Copyrighted by James Smith © 2010





Everton ace Ross Barkley will benefit from a rest this summer
1 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Chris Beesley
Blues number two Graeme Jones expects midfielder to come back refreshed next season
Everton starlet Ross Barkley will benefit from a rest this summer.
That’s the verdict of Blues assistant manager Graeme Jones who said: “I think what Ross needs to do is get a break from football. It’s been constant for him.
“I’d like to see him have week off and then he’s obviously going away with England which will keep his level of fitness up and then he can have a complete switch off.
“I think you’ll find again like a similar situation to Muhamed [Besic] that he’ll reflect on everything and come back a fresher, hungrier and more aware footballer.
“We’ll be excited to see his progress next season.” After an exciting breakthrough season in 2013/14, Barkley has struggled to reach the same dizzying heights this year.
The midfielder who turned 21 in December, was injured on the eve of the campaign after returning from World Cup duty in Brazil. Jones said: “The season before that he came back to pre-season late because he’d played in the Under-20s World Cup in Turkey. It’s been constant. After a while your freshness leaves you and you become a little bit stale.
“Ross is not that type of lad, he gives everything he’s got every single day and loves football.
“He’s certainly got the right attitude and the right aptitude for the job but these people are human beings, they’re not machines, they’re not robots and like everyone they need a break to get stronger and come back and do better.” Much has been made in recent months as to where best employ Barkley who prefers to play just off the striker but faces competition in that area from Steven Naismith who has so far proven to be a more potent goal threat in that role.
Jones reckons the youngster has already shown his ability to operate in several different midfield positions and does not believe it is a straight choice between the pair.
He said: “Ross has had to play as a holding midfield player. He’s had to play as a number eight in a midfield three and he’s played wide left this season. “It’s not difficult [to accommodate Barkley and Naismith in the same team]. It really depends on their moment of form and it depends on their moment of fitness. “It depends on the opposition and it depends on the tactical need within the game. The situation hasn’t arrived yet where all of those things have fallen into place.
“They’re certainly appreciated, well-respected and trusted at Everton Football Club.
“The manager really assesses each game on its own merits. If he felt he needed two ‘number 10s’ then I’m sure tactically he would use them – that’s how he views the game.”

Everton FC transfer rumours: Toffees join Saido Berahino chase, AC Milan midfielder on radar, Blues to make Jonny Evans move
1 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Joe Rimmer
A round-up of transfer gossip and speculation - as Everton reportedly join the race for West Brom striker Saido Berahino
Everton have joined a host of Premier League clubs in the race for West Brom striker Saido Berahino - that's according to reports today.
The England man is reportedly interesting the likes of Newcastle and Southampton, as well as Roberto Martinez, but it is Manchester City who are in pole position to sign the striker.
Berahino is set to be offered a new contract to make him the highest paid player at The Hawthorns on around £50,000 a week, and one stumbling block for Everton could be the reported transfer fee of around £20m. The 21-year-old scored 14 goals in the Premier League this season, establishing himself as one of the best English strikers in the league.
Would you like to see Everton sign Saido Berahino?
The Toffees are also being linked with AC Milan midfielder Sulley Muntari, with the Ghanaian expected to leave the San Siro this summer.
Muntari has played just 17 times for Milan this season and has Premier League experience after spells with both Portsmouth and Sunderland. The Italian press report that Muntari is now in talks with Everton over a move to Goodison Park and, despite being 30, he could give Everton's midfield extra energy. Muntari's contract at Milan runs out next summer, so Everton could land the midfielder on a cut price deal. He has scored 11 goals in 70 appearances since moving to Italy in 2012. He also had a spell at Inter Milan from 2008 to 2011.
Muntari has 83 caps for Ghana, scoring 21 goals.
And finally, Everton are inching close to a deal to sign Manchester United defender Jonny Evans, that is reported by the Daily Star.
Evans is set to be sold by Manchester United this summer and with Sylvain Distin leaving Everton after the expiry of his contract, Evans could provide extra cover and experience in the heart of defence. Evans is also said to be interesting Sunderland, Aston Villa and Spurs, and the 27-year-old is said to have a valuation of just £5m. The Northern Irishman has made almost 200 appearances for Manchester United, but this season he's made just 11 appearances in all competitions and even served a ban earlier this year for spitting at Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse.
Evans is said to favour staying in the North West, making Everton favourites for his signature.

Andy King's funeral in shadow of Goodison Park
1 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By David Prentice
Funeral arrangements for much loved Everton hero
Andy King will say his final farewell in the shadow of Goodison Park - the arena he captivated throughout his career, surrounded by many of the supporters he loved so much.
King’s funeral will be held at St Luke’s Church on Goodison Road on Thursday at 2.30pm.
King died at home in Bedfordshire last week, aged 58, and his funeral service will in the church which stands in the corner of Goodison Park.
Andy is Our King - Always
In an interview to Blues fansite Blue Kipper, King once said: “Billy Bingham signed me and I will probably love the club for the rest of my life. I love Everton and I want to be known as an Evertonian because I love them, so simple.” Hundreds of fans are expected to pay their own respects to King on Thursday. His premature passing shocked supporters everywhere and tributes were paid from as far afield as Australia.

Everton open talks with Tom Cleverley
1 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Everton could learn in fortnight if Cleverely will join
Everton have opened talks with midfielder Tom Cleverley.
The 25-year-old is out of contract at Manchester United and set to leave Old Trafford on a free transfer this summer. Everton are one of a number of clubs interested in Cleverley and have started negotiations with his representative. Cleverley worked with Blues boss Roberto Martinez at Wigan Athletic in the 2010-11 season and the Catalan has remained a firm admirer of the England international ever since. Last week, Cleverley said he wanted to have his future resolved before he got married this summer and the ECHO understands that Everton could be given a decision in just two weeks’ time. Martinez is keen to do as much of a transfer business as early as possible and take a full-strength squad to Singapore where the Blues will take part in the Barclays Asia Trophy in July.
And the signing of free agent Cleverley could be the first of the four recruits the Everton manager is targeting. Arsenal and Southampton are two of the Blues’ rivals for Cleverley while Aston Villa, where he spent the season on loan, want to make his move a permanent one. Cleverley has admitted that it would difficult to leave Villa, where his form has been transformed under new boss Tim Sherwood, but Martinez will hope that the strong relationship he has forged with the former Bradford City youngster can tip the balance in the Blues’ favour. Last season, in response to a petition calling for Cleverley to be omitted from England’s World Cup squad, Martinez said: “There are only a few players in this country who have had the sort of education where they look as if they could have been brought up in Holland, Spain or France. “Tom is one of them.
“I just don’t understand this campaign, it is not the way to encourage young players.”

Everton fans urged to back Z-Cars petition
1 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Calls for composer, Johnny Keating, to be honoured in hometown
Everton fans are being urged to throw their weight behind a campaign to honour the composer of Z-Cars. Johnny Keating, the man who penned the famous Goodison anthem, died last week, aged 87.
Before Keating passed away, his family had launched a petition for a blue plaque to be placed on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, the place of his birth. And now Everton are asking supporters to sign the petition. Tne of the things my father was most proud of was the fact that Everton ran out to his version of Z-Cars,” Johnny’s son, Martin, said. “As a football fanatic, it was one of his proudest achievements.” Johnny had been suffering with dementia before his death and is survived by his three children, Martin, Kevin and Jill.

Everton couldn't handle pressure, says Roberto Martinez
1 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Everton boss says players failed to deal with expectations they had created
Roberto Martinez admits Everton’s players failed to cope with the expectations they had created after his first season in charge.
The Blues finished fifth a club record Premier League points total and hopes were high for another assault on the top four. But Everton finished this season six places down on 12 months ago and 25 points adrift after a torrid campaign that saw them lose 15 times in the league.
Martinez says his players were not mentally strong enough to handle the pressure earlier in the season but is convinced that the experiences of this term will have long-term benefits for the squad.
“We finished the previous season really strong and created huge expectations and that is something different, mentally, that you have to cope with,” he said. “Especially with the way we want to play, we have to open teams up and individually you go through a learning curve but we have all become stronger, especially the younger players who have never had that important role in the side, and the first six months of this season will prove one of the most influential in their careers.
“In that respect, you can see the change in the players now. They are playing with more maturity due to the fact that the experiences we had to go through earlier in the campaign.”

Everton FC transfer rumours: La Liga striker set for Goodison loan, Scott Dann deal unlikely, Sako could fill Atsu void
2 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Joe Rimmer
A round-up of transfer rumours and speculation as Everton are linked with a move for an Icelandic international striker
Everton could be set to do business with former boss David Moyes as they look to bring in Iceland striker Alfred Finnbogason, that's according to reports today.
Finnbogason is said to be have made available by Moyes after scoring just two goals in 25 appearance since a £6m move from Heerenveen last summer.
The striker has struggled in La Liga with Real Sociedad, and Moyes is said to be keen to see the Iceland international gain some experience elsewhere.
Moyes' close links to Everton could give the Toffees an advantage in the chase for the striker, with newly promoted Norwich City also said to be interested in the 26-year-old.
Finnbogason had an exceptional goalscoring record in Holland, notching 59 goals in 70 appearances for Heerenveen in a two year spell. He has also had spells in Sweden and Belgium, as well as in his homeland.
He's been capped 25 times for Iceland, scoring five goals.
Everton could be set to miss out on Crystal Palace defender Scott Dann, however, with The Guardian reporting that the centre-back remains a key member of Alan Pardew's squad. Dann had been linked with a move to Goodison Park after the exit of Sylvain Distin this summer, but Palace are said to be determined to turn away all offers for the 28-year-old.
Scouser and Liverpool fan Dann has made 48 appearances for Palace since a £2.6m move from Blackburn last year. He started his career at Walsall before working his way up the leagues.
And finally, Wolves winger Bakary Sako could be on his way to Goodison Park to fill the void left by Christian Atsu. Atsu has joined Bournemouth on loan from Chelsea after struggling at Goodison Park last year, and with Sako available on a free transfer this summer, Roberto Martinez could be tempted to take a gamble on the 27-year-old. Leicester City, West Brom and Aston Villa will reportedly provide com

Everton FC transfers: David Henen - I want to stay with the Blues
2 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Belgium teenager confirms desire to stay at Goodison
David Henen says he is determined to stay at Everton as negotiations over a permanent deal continue.
The Belgium teenager has spent this season on loan from Olympiakos and wants to remain on Merseyside. Henen’s agent Christophe Henrotay is negotiating with Everton and the forward hopes for a swift conclusion. The 18-year-old, who impressed with the under-21s this season, took to Twitter to update Evertonians on his future and said he has instructed Henrotay to push the Everton deal through. “J’ai montrer mes intentions a mon agent de rester a everton , tout ira vite maintenant .. laisser moi profiter de les congés maintenant.”
Henrotay was quoted, last week, as saying: “I have to quickly meet Martinez.
“But all the signals go in the direction of exercising the option (of a permanent deal).
“He (Henen) really changed beyond all recognition. “The reports of Martinez and the U21 coach are very favourable. “Both praise his mentality, his involvement and his integration.”

Everton striker Romelu Lukaku: 'I want to win titles'
2 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Everton record signing says he is itching to experience the "big games"
Romelu Lukaku says he is itching to experience the thrill of “big games”.
The Everton striker, 22, believes he is at a stage in his career where he needs to start picking up winners’ medals. Lukaku, who scored 20 goals in all competitions this season, is preparing for Belgium’s games with France and Israel this month. And in an interview with Sport Voetbal Magazine in his homeland, Lukaku revealed his burning desire to start being in the mix for “titles” and “trophies”. “I want to win titles,” Lukaku is quoted as saying.
“I want to know how it feels to play in the big games.
“I’m 22. Its time to win trophies.” In the same interview, Lukaku is quoted as reiterating his dislike for playing out wide. Roberto Martinez has played the towering Belgian as part of a front three in the past but Lukaku feels he is wasted in that position.
“I won’t play on the wing anymore,” he said.
“I’ve told the manager too: ‘I’m useless as a winger. I will only score goals as a striker.”

Everton reject wants to prove Blues wrong
2 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Bournemouth's Eunan O'Kane set for Premier League with south coast side next season
AN Everton reject wants to prove the Blues wrong as he prepares for his Premier League debut.
Bournemouth’s Eunan O’Kane was released by Everton as a teenager in 2009 but has worked his way back up through the levels. And now the Liverpool supporter is gearing up for the top flight after the Cherries won the Championship. Derry-born O’Kane, who spent two seasons at Everton, told the Daily Echo: “It wasn’t too long ago that I was told I was too small to play in the Premier League. “I’m not too big at the moment but, at the time, I wasn’t as big as I am now.
“Maybe Everton were right at that point but it’s nice having been told that to virtually give them two fingers.”

