Everton FC beats Juventus 1-1; 6-5 on penalty kicks
By Elliott Almond
California Mercury News
August 1 2013
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Titans of European soccer didn't disappoint an enthusiastic crowd of 22,208 on Wednesday night in the Guinness International Champions Cup at AT&T Park. Everton FC defeated two-time reigning Italian champion Juventus 2-1 on penalty kicks when American keeper Tim Howard stopped defender Federico Peluso, who suffered through a rough night. After ending the game in a 1-1 tie, Everton rallied to win the penalty kick contest 6-5. It was the first of 11 games in America among the tournament participants that also include Chelsea, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Valencia C.F. and the Los Angeles Galaxy. Belgian forward Kevin Mirallas scored with a pinpoint shot inside the near post in the 62nd minute by dribbling past defender Federico Peluso for Everton's lone goal. But Ghanaian midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah got the equalizer with 10 minutes left in regulation. He scored on a broken play with a left-footed shot past goalkeeper Tim Howard.The winner will face either Madrid or the Galaxy on Saturday in Los Angeles in the tournament's winners bracket. The tournament final is Aug. 7 in Miami. "As far as the teams we have got, we couldn't have asked for a better preseason," Everton captain Paul Jagielka said before the game. "It's always nice to play for something. Sometimes it can be more of a fitness session, but when there is something to play for ... you can get those positive vibes going." Jagielka wasted little time proving his point with a strike in the eighth minute off a fine service. But referee Ricardo Salazar called him offside to nullify the goal. Mirallas brought the crowd to life early in the second half with a solo breakaway. But after settling the ball on the left side, the Everton midfielder couldn't find his way past Marco Storari, who started in goal instead of Italian star Gianluigi Buffon. Then it was Juve's turn. Howard's diving save barely stopped Arturo Vidal's searing free kick just over the wall from beyond 20 yards. Once the Toffees scored Juventus started to show form. The best chance came when Argentine star Carlos Tevez hit the right post in the 69th minute. Although an exhibition the teams had much to show. With the opening of the Serie A campaign a month away, the tournament gives coach Antonio Conte a chance to evaluate his players. He started three of his new players -- Spain's Fernando Llorente, Italy's Angelo Ogbonna and Tevez. Everton, in the middle of its preseason schedule, is hoping to improve on its sixth-place finish in the English Premier League when the season begins in a few weeks. "It is a glamorous game against a team I have admired for the last few years," Everton coach Roberto Martinez said before the game. "From a tactical point of view, they are the best team playing a back three at this time. "It's going to be a terrific test -- this is as good as it gets in terms of games for us."
Barkley in for a pretty good season, says captain Jagielka
August 1 2013 Liverpool Echo
By Gregg O’Keefe
'He's moved into our changing room and seems to be part of our squad now' - Jagielka on Barkley
The buzz among the Everton FC faithful so far this summer has centred on the exciting potential of a talented 19-year-old who is ready to wear the blue shirt this season. Rewind the clock two years and that teenager who got the Gwladys Street salivating was home-grown starlet Ross Barkely.
But as the Wavertree-born midfielder has gone about his business in pre-season quietly, it a Spanish youngster of the same age who has grabbed all the attention. Gerard Deulofeu has further underlined his exciting ability every day in training so far in the USA, but Barkley too has caught the eye – and now his skipper believes he is ready to come of age. “He's moved into our changing room and seems to be part of our squad now,” said Phil Jagielka. “He's had a big six weeks over the summer when he went away with England U-20s and now he's come back and into the first team squad properly. “Ross is a good lad and he loves the game. I really hope this is the season he breaks through and finds himself as an adult rather than a teenager playing in a mens team.
“He's not a reserve who's in the squad every so often, he's a first team player now and you can see he's growing in confidence. “He still might make mistakes, he still might dribble in the wrong areas but at the same time we have to remember how old he is and his minimal experience for someone expected to score every game or take players on. “Overall we're delighted with him. If he's happy and looking forward to playing he'll be better. If he's a bit nervous it's not going to help his game. It's up to the older players and coaches to help get the positives out of him, and if we can do that he's in for a pretty good season.” Barkley endured an occasionally frustrating second campaign at Goodison last term, after breaking into the first team so impressively two years ago as a 17-year-old. He failed to get the amount of game-time he hoped for during loan spells at Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United, and while he impressed in the Premier League for the Blues intermittently he was more frequently played in Alan Stubbs' U-21s side. Although he starred for the Toffees in a high-pressure clash against Spurs at White Hart Lane, and nearly scored a stunning effort at the Emirates, at times his decision making was questioned by coaching staff. “Decision making comes with experience and age,” said Jagielka. “You get a lot of lads his age who come into a team and want the ball half as much as he does. “When he has made a mistake he's never gone hiding. Sometimes he's wanted it again and done the same mistake, but that's a better habit than shying away and letting the game go past you. “We all make mistakes in games and it's about how you react. Hopefully if he does make the odd mistake this season it's not as costly for us and he carries on doing more impressive things like he' capable of.” Jagielka, who was himself nurtured by older professionals when he was a promising youth player at Sheffield United, wants to do the same for Barkley.
“I was looked after when I came through at Sheff U,” he added. “I had the likes of Stuart McCall, Chris Morgan and Shorty (Craig Short) to keep an eye out for me. “If you had a bad game they'd tell you to keep your head up. I was lucky enough to play a lot because we didn't have a big squad and financially we weren't able to buy anyone. “Even if I had a bad game I'd play the next one usually. The manager played a big part in that as did Kevin Blackwell. “We'll all look out for Ross in the same way.” Although he is 11 years older than Barkley, England international Jags admits he is also still learning, especially under new boss Roberto Martinez. And it is the Catalan's much-vaunted new style of play which the captain is relishing getting to grips with – especially with a World Cup in Brazil on the horizon. “I hope it enhances my game definitely,” he said. “We're always learning and if we're going to get on the ball as much as it looks like we are, it's similar to international football.
“International football is not played at the pace as most of our home games last season. It's played at a slower tempo and it's about ball retention, so if I play well like that this season it can only put me in good stead to make it to Rio.” That's not to say Jagielka is keen on the idea of Everton becoming Barcelona-lite with the sole remit of passing the ball endlessly. “I really enjoyed last season when we played both ways,” he said. “Nothing pleases you more than if you don't give a pass away all game, but if you can ping one to Felli and use the strength he's got and then we set up a goal it's twice as good as playing a 10 yard pass. They both need to be used. “The manager is clever enough to know that we might become more of a passing team but I don't think we'll become a tippy-tappy team which just keeps it for the sake of it. “There might be elements of it during a game but I'm sure the Goodison fans want to see nice attacking football. We'll still have to have a plan B and even a plan C at times. “It's going to be interesting and I'm looking forward to it as most of the players are. The strikers are hoping they'll get more chances with a different style of play. It's not by any means all sorted out yet but that's the way it goes.” While the Blues are likely to play a 3-5-2 formation regularly this term, it would be incorrect to suggest that is totally alien to the current squad. David Moyes set his side out that way against Stoke at Goodison last season; an approach Jagielka enjoyed. Although he added: “That was more like a five at the back than a three! We had Seamus and Bainesy as full backs, and me, Johhnny and Sylv in the centre. “Stoke play a different style to most teams so we had to try and combat that, but it worked really well as a five. That was more a case of chucking five of us out there and letting us do our jobs naturally. “With the new manager he has different ways of playing and different beliefs of how to play. It'll take us a while to get used to every sort of way he likes us to play but it's exciting for me and the rest of the lads to still be learning. “You speak to the manager and he's so positive that you can't wait for the next training session or game to come.”
Everton not interested in bringing in Joey Barton
August 1 2013 The Liverpool Echo
By Gregg O’Keefe Reports on Tuesday suggested Barton, 30, was even willing to take a 50 per cent pay cut to move back to Merseyside
Roberto Martinez all smiles as Everton train at the home of the San Francisco Giants, AT & T Park
Everton FC are not interested in a move for Joey Barton despite the midfielder's desire to join his boyhood club. The QPR man wants to engineer an exit from the Championship outfit now his loan spell at Marseille has ended, and has told his agent to try and make his dream Goodison switch come true. Reports on Tuesday suggested Barton, 30, was even willing to take a 50 per cent pay cut to move back to Merseyside, and claimed that Roberto Martinez was weighing up the prospect.
But the ECHO understands that the Blues won't be rushing to take him up on his offer, and would prefer to sign a younger central midfielder to boost their options in the middle of the park.
Wigan's Republic of Ireland international James McCarthy remains on their radar, but Martinez will not pay over the odds for a player he helped turn into an impressive Premier League performer at the DW Stadium, and is prepared to wait until later in August when he Marouane Fellaini's future has become clearer before deciding on a move.
Neville Southall tells Everton FC to steer clear of Joey Barton
by Ian Doyle, The Liverpool Post
Aug 1 2013
NEVILLE SOUTHALL has warned Everton to steer clear of Joey Barton – and likened the controversial midfielder to Forrest Gump. It emerged this week that Huyton-born Barton was pursuing a move to his boyhood club with his agent Willie McKay having approached Goodison manager Roberto Martinez. Barton is looking to leave relegated Queens Park Rangers having failed to agree a permanent move to Marseille, where he spent last season on loan. The 30-year-old, who earns around £70,000 per week at the Londoners, is believed to be willing to halve his wages and yesterday posted a tweet that signified his intentions by stating: “Once a Blue…”. But Everton legend Southall has told his former club that the midfielder is not what they require.
When asked whether he thought Barton would be a good signing, Southall said: “I think they have already got a kitman. “What is he going to add to Everton? He might be a half decent player at times but, if he was that good, Harry Redknapp would be begging him to stay at QPR.”
Southall, who made a club record 751 appearances for Everton, added: “I don’t see how he will fit into Everton’s style of play. “He ain’t the best passer in the world. Yes he is fit and runs up and down all day but Forrest Gump did that as well didn’t he? “I would rather he (Martinez) got in a young lad, who is probably on less money and a better prospect in the long run so they have got until January to bed him in and see what he is like. “A 30-year-old at Everton? “I was hoping they were past that, unless he was a current international.” News of Barton’s interest in a move to Goodison met with a hostile reception from supporters, who almost universally urged the player he would not be welcome. Barton’s agent Willie McKay revealed he had already spoken to Martinez and said: “I spoke to Roberto to see if he would be interested in taking Joey. “I told him that Joey would love to join Everton and that they are the only club he willing to lose money to play for.” Everton are currently on tour in the United States and play their next game in Los Angeles on Saturday night.
And Leon Osman has revealed the squad have taken to the training methods of new manager Martinez. “We have been doing bits in training and games which is similar to last year – but also bringing in some of the manager’s new ideas. “It’s been new, it’s been challenging but it’s been good. “It’s different to learn new systems; we are learning how the manager likes to play three at the back at the minute, to complement how we play with four at the back.” Academy graduate Ibou Touray has become the fifth youngster this summer to agree senior terms. The 18-year-old left-back, who joined Everton in 2011 on a scholarship after catching their eye while on trial at Liverpool, has penned a one-year deal.
Asamoah heroics not enough for winning start in USA
August 1 2013
Antonio Conte’s men are defeated 6-5 on penalties in tonight's Guinness International Champions Cup opener against Everton. Kwadwo Asamoah’s magnificent strike earned a share of the spoils in 90 minutes after Kevin Mirallas had put the Toffees in front
Juventus kicked off their Guinness International Champions Cup tournament with a 1-1 draw against English Premier League side Everton at San Francisco’s AT&T Park. Despite deserving better following a bright second half display, Antonio Conte’s men were made to pay the penalty from 12 yards as misses from Andrea Pirlo and Federico Peluso enabled the Toffees to eventually emerge 6-5 winners on spot kicks. An evenly-matched opening 45 minutes paved the way for an attacking second half with chances at both ends. Kevin Mirallas put Roberto Martinez’s side in front on 61 minutes, before Kwadwo Asamoah’s magnificent rocket from range levelled matters.
