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Everton's Romelu Lukaku reminiscent of Thierry Henry
1 Oct 2016 Liverpool Echo
By Chris Beesley
What the papers said about the Blues draw with Crystal Palace
After Romelu Lukaku scored directly from a free-kick for the first time in his career, Dave Anderson was left wondering where he learned to do that.  The Blues frontman has always enjoyed a prolific strike-rate but never from dead ball situations outside the area.  Anderson said: “In many ways, it was reminiscent of a certain Thierry Henry. New Belgium assistant manager Thierry Henry.  “Maybe the Arsenal legend's few hours with Lukaku have already taught him a new trick or two.  “Or perhaps its the work of his Toffees boss Ronald Koeman - himself an expert with a dead ball during his stellar career.
“Koeman challenged Lukaku to play through the pain barrier after he complained of a sore toe going into the match and the striker responded by notching his fourth goal in five Premier League games against the Eagles.”  Anderson also commented on 'another night in the shadows' for Ross Barkley, declaring: “Barkley, now 22, is wanted by his manager to become a real leader and focal point for this side.   “He handed him the captain's armband in the second round of the League Cup, and has been encouraging him to grab games by the scruff of the neck.  “But this was a night that perhaps passed the England man by. Koeman now looks set to continue his calls for more.Gareth Southgate was here at Goodison to watch Barkley, but the playmaker's form has been patchy in the last few weeks.”
Mail  Dominic King observed that new Blues boss Ronald Koeman is still looking for more quality from his team but admitted that visits from Palace have proven tough in recent years.  He said: “This has become a fixture that Evertonians have come to dread, with Palace winning two and drawing one of their last three visits – the first of those victories, in April 2014, was particularly damaging as it effectively torpedoed Roberto Martinez's dream of reaching the Champions League.  “So given Everton arrived into this fixture on the back of two consecutive defeats, to Norwich in the EFL Cup and Bournemouth last Saturday, it was inevitable that a degree of tension could be felt in the opening exchanges.  “Palace were more than happy to put the onus on their hosts. For a long spell it worked, as Everton's play was scruffy, their movement scratchy. Ronald Koeman looked irritated as his team kept running down blind alleys and bemoaned the fact 'our final ball was not of the right quality'.”
Express  Paul Joyce believes that Romelu Lukaku's newly-acquired set piece skills demonstrate his ambition to become the complete striker.  He remarked: “In his ongoing search for perfection, the striker spends his down-time studying the movement and finishing of striking luminaries such as Didier Drogba, Ronaldo and Thierry Henry.  “Yet the deftness of his finish suggested he has also been studying videos of Koeman’s free-kick technique and he rushed to celebrate with his manager.  “By the end, the smile of the Everton manager’s face had disappeared.”
Paul Wilson warned that the honeymoon period looks to be ending for Koeman.
He cautioned: “Everton’s impressive start to the season is in danger of fizzling out. They avoided a third consecutive defeat here, but were only able to score through a set-piece and Crystal Palace will be bitterly disappointed at seeing a perfectly valid potential winner wrongly chalked off in the second half.
“The visitors were worth at least a point, playing a neat counter-attacking game and coming back strongly after Everton had taken a first-half lead. Ronald Koeman said Everton would have to show more aggression and intensity if they were to return to second place in the table, and if that was the aim his players failed to produce.  “Romelu Lukaku was too isolated to be effective after his goal direct from a free-kick, Yannick Bolasie did not stand out against his former club and Ross Barkley had another of his wayward days, being withdrawn before the end as Koeman looked for more penetration.”
Jason Burt observed that both Everton and Palace remain heavily-reliant on their big Belgian centre-forwards.  He declared: “Romelu Lukaku cost £28 million and Christian Benteke £27 million.  “The Belgians strikers were expensive but their value to their clubs continues to soar. “With goals priceless in the Premier League, those transfer fees look great value.”  Burt added: “Everton are certainly ahead of schedule under Koeman. With Palace also resurgent under Pardew, a draw was a fair result however it was achieved.  “To the satisfaction of both managers, their summer recruits have done very well, and while Everton already had Lukaku, Benteke has made a significant difference to Palace.”

Everton Talking Point: Stekelenburg holding on but long-term questions remain
1 Oct 2016 Liverpool Echo
By David Prentice
Blues will be looking to upgrade in the goalkeeping department
When 34-year-old Maarten Stekelenburg was unveiled as Ronald Koeman’s first signing of the new cash-rich Everton era, fans were underwhelmed.  Club sources were quick to brief that the Dutchman was only being signed as a back up. Reliable cover. A solid number two. Don’t panic, because a proper Tim Howard replacement was still being sought.  Then Stekelenburg went and sparkled against Spurs on the opening day – a fortnight before the transfer window closed.  A few more solid performances ensured that all talk of Joe Hart, Tim Krul and Asmir Begovic quickly disappeared.  But seven matches into a very promising start to Koeman’s reign as Blues boss it is clear Everton are still a work in progress. At both ends of the pitch.  Stekelenburg has been solid if unspectacular. A reliable stop gap while Koeman plans the next step of his team rebuilding.  Of course the magnificent Nigel Martyn was signed under similar terms in 2003 as Richard Wright’s experienced understudy, and look how that turned out.
But for now, Stekelenburg appears to be holding the fort.
After an impressive start, recent performances have been less stellar.
A second half header clutched out of the air by the big goalkeeper on Friday night was the only on target shot he has saved in Everton’s past four games.  But there are lies, damned lies and then statistics.
Stekelenburg could hardly be blamed for Junior Stanislas’ stunning strike at Bournemouth, either of Norwich’s goals in the League Cup exit or the own goal he was bizarrely credited with against Middlesbrough.  But if Everton’s aspirations are seriously ambitious, they can clearly attract a higher class long-term option.
And the same goes for the other end of the pitch, too.
Before Everton’s introduction to Friday night football this season, Ronald Koeman had hinted at further transfer business in January.  “We needed energy in the team, and it’s possible in the window in January we will do some business,” he told Jamie Carragher “and maybe next year as well, and then maybe we have the team as we like.”  The message is clear. These are very early days for his project.  That doesn’t mean expectation is any less, though.  After a defeat at Bournemouth and another two points dropped on Friday night to official Goodison bogey side Crystal Palace, Koeman was not unreasonably asked whether he felt his team should be higher in the table.  His answer was a masterclass in expectation-management.  Eyebrows raised in mock indignation, he replied: “Please, please think about it.
“Did you expect Everton, before the season started to be this high? Really?”
Maybe not.
But fans soon will.
Especially if Everton do spend again in January.
By then Koeman will have had plenty of time to assess his squad and address where he wants to Strengthen.
Will that mean some long-awaited support for Romelu Lukaku?
The centre-forward would surely relish it.
The Belgian striker has enjoyed fleeting partnerships during his Everton career.
There was a time when he and Kevin Mirallas appeared to be forging a rapport, then for spells of last season Gerard Deulofeu became his chief supplier. Arouna Kone, too, has been an occasional ally – but Lukaku has never had a genuine striking partner.  Of course, it is not the modern trend to pair two up top. Most sides operate now with a solitary striker backed up by three attacking players operating behind.  But against Palace Ronald Koeman started with Yannick Bolasie as a support striker and it looked briefly promising.  Bolasie was powerful and penetrating and Lukaku threatening.  But in the second half he was used more in a wide role and Lukaku was starved of service again.  Koeman is experimenting. He is finding out about his squad all the time – and these are very, very early stages.
At both ends of the pitch.

Solving Everton's Barkley dilemma could be key issue for Koeman
1 Oct 2016 Liverpool Echo
By Chris Beesley
But Blues midfielder needs to start tackling shortcomings himself
As Everton pushed for a winner in the final 15 minutes of their game with Crystal Palace and Ronald Koeman searched for a spark of magic, it was somewhat telling that it was Ross Barkley who made way for Kevin Mirallas.  While Premier League football is undoubtedly a squad game, it will be disappointing for the Blues number eight that it was his number that came up at a time when creativity was required.
This certainly wasn’t Barkley’s worst display of a patchy season to date. There were flickers of what he is capable of producing but with new England boss Gareth Southgate watching, there was no coherent package on display to suggest an international recall is imminent.   Koeman might not like the constant barrage of Barkley questions that are coming his way but they will continue to do so unless answers are produced on the pitch rather than from the Dutchman’s mouth.   Solving the Barkley puzzle could well prove a key element to the new Blues boss becoming a success at Goodison.  A prodigious talent who battled back from a serious injury setback at a young age, Barkley has been entrusted by Everton managers since he was a boy.  Thrown into first team action by David Moyes when he was just 17, he showed rare promise but a question of trust has continued to hamper his progress.
The Scot would go on to farm Barkley out across the Pennines to try and sure up his decision-making at both Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United.  Following Moyes’ departure, replacement Roberto Martinez handed Barkley a key role in his new-look side and his faith was repaid with a goal in his first game – the 2-2 draw at Norwich – and a string of promising displays in a breakthrough campaign which saw Everton earn a club record Premier League points haul.  Barkley ended the season on the plane to Brazil with England’s World Cup squad but since then his progress has been sporadic.
There are elements of his game that have improved – last term Barkley reached double figures in the goals column for the Blues for the first time and he also netted the first goal of the Koeman era against Tottenham on the opening day this season – but for a player so gifted much more is expected.
Everyone develops at their own pace and it’s been pointed out by several observers of late that at almost 23, Barkley should now be bossing matches.
In contrast, an early Everton Academy graduate Leon Osman had to wait until he was the same age as Barkley is now until he even started a Premier League game for the Blues.
Osman of course was quite a different case. Never one to rely on either pace or power, the diminutive midfielder got by on his quick wits and delicate first touch.  If Koeman could do a Dr Frankenstein and put Osman’s brain in Barkley’s body then you might get the ideal player.
Evertonians might not appreciate a former Liverpool icon lecturing them on a Blues player but Jamie Carragher’s remarks on Barkley while speaking after their 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace were spot on.
There are no issues over his physicality or technique, Ross’ problems are “between his ears” and whether it’s an increased game intelligence or confidence he needs, the mental block needs to be overcome.  Another former Red Jamie Redknapp chipped in and questioned whether Barkley might be struggling under the extra burden of being a local lad.  
It was asked whether he might flourish better away from Merseyside.
The conversation was well-meaning but you wonder whether they’d have been so forthright in proposing the sale of one of Anfield’s crown jewels. The truth is while many Scouse stars in the past have come under heavier scrutiny than others when playing in front of a home crowd, there is a great deal of good will for Barkley from the stands at Goodison and as one of their own he is arguably indulged more than a big money signing from outside.  Managers can guide him in the right direction but he needs to start eradicating the shortcomings himself when it comes to choosing his passes.
Another of Everton’s previous boy wonders Wayne Rooney was never going to win Mastermind but he possessed great football nous.
You’ve got to wonder how much of this can be taught to Barkley at this stage in proceedings.
Having been privileged enough to witness in the flesh his incredible solo goal at Newcastle two-and-a-half years ago – an act few other footballers would be capable of replicating – it must be hoped that such moments were just the opening lines of the Barkley story rather than the main chapter.

Ian Doyle: Everton's old foibles are re-emerging
2 OCT 2016
OPINION Sports writer Ian Doyle BY IANDOYLE
Liverpool Echo
Ronald Koeman is proving popular with Everton's players but can't just wave a magic wand There’s been something worryingly familiar for Evertonians about the last few weeks. First came the inevitable League Cup disappointment to Norwich City. Then the question marks arrived over character and resolve in the miserable defeat at Bournemouth. And finally, on Friday, the usual frustration against bogey team Crystal Palace. Solving Everton's Barkley dilemma could be key issue for Koeman. The draw against the Londoners highlighted another recurring problem for Everton. An inability to defend crosses. Admittedly, it’s not every week the Blues will come up against opponents possessing a striker with the aerial prowess and power of Christian Benteke, a perennial thorn in their side since moving to the Premier League. Certainly, the duel between Benteke and Seamus Coleman at the far post for Palace’s equaliser hardly seemed fair. But the issue is the ball had reached that far in the first place. Christian Benteke outjumps Seamus Coleman as he scores Palace's goal
With Ashley Williams having been signed in the summer, Ronald Koeman has already sought to strengthen the at times previously soft centre when dealing with the high ball. More, though, is required to stop balls threatening from source, whether that is out wide or from deep. You can’t stop every cross. But Koeman will know it’s an area where there remains much room for improvement, a legacy of the Roberto Martinez era that drove supporters to distraction last term. Everton’s start to the season has been decent in terms of results and, in patches, performances, both individually and collectively. But the longer the campaign progresses, the more it becomes apparent Koeman doesn’t have a magic wand to address Everton’s shortcomings overnight. With each passing week, an old foible emerges.
Fans have seen them before. For Koeman, though, they are something new, every game a new learning experience. The Dutchman will have taken more from the past fortnight than the previous weeks of his reign, given plenty to ponder during the forthcoming international break. He’ll have discovered Everton don’t have the quality to play at less than 100% and expect to coast to victory. Koeman will also know his squad doesn’t have the strength in depth yet to atone for dips in form with certain individuals. Everton Talking Point: Stekelenburg holding on but long-term questions remain
Sam's head got too big
Silly, silly Sam. As one of those who backed Allardyce for the England role, it was particularly disappointing to see him last just one game. Greed, stupidity, ego and loose lips ultimately put paid to his dream job. Given the FA’s drive to clean up the game, they were left no choice but to sack Allardyce despite him having, on the face of it, broken no rules. Former England national football team manager Sam Allardyce speaks to the press outside his home in Bolton
That doesn’t mean what he did was right. But while the likes of Allardyce, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Harry Redknapp are providing the easy headlines, the real corruption is, of course, elsewhere. Where there’s money, there’s muck. And it goes much further afield than England. Pete Willett became an internet sensation in April when tweeting during his sibling Danny’s surprise US Masters win. But he caused a bit of an upset with an article poking fun at US golf fans on the eve of the ongoing Ryder Cup. Tongue was quite clearly in cheek but given a large number of Americans receive an irony bypass at birth, it wasn’t the wisest thing to do. And it made Willett’s challenge in Hazeltine that little bit more difficult.

