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Jagielka: Everton FC goalkeeper Tim Howard one of the best in the world
1 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
“Tim is a top class goalkeeper and a really good guy.”
TIM HOWARD remains one of the best goalkeepers in the world, says Everton skipper Phil Jagielka.
Howard produced a string of saves to ensure the Blues earned a point at Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday. The American came in for criticism from sections of the Everton support last season after a series of poor performances. And the finger was pointed at Howard after he was beaten at his near post by Manchester City’s Aleksandar Kolarov earlier this month. But the 36-year-old produced a man-of-the-match display at White Hart Lane and Jagielka says the squad have never once doubted his ability.
“I’ve played with Tim for many years now and we’ve got a great friendship and relationship, both on and off the pitch,” the Everton captain explained. “When a keeper makes a mistake or an error in judgement unfortunately it often leads to a goal. “Tim has made only a handful of errors in his past five or six years and though he may have had a couple on the spin last season, where the fans got on his back a little bit, the character of the person comes through. “Tim just dusts himself down and gets on with it. “He made some fantastic saves to keep us in at Spurs. “Tim is a top class goalkeeper and a really good guy.” Howard, meanwhile, has officially returned to the international fold after a break from the USA team. The Everton stopper is in the American squad for friendlies against Peru and Brazil.

Everton complete £9.5m signing of Ramiro Funes Mori
1 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Everton sign defender from River Plate
Everton have this morning completed the signing of defender Ramior Funes Mori.
The River Plate centre-half has put pen to paper on a five-year-deal in a transfer worth £9.5m - significantly higher than expected. Mori agreed personal terms and passed a medical last week but his transfer was delayed while he waited for a work permit and for paperwork to be signed off.
Everton finalised the 24-year-old’s deal last night and kicked-off transfer deadline day by announcing the move this morning. The left-footed Mori has been given the No25 shirt at Goodison. Mori won the Copa Libertadores with River Plate last season, the South American version of the Champions League, and has won one cap for Argentina. Mori has also become the most expensive defender in Everton history, following on from Dutch international John Heitinga who joined for £6.2m in September 2009.

Everton new-boy Ramiro Funes Mori didn't "think twice" about joining the Blues
1 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
River Plate defender completes £9.5m transfer
Everton unveil new signing Ramiro Funes Mori at Finch Farm
Ramiro Funes Mori says he didn’t “think twice” about joining Everton once they made their move.
The 24-year-old defender completed a £9.5m switch from River Plate today and put pen to paper on a five-year deal. Mori, who has one cap for Argentina, says the Blues “did everything” to push the move through before today’s transfer deadline. “I’m the type of player who likes to work hard in every training session and in every game,” Mori said. “I train the way I play and I’m going to give it 100 per cent every time I go out there to play for Everton. “When I heard about Everton’s interest, I didn’t think twice. “My agent told me about this opportunity and Everton did everything to bring me over and I wanted to come. “I know it’s a club with a lot of history and a lot of good players have come from Everton, so I’m very happy to be here. “I’ve signed for five years, so hopefully I can keep growing as a player and I can stay here for a long time.” Mori has been with the Everton squad since last week but his transfer was delayed while the club worked on getting the centre-half a work permit.
I want to do big things here – Mori “I feel happy because the people here have shown me a lot of love and I’m very happy and comfortable here already,” he added. “I saw the people at Goodison Park and I saw they were a family and all cheering the players and obviously I liked that atmosphere. “The manager has told me that my team-mates are very respectful, that it’s a family club and I really love that as well. I’ve met some of my team-mates already and they have helped me. “I went to the dressing room and they were very polite people, people who like to work hard. “I could see that and hopefully I can fit straight into the group, we can get along and do big things here.”

Ramiro Funes Mori: What Everton can expect from their £9.5m defender
1 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Kristian Walsh
South American expert Shaun Driscoll writes of Mori's strengths and weaknesses
Everton unveil new signing Ramiro Funes Mori at Finch Farm
Everton have signed centre back Ramiro Funes Mori in a £9.5m deal, writes Shaun Driscoll.
The 24 year old joins the Blues’ on the back of a successful four years at the Argentine giants, winning the Argentine Primera Divison, the Copa Sudamericana and the most prestigious trophy in South American football, the Copa Libertadores. Mori scored a header in the 3-0 victory against Mexican Liga MX side Tigres in the second leg of the Copa Libertadores final at the Estadio Monumental earlier this month; he was also man of the match in the final. What can the Blues expect from the Los Millonairos defender?
The defender has been an important figure at River Plate under manager Marcelo Gallardo, earning his spot in the team at the expense of Colombian International Eder Alvarez Balanta, despite Balanta being one of the best young centre backs in the South American game. Mori was able to move in front of him in the pecking order and form a solid partnership along side Jonathan Maidana, indicating the talent that Mori possesses. His performances for River Plate earned him a call up to Gerardo Martino’s Argentina squad for a friendly game against El Salvador, in which he played the full 90 minutes. Mori is a powerful defender. Standing at 6 foot 2, he holds a serious aerial threat, both defensively and offensively. Mori has scored six goals in 72 appearances for River Plate, the majority coming from set piece situations.
Not only is Mori a threat in the air, he also has a powerful left foot - he demonstrated this trait by scored a outstanding free kick against Temperely in Argentina’s top division. Mori is also a very mobile defender and his ability to move, combined with the physical aspects of his game, would make him an exciting match for the Premier League. Playing from the back is a big feature of Roberto Martinez’ Everton side, and Mori can certainly adapt to that style of play as he is comfortable on the ball and has a good eye.
Mori also has experience playing in big games - the defender scored a late winner at La Bombonera against arch rivals Boca Juniors in a 2-1 victory last year. Everton fans will be hoping he can deliver the same result in a Merseyside derby.
As a South American defender, there is no surprise that he can lack concentration levels at times, resulting in sloppy mistakes. Defenders from the continent are often caught out due to their eccentric style of play and unfortunately he falls under the same umbrella. However, playing and training alongside England internationals Phil Jagielka and John Stones will certainly help Mori grow as a defender, and hopefully it will iron out the mistakes that he can be prone to make.
The fast pace and the intensity of the Premier League may take a while for Mori to adapt to and it may result in the odd mistake, which could prove to be costly.
The Argentine defender is an expensive gamble, but it is a gamble worth taking for Roberto Martinez.

The ability is there in Mori and he has the potential to be good signing for Everton. He may only be brought in as cover for Phil Jagielka and John Stones to begin with, but the left sided centre back could grow into the perfect replacement for 33 year old Jagielka and form a solid partnership along side Stones. Being Argentine, Mori is a fighter and a battler; that normally bodes well with the Everton faithful, so there is every chance that Mori will be popular with at Goodison Park. Mori is replacing the void filled by Sylvain Distin and Antolin Alcaraz, who were released by the Blues over the summer, and he is an improvement on both of them. The defender could be a real success on Merseyside.

Everton boss Roberto Martinez says £9.5m Ramiro Funes Mori is "value"
1 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Everton boss thrilled with signing of Argentina defender
Roberto Martinez says paying £9.5m for Ramiro Funes Mori “reflects the value” of the defender.
Everton completed the signing of the River Plate centre-half on a five-year-deal earlier today.
It was understood that the Blues would have to pay in the region of £5.5-6m for the 24-year-old but ended up forking out a significantly higher fee. Mori becomes the most expensive defender in Everton history but Martinez insists the Argentina defender will be worth it. “We are delighted for many reasons,” Martinez says. “First, the player we are welcoming into the dressing room is the profile we need. “He is left-footed centre-half, a really, really good defender, exceptional in the air and with good quality. “He give us great balance in that back four. “He has the personality and character of a winner. He has just won the Copa Libertadores, the equivalent of the Champions League in South America, and that sort of player doesn’t become available.
Everton unveil new signing Ramiro Funes Mori at Finch Farm
“We made a massive effort to sign him and the fee reflects the value of the player and reflects the ambition we have as a football club to attract such exciting players for the future. “It hasn’t been easy and as we all know, these deals take time. “There are many boxes to be ticked but everyone at the football club did a terrific job.”
Available for Chelsea clash
Martinez hopes Mori, away on international duty, will be available for Everton’s game with Chelsea on September 12. “He feels coming to Everton will be the perfect step in his career. “Premier League football is the type he wants to be tested on. “At 24, he has been called up to the national squad and there is a change of generation there. “Nicolas Otamendi and Ramiro could be the future of the national team.”
Ramiro Funes Mori
Martinez added: “The paperwork dictated the process a little and having to deal with the lateness of international clearance. “After the international break, I feel he will be ready to join the group.
“He is going to need a little adaptation period but he will be fit and ready for the Chelsea game.”

Darron Gibson handed 20-month driving ban for hitting cyclist while drink-driving
• Everton midfielder must do 200 hours community work
• Cyclist received cuts and £4,500 bike was written off
Darron Gibson
Tuesday 1 September 2015 Guardian
The Everton midfielder Darron Gibson has pleaded guilty to hitting a cyclist while drink-driving and then fleeing the scene. Gibson, 27, was behind the wheel of his black Nissan Skyline GT-R Nismo when it ploughed into three cyclists who had stopped at the side of the road to fix a broken chain. The cyclist directly hit by Gibson’s car received cuts to his legs, elbow and hand and his £4,500 carbon composite bike was written off. The former Manchester United player was said to have driven off at speed before he pulled into a petrol station nearby in his home town of Bowdon, Cheshire, and collided with a petrol pump. Police were called by a concerned petrol attendant after Gibson then got out of his car with no shoes on and filled his vehicle with fuel on the morning of 16 August. The Republic of Ireland international entered guilty pleas at Trafford magistrates’ court to driving with excess alcohol, driving without due care and attention and failing to stop after an accident had occurred. Chair of the bench Susanne O’Connell told Gibson that the failure to stop offence was “serious enough” to merit a community penalty. He was banned from driving for 20 months and sentenced to a 12-month community order, with an unpaid work requirement of 200 hours. He was ordered to pay compensation of £4,500 for the damaged bicycle and £1,000 to the injured rider Philip Quinn, plus £100 each to the two other cyclists.
Gibson was also told to pay £295 court costs.
A statement from Quinn was read out to the court in which he recalled hearing “the roar of an engine and the skidding of tyres” . The next thing, he recalled, he was thrown into the air off his Kuota K-Uno bike. He said: “I saw my bike laying on the road in pieces and the black car driving on to Dunham Road at speed. “I initially thought the car had hit us on purpose because it mounted the pavement.”
Mr Quinn said he sustained cuts to both legs, swelling to his left leg, cuts to his left elbow and right hand, as well as pain to the left side of his ribcage and bruising and soreness to his lower back.
The second cyclist, Simon Howe, suffered soreness to his hips and back after Mr Quinn’s bicycle struck him in the collision. No details of the injuries sustained by third cyclist Andrew Moran were provided to the court. Oliver Jarvis, defending, told the court: “I take absolutely no issue with any of those facts that have been opened. “The tone of mitigation is of remorse, apology, embarassment, shame and regret.”
Passing a letter to the bench from the club secretary of Everton, the solicitor said Gibson had never had any disciplinary issues at the club. He said: “This is a man who has led an impeccable life until this appalling catalogue of offending behaviour that morning. “I make no excuses. He specifically asks me not to make any for him. “The defendant had been out the night before to celebrate a birthday with some of the other players at Everton. The wives were out separately. “The defendant was happy to be out because he had not played with the team until April previously.” He said Gibson had injury problems, a fifth metatarsal fracture and latterly a stomach injury which led to a hernia and an operation. Gibson was “very low” at not being able to play and had taken “various painkillers” following his operation, Jarvis said. On the night out he drank mainly lager and later “one or two vodkas”. The solicitor said Gibson, who did not usually drink, later had an argument at home with his wife, Danielle - who sat in the public gallery - and that Gibson left their home in Bowdon “not going anywhere in particular”. He went on: “The defendant’s recollection of the events is hazy. He accepts everything that has been said about him. “He remembers ringing his wife at the petrol station saying he had been involved in an accident.
“His father-in-law then came and paid for his petrol.
“It is out of character. The defendant is extremely apologetic and remorseful, not just for the embarrassment he has brought on his family back home in Ireland but his wife and the football club he plays for.” The court heard that Gibson had no previous convictions and had driven since the age of 19.
Derry-born Gibson was told his ban could be reduced by five months if he completed a drink-driving awareness course.
He left the court without comment.

Sunderland linked with interest in Everton forward Steven Naismith

Tuesday 01 September 2015 Sunderland Echo
Everton winger Steven Naismith could be a target for Sunderland in the final hours of the transfer window, according to reports on Merseyside. Naismith’s future has been the subject of speculation over recent days, with Norwich City targeting the Scotland international. There have been suggestions that Sunderland have also made an enquiry for the 29-year-old, who has been on the bench for all four of Everton’s Premier League games this season. However, any deal looks unlikely, given Sunderland’s priority before the deadline has been to boost their defensive options after adding to their attacking ranks yesterday with the £7.75million capture of Fabio Borini. Sunderland’s chances of landing a defender on loan look to be growing increasingly slim too after Liverpool defender Tiago Ilori rejected the Black Cats’ advances earlier today.

Everton fail in last-ditch Yarmolenko bid but still hunting for a number 10
1 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Everton tried to revive complex deal for Andriy Yarmolenko at last minute
Everton are still trying to sign a playmaker in the final hours of transfer deadline day - after failing in a second bid to land Andriy Yarmolenko. The Blues had cooled interest in the Dynamo Kiev midfielder after talks reached a stalemate last month, and had identified Shakhtar Donetsk's Bernard as an alternative. But Everton officials went back to the negotiating table with Kiev over the weekend in the hope of forcing through a move for the Ukraine international. Everton were ready to meet Yarmolenko's 20m Euros release clause but Kiev were proving difficult to deal with and it is understood they were demanding more money for a deal to go through. Yarmolenko is keen on a move out of his hometown club - but was never totally sold on a switch to Goodison.
Andriy Yarmolenko of Dynamo Kyiv competes with Steven Naismith during the Europa League round of 16, second leg clash at Olimpiyskiy Stadium in March.
And Kiev feel that should their captain perform well in the group stages of the Champions League then he can seal a January transfer to one of that competition's leading clubs.
The Blues remain interested in striking a deal for Aaron Lennon but are working to add a playmaker to the squad as well, although a loan looks the most likely option at this stage.

Everton closing in on £4.5m Aaron Lennon deal
1 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Everton ready to bring winger Aaron Lennon back to Goodison permanently
Aaron Lennon is set to join Everton permanently
Everton are pressing ahead with a deal to sign Aaron Lennon on a permanent basis.
The Blues have agreed a £4.5m deal with Tottenham Hotspur for the 28-year-old winger.
Lennon enjoyed a five month loan spell at Goodison last season and made no secret of his desire to return to Everton. Spurs had initially slapped a £9m price tag on Lennon, despite the former England man having just one year left on his contract at White Hart Lane. But are keen to get Lennon off the wage bill and out of the squad, the London club have agreed to lower their asking price and have today cut a deal with Everton. Everton's Aaron Lennon celebrates scoring the first goal against Swansea City
Aaron Lennon celebrates scoring the first goal against Swansea City The future of Aiden McGeady, however, remains uncertain with Sunderland and Norwich reportedly interested in the Republic of Ireland winger.

Everton fail to sign playmaker on deadline day but add Lennon and Mori
1 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Roberto Martinez couldn't land the Number 10 he craved but recruited centre back and former loan winger
Everton signed Aaron Lennon and Ramiro Funes Mori for a combined fee of around £14m - but missed out on the playmaker they craved Everton failed in their bid to sign the playmaker Roberto Martinez had prioritised on transfer deadline day. But the Blues made Ramiro Funes Mori the most expensive defender in their history and agreed a deal with Spurs to sign Aaron Lennon on a permanent deal.
Everton kicked-off deadline day by completing the £9.5m signing of River Plate defender Mori on a five-year-deal and before the window shut at 6pm, filed a deal sheet to the Premier League for Lennon's £4.5m switch from White Hart Lane. The Blues now have until 8pm to complete the paperwork on the 28-year-old's move to Goodison. But despite a last-ditch attempt over the weekend to revive a deal with Dynamo Kiev for Andriy Yarmolenko, Everton were unable to bolster their squad with a No10.
Martinez had made a creative midfielder his main transfer target this summer and though the club were willing to meet Yarmolenko's release clause, negotiations with Kiev proved too tough.
Aaron Lennon has made a permanent return
After cooling their interest in the Ukraine international, Everton re-opened talks but a deal could not be struck. Steven Naismith, meanwhile, was the subject of a bid of up to £8m from Norwich City today that was rejected by Everton. Aiden McGeady was linked with a move away, with Sunderland among those interested, but the Republic of Ireland international remains at Goodison.