In profile: Everton transfer target Tom Cleverley
2 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Joe Rimmer
Everton are hopeful of completing a free transfer for the midfielder this summer
Who? Thomas William Cleverley
Age: 25
Previous clubs: Bradford City, Leicester City, Watford, Wigan, Aston Villa
Current club: Manchester United
Nationality: English
International caps: 13
Strengths: Tom Cleverley is an intelligent midfielder capable of playing in a number of roles. Probably best deployed as an advanced midfielder, Cleverley can chip in with goals and assists drifting in behind the frontmen. The 25-year-old was born in Hampshire, brought up in Bradford but made his name at Manchester United. He flourished under Sir Alex Ferguson, but struggled under David Moyes and was sent out on loan by new manager Louis van Gaal.
Link with Everton: Everton are hopeful of tying up a deal for Cleverley when his contract expires in June. Arsenal and Southampton are credited with an interest, as are current club Aston Villa, but Roberto Martinez's close ties to Cleverley could mean he ends up at Goodison Park.
Last time v Everton: Cleverley gave the best audition possible with a match-winning performance for Villa in their 3-2 victory over the Toffees in early May. Cleverley rifled in the third goal to secure the three points for the Villians.

Everton fan spells out proposal to fiancee from 1,000 feet
2 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Greg O’Keeffe
Wayne McCormack popped question with help from a giant message on Goodison turf
Love really was in the air for true Blue sweethearts Wayne McCormack and Bekki Whalley,
Everton fan Wayne decided that simply popping the question to Bekki at his beloved Goodison Park wasn’t a grand enough gesture.
So the Ormskirk lad decided to really spell it out - via a giant message on the pitch viewed from 1,000 feet in the sky. Marriage proposals at the Old Lady are not uncommon and have taken place on the pitch, in the goalmouth and in the stands. However, earlier this week Wayne arranged for a genuine first by asking during a fly-over his favourite club's ground. He persuaded girlfriend of eight years Bekki to accompany him on a helicopter ride for a job interview, which was in fact a ruse for him to do the deed. The couple took to the skies of Merseyside to flyover Goodison, where Wayne had organised for the marriage proposal to be laid out using two-metre high letters saying: ‘Bekki will you marry me?’ Bekki did not know that the camera man on-board the helicopter was from evertonTV and in on the surprise all along, to capture the moment Bekki said ‘Yes’.
Wayne said: “I wanted to combine the two biggest loves of my life, Everton and Bekki, and thought what better canvass to use than Goodison Park. “It took me about six months to plan and sort the proposal out – it has been really stressful but I am so delighted she said yes!”

Everton launch Walking Football team
2 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Ian Snodin to take part to help kick-start Everton in the Community programme
Everton in the Community is launching a new Walking Football programme.
Walk of Life is aimed at recruiting men and women aged 30 plus who want to keep fit, have fun, learn skills and socialise at the same time. Walking Football is a non-contact sport where running is not permitted. The programme was launched at Lifesytles Austin Rawlinson Sports Centre in Speke and participants from the inaugural event will come from Liverpool Community NHS Trust’s Livability Programme. Club ambassador Ian Snodin will take part in the session.
The Trust is supporting Everton’s official charity coaches to deliver sessions to their participants.
A series of weekly sessions will take place in various locations across the city, for specific age ranges within the target group.

Everton transfers: Gerard Deulofeu wants Blues return from Barcelona
2 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Deulofeu craves Everton comeback
Gerard Deulofeu wants to kick-start his career by returning to Everton.
The Barcelona winger spent the 2013/14 season on loan at Goodison and is understood to be eager to re-join the club.
Deulofeu has endured a campaign to forget on loan at Sevilla and though he will return to the Nou Camp this summer, his long-term future with Barca remains unclear.
The Spanish giants were hoping a season with the Andulacian club, who retained the Europa League last week, would help accelerate the 21-year-old’s development. But following a bright start, the talented winger struggled to hold down a place in Unai Emery’s side and last played in late April.
Emery, who had a fiery relationship with Deulofeu, said the Spanish under-21 international currently lacks the maturity to make it at the top while his international coach Albert Celades said: “It’ll be very difficult for Deulofeu to succeed at Barcelona.” Deulofeu is contracted to the Spanish club until the summer of 2017, after penning a new deal before he joined Everton, and has a buy-out clause of around £25m. But after a disappointing season, the winger’s market value is likely to be significantly lower than that. Barca forward Pedro is expected to leave the club this summer and with the Spanish giants not able to sign players until their transfer ban is lifted in January, letting Deulofeu go would leave them an attacker short. But by staying at Barcelona, the Catalan would be facing up to a year warming the bench with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar all ahead of him in the pecking order. And so Deulofeu is eager for a return to Everton to work under Roberto Martinez again.
Martinez, though making no secret of his admiration for Deulofeu, recently said he did not think a deal to sign him this summer was “realistic” but sources in Spain have suggested that Barca will listen to offers. Everton, meanwhile, have cooled their interest in Barca teenager Adama Traore.
The exciting wide-man was being lined up as a loan target for next season but after a disappointing run of form in the second half of the season, where Barcelona B were relegated from Segunda Division, the Blues will look elsewhere.

Everton transfer rumours: Blues battle West Ham for defender, Swansea make Garbutt move
3 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Joe Rimmer
A round-up of transfer rumours and speculation, as Everton are linked with a Senegal international
Everton are said to be one of the clubs competing to sign Genk midfielder Kara Mbodj.
The 24-year-old is subject of interest from West Ham, Leicester and Belgian giants Anderlecht.
Mbodj is a versatile defensive midfielder, capable of playing in central defence, and his form in Belgium has alerted a number of foreign scouts.
The Senegal international is available for around £4m after making more than 70 appearances for Genk. He's also played in Norway for Tromso. Mbodj has represented Senegal 15 times, he's scored two goals for his country, playing in the Olympic Games in 2012 and this year's African Cup of Nations. Swansea City have made their move for Everton defender Luke Garbutt, that's according to reports today. Garbutt is out of contract this summer, and he has given no indication that he will sign a new deal. The Swans have been linked numerous times with the England U21 defender and now they are said to have offered him a contract to take him to South Wales.
The 22-year-old has struggled for a place in Everton's team, with Leighton Baines fully established as the Toffees' first choice, Bryan Oviedo competing for a place in the side and now the emergence of talented youngster Brendan Galloway. Swansea, meanwhile, have just persuade current first choice left-back Neil Taylor to sign a new deal with the club.
Garbutt has made just five league appearances since making his debut for the Blues in 2011

Tony McNamara Funeral arrangements
3 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By David Prentice
Funeral details for former Everton and Liverpool star
THE funeral of former Everton and Liverpool forward Tony McNamara will be held at St Agnes Church in Huyton next Tuesday (June 9) at noon.
McNamara, who made more than 100 appearances for Everton before crossing the park in 1957, passed away last week at the age of 85.
A requiem mass will be held at St Agnes Church on St Mary’s Road, Huyton.
McNamara, a tall, elegant right winger, became the first footballer to achieve the feat of playing in all four divisions in England inside 12 months - Crewe (Fourth Division) and Bury (Third Division) were his other league clubs - but Everton was the club where he spent by far the longest spell of his career. He made 113 appearances for The Toffees between 1950 and December 1957, and was a member of the squad which won promotion from Division Two in 1954.
The following season, the start of Everton's unbroken 60 season spell in the top flight, saw McNamara make 27 appearances for the Blues scoring four goals.
In 1956/57 he was their top scorer with 10 goals from 32 appearances before joining Liverpool in December 1957 where, according to the Liverpool Evening Express, he “comes to Anfield as part of the build up for the promotion bid.” Liverpool just missed out that season, as they did in three subsequent seasons before finally going up as Second Division champions in 1961/62.
By then McNamara had hung his boots up, having ended his long career at Runcorn.
In recent years he was a regular visitor to Everton Former Players’ Foundation functions and in 2009 said: “We are given a ticket for every match, they look after us ex-players really well now.
“They took us to Wembley for the FA Cup semi-final and the final. Although the final result was not what we wanted the main thing for me about the days were the fans – the fans were incredible, a twelfth man. “I don’t think they had the money back then that they do today, but we still got a following. “I remember playing at Plymouth and there was Everton supporters there and you were ‘where have they come from?’ “But now you get 6-7,000 following them to Benfica, they are fanatics no doubt about it. You can hear Everton supporters all over the ground.
“I was 80 the other day and the club made a dinner for me before the match.”

Roberto Martinez revamps Everton pre-season schedule to avoid slow start
3 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Blues to kick start summer training in week beginning July 6
Roberto Martinez is determined to avoid the slow start of last season by revamping Everton’s pre-season schedule.
The Blues boss has planned a 60 session summer training plan that will start in the week beginning July 6. Everton’s players were undercooked last term and together with a number of key players suffering from a World Cup hangover, Martinez’s side made a poor start to the campaign.
The Catalan maintains that the Blues faced a good level of opposition, including Celta Vigo and Porto, but admits his players began the season not fully fit.
But Martinez has mapped out plans for this summer that he hopes will see his players hit the ground running at the start of the new season on August 8.
Austria No show
Everton will skip their usual early summer warm weather training camp in the Austrian village of Bad Erlach. The Blues’ trip to just outside Vienna had become customary but this year they will spend the first week of pre-season at Finch Farm ahead of their first game.
Everton are set to face Football League opposition on Saturday, July 11 before jetting off to Singapore a day later.
Asia Bound
The Blues are taking part in the Barclays Asia Trophy this summer where they will play two games.
Everton face Stoke City at the National Stadium on Wednesday, July 15 and then play for a second time on Saturday, July 18.
Martinez’s side will either face Arsenal or a Singapore Select XI, depending on the results in the first round of games.
Sunny Scotland next
Everton will then fly back to the UK before travelling north of the border for a five day camp in Scotland.
The ECHO understands that the Blues have plans for as many as three games in that period, although some could be played behind-closed doors.
Goodison return
Martinez’s troops then return to Merseyside for the final two weeks of their preparation and will play one more friendly before the 2015-16 Premier League season starts.
Everton will play their only home fixture of the summer on Sunday, August 2 with the opposition still to be confirmed.

Everton defender Tyias Browning wants to build on breakthrough season
3 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
20-year-old discusses loan move and making Blues debut
Tyias Browning insists there was “no better feeling” than when he made his Everton debut this season.
And now the young defender wants to add to his three appearances for the Blues’ first-team after his breakthrough campaign. Browning is expected to be sent out on loan at some point next season but will become a full-time member of Roberto Martinez’s squad.
The 20-year-old made his bow as a late substitute in the Anfield derby in September before coming on at Old Trafford the following month and then starting in the Europa League tie at home to Krasnodar. Martinez has made sure to include the Academy product in a number of matchday squads as well as making part of the travelling party for Europa League ties.
Browning says those experiences have been invaluable and he is eager for more but knows a spell out in the Championship could be necessary to help accelerate his development.
“I’d like to get more games and maybe go out on loan, but we will see what happens,” Browning told the ECHO. “It’s a good stepping stone and experience and a lot of players around my age do it. It is something that would be good for me. “I was bricking it when I came on at Anfield for my debut. But it was the best feeling of my life, especially to make my debut in the Merseyside derby.
“I’m still living off that now!
“There is no better feeling.
“As soon as you get on the pitch, all the nerves go. As soon as start playing, you are in the zone and then the nerves don’t effect you.” On travelling with the squad around Europe this season, Browning added: “It has been good to know what it feels like to be in those squads, in the big atmosphere and hopefully I get to play a lot more this season. It has been really helpful for me.”
Browning produced an assured performance as Everton under-21s finished a difficult season in style with a 3-1 win over Spurs u-21s last month. The Blues second string were in danger of being relegated from the Premier League this season but a win over West Ham in their penultimate game ensured they survived. “It was good to end on a win,” Browning said.
“It’s probably the best I’ve seen us play this season, especially on the ball.
“The manager gave a lot of the young lads an opportunity and it has been difficult this season with a lot of lads going out on loan but the young lads have all done well when given the chance.
“The performances are more important at this stage because we are developing.”