Both teams played out a fairly cagey opening period of play as they jostled to gain control of the midfield battle. On six minutes, Everton defender Phil Jagielka had a goal correctly chalked off for offside after stealing a yard on his marker following Steven Pienaar’s delivery into the box.
As the half wore on, Juventus began to enjoy increased time in opposition territory, with Kwadwo Asamoah in particular providing a decent outlet with his bursting forays forward from midfield.
Luca Marrone was the first player to test Tim Howard on 17 minutes, rifling in a shot from 25 yards which was gathered by the goalkeeper at his far post. Seven minutes later, it was Pienaar’s turn to try his luck on goal, with the South African midfielder looping a curled effort over the crossbar.
With the game beginning to open up, Marrone again went close to breaking the deadlock. Carlos Tevez showed good vision to supply the cross, only for the Bianconeri midfielder to miscue his volleyed attempt after cleverly peeling away from his marker at the far post. Tevez, on corner duty for the evening, almost had a hand in Juventus taking the lead when his delivery was headed out of the area by Victor Anichebe. It appeared the Nigerian forward had done enough to clear the danger, but Arturo Vidal responded with a left-footed volley that brought the crowd to their feet as it flashed just wide of the upright. The upright was again involved moments before half-time, with Everton left to rue their misfortune after John Stones connected with a free-kick from the left-hand side that cannoned back off the post. Juventus raised the tempo at the start of the second half and began to commit bodies further forward in their search for an opener. This increased pressure almost paid instant dividends when Peluso connected with Mauricio Isla’s cross on 48 minutes, looping his header narrowly over the crossbar. With Conte’s men edging increasingly into enemy territory, Everton seized the opportunity to hit back on the counter, and were only prevented from breaking the deadlock by the sharp reflexes of Marco Storari, who foiled Kevin Mirallas from close range.On 57 minutes, Arturo Vidal drew a fine save from Howard when his free-kick from outside the area was palmed clear to safety by the American international shotstopper. But moments later Juventus were made to pay the price for a momentary lapse in concentration which allowed Mirallas to break down the left before cutting inside and firing past Storari at his near post. A magnificent flowing move involving Asamoah, Vidal, Isla and Fernando Llorente almost set Vidal up with a clear goalscoring opportunity on 68 minutes, only for Howard to dash off his line and smother before the Chilean was able to make a clean contact. With the Bianconeri now in full flow and Tevez gaining increased space to express himself in the final third, the Argentine elected to take matters into his own hands, firing in a shot which flashed just wide of the post. Having freshened things up with the introductions of Mirko Vucinic, Simone Padoin and Andrea Pirlo with 20 minutes remaining, Juventus were only prevented from restoring parity by the heroics of Howard in the Everton goal. First, the Toffees’ custodian dived low to his left to thwart Tevez’s shot that drifted menacingly towards the bottom corner. Then, he pulled off a miraculous stop to deny Vucinic when the forward appeared odds on to score. But it proved to be third time lucky for the Bianconeri when Asamoah pounced on a loose ball on the edge of the area and found the corner with a left-footed rocket that left the seemingly unbeatable Howard rooted to the spot. Despite a frantic finale in which both teams went close to nicking a winner, Ricardo Salazar’s final whistle brought an end to an entertaining second half, leaving the final outcome to the lottery of spot kicks. Everton prevailed with a 6-5 triumph, meaning Juventus’ Guinness International Champions Cup experience will continue in Los Angeles against the losers of tomorrow’s clash between L.A. Galaxy and Real Madrid.
Blues make Juve pay the penalty
1 Aug 2013
By David Prentice
Tim Howard was – appropriately – Everton’s all-American hero in today’s International Champions Cup opener against Juventus.The Blues keeper saved from Federico Peluso in a sudden-death penalty shoot-out decider after the Italian champions had come from behind to draw 1-1 in the AT&T Stadium in San Francisco.Kevin Mirallas had put the Blues ahead on the hour with his third goal of pre-season, but Kwadwo Asamoah levelled with a left-footed thunderbolt 10 minutes from time.That forced penalties, with Everton recovering from Leon Osman’s opening miss of the sequence to win 6-5 on spot kicks.Everton played the Italians at their own game, employing a a 3-4-3 formation which served them well in the opening exchanges as they took the game to Juventus and even had the ball in the net after just seven minutes.Steven Pienaar delivered one of a series of free-kicks and – as Phil Jagielka attempted to make contact – it sailed past Marco Storari in goal.But the linesman's flag was up with the Blues skipper in an offside position.In an overly physical encounter for a pre-season friendly, Juventus had Ogbanna and Peluso both yellow-carded and the Italians also missed chances. Marrone missed a sitter when a corner reached him at the back post.Then Arturo Vidal fired a spectacular volley marginally wide after a corner fell to him just outside the box.Blues youngster John Stones enjoyed an enormously impressive evening and he saw an effort bounce back off the post at the end of the first half.Everton finally took the lead when Mirallas motored down the right, cut infield and fired home on 61 minutes, before executing a fitting baseball-themed celebration.Howard preserved Everton's lead with a tremendous smothering save to deny the lively Vidal, with sub Bryan Oviedo close to extending the advantage with a diving header after more good work from Mirallas.The Costa Rican went close with right-foot drive but it was Pienaar who should have sealed it when he capitalised on a defensive slip only to sweep the ball wide when one-one-one with 14 minutes left.Then Howard took centre stage as he produced back-to-back saves to deny Tevez and Mirko Vucinic.But he was powerless to prevent Asamoah's first time drive 10 minutes from time.That forced penalties, with Leon Osman seeing the opening kick saved. But while Matri, Asamoah, Vucinic and Vidal all scored, as did Ross Barkley, Kevin Mirallas, skipper Phil Jagielka and Bryan Oviedo, Andrea Pirlo missed from 12 yards with the kick which could have given Juve victory.Seamus Coleman stepped up to score, Peluso’s effort was saved and Everton were victorious.
EVERTON: Howard; Baines (Oviedo 64), Stones, Jagielka; Gibson (Osman 64), Distin, Coleman, Pienaar; Mirallas, Fellaini, Anichebe (Barkley 88).
JUVENTUS: Storari, Ogbonna, Tevez (83 Tevez), De Ceglie (Padoin 74), Peluso, Llorente (Vucinic 74), Marrone (Pirlo 74), Asamoah, Vidal, Lichsteiner, Isla (Motta 83).
Everton stun Juventus with penalty win in San Francisco
By David Prentice
Aug 1 2013
TIM HOWARD was – appropriately – Everton’s all-American hero in today’s International Champions Cup opener against Juventus.The Blues keeper saved from Federico Peluso in a sudden-death penalty shoot-out decider after the Italian champions had come from behind to draw 1-1 in the AT&T Stadium in San Francisco.Kevin Mirallas had put the Blues ahead on the hour with his third goal of pre-season, but Kwadwo Asamoah levelled with a left-footed thunderbolt 10 minutes from time.That forced penalties, with Everton recovering from Leon Osman’s opening miss of the sequence to win 6-5 on spot kicks.Everton played the Italians at their own game, employing a a 3-4-3 formation which served them well in the opening exchanges as they took the game to Juventus and even had the ball in the net after just seven minutes.Steven Pienaar delivered one of a series of free-kicks and – as Phil Jagielka attempted to make contact – it sailed past Marco Storari in goal.But the linesman's flag was up with the Blues skipper in an offside position.In an overly physical encounter for a pre-season friendly, Juventus had Ogbanna and Peluso both yellow-carded and the Italiansd also missed chances.Marrone missed a sitter when a corner reached him at the back post.Then Arturo Vidal fired a spectacular volley marginally wide after a corner fell to him just outside the box.Blues youngster John Stones enjoyed an enormously impressive evening and he saw an effort bounce back off the post at the end of the first half.Everton finally took the lead when Mirallas motored down the right, cut infield and fired home on 61 minutes, before executing a fitting baseball-themed celebration.Howard preserved Everton's lead with a tremendous smothering save to deny the lively Vidal, with sub Bryan Oviedo close to extending the advantage with a diving header after more good work from Mirallas.The Costa Rican went close with right-foot drive but it was Pienaar who should have sealed it when he capitalised on a defensive slip only to sweep the ball wide when one-one-one with 14 minutes left.Then Howard took centre stage as he produced back-to-back saves to deny Tevez and Mirko Vucinic.But he was powerless to prevent Asamoah's first time drive 10 minutes from time. That forced penalties, with Leon Osman seeing the opening kick saved.But while Matri, Asamoah, Vucinic and Vidal all scored, as did Ross Barkley, Kevin Mirallas, skipper Phil Jagielka and Bryan Oviedo, Andrea Pirlo missed from 12 yards with the kick which could have given Juve victory.Seamus Coleman stepped up to score, Peluso’s effort was saved and Everton were victorious.
EVERTON: Howard; Baines (Oviedo 64), Stones, Jagielka; Gibson (Osman 64), Distin, Coleman, Pienaar; Mirallas, Fellaini, Anichebe (Barkley 88).
JUVENTUS: Storari, Ogbonna, Tevez (83 Tevez), De Ceglie (Padoin 74), Peluso, Llorente (Vucinic 74), Marrone (Pirlo 74), Asamoah, Vidal, Lichsteiner, Isla (Motta 83).
All Merseyside final a possibility in Northern Ireland Milk Cup
1 Aug 2013
Liverpool and Everton u16 teams qualify for semi-finals and avoid each other
An all Merseyside match-up in the Northern Ireland Milk Cup junior final remains in prospect after both Everton and Liverpool went through to the competition's semi-finals stage.The two under-16s teams avoided each other in last night's draw, with the Blues set to take on Watford while the Reds will play County Antrim.Both games will be played today at 7pm at Scroggy Road, Limavady, and Seahaven, Portstewart.Everton qualified after destroying County Armagh 6-1 yesterday afternoon, at Riada Stadium, Ballymoney.The young Toffee men initially suffered an early scare when Scott Megaw capitalised on a goalkeeping error.But Nathan Broadhead began to steal the show with a first-half hat-trick and the Blues went in at the break 4-1 up.A brace of goals from Callum Brumwell and a Nathan Holland strike made it six if the best for the Blues.Everton coach Sean Lundon, whose side have won all of their three group fixtures this week, said: “We opened Amagh up a lot and our finishing was much better than it was earlier on in the week. The surface was much bigger and like the ones we play on at home.“I’m delighted with the way the lads have performed this week. If we play like we have been then that will hopefully be good enough to see us go on to the final.”Meanwhile, over at Coleraine's Showgrounds Liam Robinson scored a hat-trick for Liverpool in their last round-robin fixture against Southampton.Michael Beale's Reds' were 1-0 down at half time following a scuffed-clearance by Owen Wheeler in the Liverpool goal gifted Saints' Carel Kayembe with an easy conversion on three minutes.Liverpool clawed one back just after half-time when Saints keeper cleared poorly and Coady Sunquist crossed it across the box for Herbie Kane to smash-in a half-volley.But the Reds had to come from behind again when Oliver Long struck home from 10 yards out.Robinson quickly equalised with a composed finish and he added another five minutes later from close range.He made it 4-2 with an expert finish after he advanced from a central position and left the Saints' defence chasing his shadow.Reds coach Micahel Beale, whose team won two and drew one overall in the week, said: “I'm really pleased for the boys that we are in the semi-finals. We keep talking about performances and no pressure to win, but I know how much they put pressure on themselves to win.“I thought we played well today. Southampton were a physically tough team and it was difficult for us coming in 1-0 down at half-time. It was really interesting to see how they would react and they reacted fantastically well.“Our way is to way is to come out with the ball at the back and Southampton knew that. So they played really tactically in how they were going to press us.“The grass on the pitch was a little bit long and we got caught playing out from the back with the ball. But that's part of the learning and we won't stop learning because that's the Liverpool Way.“Our football came through in the end and we could have scored more.”
