Stoke City: Fans have their say on Stoke City's defeat at Everton
By The Sentinel December 02, 2013
THERE'S no denying that Everton are a very good side, especially at Goodison Park.
To lose to them is no disgrace, but to lose to them in the manner we did was bitterly disappointing.
Admittedly, their first two goals came at disastrous times for us; conceding directly before and after half time really knocked the stuffing out of us. We seem to be lacking in fitness, and the determination we've become renowned for over the last five years was absent from this game.
We missed Robert Huth more than anyone could ever have imagined, and Marko Arnautovic too. His replacement, Oussama Assaidi, was hardly in the game. It might have been so very different if Jonathan Walters had put his foot through our only real decent chance in the first half, rather than tamely side-footing it into Tim Howard's arms.
JAMES KING Trentham
AFTER last week's win over Sunderland I was encouraged by the performance, and hoped we had turned the corner. As a result, I believed we could give Everton a game and come away with at least a point. How wrong I was. Everton outplayed us in almost every position, and the score could have easily been a lot more if Asmir Begovic had not been on form.
This was a poor performance, and I just can't see where we are making progress.
There seems to be no passion, heart or commitment in the team, and fitness also seems to lacking.
I knew we would miss Robert Huth, and without him the defence looked a shambles.
Even Ryan Shawcross is a different player without him. The two of them have a great understanding.
I know Mark Hughes needs time to sort out our new passing game, and we have to be patient. But with half the season gone, I am worried.
SUE BRYAN Meir Park
I DIDN'T expect us to get anything away to a good Everton side, but I didn't expect us to lose 4-0 either. It shows we desperately need an injection of players in January. In fact, if we get to the transfer window out of the bottom three it will be a bonus. Wednesday's home game against Cardiff is massive now. Looking at the fixtures, the teams around us have tougher games, so it is essential we take advantage by getting three points.
TOM CRINSON Basford
Simon Lowe: Defeat proves that Mark Hughes' squad lacks quality options
By The Sentinel December 02, 2013
AS relieving as last week's victory over Sunderland was, Saturday's humbling at Everton, one of the best teams in the country, brought back into sharp focus the key weaknesses of the Stoke squad.
With totemic defender Robert Huth out for at least another month, Mark Hughes took the option to blood Spanish under-21 international Marc Muniesa.
While Muniesa is clearly a decent footballer, he isn't either a centre-half suited to the Premier League or a foil for Ryan Shawcross. More worrying is that Hughes should feel the need to throw Muniesa into the fray as his first option to replace the injured Huth when playing an Everton side in great form. Whether this was his actual choice or as a result of other injuries or players being out of form, it exposes just how weak our squad is in this area.
Previously, we've had the likes of Matthew Upson to come in to make a decent fist of plugging a Huth-sized gap. But not any more. Muniesa has the makings of a left-back or possibly a holding midfielder. But his former Barcelona team-mate, Gerard Deulofeu, is a player who is going to hit the big time, and soon. He bamboozled Stoke at regular intervals at Goodison Park, throwing in more stepovers than Ronaldo and driving at City's defence with pace. Both of these facets of his game gave pause for thought about how little we see them from anyone wearing red and white stripes.
Mind you, Stoke often seemed to bamboozle themselves easily enough. Skipper Shawcross found himself trying to dribble out from the back on several occasions and getting quickly isolated.
Firstly, this meant Everton knew he should be the one to let come out with the ball and then cut off all his passing options, leaving Shawcross to either hoof it or have his pocket picked, which happened all too often – particularly for the crucial second goal. Secondly, the home side found it all too easy to cut off those passing options into the midfield, meaning there was little movement, and what there was too predictable and slow. For a team who are looking to become more reliant on passing and ball retention to win games, these are hardly good indicators. But it was Everton away. That makes Cardiff at home on Wednesday evening all the more crucial. It should be a very winnable game, but Stoke are blowing so warm and cold at the moment that the tension will be ratcheted up far higher than it should be for a mid-season, midweek home game.
It's too early in the season for a real must-win game, but with Chelsea looming at the weekend, followed by Newcastle and Spurs away in the next four fixtures before the turn of the year, it is vital Stoke pick up points and maintain the gap between us and the bottom three before the January window opens and allows Hughes to improve his options. And doing so is crucial, because on Saturday he seemed to have run out of them with his current squad.
Deulofeu can keep getting better - Barry
2 Dec 2013 Liverpool Echo
By Greg O’Keefe
Catalan midfielder will go from strength to strength says fellow on-loan star
Gareth Barry believes Gerard Deulofeu ’s outstanding performance in the win against Stoke City is only a glimpse of what is to come from the gifted on-loan midfielder. The teenager scored the opener just before the break and created another two during the 4-0 rout against the Potters, which ended Everton’s run of three games without a victory. And fellow loan-star Barry reckons the Barcelona import will get even better as he grows in confidence during his time on Merseyside.
He said: “You can see why he’s thought of so highly. Anyone who has come through the Barcelona academy is going to have real quality and now the fans are starting to see it. I’m sure there’s more to come. “We’ve seen it all season in training. He’s had to be patient and wait for his chance because there’s a lot of other players doing really well too but he’s so difficult to mark one on one, he loves getting at players and he’s got a lot of pace and confidence. “He really made it difficult for the full-back. You can give him a yard but he’s got the pace to make that up and the more he gets his chances to play, the more he’ll improve even more. “He’s still young and this is a big change coming here. There’s still a lot for him to learn against different opposition in different types of games but he’s coming along fast. “Any player coming in from abroad needs help settling in. We have a few Spanish speakers here and there’s a great team spirit.” Deulofeu was given his Premier League debut ahead of the rested Kevin Mirallas, as Roberto Martinez shuffled his options with one eye on trips to Manchester United and Arsenal in the next seven days. And Barry was pleased with the show of strength in depth that moved the Blues into fourth spot for 24 hours, before they moved down a place to fifth yesterday after wins for Manchester City and Chelsea. “We’ve got a lot of options,” he said. “If things hadn’t gone to plan we could have changed it. It’s always nice to go into fourth position even if only for a while. It will breed confidence going into two really difficult games. I’m sure the manager was looking at the games ahead with his team selection against Stoke.
“Everyone is going to be needed in this period. “There are a lot of games coming and everyone has to take their chance when it comes, like Gerard took his.” * Relive the Blues' rout of Stoke as it happened in our matchday live blog Barry also takes encouragement from the bold tactical approach of Martinez. He added: “It’s good that the manager can look to change personnel and formation too. We went to five in midfield to finish the game and looked comfortable there too.
“A lot of people may have raised eyebrows in the derby when the manager brought Gerard on for Bainsey but it was a bold move that was really positive. “It gave the players that feeling that we’re not settling for a point, we’re going to try and win the game and that’s how it nearly panned out.”
We tried to sign Gerard – Hughes STOKE manager Mark Hughes paid tribute to Gerard Deulofeu’s match-winning display – by claiming he tried to sign him in the summer.
The on-loan Barcelona man tormented Hughes’s defenders on Saturday, scoring one and laying on another in Everton’s 4-0 win. “We were aware of him, we knew he was a talent and he is obviously a talent,” said Hughes. “We made an enquiry ourselves but unfortunately he came here and not to Stoke. “He is a very talented boy and I am sure it will only be a loan deal, I am sure Barcelona will keep hold of that asset.” Hughes was less complimentary about his own side, however.
“We were poor on the day but credit to Everton, I thought they were very good and made it difficult for us,” he added. “The disappointing thing for us was up to 45 seconds prior to the half-time whistle we were very much in the game at 0-0. “To concede right on the whistle, which is a key time in any game, is disappointing and lo and behold in the second half we came out and conceded early.
“That really shaped the game in a negative way. We tried to get back into the game but that just compounded our problems as we were a little bit over-exposed because we were trying to get back into the game. “Four-nil was a little bit harsh on us. If we’d got to half-time at 0-0 I don’t think the result would have been different, but it might not have been as harsh.”
Martinez pleasantly surprised by players’ responses
2 Dec 2013 Liverpool Echo
By Gerg O’Keefe
"This group of players in ready to go that extra mile for each other"
Everton manager Roberto Martinez has revealed the highlight of his Goodison tenure to date has been the willingness of his players to take on his new ideas.
The Blues head to Old Trafford on Wednesday to take on former boss David Moyes who was in charge of the Toffees for over 11 years but Martinez is pleased with how his new squad have taken to his own methods. He said: “It’s been a real surprise from my point of view how open the players have been to listen to different things and trying to do those things on the pitch; that’s been the best aspect. “The group of players are so professional. They’re ready to go that extra mile for each other. I always felt there is something special in this group. As a player you only feel you can achieve something when you win games, you play well and you are confident and I think we are developing that now. "The performances against Liverpool and Spurs in the second half give you huge belief towards that. We need to develop that confidence once more over the Christmas period with good performances to be able to finish the season very strongly. I always felt this squad has great potential and that’s something to be very excited about towards the future.” Everton haven’t tasted victory at Old Trafford since the very first Premier League season in 1992-93, and failed to win at Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool or Chelsea during Moyes’s entire reign but Martinez insists they’ll stick to their usual style of play against the champions and there’ll be no curbing of their attacking instincts. He said: “I’ve always felt that if you want to achieve something over the course of a season you need to be yourself – whichever ground you visit, whichever team you face. That’s going to be the case. We’re going to pay huge respect to Manchester United because they are the champions and you have to do that but in the same manner you have to pay respect to any opposition in the league because anyone can hurt you and anyone can make it a very difficult game. We’re going to go to Old Trafford to be ourselves but also to pay respect to the champions.
“We need to learn a bit from the performance at Manchester City. At the Etihad we had a fantastic 17 minutes then we weren’t ourselves at all. There’ll be no defensive display on Wednesday.”
Lukaku won't let Mourinho war of words bother him
2 Dec 2013 08:02
On-loan striker subjects of barbed comments from Portugese coach
By Greg O’Keefe
Romelu Lukaku proved he won’t be distracted by his war of words with Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho by scoring his eighth goal of the season against Stoke, says Gareth Barry. The Belgian (above) joined Everton in a season-long loan on transfer deadline day which has seen Mourinho criticised each time he hits the back of the net. Mourinho is still angry over what he perceives as unfair questioning as to why Chelsea released him for the second consecutive campaign, which reportedly stems from a conversation after the UEFA Super Cup final against Bayern Munich that saw the 20-year-old miss his spot-kick in a penalty shoot-out. Mourinho said: “Romelu is a young boy who likes to speak – but the only thing he doesn’t say is why he went to Everton on loan. “My last contact with him was to ask him that. Why do you never say why you are not here? “It’s something he should talk about because he likes to speak – the reason why he’s not with Chelsea but is with Everton. One day he scored and he said he hoped Jose was watching – as if saying, ‘Why did he let me go?’ So that’s what I’m telling him, ‘Tell the country why you left’. “I am happy that he is scoring goals against our rivals. It’s good for his evolution and it’s good for Chelsea because he belongs to us for a long time.
“But you either keep quiet or say everything. Don’t say only half of it.” But Blues teammate and fellow loan signing Barry insists Lukaku has the maturity to remain unaffected by the controversy – which he now considers is over. He said: “He didn’t let it distract him. The lads spoke to him about the headlines and gave him a bit of stick about it. "Rom is very strong-minded and confident in his own ability. “He showed in his performance it hasn’t affected him and that’s all forgotten now.
“He can keep concentrating and hopefully keep scoring goals.”
Everton 4 Stoke 0: Greg O'Keeffe enjoys the Blues' Spanish sparkle on a cold winter's day
2 Dec 2013 Liverpool Echo
By Grewg O’Keefe
Deulofeu warms up the Goodison faithful
Can he do it on a cold winter’s day against Stoke?
It’s the curmudgeonly query cynics like to pose against Lionel Messi – but it was another Barcelona starlet who answered resoundingly in the affirmative on Saturday. Described once by Roberto Martinez as the jewel in the crown of Spain’s young generation, Gerard Deulofeu certainly glittered like a rare gem at Goodison. On his Premier League debut the teenager on loan from Camp Nou was just too hot for Stoke to handle, and helped to deliver a crucial three points for the Blues with a goal and a part in two more. Comparisons to Messi are premature – but just like the Argentine great, if they kicked him, Deulofeu got up and simply tormented the Potters’ bewildered defenders even more. Everton bossed this contest from the start, but a first half of dominance seemed close to ending in stalemate at the break. That would have given Stoke’s game-plan a boost and heaped pressure on the Toffees, who were without Ross Barkley, Leighton Baines and Kevin Mirallas as Martinez rotated his squad ahead of a testing week. Asmir Begovic had been by far the busier of the two keepers; first being alert to push a Deulofeu cross that dipped dangerously close to goal over the bar, then denying a Leon Osman shot which deflected wickedly off Erik Pieters with a superb one-handed save. With Steven Pienaar drifting into the middle as Bryan Oviedo competently performed wing-back duties in place of the injured Baines, they found plenty of space to hurt Stoke but failed to capitalise. Then with seconds to go before the interval, Deulofeu broke the deadlock. He started the move on the edge of the area and swapped deft passes with Pienaar amid a tangle of legs to smash the opener right on cue into the roof of the net.
It was impeccable timing.
Martinez’s eyes light-up when he discusses Deulofeu. “He is quite a unique talent,” was his latest glowing endorsement on Saturday evening. “The moment he made his Barcelona debut against Real Madrid in the Bernabeu aged 16 is when he caught my attention.” Even with a surname as tongue-tying as his, the Catalan midfielder will be a household name across European football if he carries on like this. His reward for his impact against Stoke will be two-fold; further self-belief that he can thrive in the English game, and further trust from his manager that he can also. The 19-year-old may have played himself into contention for a role against either Manchester United or Arsenal.
It was one of those days when everyone handed their chance grasped it with both hands.
Witness Oviedo – the Costa Rican who has the unenviable job of trying to get a look in ahead of one of the best left-backs in the world every week. Yet with Baines sidelined, Oviedo also shone. He assisted a goal for Romelu Lukaku and scored a sumptuous effort of his own to suggest he has been paying careful attention of Baines during all those potentially dispiriting afternoons warming the bench. Even if it was only for 24 hours, the Blues moved into the Champions League places courtesy of their rout, a display made all the more impressive given the reshuffled personnel.
Martinez regularly insists Everton have genuine strength in depth, and this proved him correct – even if Mark Hughes’s side were missing their own influential performers in Marko Arnautovic and Robert Huth. Tellingly Lukaku weighed in with another goal, his eighth of the season, to show he was not going to be affected by Jose Mourinho’s petty attempts to undermine him beforehand .
The Belgian is important to Everton, but thankfully there are goals throughout the side – evidenced by two full-backs contributing strikes, each on their weaker feet, for the first time in Goodison history. Deulofeu provided the first for Seamus Coleman, zipping into space down the left before crossing for the right-back to finish at the back post with his left foot. It meant Stoke really had to open up and chase the game now, and it played right into Everton’s hands. Next it was Oviedo who got easily away from the nonchalant attention of Charlie Adam to fire a low strike beyond Begovic.
The visitors continued to grasp for a way back in as Crouch stabbed a left-footed effort wide but it was in vain. But rather than settling for the points, Martinez wisely withdraw James McCarthy, who remains a booking away from a ban, and introduced John Stones to go with three at the back and push for a fourth. Lukaku duly put the gloss on a positive day’s work, and even when Potters’ substitute Brek Shea completely missed a sidefoot from six yards which may have given his side some brief consolation, it mattered not. Everton had laid down a marker. Despite three frustrating consecutive draws, a compelling victory in this manner had been coming. With a clean-sheet added to the package, it was fitting reward for their manager’s ambition and commitment to attacking football. With confidence coursing through the corridors of Finch Farm, even better reward would be for the scalp of either United or Arsenal. Deulofeu has hinted that he can do it when it matters – now it’s everyone else’s turn to rise to the occasion.
Everton 4 Stoke 0: Gareth Barry hails Barcelona youngster Gerard Deulofeu after loan-spell took off with man-of-the-match performance
Monday 02 December 2013
Everton midfielder Gareth Barry accepts teenager Gerard Deulofeu still has plenty to learn about the English game but predicts his progress will improve with more games behind him.
The on-loan Barcelona forward was the star of the show with the opening goal in their 4-0 win over Stoke in his first league start for the Toffees. Barry has seen the 19-year-old's destruction of defences close-up in training but now the Spaniard has properly made his first-team breakthrough there are likely to be many more opponents facing the prospect of dealing with the pacy winger.
"We have seen it all season in training but he's had to be patient and wait for his chance because a lot of other players have been doing well too," said Barry. "He is so difficult to mark one on one, he loves getting at players and has a lot of pace and he made it difficult for his full-back (Erik Pieters).
"You can give yourself a yard but he has the pace to make it up. He will be difficult to play against and the more he gets his chances I am sure he will improve again. "Anyone who has come through their (Barcelona's) ranks is going to have some real quality about them: the fans are starting to see that now and I am sure there is more to come. "There is still a lot that Gerard will have to learn coming up against different opposition but it's been a fantastic start for him." Deulofeu's selection and Leon Osman's return to the side meant Kevin Mirallas and Ross Barkley were dropped for the game. Everton now look as they have plenty of options not only player-wise but in terms of their flexibility as late in the game Martinez switched to a back three - which was his preferred formation at Wigan prior to his summer move to Goodison. "The bench was really strong and if things hadn't gone to plan we had a lot of options and that's a positive," added Barry. "I am sure the team selection against Stoke was looking at the games ahead (Everton face Manchester United and Arsenal in the next week) so everyone will be needed in this busy period with a lot of games this month. "Everyone will have to be ready to take their chance when it comes.
"I think it is good that the manager can look to not only change personnel but formation too.
"It is good that you have another option; we went to five (in midfield) to finish the game and we looked comfortable." Barry also believes Martinez's positive approach to games - highlighted last weekend when Leighton Baines' injury saw the midfielder switched to left-back and Deulofeu brought on - has rubbed off on the players. "A lot of poeple may have raised eyebrows in the derby when that decision was made because it was a bold move and really positive," he said.
"But it gave the players that feeling that we are not here to settle for what's happening."
Superb show from Gerard highlights new era for Blues
2 Dec 2013 Daily Post
Vibrant showing sweeps Potters aside
A sparkling full Premier League debut from Gerard Deulofeu exemplified Everton’s new expansiveness – and the growing Catalan influence at the Blues.
After 15 years of management under two Glaswegians, Saturday marked the first St Andrew’s Day of the new Millennium at Goodison Park without a Scotsman in charge in the home dugout.
To varying degrees of success under their Caledonian chiefs – it was 13th at best and often five centre-halves under Walter Smith while David Moyes delivered nine top-half finishes in 11 full campaigns based mostly on a rigid 4-4-1-1 formation – Everton in the 21st Century were, like their managers, determined and dogged but sometimes a bit dour. Given the openness of Roberto Martinez’s Wigan sides, many feared there may have been a few bitter pills to swallow during the transitional period as the Blues players adapted to his more measured, possession-based approach.
Such changes in philosophy should not be underestimated. On this showing, Stoke’s fans must be left wondering whether they’re really better off trying to adapt to Mark Hughes’ more attractive brand of football than when they were bullying everyone into submission and never really in any relegation danger under fellow Welshman Tony Pulis. Despite what Steven Gerrard might have said in the past on the back of some post-derby frustrations – the England skipper later admitted he’d been over-the-top – Everton have never genuinely been the kind of long-ball outfit comparable to Stoke under their previous regime. However, this side remain a tough nut to crack – they have lost only one Premier League fixture this season – and yet have managed to add a considerable amount of extra flair and openness to their play. Whereas Moyes was reticent to trust Ross Barkley with a regular spot in his starting line-up, the midfielder has become a full England international this season on the back of his starring role under Martinez. Romelu Lukaku, himself still only 20, has become the mainstay of Everton’s attack while, although signed by Moyes on transfer deadline day last season, you wonder just how many opportunities young defender John Stones would have been given so soon under the Scot if he’d remained at the helm at Goodison. The boldest move yet, though, came on Saturday when Martinez unleashed fellow Catalonian Deulofeu – like Barkley and Stones just 19-years-old – on Stoke City. Starting a Premier League game for the first time after eight substitute appearances, the on-loan Barcelona youngster, who also netted on his first start for Everton in the Capital One Cup second round win over League One Stevenage back in August, showed just why his manager was prepared to relegate Merseyside derby goalscorer Kevin Mirallas to the bench. A dazzling blend of step-overs, drops of the shoulder and lightning pace, Deulofeu tore the Potters’ rearguard apart from start to finish. The Blues were also without the injured Leighton Baines for the first time in 52 Premier League fixtures with the England international having to be withdrawn against Liverpool, so Costa Rican Bryan Oviedo stepped in at left-back while Leon Osman returned to the side in place of Barkley. Deulofeu showed his intentions as early as the third minute when he forced Asmir Begovic to turn a 25-yard free-kick around his right-hand post.