Everton Deadline Day podcast special: What now after playmaker search fails?
1 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Liverpool Echo
Everton sign Aaron Lennon and Ramiro Funes Mori but can't add the Number 10 they required
Everton signed Aaron Lennon and Ramiro Funes Mori for a combined fee of around £14m - but missed out on the playmaker they craved
In a transfer Deadline Day special, Blues correspondent Phil Kirkbride, betting tipster Tony Scott and Everton editor Greg O'Keeffe sat down to dissect the day's dealings. We discussed the club's unsuccessful pursuit of a playmaker, after a last-ditch attempt to revive a move for Andriy Yarmolenko fizzled out, and how that will impact Roberto Martinez's hopes of success this term. And with two new faces in, as Aaron Lennon and Ramiro Funes Mori arrived for a combined fee of £14m, we analysed what they bring to the squad. But it is the lack of a number 10 which dominated fan reaction on social media after the window closed at 6pm, and the lads are agreed that it poses a difficult question for the Toffees, after Martinez had outlined that area as his priority to strenghten.

Everton confirm Aaron Lennon signing on three-year deal
1 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Winger joins from Spurs in £4.5m deal
ROBERTO MARTINEZ has revealed his delight at signing Aaron Lennon on a permanent deal.
The 28-year-old winger has tonight joined the Blues from Spurs in a £4.5m deal. Lennon spent the second-half of last season on loan at Goodison and made no secret of his desire to return to the club.
Everton registered deal sheets with the Premier League, to confirm the transfer had been agreed, before the 6pm deadline and then had two hours to complete the paperwork. Lennon then put pen to paper on a three year deal and joined Ramiro Funes Mori as the club’s deadline day signings “We are delighted to welcome Aaron back to Everton,” Martinez said. “We know we are getting a player our fans know inside out. “He had a major role in the second half of our season and we’re looking forward to Aaron kicking on and continuing to enjoy his football, as well as being the productive player we know he can be. “ Lennon made 14 appearances for Everton last season and was keen to stay at the club.
But Spurs’ initial asking price of £9m put the Blues off. However, the London club dropped their asking price on deadline day and Everton swooped. “He is well-respected in the dressing room, his experience in the Premier League is immense and he will immediately add to our squad and to the ambition we have as a club,” added Martinez.

Everton defender Bryan Oviedo pulls out of internationals with knee injury
1 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Costa Rican latest left-back to be struck down by injury
EVERTON have confirmed Bryan Oviedo has withdrawn from the Costa Rica squad with a knee injury.
The 25-year-old was the only fit senior left-back at the club following injuries to Leighton Baines and Brendan Galloway. Luke Garbutt, on loan at Fulham, is also injured while under-21s first-choice Antonee Robinson is also out with a knee problem. Seventeen-year-old Callum Connolly played at left-back for the Blues’ second string on Monday afternoon against Spurs. But Oviedo has now joined those players on the treatment table after picking up a knee injury. The former Copenhagen defender is expected to be out for around 10 days, the club have confirmed, giving him an outside chance of being fit to face Chelsea on September 12. Oviedo picked up the knee issue against Barnsley and the problem flared up after Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Spurs.

Everton's staying power is a transfer window positive
1 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By David Prentice
Blues shedding their status as a selling club
A STRIKER likely to start his Goodison career playing for the Under-21s. One young centre-half to replace the two experienced centre-backs who were allowed to leave last summer – and a winger who started 12 games on loan last season. Evertonians could be forgiven for feeling underwhelmed by their club’s transfer activity over the last seven days. Tom Cleverley and Gerard Deulofeu seem an awful long time ago now. Which is because their signings were - June 5 for Tom and June 24 for Gerry.
Tom Cleverley officially joins Everton on June 5
Since then Everton have spoken of needing “three players” - a centre-half, a striker and most significantly a number 10 - according to Roberto Martinez a creator with “great vision and technical ability but who can also cope with the physicality of the league.” They added two, but failed in the most anticipated pursuit, that vaunted number 10. The extravagantly exciting Andriy Yarmolenko was briefly dangled – then snatched away.
Bernard didn’t get out of the starting blocks.
While Xherdan Shaqiri was mentioned but never confirmed as a potential target.
Martinez was true to his word that if he couldn’t get the “right” player, he wouldn’t sign one for the sake of it. But the Blues’ best business this summer was undoubtedly in the transfer they didn’t do.
Everton resisted the very public pursuit of John Stones in bold, but respectful fashion.
And it reiterated a shift in thinking which augurs well for the future of the football club.
It wasn’t so long ago that clubs like Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Real Madrid barely needed to flash their wallets Walton way to entice Everton’s top talent. Everton never wanted to lose Francis Jeffers, Wayne Rooney, Mikel Arteta, Joleon Lescott ….
But lose them they did.
Even when Everton were in pole position to finish in the top four for the first time in the Champions League era, they sold a man to Real Madrid who had helped guide them to that position.
The Blues decided it would be unfair to stand in Thomas Gravesen’s way and block the kind of move he could only have dreamed of before he joined Everton.
That sale did not derail their fourth place pursuit.
But it confirmed the belief that Everton were a selling club.
Thomas Gravesen (R) holds up a Real Madrid shirt beside club President Florentino Perez after signing at the Bernabeu on January 14, 2005.
Not soft touches perhaps, David Moyes was vicious in his condemnation of Manchester City when they publicly pursued Lescott, but a selling club nonetheless.
That talent drain has slowed in recent years, and in the past three years halted.
It started with Phil Jagielka.
Arsenal made bids in the summer of 2010 and 2011 for Everton’s England centre-half.
They didn’t get him.
A year later Manchester United wanted Leighton Baines.
They wanted the England left-back badly, and they made a succession of bids, but again Everton successfully snubbed the then reigning champions.
It was a scenario they repeated again this summer, the reigning champions repelled, and a manager used to getting his own way denied.
Starting to shed their selling club tag
Everton are starting to shed their selling club tag, which will surely only help them in future when they try to keep hold of other prized assets like Romelu Lukaku, Ross Barkley and Seamus Coleman.
The club’s policy in tying their more prized players to long term deals has proved successful.
So, too, has the diplomacy and the doggedness showed by their manager.
Is it coincidence, or has Roberto Martinez proved a key factor in Everton keeping hold of their most prized possessions?
Everton are showing staying power – and for people who say that merely keeping your best players shouldn’t be anything to celebrate, ask Liverpool fans how much they missed Luis Suarez last season, ask Spurs fans whether they would rather have had Gareth Bale or the £85m his sale generated, or Southampton fans where they might be now with Morgan Schneiderlin, Luke Shaw, Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren in their squad.
Every player has his price. Only the European elite in Madrid or Barcelona can resist bids for their players, or the sickeningly wealthy like Manchester City.
But Everton are starting to lose their reputation as serial sellers – and that is an undoubted positive from this latest transfer window.

Everton boss Roberto Martinez hails the transfer window a success
1 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By David Prentice
No number 10 - but Blues boss is delighted with continuity
EVERTON boss Roberto Martinez has hailed the transfer window a success - after adding two new signings on deadline day, but failing to land the number 10 he had originally targeted. Spurs winger Aaron Lennon and the Argentine international defender Ramiro Funes Mori arrived on the day the window closed, adding to previous captures Tom Cleverley and Gerard Deulofeu. In addition, Martinez secured three youngsters in 22-year-old Uruguayan striker Leandro Rodriguez, 18-year-old centre-back Mason Holgate and 19-year-old Belgium youth international David Henen - and rebuffed deadline day interest from Norwich City in Steven Naismith.
Steven Naismith will remain a Blue despite a bid from Norwich City
The Blues boss believes adding players who already know the club from previous loan spells brings “a guarantee” they will settle quickly. “I feel really pleased about the way in which our business during this transfer window will allow us to carry on with the continuity in our squad and develop some of our young talent while adding some outstanding characters to the football club,” he said. “Four full senior internationals for England, Argentina and Spain reflect the huge calibre of players we have been able to bring in, with some of those - Gerard Deulofeu and Aaron Lennon - already knowing our dressing room and our home. “They represent a guarantee in terms of settling in well to our club and adding to our squad. “Keeping the main performers of the team that attempted that fourth-place finish in the Premier League two seasons ago and shared in some incredible memories in Europe last season will help us to integrate all of our new signings and to carry on reaching better levels of performance on a consistent basis. Our Copa Libertadores winner, Ramiro Funes Mori, will add some qualities that are needed in the team, alongside the bright goalscoring talent that Leandro Rodriguez will represent. “On top of that, the window has been very positive for us in being able to bring in more exceptional young talent in the likes of Mason Holgate and David Henen, who represent a really exciting future, along with other talented players we’re developing in our football club.”

Everton FC transfers: The good and bad of the Blues' summer window
2 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Kristian Walsh
A look at whether Everton have done well or not in this window
So as quickly as it came, it went. Transfer deadline day passed in a Sky Sports infused blur, as ever - a mix of yellow, shouting and, of course, Jim White. Everton, of course, were involved. They always are. The signings of Ramiro Funes Mori and Aaron Lennon were completed, while the club rejected a substantial offer from Norwich City for Steven Naismith. A good window, then? Plenty are split. Here, we look at the good and the bad of the Blues' summer dealings.
Keeping John Stones: Arguably, the most important bit of business in this transfer window. Everton were resolute, strong and eventually clear in their stance. No club, not even the Premier League champions armed with plenty of money, could change that. Not wavering to Jose Mourinho and his millions was vital. Everton could not have afforded to do that, on or off the pitch. On the pitch, they need him alongside Phil Jagielka – particularly given they still seem short at centre back. Off the pitch, it sends a message, and makes the club look strong. With new deals for Kevin Mirallas, James McCarthy and Luke Garbutt, the Blues kept their main men. Everton's John Stones during the Barclays Premier League match at White Hart Lane, London Opportunism knocks: For a while, at least, it seemed as if Everton were conducting their transfer business swiftly and smartly. Tom Cleverley, on a free, and Gerard Deulofeu, for a pretty small fee, represented intelligent work in the transfer market. It was an exercise in opportunism. Cleverley was a player Roberto Martinez had played for before, at Wigan, and had seen his contract expire at Manchester United. Deulofeu, familiar with life at Goodison, had fallen off the radar at Barcelona. Add that to Aaron Lennon, a player who impressed last season, and they have picked up three good players for under £10million.
Defender comes in: After losing Sylvain Distin and Antolin Alcaraz, the Blues needed a left-footed centre back. After some persuasion and negotiation, Ramiro Funes Mori was the man for Martinez, albeit for a higher-than-expected fee of £9.5million. Martinez was public in his hope to bring a player with Mori’s attributes – strong, left-footed, centre back – and the club managed to give him what he wanted.
Few objectives met: Then again, Martinez was also keen for a no.10, one of a continental design. Everton did not get him what he wanted. For whatever reason, the Blues failed to tick a couple of boxes in the transfer window. Even discounting what Martinez stated he wanted in public, Everton could do with another senior striker – Leandro Rodriguez is potential, for now – as well as, perhaps, another defender. But then, the no.10 is the real source of contention. After a summer to find one, the Blues failed.
Dynamo Kiev's Andriy Yarmolenko
Last-gasp deals again: Why do Everton wait so long for their deals to be done? Once more, deadline day came and the Blues were embroiled in frantic negotiations, both in and out of the club. There is sense in waiting until the last moment, in theory. And regardless, to think the Blues did not try to conduct deals before September 1 would be folly. However, there is a big element of risk to not conducting deals in good time. Everton discovered that to their peril. Net spend: Evertonians wanted excitement in this window, a real statement of intent. Instead, they finish the window way down the league in terms of net spend. There is conducting deals well. Nobody wants to see the club overspend. But it just is not enough for a team who are looking to improve on a bottom-half finish.

Everton midfielder James McCarthy to have scan on knee injury
2 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Everton man picks up minor knock with Republic of Ireland
Everton have requested James McCarthy undergoes a scan on a minor knee injury, says Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill. The Blues midfielder suffered a slight knock in training ahead of his country’s Euro 2016 qualifiers with Gibraltar and Georgia. McCarthy is said to be relaxed about the problem but O’Neill says the Blues wanted to make sure the injury was not serious and so asked for tests to be carried out. “I was speaking to Alan (Byrne, Irish team doctor) and more importantly the player (McCarthy), and the player’s not too concerned, so that’s OK,” said O’Neill. “I think it’s something Everton wanted to do so, fine, we’ll fall into line and go with it.
“I can’t envisage a problem at the moment. If it is, it might not be anything to do with the scan - obviously your concern would be training, like something that happened with Jeff (Hendrick) today.
"I think Jeff hopes he will be okay himself but those would be the things that concern me in the next couple of days of training.”

Martin O'Neill admits Everton won't be happy with Darron Gibson after drink-drive conviction
2 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Republic of Ireland boss speaks out after Darron Gibson banned from driving and sentenced to 20 months
Everton cannot be “too happy” with Darron Gibson after the midfielder’s sentence for drink driving, according to Martin O’Neill. The Blues man has been banned from driving for 20 months, ordered to pay compensation and sentenced to 200 hours of community service, after the offence in which he hit a group of cyclists. Gibson then drove into a pump at a petrol station.
The injured 27-year-old is not in the Republic of Ireland squad but O’Neill said he would be happy to speak about Gibson. “I certainly would, yes,” he said. “I think that, first things first, the club would have a chat with him. “I’m sure they are not too happy with the situation.
“For us, he has not been around the scene too much for some quite considerable time.
“So if he wants me to have a word with him... (although) I’m sure he’s not that bothered whether I have had a word with him or not. “He has more issues on his mind than an international manager phoning him to find out how many hours he is doing.”

Everton FC transfers: What the media thought of the Blues' summer business
2 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Kristian Walsh
The Mirror, Sky Sports and other outlets grade Everton's summer
The Mirror have Everton firmly mid-table in their 'power rankings', put in 11th.
Jack Lang writes: Pretty middling window all round for the Toffees. Tom Cleverley is an old Roberto Martinez favourite and adds to Everton's options in midfield. Gerard Deulofeu will be a great addition if he adds consistency to his game and Mason Holgate is tipped for great things. Ramiro Funes Mori could be the long-term successor to Phil Jagielka. Mainly, though, Everton kept hold of John Stones. They may only get one more season out of him, but that is a big boost.
The refusal to give in to Chelsea over John Stones will be painted as a major victory, but it does raise some significant questions. The 21-year-old is obviously an excellent talent, but he has barely played enough for Everton to be dependent on him. One must wonder whether a high-priced sale could have allowed Roberto Martinez to greatly bolster what is a thin squad. Otherwise, it was the kind of summer where the general standard remained the same, along with the return of Gerard Deulofeu.
They held onto John Stones, but there was a lot of money on the table and I think they should have taken the money. They haven't really bought anybody of note. It's a big ask for the lad from River Plate, Gerard Deulofeu has been there before and Tom Cleverley was just a free.
It's a C for me because I think they should have taken the money for Stones. What's the difference between him being there and not being there? Two positions? The Guardian say it would be wrong to say Everton showed ambition in this window: Resisting Chelsea’s pursuit of John Stones was Everton’s most important act but it is an exaggeration to say the club have shown serious ambition in this window. Additions have been modest and, having paid £3.25m above the initial £6.25m fee for Ramiro Funes Mori, Roberto Martínez finished without the playmaker and striker he wanted

Everton to be without 13 players during busy international break
2 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Greg O’Keeffe
Everton international contingent will be busy during series of crunch games for their countries
Everton will be without 13 players from the first team squad over the international break, with a number of senior figures from the Blues dressing room involved in significant ties for their respective nations. Finch Farm is likely to be a subdued place over the next fortnight, with 14 more players from the academy and U21 teams also away with the national sides at youth level. New signing Mason Holgate and flying winger Gerard Deulofeu are the noticeable absentees, away with the England U20 and Spain U21 sides respectively. Central defenders Phil Jagielka, John Stones and midfielder Ross Barkley make up the Everton trio away with the England squad for their decisive ties with San Marino and Switzerland. England can secure qualification to next summer's European Championships in France with two victories over the international break, due to their immaculate 100% record so far in the qualifying campaign. New boy Ramiro Funes Mori will link-up with Argentina as he hopes to win his second cap Deadline day signing Ramiro Funes Mori joins up with the Argentina squad for their upcoming friendlies against Bolivia and Mexico, in the USA. Everton have made the Argentine their most expensive defender in their history, and he will be hoping to add to his first cap following a friendly appearance against El Salvador, in March. Belgian duo Kevin Mirallas and Romelu Lukaku have joined up with the Red Devils' squad for the upcoming home game against Bosnia and Herzegovina and the trip to Cyprus. Belgium will be hoping to reduce the gap between themselves and a Wales side who defeated the star-studded Belgian outfit last time out, in Cardiff. Muhamed Besic has been included in the Bosnia and Herzegovina squad for their upcoming games against Belgium and Andorra. The midfielder will be hoping his side can get their qualification bid back on track following a largely lacklustre showing so far. Three members of the Everton squad will travel with the Republic of Ireland group to Gibraltar before hosting Georgia in Dublin. The Irish side need to pick up points after being held to a 1-1 draw against Scotland at the Aviva Stadium, back in June.
Scotland's Steven Naismith (left) and Qatar's Abdelkarim Hassan battle for the ball during an international friendly at Easter Road, Edinburgh on Friday. Steven Naisimth's Scotland, also compete in Group D, hold an advantage over the Republic of Ireland and sit 2 points behind Germany and only 3 behind leaders Poland. The Scotland side face a mammoth task to get anything out of their home game against World Champions Germany, following on from a tough trip to Georgia. Tim Howard completes the contingency of Everton players away with senior national sides, making a return to the USA squad after a year-long break following the United States' exit from the World Cup last summer, in which Howard was the stand out performer.