Everton transfer rumours: Walsh wants Sevilla man and Blues ready to battle Reds for Bilbao striker
2 OCT 2016
Liverpool Echo
Everton still want to beef up their midfield by recruiting Sevilla man Steven N'Zonzi when the January transfer window opens, according to the Sunday People. The tabloid claims that Blues Director of Football Steve Walsh has instructed bis scoting team to closely monitor the former Stoke City and Blackburn player. According to the People's Neil Moxley, Walsh admired N'Zonzi when he was at Leicester City and Ronald Koeman has told him he wants a powerful presence with pace after missing out on Moussa Sissoko in the summer. Walsh apparently sent one of his top men to watch him during the Seville derby against Real Betis two weeks ago and would not be put off by the asking price. N'Zonzi won the Europa League last season by beating Liverpool, and has a £20million-plus buy-out clause in his contract. But the People insist that Farhad Moshiri is happy to bankroll the deal and would have no problem meeting that fee. N’Zonzi once enquired about playing for England on the grounds of residency, however the former France Under-21 star failed to meet the criteria. Meanwhile various news outlets are running the story that Koeman and Jurgen Klopp will battle it out for the signature of Athletic Bilbao's Inaki Williams. Klopp is said to have expressed a strong interest in the 22-year-old, but it has also been suggested that Everton are also in the hunt. Williams has scored 16 goals in 69 appearances for the Basque club, while he has also chipped in with eight assists, but he has yet to score this season. The versatile front man can play down either flank as well as down the middle, but he will not come cheap with reports claiming he has a €50m release clause in his contract.

Everton's Manchester City away ticket allocation already sold-out
2 OCT 2016
Liverpool Echo
Everton's Ross Barkley opens the scoring against Manchester City last season We might have pressed pause on Premier League action for the international break - but it hasn't dampened Everton fans' excitement.
With Ronald Koeman facing his first major test since taking over in the summer, Everton travel to Manchester City's Etihad stadium on October 15. The Premier League pace-setters have been in fine form so far, but Koeman will be hoping to change that when he leads his team across the M62 in a little under two weeks. And the Blues fans are clearly ready for the challenge - with the club announcing today that they have sold their entire allocation of tickets already. Everton's last trip to the Etihad ended in bitter disappointment when they were knocked out of the League Cup there at the semi-final stage in January last season. Manchester City's Raheem Sterling (left) and Gareth Barry battle for the ball during the Capital One Cup, semi final, second leg at the Etihad Stadium
The Toffees have already had some favourable news ahead of the big fixture. Last weekend it emerged that City will likely be without star man Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgium international is expected to miss a month through injury after picking up a hamstring strain during his side's 3-1 win at Swansea. The game will also mark the first time John Stones will face his former club since the ex-Everton centre back joined Pep Guardiola's men in a £47m move during the summer.

Everton football director Steve Walsh planning to convince next Mahrez and Vardy to join Blues
2 OCT 2016
Liverpool Echo
Everton director of football Steve Walsh has revealed his desire to galvanise the Blues by unearthing the next Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy. The former Leicester chief scout was widely credited for boosting the Foxes' historic title-winning campaign by signing gems such as the forward pair and midfielder Ngolo Kante. Now Walsh, who joined the Goodison outfit in the summer, is plotting how to repeat the trick on Merseyside, with the January transfer window on the horizon. Everton's business in the summer was incomplete, with Ronald Koeman missing out on several targets - mainly the forward he wanted to support Romelu Lukaku. And Walsh said: "Recruitment is key at any football club and Everton is no different. "Hopefully I can duplicate here what I did at Leicester. "There are certainly one or two players out there that we'd like to talk to and convince that Everton is the place for them." Walsh admitted his role at Goodison is slightly different than the one he carried out at the King Power stadium, but he is relishing it nevertheless. "I'm enjoying it very much," he said. "It's a new role but I'm enjoying it so far. "I'm not in the dressing room as much but I'm still out there trying to find the best talent." Walsh added that he is building a strong relationship with Koeman, who he has found to be an impressive colleague. He said: "He's absolutely top drawer. I've been really impressed by him. "He's driven, he's methodical and he knows what he wants. I enjoy his brand of football."
Everton youngster JonJoe Kenny insists he's not just at Blues to make up the numbers
2 Oct 2016
By Chris Beesley
Liverpool Echo
Everton youngster Jonjoe Kenny insists he’s not just at the Blues to make up the numbers as he strives for more first team opportunities. The 19-year-old was handed his senior bow for the club by caretaker boss David Unsworth as a substitute in the 3-0 victory over Norwich City in the final game of last season when Matthew Pennington had to leave the field injured on 29 minutes.Kenny hasn’t featured since with the first team but with a shortage of cover in the right-back berth, he is determined that he be given a chance by Ronald Koeman at some point. He said: “Hopefully I’ll get another chance in the first team this season, that’s my aim.“I’m not here just to be one of the lads I’m want to be a first team footballer.“I want to get into the first team and if that doesn’t happen then I’ll try and go on loan but my first aim is to get into the first team and break through.”Kenny played 27 games on loan last term with both Wigan Athletic and Oxford United but as a Kirkdale native he’s as local as they come for Goodison Park which makes pulling on the royal blue jersey even more special for him.He said: “I haven’t had a proper conversation with the new manager but we’ll have to see how it goes and hopefully I’ll get my chance again.“Playing in front of a lot of people, it’s over the road from mine so to play here it’s a dream come true and I want more of that experience.”Although more of a traditional right-back who makes defending his priority, Kenny is delighted to have Seamus Coleman at Everton to help him progress.He said: “It’s great to have Seamus Coleman as someone to learn from. Seamus has done it now for several years and he’s been consistently brilliant.“To look up to Seamus is great for me and all the lads coming through.”On Saturday, Kenny led by example for Everton’s Under-23s as he coolly slotted home a penalty in second half stoppage time following a handball to give the Blues a 1-0 victory over Wolves in their opening group game of the Premier League Cup.He said: “It was a tough match. Wolves came here and gave us a good game.“The lads dug in and showed we don’t stop until the very end and at the end we got that little bit of fortune we needed with the penalty and deserved our win.“It showed the character of the lads. We didn’t stop until the very end and having come up against a good side we were happy to come out with the win.“I knew where I was going to go and stuck to that corner thinking it would hopefully go in so I’m over the moon with that.”

Everton super-fan Speedo Mick makes Daily Mirror's Pride of Britain short-list
3 Oct 2016
By Greg O’Keeffe
Liverpool Echo
He is a one-man, blue-trunked fund-raising machine - and Speedo Mick's heroic efforts could be set for national recognition.The well-known Everton fan is now in his second season of attending games clad only in his boots, blue Speedos, a scarf, goggles and a swim cap.His exploits include swimming the channel, hiking to Wembley and bearing the cold of Premier League grounds up and down the country come rain or shine.Now Mick, aka Mick Cullen, 50, from Dovecot, is celebrating being short-listed for the Daily Mirror's Pride of Britain awards.Mick took to Facebook to announce he is in contention for the prestigious prize, which 'celebrate the achievements of truly remarkable people who make our world a better place'.He will be at the ceremony at the Grosvenor House in London, when the 2016 ceremony is screened on ITV on Tuesday, November 1.In an emotional Facebook post Mick, who was also nominated for the ECHO awards at Liverpool's Titanic Hotel last month, wrote: 'I have just had a phone call from a Granada reports employee asking me if he could film me about my exploits as Speedomick.'I said yes that would be great, and he was talking away and in the middle of whatever he was saying I heard, 'Pride of Britain'.'I then said what did you say then , and he said the words - YOU HAVE BEEN SHORTLISTED FOR THE PRIDE OF BRITAIN.'I couldn't speak for a while I was so choked up and I still am.'There are four nominees who are short listed but I'm not sure who yet, but who ever you are I genuinely wish you All the Best of luck.'...I am really overwhelmed and I can't believe that this is happening to me I am so so proud I can't tell you .'I am now going to pracky my speech if get the award and it simply goes like this'I would like to Dedicate this to Terry. We miss you.'And to my wonderful wife Rachel Cullen, you make me so happy, you make me feel like Iv gone into space and I've landed on a moon that turned out to be one gigantic Rasberry glazed Doughnut'.

Ex Everton hero Tim Cahill still a hit with fans as new club Melbourne City ticket sales rocket
3 Oct 2016
By Greg O’Keeffe
Liverpool Echo
He might be getting on a bit in sporting terms - but Tim Cahill is still proing popular as ever with football fans.The former Blues hero is currently at his fourth club since departing Goodison Park in 2012.Now back in his native Australia, Cahill, 36, joined A-League side Melbourne City FC this summer and the club have already seen season ticket sales rise significantly.The Manchester City-owned club won plaudits for its attacking approach last season, with an average of more than two goals a game.Now the Cahill-Factor looks set to help City move from the shadow of Melbourne's traditional big club Melbourne Victory.According to the Canberra Times, figures from the FFA (Football Federation Australia) show that City's membership figure is up to 9,530, putting them in fourth spot on the league ladder for paid-up members.Victory are still the top dogs, with their membership roster more than 23,000, and Western Sydney Wanderers are next best on 18,318.And Cahill, who joined City from China's Hangzhou Greentown - where he also played for Shanghai Shenhua after a spell at NY Red Bulls in MLS - is bullish about the future of football down under.“I think there comes a time in every sport that when you dominate in certain areas that you’ve actually got to look beyond that box, and really try and achieve something special. Because without that belief, we’re just making up the numbers," he said. “Instead of worrying about AFL or Rugby League, just keep going at our own pace."Keep improving the game, keep raising awareness, keep bringing great players back to the country, some Brazilian flare, keep introducing new talent, but just try and support the game where it’s going to grow.”The 2016/17 A-League season starts this Friday with Cahill's City travelling to New Zealand to face Wellington Phoenix.

Everton U18s 4 Sunderland U18s 4: Gallant Black Cats pegged back in eight-goal
Sunderland Echo
epic .. .. David Pilkington Sunderland finally secured their first point of the Under-18 Premier League season on Saturday. But they were still left disappointed as hosts Everton hit back from 4-1 down to rescue a 4-4 draw at their Finch Farm academy. The visitors started the brighter, going close to taking the lead early on, but were only kept at bay until the 12th minute when Lee Connolly coolly chipped Everton goalkeeper Chris Renshaw to open the scoring. Nine minutes later, the young Black Cats doubled their lead when Brandon Taylor connected with a Chris Allen corner from the right to punish the hosts. Adam Bale made a brilliant block to deny Everton’s Stephen Duke-McKenna, who looked certain to score. Two minutes before the break, Fergus McAughtrie was brought down in the box and Connolly duly dispatched the resulting penalty, making it 3-0. Everton grabbed a quick goal in reply the following minute, being awarded a “rather dubious” penalty after Bale was adjudged to have pushed Jack Kiersey and Shayne Lavery netted from the spot. Connolly re-established the Wearsiders’ three-goal lead in the 65th minute, latching on to a cross from the right to fire home for his hat-trick. The hosts soon responded, though, and pulled back to 4-2 in the 68th minute, Lavery finishing off a Fraser Hornby cross. Now on a roll, the Toffees closed the gap to one goal two minutes later, Hornby nodding in a Kiersey centre. The Merseysiders then managed to equalise in the 78th minute as substitute Benjamin Mgunga-Kimpioka tormented his marker in the box and fired a fierce shot in off the underside of Michael Woud’s bar. Coach Elliott Dickman said: “I was over the moon to score four goals away from home, but disappointed to concede four also. I thought we did enough to win the game.”
Everton: Renshaw, Morris, Moore, Harrington, Lees, Hornby, Bramall, Kiersey, Lavery, Duke-McKenna, Mampala.
Sunderland: Woud, Hickey, Taylor, Young, McAughtrie, Diamond (Krusnell 75), Allen, Bale, Hackett, Kimpioka, Connelly. Subs not used: Pattinson, Fowler, Howard, Best.

Will Everton's Brendan Galloway switch international allegiance?

3 Oct 2016
By Phil Kirkbride
Liverpool Echo
Zimbabwe are trying to convince Brendan Galloway to swap international allegiance.The Everton defender, currently on loan at West Bromwich Albion, has been capped at under-21 level by England.But born in Harare, Galloway would still be eligible to play at senior level for Zimbabwe and their coach, Kalisto Pasuwa, is hoping to change the defender’s mind.The 20-year-old has been called up by England u-21s for their latest round of Euro 2017 qualifiers but with the Africa Cup of Nations on the horizon, Pasuwa is refusing to give up - even though in initial feedback hasn’t been encouraging. “As the technical team, we are always looking for good players and as for the England-based guys like Darikwa and Galloway, they have not been responding positively to come and play for the national team,” he said.England’s u-21s face Kazakhstan on October 6 and Bosnia-Herzegovina on October 11.Brendan Galloway in action for West Bromwich Albion in SeptemberZimbabwe are trying to convince Brendan Galloway to swap international allegiance.The Everton defender, currently on loan at West Bromwich Albion, has been capped at under-21 level by England.But born in Harare, Galloway would still be eligible to play at senior level for Zimbabwe and their coach, Kalisto Pasuwa, is hoping to change the defender’s mind.The 20-year-old has been called up by England u-21s for their latest round of Euro 2017 qualifiers but with the Africa Cup of Nations on the horizon, Pasuwa is refusing to give up - even though in initial feedback hasn’t been encouraging.
Brendan Galloway comes away with the ball against Bournemouth last season “As the technical team, we are always looking for good players and as for the England-based guys like Darikwa and Galloway, they have not been responding positively to come and play for the national team,” he said.England’s u-21s face Kazakhstan on October 6 and Bosnia-Herzegovina on October 11.

Everton Football Director Steve Walsh explains Yannick Bolasie's impact on Blues tactics
16:00, 3 Oct 2016
By Greg O’Keeffe
Liverpool Echo
Yannick Bolasie's power play is helping Everton sharpen their attacking instincts, according to Director of Football Steve Walsh.The £30m summer signing is yet to score for the Blues but is still helping them create plenty of chances with his pace and unpredictability.Ronald Koeman has demanded more goals from the former Crystal Palace winger, and despite not scoring he turned out a vibrant performance in the 1-1 draw with his former club on Friday night.And Walsh - who is leading Everton's transfer strategy after joining from Champions Leicester City in the summer - has been impressed with what he has seen so far.Explaining how Bolasie helps the Blues tactical evolution under Koeman work, he said: "He's done very well."The quality of his crossing so far has been immense. Especially at Goodison."The good thing about Yannick is he gets you up the pitch. Whatever you ask of him he uses his strength, his power and his pace and gets you up the field."That helps our back four to shift up and then we can play from there."