Indeed, the Bosnian international keeper was outstanding for the visitors throughout and if it hadn’t had been for his brilliance then Everton – who went on to net four goals in the Premier League for the first time since April 2012 – could comfortably have scored twice as many. The hosts’ breakthrough came just before the interval when having switched from the right-wing to the left flank, Deulofeu played a quick one-two with Steven Pienaar before firing into the roof of the net with his left foot following a pass from Gareth Barry. If Stoke had been hoping to use the half-time break to regroup then any hopes of a comeback were thwarted just four minutes after the restart when the Blues doubled their advantage in a somewhat fortunate fashion. A Deulofeu left-wing cross caused confusion in the Stoke area via a seemingly unintentional Barry back-heel and Coleman netted at the far post despite mis-hiting his left foot shot. Nine minutes later, Martinez’s men created a little bit of club history as Oviedo athletically outmanoeuvred Charlie Adam before smashing in a 20-yard right foot effort to ensure both Everton full-backs had scored in the same League match for the first time in over 125 years of trying. Oviedo then turned provider as his right-footed left-wing cross picked out Lukaku for his eighth goal of the season and with testing trips to Old Trafford and the Emirates awaiting in the next seven days, the big Belgian was immediately withdrawn from proceedings. There was still time for a genuine penalty shout when Glenn Whelan appeared to clip Deulofeu but the youngster remained on his feet and saw his shot saved while Begovic also denied substitute Nikica Jelavic in a one-on-one situation that you feel the Croatian would have gobbled up 18 months ago. The Blues now go into arguably their toughest back-to-back fixtures of the campaign, but as they look to show former boss Moyes how far they’ve come in such a short space of time, they couldn’t be in better form.
Deulofeu needs to keep playing with a smile – Martinez
2 Dec 2013 Liverpool Echo
By Chris Beesley
Young Catalan bagged first league goal against Stoke
Everton manager Roberto Martinez has hailed debut goalscorer Gerard Deulofeu ’s ‘raw talent’ and says the Catalan youngster needs to keep playing with a smile on his face.
There might have been plenty of furrowed brows among Stoke’s defenders as a man-of-the-match display from the 19-year-old on his first Premier League start inspired the Blues to their biggest win to date under their new boss, but after the on-loan Barcelona starlet had been champing at the bit to show his worth after eight substitute appearances, Martinez was delighted with what he saw.
He said: “He needs to keep working hard and getting used to the physicality of the league. That’s why I was pleased for him to play 90 minutes, I didn’t think he would have done that.
“It’s a process that he needs to get stronger but Gerard without enjoying his football doesn’t work. He needs to play with a smile. "To see young players coming on and making real statements is important. “Having Gerard ready is going to be vital for our packed fixture list. That’s what you want as a manager – competition for places and now we have that. He opens spaces up by taking people on. He’s not being selfish, he’s just engaging with players in one-versus-one situations that dislodges good defensive set-ups. “It’s important that the longer he’ll play, he’ll develop better relationships with other players and sometimes he’ll see a run that he doesn’t expect. “His first goal was sensational. He grabs the ball and has no right to score from the position that he is in. To have that raw talent is not selfish it’s just talent and you need to have players like that in the squad.”
Everton have only lost one Premier League game to date this season but they now face back-to-back away fixtures at Manchester United and Arsenal and Martinez is glad he has some genuine competition for places going into such matches. He said: “We’ve got a really tough period now. We’re playing on Wednesday and Sunday then in three weeks’ time we’ve got four games in 10 days – everyone needs to be ready. “It’s not about when you start, it’s about when you’re on the pitch and whenever Gerard is on the pitch he’ll be ready to help us. “We had Ross Barkley on the bench, sometimes you have to protect the youngsters, while Kevin Mirallas was there too after a real strong performance – if you have not got good strength in the squad you cannot do that. “When you look at our spine – Tim Howard, Phil Jagielka, Sylvain Distin and Gareth Barry – that’s very solid plus the likes of Leon Osman and Leighton Baines when he’s back. “We’ve got a real good blend. The youth needs a bit of direction and the experience needs a bit of fresh legs and we’ve got that.”
Martinez was also pleased with the performance of fellow goalscorer Bryan Oviedo, who netted in only his second Premier League start in 15 months at the club, claiming the Costa Rican international has the most difficult role in the game having to deputise for Leighton Baines whose injury ensured he missed out for the first time in 52 top flight matches. He said: “To see Seamus Coleman score from open play and then Bryan, that was just capping a very good performance.
“I was really pleased for Bryan because it’s probably the toughest job in football to be fighting for your position with Leighton Baines with the experience and quality he has at left-back.
“I was pleased with his professionalism to show that he’s been working hard to be ready and his performance showed that. “The attacking intent of the two full-backs, not just scoring goals, overall the performance was complete from both. “I think it was a case of a left-footed player who can strike the ball with the right but I think his concentration defensively was as impressive as the goal that he scored.”
Remember Gravesen? The former Everton midfielder is now worth over £80m and lives in Las Vegas with a blonde bomb-shell
By John Drayton
December 2013 2 December 2013
We all know Premier League players live the dream, but when they retire from their playing career, more often than not they drift out of the picture. That's exactly what happened to former Everton midfielder Thomas Gravesen, though he has done a bit more than the odd coaching role after hanging up his boots in 2009. The Danish international invested his career earnings in a number of businesses and is reportedly now worth a staggering £82.6million... nearly enough to buy Gareth Bale! When he retired after spells at the Blues, Celtic and Real Madrid he was criticized by the Danish press as 'washed up', but he has proven them wrong with his new career venture, and the fact he has sealed his dream move to Las Vegas. The 37-year-old has shacked up with latest girlfriend, Czech-born American model Kamila Persse and according to the Danish newspaper BT now has gambling hobbies... alright if you've got the money! So, before you wonder what's happened to ex-players after they retire, remember - many of them still live out their dreams.
It's Everton v United, not me v Moyes, says Martinez
3 Dec 2013 Liverpool Echo
By Grewg O’Keefe
Manager eager to focus on players
Roberto Martinez is keen to avoid Everton’s trip to Old Trafford being billed as a personal battle between him and predecessor David Moyes. In the summer the Catalan replaced the Scot after he ended his 11-year association with the club to succeed Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.
The ensuing months have seen Moyes tarnish his relationship with Everton supporters after making derisory bids for midfielder Marouane Fellaini and fans’ favourite Leighton Baines – while Martinez has grown in popularity with the Goodison faithful. With his refreshing brand of attacking football, the 40-year-old has guided the Toffees into fifth place, just three points behind second-placed Chelsea, and invigorated the atmosphere around the club despite having to eventually sell Fellaini to the Red Devils in September. By contrast Moyes is perceived in some quarters to be struggling at United and his transfer strategy – bidding £28million for Fellaini and Baines just a short time after the expiry of the former’s £23.5million buy-out clause – has tainted the opinions of some Evertonians. Martinez, however, insists Wednesday’s game should remain focused on the players.
“I know that from the outside this is an attractive proposition to speak about the managers,” he said.
“But football is not about managers, it is about the players and the institutions and two football clubs with incredible tradition facing each other is going to be a great game. “We pay huge respect to the champions – you don’t win this league unless you have something special – and we will have to be at our best to compete but we have to be ourselves.” Asked how he thought Moyes was now perceived on Merseyside the Spaniard added: “I don’t think that is something that I spend much time (thinking) about. I think David Moyes did a fantastic job over the last 11 years and that is what I want to keep. “Everything else that has happened are normal situations which would occur in football “From our point of view I will always look at Everton in terms of getting stronger and progressing internally and on the pitch and I think we have done that in the last five months.
“It is not our style to look elsewhere (at other clubs and managers). “We want to assess ourselves what we do internally, not having to look elsewhere.” United continue to be linked with a renewed bid for Baines even though the England international is sidelined possibly until the new year with a broken toe. “He is progressing really well, better than we expected but we don’t know (how long he will be out),” added Martinez. “We know it could go up to six weeks but knowing Leighton it could be a lot closer. “It is one of those situations where we have to take it day by day.”
The comparisons between the two clubs do not stop at the managers or their transfer targets with Everton’s precocious teenager Ross Barkley already evoking memories of a fellow academy graduate Wayne Rooney. Martinez, however, said it was unfair to label the 19-year-old as the next Rooney.
“It would be a big mistake to compare players of that quality,” he added. “Ross deserves his own identity and his own uniqueness in the way he plays the game. “Once Ross is 35 or 36 he can look back at his career and you can make comparisons. “Wayne Rooney is one the best footballers of his generation and Ross has the same potential to do it in the future. But if you compare the two players you will make a mistake as they are very different and unique in their own right.”
Roberto Martinez: Moyes deserves warm reception from Everton fans
3 Dec 2013 Daily Post
United manager did 'fantastic job' at former club
ROBERTO MARTINEZ believes David Moyes deserves a warm reception at Old Trafford tomorrow evening – but admits only Everton supporters can pass judgement on their former manager.
Moyes comes up against his old club for the first time when Martinez’s side journey down the East Lancs Road to take on Manchester United. Everton currently stand two points clear of the champions having lost just one of their first 13 Premier League games under the Spaniard.
Moyes departed Goodison on good terms in May but has since seen relations strained by comments regarding the club and his prolonged pursuit of Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines.
And of the Scot’s reception from the away end tomorrow, Martinez said: “As an Evertonian, when you are a supporter of this magnificent football club you are allowed to make your own assessments and have your own views. “As a manager taking over from what David Moyes did at this football club I can only praise his role, what he has done and the state of the football club when he left.
“I also think it’s fair that every Evertonian should have their own view and opinion about how things did develop. “If you are asking me, then it’s only praise for what David Moyes did for Everton. To have such a long-servant, who always had the good decision for Everton at heart, should not be forgotten.” Asked how he thought Moyes was now perceived on Merseyside, the Spaniard added: “I think David Moyes did a fantastic job over the last 11 years and that is what I want to keep.
“Everything else that has happened are normal situations which would occur in football.”
Martinez, though, is keen to avoid the match being billed as a personal battle between him and predecessor, who spent more than 11 years in charge at Goodison. “Football is not about managers, it is about the players and the institutions,” he said.
Ian Snodin: This is a perfect chance for Blues to see off Devils
3 Dec 2013 Daily Post
Manchester United v Everton
MORE than 20 years is a long time to go without a victory at an away ground, and Evertonians have long grown weary of Old Trafford due to that grinding run of disappointments.
So while there can’t be many clubs with as poor a record at the home of the Red Devils as us, I think most Blues sense that we have a better chance of winning there tomorrow evening than we have in a long time. It’s always a big game but this season for obvious reasons it’s going to have more spice than usual. There’s going to be 70,000 fans packed into that stadium, including no doubt a sold-out away end, which will generate a cauldron of noise. I’d imagine a fair bit of the noise from the travelling Blues will be in support of their popular new manager and more than a bit of attention to their former boss in the home dug-out. The main reason for optimism that Everton can finally overturn that dreadful record is that they are perhaps better-placed then ever to go and play with self-belief and a desire to express themselves. Make no mistake about it, United will have their threats on the night and it’s a game which is going to be 100 times harder and more demanding than the walkover against Stoke on Saturday. For starters our back four have to contend with former Blue boy Wayne Rooney who has a record of scoring against his former club. But there’s a feeling that the Blues have nothing to feat at Old Trafford. I’ve seen enough this season to suggest we can go there and get on the front foot. Roberto Martinez won’t instruct his players to sit back and play on the break. He’ll tell them to go and cause United as many problems as they cause his side.
You look at the United side and while they’re still strong, it’s not the team it once was.
Players like Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Michael Carrick are all getting on and there’s even a hint that United can be vulnerable these days. David Moyes didn’t get the chance to strengthen as much as he would have liked in the summer, something which was underlined by him chasing around on deadline day lining up multiple deals which fell through before he managed to seal the signature of Marouane Fellaini. It seems like Moyes is gradually getting into the swing of it in the Old Trafford hot-seat, you only have to look at their 5-0 victory in the Champions League last week to see that. But the most important thing is that he’s going to have to deal with a side that go there to attack rather than sitting back and waiting to hit them on the break. It would be the biggest achievement of Martinez’s reign yet if he can mastermind a long over-due victory. I reckon he can.
Pienaar back to his best
3 Dec 2013 Liverpool Echo
By Greg O’Keefe
Roberto Martinez delighted to see midfielder on top form
Roberto Martinez has hailed the timely return to form of “special” midfielder Steven Pienaar.
The Blues boss said he is delighted that the 31-year-old, who had an injury-plagued start to the season, has come good as Everton face a daunting December. Tomorrow’s trip to Old Trafford is the start of a sequence of six games this month, and Martinez knows the experience and guile of the South African schemer will be crucial. He said: “He’s such a special footballer and what he brings to us into the way we play is quite unique. Stevie’s experience is a valuable part of his squad and it’s real bonus to have him back at his best. “Not many players have his appreciation of space and close control, or the quality in one versus one situations when he opens the spaces and allows other players to come in. “He has that composure and time on the ball, and slowly he’s regaining his full fitness and he’ll get back to his best.” Pienaar played a pivotal part in the Blues’ morale-boosting 4-0 win over Stoke on Saturday, when he was joined on the left side by Costa Rican full-back Bryan Oviedo. Usually an understudy to Leighton Baines, Oviedo was making only his second start for the club, but Martinez insisted he never had any qualms about pitching the inexperienced 23-year-old into the heat of Premier League contest. “It is very difficult when you’re competing to play in the team ahead of Leighton Baines who is one of the best left backs in Europe,” said the Toffees boss.
“What we saw with Bryan is that he is always professional and always works hard so I was proud and pleased that the performance went well for him. “I never had any doubts about Bryan. He’s a completely different footballer than Leighton but when the team needs him there will never be a lack of sharpness because his professional standards are so high. I’m really pleased with him.
“He’s probably the natural replacement for that left-back role and he showed he’s ready and has been here long enough to understand what it takes to flourish in this league.”
I will feel 'no emotion' for Everton, insists Moyes
3 Dec 2013 Manchester Evening News
United boss David Moyes has claimed he will be fully focused on taking three points from his former club when they arrive at Old Trafford on Wednesday. David Moyes will not have any problems detaching himself from the potential emotion of the visit of his former club Everton to Old Trafford on Wednesday. The impassive Glaswegian will not be distracted by the reunion with the Merseyside club he served for over 11 years in the Premier League. Instead the poker-faced United manager says it is simply a game he must win after two league draws at Cardiff City and Tottenham.
“I'm not that emotional a person. I'd rather get on with the game,” the Reds boss says.“It is about getting three points to try and make sure we are in a good position and keeping hanging in.
“After the game I will be the first one to see the Everton players and say hello to them. I will also see all the staff at Everton for a drink afterwards. “But there can’t be any emotion because that is not me. I am at another club now and my club at United is what I am interested in and make sure I get results for.” Moyes will wait to see how he reacts naturally to a United goal or win against his old club rather than have preconceived ideas about he celebrates either. “Well I've not planned it. I've not thought about it. All I know is that I'm manager of Manchester United,” he added.
“I've got great respect for Everton, their chairman, their players, their supporters but from my point of view I'm Manchester United manager now and I don't think they'd expect anything different.
“But I've got to say I've got great, great memories of the players at Everton and what they achieved in recent seasons. I was close to a lot of them in the end because they were players who played for me, working really hard week in, week out, knew what I was expecting and they delivered for me most weeks. They were very good. “I do know a lot of them, in fact I probably brought all of them into Goodison except for the recent ones. They're all really good players and I've got a lot to thank them for because they helped me to win games. “But I don't think it's any advantage me knowing them. They have a new manager there in Roberto Martinez and he's brought in his own players as well. “I had a great time at Everton. It was a great club for me at the time in my career when I left Preston North End. They were fabulous to me. “They gave me a chance to succeed at the club the best I could. We had one or two years in the early years when it was a little bit up and down but overall we had a pretty good level of consistency after that and tended to finish pretty well in the division.
“I still speak to Bill Kenwright (Everton chairman). There has also been a bit of banter flying about among their staff and our staff and it is good. “Things had to change though between me and Bill because he has got a new manager and he had to build a relationship with his new manager. The last thing a new a manager wants is for someone else’s manager to be phoning the chairman. It could never be that we could still be on the phone every day. “Bill was very much hands on and ran his football club and got his team to where it is without any real backing. He has done a great job in keeping Everton going. They have had to sell players in the past and they have lost a manager and he keeps it going. “But Roberto Martinez is doing a great job. He was a good choice as manager for Everton.” Everton fans generally accepted Moyes’ inevitable departure from Goodison when Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement last May and immediately called his fellow Scot to a meeting at his house in Wilmslow to inform him the Old Trafford job was his. He was publically named as Fergie’s successor within 48 hours of the former manager’s retirement bombshell.“If I hadn’t got that call I am sure I would still be working with Bill Kenwright and Everton today,” added Moyes. He continued as Everton boss until his Goodison contract ended on June 30.
However, the split went sour when the United manager went back to Everton during the summer with attempts to prise Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini away from Goodison.
Everton damningly described one Old Trafford bid of £28m for the pair as “derisory and insulting”.
The Reds, of course, landed Fellaini alone for £27.5m.It left a bitter taste in the mouths of the Everton support and the Reds boss admits he could be in for a rough ride from the visiting fans tonight at Old Trafford. “I think it could be mixed at times. I wouldn’t be surprised by football supporters,” he says. “But I think the Everton supporters are well aware of what was achieved. The Premier League had been going 21 years and Everton hadn’t finished in the top ten in the first ten-year period and in the second ten year period (from his appointment in 2002) we finished in the top ten quite regularly. “If you are someone who really looks at it you would hope they see I helped push the club in the right direction. They know their football and they know exactly where the club has gone. More importantly they understand the players that are in their team. The majority of them I brought in and I think they'll understand there were a lot of good players brought there. But its football and you never know. “It wouldn’t disappoint me. I had a great rapport with them at Everton. But things wouldn’t surprise me because I have to do a job at Manchester United and Everton supporters have to support their team which they always have done.”
Moyes warned Kenwright over Fellaini and Baines
3 Dec 2013 Manchester Evening News
By Simon Stone
Everton chairman Bill Kenwright will not have been surprised by United's summer bids for Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines, claims David Moyes.
David Moyes warned Bill Kenwright he would return to Everton for some of his players immediately after being appointed United manager. Moyes spent 11 years with the Toffees before being offered the chance to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson last summer. Having hauled Everton back amongst the Premier League's most consistent clubs, guiding them into the Champions League and to an FA Cup final and semi-final - despite working with a meagre budget. Yet Moyes angered many Everton fans, if not by returning for Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines, then offering what was perceived to be a paltry sum. A joint £28million bid was branded "insulting" by the Merseyside outfit.
And though Fellaini eventually made the move on deadline day for £27.5million, Baines remained, with Everton rejecting Moyes' final advances in the hours before the transfer window shut.
Baines features in our current gallery of United transfer targets... Kenwright was unhappy at United's conduct and many Everton fans voiced their opposition to Moyes. But the Red Devils chief insisted his long-time chairman should have known what was coming - because he told him.
"Once I got the United job I discussed it with Bill near enough immediately," said Moyes. "I said that there would be some players I would be interested in. "Bill was well aware of it but obviously it was always going to be a difficult thing when it actually came to it." In hindsight, Moyes recognises the situation might have been handled differently by all parties, which is just as well given it appears his interest in Baines remains. "There were bits of it I would have liked to have done better but there were also bits of it as a whole I think could have been done better," he said. "That is football. I speak with Bill Kenwright regularly. We both knew that this would happen but it is never that easy.