Everton defenders John Stones and Phil Jagielka have special "bond"
3 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Stones explains why partnership has been so successful
John Stones has spoken of the “bond” that has helped forge his centre-half partnership with Phil Jagielka.
The duo have become Everton’s first-choice pairing this season and Stones says their friendship off the pitch has been a major factor. Stones, who will play for England under-21s in the European Championships later this month, feels he has improved significantly from his first season in the Everton side. And the 21-year-old says the fact that Blues captain Jagielka has “taken him under his wing” has ensured he’s been able to cope with some steep learning curves this term.
“I guess we’re are willing to work with each other,” Stones said.
“We’ve got a great friendship off the pitch and that’s a great recipe to take it onto the pitch.
“We know how each other plays and the more games we play together, the more we will keep improving. “We have just got that bond and click. We know what the other guy is going to do.
“He’s helped me so much as well. He’s taken me under his wing and going away with England as well, he’s always there to help me. We are on the same wavelength. There will be the odd time when we’re not, but that’s football, and that closeness off the pitch is vital.”
Stones finished Everton’s season with a flourish and scored his first goal for the club against Manchester United in April. But he has cited his sending off against Young Boys during a Europa League tie in February as major turning point in his season and career.
Stones was dispossessed by striker Guillaume Hoarau and in trying to win the ball back, conceded a penalty and was given his marching orders. The £3m signing says he now knows when to “get rid”.
“From last season to this season, there is a difference,” Stones said.
“I feel as though I am a more experienced player and looking back from the start of the season, I have matured so much.”

Everton Transfers: Gerard Deulofeu's five best Blues moments
4 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Everton target Gerard Deulofeu's best bits from his loan spell
Gerard Deulofeu is keen to return to Everton, where the supporters would be equally thrilled to see him back in a Blue shirt.
On Tuesday we revealed how the Barcelona forward is eager to be reunited with Roberto Martinez at Goodison, although it remains to be seen whether a move is possible this summer.
But just in case you'd forgotten, here's our favourite moments from the flying winger's loan spell on Merseyside in 2013/14.
v Stevenage (H) August 28 Capital One Cup
THE Catalan Kid was introduced to Goodison for the first time - and they instantly loved him.
Deulofeu terrorised the Stevenage backline all night, scored the equaliser on the stroke of half-time and got the Everton fans off their seats.
It is where the love affair started.
v Stoke City (H) November 30 Premier League
IT would be until nearly December before Deulofeu was deemed ready for a start in the Premier League.
And the on-loan winger took his chance by scoring the opening goal in the hammering of Stoke City at Goodison.
v Arsenal (A) December 8 Premier League
Just over a week later and the defining moment of Deulofeu's season with Everton arrived.
Introduced at the Emirates with 11 minutes to go. the young Spaniard's mission to help win the game quickly changed to salvage job.
Arsenal took the lead one minute after his arrival into the game but four minutes - and a shuffle of his feet and rocket of a shot - later and Everton were level.
v Cardiff City (H) March 15 Premier League
Everton were struggling to break down Cardiff City - and Deulofeu was struggling as well.
But after heading down cul-de-sacs all afternoon, the Barcelona man found a gap and with the aid of a slight deflection put the Blues ahead.
v Sunderland (A) April 12 Premier League
The Blues were on a six games winning streak in the league but that looked like it was coming to an half at the Stadium of Light.
Deulofeu was a largely peripheral figure in the game but he kept trying to make inroads down the right hand side.
And with 15 minutes remaining, he got his reward as a burs to the by-line and cross saw Wes Brown turn the ball past his own kee

Everton transfer rumours: Aaron Lennon still hopeful of Goodison move, Fenerbahce midfielder eyed, French striker linked
4 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Joe Rimmer
A round-up of transfer news and speculation, with Aaron Lennon linked with a permanent move to Everton
Aaron Lennon is still holding out for a permanent move to Everton, that's according to reports in the Daily Mirror.
They report that the winger is ready to hold out until the final day of the transfer window is order to force Tottenham into accepting a bid. Lennon spent the second half of last season on loan at Goodison Park, but, with Tottenham holding out for around £8m for a player with just one year on his contract remaining, talk of a permanent deal has gone quiet.
Lennon scored two goals and created one in his 14 appearances while on loan at Everton, impressing fans with his pace and directness in attack. Stoke are also said to be interested in the winger, but the 28-year-old would prefer to move back to Everton having rediscovered his form at Goodison Park. Everton are reportedly keen on Fenerbahce midfielder Raul Meireles, with the former Liverpool man set for an exit from Turkey this summer.
Meireles, who scored nine 12 goals in 92 appearances for Liverpool and Chelsea, has been transfer listed by the Turkish giants after falling out of favour.
He would be available for a cut price fee of just 4m euros, but at 32, he might be something of a gamble for the Toffees. He has scored seven goals in 85 appearances for Fenerbahce, he's also been capped by Portugal 76 times, scoring 10 goals. And finally, Everton are said to have made an official enquiry for Guingamp forward Claudio Beauvue, that's according to reports in France.
Beauvue has notched 23 goals in 47 games for the French side, and the 27-year-old admits he's probably going to be leaving the club this summer. He said: “The deal I had with the club president was that I would leave in the event of a beautiful season. “The season has been very beautiful, so it is sure that I will be playing my football elsewhere next season. “I don’t know whether it will be in France or abroad, I do not have a priority. It is true though that I am very attracted to the Premier League. We’ll see what happens when I get back from holiday in the summer.”
West Brom and West Ham have also been linked with moves for the player.

Everton transfer rumours: Aaron Lennon still hopeful of Goodison move, Fenerbahce midfielder eyed, French striker linked
4 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Joe Rimmer
A round-up of transfer news and speculation, with Aaron Lennon linked with a permanent move to Everton
Aaron Lennon is still holding out for a permanent move to Everton, that's according to reports in the Daily Mirror.
They report that the winger is ready to hold out until the final day of the transfer window is order to force Tottenham into accepting a bid. Lennon spent the second half of last season on loan at Goodison Park, but, with Tottenham holding out for around £8m for a player with just one year on his contract remaining, talk of a permanent deal has gone quiet.
Lennon scored two goals and created one in his 14 appearances while on loan at Everton, impressing fans with his pace and directness in attack. Stoke are also said to be interested in the winger, but the 28-year-old would prefer to move back to Everton having rediscovered his form at Goodison Park. Everton are reportedly keen on Fenerbahce midfielder Raul Meireles, with the former Liverpool man set for an exit from Turkey this summer. Meireles, who scored nine 12 goals in 92 appearances for Liverpool and Chelsea, has been transfer listed by the Turkish giants after falling out of favour. He would be available for a cut price fee of just 4m euros, but at 32, he might be something of a gamble for the Toffees. He has scored seven goals in 85 appearances for Fenerbahce, he's also been capped by Portugal 76 times, scoring 10 goals.
And finally, Everton are said to have made an official enquiry for Guingamp forward Claudio Beauvue, that's according to reports in France. Beauvue has notched 23 goals in 47 games for the French side, and the 27-year-old admits he's probably going to be leaving the club this summer.
He said: “The deal I had with the club president was that I would leave in the event of a beautiful season. “The season has been very beautiful, so it is sure that I will be playing my football elsewhere next season. “I don’t know whether it will be in France or abroad, I do not have a priority. It is true though that I am very attracted to the Premier League. We’ll see what happens when I get back from holiday in the summer.” West Brom and West Ham have also been linked with moves for the player.

Everton transfers: Eight players from the relegated sides Blues could consider
4 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Greg O’Keeffe
With Burnley, QPR and Hull relegated from the Premier League, we look at 8 of their players Everton might fancy
With the season now over Roberto Martinez's attention has already turned to strengthening his Everton squad. Any lingering fears the Blues disappointing season would be made much, much worse with a genuine relegation scrap were effectively ended by late March.
But Burnley, QPR and Hull City were the three that did fall from the top flight of English football, and inevitably they will lose players this summer as they look to cut the wage bill, and their stars look to continue their careers in the Premier League. And while ultimately the burden of relegation lies solely with the players on the pitch, there are individual talents in all three squads who could perhaps add something to the Toffees. Many fans may understandably be less than enthused about the prospect of taking players who were ultimately not good enough to keep their clubs up.
But consider this; Blues hero Lee Carsley was relegated with three clubs (Derby County, Birmingham City and Coventry), Everton signed current skipper and player of the season Phil Jagielka from a freshly relegated Sheffield United in 2007, and James McCarthy went down with Wigan in 2013.
So, here we go....
Tom Heaton
The shot-stopper has recently just received his first call-up for England, and despite his side’s drop, his hands have proved steady all season. Martinez has stressed that Tim Howard remains his number one option, but could Heaton - who performed admirably at Goodison in April - be a long term solution?
Charlie Austin
Like Heaton, Austin has just received his first call-up to an England squad after scoring 18 goals in the league this season.
Not likely to stay at the Hoops in the Championship, Austin is likely to feature on the wish-lists of many Premier League managers this summer.
Everton have already been heavily linked with him, and he is certainly a goalscorer but would he fit the mould for Martinez?
Steven Caulker
As well as forwards, Everton need defesnive reinforcement particularly centrally, and Caulker may prove a savvy acquisition.
At just 23 years old, the English centre-back still has years ahead of him and is well thought of by many in the game.
However, QPR fans who watch him week-in, week-out have been less than complimentary about him, more so recently with heavy defeats for the club.
Caulker is considered a prospect but after back-to-back relegations with Cardiff and then QPR, is he living up to his hype?
Hull City
James Chester
Another central defensive option would be 26-year-old James Chester. The defender has featured 23 times this season for Hull and has been a prominent member of their team. A product of Manchester United’s academy, he has also been capped four times by Wales.
Curtis Davies
A bit more experienced than Chester at 30, Davies was a goalscorer in Hull’s FA Cup final defeat last season to Arsenal. Some strong, assertive central defensive cover would not go amiss and Davies might provide the answer to those needs. He has pace as well, which is something always welcome in the back line. However, he was dropped this season due to poor form.
Ahmed Elmohamady
Elmohamady has looked a danger on attacking runs down the wings all season and can get in the box and be a threat in the air too – as he proved against Manchester United where he would have scored but for a fantastic Victor Valdes save.

The Egyptian has his limitations though, including his crossing which is wasteful at times. Just 24% of his crosses this season were successful ones.
Tom Huddlestone
One of Hull’s best players in 2013-14, this season Huddlestone’s form has been far from great. Forming a major part of the side's spine, his lack of form has really cost the Tigers this season.
Last season there was talks of England at times because of how well he was playing – though he didn’t actually add to his previous four caps gained while at Spurs.
At 28 he can certainly come again. He’s comfortable on the ball and is accurate and reliable in possession (81% passing success rate this season).
Andy Robertson
The young left-back has long been on Martinez's radar and rose to national prominence after his stunning goal for Scotland against England in November.
In a poor season for Hull, Robertson has been a rare positive, and the 21-year-old would represent an investment for the future. However, with Luke Garbutt already on the verge of moving on due to limited opportunities at left-back behind Leighton Baines, Bryan Oviedo already on the books and Brendan Galloway's emergence, maybe Everton are well enough equipped in that area.

Everton's deputy chief executive only UK sports figure shortlisted for prestigious international award
4 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Greg O’Keeffe
Denise Barrett-Baxendale up against execs from LA Dodgers and Baltimore Ravens in international Stadium Business Awards
Everton’s deputy chief executive has become the only UK sports leader to be shortlisted for a prestigious international award. Denise Barrett-Baxendale, who is also chief executive of Everton in the Community, has been selected as a finalist in the Executive of the Year category of this year's Stadium Business Awards alongside leaders from the Baltimore Ravens, LA Dodgers and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, and more. Launched in 2010, The Stadium Business Awards recognise leadership, innovation and achievements in the global sports and stadium industry, and the winners will be announced at a gala dinner at FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium on 10 June.
Denise said: “It is a great honour to be nominated in this category alongside such prestigious international peers from across the world of sport.
“At Everton we continually work to break the boundaries and be the first to cover new ground whether that be as a football club, as Everton in the Community, or both. It gives me great pride to be shortlisted in this category as the only UK nominee and represent my club, charity and colleagues.” In her dual role at Everton, Denise directs the non-football operations side of the cub and its direct charitable engagement with the local community.
Since her appointment as chief executive of EITC in January 2010, the charity has received a plethora of local, national and international award wins in recognition of the life-changing work it undertakes on a daily basis. Her club position involves working to improve fan engagement, the matchday experience for supporters and raising standards within the club.