How did Everton loanee Shani Tarashaj fare on Frankfurt debut?
14:32, 3 Oct 2016
Updated 14:42, 3 Oct 2016
By Phil Kirkbride
Liverpool Echo
Shani Tarashaj has finally made his debut for Eintracht Frankfurt - and it didn’t go too well.The Everton forward is on a season-long loan with the Bundesliga club and came off the bench against Freiburg on Saturday for his first appearance.But leading German newspaper Bild were far from glowing in their assessment of Tarashaj’s 32 minute cameo, handing the Blues’ loanee a rating of 4 out of 10 as Frankfurt lost 1-0.Tarashaj joined Frankfurt on deadline day after joining up with Everton in the summer.The 21-year-old was signed by Roberto Martinez in January on a £3m deal from Grasshopper Zurich but remained with Swiss club until the end of the season.Tarashaj started pre-season with the Blues under new boss Ronald Koeman but despite being handed a squad number for the new season, the young forward hardly featured in the summer.And on deadline day, his loan move to Frankfurt was finalised.However, Tarashaj didn’t start training with the side until the middle of September after suffering with a bout of benign angina. “The number ten is my favourite position, but I can play in midfield everywhere,” he said.“I completed the entire preparation at Everton and I am now fully fit. I’m young and I want to play as much as possible.“I’m fit again, I feel better. Everything else is decision of the coach.”

Why January has already become a huge month for Everton
4 Oct 2016
by MichaelBall
Liverpool Echo
It only takes two or three of the established players to be missing from Everton's side and you start to become concerned. And it's why the January transfer window is huge for the Blues.It has to be.The last few games have told me the squad doesn't have the strength in depth I thought it had and the signings the club are targeting in the next window will need to be players who can immediately come into the side.For a start, Everton need a new striker.And the type of forward I want to see the Blues go for is a Jermaine Defoe-esque striker.I don't know what's out there and who is available in the European leagues - maybe Defoe is what we're looking for - but all I know for certain is the side is crying out for a forward who anticipates things in and around the box and can sniff out chances.The type of player who sees an opportunity and takes it. A question every Evertonian will have asked themselves is if Romelu Lukaku isn't playing, who scores our goals?The team needs an answer to that problem.We also struggle on the left-hand side.The lack of balance seems obvious to me. We need to be able to keep the opposition guessing, and keep them stretched and uncertain about where our threat is coming from.The way Everton have played recently, the goals can feel a little scripted.Kevin Mirallas' attitude has been spot on this season, the new manager has given him a great opportunity to kickstart his Goodison career and he returned from the summer with a point to prove.That is never a bad thing.But as one of our main attacking players, I have to question if he is creating enough chances and scoring enough goals.It's the same with Ross Barkley.Again, his attitude has been great, he is playing with energy and his set-pieces are dangerous but we're looking for more from him when we're trying to break teams down.His job, and Kevin's as well, is to provide support for our striker - are they doing that enough?Even as a kid, I would note down how many of my main tasks I would complete each game.How many crosses I'd stopped. How many crosses I'd put in. And so on and so on. The basics of my job.If I'd not stopped enough crosses then I wanted to make sure I stopped more in the next game and these same, basic principles have to apply to players such as Kevin and Ross.I used to be critical of Lukaku for the way he seemed to react to crosses rather than anticipate them but I'm beginning to have some sympathy with him because I'm not so sure he can ever be certain over the type of service he'll get from game to game.Everton's issues appear easily fixable but it does mean that this could be one of - if not the - biggest Januarys in the club's recent history.A player to challenge Ross for his place and though he has so, so much in his repertoire - power, pace, strength, the ability to drive forward with the ball - I sometimes feel he needs to focus on the basics of his position.As I was saying, he needs to look at how many times he fed Lukaku or how many times he tested the goalkeeper.It goes back to this very simple idea about every member of a team knowing exactly what their job is.I remember playing under Guus Hiddink at PSV and launching a ball right over the top of the opposition's defence.The ball found Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink who tried to lob the keeper but hit the bar.'Michael! Don't so that again' Hiddink said from the touchline.'There are people who are paid more than you to pass the ball to Jan. You pass it to them'.He was referring to players like Phillip Cocu and was making the point that passes like the one I'd just delivered would work once every blue moon from me and that all I needed to do was give the ball to Cocu.If players aren't doing that then Koeman will look to find replacements and I fully expect he'll do so in January.In previous years, the club would have little option but to stick with the players they already had and persevere but things have changed at Goodison and the manager can now go into the market and bring in new faces.Without doubt, some of Everton's squad are fighting for their futures.I used to agree with Roberto Martinez about there being little value in the January market but Everton have no choice but to do business there this time.Because they were unable to get all of their business done in the summer, it means they simply have to do some of their shopping in January, where there will be a premium on their targets.But they will have to pay it because Koeman came to this club to bring success back to Goodison - and he needs the players to do it.January is huge.

Everton have costlier squad than Atletico Madrid and Sevilla, says study
4 Oct 2016
By Chris Beesley
Liverpool Echo
Many Evertonians were left disappointed over the summer that their club had been unable to flex their new financial muscle further. But the Blues already have a more expensively assembled squad than Champions League finalists Atletico Madrid and Sevilla, Europa League winners for the past three years, according to a study by the CIES Football Observatory.Despite the increased spending power brought by new majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri’s wealth, Everton were left frustrated in their pursuit of several high-profile targets before the last transfer window shut and although they spent big on Yannick Bolasie, made a net profit in their dealings due to John Stones’ £47.5million departure to Manchester City. Nevertheless, the Swiss-based research centre has calculated that the Blues now have the 14th most expensive squad in European football at an estimated €212million (currently the equivalent of £185million).Such a cost is greater than Monaco, who have just beaten Tottenham in the Champions League (€202million); Roma, who finished third in Serie A (€201million) and Napoli, currently topping Champions League Group B (€200million).Further down the list are the aforementioned Atletico Madrid, who have been edged out by neighbours Real in two of the last three Champions League finals (€199million); and Sevilla (€119million) whose squad costs lie between the likes of fallen giants AC Milan (€156million).Of the 13 clubs with costlier squads than Everton, six are from the Premier League: Manchester United, who topped the list (€718million); Manchester City (€611million); Chelsea (€481million); Arsenal (€381million); Liverpool (€356million) and Tottenham Hotspur (€274million).The seven non-English sides with more expensively assembled squads than the Blues are Spain’s big two Champions League winners Real Madrid (€634million) and La Liga champions Barcelona (€485million); French champions Paris St Germain (€455million); Italian champions Juventus (€395million); German champions Bayern Munich (€357million); Internazionale (€295million) and Borussia Dortmund (€237million).Domestically, the findings seemingly back up the theory that Everton underachieved over the past couple of seasons when they had back-to-back 11th place finishes under former manager Roberto Martinez.Surprise champions Leicester City won the Premier League with only the 17th most costly squad in the division but even with their summer spending this year which takes their total squad cost to €130million, they still have a cheaper side than the one at Goodison.This also goes for Southampton (€182million); West Ham United (€196million) and Stoke City (€120million) who all finished above the Blues last term.

How Everton legend Neville Southall switched sides to confound his own team
13:00, 4 Oct 2016
By David Prentice
Liverpool Echo
Everton legend Neville Southall's list of clubs is lengthy. The man who made a record breaking 751 appearances for the Toffees - and one solitary start for Bradford City, also represented Bury, Port Vale, Southend, Stoke, Doncaster and Torquay United throughout a stellar career.But it was half-a-match he played for tonight's opponents Cheltenham - against Everton - which is still talked about now.Just how good was Big Nev in his prime? The answer was – good enough to win a match against any opposition on his own! In 1990 Everton went to Whaddon Road for a testimonial match.Southall got bored and insisted on switching sides for the night – and with him in goal the Conference club upstaged an Everton team containing internationals like Dave Watson, Norman Whiteside and Tony Cottee, winning 1-0!It was a joint testimonial match for Nick Jordan and Ray Baverstock in April 1990 – and the clash was arranged by then Robins’ boss Jim Barron, who had been goalkeeping coach at Everton and worked closely with Southall.Cheltenham left-back that night, Kevin Willetts, described Southall’s performance as “incredible.”He explained: “He strolled into the dressing room before the game and said ‘we’ll win this tonight if we score, because nothing’s getting past me' – and he was right! “He took central defender Anton Vircavs, who was dominant in the air, to one side and told him to stay out of his way because he'd come and catch everything. “It was virtually Everton’s first team against Cheltenham Town so as to be expected they had a few shots, but Southall made it look easy and it was an unbelievable experience to see just how good he was.“Everton’s manager, Colin Harvey, had them straight on the bus after the game as he wasn't happy they'd lost."With Southall making the art of goalkeeping look easy, Cheltenham won a well contested match 1-0 courtesy of substitute Simon Brain's second-half strike, which even stemmed from a long clearance from the Goodison legend!
CHELTENHAM TOWN: Southall; Whelan, Williams, Baverstock, Vircavs, Willetts, Burns, Boyland, Jordan, Buckland, Crowley.
Subs: Nuttell, Purdie, Brain, Crouch.
EVERTON: Kearton; Atteveld, M Wright, Watson, Lyons, Whiteside, P Jones, Ebbrell, Powell, Cottee, Power.
Subs: Ebdon, N Moore, Reilly.
Ref: R McBeth. Att: 3,050.

Everton Football Director Steve Walsh: Fully knowing Koeman is key task ahead of January
4 Oct 2016
By Greg O’Keeffe
Liverpool Echo
Steve Walsh has explained why getting inside Ronald Koeman's mind has become one of his priorities ahead of the January transfer window. The Everton Director of Football admits his new role at Goodison is more complex than the one he fulfilled at previous club Leicester City, and his immediate goal is to ensure him and Blues boss Koeman think alike when it comes to transfer targets. He said: "I’m getting to know Ronald [Koeman] . He’s very driven, he’s very positive and he has high standards. He’s been a great player and understands what he wants. He knows systems and structures of play and knows how to get the best out of players. "It’s forming that relationship and getting into his way of thinking in terms of what he wants in a player."It’s got to be a joint venture – there’s no point in me bringing players to him and then he’s not going to play them. I’ve got to make sure we are on common ground. And so far, so good.“It’s a bit unknown to Everton because it’s a new role for the Club,” he reasons. “How I see it is to get involved first of all with first-team recruitment and make sure that area is good. Once I get an opportunity, we will look at what’s further down with the Under-23s and the Academy. “Because most of my expertise is in recruitment, that’s taken up all my time. I’ve got to get that right and make sure we have got a squad that is fit and capable to go forward. Obviously, I’m here for the long haul, I’m here to lay foundations but my initial business is actually making sure we’ve got the right people in place.“We will set systems and structures in place to make sure we get the best talent and manage that talent so the coaches are able to work their magic and take things forward. All the other matters with the football side of things, I’m going to be involved in."Obviously, I’ve got my relationship with the manager first of all and the coaching staff as well. And the players – you have got to get a relationship with them, too. So it’s going to be across the board. I intend to immerse myself gradually."Walsh’s first significant contribution at Everton was to recommend the signature of Idrissa Gana Gueye, who sealed his move from Aston Villa on August 2.“I told the manager to have a look at this lad because I think he can do all the things we want him to do,” he told the Everton magazine . “We earmarked the fact that we were looking for a bit more energy from that part of the field. He moves the ball quickly and runs with the ball. He is good at pressing and good at intercepting.“Don’t put too much on his shoulders but he is a little bit like Kante. You’ll see that when he presses. He just needs now to show a little bit more discipline and he’ll be a really good player for us, we believe.”Walsh explained how he operates prior to and during the transfer window.“I don’t think you can switch off,” he said. “It’s hard, it really is. You become obsessed by it. You don’t sleep well sometimes, particularly when the transfer window is open.“Once the window closes, it’s information-gathering time again. You are out and about. I’ll be at all our games but I have to go where my job dictates. If I have to miss a game because we have got to make a crucial move on a player, I’ll do that."Otherwise, I’d like to be at our games, getting a feel for how we play. I want to hopefully be part of some success here. It’s a fantastic football club and that’s the reason I came.”