"But time moves on as well. Life is too short to hold any grudges. "I had a great working relationship with Bill and the board of directors there and that is the way it remains." That Fellaini has done little to justify becoming the fourth most expensive player in United history has eased the angst felt amongst the Everton faithful. Handicapped by a wrist injury that will eventually require surgery, the Belgium midfielder has struggled to make an impact at Old Trafford. He is yet to score for his new club and failed to start either the midweek Champions League hammering of Bayer Leverkusen or Sunday's draw with Tottenham even though Michael Carrick has been sidelined by an Achilles problem. Fellaini could come into contention to face his former club though as Phil Jones has been ruled out through suspension, reducing Moyes' options even further. "Marouane's probably going through the same settling-in process as most players who join Manchester United," said Moyes.
"Obviously there'll be some players who hit the ground running and can go straight in.
"But then there are others for whom it takes quite a little bit of time to settle in and there's been quite a few here."
Yeovil 1 - Blackpool 0: John Lundstram's home debut boosts Yeovil
JOHN LUNDSTRAM crowned his home debut with the goal that boosted Yeovil’s hopes of Championship survival on a nightmare night for high-flying Blackpool.
By: Nigel Walrond, Daily Express
Wed, December 4, 2013
Paul Ince’s side ended with eight men after Kirk Broadfoot and skipper Gary McKenzie were sent off for second bookable offences and Ricardo Fuller saw red for fighting – all in the space of six minutes near the end. Midfielder Lundstram, on loan from Everton, struck in the 21st minute to down Blackpool and earn the Glovers back-to-back league wins for the first time this season.
Ed Upson almost made it 2-0 but his magnificent 30-yard volley crashed back off the bar
The visitors were profligate in front of goal in the first half, with Tom Ince and Stephen Dobbie shooting wide when well-placed, while Dan Gosling and Isaiah Osbourne were off target with headers. Neal Bishop also had an effort well saved by Yeovil goalkeeper Chris Dunn but the visitors were made to pay when they failed to clear a free-kick and Lundstram fired home the the loose ball.Ed Upson almost made it 2-0 but his magnificent 30-yard volley crashed back off the bar.
It all adds up for Roberto Martinez as he sets Everton 71-point target
ROBERTO MARTINEZ has set Everton a target of 71 points to earn a place in the Champions League.
By: Paul Joyce
Daily Express Wed, December 4, 2013
Roberto Martinez has given Everton a goal for the Champions League [PA]
The Everton manager predicted that if his side maintain their current momentum they will need “an average of 1.94 points” from their last 11 games to upset the natural order and finish at least fourth.
Everton face former manager David Moyes against Manchester United at Old Trafford tonight with Martinez looking to replicate his successor’s achievement of a top-four finish in 2005.
The club claimed 61 points that season, and their record points haul in the Premier League era is 65 (2007-08), but Martinez believes the benchmark has increased. “To get into the Champions League, I can guarantee you now, what you need to do is get an average of 1.94 points from the last 11 games,” he said. “That is what we are working towards. Winning at Old Trafford or not is not going to affect being in that position. Martinez believes his team are capable of beating Moyes' boys [PA]
If we get 71 points we will be in the Champions League. It doesn’t matter if we are 10th or 15th now
Roberto Martinez, Everton manager “If we get 71 points we will be in the Champions League. It doesn’t matter if we are 10th or 15th now. That’s the way it happens.” Martinez believes Everton, who are fifth and level on 24 points with fourth-placed Liverpool, are capable of overcoming United at Old Trafford for the first time since 1992. But in keeping with his football philosophy, he would rather Everton adhere to their new-found passing game with United and lose, than sneak a last-minute victory having been outplayed. “What would I take? Playing well and losing, 100 per cent, because this game is about us being able to perform at Old Trafford and being able to show ourselves that we can compete with teams away from home eye-to-eye,” said Martinez. “It’s about the long term.” Ross Barkley is likely to start after being rested against Stoke last weekend.
David Moyes: Bill Kenwright knew I'd be back after I joined Manchester United
DAVID MOYES insists he warned Everton he planned to raid his old club as soon as he got the Manchester United job.
By Kevin Francis 4th December 2013
Moyes faces the club he managed for 11 years at Old Trafford tonight, their first clash since he left Goodison Park last summer. The Scot angered Toffees fans in his summer-long pursuit of -midfielder Marouane Fellaini and England left-back Leighton Baines. His joint £28m offer was even branded insulting by the club. He eventually snapped up ¬Fellaini on transfer deadline day for £27.5m while Baines stayed put. But Moyes revealed Everton chairman Bill Kenwright knew what was coming as soon as he left to become Sir Alex ¬Ferguson’s replacement. “Once I got the United job, I ¬discussed it with Bill near enough immediately,” said Moyes. “I said that there would be some players I would be interested in. “Bill was well aware of it but ¬obviously it was always going to be a difficult thing when it ¬actually came to it.” In hindsight, Moyes recognises the situation could have been handled differently, saying: “There were bits of it I would have liked to have done better.
“But there were also bits of it as a whole I think could have been done better. That is football. I speak with Bill regularly. “I said that there would be some players I would be interested in”
“We both knew this would ¬happen but it is never that easy. But time moves on as well. Life is too short to hold any grudges.” Moyes admits that he could come in for some abuse from the visiting fans tonight. But he is more concerned at the prospect of Everton denting ¬United’s bid to retain their ¬Premier League crown. “Everton have only been beaten in one game this season, they are a team in good form,” he said. “Roberto Martinez is doing a good job and has been a good choice as manager. They are in a great league position. They have good players and a good team.”
United are eighth, three places below Everton and nine points behind leaders Arsenal.
“We’ve got to make sure we keep ourselves close enough to be ¬competing,” said Moyes.
“We have to try and keep ¬hanging in there. “We have two home games now and we have to try and make the most of them. We want to be in the mix and we don’t want to be too far away from the teams at the top. “We know if we are on the coat-tails of the leaders going into the New Year, it has never been a ¬situation where United have ever been too far away. “They are always in a similar position around this time of the season. “We’ve got to make sure we are in there and that’s why every game at the moment is really ¬important for us.” And of the ¬possible flak from the fans who used to cheer him, he said: “I would not be surprised. “I had a great rapport with the fans at Everton, but things would not surprise me. “I have got to do a job for ¬Manchester United, while Everton supporters have to support their team, which they have ¬always done. I would not be -surprised by football supporters, but I think Everton supporters know and are well aware of what was done. “The Premier League has been going just over 20 years and they had a top-10 finish maybe once in that first 10-year period. “In the second 10-year period, we finished in the top 10 on a ¬regular basis. I think if someone really looked at it, they would ¬understand.
“By understanding that, they would hopefully ¬realise that I helped push the club in the right direction.” Fellaini is in line to face his old club tonight, but Phil Jones is suspended and Michael Carrick is out with an Achilles injury.
Everton boss Roberto Martinez aiming for perfection as the Toffees head to Old Trafford
ROBERTO Martinez would rather see Everton play well and lose at ¬Manchester United tonight instead of sneaking a lucky 1-0 win.
By Kevin Francis 4th December 2013
The Everton manager says his long-term priority is to improve performances as he bids to clinch Champions League ¬qualification with a top-four finish. Martinez said: “I am looking for us to be a better side after the game without taking the scoreline into consideration.
“We know what Manchester United bring on to the pitch and we have to be ready for that and respect them as the champions.” Asked if he would be happier to see Everton play well for 85 minutes and lose than scrape a lucky victory, Martinez said: “Playing well and losing, 100 per cent, because this game is about us being able to perform at Old Trafford. “I want to play well, be the better side and win” Roberto Martinez, Everton manager “It’s about being able to show ourselves that we can compete with teams away from home, eye-to-eye. “Sometimes the result in is the lap of the gods. It can be a bad decision from a referee or a piece of magic from a player. We need to have a substance to our performance so we can take ourselves on to the next level.
“I want to play well, be the better side and win. “But if I had to settle for one of those choices, it would be playing well, being the better side and losing. It’s about the long term.”
Martinez has worked out exactly what Everton must do to reach the Champions League.
The Spaniard has been doing his sums and has mapped out a route into Europe.
“To get into the Champions League, I can guarantee you now, what you need to do is get an average of 1.94 points from the last 11 games,” he said. “That is what we are working towards – getting into that position. Winning at Old Trafford or not is not going to affect being in that position.
“You need to be in a position where you can get around 70 points. “If we get 71 points, we will be in the Champions League.”
Martin Smith: Beating Everton was always a tall order, but Stoke City must beat Cardiff
By The Sentinel December 04, 2013
I DOUBT whether many of the Stoke fans who travelled to Goodison Park genuinely believed we'd get something from our match against Everton, but they'd have at least expected a combative performance. Instead, we were trounced by an Everton team who were better than us all over the pitch. To be fair, this is the best Everton team we've played since returning to the Premier League.
It still has the core of strength and solidity you'd expect from a David Moyes team, but new manager Roberto Martinez has added another dimension with a slick possession and passing game we just couldn't match. Things may have been different if Jon Walters hadn't spurned a great chance moments before they scored, or if we'd managed to hold out the extra few seconds until the half-time whistle, but the truth is Everton deserved their win, and once they scored their first goal it was game over. The shallowness of our squad was exposed when we went into the match without stalwart defender Robert Huth and had to decide which option to take to cover his loss.
Many people though Marc Wilson would take his place, while most believed Geoff Cameron would shuffle over from right-back. As it was, Mark Hughes elected to give a full league debt to Marc Muniesa, but the decision didn't really pay off. The blend of the team didn't look right, and we were so one-paced that it was a frustrating experience to be there watching the game. After the close of the August transfer window, many fans said we were short of a genuine forward option, and that we were also taking a massive risk going into the campaign without decent cover for Huth and Ryan Shawcross. Well, the chickens came home to roost on that one. Come the January transfer window, we need to get busy. But as disappointing a result and performance as this was, I'm not going to get too carried away by it. A club like Stoke are always liable to suffer results like this, and despite what some revisionists would have you believe, there ARE similar examples from the past couple of seasons. The trick is to learn from what went wrong and do our best to make amends.
We have the perfect chance to do that with two home games this week against Cardiff and Chelsea.
The Cardiff game in particular is a real six-point affair, and one we can't afford to make a mess of if we want to steer clear of trouble at the wrong end of the Premier League table.
Of course, Cardiff are one of the sides we played many, many times during our exile from the top flight. And there was a time, in the early years of the new Millennium, when tension between the two clubs rose to such a point that a real rivalry existed. For me, it all started when newly-promoted Cardiff audaciously bid a total of £2.7m for Graham Kavanagh and Peter Thorne in 2001.
It was an enormous amount of money for a club who'd just come up from the bottom division to be spending, and we certainly had our noses knocked out of joint when The Bluebirds were successful in prizing away two of our best players. The rivalry which followed, stoked-up mainly on Internet forums and then played out in actual matches between the two teams, was as intense as anything I can recall. I was even shocked to see one Cardiff fanzine at the time comment claim they'd grown to hate Stoke more than South Wales rivals Swansea. You couldn't have written a better script for a cheesy movie than to have the two teams meet in the end of season promotion play-offs, and as we take to the field for tonight's Premier League game between the two sides, I wonder how many fans will be thinking back to those incredible few days back in 2002? We lost the home leg 2-1, but then went to a hostile Ninian Park, dug in, held on for dear life in the face of everything thrown at us, and then levelled the tie in the final minute thanks to James O'Connor. As we all know, Stoke then went on to win the game, courtesy of a cunningly-executed deflection off the backside of Souleymane Oulare, to complete a beautiful revenge mission. I often think back to that game and the intense rivalry between the two clubs, and it proves to me that my passion for Stoke is not dependent on the level we're playing at. That's why I'm not entirely sure I've yet had a moment in the Premier League (perhaps Mamady Sidibe's 94th minute header against Villa?) which can match the raw emotion and intensity of how I felt when O'Connor levelled the tie at Ninian Park. It was a remarkable moment.
I doubt whether we'll see that kind of drama tonight, but that won't matter so long as we get the three points. In fact, I'll accept the most boring game of football ever and a 1-0 win this time around. And we really do need the win. Our cause this season is not being helped by the shock results we've seen, such as Hull beating Liverpool, Cardiff getting a draw against Manchester United and beating Manchester City, and Villa winning at Arsenal. We haven't yet pulled off one of those results yet, so the pressure is greater on us to get something when we play these six-pointers against the likes of Sunderland and Cardiff. We know it's going to be a very tough ask to get something from Chelsea on Saturday, but we'll take so much pressure off ourselves – and boost our confidence – if we can take three points from Cardiff. So in memory of that remarkable night at Ninian Park in 2002, I'll go for another 2-0 win for Stoke.
Premier League: Manchester United v Everton match preview
A look ahead to this week’s Premier League fixture at Old Trafford
Wednesday 04 December 2013
Moyes left Everton after 11 successful years at the Merseyside club, but he now welcomes back his old club who now have an entirely different image. Roberto Martinez was also involved in the managerial changes in the summer as he left relegated Wigan Athletic and replaced David Moyes in the Everton hot seat. The arrival of Martinez has seen Everton welcome a new philosophy, reminiscent of the one he instilled at Wigan during his tenure. He has stamped his authority on the squad by bringing in Romelu Lukaku, Gerard Deulofeu and Gareth Barry all in on loan. All three have made a sensational start to their Everton careers, but it’s Lukaku who has made the biggest impact, and he’ll look to grab the headlines again on Wednesday night. The return of Moyes isn’t the only talking point, however, Manchester United welcome Everton on the back of improved performances, led by the former Everton striker Wayne Rooney. Rooney scored twice against Tottenham on Sunday and he’ll be the main threat Everton will have to thwart to get a result from this match. Fellaini also returns to his old club. After a rather subdued start to his Manchester United career, he’ll be looking to prove his worth against old club. Leighton Baines is a player that everyone expected to leave Everton for Manchester United. However, the England left back misses out through injury along with Arouna Kone and Darren Gibson for the away side. Manchester United have their own injury worries but it remains to be seen whether or not these will ease in time for Wednesday night. Manchester United sit two points behind Everton in eighth place and a win would mean they would leapfrog the Merseyside club and continue to demonstrate their resurgence to the summit of the table. A win for Everton, however, would leave United potentially 12 points adrift of Arsenal, if they win on Wednesday night against Hull City, and Martinez’s side cementing themselves as Champions League place contenders.
KICK-OFF: Wednesday, 7.45pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Manchester United 2 (Giggs, Van Persie) Everton 0, Premier League, February 2013
Everton 1 (Fellaini) Manchester United 0, Premier League, August 2012
Manchester United 4 (Rooney 2, Welbeck, Nani) Everton 4 (Jelavic 2, Fellaini, Peinaar), Premier League, April 2012
Everton haven’t beaten Manchester United at Old Trafford since the 1992/1993 season.
Manchester United are unbeaten in their last seven games in the Premier League
Everton have only lost once in their previous 13 Premier League matches
Manchester United have only failed to score twice in their previous 74 matches at Old Trafford (both occasions being against Chelsea)
Manchester to win: 1.67
Everton to win: 4.80
TV: Highlights on BBC 1 on Match of the Day at 10.35pm
B-Old Trafford: Martinez says Blues must be brave to end Man Utd hoodoo
4 Dec 2013 Liverpool Echo
By Greg O’Keefe
Everton have not won fixture at 'Theatre of Dreams' since inaugural week of Premier League in 1992
“Sometimes stats can be misleading,” said Roberto Martinez ahead of Everton’s trip to their least favourite Premier League venue. But sometimes they highlight an unfortunate truism.
And since Everton won on their first Premier League visit to Old Trafford, they have a wretched record which reads won none, drawn four, lost 16. Martinez, an acknowledged advocate of the power of positive thinking, thinks the Blues must change their Old Trafford attitude.
“It’s important we change our mentality,” said the Blues boss. “Sometimes stats can be misleading, but I think it’s significant that we haven’t been able to go away from home against the so called top four clubs and get wins. “We’ve got the quality and we’ve had the support of our fans so I don’t know why we haven’t got results and been able to play like we have at home.
“Going to Old Trafford, the Emirates, Stamford Bridge and Anfield you have to be yourself. That’s why Wednesday is such a big test because we need to ensure we do that. “We need to think we can challenge anyone because the aim is to go to another level. “We know that going to Old Trafford will be one of the hardest games of the campaign but at the same time we know that if we want to be successful we need to go places like that, be ourselves, and play as we know we can.”]
An established ‘big four’ hierarchy has existed in the Premier League for many seasons – largely relative to the financial muscle each side is able to muster. Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal have been joined by Liverpool and Tottenham – who spent around £50m and £107m respectively last summer, offset by sales of other players. That is the echelon that Everton are trying to beak into. “It’s fair to say there are six clubs in this league expected to finish top six because of their budgets, the rest need to find a way by being creative,” added Martinez. “We’re not in the top six financially but we are in the quality we have and the tradition.” Everton have proved a stubborn side to beat this season. Their record of just one loss from 13 fixtures is the best in the top flight – but ironically that defeat came at the one ‘big four’ stadiums that Everton have routinely enjoyed some positive results at in recent years. “If we are a little bit disappointed with one performance this season it is Man City away from home,” complained Martinez. “We need to correct that. We need to perform in a manner that we are capable of controlling any game.
“We played well for 17 minutes but we need to do that for 90 minutes. We scored and controlled the game, but then when we conceded we lost our concentration and all of a sudden we couldn’t control the game how we wanted. We had good spells but we need to be more demanding of ourselves. “A good performance is not good enough away from home, it needs to be an excellent one – especially when you play title contenders. That’s what we must learn from the City game.”
It will be a lesson they will have to put into practice at Old Trafford tonight.
United may lie two points and three places below the Toffees, but they are locked together in the Premier League’s last six form table and in the 5-0 Champions League rout at Bayer Leverkusen showed the goal power they possess. Martinez is aware of the threat they pose.
“You’d never write them off,” he warned. “The reason they’re not in a top position in the table is because of their shaky start but they’ve been consistent in the last six games. They’ve been strong in Europe and are starting to be very difficult to beat. They don’t give you much and they’re getting back to the consistency of champions. They’re clear title contenders and have players of world-class ability that can turn a game in a moment. I don’t think they’re weaker than in previous seasons.
“The amount of man of the match performances Rooney has had this season shows he’s enjoying his football and is playing at a fantastic level. He’s one of their most dangerous players so we’ll pay him huge respect. “Obviously for everyone at Everton he started in this family so after the game there’ll always be warm feelings but during the game he’ll be a big threat without doubt.”
Well you WERE warned... Moyes told Kenwright he’d be back in for Blues players
4 Dec 2013 Liverpool Echo
Manchester United boss angered fans with derisory joint bid for Fellaini and Baines during summer
David Moyes says he warned Bill Kenwright he would return to Everton for some of his players immediately after being appointed Manchester United manager. But the former Blues boss admits there were aspects of his unpopular summer bids for Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines which he would ‘have liked to have done better’. Manchester United angered Blues officials with a joint £28million bid for Fellaini and Baines – an offer the Blues branded as ‘insulting’.
Fellaini eventually made the move to Old Trafford for a fee of £27.5m. Moyes explained: “Once I got the United job I discussed it with Bill near enough immediately. “I said that there would be some players I would be interested in. “Bill was well aware of it but obviously it was always going to be a difficult thing when it actually came to it. “There were bits of it I would have liked to have done better but there were also bits of it as a whole I think could have been done better.
“That is football. I speak with Bill Kenwright regularly. We both knew that this would happen but it is never that easy. “But time moves on as well. “Life is too short to hold any grudges.
“I had a great working relationship with Bill and the board of directors there and that is the way it remains.” That Fellaini has done little to justify becoming the fourth most expensive player in United history has eased the angst felt amongst the Everton faithful. Handicapped by a wrist injury that will eventually require surgery, the Belgium midfielder has struggled to make an impact at Old Trafford. He is yet to score for his new club and failed to start either the midweek Champions League hammering of Bayer Leverkusen or Sunday’s draw with Tottenham even though Michael Carrick has been sidelined by an Achilles problem. Fellaini could come into contention to face his former club tonight, though, as Phil Jones has been ruled out through suspension, reducing Moyes’ options even further. “Marouane’s probably going through the same settling-in process as most players who join Manchester United,” said Moyes. “Obviously there’ll be some players who hit the ground running and can go straight in. But then there are others for whom it takes quite a little bit of time to settle in and there’s been quite a few here.”
Ghost of years past looms over United boss
EVERTON have prospered under Roberto Martinez and are currently above Manchester United in the Premier League table. And for David Moyes, there is a rather uncomfortable scenario looming.