Andy King funeral sees hundreds and hundreds of heartbroken supporters celebrate the life of an Everton FC hero
4 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By David Prentice
In pictures: club legends including Howard Kendall and Peter Reid pay tribute to spectacular goalscorer in the shadow of Goodison Park
He came into St Luke’s Church to Z-Cars. He left it to Elvis Presley’s In The Ghetto.
And in the 55 minutes inbetween – friends, family, ex-team-mates, rivals and hundreds and hundreds of heartbroken supporters celebrated the life of Andy King.
St Luke’s Church, in the shadow of Goodison Park, was packed to the rafters. Hundreds more stood silently outside until the coffin, carried amongst others by Peter Reid, Mick Harford and John Barton, emerged, when those silent mourners broke into spontaneous applause.
They all knew King the carefree, effervescent footballer.
They all knew King the spectacular goalscorer.
And some of them knew a hint of the man from chirpy TV interviews and fans’ gatherings.
But in a moving and humorous eulogy, former Luton striker Mick Harford revealed another side to Andy King. “Kingy probably had more facets to his personality than anyone I knew.” he said.
“He could be sensitive, he could be nervous, emotional, very spontaneous, honest, reliable, proud, loving, caring, loyal, funny, witty, passionate, especially about Barbara and his friends and family.
“And what a character. He was lively to say the least.” Harford related a couple of anecdotes of the man he had known since December 1985. He said: “Kingy had a lot of sayings, but one of his favourites over the years was ‘Im a lover, not a fighter.’ “What that really meant was that he loved to start a fight - as his minder at Everton, George Wood, would testify.
“I relieved George of his minding duties and we ended up in many scuffles, many scrapes. But at the end of the day he was just having a laugh.
“I remember the day I walked into Andy’s office at Swindon Town to find Andy on the floor with his secretary in a headlock.
“I said ‘Andy what are you doing?’
“He replied: ‘She called me a bad manager.’
“I said ‘But what have you got her on the floor for?’
“He said: ‘No, she got me on the floor!’
“So I let them tussle for a while and she started to get the better of him. I separated them and Andy said ‘What did you do that for? It’s the only chance I’ll ever have of winning a fight!’
“Then there was the time I went with him to the Liverpool v Sunderland FA Cup final, we ended up in a pub in Maida Vale full of Sunderland fans.
“Andy, my brother in law and myself ended up in a bit of scuffle, a bit of a scrap and we ended up outside looking in, with all the Sunderland fans baying for our blood.
“They were screaming ‘We’re going to kill you.’ so I said ‘Send your best three out.’
“Kingy turned to me and said ‘make it two.’
“But on a serious note, anyone who knew Kingy well knew he didn’t have one bad bone in his body.
“Football was his real passion. And his biggest love in the game was Everton Football Club.”
Everton chairman Bill Kenwright, who knew King as “My hero, my friend, my lad” sent a tribute to be read out which said: “He was a magical spirit who blessed Goodison every time I saw him.”
While Kevin Ratcliffe, the most successful captain in Everton’s history, stood to pay tribute to his former team-mate’s life. “I’ve known Kingy for nearly 38 years. I first came across him at Everton Football Club when I signed apprentice forms and I was his designated boot boy,” he said.
“It was hell. Sixteen months of hell. Mickey taking and whatever else came with being an apprentice in those days.
“But it made me stronger and I thank him for that
“I’ve never actually told him that, but I’m thanking him now.
“He later became my friend and while we never met that regularly, we spoke nearly every week, all about football, players we’d seen, matches we’d seen, and, of course Barbara who he worshipped.
“Eventually we talked about the old times. And he spoke about coming back to Liverpool to live.
“What can you say about Andy King? He’s a person who would light up a room.
“And you wouldn’t need to be in that room to know that Andy King was in there.
“You know, in football we have acquaintances, we don’t have friends.
“But looking round today I can say, Andy, you had a hell of a lot of friends.”
The Church was filled with a Who’s Who of Evertonians.
Gordon Lee, the manager who King enjoyed his best footballing days under, was there.
So were old Everton team-mates Mark Higgins, Andy Gray, Roger Kenyon, John Hurst, Mike Pejic, Gary Jones, Cliff Marshall, Alan Ainscow, John Bailey, Cliff Marshall, George Telfer, Alan Irvine and David Jones. Howard Kendall, who brought him back to Goodison for a second spell, was there, as were Derek Temple, Colin Harvey, Ian Snodin, Graham Stuart and Graeme Sharp.
Former Bellefield groundsman Dougie Rose was present, as was MK Dons boss Karl Robinson where King was working at the time of his horribly premature death, while Alan Ball’s son, Jimmy, drove all the way up from Southampton for the day to pay his respects.
Director Jon Woods and former director Lord Grantchester were present, while from across the park old rivals Ian Callaghan and Phil Thompson paid their respects.
After a moving service - laced with much of the humour for which King was known - the mourners emerged into the brightest, sunniest, warmest day of the year.
On the day that the sunniest of dispositions was laid to rest, it was fitting.

Everton FC season review 2014-15: Blues fans score Phil Jagielka highest, but it's just a four for Antolin Alcaraz
5 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Kristian Walsh
Everton FC suffered a disappointing season - and it's reflected in the results
Everton FC Phil Jagielka has been scored higher than any other Blues player by supporters - but he is a rare high mark after a disappointing season at Goodison Park.
Everton editor Greg O'Keeffe rated all the players out of 10 for their performance over the season, and invited fans to do the same. Jagielka scored 8/10 more frequently than any other score, with a massive 45% giving him an eight.
Not so positive for Antolin Alcaraz or Arouna Kone, however. The pair were scored 4/10, with Alcaraz only a few votes away from receiving an even lower mark.
Just seven players scored 7/10 or more, while first-team stars Ross Barkley and Tim Howard were given fives.

Everton FC transfer rumours: Former Liverpool FC midfielder on his way, Berahino update
5 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Kristian Walsh
The latest Everton FC transfer gossip from around the web
Everton FC will look to bring former Liverpool midfielder Raul Meireles to the club after being put on the transfer list at current club Fenerbahce, according to reports in Turkey.
The Turkish giants are looking to revamp their squad, which means getting rid of most, if not all, of their current foreign player quota. Dirk Kuyt has already departed on a free to Feyenoord, Emanuel Emenike is being offered to clubs and now Fener are hoping to lure Everton into a bid for Meireles - so says Internet Haber Sport.
The report claims that Everton would have to pay 4m euros to get hold of the player this summer.
Meanwhile, the Mirror reports West Brom are refusing to sell star striker Saido Berahino until the club changes hands - or they receive a £20m bid.
Everton, Newcastle and Southampton are among a host of clubs reportedly interested in England U-21 striker Berahino, voted the Baggies' Player of the Year after his 20 goals last season.

Everton Season Ticket sales match last year's record-breaking figures
5 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Chris Beesley
Club declare prices 'affordable'
Everton’s Season Ticket sales have already matched the record-breaking figures of last season with the average price per game of £23:86 which the club describe as ‘affordable.’
Almost 27,000 supporters have booked their places for the 2015/16 campaign and almost a quarter of them are young Evertonians. A total of 4,000 junior fans make up one-in-six of Season Ticket holders and they’ll be watching Premier League football at Goodison Park for an average £7:47 per game while under 21s pay on average £19 per game – the same average price as senior supporters.
The club – who froze last season’s price and extended the Early Bird window – say that almost all Season Ticket holders have taken advantage of the discount while one-in-four fans have benefited from flexible payment terms of up to 10 months.

Man United's Tom Cleverley to join Everton FC on a free
5 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Samuel Luckhurst
Midfielder set to end 14-year association with Red Devils to reunite with Roberto Martinez at Everton.
Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley will complete a free transfer to Everton on July 1.
The 25-year-old has signed a five-year contract with The Toffees to end a 14-year association with United, whom he joined aged 11. Cleverley, who spent 2014-15 on loan at Aston Villa, originally wanted to reunite with his former Wigan manager Roberto Martinez at Goodison in the summer but a deal failed to materialise. And despite enjoying a new lease of life under Villa manager Tim Sherwood, he has overlooked the FA Cup finalists to link up with Martinez.
Cleverley made his Premier League debut under Martinez at Wigan in 2010 and he could be joined on the blue half of Merseyside by Jonny Evans , who is also interesting Everton .
United manager Louis van Gaal appointed Cleverley as United's captain in the pre-season tour win over Roma but Cleverley was told in August he was free to leave the club.
Cleverley started in United's second game of the season at Sunderland, although that was mainly due to the injury-ravaged state of Van Gaal's squad.
The Basingstoke-born England international enjoyed fruitful stints on loan at Leicester, Watford and Wigan before he made his United debut in the 2011 Community Shield comeback win over City.
His performance granted him a first-team role, yet he never truly recovered from an ankle injury inflicted by Bolton's Kevin Davies in September 2011.
Cleverley played 73 times for United and scored five goals - all but one coming in the Premier League-winning 2012-13 campaign.

Everton FC transfers: Blues announce signing of Tom Cleverley
5 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Chris Beesley
Blues win the battle for out of contract Manchester United midfielder
Everton have announced the signing of Tom Cleverley with the midfielder agreeing a five-year contract to begin on July 1.
The Blues have beaten off interest from Aston Villa where Cleverley was on loan this season to land the 25-year-old out-of-contract Manchester United star.
Manager Roberto Martinez said: “We are extremely delighted to be welcoming Tom to Everton and I can think of many reasons as to why our fans will enjoy Tom representing our football club.
“The most important one is that he is a perfect fit for what we are trying to build here as he has so much experience of playing in the Premier League and he still has his best years just ahead of him.
“At the age of 25 and a player who is representing his country, Tom has experienced winning trophies and having big roles in demanding teams. Having worked with him previously, I know the type of character he is and I know that, with the Everton fans’ support, we will get a very special footballer joining our already exciting team. “It says a lot also, when someone like Tom is available on a free transfer and he can pick his next club out of many options home and abroad, that he has chosen to play for our football club. That’s the perfect start to his career here at Everton.”
Martinez gave Cleverley his first taste of Premier League action five years ago when he moved to Wigan Athletic on loan and wanted to sign him last summer before he went to Aston Villa.
Cleverley was a Villa regular last season and hit form when Tim Sherwood arrived – particularly in the last couple of months when he scored against Manchester City, Everton and West Ham.
He was also drafted back into the England squad today after Ryan Mason withdrew with injury.

Everton fans' podcast - Part 1
5 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By David Prentice
Fans groups air their views about Everton issues
Hello - and welcome to our first Everton fans' podcast.
The Liverpool ECHO has, for some time now, been heavily criticised by a section of Everton supporters who feel we do not do enough to challenge and campaign for change in the boardroom at Goodison Park. We decided to invite leaders of several of those fan groups in to air their views and discuss them with our Everton Editor Greg O'Keeffe and Deputy Head of Sport David Prentice - all with a view to producing a podcast. Other fans groups, plus a representative from the club itself, had also been invited to attend. The club's future, investment search, new stadium plans and other matters were all talked about in a wide-ranging discussion.
Here is the resulting debate....

