Nigel Adkins rues missed Southampton's chances against Everton FC
by Our Correspondent, Liverpool Echo
October 1 2012
SOUTHAMPTON manager Nigel Adkins rued the missed chances which would have turned the match in Saints’ favour in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Everton FC. Southampton took the lead at Goodison Park thanks to Gaston Ramirez’s first goal in English football. But the south coast team were made to regret Jay Rodriguez’s inability to hit the target – let alone test Tim Howard – when he outpaced the Toffees defence soon after and Everton turned the game on its head in a 14-minute period which exposed all the flaws characteristic of a newly-promoted team. “I think we started the game very well and for the first 20 to 25 minutes we have taken the game to Everton,” said Adkins.
“We scored a good goal from a corner and if Jay Rodriguez had gone in and scored (when clean through) to make it 2-0 it might have been a different final reflection. “Goals change games and with 25 minutes gone the first real passage of play when Everton put a consecutive period of passes together gave them a goal. “The crowd got behind them, they upped their tempo and the second goal came from a counter-attack which changed the complexion of the game. For the 10 minutes before half-time Everton were well in the ascendancy and we weren’t able to deal with it.
“Second half we came out with good composure to pass the football and if Gaston Ramirez’s little chip had just gone inside the post rather than outside it could have been an interesting final period.”
David Moyes hopeful Everton FC can be in the mix for top four come the end of the season
Oct 1 2012
DAVID MOYES admits Everton FC’s lofty position in the Premier League may not be a concern for the title contenders just yet but it would be later in the season. A 3-1 victory over Southampton, where the Toffees recovered from Gaston Ramirez’s first goal in English football with a close-range effort from Leon Osman and two strikes from Nikica Jelavic in a 14-minute period before the interval, put them within three points of leaders Chelsea. Everton have equalled their best points haul of 13 from six Premier League matches from the 2004-05 season – when they went on to qualify for the Champions League for the first and only time. Moyes is keen for people to not get carried away but admits he is holding out hope of securing “a dream spot” in the top four. “I don’t think Everton managers can come in here and say ‘Let’s avoid relegation’ but I think that is always the first route for every club and it still is for Everton,” said the Scot, whose side are perennially poor starters. “The next part is then ‘Can we make a European spot and if you are very good can you make the dream spots, the big ones? “I’d like to be in there, in the mix, during the season but I don’t think Manchester United and Manchester City will be worried to see Everton there at this time of the year. “They might be worried if in April time we slip to the top of the league.” Moyes was pleased with the way his side responded after going behind early on, especially after their disappointing Capital One Cup exit at Leeds. “We played ever so well at times in the first half but it took us 15 minutes to get going as I felt there was a bit of a hangover from the result in midweek,” he added.
“But they deserve great credit for going about their job and how well they played. “It was nearly action every minute: it was great theatre for 30 minutes before half-time and we maybe could have scored more. “I was clapping at the number of opportunities and chances and you could see how much the crowd are enjoying it so when you drop off (after half-time) it is quite noticeable.
“It is always a dangerous score when you are leading by two because you are worried if you concede one they are back in the game and I think we played like that in the second half.”
Everton FC 3 Southampton 1: Blues bang on the money in classy defeat of Saints
by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
Oct 1 2012
Leon Osman on the mark against Southampton under the Goodison Park floodlights
FOR 20 breathtaking minutes this truly was champagne football on a lemonade budget.
Southampton, among the biggest spenders in Europe last summer, had given Everton a scare with an early goal scored by £12m summer signing Gaston Ramirez – but the Blues replied thrillingly with a strike from a man who cost nothing, then two from a forward recruited for half the price of the visitors’ flagship capture from Bologna. Not for the first time recently David Moyes, a man used to taking a tight-fisted approach to football because of a perennially limited budget, admitted afterwards that he’d pay to watch his side play. It appears that Moyes’ £5.5m investment in Kevin Mirallas has been another shrewd acquisition. That’s practically a lavish fee for the Blues boss, but the Belgian has already added a cutting element to Everton’s right side which could eventually grow to rival their left-sided threat. here once opposition managers had to contend mainly with the sizeable headache of Leighton Baines and Steven Pienaar, soon they may be juggling that with Seamus Coleman and Mirallas. Tony Hibbert may yet reclaim his starting position for games where defensive resilience is an absolute priority, but the Irishman continues to show he has a long-term future in the Everton side. It was Coleman’s scintillating run and cross which set Nikica Jelavic up for Everton’s third goal in that golden first half spell, and Mirallas who had provided the opening two. Remarkably they were the Croatian’s first goals in front of the Gwladys Street, but there will be plenty more for the street end connoisseurs to sample. The last time the Toffees started a season so well, in 2004-05, they finished fourth and reached the qualifying stage of the Champions League. This time their first team is stronger, they’re playing better football, and the rest of the top four contenders continue to suggest they’re going through a transitional phase which could allow for a new contender in the mix. Ultimately if Everton are going to maintain this scintillating run of results they’ll have to regain their defensive composure. Individual mistakes at the back are becoming too frequent, and this time it was uncharacteristically slack defending from Baines that saw them fall behind early. Ramirez pulled away from the England full-back too easily and headed home Adam Lallana’s corner, which Tim Howard could also have dealt with better. At the other end John Heitinga, who looked laboured at times, tried to restore swift parity but planted his header from Baines’ corner straight at Saints goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga. Nigel Adkins’ men were buoyed by their start and went close again, this time Frazer Richardson sent a long ball down the right flank which eluded the home defence and suddenly Jay Rodriguez found himself through on goal. The striker had plenty to do though as Howard scrambled from his line, and fortunately steered his shot across goal and wide. The hosts toiled to strike back, using their overlapping full-backs every time but initially they lacked end product from either side. But Mirallas showed them how to do it with incision, when he fired a dangerous pass in to Jelavic in the area. The Croatian stumbled as he tried to steady himself, but Leon Osman was on hand to rap the loose ball emphatically into the top of the net. The next time opportunity knocked though, there was no miss-step from the striker. He timed his run judiciously and seized on Mirallas’ smart through ball before rolling his shot coolly past Gazzaniga to give Everton the lead. Moyes’ men had showed composure and character to take the lead, emphasising why there is so much positivity about their first 11 even if the jury is still out on his fringe men who stalled on Tuesday. No matter, Jelavic was only warming up. Next he forced a brilliant one-handed save from Gazzaniga after Baines’ cross, then Coleman served up an outstanding delivery to the far post which the former Rangers man headed back across goal and beyond the Argentinian keeper. From zero end product to plenty. With service like that Jelavic couldn’t fail, and he looked odds on to get his hat-trick. By his high standards from January, the 27-year-old had made an indifferent start to this season, but suddenly he was back to his potent best.
The shaky start was well and truly forgotten as the break neared, with Everton now dominating a midfield they had previously struggled in, and Fellaini again testing Gazzaniga with a downward header from Phil Neville’s cross. They ended the half in slick fashion, moving the ball with pace and intelligence as the visitors struggled to keep up. From the last of a string of quick corners, Fellaini was unlucky to strike the bar with his towering header. While Southampton were still an occasional threat on the counter-attack, Everton dealt comfortably with it and Fellaini was a constant menace at the other end. The Belgian was bullying the opposing back four, shoving Maya Yoshida aside to test Gazzaniga again and winning everything in the air. Much had been made of Rickie Lambert’s threat before the game, but the Scouser had been in subdued mode after a decent start to this encounter. However it was his ball which allowed Ramirez in to nearly grab his second and try to give the visitors back some momentum. Unruffled, Everton stayed on top, but while the hosts still dominated in the later stages they were unable to find a way through, and had to be content with three. Moyes made a raft of changes, giving Victor Anichebe a run out introducing Bryan Oviedo and Sylvain Distin. But even though there was to be no emphatic seal on the display, Everton remain in the top flight’s upper echelons –edging ever closer to being able to declare this a good start and begin dreaming about a top four finish. It would help, of course, if all defences were as accommodating as Southampton’s, but a topsy-turvy week has ended on a high.
Moyes will want more of the same at Wigan next week before the international break. And even though the chance to top the table for a week was stubbed out by Chelsea before kick-off, Everton remain hot on the Londoners’ heels. Each passing week adds further credulity to the notion that they belong there too.
Kevin Mirallas can give Everton FC another thrilling attacking outlet says Seamus Coleman
by Greg O'Keeffe
Oct 1 2012
SEAMUS Coleman believes his partnership with Kevin Mirallas can give Everton FC another thrilling attacking outlet. The pair combined in impressive fashion during Saturday’s 3-1 win over Southampton at Goodison which saw the Blues move up to second place in the Premier League.
Coleman sent in the perfect cross for Nikica Jelavic’s second goal after summer signing Mirallas had created the striker’s first, and the Republic of Ireland international senses their link-up, which is modelled on Leighton Baines and Steven Pienaar’s superb left axis, could cause headaches for many opposing teams. He said: “I’m an attacking defender and I like linking up with Kevin. I can give him the ball and get past him, then he can either use me or go himself. He’s got great ability.
“I’d like to think we can do what the lads are doing on the left – maybe not to that extent because they’re unreal but it’s nice playing behind Kevin.” Everton fought back from conceding an early Gaston Ramirez goal to tear the visitors apart with an exciting attacking display, and Coleman said it was a joy to be involved in. “It was probably some of the best attacking football I’ve been part of at Everton,” he said. “You could sense from the crowd how well we were doing. We’ve got the two lads on the left and you can’t say much more about them – they’re just brilliant. “And it was good the way me and Kevin kept switching it, and got a few nice goals. “It was good to keep the run in the league going and important to lift spirits after Tuesday because we were a bit down after that. It wasn’t ideal going a goal down early but we stepped up and played some really good stuff in reply.
“It’s a shame we sat back a bit in the second half but we’ll take the result.” Coleman is making the most of his opportunity in the side with first-choice right-back Tony Hibbert out injured, and he insisted that long-term he is happiest playing at full-back. He said: “Right-back is my position and where I’ve played all my life until the first season here when I played right midfield. I’m just glad to be in the team and playing. I was pleased with the cross for Jela but I had a few crosses which didn’t go to plan as well before I set him up. “Tony Hibbert is out injured at the moment but everyone knows over the last 10 years how good and consistent he’s been. I’ve a lot of work to do to get in at that position but luckily I’ve got great people to learn from. That’s where I see my position and hopefully I can play there at Everton.” Coleman endured a difficult second season in David Moyes’ senior squad last term and found it difficult to nail down a regular starting place, but the 23-year-old said it did not ruin his self-belief. “The way I’ve been brought up is that when things were going well and everyone was singing my praises I never got too high, and last year when I was in and out it wasn’t good but I never let it affect me,” he said. “That’s the type of attitude I have. I just like learning from the likes of Bainesy, Hibbo and Phil Neville every day in training and hopefully in the coming years I’ll be Everton’s right back. “Ideally we want to go into the international break with another three points. At the start of the season we just wanted to finally make a good start and if we can beat Wigan we’ll be more than happy and take it from there. There’s no long-term goal, we just want to keep winning games.”
Everton FC analysis: Blues add flair to their craft to bring hopes of special season at Goodison Park
by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
Oct 1 2012
THE last time Everton FC gathered 13 points from their first six matches, they were masters of the smash and grab. It was back in 2004, when 1-0 wins against Manchester City, Middlesbrough, Portsmouth and Southampton by mid-October characterised a side which was hard-working, organised and efficient. This current Everton side also has 13 points from six games. But that’s where the similarities end. The 2012 Everton has racked up four wins in six games, and done it with width, pace, penetration . . . and flair to spare. Okay, they overdid the backheels on a couple of occasions on Saturday, but still left 37,000 fans heading for their half-time cuppa with a spring in their step and a sparkle in their eye. The second half couldn’t live up to the first half fare, but Everton had already left their supporters with plenty to feast upon. Everton’s second goal was a majestic piece of counter-attack. Kevin Mirallas, Marouane Fellaini and Nikica Jelavic combined sweetly and pacily, before the Croatian tucked away a laser-guided left-footed finish.
That goal came at the height of a 25-minute spell when Everton were rampant, conjuring up images of historic 7-1, 8-0 and 6-0 romps against the same opposition. But Southampton improved, half-time interrupted Everton’s intensity and the Blues had to settle for the 3-1 win most would have gladly accepted before kick-off. Such has been the sureness of Everton’s start to the season David Moyes’ side had the possibility of actually going top of the Premier League table on Saturday, at least until Chelsea went and won at Arsenal leaving the Blues lying second.
Rarely in recent years can Evertonians have been left feeling slightly deflated at lying just three points off the top. Even the last Everton team to go on and win the league didn’t start as well as this. Howard Kendall’s 86/87 champions only accumulated 12 points from six games.
The greatest Everton side it has ever been most of our good fortunes to witness collected just 10 points from six games in 1984 (although they did then win 10 in a row!) Such is the financial inequality of modern football this squad can’t go on and win the league, but given a reasonable run of freedom from injury it can still challenge for the higher echelons of the table.
And it will entertain wildly along the way. Which, short of a trophy on the table, is not much more than fans can ask for. In some ways David Moyes’ squad of travelling minstrels reminds me of Gordon Lee’s great entertainers: a team which finished third in 1978 after gathering 13 points from its first six games, a side which scored 76 goals in its 42 games to finish the top flight’s top scorers – and a side which also curiously relied heavily on a left-flank pairing, Mike Pejic and Dave Thomas.
Leighton Baines and Steven Pienaar are crucial to Everton’s creative output, and David Moyes’ challenge this season has been to try and find creativity elsewhere in the side.
On Saturday it came from two players operating down the right. Kevin Mirallas has been a pacy and unpredictable addition to the squad, and twice his intervention on Saturday created goals.
His cross which Jelavic flung himself at fell kindly for Osman to convert, then a thrilling run from deep to send Jelavic sprinting clear pulled Southampton’s defensive shape to pieces.