Cheltenham v Everton u-23s: Checkatrade Trophy preview
14:59, 4 Oct 2016
Updated 17:58, 4 Oct 2016
By Chris Beesley
Liverpool Echo
When you think of a Tuesday night away trip in the Northern Section of the Football League Trophy, an image of factory chimneys and terraced houses on cobbled streets probably comes to mind – certainly not a jaunt to the Cotswolds.Yet that's where Everton embark tonight as they head to Cheltenham for their second fixture in the new-look competition having triumphed 2-0 at Bolton Wanderers on August 30.- Where does the north start? That's a loaded and thorny question.A Geordie might quip to you that the north starts in Durham.A Londoner might tell you it's Watford Gap (which for those not in the know is Northamptonshire and Britain's oldest service station), not the home of the Z Cars-playing Hornets, a football team whose older fans bang on about Everton's second goal in the 1984 FA Cup final – over 32 years on we still can't see Andy Gray touch goalkeeper Steve Sherwood.Of course an added complication in this competition is that the country is only split into two but you couldn't say that Cheltenham was even in the Midlands.West Bromwich, Coventry, Northampton, Milton Keynes and Peterborough are all further north but competing in the southern section of the tournament yet the vagaries of the format mean the Blues must go to the Gloucestershire spa town.Going through the competition's various monikers over the years, curiously often with a transport-related theme of sponsors, provides a written embodiment of lower division football.Freight Rover Trophy; Sherpa Van Trophy; Leyland DAF Trophy; Autoglass Trophy; Auto Windscreens Shield; LDV Vans Trophy and Johnstone's Paint Trophy.It was a regular opportunity to lift silverware at Wembley and enjoy a day out for fans of smaller clubs.Now of course it's all change in the brave new world of the Checkatrade Trophy.The big boys have been unleashed. Of sorts.There are notable absentees in the shape of Everton's neighbours Liverpool; Manchester pair United and City; north London duo Arsenal and Tottenham plus, bizarrely, Newcastle United.The inclusion of higher division Academy outfits like the Blues also blurs the lines between what is a first team fixture or not.Whatever the rights and wrongs of the new format – there are many fans in the lower divisions who see it as sacrilege – and you have to wonder about the long-term sustainability of such a venture, it's another trophy for David Unsworth's youngsters to chase. His charges have already captured the SuperCupNI (formerly the NI Milk Cup); Liverpool Senior Cup (for the first time since 2007) and Lancashire Senior Cup (for the first time since 1964) this year.Whatever the competition, success breeds further success.The young Blues have been busy acquiring the handy habit of lifting cups and that's not to be sniffed at for a club whose wait for a major piece of silverware has now extended to a 22 year.Such a drought means that most of Everton's side poised for action at Cheltenham weren't even born when Paul Rideout's header secured the FA Cup for their manager Unsworth and his Blues team-mates back in 1995, let alone be able to recall it.Local lads like JonjoeKeny, Kieran Dowell, Morgan Feeney, Callum Connolly, Joe Williams, Harry Charsley and Calum Dyson are part of a generation of success-starved Evertonians who will have to go on to create their own highlights.A determined bunch, the team's Merseyside core is bolstered by a sprinkling of outside talent such as Australian-born Welsh Under-21 international full-back Gethin Jones, Polish goalkeeper Mateusz Hewelt and deadline day signing from Sheffield United, Dominic Calvert-Lewin.The game also provides a homecoming for Everton's Cheltenham-born forward Coutney Duffus, who joined them from the Robins alongside younger brother Tyrone in 2012.Of course a clutch of over-age players can be added to the squad and Ronald Koeman outcast Oumar Niasse, whose first team career with the Blues appears to be over less than a year after his £13.5million move from Lokomotiv Moscow, has been leading the line of late.The big money Senegalese striker could provide something of an exotic voyeurism experience for Whaddon Road patrons if selected.Currently lying third bottom of the League Two table, just goal difference separates Cheltenham from Exeter City and a place in the relegation zone from the Football League with nine points taken from their opening 11 fixtures.Winless since August – a run that stretches for seven matches – their only League victory so far came against Crewe while their other success was versus Charlton Athletic in the first round of the EFL Cup over two months ago and their previous Checkatrade Trophy outing was a 2-1 reversal at Blackpool.Known locally as the Robins, Cheltenham's football team have endured something of a yo-yo existence in recent years.Promoted to the Football League for the first time in 1999, they would go on to spend four seasons in the third tier of English football (now League One) during the noughties before eventually slipping back into the Non-League game in 2015 alongside Tranmere.Unlike Rovers, they bounced straight back up earlier this year under the stewardship of veteran boss Gary Johnson, who has 30 years of managerial experience.Tonight's game will undoubtedly be a less high-profile encounter than when Everton's first team played Cheltenham for the only time to date back in January 2013.In what proved to be David Moyes' final season in charge, the Blues strolled to a 5-1 success in front of a capacity crowd just shy of 7,000 as Nikica Jelavic, Leighton Baines (penalty), Leon Osman, Seamus Coleman and Marouane Fellaini all netted in an FA Cup third round tie.The match was also notable for being the first time in Everton history that both full-backs scored in the same game.

Everton's current defensive record is their Premier League best
16:17, 4 Oct 2016
Updated 16:18, 4 Oct 2016
By Chris Beesley
Liverpool Echo
Ronald Koeman’s Everton have equalled a club defensive record but it could be a dubious honour as the feat puts them in the same bracket as the Blues side in Walter Smith’s first season! Seven games into the season, Everton have conceded just five goals, matching their lowest ever total at this point of a Premier League campaign, according to our Royal Blue podcaster and Blues official statistician Gavin Buckland . After suffering from defensive frailties in Roberto Martinez’s last two campaigns, shipping 50 goals in 2014/15 and 55 last term, new boss Koeman has clearly called for more solidity.So far the Blues haven’t conceded more than a single goal in any Premier League game, drawing with Tottenham 1-1; recording four consecutive wins over West Brom (2-1), Stoke (1-0), Sunderland (3-0) and Middlesbrough (3-1) before losing 1-0 at Bournemouth and drawing 1-1 with Crystal Palace.At this point last season Everton had conceded seven goals but the previous year had seen them leak 16 in the same period – a figure not helped by losing 6-3 at home to Chelsea in August.The only other time Everton had such a paltry goals against figure seven games into the season came back in 1998 when former Rangers boss Smith had replaced Howard Kendall after his third spell in charge.Unlike now, the Scot’s new charges had leaked two goals twice in this period, going down 2-0 to both Leicester and drawing 2-2 with Middlesbrough but the only other goal they conceded was in a 1-0 loss at home to Tottenham with four clean sheets coming against Aston Villa (0-0); Nottingham Forest (2-0); Leeds United (0-0) and Blackburn Rovers (0-0).With Smith regularly employing a back five – sometimes using as many as four recognised centre-backs in his line-up – dour contests were often the order of the day.Everton were involved in eight 0-0 draws that season with the long-suffering Goodison crowd having to sit through seven of those stalemates and the Blues failing to score in 10 of their 19 home matches in the Premier League.Thankfully the goals began to flow a bit more readily as the campaign progressed with the last goalless game coming at home to Leicester City on January 9 and the Blues actually finishing off in front of their own fans with a 6-0 mauling of West Ham United.Everton’s next best defensive record seven games into a Premier League season is six goals which they have achieved on three occasions.This was done in the first two Premier League seasons (1992/93 & 1993/94) during Kendall’s second spell in charge and in 2006/07 under David Moyes after the arrival of Tim Howard and Joleon Lescott.The figure of 16 from 2014/15 is the club’s joint worst at this point in a Premier League season, matching the calamitous start under Mike Walker in 1994/95 in which the Blues restricted their opponents to a single goal in just one of their opening seven fixtures.The full total for the Premier League era after seven matches is as follows: 1992/93 (6); 1993/94 (6); 1994/95 (16); 1995/96 (10);
1996/97 (10); 1997/98 (11); 1998/99 (5); 1999/2000 (9); 2000/01 (12); 2001/02 (10); 2002/03 (11); 2003/04 (11); 2004/05 (6);
2005/06 (9); 2006/07 (6); 2007/08 (8); 2008/09 (15); 2009/10 (11); 2010/11 (7); 2011/12 (11); 2012/13 (8); 2013/14 (9); 2014/15 (16); 2015/16 (7); 2016/17 (5).

Everton winger Yannick Bolasie at centre of Crystal Palace fan court case
17:32, 4 Oct 2016
Updated 17:34, 4 Oct 2016
By Ian Doyle
Liverpool echo
A Crystal Palace supporter has denied entering a restricted area of Selhurst Park – claiming he was attempting to tell Everton -bound Yannick Bolasie there was a leaving gift for him. Tudor Ilie, of Palace supporters’ group Homesdale Fanatics, was in court accused of entering the area next to the pitch without permission during Palace’s opening 1-0 Premier League defeat to West Bromwich Albion on August 13.The Croydon Advertiser reports Ilie pleaded not guilty to the charge during a short hearing at Croydon Magistrates’ Court this morning, claiming he had a lawful excuse to enter the area next to the pitch.Ilie’s representative told the court arrangements were made for him to enter the area around the pitch so he could remind Bolasie that a leaving gift would be presented to him.Bolasie, who was a second-half substitute during the game, was making his last appearance for Palace before joining Everton for an initial £25million.Ilie claims he had informal permission to be in the area next to the pitch, in front of the Holmesdale Fanatics’ area of the Holmesdale Road stand, from the stadium manager.The case was adjourned for a trial to take place on December 13. The maximum penalty for the offence is a £1,000 fine, but if found guilty Ilie could be made subject to a football banning order.

Everton transfer rumours: Blues to rival London giants for this bright young German star
16:46, 4 Oct 2016
Updated 16:47, 4 Oct 2016
By Greg O’Keeffe
Liverpool Echo
Ronald Koeman knows a decent centre-back when he sees one , that's for sure. And according to respected German newspaper Bild, he has his eyes on a youngster currently plying his trade at Hoffenheim.Bild say Everton have joined Arsenal and Tottenham in the race for Niklas Sule. The 21-year-old has been tipped for a bright future and he made his debut for Germany back in August.He helped his country win a silver medal at the Rio Olympics and hasn't been short of admirers in the Premier League since.The German paper says Arsenal and Tottenham have already scouted Sule but Steve Walsh has got in on the act too in recent weeks.Apparently the Toffees have been tracking the German since the start of September and Koeman could look to try and land him in January.Atletico Madrid are also said to be interested in Sule but Hoffenheim are reported to be determined to ward off any bids.According to his agent Karlheinz Forster, Sule turned down a £25m move to Chelsea in order to continue his development at Hoffenheim"Yes, there was interest," said Forster, speaking to Bild . "The English have made it clear they'll still be interested next year." Sule's imposing physical presence has got the eye of scout's across Europe.Powerful in the air and also a threat at set-pieces, he has drawn comparisons with Per Mertesacker.

Everton fans urged to join applause at Etihad stadium for Manchester City fan Anthony Hayes who died of heart attack
4 Oct 2016 Liverpool Echo
By Greg O’Keeffe
The campaign, using the Twitter hashtag #26thminute, was trending on Monday night, with more than 260 retweets and 115 likes
Anthony Hayes, from Stockport, who is believed to have suffered a heart attack.   Everton fans are being urged to join a proposed minute’s applause at the Etihad stadium for a Manchester City fan who passed away last month.  Anthony Hayes, a well-known lacrosse star from Stockport, was just 26 when he died suddenly in September. It’s believed he suffered a heart attack.  City fans are now appealing on social media to give Anthony a 60 second applause at their home game against Everton, in the 26th minute, later this month.  The campaign, using the Twitter hashtag #26thminute, was trending on Monday night, with more than 260 retweets and 115 likes.
England lacrosse player Anthony Hayes
Twitter user Tom Cox posted an image of Anthony with the message: “Man City fans. Let’s honour a true Blue taken too soon at our next home gave vs Everton with a 1 minute applause on the 26th minute. In loving memory of Anthony Hayes 07/10/89 - 14/09/16.”
Everton will head to the Premier League leaders on Saturday, October 15. The tweet asking fans to claps for Anthony Hayes  Anthony was goalkeeper and captain of the Heaton Mersey Lacrosse Club’s first team, represented England at Under 19 level and was also part of England senior squad.  He died suddenly after playing football with mates in September. His funeral will be held tomorrow at noon, at St Paul's Church in Heaton Moor.

Cheltenham Town 2-1 Everton U23s full-time report - Late double sends young Blues tumbling to defeat
4 Oct 2016 Liverpool Echo
By Glen Williams
David Unsworth's side can't hold on to early lead in Checkatrade Trophy setback
Liam Walsh of Everton is tackled by Jack Munns of Cheltenham Town
A late Cheltenham double denied Everton under-23s a guaranteed place in the knockout stages of the EFL Trophy.  David Unsworth’s side could not grab all three points in Group A of the competition after playing some scintillating football in patches but falling short in the final minutes of the game.
The Blues started well and broke the deadlock after five minutes when Liam Walsh battled to win the ball outside the Cheltenham penalty area.  Walsh played in David Henen and the Belgian slalomed through the defence and fizzed one across goal. Robins keeper Calum Kitscha was unable to keep it out as the ball spilled out of his grasp and dribbled over the line for an own goal.
The League Two outfit took control of the game after going behind and were unlucky not to level things up before half-time. Striker Amari Morgan-Smith had some golden opportunities to put Cheltenham ahead but could not convert and put Everton on the back foot.  Mateusz Hewelt was called into action on more than occasion for the Blues. The Polish-born keeper pulled off a world-class save to keep Morgan-Smith out. The young Toffees lived dangerously and managed to keep the home side out before the break.  Unsworth’s half-time team talk did wonders for Everton and they came out firing in the second half. Walsh and skipper Joe Williams ran the midfield and started to create some real chances as the game opened up, forward Conor McAleny showing glimpses of class when he came on.
Cheltenham Town 2-1 Everton U23s analysis - youngsters must learn from chastening experience
The Toffees’ pace meant the game became very scrappy and began to produce chances at both ends.
Cheltenham responded, and a ball into the box was met with head tennis from both teams before midfielder Billy Waters nodded home to equalise for the Robins in the 82nd minute.
And there was another blow for Everton when substitute Bassala Sambou brought down James Dayton in the box two minutes later. Danny Wright stepped up and calmly lifted the ball down the middle as the despairing Hewelt dived to his right.  The young Blues threw everything at Cheltenham in the dying minutes but were unable to find the equaliser and succumbed to an agonising late defeat.
EVERTON: Hewelt, Bainbridge, Yarney, Foulds, Robinson, Williams (Brewster 85), Baningime, Walsh, Henen (Sambou 76), Dyson, Niasse (McAleny 57). Subs: Renshaw, Leandro, Holland, Donohue.

Cheltenham Town 2-1 Everton U23s - how the young Blues fared
4 Oct 2016 Liverpool Echo
By Glen Williams
Glen Williams was at Whaddon Road to run the rule over David Unsworth's side
Jack Bainbridge of Everton spits out water during the EFL Checkatrade Trophy match between Cheltenham
Mateusz Hewelt
The Polish-born keeper had a flawless evening. He made a smart save at his near post before pulling off a world-class stop to deny Amari Morgan-Smith before half-time.
Jack Bainbridge
The defender was sometimes caught out of position and Cheltenham had some joy down the left-hand side. He became more settled in a back four after Unsworth rejigged the formation. Overall a steady evening.
Jack Foulds
Foulds was strong in the air throughout the match. His dangerous left foot caused havoc from set-pieces and was assured in possession.
Josef Yarney
For an 18-year-old Yarney showed maturity beyond his years. The defender was commanding at the back and an obvious leader. He called the defensive line and was incredibly vocal during a confident performance for the Blues.
Antonee Robinson
The left-back looked extremely comfortable with the ball at his feet and enjoyed some link-up play down the wing. His pace going forward was a real asset but was sometimes caught out of position defensively.
Joe Williams
Williams started shakily but was much more composed when moved into a midfield four after starting at wing-back. In the second half he linked up well with Liam Walsh but made way for Delial Brewster as the Blues sought an equaliser.
Beni Baningime
Baningime was quiet in the middle of the park but very tidy in possession. He kept things ticking and stuck to his task well – another steady evening.
Liam Walsh
Walsh began well when he won the battle that set up Henen to send home the eventual own goal. He looked like he had far more time than anyone else and showed genuine class in the middle of the park - definitely someone to keep an eye out for.
Callum Dyson of Everton is challenged by Daniel O'Shaughnessy of Cheltenham
David Henen
The Belgian was the creator of the first goal. He drove at the defender and drilled a low shot before the keeper fumbled into the net. He had a relatively quiet evening after that before being substituted.
Callum Dyson
Dyson played in Niasse for a chance in the first half. He was often a target for headers and a threat in both boxes in the air. Some work to be done on control and finesse but some raw ability there.
Oumar Niasse
The striker was awkward but very strong on the ball and good in the air. Niasse looked clumsy in possession and chances were a rarity. He was substituted just before the hour after very little impact on the game.