Obituary: Johnny Keating, world famous composer who played an unwitting role in Everton FC history
5 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By David Prentice
Life of the man who created Z-Cars
JOHNNY KEATINGS’ most famous composition is synonymous with Everton.
But the man who crafted the Z-Cars theme, a stirring anthem which has heralded the arrival of the Everton team onto the pitch since 1962, was a passionate Hibernian fan and was buried in his Hibees club tie. Johnny passed away last week aged 87, and his family is currently petitioning for a blue plaque to be erected in his name on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, near to his birthplace.
Every Evertonian is familiar with Johnny’s work - but few know anything about the man himself.
Journalist Phil Davison has written the following obituary of a man who played an unwitting, but significant role, in Everton’s history.
Music composer and arranger
Born: September 10, 1927. Died: May 28, 2015.
EDINBURGH-born Johnny Keating, who has died aged 87, has been described as “perhaps the greatest modern musician ever to have come out of Scotland,” a composer, arranger, orchestrator and conductor who had success on both sides of the Atlantic.
Based mostly in London or Hollywood during his heyday (“From Holyrood to Hollywood,” the media liked to say), he wrote the scores for Hollywood movies including Hotel (1967), featuring the theme tune This Hotel, soulfully sung by Nancy Wilson.
He also arranged songs for stars such as Bing Crosby, Sammy Davis Jr and Tony Bennett, all regular visitors to his Hollywood home.
Mr Bennett once said Mr Keating’s arrangement for his version of The Very Thought of You, written by Ray Noble, was the best arrangement he had ever sung to and modern music greats such as songwriter Burt Bacharach and the Beatles’ producer George Martin called him “one of the greatest all-round musicians of the 20th Century.”
In the UK, where he started off playing piano and trombone in several big bands, and ultimately fronting his own, Mr Keating’s arrangements helped create pop hits for Adam Faith, Petula Clark, Helen Shapiro and Eden Kane (real name Richard Sarstedt). Kane’s Number One smash hit Well I Ask You (1961) was created by Mr Keating and his longtime lyricist, collaborator and friend Johnny Worth, aka Les Vandyke.
Much to the Scot’s irritation as a serious musician, however, his name became best-known in the UK for his hit version of a simple Liverpool children’s street song Johnny Todd which was the theme tune to the popular BBC TV police series Z-Cars (1962-78).
The series itself used an earlier version, arranged by Bridget Fry and her husband Fritz Spiegl, but it was Keating’s which became a Top-10 hit much-loved, hummed and whistled by the British public. With its military drum rolls, siren-like flutes and piccolos and a jazz/rock beat, Keating’s version also became the anthem of Everton Football club, blasted out as the team emerges from the tunnel at home matches.
Mr Keating’s family have been joined by more than 1,200 (and rising) Everton football fans and the Liverpool Echo newspaper in petitioning for a blue plaque to be placed in his honour on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile where he was born.
He himself was a lifelong Hibernian FC fanatic and, according to his family, asked to be buried wearing his Hibs club tie. He produced two songs for Hibs fans on a 1973 single -- Hibernian (Give Us a Goal, Glory to the Hibees) on the A-side (written by Sheila Hart) and Turnbull’s Tornadoes on the flip side, both recorded by the Hibernian football team of the time and reaching No. 14 in the UK charts. Always moving ahead of the times, Mr Keating was perhaps the only musician to have had hits in the genres of swing, Big Band (with the Ted Heath Band and later his own Johnny Keating Sound), jazz, rock, pop, classical (with the London Symphony Orchestra) as well as progressive music as one of the first to experiment and improvise with a Moog synthesizer.
Always a regular visitor back to Edinburgh during his years in Hollywood or London, he wrote a classical piece called Overture 100 Pipers and another titled Hebridean Impressions, which debuted at the Royal Albert Hall with Mr Keating conducting the Royal Philharmonic. He later recorded a modernistic electronic version of the same work with the Electronic Philharmonic Orchestra.
Another of his futuristic works, the 1972 album Space Experience was so ground-breaking in its sound techniques -- using amplified bass harmonicas and wordless voices -- that Mr Keating had to swear his already much-trusted musicians to secrecy as to how the effects had been achieved.
Since he first saw the light of the Edinburgh day at 5.25 pm on September 10, 1927, John Keating was bound to have historic fame.
He was born in Huntly House in Bakehouse Close, off the famous Royal Mile, one of Edinburgh’s oldest (1517) and most-visited buildings but much changed since then. It was a poorhouse when he was born but is now the magnificent Museum of Edinburgh.
He is thought to have been the last person born in it. His father Jock was an orphan whose parents had been Irish catholic immigrants and who made a basic living as a street bookmaker. He married Edinburgh lass Esther Aitchison when she was 17. According to historians, Esther, Johnny Keating’s mum, was distantly related to James Aitchison, a famous Edinburgh goldsmith who built Huntly House almost 500 years ago.
One of four children – with a brother and two sisters – young John went to St. Ninian’s primary school and St Anthony’s secondary, both in Lochend, Edinburgh. Smitten by music from an early age, he self-taught himself piano and added the trombone to get into local Big Bands. He played trombone with the famous Tommy Sampson Orchestra (“Scotland’s King of Swing”), notably at the Eldorado Ballroom in Leith and Edinburgh’s Fountainbridge Palais, before being snapped up by the nationally-successful Ted Heath Band. On “Britain’s Tin Pan Alley” (Denmark Street, London), he got involved in the pop music scene and burgeoning rock ‘n roll.
One of his earliest own songs was Emily, written for his wife (later better-known as Emma), but it was overshadowed by an unrelated song of the same name sung by Frank Sinatra.
Always faithful to Edinburgh and regularly visiting his parents in Portobello, he founded the Johnny Keating School of Music in the capital, which has turned out numerous successful musicians. He spent his retirement writing a comprehensive four-volume reference book Principles of Songwriting: A study in Structure and Technique, a must-read for budding songwriters.
Having retired to Notting Hill, London, Johnny Keating died in Chiswick Nursing Centre, west London, after suffering from Lewy Body Disease (LBD, a form of dementia). His wife Emma (née Roberts, from Edinburgh) died in 1991.
He is survived by their children Martin, Kevin and Jill – all now well-known musicians – three grandchildren Callum, Emma and Kevin, and his beloved siblings Eric, Moira and Pat.

Everton FC transfers: Blues announce signing of Tom Cleverley
5 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Chris Beesley
Blues win the battle for out of contract Manchester United midfielder
Everton have announced the signing of Tom Cleverley with the midfielder agreeing a five-year contract to begin on July 1. The Blues have beaten off interest from Aston Villa where Cleverley was on loan this season to land the 25-year-old out-of-contract Manchester United star.
Manager Roberto Martinez said: “We are extremely delighted to be welcoming Tom to Everton and I can think of many reasons as to why our fans will enjoy Tom representing our football club.
“The most important one is that he is a perfect fit for what we are trying to build here as he has so much experience of playing in the Premier League and he still has his best years just ahead of him.
“At the age of 25 and a player who is representing his country, Tom has experienced winning trophies and having big roles in demanding teams. Having worked with him previously, I know the type of character he is and I know that, with the Everton fans’ support, we will get a very special footballer joining our already exciting team. It says a lot also, when someone like Tom is available on a free transfer and he can pick his next club out of many options home and abroad, that he has chosen to play for our football club. That’s the perfect start to his career here at Everton.”
Martinez gave Cleverley his first taste of Premier League action five years ago when he moved to Wigan Athletic on loan and wanted to sign him last summer before he went to Aston Villa.
Cleverley was a Villa regular last season and hit form when Tim Sherwood arrived – particularly in the last couple of months when he scored against Manchester City, Everton and West Ham.
He was also drafted back into the England squad today after Ryan Mason withdrew with injury.

Where did it all go wrong for Gerard Deulofeu - and could Roberto revive him?
5 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Dave Powell
After being revered at Everton for his superb loan performances during the 2013-2014 campaign, Gerard Deulofeu’s past season at Sevilla couldn’t have been more different.
The 21-year-old Spaniard has intimated that he would like a permanent return to Goodison Park next season as he looks to get a career back on track that has hit the buffers following his loan stint from Barcelona to the Andalucian Europa League winners.
Barca decided to loan out Deulofeu to Unai Emery’s side at the beginning of last season, hoping that he would benefit from regular La Liga football with a top side and return to the Nou Camp ready to challenge for a first-team berth. But the plaudits that the Spanish under-21 international enjoyed with the Toffees were not shared with Los Rojiblancos where, struggling to recapture his form shown under Roberto Martinez, he endured a fractious relationship with Sevilla boss Emery.
His performances during the campaign were fleeting and he only played 17 times, netting once, with his last appearance for Emery’s men coming in April. He was even named in Spanish newspaper Marca’s La Liga’s worst team of the season.
So where did it all go so wrong for Deulofeu?
His loan spell did start off promisingly and Deulofeu netted the winner in a 1-0 success over Real Sociedad that sent Sevilla joint top of La Liga in September.
But he soon faded and, whereas at Everton he played a key role, under Emery he became a bit-part player and his playing time began to dry up. A bitter pill to swallow for a player wanting to show his parent club that he was ready to step up to the plate.
His attitude was openly criticised by Emery, who claimed that he had neither the maturity or the sacrifice to make it at the top level despite his immense talent.
Attitude was a red flag prior to him joining Everton in 2013, but that was something that never reared its head as Martinez found a way to get the best out of Deulofeu and get him playing football with a smile on his face. Maybe that is where the problems that the winger has endured this past season have stemmed from, not having the same kind of support afforded to him by Emery that he enjoyed under Martinez. If there was one manager who Barcelona thought could have got the best out of Deulofeu, it would have been the methodical Emery. Jesús Navas, Álvaro Negredo, Ivan Rakitic, David Silva and Juan Mata have all progressed to the next level as players under the tutelage of Emery during his spells as Sevilla and Valencia boss. But none of those players provided the challenge that Deulofeu may have. It is easy to forget that Deulofeu had been on the radar of European football’s top clubs since he was barely a teenager, even mentioned in the same breath as Lionel Messi as he rose through the ranks at the Nou Camp. But with great expectation comes great responsibility and not all players are mature enough to handle that straightaway. They need support and guidance. Maybe the past season with Sevilla has brought that to he fore of Deulofeu’s mind? Perhaps he realises himself that in order to realise his potential he needs to be under the wing of someone who understands him, who has the patience and can break down walls? Perhaps he sees Martinez as that mentor? Deulofeu has a buy-out clause of £25m in his contract at Barcelona, a fee that may be reduced owing to his past season in Spain, and his future at the Nou Camp looks increasingly uncertain. Martinez would no doubt dearly love to bring the Spaniard back to Goodison next season. To sign him would not be a panacea for all the problems that have dogged Everton on the field for the past season, but it would certainly be a step in the right direction.

Everton can be 'the second coming' of Tom Cleverley
6 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Chris Beesley
Midfielder backed to revive his career with the Blues
Lauded by Sir Alex Ferguson as the man to replace Paul Scholes at Manchester United, Tom Cleverley has suffered a dramatic fall from grace in recent years but now is the time for him to start rebuilding his reputation.
The most successful manager in English football history declared him to be “the best player on the pitch” as the Red Devils defeated European champions Barcelona 2-1 in a pre-season friendly in 2011. Cleverley followed his Barca bashing display with an impressive second half substitute appearance on his competitive United debut against local rivals City as he helped his side to recovery from a 2-0 deficit to win the Community Shield with a 3-2 victory at Wembley.
Within a month he was in the England squad – he now has 13 caps to date – and his 165 touches in a World Cup qualifier against San Marino in 2012 is a record for a player in the national team.
The midfielder picked up a Premier League title winners medal with United in 2012/13 but since the Scot’s retirement he found first team opportunities increasingly limited at Old Trafford.
Having handed Cleverley his Premier League debut on loan at Wigan Athletic five years ago, Roberto Martinez is a long-time admirer of the player and one man who has followed Cleverley’s fortunes from the start of his career, Stuart Mathieson, the Manchester Evening News’ United reporter for the past 20 years, reckons the Catalan is the ideal manager to get the former Red Devils starlet back on track. Mathieson said: “Tom was probably never going to be number one with United and number one with England. “Maybe he needs someone to give him that confidence. Having worked with Roberto at Wigan for a year clearly he likes the way Roberto treats him and can play in his side.
“All those elements are back together again. It’s clichéd but it could be the ‘second coming’ of Tom Cleverley.” Fergie’s fledglings Despite their riches – their current squad is now the most expensively assembled in Premier League history - United have a proud tradition of bringing their own players through and Mathieson admits that hopes were high for Cleverley when he first made the grade.
Born in Basingstoke but raised in Bradford, the playmaker was seen as one of the club’s brightest talents since the golden era of Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Gary and Phil Neville – plus Scholes who he’d been earmarked to replace.
Mathieson said: “United are famous for bringing people through and they were really happy to produce another homegrown player.
“People are always looking back to that class of ‘92 and wondering whether United are going to reproduce that group. It’s never going to happen but they always like to bring one or two in.
“It had kind of gone quiet a little bit quiet for a few seasons but then Tom and Danny Welbeck came through virtually together and they were dead chuffed about it because they looked like they were going to do it. “There was quite a bit of excitement about Tom and Fergie liked him. He thought he was a very good player and it was him who promoted Tom to the first team.
“I just don’t think we saw enough of what I’d call the real Tom Cleverley which is a shame really because he has got it, there’s no two ways about that.”
Creator supreme
Ultimately Mathieson believes that the burden of expectation weighed heavily on Cleverley’s shoulders and prevented him from playing his natural game by stifling his creativity.
He said: “When Tom came through originally you thought United have got another Academy product going to make it big. “He seemed to tread water for a little spell. It was great that he got onto the England stage but that seemed to affect him a lot. He got a lot of stick nationwide after that and even United fans who do back were getting frustrated that they weren’t getting the progress they thought they were going to get from Tom really.” Mathieson added: “Sometimes you have to go away to take that next step. The Villa move was brilliant for him because I think if he hadn’t have gone there he would have almost gone under. “The build-up of people having a go at him was growing. I just think he needed to get out of the United environment and rebuild and fair play to the lad he’s really rebuilt some of his confidence now. “What I would like to see from him again. He always wants the ball. In matches he’s always pointing to his feet and he’s always happy to get on the ball but he stopped doing a lot with it. When he was a younger kid he was positive about things.
“I don’t know if it was being on the big stage but for me he just got a bit negative.”
Mathieson believes that Martinez will give Cleverley the creative freedom he needs to get himself back on track. He said: “Personally I think Roberto will be brilliant for him. He was great at Wigan for him at that stage of his career. “I’ll think he’ll give him the confidence to get on the ball again to create things rather than just helping the ball along all the time – it was almost safe the way he played for a while – and that wasn’t the Tom Cleverley we knew, someone who was scared of making a mistake. “That bit of adventure needs to be brought out of him again. I think he was certainly getting there at Villa but knowing the way that Roberto likes to play I think he’ll take that on.”