Then there was Seamus Coleman. There were fears around Goodison last term that the buccaneering young Irishman’s game had been rumbled, that defenders had cottoned on to his up and at ‘em style and his effectiveness compromised. Yet from four starts this season, all in his original position of right-back, Coleman has produced three excellent performances. And Saturday’s third goal was entirely down to his outstanding run and clinical cross. It will be interesting to see how David Moyes reshuffles his side when Darron Gibson is available again. Dropping his captain, Phil Neville, back to right-back would be the most obvious solution to accommodate Gibson, but Coleman is making a convincing claim to keep his place. That’s for the near future.
The immediate future sees Everton go to Wigan and QPR, two fixtures bracketed firmly in the ‘winnable’ category, before the first derby of the season. The Everton of 2004 ground out two more 1-0 wins in their seventh and ninth fixtures of the campaign. If Moyes’ modern incarnation can do something similar, this really could turn into a special season.
Kevin Mirallas says Everton FC should set sights higher than Europa League
By Ian Doyle
Oct 1 2012
KEVIN MIRALLAS admits the start of his Goodison career has surpassed his own expectations – and believes Europa League qualification should not be the limit of Everton’s ambitions.
David Moyes’s side moved up to second place in the embryonic Premier League table with a 3-1 home win over promoted Southampton on Saturday. Mirallas had a hand in Leon Osman’s equaliser before playing Nikica Jelavic through for the first of the Croatia international’s two goals.
It continued the 24-year-old’s impressive impact since completing his £5.3million transfer from Olympiakos in August. And the Belgium international said: “It’s going a lot better than I could have hoped for. The settling in period has been a lot shorter than I thought it was going to be.
“That’s because of various reasons. My team-mates are really cool with me, they have been great with me. They talk to me a lot and support me a lot. “The other big factor is that I’ve spent a lot more time on the field and played in more games than I thought I might have done at first.
“I’m still not quite there physically. I still need a good run of games to be 100% fit. I had a chat with the manager when I first came here and he was fully aware that I hadn’t a full pre-season because I’d had a problem with my knee. I’m trying to catch up on that by playing games.” Mirallas added: “I knew before I signed about the physical aspect of the Premier League. I was mentally prepared for that before I even came here. “One of the advantages of the way I play is that I am quick, so I try to avoid those hard challenges that skilful players with ability like myself tend to attract.” Saturday’s win was Everton’s fourth in their opening six games, the first time they have made such a start since the 2004-05 season in which they finished fourth. And Mirallas believes the Goodison outfit may soon have to raise their expectations for the campaign. “Before I signed, I was looking at the Europa League being a more realistic ambition,” he said. “But certainly now as the season has got under way, we have got a good crop of players here and are playing some really nice football.
“It’s fantastic that we are second and our ambition now has to be stay up there and put pressure on those around us. It’s a long season though and there’s a long way to go, so we’ll have to see what happens.” Mirallas forged his reputation playing on the left wing at Olympiakos, but has been operating either centrally or on the right since moving to Everton. And Moyes has been surprised at the immediate impact of the Belgian. “I actually thought it would take longer for him to settle and for us to get used to him,” said the Everton manager. “He is maybe a little bit different from what we have had. “We got a bit of a tip off about him. We were told how good he was and we thought he could do well over here but we are not getting carried away. “He played a lot from the left at Olympiakos, he can play as a striker and he can play on the right. That was probably the position he has been least used in. “I wanted to add some goals and I do actually think when he plays through the middle he will score more goals. He is doing a good job for us where he is just now.”
David Moyes: I'd pay to watch Everton FC
By Ian Doyle
Oct 1 2012
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DAVID MOYES declared he would pay to watch Everton after watching his side move up to second in the Premier League table. The Goodison outfit came from behind to secure an ultimately comfortable 3-1 home win over promoted Southampton on Saturday. Everton have now scored 18 goals in eight league and cup games this season, with only Manchester United and Fulham netting more in the top flight. And Moyes said: “I would definitely pay to watch Everton. Definitely. Some of the performances last season, we struggled and I told the players I was bored watching them.
“I could never say that now. We have got a great crowd here and people can see that.
“They are not daft. I tell the players what I think and I’m straightforward with them. I’ll tell them if I like it and I will tell them if I don’t. “I do think that with Kevin Mirallas and Nikica Jelavic, you are seeing Everton with a greater scoring threat than we have ever had before. Felli (Marouane Fellaini) can get a few goals. “It is making a huge difference. A lot of the games in the past we have had to stick in there and nick a goal. Now you are looking at it and you are expecting Everton to score.”
Having been dumped out of the Capital One Cup by Leeds United in midweek, Everton fell behind to Gaston Ramirez’s early opener until Leon Osman’s equaliser and a Nikica Jelavic brace gave them a half-time lead they refused to relinquish. “There was a wee bit of anxiety after the Leeds game as we had conceded an early goal,” said Moyes. “We then go and do it again. “But I thought our first goal was a great passing move. We kept playing and kept the ball. “I was getting anxious because we were a goal down and I didn’t want to be in that position. I just wanted us to get out of that position. “We are evolving and we are getting better. We also have to make sure we are hard to beat. We are trying to get that balance right.” Jelavic has now scored 14 goals in 17 starts for Everton, with his goals moving him on to three for the season after missing last week’s win at Swansea City through injury. And Moyes is confident the forward can avoid suffering second-season syndrome. “The question we were wondering about with Jelavic was how would he be in this second season?” said the Everton manager. “Last year was great for him but my worry was could he do it again? It can happen. “But he has started fine. He has got a few goals. We need him. We also know that if we get the ball in the box often enough he is a good finisher and gets in good positions.
“You look at him in the box and he comes alive. You almost think ‘boy oh boy, he’s taken a magic pill’.”
Everton FC 3 Southampton 1: Jelavic displays his cutting edge remains untarnished
By Ian Doyle
Oct 1 2012
SOME time this week, Kevin Mirallas can expect a phone call from his friend and compatriot Eden Hazard. The Belgian duo will discuss adjusting to life in England, coping with the unique demands of the Premier League and look ahead to their next international get-together. Then the subject of the league table will come on to the agenda. “We do have a bit of a joke,” says Mirallas. “Eden says that it’s normal service resumed for Chelsea to be on top and he laughs at the fact Everton are now in second. “He says ‘what are you doing there?!’ We have been having a laugh about it.
“Seriously, though, he does appreciate the way we are playing. Eden sees that we are doing well, and he thinks it’s fully deserved that we are so high in the table because of the good style of play we are putting in each week.” If someone with even the self-centredness of the never-knowingly-undersold Hazard can acknowledge Everton’s progress, then perhaps the rest of the Premier League may begin giving the Goodison outfit the plaudits and respect they merit. The fine start to the top-flight campaign continued with an ultimately comfortable 3-1 win over promoted Southampton on Saturday. Chelsea’s win at Arsenal earlier in the day had dashed hopes of a brief flirtation with top place. But while pole position may prove a dream too far, there is increasingly compelling evidence Everton are not going to fritter away their early gains. After all, the last time Moyes’s side won four of their first six league games was in the 2004-05 season when they finished in fourth place and earned a crack at Champions League qualification. It hasn’t just been about the results, however. Arguably the most encouraging aspect for Moyes and the club’s supporters has been the eye-catching style of play and the consistency with which it is being produced. Last Tuesday’s misstep against Leeds United, when a much-changed side were dumped out of the Capital One Cup, indicated that while Moyes may not have the strength in depth he would like, more pertinently Everton are not yet quite at the level where they can afford to drop down out of top gear.
But the hosts were able to take their foot off the gas during a snooze cruise of a second half on Saturday, the damage having been wreaked in the opening 45 minutes. Fears of a hangover from the Elland Road defeat were sparked when Gaston Ramirez took advantage of further sloppy Everton defending to give Southampton an early advantage before three goals in a whirlwind 13 minutes before the break settled the outcome. On this evidence, the Saints’ stay in the top-flight will be brief, this season’s version of Blackpool. Despite the attacking threat of Liverpool-born Ricky Lambert and Jay Rodriguez, defensively Nigel Adkins’ side were left hopelessly exposed while the performance of goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga underlined why the South Coast side have taken on former Everton target Artur Boric. Of course, such failings haven’t stopped Everton becoming unstuck against lesser opponents in the past. But this is a different Everton; a more ruthless, more efficient, more relentless Everton. Nikica Jelavic epitomises that approach. Fit and back in the starting line-up, this was not one of the striker’s most impressive all-round performances. But he still scored twice. The first, on 32 minutes, was a result of neat interplay between the impressive Mirallas and Marouane Fellaini in midfield, the former slipping Jelavic clear behind Jose Fonte and the hapless Gazzaniga giving the striker most of the goal to fire into. Then six minutes later, after Gazzaniga saved brilliantly one-handed to repel Jelavic’s header and Fellaini’s follow-up was blocked, Seamus Coleman crossed to the far post for the Croat to nod home, Gazzaniga bizarrely behind his line when attempting to save. Jelavic has now scored 14 goals in 17 starts for Everton. Victor Anichebe was unfortunate to find himself relegated to the bench on Saturday, but the Nigerian, along with Steven Naismith, must accept they are supporting characters to the main attacking attraction.
Leon Osman had brought Everton level on 25 minutes when he despatched into the top corner from eight yards after the ball had bounced invitingly off Jelavic from a Mirallas cross.
As with Jelavic’s second goal, the delivery came from the right flank where Coleman was a constant menace to beleaguered Southampton left-back Nathaniel Clyne. It belied the accusation Everton have become overly reliant on the left-hand pairing of Leighton Baines and the freshly-shorn Steven Pienaar. On the debit side, Moyes will be concerned at the individual mistakes that continue to undermine the defence, a momentarily dozing Baines allowing Ramirez to head in Adam Lallana’s deep left-wing corner from a matter of yards for Southampton’s early opener. Rodriguez should have capitalised shortly afterwards when racing clear from John Heitinga only to miscue his effort wastefully wide. But that was as good as it got for the visitors. Fellaini struck the post and the bar either side of the break, and the second half was a tame affair, Southampton threatening only when Ramirez dropped a shot wide after a sliderule pass from Lambert, whose header later drew a decent save from Tim Howard. The game, though, was over long before the final whistle. A trip to Wigan Athletic is next up for Everton; victory there, and Mirallas can expect more complimentary phone calls.
MAN OF THE MATCH. Marouane Fellaini. Another imposing midfield performance shades Nikica Jelavic and Kevin Mirallas to the award
Adkins refuses to alter attacking style
Monday 1st October 2012 in Saints News By Adam Leitch, Chief Sports Writer
Adkins refuses to alter attacking style
Southern Daily Echo
Nigel Adkins insists Saints will continue to be positive despite conceding another three goals at Everton. Though scoring hasn’t been a problem, Saints have now shipped 18 goals in their first six games back in the Premier League . That is easily the worst defensive record in the top flight.
However, the Saints boss is adamant he will stick by his attacking principles in a bid to win games.
He said: “You should always be positive because you’ve got to look to win games.
“We do play good passing football and that was demonstrated in good spells in the second half.
“And at home we are very effective in doing that, but it’s about winning games of football.
“You’ve got to score goals to win games of football and, likewise, you’ve got to keep them out at the other end. “We have shipped far too many goals, it’s something we’re addressing, but likewise you’ve got to understand you’re playing against good players.” Saints let in their three goals at Everton in the space of 13 first half minutes. Adkins, though, was unrepentant about his team’s forward thinking and clearly believes it’s the right way to go. Following the completion of the club’s summer transfer window business , he certainly has far more attacking options in his squad than defensive ones. He can choose between Rickie Lambert , Jaz Rodriguez, Emmanuel Mayuka , Gaston Ramirez , Guly Do Prado and Tadanari Lee for a striking role. But he only has four frontline centre halves – Maya Yoshida , Jos Hooiveld, Jose Fonte and Dan Seaborne . “When we analyse all the goals you always think you can do better, but you are playing against top level players,” he reflected.
“We believe we can score and we’ve scored yet again. “We are looking to go away from home and win games, not just have a defensive mindset. “We want to be positive in our approach and we demonstrated that with the way we started the game. “But, likewise, we’ve got to make sure we give ourselves an opportunity to win the game, and if we can’t win it then get a point.”
Adkins summed up: “We believe in playing football the right way, but we’ve come away from home and it’s about winning. “We’ve got a philosophy but it’s got be effective passing. “We can do that, as Everton did – they can pass the ball about, move with a good rotation and have that physical presence going forward, but they can play long if they need to. “It’s about having that all round game.” Saints took the lead after just six minutes through amirez and could have gone 2-0 up when Rodriguez got in on goal shortly afterwards before firing wide. Everton took charge and tore Saints apart to lead 3-1 at half time. But the hosts took their foot off the gas in the second period and gave Ramirez the chance to make things interesting, but again the chance went begging.
It left Adkins felling a little rueful. “We’ve come away and we started very well,” he said.
“For the first 20-25 minutes we’ve taken the game to Everton, scored a good goal, and if Jay Rodriguez had scored to make it 2-0 it might have been a different final reflection.
“Goals change games and 25 minutes gone the first real passage of play, where Everton have put consecutive passes together, gives them a goal. “The crowd at Goodison Park got right behind Everton, they upped their tempo a lot. “The second goal was from a counter attacking phase of play after we’ve had good possession, and that changed the complexion of the game for me.
“About ten-15 minutes before half-time Everton were in the ascendency, well on the front foot and it was very challenging for us to stay in the game. “Second half we’ve come out with a good composure about ourselves to pass the football and to be effective with our passing.
“If Gaston Ramirez’s little chip had gone inside the post rather than outside then it could have been an interesting final period.”
Yoshida's concern over Saints' defensive problems
Monday 1st October 2012 in Saints News By Gordon Simpson
Southern Daily Echo
Maya Yoshida admits Saints giving away too many easy goals in the Premier League . The 3-1 defeat at Everton means the club have lost five of their opening six matches and, worryingly, have conceded 18 times in the process. That is easily the worst defensive record in the top flight – Norwich are second worst with five fewer goals shipped – and the third worst in the entire top four divisions. The only clubs that have conceded more goals are League 2 pair AFC Wimbledon (20) and Oxford United (19) – and they have each played three more league games. Saints’ defensive fragility was on display on Merseyside during the first half at Goodison Park, as the hosts tore through the visitors with ease at times, running riot in a 13-minute spell that saw them score all three of their goals. The towering duo of Nikica Jelavic – who twice netted – and Marouane Fellaini were a constant menace, supported by the collective creative spark of Leon Osman, Steven Pienaar and Kevin Mirallas in midfield, as well as marauding full-backs Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman.