Everton have not beaten United away from home since August 1992. Moyes had 11 attempts but did no better than three draws – even if the comeback to 4-4 in 2012 felt like a defeat to United and was cited by Ferguson as the moment when his side effectively handed the title to Manchester City.
Should Martinez be responsible for breaking the hoodoo, it would look terrible for his predecessor, who has presided over successive Premier League draws at Cardiff and Tottenham.
Yet it is clear his focus is solely on the fixture itself, not the fuss around it, even to the extent of a potential celebration should his own side prevail. “I’ve not planned it,” he said. “In fact, I’ve not thought about it.” However, he does accept Martinez has enjoyed a positive start to his new job.
“Roberto is a good manager,” Moyes said. “He proved it at Wigan. He has his own ideas on how he wants to play. It is good for Everton. “They have some really solid players. He has helped and added to it. “They are a good team and are in a really strong league position.” With Newcastle to follow on Saturday, United must capitalise on successive home games to avoid their chances of retaining the championship slipping away completely. Moyes cannot explain entirely why the winning formula on the domestic front is proving so elusive, particularly given last week his side put five past Bayer Leverkusen in one of United’s all-time great European away victories. “I don’t think there is a reason,” he said. “If there was, I would obviously be changing it. “We are doing okay, but I am still looking for it to get better.”
Sticky situation but Moyes has plenty resolve
Wednesday 4 December 2013
If Manchester United can winkle out a victory over Everton, then perhaps we will finally be spared the kind of corn ball observations that used be the staple diet of the comedy fare at the end of the pier. "It's taken David Moyes 11 years but he's finally managed to get Everton above Manchester United in the table," seems to be the gag of choice for those who like their punch lines straight from the dusty archives. Tonight's game at Old Trafford pits Moyes against the team he guided admirably for over a decade for the first time since he swapped the blue half of Liverpool for the red side of Manchester in the summer. A win for the hosts would allow them to leapfrog Everton on points but a defeat may land the Scot in another sticky situation. For Roberto Martinez, the canny Spaniard who replaced Moyes, there has been no awkward transition. His easy-on-the-eye approach, somewhat removed from the old-school pragmatism of his predecessor, has earned both plaudits and points. Martinez's team currently sit fifth in the Barclays Premier League.
In Romelu Lukaku, plucked from Chelsea on a season-long deal, Everton have the kind of trigger happy Loan Ranger (pardon the spelling) not seen since Tonto was available in the transfer window, while Barcelona teenager Gerard Deulofeu, another player signed on a temporary deal, attracted rave reviews for his performance against Stoke City at the weekend. It seems life after Moyes is pretty sweet for the club with the confection-related moniker. Tonight's affair should give everybody plenty to chew over. When long-term relationships come to an end, nothing is simple. Upon succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson, Moyes angered many Everton fans by attempting to lure two of their players away from Merseyside. A joint £28m bid for Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines was branded as "insulting." While Baines stayed put, Belgian playmaker Fellaini did make the switch.
Given Everton fans will be vastly outnumbered in the colosseum of Old Trafford, any vocal grievances will probably be as futile as breaking wind against thunder but there still should be plenty of edge and intrigue to the proceedings. Moyes maintains his attempts to strip his former club of their assets should not have come as a great surprise. "Once I got the job, I discussed it with Bill [Kenwright, the chairman] near enough immediately," he said. "I said that there would be some players I would be interested in. "Bill was well aware of it but obviously it was always going to be a difficult thing when it actually came to it. We both knew that this would happen but it is never that easy. But time moves on as well. Life is too short to hold any grudges." In what will surely be billed as a grudge match, Moyes and Martinez will go head-to-head. After the initial and inevitable teething problems, which led to United stuttering to their worst start in 24 years, Moyes' men are in the midst of a 12-match unbeaten run. Everton, meanwhile, have made their best start since 2004-2005 - the season Moyes led them to fourth - and Martinez is keen to capitalise on the optimism. "I do feel the game is as big a test as we are going to get but after 13 games I feel we are ready for that," he said. "That's our aim. I don't know how long it's going to take us but if we want to be successful over the course of the season we should be able to go anywhere and be ourselves."
It's been 21 years since Everton won at Old Trafford when goals from Peter Beardsley, Robert Warzycha and Mo Johnston gave the visitors a 3-0 victory on the very first day of the newly-formed Premier League. What happened next? Manchester United went on to capture a first title in 26 years. It's a funny old game.
Moyes: I've no split loyalties
4 Dec 2013 Daily Post
Manchester United boss says he must divorce himself from Everton when two meet
David Moyes will never forget his time at Everton – but has no intention of letting past loyalties get in the way of securing three points for Manchester United tonight. United host the Toffees for the first time since Moyes ended his 11-year association with the Merseyside club to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford.
For both clubs, it has meant seismic change. And, with most of Roberto Martinez’s new recruits presently missing for a variety of reasons, it means the overwhelming majority of players in the opposition line-up were taken to Goodison Park by Moyes. The Scot accepts it puts him in a strange position, but he will not allow it to divert his attention away from the role he is paid to do now. “My job is to manage Manchester United,” he said. “I don’t think anyone would have turned it down. The opportunity was too big. “Obviously I have fond memories. You don’t just throw 11 years away. “But I have had to divorce myself from it. United is my team now and all my concentration has been on them. “I don’t have time to look at Everton results or how they are doing. “My own players and my own club is what interests me.” There is certainly no chance of Moyes ending up in the wrong changing room, or walking towards the visitors’ dressing room.
Yet the sensation will surely be weird. Not even Ferguson managed against one of his old clubs during his time at United. As Moyes spent so long at Everton, his attachment is obvious despite the rancour caused by a summer pursuit of Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines – which makes him doubt the kind of reception he will receive from the visiting fans. “I had a great time at Everton,” he said. “They were fabulous to me. They gave me a chance to succeed. “Possibly if I hadn’t been offered the Manchester United job I would still be there. “But it (the reception) could be mixed. They know their football and they know exactly where the club has gone and will understand I took a lot of good players there. But it’s football and you never know. “For me, I’m not an emotional person. I’d rather get on with the game.” So well have Everton prospered under Martinez they are currently above their north-west rivals in the Premier League table. Indeed, for Moyes, there is a rather uncomfortable scenario looming. It is well known Everton have not beaten United away from home since August 1992. Moyes had 11 attempts but did no better than three draws – even if the comeback to 4-4 in 2012 felt like a defeat to United and was cited by Ferguson as the moment when his side effectively handed the title to Manchester City. Should Martinez be responsible for breaking the hoodoo, it would look terrible for his predecessor, who has presided over successive Premier League draws at Cardiff and Tottenham. Yet it is clear his focus is solely on the fixture itself, not the fuss around it, even to the extent of a potential celebration should his own side prevail. “I’ve not planned it,” he said. “In fact, I’ve not thought about it.” However, he does accept Martinez has enjoyed a positive start to his new job. “Roberto is a good manager,” Moyes said. “He proved it at Wigan. He has his own ideas on how he wants to play. It is good for Everton.
“They have some really solid players. He has helped and added to it. “They are a good team and are in a really strong league position.” With Newcastle to follow on Saturday, United must capitalise on successive home games to avoid their chances of retaining the championship slipping away completely. Moyes cannot explain entirely why the winning formula on the domestic front is proving so elusive, particularly given last week his side put five past Bayer Leverkusen in one of United’s all-time great European away victories. “I don’t think there is a reason,” he said. “If there was, I would obviously be changing it. “We are doing okay, but I am still looking for it to get better.”
Manchester United 0 Everton 1: match report
Read a full match report of the Premier League game between Manchester United and Everton at Wednesday Dec 4, 2013, kick-off 19.45
By Mark Ogden, at Old Trafford
04 Dec 2013
As Sir Alex Ferguson shuffled out of the Old Trafford directors’ box with chants of “You’re getting sacked in the morning,” ringing in David Moyes’s ears, even the most pessimistic of Manchester United supporters must have wondered how it had possibly come to this. Less than a week into December, the Premier League champions lie in ninth position, as close to the bottom three as to leaders Arsenal, with a desperate scramble for fourth place, rather than retaining their title, the only realistic challenge open to them after Bryan Oviedo’s 86th-minute goal secured Everton’s first victory at Old Trafford for 21 years. The fact that the sting in the tail was applied by the club he left six months ago, following 11 years of sterling service, was impossible to ignore, as were the caustic chants from the 3,500 travelling supporters who goaded Moyes with the taunts about his job prospects.
Rollover for sound
Within seconds of the final whistle, social media was already buzzing with the gag that, after 11 years, Moyes had finally seen Everton win at Old Trafford. A cruel joke, but there could be no denying the quality of Roberto Martínez’s team and the ambition they displayed in ending their United jinx. Moyes, however, insisted that the defeat – United’s fourth in the league this season – was not a killer blow to their title hopes and that losing to Everton was no more painful than any other loss. “We have got a long way to go,” Moyes said. “We will need to play some great football and win an awful lot of games in the run-in if we are going to be in there and around it at the end of the season. “Can we do it? Yeah, I’ve got nothing to suggest anything else. I’m disappointed to lose, but that is the way the game goes sometimes. “It doesn’t hurt more. They are a very good team with very good players, so you would imagine it is a sore one when it is your old team, but that is the way it is.” Moyes, who insisted during his brief post-match press conference, which lasted just two minutes and eight seconds, that he had no idea when Robin van Persie would return from a groin injury, must prepare to face Newcastle on Saturday without Wayne Rooney through suspension due to the forward picking up his fifth booking of the season following a clash with Phil Jagielka. The loss of Rooney merely compounded a grim night for Moyes and United, who hit the woodwork twice but rarely had control of a game dominated by Everton.
“We are proud,” Martínez said. “It was more than a football game, we were trying to get over the mental block. It’s more than 20 years since we won here, so it wasn’t about three points, it was about being ourselves and pushing each other. “Manchester United didn’t have a bad day, it was two teams playing eye-to-eye and the team that took the first chance was going to have a big impact on the final score.” Diplomatic as ever, Martinez was being polite in suggesting this was not a bad day for United. Despite the missed chance, it was bad. There was no late surge, no dominance of the ball and a distinct lack of ideas and creativity. By Moyes’s own admission, United’s run of 12 games unbeaten prior to this fixture contained too many draws and too few victories for his team to successfully claim to have emerged from their early season malaise. It has been a case of one step forward, one step back, particularly with victories against Arsenal and Bayer Leverkusen being followed by unsatisfactory draws at Cardiff and Tottenham. Champions turn draws into victories and United have simply failed to do that often enough this season, with their build-up play too ponderous and a lack of cutting edge to their attacking play. Once again, those flaws came to the fore and the failure to adequately strengthen the squad in the summer, as much the fault of the club’s hierarchy as Moyes, was exposed by United’s lack of options. Everton’s start to life without Moyes has been better than United’s with him, however, and Martínez’s players were never going to be sacrificial lambs against their former manager. By the time Patrice Evra’s heavy cross flashed past the Everton goal on 14 minutes, the visitors could have scored three times, with Romelu Lukaku, and Kevin Mirallas, twice, going close to scoring. Lukaku, the Belgian forward on loan from Chelsea, was unplayable at times, with his pace and power proving too much even for Nemanja Vidic, United’s warhorse captain, who was tormented by the young striker. Everton’s adventure troubled United greatly, particularly in midfield, where Ryan Giggs and Marouane Fellaini were outnumbered by the visitors’ cavalier youngsters. United were only able to threaten sporadically, hitting a post through Rooney before Danny Welbeck headed against the crossbar following Tim Howard’s reflex save from Evra. Howard impressed against his former team, who were undoubtedly wasteful in front of goal, but Everton also had their opportunities.
Gerard Deulofeu should have scored on 70 minutes when David de Gea saved well at the near post, but the breakthrough came when Oviedo ghosted in at the far post to send Lukaku’s cross beyond United’s helpless goalkeeper. It was perfect timing for Everton, but brutal and painful for Moyes. It is difficult to put on a brave face on nights like these.
Manchester United 0 Everton 1 match report: David Moyes misery as Roberto Martinez pulls off the elusive victory
Toffees win at Old Trafford in the league for the first time in 21 years
Ian Herbert , Indenpentdent
Wednesday 04 December 2013
The abuse for David Moyes came loud and thick and sharp at the end but nothing the Everton fans might throw at him could possibly have cut him quite like the way this ended. Those 11 long years he had endured, hopelessly trying to get a win at Old Trafford, a stadium where Everton had not walked out the victors since August 1992 – and here was Roberto Martinez taking the delirious walk, first time around for the club. The choruses from a raucous Everton end included “Are you watching, David Moyes?” and “Sacked in the morning” but it was “Oviedo-baby” – in celebration of the adventurous Costan Rican full-back who scored the late winner – which said most about a new team, with a new positivity. There were big risks about the way that Everton attacked to the very end but Martinez insisted before the game that he would rather lose heroically, playing well, than snatch a win. They did both. Moyes admitted afterwards: “I’m very disappointed. We needed a bit of good fortune and we didn’t get it. We didn’t defend the goal well enough, so it was our own doing. We had some chances as well, as did Everton. They have been playing well and that’s why they are up near the top of the league. Bryan Oviedo scores past David de Gea “It wasn’t about me tonight. I was fortunate to manage Everton and I’m fortunate to be managing Manchester United. It’s a big catch-up for us now.” The ironies were everywhere after the final whistle sounded. The right-back standing in for the player – Leighton Baines – who Moyes wants to take off to Old Trafford, being shouldered in front of the away end by Sylvain Distin, as if the two of them had won the Cup. Moyes plunged his hands into his pockets and marched away with a face like thunder.
Moyes had claimed he was indifferent to the Everton fans’ response to him – he “wouldn’t be surprised, wouldn’t be disappointed” if insults rained down on him, he said – though emerging from the dug-out for the first time to a chorus of boos and “David Moyes is full of s***” would not have been part of his mental picture. It looked in those very early moments as if it might be a long night for him, with United immediately unsettled by the pace and skill which characterises the Martinez incarnation of Everton. The same starting XI that gradually reduced Liverpool’s midfield to pulp 10 days ago started where it had left off in that game, as Kevin Mirallas cut inside from the left and before Rafael da Silva could find a tackle unleashed a shot which David de Gea palmed over from in front of his face. Brian Oviedo slides in front of the corner flag as he celebrates winner But United recovered to dominate periods of a first half in which they lacked the incision and inspiration to cut Everton open. Their creative play was reliant on Shinji Kagawa, who could not seem to find the pockets of space which he used in Leverkusen last week while demonstrating that he is a far more dangerous weapon behind the striker than when deployed from wide. The room Kagawa likes to operate in was often not there as Everton retreated to clog the home team’s final third.
A header deftly guided by Ryan Giggs from an Antonia Valencia cross fell inches wide of Tim Howard’s right-hand post. A surging run into the area by Wayne Rooney also brought an anonymous shot, which Sylvain Distin’s deflection turned into a perilous one. The defender’s touch diverted the ball onto the base of the post and Howard cleared as Kagawa lurked for the rebound. But that was as real and present as the danger got. There were moments of promise for Everton. Ross Barkley, a player the new manager has been far more willing to field than his predecessor, was treated to a two-minute pitch-side tutorial by Martinez at an early break in proceedings. But he over-hit an important pass, dropping it wide of Romelu Lukaku, who was waiting to profit from Barkley’s powerful counter-attacking breakaway. Oviedo's strike leaves Wayne Rooney and Co stunned Lukaku’s threat was one Nemanja Vidic just about managed to contain. The striker’s dancing 40th-minute run on Vidic, preceding a low, hard shot which De Gea repelled with his knee, was not the only contribution which suggested this night had a goal in it for him. It was why United sorely needed one of their own. As Everton continued to show the greater attacking conviction, Moyes tried to introduce some conviction into his ranks. Adnan Januzaj arrived in place of Rafael, while Martinez countered with a creator of his own, Gerard Deulofeu for Barkley. You felt that Delofeu had blown it when, racing in on De Gea from a ball Lukaku had laid through, he hit it tamely at the keeper’s shins. But United’s stand-out chance came and went too. Danny Welbeck was fractionally slow to leap – finding the bar instead of the net, after Howard had sharply palmed a Patrice Evra header out to him. Oviedo was not so sluggish. As Everton surged forward once again, Lukaku sent the ball across the face of the area and the defender ran to slot it home expertly with Valencia nowhere in sight.
Man of the match Distin.
Match rating 7/10.
Referee M Atkinson (W Yorkshire).
Manchester United 0 - Everton 1: Oviedo scores late on for famous victory at Old Trafford
MANCHESTER UNITED was cut adrift in the Premier League title race after losing 1-0 at home to Everton thanks to Bryan Oviedo's late strike at Old Trafford.
By David Wright 4th December 2013
United manager David Moyes endured a frustrating evening against the club he left in the summer as left back Oviedo slotted home at the far post in the 86th minute after Romelu Lukaku flashed a deflected shot across the six-yard box. Everton deserved its win after overrunning United at times, even if the home side was unlucky to see Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck hit efforts against the goal frame in an end-to-end game. Oviedo, signed by Moyes last year, arrived with perfect timing at the far post to condemn United to their fourth defeat of the season. And United could not say Everton did not deserve their success, for the visitors played with a confidence and verve their hosts could not match. Wayne Rooney struck a post and came close to netting a rebound before half-time. Former United keeper Tim Howard did brilliantly to repel a Patrice Evra header before Danny Welbeck headed the rebound against the bar after it. But this Red Devils outfit are a shadow of their former selves and chants of "sacked in the morning" from the gleeful Evertonians, who had waited 21 long years for this success, merely twisted the knife still further. United's 12-game unbeaten run was ended and the champions are now 12 points behind leaders Arsenal on a night all of their chief title rivals won.
Bryan Oviedo ends Everton's 21-year wait at Manchester United
Daniel Taylor at Old Trafford
The Guardian, Wednesday 4 December 2013
For David Moyes, it was a night that overflowed with indignities. He can be sure now what Everton's supporters make of him after all that caustic chanting from the away end and there must be something deeply troubling from his perspective that Everton have finally reminded themselves
what it is like to win at Manchester United's ground. Moyes, remember, never managed it as Everton manager, just like he never won at Arsenal, Chelsea or Liverpool. What he could not achieve in 46 league games, over his 11 years, his successor, Roberto Martínez, has managed at the first attempt. It leaves Moyes's current team 12 points behind Arsenal and, while a club with United's history will never give up, the bottom line is that something drastically has to change if they are to stand any chance. Everton, without Moyes, have improved. United, with him, have deteriorated. Bryan Oviedo's late, dramatic winner did not flatter Martínez's team and Everton could joyously reflect on their first victory at this stadium since August 1992, in the opening weeks of the inaugural Premier League season, when Peter Beardsley, Robert Warzycha and Mo Johnston scored in a 3-0 win. By the end, the boisterous corner of Evertonians were crowing that his job was in danger. Other chants carried far more malice but Moyes's greater concern must be the erratic nature of the team he has inherited from Sir Alex Ferguson. They have their least number of points at this stage of the season – 22 from 14 games – since 2001-02. The champions that year? Arsenal.
Moyes could reflect on the moment when Wayne Rooney's deflected shot hit the post, or the two chances in succession in the second half when Tim Howard saved brilliantly from Patrice Evra and Danny Welbeck headed the rebound against the crossbar. Yet Everton, bar one 10-minute spell, always played with the greater collective fluency. Kevin Mirallas also struck the woodwork, direct from a free-kick, as the tempo increased in the last 20 minutes and the substitute Gerard Deulofeu really ought to have put them ahead before Oviedo arrived at the far post to turn in Lukaku's scuffed attempt. An already grim night for United might have been even more harrowing if the referee, Martin Atkinson, had taken action against Marouane Fellaini for embedding his studs in the back of James McCarthy's leg. Rooney's fifth booking of the season, for flicking his elbow into Phil Jagielka's chest, did not carry any real malice but it means he will be suspended for Saturday's game at home to Newcastle. Robin van Persie will probably not be there either, having missed the last four games with his groin injury and with Moyes admitting he did not know when the Dutchman would be back. Martínez spoke afterwards about using Everton's poor record at Old Trafford as a form of motivation. "Today was more than a football game for us," he said. "It was about getting rid of a mental block, knowing we have not won at this stadium for many, many years." It has been a long, wretched run, but they had been distinguished enough for their manager to reflect they could "take on anyone now, eye to eye". A manager is entitled to be encouraged when he has a striker, Romelu Lukaku, who can dominate a centre-half of Nemanja Vidic's stature. Everton's attacking midfielders showed great determination to support Lukaku whereas Rooney was often isolated.