Cheltenham Town 2-1 Everton U23s analysis - youngsters must learn from chastening experience
4 Oct 2016 Liverpool Echo
 By Phil Kirkbride
Phil Kirkbride believes there could be long-term gain from the pain of late collapse in EFL Trophy loss
Amari Morgan-Smith of Cheltenham Town is tackled by Jack Bainbridge of Everton
As Everton 's youngsters try to make sense of their late collapse at Cheltenham Town they would be wise to look back to what their manager said before the competition had even started.
“The experience the lads will get from it will benefit them in the long run,” David Unsworth assessed before a ball had been kicked against Bolton Wanderers in their opening EFL Trophy game.
How those words carry weight after this.
Because having held the lead at Whaddon Road in the second of their Group A games, and knowing a win would secure their passage to the knockout stages, Everton succumbed to two late goals.
One-nil up at the break, Unsworth no doubt delivered a firm dressing down to his players after a disappointing performance, but he also used the time to offer them the advice they need to finally get a hold on a game that was threatening to overrun them.
Everton's youngsters. led by the impressive Liam Walsh, improved significantly after the break and created chance after chance to score a second goal and put the game to bed.
But they failed to take those opportunities.
And as the game crept into the closing stages, and still with just a slender lead to protect, the Blues gave encouragement to their League Two hosts.   With eight minutes to go, Cheltenham equalised as Everton failed to clear their lines.  Two minutes later, Cheltenham scored again as the young Blues gave away a penalty, one Unsworth strongly protested against, that Danny Wright coolly converted.  Everton piled forward in what little time remained but their efforts were futile as a place in the knockout stages went from being in the palm of their hand to suddenly up in the air.
All is now to play for in Group A.
Jack Bainbridge sums up the emotions of Everton U23s after their late collapse
But at this moment, and in this week and the weeks and months ahead, what Unsworth will care about the most is that his young team realise how, and why, they let this game slip in such crushing circumstances.  In so many ways, they didn't deserve to leave Cheltenham empty handed and the speed, and controversy, in which their lead unravelled only served to heighten the disappointment.
But that seemingly never-ending pursuit for players with the skills and ability to manage games properly is high on every manager's list.
At under-23 level, it's no different.
Everton's youngsters will come to reflect, if they don't know already, that with eight minutes to go, games like this have to be seen out.  But experience, and painful experiences, against canny, seasoned pros, will help even though on the journey home from Cheltenham it will hardly feel as though there can be anything to take from this.  Yet it is in defeat that these players will find out more about themselves. And it is where Unsworth will too.  He was proud of his team - without 10 of their international players - and left smarting over Lee Probert's decision to award a penalty but knows that the second goal was always going to be crucial here.   But it will be their reaction and how they cope with being chucked into the same situation later in the season and later in their careers – and showing they have learnt from it – that could prove the real benefit from this.  The disappointment his players will be feeling now will be strong but, as their manager said, it is the long run that matters.

Former Everton chaplain Father Brian Crane dies aged 78
5 Oct 2016 Liverpool Echo
By Greg O’Keeffe
As Everton chaplain Fr Crane was part of the club's Eighties Golden Era
Father Crane took part in the funeral service of his friend Howard Kendall at Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral last October  Everton have announced the death of former club chaplain Father Brian Crane at the age of 78.  Father Crane was club chaplain during the 1980s Golden Era having become firm friends with a number of players and staff, but in particular Howard Kendall.  Fr Crane took part in the legendary manager’s funeral service last October.  Kevin Sheedy was also a close friend, and Fr Crane oversaw his wedding and christened his children.  Sheedy said: “It is really devastating news. I have known Father Crane ever since my playing days. I signed when I was 22 so it has been over 30 years.
Kevin Sheedy (bottom) was close friends with Fr Crane   “I knew him very well, and would often socialise with him. I would see him every few months but would always keep in touch over the phone.
“He was the minister who did my wedding and he christened my children, so he was a real close family friend.   “Father Crane had strong links to the football club. He was very close to Everton and was a big personality around the place. He loved a laugh and his football and had a great relationship with the players over the years, especially Howard.   “It is a major loss for Everton and I am gobsmacked and gutted by the news.”  The club added that the 'thoughts of everyone at Everton are with the family and friends of Father Crane at this difficult time'.

Everton transfer rumours: Manchester United linked with Lukaku
5 Oct 2016 Liverpool Echo
By Joe Rimmer
A round-up of transfer rumours and speculation from around the web
You didn't really think Romelu Lukaku could score five goals and be nominated for the Premier League Player of the Month award without being linked with a move away from Everton , did you?
Well more fool you... because it's the international break, websites and newspapers are bored - and Lukaku is a man in form.  You know exactly what this all builds up to, and today it has been reported that Lukaku is still a target for Jose Mourinho - despite the two men having a falling out when the striker left Chelsea for Everton in 2015.
It's reported that United had scouts watching the 23-year-old score a sublime free-kick in the draw with Crystal Palace, with Mourinho said to be on the lookout for a striker.
The Portuguese is said to have a good relationship with Lukaku's agent, Mino Raiola, after Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan moved to Old Trafford this summer.

Why Everton's Idrissa Gueye can become a Premier League "great"
5 Oct 2016 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Gueye's old boss reveals why he gave the midfielder his big break at Lille
Idrissa Gueye has been backed to become a “Premier League great” by the man who discovered him.
Rudi Garcia took the midfield dynamo from Lille’s reserve side and made him a part of the team that won the French league and cup double in 2011.  Gueye joined Everton this summer in a £7.1m deal from relegated Aston Villa and has quickly become a fan favourite at Goodison.  And Garcia, Roma’s boss last season, believes the 27-year-old is destined for big things in England’s top flight.  “I’m not surprised by how well he is doing, “ Garcia told Squawka. “Idrissa was very young when he was at Lille but he already had many qualities – and one of them was a very strong ambition.
Idrissa Gueye during training at Finch Farm
“Even then he was a good, strong midfielder with a big capacity to run, a fantastic fighter and a very good man.  “The way to become a Premier League great is long and hard. But Idrissa is a hard worker so he will improve his level every season. I am sure of that.”
“He was training and playing at the maximum,” he said.
“So I took him with the first team. He is always listening and is a very clever player.
“He was a young player then just discovering the professional world. But with his confidence and the help of the big players, he was one of our most important substitutes in that fantastic winning season.
“I remember a goal he scored in the Europa League against PSV Eindhoven with an amazing long distance kick. He was special.”

Everton target top Manchester City analyst for Steve Walsh backroom
5 Oct 2016 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Everton director of football hoping to be reunited with former colleague
Everton want to add one of Manchester City’s top analysts to Steve Walsh’s recruitment team.
The Blues director of football is hoping to be reunited with Laurence Stewart after the pair worked together at Hull City.  Stewart, a graduate of Liverpool John Moores University, has held the position of Head of Performance Analysis at the Etihad Stadium since the summer of 2014.  But Everton are confident they can sign the native of West Yorkshire after the arrival of Pep Guardiola has seen a revamp of City’s backroom staff.  Stewart worked alongside Walsh at Hull when Nigel Pearson was manager and Everton’s director of football is keen on them linking up again.
Steve Walsh director of football at Everton watches a game from the stands
Everton have been looking to appoint an analyst ever since the departure of the long-serving Steve Brown who left the club this summer to take up a role at Manchester United.
Top Everton scout to leave for Manchester United
And Stewart has emerged as the leading candidate to replace him.
As well as two stints at Hull, where he also held the position of Head of Technical Analysis, Stewart was also called up to be part of the England backroom staff for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Everton football director Steve Walsh planning to convince next Mahrez and Vardy to join Blues
And Stewart’s expertise also stretch to rugby league where he was a Performance Analysis Consultant to the Rugby Football League between May 2011-February 2014.
Everton FC continues to support battling Bradley Lowery's cancer fight
By Sophie Brownson
October 5 2016 Sunderland Echo
Just weeks after Everton's £200,000 donation to cancer-stricken youngster Bradley Lowery, the club has once again pledged to raise further funds for his treatment.  In a bid to raise even more for the five-year-old who is battling neuroblastoma, the club have been auctioning each of the shirts worn by the Everton players in their 3-0 victory match at the Stadium of Light last month.  So far, the auction of the match-worn shirts has raised a further £3,500 towards the Blackhall youngster's pioneering treatment in America.  The little fighter, who Sunderland mascot at the game, touched the hearts of fans on both teams.  Now Everton midfielder Gareth Barry is urging fans of all clubs to keep supporting the fundraising campaign for Sunderland fan Bradley Lowery and bid for one of the shirts.  “We found out about Bradley before the game - he was around the tunnel and the changing rooms,” Gareth said.
“It was fantastic to meet him and when we found out the club had made a massive donation, it really put a smile on all our faces.  “The more money that go towards helping Bradley, the better.
"It’s all going to go towards a great cause.”  Everton has already pledged a donation of £200,000 to help get Bradley the life-saving treatment he needs and sales of the signed match-worn shirts have been boosting that total with the fund also aiming to help other children.  Gareth’s was one of the shirts that was snapped up in the first batch of sales, along with those of Romelu Lukaku, Idrissa Gueye, Ashley Williams and Gerard Deulofeu.  Shirts worn and signed by captain Phil Jagielka, Kevin Mirallas and Seamus Coleman are in the second batch of sales, which is currently up for auction.
The auctions end at various times next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evening.
“You are getting one of the lads’ shirts - it’s match-worn and the money is going to a fantastic cause,” added Gareth.  “It’s going to help out a young boy that has had some bad news in his life.”

Everton legend Neville Southall: The game that changed my life
5 Oct 2016 Liverpool Echo
By Greg O’Keeffe
Everton hero Southall discusses some of his defining matches in the latest issue of FourFourTwo magazine
Neville Southall has described Everton's renowned European Cup Winners' Cup semi-final win over Bayern Munich as one of the games that changed his life.  The former Blues goalkeeper selected four defining matches from his illustrious playing career in the latest edition of FourFourTwo magazine.
Southall, who was named the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the year in 1985, describes the 3-1 win over German giants Bayern as a bruising but unforgettable encounter.
He said: "There's only one game I could choose for Everton: the semi-final. Everty Evertonian I meet was there; hanging off trees, off the church.
"The game was a phsycial war but it was such an atmosphere that even winning the final was an anti-climax after that.  "Winning the Cup and the League felt great, but that night was above anything else."

Everton's James McCarthy to have big say in Republic of Ireland selection
5 Oct 2016 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Ronald Koeman has asked Ireland to protect midfielder who has been out injured
Ireland boss Martin O’Neill says the decision to select James McCarthy against Georgia will rest heavily with the player.  McCarthy has been sidelined since the end of August and underwent a groin operation last month.  But the Everton midfielder has trained with the Ireland squad this week and is in contention for their World Cup qualifier tomorrow.  Blues boss Ronald Koeman urged Ireland to “protect” McCarthy but a simmering club versus country row now threatens to boil over after O’Neill strongly suggested he is ready to pick the 25-year-old.
Martin O'Neill is currently the bookies favourite to take over from Roberto Martinez at Everton
But the Irish boss insists he will work closely with McCarthy and ask for his opinion before naming his team.  “I think he is over the injury,” O’Neill said.  “It’s more fitness than anything else that would be the concern.  Everton midfielder James McCarthy could play for Ireland tomorrow - as Roy Keane tried to diffuse potential row with Koeman  “He has trained the last couple of days, he is feeling not too bad at all. Obviously he hasn’t played for a little while but he is fit and if selected he is ready to go.”
He added: “I would listen to the player and the player has come over here and trained.
“He hasn’t played for a couple of weeks.
Everton's James McCarthy defended by Roy Keane after journalist queries his Goodison future
“Would fitness be a concern? Of course, and lasting the match would be a concern.
“If the injury has cleared up, I wouldn’t see that as a problem.  “I’ve been involved in club management for a considerable time – less so as an international manager.  “I have never played anyone who has arrived not properly fit against their will. That has never been the case and, in fact, as an international manager I’ve been pretty lenient about those particular things.”  Seamus Coleman missed the start of Everton’s season with an ankle injury but returned from the first international break of the season - and having played for his country - fit enough to return to the Blues side.

Everton boss Ronald Koeman's gym selfie sends message to players about hard work
5 Oct 2016 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Everton boss Koeman posted a picture to his Twitter account after a Finch Farm work-out
Everton players in the Finch Farm gym during pre-season - somewhere Koeman himself is a familiar face
Ronald Koeman is still issuing warnings to his Everton players - even though the bulk of his squad are away on international duty.  The Blues boss took a selfie in the gym at Finch Farm after a workout and posted it on Twitter, with the words "True Text About Talent".  Behind the Everton manager was a quote high up on one of the gym walls which reads: "Hard work will beat talent if talent doesn't work hard."
    True text about Talent!
    — Ronald Koeman (@RonaldKoeman) October 5, 2016
It is a message Koeman has been preaching since he arrived in the summer and at the end of his workout today, the Dutch boss was keen to remind his players of the values he expects them to live up to at the club.  Koeman, 53, who uses the gym regularly and also goes mountain biking in his spare time, warned his players they were only 70% fit before the campaign began and has remained an exacting task-master when it comes to their physical condition since.