But, while Saints were always likely to be sternly tested against a team that boasted a considerable, not to mention physical, attacking threat, Yoshida insists that they made it too easy for them at times, particularly when defending balls into the box. “First half was not so good and second half we were a little bit better, but we still need some improvement, especially defensively from the crossing,” said the centre half. “We made too much mistakes. Too easy to lose the ball in the midfield. “We have to change these mistakes. Against Arsenal and (Everton) we lose three quick goals and too easy I think. “In defence we should not change after we lose one goal.
“Offensively, we should keep the ball a little bit more longer.” Yoshida, who signed towards the end of the transfer window from Dutch side VVV-Venlo, feels there are reasons to be optimistic that Saints will soon tighten up at the back. In his three Premier League appearances to date, the Japan international has partnered Jose Fonte – a combination that he feels is improving – while he also helped keep a clean sheet alongside Jos Hooiveld in last week’s Capital One Cup victory over Sheffield Wednesday. “We are improving every minute, every game – game by game,” said Yoshida. “I am always talking to Jose and Jos as well. “The combination is getting better. Now I understand how to play with everyone. “I try and show my performance will get better.”
Southampton slump to 3-1 defeat at Everton
October 1 2012 in Saints News By Adam Leitch
Southern Northern Echo
Gaston Ramirez ’s first Saints goal was not enough to save his side from defeat as they leaked three goals in 13 first half minutes to lose 3-1 at Everton. Saints started the game brightly and sniffed an away day victory as Ramirez was left unmarked from a corner to head home from close range to give them the lead after just six minutes. But Everton responded and in a rampant spell bagged goals through Leon Osman and a Nikica Jelavic double to bag the three points at Goodison Park.
Everton proved their threat early on as Leighton Baines whipped in a cross that Maya Yoshida was able to win in the air only for the ball to fall to Kevin Mirallas just inside the area, but he lashed a shot over the bar. However, it was Saints who took the lead after six minutes through the simplest of routes. Adam Lallana whipped in an inswinging corner, Gaston Ramirez lost his marker, Tim Howard got lost under the ball and the Uruguayan had the simple job of heading home in acres of space just a few yards out at the far post. Everton claimed it should never have been a corner in the first place and the ball had in fact been put out by Rickie Lambert . Saints allowed John Heitinga a free header from a corner four minutes later but the Everton centre half was backing away from the ball and his weak header was easily fielded by Paulo Gazzainga. Jay Rodriguez had a great chance to double Saints’ lead on 12 minutes as he outpaced Heitinga to get in behind via a long ball up field. He superbly nodded the ball into his path to give himself the chance to finish low across Howard from inside the area but scuffed his effort wide of the far post. As the game wore on both sides posed a real threat with Everton piling consistent pressure on Saints, who in turn looked razor sharp on the break. But it was the Toffees who claimed the next goal to equalise on 25 minutes.
Some patient passing build-up ended with Kevin Mirallas crossing from the right, the ball deflecting back off of the sliding Nikica Jelavic and sitting up nicely for Leon Osman who side footed home into the top corner for 1-1. And it got worse for Saints as Everton took the lead eight minutes later. Mirallas played the ball through into the path of Jelavic with the Saints defence dissected.
The striker’s first touch took him a little wide but he finished low across Gazzniga, who looked somewhat out of position in trying to cover his near post. The Saints keeper certainly wasn’t out of position on 37 minutes as he turned away a Jelavic top corner bound header.
However, he was beaten again just a minute later. Seamus Coleman burst through down the right, leaving two Saints players trailing in his wake, and whipped in a deep cross. Jelavic was there to meet the ball and though Gazzaniga dived towards his near post to get both hands on the Everton man’s far post header he couldn’t stop it going in. Everton were tearing Saints apart at will and Marouane Fellaini was the next to get a header on target, but it was straight at Gazzaniga.
In first half stoppage time Fellaini was left unmarked from a corner and slammed his header against the crossbar. The whistle went shortly afterwards and a shell shocked Saints trudged off to try and regroup. They had started so well but were then totally ripped to shreds and could only be grateful to be just two goals down at the break. There was a noticeable change from both sides at the start of the second half. Saints were trying to secure the flanks that had been so leaky in the first period, while Everton were dropping deeper and allowing Saints possession, perhaps feeling they had almost done enough to win the game already. Everton still posed a very real threat though and Fellaini’s deflected shot went just narrowly wide. Moments later Osman’s steered shot from outside the area went agonisingly close to creeping into the far corner. Fellaini was on target on 61 minutes from inside the area but this time it was straight at Gazzaniga. Saints did start to get a bit more of the game but were struggling to deliver a final ball to create a genuine chance.
It wasn’t the same problem for Everton and Mirallas was the next to prove that with a shot from outside the area that Gazzaniga dived low to his right to turn wide.
Ramirez took aim from fully 25 yards at the other end but only picked out Howard in the centre of the Everton goal. He probably should have pulled one back on 69 minutes as Lambert put him in behind but Ramirez lifted the ball across Howard and wide of the far post.
Everton made their first change on 75 minutes with Victor Anichebe replacing Jelavic up front.
They followed it up four minutes later with Bryan Oviedo coming on for Mirallas.
Saints made a double switch of their own with ten minutes remaining with Emmanuel Mayuka and Ben Reeves replacing Rodriguez and Clyne. The second half had been something on a non event with Everton showing little attacking intent. But Saints knew if they could just fashion a chance and bag themselves a goal then they might yet be able to rescue something from the match.
Ramirez tried to conjure something up with a shot from just outside the area but fired over the bar.
Lambert was the next to have a go with a header from Steven Davis ’ right wing cross but Howard beat it away. Both sides made their final changes in the dying moments as Richard Chaplow replaced Adam Lallana for Saints and Sylvain Distin came on for Osman for Everton.
However, it was too late for them to make any impact as the game finished 3-1 thanks to Everton’s rampant first half spell.
EVERTON 3 - SOUTHAMPTON 1: NO WAY IT'S A KEVIN MIRALLAS BLIP
Monday October 1,2012
By Paul Joyce
IF THE general perception is that Eden Hazard has enjoyed a seamless adaptation to life in the Premier League, with little catching him unawares, then Kevin Mirallas is happy to set the record straight. The Everton striker is in regular contact with his Belgium international team-mate, and while Hazard expected to be peering down at his rivals from on high with Chelsea, it was not David Moyes’ side he thought would be looming into view. This dismantling of Southampton propelled Everton into second place and maintained an impressive start that is not simply turning heads at Goodison Park but, seemingly, at Stamford Bridge as well. “Eden and I do speak and we have a bit of a joke,” said Mirallas, whose own acclimatisation following a £5.3million move from Olympiakos is proving swift – his fingerprints were all over two of Everton’s goals here. “He says that it is normal service resumed for Chelsea to be on top and he laughs at the fact Everton are now in second.
He says, ‘What are you doing there?’ We have been having a laugh about it Kevin Mirallas “He says, ‘What are you doing there?’ We have been having a laugh about it. “Seriously, though, he does appreciate the way we are playing. Eden sees that we are doing well and he thinks it’s fully deserved that we are so high in the table because of the good style of play we are putting in each week.”
Highlighting the swagger with which Everton are currently performing is important, because it strips away the misplaced view that Moyes is somehow a cautious manager. Instead, Everton have carefully evolved under his leadership to the point where, with Nikica Jelavic picking up where he left off last season, with a well-taken double to add to Leon Osman’s equaliser here, they pose a considerable threat. “Some of the performances last season we struggled and I told the players I was bored watching them,” said Moyes. “I could never say that now. The question we were wondering with Jelavic was how would he be in this second season? “But he has started fine. We need him. You look at him in the box and he comes alive. You almost think, ‘Boy oh boy, he has taken a magic pill’. “I do think that with Mirallas and Jelavic, you are seeing Everton with a greater scoring threat than we have ever had before.” Yet still the job Moyes has done is taken for granted. The other argument that the Scot needs silverware to somehow legitimise his 10-year reign at Goodison is frequently aired – Neville Southall being the latest to do so. But that is far too simplistic. The only managers outside England’s elite – Liverpool and Manchester City are included as old and new powers – to have won domestic trophies since Moyes arrived at Goodison Park are Steve McClaren, Juande Ramos, Harry Redknapp and Alex McLeish. Two of these men have found themselves reduced to ridicule, two are out of work and three of the four clubs – Portsmouth, Birmingham and Middlesbrough – are now residing in football’s backwaters. Ask Southampton manager Nigel Adkins which club he regards as a role model – and Everton would be among the first on his list. Had Jay Rodriguez not spurned a glorious chance five minutes after Gaston Ramires had capitalised on Tim Howard’s error to head the visitors in front, then more twists may have ensued.
As it was, Southampton’s leaky rearguard, which has already conceded 18 goals, always looked unlikely to thwart Everton. “It has been highlighted in the games up to now,” said Adkins. “When you analyse all of the goals that you concede, you can always do better. But we’re playing against top-level players now. We believe that we can score and, here, we have scored once again. But we have got to give ourselves an opportunity to go and win these matches. And if we can’t achieve a victory , at least get a point from the game.” Everton may not finish runners-up at the end of the season, but they will play in Europe next season. Above and beyond that, they are a proper football club with proper values, for which owner Bill Kenwright also deserves credit for instilling, given that it is 12 months since he was accused of letting Everton stagnate. And while it is easy to now pat Kenwright on the back, that should not detract from the fact that the point is still worth making.
Everton (4-4-1-1): Howard 6; Coleman 7, Jagielka 7, Heitinga 6, Baines 7; Mirallas 8 (Oviedo 80), Osman 7 (Distin 90), Neville 6, Pienaar 7; Fellaini 7; Jelavic 7 (Anichebe 77, 6). Goals: Osman 25, Jelavic 32, 38.
Southampton (4-3-1-2): Gazzaniga 5; Richardson 6, Fonte 6, Yoshida 6, Clyne 6 (Reeves 81); Ward-Prowse 6, Davis 6, Lallana 6 (Chaplow 90); Ramires 6; Rodriguez 5 (Mayuka 81), Lambert 6. Goal: Ramires 6.
Referee: L Probert (Wiltshire).everton 3
southampton 1‘Mate Hazard asks why we’re still up at the top'
Young Whites beat Everton to stay unbeaten
Monday 1st October 2012 in Latest By David Pye
Wanderers Under-18s maintained their unbeaten start to the FA Premier Academy League season with an impressive 4-2 home victory over Everton. The Whites took the lead through Luke Woodland after a neat one-two saw him finish from 12 yards. But the young Toffees hit back and turned the game on its head with two goals from Gethin Jones and Chris Long. Wanderers remained positive and before half-time, they were level when Robert Holding’s composed finish made it two apiece. After the interval, Wanderers dominated possession and played some good football.
And it was 3-2 to the Whites when Woodland was felled in the box and Zach Clough netted from the spot on 70 minutes. Five minutes later, it was 4-2 when Tom Youngs netted after being put through by Clough. Academy coach David Lee was pleased with the performance of the young side to come from behind and stay unbeaten and top of the league. He said: “The second half we totally dominated and produced some excellent football. “We were solid throughout the team with each individual winning their own individual battle against the Everton players. Overall, it was a very pleasing performance and result. “The confidence within the squad and competition for places is good, with every player working hard in training during the week to earn a place within the starting 11 and substitute places. “With five wins and a draw out of six league games and only one defeat since July, the squad are developing and learning well.”
Education in brief: Everton football club's free school starts small
Everton free school opens with just six pupils; Bolingbroke academy gets generous government funding; and plans to improve primary science assessment
The Guardian, Monday 1 October 2012 19.00 BST It's the only "free school" so far to have been launched by a Premier League football club. But does Everton free school have another remarkable claim to fame: opening last month with only six pupils? This seems to be the case after the school in Liverpool was forced by the Unison union to respond to claims that it began life with as few as three students. Everton free school focuses on alternative provision for 14- to 19-year-olds, taking on secondary pupils referred to it by other schools or the local authority. In a letter to Jon Richards at Unison, the school's principal, Adrian Packer, said the figure of three children was inaccurate. He added that the school had a strict policy not to take on more than six pupil referrals in a week because of the complexity of the needs of the young people it educated, and that "this is our first week of offering alternative provision so our numbers (in this part of the school) reflect our policy". The numbers would double in the coming week, he said. Packer also said claims that the school has only two classrooms are wrong. However, an email to local teacher and free school critic Richard Knights from the Department for Education (DfE) said: "The school has two dedicated classrooms and an office [although] the staff and students are free to use the communal areas." The email says: "Because of the restricted classroom space currently available, it is likely that the school will teach fewer students this year than it had originally planned." The school's roll would reach its capacity of 200 within three years, the email said. An Everton FC spokesman added: "Our free school operates under an agreed framework with the DfE, which permits the school to enrol up to six young people each week. That is precisely what we have done." Critics question whether public money is being used efficiently, although the school's budget has not been revealed. Money for 'free'
Still on the "free school" front, a freedom of information request has revealed that one of the most high-profile of the schools, Bolingbroke academy in Battersea, London, has benefited from funding similar to that received by many academies under the less cost-inhibited times of Labour. Bolingbroke, which also opened last month and is run by the Ark academy chain, is receiving £25.95m from the DfE in site acquisition and construction costs, Wandsworth council has said.
This dwarfs the set-up costs of any other free school so far published by the DfE. Capital funding for 13 free schools that opened in 2011, published on the DfE's website, say the highest overall cost was for a primary school: Eden primary in Haringey last year had a capital budget of £6m when it opened. Again, questions will be asked about value for money: Bolingbroke's website says it only has 120 pupils, with a final capacity of only 600, plus a sixth form, by 2018.