Ryan Giggs had little of the influence that he had exerted in his previous match against Bayer Leverkusen. Fellaini had plenty of the ball but rarely moved it quickly enough and Shinji Kagawa lasted only 57 minutes before being substituted. Antonio Valencia was moved from the wing to defence at the same time and that does not happen when a wide player is posing the opposition problems. Moyes needs much more from these players. For Everton, Steven Pienaar and Mirallas were quick and bright on the wings. Ross Barkley was always on the move and, at the tip of their attack, Lukaku was a powerhouse. Old Trafford is simply not used to seeing Vidic coming off second-best like this. "I don't think you can expect any player in the world, one on one, to cope with the physicality of Romelu," Martínez said. Rooney was often the solitary player in United's colours to carry any real attacking purpose but Jagielka played with great authority in the heart of defence. while the amount of time Oviedo and Seamus Coleman spent in the opposition half told its own story. An Everton team from the Moyes era might never have had a left-back in the penalty area with four minutes left. Oviedo had anticipated the ball coming his way. His finish was sure and it left United reflecting on their fourth defeat of the season, dropping into ninth place and the overwhelming sense that the title might already be gone before we have even reached Christmas.
For Moyes, quite possibly the nadir of a difficult four months.
Martinez - we can beat anybody after United win
4 Dec 2013
Manchester United win reinforces Everton's self belief
Roberto Martinez believes Everton have shown they can beat anybody in the Premier League after banishing their Old Trafford hoodoo in dramatic fashion. Bryan Oviedo's 86th-minute strike ensured a 1-0 win for Martinez's side against Manchester United last night and ensured a miserable first reunion for former manager David Moyes. It ended a wait for an Everton win at Old Trafford that stretched back to August 1992 and keeps them in fifth place, separated from the Champions League qualification berths only on goal difference. And Martinez expects his team – who now stand four places and five points ahead of the champions – to be buoyed by their historic win as they look to extend their impressive start to the season at leaders Arsenal on Sunday. “This result can be huge for our confidence,” said the Everton manager. “I can sit down and tell you how good we are but unless you come to places like Old Trafford and get three points its difficult to take steps forwards.
“I always felt this squad was capable of going to every team and playing eye to eye.
“I told the boys it gives you a real indication of what can be achieved. But we have to carry on improving and getting better to make sure we can perform like this everywhere.
“The league is a 10-month competition. What's important now is we feel we can play anybody in the league and get as many points as we can.” The Goodison outfit had not won at a supposed 'big four' venue in the Premier League since defeating Liverpool at Anfield in September 1999.
And Martinez said: “I am very proud. This was more than a football game for us. It was trying to get over a mental block for many, many years. “Someone told me it was 20 odd years that we hadn't won at Old Trafford. “This wasn't about the three points, it was about being ourselves and making sure we pushed each other. I couldn't be prouder. “This isn't our best performance this season, we've played better, but we had a real mentality to win the game. “We never felt inferior. We always kept doing what we are good at. We created chances. I couldn't be prouder of the mentality of the players.” Everton were backed by a vociferous travelling support, and Martinez said: “I'm pleased for the fans. They were terrific. It must be very difficult to keep turning up to a big ground and not win. “It had been too long for a club like us winning nine titles to not be coming to places like Old Trafford and winning.” Matchwinner Oviedo has now scored twice in as many appearances inside five days having been forced to wait 12 months between Premier League starts given the form of Leighton Baines, who is sidelined by a fractured toe. “Bryan has the hardest job in football to be fighting against one of the best left-backs in football,” said Martinez. “It would easy for any professional to drop his standards and be a nuisance around the place but he has worked extremely hard and waited for his chance. He has got his reward his hard work away from the pitch.”
Moyes was barracked by the away supporters following his prolonged summer pursuit of Baines and Marouane Fellaini, the Belgian playing the full 90 minutes for United last night. “Everton supporters supported their team well and had to make sure they came here and got behind their team and they did that,” said the United manager. “I'm disappointed to lose but that's the way it goes sometimes. The game was tight and we missed our chances while Everton took theirs. “It doesn't hurt any more that it's Everton. I know they have very good players. We are going to have to play some good football if we are going to be in and around the top of the table.
David Prentice: Hell hath no fury like a Grand Old Lady scorned
4 Dec 2013 Liverpool Echo
By David Prentice
Blues show their former manager what he's missing
Manchester United manager David Moyes (left) and Everton manager Roberto Martinez on the touchline
Evertonians affectionately refer to Goodison Park as “the Grand Old Lady.” And Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Everton didn't just cut up their old man's clothes and dump them on the doormat. They turned up at his new house, knocked on the front door and laughed in his face.
The Blues exacted beautiful, calculating, riotous revenge on David Moyes last night.
Only 3,000 travelling fans were allowed into Old Trafford. But they partied like it was 1992 after Bryan Oviedo's late, late matchwinner. The contrast couldn't have been more stark with the forlorn figure in the Old Trafford dugout. Everton made their point – and how. Their fans had been making it from very early in the evening. It took seven and a half minutes – but the message from the small but noisy travelling fans inside Old Trafford was unmistakeable “Oh David Moyes is full of ***t!”
But that will have been balm compared to the “Are you watching David Moyes?” which boomed down in time added on, followed by a cruel twist of the knife with “You're getting sacked in the morning!” And a final flourish of “We're going to win the league!” A relationship which was once harmonious - but in later years perhaps not as all embracing as everyone outside Merseyside believed – has well and truly broken down. Marouane Fellaini was booed. But it was that booming chant which was both stark and pointed. It was always coming . . . ever since Sir Alex invited his fellow Glaswegian round for a cuppa and a highly unconventional job offer. Moyes' contact with his former club since he headed up the East Lancs Road has been minimal – and in attempts to sign his former players conducted by proxy. His programme notes last night were perfunctory. He spent two paragraphs explaining that he and his staff enjoyed the 11 years they spent at Goodison Park, added “during that period I enjoyed a great relationship with Bill Kenwright and the directors” - was the past tense deliberate? - and concluded that the only club which would have made him leave one such as Everton was Manchester United. Then it was on to a summary of United's recent fixtures – it had been 24 days since their last home match after all – a look ahead to the Champions League and a tribute to Bill Foulkes. All very polite, all very customary – but precious little warmth, unlike his former Everton skipper who spoke glowingly about his “special” eight years at Goodison.
But that's David Moyes' character. He's driven, focused and single-minded. But he's passionate only about his desire to succeed as a football manager. When he's 'your' manager that's an admirable trait. But as soon as that drive and is being channeled into another club it rapidly becomes a king-sized irritant. And Evertonians have taken the right Royal hump over Moyes' bid to keep United at the pinnacle his predecessor scaled. To paraphrase Eric Idle ever so slightly: He isn't the Moyesiah. He's a very naughty boy. Roberto Martinez now holds the affections of the Gwladys Street, with his passing philosophy and his adventurous substitutions. Everton went to Old Trafford with all the ambition and adventure their manager had promised. Moyes, the oft-accused king of caution, famously took knives to these kind of gunfights. Martinez, the acknowledged emperor of ambition, took a swashbuckling scimitar. Ross Barkley was brought in for Leon Osman, while Kevin Mirallas returned for Gerard Deulofeu. If Martinez could somehow have shoehorned the young Spaniard into his team it might have been akin to a fancy-dan rapier, the kind the Three Musketeers used to slash intricate designs in aristocrats' blousons. But there's only so much adventure you can show against a side containing Rooney, Kagawa, Welbeck and Valencia. Deulofeu got his chance with 21 minutes remaining – and should really have written his name in the Everton record books.
The moment the Blues had waited 21 years for came when the youngster's electrifying pace sent him racing clear on David de Gea's goal. He waited until he could see the whites of the goalkeeper's eyes – then shot disappointingly straight at him. It didn't matter thanks to Bryan Oviedo's dramatic late intervention. The first of the three points David Moyes gleaned from Old Trafford was from a goalless draw in 2004. But that was a backs to the wall effort. Last night's visit was always enterprising, always ambitious, always adventurous. And it got the end product it deserved.
Everton future is bright. And it certainly isn't orange anymore.
We've got a long way to go' - Moyes adamant United can win title
4 Dec 2013 Manchester United
Despite the 1-0 defeat to Everton leaving United 12 points off the top, David Moyes has claimed his side can still win the title.
David Moyes stressed his belief that United can still be contenders for the Premier League title after they were beaten 1-0 at home by his former club Everton. The Reds, down to ninth, are now 12 points behind table-toppers Arsenal with both teams having played 14 league fixtures.
When asked about that gap, Moyes said: "We have got a long way to go. "We will need to play some great football and win an awful lot of games in the run-in if we going to be in there and around it come the end of the season." Then asked if he thought his team was capable of doing that, he said: "Yeah - I've got nothing to suggest anything else." In his 11 years as Everton manager prior to his defection to United over the summer, Moyes had never overseen a win at Old Trafford And after witnessing his successor Roberto Martinez pull off the feat, with the Toffees sealing their first away victory over the Red Devils since 1992 courtesy of full-back Bryan Oviedo's 85th-minute strike, Moyes said: "I'm disappointed to lose but that is the way the game goes sometimes. "The game was tight. We missed some opportunities to score and Everton took it when they got their opportunity." Asked if the loss hurt him more than usual as it was to Everton, he added: "It doesn't hurt any more. "I know they are a very good team, Everton, with very good players. You would imagine it is a sore one when it is your old team. That is the way it is."
Despite his years of service to Everton, the club's fans gave Moyes a hostile reception during the match. And asked about that, the Scot said: "It is not important. Everton supporters supported their team well tonight. "They had to come here and make sure they got right behind their team and they did that."
Oviedo labels Old Trafford goal as biggest moment of his career
5 Dec 2013 Liverpool Echo
The Costa Rican left-back's second strike in consecutive games sealed Blues' first victory at Old Trafford since 1992
Bryan Oviedo labelled scoring Everton FC 's historic winner against Manchester United as the biggest moment of his career so far, and declared: “Now anything is possible.”
The Costa Rican left-back's second strike in consecutive games sealed the Blues' first victory at Old Trafford since 1992, and the 23-year-old insisted the result only further fuels belief in the Goodison dressing room that Roberto Martinez's men are good enough to achieve a top four finish this season.
Speaking after only his third Premier League start for the Toffees, Oviedo said: “It's the biggest goal of my career against one of the biggest clubs in the world. It was special for me. I'll never forget it but I also think the best moment is coming. “I think the aim now is the Champions League. Anything is possible. “Copenhagen played in it when I was there but I was on the bench so I'd love to play in it for this club. The most important thing now is we keep going.”
The defender has spent most of his time on Merseyside on the sidelines as under-study to virtual ever-present Leighton Baines, and admitted he had to seize his chance when the England international was ruled out with a broken toe after the Merseyside derby.
“I've worked for a long time and waited for my opportunity,” he said. “It's difficult being on the bench for a year but I tried to work hard and put in extra hours. “Now the opportunity has come and everything is good. I'm happy I have scored two goals but I need to get better every time I play also. “It's such a big moment for us. I am very happy with the game and the goal was for every Everton fan. They support us so well and I feel close to them. “It's always difficult when you're away but their passion and their songs are so important. We feel that passion. It makes us play harder.”
Everton now face another challenging away fixture after their historic win in Manchester, as they head the Emirates on Sunday to face table-topping Arsenal, but the defender can't wait to face Arsene Wenger's men. “Arsenal are the top team and they play the possession game better than anyone,” he added. “But we need to keep focused and play like we did here. If we can win at Old Trafford we can win there.”
Oviedo labels Old Trafford goal as biggest moment of his career
5 Dec 2013 Liverpool Echo
By Greg O’Keefe
The Costa Rican left-back's second strike in consecutive games sealed Blues' first victory at Old Trafford since 1992
Bryan Oviedo labelled scoring Everton FC 's historic winner against Manchester United as the biggest moment of his career so far, and declared: “Now anything is possible.” The Costa Rican left-back's second strike in consecutive games sealed the Blues' first victory at Old Trafford since 1992, and the 23-year-old insisted the result only further fuels belief in the Goodison dressing room that Roberto Martinez's men are good enough to achieve a top four finish this season. Speaking after only his third Premier League start for the Toffees, Oviedo said: “It's the biggest goal of my career against one of the biggest clubs in the world. It was special for me. I'll never forget it but I also think the best moment is coming. “I think the aim now is the Champions League. Anything is possible.
“Copenhagen played in it when I was there but I was on the bench so I'd love to play in it for this club. The most important thing now is we keep going.” The defender has spent most of his time on Merseyside on the sidelines as under-study to virtual ever-present Leighton Baines, and admitted he had to seize his chance when the England international was ruled out with a broken toe after the Merseyside derby. “I've worked for a long time and waited for my opportunity,” he said. “It's difficult being on the bench for a year but I tried to work hard and put in extra hours.
“Now the opportunity has come and everything is good. I'm happy I have scored two goals but I need to get better every time I play also. “It's such a big moment for us. I am very happy with the game and the goal was for every Everton fan. They support us so well and I feel close to them.
“It's always difficult when you're away but their passion and their songs are so important. We feel that passion. It makes us play harder.” Everton now face another challenging away fixture after their historic win in Manchester, as they head the Emirates on Sunday to face table-topping Arsenal, but the defender can't wait to face Arsene Wenger's men. “Arsenal are the top team and they play the possession game better than anyone,” he added. “But we need to keep focused and play like we did here. If we can win at Old Trafford we can win there.”
Manchester Utd 0-1 Everton: Moyes loses to old club
by SIMON STONE AT OLD TRAFFORD
Published on the 05 December 2013
MANCHESTER United boss David Moyes stressed his belief his side can still be contenders for this season’s Barclays Premier League title after they were beaten 1-0 at home by his former club Everton. United, down to ninth, are now 12 points behind table-toppers Arsenal with both teams having played 14 league fixtures. When asked about that gap, Moyes said: “We have got a long way to go. We will need to play some great football and win an awful lot of games in the run-in if we going to be in there and around it come the end of the season.” Then asked if he thought his team was capable of doing that, he said: “Yeah – I’ve got nothing to suggest anything else.”
In his 11 years as Everton manager prior to his defection to United over the summer, Moyes had never overseen a win at Old Trafford. And, after witnessing his successor Roberto Martinez pull off the feat, with the Toffees sealing their first away victory over the Red Devils since 1992 courtesy of full-back Bryan Oviedo’s 85th-minute strike, Moyes said: “I’m disappointed to lose but that is the way the game goes sometimes. “The game was tight. We missed some opportunities to score and Everton took it when they got their opportunity.” Asked if the loss hurt him more than usual as it was to Everton, he added: “It doesn’t hurt any more. I know they are a very good team, Everton, with very good players. You would imagine it is a sore one when it is your old team. That is the way it is.” Despite his years of service to Everton, the club’s fans gave Moyes a hostile reception during the match. Asked about that, the Scot said: “It is not important. Everton supporters supported their team well tonight.” United could not say Everton did not deserve their success, for the visitors played with a confidence and verve their hosts could not match. Wayne Rooney struck a post and came close to netting a rebound before half-time. Former United keeper Tim Howard did brilliantly to repel a Patrice Evra header before Danny Welbeck headed the rebound against the bar after it.
But this Red Devils outfit are a shadow of their former selves and chants of “sacked in the morning” from the gleeful Evertonians, who had waited 21 long years for this success, merely twisted the knife still further. With Phil Jones and Michael Carrick missing through injury, Marouane Fellaini returned to face his former club, still looking to score his first goal for the current one. United’s most dangerous moments centred around Rooney. The shot that cannoned back off a post had flicked off Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin before it reached its destination, and Howard did well to boot the rebound to safety before Shinji Kagawa could pounce. His failure to turn home Kagawa’s low cross shortly afterwards was a shock, even though it flew through a crowd of bodies, if only because of the form he has been in. Given a second chance, his instinct was right as he hooked the ball goalwards but the power was missing and Everton managed to clear. United began the second half with Evra launching a powerful drive goalwards. However, with Everton again taking charge, the natives were getting restless and, once Evra, Welbeck and Rooney had failed, the stage was set and Oviedo ensured Everton got the perfect finale. To rub salt into the wounds, Rooney’s booking after 61 minutes was his fifth of the season and he will now sit out the weekend clash with Newcastle.
Manchester Utd: Howard, Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Oviedo, Barry, McCarthy, Mirallas (Naismith 90), Barkley (Deulofeu 69), Pienaar (Osman 80), Lukaku. Subs not used: Robles, Heitinga, Jelavic, Stones.
Everton: Howard, Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Oviedo, Barry, McCarthy, Mirallas, Barkley, Pienaar, Lukaku. Subs: Robles, Heitinga, Jelavic, Deulofeu, Naismith, Osman, Stones.
Referee: M Atkinson
Arsenal boss reacts to Manchester United’s defeat against Everton
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger knows it is still too early to write off any side’s hope of winning the Barclays Premier League after his men maintained their four-point advantage with a 2-0 win over Hull at the Emirates Stadium. Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner scored his first Arsenal goal since March 2011, heading home after just 90 seconds to set the Gunners on their way, with Mesut Ozil extended the lead at the start of the second half, finishing off a fine passing exchange with Aaron Ramsey. The Gunners’ victory saw them maintain a four-point lead over second-placed Chelsea, who won 4-3 at relegation battlers Sunderland, and move further ahead of Manchester United, who lost at home to Everton. Wenger, though, has seen enough in his long tenure not to draw any concrete conclusions of how the season will eventually pan out just yet. “It is a surprising defeat [to Everton], but it is still early,” Wenger said. “We have seen that before, 12 points, only on us.
“We have just to keep winning to have a chance, and not worry too much about the others.”
There is little respite ahead for Arsenal who host Everton on Sunday, then travel to Napoli for their final Champions League group match before a crunch clash at Manchester City on Saturday lunchtime. “For us it is a very, very heavy schedule,” Wenger lamented. “It is not fair or unfair, it is just no co-ordination between the television choices because you would say that we could have played on Saturday against Everton and we could play Sunday or Monday against Man City.
“It looks strange that we play Saturday morning and our next (league) game after that is Monday night against Chelsea nine days later.”
People must 'start taking us seriously' says Everton defender Seamus Coleman following victory over Manchester United
6 December 2013
Everton defender Seamus Coleman hopes the Toffeemen start to be taken seriously following their win at Manchester United.
In a rather bizarre season, where most teams have struggled for consistency at times, Everton remain the only Barclays Premier League outfit to have just once. Although some of their results have not been that convincing, a tepid goalless draw at Crystal Palace springs to mind, they had managed to clamber up to the fringes of a top four berth ahead of Wednesday's trip to Old Trafford.
With an equally testing away day to come at Arsenal on Sunday, it represented the acid test of Everton's credentials. But with Bryan Oviedo's late goal earning the Merseyside outfit their first Old Trafford triumph since 1992, Coleman feels Everton have served notice of their intentions.
"I hope people start taking us seriously now," said the Republic of Ireland international.
"We have a very good team and a great bunch of lads. "If we can go to Manchester United and win we can go anywhere and do it. "That is what the manager has been telling us all season, not to be afraid of anyone." As Oviedo revealed, it was a point manager Roberto Martinez reinforced in the build-up to the game. "The manager got us together and asked us what we wanted from this game," said the Costa Rica international. "He said it was very important because it was a chance to show we should be at the top of the league." That Everton deserved their success just made the victory even sweeter. Although United did have chances, striking the woodwork twice, and the visitors were indebted to former Red Devils keeper Tim Howard for a brilliant reaction save to deny Patrice Evra, Martinez's side were the dominant force in midfield. The mobility of Ross Barkley and James McCarthy was in stark contrast to the lack of movement from United, for whom Marouane Fellaini continues to be a major disappointment. And with Gareth Barry anchoring, Everton were able to keep their hosts at bay for long periods. Still, it was a contest that appeared destined to end goalless until makeshift full-back Antonio Valencia failed to react as Romelu Lukaku's mis-hit shot flew across goal, allowing an unmarked Oviedo to fire home from close range.
Filling in at left-back for the injured - and possibly United-bound - Leighton Baines, Oviedo has now scored in successive games, having opened his account for the club in their win over Stoke last weekend. "This has been my best week in football," he said.