Everton 1 Juventus 1; 6-5 on penalties: match report
Everton defeated Juventus on penalties in a friendly match in San Francisco, after the sides had finished the 90 minutes level at 1-1.
Success: Everton celebrate their penalty shoot-out win over Juventus Photo: AP
By Telegraph Sport, and agencies
01 Aug 2013
Kwadwo Asamoah's well-struck goal for Juve with 10 minutes remaining cancelled out Kevin Mirallas' impressive individual effort just past the hour mark. The game went straight to penalties after 90 minutes, with Leon Osman missing his spot-kick, before Andrea Pirlo did likewise for the Italian side. Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard then saved from Federico Peluso in the sudden-death shoot-out from to give the Toffees a 6-5 spot-kick success. Earlier, Roberto Martinez's team had an early Steven Pienaar free-kick disallowed for offside, while John Stones hit the post with a header just before half-time. The Italian champions included Carlos Tevez, a summer signing from Manchester City, in their side.
Exclusive: Tim Howard hails ice cool penalty hero John Stones
1 Aug 2013
Tim Howard today hailed Everton's penalty cool-guy John Stones - after the teenager helped the Blues to victory over Juventus in the first game of their USA tour.Howard ensured the spoils for Roberto Martinez's men during a dramatic shoot-out at San Francisco's AT&T Park by saving Federico Peluso's final spot-kick, but it was 19-year-old Stones whose nerveless conversion regained momentum for the Blues.Highly-rated centre back Stones, who joined from Barnsley in January, was impressive throughout the International Champions Cup clash against the Serie A title-holders (click for match report), and Howard admits he would be comfortable if the youngster was named in the first-team next season.He said: “I like Stonesy, he's a good kid who takes information on board well. You can yell at him and give him a dressing down and he takes it and responds well. You need that as a centre half and I thought he was classy and composed tonight.“You buy a 19-year-old to look towards the future but he's grown and got comfortable with the place. One game doesn't make you a superstar and he's got a lot of work to do, but tonight was a step in the right direction.“Now he has to continue doing it for 50 games, 100 games, a few years and he'll prove it. But he's getting there. I'd be confident with him playing in the Premier League.” Howard won plaudits for his own polished performance against Juve, which featured a string of top saves and the USA international was pleased to have shone on home-soil. He is set to be pushed harder than ever for the number one spot at Goodison this season after the arrival of promising shot-stopper Joel Robles from Atletico Madrid, but the 34-year-old insists he is focused only on his own displays. “Jan Mucha's contract was up and we always needed to bring in a goalkeeper in the transfer window so that was no surprise,” he said. “I've said all along I don't think I've ever been pushed by another goalkeeper. “I've always focused on my own performances and knowing if I can get those right I'll continue to do the business. I don't worry about that. When you start worrying about outside factors you lose focus on what's important which is your own performance. “It's always good to get off to a flying start though. I've been off for four weeks and just got one week of training under my belt. I travelled a long way to come back here and I was happy to get my eye in. “Just seeing the ball again and catching the pace of it was good. It's all about getting your sharpness back. I like to build on positives and if I'd had a stinker I would have felt more pressure on myself so it was good.” The Blues created enough chances to win the game in normal time, but Howard believes their overall display was promising for the coming Premier League season. He added: “I talked beforehand about how important it was that we played well. Results don't really matter, they're not the be all and end all in pre season. But to perform how we did against a good side like Juve bodes really well for us. “Now we need to keep that momentum going because our eyes are fixed on the 17 and Norwich City.“All the work we do here is geared towards that.“We should have had the game dead and buried before the end. There are always little things that let you down in pre season but we'll iron out those wrinkles. We should have scored a second.“They put out some good reserves though in Pirlo and Vucinic and that class changed it. They came at us. I thought we edged it overall and just about deserved to win the shoot-out.”
Joey Barton plays down Blues links
1 Aug 2013 Liverpool
By Sean Bradbury
Boyhood Everton fan takes to Twitter in attempt to quell recent speculation
Boyhood Everton FC fan Joseph Barton has played down speculation linking him with a move to Goodison Park. The QPR midfielder took to Twitter today to distance himself from reports after agent Willie McKay had indicated Barton would be willing to take a pay cut for an EFC switch.
Barton, who spent last season on loan at French side Marseille, fuelled the fire yesterday with a cryptic tweet of "Once a blue..." But earlier this morning Barton posted: "It's funny how people take a throwaway comment to a hypothetical question and before you know it, it's national news.
"It's well known who I support. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work that out. Good football agents will always be looking to move players, that's how they make money. "Recent rumours are slightly wide of the mark, everyone knows where I would like to end up - in France playing in the Champions League for Olympique Marseille. "Nothing has changed my end. If not, I am contracted to QPR and will give my all to help them regain their Premier League status. "If something happens and both clubs decide differently than I will assess my options. No matter what happens, I intend to enjoy my football and play with a smile on my face...wherever that may be. Careers are too short."
Barton's agent Willie McKay said this week: "Joey said there was only one club he would make a sacrifice for and it would be Everton and I made that call to Martinez. That is the club he loves."
But the ECHO understands Everton are not interested in the 30-year-old's services.
Blues legend Neville Southall was seemingly quite relieved. When asked about Barton he said: "I don’t see how he will fit into Everton’s style of play. He ain’t the best passer in the world.
"Yes he is fit and runs up and down all day but Forrest Gump did that as well didn’t he?"
Barton took the slight on the chin yesterday, tweeting: "Big Neville Southall has given it to me I see. Gutted, he was one of my heroes growing up. Best keeper in the world at one stage.
"I'm not getting after him regardless of what he thinks of me. I will always have the utmost respect for the player he was." He added on Twitter this morning: "Off to work now. Have a good day people. Raise above the noise. "After all, Life is like a box of chocolates...
Mark Lawrenson: Time is right for Ross Barkley to start making a real impact at Everton FC
The Liverpool Post
Aug 1 2013
THIS is the season for Ross Barkley to make an impact at Everton.
Barkley has been around the first team for a while now, had a couple of spells out on loan and has shown plenty of promise. There’s no doubt he has had a few setbacks in his career along the way, but if he kicks on now like everybody expects him to, then he will be a real bonus for Roberto Martinez. It’s the old cliché, but it will in many respects be like signing a new player.
But getting into the first team is one thing. The real aspect that turns promising players into the genuine article is consistency. That is the key to making it in the Premier League at a top club.
There’s a school of thought that Barkley may have more chances in the first team under an attack-minded manager such as Martinez as opposed to predecessor David Moyes, but I’m not so sure.
We are dealing in the evolution of a player, and that would most likely happen no matter who the manager. Martinez rates Barkley. But rating someone is different to relying on someone.
That was what Moyes wanted from every Everton player – reliability. That’s why he signed consistent players. I’m sure Martinez will be no different. Now Barkley has to make sure he is consistent and reliable while harnessing his natural talent. Whether it was Martinez or Moyes, Barkley would have his chance this coming season. He just has to make the most of it.
Kone and Jelavic can form Blues strike partnership
2 Aug 2013
Everton FC can have a potent partnership up front this season in Arouna Kone and Nikica Jealvic, claims Leon Osman.The Blues have tended to deploy a lone striker over recent seasons under previous boss David Moyes, but England international Osman reckons ï¿½5m summer signing Kone and Croatia international Jelavic can buck that trend this term and form a fruitful combination.He said: “I don’t see why him (Kone) and Jela can’t be a good partnership. They certainly seem to complement each other so far and they each have great strengths.
“For strikers working as a pair they need to get to know each other on the field and off the field and it very rarely happens as soon as you meet. The more they can get to know each other and play matches the better they can gel together.”Kone was not named on the bench for Everton’s dramatic 1-0 International Champions Cup win over Juventus on Wednesday, while Jelavic was an unused substitute.But Osman, who has already backed Jelavic to rediscover his goal-scoring prowess for the Toffees again this season after a difficult campaign last time around, has also been impressed by the potential of the Ivory Coast striker.“He’s settled in well,” said Osman, 32. “He’s been good in training, getting to know the lads and finding his feet generally.“He came on at Blackburn (during the 3-1 friendly win at Ewood Park last Saturday) and had a half chance which he rocketed off the underside of the bar so he showed what he can be capable of with making the opportunity for himself.“Hopefully we can give him a few more opportunities and he can score us a good few goals.”Osman was already impressed with what he saw of Kone at Wigan Athletic last season, where the former Sevilla hit-man bagged 13 goals in all competitions – including two against the Toffees.He added: “It was the positions he picks up I noticed. He takes up clever positions and manages to make some great runs in behind so you’ve always got to watch off your back shoulder with him and that’s the most direct line to goal. He seems to want to make that his route to goal and once given a chance he tends to find the target."He’s more of an in-behind type of striker. He’s capable of passing and link-up play but ultimately he wants to be facing the goal and bearing down on the keeper.”
Jagielka: Everton FC full-backs are the envy of the Premier League
By Ian Doyle
Aug 2 2013
PHIL JAGIELKA believes Everton FC’s raiding full-backs are the envy of the Premier League – as penalty hero John Stones revealed his audacious spot-kick was actually a mishit. Leighton Baines was the Goodison outfit’s best player last season while Seamus Coleman produced a series of impressive performances on his return from injury during the second half of the campaign.Both are set to play major roles under Roberto Martinez with the new manager keen to impose a more attacking approach on the team.And Jagielka is convinced there are no more complete pair of full-backs operating in the top flight.“I don’t think so,” said the 30-year-old. “I think Bainesy, rightfully so, has been taking all the plaudits he has been Mr Consistency for the last few seasons.“But, quietly going about his business, is Seamus and I am delighted for him. He’s such a great lad off the pitch that he deserves all the success on it.“Now, I think he is beginning to realise how much of a good player he is and how much of a good player we think he is – not only the players and the staff but the fans as well.“You hope he continues his form and continues his confidence because that is a massive part of his game.”Both Coleman and Baines started for Everton as they secured a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory in their opening International Champions Cup match against Juventus on Wednesday night following a 1-1 draw.The highlight was a cheeky spot kick from Stones, who successfully executed a Paneka-style penalty by chipping the ball over the diving goalkeeper.But while admitting it wasn’t his truest strike of a football, the young defender revealed it was no fluke having previously practiced the penalty.“I did it a few months ago for the Under-21s last season,” said Stones, who was also Everton’s man of the match.“I always said I would do it and the lads have been saying that I wouldn’t do it in front of a big crowd. I’ve stuck by it and it has come off.“I have been practicing it in training. At Finch Farm I did one and it hit the bar. I stuck with it and (in training) I did one that came off, so I thought that if I got to take a penalty I would do it.“I wanted it to go down the middle but I kind of shanked it and it went right.“I had to believe it was going in – and I’m glad it did, to be fair.”The 19-year-old scored in similar style for the Under-21s in last season’s play-off victory over Newcastle United.And Stones added: “I’m going to have to mix it up now. That might have to be the last one because there will be other teams watching the game and analysing who takes penalties and how we take them.”