In the interests of science
And finally ... an influential group will set out plans this week to improve in-school assessment in primary science. The group, funded by the Nuffield Foundation and backed by the Association for Science Education, is worried schools are neglecting the subject after ministers scrapped primary science Sats in 2008. The plans would see each school's teacher assessment results published on its website, but not collected by the government or turned into league tables. More details at www.nuffieldfoundation.org
Everton FC’s new free school opens
by Ben Turner, Liverpool Echo
Oct 2 2012
Everton FC Free School has opened in Liverpool Community College. Principal Adrian Packer cuts a cake with pupils BACK of the net – Everton FC has welcomed its first set of students to its new school. The centrally-funded alternative school caters for students aged 14-19 who for whatever reason have not benefited from mainstream education. Students undertake a range of GCSE and BTEC courses at the school opened by Blues’ charity Everton In The Community. For the first year, it will be based in Liverpool Community College’s Learning Exchange in Roscoe Street before moving to its own site. Free schools set their own curriculum and terms and conditions. As of last week, the school had 15 students on roll, with the small number raising the eyebrows of union chiefs who have questioned whether it represents value for money. But officials insisted it is deliberately staggering its intake to ensure those enrolling get what principal Adrian Packer termed the “best personalised provision we can offer”. The school will continue to offer up to six places each week to students who do not currently attend school, or are at risk of being excluded, until it reaches its target of up to 120 for the first two years, rising to a capacity of 200 boys and girls from Year Three.
Everton Free School works on a referral basis and has stressed it can only accept students who have been “nominated by commissioners”, including other schools or the local authority.
As well as having access to all buildings within the college, students will use the club’s facilities, Goodison Park and its training ground, Finch Farm, to complement its non-traditional approaches to learning. Students will also be able to access other spaces across the city, including employers to complement its focus on preparing students for the world of work.
Leon Osman: It is a pleasure to be involved in Everton FC’s stylish run of form
by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
Oct 2 2012
LEON OSMAN says it is a pleasure to be involved in Everton FC’s stylish run of form.
The midfielder’s first Premier League goal of the season sparked his side’s first-half fightback against Southampton on Saturday, and heralded an emphatic period of play for the Blues.
Osman, 31, admitted the slick way Everton have been playing as they climbed to second place in the table has been appreciated in the dressing room. “We’re playing some decent football at the minute and hopefully the fans are enjoying it – we’re enjoying playing it. “We don’t want to get carried away. Things can change so easily in the Premier League and you saw in the second half (against Southampton) that it wasn’t as easy on the eye as in the first but we had to grind it out and we did that. “I’m not sure what the key is to maintaining it. I’m sure the manager is trying to figure it out too but we have just got to keep believing in ourselves and stay confident.” Everton travel to Wigan’s DW Stadium on Saturday before another international break means a pause in the fixture list, and the midfielder hopes David Moyes’ men can keep their momentum going.
He said: “We showed good character on Saturday. The lads didn’t panic or get nervous and change the way we played even though we conceded that early goal. We carried on going and were rewarded with the goals before half-time. “Wigan isn’t too far away we usually fill all of our end and have a few pockets of our supporters in the home end too. “I’m sure we’ll get a good following and hopefully we can carry on playing the way we have been.” Meanwhile, summer recruit Matthew Kennedy said he has already settled in at Everton after netting his first goal for the Under-21 side.
The 17-year old joined the Blues from Kilmarnock on the final day of the summer transfer window and capped a whirlwind month with a well-taken strike and two assists in the 5-2 win over Bolton on Sunday. He said: “This whole set-up is like a family and it seems impossible not to settle.
“I feel I have already. I’ve been here a month now and I’ve been staying with (fellow new arrival) Ben McLaughlin. We get on well together and the family we’re staying with have been brilliant.
“They’ve helped me settle in as well as all of the boys. They’ve all been great in bringing me into the group. “As a team, I thought the lads performed brilliantly. “The coach keeps saying we’ve got excellent talent in the squad and that we hadn’t shown it enough. “But when we play like we did in the second half – that was unbelievable. I don’t think anyone could stop us. “I got on the scoresheet too, luckily. It was great for me to get my first goal.”
Ian Snodin: No mixed emotions after Capital One Cup set-back at Leeds United
by Our Correspondent, Liverpool Echo
Oct 2 2012
I HAD a few texts after Leeds United dumped Everton out of the Capital One Cup asking if I had mixed emotions because I used to play for both clubs. But if I’m honest the only emotion I felt after leaving Elland Road last Tuesday was disappointment. Even though it was a weakened side I thought Everton should have progressed in the cup because they still had enough quality to beat a mid-table Championship side. Too many players had an off day and to be fair El-Hadji Diouf was man of the match for Neil Warnock’s men.
Ian Snodin: Watch out Gordon Ramsey - my pal Kevin Sheedy wants your job!
by Our Correspondent, Liverpool Echo
Oct 2 2012
WATCH OUT Gordon Ramsey – my pal Kevin Sheedy wants your job!
Like everyone else I was delighted to hear the good news about Sheeds being given the all-clear from bowel cancer. And when I popped in to see him at home last week I caught a glimpse of the hobby which has kept him busy in between receiving treatment. While he’s been unable to get on the golf course, Sheeds has taken up cooking. You can only imagine the stick I gave him when I went into the kitchen and he was there with his pinny on and oven gloves. He couldn’t wait to show me the cookery book he’s been and bought and regale me with all the recipes he’s been working on.
Knowing him he’ll be champing at the bit to get back to work at Finch Farm but in the meantime he’ll be angling to do a few shifts in the canteen too. Seriously though, he’s having a much-deserved holiday at the moment before going back to the job he loves and I’m so pleased for him.
Me and Sheeds have been close friends for years and I’ll be looking forward to him cooking me a nice meal soon before seeing him back at Goodison – where he’ll no doubt receive a very warm welcome.
Ian Snodin: Seamus Coleman proves he’s learning right lessons from Leighton Baines
by Our Correspondent, Liverpool Echo
Oct 2 2012
BY HIS own admission Seamus Coleman suffered from a touch of second season syndrome during the last Premier League campaign. He was no longer a surprise for defenders and struggled to make the same impact in games as he did when he first burst onto the scene with those swash-buckling runs. But it looks like he’s ready to step up to the next level this time around and his performance in his favoured role of right-back on Saturday was tremendous. He’s got a tough task in trying to play there all season because he has the club captain and a 10-year veteran with plenty of experience vying for the same role. It’ll be hard for David Moyes to leave Tony Hibbert out when he is fit, and Phil Neville won’t always be used in midfield but all Seamus can do is play like he did against Southampton and make it impossible to drop him. Everton have always had good attacking full-backs over the years, from Gary Stevens and Pat van den Hauwe to the modern day vision of Leighton Baines. It’s all about getting forward and delivering crosses which is something Seamus did brilliantly for Nikica Jelavic’s goal and if he carries on learning from Bainsey he certainly won’t go wrong.
Ian Snodin: Kevin Mirallas has right attributes to carry on being Everton FC thriller
by Our Correspondent, Liverpool Echo
Oct 2 2012
IT LOOKS like Kevin Mirallas will very quickly make the £5.5m David Moyes paid Olympiakos for him seem like a bargain. The lad has bags of ability on the ball and produced a display during the 3-1 win over Southampton which will have plenty of defenders wondering how to cope with him this season.
He’s quick, full of flair and most importantly he seems enthusiastic and works hard for the team.
Evertonians will forgive many traits in a player but never one who isn’t prepared to put a shift in.
He’s certainly bought into the hard work ethos at Goodison, and hopefully will only improve as he continues to adapt to the English game and the standards of the Premier League. I think it will be a big help for him having Marouane Fellaini at the club too. When Felli came over he was the only Belgian in the ranks and was very young so it would have been tough for him to settle in at first, but fortunately for Kevin he has his mate here and that always makes it easier when you go to a new club. He said before he joined that he’d spoken to Marouane about joining Everton, and now it looks like he could become a regular first team performer like his international team-mate.
Even when we conceded a silly early goal on Saturday I was confident that with Mirallas making those bursts down the right we’d quickly get back into the game. In the past when Everton went a goal behind in a game you worried about where the goals would come from because we were struggling to hit the back of the net. Now the team has plenty of goals in them, and as Mirallas can set them up he looks capable of scoring them too. There’s a real momentum about Everton at the moment, and the football they finished the first half playing will have been worth rewinding and watching Match of the Day back a few times for. It was job done by half-time and while the second half wasn’t able to live up to the excitement of the preceding 45 minutes we were never in danger of losing it. I’d like to have seen Nikica Jelavic get his first hat-trick for Everton though.
It will have given him a real lift to get those two goals under his belt and strikers always want to start chalking off their goal tally early. He always plays with confidence anyway and never seems to let things ruffle his feathers, but now he’s back in the goals it looks like we’ll get double figures from him. I didn’t think Nikica looked fully match-fit and he was only just back from injury so when he’s completely recovered we should have the benefit of seeing that fine form in the second half of last season again. His movement and header for his second goal was top class as ever. What a difference a potent striker makes!
Everton FC star Steven Pienaar retires from international football to boost Blues
by Neil Jones, Liverpool Echo
Oct 2 2012
STEVEN PIENAAR has retired from international football at the age of 30, in order to concentrate on his club career with Everton. The South Africa captain's decision was confirmed by national team coach Gordon Igesund on Tuesday, as he unveiled his Bafana Bafana squad to face Poland and Kenya in friendlies next week. Pienaar has earned 57 caps for his country since making his debut in 2002, featuring in two World Cups. But speculation had mounted in recent weeks that he would call time on his international career. He withdrew from last month's matches against Brazil and Mozambique through injury, only to then appear in Everton's starting line-up just days later. Pienaar's decision is understood to be a purely personal one. The Blues have not put any pressure on their player to quit and it's understood they would have been happy for him to continue representing his country. "I'm proud to have played for and captained my country. For that I thank you," Pienaar said in a personally issued statement. Igesund said: "I am disappointed that Steven has retired from the national team. "But the way he has retired is the right way. I think it was a tough decision for him.
"His presence and leadership is invaluable and could have helped us in our mission for 2013 AFCON and the World Cup qualification, but we must respect his decision." Pienaar's decision could boost David Moyes' plans for the season. The midfielder would have been a certainty to feature in the Africa Cup of Nations, which is being hosted by South Africa in January, and would have missed a sizeable chunk of Everton's season as a result. His retirement leaves him free to concentrate on the Toffees, and to build on what has been an exceptional start to the season.
Bolton U-18s 4-2 Everton U-18s: Youngsters Keep Winning
By Mark Yesilevskiy on Oct 2
A Bolton Wanderers side that are actually bossing their league? The senior team has got some learning to do from David Lee and Tony Kelly's U-18s after they beat Everton to remain top of the table. Six games undefeated to start the season with five of those being wins. Bolton Wanderers U-18s keep on winning as they maintain their place at the top of the U18 Premier League National Group 1 table. The young Trotters now have a two point lead on Reading with a game in hand and five points over Arsenal. David Lee's (and Tony Kelly's, even though he's been sidelined with heart issues recently with a good diagnosis following a second operation) side continued their blistering form, picking up another win at home last weekend. Luke Woodland opened the scoring for Bolton early on, finishing from midway inside Everton's penalty area after a neat bit of interplay in the box. Everton then scored twice through Gethrin Jones and Chris Long, putting them up a goal. Long beat the onrushing Bolton goalkeeper, Jan-Ole Sievers to give the visiting Blues a 2-1 lead. Bolton equalized on the stroke of halftime with Rob Holding providing the goal after a loose ball from a corner fell to him fifteen yards out. Bolton would pull away in the second half with Everton conceding a penalty. Luke Woodland again caused trouble for the young Whites and was brought down by Curtis Langton. Zach Clough scored his sixth league goal in as many games from the spot. Bolton then stuck the dagger in through Tom Youngs, who also added his sixth goal after Zach Clough put in a pass that left Youngs with only the goalkeeper to beat.
David Prentice Comment: Evertonians will hail Steven Pienaar’s decision to retire from South Africa duty
by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
Oct 3 2012
THE decision by Steven Pienaar to retire from international football will be greeted warmly by Evertonians. But in the past Blues have proved adept at reshuffling their resources to overcome international commitments during African Nations Cup seasons – with one notable exception.
During the 2003/04 season, defensive mainstay Joseph Yobo missed seven Everton matches as he helped guide Nigeria to third place in the tournament in Tunisia. Everton lost five of them and drew two. Otherwise Everton have overcome absences impressively. During the winter of 2007/08 Yakubu, Steven Pienaar and Yobo were all missing for four games; Everton beat Manchester City 1-0, Wigan 2-1 and drew 0-0 with Spurs and Blackburn – the only hangover being Yakubu returning later than expected from the tournament in Ghana and being fined. In 1996 Nigerian striker Daniel Amokachi missed three games – Everton beat Leeds and Wimbledon and drew an FA Cup tie with Stockport. In 2006 Yobo again missed seven games, but this time the Blues won four, drew two and were knocked out of the FA Cup at Chelsea. But Pienaar is so influential in the current Everton set-up that any prolonged absence would have been mourned. This winter he could have missed games with Swansea, Southampton, West Brom, Aston Villa and Manchester United – not to mention two rounds of the FA Cup. Now, fitness permitting, he will be available for what could be a pivotal period of a significant season for the Blues.
Community-minded Tim Howard in good spirits as he targets Champions League football for Everton FC this season
by Neil Jones, Liverpool Echo
Oct 3 2012
ORDINARILY, the sight of an Everton FC player flanked by police would give David Moyes palpitations. The Blues boss can relax, however, for as Tim Howard is ushered into the Stockbridge Village Neighbourhood Centre, it is not to place a spanner in the works of Everton’s brilliant start to the Premier League season, it is merely to add his support to the club’s award-winning community work. Howard is in L28, along with Liverpool’s Stewart Downing and Stephen Sama, to support ‘Kickz’, an initiative run between Everton In The Community, The Liverpool FC Foundation and Merseyside Police, which runs football sessions in areas with high incidents of crime and anti-social behaviour. The scheme, which targets areas such as Stockbridge Village, Norris Green, Anfield and Breckfield, has already proven a huge success. Merseyside Police estimate the programme has contributed to a 79% reduction in crime in the targeted areas. “As players, it is important to support community events such as this,” says Howard. “It is important that these children are inspired to stay off the streets and look to really positive things. “Community is what is important. You can go to Anfield or Goodison and the lights go out, the wins and losses come and go, but the future of the community is more important. “Everton is a club that cares. It has won awards for its community work, and it can only do that through consistency and through passion. “It is something we as a club take pride in, the manager and the players feel like it is something we need to be involved in.”