"To score two important goals in one week is very good for me. It is a bit of history for us and a very good night." But the job is only half done. A wounded United is one thing, an Arsenal side in top form and looking like genuine title contenders for the first time in years is quite another.
"We knew we had two very difficult away games," said Oviedo. "This one is finished. We have won. That is very good for us. "Now we play one of the hardest games of the season. To play at Arsenal away from home is very difficult."
Martinez: Blues won 'more than a football game' at Old Trafford
5 Dec 2013 Liverpool Echo
Late Oviedo strike gave Blues first victory at Old Trafford since inaugural week of Premier League
Everton's first victory at Old Trafford was “more than a football game” said Blues boss Roberto Martinez . After matching predecessor David Moyes' 11-year points tally at Manchester United on his very first visit, Martinez explained that he sent his players out to overcome “a mental block.”
“Today was more than a football game for us. It was trying to get over a mental block that we had for many many years,” he explained. “Someone told me that it was 20-odd years since we won at Old Trafford. So you can imagine it wasn't about the three points or winning, today was about being able to be ourselves throughout the game. It was about making sure that we pushed each other mentally to do that and I was really proud in that respect. “It wasn't our best performance of the season. I think we've played a lot better in the campaign but today we had a real mentality.
“In the first half of the game when Manchester United created a few chances, which you would expect, we never felt inferior. “We always kept doing what we're good at and we created many open chances which is always hard to do and overall I couldn't be prouder with the mentality of the players.” The Blues boss was keen for his players to express themselves and he had absolute conviction in their ability to do that at the home of the champions. “I don't know if the players felt inferior coming here in the past. I wasn't in that dressing room so I couldn't tell,” he said.
“But what is true is that I always felt this squad is capable of going anywhere in the league and playing well. That doesn't mean you're going to win. You're going to lose and you're going to draw games but I thought that in the first half we did certain good things but I don't think our performance had real meaning. “We were a lot better after that. When we defended we defended, when we kept the ball we kept the ball and when we went into the final third we had real composure and we looked like a real threat. “That pleased me a lot. “I think throughout the 90 minutes we still had real progress in our focus and it gives you a real indication what can be achieved. “But we have done nothing yet. We need to carry on improving, carry on getting better and make sure we can perform like this anywhere in the league.” While David Moyes claimed, unconvincingly, that his side could still mount a serious title challenge, Martinez continued his policy of refusing to predict just how far his ambitious side can go. “When you are talking about a 10 month competition it is foolish to speak in December about where you're going to end up,” he said.
“But what is important now is that we feel that we can play anyone in the league and go eye to eye with them and try to accumulate as many points as you can. “Then when you get into March and April you look around at how many points you've got and you can set a final target.
“When I look at the squad we have a fantastic array of experienced senior players and then arrogant young players with incredible talent and good strength in every position. So that excites me.
“But until March or April it will be impossible to say what we can aim for.” David Moyes' press conference meanwhile lasted barely a minute and 40 seconds. But the Manchester United manager said he was not upset by the reaction he received from the travelling Everton supporters.
After receiving a generous send-off in May when his departure was announced, the mood amongst Evertonians has soured significantly with his cut price pursuit of Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines. Blues fans made their feelings clear last night, but Moyes said: “It's not important. Everton supporters supported their team well tonight. They had to come here and make sure they got right behind their team and they did that. “It doesn't hurt me any more because it's Everton. They're a really good team, with really good players. That's the way it is.” On the 1-0 defeat he added: “I'm disappointed to lose. But that's the way the game goes sometimes. The game was tight. We missed some opportunities to score and Everton took theirs when they got their opportunity.”
Everton FC: Watch five historic Blues goals after famous win at Old Trafford
5 Dec 2013 Liverpool Echo
By Peter Guy
Relive Everton's timely matchwinners after they beat Manchester United last night
Everton FC's thrilling 1-0 victory at Manchester United was their first in 21 years at Old Trafford.
Bryan Oviedo's 86th minute winner came during a pulsating game which saw numerous chances at either end. But it was the Costa Rica international's left-foot drive after latching on to Romelu Lukaku's ball across goal which broke the deadlock in glorious fashion and send the travelling Blues fans into raptures. The victory saw manager Roberto Martinez 'feeling immense pride' in his players while Oviedo hailed the goal as the biggest moment of his career .
With that victory in mind, here's a collection of other Blues goals.
Wayne Rooney v Leeds at Elland, 2002
The Blues hadn't won at Leeds since 1951 but it was the emergence of a soon-to-be superstar that would change all that. Chances went begging for Tomasz Radzinski and Nick Barmby before, in the 74th minute, manager David Moyes decided to bring on 17-year-old substitute Wayne Rooney.
The boyhood Evertonian didn't take long to make an impact, in the 80th minute he picked the ball off Tony Hibbert, skipped past Lucas Radebe and drove the ball just inside the post. Featured in the video below at 2mins 22secs.
Graeme Sharp v Liverpool at Anfield, 1984
Everton FC legend Graeme Sharp was a regular thorn in the side of Liverpool during Merseyside derbies. The Scot netted on seven occasions in three different competitions against the Reds, including the memorable strike at Anfield to end a 14-year losing away streak.
Sharp made 30 of his 447 appearances for the Blues in the Merseyside derby during a fruitful 11-year spell. Sharp’s most memorable goal came at Anfield in October '84 when he beat Mark Lawrenson before crashing home from 25 yards.
Andy King v Liverpool at Goodison Park, 1978
Everton FC's Andy King will forever be associated with his Merseyside derby heroics.
King was the man who, in October 1978, put an end to Everton's seven-year run without Merseyside derby win. King's goal in the 1-0 victory at at Goodison Park in October 1978 was Everton's first derby win since David Johnson's winner in November 1971. King's goal on 28 October 1978 was, at the time, a rare Everton winning goal. It ended almost a decade of hurt and arrived in spectacular fashion as he fired in a technically superb volley from the edge of the box. Almost as memorable as the goal itself was the pitch side post match interview which was almost immediately halted by an irate police officer. "It is still clear in my mind," King said. "What is also clear is that it meant so much to people. For me at the time, it was just beating Liverpool. As the years have gone by I have realised that it was so important to people that they can remember where they were at the time.
"It had been so long since we had beaten Liverpool; seven years, 15 games and so many other things with it."
Leon Osman v Fulham at Craven Cottage, 2009
Leon Osman grabbed both goals as Everton secured their first victory at Craven Cottage since 1966.
The victory also ensured Everton grabbed fifth spot in the Premier League.
Osman's two strikes, coming the week before Everton's FA Cup final appearance against Chelsea, helped the Blues to their first win at Fulham since Alan Ball scored the winner on his debut.
United 0 Everton 1: Premier League match report
5 Dec 2013 Manchester Evening News
Bryan Oviedo grabbed a late goal for Everton as they inflicted a 1-0 defeat on United at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
David Moyes endured a nightmare reunion with his former club as Everton claimed a 1-0 win over United at Old Trafford. The Toffees went toe-to-toe with the Reds throughout in a way so few teams did during Sir Alex Ferguson's time at the helm. And the confirmation of just how much things have changed came with five minutes remaining, as Bryan Oviedo ghosted in at the back post to score.
Moyes was public enemy number one all night with his former supporters and by the end of it those left inside Old Trafford in the United sections were none too pleased with him either.
This was the result the United boss could have done without as he painstakingly attempts to fashion his own Reds side. The Glaswegian had said in the lead up to this crucial game that he couldn’t afford any emotion on this occasion. And clearly those he’d bought and nurtured at Everton came to Old Trafford with the same message and made it a night to forget for Moyes as one of his last buys, Costa Rican Oviedo from Copenhagen, severely damaged United’s chances of retaining their title.
All the uplifting mood garnered from the recent success against league leaders Arsenal has now well and truly gone down the pan and United are facing up to a winter crisis in the Premier League.
After draws at Cardiff and Spurs had slowed the momentum of the victory against the Gunners this well and truly put the brakes on it. It is now United’s worst start to a league campaign since the 2001-02 season when Arsenal last won the title. They could ill afford such a devastating loss on a night when their biggest title rivals, Arsenal, City, Chelsea and Liverpool all won. It was a terrible end to the evening for Moyes and it was never the most comfortable of early watches either as his old side got amongst the Reds and rattled them to the core. The United boss had praised Romelu Lukaku as the dominant hitman he was never able to secure in his tenure at Goodison and he has certainly added a dynamite leader to the majority of the personnel assembled by Moyes.
Nemanja Vidic wasn’t playing when the big Belgian ran riot at the Hawthorns last May and all but ruined Sir Alex Ferguson’s final match. He scored a hat trick against the champions as a West Brom loan player to claw back a 5-5 draw to send Fergie into retirement in dramatic fashion.
But the Serb found out last night the agonies his colleagues went through in that match in the Midlands as Lukaku shaped up to attempt to wreck Moyes’ reunion as well. United’s rock was crumbling before everybody’s eyes almost every time the pair locked horns in a one-to-ne muscle contest. It was hardly the foundation the Reds needed after those two away in Wales and London had badly damaged the Reds momentum. There were eye-catching tussles all over the field with the Vidic-Lukaku power battle one of the most interesting as Everton looked for that particular outlet whenever they had possession. The other personal set-to was Marouane Fellaini and Ross Barkley.
It was a big night for United’s £27.5m summer buy from Goodison. The critics eyes were focused on him and the 25-year-old played some neat and simple balls and wasn’t afraid to let his ex-team-mates know he was around. But Barkley, a product of Moyes’ Academy at Goodison and the man who promoted him to the seniors, was giving as good as he got as the pair wrestled to become the game-changer. If Lukaku was the strike ace the Reds boss was never able to find in his 11 years on Merseyside, Wayne Rooney was the one he lost as a teenager in 2004 to Old Trafford and the one he got back as a man this summer and has transformed him back to the goalscorer United possibly thought they’d lost for good. Against his former club he led United’s charge from a subdued start when they were on the back foot. Tim Howard who didn’t quite cut it at Old Trafford as the Reds number one and David de Gea, who didn’t like he would either but has turned into a superb keeper, both had to show their qualities to keep the scoreline at 0-0 for so long. The American had to block a ferocious Rooney shot in the 16th minute and later slid in to hoof one away after another Rooney shot came back off a post and into the danger area. The Spaniard had to be inventive and use his knee to keep one Lukaku effort out as the entertaining match flowed from one end to another.
Both Moyes and Roberto Martinez will have been disappointed at times when high speed moves broke down but it all added to the entertainment as the match swung from one attack to another.
Too often however in the second half when a red shirt was in possession they ended up with arms spread in a frustrated gesture asking where the movement for a pass was. Moyes decided early to change things around and attempt to stretch Everton and brought Kagawa and Rafael off for Nani and Adnan Januzaj. The young Belgian did get United back on the front foot and blasted in a shot that Howard desperately pushed over with his gloves. It prompted the champions to keep Everton forced back and once again Howard showed the kind of reaction save Old Trafford witnessed a few times in his tenure in goal as he pawed Patrice Evra’s header away and Danny Welbeck’s headed follow up struck the bar. Welbeck had suffered one of those nights when nothing went right and disappointingly some amongst the Old Trafford crowd were vocal in their condemnation of the Mancunian home grown product’s efforts. He made way for Javier Hernandez as Moyes used up his quota of aces up his sleeve. But it was Everton’s challenge that was revived as the minutes ticked away and a Mirallas free kick that smashed against the post softened the Reds up. Lukaku had been a passenger after his first half in-your-face display but he came to life late and got lucky with a shot that turned into a pass for Oviedo to say an odd thank you to the guy who gave him his break in England. It gave Everton the win they were never able to achieve in Moyes’ time as an Old
Oviedo secures place in Everton history
5 Dec 2013 Daily Post
By Ian Doyle
Great night for Blues
Clearly, David Moyes had been pursuing the wrong left-back.
While the crocked Leighton Baines watched on from the dug-out, his replacement Bryan Oviedo earned himself a place in Goodison folklore by earning Everton their first win at Old Trafford in more than 21 years. Oviedo struck four minutes from time to give Roberto Martinez's men a thoroughly deserved victory and further underline their credentials for Champions League qualification.
But for Moyes, coming up against his old club for the first time since leaving for Manchester United in the summer, this was a chastening experience, his team well beaten and his ever-decreasing standing among the Everton support clear by the chants emanating from the away end.
In just 14 Premier League games, Martinez has made this Everton team his own with a positive approach that reaped its rewards in dramatic style last night. This, of course, was always going to be an evening dominated by a man up against his former team. Moyes, though, was overshadowed by Tim Howard, whose heroics in goal allowed Oviedo the platform to produce his moment to remember. The Costa Rican has had to live in the shadow of Baines since arriving 18 months ago but his second goal inside a week means he doesn't have to kick a ball again for his legendary status to be assured among Evertonians. Infamously, United was one of four leading clubs – Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool the others – where Moyes failed to win in the Premier League during more than 11 years in charge at Goodison. Martinez won at Old Trafford at the first time of asking. Next up, the Emirates on Sunday, and having been beaten only once in the Premier League this season, the fixture will offer little fear. Everton trio Ross Barkley, Romelu Lukaku and Gerard Deulofeu weren't even born the last time their team won at Old Trafford back in August 1992. Now they have helped write a new chapter in the club's history, Martinez winning at Old Trafford at the first time of asking.
Howard wasn't the only hero in blue last night. From the power and tenacity of Lukaku up front, the endeavour of the excellent James McCarthy and Gareth Barry in midfield and the resolute defending of Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin at the back, this was a true team performance. Moyes had been expecting a “mixed” reception from the away end after his initially convivial exit from Goodison in the summer soon evaporated with Everton supporters unhappy at United's prolonged pursuit of Baines and Marouane Fellaini and subsequent comments regarding his former club.
The travelling fans, though, had other ideas. And after Moyes was jeered on his first encroachment into the technical area, he was serenaded by a song that suggested the Evertonians present believed their club's former manager contained plentiful waste matter. Fellaini, too, was the target of boos.
The visitors, buoyed by their emphatic 4-0 thrashing of Stoke City last weekend, began in impressive fashion. After Lukaku's shot was deflected behind, United failed to properly clear a Steven Pienaar corner and a bout of Everton pressure ended with Kevin Mirallas – recalled along with Barkley to the starting line-up – cutting in off the left and smashing in a shot from 20 yards the United goalkeeper David de Gea beat over. But while Martinez's faith in his team's expansive approach made for an entertainingly open game, it ensured it wasn't long before United were fashioning chances of their own. The first came on 16 minutes when, with United recycling possession at pace, Wayne Rooney's shot from eight yards was pushed out by Howard, who saved from Shinji Kagawa shortly afterwards.
Ryan Giggs, 40, then glanced a header wide from Antonio Valencia's right-wing cross before the visitors had a lucky escape on 29 minutes when Rooney's shot deflected off Sylvain Distin and struck the base of the post and Howard cleared with his foot before Kagawa could bounce on the rebound.
Lukaku, who troubled Nemanja Vidic throughout with his physical presence, forced a scrambling save from de Gea and, from Seamus Coleman's subsequent cross, Mirallas saw his shot blocked.
In a manic end to the half, Barkley wasted an excellent chance when, with United outnumbered on the counter-attack, the youngster's pass to Lukaku was overhit and the danger fizzled out, while at the other end Rooney was gifted a second bite after misreading Kagawa's cross but his improvised flick was held by Howard. The second half saw no deviation from the end-to-end pattern of play. Fellaini had an ambitious effort blocked while Chris Smalling hacked clear as Coleman caused havoc inside the area, and Mirallas worked space for a shot but excitedly thrashed his effort well off target.
Rooney allowed his frustration to get the better of him when picking up a deserved yellow card for a petulant late foul on Jagielka, evidence of Everton's maintaining a significant foothold in the match.
On 70 minutes, just moments after replacing the tiring Barkley, Deulofeu's pace took him clear down the right on to Lukaku's fine pass, but his shot was straight at de Gea. United substitute Adnan Januzaj then drew a decent stop from Howard, before the Everton goalkeeper excelled himself further on 72 minutes with a brilliant save from point-blank range to keep out Patrice Evra's header that deserved the fortune of seeing Danny Welbeck then nod the rebound against the crossbar.
Everton, though, finished the stronger, United's unease shown by Fellaini's poor high challenge on the McCarthy that deserved a booking. Then came the decisive moment. Mirallas smashed a free-kick against the post from 25 yards and, with the ball still in play, the attack ended with Lukaku smashing across the face of goal where Oviedo arrived to slot home left-footed under de Gea.
History had been made. And for Martinez, the honeymoon continues.
MAN OF THE MATCH. James McCarthy. Covered almost every blade of glass with a selflessly hard-working performance
MANCHESTER UNITED (4-2-3-1): de Gea; Rafael (Nani 58), Smalling, Vidic, Evra; Fellaini, Giggs; Valencia, Kagawa (Januzaj 58), Welbeck (Hernandez 81); Rooney. Subs: Lindegaard, Evans, Young, Cleverley. BOOKINGS: Rooney and Giggs (both fouls).
EVERTON (4-2-3-1): Howard; Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Oviedo; Barry, McCarthy; Mirallas (Naismith 90), Barkley (Deulofeu 69), Pienaar (Osman 80); Lukaku. Subs: Robles, Heitinga, Jelavic, Stones.
REFEREE: Martin Atkinson.
Match Report: Man Utd 0 Everton 1
5 Dec 2013 Daily Post
Martinez leads Blues to a historic away win
Clearly, David Moyes had been pursuing the wrong left-back. While the crocked Leighton Baines watched on from the dug-out, his replacement, Bryan Oviedo, earned himself a place in Goodison folklore by earning Everton their first win at Old Trafford in more than 21 years. last night.
Oviedo struck four minutes from time to earn Roberto Martinez’s men a thoroughly deserved victory and further underline their credentials for Champions League qualification.
But for Moyes, coming up against his former club for the first time since leaving for Manchester United in the summer, this was a chastening experience, his team well beaten and his ever-decreasing standing among the Everton support clear by the chants emanating from the away end.
This, of course, was always going to be an evening dominated by the man up against his former club. Moyes, though, was overshadowed by Tim Howard, whose heroics in goal allowed Oviedo the platform to produce his moment to remember. The Costa Rican doesn’t have to kick a ball again for Everton for his legendary status to be assured. Infamously, United was one of four leading clubs – Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool the others – where Moyes failed to win in the Premier League during more than 11 years in charge at Goodison. Everton trio Ross Barkley, Romelu Lukaku and Gerard Deulofeu weren’t even born the last time their team won at Old Trafford back in August 1992. They have helped write a new chapter in the club’s history. The Moyes era is now definitely over – in just 14 Premier League games, Martinez has made this team his with a positive approach that reaped its rewards last night. Moyes had been expecting a “mixed” reception from the away end after his initially convivial exit from Goodison in the summer soon evaporated with Everton supporters unhappy at United’s prolonged pursuit of Baines and Marouane Fellaini and subsequent comments regarding his former club. The travelling fans, though, had other ideas. And after Moyes was jeered on his first encroachment into the technical area, he was serenaded by a song that suggested the Evertonians present believed their club’s former manager contained plentiful waste matter. Fellaini, too, was the target of boos, jeered on his first few unsure touches of the ball up against his former team-mates. The visitors, buoyed by their emphatic 4-0 thrashing of Stoke City last weekend, began in impressive fashion, making good Martinez’s assertion they would approach the game with no fear. After Lukaku’s shot was deflected behind, United failed to properly clear a Steven Pienaar corner and a bout of Everton pressure ended with Kevin Mirallas – recalled along with Barkley to the starting line-up – cutting in off the left and smashing in a shot from 20 yards the United goalkeeper David de Gea beat over. But while Martinez’s faith in his team’s expansive approach made for an entertainingly open game, it ensured it wasn’t long before United were fashioning chances of their own. The first came on 16 minutes when, with United recycling possession at pace, Wayne Rooney’s shot from eight yards was pushed out by Tim Howard.
The Everton goalkeeper then made another smart stop to deny Shinji Kagawa after the Japan international was fortunate to both receive the ball and not be flagged offside.