Everton youngster Liam Walsh on right track for Blues first team - Unsworth
5 Oct 2016 Liverpool Echo
By Glenn Williams
Everton starlet Liam Walsh was in fine form despite the u-23s defeat by Cheltenham Town
Liam Walsh is tackled by Jack Munns of Cheltenham Town during the EFL Checkatrade Trophy match between Cheltenham Town and Everton at Whaddon Road  David Unsworth believes Liam Walsh is on the right track to break into the first team at Goodison Park.  The 19-year-old turned out a stellar performance in the under-23’s loss to Cheltenham Town in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday night.
The Blues manager heaped praise on Walsh’s ability to control the game in the heart of midfield and show maturity beyond his years.  Unsworth said: “I think he was outstanding, I thought he was the best player on the pitch. He ran the game and he was all action.  “Liam is certainly going in the right direction towards our first team.”  The midfielder showcased his terrific passing range when in possession and looked as though he enjoyed more time on the ball than anyone else.  His tenacity in defence was also a real asset throughout the night. Walsh made a strong challenge outside the Robins’ penalty area and slotted David Henen through for the Everton goal.
The highly-rated youngster penned a three-year deal last month to keep him at the Toffees until June 2019.   Huyton-born Walsh has already trained with the first team squad after stringing together consistent performances for Unsworth’s U23 side this season.  Walsh has been at the club since he was five years old and names ex-Barcelona midfielder Xavi as his role model. He has represented England at under-16 and under-18 level and made 17 appearances on loan for League Two side Yeovil Town last season.  The U23 boss said competition within the squad is healthy and is keeping players focused. The next round of games on November 8 will see the young Toffees take on Blackpool at Goodison Park. Unsworth is hoping the return of the international players will boost their chances of qualifying for the knockout stages.  “Hopefully we will have all the international players back and we will be a lot stronger,” he said.  “Because I want those players who have missed the last two games to be available and to experience this competition.
“We have got a fairly big squad at the moment for numerous reasons.
“There’s massive competition within this group so it’s up to them to produce performances in training and in games.”  After suffering the agonising loss on Tuesday when they shipped two goals in the final ten minutes, there is all to play for in Group A of the competition. After Blackpool's defeat to Bolton, all four teams go into the third round level on three points.

Who should Everton's Steve Walsh be looking at in his hunt for the next Riyad Mahrez?
6 Oct 2016 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Everton's director of football determined to repeat Leicester transfer success with Blues
Steve Walsh the new Director of Football at Everton is building a top team around him
Everton’s director of football Steve Walsh wants to improve the Blues squad by discovering the next Riyad Mahrez.
Mahrez was plucked from Ligue 2 side Le Havre in January 2014 when Walsh was head of recruitment at Leicester City.
The Algerian was named PFA Player of the Year last season and dazzled in the Foxes’ remarkable Premier League title success.         So who should Everton be looking at in France? And which player could have the Mahrez effect at Everton?   Here we take a look at three of the most creative players in Ligue 1, and one of Le Havre’s leading lights, who could well be catching Walsh’s eye.
Ryad Boudebouz
Age: 26
Club: Montpellier
Nationality: Algerian
Boudebouz finished last season with 11 assists in the French top flight - a tally only bettered by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Angel Di Maria.  The Algeria international has two assists to his name already this term and ranks high among the division’s leading dribblers.  Boudebouz, born in France, claims he rejected an approach from Manchester United when a player at Sochaux and counts Bastia as another of his former clubs.
Rachid Ghezzal
Age: 24
Club: Lyon
Nationality: Algerian
Lyon’s flying winger claims he knocked back a £9m approach from Everton in the summer, saying: “It’s not just the money that interests me. I also look at the sporting prospects.  “We are playing in the Champions League and we have a good group.  “I wouldn’t go for the money. Everton was less interesting than Lyon.”  Ghezzal, another of the talent current crop of Algerian attackers, notched up eight goals and eight assists in Ligue 1 last season - from just 16 starts.
Nabil Dirar
Age: 30
Club: Monaco
Nationality: Morroccan
The former Club Brugge winger ranked fifth for assists in Ligue 1 last season as Monaco finished third to book a place in the qualifying stages of the Champions League.  Dirar has been with Monaco since 2012 but his retur of nine assists in 20 appearances last term goes down as one of his most productive seasons with the club.  His record is even more impressive given his eight match ban mid-way through the season after he reacted angrily towards a match official having been sent off in the derby with Nice.
He has one assist in two starts so far this season.
Everton football director Steve Walsh planning to convince next Mahrez and Vardy to join Blues
Jean Pascal Fontaine
Age: 27
Club: Le Havre
Nationality: French
It is a big ask for any of the Le Havre squad to live up to the success of Riyad Mahrez.
But the Ligue 2 club continue to produce exciting players with Bournemouth signing last season’s top scorer Lys Mousset in the summer.
Everton new man Steve Walsh - the story behind super-scout's incredible rise
Fontaine was the team’s chief creator in a season which saw them finish fourth in the table, contributing nine assists.

Everton striker Enner Valencia confronted by police after international training session
6 Oct 2016 Liverpool Echo
By David Prentice
Lawyers claim Everton loan striker Valencia owes $17,000 in maintenance
On loan Everton striker Enner Valencia was met by police and lawyers following a training session with Ecuador ahead of their World Cup qualifier with Chile later today.  Lawyers representing the mother of Valencia's five-year-old child arrived with a judicial order, accompanied by police, and attempted to have Valencia detained at the Atahualpa Stadium in Quito.  They were seeking maintenance for the player's daughter. Valencia allegedly owes 17,000 dollars.  The lawyers however didn't manage to have the player detained. "It's lamentable that certain police officers didn't collaborate with the detention of the footballer Enner Valencia, to ensure compliance with a judicial order", said Paul Marín, a lawyer for the mother of Valencia's child, to journalists.  According to Marín the total debt stands at 17,000 dollars.
"If they say this man earns so much, why doesn't he pay (the maintenance) monthly to his daughter," said Marín.  Neither the player nor his lawyers made any statement regarding the incident.

Everton's players fear for starting place under ruthless Ronald Koeman
6 Oct 2016 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Seamus Coleman speaks about change in standards under new manager
Colin Lane
Everton's Seamus Coleman
Ronald Koeman has made it clear to Everton’s players that nobody’s place in the starting line-up is safe.
Seamus Coleman says the new Blues boss has created an atmosphere at Goodison where complacency will not be tolerated.  The Republic of Ireland captain has hinted that under Roberto Martinez the regular starters did not feel as though their place was under much threat.  But Coleman says that Koeman has made it clear that he is willing drop anybody if their performances are not up to scratch.
“It’s been good,” Coleman told reporters ahead of Ireland’s game with Georgia tonight.
“We have had a disappointing two seasons, unfortunately.
“Finishing 11th isn’t where a team of our players should be.
“But the manager has come in and he’s worked hard, and I think you always get a reaction when a new manager comes in and just sets a few standards that should have happened in the previous campaign, by the players as well, just time-keeping and that, making sure people are in on time.
Everton manager Ronald Koeman is keeping his players on their toes
“They are little standards which should be the case, and it has just sharpened the place up all round. The lads on the pitch now know we have to perform or we won’t be in the team, and it’s just the way it should be, really.”
Coleman is expected to start for Ireland tonight in Dublin (7:45pm).
Blues team-mate James McCarthy is also in contention to start the game despite having missed Everton’s last six matches.

Everton midfielder Gareth Barry urges fans to continue helping Sunderland supporter Bradley Lowery
6 Oct 2016 Liverpool Echo
By Greg O’Keeffe
Gareth Barry hopes fans can continue to help sick Sunderland fan
Five year old Bradley Lowery leads out the Sunderland team the Premier League match between Sunderland and Everton at Stadium of Light on September 12  Gareth Barry is urging fans of all clubs to keep supporting the fundraising campaign for Sunderland fan Bradley Lowery, after discovering that the online auctions of match-worn Everton shirts have so far generated a further £3,500 for the campaign.
The Blues have been selling each of the shirts worn by the Everton players in the 3-0 victory at the Stadium of Light last month.   Bradley, who was the Sunderland mascot for the game in the North East is fighting an aggressive form of cancer and requires antibody treatment only available in America.
“We found out about Bradley before the game - he was around the tunnel and the changing rooms,” Barry said. “It was fantastic to meet him and when we found out the Club had made a massive donation, it really put a smile on all our faces.  “The more money that go towards helping Bradley, the better. It’s all going to go towards a great cause.”  Everton have already pledged a donation of £200,000 to help get Bradley the life-saving treatment he needs and sales of the signed match-worn shirts have been boosting that total with the fund also aiming to help other children.
Barry’s was one of the shirts that was snapped up in the first batch of sales, along with those of Romelu Lukaku, Idrissa Gueye, Ashley Williams and Gerard Deulofeu.  Shirts worn and signed by captain Phil Jagielka, Kevin Mirallas and Seamus Coleman are in the second batch of sales, which is currently up for auction.  The auctions end at various times next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evening. “You are getting one of the lads’ shirts - it’s match-worn and the money is going to a fantastic cause,” added Barry. “It’s going to help out a young boy that has had some bad news in his life.”

Best Everton XI you've ever seen: our sports writers pick their Blues dream team
6 Oct 2016 Liverpool Echo
By Greg O’Keeffe
We pick a team of the best Everton players we've ever watched - now pick yours
Our writers select the best Everton XIs of players they've watched in Royal Blue
It's a classic pub debate - pick a team of the best players you've ever watched represent your club?
This week the man dubbed Mr Everton - philanthropist Dr David France - named his best ever Blues XI at an event to publicise his new book 'Everton Crazy'.
And it's set us thinking.
So the ECHO's sport team followed suit and selected theirs, all strictly based on players they've watched play for Everton in their life-time.
Dave Prentice (Sports Editor)
Neville Southall
Neville Southall, Everton goalkeeper.
Absolutely incontestable. I was fortunate enough to witness him at his world class peak between 1984 and 1990 - and his performance at Coventry City in the second match of the 1988/89 season was the first time I'd seen one man effectively win a football match almost single-handed. Well two-handed, but you know what I mean. There was a time when Southall was so good that when you saw a forward bearing down on the Blues goal you felt confident Southall was come out on top. He usually did. Awesome.
Gary Stevens
Everton's Gary Stevens tackles Rapid Vienna's Rudi Weinhofer.
The devil's advocate in me wanted to pick Colin Todd. He wasn't a right-back, despite Gordon Lee insisting on playing him there, but he was pure class. But Gary Stevens was a right-back, a modern, swashbuckling, buccaneering right-back who offered attacking threat as well as the athleticism to recover from most situations.
Kevin Ratcliffe and Dave Watson
Kevin Ratcliffe

Roger Kenyon and John Hurst were the central defensive pairing at my first ever match in 1975. Solid, dependable, vastly under-rated. But the best I've ever seen? That would have to be Kevin Ratcliffe and Dave Watson. Rats read the game like no other, was pacy, inspiring and had decent quality on the ball, too. Watson was the most rock solid and consistent stopper Everton have had in my time watching the Blues. Colin Todd oozed class but was too often played out of position, Billy Wright started his career like a young Todd - but then lost focus. While Derek Mountfield offered goal threat at one end as well as snuffing them out at the other. But Ratcliffe and Watson were top class.
Leighton Baines
Leighton Baines celebrates scoring
Tough call. Psycho Pat was a far better footballer than his nickname suggested, Kenny Sansom was a superb left-back - about a decade before the faded version pitched up at Goodison - and Andy Hinchcliffe's quality on the ball was superb. But at his peak? For quality at both ends of the pitch? No-one has topped the 2011-14 model Leighton Baines for me.
Steven, Reid, Bracewell, Sheedy
Everton's Peter Reid celebrates with Andy Gray, Graeme Sharp and Paul Bracewell in the 1985 European Cup-Winners' Cup final
I missed Ball-Harvey-Kendall in their pomp. The Alan Ball I saw was playing for Southampton, the Howard Kendall I witnessed was a player-manager about to hang up his boots, while I'm deeply saddened not to have seen Colin Harvey play at all. But I did see the beautifully balanced, aggressive, polished, penetrating quartet that was the 1984/85 title-winning midfield. That midfield employed the kind of gegenpressing philosophy beloved of Spurs and Liverpool now - and did it better than anyone in Europe. And Kevin Sheedy is undeniably the most under-rated footballer possibly in Everton's history - 97 goals in 357 starts, from midfield - and countless, countless assists. Some people champion Andrei Kanchelskis. I don't. he enjoyed one goal-laden purple patch in 1995/96, but believed tracking back was something only for mountain rangers.
Heath and Sharp
Graeme Sharp and Adrian Heath
Sharp or Gray? Heath or Sharp? Sharp or Beardsley? Rooney or Sharp? This is the toughest category of the lot, with one constant - Graeme Sharp with his sublime touch, aerial authority (once Andy Gray had coached him at Bellefield) and venomous shooting. Bob Latchford was my all-time Everton hero. For 18 months Peter Beardsley was exquisite. Wayne Rooney was just as exciting for almost as long. While for one season only Gary Lineker was ridiculously prolific. And I utterly adored Andy Gray with his infectious enthusiasm, unstinting bravery and immaculate finishing. But Inchy was the perfect foil for Sharp. Between January 1984 and that ridiculous Brian Marwood tackle on December 1, 1984, Everton played some of the finest football seen since 69/70 - and Inchy was an enormous part of that. On another day I might change my mind and go for Gray. But today Inchy gets the vote.
Greg O'Keeffe (Everton Editor)
Neville Southall
Matt Jackson (Disclaimer: based largely on one day in May 1995!)
Dave Watson
Richard Gough
Leighton Baines
Andrei Kanchelskis
Gary Speed
Mikel Arteta
Anders Limpar_

Graeme Sharp
Wayne Rooney
Phil Kirkbride (Everton Correspondent)
Neville Southall
Tony Hibbert
Dave Watson
Phil Jagielka
Leighton Baines
Andrei Kanchelskis
Mikel Arteta
Gareth Barry
Steven Pienaar
Louis Saha
Romelu Lukaku
Chris Beesley (Football Writer)
Neville Southall
Seamus Coleman
Dave Watson
Kevin Ratcliffe
Leighton Baines
Andrei Kanchelskis
Mikel Arteta
Gary Speed
Kevin Sheedy
Wayne Rooney
Romelu Lukaku
Neil Jones (Football Writer)
Nigel Martyn
Seamus Coleman
Phil Jagielka
Joleon Lescott
Leighton Baines
Mikel Arteta
Gareth Barry
Andrei Kanchelskis
Steven Pienaar
Peter Beardsley
Wayne Rooney.
Tony Scott (Royal Blue Podcaster - *after much sulking about not being allowed to jettison a right back and include Joleon Lescott )
Neville Southall
*Seamus Coleman
Dave Watson
John Stones
Leighton Baines
Mikel Arteta
Gary Speed
Tim Cahill

Andrei Kanchelskis
Wayne Rooney
Romleu Lukaku.
Gavin Buckland (Everton statistician and Royal Blue Podcaster)
Neville Southall
Gary Stevens,
Dave Watson
Kevin Ratcliffe
Leighton Baines
Peter Reid
Paul Bracewell
Kevin Sheedy
Trevor Steven
Graeme Sharp
Adrian Heath
..And here was Dr David France's team:
Neville Southall
Tommy Wright
Brian Labone
Kevin Ratcliffe
Ray Wilson
Colin Harvey
Howard Kendall
Alan Ball
Fans walk past an image of former Everton trio Kendall, Harvey and Ball
Roy Vernon
Andrei Kanchelskis
Alex Young.