“Growing up in New Jersey, we had a few different things and projects, but not enough. The more we can get the better, because there are a lot of needs that need to be met. “Some kids gravitate towards certain events and things, and all of those are important. The more events and schemes like this we can have, the better.” Howard, as ever, is in good spirits as he watches a group of local youngsters perform a dance routine, and then take part in a light coaching session, hosted by the USA international. It is little wonder. Everton’s start to the season has been good enough to see them into second in the Premier League table with six games played. The football they have been playing has had their manager, a hardened realist, purring. “He’s in a very good mood.....at the moment!” laughs Howard. “We as players are usually in a better mood than the manager, but everyone is happy at the moment. “As players, we get the enjoyable job. We get out there on the training ground to have fun, and to focus and look towards the next game. The manager has a tough task trying to regroup us always. He has to bring us down off a high or to bring us back up after a low. “But right now the mood is really good. It's always pretty good, if I am honest, but right now we just feel like we are in a good rhythm with our performances, and that makes for a good few days of training between matches.” For Howard, a good mood in October is something of a rarity. Everton’s tradition in recent seasons has been to struggle through the opening months before coming on strong after the Christmas period. They have finished each of the last four campaigns as one of the league’s form sides. This season, though, feels different. Everton are playing with the kind of attacking freedom seldom, if ever, seen during Moyes’ ten-year reign. With Wigan and QPR to come in their next two fixtures, the hope is that their start can be sustained for some time still.
“I think it (the start to the season) is down to the quality of players that the manager has brought in over the last six months or so,” says Howard. “We now have a bunch of players who are comfortable on the ball, who can take the ball and be match winners. That is something all the top teams have, and we have got a few of them on our team. “It is important to have the likes of (Nikica) Jelavic and (Steven) Pienaar and (Marouane) Fellaini. Kevin Mirallas has come in, too, and sparkled on the wing, so we have a lot of those kind of players, and that is great for us as a team.” He adds: “Now that we have had a pretty decent start to the season, hopefully we can do this every year because if not it can be miserable. “You work so hard in pre-season, look forward to the games and then you can't pick up points and you're wondering where the first win is coming from. That's miserable, having to go in every day and pick yourself up. “But like I say, we are in a good rhythm at the moment, we are performing well. You don't always get results when you perform well, but more often than not you pick up points when you need to, and that can only be a positive thing.” Positive indeed. But just how far can this new, improved Everton go this season? Is Champions League qualification a realistic target? “I think it is,” Howard says. “But we know it is going to be a hard ask as well.
“But having said that, in order for us to do great things, we have to punch above our weight. We are not a huge squad, and we don't have boatloads of money like other clubs, so in order for us to get the job done we have to stay really consistent for quite a few months. “Is it achievable? Of course it is. We did it a few years back under the manager, though I arrived at the club shortly after that, and this is the best, most talented squad we have had since then for sure. “We just have to make sure we stay on the grind, keep hunting for those points and pick them up everywhere we can.”
Everton FC keeper Tim Howard backs Steven Pienaar international retirement
by Neil Jones, Liverpool Echo
Oct 3 2012
TIM HOWARD hopes Steven Pienaar’s retirement from international football can benefit Everton FC in the long term – and says he can fully understand his team-mate’s decision. Pienaar announced yesterday that he would no longer be available for selection for South Africa, citing the dual demands of club and international football as the major factor behind his decision. The 30-year-old has collected 57 caps since making his debut for Bafana-Bafana in 2002, and represented his country in two World Cups. He was the current national team captain under Gordon Igesund.
And Howard, himself an international veteran, says he can sympathise with Pienaar’s situation.
“I don’t believe in some of these people who say they will never retire from playing for their country,” said the goalkeeper, who has himself earned 81 caps for the USA. “Each individual is different. Everyone has their own reasons for doing things, and it can be difficult sometimes.
“Everyone has a responsibility to their country, but also to their clubs. Steven has had a very good international career, and I’m sure it won’t have been an easy decision for him. “There is a lot on our shoulders, and you have to make those decisions sometimes. It is certainly not easy, particularly knowing the way Steven is thought of in South Africa. That must have been really difficult. “But we have to make these decisions. I’d say Steven’s form (for Everton) could improve as a result, but it can’t get any better can it?! He has been brilliant every time he has stepped on to the field for Everton, stretching back many years. “But hopefully now (his retirement) will help him stay fit, get fresher and give even more for the club.” Pienaar himself issued a statement that said: “I’m proud to have played for and captained my country. For that I thank you. “After having given more than 10 years’ service to the national team, I am now at a stage where physically I am struggling to balance the demands of playing in England with the number of games required by South Africa.
“There is a lot of very good young talent coming through and perhaps it is time for them to be given an opportunity. I wish the coaching staff and the players all the very best for the future.”
Everton boss David Moyes insisted the club had no input in the in-form midfielder’s decision, though Pienaar’s retirement will directly benefit the Blues this season. The Toffees will not lose the former Tottenham man to the Africa Cup of Nations, which takes place in South Africa in January, and could have led to Pienaar being missing for up to six weeks. Moyes said: “I have never discouraged any player from playing for his national team. In fact I encourage it. Steven has made his own decision and we support him.”
Blues Brothers - a look back at the pairings that thrilled Everton FC
by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo
Oct 4 2012
THEY are the dynamic duo who are so perfectly in tune down Everton FC’s left flank that they’ve developed the nickname ‘Bainaar’. But while Leighton Baines and Steven Pienaar might be one of the best combinations currently lighting up the Premier League, Goodison has witnessed plenty of blessed pairings in the past. Here we look at some of the best partnerships to have blossomed in Royal Blue.
Dean and Troup
LEFT wingers and centre-forwards go together at Goodison Park like blue and white.
And one of the first prolific partnerships was the legendary Dixie Dean and Alec Troup, or “Wee Troupie” as he was nicknamed. Perhaps the most celebrated goal in Goodison history, the Park End header which gave Dean his 60th league goal of the 1927/28 season, came from a Troup corner.
And Dean later reckoned that Troup’s delivery “was so precise with these corners that he could have laid the ball on one of the hairs on my head.” The little Scottish winger was only 5ft 5in tall, but had fantastic ball control and Dean added: “I think we had a perfect understanding and I think I have to thank him more than anyone else for the part he played in scoring the goals I did. I’d rate him one of the best wingers there’s ever been.”
Thomas and Latchford
DAVE THOMAS was a winger of such precise crossing ability, that whenever the Blues won a corner in the 1977/78 season the Gwladys Street would break out with a chorus of: “It’s a Goal, It’s a Goal, It’s a Go-go-goal!” The Street End’s confidence came from the man on the receiving end of those corner kicks, the prolific Bob Latchford. The number nine was a traditional centre-forward with outstanding aerial ability – and in his first three full seasons for Everton scored 17, 12 and 17 league goals. Then manager Gordon Lee had a brainwave: sign an out and out winger who could feed that aerial prowess with a stream of crosses.Thomas was snapped up from QPR and Latchford’s output soared to 30 league goals – the first top flight marksman to reach that milestone for six years – and many of those goals came from the dancing feet and quality crosses of Thomas. Sadly it was a short-lived double act. Thomas only stayed on Merseyside for two seasons, but they were two of the most productive campaigns of even Latchford’s goal-filled Goodison career.
Kendall and Harvey
AFTER their part as two-thirds of a celebrated footballing partnership, Howard Kendall and Colin Harvey forged an even more successful partnership off the pitch, as the brains behind the most successful period in the club’s history. Harvey had proved his worth as a youth coach, guiding his young charges to an FA Youth Cup final, when Kendall promoted him to first team coaching duties.
It was an inspired move and in the space of three years Everton won two league titles, an FA Cup, the club’s only European trophy, and reached two further FA Cup finals and a League Cup final.
Reid and Bracewell
THE outstanding 1984/85 double winning team was sprinkled with dynamic double acts, striking twin towers Sharp and Gray, defensive leaders Ratcliffe and Mountfield and the right-wing partnership of Steven and Stevens. But the heartbeat of the team, the men who set a fierce tempo and went hunting the ball back in snarling, snappy pairs were Peter Reid and Paul Bracewell.
And once they retrieved possession, the duo had the class to use it impressively, threading passes through for Heath and Sharp, or shuttling it wide for world class wide men Kevin Sheedy and Trevor Steven.
Ferguson and Rideout
BLACKBURN Rovers might have had their SAS (Shearer and Sutton) but Joe Royle’s 90s Everton side possessed its own nifty combination in the iconic Scot and the softly-spoken Southerner who scored the goal which brought the Blues their last trophy in 1995’s FA Cup Final.
They were a hit from the offset. The pair got Big Joe’s Goodison Park reign off to the perfect start with a 2-0 derby triumph over Liverpool in his first game in charge. Rideout struggled to better his 14-goal exploits in the 1994–95 campaign, although he scored six times in 25 league games to help Everton finish sixth the following season. Ferguson would have a more enduring place in the annals of Goodison history, but their pairing remains one of the highlights of those early Premiership days.
Carsley and Gravesen
THEY were a duo of many nicknames – the gruesome twosome, and two baldies, to name a few – but David Moyes just called them irreplaceable. Lee Carsley and Thomas Gravesen were the fulcrum of the Scot’s early Everton sides, with the Irishman’s tough tackling and economical passing complementing the Dane’s creative powers. They were a formidable double act, which Moyes rates to this day as one of the most influential pairings he has overseen during his managerial career.
Like with any classic central midfield, the pair’s contrasting qualities combined to create a cohesive unit which eventually guided the Blues to the brink of the Champions League group stages – even though Gravesen only played for half of the season. When Real Madrid signed the Mad Dane in January 2005, many joked they had bought the wrong player – although he shone until falling victim of the Bernabeu circus.
Cahill and Arteta
NOT so much a playing axis as two separate key performers for David Moyes’ men who were, well, inseparable! The Blue Kangaroo and the Best Little Spaniard We Knew were best pals – in fact Cahill was Arteta’s best man at his 2010 wedding, and in their own ways added the X Factor to Everton sides in the later part of the last decade. While Arteta was the silky-skilled artist who was never better than his wonderful goal against Fiorentina in the 2008 UEFA Cup, Cahill was the non-stop grafter with the finely-honed ability to pop up in the opposing penalty area at the right time.
Their alliance was a vital part of the dressing room spirit of that time, and set the tone for the mixture of steel and skill which has characterised Moyes’ tactics.
Leighton Baines: No room for sentiment at Wigan as Everton FC look to maintain high-flying form
by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
Oct 4 2012
LEIGHTON BAINES insists there will be no room for sentiment when he returns to Wigan on Saturday as the Blues look to maintain their high-flying form. The England defender admits that the DW Stadium retains a special place in his affections after he got his break in the Premier League playing for the Latics there before joining Everton in 2007. And even though his family will make the short journey to Lancashire to link-up with old friends ahead of the game, Baines knows that taking three points from Roberto Martinez’s men is vital to ensure there is no pause in the Toffees’ momentum before next week’s international break. He said: “It’s the last game before the break and it’s one you want to win and then go away on a high. “Before the last one we got beaten by West Brom and we don’t want to go away with that feeling again. “Wigan is always a club I'll have an affiliation for – my family feel the same way, and my brother will go and watch Wigan if they’re at home when Everton are away. “My two little boys and my mum and dad will go on Saturday. “But we want to keep our run going.” Baines started his first competitive England game against Ukraine last month, and hopes to keep his place in Roy Hodgson’s team when San Marino come to Wembley next Friday for their World Cup qualifier. “I’ve been trying to keep my form up at club level in between the international games and in the main I’ve felt I’ve done that,” said the 27-year-old. “Hopefully I’ll get in the squad first and foremost then take it from there. “All you can do is do the best for your club and that's what I've been trying to do.” On Tuesday Baines was named Everton’s player of the month in September, and the defender said his goal against Newcastle in the 2-2 draw at Goodison, when he ‘under-lapped’ smartly with Steven Pienaar to score, was his personal highlight.
He said: “It was nice to get off the mark early doors and from open play. “I like to try and chip in when I can and to get a few from open play is important. “The under-lap is not something we plan particularly it’s just awareness of where people are and the space around you. If there’s an opportunity to run on the outside I'll do that too but sometimes that space is taken up and on that occasion I saw the opportunity, and got a good pass from Steven. “It's part of the game now – full backs are expected to provide assists or even goals. “It’s been a good month for all of us in terms of good team performances and individuals. “It was important for us to acknowledge we’ve not started well in the past and try to address it although we can’t say that’s been done yet.”
Everton FC letters: Seamus Coleman’s mustard! It’s time to relish him
Oct 4 2012
IF Seamus Coleman is to become Everton’s future right-back then he needs to play.
His defensive play is still sometimes a concern, but if he sorts that out he can become a very good full-back. He might not yet be ready when the Citys and Chelseas come to town, but games like Saturday gone, and the Swansea game, he has proved he can play in. I hope he keeps his place for Wigan.
PERHAPS the Blues support should think before they howl derision at every player who used to play for Liverpool. Against Leeds, It seemed to be the catalyst for Diouf to have a blinder against us.
Focus on supporting our own Blues, drop the obsession with the Reds – it lacks class and we’re better than that.
READING about John Terry and his retirement from international football – the need for a replacement will quickly arise, which raises the possibility of Everton losing Jagielka and Baines more frequently. I wonder how David Moyes and the Everton fans feel about this, especially when the team is in the top four – a position which doesn’t occur too often. We have few replacements of similar quality, so more replacements are urgent. Now.
P Foley, Cannon Pk, Coventry
DO I like this Everton team and squad – playing some beautiful football. Just a little lapse to start off with on Saturday then, wow, did you play good, class football from class players.
The game was won in the first half and they strolled around in the second half, everyone fit and well for the next game at Wigan. We will be well supported and will roar the lads home for three more points. COYB!
Dodge City Cowboy
THE referee for Everton against Southampton was top drawer.
He was so good I cannot even remember his name, and that’s how it should be – no ego and stay almost invisible.