Tottenham midfielder Clint Dempsey flies to the United States to ‘talk to Everton’
By Danny Griffiths
Friday 2 Aug 2013
Tottenham are on the brink of selling versatile attacking midfielder Clint Dempsey with Everton his believed destination.The United States international misses tomorrow’s friendly in Monaco after flying yesterday from Heathrow to San Francisco where the Toffees are based, while playing in the Guinness Championship.Twitter was last night ablaze with speculation that the former Fulham favourite was heading home to play Major League Soccer for either Toronto or the Seattle Sounders.But the 30-year-old Texan may be staying in the Premier League and finally heading to Merseyside just 12 months after a deadline day move to Liverpool collapsed and he left Craven Cottage for White Hart Lane in a £6million deal.Everton beat Juventus on penalties in San Francisco on Wednesday and face Real Madrid tomorrow in Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.Dempsey was not a regular starter for manager Andre Villas-Boas last season but he was a valuable asset off the bench, scoring 12 goals in all competitions. They included a winner against Manchester United at Old Trafford and a late equaliser against the same opponents in the reverse fixture.Dempsey, who can also play as a forward, appears to have become expendable after Tottenham signed striker Roberto Soldado, midfielder Paulinho and winger Nacer Chadli this summer.
Everton FC to support partnership deal to grow game of golf
The Liverpool Post
Aug 1 2013
EVERTON are one of the clubs lending their support to a new scheme that could give a kick in the right direction to the goal of helping more people take up golf.Golf’s governing body will be hoping to harness the headline-hugging and audience-attracting power of football to entice more young people into trying golf with their local clubs and PGA professionals.A £16.8 million partnership between Sport England and the Premier League is aimed at driving up participation levels across a number of sports.Golf is one of four newcomers to the community programme, Premier League 4 Sport (PL4Sport), alongside athletics, boxing and tennis.They will be added to the eight Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth sports already on offer.Golf chiefs are hoping that the pull of the Premier League will help attract youngsters aged 14-plus to try StreetGolf – the urban, play-anywhere version of the sport, pioneered by the Golf Foundation under its HSBC Golf Roots campaign.Ten Premier League and Championship clubs have already opted to offer golf from next month and, with presentations still to be made to other clubs, it is anticipated that more are likely to join them. The first football clubs to get into golf are Everton, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Derby County, Hull, QPR, Southampton, Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion.It is not the first time Everton have used golf to break down barriers in the local community.Cheshire county development officer Craig Thomas teamed up with Everton and Liverpool City Council to deliver a community project aimed at connecting with youngsters in Norris Green.Such was the impact of the Swingz scheme that it earned the Golf Foundation’s prestigious MacKenzie Award at its annual awards at Wentworth, presented by Colin Montgomerie.Paul Nagle, social inclusion manager for Everton in the community, said: “The project has been fantastic, we are working in a very difficult and challenging area of the city where many didn’t have a clue what golf was. But Craig has broken down barriers that no-one else could. To get kids taking part, never mind playing, has been extraordinary.”Under the new three-year deal all coaching will be taken by PGA professionals and the satellite clubs which will be created will have links with their local golf clubs and their county golf partnerships, which work to grow the game. Lancashire have recently announced that they will be the latest county to join the nationwide network, joining neighbours Cheshire.Golf’s inclusion in PL4Sport has been welcomed by the England Golf Partnership, which brings together the amateur governing body, England Golf, and the Professional Golfers’ Association to increase participation, with the support of the Golf Foundation and Sport England Lottery Funding.Brendon Pyle, the Golf Foundation’s development manager, said: “This is great news for golf because the power of football means we will be able to reach many more young people. And, because most football clubs are based in town and city areas, we’ll be able to reach a totally new audience.“StreetGolf is the ideal way to introduce them to golf. It’s a different, edgy and versatile game which you can play anywhere. When we introduced it to the PL4Sport co-ordinators they loved it, it really changed their perception of how golf can be delivered.”A pilot scheme run by the Golf Foundation and Bolton Wanderers FC has already proved successful, attracting more than twice as many young people as predicted.Brendon added: “We feel confident that through Premier League 4 Sport we will be able to reach more young people and demonstrate the positive life skills that the sport promotes”.Under the England Golf Partnership, the sport has set an ambitious target of 280 new satellite clubs over the next four years.
Real test thrills Martinez
3 Aug 2013
By Greg O’Keeffe
Roberto Martinez admits he is relishing the chance to test his Everton FC team against one of the best sides in the world today – and hopes to cause another upset in the USA by beating Real Madrid.The Blues produced the shock result of the International Champions Cup so far by beating Juventus in San Francisco on Wednesday, and were rewarded with a glamour tie against Carlo Ancelotti's star-studded side in Los Angeles.Although the Blues boss insists performances matter more than results in this pre-season tournament, he is excited about seeing how his players hold-up against Christiano Ronaldo & Co at the Dodgers stadium.He said: “It's not necessarily a greater challenge than Juventus, but certainly a different one. They bring a large squad and when Real go into any sort of game they're expected to win.“That is a lot to match. They're going to play differently than Juventus and it will allow us to try things and make sure we are capable of competing against another one of the world's best teams.“We've got really high standards and want to test ourselves. That test doesn't come any higher than Real Madrid.“I want the players to enjoy their football and start fulfilling their potential within the team.”As a proud Catalan and Barcelona afficionado, Martinez admits the fixture against Barca's El Clasico rivals Real has an extra spice for him, but his priorities are ensuring the game prepares Everton for their Premier League opener.“Obviously being a Catalan, Real Madrid has always got an extra meaning if you like,” he said. “But it's about our preparation and I just want to get through the game without injuries and to hit all our physical targets.“It's about creating that competitive edge for the starting 11 against Norwich and we each need to understand the different ways of playing.“But we are still looking internally at what we want to do.. We are still trying to get as fit as we can for the start of the season and a it's a great game to evaluate and try different things on the pitch. "We had a lot of feedback that the fans really enjoyed the Juventus performance and as we said before, it is a great games programme - but it is pre-season and another chance to get those final tweaks in their performances."
Real Madrid test excites Roberto Martinez
Aug 3 2013
ROBERTO MARTINEZ admits he is relishing the chance to test his Everton team against one of the best sides in the world today – and hopes to cause another upset in the USA by beating Real Madrid.The Blues produced the shock result of the International Champions Cup so far by beating Juventus in San Francisco on Wednesday, and were rewarded with a glamour tie against Carlo Ancelotti's star-studded side in Los Angeles. Although the Blues boss insists performances matter more than results in this pre-season tournament, he is excited about seeing how his players hold-up against Christiano Ronaldo & Co at the Dodgers stadium.He said: “It's not necessarily a greater challenge than Juventus, but certainly a different one. They bring a large squad and when Real go into any sort of game they're expected to win.“That is a lot to match. They're going to play differently than Juventus and it will allow us to try things and make sure we are capable of competing against another one of the world's best teams. “We've got really high standards and want to test ourselves. That test doesn't come any higher than Real Madrid.“I want the players to enjoy their football and start fulfilling their potential within the team.”
Unlucky Blues undone by Real class
4 Aug 2013
Everton FC were undone by two moments of class from Cristiano Ronaldo as they lost 2-1 to Real Madrid in Los Angeles.The Blues saw a legitimate first half headed goal from Sylvain Distin ruled out harshly for pushing by ref Baldomero Toledo, and should have had a penalty when Kevin Mirallas was felled in the area.But despite having to contend with an official who was overly charitable to Carlo Ancelotti's star-studded side, Everton acquitted themselves well in the second of their three-game USA tour, and even threatened a come-back after Nikica Jelavic scored with 30 minutes remaining.From the opening whistle Roberto Martinez's men showed the same confidence and attacking conviction which saw them defeat Italian Champions Juventus in San Francisco on Wednesday.However they were guilty of defending too high up the field in the early exchanges, and were punished when Ronaldo – who had already gone one on one with Tim Howard and missed – surged into area and opened the scoring on 18 minutes.The Toffees kept their composure and gave Real more than a few headaches down their left flank, where Seamus Coleman and Kevin Mirallas were combining to nice effect and giving Marcelo a torrid time.Miralls was flying and seemed to have been checked in the area as he burst through on goal on 24 minutes, but Baldomero waved away protests.Then after the Belgian won his side another free kick, Marouane Fellaini climbed high to meet Leighton Baines' pin-point delivery only to see his header hit the post.If that wasn't frustrating enough, Everton had the ball in the net soon after when the Blues' set-piece dominance continued. This time Distin got above the Madrid defence and scored with a powerful header only for the ref to rule out the goal for pushing.Everton's sense of injustice was compounded just minutes later when Ronaldo, who appeared to have strayed onside, latched onto a defence-splitting pass from Luka Modric to set-up Mesut Ozil for a tap in.Ronaldo might have rubbed salt in the wounds near the break when he again found himself clean through, but his chip flew over Howard's cross-bar.After the break Jelavic replaced Arouna Kone, who seemed sluggish at times, and the Blues instantly had more bite in attack.Indeed Jelavic made no mistake with a first time finish on 62 minutes after a superb knock-down from the impressive Steven Naismith.Phil Jagielka thought he had headed the leveller when he stooped to meet a Baines free-kick but the effort went narrowly over, and that was it.Madrid threatened as the clock wore down, but Everton were entitled to feel they could and should have had more from this International Champions Cup encounter.Friendly or not, a sense of injustice after a narrow defeat by one of the best sides in the world could bode well for the coming Premeir League campaign.
EVERTON: (4-2-3-1) Howard, Coleman (Stones, 84) Distin, Jagielka (Capt), Heitnga (Gibson, 68) Baines, Osman, Fellaini (Barkley, 68), Naismith, Kone (Jelavic, 45), Mirallas (Deulofeu, 84).
Subs not used: Robles, Oviedo, Anichebe, Vellios.
Goals: Jelavic (62)
REAL MADRID: Casillas (Capt) (Fernandez, 45), Arbeloa (Carvajal, 45), Ramos (Coentrao, 45), Laveran (Lopez, 45), Marcelo, Khedira, Benzema (Kaka, 70), Modric (Di Maria, 45), Ozil (Cherishchev, 86), Isco (Casemiro, 45), Ronaldo (Rodriguez, 60).
Subs not used: Casado, Mateos, Illaramendi, Meijas, Leite, Varane.
Bookings:Goals: Ronaldo (18) Ozil (32)
ef: Baldomero Toledo
Everton 1 Real Madrid 2: Ronaldo and Ozil condemn Martinez's men to defeat
4 August 2013
Real Madrid defeated Everton in Los Angeles to reach the final of the International Champions Cup.Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil got the goals which earned the Spanish giants a clash against either AC Milan or Chelsea at Miami's Sun Life Stadium on Wednesday.Real took the lead in the 17th minute through Ronaldo, who rounded Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard and finished calmly.
Everton: Howard, Coleman (Stones 82), Jagielka, Distin, Baines (Oviedo 82), Osman, Heitinga (Gibson 67), Fellaini (Barkley 67), Naismith, Kone (Jelavic 46), Mirallas (Deulofeu 82)
Subs not used: Robles, Anichebe, Vellios
Goal: Jelavic 60
Real Madrid: Casillas (Lopez 46), Pepe, Ramos (Nacho 46), Khedira, Ronaldo, Benzema, Ozil, Marcelo (Coentrao 46), Arbeloa, Modric, Isco
Subs not used: Varane, Kaka, Mejias, Alonso, Morata, Illaramendi, Rodriguez, Cherishchev, Casado, Mateos
Goals: Ronaldo 17, Ozil 31
Toffees midfielder Marouane Fellaini headed against a post, then defender Sylvain Distin saw a header ruled out for an infringement as Roberto Martinez's men sought an equaliser.
However, Carlo Ancelotti's team doubled their advantage when Ronaldo squared for Ozil to sidefoot home.