Everton confirm Tom Cleverley has ligament damage but no ankle break
2 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Everton could be without impressive new boy Cleverley for up to two months
Tom Cleverley has not broken his ankle - but has suffered ligament damage.
The Everton midfielder was stretchered off just before half-time against Spurs on Saturday after going down under a challenge from Eric Dier. Cleverley immediately signalled to the bench in distress with early fears that he had broken his ankle. But Everton boss Roberto Martinez has confirmed that Cleverley has avoided a break but is nursing damaged ligaments. The club are unable to put an exact timescale on the 26-year-old’s recovery but it is thought he could be out for up to two months.
“We have mixed feelings because we feared the worst when that challenge happened,” Martinez said.
“We thought that it was a fracture and to have a fracture at this stage of the season for Tom would have been devastating because his form has been terrific. Tottenham's Eric Dier tackles Everton's Tom Cleverley during the Barclays Premier League match at White Hart Lane. “He has got ligament damage and the next step will be to see how long he is going to be out. “It’s an injury we need to try and recover as quickly as we can but clearly it’s good news from when we saw Tom falling to the ground at White Hart Lane.”

Everton's Aiden McGeady told to force way back into team, by Roy Keane
2 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Roy Keane says winger must "knuckle down"
Aiden McGeady has been told to “knuckle down” with Everton for the sake of his international career.
The 29-year-old winger was the subject of interest from Sunderland on transfer deadline day but is understood to have turned down a move away from Goodison. McGeady, who has been dogged by injuries of late, has made just one appearance for Everton so far this season. But after a poor first-half performance against Barnsley in the Capital One Cup last week, McGeady was replaced at half-time.
With the addition of Gerard Deulofeu and Aaron Lennon to the squad this summer, McGeady faces even greater competition for his place this season but Republic of Ireland No2 Roy Keane says he must “knuckle down”. “They’ve obviously got a big squad,” Keane said of Everton. “But competition is good for players. Aiden McGeady after the final game of last term at Goodison Park “Aiden’s just got to knuckle down to try to get into Everton’s first team which is never easy because they’ve got a lot of quality players. “They’ve invested as well over the last couple of days but it’s up to Aiden to knuckle down and play regular football because the big problem for us, I’ve said it before, is that players turn up for international week not playing week in week out and it does catch up with you eventually.”

Aaron Lennon says Everton feels like home
2 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
New signing Lennon delighted to seal permanent Goodison return
Aaron Lennon says Everton “felt like home” the moment he stepped through the door last season.
The 28-year-old sealed a permanent transfer from Spurs on deadline day after spending four months on loan last term. Lennon has stressed that a return to Goodison was the only move he wanted this summer but he was forced to wait until the end of deadline day to get it sorted. “It’s an unbelievable feeling, a lot of people know it’s the move I wanted and from the first time I got here, it felt like home.
“I was just hoping it got done throughout the summer, I was just waiting, waiting. Yesterday was a great moment for me to finally become a full time Everton player. “The loan spell was great for me. I enjoyed the whole feel of everything and the reception from everyone to do with the club. I felt so welcomed and I was just hoping throughout the whole summer that this one got done - and thankfully it did.”
Lennon is thrilled to be back at Goodison after a successful loan spell Asked why he was so eager to seal a return to Everton, Lennon added: “Everything. “The gaffer, the lads, the staff, the fans, everyone to do with the club, to be honest, made me feel so welcome from the first that I got here. “You have that feeling and it was just so comfortable. I knew from very early on that this was the place for me and I was so happy for the deal to get done.”

Liverpool and Everton FC fans call on clubs to support 'Twenty's Plenty' campaign
2 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Laura Tacey
The Blue Union and Spirit of Shankly want Goodison Park and Anfield to charge £20 for away tickets to derby games
Everton and Liverpool FC have come together to support the Football Supporters’ Federation ‘Twenty’s Plenty’ campaign
Liverpool and Everton FC fans are calling on their clubs to cap the price for away derby match tickets.
Everton’s The Blue Union and Liverpool’s Spirit of Shankly fan groups are supporting the Football Supporters’ Federation ‘Twenty’s Plenty’ campaign. Fans hope the premiership clubs will listen to them and cap away derby tickets at Anfield and Goodison Park to £20. Reciprocal pricing arrangements at Premier League clubs have saved fans thousands of pounds since the Twenty’s Plenty campaign was set up in January 2013 - to highlight how away games are unaffordable for a lot of fans. In a joint statement, shown to the Football Supporters’ Federation, the fan clubs said: “Supporters from both Liverpool and Everton have enjoyed a unique relationship over the years and stood side by side on many occasions. “Both The Blue Union and Spirit of Shankly would welcome further co-operation between the clubs to reward loyal fans in an ‘affordable derby’. “We applaud the Premier League’s Away Supporters Initiative, which sees every club set aside £200,000 per season to improve away attendance and note that many clubs have enhanced this scheme by entering into reciprocal ticket price agreements for away fans. “Away supporters at both clubs thus benefit from cheaper tickets in recognition of the valuable contribution they make to both the atmosphere and spectacle at games.”
Liverpool and Everton supporters have previously taken to the streets to campaign over the matter.
Liverpool FC and Everton FC have been approached for comment.

Everton newboy Aaron Lennon admits to deadline day nerves
2 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Blues completed £4.5m signing of Spurs winger on Tuesday
Aaron Lennon admits he was left sweating on deadline day with his move to Everton hanging in the balance.
The Blues agreed his £4.5m transfer from Tottenham Hotspur before the 6pm cut off point on Tuesday and then had a further two hours to complete the deal. Lennon was officially announced as an Everton player at around 7.15pm after putting pen to paper on a three-year-deal. But as the 28-year-old explains, with the clock ticking down he began to get a little restless. “Around four o’clock I started getting a bit nervous!” Lennon said. “I was rushing around London at that point but I was pretty certain it was going to get done. Once the paperwork was all done it was happy days " “You’re just hoping it all goes through, with all the paperwork and everything, and I was so happy once it got done.
“Once the paperwork was all done, it was happy days and I just couldn’t wait to get up the motorway.
“Once they told me the deal had been agreed and everything was in motion, I headed into London to get the medical done. “Once the medical was done, I saw a specialist to go through other medical stuff and then basically signed the forms. “They got sent back and, yeah, last night just about eight o’clock or so I was on the motorway as an Everton player and that was a great feeling.” Lennon made 14 appearances and scored twice for the Blues when on loan from Spurs last season. Everton's Aaron
After a difficult spell at White Hart Lane, where he was frozen out of the side and forced to train with the under-21s, Lennon is hoping to kick-start his career at Goodison. And the 28-year-old says that includes reviving his England ambitions. “Oh 100 per cent,” said Lennon, who has been capped 21 times. “That’s definitely one of my aims. “I didn’t have a good run of games for the last maybe couple of seasons until I came back up here, but hopefully if I can get a great run of games in the team and get a good run out it’s definitely my aim to try and push for an England spot again.”
Lennon has not featured for Spurs since December and didn’t play in any of their pre-season games.
But he says he is in good shape. “I haven’t played pre-season games but I’ve trained a lot and I feel really good,” Lennon said. “I’m in good condition, so once I get the game time in I don’t see why not.
“I’ve trained near enough every day this season so I’m in good shape and raring to go.”
Lennon says a big factor in his return to Everton was the chance to work with Roberto Martinez again.
Everton’s new Number 12 added: “He just said he was so happy to have me back and, from the first moment I got here, he was brilliant for me. From the first phone call back in January, I knew I wanted to play for him. He gives me so much confidence and I think it showed in the way I played during my loan spell at the club.”

Russell Martin backs Steven Naismith to be main man for Scotland despite deadline day disappointment
Matthew Lindsay Wednesday 2 September 2015 Scottish Herald
RUSSELL Martin last night predicted Steven Naismith will once again be a key player for Scotland in their Euro 2016 qualifier against Georgia - despite a prospective £8 million move from Everton to Norwich City falling through on deadline day.
Martin, the Norwich captain and centre half, admitted he was disappointed when Everton, who had agreed a fee with their English Premier League rivals for Naismith, had blocked the move at the last minute on Tuesday after being unable to secure a replacement. However, the Scotland defender is confident his team mate, who has fallen out of favour at Goodison Park this season, will be unaffected in the massive Group D match here in Tbilisi tomorrow evening. Gordon Strachan’s side can take a significant step towards a place the European Championship finals in France next summer with an away victory against the second-bottom side in their section. Naismith has been involved in all six of his national team’s qualifiers to date and is guaranteed to be in the starting line-up for the meeting with Kakhaber Tskhadadze’s side in the Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena if fit.
“Steven Whittaker and I were asked recently what we thought about him and we both sang his praises,” said Martin. “He would have been an immense signing for Norwich and I’m annoyed we couldn’t get him. I’d rather play with him than against him, that’s for sure. “I don’t know the ins and outs of the deal, but when business is left that late on deadline it is tough to get it done. We were training twice on Tuesday and if it was to be done after the second session, it would have been tough. “But Everton wanted to keep him and there’s no surprise there. I’m sure our club will be disappointed. I know as players we were disappointed and I’m sure our manager Alex Neil will feel the same “Naisy asked us about the club, the training ground and stuff like that when he heard the bid had come in, but that was just in case Everton accepted the bid. You have to have an idea of what you’re going to.” Martin added: “He’s been brilliant for Scotland and I’m sure that will continue. He can play in a few roles as well and is so important to the way we play. You know exactly what you’re going to get from him. “He works tirelessly and is 100 percent in everything he does. He’s fantastic in the air for such a small guy and is so wholehearted. He likes a moan, but I like that. It’s good for us and if someone is moaning for the right reason it’s okay.” Meanwhile Martin refused to rule out Norwich, who Scots manager Alex Neil led to promotion via the play-offs last season and who have made an encouraging start to the new Premier League campaign, landing his countryman in the next transfer window. “Now we’ll see what happens in January,” he said. “Six months is a long time and a lot can happen. We might have other targets, but if he eventually comes it will be brilliant. But Naisy might have other options or he could set the world alight with Everton again, getting back in the team and scoring goals. You never know.”
Share article Elsewhere, Martin stressed the Scotland players were concentrating fully on the Georgia match despite a glamour tie against World Cup holders Germany looming at Hampden on Monday.
“I’ve not thought about that at all,” he said. “At this level of football if you look too far ahead you get caught out. The next game ahead is Georgia on Friday, simple as that. We can’t focus on any other game apart from that.”

View from the Gwladys Street: Chelsea triumph would light blue touch-paper on our season
3 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Greg O’Keeffe
Oklahoma-based Evertonian Rob Vera on the start to the season and summer transfer musings
What is your take on our start to the season?
When the schedule-makers threw down the gauntlet for Everton’s first couple months of fixtures, I thought at the time that if the team could keep their heads above water, there would be a real opportunity moving forward as the schedule began to ease - especially with no European football this season. And while the performances thus far have been a bit uneven, my primary concern during these opening fixtures has been about the results themselves. From that standpoint, the only true blemish is the home opener to Watford - the type of “play down to the level of your opponent” blemish that Everton have far too often been guilty of in recent seasons. Watford's Odion Ighalo celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates in the season opener at Goodison But an impressive road domination of Southampton and a road point at White Hart Lane are results you’ll take during this opening stretch. The mandate right now is to survive and you can’t say Everton haven’t been admirable thus far at meeting a seemingly modest objective - one that will provide a platform filled with opportunity if they can achieve it.
Who has impressed so far and who needs to do better?
There is nothing more “Everton” these days than to note that Tom Cleverly—who is facing two months on the sidelines—has impressed the most for me thus far. He’s been a combination of full throttle effort and pleasantly surprising skill who has done more to help drive the engine of Roberto’s starting XI than anyone thus far. With him now unavailable, I’ll be interested to see if the gaffer can creatively leverage Mirallas or Deulofeu to replace that spark. Who can be better? For me, it’s Lukaku. And I say that less out of condemnation and more from the belief that he has it in him to be a dominant force in every single match.
Tom Cleverley has been impressive so far and will be missed in his absence
While there’s no doubt that a paucity of midfield service hasn’t helped, there have clearly been times this season - along with his brilliance - that his first touch and ability to pick out the right (or well weighted for that matter) pass have let him down. Romelu Lukaku is good but can do even better
To whom much is given, much is expected. And I have no lack of belief in the talent. To take the step up to an elite level - while also boosting the fortunes of Everton - Rom must simply produce more and do so more often. Thoughts on Everton's business in the summer transfer window? I’m frankly embarrassed to admit to my wife that the fruit borne of this window was responsible for my terrible sleeping habits the last few weeks.
My eyes have Twitter burn.
Don’t get me wrong - the additions that they’ve made are a combination of skill and potential that I and others can get behind to help fortify the overall depth of the squad. But to so publicly and explicitly outline positional needs (a number 10, a ready-made striker) and fail to provide them is at best puzzling and at worst completely negligent for a team whose biggest issue is the wobbly link-up between midfield and forward players. Andriy Yarmolenko of Dynamo Kyiv, left, and Steven Naismith of Everton in action during a Europa League round of 16, second leg soccer match between Dynamo Kyiv and Everton at Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, March 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
The failure to sign a playmaker such as Yarmolenko is frustrating At least under David Moyes, you expected little (based on public posturing) and were usually happy or surprised with particular additions. To have the manager be so vocal about a player of need and to ultimately not capture them does nothing but fuel the growing narrative of dysfunction and mismanagement behind the scenes.
No one loves the “feel good” story of keeping John Stones out of the “evil clutches” of Chelsea more than I and as someone who values the development of young, controllable talent, I find much commendable about the club’s approach.
Everton's John Stones during the Barclays Premier League match at White Hart Lane, London
But you can’t bandy about terms like “ambition” and “golden generation” if you’re unable to meet your publicly-stated, critical needs for the product on the field.
What do you make of our failure to sign a number 10?
As far as the “why” regarding Everton’s failure to secure a position of stated need, I tend to believe that the club - for reasons we may never fully know - believed that they had a shot at Yarmolenko up until the very end. “All eggs and in one basket” sentiments aside, the club simply must identify targets earlier and be aggressive in securing their capture earlier. If you want to float the narrative that “Ukrainian clubs are notoriously difficult to deal with”, fair play.
But that then must be part of the overall calculus used to develop your transfer strategy with timelines and efforts adjusted accordingly. While we all enjoy the thrill ride of deadline day signings - and it’s great when they come off—it simply cannot be viewed as a sustainable approach moving forward.
Just as a great performance in a loss is still a loss, good intentions (even with substantial bids made) are not the same as quality players capable of moving the club forward actually signing on the dotted line. Let’s hope there’s some dry powder available for January. Chelsea next up at Goodison - what are your thoughts and how important was it to keep hold of John Stones? I think this has the potential to be “peak Goodison”—a deafening environment of electricity and passion that ought to add rocket fuel to our players and push us forward toward a great result. It’s also a unique opportunity for John Stones and the fanbase to put the Chelsea affair to bed for the time being. But not often discussed in the run-up to this fixture is the risk. If Everton go out and lay an egg and are thrashed by a Chelsea squad that - make no mistake about it--is DESPERATE for a win, the dark cloud of the Stones narrative and what it says about our current stature in the league will only be revived with increased vitriol.
This fixture represents an enormous opportunity for Everton to prove their mettle under the brightest of lights. A win could truly be a springboard for the remainder of the season and validation of Roberto Martinez and the club’s rationale regarding the John Stones affair.
Keeping him this season was critical for practical reasons involving his elite talent, the lack of other viable options behind him, etc. And while many pundits discussed that selling Stones would create unrest amongst the club’s other stars (it would), for me the opportunity for Everton to help change the overall Premier League narrative behind what player contracts really mean has the chance to be critical and game-changing in the long term for a sport awash in new money. Clubs must be rewarded (beyond just a transfer fee) for their efforts in developing young talent and making shrewd acquisitions and it starts by backing up the notion that a contract actually means something.

Everton winger Gerard Deulofeu on target in Spain under-21s win
3 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Blues man inspires European Championship qualifying victory
EVERTON winger Gerard Deulofeu inspired Spain under-21s to victory in their opening Euro qualifier.
The Spanish second string travelled to Tallinn to face their Estonian counterparts on Wednesday night. Spain were struggling to break down the hosts but with eight minutes left they struck.
Deulofeu, who joined the Blues on a permanent deal this summer from Barcelona, picked out Valencia youngster Jose Gaya to open the scoring. And in the dying moments of the game, the Everton man doubled Spain’s lead from the penalty spot. Deulofeu was then replaced in time added on after driving his country to first win in their Euro 2017 qualifying campaign. Spain U-21s' next Euro qualifiers arrives on October 6 - two days after the derby - when they go to Georgia before a home game with Sweden, six days later.