He let the game flow and made no bookings. Take note other not-so-good refs, you know who you are.
Editor’s note: Lee Probert was the man who went unnoticed at GoodisonSOME of the football played from about the 15th minute until half-time at Goodison Park on Saturday was comparable with some of the stuff I had the privilege of watching in the 80s. We really could have stuck six or seven in the first half alone.
SECOND in the league – and Everton still haven’t even hit top form yet! We can be better defensively and finish more ruthlessly. COYB!
Everton FC fan forum: Blues need to keep attacking for great run to continue
Oct 4 2012
THE last half-hour of Saturday’s first half was some of the most sparkling attacking football seen in the whole of David Moyes’ reign. Jelavic actually needed more than one touch to score, Mirallas looks to be a player – and then some – and if there is a better left side partnership in the Premier League than Pienaar and Baines then I’ve yet to see it. The most pleasing aspect of the game was that the attacking was not all tippy tappy rubbish played by teams thinking they’re Barcelona when clearly they are light years away. It was direct, fast and most importantly, productive.
I still have a feeling we are a bit soft at the back and hopefully David Moyes will see this and deal with it quickly. It has been a great start to the season though, under any circumstances.
Keep on keeping on.
Chris Douglas, Old Swan
WHEN Gaston Ramirez nodded home, it seemed like the bubble had popped for Everton.
Three points were definitely needed after a disappointing loss to Leeds in the week, but we didn’t have to worry for long. In a 14-minute spell which resulted in three finely crafted goals, Everton forced Southampton into surrender. Coleman showed that Baines is not the only full-back in the club capable of supplying deadly crosses, while Mirallas once again impressed. Jelavic, on his return, was potent. At the moment, there seems to be no weakness in this Everton side.
So Wigan, beware: Nikica is back on the ‘Jelavic’ road to goals, and if Fellaini, Mirallas, Pienaar and the rest keep supplying him like they have been, it is more than likely that the Croatian’s name will be echoing around the JJB.
Sam Carroll, Walton
THE plaudits received for our performance on Saturday are probably a bit over the top.
A very tame opening 20 minutes before Neville and Osman finally started demanding the ball and a rather stale second half were poor, but of course a 3-1 win shouldn't be sniffed at. Neither should Pienaar’s big decision this week. Apologies to my South African in-laws but the news he has retired from the national team can only be a good thing for Everton. That is obvious and so is the talent of Kevin Mirallas. After just a handful of games it seems safe to assume we will see him becoming another Moyes steal. Next up is Wigan away which was the venue for one of the worst displays I have ever seen by a Moyes-led Everton in 2008 and it is still a difficult place to get three points. But we fear no team and no game these days. Roll on Saturday.
David Taylor, St Helens
IT really is a good time to be an Evertonian! In the 30 minutes before half-time on Saturday, Everton played some of the most eye-catching attacking football I’ve had the pleasure of watching at Goodison Park. As if taking Swansea to pieces wasn’t enough, Southampton were on the receiving end of a blue backlash after they had the audacity to take an early lead. Nikica Jelavic will be a happy (and prolific) striker if Everton continue to create chances as frequently as they did on Saturday. And with pace and trickery down the right flank, coupled with craft and guile down the left, it is difficult to see how they will not do so. Mirallas and Coleman look to be developing an understanding which could give us an extra dimension going forward in addition to the Baines/Pienaar axis. Sitting second in the table should provide incentive to push on, not be content.
Matthew Jones, Prenton
Nikica Jelavic is helping my game says Everton FC forward Kevin Mirallas
Oct 4 2012
KEVIN MIRALLAS believes the striking prowess of Nikica Jelavic has helped the impressive start to his Everton career. Belgium international Mirallas has proven an instant success following his £5.3million signing from Olympiakos in August. The 24-year-old has already found the target three times and provided a number of assists as Everton, who travel to Wigan Athletic on Saturday, have rocketed to second in the embryonic Premier League table. Mirallas played a part in two goals in last weekend’s 3-1 win over Southampton, including a fine pass that set Jelavic through to score the first of the Croat’s two goals. And Mirallas said: “My style of play is to put balls into the box in front of goal and get crosses in whenever possible, and I know Nikica is always going to be on the end of them. “I know exactly where he wants the ball, in front of him and into space. That’s how I created one of the goals. Playing alongside a striker like that is a massive help.” Although having forged his reputation playing on the left flank, the form of Steven Pienaar has seen Mirallas employed elsewhere along the forward line by David Moyes. But the Belgium has no complaints, and said: “I spent a lot of the time playing on the left-hand side of attack last year, more attack than midfield.
“But we all know that Steven Pienaar is doing a fantastic job down that side. The manager is lining me up on the right side at the moment but I feel very comfortable out there also.
“While things are working out like that, then I couldn’t be happier. I’m very much at ease on that side.” While Mirallas earlier this week admitted the start of his Goodison career has gone better than expected, Everton manager Moyes is determined to ensure the player remains aware of the intricacies of the English game. “We were told how good he was and we thought he could do well over here but you never know,” said the Scot. “We are not getting carried away.
“There are bits where he will still be learning. You have to keep going in the Premier League until you win it completely. “Teams in England will try and come back to win the game if they are losing 3-1. In Europe that might not be the case.” Between them, Mirallas and Jelavic cost less than £11m, a further example of Moyes’s creative transfer policy while working within tight financial restraints.
And the Goodison manager is convinced the duo are already showing they represent an excellent long-term investment. “They are good value,” added Moyes. “They are both international players, both young enough to stay with us for a period of time.” “They have made a great contribution. We just need to make sure we keep on top of Jelavic with his fitness. We knew he would be a bit short last Saturday.” The Goodison derby against Liverpool on Sunday, October 28 is approaching a sell-out, with only around 3,000 tickets remaining. Everton supporters are reminded that tickets can be bought by any fan who has previous purchase history. Supporters can purchase tickets either by visiting the Goodison Box Office, phoning 0871 633 1876, visiting the club website, or buying in person at the TicketQuarter in Queen Square and the Everton Two store in Liverpool One.
Blue Watch: Throwback tactics as thrill as Everton FC wideboys turn on the style
Nic Davies, The Liverpool Post
Oct 4 2012
MODERN football tactics are increasingly focused on playing through the middle into often congested midfield zones. In what is something of a throwback, David Moyes’ Everton strategy is specifically focused on attacking sides down the flanks where there is more space to exploit 2 versus 1 situations and engineer crossing situations. Given this, it’s little surprise the Blues have scored more headed goals (five) than anyone in the top flight and Saturday was a good example of how ruthless this approach can be when exploited fully. To dominate the flanks though, you must first dominate through the middle. Saints boss Nigel Adkins became the latest opposing manager to try to stop our left sided axis. Whereas Newcastle tried to get men behind the ball, Adkins played a right sided forward (Rodriguez) ahead of Baines to push him backwards. It failed. Early on, Saints pressed us high up-field to make us go long and what was crucial was our central midfielder’s ability to quickly switch play from one flank to the other to exploit these 2 versus 1 situations as they developed. Osman was particularly good at this; the diminutive midfield schemer glided along the Goodison turf like a white swan and his ability to recycle possession and move play from one flank to the other was crucial – he made the most touches, most passes and hit a 100% pass completion in his long passes to service the flanks. The 30 minute spell at the end of the first half was exceptional with the feature being the width provided by the fullbacks with Pienaar/Mirallas drifting inside which the Saints couldn’t handle. Next up is the short trip to the DW Stadium to face a Wigan side whose annual winter of discontent has begun earlier than usual. Martinez’s side set up with three at the back with wing-backs pushing on so width again will be crucial. Both side’s left flanks in particular will be of vital importance as the game sees the two sides in the top flight that attack the most down the left flank. Last season this was the case; Baines in particular thrives at his old ground having scored one and created two in his last three visits and last season his centre was dispatched by Anichebe to claim a point after Wigan left wing back Beausejour had set up Wigan’s opener.
The games atWigan are invariably low scoring ones and with Wigan’s woes in front of goal – they’ve failed to score in 50% of their games so far – one goal would probably be enough to see us past the post and into the international break safely ensconced with the league’s pace setters.
Macca’s focus solely on Everton
Thursday 4 October 2012
JAMES McArthur insists his international recall is a distant second on his priority list at the moment – behind Wigan’s crunch clash this weekend with Everton. McArthur, along with Gary Caldwell and Shaun Maloney, was named in Craig Levein’s Scotland squad for the upcoming matches against Wales and Belgium.It’s a welcome return for the all-action midfielder, who was left out of the last couple of squads after a back injury picked up over the summer affected his pre-season programme. But a sparkling start to the campaign means he’s back in the fold for two potentially massive games.
While delighted at his recall, McArthur has stressed it’s all about Latics versus the Toffees for the next few days. “All I’m focusing on is Saturday’s game, and making sure we get three points on the board,” he told the Evening Post. “I’m obviously delighted to back in the Scotland squad, but the international stuff will take care of itself next week. “In the meantime, all we’re thinking of is Everton and getting our season back on track.” Roberto Martinez will be in the technical area as usual for the game after the Latics chief escaped a touchline ban. The Spaniard was fined £10,000 after admitting a charge of misconduct in relation to comments made after his side’s game against Manchester United last month. But the governing body stopped short of ordering him to relocate to the stands for a short period. “The charge was in relation to a breach of FA Rule E3 concerning media comments which implied that the match referee and/or match officials in general are motivated by bias and/or brought the game into disrepute,” the FA confirmed. “Martinez, who had requested a personal hearing, was also warned as to his future conduct.” The Spaniard had previously been fined £2,250 and warned following his post-match reaction to Stuart Attwell’s decision to red-card Gary Caldwell in a controversial 3-0 defeat at Manchester City three seasons ago.
Mark Lawrenson: Everton FC's great entertainers are worth entrance fee
The Liverpool Post
Oct 4 2012
DAVID MOYES says he would pay money to watch Everton. So would I. And so would a lot of people in the country. And there’d be plenty of Premier League managers who’d want to have Everton’s first team. I don’t see any team playing better in the league with what they’ve got. With the chances made against Southampton last weekend, they could have won by more. They went a goal down but knew they were good enough to win. The weekend trip to Wigan Athletic is in many ways now a more difficult game. People will now expect Everton to go to the DW Stadium and win, and that provides a different pressure. Everton coped well with it at Aston Villa in August having beaten Manchester United, but they came unstuck at West Bromwich Albion, although that game could have gone either way. Moyes will be tempted to wrap his players in cotton wool and hope that nobody gets injured. He needs his best players fit. Among them is Kevin Mirallas. A proper winger, some people have said he reminds them of Peter Beagrie. But he’s a better player than Beagrie, who had all the tricks but quite often forgot to then cross the ball. Mirallas is an example of a modern type of attacker. He can play in all three roles right across the park – wide left, up the middle and wide right. Players these days know the role expected of them and know how to play across the line. It’s a big change from only a few years ago. In his pomp, could you imagine Michael Owen being asked to play on the right? Players like Mirallas have played in a few different European leagues and learned different ways of playing. Mirallas has been well coached and has a massive appetite for work. Straight away the supporters have taken to him because he has got his head down and worked. It’s not taken long for the penny to drop.
Howard Kendall: Nigeria job offer made me understand players’ long-haul reluctance
by Our Correspondent, Liverpool Echo
Oct 5 2012
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A LOT of people won’t know this, but I was once invited to an interview for the Nigeria manager’s job. I’d been contacted by a lady who was acting as an agent on behalf of the Nigerian FA and she told me the post would actually be based in London because so many of their players are over in the European leagues.As far as I knew, it’d be a case of regular phone contact with Lagos and the occasional visit but generally I wouldn’t have to uproot and could work from the UK.Suffice to say, I was intrigued.Well, I got to the interview in London and sat down only to be told that contrary to what she’d said I’d actually be based in Lagos where I’d need to be in charge of the academy and youth system as well as the national team. It wasn’t for me on that basis – and turned out to be one of my shortest ever interviews!I recalled that when I read that Steven Pienaar had decided to retire from international football.Normally I’m the first to advocate players representing their country, and I’ve said before it grates on me when some treat international football with scant respect. But in the case of someone who is facing frequent long-haul flights to another continent – and in Pienaar’s case he is calling it quits at the age of 30 after years of playing for Bafana Bafana – I’m far more understanding. Especially when I think back to that Nigeria interview.I’m sure David Moyes will be privately thrilled that he won’t now have to contend without arguably his most important player in the New Year during the African Cup of Nations. There will be a lot of other clubs affected, as Everton have been in the past when they had Yakubu, Joseph Yobo and others.
Wigan Athletic v Everton FC preview: Phil Jagielka in pole position to replace John Terry for England says Phil Neville
by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
Oct 5 2012
JOHN TERRY’S decision to retire from England duty caused barely a ripple of apathy on Merseyside – but for one member of the Everton dressing room it presents a gleaming opportunity.Phil Jagielka will line-up against Wigan Athletic for Everton tomorrow knowing that a good individual display not only furthers his ambition of scaling the heights with the Blues, but strengthens his case to become a long-term replacement for Terry.On Wednesday the Toffees defender was named in Roy Hodgson’s squad to face San Marino alongside club-mate Leighton Baines.The next day it was revealed that Hodgson even told commuters on the Tube that Rio Ferdinand’s days in the Three Lions squad are numbered.Jagielka, a low-profile, no-nonsense professional without the baggage of the Chelsea captain, will not be getting carried away just yet despite featuring in recent games, but Phil Neville reckons there is a strong chance it will be his vice-captain at Goodison who gets the nod in the end.“I certainly see no reason why it can’t be him who takes the position on a permanent basis,” says Neville ahead of Everton’s trip to the DW Stadium.“He’s played in the last game and has never let England down when he’s been called upon. There is a growing maturity to his play. I think he feels more settled in an England shirt and at home there.“There is him, Gary Cahill, and Joleon Lescott. The good thing for Jags is that the partnership him and Joleon had at Everton bodes well on the international stage because they know each other so well.“One is a left footer and one is a right footer. They’re friends and have played together so often over the years that they have an almost telepathic understanding.“If you’re looking for a partnership, and at centre back it’s more about the right partnership and not individuals, then Jagielka and Lescott is probably the best we’ve got.”Neville believes Terry’s decision will ultimately prove to be a wise one for the Londoner and for England.“It’s perhaps inevitable because at every get together there were always question marks lately because of what is happening off the pitch with John,” says the former England defender.“It was probably affecting him and the squad.“He probably thought the best thing for him and the squad is he retires and concentrates on his club football.“Looking at the bigger picture when you get to his age and retire from international football it might just add another couple of years to your career. He has been playing Saturday-Wednesday for the last few years and it takes its toll on your body in the end.“Sometimes in life something has to give, so maybe he has taken the decision from a career point of view as well as maybe thinking he had to do it.” One player at the other end of the career trajectory is Everton’s Seamus Coleman.The Irishman is still hungry to start winning caps for his country, and more importantly become Neville and Tony Hibbert’s successor as the Blues right back. He may have been deployed more often as a right-sided midfielder by David Moyes, but Neville believes the 24-year-old has what it takes to eventually cement a defensive role.“It happens a lot with younger players where to get into the team they have to play in perhaps not their favourite position,” says the 35-year-old. “Usually they’ll do that to get into the starting 11 and Seamus did for us.“I would say he was fantastic on the right wing. I played behind him for a couple of seasons and he was a dream to play with, but all along he said he wanted to be a right back.“He was terrific against Swansea in that role and he gives us something different there. He’s got loads of energy and he’s a dribbler.He’s been playing in that position for the last few games now and done well.”Neville believes Coleman still has some learning left to do, although his prospects are good.He added: “He’s probably not played many Premier League games there in the grand scheme of things, but I can see him making it his own in the next five or 10 years.”