Nikica Jelavic was introduced for the second half and within seven minutes of his introduction the Croatian flicked goalwards from a Kevin Mirallas cross-shot - but goalkeeper Diego Lopez saved.
Jelavic did pull a goal back with a snapshot just past the hour mark - but Everton were unable to find an equaliser.
Roberto Martinez's men start their Barclays Premier League campaign at Norwich on August 17.
Everton FC lose 2-1 to Real Madrid due to star-struck referee and class of Ronaldo
5 Aug 2013 Liverpool Echo
By Gregg O’Keefe
No Hollywood ending for Blues after USA tour defeat in International Champions Cup
Superstars are feted and spoiled in Los Angeles, their every whim catered for – just ask Everton, who watched as their best efforts to compete with Real Madrid were cancelled out by an overawed official. The Blues had already failed to stick to the script once in the International Champions Cup, when they beat Juventus in their opening game, and this time any hopes of upstaging the A-Listers were foiled by a combination of that star-struck referee and naïve defending against the genuine class of Cristiano Ronaldo and co. Mexican ref Baldomero Toledo ignored a compelling penalty claim when Kevin Mirallas was upended in the box shortly after Ronaldo had opened the scoring for Madrid. Then he was possibly the only man in the 56,000-capacity Dodgers Stadium to see a push by Sylvain Distin as the Everton defender powered home a legitimate header which would have levelled the score. But there won’t have been any pampered hissy-fits from the Evertonians who either travelled to watch their side play this historic game, or stayed up late to tune in back home. Although only a pre-season friendly (and the first ever football match at this baseball ground), they’ll know that the fact their side ended with a sense of injustice and a narrow defeat against one of the most abundantly gifted teams in the world can only augur well. There were positives all over the field for Roberto Martinez’s men. The Blues boss re-jigged the line-up which defeated Juve but still watched his players often thrive as an attacking unit despite their ongoing transitional period. For so long it has been Everton’s left flank which has been admired and feared, but now they have an equal threat down their right. Seamus Coleman has been outstanding in pre-season so far. Gone are the rough edges which once characterised his otherwise dynamic displays, replaced with confidence, awareness and technical savvy to go alongside his innate sense of adventure. Then there’s Kevin Mirallas – another who seems to have taken his performances to another level after getting that tricky first season in the Premier League out of the way. Mirallas has always said he felt hampered by his lack of a full pre-season last year, but this time around the Belgian flyer will have no such worries and looks set to flourish. Even on a pitch with Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil, Karim Benzema and Isco to name just a handful, Mirallas’ performance stood out. If Martinez and the Toffees medical team can keep the 25-year-old fit and firing, he will make the difference for them frequently.
From the opening whistle Everton showed the same confidence and attacking conviction which saw them defeat the Italian Champions in San Francisco on Wednesday. However they were guilty of defending too high up the field in the early exchanges, and were punished when Ronaldo – who had already gone one on one with Tim Howard and missed – surged into the area and opened the scoring on 18 minutes. The Toffees kept their composure and countered as that combination of Coleman and Mirallas gave Real full-back Marcelo a torrid time. Mirallas seemed to have been checked in the area as he burst through on goal on 24 minutes, but Baldomero waved away protests.
Then after the Belgian won his side another free kick, Marouane Fellaini climbed high to meet Leighton Baines’ pin-point delivery but saw his header hit the post. If that wasn’t frustrating enough, Everton soon had the ball in the net as their set-piece dominance continued. Cue Baldomero’s inexplicable decision to rule out Distin’s header. The Blues anger was compounded just minutes later when Ronaldo appeared to stray offside as he latched onto a defence-splitting pass from Luka Modric to set-up Ozil for a tap in. The Portuguese might have rubbed salt in the wounds near the interval when he again found himself clean through, but his chip flew over Howard’s crossbar. After the break Nikcia Jelavic replaced Arouna Kone, who seemed sluggish and in need of extra minutes to regain his cutting edge, and the Blues instantly had more bite in attack.
Indeed Jelavic made no mistake with a first time finish on 62 minutes after a superb knock-down from the impressive Steven Naismith who climbed above Daniel Carvajal. If – as his pre-season displays have suggested – Jelavic is over the alarming slump in form which afflicted him last term, it is a major bonus. Phil Jagielka thought he had headed the leveller when he stooped to meet another Baines free-kick but the effort went narrowly over, and then Madrid began to peg the Blues back again. Real sub Di Maria skipped into the area, beat two challenges, and fired a shot at goal which Tim Howard did well to save with his legs. But the introduction of exciting teenage prospects Gerard Deulofeu and Ross Barkley gave Everton fresh momentum, with the Catalan full of bravado and clever flicks and Barkley showing equal self-belief and ability. They were unable to create the clear opening which would have forced another penalty shoot-out though, and Carlo Ancelotti’s side saw the contest out. No Hollywood ending for the Toffees then. Martinez’s first trophy won’t be lifted in the USA, as Everton missed out on making the final of this prestigious tournament.
But there are enough signs that they will flourish in the coming Premier League campaign to provide a silver lining.
REAL MADRID: Casillas (Capt) (Lopez, 45), Arbeloa (Carvajal, 45), Ramos (Coentrao, 45), Laveran (Lopez, 45), Marcelo (Fernandez, 45), Khedira, Benzema (Kaka, 70), Modric (Di Maria, 45), Ozil (Cherishchev, 86), Isco (Casemiro, 45), Ronaldo (Rodriguez, 60). Subs: Casado, Mateos, Illaramendi, Meijas, Leite, Varane, Fernandez, Alonso, Morata.
EVERTON: (4-2-3-1) Howard, Coleman (Stones, 84) Distin, Jagielka (Capt), Heitnga (Gibson, 68) Baines (Oviedo, 84), Osman, Fellaini (Barkley, 68), Naismith, Kone (Jelavic, 45), Mirallas (Deulofeu, 84). Subs: Robles, Anichebe, Vellios.
REFREEE: Baldomero Toledo (Mexico)
Everton FC's Sylvain Distin says positive USA tour performances have whetted Euro appetite
5 Aug 2013 Liverpool Echo
By Gregg O’Keefe
Blues defender says playing Madrid was like a Champions League game
Everton's positive performance despite losing narrowly to Real Madrid in Los Angeles has only further fired their resolve to qualify for Europe this season, says Sylvain Distin.
The Blues caused the star-studded La Liga giants plenty of problems during their International Champions Cup clash at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, and were entitled to feel aggrieved after a number of dubious refereeing decisions. Distin saw a first-half headed goal harshly ruled out for pushing by Mexican official Baldomero Toledo for pushing, and he also waved away a strong penalty claim when Kevin Mirallas appeared to be felled in the area. And although the Blues were under pressure throughout from Madrid’s array of stellar talent, Distin admits that the way they rose to the occasion – after beating Juventus last Wednesday – has got them even more focused on a push for Europe this term. He said: “We don’t need to be reminded how good European football is. Every player wants to play in Europe. “It’s amazing and when you see the last two games they’ve been fantastic. Even if it’s pre-season – it just whets your appetite. “That was like a Champions League game. You can’t find better competition than the two teams we’ve played so far. Unless you play against Spain or Brazil I don’t think you can get better than that. “I even got the chance to shake hands with Zidane (now Real’s assistant coach). I had to wait nearly 36 years to do that!” Distin insists the nature of the challenge which faced the Blues, taking on a side so blessed with world-beating talent, was a priceless learning experience. “I think the first half was very difficult for us,” he said. “When you look at who we were facing; Benzema, Ronaldo, Ozil and Isco it was tough. Second half it was a bit better when they changed their side, although they still brought on quality replacements. “It was a good experience for us and we can learn a lot from it and I don’t think we looked ridiculous. We gave them a fair challenge and it was a positive result in the end. “It bodes well. Even if you don’t really look at the results in pre season you do to a degree. You always want to win and not concede goals. But all together it was a good performance so we deserve credit. It’s just a beginning then.” The French defender was typically philosophical about his disallowed goal, even if it brought back unwelcome memories of his wrongly ruled-out headed strike in the Anfield Merseyside derby in May. “It seems like it’s always happening to me,” he added. “The referee said I put my hands on him which I can’t understand but that’s football. “These things happen and you have to accept it but it seems to happen a lot to me at the moment.”
Real class undoes Everton effort in Los Angeles
Aug 5 2013 Liverpool Daily Post
Everton FC were undone by two moments of class from Cristiano Ronaldo as they lost 2-1 to Real Madrid in Los Angeles.
The Blues saw a legitimate first half headed goal from Sylvain Distin ruled out harshly for pushing by ref Baldomero Toledo, and should have had a penalty when Kevin Mirallas was felled in the area.
But despite having to contend with an official who was overly charitable to Carlo Ancelotti's star-studded side, Everton acquitted themselves well in the second of their three-game USA tour, and even threatened a come-back after Nikica Jelavic scored with 30 minutes remaining.
From the opening whistle Roberto Martinez's men showed the same confidence and attacking conviction which saw them defeat Italian Champions Juventus in San Francisco on Wednesday.
However they were guilty of defending too high up the field in the early exchanges, and were punished when Ronaldo – who had already gone one on one with Tim Howard and missed – surged into area and opened the scoring on 18 minutes. The Toffees kept their composure and gave Real more than a few headaches down their left flank, where Seamus Coleman and Kevin Mirallas were combining to nice effect and giving Marcelo a torrid time. Miralls was flying and seemed to have been checked in the area as he burst through on goal on 24 minutes, but Baldomero waved away protests. Then after the Belgian won his side another free kick, Marouane Fellaini climbed high to meet Leighton Baines' pin-point delivery only to see his header hit the post. If that wasn't frustrating enough, Everton had the ball in the net soon after when the Blues' set-piece dominance continued. This time Distin got above the Madrid defence and scored with a powerful header only for the ref to rule out the goal for pushing. Everton's sense of injustice was compounded just minutes later when Ronaldo, who appeared to have strayed offside, latched onto a defence-splitting pass from Luka Modric to set-up Mesut Ozil for a tap in. Ronaldo might have rubbed salt in the wounds near the break when he again found himself clean through, but his chip flew over Howard's cross-bar.After the break Jelavic replaced Arouna Kone, who seemed sluggish at times, and the Blues instantly had more bite in attack. Indeed Jelavic made no mistake with a first time finish on 62 minutes after a superb knock-down from the impressive Steven Naismith. Phil Jagielka thought he had headed the leveller when he stooped to meet a Baines free-kick but the effort went narrowly over, and that was it. Madrid threatened as the clock wore down, but Everton were entitled to feel they could and should have had more from this International Champions Cup encounter. Friendly or not, a sense of injustice after a narrow defeat by one of the best sides in the world could bode well for the coming Premeir League campaign.
Everton U16s win Milk Cup
5 Aug 2013 Liverpool Echo
By Mark Johnson
Youngsters triumph on penalties over Country Antrim after 1-1 draw
Everton's under 16s were crowned the Northern Ireland Milk Cup junior winners after they won a dramatic penalty shoot-out against County Antrim.
The young Toffee men sealed their 4-3 victory over the physical Irish side following a 1-1 draw in normal time at Ballymena Showgrounds. Blues coach Sean Lundon said: “I’m delighted for the players with the way they have performed this week. They’ve deserved to win the trophy, even though it was on penalties. “Penalties are part of football and it’s a test of your nerve and your character - I’m a great believer in practising them.” Nathan Broadhead, Nathan Holland, Michael Taylor and Jack Bainbridge all converted, while James Yates forced Antrim goalie Ben McCauley to save the Blues’ final pen. Antrim's Conor McKendrey put his penalty wide and scenes of manic celebration erupted from the Goodison contingent when Blues' diving goalie Matthew Yorke - who saved three penalties in the semi-final shoot-out - got the slightest of finger tips to Joe Crowe's and Antrim's last penalty to force the ball to brush the post and wide. During normal time, Lundon’s charges could have been one up in a tight first-half when Antony Evans hit the post with a free kick.