Ex-Everton man Segundo Castillo back Enner Valencia to be Blues hit
6 Oct 2016 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Ecuador midfielder thrilled to see compatriot at Goodison
Segundo Castillo of Everton challenges Darius Vassell during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Everton in December 2008
Segundo Castillo has backed compatriot Enner Valencia to be a hit at Everton.
The former Blues midfielder played 13 times for the club when on loan from Red Star Belgrade in 2008 and is delighted to see another Ecuadorian at Goodison.  Castillo left Everton at the end of the 2008-09 season, playing for a string of clubs, and currently is a member of Barcelona’s squad in his homeland.
And the 34-year-old believes that the on-loan Valencia can prove his worth with Ronald Koeman’s side.
“I became very happy knowing that for the second time in their history, a club like Everton was going to have a player from Ecuador,” Castillo said.
Enner Valencia in action for Ecuador
“Enner is a good person. I know him and I know he will adjust to his teammates and the club. He is a humble man and that will help him get adjusted quickly.  “For me, his best position is as a ‘second’ forward. He has so much mobility to play and that way he doesn’t feel trapped by the defensive players who are fixed in that area. The qualities of Enner is that he is a player that can play from the inside and from the outside.”

Everton defender Ramiro Funes Mori puts Blues future in serious doubt
6 Oct 2016 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Funes Mori frustrated with lack of games and fears for international future
Ramiro Funes Mori has cast doubt over his Everton future saying he needs to play regularly for the sake of his international career.  The Argentina defender has started just two league games this season having lost his place to Ashley Williams .  Mori was signed by Roberto Martinez in a £9.5m deal from River Plate last summer but has struggled to force his way into Ronald Koeman’s plans.  And the 25-year-old admits that if he continues to be on the sidelines at Goodison then he will be forced to push for a move away from the Blues to keep his international aspirations alive.  “I started playing, but then the manager decided I had to be a substitute,” Mori reportedly told La Nacion.
Ramiro Funes Mori #13 of Argentina defends against Jose Salomon Rondon #9 of Venezuela in the second half during the 2016 Copa America Centenario quarterfinal match against Venezuela at Gillette Stadium on June 18, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Ramiro Funes Mori defends during the 2016 Copa America Centenario
“I’ll see how things are going, because if I don’t play I will look for a way out to have that continuity of which we spoke, because I’ve place in the national team also based on play.
“Although Paton [Bauza, Argentina manager] gives me great confidence, I need continuity. And to play… at Everton or elsewhere.”

Everton boss Koeman sets Yannick Bolasie goals target
6 Oct 2016 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Koeman demands summer signing improves on top flight scoring record
Ronald Koeman will demand that Yannick Bolasie at least matches his best ever goals return in the Premier League this season.  The Blues boss says Bolasie’s priority remains providing assists but he still expects the £28m signing to chip in with his share of goals.  Koeman signed the 27-year-old from Crystal Palace in the summer and said he needed to “improve in his productivity” after notching just nine goals in three Premier League seasons.  Bolasie is yet to get off the mark for Everton in first his six league appearances for the club but Koeman is adamant that he must pull his weight in the scoring stakes.
The DR Congo international plundered five Premier League goals last season, four the campaign before but failed to register in his first season in the top flight.
Everton winger Yannick Bolasie at centre of Crystal Palace fan court case
“Yannick is very important because he is always running, always pressing and showed a fast reaction when he loses the ball,” Koeman explained.   “That’s what you need. It is not really what they want, what they do, but they have to learn, because everybody needs to have a fast reaction.  “With with all the strikers, we do a lot of finishing exercises, also for the players who play wide on the left and right side.  Everton Behind Enemy Lines: 'Bolasie could be unplayable one game, anonymous the next'
“He did not miss chances, big chances, he had one chance (against Bournemouth), but of course it’s that type of player who will give more assists, than scoring.  “In general you expect 5-6 goals at least from every striker, wingers the same.”

Everton's Seamus Coleman scores his first Ireland goal as James McCarthy returns
6 Oct 2016 Liverpool Echo
By Chris Beesley
Blues defender Ashley Williams also in action for Wales
Everton's Seamus Coleman led by example as the Republic of Ireland captain netted his first goal for his country to secure a 1-0 win over Georgia in their World Cup qualifier in Dublin.  Making his 40 international appearance – the Blues right-back who was handed the armband this year by Martin O'Neill – showed typical determination to break the deadlock on 56 minutes.
Coleman – who turns 28 next week – was handed an early birthday present as the visitors failed to clear their lines after his marauding run down the right flank.  He cut inside and benefited from some penalty box pinball before tapping the ball into the net from just inches out.  The game also marked a return to action for Coleman's Goodison Park colleague James McCarthy who took to the field for the first time since August 23.  The midfielder has not featured since limping out of Everton's 4-0 victory over League Two Yeovil Town in the second round of the EFL Cup and the 25-year-old has since undergone groin surgery.  Everton centre-back Ashley Williams was also on international duty as he captained Wales in their 2-2 draw with Austria in Vienna.   The Welsh led twice through Stoke City's Joe Allen (22) and an own goal in first half stoppage time from Tottenham's Kevin Wimmer but were soon pegged back on both occasions by Allen's Potters club mate Marko Arnautović who netted in the 28th and 48th minute.

Everton Jury: 'Defence almost mended but Koeman must now fix the attack in January'
7 Oct 2016 Liverpool Echo
By Greg O’Keeffe
Our Everton jury panel give their verdict on the season so far
Ronald Koeman and Duncan Ferguson during Everton training
Lee Molton, St Helens
Another boring international break, it has only been a few weeks since the last one!
Friday night football at Goodison was slightly disappointing last week as we could only draw at home to Crystal Palace. It was a good free-kick from Lukaku but many players did not perform including Ross Barkley.  We need to be winning these games if we want to be qualifying for Europe at the end of the season. It has been a good start in our League position but we need to play a lot better as we are only playing well in parts of games.   We travel to Man City next week who will be smarting after their first defeat of the season at Tottenham. It is only four days before a trip to Barcelona, so will Guardiola be tempted to rest a few players like Aguero and Silva?
Will Guardiola be tempted to rest players like Sergio Aguero for the match against Everton?
We need to be solid but also create chances if we are to get anything from the game.
The next two games against Burnley and West Ham are very much winnable so we should be looking to get six points to keep us in the hunt for the top six.
George Gibson, Northwich
Football can change very quickly, and all of a sudden after five games unbeaten we are three without a win.  It demonstrates perfectly where we look to be at at the moment, and arguably have been for the past 10 years or so.  When we're on form we can be among the best in the division, but when we don't turn up we are incredibly average.  The main issue is that we lack the quality in depth to carry on winning instead of running out of steam.
Simon Francis of Bournemouth clears from Enner Valencia
The likes of Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley need players of a better quality than Tom Cleverley and Enner Valencia to replace them when they aren't playing well. This is vital because if Lukaku isn't scoring goals, the fact is Everton struggle going forward.  A positive is though that despite a bad patch, we have still looked reasonably strong in defence and haven't conceded lots of goals.  It is, though, evident that we now need to find a balance to keep looking dangerous in attack.
Connor O'Neill, City Centre
After a fantastic start the wheels have begun to fall off. The last three games have been eye opening to say the least, and in some ways confirmed what most Evertonians already knew, that a lot of the squad players we have aren’t good enough.
A prime example is Tom Cleverley.
Not only was he a surprise name on the team sheet on Friday – but he looked totally lost on Friday, a fish out of water.  Cleverly has gone from being nowhere near the match day squad to starting on the wing. But in some regards I couldn’t help that it was a tactic from Koeman to show the board exactly what he’s has in his squad.
Tom Cleverley
But regardless of whether it was a tactic from Koeman or just a chance for Cleverley to show what he can offer. One thing is for certain we must improve or European football could be a long way off.
That’s why this coming January is the biggest in the club’s history.
That might seem a bold statement, but in my eyes it is. I couldn’t agree more with Michael Ball’s column the other day when he said that January was huge for the club as we need to bring in some much needed additions.  There is a lot of talk and plenty of promise around the football club – but after all we only really spent the money we received from the sale of John Stones in the summer. January is a month where we must turn all the talk and speculation into action.  As talk is cheap, and we should now. It’s all we ever get in regards to the potential of a new stadium.
Ronald Koeman during training
We now have a top class manager, who I believe can take us to the next level, but he must be backed with the club pulling out all the stops to ensure the players he wants are secured.
It’s time to show this club can compete with the big boys and head back to where it belongs, with the elite of European football.
Terry McAllister, Walton
The second international break of the season is always a good time to assess the start you have made to the season. The Blues so far have four wins, two draws and a defeat.
Not bad at all.
Supporters need to remember that this will be a transitional season after two years of decline. Ronald Koeman will need time for his ideas to take hold fully and to bring in the players he needs.
Ronald Koeman gives Ross Barkley instructions
The early run of wins has kidded some into thinking change had occurred overnight and that we had suddenly entered the Champions League race. It's too early for that with this current squad.
One thing that will have happened overnight however is the manager making decisions on some players who aren't good enough. The squad is overburdened with deadwood so when established first teamers like Ross Barkley suffer lapses in form, the options to replace them are limited. (Or in the case of Romelu Lukaku, non-existent.)
Christian Benteke celebrates with James McArthur as he scores at Goodison
The results against Norwich, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace have cooled expectations amongst Evertonians but in a way that's no bad thing. Crystal Palace are no mugs and whilst the Blues weren't at their best in the second half on Friday night, that match could have easily ended in defeat.
Last season it most certainly would have.

Everton midfielder Ross Barkley backs Total Eclipse of the S*n campaign
7 Oct 2016 Liverpool Echo
By Paul Philbin
The Everton midfielder was pictured holding a poster backing the campaign
Ross Barkley with the Total Eclipse of the S*n poster
Everton midfielder Ross Barkley has been pictured backing the Total Eclipse of the S*n campaign.
A tweet was posted last night with a photograph of the 22-year-old posing with a poster supporting the campaign.   The poster reads 'Total Eclipse of The S*n. Not Welcome Here' and has been spotted around the city in recent months.
    Nice one @RBarkley20
    — Read Liverpool (@ReadLiverpoolFC) October 6, 2016
Barkley is one of many from the city to back the campaign over the past few months and the 'Total Eclipse of the S*n' Facebook page has grown to over 35,000 members.
Last month cabs branded with the campaign livery of the Total Eclipse of The S*n group gathered at Liverpool’s Pier Head  Mayor Joe Anderson and has supported the campaign to remove the S*n by saying: "If I could I'd ban The S*n across Merseyside."  This was also backed by local councillors who have supported the campaign to eradicate it from Merseyside.
Campaigners say that over 100 shops in the city have stopped selling the newspaper.
Total Eclipse of The S*n was set up earlier this year in a bid to stop the tabloid from being sold in Liverpool.

Everton's Seamus Coleman revels in historic moment for Republic of Ireland
7 Oct 2016 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Blues defender bags the winner for Republic of Ireland in must-win World Cup qualifier
Seamus Coleman celebrates after scoring with team mate James McClean
Seamus Coleman has revealed his delight after scoring his first goal for Ireland.
The Everton defender bundled his way through the Georgia defence before tapping home in the 56th minute to hand Martin O’Neill’s side a 1-0 win in their World Cup qualifier in Dublin.
Coleman, the Irish captain, was making his 40th appearance for his country and says his first goal has been overdue.  “To score for your country was an amazing feeling,” Coleman said.
“You grow up dreaming of playing in that green shirt and the first goal has been a long time in coming after 40 games, but I’m delighted to get it. “I don’t think I have done anything different since I became captain. I set high standards for myself and that may be why the manager made me captain.”  Coleman will have felt the force of a Ronald Koeman half-time dressing down this season but says it was one from O’Neill that inspired their win last night.
“The manager gave us a rollocking at half-time,” Coleman said.
“He just said we were nowhere near good enough, looked afraid, didn’t get on the ball and he was right.
“We were nowhere near good enough in the first half and we were lucky to go in at 0-0. We were better in the second half and it was all about getting the three points.
“My goal came at a crucial time and it gave us something to hold on to. We know the performance was not good enough, but we are happy to get out of it with three points.”

Everton's Phil Jagielka pulls out of England squad with injury
7 Oct 2016 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Everton captain has picked up thigh problem and has pulled out of World Cup qualifiers
Everton will assess the fitness of Phil Jagielka after he withdrew from the England squad.
The Blues captain has pulled out of World Cup qualifiers with Malta and Slovenia with a thigh injury.
Everton are next in action a week on Saturday when they travel to the Etihad Stadium to face leaders Manchester City but the club said the injury was "not thought to be too serious".
Jagielka will now leave the England camp and return to Finch Farm to undergo treatment in the hope he will be fit to face City next weekend.   The Everton skipper has played in every league game this season under Ronald Koeman and has looked reinvigorated under the Dutch coach.  But the Blues and Jagielka now face a race against time to ensure the 34-year-old’s thigh problem is resolved in time for the resumption of the Premier League.   Should Jagielka not be passed fit for City then it would open the door for Ramiro Funes Mori who this week cast doubt over his long term Goodison future after voicing concerns over his lack of playing time.