How Tom Cleverley turned his career around
6 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Chris Beesley
New Blues midfielder went from being booed by his own fans to first name on the team sheet
From being booed by his own supporters to being the first name on the manager’s team sheet, Tom Cleverley’s season on loan at Aston Villa was a microcosm of the peaks and troughs he’s experienced so far in his career.
Expected to be announced as an Everton player in the next 24 hours, Cleverley spent last season on-loan at Villa Park. Gregg Evans, the Villa reporter for the Birmingham Mail said: “Even his year at Villa was pretty up and down. We were expecting big things when Paul Lambert brought him on loan – goals, assists and blockbuster performances.

“In those early few months, even stretching into Christmas, he was just not hitting the heights that we expected. “Fabian Delph got injured and there was an even bigger expectancy on him and around that January period that’s when his form dipped to its lowest and he was getting substituted almost every game. “It got that bad that some of the fans were booing him as he was coming off the pitch.”
A man reborn
Things got so bad for Cleverley at Villa that he even lost his place in their relegation-threatened team but it was a case of the darkest hour being just before dawn as he experienced a major revival under the team’s new manager. Evans said: “Just before Lambert was sacked, he dropped him but then as soon as Tim Sherwood came in he was completely transformed.
“Instead of playing in a three-man midfield, Sherwood employed him in a diamond. Ashley Westwood played in the holding position, you’d have Cleverley and Delph in front in the two and then Jack Grealish at the top. “Tom seemed to really flourish in that role. He started making darting runs into the box, got three goals in three games and although he didn’t make any direct assists he heavily contributed to a lot of goals. “It’s just mad really to see him completely change but it seems to me he was just lacking a little bit of confidence and as soon as he found that he started to perform very well.”
Destined for Goodison
Cleverley acknowledged last summer that his days at Old Trafford were numbered after Louis van Gaal’s arrival and had his heart set on a move to Everton.
However, after a deadline day switch to the Blues fell through he accepted the loan to the Midlands instead. Evans believes that the frustrations under the previous manager, Villa will now be frustrated to miss out on Cleverley’s signature on a permanent basis but reckons the player thrives when pushed further up the pitch. He said: “Tim Sherwood will be disappointed because I think he’d have liked to have kept hold of him but he knew he’d have lots of other offers.
“He went as far as saying he was the first man on the team sheet so that says it all really.
“Having won the Premier League with Manchester United and playing quite successfully in the number 10 role for England a few times, there were big things expected of him when he came to Villa. “We thought the team would be getting goals and assists from him but it didn’t come until late in the season.” Evans added: “It seems that he’s a confidence player and when he’s feeling good he seems to thrive. “When Villa were struggling and weren’t creating chances it just wasn’t happening for him. “I think he’s better in the more advanced role. Sherwood always refers back to that time he was on loan at Watford and while I know it was in the Championship he got 11 goals.
“He’s got it in him but he needs to play further forward. He’s got so much energy and enthusiasm but it doesn’t always show. “If he gets the licence to go forward he can do some damage, he’s just got to be given that freedom.”

Everton FC transfer rumours: John Guidetti targeted on a free, Mirallas to Monaco, Leicester to beat Blues to Sako
6 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Kristian Walsh
The latest Everton FC transfer gossip from around the web
Everton FC are targeting Swedish striker John Guidetti on a free transfer, according to Talksport.
The Manchester City forward's contract is due to expire at the end of June and the 23-year-old will not be extending his stay at Celtic following his season-long loan with the Scottish champions.
The radio station claims Everton, Watford and Norwich are all in for him, with sources close to the Swede revealing he wants to return to the Premier League.
Elsewhere, Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws say Kevin Mirallas is interested in a move to Monaco. The wide man is said to be interested in moving back to Ligue 1, with the Champions League a big pull for him. And finally, the Express and Star of Wolverhampton say out-of-contract Wolves winger Bakary Sako looks to be heading to Leicester City, who will move ahead of Everton by making a concrete offer. The Mali international, 27, wants to move to Goodison Park but the financial package available with the Foxes may be more to his liking.

Muhamed Besic backed to make a big impact at Everton next season
6 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Chris Beesley
Bosnian midfielder hailed as 'top character'
‘Top character’ Muhamed Besic has been backed to make a big impact at Everton next season.
The midfielder stepped up from the Hungarian League to the Premier League last summer when he arrived at Goodison Park for £4million from Ferencvaros and Blues boss Roberto Martinez believes the Bosnia-Herzegovina international is ‘ahead of schedule’ in his development.
Assistant manager Graeme Jones said: “Mo has adapted very well. He’s an intelligent boy and technically he is very, very capable. “We knew early on that we had signed a top character in Mo. We did our work. He has been brought up in Germany and a lot of his behaviour reflects that.
“Sometimes in your first season you accumulate so much information and experience that you only really manage to use it in your second season when you have digested and reflected what has happened. I expect Mo to make a bigger impact next season.
“We have been very pleased with him but Muhamed, like everybody else, need to improve and kick-on next season. That’s something you look forward to as a coach – looking at the areas where improvement has been made.” Despite having to play understudy to first choice central midfield pairing of James McCarthy and Gareth Barry for considerable periods, the 22-year-old still managed to make 31 appearances. Jones said: “Mo is very specific – he is a defensive midfield player and sometimes you can’t have too many defensive midfield players on the pitch at Goodison Park where teams put 11 men behind the ball and you have to break them down. “From Mo’s point of view, he will be frustrated that he has had limited opportunities but Gareth [Barry] and James [McCarthy] were so strong the season before that they had earned the right to be starters.
“Mo has not let anybody down when he has come in. He needs to kick-on, enjoy the competition next season and make sure he is out of the starting blocks before anyone else.”

Everton 'where they should be' in 11th
6 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Chris Beesley
Blues are occupying their most natural position but this team must do better
Evertonians might not like it but their team finished exactly where they should be this season – in 11th place.
Before you start burning your copy of the Echo or throwing the electronic devise you’re reading this on across the room and cursing, just hold on.
This is not some kind exercise in dampening expectations or accepting/even embracing mediocrity but a statistical fact. By finishing 11th last month in the final Premier League table with a 1-0 defeat at home to Tottenham Hotspur, Everton have now secured 11th place in the top flight on more occasions than any other position.
Just how many times they’ve finished 11th? Well, 11.
In 1900, 1906, 1908, 1913, 1926, 1933, 1955, 1966, 1976, 2006 and now 2015.
At least they had the comfort of winning three of their five FA Cups in 1906, 1933 and 1966 while in both 1913 and 1926 they were just a couple of years off winning the league title.
What’s with all the years ending in sixes anyway? Five of them.
Finishing 11th for Everton is what mathematicians call the modal class (the most frequent occurrence). While far from popular on Merseyside those other Blues the Conservatives like to call themselves ‘the natural party of government’ given that more often than not they’re running the country – although this year’s general election result was actually their first outright victory of the Premier League era. Similarly the likelihood is that Everton will finish 11th more than any other position. 11 11s eh? We’re almost into First World War Armistice territory with the 11th hour of the 11th day on the 11th month. Is there any significance in the number other than there are 11 players on a football team?
Well it’s kind of slap bang in the middle really. For many years the old First Division had 22 teams so 11 was just inside the top half rather than just outside it like now in a 20-team division.
Bang average basically.
Seven up and the four tops
The second most likely place for Everton to finish in is 7th which they done 10 times and something they achieved on three occasions under Roberto Martinez’s predecessor David Moyes in his first full season (2003) plus consecutive years of 2011 and 2012.
After that the most popular finishes are 1st (champions) and 4th which have both been achieved on nine occasions.
Either one of those would do nicely at any point in the near future.
The Blues have finished a rather uninspiring 15th on eight occasions while there have been seven times each for coming 2nd, 3rd and 5th.
Just as there have been 11 11th place finishes, there have been six 6th positions while 16th and 17th both feature half a dozen times apiece and after that eighth and 14th both come in five times each.
From that point onwards we’re into some real rarities which is fortunate given that next up comes 18th which Everton have done on three occasions and these days would get you relegated.
The Blues have finished just twice in each of the following positions: 9th, 10th, 12th, 13th and 20th with a single 19th place. The only position they’ve never occupied is 21st which is of course now defunct in the smaller top flight division. If you tot these all up over 112 top flight seasons you get an average position of ninth but as we’ve already discovered that since 1889 Everton have only finished ninth twice (in 1977 and 1991) so yet again it’s lies, damned lies and statistics which of course is the discipline that tells you that the average human has one testicle.
This year’s damning figures: must do better
While we can accept that historically 11th is the most likely place for the Blues to be, in truth this particular team should be doing considerably better. Off the pitch Everton are eighth both when it comes to revenue (Deloitte ‘rich list’) and average attendance but in sheer squad ability it could be strongly argued they should be in the top seven. The fact that most Blues are understandably upset by how their side fared this year says a lot about how standards were raised during the Moyes era.
Before the Scot’s arrival Everton had achieved just one top half finish (6th in 1996) in the first decade of the Premier League. Under the former Preston boss they’d finish in the top half nine times in 11 full seasons – an impressive 82% of the time for the classic ‘percentages man.’
Martinez is now 50/50 but let’s be fair so was his predecessor after two campaigns.
The Catalan had a much stronger base to start from though given the solid foundations his predecessor had laid and this season’s number crunching doesn’t make for comfortable reading.
Courtesy of the good folk at try a few of these on for size.
Obviously the league finish of 11th is the lowest position since 2006 but the points total of 47 is the fewest since Moyes’ infamous second full season of 2003/04 when they Blues got a paltry 39.
The 12 league victories was the fewest since the nine in 2004 and the seven home league wins is the fewest since the six for Walter Smith back in 2001. The 15 league defeats is the most since the 16 in 2006 while the 50 goals conceded is the most since 57 were shipped in 2004.
Blues at a crossroads
There are of course mitigating circumstances for the disappointments of 2015 but after initially silencing the doubters with a club Premier League record points haul of 72 in his debut season, Martinez will need to ensure the downward spiral of recent months comes to a halt quickly.
Going back to 11th place, that’s where Wigan had finished under Steve Bruce when Martinez succeeded him in 2009 (one place behind Manchester City who were about to prise Joleon Lescott away from Goodison Park).

In the following seasons the Latics dropped down to 16th (2010 & 2011), 15th (2012) and were then relegated in 18th (2013) despite Martinez’s stock appearing to rise (there were approaches from Aston Villa and Liverpool) which culminated with his switch to Everton on the back of his FA Cup final victory over Manchester City. The big question now is after a high and a low which direction will his Blues side be moving in next season?