And Nathan Broadhead later hit the bar with a shot from open play. But Antrim went one ahead eight minutes from the end when striker Brendy Glackin converted a penalty, which was given for a foul on forward Mark McKee. Everton responded with a well-worked corner which Taylor superbly volleyed home with five minutes remaining. Yorke kept Everton in Friday afternoon's game with a world-class save to deny McKee. Summing up, Lundon said: “Antrim made it difficult for us. No one was expecting an easy game because we know how hard it is to play against the Irish teams. They are tough and Liverpool found that out in the semi-final. “They had a little spell just before half-time and we managed to weather that. But we started the game well and could have had a couple of goals. Our keeper made one great save in the second-half so he can be pleased.” The win meant that Everton, who have appeared in nine NI Milk Cup finals, have won the renowned youth tournament a record six times. Lundon said: “The lads get a lot of experience from this tournament. We have been playing in it for quite a few years now and it’s a good test to see how players progress. “You can see it’s a good tournament with the amount of players that have played in the Premier League and at international level. Ross Barkley has played in this tournament for us and he's in the first team now. “It’s not academy football – it’s tournament football against difficult teams and you have to find a way to win. In the semi-final against Watford we were 3-0 down and we came back to show great character. And today when we went a goal down we could have easily have gone under, but we didn’t – they showed great resilience.” Meanwhile, Liverpool’s under 16s and 18s campaigns ended in a defeat and a win. Reds' under 16s were beaten 6-2 by Watford in the play-off for third and fourth place, while the under 18s beat Newcastle United 2-0 in the NIMC Globe final after 16-year-old hotshot Ryan Kent scored twice.
Everton launch pioneering sports partnership
August 5 2013 The Cheshire News
Everton Football Club has become the first club in the Premier League to develop a range of bespoke sports nutrition products to improve the team’s fitness and conditioning.
The Blues have teamed up with innovative sports nutrition brand THE PROTEIN WORKS™ for the 2013/14 season. The company specialise in formulating and manufacturing high-performance sports nutrition supplements, using premium grade natural ingredients and the latest scientific research to create cutting-edge formulas to help athletes and teams to enhance their fitness levels.
Everton’s Head of Sport Science and Conditioning Steve Tashjian and Professor Don MacLaren (Nutrition Advisor to Everton) have been working closely with experts at the company over the summer to develop cutting-edge recovery formulas, tailor-made exclusively to meet the needs of the first team. “We are looking at every area of the Club to see how we can push the boundaries further than ever before. One of the areas that we thought we could gain a real competitive edge was in the player’s fitness, conditioning and nutrition,” said Steve. “With the new intensive training protocols we have put in place and the very latest in bespoke sports nutrition, we are confident that the players will be in the best possible shape once the new season starts,” he added.
With the club more commonly known as ‘The School of Science’, it is apt that Everton are the first in the Premier League to adopt the innovative recovery products.
Blues youngsters earn their stripes at Southport
5 Aug 2013 Liverpool Echo
Blues understudies perform well in entertaining draw with non-league Sandgrounders
With the current Blues first team some 5,286 miles away in the sunny climes of Los Angeles, Everton’s understudies more than earned their stars and stripes at Southport’s Merseyrail Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Everton goalkeeper Mateusz Taudul made his first since start since last year through injury and was called upon within 12 minutes with a fantastic point blank save to deny the Sandgrounders from taking an early lead. Shortly after that, the visitors opened the scoring with a ‘Drogba’ like effort from Everton livewire Hallam Hope. Hope, with his back to goal, turned his defender and hit a thunderbolt strike into the bottom left hand corner, giving Southport goalkeeper Danny Hurst no chance. The Toffees were now looking most likely to double their advantage but chances were not taken from midfield duo Chris Long and John Lundstram. The second did eventually come from the right boot of Matthew Kennedy, who toe-poked home following some neat and tidy play from influential number 10 Chris Long. Southport responded instantly when Steven Tames headed the hosts back into the match with a near post header and then former Everton player Jamie Milligan drew the game level from the penalty spot just after half-time. Manager Alan Stubbs could sense the home side were on top and rang the changes with Jonjoe Kenny, Courtney Duffus, Ryan Ledson, Ibou Toury and Russell Griffiths all entering the play and it almost had an immediate effect with quick play from Duffus who in turn found Hope, but the striker’s shot was saved with 15 minutes remaining. The hosts thought they had won it late on when Yamen Owase netted after going straight through the Everton back four before lashing a shot past substitute goalkeeper Russell Griffiths – but Hope had other ideas. An injury time Everton breakaway left Hope turning his man once more before dinking the ball past the helpless Stevenson to earn Everton a deserved draw. Everton Under-21s travelled to southern Spain straight after the game for the start of a six-day training camp and will also play a friendly against Real Betis B on Wednesday evening. Southport: Danny Hurst (David Stevenson 68), Aaron Chalmers (Charlie Joyce 75), James Smith (Steve Akrigg 46), Matty Flynn (Josh Livesey 85), David Fitzpatrick (Liam Willis 75), Jamie Milligan, Paul Rutherford (Matt Challoner 68), Scott Brown (Jamie Campbell 75), Karl Ledsham (Matty Harris 68), Yamen Osawe, Steven Tames (Curtis Thompson 75). Everton U21: Mateusz Taudul (Russell Griffiths 67), Ben McGlaughlin (Jon Joe Kenny 67), Matthew Pennington, Tyas Browning, Luke Garbutt (Ibou Touray 68), John Lundstrum, Francisco Junior (Ryan Ledson 75), Matthew Kennedy (Gethin Jones 81), Chris Long, Conor Grant (Courtney Duffus 67), Hallam Hope. Attendance: 608 TONY SCOTT
Exclusive: Blues can mix with Europe’s elite says Naismith
6 Aug 2013 Liverpool Echo
By Gregg O’Keefe
Toffees would hold their own in Champions League says EFC man
Steven Naismith believes Everton FC can compete for a Champions League place again this season – and reckons they would thrive if they managed to qualify for the competition. The Blues pushed hard for a top four finish last term, before falling away in the final month of the campaign as clubs with bigger squads in Arsenal and Tottenham edged past them. But Naismith, 26, who is determined to play a greater role for the team during his second season on Merseyside insists Roberto Martinez’s men have what it takes to compete with the best after a pre-season which has seen them beat Juventus and give Real Madrid a tough test .
He said: “The margins are very small. We just lacked the amount of bodies in our squad in those final months.The teams around us pushing for fourth had more options to choose from. We were close though. With a bit of luck and a few different results I believe we can be there or thereabouts again.
“Its only been pre season but we’ve played against top sides and I’ve got no doubt in my mind that Everton could hold their own in the Champions League against some of the best teams in the world. We can cause anyone problems attacking like we’ve done.” Naismith says the club’s young players have also suggested during games against those high-profile games in the USA that they can mix it with the best. “I’ve got no doubt the young players here would thrive on it,” he added. “You look at Ross (Barkley) who came on against Juve and did “Stonesy was one of our best players, and I didn’t know until afterwards it was his first game for the first team. It shows you our quality. It’d be a great journey to get there. I know its the manager’s aim and the chairman’s too.” The Scotland international is no stranger to Europe’s top club competition, and admits he would love the chance to reaquaint himself with the Champions League. “I’d love to be back in the Champions league,” he said. “It’s the best club competition in the world. I made my (Rangers) debut at 20 in the Nou Camp. Things like that stay with you. “I played Lyon at their stadium, Valencia away and we went to Old Trafford. “It’s something I’d love to experience at Everton.”
Blues boss hails natural goalscorer Nikica Jelavic
6 Aug 2013 Liverpool Echo
Jelavic is scoring goals again because he’s enjoying his football declares Martinez
Nikica Jelavic is a natural goalscorer who can be a key player for Everton FC this season after rediscovering his self-belief, says Roberto Martinez. The Croatia international notched his third strike of pre-season with a predatory first-time effort against Real Madrid in Los Angeles on Saturday, and looked sharp during the second half against the Spanish giants. Jelavic, 27, has been linked with a Goodison exit this summer following the £5.5m signing of former Wigan forward Arouna Kone, and Hamburg are one of several clubs to have expressed an interest.
But after a difficult second half to the last campaign, when the former Rangers forward struggled for goals and form, Jelavic is beginning to look like the player who made such an impression following his move to Merseyside in January 2012 – and Martinez is thrilled with his attitude so far.
He said: “Niki is a goalscorer. When you see him scoring goals again it’s because he’s enjoying his football. “He’s been working really hard and physically he still has a little bit to to get to 90 minutes. But it’s great to see Nikica coming back with that focus and desire to score goals and be himself. When you can score goals in the manner he has done he is going to be an incredible asset for us.”
Martinez has used Jelavic, Kone and Victor Anichebe in the forward roles so far during the club’s USA tour and has been delighted with the options at his disposal. He added: “When you look at the competition for places we have in the forwards and it’s a real strength for the team.
“It can only be a good thing to have this strength in depth.” Although the Blues were defeated by Real at Dodger Stadium, Martinez believes the experience was the perfect learning curve for how to deal with quick counter-attacking units. Cristiano Ronaldo’s opening goal came when the Toffees lost possession high up the field and were punished in a flash, something their manager knows they will have to work on as they adapt to a new style. “The counter attack of Real Madrid is the best in world football, simple as that,” he said. “When you have the individuals they have and use them so effectively it’s tough to play against. “I liked the way we kept the ball, played from the back and had a lot of opportunities in the final third. “We learned that in the first 20 minutes we gave them too much respect and at the end of the day when we play our own game we can make life complicated for any side. “Positionally we defended very well but the only area we needed to shape-up was on the counter attack. “Those are the areas you work on in pre-season. You can’t do that as well against lesser opposition because you can be left one versus one and you don’t get punished.
“Here if you make mistakes you will get punished. “We played the best back three in world football in Juve, then the best counter attacking side and now we have another team which is a completely different proposition – very well organised and well structured. It’s been the perfect programme.”
Another La Liga outfit, Valencia, are up next when the Blues play their final International Champions Cup game in Miami tonight, and Martinez reckons it will be another stern challenge for his men – against a side also experiencing great change. “Valencia are going through a lot of evolution,” he added. “They have a new manager and have lost their most influential player in Roberto Soldado to Spurs. “But they have been playing in a certain manner for a long time. “They like to keep the ball and have possession and they’re very good at it. They have some good footballers too so it’s pleasing to have had three very different teams.”
Exclusive: Steven Naismith says he’ll come back stronger next season
6 Aug 2013 Liverpool Echo
By Gregg O’Keefe
At times he was a victim of circumstances, a victim of the boo-boys and a victim of his own lack of belief. But with his quietly-spoken, humble manner and ceaseless work-rate Steven Naismith simply got on with it during a decidedly mixed first season at Everton FC. The 26-year-old forward knows he didn’t show enough to justify a regular starting place under David Moyes, but with a new man at the helm, and a pre-season without the spectre of serious injury under his belt, the Scot is ready to silence his critics. Naismith already has the bonus of knowing Martinez believes in him – after the manager competed for his signature while in charge at Wigan last summer. And the former Rangers man hopes he can carve a new, more dynamic role for himself in the Catalan’s plans. “Fortunately for me I actually spoke to the Roberto before I signed for Everton and that gave me an insight that he was interested in me,” he says on the terrace of the Blues’ hotel in Miami as they prepare for the final game of their USA tour against Valencia tonight. “To be honest I already had my heart set on Everton at that point, just from seeing everything at the club. I thought it was the club for me and I still think that now. “I didn’t have a proper pre-season last year because I was coming back from my injury and was in and out of games. I was always playing catch up when the season started.
