielder. “We’ve got two outstanding defenders playing at the minute and there is a quiet confidence about us.” Taking heart from the way that he is developing, Moyes has confirmed that Rodwell can expect to make more than the 11 starts he did last term – many more if the rough edges on his game are smoothed over in double quick time. “We are thinking about him,” said Moyes.
“He is around the squad and he is certainly in my mind. We’ll need to ease him into it occasionally but it is clear to see there is talent. “We won’t have any problems playing him – and that says enough about what we think about him.” “The next game I play, I’ve got to show that I have picked up on it. It’s all good for my development and just being with the team in this type of surrounding, playing against quality opposition, can only help.” An intensive training camp won’t do him any harm, either. High up in the mountains above Salt Lake City, the backdrop to the pitches that David Moyes has been working his players on has taken the breath away – and so has the altitude.
Dry heat and no air have meant the sessions that have been put on during the last couple of days have been some of the most demanding of pre-season, but few will be complaining if it enables the team to finish games strongly back on home soil.
Before they fly back to the UK, however, there is the small matter of locking horns with the MLS All-Stars in the early hours of tomorrow morning, a fixture that has been built up with glee by those who are responsible for staging it.

MLS All Stars 1 Everton FC 1 (Everton FC win 4-3 on penalties)
July 30 2010 By Dominic King in Salt Lake City
TIM HOWARD was the hero as Everton ended their tour of the United States on a high. The Blues keeper made three saves in a penalty shootout against the MLS All-Stars here in Salt Lake City in the early hours of the morning to provide the platform for a 4-3 victory. When James Vaughan and Jo missed Everton’s first two kicks, the situation looked bleak but Howard came up trumps - just as he did at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final. He thwarted Brad Davies, made a stunning block from Davy Arnaud then - after Jack Rodwell had scored in sudden death - Howard went the right away to catch a kick that former Arsenal midfielder Freddie Ljungberg got hopelessly wrong. Everton started brightly and took the lead through Louis Saha after 12 minutes but they had to ride their luck on occasions and were pegged back midway through the first period when Davis bundled in at the far post following some slack defensive play. That gave the MLS confidence and they dominated much of the remainder of the contest and Everton had Howard - who ended up being named the game’s Most Valuable Player - to thank for keeping them in it. Landon Donovan should have put the MLS in front on 76 minutes but somehow hit the post from six yards, while Howard made a stunning block from Arnaud deep into injury time. Home supporters thought they had victory in the bag after Vaughan skied his opening effort and Jo’s shot was saved by Kasey Keller but they didn’t count on Howard.
Once he saved from Davis, the tide turned; Leighton Baines, Phil Neville and Joleon Lescott all converted before Rodwell put them to match point.
And happily for all Evertonians, Howard - as he has done so many times before - came up trumps at the right moment.