Doing business early: How Everton last responded to finishing in the bottom half
6 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Chris Beesley
Comparisons with 2006 and what Roberto Martinez must do
Finishing in the bottom half of the Premier League has become a rarity at Everton in recent seasons.
This year’s disappointment is the Blues first appearance outside the top eight since 2006.
Few would argue that Roberto Martinez’s side should have done much better – this was virtually the same team who had finished fifth with 25 more points 12 months earlier – but how should they react to this setback? The 2014/15 campaign had echoes of what occurred back in 2005/06.
It was another post-World Cup season and the Blues were struggling to repeat the dizzying heights they’d achieved the previous year. 2013/14 saw a club record Premier League points haul (72) just as 2004/05 – against all the odds – had seen a highest ever Premier League finish (4th).
The distractions of Europe again played their part but whereas nine years ago it was the early crushing blows of exit to Villarreal in a Champions League qualifier and then the humiliating loss to Dinamo Bucharest in the UEFA Cup that cast a shadow over Everton’s season, this year the continental stage proved the platform for most of the team’s stand-out performances.
After powering their way through a tough-looking group that included the Bundesliga’s second best team Wolfsburg, Lille and Krasnodar and then thrashing Young Boys on their own artificial turf in Bern, hopes were high that the Blues could be considered serious contenders for the crown.
However, a chastening 5-2 defeat away at Dynamo Kiev extinguished any hopes of glory and it was only after their Europa League commitments were over that Martinez’s men started to put clear daylight between themselves and a potential relegation battle they should never have been anywhere near to. A big difference between 2015 and 2006 is that at least Everton have got a genuine goalscorer in their side. Despite the Blues struggles this year Romelu Lukaku, with the aid of a few penalties of late, managed to become only the second play to net 20 goals (all competitions) for the club in the Premier League era after Aiyegbeni Yakubu’s prolific exploits of 2007/08.
Back in 2006 Moyes’ men between them had found the net just 34 times in 38 Premier League games. Realising his side desperately needed an injection of fire power, the Scot, who for all his relative successes at the club was often much-maligned as ‘Dithering Davey’ in the transfer market did his summer business early for once. By May 30, Moyes has made Crystal Palace striker Andrew Johnson the club’s new record signing in an £8.6million deal having already snapped up goalkeeper Tim Howard on loan just 48 hours after the season had finished.
By mid-June he also completed a move for defender Joleon Lescott who he had scouted exhaustively and the deal would have been sealed earlier if it had not been for a renegotiation after complications arose over the Wolverhampton Wanderers man’s previous injury record.
Provided Martinez can keep hold of all his big names, such major surgery to the spine of the team needn’t be necessary this year. There will undoubtedly be many rival teams who will be casting envious glances over the likes of bright young things Lukaku, Ross Barkley and John Stones but the trio are all happy at Goodison Park. Any ‘to do’ list will presumably include rewarding James McCarthy for his impact over the past two seasons with improved terms while the Kevin Mirallas situation remains a sticking point. The club want Luke Garbutt to sign a new deal and continue his development with them but if the young left-back does feel he can do better elsewhere then he should beware the pitfalls of the likes of Dan Gosling and Jose Baxter.
Sylvain Distin and Antolin Alcaraz will need to be replaced but with captain Phil Jagielka and Stones the club’s first choice centre-back pairing, Martinez needn’t necessarily break the bank and maybe Brendan Galloway or Tyias Browning might be able to step up to the plate to fill one of the spots.

How 'People's Club' Everton FC are getting people's lives back on track
7 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By David Prentice
Blues deputy chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale keen to extend the message of the club far beyond Goodison
Outside is bitterly cold, the temperature plummeting towards freezing, the impending challenge for 40 or so hardy souls rendered all the more formidable.
But in the sanctuary of The People’s Club, Denise Barrett-Baxendale is telling a heartwarming story.
It is the story of Lee Johnson, who spent 18 years homeless on the streets of Liverpool and is now one of 140 full-time staff, along with 188 volunteers and another 60-strong casual staff engaged in Everton’s award-winning community programmes.
Lee’s work in the area of social isolation, engaging people who are sleeping rough, living in hostels or struggling to manage their accommodation, is only part of what Everton delivers daily in the community through some 60 programmes, embracing a range of projects from mental health to young offenders. As the participants in the ‘CEO Sleepout’ at Goodison prepare to venture into the night air, Everton’s deputy CEO speaks passionately about the life-changing impact of Everton’s community projects, Lee’s contribution to these and how on this night he will be her inspiration.
“If we can support members of our community in having access to the most basic of human needs, such as shelter and food, then to me, we should reach out and offer that support,” she says.
To reinforce the message, a short film is played in which Lee describes intimately how his life has been transformed: “It was difficult growing up really – I had brothers and sisters who had cystic fibrosis. "I was really into my football and used to play football on Saturday for the schools. I used to come with my dad to Goodison and I used to sit in the main stand and I’d say to myself, ‘This is what I want to do.’ “I would say to myself that I wanted to work in football one day. They were all my happy memories - football. It was a really big part of my life even then.
Tamara Fell
“At the age of 12 I started getting introduced to alcohol, drugs and things like that. The hardest drug on the streets of Liverpool was heroin. The first time I took it I was 16.
"I was an addict straight away. I was homeless, in and out of the hostels, sleeping rough for, like, 18 years ... 18 years of my life. The city centre was where everyone who was sleeping rough would come to and congregate. I’ve slept in bin sheds, bus stops, doorways.
“So what happened, right, was they used to come and pick me up to play for the Whitechapel football team. Obviously, Everton work in partnership with the Whitechapel. My family have got to see me get my life back on track. They helped me get housing support and other things like that. And that’s like what we do now. “I started as a volunteer doing half a day, helping on the dementia programme. Now I’m here every day. I’m an official tour guide. I work the matches.
'Working with Everton has given me my life back' "I met my son’s mother when I was young and it didn’t work out, so I haven’t really got a relationship with my lad.
"But working with Everton brought us closer. Going to the games together, I’ve got him staying overnight with me for the first time since he was about four years of age.
“It’s given me my life back. They’ve given me my life back by giving me this opportunity of working and doing things. It’s a dream.” When the film has played out, those 40 hardy souls raising funds to help combat poverty and homelessness in Merseyside are so motivated they could sleep out in the Antarctic for a week – wearing no more than Speedo Mick.
Denise Barrett-Baxendale does not just lead Everton In The Community, she lives it.
“We work tirelessly at Everton all year round to improve the lives of others, trying to tackle such issues and raising awareness of poverty and homelessness on our very doorstep," she says.
"Every day we run programmes in the community alongside our partners which address fundamental issues in the city of Liverpool.
“We put a particular challenge out there with this and had a fantastic turnout from people in the business community. If each one of the different organisations can help just one person, that’s fantastic. It can help give people from our community basic human needs like shelter and food. For me, that’s really important.”
Community is in Everton's DNA
That ethos is at the heart of a commitment which embraces a remarkably extensive array of projects: the Everton Free School which has made a difference to the lives of children who previously had struggled in education; social-inclusion schemes and schemes which confront issues such as racism and homophobia; Pass on the Memories supporting people living with memory loss; Safe Hands helping young offenders integrate back into society after leaving secure care, achieving a 76% non-reoffending rate in its inaugural year, compared with the national figure of 26%; Imagine Your Goals offering young people with mental health issues the opportunity to talk about their problems and seek support in a familiar environment; Inside Right supporting veterans at risk of becoming isolated after returning to civilian life; and the list goes on.
“We don’t ‘do’ community because we should be seen to do it, we do it because it is in our DNA, this is who we are and these were the principles laid down by our forefathers – Nil Satis Nisi Optimum,” Denise explains. “And nothing but the best is good enough for any of the people we can reach out and help.
“Over the course of a season we service more than 2,000 charitable requests, receiving referrals from the health service, working extensively with education and employment issues. When I arrived here five years ago we had 45 full-time staff.
"Now we have 140 full-time staff, in addition to 188 volunteers and up to 60 casual staff, all of whom do fantastic work helping fragile people who are hard to reach and hard to help.
“Why do we do this? Because our fans wouldn’t accept anything less. We represent our fans’ values in the services we provide in our community every day. For 365 days a year, we are the People’s Club, embodying everything that means.”
Heading to Camp Nou for European title bid
Next week Denise will attend the Stadium Business Awards which recognise leadership, innovation and achievements in the global sports and stadium industry, having been the only UK sports executive shortlisted in the Executive of the Year category, alongside global sports leaders from the LA Dodgers, Baltimore Ravens and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, among others.
The winner will be announced at a gala dinner inside FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium. When presented with an MBE by the Queen in October 2014 for services to the Merseyside community, Her Majesty suggested this is a side of football that people are unaware of.
Yet the remarkable reach of Everton In The Community has brought recognition from such far-flung localities as Kyiv where coaching sessions were organised for more than 100 children at School #309 in the Poznyaky district prior to last season’s Europa League game against Dynamo.
“This was such a fantastic partnership that we intend to use it as the best example of social partnership for other clubs who come to Kyiv,” Yulia Yurova from UNICEF Ukraine emphasises.
For Denise Barrett-Baxendale, the motivation is simple.
“What drives us is the capacity we have to make a difference in people’s lives," she adds.
"It is a genuine inspiration when we receive feedback and letters and hear from people telling us how we have changed their lives. We are a values-based organisation.
"The Chairman, the Chief Executive, the manager, the players, the staff, everybody is involved and it’s a unique and very special responsibility. "Everton means so much to people, which is why we do what we do. There is nothing manufactured about it, nothing contrived.
"As Evertonians, we feel we are chosen and the work we carry out in our community is the very essence of our values and ideals as a club.”

Lee Carsley: Everton switch can be a Clever move
7 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
by LeeCarsley
New Blues midfielder has shown character
Tom Cleverley showed that he’s got a bit of character about him by taking the plunge to leave Manchester United and I believe that his transfer to Everton is potentially a good move for both parties. He’s a talented player but ended up getting quite a rough ride at Old Trafford.
When you’re at a club like United it can be difficult to move out of your comfort zone and take the decision to start afresh elsewhere but Tom has shown he’s got a bit about him by making that tough call. He was eager to come to Goodison last summer but when the move couldn’t be completed he still went out on loan to Aston Villa and I’m sure they’d have been happy to keep him if he’d had wanted to stay there. It’s a massive confidence boost when you know a manager really rates you - you’re already halfway there. Tom will remember his time playing under Roberto Martinez during his loan spell at Wigan Athletic and it’s obvious that the two of them enjoy a good working relationship. I think his time at Manchester United ending corresponded with a disappointing season and the supporters and pundits were looking to earmark a few players as scapegoats.
That sometimes happens with the homegrown players. I think the likes of Leon Osman and Tony Hibbert have been victims of that at various times with the Blues.
He can still be a top, top player and a lot of it comes down to confidence.
When you’re feeling wanted, things are going well and the manager is behind you then it gives you that extra 10%. It will be interesting to see which position Roberto is planning to use Tom in.
Is he going to be an alternative to either James McCarthy or Gareth Barry in the ‘sitting positions’ or will he be employed in the more forward roles in midfield?
One thing he’ll be guaranteed at Everton is a warm welcome from the fans who well get right behind him from the start.
I'd have loved Everton v Everton international rivalry
It could well be Everton versus Everton today as Republic of Ireland host England in Dublin.
I know Seamus Coleman is looking forward to the prospect of playing against some of his Blues team-mates but the quite rightly he acknowledges that this friendly is just a warm-up for the main event this summer for the Irish. They’ve got a crucial European Championship qualifier coming up against Scotland and that’s ultimately the most important game.
Given the way their respective qualifying campaigns have gone, this is a more significant fixture for Ireland than England and it will prove helpful in building up match fitness ahead of Scotland, especially for the Irish lads who play in the Championship and haven’t kicked a ball for around a month now. Because of what happened in the abandoned match at Landsdowne Road in 1995, I never got a chance to play in a game like this during my own international career.
I’d have certainly fancied coming up against some of my club mates who were England players in matches like this but the only occasion I can remember is taking on Simon Davies when he was playing for Wales.
Gerard Deulofeu eyes Blues return? Who would fancy that?
We’re hearing that Gerard Deulofeu fancies a return to Everton - why wouldn’t any player want to come and play their football at Goodison Park? This is a great club to play for and a fantastic football environment for any player. It’s often the case of ‘you don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone’ and many professionals who have departed the Blues are left wishing they were back there.
I was always grateful of being at Everton but I still miss the place.
I think the Blues have got a lot going in their favour when it comes to attracting players with a point to prove. It’s obvious that Deulofeu has a lot of potential and he showed flashes of his brilliance during his loan spell last year but young players - especially in his position – are often going to be inconsistent. You might get a 9/10 performance from them one week and a 5/10 the next. Reaching a good level on a consistent basis is something that comes with age.
My last column but I'll always be a True Blue
This will be my last column for the Echo and I’d like to thank everyone for all their support while I’ve been doing it. My commitments at Brentford mean that I won’t be able to watch as many Everton games next season but as I’m sure you’ll know, I’ll always be a big Blue.
My children have all been brought up as Evertonians and the club remains a massive part of my life.
This season has been a lot tougher than last year but I’m really looking forward to next season and believe we’ll be on the up again.