“There’s always adrenaline at the start of the season because it was a new club, but when that settles down and you get a routine it kind of becomes harder. Then if you’re not playing, your confidence goes down and all these things play a part. But I learned a massive amount from David Moyes and the squad here – every day if training with them made me a better player.”
Naismith is refreshingly honest about the psychological pit-falls which plagued him during his first campaign in the Premier League, and more importantly he knows where he must improve.
“I can’t complain about the amount of minutes I played, it’s more me thinking about my overall game when I played,” he says. “I didn’t demand the ball as much as I maybe should have in games, and some games would maybe pass me by. I wasn’t influencing them as much as I would have liked.
“It probably was a belief thing. You don’t want to make a mistake or whatever. “But definitely since I’ve come back I’ve felt a lot more confident and I’m feeling better in myself generally.” Naismith insists he has always been a slow developer at new clubs, something his observant new boss has already realised. It’s just one thing about Martinez which has impressed him. “When I spoke to the manager he mentioned that he’s watched my whole career and noticed that I’ve always taken time to gel into my role,” he says. “He’s a manager who really knows his stuff. No matter who we’re playing he knows their background, and all about the players we’re facing. “It’s probably a bit of change for the guys who have been here a while because David Moyes was set in his ways and basically built the club up to where we are today. “Now a new manager has come in and it’s different for everyone. I’d heard good things about the way he works so when he came here it was a positive. Nobody has got a bad word to say about him. “I’m the type of player who wants to get on the ball and get involved in games, but whenever I’ve started at new clubs it’s taken me time to adapt. It took time at Rangers too.” The forward hopes he will be more suited to Martinez’s way of playing too – after sometimes feeling isolated when asked to play wide right last term.
“The way the team was set up under David Moyes we were usually playing a 4-4-1-1, which when you have two forwards through the middle it restricts how much movement the wider players can make really,” he adds. “Now we’re maybe going to play with one main striker and that gives the boys on the right and left more room to roam about which has helped me because I’m not a winger.
“I’m not going to stay out wide and put crosses in all day. I like to come and get involved and link-up play. Hopefully in that respect the way we play now will hope me get involved a bit more.
“The managers are very different. David Moyes is a manager who did everything from a solid base and that has shown throughout the years. From a club that was maybe fighting relegation when he came in he’s built it every year; getting better defensively and better attacking as well.
“Now the new manager wants us to retain possession more and dictate the pace of play which will take time because it’s new.” There might be plenty of change around the club, but Naismith – who completed an impressive 90 minutes against Madrid – is confident his well-established partnership with Nikica Jelavic can continue to flourish. “It’s small things like he knows where I’ll head the ball. He knows where I’ll be,” he says, reflecting on their combination which created Everton’s goal against Real on Saturday. “That’s inevitable because we’ve played together for to years at Rangers. He lost a bit of confidence last season because he wasn’t scoring as many goals or playing every week. “I think with Kone coming in and Victor doing tremendously it’s put a lot of pressure on him to compete for a forward place and so far he’s rose to the challenge in pre season. Not just in the games but in training and the gym. “He’s put extra in, and if you want to play at Everton with the quality we have you’ve got to put extra in.”
EFC tour diary: Movie star Damon meets Blues aces
6 Aug 2013 Liverpool Echo
By Gregg O’Keefe
Latest diary dispatch from Greg O'Keeffe on tour with EFC in the USA
They say Evertonians are ‘Bourne’ not manufactured.
And the original Jason Bourne – AKA Hollywood A-Lister Matt Damon – was happy to pose for pictures with Everton players when it transpired they were sharing the same hotel in LA.
Damon was in town to promote his new movie Elysium at the Four Seasons hotel in the mega-posh Beverly Hills and as an avid ‘soccer’ fan he was keen to meet the boys. As one of his aides told the Echo: “Matt is often in Europe filming and is a sporty guy anyway, so he always watches the English Premier League. “He doesn’t have one team he supports per se but he was thrilled to chat with Tim Howard because he’s the USA goalkeeper and thought the other guys were very good fun.
“I’m sure he’ll be looking out for Everton’s results when the season gets going.”
Bum deal with J-Lo Everton's players are true professionals when it comes to their media duties after a game. And that focus and professional was tested to the extreme when none other than Jennifer Lopez (who had been watching their clash with Real Madrid at Dodger Stadium) strutted past them in the tunnel with her famous posterior justifying all the hype. Tim Howard & Co didn’t even blink as they chatted to the world’s media – it’s only a shame the same can’t be said about the ECHO.
Myers fights for the fans
New Everton communications director Alan Myers has already been busy fighting for the fans.
The former Sky Sports journalist – who started in his new role yesterday – is back in the UK, but life long Toffee Al has taken on the case of disgruntled supporters left out of pocket by a mistake from the tournament organisers which meant the Blues are now playing tonight against Valencia instead of tomorrow.
Love is in the air
Love is in the air in America – or according to Bill Kenwright it is. The Blues chairman has been at each of his team’s games so far, and he believes new manager Roberto Martinez is already head over heels with the club. “I think we are known as a friendly club, a family club, and everywhere we go, hopefully, we are not only building up the Everton legend but the Roberto Martinez legend,” he said. “He really has made a lot friends on this trip and I think it’s fair to say that he has been available for anyone and everyone who wants to talk Everton because he is in love with the football club.” “We really are winning a lot of friends over here.”
Everton FC boss excited at prospect of Gerard Deulofeu
6 Aug 2013 Daily Post
Roberto Martinez warns fans not to put too much pressure on the Barcelona youngster though
EVERTON manager Roberto Martinez admits he is excited by the potential of loan signing Gerard Deulofeu but has warned fans not to expect too much from the youngster.
The highly-rated 19-year-old has arrived on a season-long deal from Barcelona B and, while the forward has earned rave reviews playing for the Catalans’ second-string team, Martinez does not want too much expectation placed on his shoulders. The Blues boss said: “We need to be patient as he’s a young man, but in the same manner I think we can enjoy his quality. “He’s decided to come to Everton and we need to look after him well. “Clearly he’s got the talent to help the team and we’re really excited about Gerard’s progress.” The Toffees are currently on a pre-season tour of the United States but Martinez is still trying to bring in more players to add to the four – goalkeeper Joel Robles, defender Antolin Alcaraz, striker Arouna Kone and Deulofeu – signings he has made so far.
Ajax defender Toby Alderweireld, who had been of interest to neighbours Liverpool and Premier League rivals Norwich, appears to be on the Spaniard’s short-list. “It’s true that Everton have made an approach for Alderweireld,” agent Soren Lerby was quoted as saying yesterday.
“But there are other concrete options. Toby will now have to decide which team he sees as the biggest challenge.” The Belgium international’s contract with Ajax expires next summer and he would be available for around £5m. The player’s father Vic said of Everton’s interest “
“Officially, there has not been any contact yet, but any English team of a certain stature would certainly be interesting for Toby.”
Everton rue wasted chances as they slip to defeat against Valencia in Miami heat
By Steve Brenner
07 Aug 2013
It wasn’t that the Merseyside club played poorly against the La Liga side who won this 5th placed play-off in the Guinness International Champions Cup. They created, and wasted, a host of first half openings before the Spaniards, for whom Liverpool target Aly Cissokho was outstanding, eventually began to dominate. It may have been a slightly disappointing way for Everton to end their US tour but Martinez will be boosted by decent performances in a narrow defeat to Real Madrid before beating Juventus on penalties. Now he must ensure leading light Marouane Fellaini – who was virtually anonymous here – remains at the club despite increasing interest from Manchester United. Fellaini was part of a strong starting XI for Martinez, featuring in a central midfield role alongside Darron Gibson. The slogan for this inaugural tournament has been: ‘No friendlies, just football’. And that certainly rang true after just five minutes when Valencia’s Antonio Barragan scythed down Bryan Oviedo before being promptly booked. Friendly indeed. Everton’s new Spanish manager would have been pleased with the way his new side approached the prospect of taking on a typically fluid-looking Valencia side. And if Ross Barkley had shown more awareness, and composure, on 15 minutes the Premier League club could have taken the lead. The Goodison Park youth product found himself in acres of space and burst towards goal but he fatally chose the wrong option allowing Valencia to scramble back and clear the danger. The Spaniards had their moments too, Roberto Ibanez going close after a clever run set him free only for Joel Robles to come off his line strongly. Cissokho then let fly from close range only for the ball to fly just the wrong side of the post. Valencia were increasingly coming into the match. But on 32 minutes, Everton produced the most incisive attack. Oviedo fed an on-running Steven Naismith but the Scottish midfielder couldn’t apply the finish as Diego Alves expertly kept him at bay. There was certainly plenty for Martinez to be pleased about as he patrolled the touchline of a half-full Sunlife Stadium – home to the Miami Dolphins. Yet the less said about Victor Anichebe’s final touch as he outpaced the Valencia defence on the stroke of half time before losing control of the ball, the better. The striker though did go much closer moments later, slipping the ball past the post from 12 yards with Alves seemingly beaten. With the Florida humidity typically stifling, it was certain changes would be made after the re-start with both managers looking for fresher legs. Nikica Jelavic and Seamus Coleman were introduced in place of John Stones and Anichebe at the resumption. On 52 minutes though, Valencia stole ahead. It was a well worked goal, the ball being cut back on the right hand side of the box by Cissokho, finding its way to Herrero whose shot was hard and low leaving Robles totally flat-footed. Leighton Baines and striker Kevin Mirallas were instantly thrown into the action with Martinez wary of the effect the sapping heat was having on his players. They were struggling to find a way back into the match, wasting good openings yet again while Juan Bernat almost doubled Valencia’s lead when his close range effort flashed past the post. Everton badly needed some inspiration from Fellaini yet the Belgian, who continues to be courted by his former manager David Moyes at Manchester United, was sadly lacking here. He saw little of the ball and even when the best opportunity arose with 14 minutes remaining, he fluffed his lines like many had before him. It was one of those nights for the English side. Martinez will be hoping it doesn't become a trend.
Everton suffer defeat to Valencia in International Champions Cup
• Roberto Martínez upbeat despite sixth place out of eight
• 'It has been great for me to get a lot of information'
theguardian.com, Wednesday 7 August 2013
Everton's third and final game of their United States tour ended in a 1-0 defeat against Valencia. Michel Herrero's second-half goal proved decisive at Miami's Sun Life Stadium, condemning the Toffees to a sixth-place finish at the eight-team International Champions Cup.Despite the defeat, the Everton manager, Roberto Martínez, felt the trip had proved valuable. "The weather was extreme. The humidity in Miami made it a difficult exercise," said the Spaniard, who handed a first start to teenager Gerard Deulofeu following his loan switch from Barcelona."The first goal was going to be essential today. It allowed the other team to get the ball and keep it a bit easier and we got a bit frustrated towards the end."He continued on www.evertonfc.com: "We played Real Madrid and Juventus and Valencia and it has been an important workout and it has been great for me to get a lot of information on partnerships and individuals in view of the start of the season. From that point of view it has been a real success."