MLS All Stars 1 Everton FC 1 - Everton win on penalties
Jul 30 2009 Liverpool Echo
IT has been said on many occasions that David Moyes has transformed Everton’s fortunes but here is the ultimate proof – the Blues have won their last two penalty shootouts. Once reduced to jelly by the thought of settling a game from 12 yards, the opposite is now true and the masters of turning bleak situations on their head came up trumps against the MLS All-Stars this morning, just as they did against Manchester United in April. Never mind being outplayed for much of a 90 minute encounter that ended 1-1, forget about the small squad or – most significantly – the transfer speculation which continues to swirl around one of their most important players.
Typically, Everton dug in to record another first – inflicting defeat on the All-Stars – and ensure 10 fruitful days on this side of the Atlantic have ended in the best possible fashion; nobody in Salt Lake City begrudged them the trophy which was handed to Phil Neville. If the pomp was over the top in Edmonton four days earlier when they played River Plate, this was on another level; ostentatious, noisy and as far fetched as you could imagine. It’s unlikely Everton will play in a ‘friendly’ like this ever again.
More press conferences were staged before the game than you would expect for an FA Cup Final but that was a precursor for what went on inside a stadium that was surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery imaginable. Roughly about 20 minutes before kick-off, hundreds of local youngsters emerged from one corner waving flags from all over the globe, while a squad of US Marines marched onto the pitch with the Star-spangled banner. The best, though, was yet to come; with Michael Jordan ensconced in the MLS’ commissioner’s box, two sky divers descended from a cloudless sky with – wait for it – the official match ball. Only in America.
Clearly, this is an event that ‘soccer’ fans take seriously on this side of the Pond but so, too, do the players and with the new season just over a fortnight away, such a competitive assignment was welcomed by Moyes and his players.
What’s more, the side which he selected was a clear indication that he was thinking of the opening day. Things may change but it could well be that the 11 who started here will line up against Arsenal on August 15. Steven Pienaar, obviously, will have something to say about that but the South African’s absence with a thigh strain provided an opportunity for Leon Osman – fit after overcoming an ankle problem – to get some much-needed match practice. Like the rest of his team-mates, Osman is short of peak condition but the way Everton – kitted out in all white – started the contest offered plenty of reason for encouragement. Louis Saha had already had one chance when Marouane Fellaini sent him sprinting clear – his shot whistled just wide of an upright – but there was no mistake in the 12th minute when he seized upon Stuart Houston’s calamitous mistake. Strikers of Saha’s quality do not need a second invitation to score if they are one-on-one with a keeper 10 yards out and that’s exactly what he did, nonchalantly sliding his effort past the helpless Kasey Keller.
It has been a privilege to watch him in train in the past few days. Everything he has done has screamed class and this point must be stressed: if he stays injury free, Saha could be the most exciting striker to wear a Blue shirt since you know who. There were gulps in the among the American Press corps at that moment, as they were suspicious that the MLS had bitten off more than they could chew. So there was evident relief among the home crowd when they equalised on 26 minutes.
Conor Casey, a muscular forward who plays for the Colorado Rapids, held off Leighton Baines in the area and slipped a ball across Tim Howard’s six-yard box to the far post, where Houston Dynamo’s Brad Davis was waiting to tap in.
Having spent long hours on the training ground over the past 10 days, working on making them a more proficient defensive unit, Moyes was evidently unhappy with what he had seen and was immediately up out of his seat to bark at his back four.
Normally you would expect Everton to regain a semblance of order without much fuss yet that goal seemed to rattle them and Howard was needed to make saves from Casey and Fredy Montero in quick succession. The second period started as inauspiciously as the first had ended and a mistake from Joleon Lescott was nearly punished to the maximum by Landon Donovan, who had just come on as a substitute. Given he had also been partly fault for the goal that Ariel Ortega scored in Edmonton, it provided further proof that Manchester City’s crude courtship is having a detrimental effect in more ways than one. This saga has been rumbling on for far too long and City need to accept that no matter how high they go in their bidding, Moyes has no interest in selling Lescott. In fairness to Lescott, he rediscovered his equilibrium soon after and it was encouraging to see him directing traffic at the back, telling his midfielder when danger loomed, not to mention listening to the advice that Howard was shouting out behind him. He needed to be listening, though, as the All-Stars remained on top and should really have taken the lead on 76 minutes when a mistake by the wilting Saha ended up at the feet of Donovan but, six yards out, he ended up hitting the inside of the post. Dead on their feet in the dying minutes, it looked for a moment in injury time if they would be denied the chance to go to penalties but Howard came to the rescue with a super save from Davy Arnaud’s powerful header. As he did in the ensuing shootout; three blocks from Davis, Arnaud and Freddie Ljungberg enabled Everton to recover after Jo and James Vaughan missed their first two kicks, ensuring that the tour ended as everyone had hoped – with a silver lining.
(Everton won 4-3 on penalties)

Everton FC latest: Phil Neville hails Joleon Lescott's form
July 30 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
PHIL NEVILLE today hailed Joleon Lescott’s “outstanding” attitude on Everton’s American tour – then turned his ire on Manchester City’s irritating pursuit of the defender. Lescott’s future has been the subject of intense speculation and City had a second bid of £18m for the England international rejected out of hand by Goodison officials last night. Despite hearing that news, Lescott played the full 90 minutes of Everton’s clash with the MLS All-Stars and even scored a penalty in his side’s 4-3 shootout victory. Some players in the past have refused to play in such circumstances but Neville was impressed that Lescott was able to carry on regardless. Everton’s skipper, however, was less than complimentary about City and is clearly irked that they have been so public in courting Lescott. “It’s not a nice situation for any player to be in when there is lots of speculation but Joleon has remained tight to the group throughout,” said Neville. “His professionalism is second to none and he has been outstanding on this tour. We can only take things on face value. “The club have turned down two offers and the manager is not prepared to sell him. Let’s move on and let’s look forward to the new season. “Will City get the message? The way they are going about their business, I don’t think they will. There are ways and means of doing things - and Everton do it the right way.” Given they have tracked Lescott since last December, City are unlikely to be deterred by this latest rebuff but Neville has been quick to point out that all that glitters is not gold. City may be able to offer Lescott massive wages but, despite signing so many players, they have achieved nothing compared to what this Everton squad has done recently. “I don’t think he needs anyone to tell him what we have got here,” said Neville. “He sees that in training, he sees it in the camaraderie we have. But it is only Joleon that can decide.”
Neville, meanwhile, will enjoy his flight back home to this evening after getting his hands on his first piece of silverware as Everton captain. “We laughed in the dressing room because we said it was the gaffer’s first trophy,” said Neville. “Obviously we want to get our hands on a proper one,” said Neville.