The day Jimmy Bullard offered Duncan Ferguson a fight
3 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By David Prentice
'I'm not scared of anyone' says Bullard
IT would have been a catchweight contest if it had ever come off – and there wouldn’t have been a bookie in the land who’d have given you odds on the winner - but cheeky chirpy chappie Jimmy Bullard has told of the night he offered Everton firebrand Duncan Ferguson out.
Well sort of.
Bullard stands five feet 10 in his stockinged feet, weighs 73kgs wet through - and boasts flowing blond locks. But in 2006, seconds after Ferguson had received the eighth red card of his career for delivering a crippling uppercut to Paul Scharner’s solar plexus, Bullard threatened revenge.
After a fashion.
He talks about the incident in the September issue of Four Four Two magazine.
“I’m not scared of anyone,” he explained. “There was a little bit of ... maybe not fear, just wondering what he was going to do. “He clumped Paul Scharner in the ribs and as he walked off I shouted out, trying to be funny ‘I’ll see you in the tunnel at the end of the game!’ “I was just trying to have a laugh. And he was like ‘Yeah. All right.’
“And I was like. ‘Oh!’
“I saw him about two weeks later at the races. The other Wigan players were trying to shunt me over towards him, but I got away with it. “I wouldn’t even try to take him. He’s huge.
“I would run, or hide behind one of my bigger friends.”
If Jimmy ‘Budgerigar‘ Bullard versus Duncan ‘Mad Dog’ Ferguson had ever come off though, we reckon the tale of the tape might have looked something like this ...
Tale of the Tape
Height: 5 ft 10
Fighting weight: 73kgs (wet through)
Contests: One (v Jake Quickenden in I'm A Celebrity. He was Disqualified)
Height: 6ft 4
Fighting weight: 86kgs (in his footy shorts)
Contests: Nine (All KO wins and one strangulation - followed by red cards)

Gerard Deulofeu: Why Everton's wing wizard looks like he's growing up
3 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Roberto Martinez speaks about the Spaniard's match-turning performance at Barnsley
THINLY veiled warnings are commonplace in the lexicon of modern day football.
But as last season neared its conclusion, there was nothing to disguise one sent in the direction of Everton. As the relationship between Unai Emery and Gerard Deulofeu continued to sour, the Sevilla coach spoke his mind about the young Spanish winger. Emery’s quotes, on the eve of the Europa League final, have been well circulated but, effectively, said that Deulofeu was a talented boy with an attitude problem.
Roberto Martinez was well aware of Emery’s words but did not break stride in his pursuit of the Barcelona player. A deal to bring the Catalan Kid back to Goodison, following his loan during the 2013-14 season, was agreed on June 25 - just a month after the previous campaign had finished.
And as quick as he was to seal Deulofeu’s return, Martinez dismissed any notion that the player’s temperament should be in question. “We are getting an even more mature player now than he was a couple of seasons ago and a player who considers Everton as home,” the manager said.
A hamstring injury picked up in Singapore means Deulofeu has been restricted to four substitute appearances so far this term but the early signs are encouraging.
On the touchline at Oakwell, with Everton trailing 2-0 to League One side Barnsley in the Capital One Cup, Deulofeu cut a frustrated figure. He warmed up with increasing vigour, in the hope Martinez would ask him to rescue the Blues from a sorry situation.
At half-time, he did.
Deulofeu came off the bench and dragged Everton into the next round of the cup with three assists and a virtuoso performance to leave Evertonians purring in delight. But this wasn’t just a display of speed and skill but also of temperament, decision-making and maturity.
“He was hurting in the first-half at Barnsley and he wanted to come on and do something about it,” Martinez said. “He played longer than we wanted but it was of real benefit. “We need to make sure we measure his playing time well and allow him to have a major, major impact like he did that night.
“He showed that he was on a different level than anyone else in that final third, making decisions, opening space, three assists is not an easy task to achieve in any football game. “But he played with bravery and all the signs we saw two years ago are there again but with an even more mature player who is desperate for success with Everton.” Even for Everton’s fifth goal, Deulofeu’s intelligent run to the left of Ross Barkley opened up space on the other side for Romelu Lukaku to score.
Made captain of the Spanish under-21 side (and catalyst for their win in Estonia on Wednesday night), the hope is that his chastening season on loan at Sevilla - and esteem in which he is held at Everton - have opened his eyes. The sight of him waving of his arms in disgust at a bad pass or wasted free-kick this season, remain a sign of the 21-year-old’s petulant streak but, then, Deulofeu comes from a club where standards are exceptionally high. “We have got to look after him from a physical aspect because he hasn’t played since January and he comes back to the British game, which is a completely different intensity, especially for an attacking player, we need to give him a strong introduction so that he can easily find his way back to his very best,” Martinez said.
“He picked up a little injury in pre-season and that gave us a good indication of where his body is.”
Deulofeu’s head appears to be in the right place.

Wayne Rooney is poised to become England's record goal-scorer, but he never took the final step to greatness
Many of the biggest names in football agree that Wayne Rooney missed his chance to ascend to the summit of the game alongside Cristiano Ronaldo
By Jeremy Wilson
03 Sep 2015 Guardian
Ray Hall was the manager of Everton’s academy for almost a quarter of a century and, if there is one moment he will never forget, it was surely the first time that he saw Wayne Rooney. Everton’s Under-9s were playing against Manchester United.
“Picture the scene,” says Hall. “About 150-200 parents on one side of a small field, the coaches of Manchester United and Everton on the other. Eight against eight. The ball comes across about head height and I’m looking at Wayne thinking, ‘He’ll head this’ but he didn’t. He turned his back on it and made a bicycle kick. The ball went straight into what was a small sided goal. There was silence. No-one had seen that before from an eight year old boy. Suddenly somebody started to applaud. After that, everybody clapped and the coach from Manchester United looked down the line as if to say, ‘What have we just seen?’”
• Why we’re excited for the international break
What they had just seen was a young boy who would continue to make the jaws drop of even the most hardened football coaches and is now poised to break Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time record for England goals. Yet amidst all the applause should Rooney score the brace against San Marino tomorrow night to surpass a landmark that has stood for 45 years, we are surely also compelled to reflect. Rooney turns 30 next month; he has played in an era where competition for the England centre forward position has been limited and when our impact in the major international tournaments has been fleeting. Has this really been the fulfilment of an extraordinary talent?
Rooney burst onto the scene with Everton aged only 16
There was a time, after all, when Rooney breaking Charlton’s record was not expected to be the crowning moment of his career but simply a footnote en route to global greatness. Rooney, remember, was reckoned good enough by Walter Smith to play for Everton when he was 15. By 16, Hall regarded him as the best senior player at the club and, after he scored a spectacular first Premier League goal past David Seaman, Arsene Wenger described him as the best English talent he had even seen. Two years later and Sven-Goran Eriksson was comparing Rooney’s impact at Euro 2004 to Pele in the 1958 World Cup. Few at Manchester United back then would have said that Cristiano Ronaldo was the superior 18-year-old.
• Kane: 'Players are rooting for Rooney to break record'
“Rooney was the better all-round player,” says Rio Ferdinand. “He was a more mature footballer who could bring the rest of the team into the game and could score and make goals.”
Fast forward to their supposed peak years and Ronaldo has scored more than 50 clubs goals in each of the past five seasons. Lionel Messi has managed more than 40 six years in a row. Rooney has only ever been past 20 three times in his 11 seasons at Manchester United while his international record at the final stages of major tournaments naturally still stands in the shadow of Charlton. “There is a little way to go when you make comparisons as players,” said Sir Geoff Hurst yesterday.
Hurst believes there is no comparison between Rooney and Charlton (bottom right)
“If you're making comparisons, Wayne is a front player, whereas Bobby Charlton scored 49 goals as a midfield player. It's not only their ability, it's what they achieved in the game, and of course Bobby Charlton was the member of a World Cup winning team.”
None of this is to deny Rooney’s fabulous career, just to acknowledge how our hopes have had to be recalibrated. Perhaps they were always unrealistic– and maybe Rooney is a victim here of simply being an unusually early developer – but listen also to some of those who have worked with or played against him and you do wonder. There is a common theme. It is essentially the suggestion that Ronaldo looked after his body rather better and lived a 24/7 life of an elite athlete. They are observations that could apply to English footballers beyond just Rooney.
“Our players aren't world class,” Joey Barton told 5 Live last year. “Rooney could have been world class but look at his mentality compared to Cristiano Ronaldo. When you see Wayne Rooney smoking cigarettes, does he live his life correctly?
"From the questions I've asked of players who have worked with both....he (Ronaldo) is in the gym or honing his game.” Dietmar Hamann concurs. “Rooney always knocked on the door to be world class but never did the final step and Ronaldo overtook him because he's obsessed.”
Sir Alex Ferguson is less direct in his observations but, study his autobiography, and we return to a similar subject. “He [Rooney] has great qualities about him but they could be swallowed up by a lack of fitness,” he warned. “Look at the way Ronaldo and [Ryan] Giggs looked after themselves. Wayne needed to grasp the nettle.”
• It's official: Wales are better than England
Ferguson then described how, in his final year at United, he felt that Rooney seemed to tire in games. The Scot also thought that he needed to be playing regularly and intensely to stay at his best; an observation which perhaps explains why the break before summer tournaments seems to blunt his sharpness.
Mick Clegg was Manchester United’s conditioning coach for 11 years and has pointed out that, given Rooney’s naturally powerful frame, there were legitimate concerns about spending too much time in the gym. He says Rooney was an “amazing athlete” and that Ronaldo was simply a “freak in football” in that 99.99 per cent of players spent less time in the gym.
Only 6 of Rooney's 48 goals have come at major tournaments (12.5%)
Other supporters of Rooney also argue that his outlook has always been much more team orientated than Ronaldo’s. It is certainly impossible to be around England and not sense Rooney’s popularity inside the dressing-room and his obvious intelligence and humour. Sid Benson, a former Everton scout who has known Rooney since the age of eight, is adamant that he is among the very best in the world.
“He is unselfish,” says Benson. “If you went up to Messi and said, ‘listen I want you to play right-back tomorrow’, he would tell you where to go. If you said to Ronaldo, ‘centre-midfield, I need you to do a job’, he would be, ‘no, no, no’. If you said to Wayne, ‘we’re struggling, we need you in goal’, he would say, ‘where are the gloves’. That side of him doesn’t get recognised. He’s right up with Ronaldo or Messi and any British footballer I have ever seen.”
• Euro 2016: Why are Home Nations doing so well?
Sven-Goran Eriksson, who gave Rooney his England debut, still describes him as “the complete” player while Steve McClaren remains confident that, at 29, the best is to come. “When he is finished and you look back, he will be one of the greatest ever to play for England,” he said. “He may not be appreciated but he will be in 10 years' time.”
He is half right. Now is certainly a time for English football to celebrate Wayne Rooney but it is also a good moment to ask how we inspire even more from the next prodigy.

Howard Kendall: Why Tim Howard's supershows worry me
3 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Everton need to tighten up throughout
Tim Howard came in for some criticism after the defeat to Manchester City recently.
The reality of the situation was that he made about four great saves to keep Everton in that game.
Howard then followed that up with a man-of-the-match performance against Spurs last weekend.
And that worries me.
You do not want your goalkeeper to be as active as he has been in the last couple of games.
And when we talk about improving Everton’s defending, we cannot just be talking about the back four in front of the goalkeeper, this has to include the collective. Simply, Everton have to defend as a unit and they need tightening up somehow. It is always nice when the ball sticks up front but this is about defending in general and is not about one particular person. We cannot expect Howard to go through the whole season, producing performances like this. Roberto Martinez is an attack-minded manager and that will stay like that but I was a little surprised to see the club bring in another winger on deadline day. I have never been a believer in out-and-out wingers and though Aaron Lennon did remarkably well when he came on loan, you can’t have full-backs bombing on if you’ve got wingers in front of them.
Howard Kendall: Why I am calling for the January transfer window to be scrapped I’m with Roberto on this one: the summer transfer window needs to close before the season starts.
But I’d go further than that.
I believe the football authorities should also do away with the January transfer window.
Loans are a different matter, of course, and they should be allowed to continue – although with a significant caveat. Loans between clubs in the same division should be outlawed.
On transfer deadline day we saw Victor Moses sign a new long-term deal at Chelsea and then get immediately loaned out to West Ham United.
That’s not right. I don’t agree with that.
The top teams, with a lot of money, sign these players but then go ‘he’s not going to get any games with us’ so they send him out. He’ll then go to another Premier League club and improve them.
I have no issue with players being sent on loan to the Championship but not to a different club in the same division.
Howard Kendall: More to management than meets the eye
Management is more than what we see on a matchday.
More than just team selections and tactics and more than just what goes on during the week on the training field.
And this summer has proved that.
Martinez has dealt with the whole John Stones situation really well but he’s not the only boss in the Premier League with player issues. After David De Gea’s move to Real Madrid fell through at the last minute, Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal will now have to try and win him back.
Tony Pulis has also got a crazy situation to deal with.
Saido Berahino posted a message online saying that he wouldn’t play for the club again under the current chairman.
Maybe it was an instant reaction from the lad and perhaps he’ll now settle down, but it doesn’t make the manager’s job an easier. I remember when Tony Cottee came out with a statement to the press saying how he would score more goals if he had better service from the players around him.
Essentially, he was criticising his team-mates.
Tony Cottee
So, I gave Tony a choice. He either went and trained with the kids or he apologised to the lads.
He said he would rather apologise to the group, which he did. I then told him he could either train with the kids or buy everyone a Chinese lunch.
Needless to say, we went to lunch.

Everton FC: The jury - 'The lack of the no 10 that Martinez had promised all summer is disheartening'
3 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
Our regular contributors reflect on a point gained at Tottenham and the passing of the transfer deadline
Everton unveil new signing Aaron Lennon at Finch Farm
In the grand scheme of things the draw with Tottenham was not a bad result, especially as it is not one of our most prolific away grounds, but we cannot kid ourselves that we did not profit from some poor finishing. It would have been nice to see Gerard Deulofeu a bit sooner but in the end a point will suffice.
I'm sure most Evertonians' attention straight after the final whistle blew turned to the ending of the transfer window. Most will be decidedly underwhelmed by our subsequent dealings.
Keeping John Stones was a massive plus point, but the lack of the no 10 that Martinez had promised all summer is disheartening.
Most could have predicted that Ramiro Funes Mori and Aaron Lennon would be all that arrived on deadline day, and I find it hard to believe that any deal for Andriy Yarmolenko was ever serious.
We are left with mainly the side that finished 11th last season; we can only hope last season was a blip, otherwise another poor season will ensue. John Stones can now get his head down and get on with playing
The summer transfer window hasn’t been as calamitous as it once threatened.
It will be intriguing to see if Leandro Rodriguez or Ramiro Funes Mori have any impact this season, and if Aaron Lennon is as energetic as last year but with an added final product he will win the club points on his own, diminutive frame. Although John Stones has transformed from an seemingly affable Yorkshire lad to an evilly-ambitious player whose ill-timed and ill-advised transfer request has left him with an embarrassing amount of egg on his face, a string of good performances up until January and all will be forgiven. If we want to keep hold of the likes of Stones, Ross Barkley, Romelu Lukaku and the rest, we need to win trophies or finish in the top four. We don’t have much time left to do this before the bids start getting accepted, so this season could be one of the most important in the club's history.
Success will help keep Romelu Lukaku at Goodison
A good defensive performance and a point at Tottenham was a decent result for the Blues.
We have had a decent start to the season with five points out of 12 with only one defeat against possible champions Manchester City. It was great to see us stand up to Chelsea and say that John Stones is not for sale. It is about time a team stood up to these big four clubs and stopped them bullying the others. The next game will be a fiery encounter with Chelsea coming to Goodison. I would love us to beat Chelsea to shut Jose Mourinho up and put even more pressure on him after their poor start.
It is good to welcome Ramiro Funes Mori to Goodison and he will bring some much needed cover in the defence. He will take time to settle in, but let’s hope he becomes a very good Everton defender.
Everton new signing Ramiro Funes Mori
Saturday's game was a hard-fought battle, which I thought a draw was a fair result.
Despite Spurs having the better of the chances, we ourselves could have won it, especially with Arouna Kone's header. I also, fully agree with Roberto Martinez - we probably would have lost that game last year, so to come away with a point is more than promising.
I feel it's been an okay transfer window for us.
We've certainly made some good additions, but the most refreshing aspect of the window was the club's stance over John Stones.
No-one can blame Stones for wanting out, but to see the club stand firm in the manner in which they did was a refreshing image for us Blues.
The big question now, though, is if the board can follow the same blueprint in future transfer windows, or whether it was PR stunt for one window only to prevent the board from facing further criticism from the Goodison faithful.