Seamus Coleman says imminent return of Tony Hibbert is spurring him on to keep his place in Everton FC line-up
by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
Oct 5 2012
SEAMUS COLEMAN says the imminent return to fitness of Tony Hibbert is spurring him on even more to try and keep his place in the Everton FC line-up.The 24-year-old produced his most impressive performance this term against Southampton last weekend, and has started the Blues’ last three games.He has always preferred the right-back role despite shining further forward in his debut campaign, and hopes for more opportunities to stake his claim – starting at Wigan on Saturday – although he knows veteran Hibbert will soon be staking a claim for his shirt.He said: “I am really enjoying getting a few games – all footballers want to play every week. Sometimes you have to be patient and bide your time.“But you know there will be injuries or lack of form and when you get in you have to do well and that is what I am trying to do. Nobody is happy not to be playing. I had a good summer and got back for pre-season ready to go so hopefully I can have a good season.“I know Tony [Hibbert] will be back from injury soon and will be itching to get back in but I can only do well, hopefully get another chance to play well again at Wigan on Saturday and give the manager a bit of a headache.”Meanwhile Wigan boss Roberto Martinez feels he should have a right to express his opinion on decisions by referees, but won’t be blaming Kevin Friend if his side lose to Everton at the DW Stadium.Martinez is considering whether to appeal against a £10,000 fine from the Football Association for comments criticising referees after his side’s 4-0 loss at Manchester United last month.The Spaniard was found guilty of misconduct for suggesting Michael Oliver had been biased against his team during the Premier League match at Old Trafford.“I think it is important after a match you can be honest and have a pure assessment of the game. That is what I did,” he said.“I wasn’t talking about the referee, I was talking about the figure of the referee in those certain games.“I was talking about the experience that we at Wigan Athletic have had going away from home and the calls we have had of late.”
Howard Kendall: Sheedy - Van Den Hauwe is my favourite Everton FC pairing
by Our Correspondent, Liverpool Echo
Oct 5 2012
I CAN understand why a lot of people think Leighton Baines and Steven Pienaar are one of the best modern day Everton FC partnerships.Maybe I’m biased but for me, however, Pat Van Den Hauwe and Kevin Sheedy will take some beating.Pat was more of a no-nonsense defender than Baines, but his overall ability is still under-rated by some.He might not have gone bombing down outside Sheeds but he did a very effective job of winning the ball and delivering it to the magician – who I’m delighted to hear is on the mend from bowel cancer.Pat was a right-footed left-back, which I used to prefer, delivering it on cue to one of the best left feet ever. Similarly, Baines is a lefty and Pienaar a right – it works.
Howard Kendall: Everton FC can keep early Euro charge going against Wigan
by Our Correspondent, Liverpool Echo
Oct 5 2012
I’M A big admirer of Roberto Martinez and how he sticks so vehemently to his footballing principles.He’s a Catalan native and we had many interesting chats about Spain when I was still in management, and always got on well.Roberto had a couple of opportunities in the summer with Liverpool showing interest in him, and Aston Villa even offered him a job but he chose to reward Dave Whelan’s loyalty and stay with a side he has built from scratch.However he’s lost some more good players since then, and even though survival is basically a success at the DW Stadium it remains to be seen if he can keep them in the top flight against the odds again.For Everton it’s a good opportunity to keep their run going, although they would be unwise to go there thinking the points are in the bag.I’ve seen some question whether Everton can stay in the upper echelons of the table with them currently flying high up in second, and opinion seems mixed. Unlike the over-optimists I doubt we can win the Premier League but I certainly could envisage Everton being in the top three.The other contenders all have European football to distract them which could help us in the long run.
Macca’s focus solely on Everton
Friday 5th October 2012 (WiganToday)
JAMES McArthur insists his international recall is a distant second on his priority list at the moment – behind Wigan’s crunch clash this weekend with Everton.McArthur, along with Gary Caldwell and Shaun Maloney, was named in Craig Levein’s Scotland squad for the upcoming matches against Wales and Belgium.It’s a welcome return for the all-action midfielder, who was left out of the last couple of squads after a back injury picked up over the summer affected his pre-season programme. But a sparkling start to the campaign means he’s back in the fold for two potentially massive games.While delighted at his recall, McArthur has stressed it’s all about Latics versus the Toffees for the next few days. “All I’m focusing on is Saturday’s game, and making sure we get three points on the board,” he told the Evening Post.“I’m obviously delighted to back in the Scotland squad, but the international stuff will take care of itself next week.“In the meantime, all we’re thinking of is Everton and getting our season back on track.” Roberto Martinez will be in the technical area as usual for the game after the Latics chief escaped a touchline ban.The Spaniard was fined £10,000 after admitting a charge of misconduct in relation to comments made after his side’s game against Manchester United last month.But the governing body stopped short of ordering him to relocate to the stands for a short period.“The charge was in relation to a breach of FA Rule E3 concerning media comments which implied that the match referee and/or match officials in general are motivated by bias and/or brought the game into disrepute,” the FA confirmed.“Martinez, who had requested a personal hearing, was also warned as to his future conduct.”The Spaniard had previously been fined £2,250 and warned following his post-match reaction to Stuart Attwell’s decision to red-card Gary Caldwell in a controversial 3-0 defeat at Manchester City three seasons ago.
Former Everton FC ace Tim Cahill still texts me after games says David Moyes
by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
Oct 6 2012
HE MIGHT be on the other side of the Atlantic – but Tim Cahill remains an avid Everton spectator, says David Moyes. The Australian midfielder called time on his eight year-stint with the Toffees this summer after agreeing a £1m switch to US side New York Red Bulls. But the 32-year-old has been enjoying watching his former club’s impressive start to the season on TV, and keeps in regular contact with the man who gave him his break in English football. “He texts me and saying we’re doing great and so on,” said Moyes. “He’s in touch with me and he’s in touch with the boys and when I get a chance I’ll probably take the team out to see him in New York. “I got a message from him after the Southampton game. He’s probably texted two or three times this season after games.”
Everton go into today’s clash against Wigan at the DW Stadium in second place in the Premier League, still within touching distance of the table’s summit. And Moyes admits his own attempts to change his renowned intensity have helped towards the general buoyancy around the club. He said: “I’m also having to try and improve. I’m trying to be a bit more relaxed at times. Maybe with aturity, maybe with age, maybe being comfortable in my position makes me do things a little bit calmer. “I’ve got to say that there have been a couple of games when we’ve been a couple of goals up and as a manager you think ‘great’, but as a manager it’s not a result that makes you relax because you know things can change if they get a goal back and there have been games that could have gone that way. So we have to make sure that we don’t switch off and I want them to keep on going but sometimes when you play that way it is very hard to keep that going the whole time.”
Meanwhile, Steven Naismith has been suspended by FIFA for Scotland’s forthcoming World Cup double-header. A disciplinary panel found the forward guilty of elbowing Serbia’s Srdjan Mijailovic during last month’s goalless draw at Hampden Park. And a two-match ban rules Naismith out of Group A qualifiers against Wales in Cardiff on 12 October and Belgium in Brussels on 16 October.
Scotland manager Craig Levein said: “Obviously this is disappointing news, but Steven has been very honest and professional throughout the disciplinary process. “We named a 25-man squad to compensate for any potential suspension, which has now been confirmed.”
Kevin Mirallas can get even better for Everton FC but avoid complacency, warns David Moyes
by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
Oct 6 2012
KEVIN MIRALLAS can get even better for Everton but must ensure he doesn’t allow his dream start in a blue shirt to lead to complacency, warns David Moyes. The Belgian forward has hit the ground running since his £5.5million summer switch from Olympiakos, scoring three times in seven games and creating a host of chances for the vibrant Blues. Moyes admits he has been delighted with the 24-year-old’s progress and sees plenty of further potential, as long as he is prepared to stay fully focused. “I’ve actually seen a lot more in training than what we are getting so he will have more to come,” said the Everton boss. “The more important thing for me is how he gets used to realising that every game in the Premier League there’s not a game where you can turn up and think ‘we should win this one’. “I’m not saying that might happen in other places but he’s got to understand that.
“Also, getting his level of 90 minutes up I’ve just not quite got that but there have been parts of what he’s done that have been really good.” Mirallas can operate on either flank and Moyes is impressed with the tactical options his flexibility has opened up for him. He said: “He might be better through the middle. We’re playing him off the right just now because we’re still getting to know him and he scored a lot of his goals for Olympiakos last year off the left, so he gives me a little bit of variation. “If I want to try something a little bit different in games, like I did against West Brom and it actually backfired on me, we can do that.” Everton take on Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium today with Tony Hibbert (calf) and Darron Gibson (thigh) missing, although Steven Naismith is also nursing a slight calf problem. Moyes hopes the trio will be back soon, and the international break will mean Gibson may yet recover in time to figure against QPR later this month. “We need him back, he’s been out a long time,” he said. “We’re short on central midfield players, with not getting the extra players in on transfer deadline day. “I’ve got Phil Neville, Leon Osman and Marouane Fellaini who are playing every week. He’s still a wee bit away but maybe after the international break he’ll bit a bit closer.”
Barry Horne: Reinvigorated Seamus Coleman can be Everton FC’s right back for many years to come
by Barry Horne, Liverpool Echo
Oct 6 2012
WHEN Seamus Coleman burst onto the Everton scene as a 20-year-old in 2009, the praise the young Irishman received was effusive. Hindsight suggests it was also, perhaps, a tad over the top.
The recognition Coleman got – let’s not forget that he was nominated in the 2011 PFA Young Player of the Year award, incidentally – placed a lot of pressure upon his shoulders.
The Everton way is to develop young players gradually. Slow and steady is the order of the day, rather than fast and flashy. And so it is perhaps not surprising that, after that initial burst, Coleman’s career, and his profile at Goodison, stalled slightly. It is perhaps harsh to say his development went backwards over the past 18 months, and a series of niggling injuries certainly won’t have helped, but he was definitely not as impressive as he had been during those early days. Yet, typically, the young lad has used his time away from the limelight to develop his game, to work hard and to keep improving. And the evidence of the last few weeks suggests that he is now ready to reap the rewards for his hard work. He was excellent against Southampton last Saturday, setting up Nikica Jelavic’s second goal with a trademark burrowing run and cross from the right. It should not be overlooked that Coleman’s grounding in football is as a right full-back, yet his versatility, and Everton’s situation at the time, meant he came into the side as a right-sided midfielder. Now, back at full-back, he is back to his best. And with both Tony Hibbert and Phil Neville well into their thirties now, the chance is there for Coleman to nail down that right-back slot for many years to come.
Wigan Athletic v Everton Preview: Winning remains only goal for David Moyes’ Everton FC - but style matters
by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
Oct 6 2012
WINNING – in the end it’s the only thing which has ever really mattered to David Moyes.
And despite claims to the contrary over the years, the Everton manager does indeed also care about the style in which it is achieved. Take for example the side he masterfully guided to fourth place in the Premier League in 2005. That team may have contained more grafters than crafters, but in the end they got the job done. That was always the priority, although now Moyes admits he is enjoying the football played by his present-day flair-filled side more. In the same breath however, he is quick to point out the challenge of consistency facing his current crop. “I think there is a difference in the quality (between 04/05 and now) but we had really good players then, senior players and if you said that to them they would rebut that,” says the Blues boss ahead of today’s game at Wigan.
“I think the challenge I am setting to the boys now is can you be as consistent as the team from 2004-05? That is part of the battle. “You can win with flair but we won a lot of games 1-0 that year. We were consistent, hard to beat. So there are different ways of skinning the cat. “We are maybe doing it slightly different, but what it comes down to is can you be as consistent?” At times during the first half of their victory over Southampton last weekend, Moyes happily agrees that his side’s attacking play was outstanding but also says he wants more. “There was a period where you said, ‘boy oh boy, this is as good as it gets.’ For me I was saying I want that for much longer periods, sustained,” he says. “You would have to say that they certainly sustained it at Aston Villa for the first 45 minutes, at Swansea they did it for long periods so we have had games where we have been able to do that. “We just have to make sure those periods we can make them longer and the periods where we are not playing like that we are hard to beat and not conceding goals.