Everton fans' player of the season so far revealed
7 Oct 2016 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
ECHO readers asked to rate players after each game - and the results are in
The ECHO readers’ Everton player of the season so far has been revealed - and no prizes for guessing who comes out on top.  After every game we ask you to rate the Blues’ players and after averaging out those ratings we can see who you think has been Everton’s best player so far this season.
Enner Valencia, a deadline day signing on loan from West Ham, is bottom of the readers’ ratings.
Players | Average | Rank
Idrissa Gueye | 7.6 | 1
Gareth Barry | 7 | 2
Mason Holgate | 7 | 2
Leighton Baines | 6.8 | 4
Phil Jagielka | 6.7 | 5
Maarten Stekelenburg | 6.5 | 6
Yannick Bolasie | 6.4 | 7
Ashley Williams | 6.4 | 7
Tom Davies | 6.3 | 9
Romelu Lukaku | 6.1 | 10
Kevin Mirallas | 6 | 11
James McCarthy | 6 | 11
Seamus Coleman | 5.9 | 13
Ross Barkley | 5.7 | 14
Ramiro Funes Mori | 5.6 | 15
Arouna Kone | 5.6 | 15
Darron Gibson | 5.6 | 15
Aaron Lennon | 5.5 | 18
Gerard Deulofeu | 5.4 | 19
Tom Cleverley | 5.2 | 20
Bryan Oviedo | 5.1 | 21
Enner Valencia | 4.6 | 22

Everton's Phil Jagielka says Ashley Williams can have long-term partnership
7 Oct 2016 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Everton skipper says he and new signing are "on the same page"
Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams of Everton after the win over Stoke City
Phil Jagielka believes Ashley Williams could be his next long-term defensive partner at Everton saying: “We are on the same page”.  And Jagielka insists that even though Williams no longer wears the captain’s armband at club level he still considers him a second skipper at Goodison.  Williams joined the Blues in a £12m summer deal from Swansea City where he developed iconic status as the Swans’ captain and talisman.  But the 32-year-old accepted Everton’s offer in August, made his debut as a late substitute in the win over West Bromwich Albion later that month and has started every game since.
In the Premier League, Everton boss Ronald Koeman has picked Jagielka and Williams as his preferred centre-half partnership for five straight games, leaving Ramiro Funes Mori on the sidelines and questioning his long-term Blues future.  Jagielka, who has been forced to pull out of the England squad with a thigh problem, says strength in depth is important at centre-half but is confident he and Williams are forging the type of bond he had with other defenders at the club.
Phil Jagielka is pleased that Ashley Williams has brought more talking to the Everton team
“I have been fortunate enough to have a few long-term partners and it does make life a lot easier,” Jagielka said.  “When I first started playing here, I played a lot with Joleon and you do create a bond, Sylvain and John towards the end.  “You can get two great individual defenders but as a partnership you need to be knowing what is going on next to you and, at the moment with Ash, even if there is a mistake or if things are not quite going right, I feel as though we are on the same page and both trying to figure it out.  “We’ll need to play a few more games together to define how good it is but I’m pretty confident.”  Williams had to give up the captaincy when he swapped Swansea for Everton in the summer but Jagielka still welcomes the new arrival doing all the things a skipper would.
“Looking at us both on the pitch, we don’t play the game too dissimilar,” he added.  He’s a captain whether he wears the armband or not. He wears it for his country and he’s been a captain for many years at Swansea, so he’s a leader on the pitch.  “He talks, moans at the refs like I do and there are a lot of similarities and he is nice to play alongside.  “We have got three really good centre-halves, we’ve got Mason who has had a fantastic start to the season and so it is good to have the squad.”
Phil Jagielka's other defensive partners at Everton
Joleon Lescott
John Stones
Sylvain Distin
John Heitinga
Antolin Alcaraz
Joseph Yobo
Alan Stubbs
Ramiro Funes-Mori
(Part of a back three)
Gareth Barry
Mason Holgate

Everton’s Enner Valencia chased by police while being carried off
• Ecuador striker in bizarre incident at World Cup qualifier against Chile
• Valencia reportedly involved in dispute over child maintenance payments
Friday 7 October 2016 Guardian
Enner Valencia was involved in a bizarre incident on Thursday, when the forward appeared to be chased by police while being transported on a medical buggy during Ecuador’s 3-0 win over Chile.
Valencia, who is on loan at Everton from West Ham, was substituted in the 82nd minute of the World Cup qualifier in Quito.
Pep Guardiola: ‘I would not be here without Johan Cruyff. He was unique’
Video footage appears to show the 26-year-old, who had an oxygen mask put over his face, being pursued by police officers as a medical buggy carried him along the running track surrounding the pitch to an ambulance.  The incident occurred after reports that Valencia was involved in a dispute over child maintenance payments.  Spanish newspaper AS on Wednesday reported lawyers, accompanied by the police, arrived at Ecuador’s training session and attempted to have Valencia detained.  In the report, Paul Marin, a lawyer for the mother of Valencia’s child, is quoted as saying: “It’s lamentable that certain police officers didn’t collaborate with the detention of the footballer Enner Valencia, to ensure compliance with a judicial order.  “If they say this man earns so much, why doesn’t he pay the maintenance monthly to his daughter?”  Valencia retweeted a message on Thursday from Ecuadorian journalist Andres Guschmer, which said: “I’ve read what some have written about the personal matter of Enner and I notice how easy it is for those to judge someone without knowing the matter.”
Valencia’s agent, Gonzalo Vargas, wrote on Twitter: “Enner as a father has fulfilled, including legally he has fought to be able to have greater time with his daughter.  “Unfortunately certain laws of our country have many gaps, where they sentence fathers who do their utmost for their children”  Further tweets from Vargas suggested Valencia’s arrest warrant had been revoked.

The sacrifice made by most heroic Everton footballer of all time
7 Oct 2016 Liverpool Echo
By David Prentice
Remarkable story of Leigh Roose brought back to life by Spencer Vignes
AT 1.45pm today put down your sandwich, if you will, turn off your phone for a minute, bow your head and spend a moment’s quiet contemplation, reflecting on the sacrifice made by the most heroic Everton footballer of all time – and the least celebrated.
Until now, that is.
The remarkable career of Leigh Roose has featured on these pages before. But not the full story. Not the full sensational, charismatic and ultimately harrowing tale told in the pages of Spencer Vignes’ truly wonderful biography - a story which ended for Leigh Roose 100 years ago today - but which still had chapters to be told a century or so later.  If you were fortunate enough to find a copy of Spencer’s original “Lost In France”, scheduled for release in 2007, you were truly blessed.
Because not only was it an evocative, swashbuckling read – and every word of it true – it was pulped because the publishers went into receivership the week it was due to launch.
Only a handful of review copies made it out of the failed publisher’s offices.
I received one, loved it so much I pressed it fervently onto other like-minded souls – and like the man it portrays, the book was never seen again.  But Spencer proved as dogged and diligent as the goalkeeper whose story had captivated him, took eight long years re-securing the rights of HIS book – and has now produced an even better, more moving, more illuminating version of the original.
When we last left Leigh he was missing, presumed dead on a Somme battlefield, with his name mis-spelled on the Thiepval Monument.
That travesty has since been corrected – but Spencer can also now bring us, as accurately as contemporary reports can reveal – the detail of what really happened to Leigh Roose, footballer, playboy and war hero, on that Somme battlefield.
Lump in the throat read
It’s a lump in the throat read. And like so many Great War tales, wretched and tragic.
Leigh was a soldier with the Ninth Fusiliers, detailed to attack the left flank of an enemy position known as Bayonet Trench on October 7, 1916.   An incessant allied artillery bombardment which had rained hellfire on the German lines for several days prior to the assault was reported to have cleared all enemy machine gun emplacements.  It had, on the right flank of Bayonet Trench.
On the left, however, a deadly arsenal of German machine gunners remained securely in place.
At 1.35pm, 100 years ago today, the final countdown began.
The soldiers’ instructions were both stark and grim.
“Unwrap rifle from protective rags and check the thing is clean and ready to fire.”
“Fix bayonet.”
“Offer those around you encouragement.”
“Calm any nerves by being sick.”
“Say a prayer.”
But even the good Lord above could not protect Leigh.
He was in the second line of Fusiliers to go over the top. By all accounts he continued advancing even after the man directly in front of him was shot.   As the previously unseen German machine guns opened up and more soldiers began falling, it rapidly became a case of every man for himself.
His story may well have been lost in time, but for Spencer’s superlative work.
Even so, some of those fortunate enough to live another day did remember seeing Leigh out in no man’s land.  Gordon Hoare, who before the war had represented England as an amateur footballer, spotted him running full pelt towards Bayonet Trench firing as he went.  He was never seen again.
His body was either blown to bits or sank into the mud where it still remains.
Leigh Roose was just one of an estimated 420,000 British men lost on the Somme battlefield. But in 1916 he was one of the most famous.  His story may well have been lost in time, but for Spencer’s superlative work.  This morning Spencer spoke to John Humphries on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme about Leigh.  Tomorrow, at 1.30pm, BBC Radio Wales will air a programme about Leigh, to be presented by a modern day goalkeeping maverick, Neville Southall.  Spencer made a poignant trip to France last week with Leigh’s Great Niece, Gaynor Tinsdale, where they scattered some Welsh soil in a solemn but significant gesture.
The Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of The Somme, which includes the name of John Henry Speakman
And on Remembrance Sunday in Holt there will be service dedicated to Leigh.
But underpinning it all will be Spencer Vignes’ wonderfully evocative exploration of Leigh’s life and death.  Read more of the tale in Sunday’s Echo, or buy a copy of a book more than a century in the making.   You won’t read a better football story this year.

Everton must be consistent over 90 minutes, insists Gareth Barry
7 Oct 2016 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Midfielder left frustrated after second-half showing in draw with Crystal Palace
Everton have been urged to stop being one half wonders and find consistency across the 90 minutes.
Gareth Barry praised the Blues’ work-rate and intent during the first-half of last week’s game with Crystal Palace as they took the lead through Romelu Lukaku.  But the Blues veteran admits they lost their shape after the break as Christian Benteke’s header earned the visitors a point.  Everton have struggled to maintain their performance levels in both halves in several games so far this season and Barry says they have to address the issue.
“The work-rate in the first-half against Palace was perfect and we got the fans off their seats, the front boys were making tackles and what we have got to try and do now is put the two performances together - the first-half and second-half - which we haven’t done all season,” Barry said.
“We’ve not yet controlled a game from start to finish, which is difficult in the Premier League, but it’s certainly a target for us.”  He added: “We felt really comfortable in the first-half, we didn’t create loads of chances but we had good possession in their half and they didn’t create too much.  “We got the goal, maybe we needed the second one before half-time but it didn’t come, and they grew in confidence.
“They had a good spell, had a few corners in a row and their confidence grew and grew off it and we didn’t play the game we wanted to second-half and apart from the last five or 10 minutes, we are disappointed with the way we played in the second-half.  “The midfield diamond (formation) was there and we’d stopped their supply up to Benteke in the first-half but in the second they were putting into him from all areas and we weren’t getting to the ball quick enough to stop the supply.  “We knew it was going to be that sort of game so we shouldn’t have acted surprised.  “We tried to deal with the second balls and deal with Benteke, because he is a threat, but you have to give them credit because they played well.”  Everton return from the international break on October 15 with a trip to leaders Manchester City.   The Blues lie fifth in the table with 14 points after their opening seven games and though the 1-1 draw with Palace was disappointing, Barry says their star to the season remains a positive one.  “The manager seemed to stress early doors that he didn’t want anyone getting carried away,” he said.  “We won a few games in a row and found ourselves in a lofty position but nobody was getting carried away because there are tough test in the Premier League every week, you always come up against a different style of team that are going to cause you problems.  “And even though the last couple of games haven’t gone to plan we still feel in a good spot and we’re still learning under the manager and he’s learning about the players too.  “So the big picture is we’ve got 14 points from seven games which is a good, solid start.”

Royal Blue: Why Everton's No2 may not be Joel Robles anymore
7 Oct 2016 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Phil Kirkbride on Ronald Koeman's goalkeeping dilemma
Ronald Koeman doesn’t strike you as the type of manager to lose sleep over decisions.
But however experienced and unflappable the Blues boss appears to be, surely he would be uneasy at this scenario.  Consider the, very real, possibility that Maarten Stekelenburg picks up an injury.
The Dutch goalkeeper is the only ever-present in Everton’s season and, though there have been some wobbles here and there, his arrival has brought calm to a problem position.
But what would Koeman do if he was sidelined?
The obvious solution would be to call up Joel Robles but you have to question if he is actually the man best placed to deputise.
The reason? Mateusz Hewelt.
Because should Stekelenburg get injured then Koeman would have to decide whether to replace him with Robles, the club’s established No2 but a goalkeeper who has played just once (for the u-23s) all season, or with the young, confident and active Hewelt?  Word from inside Finch Farm is that Hewelt has made an impression on Koeman’s goalkeeping coach Patrick Lodewijks and his performance in Tuesday night’s EFL Trophy defeat at Cheltenham Town will have done his chance little harm.
With the young Blues leading the game, but under the cosh at the end of the first-half, Hewelt first stormed decisively from his line to punch away a threatening free-kick pumped into Everton’s area before brilliantly smothering Cheltenham striker Amari Morgan-Smith’s shot as he raced clean through.
Mateusz Hewelt, Everton  Within a frantic minute at Whaddon Road, the 20-year-old displayed the confidence and quality to make you sit up and take note, and though he was helpless to prevent the Blues’ late collapse, he still defiantly produced a fine save in time added-on to keep his side in the game that touch longer.
But what he lacks, and what Robles has, is experience.
More to the point, Premier League experience.
Joel Robles of Everton watches a shot from Wahbi Khazri of Sunderland go wide
Robles has played the waiting game before, he knows it better than most, but in a season where Koeman had, initially at least, openly questioned his desire to fight for his place then you wonder how much fight he has left in him?  And having bided his time to topple Tim Howard as Everton’s No1, the shirt was taken from him as soon as Stekelenburg signed in from Fulham.  In the Spaniard’s defence, last month the Everton manager said he’d seen improvements in the player’s mentality: “He is disappointed after the decision we took about the goalkeeper position but he has had time to fight against that disappointment and he is now doing well and giving competition to the first goalkeeper.”  That, however, was said on the eve of Everton’s EFL Cup tie with Norwich City last month when Koeman dangled the possibility to handing Robles his first senior start of the season.  aarten Stekelenburg gives his team mates instructions  He didn’t. Stekelenburg kept his place and the Spaniard suffered another slap in the face,
Where that leaves Robles, only Koeman knows.
Maybe, when push comes to shove, the manager would see past Robles’ disappointment and favour experience over youth.  But it won’t be a simple decision for Koeman and such a situation reinforces the belief that Everton need to bolster their goalkeeping options.
Joe Hart
Koeman rejected the idea of signing Joe Hart, saying he would expect to be installed as No1, so the search goes on into the next transfer window to find a quality goalkeeper who expects to have to fight for the shirt.  For the moment, that fight’s between Robles and Hewelt. Koeman may yet have to decide whose arm is raised.




























October 2016 - Week 1 (1st -7th)

All News Articles throughout each month.....

Everton Independent Research!