David Prentice: Can Gerard Deulofeu be an imperfect 10 for Everton?
4 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By David Prentice
Spaniard can offer creativity to break down massed defences
It probably won’t be a problem for Everton for a few weeks yet - Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United are the next sides due on the Blue half of Merseyside. But breaking down visitors who park the bus inside Goodison was certainly an issue last season. And it’s a reason Roberto Martinez identified a number 10 as a transfer market priority this summer. He wanted a man to provide the cutting edge to the possession based football he craves. But he didn’t get one.
So where will the creativity come from now?
Evidence of the past 10 days – three assists at Barnsley and another sparkling piece of wingplay in a packed penalty area for Spain Under-21s this week, 82 minutes into a match Estonia believed they had ground the life out of - suggests that Gerard Deulofeu could be more than just an impact substitute.
Deulofeu has the pace to catch teams on the counter when playing away from Goodison Park, but he also has the creativity to unpick massed defences.
If he’s given the opportunity.
We might not love Mayweather - but we should respect him
This time next week Floyd Mayweather will be on the verge of making history.
And make history he will. He will outbox and outpunch the outclassed Andre Berto, take his record to a perfect 49 and 0 – then apparently retire.
But while his record will stand alongside the great Rocky Marciano’s, he won’t replace the Brockton Blockbuster in fight fans’ hearts.
Which is understandable, if a little sad.
Mayweather’s love of money, his ability to pick fights at just the right time and the domestic violence charges he has pleaded guilty to, shouldn’t dilute his majesty in the ring.
If he’s difficult to love outside the ring, he impossible to ignore inside it.
Unlike The Rock who was loved inside and out.
Marciano contested seven world title fights in a spell of three years, edged a split decision to Roland LaStarza, came from behind on the judges’ cards to knock out Archie Moore, then survived a brutal cut against Ezzard Charles to stop that fight early, too.
We love him because those fights were classics and Marciano was thrilling to watch.
Rocky Marciano swaggers back to his corner after KOing Jersey Joe Walcott.
But Mayweather should not be made to suffer for his art.
He is an Olympic medallist, has boxed 25 world title contests, held world crowns all the way up from super-feather to light-middle – and has done so over a period of 17 years.
He is truly great.
He will never receive the love Marciano received, but he deserves just as much respect.
Anyika on top of the world
This column occasionally gets it right. Only occasionally mind.
Last month I wrote: “It’s just a few weeks to the World Athletics Championships - where most Mersey eyes will understandably be focused on the best heptathlete in the world. But don’t underestimate another outstanding athlete from around here.”
I was talking about the reigning British 400m champion Anyika Onuora, who is now safely back home with a World Championship bronze medal resting on the mantlepiece.
I’ve never been happier to say ‘told you so.’

Everton defender Brendan Galloway's rapid rise from teenage prodigy to top flight star
4 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Roberto Martinez, David Unsworth and Karl Robinson on defender's progression
IT has taken a knee injury to slow Brendan Galloway down.
But it won’t stop him for long.
Ever since making his MK Dons debut in 2002, aged just 15, Galloway’s career has been speeding in one direction. And today, just 12 months after joining Everton’s under-21 set-up, the 19-year-old is hoping to be fit for next weekend’s first-team game against Chelsea. Roberto Martinez admits the pace of Galloway’s progression has taken him by surprise but he has been only too happy to embrace his rapid rise. The plan was always to promote Galloway into the senior squad this season but then send him out for a spell on loan.
But mid-way through the summer, increasingly impressed with what he was seeing, Martinez decided to shelve that idea. “The most impressive aspect of Brendan is something you don’t realise until you work with him, and that’s his character and personality,” Martinez said. “Nothing fazes him, he takes in information right down the finest detail and then we know the player we brought to the club.
“Someone with great pace, a good defender in one v one situations and a defender who is very comfortable with the ball. “His maturity and personality have allowed him to be part of the first-team squad a lot earlier than we expected but clearly the potential Brendan has is enormous, not just as a left-back. I do feel he is a future centre-half and that is down to the potential he has.”
Everton's Romelu Lukaku (left) and Brendan Galloway are a couple of the Blues young stars
Many would consider facing Manchester City earlier this season, up against the lightning quick Jesus Navas, as Galloway’s sternest test to date.
But Martinez thinks his debut was.
“The biggest test for him was handling his debut at West Ham last season and so from that moment we knew Brendan was ready for whatever the challenge would be,” he said. “The challenge against Manchester City was something he was looking forward and I think he was really strong in that role of having to cope with Navas. “He produced some really good moments defending and he looked composed and mature. It was a shame that he had to come off through injury.
Everton's Brendan Galloway in action
“He is only 19 so we need to allow his body to cope with those demands because it has been such a big change over the last 12 months.
“But as you can see, the future is incredibly bright for Brendan.”
Everton are understood to have paid an initial £150,000 to MK Dons, as part of an incentivised deal.
Galloway was offered more money to sign elsewhere, with Spurs among a raft of clubs said to be interested, but he chose the Blues because he knew Martinez would give him greater first-team chances. On May 16, the teenager was a surprise name on the team-sheet to face West Ham at Upton Park. Galloway’s performance, described by John Stones as “like an experienced professional”, was good enough for him to keep his place in the side for Spurs the following weekend.
Sergi Canos of Liverpool and Brendan Galloway of Everton in action during the U21 Premier League at Goodison Park on April 30, 2015 And injury, on the eve of the new season, to Leighton Baines meant Galloway retained his place for games with Watford, Southampton and Man City.

A patella tendon injury kept has sidelined him since but Galloway, who had to pull out of the England u-21 squad this week, is hoping to be fit in time for the visit of champions Chelsea, on September 12.
“We had been looking at him for a while,” u-21 boss David Unsworth revealed.
“And we felt he had tremendous potential.
“He never missed a day’s training with the u-21s and he spent a huge amount of extra time working in the gym on his strength. “On the field, he’s a great listener and a really intelligent boy. “He takes on board the advice everyone gives him but he knows that nobody else, other than himself, can make this happen. “When he got his opportunity, he took it.” Everton chief scout Kevin Reeves knew all about Galloway Galloway’s grounding, his personality and home life, are common themes when his coaches discuss his potential. “He is a very, very humble lad, a fantastic person and someone who has a fantastic family,” Unsworth added. “He lived in digs with three or four other lads and, there, he received some amazing support. “It allowed him to concentrate on football because everything else is taken care of.
“At the end of his first year here, there was an opportunity and that is all you can ask for.
“But it has been all down to him.”
MK Dons were bitterly disappointed to lose Galloway but manager Karl Robinson always knew he had the attributes to play in the top flight. “He ticks so many physical boxes,” Robinson told the ECHO.
“He is a fantastic athlete who has a wonderful family.
“It takes a lot to play for a big club in a big town but he is more than equipped to deal with it.
“His challenge now is to stay there.”
MK Dons manager Karl Robinson believes Galloway was destined for the top
“I don’t think anything can come too soon,” Robinson added.
“You have always got to be ready to take your opportunity and make sure you are able to play at the highest level. “So there were no surprises from me to see it come. I’m sure the timing for him and Roberto Martinez was right and he now needs to kick on from here and become a better player.
“He’s a quite introverted kid and a shy kid but I had him and Deli Ali in the first-team here when they were young. Brendan was training with the first-team when he was 15-and-a-half so he should be able to cope with things well because of that.
“We wish him all the luck in the world.”
Galloway will soon be ready to take on the world at this rate.

Everton FC defender John Stones handed England start for Euro 2016 qualifier against San Marino
4 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Ian Doyle
Blues defender to win fifth cap as Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson looks to secure finals berth
John Stones during training with England this week
John Stones will make his first England appearance in more than a year against San Marino on Saturday evening. The Everton centre-back has been confirmed in the starting line-up by Three Lions head coach Roy Hodgson for the Euro 2016 qualifier at the Group E minnows. It will be Stones' third international start and his first appearance for his country since earning his fourth and most recent cap in the Euro 2016 qualifier in Switzerland almost exactly 12 months ago. Hodgson has yet to reveal his full starting line-up, but has stated Stones will play along with the recalled Jonjo Shelvey and Jamie Vardy, who will both win their second cap. England will qualify for the finals with two games to spare if they beat San Marino, against whom they have a 100% record. Hodgson said: “If we do qualify either tomorrow or against Switzerland then it's not necessarily that I would put the perfect 10 in front of the opportunity to blood some players in those (final) two games against Estonia and Lithuania. “It's a goal but it's not the be-all and end-all.”

Barry Horne: Judge Everton's transfer window after 12 games
4 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Barry Horne
Everton hero tackles transfers, Saido Berahino, and Gareth Bale's greatness
Everton's transfer activity was solid if not spectacular.
With Funes Mori and Lennon coming in on the final day, I feel we have the numbers capable of making us competitive this season. The biggest surprise was undoubtedly keeping hold of John Stones, pulling him away from the reaches of Chelsea. It has been the biggest boost for the club, in comparison to everything else we have done in this summer's window. Fellow centre back Mori and his South American counterpart Leandro Rodriguez must be given time to show what they can do before we judge them. We already know what Aaron Lennon and Gerard Deulofeu can do, but lets see what the other two can do.
Keeping John Stones was good business, says Barry Horne
Who knows? We could have a gem on our hands because, for most people, they are coming in from the unknown. Andre Ayew of Swansea is the prime example, with no other clubs willing to take a punt on him and he has taken his first few games by storm and now everyone is talking about him.
Judge our business in the window after 11 or 12 games.
"I have no doubt that Bill Kenwright and everyone else at the club will do their absolute best for Everton" Of course, fans have the right to question club policy and how the club is run but they have to look at the situation from both sides of the table. I have never had any doubt that Everton is a well run club and a business report released a couple of years ago exemplified that, showing the efficiency the club was running at, the potential it had as a whole and how much revenue was being made from record gate receipts.
Everton owner Bill Kenwright in his office
I have no doubt that Bill Kenwright and everyone else will do their absolute best for Everton Football Club. The majority of the fans know that, but I can't answer the big question of how do Everton take the next step forward and a giant leap towards future success. One avenue is to sell the club but you can only sell something if someone is willing to buy it and I don't investors coming in from every angle.
Kenwright may have had the opportunity to sell in the past but resisted as he cares about the sort of buyer that would look after the club.
It does seem as if Everton have hit a ceiling of where they can currently go and without the stadium being expanded or a new stadium being built it's hard to see that changing.
If they use next year's TV rights deal money then they have to be transparent with the fans and be honest about what they are going to do with it, if they do chose to use it towards a new stadium.
They know risk is involved but Swansea and Arsenal have made it work in the past and focused on stadium development rather than prioritising first team investment, but the danger of being surpassed by other clubs come with the potential long-term benefits which would be pointless if our team drifted to the depths of the Premier League table.
Berahino's attitude sheds light on everything wrong with today's game
Saido Berahino and David De Gea were both involved in failed deadline day deals, but the actions of the players shows the gulf in class between them. Barry Horne was not impressed by Saido Berahino's threat of strike at West Brom. I salute West Brom for staying strong on their stance to keep the striker and not let a player's demands over-power a brilliant football club. Contracts work both ways and he has to honour the club who are paying upwards of £1 million a year. He was happy enough to sign the contract and now he should honour it.
If he refuses to play he should be fined every time he says 'no'.
De Gea was unfortunate to be caught in the situation he ended up in, but he handled himself with integrity by refusing to speak out in public, as Berahino has.
Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea has handled his failed move to Real Madrid with dignity.
Real Madrid cannot blame Manchester United for anything, as it was they who wanted to sign a player and therefore should not be slating United for failing to initiate contact. Madrid behaved poorly during the transfer saga and have continued to do so by suggesting United were at fault.
Cyprus game epitomised the entire campaign
I was in Nicosia for Wales' victory over Cyprus, and the whole game reflected how Wales' campaign has evolved since the struggling start against Andorra and the Cypriots. Both were gritty performances, as was the Bosnia & Herzegovina game in Cardiff, but that was expected to be a bit tougher.
The team developed as qualifying got more and more realistic, and players such as Ashley Williams, one of the best defenders in the Premier League, Aaron Ramsey and obviously Gareth Bale have proved their undeniable worth to the team. The picture of the celebrations showcases the togetherness of the whole team, including the back-room staff who have been integral to our rise in the rankings. It is a complete contrast to the tatters of the World Cup qualifying campaign and it is remarkable to be on the cusp of our first international tournament in decades. Bale is the best Welsh player of his generation and is going to be seen as the best player in Wales' history if he keeps performing like he is doing, in the future.

Aiden McGeady risks Everton failure unless he listens to Roy Keane
5 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Royal Blue on Everton winger putting talents to waste - but has time to fulfil potential
If Roy Keane told you to jump, you’d ask him how high.
So earlier this week, when Keane offered Aiden McGeady some kind career advice, you hope the Everton winger was all ears. “Aiden’s just got to knuckle down to try to get into Everton’s first team which is never easy because they’ve got a lot of quality players,” he said. “They’ve invested as well over the last couple of days but it’s up to Aiden to knuckle down and play regular football because the big problem for us, I’ve said it before, is that players turn up for international week not playing week in week out and it does catch up with you eventually.” Keane was speaking after McGeady stayed put on transfer deadline day, when the Blues had been willing to listen to offers. The 29-year-old was the subject of interest from Sunderland but was reluctant to leave Goodison. The hope is that McGeady’s desire to stay is a signal of an intent to rescue his Everton career and not one of a man sitting comfortably in the middle of a long-term contract.
Aiden McGeady in action for the Republic of Ireland
McGeady is at real risk of adding his name to the list of Everton players who wasted the talent they were given. For many supporters, after less than 50 games for the club, he’s already a lost cause.
It’s understandable they would think like that. In his only appearance so far this season, in the opening 45 minutes against Barnsley last month, McGeady was awful.
He looked disinterested and off the pace and made Matthew Pennington’s senior debut, behind him at right back, much harder than it should have been. Injuries have certainly not helped of late but they cannot be used as an excuse for one of the best paid players at the club to have offered such a meek return since he arrived in January 2014. McGeady’s only goal for Everton was a pearler, against Leicester City on the opening day of last season, and his creativity has created goals against West Ham and Chelsea in the league, against Lille in the Europa League, where his trickery also won a penalty against Wolfsburg.
Against Crystal Palace in January, McGeady was a constant threat.
Roy Keane didn't mince his words when it came to Everton's inconsistent McGeady
But it’s not these moments that stick in the mind of Everton fans. It’s the performances where he disappears, underwhelms and angers the supporters that they will remember. And there have been far too many of them for a man of his ability. Contracted until June 2018, McGeady still has time to change opinions but he best hurry up. The competition for his place has only got harder with the acquisitions of Gerard Deulofeu, Aaron Lennon and Tom Cleverley but hopefully he’s starting to get the message.
Hopefully Keane’s words will also give him the kick up the backside he needs.
What's the story Funes Mori?
So what is the story with Ramiro Funes Mori?
Well, if you believe much of what has been written and said since Everton’s interest in the defender became known, then you’ll be convinced that he’s going to be a flop. Experts have not exactly been shy in proclaiming the £9.5m transfer as a giant waste of money and a player who stands absolutely no chance of adapting to life in the Premier League. They’re basically saying: ‘Give up now, lad. You’re bound to be a failure’. You can’t help but feel that some people seem to have it in for Mori and Roberto Martinez, with the manager’s track record with South American signings gleefully wheeled out.
Mori hasn’t even kicked a ball in English football and he’s been written off.
But what more can the 24-year-old have done so far?
He has been credited with being one of the main reasons for River Plate’s revival, which culminated in their Copa Libertadores victory this year. Mori is now a full international and in the Argentina squad for this week’s round of international matches. Yet he’s not been given a prayer in some quarters.
Hopefully, Evertonians can see past the negativity and offer Mori the backing and time to fit in he will require.

Everton FC transfer rumours: Blues failed in last-gasp bid for Real Madrid star
5 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Joe Rimmer
The latest Everton FC transfer gossip from around the web
It's September 5th but the fall-out from Tuesday's transfer deadline day continues.
And today it's reported that Everton FC failed in a last ditch attempt to sign Real Madrid midfielder Denis Cheryshev. The Russian winger, who spent last season on loan at Villarreal, was said to be surplus to requirements at the Bernabeu right throughout the summer, with the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal linked. However he ended up staying put, but it could have been so different, according to the Daily Star. They reckon that Roberto Martinez turned to Cheryshev late on deadline day after failing in an attempt to persuade Dynamo Kiev to part with Andriy Yarmolenko. The Blues are said to have wanted to loan the 24-year-old, but Real blocked the move. Cheryshev hasn't made a single first-team appearance for Real Madrid in La Liga, he scored four times in 26 games at Villarreal last season, and 22 in 109 for Madrid's B team. He also boasts seven caps for Russia.