Martinez: We've had no offers for Marouane Fellaini
7 Aug 2013
Roberto Martinez insists Everton FC have received no offers for Marouane Fellaini – despite fresh speculation that Manchester United are lining-up a swoop for the Belgian.The 25-year-old midfielder played 90 minutes for the Blues in Miami last night, as they ended their USA tour with a 1-0 defeat by Valencia at the Sun Life stadium . But when asked afterwards about rumours David Moyes wants to be reunited with Fellaini, the player he signed from Standard Liege for £15m in 2008, Martinez was quick to dismiss stories concerning departures for any of his top players.He said: “There are no bids. When you read that someone is interested in someone, it doesn't mean there is a bid on the table.“Marouane has been working really hard. Leighton Baines has been working really hard for the team and that's all that matters.“Headlines in the media happen at this time of the season unfortunately but it won't distract me from the work we have to do. I'm not bothered at all.“It is speculation in the media and you'll never stop that. I've said from day one as a manager you only concentrate on working hard. I don't mind having my players grabbing headlines. That's a good story because it means they've been doing well and performing well.“I'm only concentrating on having as strong a squad as possible for the start of the season. That's all my concern is.”The Toffees boss, who also refused to be drawn on reports from Holland that he is targeting a move for Ajax defender Toby Alderweireld, said the club's USA tour has been a pleasing experience – despite ending with a loss in the Miami heat.“The weather was extreme, the humidity in Miami made it a difficult exercise,” he added. “The first goal was going to be essential today, it allowed the other team to get the ball and keep it a bit easier and we got a bit frustrated towards the end. “We played Real Madrid and Juventus and Valencia and it has been an important workout and it has been great for me to get a lot of information on partnerships and individuals in view of the start of the season. From that point of view it has been real success.”Martinez added, however, that he has been frustrated by agents trying to use Everton's name to get moves for their players this summer.“Every week we are linked with a new name or two,” he said. “I take it with a big smile. I'd never be as disrespectful as other people who use the name of our club. There are agents who want to link players with the UK and use the name of Everton.“I would never use the name of a player at another club and I expect others to show the same respect. Unfortunately every week we have a different link. Believe me we can't sign 300 players.”
Nikica Jelavic eager to keep goalscoring form going
By Ian Doyle
Aug 7 2013
NIKICA JELAVIC is determined to take his goalscoring from into the new season for Everton.Jelavic followed a brace at Blackburn Rovers 10 days ago with a well-taken strike against Real Madrid over the weekend, although he limped .Such end-product is in stark contrast to his travails during the previous campaign, with the Croatian netting only twice in his last 27 Premier League outings.The 27-year-old had begun his Goodison career with 11 goals in 13 starts since arriving from Rangers back in January 2012.And having been given an extended summer break due to international commitments, Jelavic believes he has rediscovered his sharpness.“Obviously it's always good to score – for the confidence, especially for a striker,” he said.“I'm glad I have finally started to score (again) and I hope to score many goals this season.“It's still a few weeks until the first game (of the season), so I still need to get some fitness, but that's getting better and better with every day.“To be honest, I feel sharp. The whole team does. We train hard and that's the only way to be sharp.”Jelavic’s disappointing campaign had prompted speculation he could move away from Goodison, particularly when new manager Roberto Martinez swooped to sign his Arouna Kone from former club Wigan Athletic.Hamburg declared an interest in the striker, only for Martinez to underline Jelavic will have an important role to play this season while declaring the forward has rediscovered his enjoyment of the game.And the Croatia international admits to excitement ahead of the Premier League campaign beginning at Norwich City on August 17. “We are working hard in preparing for the new season,” said Jelavic. “We have a good squad like last year, so I hope we can do even better.“I'm excited, like everyone, about the new manager. It's good. There are some new things in training and I'm excited. I can't wait to start.”Having beaten Juventus on penalties and then lost to Real Madrid, Everton completed their International Champions Cup involvement against Valencia in Miami in the early hours of the morning.The Goodison outfit have enjoyed healthy backing Stateside while garnering significant interest from supporters back home.And Martinez said: “I've been impressed with the following we have over here, but obviously back home I know about the passion and our fans are extra significant. “They make us what we are as a football club and I hope that they can be very proud in the manner that the team has been working hard in pre-season in getting ready for an exciting start to the campaign.”
Coleman: I want a trophy for Everton
7 Aug 2013
Exclusive from Greg O'Keeffe in Miami
Seamus Coleman says his personal priority for Everton FC's first season under Roberto Martinez is to end the club's trophy drought.The Republic of Ireland international insists a strong Premier League campaign will always be important at Goodison, but is hoping some of his new manager's silverware-winning nous transfers to Merseyside.And Coleman, 24, believes the Capital One Cup could be the best route for the Toffees to enjoy some long over-due success.He said: “I want to win something. We've got a manager who has just come from winning the FA Cup, and ask any player and they want to get their hands on a trophy.“I'll always be boring and say I want to finish as high up the league as we can, and we do, but a cup would be great.“The League Cup can be a big lift to your season. Look at Swansea last season. If we're playing well week in week out it can give you confidence to do it in the cups.“We've got a good squad. Hopefully we can keep hold of everyone and maybe add a few more if the manager wants, we'll see. “It's key to keep your best players. We want to do that and we'll be delighted if we can.” The former Sligo Rovers defender has been in impressive form during Everton's USA tour, and shone again in the second half of their final game – despite the Blues ultimately losing 1-0 to La Liga outfit Valencia . Now Coleman hopes he can continue impressing the new manager – but as much for his defensive solidity at right back as for his attacking prowess. “The first job as a defender is to try and get the better of your winger and make sure he doesn't get any crosses in,” he said. “Then you can try and take him the other way, which is something I enjoy doing but I'm comfortable defending. “I feel comfortable playing wing-back but I enjoy playing full-back as well. We can mix it up but I thought John Stones was brilliant again tonight and there's Tony Hibbert, so I need to keep performing every week. I can't rely on having a good season last season. “The more games you play, the more confident you get and I got some good time last season and I'm trying to take that into the season this time around. Obviously this is about getting fit in pre-season, but you need to impress the new manager as well which is what I've been trying to do so I can be in the team against Norwich. “The tour has been really positive. We've played a great quality of opponents and had a hard work-out which is what pre season is all about.”
Shining lights despite frustrating defeat for Blues in Miami
7 Aug 2013
From Greg o'Keeffe in Miami
The exotic half-time show during Everton FC's final game in the USA saw the entire Miami Dolphins stadium momentarily plunged into darkness.Still warming-up on the pitch, some of the Blues squad must have been bewildered. But the good news is that there are undoubtedly brighter times ahead – for the players still learning a new way of playing and the fans who watched the Toffees at times struggle in the fierce, energy-sapping humidity of a Miami evening.Everton might have succumbed to an anti-climactic defeat at the hands of master-frustraters Valencia – most definitely not the team to be trying to chase down for the ball on a searing hot night – but there remained reasons to be positive.If Roberto Martinez's men can adapt quickly to their manager's methods, Goodison could be treated to the footballing equivalent of the extravagant musical laser show which ultimately entertained the crowd at the interval after that dramatic lights-out.The Catalan picked a starting team for this last International Champions Cup tie which included the exciting duo of Ross Barkley and Gerard Deulofeu, and should really have raced to a first-half lead against an impressive Valencia outfit – all with senior men such as Leighton Baines, Nikica Jelavic, Kevin Mirallas and Leon Osman on the bench.There are fine margins against top sides though, even in friendlies, and when Barkley mistakenly decided against sliding the ball to the well-placed Deulofeu as Everton hit the Spaniards on the counter-attack in the early stages, a huge chance went begging.Both teams could have edged ahead throughout a first half which largely saw the Blues stifled by the heat and the possession game of the La Liga men.Valencia are certainly adept at hogging the ball and the Blues duly had to do plenty of running without it during the opening phases.Still, they have created chances consistently against top class opposition during this tour, and they had a prime opportunity to unsettle the Spaniards when Antonio Barragan scythed down Bryan Oviedo, who started in place of the rested Baines. Darron Gibson's free kick was easily cleared by the Valencia defence however,.Then Miroslav Dukic's side started to press. First Jonathan Viera rode a series of challenges on the edge of the area but saw his cut-back wasted when not enough team-mates burst forward in support. Then Oriol Romeu slipped past his marker and tried his luck from range.In reply the Blues took their time to get going again. A resurgent Steven Naismith was in fine fettle though, continuing his impressive form from the Real Madrid clash. Defensively astute and clever going forward, he helped his side regain a modicum of control and Oviedo registered Everton's first chance from open play with a shot which flashed wide.Barkley twice might have helped break the deadlock. After his first wasted opportunity, he actively tried to unleash Deulofeu who had moved forward in support again, but the pass was errant and the move fizzled out.Valencia went closest then, when Roberto Ibanez burst into the area and had to be smartly closed down by Joel Robles – then the 20-year-old went even closer with a fierce volley from 20 yards.Before the break Naismith again did well to force a close range save from Vicente Guiata, then Victor Anichebe also found himself in dangerous areas twice but was let down by a poor first touch, before skewing his second attempt wide.Cue the half-time light show, which had a considerably higher tempo than the preceding 45 minutes.Anichebe had struggled in the heat, so it was no surprise to see him replaced by Jelavic, while Coleman was introduced for John Stones. The changes were in part to ensure equal minutes for all, and also to energise the Blues. Unfotunately they had little time to take effect before Valencia went ahead.Marauding left-back Aly Cissokho, a threat all night, went raiding and squeezed a neat pass to Michel Herrero who was afforded too much time to steady himself and lash home his strike from just outside the box.Plenty had been expected of Deulofeu on his first starting appearance, but he only lasted 10 minutes following the interval. At 19, his tender age needs to be emphasised, but with all the promise that surrounded his loan capture, Martinez will hope to see more from him when he has had time to settle in. For now, patience is required.Another Spanish summer recruit, Robles, had an encouraging evening – saving superbly from Ibanez on 70 minutes as the Valencia forward shot from the penalty spot.In the closing seconds it was Robles' shot-stopping prowess which prevented the lively Ibanez from adding a last minute second. At the end, most of the Everton players left the pitch with their smart new amber away kit clinging to their skin, such were the extreme conditions.There will undoubtedly be more sweat and toil required as they enter a new era. At least this tour, when Juventus were defeated and Real Madrid run close, has suggested it will all be worth it.Star man: PHIL JAGIELKA is the rock Roberto Martinez wants to build his side around. Played every game of the tour and was typically solid in the curtain-closer.
In pictures: History of Everton captains
7 Aug 2013 12:42
by Chris Gerrard
It’s a new season and a new captain for Everton, with Phil Jagielka taking the armband from Phil Neville.Jagielka spoke of his pride as he took up the captaincy, honoured to accept the responsibility of leading the Blues into battle.He’ll be the 47th captain to take the mantle. Here we take a look at some of the Toffees' most legendary skippers....
Gallery: EFC captains down the years
The first of Everton’s Millennium Giants, Jack Sharp captained the Blues from1908 to 1910. Described as a “Pocket Hercules”, the short but stocky winger assaulted the pitch in his 342 games and scored 80 swift and fierce goals in his decade run as captain.But not as many as the greatest goalscorer on the English pitch - Dixie Dean . Captain from 1931 to 1937, he accumulated a total of an immense 383 goals in his incredible career, 60 of which were in a single First Division season.Labelled as “The Last of the Corinthians” by manager Harry Catterick, Brian Labone was regarded by many as one of the best defenders of his era. Captain from 1965 to 1970, Labone’s confidence for the club and his famous boast has echoed through the years: “One Evertonian is worth twenty Liverpudlian’s.” While Labone may have been a fantastic enthusiast, Kevin Ratcliffe was the most successful skipper in his Captaincy between 1984 to 1991. Ratcliffe practically led the Blues into a golden age in the 1980s. While only scoring two goals, the centre back lead Everton to winning the FA Cup in 1984, as well as to the European Winner’s Cup and two more FA Cup Finals.Succeeding Ratcliffe was defender Dave Watson who lifted the FA Cup in 1995 and was declared as the Millennium Giant of the 1990s, his time wearing the armband ending in 2001 .