“We are in good form just now, but how long can we keep it going. It is a test of the players to keep reaching those standards.” The palpable satisfaction moyes takes from his charges’ finesse football underlines the folly of the myth that he is a defensive coach. “folk think that but i was brought up on the best attacking team ever, glasgow celtic, in terms of the style and what was demanded,” he insists. “i have also played under coaches who’ve shown me another style. Did anyone think a manager taking over everton who were third or fourth bottom of the league at the time would suddenly make them into the entertaining side the supporters would applaud and everything would change? Or did they think a manager could do that without vast amounts of money? What i’ve had is time to get to a point where i’m now asked questions about entertaining. “if you want to use the word ‘entertaining’ i would rather use the word that we ‘win’. I have always had the philosophy that winning is everything. “winning and entertaining is the thing, what’s next best is winning so entertaining doesn’t really go anywhere unless you get the result. “there are bits getting shown in every game where you can see the quality we have got and we are going into every game to try and win.” Moyes has always claimed his approach has been based on what type of players he has had available. “part of being a coach is you have to find a way of winning. That’s your job, if you want to stay in work,” he says. “for me, what’s happened is players come in and change how you play. Tim cahill, for example, gave us a great number 10 and played around that. He reminded me of john wark, a goalscorer for liverpool and ipswich. We brought cahill in – a young boy at the time – who had a lot to do with how we played. “we kept trying to improve it with centre-forwards like aj, beattie and yak, to see if we could go a step higher, but we had restraints. We brought mikel arteta and steven pienaar on loan to start with from sociedad and dortmund. Their style helped change how we played, so as a coach you adapt how you play. “if i didn’t have them, i’d still have needed to find a way of winning at everton. I always want them at that end of the field, having shots. I’ve only been brought up that way. No other way. You can only win games with the tools you have available and if you don’t have that you need to find other ways of winning. “even now if i lose the better players through injury or whatever, i may have to play a different style again.” Whatever happens – and moyes fears his squad still lacks depth to challenge right at the top – he knows one thing will remain the same. “the spirit actually exists and has grown,” he says. “i think it is in the dna of the club, it is in the building and i think it is around goodison. I think that spirit is there. At times when our form isn’t as good and we are not playing very well i think a lot of that keeps everton going.
“i think people would walk into everton and there is a smell of an energy, a working club and a good atmosphere. I think that is a good environment to work in.”
Barry Horne: Ashley Cole’s Twitter storm could open the England door for Leighton Baines
by Barry Horne, Liverpool Echo
Oct 6 2012
THE FA has, even by its own standards, had a torrid week.
First Roy Hodgson goes and creates a media storm by offering passengers on the tube an insight into England’s selection policy. Hodgson’s commitment to public transport, and his willingness to engage with your everyday football fan, may be commendable. But let’s face it, it was a gaffe of the highest order from a man who is experienced enough to know better. And then Ashley Cole comes out swinging yesterday, with an expletive-laden tweet aimed in the FA’s direction. My thoughts on Twitter are pretty well known. I find it pathetic and self-indulgent to say the least. But maybe that’s just me. Yet is there no end to the stupidity, to the arrogance, of top-level footballers?
Ashley Cole is an experienced player, an international of huge repute who knows exactly the kind of problems an inflammatory, ill-judged tweet such as that would create. Yet he still goes ahead and does it. Stupidity. As far as I am concerned, the FA would be well within their right to take strong disciplinary action against Cole. His conduct has been appalling. Whether they would stretch to banning him from playing international football, I very much doubt. Cole is not in the same boat as Rio Ferdinand, after all. He is still a regular starter, and I’m sure Roy Hodgson would be reluctant to lose him. But if they did take the hardline stance, then I feel the England team would not suffer anything like as much as people think. Hodgson has Leighton Baines at his disposal, and if Cole was to vanish from the international scene, then the Everton man would be handed the chance to show on the world stage that he is every bit as good as Cole. And twice as smart.
Royal Blue: Leighton Baines could benefit from Ashley Cole Twitter melt-down
by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
Oct 6 2012
LEIGHTON Baines is not the sort of individual to glory in another’s downfall, and anyway the Everton defender has plenty of respect for Ashley Cole. But he’s also smart enough to realise that Cole’s Twitter meltdown yesterday potentially gave him a significant back-handed favour.
As Cole shot himself in the foot (at least it wasn’t the work experience lad this time), he also made it difficult for Roy Hodgson to continue with him as a permanent fixture in the England team.
It doesn’t mean he’ll never feature again, but with a player as bang-on form as Baines after his shirt, it was perhaps the start of the end.
Royal Blue: Everton FC fans will applaud Steven Pienaar’s Bafana Bafana decision
by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
Oct 6 2012
ONE statistic emerged last week which underlined why David Moyes will have allowed himself a private sigh of relief at the news that Steven Pienaar is retiring from international football.
According to OptaJoe on Twitter, ‘No player has assisted more goals in the Premier League in 2012 than Steven Pienaar. Catalyst’. It’s another reason for Evertonians to wish the season ran from January, even if this time around their team are threatening to finally make the long sought-after strong start. The Blues’ form since January has been top three material, and it’s little wonder that those sparks of something which may yet be special began the winter night when – at the very last minute – Harry Redknapp agreed to let a pleading Pienaar return home. The South African helped Moyes’ men build up a head of steam which currently has them producing the most shots in Europe and holding the league's most creative players, with only the Manchester sides picking up more points since the start of the year. Of course the signing of Nikica Jelavic was equally significant in terms of those crucial match-winning goals, but for the overall inspirational value it was Pienaar’s return, and permanent capture in the summer which was so vital. Losing him to the African Cup of Nations this January would, whatever you think of Everton’s strength in depth, have been damaging.
If you doubt that (and can bear the pain) – steel yourself and watch a repeat of April’s FA Cup semi-final defeat by you know who at Wembley. Sure, the subsequent signing of Kevin Mirallas means Pienaar does not have to shoulder the creative burden all alone anymore, but the 30-year-old remains the number one provider. His decision to call time on playing for his country is another example of his desire to shine for Everton- just like those desperate conversations with Redknapp.
There are murmurs his groin causes him niggles, and the added games of Bafana Bafana duty would push his body too far. South Africa coach Gordon Igesund says he’ll try and persuade Pienaar to change his mind over a coffee next time he’s in the UK. Let’s hope Peanuts is not for turning.
Royal Blue: Coaching role deserved plus for Everton FC hero Joe Parkinson
by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
Oct 6 2012
HE never shirked a challenge in his playing days when Joe Parkinson’s work-rate and heart made him an Everton favourite and FA Cup winner. Now Parky has put in the hard hours to land a top coaching role with today’s opponents Wigan Athletic. The 1995 FA Cup winner spent four years playing for the Lancashire outfit before joining Bournemouth and later moving to Goodison Park. Parkinson’s return to the Latics will see him working with the club’s Academy players. “Coming into work, getting your boots on and heading out to take sessions gives me such a buzz, and I’m made up to be back at Wigan Athletic doing exactly that,” said the 41-year-old. “This club was a huge part of my playing career, so to be offered the chance to give something back was important and made the role that little bit extra special.”
Royal Blue: Everton FC’s StubHub deal is a winner despite money-grabbing minority
by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo
Oct 6 2012
EVERTON’S deal with online ticketing marketplace StubHub is another smart commercial step forward by the club. The link-up, which provides season ticket holders with an official channel to sell their seat for any home fixtures that they are unable to attend, nets the club a substantial sum of money. Yet even though it makes eminent sense it has attracted criticism from some who fear it may also lead to authorised touting. Then last week it emerged that one fan was trying to sell his Gwladys Street seat for this month’s Merseyside derby at an eye-watering price of £500.
Yet the unscrupulous behaviour of a minority should not be allowed to detract from what is otherwise a good deal. The club has acknowledged its disappointment that a fan is trying to sell his seat at such an extortionate rate, and the best way for incensed fans to nip it in the bud is to discourage everyone from buying tickets for silly money. Most ordinary Blues will use the marketplace in the proper spirit, and flog seats at around face value – some are already offering theirs for less. The club has the full details of buyers and sellers, so it’s also a more secure way for fans who don’t live in the city to sell their seats. The cynical antics of a few shouldn’t be allowed to ruin it for everyone else.
WIGAN 2 - EVERTON 2: OLD BOY BAINES BACK TO FOIL LATICS
Sunday October 7,2012
By Richard Jolly
THE return of a great servant is often something to be savoured. But not for Wigan. For them it is all too painful. All too costly. And all too familiar.Two weeks earlier their former striker Hugo Rodallega reappeared at the DW Stadium in a Fulham shirt to score against them. Yesterday, Leighton Baines came back. He, too, grabbed a goal. In the process, he denied Wigan victory with a penalty smashed into the roof of the net. But while Athletic dropped two points, Everton went down a place. David Moyes’ men made a short journey looking to take a major leap to the top of the Premier League. Instead, they slipped to third. But for Baines, it would have been worse.“His penalty was fantastic and his performance was up there as good as anything,” said boss Moyes. And while Wigan rued the sight of an old friend, it was the refereeing Friend who annoyed Everton.Official Kevin Friend rejected a series of penalty appeals before finally awarding one when Kevin Mirallas was tripped
Even then Moyes was not happy. “It is a double penalty kick, a foul on Victor [Anichebe] and Kevin,” he added. “We have had a really rough day with the decisions. What we got today we earned.” And Wigan made them earn it. While Everton have been entertainers in their superb start to the season, Wigan played them at their own game. They attacked. And in Arouna Kone, their inspired Ivorian, they had a man who proved the bane of Everton. Johnny Heitinga has played in a World Cup final but was hauled off at half-time because he could not cope against Kone. Next time someone complains about many managers’ reluctance to buy British, they should take a look at the bleach-blond bundle of energy in the Wigan attack. Kone arrived at the DW Stadium from the Ivory Coast, via Belgium, Holland, Germany and Spain.He struck 15 times in La Liga last season and cost just £4m. That is not just value for money, it is asset stripping. He scored one and made another in the space of 15 frantic minutes. Shaun Maloney chipped a cross to the near post and Kone directed his header past Tim Howard.“He is half a yard offside and the linesman is nowhere near in line,” complained Moyes.But while Kone may be good in the air, the African’s major asset is his sheer speed, as he showed for Wigan’s second goal. Skipper Gary Caldwell aimed a long ball into space behind the Everton defence. Kone chased it down, sprinted away from Heitinga and then delayed for long enough for a team-mate to get into the penalty box. He then picked out Franco di Santo, who thumped his shot high into the net.“The front three were a joy to watch,” said boss Roberto Martinez. “The link-up play was outstanding.” The first time Wigan struck, Everton trailed for only 72 seconds. Their reply was emphatic. Steven Pienaar crossed and Nikica Jelavic finished at the far post with a header.It took them rather longer to draw level for a second time. Everton were behind for an hour, despite Baines prodding a shot against the post and Leon Osman and Mirallas subjecting the Wigan goal to a bombardment.Finally, Mirallas went down and Baines, who scored four times in his 162 games for Wigan, grabbed his third against them. It was a reunion with a bitter twist for Wigan.
Ref: K Friend
WIGAN: Al Habsi, Caldwell, Boyce, Ramis, Figueroa, McCarthy, Maloney, McArthur, Beausejour, Kone, Di Santo (McManaman 84).
EVERTON: Howard, Baines, Heitinga (Distin 46), Jagielka, Neville (Anichebe 81), Coleman, Osman, Pienaar, Fellaini, Jelavic, Mirallas (Naismith 90).
MAN of the MATCH: AROUNA KONE – he was unstoppable. Scored one, made one and tormented Everton with his pace and power.
WIGAN 2 - EVERTON 2: LEIGHTON BAINES FIRES LAST-GASP PENALTY AS MOYES SURVIVES DW THRILLER
7th October 2012
By Steve Millar
DAVID MOYES has confessed he has learned to relax after a decade in the Everton hot seat.But after this pulsating thriller at the DW Stadium his nerves must have been shredded.Moyes prowled his technical area, flapped his arms for penalty appeals – and even gave a ballboy a rollicking for not getting the ball back quickly enough.The smile was only brought back to his face when former Wigan boy Leighton Baines firmly planted home an equalising penalty five minutes from time to maintain Everton’s impressive start to their Premier League campaign.But it was touch and go as Wigan stormed into an early lead through Arouna Kone before Nikica Jelavic equalised almost immediately to leave everyone gasping for breath.Wigan scored a second through the brilliant Franco Di Santo but the Baines saver meant that Roberto Martinez’s side have now beaten Everton just once in eight attempts on home soil.Moyes was reasonably happy with a share of the points but he clearly was not pals with referee Kevin Friend or his assistants.He said: “The first goal was offside – definitely. He was half a yard offside. The linesman was nowhere in line with the ball. Yes, I think it’s offside.“There should have been a Jelavic penalty and we have had a really rough day with decisions. What we got we earned ourselves. We had a tough day to get something out of the game.”Wigan boss Martinez was unhappy with his defence.He said: “It was a tremendous game of football but we should have defended better to get all three points. I’m pleased with the performance and the way we worked and coped with the intensity of Everton.”Wigan brought the home fans to their feet first with a move of sheer perfection after nine minutes. Shaun Maloney toyed with the Everton defence inside the box on the left, teased Seamus Coleman and then crossed for Kone to plant his header beyond Tim Howard.Barely seconds later, Everton were level when Jelavic cashed in on a simple cross from Steven Pienaar, making sure with his head.This was sensational stuff and it got better for Wigan in the 22nd minute when they regained their lead.Skipper Gary Caldwell found Kone with a long ball and the Wigan striker left John Heitinga struggling before pulling back for Di Santo to hammer into the roof of the net.Three minutes later Di Santo saw his well-placed shot pushed away by Howard and Maloney was just wide as Wigan pumped up the football volume.But Everton almost equalised when Leon Osman’s shot deflected off Caldwell and hero keeper Ali Al Habsi acrobatically tipped away as the ball arrowed towards his top corner.There was no let-up from Everton with Baines embarking on a strong run and Kevin Mirallas picking up the pieces as he steered the ball towards the bottom corner only for Al Habsi to save. The pressure finally got to Wigan when Marouane Fellaini chipped into the box and Jelavic was sent tumbling as Maynor Figueroa challenged with Moyes screaming for a spot kick.Figueroa was involved in the penalty which did bring Everton level in the 86th minute as the Wigan defender pulled down Mirallas. Referee Friend didn’t have any doubt and after pointing to the spot, Baines kept his nerve to blast high into the net in front of the Everton fans.The drama wasn’t over and Maloney thought he had snatched a last-minute winner with a shot that hit Coleman and looped over the bar.