Everton U18s beat Stoke 3-0 to maintain perfect start to the season
5 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Joe Rimmer
Two goals from Delial Brewster and one from Antony Evans saw off the Potters at Finch Farm, writes ADAM JONES
Everton Under-18s maintained their perfect start to the Barclays U18 Premier League season by beating Stoke City Under-18s 3-0 at Finch Farm. A goal in each half for Delial Brewster and a strike from Antony Evans was enough to give the Blues their third win in three games at the start of the season, scoring nine goals in the process. Everton striker Brewster threatened from the early minutes, seeing a powerful fifth minute shot parried away by Christopher Marques before scoring the game’s opener in the ninth minute, coolly rounding the keeper and slotting the ball home. The rest of the half was a cagey affair from both sides, who started the match in third and fourth place in the table, with the Stoke back-line proving hard to break down for the Blues. However, the game opened up in the second half and it wasn’t long before the home side were applying sustained pressure on the Stoke goal, with Brewster and Daniel Bramall both going close. Marques was called in to action again in the 69th minute, producing a finger-tip save to deny Josef Yarney’s acrobatic flick from an Everton corner.
However, in the 82nd minute Everton got the second goal that their play deserved. Bramall’s mazy run from left to right led to him crossing the ball to the back post where Evans was waiting to bury his opportunity. The clean sheet was almost in jeopardy when Harrington was forced to clear Olusola Ayoola’s effort off the line, before Brewster wrapped up the victory in the 88th minute with a left-footed drive from the edge of the box which found its way through Marques. Coach Paul Tait was pleased with the result and with how the players dealt with the challenge that Stoke provided them with. He said: “We’re pleased with the result and the way that they saw the game through. It was a different challenge for them today and I’m really delighted in the way that they came through and won the game. “It was difficult to break Stoke down, they came and they played five at the back, three sitting in midfield and we worked in the week on how we were going to break that down. “First half, even though we were one-nil up we couldn’t really grasp how we were going to exploit them, but second half when the game got more stretched I thought we did really well.” The result means that Everton now move up to second place in the Barclays Under 18 Premier League table, six points behind Manchester City but the Blues have two games in hand. Tait added that it was good to see his side getting points on the board early on in the campaign and also commented on two-time Brewster who has recently struggled with injury. He said: “The performances are obviously very important in the development programme, so that’s what we’re looking for first and foremost. “But there’s a league there, we’re playing for points and the lads are desperate to win. So as well as looking for the team performances, the results are also important and to win three out of three is a good start. “He’s (Delial Brewster) been out for a long time with niggly injuries, so the key for him is to stay fit, get more matches under his belt and to work hard. He did that today and got his reward with two good goals.”

Clean sheet for Everton's Ramiro Funes Mori in Argentina romp
5 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By David Prentice
Aguero and co. steal the show in friendly
RAMIRO FUNES MORI won his second full international cap for Argentina on Friday night – and kept a clean sheet. But the Argentinian shut-out was largely overshadowed by a stunning striking performance as Argentina walloped Boiivia 7-0 in a friendly. The Bolivians simply couldn’t handle Sergio Aguero, Lionel Messi and Ezequiel Lavezzi. The Manchester City, Barcelona and Paris St Germain stars grabbed two goals apiece, while Atletico Madrid’s Angel Correa also scored. Mori, who signed for Everton on transfer deadline day from River Plate, played the full 90 minutes alongside Fiorentina defender Gonzalo Rodriguez. Mori will hope to be involved again this week when Argentina face Mexico in another friendly, before returning to Merseyside to start his Everton career in earnest. Mori says he has been watching the Premier League for years and backs himself to become one of the division’s top defenders.
“Since I was a kid I’ve been watching the Premier League and it’s the best league in the world,” Mori said. “There are lots of very big players who have played in this league – players like Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, and a lot of others. To follow their steps is fantastic. “It’s a very intense league and dynamic. It’s a high level of competition all over the pitch. Obviously I’ll have to adapt to that, but it shouldn’t take too long. “I’m looking forward to testing myself against the attackers in the league. The strikers are very strong, very skilful and I will have to be concentrating all the time to do my best to stop them and help the team. “I am excited and hopefully I can win many things here.”

Ian Snodin: Aiden McGeady can still turn around his Everton FC career - I'm proof it is possible!
5 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Ian Snodin
Snods on how hard work can revive life with Blues... and why fans have part to play next weekend when Chelsea visit
It may not seem it at the moment, but Aiden McGeady can still be a success at Everton. And I should know – I was once in a similar position to the Irish winger. When I first arrived at Goodison, I didn’t really do myself justice in midfield and then Howard Kendall, the man who signed me, left and Colin Harvey took over as manager. Colin could see I wasn’t performing in central midfield and rightly earmarked Stuart McCall as my replacement. I felt at the time that a fee had already been agreed with Sheffield Wednesday, and if I’d have said yes I’d have gone barely 15 months after joining Everton.
However, I felt I had more to offer and hadn’t really done myself justice. So I decided to knuckle down and prove myself. To be honest, I’d come up against Stuart several times when he was at Bradford and I was at Doncaster and then Leeds, and never thought he got the better of me in some tough contests. I’m sure he might say different, though! The irony is Kevin Ratcliffe picked up an injury so I went to centre-back alongside Dave Watson in pre-season. I did all right so I started the season there.
This wouldn't have happened had Snods decided not to fight for his place
Then after five or six games, Rats was back fit and, as the captain, he was always going to be recalled.
Colin found it difficult to leave me out, he knew I’d done a reasonably job and Neil McDonald hadn’t set the place alight with his performances at right-back as it was taking him a while to settle.
So Colin ask ‘Have you every played right-back in your career?’. I said ‘No I haven’t’. So he responded ‘Well get ready for it, you’re playing there tomorrow’. If you’re willing to battle for your place, then you will often be rewarded if you put the effort in. I ended up having another six years at Everton but I could have quickly been on my way out back to Yorkshire had I decided to chuck it in. McGeady has a few months now to see if he can turn around his Goodison career. I’m sure he will review the situation in January if he’s not playing as many games as he would like. But if McGeady is given a run of games, he has to perform. It’s up to him.
We must trust manager and scouting staff over Mori
There's no great surprise in my belief the best bit of business Everton managed during the transfer window was ensuring there was no business whatsoever. I'm talking, of course, about the ability to keep hold of John Stones. I said last week it was hats off to the chairman and Roberto Martinez for denying Chelsea. As for the later deals, I'm happy to see Aaron Lennon is back. He was a breath of fresh air last season when he came on loan from Tottenham Hotspur. Aaron wants to work hard, and I remember Seamus Coleman saying he enjoyed playing with him as he allowed him to go forward by tracking back and fulfilling his defensive duties. Aaron clearly enjoyed his first spell here and we have him at a reasonable price, considering he still has some years left in his legs and he will cause opponents problems with his pace. Everton unveil new signing Ramiro Funes Mori at Finch Farm
And, what's more, he clearly wanted to come back and play for Everton, similar to Gareth Barry, Romelu Lukaku and Gerard Deulofeu. If you're happy at a club, then it can make such a difference. It's when you play your best football. As for Ramiro Funes Mori, the fee of £9.5million is a fair whack for a player who I, and I'd imagine most Everton supporters, haven't seen play before.
We have to trust the manager and the scouting system.
I'm sure they'll have watched him on numerous occasions. They'll have seen DVDs and they'll have flown over to watch Mori play. I'd imagine he has been scrutinised for the best part of six months. They'll have done their homework. Everton will know the player's strengths and weaknesses.
Fans have part to play against Chelsea
Chelsea can expect a white-hot atmosphere when they come to Goodison next Saturday.
And I believe if the home fans get behind their team from the first whistle, they can really make a difference. Everton's fans, when they are at full voice, are worth a goal start. I'm sure our crowd will let Jose Mourinho know things weren't done right in Chelsea's failed pursuit of John Stones. Mourinho is going to need some cotton wool in his ears. And the new Stones song the fans have come up with will surely be aired many, many times. We are going to have to hit the ground running from the first whistle if they want to extend Chelsea's iffy start to the campaign. The champions aren't firing on all cylinders as of yet, but I'm sure they will do sooner rather than later. Their players are too good not to.
But they aren't pulling up any trees, and if we can get stuck into them from the off then it won't allow them to settle, particularly after an international break. As much as the fans have a part to play, ultimately it'll be down to the players. I'm not worried about Stones, I'm sure he will take everything in his stride as he has an old head on young shoulders. But he'll definitely have a tough game if Diego Costa plays as the Spaniard does like to rough up opponents. It Stones and Phil Jagielka go about their job in the usual manner and don't get dragged in, they can handle him. It's not just about John and Jags, though. All 11 players will have to be on form to stop Chelsea. We can do it.
Gerry's still best as supersub
Gerard Deulofeu is still best coming off the bench for now. He got a lot of the ball when he came on against Barnsley and basically won us the game with his three assists. But there were also signs he's not quite up to 100% fitness yet, certainly not enough to start a big game like against Chelsea.
Gerry would probably say the same. But I definitely think he can make an impact as a substitute on Saturday. He'll get half an hour running at a tired defence. I wouldn't want to be facing him, that's for sure!

Everton FC's Ross Barkley lives "dream" by scoring first England goal
5 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Ian Doyle
Blues midfielder off the mark for his country as Three Lions romp to Euro 2016 by thumping San Marino 6-0
Ross Barkley celebrates his debut goal for England with former Everton man Wayne Rooney, who equalled the country's all-time leading goalscoring record Ross Barkley admits it was a “dream” to score his first goal for his country as England eased through to the Euro 2016 finals. Everton midfielder Barkley netted the third goal of the 6-0 romp over minnows San Marino by heading home an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain cross. It strengthened England's grip on Group E and confirmed their berth in France next summer. “I'd delighted to get my first goal,” said Barkley. “It has been a dream from when I was a youngster to get my first goal for England. “But the main thing was getting the three points, qualifying and getting through the group. “It meant everything for me to start the game. It was a great cross by Alex and I got into the box and finished it off.” Of his chances of making the cut for Roy Hodgson's squad for France, Barkley added: “I hope to show consistency through the season, getting the goals and getting the assists. “The competition is tough. We have good players and experienced players, and we have to do well for our clubs to get us on the plane for France.” Barkley was joined in the starting line-up by Everton team-mates John Stones and Phil Jagielka . And Jagielka, who was handed the captain's armband during the closing stages after Wayne Rooney - who equalled Bobby Charlton's record of 49 goals for England - was substituted, said: “Ross did well. It was nice for him to get his first start. “We were saying before the game it would be nice for him to get his first goal and I was probably expecting something a bit more spectacular, but we'll take a five-yard header. “It was a good performance (from Ross) which shows he is maturing which everybody expects him to.”

Ian Doyle: Why Chelsea visit can set the tone for Everton FC's season
6 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Ian Doyle
Londoners have often been the barometer... and are Wales really one of the best teams in the world?
Want to know how Everton’s Premier League season is going to pan out?
Wait until Chelsea come to Goodison.
The visit of everybody’s favourite London club has often provided a surprising barometer for the Blues during the past decade. And most certainly during Roberto Martinez’s tenure. For the Catalan’s debut season in the Everton hotseat, Chelsea were in town for the fourth game of the season with the new boss still seeking his first victory. It duly arrived thanks to Steven Naismith’s header in first-half injury time, a goal which demonstrated how Martinez wanted his team to play. The Goodison crowd grumbled when a free-kick in a promising position was played short rather than pumped into the box, only for Everton to work the opportunity from which Naismith netted the only goal. While the build-up suggested Blues fans would have to become accustomed to more considered attacking play, the manner in which the defence held out for the 90 minutes underlined they still maintained the steeliness that became a virtue of life under Martinez’s predecessor David Moyes. And beating Chelsea also showed Everton were capable of taking on the supposed big boys, and would go on to record their highest Premier League points tally in finishing fifth. Everton shipped six goals when Chelsea last came to visit
So to last season. Again, Chelsea arrived early in the campaign. This time, though, the 6-3 defeat horribly exposed the defensive shortcomings that would dog the Blues for the next nine months, with the result continuing a poor start that set the tone for a disappointing top-flight season. Even back during the tortuous opening weeks of the 2005-06 season, a hard-earned home draw against Chelsea arrested a run of six straight defeats Of course, the main talking point to next Saturday’s lunchtime showdown will, as it has done for much of the summer, centre on John Stones. The Goodison crowd are sure to make their feelings known to Jose Mourinho over the Chelsea manager’s relentless pursuit of the 21-year-old. That the Londoners subsequently spent little on bringing in two centre-backs before the transfer deadline passed suggests their interest in Stones will be rekindled next summer if not before. For now, though, Stones and his colleagues will want to further increase Mourinho’s woes after the champions’ poor start to the defence of their title. After all, history suggests victory could set Martinez’s men on the way to a profitable campaign.
Wales - better than Spain. And just about everyone else
It's a big day for the Wales national football team.
Victory over Israel in Cardiff this evening would secure qualification to Euro 2016 and their first appearance in a major finals since 1958. And it would also make them the fourth best in the world.
Wales' Gareth Bale celebrates scoring with manager Chris Coleman and the rest of the Wales bench during the UEFA European Championship Qualifying match at the GSP Stadium, Cyprus. Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
This lot will tear you apart at international football - apparently
Well, that's according to the FIFA world rankings, the gift that keeps giving.
Consider this. If Wales beat Israel, Cyprus pull off an unlikely shock win against Belgium and Germany don't beat Scotland, then Chris Coleman's side would be second only to Copa America losers Argentina.
There's no doubt the rankings cause a right kerfuffle.
Pity. If only FIFA had a tournament every four years to decide who really is the best team in the world.
Own goal by statisticians
When San Marino put through their own net yesterday, people were quick to point out own goals has now moved alongside Bobby Charlton and Wayne Rooney as England's all-time leading scorer.
Except they hadn't.
San Marino are not very good
The magnificently thorough website shot back buy telling us: “We'd like to know where this 49 own goals thing has come from. It's not even close.” They claim the figure is only 35, and who are we to argue? Or indeed check.

Were Everton right to turn down £8m for Steven Naismith?
6 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By David Prentice
NOT for the first time in his Everton career, Steven Naismith divided opinion.
When Norwich City made a deadline day bid for the Scottish striker, views amongst the Blues fanbase ranged from: “They said, no to how much?” to “We simply couldn’t afford to lose him.”
Roberto Martinez was firmly in the latter camp.
The bid in question was a not insignificant £8m - which was exactly £8m more than Everton paid for the feisty forward in the summer of 2012.
But Martinez rebuffed the deal.
His rationale in wanting to keep Naismith was understandable - and shared by Naismith supporters.
The Scot’s attitude is impeccable. Always.
For a guy who stands just five feet 10 his aerial ability is prodigious.
He remains one of Everton’s most reliable finishers.
And his scoring record against the most successful clubs in the country is outstanding.
His first Everton goal came in a Merseyside derby. He has also punctured the defences of Arsenal – twice, Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea - three times, including a matchwinner in Chelsea’s 2013 visit to Goodison.
And that’s all on the pitch.
Off it he has received Spirit of the Game awards for his work with the homeless, dyslexia Scotland, donating free tickets for the jobless and serving up Christmas dinners.
Steven Naismith is undoubtedly one of football’s good guys.
But he is still spoken of more fondly outside Goodison than on the Gwladys Street.
Norwich skipper and international team-mate Russell Martin, for one, was bitterly disappointed that Everton decided to stick rather than twist on the versatile forward. “I’m disappointed we couldn’t get him in the end because he’d have been a fantastic signing,” he purred. “Steven (Whittaker) and I were asked recently what we thought about him and we both sang his praises. He would have been an immense signing for us but it’s not happened and I’m sure he’ll do a great job when he goes back to Everton. I’d rather play with him than against him, that’s for sure.
“But when business is left that late on deadline day it is tough to get it done. We were training twice yesterday and if it was to be done after the second session it would have been tough.
“But Everton wanted to keep him and there’s no surprise there. I’m sure our club will be disappointed. I know as players we were disappointed and I’m sure the manager will feel the same.”
Martin sees Naismith regularly at close quarters. The former Rangers and Kilmarnock striker has become an integral part of what could well become a successful charge to next summer’s European Championship finals for the Scotland national team.
Martin added: “He’s been brilliant. He can play in a few roles as well and is so important to the way we play. You know exactly what you’re going to get from him. He works tirelessly and is 100 per cent in everything he does. “He’s fantastic in the air for such a small guy and is so wholehearted. He likes a moan and I like that. It’s good for us and if someone is moaning for the right reason it’s okay.”
So far, most of Naismith’s moaning has been on the pitch - despite only fleeting appearances in the Premier League. He has appeared in all four matches - but only as a late substitute, while his only start came in the Capital One Cup at Barnsley. He scored. He started for Scotland in Tbilisi on Friday night and national boss Gordon Strachan made it clear that Naismith’s contribution to the cause would continue to command his loyalty, even if he isn’t starting regularly in the Premier League. Naismith appreciates the sentiment, but is keen to make prove he is there on merit. “It’s nice to hear,” he said. “For players who haven’t played much for their clubs, it doesn’t matter too much at this time of year. You’ve had a full pre-season. “It’s now over the next couple of months that you might suffer. Like he says, if you work hard at training and you’re performing for him, that’s all he can ask for. “If you’re not playing for your club, you just need to make sure you’re ready for these trips. “I haven’t played as many games so I’ve tried to work on doing a bit more. “ I’ve done extra training and hopefully I’ll get the rewards for that with Scotland.” Naismith added: “I love coming away with Scotland, I look forward to it no matter what.
“Having that wee break from the constant club action is nice. “I know how quickly it can change. My Everton career got off to a slow start. After a year, I broke in and played regularly for 18 months. Then it changes again. “I’ll work my hardest every day and hope to take my chances when they come.”
After that deadline day decision, he is likely to get plenty more.