Ian Doyle: Tom Cleverley is a no-brainer for Everton FC - so stop moaning
7 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Ian Doyle
Neville, Howard and Saha prove it is no gamble for Blues to bringing in former Manchester United midfielder
Some people just aren’t happy.
Everton have agreed to sign a seasoned England international that has won the Premier League title for a transfer fee of exactly nil pounds.
And the reaction from some supporters?
A shrug of the shoulders. And a bit of a moan.
Look, there’s no doubt Tom Cleverley doesn’t quite have the wow factor fans perhaps crave after such an underwhelming season for the Blues.
Indeed, right now the capture of almost any English footballer is unlikely to put anybody on the edge of their seat in excited anticipation. But snapping up Cleverley is a sound move from Roberto Martinez, having previously worked with the 25-year-old during a season-long loan spell at Wigan Athletic. He knows what the player can do. He know what he can’t do. So, in every respect, it doesn’t represent a gamble. That Cleverley wasted little time in choosing Everton ahead of Aston Villa – where he spent the season on loan – at least demonstrates he regards Goodison as a greater step forward. His failure to make the grade at Old Trafford is a stick with which his detractors have beaten the midfielder for some time, but it's hardly a great shame to not quite be good enough to play for United. Plus, as Everton know all too well, there can be value in taking players from the other end of the East Lancs Road. Phil Neville brought professionalism and a winning mentality to Goodison, Louis Saha contributed goals and Tim Howard remains first-choice goalkeeper between the sticks. Going the other way, Everton struck as good a deal as was possible at the time for Wayne Rooney while nobody complained when almost £30million was brought in from the sale of Marouane Fellaini. Cleverley is solid, versatile and was demonstrating a return to form during the final third of the season. As long as there are more players to follow, Everton fans shouldn’t really grumble. For now.
Sepp-tic Blatter still doing it his way
So continues the slow unravelling of FIFA, as the layers of alleged corruption, greed and wrong-doing reveal what we've always suspected. Less than a week after imploring “Let's go FIFA, let's go FIFA” having been re-elected president, Sepp Blatter fell on his slippery sword.
Well, sort of. When announcing his resignation, Blatter said he would stay on until the FIFA executive committee vote on a successor. That election, though, might not take place for another nine months, giving Blatter plenty of time to get his – sorry, FIFA's – affairs in order before handing over to the new man or woman. Allowing Blatter to keep the keys to the office is equivalent to John Carver being told he was being removed from the Newcastle United hotseat but then being asked to stay on for the next season.
Having been in charge of FIFA during the period now under investigation by the FBI, it seems frankly ludicrous that Blatter should appoint himself as the man to see through the expected reforms.
But then he's doing what he's always done. Everything his own way.

Everton striker Steven Naismith tells how dyslexia helped him as a footballer
7 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By David Prentice
Everton's Scottish striker is now an ambassador for Dyslexia Scotland
DYSLEXIC Everton striker Steven Naismith has revealed how the condition has actually benefited him in his football career.
The Blues striker, now an ambassador for Dyslexia Scotland, revealed that he struggled at school with the condition which affects the way people read and identify words.
But in trying to overcome the condition, Naismith believes he developed other skills which have helped him as a footballer. In a candid interview with the Scottish Herald Naismith revealed: “I am dyslexic. It was not so bad for me because I had football and if you are at school and good at football there is a respect that comes with that. “It is definitely harder for those who cannot find something to focus on when they are getting upset or annoyed at themselves. That is hard.
"I didn’t think I was thick. I thought I was slow. I thought, 'How am I not getting this?' I could cover it well, though. I was only exposed in tests. I could deflect attention from my problem. I could get out of situations. I was always thinking, always looking at how to solve problems before they overwhelmed me.
"I would say I am sharp. In squad training, I would be the sharpest."
And he points to a goal against Arsenal at Goodison Park last season when he correctly worked out the probability of Romelu Lukaku scoring, the possibilities offered by a save by the keeper and, by computing a series of variables inside a fraction of a second, arrived to score what seemed a simple goal. “That happens a lot. It is a 50-50 call and I have made the correct choice,” he says. “That comes with experience. But it also comes from being the dyslexic boy in the class who has to predict just what page has to be read so he can prepare before it is his turn.”
In a wonderfully candid interview, the Herald journalist travelled to Naismith’s hometown of Stewarton in Ayrshire, a tiny town of 6,500 where the Scottish international still lives and returns as often as possible.
He rarely travels back empty-handed.
“At the end of every season, I gather up all the Everton tops, trackies and whatever and give them to my mum,” he added. “People come to her and ask if she has anything and she hands them out.”
Local amateur side Stewarton Athletic also benefit from Naismith’s tidying up sessions.
“We have to change our boots at Everton every couple of months because our suppliers want us to wear the updated versions,” says Naismith. “So when the boys throw their all their discarded boots into the corner, I collect them and bring them up for the amateurs.”
But not Romelu Lukaku’s.
“Not Rom’s. He is a size 14!”.
Naismith also tells a self deprecating tale which reveals that he is John Terry’s son’s favourite footballer! “I am on holiday in Villamura in Portugal, very upmarket, very nice,” says Naismith. “We are walking to dinner when I notice John Terry is limping ahead of me."
Naismith was aware that the Chelsea skipper was recovering from an operation - and that he would soon catch up with him. “I am hesitant. Do I talk to him? I have played against him. But does he know me?” Naismith questioned.
It transpires that Terry most certainly does.
He turned to the Scot, greeted him warmly and asked him to wait so he can fetch his son. “You’re his favourite player and he will want a photograph with you,” he said.
Naismith also talks about the doubts which affected him when he was a young footballer progressing in the game. “I was never a standout like a Ross Barkley,” he added. “I was always worried I would never make it. At every stage, I never saw myself as a certainty. On every step up, I have thought, ‘This could be it. This could be the point when I stop.’ ”
After struggling to make an impact in his first season at Everton, Naismith admitted to wondering if he would have to see his contract out and drop down to a lower level.
But he turned his career around and last season made 39 appearances (30 of them starts) scoring eight goals, after nine goals in 36 appearances (17 starts) the previous season.
“There is a part of me that is spurred on by the desire to keep doing the work but also by something else,” he said. “I always think there are doubters out there who want you to fail and I want to prove them wrong.” Naismith also added that he sits next to Seamus Coleman in the Blues dressing room.
“I love him because he always tells the truth,” says Naismith. “He always says he sits next to me so he can catch my positivity. I like it when he says that because I like facing an issue and sorting it. I am a doer.’’ As if to accentuate the point, Naismith added: “My mate is a joiner and if he wants a labourer then I will go out with him,” he says. “I am a grafter, not a star.’’

Former Everton hero tried to turn Wayne Rooney ... Irish!
7 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Paul Hirst
Other Evertonians who might have crossed borders
FORMER Everton striker Wayne Rooney has revealed how Goodison team-mate Lee Carsley tried to tap him up ... to play for the Republic of Ireland!
Rooney has plenty of Irish links. His paternal grandparents are Irish, his wife Coleen, whose maiden name was McLoughlin, is also of Irish descent, and the couple’s first son Kai embraced his Irish roots by donning a full Republic of Ireland kit on St Patrick’s Day three years ago.
But there is no mistaking where Kai’s father’s loyalties lie.
“I am English through and through,” the England striker said.
“I am playing for England and I want to help England win.”
On the eve of today’s friendly in Dublin, Rooney recalled the tale when Lee Carsley, then his team-mate at Everton, tried to persuade him to turn his back on England.
“Lee Carsley asked me (on behalf of Republic boss Mick McCarthy) about it and it never crossed my mind,” he said. “I have Irish grandparents, so if they wanted to play for Ireland I’m sure they could have, but it was never something I thought about.
“I was born in England, I’m English.”
McCarthy’s cheeky bid was also a tactic tried by then Ireland boss Jackie Charlton when Paul Gascoigne was emerging as one of English football’s brightest talents in the late 1980s.
Big Jack, now 80, explained: “I’ve known Gazza for a long time. He was just a young lad when I was at Newcastle and I knew from day one he was special. “The problem was getting him to play for Ireland and if only I’d spoken to his mother a week earlier, I might have had the chance.
“He actually qualified to play for Ireland but no one knew it at the time and we only just missed out on him. “Before he played for England or the Under-21s, I was talking to him at a game one day and said, ‘Are you sure the Gascoigne family hasn’t got a bit of Irish to it?’ And Gazza said, ‘Nah, we’re 100 per cent Geordie in my family.’ “I think he played for England the following week, and I didn’t really think any more of it until Carol told me Gazza’s grandmother on her side was Irish, and he did qualify for us.
“And I do wonder what would have happened if we’d got him.”
Charlton’s Italia 90 Ireland side made the quarter-finals – where they lost to Italy.
And the former Republic manager added: “If we could reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup without him, but with the quality players we had in the team at that time, what would we have been like with him in the side, in his prime? “I think I could have persuaded him, if I’d known. He still calls me his second dad and I do think I could have talked him into it."
Ross Barkley
Everton’s boy wonder has played for England at every international level from Under-16s, and now has 12 full caps for his country. But at one stage he actually was eligible to represent both England and Nigeria as he has a Nigerian grandfather. Joseph Yobo, Yakubu and Victor Anichebe don’t know what they missed!
Trevor Steven
Born in England’s most northern town, Berwick Rangers actually play in the Scottish League.
The town has switched between English and Scottish ownership 13 times ,
It changed hands for the final time in 1482, long before Trevor Steven was delivered into the world on September 21, 1963 - as an Englishman who went on to win 36 caps.
Richard Gough
Sandy-haired with a Braveheart spirit, Gough won 61 Scottish caps and was every inch the highland warrior ... except he was born in Sweden, grew up in South Africa and played his first football for a South African University side.
Kevin Sheedy
Builth Wells is a town in the county of Powys, within the historic boundaries of Brecknockshire, mid Wales. It is also the birth place of Kevin Sheedy, who went on to have a distinguished international career with the Republic of Ireland.
Pat van den hauwe
Everton’s steely defender was born in Belgium, brought up in London and in his autobiography wrote: “I will make it quite clear that, despite some articles claiming I had Welsh blood in me, I did not. No parent or grandparent - or even great grandparents - of mine were Welsh”
So of course he won 13 Welsh caps, despite having offers from England boss Bobby Robson and Belgium boss Guy Thys.
Clubmates Neville Southall and Kevin Ratcliffe were the deciding factors.
Though originally from Yugoslavia, Preki played for the American national team after acquiring US citizenship in 1996. He played a total of 28 games for the USA, scoring four goals, one of them to beat Brazil at the 1998 Gold Cup. Two of those games, including one against his native Yugoslavia (now Serbia), came in the 1998 FIFA World Cup.

Transfer rumours: Dann keen on Everton switch
7 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Chris Beesley
Monaco target Mirallas + Blues miss out on playmaker
Crystal Palace’s Player of the Season Scott Dann is keen on a transfer to Everton reckons the Sunday People. The 28-year-old Scouser is a lifelong Reds fan but is apparently prepared to switch allegiances in order to make a dream move back to his home city.
A towering 6ft 5in centre-back, Dann started his career at Walsall before other spells in the West Midlands with Coventry City and Birmingham City before returning to the north west with Blackburn Rovers in 2011. He quit Ewood Park for the Eagles in January 2014 but would reputedly jump at the chance to come to Merseyside.
Mail Online say that frustrated winger Kevin Mirallas is being targeted by Monaco.
The Belgian is poised to speak to manager Roberto Martinez about his future but has made it clear he would be willing to quit Goodison Park for Champions League football.
Mirallas hit out at the club last month over what he described as “broken promises” in January following supposed interest from Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund.
The 27-year-old’s current deal with the Blues expires in 12 months but Martinez insists there’s an option for a further year. One target Martinez appears to have missed out out is Celta Vigo playmaker Nolito. According to Spanish radio network, Cadena SER, the 28-year-old has already accepted an offer to join Valencia despite rival bids from Atletico Madrid and Napoli.

It might have been dull but Ireland v England made history for Everton!
7 June 2015 Liverpool Echo
By David Prentice
One of international football's dullest spectacles provided a significant landmark
IT may go down in history as one of international football’s dullest spectacles - but England’s goalless draw in Dublin with the Republic of Ireland will actually go into the Everton record books.
When Phil Jagielka came on for Gary Cahill with 16 minutes remaining, it meant that FIVE Everton players had featured in the same international for the first time.
Seamus Coleman, James McCarthy and Aiden McGeady all started for Ireland, while Jagielka and Ross Barkley were both introduced for England. There have been plenty of other occasions of four Everton players featuring in the same international - most recently when Steven Naismith faced up against Seamus Coleman, Darron Gibson and Aiden McGeady in a European Championship qualifier between Scotland and Ireland last November. In May 2014 Leighton Baines, Ross Barkley, Phil Jagielka and John Stones all played for England against Peru in a Wembley friendly, but never were all four on the pitch at the same time. Curiously a World Cup clash between Nigeria and South Africa in 2008 featured four Everton players - Victor Anichebe, Yakubu and Joseph Yobo for Nigeria who faced clubmate Steven Pienaar, while perhaps the highest profile occasion of four Everton players featuring in the same international was when Gary Lineker, Peter Reid, Trevor Steven and Gary Stevens all started for England in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final with Argentina.
The same foursome also started against Paraguay and Poland in the same tournament.
It was a similar story in the 1970 World Cup finals when Alan Ball, Brian Labone, Keith Newton and Tommy Wright all played against Romania.
For the full list of Everton internationals see the excellent website




























June 2015 - Week 1 (1st - 7th)

All News Articles throughout each month.....

Everton Independent Research!