Ryan Giggs, 40, then glanced a header wide from Antonio Valencia’s right-wing cross before the visitors had a lucky escape on 29 minutes when Rooney’s shot deflected off Sylvain Distin and struck the base of the post and the wrongfooted Howard cleared with his foot before Kagawa could bounce on the rebound. Everton, though, continued to pose a threat. Although kept quiet by the hard-working Fellaini, Barkley found space on occasion and, from one such break, his shot from 20 yards flew harmlessly over. Lukaku, who troubled Nemanja Vidic throughout with his physical presence, forced a scrambling save from de Gea and, from Seamus Coleman’s subsequent cross, Mirallas saw his shot blocked. In a manic end to the half, Barkley wasted an excellent chance when, with United outnumbered on the counter-attack, the youngster’s pass to Lukaku was overhit and the danger fizzled out, while at the other end Rooney was gifted a second bite after misreading Kagawa’s cross but his improvised flick was held by Howard. The second half saw no deviation from the end-to-end pattern of play. Fellaini had an ambitious effort blocked while Chris Smalling hacked clear as Coleman caused havoc inside the area, and Mirallas worked space for a shot but excitedly thrashed his effort well off target. Rooney allowed his frustration to get the better of him when picking up a deserved yellow card for a petulant late foul on Phil Jagielka, evidence of Everton’s maintaining a significant foothold in the match. The introduction of youth from both benches further cranked up the intensity during the final quarter. On 70 minutes, just moments after replacing the tiring Barkley, Deulofeu’s pace took him clear down the right on to Lukaku’s fine pass, but his shot was right at de Gea. United substitute Adnan Januzaj then drew a decent stop from Howard, before the Everton goalkeeper excelled himself further on 72 minutes with a brilliant save from point-blank range to keep out Patrice Evra’s header that deserved the fortune of seeing Danny Welbeck then nod the rebound against the crossbar. Everton, though, finished the stronger, United’s unease shown by Fellaini’s poor high challenge on the excellent James McCarthy that deserved a booking. Then came the moment to remember. Mirallas smashed a free-kick against the post from 25 yards and, with the ball still in play, the attack ended with Lukaku smashing across the face of goal where Oviedo arrived to slot home left-footed under de Gea. It truly was a night to remember. And one Moyes will, for completely different reasons, struggle to forget for some time to come.
Arsenal star warns team-mates over Everton
Friday, December 6, 2013
Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta is in no doubt Everton deserve their place at the top end of the Premier League, but will be out to derail his old side’s good form this weekend.
Arteta, 31, left Goodison Park on transfer deadline day in August 2011 following six seasons on Merseyside, where he had become a key player. The Spaniard is glad to see the Toffees have not come unstuck since Roberto Martinez took over from David Moyes, whom he beat with an impressive 1-0 away win at Manchester United on Wednesday night. Everton are in fifth, behind Liverpool on goal difference, and trail leaders Arsenal by seven points after the Gunners midweek win over Hull. And Arteta knows his old side will provide a stern test of just how far Arsene Wenger’s men can go in 2014. “Everton are having a great season and they have got great results against top teams, which is not easy,” he said. “It was a big result (at Manchester United), it was massively important for them and will boost their confidence, so we are going to face a really difficult team for sure.” Arteta added: “I know the fundamentals of the club and I was happy with the way they dealt with the transfer window. “I think they did really well and improved the team compared to where they were before. They deserve to be (up) there.” Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner, standing in for rested leading frontman Olivier Giroud, scored his first Arsenal goal since March 2011 when he headed the Gunners in front after just 90 seconds against Hull at the Emirates Stadium on the way to a 2-0 win. The result was achieved despite Wenger making several changes to the starting XI. The likes of England trio Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs were on the bench, along with club captain Thomas Vermaelen and vice-skipper Arteta. Arteta, who came on as a late substitute for Aaron Ramsey, feels strength in depth will be vital. “We have struggled in the last years a little bit to do that because of the numbers and injuries and now we have almost everyone fit, apart from Lukas Podolski and Alex (Oxlade-Chamberlain), that is a very good sign,” he said. “I think it (competition for places) is great. Everybody has to be on their toes and everybody is important. “We are going to need everybody if we are going to achieve something. I think it’s a good thing.” There is little respite ahead for Arsenal, who face a difficult away assignment against Napoli for their final Champions League group match next Wednesday before a crunch clash at Manchester City on Saturday lunchtime. Arteta, though, insists the Gunners squad are brimming with confidence as they chase down a first trophy since 2005. “Does it matter we don’t have the experience of winning the title before? No - as long as you have the quality, the ambition and togetherness that we have, I think we are in a good position to do it,” he said.
:: It was confirmed on Thursday that the son of Arsenal majority shareholder Stan Kroenke has been appointed a non-executive director. Arsenal confirmed that Josh Kroenke will take on the position in a move the 33-year-old said would “reaffirm our family’s long-term commitment to the club”.
My old Everton FC mates deserve their success, says Mikel Arteta
6 Dec 2013 Liverpool Echo
Midfielder will be on his guard when the Blues visit the Emirates
Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta is in no doubt Everton deserve their place at the top end of the Premier League, but will be out to derail his old side’s good form this weekend.
Arteta, 31, left Goodison Park on transfer deadline day in August 2011 following six seasons on Merseyside. The Spaniard is glad to see the Toffees have not come unstuck since Roberto Martinez took over from David Moyes. And he knows his old side will provide a stern test of just how far Arsene Wenger’s men can go in 2014. “Everton are having a great season and they have got great results against top teams, which is not easy,” Arteta said. “It was a big result at Manchester United, it was massively important for them and will boost their confidence, so we are going to face a really difficult team for sure. “I know the fundamentals of the club and I was happy with the way they dealt with the transfer window. “I think they did really well and improved the team compared to where they were before. They deserve to be (up) there.” Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner, standing in for rested leading frontman Olivier Giroud, scored his first Arsenal goal since March 2011 when he headed the Gunners in front after just 90 seconds against Hull at the Emirates Stadium on the way to a 2-0 win. Arteta, who came on as a late substitute for Aaron Ramsey, feels strength in depth will be vital. “We have struggled in the last years a little bit to do that because of the numbers and injuries and now we have almost everyone fit,,” he said. “I think it (competition for places) is great. Everybody has to be on their toes and everybody is important.”
Bryan Oviedo on his way to cult hero status at Everton FC
6 Dec 2013 Liverpool Echo
Costa Rican's match winner at Old Trafford dazzled travelling Toffees
Bryan Oviedo is on his way to becoming an Everton cult hero. The Costa Rican left-back has seen his appearances severely limited by Leighton Baines’ form and consistency. But after stepping in for the injured England star, the 23-year-old scored a stunning goal against Stoke, created another for Romelu Lukaku – then scored the late winner which ended 21 years of hurt at Old Trafford on Wednesday. “You can either throw in the towel or use it to wipe the sweat off your face,” tweeted the full-back on Wednesday, along with a montage of action pictures from the game.
While boss Roberto Martinez praised the exemplary attitude shown by a player who is heading for the World Cup finals in Brazil next summer. “I think Bryan has the hardest job in football,” said Martinez. “He's fighting against one of the best left-backs in world football at the best moment of his career. “It's quite difficult and I think it would be easy for any professional to drop your standards, to be a little bit of a nuisance around the place. “But Bryan has been working extremely hard waiting for his chance and what he's done in the last two games is a real example of how a footballer should behave. “Internally I want him to be an example for our youngsters.
“I couldn't be prouder that he's got the reward his hard work deserves.”
We've been told by the boss to be more arrogant, says Everton FC's Tim Howard
6 Dec 2013 Liverpool Echo
By David Prentice
Martinez doesn't tell us we can win - he says we should win
After ending a 21-year hoodoo at Everton’s least favourite ground to visit, the Blues now go to a ground where they have NEVER won! Arsenal moved from their historic Highbury home – where Everton last won in 1996 – to The Emirates Stadium in 2006, and in seven visits the Blues are still waiting to record their first win. But goalkeeper Tim Howard, who played an instrumental part in securing that milestone win at Old Trafford on Wednesday, believes the Blues can travel south with a spring in their step. “One of the things the manager has instilled in us this season is arrogance,” explained Howard. “He wants us to be confident going to places and feeling not that we can, win but that we should win. “Not that we hope to win, but to impose our style and our will on the game. “You need to have arrogance to do that. “Football’s very temperamental. You win and everybody feels great. You lose and you feel like it couldn’t get any worse, so right now we’re buzzing. It was a massive result.”
After urging his players to have the self-belief to express themselves at Manchester United, manager Martinez believes that the result on Wednesday can do more to lift his players than any team talk he could deliver ahead of Sunday’s trip to league leaders Arsenal.
“How big is that result? Huge. Huge,” he declared. “I could sit down and tell the players how good they could be. “But unless you come to places like Old Trafford and get the three points it’s difficult to make steps forward. “Competition for places is stronger than it’s ever been at Everton for a long, long time. “That really excites me.
“I think the mentality is getting to a good place but this league is the hardest league in world football. It doesn't matter who you're playing you're going to find a difficult game. But I'm pleased for the fans. I think the fans were terrific. “It must have been very difficult to keep turning up at a big ground with big expectations of the game and not being able to win. “It's been too long for a club like ours – after winning nine titles and the history we have – we should be able to come to places like Old Trafford and see eye to eye with any team in the league. “Unfortunately we haven't got time to enjoy it. We should have had an international break! Unfortunately they never come at the right time.” But with five clean sheets in his last six appearances – a run started with a stunning penalty save at Aston Villa – goalkeeper Howard is looking forward to Sunday’s trip south.
“Everyone’s flying high,” he said. “But we’ve got an even tougher game this weekend at Arsenal so it was good to get the win under our belts for so many reasons. “We need to believe we can go to big grounds and get results and if we can do that consistently we’ll be closer to the top at the end of the season. “That’s the mentality we have to have.”
Oviedo becoming Everton cult hero
6 Dec 2013 Daily Post
Defender's tweet shows attitude to the game
Bryan Oviedo is on his way to becoming an Everton cult hero.
The Costa Rican left-back has seen his appearances severely limited by Leighton Baines’ form and consistency. But after stepping in for the injured England star, the 23-year-old scored a stunning goal against Stoke, created another for Romelu Lukaku – then scored the late winner which ended 21 years of hurt at Old Trafford on Wednesday. “You can either throw in the towel or use it to wipe the sweat off your face,” tweeted the full-back on Wednesday, along with a montage of action pictures from the game. While boss Roberto Martinez praised the exemplary attitude shown by a player who is heading for the World Cup finals in Brazil next summer. “I think Bryan has the hardest job in football,” said Martinez. "He's fighting against one of the best left-backs in world football at the best moment of his career. “It's quite difficult and I think it would be easy for any professional to drop your standards, to be a little bit of a nuisance around the place. “But Bryan has been working extremely hard waiting for his chance and what he's done in the last two games is a real example of how a footballer should behave. “Internally I want him to be an example for our youngsters. “I couldn't be prouder that he's got the reward his hard work deserves.”
David Prentice: Snub to Everton FC left me baffled
6 Dec 2013 Liverpool Echo
By David Prentice
Someone at BT Sports clearly has a sense of humour. Twisted, but a sense of humour nonetheless.
That’s the only way to explain Wednesday’s baffling decision to screen Swansea v Newcastle live for the nation’s delight and delectation. For one night only the sports broadcasting new boys had the whole of the Premier League to go at. They willingly volunteered to go to Swansea.
Bizarre. There was only one show in town last week – and it didn’t disappoint. Manchester United v Everton had history, colour and more personality clashes than an episode of Jeremy Kyle.
It had Moyes v Martinez, Rooney v his first love, Fellaini v his last love – and plenty of previous.
The last but one fixture produced a 4-4 classic which cost United the title.
But BT Sports still opted for Swansea v Newcastle. Maybe they’d had their fingers burned with an earlier Everton fixture? Apparently not. The last time Everton were screened they were involved in the greatest Merseyside derby match of modern times – and the first time they featured they helped produce an absorbing four-goal spectacle at Manchester City. NBC is American and could therefore be forgiven for getting its which-match-to-watch wires crossed. They didn’t. They showed Manchester United v Everton. So did TSN2 in Canada. Match of the Day billed it second – only a seven-goal thriller at the Stadium of Light knocking it off top spot. BT aren’t alone in turning their noses up at The Toffees. Sky TV have watched Everton just twice this term, too – again a five-goal thriller against Newcastle, preceded by a dramatic Saturday teatime defeat of Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea. Clearly the TV bosses can’t see further than their red-tinted weekly diet of Liverpool and Manchester United. Or maybe they’re just having a laugh? The letter sent out to a viewer who asked exactly the same question this week suggests the latter. I asked the question on Twitter in the build-up to Wednesday’s showdown – and Braintree Blue posted the reply he’d received from BT’s PR people. With tongues clearly lodged in cheeks, they wrote: “Many thanks for your recent letter enquiring why Swansea v Newcastle has been selected for live television coverage on Wednesday, December 4th. “At BT Sport we aim to offer viewers a wide range of sporting entertainment, including exciting action from the Barclays Premier League (plus Sunderland and Stoke). Whilst David Moyes facing Everton for the first time as Manchester United manager is a major football story, our production team were much more excited by the huge ‘battle for the Europa League’ clash between Swansea and Newcastle. “With only six goals in the last four meetings between these two clubs, we thought there’s bound to be some more soon! “We’d also like to thank you for your feedback about Michael Owen’s commentary being more effective than Night Nurse. “Sadly this is not valid grounds for a refund on your subscription. “Yours Faithfully BT Sport”
Very entertaining stuff.
I just can’t help thinking that screening Manchester United v Everton would have been even more entertaining.
Howard Kendall: On solid foundations for flair, Everton FC's belief in themselves and who's winning the managerial sack race
6 Dec 2013 Liverpool Echo
Former Blues boss on the talking points at Goodison Park
Everton have a solid base under Martinez
Everton, under Roberto Martinez, are a team playing with real freedom. It’s like the shackles have been taken off the players and they have become free spirits. Roberto has always set his sides up to play like that. But it’s impossible to do that successfully without a secure base – and the importance of Everton’s back five can’t be under-estimated in what they have allowed the new Blues boss to do.
When Arsene Wenger arrived at Arsenal all those years ago he had a magnificent platform to build on. Lee Dixon and Nigel Winterburn were the full-backs he inherited – with that famous central defensive triumvirate of Adams, Keown and Bould. Then behind that he had the England goalkeeper David Seaman. Roberto’s position is not dissimilar at Everton. Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines are modern, international class full-backs – Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin are an outstanding partnership, while behind them Tim Howard has proved a superbly reliable goalkeeper.
Roberto might have changed his side around a little in recent weeks, but the one constant has been that back five. And that has allowed the players in front to play with a real freedom.
Roberto has always set his sides up to play like that. But at Wigan he didn’t have defenders of the same quality he has at Everton. That’s why they ultimately ended up being relegated.
At Everton Roberto’s back five have given him the foundation to allow players to express themselves further forward – and that’s been invaluable for him as he implements his philosophies.
Instilling a winning mentality Roberto Martinez spoke of the ‘mental block’ his players had to overcome to win at Old Trafford. Footballers are only human and if they are hearing a record at a particular ground being written about in the papers and spoken about on the television and the radio, of course it will play on their minds. It’s why at the start of every season I always said to my players ‘let’s get our first home win’ then ‘let’s get our first away win’ – so nobody could keep harping on about it! The great thing about Wednesday night’s result was that when Everton next go to Old Trafford nobody will be talking about bogey grounds. I couldn’t believe it when I read I was the last Everton manager to win there! Not any more – and I’m delighted about that.
The sack race is hotting up THE silly season for managerial sackings is upon us – and there’s been a worrying trend developing this week. It’s well known that the arrival of a new manager often brings an improvement in performance. But this week the arrival of a new boss has actually seen teams record instant victories! Crystal Palace were rock bottom of the Premier League before Tony Pulis arrived as manager – yet in his very first home game Palace went and beat West Ham.
Barnsley were rock bottom of the Championship, yet Micky Mellon took over as caretaker after David Flitcroft was sacked and they instantly went down to promotion chasing Brighton and won!
Then Sheffield Wednesday sacked Dave Jones – and promptly beat top of the table Leicester.
When Fulham led against Spurs on Wednesday night, straight after Martin Jol’s sacking, you could sense chairmen up and down the country getting itchy trigger fingers.
But no new manager – regardless of his quality – can gauge for goals of the quality Tottenham hit back with in midweek. Chairmen should realise, sometimes sacking a manager is only a short-term fix.
Arsenal boss gives his verdict on Everton and Martinez
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images
Friday, December 6, 2013
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says his opposite number Roberto Martinez has done “remarkably well” since taking over from David Moyes at Everton. Everton head to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday on the back of a 1-0 win away to Manchester United, as Martinez recorded a memorable triumph over his predecessor Moyes. The Toffees have lost just one of their opening 14 Premier League games this season and sit in fifth place, behind neighbours Liverpool only on goal difference.
Wenger has been impressed. He said: “Martinez has done remarkably well because they had difficult games. “They have played many of the big teams in the league and overall are in a very strong position in the league. “They have just come out of a win against Manchester United.
“We are lucky this season a little bit, because there is always a big warning before we play these teams they have exceptional results. “That keeps us on our toes. We know for us it is a big game.”
Martinez backs Deulofeu to find killer-instinct in front of goal
7 Dec 2013 Liverpool Echo
By Greg O’Keefe
Martinez insists it won't be long before starlet begins hitting back of net more regularly
Everton FC manager Roberto Martinez has backed Gerard Deulofeu to find his killer-instinct in front of goal. The teenage sensation has already opened his account for his loan club with the opener against Stoke City last weekend, but fluffed two glorious chances against Liverpool and Manchester United either side of that 4-0 rout. However Martinez insists it won't be long before the starlet begins hitting the back of the net more regularly, particularly if he continues creating his own openings in the final third. He said: “It’s only a matter of time before he starts scoring them more often. I’m never worried about him missing the chances, it’s more him getting in positions we can take advantage of. "You’re looking at the tactical aspect of how to get him in those positions, and he does that with ease. Gerard is getting in great positions and became a real worry for the United defence when he came on. He creates a threat time after time." Deulofeu may have failed to convert a great opportunity on Wednesday night, but it was his mazy burst into the United area that played a crucial part in the build up to Bryan Oviedo's winner against Manchester United, and Martinez believes it was typical of his influence during recent cameos." To make the chance for himself earlier was great and then in front of goal I think he tried to be very clever and nut-meg the keeper which at one stage I thought he had done," says the Blues boss. "I think that affected De Gea for Oviedo’s shot." The long-term future of all of Everton's loan stars this season continues to be a talking point, with Gareth Barry the latest to hint he may prefer to remain at Goodison beyond this season. Romelu Lukaku is another influential temporary squad member who Martinez would dearly love to retain, but he insists he is not dwelling too much on the topic. "I think there’s going to be a lot of debate from the outside but there’s no debate on the inside," he said. "Romelu loves the game, and that just shows in everything he does. He’s enjoying his time at Everton. He’s got really attached to the fans and the team and that’s all I want - that to continue. "Whatever happens at the end of the season will be for the good of everyone. It was a deal that Chelsea wanted to develop him individually and get him the games to progress. "For us it was to get a quality striker. We just need all three parties getting the positives." The Catalan did, however, acknowledge that Lukaku's evident bond with the club's fans is a yet another positive part of his spell on Merseyside.
"When you saw him celebrating the way he did on Wednesday you can tell he’s loving his time here and it’s important we continue that," he said. "We should enjoy him while he’s here and not look too far ahead."
Everton ace Sylvain Distin believes the Toffees can break into the top four
WHEN Sylvain Distin arrived in England in 2001 he was not sure he would last more than a few months.
By Chris McKenna/Published 7th December 2013
Twelve years later he has become the first foreign outfield player to rack up more than 400 Premier League appearances.
Now the Frenchman is eyeing up a European return with Everton. Distin, 35, arrived at Newcastle on loan from Paris St-Germain but struggled to get in the side at first. He was left isolated in the North East, alone in a hotel, cold, and asking himself why he left Paris to sit on the bench at Newcastle. But the French defender would go on to establish himself during his loan spell at St James' Park that season and helped them reach the Champions League. Distin signed for Manchester City in 2002 and he has never looked back, spending five years with the Blues before joining Portsmouth, and then Everton in 2009. He said: "Honestly, my aim was to go back to PSG and play. I thought I'd come over for one year and then go back to where I'd been.