How will Everton FC's Ramiro Funes Mori compare to other big money defenders at Blues?
6 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By David Prentice
Mixed results over Goodison's expensive stoppers
Ramiro Funes Mori cost Everton a record-breaking transfer fee for a defender.
The Argentinian centre-back set the Blues back a cool £9.5m when he arrived on transfer deadline day from River Plate. Sometimes you have to pay a big fee to land real quality, but a sizeable transfer fee doesn’t always guarantee value for money. And Everton have seen both sides of the coin in the past.
We take a look at some of Everton’s big bucks backs – and see who offered the most bang for their bucks.
Slaven Bilic – £4.5m
Everton's caretaker Manager Dave Waston signs Slaven Bilic for 4.5million from West Ham United
A classy Croat, Everton were so enamoured by Slaven Bilic’s abilities that they agreed to pay West Ham a British record transfer fee for a defender – even though the Blues were managerless at the time!
Howard Kendall inherited the player and soon decided he was more barmy Balkan than cultured Croat.
Man-of-the-match on his debut against Crystal Palace, he was also booked – one of eight yellow cards and three reds he received during a season which saw him suspended for nine matches – almost a quarter of the campaign!
He was involved in further controversy at the 1998 World Cup finals, when Laurent Blanc was red-carded for striking him in the face and missed the World Cup final. Much of the media reaction focused on Bilic’s exaggerated reaction and he was labelled the bad guy in the incident.
A long-term pelvic problem seriously limited Bilic’s appearances post-World Cup and after just five games under Walter Smith, and one for Croatia, Everton gave Bilic a pay-off enabling him to sign for hometown club Hadjuk Split.
Undoubtedly a fine footballer, Everton only briefly saw the best of Bilic.
Leighton Baines – £6m
Leighton Baines, Everton's new signing in 2007
A fee of £6m in the summer of 2007 was considerable for Everton – the club record was still only £8.6m for Andy Johnson – especially when David Moyes appeared to decide that Baines’ lack of height could be an issue at set pieces and initially preferred Joleon Lescott at left-back!
But once Baines forced his way into the Everton first team, there was no displacing him.
He quickly proved worth every penny of that transfer fee – and some.
Widely regarded as the finest Everton left-back since World Cup winner Ray Wilson, his last appearance was his 300th start for the Blues.

Still an influential member of the Blues’ back four – when free from injury – Baines has been worth every penny of his transfer fee.
Per Kroldrup - £5m
The best that can be said about the imposing Danish defender was that Everton recognised their mistake quickly – and offloaded him 31 days after his Everton debut!
Leon Osman analysed the deal effectively in his autobiography “Ossie.”
“The gaffer paid £5m for Per Kroldrup, which was a lot of money for a defender back then,” he wrote. “He came in and passed it well, but...
“On his very first day of training, the gaffer took him to one side and started doing heading practice with him, like you would with a seven-year-old. It was a case of holding the ball, saying: ‘Are you ready? One, two, three – jump.’
“Honestly, it was incredible. I don’t know what happened, but he had obviously realised that heading wasn’t Per’s strong point. £5m for a centre-half who can’t head the ball!
“He went on to spend six years with Fiorentina, so he’s obviously a good player but he wasn’t set up for the Premier League. Per started one game, away to Villa on Boxing Day, and we lost 4-0. He was up against big John Carew, who just annihilated him.”
Colin Todd – £300,000
A PFA Player of the Year in 1975, Colin Todd still oozed class, composure and steely resilience when he became the most expensive defender Everton had ever signed in the summer of 1978.
A wonderful centre-back, then Blues boss Gordon Lee tried to play him at right-back and it wasn’t long before Todd was on his way to Birmingham City for £275,000.
He explained recently: “I thoroughly enjoyed my time here.
“I think the supporters are very appreciative and they know their football.
“Unfortunately I had a little bit of a clash with the manager and it didn’t work out, but you move on.”
One Merseyside football observer remarked that playing Todd at right-back was like asking Lester Piggott to win The Derby on a donkey, but Todd insists that his exit was not just down to the position he was picked in.
He added: “I played right-back for England a few times but my best position was obviously centre-back.
“The supporters were good here and acknowledged me as a right-back, but I think they saw the best of me when I was playing centre-back.
“The one thing about Evertonians is that they do appreciate good players.”
And Colin Todd was undeniably a good player.
Johnny Heitinga – £6.2m
Everton's new signing John Heitinga ... Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Everton FC - John Heitinga signing - Goodison Park ... 01-09-2009
Given the squad number five when he signed from Atletico Madrid, Evertonians were initially unsure whether they had signed a right-back, a holding midfielder or a centre-back, given the variety of positions he was asked to play in.
26 January: John Heitinga's late strike at Bolton sends Everton into round five of the FA Cup
He made his debut as a right-back against Blackburn, moved to centre-half for the next match against Stoke then in his fifth appearance was used as a central midfielder – unsuccessfully – against Wolves.
He spent five years at Goodison, making 140 appearances – but his time will be largely described as mixed.
Ramiro Funes Mori is now the latest defender with a large transfer fee to justify – and boss Roberto Martinez believes he will be ready to start doing that almost immediately.
Asked when Mori, 24, might be ready for Premier League exposure, Martinez said: “As soon as we can. I feel that after the international break, he will be ready to join the group.
Everton unveil new signing Ramiro Funes Mori at Finch Farm
“Clearly, he is going to need a little bit of an adaptation period because the British game is very, very different – especially for a player that is in the last line. But, in terms of being available, I expect him to be fully fit and ready for the Chelsea game.”
Blues fans will hope he can be more Baines than Bilic; more Todd than Kroldrup.

Everton FC Ladies 1 Aston Villa 1: Match Report
6 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Liverpool Echo
Blues denied fifth straight win
Everton's Jess King
Everton Ladies 1 Aston Villa 1
Everton Ladies failed to make it five FA WSL 2 wins on the bounce after they were held by a stubborn Aston Villa side at the Select Security Stadium. The introduction of substitute Jess King on 72 minutes proved pivotal for Everton as the midfielder scored with her first touch when she prodded in a miscued shot at the far post. But Villa would not give up and just seconds from the final whistle, substitute Olivia Fergusson got on the end of Bethan Merrick’s free-kick to stab in an injury-time equaliser. The hosts had struggled to break down a Villa defence superbly marshalled by Jade Richards as the Blues searched for the victory needed to maintain their slim promotion chances. A drab first half improved after the break as the visitors began to present a threat of their own through substitutes Katie Wilkinson and Fergusson. The pair combined just before the hour mark with Fergusson running clear of the home defence following a clever flick from Wilkinson, until a last-ditch tackle from Ellie Stewart prevented a certain goal. But it was King who broke the deadlock before Fergusson struck to severely dent Everton’s hopes of an immediate return to FA WSL 1.
Everton Ladies (4-3-3): Kirstie Levell, Dan Levell, Paige Williams, Ellie Stewart, Lindsay Johnson, Michelle Hinnigan, Simone Magill (Chantelle Boye Hlorkah 53), Kelly Jones, Gabby George, Emily Hollinshead (Jess King 72), Lauren Davies
Subs not used: Megan Walsh, Vicky Jones, Claudia Walker
Aston Villa Ladies (4-3-3): Caitlin Leach, Hannah George, Sherry McCue, Jade Richards, Maddy Cusack, Abbeyleigh Stringer, Alicia Robinson, Bethan Merrick, Amy West (Olivia Fergusson 53), Lauren Haynes (Elisha N’Dow 67), Mollie Rouse (Katie Wilkinson 53
Subs not used: Georgia Griffiths, Katy Moran, Jess Myers, Laura Cooper
Attendance: 288
Referee: Stephen Copeland

Everton FC's Seamus Coleman set to return for Republic of Ireland
6 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Chris Beesley
Blues right-back winning fitness race for crucial Georgia game
Everton’s Seamus Coleman is set to win his fitness battle to feature in the Republic of Ireland’s crucial European Championship showdown with Georgia on Monday night.
The Blues right-back sat out Friday’s 4-0 victory over minnows Gibraltar with a tight hamstring but with the Irish still two points adrift of second-place Poland in Group D and just three games remaining, they need to defeat their visitors from the Caucasus. Manager Martin O’Neill said: “Seamus has done a little bit there today. “He’s feeling much, much better and I think, at this moment, it looks as if he’s going to be okay.” Derby County youngster Cyrus Christie filled in for Coleman but given the importance of the next game, the 26-year-old Goodison man is expected to return. O’Neill added: “Cyrus did brilliantly, really brilliantly for the important first goal and obviously had a big moment before half-time when he’s back-headed one that could have been very dangerous for us. “But I think if Seamus is fit then Seamus would play. Cyrus is great, he has a good future ahead of him but Seamus is a real quality player.”

Everton FC's Ross Barkley joins exclusive England goalscorers club
7 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Chris Beesley
Midfielder becomes 23rd Blue to net for the Three Lions
Ross Barkley’s headed goal in San Marino opened the Everton youngster’s account in international football and ensured the midfielder gained entry to an exclusive club. The 21-year-old has become just the 23rd Blues play to score for England in the club’s 137-year history.
Barkley joins current Goodison team-mates Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines on the list – as well as national team captain Wayne Rooney who equalled Sir Bobby Charlton’s record of 49 goals on Saturday – but just who else makes the list?
1 goal
Barkley joins eight other Everton players with one goal for England and at just 21, he’ll be hoping he has plenty of time to overhaul this half dozen.
The list includes left-back Leighton Baines, who despite being injured currently remains first choice with England when fit.
Baines, who has 30 caps to date, netting his only international goal in the 5-0 thrashing of Moldova in a World Cup qualifier in Chisinau on September 7, 2012.
Centre-back Martin Keown failed to score in 126 outings for Everton but during his time for the Blues he netted a 20-yard piledriver for the Three Lions against Czechoslovakia in Prague on March 25, 1992.
Joe Royle who remains Everton’s last trophy-winning manager and who is now back with the Blues as professional development co-ordinator, netted his two England goals four years apart.
The big centre-forward netted in the 1-1 draw with Yugoslavia on October 11, 1972 and the 2-1 win over Finland on October 13, 1976 – both at Wembley but by the time he hit the latter he was already a Manchester City player.
Shortly after captaining Everton to the 1962/63 title, Tony Kay netted on his solitary England outing in an 8-1 mauling of Switzerland on June 5, 1963.
Going further back, wing-half and future Blues boss Cliff Britton bagged his only England goal in a 6-2 win over Hungary at Highbury on December 2, 1936.
Centre-forward Bert Freeman struck three times for England but only one of these was while at Everton, a 2-0 win over Wales at the City Ground on March 15, 1909.
Olympic gold medallist and amateur footballer/professional solicitor Harold Hardman grabbed the winner in a 1-0 win over Ireland on February 16, 1907 on home turf at Goodison Park while dual international Jack Sharp who also played three test matches for the England cricket team netted his only goal in a 4-0 win over Ireland at Molineux.
2 goals
Inside-forward Tommy Johnson hit both of his England goals in the same game that club colleague Dixie Dean registered for his country for the final time.
The occasion was the 7-1 thrashing of Spain at Highbury on December 9, 1931.
Jimmy Settle bagged six goals in six games for England but four of those were with former club Bury.
The fleet-footed forward’s two goals while an Everton player came in the 2-2 draw with Scotland at Villa Park on March 3, 1902 and the 1-0 win in Ireland later that month on March 22, 1902.
3 goals
Current Everton captain Phil Jagielka is one of five Blues players to have scored three times for England.

The centre-back broke his duck in the 2-1 friendly win over Italy in the Swiss capital Berne on August 15, 2012 and followed it up with goals against Peru in a 3-0 victory on May 30, 2014 and 5-0 stroll against San Marino on October 9, 2014 – both at Wembley.
England's Phil Jagielka scores his side's first goal of the game during the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match at Wembley Stadium, London.
Trevor Steven bagged three of his four England goals while with Everton.
His first came in the 2-1 win over the Republic of Ireland at Wembley on March 26, 1985 and he followed this up with goals in away victories over USA (5-0 on June 16, 1985) and Egypt (4-0 on January 29, 1986).
Everton had a trio of treble England scorers in the Victorian period.
Buckinghamshire-born Alf Milward, one of the first southern players to grace Goodison on a regular basis found the net at international level six years apart – both against Wales.
The outside left registered in the 4-1 win at Newcastle Road – which was Sunderland’s ground! - on March 7, 1891 and then bagged a brace in a 4-0 victory at Bramall Lane on March 29, 1897.
The former game also saw team-mate Edgar Chadwick net his first England goal and he followed this up with a strikes in wins over Scotland on April 6, 1891 (2-1) and April 2, 1892 (4-1) at Ewood Park and Ibrox respectively.
Diminutive 5ft 2in frontman Fred Geary scored all three of his England goals on one afternoon in a 9-1 mauling away against Ireland on March 15, 1890.
4 goals
Fred Pickering is remembered at Goodison Park for being the man Harry Catterick left out for two-goal hero Mike Trebilcock in the 1966 FA Cup final but with 70 goals in 115 outings for the Blues his record stacks up well.
His England goals came courtesy of a hat-trick in a 10-0 romp over the USA at the Downing Stadium, New York City on May 27, 1964 while he also scored in a 4-3 away win over Northern Ireland on October 3, 1964.
5 goals
The Everton five-goal ‘club’ for England contains two legendary centre-forwards.
Buoyed by his 30-goal First Division haul in 1977/78, Bob Latchford netted his first England strike in a 3-1 win over Wales at Ninian Park on May 13, 1978.
The following season Latchford also registered in a 4-3 win in Denmark (September 20, 1978); a 1-1 draw in Republic of Ireland (October 25, 1978) and a brace in the 4-0 thrashing at home to Northern Ireland on February 7, 1979.
England's Bob Latchford scores the first goal of the game
If it hadn’t had been for the Second World War, who knows just what Tommy Lawton might have achieved for both Everton and England?
The Lancastrian centre-forward who replaced Dixie Dean at Goodison played 23 full internationals for England, scoring 22 times but he also played 23 wartime internationals in which he plundered a further 24 goals.
His five England goals while with the Blues all came before the hostilities during the 1938/39 title-winning season in which a still teenage Lawton inspired Everton to a five League Championship.
He opened with a penalty in the 4-2 defeat to Wales on October 22, 1938; struck in the home wins over Norway at St James’ Park (4-0 on November 9, 1938) and Ireland at Old Trafford (7-0 on November 16, 1938) before grabbing an 88th minute winner in the 2-1 victory over Scotland in front of 149,269 at Hampden Park on April 15. 1939 and netted in the 2-2 draw with World Champions Italy at the San Siro on May 13, 1939.
6 goals
Alan Ball was already a World Cup-winner with England when he arrived at Goodison for a then-British record £112,000 fee in the summer of 1966.
Six of his eight international goals came while he was at the Blues, starting with the winner in a 1-0 victory in Austria on May 27, 1967.
Ball struck a late penalty in the 3-0 win over Wales at Ninian Park on October 21, 1967 while also registering in the 2-2 draw with the Soviet Union at Wembley on December 6, 1967.
After a drought of over two years, Ball returned to the scoresheet with a brace in a 3-1 win in Belgium on February 25, 1970 before capping a 4-0 victory over Colombia in a World Cup warm-up game on May 20, 1970.
9 goals
With 97 international strikes between them, Wayne Rooney and Gary Lineker are two of England’s greatest goalscorers.
However their respective spells finding the net for the Three Lions while with Everton were restricted to a single season apiece.
The first of Rooney’s now 49 international goals to date came in a 2-1 win in Macedonia on September 6, 2003.
He followed this up with goals against Liechtenstein (2-0, September 10, 2003) and Denmark (2-3, November 16, 2003) before bagging a brace in a 6-1 win over Iceland on June 5, 2004.
There were then further doubles in the European Championship finals (3-0 v Switzerland on June 17, 2004) and Croatia (4-2 on June 21, 2004) ahead of his move to Manchester United.
A prolific international tournament for Gary Lineker also capped his Blues career.
His first England goals as an Everton player were a hat-trick in the 5-0 thrashing of Turkey at Wembley on October 16, 1985.
A further hat-trick followed in the 3-0 win over Poland in the 1986 World Cup finals in Mexico on June 11, 1986 while he bagged a brace in the 3-0 victory over Paraguay on June 18, 1986 and the consolation in the 2-1 quarter-final defeat to Diego Maradona’s Argentina on June 22, 1986.
After winning the World Cup’s Golden Boot, the Leicester-born marksman was off to Barcelona.
18 goals
With twice as many goals for England than any of his fellow Evertonians, Dixie Dean is predictably head and shoulders above anyone else.
Amazingly though when you check the records, all but one of these goals were scored by the time Dean was 21 – the same age as Barkley.
The first dozen of Dean’s England goals came in a three-month purple patch late in the 1926/27 campaign – the season before his record-breaking 60-goal haul at club level.
Dean opened with a double in a 3-3 draw with Wales at the Racecourse Ground on February 12, 1927 and bagged another brace in the 2-1 win over Scotland at Hampden Park on April 2, 1927.
An end-of-season tour saw him plunder hat-tricks against Belgium (9-1 on May 11, 1927) and Luxembourg (5-2 on May 21, 1927) before adding another brace against France in a 6-0 mauling on May 26, 1927.
Dean’s work the following year was where he left off with a further double versus the French in a 5-1 away win on May 17, 1928 and a brace in a 3-1 win in Belgium two days later.
He enjoyed home advantage at Goodison Park to grab the winner in a 2-1 victory over Ireland on October 22, 1928 before grabbing his final international goal in the 7-1 crushing of Spain at Highbury on December 9, 1931 – still six weeks short of his 25th birthday.