David Moyes delighted with Everton FC attitude in MLS All Stars victory
July 30 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES lifted his first piece of silverware of the season this morning – but admitted that he would give it back in a flash for a win against Arsenal.
“Any trophy is good – I would have settled for the reserve league cup or something like that,” said Moyes, affording himself a wry smile. “It was a draw over 90 minutes but it was nice to get that bit of practice with penalty kicks as you never know when you are going to be taking them. “The workout was important. The result is important in all football games but obviously I’d rather get a result against Arsenal in a few weeks.” Louis Saha fired Everton into an lead early on and also missed a good chance, while Tim Cahill went close soon after but it became a war of attrition once Brad Davis had equalised. “In the opening 20 minutes, I thought we played well enough to get ourselves a couple of goals in front but, after that, we struggled a bit,” he said. If I’m honest, I was looking for more from the perfor- mance but to ‘win’ is good because it means we can leave here with confidence. “It was a practice game and hopefully we’ll learn from it. It was exciting for the supporters to see a friendly like this.” Moyes reserved special praise for goalkeeper Tim Howard. He made two stunning stops in injury time but bettered that in the shoot-out. “Tim has proven himself to be one of the national heroes as far as footballers go over here,” he said.
“He should get a lot of plaudits because he saved the penalties really well and he played well in the game as well. He couldn’t have done any more.”

Everton FC latest - David Moyes's challenge to Tim Howard
July 31 2009 by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES today set Tim Howard the challenge of becoming the best keeper in the Premier League after his flying start to pre-season. Howard has enjoyed an outstanding 12 months, setting a new club record for Premier League clean sheets, helping Everton reach the FA Cup final and playing in the Confederations Cup final for the United States. He only returned to training 10 days ago after a three-week break but there were no signs of fatigue yesterday when Howard was named ‘MVP’ as Everton beat the MLS All-Stars on penalties. Moyes was delighted to see him make three saves in the shootout - plus a number of outstanding stops during normal time - and now wants Howard to use this performance as a catalyst for greater things.
“Tim did really well and he is clearly playing with confidence,” said Moyes, whose side face another friendly at Coventry on Sunday. “Playing in the Confederations Cup has done him no harm and he has set himself some standards with a performance like that in his first game back. “He very rarely lets us down and we need that to continue, as he is so important for us. He is getting to the age now where we want him to be the top goalkeeper. “Nigel Martyn did it for us before when he was here but now we want to see Tim go on and do the same and I don’t see why he can’t, either.” Since signing initially on loan from Manchester United in summer 2006, Howard has been the model of consistency and was rewarded in May when - like Phil Jagielka and Joseph Yobo - he signed a new, improved five-year contract. While Moyes was thrilled to get his two central defenders to commit their futures to Everton, Howard’s signature was a major prize and his manager expects him to keep on improving - particularly if Carlo Nash fulfils his role. “He is athletic - he was a basketball player and you can see that in the way he springs around his box and the athleticism he has in games,” Moyes said. “. All goalkeepers need confidence and if they play well, they gain it very quickly. . “We can rely on him but we need to make sure that we have tough competition, so he doesn’t rest on his laurels. We need to make sure that he is getting pushed. “Nashy does a good job urging him on in training and that has to continue. We need Tim at his best because good goalkeepers save vital points in the Premier League.” Meanwhile Manchester manager Markk Hughes has still not ruled out a third bid forJoleon Lescott - depsite the Blues hands off warnings.. An £18million offer has been rejected, and Hughes said: “We will wait and see.” “We have good central defenders here already and good competition. That’s what we want.
“We are making no secret of the fact we want to continue to strengthen the team. We have looked at players we feel will help us and make us successful in the future.
“The business we have already done is exceptional and there is quite a way to go before the window closes.” However, Hughes insisted it was never his intention to use Nedum Onuoha as a makeweight in any deal. Hughes said: “It was never in my thoughts to involve him if I was trying to get another player. He is very much part of the future.”