"PSG was the club I belonged to, I supported "PSG was the club I belonged to, I supported them as a kid. Dark "I definitely didn't think I would stay in the first three months. That was tough. I began to play after the first three months and started to enjoy it and after that I thought, 'I'm not going back to France'. "I definitely didn't think I would stay in the first three months. That was tough. I began to play after the first three months and started to enjoy it and after that I thought, 'I'm not going "The first few months I didn't think I'd survive in England. I wasn't playing, I wasn't speaking English, I was on my own in the hotel and I didn't know anything, so I was was like, 'What's the point with this?' "I don't know if you know Newcastle, but from September it's dark nights from about 3pm. OK, it's the same here on Merseyside, but it's a bit colder up north. "I don't know if you know Newcastle, but from September it's dark nights from about "We did eventually have a great season at Newcastle, playing with guys like Alan Shearer, people I had been watching on TV "We did eventually have a great season at Newcastle, playing with guys like Alan Shearer, people I had been watching on TV two or three years before." "Now it is all about looking forward for the veteran as he looks to finish his career in" Now it is all about looking forward for the veteran as he looks to finish his career in England on a high. “We do start to believe it's possible to finish in the top four now”
Sylvain Distin DISTIN's contract expires at the end of this season but he is hoping a new deal can be arranged and he can also enjoy a return to Distin's contract expires at the end of this season but he is hoping a new deal can be arranged and he can also enjoy a return to European football.
Everton are fifth heading into the weekend, Everton are fifth heading into the weekend, and tomorrow they visit Arsenal, following Wednesday's win over Manchester United - their first victory at Old Trafford in 21 years. Roberto Martinez's side believe they have a realistic chance of securing a top four spot and the Champions League place that goes with it. Distin said: "We do start to believe it's possible to finish in the top four now. "We have always believed it's possible, but now, I think mathematically we are starting to believe it's more possible. My contract is up at the end of the season, there is nothing more. I want to stay. "It seems like the club wants me to stay so I am sure we will find a solution." When Everton faced United at Old Trafford on Wednesday, some fans gave former boss David Moyes stick. They felt the United boss was disrespectful to Everton with his comments before the game about Martinez "keeping it going" and believe the Spaniard is doing much better than the Scot. But Distin believes the work Moyes did in taking the Toffees from relegation battlers to a top-half side, and into the Champions League in 2005 should not be forgotten. He said: "Yes, Roberto's philosophy has had an effect, but it would be a very big mistake to forget what David Moyes has done for this club. He said: "Yes, Roberto's philosophy has had an effect, but it would be a very big mistake to forget what David Moyes has done for this club.
Tuning "Ninety per cent of the players here David Moyes has brought to the club. It is David Moyes who has put this winning mentality in our head as well for 10 years. "Ninety per cent of the players here David Moyes has brought to the club. It is David Moyes who has put this winning mentality in our head as well for 10 years. "So if people feel like one manager now is doing what the other hasn't been doing for 10 years, the base has actually been built by the ex-manager, and the new manager is just tuning things. like one manager now is doing what the other hasn't been doing for 10 years, the base has actually been built by the ex-manager, and the new manager is just tuning things.
"The mentality has always been there, it's just the football is a little bit different. "The league is a little bit more open as well, with everybody winning against everybody."
Form of Bryan Oviedo will not lead to Everton letting Leighton Baines leave
7 Dec 2013 Daily Post
The Costa Rican has made a name for himself deputising for the injured left back, but is competition, not a replacement
Everton boss Roberto Martinez is adamant new Toffees hero Bryan Oviedo is competition for left-back Leighton Baines – not a replacement. With England international Baines likely to be sidelined by a broken toe well into next month, his Costa Rican deputy has made an instant impact in his two appearances. The 23-year-old last weekend marked only his second league start for the Toffees in 18 months with a goal in the 4-0 thrashing of Hull but then went one better in midweek with the strike which brought their first Premier League win at Old Trafford in 21 years. Speculation still persists that United manager David Moyes will return to his former club to sign Baines in January after a failed bid in the summer. And while Oviedo’s performances may have given Martinez confidence they can cope without Baines, that does not mean he is willing to let his first-choice left-back leave. “Nothing changes. We are in the middle of the season, we have just gone 14 games and the only thing we are thinking about is finishing the season with the strongest squad possible,” said the Spaniard. “The last thing we want is to lose experienced players, players who mean a lot to Everton and who represent a lot in terms of what we want to achieve.” Nevertheless Oviedo is set for an extended run in the side and has found himself catapulted into the limelight.
In scoring at Old Trafford, he not only became the club’s joint second-highest league scorer this season – alongside Baines, right-back Seamus Coleman and midfielder Ross Barkley – but won himself a new legion of fans. Martinez said the defender was gaining his reward for being patient and committed. “We had many phone calls from Costa Rica. The game was live there and his hero status has gone to a different level so it doesn’t surprise me how he is affecting people at the moment,” said Martinez. “The assessment (of him) is exactly the same as I had in pre-season: I thought he came back ready for this campaign showing he was ready to cope with the physicality of the British league. “In pre-season he played in many games and showed he was ready but has had one of the toughest jobs you can have, fighting for a position with someone like Leighton Baines, who is in the best moment of his career. “It has been probably frustrating for him at times but it is an incredible example of how you should behave as a footballer – just working hard, being ready and when you get the opportunity show you can help the team. “Everyone is delighted for Bryan because he is getting what he deserves – it is not an accident. “Now it is a great position for us to have such strong competitiveness for that position.”
How will Everton FC conduct themselves against 'orchestral' Arsenal?
7 Dec 2013 Liverpool Echo
By Greg O’Keefe
Blues travel to the Emirates on Sunday afternoon
For any side aspiring to become masters of the fast-passing possession game, Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal represent the litmus test. The Gunners have long-since honed the art of what was colourfully described by Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp recently as “orchestral” football.
But there is a new symphonic movement in town, and Roberto Martinez is solely focused on the sweet music his men can produce at the Emirates tomorrow, rather than worrying about the stirring sounds of the hosts. The Toffees manager insists his approach will not differ from that of Wednesday’s joyous visit to Manchester, when Everton went to win brimming with the footballing “arrogance” he believes they are fine-tuning with each passing fixture. “There’s a curiosity now about how far we can go,” says Martinez. “We know we can rely on each other and it’s about how good we can be against any opponents. “The players have been developing that belief and arrogance in the last 14 games and I think we can still do much better. The quality we have here makes me think that we are capable of something special. “The game on Wednesday was vital to get rid of that little mental block and now it’s up to us. “We know we’re facing the best team in the league so far this season on Sunday. Eleven wins out of 14 games says it all. They are the outstanding team in the division and we’ll have to be at our best again.” Martinez insists Everton don’t simply seek to emulate Arsenal in stylistic terms. “Their mentality is something any team should strive for,” he says. “But every football club should have its own style, and you have to take in your history and DNA. “Obviously Everton will be different from Arsenal in that way but of course there are many similarities in our aim to control games and impose ourselves through possession – in having the bravery to do that. “Arsenal have been doing it since Arsene Wenger took over and it’s a fantastic approach to have. “They are the product of a lot of years work in terms of their philosophy, and now Ozil has galvanised them and given them more belief. It’s as big a test as we’ll get.
“We’ll have to defend well when we defend, keep the ball well, attack well and be on our toes to cope with their counter attack. They can really hurt you on the counter with the amount of numbers they throw forward. "Yes it’s a big test but it’s about what we do and how well we do it. How good can we be rather than worrying about them.” Despite the physical toll of the Blues win at United, Martinez insists his men are champing at the bit to take on the Premier League leaders.
“Yes it was a physical game and we had to be at our best,” he says. “But once you get the win it’s easier to recover and if I’m honest the players would have preferred to play on Saturday rather than Sunday. That’s the mentality you get when you win big games. “If you ask me I’d have preferred an international break now so we can talk about it for longer! “But we enjoyed the challenge of going to Old Trafford to win and we have the same mindset for Arsenal. “We feed off the fans and we did that at Old Trafford and we’ll do it again at the Emirates.” After scoring in the 86th minute against David Moyes’ side, the Blues saw out the ensuing eight minutes with supreme confidence, something that gave Martinez extra satisfaction. “You always want to improve with every game,” he explains. “We looked at the Liverpool game and we felt we dropped two points and that should never have happened. “So we were pleased that once we scored against United it wasn’t a matter of backs against walls and hoping to keep the points. “It was taking control of the game and making sure we got three points. That’s as important as scoring from open play.” Scoring from open play is something Bryan Oviedo managed for the second game running against the Red Devils, and Martinez was thrilled with the 23-year-old left-back’s contribution. “You go to Old Trafford in the 86th minute and have your left back in the 18 yard box from open play. That pleased me,” he says. “He was there waiting for a cut back from Gerard Deulofeu beforehand too. “Bryan has done so well. He had two options when he was not playing; to feel sorry for himself or to use that desperation not to play and anger at missing out to stay even more focused and he did it the right way.
“His quality has been a massive asset to the team and I’m proud of him.” The Toffees boss was reluctant to be drawn into an either/or debate around Oviedo or Leighton Baines. He added: “We always felt Leighton would be out for up to six weeks but he’s progressed really well and he’s not far away. I don’t think it will be six weeks now at all, but it’s still too early to know when he’ll be fully fit.
“That doesn’t effect Bryan though, we want him to carry on enjoying his football in the same way. We also want Leighton back fully fit as quick as we can.”
Everton FC boss will dip into January transfer market in search of cover
7 Dec 2013 Daily Post
Roberto Martinez will be on the look out for back-up for injured duo Darron Gibson and Arouna Kone
Everton manager Roberto Martinez will dip into the transfer market next month to provide cover for striker Arouna Kone and midfielder Darron Gibson, both of whom are out with long-term knee injuries. The Toffees boss has virtually ruled out Kone’s return before the end of the campaign with Gibson also seemingly likely to struggle to be back in the current season. It leaves Martinez’s squad short on numbers and he will strengthen when the transfer window opens. “We are going to use the window in January to try to help the team because we lost two players for the long term,” said the Spaniard. “Arouna and Darron are two very important players for us so we will try to see if we can identify one or two players that can help the group. “We have been working hard to identify who can help the group and that is what we are looking for in January.” Martinez admits his initial fears Kone would not recover from an operation to repair damaged cartilage in time to play a part in the remainder of the season have materialised. “Arouna started the first part of his recovery and it is going to be long-term, as expected,” he added. “I don’t think we are going to see Arouna this season. “If we can get him back for the final two months he will have done really well.
“There was a big chunk of cartilage that had to be repaired in his knee. “In the same manner we are hoping we can see Darron Gibson before the season ends but clearly it is a long-term injury as well.”
Martinez backs Everton FC teen Deulofeu to find the net even more
7 Dec 2013 Daily Post
Manager has faith in Spanish starlet
Roberto Martinez has backed Gerard Deulofeu to find his killer instinct in front of goal.
The teenage sensation has already opened his account for his loan club with the opener against Stoke City last weekend, but fluffed two glorious chances against Liverpool and Manchester United either side of that 4-0 rout. However Martinez insists it won’t be long before the starlet begins hitting the back of the net more regularly, particularly if he continues creating his own openings in the final third. He said: “It’s only a matter of time before he starts scoring them more often. I’m never worried about him missing the chances, it’s more him getting in positions we can take advantage of. “You’re looking at the tactical aspect of how to get him in those positions, and he does that with ease. Gerard is getting in great positions and became a real worry for the United defence when he came on. He creates a threat time after time.” Deulofeu may have failed to convert a great opportunity on Wednesday night, but it was his mazy burst into the United area that played a crucial part in the build-up to Bryan Oviedo’s winner against Manchester United, and Martinez believes it was typical of his influence during recent cameos. “To make the chance for himself earlier was great and then in front of goal I think he tried to be very clever and nutmeg the keeper which at one stage I thought he had done,” says the Blues boss. “I think that affected De Gea for Oviedo’s shot.” The long-term future of all of Everton’s loan stars this season continues to be a talking point, with Gareth Barry the latest to hint he may prefer to remain at Goodison beyond this season. Romelu Lukaku is another influential temporary squad member who Martinez would dearly love to retain, but he insists he is not dwelling too much on the topic. “I think there’s going to be a lot of debate from the outside but there’s no debate on the inside,” he said. “Romelu loves the game, and that just shows in everything he does. He’s enjoying his time at Everton. He’s got really attached to the fans and the team and that’s all I want – that to continue. “Whatever happens at the end of the season will be for the good of everyone. It was a deal that Chelsea wanted to develop him individually and get him the games to progress. For us it was to get a quality striker. We just need all three parties getting the positives.” Martinez did, however, acknowledge that Lukaku’s evident bond with the club’s fans is a yet another positive part of his spell on Merseyside.
“When you saw him celebrating the way he did on Wednesday you can tell he’s loving his time here and it’s important we continue that,” he said. “We should enjoy him while he’s here and not look too far ahead.”
Royal Blue: Jagielka's leadership, a Blue winter wonderland and shopping with the stars
7 Dec 2013 Liverpool Echo
By Greg O’Keefe
Greg O'Keeffe on the week at Goodison
It was the type of evening when journalists tasked with naming an arbitrary man of the match have to pause and think far longer than usual. How do you select a stand-out performer when, as with Everton’s historic victory over Manchester United, there were so many individuals contributing to the cause? There was a left-back making only his third ever Premier League start in a blue shirt, who scored his second goal in consecutive games and ensured the Blue half of Merseyside will never be able to listen to The Human League’s Don’t You Want Me? again without singing ‘Oviedo Baby’.
Then there was a midfielder in James McCarthy who is still walking a precarious disciplinary tightrope and somehow managed to come through unscathed in that regard, while also outshining the man he was signed to replace in Marouane Fellaini. McCarthy’s performance was a revelation. At times it seemed absurd that the Republic of Ireland international cost £14.5m less for Everton than the price Bill Kenwright magnificently wangled out of United for the big Belgian.
It seems unfair also that Tim Howard’s outstanding display, one of many this season, received less attention – after all, the hirsute American kept the Blues in the game with that pivotal stunning one-handed save from Patrice Evra’s header. In the end I had to go with McCarthy who, alongside Gareth Barry, was flawless –a case study of ceaseless work in motion. But there was yet another candidate who barely warranted a word when the plaudits were dished out. Phil Jagielka’s performance was typical of how he has played for a long time. Unmovable in the centre of defence, as the minutes ticked down after Oviedo’s winner he confidently dealt with anything United threw at Everton’s back line. When David Moyes hinted that he felt he deserved more credit for the Everton team that shone so brightly on Wednesday, he has a point when it comes to the man he brought from Bramall Lane. The stats will tell you Jagielka successfully completed 92% of his passes – the joint highest amount of any player in blue and just 1% less than Fellaini. He was also his side’s most defensively active player, making a total of 16 actions over the course of the 94 minutes – 14 clearances, one block and one interception. But it was the pass he delivered to Romelu Lukaku, with the acuity of a midfield playmaker, in the build-up to the winning goal which really caught the eye. At 31, Everton have a rock around which their team can flourish for many seasons to come.
Shopping with Barry and Barkley
Ross Barkley and Gareth Barry will be at Everton One on Tuesday, December 10 to meet supporters as they pick up their Christmas shopping. On that day, the midfield duo will be at the Goodison Park store from 5-6pm. And if it’s a Belgian treat you’re looking for, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas will be at Everton Two to meet festive shoppers on Tuesday, December 17.
The pair will be at the city centre store from 5-6pm to pick up their last-minute Christmas gifts and meet Evertonians. Fans are advised to arrive at the store early. Only the first 150 who have purchased from the 3 for 2 range will be eligible to join the queue.
Receipts are required.
Goodison will be ready for a Blue Christmas
Goodison will be transformed into a winter wonderland for the Blues’ final home game before Christmas. Evertonians are invited to get to the stadium early and join in the festivities in the Fan Zone ahead of the clash with Fulham on Saturday, December 14.
Blue Santa and his reindeer will be waiting to meet junior fans in a special Everton grotto and there will also be a host of Christmas giveaways, including blue Santa hats, and live entertainment.
And to put the finishing touches to the winter wonderland, there will be a Goodison ice rink and snow machine to get supporters into the Christmas spirit. Get down to the Fan Zone from 1pm to join in the festive fun.
There are still tickets available for that Fulham game (kick-off 3pm).
Tickets start from £32 for adults and only £16 for Under-16s. Secure your tickets now by going online at evertonfc.com/eticketing, calling 0871 663 1878 or visiting either the box office, Everton Two in Liverpool One or the Ticket Quarter in Queen Square.
One fanatical Evertonian in particular wasn’t around to savour Everton’s victory on Wednesday.
Thirteen-year-old Michael Bedson fought a long and characteristically valiant fight with cancer, but died last weekend. The gifted St Edward’s College pupil was a true blue, who found some solace amid the ravages of his disease when Leon Osman and Tony Hibbert visited his bedside recently. Like many of the players who represented his beloved club over the years, Michael was a Corinthian who never gave up, never let the odds beat him into submission. He sat and passed with a grade B maths GCSE from his hospital bed just two days after an operation to remove tumours.
He also helped to raise thousands of pounds for charity. Just like that memorable midweek victory, Michael’s indomitable spirit will never be forgotten.
Barry Horne: How Everton FC can win at Arsenal, surrendering my place in the history books and the blossoming of Oviedo
7 Dec 2013 Liverpool Echo
Blues a match for any team, says former star
The big games just keep on coming. From the frying pan of Old Trafford to the fire of The Emirates.
I’m sure there will be some Everton fans getting carried away and wanting their side to go and run over the league leaders in North London, but I would issue a note of caution, even if it is an unpopular one! Wednesday night will have taken a lot out of the players.
They worked ever so hard for their win at Old Trafford, while Arsenal had the luxury of resting the likes of Giroud, Gibbs and Wilshere against Hull City. The Gunners have been in tremendous form this season, and are very much the team to beat at the moment. Despite this, I think Everton can go there and think they can win the game. They were fearless at Old Trafford, and I would expect more of the same tomorrow. Key to the game, however, could be how the Blues handle Aaron Ramsey, the man of the moment. Ramsey has, for me, been the best player in the Premier League this season. He is in Frank Lampard-esque scoring form, benefiting from the presence of Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla to arrive late, untracked into the penalty area to finish off chances.
I think defenders are ignoring him as they are so pre-occupied with the other attacking talents Arsenal possess.
Gareth Barry’s role will be so important.
He and James McCarthy have been superb of late. If they can stifle Ramsey, Everton will be in business.
Surrendering my place in the history books
I am proud to have played my part in the history of a such a wonderful club as Everton. Truly. My time at Goodison is something I reflect on with incredible warmth and affection.
But let me say this, I was absolutely delighted to have a little piece of that history erased on Wednesday night. I was part of the last Blues side to win at Old Trafford, back in August 1992. Back then, the Premier League was a new, exciting concept, Ryan Giggs was a fresh-faced teenager and Alex Ferguson was still searching for his first league title at Manchester United.
It was hard to imagine, as Peter Beardsley and Mo Johnston ran riot that night, that it would be another 21 years before Evertonians could have that feeling again. But the monkey is off their back now, and in some style. It was a great game of football, and a wonderful, wonderful result for Roberto Martinez and his players. I must admit I had a wry smile at some of the Scouse humour directed at David Moyes (inset). Evertonians have waited long enough for a night like that, and they deserved the chance to revel in it a tad. I don’t think even David would have begrudged them that, deep down. Nor, I suspect, would he argue about the merits of Everton’s win. United had their chances, and Everton had their let-offs, but the Blues were no shock winners, they earned it. They were confident, classy and assured. No smash and grab here. Maybe now they will earn a bit more respect from those within the game. This is no plucky underdog side. It’s a very good one.
The only downside? The fact that whilst Everton were making history in Manchester, I was sat watching Stoke and Cardiff play out the dourest of 0-0 draws. I know where I would rather have been!
The impact of Oviedo
Mark Hughes is a friend of mine, and it is never nice to see him suffer, but boy did he suffer at Goodison Park last weekend. His face as he watched his side comprehensively beaten said it all. Stoke had no answer to Everton’s dominance. And how great to see the subject of last week’s column, Bryan Oviedo, making such an impact this week. I’m taking no credit for the Costa Rican’s form, of course, but it is great to see a player who has shown great patience getting the chance to prove himself with the first team. Oviedo has ensured Leighton Baines has not been missed this week, and trust me, that is no mean feat at all. It has been a fabulous week for Everton.