FIFA 16 Everton FC ratings: Baines is Blues best player but only a 77 for John Stones
7 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Kristian Walsh
EA Sports release their marks for the Blues
EA Sports' FIFA franchise is a serious business. Hours are spent (wasted) in front of the consoles as players tinker their teams, make transfers and then just play a long ball up to the fast striker anyway.
The latest incarnation, FIFA 16, is due out at the end of the month on September 25.
There was no Everton player in the 50 top-rated players on the game, and now it seems the Blues have been short-changed in the overall ratings, too. The marks, released by FIFA site Futhead, see Leighton Baines as the Blues' highest-rated player on 83. But John Stones, remarkably, is given just a 77 - the same as injury-hit Steven Pienaar. Bryan Oviedo, Tony Hibbert and Joel Robles are all under 75, too, while new signings Ramiro Funes Mori and Aaron Lennon come in at 75 and 77 respectively.

Everton midfielder Mo Besic sent off for Bosnia in Euro 2016 qualifier
7 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Phil Kirkbride
Everton man Besic dismissed in second-half against Andorra
Everton midfielder Mo Besic was sent off for Bosnia - after throwing his chewing gum at an opponent.
The Blues man reacted angrily to being fouled by an Andorra player during Sunday’s Euro 2016 qualifier in Zenica. Bosnia won the Group B game 3-0 but Besic now faces a three match international ban.
Ermin Bicakcic, Edin Dzeko and Senad Lulic all scored for Bosnia before half-time before Besic was dismissed just after the hour mark.
Besic arrived at Goodison with a reputation for having poor discipline and has picked up 11 yellow cards in 32 games for the Blues. Besic, 22, has only made three appearances this season for club and country.
The former Ferencvaros player’s only Everton game arrived in the Capital One Cup win over Barnsley last month.

Everton red cards: Six other weird Blues dismissals
7 September 2015 Liverpool Echo
By Greg O’Keeffe
After Muhamed Besic was red-carded for throwing his gum here are some more bizarre Everton sending offs
Everton's Tim Cahill celebrates scoring against Manchester City by pulling his shirt over his head during their Barclays Premiership match at the City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester Saturday, September 11, 2004. Cahill was sent off by referee Steve Bennett for his second bookable offence following his celebration.
Tim Cahill celebrates scoring against Manchester City by pulling his shirt over his head - earning him a second yellow card Everton midfielder Muhamed Besic got his marching orders in bizarre circumstances yesterday, after throwing his chewing gum at an opposition player while representing Bosnia.
It got us thinking of other strange red-cards for Everton players over the years.
1) Tim Cahill got shirty
You'd think a referee would have been willing to forgive Tim Cahill's exuberance.
He'd just scored his first goal in the Premier League, on only his second Everton appearance, with a trademark header past Manchester City's David James. The Aussie whipped his shirt over his head to celebrate and was promptly shown a second yellow card by Steve Bennett.
Even City boss Kevin Keegan said the game was "going mad".
Tim Cahill of Everton is sent off after celebrating his goal against Manchester City on September 11, 2004
2) Keeley's moment of infamy
It is one of the blackest days in the Blues history.
Everton’s record home defeat in a Merseyside derby, a 5-0 hiding which saw shell-shocked goalkeeper Neville Southall farmed out on-loan to Port Vale for four months – and one man left to carry the can.
Glenn Keeley became an Everton anti-hero after becoming the first player sent off for a professional foul. . He was dismissed after 32 minutes for pulling back Kenny Dalglish by the shirt – and later admitted he had no knowledge of the recently introduced rule where players would be sent off for such infractions.
"I took a chance and that year they brought in the professional foul," he said. "I had no knowledge of it because I hadn’t played that season and when I pulled Dalglish back, I honestly expected to get a booking. So when I get sent off it came as a shock to me."
3) Big Dunc's big mouth lands him in hot water
David Elleray did not take kindly to allegedly being called a "baldy b*****d by Duncan Ferguson at Ewood Park in 1996.
So much so that the schoolteacher decided a mere scolding wasn't enough and gave Big Dunc his marching orders in the closing stages of the game, after twice booking him for mouthing off.
Oh dear.
4) Gerrard referees the game
Another derby to forget for Blues, but this came with added outrage.
Mark Clattenburg listens to Steven Gerrard after he was brought down
Mark Clattenburg's officiating of the 2007 Goodison derby had already been woefully biased when he allowed Steven Gerrard to talk him into sending off Tony Hibbert for a last-ditch challenge the referee was initially considering worth only a yellow and a spot-kick.
David Moyes was in no mood to mince his words afterwards. '"The referee pulled out a yellow card for Tony Hibbert and not a red one until the captain [Gerrard] went over and spoke to him, so maybe he
has changed his mind,' said an angry Blues boss. "I think the penalty kick itself was debatable. Ours
in the last minute was not debatable.
"The truth is if you didn't see it, maybe you shouldn't be out there doing the job."
5) After the final whistle...
Tim Cahill did not like whatever Yohan Cabaye said at the end of the Blues 3-1 Goodison win over Newcastle in May 2012. The Aussie had to swallow a three-match ban for being sent off after the final whistle when he'd grabbed the French midfielder by the throat. "My reaction at the end of the game was out of character but I was disgusted at comments made to me by Cabaye," saud the Toffees hero in a later statement. "I don't wish to elaborate on the exact detail of what was said - but his words have no place either on or off the football pitch. Tim Cahill of Everton is shown the red card at the end of the match by referee Andre Marriner "Cabaye has apologised via his club's website and as far as I am concerned the matter is now closed." Cahill was sent off by referee Andre Marriner and his appeal was rejected, but Cabaye later issued an apology. "I would like to apologise for the cross words I exchanged with Tim Cahill which resulted in his red card and my booking on the final whistle," he said.
"It was unnecessary and, regrettably, the result of frustration and disappointment, all in the heat of the moment. "It is out of character and for that I am sorry."
6) Boo Hoo Marco
Marco Materazzi's most memorable moment of a short but colourful Blues spell was when he was sent off against Coventry after a blatant Darren Huckerby dive.
In that season Materazzi had managed to clock up three red cards and 12 yellows.
Sob story: Everton fans look after Marco Materazzi after he took his unjust red card to heart
He didn't take it well.
The senistive big defender slumped against an advertising hoarding on the touchline in tears, although sympathy from team-mates and manager was in short supply.

Everton will miss Tom Cleverley during ankle injury - but who can replace him?
16:00, 7 September 2015
By Phil Kirkbride
With Chelsea up next and other big games to follow, we look at Martinez's options
A distressed Tom Cleverley signalled to the bench immediately after falling under Eric Dier’s challenge.Instantly, the midfielder knew his ankle had turned badly on the White Hart Lane turf and he would need to come off.As Cleverley lay on a stretcher, his arm covering his anguished face, Roberto Martinez tried to offer the 26-year-old some comfort as he was carried down the tunnel.But the Everton boss, and the player, both knew his injury was bad.Ligament damage is likely to keep Cleverley sidelined for up to two months, meaning he will miss games including Chelsea, the derby, Man United and Arsenal.Martinez’s concern was understandable.Not only on a personal level for a young player he has forged a strong relationship with, but also for Everton.Cleverley, signed in the summer on a free transfer, has been the unsung hero of the Blues’ first five games of the season.His work has often been unheralded but the speed with which the former Manchester United man has slotted into the Everton side has to be applauded.Cleverley’s absence will now be keenly felt.
“Tom is that personality that you want in the Everton dressing room,” Martinez said.“He is the first player in, always ready to get instructions ready to understand what is needed to help the team, and he has been in a winning side with Manchester United.“He has won titles and is not worried about changing around to help the group.”Cleverley picked Everton over a number of other clubs this summer because he is convinced Martinez will get the best out of him.The England man also believes the Blues boss knows his best position and can revive his reputation as a goal-scoring midfielder.But in the opening five fixtures, Cleverley has been asked to sacrifice himself for the greater good.Everton fans have not seen much of Cleverley the attack-minded midfielder, but more of Cleverley the workhorse - and in a variety of positions as well.Martinez has asked the free transfer to play wide left, wide right, in a holding position and even at right-back, as he did against Barnsley last month.Cleverley has performed admirably in each of those roles.
“Technically, he is so gifted that he can fit in any position and his physical ability allows him to do that and I thought he was a major aspect of why we got through to the next round of the Capital One Cup,” Martinez added.“He adopted a very, very different position from what he is used to but he is such a reliable character that his footballing abilities become important for the team.”Cleverley is averaging the fourth most tackles per game in the Everton side this season, as many interceptions as James McCarthy and over one clearance per match.Those statistics stand up to his renaissance at Aston Villa last season (although he averaged more tackles) as well as during his season on loan at Wigan Athletic.That season, under Martinez at the DW Stadium is considered, by many to be Cleverley’s best.And before injury struck against Spurs, Cleverley had offered vital protection and guidance to a struggling Bryan Oviedo at left-back.He had done the same against Watford and Southampton, with teenager Brendan Galloway behind him but Everton, for the short-term at least, have lost that.
And with Chelsea’s three pronged attack from midfield heading to Goodison on Saturday, Martinez must find a way of coping without Cleverley.Eden Hazard, Willian and Pedro form a menacing and fluid trio behind Diego Costa and will look to expose Everton’s full-backs to one-one-situations.Seamus Coleman showed against Manchester City that he cope with even the quickest wingers but will need help - as will Oviedo or Galloway.Cleverley would have been an ideal support to those players down the left but now Martinez must weigh-up his options.Does the manager trust Kevin Mirallas to perform his defensive duties with the same enthusiasm he shows in attack? Does the industrious Steven Naismith earn a first league start of the season or is Leon Osman called into the side?Or does Martinez chuck Aaron Lennon straight into the team?Lennon was a tireless runner in his loan spell last season and Leighton Baines said the winger shamed other members of the Everton side into working harder.The 28-year-old has not played since leaving Everton - he didn’t feature for Spurs all summer - and so is searching for match fitness but he insists he’s in “good condition”.

Everton v Chelsea: Andre Marriner to referee big game
18:21, 7 September 2015
Updated 18:59, 7 September 2015
By Chris Beesley
West Midlands official upset Blues last season at Manchester City
Andre Marriner will be the man in the middle for what could prove to be a heated clash between Everton and Chelsea on Saturday.The West Midlands official upset Blues fans last December with his display in the 1-0 defeat to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.Not only did he hand the hosts what appeared to be a soft penalty when Phil Jagielka challenged James Milner on the edge of the area but he failed to send off either Eliaquim Mangala or Fernando for ugly challenges on Samuel Eto’o and Gareth Barry respectively.The 44-year-old also took charge of the Blues 3-1 win at Burnley; 2-0 defeat at Arsenal and 3-0 victory over Manchester United.He refereed 33 matches in total in 2014/15, showing 125 yellow cards (3.79 per game) but sent just two players off all season.

England must keep faith with John Stones and Ross Barkley
19:00, 7 September 2015
By Michael Ball
Michael Ball on the Everton lads in the Three Lions set-up, Wayne Rooney and Chelsea
Now England have booked their place at Euro 2016, it’s time to keep faith with the squad’s younger players.Everton’s Ross Barkley and John Stones started for the Three Lions against San Marino on Saturday and Roy Hodgson has to have them in the 11 to face Switzerland at Wembley on Tuesday night.England don’t want to be heading to France next summer with players who aren’t experienced at international level and so this is the perfect opportunity to make sure as many players are ready for the Euros.There is no pressure on the remaining games and so hopefully Hodgson keeps faith with John and Ross.Being involved with England will only be of benefit to all the Everton lads.Going away on international duty allows you to experience different coaching styles and for young lads like Stones and Barkley, who will be like sponges, it is great to experience new footballing cultures.Undoubtedly, you are playing at a better level as well and these lads will be smarter as a consequence.When I was with England, Arsene Wenger’s coaching methods were in fashion and with a number of Arsenal players in the squad, they crept into what we did in training.You learn about other players and how they operate at their clubs, you then bring that back to your club.That is exactly what will happen with John and Ross and can only be of benefit to Everton.The Blues’ squad is full of top international players now, which is a position you want to be in.And at this stage of the season it allows most of the players to train at a good intensity and play games.But, as fan, you are keeping your fingers crossed throughout every international break that all the players return to Finch Farm fit and healthy.
Jose's men set for lively reception on Saturday
Chelsea won’t know what’s hit them when they turn up to Goodison on Saturday.It might be a little clichéd but it’s true: the Everton fans can have a say in the weekend’s early kick-off.All the pressure is on the visitors, a situation they have not been in for a while, and the Blues’ fans will be on their case from the word go.The supporters will be full of voice, their John Stones song will be sung and I’m sure Everton will be positive and drive at Chelsea.Jose Mourinho’s side have got defensive problems and Everton will be looking to exploit those cracks at the back.
Blues deserve more credit for record-breaking Rooney
Wayne Rooney deserves all the plaudits coming his way after he equalled the all-time England scoring record.It is quite some achievement and it’s a good job I’m not really a betting man because I probably would have put my mortgage on Michael Owen reaching the 49 mark and then surpassing it.But Rooney has levelled Bobby Charlton’s record and will go past it.That’s testament to his skill and ability because he’s not an out-and-out striker.But the Everton coaches and staff that spotted Rooney’s talent and nurtured him must be praised this week as well.
Silly Savage got it so wrong on Stones
I still can’t get over Robbie Savage’s silly comments regarding John Stones last week.Savage said John should have done everything they possibly could to push through a move to Chelsea.Wayne Rooney and John Stones during a training session with England His comments really got to me, but credit to the type of character that John is because even when his transfer request was rejected he just got on with his job - and he did it very well.
Welcome back Aaron - you'll be needed
It was pleasing to see Everton bring Aaron Lennon back to the club.
The winger was really positive when he was here on loan last season and though we are well catered for in wide positions, he brings something different.
Lennon is direct, get to the by-line and gets crosses in.This has to be good news for Romelu Lukaku and will hopefully reduce his need to drop deep to get involved in the play.

Leandro Rodriguez scores on his Everton FC debut
21:24, 7 September 2015
By Chris Beesley
Uruguayan striker enjoys dream start with Blues Under-21s
New striker Leandro Rodriguez enjoyed a dream start to his Everton career as he scored after just 10 minutes on his debut for the Blues Under-21s team.The Uruguayan frontman, snapped up for £500,000 from River Plate Montevideo, nodded in the opener in a 3-0 victory over Preston North End in the Lancashire Senior Cup at Southport’s Merseyrail Community Stadium.David Unsworth’s side safely progressed through to the next round with further goals in the second half from Conor Grant (55) and Liam Walsh (66).Grant found the net with a left-footed drive after good work from right-back Callum Lees while an attempted cross from Walsh missed everyone and nestled in the back of the net.On signing 22-year-old Rodriguez – who did not require a work permit because he holds an Italian passport – manager Roberto Martinez said: “He’s a young talent - one of those elite, talented youngsters who we like to bring in.Mason Holgate is a clear example of a really strong, young English defender and Leandro Rodriguez is a young striker with a real knack of scoring goals.“But he’s much more than that, too. His contribution is a lot more than that and hopefully we can provide a path where he can develop and enjoy his football. If he can do that, clearly that’s going to bring goals to the first team.“He probably won’t [need time with the Under-21s] because he has played enough games with his first team in Uruguay in a really competitive league.The Catalan added: “If you look at the amount of strikers that come through those environments, you don’t get surprised about the quality of these players.“I am not saying that to put pressure on the boy, but he is a player we can be very much excited about in the future.”




























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

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