Everton FC's Joseph Yobo can get better, says manager David Moyes
July 31 2009 by Dominic King, Liverpool Echo
DAVID MOYES has confidently predicted the best is yet to come from Joseph Yobo – as he urged him to follow the example of two great Everton warriors.
The Nigerian international became Moyes’ first signing back in July 2002 and has since gone on to become one of Everton’s most important players, making 236 appearances and scoring eight goals. Yobo signed a new, improved contract earlier this summer that runs through to 2014 and his manager took great heart from that decision, as he believes the defender still has significant room for improvement.
That is why Moyes wants Yobo to consider the way Alan Stubbs and David Weir handled themselves when they reached a similar age – so he can fulfil his vast potential. “I think central defenders get better age and I’d go as far as saying that Stubbsy and Davie Weir had the best seasons of their career towards the end of their time here,” said Moyes, whose own playing career was spent occupying that position.
“The older you get, the more of an understanding you have of the game and you start to read situations better and quicker. “You learn when to commit and when to stay and that means the mistakes you might have made when you were younger are eradicated.
“Joe was always liable to making a mistake when he was first here but he has continued to develop and now has a real authority about his game.” With Phil Jagielka still on the long road back to full fitness, Moyes will have no other option but to start the new campaign with Yobo and Joleon Lescott as his central defensive partnership. For that reason, Moyes has again reiterated that strengthening his defensive is his only priority at the minute, despite Manchester City’s very public – and most unwelcome – pursuit of England international Lescott. Moyes, however, expects Yobo to rise to the challenge of marshalling Everton’s defence – he showed some nice touches in the win over the MLS All-Stars – and hopes the new campaign will see the former Marseille man reach new levels of consistency. “We have got three top class central defenders in Joe, Joleon and Jags – it is one of the strongest areas of our team,” said Moyes.
“Nevertheless, with Jags still injured, we still need another player to come in and provide us with some cover in that area. That is where we are looking. “But Joe has got to an age now where he is ready to take more and more responsibility; he has captained us and he is also captain of his country, so he knows what it is about.
“I’m sure that he will continue on the right lines and the more experience he gets, the better I think his game will become.” Everton’s squad arrived back in England today after their 10-day tour of the United States but there is no let up in their schedule – they face Coventry City at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday afternoon (12.30pm).
Louis Saha will be looking to maintain his excellent form in that game but will do so with a new number on his back, after swapping the club’s famous number nine shirt – which he wore last season – for his preferred choice of eight. “I’ve always favoured the number eight jersey throughout my career but for one reason or another it has never been available,” said Saha, who, coincidentally, was born in 1978 on the eighth day of the eighth month. “When I arrived at Everton last year I wanted to take it, but Casti (Segundo Castillo) had just arrived and that wasn’t possible. I enjoyed wearing the famous number nine shirt and it was a great honour to be handed this when I joined the club. “I am aware of the huge tradition associated with the shirt and the great players that have played in it but my personal preference is to have the number eight.”

ABOVE: Everton skipper Phil Neville
There are ways and means of doing things and Everton do it the right way
Everton skipper Phil Neville
31st July 2009 The Daily Star
By Dave Lyons
Everton skipper Phil Neville has launched a scathing attack on Manchester City over their pursuit of Joleon Lescott.
The Toffees have turned down two bids for the England defender but expect City boss Mark Hughes to improve his current £19m offer. But former Manchester United star Neville has slammed City’s tactics. “The club have turned down two offers and the manager is not prepared to sell him,” said Neville. “Let’s move on and let’s look forward to the new season. “Will City get the message? The way they are going about their business, I don’t think they will. “There are ways and means of doing things and Everton do it the right way.” Hughes said: “Sometimes things present themselves towards the back end of the transfer window. “We put in a bid we thought was realistic. Maybe we’ve pitched at the wrong level. We’ve made two bids. We’ll have to see what happens.” Meanwhile, Hughes has taken a swipe at rival managers and told them to keep their noses out of City’s business. Hughes is fuming after Aston Villa boss Martin O’Neill became the latest manager to tip the world’s richest club for the Premier League title. Hughes said: “I heard what Martin had said. But there are a number of managers that can use the situation to lessen their own expectations at their own clubs. “Martin O’Neill is not the only one to do it.”

July 2009